erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Poet)
With thanks to Erik G, I was supplied with a PDF of the PL Henry analysis and translation of The Cauldron of Poesy, which you can find at this link in PDF form. It's well worth reading, so please have a look!

This article includes a version of the original Irish as well as Henry's translation. It's from Studia Celtica 14/15, (1979/1980), pp 114-128.

Also today, on the bi writers list, a note came through saying that for the Lambda Literary Awards this year, they had two submissions of poetry by bi authors and if they had a third they could actually have a bisexual poetry category, so I emailed Sheela Lambert and asked if mine would qualify, given it has some bi content in it. She said yes, send it along, so I sent her a PDF of the manuscript and will be overnighting a copy to her tomorrow, which means I am in the running for a Lambda Literary Award.

She'd asked where I lived, if I might be able to be in NYC on June 2nd if I won, and if my publisher was in NYC. I said that I might have to scramble to be there, but it's possible, and that while my publisher wasn't in NYC they were based out of Danvers, CT, so they could certainly be around if need be. I emailed Jason and Leslie to let them know, though I also told Sheela that Hiraeth was more an eco-poetics/eco-spirituality/eco-philosophy press and that the Lambdas were probably not even on their radar. Still, I'm sure they'll be happy to have me in the competition.

We shall see what happens. The Lambda awards have had a lot of issues over the years because they pretty much don't deal with bi or trans people very well. (Not like this is unusual in the "GLBT" community.) Bi writers usually have to compete in the gay or lesbian categories, though there have occasionally been bi categories, and trans works are almost never represented. At the same time, if we don't get out there and represent for ourselves at these things and demand entry, the g/l establishment isn't going to let us in the door. Therefore, I'm glad to be on the list, even if it's very last minute.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ogma)
I spent a goodly chunk of this evening delving about in books, looking up potential healing deities and other figures, and found quite a number listed here and there. I'm still chasing down some others. I found a note that may be of interest to [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and will be typing up a quick quote and sending it off to him in a little bit.

In pursuit of some of my research I have had cause to attempt to read Táin Bó Flidhais: "The Mayo Táin" by Stephen Dunford. I have a sneaking suspicion that he stabbed a thesaurus and let it bleed out onto the pages. It isn't pretty. It gets the story across, but his language is labored and not at all imitative of Early and Middle Irish tales. He cannot resist using some verbal detritus or other when a simple (or even a poetic) word will do. Here, for your delectation, is a sample sentence from this overwrought monstrosity:

Then, as her bosom throbbed and heaved with the quick deleterious pulsation and palsy of grief, and with her fair and beautiful face blanched with streaming tears, her ululating yowls of lamentation echoing united and multitudinous across the landscape, falling and rising in lingering cadences, Flidhais commenced a doleful and remorseful dirge in which she ruefully recalled and recounted every worthy action of her deceased husband and of his hallowed and atavistic progenitors.

As you can see, not much to recommend this version. It is, mercifully, slim.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's mom and one of her sisters will be in town shortly. Her mom may come to the Abney Park show with us tomorrow, and they will both probably join us on Sunday for the bad movie festival. We'll be viewing the two Dr Phibes movies and Mars Attacks. It should be fun.

Dishes were done. Food was had. Research was compiled. All in all, not a bad day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (giftie)
I slept later than I had anticipated. [livejournal.com profile] ogam texted me to say he won't be getting here until the 18th, apparently, as he's been sick. I had a confusion about when the Abney Park concert is (January, thought it was December) so I thought there was a schedule conflict. I'm relieved that it wasn't an issue.

This evening [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went down to Seattle to hang out with some friends at a birthday party for a couple of hours. It was nice to see everyone, and the birthday girl was thrilled we were there, so that was nice. I was out of some things that I needed (dog food, half and half) and so we stopped at Safeway on the way back. I had wanted to get out and pick things up yesterday but wasn't feeling well enough to really leave the house for it. I'm glad I was able to get out today for a little while.

I spent some time going over the two issues of Abraxas this evening and wondering whether what I want to write about ogam and magic will actually fit in with their stuff, but I suspect it's just my usual writer anti-ego speaking. That's the one that says I can't actually write and my work is crap and nobody wants to read what I have to say anyway. Which is patent bullshit, but it's what my brain churns out. I always feel this way when I'm trying to start a new project and it sucks.

