Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Yule Log

The Yule Log Image
On the winter solstice, on the longest night of the year, people would place and set afire an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas.

It was considered important that the re-lighting process was carried out by someone with clean hands.

Tradition has it that the burning of the Yule log was performed to honor the Great Mother Goddess. The log would be lit on the eve of the solstice using the remains of the log from the previous year and would be burned for twelve hours for good luck and protection. As the fire began all other lights would be extinguished and the people would gather round the fire. In thanksgiving and appreciation for the events of the past year and in bidding the year farewell each person would toss dried holly twigs into the fire.

The next phase of the burning of the Yule log commenced with people tossing oak twigs and acorns into the fire and they would shout out their hopes and resolutions for the coming New Year and sing Yuletide carols. The celebration of the Yule log fire ended with unburned pieces of the Yule log saved to start the fire of next winter's solstice Yule log.

The custom of the Yule Log spread all over Europe and different kids of wood are used in different countries. In England, Oak is traditional. The "mighty oak" was the most sacred tree of Europe, representing the waxing sun, symbolized endurance, strength, protection, and good luck to people in the coming year. In Scotland, it is Birch; while in France, it's Cherry. Also, in France, the log is sprinkled with wine, before it is burnt, so that it smells nice when it is lit.

Ashes from the Yule log are very beneficial to garden plants, however, it is considered very unlucky to throw out the ashes of the Yule log on Christmas day.

Various chemicals can be sprinkled on the log like wine to make the log burn with different coloured flames! Here's a short list. Be sure to follow safety precautions if you plan on using them!

* "Potassium Nitrate" = Violet
* "Barium Nitrate" = Apple Green
* "Borax" = Vivid Green
* "Copper Sulphate" = Blue
* "Table Salt" = Bright Yellow

You also may enjoy this free books:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Moon Bog
Paul Foster Case - The Life Power
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Curse Of Yig

Keywords: ancient scandinavia  pagan books  the celts houses  celtics religion  satan religion  modern paganism  magic rituals of the kabbalah  shadow self  list of celtic gods  tarot decks  sleep paralysis astral projection  meditation yoga retreats  magical runes  

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ingeborg Unofficial Asatru Faq

Ingeborg Unofficial Asatru Faq Cover

Book: Ingeborg Unofficial Asatru Faq by Ingeborg Norden

Feel free to pass this on to other pagan friends, as long as you acknowledge me as the original author.

Long before Christianity came to northern Europe, the people there - our Ancestors - had their own religions. One of these was Asatru. It was practiced in the lands that are today Scandinavia, England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and other countries as well. Asatru is the original, or native, religion for the peoples who lived in these regions. Simply put, you might think of it as ''the religion of the Vikings'' since they were its main followers in the years just before our Ancestors were forced to adopt Christianity. Asatru is unlike the better-known religions in many ways. Some of these are:

- We are polytheistic. That is, we believe in a number of deities, including Goddesses as well as Gods. (We have a tongue-in-cheek saying that a religion without a Goddess is halfway to atheism!)
- We do not accept the idea of ''original sin,'' the notion that we are tainted from birth and intrinsically bad, as does Christianity. Thus, we do not need ''saving.''
- We do not claim to be a universal religion, a faith for all of humankind. In fact, we don't think such a thing is possible or desirable. The different branches of humanity have different ways of looking at the world, each of which is valid for them. It is only right that they have different religions.

Download Ingeborg Norden's eBook: Ingeborg Unofficial Asatru Faq

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - Odinism And Asatru
Aleister Crowley - Liber 207 A Syllabus Of The Official Instructions Of The Aa
Ingeborg Norden - Ingeborg Unofficial Asatru Faq

Vanslow Smith Talks About Boorsron

Vanslow Smith Talks About Boorsron Image
It was our practice to catch hedgehogs for eating, of which there was a plentiful supply if you knew where to look. Now I have heard many unfounded stories about the cooking of these boorsron (which is the Romany name for a hedgehog - sometimes also called a hotchi-witchi), and so I consider it time to put the record straight!

