April132014
alisonleighlilly:

Call For Submissions!

This May, the “ABC” in Animist Blog Carnival will also stand for the Animist Book Club!

On my blog Holy Wild, I’ll be hosting this monthly gathering of bloggers and writers exploring the evolving role of animism in modern Pagan and earth-centered spiritual traditions. Most months, the ABC host chooses a theme for all participating writers to explore — but this time, I wanted to try something a little different! The ABC theme for May will be: A More Wakeful World: Reviews and Responses to the Writing of Emma Restall Orr.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 27, 2014. For more details on how to participate: go here: http://bit.ly/1dyn0QQ

Two weeks to go! Please help spread the word.

alisonleighlilly:

Call For Submissions!

This May, the “ABC” in Animist Blog Carnival will also stand for the Animist Book Club!

On my blog Holy Wild, I’ll be hosting this monthly gathering of bloggers and writers exploring the evolving role of animism in modern Pagan and earth-centered spiritual traditions. Most months, the ABC host chooses a theme for all participating writers to explore — but this time, I wanted to try something a little different! The ABC theme for May will be: A More Wakeful World: Reviews and Responses to the Writing of Emma Restall Orr.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 27, 2014. For more details on how to participate: go here: http://bit.ly/1dyn0QQ

Two weeks to go! Please help spread the word.

April112014
2PM
1PM
The Familiar

This post is about small things. It’s about moments that we take for granted. There is no big revelation here. I took a bunch of pictures of my cat and put them on the internet. I write this post in defiance of the expectation that only big revelations matter. I write in homage to the repetition of small rituals, in honor of grounding and self-care. 

This post is about the simple companionship of ordinary objects and creatures and beings, and the way their presence shapes our lives even when we think we’re not paying attention.

A part of us is always paying attention.

Read (and more pics) — http://bit.ly/1iEdmcE

The Familiar

This post is about small things. It’s about moments that we take for granted. There is no big revelation here. I took a bunch of pictures of my cat and put them on the internet. I write this post in defiance of the expectation that only big revelations matter. I write in homage to the repetition of small rituals, in honor of grounding and self-care.

This post is about the simple companionship of ordinary objects and creatures and beings, and the way their presence shapes our lives even when we think we’re not paying attention.

A part of us is always paying attention.

Read (and more pics) — http://bit.ly/1iEdmcE

April62014
Puget Sound Landscape Sketch on Flickr.Experimenting with Paper 53 app on my iPad…

Puget Sound Landscape Sketch on Flickr.

Experimenting with Paper 53 app on my iPad…

March282014
**Bullshit Warning**
The explanation offered in the image above about the differences in rising smoke patterns, while seemingly reasonable at first glance, is completely wrong.
Rising smoke patterns are determined by the interplay of a number of complex factors, including: ambient temperature of the room, the temperature and chemical composition of the smoke source (f’ex, a candle or stick of incense), the presence or absence of moving air currents, minor variations in air pressure, etc.
Many of these factors are too subtle for humans to be able to sense without specialized scientific equipment, and small fluctuations can cause pronounced and relatively unpredictable changes in the patterns created by rising smoke. Scientists who study smoke plume patterns employ advanced mathematics, including chaos theory, in order to predict the movement of particulates in the air and how they disperse into the surrounding environment.
In short, the pattern of smoke rising from your candle or incense has little or nothing to do with “how your cleansing is going.”
The more direct flow of the smoke in Picture A is not due to “dense” negative energy restricting the plume’s shape. In fact, it is produced because the visible particulates of the smoke are being carried upward by a strong air current caused by the rising heat of the source (most likely the flame of a candle or the burning tip of a stick of incense) in the absence of any disruptive air currents in the surrounding area.
The more dispersed plume pattern in Picture B could occur in a number of different scenarios, such as:
(a) A more gradual difference in temperature change between the heat source and the surrounding environment (f’ex, if the candle has been burning for a long time, raising the general temperature of the surrounding area — or, alternately, if the incense stick has cooled so that only a small portion of it is smoldering or burning very slowly);
(b) If the candle or incense stick flickers or gutters, causing a momentary disruption in the current of warmer air rising from the smoke source (something more likely to happen the longer the candle/incense burns, as impurities or imperfections are encountered in the gradually depleting fuel source); or
(c) Movement in the area (f’ex, from making gestures during a ritual or moving from one place to another in the room) that has created small, imperceptible currents in the surrounding environment that disrupt the current of rising heat from the smoke’s source.
The smoke plume in Picture B is not caused because the smoke has “more space to drift.” It is more dispersed because of the greater entropy (i.e. disorder) in the surrounding environment (f’ex more moving air currents, etc.) compared to the smoke in Picture A.
Any or all of the above factors might influence the patterns of smoke plumes rising from incense or a candle.
In magical and ritual work, as long as we keep the above physical factors in mind, we might generally be correct in assuming that a more dispersed smoke pattern is the result of higher “energy” in a given area. HOWEVER, we need to be aware that this does not give any indication of the quality of this energy or the effect(s) that it may have. The same smoke effect will be seen regardless of the kind of energy we are raising in the room, whether it is cleansing or harmful, “positive” or “negative.” A lack of focus or unclear intent in ritual or magical work may just as easily result in an increase in disordered, harmful or chaotic energy in a space. You cannot simply assume that if your smoke plume rises in a particular shape that you are therefore being successful in your magical work.
In the end, the number of physical factors that may be influencing rising smoke is so large and unpredictable, it is not generally useful to use smoke plume patterns as a reliable indication of how effective your cleansing is. Instead, develop other means of sensing, intuiting and/or tracking the result of your magical work to develop a better gauge of its effectiveness.

