Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

Adapting a Toasting Ritual for Pandemic Times

Usually the sumbel ritual we do in Asatru and other forms of heathenry involves passing around a horn. My kindred usually has two horns, one containing alcohol and one containing a non-alcoholic beverage. The cow's horn honors Audhumla, the Sacred Cow. We not only drink from the horn, but when we pass the horn, the horn is like a talking stick that tells us whose turn it is to make a toast.

These days we're using individual cups for everyone, for the sake of pandemic safety. We're also standing farther apart. Normally if we're outside standing around a bonfire we'd all pack in closely in a circle, or if we were inside we'd be sitting at a dining table, also fairly close together. Someday we'll return to passing the horn as a talking stick, because it's a lot easier than having the ritual leader call on people to ask if they want to make a toast. I think we might keep using individual cups to actually drink out of, though. Now that we're all aware of the germs that might get passed around along with the horn I don't think we'll go back to actually all drinking from the same horn. In the future we'll pour into the horn and then pour from the horn to cups or to each person's personal horn.

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Modern Minoan Paganism: Resources for Inspiration

How do we practice Modern Minoan Paganism? What resources are available for people who are interested?

The most direct, comprehensive way to learn about MMP is via my two books Labrys & Horns and Ariadne's Thread. Labrys & Horns in particular is a how-to book for MMP. But if you don't feel like flipping through a book, there are other options for inspiration.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I receive written letters in the mail from prisoners asking questions about heathen practices and asking about Asatru resources and books. (Most people who read my writing and want to contact me do so on the net, but prisoners often don't have access to the net.) I've received a few such letters recently in reaction to my latest article in Witches & Pagans Magazine, which was the Heathen Vs. Hate symbol guide designed to enable people to tell the difference between heathen symbols and hate symbols.

When I was asked to write the symbol guide, I was chosen because I had already done a lot of work on that topic for the Trollslayers' Guide, an internal document for the admins and moderators of my forum, the Asatru Facebook Forum. The article was an interesting challenge to write because the editor wanted a symbol guide without actually showing any of the symbols. The reason for that was because having a hate symbol like a swastika appear in the magazine would get the magazine censored and removed from places like prisons and schools. Print magazines and print books are some of the few resources to which prisoners have access, so making sure the magazine didn't get disallowed is important for that population. So, I had the constraints of prison censorship in mind when I was writing the article, and I'm pleased that some prisoners found it useful.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Auguries: For the Birds?

Birds abound in Minoan art: swallows (shown above in a detail from the Spring fresco from Akrotiri), doves, partridges, hoopoes, and other birds whose exact species we can't identify. I've looked before at the variety of our feathered friends who appear in the frescoes, statuary, and other Minoan art.

In Modern Minoan Paganism, we associate swallows with Therasia, doves with Rhea, and larks with Korydallos. But how did the Minoans view birds, through the lens of their culture and beliefs?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I was asked a favor that necessitated my asking the landwight who lives in my garden and protects all within its territory if it was OK. I rarely speak in words with the landwight. My relationship with the land spirit predates my developing a godphone, so when I do speak with the landvaette of this place, I'm used to making statements and not receiving a reply in words. This time I got a reply, though.

A friend messaged me on fb that her daughter's pet snake had died. They were planning to move to a house but had not done so yet, and they asked me if they could bury the snake in my yard temporarily and then move it later. Before I could reply I had to ask the landwight. Up until then, everything buried here had lived here. The animals buried in this land had already been part of this land and the landwight's territory. I asked the landwight with nearly the same wording that I had been asked, which emphasized that this was to be temporary. The landwight agreed.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

After a number of years of theory and practice, it was fun to share some of these ideas with the good folks of the growing and international Christian Animism Network. Enjoy!

 

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On Having a Sense of Humor in Spiritual Practice

Joy is sacred, too, you know.

Those of us who grew up surrounded by the fundamentalist Christian concept that humor, laughter, and fun are somehow inherently evil - that the only way it's possible to worship or show reverence is by being deadly serious - sometimes have trouble with the idea that it's OK to laugh as part of our spiritual practice.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like the picture with the kitten. Thank you for sharing.

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