If you wish to use reproduce or store any content from this blog please see the usage policy

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Magical Alphabet: F is for Frige

Sometimes spelled Frig, she is an Anglo-Saxon goddess. We know very little about her as there aren't any original written sources we can look at for information, although various archaeologists believe to have discovered statues depicting her.

Historians have drawn comparisons between her and the Norse goddess Freya, and the Roman goddess Venus. Looking at this along with other clues they believe she was a deity linked with sexuality and fertility.

Traces of her remain very much in our everyday modern lives. "Friday" comes from the Old English for "Frige day". There are also a collection of place names, particularly around Hampshire, that are linked to her.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Truth About St. Patrick

Ok, so every year it seems my social media is bombarded with angry Pagans decrying the celebration of St. Patrick's Day because he is being celebrated for driving all the Snakes out of Ireland... and "snakes" means "pagans": WRONG!!!

Seriously, it's bullsh*t, stop repeating it.

Firstly St Patrick did not rock up in Ireland to drive out Paganism and replace it with Christianity. There were already Christians in Ireland when he got there, quite a lot of them. There is a whole host of historical figures that were associated with spreading Christianity in Ireland, from Finnian of Clonard, who trained The Twelve Apostles of Ireland, through Palladius and then onto the subject of this article himself.

The misconceptions about St. Patrick aren't contained to the Pagan community, even the church themselves are thought to have fudged the dates placing Patrick in Ireland 30 years earlier than he actually arrived. This is believed to be because they grew to prefer him as a figure to Palladius, and  it allowed them pass credit for a lot of the work Palladius did to Patrick.

It is believed Palladius was sent to Ireland to stop Pelagianism - (a believe system within Christianity that believes people can earn salvation by their own efforts, rather than just by the grace of God) - from establishing among the Christian community.

Secondly snakes were much more commonly associated with the Devil or evil, than they were with Pagainism. They could have been used as a symbol of many things, from original sin through to the afore mentioned  Phelagians (the theory I favor).

So when you see cartoons of St. Patrick driving snakes out of Irelands, what you're actually seeing is Palladius stopping Pelagians entering Ireland... or at least keeping them quiet when they got there.

St. Patrick was born in Roman Britian, and despite having a Decon for a father and a priest for a  grandfather, he didn't find faith himself until he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at 16 and lived as a slave for 6 years. Upon escaping he returned to England and continued to study Christianity, eventually returning to Ireland as a missionary.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Bede's World - Why we should care...

So, anyone who has seen my social media feed since Friday will be aware that the North East has suffered the tragic loss of Bede's World Museum. On Saturday a group of us met next to the site to show our support in trying to save the museum. Now whilst there has been an outpouring of support for this, there has been one type of question that has raised it's head a number of times, and I want to try and address this. 

"Why are a load of Pagans so bothered about a Christian attraction?"

Well, firstly, it's not a "Christian attraction", it's a museum that was dedicated to an incredible historical figure, who was christian, there is a difference there. As well as being a monk, Bede provides us with glimpses of medieval science. In De temporum ratione he shows us his study of astronomy and the passage of time. He was highly skilled in languages and translation, making important theological writings more accessible to those in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

He was also a historian. As a member of the pagan community this is the main reason he is so important to me. Bede's work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, not only documents the progress of Christianity in Britain, but also what came before. We owe a huge amount of what we know about pre-Christian paganism to Bede.

There is also the fact that the site was host to a huge range of community activities. There were educational and creative endeavors ongoing all the time within the museum itself, something very much in the spirit of the man it is dedicated to.

Given Bede's penchant for arguing with those in positions of power (his scientific research saw him accused of heresy in 708CE), I think we owe it to his legacy to make sure we stand our ground, not let this resource be taken from us, and do everything we can to resurrect Bede's World however we can.  

You can keep track of what is going on via the "Save Bede's World" facebook page.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Broken Song

     There was a little bird, who couldn't sing a song. He would squawk and cackle and try his best to greet the coming dawn. He could never join the chorus, or the majesty of his flock. They'd line the trees each morning, as he'd hide down by the river, and longingly he'd watch. As the years grew on he lost all trace of want and jealousy. He'd just sit and enjoy the music, and contented he would be.

     He never gave up hope though, that one day he'd find his song. Sometimes he would practice, and practice all night long. The other birds would feel pity as they heard his broken call, coming from the riverside after darkness would fall.

     One morning a group of young birds, came and rested down by him, alighting over the river on their way to sing. Suddenly a gust of wind caused the branch to sway, the weight of all the birds must have been too high that day. As he watched the branch did crack and in the water fell, panic soon gripped him as birds do not swim well.

     He opened up his beak and let out a mighty call, it was broken and it was out of tune, but it was recognised by all. The other birds all heard it and were alerted straight away, for the bird by the river was never heard at this time of day. Diving down like well practised pilots, over the water they could skim. They lifted out the young birds and laid them down next to him.


     As those young birds grew to adults, a story they would tell, of how their lives were saved by a bird who never sang well. From that day he took pride of place up on the wing. And any time he wanted, for him they all would sing.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Magical Alphabet: E is for Esbat

"Esbat" and "Sabbat" are two terms you come across a lot in witchcraft and paganism, although Esbat tends to be used more in Wiccan circles it is now used across many Pagan paths.

Where as a Sabbat is a celebration of one of the seasonal festivals, an Esbat is a gathering of magical practitioners purely for magical work, often falling on the full moon or new moon.

An Esbat can be used for healing work, initiation rites, or purely to bring together a coven or group of magical practitioners for a social gathering.

The word Esbat is thought to come from the French ├ębat meaning simply "frolic". This indicates a greater enphasis on socialising and fun than is experienced at Sabbats.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

What is Meditative Reiki?

As some of you reading this will know I offer Meditative Reiki, and a lot of people have started asking me what this is, as they've never heard of it before. Well that's because I made it up!
Not in a "lets think of a fancy name I can give something" kinda way, but it's a treatment I devised, and "Meditative Reiki" was the most common sense name for it.

For year before I started my work with Reiki, I had worked with guided meditations for ritual purposes, journeying work and as a stand alone way of focusing my energy and altering my perceptions. It struck me a couple of years ago that having clients listen to guided meditations through out their reiki treatment could be hugely beneficial... so I tried it. Happily, I found it worked very well.

So after a couple of years of creating meditations specifically for the purpose of this treatment I have found that it boosts the effectiveness of reiki in a number of cases. I believe this is because it involves the client in their own treatment more. Whilst they are receiving reiki, they are able to use the meditation to consciously direct that energy, and utilize it in a way they will find most beneficial.

I am currently developing more reiki meditations to offer people and would be interested in hearing peoples suggestions.