erynn: Gaelic merman image (ogam sequence)
Today I was down at the VA for the first session of the spirituality group. It was great to see everyone again, and I was happy to be there. I didn't stick around to wait at the travel office because half the time it's not in the system yet by the time I get down there after group, so I'll pick up the travel funds next week when I go in. I did wander over to the hill to wait out the traffic and took a couple of copies of Circle of Stones over to Robert. He was quite pleased to see them.

I hung out at Elliott Bay Cafe for a while and read, then wandered over to a sushi place on 12th that I hadn't been to before, as they were having a quite reasonably priced happy hour. Got myself an unagi roll, a short plate of four different pieces of nigiri, and a cup of genmaicha. It was just enough without being too much; my stomach is still out of sorts from the other night and I'm having trouble with the acid reflux again, ugh. I really wish it would settle down.

When I got home, I did a fair bit of scanning of images for the EBC presentation. I think I have most of the stuff I need. [ profile] alfrecht checked over my dates for me on my listing of manuscript sources for ogam texts and marginalia; he pronounced it good. Tomorrow I can spend some time trying again with photos of things I need, and doing a few more necessary things, then Saturday I can probably finish up expanding my notes so that I have a coherent presentation together. Jeff's coming by Monday, I think, given that I wasn't really up to trying to get home during rush hour and wasn't sure I would be feeling well enough to actually work tonight. Things turned out better than I expected, but I was glad for the time just sitting and reading.

Fic brain has set in and I've started a (hopefully) short story in a new fandom. I don't have time for anything really long, but I do want to write something, and I'm not quite in the right headspace to work on the Brigid book yet. I'm waiting until after the poetry book comes out to get deeply into that. I also have to put together quite a few more blog posts with photos to cover the pilgrimage and my trip.

The other thing I need to do tomorrow is choose some pull quotes from my poems for the publicity for Fireflies at Absolute Zero. Two projects. Two small projects. I think I can manage them before I head over to the AFK to play Cthulhu Fluxx with friends tomorrow night. Also, mailing out stuff to mom tomorrow. Must do that.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (seadragon in green)
Today was pretty quiet, for the most part. With all that left over baklava, I needed to do something, lest I eat all of it and rapidly regain all that imperialist expansion. I took some over to my next door neighbor, who then handed me a bag of her home made almond roca which, I must say, is godlike stuff that I've had before and which is not destined to help my situation any. My taste buds, however, bow down in reverence.

There will, however, be a little baklava and almond roca for [ profile] lwood and [ profile] dpaxson when they arrive!

Speaking of whom, I spent time today in chat with [ profile] lwood planning our itinerary for their visit and we've got most of it nailed down, though there's a lot of room for various happenings, given that a good deal of it depends on other folks and how much time they want or need from the two of them. We may end up visiting the Shinto shrine on Monday, if Barrish Sensei has time that day -- he'll be in LA this weekend, leaving early Friday afternoon and returning Sunday. We really couldn't do a 10am visit, as it was not compatible with our late night Friday plans, and there is a Sunday brunch that, unfortunately, eliminates early Sunday afternoon from the possibilities as well. I've got an email out to him to ask about Monday, so we'll see.

I didn't dig into any of the Brigid research today, needing a day off after all that depressing Bitel stuff. There's another of her books I need to go through, which deals with Brigid and with a French saint, Genovefa of Paris, in some detail. I'll see what I can find in there that's useful.

What I did do was some beta for a Russian fanfic writer of my acquaintance, which was fun, and lets me exercise my writerly skills without having to actually create anything when my brain is being uncooperative. It's a good rest from dealing with the research and writing I need to do that still keeps me exercised, if you will.

Tomorrow I'll be heading down for my monthly shrinkage. I got Social Security paperwork today that I have to check the tickyboxes in, which I'll take down to Tracy as I usually do. Physically, not that much has changed, and that's as much of a component of the "unemployability" criteria for the VA (and SSDI) as anything else. I just hate having to deal with this paperwork every couple of years. Trust me -- I'm grateful that I have my pension! I just hate dealing with the bureaucracy, as it tends to give me panic attacks even on the best of days.

After shrinkage, I'll be over at Travelers for a bit, as usual, and might be meeting up with [ profile] varina8 for chai before I head over to [ profile] mintofthewater and [ profile] anthea7's place for the schmooze's ritual and business meeting.

