Embodied Spirituality: Grounding and Centering

Tree at dawn, Bucovina, Romania

Many Pagan rituals begin with grounding and centering. It comes from the Taoist tradition originally, I think. There are several different versions of it.

Its purpose is to allow you to feel connected to the Earth (grounded), not floating away into fantasy-world, not obsessing about the past or the future, but being present in the now. The centring part of the practice allows you to feel connected to the cosmos and the four sacred directions, which are associated with the elements. [Read more...]

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Paganism for Beginners: Levels of Symbolism

The hearth fire: a universal symbol of warmth.

According to CG Jung, there are three levels of symbolism: personal, cultural, and universal. Personal symbolic associations are not “wrong” or “incorrect” – but they don’t necessarily have any meaning for anyone else, unless they happen to share those associations. Poets and novelists often make use of personal symbolism to create new and interesting metaphors and imagery in their poems and stories. [Read more...]

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A Pagan coming-out ritual

Shine! by Roz Byshaka

A ritual that celebrates coming out as a rite of passage, and welcomes the newly-identified LGBTQ person by introducing them to the ten queer spiritual roles identified by Christian de la Huerta. [Read more...]

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Samhain and Remembrance

Poppies in the sunset on Lake Geneva

The Pagan festivals are less about a single day when we reflect on or celebrate a particular aspect of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and more about the the high watermark of the ebb and flow of a tide of energy. But the season of remembrance is not at an end. The tide of Samhain ebbs until it rises again as the tide of rebirth at Yule. And on the way to the turning of the tide, there is Remembrance Day on 11th November. I don’t know how many Pagans actually do ritual for 11th November, but I am sure many of us will be wearing poppies – red, white, or mauve, or all three. [Read more...]

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Why do we need labels?

Labels

I have been asked twice recently why people need labels for sexual orientations and gender identities; one person commented, “aren’t we all just human beings?” People have also wondered if we need theological labels like ‘polytheist’, ‘pantheist’, ‘monist’ etc. To me this question is a bit like asking why we need names for things. [Read more...]

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Lammas

A Hereford Lantern corn dolly

It is surprisingly hard to design rituals for large numbers of people that can involve everyone in the ritual. Some of my more successful attempts at creating ritual involving large numbers of active participants have happened at Lammas. [Read more...]

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Pagan prayer

Pagan Prayer by Gixajin on deviantART

A prayer can be nothing more than time taken to set an intention for the day, or to contemplate the day’s events before going to sleep. It can be time spent communing with a deity, or holding others that you care about in your awareness and wishing them well. It can take place at your personal altar, or just in your head. It can be spoken or unspoken, formal or informal, and involve stillness or movement. It can involve descending into your own depths to find a connection with all-that-is; or it can be reaching out to a deity or spirit of place. [Read more...]

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