Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Beauty of Women

For a few days the subject of women and how they are judged on their looks and the various implications that can cause in a woman's life has been coming at me from different places.

For instance one of the things that gave me pause for thought was when the question was posed as to whether a woman would have a diamond bracelet or plastic surgery given to them,

what would be her answer. This question seemed rather limited in choices given to women.

I mean I wouldn't be interested in either..... but if I was given the choice, I would choose the

bracelet and then sell it and give the money to an animal rescue shelter. Let it do some good in

this screwed up world. There have been incidents where women are so concerned about how they look that they will do anything to change their appearance in order to fit into what they think society deems as being 'beautiful.' For instance if they cannot afford plastic surgery to

create the supposed image of beauty and erase the signs of age, they will go extreme length to

substitute something that is cheaper. I have heard of a case where a woman ordered from an online source, and injected herself with it causing horrific effects and she then had to multiple plastic surgery procedures in order to try and look 'normal' again. And then there was another case where a woman who couldn't afford to buy silicone used to injections of cooking oil on her face to plump up her sagging skin... let's don't even try to imagine how that must have looked. Here is a link to a news story about another beauty makeover...

"Today we are surrounded by still pictures of women, models who pose on every corner, every passing bus, every magazine cover." This is quote from an essay in Patricia Monaghan's

"The Goddess Companion", page 23... She is pointing out in her essay that women are often

viewed as artificial object of beauty in order to be considered worthwhile. We don't look on these pictures of these women as being actual living breathing women with stories of their

own to tell. Is what is beauty is about? "This is the vision of beauty we are offered now. ...women's beauty is as various as the seasons, as changeful as the skies, as complex as a snake's brilliant markings. " (more from same Monghan's essay)...

But there seem to be some changes blowing in the wind regarding how women are being manipulated in to following the dictates of beauty standards that are impossible for everyone of them to follow. In an AlterNet news letter this morning there is an article about how fashion magazine are losing reader left and right... The article titled: "I'm Pretty, You're Ugly, Buy This" - Why Fashion Magazines are on the decline. "Fashion glossies are about making their readers feel bad. Are women tired of their prettier than thou bullying?" This is the subtitle of the article.

There is a link in case you would like to check out this article further.

Another thing is signature line that someone forwarded on to me the other day:

"What ever you give a woman, she will make it greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit."

And with that parting shot I close this posting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

God is not your bitch

Lughnasadh is coming..... What is that you ask? See information on this Celtic festival below and in the meantime - read the entertaining article I came across about why God is not your bitch.

I picked up this link to this article a little while ago, love that phase - God is not your bitch:

I soooo hope this link works because in spite of the fact it is based around the Christian religion of God being the one, it is so true in many ways in which people blow off their problems with the belief that God will fix and that he actually cares about every little thing (or big thing) we do wrong.

For those us who believe in the Goddess as the Divine - well, we have a different mind set on

matters such as this. First of all the Goddess is not such a micromanager of our daily activities. She wants us to be happy, but we have to sort out for ourselves what makes us happy and if it is a morally responsible way in which to act. Even the unmoral actions we take

eventually catch up with us and that is the way the Goddess takes her revenge - the wheel of Karma or whatever you want to call it. Perhaps using the word revenge is a bit off base but

it would be like the mother who see her child doing something wrong, and it eventually comes back to bite him/her in the butt. If the child comes whining to the Mother, she reminds them

that you reap what you sow.

And speaking of sowing and reaping - Lughnasadh or Lammas is coming up.. This ancient Celtic festival marks the beginning of harvest season, a ripening of the first fruits was traditionally a time of community gatherings, market festivals, horses races and reunions.

For some Pagans who observe this festival on August 1st or 2nd, others may choose the first

full moon in August as the right lunar/solar timing on which to give thanks to the Mother and grain spirits. Look around and see what is happening in your area this time of the summer season. Are there open farm markets? Are there reunions (high school, college or family) going on? Are there local fairs happening? Well, there, see, we are still following these old

customs but they are just operating under different window dressing. Even the Catholic church gave up trying to suppress the Celts from following this traditional festival and started their own blessing of the wheat harvest....

Friday, July 24, 2009


To me Summer is the most important season of the four we get on the Wheel of the Year and this has been a bit of a wash out so far for real summer weather. Below average temps and lots of rain and heavy clouds. Some of the plants are affected and not doing as well as they should be and yet some others seem to moving way ahead of where they are normally this time of the year.

