Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Response to the Lana Del Rey Thing

I feel a bit embarrassed that, as a pagan and someone who has formerly aspired to the Pagan clergy, I did not hear about the proposed binding on Drumph until the morning after the first spell date, which was yesterday.  I'm especially irked that my husband learned about it first, via an article in Rolling Stone regarding Lana Del Rey's enigmatic tweet.
What do I think about it? At first I was all "Hells yeah!,"  Then I did a search for what others in the community are saying, and I found this blog on the topic from Donald Lewis ( I don't refer to him as "Reverend Don" here because he makes it plain that he is speaking as himself, not as head of the Correllian Tradition, or even as clergy).

In this statement, Mr. Lewis says that we should look at the larger picture, which is the Christian Dominionist Movement. This didn't start with Drumph, and will not end with him. Don believes that we should focus positively on what we want to achieve, such as equal rights, the environment, etc.

(Just an aside: some would say that the Wiccan Rede of "Harm none..." would preclude binding anyone. However I believe, as does the Tradition, that "harm" does not include binding, nor any magick done in self-defense, or defense of another. Drumph's actions and future actions are certainly harmful to any and all minorities, the environment, the freedom of the Press, and basically anyone who disagrees with him, thus I do not hold that binding counts as "harm")

My husband was listening while I watched this video, and, although he does not believe in the power of spells and such, he does often have some astute observations. He pointed out that Drumph is a very powerful weapon of the Christian Dominionist Movement. As any good gamer knows, if you can remove or disable someone's weapon you slow them down a lot,  and increase your advantage. 

I therefore intend to participate in future binding rituals on Drumph and "those who abet him," AND I intend to work for justice and the environment both in spellwork and in speech and action on the physical plane.

May wisdom prevail.

ADDENDUM: Somehow I forgot to mention that Drumph has the Nuclear Codes, and does not require anyone else's approval to launch them.  Binding him might buy us the time we need to win the war against Christian Dominionism, Or to even....I

Monday, July 18, 2016

Love and the Headless Chunky Shapeshifter in Modern 'Literature'

I'm noticing a disturbing trend in romantic fantasy literature. I call it the Headless Chunky Male Shapeshifter trend. These books can be identified by the picture on the cover of a large white man's well-built chest and no face - there being no room on the cover to waste on such a triviality. Or maybe it costs more for an artist to paint a face. Dunno.Also there is a picture in the background or the bottom-left of whatever creature the character turns into.
I subscribe to two lists of free and cheap Kindle books that arrive in my inbox daily. They know I like Fantasy literature, so this type of book is thrown into the mix.
my mother used to read novels of this ilk, except that they were all real-world stories that didn't include anything magical or paranormal- just lots of sleaze that was peddled as literature. That was before vampires and werewolves became mainstream, back when you could still consider yourself edgy for reading Anne Rice.
Maybe Anne was the one responsible for making vampires mainstream. Maybe it was the Twilight series. Maybe it's been evolving that way for some time. I remember Frank Langella climbing the wall in the 70's version of Dracula, and my 15-year-old mind and body going haywire to the point where the girls I was with asked if I was all right. Shape changers have always been sexy for me, but then I was the odd one out. I was what we would now call a "girl geek' - a title I would proudly have claimed. I didn't know the word,"Geek" then, and this was decades before the word would be claimed as a term of respect and camaraderie. I knew that a lot of boys were into Star Wars, and no girls besides me. I really didn't know anybody of either gender who was into Paranormal fiction.
Skip forward to the twenty-tens: Every mediocre writer who wants to be published is putting out a paranormal fantasy novel. Either that, or an Outland-type romance featuring time travel. Like "it worked for Twilight and Outland, so if I follow the same formula to the letter, it will work for me," kinda thing.
While I realize that mediocre copycat literature will always be with us, what bothers me most now is the way men are depicted on the covers. It's de-humanizing. It's like you're telling a story about a woman who falls in love with a bulky chest, not the man who owns it.
And what is it about a human chest that is even fascinating in a story about a shape-shifter? To me it's like, Never Mind what he looks like as a human; he can turn into a FUCKING DRAGON for gods' sake! He could be the Guy who Gets Sand Kicked in his Face at the Beach, and once he turns into a dragon, or a wolf, or a bat, he's absolutely got my attention. More so, in fact, if his human persona is one that can be easily overlooked.

Oh, that and a decent storyline that isn't constantly interrupted by pages and pages of passion and innuendo that fail to move the story forward at all. You see, I can find porn online any time. If I'm reading a book, I want the story, thank you very much.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I tried Portugese Knitting. Here's what I discovered.

A few years ago, prompted by a class on Craftsy, I ventured off the beaten track and tried my hand at Continental knitting. I had read that it is easier on the hands and faster than English knitting. All this was true. Unfortunately it took me a long while for my stitches in Continental to be a regular as my stitches in English. Thus I was not able to immediately  apply the new method to the projects I was already working on.
In fact it turned out that the only way I could make Continental work for me was to do everything the instructor on Craftsy said not to do, such as wrapping the string around my finger to control the tightness. Really I think I might have picked up the skill quicker if I'd had less 'instruction.'