We would catch about six, and around our fire at night would draw them, (Romany for preparing meat), and making a wooden skewer, would open up the belly, using the skewer to do this. They would then be singed until their spikes were almost burnt off, then scalded in a bath of boiling water. At that stage they could be skinned, washed in salt water, then impaled on a hazel stick, just like a kebab, and slowly roasted over the embers of the fire. We also prepared moorhens and dabchicks (small black water birds similar to moorhens) in the same way all through the winter months.

If we had pheasants, they were plucked and gutted, washed in salt water and then boiled. Mother had a large pot, and two pheasants boiled in this way were about right. When the pot had stood overnight, a large quantity of yellow fat would be lifted off and then two rabbits also put in the pot. This was then all stewed together with plenty of onions, vegetables, lentils and dumplings!

You also may enjoy this free books:

Aleister Crowley - Olla An Anthology Of Sixty Years Of Song
George Lyman Kittredge - Notes On Witchcraft Ocr Version

Keywords: pagan sex  shadow self  anglo saxon alphabet  northern way  the poetic edda  pagan goddess  children of odin  modern pagans  pagan ritual wear  paganism and wicca  voodoo spells  benjamin rowe  i love spelling  spell books  astral projection for  

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Green Man Symbol Of Man Connection To Nature

The Green Man Symbol Of Man Connection To Nature Cover The enigmatic and often disturbing foliate heads and masks which adorn many of our churches are pagan in origin, albeit Roman and Greek paganism, and can be found in all corners of what was the Roman Empire. The Green Man has been adopted world-wide with some stunning sixth century representations to be found in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. However, the Green Man has found a special and intriguing place in British history in the past thousand years or so. He flourished throughout England in Medieval times, and he is also infamously seen at the Rosslyn Chapel (mid fifteenth century) in Midlothian, Scotland where he has a part to play in a storm of controversy and conspiracy theories. The first carvings of foliate heads originated in Roman art during the second half of the first century AD. These early foliate heads and masks were usually adorned with acanthus leaves, a common plant in the Mediterranean at the time.

Foliate heads made an appearance at Neumagen in Germany carved on the sarcophagi of wine merchants during the second and third centuries. As Kathleen Basford wonders in her book ‘The Green Man’, this “perhaps recalls the ancient rustic festivals held in honour of Dionysos where revellers stained their faces with new wine and masked them with huge beards made out of leaves.”
However, the Green Man didn’t make his first appearance in Britain until the eleventh century where he put down roots in the Church and adapted his leafy structure to the English way of life, incorporating oak leaves, hawthorn, ivy and hops during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

In twelfth century churches such as St John the Evangelist, (Elkstone, Gloucestershire) and St Leonard, (Linley, Shropshire) the Green Man is crudely depicted in the stonework, but in St Mary and St David (Kilpeck, Herefordshire) the doorway carvings are beautifully chiselled in intricate detail.

The Green man began life in Britain and countries north of the Alps as a diabolical figure. In Exeter Cathedral he is depicted as being trodden upon by The Virgin, but without knowing the artist’s motives we can only guess at what he was trying to portray. Perhaps it is the triumph of Christianity over paganism or the triumph of ‘higher’ man over his animal nature. The Green Man has also been portrayed as the three-headed Satan (Triceps Beelzebub, the Trinity of Evil) which shows evidence of being perpetuated in Scandinavia but is comparatively rare in Britain. Fifteenth century examples of the unholy Trinity can be found in the Green Man’s portrayal as a devil in Chester Cathedral and as a crowned tricephalos at Cartmel Priory, Cumbria.
The Green Man branched out and flourished within the confines of the Church across Europe in the thirteenth century with unusual and startling depictions in Bamberg Cathedral, Germany and in Auxerre Cathedral, France. The former is in stone - a rectangular, almost stylised portrait of the Green Man - with an indescribable, yet knowing, expression, while in Auxerre he peers down at the congregation in bewilderment.

Nowadays, the Green Man is claimed as belonging to various groups, from neo-Pagans to certain occult societies. The worship of nature and the worship of the severed head certainly have places in British folk-lore and customs stretching back in time and a recurring character is Jack in the Green. He is also known as the Grass King, King of the May, the Wild Man, King of the Wood and more, and it can be said that in any of these incarnations he represents the spirit of vegetation. Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ cites many examples of customs pertaining to Jack in the Green, too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say that the custom of beheading a foliate man effigy at the vernal equinox is persistent throughout Europe.

