Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

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The Loud Silence of the Wind

The ogham Eadha refers to the still, quiet voice of the wind through the trees. I have heard this voice all of my life, even before I had a name for this thing called "neo-paganism". It was a voice, yes; it was sound, yes, but it was something more than just sound, it was sound with context.

At times, the wind just evoked a feeling in me: melancholy, longing, perhaps thoughts of someplace far away. At other times, the wind seemed to herald news or some kind of information coming from another place. Yet still other times, and the wind seemed to blow right through me, leaving me clean, hollow, and empty. I guess it would be easy to say I love the wind.

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Minoan Ecstatic Postures: The Realm of the Dead

A couple of weeks ago I started exploring some of the ritual postures we find in Minoan art, mostly in the form of bronze and terracotta figurines. I began with the famous Minoan Salute and then had a look at the posture I call Shading the Eyes (and no, that’s not an ancient Minoan Weeping Angel, I promise! LOL).

This week I’ve done some experimentation with a posture that’s most common in Cycladic art, one that appears to link the user to the Realm of the Dead. You can see an example of it in the photo at the top of this post. These figurines, usually made of marble, show a person (most often a woman) with their arms across their abdomen, the left arm above the right.

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Offerings

Offerings

When I collect anything from the wild I do like to leave an offering of some sort.  If I am in the woods or fields I don’t often have anything to hand so I give the plant or tree a blessing and a thank you. 

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The Chair of Cerridwen

KADEIR KERRITWEN 

The Chair of Cerridwen

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Minoan Ecstatic Postures: Shading the Eyes

Last week I began exploring Minoan ecstatic postures, starting with the most famous and familiar one: the Minoan salute. Many modern Pagan traditions use specific poses and gestures in ritual in much the same way that some varieties of Christianity use the gesture of making the cross. These are meant to symbolize parts of the spiritual belief system and to remind us of those during the rite. Ecstatic postures look very much like ritual gestures - in fact, they can be used as ritual gestures - but ultimately they have a different purpose.

A ritual gesture is a pose or motion you make briefly during a religious ceremony. If you hold it for a few seconds or maybe a minute, it might give you a particular feeling or sense of something sacred. An ecstatic posture is a pose you hold for an extended period of time while undergoing ecstatic (shamanic) trance. If that sounds really deep and freaky, it's not. Most people can enter a light trance state simply by focusing on their breathing for a minute or two. A little drumming in the background helps to deepen the state. You don't have to take drugs or go through extended initiations in order to use these postures to expand your spiritual experience. If you've ever done a guided meditation, you've been in trance.

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Taking the Veil

In the time of secrets, before dawn, the mists veil the mountains. In the time of silence, at midnight, wisps of clouds half-hide the moon. At the shore, the edge of mystery, the thinning surf shrouds the sand with lace. 

 

These veils—there and not there, insubstantial—grace and soften hard lines. They are compassion, they are ease, they are consolation.

 

I want a veil of mist and mystery, of lacey lightness, to waft over me and softly settle on me, shelter me, cover me. I want to draw it over me, blessing myself, crowning myself. I want to put myself under the wing of protection, and from this hiding place to look out from safety and look in with focus. In fact, I want to go within and within, to penetrate my darkness and find a deeper, richer one inside it. And then I want to look out, grounded in that powerful core.

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