Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gods Below

"Gods below!" was a favorite oath of the characters in Rome, my favorite HBO series ever.

I have been giving them a lot of thought lately, starting with Cloacina (scroll down to Poster 6).

The line to the septic tank at the guest cabin was clogged beyond my ability to clear it with a hand-cranked snake, so I had to call Cory the plumber.

And since the tank itself had not been pumped for a decade, I called the septic service to pump it. When the pump truck showed up, we discovered the baffle on the outlet pipe had fallen off. I got new parts from the hardware store (a four-inch 90-degree PVC elbow and a neoprene coupling to attach it to four-inch clay pipe, if you're wondering) to replace it.

It's a small tank, so I was able to attach the baffle by just hanging over the opening and reaching down. Didn't drop the screwdriver--hurray. The tank was empty, but still pungent.

I figure that M. could have fit through the opening and climbed down on a ladder, but for some reason she was not interested in helping.

So all honor to Cloacina, a goddess below.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gallimaufry on Stilts

• Jason Pitzl-Waters on a healing ritual for Oberon Zell, who is facing colon cancer.

• Lupa discusses Bambified animal totems in her column at Rending the Veil.

• Is dating a cowan always this hard?

• Caroline Tully connects an old statue of Aphrodite with Salvador Dali's version. Platform sandals go way back.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Passing of Feraferia's Fred Adams

I learned today of the passing on August 9 of Frederick McLaren Adams, co-founder of the Southern California Pagan group Feraferia in the 1960s.

(Right: Fred and Svetlana Adams at a Feraferia ritual during the late 1960s.)

Although later cross-fertilized by Gleb Botkin's Church of Aphrodite, Feraferia ("wilderness festival") was a unique creation, with its roots in ancient Greek religion, in Adams' own visionary experiences of the gods, in the writings of Robert Graves, and also in the California "Nature Boys" tradition, of which I plan to write more later.

(Right, Fred Adams in about 2005.)

I have a framed front page of the Autumn 1968 issue of the Feraferia journal hanging over my computer desk. Its subtitle reads "The Charisma of Wilderness, Seasonal Celebration, Visionary Ecology." Forty years ago -- before most Pagans were even using the term "nature religion."

(Photos courtesy of Harold Moss.)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flesh of Earth

It is the time of year when we may partake of the sacred mushroom.

Those are a puffball and a king bolete, in case you wondered.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Trout and Mushrooms

M. and I are off for a few days to pursue trout and mushrooms. Blogging will resume later next week.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Gallimaufry with Atoms

Just some links while I am busy on two editing projects and a proposal...

¶ Aleister Crowley's legacy still poses problems for occultists -- especially when they take Internet "life" as equivalent to a "scene."

¶ Lonnie muses about animism and consciousness.

¶ A British celebrity chef recommends henbane in salads. Much concern ensues. The ethnobotanist Christian Rätsch has a recipe for henbane beer, which he says is excellent. (His personal site, in German, is here.)

¶ Peter Bishop has been reading the book of Genesis. It's fun to watch the reaction of an intelligent, non-Christian reader, "letting it speak for itself, instead of viewing it through the lens of later writings." I love the idea of Yahweh as a sort of venture capitalist investing in Abram and Sarah.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

The Apple War

The 1970s were a poor decade for fashion but a good decade for movies. One that I have not seen since then was a Swedish film with a sort of enviro/nature-religion theme, The Apple War.

Netflix does not have it. Video Library does not have it. Does anyone know where it can be rented?


Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Panopticon in Reverse

Who says the mainstream media doesn't do some things well? New York Times writer Mattathias Schwartz explores the world of Web trolls.

Ultimately, this issue is about the idea of the "commons" and whether the Web can function as a place to exchange ideas and information without getting buried in slime:

Does free speech tend to move toward the truth or away from it? When does it evolve into a better collective understanding? When does it collapse into the Babel of trolling, the pointless and eristic game of talking the other guy into crying “uncle”? Is the effort to control what’s said always a form of censorship, or might certain rules be compatible with our notions of free speech?

(Via Firedoglake.)