We can only guess at the reasons why the Church adopted the Green Man and in what context their architects meant him to be portrayed. In more recent centuries he has captured the public imagination as can be seen by the number of pubs bearing his name. However, as artists and pagans alike continue with their fascination with the Green Man it seems that we haven’t outgrown him yet nor completely forgotten that we are, like him, enmeshed with our natural surroundings.

Suggested ebooks:

Solomonic Grimoires - The Greater Key Of Solomon Part 2
John Taylor - The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut 1647 To 1697
Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii - The Symbolism Of The Tarot

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Northmen In Britain

The Northmen In Britain Cover

Book: The Northmen In Britain by Eleanor Hull

Blue eyed blonde Teutonic Peoples played a strong role in bringing about the end of the Roman Empire. Not so those who lived in the northern parts of Europe, Scandinavia and Denmark. They had almost no contact with the Roman World or the rest of Europe until the eighth century. These were known by different names such as Northmen, Norsemen, and the Danes and later as the Vikings. (Vikings – inhabitants of the viks – bays and fjords)

These northern warriors were known for their ferocity and anger. When attacking their foes they inflicted terrible harm through fire, stoning, and the use of wild hounds. Some have also referred to these Vikings as brave and noble. Between the years of 750 to 950 AD they were notorious for raiding coastal communities throughout Europe.

The Norsemen were not a politically united people. There were different tribes, each with its own leader. Although they did not, and would not, have a king or central government, they all followed certain agreed upon rules. They shared many common customs and religion and many unwritten laws. These oral laws covered important subjects like how to divide the spoils of war and conquest, and punishments for crimes.

The first recorded Viking attacks took place in Britain where the small coastal communities were totally unprepared for the onslaught. The Norsemen would slaughter any inhabitants that got in their way, load their ships with the plunder and sail away quickly. They raided towns and even monasteries in England and Ireland, carting off everything of value. They arrived silently, unexpectedly, and terrorized the coasts of the British Isles.

In the ninth century, the Vikings steered their ships towards Southern Europe. Charlemagne succeeded in arresting the advance of these Northmen by using his fleets to patrol the coastline. He succeeded in driving the Vikings out of Frisia (now Holland) and back into Denmark. After Charlemagne’s death, the Vikings resumed their raids on Europe.

Six hundred Viking boats attacked Hamburg and set in on fire. They attacked Paris and many other French cities. The Vikings caused terror throughout Europe and were now attacking inland with setting up bases. They burned, massacred and plundered everywhere that they went. They eventually sailed into the Mediterranean as far as Genoa, Italy. By 878, they were even threatening to take control of the entire island of England, only a loose collection of small kingdoms. In 1017, Britain became part of the Scandinavian Empire.

The Vikings attempted to add Ireland to its domain but were defeated by Malachy, an Irish king. Nevertheless, the Norsemen established permanent settlements along the eastern and southern shores. In 911, Charles III of France signed a treaty with Rollo, a Danish leader, and gave the northern territory of Normandy to the Danes. The Northmen integrated with the peoples they conquered and accepted the Christian faith. Through assimilation they forgot many of their customs and habits; even Rollo was baptized in 912.

Download Eleanor Hull's eBook: The Northmen In Britain

Downloadable books (free):

Anthony Arndt - Asatru The Northern Way
Aleister Crowley - The Fun Of The Fair
Eleanor Hull - The Northmen In Britain

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pagan Calendar Of Days For 2010

Pagan Calendar Of Days For 2010 Cover
Here is a quick list of pagan, magical, and other holidays for November 2009 through December 2010. You will notice that some of the holidays are different depending on which side of the equator you are on.


