Rare species on Easter Island face extinction. New fossils in China challenge assumptions about human evolution. And we talk about the economics of air pollution. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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Title: Spirit Touched: A Caleyna Summoner Tale...
I started my quest to find the name or word Aurkonungr while reviewing Lecouteux’s new Encyclopedia, which has an entry for Aurkonungr saying it is a name of Honir. Some of the entries had citations to sources, but not that one. Because I had never heard of such a name for Honir, I set out to find the source. Long did I trek through the mountains up the rocky river, seeking the source, the well of wisdom, beset by skaven and… ahem, no, I sensibly got on Google, which returned 0 results. That word literally does not exist on the internet. Well, it didn’t—it does now, ironically, here in this blog post.
Members of the American Asatru Association’s Facebook discussion group helped me track down where Lecouteux was most likely to have gotten the word from. Although aurkonungr does not appear on the net, there is exactly one return for a reasonable variation of the word, árkonungr: “et, que Ynglingasaga qualifie plusieurs rois de árkonungr, gódr árkonungr, roi, bon roi à moissons” from Tripertita: fonctionnels chez divers peuples indoeuropéens by Georges Dumézil. This word is only written that way in French. In Icelandic texts, it's written as two words, ár konungr....
AP: Washington, DC
The Postmaster General announced today the upcoming release of a series of stamps commemorating the eight holidays celebrated by the vast majority of contemporary pagans.
"Pagans have been an integral part of this nation since its founding and before," said Postmaster Tamar Penrose, acting head of the US Postal Service. "It's time and high time for such a public acknowledgement."
The stamps will be released later this year on November 1, the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, celebrated by many contemporary pagans as their New Year.
The release coincides with the opening of the Smithsonian's new exhibit, "Pagan America: The First 400 Years." The exhibit will include the unveiling of the original prototypes for the stamps.
The prototypes were created by the Minneapolis Collective of Pagan Artists (MCPA) which, since its founding in 2013, has spearheaded the mainstreaming of pagan art and culture into American consciousness. It was the MCPA that first vetted the idea to the Postal Service.
It snowed in the Blue Mountains, where I live. It's always colder here than in Sydney, the mountains - which are not really mountains at all, but a plateau pushed up from the sea one hundred and seventy million years ago - are a kilometre above sea level and have their own weather. Which means that, although it never snows in Sydney, it does sometimes snow up here.
I was coming back from Sydney, on the train and I watched as the rain drops falling outside the window somehow seemed to get lighter, to become blown about by the wind, I watched them becoming snow as the train moved higher and further west. It was late afternoon and out the window I saw small dips in the land filled with ferns carrying a delicate blanket of snow on their fronds, like icing, it was truly magical. I stared and stared....
In the ancient days of the world, when all was still mostly froth and chaos, there lived two great Kings. The Oak King was the ruler of the places that were light, and the Holly King ruled the places that were dark. At first They feared one another; for the Holly King was the master of the places that the Oak King dared not go, and the Oak King was the master of the places that the Holly King dared not go. What secrets might the other be keeping? But the Goddess of the Moon and Stars knew Them both, and She bade Them to go to one another. “You’ll like Him!” She told each of Them with the twinkle of the stars in Her deep dark eyes. “You’ll see!”
So They agreed to meet at the border of Twilight, where light and dark meet. The Goddess guided Them to the meeting place with the twinkles of Her eyes, and then She tactfully withdrew....
There are a heap load of folk songs that tell us the devil resides at the crossroads but we don’t really need to worry about him…what we are more interested in is the belief that the crossing of two roads is a powerful spot. The crossroads is the centre of the four winds and the four directions. The centre point links the two worlds, that of the living and the dead – it is an ‘in between’ place. In some traditions you would go to the crossroads at midnight to meet Eshu/Elegba and in others it is the place sacred to the sun god Ra and the godsBhairava, Hermes and Mercury and the goddess Hecate. The crossroads is also a place where Hoodoo tricks take place and where spells can be buried to ‘do their thing’.
You may find in your local woods or even parks that there is a place where two dirt tracks cross or even where a bridge goes directly over a straight run of river or stream. That centre spot is an excellent place to work magic. It is also a good place to dispose of magic tricks and workings after you have finished with them including candle stubs....