reileen: (general - strawberry)
Haha, wow. Here I was wondering how long my music muse was going to stick around, and then - through one of [ profile] sannion's oracles - I find out that Dionysos would like it if I didn't neglect my music and has, in fact, asked me to compose a song for Him as an expression of my gratitude for the advice He has been giving me over the past year or so. (Well, a further expression of my gratitude, since I already did an offering to Him and to Artemis a few weeks ago.) I'm sure composing that song will be quite the experience, in between pondering whether I seriously would like to write both "Professional Procrastinator" and "This Song Sucks."

Additionally, I've been trying to think of where in my crowded, book-and-clothes-and-general-junk-stuffed room I could possibly set up even a tiny altar to Artemis.

Folks, what you are looking at is a partial collection of my many unread books. (The others are stacked on top of the dresser.) If I could clear out this space (by reading all these books! ...or the majority of them, at any rate), I could find a small shelf or a table and then stick it there, and then decorate the altar appropriately. There've been a few Artemis statues I've been eyeing on eBay, let me tell you. (Such as this one or this one or this one.* I personally rly rly liek this one, but holy hell, 17.5 inches? I'm not having that while I'm still living in my parents' house. I effing love this cameo pendant, though, and would also like to get my hands on this. Never mind that apparently it's been "pre-blessed"...)

The fact that this space is pretty much in the center of my room could have interesting implications for the significance of my spiritual path in my life.

Or perhaps I'm just staying up too late thinking too hard about things, as usual.

don't you mess with a little girl's dream

*Or maybe even this one!
reileen: (general - strawberry)
An absolutely fascinating website on Aztec Reconstructionism, which one doesn't see a lot of amongst the neopagans. Probably because, according to the author of the site, the Aztec deities do demand blood, and Lady knows real pagan deities are all benevolent and whiteness and light and if they demand something from you, especially icky icky blood, that means they're Very Bad! [/sarcasm] No, They're not looking for human sacrifice, at least not in the same way it was practiced in Ye Olden Mesoamerican Tymes (although you should check this guy's essay on how to bring back the concept of healthy sacrifice in today's society - I have to say, it's got some interesting implications), but voluntary drawing of one's own blood is a necessary part of being an Aztec Recon. 'Cause if you don't do it of your own will, the Gods are going to take it from you. Yeah, it sounds harsh, but They're Gods, so They'd have every right to do so.

Of course, being who I am, I'm thinking about this topic not just in terms of how it might apply to my own worship (Artemis, after all, has demanded both human blood and human sacrifice in her mythos), but also in terms of how I can incorporate this into my creative endeavors, particularly for world-building. I'd love to use the idea of "healthy sacrifice" in a sci-fi society.

Related to my own personal worldbuilding: John Scalzi tackles the practical issues surrounding polygamy in modern America. Be sure to check out the comments too; they bring up some really mind-boggling points. Holy shit, the legalities, they are over 9000! (And yet I'm tempted to incorporate some of this into Ryker's society, since I have the impression that, at least in one city he was in, polyamory was alive and well. But I hadn't decided yet whether that acceptance was realized in legal form in that particular city.)

Related to worldbuilding in general, yanked from the awesome [ profile] ysabetwordsmith: A Collection of End of World Scenarios. Already I can hear my characters shivering in fear at my amazing authorial powers of doom! Ohohohoho.


Perhaps this just shows what an elitist whore I am, but I'm really dismayed at all the American-based "How to Draw Manga" books that have been coming out lately. I'd like to think that it's not so much that I'm not Super Special Awesome anymore in my love of Japanese comics and animation as it is that the art that often accompanies these books looks like the shit I drew in 6th grade - when I first started out in anime style. Seriously, y'all, what the fuck is this? This is a marked improvement, but it still can't compare to this. YMMV, of course.


Read through vols. 1-4 of Tokyo Mew Mew after I received them from a trade on [ profile] garagesalejapan. I've been finding myself wanting to revisit the magical girl genre lately for some reason, but instead of returning to old-school Sailor Moon on crunchyroll, I decided to branch out a bit (though I still do want to return to Sailor Moon, omgnostalgia).

