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                        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 


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