Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Secret Identity of the Labrys

When I tell people I follow a Minoan spiritual path, one comment that regularly comes up involves “those massive double-axe weapons.” Sometimes Wiccans will compare the labrys to the athame or the coven sword – a strong, sharp weapon that’s meant to signify the practitioner’s will, strength, passion and so on. But that’s not an accurate comparison. Yes, there have been cultures that used double-bladed axes as weapons, and very effective ones at that. And we know the Minoans made all sorts of bronze weapons for export; they may have been the world’s first major arms dealers, even though they probably had no military of their own.

But if you look carefully at the actual labyrses found in the ruins on Crete, the first thing you notice is that they’re incredibly flimsy. They are made of sheet metal, either gold or gold-plated, that’s not much thicker than tinfoil. Honestly, you could crumple most of them with your bare hands. That doesn’t strike me as a way to make a weapon.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_main_joy_0.jpgThis post is for Week 1 of February's The Pagan Experience: "What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions?"

I was told by my Vanic spirit companions and other Vanic contacts that initially, elves and giants used to be the same species, and there was a split, mainly disagreeing over how to deal with humanity – those who became "Jotnar" saw the humans as prey, those who became "Vanir" (the "ur-elves", from which the Ljossalfar and Dokkalfar are both descended) saw the humans as kin and felt compelled to help them. Following the split, energy modifications were made in both species, which is why (as one example) elves tend to be allergic to iron/steel (with exceptions) and giants regard it as a power source (i.e. the Iron Wood). There are a few Eshnahai (Vanic) tribes which have counterparts in the giants’ Otherworld, such as the Wolf, Raven, Eagle and Serpent tribes, and serve as a reminder of when they were one people, even if the tribes have differing customs (and perspectives) now. A couple of the Vanic tribes, such as the Serpents and Ravens, have cordial relations and an exchange with their Iron Wood counterparts.

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One of the frequent questions I get from budding Heathens is "Where do I start?" . After fielding two such questions in the same day from a divination client and prospective student, I began this series of articles. More resources can be found on my website.


 Shirl Sazynski_Come With Me Love

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Remember Who You Wanted to Be

I saw those words on a bumper sticker this morning and they made me cry. Why? Because in the last year, who I wanted to be got overshadowed by who other people needed me to be. Things that were important to me, like working with my tarot cards, writing my books, articles and blogs, knitting my sweaters, and playing with my clay got shoved to the back burner while I performed duties that others needed of me. My New Year's resolution was to find myself again, and by gods, I'm going to do just that. 

Within the next few weeks I'm returning to a project that I started nearly three years ago. I make pottery masks, and I have always wanted to do a series on the tarot. I think embarking on the whole deck may be a bit ambitious--at least at the start--but I do think I can execute the creation of the majors, all embodied in a 'green man' type of wall-hanging. It feels good to have a vision, and a goal, again. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Charlie Rainbow Wolf
    Charlie Rainbow Wolf says #
    Thank you! So far I've got several of the majors 'in my head,' and I've thought of doing tiles and perhaps even little figurine /
  • Sarah Avery
    Sarah Avery says #
    What an exciting project! I wish you all the best. Long ago, I knew a man who would ask anyone he thought might need the question,
Why It's Time to End the 1700 Year "Smear Campaign" Against Vesta

Let me ask you a question: How do you feel when you're sitting by a crackling fire? Whether it's a campfire under a starry sky or a fireplace in a book-lined living room, the feelings are the same. Warmth. Comfort. Well-being. Wonder and awe as you stare into the shifting, roaring orange flame, watching it snake around the wood and snap embers into the air. It almost feels...sacred.

People who lived before us -- and not all that long before us -- felt the same sense of reverence. Fire lit and warmed their homes, and served as the focus of family life. Fire was so important and inspirational that they gave it a name and an identity -- Vesta, beloved goddess of the home, hearth and domestic life. Symbolized by a flame, she lived in the household fire.

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[I was asked recently to develop a talk which could be delivered as a sermon, using ancient Egyptian sacred texts and ideas.  Here is Part 2 of that talk. Read Part 1 here]

b2ap3_thumbnail_Osiris-2.JPGSo, what is all this about Osiris?  I don’t know about you, but there are some times when I have felt very beat up by life, even broken in pieces the way Set did Osiris.  I have felt lost, scattered all over like Osiris’ body parts all over Egypt.  I have felt swept by the flood downstream and out to sea, completely overwhelmed.  Like Isis, I have wandered from place to place and through the desert, trying to find all the missing pieces of myself and trying to figure out how to put them back together again.  Anyone else felt that too?  It feels dark, doesn’t it?  Everything out there begins to look like a crocodile, or a singing snake, maybe.  We wish we had a handbook for getting through the dark. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Why Rituals Matter - My Public Grief

It was Monday, January 5th, 2015. I was working on a blog about daily practices when my brother sent me a message on Facebook. It simply and succinctly said "If you want to see dad, you better come now". If you've ever gotten that call or email, you know that life completely slows down and goes really fast all at the same time. I've tried to describe the feeling to folks that haven't had this experience and the closest thing I can compare it to is suddenly finding yourself underwater trying to have a conversation with a world full of people that are still on dry land.

The next twenty-four hours were a blur of phone calls and airports and moments of snatched sleep and worry and sitting awkwardly between two strangers and hurtling through the air at several hundred miles an hour. When I finally breathed fresh air again, I was seven thousand miles from home, in New Zealand, and just like that winter had turned to summer and the east was in the west and the moon was upside down.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Natasha, I think honouring him in the traditional was is so wonderful.
  • Natasha Kostich
    Natasha Kostich says #
    Thank you so much for sharing your grief publicly. I lost my wonderful father five months ago and while I am a Pagan I have chosen
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Oh Pixie, it is hard isn't it. I simply love that you've taken the urn and made art from it. Talk about transformational! Gwion
  • Pixie
    Pixie says #
    My partner was in hospice and died in November and I'm also attempting to make death/dying and grief more public, so I made a crem

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