erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
There was still some snow on the cars when I got out the door today. The parking lot and the roads were clear, but it was raining a lot. The drive down to Seattle and back was stressy because of the weather, and worse in the dark.

I talked with my shrink about writing and stuff, and realized that while, yes, I do need to be writing the ogam article (I got more done on it today), I am in part writing it as a way of procrastinating about the Brigid book. The Brigid book is really a huge project for me and I have such high goals for it that it's hard for me to just sit down and be objective about it and do it. I know I'll do okay, even if it takes me a long time. It can't possibly take longer than the ogam book did, can it? I mean, that took something on the order of 18 years from when I started writing about ogam to when I finally published the book, four false starts, and more angst and hair-pulling freaking out than I really needed. This is another project where I can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I stayed at Travelers for a while and even then I had to go up over Capitol Hill to avoid a stall at a downtown exit that was making I5 north from Columbian Way a parking lot. I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow's drive down for the last group of the year. I'll be down later than usual because the queer Pagan meetup is also tomorrow night, starting at 7pm, so it'll probably be 9 or 10 before I head home again, and by then traffic should be entirely gone; it'll just be late night traffic. That'll be way less stressy.

When I got home I sat down and started digging into the ogam article. When I got into it, I had three pages, one of which was illustrations. Now it's at five and about two, so I got several paragraphs in and feel like I made reasonable progress. Right now I'm mostly trying to just get the information and concepts down. Later I'll try to refine it and make it more poetic and readable. Abraxas isn't a scholarly journal, though footnotes are certainly acceptable. I do want to be able to offer both sources and analysis, but also to show the creativity of the people working with ogam in constructing magical sigils and other modern work.

The other thing I got done today was poking at a concept and general outline for a fic I want to work on after I get the ogam article done. I spent a little time in chat online with [ profile] random_nexus, who helps me kick these things around until they take shape. She was, as usual, wonderfully helpful. I'd scribbled several pages of notes to myself in my small notebook while I was at Travelers this afternoon, between reading a book on sound and poetry and having some dinner. In chat we managed to refine some of those ideas a little more. I saved the notes in a doc file that I can pull up when I start to work on the story later.

I wish I had a little more confidence in my writing. *sigh*
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
So the PCon schedule was officially released a couple of days ago and I can now say that my Irish healing deities session was approved, and that [ profile] druid_medb's trip up here was so that we could work on our joint session on PTSD and spirit work. Those are the only two sessions I'm doing this year with my name on them. I'm not certain but I may be participating in some of the Ekklesía Antínoou stuff, but I haven't yet spoken to my compadre about any details.

There's always a chance I'll get asked to participate in something else as a panelist, as that has been known to happen from time to time, but I'm perfectly happy to just do two sessions over the weekend.

I managed to get a little writing done today on the ogam sigils article that I want to send to Abraxas. At the moment it's about three pages, with one of those being illustrations that go with what I have so far. I'm expecting to expand a fair bit, but what I have right now includes Byrhtferth's Diagram and some stuff from the Icelandic grimoires that has an ogam-ish vibe to it. I don't think it's out of the bounds of possibility that the ogam tradition informed the Icelandic magical tradition in some way. That said, there's an awful lot to do on that.

[ profile] mael_brigde canceled her potential trip down this month because one of her kitties is not well. She might be down in January.

Tomorrow is the Medieval Women's Choir concert. [ profile] gra_is_stor finally managed to get a car to replace the one that got totaled last week, so she's able to get around by herself again. She'd borrowed Garuda this morning to go to an appointment.

I have, for the most part, been hearing pretty good reports about The Hobbit from my friends. I expect it'll be a lot of fun when I get to see it later this month.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
I spent a lot of yesterday dredging my way through Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum looking for illustrations of several ogam inscriptions that may have had "magical" uses. It's a pretty damned huge book, and only a few were suitable, but finding them was necessary.

Finally having finished looking through the manuscript for Fireflies, I sent off my approval for the final text. Now it just needs to go through layout and cover design. I still haven't done much of anything in terms of publicity stuff. Gods, I hate having to approach people about my work. There are moments when being an introvert and having anxiety issues sucks deeply. I'm always half-terrified about saying "hey, would you like to review my book or interview me for your blog" about things like this.

Today, along with #writechat, I finished typing up the outline for my Esoteric Book Conference presentation. Jeff's supposed to come by Thursday to help me with the PowerPoint part of the thing, and I want to have as many of the illustrations available as possible. With this sort of thing, the temptation to DO ALL THE THINGS is a little difficult, as I have a whole 45 minutes for the presentation. It's going to be essential to cover things reasonably quickly while still doing a decent job of it. The outline is less than a page as it stands, but I haven't filled in the details as yet, with dates and such. And I still have to pull together a reference list of the various books and such that I'm consulting.

I tried dipping into The Poet's Ogam today and am still finding it awfully brain-breaking. I fear attempting to address his system when I'm having a hard time figuring out what he's on about with a lot of this stuff. I know a lot of it is experimental. I have no idea if he's actually done 90% of what he's writing about. I wish I was more into/versed in chaos magic, Enochian, or Thelema. I've read some about all of those things, but they're really not my thing, so it's hard for me to get into his work.

At least with Ian's work, it's not really my style, but I was there for and participated in one of his rituals and can see the mechanics of it and where he intends to go with it, even if he's not really got there yet. That part I can comment on reasonably easily, being more familiar with the thought processes and the techniques. Most of John-Paul's stuff just leaves me scratching my head. I'm going to have to drag myself through at least some of the book without the brain cells leaking out my ears if I'm going to speak about it with any clarity at all.

