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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Memorare

I have a picture of my dad from the 1940s, looking pretty cocky. He went into the Army when he was 19 and they sent him to North Africa, Sicily and then into Italy. Somehow he also got to France, where he drank champagne for the first time.

So, I'm thinking of him on Memorial Day. And of my Gaga, my step-grandfather, who was gassed in France during WWI and never really recovered. And of my maternal grandfather Bill Boyd who was a sailor during WWI. I have a photo of my grandmother wearing his sailor suit after the war.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you, Galina. And the same to yours. Blessings to you--both bright and shadowed.
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Beautiful, Byron. May all your ancestors be remembered, and your military dead honored on this day.
Walking Between the Worlds--Pagan Conference and Pagan Festival

This has been a busy time for your Village Witch...mostly because she keeps leaving the village and hitting the road.

I've only just returned from the Pagan Unity Festival in Burns, TN and am pondering the differences between festivals and conferences, since I was fortunate enough to be included in the Cherry Hill Conference several weeks ago.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Getting to California is such a pain from the East Coast--and not to mention expensive. But if I can ever manage that, I'd love to
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I love the conferences, too. In some ways some of the newer hotel-based Pagan gatherings combine some of the aspects of festival
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I love them both (well, mostly) but they are very different critters. Since my field is Appalachian folk magic, I have had some n
  • Freeman Presson
    Freeman Presson says #
    I used to go to festivals regularly, and may again; but I have frequent dreams of being at conferences, THAT is what would be "in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I am sitting here with my back to my home altar and the sun is beginning to shine in through the curtains. The birds are braying for attention and licit love, and the greening of the world from three days of good rain is a good sign that winter is mostly behind us for this turning of the Wheel.

We have come at last to the final hours of April, which is rightly called the cruelest month. This particular April has seemed about ninety days long--even with opera glasses and a proper squint, I can no longer see Fool's Day.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    I appreciate how you weave in the spirit of rebellion. That's an aspect of May Day that also can be seen in the more explicitly po
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you--how kind. May Day and Beltane do have common roots. And I do mean "common."

I know, I know. I'm terribly far behind. There is some yummy Maywine steeping in the fridge and I have plans to unwind the ribbons so that the Maypole can be raised, danced and wrapped on Wednesday and then again on Saturday.  There's a sweet ritual organized for the respectful public and my flower crown is all plumped-up and lovely.

But...

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I am excited to be travelling to Columbia, SC today for "Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes", a symposium from Cherry Hill Seminary and USC.  I'll be presenting my latest research on the border reivers and seeing some dear old friends (Holli Emore, Patti Wiggington et al) and meeting some dear new ones (Sara Amis and Elinor Predota et al).  I expect to be restimulated and reinspired by the work of all the folks at this conference and will be grateful to listen to the cheeky wisdom of Ronald Hutton again.

Here's a link to the conference--

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Woad Warrior, redux

This was originally published in the Mountain Xpress way back in 2000.  I was looking at my woad yesterday and thinking about the best time to harvest the leaves for dye and thought of this piece.  So I'm sharing it with you, as we in the Northern hemi prepare for Beltane. Some things have changed in my world since then--but the challenge remains the same.  Hope you enjoy it!

Serving as a high priestess is a hard job. "The toughest job you'll ever love" may apply to military service, but it could just as easily be found in a Pagan-clergy handbook -- if there were such a thing.

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Why Pagans Need a "Passover Seder" of Our Own

You know by now that I do (and advocate you doing) interfaith work. It isn't easy and sometimes it isn't even rewarding but it's important for people like me to be at the table with other religious folk for any number of reasons.  But this post isn't about that.

Because I do the aforementioned interfaith work, a rabbi buddy of mine invited me to his family Passover seder a couple of years ago. When I asked what I should bring, he suggested flowers or kosher wine. I had never heard of kosher wine but there's rather a lot of choices out there. I brought both.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I'm considering writing a Pagan Hagaddah. Kate Laity is, too. Who knows? I think it would be very good for us.
  • Joseph Merlin Nichter
    Joseph Merlin Nichter says #
    I love this post. We have our own "Seder" within our tradition, but we need one for the whole of Paganism. Now more than ever.

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