Thursday, Lorrie and Diana arrive, and I'll probably be a little behind on both posting and following folks, so if you don't see much of me, that's why.

And now, I must throw myself into bed and attempt that whatsit more commonly known as "sleep," regardless of how elusive it tends to be. Damned insomnigrackles.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (salmon)
I finished up Bitel's Land of Women today, thank all the gods. Notes have been made and I ran off to read fanfic to scrub the taste of it out of my brain.

Lacking energy for much of anything else, I toddled over to Frida's, a Mexican place down the road that [ profile] ogam went to and liked while he was here. I figured that if he liked it, and he's from El Paso, it would probably be pretty good. It was. I had a chicken breast stuffed with anaheim chiles and cheese, topped with an avocado sauce that was quite lovely. Nice and tender, with a good balance of flavors. There was a sort of cole slaw that was slightly sweet and citrusy. The only real disappointment on the plate was the mixed veggies, which looked like it was probably a frozen mix. Bleh. I would have expected better from a place claiming to be "gourmet" Mexican. I had a sangria, which I was sort of expecting in a wine glass, but it came in one of those frou frou glasses; the only thing lacking for girlie-drink status was the little paper parasol. That said, it was reasonably tasty. They ran a tray of desserts by me that looked like they might have been the product of the French bakery next to my place, but I passed on it, given that I have way too much baklava still here at home.

While I was nibbling on dinner, I made some brief organizational notes for the Brigid flamekeeping book. I'm really very much at the "these are the topics I should probably cover" stage of the whole thing and will probably make several such lists before I get to actually writing anything. This is particularly the case given how in the middle of things I am with research for the Queering the Flame essay.

In other writy news, apparently the Thoth anthology I mentioned last week does currently have an editor and she has taken a peek at the short story I posted here and said she definitely wants it for the anthology when the call for papers is announced, so yay!

I sent off an email to [ profile] lwood about [ profile] dpaxson's book signing at Edge, asking if a time or other details had been arranged so that I can actually pass the word about it. I'm waiting to hear back, probably late tonight or sometime tomorrow. I'll let people know as soon as I do.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
I spent some time today photocopying the article from Études Celtiques on Airne Fingen, about kings in exile that has some bearing on my geilt work. I've read most of the article and realized I really should have a copy for that work. Sadly, the copier on my printer is fairly slow, so it took a while to get those few pages done.

After that, I went through the entire history of [ profile] brig_irreg looking for entries about the liturgy and other issues that will be useful for both the Queering the Flame essay and the Brigid and flamekeeping book. There's some good stuff buried back there. I marked them in memories (private) so that I can find them again for use when they're needed. Info includes names of the folks who wrote bits that I pulled from for the liturgy, sources, and various notes on issues regarding flamekeeping in general.

At the moment, I'm snacking on some scallops sauteed in ghee with ginger, shallots, and chat masala, then turned into fried rice. Very very tasty stuff. It's spicy but mellow. I'm also watching the feed of the DNA Lounge steampunk show, waiting for Abney Park to make their appearance. Currently, the stage is being set for them while a DJ spins some tunes for the crowd. I've been nattering with a few local fellow fans who are also watching the feed.

Even though I haven't really cracked a book today, I feel like I got quite a bit done, having spent an hour or two reading over the old BI posts. The thing about research is that it isn't all reading books or making notes. A lot of it is actually finding the resources, then taking the time to sort through things. Another goodly chunk of it is spent mulling over what's been found and/or read, working on sorting it into useful concepts and categories that can be expressed in the written work.

Deciding how useful a piece of information might be is a part of learning to do research. Sometimes a bit of info that you didn't think would be at all important turns out to be a hinge-point for a whole argument, so it's always important to make notes and keep track of where everything comes from. Being able to find and cite your sources later is extremely important. I can't tell you how many times I've smacked myself for not writing down where I'd got some tiny bit of something-or-other that I've desperately wished to look up again later, when it turned out to be far more important than I'd thought.

Tomorrow I've got gaming over at Bj and SJ's place. It's been about two months and I'm not sure I even remember where we were in our campaign. No doubt, I shall be informed soon.

