Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

 

I am surprised that the month is already almost over, and what a month it has been. I had been meaning to write since the year end purification festival, known in Japanese as Nagoshi no Oharae (Half Year Purification), or also my shrine, Hantoshi Kansha Sai (Half Year Appreciation Ceremony), but responsibilities, and also tragedies had hit the country, and my priorities had shifted towards these incidents.

I will start from the beginning — that is, at the end of June on the 24th, we held our Half Year Appreciation Ceremony.
At this time, in Shinto traditions, it is a time to reflect on the year so far since New Year’s. It is an important time of renewal — the renewing and reflection of our hearts and souls. It is also to give thanks for the year so far, and to pray for the next 6 months of the year to go well. The date itself varies from shrine to shrine, but this event is usually commemorating the Summer Solstice, or the time around and after the Solstice.

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A Modern Minoan Pagan Author: Why I do what I do

A lot of people ask me how I got into Modern Minoan Paganism and why I'm inspired to write the books and create the art that goes along with that spiritual path. If I'm honest, the Minoan gods and goddesses have been stalking me since I was a teenager and it just took me a while to pick up on their intent - sometimes I'm slow that way. But once I finally got started, all enthusiastic and rarin' to go, I hit a roadblock: There were virtually no resources out there.

Bear in mind, I'm old enough that when I first started researching the Minoans, I had to resort to actual ink-and-paper encyclopedias and history books. And none of those ever had more than a paragraph or two about the Minoans, usually as a sort of side note before the text started talking about the Greeks.

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What Is There to Live For?

In an atheistic world, many ask: what’s the point? What is the purpose of living if there’s no judgment, no afterlife to be attained, no cosmic plan or purpose?

I can’t tell you what is meaningful in your life. Perhaps it’s your art, or your family: being the best parent (or grandparent, or aunt or uncle) you can be. Perhaps it’s the sacred calling of a career of service to the Earth, or to fellow humans. Perhaps it is simply to enjoy the pleasures of this abundant world.

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Why I No Longer Celebrate Freyfaxi

Freyfaxi is an American Asatru holiday based on the American Wiccan holiday Lammas. Lammas means loaf mass, that is, a holiday celebrating harvest and the baking of loaves of bread. It is generally celebrated on August 1st.  In the early days of American Asatru, Asatruars borrowed Lammas from Wicca and then tried to find an appropriate heathen name for it. They knew that in ancient times, heathens regarded the horse an an appropriate animal for sacrifice. They found the name of a horse in the lore and named the holiday after the horse. 

I have been reading The Sagas of the Icelanders and just read the one about the horse. The name of that story is the Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgodhi. The story is a tragedy, in that Hrafnkel brought about his own downfall through his tragic flaw of rashness. Hrafnkel swore a rash oath to kill any man who rode his stallion Freyfaxi, whom he had dedicated to Freyr. Someone rode the horse, and Hrafnkel killed the man. Hrafnkel was outlawed for it. He lost his chieftanship / priesthood, his land, and the horse, too. 

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Lost Child

Folklore and myth are full of lost children—abandoned due to curses, hidden away by fearful parents, exiled by evil kings and cruel stepmothers. Cast on the waters, left on hilltops, hidden in caves, their fate seems murky— until they reappear to either tragedy or triumph. Oedipus learns his true identity only to discover that he has fulfilled the dark prophecy that he was trying to outrun. But Perseus and Dionysos emerge victorious, avenging their rejection. Likewise, the youngest sons or rejected daughters of folktales overcome their outcast status and achieve treasure and acclaim. 

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The Quartz Metaphor

Too often, heathens who try to discuss their gnosis on heathen forums are met with derision. I created the Quartz Metaphor of Gnosis to show why I think we should be able to discuss religious experiences in a religious forum. This metaphor shows how personal gnosis becomes group gnosis. It can’t happen if no one compares notes.

Imagine three people are in a forum talking about quartz.

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Snakestones, Hagstones and a Witch Burning

 

Holey stones are part of a long magical curative tradition in the UK. Different regions of the UK used the stones for different uses, throughout the country holey stones are known as hagstones, witch stones, snake stones, Druids stones and mare stones to name a few. These stones were used to curing eye issues curing diseases in cattle, protecting horses from night-hags and preventing nightmares and to help children through teething (which in the 1700-1800's in Glasgow, Scotland was the cause of a considerable infant mortality).

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