Pagan Paths


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Just before Yule, the statue of Lleu Llaw Gyffes arrived at White Mountain Druid Sanctuary.  The plinth had already been put in place. Here is Kirk standing with the statue in place.

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Wisdom of Descent

I guess it’s seasonally appropriate—it’s the dark time of year, and once again my mood is dark. There’s a gathering undertow pulling me down, until I’m drowning in the fear of drowning. There’s the kind of anxiety that makes staying still an agony and every activity terrifying. Creativity is absent. These words are hard to write.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    This really resonated with me, I feel like I could've written it myself. I'm in a very similar place and I take comfort in knowing
  • Irisanya
    Irisanya says #
    Beautiful. Thank you.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thanks so much Ted--I will definitely check out your blog entry--it's obviously been a right of passage for both of us.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    What an amazing teacher you are, Archer! In the very act of expressing your angst, you give the best step-by-step advice in copin

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Elemental Poetry: Fire in the Sea

 

 Do you think there is no fire in the sea?
I tell you fire and water are fierce lovers, together in me.
There are boiling cauldrons in the deep, the scalding seeps
that burn eternally in the benthic darkness, the crushing deep.

No mermaid is but a singing lily-child, fluid and meek;
The flowing and trickling of water might seem to you soft and weak,
but she will flood you, drown you, break you upon the rocks.
The fire flares in her heart, her soul, and sings to the man that mocks
and she will take him down to the lockers, the soul cages, the very end.

None can withstand the gaze that burns through the heart,
that sees the truth, the lies, the hidden wiles and denials
for all is connected and rippling together, nothing is truly apart.
We move in the moving element, far faster it carries the sound
and we See what they cannot, even when no light can be found.

The light is within, the fire burns bright and smolders low
and the liquid particles dance and frenzy faster than you can see
as the breath of the sacred dragon bubbles and boils the sea.
Above or Below, fire high or low, ever it burns, ever it glows.
I tell you, dear one, there is fire in the sea,
I tell you the blood and the passion of the primal one
ever flow and burn, ever they know and yearn
They are deep and bright in me.



© 2018 Meredith Everwhite - All Rights Reserved


Featured image: Underwater Volcano by Samuel Enslin, from his upcoming short film "Journey of the Water Bear" www.journeyofthewaterbear.com

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_48404244_594043827702325_3008888950380036096_n-1.jpg

 

...
Last modified on
Back to Basics: All Magic is Elemental

“Elemental Magic” is not only a redundant term but, in many resources, it is often written about and distinguished almost as a semi-obscure, very specific branch of magic. Does anyone really work any magic that is not, in some regard or form or another, “elemental”? If the elements comprise all of nature, including our bodies, and if we are constantly surrounded by them, then surely not a single move we make, magical or mundane, is beyond or apart from the elements.

The constant breath that keeps us alive is air magic. The need to continually replenish our bodies’ hydration, which also keeps us alive, is water magic. The light by which we see, the heat with which we cook and warm ourselves and even the combustion which runs our cars is fire magic. The growth and knitting of bones that hold us up and allow us to move is earth magic.

When we learn to see the elemental macro- and microcosm that encompasses, empowers and controls everything, we can understand the true nature and reality of magic. This understanding can only allow us to better harness and manipulate the forces that perhaps we take for granted when we cast a circle and whisper an intention. We even take these things for granted when we run a faucet or flip a light switch.

We are the microcosm. Our bodies magnificently reflect the union and continual dance and interplay of the elements that originate in the macrocosm. We are stardust, after all. Astrology tells us that we are at the mercy of the eternal waltz of the mighty, mysterious spheres Above, which themselves are made of the cosmic elements that descend into our realm Below and translate into the microscopic elements in our watery blood, our earthy bones, our breath, and in the fiery spirit that animates us.


To know the elements is to know magic, and therefore to know ourselves. Yet so many books and resources on magic cover dozens of different topics, methods, beliefs and ideas before they even mention “elemental magic”. This is utterly backward. The elements are the foundation. There is little point in telling people how to find their “patron deity” before even discussing the use of the elements in magic, as in “Inner Magic: A Guide to Witchcraft” by Anne-Marie Gallagher.

In her “Complete Book of Natural Magick”, Cassandra Eason waits three hundred pages before she even addresses “the magic of the elements”, and the word “element”, or any variation thereof, is nowhere to be found in her introductory explanation of “What is Natural Magick?”, despite references to physical nature.  

First of all, frankly, all magic(k) really is natural, whether two-hour ceremonial high magic, or two minutes in the woods with a stick and some saliva. The particles in your blood cells are as natural as the particles in Saturn’s rings, obviously simply existing and functioning on different levels.

And to discuss things like spellcasting and the differences between “white” and “black” magic (found in the first chapter in Eason’s book) long before discussing the elements and their roles in magic is a bit like teaching grade school children quantum theory before basic physics.

Much better resources for understanding the foundations of magic and nature can be found in far older texts by early mages, philosophers and occultists that many modern practitioners have probably never read, such as Paracelsus and Agrippa. In his first of “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, Agrippa includes an early chapter aptly entitled “On the Virtues of Things Natural, Depending Immediately Upon Elements”.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Celtic-Ornaments-3-GraphicsFairy.jpgAll things natural, magic included, indeed depend immediately on the elements, and therefore the practice begins with them and fully understanding them. He also states that “There are…four Elements, without the perfect knowledge of which we can effect [affect] nothing in Magic.”

