• 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
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Draugadrottin

Continuing with my exploration of the Names of Odin in alphabetical order, He doesn’t have many heiti, or by-names, beginning with the letter D.  However, the one we'll be discussing today is among my favorites of all of His names anyway because it tells us so much about the essence of who and what He is.  It is generally translated as meaning “Lord of the Dead.”  Lets break it down, though, and see if we can learn more from it than that.

The drottin part of the name means chieftain, or lord, and has a cognate in the Anglo-Saxon drihten. The particular connotation here is that of a military lord, the leader of a war band (from Proto-Germanic *druti). This implies the sort of kingship portrayed in Beowulf, for example; not necessarily a hereditary role, but one decreed by merit and ability, the man who is elevated to kingship because other men look to him and trust in his abilities, the ring giver and keeper of the web of oaths that tie a war band, a tribe, or a people together.

The other half of the name, drauga, means the dead, but here again a particular type of dead person is implied.  In Germanic belief, the “ordinary” dead go to Helheim, where they are perhaps reunited with their loved ones and have a period of rest and rejuvenation prior to being reborn or going on about whatever work lies before them between lifetimes.  Some dead, in my belief, go to the abodes of the gods they have served during life if those connections are strong enough and if the god desires their continued service and companionship.  The Poetic Edda and Snorri’s Edda alike tell us that the battlefield dead are divided between Odin and Freyja, with Frejya getting first pick.  (Ladies first, after all.)

But the draugr (singular) is in a category all his own.  As depicted again and again in the Icelandic sagas, the draugar (plural) are “walkers” or “those who walk again after death.” 

Last modified on
0

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_herculaneum-isis-temple.jpgBlest is the happy man
Who knows the Mysteries the gods ordain (Euripides)

It is a mystery – that we can be One and also separate, and likewise the gods.

It is a mystery – that we can have a solitary experience which then links us inextricably with others who have shared that same experience, or one like it.

...
Last modified on
4

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Canadians Take the Gold (Photo courtesy of The Guardian) 

Okay, so this is completely off the topic from what I usually post in this blog, but I am a proud Canadian, and like all Canadians, I watch when our team is at the gold medal hockey final.  It's kind of like Americans and the Superbowl.  I think it's a Canadian law or something.

Now, I admit that for a good deal of the game I was shaking my head in dismay.  The Americans played a much better game than we did for most of it.  They were much more aggressive and energetic and were just overall handling the puck better.  The Americans almost won the game when, with a minute and fifteen seconds left, Canada pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, and an inexperienced linesman interfered with one of her teammates, freeing up an American shot on goal into an empty net.  Perhaps it was an example of the manifestation of collective Will as thirty percent of Canada's population screamed, "No no NO!" and miraculously, the puck bounced off the post and the goal was averted.  But our ladies tied it up in the last five minutes, and then stole the gold in sudden death overtime!  I would hardly be considered a hockey expert, but I am Canadian, and so you learn about it whether you want to or not, and overall, this was one of the most exciting and tense games I've ever watched.  Here's the link if you want to see it.

...
Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    And the boys did us proud too!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Yes, congratulations indeed. I was a Landed Immigrant in Canada from 1971-1973. I was a company member with the Shakespeare Fest
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    That strikes me as a uniquely, and perhaps iconic, Canadian story. Thanks so much for sharing it!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Mary, Mary: Florence is Divine

Ten years ago, I traveled to Italy. I was a newly-minted Goddess girl, plus I’d just read The Da Vinci Code, so I spent the trip searching for the divine feminine hidden in plain sight. In Italy, I didn’t have to look very far; Mother Mary is, quite literally, represented on every street corner throughout Italy.

...
Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Sigh, I so love Florence, thanks for reminding me!
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Of course! Thanks for commenting.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Risk of Invocation

Invoke (v.): To petition for support; to cite as authority; to conjure.

What does it mean to invoke?

The word "invoke" derives from the old Latin word vocare, meaning "to call" and is related to the word vox, meaning voice. 

...
Last modified on
3
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Shawn Bolvi-Singleton
    Shawn Bolvi-Singleton says #
    Something about which to think on a chilly Monday. Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Shuffling the Deck, Part Two of Duality.

It would now be pertinent to address how a conceptual duality and a gendered duality could function simultaneously without one enveloping or overpowering the other. Regardless of how high an individual holds an intellectual concept, the individual is still bound to gender. How then can a conceptual duality that stresses balance of all things remain exclusively masculine in it’s metaphors? The short answer would be that the conceptual duality goes “beyond” gender, that the metaphors can potentially be applied to gendered concepts, but ultimately refer to concepts understood as antecedent to gendered concepts. While this answer is ambitious, as a reply to a question posed by a society that holds gender to be reverent and relevant, it falls flat and lacks the humanizing element so often craved in religious discourse. To maintain a conceptual duality that preserves gendered integrity, much like gender, a few different options are available.

