Pagan Paths


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Paths Blogs

Specific paths such as Heathenism, blended traditions, polytheist reconstructionism, etc.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Humor, Rain, and Lokigator

A quote from Dane Willerslev on humor in Yukaghir hunting rituals has been circulating on the net. It got me thinking about how our Asatru gods might view silly human fan activity related to the Marvel versions of themselves as similar humor.

When the first few Marvel movies featuring Thor, Loki, etc. came out there was a big debate about them within Asatru communities. One of the subjects of that debate was whether the Marvel versions were full fledged new versions of the gods, created by and for our modern culture, in the same way that Odhinn differs from Woden while still being essentially the same god. People were examining the depiction of the gods in the movies but largely ignoring the massive presence and activity of the fans, which I thought was a mistake. It's the humans watching that make a play either a form of sacred theater or just a play, even if it's the same play.

The essential action related to the first Thor movie was not the movie itself, it was millions of children raising toy Thor's hammers and yelling "Hail Thor!" When that first movie came out in theaters, Thor blessed my local area with a lot of rain. There was similarly an unusually large amount of rain every time a new movie with Thor in it came out. Clearly he approves of more people hailing him, even if they don't really know much about the real him.

So, when a new Marvel show was about to come out, although not in theaters and not with Thor in it, I wondered what would happen. Would there be more rain?

Rain is precious where I live, in the Mojave Desert south of Las Vegas, Nevada. 2020 was an exceptionally dry year even for the Vegas valley. For the past several years I've been growing wheat which I turn into Northern Lights Goddesses Brew. I plant in December and harvest in June, usually. It's usually a really reliable crop, easy to grow, but this year I had a total crop failure. It was just too dry. I was hoping for a good wet monsoon season this summer, and not just for my garden. The water that comes out of the tap in my house comes from Lake Mead, which depends on the Colorado River, but city storm runoff refills it too. Lake Mead was way down. Lake Mead also provides a lot of the power in this area, via hydroelectric generation from Hoover Dam. Water in the lake literally keeps the lights on in Las Vegas.

So, there has been a lot of precious rain every time America honored Thor with a movie. How would he respond this time? Fan activity online has strongly associated Lokigator with Throg, the frog version of Thor. Frogs are associated with water and rain. At this point the main character of the Loki series is very connected to the Thor character in the minds of fans, as anyone watching online fan activity could tell. (Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.) When the episode featuring many variants of Loki from different timelines appeared, fans responded with art and stories depicting the childhood and early history of each of the variants, mostly featuring Thor, although some featured Odin and Frigga.

A big fan favorite with the art and stories and jokes was Lokigator. I too found Lokigator delightful. I like Lokigator because he is just so random. Loki meets all the Lokis, some are younger, some older, one is a woman, one is an alligator. It's like a little piece of actual chaos. Very Loki.

I participated in the Lokigator fan activity by inventing a dance motion I call the Lokigator Chomp. I posted a short video of it on my social media (Facebook, Twitter, and MeWe.) Immediately after I recorded the video, within seconds of turning off the camera, it started to rain.

So of course I raised a toast. "Hail Thor! Thank you for the beautiful rain."

Image: Lokigator fan art I made to illustrate this blog post

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan 3D Offerings

The Minoans were big on offerings. They made all manner of offering stands, libation pitchers, and other paraphernalia for their altars and shrines. And they used these ritual vessels to hold items and substances such as bread, fruit, flowers, wine, honey, seeds, and even wool.

But there are some interesting ritual vessels from Palaikastro that come pre-filled with little ceramic offerings. Were these models of offerings meant to replace the real thing? To be a reinforcement of what was put in the offering dish? Or to be some other kind of symbol - a reference to the deity the offering was given to, for instance, or a depiction of what they wanted the deities to protect?

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Confronting our Demons: A Guide to Atheopagan "Demonology"

This article draws heavily on concepts suggested by Alan A. Young in an essay he provided to me more than 25 years ago. I no longer have the essay, and he lost it in a computer disaster, but this is my riff on his basic concepts. Thanks, Alan!

Our Atheopagan approach to “magic” is that it is psychological: we do rituals to change our consciousness, address our issues, heal our wounds and focus our intentions. We understand that this does not change the physical world, but it changes our internal worlds, and by so doing can lead us to make substantive changes in our lives.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I'm always alert to names that look or sound like my name. I have an unusual name that many people find hard to spell, pronounce, or guess the gender. If I didn't answer to Eric Lao, Erica Lane, or Erwin Laley I'd miss my turn at the dr.'s office sometimes. So my immediate reaction on seeing the name Erinle scroll through my Twitter feed was, "Me?"

Not me, of course. But perhaps someone some of my ancestors may have known. It's been almost a year since I took a DNA test and discovered my African ancestors. I don't plan to actually follow any African religion, since I have plenty with my own religion, but I do want to learn about my ancestors' ways. I can only guess which traditions my ancestors may have followed, but I can take a more specific guess than I could have before the days when a DNA test can tell me the names of the countries my ancestors came from. One of those countries is Nigeria.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Advice for crafting wishes: When you wish for a suitcase full of money, you must specify that you don't mean a gentlemen's toiletry case that your then-teenage older brother put pretty looking pocket change into in 1978.

Here follows some further advice on how to make a wish, which I have learned the same way I learned the above: by experience. This is general wish advice, so it doesn't matter whether you are making your wishes via folk magic, such as birthday candles or a wishing well or a dandelion or a star, or a formal spell of some kind, or by appealing to a wish granting entity.

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The Minoan Pantheon: Sun Goddess and Moon God

A lot of people show up in Ariadne's Tribe expecting to find a Minoan Moon goddess. Heck, I expected one when I first began incorporating the Minoan pantheon into my spiritual practice decades ago. Imagine my surprise when our research turned up a Minoan Sun goddess instead. (And a bunch of other goddesses, for that matter. There is no single "Minoan goddess" the way Sir Arthur Evans conceived of Minoan religion; like everyone else in the Bronze Age, the Minoans were polytheists.)

The trick to understanding why there's a Minoan Sun goddess and Moon god and not the other way around has to do with who the Minoans were and where they came from.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Tarot: An Artist's Journey

Pagans are often a "bootstrapping" sort of people: We do things for ourselves, sometimes because we want to, often because we have to. I'm pretty sure a lot of Pagan resources come into being because someone went looking for something, couldn't find it, and ended up creating it themselves.

That is exactly how the Minoan Tarot was born.

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