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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!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

You could say idolatry is in my blood.

I was raised Catholic, which included attending Catholic school from kindergarten through freshman year of high school, and mass every week (plus the high holy days). Which meant I spent a lot of time studying the art and architecture of the churches we attended – my grandparents' church in South Philadelphia, the incredibly ornate from floor to ceiling St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (the first Italian parish in the US) to our home base St. Charles Borromeo in South Jersey which was very mid-century modern, clean yet with very colorful, large stained glass windows.

Growing up in an environment where Catholicism was the majority, I wasn't exactly prepared at age when we moved to South Carolina (3% Catholic at the time), and discovered that Protestants considered Catholics idol-worshipers and not “true Christians.”

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In one of the Seth books by Jane Roberts; sorry I don't remember which one, it is said that Art is the expression and exploration
  • Laura Tempest Zakroff
    Laura Tempest Zakroff says #
    Haven't read the Seth books, but I could definitely see truth in that statement on several levels. As for art is received/viewed

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

So for the last two weeks, I find myself spinning in place, a bit bewildered by mundania. In comparison to where I've been, the mundane world seems cold and barren.  

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On Wicca as a Gateway Paganism

Some of us have the very great good fortune to fall in love for the first time, marry, and live (more or less) happily thereafter.

Many of us (most of us, I suspect) are not so lucky.

No, we crawl off into a corner to pout and lick our wounds.

And then (assuming no real abuse was involved) with time we do manage to heal and go out to meet other loves and try again. And sometimes, then, with luck and perseverance we do manage to find that happily-thereafter person.

It seems to me that we can then spend the rest of our lives feeling angry, hurt, and resentful that that first lover wasn't everything that we needed her to be.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

And in my heart the daemons and the god
Wage an eternal battle ...

-- W.B. Yeats

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Some time ago, I was asked by a devotional polytheist what "Jungian polytheism" is.  In this post, I'm going to try to answer that question without all the psychological jargon and Jung quotes that I usually fall back on.

For me, being Pagan means that I find the divine (1) in myself and (2) in the world around me. These are two aspects of my Paganism that I struggle to bring together: the Self-centric Paganism and the earth-centric Paganism. Anyway, "Jungian polytheism" is (mostly) part of the former, the part of my religion that locates the divine in myself. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Opening the Way of the Sacred Fool

When I first became interested in Paganism, one of the things that drew me in was the idea of women's spirituality and bringing the unique experiences of being a woman (often left out of Christianity and Judaism) into my path. As I further explored though, many of the concepts mainstream feminism focused on, like how to juggle career and motherhood, didn't seem to resonate with me. The way I think, and how I communicate is shaped through my perspective as an autistic woman. Along with the growing, mostly online neurodiversity community, I came to see autism not as a set of deficits, but as a different way of thinking and being. I found further inspiration in the GLBT community, as I saw folks like P. Sufenas Virius Lupus honor queer ancestors, heroes and deities. As a bisexual, I drew on that heritage, while also looking to eccentric inventors, artists and mystics throughout history and disabled gods like Hephaestus. I felt a calling to share this understanding of disability as a part of human experience, rather than something to only be pitied, "fixed" or medicalized.

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  • Jan Johnson
    Jan Johnson says #
    I'm looking at the Way of the Sacred Fool much as you are, Mariah. I'm ADD, CFS/FM, a former Christian chaplain (now a retired Pag

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