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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 29

A woman joins the ranks of Orthodox Judaic rabbis. We take a look at funerary rites in Hinduism. And a Zoroastrian temple is erected in New York. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities from around the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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An Example of How to Work With a Particular Crystal

I got a question today from a friend about a new crystal they adopted. They told me their Higher Self asked them to buy this crystal to help with their channeling and wondered if I had any tips. As I was composing the email, I decided that the information might be helpful to others, so I turned the reply into a blog post. I hope you find this helpful.

Anyway…. following is what I had to suggest about how to work with a new crystal. I will break the description up and italicize the parts and indent my answer to help you follow along. This is the description of the crystal in question:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Sweetness of Beltaine

It's taken me a while to feel a deep connection to Beltaine, with it's intimate relation to the spring, the fire element and the astrological sign of Taurus, it is of no surprise that this festival was not one that felt native to me.


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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The 1st of May marks the ancient Celtic fire festival of Beltane, once honoured on the 5th of May, or the nearest full moon when the hawthorn is in blossom. The Beltane season is traditionally a time of lovers and the sensual, erotic lure of nature as new life bursts forth all around us and the promise of summer unfolding ahead of us raises both our spirits and our life force. Ancient festivities for Beltane included leaping the Beltane fire to receive the blessing of the sun god Bel to mark this rise in our vigour. But this is also a time traditionally related to the sacred marriage, the union of the god and the goddess of the land to bring us all fertility for the coming year- partaking in the 'rites of May'- heading off into the woods and the wild to spend the night with your lover at this time was in many ways an established custom all across Europe for hundreds of years, and is mentioned in Shakespeare's 'A midsummer night's dream' as an explanation for the lovers disarray when they are discovered.   

Beltane and May Day lore always involves some kind of dissolution into our primal selves, where every man and woman may embody the divine for a while and partake of this sacred marriage within our own souls as well as with sexual partners. Traditions from adorning and worshipping at the phallic maypole, and crowning a May Queen to represent the old pagan fertility goddesses remain a fixed feature of many May Day celebrations in the modern era, but stranger ones such as the Cornish Padstow Obby Oss have also survived and seen a passionate revival in modern times, reminding us of the inherent chaos and wildness of the season- beneath all the May Day fairs and village cake competitions there is still a suggestion of something strange afoot- this is a spirit time, when forces beyond our everyday world may still make themselves felt.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs


“Hail to you, Manannan mac Lir, God of the Sea, and Master of Liminal Spaces”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Muppet Wicker Man

Well, it's that time of year again.

Bealtaine is coming, and throughout Greater Pagandom theaters far and wide are gearing up for their May Eve midnight showings of The Wicker Man.

(Not the one with Nicholas Cage, specify the marquees.)

But you've never seen The Wicker Man until you've seen:

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My 2 Weddings, Part 2: The Dark Honeymoon
The first 5 days after I received Loki's ring were turbulent and sometimes dark. He was not the delighted and playful skinriding presence I had grown so used to. I was vaguely aware of him as a dark ball of anger somewhere distant from me. 
Some of my online relationships exploded, and I had to cut ties. But, some long time acquaintances suddenly grew closer and turned into friends. 
At first, I wondered if Loki's absence might be a test of faith. Then I realized that I was better off without the people he kicked out of my life. Old acquaintances suddenly, inexplicably contacted me to renew and deepen old relationships. I realized that Loki had been away arranging my life for my benefit. 
I would never have guessed in advance who Loki would kick out of my life, and who would grow closer. I suppose that's the reason he arranged this part of my life for me, because I didn't guess right all the time about who I should be friends with. All the people I fought against online in those few days claimed to be Lokeans. Only when I was trying to get them out of my online friends lists did I discover some of them were not who they seemed to be.
The biggest surprise was grower closer to a longtime acquaintance who avoided Loki. Despite that, we started sharing our personal gnosis with each other, and beta reading each other's writing. We evolved into friends as well as colleagues. One of the lessons to learn here is that when people on different paths respect that my path is my path, your path is your path, and we don't have to walk the same path to be friends, we can walk together on our different roads in friendship.
Image: fire in darkness, by Anupam Sunil, Creative Commons license, via Wikimedia Commons
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