Saturday, April 22, 2006

Crowley's Hymn to Pan

Listening to the Thelemite podcast made me go and look up one of Crowley's milder sex poems, Hymn to Pan. My favorite lines are: Come with flute and come with pipe/Am I not ripe ?

Hymn to Pan

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man ! My man !
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan ! Io Pan .
Io Pan ! Io Pan ! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady !
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and styrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Coem with Apollo in bridal dress
(Spheperdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon, of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of of the amber fount !
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantoness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain -come over the sea,
(Io Pan ! Io Pan !)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man ! my man !
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill !
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring !
Come with flute and come with pipe !
Am I not ripe ?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion, and sharp as an asp-
Come, O come !
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All devourer, all begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye
And the token erect of thorny thigh
And the word of madness and mystery,
O pan ! Io Pan !
Io Pan ! Io Pan ! Pan Pan ! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan ! Io Pan !
Io pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Iam awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan ! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan ! Io Pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Pan !
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold , I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end.
Mannikin, maiden, maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Pan ! Io Pan !

What CAN'T You Find On The Internets?

Wow, even the Thelamites are into podcasting! Uncle Aelister would have approved, I think, in his own crochety way.

Beltane, Beltane, Beltane!

The BBC has a nice, albeit kind of dry, article on Beltane that stresses the fire-festival aspect of my favorite holiday.

Sunday (Almost) Akhmatova Blogging

"You, Who Was Born..."


You, who was born for poetry's creation,
Do not repeat the sayings of the ancients.
Though, maybe, our Poetry, itself,
Is just a single beautiful citation.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, July, 2002
Edited by Tatiana Piotroff, September, 2002


I took last week off from Akhmatova. I'm reading her and thinking about her, but she's still not really communicating with me. And, yet, Russians adored her. Her latest biography, which I'm longing to read, is called Anna of all the Russias. So I know there must be more there than I'm getting.

A poetess only has one tool -- her language. And Akhmatova's tool was Russian, which I don't speak. But I love the sound of it. You know how some languages just SOUND sexy? For some people, that's French or Italian. For me, it's Russian. I love even the way that the names sound. And, as I've said before, I don't believe Akhmatova translates well.

The translation above is a good example. I can imagine what she was trying to get across, perhaps to a poet with whom she was in love. But it hurts. Why is it "you who was" rather than "you who were"? I'm sure the translator picked the one word over the other for a reason, but it simply sounds so awkward to my ear that I lose the romantic sense of the poem -- a poetess to whom poetry is the highest value, speaking to a lover as one born to create poetry -- due to the dissonance of the words.

I do like "a single beautiful citation." That works and, Bluebooker extraordinaire that I am, I've actually seen and appreciated beautiful citations. It's an art, like poetry. And I can understand why, to one who loves capital-P-Poetry, being a mere citation would seem as if it were, somehow, not enough. Ah, Anna. Am I going to get to appreciate you or will I have to give up, defeated?

A poetess only has her language to wield as a tool. Anna may have wielded Russian so well that only a speaker of Russian can love her the way that I love Mary Oliver, or Dorothy Parker, or Adrienne Rich. We'll see.

Happy Motherfucking Earth Day!

So, it's finally here! All the Earth Day gifts are heaped under the Earth Day tree, while all the old familiar Earth Day songs play softly in the background. In just a little while, the children will wake up and gather round to hear the Earth Day story, unwrap their Earth Day gifts, and look inside their Earth Day baskets to see what Gaia brought them. Then, the whole family, all three or four generations, will head off to church, or temple, or synagogue, or grove and give thanks for our lovely Earth on Earth Day. Finally, everyone will head to Grandma's for the traditional Earth Day feast, followed by naps, football, and lots of happy family time together. Truth to be told, you're almost glad that all the fuss is over. Earth Day ads have been on the radio and tv for months and it seems as if every year, Earth Day gets more and more commercialized and we move farther away from the true meaning of Earth Day.

