Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Finding the Earth Mother in your Backyard

 

Earth-Mother.jpgFinding the Earth Mother in your Back Yard           

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Cernunnos Shrine June 2017

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Goddesses Come Knocking

I don't have what many would call a devotional relationship with many of the deities I paint, but that doesn't mean there isn't a divine connection or other kind of relationship.  Often I tap into other people's devotions for those deities, or have an interesting conversation with those gods for a short time. 

Over the weekend, I just finished a series of 5 small goddess paintings, and wanted to share with you all a little behind the process of making them.

First a little background:
Friday (June 16th) is the opening for the Goddess show at Gargoyles Statuary in Seattle. I think it may be the 4th year I've participated in this show, and this one's a little extra special as I'll also be doing an author talk and signing for my new book, The Witch's Cauldron. However, I'm leaving the very next day for a 6 week long book/workshop/performance tour, so I was concerned about getting art done in time.  I had planned to get one new painting done for it - which I managed to finish last week.  But it's a large and highly detailed painting with a very high price point (if I make it available at all for sale at this time.)

Waste Not, Want Not
I was contemplated how to create a few more pieces at a friendly price-point when I spied the small stack of pine pieces I had cut off a recent batch of panels for shrine prints. Under 5"x8" and lightweight, they were a great size.  Even though I was going to be at an event all weekend, I knew from past experiences that this event tends to have slow periods.  So I painted gesso on 5 pieces, sanded them, then did some color washes on each from the leftover paint sitting in my palette from the big painting I just finished. (It's acrylic, so it would have gone to waste.) 

Once dry, I tucked the panels, a couple bottles of paint, some brushes, and pens - to take with me to the event. 

Calling All Goddesses
The next step was figuring out who to paint.  So I put a call out on my Facebook page, asking folks for suggestions on deities that I haven't painted yet, or haven't done in a long while.  From that list, I wrote down about a dozen of the suggestions that stood out for me.  I did some light research on the backgrounds of the goddesses and historical art made for them. 

Once I was situated in my booth, I pulled out the panels.  Because I had done random color washes on them before I left, each one had a different "mood" to it.  I looked at the list, and the panel in my hand, and one name jumped off: Anahita.  And so she was the first painting, emerging out of a wash of deep Prussian blue and navy pen work. 

The next panel I picked up was a mixture of greens and browns, and Pachamama's name leaped off the page.  In the wash, I could see her peeking out at the viewer with a full pregnant body of earth and greens. 

As I was working on that piece, a third panel nudged its way out - the wash looking like a powerful swirl of deep waters.  Yemaya leaped off the list and on to the panel. 

Two panels left.  A warm purple/earthy panel was chosen by Pele. I started work on her before I had to finish for the day - 3.5 paintings is pretty good for one day's work while tending to a booth!

Next Day
In the morning, I finished up Pele, adding a little bronze paint into her skin, and trails of flowers.  I thought 4 was good enough - in fact, I would have been happy with finishing 3.  But then the 5th panel fell to the floor from where it was sitting under the table.  Well, I still had a few hours....

The panel was mainly a light blue wash and didn't speak yet to any of the names on the list, but I still had purples, yellows, and rust left over from Pele. So I did another layer of color washes.  Suddenly, Ereshkigal leaped off the list - I could see her body in a lamia-esque form swirling out of the colors.  

So in the end, I got 5 of these little paintings done, and made contact with 5 very different deities from all over the world. 





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Antiope Fitness and Training Spell

Like many people, I have fallen in love with the new Wonder Woman movie.  Also like many people, I am in need of getting myself into better physical shape.  I’ve decided that a great way to support my fitness goals is to have a pop culture character to work with as a trainer to help motivate and guide me: thus enter General Antiope.
 
***This post will contain some minor spoilers for the beginning of Wonder Woman.  If you haven’t seen it you, go do so!***
 
If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, General Antiope is the fiercest of all the Amazons and the one who teaches Diana her skills.  Antiope has several characteristics that make her an ideal trainer. 

First is her genuine desire to prepare those under her supervision to overcome any obstacles the world throws at them.  Antiope decides to train Diana, against Diana’s mother’s  wishes, because she knows that someday Diana will have to go up against Ares and that Diana needs to be prepared.  Antiope does not train Amazons for reasons of honor or prestige, but out of a genuine desire to keep them safe.  I’m not looking to “lose weight” or have a “beach body,” I’m looking to improve my physical health for the sake of having the stamina to actually do everything I need to do. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • turtlex
    turtlex says #
    This is wonderful. Thank you.
Symbols in nature & sacred geometry

Symbols in nature & sacred geometry

Mother Nature provides us with a huge amount of natural symbols and sigils in her creations.  The spiral for instance is an ancient magical symbol and appears all over nature, think about the shell of a snail or a fern leaf curled up before it opens out.

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Powers That Changed Gender

One of the things people coming from either Wicca or Christianity to Asatru notice is that the idea that the sun god gets resurrected at Yule doesn't fit in our culture, because to heathens the sun is she. Yet, people still try to wedge the sun god into heathenism, and go looking for a sun god, and identify Baldr as a sun god-- correctly! -- and end up trying to celebrate Baldr's resurrection at Yule, although the lore says he won't come back until the after the end of the universe. 

I have novel gnosis on this topic, that is, gnosis that I received while writing my overgrown unpublished novel Some Say Fire. In the Fireverse, powers that are transferred to another host upon the previous host's death always swap to a host of  the opposite gender. Thus, when Baldur died, the sun power was transferred to Sunna, who became the sun goddess. When Baldur's wife Nanna died, the moon power was transferred to Mani, who became the moon god. Like many things in the Fireverse, that's an oversimplification of the process, but has a kernel of truth in it.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi Anthony, that's cool, I didn't know about that manga. Yes, heathens did "Thor loses his hammer and then gets it back" AND "Thor
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In the manga series Oh, my Goddess the three Norns become goddesses and the middle one Verdandi (called Beldandi in the series) se
Modern Minoan Paganism: Is there a rule book?

When people find out that my main spiritual path is Minoan, they usually want to know more. And somewhere in that round of questions, they'll ask how to "do" Modern Minoan Paganism - what the rules are, the forms each practitioner must follow, and so on. When I tell them that it's a largely spirit-led practice, some people balk. That's understandable.

We live in a society whose most influential religions have whole books full of rules to follow, required forms of worship that are prescribed down to the exact words you must say, the exact ideas you must believe. We're taught from an early age that deviating from these rules will consign us to the flames of Hell or some equally horrible fate. It can feel positively heretical and even frightening to walk out onto a spiritual path that doesn't tell you what to do each and every step of the way. And of course, if there are rules, that gives a certain type of person the opportunity to notify others when they're doing it wrong.

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