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
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hospitality
Proselytizing and the Limits of Hospitality

 Q: What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Wiccan?

A: Three Watchtowers.

 

The Jehovah's Witness stood at the door, holding up a copy of The Watchtower. My mouth literally fell open when I saw the title.

 

Isis Is Still Being Worshiped.

In this very room, as a matter of fact, I thought.

“I don't have time to talk, and I can't give you any money,” I told her, “but I'll be happy to take a look at your literature if you leave it here.”

Turned out to be an anti-Catholic tirade. Boy, was I ever disappointed.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm sorry to hear that door-to-door religion-peddling isn't just an urban problem. Personally, I try to be as polite and as brief
  • Jenn
    Jenn says #
    I was stalked by JWs in my area for several months. We live very rurally, but they get out to us somehow. I handled it similarly t
  • beth steptoe
    beth steptoe says #
    i live deep in the 'bible belt' and they stop by every 8 to 12 months to make sure i'm still here i guess. They are never invited
  • Michele
    Michele says #
    I actually find them kind of creepy. They walk around in pairs, two young men in white shirts and black pants, nametags, and a bla
  • Holli Emore
    Holli Emore says #
    I agree with you, Anne. I took Steven's reference to be about Pagans who like to get into long arguments with, e.g., evangelical C
The Care and Feeding of Sacred Fires

When the thede (tribe) of witches foregathers, as we did recently at this year's Midwest Grand Sabbat, we kindle (wood on wood, in the old way) the traditional Fire of Gathering.

The Fire burns continuously throughout the time of assembly. Everyone tends it; offerings are made to it daily. It roars at the very heart of the sabbat itself, and on our final morning together it is ritually extinguished. People take the ashes home with them when they leave.

Anyone who grows up in a traditional culture knows how to behave around a sacred fire—how it differs from a household fire, for instance—and doesn't have to be taught What You Do and What You Don't. For those of us who (alas) did not grow up in such a culture, how then does one impart these rules, the Does and Don'ts of sacred Fires, in a manner that doesn't devolve into learning boring lists of regulations?

Well, my friend and colleague Chris Moore came up with the perfect way to do it: you give people a metaphor.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, hence the "Fire of Witness." Oh, that's resonant, Gerald: thank you.
  • Gerald Home
    Gerald Home says #
    Awesome way to present the Sacred Fire. I was taught that the Sacred Fire is an elder spirit that witnesses what we do.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Other People's Stuff

They're all over the world now, but they started out right here in the Midwest: Little Free Libraries.

In front of their homes, people erect what look like roadside shrines, and so they are: shrines of literacy. Open the door to one of these little god-houses and you'll find inside, instead of an image, shelves of books. The idea is, take a book, leave a book. All completely free. It's a great idea: generous, hospitable, practical. Very Midwestern.

A coven-sib and her husband put up one in their front yard. Suddenly, a problem arose: what to do with the Kreesh-chun materials, the Bibles and other “literature,” that accumulated on their shelves?

[A Zuñi elder once remarked: "How can they expect us to take their religion seriously when they throw it away as if it weren't worth anything?"]

Last modified on
From Those Who Have Much, Much Is Expected: A Kalasha Tale

The Kalasha are the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush. Numbering about 4000, in three adjoining valleys in northwest Pakistan, they are known for their proud polytheism, the freedom (and beauty) of their women, and their wine-drinking.

Among the Kalasha, November is the month of the ancestors, and it is customary to remember them—for “the spirits of the dead are pleased when their names are remembered”—by recounting tales of their deeds.

In Kalasha society, it is impingent upon the wealthy to throw elaborate feasts for as many people as possible; only by sharing their wealth with the rest of the community do they gain prestige. Their Muslim neighbors laugh at them for their lavish, spendthrift ways, but this is indeed the way of the pagan ancestors: from those who have much, much is expected.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My understanding (I'm certainly no expert) is that the Kalasha reckon lineage bilaterally (i.e. through both the mother's and the
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    According to Heide Goettner-Abendroth, gift giving as a method of ensuring social equality is characteristic of matriarchal egalit

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Alliances

 

 

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I think the application of hospitality is a good idea. What I've seen more in these flare-ups is not so much bristling over someo
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I agree, Terrence, and people who come in with that attitude in an interfaith setting soon leave, without any converts. Of course
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful article, Ivo. In the last few months we have seen far too many pagans picking nits and de
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for this, Ivo. We who work in interfaith certainly live by this attitude. I daresay that the various trads, covens, and i

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today we will look into the little talked about practice of the washing of feet within the context of xenia. It's something I have been curious about ever since I first read the Odysseia. I had completely forgotten I wanted to post about it, however, until I discovered a post by Robert of Doing Magick, who wrote about his recent experience with the practice--though for different reasons.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for bringing us the results of your research. These kind of posts inform us about the context of the society in which the T
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Thank you for reading

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Giving gifts to friends, family members, or even acquaintances and complete strangers is a long standing tradition. It existed long before ancient Hellas, but was, indeed, a vital part of its culture. It was tied to both kharis and xenia. Gifts were exchanged between monarchs of city-states to create good will, and were thus an important part of diplomacy.

All votives, thank-offerings, and pinakes were gifts from mortals to Theoi. Athletic competitions always concluded with a price--a gift--awarded to the winner. Gifts were given to the submissive partner in a pederastic relationship, and to favored prostitutes and serfs. Gifts played a much more significant role in ancient Hellenic society as a whole than they do in ours today. The giving of gifts in ancient Hellas was not just a social event, however. There was far more to the practice than one might assume, and today, we will look at the tradition of gift giving in greater detail.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    That was fascinating reading! Thanks again...

Additional information