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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Better World

As a Polytheist priest often engaged in very public discussions of piety, devotion, submission to our gods and the importance of worshipful relations and all that... I often get misunderstood as somehow being unconcerned with the world around me. (Although anyone who would think this clearly hasn't read anything I've ever written, since I'm pretty prolifically obsessed with social justice, mental health, communication, and world events.)

A quote is circulating right now which caught my eye, with a message from the always-awesome Crystal Blanton: We should not forget the power of what we are and what we do. My magic is about a better world. What is yours about?” The quote speaks to an important part of my approach to things: both a focus on bettering this world for all of those within it, and proactively utilizing that which I have been blessed with to achieve those ends, and support other related goals that I can't have as my own focus... since not everyone can focus on everything.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Thank you! The raven and I are staying warm, with animal skins and fire and whiskey.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Anomalous Thracian, As usual, a great post! I share the sentiment and admire the eloquence. May the Gods everlasting keep you an
  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Some of us are bridge-builders, while others are boat-builders or sailors, and others still are flying airplanes. We don't need to
Tarot Invocation and Divination for Brigid

Invocation can be a magickal act unto itself, meant to bring strength, healing and attunement. Invocation can also be an important part of a ceremony.

 Tarot cards can strengthen the magick of your invocation.

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Crown of Lights: or, How the Witches' Goddess Got Her Candles

The variously-named February cross-quarter festival draws near, and in covensteads all over Witchdom they're polishing up the candle-crowns.

Often called a Lucia Crown, from its association with the Swedish pre-Yule feast of St. Lucy, the candle-crown would seem to have its origins in the late Medieval period. At least one Byzantine emperor is said to have worn one during audiences. One guesses that the crown's haloing effect was not lost on envoys.

We next find the crown of lights in early modern (16th-17th century) Germany, where it is worn by the Christkindl. Protestant Reformers eager to dethrone the gift-giving St. Nicholas from his December 6 feast and the hearts of children, replaced him with a Christ Child figure who brought gifts on Christmas Eve. (The custom of Yule gifts goes back no further than this.) In folklore, the Christkindl became a fairy-like character, generally personified in real life by a young girl. Early illustrations often show her dressed in white, wearing a crown of candles, distributing gifts to children.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Sophia * Queen of Peace* Holy Spirit

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B is for Bestla (The Pagan Experience week 4)

Not so long ago, at the height of December’s retail busy season—which also happened to be the height of Wild Hunt season—I had a dream. Okay, let’s call it what it was: a nightmare. In it, I was asleep in our bedroom and thought I heard Jo talking in her sleep from her own bed. Then I realized it was actually my mother—who used to talk in her sleep a fair amount and who has been dead for twenty years (although that detail didn’t occur to me in the dream). I called out something about trying to sleep, but she kept talking.

And then I realized that it wasn’t my mother speaking at all; the voice was harder, unfamiliar, while still female. I realized she was telling a story, in a somewhat sing-song voice, a horrible story that I was certain I didn’t want to hear the end of. (No, I don’t remember what the story was—although in retrospect, I have my suspicions, of which I won’t speak.) As she neared the end of it, she rose from her bed and approached mine, not asleep at all. I wanted to move or scream but was utterly paralyzed. I tried to call for help—from Odin, from the Hunt—but no help appeared. The woman—a farm wife in dress and apron–smiled down at me with her hard face and glittering, hard eyes, smiling into my eyes as she spoke the final words of the story. And then she reached into my mouth and down my throat and into my chest—just rammed her entire hand and arm in.

I awoke. I rose and went to my shrine, lit a candle, not wanting to go back to sleep. I’m not sure I slept any more that night at all. I had an ache in the general area of my heart chakra for the next several days.

Only the next day did I being to realize who the dream-woman had been. The clues were simple: 1) she had been menacing, but had not actually harmed me (although she had done something—something that was Allowed, apparently; 2) neither Odin nor the Hunt had volunteered any help; thus, no matter how scary she had been, she didn’t actually intend any harm to me; 3) the warding Odin has placed on me and our house—which is quite thorough—did not keep her away, and 4) in the dream, I had at first identified her with my mother, then realized that was almost correct, but not quite. I struggled with what my intuition was telling me for hours before sheepishly asking Odin if I was right. He confirmed that I was.

My dream visitor was none other than my mother-in-law, the Queen Mother of Asgard: Bestla. And the next night when I saw Her in the Hunt, She flashed Her dream disguise at me briefly before transforming back into Her usual glamorous self, and winked.

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    Interesting...

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_11-25-10catnecklacegrove059-2.jpgMost of the Vanatruar I know, myself included, are not reconstructionists - each of us seems to have our own idiosyncratic way of relating to the Powers, much like bio-regions differ from region to region, the Vanic path will vary from person to person.  I do not believe that reconstructionism is superior, nor do I believe that modernism is superior: in Vanatru, there is no one true way of doing things, we recognize that diversity is organic and natural, responding to the needs of different situations and relationships. With that caveat...

One of the questions I am often asked is "where do I start? how do I begin?"  If you are new to Vanatru, you may feel overwhelmed by the very do-it-yourself approach found among much of Vanatruar.  Sometimes people need a point in some direction, even if they choose later on to do things differently.  In my book Visions of Vanaheim (paperback | PDF), I look at some older practices connected with the Vanic cultus - such as the wain processions of Frey and Nerthus - and how one might adapt these practices for the modern day.  One of the rites of the elder Heathen that we know about is a ritual called blót.  This word means "blood" (ETA: see clarification in comments re: the meaning of the word)

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    The Old Norse word blót does not mean "blood". That is the ON word blóð. Blót means "worship, in particular pagan worship involvin
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Thank you for clarifying! Do you know if they're cognates, by any chance? (Asking out of linguistic curiosity.)

I was skeptical about American Horror Story: Freak Show. The first two seasons of AHS were riveting, but the franchise seemed to lose its luster during the third season. I felt that AHS: Coven was a convoluted mess of limp storylines and uninteresting characters that couldn’t seem to decide if it wanted to be a gritty thriller or a witchy cross between Frankenstein and Mean Girls. Freak Show had promise, but I was worried about it as the fall season started.

Freak Show

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