* 2: Full moon -- Mourning Moon
* 16: New moon
* 30: Festival of Hecate Trivia (The Night of the Crossroads)


* 2: Full moon --Long Nights Moon
* 16: New moon
* 17: Beginning of Saturnalia
* 21: Winter Solstice or Yule
* 21: Litha (Southern Hemisphere)
* 25: Christmas Day
* 25: Feast of Frau Halle, Germanic goddess
* 31: Full moon -- Blue Moon
* 31: Partial lunar eclipse
* 31: Festival of Hogmanay


* 15: New moon
* 27: Up Helly Aa celebration, Shetland Islands, Scotland
* 30: Full moon -- Wolf Moon
* 30 - Feb. 2: Roman celebration of Februalia


* 2: Imbolc
* 2: Lammas or Lughnasadh (Southern Hemisphere)
* 3: Setsubun, celebration - Japan
* 13: New moon
* 14: Valentine's Day
* 15: Lupercalia
* 28: Full moon -- Quickening Moon

MARCH 2010

* 1: Matronalia, the Festival of Women
* 14: New moon
* 20: Ostara
* 20: Mabon (Southern Hemisphere)
* 29: Full moon Crow Moon

APRIL 2010

* 6: National Tartan Day
* 14: New moon
* 22: Earth Day
* 28: Full moon -- Wind Moon
* 30: Walpurgisnacht

MAY 2010

* 1: Beltane
* 1: Samhain (Southern Hemisphere)
* 5: Cinco de Mayo
* 9: Mother's Day
* 9, 11, 13: Roman festival - Feast of the Lemures
* 13: New moon
* 27: Full moon -- Hare's Moon

JUNE 2010

* 12: New moon
* 20: Father's Day
* 21: Litha
* 21: Yule (Southern Hemisphere)
* 26: Full moon -- Honey Moon

JULY 2010

* 4: Independence Day
* 11: New moon
* 11: Solar eclipse
* 25: Full moon -- Blessing Moon


* 1: Lammas or Lughnasadh
* 1: Imbolc (Southern Hemisphere)
* 9: New moon
* 24: Full Moon -- Corn Moon


* 8: New moon
* 21: International Day of Peace
* 22: Fall Equinox or Mabon
* 22: Chinese Moon Festival
* 22: Ostara (Southern Hemisphere)
* 23: Full Moon -- Harvest Moon


* 7: New moon
* 22: Full moon -- Blood Moon
* 31: Samhain
* 31: Beltane (Southern Hemisphere)


* 6: New moon
* 11: Veteran's Day
* 21: Full moon -- Mourning Moon
* 25: Thanksgiving day (United States)
* 30: Festival of Hecate Trivia (The night of the crossroads.)


* 5: New moon
* 17: Beginning of Saturnalia
* 21: Full moon -- Long Nights Moon
* 21: Winter Solstice or Yule
* 21: Litha (Southern Hemisphere)
* 25: Christmas Day
* 25: Feast of Frau Halle, Germanic goddess
* 31: Festival of Hogmanay

You also may enjoy this free books:

Mark Ludwig Stinson - Heathen Gods A Collection Of Essays Ver 1
Herbert Armstrong - Pagan Holidays Or Gods Holy Days Which
Anonymous - Satanic Pagan Calendars

Keywords: asgard gods  pagans clergy  wicca complete craft  sacred space  history nordic runes  english beowulf finnsburg  asatru northern  representation wicca  saludadores modern spain  representation witchcraft mass  love witchcraft  

Monday, March 19, 2007

Paganism Magic Religion

Paganism Magic Religion Image
I was interested to read this article, "Walking the Broken Path" by Jimmy Two-Hats in the monthly on-line of the new Thorn Magazine. (I'm excerpting it heavily, so I suggest reading the whole thing there) I've said before that I have little use for articles the point of which seems to be "You're not doing it right" - here's one with the chutzpah to say so in so many words. I'll italicize portions of the original article, and write some thoughts.

"I'm probably not a very good Pagan because I'm far more interested in magic than in religion. "

Whatever a 'good Pagan' means... I don't think modern Paganism has any model by which one is good or not based on what one believes, or what version one practices. That said I do agree about finding magic more interesting than religion broadly. On the other hand, I mainly consider religion to be a special case of magic. Usually a few magical methods (such as concentration through prayer, consecrated symbols, etc) are employed in service of a specific mythology to produce effects for the villagers, or congregation. In order for a priest/ess to successfully operate a religion on a local level, I think she needs a solid grounding in what westerners call 'magical' skills, but what systems like Hinduism or Voodoo simply think of as part of their 'religion'.