And now, Abney Park is about to take the stage.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I have no idea why, but I woke up this morning at 9:30am and was quite unable to get back to sleep. It's probably just sleeping in the library instead of my own bed, which is vaguely disturbing on a psychic level, at the very least.

Last night's CR schmooze went very well. Charles showed up and we also had a couple of new folks, one of whom I'd met briefly at the reception for the Rite of Mercury this weekend. He was interested in what we were doing, she is interested in Paganism generally, but doesn't know much about it. They both seemed interested in the discussion we had about ancestors; he participated more than she did but she said that she learned a lot and they seemed to enjoy the group.

Today's mail brought some of the clothes I'd ordered. They fit quite well and look nice. I'm still expecting one more package there, so now I've got several new pairs of pants, a new waistcoat, and a few new shirts, some of which are very suitable for my more steamy wardrobe. This makes me happy, as I'll have something good to wear to SteamCon in November.

I called and renewed my library card today, and can pick up my receipt at the library on Thursday when I'm down there. I also set up the auto payment for the mortgage, which took about 20 minutes and talking to two people and going through interminable misery with an automated system that is not particularly transparent, particularly when one is not at one's most alert.

A little grocery shopping was done. [ profile] yiaya called early this evening asking if I wanted to go to the Speakeasy for a 30s night, but I was too tired to drive to her place in Lynnwood for her to drive the rest of the way, even after a cup of tea. It just wouldn't have been a good idea for me to be on the road. I haven't been able to focus at all today -- the stuff I did on the phone took all my brain juice and left me entirely sapped. We did, however, make plans for Sunday and a session of food porn involving making baklava. I bought walnuts and some other necessary supplies today, and I have quite a bit of honey that should be sufficient to the task. I need to find savoy cabbage so I can make gołąbkes for the upcoming Samhain feast. I like the milder flavor of the savoy more than regular green cabbage. I should also remember to pick up some sour cream for the sauce, because I never did like gramma's tomato sauce on them.

I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll be of somewhat more brain so that I can continue with the notes-making from the Bitel volumes for the Brigid projects. I'll admit that the whole depressing nature of the beast doesn't really lend itself to my wanting to dig into it when the brain isn't braining properly. Then again, reading anything today beyond what I had to for the Warriors and Kin post really was a bit over my carrying capacity. I really do hate the brain fog that I have to deal with on a far-too-frequent basis.

Given this, I'll probably head for bed early tonight (before 11?) and hope that tomorrow the brain will be slightly more cooperative.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy fallen leaf)
I spent last night in the library, a little chill for the first part of the night until I got up to turn on the heat. The poor DoDC+3 was thoroughly confused about not going to bed in the BED dammit.

The foam toppers are expanding a bit, but I have to keep little doggy feet off of them for various reasons, including claws making nasty divots in them.

I spent a little time this morning messing around with a post in [ profile] brig_irreg for shift rotations and such, with a partial calendar of what shift is on what date through late November so that folks who might have fallen out of the saddle can pick things back up. If anyone here has been interested in taking up the flame and would like to join the comm, now would be a good time to check in. I'm not the community admin -- you have to email them through the community to request membership, as the comm itself is closed. Once you've been approved, you can request a shift and I can add you to the rotation.

Today is the CR schmooze, where we'll be addressing the issue of ancestors -- who they are, what they mean to us, and what we should do about it. I'll probably head down to Seattle earlyish to get a little reading/research done on the Brigid essay and book, but first, a shower and something to eat beyond just a few grapes.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus Oh Noes!)
I called the vet today to try to arrange for boarding for the DoDC+3 and, unfortunately, they have no more spaces at $25 a night. The best they can do is $65 a night, and I'm not paying nearly three times what I'd planned to go down to the Lovecraft film festival. My next door neighbor has said I can ask her to look after him, but she did last weekend, and that was only for one night. I wouldn't feel right asking her two weekends in a row.

I'm feeling grumpy about it but am ultimately all right with the whole thing. This does mean I can go to the performance of the Rite of Mercury this weekend instead, which I had been contemplating doing. It's not every day you get to attend a public performance of Aleister Crowely's occult theatre. It's Friday night at 7:00pm at the Broadway Performance Hall at Seattle Central Community College. Tickets, according to the Seattle Weekly, are $18 through Brown Paper Tickets. There is also a Saturday show, which I may go to instead, as friends will be there that night. Eleusyve Productions has already done Crowley's Rites of Luna and Rites of Venus in years past. This is the centennial year of the Rite of Mercury's first performance in London.

