lady_kishiria: (astrology)
I think it might have been food poisoning, or it might have been flu. Both have the same symptoms. I woke up last night at about 11 pm with my stomach cramping and my legs in excruciating pain. This started a night full of trying to find a comfortable position in which to sleep and lurching on my pain-stiffened legs to the toilet. Obviously going to work was out of the question. I slept most of the day, drank water and Powerade (which is disgusting), and the neighbours brought over oxygenated water that they said would be therapeutic. I do feel better, and my insides aren't trying to become my outsides, so perhaps it was.

So I've been reading two books, one Raven Grimassi's Book of the Holy Strega and the other Dee Williams' The Big Tiny. I bought three Grimassi books after he and his wife Stephanie had a car accident and needed a little help. I figured buying directly from them would support them, especially since they self-publish.

My only problem is that what I don't know about Tuscan folk magic would fill a whole encyclopedia's worth of large books. His reinterpretation of the Charles Leland book Aradia is very interesting, and fits into European fairy and witch lore that I already know a little about. More research is necessary before drawing conclusions, but I'm enjoying the read at any rate.

The same, alas, can't be said for The Big Tiny. I don't know if I'll finish it. I read Tammy Strobel's You Can Buy Happiness (and it's cheap) and Dee Williams is the person who inspired Tammy. Tammy Strobel said things in her book that Steve and I have both said in our lives, so maybe I just connect with her better? Dee Williams also seems to live with a lot of unrealistic expectations in life, so perhaps that's it. At any rate, it's another book about downsizing and true to her pattern, Dee Williams went to the extreme with her tiny house (toilet but no bathing facilities, forgetting about how a small wooden house is a fire hazard and having to retrofit heating). She seems to spend a lot of time complaining of how disappointed she was when her high expectations weren't met.
lady_kishiria: (tattoo)
new ink cropped

I got a new tattoo on Friday. The design was taken from the left arm of the so-called Altai Princess (Google her). She was a young Siberian woman of influence and power, probably a priest or shaman of some kind. She was covered in animal tattoos. My DNA reveals that my bloodline passed through that area, and if I may wax very woo and witchy, my reaction on seeing the design for the first time makes me wonder if she was a relative. When I first saw the deer, I felt as if someone had hit me in the stomach with a sledgehammer.

I got the tattoo at Last Days Tattoo in Ocean Beach, who has done most of Ryan's work. Since Ryan's last tat was an elaborate "murder of crows", I decided to go with that recommendation. Yes, it hurt, but Eric is a real pro and I was able to meditate through the worst of it. At some points, I actually forgot I was being stabbed by a bazillion tiny needles.

A Siberian shamaness not of the same ethnic group as the Princess has said that in time, the meanings of her tattoos will be understood. I am deeply moved to participate in the spiritual life of this woman.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Last weekend was drill and the two weekends before that were trips to Arizona. Here comes Pagan Pride on Saturday, for which I'm setting up the booth early in the A.M. I'm also giving a lecture and would like to hear [livejournal.com profile] ebenbrooks when he performs and our friend Dreya when she lectures on Women in the Celtic Tradition.

Weekend after next, we have a wedding in the kindred, and I'm supplying ten rotisseried chickens from Pancho Villa and I've been asked to play harp.

Fortunately, I do have Sundays off. The last weekend in September is Viking Fest, but Steve won't be here which removes 75% of the fun, so I may have a quiet weekend here in S.D.

I sproinged my back, which led to the interesting experience of using a chiropractor. I just wanted my back adjusted. I am not interested in getting spinal adjustments for the purpose of eliminating my allergies because the human body doesn't work that way, really it doesn't. I found the experience useful enough that I want to keep going, but not once a week! That bites into my already scarce free time AND my yoga budget--and yoga means a lot to me. Steve suggested me doing the DDP Yoga, but going to the studio and the spiritual woo is part of the experience that I enjoy.

I've crossed off all the things I needed to accomplish at home today, so after the dishwasher finishes, I'm off to shower and keep reading "Hero With A Thousand Faces" which I'm enjoying a lot. I've also got SO MUCH piled up in my Kindle.
lady_kishiria: (wreath)
The previous baktun (Mayan long count calendar) is over. A new one has begun. I've heard that the omens are good for this 2013, but that's largely up to us. So endeth the lesson.