Well...I got TMM in a trade for some of my other manga, so I don't feel like I wasted money or anything, and I still want to read vols. 5-7, but the series seems lacking to me. I could have overlooked the outlandish premise ("Rich high school kid tries to fight invading aliens by injecting Earth animals with the DNA of endangered species, but he totally misses and hits five middle-school girls instead!"), since that's pretty much requisite for any magical girl series. And I could have overlooked the generically cute art that sometimes hovered at a "just technically competent enough" point (although it made the fight scenes boring as hell).

But I was not willing to overlook the one-dimensionality of the characters. In fact, these characters are so commonplace that I can describe them in terms of other popular anime characters.

Otaku-speak: Sakura Kinomoto, only much less cute and endearing.
Translation: The goodie-goodie middle-school girl who just wants a normal life and to have a boyfriend, and is always unselfish, etc. and so forth.

Otaku-speak: Tomoyo Daidouji with Rei Hino's personality minus Tomoyo's 'cesty crush on Sakura and her love of dressing Sakura up.
Translation: Snobby rich girl who in reality Just Wants to be Loved.

Lettuce (I kid you not, that's her name)
Otaku-speak: Fuu Hououji crossed with Usagi Tsukino.
Translation: A professional doormat that keeps on slipping out from under people's feet.

Pudding (yes, that is really her name, too)
Otaku-speak: A bite-sized Shampoo with Mokona tendencies.
Translation: A hyperactive Chinese acrobat.

Otaku-speak: Rei Hino (or, if you're going by the live-action Sailor Moon, Makoto Kino works here as well) with the looks of Arashi Kishuu.
Translation: Super-gorgeous girl who is cold and distant for some reason that I haven't yet been able to discern, and is initially antagonistic towards joining the Tokyo Mew Mews.

Let's not even get into the love interests, which include Masaya, the requisite Nice Classmate Who Has No Fucking Clue What's Going On (a.k.a. the Houjou of TMM); Ryou, the Jerk That Needs to Get the Hell Offa Mine Side But Is Really Cute/Hot (Inuyasha crossed with Tamaki, in this particular instance); and Kish, the Conflicted Baddie (Nephrite). I admittedly have a weak inclination for shipping Ichigo with Ryou, but that's because I have a general preference for that sort of dynamic in the romances I read about. Otherwise, I'm scratching my head over what these guys see in Ichigo. Is it her Sakura smile? Her pink hair? What?

The plot is even more confusing and vague. TMM follows a monster-of-the-week formula, which would be fine by me, except that these monsters aren't even remotely amusing or even scary. The aliens who sent/created the monsters in the first place are marginally more intriguing, if only because it's revealed that apparently they used to live on the Earth a long-ass time ago and now they want it back 'cause they're pissed that us stupid humans have fucked it up with pollution and shit. I have to admit that I (or a certain Huntress, at any rate) was amused at the environmental angle that TMM takes in setting up the core conflict of the story.

Overall, I might have liked TMM back when I was still a Sailor Moon Maniac. At the very least, I wouldn't have been bothered by the numerous problems I've just pointed out. But I wouldn't recommend it to other SM fans my age or older; it's best left to those of Ichigo's age bracket.


And finally, people think that deviantArt's little icon switcheroo deal for April Fools' this year is akin to rape! Oh, internets, nevar change.

I can't believe that I would keep, keep you from flying
reileen: (general - strawberry)
Had a pretty interesting day today. To sum, in the process of staying up through last night/this morning after having gotten about of bed at around 6:00pm or 7:00pm(!!!) yesterday, I ended up - through a series of fortunately unfortunate events - learning a couple of things about the modern Hellenic religion as well as life in general, and was suddenly inspired to actually go out today. I mean, besides having to drop off something at the post office. It was also very heartening that the temps were up to about 60*F, with sunny and clear skies. So I was definitely motivated to get out of the house.

First stop: Post office to drop off a package. Nothing special.

Second stop: Salvation Army thrift store near the post office, along 87th and Cicero. This is the one I usually go to. I bought Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke and Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict. Yes, I know I'm an addict; I must've been to this thrift store at least three times in the past month. But I got both of these books for fifty-four cents total. Nyaaaah.