Nattering about research, gender, and the flame. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
I'm doing better than last night, I must say. That said, I'm pretty well exhausted.

Angela took her leave of us today and we're all saddened by that loss. She's moving to a new job in New York City, which she's quite looking forward to. We're all trying to decide the shape and focus of the group after she leaves, and we won't be getting together again until October 19th. This means I probably won't be in Seattle again unless I have something coming up after the CR schmooze on October 3rd.

I'll be heading down to Portland again probably Friday and will be back Sunday afternoon or evening sometime, for the HP Lovecraft film festival. I have to firm up details with [ profile] martianmooncrab and [ profile] lupabitch and call the vet about kenneling the DoDC+3 for a couple of days. That stuff can be taken care of tomorrow, though.

I just feel utterly drained. I spent time at Travelers this afternoon digging through four books for references to the whole crossdressing thing at Imbolc and what little was there was pretty repetitive, but when there are only a few written sources for something, everyone tends to cite them. I still need to read through Bitel on gender in Ireland, but that's a task for tomorrow. I'll dig through both of her books with a notebook in hand and see what she has to say about the topic and chase down any necessary references. Reference-chasing will no doubt be easier after the beginning of the month, when I've got a library card at the UW again. I may need to borrow some things to photocopy more cheaply than at the library itself.

Most of the references to the other perpetual flames in Ireland also derive from only a few sources, so that is also pretty well covered so far. The work comes in taking these various sources and slapping them together in a coherent way, of course. That's the difference between a writer and a reader. I need to present my facts and create a narrative around them that makes sense and that acknowledges the various themes and the departures from them in a way that makes sense and can be used to construct a theology of sorts around the changes we see in Brigidine practices through the centuries. She is so much larger than we are, and than the categories that we construct for her. Living experience needs to be taken into account as much as tradition and the medieval sources. While it's challenging, it's also fun, thankfully. I may whinge and whine about it sometimes, but I do love writing. I just get caught up in other things sometimes and get distracted.

In other writing news, the anthology Queen of the Great Below is with the layout editor now and should be released right around Samhain. My series of seven Gatekeeper poems will be in that volume, so I'll let everyone know when it's available through Bibliotheca Alexandrina. BA doesn't pay its contributors, so I'll be buying my own copy, but it does look like they'll be giving the contributors a discount so that we can get it at near-cost. I'm tickled to be able to add another book to the stack of stuff I'm published in. Yay!

And now, I think I'm going to toss myself into bed early tonight. Dishes are done and I've got some ground lamb thawing in the fridge for tomorrow. Don't know exactly what I'll do with it yet, but I have a few tomatoes and a nice, if possibly overly large, white pattypan squash from [ profile] martianmooncrab that I can probably do something very yummy with in combination with the critterbits and rice. Anyway, that's a thought for tomorrow. For now, brain must rest.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Steamy time travel)
They also, however, hurt like hell. The show was fantastic, as usual. I had a great time and saw some of the usual suspects. I also gave [ profile] nathan_fhtagn some cthulhu dice that I got at Powells. [ profile] martianmooncrab got one for me and I figured he couldn't resist. He failed his saving throw. He lsoes SAN points.

The drive down was lovely and sunny. Tomorrow it will, no doubt, rain, as was forecast.

I have been supplied with a little Tylenol 3 to help kick the evil aches I have from dancing my ass off. I really hate that I have to pay for it like this, but oh well.

Lunch with [ profile] lupabitch and [ profile] martianmooncrab was fun. Talked to Lupa about the Brigid book and what I wanted to do with it. She was very excited and is looking forward to seeing what I'll do with it. Can't remember if I mentioned here, but Casey, aka [ profile] mael_brigde, has agreed to do the foreword for the book and I'm just thrilled by that.

I'll be heading home tomorrow after I dump some food and caffeine in the system. Should be back by late afternoon or early evening if all goes well. I'll check in from there.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
Okay, I've finally chased down that cross-dressing reference.