 

Firstly, an individuals personal identification of gender and the appeals of other genders shape our perspective on deity. Though some might scoff at the idea of prescribing not only a gender but also a sexuality to deity, if one understands the world around them through the medium of a body and interprets their experiences with one's identity, elements of hetero and homonormativity will ultimately play a role in how one understands and connects with deity. Further, one might argue that a sexual duality is superfluous when considering deity, but for the audience of Neo Paganism (and more specifically the Wiccan demographic), the roles of pleasure and reproduction are interwoven into the broader metaphor of nature and the world.  

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans and voluntary poverty

A few weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by a conversation I had with an indebted Pagan, and one idea that came out of it -- that of a Pagan credit union -- really caught fire.  The level of interest made writing a follow-up post on your reactions to the idea of a Pagan credit union the next logical step.

Comments are a double-edged sword in the blogosphere, but I've learned a lot from the ones I have received here.  In pointing out what he or she thinks is the fatal flaw in any plan for Pagan financial infrastructure, Kveldrefr got me thinking about one of the underlying beliefs about Pagans, that they want to be poor:

"I would think that part of the issue regarding credit unions in particular is that many Pagans make a virtue of poverty, taking pride in their lack of concern for "material things." While anyone should be allowed to make such decisions for oneself, all too often those same individuals insist that others should share that attitude, and attack those who are successful.

"Until and unless the 'virtuous poverty' syndrome is dealt with, Paganism will not be able to mature in the ways you suggest, because it quite simply won't have the resources to do so. You can't pay mortgages for temples and hofs [sic] with piety and selling handmade soap."

...
Last modified on
6
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mariah
    Mariah says #
    I am both poor & privileged- I work retail, but I have a bachelor's, and the social connections & cultural knowledge/capital of a
  • Dver
    Dver says #
    I wouldn't describe myself as voluntarily poor, but I fall somewhere between that and the usual materialistic approach in this cul
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Wow, so much to say in response. This is a very succinct post on such a complex issue and I support Alley's response, with some di

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last modified on
0

My girl, Mary Magdalene

As eager as Old Christianity has been to paint Mary Magdalene as part of the oldest profession, New Christianity is equally eager to say that she’s totally legit.

I say the truth was probably somewhere in between.  I doubt she was a street walker but could she have been a temple priestess who wasn’t hung up being chaste?  Maybe.  It would make the fact that she seemed to be pretty educated plausible.  Plus the boys were probably jello that she was Jesus’ favorite so calling her a ho to take her down a peg isn’t exactly uncommon practice even in modern times.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Linda Armstrong
    Linda Armstrong says #
    Thank you so much for this informative article; I really enjoyed it. Since I was a very small child, I have had two spiritual lea

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

My wife and I just returned from PantheaCon in San Jose. It was our first time attending the event, and we were very impressed. It's easy to find things to complain about, especially at an event this big, but one thing that impressed me is how few complaints I heard - at least about anything substantial.

Complaining can be a natural reaction to disappointment, frustration and other emotions; the lack of it spoke volumes to me in a couple of respects. For one thing, it indicated that the people who put on this convention really got it right. It was well organized, communication was clear (the map, list of events and daily updates from the "town crier" just outside the elevators were extremely well done. There just wasn't that much to complain about.

The lack of complaints also speaks to the tone set for the event in the workshops, rituals, classes, concerts and other activities. There was a sense of unity among a diverse collection of people. We were willing to celebrate our differences and learn from one another, eagerly and without prejudice.

Complaining is all about making one's feelings known - specifically, feelings of dissatisfaction. Sometimes, it's necessary, and some complaints can certainly be legitimate. But listening and learning are all about gathering information, and (barring an emergency), it's best to do as much of this as possible before complaining. Often, complaints turn out to be misplaced simply because we haven't taken the time to learn more about what's causing our dissatisfaction.

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    It was great to meet you at Pantheacon. Thanks for posting this! I too hope to see more fruitful dialogue.
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    I'm sorry to have missed you, as well. We'll definitely be back next year!
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Hey, I'm bummed I missed meeting you! Next time?

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Winds of Change

 

“Blow, wind, oh, blow with all your might!

