Tag Archives: So Many Books — So Little Time

Three Part Invention

Read Me to Sleep

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: “You are not alone.”

~ Roald Dahl

When I was a sick little girl the thing that would, — heck, as a sick old woman, the thing that does — above all else, make me feel better is to be read to. I love to read, but there is an element of nurture, and rightness, and care, that being read to brings immediately to the sick room.

Today, when G/Son was feeling very sick, Nonna straightened the cool cotton sheets, and offered iced water with a straw, and proffered pudding, and Italian ice, and soup. She ran bathtubs full of mint leaves and she made ice compresses and rubbed feet. And, most of all, Nonna read. G/Son asked for The Secret Garden, and so we moved from cholera-struck India, across the sea with the snotty children of a missionary and his wife, onto a train running north through the rain to the Scottish moors, and into a house with over a hundred rooms, but most of them locked up.

And then we closed our eyes, and imagined a red light surrounding us to make us feel better. And then the crickets came to do magic.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

~ Roald Dahl

Has anyone ever read you back to health? Have you ever read to anyone as a spell?

Picture found here.

Dark Moon Potpourri


*Yesterday evening, I found myself across town at a meeting that was ending at the height of rush hour. Instead of sitting in a cab for 40 minutes, I met Son and DiL for dinner. Afterwards, driving home along the pearly pink Potomac just at dusk, I was talking to the River when I turned onto Spout Run and watched a doe sprint across the road, from the woods into the water in the run.

I know that gardeners are supposed to be at war with deer (and, seriously, if they ever show up and nom my day lilies and hosta, well, it’s not going to be pretty) but I ward my tiny Bit of Earth against them and, so far, it’s worked. For years and years, seeing a deer has been a sign of good luck for me, a message from the universe that I’m on the right track and just need to keep on keeping on.

I drove the rest of the way home feeling very, very blessed.

May it be so for you.

*I really need to start reading Franzen:

Today’s nature writers have a serious decision to make. If we still want to be thought of as anything other than incestuous literary outcasts who are the only audience for our own writing, then we better think hard about what it means that America’s premier novelist is a birder writing about overpopulation and land conservation. If we hope to end up something other than jaded academics that make a living teaching expensive nature writing classes that students love but aren’t professionally going to benefit from at all, then I say we get Franzen’s back.

Here’s why: Franzen has brought environmental issues into the limelight, and not just in the literary sense. He’s a household name. For someone writing about environmental problems, that’s an accomplishment that can’t be understated. Who else besides Al Gore can claim such name recognition? These days, not only has writing about environmental issues become marginalized and out of vogue, heck, being ecologically literate isn’t even important.

hat tip: Sia.

This:

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Being late on a regular basis (you know who you are) is a sign of your sense of privilege and of your clear disrespect for others. It says, as loudly as it can possibly say, “My time is more important than yours. It was more important for me to sleep in, get up and putter around, finish reading that chapter, etc. than whatever you might have done with the time that you spent standing around and waiting for me. That effort that you put into getting up early, leaving on time, being prepared? Well, that was sweet, albeit now wasted, but I’m too important for that.”

Seriously. That’s what everyone is thinking when you stroll in twenty minutes late, even if they’re too polite to say it.

And, no, that regular call that, by now, we all expect, that call that you make just as the ritual is supposed to start, saying, “OK, I’m leaving just now [from my home, 45 minutes away from the ritual,] and will be there soon,” no, that doesn’t make it OK. It makes us roll our eyes. At you.

The other week on our drive up to Longwood, Landscape Guy & I were talking about self-respect. There are two things that both of us do as a sign of respect not only to others, but, also, as a sign of self-respect. We’re both almost always on time. And we both make our beds almost every morning, even though we live alone. (Yes, sometimes — maybe once every few years — you leave early enough to arrive, based on past experience, on time at the ritual space. And there’s a bad traffic jam and you’re late. And, sometimes — maybe once every few years — I’m swamped at work, fall into bed at 2:00 am, claw my way out of bed at 6:00 am, and leave for work w/o making my bed. Note the operative words: once every few years.)

Both of those acts are ways of saying, “I am the kind of person who . . . .”

