Saturday, January 23, 2010

No, I Don't Think So.

Kali on a cucumber sandwich.

Warlock? A warlock? Is this 1966? The High Priest of British White Witches? Please.

Officers in Dorset have been contacted by a warlock, or male witch, who claimed the plaits are used in rituals by followers of “knot magick”, also known as “cord magick”.

But Kevin Carlyon, the Hastings-based self-proclaimed High Priest of British White Witches, told The Argus some plaits or knots could be evidence of devil-worship or black magic.

He said mostly the practice by “white witches” is harmless and intended for the witch to benefit from the horse’s natural power or as a gift or tribute if they see horses as sacred animals.

Mr Carlyon said plaiting has also been known to precede ritual mutilation of horses in black magic.

Give me a fucking break.

Photo found here.

Imbolc Is Coming

If you stop and listen, and dig your toes a bit into the still-quite-cold ground, you can feel Mother Earh beginning to get juicy, getting ready to stir, starting to dream of growth. I saw it all of a sudden when I walked into the dining room.

Picture by the author; if you copy, please link back.

Things That Make You Laugh

What's really sad is that these all made me laugh.

Democrats (who are not named Grayson) suck.

And, fuck you, Tim Kaine. Goddess, could we please have fewer pro-coat-hanger catholics in our party leadership for a change?

/hat tip to Mike, in comments at Eschaton

Image found here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh, Yeah, It's Ours And You Can't Have Any. You Going To Finish That?

Tomorrow is National Pie Day

In 1644 Oliver Cromwell banned eating pie, saying it was a Pagan pleasure and it wasn't [un]banned until 16 years later.

I'll have the bourbon pecan, please.

Picture found here.

A Song For Friday Nights

Ladies, Lots Of Luck.

Interesting article in the WaPo about the strict punishments Rome is handing out to women who dare to question their second-class status in the catholic church.

Shortly after being punished, she attended Mass at her local parish with her sister and mother. She was forbidden to take Communion, but her mother and sister decided to share their hosts with her. Other parishioners dropped pieces of their hosts into her hands. By the ritual's end, her hands were full.

And, you know, fuck that priest. How fucking dare he reduce that woman to standing there with empty hands, filled up with crumbs from others?

Interesting that the WaPo capitalizes "Communion" isn't it? I'm certain that "Cakes and Ale" would get the same treatment. No, I'm not.

Picture found here.

Friday Poetry Blogging

PLEASURE by Diane Lockward

No golden fleece, apple, parachute, or purse,
but that sexy red dress you couldn't afford now on sale,
Cape Cod light captured on the artist's easel,
a bowl of mushroom barley soup to slurp,
and under the sofa the pearl
you thought you'd lost, a rule
broken without penalty, no need to reap
the wild oats you sowed. Each night you ease
into dreams, and while you sleep,
the skin cream you bought really does erase
lines and wrinkles. Outside, goldfinches bright as lemon peels.

Photo by the author. If you copy, please link back.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My New Name For A Blog

What Thers Said.

Go Ground

What I have to say is: go ground.

Yes, Democratic politicians, including those in whom we really, really, really wanted to hope, are timid, corporatist tools. Yes, the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Go ground.

This was a skirmish, not the war. We're losing the war, too, but that means that you should go ground.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hey, Harry!

I have a suggestion for Harry Reid. Do the only honorable thing left. No, not seppuku. Seppuku is what you do when there are no other honorable things left that you can do. And, Harry, you still have an honorable choice left.

Announce that you are no longer a candidate for the Senate from the State of Nevada. And then, go all out on health care reform. Let a real Democrat run in Nevada. If they lose, well, no loss, Harry, you're going to lose, as well. Go down fighting.

You used to be a boxer. That takes physical courage that I can't imagine. Now, show us that you've got the other kind of courage, the kind that matters.

Do the right thing, Harry. Seppuku is always an option for later.

I Stole This From Twisty

New Law Requires Women To Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion

And I'm down with all of it, as soon as guys have to do the same thing before they jack off.

Just Because

May The Goddess Guard Her. May She Find Her Way To The Summerlands. May Her Friends And Family Know Peace.


What is remembered does not die.

More here.

Yup, That About Sums It Up.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Witches share with mystics from every religious and cultural background a common insight into the nature of reality. The day-to-day world of apparently separate things -- its tasks and worries, its striving, lonely, consciousness -- is an illusion. Like a veil, it covers an infinitely complex, unified, and joyful dance of ever-becoming, ensouled creation.

~Starhawk in Twelve Wild Swans.

Picture found here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Speechless

It takes a lot to leave me so flabbergasted that I can't think what to say:

Bible verses inscribed on Marine rifle sights with tax dollars.

I'm going to re-think that whole "drink less" resolution.

Gus has the details.

Daily Practice

On this day when we honor Dr. King, I am reminded of something that Starhawk wrote:

The power of our outer work in the world depends on the depths of our connection to the springs of life that feed us. To make our work effective, and to say sane while doing it, we need a strong, daily personal practice.

What's yours?

Mine, these days, is to feed the birds in my bare feet, even when it's v cold out on the deck, to carry a mug of hot coffee into my ritual room, move my old bones into a sitting position on the yoga blanket on the floor before my altar, ground and connect with this tiny bit of Potomac watershed, light the candles and incense, call the Elements, call the Goddesses with whom I'm in deepest relationship, cast a circle, and say the Ha Prayer. Then, I cleanse my chakras and run the Iron Pentacle. If I have time, or need, I go to my Place of Power and either do magic or get a message. Then, I thank the Goddesses and the Elements and open my circle.

