Saturday, March 06, 2010

Seven Years of Blogging

Today marks the seventh anniversary of Letter from Hardscrabble Creek, originally the name I gave to a column that appeared in various long-gone Pagan zines.

It all started with this.


Friday, March 05, 2010

The City Dionysia in Colorado Springs.

"Just when you thought you knew what Colorado Springs was all about," commented a poster on one of the Colorado Pagan email lists.

It was the City Dionysia festival, complete with a performance of Euripides' The Bacchae.

There is, of course, a Facebook page, where you can see some photos.

I missed it by going camping, an homage to a different god. Maybe next year.

You have to admit that this event nicely counters the usual "Fort God" image that is commonly encountered.

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Pagans, Folklore, and Dogs

Click over to Pagans for Archaeology, where Yewtree interviews Australian Pagan scholar David Waldron, author of Shock! The Black Dog of Bungay: A Study in Local Folklore, about dogs, folklore, and the Pagan revival.

I think a key issue for me was that transmission of symbols, images and ideas from the pagan past are very fragmentary, complex and ambivalent. People are very quick to throw the “Pagan Survival” label around because they so badly need to feel a connection to the past and a feeling of pastness in what they do. People can also be very quick to deny connection to a Pagan past when debunking. One thing that was really apparent to me when doing my research on the Black Dog of Bungay from a local history perspective, was that it is not a zero sum game. Let’s look at the Black Dog of Bungay for example. There are fragments in the myth from the Celts, Vikings and Romans for example. However, if I was to speak to a 16th century Puritan in Bungay he may not even know what a Celt was and would certainly take offense at the suggestion his view of the attack on St Mary’s church by a Black Dog or “Devile in such a likenesse” was Pagan.

He makes some interesting points about how folklore incorporates outside interpretations, digesting them, and  presenting them as truly indigenous and original. Worth a read.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Picts, Scots, Vikings, King Arthur--the Past is Still Much With Us

An interesting round-up of Scottish and Pictish-themed movies at Codex Celtica, as well as discussion of new pop-historical writing on King Arthur.

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Mark Teppo on Magick and Fiction

I noticed this post about Mark Teppo and urban magick on Instapundit, linking to an Amazon blog item about his thoughts on the nature of magick.

Like I said, the definition [of magick] is a bit slippery, and it might be a bit much to attribute to the writing of a pulpy occult noir book the grandiose intent of creating magick, but that's part of what inspired the Codex of Souls. Not so much making magick, but rediscovering the possibility of it. Instead of holding such strangeness at arm's length and pretending that we're an entirely rational species, I wanted to embrace our esoteric history. Let it all be true. Why not? It's a matter of faith, isn't it? One of the things that separates us from the beasts with smaller brains is the ability to believe in something that isn't there, and you can argue that when we learned how to dream, our brains got bigger.

Sounds interesting. Have any of you read his books? What do you think? How do they stack up against, say, Charles De Lint?

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Deep Snow, Deep Winter

I spent the last three days camping with friends up on the Arapaho National Forest.

I have done a little deep-winter camping before, but never before on skis with a sled.

I learned that my sleeping bag is not really warm enough for -18 F. (-27 C.) nights. Must remedy that.

Even after that short time, it is hard to make the transition back to the writing life. And things like Facebook--or even blogging--seem so trivial.

But I am developing some new blog posts, so check back after a couple of days.

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