Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Taking Over an Asatru Internet Forum part 1

Once again, as I did before when I became manager of the old MSN Asatru group, I've just taken over management of an Asatru internet forum. There are a few notable differences from the last time. Firstly, this time I'm fully prepared and qualified to run an internet forum. Secondly, this time I wanted the job. Thirdly, the internet is different than it was back then. Fourthly, MSN Asatru had about 200 members, and the American Asatru group on Facebook, formerly known as the American Asatru Association, has about 4,500.

With both groups, I inherited an established forum with its own established procedures and expectations. MSN Asatru was a free for all. I didn't screen members or moderate posts, excepts to remove commercial spam, and to remove posts that violated the terms of use of the MicroSoft Network, which meant I removed anything even vaguely pornographic, including any nude images. Images were not used on forums very often back then, because posting an image in one of the one MSN Groups required an image host site and some basic knowledge of html.

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Natural Rituals

Natural Rituals

Sometimes I work with a ritual structure, especially if I am leading a group ritual.  Something along the lines of casting the circle, calling the quarters, inviting deity then working magic & raising energy then closing it all down in reverse.  This format can work very well for wild witchcraft if you want it to.  The elements are after all the basics of nature itself so inviting them in makes sense.  Inviting deity to join you could be in the form of a specific goddesses and/or god that fits with your intent or perhaps a nature deity.   You may even choose to just invite Mother Earth and Father Sky to join you.  And casting the circle can be done with natural items such as autumn leaves or flower petals. It really is all about working with your intuition and going with what feels right for you. 

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Taking Myth Literally: How it trips us up

All my life, I've heard people complain about the Christians who take the stories in the Bible literally rather than as allegory or symbolic storytelling. A few days ago, I realized that Pagans sometimes do the same thing, and I think they probably have for centuries, right back into ancient times. Case in point: the Labyrinth.

The Greeks, who are ancient to us but who lived centuries later than Minoan civilization, figured that the Labyrinth must have been an actual physical structure of some sort. And they assumed that the Minoan inventor/smith god Daedalus, whom they viewed as a mortal man, had built it. The Greek historian Herodotus, who lived a solid millennium after the fall of Minoan civilization, wrote about a huge temple building in Egypt with hundreds of rooms and winding passageways, and he called it a labyrinth (yes, it's a real thing - archaeologists have found it). Then, when Sir Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of the Minoan temple complex at Knossos a century ago, he was sure he had found the original Labyrinth, the famed home/cage of the Minotaur, built by Daedalus.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely - we just worked that myth at Reclaiming's California Witchcamp -

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One of the many things I appreciate about contemporary “Northern Traditions”, or Heathenry, is the reclamation of lost words. These days, it is the word frith which is catching my attention. Theodish elder Winifred Hodge has this to say about frith:

 

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On the grounds of Trout Lake Abbey, is a Labyrinth.  It is shared by White Mountain Druid Sanctuary and the Mt Adams Zen Temple.  Yes, there is a Buddhist Temple on site too.  It’s amazing how easily Buddhists and Druids get along, but that’s for another post.  The Labyrinth is a great example of this cooperation.  There is a small shrine to light incense at the beginning (and end) of the walk.

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Finding the Eclipse in the Tarot

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that there's a solar eclipse set to cross over the US on August 21st, right in the last degrees of Leo. Yes, this is a major astrological event (and a pretty cool astronomical one, too), but it also has some connections with the tarot too. The strength of those connections lies in the artist's interpretation of the decks, and some have more than others. When I teach the tarot, I always default to the RWS deck, and it's got some interesting imagery when it comes to eclipses, especially the Moon card. 

Now, I'm sure that some will say that the face on the Moon card in the RWS deck is just that; the face of the Moon. I want to take that further though. Some of the interpretations of the Moon card include 

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Overflowing Abundance: A Ritual with Amalthea's Horn of Plenty

I'm in the middle of revising the first book I ever published, Ancient Spellcraft, for a second edition. In the sixteen years since it came out (good grief, has it really been that long?) I've learned a thing or two and have deepened my relationships with many of the deities the book addresses, including Amalthea, the Minoan goat-goddess. She has been with me for years, since I was a teenager, if I'm really honest, but she's one of the lesser-known Minoan goddesses. I wrote a bit about her in a blog post a while back and today I thought I'd share a working from Ancient Spellcraft that involves her.

Her horn is the cornucopia, out of which so many good things come. Here in the U.S., cornucopias spring up around Thanksgiving, but I have one on my altar all the time. Amalthea is a goddess of abundance and like the Roman goddess Fortuna, who inherited her cornucopia, she's very generous.

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