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
When the Path Isn't Visible

So much has happened over the last year. I'm not exactly sure where to begin. So let me start by saying that for the first time in my life, I had lost my faith.

For me it wasn't a drastic shift. It was the long, slow feeling of being abandoned by my deities when I needed them the most. When my path had become the most difficult to tread and I was feeling alone and scared. I had left Lexington KY and moved to St Louis without a job, and with the hope that after two chaplain residencies I would be able to find work as a chaplain in my field. Two opportunities presented themselves only to fall through at the last minute. Eventually, with no work to keep me grounded I took a job at Starbucks just for the benefit of social interaction with other humans and to keep me sane. Me--working at Starbucks. Ten years of training and two post graduate degrees and I'm serving coffee for a living. The buck stopped here.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I have three college degrees and I am currently doing manifest in a warehouse. I might be depressed or angry about it, but when I

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Divining The Lines

This post started as notes in preparation for a talk I was planning for the seers group in my tradition. I decided to share it with some modifications to make it more broadly applicable. The following points are offered to encourage mindfulness and dialogue regarding the ethics and best practices for divination, oracular work, and allied disciplines. They do not cover all possible situations and differences in applications or doctrines, so change and adapt what is here to match your needs. I think that it is important for your sake and the sake of those lives that you touch to be clear on your ethical guidelines if you offer readings or oracular sessions of any kind. If you do not agree with any or all of these suggestions, I hope you will work to create your own or consider these a template that you can adjust.

1.   Ethics & Morals

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Witches Do Not Bend*

Allow me a moment's irritation that this persistent misinformation continues to get shared. The 'witch' of witch hazel or witch elm is *not* that witch. This is the Proto-IndoEuropean root *weik

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Animal Guardians on the Roof

A while back, my husband and I came across Escape to the Country on Netflix. We love house-hunting shows in general, and we enjoyed the glimpses into the local cultures, traditions, and landscapes of different regions of the UK, where the majority of our ancestors came from. In episodes featuring thatched homes, the straw bird finials that sometimes occupy the roof lines stood out to me as a particularly interesting craft. The show didn't make too much mention of them, but it was obvious that there was more to them than mere decoration.

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Picatrix

I'm delighted that a long-anticipated book is out at last! The Picatrix: A Medieval Treatise on Astral Magic has been long in production for the Penn State Magic in History line. As a member of Societas Magica I have seen bits of the work in progress which tantalised. From the blurb:

A manual for constructing talismans, mixing magical compounds, summoning planetary spirits, and determining astrological conditions, Picatrix is a cornerstone of Western esotericism. It offers important insights not only into occult practices and beliefs but also into the transmission of magical ideas from antiquity to the present. Dan Attrell and David Porreca’s English translation opens the world of this vital medieval treatise to modern-day scholars and lay readers.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    What other titles are in tis series?
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Click the link to the publisher to see them all.
Uniting Personal Gnosis and Folklore with Fairies

It's a perennial discussion that goes around online and in-person: how much should we rely on personal gnosis and how much should we look to recorded material and other people's experiences (i.e. folklore)? This is a particularly pertinent question when it comes to those who interact with fairies because of the diversity of understandings that exist in relation to them. There are those who argue in favour of relying solely on personal experiences and those who reject the idea of modern experiences entirely, and some who advocate different balances of the two. I used to think balance was the ideal approach myself, but as I've thought about it I've come to a different view.

Folklore is an essential groundwork for anyone, in my opinion, who wants to understand the Good People. Whatever culture we happen to be talking about looking at the accumulated material that has been collected to describe previous people's experiences with and beliefs around fairies is enormously helpful in building our own understanding. Such folklore represents a valuable corpus of belief going back countless generations that can be relied on to teach us how to safely interact with Otherworldly beings, what to expect in different circumstances, and show us various outcomes of previous encounters. In short, immersing in this folklore means we don't have to learn all the hard lessons (hopefully) all over again for ourselves because we can look back to other people's previous experiences to help guide us.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

We're all trying to become better people. We've slogged through endless exercises for positive thinking, and we hope to evolve in the fullness of time so that we might commit fewer mistakes. But, in the meantime, what a long, bumpy, land-mine strewn road it is! And we are always told that there are no shortcuts.

Oh come on, not even one? Isn't there at least one little trick, one small Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card that we can use to our benefit when the going gets rough?

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