Pagan Studies


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Element of Water: May You Never Thirst

This is the third of a series of posts about how I relate to the elements in the Southern Hemisphere living on the western coast of Australia; this time, we are going To Dare and explore the element of Water. Previously, I called in Fire, in the North.

I've always wanted to be a mermaid. There was just something so appealing about it. I never actually watched The Little Mermaid as a child, weirdly enough as a kid who grew up in the 1980s and 90s, that boat sailed right by me. However I have always been enchanted by the 'seaside', and I have lived within a short drive or a short walk away from the beach my whole life. I am lucky enough to be on the doorstep of the Indian Ocean, and have ready access to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. I used to run down to the beach in the hot summers as a lanky 14 year old with my body board in tow and the waves I used to catch when I was by myself makes me shake my head with bewilderment today. Somewhere I found my fear as an adult; perhaps it was one too many times getting dumped by the waves into the harsh sandbar.

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PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wednesday Community News August 27

This edition of our Watery Wednesday feed features news from the Covenant of the Goddess; an update on the continuing legal battle over the Matreum of Cybele; a call for submissions to a new Pagan traditions anthology; and two stories on the drought in the American west.

Covenant of the Goddess (a national Wiccan organization) accomplished a lot at their yearly Merry Meet convention, including establishing an Award for Outstanding Service; honored military Pagans; established an educational committee to fight sexual abuse; and adopted a formal statement on environmental issues. Read all the press releases from Merry Meet for all the details.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Meet the Minoans: Zagreus

A few weeks ago I wrote about Dionysos, one of the major gods within the Minoan pantheon. Today I’m going to explore the character of Zagreus. He is sometimes considered an aspect of Dionysos and sometimes viewed as a separate deity. The tapestry of Minoan spirituality is a complicated thing, and it’s often difficult to tease out the individual threads, but I’ll give it a go and see what we can discover about this interesting, and ancient, deity.

In his seminal work Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, Karl Kerenyi identified Zagreus with the ecstatic Dionysiac festivals in which wild animals were torn limb from limb by crazed worshipers. Kerenyi connected Zagreus’ name with the Greek term for a trapper – a hunter who catches live animals rather than killing them. But the etymology of the name can also be traced back to a root meaning torn or dismembered, another thread connecting this intriguing god with those Dionysiac rites. Just to be clear: Zagreus is not the same as the Hellenic god Zeus, even though their names look somewhat alike. In their effort to create an ancient ancestry for their deities, the Greeks made Zeus the son of the Minoan goddess Rhea and said he was born on Crete, but he is a later deity and not the same as Zagreus.

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PaganNewsBeagle Fiery Tuesday August 26

In this Fiery Tuesday installment, we feature many communities: the Pagan response to Ferguson, Mo; creation of a peaceful community in the heart of Oakland, Ca; tiny houses for the homeless in Portland, Or; the death-with-dignity discussion in Britain, and a new generation of Native American female activists.

The Wild Hunt's Crystal Blanton interviews many Pagan activists on the subject of the situation in Ferguson and its implications.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
I really don't want to commit these ideas to a post. I'm worried that I cannot do them justice, and that I'm just going to write something trite or bullshit or horribly offensive. But I'm writing them anyways, because sometimes trite, bullshit, offensive things start necessary conversations. So here goes.
 

I used to sing Ani DiFranco's song "As Is" and think of others. Now I think of myself.

And I've got
No illusions about you
Guess what?
I never did
When I said
When I said I'll take it
I meant,
I meant as is.

I have a body. I am a body.

My body is many things. My body is soft and supple. My body is flexible and strong. My body is prone to allergies and skin irritations. My body is ample hips and delicious curves. My body is endometriosis and blond hair. My body is tiny wrists and scoliosis. My body is tattooed kindness and frequent urinary tract infections.

I am soft, supple, flexible, strong, prone to allergies and skin irritations. I am ample hips, delicious curves, endometriosis and blond hair, tiny wrists and scoliosis, tattoos galore and UTIs, too.

My body experiences chronic pain. That's part of being in my body.

I am chronic pain. That's part of being me.

And sure, there are times that I have wished that I didn't have the physical issues I have. It has been comforting to think that someone else's body could not only be tried on, but could fit.

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This post will make a lot more sense if you have read the first part.

H/t to Mama Fortuna over at Walk Softly, Witch for introducing me to The Faculty of Horror podcast and getting me thinking about glamour/Otherness.  Meliad also ponders about Witch as Other over on her blog.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Facing Depression

 

The suicide death of Robin Williams prompted me to reflect again on my own experience with depression and to share my story in the hope that it can help others.

In my twenties, thirties, and forties, I suffered severe intermittent depressions. My life in those days was a series of ups and downs. When I feel in love and was having good sex, I was in love with the world and could literally feel energy radiating from my body connecting it to the world. When I was dumped, the energy retreated, and I crawled into a dark hole of despair and self-pity from which there seemed to be no escape. In the in-between times, I carried on my life with neither the highs or the lows.

In recent days, a number of people have tried to describe what depression feels like. Here is what it felt like to me.

 It was as if my mind had a single track on which were repeated a few deadly words: “No one loves me. No one will ever love me. I might as well die.” I could not erase the track or jump to another one. The words repeated themselves relentlessly in my mind.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jason Leslie Rogers
    Jason Leslie Rogers says #
    Carol, Thank you for speaking out about your past struggles with depression. Having lived with bipolar disorder for almost two de

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