Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What to do with a Gender Binary?

Before I was banned from this group, I went to a meet up where in the general discussion a person mentioned a Women's Retreat. I don't recall which one she meant, but there are Pagan Women Retreats throughout the United States. This also is not a purely Pagan or New Age ideology. Christian Churches will have women's retreats, or even secular groups will engage in this dichotomy. To be clear, there are also male-only retreats or gatherings.

As the title suggests, I'm not a fan of this.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Problematic Perceptions

Walt Whitman writes in his poem, "Song of Myself":
"Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd
     the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? 
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
     origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
     millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
     look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
     spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
     from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self."
The last line sticks with me: "filter them from your self." What a marvelous, potent phrase about understanding

Remember that game of Telephone? I remember how teachers would use it as a way to exemplify how rumors spread. Basically, everyone gets in a circle of five or more people. One person will turn to their right and whisper a phrase. That person will then turn to their right and whisper exactly what they heard. And so on. This process morphs the phrase so that by the time it reaches the last person, the phrase is almost (if not completely) indistinguishable from the first phrase. A phrase like, "I like to buy shoes at the market" becomes "Eyes are hard to mark." This is due to a number of human error problems, like speaking too fast, stuttering, emphasizing some words over others. Etc.

There is a website called Bad Translator that mimics this almost by taking a phrase in English, translating it to a different language, then back to English, then to another language, and so forth for how many iterations you set it to. I typed in, "I like to buy shoes at the market" and it became "I want to buy shoes."

My point is: the further from the source, the more distorted the message.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Slow to Update

Well, almost. I have been busy with a few different projects, most of which actually involve my spiritual craft. Yet that has made updating this blog pushed further and further down the list.

Firstly, I have taken the step to join ADF. I am not sure if I explicitly mentioned on this blog before about my draw to Druidry and Celtic paganism, but both have been on my mind for a couple years now. As I am running out of my own material, I want to take a more academic guided course to learning about both. I believe ADF is offering such a course. I will most likely be posting more about that as I begin my studies as a member (who aspires to be a Dedicant.)

Secondly, I am spending a lot of my blogging time with Seaconjure. This is a personal practice of someone I met through web forums and blogs whose practice intrigues me. I adore the sea, the ocean, and water. I want to continue to explore this type of spirituality. From what I know of both Seaconjure and ADF, neither conflict. Thus, there is no reason I can't be both.

Thirdly, I am doing more things off-line. The Steam Summer Sale has pulled me back into gaming more; I am hanging out with my boyfriend more. I am also cooking more as well. I am trying to take care of my home so that it is clean.

But I do miss writing and keeping myself to an article-a-week schedule. I plan to update tomorrow with a news story from the area.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Druidry, Books, and Reflections

"Berrymore" by Kylie Stillman

This reflection spawned from trying to answer a crowd-sourcing question and spiraled into analyzing what I have so far read regarding Druidry and Celtic neopaganism. Coincidentally, Agora's columnist Nimue Brown wrote a related article yesterday called "Books for Druids." I highly recommend reading Brown's article to get an understanding of what books are relevant to aspiring and current Druids as well as a short overview on how to evaluate books about Druidry. 

However, this article is instead my own reading and what I was able to take out of it. A reflection, if you will, on books and articles.