In both cases, I can at least pull illustrations and say "here's some stuff, it looks interesting and is based on things that many of you will be familiar with," and hope that will cover a lot of my own shortcomings in understanding. I'll be mentioning ogam "gematria" as well, or at least ogam as a basis for numerology. I'll mention in passing that there was a guy spamming my FB page with his alleged "Gaelic" gematria system and that he's not the only one who has played with the idea. I don't remember the guy's name and am not going to bother trying to remember because I still have no intention of promoting his work or letting him use my space as a springboard for his own agenda.

I'll talk a little about divination and show examples of some of the various types of decks and other ogam divination systems out there, as I do have a fair collection of them at this point. I need to remember to drag out the boxes later this evening before I go to bed. Photos will need to be taken.

Tomorrow morning I have a VA appointment and have to remember to take a stack of papers in with me. I have to schedule a tit squish, which requires referral from the Women's Clinic, and dental wants me in for x-rays, so I need to go up to the dental clinic and schedule something. I am not thrilled with a 10:30am medical appointment, but podiatry only does morning clinics. Suckage. We hates it we does my preciousss.

My brain, it is currently barely functional.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Schroedinger kills you maybe)
Today was my group day at the VA. I left at the usual time and saw on one of the reader boards above I5 that there was a major accident on the highway through downtown Seattle. It advised taking 405 to bypass the area but, sadly, I was in the far left lane, and the reader board is right on top of the 405 exit, so there was no way to actually take its advice. Traffic was okay until we got to the 71st/65th St exit, where it came to a near standstill. Things crawled along for a very very long time and I finally got off the freeway on the left side exit for the 520 bridge, where I could take the one exit before the bridge out to the Montlake Cut. This ran me up over Capitol Hill and I got myself down onto the bypass to I90 and I5 south toward the Columbian Way/West Seattle Bridge exit. It was still snarled and miserable, and I could see that a semi and at least one car had been involved in something very messy right at the I90 ramp. The cops and semi trucks backing up to put them onto the bypass.

It took me 2 hours to make what is usually about a 45 minute trip, and that was taking the roundabout way that should have got me past most of it. I hesitate to think how long it would have taken if I'd stayed on I5. I probably should have just gone up MLK and around the back way entirely, but I was sure the road would have been clear by the time I got to the I90 ramp.

I made it in to my group five minutes before the group ended, but at least I got marked as present, so I'll be compensated for the travel funds next week when I go in.

On the way home tonight, I drove past a car with its engine on fire just north of the 164th exit. There were two other cars stopped to help, so I didn't bother -- I do carry a fire extinguisher in my trunk. It's the first time I've ever actually seen a car on fire outside of a movie. Very weird experience.

Anyway, it was a really awful day for driving. I'm glad I got to Seattle and back safely.

Last week at the queer Pagan meetup, [ profile] circularruins gave me a postcard for The Occultural Film Series: Magick in Cinema With Brian Butler. That was this evening at 7pm at the Northwest Film Forum on 12th. I spent a little time at Travelers after I got out of the VA, then wandered up to catch the series with him. The series was sponsored in part by the Esoteric Book Conference. I was rather looking forward to seeing some of this, as I'd seen parts of one of the films this past year at the Conference as part of a documentary on Cameron; the film excerpted was called Wormwood Star. I'd been intrigued enough by the excerpts to want to see the whole thing (10 minutes).

The program was three films by Brian Butler, Death Posture, Night of Pan, and Union of Opposites, Curtis Harrington's previously mentioned Wormwood Star, Mirror Animations by Harry Smith, Kenneth Anger's Brush of Baphomet, and the 1968 The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda by Ira Cohen.

Of the first three, I thought Night of Pan (7 minutes) was probably the most interesting, though some of it struck me as more unintentionally humorous than anything. There were some interesting visuals, fascinating props, and some really amazing and striking makeup on a couple of the actors, but I was left with the impression that part of the impetus for these three films was boobies. Part of Night of Pan was shot on location at Boleskine House at Loch Ness in Scotland, which had been a residence of Aleister Crowley for a while.

Of the other films, I think Wormwood Star appealed to me the most, giving us a look at Cameron's artwork, almost all of which she burned after its magical purpose had been served. Part of the soundtrack of the film is her reading from her poetry.

Harry Smith's Mirror Animations (10 mins) was interesting but amusing in a rather Terry Gilliam kind of way. Given that it was produced in 1979, I'm not sure this was unintentional. It's entirely possible that Gilliam's work on Monty Python's Flying Circus might have been an influence. It was saturated with qabalistic imagery and hands in different Buddhist mudras. I found it fascinating and relatively enjoyable.

Brush of Baphomet was interesting really only because of its subject being an exhibition of Aleister Crowley's paintings from the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. These paintings had apparently been undiscovered in a private collection until very recently. The focus of the film dwelt on the intense colors and textures of the paintings. The 4 minute film was produced in 2008.

The longest of the films, and the final one of the evening, was The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda. Some of its imagery was interesting, but a lot of it was wildly experimental and seemed more intended to replicate the effects of a bad acid trip. I found the soundtrack particularly grating, out of an entire series of films with bad soundtracks designed to encourage migraines. Some of the costuming was quite interesting, and apparently parts of the film were done with heavy use of mylar for reflective surfaces. It was very kaleidoscopic, and I was fairly certain that something like mylar was being used, as the reflections were too fluid in motion to be foil. Technically speaking, some of it was really interesting, but mostly it just seemed overly chaotic to me. I don't mind surrealist stuff, but I prefer it not be tracked with loud, screechy noise.