Third stop: Another SA thrift store, this time between 95th and 87th on Harlem. I hate the parking lot for this one - it's the most impractical thing ever. There's barely enough room for twelve cars to park, and barely enough room for two-way traffic...even though the parking spaces are slanted in such a way as to suggest one-way traffic. Which cars (like mine did when I first got here) routinely go against, either because of asshattery, laziness, or just plain confusion. Also, trying to get back to 87th is a pain in the ass because Harlem tends to be really fucking busy all the time, so making that left turn across four lanes of traffic from either part of the barely-there parking lot is a nightmare. Nevertheless, I also acquired tomes from here as well: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (which I'd read in 8th grade, but I couldn't seem to find my copy of the book) and The Iron Tracks by Aharon Appelfeld.

Fourth stop: Gamestop located along Harlem, close to 79th. I was hoping to stalk find Chris, the former assistant manager of the Gamestop I currently work at well, the Gamestop I would be working at if I hadn't been dealing with social anxiety problems and avoidant personality for the last couple of months. Before he left the Chicago Ridge Gamestop, he told me that I could find him at this particular Gamestop. I'd been meaning to talk to him for a while now, because he was awesometastically awesome, but I always found some excuse not to go out and see where he was. Some time last week or the week before, I did actually get out to the 79th/Harlem Gamestop, but I didn't see him there and was suddenly too fucking shy to ask the people who were working there about him. But finally, I went there today and asked, and lo and behold, he still works there, and lo and behold, he will be there tomorrow afternoon! Except that, whoops, I'm supposed to meet with [ profile] mugging_hipster that afternoon. Maybe I can just head out early tomorrow?

Fifth stop: Michael's Craft Store. I'd gotten the wacky idea while driving around that maybe I could actually do a (semi-)proper offering to Artemis and Dionysus today to start thanking Them for how They've helped me over the past few years. This is also something I have been meaning to do for a while, but never got around to doing it for some reason or another. I bought two tiny figures of a doe and her fawn (for Artemis, of course), two cardboard-colored Chinese takeout boxes (which I intended to use for holding the offerings, but I later had to discard them because they were too big to bury in the ground), two pieces of Ghiradelli dark chocolate (originally intended for my own consumption, but I thought that would be a little selfish and disrespectful to Artemis and Dionysos, so I decided to offer it to Them instead), and a mini metal washbasin (it was only $1.00! And it looked cute).

Sixth stop: Dominic's. General grocery shopping as well as finishing up getting the rest of the offerings. Dionysos obviously got a bunch of grapes to round out His end of things. Artemis, shamefully enough, was trickier for me because I simply could not remember if She was associated with any fruits or vegetables. (Doing a quick look-over of my sources, Artemis seems more associated with trees, flowers, and herbs as opposed to fruits and vegetables.) I thought of the apple, but I realized that that was from the Atalanta story, and that those were associated with Aphrodite. In the end, I bought a small crate of strawberries. Looks like Reileen will have to get cracking on her Hellenic homework. General grocery shopping included a sliced loaf of Italian bread, boursin cheese to go with it (omgs I ♥ boursin, I first had it in French II class in senior year of high school and was hooked), Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies, and a 24-pack crate of Mountain Dew. I eventually used one can as libations to pour over the offerings after I'd buried them in the ground. Go ahead and laugh; it's perfectly and whimsically ridiculous, as can be expected of someone like me with my level of knowledge. Seriously, though: Mountain Dew is my ambrosia. I drink the stuff like I breathe air every day. (IswearI'mtryingtobranchout!) I figured that it was worth sacrificing one can to the Gods.

Seventh stop: The park right down the street from my house. Actually, I wouldn't call it a park so much as a huge fucking communal backyard. It's this plot of land surrounded on all sides by the backsides of houses and fences galore, and it's really quite depressing. Highlights include two jungle gyms, a tennis court, and a tree marked with a red spray-painted X whose top half or missing or something. This is the closest thing you're going to get to "nature" in these parts, so you gotta make do. park pictures beneath the cut )

Overall, today was a day that was better than most that I've been having. From what I could tell, Dio seemed pretty all right with what I gave Him. The Bitch Upstairs was generally cool with Hers as well, though She raised an eyebrow at the strawberries and snickered at the Dew. But I'm trying.

I never walked away from you, I never walked alone
reileen: (general - strawberry)
There are tarot card decks for One Piece, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Prince of Tennis. Clearly, this is a stealth scheme by the Evil Pagans to teach witchcraft to young children by disguising it with cartoon characters!