To approach the practice of magic in such an odd reversed state, as in so many modern texts, is to guarantee that you are going to misunderstand or altogether miss the very things that you are trying to learn and apply. Of course this leads to misapplication which means, at best, you are affecting nothing.

The Sun has returned and a new cycle has begun. It is truly the new natural year now. This is an ideal time to refresh ourselves, our knowledge, our practices and our understanding. Even the most seasoned practitioner of magic or the most grounded and in tune pagan can always benefit from going back to the beginning and even questioning what they believe and why, and how much they really understand.

There is no plateau. We are never done learning or evolving. If you are in your forties and you still think and believe everything you learned when you were twenty, then you haven’t grown or learned.

Sometimes we all must, as Master Yoda advised Luke, unlearn what we have learned. There is always something new and enlightening to be discovered in what we think we already know, especially the vast, eternal and sometimes ineffable elements, elemental beings and powers.

Find some time in a frosty night or glistening dawn to sit amidst nature and yourself. Let go of names, institutions, redes, dogmas, man-made systems, materialism and indeed all “isms”.

Reflect upon this meditation or a similar prayer, incantation or evocation of your own, and reconnect yourself, your path, your magic to the natural essences of all existence.

How am I like this tree?
How is this soil just like me?
How does water keep me alive?
How does fire help me to thrive?
How is this air the first that I need?
Teach me, Earth mother, your natural creed
.



© 2018 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

 

...
Last modified on
January 2019 Heathen Holidays and the Metonic Year

Heathenry includes many different traditions. Most major heathen sects derive their holidays from a specific country, time period, and / or language, but American Asatru tends to be more eclectic because its members tend to be of various ethnicities. Even when trying to replicate Icelandic Asatru holidays, American Asatru sometimes sets them on different dates due to different methods of calculation. Iceland celebrates Þorrablót on the Friday after the 9th of January. American Asatru celebrates Thurseblot on the full moon of January.

Each of the many heathen peoples of history had their own calendar system, and calculating modern dates for ancient holidays requires not only knowing what date the celebration was actually held-- which isn't always completely obvious from the available evidence-- but also doing the math to convert the old calendar system to our new one, often with a stop midway into the Julian calendar because correspondences between it and various ancient calendars are sometimes provided in written lore.

One of the many ancient calendars was the metonic calendar, which is now used by Theod, a heathen sect based on Anglo-Saxon culture. The metonic calendar months for 2019 are:

Æftera-Geól Jan. 8 – Feb. 5
Súlmónað Feb.6 – March 7
Hréðmónað March 8 – April 6
Éosturmónað April 7 – May 5
Þrimilci May 6 – June 4
Ærre-Líða June 5 – July 3
Æftera-Líða July 4 – Aug 2
Weodmónað AUg. 3 – Aug. 31
Háligmónað sept. 1 – Sept. 29
Winterfylleð Sept.30 – Oct. 29
Blótmónað Oct.30 – Nov. 27
Ærre-Geól Nov. 28 – Dec. 27

Although not all ancient heathen peoples celebrated solstices and equinoxes, many modern heathen sects and groups do. For 2019 these dates will be:

Spring Equinox March 20 Summer Solstice June 21 Fall Equinox Sept. 23 Winter Solstice Dec 21

A few more heathen or heathen related cultural holidays in January 2019 are:

Jan 1:

Yuul ends (Urglaawe)

Julfest ends (Germany)

Jan 8th:

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesea, England is celebrated the Tuesday following Plough Monday. Plough Monday is the first Monday after Twelfth Night (by the Gregorian Calendar.) In 2019 the Tuesday after Plough Monday is January 8th.

Midwinterhoorn Blazen ends (Overijssel, Netherlands)

Jan 9:

Day of Raud of Strong (American Asatru, Odinist)

Jan 11:

Þorrablót (Icelandic Asatru)

Jan 21:

Thurseblot (American Asatru)

 

...
Last modified on
Shinto and LGBT+ culture: Connected from the ancient to modern era

Throughout the years and even now, I have often been asked the view Shinto holds in regard to LGBT+ people and culture. As someone who is both nonbinary feminine and pansexual, with most of my loved ones being apart of the LGBT+ community, and some who practice Shinto as well, this is a topic that is very close to home and personal for me. I wanted to write about this for a very long time, and talk about this in my last article about Shinto and sexuality, as they are related. However as this is such an important topic to me, I felt it deserved it's own article. There are so many things I want to express in regard to this topic so this won't be the only article about it!

Historically speaking in Japan, there are many examples of LGBT+ people and practices that were present, a prominent and most-cited example being that it was commonplace and even a part of samurai culture to be in gay relationships. It wasn't until the Meiji era in 1868, and the influence of Western culture, that it began to be viewed as uncivilized and wrong. As a result, a stigma began to rear it's ugly head, and many important LGBT+ rights began to be lost. Under pressure, openly gay and lesbian relationships; writings and art of them too - began to disappear. Trans and gender nonconforming people began to be pressured to conform to their assigned gender at birth, instead of being able to be who they are freely. In addition, stricter gender roles and heavier patriarchal ideals were enforced even further. While it wasn't absolutely perfect or progressive and there were still plenty of issues, with the advent of the Meiji reformations, any sort of openness and potentiality for progression was completely shattered.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Thank you very much for speaking about this really important subject! Attitudes to queerness really vary a lot within the Western

Additional information