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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, August 31

Should there be Pagan school clubs? Is there a proper priority to the relationship between politics and religion? And are Pagans becoming more concerned with the concept of "sin?" These questions and more addressed in this week's edition of Watery Wednesday, our segment on news about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wearing the Hat

Now where is that Witch-English dictionary? I know I left it here somewhere.

Copintank, n. A sugar-loaf hat.

On the off chance that you've ever wondered what the technical name for a witch's hat is, well: now you know.

I'll take Witch Words for a thousand, Alex.

Also known (mostly by cowans) as a “steeple hat” (!), the copintank has been associated with English witches since some of the earliest woodcuts of them were made during the 16th and 17th centuries. Not surprisingly, this was also the period during which the copintank was considered fashionable. We witches have always been dressers.

Don't ask etymology; even the experts don't agree. It seems likely that the first syllable reflects the archaic word cop, “head” (= German kopf), but the rest is a mystery. One thing we can be sure of: it has nothing to do with either vats or vehicles. That word comes from the Subcontinent, and didn't enter English until centuries after witches were already sporting our signature headgear with its distinctive name.

If ever you've wondered why we wear them (no, Virginia, it doesn't have anything to do with the cone of power), well: let me tell you a story.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    During the Yule baking last year, I ended up grating a block of old dry brown sugar. I guess there's something to be said for maki
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Over at colonial Williamsburg they sell sugar cones and tell the tourists that that is the way sugar was sold in colonial times.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Well-Dressed Warlock

What will the well-dressed warlock be wearing in 2015?

My sources say: classic look, hoof to horn. 

Hats. The well-dressed man-in-black wouldn't dream of leaving the covenstead without one, and better it be if it's got a crow's feather tucked into the band. Any style will do, although the classic hood is a perennial favorite. Why hats, you ask? Simple: they hide the horns. 

Eelskin waistcoats. They say Old Hornie's a gentleman and, as everyone knows, gentlemen wear waistcoats. Scots warlocks made the eelskin jacket de rigueur centuries ago, and the fecket, as it's known, richly deserves its classic status. Admittedly, feckets can be difficult to find these days, especially with the EU's current environmental regulations, but trust me, it's well worth the effort. (You can find anything on the internet.) Why eelskin, you ask? Mythological reason: it links us to (and, in effect, identifies us with) the Earmengand, the Old World-Serpent “whose coils contain the ocean.” Practical reason: it makes us slippery and hard to catch. Plus an added perk: eelskin sheds bullets, even silver ones. What's not to like?

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  • Danielle Blackwood
    Danielle Blackwood says #
    This is just great! I love it Steven!
Swashbuckling Aphrodite? Steampunk Aphrodite?

An Aphrodite of the people is not separate from the culture of the people. While some deities prefer to float around in the sky stroking their long white beards, and others like to stay classically enshrined in pristine and historically-accurate temples, Aphrodite is a party girl who gets bored if you try to keep Her dressed in the same old chitons and flowing gowns all the time. She is not stuck in history, nor in any single vision of beauty and adornment. She is Beauty in all its forms.

I envision Aphrodite in many different social and cultural contexts, and She always has impeccable style for the occasion. She helps me see the beauty of the unexpected.

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  • Ladybug
    Ladybug says #
    Great article! And I love your Pinterest board! Thanks for the mention. I like to envision a bellydancing Aphrodite.

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