 Blow Conrad’s cap right out of sight,

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_13900879060yps8.jpg

Greetings to all!

This is just a quick re-blog of an article I wrote about my experiences with mountain lions, lore & history, and the magic alive in being a witness, activist, and treehugger.

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

 

Taking a break from the hurricane-lashed Glen with its river in full flood, mountains capped with snow and giant trees ripped out by their roots, I crossed the ridge behind our cottage and dipped down into Tipperary Town for a quiet lunch and a potter around the shops.  Even in the sheltered streets the wind was still strong enough to take the breath away, but having been marooned without electricity, broadband or mobile phones for four days it made a welcome change to see other people around.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Melusine Draco
    Melusine Draco says #
    How great to hear from someone who was part of that famous Sunday 'school'. Unfortunately everyone seems to have lost touch since
  • Jeremy Crawford
    Jeremy Crawford says #
    I read the book "Coven of the Scales" about Aliester "Bob" Clay-Egerton and his wife, Miriem. I used to meet with them at Mark Ton

As I deeply value thriving in the connection with All Things, I make an effort to live that truth. There's no one way or right way, and when you're a cyclic person, that fact becomes evident right away.

Photo by Jessie Pearl ~ flickr

What’s a cyclic person? We’re many things, I suppose. Women identify with the phrase from the onset of menstruation. Certainly those who cope with challenges to mood and mental health conditions relate. Later in life, I hear more men comment around cycles.

...
Last modified on
3

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
When a Child's Pet Dies

 

 

Last night I received a heartbreaking email from a reader. He was emailing me because his child's cat had been hit by a car and he and his wife were at a loss as to what to tell her (the girl is about six). They have an active devotional practice and an active practice of ancestor veneration. They neither wanted to approach death as something wrong and to be hidden, or to lie to their child, but neither did they want to cause their little girl an iota's worth of unnecessary pain. They asked me what I suggested. With their permission, I'm going to share with you what I told them, but I want to preface that by a disclaimer and a story. 

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    wise advice. I agree, no point in hiding death from children. it is part of life.
  • Linda Armstrong
    Linda Armstrong says #
    Your article moved me very much. I'm a long way from being a child (67) but sooner than I would want, I'm going to need to say go

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Transitioning into the Mother Weaver

As a child I experienced everything around me with awe and wonder. Receiving magic was natural and seamless. The path of the Priestess helped me to keep this channel open, and as a Maiden Priestess I revelled in my role as Receiver of Magic. In ceremony and ritual I was taken away on the wings of the energy, the music, and the Spirit helpers that joined us. During retreats I was guided through meditations that opened my crown chakra, I would soak in sacred waters, and spend hours practicing yoga. I could walk the Earth, still and contemplative, or run wildly with the wind rushing through my hair. I was an adult, yet I was still a Maiden, my life was still my own. Just when, where and how I served the Divine and her children was still my prerogative.

Pregnancy was the beginning of my transition from Maiden to Mother. I knew that I was walking through the fires of my rite of passage when I was in it, but I could not have anticipated what it would mean for me as a Priestess. I was prepared to lose my freedom in exchange for devoted service to the nurturing of my daughter Gracious and her soul's descent into the flesh. It was the dimming of the magic and the loss of space and time to consciously receive it that I wasn't prepared for. The elation of new motherhood was tempered by surprising feelings of grief. In prayer I realized that the tension of transition had brought a feeling of loss for the former phase of my life. I was grieving because I was becoming ready to embrace a new phase.

With each passing moment I could see the Maiden I once was reflected in my daughter. I watched my daughter’s eyes as they scanned the room in wonder, in awe of the twinkling lights adorning our bookshelf, smiling at the ceramic butterflies fastened to the wall above her as she breastfed. I would remember how it felt to sit in front of Christmas lights as a child. I would have moments of clarity where I could recall staring deeply into a flower or a ladybug . As a child I could feel the essence of the life that flowed through these beautiful creatures and creations. My daughter's birth highlighted how much I missed that innocent state of wonder. This longing was all part of my gradual release of the past, and as I accepted that, I became conscious of a new role I was growing into, that of the Mother Priestess. My transition had taken me from me from Maiden to Mother, from the Receiver of Magic to the Weaver of Magic.

...
Last modified on
4
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    thank you sister xc
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    beautiful

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Imbolc, though most often observed on the first of February, approximately half-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, is more than a a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Brighid.jpgcelebration of a day. Historically it marks the season of lambing and lactation in the ewes – the old Irish Imbolg meaning in the belly, and the medieval Oimelc, meaning ewes milk. In this respect, Imbolc is a season and the heralding celebration was often observed as much as two weeks before or after the beginning of February.

