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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sanctuary of Apollo (Cyprus)

April 14, 2019

The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Offer It Up

I stood on a subway platform as trains roared by, oblivious, paralyzed. I had been frozen by a brief, polite encounter with a former co-worker, a few weeks after I’d been laid off from my very first job, as a community college English teacher. My last set of students—young men in practical disciplines — had filled their evaluations with comments on my dress and appearance: “She should wear shorter skirts.” “She should wear more make-up.” It was decided my relationship with them had been “too personal", and my contract was not extended. Standing on the platform, remembering all this, a renewed sense of shame burned in my heart.

 

Over the years I would understand what happened better, with a more sophisticated eye. But at the time I was looking for emergency first aid. And I found it in the practice of “offering it up.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    loved that
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you. That's high praise from someone I so admire.
A Pagan Revival in 13th Century France

What happens when you turn loose a bunch of over-educated, under-employed intellectuals on a prosperous society in the throes of social ferment?

Apparently, you get a Pagan Renaissance.

It happened in 20th century America. It also happened in 13th century France, during what—ironically enough—is known as the Age of Cathedrals.

The parallels between the two periods are striking. In both, new agricultural techniques produced a burgeoning population, a thriving mercantile class, and unprecedented prosperity. This, in medieval France and elsewhere, was what financed the building of the great cathedrals such as Notre Dame de Paris. Students from all over Europe flooded to the University of Paris.

There they learned Latin and read the Classics. There they learned about the old paganisms.

Alas, there were no suitable jobs for most of these sons of lesser houses. The system produced far more educated people than it could employ.

So a rising tide of clerici vagrantes, “wandering clerics,” washed across Europe: getting drunk (when they could afford it), getting laid (when they could manage it), and writing rhyming hymns in Latin to the old gods of the pagan world, especially (as one would expect) to Venus and Bacchus.

(Several collections of poetry and hymns from this medieval pagan renaissance have survived to inspire and delight us today, notably the famous Carmina Burana (that's CAR-min-ah, not car-MEE-nah), which in turn inspired German composer Carl Orff's pagan oratorio of the same name, one of the landmarks of 20th century pagan art.)

According to British historian Elliot Rose, these literary New Pagans—whatever the seriousness of their paganism—hooked up with the Old Pagan witch-wives of Europe to create a newly reinvigorated Witch Cult which, a hundred years later, would give rise to, and fall prey to, the horrors of the Great Persecution. Well, maybe.

Eight hundred years later, here we are again.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Gathering Together We Celebrate

 

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A Medieval Latin Hymn to the Goddess of Love

A few posts back, I posted the text of a medieval Latin hymn to the Goddess of Love from the 13th century “Little Renaissance.” At the time, I included a literal translation, but declined to translate it into poetry on the grounds that I couldn't do it justice.

What I had unwittingly done, of course, was to set myself a challenge.

(In the unlikely event that you've ever wondered what poets do while lying awake at night, you now know.)

So here's the best that I can do with it. You can even sing it to the same tune.

Well, kind of.

Ave Formosissima

 

Ave formosissima,

gemma pretiosa;

ave decus virginum,

virgo gloriosa.

 

Ave lumen luminum,

ave mundi rosa:

Blanziflor et Helena,

Venus generosa!

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The Solar Path - The Sabbats for the Hedge Witch (Part Two)

Samhain

We all know of the modern-day Hallowe’en that falls on the 31st October, but few outside of the Craft know of the origins of this festival. Samhain is a Celtic festival that celebrates the time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin, and we can connect more easily with the unseen, both in the form of the Fair Folk (faeries) as well as the ancestors. The Celts reckoned their days from sunset to sunset, and so Samhain would run from sunset on the 31st October to sunset on the 1st November. The Celts divided the year into two halves, the dark half and the light half, and we see this reflected in much of Modern Witchcraft today. How this is divided depends on the tradition. If you are following on from the Celtic lore, the dark half of the year begins at Samhain, and ends at Beltane, when the light half of the year begins. This is the Celtic beginning of Winter and Summer, for they only considered two seasons in their worldview. Samhain means “summer’s end”. Other traditions of Witchcraft see the dark and light halves of the year commencing at the solstices, with the myth of the Oak King and the Holly King. We will explore this later when we look at the solstices.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
PERSEPHONE IS RISEN TODAY!

Persephone is risen today,

Alleluia!

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