This morning I found a huge grouping of mushrooms that sprang up overnight, as mushrooms

tend to do. But I find the sudden appearances of mushrooms like to be a portent of coming

Autumn... sigh, not already. So I turn to Patricia Monaghan's "Seasons of the Witch" to gain

a little inspiration about summer, because it certainly isn't happening outside my window lately.


Let us go out in the garden to understand. ( Ok, let me grab my umbrella)
Look, everything is full, fleshed out. A few months ago, plants stood small and separate in the brown earth. Now leaves press, rows crowd, into each other. Summer is a season that seems but a moment. Everything seems to happen at once. Everything seems on the verge: Peaches redden, corn tassels. Tomatoes fill the air with acidity, roses with heady spice. The sun is high and hot, the days long and ripe. {I'm not getting any of that here.... the sun is hidden, the tomatoes may just rot on the drenched floodded plants before they even ripen and roses.. well just forget it.}
This is the season of urgency. There is never enough time. Everything must be done now. This is the season of too muchness: too many blackberries, too much zucchini, too many tomatoes. It is a time of dense sensuality. The air is syrupy on humid nights as peaches poach on the stove and steaming glass jars wait. The air is cool on the porch where breezes sway the vines as a stately full moon rises. It is the season of gifts: potlucks and fairs, baskets of overripe fruit, extra produce brought to friends' homes.
Nature is in a splendor of excess. Even the gardener's villains are excessive: the starling flock taunting from the apricot tree, the myriad crawling pests, the slugs creeping through evening's col. The weather, too, is excessive. This is the time of violent winds that tear apart the harvest. Of sheeting rain that shreds and drowns. Of drought and failure: corn desiccated on the stalks, soil blowing in fierce grit winds.
Summer is bountiful. Summer is extreme. Earth is not kind nor gentle, save on those pale nights when even the sky holds still for a moment and, through the hush of a sleeping world, the heartbeat of time is heard.
So, too, for women, the summer of life. She is in her prime, full of energy. Life is endless, endlessly crowded. It draws her here, there, here, with new desires and demands. Every sunrise is an opportunity, every noon a driving compulsion, every sunset a dawn into night's possibilities. She is full and brash and busy. She takes and discards lovers; she produces children and art; she creates a self and a home. She is exhilarated by her power, exhausted by possibility. She says yes to everything, everything grows and burgeons from her energy, she is a forcefield of affirmation.
But this is also the time of losses so huge they seem to stretch to the horizon: parents gone, children in pain, the world convulsed with war. Tornadoes of feeling sweep through her, this woman in summer years. Sometimes she feels a vast hunger, an enormous yearning, as though her soul can never be sated. Sometimes she feels as though beauty is a thin membrane stretched over pain. In the midst of excess, she feels wrenching want, for there is never enough: enough time, enough tears, enough love.
Summer comes to women more than once. It opens, a wave of green energy, driving us to productiveness and passion. Summer can explode upon a woman at any time, whenever the force of life rages through her, whenever life's ache opens her eyes to the magic and beauty in each moment.
The magic of the summer rests in transformation: seed into fruit, embryo into child, idea into reality. Daily the magic occurs, so fast we fail to see it. But within this flux of transformation, there are moments of perfect stillness: a hawk pivots perfectly in a tight sky circle, a star glows a single second before falling. Inside those moments, power lives. Power that is beyond the normal magic of growth and death. In these moments, time can reverse itself, all forms may change, all directions flow into their opposite. This is the secret of witches and initiates: to recognize these moments and falling into the vast space behind them, becoming timeless and free. Go into the garden for understanding. Let power flow through you. Touch yourself. Touch each other. Transformation rests within you and among you. You are always transforming yourself. Just watch. Just watch.
She writes beautiful words doesn't she!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

fangbangers, urban fantasies - what have you been reading?

