erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Had a really good day today. I've sold all of the copies of my poetry book except one, and many copies of both of my other books. Talked to a lot of the folks I've been wanting to be in contact with, and have plans to get in touch with many others. There have been hallway conversations, a discussion of CR with a gal who lived in Ireland for a year and who was wondering how all the texts and folkloric material might be practically applied, attended a Manannán ritual with one of the Druidic groups in attendance (where I met the woman who lived in Ireland), hung out with the ADF folks, and participated as a ritualist in the Ekklesía Antínoou Lupercalia ritual. Much more was said and done than I can really quite describe, but I've been having a fantastic time.

I talked to Chris Penczak briefly in the Temple of Witchcraft hospitality suite. When I have more information about actual dates I'll be in New England, we might be able to arrange for me to do a workshop on ogam for his people, pending his talking to the board of directors. He's based in New Hampshire, and it would only be a couple of hours from Springfield while I was out there. That would give me an opportunity to get a little gas money for the rest of the trip, and maybe sell some books. No promises, but I suspect there's a good chance I can pull that together.

Tomorrow's a busy day. I have the Immanion authors panel at 1:30 in the Silicon Valley room, 5pm in the ADF suite I have the informal photo show & tell about the Ireland & Isle of Man pilgrimage, and at 11pm the spirit work and PTSD joint session with [livejournal.com profile] druid_medb will be happening in Carmel/Monterey. I suspect that one will be pretty well attended.

Sadly, my day starts rather earlier than I would like. There's a pre-ritual meeting in our room early in the day, so the alarm goes off at 9am. I don't see things I'm likely to be very conscious for at the 11am session, so I will probably be dealing with something vaguely resembling breakfast at that hour.

After the Lupercalia ritual, I got a chance to meet an African Raven, brought to the festival by Our Thracian Colleague. He is a beautiful bird and I got a chance to hold him and talk to him a bit and ruffle his feathers. He's got unusual coloring for a raven, in that he has some grey feathers and his eyes, rather than having gone to black, are a dark grey-amber color. He's really amazing and I'm going to see if I can take a few photos of him tomorrow if I run into Andrew during the day. That was really quite a treat!

And now, given that it is going on 2am, I'm goingt to check a couple of other websites and then head up to find myself a little snooze.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Wilde Sin)
I was walking home from the Safeway tonight when some dickwad came zipping into the parking lot of the apartments next to mine. He came up behind me while it was raining, so I didn't even hear him approach, and came within about 18 inches of me without even slowing down as I was walking across the driveway entrance. I was too stunned to do anything but gape as he just kept right on going. I have no idea if he even saw me, but I was under a fucking streetlight and on the sidewalk. Needless to say, I'm a little peeved, but okay.

That said, I set up my altar for a small Foundation Day ritual for Antinous.

Foundation Day altar

Earlier today I also posted the text with some source notes for my Samhain ritual up on the Searching for Imbas blog.

I had a headache today, so I didn't go down to the AFK as I'd hoped. It was easier to stay home for the evening. Next Tuesday will be the first Tuesday social at Picadilly Circus over in Snohomish and I do intend to make that one.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
I got a number of things done this morning before leaving for my VA appointment. Sorted through some of the piles of paper on my desk and recycled things, took out recycling, got and sorted through the three boxes of my stuff I sent home from Italy. I pulled some of the books I'll need for the ogam presentation off the shelves and put them on the desk where I can work with them. Ordered a few copies of Circle of Stones and will be taking a couple down to Edge to sell to Robert there when they arrive.

My session with Tracy was pretty good today. I'm really tired but I absolutely expected that. After the VA, I went over to Elliott Bay Cafe and had a little snack. While waiting to meet [livejournal.com profile] meddevi, I worked out the outline for the Esoteric Book Conference presentation, with a rough estimate of about how many images I'm going to need for the graphics portion of the program. I need to send something off to Jeff, and I also need to remember to email the EBC people and make sure that I asked for tech assist with a projector and whatnot.

Once we were done chatting, I went and grabbed a little dinner, then wandered down to Edge, where I talked with Robert briefly and ran into [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor. I'd forgotten that Irish class was tonight. I had another errand to run (picking up more green dye, as I'm almost out), then came back to go to the last part of the class. While at Edge, I picked up the two volumes of Geosophia by Jake Stratton-Kent, which explores the possible Greek origins of the European Grimoire tradition. Looks like some fascinating stuff.

After class, I drove [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson to Mill Creek, where he could catch the bus home - it was about ten minutes behind us, so he wouldn't have to wait long. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm emailed me (I'd been meaning to email her this evening) about getting together soon so she can get the stuff she carried back from Ireland for me into my hands. It includes a very nice book of Irish verb paradigms that will be really useful for the Irish class, along with water from the two Kildare Brigid's wells, among other things.

The ritual of the lotus was completed this evening when I got home. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift, and I'll try to spend some time fleshing out the EBC presentation outline and defining exactly which images I'm going to need and how to source them.

Tired Erynn is about to crawl off to bed. Busy day tomorrow, but one spent here at home.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Some back and forth with Storm at Immanion and one issue was resolved. Got some suggestions about possible avenues for publicity for the poetry collection, and hooked up the Immanion publicity person with the Hiraeth publicity person in hopes that they might coordinate something of mutual benefit to both presses in cooperating on publicity for Fireflies.