I was also looking at notes and things for the Brigid book, wondering what I wanted to do with/about that. I do need to start it sometime soon, but it keeps mutating in my head and I'm not quite sure what I want to do with it beyond it being a vehicle for helping people with a flamekeeping practice. How to best accomplish that is the question. I'll probably talk about it with [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde when she gets here later this month.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (two ravens)
No, it wasn't the box of poetry books I was expecting. It was this:

Suibhne Geilt by Michael Quirke

This is the Suibhne Geilt carving I've been waiting for from Michael Quirke in Ireland. I knew it had been shipped out a week or two back, but I wasn't certain how long it would take to arrive. That was the package I'd missed on Saturday while I was out at the veterans day parade, which seems rather fitting, all things considered.

Also in the mail I got Sherlock: The Casebook from the UK, which is a hilarious combination of diary/scrapbook of John Watson, with inserted annotations by Sherlock and Mycroft (and responses from John) via sticky notes, and talk about the behind the scenes stuff and various Sherlockiana. I'd had a chance to look at it very briefly during the Sherlock con a couple of weeks ago, but this is a treat. This kind of thing is one of the reasons I love fandom so much. People with weird senses of humor, and nerdcraft. I'm about halfway through it and will probably finish it up sometime tomorrow.

I did a little more writing today, but not a lot. Current word count is 13,157 but I may add a little more before I go to bed. Tomorrow is my monthly shrinkage, Thursday is group, then some of the Krakens are getting together at a new place in Lake Stevens to check that out. Friday is the Sherlock Seattle afterparty at the AFK. Busy week!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Healer)
I've posted a new page on my Searching for Imbas blog with a map and photos describing in detail how to find Brigid's Wayside Well in Kildare, Ireland. Given the trouble I initially had finding the place, I thought it would be a service to other pilgrims. You can find the page here.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Insane: What's Your Excuse?)
It was raining a lot today, so I had to watch parts of the Venus transiting the sun event on the computer. NASA's broadcast was kind of wibbly, probably because of the huge number of people watching, and then I heard that some transit worker in Australia did something weird and accidentally cut a cable, shutting the broadcast down temporarily. I don't know what's up with that, but I did see it on a Google search for a site showing the transit.

The steampunk social was tonight, and planning happened for several things, including a bonfire and potluck out at Qi's place on the 16th. I'm hoping to be able to make it, but I'm not sure if I will. It really depends on how much I actually have finished by then.

Some books were posted to the Puget Sound CR email list by [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother and I've posted a few more, but I feel like absolute crap right now and couldn't focus enough to dredge around for more titles. We're working on stuff that was published since the CR FAQ came out, as noted last night.

I've sent off inquiries to the Ashland Hostel about a bed there for the night on the way down to California, and asked [livejournal.com profile] mythworker if he'll be home and might have space for me in Eugene on my way back, as I'm looking at heading north pretty much directly from the campsite, rather than staying the night in Sacramento again on the way home. I'm not sure I'll make it as far as Portland that night, but Eugene is probably doable.

Further articles were sent to the pilgrimage list containing material that might be of interest to those attending. Nobody has to read all of it, by any means, but some people might actually want to take a look at some of it.

Because [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson is having some trouble right now, I'm going to have [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor house- and pup-sitting for me, so I contacted my insurance company and had her added as a driver for Garuda. It didn't cost anything extra, so I don't have to worry about stretching the budget at all for that, and it'll mean she'll have a lot more flexibility than needing to rely on sharing her roommate's car while I'm gone for six-ish weeks and she's here at my place in Everett.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to have Irish class, but right now I'm feeling absolutely awful (it might have been something I ate, or just the IBS kicking my ass because I've been so stressed out lately) and if I'm still not feeling well tomorrow, I'll probably have to cancel on that. Regardless, I'll try to work on at least one of the ritual scripts tomorrow, and one day's worth of exercises. Time is getting shorter every day, and I'm really staring to feel it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
The VA sent me an appointment for podiatry in the mail today, which is scheduled for 8:30am on July 9th. I called and left them a message that I was going to be on a plane that day, thank you, and they should call me soon, but NOT BEFORE NOON to reschedule. I am so not going to an 8:30 appointment. I would have to be up by 6am to get there in time, given rush hour traffic and all the crap that entails for a trip in from Everett. There is No Fucking Way I am going to have an appointment at that hour. If they only have a morning clinic, I will have the very last appointment of the morning, thanks very much. I had told the gal who was sending the referral in to have them CALL ME first, but of course this is the VA and they don't actually listen. yay.

I sent off the payment for my UK train tickets to [livejournal.com profile] fififolle, who received it today. That finishes up all the travel stuff for my trip except the Isle of Man, where I'll probably get a bus pass for the week.

