Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Due to the pressure of work I will be reverting to producing a monthly contribution to Root & Branch and adding the magical lore attached to each of the various trees ...

TREE LORE: - April - Willow Magic
There are several different species of willow but they all have similar medicinal properties and can be used interchangeably in magic. Willows are one of the earliest colonisers of these Islands and it should come as no surprise that it can be found in the Celtic tree alphabet; it is classed as one of the Peasant Trees and bears the name saill. In Celtic times, those wishing to learn eloquence, to be granted visions, prophetic dreams or inspiration, frequented groves of willow. Artists and artisans who learned their craft in willow groves were reputed to be especially skilled.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    I am, I suppose a "literal polytheist,. I do have a problem with the idea that somehow we are taking over Paganism, because we ha
  • Scott
    Scott says #
    When I look at Jung's Red Book I am in awe of how individualistic his encounter with the gods seemed to me. And yet, he described
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Yes, Jung's is a very individualistic approach. I think we have shared archetypes (although we may call them by different names);
  • Scott
    Scott says #
    Oh BTW...I do believe that those of us who think the gods are part of psyche but also transcend us are an offshoot of the contempo
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    I agree that Jungian psychology lends itself to a kind of post-theism. It is a new religion, but one which is familiar to many Ne
How history changes: The Minoans and their neighbors

History changes, I'm telling you. OK, the things that actually happened way-back-when don't really change, but our interpretation of them sure does. It's amazing how much our understanding of ancient Minoan culture has changed in the century or so since Sir Arthur Evans first uncovered the ruins of the temple complex at Knossos.

For instance, Evans was caught up in the ancient Egypt craze that had been bubbling along for decades as early archaeologists began uncovering Egyptian artifacts and translating Egyptian hieroglyphic texts. He considered Egypt to be the high civilization of the ancient world. So when he discovered that the Minoans - who flourished at about the same time as Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt - had complex architecture, paved roads, enclosed sewers, and other markers of a 'proper' civilized society, he assumed they had borrowed it all wholesale from Egypt.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Flight of the magical feather...

I am always being gifted with feathers when I am out usually pigeon ones but I have also been given crow and magpie ones too.  If you are in the forest you may find all sorts of bird feathers and on the beach it will probably be seagull feathers.  Whatever kinds they are feathers carry their own very special magic with them.

When I find a feather I usually take it home and pop it in the freezer overnight, just as a precaution really because the cold temperature will get rid of any nasties that might be lurking therein.  Obviously keep the feather away from your frozen food!  Alternatively you can place the feathers in a solution of five parts warm water, one part vinegar and one part witch hazel, leave them to soak for twenty four hours then dry them by laying out flat on a towel.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Morality of Chaos

I've been reading Warhammer: Trollslayer. And today's google doodles have many alternate versions, but one is a fox. What do these two things have to do with each other? Read on.

Tom N. lent me his copy of Trollslayer because there's some transparently heathen content in it. Aside from the things copied from Tolkien, like the dwarf warrior character, which are ultimately derived from Norse mythology through the lens of Tolkien, there is also the point of view character's religion. Felix, the narrator and Gotrek's sidekick, worships Sigmar, a Thor-like god (whose worshippers have a few structures borrowed from Christianity, but not enough to obscure the meaning of wearing a hammer symbol around one's neck for protection.) 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Loving
    John Loving says #
    *waves at Erin* On Chaos, A chaotic alignment doesn't equate to be evil... Chaotic Evil... is more let us burn the village down be
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, John. (waves back.) Yep. Thanks!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm glad to read that I wasn't the only one who related that Nolan chart to the AD&D alignment chart. I've enjoyed AD&D over the
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks and you're welcome!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Crafting a Tradition

I've been quiet here for the last while—er, the past several months, actually. It hasn't been intentional, but things happen--and I don't know about you, but for me personally, the longer I've been silent the harder it is to start talking again. I've been running my business (during my first year of working for myself full time), dealing with my usual constellation of chronic health issues, and struggling with something new.

As regular readers of this blog probably know, I've been dedicated to Odin (via vows of sacred marriage—similar, in my case, to a nun's vows in Christianity) since 2002. In all of that time, He has been more or less my sole deity, and Norse paganism more or less my sole path.

Until this year.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm a bookworm. I love books. I visit my local Barnes & Noble every week even when I don't intend to buy anything. Note that I
  • Beth Wodandis
    Beth Wodandis says #
    Just as when I first met Odin 14 years ago, the first things I read about any new deity or culture are whatever primary source mat
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It sounds like your in for an interesting time. When you ask for book suggestions do Odin and Morrigan send you to the New age se

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sealed with a ... seal

When I was a kid my mom used to write my name in permanent marker on the tag inside my jacket so everyone would know it was mine. We monogram pillowcases and purses; we register the serial numbers of electronics with the manufacturer. We sign deeds to homes and titles to cars. There are many, many ways to identify things as 'ours' these days, but have you noticed that they all involve writing?

In ancient Crete, most people couldn't write. Sure, they had a writing system, the famous-but-still-undeciphered Linear A (and a hieroglyphic script to go along with it, also still undeciphered). But as was common in the ancient world, only the scribes and perhaps a few wealthy people knew how to write. Writing simply wasn't necessary for most people in their daily lives. But it was necessary for the big temple complexes - they had to keep track of all the donations people made, how much each plot of farmland and orchard produced every year, and so on. So they wrote things down on clay tablets and probably also on papyrus as well, though none of the perishable papyrus has survived as far as we know (I'm still hoping for a secret cache in a sealed jar somewhere). But the Minoans also did the ancient version of writing your name on your jacket tag: They used seals.

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