astrothsknot: (one starfish)
( Dec. 21st, 2009 12:04 pm)
It's the Solstice today, so I repost these links to Solsticey things. I'm going to do it every year. Spread them around if you want, just credit this blog. Have a good one!
astrothsknot: (angel and demon)
( Jul. 13th, 2009 01:13 am)
Words meme: say "words" in the comments and I'll give you five words I associate with you. Tell us what they mean to you in your LJ.

[ profile] embroiderama gave me "writing, Stewart, Scottish, angels, strength"

things that make you go hmmmm )
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Dec. 21st, 2008 12:58 pm)
More Yule stuff, with some things for kids

it's looooong )
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Dec. 21st, 2008 12:56 pm)
The true spirit of Christmas
Boozy winter orgies, evil sprites and pagan fertility gods . . . Ed
Power reports on some of the murky origins of the religious feast day
10 December 2004

more stuff )
astrothsknot: (north pole Debs)
( Dec. 21st, 2008 12:45 pm)
The First Song

A tale of how Yule got its name
by Andras Corban Arthen

First Song )
astrothsknot: (angel and demon)
( Dec. 21st, 2008 12:38 pm)
I got this from a Pagan group I used to be in and I'm posting it again. I posted it last year as well, I think. Today seems like a good day to post it again. It's MidWinter Night and the Sun Returns to us from this day on

First Yule )
OK, just seen 402, SPN. Someone answer this?

Exactly who raised the spirits either according to the Bible or the show? I wasn't clear on that, because if it's God raising up pissed off spirits, it's not the smartest thing to do. Considering they promptly went off and capped the very people who might stop the Apocalypse. (or to quote Stewart, "That's fucking stupid. I'm grounded again, right?")

And Ron did not die through supernatural intervention. Ron died because he was shot by an FBI sniper because he went into a bank with a gun and held everyone hostage because he was nuts. Even if Sam had told him the truth he'd still have done something stupid, like hold up a bank to look for the mandroid that he knew was there.

Which got me thinking...Unless of course, God's a bastard and that's exactly what he wants.
Which means that Castiel is there not to stop the end of the world. He's there to make sure it'll happen.

Which means that Sam is one who will stop it. And that's why Castiel is so keen to prevent Sam from doing whatever it is.

Because Sam's going to save us all. Or help Lucifer to.

Stewart's been doing the Old Testament in RE and got a posi for this reasoning: Lucifer is good because he's a freedom fighter. All God wants to do is stop the Jews being free. Every time they do something to get be free and think for themselves and have their own lives, God punishes them. All they want is their own lives. You can see it even when Lucifer isn't about, like the tower where they all spoke differently. They were doing somehting amazing and God screwed it up for them. It's like William Wallace and the English

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone,which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
Those were the ugliest cards I have ever seen.

Your result for Tarot Card Guide Test...


A man approaches the Devil and roars, "I refuse to give into you!" The Devil returns a curious look. "All I am doing is bringing out what is already in you," he responds. "Such feelings are nothing to fear, nothing to be ashamed of, or even to avoid." The man gestures angrily at the chained men and women, "You say that even though they are enslaved?" The Devil mimics the man's gesture. "Take another look." The man does so, and realizes that the chained collars the men and women wear are wide enough for them to easily slip off over their heads. "They can be free if they wish to be," the Devil says, "Though you are right. I am the god of your strongest desires. But you see here only those who have allowed their base, bestial desires to control them." At this the Devil gestures upward, toward the peak of the mountain. "You do not see those who have allowed their impulses and aspirations to take them up to the top of that mountain. Inhibitions can enslave as easily as excesses. They can keep you from following your passion to the highest heights."

The Devil is not a creature of evil, but of great power. He is the lowest and highest, both of beast and god. Like all power it is frightening, and dangerous, but it is also a key to freedom and transcendence if understood and well used. Perhaps the most misunderstood card of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.


Take Tarot Card Guide Test at HelloQuizzy

astrothsknot: (Default)
( Apr. 9th, 2006 11:08 pm)
I love my new shaver. LOVE IT. I have legs so smooth kids could slide down them. Skiers could ski down them. No longer will I be tormented by children swinging off the hairs on my legs. 