Last night I also finally got around to answering an email from a young woman (presumably, from what I could get from the email address name) who was asking me about centralizing CR and making One Big Website with Everything On It where info would be sorted and reliable and folks could buy books that were published about CR and... sigh It's a great dream, but that's just never going to happen. The original Celtic cultures were never a unity and it's completely unrealistic to expect CR Paganism to manifest unity when we all worship different deities, our rituals are going to be different, and there are different cultures involved. I wish the online community was a little less acrimonious, but the only way anything is going to get done is by people actually doing them instead of sitting around online talking about it and telling everyone else how UnCeltic they are. Stuff like this doesn't spring up overnight, anything involving an organization that publishes is going to have to deal with nonprofit laws, and it would take a lot of volunteer effort that never quite seems to be forthcoming. Anyone who wants to see organizations and groups start, even if they are not a scholar and don't want to be one, is just going to have to step up to the plate and start organizing things. It's not magically going to happen by wishing. But I have given that particular rant many a time before. I hope I was at least encouraging to her about finding her talents and contributing to the community as best she's able.

Today I spent some time talking on Skype (texting actually) with [livejournal.com profile] vyviane about pilgrimage stuff and sorted through some things. I sent her a link for the doc where I have a bunch of research links and stuff for some of the sites we're visiting, and where I'll be adding more things as I find them in the next few days. I also wrote up part of a document for the list on three cauldrons meditations that will be the basis for the daily work we'll do before the writing prompts each morning. I would have spent more time on it, but I needed to get down into Everett to pick up my guests and have dinner with them, then we came back here and watched the Lovecraft movies, which were greatly enjoyed. She did note that airfare from Boston or New York into Dublin is, I believe, just under $1,000 for a round trip right now, so if anyone was wondering if cheaper airfare might make going on the pilgrimage possible, now would be the time to consider tickets and coming along!

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] vyviane says "I found tons of 1,000 RT from all over the place via Air Lingus and Expedia has a couple 811 and 864 RT from Boston and New York City!"

Further work was done on dealing with the specific themes and readings for each day's meditations and travel. I still need to dig through some books to find appropriate poems, but that's tomorrow's job.

I was delighted to discover that the Celtic Scholar's Reviews blog had posted a very positive review of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom a few days ago, giving it a very high recommendation. Her reviews tend to be honest and clear about a book's flaws, as well as its positive points, and she was really quite pleased with my work.

Thursday I've scheduled a chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon again, given that the last one was pretty much utterly defeated by a lousy internet connect. I'm looking forward to it, as it was so messed up last time. Apparently they really enjoyed what little I did get through to everyone, so it'll be nice to be able to actually talk to them realtime instead of with those hideous delays and signal drops.

Monday is the CR schmooze, and Jeff is going to be doing a presentation on deity imagery on Celtic coins. He's really into numismatics and will have illustrations and such. It should be fun.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
Today Mandragora arrived in the mail. I was, as one might imagine, utterly jazzed by the whole idea.

Erynn & Geordie with Mandragora

Here's me and Geordie at Travelers, waving the book with our stuff in it. We are happy. Sooooo happy.

Erynn & Caera at Travelers

And here's me and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor at Travelers. She's happy, too.

But my deep, dark secret?

This is who actually writes the books...

The one who really writes the books

The day was gloriously sunny and warm, and we spent a while having chai at Travelers. I showed Leon the book (he was duly impressed). When we wandered over to Edge, I showed it to everyone there, as well. It's kind of the thing one does, after all. The schmooze turned into a pretty good discussion of trees in Celtic lore, as well as a discussion of tree as cosmological center, the Jupiter Giant columns, and various and sundry sacred omphali. (I think that's the right pluralization.)

Tomorrow is dinner with [livejournal.com profile] paganpaul, who's in town from the Netherlands. Wednesday I'm picking up Geordie when I'm in town for Irish class and he'll come back up for a day or two. Stuff and things require doing, and we still have a fair bit to talk about. Much of today was spent with both of us squeeing about The Book. As you do when you're an author with a brand new pretty.

I'm tired and hoping that I'll actually manage to get some sleep tonight. I didn't sleep well at all last night and I was pretty creaky when I got up this morning. I'm hoping there won't be a migraine in the offing tomorrow, given how I felt for part of today.

When I have the Brigid and flamekeeping book together, I'm seriously thinking of approaching Scarlet Imprint to do the publication. I don't know if it's quite up their usual alley, but one never knows. They're already publishing my stuff, and some of the book will be ritual work, while much of the rest will be essays and other material about Brigid, about flamekeeping, probably about poetry, and about the whole complex of things from a CR perspective, or at least from my CR perspective (which is about all I can say about anything I write these days). Given that they're also doing paperback editions these days, it wouldn't price the book out of everyone's reach, and I'd love to have a gorgeous edition for the altar of the sort that they tend to produce.

