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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

No young bride or groom ever imagines that in twenty years one of them may be chronically ill, and the other partner may become a full-time caregiver. They may blithely repeat, “in sickness and in health.” But starry-eyed Youth cannot conceive of the crushing reality hidden within such a serious promise.

This morning my wife asked me for the fourth time, “What day is it?” A few years ago I would have said, “Oh for God's sake, I just told you three times!” But now I simply speak as clearly as I can (because of her hearing loss), pretending that I'm an actor on stage, and the director has asked me to repeat a line from the script. (There's nothing unreasonable about that! In fact, it's an expected part of my professional job.) “Thursday,” I say smilingly. If she thanks me, my next line is a cordial, “You're welcome.”

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 36: Vali

There are two gods named Vali in heathen mythology, Vali Odinsson and Vali Lokisson. Or are they really the same god?

Vali Lokisson

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Retson Retap, or: A Spell Against the Power of the Book

My next-door neighbor's husband is losing it.

A retired Baptist minister, his mental decline expresses itself in the form of public preaching to no one in particular. Sunday afternoon, while sitting on the front porch pitting cherries (pagan hands are never still), I listened with half an ear as he circled the block haranguing an unlistening and uncaring world about Sin, Salvation, and the Bible.

Generally I find public preaching noisome, but in this case what witches call ruth—compassion—wins out. He's not hurting anyone, and we all need to feel like we're doing something important in the world.

Besides, 20 years from now, that could be me out there, haranguing an uncaring and unlistening world about the Craft, the Horned One, and what it means to be a real pagan.

In some ways, the two of us—deeply religious people in a culture increasingly non-religious—have a lot in common.


The Deitsch people of Eastern Pennsylvania recognize a state of being that they call being “read fast.”

To be read fast is to become so obsessed with a particular book that one is driven to read and quote from it constantly, to the neglect of other aspects of one's life.

Among the Deitsch, the danger of becoming read fast is frequently associated with the classic grimoire the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, but experience readily suggests the term's potential for a wider applicability. Part of the danger of books—and, in particular, of book-driven ideologies—is their potential to possess—utterly and destructively—a soul.

Fortunately, there's an out.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Is that why pagans accumulate their own libraries? So that no single book has a chance to take them over?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 35: Ullr

Ullr in Norse mythology is a god who hunts with a bow in the winter on skis, and so, his distinguishing characteristics are the same as Skadhi's. Many heathens consider Ullr and Skadhi to be a couple or at least counterparts.

In modern times, Ullr is still a popular god. Ullr medallions are still worn by skiers for protection, even skiers who are not heathen or pagan. There is a brand of schnapps named Ullr which is marketed to skiers.

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Kuan Yin - Capricorn Full Moon Blessings

Capricorn Meditation: Focus your energies to allow creation.

Capricorn Affirmations

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The Single Most Important Pagan Ritual That You Can Ever Do

What's the single most important pagan ritual that you can ever do?

Hint: you don't need either a temple or a magic circle to do it.

Here it is: Go forth and watch the Sun rise, or set.

Do this as often as you can, and better it be if you do it from a wild place.

At sunset, I often blow a horn when the Sun first touches the horizon. As the Sun sets, I address him. (You can call this prayer if you want to.) This is also a good time to pour out a libation. Then, when he slips entirely below the horizon, I blow the horn again. Then I sing a hymn.

You can elaborate if you want to, but you don't have to. The watching is all that's really necessary.

We have it from the ancestors that the most auspicious time to address oneself to the Sun is when he is on the horizon. In my experience, this is a time of special face-to-face intimacy, not usually present at other times of the day.

If you don't know where to go in your area for a clear view of the sunset and sunrise horizon at various times of year, what kind of pagan are you? Real pagans, being people of the place, are territorial beings.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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