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A Quick Update From Germany

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Currently writing from Germany. I’ve been here roughly a month here now visiting my partner and family, and am soon to fly back in a week give or take. More on that later I think–in the meantime, have a link or two. My internet access has been rather limited, though there have been a few links that have caught my eye and that I’ve managed to read. Here’s a sample.

Christian Jihadis, American Taliban and the Christian Right
A most excellent point being made here, one I fully agree with. I’ve noticed quite a large persecution complex going around in many (American) Neopagan circles, part of it, I think, fueled on privilege. Most Americans probably haven’t been exposed to the sheer withering effects of what religious persecution can do to a person or an entire group of people, as is seen in some third world countries. Then again, I’m a hard polytheist, and my partner is a strong Protestant Lutheran, so perhaps I’m speaking from some personal experience here (I’m still waiting for that day when I wake up here and find myself tied to a burning stake, it hasn’t happened yet). It’s all in putting things in the proper perspective. That and I’m sure some of the older Germans around here could give a nice dose of reality on oppression, Nazis and other such things. Their talks have certainly been enlightening to me, that’s for sure.

And now, for slightly longer commentary.

Why I made peace with totem animal dictionaries
Hm. Well, to be honest, the first thought that popped into my head when reading this one was, wouldn’t it be nice if more people who actually volunteered in parks and wildlife work and related fields, or go out and regularly observe/work with or in nature actively in some shape or form, actually started writing on their own totemic perspectives/dictionaries/et cetera? Seems like there is a lack here, or perhaps I’m just not looking hard enough–which could just be the case. Most of my totemic research isn’t spent on the internet–it’s spent volunteering (wildlife centers, raptor rehab, Chesapeake Bay cleanup), visiting zoos and museums, researching through anthropological records and biology books. I’m certainly not saying everyone should, or is even able, to go those routes. That’s not practical for every case. But I do begin to wonder how people choose to spend their time with writing and reading these things (and if I had a penny for every time I stumbled across a metaphysical resource claiming to be “the most comprehensive”–though sadly, in most cases, not alway the most accurate, which is a different totem animal altogether–I’d likely be a millionare by now). I could go on another diatribe on talk versus action (which I’ve gone over in this blog before), but really, I’d just be repeating myself.

Dictionaries definitely have their uses, and I do have a couple totemic dictionaries and resources myself (I first cut my teeth on…ugh, Sams and Ted Andrews), but in my opinion they should only be used as the base training wheels to get you started. Totem animal dictionaries are largely a new age invention, so that dash of salt is certainly necessary. I’ll probably write more on this later, especially as I expound more on my work with dead animal remains, volunteering, and related such things.

In any case, this blog will be booted back up in some shape or form sometime in September. Comments are screened to keep out spam and related ilk (which doesn’t always make it through the filters), but all comments do get approved. However, you may not see any comments to this post show up until I am back stateside in September, as my internet access here is limited and sporadic.

Categories: Journaling Tags: , ,

The Glowing Nile

November 8, 2010 2 comments

This is simply beautiful

If you look closely, you can almost see a flowering lotus, or a reed of papyrus.

A Random Assortment

October 24, 2010 1 comment

First off for the morning, The Red Lotus Library is now live, with its first book, The Syncretisms of Antinous. Go click the link and grab it! I’m going to do so as soon as I am able. I must admit I don’t know enough about this deity as I should, so I am greatly looking forward to cracking it open once I have it in my hands.

There are also some great discussions in the comments regarding Lupus’ follow-up post on Spirit Day. Well worth taking a look, as well as some of the links provided by Phil Hine, such as this one, this one, as well as this, which offers an alternative view. Then there is also mention of “ostentatious caring”–something that really does happen quite often within the Pagan “community”, as was pointed out. I think I may have to pick up this book for further reading.

It is also today that I am introducing my “Sacred Scavenging” category. As some of you readers may know–but many may not–I collect and work with a wide variety of animal remains, old relics and other assorted objects. I also plan to be taking up taxidermy, especially now that I’ve acquired my own separate workroom/ritual space for such things. I will also be taking classes for my hunting license this fall, if all goes well. I understand that such things aren’t for everyone–but I expect that people reading this journal will conduct themselves in a mature manner with regards to expressing their opinions and thoughts. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but inflammatory comments about my practice will not be approved, and you will not be offered the satisfaction of a response.

