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Being on the Margin of the Margins: The Dual-trad Thing

By Nornoriel Lokason

While I am best-known for my writings on the Vanir and Vanatru, I have not made it a secret that I am dual-trad: I have ties to a few entities within the infernal pantheon – Asmodai (also known as Asmodeus), the demon of wrath, is my patron.

I am far from being the only dual-trad person I know – for example, my friends Soli and Jo come immediately to mind, Soli is Kemetic and Heathen, Jo is Poseidon’s and also has a close relationship with Odin. I also know a number of eclectic pagans.

Eclectic paganism is fairly common in Wicca, where most of the Wiccans I personally know identify as eclectic (though adamantly not all) and in any case it’s common enough that most don’t bat an eyelash. Outside of Wicca, and particularly in certain polytheistic traditions, eclecticism tends to be maligned as “fluffy” and “flaky”, with the attitude of “pick a pantheon and stay with it”. I think this is unfair.

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Tarot Readings and Moon Phases

By Patti Wigington

A reader asks, “I plan to do a Tarot reading because I have some issues that really need questions and evaluation soon. But a friend of mine said I should wait until a certain moon phase but that’s three weeks away and I need to resolve things quickly. Do I have to just wait?”

You do not. In fact, I’ve always believed that the best time to do a Tarot reading is when you have a question. If you’ve got pressing issues, then go ahead and do your reading, and don’t worry about what the moon is doing up in the sky. The only difference in your waiting three weeks is that your problems will be three weeks further along.

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Lughnasa and Lammas: Summer Holidays Lost and Found Again

By Carolyn Emerick

For centuries two holidays were celebrated by neighboring peoples on the same day. The people were the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, and their holidays were Lughnasa and Lammas respectively. Usually the date fell on August 1st, but there could be variations.

The Celtic Lughnasa, also spelled Lughnasadh, was thus named because it was originally associated with the god Lugh, but the festival had other names in Celtic regions outside of Ireland.

The Anglo-Saxon word Lammas evolved from the Old English hlaf-mas, meaning “loaf-mass” in honor of bread baked from the first grain harvest.

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Ancestors of the Craft, by Christopher Penczak (ed.)

The Lives and Lessons of our Magickal Elders

Reviewed in Living Traditions

I have always believed we stand on the shoulders of giants and sadly it seems so many young magicians of all shades seem intent of reinventing the wheel. The beauty of understanding those who have gone before us is we can appreciate what they learnt, the mistakes their made and get differing perspectives on our craft. Ancestors of the Craft offers an anthology of essays by many different authors, edited by Christopher Penczak, on a wide and diverse range of individuals who are important to those who have written about them and of interest to the wider craft and occult community. They have been well selected covering early light bearers, founders of what we understand as western magick, those who development the modern craft and very fascinating those who have proved personally inspirational to those involved in the book. The book is divided into these four sections and is quite comprehensive at over 350 pages. It has a superb cover which really grabs your attention designed by Kala Trobe and has illustrations throughout.

Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey are not immediately seen connected to the craft, but so many of the concepts in modern occultism were introduced in their works. When we analyze modern Witchcraft we can see the continuation of so many forms of esoteric knowledge, many which at first glance we would not consider.

The founders of magick looks at a diverse range of important figures in western magic from Crowley to Dion Fortune, from Franz Bardon to Kenneth Grant. Each essay considers the uniqueness of each teacher and what they have transmitted to us as modern practitioners. These are not simply biographies but discussions of what we can learn from each of these teachers.

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The Secret History of the Triple Goddess, Part 3

Will the Real Triple Goddess Please Stand Up?

By John Halstead

Now it is finally time for me to reveal the previously unpublished text I promised you in Part 1 of this series. In Part 1, I distinguished Robert Graves’ “triune” (Three-in-One) Triple Goddess from the lesser “triplicities” and “triads” which are much more common in ancient pagan myth. In Part 2, we stalked the Triple Goddess of antiquity through her various incarnations over almost a millennium, inching closer and closer to her truly triune form.

Before we get to the text you’ve been waiting to read, I need to briefly mention one more author who gets us much closer to Robert Graves’ Triple Goddess, the late Roman author and Neo-Platonist, Porphyry.

Porphyry

According to Ronald Hutton, “The Neoplatonist Porphyry was credited with the belief that Hekate’s three aspects represented the new, waxing, and full phases of the lunar orb.” In the 3rd century CE, Porphyry’s fragmentary On Images explicitly identified Hecate with the moon, referring to her three forms, but only identifying two: new and full. Porphyry associates her with Demeter and Persephone, as well as Artemis, compares her phases to the three Fates, who are associated with birth, growth and death. . . .

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God Speaking, By Judith O’Grady

Reviewed by Rhyd Wildermuth

[Snip] “I see visions and hear voices.”

So starts perhaps one of the most brilliant books I’ve had the chance to read in quite some time, full of probably the most poignant observations of what it’s like to hear gods, to be, as she calls it, “God-Speaking” and being “God-Bothered.”

“The historical way of describing my perceptual reality is to call me a visionary, a seer, or a mystic. All serious words and good ones, but the way I think of it is as a conversational two-way street….This whole process I call God-Bothered because, really, the Gods don’t enter into communication with us to pat us on the back or congratulate us on a job well done but instead to give us difficult tasks and teach us unpleasant truths. (2)

O’Grady has an intimate understanding of not only what it’s like to find yourself speaking to Gods, but precisely what it means for the rest of your life, your interactions for others, and that very strange and quite difficult act of living in several worlds at once, the mystic’s “stereoscopic sight” to which [G.K.] Chesterton refers.