Anyway, that's a concern for when the book is actually written.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (foggy coast)
The day started late-ish, around 2pm, but the pseudo-posole from the crockpot was nicely done when I got up and was very yummy for breakfast. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor is still under the weather, so [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson took over the class tonight and we did a lot of "what is ___?" and did identification of items in the room - door, wall, ceiling, pen, chair, etc. Basic stuff, but a more conversational style rather than word-list style, which was how I'd originally been taught (much to my dismay, as word lists don't help me actually speak a language).

I looked over a few possibilities for the Circle of Stones cover today and sent in my opinion. It seems that Taylor, Storm, and I all favored the same base image, and Storm was going to send the artist a contract to do the cover work for us. Things are moving along apace.

After class, I hauled [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson most of the way home, though we had dinner together at an Indian restaurant near the Central Market where he had to do some grocery shopping and catch his bus. Once I got home, I started in on compiling a list of links for source materials on the sites we're visiting, and mythological figures associated with those sites, as well as a few of the tales associated with some of them.

[livejournal.com profile] mythworker posted a bit about the pilgrimage today on The Wild Hunt in his weekly links roundup, for which I am very grateful. With luck, we may have a full roster for the pilgrimage. I'm both thrilled and terrified by the whole thing, but working hard on making sure it will be a wonderful experience, both spiritually and creatively, for the folks who join us.

I also checked out the website for the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. The site is in French, but my browser offered to translate it to English for me, and it looks pretty damned amazing. I hope we'll be able to spend some time there while I'm in Brittany. A fair number of the performances are free at several of the locations, and the tickets for some of the other performances don't seem unreasonable at all.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (hazels)
The quote below is from the introduction of Of Demolition and Reconstruction: a Comparative Reading of Manx Cultural Revivals by Breesha Maddrell

From Macpherson's Ossian to the present, much of the discourse surrounding issues of the revival of popular culture, particularly that relating to 'traditional' music and dance, focuses on a need for authenticity (Harker 1985). Evidence is demanded in the form of ancient documents or the implied ancientness of the oral tradition. 'Fakelore' is to be exposed and the truth somehow accessed. An awareness of the fragility of Manx cultural survival means that the Isle of Man cannot hope to escape this debate. It is part of the tension between continuity and revival. By focusing so strongly on authenticity, however, commentators remove themselves from attitudes of acceptance and adaptation present in the community itself. Such a focus also brings with it a sense that development is unwelcome, that change is a sign of impurity. If a culture is a living one, however, there is an inherent tension between conservatism and innovation–a tension that offers creativity and dynamism whilst maintaining a sense of cohesion. Meanings tend to change over time, after all; values do not remain fixed indefinitely.

In many respects, commentators on the authenticity debate fall into the same patterns established by the nineteenth and twentieth century antiquarians and revivalists they seek to assess and deconstruct in that they imagine a mythical and 'true' beginning to the culture being studied. In doing so, however, they blinker their own vision to the equally valid creative contribution of individuals occupying more recent twists of the road.


The tensions in the CR community surrounding these issues are pretty much exactly reflected in what Dr. Maddrell describes here regarding the tensions of language and cultural reconstruction and revival in the Manx community. It is a discussion, or at times an argument, that arises at frequent intervals in our various online communities. In the middle of all this (as usual), I have always been an advocate of both approaches, of archaeology and aisling, history and vision. We need both, and cannot afford to shut either out. We need the historical understanding and background, but we also strive for a living set of traditions, ways that grow out of what is known of the past, fed by streams of influence and understanding of other, similar cultures and practices, and brought to fruition in ways that are appropriate for us here and now.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
Seeking Brigid: Sacred Well, Holy Flame
Pilgrimage to Ireland, 2012
July 11-18, 2012

Join author and poet Erynn Rowan Laurie and the Sisterhood of Avalon for a seven day pilgrimage to Ireland, exploring our connections with the Goddess Brigid, patron of poetry, smith craft, and healing. With the breathtaking landscape of Ireland as our backdrop, our time together will be spent engaged in conscious sight-seeing, scholastic inquiry, and spiritual exploration inspired by Gaelic tradition. For pricing and the full brochure, click here. All over 18 are welcome. Only 12 openings are available.

I hope you'll join me as we explore Ireland and our relationships with Brigid this summer!