**Bullshit Warning**

The explanation offered in the image above about the differences in rising smoke patterns, while seemingly reasonable at first glance, is completely wrong.

Rising smoke patterns are determined by the interplay of a number of complex factors, including: ambient temperature of the room, the temperature and chemical composition of the smoke source (f’ex, a candle or stick of incense), the presence or absence of moving air currents, minor variations in air pressure, etc.

Many of these factors are too subtle for humans to be able to sense without specialized scientific equipment, and small fluctuations can cause pronounced and relatively unpredictable changes in the patterns created by rising smoke. Scientists who study smoke plume patterns employ advanced mathematics, including chaos theory, in order to predict the movement of particulates in the air and how they disperse into the surrounding environment.

In short, the pattern of smoke rising from your candle or incense has little or nothing to do with “how your cleansing is going.”

The more direct flow of the smoke in Picture A is not due to “dense” negative energy restricting the plume’s shape. In fact, it is produced because the visible particulates of the smoke are being carried upward by a strong air current caused by the rising heat of the source (most likely the flame of a candle or the burning tip of a stick of incense) in the absence of any disruptive air currents in the surrounding area.

The more dispersed plume pattern in Picture B could occur in a number of different scenarios, such as:

(a) A more gradual difference in temperature change between the heat source and the surrounding environment (f’ex, if the candle has been burning for a long time, raising the general temperature of the surrounding area — or, alternately, if the incense stick has cooled so that only a small portion of it is smoldering or burning very slowly);

(b) If the candle or incense stick flickers or gutters, causing a momentary disruption in the current of warmer air rising from the smoke source (something more likely to happen the longer the candle/incense burns, as impurities or imperfections are encountered in the gradually depleting fuel source); or

(c) Movement in the area (f’ex, from making gestures during a ritual or moving from one place to another in the room) that has created small, imperceptible currents in the surrounding environment that disrupt the current of rising heat from the smoke’s source.

The smoke plume in Picture B is not caused because the smoke has “more space to drift.” It is more dispersed because of the greater entropy (i.e. disorder) in the surrounding environment (f’ex more moving air currents, etc.) compared to the smoke in Picture A.

Any or all of the above factors might influence the patterns of smoke plumes rising from incense or a candle.

In magical and ritual work, as long as we keep the above physical factors in mind, we might generally be correct in assuming that a more dispersed smoke pattern is the result of higher “energy” in a given area. HOWEVER, we need to be aware that this does not give any indication of the quality of this energy or the effect(s) that it may have. The same smoke effect will be seen regardless of the kind of energy we are raising in the room, whether it is cleansing or harmful, “positive” or “negative.” A lack of focus or unclear intent in ritual or magical work may just as easily result in an increase in disordered, harmful or chaotic energy in a space. You cannot simply assume that if your smoke plume rises in a particular shape that you are therefore being successful in your magical work.

In the end, the number of physical factors that may be influencing rising smoke is so large and unpredictable, it is not generally useful to use smoke plume patterns as a reliable indication of how effective your cleansing is. Instead, develop other means of sensing, intuiting and/or tracking the result of your magical work to develop a better gauge of its effectiveness.

