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Posted by on in Culture Blogs




Dear Boss Warlock,

I say that when you offer to a River, you should face upstream, toward the River's origins.

My husband contends, though, that to face upstream is to oppose the flow of the River, and that while offering one should face downstream instead, toward the Sea.

Please help us settle this question. My marriage is in danger!

Upstream or Down?


Dear Up,

First off, let me congratulate both you and your husband on your piety. These days, far too many pagans ignore those powerful gods and goddesses that we call Rivers.

Secondly, let me concede that you both offer compelling arguments for your preferred form of River-worship, with perhaps a slight leaning in your favor. As you know, in antiquity, the primary shrines of any given River were generally located at the headwaters, if not actually at the source itself.

Now, when it comes to matters of observance, my recommendation is usually to consult local practice and do accordingly.

This case is different, though, since in this instance, both you and your husband are wrong.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Merrymeet 1997


It's been hot work at Grand Council all day, so I head down to Gull Lake for a quick dip before dinner. What I see there astounds me.

Clearly, word of the wild witches has got out. Every fishing boat on the lake has—coincidentally, no doubt—just happened to drift over to our side, the prospect of naked pagans apparently outweighing that of walleye on this sunny late August afternoon.

Ritual robe hiked up to her knees, a woman sits at the end of the dock, dangling her feet in the water.

Gods, what's with these people? I say, taking off my shirt. I'm half tempted to wave. All this to see a little bit of skin?

Cowans, she commiserates.

Hey, screen me, would you? I ask, crouching.

Anything for a fellow conspirator, she says, raising her arms.

Screened by her back and generous hanging sleeves, I slip out of my kilt and over the edge.

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From my mound, I will bless you.”


As the excavations at Cadbury castle—reputedly the site of Camelot—were about to begin in 1964, the archaeologists were met by a local, an old man who had lived nearby all his life.

“Have you come to dig up the king?” he asked, anxiously.


The royal Ship Burial at Sutton Hoo has long deserved its own epic, and now—in its own understated, very East Anglian way—it has one.

John Preston's The Dig is a shining, masterful novel, but—speaking as a pagan—I can't deny that it raises some difficult issues.

The discoveries at Sutton Hoo have enriched our knowledge of the ancestors and their ways immeasurably, and for this I'm deeply grateful, but it can't be denied that excavating the Royal Mound there also destroyed something sacred, and very important.

Though reconstructed to its original profile, overlooking the River Deben, the Royal Mound now stands empty, stripped of its kingly treasure.


I think of the head of Bran, buried to ward the coasts of Britain.

I think of how Arthur is said, in his arrogance, to have removed it, and what befell thereafter.


The Museo del Oro in Bogotá, Columbia, displays the breathtakingly intricate goldwork images of the ancient Tairona: golden plants, animals, and people.

But the mamas—shamans—of the Kogi, the last surviving cultural heirs of the Tairona, are dismayed by the excavation and display of these objects. Each one was buried, they say, with full intent: as an offering, a prayer, a talisman. That golden ear of corn in the display case was originally a gift to Earth Mother herself, intended to enrich the fertility of the fields. Torn from its proper context, denied its due offerings, what now is to become of the crop?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Organic and Non-GMO Food

There is no religious requirement to eat certain foods in Asatru. However, some Asatruars observe personal taboos. These personal taboos are based on personal gnosis or group gnosis, which are just as valid for determining an individual person's religious path as the teachings of the wider tradition of which they are a part. There are also traditional foods and beverages associated with holidays and sacrifices to specific gods in Asatru and other heathen sects, both in the Lore and in modern practice based on personal and group gnosis.

Some modern devotees of the goddess Sif avoid buying GMO wheat or GMO corn. This is a personal or group taboo observed as an act of devotion to the grain goddess. This practice is not about what the person eats, but about what the person supports with their purchasing power. Those who follow Sif can eat whatever random grain they are given or provided. When they have the opportunity to buy wheat products or corn products with their own money and make their own purchasing decisions, they will buy non-GMO wheat and corn if it is available. If certified non-GMO wheat and corn products are not available, it is also acceptable to purchase the waste products of a bakery, factory, or store, usually termed day-olds, markdowns, bakery leftovers, outlet goods, damaged, expiring, etc. The point is not about healthy eating, it is about refusing to support the damaging agricultural practices of GMO factory farming with one's money. Monsanto may be gone as a separate company, but everything it was still exists within the agricultural economic sector.

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 Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe -


In the normal way of things, you wouldn't expect to be glad to see soldiers on the streets of your city.

National Guard at Chicago-Lake, I text a friend, naming the major intersection in this part of town.

What happened? he texts back.

Nothing, I reply. That's the idea.

I live in Minneapolis just off Lake Street, the old Dakota trail that was the major artery of fire during the rash of arson and looting that stalked the protests after the death of George Floyd last summer.

During those four Nights of Burning, most frightening of all was the knowledge that, if you called for help, none would come.

The authorities—our incompetent and cowardly City Council foremost among them—were taken as much by surprise by the violence of the aftermath as anyone else, and waited far too long to act. My neighborhood, the pagan neighborhood, paid the price of their dithering. A year later, we still bear the scars: within a block of my house, four empty lots mark four buildings burned.

So, as the trial of Floyd's killer Derek Chauvin draws to a close—not to mention the nightmarish déja-vu of Daunte Wright's senseless death this weekend past—it's good to see, as I walk down Lake Street this morning, some actual preemptive action on the part of the Powers that Be.

Hey, glad you're here, I tell the group of Guards as I go past. Over their face-masks, their eyes smile. In their urban camo uniforms, they look cute and very young.

Well, let's hear it for thinking ahead for a change. Witches learned that lesson long ago, the hard way; that's why we're still here.

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Today is my celebration of being born into this world and in this life, there is only one thing we can be truly certain of, and that is death.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Prayer Before the Kill


Great Stag, our Stag, we hunger:

hunger, Lord, for you.

Our Life, our Food, our Beauty:

Father, will you feed?

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