To me, the idea of an important distinction between magic and religion seems unlikely. I just can't see a clear dividing line, except perhaps that magic is operative. Magic isn't something you 'believe in' it's something you *do*. Since the invention of 'faith based' religion it's possible to identify as a member simply by holding a set of opinions. In that sense I suppose there is a difference, but when it comes to getting results I can't see much split between the two. For me 'Pagan religion' (Wiccan or otherwise) is magical in that sense - it isn't about what you believe, it's about how you practice.

Personally, I work to make sure that Paganism (at least in some forms) is the sort of religion that embraces specialized or occult spiritual skills ('magic'), and applies them consciously to its religious work. I work to encourage Pagans to think of 'being devout' as including meditation, personal shrine practice, and relationships with the spirits. I don't think Pagans need to 'believe' things as much as to do things to build spiritual skills and apply them to our lives.

"I don't worship anything, even though I believe supernatural beings are real."

'Worship' means 'give respect to'. I'd like to see the Pagan movement reject modern notions of 'worship' as abasement, humiliation and groveling. That's just not what the term meant to the old Pagans, and there's no reason why we should use it that way. We give respect to the spirits, both by our casual deeds and by the formal offerings of ritual. The arts of ritual worship are, themselves, a specific technique of magic. Crowley wrote a lovely guide to working worship and devotional magic in Liber Astarte. Every magical system from ancient Egypt through the OTO has recommended worship for the magician. As a magician I want the friendship and alliance of the spirits. I don't want to get this just by 'commanding' them, but by befriending them. Worship is one of the methods by which we make alliances with the spirits.

"... my work has more to do with the forces behind Pagan beliefs than it does with the ceremonies and the trappings of those beliefs."

I guess I know what that means... Certainly some of us are interested in the 'how' of metaphysics and esotericism, the rather abstract issues of what the spirits 'really' are. I'm more concerned with how they act than with what they're made of. Personally, I have found that what some modernistic versions of magic call 'energies' are more accurately described as personal beings, with personal wills. So the individual doesn't "use" them, but rather enters into relationship with them and relationship includes worship. The discussion between an 'energy' model of magic and a 'spirits' model is an interesting one, and both models work just fine for getting results.

"I know that the physical trappings of rituals can be very efficient, with effects that qualify as legendary in scope--but most of them, like the crystal rods of Wyrd Science and the wands, athames and chalices of Wiccan ritual, are effective only in imagination."

OK, noted; you think that there can be powerful magical objects, but you don't think Wiccans know how to make them. I guess I agree, if the sort of Wiccans you mean are folks who read a few books and decide that they want to 'believe in Wicca'. There are certainly enough books that teach students that they don't have to do any serious consecration or blessing of their ritual objects. However my impression is that plenty of Wiccans still seek magical skills inside their religious practice. I think that Wicca is generally trending the way I'd hope, with everyone encouraged to learn at least a little magic, and some people going further. I know there are people in modern Wicca and Paganism that would like us to go a more rationalist route, but I'm not among them.

"... Magic circles filled with worshipers can become as empty of magic as a church full of Christians on Sunday morning."

Yes, that's possible, I suppose, if the leadership has bought into some reductionist notion that Paganism is a 'belief system' rather than a 'method of contacting the Gods and Spirits'. The thing is most human beings are never likely to make spirituality one of their lives' primary pursuits. Those of us who are drawn to serious personal effort, like most magicians and many Pagans, are willing to spend our free time meditating, reading, doing personal rituals, etc. Many people who might benefit from a dose of spiritual experience (i.e. 'religion') will simply never have the level of interest to take up serious long-term spiritual work. I think Paganism does well to serve those people by encouraging our trained magicians to take up the work of priestcraft - the work of facilitating religious experience for the general population. Of course the reverse is equally true - anyone who wants to be a 'priest' in a Pagan system should be skilled in magic, as well.