Living in a cold and wintery northern region of the United States (and this year Calleach is a formidable guest, brining with her deep cold and even deeper snow), I always have some difficulty getting into the spirit of Imbolc and Oestra. With temperatures below zero and the great likelihood that I will not see the ground without snow cover until well into April, the promise of spring is still a hopeful seed, closed tight, waiting for the earth to warm and the rains to come.

...
Last modified on
1
Apollo, Dionysus: meet Nietzsche. Nietzsche: Apollo, Dionysus. Part 1

This entry is a little long so I'v split it into two segments. So don't worry if you feel theres something missing in the proposed philosophy. That gets covered in the second part. Here's part 1

 

Perhaps the central theme of Neo Paganism in terms of worship is the duality of God and Goddess. These forces, separately, represent all manifestations of human experience and cultivate realms of significance in terms of correspondence. Solar energy is typically understood as masculine and a part of the metaphors belonging to the God. Conversely, the Goddess offers lunar metaphors. The masculine concepts of deity are understood to be penetrative, the feminine, receptive. The list of correspondences extends toward literally everything in existence as all properties are believed to come from one of these opposing sources. Additionally, the Neo Pagan duality of worship stresses harmony and balance between the two gendered ideas. The one cannot survive without the other, the other invigorates the one. As the most intimate medium of understanding the world is indeed gender (within the context of western contemporary society), the metaphoric understanding of deity through gender provides an avenue of connection for worshipers and adherents of Neo Paganism. This essay is not to lambaste the gendered binary understanding of deity or the world, but to provide an alternative perspective on the duality of deity. Offered will be a short exploration of the Apollonian and Dionysian world views in context with previous examinations of said topic and a contemporary application of the worldviews within the context of Neo Paganism.

...
Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Travis Crockett
    Travis Crockett says #
    I think you both have made excellent points. Terrence: I agree the duality Im interpreting does lean very closely to the wicca ide
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I would agree with Terrance that Neo-Paganism is more multi-vocal than the assertion of duality of God and Goddess. Many Goddess f
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    "Perhaps the central theme of Neo Paganism in terms of worship is the duality of God and Goddess." If you replace "Neo Paganism"
The Divine Feminine Wears a Big Brim Hat?

A few weeks ago I was the co-host on a local radio show.  Now, keep in mind that this program is on a local college station and the college is a private, Free Methodist, liberal arts school.  Therefore, the managers of the radio station as well as a majority of the audience come from a fairly traditional, fundamental Christian mindset. When I co-host this show, I keep in mind the audience and try to speak their language without compromising who I am. The host of the program had decided to push boundaries and have a metaphysical themed show.  He fancies himself a rebel but in reality is not.

 Anyway, the main guest that evening was a woman who has written a couple of books about her channeled messages from Princess Diana and John Lennon.  Granted, I am almost always initially skeptical of such things.  I have been around long enough to know that it is possible that a given person would get messages from the other side of the veil.  On the other hand, why is it so many people seem to get messages from a select few celebrities?  Nevertheless, I proceeded to interview and ask her questions about the things she was saying in her book, particularly the one with messages from Princess Diana.  The guest wanted to just read pages from her book, which was pretty boring radio.  FINALLY, she took a breath and I was able to ask her about something she had just said. 

In her channeled messages, Princess Diana had said that while she was on earth, she was THE manifestation of the Divine Feminine.  Huh?  Wow.  Ok.  At this point I asked the writer if she could expound on that idea.  Just exactly how did Princess Diana exemplify the Divine Feminine?  The reply:  “By the good charity work I supported for children around the world, and especially my style and clothing choices.”  I don’t know…doesn’t that sound just a little bit like a typical Miss America answer?  Perhaps I am a bit jaded in my second half century.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I would agree that perhaps Princess Diana has become ONE aspect of the Divine Feminine for the modern culture, but I like your obs
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    Our human nature, or propensity to label, is no doubt responsible in part for these narrower concepts of the Feminine Divine. For
  • SophiaDawn
    SophiaDawn says #
    Yes, I do agree that we humans are limited at times in our understanding. Your Phyllis Diller comment made me laugh!!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I recently posted one of Danielle LaPorte's Truthbombs on my Facebook page:

don't hide behind your vows

 

This sparked a discussion of what it means to make a vow, to break a vow, and to hide behind a vow, a discussion that got me thinking about my first marriage and divorce.

Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Amoret BriarRose
    Amoret BriarRose says #
    Thank you!
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    great post

Additional information