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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Goddess Brigid’s Shrine - approaching completion

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Our last group ritual here at Temple of the Moon was the Eve of the Equinox this Spring. After people went home with their eggs and pussy willows, I extinguished the candles in the wrought-iron chandelier that (inter alia) illuminates the temple.

In retrospect, I'm not sure why I did that. Generally after a ritual I let the candles burn down, an offering for the holy tide. But this year, for some reason, I didn't. That the Equinox also marked the beginning of the Great Covid Lockdown here in Minnesota may have had something to do with it.

Since then, the half-burnt candles have stood unlit in the chandelier. The offerings that take place twice daily in the temple don't require so much light, and through the Season of Light our group rites have unfolded outdoors.

But now comes the Other Evenday, the Waning Equinox, with no immediate prospect of indoor gathering through the Winter to come.

I ask myself: should I leave the half-burned candles until they can once again light our next indoor rite together?

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like the circular symbolism, but I prefer a light in the darkness. Yes, I know that's a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture s

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

When one hears the phrase "near death experience" most people think of an awesome spiritual experience in which one sees light or their god or ancestors. That's an experience very few people have. But almost everyone will have to deal with death sometime, their own or their loved ones'. The common way to be near death is to know a loved one is dying and to be trying to handle their affairs and set everything up for them to succeed at being a newly dead person. One succeeds at being a dead person by having one's cremation or burial, funeral and / or wake set up in advance. One of the major goals of a funeral is to provide the rites that help a dead person cross. If the dying person and the person doing the arrangements and the person handling the funeral are all the same religion it makes things a lot easier, but for many pagans and heathens this will not be the case.

There are things the dying person can do in advance, years in advance, to prepare for death. Among those things is to speak to one's patron deity or ancestors about where one is going and how to get there. There are also things one can do for another before the person actually dies. Most of those things will be mundane things in the mundane world, but one can also send blessings, even to someone one can no longer visit in person.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Miss Squeak grew up in a house of many cats, and all of them picked on her. When she first came to live with me, you could see the incredulity on her face: You mean I can just lay down anywhere, and nobody will try to jump me?

With such a background, Squeak didn't like to be held. That was OK with me; she was plenty affectionate in other ways.

Then, about a year and a half ago, as I was laying on my bed one day, reading—the sleep hygienists all say you shouldn't, I know—she hopped up on the bed and stretched out on my chest.

Here I am, she said, looking me in the eye.

And that was that. Since then, she's even taken to climbing up on my lap, the ultimate act of feline trust: Squeak, the cat that didn't like to be held.

On her last night, when I got home from work I found that she'd curled up on the pillow on my bed. Well, everyone has the right to die where they want to.

Although by that point moving was difficult for her, when I woke in the middle of the night I found that she had crawled under the covers and snugged up to me: the primal mammalian comfort of skin-to-skin contact that, in the end, is maybe the best giving that we have to offer one another.

So the cat that everyone picked on managed to find a territory of her own, and someone to snug up to. There are worse lives to be had.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    awwww kitttyyyyyy

Harvest Moon, September 17, 2020. 

Meet Spirit Grandmother Thunderbird. She is creating polarity on Earth, fire, holding Earth's magnetics in place. She is great, a huge and powerful Spirit in the form of a bird. A bird that I saw many years ago. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Reading Minoan Art: A How-To

I feel a little bit like an elementary school teacher: OK, everyone, we're going to learn to read Minoan art!

We're all a bit past elementary school, but learning to understand the iconography of any ancient culture is a big step toward understanding their religion and worldview. Iconography is the set of symbols (icons) that have meaning in religious art. They're pictures, but in a sense, we can "read" them and they'll tell us their story. Archaeologists and historians of religion have pieced together the basics, and we've fleshed it out just a bit more in MMP using dance ethnography and shared gnosis.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

If you live anywhere near the West Coast of the USA, you already know exactly what I’m talking about.  For the last 8+ days everyone who lives anywhere near me has been living 24/7 in a huge incense censer.  As if COVID wasn’t enough to keep us apart, now many of us are dealing with the unhealthiest air on the planet.  This creates a strange situation for incense makers.  Have you ever tried to test a new incense blend while standing in the world’s largest censer?  The only respite we get from this thick air is in well-sealed rooms in our houses.  The last thing anyone wants is to light incense and add more smoke and ash to the situation.  Living in an incense censer is NOT a good thing.

I did want to take a moment and remind everyone who is dealing with this situation, that there is more going on here than evacuations and closures.

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