All the films had a fairly surrealist feel to them. Almost all the soundtracks were discordant and irritating to my ears. Brian Butler was, himself, on hand for the screening and did a short Q&A afterwards, where he talked a little about the films, and about the process of making his own. His process seemed rather haphazard, in that he intended things to go in one direction and found himself ending up somewhere entirely else.

The film program descriptions are as follows:

Death Posture (4 mins, 2011) Originally inspired by the Hanged Man card in the Tarot, this film explores the parallels of death and contact with alien intelligence in an abstract manner.

Night of Pan (7 mins, 2009) This film illustrates a specific spiritual experience. A magician encounters the void that separates the human mind from divine consciousness and in turn faces the mad god. Shot on location in Los Angeles and Loch Ness, Scotland.

Union of Opposites (14 mins, 2012) A personal journey through the unconscious. Shot in January 2012 on location in Malibu.

Wormwood Star (Curtis Harrington, 10 mins, 1955) Curtis Harrington's portrait of Cameron, the widow of JPL scientist and magician Jack Parsons. A rare documentation of Cameron's artwork, most of which was later destroyed.

Mirror Animations (Harry Smith, 10 mins, 1979) "You shouldn't be looking at this as a continuity. Film Frames are hieroglyphs, even when they look like actuality. You should think of the individual frame, always, as a glyph, then you'll understand what cinema is about." - Harry Smith

Brush of Baphomet (Kenneth Anger, 4 mins, 2008) A short film documenting the paintings of Aleister Crowley at the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in Paris.

The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda (Ira Cohen, 22 mins, 1968) Intensely psychedelic film shot in Ira Cohen's famous studio with Mylar walls. "It's like going on an ecstatic journey to another planet, full of magical beings, animals, and plants." - Ira Cohen

After the program, [ profile] circularruins and I went over to the Odd Fellows restaurant, situated in an old Odd Fellows Lodge building. The food there is good and the atmosphere loud and bustling but quite convivial. We had a good conversation about divination methods, app development, the films, and the suggested potential for a second series of short films specifically focused on women in magic, brought up by the woman who hosted the program.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
Today I got email from Scarlet Imprint about the Mandragora anthology, which is due for release in its initial edition on May 1st:

Dear Friends,

Our latest title, Mandragora: Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis, edited by Ruby Sara, is now available for subscriber pre-order.

Pulled from the ground, its shrieks threatening madness, carved and anointed, given form and breath… so it is, the Word walks.

Mandragora is a companion volume to Datura, and some 100 pages larger, comprising nine extensive essays and the works of 48 poets. If you enchant, incant or evoke this is essential reading.
We are committed to the art of poetry.

It has been a major undertaking, and now the mandrake gives forth its fragrance.

Our poets and writers are:

Adriano Camargo Monteiro, Adrienne J. Odasso, Alexander Cummins, Alison Leigh Lilly, Anna Applegate, Anthony Rella, Ariana Dawnhawk, Brock Marie Moore, Caroline Carver, Chris Page, Christopher Greenchild, Craig Fraser, Erynn Rowan Laurie, J/J Hastain, Jenne Micale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Melusine, Jimmy T Kirkbride, Jose Leitao, Juleigh Howard Hobson, Juliet Johns, Katie Anderson, KH Solomon, Levannah Morgan, Literata Hurley, Mama Whodun, Mark Mandrake, Mark Saucier, Mark Valentine, Michael Routery, Mike Slater, Miriam Axel-Lute, Orryelle Defenstrate-Bascule, Paul Holman, Paul B.Rucker, Peter Dube, Peter Grey, Phil Legard, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, Rebecca Buchanan, Ruby Sara, Scott Schroder, Shaun Johnson, Slippery Elm, Stuart Inman, T.Thorn Coyle, Valentina Cano, Voxx Voltair.

In addition to the rich wilderness of poetry represented in these pages, Mandragora also presents nine essays on the nature of the strange, mad, chymical wedding of poet and magic, and the occult euphoria that follows it through time and space. Throughout these pages we glimpse the ghost of Orpheus, that god-touched and wandering patron of verse, in explorations of the poet as seducer of the gods, the role of verse in ritual theatre, and the poet in relationship with the Muse. Twice we are invited to fix our hearts on the lives and works of specific voices from the history of esoteric poetry in essays on Ted Hughes and Fernando Pessoa. The prophetic voice of the poet is explored, specifically in relationship to Brigid, as is the role of poetry in the grimoire tradition, the use of the cut-up technique in poetry and magic, and the relationship of poetry to the ongoing conversation between science and occult practice. In these essays the poetic word is grounded in tradition and history, rooted in thought – a face given form and a spirit animating its limbs.