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Roman Power and Greek Sanctuaries, by Marco Galli (ed.)

Forms of Interaction and Communication

Reviewed by Rocío Gordillo Hervás

This volume represents the crowning of four years of work by the members of the project “Formation and transformation of religious identities in the Roman Empire” (2003-2007) and of the outcome of the meeting “Religion as communication: Ritual networks in traditional Greek sanctuaries under the Roman domination” (2008). It is edited by Marco Galli, a scholar well known for his work on Greek religion under the Roman Empire. The book contains ten chapters: eight in English, one in Italian and one in German. They are preceded by an introductory chapter written by the editor (also in English), which undertakes a journey through the evolution of Greek ritual from the third century B.C. to the second century A.D., providing a framework for the main concepts developed within the subsequent chapters.

The first chapter, by Bonna D. Wescoat, analyzes the traces of Roman interaction with the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace from the late third to the first century B.C. The author offers a comprehensive study which explores the relationship between Rome and Samothrace, focusing on the literary and historical sources that emphasize ethnic and religious connections with the founding of Rome. The author first analyzes those passages which describe the Roman visitors to the sanctuary, devoting special attention to the passage where Plutarch describes M. Claudius Marcellus’ dedication of part of the Syracusan war-booty to the sanctuary, and where Plutarch also argues that the shrine was chosen because of the ancestral connection between Aeneas and Dardanos, and between Samothrace and the Penates and the Lares Permarini. The analysis of the epigraphic evidence, especially the lists of Roman initiates and dedications, shows that the majority of them refer to members of the Roman elites who visited the island for official or business matters. Finally, the archaeological analysis focuses on the most important architectural changes taking place in buildings such as the Faux-Mycenaean Niche, Theatre Complex and adjacent Dining Rooms, and three late Hellenistic building on the western hill. The chapter represents a definite advance in the studies of the integration between the Greek and the Roman world during Republican times, an oft-neglected period.

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The Thraco-Dacian Origin of the Paparuda/Dodola Rain-Making Ritual

By Mihai Dragnea

Abstract: This study presents an analysis of the rain-making ritual from Romania, called Paparuda, performed in the spring and in times of severe drought. The ritual is common also in the Slavic folklore, having the same structure. In this study, I will demonstrate that the origin of the rain-making ritual Paparuda/Dodola is Thracian, and that the South Slavic tribes from Balkans adopted the ritual from the Thracians. The ritual is present almost in the entire Balkan Peninsula, especially in the area inhabited by Slavs, which was Thracian before the Slavic migration from the 6th century.

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(H/T Medievalists.net)

The Secret History of the Triple Goddess, Part 2

The Search for the Triple Goddess of Antiquity

By John Halstead

[Snip] Previously, in Part 1, I argued that Robert Graves Triple Goddess is a unique creation: a triunity, as opposed to a triplicity (like the Celtic Matres) or a triad (like the three Brigids). Graves’s Triple Goddess is Three-in-One — resembling the Christian Trinity — a living process, manifest in the phases of the moon, the seasons, and the female life cycle (maiden, mother, crone):

“As Goddess of the Underworld she was concerned with Birth, Procreation and Death. As Goddess of the Earth she was concerned with the three season of Spring, Summer and Winter: she animated trees and plants and ruled all living creatures. As Goddess of the Sky she was the Moon, in her three phases of New Moon, Full Moon, and Waning Moon. … As the New Moon or Spring she was a girl; as the Full Moon or Summer she was woman; as the Old Moon or Winter she was hag.” (The White Goddess, 1948)

In this part, Part 2, I will trace the evolution of the Greco-Roman triple goddess par excellence: Hekate-Diana. Many Pagans will be familiar with the Hekate (or Hecate) as a “triple goddess”, but she did not start out that way. The Greek goddess Hekate begins as a singular Great Goddess of heaven, earth, and sea in Hesiod. She then becomes a goddess of witchcraft and crossroads, and is syncretized with the Roman goddess Diana between the Hellenistic and Early Imperial periods. Finally, in Apulieus’ Golden Ass, Hekate-Diana becomes again a Great Goddess, syncretized with many others goddess, but still not yet recognizable as a truly triune Triple Goddess. Along the way, she takes the form of “triplicities” and “triads”, but only hints at a true triunity.

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Reasonances, by Carl Abrahamsson

Reviewed in Living Traditions

Carl Abrahamsson is a pioneer of modern occultism, his unique worldview comes from a deep understanding of Satanism, Thelema and TOPY (Temple of Psychic Youth). He is the founder of the highly respected journal The Fenris Wolf as well as the publishing house Edda Publishing. He is a writer,​curator,​photographer, documentary film maker and agent provocateur.

Reasonances is a collection of twenty three essays spanning thirteen years at the forefront of occulture and magic, followed an interview with the author. Throughout Abrahamsson thinks outside the box offering a truly creative and insightful examination of the intersection between magic and culture with a high level of clarity and provocation. The book is beautifully presented with a selection of eight photographs. The standard edition has been produced in a run of 530, each being hand numbered with a mandarin cloth cover with a silver gold unicorn on the front.

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