Interconnectedness & activism( rambly)

So, commonly enough these days, I want to be involved in helping solve these massive crises we are experiencing in our time.  I was a bit surprised and confused, however, when the messaging and divinations I was getting for “what should I do?” were tending, not towards the big headline grabbing things that actually have rather clear and logical connection to my deities, but towards environmental matters( by most pagan standards, my deities are rather urban and not particularly nature-oriented), and more particularly towards two smaller subsets of this that seem to be considered by most people as rather un-sexy hard sells.

    One, preservation and cleanup of a local body of water that has been significantly endangered and taken for granted for some time(mind you, it *is* big enough to impact climate change at least regionally), and two—something that has intermittently been an autistic special interest of mine over the years but gets shut down a lot because I find most people react even less well to infodumps on it than on most things—specifically, Light Pollution.  Honestly, my first reaction was to think either I had gone quarantine-crazy and was not listening to my gods at all, or that I was being given a dismissive “Go play with your toys, dear”, and merely self-comforting with the “No, it really is Important Work and something that could actually help!” that I seemed to get when I questioned the usefulness of it.

A supportive conversation with friends on Discord reminded me of some ways it does actually tie in with the larger issues we have going on in the world and did provide me with some reassurance.  However, it wasn’t until later that it struck me there’s a rather more obvious connection there that I didn’t even see.  I worship a Sun Goddess and the apotheothis of a man who firmly advocated a consistent 11 pm bedtime as essential to good health.  What else is light pollution but foolish humans arrogating to themselves the power of the Sun in short-sighted and harmful ways in order to avoid going to bed at a reasonable hour?  And they’re also both health deities of a sort and this is a thing that harms human health as well as other creatures on the planet. 

So, interconnectedness on at least two levels, the interconnectedness of various kinds of trouble happening in the world at large (with each other and with regional issues), and interconnectedness of things personally meaningful to me that I had always considered completely unrelated.   Not sure where I was actually going with this, but just a little epiphany of sorts I wanted to share and perhaps some of you might have similar things?

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Bringing back extinct animals

Hi everyone,

So I saw an interesting video on YouTube about scientists planning to bring back some extinct animals. Among them are the dodo and the mammoth. The dodo is one that would be nice to be brought back, but in my opinion you have to think of ethics and such. It would be nice to see the woolly mammoth, but it’s been too long extinct and unfortunately, scientists should think about the environment that they would bring it back into. What do you think about it? Here’s the link:

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Brave New Medicine by Cynthia Li, MD

I’m listening to this book Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness on Audible, having stumbled across an interview with the author on a podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, on YouTube (I’ll see if I can find a link).  I’m about two thirds of the way through it, I suspect, but I can’t recommend this book highly enough, so far.

It’s relatable, reassuring (in an ‘I’m not the only one’ way), relevant to us Pagan types, and also provides actual, practical steps one can follow if one so chooses.

Here’s the YouTube video, if you want the short version:

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Replacing the worn broom

I recently had to put aside the besom broom I use when gardening as it needs a new head. This got me thinking as I understand it can also be useful for sweeping a circle in ritual and casting situations and I wondered what would be used as a fast alternative – hoover? leaf blower?
As you can tell it was more a humorous thought than a serious one ( although, for all I know, they could work great ) and I thought I’d open up a post to see what great, useful or even crazy funny alternatives you can think of to replace ritual objects in a hurry?

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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion

Is anyone else excited?

I appear to be so excited that I accidentally re-subbed for 6 months, when all I originally meant to do was 1 month!   ;D

I’ve been playing Warcraft since the Burning Crusade expansion, but until Battle For Azeroth expansion I’ve never really made it to max level for any length of time, or played end game content whilst it was actually contemporary, if that makes sense.  So I confess I am actually beginning to get excited.

(Though, when I say end game content I mean something different than when others speak of end game content — I’m not a raider by any means at all, but it’ll just be nice to be doing the most current content when it’s newly released, for a change).

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Obscure Cultus Masterlist

Hello all,

A lot of my work at the moment is “librarianship”, bringing together other people’s resources in digestible ways.

One thing I’d like to build is an Obscure Cultus Masterpost, (in part, because there’s a Brythonic Pagan Revival blog I found back in the day and now can’t remember). It would include things like the cult of Antinoous and this Romano-Celtic Wicca resource list. Hmmmm there’s someone I know who does Semitic pagan revival, and you may be reading this post right now and thinking “I too am working to revive an incredibly niche, little-remembered divinity”

Every link on it would be to a community, or a useable set of blog-resources (rituals, a reading list), for some gods you’ve never heard of, or who are much neglected. Resources would focus on neo-Pagans reviving these cults, rather than general lists of forgotten names.

The goal would be to celebrate the diversity of neoPaganism, as well as link up seekers with things they may never have considered.

