Pagan Paths

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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

This blog post is about the modern religion Asatru. It's not about science and so it's not about when life begins. This is about when Asatru teaches that a being becomes a person. A person is a member of a society with rights. This is about souls and the way society recognizes human rights and the rights of other types of beings. 

Asatru is one of several modern Heathen religions based on the historical Heathen cultures, which are generally the cultures spanning the areas and time periods of Germania, Scandinavia, and Scandinavian colonies such as Iceland. Iceland has a unique place in Asatru as the culture that wrote down many oral traditions and gave us a lot of the literature on which we base our collectively decided canon we call The Lore. 

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The Overculture vs. Reciprocity: Redux

In western societies (like all societies), people have fundamental and largely unspoken assumptions about how the world is supposed to work and how we are to behave.

Subscribers to these assumptions believe that they are inherently entitled to certain rights, for example, and that governance should protect these rights and enable redress if they are violated: something called justice. They assume that sexually exclusive life commitment by two partners is the default and only “real” relationship format, which is known as monogamy. They view men as superior to women in a wide variety of ways, and that women exist primarily to advance the wishes of men, a system called patriarchy. They accept hierarchical authority to set behavioral rules and the policing power of governance up to and including the usage of violence to enforce them, an arrangement known as the social contract. They view other cultures as inferior to their own, and believe it acceptable to subjugate and exploit them for their cultural resources and homelands, which is colonialism. They view darker-skinned people and people of non-European extraction with suspicion, if not hostility and/or contempt, which is racism. They assume that an acceptably “normal” relationship is between a (cis-gendered) man and a (cis-gendered) woman, which is heteronormativity. They assign particular qualities, behaviors, interests and even colors as “belonging” to one gender or another, which are gender norms. They agree that the exchange of labor ultimately benefiting an investor class for the means to acquire life necessities like shelter, food and health care is a valid and normal transaction, and that they are entitled to whatever they can afford with money, which is capitalism, and that to loyally and diligently engage in this exchange is both a moral good, which is celebrated as the work ethic, and will lead to economic and status advancement, which is meritocracy. They are uncomfortable and insecure about sexuality and pleasure, which leads them to condemn those who openly enjoy and celebrate them, condemning them as immoral hedonists.

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Mysterious Minoan Tentacles

The Minoans were a seafaring people, so it's no surprise that their art is full of marine life, exhibiting their deep connection with the sea goddess Posidaeja. Most people are familiar with the dolphins and octopuses that appear on so many Minoan marine ware vessels and frescoes. But there's another sea creature that shows up in Minoan art, mostly on ceramic containers, a creature that was so odd, it took us a while to figure out its identity.

Have a look at the marine ware jug at the top of this post. The critter painted on it looks like an octopus that's holed up in a nautilus shell, sticking its tentacles out and waving them.

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Thor Love in a Raindrop

One might think a grocery store parking lot an unlikely place for religious gnosis. Truly, one does not need to adventure into the mists of a primeval forest or climb to the peak of a mountain to experience the gods, for they are all around us all the time. Though I enjoy a nice hike, of course, the gods are there wherever I go. 

It was the day after the summer solstice. I had not done any big ritual on the solstice with my kindred. I had gotten up to try to view the Parade of Planets before dawn, which proved to be less than perfect viewing despite the clear night, since I live not quite 6 miles from the brightest place on Earth (the Las Vegas Strip.) That afternoon at tea my housemate and I clinked teacups as if they were drink glasses and toasted the beginning of summer, so we did have a ritual, even if it was brief and simple. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Nods. Yeah. I've been following the internet discourse on the difference between having female heroes and having a male hero rebra
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Yes, I remember seeing the Jane foster Thor back when we still had a comic book shop in town. I had pretty much dropped comic boo
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony! Yeah I thought the trailers were cringy. The entire idea of the movie is cringy. Disney says "Let's have female Thor!"
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've seen a trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder at the theater and I have mixed feelings about it. I haven't looked at the complet

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Fathers' Day

My daddy died when I was 26. 

At the time, I thought I was so grown up, but now that I am in my mid-60s (how the hell did that happen) I realize how very young I was when he passed. Not like some of my friends who lost parents in their teens, not like the kids I babysat for whose dad died of cancer when they were barely out of nappies, but I was still young. My daddy never knew me as an adult.

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A Prayer While Awaiting COVID Results

A Prayer While Awaiting COVID Results

I have been stricken,
Or have been exposed,
The testing is over,
The waiting begun.
I call to the healing
Goddesses and gods
That I know,
And that know me as well.
I offer you my thanks
And my gratitude
For being in my life,
Through all of my days.
I call to the waters,
To rise and surround me,
Wash away sickness,
And disease.
I call to the earth,
Let us blend as one,
May what ails me descend,
And be purified deep within.
I call to the winds,
That they blow tight through me,
Carry all that afflicts me,
To where the sky meets the earth.
And if it should happen,
That I am affected,
Please bring me to healing,
With a touch of your hands.
Jean (Drum) Pagano
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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Pagano, May the Goddesses and Gods grant you good health and happiness. I really like the prayer you shared. I will recite i

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Ancient Minoan Good Bois

The Minoans had dogs. I remember being a little surprised to learn that, some years ago. Somehow, I just never connected "Minoans" with "dogs" in my mind. Cats, sure, but dogs?

Yep, they had them - in fact, the breed the Minoans had still exists on Crete. It's called the Cretan Hound and is considered to be the oldest European dog breed. That's one of them in the image above, on a carved stone pyxis lid from Mochlos dating to about 2400 BCE. I can imagine the person who owned that pyxis (a lidded jewelry box) choosing it because their dog loved to lie in the same pose, stretched out in the shade of an olive tree.

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