So I went belly dancing on Saturday. Well, not me exactly. It was a hafla. There was a bazaar where you could buy clothes and equipment, most of it extortionate, but undeniably beautiful. I ended up spending £18 on about five scarves, and got 3 tops for free. One of them is a beautiful beaded shalwaar type thing. I can’t get the shoulders over my shoulders, but given that I can actually see my body start to change shape….haven’t lost any weight, though I’m losing centimetres, and everywhere is starting to firm up, hopefully it won’t be long before I’m in it.

I’ve also found out that there are belly dancing lessons in my local town hall, and they’re free, so guess where I’ll be next week. I know I took it up initially to help my back take heavier weights, much the same reason I do Pilates, but like Pilates I enjoy it for its own sake. I wonder if the local class is Egyptian classic or American tribal.

I’ve been into bd since I chanced across a doc on it about 14 years ago, hosted by Suraya Hilal. But before the internet it was nearly impossible to find out stuff, and the local library wasn’t much help.

Then of course all the classes were always in the cities, not all the way out here. And there certainly wasn’t any haflas. But all that was then, and this is now. Mum decided to come along.

I think what I love about BD is its beauty. Its elegance. When you belly dance you are beautiful, whether you are on your own or in company.

It is strange though, bearing in mind the roles that we have to play now. I’m not saying that feminity is dying, but it is considered a hindrance now. “Throws like a girl,” “Big girls’ blouse”, “Ya big Jessie”. None of these things are complimentary.

Women in power move over to mirror male body language and speech patterns. Don’t believe me? Get hold of some old footage of Condoleeza Rice or Senator Clinton. Compare with now. It may be no more than we associated male mannerisms etc with calmness and success, but still.

Our definition of female is changing. I’ll be the first to admit. I’m not girly, never was. I don’t wear make up, and I don’t enjoy shopping. I have some female traits, eg I like lots of pockets in my rucksacks, I can talk to people about a variety of subjects, in that way that women do. Some of it may be to do with that like most women growing up in my generation, we were encouraged to use our brains to get ahead, not our bodies. Nobody wanted to give off the wrong signals, so no body wanted to give off any.

In essence, it seems to me that a woman’s body had to fill one of two roles. It was either functional or aesthetic. What your body was, was a comment on you. But double standards, a woman was encouraged to have the latter. She maybe got away with it if she was old or a mother, but even then, not really acceptable. My body, before I had my son was the latter, but I was not happy with it. It was only when I had put on five stone, had a child, and took up my child hood hobby of walking that I began to love my body. It’s not pretty, but it works. Hips aside, it works well.

BD for me, really joins functionality with beauty. It doesn’t matter how bad you are. The dance looks beautiful. All dance is elegant exercise, so, there’s your functionality. In fact, it’s rather Zen. By making your body work, it becomes beautiful.

Mum had expected the hafla to be populated with belly dancers that you see in films. All gauze skirts, shaking skinny little arses, despite me telling her that is not belly dancing. Instead there were women of all shapes and sizes walking around, all dressed up, and not in flimsy veils. Long gypsy skirts, short tops, the only gauze was veils for heads. There were a couple of women there fatter than my mother, and boy, could they move!

Another thing that struck me was that the glamour. Here glamour means stick thin to fit into the latest fashions. Fashion if you don’t have a perfectly flat stomach, even if there is nothing wrong with the rest of you, means you won’t fit the clothes and you won’t feel good in them.

That wasn’t a problem at the halfa. There was anyone who wasn’t dressed up, be it western dressed, or Bollywood dressed, but everyone was done to the nines and they looked great. All bright colours, lots of jewellery. That’s another difference. Everyone here opts for black when they go out. It’s like a uniform.

Black should only ever be worn by spies, ninjas and as underwear.

I thought my mother would hate the music, as she doesn’t really like anything that’s Middle Eastern. I enjoy it, even though I don’t speak Arabic or Hindi. But even she enjoyed it, a lot more than she thought she would. She was very encouraged by the variety of shapes on offer. It made her feel better in herself. It went on for hours, and we had a good table, right at the front.