Did some research for the EBC presentation and have some tabs open on my browser. Went to hang out with a few folks at the AFK this evening for a couple of hours and showed people some photos.

When I got home I did the Lion Hunt ritual and will be putting the candles out in a little while to crawl into bed. Tomorrow is shrinkage and the Lotus ritual. Thursday is my flamekeeping shift.

A fannish reference for [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht:

Photobucket

Aquileia

Aug. 15th, 2012 06:48 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today the sib and I went to Aquileia to see some Roman ruins and look in at the museum. Italy without Roman ruins would have been a bit sacreligious, but this place had been a port city back in the day. The river in question has dwindled immensely over the centuries, but the foundations and such are still there.

We saw the bascilica, which was really fascinating, and it is famous for the mosaic floor that they found beneath it, with animals and fish and a few human figures, restored and open for viewing. Behind the bascilica is a cemetery wherein all the graves are of men who died during the first world war. I think it was the saddest place I have been through the entire trip, because there were so many people there from just a very few years.

The museum was smallish but four floors of stuff, and it had a really incredible collection, including a bust of Antinous, a torso that might have been Hadrian (the armor was identical to what I'd seen photos of on a much larger than life statue previously), and a ton of really fascinating artifacts, including a bunch of engraved gems, one of which was an image of Abraxas. I really wish I'd had my bifocals with me, as there was so much that was just in that space between where I could see with my usual glasses (further away) and what I can see without glasses (not close enough for me to focus), so I missed a lot of detail on gems and coins that I really really wanted to see. Sadly, the museum did not allow for photographs, or I'd have taken a bunch of them. They had images ranging from a fragment of Diana of Ephesus to Romanized Isis to Serpais and the Dioscuroi.

I'd been hoping I could get a book of the museum catalog, but not only did they not have a gift shop, they didn't even have a brochure about the collection! I was sorely disappointed.

We also visited a medieval walled city in the shape of a nine-pointed star. Much of the outer wall is gone now, but bits of it can be seen, and we had to enter the city through one of the one-lane gates. We went into the city square to have a little liquid and a bathroom break, then drove around a little bit and went for a very short walk.

My packages got mailed out, I picked up a little briefcase-sized bag because I'd forgot I also had to carry home the little clock I got in Prague and the backpack I have was not quite large enough for it. I did check the USAir carry on policies and I can take two bags with me. It's still smaller and lighter than carrying the big backpack with everything in it. I haven't been able to check in for my flight online, so I'll have to do it when I get to the airport tomorrow, sadly. All that's left tonight is a little dinner and collapsing in a heap, then packing the last few things into my bags in the morning to depart. I'll post before we leave for the airport then, if I'm able, from the airport itself pre-departure.

For all you folks at home, see you tomorrow!

Aquileia

Aug. 15th, 2012 06:48 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today the sib and I went to Aquileia to see some Roman ruins and look in at the museum. Italy without Roman ruins would have been a bit sacreligious, but this place had been a port city back in the day. The river in question has dwindled immensely over the centuries, but the foundations and such are still there.

We saw the bascilica, which was really fascinating, and it is famous for the mosaic floor that they found beneath it, with animals and fish and a few human figures, restored and open for viewing. Behind the bascilica is a cemetery wherein all the graves are of men who died during the first world war. I think it was the saddest place I have been through the entire trip, because there were so many people there from just a very few years.

The museum was smallish but four floors of stuff, and it had a really incredible collection, including a bust of Antinous, a torso that might have been Hadrian (the armor was identical to what I'd seen photos of on a much larger than life statue previously), and a ton of really fascinating artifacts, including a bunch of engraved gems, one of which was an image of Abraxas. I really wish I'd had my bifocals with me, as there was so much that was just in that space between where I could see with my usual glasses (further away) and what I can see without glasses (not close enough for me to focus), so I missed a lot of detail on gems and coins that I really really wanted to see. Sadly, the museum did not allow for photographs, or I'd have taken a bunch of them. They had images ranging from a fragment of Diana of Ephesus to Romanized Isis to Serpais and the Dioscuroi.

I'd been hoping I could get a book of the museum catalog, but not only did they not have a gift shop, they didn't even have a brochure about the collection! I was sorely disappointed.

We also visited a medieval walled city in the shape of a nine-pointed star. Much of the outer wall is gone now, but bits of it can be seen, and we had to enter the city through one of the one-lane gates. We went into the city square to have a little liquid and a bathroom break, then drove around a little bit and went for a very short walk.

My packages got mailed out, I picked up a little briefcase-sized bag because I'd forgot I also had to carry home the little clock I got in Prague and the backpack I have was not quite large enough for it. I did check the USAir carry on policies and I can take two bags with me. It's still smaller and lighter than carrying the big backpack with everything in it. I haven't been able to check in for my flight online, so I'll have to do it when I get to the airport tomorrow, sadly. All that's left tonight is a little dinner and collapsing in a heap, then packing the last few things into my bags in the morning to depart. I'll post before we leave for the airport then, if I'm able, from the airport itself pre-departure.

