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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Early Green Man

I keep joking that I'm redoing my house in Early Green Man.

My friend Gary has a Green Man wall in his house. There must be 50 different Green Men in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and mediums on that Wall. You can't hardly help but bow. Me, I've got them all over the house, peeking out from the most unexpected corners. One of the hazards of 21st century consumerist paganism, I guess.

The Green God: Earth's Firstborn and, they say, favorite. (But maybe, like in my family, she just understands him better.) She does give him that incomparable Coat of Many Colors every year as a sign of favor. And so his brother becomes a kin-slayer, most terrible of crimes. But that's never the end with the Green Man. “Cut me down,” he says, “I spring up high.” Irrepressible.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Of college, cats, poetry, and Odin

Continuing my story of my personal journey on my heathen path, my spiritual experiences in college continued both my newfound heathen path and the experiences with animal totems I had been taught as a child. The first day I moved into UC-Santa Cruz, I saw my spirit animal watching over me.

 The quotes in this post are quotes from my memoir, Greater Than the Sum of My Parts, which covers my first 30 years on the Earth. (I'm now 45.)

      “I had never ridden a [city] bus before.  I was afraid I wouldn’t recognize my stop, and would end up down in the city of Santa Cruz, wondering what to do in the big scary city.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cat out in the field, but when I turned to look there was nothing there.  “A cat spirit,” I thought.  “There’s a cat spirit watching over me.” 

 I started having past life memories. Two of the three of them were in Russia, and I started to think that maybe it had not been purely the coincidence of seeing that someone was studying some exotic and challenging language at the point in high school where I was expected to start learning a foreign language that had led me to learn Russian and to go on to study Soviet Political Analysis at UCSC.

     “I had three images in my head that seemed more real than dreams, but belonged to the wrong context to have been this life.  I cast them in poetry.  Memories from Nowhere #1, “I stand in a reddened room./ Gold stone glitters on the wall/ Lacquered sandstone lying lies/ Of wealth no one has ever known.”  I danced in this desert temple to the music of “the pipe gourds of peasants/ and shaking metal sheaves.”  In #2 “I am the root woman, the old witch of the woods” in the far south of old Russia, by the look of the house and the weather; such a wooden peasant cot with its painted shutters could have been built in the 9th century or the 19th.  In the third vision I am some type of wanderer, also in old Russia by my felt boots, searching the Steppes for evidence of the second lifetime, and finding the old stone foundations of a village fallen into ruin for 300 years.  “Stone and pottery, beads of glass/ Were yielding to the growing grass.”

Poetry and writing were the way I related my dreams and visions to others, and they were also the way I worked through how I thought and felt for myself. Most of my poetry and writing were hard work using my skills, but sometimes I felt my poetry was inspired. It was a special feeling, and I can only describe it as a state which is part meditative trance and part compulsion, with a splash of religious ecstasy. Because I primarily related to my heathen path through poetic inspiration and rune magic, which are both powers of Odin, I felt closest to Odin. I also related to him in his warrior aspect, since I had grown up in a martial arts school. I still practiced both the physical forms and the meditations I had learned in kung fu, and I was comfortable with the idea of a god who was both warrior and wizard. 

I was sure that he was the god who would become my patron. I was both wrong and right, but I would not know that until thirty more years had passed. I'll tell both the story of how wrong I was and the story of how right I was, when I get to those parts of my tale. Taking my story in chronological order, my next post will be about my spiritual experiences when I spent the summer of 1987 studying in England. 

Since I've been talking about writing poetry and the fall equinox is coming up, I'd like to conclude this post by sharing a short poem. This was first published in The Sonoma Index-Tribune in the early 90s and reprinted in my poetry chapbook Renaissance Woman.

Fall Equinox

Light goes before dark and follows after,
And now suspended from a rafter
In the great barn which covers Earth
Is a lamp of Death and a lamp of Birth.
The farmer opens the barn door wide,
And in walks springtime's loving bride,
Grown old and wise and full and fat,
And on the Birth-lamp hangs her hat.

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People of the Waters: A Rite for Minnehaha Falls

 Twin Cities Pagan Pride 2014

Minnehaha Park

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm reading the most delightful book, Lisa Manniche's "An Ancient Egyptian Herbal," and just have to share this ancient recipe from page 42:

b2ap3_thumbnail_food-Maler_der_Grabkammer_des_Menna_009.jpgStuffed Alexandrian Loaf

...
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Nine Touchstones of Goddess Spirituality by Carol P. Christ

 

When I write it sometimes seems as if the words are coming from "between the worlds" This was the case when I "rewrote" the 10 Commandments.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lynne Haines
    Lynne Haines says #
    I adore your revision of the comandments. I wrote a Prayer to express my love and understanding of the Divine Feminine. I hope r
PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Sept 5

Its Faithful Friday here at the Beagle, and we have stories of faith from all religions. Interfaith work, an Indian temple, Jews & Arabs as neighbors, rewilding Paganism and everything you didn't want to know (but should) about "Islamic State."

Is interfaith work -- between Pagans and non-Pagans -- important work or just a distraction? Ryn Fox at the Wild Hunt discusses the issues.

...
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_478px-Freya_by_Johannes_Gehrts.jpgFreya was the first deity I ever connected with in a meaningful way, back in 1996. Coming into Germanic paganism via Freya, I took things at face value and without a deeper look at the history and the context of archaeology until many years later when I did so out of necessity to shed some light on things I was experiencing. Most forms of Germanic paganism treat the Aesir and Vanir as a package deal with heavy emphasis on the Aesir.

So for many years, I attempted to reach out to the Aesir because I thought I "should". From the get-go, the Aesir were... not really a good fit. The gods that interested me all had ties to the nature and the land, and the Aesir... mostly didn't. Sure, Odin is connected with wind and its fury, and Thor is thunder, but... no. The macho-war energy surrounding the Aesir (while this is not all they are, obviously) did not feel like "my gods". Yet, I spent years trying to connect to the Aesir, with crickets, mostly, and occasional blips on the radar, until finally, some things happened where I was told to stop.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Yes, exactly! Deep-minded is an often forgotten epithet of Thor's; He even has a connection with seidhr, for some (and experience
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yeah I definitely see the difference between the Aesir and Vanir as more cultural than racial, for the same reason. As an aside,
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    The idea of the Vanir as the anti-Aesir annoys me, too. Equally, the Aesir are not the anti-Vanir, and are not merely gods of mac
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    I cannot click "like" hard enough on this comment. While I have always perceived the Aesir as being more inherently martial tha

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