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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 Paths Blogs

I first came across the term covenstead in Uncle Bucky's Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. In the Big Blue Book Buckland describes the covenstead as "the name given to the home of the coven (the place where it always, or most often, meets).  Within the Covenstead,* of course, is found the Temple."  I've been a part of several covens over the years, but most of those situations seemed to lack a true covenstead.  Rituals were undertaken in several different locations: a few houses, maybe a park, etc.  Those places were all nice, and my house numbered among them, but they didn't feel like a covenstead.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Beltane - Yesterday and Today

I'm looking forward to Beltane this year. It's one of the more fun public rituals that I participate in with my local Pagan Community and it's usually outside, which really sits well with my ritual sensibilities. I’ve celebrated Beltane for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t always know it by that name growing up. I have extremely fond childhood memories of May Day celebrations in south east London and Kent. Most of the celebrations were at my school (St. Mary Magdalene C of E) and on the church grounds themselves right on the banks of the River Thames.

Beltane celebrations happening on Church grounds weren’t particularly unique experiences. I went to lots of different May Day events at churches.  There was often a church fete with scones and knitted things and lots of elderly ladies that all sounded just like every Monty Python Character you can conjure up. What was special about these gatherings is that it felt like we were all engaging with something that was "always just done".  I even have pictures of my grandmother as a young girl in the 1930s dressed as the May Queen.

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  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    I've always celebrated Beltane growing up in a Germany - well, mostly because it's my birthday - but we didn't have maypoles. Ever

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

For the second time in just a few weeks, a Goddess carrying a message of embracing my anger has come to visit. While it's a bit jarring, after spending last week contemplating inspiring art, just a little reflection made it clear to me that my anger often is the source of my inspiration. As an activist and advocate for a variety of social justice causes, it is often anger at injustice that sparks me to words and action. This in so many ways does not square with what we are taught about being "good women." After all, a "good woman" is never angry, takes things in stride, is always smiling and compliant. One of the biggest strawman arguments in the world is that of the "Angry Feminist" who is humorless and always raging incoherently at the latest imagined slight. What this ignores, of course, is that women and other marginalized groups often have very real, valid reasons for our anger, and have the right to express it. Anger, in short, is not always a negative emotion -- it can spur us to positive action, open dialogue, and facilitate healing when we learn how to work with it.

And so it is that Pele, Hawaiian volcano Goddess, comes dancing into my life this week, from the cards of my Goddess Inspiration Oracle:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This weekend, I led a goddess-centric workshop at my local new age store. Although I’ve been working with goddess for over a decade and writing and participating in rituals for about half that time, I’d never led a class with strangers. The opportunity popped up unexpectedly because of my book Goddess Spells for Busy Girls, and in the years since I penned the book, I’ve realized to trust that it knows what it wants, so when I was invited to present, I embraced the unexpected abundance and said yes.


I had a wonderful time sharing four of my favorite goddesses with the lovely workshop participants, and, in the spirit of abundance that typifies the work I do related to my little pink book, I wanted to share one of the meditations I wrote for this weekend with you. It’s a Lakshmi meditation, and since abundance is on my mind (and since we’re turning the tide to Beltane this week), I hope you’ll enjoy this journey.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Question of Soul

Recently I was asked a question that gave me pause. It was a simple question that opened up whole worlds of inquiry which have echoed through many hundreds of years. The question was, “Do birds have souls?” This is not such an unusual question. For a very long time in history, we have been told that only humans have souls. As God gave mankind dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26), this seems to imply that, though animals have the ‘breath of life’ to animate them, they are not connected with the Divine in the same sense as mankind. They do not have souls nor do they go to heaven. We have come a long way in appreciating that animals have thoughts and feelings. Anyone who owns a pet (and this implication of ‘ownership’ becomes interesting language itself) can attest to the different, particular personalities that come through. Many of you reading this likely have already answered the question of animal’s souls in your own minds. For me it was an invitation to a more expansive question, “What exactly is a Soul and does it differ from Spirit?”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Why are Wiccan ceremonies held in a circle? Do I always have to draw a circle when I’m going to do something witchy? 

Although we’ve all seen the popular horror movie trope of occultists drawing magical circles on the floor to protect themselves from demons and other nasties—a great example is the movie The Devil Rides Out, if you’re interested—the circle in Wiccan rituals demarcates sacred space and is meant to contain any energy you may raise inside it during your ritual. It can serve as a protection to keep out certain distractions or unwanted energies, but it’s not a demon-trapping device.

What Does It Mean?

The circle symbolizes different things to different Wiccans. Some say when they are inside the circle, they are “between the worlds,” meaning in a space between our material world and the otherworld or spirit realm. Other Wiccans believe the circle is a microcosm of the universe or cosmos, or the womb of the Wiccan goddess. And some believe more than one of these things.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

What does Egyptian religious practice look like in the 21st century?  Maybe more to the point, why do we turn for inspiration to a culture which disappeared nearly 1800 years ago?b2ap3_thumbnail_Pached1.jpg 

The second question makes me think of my friend Marion who just loves to travel.  He’s been in more countries, more times, than I can count.  He and I have mused together about how deeply one is changed by stepping outside of everyday life and being immersed in something completely new and different.  For some of us, religious travel is just the tonic needed for a weary soul. 

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