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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 40: Yggdrasil

Yggdrasil is the World-Tree in heathen mythology. It grew by itself in the deeps of time, before the worlds came to be. The worlds are the fruit of its branches. Some art of the World-Tree depicts all nine worlds in the branches, while some depicts the worlds of fire and ice below the Tree with the Tree's roots going down into them. That image references the story of the birth of the universe in which the magically charged void divided into two main powers called fire (energy) and ice (patterns.) The dynamic combination of those two powers gave rise to matter and everything else, including the Tree, the Sacred Cow that woke up the gods and the giants, the Well at the root of the Tree, and all the raw materials from which our world was made.

Throughout most of the retellings in Some Say Fire of the stories collectively known as The Lore, the World-Tree is pretty much as described in the mythology. During the parts of the story that take place during Ragnarok, though, the main human character P sees Yggdrasil from the deck of the Naglfarr, the boat made of nails. She is basically in space, but also in a higher dimension, and the boat is not as it seems. It’s not literally a Viking longship despite how it appears. The view she has of the Tree is meant to be literal within the story, though. And the Tree is rotted in the heart-wood, hollow, and the Well below it is on fire. This shows how messed up everything is, and how much Ragnarok is needed by that point. At that point in the story, someone really needs to push the reset button on the universe and make a new one, because the old one is no longer sustainable.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's interesting to see how the myths of my ancestors are interpreted in a different country. The Norse gods appear in Oh, my God
Novel Gnosis part 39: Wolves Ravens and Brothers

Continuing my series on novel gnosis, that is, religious insights I gained via writing my unpublished novel Some Say Fire, today I'm talking about Odin and the number 3. Three as a sacred number recurs in many stories in heathen mythology, that it, the mythology of the pre-Xian peoples of northern Europe. It also occurs again and again in the broader context of pagan mythology in the rest of Europe and related cultures. Odin's symbol the Valknut is a set of 3 interlocking triangles.

In the Fireverse, the universe of Some Say Fire, Odin’s 2 wolves Geri and Freki are generated out of Odin. Like his 2 ravens and his 2 brothers, he creates them by dividing himself. He has the power to divide himself into 3 parts and he does it 3 times: once each to create the wolves, the ravens, and his brothers.

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The Guy in the Red Porsche, or: What I Should Have Said

“Need a ride?”

I didn't, but the golden young guy leaning out of the red Porsche convertible that's just pulled over beside me is gorgeous, absolutely drop-dead gorgeous: way out of my league, actually. In its own way, gay male society is just as much a caste system as traditional India.

I play clueless American, as if I didn't know full well what he means.

“No thanks, I'm just down the road here a bit,” I say, pointing with my chin.

Him: Upper-crust Anglo-Norman, beautiful as a god. Judging from his clothes, car, and posh accent, moneyed. Really, a gayboy's fantasy, just waiting to happen.

His smile melts something inside me. “Oh, come on, let me give you a ride.”

Me: scruffy American, walking back from town to the orchard—in bloom, no less—at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, where I'm camped with our sister coven. Biker boots, black leather jacket, nose ring. Nice body, if you like skinny, but probably—after a week in a van—not smelling very good.

He clearly wants this. In some ways, so do I. I consider his offer.

OK: I'm in another country. Nobody—not even the friends that I'm traveling with—knows where I am. So: I'm going to get into a car with a guy that I don't know, and go off to wherever he decides to take me? 100 years ago, my yeoman ancestors left Staffordshire for other shores. 100 years on, I still retain their deepset suspicion of the ruling classes.

Ah, risk assessment. Maybe I'm being foolish here. Maybe I've seen too many films about uppa closs decadence, and am just being a reverse snob. I could have the time of my life and a story to tell for the rest of my days. I could end up chained up in a well-appointed torture chamber, and buried in the back shrubbery.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blessings of a Full Moon

This will probably be one of the first 4ths of July in recent history where there will be scant, if any, fireworks celebrations and parades. If they do go on, people are encouraged to participate from their cars, or watch from the safety of their homes. Health officials are definitely discouraging folks from flocking to the beaches and attending large gatherings or picnics, as they would normally do. With so much unrest and anger flying around, in Washington and one’s own neighborhood, one may become overwhelmingly frustrated. The pandemic numbers are soaring in our country every day, without an end in sight. How can we come together and feel celebratory, if even in a tiny group? How can we remind ourselves to feel grateful for what we do have?

This was put into stark, literal perspective for me when my ceiling came crashing down this week. No, I’m not kidding. I suppose it’s apropos that if my world was really going to start to crumble, it would choose to do so in 2020. I mean, why not, right? It started with a crack that quickly grew overhead in our kitchen. Now mind you, the building is older, so this wasn’t really anything new. But the severity of the split was quickly growing. So much so, that in a matter of days, it had started to separate and hang slightly from the ceiling. We pointed it out to our landlord, who agreed to start pricing out some plasterers.

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Magic for black lives and more

In these turbulent times filled with heightened politic activism, we have a handbook for how to enhance our effectiveness through magical means. Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change was written by Michael M Hughes after his worldwide #BindTrump working. It is a perfect blend of Paganism and politics. 

What's the meaning of #MagicResistance? It's for people using magic to serve others: the dispossessed, those with no voices, animals, trees, etc. Anyone can join. Use it to promote progressive, inclusive, and liberating trends. Move beyond magic for strictly personal growth and turn your talents and gifts to the wider world!

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    From July 11, 2020 until August 19, 2020 I will pray the following before going to bed each night: "We hold these truths to be

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 38: Voluspa

The Voluspa or Prophecy of the Seeress is one of the stories in the Poetic Edda. It predicts Ragnarok, the end of the world, and the universe, and the gods. Scholars of heathenry note that it bears a strong resemblance to the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible. Some Asatruars believe in the Prophecy and some don't. Among those who believe in it, some place it in the future as written, and some place it in the past.

The Voluspa is a major plot point in the Fireverse. Early on, Odin receives this Prophecy and writes it down and it’s in a book in his library. He spends a lot of time and effort trying to make the next universe come out right, and he tries to follow the Prophecy, embracing prophecy rather than trying to change it. A lot of his actions result from his desire to make the next universe better than this one and set up things in this universe that will result in a better starting place for the next one. Loki reads this book while he’s still a young god and is horrified, but eventually he accepts his role and the necessity of what will happen. He has a chance to derail the prophecy by leaving Asgard before the binding takes place, but he chooses not to, because by that point in the story he has accepted Odin’s viewpoint that the events described in the Prophecy are necessary to make the next universe come out right.He remains in Asgard knowing he will eventually be bound.

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Holy Smoke: Sacred Wood and Herbs for a Happy Home

I heartily approve of the Danish tradition of hygge which is a lovely form of self-care togetherness. The Scandinavians integrate hearth fires into this custom so we’ll take it one step further by adding sacred herbs on top of the wood for a cleansing, purifying and therapeutic twist to hygge home fires. You can either bundle the herbs together with string or lay them on top of the unlit wood. I do both and speak this spell before lighting the fire in your fireplace or firepot.

 Warmth and love, heart and heat,

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