The Brídeog procession from house to house was and still is held on the eve of the feast. Both boys and girls took part and there are sometimes two or three (or more) groups, each group out for itself in an area of a square mile according as the district is thickly populated or not. Sometime during the last week in January the young people who may be of any age up to twenty years, gather at a certain house in the kitchen or barn of which the rehearsals take place. Boys dress in girl’s clothes as a rule and vice versa.
( Celtica 23, p 248)

So cross-dressing here is routine in this location.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
I've been digging around the place this evening, looking for more books, essays, or articles that would touch on Brigid, flamekeeping, or gender. I haven't for the life of me been able yet to relocated [ profile] alfrecht's Imbolc article. I know it's here somewhere, but I haven't been able to excavate it in the least. In chasing down bits and pieces of things, though, I ran across a lovely little bit in Jaan Puhvel's Comparative Mythology that I think has at least some bearing on the issue:

Danu-Anu, Brigit, Ériu, Bóand, the three Machas, Bodb, Morrígan have flitted past in the pages above. They, augmented by Medb, reflect aspects of the Indo-European trans-functional goddess, but with specific Celtic emphases. Sacrality, "untaintedness" is not much in evidence. Instead there is an embodiment of "sovereignty" in a secular sense, and nary a virgin in sight.
(p 183)

One wonders if a goddess who is specifically a mother, and multiple times over, would require virginity of her flamekeepers. I really do think that parallels to Vesta's flame break down the more we look at this issue, unless we are taking the specifically sexually-virginal Catholic Brigid, who put out an eye rather than marry as the Vesta parallel here. Certainly we can't claim the Pagan Brigid was virginal in this sense. Taking the Christian figure as the parallel, though, removes some of the juice from the argument simply because that virginity is post-Pagan and would likely not have been a part of any pre-Christian understanding of Brigid as a goddess.

I also know there's at least one article out there about Irish poets taking on a feminine identity as the tribal chieftain's lover, which adds another level of genderfuck to the whole aspect of Brigid's worship. I've seen the references several times but need to dig out the actual articles for it.

I've added nearly a dozen books to the stack of things with potential useful references today, though digging through them continues to go more slowly than I'd like. I do tend to get distracted. After the first of the month, I have to go renew my UW library card so that I can dig around there, as well. There may yet be untapped veins in their collection, particularly in the periodicals.

As for tomorrow, the weather forecast says probably sunny and maybe up as high as 80f in Portland in the afternoon, though Sunday will be rainy and cooler. I'll be heading out by about 10am, which should put me in Portland by around 2ish in the afternoon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (candle)
This evening, my flamekeeping shift started. As the days grow shorter, the hour for beginning is earlier, and I'll admit it feels odd to be starting before 7:30 these days. Come winter, it'll be closer to 4, though.

I'm still not feeling all that great. I didn't go anywhere today, nor did I do much of anything except a load of laundry. I needed clean clothes so I can go to Portland on Saturday. My next door neighbor said she'd be happy to watch the DoDC+3 for me, so that saves me a few bucks and expenses won't be quite so tight while I'm on the road. I still shouldn't buy anything at Powells while I'm down there, though. That'll be difficult, I must admit. I tend to be rather addicted to the place.

I'd given some thought to going down to the queer Pagan meetup tonight, but evil cramps are evil and I just didn't have either the energy or the wherewithal to go. It's been drizzly, and I'm saving up my "driving in the rain" energy for the weekend. It always makes things slightly more stressy, though I'm very much looking forward to seeing [ profile] lupabitch and [ profile] martianmooncrab. Much fun will be had by all.

I didn't really have enough focus today for cracking the books, though I wanted to. They're still sitting there on the table and the breakfast bar, staring accusingly at me and daring me to get started.

Pain always makes me feel much more tired. I've always hated how it saps me and makes me not want to even move. I try not to take too many pills for it -- tylenol a couple of times a day is usually enough to keep me functional, but it hasn't been for the past few days. Sometimes more tea helps, but I can't drink too much of that in a given day, either, if I want to be able to sleep at least once in 24 hours. I get discouraged more easily when I hurt, but that's just life. I'm thankful that I don't have to drag myself out of the house and try to put in five or eight or ten hours at a job when I feel like this. I still remember working 12 or sometimes even 16 hour shifts back in the Navy and am intensely grateful that those days are far behind me.

