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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Coming Home

It was day three of a seven-day meditation retreat and I was busy sabotaging my practice by wallowing in guilt. At the mid-week interview with the meditation leader I complained about these negative thoughts: “I don’t know why I do this to myself.” 

 

“But are you doing it?” she said. “Are you doing it?” 

 

Well, no. My thoughts were basically thinking themselves, assailing me when whether I wanted them or not. The more closely I observed myself, the more I came to the conclusion that I had ridiculously little control over the thoughts and reactions that drove me into various states and actions. 

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You Can’t Break Up if It’s Already Over

So, in Sicily, my brain was completely clogged with salami, seafood, veal, cheese, pasta, blood orange mimosas, arancini, cannoli and wine.  We were surrounded by the gorgeous sea and because there's a volcano there that still erupts periodically, the whole island is positively fecund with wild olive trees, wild pomegranate trees, poppies, wild oleander, jasmine, almond trees, chamomile, orange trees, lemons.  Like, by the side of the highways, randomly growing in archeology sites.  Palermo is like an explosion of Etsy fever dreams - herb gardens and succulents on every balcony and coverable piece of sidewalk.

So you can imagine that despite the fact that I am absolutely shamefully horrible with any language that's not English, I desperately wanted to stay.  I mean, 65% of women in SIcily are unemployed, but dude that is right on track to have the life that Ali Wong always dreams about, that I want too! ("I DON'T WANT TO LEAN IN!  I WANT TO LIE DOWN!)  But blahblahblah you have a husband or something and a "career" and a stupid business and another book to write and the crushing oppression of your life back in Gilead/America to deal with.  Because yes, in SIcily you can get a literal bunch of asparagus or a beautifully laminated Saint prayer card from a vending machine for a Euro, but the fact remains that they would be having none of my proud freak shenanigans there which would eventually get old.  Eventually.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why the Craft Is Different

There were many horned gods in antiquity.

There's no evidence that any of them were “dying gods.”

(Osiris, perhaps the preeminent dying god of antiquity, was a horned god, it's true. But since most of the other gods—not to mention the goddesses—of ancient Egypt wore horns, but were never said to have died, it's questionable how much the case of Osiris can be said to prove.)

We have no evidence, for instance, that the Cernunnos of the Keltic world was a dying god, much less a dying-and-rising god. In a single story, Pan is said to have died (“Great Pan is dead!”), but this is a one-off story, not a mythology of an Eternal Return.

Yet, in the modern paganisms, the Horned God is preeminently He Who Dies and Rises: the great and sacred story of humanity's lifelong religious involvement with the animal species which, through the history of our kind, have been the source of our food.

Where, then, did this identification come from, if not from the ancient paganisms? Why do we think of the Horned as He Who Dies to Feed the People?

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Interesting observation about the dying God as a Christian concept. Maybe that's why I have never been comfortable with the whole

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Blodeuwedd, Flower Goddess

Blodeuwedd, known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise, was a goddess like no other in the manner of her birth. She is one of the main figures in the Mabinogion, the Welsh cycle of stories of the early Celtic Goddesses and Gods.

Divinatory Meaning

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Viewing The World Through Pagan Eyes VI:  clearing away the confusions of ‘cultural appropriation’

 

Previous essays in this series

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I have seen pictures of a Sikh family celebrating Christmas and I have read of a Jewish woman saying that Christmas is too nice a
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Great article!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Sun Garden

Create a Sun garden

This idea lends itself to sunflowers as the centre and they come in all shapes and sizes, but any bright yellow and orange flowers would work well.  Particularly suited are those flowers that open in the sun or follow the sun as it traverses across the sky.  You could also include ‘desert’ type plants with shingle, stones and succulents (bear in mind that a lot of succulents are not frost hardy).

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Poppy Power Money Magic

The San Francisco Bay Area is magical in spring and summer, with a profusion of poppies growing along the highway and in every available crevice. No wonder California is one of the wealthiest places in the world. We pagans revere poppies for their money magic. If you have a yard, meadow, or any strip of ground you can garden, buy poppy seeds and simply toss them all around. Months later, you will have a wealth of wildflowers.

 

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