Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

The Promise of Three Fires - A Solstice Blessing

 

The Promise of Three Fires – A Solstice Blessing

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The oak-log symbolises the regeneration of the earth at Winter Solstice but at this time of the year, the attention is on the holly and between the beginning of the month and the Winter Solstice (21st) the scarlet berries on the holly will become more and more spectacular. The kind of holly brought into a couple’s home for their first Midwinter Festival together is of great significance. If the holly leaves have sharp prickles (known as he-holly) the man will be master of the marriage; if the holly has no prickles, or the prickles feel soft and flexible (she-holly) then the woman will rule the marriage. Some folklore says this only holds true for one year, so the same procedure needs to be carried out at each Midwinter Festival to find the dominant partner for the following twelvemonth.

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Knot Magic

Knot Magic

Long stems of grass really lend themselves to knot magic but you can also use thin stems of plants such is ivy or even twine, string or ribbon.

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Looking for a New Holiday Ritual? Try Something Old.

Ah, those nativity scenes outside churches this time of year are pretty, aren't they? The little baby, the cattle, the quaint little manger. I think they're lovely -- yet I don't actually believe the nativity story for a moment.

And I'm not alone. We live in a multicultural society where this holiday season means different things to different people. That's a good thing. Cultural and spiritual differences can add richness and relevance to a society. And if we choose to embrace that, these differences can be unifying instead of divisive. If someone says merry Christmas to me, I'll say merry Christmas back, even though to me there's no "Christ" in the Christmas season.

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Yule - Re-Enchanting Everyday Life

Many years ago, I read "The Re-Enchantment Of Everyday Life" by Thomas Moore. It's one of my favourite non-fiction books ever. I kept a well-thumbed and dog-eared copy of the book within arm's length for many years, until I gave the book away to someone who I thought might love it too. The premise of the book speaks to the notion that as we've become more mechanized, more technologically dependent, we've lost something important, something slow, something about touch and smell and connection to the inherent magic that is ever present in the world. Much of how I see and practice magic has its roots in this book. 

Here's an excerpt that rings especially true for me:

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    blessings in the re-enchantment

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Mari Lwyd - The Winter Mare.

Midnight. Midnight. Midnight. Hark at the hands of the clock. Now dead men rise in the frost of the stars. And fists on the coffins knock.

Bright Yuletide lights may lull us into a false sense of security that the dying time is over. It is not. As the year took to its deathbed at the Calends of Winter/Halloween the cycle did not restart immediately, oh no, for the season of darkness is long and biting, the descent into the tomb deep and silent. Dying takes time. Fists on the coffins knock.

As the great wheel of the year comes to a standstill, under the harsh bite of winter, the sun stalls in its progression across the skies of dawn, and nature holds its breath. The promise of spring is held within the magic of the Midwinter Solstice, lights shine brightly to warm the dark nights, and revelry and feasting bring families, friends and communities together in the hope that somehow – that warmth, that joy – will push back the edges of darkness. A mere 3 days later Christmas echoes this ancient magic of hope, new birth, promise and life. And yet this promise is still not tangible, we barely sense it, will we survive? Winter will not release its grip willingly. Will we make it through the dark days to come, will we survive the tempest?

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Jerusalem Angels and Winter Solstice

Jerusalem, Israel was beginning to feel like home by mid December, and I looked forward to celebrating the Winter Solstice in what felt to me like one of the most significant and powerful portals on planet Earth. Leaning to the east, my three, in the front of my condo Aleppo pines, were swaying in a warm breeze and it was another day with temperatures around 15 Celsius and filled with sunshine. I had been listening to Radio Jordan as I usually did every morning at 9 a.m. while decorating our huge indoor palm tree with twinkling lights and copper angels for our Winter Solstice celebration. With a delightful gusto the radio personality would tell us what the king was doing every morning. King Hussein, who was married to an American architect, Queen Noir, was the Jordanian king then. The announcer told us that this day the king was flying to England on vacation with his family. He would be the chief pilot for this flite and I thought I sensed the flying king was excited to be flying, and heading to a home that he had recently purchased in the English countryside just outside of London.

It was on a Friday late morning, the 18th of December that I received a phone call that initially threw me for a loop. The caller had heard that I was a Reiki Master and that I was in touch with the metaphysical. She had urgently to meet up with me and talk to me about something she had seen, and would I meet her at the King David Hotel on King David Street in the center of Jerusalem? I always loved going to downtown Jerusalem, a metropolitan city where one could see the Old City and Mount Zion from the King David. Perhaps I would stop in at UNTSO headquarters and have a chat with my husband who worked there for the UN.

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