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
The Fly in the Ointment

In 1547 a woman haled before the Inquisition at Navarre to answer charges of witchcraft managed to outwit her captors and escape.

She had secreted her jar of unguent on her person. Before the incredulous eyes of her judges, she transformed into a screech owl and flew away through a window.

The story is not difficult to understand. The active alkaloids of flying ointment are toxic when taken internally. There is escape and escape.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot of Bones

Just discovered (and backed) a unique Tarot deck called the Tarot of Bones. Images will be made using actual bones and nature art photographs from the creator, Lupa. Check it out at this link.

I love her video and idea, connecting the "bones" of nature to the symbolism and archetypes of Tarot. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    I am very excited about this project. I saw Lupa at Paganicon and attended one of her workshops. Love her work and am excited to s
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    My pleasure, Tiffany! I can't wait to get this deck in my hands.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A blush of green begins b2ap3_thumbnail_April-2015-132.JPG
Delicate lace of wild plums
Graces gray forestscapes

Heartbeat in the forest sings
The passion of life untapped.
The soul of the world
is speaking the language of spring.

During the drought we experienced in Missouri around three years ago, a lot of the trees in our woods died. Some of them died that year, but we weren’t absolutely sure they were really gone until no new leaves grew the following year. Some of them died the following summer, probably due to having been weakened so much by the drought conditions that they couldn’t rebound. This past winter, for a variety of reasons, we decided to cut some of them down. It felt, and continues to feel, like a somewhat “selfish” decision to have cut them, like we should have just let the cycle of the forest continue its life and rhythm unimpeded by human interference. It was hard to evaluate the variables of good woodlot management, firewood procurement, and personal safety while also feeling like I was betraying my sacred spot in the woods, betraying the relationship I built there. I still don’t know whether we made the right choice. I do know that the landscape in the woods has changed now and it pains me to see what we have done.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A New Creation Tale

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Milk of Human (and Divine) Kindness

We hear a lot about libations in various Pagan traditions. A libation is simply an offering of a liquid, poured out in either a casual or formal ritual setting. A casual example would be the nights my friends and family gather around the fire out in our orchard to celebrate the seasons. Once the fire is lit, I pour out the first bit of my drink (usually homemade mead) in thanks to the spirits of the land, my ancestors and the divine in general. A more formal example might be the pouring out of wine onto the ground or into a bowl during a Wiccan Sabbat ceremony as an offering to the Lord and Lady.

The word ‘libation’ often conjures up the image of an alcoholic beverage being offered – wine, mead, even beer in some contexts. But any liquid can be used for libations. I offer water to the land spirits where I live every morning. It is, after all, the liquid that is the base of life on Earth. We can be pretty sure the ancient Minoans offered wine and perhaps beer as well, in keeping with the spiritual and cultural traditions of the ancient world. But I think they also offered milk. Yes, you read that right. Milk.

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The Only Worthwhile Mythology is a Literal Mythology

Back east last weekend for the non-pagan holidays with family, I was met with a dilemma. As the family writer, I'd been asked to speak at the Easter table. Me, the pagan.

Religiously, we're all over the board (= table—e.g. "bed and board"—from the time when they set up trestles and boards for meals; the boardroom, of course, is the room with the table). The Passover seder at my cousin's had been the night before. In this, we're no more than a microcosm of the American demographic. In a generation or two, there will probably be Muslim family members at the table too. Good old America. The separation of covenstead and state is one of the best ideas anyone's had in the last 500 years. Secular governance has probably done more than any other factor to break down old ethnic and religious tensions, and I say: Gods bless it.

I decided that in this instance discretion constituted the better part of valor, so I read aloud John Updike's Seven Stanzas at Easter  (you can read it here). Although it ends weakly, the poem addresses, from within its own Christian context, the same larger issues of science, religion, and language with which every living tradition must wrestle in our day. Updike's conclusion: The only mythology worth having is a literal mythology.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Seasons & Reasons

 

We live in private worlds mostly of our own creation, and though you may take that metaphorically or metaphysically, in this case I mean the physical conditions around us. I would wager that most of you that are reading this blog live in homes where you have the power of day and night by clicking the lights on or off. You, or someone associated with your home, probably controls the seasons of your home through heating and/or air-conditioning. Water comes to you through a faucet, and the roof keeps the storms at bay. If you so choose, and you have the coin to pay with, the fruits and vegetables of almost any climate and season can be brought to your plate. Unless you are in dire straits or have chosen an ascetic life, these domestic powers are generally taken for granted. Not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, they would have been seen as marvels to be only found in Fairyland or in a wizard’s keep. All magick has a cost, even the very tame magic that is brought about by wires, plumbing, and pistons. Although it is true that our creature comforts have economic, political, and ecological costs, it is one of the costs to our psyche that this blog will explore.

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