What? You're kidding?!?! You didn't even know that today's Earth Day? You're not even sure what Earth Day is or what it's for or what you're supposed to do on Earth Day?!?!?! All you have is a vague notion that it's some hippie-dippy tree-hugging relic from the 1970s?!? How could that be? Goddess knows, if ever there were a planet in need of some attention, it's our current Earth. So how did Earth Day turn into a nothing, a non-event, a minor opportunity for politicians to give speeches in the few remaining national parks (after their aides find the one or two vistas not marred by oil wells or old-growth logging -- thanks George Bush, you motherfucker!) about how "Every day is Earth Day!"?????

Well, I suppose there are a number of reasons. But the main one is that holidays in America are only real if someone can make some money off of them. We celebrate Secretary's Day with more consistency than Earth Day because the card companies, florists, and restaurants make money from Secretary's Day -- a holiday that they pretty much invented over the past 20 years or so. Valentine's Day, ditto, although its history goes back a bit farther. Mother's Day, ditto and add the phone companies. Memorial Day makes money for the beach resorts and beer companies and charcoal sellers. And gas stations. Thanksgiving and xmas speak for themselves as orgies of spending and consumption. But Earth Day? I guess the nurseries and environmental clean-up folks aren't too bright because no one seems to make much money off of Earth Day. Hence, it's pretty much gone the way of Arbor Day.

Like so much of what happened back in the early 70s concerning energy and the environment, Earth Day represents, in many ways, a huge lost opportunity. As gas approaches $90 barrel, we can't help but wish that some of Jimmy Carter's energy initiatives, both conservation and development, hadn't been allowed to languish for the past 30 years. Too bad we didn't spend that time getting ourselves off oil and preventing global warming. Too bad we didn't clean up the air, and our water, and our food supply while we had cheap energy to do it with. Too bad we didn't take rational, painless steps to control population such as providing accurate sex education, free safe birth control, and incentives to limit reproduction. As our planet reaches the tipping point in terms of environmental catastrophe, I can't help but wish that the promise of Earth Day had been realized rather than relegated to the junk heap of third-rate holidays.

I was recently re-reading one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems:


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

I suppose the question that she asks is the most important question that can be asked here at the beginning of the 21st Century: Do you love this world? If you do, how will you show your love? Here's an easy thing to do. Go order some free trees. (OK, you have to pay for the shipping, but the trees are free). Plant them. If you live in an apartment or condo, plant them in a near-by abandoned lot or park or in a friend's yard. Commit guerrila actions and plant them along highways or beside parking lots. Mother Earth needs more trees.

Thursday, April 20, 2006



Well some over-ambitious fool ordered about 50 coleus plants which showed up today, even though I'm still trying to plant a bunch of mint seedlings and hollyhock seedlings that I grew. Oh, and all three moonflower seedlings and some morning glory seedlings. The parsley and lime balm are so far along that they could stand to be cut back, but Goddess knows when I'd find time to cook anything with them since I need to plant like a maniac between now and when the rain (please, Goddess!) starts tomorrow afternoon. I need to get the seedlings planted and off the screen porch so I can clean the screen porch for Beltane.

I adore Beltane. For many witches, Samhein (that's Halloween for those of you unused to the Wiccan vocabulary) is sort of THE high holy day of the Wiccan calendar, but for me, it's always been Beltane. By Beltane, (May 1st) it's really and truly Spring. There are, here in Zone 7 (aka, Arlington, Virginia), azaleas, and violets, and Solomon's Seal blooming. The peonies aren't blooming yet, but they're back up above the ground, promising to make love to the ants very, very soon. Ditto the iris, and I planted loads and loads of black ones (merci, GWPDA!) last fall and it looks as if they all made it through the winter. Merci, also, to the squirrels, who didn't eat them, even though this was a very lean (aka acorn-scarce) winter for them. My lawn looks, if I say so myself, like the softest green carpet you ever saw and all you want to do when you see it is to pull everything off your feet and let your feet and the grass make love to each other.

Beltane is when the ancient Pagans built the Beltane fires on the hills and danced the maypole and ran off into the meadows and woods to perform the Great Rite. The Great Rite is sympathetic magic at its best: Look Mother Earth! We're procreating and being fertile and mixing it up like mad! You do the same, OK?? Babies born in January, Beltane-got, were considered lucky.

