Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

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5 Magical Novels of 2015

This is my list of novels published in 2015, which I acquired for publication, of interest to pagans, heathens, and witches.

 1. The Rishis: The Book of Secrets by Robert Delgado

(Also available in Spanish: Los Rishis y el Libro de Secretos)

Contemporary young people discover the secrets and powers of the Rishis, and the mystery of what happened in Gonur 3,500 years ago, while battling the Rishis' enemies the Mantris.

2. Jane by Rose Montague

(sequel to Jade)

Jane and Jade hunt evil before it hunts them.

3. Lucidity by Ray S. Kent

Lucid dreams can lead a boy to love, or evil.

4. Caloric by Trisha Barr

Four young people discover they are the elements bound in human form, and an ancient society plans to kill them and steal their powers.

5. Iona Kyle series by Ian Jarvis
Book 1: Dark Equinox
Book 2: Here by Dragons
Book 3: Witch Hunt

Iona Kyle uses her psychic powers to foil evil, and evil tries to foil her back.

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Image use by permission of Mari Lwyd Larcher

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kris Hughes
    Kris Hughes says #
    Hi Jude - At an intuitive level, I feel that the Mari tradition is one of many differing expressions of some kind of remnant of an
  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Cheers Kris, I'll check out your article! Here's to mid winter celebrations - and many walks of the dog inbetween!
  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Kris, I was so inspired by the lyrics of the song. I'm curious what's your impression of the Mari Lwyd? Thanks, Jude.
  • Jude Lally
    Jude Lally says #
    Hi Kris, Many thanks for pointing that out - amendments made! Winter Blessings, Jude.
  • Kris Hughes
    Kris Hughes says #
    It's always nice to read a new take on this wonderful tradition. However, I must ask you to correct your statement that the poem y

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Designing With The Divine

Sometimes when I make art, I take on the role of psychopomp - creating art for the dying and deceased, as well as those left behind: a death mask for a dying man, a painted mailbox for a gravesite for a young teen, portraits of beloved pets who have left this world. 

Sometimes my art leads me to the path of the Oracle, creating work for clients to help clear their paths that starts with a Tarot reading and ends with a painting or talisman: finding or defining a vocation, marking a new beginning, or helping to find resolution in the past so that new work can begin.  

Sometimes when I am making art, I am the Witch and Conjurer. I pull from my own inner visions to create images and unravel myths.  I can simultaneously make works for myself, for everyone, for anyone, and for no one at all, weaving the materials into spells and stories.  There is all of the meaning to be unlocked - or none at all, seen and unseen. Much of my work tends to fall into this category. 

And sometimes when I make art, I am the Priest and Priestess. The process goes beyond communing with the media, materials, and inklings of visions, and becomes a conversation with Someone Else. You can call it Spirit, God, Goddess, the Mighty Dead, the Ancestors, but those are just labels that help us grasp Them. I have worked with Many over the years - pretty much from every path that you can think of.  Sometimes it is for a client, who has been called to have a certain piece (or pieces) of artwork on their altar by their Patron/Matron.  Other times, I'll be working on a concept and it will have the effect of calling in Someone new (or old).  

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Moon, Stars, and Questions

It’s always tricky, reconstructing ancient religious practices. We may or may not have reliable sources of information and from a distance of centuries, it’s hard to tell what really happened way back then. It’s especially tricky when the only written records we have were recorded by people who weren’t exactly friendly to our chosen culture, as I discussed in a recent guest post on a friend’s blog. This is the case with the ancient Minoans. Most of the mythology we know about from ancient Crete comes down to us from the Hellenic Greeks, who lived a thousand years after the collapse of Minoan civilization and whose male-centric culture held radically different values from the egalitarian Minoans.

So how can we connect with the spirituality of a people who lived so long ago and about whom we have little reliable information? We take what we have and build on it using our own experience of the numinous – the divine. This is one case in which we must simply say, if it works for you, then do it. But we must also remember that what works for one person may not be  satisfying for another, so respect for a diversity of views needs to hold high priority. My friend Nimue put this especially well in a recent blog post.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like Asterion as the sky-bull/constellation Taurus. Have you tried seeking personal communication with Asterion yet? I know so
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    No, I haven't, mainly because I only recently came up with this correlation. I've been grappling with the identity of Asterion for

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Fireverse 6: Mythology is Subjective

Mythology is stories, and stories reflect the mind of the storyteller. We acknowledge that when we talk about how a given mythological tale reflects a culture and its level of scientific and social advancement. The individuals who told the stories also projected them through their own personal lenses, not only as members of their culture but as people with internal psychology.

