Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

For the past half-decade, our family has been homesteading on an off-the-grid farm in Treaty 6 territory.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with Canadian history, Treaty 6 refers to a particular regional relationship whereby land was shared (not ceded ... a very important distinction) by the Indigenous Peoples with the Crown and its settlers.  The treaty was made in the late 19th century, and still holds today, though it has been bent and broken numerous times by the colonial government.  Today, our farm's direct neighbours are the First Nations of Moosomin (Cree) and Saulteaux (Ojibwe), as well as many Metis folk in the near vicinity.  For me, that means that when Samhain comes round on the Great Wheel, my mind turns to a very complicated ancestral inheritance.

As a Christian, and in particular as an Anglican priest, my genetic and spiritual ancestors  were responsible for some pretty reprehensible mayhem in this part of the world.  The residential schools were probably the worst of it, but racist colonialism has been an Anglican curse for several hundred years, and there's still plenty of it to go around.  In recent years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has delivered a mandate of 94 “Calls to Action” ... concrete steps which can be taken by the Canadian government and other institutions (and individuals) to repent of the toxic legacy which has oppressed so many Indigenous people and torn our nation asunder.  Several of these calls to action are directed specifically toward the churches which ran the residential schools.  This one in particular has been haunting my conscience lately:

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As we continue building the Goddess Samona's Shrine... We got the concrete poured right after Fall Equinox.  

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Minotaur: A book review of a Sir Arthur Evans biography

Sir Arthur Evans is the name most closely associated with the rediscovery of ancient Minoan civilization. Though local Cretan archaeologist Minos Kalokairinos discovered the site of Knossos and did some preliminary digging there, it's Evans who undertook a large-scale, systematic excavation of the largest of the Minoan cities with its enormous temple complex and who introduced the ancient Minoans into the modern world. Joseph Alexander MacGillivray is another archaeologist whose focus is on Minoan civilization, and he has written a fascinating biography of Evans, titled Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth.

First, let me point out that this book is a biography of Evans, not a retelling of the Minotaur myth. I've seen a few reviews from people who weren't able to suss out that fact (seriously, did you read the back cover or the online description?) and were disappointed when they read the book. It helps to pay attention before buying a book so you know what you're getting. What you're getting, in this case, is an amazingly detailed biography of a fascinating, complex, contradictory man who made quite a place for himself in history.

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Pop Culture Kitchen Witchery

I cook and I know things.  I love being in the kitchen as much as I love watching my favorite movies, reading my favorite books, and making magick.  However, as a busy person what I love best is finding clever ways to combine those things into a single action in order to save time and energy.  Oh yes, I do pop culture kitchen witchery.  Let me share with you how I make fun and nourishing treats infused with pop culture magick.

There are nearly limitless ways to infuse magick into cookery.  One can choose foods with inherently magickal ingredients; many common herbs and spices have powerful magickal correspondences.  Think of the basil, garlic, and fennel in many traditional pasta sauces and their inherently protective qualities.  Once can also compose a meal based on the color correspondences of the ingredients; perhaps an all green meal for prosperity.  Add baking to your repertoire and you have the option of shaping cookies and breads into magickal symbols that are charge when baking and released when eaten.  Of course one can, and should, always add their intent as they create their food; better still if it’s something like bread where intent can be literally kneaded into the dough.  These are just a few of the wondrous ways to add magick in the kitchen and there are plenty of resources out there for diving into the rabbit hole that is kitchen witchery.  Of course, being the inveterate nerd that I am I take things a step further.

I like to get as much bang for my magickal buck as possible and much of my stand-alone magickal workings involve pop culture magick, so I decided to bring my kitchen witchery and pop culture magick together to supercharge them.  One of the easiest ways to add pop culture magick to kitchen witchery is to make foods that appear in your favorite pop culture media, such as lembas bread from the Lord of the Rings, butterbeer from Harry Potter, or fish fingers and custard from Doctor Who.  Lembas bread is a great example; it’s already a magickal food, giving the consumer hours of energy from a single bite.  By baking a high-energy bread or energy bar and infusing it with the magickal energy of lembas bread you can create an amazing spell for stamina energy that you can take along on a hike, a long drive, or any day where you know you’ll need a boost.  Pop culture is filled with enchanted provisions and iconic foodstuffs from Alice’s tea cakes to wizarding chocolate.  Take a moment to think about the iconic foods in your favorite pop culture media and the many ways they could potentially be used in magick.  Kind of amazing isn’t it?