For all you folks at home, see you tomorrow!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was threatening rain when [livejournal.com profile] fififolle swooped me off to Maryport, where we went to the Senhouse Roman Museum. For a tiny place, it packed in a lot of stuff. It has, apparently, the largest collection of Roman altars in Britain (23-ish?), mostly to Jupiter, but also to Mars, Aesculapius, and Minerva, among others. There were two Epona figures there, a horned god (I couldn't actually make out the figure clearly, I'm taking the museum's word for it), and the famous snake-stone pillar, with the snake climbing up one side and a face on the other. I took a bunch of photos. The site is some miles from Hadrian's Wall, but is a part of the general area's fortifications, and there was a rather badly done statue of Hadrianus Augustus in the recreation of the shrine of the standards, but one must photograph it anyway. ;) It was something with at least a tenuous connection to my Antinoan devotions.

There is an active dig going on through to the end of August, and they were giving tours, but we were there about noon, and the tour wasn't until 2pm. We decided to head down into Maryport and grabbed some lunch at the cafe in the aquarium (we didn't go into the aquarium itself). By the time 2pm had rolled around, the wind had picked up and it was raining. I wasn't really feeling that well anyway and didn't think my legs would hold up for it - I've been cramping pretty badly all day and had a lot of trouble moving most of the afternoon and into the evening. I was just as glad to let it go.

Upon our return to Chez Fi, I checked the weight on my backpack - just a hair under 20 pounds, so I have a little breathing room for my flight from Manchester to Rennes. We looked around at possibilities for things to do tomorrow, given my trip out to Penrith, and it turns out that the Long Meg circle is about 15 minutes or so out of town, so we may be able to visit that. It's outside of town on the other side of Penrith, but Fi seems willing to haul me out there. I don't think she's been there before. This is a fairly famous circle, and the third largest in Britain, so if I do get to go, that'll be a really nice finish to my tour of English sacred sites.

This evening we packed my hiking poles into a spare shipping tube and duct taped them like crazy. We'll stop by the post office on our way out so that I can ship them off home. They're very light, so the postage shouldn't be too much.

I wasn't really able to do more than a quiet meditation for Lughnassadh, but if rain is the presence of Lugh, then I certainly had him in spades today. We give what we are able, when it comes to time and physical capacity, and I was not up to very much today at all. I would have liked to do more, but perhaps I can do a little something tomorrow when I get into the B&B in Penrith and have some time alone before I see if Stephen will be available. Certainly, if I can spend a little time meditating at Long Meg without getting soaked, that would be a nice touch.

Tonight at dinner, I tried a Stella Artois pear cider, which was very nice. Last night, along with the Kopparberg, we'd tried a Bulmer's pear, which was really bland. I wasn't impressed at all, but I wouldn't mind having this one again. I wasn't nearly as jazzed as I was about the elderflower and lime, but it was still a good, solid cider with a nice flavor. If I can get pear, it's a little easier on my system than the apple, which can be a bit problematic if my system isn't quite up to dealing with it. Cider is usually reasonably safe, as apples go, but there are days when one really doesn't want to take any chances.

Being just a touch headachey, I'm about to drop myself into bed. I hope the weather in Brittany is better than this. I don't mind a little rain, but it's been downright dismal for much of my Isle of Man/Britain visit. I'm delighted I've had such good company to spend the time with, though! (Thank you, Fi! You and Neil have been wonderful.)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was threatening rain when [livejournal.com profile] fififolle swooped me off to Maryport, where we went to the Senhouse Roman Museum. For a tiny place, it packed in a lot of stuff. It has, apparently, the largest collection of Roman altars in Britain (23-ish?), mostly to Jupiter, but also to Mars, Aesculapius, and Minerva, among others. There were two Epona figures there, a horned god (I couldn't actually make out the figure clearly, I'm taking the museum's word for it), and the famous snake-stone pillar, with the snake climbing up one side and a face on the other. I took a bunch of photos. The site is some miles from Hadrian's Wall, but is a part of the general area's fortifications, and there was a rather badly done statue of Hadrianus Augustus in the recreation of the shrine of the standards, but one must photograph it anyway. ;) It was something with at least a tenuous connection to my Antinoan devotions.

There is an active dig going on through to the end of August, and they were giving tours, but we were there about noon, and the tour wasn't until 2pm. We decided to head down into Maryport and grabbed some lunch at the cafe in the aquarium (we didn't go into the aquarium itself). By the time 2pm had rolled around, the wind had picked up and it was raining. I wasn't really feeling that well anyway and didn't think my legs would hold up for it - I've been cramping pretty badly all day and had a lot of trouble moving most of the afternoon and into the evening. I was just as glad to let it go.

Upon our return to Chez Fi, I checked the weight on my backpack - just a hair under 20 pounds, so I have a little breathing room for my flight from Manchester to Rennes. We looked around at possibilities for things to do tomorrow, given my trip out to Penrith, and it turns out that the Long Meg circle is about 15 minutes or so out of town, so we may be able to visit that. It's outside of town on the other side of Penrith, but Fi seems willing to haul me out there. I don't think she's been there before. This is a fairly famous circle, and the third largest in Britain, so if I do get to go, that'll be a really nice finish to my tour of English sacred sites.

This evening we packed my hiking poles into a spare shipping tube and duct taped them like crazy. We'll stop by the post office on our way out so that I can ship them off home. They're very light, so the postage shouldn't be too much.

I wasn't really able to do more than a quiet meditation for Lughnassadh, but if rain is the presence of Lugh, then I certainly had him in spades today. We give what we are able, when it comes to time and physical capacity, and I was not up to very much today at all. I would have liked to do more, but perhaps I can do a little something tomorrow when I get into the B&B in Penrith and have some time alone before I see if Stephen will be available. Certainly, if I can spend a little time meditating at Long Meg without getting soaked, that would be a nice touch.

