Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Day I Swore Myself to Freya

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path, 1989 was the year when everything happened: my formal dedication to Freya, my father’s death, my study abroad in the Soviet Union, and finally the earthquake. I went out in the woods that day fully intending to swear myself to Odin. Since I was drawn to heathenry via rune magic and he was the patron of the runes, it seemed natural. Also, although I had not yet encountered the idea of sacred wounds, I felt close to Odin because of growing up visually impaired. When I was ready to dedicate myself to a patron god, Freya showed up instead. It would take many years before I understood why. I believe now that I was opened to Freya by sacred wounds, also, but at the time I could not even remember what had happened to me as a child.

I’m going to lump all the stuff about my dad into my next post, even though some of it happened the summer before my junior year and some of it happened at the end of my junior year. At the time, I didn't associate my father's death with becoming dedicated to Freya; now I wonder if she removed him from my life so that I could heal in time.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Possession in the Pillar Crypt

Up to now my blog posts here have been mostly about research I've done - information about Minoan deities and spiritual practices, with a few notes from my own practice thrown in for good measure. Today I'm sharing something very different with you. Something very personal.

I've spent a lot of time meditating and doing shamanic journeywork to piece together what I can of Minoan religious practice. Usually I get a few glimpses of something they might have done in the big temples or at the little shrines in their homes. A few days ago I got something I hadn't bargained for - a full-blown vision of an oracular priestess doing her thing. It has taken me some time to process this experience and reach the point that I can comfortably share it with you.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This essay was originally published at Neo-Paganism.com. 


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Crescent_Meadow.jpgAs mentioned in my post Beyond The Powers: The World of Vanaheim, the realm of the Vanir is tribally structured - this has been corroborated by the doxa of multiple individuals from 2007 onward.  In no particular order, here is a brief overview of each Vanic tribe and the service they perform:

Serpent
The Serpent tribe is a small “tribe of introverts” and they live in a series of underground caves in the upper northwestern territory of Vanaheim, in a mixed deciduous and evergreen forest. They specialize in routine “maintenance” energy work as well as catastrophic, catalytic healing. They also serve as catalysts of wyrd, “seething” and creating subtle shifts that “grease the wheels” of change and create “sheddings” that need to happen.

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Portable Shrines: Mobile Shrines and Altars

I spent a significant portion of my recent life living in a van, nomadic and driving as far and as often as fuel prices and weather permitted throughout the American Northeast. It was an interesting (and cold, wintery) time, and one born of circumstance, calamity, and character-testing chance. Amongst other things, it challenged my devotional practices, ritual observances and prayer cycles, which for years leading up to that were satisfied in a full-time dedicated Temple. In these months, I learned mobile and slimmed-down tactics, adapted from previously developed short-term tricks for traveling and engaging devotionally in the wilds. Not all religious practices are easily made to move about in small-form. Yesterday, on a social media site, a co-religionist of mine posted an open question to the community, asking about suggestions for and experiences with altar boxes of a portable, easily stowed variety. Below is my (hopefully somewhat helpful) reply, which I share here in case it is of use to others.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Oregon_coast.jpg(an excerpt from my book, Visions of Vanaheim)

As mentioned in my post Who are the Vanir?, the Vanir are more than the Big Name Deities, such as Frey, Freya, Njord, and Nerthus. Vanaheim is an entire realm, full of people, the overwhelming majority of whom were never named by lore. This doesn’t mean they’re unimportant, as we will revisit in a moment. I also understand the Vanir to be elves (corroborated by others), and in private conversations I prefer referring to them as elves (or Eshnahai, which is their own name for their people, “Vanir” is an outlander’s term), though they are not the same entities as the Ljossalfar and Dokkalfar (who are related, but ultimately their own people).

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The Crane Dance: Walking the Worlds

The Labyrinth may be the most well-known and widespread symbol to come out of ancient Minoan spirituality, but it is a static image. What if it were to come alive, to move, to dance? It did so on ancient Crete, and it still does today in Greek folk dances. And the motions of this sinuous dance have many layers of meaning. Let’s explore some of them. Maybe we’ll be inspired to set our own feet moving. 

The Labyrinth-in-motion I’m talking about is known as the Crane Dance or Geranos Dance (the word geranos is Greek for ‘crane’ – the bird, not the construction equipment). The Greeks immortalized it in their version of the Theseus myth. You’ve probably heard the tale of Theseus traveling to Crete as one of the fourteen Athenian youths who were the tribute (that is, the sacrifice) to King Minos and his horrible monster, the Minotaur. The king’s daughter Ariadne gives him a ball of yarn by which he marks his path into the Labyrinth, then uses it to find his way out again after slaying the Minotaur. Having accomplished his heroic goal, he rescues the youths and returns home to Athens. That’s the short version, but it leaves out something Theseus does on the way home. 

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