One of the things I learned while writing Some Say Fire, in which I retold as much of the heathen lore as I could find along with original material inserted interstitially, is that it is impossible to write objective fiction about the gods no matter how hard I try. Even though I relate to the gods either as people with personalities or as nature, when I wrote fiction about them they inevitably turned into archetypes. For example, the ways that Fireverse Odin differs from traditional Odin all turned out to be about my real life deceased father. I didn't intend to do that. I didn't even realize that until after I had enough of a draft completed to show it to someone else and my critique partner pointed it out to me; I knew I had turned my problems over to my higher power by giving them to Loki, but I hadn't realized how much that distorted all the other characters in the story.

Only after I had dealt with those issues was I able to get past them and reach the real Odin. In mythology or fairy tale, the father figure is your father, the road is your path, and the mountain is whatever obstacle you yourself must overcome. Everything turns into dream symbolism.

This same phenomenon must surely have happened when the lore that we have received in written form was first written down. The lore contained in Snorri's Edda must therefore reflect Snorri the individual as much as it reflects the lore as he had heard it in his lifetime, and as much as it reflects his culture and the times he lived in.

Fireverse Odin turned into my father and Fireverse Loki my wounded inner child because those are the personal issues I needed to resolve through my creative writing. Snorri's Odin turned into Yahweh and his Loki turned into the Devil. As a Christian with recent heathen ancestors living in the time of conversion, watching his culture be destroyed by the very thing he most passionately believed in--the Church-- resolving the cognitive dissonance between his Christian beliefs and his love of the stories of his culture must have been his greatest psychological need.

The subjectivity of story, even mythology from an oral tradition, is something to keep in mind in interpreting the lore. Some of my fellow Asatruars treat the Eddas as if they were the word of the gods. The Eddas were written by men; men have human needs, including psychological needs. The storyteller shapes the story even if he tries not to.

Image: image from publicdomainpictures.net

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“Every divine word came into being through that which was thought by the heart and commanded by the tongue [of Ptah]. . . And so justice is done to him who does what is liked, and evil is done to him who does what is hated. And so life is given to the peaceful . . .” (Memphite Theology, from Frankfort, 1948)

If a good example is set by the leader, it will be effective for all eternity, and all his wisdom will become one with the eternity of the cycles. (The Wisdom of Ptah-Hotep, Jacq, 2004)

b2ap3_thumbnail_horussetf_20151213-163928_1.jpgI fear that in these volatile times we are too easily turned aside from the wisdom of ancient Egypt. Politics in America is never a tame beast, but the current season is fraught with demagoguery and hyperbole of a level I have not seen in my own lifetime.

And yet, with all its modern challenges, good leadership still emerges from the same principles it always has: personal integrity; honesty; honor of both one’s self and others; fairness; compassion and courage.

The Egyptians are said to have been a conservative society, not because they resembled anything in today’s civic life, but because they had experienced extremes of upheaval and knew their survival depended on maintaining the balance of Ma’at.

So it is that (to my knowledge) we have no records of protests and dissension left to us, though there surely must have been some at times. We do know that when the Egyptians threw off the oppressive religion of Akhenaten and reinstated the temples, they did everything they knew of to erase the memory of the Heretic from history.  They did not want his words lingering to re-introduce chaos into their recovered balance.

Since every word has power, since we are all gods speaking divine words, it behooves us to ponder what creative works we send out when we speak. For many in the blogosphere, words are particularly powerful, and we do well to heed the lesson of the Egyptians to moderate our speech into something truly effective.

How will you make your every word count today? What will be the first words you think, then speak, in the morning? And what will be your last words upon retiring for the night? Couch your waking hours in good speech, in medu netjer, sacred words that bring life, affirmation and truth to yourself and others. In this way you will “become one with the eternity of the cycles.”

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