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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 1: intro

In this series of posts, I will be presenting some of my novel gnosis, that is, my religious insights gained via writing fiction. Most of these come from my unpublished behemoth Some Say Fire, in which I retold the entire corpus of heathen mythology, with original work inserted interstitially, like in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Some of my novel gnosis comes from my Time Yarns Universe, which has both published and unpublished works in it.

What does novel gnosis look like?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Perils of Writing about Spirituality

I'm so very glad we have the internet as a venue for sharing about spirituality - the community grows as the web widens. But there are some pitfalls and obstacles that limit the extent to which we can really communicate about spirituality online, or on any other platform that involves writing. I grapple with these issues almost every time I write a blog post here.

The nature of blogging, or writing articles for Pagan magazines, or posting in spiritual groups on social media, or even writing books is that of words: we write down what we want to share, and other people read it.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

May I be inspired. b2ap3_thumbnail_75392784_2474522466093294_7626079059591561216_o.jpg
May I be grateful.
May I walk in ease
and devotion.

As I have noted several times here on this blog, this June I fell and hurt my ankle, which confined me to flat surfaces and my back deck instead of the long walks on the road and through the woods that I so enjoy and find so nourishing of my creativity and spirituality. In my time on the deck, I started to ponder devotion and building devotional practices and from those contemplations the Goddess Devotional prayerbook was born. My family jokes that I fell down and when I got back up, I’d written a book. This was a surprise project for me this year, not something I expected to create, and I’m really pleased with it.


Free pdf version and a collection of additional resources is available here

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Writing a Poem Heathen Style

Composing poetry in the style of ancient heathen literature follows a few basic rules which are unlike the rules of composing modern rhymed poetry or free verse. One does not have to compose in the ancient style to use poetry in a heathen context, of course. One could write galdr (spells) and poems for sumbel (toasts) and other uses of poetry in any style one wishes and have them be just as good and just as effective. But if you want to write in modern English in the manner of the ancient heathens, here are the basic rules.

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Composing a Song for Magic

A song or poetry for a spell doesn't have to be great poetry or a great tune. The photo here is of a little song spell I made up one day. It goes "Wind, wind, wind, blow away my troubles. Make life smooth, without any nubbles." It's not objectively a great poem, and probably only fiber artists like me even have a sensory reference for what a nubble is. (It's the individual thing that, in a group, makes a fabric nubbly.) I wouldn't send it to a poetry anthology for publication, because it's just not very good as art. But it's as functional as any of the good poems I've written. I wrote it down mainly because I enjoy writing in my personal calligraphy font and at the time I had an art project to fill a blank book with such writing.

The song was something I created improvisationally. The strong desert wind suggested the idea, since it does tend to actually blow things away, including things it previously blew in, such as clouds and leaves. If I was composing poetry for people to read as art, I would have taken the time to find a better rhyme, and make it longer. If I was composing for ritual, I might keep it short if I was going to teach it to other people as a chant, but I'd certainly find a better rhyme if I could. If I couldn't find a better rhyme for troubles I'd change troubles for some other word. Not because that would make better magic but because it would make a nicer experience for the participants and observers. But as a song for magic, just for my personal use, it's fine the way it is.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Stolen Heart's Shadow

Stolen Heart's Shadow

Glimpsed it just there in the small stream of sun

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Pam S
    Pam S says #
    Hi Arwen! I love the poem, and it suits the card beautifully.
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Thank you so much, Pam.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Magic of the Quill

Ic seah wrætlice     wuhte feower
samed siþian     swearte · wæran lastas
swaþu swiþe blacu     swift wæs on fore
fulgum framra     fleotgan lyfte
deaf under yþe     dreag unstille
winnende wiga     se him wægas tæcneþ
ofer fæted gold     feower eallū


The riddles of the Exeter Book give us oblique snapshots of everyday life for the monks in the Middle Ages. You can easily imagine the scribes fixing on something within site and coming up with a poetic and misleading description where metaphor can throw a reader off the track. But the metaphors reveal power, too. Riddle 40 (51 in the Krapp-Dobbie edition) refers to one of the ubiquitous items in their lives: the pen or quill.

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