You can also create an infinite variety of foods themed for and inspired by pop culture media.  Kitchen Overlord has a wonderful recipe for a pasta dish where the end product looks like Tony Stark’s arc reactor that would be a fantastic base for a prosperity spell.  As you stir your pasta add your intent, let the golden color of the wheat pasta symbolize prosperity, and link to the dish to the energy of Tony Stark’s wealth; take it further by adding a few herbs that both taste great and correspond appropriately like thyme and basil.  In doing so you’re using the color and magickal correspondences of your ingredients, adding intent directly through the cooking process, and taking advantage of the prosperity energy associated with the character - that’s a triple charged spell and dinner in one!  Similarly, you could make Super Mario Brothers stuffed 1-UP mushrooms infused with energy to ace a test or job interview.  Get a few crimini mushrooms, stuff them with ingredients that align with your goals (Google stuffed mushrooms, there are hundreds of recipes for inspiration), charge them as they cook, and consume to seal the spell.  The possibilities for this type of magick are limited only by your imagination and what ingredients are available.

Beyond crafting edible spells, you can also create foods as offerings to pop culture entities.  Like any other metaphysical entity, pop culture entities often require an offering in exchange for their magickal assistance and what better offering than a food they're known to enjoy?  If you were doing a working with Dean from Supernatural it would be a no-brainer to bake him a pie.  If, for whatever reason, you wanted to do a working with Deadpool what better offering than chimichangas?  Taking the time and effort to make a food offering from scratch adds a tremendous amount of personal energy that many other offerings lack and it allows you to add specific energies into that offering.  You can add even more energy by mindfully sourcing your ingredients: making extra effort to get the highest quality ingredients, buying from merchants the character would support, etc.  If you have a special working that requires a little more “oomph” for your offering, or you just enjoy cooking, try making something appropriate from scratch. 

If you want to try your hand at some pop culture kitchen witchery I suggest starting with simple rolled sugar cookies.  If you like to cook you can make the dough from scratch; if you don’t like to cook you can buy pre-made dough at any grocery store.  You can find some amazing pop culture themed cookie cutters online or you can cut custom shapes freehand.  Try D20 shaped cookies for luck, tardis shaped cookies for adventurous travel, or R2-D2 shaped cookies for computer skills, etc. As you roll out and shape your dough allow your intent to flow into the dough itself.  Bake the cookies per your recipe and then continue to infuse magick into the cookies as you decorate.  Add icing, sprinkles, or crystal sugars in the colors and designs that correspond to your intent.  If you’re more of an advanced baker try making emoji macarons.  Infuse your macarons with positive emotions to create an edible energetic boost.  In general, cookies are easy, quick, and versatile, making them a fabulous starting point for pop culture kitchen witchery.

Whether you’re making Game of Thrones kidney pie or Welcome to Night Vale’s not-so-invisible corn, pop culture kitchen witchery can enhance your magick and put dinner on the plate to boot.  Combining pop culture magick with more traditional kitchen witchery you get all the benefits of traditional practice while layering more intent and meaning into your working, giving it extra power with very little extra time and energy.  Make the results of that magick dinner and you’ve made the most efficient possible use your your limited time and energy.  If you enjoy cooking or baking and love pop culture then give pop culture kitchen witchery a try. 

There are many websites and cookbooks dedicated to recipes from and inspired by pop culture.  Here are a few resources:

http://www.geekychef.com/
https://theniftynerd.com/category/recipes/
http://www.geekyhostess.com/
http://rosannapansino.com/
http://watch.geniuskitchen.com/show/GKPCB/Pop-Culture-Baking-Class/

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Living in the Way, Part 1: The Solar Way

 

Living in the Way

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Pumpkins...

Don’t just use your pumpkins (or turnips) to carve for decoration because the flesh is yummy as are pumpkin seeds (toasted and sprinkled with salt).

The flesh and seeds are also brilliant for working some Samhain magic…

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Goddess Colors

This is a story about a personal experience I had recently, in which I honored 3 goddesses by wearing colors that represent them. 

Before my recent trip, I had gone to my local Renfaire. Every year I trade something I made for a braid. I started doing that back when I sold my hand dyed fabrics from a booth. Some years I am not vending and some years I am, but I always make something out of my hand dyed fabric or yarn for the braidy lady. This year I was vending my hand dyed scarves as part of the Haven Craft booth. The braid booth has the customers choose ribbon colors, typically 3 colors. This year, I chose lavender to honor Sigyn, rose to honor Freya, and gold to honor Sif. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Katherine
    Katherine says #
    Oh, forgot to tell that I love hand dyed fabric and ribbons!
  • Katherine
    Katherine says #
    Wow! this story remind me of some dreams, when nothing left by the chance - and when you trying to interpret them, you can see an
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks Diane! Yes on actual gold the metal being associated with Freya, but in this case I was associating the golden-tan color wi
  • Dianne Ross
    Dianne Ross says #
    What fine memories you will have of your mother one day. Too thin ribbons of these colours can be braided and used to hold a pen

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