Better seats than the ballet!

One of the things that impressed her most was the accessibility of dancing. Ballet is something that you have to train for years for, and really all about performance. It’s not something the average jane can do for fun. But one of the most amazing dances of the night was during the interval, when they were dancing to the filler music. An impromptu dance sprung up. It was better than anyhting that had been choreographed. Every woman was perfectly in time, with the timing better than any old time musical. It truly was poetry in motion.

And the best of it is, one day, that could be me.
astrothsknot: (Default)
( Sep. 16th, 2005 01:41 am)
Two Cute Mormons

Or why in all the nine hells do I think that a middle eastern goddess has done everything to get my attention but a) appear in my living room, but one of my books insists on opening at her photo or b) chap my door?

Since I tended to think of Gods and -Esses as more abstract concepts, other than the air I breath is Goddess, the ground I walk on, the little bastard of a squirrel who keeps coming into my kitchen and making off with cakes, is the Goddess and all the Green men and stuff in the woods and up the hills, were all part of her, as am I, the idea that a personalisation of a god(dess) wants me for a sunbeam is rather a shock, and why this one, is an even bigger WTF?!

My son worships an even further away Goddess, but a really tough kick-ass one, Pele. Saw a photo in a volcano book, said "I'm going to worship Pele" and went away happy. He's been known to open up the book at her pic and talk away to it for five, ten minutes at a time, about how he's going to leave chocolate in the national park for her, and does she like white or brown. Seemingly, he's to leave After Eights, and he's not to eat them all, but she's happy to share, and she's sorry he lives so far away.

Gotta admire that instant connection. Thinking about it, it's weird how I never questioned it for him. If he says Pele's discussing chocolate with a kid from the other side of the planet, then she is. Who am I to argue?

But me? well, I suppose there's too much of the Questioner in me. It's got to satisfy the Logical side. Well, it is how I came to Paganism, in a very roundabout way. I was brought up by an atheist who gardened, ( we always had fresh veg) and took me on long walks in the country, naming the flowers and the berries and the animals, telling me off if I disturbed anything, and an agnostic who was just delighted that I was good at school, and taught me about being a strong, confident assertive woman, who was more concerned that I be myself before bowing to what anyone thought of me. Even as a child, I realised I had more in common with civilisations past that anything the school tried to imprint on me in RE. Those religious systems made a hell of a lot more sense than Judaism or Christianity, be it the myths, the rituals or the attributes of the deities. It all seemed to fit as well to modern times as it did to Rome or Greece or Persia or Egypt or India. India and Hinduism was the best example of what I had faith in, but I wasn't a Hindu. I was an Animist, I believed in an overall Divine, that was as much part of me as I was of it, and the individual deities were part of this Whole also. For prayers I had found the Desiderata and a poem by Tagore. For objects of worship, I had fantasy and pre-Raphaelite Art, particularly if it depicted a couple I believed in the sense of Otherworld that all humans have, but not many use. I scryed. Hard to fit that to any existing religion.

It was also the only System that I could find that didn't have a problem adopting Science as part of itself. There were no conflicts of fact and belief. No need to come up with increasingly strange stories in an attempt to marry the two contrasting disciplines. I hit on that at 14, four years before Tim Lovelace and Gaia Theory. You can guess the Happy Dance I did when I heard that one.

Occasionally, I found articles in the press about Wiccans, but in the days before the Internet and Google, Information was thin on the ground, and I didn't seem to be tripping over many covens when I went for a walk in the woods. At least I don't think I did, as I was sure even then, that covens needed a bit more than two people. I resigned myself to practising whatever the Hell it was that I was practising all on my lonesome, until one day, the Internet and Jeeves came and I found this list and the Pagan Federation and suddenly I wasn't alone and there were other folk, and I could give myself a label. Whoopeee, I gotta label, I gotta label! Cue Really Happy Dance!

