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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pagan art

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tattooed Pagans - A ritual in ink

The time for preparation is over. I have eaten. I have stripped down and am bare from the waist up. I have been washed. I have been shaved. I have stepped into the circle I have cast and taken my seat. I've sent words to the gods that I' d like protection and ease and fortitude of mind and body. This ritual is a test. This is my journey to make alone.

Then the buzzing starts. "Are you ready?" I'm asked. I nod and I feel the first sting of the needle as it pierces my skin. Long strokes up and down my spine. The weight of another's arm on my back holding me in place. The concurrent thoughts of "What the hell am I doing?" and "Oh I've waited so long for this, I can't believe it's finally happening". 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    gwionraven@comcast.net or you can post it over at the Witches and Pagans face book page if you like. There are now hundreds of tat
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    sure!
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello David, Now that's a great story. I'd happily send you my email address if you'd like and you can email a picture to me. I'l
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    I just got an addition to an old tattoo. I added some sacred geometry, smoke and pentagrams. The best part was the tattooist is al
  • Peggy Frye
    Peggy Frye says #
    I've several Celtic tattoos - crows and hounds (stylized) and now I have two half sleeves depicting The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn -
Paradise Now: The Visionary World of Feraferia's Frederick Adams

Few individuals can have been as important in the shaping of the modern pagan vision as artist and visionary Frederick McLaren Adams, founder of Feraferia.

I first encountered his work and thought in the early 70s. His vision of a culture in which art, daily life, religion, work, play, and wilderness together form a single, unified whole inspired me deeply and still does: the nostalgic and necessary dream of a holistic, integral culture.

And his art: swirling, surreal, eros-charged icons in which Pagan Past and Pagan Future met and kissed in a passionate Maiden embrace. To gaze into the eyes of his Apple Kore on the jacket of Hans Holzer's New Pagans (1972) was, for me, to fall willingly, irretrievably, head over heels in love.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagan Art Without the Pentagrams

Anyone who thinks of contemporary pagan art as the preserve of the fey, the twee, or the technically improficient needs to get his (or her) butt down to the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists' Samhain 2014 exhibit, Doorways to the Underworld, stat. There she (or he) will encounter confident, conceptually mature work by artists fully in command of their respective media. All this without pentagrams. Well, there's one, but on that, more later.

Anglo-American painter Roger Williamson's A Dance for Kali is indisputably one of the stars of the show. In Williamson's previous work we frequently see figures emerging out of a dark surround: an inversion of the gold grund of Eastern Orthodox iconography, but working on the same principle. In Dance we encounter three simultaneous visual fields. In the far back—as it were, in the deep past—swirling darkness; in the middle ground, a hovering neon Kali yantra, and before it, the apex of the visual cone, the dancing Kali herself. Or is it Kali?

With her halo of flying, flaming hair and marble skin, this could be some naked Irish battle-goddess that we see in the midst of her terrible dance, a Nemain or a Morrigan. Williamson shows us here a Western Kali, an emergent visual tradition pioneered by (among others) fellow collective-member Paul B. Rucker. This mad dancer with her impossible necklace of ricocheting skulls simultaneously raises the much-vexed issue of cultural appropriation and tramples it underfoot as irrelevant. How dare we think such a Power culture-bound?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The woman who sculpted our temple's goddess was having a few one night with folks from her artist's collective in Boston. They were far enough in their cups to be one-upping each other: the artist's brag.

I had a one-person show at the X Gallery,” says one.

I have a piece in the Y Museum,” says another.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Once & Future People

Žemė, “Earth.” Pendant: amber (with vegetal inclusions), 2¾' x 1¾'. George Romulis, 2012

George Romulis, at 93, has been working amber for more than 70 years. He is an emeritus member of the Riga Amber-Workers Guild and one of the living treasures of Latvia.

This stunning pendant, titled Žemė, “Earth”, fits neatly into the palm of the hand, but its clean lines and boldness of form give it a striking monumentality; it feels larger than it actually is. It is also profoundly female. We all know these lines; we've seen them many times before: in the bodies of the women around us, as in what our coven kid Robin used to call the “clay ladies” of ancient Europe and the Middle East, here elegantly stylized but readily recognizable nonetheless.

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Who, then, are the gods of the new pagans?

I would suggest that Two, at least, among Them are revealing Themselves to us even as you read these words.

Not through the mouths of prophets do they speak to us today, but through the hands of artists: a revelation not in words, but in shape and line and color.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Good stuff, Steve. I am also put off by the tendency of some who try to merge all Gods into "One God." Or all Goddesses into "On
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Greybeard. I'm not sure when Aunt Violet's reductionist dictum about all gods being one god, all goddesses being one godde
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    Great article Steve! I wish you had included some links to actual art. Here's a couple of paintings that are my take on the Red Go
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Next post on how the Goddesses reveal themselves today? Or are the male Gods the primary "icons for our day"?
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Never doubt it, Carol. Coming soon (as soon as I can figure out how to load images, anyway), an amazing modern Goddess pendant by

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sacred Ink

On the weekend of Vancouver Pagan Pride, one of my tradition sisters offered to touch up my new sacred tattoo that I had received about six weeks prior.  "It's really great for someone who was new, and her lines are excellent," she said, "but it's fading a little already and I want to dress it up a little, if that's okay with you."

My spirit-sister Jennica had done the tattoo - a triple moon with a blue pentagram in the center of the full one - in a cast circle as part of sacred ceremony.  It was my first tattoo ever and that meant a lot to me.  I had insisted upon this because I had been told the story of how my initiator Lord Redleaf had received the Green Man tattoo on his chest as part of ritual in a cast circle and it moved me.  I told my trad sister Amity Loyce this and let her know that it was very important to me that it remain sacred, and still done in a cast circle and empowered.  "Sure, that's fine," she said with a nod.  "I don't have any problems doing that!  I always wanted to tattoo in a cast circle . . ."

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    They're very nicely done! Thanks for sharing.
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    *This* is awesome. Sacred tattoos done during ritual are a wonderful idea. I'll have to keep this in mind for my next tattoo in h

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