Pagan Paths

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Paths Blogs

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

The flight to Egypt; dancing in the moonlight

I just recently came back from my [5th, this time] pilgrimage-journey to Egypt; and, I want to tell many stories about my journeys to the land of Netjeru, and my experiences and my spiritual findings and illuminations… so, this would be the first post dealing with the topic, and I need to begin with a story of how I went to Egypt first time ever, and what happened after.

I’ve been drawn to Egypt since my childhood. It was a connection deeper than just fascination by Egyptian art, history, and mythology. In fact, I didn’t like Egyptian mythology much, even, because there were not enough myths in books for children in Soviet Union available, and the myths that were, lacked the adventures which make Greek and Norse myths much more dynamic.

I loved Ancient Egypt as a whole thing. I studied the history, and enjoyed historical fiction; I taught myself not to be frightened in the dim lit Egyptian Hall in the Hermitage, and taught myself not to be disappointed that Egyptian deities look rather obscure, compared to their greek/roman counterparts in the museum halls “next door”. Greek and roman statues of Gods looked like statues of humans, just having all the beauty and perfection. The Netjeru guarded the mysteries.

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Objects can hold power, and collect energy.  In "The Magick of Making", we explored how magick can be instilled into artwork by the maker.  But what if you're not an artist/maker? And what about items that weren't originally made with magical intent but take on meaning for you? 

Even if you don't consider yourself a "material" person, there is undoubtedly some sort of token that means more than the sum of its parts to you: your grandmother's thimble, a book from your father, the feather you found on the street on that really rough day, the rock from the hike you went on during that vacation, your "lucky" sweater. 

Whether an item is made by humans, manufactured by machine, or created by nature, it has the potential for meaning, and meaning can be acquired most typically via association or by function. 

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  • Melissa
    Melissa says #
    I had to smile when you started talking about mugs. I have a mug that was given to me by a good friend of mine, just before she di

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In The Belly Of The Goddess

I remember the moment, the exact instant when Her name was called and She was there. She stood behind me, wrapped Her enormous feathered cloak around my body and completely engulfed me. There's no describing what happened next, except to say that I lay inside of Her for an interminable length of time. I could clearly see the ritual circle and the flames of the bonfire and the other participants going through their own processes, and I was also somewhere completely "other".

For the next three days, I walked between the worlds. I was absolutely present in this world, interacting with people, eating breakfast, making perfect sense and able to carry on conversations about toilets or whatever mundane topics we were discussing. I was utterly not present too; or maybe it's better to say I was also present elsewhere. And She was there too, as real to me as anyone I'd ever met.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes. Weary but not melancholy. I remember my own year like the one you've just had - sometimes it echoes back on us (it did for m
Assuming the Mantle: The Lessons of Anne Boleyn

This post by Heather Freysdottir on female sovereignty, and male attempts to erase it from the historical record, reminded me that about a year ago I wrote a related piece (a meaty 7,200 word article) that was published in the Walking the Worlds journal’s very first issue, which focused on ancestor worship. Galina Krasskova approached me to write the piece because she had heard about my work with Queen Anne Boleyn and was curious about the contributions a Christian Queen might make to a polytheist devotional practice. The journal buys one-time rights, with the understanding that after six months all rights to republication would revert to me. I have held the rights since June or July, and because I felt it deserved a wider audience than the people I was able to reach through the journal, I had intended to put it out as a short ebook–but then I got busy with the store and forgot to release it.

And then Heather’s post on forgotten queens (or queens who are remembered for the wrong reasons) reminded me that interest in Anne is growing among polytheist women. True, she was Christian, but her ardent belief in the importance of having a direct and intimate connection with her god (which was a new and startling notion in the 16th century, when she lived) is not so different from our own devotion to our deities. And even more than that, queens are part of our cultural and spiritual inheritance as women; studying examples of female power proves to us that such power is not only possible but within our own grasp–which is exactly why men have tried so hard to hide this evidence. It is beyond tragic that popular culture mostly remembers Anne as a sex kitten; this is one of the ways in which men love to paint clever women who have gotten the better of them, minimizing them by reducing them to the sum of their sexual parts. Anne was a scholar (her father used his clout as French ambassador to arrange for her to have an education mainly reserved for the children of royalty), a better musician than her husband Henry VIII, a good mother to her only daughter (the future Queen Elizabeth I), a devout evangelist, and a champion of the poor. (She wanted the funds from the dissolution of the monasteries to go to health care and food for the underprivileged; the king’s minister Cromwell used them to enrich the royal treasuries instead. Their power struggle over this is partly why he turned against her, and why he felt he HAD to vilify her.)

My ebook discusses why her remarkable life is more important than her violent and horrific death, how she came to matter so much to me, and why she should matter to ALL of us, as polytheist women, godspouses, and spirit workers.  

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Altoid tin altar  

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Minoan Peak Sanctuaries: Way Up There

I’ve written before about the astronomical alignments of the Minoan temple complexes, but the big temples that were the centerpieces of the towns in ancient Crete weren’t the only places the Minoans went for worship. The island of Crete is ringed by lovely flat beaches, but the center is filled with mountains that rise more than a mile high. Some of these mountain peaks were sacred places to the ancient Minoans. They built pilgrimage roads up the mountainsides to shrines and sanctuary buildings at the peaks.

These peak sanctuaries were popular places for sacred pilgrimages as well as official religious celebrations. Some of them were built with purposeful astronomical alignments as well, mostly due east, the direction of sunrise on the equinoxes. But their pattern of use changed over the centuries that they were active sacred sites and some of the sanctuaries fell out of use altogether while others continued to be the focus of religious activities.

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  • Wendilyn Emrys
    Wendilyn Emrys says #
    The Peak Sanctuaries, when combined with a Cave Sanctuary, as in the case of Mt. Dikte were also considered the birthplaces of var

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