Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

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

My Spiritual Pilgrimage Pt 1: Preparing for the Journey

In a bit less than a week from the time of this writing, I'll be going on a short spiritual pilgrimage in the Columbia Gorge. My partner and I will be traveling up the Columbia River Gorge to check out the Confluence sites, and learn more about this region we live in. 

One of the reasons I'm doing this journey is because I've felt a powerful connection to the spirit of the Columbia River. I feel that by traveling to these sites, walking the land and learning the lore I can develop a deeper relationship with the spirit of the river, while also honoring the past and present.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think there was a Columbia River episode on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmer. I remember him stopping at a little fishery/marke
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I live in the area so I am fortunate to enjoy it in general and to give thanks.

June 27, 2018 – I just read a beautiful prayer by Francesca De Grandis on the Witches and Pagans website. In it, she references the fear of extending one's arm to help another human being – which means, I think, the fear that our intentions may be misinterpreted and that the arm which was extended in love might get viciously ripped off at the shoulder! Her prayer is for strength of faith, to remember that Mother-Father God supports us always, no matter what the outcome seems to be.

This concern is especially rampant in these times of political and religious division, exacerbated by an Internet gone out of control - with so many plausible versions of reality that nobody can tell, any more, what is true and what is false. To an old wannabe hippy like myself who used to live in hopeful dreams of a world united in love, it is unbelievable how the most benign expressions of goodwill and acceptance can be met with the most ferocious hatred and condemnation - by people who consider themselves just as reasonable and educated, and just as socially sensitive and spiritual, as I am myself!

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Before sitting down at my computer this evening I was writing down a note on a story I hope to write. In the note a boy age 10 sa
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Very good observations, Anthony. I like your story line which shows reality from the viewpoints of different ages. And it always

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Magic of the Quill

Ic seah wrætlice     wuhte feower
samed siþian     swearte · wæran lastas
swaþu swiþe blacu     swift wæs on fore
fulgum framra     fleotgan lyfte
deaf under yþe     dreag unstille
winnende wiga     se him wægas tæcneþ
ofer fæted gold     feower eallū


The riddles of the Exeter Book give us oblique snapshots of everyday life for the monks in the Middle Ages. You can easily imagine the scribes fixing on something within site and coming up with a poetic and misleading description where metaphor can throw a reader off the track. But the metaphors reveal power, too. Riddle 40 (51 in the Krapp-Dobbie edition) refers to one of the ubiquitous items in their lives: the pen or quill.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Birch: The Tree of Midsummer

 

 

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Ruminations on the Soul: Mental Illness and Suicide

**This post is rooted in recent current events, and has foundations in my experience as a mental health chaplain. The content may be upsetting or triggering to some**

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

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  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Thank you for this post.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Riddle Me This

One of the genres you may not expect to be popular in the Middle Ages is that of riddles. They're not usually as straightforward as the riddles we know. They tend to be more metaphorical. I mentioned before in The Magic of Names the riddle that has 'magpie' as its solution (probably). Many of them are scatalogical or full of double entendres, which also doesn't fit our image of pious monks -- but it's our picture of monks that's wrong.

The myth persists that the church ruled the Middle Ages with a heavy hand. Like the myth that people thought the world was flat, it's just wrong. Many people who thought of themselves as Christian went to church once a year to confess and that was enough for them. Many monks who were part of the church were no more devoted to their religion than the average slacker working for a giant corporation is. It gave them a living if they weren't inheriting any wealth. For many it was an easy life (see Chaucer's monk for example).

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Sweet riddle! Love it. Thanks for sharing! A most interesting blog.
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Haha, I was gonna say apple.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    The answer is of course -- an onion!
Snake Spirits: Health and Wealth

"Snake, snake, come swiftly 
Hither come, thou tiny thing,
Thou shalt have thy crumbs of bread,
Thou shalt refresh thyself with milk."

-The Brothers Grimm, “Stories About Snakes: First Story”

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