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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Starry Night: Minoan Astronomy

Like many other ancient cultures, the Minoans were accomplished astronomers. Their mythology, their artifacts, and their architecture reflect their fascination with the lights that moved through the night sky as well as the brightest sky-light of all, the Sun. As so many other societies around the world have done, they incorporated this astronomical knowledge into their mythology and thus their spiritual practice.

With the Great American Eclipse just a couple of days ago, I began thinking about the Minoans' ability to predict eclipses. There is some contention that this stone die found near Palaikastro is an eclipse calculator:

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Building Community is Bigger Than Our Congregations

The ATC Mother Church exists in a small, mountain, town. People out this way care about their community. They want to make sure that it remains the place where they want to raise their children, relax, and grow old. In 1979 when we opened our doors, Snohomish County was much as it is today. The farms stretch down the highway leading up to the foothills of the mountains. The closer you get to Stevens Pass, the more isolated the communities become, and the more they depend on one another. There could be a localized disaster that cuts a community off from the outside world for days at a time. The people out here need to know that they can depend on each other.

"It isn't until we start helping our local communities that we will stop being seen as those witches down the street." Rev. Terry M. Riley, HP Southern Delta Church of Wicca-ATC

The ATC found out the importance of connecting with our community early on. Our founder Pierre "Pete Pathfinder" Davis began his work as a politician, and he brought that need to create systems, and take care of the people in his world, with him. He was instrumental in keeping a post office in our little mountain town. He led the way to getting a new fire truck for our first response, mountain, fire department. Pete designed the towns emergency sand bag response system for river breeches, and took care of our fur babies as Index's Animal Catcher. When he passed away many people from the town called us to ask us if we knew how to keep taking care of everyone in the way that Pete did, and could they have memorabilia for the town museum. 

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    This is an excellent article, something we all need to consider -- no matter what faith we practice.
Why are Heathen Women So Scared of Magic?

Heathen women, reclaim your rightful place of power as witches, please. It's not a Wiccan thing. It's our heritage.

Magical practice-- witchcraft-- is the great heritage of central and northern European women, as vital as the male warrior traditions to our ancestors’ communities. From noblewomen to the humblest farm wife, women were expected to work magic on behalf of their family, the sick and the woundedand to uphold their kingdoms! Bands of professional priestesses, the volur were esteemed and traveled safety over both land and rivers, surviving into the time of the Greenland colony.

These two facts can be quoted by plenty of modern Heathens, but how many actually put stock in it by their actions, attitudes and beliefs regarding witchcraft-- and the women who practice it?

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  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Why not try reading Maria Kvilhaug's lovely book on the Northern mysteries (which are human understandings of the esoteric, neithe
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    You disappeared from this site for a long time; I missed reading your articles. Regarding magic: The Norse system has a stereotyp
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    If you get a chance to read my column, you will see that I use runes for magical purposes (they are sigils, abstract signs) and ta
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    They're scared of magic because most of them are enmeshed in patriarchal Indo-European mythology, and the retelling of that mythol
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    But the myths themselves are not so patriarchal! That is an over-simplification and due to the emphasis of scholars and prejudice
Total Solar Eclipse: A regale of the Yayoi people, Amatsukami and Ama no Iwato

As the Total Solar Eclipse was a great event taking place across North America, I thought it would be the perfect time to write about the solar eclipse, and what it means in Shinto traditions - especially in regard to the famous Ama no Iwato myth. While it is unknown the true event associated with Ama no Iwato, it is said popularily it represents a solar eclipse – however when one studies further, a more significant connection would be to the Winter Solstice. However, indeed, solar eclipses would have most likely been significant as well, especially in relation to a recall of Ama no Iwato.

 

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  • Olivia
    Olivia says #
    Hi Aryós! Thank you for your great comment! I actually plan to address that in an article I'm writing about the Yayoi and Jomon
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Very interesting! I've been reading the Kojiki and have been wondering to what degree it reflects genuine historical record. Obvi

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The 5 Kinds of Gods in Asgard

The heathen gods set an example of an inclusive society. Asgard has former enemies from the First War living together in friendship. The Aesir and Vanir made peace ages ago and now the Vanir in Asgard are treated as full citizens of Asgard; for example, Freyr is expected to fight on the side of Asgard at Ragnarok.

There are 5 kinds of beings counted among the Aesir in Asgard, including those born Aesir and 4 other kinds. These kinds of beings are interchangeably called races, tribes, nations, and species. The 5 kinds are the Aesir, Vanir, Jotnar, Thursar, and even an ascended human.

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    I will never understand why some Heathens embrace racism, when the stories of their gods are full of intermarriages between beings
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks, Kayly!
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    Hi, I recently joined the site but have been reading your articles here for a long time. I just came to say I really enjoy your w

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Art is Temporary, As Are We

"And they painted on cardboard, because it was new, cheap, and affordable. But they didn't know it wasn't archival, so very little of that work remains intact."  -The words of one of my art history professors, talking about a group of abstract expressionists or similar genre of artists from the 40's-50's. 

It sounded like some sort of moral failing - that these artists had abandoned expensive, time-tested techniques of canvas or wood panels to try something they could afford and was plentiful.  

Having been in art school for a good chunk of my life, as well as a professional high-end picture framer, I have come to see how much museum-culture of the last 300 hundred years has had an effect on the modern art-making process.  That we must work with archival materials, watch out for UV light and dampness, preserve, preserve, preserve.  Think about the future of your work.

The other week while finishing up my book tour, we stopped at Mt. Rushmore, as well as watched the 15-minute film about the making of it. I believe it was in part of a speech from FDR where he talked about the world 10,000 years from now, and what future generations of Americans may think when they see the monument, worn by the weather and time.  In that moment I was thinking two things: if there are even human beings on this planet then - and the condition of the giant sphinx in Egypt.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Well said and thought provoking! Thanks for posting. I have forwaded this to a few artist friends. Namaste, Tasha

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Don't forget the sun...

Sunshine

I think sometimes as a witch the moon tends to get pride of place and the sun perhaps takes a back seat?  But it is an incredibly powerful source of natural energy and magic.

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