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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Where Summer Lives: Recovering Pagan Sweat Traditions

Och, it's the hairy armpit of Winter.

Here in the North, Winter has a cold armpit. The lakes and streams are all frozen, and who wants to strip off in this cold anyway? Get wet and face hypothermia.

Even for those of us fortunate enough to live with central heat and hot running water (and thank Goddess for them both), bathe or shower too frequently and—in our Winter Desert air—you'll shred your own dry hide with the itching.

That's why the gods gave us saunas.

The sweats that I've attended at festivals have all been structured along Native American—in fact, Lakota—lines. There's a reason for this.

The sweat is a Circumpolar tradition. When those very first ancestral Americans entered this continent, they brought their sweat traditions along with them. Time was, pretty much every Indigenous People here had their own.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hair on the Chest

“That'll put hair on your chest!”

It's what my father always says when the tea's too strong.

It's a standing joke. Legs aside, none of the men in my family have much body hair to speak of. If there's any Neandertal DNA left in there, it must have got diluted out a long, long time ago.

“Gee,” I quip, “You mean I'll have seventeen?”

“Quit bragging!” says my father.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Barleycorn's Revenge

You know the Grain God: him they call John Barleycorn.

You've heard the songs; you know the stories. It's pretty disgraceful, really, what they do to that poor guy.

They cut him with scythes. They tie him up. They stick him with pitchforks. They beat him with sticks. They crush him. They drown him.

As if that's not enough, they eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Not to worry: he's a god, after all. He always springs up again.

And in the end, he'll have his satisfaction.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Greater Courage

Which is the greater courage?

To die with the Old God's name on your lips?

Or to speak the usurpers' words, and to live with the Old Ways in your heart?

To hide, to lie if need be, to this end: that “ever the Craft shall live”?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well observed.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I suspect that some must die so that others can hide.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Giganotosaurus: Be Spectacular

Discovered in 1993, Giganotosaurus gave notice to the world of the huge South American dinosaurs. Because of this continent’s isolation, the dinosaurs there grew to tremendous sizes. At 45 feet (14 meters), Giganotosaurus displaced Tyrannosaurus rex as the largest meat-eater of the dinosaurs. (Later Spinosaurus supplanted them both.) At 9 tons, Giganotosaurus had to be big for She hunted 90 ton Argentinosaurus, the largest land animal ever found (so far).

As one of the Shark-teeth Dinosaurs (Carcharodontosauridae), Giganotosaurus had serrated teeth. They were thin, sharp with jagged edges similar to shark teeth. (In contrast, T. rex had blunt rounded teeth.) With her jaws, Giganotosaurus could manipulate her mouth to act like a pair of scissors. Instead of chomping through bones, She would slice through muscles and flesh. By doing that, She would weaken Argentinosaurus until He collapsed from blood loss.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fimble-Winter

Just before Ragnarok, according to the Elder Edda, will come a terrible winter called Fimbulvetr, the “mighty winter.”

(Thanks to Edward Lear—remember the fimble-fowl, with the corkscrew leg?—we may anglicize this nicely as the “Fimble-winter.”)

The Fimble-winter, it is said, will last for three whole years, with no summers in between.

Shudder.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So mote it be.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember one of those PBS shows; either Nova or Nature, saying that if the Yellowstone Caldera erupts it would cover all of Nor

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Process and Problems in Spirit Flight

Since coming to Paganism in 1998, the otherworlds have piqued my curiosity and stirred my sense of the magical. I view the worlds of the gods and spirits as interwoven with yet distinct from our own in meaningful ways, much like the ocean and the Earth’s water cycles are interwoven with the land and air through rivers and streams, and even underground water, rain, and humidity. The otherworlds are more “worlds” than “other” but there is still something unique and distant enough about them to require astral travelers to enact procedures that allow them to change their location. Basically, the spirit or soul or consciousness has to leave where it is and journey or simply shift to another place.

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