Yesterday I read an online article from the Toronto Sun newspaper that was
apparently written by an Amy Clarke, a lecturer at the University of California where she teaches science fiction literature. I didn't know
such college existed. Where these courses when I was in college!! Someone
was holding out on me somewhere. !!
The article mentions such modern female heroes as Belle of Twilight series, Zoey of the House
of Night series and Calliope who is Death's Daughter and Ever of the Immortals series and that not only are these books obsessed over by teenagers, but also their older sisters and mothers. OK, I raise my hand I am reading these books too. Sigh, can't help it. I got hooked into them and find them usually delightful couch potato fair. I've read three of the Twilight
series, and am half way through the fourth one. I got distracted from the fourth book in the Twilight series by getting started on reading the first book of the House of Night series, decidedly directed towards teenagers, and am now into the second one. The Immortals series I have started yet but have on ordered and also the one about Calliope... And then this past week or so my youngest daughter introduced me to Dead Until Dawn and Sookie Stackhouse... Alas I couldn't continue it because she had to return to Virgina and the book belonged to her mother-in-law and other female members of the family. But yes, I have that on order too.
I am getting small chuckle out of finding out that her church going in-laws are deep into reading this series. Oh my, talk about sex scenes.... I wonder if their church pastor knows what goes between church attendances... LOL It is this Sookie first book that I was introduced to the term 'fangbanger'.. That is a good one. Clarke says in the article: "There's dreaming being with a vampire or werewolfe, but there's always the danger of crossing over. I think it's a post-feminist way of taking on power." That would be an interesting power to possess. And yes, that could be a way of controlling what is unfair in your life. This is dark escapism with a flair.
P.C. Cast author of the House of Night series says: "The genere's popularity is bigger than just the books. With women this is reflecting a shift in our society. I've seen a big shift in my classrooms (She was an English teacher in a high school), with women standing up and demanding respect. That is in every woman, whether 16, 26, 56. "
I throughly enjoyed reading this article and here is the link if you wish to delve deeper into it:
At the end of the article there are links to various websites about these books. You might want to check them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What I am finding entertaining and of interest

I am adding another blog that I check on frequently - - called
Peeling a Pomegranate:
Earth-based Magickal Judaism, often known as Jewitchery - writings, rituals, midrash, prayers,
and more.

While I know my DNA for this lifetime is purely British/Welsh - and I am strongly called to
the Isle - I also find myself always to be intrigued and distracted by all matters Jewish. Perhaps
in an even more remote lifetime I was Jewish. Don't know. I am giving thought to ordering
the book "Magickal Judaism: Connecting Pagan and Jewish Practice" - yeah, like I need another book to add to my overflowing shelves. But the subject intrigues me.

Also I love the background of this blog - I wish I had some images like that. Pomegranate
images are someting I love - I have a bit of a collection of them.

And yesterday I watched trailers of the movie Julie and Julia - which is be released here in
States August 7th I believe. It is about two cooks - true stories - one Julie Child played by Meryl Strep and Juila (whose last name eludes me now) who actually did have online a blog
about cooking - I remember seeing it. Julia is challenging herself to cooking a recipe from Julie Child's cookbook every day for a year and writing of her experiences in a blog. And look,
lo and behold her blog was made into a movie!! It is a light comedy and will be interesting to view the two very different lives of these two women.

OK, it's Monday - often considered the first day of the week - the sunrise outside my window looks very promising weatherwise this morning. I can hear a variety of bird calls - seems to be something I have become aware of this summer.. My crows are cawing looking for their peanuts I throw out to them everyday. Critter Mix, which is mixture of corn, sunflowers, and peanuts, I also toss out on the ground for them when I can find it in the stores. I could probably make my own by buying corn, sunflowers seeds and the peanuts and mixingn them.
Crows are becoming familiar with me now - they will actually allow me to be outside with them while they feed.

The author of "Angela's Ashes" died yesterday - this was a favorite book of my youngest son.
I tried reading it once, but didn't get very far. Reading about him I might try the book again. Maybe I can find it on Paperback Swap. I love used paperback books.

I tried finding "Dead Until Dark" on there because I read some of my youngest daughter's when she visited last week, and I really like it. But, alas, it was not there. So I ordered a used
copy from Barnes and Noble. Right now I have been completely absorbed reading books by Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir about King Henry the 8th's wives. The first one was called
"The Other Boleyn Girl" and from there I went into "The Boleyn Inheritence" and on and on.
Right now I am reading a book titled "Lady Elizabeth" which is about Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, in her growing up years. Of course I will read of her time as queen
later... These have made good summer reading.