The link will download a PDF file of the information packet.

Please spread the info far and wide!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Shinto shrine)
Photo heavy post. Lots of them under the cut.

I went off this morning (after a crap night of sleep) to the Shinto shrine, where I ran into the usual suspects, some of whom I hadn't seen in some time. It was a pretty good ceremony, and I had a lovely time. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht gave me a copy of his most recent book (thank you!), [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams and [livejournal.com profile] tedgill were there with [livejournal.com profile] aion131 and his wife, and [livejournal.com profile] mimerki was there as well. The only one missing was [livejournal.com profile] varina8 for it to have been old home week. After the ceremony all of us except [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht went out to lunch at the Greek place in Granite Falls and talked Pagan stuff and PantheaCon, as well as some reminisces of our various pasts and talk of travel.

[livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams says she will introduce me to her literary agent at PantheaCon when we get down there and I'll be able to pitch my Brigid book to her, in hopes of getting a larger press interested in it. I think it's a good candidate for a more mainstream press, given it is a much less specialist publication and should have a fairly broad appeal, even if it's particularly aimed at a CR audience.

After my Shinto morning, I came home and put things together for the schmooze's Imbolc ritual, then went off to pick up Charles, whereupon we headed down to Seattle. Things got off to a late start but, aside from (the usual) issues with the fireplace fire (I really should have brought the firelog I planned on rather than assuming Patrick would be able to actually get a fire going and keep it that way), the ritual went pretty well. Things happened as they were supposed to, dinner was good, and the company was, as always, fun and interesting.

Once I got home, I fired up the Brigid altar, as it is my shift tonight. I'm feeling a bit creaky and headachey, as I have been most of the day, but I'm still doing better than the last several and was able to function.

Charles was able to get the photos off the disc I got from [livejournal.com profile] fullcontactmuse and uploaded them so that I can access them. I've pulled one and sent it off to the SOA folks so they can use it for their publicity stuff. I still have to write a short bio for the publicity packet, but I'll worry about that tomorrow when, hopefully, I'll have less of a headache.

And now, on to the photos! Shinto Below! )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
I was up way too late last night and the DoDC+3 woke me with a persistent nose to the face at about 11:30am, when I'd had maybe four hours of actual sleep. I pushed him off and managed to stay in bed for another hour or so, but had things to do today, so I ended up getting my butt out of bed and moving on.

Today was the CR schmooze's Burns Night party, and I was delighted to spend time with my friends, but I was definitely dragging. I actually went as far as lying down for a while as the rest of the group talked and waited for those who were going to be a little later. It helped some, but not really enough. We had dinner (haggis, neeps and tatties, salad, oat bannocks, chocolate, and - yay - Ardbeg) and hung out talking for a fair while before I was too tired to really handle staying in a crowd anymore. About 9pm I noted that I was about done in, so I headed north and gave Charles a ride home.

rantiness below the cut )

A query

Nov. 28th, 2011 12:48 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (raven cawing)
I got an inquiry over on my FB page today from Chuck Hudson at Raven Radio about doing a podcast conversation about Asatru and CR, their similarities and differences. They've done some interviews with Troth folks before. I wanted to ask if anyone (I'm looking particularly at you, [livejournal.com profile] nancyblue) knew about these folks and whether I should consider doing the talk with them. I'm always a little skittish about doing stuff that involves phones (or, in this case, Skype) where I can't be in the same room with the person or people I'm talking to. I do have some fairly problematic phone-phobia issues, which is why email and text messaging tend to be my go-to communication methods of choice.

If they're not connected with anyone unsavory, I might be willing to do the talk with them, provided I can cope with the phobia issues. I'm just at the thinking about it stage at the moment.

Beyond that, I've done some more writing on my fic today and signed up to do a short one for a holiday gift exchange in one of my fandom communities. The keyword here is "short," as the current one I'm working on is going to be fairly lengthy. I'm still poking at it in another window right now, and it's at about 23,000 words. Yeah, I tend to be windy, I do. It's for the good cause of cleaning out my brain so that serious nonfiction writing can be done later.

[livejournal.com profile] lupabitch pinged me earlier today too and asked if I might consider doing a guest blog post for the Pagan Newswire Collective project No Unsacred Place. I'm giving that one some thought, as it wouldn't have to be a long piece, and I might be able to pop some photos into it as well. I can worry about that later, though.

