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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sage
Keep Your Moon Goddess Close

Whether you’re passinate about writing code, cooking, growing plants, painting, or writing music, you can stay in touch with your favorite goddess by using a special tool that will draw her to you with the sweet-smelling smoke of sage.

Sage is hardy and sun-loving, so keep a pot of it on the windowsill. There are very simple steps to take to create a sage wand to use when you need inspiration. First, you will want to create a tight braid of materials. This braid will consist of a long fennel stalk, a twisted bundle of sage, long sticks of incense (I prefer cinnamon), and purple (for power) and gold (for money) string or thread. Before your prayers to the goddess, simply light one end of your wand and gently wave it around your head to clear your environment. Your mind will be cleared in the process, freeing the way for abundant ideas. A little sage smoke goes a long way, so you will not want to burn the entire wand at once. Keep a cup of water or a small bowl of earth on hand to extinguish your wand when you are done. Always express gratitude to the goddess for all she does for all of us.

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Light Your Own Fire: Sage Wisdom

Every witch should grow a pot of sage or a big patch in a garden. Sage is a must-have on hand for clearing energy. It also increases psychic potential. Most pagans are highly imaginative and very inventive folk. Whether your passion is growing an artful garden, throwing pots, cookery or music, you can stay in better touch with your personal muse. Call her to you anytime, day or night, by your own design. This is especially important if you are feeling uninspired or struggling with a bout of writer’s block.

Head out to your garden or the sunny spot on the deck where your hardiest sage grows. Take three large and extra long sticks of your favorite incense and bind strands of sage around the incense with purple thread. Tie it off and you have a sage wand. Before any creative endeavor, you can light this wand and wave it around your workspace, filling the area with inspiration. Close your eyes and meditate upon the work you will begin. You have cleared your space and invited the muse; your work will be superb, worthy of notice from the gods and goddesses.

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Inspiration Infusion: Enhance Your Mental Powers

I recommend growing a pot of hardy sage so you can always clear energy and increase your psychic potential. Another useful herb is mint, which comes from the Latin mentha, and literally means “thought.” It is called the flower of eternal refreshment. Woven into a crown, it bestows brilliance, artistic inspiration and prophetic ability. Burned, it is especially potent.

Here is a wonderfully simple tool for awakening the mind and attuning to the high powers. Take dried mint stalks and dried sage in equal parts and roll together into a wand. Bind with multi- colored string, and before any ritual, tarot reading, or spellcrafting, “smudge” your house with the wand by lighting the leafy end and passing the smoke around. This will purify your space.

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Foundations of Incense: Sage

In the Paganisphere, there is perhaps no more widely used incense than sage.  When I vend at Pagan events, sage bundles are usually the first thing that sells out.  But there is a lot more to “sage” than might meet the eye.

First, we should define “sage”.  Most of us use common names to refer to plants, although this can be confusing.  “Sage” is definitely one of those instances.  In the Pagan world, people generally mean “white sage” (salvia apiana) when they say sage.  Other forms of sage are also used in incense making.  “Culinary” or “garden” sage (salvia officinalis) comes in many different varieties and is a wonderful ingredient in incense.  Pineapple sage is my personal favorite. In fact, the whole issue of common names comes up again when we talk about “desert sage” because there are several different plants called by that name.  and Salvia eremostachya is known as “desert sage”, as is artemisia tridentate.  Although not a true sage it still imparts a very similar scent.  This is one of the reasons that plant aficionados like to use Latin names for plants to ensure everyone is on the same page.  The fact that there are four totally different plants that we often refer to as “sage” is a good illustration of why.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Burning Local

Well, that's it, then: the last of the sweetgrass braided.

Summer braiding for winter burning.

Sweetgrass, cedar, sage: here up North, our trinity of local incenses.

There's copal, of course: exotic resin of the fabled southern Lands of Ever-Summer.

But mostly, we burn local, just as we always have.

Back in the Old World, it was the same. Frankincense, myrrh: exotic imports from the resin-cultures to the South.

Up North, we mostly burned local.

There's no common Indo-European word for incense (the old Witch word was reckels, literally “little smokes”), but if the IE-speaking ancestors did indeed have an incense culture, one could perhaps make a case for juniper, still burned as a sacred smoke in the Gaelic-speaking Hebrides, in Germany on Weihnachtsabend, and among the Kalasha, the last remaining pagans of the Hindu Kush.

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We connect by telling each other stories. We can better understand ourselves by recognizing and exploring our life narratives. Your life story is the tale that you repeatedly tell yourself about who you are, what you want, and what you can and cannot do.” – From the book What Story Are You Living?
 
It can be difficult to discover personal meaning and purpose when we don't zoom out to get a big picture of the patterns we are living. One way we can discover these patterns is through exploring the narrative threads woven through our preferences and behaviors. These narratives, or personal stories, arise from archetypes—or universal templates, themes and symbols—that resonate cross-culturally. 
 
