Saturday, January 31, 2009

Compare And Contrast

Check it out.

Next time, I want a woman holding the pen and a bunch of grateful men standing around.

Feast Of The Red Dragon; You Have To Go

From the DC Radical Faeries:

Greetings Faeries and Friends of the Faeries,

The Feast of the Red Dragon is upon us again, and the dragon is calling to us!

Time and Place Date: Saturday, February 14, 2009
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Renaissance Hall, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Street: 400 I St. S.W.
City: Washington, DC

For complete information and to purchase advance tickets visit the Red Dragon page


The Red Dragon Feast is an annual magical feast and fundraiser for healing blood-borne disease. Donations benefit community building and a local charity committed to healing blood borne disease. This year's charitable donation will go to Food and Friends. Along with nutrition counseling, Food & Friends prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 1,400 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout Washington, DC, 7 counties of Maryland and 7 counties and 6 independent cities in Virginia. Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided food and companionship to our clients, their loved ones and caregivers.

Our local practice of the Red Dragon Feast is to…

gather near Valentines Day wearing red outfits
drum and dance with the Red Dragon
feast on red foods
offer raucus toasts of red drink
honor those who have died of blood borne disease
call for strength for healers
call for insight for researchers
call for comfort and healing for all who suffer

Our intention is to venerate the Red Dragon to battle against blood-borne disease.

All Hail the Red Dragon!
All Hail the Life Giving Blood!

Please, do NOT bring food. Please, DO bring red items for auction.

Please do bring cash or cards for donations.
Please wear your dancing shoes.
Please, wear RED!

With blessings and Love,

Every year, this event is one of the most fun, and most magical, Pagan events in DC. Put on something red and go!

Picture found here.

Imagine Imbolc

Underneath her blanket of ice and snow, Mother Earth is doing amazing things. Here's one of my Midnight Mystic black hyacinths peaking up from under the snow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Miss Parker

My New Name For A Blog

What Ericka Said.

It's just another indication of how far we have to go: how free "good liberals" felt to rip Sarah Palin a new one over her child bearing choices. And, trust me, I'd have probably agreed w/ Son and DiL and moved to Ireland if Palin had been elected. There were a million and one policy reasons to want Palin to lose the election. Yet a great way to get yourself blasted on a number of v liberal blogs was to suggest that if Palin wanted to deliver her Downs Syndrome baby in Alaska, that was her choice.

But everyone in America, and I mean everyone, feels free to criticize women for their reproductive choices. Why? It's a way to keep women down and fighting w each other instead of fighting together against patriarchy. The "helicopter moms" can feel superior to the woman who gives birth blackberry-in-hand, and the women who choose not to have children can spend their lives explaining their choice to relatives who think those women are "selfish." Women who breast feed can look down on women who don't, and women who don't have a second child can spend their lives explaining why they "denied" their child a sibling. No matter what reproductive or child-rearing choice a woman makes, someone, somewhere, can criticize her for it. It's interesting how this sort of criticism always seems to focus on the woman, isn't it?

As Ericka notes, the latest target is a woman who gave birth this week to octuplets. I'm a huge advocate of population control and I'd probably go along with measures to remove the "tragedy of the commons effect" of big families that would give a lot of liberals pause. I think that we should, at the least, be doing everything that we can, educationally, socially, etc. to convince people to limit the size of their families. I can almost, in the words of the song, hear the planet groan every time it registers another birth.

But choice means choice. If society and the government can tell me not to have more children when I'm poor or whatever, then they can tell me to have more children than I want if that's what the government -- which we've all seen is way too vulnerable to take-over by Christianists -- decides that it wants to do.

And I refuse to engage in the game of tearing down and criticizing another woman --whatever her religion, politics, financial situation, class, etc. -- for her reproductive choices. I want to support other women, not tear them down. Shawna Carol's lyrics:

"When you look in your sister's eyes,
Praise her, praise her,
For she's been laid down
For centuries, "

ring v true for me. We'd be a lot better off if all the energy devoted to hating on this woman went into changing the pressures that society puts on women to make them believe they're incomplete w/o a baby.

