Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_abydos-crop1small.jpgThe crafting of a life is an epic journey, the story of which has been told around the world for as long as we have memory. For the ancient Nile dwellers, survival was exquisitely poised on the banks of that great river, where the mysterious flood arose each year, bringing new fertility to all the land. This is the time of year when the flood used to peak.  But the Egyptians also carried the understanding of how this life is linked to the next one, the deep mysteries of life, death, rebirth and new, transformed life.

The story of those mysteries comes to us from numerous writings preserved in the royal tombs and temples: the Book of Going Forth By Day; the Book of Gates; the Book of Caverns, the Amduat, and several other afterlife texts. Each of them is a variation on the 12-hour journey of the sun through the netherworld, or Duat. Each hour requires passage through a gate, each hour is a stage of personal transformation for the soul. The journey culminates with the re-emergence of the sun - the transformed life - in the brilliant light of dawn. In ancient times, priests of the temple played the role of the gods in the story, as well as reciting and chanting praises and prayers.  We know many of these today through the so-called Book of the Dead.

Traces of the Egyptian mysteries were preserved in the books known as the Hermetica, and the process shows up again in the work of the medieval alchemists. Our ceremony tonight is based on the Book of the Night, found in the Osireion at the Temple of Sety in Abydos. The goddess Nut, with her lapis-blue star-spangled body, spans the ceiling of a transverse chapel of the Osireion. There we see the sun in its solar boat beginning the journey through her body.

The afterlife books are filled with layer upon layer of myth and meaning, hundreds and hundreds of years of allegory and symbolism. Sometimes the dying and reborn god is Ra, and sometimes Osiris; the goddess may appear as Hathor or as Sekhmet. Sometimes the goddess Maat is the divine woman wearing a feather on her head, and sometimes maat is the abstract principle of truth, justice, balance, right living. But the central figure is the soul of the dead, whom we will here call Ani, navigating through the dark in the solar boat. Whether a pharaoh or one of us, that soul begins the afterlife journey at the death of its physical body, is rebirthed in the Duat, and emerges as Horus, the powerful shining one who soars like a hawk across the daytime sky.

As we embark on another cycle through the dark time of the year, may your journey bring you to the eastern gates, transformed into an akh, a shining one.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Road-to-chester-swamp.png...After my post last week wherein I talked about my deep love of the Pacific Northwest and feeling like I've come home here and intending to spend the rest of my life here... life threw me a curveball.

For reasons I won't get into here, I am having to move back to New England, and am looking at doing so before the end of 2014 (not immediately, but in the not too distant future).  While this is not what I wanted, it also could be a lot worse, and I accept what is - there are also some serious pros to the situation, including being able to bring my cat with me, getting a chance to focus on my writing and art career, and I have a bigger support network on the east coast than I do out here.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Nornoriel, Welcome soon to New England! This place is in your blood and in your soul, like many of us. May the Gods and spirits s
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Hi Jamie! Thank you for the welcome as well as the blessing and well wishes, I appreciate it. I've missed New England a lot. In

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Piece of My Father's Soul

Continuing my story of my personal journey, this post is about my father’s death. Here I’m going to talk about visiting dad before my junior year of college, which happened before the events of the previous post in which I became a sworn priestess of Freya, and then go forwards to dad’s death at the end of my junior year. His funeral was on Father's Day, June 17, 1989. 

I had a problematic relationship with my father. He abused me in many ways. His death was one of three three traumatic things that happened right after my dedication to Freya, and I think she removed him from my life so that I could eventually heal. But he was still my dad, and his death affected me in more ways than getting a toxic person out of my life. He was not only the dad who touched me sexually while telling me I was too fat to ever get a man; he was also the dad who taught me to fish. He was not only the dad who hypnotized me and tortured me in ways that he had picked up from his North Korean captors during the war; he was also the dad who taught me how to communicate with the land spirits. 

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Nepal: A Country Of Holy Cows, Tibetan Refugees and Spiritual Mountains: Part Two

The jaunt to the mystical Langtang mountains of Nepal had left me feeling in better spirits and all too soon we are back on the bus to Kathmandu. I was back being my adventuresome self once more. It was 1996 and I had decided I was not going to die in Nepal. 

Back at the Kathmandu Guest House it is soaking up local culture again as we embarked on numerous sightseeing expeditions. First on the agenda was the Hanuman Dhoka—the Old Palace—spread over an area of five impressive acres. It was a popular square of complexes, palaces, temples and courtyards much of it built in the 12th Century. In Durbar Square statues of gods, men, demons and exotic sexual looking images greeted me. A half lion Vishnu statue created uneasy emotions; it was altogether an astonishing and overwhelming trip through images and often erotic art that is inspired by religion here. I felt confounded and baffled, not to fail to mention astonished and perplexed. Was it my strict Mennonite upbringing that caused me to feel bewildered seeing these images? I decided to sleep on it.

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Dear Friends,

Effective immediately, please stop telling me to delegate.

Thanks so much.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Leaves_in_Oregon.jpgThis is my second fall in Oregon, and only the second "real" fall I've had in eight years.  Last year, after I first moved here, the sight of the leaves changing color and falling to the ground made me cry.  I knew I'd missed the big dramatic seasonal changes of New England, but didn't realize how much. Not experiencing "real" seasonal changes during my almost-seven years in SoCal (beyond rainy and really hot) really messed with my head, and contributed to my general sense of feeling out of place there.  In a way, my life reflected that - I was stuck, and like much of the flora that is naturally suited for New England or the Pacific Northwest but not SoCal, I wasn't thriving there.  I was perpetually dry, burned to a crisp.

When I moved here, it wasn't just that the beauty of fall foliage nourished my soul.  I really like rain. (Which is good, because we have an abundance of that up here.)  But even above and beyond that... it was like an internal clock that had stopped ticking, started ticking again.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Welcome "home." (Even though you never lived here before. In this life, anyway.) I lived in an amazing place in Northern Californi
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Thank you! Western Oregon has amazing energy, especially the coast. Words do not even properly do justice to how I feel about th
Yule Advent Calendar (and a belated Michaelmas outing)

Taking a look back into the archives of my personal blog, I found that I first began putting together what I referred to as my “Yule Advent Calendar” in September 2010. (The same year I took my service oath to the Wild Hunt.) Admittedly, advent (from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming”) is a Christian concept, a series of festival dates that mark the progression of the Christmas season. I am not claiming that this custom was borrowed from paganism, but since so many other trappings of the Christian festival year clearly were, I felt no qualms about adopting the advent calendar for my own purposes in marking the series of festivals I observe leading up to Yule. 

This custom of adopting some of the festivals of the medieval Christian Church for my own purposes has since spread into other parts of the year, no doubt under the influence of my adoptive Disir, the group of women I've referred to as the Queens (most of whom were actual Queens in medieval Egnland). Shortly after discovering Michaelmas and Martinmas, I adopted Candlemas and began adding more traditional elements into my celebration of All Hallow's Eve, May Day and Lammas, and I wouldn't be surprised if that trend continues, since the customs and pageantry of medieval England (pre-Reformation) call to me quite powerfully. In most of the festivals I can feel an echo that harkens back to pagan times, as well as to the pagan customs that were slow to die away in the countryside. Whether or not this echo reflects the actual survival of a pagan practice, it enriches the experience of the festival for me and gives me that feeling I so love of being linked to the past and helping to carry the essence of lost traditions into the future.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jolene
    Jolene says #
    I wish I could have been with you this morning -- I love the cemetery tours that we do this time of year. Sounds like it was a gre

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