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 Culture Blogs
On the Bridge

For more than 30 years now, we've gathered on this bridge on the morning of the winter solstice to watch the newborn Sun rise out of the Mississippi Valley.

They say that every bridge takes a life in the building. This bridge took the life of a poet. Surely a bridge dyed with the blood of a poet will stand for long and long.

People have been watching the Midwinter Sun rise here for long and long as well. As we turn our faces to the southeast on Yule morning, we will face the site of one of the oldest and largest Winter Villages on the Upper Mississippi. Here families that dispersed during the summer to gather, hunt, and farm, would come together to overwinter. At one time, as many as 20,000 people may have lived here: as many, in fact, as live here now.

On the east bank, the living. Here Big Village was located. On the west bank, the dead. Here a row of eleven mounds once stood, where, since perhaps 700 CE, bone bundles were ceremoniously deposited.

Life and death, and the bridge between. Summer and winter, east and west. Here we stand, between, as we have always stood.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Carol of the Swallow

In English, it's called Carol of the Bells, and has become a regular part of the December soundscape.

But the Ukrainian original—like folk carols all over Europe—although sung at Christmas, doesn't have anything to do with Christmas.

Or bells.

Instead, it's about spring.

And fertility.

And sex.

Which is to say: it's thoroughly pagan, through and through. Because to pagans, Yule isn't just a self-referential blaze that sits in its own golden halo at the end of the year; it's the first spark of what comes next, a collective turning towards spring, and the growing season to come.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sticks and Twigs

Sticks and twigs

If you are looking for sticks or twigs to use then I would encourage you to look on the ground first rather than cut them direct from the tree.  The trees usually provide enough twiggy gifts without the need for cutting.  However if you do need to cut a twig or small branch from a tree please do ask permission first, just let the tree know what you need it for and always cut cleanly, never rip it from the tree otherwise infection can set in.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Water Is Life

Water, you are the origin of life, the blood of the Earth, the greatest portion of our very bodies.  Water, you flow gently to quench and sooth, and rage in torrents to cleanse and reshape.  Water, you protected us in the womb, and are a daily necessity throughout our lives.  Water, you circulate through air and earth connecting all things to all things.  Water you are life, may we be your protectors.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Tonight's New Moon is in Sagittarius. Archer energy is always fun -- Sagittarius, while the philosopher's sign, is also always up for anything. As a Sag myself, I often say my philosophy of life is, "What? I'm too busy dancing!" When the New Moon is in Sagittarius, we're invited to look at our Shadow side and discover what spark of light we can generate or find to illuminate the darkness. Coming as it does in the darkening days before Winter Solstice, the Sagittarius New Moon also reminds us that there is always dawning after the night, and also that night will inevitably follow day. We need to ride the tides of this cycle, trusting that all darkness will eventually be dispelled by light -- even if it means that darkness must come again eventually.

The focus this new moon is on relationships -- with each other, with the world, with our communities, and with ourselves. Awakenings happening to us and around us as well -- some of these are painful, some are jarring, but all are necessary. There is a sense that the world is waking up from a long sleep, or shaking itself out of complacency. 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you, always love your insights. My intention is to share my crone experience with my beloveds (especially those in despair

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Black Friday Shopping

I’m sorry to say I went black Friday shopping.  My daughter wanted to go and she dragged me along.  I didn’t mind the craft stores but the others were too much.  Winter is a time to go within and reflect on what’s needed.  Black Friday shopping is definitely not anywhere near an internal reflective state.

While one of my daughters was home for Thanksgiving we went and did things almost non-stop.  We ran errands, cooked food, went to a movie.  It was go go go from the time she got home.  It made me cranky. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Feast of the Sheaf

In the beginning was the Seed.

Before the Yule Tree, was the Yule Sheaf.

Across a broad swathe of Northern Europe—from Scandinavia, through the Baltics, and across Russia—the central symbol of Yule was (and in many places, still is) the Sheaf.

The Sheaf goes by many names. In the Old Language of the Witches, it was called the Yule-Neck (no relation to the body part). In Ukraine, where he's known as Didúkh, “Grandfather,” it wouldn't be Yule without Grandfather Sheaf, with his bristling golden beard.

The symbolism of the Sheaf is rich. He's the crop, continuity, the ancestors, family, community. He's men. He's seed, animal and vegetal.

Men are the seed-bearers. In every generation, we sow, tend, reap, and guard the seed.

Here in Paganistan, the men of the clan will gather on one of Yule's Thirteen Nights—whenever it's convenient, there's no set time—for the Feast of the Sheaf.

Then we pour to Grandfather Sheaf, we sing, we dance, we tell the stories. We eat the traditional pudding made entirely from seeds; we drink, we feast. The power that we raise is for the keeping of the seed through the winter: for its preservation, and for its new growth in the spring. Even now in the very depth of winter, it is our duty to work for the well-being of next year's harvest, for “frith and year.”

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    "We will come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves." Too bad that's the only part of that song I remember.

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