The Eight Paths and other Wiccan miscellany
Dogs in the Temple:
The "dogs" were MALE Canaanite temple prostitutes
(normally eunuchs, as I understand it), with whom male worshippers had
intercourse in order to obtain various boons from the gods, of which
the fertility of themselves, their herds and their crops were the
chief. A "dog"'s earnings couldn't be contributed to Yaweh's
treasury. (Nor could that of a FEMALE temple prostitute!) Now if
they were doing the Great Rite with male priests way back when TO make
things more fertility, why should Stewart Farrar have a cat over gay
men and lesbians being involved in the Craft now?!? (Although, in
fairness to him, I'll bet he's never thought of it that way! He
strikes me as a reasonable man, all in all... )
As for the Paths:
Meditation is the first and--in my opinion--the most basic,
because you use it to get to or enhance some of the other Paths.
Trance work is the second, which includes astral projection exercises.
Perhaps it's the most important, because it gets us where we go to
exercise the power or obtain the wisdom that we want to.
Dancing is a Path that I personal can't use because I'm lame; but I've
been told by able-bodied Pagan friends that it's great because it
engages the whole self--and especially it helps you be grounded AND
Elsewhere at the same time. Binding with cords and other forms of
sensory deprivation are good for helping the mind travel beyond the
body's limits because one wishes to escape the tedium and discomfort
of them. (I'm sorry, but even a flotation tank gets uncomfortable
eventually!) Scourging and other repetitive acts also use tedium as a
release but are more stimulating than being bound or floating in a
tank. (They do NOT use pain. If they're being done THAT intensely,
they're being done incorrectly... )
Chanting and mantras use repetitive sound and the inherent nature of
some sounds to produce altered states of consciousness.
Drugs (which normally means incense and MAYBE alcohol but NOT
hallucinogens and such) variously stimulate, relax, disinhibit or
otherwise change one's mental state.
And that brings us back to the Great Rite and other forms of sex
magick, which attempt to involve all levels from the physical to the
Divine Within at one time. That's VERY thumbnail; but if anyone wants
to know more, I'll be glad to elaborate on the ones I use or have seen
used. Oh, and I can--and should--add that the various Paths can be
used in combination as well as separately, that there's some variation
from one tradition to another as to what the Eight Paths are, and that
not ALL traditions have Eight Paths per se!
Bright blessings! Granny Spider
Last amended June 11, 1989 -- Page NEXTRECORD
Next: Balance of the God and Goddess (Adrienne)