Before I get going on this:

  • Does anyone know of such a list already existing?
  • If so, could this list form the basis of a regularly-updated, crowdsourced effort (as I’m sure such lists have been written, but are no longer being updated or are in blogs which get much traffic)
  • Would anyone be interested on collaborating on this project, either fulltime, or just sending links as and when
    you find them?

A future vision for the project could branch out from just a list,to like, interviews with the people about what they’re doing.

Cheers all x

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Bredliks: the newest poetry form?

I recently learned of what might be the newest poetic form in English: the bredlik. It originated in 2016 (if there are any more recent forms of poetry I’d love to hear about them) and, as happens in Modern Times, quickly became a meme. It’s so called because the first poem of this type is about a cow licking bread:

Quote

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed –
i stay up late.
i lik the bred.

Here are a few articles about these poems. I hope that one day bredliks will be discussed alongside Limericks and Clerihews as popular poetry. And in the meantime I tried my hand at one:

My name is Mouse
and wen its dawn
I lyke to put
the kettel on
the birds are sing
up on the tree
I reed my book
I sip the tee.

(the phonetic spelling is part of the fun IMO.) Anyone else? I’d like to see what the folks here come up with…

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Pandemic Paganism

How has the global coronavirus pandemic affected your paganism, if at all? If you do group work, have you been able to continue? Have you adapted these or any other practices in light of COVID-19?

A few observations in my experience, from the silly to the sublime:

–Until she resigned a few weeks ago, a Latina served as NYC’s health commissioner and thus was on our TV screens here on a daily basis. Her name? Oxiris Barbot.

Despite a passing familiarity with Latin American culture, I had never heard that name before. I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that it’s derived from the Egyptian god Osiris–which I find incredibly cool.

–NY’s annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade has been canceled for this year, it was announced yesterday. No big surprise–it joins a long list of large-crowd traditional events canceled since March–but this one has a spiritual dimension for me. Dressing up and taking on a persona of the “other” for the night, and mingling with hordes of adults doing the same, has been a beloved part of my pagan year. What do I do now?–dress up at home by myself? (Suggestions are welcome!)

Less specific is the general sense of a lost summer; so many of the signposts of passing season (the Gay Pride Parade, big 4th of July celebrations, etc.) were eradicated or scaled back. It left me feeling less aware and less engaged with the passage of time.

–Working from home indefinitely means I’ve spent many hours in my garden when otherwise I would have been behind a desk in an office, and for a nature-based pagan like me, that’s a huge boon. The chance to see life thriving around me and a sky above me did wonders to lift my thoughts out of pandemic gloom. And despite an apparent crash in the butterfly population here, I’ve still seen way more butterflies this summer than any summer before, simply due to the amount of time I’ve had to keep an eye out for them!

So what has your pagan pandemic experience been like?

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A Short Writing piece on Pain

This is merely a brief reflection at this point, but I may continue revising and use it for my own purposes.  I am very sad about a recent experience.  Producing this piece of writing has helped.

It is not the best piece I’ve ever written, but for now it enables me to express how I feel when I am sad:

My heart aglow with wonder and awe, tender compassion, and kind love, lifting up her cry is broken with all the pain of the world.  And yet a spark still abides, ever searching for meaning and truth.  My heart is broken!  I lift her up.  She is am ember, all aglow.  By graces unseen she is renewed, her flame reignited.  In her is gathered all the pain of the world, and yet in her depths heaven shines as before.  Let her sing of lovingkindness, wonder, and joy.  Let her lift up her voice!  A voice of justice may she ever be for people of every kind and color, far or near or wherever they be.  My heart was broken, and grace sprang up, and renewed her again.

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Serenade of a Wild Charmer

A whistle-like voice does ascend
yipping at twilight or
while the very dawn approaches
Pausing to attend…

“Protect the Child
Both within and without
I will teach you
how best to hide
if you have any doubts

I run, four legs flying
Between the rim
of this World and the Others
Perhaps this is why I am so hunted
or perhaps…
I am simply
a bit more Fae
than my Brothers

The Fair Folk and I
have often traded favors
Magic
Invisibility
the Shifting of shape
Oft-times I am little more
than a clever silent Shadow
stealing across your Dreamscape

Take a seat upon my tail
We will run
Over stock, over stone
I will teach you how
Fortune and Opportunity
are most cleverly claimed
with Honesty
Charming confidence
Harvesting Tao

Herald of Inari
Cernunnos
Blessed Brighid
Here to remind you
Life is hard
Play harder
Laugh more
Love more
Live now

Shamanic Guide
I teach the
Magic, Laws, Mysteries
of Nature
Being sure of foot
is as important as being fleet
Get creative
Strategize
Sly boots leave no tracks
My thimblerigging
Trickster ways
are naturally successful
like a stellar parallax.”

For those new to the game… each poem in this series is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animall, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for us. Can you guess who is singing today? This is one of those pieces where I feel uncertain about the title. All feedback welcome!

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