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Paths Blogs

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

Nine Weeks of Energy Clearing: Week 2- The Media Detox (Reclaiming Your Mind, Will and Relationship with the Gods), Pt. 1

(For the next few weeks through Eostre, in preparation for Spring Equinox’s energies of renewal, I’m focusing this blog on energetically clearing our lives. Last week we began with looking at the Wyrd (Karma) of Used Things— examining the fate patterns attached to previously owned stuff.)


 You are your thoughts. Thoughts manifest your reality. But how many of those thoughts are really your own?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Bjarni Böðvarr
    Bjarni Böðvarr says #
    Shirl, i am sorry to contact you this way, but please contact me ASAP it concerns SW Frithmoot 2 years ago.
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Some great advice. I was please to see somethings I had already started doing (out of self defense!) on your list, and look forwa
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thanks! You're welcome.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Ecstasy: Filling the empty spaces

What's missing in modern life (and most modern western religion) that sends people in search of everything from Peruvian ayahuasca rituals to Native American sweatlodges and peyote ceremonies? Ecstasy.

No, I don't mean the street drug, but the state of consciousness that takes us out of the ordinary and transports us closer to the numinous, the divine. A while back I wrote about how most of the modern world is ecstasy deprived. We're so steeped in the post-Enlightenment materialist mindset that we forget to look beyond the physical to see what else is around us. We also forget that each of us is more than just physical, that we have amazing abilities to transcend our "daily grind" state of consciousness.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Years ago I took my mother to a Maundy Thursday service at her church. I could feel the energy rising and I looked forward to a m
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    That kind of experience is all too common, especially among the Protestant traditions, where 'a bunch of people sitting around in

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Return to Witches' Tower

I became convinced that Hotel Circle in San Diego was cursed because every time T. N. and I went to visit his old city, some weird glitch happened with each hotel. One had a light that flickered out when the shower was in use, one had a keycard door that wouldn't co-operate and an a/c that wouldn't turn off, one had a plumbing issue that had the hoteliers tearing the wall apart as we quickly changed rooms, one hotel only booked us for one night, locked us out as we came back from the beach (wet and sandy, and cold, because it was winter and raining-- as I told the weather reporter who had to interview some fool tourist out on the beach in the rain, "the ocean is big and wet and salty whether it's rainy or sunny,") and then tried to move us into an incompletely renovated room missing such amenities as towel racks and a bed.

So, I decided that the next time we stayed in Hotel Circle, which is within the view from Witches' Tower, I would go up the Tower and perform an exorcism upon Hotel Circle. I first exorcised a place back in college, which I wrote about in my previous post The Day I Cast Out Satan. The first time I did such a ritual, I did not know any other heathens, all the people I knew in person that I could get magical advice from were Wiccan, and the only book I had about heathen magic was Futhark: Handbook of Rune Magic, so the ritual style was more Wiccan than heathen. In planning to perform such a ritual again, 30 years later, I had to decide if I was going to change anything about the ritual because I know so much more now than I did then. Ultimately I decided to change very little, because the first ritual worked, and that's the test of a magical ritual.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks and you're welcome! On the trip last month just before we visited you we stayed on Hotel Circle and had a few minor glitche
  • Jodie Forrest
    Jodie Forrest says #
    Erin, I think Hotel Circle is horrible; I've always had trouble getting on and off it and avoid it whenever possible. Mark will af
Nine Weeks of Energy Clearing: Week 1—The Wyrd (Karma) of Used Things

Used things can be a boon or a bane. Often, it’s a bit of both.

Ritual purification was (and still is) a huge thing in many polytheist traditions, including Heathenry. For nine posts (give or take some extras), nine being a holy number, I’m going to focus on simple ways to examine the energy entering our lives and help keep it clean. For me, that’s a part of preparing for and welcoming the purifying aspects of Imbolc (Disablot/Tyr’s feast for some Heathens), prior Spring Equinox’s renewal.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Vestals Get a Modern Makeover

Hello all!  Most of the images we have of the Vestals, priestesses of the goddess Vesta, are of course from antiquity.  These are things like statues, relief carvings and images minted onto coins or engraved into seal rings.

As lovely and informative as these are, and as important as they are to giving us an accurate reflection of how these revered women looked, it is nonetheless wonderful to see more modern treatments.  For example, Angus McBride - the chap who illustrated the pic I've used for this blog- was a popular fantasy illustrator and his depiction of the Vestals is probably my all-time favorite.

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Googlemancy

Seeing order in randomly generated patterns is the essence of fortune telling and interpretation of omens. Hundreds of years ago, people might expect to go outside and see many different species of birds routinely as part of their everyday experience. Thus, reading the first type of bird one sees after asking a question was something people could reasonably expect to do as part of their normal lives, because seeing random birds was part of people's normal lives. My everyday experience includes the internet. I see random stuff on my Facebook feed and on the day's Google Doodle as I'm sipping my morning coffee. 

Random stuff is exactly what's traditionally used for fortune telling and omens. Rune casting interprets the way lots fall on a cloth. The rune Perthro, the rune of destiny or wyrd, is shaped like a dice cup, which refers to rolling dice to read a fortune. The heathen art of reading bird omens derives a positive or negative answer from whether one sees a white bird or a black bird first. (Black is the good color, because Odin's ravens are black.) In other traditions, tea leaves make patterns in a cup, and a deck of cards has a traditional significance for each card in Tarot and in cartomancy. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Coming of Age: The Akrotiri Frescoes

One of the ways we can figure out how the ancient Minoans practiced their religion is by looking at their art. Much of their art - frescoes, seal stones and rings, carved vases - contains ritual scenes that give us a glimpse into their spiritual life. And some of the most famous frescoes are from the Minoan town of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini (it was called Thera in the ancient world).

One of the buildings in Akrotiri, called Xeste 3, appears to have been a ritual building where puberty rites were held for girls and boys. How do we know that's what happened there? The frescoes show us!

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  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Thank you! I'm doing my best to bring the world of the ancient Minoans to life for modern people. :-)
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Fascinating. I really enjoyed this piece.

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