Pagan Paths

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Paths Blogs

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

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Horseshoe Magic

Horseshoe Magic

You may be lucky enough to find a horseshoe when you are out and about on your travels but what is all the fuss about them?

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Over at, I've been playing with the idea of Pagans reclaiming the word "God".  I won't go into all the details -- but I got major pushback.  It seems that some words have just been ruined for Pagans.

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Pop Culture Spell for Happiness

Into every life a little rain must fall.  Unfortunately, sometimes that little bit of rain becomes a deluge or tsunami.  Some of us aren’t exactly chipper little rays of sunshine to begin with, so life’s little stumbles can make things more challenging than they really need to be.  I’ve battled functional depression for as long as I can remember and there are few things that I take more refuge and comfort in than my pop culture fandoms.  For people like me fandom is a lot more than a fun way to spend your time; it’s an escape from the pressures of the mundane and a protected retreat.  It’s the ultimate safe space where you are free to let all your weirdness hang out and just enjoy yourself.  The power of pop culture magick is to allow us to literally bottle a bit of that joy and take it with us.

For this spell you will need to choose a favorite fandom or two.  There are an amazing number of pop culture fandoms out there, so choosing just one or two to work with can be a bit daunting.  Think about what is resonating with you right now.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a favorite fandom for the past decade - what book, movie, music, tv show, series, comic, manga, etc., really resonates with you right now.  What bit of pop culture brings you joy today

Think of a character, scenario, episode, song, etc., from your chosen fandom that really makes you happy.  For example, I’m doing my version of this spell using Firefly, particularly the character of Kaylee.  In a cast of misfits and anti-heroes Kaylee stands out as being not only a kick-ass mechanic, but as being genuinely sweet and happy more often than not.  I greatly admire her ability to look on the bright side of things and enjoy what she has while she has it - something I’m not great at. 


  • One candle (in your favorite color) - pure beeswax is best, as the honey in the wax adds a bit of sweetening to the spell.  If you choose a large candle you should repeat the incantation each time you burn it.  If you cannot burn a candle for whatever reason, choose a tealight or small chime candle that you can carry with you.
  • One wearable/carryable object representing your bit of pop culture - if you have something overt like a fandom t-shirt great, if not something as simple as a sigil drawn on a piece of paper will do.
  • One small bottle of drinkable liquid - This can be tap water or anything else, just be sure the bottle seals well enough for you to carry it in a pocket without worrying about leakage.

Ground, center, and set your sacred space however you usually do.  (If you don’t usually do those things that’s ok too!)

Set your candle on your altar or whatever prepared space you have.  Set your wearable object (a leather bracelet for me) and your bottle of liquid next to the candle.  If your bit of pop culture has a video or audio form, play it in the background.  Meditate for a few minutes on your bit of fandom and what about it brings you joy. 

Light your candle (or not) and speak an incantation like the following, with the specifics changed for your fandom and your personal needs:

Light of flame bring me joy, allow me the happiness and good nature of Kaylee.
I will overcome my obstacles with a smile, as she does.
I will enjoy the good that flows into my life, as she does.
I will find solace and comfort in hard times and emerge the stronger for it.
I will shed bitterness and resentment, as she does.
I release negativity and depression.
I find joy in everyday life and dance with joy.

Let the essence of happiness flow into my bracelet and my tonic. 
In times of sorrow, stress, anxiety, or fear I will wear my bracelet, sip my tonic, and find happiness. 
I embrace joy.
So must it be.

Let the candle burn down, then close your sacred space as you usually do.  Carry/wear your charged object and sip your charged liquid when you need a boost.  Feel free to repeat the spell as often as necessary. 

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  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Terrific spell! My mind is considering options.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Crafting a Valknut for Odin

Coming up on the one year anniversary as a Bride of Odin on June 28th, 2015, I asked Odin what he wanted for our anniversary, and he said he wanted something to represent him in my "shrine." I clarified with him what he meant by shrine, and he meant the glass display cases on the wall where I had recently starting putting spiritual souvenirs. So I made a Valknut. I made two, in fact, one for the monthly anniversary which is every 28th of the month, on May 28th, and one for the one-year anniversary on June 28th.

I made the first valknut from silk ribbon on a silk hoop. I made the template for it on the 27th and made the art object itself on May 28th. The paper template helped me put the points of the triangles in the right places. It was interesting making a val-“knut” (knot) as a fiber craft, with the lines of the triangles crossing over and under each other like a real knot.

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Where Does The Magick Happen?

"If we focus more on the end result - the product - more than we do on the process, we teach ourselves and others how to consume instead of how to create."  (Quote by me.)

I may have woken up with a tad bit of a ritual hangover this morning.  But that didn't stop my brain from diving down a fascinating rabbit hole thanks to a facebook post from Byron about art and witchery. 

We often look at art in terms of being an end result, without much thought to the process.  I'm not only talking about visual art here, but all of the arts: dance, music, writing, theater, etc.  The end result rarely speaks of all of the hours of work, training, editing, practicing, derailed personal lives, lack of sleep, cuts, bruises, sweat, blood, and a whole slew of other things that really aren't slick, sexy, or appealing in general.  Yet the result is often something of beauty - profound, moving, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually compelling.  Unless you're involved in that art yourself, it's hard to fathom or understand everything that went into it.  Which is another reason why art is so often devalued in our society - that it's merely entertainment, dressing, something easy and amusing, full of pleasure and indulgence. 

Yet, it's also not just some combination of elements that make it into art.  Just because you have a canvas, some paint, a brush, and some time does not mean you will have a great painting at the end of it.  You'll have a painting in the basic sense of the word, but that doesn't mean it's art. Nor does a beautiful work of art mean that lollypops, cupcakes, birds singing, and sunshine were the stuff that made that piece happen. Inversely, a dark and painful appearing work of art doesn't mean that blood, tears, and thorns were involved in the making of it. Really, unless you were there, you can't know or say, you only have your own personal experience with the end result to base your opinion upon.  Which leads us to, when we add in the concept of "beauty is in the eye of beholder" and the lines between real and fantasy, experience and validity become very wispy indeed.  

Regardless of the end result, a skilled artist calls upon their experience throughout the process of making, transforming and changing materials through focus and intent. 

Similarly, a lot of folks look at spellcraft by the results without understanding the process.  They see the results, and they see a list of ingredients, and assume that's all that is needed.  But the experienced practitioner knows that it's the will that transforms and causes change in recognition of the elements and materials. It's the application of will and focus in the process.  You can follow the motions (burning a candle, digging a root, inserting of thorns, etc), but without the understanding and focus, they're often just actions that fall flat. 

Ask any artist where the magick happens, and they'll most likely tell you it's in the making of the art.  The need and desire to create comes from the actual process.  While the ego may be pleased by the end product of the process - and yes, it's definitely the thing that everyone else responds to -  it's the art-making itself that satisfies the spirit.

Though I certainly hope that for my own work, the ordeal and experience of the process is something that the end viewer gets a glimpse of. Not so much a look at my personal process, but perhaps that it speaks to their own experiences and processes.

In the end, it's not the telling of the process nor displaying of the art or spellcrafting that makes the magick, but the actual doing of it. 

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No Less a Woman


I ran across a fascinating word while copyediting a book a few years ago. Naditum is one of the five genders in Sumerian paganism. It's a gender, a biological sex-- meaning those born female appearing who turn out after adolescence to be infertile-- and a social class, the priestess caste. The idea really resonated with me, even though that’s not my tradition. The various heathen traditions don’t have a specific gender word for those identified female at birth who cannot have children and instead become priestesses. In heathenry, that’s still a woman.

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