I'm excited about the upcoming show on Saturday night. Even if I feel like crap, I'll go, because it will be fun. This is one of those "hurt if I do and hurt if I don't so I may as well do what pleases me" situations. I'll pay for it later, absolutely, but it's almost always worth it.

I'ma gonna dance, baby.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I didn't go down to Seattle for shrinkage today, feeling too creaky to leave the house except for mandatory dog walking. I'm hoping I'll feel a little better tomorrow, but am contemplating some tylenol with codeine tonight so I can sleep.

Pretty much nothing got done today, sadly. I looked to see if there were any references to Brigid in Lady With a Mead Cup but there were none. I had doubted there would be, but one must take a peek, anyway. Maybe I should just consider that the via negativa of my research or something.

I did at least manage to cook something tasty, though by no means in the category of tasty food-porn-ness. It was more "this is what I have hanging around, I'll toss it together and it should taste okay." There's more than enough left for tomorrow and possibly Friday as well; Saturday I'll be heading down to Portland for the Abney Park show, and to see [ profile] lupabitch and [ profile] martianmooncrab. I'll be heading back home on Sunday, so it's only a short trip.

If I'm feeling sufficiently better tomorrow, I'll poke around in my Brigid sources and outline my Queering the Flame essay (again). I usually make a dozen or so outlines for something before I end up writing it, and half the time it doesn't resemble the outline at all by the time I'm done, but I do find that poking at outlines helps me organize my thoughts a little.

For now, a quote from [ profile] unwoman from a Twitter conversation about Goth Vs. Steampunk: "songs about vampires on cello banjo are full of death & irony, not joy!"
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I had [ profile] alfrecht here today and we talked for a few hours about this and that, but also about what I might be able to do that would be a short but useful book on practice in the CR community. After a bit of batting things around, my thoughts went back to some poetic work I'd been doing on Brigid and flamekeeping.

Rather than doing a book of Brigidine poetry, though, what I wanted to do was a short book on flamekeeping that also incorporated some of the poetry I'd written. With that in mind, I went to the [ profile] brig_irreg community, a CR Brigidine group where one of the focal practices is flamekeeping. We have a liturgy that we share and that seems to be pretty well-liked by the members. The group has been locked pretty much since its conception to keep any potential problems to a minimum, but the idea was never that the group itself was in any sense "oathbound" or secret. Given that I had written most of the liturgy, I posted a note to the group today to see what folks felt about having the liturgy published and opening up the Irregulars for a larger, CR-oriented (but not CR-exclusive) membership. Not everyone has responded as yet, but everyone has so far been quite positive about the idea and seems to want to spread the light, as it were.

I will, naturally, be giving credit to everyone who has had a hand in the development and writing of the ritual, and notes on where each individual part originated will be a part of the book so that everyone can understand the sources and its various transformations. I'll also be writing about my personal experiences as a flamekeeper for all these years. There will likely also be a resource section with links to other flamekeeping groups, like the Daughters of the Flame and Ord Brighideach. Obviously, not everyone interested in flamekeeping will be particularly interested in a CR approach, but with these links and other info in the book, they can find other groups that might suit them better.

We are also nosing about the idea of putting up a website for Brigid's Irregulars so that LJ won't be a necessity for participatory membership, particularly once the liturgy is let out into the wild. I'm sure there will be people who will either want to join or who will want more information, and a website would be a natural place to start.

I'll need to find or commission some artwork for things like the cover and a few other bits and bobs, but that's largely something I'll worry about once the text is together. The book will deal in part with some of the material I'm working on for the Queering the Flame essay, dealing with gender and the various ways in which Brigid has been approached. I suspect this could be under 150 pages and easily accessible for people who want to find a CR practice that has both individual and group-oriented aspects, even if they are isolated geographically; flamekeeping orders have been serving people in these situations since they were begun in the early 90s, with fellowship and a sense of group ritual for people even if they can't be in the same physical space together.

