Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Manifesting Your Path As An Artist

This past weekend at Paganicon in Minneapolis, MN, I gave workshops on Witchcraft, Ritual Movement, and Art.  The latter especially focused on my own path as an artist and where it intersects with my Witchcraft.  Alas, 90 minutes wasn't quite enough time to get it all in, so I figured I'd write up 6 key points here for y'all.

In my lecture, I talked about how art schools rarely give artists the tools they need to really succeed.  Sure, we can learn the craft of being artists from a technical standpoint and refine the use of our media - but when it comes to promotion and being professional, those areas are sorely lacking in formal art education.  Which means finding your way through a lot of trial and error. 

So how do you get your work out there as an artist?

1) Have a presence on the internet: a facebook page for your work, Instagram account, your own website, or being on a portfolio website (deviantart, behance, etc), etc.  This requires also getting good photos and/or scans of your artwork, as well as crafting a short biography, artist statement, and build a resume of shows/events/awards/education. Watermark your art! 

2) Have a physical presence in the real world: invest in business cards, postcards, etc - that you pass out with your work and online presence on them. Network with other artists, check out local groups, galleries, and other events.  Does your local town/city have an artwalk? Check out the spaces, see what the art is like. 

3) Craft a plan for each year, setting goals for what you want to accomplish.  Goals can be along the lines of: doing a series of 10 paintings on X theme, participate in 3 group shows, get a solo show, do 1 outdoor festival, etc.  It all depends on your media and where you want to go with your artwork.

4) Keep your word and be realistic.  This seems like a common sense thing, but unfortunately there is often a lot of substance behind the idea of the "flakey artists."  I can't tell you how many times I've filled in at events for artists who have flaked at the last minute because they didn't get work done for the show. However, shit does happen, so if you suspect you're not able to do an event or make a deadline, give the host/organizer PLENTY of time, so they can adjust accordingly.  Saying yes and falling through again and again damages your reputation, no matter how good your work may be. 

5) Presentation and Products! Consider the ways you can show and replicate your artwork so that you can get it out there and make money off of it.  Is your work easy to frame? What size works best? How durable is it? How much will it cost to hang it properly? Be creative! Prints, notecards, calendars, magnets, t-shirts, etc - can be really awesome - or a money pit. Go to events and see what similar artists (subject, media, etc) are doing, and consider what can be your own take. Look to create a variety of pricepoints as well.  For example, I have notecards that are $4, prints from $20-$30, higher end prints from $45-$150, and then original art - so art for a variety of budgets.  

6) Make art.  No really, make it. Don't just think about it or talk about it, or plan it. MAKE IT. The only way to expand as an artist is to keep making art, keep producing it, keep developing and trying out ideas.  

Now there's a lot more that can be done, but these 6 points I believe are at the root of developing your brand and growing as an artist.  "Overnight success" is the result of years of hard work that most people never see. 


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Numerology and the Page of the Tarot Cards

I've been doing a lot of work with the court cards in the tarot, recently. Some of this is due to the projects on which I'm working in my mundane job as an author, and some of it is my own research. The correlation between numerology and the tarot has piqued my interest. However, the court cards aren't numbered, so how do you go about reading them when using numerology? Do you simply count them as 11 (Page), 12 (Knight), 13 (Queen) and 14 (King)? What if there were another way of looking at them? 

What I've found has resonated with me—and your mileage may well vary—is to look at the court cards as a more complex set of numbers, rather than just as court cards. In numerology the number 11 is known as a master number, and it does seem to resonate well with the energy of the Page. It's a combination of both 1 and 2. As the Page is the first card in the second part of the suit, the first card in the court cards, it also takes on the energy of both 1 and 2. 

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Walk with Me?

