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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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Samhain Teaching: Born Into Life, Born Into Death

The natural world and our human psyches turn toward the mysteries of death at Samhain. Cold and darkness descend upon the land, and the wild world shifts into decay and a death-like sleep. In many cultures, this time of year is marked by offerings and rituals to honor the dead, our beloved ancestors.

Usually we don’t like to think about death. Most of us run as fast as we can from the frightening specter that decline and death conjure in us. It is the ultimate irony that the moment we are born into life, with our very first breath, we are also born into death. And we must live every moment, every breath, knowing that we will die, and that everything around us, all that we love and cherish, will eventually come to decay, to death, to dust.

Samhain teaches us that there is no hiding from death. It comes in the falling of leaves, the lengthening darkness and the cold grip of Winter. It comes in our remembrances of our beloved ancestors that have passed on. It comes in the wrenching of our heart as we witness a dear one slip from this world into the next. It comes with the graying at our temples, the sagging of our flesh and the unstoppable march toward our last breath.

And death comes with gifts in hand if we have the courage to show up raw and naked to our pain, losses and fears.

Death strips us to the basics:
that every breath is a miracle not to be wasted;
that each person, each creature and life form, is worthy, precious, sacred;
that life is oh so hard and oh so exquisite;
that pain and loss help us remember what we cherish most;
and that love, at the end of all things, is what remains.

Love is death’s most precious gift to us. Love, not money, possessions, career, social esteem and the many other alluring outer trappings of life, is the balm that soothes us in the face of death. Love is what connects us to those who have passed on. Love calls us to reach out and hold each other in our grief. Love is what joins us heart to heart and soul to soul to another. Love is our best offering from our Deep Self to the world.

Samhain is a time to contemplate the mysteries of death, not from a place of fear and resistance, but from an acceptance of death as a teacher and guide for the living. Yes we are born into life and born into death, and it is this very, inescapable fact that makes every moment so precious, fragile and bittersweet beautiful.

Death isn’t a summons to fear, it is an invitation to love, deeply, wildly, joyfully. And when death seeks us out at the end of our days, let our last breath be a prayer to love.

Photo Credit: Chris B on Unsplash

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Ruminations on the Soul: Love

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

Matthew 22:39 tells us to "Love your neighbor as yourself," but is not very specific as to what love looks like or how to go about loving either your neighbor or yourself. Luckily, the Greeks were helpful in providing eight types of love for us to examine to help us determine what type of relationship we are in with not just ourselves, but with others. Are our relationships healthy or unhealthy? Do they need to be adjusted? Do they need to be amended or cut off?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
First of Gods

They get off the school bus together every day.

They're maybe nine, ten. The tall one has long hair, with a knit cap pulled down tight. His friend is shorter, with short hair. They've both got that indeterminate beauty that might turn into anything, the beauty of the as-yet-unformed.

Two boys. They don't even realize that they're in love.

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A Spring Fling with Spring

“Spring is here

steal pleasure whilst you can.”

- Gareth Writer-Davies, Aphrodite

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Weekly Goddess Inspiration has been on a bit of an...extended hiatus...as the Priestess here has navigated some life changes. But we're back and ready to be inspired by the Feminine Divine in all Her beautiful forms. If you're new to this blog, Weekly Goddess Inspiration is a time when I pull a card from one of my many Goddess oracle decks to see what the energy for the week will be. This week, I'm pulling from The Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr, which is one of my favorite decks to work with. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Influence of Love

 

Being a Priestess is not only working to merge the energies of As Above So Below for all of humanity in an energetic manner, it is also working in a practical, heart centred and tangible way with all sisters and brothers on this earth plane.

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