Steve and I went back to Tucson for the long weekend. It was quite cold, which I enjoyed, of course. We got in Saturday night and went out for mesquite-grilled MEAT at a place called Lil' Abner's. It's in an old ranch building from the mid 19th century and the pit is located outside.

On Sunday, Dawn had to work so Karl, Steve and I went shooting in the morning then into Tucscon. We visited the Presidio for a bit, then heard drumming so we crossed the street to see what was up. A restaurant had twho Aztec dancers in very familiar costumes getting ready to do a performance. The one who was speaking was mixing up Mayan and Aztec and putting in mumbo jumbo about being barefoot in order to be in touch with Mother Earth, so we left. I found out from the lady in an arts and crafts store that the performers lived in Tijuana, so the reason they looked so familiar is because I've seen them in Tijuana many times!

After that we stopped by the shrine of El Tiradito. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Tiradito I'd read about this shrine in books by James S. Griffith, who specializes in southern Arizona folklore, so I was very pleased to see it. In addition to the usual saint candles, there were a number of Louisiana voodoo offerings in the form of featureless dolls made of blue satin. After that, we swung by a botanica because it has a Santa Muerte mural, and Karl wanted a picture of himself with it. Karl is an old friend of Steve's from when they were both in high school, and they reconnected because of FaceBook about a year ago. We were astonished to discover that he was now an Asatru with a devotion to Santa Muerte!

We proceeded to St. Xavier del Bac, which is a mission church that has been in continual use since it was built. This is not the case with most, if any, California missions. It's also much more ornamented than any mission church I've seen here, and looks more Mexican than any church I've seen in the U.S. There's a tradition, also written about by Mr. Griffith, that an unfaithful spouse cannot lift the head of the statue of St. Xavier. The statue lies prone with its head on a pillow. I lifted its head but Steve seemed unimpressed.

St Xavier

Yesterday (New Year's Eve), Dawn had the day off so the four of us drove to Tombstone. It's always odd for me to go to a place that is that legendary because it's hard to believe it's real. But it is, and I'll resume the story tomorrow.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
I'm reading "Evolutionary Witchcraft" by T. Thorn Coyle. So far I'm only about to chapter 3 but in that short period of time she's really impressed me. Thorn practices Feri tradition, a witchcraft that is not in the Wiccan line. It is oriented towards increasing one's inner strength and emphasizes a disciplined daily practice. It's already inspired me to write a post in my own pagan blog (http://northernheimsocal.blogspot.com), and much of what she recommends is or has been my practice for a long time. I'm liking this a great deal and I may just have to buy some books about Feri.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Steve found out that Tyr was playing in Ramona, about 45 minutes northeast of here. Birgit and Liz resolved to go as soon as he made this announcement, and another couple we know, Heather and Rusty, found a babysitter and made it a date night.

We drove up to very-hot Ramona at about 5:30. Ramona Main Stage is an old theatre with wonderful painted beams overhead and nice details in the construction. The old guy who runs it is funny and makes jokes. "Seven tickets, is that right?" he asked me deadpan when I went to collect the two for myself and Steve. He totally got me.

There were two opening bands. We missed most of the first, the second was local and tried WAY too hard to be brutal. The third was Metsatoll from Estonia, a metal band that featured a musician who was multi-instrumental on that old flame of mine, traditional instruments. He had a dudelsack (northern European bagpipe), a couple of recorders, a bowed psalter and a kind of lyre thing I'd never seen before. I could tell they could all play their instruments, but their timing was off terribly. I figured that they suffered from Linkin Park syndrome in that they were probably better on CD than live, so I bought one of their CDs to find out.

Tyr did a disappointingly short set, about 45 minutes most, and none of their older material. The oldest song they did was "Hold the Heathen Hammer High", which is okay. We didn't have their latest CD, so we have it now, along with two t-shirts.

Moonsorrow are another Finnish metal band, but they were excellent. Steve got a t-shirt.

Korpiklaani were AMAZING. I'd liked their old stuff like "Wooden Pints", but they've gone to all-Finnish language now and seem much happier in it. The fiddle player has his own CD, "Shaman Violin" which I need to add to the collection. The lead singer had really comfortable and strong stage presence and they all looked like they were having fun. They were one of the most professional-sounding bands I've seen, even in that small venue.

The lead singer even smoked two cigarettes while performing, which is verboten im Kalifornia, but nobody was going to stop him.

