Archives For The Wild Hunt

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The piece I’m writing for The Wild Hunt this week involves lots of Christianity. And maybe some anal-sex, though I was told that anal-sex and anal sex are different.  Apparently, the hyphen makes it an adjective.  According to my fellow Wild Hunt writer, Terence, the proper use of the hyphenated version might be, “Glad I wore my anal-sex boots today!”

So maybe without the hyphen.  My boots are multi-purpose, anyway.

The piece is also about Capitalism and Brighid, though.  And particularly about how Capitalism infects modern religions through the allure of power.

You all know I used to be a Christian, yeah?  Not just a Christian, but a Southern Baptist, and one quite into it.  I was always fucking up to some degree, though–I’d always take certain parts too seriously.  I remember when I suggested wine might be okay because, well, Jesus turned water into it.  And I was told by a pastor, with a straight-face, no–that wasn’t really wine, but grape juice.  They didn’t drink alcohol really.  It was like kool-aid.”

I was also an Atheist for awhile.  In fact, most European-derived Anarchists tend to be, to some degree.  Seeing all the abuse of clergy helped that, but particularly the way the church in Europe and America helped provide the moral and theological justifications for authoritarianism and Capitalist exploitation. Atheism is a justified and quite reasonable response to regimes who use the notion of the Divine as the foundation of oppression against the poor and workers.

I’m always surprised, then, to see Atheism used as a foundation to justify the exploitation of others and the supremacy of the Capitalist system.  Therein’s the crux of most of my issues with Atheism within Paganism; not Atheism-in-itself (as I said, not only do I think Atheism to be quite honorable, I was an Atheist myself, as are still many of my friends), but Atheism which questions only belief in the Other as opposed to questioning the entire fucked-up system we find ourselves living within.

Same, though, with Christianity.  I’ve many Christian friends, and they’re all anti-Capitalist.  They, too, are confused by others within their own religion who use their belief structure to justify Capitalism.

What that leads me to understand, though, is that there’s another axis entirely in all most religions which is not measured but is significant enough that those of us who fall upon one side immediately recognize in each other that belief.

The rest will be in that article.  There’s a funny thing, though, one I recently brought up to my co-writers at The Wild Hunt.  I am not the only gay druid to have ever written about Christianity for The Wild Hunt.  But don’t worry–I’m going nowhere.

A funny matter though–the last significant post said other-gay-druid wrote about gods at all was an almost panicked detailing of his experience with a certain goddess he encountered.

Which reminds me–there’s a really good post by Brennos at Strixian Woods about The Morrigan and proselytization that I’d suggest reading.  It addresses both the matter of the ‘seeming popularity’ of a certain goddess in a way that neither privileges media portrayals nor ignores them.  I think for many of us, the rise of The Morrigan indicates something portentous.  My own reactions with her have thus far been scant and very cautious–she’s not a god I suspect I’ll ever oath myself to, but one it seems I still must offer support to regardless.  Like The Dagda–he didn’t like me one bit, but that didn’t stop me from giving money to homeless people on the streets of Dublin and telling them it was from The Dagda.  He might not like me, and maybe I don’t like him–I don’t know, we didn’t get much a chance to chat–but it is important to me that others notice him, regardless.

And is that not what much of this is about?  A Christian mentioned to me that I’ve helped sharpen his faith in his god, and he’s not the first to have told me this.  But I’m not a Christian and have no truck with their god.  But still, people taking their gods seriously is important regardless of which god that is, especially for those who suspect their god(s) aren’t pleased ’bout how we’re annihilating ourselves by annihilating the earth.

And yesterday, I noted a third review of Your Face is a Forest was posted by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus.  Not only was the review title my favorite ever, but I almost cried reading PSVL’s description of my writing:

But, there is nothing about this style that is “old” in any other sense than that it isn’t preferred by the neophile modern media; the words he uses, the expressions he has, the outlook evinced by all of the writing is not ancient or archaic or outmoded; it is thoroughly modern and post-modern, with roots deep in the places we inhabit now, in modeling a yearned-for responsible and environmentally-accountable way of life and viewpoint that has never existed before, and which didn’t need to exist in previous time periods, when environmental degradation was not at the current pace, when capitalism had not reached the apogee of its excesses, when hospitality was a cardinal rule rather than a commodified quantity and industry, and when telling a good story–no matter how long–was more important than making sure you got where you were going on-time.

E’s review’s called Does This Religion Make My Ass Look Like A Mountain?, and I’m still laughing heartily, a giant’s laugh.

You really want one of these.

You really want one of these.

