Sunday, May 28, 2006

Another semi-personal reminder post

I don't have time to go into this now, but the concept of how to engage cultures within their own context and recognizing the difficulty of being 21st-century Americans dealing with the writings in early Christian Ireland and similar areas is attempting to turn into a blog post in my head. I'm a bit too distracted with a science fiction convention right now or I'd launch into it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gone to the Otherworld

Leigh Ann Hussey, musician, bard, actress, and pagan liturgist, died last night in a motorcycle accident. She was 44 years old.

Magical Acts Ritual Theater, an offshoot of her work in the Oak Line of NROOGD, has a memorial page posted here.

Personally, I knew her more by reputation than direct contact, but she was a friendly and energetic woman. Bright, talkative, and extremely talented in many ways. She will be deeply missed in the San Francisco Bay Area pagan, music, science fiction and filk communities as well as anywhere she touched lives.

What is remembered, lives.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reality check for the matriarchalists?

Stone Age Britain was hardly a haven for horse-riding patriarchal steppes-dwellers, so I guess this report of violent deaths amongst the people living there at the time must have all been ritual sacrifices. Or faked by the patriarchy in an attempt to use science to hide the truth about the Universal Mother. I'm beyond caring, frankly. Anyone who believes that claiming the lie of the prehistoric matriarchy is so important to their myth they treat it as reality is as bad as a young Earth creationist to my mind. Just as illogical, just as disproven, just as fundamentalist.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

It's all about the PR

Terry Jones, who came to international fame as part of Monty Python's Flying Circus, has turned his hand to historical studies these days. His most recent is of especially keen interest to Celtic Reconstructionists and other European-focused pagans, as he has worked to put the lie to the notion that the Celts (as well as other non-Roman civilizations) were uncouth idiots. The book about this, Barbarians, has been released in the UK with a television series to follow on BBC 2; one can only hope both will land on US shores very soon. This excerpt from the article he wrote about it for the BBC is a faint taste:
The Romans kept the Barbarians at bay for as long as they could, but finally they were engulfed and the savage hordes overran the empire, destroying the cultural achievements of centuries. The light of reason and civilisation was almost snuffed out by the Barbarians, who annihilated everything that the Romans had put in place, sacking Rome itself and consigning Europe to the Dark Ages. The Barbarians brought only chaos and ignorance, until the renaissance rekindled the fires of Roman learning and art.

It is a familiar story, and it’s codswallop.

I expect Mr. Jones to handle the material with scholarly attention as well as a touch of the sort of humor you'd expect from a man who once played a Hammond organ in the nude for laughs.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Growing up can be a good thing

CR used to be a tradition where arguments would split friendships irrevocably. One such led to the formation of the Imbas mailing list from the ashes of a debate on Nemeton-L. I joined the online CR community shortly after that, as memory serves. Since then, I've seen multiple iterations of arguments about everything from clergy within our tradition to three realms vs. four elements, the placement of the sacred cities, and on up to the latest row about male flametenders for Brigid.

The difference with the last argument is that nobody felt the need to flounce out of the forum it happened in to start their own little fiefdom. There are two different groups doing Brigid order building now, but that's a positive thing to my mind. There is a need for diversity if a tradition is to flourish. I've argued we're a living tradition and not an attempt to build a replica of a dead past before. That sort of thing only proves it to me.

The unfortunate truth is not everyone grows up. I've seen people who think it's 1991 in CR and they can act any way they please, only to be shocked to learn their tricks are getting so overused a five-year-old can see them coming. That sort causes schism and continues to do so. I'm at the point where if someone wants to encourage the children, they should sit at that table and quit acting like they're being grownups.

We still have our issues, blatant acts of denial, and petty gamesmanships. But I'm so relieved it's possible to sit down in even an electronic forum and not worry the next words out of my mouth are going to lead to yet another irrevocable blowup.