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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in taboos
If Pagans Had a Food Taboo, What Would It Be?

By and large, the pagan religions are not known for their food taboos.

Oh, we may have our dietary preferences, but it's worth noting that, when food taboos are present among pagans, they tend to apply only to the priesthood, or to be observed only for a certain period of time. Otherwise, generally speaking, the default food setting for pagans is Omnivore.

But if, say, Indo-European-speaking pagans did have a food taboo, what might it be?

Please note that what follows is neither prescription nor suggestion. It is, merely, three points of historic data.

West

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Pagans Do

Do you know the punishment for cutting down a sacred tree?

Did you know that, at a sacrifice, it's proper at the moment of the killing for women present to cry out?

Do you know why one should always end a funeral with a ring-dance around the grave?

Neither did I.

But now I do, and you will too, once you've read Ken Dowden's European Paganism: The Realities of Cult from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

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If You Kill Someone in a Dream, Does That Make You a Murderer?

If you break a taboo in a dream, does it count?

What the dream itself was about, I don't even remember. What I do recall is that as I turned to leave, and was going out through the door, I stepped directly onto the threshold.

Thresholds, like hearths, are loci of sanctity. The threshold of every building is inherently sacred, even the thresholds of non-sacred buildings like stores. In the old days, they would bury the foundation offerings beneath them, and in traditional cultures they continue to be places of sacrifice. A threshold is a god's place. They say that the Horned, god of the In-Between, sits on every threshold; it is his sacred place in every building, large or small, sacred or secular. Whenever you enter or leave a building, it's an encounter with a god. Welcome to the pagan universe.

So it's bad to step on a threshold. (One steps over a threshold, not on it.) Not bad as in murdering someone, but bad as in pissing toward the Sun; it's rude, a ritual violation that puts you out of synch with the Powers. It's important to be in synch with the Powers; our people have always felt so.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I sometimes get the clear impression that a dream infraction is a suppressed guilt from another life, or from an earlier time in t

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Society is an ever-chancing construct, influenced by the people living (in) it and changing those people in return. What was socially acceptable as little as ten years ago, may not be socially acceptable today. Smoking in public spaces, for example. Imagine going back hundreds of years to a society much unlike our own. Most of what we do today would have been taboo then, and much of what was daily practice then, is taboo today. This post will serve to highlight some of these taboos, from both sides of the coin. Please, remember this post is all in good fun; some of these practices may seem barbaric, but that's your culture speaking. For the ancient Hellens, it was absolutely normal: it was their culture and no modern Hellenic would try to bring back practices which are now against the law.

On to the taboos!

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