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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Ways Endure

A rural Anabaptist commune in mid-20th century Manitoba seems an unlikely time and place for a sacrifice to a river.

But that is the story that journalist Mary-Ann Kirby tells in her autobiography I Am Hutterite.

Some memories, it would seem, live long indeed.

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, October 7

Who are your ancestors and how should your honor them? Pagan organizations seek aid from the community in the form of fundraising. And a Pagan icon is mourned. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Small correction. We're actually publishing an anthology of writings of non-theistic Pagans called "Godless Paganism". You can s

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Magick of Making

What is a spell? Is it the gathering together of specific items such as crystals, herbs, and colored candles during certain phases of the moon to heal?  Is it the power of an invocation chanted by a coven to bring a deity? Is it a song sung by a mother to her child to soothe them? Is it the drawing of a certain symbol on the ground of a sacred space designed to protect it? 

If we define magick as the process of focusing intention and applying will to situations, objects, and energy around us to cause a change in consciousness, then all of these activities are kinds of spells. They are all forms of magick in their own way.

So with that in mind, we may also consider the visual art-making process as a magical path. Of course, not every piece of art is a magickal working, but with the right elements and conditions, it has the potential. 

Art can be created to take on a variety of magickal purposes - here are a few examples:
-A painting or statue created to represent a deity, to remind us of the divine
-A vessel or sculpture created to house a spirit or other sort entity
-A work created for as a focus for meditation or to transform a person, place, or thing 
-Work created to be an interactive altar, sacred space or be part of an altar offering

And while nearly any object can be re-purposed for use in magick, there is something extra special about an item that was handcrafted with that intent in mind. Why?

As an artist, when I sit down to create a painting, piece of jewelry, drawing, or sculpture, there are numerous steps and factors involved.  I generally (and prefer to) create my work in my studio space, which is essentially my personal sacred space.  I consider what I wish to work on, making a list of what I need. I carefully prepare the area that I work in/on/around and painstakingly gathering my materials.  I choose the light, music, and time aside needed to focus - and then I get to work. If I am creating a custom painting for a client, then I am meditating on them and their needs.  If I am creating a piece that relates to a deity, then I approach them respectfully and allow a dialogue to occur that brings them into the process.

I find that creating work is a balance of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels of awareness and thought.  If I am too much in any one area (overthinking, or perhaps too much in trance), the work will not be as successful.  The body, mind, and spirit must be in alignment, yet also be fluid enough to allow for change.  

Through much experimenting and observation over the last 20 years, I have recognized the similarities between the state of being I experience during classic spellcraft and when I am creating art infused with magick.  The energy transfer feels identical, and as I have studied the work and experiences of other artists, I have noticed similar results in the product.  It has its own buzz that you not only see, but feel. Whether it's a ceramic chalice, a talisman necklace, an elemental mask, a goddess sculpture, or painting of a god - the hand-worked, mind-forged, spirit-infused item seems to possess something more, right from the start, and continues to build as it interacts with the world around it. 

Just like any good traditional spell, it requires skill and knowledge in the medium, the ability to focus one's intent and energy, and the patience, dedication, and understanding of working with the project and seeing it through until the end. 

If you don't consider yourself an artist, that's OK. Think about the art and artful objects you may have in your home, be they originals or copies.  Why did you choose those pieces, or how did they come to you?  How do they make you feel? Why do you have certain things in specific places? What about art or objects that you have left behind, given away, or sold? 

If you are an artist, and this is new and intriguing to you, then consider what media you are best in, and what sort of magick it may lend itself to.  Over the years I have created deathmasks and psychopomp portraits, spirit portals, fetishes, drawings to bring about change, paintings for meditation, altar objects, and energizing talismans to name a few.  There's a lot of potential out there, when you have the right mindset and skill to make it happen. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_fortune-teller-dog.jpg"You don't really believe in astrology, do you?"

It amazes me how often I have been asked this question, even by people who know I am a professional astrologer (and it’s a pretty insulting question to ask a professional.). The question itself is symptomatic of a deep bias against astrology that comes out of the scientific community. Refuting the reasons for that bias would take a whole book, and fortunately astrologer Pam Gregory has written one with the same title. But there are a few key points about astrology and science I’d like to make here.

1) Bias is a lousy basis for experimentation.

In the course of acquiring a solid scientific education, one of the first things I learned is that science is based on objective observation and testing. Theories are encouraged, but if your theory gets in the way of your facts, then it’s back to the drawing board or the lab bench. I also learned that scientists, like other humans, can be far from objective, cherish their pet theories, and even descend into intellectual dishonesty in defense of their preferred world view (or their grants). Astrology threatens the core world view of many scientists, and they attack it with such ferocity that it’s clear they have a real emotional investment in demolishing it. This leads to flawed reasoning, testing, and interpretation.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you, I had once read that the cross quarter festivals marked the rising and setting of the Pleiades at dawn and sunset. I t
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Anthony, Yes, the midpoint between a solstice and equinox or equinox and solstice is always at 15 degrees of a fixed sign. Betwee
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I once counted the days between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice and found that the midpoint was around November 6th.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What can we know about Linear A?

It’s terribly frustrating trying to figure out what the ancient Minoans did in terms of religion – what they believed, how they practiced – because we can’t read anything they wrote. They were a literate culture, to be sure. They had both a hieroglyphic script and a syllabary. But we can’t read either one of them. There are clues, though.

The Cretan syllabary is commonly known as Linear A. It was used to write the native language of the ancient Minoans, which probably died out with the collapse of Minoan civilization in the second millennium BCE. However, there is a possibility that Eteocretan, which is attested as late as the 3rd century BCE, is either the native Minoan language or a direct descendant of it.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Wouldn't it be ironic if "from the East" was originally "too the East" and the Minoan Linear A turns out to be a variant of Basque
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Stranger things have happened! However, DNA testing on the human remains from several of the Minoan cemeteries shows that they are
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, October 6

Watch Patrick Stewart explain the difference between "refugees" and "migrants." American Indians / Native Americans hope to rename another national landmark. And the Syrian Civil War continues to boil over. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political and social news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Actor's Life

Our giant new television came with high definition. While my husband marvelled at the crispness of the picture and the exciting quality of the sports events, I noticed something else. 


The illusion of reality had disappeared.



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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Dear Archer: I really love this post. I, too, saw the makeup on the actors' faces when we got our HD TV. This was especially sig
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Wow, Ted what an interesting life you've led! I'm intrigued by your theory that we honour actors because an intuition that we wear

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