Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

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Click on the image above to view a Brighid documentary screened on Irish TV – It’s available to view (from international locations) until the end of february 2016.

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The Ivory Tower

 

It used to be my kid’s room, on an upper floor, the last one to be vacated. I moved in then, and my books and icons, idols and altars seemed to merge happily with the stuffed animals and old toys. Now I’m the one who plays and dreams here, reading about ancient religion and history, writing about how trees and stars, elements and animals, all bear their own deeper meanings, all play their part in the poem of the world.

 

One day I called this place “my ivory tower” and the words rang a bell of joy in me, calling up my love of academia, footnotes and learning, gothic arches and leather-bound tomes — the ivory tower as splendid isolation from the practical cares that are clearly not my forte. But I also felt there was more to it than that.

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Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar Projects

I'm creating a Heathen Calendar and a Slavic Calendar for 2017. I've accumulated holidays from various heathen traditions for the Heathen Calendar, including American Asatru, Icelandic Asatru, Theod, Forn Sed, Forn Sidr, American Northern Tradition, etc. I've also collected holidays from various Slavic traditions, including Old Slavic, Modern Rodnovery, and American Rus.

This is how I came to start this project. The company for which I work was recently purchased, and I'm now working for the same person who published my book American Celebration at Spero Publishing. One day Alan mentioned he'd like to start publishing calendars. And I emailed back, "Calendars, ay? You know what would be cool?" So there we are. Caliburn Press / Spero is going to start with two calendars, a Heathen one and a Slavic one, and hopefully add more calendars in future years.

When I started this project, I didn't realize how much work it was going to be. Now I know why no one has produced a modern calendar with all the different heathen holidays on it. Some holidays on old lunar calendars are set by moon phases, in the old Icelandic calendar all months started on Sunday, most of the historical records that provide Christian calendar dates equivalent to their country's then-current heathen calendar provide dates for the Julian calendar which then have to be translated to the Gregorian calendar, and there's a modern holiday for which I had to appeal to my friends to tell me how to calculate the heliacal rising of Sirius for future years. I've collected quite a list of holidays, but I'll be open to adding more right up until I turn the project over to the boss, which won't be until after I select 12 artworks for each calendar.

I'm looking for classical paintings to illustrate the two calendars. In future years, we hope to use art by living artists, but at least for the first year, we plan to use art that has fallen into the public domain due to its age. I've been deep in Google Image Search. I decided on paintings because I think full color art would look best on a calendar in print. These decisions necessarily mean most of the art will be from the Romantic era, but I promise: no horned helmets.

If anyone would like to suggest art, or holidays, for either the Heathen or Slavic calendars, please comment with your suggestions.

Image: Golden Tears by Gustav Klimt. I see this as an image of Freya, who wept tears of gold and amber while she searched for Odh ("Inspiration.")

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Not specifically, as far as I know. The American Rus holidays are only celebrated by American groups that honor multiple tradition
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Can you point us to more information on the "American Rus" you mention? First I've heard of it.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    American Rus holidays are modern additions to the Slavic pagan calendar which are celebrations of Rus heroes, particularly the ear
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Are there any American Rus groups? Links would be helpful.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    How cool! Excited to see them when they are done!

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What's the big deal about bronze?

The ancient Minoans lived during the Bronze Age; you've probably heard that somewhere. But what, exactly, was the Bronze Age and why is it a big deal?

You may have noticed that periods of history (and prehistory) are denoted by the main substance with which the people of the time made their tools: the Old and New Stone Age (that's the Paleolithic and Neolithic), the Copper-Stone Age (that's the Chalcolithic Age, if you're looking it up in a history book), the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. We still use iron tools - those knives in your kitchen are stainless steel, a form of iron - though some people have tried to style us modern folks as the Silicon Age. Personally, I'd have a hard time making a sandwich with a silicon chip.

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THE TRADITIONAL WITCH’S CALENDAR:  1-7th FEBRUARY

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Witches and the Law

You might have seen recent news from South Africa about the Witchcraft Suppression Act (Act 3) currently under review by the South African Law Reform Commission. After 8 years of deliberation between the Commission, Witches, Pagans and Traditional Healers, the Commission has found that certain provisions of Act 3 contravene the South African Bill of Rights and the Act, a relic of a former colonial age, is unconstitutional.

In February 2007, as director of the SA Pagan Rights Alliance, I initiated an appeal against Act 3 on the grounds that it criminalized an already constitutionally protected religious minority (Witches and Wiccans). In 2008 my appeal for review was supported by the SA Pagan Council and the Traditional Healers Organization.

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Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif

I lost 20 lbs. on the Goddess Diet. I've been avoiding GMO wheat and corn products because I received gnosis that the goddess Sif wants me to. I'll relate the somewhat amusing story of how I avoid them in another post. As I mentioned in the Fireverse 1 post, while I was writing my probably-unpublishable behemoth Some Say Fire, I received a scene showing that GMO wheat is fatal to Sif, the goddess of wheat. This is what I call novel-gnosis: information about the gods presented to me by them as fiction but which I think may also be applicable beyond the Fireverse.

Once my head was cracked open to hear the gods while writing, I received messages from them as well as being inspired with scenes for the book. I got a strong impression that she wanted non-GMO wheat in real life.

I said, "It would take a revolution to get that for you. An actual revolution."

Sif said, "Get on with it already. Aren't you already talking to Loki?"

It turns out, I was wrong. It didn't take a revolution. Heritage wheat still exists in the world. It might not be in the bread aisle at the grocery store, but one can grow some if one has land on which to do so. Native Seed Search (nativeseeds.org) has some. I ordered some of that wheat to plant for Sif.

When I planted the wheat, I did a ritual to have it blessed by Sif, Thor, and Loki. The what itself is Sif's sphere of influence, and rain is Thor's. The earth itself is Jord's, also known as Fjorgynn, Thor's mother; the place where I was planting already had a dedication to her on it, written on the bottle wall in runes. Clearing the ground relates to one of Loki's spheres of influence. I had to dig up the dead things that were in the planting bed. Also some live things had to be dug up and potted and moved. The ground had to be leveled. I added compost, and turned the soil over. Only then was it ready for Sif's wheat to be planted, and only after that was it ready for Thor to rain on it to make it grow.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've been signing lots of online petitions for GMO labeling. I used to subscribe to Organic Gardening magazine so I know there ar

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