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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_cavepainting.jpgOur ancestors told stories; stories that entertained, that showed people how to live, and that explained how the world was ordered. They sat around campfires, and around the work they were doing at the moment and told stories and sang songs. As People became more numerous, they gathered in cities and the stories got bigger, the presentation more formal and particular. The telling moved beyond just one person and others played roles. The stories of how the world was created were acted out yearly and with precision. On flaw in the performance and the players must start again least the world not function as it should.

The priests would enter bringing with them the sounds of chanting and the smell of incense. What storytelling lost in intimacy, public performance made up for in created spectacle. The grand theatre of the temple, housing statuary, and carved with reliefs of the doings of the gods, the choice of time of day, the smell of the sacrifice, and the sound of human voices raised in praise, all enveloped the participants. It allowed them to step out of ordinary time and join in the creation of the world, the crowning of the god-king, and the sparking of the fertility by which humanity survived. And whether around the fire or in the temple grounds, such participation bonded the people to each other and invested them with meaning and purpose. Such is the definition of ritual.

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I spent this weekend celebrating Beltaine, the arrival of the season of fertility and growth, with my local community here in Dallas-Fort Worth. While it's been spring for a while here in Texas, it's been a mild and wet spring -- but this past week has brought the first real days of springtime sunshine. The landscape is vivid green punctuated with our signature wildflowers -- bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, primroses, and Queen Anne's lace. The open community ritual I attended (presented by the Texas Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess) took place in a sun-dappled grove of trees, and was followed by community feasting and socializing. Things have certainly begun stirring beneath the Earth, and within me, which are bursting to be born into the light.

These past months have seen me spending a great deal of time reflecting on the directions in which I'd like to grow, particularly in my career. As an adjunct professor, I am part of a chronically and drastically underpaid workforce. The work I do feeds my soul and feels like a calling, but often leaves me (and people like me) struggling just to pay our bills. This winter has been a season of confronting my feelings about poverty and lack, about my work, and about what I want the next phase of my life to bring -- in terms of work, relationships, spirituality, and more. (Why yes, I did just turn 40. Why do you ask?)

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Not A Match Made In Oracle Heaven - Art Through The Eyes Of The Soul

Art through the eyes of the Soul by Cheryl Yambrach Rose – More post, less of a review

This review has been a year in the making and not because I am super lazy, but because I have been trying my hardest to like this deck of cards. Alas no matter how hard I try this deck and I just can't seem to become friends. Which is why this is going to be less of a review and more of a post about me, the deck and how we have had to go our separate ways.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
From: The Book of Pagan Proverbs

 “The gods rarely speak to those who are too busy to listen.” 

Mary Renault

(1905-1983)

In Memoriam

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Time for melancholy

In theory Pagans honour the dark half of the year as well as the light, bright growing times. However, in practice we spend autumn talking about harvest, and while we do acknowledge the dead at Samhain, midwinter tends to be more about the return of the light than the deep darkness. There are many things the wheel of the year doesn’t give us much space to honour and explore. Loss, misery, nostalgia, regret, and despair don’t really find a place.

Of course it’s tempting to focus on the ‘good stuff’ in life – what seeds are you planting this spring, where’s your fertility for Beltain, what have you harvested, and lo, the sun is reborn and round we go again! However, if you don’t have a lover, and your health is poor or your plans aren’t working out, then these are tough things to celebrate and it can feel like there’s no room for your experiences amongst everyone else’s cheerful optimism. The wheel of the year encourages us to look forward in hope, not fear, and not to look back except when we can be pleased by the results.

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  • irene boyce
    irene boyce says #
    Beautifully written Nimue, I would like to give you hope for the future...magic is in the air , however I need help to get this t
A Celebration of Life and Fertility!

Happy Beltane / May Day, fellow Witches and Pagans!

Beltane, which bridges the seasons of spring and summer, is arguably one of the most important and/or popular Celtic festivals out there and we’re doing all we can to help you celebrate. With that in mind, we’ve gathered the most relevant articles from across PaganSquare for your perusing. Additionally we’ve also gathered other pieces from across the web to inaugurate your summer celebrations as well as a few pieces about Earth Day, which passed earlier last week.

We hope you all enjoy your Beltane and have a wonderful summer!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
"The Bishop Had 17 Children"

In the year 981, the German missionary bishop Friedrich arrived in Iceland along with native guide and translator Thorvald Konradsson, an Icelander who had been converted while on the Continent.

Their mission failed because a skald (a word thought by some to be kin to the English word scold) composed a scurrilous little poem about the two of them which made them the laughing stock of Iceland. They were forced to leave the island in 986 because no one would take them seriously. You can't preach to people that are too busy laughing to listen.

Iceland officially accepted Christianity in the year 1000, largely because the Norwegian king held the sons of numerous prominent Icelandic families hostage: conversion by blackmail. Being Icelanders, of course, they added the parenthetical proviso: But if you want to keep offering to the Old Gods in private, well, that's your business.

But two lines of poetry had bought the Icelanders 14 years of freedom, and more than 1000 years later, we still remember them.

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