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
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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Beer, the Sacred Drink of the Hearth

Bonfires, drinking, music, raucous celebration: Walpurgisnacht is a wild night that celebrates the coming summer – longer days, sometimes brilliant heat, and bursting fruitfulness. Since the medieval period, the bonfires were believed to ward off witches, but it may have been witches themselves who first lit the fires on hill-tops and mountains. Last year, I discussed the broom lore associated with this holiday. This year, I’d like to take a look at another favorite aspect: the alcohol, or more specifically, beer.

Homecrafted and Wholesome

Beer is one of the most-consumed drinks in the world, and an entire subculture has built up around craft beers, ales, and ciders over the past decade. Where I live, there are at least four or five craft breweries in a 30-mile radius. I love it. Beer is sacred to me (as it has been to many peoples since time immemorial), and the smaller and more artisanal a brewery is, all the better in my opinion.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading an article in either Natural History or Discover magazine about fruit beers in the Amazon. One of the local In
  • The Cunning Wife
    The Cunning Wife says #
    Thanks so much for sharing that info! Love the story about the Amazon beers. It''s no wonder that beer was/is so revered -- clean,

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Mediation, Memory and Flow

The work I'm currently doing in my spiritual practice is a process of memorization. On the surface, it just seems like the memorization of words, but the words are a pathway to the deeper wordless truths that can only be experienced when you open yourself to what the words represent. What I'm really doing with the memorization is twofold.

First, I am connecting with the forces, spirits, etc., that are represented by the words. The words present a means to connect with those spirits in order to develop relationships and create associations that allow you to do deeper work with them. The words are the introduction to the spiritual current that is embodied and mediated by the spirits I'm working with.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Taylor, do you only do memorization of words that you plan on using in chants/rituals--or to also have a deeper connection/relatio
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Hi Janet, It can be for both and I've used it for both. I figure developing a chant for a spirit can just as easily be integrated
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Fascinating! Now, your post is called "Mediation, Memory and Flow". Is that correct...or was it supposed to be "Meditation" (as in
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Nope the word choice of Mediation was purposeful.
Rites of Spring: German Easter Traditions

Osterfeuer in Rugen, Wikimedia Commons

While the word Easter has long been used to denote the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ, I see no problem also using it to refer to the pagan holiday celebrating the return of spring. Aside from the secular aspects of contemporary Easter traditions that are less focused on resurrection and salvation and more on fertility – eggs, rabbits, chicks, etc. – the very word Easter is pre-Christian in origin (the original Christian holiday name is the Hebrew Paschal).

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