But Life is a Journey, not a destination. And now that the damn book won't stop opening at that bloody picture, I'm not sure if I was missing something all along. I'm not even sure that she was a goddess, but for her to have attracted that much hostility from the Hebrews she must have been fairly high up in the pantheon.

Veering off into a tangent here, I had two very cute Mormons around this morning. Is it wrong to have them around your house for the simple reason they bring the pretty? Ah, well, it's not like I'm off to hell, anyway.

But at the same time, it's not a tangent. By having Jehovahs and Mormons come and "talk about Jesus" it means I can, for want of better words, defend my faith. Anything they come up with, I can shoot down, because their questions are things that I have already thought long and hard about. It always makes me laugh that these folk think that I have pulled this religion out my ass. They find it hard to answer when you say something like, "The Goddess would give me a sign, such as a butterfly landing on my hand. And then whatever was worrying me or puzzling me would solve itself, and I'd know that's what I have to do. But," I say, "you'd interpret that as a sign from God."

And they agree.

At least Mormons don't come outright and try to diminish my faith. They try to do it ever so politely. "If something is true then, it's true and if something is wrong, then it's wrong. And it doesn't really matter either way what anyone believes," was the way it was put to me today. "You know in your heart that something is true," said CM1 (Cute Mormon 1), to which I replied, "you wouldn't have found me in the wagon train, then." Having said that, if they all look like that, and allow polyandry, I'll consider it.

Jehovahs rile me for the simple reason they say straight out you're wrong, and they're right. At least you can discuss with a Mormon, and they do bring the pretty. Jehovahs send really ugly people round the door to spread their word. Hardly makes you want to talk to them. I'm shallow. That is my responsibility.

It must be easier for them to challenge people who have no real faith, and make them think about things, rather than challenge someone who already has a strong religious belief, as they will already have sought out the answers to the questions that they have to ask. I expect that in this day and age, it must be fairly easy to find those that have only questions, with no real answers. It must be more unusual to find those who have strong faith, even if it is a more alternative one.

One thing that was funny - and I do seem to like my tangents here! - is one (CM1) seemed hell-bent on converting me, but the other one CM2, for the simple reason his name escapes me. But he was the cuter one, and yeah, another tangent. I'm back. Yes, really. Shame on you!

CM2 was more interested in discussion than debate. I noticed that last week, when I was yapping to him in the street, it moved from speaking about Jesus, to very quickly being 'a life, the universe and everything' discussion. On the few times his companion wasn't cutting across him to debate, he tried to start a genuine discussion, seeming more interested in my views than CM1. He seemed genuinely more interested, full stop. I think I may be imagining this, but he seemed to be embarrassed by his colleague.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in their car on the way back...

Ok, tangent over. That damn book has fallen open again. And so, back to my earlier story of how I was called by the Goddess. In explaining how I was called by the Goddess to CM1 and 2, has parallels with realising that all along I was also being called by a specific Goddess.

When I was a teenager, I read a book, in which a woman strangles her husband with her long hair, and one of the characters comments that it was just like the Jewish demon, Lilith. They explained a bit about her being Adam's first wife, refused to be inferior to him, and legged it out of Eden by finding out God's true name. From then on, I was fascinated by this demon, I couldn't really find anything more about her, not for years, but I remained in thrall to how I imagined her to be. Lady sounded like a smart cookie. Gutsy, clever, powerful. What's Then I found a beautiful painting of her by Fay Pomerance, and noticed her beautiful long hair.

I'm a writer by nature, and found myself returning to the this demon over and over. She began to pop up in shows I watched, when I made up fanfiction in my head, she began to slot herself here and there. Hell's Debt Recovery Agent, and other things. She was always there on the edge of my mind, sneaking into my dreams.

Then the Internet arrived and I could research her better than I could with old, out of print books. I could see academic articles and other things that otherwise I wouldn't have had access to before. And I began to build up a picture of her history, developing from Goddess to Demon and back again, picking up a few more skills along the way. Even Gods, it would seem, are fans of adult education.

I never lost my fascination with Lilith. What a Goddess to aspire to!

But why on Earth would she call me? Is this close to anyone else's experience of having a direct contact with a God/ess?


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