Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_NutCosmicDream.jpgAt the winter solstice I can’t help but be aware that the earth is rushing inexorably towards its fatal crossing of the ecliptic on December 21.  After that longest night, the sun will rise a tiny bit earlier, set a bit later.  Before I know it, the year will have changed again, and life will have moved on as I sleep, whether I am ready for a new year or not. 

Deep in the quiet night, curled up beneath the warm of my down coverlet, I ponder the fragile balance of light and darkness, remembering that the Tanach says in Genesis that G_d separated the evening and the morning, then called them the first day.  In ancient Egypt, all life emerged from the water, but soon began the same sort of bicameral division, first into firmament and waters, then into snakes and frogs, and eventually into ta, the land of Kmt, and Hapy, the great river of life surging through it. Ages later, modern science told us a new story of cell division and multiplication. The act of creating would seem to necessitate divisions. 

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And so it is Yuletide

And so it is Yule. Unlike Christmas (and even unlike the Winter Solstice itself), Yule is not a single day, and its arrival is not determined by a single calendar date. It is a dark tide of energy that arises, generally on or around the Solstice, and Yule proper lasts for twelve nights, ending in Twelfth Night (which usually falls on or around Christmas Eve).

Its coming is not always predictable; one can plan for Yule and then feel the tide of energy arrive a day early, or a day late. In this modern era, most people are so harried by the commercialism of the Christmas season that they barely even notice when the tide comes in, if they notice at all. I own an online shop and my day job is in customer service, so I certainly am not immune to the hectic atmosphere that prevails. In the midst of the flurry of shopping and making, it can be difficult to feel the moment when the land whispers to you: “It is now.”

Our ancestors (in the Germanic countries) referred to Yule as Rauhnacht, the “rough nights” or “raw nights.” The Yuletide energy is not a gentle one; it is harsh, glaring, strident, echoing the energies of the Wild Hunt that rules this season. It actually meshes pretty well with the frantic shopping and feelings of desperation and often despair that surround Christmas. It can manifest in irritation and snappishness (tempers have been short in my household all week long), or in a surge of energy that one does not know how to channel. Many people respond to it by feeling the need to retreat from the world, to nest with books or movies—which is actually a wise choice. Traditionally, Yule was a time for gathering a home with families and friends—not just to celebrate the return of the sun, but because it was considered a dangerous time. The roads, the wildness, all of the in-between places were particularly dangerous; there was too much chance of encountering the Hunt, or even being taken by it. Only witches, seidhr folk, sorcerers, and other societal vagrants would choose to be out and about on these nights.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Winter-Sonnwendfeuer_in_Senden-Wullenstetten.jpgPer corroborated gnosis/doxa, the winter solstice in Vanaheim is Rasthuas Essonsaras (RAHSthoo-ahs es-son-SAH-rahs), or Lights of the Serpent (in Eshnesk, the language of the Eshnahai [the Vanir]), where the "fire within the earth" is given to begin awakening the land.  

On the night before the winter solstice, the King and the Lord of the Black "battle" with the King "winning" to gain control of the land again. As the men "battle", women enact the union of Star Mother with her reflection in the Void, exploding the Multiverse into being.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Sounds lovely. Happy Rasthuas Essonsaras to you!
Vesta: An Old World Faith for New World Families

Hello all – my name is Debra Macleod and I am new to this community. Professionally, I am a marriage and family mediator and relationship author-expert. Personally, I am a proponent of the New Vesta tradition. I believe that the rituals and principles of this home-based spirituality can help many people keep their marriages and families together, and for that reason it is my hope to re-ingite the flame of Vesta in modern homes, albeit with a few flickers of change to keep up with the times.

I have for many years focused on skills-based advice to help people keep their homes intact. There is no doubt that couples who have the ability to communicate effectively, move past conflict in a positive way, work as a team and consistently practice good interpersonal behaviors are more likely to resolve problems and stay together than those who don’t have such abilities.

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As Solstice Dawns in Knossos

Travel with me, across the world and back in time, to a Winter Solstice morning in ancient Crete. We are among the special guests, the important members of the community who have been invited to join the priests and priestesses of Knossos to witness a most sacred event. The gathering begins in the darkness before dawn.

The air is crisp and cold as we join the others waiting in silence in the great plaza at the center of the temple. We stand in the dark, pressed close together, listening for that special sound – the blast of the conch shell that announces the first glimmer of the Winter Solstice sunrise over the land to the east. Our breathing generates tiny clouds of steam that are barely visible as the sky begins to lighten from deep black to dark blue. Then, as the first rosy fingers of light stretch up from the horizon, the triton sounds, its call echoing around the stone-paved plaza. Though we are still surrounded by dimness and cannot see the Sun over the tall temple walls, we feel its presence as the process of dawning begins.

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  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Steven, it just occurred to me that you would appreciate the symbology of the throne itself. If you look at Fig. 43 in Marinatos'
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Thanks very much Steven. Blessings to you and yours.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Laura, I feel as if I've known this story all my life, though I first read it just now. I'll never see the Griffin Throne the same

b2ap3_thumbnail_1335222298819461.jpgAs with naturalism, wildness is the Vanic virtue that seems to have been with me from the beginning.  One of the main complaints I hear about "kids these days" is that they need to go outside more.  In the 1980s, kids were just starting to have things like video games, which I was Not Allowed to play, my mother wanted me to read books or play outside.  And I did a lot of that.  Nature was my solace, my sanctuary.  My heart spoke the language of the wind and the rain, my feet danced the rhythms of the Earth, changing seasons in New England. I spent enough time outdoors as a kid that my mother used to make jokes about me being a "feral child" and "raised by wolves", but it wasn't entirely a joke.  There was this constant feeling of other-ness from childhood onward, that was further reinforced by my outdoor adventures.  Kids played outside to play with each other, usually games of conquest and domination - I played outside to connect with the land, sometimes pretending I was a tree, or a bird or an animal, when I wasn't exploring or just watching the world around me.

I was a strange child.

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  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yes, it would have been nice to have a bestie. I have wondered the same thing myself. I know at least in my case that's true.
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Heh. Me too. Guess that's why I still do the magick stuff.
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Too bad we didn't know each other as children, Nornoriel. Sounds like we were into similar things. and it would have been a less

b2ap3_thumbnail_Black_Panther.JPGFor each of the Vanic virtues, I plan on writing something on how Vanic pagans can better incorporate these virtues into their daily lives, living Vanatru.  So with the sixth virtue, Wildness, here is a list of suggestions (not demands, I am not interested in telling people what to do) of activities to better express this virtue:

-If you do not have mobility challenges that would contraindicate this, go barefoot once in awhile.  Go outside barefoot.  Go barefoot in mud, go barefoot in the rain.  Doesn't have to be for long distances, can just be outside around where you live.  However, the more frequently you can go barefoot outside, the better it will connect you to the land, and the more primal parts of one's psyche.

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    I recommend dancing naked in the woods. Or making love naked in the woods. (Or the desert, or the top of a mountain, or a tree,
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Dancing naked in the woods is fun.

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