(Source: gypsymoonsister, via an-autumn-faun)

March272014
Call For Submissions!

This May, the “ABC” in Animist Blog Carnival will also stand for the Animist Book Club!

On my blog Holy Wild, I’ll be hosting this monthly gathering of bloggers and writers exploring the evolving role of animism in modern Pagan and earth-centered spiritual traditions. Most months, the ABC host chooses a theme for all participating writers to explore — but this time, I wanted to try something a little different! The ABC theme for May will be: A More Wakeful World: Reviews and Responses to the Writing of Emma Restall Orr.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 27, 2014. For more details on how to participate: go here: http://bit.ly/1dyn0QQ

Call For Submissions!

This May, the “ABC” in Animist Blog Carnival will also stand for the Animist Book Club!

On my blog Holy Wild, I’ll be hosting this monthly gathering of bloggers and writers exploring the evolving role of animism in modern Pagan and earth-centered spiritual traditions. Most months, the ABC host chooses a theme for all participating writers to explore — but this time, I wanted to try something a little different! The ABC theme for May will be: A More Wakeful World: Reviews and Responses to the Writing of Emma Restall Orr.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 27, 2014. For more details on how to participate: go here: http://bit.ly/1dyn0QQ

March262014

alisonleighlilly:

thegreenwolf:

"But that’s what women are."

alisonleighlilly:

thegreenwolf:

alisonleighlilly:

rootandrock:

"I feel that the MMC archetype is limiting. It assumes the only possible progression of a female is virgin, mother, and grandma."

"But that’s what women are.” Someone said. That was the phrase. No. Not something they can do, not something most do or have done. That the whole…

Totally agree with this…. 

But on the other hand, another problem in modern Paganism is the assumption that the most ignorant and prejudiced people somehow define the entire tradition.

Personally, I don’t resonate with the Maiden-Mother-Crone triple goddess archetype. But I do worship a few “maiden” goddesses who are themselves gender-queer and even anthropo-queer (which is a term I just made up to mean bending and blurring the lines between human-like and non-human-like).

There is nothing about being a “maiden” that restricts a goddess, or a woman, to an objectified interpretation of her existence based on the literal state of her uterus or hymen.

The same is true of mothers.

The same is true of crones.

The MMC model is not inherently patriarchal or misogynistic. I know many women who are inspired by the MMC model who have spent their lives working to end misogyny and patriarchy and support the cause of feminism, equality, diversity and gender/sexual inclusivity. Let’s give them the respect they deserve, rather than dismissing an entire spiritual tradition just because (like all traditions) it contains a few ignorant assholes.

I wrote about a different set of life stages a few years ago, Bill Plotkin’s “Wheel of Life”. Instead of being based on reproductive capabilities or rigid dualistic gender roles, they’re rooted in one’s personal development on a variety of levels. Bonus: it’s based in ecopsychology! Here’s my post on it.

Plotkin rocks!

But I’m sure if/as soon as he catches on among modern Pagans, there will be people who misinterpret his approach in ignorant and prejudiced ways, too. This is a fact of life with almost any tradition.

For instance, a few years ago, Plotkin teemed up with Catholic contemplative Richard Rohr to teach some workshops together. At the Wild Goose Festival a few years back, I had the chance to attend one of their talks focused on the “later stages” of life. While Plotkin himself emphasizes the benefits of every life stage, Rohr (who was in his late 60s then and is in his 70s now) spent a lot of time emphasizing how the really important spiritual stuff is something that you just can’t really “get” until you’re old and you have the luxury to retire — which smacks of both ageism and classicism.

(Not to mention, Rohr spent his life as a monk — what was he retiring from?! Vespers?)

Obviously any model for the stages of life runs the risk of privileging certain stages (or aspects of all stages) over others. Especially for individuals inclined to hold a biased view anyway. Rohr being a crotchety old man doesn’t diminish the value of Plotkin’s work, anymore than the occasional sexist/anti-feminist diminishes the value of the MMC model for those who resonate with it.

Which kind of makes me feel like we’re having to constantly outmaneuver prejudice, finding new oases until the sea of crap catches up. Yeesh.

