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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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Names Bore Meaning

Once our names bore meaning.

We worshiped in the Old Way then.

Ælf-win, “elf-friend.”

Os-gar, “god-spear.”

Æthel-ræd, “noble counsel.”

New Ways came, but still we held to our old and meaningful names.

Then came Billy the Bastard with his Franks, and soon our names were outland names, empty names with stories, but meaning nothing at all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It's Your Name, Pagan

 We've got the honor of the coven to uphold, after all.

Magenta Griffith

 

There's the name that you're given, usually by your parents.

 

And then there's the name that you earn.

 

And, as the ancestors knew, living by name—reputation—is a long-sum game.

 

Name is vulnerable. Everybody screws up or makes a bad decision now and then. One mistake can destroy a name that you've spent years building.

 

But that isn't necessarily the end. It all depends on what you did before and on what you do after. Name is about consistency.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What's Your Name?

What will they remember about you when you're dead?

1300 years ago, the Anglo-Saxon Hwicce—the Tribe of Witches—called it nama. 5000 years before that, it was *nomn. But they both meant the same thing.

As one whose concept of afterlife is the Grand Sabbat of the atoms, I've sometimes been asked: What, then, is your motivation for moral behavior?

The ancestors had a name for it: Name.

What's your name?

Call it name, or reputation. Name is what they know you by.

What do they say about you? What's your reputation among those that know you?

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For the Statue, Five Dollars; for the Story, One Hundred

I just paid $100 for a story.

I couldn't be happier.

Let me explain. Pagans tend to be people of stuff. Like so many of us, I'm an avid collector of pagan artifacts. I'd acquired a gilded sterling brooch from a dealer in Tel Aviv. Dating from the 1950s or 60s, it's a reproduction of a Minoan seal depicting a seated female (goddess? priestess? queen?) in a flounced skirt holding a bouquet of poppy heads.

Whenever I acquire something, I always ask about provenance. Where did it come from? Who made it? How did you get it? Who did you get it from?

Because everything is more valuable when it comes with a story.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Do We the Living Owe the Dead?

 What do we the living owe the dead?

Three measures of respect: respect of body,

respect of offering, respect of memory.

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