Do you operate on Pagan Standard Time? How tolerant is your circle of this practice? What do you do out of self-respect?

*Here’s a wonderful post about gardening with the God/desses.

Performing chores and labor in a ritual context is a meditative exercise. Unlike Eastern meditation that seeks to disengage the mind, and is passive both physically and mentally, pagan meditation is active. It differs, too, from the Christian form of meditation of Western civilization. Often Christian meditation involves reading passages from sacred texts or from prepared devotional texts. One is to silently ponder the meaning of these texts, applying them to himself or herself. . . . The method used by Teresa of Avila was similar to Eastern meditation in that her “recollection” involved suppressing the intellectual mind and the senses as she focused on a prayer so that her soul might recall its spiritual origin. ”Recollection” was preparatory to other stages of quiet meditation. In both Eastern and Western (Christian) meditation a goal is to disengage the mind from the body. This is due to a perspective of the physical world being somehow evil and contradictory to the spiritual world. . . . Pagan practice instead begins with a notion of the Universe being composed of body, mind and soul, and a desire to bring these three parts into harmony. Harmony is sought within one’s own being, and also in the world around us. . . . But the starting point begins by introducing ritual into our daily activities, developing a sound mind and a sound body in harmony with our soul, which will in turn bring us into a harmonious relationship with the Gods around us in Nature. The garden quite literally feeds our body, our mind, and our soul, even as the garden acts as a euphemism for tending our relationship with the Gods in the Universe.
Vadete in pacem Deorum.

For me, it’s weeding. Odd as it sounds, I love to weed. It’s one of the most meditative tasks I know, other than kneading bread or knitting.

To work in my garden is to co-create the manifest (thank you, PaganMamma) world in partnership with the Goddess. I am never so humbled nor so honored as when I pull weeds.

*Do you have a picket pin?

*What JMG Said:

Being a Druid today means learning how to take less from nature and give more back, reshaping every detail of our daily lives in order to honor and heal the living Earth. Being a Druid means composting vegetable peelings instead of sending them to a landfill; it means walking or bicycling instead of filling the air with tailpipe fumes; it means buying groceries from local organic farmers instead of from multi-national agrabusiness. Such acts are practical necessities to everyone who recognizes the interdependence of all life. To Druids, and all others who follow nature-centered paths, these things are also acts of worship, disciplines of the spirit, offerings we make to the Goddess-Planet on Whom we live our lives.

“Reshaping every detail of our daily lives”: that’s a spiritual practice. JMG’s discussion ties in with my recent post about the importance of just being outside and observing to the process of becoming a Witch. Composting, for example, is messy business and mundane in the extreme. It’s hardly the esoteric training that anyone hoping to become a Witch or Druid might imagine. And, yet, it’s magic. It’s necessary. And it’s what Witches and Druids do.

*I’m going to get to this exhibit in the next 72 hours, or die trying, even if I have, thanks to a crush at work, to speed-walk through it. How important is art to your spiritual practice? To your practice of magic? How do you make time for it?

*Here, in the heart of deep Summer along the Potomac, the early morning hours are often the only ones when it’s really comfortable to lie between clean sheets and drift, half asleep and half awake. That makes it even more difficult to drag myself out of bed. Lately, these guys get me up and onto the treadmill. (I’m fairly certain that getting an old, American Nonna up to exercise is nowhere in these young men’s mission statement.) Who inspires you to live healthy? Whom might your inspire, all unawares?

Picture found here.

National Poetry Month

What’s the most important book you ever read?

Just So

hat tip: @judikailles

Chaotic Spring PotPourri


*It’s World Poetry Day Today and UNESCO is honoring Pablo Neruda. Here’s one of my favorite Nerudas:

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
~Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

*Today is also the forty-seventh anniversary of Dr. King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama for voting rights. And, tonight is the Million Hoodie March, an attempt to demand justice for a young black man shot for nothing more, it appears, than walking home from the store while black. Sometimes the arc bends; sometimes, it appears to still have a long way to go.