And, requisite disclosure: I love kids. I had one who is, still, 35 years later, the absolute best thing that ever happened to me in a life blessed every day by mystical joy I don't even know how to describe, a great career, financial success, a circle of amazing witches, poetry, art, gardening, tea, and great and good friends. (Perhaps part of my great commitment to choice is the realization that many would have said that, at 17, uneducated, spinning out from a dysfunctional family, poor, I shouldn't have been allowed to bear. Yet Son turned out to be a wonderful, kind, caring man with a sparkling sense of humor. He's a wonderful lawyer who does amazing pro bono work and complex litigation. He got an Ivy League education and married a wonderful woman and lawyer. My reproductive choice was better left to me; how can I say less for any other woman?) Spending time with his son is the absolute high point of every week for me and I've been looking forward all week to taking him to the nature center and library tomorrow. I was at a sister-witch's house on Sunday and playing with her bright three-year-old. When I said that I had to leave to go to work he said, "But I will miss you!" and snuggled up next to me. All week, I've remembered that moment fondly when I was pulling all-nighters at work or slogging through the ice and snow. It's possible, really it is, to, at the same time: love kids, want there to be fewer of them, and support other women in their reproductive choices, even if I wouldn't have made the same choice.

So, What Ericka Said.

Picture by Anne Geddes found here.

Friday Cat Blogging

Miss Thing spent two nights alone during the storm. She was not amused.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who Knew?

The WaPo reports votes on Obama's stimulus bill by Astrological sign, although, oddly, they list the signs in alphabetical order.

I'm no astrologist, but the results are interesting. There are 55 crabby Cancers in Congress, 50 two-faced, fast-talking Geminis, 45 people-pleasing Libras, and 42 critical Virgos. Only 33 idealistic Aquarians and a mere 29 each of practical Capricorns, free-spirited Sags, and stubborn Taureans.

What explains all those Cancers?

Picture found here.

Women, In General, Are The Lani Guinier Of The Obama Administration

Well, that didn't take long.

You know, I wouldn't like it, but I could understand it, if Obama sold women down the river in some back-room deal where he got something in exchange for it. You know, "OK, Republicans, we won't give women access to family planning, and, in exchange, you'll vote for increased unemployment benefits," or funds for light rail, or money for solar panels, or, hell, SOMETHING.

But, no. Obama sold us down the river and got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the Republicans. Not a promise of future cooperation, not an agreement to quit sniping, nothing. Nice work.

So when the Obama administration does find itself backed into a corner and forced to do something good for women, it happens as late as possible on a Friday afternoon and with as little fanfare as possible. When it fucks over women, it does so publicly and for no reason at all. Not off to an especially auspicious start, are we Barack? But, then, women are, after all, likeable enough.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baba Yaga

Susun Weed has a great story about Baba Yaga and knitting and winter and cooperation and creativity and compost and what happens when we give back to the Earth.

When the snow begins to fall under tonight's Dark Moon, here on the banks of the frozen Potomac River, I will remember Baba Yaga, I will think of the hats and mittens and scarves and sweaters that I've knitted for Son, and G/Son, and G/Nephew, and I will dream each of them warm and safe and secure.

Baba Yaga is special to me and she's one of the Goddesses that I often invoke when I sit at my altar. To me, she's always seemed oddly modern, a tanned old woman with strong muscles, some gold jewelry, and the ability to look chic with her headscarf tied behind her neck, a la Jackie O. (Look. You relate to Baba Yaga your way and I'll relate to Baba Yaga my way. H'ok, bubbla?)

At least once a month, a make I recipe from Susun Weed's book on breast cancer prevention.

Soak some seaweed in water.

Saute some cabbage and onions and grated carrots in olive oil.

Chop up and add the seaweed. Add the water in which you soaked the seaweed.

Add a bit of tamari sauce.

If you liked, here's where you could add some tofu, or chicken, or shrimp, or fish.

Sprinkle w sunflower seeds.

Even if you think that you hate cabbage or seaweed, you'll like this.

Picture of Baba Yaga found here.

My New Name For A Blog

As ever and as always, What Twisty Said.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fucking Comcast

Here's a great big "Fuck You!" to Comcast, the nation's second-largest provider of internet service. They won't let me link to it, but this video, entitled: "Witches Sweep DC Clean for Obama," is the top one in their "News of the Weird" right now. "News of the Weird" shows up when you open your internet browser if you use Comcast. Other videos in today's "News of the Weird" include: "Wife Sues for Lack of Sex" and "Fisherman Lost at Sea for Month in Icebox."

