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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
Those Pesky Satanic Verses

Among the preeminent deities of ancient Arabia were the Triple Goddesses of Mecca: al-Lât, al-'Uzzá, and Manât. We don't know much about them—the mosque far out-did the church in ruthlessness when it came to destruction of the past—but they certainly did cause problems for Muhammad. And, in fact, they still do.

When Muhammad had gained enough power to become a player in local politics, grandees from some of Mecca's most prestigious families came to him and said: “Look, make a place in your system for the Three Goddesses—they don't have to be on top, just make a place for them—and we'll back you.”

Muhammad was well-known for having self-serving revelations. His wife 'A'isha once remarked that it sure was convenient how Allah seemed to back him in every argument. So he goes up to Mount Nûr and, lo and behold, the angel Jibrîl whispers into his ear:

Have you seen al-Lât and al-'Uzzá,

and Manât, the third, the other?

These are the exalted cranes,

their intercession much to be desired.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
AAR Annual Meeting - V

This blog wants me to post 75 characters, so please click here for full text of blog.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, March 5

Looking for some earthy, natural remedies? We've got a bunch here at the Pagan News Beagle, including earth-born bacteria and air-cleaning vegetation. Plus, getting in touch with the wild and dealing with climate change.

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Ritual Elements Part Two - Re-igniting the Spark

I've recently finished co-teaching a six week class titled "Elements of Magic". It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last post, I talked about my explorations with Air. Now I'm moving into Fire (cue music -The Ohio Players "Fire" )

Re-igniting The Spark -

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Limoncello is a glass of liquid sunshine.  As the light grows and we approach Ostara, the Spring Equinox where the light overtakes the darkness, there is no better drink to celebrate the season.  Sweet, tart, strong, and delicious, a little glass of limoncello is like drinking in the growing sun.

Some pagans make mead, others brew beer, others steep all sorts of fruits in any strong drink they can find.  I make limoncello.  I first learned of limoncello while traveling in Italy.  We were staying in Sorrento, a seaside town with much the same climate as my native southern California.  The local drink was this delicious concoction of local lemons, sugar, water, and booze.  I had to try it.  After I did, I had to find the recipe.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mandrakes

I'd never met anyone that raises mandrakes before.

Over breakfast one morning at a festival, a couple that do just that were telling a group of us about the process. It's very interesting. Where they live, it's too cold for the mandrakes to over-winter in the ground, so they dig them up every fall and keep them in boxes of sand through the winter. Then in the spring they replant them.

The advantage of all this exhuming and replanting, of course, being that they get to know each of the roots individually, maybe shape them a little, and photograph the mandrakes as they grow. Did we want to see the pictures?

Did we ever.

So there we are, oohing and aahing as the photos circulate. For all the world as if we were looking at pictures of someone's grandchildren: beaming grandparents, admiring circle. Witches and mandrakes.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    Well, this is timely. I have been thinking about trying to grow mandrakes myself. Lovely!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Celebrating Ostara

American Asatru has a major holiday that does not exist in Icelandic Asatru, which is Ostara. Ostara is the heathen and pagan Easter. Because Easter is a major cultural holiday in the USA, with many holiday traditions in which people of all faiths participate, it has also become a major holiday among many American pagans and heathens. Like many of the seemingly secular traditions surrounding Christian holidays, Easter has pagan roots. 

Ostara is the Germanic spelling of Eostre, the English goddess name that developed into the word Easter. A goddess of spring and dawn, Ostara's sphere of influence is the fertility of animals, as exemplified by the fertility symbols the bunny and the egg. The holiday of Ostara can be celebrated on the Spring Equinox, or for a few weeks after. The American secular holiday tradition of hiding dyed chicken eggs and then having the children hunt for them replicates the way real farmers hunt for the eggs of free range chickens. 

The Easter Egg symbol is used in different ways by different individual heathens and pagans and by different heathen and pagan groups. Some families do the traditional American Easter Egg Hunt for their children. Like other Americans and some Europeans, they might dye or decorate the eggs at home, a project in which children can participate. Others buy candies in the shape of eggs, chicks, and bunnies as substitutes for the real thing.

Some kindreds fill blown eggs with confetti and break them on each other's heads to bless each other. There was a group in California that had an annual Ostara campout at which eggs and nickels were placed in a replica Viking longship, and the boat was set on fire and launched into the Pacific Ocean as a sacrifice to the sea goddess, Ran. 

Find out more about American holidays in my book American Celebration: http://www.amazon.com/American-Celebration-Erin-Lale/dp/1304916138/ref=la_B004GLACQQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425318146&sr=1-3

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