Pagan Studies


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Studies Blogs

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

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Ok everyone! We made a few more videos. This one deals with the chapters in Ronald Huttons book Triumph of The Moon "Finding a Structure" "Finding a High Magic" and "Finding a Low Magic". I only went mildly crazy trying to make this video. Check it out if your too busy to read and just want bite size clips on these chapters. As always thanks so much for watching and if you liked it ... well, maybe you could like the video on youtuber subscribe? Just throwin' that out there. Mull it over. 

Blessings!

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Rún: A Facsimile of a Grimoire

I picked up a copy of this fascinating book from Strandagaldur (The Museum Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft). I love to see historical grimoires. Rún is particularly wonderful because it's a facsimile. Although the manuscript copied dates only from 1928, the material within it may date back as far as 1676. Two other copies of the material from around the same time exist, created in a belated attempt to gather traditional materials in the age of rising national identity. The early modern witch trials probably eliminated many more texts; it is interesting to note that like Finland and unlike the rest of Europe, men made up the greater part of those tried for the craft.

The book is full of cool information: first come the sets of runes, as the name suggests. There are alphabets for "black men" and "old women" and fools and "vagrants. There are magical staves from the simple to the complex for all kinds of magical purposes. Some look almost as complicated as vevés, others are more stark. As you might expect, there are lots of variations on the ægishjálmur.

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How process and creativity work together in magical work

One of the reasons I apply process to my magical work is because with good processes in place, it makes easier to innovate and experiment with magic. I learned that in the business world and I've applied to my spiritual practices over the years to great success. You can actually learn a lot by taking the practice of one discipline and applying it to another discipline. In business, processes are used to solve problems, design and implement solutions, and to encourage creativity. Process encourages creativity by cutting out extraneous busy work, to focus on what really works, but in order to discover what works you necessarily need to work the process.

A lot of times creativity is treated as a chaotic experience, which occurs when a person is inspired. But in my experience, creativity is quite structured. Process provides the necessary structure for creativity to flourish in. Whether I'm writing, painting, or practicing magic, having a process in place allows me to work with my creativity as a resource. I'm not just waiting for inspiration to hit me...I'm actively cultivating it as part of my process.

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At the moment of death, you understand Everything.  Completely.  Clearly.  Purely.  But you are totally incapable of communicating it to anybody else.  It is in this moment that many spiritually-minded souls form a compulsion to come back into this world, because they desire to share with others what they finally know.  But it's a delusion - because, for most of us, reincarnating in a physical body makes us forget 50% of what we wanted to reveal!  And here begins another cycle of frustration - spending an entire lifetime trying to get that knowledge back again.  

One of the questions resolved at death is whether Satan, Lucifer, Iblis and Mara are names of an actual entity or just a metaphor.  Paramhansa Yogananda and M. Scott Peck testify in print that they actually saw the embodied figure of ultimate malice and evil; Peck heard it speak.  However, each of these reliable witnesses saw something different.  So what, in fact, did they see - a real entity or the embodiment of a metaphor?  

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   Wine and cakes have become de rigeur for the ending of a ritual.  Practitioners use whatever they can bring.  I have partaken of Kool-Aid and Oreos as well as ale and oatmeal cookies. Some of my readers may have been there, done that.  I thought I would offer up a few recipes for you to try for your next Esbat and/or Sabbat.  

CAPILLAIRE

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The final frontier! 

Ok i won't say the whole thing, but you know what I mean!  It's been half a year since I posted, and let me tell you, my life has been good!  I got a beautiful new job that I love with all my heart, and I just wrapped up a weekend of paying singing gigs that was exhausting but magical, for all that I had to sit through one of the most ridiculous sermons i can remember.  

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My Adventure Between the Worlds in Sacred Space

I recently attended the joint Between the Worlds and Sacred Space conference that occurred in Maryland from the 5th through the 8th of March. Between the Worlds is a conference which occurs every few years, dependent on the right astrological circumstances, while Sacred Space is an annual conference. I'd never attended either, but I had been invited to be a presenter for Between the Worlds by Ivo Dominguez Jr (And a hearty thank you to him for doing so). Thursday was the start of the event, and I attended the opening ritual, which was a powerful awakening of the Sacred Space egregore. I liked how everyone got involved in the ritual...It was quite moving in its intensity. Later on I attended a talk by Literata on Modernity and Occultism and how different people had specific visions of what they wanted to manifest and how what they manifested didn't quite turn out the way they expected, but nonetheless built a current of sorts that we can look back on in history.

On the second day of the event I attended a panel on alliances with the spirit world, with Diana Paxson, Dorothy Morrison, Kirk Thomas, Aeptha, and Michael Smith sharing their perspectives on working with the spirits. I enjoyed the various perspectives they shared, all of which showed a depth of experience that was meaningful to anyone listening to the panel. Then I presented my class on the Alchemy of Breath, which seemed well received. As a presenter, it is always nice to have a room full of people who are genuinely engaged in what you are sharing. After that we attended the ritual prep class for the main ritual. What I liked about it is that they provided people the necessary background information to get the most out of the ritual scheduled for that evening. Later I went to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki's class on Astral Doorways. This was a fascinating class, where she presented information on the second road/world. A lot of what she presented fit in with what I've been learning from R. J. Stewart (no surprise given their respective lineages), but it also gave me food for through about my own practices in relationship to imagination. Finally I attended the main ritual, which was a syncretic mix of five different traditions, woven together quite nicely to create a ritual which spoke to the importance of being present and participative in the changing times, to represent your cause during those times and know that others were also there. Following all that I had some conversation with people I've met and people I already know.

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