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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Book and a Cat

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path, I continued to learn various magical basics, not exclusively heathen. During the early 1990s, I studied the book The Way of the Shaman, and met a lynx. 

 A quote from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts:

      “I worked through the exercises in a little paperback book called the Way of the Shaman.  From it I learned to read auras.  At first I had difficulty with the concept of aura reading, but then I figured out what it really was.  Learning aura reading is training one’s intuition to give information in visual form.  The color spectrum is capable of carrying more shades of meaning in a single data point than is a gut feeling.  It’s like trading Morse code for a videophone.  After that it was only a matter of practice, and in a few weeks I went on to the next exercise in the book.”

I had already connected to a spirit animal, cats of various species, but after reading that book, I went on a trip to Montana and connected powerfully with a lynx. The excuse for the trip was wildlife photography. I connected profoundly with an animal spirit that united the Native totem spirits, the Eastern martial arts animals, and the heathen bersarkrgangr animals, although I would not know about the martial of bersarkrgangr for another few years yet.

I photographed the lynx jumping over a log. The photo accompanying this post is one of the pictures of that very lynx, which I took on 35mm slide film. 

 A quote from my memoir: 

     “The lynx got tired and sat in the shade a while, panting, its cream and red-brown fur a liability in the summer sun.  It was not much bigger than my own cat at home, and I had to remind myself that it was not in fact a domestic cat and I should not pet it, despite the temptation.   As I stood watching the lynx, it looked back at me with spring green eyes.  I did not let myself physically move to touch it, but my feelings went out to it, to her, I realized, perfect hunter, emblem of every cat spirit I had ever known, from the lion roar of shenai practice to the little house cat spirit in the field on my first day at college.  She united the big cats and the small, the tiger of martial arts with the sweet kitten who comforted me when my father died.  I forged a connection with Lynx, not just this lynx but the archetypal Lynx.  She united within me all the cat spirits I had seen and heard, every catlike instinct I possessed, and something more, something hidden deep within.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch Bread

In her 2004 novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke cites a proverb of her alternate-history 19th-century, Napoleonic Era England:

The priest plants wheat, the witch plants rye.

Clarke reads this as meaning that "Some people just can't agree on anything." But I think there's more to it than that.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yeah, white bread's for gentry, not for the likes of us wart-charmers. Wheat is finicky and has a long growing season; rye is basi
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    There was another factor involved, cost. For those that lived in town, wheat bread was more expensive than rye bread, and white br
PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Nov 14

Howdy, PaganNewsBeagle fans! Today we have stories on the many vibrant faiths of our world. Pagan/Christian interaction; a Bahai holiday; minority faiths -- second generation; interfaith movement in America; most popular saints in Argentina.

Jason Mankey takes on an evergreen (and controversial) topic -- how Pagan and Christian faiths interact with each other -- in this blog post from Patheos Pagan.

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[Back to Basics] Cleansing/Shielding

I Can Take Care of Myself.  I've Been Using the Bowflex.

Most occultists/witches have really elaborate shielding systems.  I just . . .real talk here.  I can't be bothered.

Jow has compared this to constantly eating an egg salad sandwich out of a bus station bathroom vending machine, a la Futurama.  It totally squicks out every magical person I know.  Just the idea of all of that foreign flora and fauna blossoming into strange malevolence inside me sends a shudder down their collective spines.  And I'm a girl who prefers not to swim in public pools and doesn't like to put her hands in things.

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  • Elizabeth Kleine
    Elizabeth Kleine says #
    Amazing article. I recognized the Jennifer's Body quotes and did a little happy dance

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Bungee_jauntal_1.jpgFor each of the Vanic virtues, I plan on writing something on how Vanic pagans can better incorporate these virtues into their daily lives, living Vanatru.  So with the second virtue, Passion, here is a list of suggestions (not demands, I am not interested in telling people what to do) of activities to better express this virtue:

-Think of at least three to five people who you love, or otherwise care about strongly, deeply.  (For all intents and purposes this can include pets.)  Why do you love/care for them?  What is it that inspires that intensity of feeling within you?

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PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday Nov 13

In today's Earthy Thursday post, we've got stories about our one-and-only biosphere: opening North Carolina forests to logging?; thirsty forests in California; crowd-funding dark snow res in Greenland;an emerging food economy; pickling for fun and sustainability;  wonderful slot canyons.

In a move that has southern environmentalists up in arms, the US Forest service has proposed opening 70% of the massive Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina to industrial logging.

An unexpected side effect of climate change is fast-growing conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Good news? Not if you are a human (farmer or city dweller) competing for water with the increasingly thirsty trees.

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Accompanying beauty is passion for life, for love, for enjoyment and doing the work of right living. Those without passion are adrift on the waves, and outside of the confines of mental illness (which is often an antithesis to passion but is not to be considered a personal fault), those who choose not to embrace passion are indeed lifeless, hopeless, and could easily be mistaken for automata.

(Nicanthiel Hrafnhild in my book Visions of Vanaheim)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Dennis J Cline
    Dennis J Cline says #
    How does one obtain this, "Passion"? I am 58 years old and have never accomplished anything because I tend to have no passion. I
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    I have some suggestions on cultivating a sense of passion, coming in tomorrow's post.

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