Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
How my Ancestors Liberated me

On a recent trip to South Dakota, I met my ancestors. I walked among their gravestones, walked in the places they lived, looked at pictures of them and heard stories about them that brought them to life for me. And although I didn't speak with them directly, I still felt like I had a dialogue. Since that trip I've continued to meditate on the presence of my ancestors.

In the title of this article I claim they liberated me and really they did, because what I learned about them put my own life and experiences into a different context. Instead of just focusing on the singular I experience of my life, I stepped back and looked at the generations that came before me and asked the question, "What were their experiences and how did those experiences convey themselves to my life?"

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When you get older and your doctor says you should start using a CPAP machine, don't take it as a failure. Embrace the opportunity; your CPAP may actually provide some of the same benefits as meditation, albeit through a somewhat different mechanism.

As your brain absorbs a higher percentage of oxygen while it's asleep and dreaming, it may realize clearer insights into the nature of reality.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Lammas

Most people are familiar with the Celtic name for August 1st, Lughnasadh. Across the water it's known as Lammas Day.

From Leechdom, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England, a compendium of wonderful folk knowledge of early Anglo-Saxon England, here's a fragment of a charm using bread [hláf] hallowed on 'hláfmæsse-dæg' the traditional grain harvest day:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Chathol-linn
    Chathol-linn says #
    Oh, one more thing. I went to the supermarket today looking for some appropriate flowers for the Lammas table. The local Wegman'
  • Chathol-linn
    Chathol-linn says #
    Hello. I am relatively new to Pagans and Witches. I’m glad I picked Lammas Day to join. My modest celebration of this cross quart

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Nettles & Mugwort

While I was reading Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes, a too much neglected classic of witchcraft fiction, I was struck by a rhyme Lolly's Nannie Quantrell had taught her as a child, which she had learned from her grandmother:

If they would eat nettles in March

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
How to unlock hidden universes

I recently visited Disneyland for five days. During those 5 days all I did was go on rides, and experience the magic and wonder of Disney. It was a liminal experience. I wasn't engaged in my usual routine and in some ways it very much felt like I had entered a pocket universe. When my trip was over it took me several days to get back into my regular routine.

If you've ever attended a Pagan conference or festival, you've undoubtedly had a similar experience. Once you go into the conference, you enter a different space and you encounter a difference sense of time. It is a space and time that is sacred in its own way, created by the intentional consciousness of the people participating in that space, similar to a ritual, but different as well, because you participating in this group consciousness, but it may or may not have required an overt ritual to occur.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Recent History: Doreen Valiente

I usually stick to much older history, but having had the chance to catch the Doreen Valiente exhibit at Preston Manor in Brighton, I figured I should share a few pictures as I know it's a bit tricky for many folks to get there. The exhibit itself is small but there's a great delight in seeing how intimately history is made by a most unassuming woman. I picked up Philip Heseltine's biography too and am much enjoying it. Here are some of the artifacts collected:

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Wisteria's Summer Solstice

For many years I would travel to Wisteria for Pagan Spirit Gathering.  From 2001 until 2008 I spent my Summer Solstice at Wisteria at PSG and loved it.  The community was phenomenal and the energy amazing; however, in 2009 PSG moved to a different location.  Ironically, just as I was going through a divorce it would seem the PSG also went through a divorce with Wisteria and the festival moved to a different venue.  I loved the sense of community that I felt at PSG, but I was also very much in love with the land at Wisteria.  It had a magical and mystical quality for me.

When my father died in 2004 I made a pilgrimage the following year to Wisteria's Faerie Shrine, a location at Wisteria that wasn't part of the PSG programming, and made an offering of my father's US Navy dog tag.  In 2008 I attended Between the Worlds Festival at Wisteria and while there I attended a ritual at the Faerie Shrine honoring our ancestors and sacred dead.  When I enter the Faerie Shrine I can feel my father's presence and the love he has for me as one of my sacred ancestors.  The Faerie Shrine at Wisteria always had an ethereal quality for me that added to the magical and mystical quality of the overall site.  My connection to the land is real and has meaning for me.

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