Archive for July, 2012

Whitewashing our Deities

Posted in History, Theory, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 27, 2012 by theredlass

Dear Wiccans/ Pagans (especially those on Deviant Art),

Why you no draw deities within their respective cultural and ethnic background?

I want to be clear. I’m not insulting the talents of artists WAY better at this than I will ever be. I know I am not alone in perusing DA’s lengthy archives with the name of a favored god or goddess typed into the search bar. I am constantly in awe of people who are able ti dedicate such time and effort into their pieces and I have a great deal of respect for their perspective and ability. I’m especially fond of it when they include symbolism and show a reflective process with regard to costume and scenery.

But still, when I search Hecate, why do I see a bunch of white girls? Shouldn’t she, at the very least, have a Mediterranean appearance? Why does Innana have red hair and pale skin (mind you I have a fetish for redheads)? Shouldn’t she be closer to Middle Eastern in appearance? Again, I’m not complaining of the quality, just of the perspective.

I believe that deities are a reflection of our own concepts. They are real, but we see them through a reflective surface that is colored by our own knowledge of our culture and ethnicity. That said, in this day and age we have a wider grasp of word knowledge than was had in ancient times. So do we simply receive these deities as a closer visual to what we are familiar with, or are we glossing over their origins in favor of making them more appealing?

For my own part, I think it’s a combination of the two. Artists like to create beautiful things and our concept of beauty is colored (no pun intended) by our surroundings. But at the same time, we are the ones now worshiping these deities, so do their appearances change because of who gives them recognition?

I have the same problem when Jesus is depicted as a tall, well built white guy with blue eyes and blondish/brown hair. He’s a Jewish dude from Bethlehem. He would looked NOTHING like that. And yet whenever we see the iconicized version of Jesus on say, a piece of toast, we believe it’s a miracle. (Because Jesus has nothing better to do with his day…not like there is starvation in Africa or anything.)

I would honestly love hearing some opinions on this. It’s irking me.

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One Lovely Blog Nomination

Posted in Fun and interesting with tags , , on July 24, 2012 by theredlass

Nefret from http://stayforaspell.wordpress.com/author/neferenankh/ was kind enough to nominate me for One Lovely Blog!! *cheers* I feel very honored to have been nominated and I’m glad someone thought enough of what I write to say “Hey she’s pretty cool!”

RULES:

  •  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post
  •  Share 7 things about yourself
  •  Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire
  •  Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

1) I’m an a lesbian and am in the 10th year of my relationship. I wouldn’t trade my wifey for anything in the world and at the end of the day I do truly believe I have found my soul mate.
2) I was recently hired to be a performer for the Ohio Renaissance Festival! It’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had and I’m keeping a blog/diary in order to remember it forevers and evers! Make sure to stop by there and see me!
3) I’m what you might call a skeptical believer, which sometimes makes being a pagan a little bit of an exercise. I WANT to believe in everything but I have a lot of questions and that means I can not just “accept” that something is real. I try not to interfere with other peoples beliefs though because I do understand that experiences differ. So just because I haven’t experienced something don’t mean no one else has either.
4) My first deeply spiritual experience happened when I was just a child. We were sleeping over at my grandmom’s house and I woke up in the middle of the night. When I opened my eyes there was dark, pointy, malignant shapes all around me and I was very very frightened some of. I could sense that they were dangerous. As I looked off into the distance I saw a lion the color of prismatic light walking towards me. He made a noiseless roar, the shapes dissipated and it sat down next to the couch where I was. I felt intimidated, but not scared, and as I looked at him I fell back asleep.
5) I do nude art modeling for one of the local collages. It has been a deeply spiritual and introspective experience and one I will continue for some time.
6) I am addicted to Skyrim, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Game of Thrones and True Blood. Deal.
7) Margaret Cho is my favorite comedian in the entire world. I love her sharp, unforgiving, unflinching wit and commentary on the world at large.

BLOGS:
http://ditzydruid.com/ – She has been one of the nicest people and her little felt spirits make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
http://druidgarden.wordpress.com/ – A very contentious minded blog that really promotes sustainability and using your natural environment.
http://stayforaspell.wordpress.com/author/neferenankh/ – Very interesting and frequently updated site.
http://redmoonmusings.com/ – Pretty lady sells pretty things of prettiness. Pretty.

Teaching Wiccopagancraft: The Result

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 20, 2012 by theredlass

So…not as bad as I thought.

We ended up with a much bigger group than I thought was going to be there. Like 12-13 people total. We had some food, relaxed in front of the bonfire, shared some mead and chatted. Once everyone got there we decided to use a talking stick (yes a throwback from the kindergarten days) in order to make sure those who wanted a chance to speak would get it. We started off by introducing ourselves and who portions of spirituality we were interested in and just in general what we knew about the craft. We talked about what we are interested in learning and just got to know one another in this vein.

