Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_away-207525_640.jpgThis post is for Week 2 of The Pagan Experience, on Personal Practice: “Share your favorite spiritual/magickal practices."

On the Vanic side of my spiritual life, one of the most meaningful and nourishing things I do is also one of the most simple, something that may not look outwardly like a spiritual practice: going for walks.

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Daily Practice - Doing that one thing over and over again

Right as the clock struck midnight and 2015 was upon us, people started talking about their daily practices. I suppose it's a natural enough time to review what we do or don't do every day. Mostly it becomes a bit of a wish list for how we'd like our lives to be less mundane and more spiritual and as we have the clean slate of the new calendar year to help us, why not give it a bash.

Here's the not so good news - Daily practices, for the most part, are mundane. It's about doing the same thing, the same way each and every day (or as many days as you can). Whether you are communing with gods, or tending to an altar, or sipping a cup of tea or sitting in silence it's about doing that thing when you say you are going to do it. But mostly it's about doing that thing over and over again, recommitting to a practice without the expectation of reward. Occasionally I've had that "aha!" moment but more often than not, I do my thing, my day stops for a few minutes and I then move on.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you for your comment Editor B. You know, I added Yoga into my daily schedule about a year ago. It didn't stick, not because
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Hey Gwion. Mark Green shared this link and got me here. I like the perspective you articulate. It's particularly useful as I'm org
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Mark, Thank you for the comments. I took a peek at your link. I like the concept of your "rosary", even if the name gives m
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    I like this piece (and I'm sorry for your loss). In our ADD world, it IS hard to keep doing that one thing, every day. For mine,

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Good Knowledge, Bad Teacher: Part 1

Trigger warning: sexual harassment, abuse

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_cage_by_parablev.jpg

In my last post, I described Neo-Paganism as a modern-day mystery religion.  Historically, initiates into the mystery religions experienced a ritual death and rebirth.  Some Neo-Pagan rituals follow this format.  The idea is that we die to our old selves and awaken to a new, more expansive Self.  In Jungian terms, the Self is the wholeness of our many disparate selves, conscious and unconscious.  But to encounter the Self, we must let our old selves, our egos, die.  This is a psychological death, but no less significant than physical death from the perspective of the ego.  For the ego, the experience can be as painful as dying physically, and some people would prefer physical death.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

One of the frequent questions I get from budding Heathens, Asatruar and Norse pagans is "Where do I start?" After fielding two such letters in one day from a divination client and a prospective student (who already summons spirits in a Ceremonial framework but wanted to connect with the Norse Gods), I began compiling a page of resources on my website-- and this series of blog posts.


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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Good summary! That's the exact reason I wrote Asatru For Beginners, because when I was manager of the MSN Asatru Group, beginners

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_va1.jpgWithin Vanatru, there is a lot of room for diversity of belief and practice - nature itself is diverse, and thus different ways of doing things are seen as natural and organic, as befits a living tradition.  As such, there is no Vanapope who will swoop down from on high proclaiming that you're "doing it wrong" if you don't do this or have that.  However, the very "do it yourself" approach amongst most Vanatruar can be confusing and even frustrating for newbies, who are full of questions about how to get started.

One of the things that I tend to recommend people do when they first start out, is set up an altar.  This is not mandatory or absolutely necessary - I know plenty of folks who get along just fine without altars.  In my own case, having an altar is helpful because it's a visible, tangible reminder of the Powers, is a way to express Their energy and presence - which can be a tool to better get to know Them and connect with Them - and is a place to leave offerings and perform rituals and magick.  And as such, I think that building an altar can be a valuable beginning step, a way to establish a connection to the Powers.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Who were the Minoans' neighbors?

A few weeks back I had a lovely chat with Goddess Spirituality leader Karen Tate on her radio show. We talked about Minoan Paganism in particular and the ancient Minoans in general. One issue that came up in the conversation was where, in the timeline of the ancient world, the Minoans fit. Many people seem to think they came after the Greeks and copied much of the Greek pantheon, but the truth is actually the other way around. All those ancient cultures are so far removed from us in time that it can be difficult to get a mental picture of how they all fit together. So I thought I’d tease out some of the details and help you picture the world of the ancient Minoans – not just Crete but all the cultures and civilizations that were alive and kicking at that time.

I apologize for going all History Teacher on you here, but I’m going to start with some dates, just for reference. I promise I won’t throw too many numbers at you. Though the island of Crete has been inhabited since prehistoric times, what we think of as Minoan civilization didn’t arise until around 3500 BCE; at that point the people had farms, towns and tombs but no big buildings. The heyday of the Minoans with the big temples, the fancy tech (enclosed sewers, flushing commodes, multi-story buildings) and the beautiful artwork ran for just a few centuries, from about 1900 to 1400 BCE. After that, the culture declined, the Mycenaean Greeks took over the political arena and the civilization that we think of as Minoan pretty much ceased to exist. You can thank a combination of natural disasters, encroaching Greeks and pure bad luck for their cultural demise.

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