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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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Atheopaganism for Solitaries

We’re a subgroup of a subculture. Of a couple of them, actually: atheism and Paganism.

So it’s not a surprise that though there are many of us collectively, we are spread thinly and may live far away from anyone else who identifies as practicing the path of Atheopaganism. Thus, this post, about practicing as a solitary.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Blessing of the Crows

With a sinking feeling, I hear the voices of hundreds of crows raised in pre-dawn “f**k you” chorus.

Oh no! We've received the blessing of the crows!

Crows are savvy. During the leafless season, November to April, they roost together by the hundreds and thousands every night. Lacking the camouflage of leaves, this gives them twice hundreds and thousands of eyes to watch out for potential trouble.

Being under their late afternoon flyway, as I was the other day, can feel pretty ominous. And at night, when the trees of a given block fill up with hundreds and thousands of cawing, excreting corvid bodies, the feeling is downright Hitchcockian.

And then, when they fly off, raucous, next morning, they leave their blessing behind them. Lucky us.

I try to keep a pagan attitude about it. Dung fertilizes. Last year the South Minneapolis murder avoided us all winter and, sure enough, the haul from the garden this summer was pitiful.

Even so, the acrid smell of guano lingers for weeks. Cars you can wash—I sometimes wonder if the crows are in league with the car-wash owners—but not sidewalks or roofs.

Fearing the worst, I look out the window. Sure enough, the cars parked on the street are painted, polka-dotted, with mutes.

I put on my shoes and go out to the driveway to check my car. I gasp.

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Video shared by on in Paths Blogs

If you're interested in the psychology underpinning Donald Trump and the roots that fostered his way of thinking and the breaking down of empathy. Here's a man I studied Spiritual Activism (part of my Human Ecology Masters degree) in a fascinating talk...

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Under the beautiful crisp clear light of the full moon, our extended farm community gathered together for the “saining of the beasts”.  In our talking circle, we reflected on the realities of the Samhain season, specifically in relation to the animals of the farm.  I gave a bit of history concerning the old Scottish custom of saining (blessing) the herds as they come back from the summer pastures into the closer confines of the homestead.  I spoke as well about the AngloSaxon word for this Novembry season: blodmonath.  The month of blood.  This was the time when the culling of the animals would happen, depending on the size of the herd, the amount of hay stored for winter fodder, and the number of (human) mouths to feed in the community.  So this early winter season was paradoxically a time of both saining and slaughter, blessing and butchering.

For us, as for our ancestors, this is still the reality of a small scale, subsistence, off-grid farming life.  As members of our community processed from the chickens, to the sheep, to the pigs, to the cows, chanting blessings under the moon, we knew that some of these wonderful “more-than-human” persons would soon be filling our freezers and our stewpots.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Planet Earth = Goddess Earth?

One day, while Mother Earth was visiting Athens...

So begins a story from Robert Graves' Greek Myths. Theologically speaking, I find these words profoundly disturbing. I thought so when I first read them years ago; decades on, they still trouble me.

The same problem arises in Isaac Bonewits' Litany to the Earth Mother:

R: You who are called Gaea among the Greeks....

V: Come to us!

R: You who are called Tellus by the Romans....

V: Come to us! etc.

So let me get this right: we're calling Earth to come to us. Call me opaque, but if there's a logic here, I fail to see it.

In both cases, we proceed from the presumption that, in some sense, Earth-as-Goddess is different to, and distinguishable from, Earth-as-Planet.

Such a view, I suspect, is premised on a binary body/spirit worldview: Planet Earth as the Body of Goddess Earth.

But are the gods spirits? If so, what does that mean?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, I follow the Divine Iamblichus' beliefs on the nature of Godhood. Mother Earth governs the physical matter of the surf
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I tend to view Spirit as quintessence the fifth element. Along with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water I see it as part of the matrix of
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    This dichotomy/tension continues in ADF today: there's a spot in the Core Order for "The Earth Mother" and I regularly have issue

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Guy in the Red Suit: Pagans and Santa

A local coven just sent around the invitation to their big public Yule this year. So far as I can divine, the heart of the ritual will be an encounter with the “Guy in the Red Suit.”

Now, historically speaking, Santa is entirely a creation of Christian folklore, with no known connections to the pre-Christian world. Contemporary pagans differ in their attitudes towards this most popular—and vapid—of American folk figures.

Some pagans wholeheartedly embrace Santa, name and all, along with Yule trees, wreaths, and the rest of the (secular) Christmas package. I suspect that there's a strong element of nostalgia here. As pagans, we're so often entirely out-of-step with the overculture that, come Yule, it can come as something of a relief just to relax and go with the flow for once.

Some see Santa as a figure with pagan roots, and hence acceptable, if perhaps rechristened [sic] with a new pagan name. This is untrue, historically speaking: like the Yule tree, Santa grows out of folk Christianity. Granted this historical datum, whether or not—like the Yule tree—Santa is ultimately paganizable (now there's an adjective for you) remains a matter of opinion.

Some would reject Santa as hopelessly tainted by his Christian connections, often in favor of some other Yuletide gift-bringer: Mother Berchta, Befana, or the Yule Goat inter alia. With Brom's recent novel of the same name, Krampus has gained something of an enthusiastic following.

(In fact, all of these figures originally emerged out of Christian folklore as did Santa himself, and none of them have any traceable connection to any known pagan tradition.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Hooray for Krampus!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    According to "Psychedelic Mystery Traditions" by Thomas Hatsis Santa didn't get stuck in a red suit until Coke used him in and adv

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

May I be inspired. b2ap3_thumbnail_75392784_2474522466093294_7626079059591561216_o.jpg
May I be grateful.
May I walk in ease
and devotion.

As I have noted several times here on this blog, this June I fell and hurt my ankle, which confined me to flat surfaces and my back deck instead of the long walks on the road and through the woods that I so enjoy and find so nourishing of my creativity and spirituality. In my time on the deck, I started to ponder devotion and building devotional practices and from those contemplations the Goddess Devotional prayerbook was born. My family jokes that I fell down and when I got back up, I’d written a book. This was a surprise project for me this year, not something I expected to create, and I’m really pleased with it.


Free pdf version and a collection of additional resources is available here

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