According to author Carol Pearson, Ph.D., there are twelve main archetypal patterns along the three stages of the “hero’s journey”, which map out the progression to individuation. Rather than a linear journey, Dr. Pearson explains that the path is actually a spiral one, where we re-visit previous stages and themes with increasing awareness and wisdom.
 
In this journey, we “play out” twelve main archetypal patterns identified by Dr. Pearson: Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Seeker, Lover, Destroyer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage and Jester. To identify the main stories we are living, Dr. Pearson, along with Dr. Hugh Marr, has created the PMAI—the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator. 
 
What Story Are You Living? by Pearson and Marr provides two self-scoring PMAI instruments that have been scientifically validated. In addition, this fascinating book—written at an eighth-grade reading level—explains mythic stories, how we live out particular narratives, archetypal stages of the journey and more. In addition, the authors explain the gifts and shadow sides of archetypes, showing readers how to work with archetypes, face the challenges of modern life and analyze the heroic journey unique to every person.
 
Archetypes with the lowest scores in the PMAI can also shed light on life patterns, including disowned parts of the self, dormant archetypes, “allergy” (overexposure to an archetype) and more. 
 
About half of the book is dedicated to the exploration of the twelve archetypes. For each archetype, the authors provide a corresponding mythological story, a commentary on the story, and an examination of the archetypal character through film and literature. For example, Harry Potter, Voldemort, Merlin and Darth Vader all embody a form of the Magician archetype. Scholars, wise oracles, guides and detectives tend to exemplify the Sage archetype.

What Story Are You Living? also discusses the imagery of each pattern (for example, an opening flower, the beginning of spring, all forms of art and the sun all represent the Creator archetype), including how each manifests in nature, spirituality and leadership. 
 
The authors also explain what others appreciate about each archetype, the gifts, highest potential, tendencies to guard against, likely courses of action when problems arise, and beneficial actions or qualities. 
 
The results from PMAI scores and the wealth of practical information found in the book can serve to foster understanding and compassion for oneself, others and groups. By recognizing the archetypal stories lived by others—as well as ourselves—we can come to realize that others aren’t necessarily “wrong” or even “bad”, but simply see the world through a narrative lens different from our own.
 
Dr. Pearson and Dr. Marr stress that the PMAI instrument and the book aren’t to be used to “trump” others in an attitude of one-upmanship, nor is it to be used to fix others. Indeed, they explain that the best authority on your life—including preferred archetypal patterns—is YOU.
 
What Story Are You Living? also serves as a comprehensive workbook, inviting readers to examine their childhood memories, favorite myths and fairytales, troubling times and satisfying/fulfilling times. By fleshing out memories and perspective spanning our entire life, we can then ascertain the overall plot of our current life stories—including pitfalls and strengths. 
 
The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator and this book can help you:
 
• Discover the archetypal patterns and themes that are unconsciously influencing your life
 
• Replace unproductive life patterns by awakening unrealized potential
 
• Discover hidden strengths, motivational triggers and new career directions
 
• Improve personal and workplace relationships
 
For years now, I’ve been a student of archetypal theories. However, some authors, like Caroline Myss, seem to over-complicate the topic by hair-splitting and over-specification. I’ve seen individuals debate Detective versus Scholar versus Librarian versus Truth Seeker—when, to me, they seemed to be expressions of the same unifying archetype. And, in What Story Are You Living?, the authors explain that all of these patterns fall under the Sage archetype.
 
I appreciated the engaging style of this book, as well as the immensely pragmatic approach of the authors. The intricacies offered for each archetypal pattern was utterly uncanny, making it quite easy to spot the main patterns of my family and myself! My main archetypal patterns at present are Sage (28), Creator (28), Magician (26) and Warrior (25), and these patterns do indeed comprise the “myths” that I live by. 
 
I laughed aloud (rather ruefully!) when I read that one of the Creator’s tendencies is to “reduce life to raw material for art”. I’ve been known to “pause” a scene from my life—a situation I’m actually experiencing in “real time”—to take notes for an idea or creative project! (Not very subtle, I know…but you should read the funny example of this very inclination from the book!) 
 
The Creator archetype also explained to me why I have a “highly developed critical sense”, which can work in positive ways (reviewing and editing), but also manifest in rather destructive tendencies (strong inner critic that can undermine the confidence of self and others). This archetypal pattern also helped me realize why I strenuously avoid the “ordinary, shallow and the mundane”—which can border on elitist attitudes (*wince*).
 
My childhood fascination with Nancy Drew and the detectives of Agatha Christie was also explained, as was my fondness for books, libraries, mysteries, research and “the truth” (Sage). In fact, a combination of two of my highest scores—Sage and Magician—explained my penchant for crystal balls and oracles (after all, I AM a Tarot reader!)
 
If you’re looking for a practical workbook and test to discover the archetypes that drive your life, What Story Are You Living? serves as a fantastic resource for individuals, groups, therapists and coaches. You CAN become the “hero” of your own journey, but the first step is uncovering the powerful archetypal stories that influence your thinking, perspective and behavior. 
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