Meanwhile, I'd also heard of a thing called "Portuguese Knitting" and had vowed to learn that skill once I could afford the Craftsy class. There was no need to wait though; The two videos below were more than sufficient to teach me all I needed to know. The first video teaches how to do a knit stitch; the second, how to do a purl stitch.

It took me about two minutes of watching the video to "get it." I started out first on some scrap yarn, but quickly moved to my major project.The knitting was coming out fine and there was no need to spend more time practicing.
One thing I do recommend is to get a Portuguese Knitting Pin. Because while you can wrap the yarn around the back of your neck, this makes it hard to pick up and put down your knitting at a moments notice, especially if you have long hair.
If you are learning to knit for the first time, I highly recommend that you start with the Portuguese style. It will save you having to learn it later when your hands start aching or you want to knit faster.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thoughts on becoming Pagan Clergy

The following is an excerpt from something I have been studying in preparation for the Correllian Ministry.  It was an address to the clergy of the Church of Gaia, back in the day. The essay is called "What Gaeists Believe" and it's published as part of "Correllian Philosophy" 
This really struck me, as I have been trying to pin down why I want to become a Correllian Minister, and what that will mean for my life and purpose. The 'energies' referred to are those of the changing age, and the power and destruction, and eventually rebirth, that will accompany them.

"...At this time we Priests and Priestesses have the special
task of understanding and assisting these energies and
those affected by them.
In becoming a Priest or Priestess you commit to helping
both the planet and society as well as individuals. There
will be many problems and crises on both large and
personal scales with which you may be called upon to
help, as well as the High Magic of Priestcraft. You must
be caring and compassionate to those who look to you for
guidance, yet also be strong enough not to be misused.
You must be teacher both of universal truth and correct
action, and a facilitator of universal life –helping those
who turn to you to overcome all blockages and hindrances
to their own greatest potential. You are taking them and
helping them to find their places in the universe, and to
weather and even rejoice in the coming changes. You
must be their advisor and friend, their leader when
needed, and their defender and protector. To be a Priest/
Priestess is not an easy path. It is a vocation –a calling,
not a job. It requires courage, persistence, and dedication,
as well as psychic and magical training. It is a high calling,
not accepted lightly. Yet the rewards are great. The world
will change. The changes can be easy or hard, the results
to our liking or not –it is to guide this that we are called. If
we do not, the world will change without us. It is a window
of great opportunity in which great things can be done, if
we choose to do them. This is the choice put before you.
Think on it well, for it is not a one-time choice, but a
choice to be remade and more deeply made each day. A
steep path leading to great heights and ancient magical
things. Think on it well".

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A perspective from the Front Lines

My friend Janelle Wintersteen, whom I've known longer than any other person on the face of this earth, has this to say about the lifting of the Gay Marriage Ban in Idaho, and the role played by the local Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship:

" I watched the couples with marriage licenses come out of the courthouse and what struck and humbled me was how far the general community has come from the implicit and public demand when I first came out, for secrecy. For most people, LGBT and not, the first condition of gay life was secrecy. This was a demand that came both form the "straight' side and from the LGTB side. Older Lesbian women whom I met could be made physically ill at the thought of coming out. The hidden Lesbian life that I encountered was ridden with alcohol, characterised by" serial monogomy" and organized into all sorts of groups who were suspecious of other groups. The secrecy and repression had motivated this. I could come out at BUUF (the Boise Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship) and I was coming out at work, but it was several years after I began coming out before I met Lesbians who were feminists and unafraid, cheerful and encouraging. Wednesay, October 15, what I teared up over was not the marriages but the fact it was done , joyously, in front of Boise, the entire population of Idaho, and beyond. That is the change I rejoice in and I do not take it for granted.

   Wednesday what humbled me was the amount of Unitarian-Universalist's on the courthouse plaza. I chose the right group, one of the most wise decisions I ever made in my life. Because you are not so personally involved with LGTB life, it is sometimes easier for you to push new freedoms forward when I have a "yeah, that's the way it has always been" attitude. I am not naturally a leader who can bring people together and I deeply appreciate those with more leadership than I have stepped forward time after time, especially now in the planning for the "At Last party." I am delighted by Micheal Casias and Sara Olsen's leadership of the Rainbow Connection. They are fresh and original and hard working-they would ben any situation and I am thankful that it is ROC benefiting from their talents.

    The morning that brought  LGTB marriage to Idaho was one of the many times that I felt very glad that I have seem such changes in my adult life time among and within the members of the LGTB cummunity. I am very thankful for the moves and shovers among LGTB and I know that people in this congregation have helped empower those leaders and added their many talents and good energy to the effort. There is still more work to be done, but I am taking the time to pause and tell you all how much I thank you all at this Boise Unitarian Universalist church and how much I appreciate you."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mykah's 2d Birthday!

Mykah Alexa opening her birthday present from us. She's 2 on Friday!