The Poet as God-Seducer - P.Sufenas Virius Lupus
Black Venus and Wise Hermes - Phil Legard
On Cut-Up - Alexander Cummins
A Spell to Awaken England - Peter Grey
Magical Verse in Ritual Theatre - Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule
Burying the Poet - Erynn Rowan Laurie
On Pessoa - Jose Leitao
Houses of Death - Jimmy Kirkbride
Head of Orpheus - Michael Routery

Mandragora - Further Explorations in Esoteric Poesis
Various, Ruby Sara (Ed)

264pp, pinched crown 240 x 170mm in fine, hardback, paperback and epub/mobi editions.
The standard hardback Carpophorus edition
450 exemplars (50 hors commerce)
Bound in an exquisite copper crushed cloth. Stamped in black foil with La Mandragora.
Black head and tail bands, black embossed endpapers.
Archival quality paper.
£40 plus postage

The fine-bound Chthonia edition
32 exemplars
Full antique goat, sunk coffin device with copper blocking.
Magnani Firenze handmade endpapers.
Copper edges, slipcased and finished to the highest standards.
£185 plus secure postage.

I got email the other day from Justin Moore, who did the wonderful and fascinating presentation at last year's Esoteric Book Conference on The Library Angel. He's apparently developed an interest in things druidic, and the bardic traditions. He'd been interested in some of my work previously but hadn't realized who I was when we met at the conference until he was on his way back to Cincinnati. Sadly, he won't be attending this year, but we did talk a bit about the differences between the romantic/antiquarian druidic traditions and the more reconstructionist approaches in our brief email exchange; he also had a few questions about some of my earlier work, particularly the essay in Philip Carr-Gomm's The Druid Renaissance. I'm hoping to hear from him again soon, if he has time.

Today was a new session with the VA spirituality group. We have a couple of new people, which will change the dynamics slightly, but the women who come to join us have usually been pretty good people, so I'm looking forward to participating with them.

A little further discussion has been had on the cover design for the new edition of Circle of Stones, and I have to remember to find some time this weekend to find a couple of sample graphics for Andy, and to look at some font collections for the cover text.

Tomorrow is my outing for the steampunked Pirates of Penzance at the Village Theatre in Everett. There may be snacks before or dinner after, though I haven't got all of that cleared with [ profile] gra_is_stor just yet. I know it will be quite the contingent, and all in our steamy finery. My head is twinging slightly tonight, so I'm hoping I won't be migraining tomorrow, as that would be exceedingly inconvenient. Rain and wind have been a bit much today, though the drive home from Seattle did provide me with a really nice rainbow arcing almost straight up into the sky as I came around the curve on I5 toward the Lynnwood/44th Street exit.

Nicole has asked me once again to come and speak to her class about the geilt and PTSD paper on May 1st, which I will most likely do unless I find myself swamped with too many things to do. I do need to put that into the calendar.

More stuff is going on than my brain can handle, I sometimes think. I did get a little more reading done in one of the Brigid books I've been working my way through. I need to take another look at the pilgrimage preparation timetable and see what's next on my list. Today on Twitter I made the acquaintance of a folklorist and (apparently) botanist going by @irishflora working at the Folklife Branch of the National Museum of Ireland in County Mayo. She'd been tweeting some stuff about ogam and trees, and a couple of people recommended my book to her, so we had a short chat before I had to head into Seattle today; she seemed really interested in my book and said if the pilgrimage group was able or interested, we should come by the museum. She says it's not all that far from Sligo, though I'm not sure what "not far" means in this context. I took a look at a map but am not certain of the scale of things in terms of travel and whatnot. Still, it would be fascinating if there's time at all while we're in Sligo for that part of the trip. She says that part of her work involves education on participation and ownership of Irish culture, heritage and tradition, which is of course right up my alley. I'm sure we'll have some interesting conversations, even if I don't get over to the museum while we're there.

So much stuff. So little time.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
I just got the email saying that tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle. Remember, I'll be speaking there this year on ogam and magic. I hope I'll see you there!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Northwest forest)
My primary responsibility today was the Sisters of Seshat ritual with [ profile] brandywilliams and a couple of other Sorors. We had (much to Brandy's surprise but not at all to mine) quite a group of women show up for the ritual. There were 33, in fact. It was a very nice ritual, and rather more quickly done than we'd anticipated, so we let out a little early.

I caught up with a bunch of people today that I hadn't seen or had an opportunity to talk much with, like Macha NightMare and Sabinia Maggliocco, as well as spending time with some of my friends from the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn. I attended the last seating for the Hermetic Tea Ceremony this evening at the OSOGD suite and had a lovely time there. Tea will be had in Everett with the culprits at some point later. I promised to share some of my wonderful mid-70s vintage aged pu ehr, which led to wide, delighted eyeballs being aimed in my direction.

Also at the OSOGD suite, I got a little bit of acupuncture to help with a headache that's been dogging me most of the day. I'm still pretty badly off and finally had to beg out of a dear friend's room party because of it, but I did my good deed for the night by introducing a young gent to him and when I left they were continuing to have a really great conversation.

I got a chance to catch up with quite a few folks in other con suites as well, and spent time here and there. Tomorrow I'll be having lunch with the SOA sisters to do some more planning for the Ireland pilgrimage. One woman who stopped by the SOA suite brought along a tarot deck that she had designed that is illustrated with the most gorgeous vintage nude photos of women from the 1920s and 1930s. I love photos from that era and these were some truly amazing ones. I dashed down to the dealer's room before they closed for the day so that I could get a deck for myself. I don't generally buy tarot decks anymore, but the art on this was just so strikingly beautiful that I couldn't resist.

Also tomorrow is my workshop on Brigid and Sarasvati, at 7pm, and 9pm will be [ profile] alfrecht's Queer Celtic Mytbology workshop, which should be fascinating. I always love to hear his talks when I'm able to get to them.

And now, collapsing in a heap to try to deal with the migraine.