Birgit and Liz tried to be on the floor during Tyr. Steve and I refer to them as "Ivan's and Lalat's Crazy Aunties" because they are both in their early 60s and come across as, well, crazy aunties. They're wonderful. But they were both badly scared by the mosh pit, which seemed to have lost its memory of what the mosh pit rules are, so we retreated with them after Steve got rabbit-punched during the maelstrom. And as I said elsewhere, it's always fun and games until someone lets the Samoan into the mosh pit. And the white pride skinhead, who got hostile, but not to the point that anyone tossed him out. (At Flogging Molly he would have been refused entrance just because of his red boots with white laces that is a White Power tribal marking.)

Anyway, good time was had by all. We learned not to take the 78 at night; it's twistier and more nerveracking than the 67 which nonetheless has some twists and uncomfortable moments too. But it was a good little venue and the show just rocked.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
This review is from: Strange Spirits (Volume 1) (Paperback)by H. Jeremiah Lewis, aka Sannion. Sannion is a priest of Dionysus. Strange Spirits is a volume of his poetry and some of his prose about the Greek god of wine, sex, ecstasy and poetry.

First you drink a quart of wine, then take a trip to Sannion's mind.
Just come on in, there is no line, and who knows what gems you'll find?
There's Harlequin, and minotaurs too,
Arachne and the Holy Fool.
Dionysus leads the maenad throng,
Who'll dance in ecstasy, all night long.
Look there! It's John the Baptist's head!
And Jim Morrison--he ISN'T dead!
It'll all make sense, you'll see, you'll see,
I read it and it does to me!
Oh dear, I've put on this ivy crown,
The room is spinning--I must sit down.

plop.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
It was today. Steve and I have been attending a local kindred, which could stand to grow a little. A few months ago I suggested an info table at PPD. The ladies who founded the kindred, Birgit and Liz, weren't too sure, but since a table was only $10 to reserve, everyone thought that was a small enough bet to take.

Steve and I did put some money into it. $50 bought us a 9x9 (hee hee) canopy that we know we'll be using in other situations, and we bought some folding camp chairs we'd been meaning to get anyway. Others brought their own chairs and with two folding tables, the chairs, the canopy and a Celtic wall hanging as a tablecloth, it looked like we knew what we were doing.

PPD is mostly Wiccan with presence from the ADF (Druids, with some heathens). The Maitreya folks like to show up and there were some Thelema types. There was a good bit of excitement of having Asatru there. Liz, Birgit and I did some rune readings and we explained what Asatru was, where people could meet us further and so on.

Steve was a sport. He didn't expect to have a great time but kept useful, running errands to make photocopies of leaflets, get sandwiches, and so on. He had some fun when there were three other guys, two of whom were rednecks and all of whom like shooting. We may have a new member in a really pleasant Navy gal who was in a kindred in Arizona but obviously they're too far away now.

I'm proud of myself for organizing all this and am currently asking people for how we can make it better next year.
lady_kishiria: (dreams)
I dreamt I was in an ultra-Orthodox synagogue. I was wearing Edwardian clothes, so I was within dress code. It was coming to the end of Shavuot, and there was a room sized box with one open side raised about ten feet over the congregation. The men were standing around, looking up into it. I was told that inside was the Sabbath Queen. I was at the back of the crowd and all I could see was the wall of the box to my left and two mannequins. The walls were lavender and the mannequins were female, with thick black hair and as far as I could tell flouncy Victorian clothes. I couldn't see the image of the Sabbath Queen though, and I was very upset by this.

I went up to the gallery above the synagogue floor and still couldn't see. However I ran into my old flame L, who was dressed like me in Edwardian clothes. She and I went to the basement where there was a kosher deli, now opening because Shavuot was over. I got a vegetarian sandwich. We got into the open back of a truck going back to her place, which was really far from any of the bus or subway lines and down a rural road. My intentions towards her were completely dishonourable, but once we got to her place, other people kept showing up.

Today in the waking world, the Sabbath Queen image stuck with me strongly all day and in my slow moments I was browsing Jewish web sites. There is a reconstructionist shul near me that looks like everything I ever wanted in a place of worship, but I'm pretty committed to being a polytheist at this point in my life.
lady_kishiria: (dreams)
I've been having weird-ass dreams these past two nights, probably because I'm sleeping in a really warm room away from home. Last night, I had this dream that had two intertwined storylines, but I'm not sure if they were the same one, or one with the memory of the other or what.

