PaganSquare


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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Treasure Hunting Tea: A Medieval Charm
The humble dandelion, oft abhorred by lawn keepers, hides its might well. Dandelion root tea can call upon the spirit of anyone whose advice you might need. Simply place the brew on your nightstand and say the spirit’s name seven times; he or she will visit your dreams and answer your questions. In Chaucer’s day, this method was used to find lost treasures.
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I know, I know: lots of people just love Mists of Avalon. I even know some who became pagan because of it. I won't deny that it was (for its time, anyway) a significant book.

But it's a terrible book. These days, I find it virtually unreadable.

And as for its so-called paganism....

 

Pagan Nuns: Thirteen Things That I Hate About Mists of Avalon

 

Its medievalism.

Most Arthurian lore has come down to us in medieval form. MZB makes a half-hearted attempt to transpose these stories into sub-Roman Britain, but—since she hasn't bothered to educate herself about what 6th century Britain was actually like—we've still got the castles and duchesses, the frenchified names (“King Leodegranz”) and the faux medieval language (“I beg my Lady's pardon”). Ugh. Authenticity: F.

 

Its anachronism.

There's barely a page out of all 500+ that doesn't contain at least one anachronism. (Sorry, Marion, nobody said the rosary in 6th-century Britain; the rosary wasn't invented until hundreds of years later.) Really, if you're going to set a novel in 6th century Britain, shouldn't you know something about what 6th century Britain was actually like? Cultural authenticity: F.

 

Avalon's horrible 'pagan' nuns.

Penances. Chastity. A distant deity who expects blind obedience. Dea vult: Goddess wills it.

These aren't priestesses, they're nuns. Avalon isn't a temple, it's a convent.

Honestly, if that's your paganism, I'd rather be something else. Anything else. Priestesshood: F.

 

Its 'All gods are one god' premise.

If all gods are one god, and all ways lead to the same place, then why bother with the hard way?

Why not just crawl back to the church on your belly before you die?

Oh, yeah: that's exactly what MZB did. Caveat fidelis: Let the believer beware. Theology: F.

 

Its cardboard-y male characters.

MZB is one of those woman authors who couldn't create a convincing male character to save her life. (Just like all those male writers whose women characters are so thoroughly unbelievable.)

Since her female characters lack depth or substance as well, I suppose that this is not surprising. Still, it is one of the tests that I apply to any author, and—unsurprisingly—MZB fails. Characterization: F.

 

The 'nature' is all wrong.

Unlike real pagan fiction, 'Nature' and the Land play virtually no role in Mists, and what little there is, she mostly gets wrong. I'm sorry, in a pagan writer, that's simply unacceptable.

This isn't paganism; it's Christianity—at its worst—in drag. Knowledge of nature: F.

 

Its essential Christianity.

MZB apparently thought of Mists as a major contribution to pagan theology.

Unfortunately, there's no there there.

There's nothing to MZB's paganism. Even the supposedly 'pagan' characters cite Christian Scripture and precedent constantly. Whenever they express a supposedly 'pagan' sentiment, it's always by contrast with a Christian example. Christianity is the point of all comparison; Bradley's paganism has no life of its own.

To repeat: This isn't paganism; it's Christianity in drag. Paganism: F.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I did like her "Darkover Landfall" book and some of her other Darkover books were good; not all of them, but I didn't get past mor
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, MZB was also a monster in real life. I never read, "Mists Of Avalon", but I did read, "Firebrand", which was about th

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Sometimes you may feel dull

and worn,

...
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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Thanks for sharing! It succeeds both as poetry and self-help literature. The imagery is beautiful and worth pondering.
Vision Quest: New Moon Conjuring Incense

You can access your prophetic capabilities with a Wednesday incense ritual using:

  • 3 palmfuls ground chicory root

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

When the Viking chieftain Guthorm (“Battle Dragon”) was poised to invade England, the English king called up an ill-equipped army to counter him.

Being a pious Christian, the king also assembled a vast number of priests and monks to pray for victory. Guthorm's first move in battle was to kill every single one of them.

“Oh, the perfidious barbarians!” cried the Christians. “Massacring the defenseless men of peace!”

When told of this complaint, Guthorm grinned.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Your tale reminds me of some of my favorite scenes from the TV show, "Vikings". I'm sorry about your loved one. "Rob
Lucky Charms and Ring of Power: A Protection Spell

Most people don’t realize that the classic charm bracelet is decorated with magical symbols representing the wearer’s wishes. For wealth, wear a Roman coin on your bracelet; for love, try a heart. For protection, a pure silver ring worn on the right pinkie has the greatest magical power, especially when engraved with your birth sign or astrological glyph and the sacred pentagram. To instill the ring with protective power, clasp it over your heart and call out:

Ring of power, shield and encircle me.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

 

To reclaim a term, it's a Sabbatical year.

As we've been doing since the end of the last Ice Age—if not before—the Midwest Tribe of Witches will foregather later this summer in immemorial Grand Sabbat.

From all eight directions, the Latter-Day Hwicce will converge to enact the grand rite that recreates the People and, with it, the world.

For the most part, this will be an ingathering of the regional Younger Witchery—this is, after all, a meeting of the Midwest Tribe—but, as always, friends, family, and guests of the Tribe will be coming from farther afield.

This morning, in fact, I heard from a dear friend from the Bay Area who, Lady be praised, will be coming in to join us this year.

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