Huh. I hadn’t heard about the thing with Rohr. It makes sense, though, how someone could take the beauty that is “look, every stage of life has important lessons and contemplations, no matter how young or old” and turn it into a competition. Though I wonder if Rohr was motivated by backlash, at least a little bit. Plotkin’s Wheel is the first time I’ve seen a developmental psychology model that addresses the fact that we keep evolving beyond the cusp of adulthood (and really, out entire lives) and older people often get left out of that. So I wonder if Rohr was going TOO far to the other side of “Yay, we got noticed!!!”

Yup.

I think it’s more likely that Rohr’s roots in contemplative Catholicism make him inclined to favor the mystical/nondualistic aspects of the last couple stages (the Sage), where the “center of gravity” and sense of self-identity is said to shift back towards the cosmos or “pure being/non-being.” It’s not really surprising that a religious tradition that places an emphasis on transcendence and historicity might reinterpret Plotkin’s cyclical model into a linear progression from a fallen state back towards a state of grace.

(Although you’re probably onto something, too. As the Boomers in particular continue to age, I get the sense that they feel more and more pressure to reject the notion that elders are “useless” just because they no longer contribute “productively” to a consumerist society. Rohr’s stuff is really catching on among a lot of older Christians I know. But it was incredibly frustrating to attend his talk and listen to him insist that anyone under the age of 50 really couldn’t say much of value about the spiritual life, and that if they disagreed with that claim it was only b/c they didn’t know any better. That’s incredibly patronizing!)

What bothers me is not so much that Rohr had his own interpretation of Plotkin’s work based on his Catholic perspective, but that Plotkin chose to work and teach with Rohr seemingly without being bothered by (or aware of?) Rohr’s reinterpretation of his model. To me, that suggests that maybe Plotkin, too, has some lingering biases that even he doesn’t recognize in himself.

But that doesn’t mean the Wheel of Life model doesn’t have a lot to offer! I really do think it’s the best that’s out there, and I hope more people start to work with it and really dig into it. :)

All that said…..

I also think the best possible thing is to have an abundant diversity of models of life stages, including Plotkin’s Wheel of Life and the Maiden-Mother-Crone model among many, many others!

It’s important to remember that the MMC model is not only a model of life stages, but a theological concept about the nature of deity. There are people for whom an MMC triple goddess is a very real and meaningful manifestation of the divine in their lives. Who am I to tell them their understanding of goddess(es) isn’t “real”? I don’t want to be that person who polices other people’s experiences and interpretations of the gods.

2PM

thegreenwolf:

"But that’s what women are."

alisonleighlilly:

thegreenwolf:

alisonleighlilly:

rootandrock:

"I feel that the MMC archetype is limiting. It assumes the only possible progression of a female is virgin, mother, and grandma."

"But that’s what women are.” Someone said. That was the phrase. No. Not something they can do, not something most do or have done. That the whole…

Totally agree with this…. 

But on the other hand, another problem in modern Paganism is the assumption that the most ignorant and prejudiced people somehow define the entire tradition.

Personally, I don’t resonate with the Maiden-Mother-Crone triple goddess archetype. But I do worship a few “maiden” goddesses who are themselves gender-queer and even anthropo-queer (which is a term I just made up to mean bending and blurring the lines between human-like and non-human-like).

There is nothing about being a “maiden” that restricts a goddess, or a woman, to an objectified interpretation of her existence based on the literal state of her uterus or hymen.

The same is true of mothers.

The same is true of crones.

The MMC model is not inherently patriarchal or misogynistic. I know many women who are inspired by the MMC model who have spent their lives working to end misogyny and patriarchy and support the cause of feminism, equality, diversity and gender/sexual inclusivity. Let’s give them the respect they deserve, rather than dismissing an entire spiritual tradition just because (like all traditions) it contains a few ignorant assholes.

I wrote about a different set of life stages a few years ago, Bill Plotkin’s “Wheel of Life”. Instead of being based on reproductive capabilities or rigid dualistic gender roles, they’re rooted in one’s personal development on a variety of levels. Bonus: it’s based in ecopsychology! Here’s my post on it.

Plotkin rocks!

But I’m sure if/as soon as he catches on among modern Pagans, there will be people who misinterpret his approach in ignorant and prejudiced ways, too. This is a fact of life with almost any tradition.