I may be going to see the new Muppet movie on Thursday with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, depending on how I'm feeling. Right at the moment, I'm rather headachy. I crawled out to the grocery store to get dog food today, but that and writing have been about it for activity. I still need to do laundry; I'm hoping I'll be up to it tomorrow. Along with throwing together a proposal for the Esoteric Book Conference.

Damn, I'm busy. I hadn't expected that.

Shut up, hips.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (do something strange)
As noted in my previous post, I did go out to Applebee's for lunch, as I had planned. I also dropped by the Brown Bear car wash in downtown Everett because Garuda desperately needed a bath and they were doing a free wash for vets today. That put me within a few blocks of the courthouse, where Occupy Everett is encamped, and I had to deal with turning around on the main road through town, so I swooped up past the courthouse instead of trying to turn on Broadway. I figured I could stop and see if anybody needed coffee or something and maybe I could bring them something hot, because it was windy and pouring down rain.

I found about half a dozen people attempting to set up a shelter, without a whole lot of organization. The guy who was trying to read the instructions wasn't too certain what was supposed to go where, so I pitched in and helped out, deciphering stuff and putting things together. Between the half dozen or so of us, we got it standing, and I left them with the shelter put together and a couple of guys securing it down with heavy ropes and wooden stakes to keep it from blowing away in the wind. I was wearing my wool winter coat which, while warm, is not exactly suited for wearing outside in the pouring rain for an hour. My leather gloves left black dye stains all over my hands that are going to take a couple of days to come out, despite my having scrubbed them several times already.

I was feeling a need for a little bit of the needful, so I dropped in to the AFK to have a jolt of Klingon blood wine (yes, they do have a drink called that) and a pot of tea to see if I could warm up a little and dry out before I headed back home. They had a tasty sounding special on the menu, and by the time I was done with the alcohol, I was hungry again, so I ordered food. When I was done eating and sipping most of that pot of tea, it was about 7pm, so I texted Gary to see if he was at the AFK, as he and a bunch of his friends are usually there of a Friday evening for some gaming. They were, in fact, there, so I went over and joined them until almost 9:30. My coat was still wet, but I was tired and chilly and damp, so I bid them adieu and headed home.

So that is why I did not just stay home today and get some rest. Maybe tomorrow, eh?

Also, by way of [livejournal.com profile] heilan_coo and the Tairis blog, a link to Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria, an e-text of a book about Old Irish wisdom texts and their spread and influence.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Mercurius from Harmonia Macrocosmica)
The Call for Presentations went out from the EBC last week, which I posted here. I've previously noted the sometimes disturbing lack of women presenters at the conference and, in accordance with suggestions over the years from [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams, have decided that I'll propose a session.

I talked a little bit with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor about it, as we met for a while at Travelers after my VA appointment today. The spirituality group is back up and running and it was wonderful to see my friends there again. We have two new chaplain interns along with Wendy, the psychologist who coordinates the group. I'm excited to be involved with it again. Sadly, I thought the group was at 2 rather than 3, so I was there over an hour early. I am dumb.

Jeff came into Travelers for a while as well, before his yoga class, and he sat and talked with the two of us. He's interested in presenting something to the schmooze on Celtic coinage. I'm figuring that discussing iconography on coins would be pretty cool, particularly if it was aimed at dealing with use of coin iconography in exploring how the various Celtic peoples viewed their deities.

I ran my idea for the EBC past them, and they thought it would be an interesting one. I've considered for several years that it might be cool to present on ogam. Since the focus of the conference is on books and magical traditions related to them (primarily, though not exclusively), I thought I could do a presentation tentatively titled "Ogam: From Medieval Manuscripts to Modern Magicians," dealing with things like the use of ogam as cryptography and mnemonic device, and abbreviations and ogam glyphs in the manuscripts as an inspiration for sigilization, then examine the practices of several modern writers and magicians, like Ian Corrigan, myself, and a few others, who are using ogam as a part of a magical practice as well as a spiritual one.

Someone over in [livejournal.com profile] cr_r a while back asked about an ogam book published through Lulu.com. The description of the book included stuff about the qabala and the I Ching, which made me raise an eyebrow or two. I've been calling the qabala the Procrustean bed of occultism since the late 80s and haven't really changed my opinion on that, but the author also talks about ogam and sigil magic, so if I'm going to be talking about modern approaches to ogam and sigil magic, it sort of behooves me to actually read the text of someone else who's doing that kind of work. I can decide after reading it whether or not the material is worth addressing. Thankfully, there's a Veterans Day coupon code, and the book is already somewhat discounted, so I can get it fairly inexpensively. The author is also someone that [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor met while she was in Ireland, and she has some notes from him that she said I could look at. Still, notes versus an over-500 page book is a substantial difference in terms of being able to see what he's actually on about.