Tonight at dinner, I tried a Stella Artois pear cider, which was very nice. Last night, along with the Kopparberg, we'd tried a Bulmer's pear, which was really bland. I wasn't impressed at all, but I wouldn't mind having this one again. I wasn't nearly as jazzed as I was about the elderflower and lime, but it was still a good, solid cider with a nice flavor. If I can get pear, it's a little easier on my system than the apple, which can be a bit problematic if my system isn't quite up to dealing with it. Cider is usually reasonably safe, as apples go, but there are days when one really doesn't want to take any chances.

Being just a touch headachey, I'm about to drop myself into bed. I hope the weather in Brittany is better than this. I don't mind a little rain, but it's been downright dismal for much of my Isle of Man/Britain visit. I'm delighted I've had such good company to spend the time with, though! (Thank you, Fi! You and Neil have been wonderful.)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Join the Illuminati!)
The wind was up today and the power got knocked out for maybe half an hour. It wasn't gone long, but it was slightly disconcerting. Given that my wireless is currently battery operated, this meant I could remain online even through the outage - not a thing I could do when I had a cable modem and a wireless router. It's the one advantage to the system I currently use.

I got first draft sample cover art for the Circle of Stones reprint today. The idea is okay, but the execution leaves rather a bit to be desired, as one might expect from a first draft. Comments were sent back and forth between myself, Taylor, and Storm, and we'll have Andy do another draft and see how that goes. I was kind of "yeah, it's okay. meh." It didn't grab me, but it didn't give me a visceral Oh Fuck No the way the first draft cover for the ogam book did, so I figure we're headed in the right direction.

I had fun at the Irish class today, wherein songs were sung and key phrases like "I don't understand" and "maybe" were practiced. ;)

After Irish class, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to Caffe Vita for the queer Pagan meetup, where I caught up with folks I haven't seen in quite some time. Greg, Black Cat, Craigula, Jimbo, and Jay were all there. Also in attendance (though I didn't really get a chance to talk to her) was Nancy, whom I hadn't seen since around the time I was dating my third husband, so that's probably been nearly since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I introduced [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor around to everyone I knew and we chatted and I squeed about Ireland and Europe and upcoming publications and all that.

Once the group started to break up, half a dozen of us went up the street to a little bar and snacks place, which was okay if a bit hipster for my tastes. We hung out and talked for probably another hour before I had to get on the road to get home to Everett.

In the past few days I'd been hearing about yet another eyerolling kerfuffle in the online CR community, where some folks are apparently claiming anyone who isn't Reading Books and Being A Scholar ZOMG isn't really practicing CR, which is patent bullshit as far as I'm concerned. The whole idea behind this was that eventually people wouldn't have to be scholars and build it all themselves. Eventually there would come a time when there would be rituals and communities and people could just come and participate and be a part of the CR movement, no matter what their level of "academic" involvement. I think that it was put pretty well on the Mo Thearmann blog, though she did say one thing that I would take at least slight issue with:

You can't attend a gathering and then shut CR off for the remainder of the year. Also, if you are CR on Monday, Ásatrú on Tuesday, Wiccan on Wednesday, Hellenic on Thursday ad nauseam, then you are not fully CR because you are setting aside the CR worldview to practice— or dabble, really— in others.

I'm someone who practices multiple traditions. My primary spiritual identity is as a fili within a CR tradition, but I am also a Shinto practitioner, a mystes and luperca in the Ekklesía Antínoou, and a number of other things that I don't mysteriously stop being when I am practicing a CR path. Nor do I suddenly stop being a member of the Shinto shrine or lose my affiliation with Antinous and his community when I am teaching or doing ritual within the CR community. I understand why "dabbling" would be problematic, but I also know that many people operating in a genuinely polytheist paradigm are capable of working within a number of traditions at the same time. How long does one have to practice something for it to no longer be "dabbling"? Whose criteria do we use? What determines how many spiritual practices a person can have and still legitimately be considered a member of the CR movement?

I've already been declared a heretic by some, I know. That said, I'm writing books and publishing essays and teaching at festivals, and people associate my name with the CR movement. I don't accept the idea that I might somehow not be legitimate because I also choose to worship other deities and practice other paths along with my primary practice. My life is broader, richer, and more complex than that. I take all of it seriously, even if I would never consider myself, for instance, an expert on Shinto. I don't have to be in order to be a shrine member and to go to the seasonal festivals.

Anyway, that's my rant for the evening. Let's not dismiss people just because we may not practice in the same way they do. Yes, there are boundaries. No, CR is not an exclusive path that people must practice while forsaking all others. No, you do not have to have a degree in Celtic Studies to practice a CR spirituality.

Thank you and good night.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I had a really mixed day today. My VA appointment went quickly, but the travel office wasn't moving at all. We sat for half an hour and hardly got more than six numbers called, and then nobody was at the windows at all. I was at least 30 numbers back and had to meet [livejournal.com profile] bearfairie and one of her covensisters who had been up from the Bay (and down from Alberta). I ditched the line and will get my travel funds another day.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I then headed over to Travelers, where we met them, and also saw [livejournal.com profile] nathan_fhtagn, who was meeting a friend for chai. I got to talk with him for about ten minutes before we had to leave to go to Araya's, but he'll be back at Travelers on Thursday to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] fullcontactmuse before her burlesque show, so I will probably see both of them on Thursday after my group.

