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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

An Assortment of Topics…

November 8, 2012 1 comment

This will be rather stream-of-consciousness. Well, my blogging has been getting that way lately. No, I don’t plan on fixing that. I have to seize my thoughts as they come, otherwise I’ll never get around to really expressing them or writing them down.

More thoughts from my last post, re shamanism. I really am beginning to hairy eyeball people who are calling themselves such. Add extra points for online classes, presentations at conventions, and other such things. Spirituality has really become commercialized within various pagan social circles–what would take an entire lifetime to learn through tradition, family lineage and etc, and with a great many hardships (such as difficult initiations and including racial/ethnic prejudice), is now being sanitized, summed up, and sold to the audiences. Really, it’s one of the reasons why attending pagan conventions is something I have absolutely no interest in, but really that is one big example of a series of turnoffs I have for such venues (I’m sorry, but public spiritual exhibitionism simply isn’t my thing). That is probably another rant for another time, though.

To be blunt: if you call yourself a shaman, you are appropriating. Full stop, end of story. You are no more a shaman than I am a Jewish rabbi, and about as qualified. Check out Origin of the Word ‘Shaman’ for more information. Yes, I used to use ‘shaman’ as a sort of catch-all term, though gradually I’ve developed my misgivings about doing so, and now I don’t plan on using such at all. Please note that from now on, if I use the word ‘shaman’ or ‘shamanism’ on this blog, it will be a specific reference (again, see the links I’ve provided).

Right, now that that’s out of the way.

I’ve finally shaken the dust off of my old site Cynanthropy and made an update. For those of you just tuning in, I have very strong association (spiritual, psychological, or mythical) to canids (wolves, dogs, jackals, coyotes, and etc.). So, I ended up creating an entire site devoted to the topic. I’ll be writing posts on the use of animal parts more specific to cynanthropy and my own personal experiences, as well as essays, rants, links, and whatever else I can come up with. Granted, my blogging will still be highly sporadic, but I promised myself I would try to step up my writing more.

That said, my online presence is still very touch-and-go. If you post a comment here and it does not show up immediately, don’t assume that I have censored you or deleted your comment. Nine times out of ten I’m just not online to approve it, or haven’t gotten around to checking my mail, or otherwise preoccupied with things that don’t involve the internet. This happens frequently, in fact.

Well, on that note, I’m off. I have things I need to do, now that I’ve shaken these thoughts out of my head for the moment.

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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: , ,

PSA: On Disappearing Comments

October 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I was fiddling around in my WordPress account this evening, and for the first time decided to click on the “spam” folder to see what kind of nonsense those bots attempt to write in my blog. I was shocked to find not just the random babble of spambots, but an actual comment! This comment was then approved and published.

This makes me wonder how many other legitimate comments might have been written and ended up in the spam folder, never to be approved. Just a little PSA to say that if anyone has a comment that they don’t see show up here for some reason, to please poke me per email or related. Unless comments are outright inflammatory or nonsensical (as opposed to dissenting or the like, which I haven’t a problem with), I pretty much approve every comment made to this blog. I also apologize to anyone who’s comments might’ve gotten eaten by my WordPress spam detector-thing. I’ll have to make it a point to check it more often.

Categories: Networking Tags: ,

Back from an extended absence…

September 12, 2010 1 comment

As the title says. I am currently settling myself in from a month overseas in Germany, spending time with my partner. I had been back stateside little more than a week when I had departed on a road trip, and am currently recalibrating myself. Playing catch-up is a real bitch, but I’m doing my best. I certainly have plenty to keep me busy at the moment.

I was pleased to return and find that my friend Dr. Phil has his own blog out now. Aedicula Antinoi is turning out to be a delightful read, and definitely worth taking a peek at if you’re interested in anything historic, Antinoan, polytheistic, and queer. As a genderqueer pansexual pagan transguy myself, I am quite happy at it’s existence.

Many bloggers have made comments and blog posts regarding the anniversary of 9/11. I would lend my own words into the fray, but others have already had intelligent and insightful things to add. I come from a family of government workers, soldiers and vets, so obviously this sort of thing affects me and those around me. But how it affects me largely determines my reactions, and the example that I choose to lead. In the end, regardless of any misgivings I may have about a particular thing, I am going to err on the side of reason and peace. My Divine Father is not only a war-god but a Way Opener (much like Ganesha, who’s festival in India also began on that day). We must pray for the proper pathways to be open, that of understanding and Reason. I could dedicate more time to this topic, but there is life and other matters that need attending to, and repetition and stagnation does no good by anyone.

Now that I’m settling back in, I have German to practice, essays to write, care packages to stuff, and various other devotional activities that need attending to. This blog will be getting more attention, so stay tuned!