Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
PantheaCon - My wonderful moments

I went to PantheaCon this past weekend. PantheaCon is a real, honest to goodness gathering of all sorts of folks that identify in some way as Pagan. It's made up of vendors and presenters and ritualists and authors and seekers and party people and dabblers and long, long time practitioners.

There were many moments throughout the conference that just made me proud of being a Pagan and more than a few moments where I was in complete awe of our community at large. As I was writing this piece, I noticed that I tend not to write about other people in the Pagan community, but rather about my experiences as a Pagan. So this is a bit of a departure for me.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

So, last week I skipped my Pagan Experience post. Partly because I was in full production mode over at FiberWytch (still am, in fact), which tends to make me feel overwhelmed; as I still work at an outside job part time, and I have invisible illnesses, multitasking can be a challenge. I also have a tendency to become nonverbal when working full steam ahead on crafting projects. But if I’m going to be honest, a bigger reason I skipped it was that my reaction on reading the prompt was more or less “meh.” Because as a godspouse and spirit worker, I’m a spirit-centered pagan, not an earth-centered one. Or so I told myself.

Well then. A day or two later (while I was in the shower, as it happens), Odin set me straight on this notion. “Not earth-centered, is it? What about the Making? What about all of the plant oils and herbs you work with? Those plant spirits have a home, you know, and it isn’t out in the ether somewhere.”

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Big Ritual for Solitaries

The ancient Minoans had a lot of opportunities for what I like to call Big Ritual. The priesthood of the temples at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakro put on Mystery plays for the public, enacting stories from Minoan mythology at the solstice and equinoxes as well as at other festival dates. The cave shrines and peak sanctuaries were staffed by priestesses and priests who provided ceremonies for the public at the sacred times throughout the year. The more important inhabitants of the towns even had the prospect of attending large rituals within the temples themselves. But we modern folks don’t generally have access to that sort of event.

Sure, we have our altars and shrines at home, just as the Minoans and other ancient peoples did. But sitting in meditation with an altar is its own special kind of activity and doesn’t push the same buttons, if you see what I mean, as Big Ritual does.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Genii Loci: Communal Spirits of Place

Having returned a few years ago to the general vicinity of my birth, I found myself more than ever considering regional cultus. There's something magical to the land touched by the Missouri River for me; it sings to me about it being my home and blood. I am the 5th generation of my family that has called this space home, and I marked the birth of the 6th generation with my daughter here as well. My husband jokingly refers to this as my spawning ground, but I sometimes wonder if there's truth to that.

I've set to trying to learn what I can classify as the Genii, an ambiguous term for the divine part of spirit in all things with souls. These may be Lares, heroes, natural spirits, or minor Gods; they may be Manes, the spirits of the Dead not quite elevated to the status of Lares yet. They may be somewhere in between, indefinable when not stretched under the pull of over-rationalization that I'm sometimes prone to.

This isn't always an easy task, but it's one I feel is important to undertake. So many times I fall to the trap of keeping my mind intellectually pinned into the space and time that the Roman Empire touched that I build solid walls that trap myself in. So I find myself asking regularly Who are our American Gods? Where do we find Them? And not simply the Spirits and Gods who were here before my European ancestors got here, but those we have created and transplanted as we've settled in this space.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anna Applegate
    Anna Applegate says #
    Wonderful article! I've had experiences both positive and negative working with the land spirits of places I've lived in (not my b
  • Camilla Laurentine
    Camilla Laurentine says #
    I agree most emphatically that not all spirits wish to have anything to do with humans. There are places we really simply don't b
  • Anna Applegate
    Anna Applegate says #
    That's so cool that you used to live by the Marshall Field's building--you have no idea how much I miss shopping there! (Macy's ca

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_The-Veiled-Virgin-Marble-Statue-3.jpgThis post is for The Pagan Experience: "Deity and the Divine- This will be the third week’s topic every month and an opportunity for you to share with everyone those who guide, inspire and inform you."

Nerthus is the twin and consort of Njord.  She lives alone on an island in Vanaheim that none are allowed to visit except Njord, sometimes her children, and her priest; she leaves the island once a year, to travel throughout Vanaheim and Midgard and bless the land with her presence, a time of merry-making and letting go of grudges and regrets, celebrating abundance and family.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Introduction to Do ut Des

15 years ago I found myself walking down the streets of downtown Chicago on my way home from an English class. It was my first week of classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I was experiencing the culture shock of moving from small town Iowa to downtown Chicago. On that afternoon, I'd finally gotten to the point of being comfortable enough to talk to a young man I'd spent the nights before listening debate philosophy with a few others. I was so paralyzed by social anxiety in those days that I was certain I was developing an ulcer, and later another friend had expressed shock over me not actually being mute as he believed when he first met me. However, this was the first time I'd had a chance to sit and listen to philosophy and political discussions between my peers that didn't involve Christianity or the Matrix. Like many college freshman, this sudden arrival of discussing thought was a whole new world ripe with possibilities. We were adults.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Your welcome, I hope it sparks your dreams and imagination.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Hello, I'm Unitarian Universalist myself. I've read Ovid's Metamorphosis and enjoyed it. I highly recommend it. I have not yet
  • Camilla Laurentine
    Camilla Laurentine says #
    I still mentally toy with the thought of going to UU divinity school for my upcoming higher education. I spent quite a few years

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Red Rock Power Spot

Continuing my story of my personal journey, I found Red Rock Park to be a healing place. Red Rock Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, is a popular hiking, rock climbing, and picnicking destination where one can view petroglyphs. I often meditated in a shallow cave I named the Yoda Hole. The trailhead to the rock climbing area with many small caves is on the first overlook of the scenic road in the park.

The image that accompanies this post is a photo of the the Yoda Hole. It was pristine when I used to visit it for healing in the 90s, but had been defaced with graffiti at the time I took this picture. The circular design in the middle of the cave roof is natural, and I liked to position my head under it when I meditated. 

 A quote from my memoir:

     “When my feet touched the red rock I felt power go through me.  It was like plugging into a socket.  My energy level skyrocketed, and I found my pace quickening.  I walked right out onto the promontory of calico stone and sat down, my hands caressing the deep red stone.  At the same time that I realized this was the first stirring of psychic power I had felt in a long time, and I reveled in the feel of the power coursing through me from the rock, I also wondered what it was in the rock that set it apart and made it powerful.  Was the red color from iron, like rust?  If so, was what I felt as magical power actually a magnetic field?"

The red color is, in fact, from iron. Meditating in the Yoda Hole and hiking in the park improved my health. I became able to sense other minds again, including the gods. The gray lifted from me, and there was color in the world again.  

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