Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
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May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
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April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
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Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
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On The Inclusion of Children
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Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
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Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
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History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
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Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
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February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
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A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
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Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
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Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
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Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
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A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
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My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
So, You Want to Write a Pathworking? Take a Lesson From Jane.
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Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rose Hollow
Posted: September 12th. 2010
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I teach high school in a small town in rural Texas. Each student strives to be an individual but ends up looking, sounding, and espousing the same...all except Jane*. Most would consider Jane an odd little cookie. She wore black, period. The hallway was filled with color and light and one little black spot from which the only light escaping from her inky black clothing was from her hood ornament sized pentagram that hung from her neck like a proud trophy from a satin cord. She would glare at the other children and they would get out of her way, and in her wake she left a flurry of whispers. Into the class she would come and take her seat. In any one of the many religious discussions I overheard during class, she would describe Wicca as an experiential religion.
In one such conversation Jane gave this description, and a young man asked, “How do you know which experiences to have?” She thought for a moment and replied, “Every experience teaches us something; we just have to be aware enough to catch it, recognize it, learn from it.” “Oh yeah?” The young man replied, “I've got an experience right here in my pants!” He didn't get to finish the conversation because I'd walked over and intervened.
That evening as I sat watching the young man scrape gum from my desk bottoms, I sat deep in thought about Jane's answer. She was referring to pathworking.
Pathworking is a great tool to help you along your spiritual path. It can be defined in any number of ways, but for this purpose, pathworking will be defined as: A way to understand our own divinity, incorporate it into your live, and grow in your journey. Usually, a pathworking is given to a student by a teacher and begins with some form of astral work, a meditation, daydream, etc., and these have a profound effect on the student's life. Each pathworking has positive effects to gain and negative effects to overcome. The teacher watches the student closely and guides her in the right direction.
If you don't have a teacher, you can still pathwork. There are many great resources out there but just like rituals and spells, the best ones are the ones you develop yourself. The most difficult part is actually picking the working that is right for you. Luckily for us, we as humans have always had similar problems, so the archetypes and deities for the paths we seek are already there. The question remains: Which one?
In order to pick the path that you need to on, it's important to look at what where you spend most of your time miserable, unhappy or worried. Keep a small notepad handy to write in when you are feeling down, depressed, miserable. Ask for guidance from your guides and watch for symbols. After about two weeks, look at your notepad and organize the complaints. Do you see a lot of issues of regret? Maybe it's money? Maybe it's not standing up for yourself? Put like issues together, and once you have your lists organized, name the categories. You may have to do some rearranging on this part, but that is okay. Which category do you have the most items in? Now you have the information you need to start researching and writing your pathworking.
The next step is to make a list of qualities that will help to balance out the undesirable qualities that are making you unhappy; let's call them balancers. If, for example, one of the qualities is always agreeing with other people even if you don't want to, a balancer to that could be strength to express oneself freely. From this you will notice a pattern; do most of the balancers have to do with strength? Practicality? Something else? Research deities that have qualities that fit the patterns you have noticed. For example, let's say Amber has had a lot of problems standing up for herself. She has made her list and named the category Lack of Personal Power and found her balancers. Most of the balancers she has found deal with strength, confidence, and personal power; those became her key words. Amber feels most comfortable with the Celtic Deities and started researching those that deal with the key words she found in her list of balancer. She found the Goddess Maeve embodied the qualities of confidence, strength, and personal power. The next thing she does, and this is vital, is to read the mythology of the goddess.
When reading mythology to write a pathworking, it is important to look for keys to how and why the Goddess or God reacted the way he or she did, the outcome, and the “moral” of the story. This is where you will learn how to wield the strength of the deity you are working with. What are the positive aspects of the goddess? What are the negative aspects? What is the personality of the deity? How are you both like and not alike? Make a list of the positives you can gain from your Goddess or God and the negatives to overcome. After you have done your research, it is time to write your pathworking.
Amber has gone through the steps above and is ready to start writing her pathworking. There are many ways to go about working on this path, but she has decided that a meditation is the best way. She revisits the mythology about Maeve, and decides to write a meditation based on the Cattle Raid of Cooley. She names the major symbols from the story using the positive/gain negative/overcome list to make them relevant to her situation, ex: The bull represents gaining confidence. The battle with Cuchulainn could represent overcoming low self-image. After she does this, she writes her meditation, and a list of three or four goals she hopes to attain from doing this meditation and pathworking.
Amber does her meditation and afterwards asks for guidance from Maeve along her new path. She leaves offerings daily and journals about her experiences and the progress she is making on her goals. She meditates and speaks with Maeve for guidance weekly. She monitors herself closely because she knows that when the goals are attained, the pathworking will be over.
“Ms. Hollow, I'm done scraping gum. The desks are clean, the floor is clean, and I am tired. This is the most disgusting thing I have ever done.” I snap out of my daydream and look at the young man in front of me. “Oh, so you've learned a lesson then?” “Yes, ” he replied, “I've learned that I shouldn't say nasty things to girls.. and if I slip, not to do it when the teacher is standing behind me.” I chuckle and dismiss him with food for thought, “ Every experience teaches us something; we just have to be aware enough to catch it, recognize it, learn from it.”
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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