Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
It's a thorny issue...

Lots of plants have thorns on them; roses, brambles and blackthorn spring to mind and these thorns can be used for magic.  Think about what a thorn does, they are protection for the plant, they guard it against predators and they are sharp and defensive.  They can pierce, they can cut and they can draw blood.

Folk lore says that blackthorn thorns were always used to curse but folklore says a lot of things that we have since twisted around to our advantage but if that is the choice you make…thorns (any type) are very good for cursing and hexing spell work, rose thorns work especially well in affairs of the broken heart. 

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A Hymn of Hekate - the Art of Music

It's been a bit quiet on the blog here, but with good reason - I've been on tour for the last month with our band (The Nathaniel Johnstone Band), and prior to leaving for the tour, I needed to get the first draft of my book, The Witch's Cauldron in to the publisher and get the layout designed and finished for the new album, The Mother Matrix

The album was inspired by my drawing and painting by the same title, and I'm excited to say it also includes the second song I have written.  (The first was "Persephone Rises" and was track 8 on our Greek-themed Steampunk album entitled The Antikythera Mechanism.)

I've done and made a lot of things in my life, but I don't think I ever imagined myself writing a song.  Sure I've written poems, stories, and many articles over the years, but a song seemed like something else.  However, when you're married to a musician, I suppose one should expect a fair bit of bleedover.  I didn't sit down with the explicit intention of writing a song.  Rather it just sort of happened.  "Persephone Rises" emerged just around the Spring Equinox of 2014.  

In the summer of 2015, Nathan and I were contemplating the theme of the 2016 album.  We were playing with the idea of something dark, perhaps bellydance-inspired, pagany. After one discussion, I found myself up in my studio, and "Hekate's Song" was written.  Once we had settled on the title/feel of the album, I added two more verses to tie it in, and it became the third part of a trio of songs on the album exploring the concept of The Mother Matrix, and its title became "The Crossroads."  (I also ended up writing most of the verses for part 2, "Going Gone" which weaves in the concepts of the Fates.)

But the words are only part of the magick, because then the real musicians take over and truly bring the song to life. Dogwood's vocals, to me, truly evoke the power of Hekate's voice I envisioned when writing the song, and I love the interjection of S. J. Tucker's ethereal backing vocals. Nathan's composing and Tom Coyne's drumming gives it all roots and more compelling layers of power.  It becomes a painting inside of your head, moving throughout your body. 

Have a listen (will open in a new window): 
https://soundcloud.com/nathaniel-johnstone/the-crossroads-part-3

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

MAY:  Hawthorn

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Faking History: Minoan Spirituality on the Line

Figuring out ancient people's spiritual practices is hard. Even if we have written records that they've left us, they're not around any more to tell us how to interpret them. And in the case of the ancient Minoans, we can't read what they wrote, so all we have to go on is archaeological finds. And if those archaeological finds aren't genuine, then what we figure out about their spirituality may be wrong as well.

That beautiful ivory-and-gold snake goddess at the top of this post is probably a forgery. A century ago, when Sir Arthur Evans excavated the temple complex at Knossos, the world went "Minoan crazy." Museums clamored for items to display to bring in bigger and bigger crowds, and many unscrupulous folks were more than happy to oblige. This one's probably a forgery, too, based on carbon-14 dating:

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Inner Sights at Weary All Hill, Glastonbury, England

Glastonbury, an ancient Goddess site. I've longed forever to be here and now that I am the visions are flowing and I am constantly feeling higher vibrational. In my visionary state I see that Glastonbury was once surrounded by rings of water, an ancient Atlantean form! Where this form is, people are very happy, peaceful and creative. It is like a womb, an emergence point for much celestial stellar energy.                                               

            Walking on fecund sacred ground here once again, I experienced a deep profound sense of peace in my heart and groundedness like I hadn’t felt in a long while. I was home.

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When the Last Leaf Falls - Betty's Funeral

Betty Powell was a Pagan, she made me laugh, well, not just me, she brought colour and spectacle, bewilderment and perplexity, joy and laughter to many a life. 

Betty was a Pagan, and a damned good one at that. But, two weeks ago, Betty turned her face from this world and crossed over to the edge of forever, she was 83 years old.

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To understand Celtic literature and the parts of that literature that may represent Celtic mythology, we must have at least a basic understanding of who the Ancient Celts were (and along the way, clear up some misconceptions that are quite prevalent in popular culture these days). First, we must emphatically state that there is not a Celtic 'race' - this is a mistaken concept promoted by the Victorians (or earlier), passed along through early 20th century writings, and still (sadly) used by some hate groups today. Being 'Celtic' has more to do with language and culture, than it has to do with DNA.

This is not to say that people today are not descended from the Celts (they are!) or that someone does not have Irish ancestry when their grandmother is Irish (they do!). There is not a lone genetic marker for being 'Celtic' (although some interesting patterns emerged over the millenia) - and much of the genetic research shows that in many regions we associate with Celtic culture, the primary genetic makeup of the people who live there is the same as those who lived there before Celtic culture arrived or emerged. This is not true everywhere, but it does show that for various reasons the people who were already living in these European regions adopted Celtic language and culture.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Síthearan NicLeòid
    Síthearan NicLeòid says #
    Hello there and thanks for this great question. I too reject his theories - it's possible some details were accentuated in medieva
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. NicLeoid, How do you feel about the theories of British archeologist Francis Pryor? Do you share his belief that the Anglo-Sa

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