Storyline 1 was way cool. Aleister Crowley lived near me, in a grotto accessed by long twisty narrow tunnels that looked like a rabbit warren. Other people used the warren, but few went all the way down to where he lived. I did, and he wanted to initiate me into the fourth degree. The first three degrees were fairly easy initiations, but the fourth involved being ritually naked in front of the other members of the religious group, wrapped with narrow chains and a weighted amulet of sorts hanging from one's genitals. I know I didn't initially want to go through with this, but eventually decided I was being stupid and that I would.

Aboveground, a whole bunch of patriarchal Christian groups were having a convention. People who were previously sane were signing onto this lifestyle, dressing in "Little House on the Prairie" fashion, promising to have lots of kids and homeschool them all. My parents were approving of this, though not actually members. The convention had attendees selling clothes and crafts, many of which were pretty interesting, but which I resisted buying. I told my mom I was an atheist, even though I knew this wasn't exactly true seeing as I was going to let Aleister Crowley initiate me.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
This has gorgeous colour plates and line drawings by Amanda Grey. I couldn't get a good "feel" for the deities from the text, though, possibly because the material is arranged rather strangely by Stewart's own admission. I can't see myself returning to this as source material, but for the pictures.
lady_kishiria: (mithras)
Read it, didn't buy the theory. The authors didn't know the difference between Mithra (Persian deity) and Mithras (god of the Roman legions) to start with, and that's a pretty critical distinction. They also didn't talk enough about the story of Dionysus to get a real feel for any comparisons between Dionysus and Jesus, and there are some. Nonetheless, a "mystery religion" lens for viewing the Jesus narrative is useful for mining more significance out of it when the usual way of reading it runs dry. There are also some very nice colour photos.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
Raymond Buckland's "Complete Book of Witchcraft" is available for Kindle, and I read it on my phone at work since I only occasionally have much to do. It is very thorough, and gives you all the technical know-how needed to practice coven-based Wicca. It's a workbook, with the intention of getting a person thinking and writing about his or her religious practice. There is no question he started out as a Gardnerian though; it's all about being naked and having male/female polarities. At least he admits that this was not a tradition started out by British peasants; the use of gold and silver kind of puts the lie to that.

This was something necessary for me to read for my own metaphysical knowledge, but I liked Scott Cunningham's "Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner" better. Not that it matters; this is not and will never be my path, but I really see where it can be very nourishing for those for whom it is.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
By Scott Lynch. This is the sequel to "The Lies of Locke Lamora" and it held up just as well. Locke and Jean go WAY out of their comfort zone when they are compelled to become pirates. The book starts as another "Ocean's Eleven" type of story and then goes full buccaneer. I sat up last night reading the last 200 pages. I hope there's more to come.

I also read Scott Cunningham's "Wicca For The Solitary Practitioner" because I had heard his book recommended so strongly. Wicca isn't my path, but like most people who have tried out more than a few, I know it's not my path because I checked it out. What it is is an excellent resource for people who are investigating alternative religions. Cunningham lays out the basics and you can work with the religious system from there. About 20 years ago, San Diego was a hub for metaphysical exploration. Cunningham worked with Raven Grimassi, who now lives in Boston. Cunningham was tragically a victim of the AIDS epidemic. Now there's a few old Theosophists and that's it.
lady_kishiria: (Default)
Tomorrow our kindred is celebrating Ostara. It's raining a lot here, so we're going to have to go indoors. Birgit, Liz, Sandy and I met at Sandy's to dye eggs, and I daresay we got a lot of creativity going. With Paas egg dye, crayons and wax, we did some simple colour jobs and some elaborate pictures with nature scenes, birds and trees. I did a yellow Charlie Brown egg, a red egg for Steve with a white cross (for Denmark) and a sowilo rune on one side, an egg with the sun on it and an egg that is blue on top, yellow on the bottom. Sandy had good quality sandwich fixings and I brought Midas Touch.

I also have a bottle of mead for celebrating the equinox on the actual day it occurs.

I finished a book. I saw an interview with Penn Jilette on Reason Magazine's website. He did a book called "God, No!" about both his atheism and his libertarianism. I quite enjoyed it even if he did ramble a lot and I skipped one chapter which was the description of him and a girlfriend having sex while scuba diving. I don't need that image in my head, kthx.

