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
Loom of the Possible

Loom of the Possible

 

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  • Caroline Kenner
    Caroline Kenner says #
    Thank you, this is very helpful indeed.
So You've Angered the Fairies...Now What?

One question I am often asked is what to do if you’ve angered the fairies. There’s a variety of ways this can happen from trespassing in there places, causing damage to those same places, taking something you shouldn’t from them, destroying a fairy ring, tossing water out when they are passing by, or even speaking badly of them where they happen to hear it. The Fair Folk are not subtle in their anger and if you have annoyed them you will generally know it. On the milder end you may experience sudden terrible luck, on the medium end bruising, muscle cramps, or feeling like you are being pinched, on the more severe end blindness, or serious permanent physical harm (and of course any physical symptoms you should have checked by a medical professional).

So, then, if you think you have done something that you know annoys the fairies or feel like you are on the receiving end of their anger for any reason what do you do? Here is a list of suggestions, although I’ll say up front that you may need to try a couple things until you find one that works to appease them.

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Folk Dance: Creative Power and Connecting to the Land

 

I'm learning how to flatfoot.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Language of Birds

These quarantine times give us medievalists plenty of parallels to draw: times of plague and difficulties of travel -- but the effects are the same on us. Normally I would be with my family in Scotland by this time. There I would be hearing the screams of the gulls, the occasional melodic outburst of a blackbird and the friendly croaks of my beloved magpies.

Now I lie awake in the (earlier every day) dawn light listening to a very different set of birds: sparrows galore, North American robins -- enormous athletic birds so different from the jolly European kind -- finches, wrens, catbirds, four kinds of woodpeckers including the giant pileated woodpecker whose laugh echoes often. The crows come by to eat the corn. The bluejays tend to come in a pack and chatter loudly to one another. In the morning and at dusk you can hear the turkeys gobble.

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Recommended Reading: the Academic Version

Annotated Reading List

I’ve been asked recently to provide a more indepth recommended reading list for people interested in researching fairies from a more academic angle. I have previously in various places offered short lists but never a longer one, so it did seem like a good suggestion. Today I’m going to write about many of the books I have found valuable in my own personal studies, and I hope that will in turn be helpful to others. These are specifically academically focused works, rather than more general sources, which means they were written by people working within the field they were writing about (or a closely related one) or published by university presses, as far as I am aware.

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Grains, Spirits, and the Spurtle

It started when I was having trouble buying grains -- rice, flour, oats, you name it -- due to the quarantine panic. I looked in the pantry and realized that we had somehow previously amassed 10 lbs of grits along with 5 lbs of cornmeal -- plenty to get us through a temporary grain shortage. I was relieved, and my gratitude made me think of my ancestors and their reliance on grains, and of the ancestors of peoples around the world who did the same. Grains are sacred everywhere, although the specific grains will differ according to location.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's my understanding that cherry wood is toxic containing cyanide. Your land spirits are looking after you to have left the mapl
  • The Cunning Wīfe
    The Cunning Wīfe says #
    Cherry wood does contain traces of cyanide -- definitely not good to eat (unlike the fruits)! Because the wood contains such a sma

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
National Unicorn Day

unicorn shield edIn Scotland it is National Unicorn Day, the day they celebrate the national beast. With the lockdown and everyone staying indoors, they have become plentiful again, so I hear. Thus from medieval Scots history I offer you a tale told by a unicorn (on good authority!) from The Talis of Fyve Bestes (beasts that is, not besties). The executive summary:

“The Unicornis Tale” recounts how, in his youth, a boy named Gundulfus threw a stone and broke a cockerel’s thigh bone. He leaves home to study and returns on the night before he is due to travel to Kent to receive a benefice. His family and friends convince him to stay rather than travel that night, promising that the cock’s crows will wake him in the morning. The cock refuses to crow as an act of revenge and Gundulfus loses his position.

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