"But there has to be a balancing force in the world. People who believe in the power of life... need to actively work in those old realms that no one officially believes any more."

Just so, and one of the best ways to do that is to use our magical skills to bring understanding to those who would otherwise not experience the power and beauty of the web of life. By creating public opportunities for "lay" Pagans to participate in powerful invocation, trance and blessing - to actual experience the 'energies' or the 'spirits' (whatever) - we can help to lead toward a more magical world-view for all. The most effective way I know of to provide those experiences to groups is through rites of worship. I don't think we'll ever be able to make initiates out of the whole population - most folks will always be more interested in material life than in the spiritual path. That doesn't mean they don't benefit from religious experience.

"In the early 1990's... (some) people were adamant that Wicca was not a religion, social gathering or a ceremony of worship; to them, Wicca was the practice of magic."

I was there too, and for a decade before that, and I can't really say that I recall most traditional Crafters arguing against Wicca as religion. The basic model of Wicca is of a religion that uses magic - since there's no conflict between those categories that makes perfect sense. Once again I agree that religion without magic is a weak thing, but magic without religion is, in my opinion, only a little better. At least it produces results, but without the element of relationship between the magician and the cosmos (which is the core of religion) magic becomes mere engineering.

"... Some covens still talk about raising cones of Power and make a token effort to manifest the Watch Towers, but the usual focus today is self-discovery. I have no interest in that."

You think magic amounts to anything without self-knowledge? Where did you hear that? I mean, you can cast spells and fiddle with spirits 'til the cows come home, but if you aren't working on your own mind and soul it just amounts to cute special effects - always nice, but of limited value. A good spiritual system should do both - lead the student to self-understanding, and teach them the methods of wielding power - two sides of the same coin.

"For the old witches and warlocks, raising a cone of Power... raised a vortex of energy that the members of the coven could see and feel,... that they could imbue with purpose and send to accomplish a goal. Without that Power, it's all just empty ceremony."

The 'cone of power' used in traditional Wicca is just one sort of energy-based magic, among many kinds. Personally I'm inclined to think that Gardner invented the cone of power, and that it wasn't a part of magical practice before him. There are lots of ways for a coven (or temple of Pagan religion) to do magic that don't involve it.

I suppose you can do 'spells' purely with the so-called 'magical energy' of the Cone of Power model, but there's so much more to work with. I guess I'd say that without the alliance with the spirits a Pagan ceremony doesn't amount to much. It takes magic to make those alliances, but the business of working with them is precisely what the ancients meant by 'religion'.

"The secret that has been so closely guarded from us is that we are the catalytic force that makes things happen--we are the beings of light who can change the world. "

At least we're one category of such beings. I'd never suggest that the Gods and Spirits aren't themselves such beings. In fact, I don't think any individual can make much change at all, without relationships with the Powers, with the Deities, and with other human beings. Since there is no Supreme God in a polytheistic (Pagan) model, then no human being can be supreme, even if we *are* Gods. We need relationship to make the world work, just as does the divine.

"Real magic is a very powerful force. All it takes is a few people who know. The rest of the beings of light are welcome to play games and pretend other things-- I think it would be nice to have a world left when the game is done. The rest of us are here to keep the balance. "

To me Paganism, and certainly magic, have always been systems without a 'save the world' mission. The Old Ways don't exist to lead humanity into some bright new future - we don't have a notion that reality needs to be saved from a cosmic enemy. The Old Ways, to me, have always been about maintaining the balance, about making people happy now. Now, those with the inclination to practice magic gain more skills that allow us to fiddle with our lives if we like. But using one's spiritual skills to build a relationship with the divine - with the Gods and Spirits - brings in intelligences and resources far outside of mortal human reality. That's why as a magician, I work to create powerful working worship rites and as a Pagan I work to develop modern Pagan forms of magical practice suited to our models.

I guess I can't really be upset about the rise of even the most eclectic, anything-goes sorts of Wicca - better to have the kids thinking polytheistically and magically, even at the simplest level. Out of each batch of "I like Wicca" kids will come a smaller number of committed practitioners, and it would be my hope that at least some of those will make it their (our) business to keep standards high in the community. I see it as the job of those of us who do have magical skills to infect modern Paganism with them. Those who want Paganism to remain a results-based, ritualistic, magical set of systems (as it has mainly been) need to make it our business to teach and lead.