While I am still metaphysical, Penn is a hard "science only" atheist. However he comes to one of the same conclusions I did, which is "Since there is no God, we have to fulfill that need in other people." He doesn't need God to love him; he has his wife and kids and friends. When told "One out of every seven people is hungry," he responds, "Then there are six people out there to help him." Penn believes that people are inherently good and given the chance to help others, they will. I'm not so sure of that, but it's my husband's feeling about humanity as well.

This wasn't a long read, and it's funny and vulgar and I'm glad I paid for it.
lady_kishiria: (wreath)
Steve and I celebrated Yule seriously for the first time yesterday. At 4:35 pm we were standing on the pier at Ocean Beach to watch the sun set. On the west coast, when the sun starts to set you need to watch it pretty closely because you can actually see it move. It goes down that fast. Sunset was at 4:46 so we watched it go, trusting it would be back today, which I'm happy to report it is.

From there we went through the OB "Farmer's Market" which actually did have real produce along with arts and crafts. Lots of street musicians including one lever-harp player. His harp was about 28 inches high and 3 octaves. I didn't stick around too long because I didn't have anything to toss into his hat.

After that we stopped at Tiny's for dinner. Tiny wins the OB Chili Cook-Off every year, and Steve had nothing but good things to say about it. Ryan had chili as well but I felt more in a chicken burrito mood. I had no complaints about mine.

We made a side trip to [profile] seki_raku's place since Steve had made jars of homemade pasta sauce for her and we wanted to drop them off. She gave him a culinary blowtorch for putting the sear on steaks indoors. My gift is still in transit. We admired Greystoke Junglelord, her 9 month old striped grey tabby and his sister Misha, who was more stand-offish. Grey on the other hand, really needs a playdate with Ivan because I think they'd have a blast.

Steve and I went home, lit up the gas fireplace and filled our horn with beer to thank the deities and ancestors and hope for an even better new year.

I hope all who celebrate the Solstice had a good one.
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Look up.
Do you feel the pressure of a gaze on your back?
Look up and you might see him--no, don't bother standing,
You're just fine where you are.
Look up,
Raise your eyes to his, see
The one eye, bright blue, the other long-lost, covered by a worn felted patch.
His face a map of laugh lines, worry lines, weather lines.
He's smiling, he always is, it seems.
Are you wary? So is he,
Wanderer of the Nine Worlds, perpetual seeker of Wisdom
in the wild Scandinavian night.
Would you too seek Wisdom? Would you too pay its price?
It's not cheap, I will warn you, but you're before him already.
All it takes is one movement, one moment of truth.
Look up.
lady_kishiria: (Books)
The subtitle of this book is "Magical Morality and Modern Ethics". The authors are Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch and Meredith Macdonald, both of Ottawa.

I bought this book because all religions need their ethics, and Wicca's a fairly recent one with evolving priorities. Sadly, this one is merely okay, although it might be useful to a reader who is new on the path. The authors lay out the principles on which to base ethics: Thou Art God/dess, the Witch's Rede, the Earth is Sacred, etc. That's useful, but they rapidly re-invent the wheel. Since the Earth is sacred, buy things used, recycle and bike when you can! Since the other person is God/dess, be polite and don't have sex with someone who can't give adequate consent. Be wise with your money! And so on.

Like I said, good if you're just starting out, but I was bored and left with nothing to think about after.

9/9/09

Sep. 9th, 2009 09:25 pm
lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
Okay, that's the symbol of Odin's Son, not Odin Himself. Nonetheless, today is 9/9/09, AND it's a Wednesday (Woden's Day). It is thus sacred to the Allfather. Unfortunately, what with me being in a country where alcohol is completely prohibited, making a libation was impossible. The Old Man doesn't want fruit juice or near-beer.

This will have to do. I've always loved this song and video, and after watching it on YouTube (where it isn't anymore) I couldn't help but think of it as a song about Odin.

lady_kishiria: (Mjollnir (Thor's Hammer))
As you all recall, [profile] americanstd's mom died in September. He's been missing her a lot, so I offered to get one of her gnome figures and paint her name in runes on it as a monument to her.

When I was up at Los Alamitos last week, I looked through her gnome collection. Most of them were silly: gnomes riding snails or being overly cute. Then I found this one:

Odin gnome

He has gravitas. In fact, he reminded me a lot of Odin. I took him home and cleaned him up. If you notice, the statue has closed eyes. I have remedied that:

Photobucket

I decided against putting runes on his hat. Instead, this statue of the Allfather now gazes down upon us from a shelf in our kitchen.

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