Goodnight all! Hope you had a fabulous day!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Awesome takes practice)
The day turned out really well despite kind of a sticker shock with the photocopies for the workshops. Damned Kinkos/UPS here charges 25 cents a SIDE for photocopies and I dropped $110 dollars on copies for the workshops. Costs were recouped this evening, though, thanks to the generosity of the people who attended tonight's session.

The workshop itself went really well, many people were suitably impressed, and I had a lovely time. I talked to Thorn Coyle earlier in the evening at the OSOGD hospitaility suite, and she said she'd plug the Brigid pilgrimage to Ireland to her online class on Brigid soon. There are only 12 openings. Anyone signing up this weekend gets the SOA membership rate for the pilgrimage, which is $200 less than the non-member rate, so if you're interested, please let me know so that I can get you in touch with the SOA folks who are organizing this.

I was also told that I might be able to be put in touch with a woman on the Isle of Man who is a Manx speaker, big in the language movement there, and a Manx musician as well. It would be fabulous if I could have time with someone to talk to about language and music there!

As usual, I'm having a wonderful time. Fabulous things were done by all.

And now, I am collapsing in a heap because my feet ache like you wouldn't believe. Tomorrow at 3:30pm is the Sisters of Seshat moon ritual. Be there or be a parallellogram.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
In a few minutes I'll be doing the last packout to Garuda for the trip to points south.

This morning in the email I got notice that my proposal for Ogam: From Medieval Manuscripts to Modern Magicians was accepted for the Esoteric Book Conference this fall here in Seattle. I'm very excited about this and will probably have more information for you when I get home. Their website still has the info for 2011 up, but watch the page for updates, as they wanted presenter info by the 20th for inclusion on the page.

To those of you traveling to PCon this weekend, find me! Say hi! I'll see you in San Jose.

Thank you to the folks who have sent good wishes for travel. They are greatly appreciated. I'll check in tonight from Ashland.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ogma)

Spellbound text in old Irish finally yields to translation


AN AUSTRIAN-born professor claims to have comprehensively translated one of the first written passages of old Irish, which has defied previous translations.

The passage is the third of three charms, or spells, in the ninth century Stowe Missal, a Mass book written mostly in Latin, which has a single page at the back containing the charms written in old Irish.

The charm is on urinary diseases and only a couple of passages, including the last two lines, have been translated before.

Prof David Stifter of the department of Old and Middle Irish at NUI Maynooth said many who had examined the passage in the past had dismissed it as “hocus pocus”.

He will unveil the results of his research in his inaugural lecture today in the college.

Prof Stifter, originally from Vienna, came to the study of old Irish through his interest in the dead Celtic languages Celtiberian, Gaulish and Lepontic.

He described old Irish as “terribly difficult but great fun”. The key to translating the text, he said, was understanding the word “suilid”, which meant to let flow, because silid was the word flow and the letter u gave it a causative function; and the word “lindaid”, to produce liquid, from the word “lind” meaning liquid.

He said there were still a few words and a passage that had defeated even his forensic investigation of the text.

He admitted being baffled by the phrase “let it flow like a camel”. Prof Stifter surmised that the author would have known about camels from the Bible and would have thought that because they lived in hot climates they must have drunk a lot and therefore urinated a lot. “The person who wrote this clearly did not know a lot about camels.”

The Stowe Missal is housed in the Royal Irish Academy and is one of the first surviving examples of written old Irish.

The first of the charms about the eye is unintelligible because the manuscript is damaged and the second on removing thorns has been translated.

The third has confounded well-known Irish scholars until now.

RIA academic librarian Siobhán Fitzpatrick said the Stowe Missal was the first “decent body of prose in the Irish language”.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (05 nin)
Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition Conference 2012

July 14-15, Milwaukee, WI

Call for Abstracts:

Since 2001, the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition (JWMT) has worked to publish diverse perspectives on the occultisms, magical practices, mysticisms and esotericisms commonly known as the “Western Mystery Tradition.” The JWMT is expanding the work of the web journal through its first conference.

The JWMT conference is a two-day event open to scholars, students, practitioners, and the public. The keynote speaker is the Journal’s founder and publisher, Dr. Jeffrey S. Kupperman.

The study of western esoteric practices has risen greatly over the last decade, focusing on Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Modern magical practices and beliefs, outside of the realm of modern Paganisms and the New Age, have received little attention. Further, practitioners have had little opportunity to present their work, either as papers or in the form of ritual practice, outside of the internet or small groups. The focus of this conference is the movement of contemporary western esotericisms, loosely construed as the “western mysteries,” and their transition from the 20th to the 21st century. The Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition Conference 2012 is seeking abstracts for presentations, panels and practices centered on this broad subject.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Esoteric traditions such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Martinism and chivalric organizations,

Ritual magical practices from organizations such as the Golden Dawn and the Aurum Solis and modern initiatory Paganisms,

Esotericisms from earlier periods, such as alchemy, Gnosticism and Neoplatonism, the magical work of John Dee or the medieval grimoire traditions, and their re-emergence and relevancy to modern praxes,

Theoretical, paedogogical, and methodological approaches to the study of the western mysteries,

The relation of the esotericisms to orthodox and mainstream practices and society at large.

We welcome presentations, panels and practices focusing on methodological and theoretical issues in relation to the contemporary study and practice of the various western esoteric currents. The conference encourages an interdisciplinary approach and welcomes perspectives from the disciplines of religious studies, theology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, history, political science, as well as active practitioners. Papers should last 20 minutes, with time for questions and answers. Panels and practices will be scheduled for up to an hour, with time for questions and answers afterwards as necessary.

