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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_478px-Freya_by_Johannes_Gehrts.jpgFreya was the first deity I ever connected with in a meaningful way, back in 1996. Coming into Germanic paganism via Freya, I took things at face value and without a deeper look at the history and the context of archaeology until many years later when I did so out of necessity to shed some light on things I was experiencing. Most forms of Germanic paganism treat the Aesir and Vanir as a package deal with heavy emphasis on the Aesir.

So for many years, I attempted to reach out to the Aesir because I thought I "should". From the get-go, the Aesir were... not really a good fit. The gods that interested me all had ties to the nature and the land, and the Aesir... mostly didn't. Sure, Odin is connected with wind and its fury, and Thor is thunder, but... no. The macho-war energy surrounding the Aesir (while this is not all they are, obviously) did not feel like "my gods". Yet, I spent years trying to connect to the Aesir, with crickets, mostly, and occasional blips on the radar, until finally, some things happened where I was told to stop.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Beth Wodandis
    Beth Wodandis says #
    Yes, exactly! Deep-minded is an often forgotten epithet of Thor's; He even has a connection with seidhr, for some (and experience
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yeah I definitely see the difference between the Aesir and Vanir as more cultural than racial, for the same reason. As an aside,
  • Beth Wodandis
    Beth Wodandis says #
    The idea of the Vanir as the anti-Aesir annoys me, too. Equally, the Aesir are not the anti-Vanir, and are not merely gods of mac
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    I cannot click "like" hard enough on this comment. While I have always perceived the Aesir as being more inherently martial tha

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Coast_Range_Trees_Lane_County_Oregon_scenic_images_lanDA0069.jpgSo the words "Vanir" and "Vanaheim", as appearing in historical documents, are more or less exclusive to Snorri's account of Norse mythology in the Eddas, and this has led some (most notably Rudolf Simek in his essay "The Vanir: An Obituary") to believe that the Vanir are thus an invention of Snorri, or a misunderstanding in the tales he learned and recorded.

I disagree with this, and both extensive research as well as intensive work with the Vanir over the last ten years - and talking with many, many others who know and love them - has informed my opinion.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    In school, we were taught that the Vanir were the gods of the original inhabitants, and the Aesir were brought in with the Indo-Eu
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yes! This is what my research and gnosis informs me of as well. You have no idea how ridiculously happy it makes me to know this

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The first six months of its existence my ritual group mostly floundered.  We had a good circle of people around us and did some nice rituals, but we didn't really have any sort of structure. To find a solidity for ourselves we had to do a ritual for someone else.

When my wife and I put our ritual group together we did so with low expectations.  We were basically just looking for a group to ritualize with, we weren't necessarily seeking anything formal.  During those early months our rituals were continually different. We never used the same quarter calls twice or called to the same gods and goddesses for that matter! The circle was scripted but eclectic, details constantly in flux.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'd like to imagine that starting a coven is a completely organic process.  Perhaps a few friends get together and decide that it's time to form a coven or at least begin operating as one.  On the traditional side it's easy to imagine a Priestess and Priest recently elevated to Third Degree and hiving off to form a new coven, perhaps taking a few of their old coven mates with them in order to do so.  Both of those scenarios sound better then how our group started.  Our coven began with a question:  "who should we invite over for ritual?"  

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ari-calling-goddess.JPG

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PaganNewsBeagle: Earthy Thursday July 23

It's Earthy Thursday and today's feed features stories of our beautiful living planet, including amazing trees, free herbal education, an organic skyscraper, and Pagan responses to climate change.

Farming, Art, and the Preservation of Heirloom Fruits are just part of the awesomeness of this Tree of 40 Fruits.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Witch Hunting in the 21st Century

 

A little while back I wrote an article about The Broom Closet in the 21st Century. Recently the New York Times had an opinion article about the persecution of Witches in various parts of the world. In that article the opinion writer argued that the age of the internet has increased the witch hunting that occurs. One of the problems is that many of the people accused of witchcraft may not even be witches. They are accused for reasons that may have nothing to do witchcraft, but nonetheless it is used because it's convenient. In such places, the brutality that occurs involves burning people alive, or beheading or stoning them. The majority of such atrocities occur to women and the the people doing the assault are men doing it for prestige or as a way to enforce dominant social values. I mention all of this make a point: That such atrocities, far from being history, are still happening. In some cases, they are even happening in the U.S. And even here in the U.S. we also see the proliferation of ignorant perspectives about magic, because of how the mainstream religion fears the spread of any spiritual beliefs that run counter to that religion. Now whether every single one of those victims did or didn't identify as a Pagan or a Witch doesn't really matter, because those people were still labeled as such and punished for beliefs they may or may not have held.

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The Broom Closet in the 21st Century

When I was 18, in 1995, I was outed from the broom closet. I had kept myself in that closet, because I was afraid of how people would react if they realized I practiced magic. A friend's parents (both fundamentalist Christians) found a book I'd let my friend borrow and contacted my mom about it. She was also a fundamentalist Christian and needless to say did not approve of my spiritual choices. I was still living with her as I was in high school and I didn't have a job at the time. She told me I had a choice. I could move out or burn my books. I had a half hour to decide before she kicked me out. A half hour isn't a lot of time to make such a decision. I made a very practical choice and decided I would burn my books, because I didn't have a job and I wanted to finish high school. I hid the books I hadn't read yet and took the books I had read and told her I'd burn them. She marched me out to the back yard and I burned those books. That incident didn't discourage my practice of magic. If anything, it only made it more attractive and also made me more determined to continue learning. That incident also convinced me that staying in the broom closet wasn't going to help me, and so I decided I'd be open about my beliefs and practices, and I have been to this day.

A short time after the book burning, I was contacted by the father of my friend (I didn't know who he was at the time). He was drunk, had a cold, and told me how he was going to come kill me in 48 hours and he'd call me on the hour, each hour before he came. He started singing hymns to me. I told him if he came over I'd defend myself. I also called the police. He kept calling and eventually I disconnected the phone. The next day, in school, my friend told me that his father and step-father, in a rare moment of collaboration, had decided they were going to try and kill me. The step-father would drive the father over to do the deed. It never happened, but it illustrated to me how intolerant Christians were when it came to any religion or spirituality that wasn't of their own practice. It also illustrated what a risk it could be to be out of the broom closet.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Kinney
    Rebecca Kinney says #
    I have also found that the most intolerant and vocal of any religion are the ones with the most to hide. It is as if they use the
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Unfortunately many Christians are intolerant and interpret freedom of religion to only pertain to their religion. Not all of them
  • Joyce ORourke
    Joyce ORourke says #
    I find most Christians to be intolerant of any religion other then their own. If you want to know what a religion is like read hi

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