Tara Rice is a brand-new Pagan artist from Toronto, Ontario. She contacted me via my website to ask me to listen to her new single. I was enchanted! I immediately invited her to join our Canadian Pagan music anthology project (now set for this November) and asked if she'd be willing to do an interview. She's a friendly and enthusiastic but professional young woman and I was impressed with her thoughtful answers. You can find more information on her or her music at her website: www.tararice.com.
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On Faithful Friday the Beagle seeks out interesting tales of religion of all kinds. Today, we have: a story of Siberian shamans; the mysterious theft of the Sehkmet statue -- solved; a new website for British traditional Witchcraft; a Buddhist shrine arises in the inner city; and how people of different faiths (or none) differ and are similar regarding morality.
This story from the Siberian Times offers a glimpse into the world of traditional Siberian shamans. (Trigger warning: story includes visceral photos.)
Last year, the statue of Sekhmet from Las Vegas area Temple of Goddess Spirituality disappeared. Now we know the rest of the story....
(excerpted from my book, Visions of Vanaheim)
At the fall equinox in September is Selenestra Madonatal (seh-len-ES-trah mah-DOUGH-nah-tahl), which is Eshnesk (the language of the Eshnahai, the name the Vanir call themselves [via corroborated gnosis]) for the Festival of Gratitude. This is essentially the Vanic version of Thanksgiving, where people in Vanaheim feast with their families and count their blessings of the year. It is common for people to light lanterns or candles for each of their blessings and float lanterns down the rivers....
Leaves blaze tawny and russet
with bright beauty in this last fall of light.
Seedpods thicken on wild grasses,
elderberries shake fistfuls of dark rain,
quinces shine treasure brighter than coin.
We give thanks for Gaia’s storehouse of plenty,
for this true wealth, as she gives and gives of her body:
berries, squashes, beans—
more and more we request and receive.
Eat, she says, to all creaturely life—
this is your being.
Honour Gaia’s nature
by refusing to squander or disrespect her.
Learn to need less and waste nothing;
find ways to create sustainability and
safeguard the magnificent diversity that is
the body of the Goddess.
We are living in the Sixth Great Extinction,
losing our beloved creatures and plants.
Take time to care for something that is other,
and in need;
from garden bird to snow leopard,
all ecology is linked directly to our hearts.
We may grieve for the lost summer of the world
but change is our certainty:
the balance of all future abundance
is in our hands.
Rose Flint © Mother Tongue Ink 2013
Happy Thursday! Today we have an Earthy Thursday feed with earthquakes (caused by human activity); changes to farming in a climate-changed world; a zero-waste supermarket experiment in Germany; a town in Vermont goes 100% renewable; and combating climate change might just be --- free?
Those earthquakes swarms in (normally earthquake free) Oklahoma. The USGS recently concluded the high-intensity injection wells (aka "fracking") were responsible after all....
Last night an old friend came to me in a dream. He has been a genuine soul-mate, both before and after his earthly passing. Our affair of the heart was stormy, but in matters of spirit he always drew me to my best self. I blocked him out for many years, but for a while now have been aware of his benevolent and supportive presence. And he is not the only one. On the periphery of my awareness there is a veritable cloud of witnesses, as one sacred text refers to those who have crossed over. I don’t seek them out so often as I simply know them to be with me and part of me.
Not unlike contemporary Pagans, ancient Egyptians had a complex set of ideas about the afterlife which often look like contradictions without study and reflection. After the weighing of the heart in the Hall of Maat one might ascend to the sky as an “imperishable star” along with other ancestors. Or one might face defeat by the monster Ammit should the heart be out of balance. Most Egyptians simply hoped to live in comfort and happiness in a new world beyond. Those of a more religious ilk imagined detailed journeys through the Duat, including encounters with all manner of beings and neteru (gods). They understood this trip to be an alchemical sort of transformative process, describing the path of spiritual development....