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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Diana L Paxson

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In 2011, I launched the Pagan Pathfinders' Podcast, which got some attention at places like the Wild Hunt Blog and the Canadian National Pagan Conference.  My vision was one of a panel of knowledgeable Pagans of various traditions and locations, discussing a topic online as panelists do at conferences.  As I say in the preview video, people were really quite accommodating and friendly and open to the possibilities.

I stopped doing the podcast in early 2012 for a variety of reasons; though I did try to limp it along for a while.  One was that getting a bunch of very busy people together in one place is problematic at best. Two was that the limitations of Skype made the conversations awkward.  Three was that the constant bad sound and limited connectivity created a variety of issues that took days of editing to try to fix.  Four was those days of editing.  I tried bringing on a partner to help me, but Nisaba Merrieweather, although filled with enthusiasm and a desire to help, who managed to organize a great show on Australian Paganism, had no better luck with the technology than I did.  Eventually I resigned myself to just letting it go.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I'd be interested in participating. I'm the managing non fiction editor for Immanion press and author as well.
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    If the live stream causes any problems, Google Hangouts can be done and then uploaded seamlessly to YouTube to create a show-like
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Thank you very much for the offer! Expect that I will take you up on it. Certainly the Google Hangouts thing would also be excel

Samhain is in the air, and with it a new year to celebrate life and read! For this installment of Well at World's End we'll take a look at the Pagan themes in Diana L. Paxson's novel, The White Raven, and specifically the depiction of ceremony filling the pages. It is the perfect book to begin the new cycle, as the story begins and ends on Samhain. To read along, you can visit: www.diana-paxson.com (If you're a Diana L. Paxson fan, you'll be happy to know I'm working with her on an in-depth interview, which is forthcoming in Witches & Pagans Magazine. So stay tuned!)  

The White Raven retells the story of the lovers, Tristan and Iseult, depicted in the book by their Celtic names, Drustan and Esseilte, who are later betrayed by the king. It is told through the eyes of Branwen, the White Raven, who is raised alongside Esseilte by the Queen of Eriu. Paxson's story is steeped in history and Celtic lore. Here we see the junction of the Old Ways and Christianity. Steeped with Pagan themes, it is the depiction of ceremony that makes this a treat. Let's look further. 

Beginning in chapter three, the Queen of Eriu takes Esseilte and Branwen to visit a sacred well. It is a site that has been important to the people long before Christianity, and as far back as anyone can remember. The well is surrounded by hazelwoods, and birdsong fills the sound. The queen explains to the girls, "Folk come here from all about this country to walk the pattern at the Feast of Brigid that begins in spring." Surrounding the well are fourteen flagstones, which the girls are instructed to kneel before and pray. The queen further explains to whom they pray, "She is the water and the well, the pattern and the prayer." They are told to drink the waters and make an offering, then they will understand.

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