*I’m loving A.S. Byatt‘s Ragnarok: The End of the Gods. Here’s one of her descriptions of Loki:

But beyond [His] curiosity was delight. Chaos pleased him. He liked things to get more and more furious, more wild, more ungraspable, he was at home in turbulence. He would provoke turbulence to please himself and tried to understand it in order to make more of it. He was in burning columns of smoke in battlefields. He was in the fury of rivers bursting their banks, or the waterwalls of high tides throwing themselves over flood defences, bringing down ships and houses.

He was reckless and cunning, both.

Indeed.

*The insane temperatures across the U.S. have me wondering about our climate’s own Ragnarok. Everything’s blooming all at once here in the sort of chaos that Loki would love. The birds seem to be engaging in the Great Rite earlier than normal, as well. I hope we don’t get an April freeze, as we sometimes do.

*Rima pens a lovely tribute to a departed friend. In doing so, she describes the kind of community (yes, I’m still sitting for a few minutes every morning with that word) that I think most of us seek:

Since Thomas died, I have got to know strands of him I didn’t know before, as this wonderful community of ours weaves itself around his death and darns the wound with arms. I am astonished and proud of our village on the edge of the moor – I can see that it does well these hard hard things, and I can see that here those whose pain is the sharpest will continue to be cared for well and will be caught again and again when they stumble.

May it be so for you.

Picture found here.

An Interview with Judith Laura about Goddess Matters


Judith Laura has been thinking and writing about Goddess religions for many years. Her publications include: Beyond All Desiring, Exploring Re-Visioned Kabbalah, Three Part Intervention, She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, and Goddess Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century. She recently wrote Goddess Matters: The Mystical, Practical, and Controversial. Goddess Matters is a fascinating look at where Goddess religions are and where they may be going. (And you’ve got to love the double entendre of the title.) Judith is also a serious student of Tarot. I recently had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her latest work.*

Hecate: In the section of Goddess Matters entitled Practical Thealogy and Applied Metaphysics, you take on the topic of Physical Disabilities and Goddess Events and point out some ways for event organizers and publicists to be thoughtful. Can you talk a little bit more about this topic? And are there ways that social media can help us be more thoughtful?

Judith Laura: My realization that this was an issue came first through my own experience of having what turned out to be chronic serious foot problems. Before I that, like many other temporarily-abled people, I gave little if any thought to the challenges people with various disabilities might face in trying to attend Goddess events — or really any other type of event. In terms of other events, there are now laws that make it somewhat easier to have access to buildings, etc., but these laws don’t solve all the problems and rarely apply to places where Goddess events are held — often outdoors or in private homes. The examples I give in the book of obstacles encountered by people trying to attend Goddess or Pagan events come from both online “mailing lists” aka discussion groups, and what people have told me in person. I’d like to see it to become routine for people having these events to give more specific information about these obstacles in the information they communicate about the events without putting the burden of finding out upon the people with disabilities. For example, I think the common request for people who need “accommodation” to contact the sponsor of the event should be replaced, or added to, with such basic information as how close can you park to the event? how much walking is involved once you reach the event? are there stairs to climb? is the ground uneven? hilly? flat? These are just a few bits of information, applying to only a few types of physical challenges. But it would be a start. People have also suggested to me that sponsors of events should state whether there will be a sign language interpreter or other help for the hearing-impaired. Others tell me they think a sign language interpreter should be provided at every event. So there are lots of stories and ideas out there, but I’m not sure how many are expressed directly to people holding the events. I’ve not seen a lot of this online. Certainly discussion groups, Facebook, Twitter and other social media give more of an opportunity than we had BC (Before Computers), including the possibility of asking for better accommodation behind the mask of a pseudonym. But I’m not sure how much cyberspace is being used for that purpose.

