Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

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Devotion for a Pearl

Ask most folks how a pearl is formed and they'll tell you something like "A piece of sand or grit gets into the oyster's shell and then the oyster coats the grit and hey presto! We have a pearl"

It's  a lovely story, but  it isn't quite right. The coating part is accurate, but the "piece of sand or grit" isn't. Actually, the irritant is usually a parasite and it begins to eat at the lining of the oyster. The oysters immune system then begins to secrete two substances that form a nacre and then it basically entombs the parasite and its host, killing it and protecting itself. The byproduct of that self-preservation is a pearl. In cultured pearls, the oyster is actually wounded and it's that wounding that begins the healing process, eventually forming a pearl. 

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(other than Frey, Freya, Njord and Nerthus)

Byggvir and Beyla. Byggvir possibly means “barley”, and Beyla means “bee”. Whether these two names translate exactly or not, They are a couple who travel with Frey, and are in charge of taking care of his household and are servants of his. Gnosis says that Byggvir is Bull tribe Vanir, and Beyla of the Bee tribe.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_frey_freya--.png(an excerpt from my book, Visions of Vanaheim)

The Vanir are one of three groups of gods in the Germanic pantheon (the others being Aesir and Jotnar/Rokkr), originating from the world of Vanaheim, and commonly holding domain over nature, fertility, and magic.

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Baking from Scratch, Minoan Style

Have you ever tried to bake a cake from scratch? Not terribly difficult, right? But what if you didn’t have a recipe? That’s pretty much what we’re doing over at Ariadne’s Tribe these days. Bear with me here and I’ll do my best not to flog the metaphor too badly.

Reconstructionist traditions like Hellenism and Ásatru rely on written texts from earlier times for a lot of their information. The Hellenists have all the works that have come down to us from the classical writers, many of whom were devoted to the Hellenic deities themselves; the Ásatru folks have the eddas, the sagas and more. Though the ancient Minoans left us their writing in the form of Linear A, we can’t read it; in fact, we don’t even know what language the script records. So, essentially, we don’t have a recipe. But we’re good cooks, at least, I’d like to think so.

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Inspired by the recent publication of an environmental statement by the Covenant of the Goddess, and spurred on by the increasingly urgent need for personal and societal reform of our relationship to the environment, I am gathering interested parties to prepare a draft Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.  Our intent is to a prepare a draft statement which will then be made available for public comment and then finalized for signatures. Among other things, I would like to see this statement published by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, which already has published similar statements by many other religions. If you would be interested in helping to write the first draft of the Pagan Community Statement on the Environment or if you would like to participate in any other way, please email me at your earliest convenience or respond in the comments. Thank you for your attention to this important issue. If you would like to read more about the thoughts that prompted this effort, see my recent post at The Allergic Pagan

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I would help with writing / editing that. Your email link goes to an error message, but I'm trying you on Facebook.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Of college, cats, poetry, and Odin

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path, my spiritual experiences in college continued both my newfound heathen path and the experiences with animal totems I had been taught as a child. The first day I moved into UC-Santa Cruz, I saw my spirit animal watching over me.

 The quotes in this post are quotes from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts, which covers my first 30 years on the Earth. (I'm now 45.)

      “I had never ridden a [city] bus before.  I was afraid I wouldn’t recognize my stop, and would end up down in the city of Santa Cruz, wondering what to do in the big scary city.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cat out in the field, but when I turned to look there was nothing there.  “A cat spirit,” I thought.  “There’s a cat spirit watching over me.” 

 I started having past life memories. Two of the three of them were in Russia, and I started to think that maybe it had not been purely the coincidence of seeing that someone was studying some exotic and challenging language at the point in high school where I was expected to start learning a foreign language that had led me to learn Russian and to go on to study Soviet Political Analysis at UCSC.

     “I had three images in my head that seemed more real than dreams, but belonged to the wrong context to have been this life.  I cast them in poetry.  Memories from Nowhere #1, “I stand in a reddened room./ Gold stone glitters on the wall/ Lacquered sandstone lying lies/ Of wealth no one has ever known.”  I danced in this desert temple to the music of “the pipe gourds of peasants/ and shaking metal sheaves.”  In #2 “I am the root woman, the old witch of the woods” in the far south of old Russia, by the look of the house and the weather; such a wooden peasant cot with its painted shutters could have been built in the 9th century or the 19th.  In the third vision I am some type of wanderer, also in old Russia by my felt boots, searching the Steppes for evidence of the second lifetime, and finding the old stone foundations of a village fallen into ruin for 300 years.  “Stone and pottery, beads of glass/ Were yielding to the growing grass.”

Poetry and writing were the way I related my dreams and visions to others, and they were also the way I worked through how I thought and felt for myself. Most of my poetry and writing were hard work using my skills, but sometimes I felt my poetry was inspired. It was a special feeling, and I can only describe it as a state which is part meditative trance and part compulsion, with a splash of religious ecstasy. Because I primarily related to my heathen path through poetic inspiration and rune magic, which are both powers of Odin, I felt closest to Odin. I also related to him in his warrior aspect, since I had grown up in a martial arts school. I still practiced both the physical forms and the meditations I had learned in kung fu, and I was comfortable with the idea of a god who was both warrior and wizard. 

I was sure that he was the god who would become my patron. I was both wrong and right, but I would not know that until thirty more years had passed. I'll tell both the story of how wrong I was and the story of how right I was, when I get to those parts of my tale. Taking my story in chronological order, my next post will be about my spiritual experiences when I spent the summer of 1987 studying in England. 

Since I've been talking about writing poetry and the fall equinox is coming up, I'd like to conclude this post by sharing a short poem. This was first published in The Sonoma Index-Tribune in the early 90s and reprinted in my poetry chapbook Renaissance Woman.

Fall Equinox

Light goes before dark and follows after,
And now suspended from a rafter
In the great barn which covers Earth
Is a lamp of Death and a lamp of Birth.
The farmer opens the barn door wide,
And in walks springtime's loving bride,
Grown old and wise and full and fat,
And on the Birth-lamp hangs her hat.

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