In any case, I look forward to introducing such things to this blog. I plan on stepping up posting here. I am vastly behind on the writing I told myself I was going to do, and this must change.

Warriors and Kin released

To be honest, I had meant to make this post a couple weeks ago.

Warriors and Kin: A Blog of Pagan Military Voices is the latest blog put out by the Pagan Newswire Collective.

A blog like this is long in coming, and I find it a privilege to be able to contribute. I’m writing from the perspective of military brat and volunteer, and my first post (following my father’s return from his second tour in Afghanistan) can be found here.

Pagan Prompt: Happy Earth Day

April 21, 2010 2 comments

Question originally posted here.

Do you feel that Pagans (in general) have a greater responsibility be more environmentally conscious than members of other religions? Has your religious beliefs influenced you to make changes in your lifestyle for environmental reasons?

No, I do not. I think the idea that Pagans are–or rather have to be–more “eco-conscious” is a load of stinking rubbish.

We all, regardless of race, religion, creed or ethnicity, have a responsibility to maintain and conserve our resources and the environment around us. The very idea that one religion should hold more stewardship over the Earth than another I find to be more divisive and, in the long run, more harmful.

I would have to say that my spiritual beliefs do affect how I interact and value the environment around me. For example, my collecting of relics and animal remains. How does this leave an impact on various animal species who’s remains I deal with? The Chesapeake, for example, is a place I not only consider my home, but also a tutelary deity of sorts. I’ve grown up by it my entire life and have seen everything from fuel dumps to red tides, and the devastating effects they’ve had on wildlife. This has definitely altered my outlook on how I view things. In the end however, my religous beliefs not only compel me to make changes in my behavior, but to continue to ask the necessary questions that need to be asked for behavior modification, or altered and more aware interaction with the environment around me, which extends far more than simply a spiritual level.

Dimension Bomb Released

October 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I know I haven’t updated this lately. That’s going to change.

I’m sure those of you who have read this blog in the past know the reason why it’s named Dimension Bomb. And if you don’t, I’d strongly suggest checking that link out.

Watching it again for the first time in a year and a half, I get to process more of the hidden symbolism within. Note the frequent presence of the Sun, and the obvious and repetitive examples of being torn apart by supernatural forces–a very classic case of shamanic initiation. The girl in the movie almost seems as if she is leading him through the initiation, though admittedly some of the message is inevitably lost without the aide of a translation for the Japanese, for those of us English speakers.

The movie has been released onto YouTube, and split into two parts.

Part I can be found here.
Part II can be found here

Enjoy. This movie was one inspiration for the creation of this blog, and really does ring true in so many ways.

Categories: Journaling, paganism Tags: ,

Journaling Notes and Other Things

Doing some minor tweaking and organizing here and there. The thing I like about the WordPress format is it’s far more versatile than other blogging formats I’ve worked with. I can personalize it more, and I have more control over various functions.  It also seems to be a bit quieter and more laid-back than the LJ-format, something I can appreciate, especially now that things have gotten a bit busier over here.  Anyway, today I’ve set up a couple pages, mainly a page about this journal and a lame attempt at an About Me page. I may add more, we’ll see. I also tweaked the links list/blogroll and such, and may add extra categories as I need them.

Lately I’ve been doing some light reading, and I just picked up The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Dennis William Hauck, mostly just some quick refresher reading. I own his other two books, Sorcerer’s Stone and The Emerald Tablet, both fairly good reads for anyone wishing to pop their cherries on the topic of alchemy. I plan on passing this particular one off to my lifepartner who lives in Germany, once I’m finished reading it (as I originally bought it for him anyway).

There will be more stuff here as time goes on, as I continue reading, researching, growing and experimenting with various things.  I’ll also be doing some activist posting here too, as there are some topics that are very close to me right now that needs addressing, and will probably reach a larger readership than my private LJ anyway.

Categories: Books, Journaling