So, I guess I don't exactly disagree with Jimmy Two-Hats about much. I guess the main point of disagreement is that I don't see anything in the current state of the movement as 'broken' or 'not the way it should be'. We're growing and changing, and the influences that those who care bring to bear this year could have effects for times to come.

o There *is* a trend toward viewing Paganism (especially 'eclectic Wicca') as something one 'believes in'. I hope we can encourage the understanding that without actual practice - meditation, ritual, divination, etc. there isn't much point to Paganism or Wicca.

o Personally, I think Neopaganism should fight hard against demythologization and against reductionist rationalism, in favor of a mythic reality and a magical world-view. It's more fun to live in a world of poetry.

o Since I work in ADF no-one will be surprised that I prefer formal training and practice to informal 'learning from the trees' whatnot. I hope that at least some branches of Paganism become the sorts of religion that encourage real study, as well as real practice.

What I didn't like, I guess, about Jimmie's article is the attempt to split magic and religion into competing ideas. I think they're totally complementary ideas. Magic is the set of skills that makes religion possible. Religion is the set of results that makes magic humane and mindful. Worship means respect and formal recognition of value, not abasement and devaluation of the self.

I also disagree that the Neopagan movement is 'broken' in any important way. We're growing and changing, and many challenges are before us. In my opinion one of those challenges is how to integrate the 'esoteric' or 'occult' techniques of magic into a spiritual and religious system for the 'lay' person.

I guess I "am" interested in discussing what Paganism (I'm not Wiccan per se any more, so I use the larger category) "should" be. The movement is what it is, and I'm committed to the work of the community whether or not I like the way it's going this decade. As a Druid I'm committed to the restoration of the worship of the Old Gods in the modern world, in ways that will last for centuries to come, and grow in strength and depth as it grows in influence and social presence. To do that I expect us to need all the magic we can get.

You also may enjoy this free books:

Kelly Link - Magic For Beginners
Malcolm Mcgrath - Practical Magickal Evocation
Al Selden Leif - Pagan Potions Brew Magic Formula

Keywords: celtic religion  who are pagans  pagan ritual  celtic religions  reformed druids of north america  magic rituals of the kabbalah  pagan gods  black magic rituals book  real love spell casters  meditation stools  paganism books  aj drew  

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Anglo Saxon Heathendom And Icelandic Asatru

Anglo Saxon Heathendom And Icelandic Asatru Cover

Book: Anglo Saxon Heathendom And Icelandic Asatru by Eric Wodening

The ancient Germanic peoples essentially followed the same religion. Nearly all of them appear to have worshipped the major gods known to us from Norse Mythology - Odinn, PorR, FreyR, and so on. They also believed in many of the same "spirits" or wights--elves dwarves, thurses, and so on. They held various festivals, rituals, and customs in common. This is not to say that there were not differences among the tribes in their religious customs and beliefs. There was always some variation in religious practices and beliefs among the Germanic peoples.

Perhaps the best demonstration of both the similarities and the differences which sometimes existed in the religious beliefs of the Germanic Peoples would be to examine the respective beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic heathen.

It must be noted right away that the ancient Germanic peoples lacked a name for their religion or its branches. An ancient Anglo-Saxon heathen if asked about his religion would probably have referred to it simply as min beodisc gelefa, "my tribe's belief." The Icelanders may have responded along similar lines, although today this ancient and modern branch of the Germanic heathen religion is called "Asatru." For simplicity's sake, we will use "Anglo-Saxon heathendom" and "Asatru" for the faiths of the ancient Anglo-Saxons and Icelanders respectively..

Download Eric Wodening's eBook: Anglo Saxon Heathendom And Icelandic Asatru

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Louis Claude De Saint Martin - Man His True Nature And Ministry
Stephen Flowers - The Galdrabok An Icelandic Grimoire
Eric Wodening - Anglo Saxon Heathendom And Icelandic Asatru