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I started listening to this excellent podcast about dark feminine figures in religions and folklore by an academic (who's also clearly some sort of magical practitioner). Many episodes are on Greek goddesses since that's the host's field of research but there's a series on Tantric goddesses (which is pretty cool since you don't hear a lot about them in the West) and episodes about folkloric figures such as Baba Yaga or Black Madonnas. It's all really well researched and informative; it gives you leads to tons of primary sources to do your own research, which is extremely valuable as it's often hard to know where to start, and other witches or occultists are... not always great sources on entities. https://chthonia.net/ Here's a video introduction to the project by the host, Brigid Burke, although you can take it with a grain of salt: I don't agree with her framework* yet I find the podcast impressive and useful. * I come from historical materialism so an archetypal explanation of gender doesn't fly with me 😂
I started this as a way for me to think-out-loud. As many on here aren't into god-forms it probably wouldn't interest a lot of people as a thread, so am keeping it as a blog. I am still working out for myself (in a logical fashion for a totally illogical concept) the actual nature of gods, different realms/worlds, and my relation to them. I believe that god-forms have specific individualized beings/personalities as well as being a collective of focused energy of a specific attribute. Which technicaly makes them two things at once which is dualistic and illogical in our world. In trying to reconcile this dualism in my mind I posed the above to a piece of hawthron wood I've been working with. First off it told me to take a simpler example of how things work than gods, then apply that simpler understanding to gods. It said look at me, I'm a stick. Unrecognized and incorrectly invoked at the taking I remain just a stick. But you're talking to me - so who are you talking to? Um... the spirit of the hawthorn tree? Right. So whereas I am just a stick, with the spirit of the tree living within me I become more than just a stick. I become the embodiment of the nature of the hawthorn tree, not the tree/wood/stick itself. Hawthorn is a teacher and a gate - it is a hedgerow wood that is a mediator of the boundries and in working with the nature of the plant and how it grows you are working with the energy behind that nature - the energy that manifests as that specific nature in that specific species of tree. You are not working with "wood" you are working with the nature and spirit of the tree which manifested the wood. Same with gods. You are working with the energy/spirit that fuels the mythologies, not the actual literal mythologies themselves. So last night I was thinking about this some more, and I again had a chat with the hawthorn. If god-froms exist, what is their interest in me? What do they get out of it? Go back to the tree again. Start smaller. Start simpler. Understand that and you will be better able to understand god-forms and other realities. If you chop down a tree at ground level, the roots may send up shoots and grow again. If you cut some twigs and stick them in water, them may grow roots and grow again. So either one can produce a "new" tree. But ultimately a tree must have roots, leaves, and a trunk to grow. Take away any of the above and the tree will eventually die. Logical. How does that relate to gods and other worlds? The Tree? Tree? Oh - you mean THAT tree. Yes. The world tree. Ahhhh... so you mean that if I take the mythology of the world tree and all the realms upon it - 9, 7, or 3 depending on one's basic path, and apply the above to the worlds... they are all somehow feeding eachother? Like root feeds the tree and leaves do that clorophil thing, etc.? Yes. Its an intricate finely balanced relationship. But each part of the tree gains a necessary thing from the other parts. Something necessary for survival as the tree knows survival at this point in time. And all the worlds exist in relation to the world tree. Jeez that's complicated. Well you're the one who asked. Okay - well whose spirit are you? The tree you came from is still alive. So is that tree-spirit fragmented and a part of it lives in you now, or are you a tap-in to the "collective" nature of hawthorn? Or are you a "new" spirit? You're being dualistic again. This isn't Harry Potter and I'm not a horcrux. Just becuase the spirit of the tree is me, doesn't mean that it isn't the spirit of the tree, too. And it doesn't mean I'm fragmented. Good point. Sorry. All tree spirits are both individual and collective. Just like the gods, and just like you - you are an individual personality yet you retain the memory (collective) of your ancestors. They live becuase you live. I'm not getting that. I know. Just let it sink in. And go to sleep, will you? Right. Goodnight then. (Sticks piece of wood under pillow and turns off light.)