Please submit abstracts (approx. 200 words), proposals for a themed panel (with three presenters, moderator as necessary, and short description) or proposals for a ritual practice and discussion to Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2012.

No attachments please; copy and paste your abstract or proposal in plain text into the body of the e-mail. Submissions are not limited to academics or professional scholars. Include a brief (no more than one page) CV listing any qualifications, academic or otherwise, relevant to your proposal.

The conference will be held at the Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel and Conference Center. More information on the conference, registration, fees, accommodation, etc. is available at
erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
It's been raining off and on all day, which is helping deal with the snow, but this also means that the whole area is under a flood warning. There's still about four inches of packed snow and slush in the parking lot, which means it's a bit of a chore to negotiate. I'm still not driving anywhere.

[ profile] brandywilliams cancelled the Sisters of Seshat initiation for tomorrow. It'll be rescheduled for later, when people don't have to worry about dealing with the awful roads and such.

I didn't get much done today. I did hang out in #indieop on twitter with a bunch of writers and artists, and that was fun. I watched Auntie Mame, which was okay, but I remember liking the book a lot better. And I still want to grow up to be Auntie Mame. ;)

Feeling a bit queasy, so it's probably just as well that the initiation was cancelled. The sinuses are a little off still, too. I'm likely to head to bed pretty soon in hopes of feeling a bit better.

Friends were over at the AFK tonight, but there was just no way that I was going to try to get Garuda out of the parking lot to go there. Gary said not to even try - they have a truck and I have a wee bitty Toyota, so they were a lot more able to negotiate the mess on the roads. I'm hoping by Monday things will be better. If I'm feeling okay tomorrow, I'm going to see about shoving the eight inches or so of snow off the top of Garuda so that eventually I'll be able to get out of here at some point. I considered it today but just wasn't up to that much physical work. Wet snow is awfully heavy.

I really need to try and pull it together tomorrow and deal with the Imbolc ritual edits.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
It snowed from about 5am until mid-afternoon and we got another four-ish inches or so today. The main road out front has got at least an inch of hard packed snow/ice over it, and people are still driving on it. The parking lot has more like three inches of the hard packed stuff and six inches or so in some places. There's about a foot of the stuff on top of my car at the moment. An article in the LA Times had the gall to refer to us as "snow wimps" -- a city that does 24 hour coverage of half an inch of rain. Yeah, stay classy guys. Different regions have different weather patterns -- I don't expect you to cope with four inches of rain, don't expect us to cope with a foot of snow.

Group was cancelled today. Trees are down all over the region. Roads are closed. Tons of flights out of SeaTac were cancelled today as well.

If this doesn't substantially go away on Friday up here, I'm not going down into Seattle for the Sisters of Seshat initiation. I just won't take that kind of chance, even if it's only 3 miles to the freeway. There have been way too many accidents out there today -- I've been following the WSDOT twitter and they report on all the stalls, spinouts, accidents, and other incidents on the road. There have been several per hour all day today. It's insane.

This is what it looks like outside my place right now, even though there's no snow coming down.

more snow

I think I may be coming down with a cold. I've got that scratchy sinus feeling and have been sneezing a bit the last couple of hours. I went walking down to the Safeway at 112th this evening and watched cars slipping on the road, going too fast. People are nuts. At least I've got veggies and some other stuff to last me for a while.

Today's post brought a Veterans for Peace sweatshirt that I'd ordered back in November (they were out and I told them to go ahead and ship me one when they got the new stock in), and a check from my car insurance company. Apparently, my credit rating went up a few points and I'm now eligible for a lower insurance rate, so they sent me a check for the difference. That was unexpected, and a very pleasant surprise, so I stuffed it in my savings account for PCon and/or the Ireland pilgrimage. That was part of the reason I'd bothered to walk down to the store today, so I could deposit the check. I have enough stuff here to last for a bit, but it was nice to have a little variety, rather than relying on what's currently in the house.

The trees menacing the Shinto shrine were taken down today, over a tense period of a few hours. According to the shrine newsletter, the guy who did the work said it was the most dangerous situation he'd ever tackled, and gave them instructions about calling 911 and his wife if anything happened. Everything went well, I am pleased to report. They are somewhat over halfway in their fundraising efforts, but if you can kick a few bucks their way, please do. I'm sure this is not going to be quite the end of the whole thing. More snow and ice may yet fall and bring down more trees.

I didn't do any writing today, but I figured dealing with dishes and walking to the store with my hip seizing up on me was enough effort for anyone.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (hazels)
[ profile] gra_is_stor started her Irish classes this evening. Turnout was quite encouraging, with over a dozen people in the room. One person from the schmooze was going to come but had a meeting he couldn't avoid happening at the same time, so he handed me some money for her and said he'd be there next week.

We didn't really cover any language stuff I hadn't known before, but she did talk about dialectical differences in a much more interesting way than I'd heard previously, and I realized how much of my Irish pronunciation had been skewed by singing in Seirm for several years in Scots Gaelic. Pronunciations can be quite distinctly different, even for the same words.

After I got home, I poked my nose back into my current fic file. I haven't added a lot, but I went back and did some editing and then got to adding things to the current scene before moving along to advance the scene. It needed some fleshing out, I thought, before I could move on. I'm hoping to finish at least this one scene before I head for bed tonight. (eta. 78,800ish words as of now.)

