Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What's in a name?

One of the issues we face when reviving ancient spiritual practices is that we often don’t know exactly what the original people called their gods and goddesses. In the case of the Minoans, we don’t even know what language they spoke, and their deity names have come down to us only through the Greeks. Today I’m going to toss out some thoughts about some of the god and goddess names from ancient Crete. Maybe, if we put enough ideas into the pot, we can brew up some useful bits for modern Minoan Paganism. Let’s start with Rhea, the Minoan Earth Mother goddess.

First of all, there is no generally-accepted etymology for the name Rhea. It may be the Greek interpolation of the native Minoan name for their Earth Mother goddess. The Greeks often attempted to transliterate the names of foreign deities into their own language, but as so often happens in this kind of situation, the pronunciation changes to feel more comfortable to the speakers. Through this process we ended up with the Greek name  Isis for the Egyptian Aset and Greek Osiris for Egyptian Ausar. The Greeks said Rhea was the Mother Goddess of Crete; even among the Olympians, she was still considered Cretan. I’ve always felt that her name, however it was originally pronounced, was the word the Minoans used for the island of Crete, which was the embodiment of their goddess.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fire the Fool

For those of you following the adventures in clay, here's the Fool. I've got a lot of work to do on these, and I think I'm going to be moving away from using the forms in order to start to craft my own. That's going to take time, but the awesome thing is that once I have made the original, then I can make my own sprig molds from that. This means I can keep my originality, but also keep the price down. Win win, right? Watch this space. I think I rather fancy doing the Tower next... and maybe working on some more creative pieces, too. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fool.jpg

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b2ap3_thumbnail_warfare.jpgFamine, cannibalism, disease, crime – it was widely rumored in ancient Egypt that during a terrible time in its past the forces of isfet (chaos) completely upended the orderly society of which Egyptians were inordinately fond.  The first “intermediate period” between kings became the subject of several Middle Kingdom teaching or wisdom texts, such as The Prophecy of Neferti and The Admonitions of Ipuwer. These writings essentially bemoan the terrible things that are supposed to have happened, and warn readers to maintain maat (balance, justice) in order to avoid a recurrence.

Here’s the thing – there is no real evidence that the catastrophic events actually happened.  Modern scholars lean towards the idea that they were written primarily as propaganda, reinforcing the importance of unifying under the king, keeping religious observances of the neteru (gods), and keeping things on an even keel.

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Fire the Tarot

It's been awhile since I've been here, and that's because things have been... mutable. I've decided to try to re-enter (because Mercury retrograde is always a good time to go back to something that's been previously started, right?) working with clay again. I believe I mentioned it previously, in my last article. I've been doing a lot of reflecting since then. 

You see, Tarot is such a part of my life that it is hard for me to isolate things. I see the cards in shapes throughout the day. I think about what card would represent what activity I'm doing at the time. I use the Tarot as a guide to activities, as a focal point for my art, and more. Between astrology (to which I've also returned over the last year), runes, stones, and the tarot, my life is pretty full of amazing shapes, themes and designs. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Charlie Rainbow Wolf
    Charlie Rainbow Wolf says #
    Thank you! Next post will either include a greenware 'Fool,' or the glazed 'Empress,' depending on the timeline
  • Carla Jo
    Carla Jo says #
    This looks really nice.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Start by Grounding - Becoming Present

I've been examining the parts that make up many common Pagan rituals. I recently wrote about Cleansing. I'm moving on to Grounding. There's real irony here, because this week, I need grounding more than ever.

Alright!  A few personal details about my life are in order to set this article up. I'm a busy witch. Over the next few months I have a lot going on. I am helping to organize California WitchCamp which happens in late June. I am presenting at the upcoming Many Gods West conference in late July. In early September I am teaching at Aurora Borealis WitchCamp in Canada and in mid-October I'm teaching/facilitating the Mysteries of Samhain retreat. Woven through all of this are planning meetings, research, magical work and scheduling - endless scheduling. I also have three classes I'm teaching between now and then and I'm one of the folks that is putting Reclaiming's 36th annual Spiral Dance on October 31st.

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Witches' Tower, San Diego, California

This pentagram is built into a small tower in Presidio Park in San Diego, California. The pentagram is on the tower roof, open to the air, which is reached by climbing a staircase.

The official name of the Witches' Tower is the Pattie Memorial, commemorating the first American to die to California. It is supposed to be built close to where a historical guardhouse and jail used to be. The Pattie Memorial is a storage building. Presidio Park is very convenient to the hotels on Hotel Circle. Multiple layers of candle wax on the pentagram attest to its ritual use.

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