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Minoan Artifacts: Where are the baskets?

One aspect of ancient Egyptian archaeology that I've always enjoyed is that the dry climate of the Nile valley and the surrounding desert preserved biodegradable items like clothing and baskets (and mummies, obviously!). Unfortunately, the Aegean isn't dry - it's a portion of the Mediterranean Sea dotted with islands. So sadly, on Crete and Thera (modern Santorini) most of the biodegradable artifacts have long since rotted away.

But that doesn't mean the situation is hopeless. There are other ways to discover what kinds of biodegradable objects the Minoans had.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Text is Like a Textile

Stories, whether oral tradition myths, written fiction, or written nonfiction, change over time. Each generation changes its heroes to suit them. Storytellers tell the same myth a dozen different ways to suit different audiences, occasions, and lessons. Nonfiction writers revise their books and make new editions (like I did.) Every printed or recorded version of a book is a snapshot in time.

It occurred to me as I sat in the morning sunshine mending a quilt that I had made that I was in a way making a new version of my quilt. It started as a way to use up silk test strips from when I operated a custom fabric dyeing business, and every piece in it was a silk fabric I had hand dyed. As I used darning, a type of needle weaving, to mend parts of the fabric that had worn, aged, or cat-clawed away, I kept the same log cabin design and every fiber I put in it was also hand dyed, and yet, the more I mended the more it became a completely different textile.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Advice for crafting wishes: When you wish for a suitcase full of money, you must specify that you don't mean a gentlemen's toiletry case that your then-teenage older brother put pretty looking pocket change into in 1978.

Here follows some further advice on how to make a wish, which I have learned the same way I learned the above: by experience. This is general wish advice, so it doesn't matter whether you are making your wishes via folk magic, such as birthday candles or a wishing well or a dandelion or a star, or a formal spell of some kind, or by appealing to a wish granting entity.

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The Writing is On the Wall - Wednesday Waning Moon Magic

In the days of yore, people often made their own inks, thus imbuing them with a deeply personal energy. They simply went to the side of the road and gathered blackberries or pokeberries from the vines that grew there. Often a bird flying overhead will supply a gift of volunteer vines best cultivated by a fence where they can climb, making berry-picking easier. When it comes to matters of the heart, contracts, legacy letters and any document of real importance that you feel the need to make your mark upon, an artfully made ink can help you write unforgettable love letters and very memorable memorandums. This spell is best performed during the waning moon.

Gather the following for your ink recipe: a vial or small sealable bottle, dark red ink, 1/8th cup crushed berry juice, nine drops of burgundy wine, apple essential oil, and paper.

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Answering Questions About My New Book Part 2

Here are some more questions and answers about my new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, and about me and my other books and projects. This book is the ONLY official, authorized new version of my out-of-print book Asatru For Beginners.

With that out of the way, here are some more of the questions and answers. Part 1 of this 2 part series ran last weekend.

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Answering Questions About My New Asatru Book

On August 1, book launch day for Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, I hosted an online book launch party on my social media instead of having an in-person book launch event. People posted some questions to my social media. Here's an unroll of questions and answers from the event.

Question:
What changed for you, from the beginning to the end of writing this book? How did writing this book change you?

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The Mysteries of Minoan Writing

One of the reasons we call Modern Minoan Paganism a revivalist tradition instead of a reconstructionist one is that, unlike many reconstructionist Pagan traditions, we don't have any ancient texts to work from. Yes, the ancient Minoans were a literate society, but so far all of their scripts and writing systems are untranslated.

Take, for instance, the cup pictured at the top of this post. This is a photo from Sir Arthur Evans' monumental multi-volume work Palace of Minos, a record of his excavations at Knossos (now in the public domain). The artifact in the photo is a terracotta cup with writing on the interior in what may very well be squid ink. That writing is in the script rather unimaginatively known as Linear A, and it's still undeciphered.

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