Don't be looking for this in the next couple of months. I have to get Queering the Flame out of the way first, but given that the flamekeeping book will probably be a short one, I do think I can get it together by the middle of next year. We'll see what happens.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I was going to go out to Aki Matsuri today, but pain woke me up at 7:30 this morning and I realized that getting out of the house before noon was going to be unlikely at best. I turned off the alarm and then texted [ profile] alfrecht about 11am when I woke again, to let him know I wasn't going to be able to make it. It was just one of those crunchy days where nothing quite wants to work right, so it was just as well that I didn't try to drive out to Bellevue to haul a shrine around.

An hour or so I got an email notifying me that Queen of the Great Below: A Devotional in Honor of Ereshkigal will be going to press through Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the next week or so. This devotional volume has a series of gatekeeper poems in it that I wrote a couple of years ago, so that's another I can add to the stack of "books with stuff by Erynn in them." I was really proud of those poems and am honored and delighted that they were chosen for inclusion.

Today I also started poking through the books for notes and references for my Queering the Flame essay for the Queer Magic anthology. The first book I picked up to add to the already-existing stack had a brief reference in it to another perennial flame, this one on Inishmurray, where the flame was kept by monks. It was, in fact, essentially a sacred public hearth, which weakens the argument that Brigid's flame had to be kept only by women because of its nature as a sacred public hearth. Apparently, there were at least four such flames in Ireland, this one and Brigid's inclusive. The references so far have been short, but there's apparently a book about Inishmurray out there, titled Inishmurray, Land of Gale, Stone and Fire (1998) that talks about the Church of the Fire, though I'm not sure how in depth the discussion is.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited by this. It's looking like I also need very much to pick up a copy of Lisa Bitel's Landscape With Two Saints, which also discusses this somewhat, in the midst of a much deeper discussion of Brigid herself. So much to do, so much to do.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Today it was warm again, in the upper 70s and sunny, which pleased my creaky bod to no end. I walked down and mailed out the package to my brother and grabbed a few groceries on the way home.

Tonight is my flamekeeping shift as well, and I lit up the altar at sunset. A little later I got a ping from [ profile] activegnome about a midnight showing of Spirited Away down at the Egyptian, so I popped into the car and headed down to catch the movie. While it took me 20 minutes to find parking (about par for the hill on a Friday night), I did finally find a free spot only about four blocks from the Egyptian. The movie was fun on the big screen, but it was dubbed rather than subtitles, and the print wasn't that good, particularly toward the end, where there seemed to be quite a lot of spotting and other issues.

I spent a fair bit of time today poking through the photos from my brother's visit, which resulted (as you probably noticed) in a bunch of photo posts. I only put 4-6 in each one so that my mom could actually load the pages at some point, even if it's really slow. Hope you'll like them, mom!

I got a snarky anonymous comment in one of my posts from last week about polypraxy being a preexisting term. Fair enough -- I didn't know about it when I started writing this stuff. A google websearch on "polypraxy" turned up my posts and this one from 2008 from a Christian site debating whether polypraxy or polydoxy would be a preferred term, so I can't say as it's exactly a widely-used term and quite honestly, I'd never seen it before. And if that blog is trying to decide which term should be used, I don't think it's exactly an old one that's been around forever either.

Of course, when one is tossing about those Greek and Latin bits, compound words like this are going to come up out of the ground at some point. I'm using it specifically in terms of Pagan polytheisms without reference to any potential Christian usages that might have preexisted.

So, snarky anonymous commenter, don't be a dick. Your comment was sent to the great bit bucket in the sky and I have addressed your point. You may now fuck off and DIAF.

This cranky comment brought to you by Erynn's Achy Hips.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Today I started getting out the books and other resources for the Queering the Flame essay I'll be doing for the queer magic anthology. Here's what I've got stacked up on the table at the moment:

Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, MacKillop
Celtic Spirituality, ed Davies
The Lore of Ireland, Ó hÓgáin
Myth, Legend & Romance, Ó hÓgáin
The Festival of Brigit, Ó Catháin
Irish Folk Ways, Evans
The Rites of Brigid: Goddess and Saint, O Duinn
The Gaelic Otherworld, Campbell
Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World, Newton
Conversing With Angels and Ancients, Nagy
The Great Queens, Clark
The History and Topography of Ireland, Gerald of Wales
Bethu Brigte, Ó hAodha
"The Reproductions of Irish Saints", Nagy
"Cogitosus's Life of St. Brigit: Content and Value", Connolly
"Vita Prima Sanctae Brigitae", Connolly

So, [ profile] alfrecht, if I'm missing anything you think would be relevant, let me know.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Yet I still felt like crap. I far too often hate my girlyparts for turning me into a full-body cramp on a regular basis, and that's all I'm going to say on that particular issue.

