PaganSquare


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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We may not be able to agree what "pagan" means, or even if that's really the label we prefer- Heathen, Witch, Polytheist, Occultist etc. But one experience many of us have in common is facing some degree of social prejudice and the question of how "out" to be.  At the end of day, regardless of your practices, theology or identity, Paganism can be That Religious Category By Which we are lumped and stigmatized.

Often when we speak or write to teenagers inquiring about religious and magical practice, we advice them to wait until they move out of their parents' house. For many young people with disabilities independent living is  out of reach. And for older Pagans who may lose some degree of independence, getting help from aides, relatives or moving into a senior home may mean going back into the broom closet. I have been quite fortunate- my parents were quite accepting both of me being bisexual and Pagan, and I've had to continue to rely on them or my partner to varying degrees financially without having to hide who I am. The mental health professionals that I work with, when I have broached the subject of my sexuality or religion, have also been accepting. (It doesn't hurt that two of them were also Unitarian Universalists!)

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Lupercalia Valentine

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Well wherever you may presently be, I suggest mimicking the pre-Romans with a Lupercalia Valentine's Party. Who couldn't use a little extra debauchery to get through this dreariest of winter doldrums. First off, everybody has to wear something sexy to gain entry (see what I did there). Since everyone has a different definition of that, anything goes. Lady Gaga to S&M bondage gear, cute Furry to 80's neon spandex – it should all be good fun.

There must be lot of wine flowing and succulent finger foods to eat. Feed each other bunches of grapes. Citrus fruits, chocolates, smoked salmon, pizza, venison summer sausage, and olives should all be present and accounted for. Heck, if you're feeling ambitious, grill up a few turkey legs. To me anyway, there's nothing more hedonistic-looking than people chowing down on a big old turkey leg in hand. Encourage your guests to bring additional bottles of vino and several decadent desserts.

The music needs to be lively and loud. This will cause people to talk louder to converse, and ultimately lead to laughter and automatically up the ante of your party. If you can bring in some extra lounging chairs to recline in while you dine, all the better for authenticity. Break out the Twister, if you have some game guests – it's the safe version of an orgy. Form relay teams and pass the orange from neck to neck. If that doesn't break the ice, you're on your own peeps.

Wrap things up with some cappuccino, aspirin, and apple cider vinegar diluted water as needed. Ideally, hold your party when you can have a a super lazy day off to follow. Salute!

GRILLED TURKEY DRUMSTICKS
(recipe from http://www.primalpalate.com)
If you've never tried grilling turkey drumsticks, you're missing out! These big, juicy cuts are perfect for grilling. Keep the flame low, and these babies will come out perfectly tender with a nice crisp skin.
Serves: 2
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-pound turkey leg, 2 drumsticks
3 tablespoons red palm oil
    Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    Mix together cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.
    Rub drumsticks with seasonings.
    Sear drumsticks on the grill for approximately 3 minutes per quarter turn.
    After searing all sides, move drumsticks to a part of the grill where they can cook by indirect heat.
    Cook drumsticks via indirect heat for an additional 50–60 minutes.
    The grill temperature during this time should read around 300°F.
    Turn drumsticks 1/4 turn every 10 minutes until they have reached an internal temperature of 180°F.
    Baste drumsticks with red palm oil toward the end of their cook time, about the last 20 minutes or so.
    Reapply as necessary.

Notes:
This recipe uses an indirect cooking technique on the grill. If you have a gas grill, turn one burner off and leave the remaining burners lit at medium heat. Place the drumsticks over the burner that has been shut off. If you have a charcoal grill, move the drumsticks to the coolest spot on the grill or raise the rack. The objective is to slowly cook the turkey so that it does not burn or dry out.

Photo by radnatt at freedigitalphotos.net

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The Parentalia: Honoring the Ancestors and Beloved Dead

It is bedtime. My daughter and I are cuddled up, and it is story time. This is our nightly ritual. Some nights, when she's not so tired, we read myths. She is nearly 4, and her attention span is not that of an adults, so most nights we read about My Little Pony or Olivia like your normal family.

Tonight, though, she brings me Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl. There was a point where I couldn't read through it without crying, and I'm secretly thankful that I've steeled myself slightly to the beautiful prayer the author wrote for his daughter.

Within the first few pages, my daughter grabs my hand to still it, and looks a long time at the picture of beautifully aged women looking lovingly over a wandering, wondrous girl. She asks, “Are they the Ancestors?”

I'm suddenly tearing up anyway. This time my eyes are welling up with pride. She's connected it. She's starting to understand the nature of Ancestors – That They watch over us.

Until this point, I've avoided using anything but English words for the Gods (which for a Roman polytheist can include at least some of the Ancestors), but on this night I kiss the top of her head and say with pride and delight, “Yes, these are special Ancestors. We call Them the Matronae. They are the Big Mothers who look after us and make sure we have a good life.”

“Matronae,” she says, turning the R into a W. It's adorable. It's amazing to hear the word on the lips of the young, fae-like creature my entire world has come to revolve around. It means even more as I slowly write a book about the Matronae of the Missouri River.

My daughter gets it. She understands.

Maybe I'm not failing as a parent as much as I thought.

“It's Parentalia,” I remind her. “This is a time for the Ancestors.”

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Chirrup in C

 

Unimaginably long ago, unimaginably far away, two dark and massive beings drew near to one another and their dance of courtship began.

Faster and closer they danced, whirling around one another at speeds of millions of miles per second.

More than a billion years ago they merged, falling into one another with a force that shook all time-space, and shakes it still.

And now, more than a billion years since that mighty Great Rite, we hear the orgasm song of their mating.

A chirrup in the key of C.

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, February 12

Women in Africa are segregated as accused witches. The reign of terror of a Russo-German to Buddhism is remembered. And the relationship between the divine, artificial intelligence, and the ego is examined. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Loving Your Body Doesn't Mean Thinking It's Perfect

It was a strange experience, having a birthday just days before David Bowie and Alan Rickman died. They were both 69. I turned 35. When I heard about their deaths I realized, with a mild but chilling existential awe, that my life could very well be half over.

Ha! Ha! I know what those of you who are older than me are thinking. Half over? At 35!? Sweetie, calm down. They both had cancer. You’re not even middle-aged yet.

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And This Year's Gene Roddenberry Homophobia "Hall of Shame" Award...

...goes to...

the “Star Wars” franchise

for boldly imagining a universe without gay people:

a genocide of the imagination.

 

Shame on George Lucas.

Shame on Disney.

Shame on Hollywood.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    I agree Star Trek & Star Wars have both been disappointing in the GLBT representation department, though Star Trek in particular h
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It's not a genre that I read much of, Anthony, so I'm not qualified to say. Surely there must be.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Can you think of any Science Fiction series or novels that do include same sex couples? I'm sure I remember there being a lesbian

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