Of course, the xians tried to appropriate Beltane, making May Day a feast of Mary. I can remember as a child being fascinated with the altar we set up in our living room to Mary in May and the fresh flowers we picked every day for the plaster statue of Mary, bare foot on a snake. I suppose it's no surprise that as an adult I keep an altar to the Goddess, primarily in the form of Hecate, in my home. The Soviets tried to appropriate May Day from the xians, making it a Worker's Holiday and using it to parade their military might. But, in the end, the Goddess gets back her own. From April 30th through May 1st, Pagans all over the world, including my little circle of women, will celebrate Beltane.

We'll worship Venus, and Aphrodite, and Isis, and Amateresu, and Yemaya, and other Goddesses of love, beauty, sex, sensuality. We'll light the Beltane fire, weave crowns of roses, and lilies, and carnations, and lilacs, throw offerings to the Beltane fire, drink pink champagne, eat lovely food, and dance until we're exhausted. And then . . . .

Appropriate, isn't it, that Beltane comes just after Earth Day? I'll have a bit more to say about Earth Day in the next couple of days.

A Tale of Two Georges

Would George stand for this abuse of power?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some Good News About Breast Cancer Treatment

Today's WaPo reports that raloxifene prevents breast cancer in post-menopausal women as well at Tamoxifen, but without some of Tamoxifen's side effects. Good for osteoporosis, as well.

Addressing Global Warming, One Investment Dollar At A Time

From today's EEI newsletter, it's clear that:


AES to Invest $1 Billion in Alternative Energy Over Next Three Years

AES plans to invest about $1 billion into its alternative energy business over the next three years, with half of that going into wind-generated power, the Washington Post reported today. William Luraschi, AES executive VP of business development, was quoted by the Post as saying: "Energy consumption is growing and we don't see that changing. Traditional ways of meeting that are not going to be sufficient."

Dow Jones Newswires wrote that AES "said it intends to expand its existing alternative energy businesses in wind power generation, biomass and the development of liquefied natural gas."

The company has earmarked $250 million for "projects that would take advantage of new international regulations on the emission of greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol and the European Union's emission trading system."

Wrote the Post: "In 2008, most countries will be required to keep their greenhouse emissions at or below certain ceilings. Companies unable to meet those standards will have to pay penalties or buy credits from companies that have them to sell. AES plans to develop projects that will generate credits to sell, either by reducing emissions at existing plants or by nurturing agricultural or forestry projects considered beneficial for the environment."

AES also has entered strategic partnerships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and XL TechGroup to develop new alternative-energy technologies, according to an AES news release.
Washington Post , April 18; AES news release , Dow Jones Newswires , April 17.


Newspaper: Media Needs to Relax on Climate Change Issue

In an editorial published in Investor's Business Daily, the newspaper pointed out that not too long ago, the media was reporting on global cooling, not warming. Wrote the newspaper: "The earth warms. The earth cools. Al Gore and his media friends should just chill."

For example, the editorial stated that the New York Times reported Sept. 14, 1975, that global cooling "may mark the return to another ice age" that "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable," and the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950," the editorial pointed out.
Investor's Business Daily, editorial , April 17.

Oh, Opus Dei, I Know What You Should Do! You Should Bite Me

Via Witchvox, Yahoo reports that Opus Dei has their thorn-encrusted garters in a twist over the way that the movie The Da Vinci Code portrays the whack-job fundie Catholic group. They're demanding a disclaimer at the beginning of the film as a "sign of respect." Where the fuck do these people get off? Dudes, you're crazy and your leader is a gay, Hitler-Youth, vampire. No one respects you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

How Not To Take A Deposition

My son suggests they might want to start awarding CLEs for viewing this.

Yeah, Good Luck With That, Wal-Morons

Wal-Mart wants media to focus on customer

By MarketWatch
Last Update: 4/14/2006 5:00:09 PM

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Executives at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., facing a rising chorus of criticism about labor practices and efforts to move into banking, will try to shift the focus to customers this week when they make a series of presentations to the media.