Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

Advanced and/or academic Pagan subjects such as history, ethics, sociology, etc.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Orphic Hymns

Orpheus, the famed oracle orator hero of Greece, began to teach a new religion at the dawn of the Archaic Age.  Deeply rooted in ancient paganism, Orphism taught a doctrine of peace-seeking, reincarnation, and universal brotherhood.  The followers, like their leader, worshiped their gods with song.  Eighty seven of these ancient hymns have survived to the present day, and are called The Orphic Hymns.  They've been translated into English many times.  Most familiar is the 1792 work of Thomas Taylor, which is lovely verse, but sometimes diverges quite far from the original meanings.  The most popular recent translation by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow holds very close to the original text, but utilizes neither meter nor rhyme, making it less effective for ritual use.  These new translations shoot for the best of both worlds; I've stuck to the original text closely, rendering them in modern English in rhymed couplets suitable for both oration and singing.  Accompanying each hymn are historical context, essays on the gods, and suggestions for spell craft utilizing the hymn.  Several are illustrated with original full-page ikons, which you can photocopy out and frame.  You can read many of the translations in progress by following the project at www.facebook.com/OrphicHymns or www.OrphicHymns.com


The "basic" edition of the book will include a prefatory essay about the hymns and their historical and religious context, an original telling of the myth of Orpheus, and a new translation of each hymn, with some black and white illustrations.  The "special" edition of the book will include all that, as well as essays to accompany each hymn, and as many full-color illustrations as we can afford to produce and print.  (hopefully, that's all of them!!) . You can read an example chapter here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uV70IGBIj6D0Ck89aH5pzeH5k-3bqoqN/view?usp=sharing

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Ruminations on the Soul: Forgiveness

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn..."

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Recognition Trap

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always craved recognition. It’s not a surprise really. I grew up in a situation where the majority of attention I got was negative. I’d get grounded on the drop of a coin, or was told I was a disappointment on a regular basis and no matter what I did, it was never enough. That was the seed for my desire to be recognized.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jet
    Jet says #
    Greetings. Great article. I also have done many things because of recognition, and I realize now that it is because I am jealous
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    It sounds like you had a good realization. Thank you for sharing with me.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Journey Bread

 

There is a practice that has been repeated often enough by some of our covens that it has begun the process of crossing that nebulous line into the territory of something that we think of as one of our traditions. There are many people in our covens, and our extended community, who practice some healing modality. Whether it is a healing ritual, a hands-on energy healing method, herbal remedies, a shamanic intervention, or any of a number of other approaches, the actual healing work tends to occur once injury or illness has taken place.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Ruminations on the Soul: Guilt and Shame

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Well baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah..."

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Ruminations on the Soul: Love

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

Matthew 22:39 tells us to "Love your neighbor as yourself," but is not very specific as to what love looks like or how to go about loving either your neighbor or yourself. Luckily, the Greeks were helpful in providing eight types of love for us to examine to help us determine what type of relationship we are in with not just ourselves, but with others. Are our relationships healthy or unhealthy? Do they need to be adjusted? Do they need to be amended or cut off?

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
May Observance

In his introduction the early Scots poet Gavin Douglas prefaces The Palis of Honoure by setting the scene in May. Getting ready to perform the observances of the season he wanders through 'a garding of plesance' -- that is, an enclosed garden. It is a joy to behold:

With Sole depaint, as Paradys amyable
And blisfull bewes with blomed variance

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