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 Native American books

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Every pagan should read Vine Deloria Jr.'s groundbreaking 1973 God is Red: A Native View of Religion.

In it, he contrasts two overarching religious cultures: the place-based spiritualities of Indigenous Americans, and the deracinated (literally “uprooted”) Book religions of incoming Europeans.

White people, he says, need to lose the Book and learn the Land.

He poses the question: does this mean, then, that European-Americans need to embrace the Red Way? and answers his own question: decidedly not. White people, he says, need to find their own way.

Pagans, take heed.

(Although Deloria himself does not touch on the issue, I'm going to posit that one factor driving the horrors of European colonialism has been the collective generational trauma of Christianization. Europeans, too, once had their own Land-based Indigenous religious cultures, which were—for the most part—violently uprooted.)

(Let me add also that, in the early days of American Ásatrú, Stephen McNallen approached Deloria with information about heathenry. “Here's our Indigenous Way,” he said. Deloria responded well, and—in an autobiographical essay—McNallen reports the fact proudly.)

In her 1993 Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, poet and writer Kathleen Norris tells of an interview that she heard with First Nations writer Paula Gunn Allen. [The] longer Europeans remain in America, Allen says, the more Indian they will become (Norris 128).

What makes an Indian an Indian, she says, is a deep connection to the land, built over generations, that imbues their psychology, and eventually their spirituality, and makes them one with the spirit of the land.”

My friends, Mr. McNallen: she's talking about us. We, the pagans, can lead the way on this. Long Ago and Far Away won't make us the pagans that we need to be, and that our battered, brutalized world needs us to become.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    I so completely agree! This is why I encourage people embracing the Atheopagan path to design their own wheels of the year, with i

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Long_House_Iroquois_Allen.jpgSince the Little Ice Age thousands of years ago, the Indigenous nations east of the Mississippi River traditionally spent the Winter time telling stories, feasting, gambling, and generally making merry until the work of spring arrived--and along with their contemporary lifestyles, they still do! With the cold, wet winters of the American northeast, it is no surprise that, like people today, Native nations in pre-colonial times stayed indoors and were focused on keeping warm, eating well, and having fun. And that they did! Think three month party! When you live within a social structure where there is no working class or elite class, this type of life is possible. Everyone pulls together to live well.

In the Eastern Woodlands nations, winter is the time of Woman. To these nations, the cosmos are understood to be twinned and gendered, for example, Mother Earth/Father Sky. Hence, Winter is the time of Woman; Summer is the time of Man. In their cultural cosmology, winter is the most "woman" time of the year (turtles, resting, storytelling, lawmaking, grassroots politics) as summer is the most "man" time of year (eagles, traveling, international diplomacy, sporting events). This is called a world or galaxy based on the premise of Gender Complementarity or sacred, balanced halves. Yes, it is a highly-evolved, long-practiced social structure that is egalitarian. Two-Spirited people (2LGBTQ) fall within the continuum between the woman/man poles: these folks were not socially excluded or diminished before the European immigrants arrived. See my previous blog on Same-Sex Marriage for more information about this.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Antelope_Woman_4e5a883547e86.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_For_a_Girl_Becom_4e51938f757b6.jpgOnce December arrives, I am routinely asked to recommend books for young people for winter holiday gift-giving that present culturally authentic stories about Native Americans. What a happy task!

There are so many wonderful books for children of all ages (and for those adults who love to read "children's" books--yours truly included) to learn about culturally-accurate Indigenous culture.

Last modified on

Additional information