Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Getting connected...

Every space whether it is your back garden, your living room, the city park or the middle of a field it all has its own unique energy and history.  

I live on the edge of a large city in a terraced house.  My house was built in 1920 but before that there was another house on the land and before that and before that.  In fact as I also live near the sea, the city being a port it has attracted dwellings probably since man needed a roof over his head and somewhere nearby to catch food (i.e. the sea).  The first recorded dwellings date back to the late 9th Century and we have apparently had Romans, Normans, Saxons and all and sundry living here.  So the land itself holds a huge amount of memories and echoes from our ancestors, oh the tales it could tell…

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It occurs to me that it might be of interest to say a little something about the name of this blog - "The Three Cauldrons." The name comes from the content and theme of a fascinating little collection of poetry and prose found complete only in one manuscript (TCD MS H.3.18), small parts of which which were copied in other texts. It was first edited some years ago and entitled by the editor (not the original author or scribe), 'The Caldron of Poesy,' a somewhat out-of-date title (and spelling) that has nonetheless been used by subsequent editors.

A more appropriate title would be 'The Three Cauldrons,' as this is the subject of the text. Although the extant manuscript dates to the sixteenth century, the content clearly goes back to an Old Irish original, probably dating to the first half of the eighth century. Students of early Irish belief will remember that the filid (poet-seers) were in existence at this time, as well as the druids (who had legal status into the ninth century, although their influence seems to have been waning by that point).

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. NicLeoid, Thanks for sharing! I'm a Platonist Hellenist now, but owing to my heritage I've read many books about ancient Celt
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    What Ireland needs to do concerning the Romantic explorations is in the mannerisms involving mating 100%, this can be straightened
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    From what I understand, the Irish culture is indirectly driven by Psycho-electromagnetism - a superior nature in self-realization,

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Walking the Labyrinth

When I tell people I follow a Minoan spiritual path, one of the first things they ask about is the labyrinth. Often, all they know about the labyrinth is what they've heard from the Theseus-and-the-Minotaur story. The thing is, the Greeks invented Theseus as a culture hero centuries after Minoan civilization had ceased to exist, so the Minoans never even knew about him. In Theseus' tale, the labyrinth is a deadly maze full of confusing twists and turns, impossible to escape with the help of Ariadne's thread. In reality, the labyrinth is very different from that.

If you have a look at the labyrinth design at the top of this post, you'll see that it has a single path that leads unerringly to the center. Sure, there are twists and turns. These are designed to disorient the person walking the labyrinth so they can enter altered states of consciousness and reach their own inner spiritual understanding. But there's only one way in and the same way back out. This is called a unicursal (one-route) maze. And it's not a tricky trap. It's a spiritual tool.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
My 2 Weddings, Part 4: Odin and Honir

June 28, 2014 was exactly my 2 month Lokiversary, although I was so deep in my writing I didn't realize it.

I made the mistake of following the suggestion of another human being about a meditation on Loki and Sigyn. When I I went into that half awake, half asleep state of hypnogogia, I accidentally connected to the gods through someone else's filter. At the time, I wasn't aware of the idea that each person connects with their own personal aspect of a god. Later, when I read "My Odin and Other People's Odins" on Beth Wodanis's blog, it helped me understand what went wrong that night.

I ended up in a vision I was not meant to have, in a place I was not meant to go, dealing with some version of the gods who were not my own. Due to what I heard, I became terrified that Sigyn was going to make Loki leave all his human brides, including me. 

I was not just afraid of losing my god-husband, I was afraid of losing my mind. I knew that the process of writing Some Say Fire was healing me of those last vestiges of old hurt that I had thought would never heal. I knew that I had to complete the process to be fully healed, and I needed to continue to hand my problems over to Loki as my higher power to do it. My mind was under renovation and if this process just stopped in the middle I wouldn't be 98% healed like I was before it started, I'd be living in a torn-down ruin of a mind with the walls ripped open and the flooring ripped out. And I was not just afraid of losing my mind, but afraid of losing it AGAIN. Afraid of going back to how I'd been before therapy in my 20s. 

I started crying, and I couldn't stop. I bawled so hard I started to wheeze and have an asthma attack. Other-Loki was oblivious. Other-Sigyn told me to get out. I did what she wanted. I brainscrubbed by doing the Freya meditation that I hardly ever did anymore because it fills my whole body with Freya's light and no other god could be with me when I did it. I deliberately broke our connection because that's what they wanted me to do.

For the first time since Loki had come to me as Lodhur and filled me with the divine breath, I was having an asthma attack and I was by myself. I had come to trust Loki/Lodhur to always be there for me to fill me with breath. I was blossoming in my offline interactions with other people because I did not have to skip things held in smoking venues anymore. And now I couldn't breathe. And he wasn't there to help me.

I tried to wait it out. That works sometimes. It works if I got an attack because of exercise and I stop exercising and lie down and be quiet. I could feel the light of Freya in my heart, like I always could since I dedicated to her in 1989, but I couldn't hear her, or hear any of the gods. There was a terrible silence within.

I still couldn't breathe right and this had gone on for half an hour and it was starting to become a real medical emergency. I needed the divine breath. The divine breath is actually Odin's power. I knew that the only reason Loki was able to give me that breath is because he and Odin could call on each other's powers at will. So I called Odin. And I was filled with breath. I could breath, and my body relaxed. Odin put his arms around me, Odin's face looked down on me gently, Odin's voice comforted me, Odin's divine breath filled my lungs.

I had always suspected that I might come out of this process of writing this book as Odin-claimed. Looking back at having come to heathenism through rune magic, having been inspired with his poetry and learning bersarkrgangr, having once been ready to swear myself to him the day that Freya arrived and claimed me instead, having had that vision during runecasting that I would end up with Odin after my death, having become convinced that the being coming to me as Loki was sometimes really Odin, and that it was their combined form Lodhur that gave me breath, and that they were both separate and not separate, all this led up to this moment.

I saw particles of gold lifting from the ring Loki had put on my hand, rising like steam. "No, I still want that," I said. 

But it lifted away. Then it floated before my eyes and I saw two new metals join it. Over Loki's bright gold, he twisted on a wire of silver and fused it to the gold, for himself. Then another wire of something else, something not quite visible, became fused to it, and that was for Honir. Honir's wire was clear with a blue vein through it. I found myself with the revelation that Honir was a soul changer.

I said, “I want that ring back.”

The ring went back on my left ring finger. Changed. Married to all three of them now. To the triple Odin. Still a Bride of Loki, yes, but with the whole brother trio now. I could not just see it but feel it. I could feel the ring on my hand, feel the pulse in my finger like there was a physical ring on it.

I still can. 

 

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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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