Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Ancient Minoan Clothing and Fashion

One of the subjects I'm asked about most often is what daily life was like in ancient Crete. I've written about Minoan food and cooking here and here. And I posted about Minoan cosmetics here, including do-it-yourself recipes. But one thing I haven't really talked about much is the clothes the Minoans wore.

I did write up some information about why women in Minoan art are shown with bare breasts - that one turns out to be my most popular post ever, probably thanks to the word "topless" in the title. But there's more to Minoan clothing than open-front tops, like the ones shown in the fresco at the top of this post (the Ladies in Blue fresco from Knossos). In fact, the Minoans were surprisingly fashion-conscious.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Miracle of Dirt

Of all the many factors on planet Earth that enable us to live and thrive, there are two which border, in my opinion, on the miraculous*: the conversion of sunlight into sugar through photosynthesis, and the mysterious alchemy of microbes and nutrients and water that makes dirt into the life-giver to us all.

Yet we take dirt for granted—even denigrate it.

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For millennia, people have used a wide variety of methods designed to foretell future events or to gain advice from the spirit realm. In many cultures, the ability to divine the future was a highly valued skill, and the word of augurs and professional soothsayers could influence important political or strategic decisions, such as whether or not an army should head into battle, or if planting or harvesting should commence. The ability to decipher meaning from the chaos of everyday life helped to establish a sense of order in the cosmos.

Divination remains popular in today’s society, even if the status of most professional readers and astrologers may not be quite as illustrious as in the past. Some of the more familiar forms of divination, such as tarot cards, are relatively recent inventions, while others—such as throwing bones or scrying for patterns in a crystal ball or flames are quite ancient. What all these forms of divination hold in common is a desire to try to provide answers for an oftentimes uncertain world.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Natural Plant Dyes

Plant dyes

Roots, nuts and flowers can provide you with natural dyes.  Collect flowers in full bloom and make sure any nuts or berries you use are ripe.  Experiment with different plant materials to create a variety of colours.

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Minoans and history and untidy pigeonholes

When we learn history in school, we're given pictures of maps with clear lines drawn to separate the different empires, cultures, and nations. We're taught that one set of people lived within this little box on the map and another set of people lived within the next box over. But history isn't that neat and tidy.

Take the Minoans, for instance. Their culture centered on the island of Crete, just south of Greece, during the Bronze Age. They were a pre-Indo-European people (they weren't Greek) who became quite wealthy by importing raw materials and exporting fancy finished goods like bronze blades and dyed woolen cloth. But in order to do all that trading, they had to move around.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Save the Monarch for Sigyn

Earth Day is coming soon. Earth Day used to be Arbor Day, when people planted trees. Some modern Asatruars call it Yggdrasil Day, meaning day of the World-Tree. Although every day should be Earth Day for pagans and heathens, for those who are looking for a way to commemorate it, I have a suggestion: save the Monarch Butterfly. 

Butterflies symbolize many things across many cultures. Modern heathens and pagans have come to associate the butterfly with the goddess Sigyn. The process started with personal gnosis, became group gnosis, and eventually found some foundation in the lore, as I explore in my upcoming paper "Sigyn: Butterfly Goddess," scheduled to be published soon in Witches & Pagans Magazine.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sifting for Gold

It’s a soft, rainy spring day. I’m grateful for the rain—we need it—and for the lush green it has brought to the hills and meadows, the vineyards carpeted with bright mustard flowers.

These are such challenging times. The circumstances of my personal life are stressful and frightening; the broader culture is caught in the nightmare of Donald Trump’s willful smashing of all that is decent and righteous. Friends are struggling to make ends meet; my area is still grappling with the incomprehensible shock of last October’s wildfires.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    You're very welcome! There are lots of us non-theist Pagans. If you haven't checked out the website yet, we're at atheopaganism.wo
  • Lisa
    Lisa says #
    Thank you for your blog, and also the article in the latest W & P! I really appreciated your point of view and could relate.

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