Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This is a story about how I manifested something I truly desired. It's a model of how I manifest things, which you may or may not want to try. It's so simple it sounds like it's not even magic, but it's definitely magical.

Back in the 90s, I had bought myself a set of silverware. Yes, I know, lol, "the sort of person who buys their own silver" haha, not very classy, but I was moving into an apartment in Las Vegas and needed my own things. (I had the money to buy things and and move to Vegas to start a business because my dad had died.) So anyway-- my own things that were better than what I'd had in my college apartment, that is. Now, there was a time when it was assumed that a woman in her 20s starting her household would not need to buy major housewares because she would get them as wedding gifts. For those who still move into their first place when they get married, fine, "you do you" as the young people say these days, but that wasn't me lol. So anyway, I picked out a really beautiful pattern and I loved it and then a few years later, after I had gotten so sick with PCOS that I had had to close my bookstore and was unable to work, I ended up having to sell the silver. I got better eventually, and gradually put my life back together, and went on to have success at other things, but from time to time, I still missed my silver. Silly, I know. What with everything else, what's a few spoons? But I did miss it. For decades. Occasionally.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Quantum Physics is Saving My Life

I’m stuck. Living in the Toronto Covid “hot spot” is in no way as exciting as it sounds. I’m 24/7 with someone I love dearly, but who perversely insists on being the exact same person day after day. We walk the same streets day after day (masked) and go over the same topics, day after day.

 

In other areas, I’m plagued by a sense of uselessness and impatience. My group endeavours require slow-moving consensus, all over the eyeball-dessicating Zoom. Every now and then there’s some drama that drags even this virtual action to a standstill.

 

I want something to happen! 

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  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    This was delightful and very refreshing, thank you! This is the kind of insight and thought process more modern pagans need to hav
The Minoan Seal Ring Project: Minoan-Inspired Modern Art

Art from around the world and across time is one of the aspects of human existence that connects us all. Whether we're looking at mammoths on a cave wall or a framed painting in a museum, we innately understand the urge to express ourselves creatively. It has been a part of us for as long as we've been human.

Art from the ancient world does more than just help us understand the people who lived back then. It can also inspire us to creativity in our own modern lives.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Nazi Symbol That Is the CPAC Stage

There are photos circulating on social media of the stage of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Caucus. One is included in this blog post. The stage is an odd and awkward looking design that could not have arisen purely from functionality, it looks like "the Odal Rune," and it appears that the speakers at CPAC will be standing on a Nazi platform.

Let's talk about Othala as distinct from "The Odal Rune." The symbol you see in the photo is "The Odal Rune" which is 100% a Nazi symbol. The upturned feet on the ends of the legs appear only on the Nazi version, Odal, not on any version of Othala, the historical rune used in historical heathen alphabets.

A curious thing, though. Modern rune magic has adopted the "symbol upside down = opposite" thing that is common to Tarot cards, aka regular or reversed, and of course the dichotomy between the regular cross and the upside down cross. From the perspective of speakers backstage, the symbol is right side up in this photo, but from the perspective of the audience it's upside down. Regular Othala in rune readings basically means real estate or psychic inheritance, but the "Odal Rune" is usually said to mean "heritage." So, whose "heritage" is being protected and encouraged in this photo? Not the audience's. If whoever designed this stage actually understands magic, the intent is to concentrate power in the hands of the speakers, away from the general public. Magically, it would take heritage energy from the audience and allow the people standing on the platform to vampirize that energy for their own use.

If the intent behind the choice of the shape was not magical, though, it's probably meant to be a dog-whistle to neonazis. Experts on neonazis are mostly being more cautious about calling this out. American Iron Front tweeted the picture and called it "probably a coincidence." I'm glad that the anti-fascist community is being careful not to stomp on heathens and pagans when they aren't sure what symbol they're looking at. But I'm an expert on heathen symbols and I know this isn't one. There is no possible way an actual Asatruar drew the footed or winged version on a design program thinking it was a nice historical heathen rune. It's unlikely the stage designer is heathen, anyway. That is not Othala, the heathen rune, it's Odal, the Nazi symbol.