Hecate: I love that you address the topic of Goddess Beliefs and Sexual Risks. For all that we like to call ourselves sex-positive, we don’t talk much about these issues. You have some interesting things to say about masturbation as a way to become closer to the Goddess. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Judith Laura: In this chapter, my advocacy of masturbation not only as a route to pleasure but also to the sacred follows a discussion dispelling some misconceptions about the transmission of STDs, including HIV, and of the relative dangers and safety of various sex practices. Due mostly to cultural conditioning, many of us have narrow ideas about masturbation, (aka self-pleasuring), a relatively safe sex practice. When people ask if you’ve had sex lately, they usually don’t mean self-pleasuring. Why is that? To me, what counts as sex is arousal and orgasm. By this definition, self-pleasuring surely is sex, since for many women it is more likely to lead to orgasm than partnered sex, especially many forms of het sex. Yet our culture often ridicules self-pleasuring, making us — and by us, I mean especially women — feel ashamed of engaging in this type of sex. Why? Are we still buying into the idea that we are receptive vessels, not active participants? Are we still expecting our partners to “give us” an orgasm, rather than we ourselves participating in ways that make orgasm more inevitable? Women friends of mine have told me that they don’t feel right touching themselves in ways that arouse them. “Why,” I ask, “isn’t it your body?” I feel that our Goddess beliefs pave the way for our considering self-pleasuring to be of equal value to other forms of sex. A number of Goddess creation myths tell of the Goddess creating through an act of self-pleasuring. Also, we have the Maiden aspect of the Goddess as an example. We sometimes call this aspect, “Virgin,” but we don’t mean that she denies herself sex. Quite the contrary, what we mean is that the Maiden/Virgin is independent and that independence includes her sexual activities, which may be sex on her own terms with another with whom she is not in a binding relationship, or it may mean masturbation. Self-pleasuring increases our independence — and possibly also our good heath — by making it less likely that we will fall into bed with someone we neither love nor desire. Self-pleasuring can also improve our sex lives in partnered sex by revealing to us what turns us on. In addition to all this, in my experience, and in the experience of women who have told me about their experiences, self-pleasuring can also be a more direct path to Goddess. Orgasm is often accompanied by (or includes) a change in consciousness in which, as we become more focused on pleasure, we become less aware of our surroundings. This leads, at the moment(s) of most intense pleasure in orgasm, to a feeling of oneness with or merging with what some call “the universe” others call “the sacred,” and others call Goddess. That this feeling is brought about by physical activity and body response verifies its place in a spirituality that affirms embodiment of the sacred. Or sacred embodiment. If you are having sex with someone you love during this experience, you are likely to feel that the sensation of onesness, or merging, includes your partner and this strengthens your love bond. If you are having sex with someone with whom you are not in love, the experience may give you the momentary illusion of love for this person. If you are having sex by yourself, the experience is more obviously connected with the universal Source, with Goddess. For young women first finding themselves sexually, orgasm via self-pleasuring can help discover what to seek or ask for in partnered sex. For older women and others who may not easily find partners or who don’t want partners, it means being able to independently experience sexual pleasure and merging with Goddess.

Hecate: Goddess Matters has an interesting discussion of Carol Christ‘s work on process theology. As a serious student of Tarot, you have an interesting take on Christ’s rejection of divination. Please explain how you view the interplay between free will and divination.

Judith Laura: I don’t know that Carol Christ is rejecting divination; what I think she is doing in her book, She Who Changes, is explaining why process theologians reject divination. I greatly admire Carol Christ’s work in this book and in her other writings. The importance of her contribution to Goddess feminism cannot be overstated. I discuss her book, She Who Changes, which combines Goddess thealogy with process theology, in the last chapter of Goddess Matters, “The Cutting Edge,” which also includes a discussion of the work of 3 other authors (including me), who combine Goddess with other thought, mostly with various sciences. In She Who Changes, Christ points out that process theology, which is more science-friendly than most theologies and, imo, compatible with the Goddess understandings of many people in most ways, does not allow for the possibility of, for example, predicting the future. Christ explains that in process theologians’ view, predictions of future events are based on the assumption that the future is “already determined, already known, or has already happened.” Since in process theology people must have free will, if process theology were to be adopted whole cloth by Goddessians it seems that we would have to give up our use of divination.

But I feel that the assumption that divination involves denial of free will is a misconception which, btw, is not limited to process theologians. In the “Cutting Edge” chapter I write that the assumption that the future is already determined “is not the assumption made by most divining Goddess folks I know. In reading Tarot, I assume quite differently and tell people for whom I read that the future is not set in stone, that they retain free will, and that we are looking at possibilities or probabilities, not certainties. We shuffle the cards to achieve randomness, a quality of the universe according to quantum physics.” I have had a statement to this effect on my website page about tarot reading since at least 2003.