The CR schmooze today was well-attended and we had 11 people at dinner afterwards, though unfortunately [ profile] wire_mother had to part company with us before then. We had a rather rambling chat about the Eight Winds festival and scheduled our Lughnassadh ritual for August 1st in the afternoon.

While I had a good time, if I hadn't been driving three other folks down to Seattle for the day, I would most likely have stayed home. I've actually already called in and cancelled for my VA group tomorrow so that I don't have to worry about it when I wake up.

Conversation was wonderful, as is often the case, so that made up for a lot. I showed my copy of [ profile] alfrecht's book around and showed a few photos of Trout Lake Abbey on my netbook so folks could get more of a feel for the site itself. [ profile] alfrecht passed out a bunch of photocopies of articles from the class he taught in MI, which were eagerly snapped up.

I need to light up the Brigid altar -- I've been so distracted and out of it today that, even though I saw it on the calendar, I haven't started my flamekeeping shift. That'll be in a few minutes here when I'm done with this entry.

After that, I think I'll curl up with some fanfic and read smut until my brains fall out. That's about all they're good for right now. Tomorrow, I'll be talking with [ profile] ogam about a request he made of me while we were at the festival where we'll outline some formal arrangements. It should be an interesting discussion.
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Yesterday was my flamekeeping shift, which went smoothly, though the rest of the day was pretty quiet.

Today I headed down to Seattle and spent an hour or so at the Steam Vent talking with folks about Steamcon and the upcoming Abney Park concert, which is scheduled for the 11th of April -- the same night that Faith and the Muse are appearing in Seattle. Abney Park's venue has yet to be announced; F&tM is appearing at Heaven and their website says that Legion Within is opening for them. I'm really torn about what to do here, as I'd love to see both acts.

[ profile] herbmcsidhe suggested I catch F&tM in either Portland or Eugene in the couple of days before they arrive in Seattle. It's definitely an idea, but I'm not sure about the cost of getting down and back, since I'll already be heading to Portland for the White Bird dance and taiko performance on April 8th and I don't think I can afford the trip twice in one week, especially not with gaming on the 10th between the two.

All else failing, Abney Park is local and they'll be at SteamCon. They'll probably also have more than one show between now and then that I could catch. Faith and the Muse aren't local and I haven't actually seen them before; Legion Within's bass player used to be one of my roommates and I always enjoy seeing her at work.

Tomorrow is the VA spirituality group and the first ritual group meeting for the CR schmooze, where we'll be planning what to do for the March 20th ritual for Cú Chulainn, so I'll be down in Seattle rather longer tomorrow than usual. I'm supposed to be meeting Evan for chai at Travelers after the group and before the meeting. I'm feeling pretty busy and maybe just a touch overwhelmed.

I'll be hosting the Steampunk Traveling Tea Party this month on Sunday the 28th here at my place, with an Asian theme and Taiwanese oolongs. Should be fun, though that will require me to deal with the piles of books next to the desk and doing a little more cleaning and tidying in the living room. My place isn't anything fancy, but it's pretty nice when it's not buried under a layer of reference materials.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I got this from the Daughters of the Flame email list, with permission to pass it along widely:


Why is Brighid a special Goddess for you?
What experiences have you had with Brighid?
How has She communicated with you?
How has She helped you?
What rituals or practices in Brighid’s honour have you found to be particularly moving, inspiring or special?
How often do you connect with Brighid? – daily, monthly, seasonally, when a need arises and she is the most appropriate Goddess to turn to?

I am planning a book about the people who have had a connection with Brighid and I need your input. It may have been a once in a lifetime experience, or you may be a regular devotee. If you are willing to share your experiences, send them by email to

Please indicate whether you want your contribution to be anonymous or give the name to which it should be attributed e.g. Helen/Helen Roberts/ Helen from Gloucestershire
Many thanks and Blessings for your assistance.

I know there are a lot of Brigid devotees on my flist; please consider writing something for this!


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



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