There is a way that the desert breaks me down to my essential self
a way the desert wind tears away that which is no longer necessary...
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Sun lives in the east and walks to the west. A god of regular habits, his nature is warm and dry.
Thunder lives in the west and walks to the east. His nature combines both fire and water: a volatile god, much given to outburst.
Unlikenesses such as these are wont to breed fierceness in love and battle.
And having battled and loved, the daughter of their reconciliation is Rainbow.
(So they may do; after all, they are gods.)
Rainbow is a gentle and well-loved goddess, giver of golden joy. Daughter of reconciliation, she champions unity among peoples.
You could call it Core paganism.
It's a paganism that anyone can practice anywhere, at any time, regardless of who you are or where your people came from, because it's the common inheritance of us all and we each of us spend every moment of our lives immersed in it.
You could call them the Old Gods; the ancestors did.
It's one of our people's oldest and most sacred symbols.
If anything could lay claim to the status of "universal pagan symbol," this might well be it.
Yet in Pagandom at large, they're few and far between.
The Sun Wheel. The Sun Cross. The Wheel Cross.
The equal-armed cross in a circle. It's the Sun. It's the Wheel. It's the coincidence of harmonious opposites. Male and female. Rounded and straight. Rectilinear and curvilinear. Up and down. Horizontal and vertical. Movement and stillness. Technology and Nature. Heaven and Earth.
In the Sun Wheel, Time and Space meet and embrace: the world with its four quarters, the year with its four seasons.
Such a deep and ancient symbol. Wherever has it gone?
While the labrys (the double-bladed axe) is certainly iconic of Minoan civilization, so is another symbol-cum-ritual-object: the sacred horns. (See the image at the top of this blog post.) Found on the rooftops of the temple complexes and peak sanctuaries of ancient Crete as well as in the frescoes and other art, this unique symbol was christened the Horns of Consecration by Sir Arthur Evans a century ago. But are they really horns? And even if they are, what do they stand for and how were they used?
Over in Ariadne’s Tribe, we’ve been discussing this issue for quite a while. One issue we’ve noticed is that the sacred horns don’t look at all like real cow or bull horns....
On the Thirteenth Day of Yule in the year 1153, Earl Harald Maddarðarson of Orkney was travelling from Stromness to Firth when he was caught in a blizzard. He and his companions took shelter from the storm in the famed Neolithic burial mound Maeshowe, where, interestingly, two of his party went mad. This delayed the travelers for so long, reports the Orkneyinga Saga, that they didn't reach Firth until well after dark.
Dating from around 2500 BCE, Maeshowe was well known to the Vikings, who ruled the Orkneys for more than 300 years. Carved into the stones of the mound's central chamber is one of the largest known collections of runic inscriptions in Europe. According to the longest,
Crusaders broke into Maeshowe. Líf Earl's-Cook carved these runes. To the northwest is a great treasure hidden. It was long ago that a great treasure was hidden here. Happy is he that might find that great treasure. Hákon alone bore treasure from this mound.
Maeshowe is famed for its orientation to the Winter Solstice sunset. For the last few years, on the morning of Midwinter's Eve, I've tuned in to the live on-site webcam to watch. What I saw there amazed me.