Dinner was lovely and [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm was able to join us for dinner, as was [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx, who came along with [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht We spent a couple of hours at dinner, having a wonderful time talking and catching up, then I gave [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm a ride home and brought [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor up here. He will need to catch a bus back up to Anacortes about 7:30 tomorrow morning, but [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor will be here with me for several days.

When I got home, I had email from [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde, who said that she was diagnosed with a sarcoma of some sort today. I emailed her back asking for more details, and she called me up. We talked for a while and I told her that if she needed somebody up there for support to let me know. She hasn't got much for support there right now, as one of her people is out of town for two months, and her ex-girlfriend, who often helps out with a lot of things, is having some severe problems with vertigo that are keeping her from being able to do much of anything right now. Anyway, I may need to go up to Vancouver without much notice for a few days to help her out or give her rides or something. She would welcome prayers or healing work from friends and acquaintances, so please keep her in your thoughts. She has been a dear friend for many years, and is the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, so prayers to Brigid are particularly appreciated.

Not long after that, I was able to have a chat with my brother in Baghdad. He says he will be leaving there Friday, spending four days in Kuwait, and then heading home to Italy. I'm glad he's nearly out of there. He did say that Aviano may be giving him some military time when he gets back (which will put him closer to getting that last 150 days for retirement), but he hasn't got any details for that as yet, so he's not sure what will be happening. I'll keep folks updated. He told me he'd text me when he got in so that I could mail him all the stuff that's been stacking up here for him.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that P. Sufenas Virius Lupus had finally published Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor's Notes, Volume One about the spiritual practices of the Ekklesía Antínoou. What I forgot to note is that I have two rituals published in the book, for the Festivals of the Lion and the Lotus. So this is yet another publication for me this year!

Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor's Notes

You can get it at Createspace.

Needless to say, no writing at all has been done today.

I just want everyone to be happy, healthy, and safe.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
A new book was released today by my friend P. Sufenas Virius Lupus of the Aedicula Antinoi blog, titled Devotio Antinoou: The Doctor's Notes, vol. 1. It is a compilation of texts, rituals, prayers and other material for people interested in the cult of Antinous and the Ekklesía Antínoou. Please pick up a copy and help a friend, as well as getting some really in-depth information about this deity and his ancient and modern cultus.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
I have [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor here tonight, yay! We are working on the CR schmooze Samhain ritual. I've typed in the notes we have and emailed them to her and she's going to fill in notes that she took from the discussion on our ritual list to modify the list somewhat. We're discussing various bits and pieces of things that need to be done and dealing with how long we think various things are going to take. Music is being plotted and planned. Ritual texts are being assembled.

I also sent off an email to [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill about the proposed visionary poetry workshop with some suggestions for things I'd like to see, and some technical bits and pieces for us to discuss. He's going to be taking a look at it tomorrow, I think, after he gets back from his camping trip.

Discussion is also underway in email on some Antinoan stuff for Foundation Day, which is the day after our Samhain vigil. Logistics are going to be slightly problematic, but ritual will be had. Mystifications may be in the works as well, possibly during the Esoteric Book Conference the weekend of September 9th, depending on how things work out.

My relatives in New England are battening down the hatches or just evacuating, depending on where they are. I am keeping them in my thoughts. It's going to be a rough one. Mom says it is projected to be as bad as the hurricane that blew through back in 1938, the year before she was born. Both mom and grandma talked about it from time to time when I was growing up, and I remember them telling me the stories. It involved the Deerfield River in Charlemont and the surrounding areas flooding massively, which swept away a woman who owned the indian trading post on the Mohawk Trail where my grandmother once worked -- the woman was killed in the storm. Naturally, I'm worried about my family. I'm hoping everyone is prepared and stays safe. My thoughts are with all my friends back east who are dealing with this -- may you all be well and may damage be minimal.

I talked to the sib today for a little while. He persuaded me to download Skype, so we chatted briefly. It was 10pm in Baghdad and about noon here. He said it had been 128f today, with dust storms. That sounds so horrifically insane that I just can't imagine it. It was nice to talk to him, though it does still pretty much just feel like a phone call. Maybe doing it with video would change that somewhat. Damn, videophones. We do live in the future. Where's my flying car and jetpack, dammit! (Cue Paul Simon. These are the days of miracle and wonder, and don't cry baby, don't cry don't cry...)

Later this evening I'm going to attempt a rhubarb cobbler with gluten-free biscuit crust. I'm hoping it works out. The cornbread we did the other day was really nummy, so it might just be okay.

The wireless is working out just fine so far. I got about three-ish or so hours out of it when it wasn't plugged in (documentation suggested up to four hours), so the battery will last a fair bit when I'm away from a power source so long as I'm not just hanging around online for no reason. It's very slightly slower than Comcast was, but I'm okay with that, considering how much less I'm paying for it. I also popped over to Netflix and eliminated streaming movies from my service, which cuts that bill in half (admittedly it's a very small bill, but everything helps). That'll also cut down on the amount of bandwidth I'm tempted to use. I was mostly using streaming vid when I was crazy bored anyway, so it was sporadic at best.

And now, back to the coal mines.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus Oh Noes!)
Yep, I did it. I called them up today and went through the whole struggling to cancel my Comcast account, complete with the sales rep telling me horror stories about people who had used wireless plans similar to my own and ended up with "thousand dollar a month bills."

