Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Vestals, Feminism & the "Evil Field"

Despite the resurgence and richness of the Vesta tradition, many people who think “Vestal Virgin” still think of one thing: the fact that Vestals who broke their vow of chaste service to the goddess were buried alive.  Let’s be honest.   Who can blame people for going there?  It’s a pretty dramatic image: a young woman being thrown into a shallow grave and trying to claw her way out while dirt is being piled on top of her.

Of course, that isn’t how it happened.   It was considered a sacrilege to kill a Vestal, so those who were found guilty of incestum (breaking their vow of chastity) were taken to the Campus Sceleratus or “evil field” just inside the city walls of Rome where they descended a ladder into a subterranean pit.   They were given enough food, water and light to last a few days.   This absolved the Roman people of guilt for their death.  Talk about a technicality.

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  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    A very interesting post. For me, my answer to your question would be that one of my goddesses is much maligned as an evil witch. B
  • Debra May Macleod
    Debra May Macleod says #
    Hi Arwen, Thank you for commenting! I love it - "I brought you in. I can take you out." Fantastic. But how upsetting that the

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Unpacking Piety

Do ut des means “I give so that you may give.” It is one of the defining points of Roman polytheism, and it is the most important. It is in these 3 Latin words that we can lay out how the Romans viewed their Gods. It is in these 3 Latin words that we can lay out a different approach than what we likely grew up with in regard to relationships with the Gods and society as a whole.

Ask someone in the Pagan community about Roman polytheism and you will regularly hear that it was contractual to the point of lifelessness. Actually, ask a lot of Roman polytheists the same, and they will repeat that statement as well, preferring to take the outdated tone of early scholars of the Roman religion, who regularly were Christian and carrying on a long tradition of upholding their perceived superiority through biased writing and opinion.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

And in my heart the daemons and the god
Wage an eternal battle ...

-- W.B. Yeats

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
New Faces for Old Gods

 

What does it mean for old gods and their worshippers when the old gods are given new faces and personas in pop culture media?  The recent upswing in portrayals of old mythic figures in pop culture (think of the Marvel movies, comic books like The Wicked and the Divine, TV shows like Supernatual, books like The Gospel of Loki, etc.) has put modern practitioners, especially polytheistic pop culture practitioners like me, in a bit of a quandary.  What do you do when you’ve been working with a deity for years and suddenly a character with their name, but a whole new mythology and personality, becomes a pop culture sensation?  If you’re introduced to a mythic figure via a bit of pop culture can you work with the old god with the same name?  It can be more than a little confusing.  In this article I’ll try and clarify a few points and, hopefully, soothe a few ruffled feathers.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_osiris.jpgWe traveled up the Nile to visit some of ancient Egypt’s primary cult centers in the last post.  Since that time, the star Sopdet (Sirius) has begun to show herself at the horizon just before dawn.  This tells us that Isis has been weeping for her murdered husband Osiris, and soon her tears will cause the annual Nile flood.

With the inundation comes the end of Shemu, the dry season.  As the flood waters recede we find ourselves in the season of Akhet.  We can see the fields full of rich black silt left behind by the flooding river; the farmers sow seed now, knowing crops will flourish as they grow in the fertile black ground.

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August 6: Festival for Thoth, the very great, in the whole country

The start of the Egyptian year was the First month of the Inundation (named Dhwty) and was a time of great celebration, coinciding with the rising of the Nile. “You shall follow Thoth, on that beautiful day of the start of Inundation.”
During this month there were three festivals for Thoth, held on the 4th, 19th and 21st. Entries from various calendars give the following descriptions of these feast days. 4th day - a “Festival of Thoth”. 19th day - a “Festival for Thoth, the very great, in the whole country”. [...] 21st day - a festival to “celebrate ‘the triumph of Thoth’ in the presence of Re”. [...]
Bomhard suggests that the first day of the new year, which coincided with the rising of Sirius, was the 19th July.
This would give the festivals in Dhwty the following modern dates; the 4th as the 22nd of July, the 19th and 21st as the 6th and 8th of August and the 26th as the 13th of August.  (Quoted from: -- Lesley Jackson "Thoth, the history of Ancient-Egyptian God of Wisdom)

For this festival day, I'd like to share some of my devotional poetry...

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Latria: They want your soul [pt.II]

When at 15 and decided that I need to join a religion, if I had not chosen to join the most mainstream branch of Christianity in Russia, if I had not read this famous protestant prayer too - “Jesus, be my Lord and Savior”… I would not be what I am today. I would be a totally different person.
I remember these moments of “accepting Jesus” very well.
I have read this prayer twice; I valued this experience as something indeed important and I remember very well my thoughts and feelings.
Yes, I read the prayer of my own free will-- but did I want it with the whole of my heart? Did I have trust in Jesus-the-personal-savior 100%?
Fortunately (or not very fortunately) I remember my religious experiences and adventures very brightly, just as in Dumbledore’s magical pensieve.

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