Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

I am a Jungian Neo-Pagan, which means that, theologically speaking, I fall somewhere between atheist Pagans and devotional polytheists regarding the existence of the gods.  By placing my beliefs in the "middle" here I do not mean to privilege my beliefs, only to make the point that I both agree and disagree with both groups about different things.  One thing I agree with devotional polytheists about is that the gods should be taken seriously. 

I worry sometimes that we Neo-Pagans don't take our own gods seriously enough.  I disagree with devotional polytheists about the metaphysical nature of the gods, whether they are "real, independent, sentient beings" or real, independent semi-conscious archetypes. (Carl Jung called the archetypes "gods" and compared the psyche to an “Olympus full of deities who want to be propitiated, served, feared and worshipped”.)  But one thing I admire about them is the seriousness (the "piety" if you will) with which they approach the gods.  

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One of my favourite Irish myths of all time has to be 'Cormac's Adventures in the Land of Promise.' In the story, the Otherworld goes to great lengths to get Cormac's attention, eventually luring him (or guiding him) into an Otherworld encounter. At one point he is shown a vision of a fountain with five streams flowing from it. The god Mannanàn mac Lir explains that what he is seeing is the Fountain of Knowledge, and the five streams are the senses through which knowledge is obtained. He adds that the 'Folk of Many Arts' are those who drink from both the streams (the senses) and the fountain (the source of knowledge).

In modern paganism, we enjoy the freedom to 'drink up' through the wonders of the senses, through time spent in nature, ritual, study, exploration and song. Drinking at the Source, however, can be a little tricker. How can we know if the things we are doing, sensing and experiencing are 'Celtic' or 'personal,' if the beliefs and concepts we are discussing are Celtic or from some other path (new or old), and if the ways in which we are expressing our inner experiences are in fact 'Celtic' at all?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Crocus-gatherer-from-Akrotiri.jpg

I’m delighted to be writing this blog for you every month about walking the Minoan path. I thought I’d start by letting you know how I got to this place, this most unusual practice within the varied world of modern Paganism. If you work with Ariadne and her tribe on a regular basis, or would like to, I would love to hear from you. For me, it started with a few pretty pictures…

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    There'd be different greens for different occasions, I'd imagine. Probably (to judge from contemporary usage) cypress for the Feas
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I was thinking mainly of Winter Solstice, since that's the one you mentioned in the comment above. I'm sure the Minoans had a Feas
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    I can see using any of those except willow; it's deciduous, so not available as greenery at Midwinter. But the others - yes! Now I
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Bay, olive, palm, willow...
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Lucy Goodison wrote about the solstice alignment in Potnia, the journal of the Proceedings of the 8th International Aegean Confere

Magic on the Altiplano, Mystical Sacsayhuaman, Lake Titicaca: Peru

 I was in my dining room sorting out bills when the phone rang. “I’m just looking into booking a ticket to Lima, do you want to come, my friend said?” I immediately responded with, “Yes.” Then I called my New York boyfriend and left a message. In three days we were off, and tour guides hired. What a thrill. I had always desired to go to Peru knowing I had a spiritual home there to be discovered, uncovered and analyzed. What would my insights be this time?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Homeless

Folklore is filled with the homeless. There are pilgrims and fugitives, persecuted teachers and those unfortunates fated to wander eternally as punishment or curse. Jesus said “Foxes have dens and birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Dionysus fled persecution from Greece to India to the ocean to the underworld. Sara-Kali was a wanderer and patron saint of wanderers, the Rom. Buddha left home in spectacular manner, abandoning wife, child and duty, never to return.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    I took the teacher training at Kripalu under Yoganand Michael Carroll. It was excellent--intense, transformative and thorough. Kri
  • robin fell
    robin fell says #
    Archer, Thanks once again. I am considering doing a 200 hr. yoga teachers training couse. Do you offer one or can recommend one to
  • robin fell
    robin fell says #
    Dear Archer, A brillant read about the existentialist condition. Thank you for sharing this blog, "Homeless" Can you please tell
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Dear Robin: I did write this article but I was inspired by some words of Pema Chodron about how following a spiritual path means
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you so much!

 

Please note that this is not a treatise on how all Gods are One God/dess— in Norse myth or otherwise. Norse myth contains distinct deified ancestors, locally-specific Gods and many other members of the pantheon such as Njordh, Mani, Baldr and Thor.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    And Simek's Dictionary of Norse Mythology, where relevant.
  • Douglas Lange
    Douglas Lange says #
    Can't wait to see more of this piece. This article is kinda like being invited to read someone's notes on their personal practices
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you, Douglas. I'll be using primary sources from The Tain to the Eddas, and work from Hilda Ellis Davidson, Jan Puhvel, some
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    While it is true that this is only an introductory post (and she stated as much), I think it might have gone over a little better
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    I look forward to seeing more on this. I am ashamed at my peers for pointing out so much to correct in what is only an introductor

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