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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in augury

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
Candle Augury

A happy candle doesn't flicker. Candles burning in a place with no wind shine with a light as steady as an incandescent light bulb. Or at least they do normally, so, when I had different candles burning in various places in my home during the 12 Days of Yule and one of them consistently guttered no matter where it was placed, it felt like a sign that the power associated with that particular candle was unhappy for some reason. The photo illustrating this blog is that candle, a red pillar candle nestled in a circular candle ornament of plastic mistletoe, an old family decoration I've seen my whole life. As I learned more about heathen mythology I came to associate mistletoe with Baldur so this became the Baldur candle.

Now there are many possible reasons Baldur could be unhappy, starting with, he's dead, and awaiting rebirth into the next universe, which will be better than this one. Like many of the residents of the quiet realm of the goddess Hel, he may not want to be bothered with human concerns and attempts at Yuletide cheer. Perhaps he just wants to be left in peace. I have certainly encountered human dead who don't want to be bothered by the living, even with small sacrifices of candles or toasting. My mom reached that stage fairly quickly, having already reincarnated, and having satisfied herself that I knew that. (See prior post on Reflections on Spiritual Changes Since My Mom's Death.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    hmm interesting thought.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    4. Someone else identified with mistletoe; Hodur perhaps, is trying to get through to you.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Taking Omens

The word inauguration originally referred not to the ceremonial transfer of power but to the act of divination that preceded it.

It makes sense that the state, before embarking on a major endeavor such as a war or a change of government, should consult the will of the gods on the matter. The augurs (diviners) take the auguries (omens) to see what the future will bring.

I haven't heard yet what omens the US College of Augurs got today. (Their headquarters is down on the Mall someplace, I think; I'm pretty sure I walked past it a few years ago.) No doubt tomorrow it will be all over the web.

(State augur. Now there's a job I wouldn't mind having. I hear the benefits are great.)

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For those celebrating Christmas as either a sacred or secular holiday, merry merry! And the party goes on: the Twelve Days of Christmas begin today—on Christmas Day—and extend for twelve days, through Jan. 5. [Note: Some traditions begin the count on Christmas night and end the Twelve Days on Jan. 6.] Also known as “Christmastide” or “Twelvetide,” the modern traditions are Christian in nature but spring from a number of Pagan and magickal folkways.

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