Saturday, November 13, 2010

People Keep Doing It; I'm Going to Keep Complaining About It

Here's a news article, admittedly written by a student (a freshman, one hopes, given the lack of organization), that manages, once again to demonstrate two of my pet peeves.

First, the author seems genuinely confused about the rules of capitalization. Take, for example:
As Shayne drifted away from Christianity, she learned more about paganism when she was in college.

Shane says 'paganism' is the general term for a variety of different religions, just as there are many denominations of Christianity. Paganism predates many of the monotheistic religions, including Judaism and Christianity.

Yet, at other times, we get:
Many holidays were originally Pagan-based. Halloween is called Samhain by Pagans, which represents the end of the year and is the shortest day in the year, Shayne explains.

If you're going to capitalize "Christianity," which is the name of a group of religions, then you should capitalize "Paganism," which is also the name of a group of religions. Simple.

And, then, of course, there's this:
Shane Camp, the president of the Pagan Alliance Club. He created the club because he says paganism is given a bad rap.

"There is a misconception that Pagans are Satan worshipers," says Lawhorne. For instance, the five points on the star, in Hollywood, represent evil and the calling of evil spirits. But Shayne says according to Pagan traditions, it is the calling of the five elements that make up life: water, air, earth, spirit and fire. It is a nature-based symbol.

As I've written many times before, this practice Pagans have of shooting themselves in the foot has got to stop. Shane, tell the reporter that you created the club so that campus Pagans could get together and discuss their religion, could organize the blood drives on campus that the article finally discusses, and could volunteer at the animal center. And there is NO reason to discuss the "misperception that Pagans are Satan worshipers." When you negate a frame, you invoke it. Besides, the main source of quotes about Pagans and Satan these days seems to me to be coming from -- Pagans.

Just stop it.

Picture found here.

Why Magic Works -- And Why It Takes Work

[The Second Law of Thermodynamics] has been simply summarized as follows: "The more complex a structure, the more energy it must dissipate to maintain all that complexity. This flux of energy make the system highly unstable, subject to internal fluctuations -- and sudden change. If these fluctuations or perturbations reach a critical size, they are amplified by the system's many connections and can drive the system into a new state -- even more ordered, coherent, and connected. The new state occurs as a sudden shift."

~Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize Winner, quoted in The Possible Human by Jean Houston.

Picture found here.

Saturday Garden Blogging

In Autumn, the leaves take over and it doesn't matter what color scheme you've worked on for your garden. And, it's wonderful.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kali Fuck

Yes, they'll know we are xians by our love, by our love. And they'll know we are xians by our love!


Lady of the Hounds

Hekate, Lady of Hounds
Dark-haired haunter of the crossroads
Threshold-crosser, Boundary-walker
Protect my home from all evil influences
From those who would wish me harm
And those who would harm me unwittingly
Dark-haired Goddess clad in spidersilk
The wolf and hound at Your side
The dark of the moon belongs to You
Hekate Triformus
Keeper of Keys and Walker of Ways
Let my partake of the secrets of the night
Let me speak with the animals at Your side
And share in Your khthonic wisdom
Let me return home to sleep in my bed once more,
To teach others of You, fierce Goddess
Let me be of Your wold,
Yet remain in mine.

~Amanda Sioux Blake in Bearing Torches; A Devotional Anthology for Hekate by Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Picture found here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey, Cindy, Go Talk to Your Old Man

Not Easy

Back from listening to the insightful and entertaining Janet Kane discuss levels of expression of each sign of the Zodiac.
You know, it's not easy to be a Pisces in this culture.

Based upon my 54 years of experience, I'd say that's about right. But like the YouTubes for gay teens, I would say that, "It does get better."

What's been the biggest challenge of living your sign?

Picture found here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

Autumn by William Morris

Laden Autumn here I stand
Worn of heart, and weak of hand:
Nought but rest seems good to me,
Speak the word that sets me free.

It's ok to be tired. That's what this season is for.

Picture found here.

Not Complicated

Can, we, however, please quit calling them the Bush "tax cuts" and call them what they really are: "The Bush Welfare for Paris Hilton Program"?

"No, But I've Thought It"

Oh, I hear you, babe.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And, Lately, There's a Lot to Be Bored By

Being in Relationship with Nature

The newsletter from G/Son's Montessori school (sent via paperless e-mail, the better to be shared w/ loving Nonnas!) has a wonderful article about helping each child to find a "sitting space" outside, someplace the child can go to to feel safe, alone, in nature.

Did you have a place like this, as a child?

When I was young, my sitting space was under a giant, old forsythia bush, big enough to have multiple rooms inside it, where you could crawl in under the branches and feel that you were, indeed, in your own little world. I made tea-sets out of sycamore leaves, stitched into little cups with their stems, crawled in there to read without being bothered, lay on my back and learned more than I knew at the time by watching how the sunlight filtered through the leaves and golden flowers.

When I got a bit older, I graduated to a secret cave made by three ancient pine trees, off in the far SouthWest of our yard, sappy branches for climbing and all. The needles made a fragrant bed and no sunlight penetrated here. I went there to "play Indian," "Indian" being about the only model I had for living in relationship with nature. I hid treasures there, watched the ants make colonies, and climbed up higher than my parents would have liked.

When I got even older, my sitting space was down beside a local creek, where I could watch water dance and play with stones, where I could project myself into dragonflies, skimming over the water, where I could put my hands on the sandy bank and believe myself home.

The newsletter from G/Son's school makes the point that ensuring a child a "sitting space" helps the child to develop a relationship with nature, especially as it changes from season to season. There's no program or structure. There's just a child, a special place, time, and nature.

I was thinking today that the concept reminds me of the speech that Le Petit Prince makes to the Earthly roses:
You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you — the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose
Except that, I think that the opposite thing happens. When one learns to enter into relationship with one particular bit of nature, when one learns to communicate with the genius loci of one place, one comes, somehow to a deeper appreciation of all nature.

But I do think it is Le Petit Prince's practice that is important: watering one's rose, protecting it, sheltering it, killing (some of) the caterpillars for it, and listening to it, even when the rose grumbles (every rose I ever tried to raise did), boasts, or says nothing. And, that, I think, is the value, for both children and grown-ups, of a sitting place. Do you have one? Does the child in your life?

Nowadays, my sitting place is in my woodland garden, near my magnolia trees, beside the ferns, just near the spot where I make Hecate's depinion on the Dark Moon. And, of course, I can't go there w/o reciting to myself David McCord's wonderful poem:

This is my rock
And here I run
To steal the secret of the sun.

This is my rock
And here come I
Before the night has swept the sky.

This is my rock
This is the place
I meet the evening face to face.

If you don't have a "sitting space" how could you find one?

Picture found here.

Monday, November 08, 2010


When were you last outside?
"I believe that one of the greatest causes of the ecological crisis is the state of personal alienation from nature in which many people live. We lack a widespread sense of intimacy with the living world. Natural history has never been more popular in some ways, yet few people organize their lives around nature, or even allow it to affect them profoundly. Our depth of contact is too often wanting.
~Robert Michael Pyle

Sunday, November 07, 2010