Prediction in Tarot is to me similar to predicting the weather. Do you think that process theologians would consider a meteorologist’s prediction that it was going to rain the next day infringing on their free will? Or do you think they would take along an umbrella? The meteorologists’ forecasts are not always 100 percent accurate, nor do they claim this. The same is true of Tarot. What both we and the meteorologists (and others who make predictions, such as stock market prognosticators) are predicting is probabilities, not certainties. The meteorologist’s probabilities are based on factors such as which way the wind is blowing, what has occurred in the past when atmospheric conditions have been similar, and how fast fronts are moving. Just so, the Tarot reader bases her predictions on what she learns through the cards about factors that are metaphorically, or sometimes even literally, similar to those used by weather forecasters (such as which way “the wind” is blowing). There is also a factor of interaction; for meteorologists the interaction is among various factors that affect the weather, some of which may not be known at the time the forecast is made because they haven’t emerged yet. For the tarot reader the interaction is among the readee’s actions and actions of other people (and sometimes institutions, companies, countries, etc.) affecting the question the readee asks , some of which may not be known at the time, mainly because those involved haven’t yet made choices (because they have free will) that they have before them.

As I point out in Goddess Matters, near the end of She Who Changes, Christ seems to come to a similar conclusion. She writes that “no method of divination can tell us with certainty what will happen. On the other hand, the future will be a synthesis of things that already exist. Methods of divination can be understood as other than rational ways of getting a perspective on what already exists and as ways of imagining what we and others can create out of what already exists.” I think that many aspects of process theology as Christ presents them could be a good addition to Goddess thought, and I wonder if we can adopt the parts that seem to fit and leave behind those parts with which we are not comfortable.

Hecate: What’s your take on on-line rituals? Will we see Goddess worship moving on-line even while, as you discuss, more and more actual Goddess temples are built?

Judith Laura: I’ve attended only two online rituals in chatrooms and that was many years ago — I think one was before the turn of the century. I don’t know if online rituals will become more common. I think they have at least two obstacles to overcome. One is people being in different time zones. Some are sleeping, some are at work, while others are at home and awake. The other is that we are a path to which embodiment is important, whereas the medium renders us disembodied. This could be overcome somewhat in the future if use of audio and video in online communications with more than one person becomes common. So, I guess the answer is, we’ll see…

Hecate: What are you writing now?

Judith Laura: I’m trying to gather together my poems, many of which have been published in print and online journals, into some coherent (or acceptably poetically incoherent) form which will hopefully become a book.

*Full disclosure: I consider Judith a friend and go to her for important Tarot readings. She gifted me with an inscribed copy of Goddess Matters, which I treasure.

Picture found here.

What Life Is and How I Intend to Live It

And here I am, still alive, still in the world. It’s my intention to carry on being alive in the world, well, until I die. At Easter I’ll go to Glasgow and see what science fiction fandom is like. Next June I’ll take my exams and pass them, and have qualifications. Then I’ll do A Levels, as it best works out. I’ll go to university. I’ll live, and read, and have friends, a karass, people to talk to. I’ll grow and change and be myself. I’ll belong to libraries wherever I go. Maybe eventually I’ll belong to libraries on other planets. I’ll speak to fairies as I see them and do magic as it comes my way and prevents harm — I’m not going to forget anything. But I won’t use it to cheat or to make my life unreal or go against the pattern. Things will happen that I can’t imagine. I’ll change and grow into a futre that will be unimaginably different from the past. I’ll be alive. I’ll be me. I’ll be reading my book. I’ll never drown my books or break my staff. I’ll learn while I live. Eventually, I’ll come to death, and die and I’ll go on through whatever unknowable thing is supposed to happen to peole when they die. I’ll die and rot and return my cells to life, in the pattern, whatever planet I happen to be on at the time.

That’s what life is, and how I intend to live it.

~ Among Others by Jo Walton.

