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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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Wands are Wonderful: Be a Crafty Conjurer

Gandalf, Glinda and Harry Potter shouldn’t have all the fun. It is a marvelous thing to make your own wand. Start with a tree branch that has fallen to the ground on its own. Sand and polish the rough edges, as it is a wand and not a weapon. Then give it a good smudging. Hot-glue on a large quartz crystal onto the wand near the handle, and hot-glue on any crystals featuring properties that will complement your magic.

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It's a truism of religious iconography that every detail bears meaning. So let us ask: Why is the Rällinge Frey stroking his beard?

Surely every pagan must be familiar with the Rällinge Frey. This charming little bug-eyed god was discovered, at his eponymous location, in Sweden—big-time Frey Country back in the old days, be it noted—in 1908.

Wearing nothing but a pointed (skin?) cap—or is it a helmet?—the little bronze god sits cross-legged, sporting an noteworthy erection. His left hand—the forearm is now missing—rests on his left knee. With his right—the strong, or dominant, hand—he strokes (or grasps, or tugs) his beard.

Why?

One can hardly fail to notice, of course, the beard as analogue to the god's phallus, or to appreciate their mutual, um, stroke-ability. The artist here has deftly created a visual dialectic, stunning in its elegant simplicity. This is a god who specializes in the erotic, with all that that implies, but there's more to him than that, far more.

Like every other part of the human (or divine) body, beards bear symbolic meaning. Beards mean: male. They mean: maturity, experience. Thus, in an extended sense, they also mean: wisdom.

Now that the wearing of beards has become culturally fashionable again, I've had occasion over the last few years to watch men interacting with their beards. (Unlike interacting with one's phallus—though, as noted above, certainly analogous to it—it's something that you can acceptably do in public.)

Again and again I've watched men stroke their beards while thinking something over. Stroking the beard means reflection. It means deliberation.

What the artist is showing here is Frey's other side. He's not just the handsome fertility guy with the big toothsome cock, though he's that too. To consult one's beard is to consult one's wisdom. ("Let me consult my beard on that," goes the old Russian proverb. One could even view the beard as a symbol of the Received Tradition, making the Bearded the repository of the Lore.) This is a god who thinks. This is a god who considers. This is a god who reflects before he decides. He's not just cute and good in the sack, but smart and thoughtful, too.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Oh, that dangerous male body. It's so dangerous that there are parts of it that you shouldn't show, or touch, or even talk about
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    Beard play has been on my mind lately. For mysterious reasons to me, I become somewhat self conscious about it in the last couple
Snow in May? The World Needs Sex.

May 9, 2021

 

Here we are, this deeply into the month of May, and it’s snowing.

 

That’s what I get for not having sex on May Day. 

 

Well, I’m going to remedy the situation, right now. It’s not too late. 

 

Ancients knew to bless the budding green and burgeoning crops by making love in Spring. 

 

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The World’s Easiest Love Potion

Elixirs are very simple potions made by placing a crystal or gemstone in a glass of water for at least seven hours. Remove the stone and drink the crystallized water. The water will now carry the vibrational energy of the stone, the very essence of the crystal.

Place into a glass of water:

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Rällinge statuette - Wikipedia

Chances are, you've seen pictures of the Rällinge Frey many times before.

But how often have you seen His back?

 

 Rällinge statuette - Wikipedia

Note the complex, swirling patterns worked in gold. Whoever it was that took the time and care to make them clearly felt that the god's back was important, perhaps just as important as his front.

What are they? Vegetation? A tree, maybe? If so, this tells us something important about this god that we would never have guessed if we'd only seen him from in front.

Across Pagandom these days, gods tend to get shoved onto altars, and there's an end to it, but that's not how the ancestors saw it. To them, the god's back was as important as his front, and they took care to lavish attention—and craftsmanship—on both.

It's intriguing that this should be so regardless of the perspective from which the image was intended to be seen. This makes sense, of course: who would leave a god's likeness incomplete? Such would hardly be a worthy vessel for the divine.

A major way to venerate a statue—or, rather, the god present in the statue—was to circumambulate: to walk around the statue. Anyone that knows gods knows that there's more to any given god than what you can see from the front alone. Much, much more.

One of the pleasures of traveling to Greece was finally being able to see what famous statues looked like from behind; for some curious reason, rear views rarely tend to make it into books. There I was quickly disabused of the notion that I knew these works well. How can you claim to know a work of art when you've only seen half of it?

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Rose-Colored Glass: Energy Boosters

If you want to jump-start your life and bring about positive change, tap into the power of the rose and red stones. Stones of this color spectrum contain life’s energy and can help you become more motivated, energetic and vibrant. Wear this list of rosy and red stones or place them on your desk and throughout your home for an instant boost: alexandrite, carnelian, garnet, red coral, red jasper, rhyolite, rose jasper, and ruby. The new moon phase is an excellent time to introduce this vibrancy into your life, but you should also rock them anytime you need a boost.

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Help! I need an answer to a theological question, and I need it quick.

As I write this, the little terracotta goddess lies sleeping, wrapped in silk, on a shelf in the pantry.

But soon she'll be standing out in the corner of the garden, plunged to her thighs in the ground. Through the summer to come—night and day, rain and shine—she will watch over the growth of this year's tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, beans, herbs, and greens.

So here's the question. Does the Garden Goddess go into the ground:

  1. when I till, or
  2. when I plant, and
  3. why?
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Anthony. It occurs to me to wonder to what degree the question that I've posed here is not so much a question of theology
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    After you've turned over the dirt and before you start planting. Turning over the dirt is like putting fresh sheets on the bed.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    That I have lived to see the day, Jamie, when someone can use a word like agalma in a sentence without having to define it, I than
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Purely as a fellow Pagan offering my two cents, I would say that the best time to put the agalma in the ground would b

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