Sunday, August 30, 2009

10 Books That Don't Get Enough Respect

Via Prof. Reynolds, Brian Francis Slattery's "ten books that don't get enough respect."

And the only one that I have read is Little, Big, because I have been a John Crowley fan since high school.

Some of the others looks interesting. Nostromo is in the class of "always heard of it but never read it."


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seeking a goddess

I can understand seeing a goddess in your lover. But this is pushing it too far.


Online Reviews in Alternative Spirituality

The e-journal Online Reviews in Alternative Spirituality is now available. Quite a bit of it is devoted to occult and esoteric topics, downloadable as PDF files.

It is my understanding that this free model is only temporary, so look while you can.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crescent Moon in Libra

Crescent Moon over Wet Mountains. Photo copyright Chas S. Clifton.
Low-light mule deer bucks. Chas S. Clifton

Two low-light images taken within a minute of each other from my driveway. The light was going fast, so one of the mule deer bucks' heads is blurred where he moved it.

You can make the associations yourself.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Just Another Saturday

Wake up, feed the dogs, make coffee. Take Fisher, the newly adopted (last May) Chessie, for a walk. (Shelby, the ninja-collie, goes to visit her Rottweiler friend Bruno on her own.)

Start working on laying out an article for Pomegranate 11.1 in Adobe InDesign.

M. gets up. We eat breakfast. I cut the grass at the rental cabin, which takes about 45 minutes. Drink water and cool down on the porch. (M. takes a a walk into the national forest, sans dogs.) Back to Pomegranate.

The article is about Paganism in Eastern Europe. At one point the writer uses letters that occur only in Polish, like the L-with-a-slash (sounds like "w"). They are not found in Book Antiqua, the journal's normal font, so can I sneak in a couple of letters from Times, which has everything?

The telephone rings. It's a fire department call. (I joined the local volunteers last January.) But it's not the usual telephone-tree person. Something about an accident up the canyon, but the caller is not clear about how we are responding.

I call the sheriff's office to check. Yes, they know about the accident. Someone is responding. The problem is, because of the location, it could be one of three departments.

"Thanks," I say. Do I go? What to do? The phone rings again.

It's T., our asst. chief. He has been asked to back up on a vehicle extrication--"jaws of life" and all that. He'll meet me at the little country store down on the state highway.

I'm running around, pulling on my turnout pants and boots, grabbing the coat, helmet, and supply pack, throwing them into the Jeep, yelling at Fisher that no, he can't come.

I drive the mile to the store, re-lace my boots. T. rolls up in the brush/rescue truck. (It's all we have, plus a tender.) He turns on the overhead lights, and we're rolling up the canyon, diesel engine laboring.

At the accident scene, the ambulance crew ready to load the victim. There was no extrication--he was riding a motorcycle! He went off a twisty curve and has a broken femur. Irony: he is a medical doctor, an anesthesiologist.

Everyone--rescue-truck crew from the other department, the Forest Service law-enforcement ranger who had been nearby, the sheriff and a couple of deputies--shoots the breeze for a few minutes and then disperses.

T. drops me back at the store. I can't wait to get home and get out of the heavy gear.

Half an hour after the first call, I decide that sneaking in the Times italic will work well enough. There is a smidgen of Hungarian in the article too, but Book Antiqua can handle it.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Political Pagan blog

Michael Strmiska has a started a new blog, The Political Pagan. Stop by and visit. He does not mention it, but he is also on The Pomegranate's editorial board.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Mazes and Labyrinths

A web page of mazes and labyrinths, from the Paleolithic forward.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shamanic Images of the Altai

I found this video on PaganSpace -- evidently it is supposed to evoke the shamanic spirit of Kazahkstan (since the poster lives in Almaty). The Altai are a range of mountains in Central Asia.

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Pagan Content on Patheos: John Muir was Pagan??

USA Today's religion blogger, Cathy Lynn Gross, visits the Patheos religion web site and discovers (shock!) that it has a Pagan portal with actual Pagan content.

The article that catches her attention is "John Muir was a Pagan."

I admire John Muir, but I do not see him as a capital-P Pagan, follower of a non-monotheistic religion. He might well have been a small-P "pagan"-- a non-Christian, a pantheist.

Get over to Patheos and stir things up before they shut it down. I wonder if starting a religion portal in the midst of a recession was a good business plan -- were the Brunnicks counting on people to turn to religion when their money ran out? They laid off the Pagan gateway manager, a graduate student in religion, a couple of months ago.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Aphrodite and Revolution

You don't think of her as a political deity, but a (London) Times writer suggests that Aphrodite Pandemos contributes to the success or failure of popular revolutions.

This theory, which I first heard from a friend in Armenia, holds that popular upheavals only stand a chance of success if a country’s most beautiful young women come out on to the streets.

The idea being that even the most politically indifferent young men want to be where the pretty girls are and that this creates a critical mass at demonstrations that causes a regime to lose confidence in its ability to prevail. To paraphrase Marx, the young men feel they have nothing to lose but their virginity.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

All Great Men Were ... Rosicrucians?

It's the 100th anniversary of modern Rosicrucianism.

For all their concern about tracing lineage, however, it is possible to find beneath the umbrella of modern Rosicrucianism just about any belief, philosophy or superstition you might care to name – pantheism, reincarnation, alchemy, psychic power, astral out-of-body travel, telepathy. There are Cosmic Ray Coincidence Counters and Sympathetic Vibration Harps. And you can corral just about any historic hero – Plato, Dante, Descartes, Newton – into secret membership of the movement (unbeknown, of course, to the dull minds of conventional historians).

For all the snarkiness, at least one serious historian of esoteric movements is quoted in the article.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Human Beings Emit Light

You can tell people that this was part of the secret Craft training that you got from your grandmother.