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
Open The Door Softly

Over the last several years, I have noticed more people expressing that they are encountering a thinning of the veils, openings between the worlds, crossings to and from the neighboring realms, and so on. These reports have been increasing in number and the intervals between reports have been decreasing. Significantly, these encounters and observations are less linked to the times and places that are traditionally thought of as naturally liminal or during the times in the changes of the seasons of the Sun and Moon when these passages are expected. I have read and heard a variety of suggestions to explain this phenomenon, and many of them are reasonable and plausible. I’d like to propose that there is also a slow and steady shift in the Astrological tides that is also one of the root causes of this change. There will be just enough Astrology in this post to offer an explanation without bogging down in a lesson in Astrology.

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Headache in Medieval Scotland

The long history of headaches and their relief could doubtless fill many volumes. Although at the forefront of medicine in many ways (at least for the tenth century) Ali ibn Isa al-Kahhal seemed to have run out of practical solutions when he suggested lashing a mole to your head (then again have you tried it?). Hildegard of Bingen might suggest a need for more viriditas or 'greening' in your life, for "green is useful and mellow" as we know.

But sometimes there was only the suffering. Medieval Scots poet William Dunbar captures that pain well in his short poem:

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
To Be A Pagan Chaplain: Compassion

I field many questions about what I do as a chaplain from people who are curious, but who also are under the misconception that as a Pagan I don't actually have a faith tradition (or my faith tradition is not acceptable). A large reason I am pursuing this path is to do the work of representing my faith group at the table with other groups--to do the work of "legitimacy" if you will. We have a long way to go in this battle, as I will demonstrate in the example I will leave here. As I do this work, I am beginning to realize people need to understand why Pagan chaplaincy is necessary. It isn't just the interfaith work, though that is important too. But for every Pagan who is in the hospital and wants a chaplain of their faith to be there with them, for every Pagan in prison, or the military, or in universities, there will need to be someone willing to do the work of fighting this battle of legitimacy.

**Note: For those who are familiar with what verbatims looks like, this format will be familiar. This was an actual encounter with someone I work with, recollected to the best of my ability and presented to my group for processing. This is the reality I live with everyday.** 

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for sharing your experience and insights. Respectfully, I'd like to offer some variations on your replies. FWIW, I've bee

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Turan: A Goddess of Ancient Etruria

I have to say, making my 2017 resolution to create a drawing of a Goddess a day has been rewarding, challenging, fun, and illuminating. I've had a great time sharing images of goddesses on my Facebook page every day, receiving feedback on my drawings, and getting ideas for new ones. I thought for today's Blog post, I'd write about Turan, a Goddess of ancient Etruria, or what today is known as Tuscany. The Etrurians are more commonly referred to as the Etruscans, which is how I will refer to them here. 

There are a great many things about the Etruscans which still remain a mystery in the twenty-first century, mostly because their language has been only partially deciphered. What we can do is look at the art they created and see visually the things that mattered most to them.   

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    "Unlike Roman and Greek women, whose husbands were known for faithlessness and not marrying for love, Etruscan women seemed to enj
May the Peace of the Goddess Be Upon You: A Goddess for These Times

The Goddess I have decided to discuss this week is the Roman Goddess Pax. As you can see in my contemporary rendering of her, she is often depicted with an olive branch, a cornucopia (peace brings abundance), and a dove. In this time of fear and panic, we especially need her now to remind us that even if the world around us is filled with hate and rage, we can look within for peace, and we have someone upon whom we can call for that peace.

In Roman times, the term "Pax Roman" referred to the 'peace' brought by Roman colonization. In 19 BC, the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) was dedicated by the Emperor Augustus to celebrate his return from Hispania, and reflects the Augustan religion in Roman culture. 

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  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thanks so much!!! Awesome to see you too!!
  • Catharine Clarenbach
    Catharine Clarenbach says #
    Hello, Helena! Qira Clarenbach (originally from Four Quarters) -- so delicious to find you here. I hope to read much and much more

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
I'll Tell You

 

It is a fairly common custom for Traditions and Schools to have materials that are oathbound, teachings or practices that can only be shared with members or initiates. I have friends that are old school Witches, or Masons, or one of any number of systems that can eloquently explain why they have oathbound materials. I will not speak for them, and I honor their right to follow their ways. The Tradition of which I am a member, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, does not have any teachings or practices that are oathbound, in fact it is more accurate to say that we are openbound. It is not my intention in this post to assert that oathbound, openbound, or any other approach is better than the other. What constitutes better is a matter of your perspectives, values, the purpose of your system, and the nature of your goals. What I’d like to offer here is information on how we manage boundaries for our lore and practices. The Assembly has been around since 1984 and we are 13 covens with a 14th in the process of formation.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Goddesses and Resistance: Why I Paint

Today I posted on my Facebook page that between scary changes at my workplace and the current national events, it was taking every ounce of energy I have not to run screaming into the streets. I am not alone in feeling this way as numerous friends “liked” my status and numerous more made comments to the same affect. It is indeed exhausting to watch the new US government play itself out on social media, and can make one’s soul very bone weary. My situation is not unique. Indeed, I fear I am even turning into a broken record here on this blog, but please bear with me. A glance at Facebook will guide you to numerous articles about the importance of self-care in such dire times. I have wondered what I, an arthritic fifty-something art professor at a university with declining enrollment can do to make my voice heard amongst the many others resisting the new regime’s policies and proposed changes, and I’ve figured that the most important thing I can do is keep making art.

 

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