I'm absolutely certain these people were spending most of the day playing Warcraft, watching streaming movies, and downloading torrents. Since I do none of these things (except for a very occasional streaming Netflix movie), I'm also absolutely certain I won't be one of the horror stories.

On the off chance that I use a hella lot more data than I expected, I also called AT&T and upgraded from the 3gig to the 5 gig a month plan. That's $50, but it's still $25 a month less than Comcast and (as I have noted repeatedly), I get to carry the internet in my pocket pretty much anywhere. If I keep an eye on my usage for a month or two and it doesn't go over the 3gig mark, I'll call back and scale the service back down so that it'll cost me less.

Aside from that, I woke with a most unpleasant headache. I was pretty slow most of the day, though I've managed to do the whole getting dressed and feeding myself thing pretty well. I wasn't miserable, just slow. I've also just got back from a walk down to the Safeway to pick up some half and half, as I was out and a tea tragedy was brewing for the morning if I didn't get more. I also picked up a little rhubarb and some ginger. And a kiwi fruit. Yum. Haven't had one in a while.

I did do something productive today on top of the phone wrangling stuff; [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht sent me some interview questions for the Aedicula Antinoi blog, and I've made a start at answering some of them. They deal with polytheism, my experiences with Antinous as a deity, and syncretistic spirituality. Given the nature of the questions, it'll be a while before I'm done responding, but he says no rush, so I'll just poke at it as I'm working on the two projects I have to do by Samhain, and the Samhain ritual itself.

If all goes well, I'll go dancing with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor on Sunday. I'm hoping I'll be up to it, given how under the weather I've been feeling lately. Tuesday I've got [livejournal.com profile] dmiley and his partner coming over for a couple of days, and we'll be going to the Shinto shrine on Wednesday morning. He said they'd take me out for dinner on Thursday, which I'm very much looking forward to. I might see if they want to go to Emory's, as I haven't been there since the place burned down and was rebuilt. It's still owned by the same people, and it's always packed when I go by and it's open, so that seems like a good sign.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Genius Signal)
The ritual took place this evening as scheduled, and we had two assistai, the postulant, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and myself in attendance. After that, I drove the new mystes home and dropped [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht at his cousin's place for the night.

Tomorrow I'm giving my talk on military women's issues at 1:30, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's is at 3pm, and [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab is coming along with me. I hadn't been clear on that until a few minutes ago because she hadn't actually said she was coming and I was confuzzled. Anyway, she will be there for immoral support, much to my relief.

[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and I dropped into Powells today after I picked him up at the train station, then we grabbed a little lunch. I haven't had any dinner as yet, but there is a hunk of strawberry-rhubarb pie in the fridge with my name on it, dammit! Oh, and there should be other food as well.

I'll be going back to Powells again to pick up a couple of things I had to leave today. (My check comes in at midnight tonight, you see...) There will be food. And probably a panic attack, but we'll work hard on holding that off until after I've actually spoken. At least I can pretty much go directly from my talk to [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's werewolf talk and turn my brain off for a bit.

The schedule, on the whole, looks like fun. I'm pleased that I'll be able to get in for two days of it. I am, however, desperately looking forward to getting home when all is said and done.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
Yep, I left my camera at [livejournal.com profile] mythworker's place in Eugene, so I drove back there today to get it. I had a lovely dinner (lunch for me) with him and his wife, and we talked for a bit before I turned around and headed back to [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab's. She and I just got back from a late dinner at Bugatti's. It was tasty.

The sib pinged me and said he's safely on the Cape now, and looking around for housing.

I hurt everywhere and am still exhausted. Tomorrow I'm picking up [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht at the train station, then we're hanging out in Portland at Powells for a few hours until it's Mystification time, about 6:30. After that, who knows? (It's a mystery!)

And now, I'm taking pills and collapsing in a heap.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
Today was a fairly quiet one. I did a load of laundry, but nothing else in a getting up and moving around a lot sense. I spent several hours curled up on the couch reading, though, which was nice.

I did light up the Antinoan altar for the Apotheosis of Sabina today, though it wasn't much of an observance beyond lighting some candles and incense and setting out a water offering. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift, so I'll be getting that together around dusk.

One thing I did do today was send a note back to the Sisterhood of Avalon folks with some thoughts for the 2012 pilgrimage they would like me to do. I suggested that we do a Brigid pilgrimage to Ireland, including but not limited to Kildare, and to some of the holy wells, and that we might consider focusing on poetry and writing as a major component of the time there. I think it would go over well, though I'm also going to be looking at the potential for other topics that might take us to Scotland or the rest of the UK.

I also responded to the poet from Vancouver who wrote to me a few days ago. I told him I'd love to see his poetry collection, and we'll see what happens.

In other, completely unrelated news, the second volume of Venture Brothers season four came out today (I hadn't been aware the first volume had been released, I think), and both Kristina and Daniel from Abney Park started Twitter accounts today, so that means all five of the band members are now there. You can find them as @CaptianRobert @abneyangel @DropDDan @JodyEllenLove and @nathanfhtagn - yes, Robert spelled it that way. Anyway, there was a bit of a flurry about that while they were rehearsing tonight. Much amusement was had.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
Today consisted of the following:

Get up
Check email & online world
Go back to bed
Get up
Walk dog
Go back go bed
Get up
Do dishes
Hack up 2 chickens & put in the freezer
Make broth
Check email

We are now at the "Go back to bed" phase.

