Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Total Solar Eclipse: A regale of the Yayoi people, Amatsukami and Ama no Iwato

As the Total Solar Eclipse was a great event taking place across North America, I thought it would be the perfect time to write about the solar eclipse, and what it means in Shinto traditions - especially in regard to the famous Ama no Iwato myth. While it is unknown the true event associated with Ama no Iwato, it is said popularily it represents a solar eclipse – however when one studies further, a more significant connection would be to the Winter Solstice. However, indeed, solar eclipses would have most likely been significant as well, especially in relation to a recall of Ama no Iwato.

 

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  • Olivia
    Olivia says #
    Hi Aryós! Thank you for your great comment! I actually plan to address that in an article I'm writing about the Yayoi and Jomon
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Very interesting! I've been reading the Kojiki and have been wondering to what degree it reflects genuine historical record. Obvi

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The 5 Kinds of Gods in Asgard

The heathen gods set an example of an inclusive society. Asgard has former enemies from the First War living together in friendship. The Aesir and Vanir made peace ages ago and now the Vanir in Asgard are treated as full citizens of Asgard; for example, Freyr is expected to fight on the side of Asgard at Ragnarok.

There are 5 kinds of beings counted among the Aesir in Asgard, including those born Aesir and 4 other kinds. These kinds of beings are interchangeably called races, tribes, nations, and species. The 5 kinds are the Aesir, Vanir, Jotnar, Thursar, and even an ascended human.

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    I will never understand why some Heathens embrace racism, when the stories of their gods are full of intermarriages between beings
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks, Kayly!
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    Hi, I recently joined the site but have been reading your articles here for a long time. I just came to say I really enjoy your w

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Art is Temporary, As Are We

"And they painted on cardboard, because it was new, cheap, and affordable. But they didn't know it wasn't archival, so very little of that work remains intact."  -The words of one of my art history professors, talking about a group of abstract expressionists or similar genre of artists from the 40's-50's. 

It sounded like some sort of moral failing - that these artists had abandoned expensive, time-tested techniques of canvas or wood panels to try something they could afford and was plentiful.  

Having been in art school for a good chunk of my life, as well as a professional high-end picture framer, I have come to see how much museum-culture of the last 300 hundred years has had an effect on the modern art-making process.  That we must work with archival materials, watch out for UV light and dampness, preserve, preserve, preserve.  Think about the future of your work.

The other week while finishing up my book tour, we stopped at Mt. Rushmore, as well as watched the 15-minute film about the making of it. I believe it was in part of a speech from FDR where he talked about the world 10,000 years from now, and what future generations of Americans may think when they see the monument, worn by the weather and time.  In that moment I was thinking two things: if there are even human beings on this planet then - and the condition of the giant sphinx in Egypt.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Well said and thought provoking! Thanks for posting. I have forwaded this to a few artist friends. Namaste, Tasha

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Don't forget the sun...

Sunshine

I think sometimes as a witch the moon tends to get pride of place and the sun perhaps takes a back seat?  But it is an incredibly powerful source of natural energy and magic.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My youngest son Robin (age 8) was recently accepted to be part of a kid's advisory group for a well-known national youth magazine.  Lots of fun!  One of Robin's first tasks was to send in some possible questions for a “you asked” column.  Some of his questions were pretty normal: how does a chameleon change colours? how many bricks would it take to build a life-sized Lego person?  Solid questions!  He also generated this question: what proof do we have that any gods exist?

 

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  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Editorial note: Credit for the art added.
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Thanks for all the friendly comments ... I really enjoy the community here at Pagansquare, and I'm thankful to be part of it!
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    Oh! You're the EcoSophia guy! Your blog is very interesting, kinda thought you'd disappeared from the Internet, but we all have ou
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "Biblical theologian Walter Wink has done a wonderful job of unpacking the language of “powers and principalities” which we find i
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, Thank you for sharing the underlying theology of your ChristoPagan beliefs. I'll pass along that bit from Tolkien to a

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Vesta as a Symbol of the Soul

Fire has long been a holy symbol, a representation of the spirit and even the divine.  Fire worship is one of the earliest forms of religion known to humankind – one can almost imagine our ancient ancestors marveling at the sight of a red ember crackling out of a fire and flying up and away into the black night sky.  It just sparks a sense of reverence, doesn’t it?

The ancient Romans sure thought so.  Building on Etruscan spirituality and borrowing at times from the Greeks, they built an empire – literally and metaphorically – around the sacred fire of the goddess Vesta. Rome's founding people lit Vesta's flame in the space that would become the Roman Forum and soon built a temple around it. 

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The Struggle of Sacred, Sensual, Sexual

In 5th grade, we had an assignment to make art depicting "innocence and the light and grace of God" (or something similar). I chose to draw a young boy and girl standing bathed in the light of the Holy Spirit (in dove form), their backs to the viewer, their bodies lightly covered in transparent shifts.  To me that showed the purity of creation, a clear symbol of innocence. I thought it was a beautiful drawing. 

My classmates called me a pervert and were horrified. My teacher told me they needed more clothes.  I didn't see anything wrong or shameful in what I had drawn.  

I grew up with big books of museum art full of nudes, wallpaper with naked women bathing in my parents' bathroom - which was no different than the metallic lions and tigers in the jungle on the walls of the bathroom my brothers and I shared. Bodies are used in art because they are amazing things.  I inherently understood that being naked didn't automatically mean being sexual. 

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Very interesting and well put. I too grew up with an artist mother and parents who didn't hide their bodies. My mom used to invite

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