Pagan Paths

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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

On this Gnosis Diary blog, I’m telling the story of my personal journey with religious experiences from the beginning. My first encounter with the cultural material that would lead me to a heathen path was in Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, which I read when I was 5. Runes, elves, dwarves, a dragon, a wizard that in later years I would come to see as an obvious Odinnic wanderer, and even a bersarkr (a shape shifter who takes the form of a bear) were all there. I only became a serious Tolkien fan when I read Lord of the Rings, which I read around age 10, and that set the stage for when I received a book on runes for my 17th birthday, and when I read it, I knew that was my path.

My earliest spiritual experiences were with Native American land spirits, animal totem spirits, and the spirits of trees and other beings inhabiting and embodying nature and the garden. Like all the memories of my earliest years, the memories I have of these experiences are fragmented images and vague feelings. I have no memories of any kind before age 5.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks, Shirl!
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Welcome, Erin!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I had an interesting personal lesson this week that I thought I would share with you all.  (I had a couple, actually, but I’m only going to share one in this post…the second one later on, perhaps.)

One of Odin’s overarching and ongoing themes in our relationship (going on 12 years now) has been “Take care of My wife.” (With “I will provide for your needs, and even some of your wants, if you but let Me” being a close second.)

The reason this is a constant theme with Him is that I don’t take care of myself, really. And I ask quite a lot of myself, and especially of my physical being, considering that I am a person with physical challenges.  I go to an outside job (25 hours per week), I help take care of our household of animals, I keep up a devotional and spirit work practice, and I run a growing business, FiberWytch.  Do I make sure I fit in the activities–such as yoga and meditation–that I KNOW help my physical condition, on a daily basis? Not really. Do I make sure I provide work breaks and days off for myself? Um…maybe.  I do take work breaks (and stretching breaks whenever I need them) but I don’t make sure they’re 15 minutes long, as they have to be according to law at my day job, and I certainly don’t allow myself days when I am freed from any activities whatsoever regarding FiberWytch.  Why not? Because I can only run my business part time (at the most; how much time I can devote to it depends on how I’m feeling that particular day, or week), so I figure my time spent at my day job IS my time off. I guess that makes my day job a better boss of me than I am of myself.

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I've been promising for a while to write about how I use Tarot as a spiritual practice.  I've written about how I view the major arcana of the Tarot as a micro-cosmograph.  I've shared my favorite Tarot decks.  And I have shared pictures of my own Tarot deck which I created from popular and fine art and shared a little about how I interpret each card here and here.  What I have yet to do is share what I actually do with the cards.

To begin with, I do not use the cards for any kind of divination.  As will be seen below, when I do a spread, I do assign one of the cards to a position I call "the future", but it is not intended to be a prediction.  Rather, it is a projection, my own anticipation of a possible future. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I’m Erin Lale, author of Asatru For Beginners, and this is my first post in my new Gnosis Diary. I’ll be telling the story of my personal gnosis journey from the beginning, starting with the next post, until I catch up with the current time.

I’ve been a sworn Priestess of Freya since 1989, and recently also became a bride of the triple Odin. I work with all the gods of the heathen pantheon. All my earliest spiritual experiences were with Native American land spirits and animal totem spirits, though. I did not know the heathen path was my path until I was 17.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Into the Coven

As a Witch the goal for me has always been to work and practice in a coven. In twenty years of mostly Wiccan-style Paganism I’ve only truly been a part of a real, living, breathing coven a small handful of times. That’s not to say I’ve been a solitary for the majority of a my time as a Pagan, just that the groups and people I was working with didn’t quite meet the standard of a coven. The word coven means something to me, it has value, so I don’t like to use it lightly.

Most of my group ritual has taken place in ritual groups I generally label circles. These are usually eclectic gatherings of people without much (or any) adherence to any particular tradition or path outside of the basic Wicca-101 type books. I’ve had some truly amazing experiences in these types of groups, but with revolving door memberships most of them lacked cohesion. Just because something worked the one time didn’t mean we’d remember it for the next sabbat.

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Magic on the Altiplano/Aramu Muru, Peru: Part Two

I hopped into a boat and left the shore far behind. Ahead suddenly loomed a Uros Island, in Lake Titicaca, on top of the world, Peru. When I got to the island the water drew me in and I immediately wanted to dive into these out of the ordinary waters. When I emerged into the water I felt purified, cleansed and peaceful. This gigantic lake on top of the world was clear, pristine and most sacred.

As I relaxed into the unique floating island ambiance feeling divine, I chewed on totora reed and played with the children. Potatoes and eggs were served for dinner, the potatoes cooked in the putu, which was a small oven created for cooking potatoes.

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We make our destinies by our choice of gods. -- Virgil

In my last post, I wrote about the danger of trivializing the gods.  In this post, I want to discuss the danger of trusting them.

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