The beginning of summer I read "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Howe.
This is the first book for this author. It was quite good and I have recommended to many others. I have another book waiting in the stacks -"Waiting for Autumn" - to be read right
after Lammas (of course) and as always during every late summer season the book "Harvest

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tractor Pulling and the Y Chromosome

Yesterday evening when the cloudy rainy skies of the day finally cleared and one could take a lovely twilight walk, across the street from us the tractor pulling contests started... It is bad enough to have the shattering noises they make to disrupt the evening, but the smell of the

petro fuels filling the air is enough to drive you back inside and shut windows and doors. I

look upon this type of even as being mainly of interest to men, tho I am sure there are some

women who like to watch it and even participate in it. It seems to be one of power over things

that human like to practice. So here they are - first off using vehicles that have been specially

built with huge amounts of money and resources; here they are burning huge amounts of

fuel to go a few feet pulling heavy weights just to prove they can or actually that their machine

can and thus thinking this makes them more powerful and better than others. And this is the

it has been for way back in history. Before tractors it was horse pulling contests in which many

times horses were very abused to allow their owner to prove he had the better team and thus

was the better man... unfortunately after some of these contests he no longer had the better

team, or even a good team at all as he had over extended them and ruined their muscles and

pulling abilities. Makes no sense.... and I got to thinking this can even date back to the story

of Macha, a goddess of the ancient Irish, who ran a race against a horse drawn chariot while she was heavily pregnant with twins. Her human husband wagered that she could beat the team of horses and she did win the race but ended giving birth at the finish line of the race

and cursed her human husband for his selfishness in not considering her condition. This

is story about something that occurred at the Lughnassa time of the year and so even into these

days we continue to wager on events like this at this time of the year. This myth/story was

to teach us that however important it seems to look well in front of others, the safety and

happiness of one's own loved ones is the most significant value. Does this relate to the

tractor pulls that go on every summer around the country? Yes, it can because how much money and time and effort are put into the competition machines used in these pulls that

could be better invested in the happiness and safety of those who are related to the owner

of the pulling machines. I guess I am stretching it a bit far there - but I am sure that often

families have to go without somethings in order to provide the funds to build and compete

with these machines. Also there is the environmental foot print they make. Let's don't

even go there this morning.

And the Y Chromosome - where does this fit in regard the initial subject of tractor pulling??

Well, the Y Chromosome is what creates the male species... those bragging, swaggering men

who support tractor pulls and such. There was an interesting article online yesterday about

this fragile Y Chromosome that creates the male species... and here is a link to it:

Since according to many sources the beginnings of life on this earth was entirely female and the male aspects came along later in order to make a possible land reproductive species, could these changes occurring in the Y chromosome be signaling that maybe a 'new' type of male species that would be not be necessarily be brimming with testosterone. Not sure and the article itself can make a decision on this one way or the other but it does give one something

to ponder over.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Here it is the middle of July - Litha/Summer Solstice is behind me and just ahead is Lammas,
signalling the summer is coming to an end - the harvests are beginning to be made. The weather here in my part of the world has been rather cool and a little rainy. I suppose for most people this would be a good summer, but I was looking forward to hot, sticky summer days and nights through the past cold winter and spring days of mud and ice. But then I've always marched to a slightly different drum from those around me in my everyday world.

A guitar student of mine called me last night, out of the blue, to apologize for the fact that he didn't call me before he left for the summer.... which was weeks ago. He was in an airport in VA preparing to board a plane to fly to Sweden for a two week visit. I think he was feeling apprehensive about the coming plane trip - I am not sure he has ever flown before and he wanted to tie up any loose ends before he took off just in case things didn't work out well.
I was a bit touched that I was a loose end he wanted to tie up. I always sensed he is a young
person with a lot issues he has trouble dealing with. I have always hoped the music we share
would be of a comfort and grounding for him in his split life. His parents are divorced and live in different states and I think he still has problems dealing with it.

I remember a close friend of my youngest son had these problems when his parents divorced.
He was so torn up - he loved them both so much that he couldn't make the decision of whom to live with. His sister had no problem making the decision and choose the mother. So he choose his dad because he didn't want his dad to be alone. But he still wanted to be with his
mother. He envied my son because his original parents lived together and there lots of siblings living in the same household and the refrigerator always was full of the dregs of leftovers and such. His refrigerator usually contained only a bottle of wine, some cheese, and perhaps some sour milk in a carton. Lots of take out ordered there or else eating out. And his dad was a cook for a state prision system!! Guess it is one of those situations where you didn't want to take your work home with you.

Anyway this young man is now almost 30 and I think in the past couple of years he has finally come to grips with the divorce situation and is finding himself and his own life. During his troubled childhood since this earthshaking event at the age of twelve, he frequently visited with psychologist for childhood problems. He would talk to me about it and I got the feeling that this professional person was only another person he could talk to about his torn up feelings without getting the response of telling him 'to deal' with it because most every kid
has divorced parents. A sad but true fact in life. Why do people even bother getting married; it only make the end of the relaitonship messy and what ever you do please be very careful considering having a child - this is a lifetime committment on your part and the child's.