There was a bit of nibbling at food and drinking things and drugging myself with cold meds as well, but we can take as read that I am flat as a Martian Flat Cat, without the tribble-like reproductive issues.

I've cancelled my Thursday thing and have the Friday thing on hold until I get a better grasp on whether I will feel better. I'll make a final Friday decision on Thursday evening.

Much of my email energies today were taken up with discussion of the possibility of an Ekklesía Antínoou hospitality suite next year at PCon. We might actually be able to pull this off.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
Today I went to a couple of presentations. First up was the Paganism and New Media panel. [livejournal.com profile] mythworker did a presentation on this last year; this was, I think, more sophisticated and covered a broader territory, as well as bringing in new approaches. The panelists included Thorn Coyle, Star from Patheos.com, a board member from Cherry Hill Seminary, and one of the tech people from Llewellyn, with [livejournal.com profile] mythworker as the moderator. One of the issues addressed this year was e-publishing, which hadn't really been brought up last year at all that I recall. I noted the issues I'd had with Circle of Stones being in and out of print, and how the print edition goes for ridiculous prices online, while I'm now selling a PDF of the book for the original cover price, yet folks still want hardcopy -- they buy the PDF, but I can completely understand the desire for paper copy.

The second panel I went to today was the presentation "Are Hindus Pagans/Are Pagans Hindus," offered by four Hindu practitioners from a national Hindu association. I thought it was an extremely positive and interesting presentation. Topics addressed included the history of Hinduism in America, spiritual similarities between Hinduism and Paganism (pluralism was the watchword of the panel), common cause between Hindus and the Pagan community regarding American culture and western culture generally, in terms of coerced conversions, activism, political involvement, and civil and human rights, and an examination of how we can work together. Issues of potential cultural appropriation were also addressed; this was seen as a problem if it was a commercial appropriation, but when Pagans approach Hindu deities as sincerely interested parties for spiritual purposes, the panel's attitude was that the deities are big enough to be just fine with being approached by non-Hindus.

There was a good deal to think about in the presentations and I was impressed with the speakers. They seemed very interested in working together with the Pagan communities to strengthen all our positions in resisting oppression by the monotheist majority when it seeks to marginalize or actively destroy our communities. It has not been unusual for poor Hindus in India to be bribed into conversion -- "we'll send your children to a good college, we'll give you medical care, we'll feed you if you convert." Yet this conversion is then taken to an extreme, where the new converts, who are really only going into it to try to make life a little better for their families, are coerced into desecrating not just their own altars at home, but the altars of their families or even their local temples. This sort of thing is completely disgusting, but it's not at all unusual behavior for evangelical Christian missionaries in Asia, India, and Africa. It's not at all unlike what has happened to the Native peoples in North America, where cultures were destroyed, children stolen from their homes, and entire groups of people slaughtered.

I think there's a lot of really good work to be done between the Pagan and Hindu communities in the future. I was absolutely delighted to see a strong Hindu presence here this year and hope that they'll continue coming to meet with us at PCon and under other circumstances, creating strong ties between all our communities as we all struggle for our rights as spiritual and religious minorities in a mostly-monotheist society. We need to dismantle the privilege that Christianity has in the United States; its status should be one of many, not the dominant force in American society. We cannot be equal when one religion is more equal than all the others. It's a continuation of the same aggressive, disrespectful force that allows military chaplains to believe they're simply exercising their freedom of speech when they attempt to force deathbed conversions on non-Christians and atheists. To quote from the Christian Post article, "Birch informed the audience that he would oblige to help them with their faith but would not withhold himself from helping a dying soldier or a soldier with no faith get right with God."

After the panels, I headed up to spend some time with the Sisterhood of Avalon folks, talking with them about some potential ideas for pilgrimage themes and places. It turns out that one of the gals I was talking to is an old friend of [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm from Atlanta, and she wandered in while I was talking. One of the ideas I was suggesting was a Sequana pilgrimage, dealing with that Goddess and the shrines and artifacts at the source of the Seine river; since [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm had gone to the Seine a couple of years ago to find information about Sequana and had already been to many of the sites, I thought she would have some excellent suggestions for this, and I think both of them are going to talk this over. They're also talking about proposing a Pagan pilgrimage panel for next year's con, which I think would be a fantastic idea.

Eventually, I had to go get ready for the 11pm Bakkhoi Antinoou ritual drama. I got dressed up in the most bling anyone is ever likely to see me in for a very long time, with my brocade silk jacket, one of my shiny silk scarves in iridescent colors, sparkly bracelets, and lots of green silk. It was pretty spiffy, if I may say so myself. The play involved the death of Antinous, and the Otherworld happenings surrounding his deification. We had a ton of fun, and I think the audience did as well. Tomorrow morning at 11am we have the "Antinous is Not Just for Pretty Boys" panel, consisting of several of the mystai of the Ekklesía. It'll include me, [livejournal.com profile] ogam, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, and [livejournal.com profile] tristissima talking about the various ways we deal with Antinous, and what the whole thing means to us, considering the general impression of Antinoan cultus is that it's supposedly only for young pretty gay guys. None of us actually fit that particular model, of course. A lot of people ask what Antinous would have to do with them, given that they're not gay men, but most of them would never ask what Brigid would have to do with them if they're not women who are poets, smiths, and healers. I think it's a paradigm issue, really.