And finally, have you seen Alley Valkyrie’s new design?  We’re using it for the cover of “A Pagan Anti-Capitalist Primer” which we’re putting together for our presentation at Pantheacon next week.  We’ll also be making the whole thing available online for download, internet reading, and possibly at-cost printing.

And, uh, peanuts?  Do you have peanuts?  Or other corvid food? 🙂

Be well, you awesome people!

My review of Naomi Klein’s book on Climate Change and Capitalism is up on The Wild Hunt!

I can’t help but wonder if Paganism has undergone the same shifts as the major environmental movements, abandoning its innate critique of capitalism’s divorce from nature in favor of begging for recognition from the powerful.
If I’ve seemed a little morose, it’s on account of that book.  But I’m also quite happy, because of skipping ice across an undine’s pool and the smell of beeswax and this:
LOGOTRY
Which I was maybe working on instead of finishing up the e-book version of Your Face is a Forest.  We needed to get the site up quickly, and also, awesome news!  Click on the image to find out.
And be well!

A Bemusement of Faeries

October 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

Angry people are silly, but hardly fun. Bankers falling from towers? Much more fun.

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The three pieces I’ve written this week (well, one was re-written) all have a common theme…the dead.

Buffalo-Skulls-1870This month’s column for The Wild Hunt is probably the most exhausting thing I’ve ever written

So here I am, a gay Pagan living on stolen land.  I didn’t steal it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was stolen.  Not having been directly responsible, I cannot personally make amends, nor can I, with all the magic of the gods and spirits, hope to resurrect the dead, to undo those crimes.

That piece, Blood Cries Out From The Soil, started as a piece about Palestine.  It still is, but it’s about us, or The US, or the U.S., about the horror under our feet, the ghosts of dead First Nations and African slaves and immigrants which feed our modern, enlightened society.

I’m beginning to wonder when Pagandom will stop tolerating the radical in their midst.

schedelSpeaking of radical, this week’s A Sense of Place post is my favorite piece thus far.   Where They May Be Found: Dionysos

And you’ve longed, of course. For how long have you longed?  For a man, a woman, an other, a fragment of yourself or the world or the Other, found that you are suddenly stretched out but not flattened. Expanded, pulled towards even as you incline towards, but not pulled away. You long, and the hours grow long though others tell you that they are the same length, and therein’s why science isn’t poetry.

The part about the tavern? That was probably one of the most profound non-ritual experiences I’ve had with the Other, other than when I was on pilgrimage.  I don’t know how well I’m explaining it, but when the dead show up in a place full of people, listen to what happens to the quality of the laughter.  Everything is more full, the mirth so loud you’re almost overwhelmed.  I was sitting in a corner, writing in my journal (yes, I journal in gay leather bars), waiting for a beautiful and deeply meaningful friend to arrive, who’s tied deeply to my understanding of Dionysos.  I felt them enter, and then I heard them enter, and then heard them enter the very laughter of the living there.  The dead filled the bar, and then left.  I’d call myself shaken, but it’s more like the trembling after an orgasm, rather than that of shock.  And, again, le petit mort, the little death, is the French phrase for orgasm for a reason.

Concerning the last section–yeah.  There’s a reason why even Pagan rulers tried to stamp out certain aspects of worship of Dionysos.  Of the gods I’ve met, he’s the most revolutionary threat to oppressive society.  It’s no wonder that lots of liberal Pagan writers get really freaked out when people start writing about him.  I sometimes suspect the obsessive focus on his relationship to revelry and sex (similar to what one sees in popular depictions of Cernunnos, too) is to displace that raw rage seething under the surface.  Did you know that European governments legalized prostitution and rape in order to quell civil and worker unrest?  If you’ve read Caliban and The Witch, you already know this.  I think this is similar to why popular depictions of the political revolts in the 60’s focus on sex at the expense of the revolutionary almosts.

And, of course, there’s this week’s installment of my presentation.  The dead are written all over it.  The next part will be posted mid-week.

 

Be damn well.

 

 

 

beesontrees-copyHave you read Alley Valkyrie’s latest piece in The Wild Hunt?  I really think you should.

In the dream, I was hunched over a whirling pool of water, in a trance, staring into the abyss. Suddenly a spirit-woman appeared in the whirlpool. She opened her eyes at me, opened her mouth, and swarms of bees started to fly out. As they flew away, the spirit-woman started to rot away before my eyes, quickly turning to bones and decomposing flesh.

The evening after reading Alley’s piece I found myself drinking wine with a friend and his neighbor whom I’d just met.  She was inebriated and not speaking fully with her own voice.

She showed me her bee tattoo.

She kept telling me she was going to die soon.

Her name was Melissa.

I wish I were making this up.

 

Also–

Have you found a divination trade-friend yet?  I think you should find a divination trade-friend.