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 mens mysteries

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Feast of the Sheaf

In the beginning was the Seed.

Before the Yule Tree, was the Yule Sheaf.

Across a broad swathe of Northern Europe—from Scandinavia, through the Baltics, and across Russia—the central symbol of Yule was (and in many places, still is) the Sheaf.

The Sheaf goes by many names. In the Old Language of the Witches, it was called the Yule-Neck (no relation to the body part). In Ukraine, where he's known as Didúkh, “Grandfather,” it wouldn't be Yule without Grandfather Sheaf, with his bristling golden beard.

The symbolism of the Sheaf is rich. He's the crop, continuity, the ancestors, family, community. He's men. He's seed, animal and vegetal.

Men are the seed-bearers. In every generation, we sow, tend, reap, and guard the seed.

Here in Paganistan, the men of the clan will gather on one of Yule's Thirteen Nights—whenever it's convenient, there's no set time—for the Feast of the Sheaf.

Then we pour to Grandfather Sheaf, we sing, we dance, we tell the stories. We eat the traditional pudding made entirely from seeds; we drink, we feast. The power that we raise is for the keeping of the seed through the winter: for its preservation, and for its new growth in the spring. Even now in the very depth of winter, it is our duty to work for the well-being of next year's harvest, for “frith and year.”

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    "We will come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves." Too bad that's the only part of that song I remember.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Stangmen

They call them the Stangmen.

They also call them the Witchmen, though generally out of earshot.

A bunch of grizzled old farmers that look just like anyone else, though everyone knows who they are.

Everyone knows that at the Old Times they go up to the Hill—the one that everyone still calls Old Baldie, though the trees grew back long since—and there they do their work.

Back before the trees grew back, you could see every field and pasture in the district from up there.

They call them the Stangmen because they keep the four old stangs, handed down since no one knows when.

Different stangs for different times and different purposes: Ram, Bull, Stag, Goat.

Last modified on
Scars of Honor: A Brief Disquisition on the Men's Mysteries

 What no man may tell, nor woman know.

My father once said, What do you want for your children? You want them to have what you never did.

I had presided at G's Naming, so when it came time for his Man-Making, it was natural that his foster father should give me a call. We got together with G's godfather, and together the three of us planned a nice, tight little ritual, the rite that we all wished we'd had ourselves.

Later that night, as I was writing up the outline that we'd crafted, I realized that we'd left out something important. Actually, what we had left out was the single most important thing of all.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Gods, yes.
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Should have added this, sometimes men come with their own scars, we just honor them and how they were acquired
  • Piper
    Piper says #
    AHO!
'For Frith and Year': The Story of Grandfather Sheaf

Listen well, now, for this is the story of Grandfather Sheaf.

Long ago our people lived on the shores of the Northern Sea, and we knew neither bread nor beer, neither brewing nor baking. We hunted and fished and gathered, as our people had always done, since the time of the Great Ice and before.

One day in spring, with the ice newly broken, a ship came slowly to shore: a long ship, with a high, antlered prow. The strange thing was that this ship was completely empty. But going down to meet it, we saw that indeed the ship was not empty, for in it lay a babe, a man-child asleep and naked, and cradled in a shield, and under his head a barley sheaf.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's my understanding that even though Hiawatha is an Iroquois folk hero Longfellow borrowed from an ethnographer who was writing
  • Paul B. Rucker
    Paul B. Rucker says #
    I will definitely keep this image in mind. I have a few others that have been incubating, or will be. Is this story Baltic or Nord
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Germanic all the way: Norse and Old English. The story of Shield (OE Scyld) opens Beowulf, in fact.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think there is a story in Longfellow's Hiawatha were Hiawatha meets a young man in green feathers who wrestles with him. The yo
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A religious connection to our food sources sure does pop up in tradition after tradition. Where Longfellow might have got his stor
In Defense of Male Mysteries | Five Reasons You Shouldn't Knock-it 'till You Try it!

I want to first thank John Beckett for writing an incredibly well crafted piece, I Don't Get Men's Mysteries, regarding his experience with the concept of the male mysteries. It inspired me to write this post. I agree with everything he said and was once in his shoes, especially being one of only a handful of men in a Goddess-centered tradition. I read his post and remember saying these same words over and over again, until one day I accidentally joined a men’s group and reluctantly stayed.

The short of the story is that after moving to California six years ago I found myself with partners who attended a monthly men’s gathering. If I wanted to see them on that particular Saturday night each month I had to go to what I affectionately referred to at the time as, “that stupid men’s group.” There was something about the concept that I just didn’t get and I didn’t resonate with at all, but we do strange things for love! Within the first year the group shifted enough and what emerged was one of the coolest and most supportive groups of people I have ever met. That was five years ago and I am glad I stuck around.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Joseph Merlin Nichter
    Joseph Merlin Nichter says #
    Devin, This is a brilliant piece and I love every word of it. In my own experiences I have reaped every benefit you've chosen to

Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs.  This is part four.

“I wear the chains I forged in life”

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Checking Dicks at the Door

It was the year of the great Transsexual Panic at Pantheacon. The politics of sex, gender, and identity were very much in the air.

That summer Sparky T. Rabbit, Frebur Moore, and I finally decided to put together for PSG the men's ritual we'd always wanted to attend. From this was born the Rite of the God-Pole, an adoration of the Divine Masculine.

And of course, in that atmosphere, the issue arose: who's invited, who isn't?

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I think that the laws of hospitality, that immemorial pagan virtue, apply to ritual as well as any other situation. If you're thro
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    I agree. But as a solitary, what was all the ruckus about Z having just women is her circle? Was it because it was a public space
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    From what I understand the controversy over Z's circle has more to do with her opposition to letting transwomen participate in Dia
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    Just asking a question..... what do you think of women born women groups? It seems like such an explosive subject. Greybeard?
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A powderkeg issue for sure, Constance! My opinion (for what it's worth) is that private groups have (and ought to have) a right t

Additional information