PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts
Reconstructing Minoan Art: Don't bet your religion on it

As we develop a spiritual practice in Modern Minoan Paganism, one of the sources we look to for inspiration is ancient Minoan art. After all, we have dozens of beautiful frescoes that tell us so much about the world of Bronze Age Crete. Or do they? It turns out, an awful lot of what we think we know is guesswork, often of the worst kind.

That beautiful image at the top of this post is the Prince of the Lilies fresco from Knossos. It's one of my favorite pieces of Minoan art. In fact, it's what inspired me to create The Minoan Tarot. Sir Arthur Evans pointed to it as evidence that there was, indeed, a king ruling at Knossos in Minoan times. But that picture up top is a reconstruction, an artist's rendering of what the original might have looked like, and many people consider it to be totally inaccurate. Let's have a look at the original as it's displayed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum:

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Little Gods

Back before Hebrew became the First Language of monotheism, it was a fine old pagan language in its own right, with words (for example) for “standing stone” (matsevá) and “stone circle” (gilgál).

The Hebrew word that usually gets translated “idol” is 'elíl. Scholardom has generally read this word as a cacophemism based on the root √ ' L L (alef-lamed-lamed) meaning “weak.” This even though words similar to 'elil occur in other Semitic languages—for example in Sabaean, the South Semitic language of the Arabian kingdom of “Sheba”—in religious contexts as well.

It occurs to me, however, to wonder if the derivation from “weak” is really the correct one. Hebrew (like its sister Semitic languages) has a pattern of word-creation called “reduplication,” in which the second part of the word is repeated; reduplicated words are usually diminutives. Hence, kélev, “dog” becomes k'lavláv, “puppy”; qatán, “little” becomes q'tantán, “teensy.”

I wonder if 'elil is the same. 'El = god. 'Elil = “little god.”

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sandy-Eastoak-Humboldt-Window-BLOG.jpg

 

   Autumn Equinox is about the mid-life phase of a woman's life, and also about the poignant seasonal turning toward winter and inward time. We encounter opportunity for personal assessment, asking ourselves pointed questions as we explore the psychology of harvest-time. We can name, ground and ritualized our harvests for the year: things that have come into being, that have gone well, things for which we are grateful.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Come Ye Thankful People, Come

The Autumn Equinox: it's a holiday of many names.

None of them—to be perfectly honest—quite there yet, if you know what I mean.

Equinox, of course, comes from Latin: “equal night.” It has the advantage of being readily comprehensible, at least. The down side is, of course, that it's ambiguous, since it's got a twin in the spring. And somehow it's got that clinical sound to it.

Then there's Evenday. This is a modern loan-translation from the word for “equinox” in the Scandinavian languages. (Interesting that, to describe a time when day and night are of equal length, the Southrons focus on night and the Northrons on day; make of that what you will.)

“Evenday” has a nice, colloquial sound to it, and is probably relatively transparent to anyone with light behind the eyes. Interestingly, it has already developed two pronunciations, and (curiously) I find myself using both of them: Even-day and Even-dee, just like the days of the week: the formal and less formal options, respectively.

Wishing folks a “Happy Evenday” has a good sound to it, certainly. But, of course, there's still that vernal-autumnal ambiguity.

So far as we can tell, the ancient Kelts did not observe the sunsteads and evendays as holidays (focusing instead on what we would call the “Cross-Quarters”), so there were no traditional names for them in any of the Keltic languages. To rectify this situation, Druidic Revivalists in the 19th century coined Welsh names for them; the autumn evenday is now called Alban Elfed (supposedly, “Light of [the] Waters”), and the name has gained a certain currency in Druidic circles.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ariel Aron
    Ariel Aron says #
    Nicely said I love reading your stuff. I also love the little poem.
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "Usage determines correctness." No it doesn't. Pronouncing ask as arks does not make it correct no matter how many people do it,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Fat Lady and the Animal Man

Some 30,000 years ago, they first appear: the Fat Lady and the Animal Man.

For 20,000 years after that, the ancestors kept making Fat Ladies and Animal Men.

We find their likenesses across Eurasia, literally from Spain to Siberia.

We don't know who they were or what they meant to the people that made them. Across such vast distances and time-spans, it's likely that they meant many things to many different people.

What's maybe most amazing is that, across those vast distances and time-spans, they're still recognizably themselves.

Some decades ago it became intellectually fashionable to deny that the Fat Lady and the Animal Man were gods. In the case of the Animal Man, the word shamanism got bandied about a lot: an explanation that explains very little, really.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "Some decades ago it became intellectually fashionable to deny that the Fat Lady and the Animal Man were gods." Do we have any pr
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Nicely said.Cheers, Tasha

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lunar Cycles and Healing

It is no secret that we witches are deeply connected to the cycles of The Moon.  We use lunar cycles to make decisions about planting and tending herbs for healing, food for nourishing our families and communities, and what kind of magic is appropriate to do personally, communally, or politically.

 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    yes, thank you Ted, blessings on your ancestors and all their descendants
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Divine love, compassion and hope to all who suffer, from those whose families have been touched by the same scourge.
Heathen Visibility Project: part 2 How to Participate

Step 1 Take photos of:

A. People (only include people who want to participate in the Heathen Visibility Project! ) including:

...
Last modified on

Additional information