Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Long time readers of my blog remember me writing about my 2 weddings during the year I was writing Some Say Fire, my unpublishable monstrosity based on heathen mythology. The 2 weddings both took place in that liminal space between sleep and waking, the first one to Loki / Lodhur and the second one to Odin and Honir. Neither time did I actually make wedding vows except to say "Yes, I want that." Neither time did I plan or expect them to happen. Both had been on a 28th of the month and I considered that my month-a-versary. Well, now I have an actual anniversary, and I didn't plan it that way lol. The gods know I sometimes just have random thoughts in my head and they've pretty much just ignored most of them over the years, but they didn't ignore it this time.

By the way, since this blog is Gnosis Diary and I was asked to write it to show what it feels like to do heathenry, I try to write about gnosis here at least occasionally, among my other topics. So anyway, on to the rest of my story.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
2020: The MMP Blog Greatest Hits

Just like a lot of people, toward the end of December I like to look back over the previous year and review all that has happened. Part of that process involves looking at my blog posts here to see what turned out to be popular and what didn't. That helps me know what people are interested in and where I should put my energy when I'm writing future blog posts. So here's my 2020 Top Ten List.

It's no surprise that my most popular blog post this year is the one that lists the full MMP pantheon. Popular culture leads a lot of people to think that Minoan spirituality is just about the Snake Goddess (those fabulous figurines!) or Ariadne and the Minotaur. But really, there's so much more, and I'm thrilled that folx are checking out all the deities in our pantheon.

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Reflections on Spiritual Changes Since My Mom's Death

A lot has changed over the past year. Obviously, many of the changes are not of a religious nature, but since this is my heathen path blog I'm focusing on the spiritual changes. My mom died in February. That was just before the Covid restrictions started. I was able to hold a normal, traditional wake for her with family who had flown in from out of town and many of her local friends, including the folk dancers and some members of her bridge club. I handled it. It was hard but I handled it. Then I was alone. The lockdowns started and I was alone. And then there was Tom. My companion Tom Newman died in September. More about that in a moment.

I've already blogged a lot about the experiences I've had since mom passed on.

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I know how much my fellow heathens and pagans get annoyed about things being called Christmas that are actually pagan. The upcoming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st 2020 will make the two planets appear as a single bright star to the naked eye, or like a double planet. Since it will be visible just after sundown it will be easier to view than some other sky occurrences, so people are excited about it. I've seen posts on the net saying the media calling it a Christmas star is wrong because it will be on the solstice, not on the 25th. The date of Christmas in the Bible is in lambing season, but the date established for the holiday by the Church as December 25 was supposed to be the solstice.

Christmas was originally established over the date of Roman Saturnalia, or on Sol Invictus (the Romans had multiple gods with overlapping areas of influence just like we heathens), which was on the winter soltice in accordance with the Julian calendar in use at the time. The winter solstice precesses, though. The Gregorian calendar reform re-established the drifted date of Christmas with the solstice. Eastern Orthodox who still follow the Julian calendar have their Christmas on January 7 according to our calendar, the Gregorian. Since the Gregorian calendar reform, the solstice precessed again. So the dates of Christmas and the solstice are off again, but they aren't supposed to be. Christmas was supposed to be on the solstice, so calling it a Christmas Star is not really wrong.
 
However, it is not going to look like a cross in the sky. It's going to look like a double planet, or if you have a telescope, like two planets close to each other.
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Winter Solstice: A Gathering of Posts

It's December already (how did that happen?) which means we're moving inexorably toward Winter Solstice where I live in the northern hemisphere. In Modern Minoan Paganism, our celebration of Midwinter involves several different layers of myths and practices. Since I've written about this festival a number of times already, I thought I would gather up all the posts here along with a little explanation.

First, a few introductory thoughts from the section about Winter Solstice in Labrys & Horns: "This festival has two layers in MMP, one that focuses on our Sun goddess Therasia and one that centers around Rhea and her Divine Child. In both cases, the central symbolism is that of birth and rebirth, of the old cycle ending and a new one beginning. Minoan civilization lasted for many centuries, and during that time religion changed and grew. Like the Egyptians, the Minoans tended to simply add new ideas, gods, and celebrations on top of what was already there instead of substituting the new ones and removing older ones. So over time, Minoan religion became a lot more complicated, with multiple reflections of the same ideas throughout the sacred year. We’ve included some of these nuanced layers in our sacred calendar because they have meaning for us as modern Pagan practitioners."

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Yule Ritual Plan

Planning a ritual in the time of Covid may require some adaptations. My kindred usually does winter holidays indoors, as illustrated by the picture above of last year's Yule, but this year we decided to do a bonfire outside in my back yard. Outdoor events are considered safer than indoor ones.

Ritual planning can require some forethought even if you've conducted a lot of rituals. Here are some ideas for an Asatru style Yule ritual, which other kinds of heathens, pagans, and polytheists might like to vik as well. (Asatruars sometimes semi-humorously say we are "viking" something, because that sounds so much cooler than "stealing.")

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heimdall's Guardians

I had a conversation via the godphone in my head with my companion Tom the day after his military funeral. In life, he followed Heimdall, and in death he joined Heimdall's company. Heimdall is the Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, and those who join him in the afterlife are likewise Guardians, but they guard living people here on the earthly plane of existence. Just to be clear, this blog is Gnosis Diary and you are reading gnosis right now, though bits of lore might also appear in this story.

I've had multiple conversations with Tom since his death and I already knew he had become my spiritual protector in his afterlife. I have made a habit of starting my day by sitting next to his shrine, lighting a candle, sharing a beverage with him and spending some quiet moments together, whether we speak or not. Often the cat joins us. Our little family of three, all together.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, there are. We got one in the mail from our vet's office after our kitty Beni-Wan Cat-Obi died. It was clearly meant to be
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm not familiar with the corporate greeting cards you mentioned. Are there actually greeting cards for people who's pets have di

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