I’ve been coming back to this passage since I read it on the train last month. I’m going to see if I can journal a similar plan for myself, similarly hopeful and realistic, but geared to my more advanced age. What would yours say?

Picture found here.

Blessing for a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Picture found here.

New Year’s Eve PotPourri


*Do you make new year’s resolutions?

I have one brilliant friend who only makes fun resolutions for new year’s. Become expert at mixing cocktails, take a class to learn acrobatics, do a football fantasy camp — that sort of thing. Her theory is that if you need to lose weight or get on a budget, there’s no reason to wait for January 1st. (Yes, an Aires.) Do it when you realize that you need to do it. Save resolutions for something interesting and fun that you won’t have to force yourself to do. You’ll do it, have fun, and get a sense of accomplishment. And there’s a certain logic to that.

I have a different approach. Starting around Samhein, I do a lot of meditation, divination, and journaling about my life. I consider what I want to keep, what I want to grow, what I’m ready to let die, and what I want to introduce. (I stopped following an inspirational author this week when she suggested that the end of the year is a good time to “retrospect” your life. You know, “retrospect” is not a verb and, if it were a verb, it would be a wicked, wicked verb. I’m too in love with the language of Chaucer, and Shakespeare, and Thomas, and Parker, and (oddly) Dinesen to live in a world where “retrospect” is a verb.) Then, between Yule and the first of the calendar year, I choose a Word of the Year. It’s a practice that I learned from Christine Kane. I complete the worksheet that Kane’s developed and I make a screensaver for my laptop and a cover for my journal from pictures that illustrate some aspect of my word. (And, being, you know, a Witch, I do it with magical intent, inside a circle that I cast. I use all of the trappings that speak to my Younger Self: costume, candles, incense, music, lights.) Then, I set annual goals and monthly and weekly objectives. Those turn into my daily to-do lists.

What’s your word for 2012?

*Tomorrow is the day that calendars go on sale. Calendars are, IMHO, magical tools on a par with athames, wands, chalices, swords, and Words of Power. A calendar, more than almost anything else I know (except perhaps a clean, uncluttered, safe place to live), allows you to be in control of your own life. A calendar lets you control how you spend your time, how you budget your money, how you make time for your own health, spiritual practice, and friends. A good calendar lets you take advantage of the magical tides inherent in the Wheel of the Year, the phases of the Moon, the various retrogrades and conjuncts of the planets. A calendar lets you say honestly, “Oh, sorry, I can’t. I’ve got something scheduled,” even when (especially when) that something is “treadmill,” or “time at altar,” or “sleep.” I keep two calendars at work: one on my computer that my secretary and associates can access and one on my desk, which is what I prefer to use because it’s easier for me to see at a glance what an entire week looks like. I keep a We’Moon calendar on my altar. I keep a wall calendar in the kitchen. And, every year for Yule, I make a wall calendar for Son, DiL, and G/Son’s other grandparents with pictures of G/Son from the previous year. I started doing it when he was a baby and it’s grown into kind of a tradition. This year, DiL’s father said, “Imagine when we have a set of 20 years of this. Quite a record.” So mote it be.

How do you use calendars?

*My recent train trip had me thinking about how very much train stations and train trips fall within the province of Hecate. Nothing except a long boat trip feels so much like being suspended “in between” as a train trip, especially one at night. Beth Owl’s Daughter has a good post that discusses New Year’s Eve as a day influenced by Hecate.

*On the train, I read several chapters of Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, which I’m liking better than I liked Ego and Archetype, especially for the author’s willingness to admit that no symbol has just one meaning. I also read Among Others, which has some v interesting musings about how magic really works (or apparently doesn’t work) in the real world and what the ethical implications are of shifting circumstances in accordance with will. I’m working my way through Starhawk’s Empowerment Manual and am re-doing The Collected Works of Dylan Thomas. While I wait for Season 2 of Downton Abbey, I’ve done the entire series of Upstairs Downstairs and of Edward, the King. The latter, especially, has given me a new appreciation for someone I’d long considered a mere playboy.

What are you reading and watching?

*For each of my wonderful readers and commenters, I wish a healthy, happy, prosperous, and successful New Year. I am grateful to each of you.

Picture found here.