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
Charm for Weaving

Weaving has long been a winter activity. As the last vestiges of the cold hang on hereabouts, the thought of spring still seems distant. But friends have been sharing pictures of their new lambs so it's coming nonetheless. The whole cycle from wool to woven begins again.

There has long been an association of magic with weaving. While dismissed as 'women's work' often, its intricacies inspire wonder at its mysteries. If you don't know how to do a thing, the process can look like magic. Indeed the association goes back to the Moirai, the Parcae, the Norns and even Macbeth's three witches. The threads they weave, measure and cut -- how do they affect our fates? And what are the incantations they mutter over the threads?

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Saying Goodbye in the Spring

I have been meaning to write a blog post on Goddesses.... lots of blog posts on lots of Goddesses, but that annoying nuisance known as real life has interrupted me numerous times. Today I slowed down. I slowed down a lot, and in so doing, I thought I was going to finish a much delayed post about the Norse Asynjur, but my heart is not in it today. I need to write about loss instead.

My beautiful 17 year old cat Bella is leaving us. Bella does indeed live up to her name as the many photos my husband and I have taken of her over the years will show anyone. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie Okulam
    Jamie Okulam says #
    Oh, we know what it is to loose a cat! We have lost two in the last two years. I miss them so much. My partner and I were unfairly
  • Helena
    Helena says #
    Thank you! I am so sorry you had to leave your home!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Lighted Hearth

The hearth. The center of the home, the center of domestic life. For our ancestors, it was where food was made, stories were shared, textiles were crafted and mended. Eminent scholar of medieval traditions and folklore Claude Lecouteux writes: "Hearth is a generic term for designating the place where fire burns. The hearth can mean different things depending on the era and the region; it ranges from the simple fire pit of primitive dwellings to the more modern earthenware and cast-iron stove, and includes the open chimney, the fireplace, the oven, or the furnace" (The Tradition of Household Spirits, 69). So when I refer to the hearth, I mean the place where the fire dwells and provides warmth and sustenance.

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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

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