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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
Secular Samhain

Autumn cold brings the pagan dead

to seek the warmth of the Samhain fire.

Glenn Danzig, “Samhain”

 

Don't get me wrong; I love Halloween. It's probably one major reason why I'm pagan today.

But after nearly 50 years of Samhain, I have to admit: Halloween just seems to drift farther and farther away every year.

Halloween: the secular Samhain. Increasingly, it reads to me as a parody, a cartoon of Samhain. Much as I loved trick-or-treating as a kid—and taking the kids around, as an adult—already at age 11, I knew that something was missing: something that (I was certain) was out there waiting, in the woods, in the dark: something Deeper, something Realer.

Already I heard the rustling among the fallen leaves: the “Changer of Shapes, alone on hoofs.”

Sometimes I pity them, the Halloween people. I suppose that what they have is better than nothing.

Still.

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  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    Lovely! And real.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Whenever You Find It

Putting up the Samhain lights yesterday, I found an egg that had lain undiscovered since our egg-hunt last spring Evenday.

Not to worry: it was a plastic egg. (For just this reason, we don't hide the real ones.) Orange plastic, in fact, with a black dragonfly embossed on it.

Interesting, that.

Rattling around inside, like the yolk of a dried-out old pysanka, was a chocolate-covered malted milk ball.

I ate it, of course. A little oxidized, maybe, but for a moment, I closed my eyes and savored the sweetness anyway.

The trees are wearing their autumn gold; the ground is carpeted in yellow. Samhain is coming.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Life has so many poetic moments.
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    This is lovely.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
My Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 3

Recently I was visiting Long Beach, Washington and while I was there I ended up visiting another site for the Confluence Project. Turns out that Long Beach was actually the first site consecrated for the project and what was fascinating to me was that you could see 5 different parts of the project. There was a board walk with writing on it about the geographic and historical dates for the Lewis and Clark trail, an amphitheater, a fish cleaning table and a view point. And all of those places were intriguing but the one which really spoke to me was the Cedar Grove Circle.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Cedar-grove.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Plant Your Own Sacred Grove

My mother’s best friend passed away over the weekend and they had one of those incredible relationships you rarely hear about. They talked every day, mostly on the phone, but also saw each other often. I realized it would be a lovely tribute to my dear mother’s beloved friend to plant a flowering tree she can see to remind her of the gifts of that special bond. I have planted trees for people who passed and confess I even planted one for Michael Jackson which I can see right now out of the window by my writing desk. Michael’s tree is showy and is exploding in bountiful, beautiful purple flowers.

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatruars Embrace Wolfenoot

Some Asatruars have embraced the new pop culture holiday Wolfenoot, invented by a child as a holiday to honor canines, including dogs and wolves, and the people who love them. Some Asatruars have also started their own animal related holidays in reaction to Wolfenoot, including Kitten Nacht and Bearenfornia.

The 7 year old boy who invented Wolfenoot wanted a holiday in which the wolf spirit brings gifts to people who have been kind to dogs. It is celebrated by eating roast meats and a cake decorated to look like the full moon. It is celebrated on Nov. 23rd; the child stated that was the date when the Great Wolf died, according to the original post by the boy's mother, Jax Goss.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, certainly someone should tell them what it's all about!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Here in Virginia they make a big to-do about the first thanksgiving being held at Berkley Plantation two years before the pilgrims
Autumn in Japan: A season of the moon, ancestors, and gods

It is now Autumn in Japan, one of the most important seasons of the year.

There are four big events, starting with Shubun no Hi (Autumn Equinox), Tsukimi (Autumn Full Moon viewing), Kannazuki or Kanarizuki (Month Without or Month with Kami), and then Shuuki Taisai or Shuuki Reitaisai, (Autumn Grand Ceremony).

It is no surprise Autumn is an important time in Shinto and Japanese culture. As with many cultures and spiritualities around the world that are in tune with nature, Autumn is the all-important harvest season. A season to reap the bounties and give gratitude toward nature and the ancestors, deities, and other spirits to survive the cold upcoming Winter. In addition, it is a time of celebration, family, gathering, introspection, and reflection.

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  • Courtney
    Courtney says #
    This was lovely and informative. Thank you.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Let It Mean Something

Visiting my mom in the old folk’s home is a lot like going on retreat. On retreat, the days can be long, as I sit, eat, and walk in a silence punctuated with my own restless thoughts. On my visits to my mom, we too sit, eat, and walk in a silence punctuated by her restless, repetitive questions (“Why did you come? Are you my guest? Why am I here?”) and my repetitive answers. Just as on retreat, there are moments of peace, stretches of boredom and periods of head-nodding semi-sleep, both of us upright in our chairs. For the days I’m there, nothing new is happening. Nothing much is being accomplished. It’s the same thing, over and over.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Archer, this story breaks my heart -- in the best possible way. Thank you for sharing it with us. Peace to you, your mother, and a
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you for these words Anne.

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