The last few nights have been heavy insomnigrackle artillery, with me not getting to sleep until at least after 5am, sometimes later. Tomorrow I've got my VA spirituality group, so I have to be up and around to get into Seattle for my 3pm appointment.

Email today brought notice about the upcoming Sisters of Seshat initiation, and the script for the ritual at PantheaCon in February. I'm once again realizing how damned much I need to get done before I head down to San Jose. The CR schmooze will be next Monday, but that's relatively simple. Burns Night is late this month as well.

I'm kind of wishing I could crawl into a little hole and pull a rock over me, but I know I feel like this every year when I'm getting ready for PCon, so I know it'll pass. It's kind of uncomfortable when I'm in the midst of it, though.

I agreed to do part of a podcast in March. I'd explained about the whole phone phobia thing, but the podcast has a text chatroom, and I can participate there, which is perfectly acceptable to me. It's so much easier for me to type than to talk on the phone. More on that as it gets closer. For the moment, PCon is a huge priority.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
My project for today was writing up my proposal for next fall's Esoteric Book Conference. The proposal I put together was for Ogam: From Medieval Manuscripts to Modern Magicians and is intended to cover aspects of the medieval and modern use of ogam for both magic and divination, from engraved objects used for magic to modern uses of ogam in sigils and other magical operations. It's not something they have ever had anyone present on, and I'm someone they could put on the program as a female practitioner, which they have been sharply short of in years past. I sent it off to them this afternoon. We shall see what happens.

If you're a woman and you do anything magical or have any interest in some specific aspect of magic that involves a literary tradition, please propose something for the conference. The closing date for submissions is January 15th, so please submit something soon! We really need more women presenting at this event.

Today's Seattle trip was for the seasonal Medieval Women's Choir concert. This year [ profile] brandywilliams isn't performing, but she and [ profile] tedgill were in attendance. [ profile] alexwilliams had a heart attack earlier this month. He's doing okay, but did not come (for other reasons) tonight. They had given his ticket to [ profile] sebastian_lvx, who perched with [ profile] gra_is_stor and I in the front row next to the harper. When she saw that the harper played a medieval bray harp, she was giving the whole thing the big chibi eyes.

I talked with [ profile] brandywilliams briefly about PantheaCon and the Sisters of Seshat ritual. We're doing the Moon rite in a slight variant from what's in her book. She says that we'll be working from scripts rather than having to memorize a bunch of things for something like this. That was an immense relief. We are supposed to be doing the first initiation locally for the Sisters of Seshat sometime during January. It's on my calendar, but I don't remember the date right now. It looks like I'll be doing the speaking part for Brigid (she said it was probably typecasting...).

The concert itself was lovely, if shorter than the usual program. The soloist was having a little bit of a voice thing going on this evening -- she probably had an oncoming cold or something, though she still did a fabulous performance.

After the concert, [ profile] gra_is_stor went over to talk to the harper and to Margriet; she's on the waiting list for an audition for the choir, so she wanted to introduce herself and to ask the harper about medieval harp geekery (a successful endeavor!). When she was done getting her music geek on, I took her and [ profile] sebastian_lvx over to B&O, which has had a year's reprieve from their impending eviction from the building they've been in for decades. We were overjoyed to see the notice in the entry of the restaurant. I got dinner for the three of us, then dropped [ profile] sebastian_lvx at home in the U District.

It looks like I will be meeting [ profile] man_of_snows and [ profile] alfrecht on Monday, probably in Mount Vernon, as a compromise between Everett and Anacortes. I asked them to suggest a place to meet. There's really no decent place for that in Anacortes that I'm aware of, at least not indoors. I'm looking forward to seeing both of them.

Tomorrow will be Sherlock Holmes with steampunks. Yaaaaay!
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 [ profile] brandywilliams, have decided that I'll propose a session.

I talked a little bit with [ 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 [ profile] cr_r a while back asked about an ogam book published through 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 [ 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 (all your books!)
The Esoteric Book Conference is seeking proposals for the 2012 conference by way of speakers, artists, and performance artists.

The deadline for proposals is end of day January 15th, 2012.

Speakers are encouraged to submit talks touching on historical or contemporary esoteric subjects. We are after presentations as opposed to practical workshop submissions. Presentations that relate to esoteric book[s] in particular or coincide with a new or recent release are favorable given the specific focus of the conference. Talks should be 45 - 60 minutes in length including time for questions. A short abstract describing the talk and its title should accompany your contact information.

Artists are encouraged to submit art related to the esoteric field. In addition to the art show proper the conference will also have prints available by accepted artists.

Performance Art submissions are being accepted for the Saturday night evening entertainment portion of the conference. We are seeking proposals from ritual artists through various performance mediums. Performance artists are encouraged to submit a proposal that outlines what they intend to perform at the conference specifically. Please include any photos and samples of music, performance, or art that is relevant to your proposal. PLEASE NOTE: It is preferred that if sending a proposal for a ritual performance piece, that you include a video showing an excerpt of you or your group doing a performance with that intent.

Submissions should be sent to:

All submissions should include the following information:

1. Full Name.
2. Contact Details (please include email address, mailing address, phone number)
3. Short biography.
4. Abstract of Talk [speakers] or Samples of Work [artists] or Abstract of Ritual Performance Intent, Video, Photos, and/or Examples of Music [performance artists] .
5. If published please indicate titles and publishers.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
About as I expected, I'm fried to a crispy crisp today. I did get the okay for the Wednesday yoga group at the VA, though, so will be down there this week for my first session, 2pm to 3:15pm.