I need to look over the call for presentations and determine what I need to do for this, then do a more firm outline. I don't have to really worry about doing the bulk of the work until after PantheaCon, given that EBC isn't until autumn of next year, but I do need to pull together enough material to do the proposal and a rough outline so I'll know where to go with it when I get home from California next February. I also have to decide whether I'll speak from an outline or write a paper. I'm obviously going to have to work up a PowerPoint presentation to go with the presentation so that people can see what I'm talking about for several of the points I need to make.

I haven't heard back regarding the volunteer gig tomorrow, so I'm assuming that they're not interested in anyone showing up after 10am. Their loss. I have better things to do with my time than try to be somewhere at that hour, thereby guaranteeing my next three days are going to be nearly unlivable. I realize that a lot of people think of 10am as not only no problem, but as sleeping in, but when you have insomnia and sleep disturbance issues, 10am means I might have gotten two hours of more-or-less uninterrupted sleep, even if I went to bed at 10pm (which is usually ungodly early for me anyway). If I try to be anywhere by that hour, I'm guaranteeing that I'm going to be pretty much non-functional for the day, and it will take me a couple of days to get through it to the point where I can sort of function again.

This is why I am very insistent that I not be scheduled for morning sessions at conferences and why I refuse to make any sort of appointment, medical or otherwise, before noon if I can possibly avoid it. I hate the fact that I am in pain and can't focus if I am up too early, and that I can't just have a cup of tea and be fine, like most people. I can't really even just go home afterwards and go to bed, because it's almost impossible for me to sleep in the afternoon. I often feel worse after an afternoon nap that I would if I just stayed awake until my "normal" bedtime of somewhere between 2am and 5am. Bedtime means I go and lie down, not that I go to sleep.

And on that note, it's probably time I try to retire for the night.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
So that post I mentioned last night about the use of juniper? You can find it here.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Erynn SteamIcon)
I went over to visit Charles today with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, after a kind of crunchy, restless night. I slept more than the night previous, but it was still kind of iffy for me. They talked about Irish language stuff and plans for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to teach Irish classes in Seattle later this year or early next. I'll keep you posted about upcoming Irish classes.

I did some mending on costume bits for Steamcon tomorrow, and shortened the suspenders I've been using so that they'll fit much better now. They were nearly too long to actually hold up my pants, which was a problem. Now they will fit like normal suspenders ought to.

Ten people were arrested tonight at a Sukkot tent at Occupy Seattle. The medical/supplies tent was not molested, but I find it disturbing that a tent set up specifically for Jewish religious observances was torn down and people arrested. There are over 100 protesters back in Westlake right now, so the occupation continues apace.

Food items for snacking and eating in the room (we will have a fridge and microwave for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's convenience regarding her food issues) will be packed. I don't have too much else but two days worth of light costuming and the iPad and cords to carry along. I'll have my phone with me in case anyone needs to text, and I'll have my portable wifi along, but I don't know how often I'll actually be getting online. I will check in at least once a day, though.

Warm fuzzies to everyone. For those of you heading to the con, see you tomorrow!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Schroedinger kills you maybe)
Today I expected to hang out for lunch with Robert and then get some writing done. I did get the hanging out with Robert bit done -- we went out for lunch to one of the Thai places down in Everett where I go sometimes. We had a really lovely few hours, talking about books and magic and politics and New York and Seattle. We shared some tea when we got back to my place and talked a lot more. He was here for three hours or so before I started fading and he headed off to the Half Price Books at the Everett Mall.

I took a little quiet time to read for a few minutes before I got back into the online stuff. It seems several people on the Puget Sound CR list hadn't got the link for the ogam booklet I'd sent, so I re-sent it. After that, I also went fishing for the Nora Chadwick Imbas Forosnai article for the more mysticism part of this and next month's schmooze. It turned out the only place I could find it was through the Wayback Machine on Molly Ní Dana's old Geocities website. The first two parts she'd posted were more or less findable, but I had to do a little futzing to get the third and final part. I posted those links to the list as well, but I realized that anyone just clicking the links on the wikipedia page or on the Imbas organization page were going to have some difficulty either getting to the article at all, or getting to all three parts of it that had originally been posted.