Greetings from the Canadian prairies! I feel so honoured to be here taking part in this amazing conversation. As a long-time reader of Witches and Pagans, as well as PaganSquare, it is very exciting to be invited to blog with you, and share some of my reflections on earthen spirituality at this critical juncture of our shared planetary life.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, Praise be to the Gods everlasting! I never thought I'd see an Anglican priest who's also an OBOD Druid. I have a de
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Hi Jamie, thanks for the note! Any idea of how your friend configures his (her?) ChristoPagan perspective?
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Rev. Beck, His Christo-Paganism is influenced by the Book of Enoch and similar writings. He believes in the Goddesses and Gods. H

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Cernunnos Shrine Part 1

The building of the Shrine to Cernunnos was started in the summer 2016.  But before that, we started raising money for it.  In the fall of 2015, we did an Indiegogo campaign that had 26 backers and raised $3435.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cernunnos-shrine--3/x/11422658#/

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Magical days of the week

Energy of the days

Each day of the week has its own specific energies and I would suggest you check first thing each morning to find out what the energy is for you.  

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Minoan Epiphany: Come on Down!

Have the gods ever appeared to you? If the artwork is any indication, they seem to have put in a few appearances to the Minoans of ancient Crete. The image at the top of this blog is of the Isopata ring, a gold seal ring from a Minoan-era tomb near Knossos. The scene shows four women, presumably priestesses, dancing ecstatically in a field of lilies. Interesting stuff floats around their heads: snake-like serpentine lines, a beehive, and... a small female figure. She is dressed like the other women, in a flounced skirt, but she's tiny; her hair and skirt are flying out as if she is moving quickly through the air. She is, perhaps, a goddess who has been invoked in this ritual.

The interesting thing is, figures like her show up on several other seal rings, as does a small floating male figure who holds a spear. And all the artwork depicts ritual settings, so I think the identification of these floating figures as deities is a pretty sound one. For instance, this ring from the Minoan port city of Amnisos has a floating goddess hovering over a boat full of people and being greeted by more people to the left:

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Devotional journey: Together with Djehuty

You, Djehuty - and only You - I think I know all Your holy names and hundreds of epithets, recognizing the hieroglyphic signs from the first glance sometimes,
but all these names are here just to bring more light to certain aspects of your wonderful Wholeness.

You can be so different. Sassy and sarcastic, demanding and cold, trickstery and full of ecstatic laughter, kind and full of compassion, your immense greatness reaches the far corners of the universe, when you calculate the orbits of most distant stars,
and still You are here for me - one who took my heart, who has my love and trust, who called me to stay in the Mansion of the Moon and bring all my sorrows before Your throne, so you could lift my burdens and wipe my tears.

You came to me - dark, sad, sorrowful and determined, and full of love - to give me Your hand, to give me strength, to lead me through the path of ordeals to the future You wanted for us, together.
You smiled upon me when I started to study my first hieroglyphic signs.
You smiled upon me when I touched the Legend of the Book of Thoth.
You answered my call when I wrote You the letter of devotion.
… and I knew that I don’t want to follow any other God or Goddess so deeply as I want to follow You.
I know others, I know Their love and greatness, but you are the Only-One, my First and Foremost; “Sole God, no one other is like You”…

And sometimes I say numerous praises for You and sometimes I want to learn the sacred  Silence,
to drink your sweet water from the well-in-the-desert.
You are the one-who-created himself; the Word that was “in the beginning”, the divine Logos, quintessence of omniscience of the Supreme God, Netjer/Netjeru: tongue of Ptah, heart of Ra, throat of Amun, heka of Atum.
Blessed under many names, guised as sage Trismegistus, connecting together Netjeru and Theoi as Divine Messenger, called Hermes; and known as Mercury for the romans; but ancient Kemet knows you as Thoth-Djehuty.
Lord of Medu-Netjer, Divine Language; lord of Hermopolis.
All Your holy names are not enough to explain and define You.
Djehuty “as You are”, and how can I say I know You?
But I can say indeed that You are the one I love,
and this love binds us together,
stronger than everything in existence.

May be Your name was the first Word I’ve heard when my soul was created for this life on this Earth, before hearing the voices of the world.

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