Of course, what the video shows is a religious ritual and magic working conducted by three rather-well-known and respected local Pagans. There's absolutely nothing "weird" about it. Here, for example, is the lovely prayer offered by my friend Angela, who priestesses a Pagan group in DC:

I open my heart to the heart of the Universe and
call upon the power of the sacred living Waters
to be with us.

I call to the tears of the Goddess to wash through us
To cleanse and heal our nation’s wounds
To wash away all that stands in our way
All that keeps us from reaching out and fully connecting with each other.

I call to the spirits of the rivers that flow through this land
to bring abundance and joyful life
to all beings who live here, work here, and play here.
to keep the heart of our nation
flowing strong and clean and free.

I ask the spirits of the rain that nourishes our land
to bring compassionate awareness and action
to the heart of our nation.
Help our leaders to actually care about those they lead
Help each of us here at this ritual, attending the inauguration, or watching it on TV
to open our hearts more fully
to embody the sacredness, and love, and healing that
we all so desperately need.

I call on the power of the sacred living Waters
to be with us here and now in this sacred circle,
in this sacred city, for this sacred event.

Blessed be.

Comcast, exactly what is it about that blessing that you find "weird"? What does that have in common with a wife suing for lack of sex?

Another blessing offered at the "weird" religious ceremony welcomed President Obama to Washington, D.C.:

I love Washington, DC. These are not words you hear very often. There are bumper stickers that say, I “heart” New York, but not DC. I love Washington, DC. This is a beautiful city. She is green and vibrant. She sings the subtle harmonies of jazz and the exuberant tones of go-go. She is Ben’s Chili bowl and Michel Richard’s Citronelle. She may never be trendy, but she is beautiful. She has been my home for the past 12 years, and is now the home of the Obama family. But, those of us who live in this city are often very aware that the world is focused on us, and usually not with thoughts of love and praise. This is why today I ask you to join me in blessing the spirit of our city, the nation’s city, Washington, DC.

Shaddai is a name my tradition uses when calling on the nurturing, creatix energy of the Divine. Shaddai is usually translated as God of the Mountains, but it is clearly related to “shaddayim,” the Hebrew word for breasts. It is a mother name. It is a name we use to tap into the most primal connection between mother and child. Shaddai can be nurturer or destroyer. Today I ask for the blessing of Shaddai on this city and those who live here.

May the Eternal bless you and keep you a vibrant and open city.

May the Eternal shine the Divine faces on you and show you grace that you may be a loving home for our new president and his family.

May the Eternal shine the Divine faces on you, and grant you wholeness and peace that you may support the work of tikkun hanefesh, repairing of the soul, that our country so badly needs.

President Obama, welcome to Washington. May this city embrace and support you and your family on this journey. Blessed Be and Amen.

Maybe Comcast's happy to be on record as calling it "weird" for someone with a Hebrew name to welcome the Obama family to DC?

It's safe to say that there is not one other religious group that Comcast would even consider treating this way. I don't care how small, how fringey, how different, no other religious group's prayer service or festival for the new administration would be listed under "News of the Weird." You could have a fundie minister lathering himself up into an eye-rolling, arm waving frenzy, you could have people from Appalachia handling snakes, you could have Native Americans burning sage, you could have Hindus burning demonesses and throwing colored water and powder at each other, you could have Quakers sitting in silence and quaking. No way Comcast would label a story about that "News of the Weird."

Comcast's CEO is Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Corporation. Comcast is located at 1 Comcast Center, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Their phone numbers are: 215-286-1700 and Toll Free: 800-266-2278.

Sunday Trakl Blogging


At evening the autumn woodlands ring
With deadly weapons. Over the golden plains
And lakes of blue, the sun
More darkly rolls. The night surrounds
Warriors dying and the wild lament
Of their fragmented mouths.
Yet silently there gather in the willow combe
Red clouds inhabited by an angry god,
Shed blood, and the chill of the moon.
All roads lead to black decay.
Under golden branching of the night and stars
A sister's shadow sways through the still grove
To greet the heroes' spirits, the bloodied heads.
And softly in the reeds Autumn's dark flutes resound.
O prouder mourning! - You brazen altars,
The spirit's hot flame is fed now by a tremendous pain:
The grandsons, unborn.

Georg Trakl