The other issue was that Molly's original transcription lacked any of the footnotes, all 93 of them. I dived into it, turning the three files into a single page, fixing the formatting, and incorporating the footnotes, while fixing the typos that I could find. That has occupied almost my entire day, from about 4pm to about 11:30pm, and my wrists are aching, but I've at least got this resource back on the web in a place where it will be easily available for the foreseeable future. It has been incorporated as a page on my Searching for Imbas blog with all credit to Molly for her hard work in initially transcribing the article. I've added a note at the top about pagination and footnotes, which are necessary for anyone considering citing the online version. There are a few points where Chadwick refers to page numbers in the article for cites, and that formatting is not preserved, so there would be a problem unless you had the original article in front of you.

I posted a note about this over on facebook and will also post a note about it on my Searching for Imbas blog so that people who are watching that, but not necessarily this LJ, will also know about it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (erynn999 merman)
I spent the majority of today working on two things -- the Queering the Flame essay, and sorting and shelving my catalogued Celtic books as I browsed through them looking for source quotes for the essay. The essay itself has gone from 8 to 10 pages in the last couple of days, so I'm pleased with my current progress, though occasionally frustrated by my efforts to find particular sources and quotes. I spent the better part of an hour poking through a box of photocopied papers looking for Patrick Ford's The Well of Nechtan and "La Gloire Lumineuse". I was ultimately successful (I knew I had a copy somewhere), but I also found that it is available on Googlebooks as one of the in-the-clear sections of Myth in Indo-European Antiquity. The entire book isn't available, but the fact that this whole section was is very useful.

One of the things I hit upon today regarding the tradition of perpetual flames in Ireland is an idea that actually supports a Christian origin of Brigid's flame. This is that traditionally all the flames in Ireland were extinguished and had to be re-lit from the Bealtinne fires atop the hills. If this tradition is true, there would be no Pagan perpetual flames in Ireland. The idea of a flame's perpetuity may well come from Patrick's lighting of a flame on the hill of Tara before the druidic flame was lit, and the prophecy that if the flame were not extinguished that very night, it would always burn and would eventually mark the fall of Paganism, as related in Muirchú's Life of Patrick. The salient quote is this:

The wise men answered: "'O king, live forever!' This fire, which we see lit this night before the fire of your own house, must be quenched this night. Indeed, if it is not put out tonight, it will never be extinguished! You should know that it will keep rising up and supplant all the fires of our own religion. The one who lit it, and the kingdom he is bringing upon us this night, will overcome us all—both you and us—by leading away everyone in your kingdom. All the kingdoms will fall down before it, and it will fill the whole country and it 'shall reign forever and ever.'"


Were the perpetual flames at Christian monasteries actually symbolic statements of Christian triumphalism? I think it's possible. I think it should be explicitly stated that it doesn't matter if the origin of Brigid's flame is Christian or Pagan, what really matters is the practice as it is used today in Pagan spiritual communities, and the intents and benefits of those practices.

I'm still working through [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's notes as I mess with the article. I have to keep going back and to make sure I haven't missed anything significant. I haven't looked at the article as a whole since I've added a couple of pages, but I'll probably do that tomorrow, after I've finished up working on it for the night. It's still not anywhere near finished, but it's fleshing out nicely at this point, which always feels good. It's hard to stay focused, but I think I've managed to do so reasonably well today, despite the several-hours' interruption for shelving books and digging through photocopies. Of course, now the library floor is covered with paper, and that'll need to be dealt with tomorrow at some point. I really need to develop a better filing system than "pile shit up." It's nice, at least, to have my space to myself again so that I have room for stuff like this and don't feel guilty about invading someone else's space when I have to keep going back and forth into the library for things.

Today was overcast, but significantly warmer outside than it looked. It rained for a while, though it didn't pour down buckets like it did the other day. When I was out walking the DoDC+3, I happened upon a little green and brown Pacific Tree Frog in the grass of the dog walking area, which is the tiny species of peepers that sing outside at night. I was kind of tickled to see it. According to wikipedia, they're the only species out here that sings like that, so I know I've identified the culprits. It was really quite cute. They're apparently capable of changing their color to a limited extent to match their environment, which is pretty cool. I hadn't known frogs could do that.

I'm feeling very crampy tonight, and my right hip is giving me fits. I hope that I'll be doing better tomorrow, but I suspect not. With any luck, I'll be through the worst of the crampybits by Monday, when I'm supposed to go talk to the guy who's interviewing steampunks. I sent him an email asking where he'd like to meet, but haven't heard back yet.

In the mail today, I got a cd and a final first edition copy of Nazza, a little volume of poetry by the young poet from Vancouver who came down to visit a couple of months ago. It has a blurb from me on the back, and one from a guy who wrote a book about Greenpeace. I haven't had a chance to listen to the cd yet, but am looking forward to it.

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