And now, to try to get some sleep. It's nearly 3am and I have to be up and about at some ungodsly hour tomorrow.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Lá Fhéil Bride)
I went over today to Bj and SJ's and we played Star Munchkin, a card game. Much fun was had by all with science fiction clichés and backstabbing.

Arrangements have been made to pick people up for tomorrow's Imbolc ritual. I have things to haul here and there, and something to drop off for [livejournal.com profile] willowbl00 but I have yet to exactly work out where. I hope to have that together before I head out tomorrow. I have addresses plugged into Atlas so I can find them easily. I need to leave here about 1pm to get everything done by time time I'm supposed to arrive around 3 at [livejournal.com profile] mintofthewater and [livejournal.com profile] anthea7's place.

We got an email inquiry from somebody new to the Seattle/Tacoma area who's interested in dropping in on the schmooze, so I gave her some info about it and how to join the local yahoogroup for the schmooze. Perhaps she'll show on Monday.

I got the script today for the Bakkhoí Antínoou, a ritual play written by [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht that I'm involved with at PantheaCon this year; I'm playing the part of Julia Balbilla, a Roman poet and one of the sancti of the Ekklesía Antínoou. Thankfully, my parts aren't too long. My memory for this sort of thing honestly isn't great, so long chunks of dialogue are not a great idea for me. I may need some cheat sheets. *sigh* At least I'll have a couple of weeks to work on some of it. If I have any brain juice left at all.

Also in the mail today, I got the tea that I won on Twitter from Teacup on Queen Anne last week. It was considerably more than I'd expected! I got 1oz each of Kukicha Japanese green, second flush Sungma Estate Darjeeling, High Mountain oolong, and some 2006 Cang Yuan Wa Mountain puérh brick. Oh boy! I can hardly wait to try these! *kermitflail*

My brief description of my workshop for Eight Winds got sent out today; thankfully I was sent a reminder, as the deadline for that particular task is January 31s. I hadn't meant to put it off so long. The description reads:

Three Cauldrons: Theory and Practice
Join author Erynn Rowan Laurie for a workshop on the early Irish Cauldron of Poesy poem. We will be discussing the poem and its meaning and background, and practicing some breath and meditation techniques based on the concepts expressed in the poem.


I sent in a brief inquiry (but no submissions yet) to Ruby Sara for Mandragora, which I had posted the CFS for here a couple of days ago. I have a few poems I'm considering submitting, but asked if she'd like another essay to look at for this volume. I also asked if contributors to Datura will get a copy of the paperback edition. I'd love to send a copy to mom, too, if they aren't hideously expensive. I really couldn't afford to send her one of the hardbacks.

So this, on a technicality, is three publications so far this year, and January's not even over yet -- the world religions and disability anthology, the Thoth fiction anthology, and the paperback edition of Datura. Damn. How did I get this lucky?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (triple nerd score)
The rest of the laundry was done today, along with my dishes. Yay.

Sadly, the blood pressure meds did not prevent the mild hormonal migraine I've had all day, but I had places to go and it wasn't bad enough to rate a migraine pill, which would have knocked me flat.

I headed out to the Balefire for the druid meetup this evening. It was your usual pub type place, with a reasonable selection of wines and apparently a bunch of beers, which didn't interest me much. There was something happening at the Everett event center, though I have no idea what, so parking was kind of hosed. We talked about stuff and things, though not much druidy or Pagan stuff, but that was okay. I was trying to get a feel for folks. Unfortunately, about 8:30 or 9 they had a guy doing live music start up, so it was hard to hear anyone. There were I think 10 people there, but I only got to talk to about half of them, as the rest were too far away.

Anyway, once the music started, I asked if the folks I'd been talking to wanted to head over to the AFK so we could have an actual conversation that didn't involve shouting and the four of them joined me, where we hung out until about 12:15, having snacks (pumpkin cheesecake!) and other things, and attempting one of those pseudo-D&D board games. It took damned close to 90 minutes just to get the thing set up and more or less figured out so that we could even start the game. Way, way too complicated.

While I was at the Balefire, I got a call from the watch place. It'll be Monday before I get the thing back. Apparently the folks who had it before didn't do that great a job, so he's going to do slightly more tweaking to get it working properly for an additional $15. Given the place in the mall charged me nearly $300 (I have no idea what all they did), I can't say that $45 and a weekend is that bad at all.

Everyone loved the AFK though, so I'll probably be seeing them there again at some point. We talked computers and geekitude and gaming and stuff. I had a good time with everyone. I'll no doubt go back and check out the druid meetup again. I wasn't so impressed with the Balefire, but I'd like a chance to talk to more of the people, at least. There was some talk about Pagan culture and folks expressed some surprise when I noted that, yes, there were homophobic and racist and Tea Party Pagans out there -- not all Pagans are liberals or progressives. It takes all kinds, even if it's not kinds I tend to approve of. (It started out with "I'm glad I'm here where there are a lot of druids, because there just aren't many in some places, like -- oh, Oklahoma...")

When I got home, I moved the stuff for my Antinoan altar out onto a shelf in the kitchen where there was some space. It had been sharing space on my spirit altar in the bedroom, but that's pretty crowded, so this just gives everybody a little more room to breathe. Incense and my Hathor oil lamp are lit.

Right now I've got a little bit of fish with mango chunks in the oven for a little bit of dinner. Tomorrow it's over to Bj and SJ's for gaming. Yay gaming! The real kind, with dice and character sheets and shit. ;)

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