It's all real; it's all metaphor. There's always more.

Picture found here.

My New Name For A Blog

What NTodd Said.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Living With Peak Oil

Obama Restaurant Watch -- Birthday Edition

Delighted to see the First Couple enjoyed dinner at my all-time favorite DC restaurant.

I love Nora and have never had a mediocre meal there, ever.

Picture found here.

How Do You Nourish Yourself In The January Cold?

Most of my life, I've felt as if I've been, as Sister Tarsisus used to say, "Cheating St. Peter to pay St. Paul." Spending time raising Son when I should have been studying, spending time studying when I should have been raising Son. Earning extra money tutoring when I should have been home with Son, spending time tutoring when I should have been exercising. Spending time studying law when I should have been grading papers, spending time grading papers when I should have been writing footnotes for Law Review.

This morning, I dropped G/Son off at his home with every intention of heading in to work. But the rain and the mist and the bare branches somehow steered me home and sent me into the kitchen to cook up for the coming week all the bounty that my CSA delivers to my door and all the fruits and vegetables that can contribute to my word for this year: Vitality.

This recipe for bok choy with garlic and ginger* is incredibly simple and v good, either cold for lunch or warmed over rice with tofu, or chicken, or rockfish for dinner. The one secret is peanut oil, which I don't think is as healthy as olive oil, but which adds so much flavor to the dish. I'm also baking butternut squash with cinnamon, roasting eggplant with honey and chili, and warming pineapple and banana in cinnamon butter.

What are you doing to nourish yourself this weekend?

*Cut up ginger and garlic; brown in peanut oil. Add bok choy. Brown for a minute. Add chicken broth or vermouth or a nice Sancerre. Simmer until just tender. Easy/peasey. I found this on the internet, somewhere, and apologize for not remembering where.

Photos by the author. If you copy, please link back.

Why We Have Knights

Yesterday was one of the warmest, driest days we've had in months, and G/Son and I got out in the afternoon and he ran, and ran, and ran. Son was a cross-country runner of some renown in high school and I'm thinking that this apple didn't fall too far from the tree. It's just a thing of beauty to watch how happy it makes G/Son to be out in the fresh air, running hard. His cheeks pink up, his muscles stretch in a way that will bring him deep sleep in the evening, and you can almost literally watch him becoming more himself. We've got a pattern down: he can run like the wind until he gets to the bend in the curve, the bench at the corner, the fountain way up the hill. Then he has to wait for his old Nonna to (almost) catch up. As he takes off again, he often calls back in pure joy, "I'm too fast! You can't catch me!" He's right. But that's a feature, not a bug. He just doesn't know yet that he's, in Gibran's words, the living arrow of my living arrow.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Today, it's pouring rain and the cold goes right through your bones, so G/Son and I were stuck inside. We watched the birds eat suet in the big bush outside the guest room, but we watched through the closed windows. And, we did some fun art with stickers of knights and dragons and valiant ladies and a stickerboard that showed a castle on a hill, a sky, and a dark cave at the end of a road. I was encouraging G/Son to make up a story about the picture he was making, as a precursor to writing down such stories in a month or two so that we can learn to read them. He made up a great story that kept growing and changing as he added more stickers to the stickerboard. As he was working he said, "Nonna. Knights protect other people who don't have armour or swords."

So, you know, I didn't spend a few decades of my life on Authurian myth for nothing. I struck while the iron was hot and said, "You know, you're right. That's why King Arthur created knights. So that men who were strong and had money for things like horses and armour and swords would use those things to protect people who were weaker and poorer. And he was a very important person because he helped people to remember that protection and cultivation are the most important thing for men to do in the world, even at a time when a lot of people were forgetting it." And we went on from there to who King Arthur was, and what "once and future king" could mean, and the original meaning of "husband," and my promise to one day read him a book without pictures that told the story of how Arthur learned so much and became so associated with animals (which reminded me of some musings I'd been having the day before about why it's mostly male xian saints like Francis and Kevin who get associated with animals, but I didn't go into that w/G/Son) and about how sometimes befriending the dragon (at least the blue one that G/Son liked best out of all the sticker dragons) is even better than slaying it and about how a world without dragons needs to go create even worse dragons to take the place of the lost dragons. G/Son said to me, "Yeah, and dragons are like a new creation of dinosaurs, to take the place of the dinosaurs when they all became fossils. But dinosaurs didn't breathe fire, and dragons do."

And then, G/Son had some more oatmeal and Nonna had some more coffee and we curled back up in bed to watch one more cartoon from Batman Beyond. And I was all the way through typing this before "Dark Knight" registered in my left brain and I realized that we'd actually (that's one of G/Son's favorite words: "Actually, Nonna, . . . .") spent the weekend on a single theme. Silly, slow, old woman. There's a lot about the Batman cartoons that I don't like and there's something about them that deeply appeals to G/Son (and most young boys I've known.) And yet, and yet, . . . . I'm still willing to dance the dance between what I want to him to learn and between his need to, in the words of the poet, "learn by going where he has to go."

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.
We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.


And we saved the story about What Went Wrong and Why Arthur's Idea Didn't Quite Work (Although He Kind Of Realized What Was Missing) for another day.

Picture found here.