You can read about more symbols in my article Heathen Vs. Hate in the latest issue of Witches & Pagans Magazine.

Photo: news photo composite copied for news editorializing purposes, consisting of a photo of the CPAC stage and two historical photos of SS insignia

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for the tip off. I'm pretty sure that someone on set design is fully aware of the magical implications you mention.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Oedipus Complex

I snap to attention as I approach the customs booth at the border. As I roll down the window and proffer my passport, the officer asks if I’ve “ever been inside.” It’s a nerve-wracking moment. “Inside?” as in jail? Finally I realize I’m being asked to pull over for a search. I’m so freaked out that I run up over the curb and strip a tire.

 

Basically, I turn into a puddle of worry when faced with any kind of official authority. I have this vague but powerful feeling that I am about to be found out and apprehended for some unknown, unintentional or overlooked shortcoming. And I don’t think I’m alone. Perhaps that’s why the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus is still so powerful.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Yggdrasil was a small format heathen newsletter which was, for a while, my primary contact with the heathen community. Recently I re-read a few old issues from the 90s. I was struck by the mix of academic explorations of lore with fun and games like the rune puzzles, and announcements about future events. Obviously I remember that-- I even wrote some of those rune puzzles-- but from my perspective here 30 years later and deeply enmeshed in the internet it seems strange to think about the days when I would yearn for communication with other heathens and it came in the form of the letters section in the larger magazines, which each came once a quarter. I would yearn for more knowledge and it came in the mail, on random topics chosen by the magazine editors. Looking at the contents of a few copies of Yggdrasil now, it reminds me strongly of the contents of the forum I manage, the Asatru Facebook Forum, except that people in forums can just post things and don't have to go through an editor's selection process, and everything is nearly instantaneous. Someone can post a question on a topic and a dozen people will answer in the space of a few days. Thinking back to how it was before the net, it seems almost miraculous.

The net has replaced a lot of what I used to seek at heathen festivals back in the day, too. It's replaced the seminars and panels and specialty rituals with similar things held online, especially last year as people deliberately tried to hold actual gatherings over the net due to the pandemic. Blogs like this one have replaced some of the in-person classes we used to have at festivals or in bookstores. Forums meet part of the need for social interaction with other heathens that we used to get hanging out by the campfire at festivals. And of course, the festival's dealer's tables have moved to the net too. Yet, we still have festivals-- or at least we did before Covid-- and obviously, we still have magazines. So, the net must not be meeting all of everyone's needs.

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  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    Magazines can be read in peace, and the knowledge can be shared without anything going wrong, like loss of electricity or broken p
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, I'm not involved in running the back end processes on this site, you'd have to ask the site admin about the blocker is
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Both AdGuard Adblocker and Malwarebytes have warned me against accessing witchesandpagans.com as a dangerous site. I don't know i
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    Sometimes this site flat out doesn't function for me, and it gets frustrating to try and come on.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Menagerie Part 4: Mythical Animals

We've already had a look at the animals of the Three Realms (land, sky, and sea) in Minoan art. But that doesn't cover all the creatures the Minoans depicted in frescoes, seals, and other works of art. The last place we'll find animals in Minoan art is the realm of myth and imagination. Though these creatures were all borrowed from other regions (Mesopotamia, Egypt), the Minoan artists depicted them in a way no one else could.

So, for instance, we have the exuberant griffin in the gold seal ring above, from the Minoan cemetery at Archanes Phourni. Here, there's an equally exuberant female figure - a priestess or perhaps the goddess Therasia, since the griffin is her animal. Though this is probably a scene from myth or ritual, some of us like to imagine the humorous caption "Fetch!" for this one.

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