Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
If You Give Gifts at This Time of Year...

 

Why not consider some of the great suggestions Jon Cleland Host has over at Naturalistic Paganism?

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Kamares Ware: A glimpse into Bronze Age religion, craft, and trade

You may have heard of Kamares ware - the beautiful polychrome (multicolored) pottery produced in the Minoan temple at Phaistos during the Bronze Age. But did you know that this type of vessel gives us a window into the lives of the ancient Minoans?

Kamares ware was incredibly popular and was produced for centuries, from about 2100 to 1450 BCE. Its bold red and white designs on a black background remind me of the folkloric dinnerware that was popular in the 1960s and 70s:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project How To

 

What is the Project?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project Getting Results

The Project has enough images now so that when a journalist asked what images were available I was able to direct them to the #heathenvisibility hashtag and to Project galleries on Deviantart and Shutterstock. We always need more images, though, especially images that illustrate specific ideas.

The Project works through search engines, keywords, and hashtags, so tracking our success in getting Project images into search engine returns is an important part of the Project, so we can see what to try next. A standard Google search for the hashtag yielded some great results, for example, these links:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs


Recently there was a discussion in the Asatru Facebook Forum that evolved a subthread about Godan, the name of Odin among the Lombards. I received some gnosis, and so, since this blog is Gnosis Diary, I'm going to tell you all about it.

As background to the Godan discussion: The main thread had been affirming the original poster's exploration of Asatru as a possible path, which grew into discussion of Unitarian-Universalist style religion, which eventually branched into the Godan discussion. It was pointed out that the name Godan was the origin of the English name God for the Christian God. This led to a question of whether they were the same god.

At this point Odin spoke in my head. (Which is not unusual for me at all, as you see if you read the past few years' blog posts, and we had just been communicating during my daily morning coffee ritual a few minutes before, so this was not a remarkable occurrence except that he had a message he wanted conveyed.) "I am not the same god."

Since the original post was a new seeker's intro post, when Odin joined the conversation in my head I wanted to be sure to express it in a way that would not be received as argumentative or unwelcoming. I remember very well how people reacted to my first few reports of messages from the gods, like "Don't poison the Earth," which I had to completely recast as "Love nature and care for her" before people found the message acceptable, when I first started receiving this type of gnosis a few years ago when I was opened to the gods by writing fiction. So with that in mind, I crafted my comment.

Additional background: the comment to which I was responding also mentioned the "chosen people" thing, which I why I included a reference to it in my answer. One of the differences between Odin and YHVH is that Odin doesn't have a chosen people. Some of the heathen gods were patrons or ancestors of species tribes or nations in historical times-- the Lore specifically says the Langobards were named by Frigga who favored them in a war, for example-- but they never said other people couldn't worship them. So the comment to which I was responding started off by commenting about the name Godan being borrowed for the name of xian God, and also included a reference to YHVH having a chosen people.

So here is the comment I created to convey my gnosis in a way that other Asatruers would find unobjectionable:

True. So if people want to reclaim the name God / Godan for Odin that's fine. The being most people mean by the name God is someone else entirely, who may or may not be still the same god whose name was taboo; since that god did have a chosen people and most modern day xians are not from that people it begs the question who that guy really is anymore, but that's beyond the scope of a study of heathenry so I have no answers there. One thing I do know, well two things, firstly that all outlooks from atheist to unitarian-universalist to soft polytheist to hard polytheist are part of modern Asatru and are welcome here, and secondly that Odin is not YHVH because he told me so. That's another thing that is welcome here: gnosis. Because the gods are here now.

(comment finished with smiley face emojis.)

So, here is my opinion about what it's like to have gnosis like this: it's easy to communicate with the gods. What's hard is figuring out how to talk about communicating with the gods in a way that other people won't knee-jerk want to argue with. I think there are probably lots of people who have gnosis like this and just don't talk about it because it's so hard to talk about. That's one of the things I want to help with by writing this blog and also by running the forum: to normalize talking about gnosis so it will be easier in the future.

I know I succeeded in crafting my response correctly because my comment led to a nice discussion of the other person's gnosis and opinions. Which led to the related but distinct discussion of how different is Odin from Godan from Wodan, and how different is one person's Odin from another person's Odin. I think Odin, Godan, and Wodan are simultaneously different and the same. And for the second question, I like the metaphor of the godphone, where everyone has a distinct phone number and might get the wrong voicemails if they dial in from someone else's. When I receive gnosis I always know if it's just for me or intended to be conveyed to other people. The very few messages I receive to convey are such a small percentage of the conversations I have in my mind with my gods that they stand out like a red tree among yellow and green trees. Like looking a hillside full of trees in autumn and there is only one maple tree in the whole forest. Usually the only time I can just directly relay a message without trying to craft a way to say it nicely is when I'm giving a rune reading, in which case people already expect and want a message. This is a skill it took me years to learn, and I'm not sure I'd really say I've mastered it yet; if I had, perhaps it would be easy. lol.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Prayers for the Moon

The Moon is a part of our everyday lives. It moves through the sky above and looks down upon us always. The Moon is also an important part of our spiritual lives, and I created these five prayers to commemorate the fiver well-known lunar phases, namely:

New Moon

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility Project 2021 Year in Review

2021 was a challenging year for the Heathen Visibility Project for two reasons. One, adapting to the pandemic, and two, some of our symbols started the year with some bad PR.

This was the year that some heathen symbols were brought to the negative attention of the public on the body of a man who was not heathen, whom heathens referred to variously as Horned Hat Man and Mr. Fur-Brains. The event came soon after the publication of my article Heathen Vs. Hate in Witches and Pagans Magazine, which was still on newsstands at the time, so I was able to tell the public via my social media where to look for info on heathen symbols. Rolling Stone Magazine painted all heathen symbols as hate symbols but after an uproar by the public (including me and my forum members) and by organizations such as the UK Police Pagan Association, they corrected their article, although they did not publicly issue a formal retraction.

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