Wednesday is also the schmooze business meeting, wherein we discuss the Samhain ritual and the upcoming annual meeting.

I got an inquiry today from Nicole Torres about presenting my geilt and PTSD essay to her class at UW Bothell on Medicine, Illness, and Culture. We'll be meeting up Wednesday afternoon at Travelers to discuss details.

While at the Esoteric Book Conference this weekend, I was informed by Taylor that the ogam book will be available as an e-book later this week. Monday had been bandied about as a likely date, but I haven't heard anything from him today, so I'm still waiting for the link from him. It will be available on Smashwords when it goes live. He had a sign at the Immanion table at the conference with some of next year's releases on it, and Circle of Stones is slated for publication in May of next year. I need to get the finalized stuff together for that. They won't do an audio file for the prayers, but will support my creation of it, and link to a place where it can be got when I have it available. Now I have to make arrangements for that, so I'm in negotiations with [ profile] gra_is_stor for her work.

Hex Magazine staff was at the conference with the newly-released issue #9, which contains the reprint of my Amanita muscaria article. You can order a copy here. Cover art is by Pia Ravenari, a wonderful Australian artist of my acquaintance.

I had a chance to talk at some length with [ profile] brandywilliams and got word direct from her that the Sisters of Seshat are open to anyone who identifies as a woman. I was quite certain this would be the case from the way that gender was discussed in her book, but it was never directly stated there. It is very directly addressed in the FAQ on the group's website. I was asked by David of Fields Books in San Francisco to write up a review for the book for their website. As I was planning on doing a review anyway, I'll be making that available to them for excerpts as they wish.

I'm too tired still to comment about what else happened at the conference, but I do promise a review and to talk about some of the books I was able to pick up there. It was a fantastic and fun weekend and I had a great time with everyone.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
I've been at the Esoteric Book Conference. Lots of cool and interesting stuff, some really appallingly bad music, and some wonderful conversations. I've not had net access and am too busy to write anything tonight. I'll see if I have time and braincells tomorrow after I get home.

Good things to you.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
My day started rather earlier than expected when the DoDC+3 decided he needed to go out Right Now at 6:30 in the morning. I ran into my next-door neighbor at the door, who said, "isn't this awfully early for you to be up?"

I was standing there in my jammies and bathrobe with my eyes glued closed and mumbled something, staggering out to let the dog get his constitutional on. Fortunately, it didn't take long and I was back in bed only a few minutes later. I woke up again about noon, a much more reasonable and humane time of day.

Once I was functional, I took [ profile] gra_is_stor back into Seattle. We stopped in the U District at a local dance shop to see what they had for shoes. Nothing they had was at all suitable for what I wanted, so I didn't get anything. I'm currently considering what to do, with advice from [ profile] gra_is_stor and some of her friends. Considering that I don't want to spend an ungodly amount on a pair of dance shoes, I'm going to have to explore other options at the moment.

We headed up to the Hill, where we grabbed lunch at Mirch Masala. We'd been going to head for B&O, so that we could visit them again before they closed (the building has finally actually been slated for destruction), but they're closed on Tuesdays. We walked back up to Broadway and had something else. After lunch, we dropped her stuff off at her apartment, then went down to Travelers for a chai and visited with Jonice at Edge for a while.

Mom emailed, saying that she was in New Hampshire now and had to have a tooth pulled this morning. Deric's funeral will be Saturday and they'll be driving home on Sunday. It should take them about three days.

Upon returning home, I got a ticket for the Esoteric Book Conference taking place next week, including getting into the concert they'll be having Saturday night. Looks pretty amazing, and though some of the presentations don't look all that interesting to me, there are a number of sessions with or about women magicians that ought to be well worth checking out. I'll be seeing quite a few of my friends there at one point or another, as several of them are presenting at the conference again this year. I also got a ticket for the Soriah show at El Corazon the weekend afterwards.

When I was done with that stuff, I finished reading [ profile] brandywilliams's The Woman Magician -- really fascinating and, in a number of places, quite moving. I got sniffly at a couple of points in the ritual liturgies; I can only imagine it would be more powerful being performed as opposed to merely being read silently from the page.

Late this evening I saw a tweet from Hugo House about a deadline for next year's women's writing residencies at Hedgebrook, over on Whidbey Island. I thought it might be an ideal environment for working on my next book, on Brigidine flamekeeping and Brigid's Irregulars. One of the things required was a writing sample, so I used a poem and an excerpt from my Queering the Flame essay. In doing a copy and paste and creating a PDF file for the sample, I realized that I had not previously actually seen [ profile] mael_brigde's comments in the file. For some reason when I opened it initially, the comments were invisible. Now I need to go back and look at them all with a different view of the document and see what she had to say and where I might want to edit and re-send the text to [ profile] alfrecht. *headdesk*

Anyway, needless to say, I've been really busy today with all of this stuff. Tomorrow I have my annual tit squish appointment down in Seattle, then [ profile] perclexed and I will be getting together for dinner and probably heading over to the AFK for a bit. It'll be good to see her again; I haven't seen her in ages, probably not since we were actually working on the hermetic astrology material a few years back. It's well past time we got together again.

Sadly, I'm not in the least bit tired, but I really need to head for bed shortly so that I can get up and be ready for my appointment tomorrow in the early afternoon. It's at 3:15, which means I'll be dealing with rush hour traffic on the way back home. I'm hoping I won't be at the facility for long, but am not holding my breath.


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



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