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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Indo-European paganism

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thinking in Circles

Thinking in circles.

Imagine: some people think that's a bad thing.

6000 years ago, the Mother Language had a word: *serk-. It meant “make restitution, compensate.”

It also meant “make a circle, complete.”

Restitution is an important cultural value. When you screw up, you need to make up for it. People are going to hurt one another, and restitution helps heal the wound.

So what does restitution have to do with circles?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember an article in Science News that said reciprocity is the basis for all moral and economic activities.
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    And what goes around comes around, also a circle. Do unto others, as the saying goes, (And be sure it is what you would like done
Did Ancient Indo-Europeans Celebrate Samhain 6000 Years Ago?

According to Italian anthropologist Augusto S. Cacopardo, we've been celebrating Samhain for a long, long time now.

Some 6500 years ago, a group of people speaking a family of related dialects called Proto-Indo-European lived in the grasslands between the Black and Caspian Seas. In time, they expanded east and west into Asia and Europe, bringing with them their language, ancestral to many South Asian, and most European, languages, including the one that you're reading now.

In his book Pagan Christmas: Winter Feasts of the Kalasha of the Hindu Kush (2010) Dr. Cacopardo contends that they also brought with them a festival called *Semen(os), the ancestor (and namesake) of our modern Samhain.

Of this festival Cacopardo writes, [T]hough it may not have marked the beginning of the year, it seems to have some traits of a New Year feast, or it must have opened, at any rate, the winter period (260).

He adds: It surely marked, however, a time considered to be particularly numinous because gods and fairies came close to human beings. It coincided with the time when the herds were brought back to their winter quarters and it marked the beginning of the winter sacrifices (260n51).

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It is so amazing watching a vision become real.  And in our case, it starts in the dirt.  The place has been chosen and cleared for the Goddess Samona’s Shrine.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
White Mountain Druid Sanctuary

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. There aren’t many Pagan sites in the US and there are even fewer that have been created as a modern interpretation of ancient Indo-European customs and practices. WMDS was envisioned after years of study of ancient Celtic (Irish, Welsh, and Gaulish) archaeology, history, and religion and was built to honor the practices of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), a Pagan church based on ancient Indo-European traditions expressed through public worship, study, and fellowship. WMDS was also built to re-imagine how the ancient peoples of Celtic Europe may have honored the world around them, the Land, and the Gods and Spirits.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Rhymes with 'Art'

The ancestors were practical people.

When linguists discovered that, by comparing words from daughter languages, they could reconstruct a vocabulary for a language from some 6000 years ago, predating the invention of writing, they were ecstatic.

In our understanding of the past, archaeological artifacts will take us only so far. To really understand how a culture thinks, we need to know what it says.

To the scholarly world's everlasting disappointment, what we can reconstruct of the Proto-Indo-European language really tells us very little about the ancestors' society, culture, or religion.

What we do know is that they had two words for, shall we say, “breaking wind.”

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Burchard's Corrector: Rooting Out Medieval Magic

This week in my Women as Witches, Saints & Healers course, we read the Corrector of Buchard of Worms. This early 11th century handbook guided priests with questions they ought to ask their confessing parishioners in order to root out bad behaviour -- and a lot of the bad behaviour was pre-Christian practices that persisted. The insight these questions offer is rather magical, but the style of his rhetoric makes this much more fun to read than the usual sort of penitential.

Here are a few snippets to entertain you:

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only person interested in these sorts of texts as source material for modern Heathenism or Paganism. I
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    That's very good to hear!
The Male Nipple in Myth and Ritual (!)

 

Gentlemen, why does Pickering's Moon go around in reverse?

Gentlemen, there are nipples on your breasts: do you give milk?

And what, pray tell, Gentlemen, is to be done about Heisenberg's Law?

Somebody had to put all of this confusion here!

 

Thus did the goddess Chaos reveal herself, with acid-etched revelatory clarity, to two young Californians in the 1960s (Younger 1968).

 

“About as useful as tits on a bull,” goes the folk expression, but—as any cattleman can tell you—bulls actually do have nipples. All male mammals, including humans, begin our existence as females. It is to this fact, gentlemen, that we owe our nipples.

 

In the language of symbolism, the nipple—from its basic biological function—means nurturance.

 

The nurturing male is a presence little addressed in the modern paganisms, but the ancestors, of course, knew better. So I'd like to explore the surprising role that the male nipple, that paradoxical female presence in the male body, plays in ritual and lore.

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