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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Oldest Oracle


Long, long ago, the Horned gave us the bones, and taught us how to read them.

Here's how.


What you'll need: five astragali (“knucklebones”).


First, you need to establish a “ground.”

1. Spread the casting-cloth on the ground, or

2. At need, with the tip of your finger, draw a circle in sand or dust.


Above the “ground,” hold the five knucklebones between your two hands.

Call in your heart to the Horned, Lord of Lots, state your question, and request an answer.

Phrase your question in such a way that it can be answered Yes or No.

Drop the bones onto the “ground.”



Any bone that falls outside the ground.

Any bone that lands on its side.


How to read:

Each knucklebone will show either a bump or a hollow.

Bumps = yes. Hollows = no.


Five bumps = definite yes.

Five hollows = definite no.

Four bumps = probably yes.

Four hollows = probably no.

Three bumps = Yes, but.

Three hollows = No, but.

Equal number of bumps and hollows = The bones decline to answer.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Witch’s Calendar

January 6: Feast of Sirona, the blessing of the waters.

January 11: Carmentalia, a woman’s festival celebrating midwifery and birth.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Newbridge chariot reconstruction


This is the tale of the Ghost-Chariot of Cúchulainn.

Listen, now.

In the days of High King Laegaire Mac Crimthann, Padraig the Priest went himself to Tara of the Kings, and this was his intent: to convert both king and kingdom to Christom ways.

Truly is it said that the Church will ever seek power by courting the strong.

Never shall I desert the ways of my ancestors, said Laegaire the king, unless you should raise the ghost of Cúchulainn himself that I may hold converse with him, and indeed, not only Cúchulainn himself, but his war-chariot and horses as well.

Even as the king had said, it is said, so did Padraig the Priest do, like some druid of old, raising the spirit of Cúchulainn himself, and not only him but with him his war-chariot and famed horses, Liatha Macha the Gray and Dub Sainglend the Black, though such raisings are clear against Christom law.

(They say that these two were water horses from the lake of Linn Liath in the mountains of Sliab Fuait: that Cúchulainn sang them out of the waters, leapt onto their backs and rode them around Ireland for a night and a day, and so tamed them.)

How bide you, my heart and my pulse, warrior of warriors? asked the king.

In fire, in flame, replied Cúchulainn, Behold, in the Hell of the Christoms, I burn, I burn.

Horrified by these words, Laegaire the King gave himself and his kingdom to be baptized at the hand of Padraig the Priest and so, in due time, it is said, came himself to be received into the Heaven of the Christoms.

Indeed, it is also said that, for this converting and baptizing, it was given even to Cúchulainn himself that he, too, might enter the heaven of the Christoms, though this too is plain against Christom law, and not only he himself, but with him his chariot and team.

For this is the case, that even as mewling Christoms, the Irish so loved their golden Cúchulainn that they could not bear to leave him behind.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Ivy: Lily's Other Half

Lilies abound in Minoan art. They're such a common feature of the frescoes and ceramics that I wrote a whole blog post about them.

Lilies have long been a symbol of the Divine Feminine. In Ariadne's Tribe, we connect them with the goddesses Rhea and Ariadne.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Jacob Sheep | Horns-A-Plenty - YouTube


All lands are the countries of the Wise.

Therefore, before Grand Sabbat, they test you. They ask you the question that any witch can answer.

Answer correctly, and you get your red thread.

You know what that means, of course.

I tie this knot in Old Hornie's name, they say. Aye, till he fetch thee home again.

Then they bind it around your wrist.

That's your safe-passage to the Sabbat. Wear it, after, until you get safely home.

(If you wear it until it falls of its own accord, though, Old Hornie will grant you a boon, they say. Best ask wisely. You know his sense of humor.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Waning Moon Moving On Spell

Most of us have had problems giving up on a relationship. This ritual will help you let go. Perform this ritual during the waning moon, when things can best be put to rest. Gather:

Black string

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 In Praise of Local Orthopraxy


Do pagans "do" theology?

Reflecting on decades of experience in Interfaith outreach, my friend and colleague Macha Nightmare recently noted that, in these contexts, non-pagans frequently want to know about pagan theology.

But theology is not really an operative question for pagans, she observes. Theology qua systematic theology—in the sense of an overarching, internally-consistent conceptual framework—is a product of Christian thought, and not hence really applicable to the pagan religions.

Point taken. Still, I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing.

Maybe I've been contaminated by growing up in a Christian environment. When I look at myself, though, I find that I do, indeed, have a (more or less) internally-consistent conceptual framework for my paganism. (Regular readers of the Paganistan blog have been subjected to it for years now.) I can't help but think—or at least hope—that pretty much any thinking pagan (Macha included) does too. The unexamined religion, after all, is not worth practicing.

Theology is a fine old pagan word and concept. I'm with David “New Polytheism” Miller in this: whenever we talk (and think) about the gods, we're theologizing. That's the prisca theologia, the primal theology, theology as it was before being abducted and codified into orthodoxies.

Pagans, I would contend, have plenty of theology. What, as pagans, we lack is a shared theology.

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