I've always wanted my own set of Clow Cards, actually. Sakura used them in her magick in the series, but Kero mentioned once that the Clow Cards were also used for fortune-telling. Which makes me wonder if there was ever an actual system for reading the Clow Cards that was formulated either by CLAMP or by someone else? If not, creating a system of fortune-telling for the Clow Cards would be a pretty interesting undertaking.

I own two tarot decks at the moment, a Feng Shui-themed deck and this China Tarot with absolutely amazing art, but I haven't used either in a while. I used to do rapid-fire readings for [ profile] aerithzstrife for a bit, and got good results with both. (I don't yet have the patience to learn proper spreads.) I'll probably end up getting another tarot deck at the Bristol Renaissance Faire this year, if I go. I have my eye on this Art Nouveau Tarot. Pretty art is pretty, although I can't speak for how well the symbolism is rendered in the art. I'm superficial like that.

finally, your final resting day is without me
reileen: (Default)
I always thought Tyra Banks was ugly, but after hearing what she said on a recent show she hosted that highlighted the beliefs and rituals of various types of witches, I think I can upgrade that to "ugly bitch."

In other news, Duxbury Wiccans open their lives to reality TV: Family stars in episode of new TLC series

Among the reasons people willingly partake in reality TV shows, promoting religious tolerance isn’t high on the list. But for the Rev. Kendra Vaughan Hovey, elder high priestess of Duxbury’s First Church of Wicca, and her husband, Tim, it’s the sole reason they agreed to star in an episode of a new series on The Learning Channel called ‘‘My Unique Family.’’

For the entire month of October, the Hoveys and their children Alec, 11, and Alana, 8, were filmed, followed and interviewed - at home, at church, going to work and, yes, even going out for ice cream.

[. . . ]

The cameras captured aspects of the family’s faith - Alana meditating at her altar, the congregation celebrating Samhain (Halloween) rituals - but fellow Wiccans didn’t warm to the idea of being on TV right away.

‘‘At first some of them were so scared,’’ Kendra Vaughan Hovey said. ‘‘But I said, ‘We’re trying to spread religious tolerance, don’t stand behind me, stand next to me.’’’

Okay, look. I don't mind ritual wear. I think it's rather cool, actually, and I kinda wish I had a reason to wear clothes like that that wouldn't involve me going to a Renaissance Faire, although I do love me my Ren Faires. I just wish they didn't use those photos as the promotional photos. Because all that does is promote the idea that witches/Wiccans/pagans/what-the-fuck-ever are the strange, mysterious, and possibly dangerous "other." I would've loved to see the wife and husband in normal clothes somewhere in the article, if not as the main photo. But that wouldn't be good for scaring people into watching the show, now, would it?

Bah. After the apparent fiasco that was Tyra's show, I have no faith that the producers are going to give this family a fair representation of who they are, and not just because they have to cram over 200 hours of footage into an hour-long program.

And then apparently there's a new Wife Swap episode coming on that switches a Central Floridian wife and a "woman who uses pagan rituals to celebrate the earth." Um, whut? LOL! Isn't Wife Swap supposed to be about switching two wives who are on polar end of things in some way, shape, or form? So what's the contrast here, that one's a pagan and the other is a "normal" woman, or something? And I thought they did an episode like this already. (Thanks to [ profile] oohlalindsey for this heads-up.)

I'm not the one who's so far away when I feel the snakebite enter my veins
reileen: (Default)
From Yahoo!News: Modern pagans honor Zeus in Athens

A clutch of modern pagans honored Zeus at a 1,800-year-old temple in the heart of Athens on Sunday — the first known ceremony of its kind held there since the ancient Greek religion was outlawed by the Roman empire in the late 4th century.

The group that organized this ritual, Ellinais, apparently has already "won a court battle for state recognition of the ancient Greek religion and is demanding the government register its offices as a place of worship, a move that could allow the group to perform weddings and other rites." I would be very interested in seeing a Hellenic Pagan wedding ritual. I wouldn't doubt that it's been done before, but to see it gain this type of attention would be something that I'd like to follow.

and my hands are cold tonight, but the sky is bright with stars


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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