For instance, a few years ago, Plotkin teemed up with Catholic contemplative Richard Rohr to teach some workshops together. At the Wild Goose Festival a few years back, I had the chance to attend one of their talks focused on the “later stages” of life. While Plotkin himself emphasizes the benefits of every life stage, Rohr (who was in his late 60s then and is in his 70s now) spent a lot of time emphasizing how the really important spiritual stuff is something that you just can’t really “get” until you’re old and you have the luxury to retire — which smacks of both ageism and classicism.

(Not to mention, Rohr spent his life as a monk — what was he retiring from?! Vespers?)

Obviously any model for the stages of life runs the risk of privileging certain stages (or aspects of all stages) over others. Especially for individuals inclined to hold a biased view anyway. Rohr being a crotchety old man doesn’t diminish the value of Plotkin’s work, anymore than the occasional sexist/anti-feminist diminishes the value of the MMC model for those who resonate with it.

Which kind of makes me feel like we’re having to constantly outmaneuver prejudice, finding new oases until the sea of crap catches up. Yeesh.

Huh. I hadn’t heard about the thing with Rohr. It makes sense, though, how someone could take the beauty that is “look, every stage of life has important lessons and contemplations, no matter how young or old” and turn it into a competition. Though I wonder if Rohr was motivated by backlash, at least a little bit. Plotkin’s Wheel is the first time I’ve seen a developmental psychology model that addresses the fact that we keep evolving beyond the cusp of adulthood (and really, out entire lives) and older people often get left out of that. So I wonder if Rohr was going TOO far to the other side of “Yay, we got noticed!!!”

Yup.

I think it’s more likely that Rohr’s roots in contemplative Catholicism make him inclined to favor the mystical/nondualistic aspects of the last couple stages (the Sage), where the “center of gravity” and sense of self-identity is said to shift back towards the cosmos or “pure being/non-being.” It’s not really surprising that a religious tradition that places an emphasis on transcendence and historicity might reinterpret Plotkin’s cyclical model into a linear progression from a fallen state back towards a state of grace.

(Although you’re probably onto something, too. As the Boomers in particular continue to age, I get the sense that they feel more and more pressure to reject the notion that elders are “useless” just because they no longer contribute “productively” to a consumerist society. Rohr’s stuff is really catching on among a lot of older Christians I know. But it was incredibly frustrating to attend his talk and listen to him insist that anyone under the age of 50 really couldn’t say much of value about the spiritual life, and that if they disagreed with that claim it was only b/c they didn’t know any better. That’s incredibly patronizing!)

What bothers me is not so much that Rohr had his own interpretation of Plotkin’s work based on his Catholic perspective, but that Plotkin chose to work and teach with Rohr seemingly without being bothered by (or aware of?) Rohr’s reinterpretation of his model. To me, that suggests that maybe Plotkin, too, has some lingering biases that even he doesn’t recognize in himself.

But that doesn’t mean the Wheel of Life model doesn’t have a lot to offer! I really do think it’s the best that’s out there, and I hope more people start to work with it and really dig into it. :)

1PM

 

cismouse:

killcode102:

cismouse:

GUYS

THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT DOWN

AND REPLACE IT WITH THE BULLSHIT ENDANGERED SPECIES MANAGEMENT SELF-DETERMINATION ACT

THAT ALLOWS STATES TO DECIDE  IF THEY EVEN WANT TO ABIDE BY LAWS PROTECTING SPECIES AT ALL

AND DELISTS SPECIES AFTER ONLY FIVE YEARS

DOES ANYONE ELSE EVEN CARE

Source this

1 2 3 

I hope that Rand Paul and all the rest of these conservative anti-environment assholes get their faces eaten off by ravenous wolves.

And then those wolves leave the mutilated remains deep in the forest, where coyotes and vultures and other scavengers feast on them. And then worms, maggots, larvae and all manner of insects and other decomposers devour the rest, breaking the discarded carcasses down into soft, fertile soil.

And then one day, on that rich soil, a bird shits as it flies overhead. And in that shit, there is a seed. And that seed takes root. And grows.

And grows.

And grows…

Until it becomes a beautiful, strong and mighty tree that reaches its branches high into the sky and deep down into the earth, uniting the realms. A tree that stands as a testimony to the resilience and beauty of the earth. A tree that breaks open hearts and inspires minds. A tree before which none can deny the sanctity of the natural world and our utter, soul-bound interconnection with all beings.

And on that day, I will hug that tree. I will hug it with all the hope and love in my being.

Because fuck Rand Paul.

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