We talked about some of the experiences we’ve had both growing up and now that we’re grown. I tried to explain it as a chicken or the egg discussion. Did you start having these experiences because you are attracted to this spirituality or are you attracted to this spirituality because you had these experiences? It’s a significant question. I also borrowed a concept from Witch of the Forest Grove when I told them that once you start heading down this path you will find that weird shit happens to you more and more.

I made a point of bringing what I call the 3 Pitfalls of Beginners Paganism with them. And I can safely say these are 3 mistakes I made in my neophyte era so I felt justified in bringing them up.

Pitfall 1) Avoid giving yourself a craft name, especially one that follows the trend of Color AnimalPlant or which includes pompous titles like Lord or Lady. The queen did not knight you. You are not a Lord or Lady. To me it reflects a sense of trying to control the spiritual around you, not allowing it to come as it will. I also reminded them that craft names are supposed to be sacred things and not shared outside the coven. They are not for use in every day life. You do not use it to sign your homework.

Pitfall 2) Altars are not giant piles of categorized stuff. Few people have an expanse of counter space in their house which they can take up with crystals and athames and chalices. Add on top of that the fact that most of us try to have our main altar in a backroom where in we may never actually go unless we have a purpose. *guilty cough* My personal thoughts on altars are Keep it Simple Stupid. Make your altars with specific dedication, make them small, and put them in places where you pass by daily. I took one of those plain wooden boxes you can buy at Craft’s 2000, repainted it, and put a picture hanger attachment on the back. It’s going to be my altar to Hekate (if someone will ever send the fucking statue). Still, keep it simple. Use a cabinet to keep the stuff for rituals in. It also has the benefit of being visually appealing and can be easily written off by non-practitioners as decoration.

Pitfall 3) Your Book of Shadows is not stuff you have hand copied from other peoples books. That is why you BOUGHT those books, so you could use them as reference. DO NOT COPY. That is plagiarism. I look at a grimoire more like a combination of a journal and a scientific notebook. It is about your experiences for you to mark and reflect on. A way to look back and develop your spirituality from how you lived it.

Then we moved on to other topics after this but still, I at least felt like I contributed something. We all agreed to get back together in another two weeks. I’m debating doing like homework assignments, not just for them but for me too.

 

 

Teaching Wiccopagacraft

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 19, 2012 by theredlass

I think there comes a point in every practitioners life where in they get asked to teach someone else about what it is we are, what we do, what we believe in.

That is also the exact same moment when you start wondering if you know enough to teach someone else.

A friend of mine has been interested in expanding her knowledge for several years and had set up a group. Not a coven yet, more a discussion group for Wicca/Pagan/Witchcraft. They have been meeting for a while and she wants to group to go further so she asked me to go in tonight and help kind of steer the conversation towards more spiritual pursuits. The group gets off topic easily and everyone there is very very new to this whole ting.

And the whole time I’m sitting there wondering DAFUQ am I going to teach?

I told her that I am happy to help moderate. That I’ll share whatever knowledge I can with people. But I also reminded her (and myself) that spirituality, especially our brand, is a very individualistic pursuit of knowledge and meaning. I can lend advise and give suggestions. I can speak from my own experiences in order to make some things easier.
But I can’t pretend I am some wise arch druid or high priestess coming down to tell people how it’s going to be. In fact that is the exact thing I despise about so many covens and groves out there. That and the rivalry. Erugh.

Still, I’ll see how it goes. I have been wanting to get back into the community so this may be the universe giving me an opening.

Where Hast Thou Been?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 16, 2012 by theredlass

I usually try and make a point of updating at least once every two weeks, hopefully once every week, and I have been!

…just not here…

I was recently hired by the Ohio Renaissance Festival to be one of their performers for the 2012 year!! For the last month I have been in the middle of nowhere learning all about the Elizabethan era, Sumptuary Law, accents and everything. I decided to open a blog regarding my position and, especially with me being a newbie, for other performers to come and comment on and enjoy. head on over to Scripts From the Faire to see what all I’ve been up to.

http://rennieneophyte.wordpress.com/

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2012 by theredlass

Giveaways are always exciting!

The Ditzy Druid

I’m very proud to announce that my blog has finally reached, and surpassed, 20,000 views!  It’s very humbling and meaningful to know that so many have found their way to may little corner of the internet.  I hope I’ve been able to inform, inspire, and delight my readers – even if you have come here accidentally!  I hope to continue sharing my views, creations, and experiences with you for years to come.

To celebrate this milestone, and to say thank you, I decided to do a giveaway! It’s kind of cliched in the blogging world, but why not?   And what better to offer than one of my popular and beloved tree spirit plushies?

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This autumn oak tree spirit is based on my original design and uses my original pattern.  He’s made from new and recycled materials.  Other people who have purchased them from me in the past have used…

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