alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
I finished reading Witch Light by Susan Fletcher last night. This book was a bit of revelation for me. The plot is engaging and heartbreaking in places but the real triumph is the witch's voice narrating it. In Corrag, Fletcher has created exactly the sort of witch Marian Green is trying to teach people to be in her A Witch Alone and Natural Witchcraft books. To my mind, this book is to natural/green witchcraft what The Mists of Avalon is to Goddess worship. Corrag is exactly the witch I want to be and hers is the Craft that spoke to me as a child, the reason that finding paganism was like coming home.

I'm very amused by the interviewer in the extra features at the end of my edition, who thinks the crazy Seer woman is the only 'real witch' in the book. Corrag might not be the 17th Century version of a 'real witch' but she's certainly one by modern pagan standards.
alithea: (We are all made of stars)
This is exactly the kind of hateful, patronising nonsense that makes me think I should really get around to joining the Pagan Federation or some such.

I wouldn't mind if she was an atheist and thought all religions were silly but no, paganism is an absurd cult for fascists and crazies while her religion is the root of all morality!


Fortunately for me, while Ms Phillips' definition of a religion doesn't include paganism (or Buddhism for that matter!), the British legal system's definition does, so exactly the same legislation which forbids anyone discriminating against her because of her daft beliefs, also protects my rights to my daft beliefs, thank you very much. So she can rant all she likes but in the eyes of the Law, her religion isn't any more or less valid than mine and if she thinks that makes all beliefs equally meaningless, well, she said it, not me.

ETA:Whereas here is a nice informative article from the Telegraph

Further ETA: response by Emma Restall Orr as a representative of the Druid Network
And this Comment is Free article about the mad woman - apparently she's a global warming denier and a fan of Intelligent Design, I guess that means I should be flattered that she doesn't approve of paganism!


Mar. 19th, 2010 06:07 pm
alithea: (Default)
I'm feeling rather cheerful indeed this afternoon because it looks like my work contract is going to be extended until at least April next year, which is very handy money-wise, and the projects sound really interesting too so it might even be enjoyable! Also, I've written my paper for the meeting down in London next month and Pete said it was great and didn't make any alterations at all when he read it. I still have to prepare my presentation of course, but at least I've stopped having kittens at the very idea...

In other news, I finished reading An Echo in the Bone and spoilers... not anything I would describe as a major spoiler about what happens to any of the individual characters, but I'm warning you anyway )

Also, anyone who hasn't been watching The Wonders of the Solar System on BBC2 really should be. As someone with strong pantheist leanings, this programme has been a complete revelation to me (quite literally, when it comes to understanding why I'm so drawn to spirals as religious symbols over any of the more common pagan symbols), but you don't have to hold the Universe sacred to find this an awe-inspiring programme; it's definitely the best science programme I've ever seen. And very engagingly presented too. I'm also loving Mastercrafts, Caprica and Glee.
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
In a single sentence - What is the essence of your spiritual beliefs and/or principles?

Love the Universe, and act like it.
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
This is a pretty good article about the rise of Paganism in the UK, except for her insistance that Harry Potter helped make "pagan spirituality and mythology part of pop culture". Given that religion is completely absent from Harry's world, the books probably have less to do with pagan spirituality than any other books which include witches and magic that I can think of!

Hope everyone had a good Midsummer's Day yesterday. We didn't manage a countryside visit, but we did have a lovely little feast of Scottish lamb with roast spuds, and steamed carrots and leeks, followed by raspberries with creamy peach yoghurt, all accompanied by elderflower cordial. Yum, yum :)
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
I suspect I'm probably the only person who, in response to seeing Morris Dancers performing in town for the May Bank holiday, comes home, changes into my flounciest skirt and my green druid top (embroidered kaftan thingy with a big floppy hood), ties ribbons and feathers in my hair, and proceeds to start cleaning and rearranging my flat while dancing and singing along to very loud Levellers music!
alithea: (Red Inara (made by singingrl))
My hormones hate me this week, i've felt like crap for days and this morning, this was elevated to death warmed-up. Fortunately, a nice cuppa, two nurofen and a long, hot shower are a remarkable restorative, and i'm feeling much more human now.

Deadlands last night was eventful - nattering about the session - the End of the World is Nigh, Demons from Hell and beyond )

Speaking of demons and fantasy - for those of you who haven't discovered it yet via [ profile] thebirdwoman, I'd like to point you towards Dark Red - the webcomic as it's rather fine, in the vein of Neil Gaiman and others of a dark fantasy in the 'real' world bent. You can even get an insight into the artist's creative process over on her LJ [ profile] thedarkredblog.

There, that's my good deed for the day :) Now to plug my own artistic endeavours - chalice piccies will be going up on [ profile] gathering_bones shortly. After consulting with Mum last night, I'm turning my big tile into a decorative piece for her kitchen wall and the four small tiles are going to be Sabbat plaques so I need to get designing those. I may well be doing my bit for interfaith understanding next week, as i fully expect someone to ask me what I'm doing...

In the meantime, work and pottering today, Games night tomorrow, and vistation from [ profile] psychohoebeast, [ profile] daboss and LM on Sunday. Better finish my abandonned spring cleaning :) And I have daffodils - two glasses full in the lounge and a vase on my altar, lovely and bright, and spring-like *happy sigh*
alithea: (Drew lips (made by iconoclastism))
The entire of the pottery class are now convinced that I'm a breast-fixated lesbian, thanks mostly to [ profile] mcwoof being a complete wind-up merchant. I can't remember the last time I ever blushed soo much, and I was laughing so hard, it brought tears to my eyes. My obsession with making female figurines has been noted, and last night the teacher Anne, talked me into trying an actual statue (30-40 cm high) rather than ickle figurines, and there followed a lot of discussion and ribbing about the size of her breasts, and me spending about 30 mins trying to get them vaguely in proportion and a sensible shape. Of course, my obsession actually has far more to do with me being a Goddess worshipper than the fact that I'm attracted to women, but nevermind. Anyway, a Celestial Goddess statue is in progress, I need to decide details for next week and might post some design sketches on [ profile] gathering_bones if I can get some half decent images together. I also glazed my three chalices so *fingers crossed* they will turn out well. I've made a Spiral Chalice, a Triple Goddess Chalice, and a Rock Pool Chalice. I would have had 4 because i poured them in pairs, but using the molds two weeks in a row meant they stayed a bit damp and the fourth one broke when I tried to remove it, so I converted the cup part into a moon and stars tea light holder, which I can glaze next week when the new antique gold glaze is mixed up. I should also be able to glaze my bowls next week, as the blues and greens glaze is finally in too, having been on order since before christmas!

When I got home, the Lodger and i watched the first of the new series of Grand Designs, which led him to coin the fantastic term 'architec-porn' as they were doing up a 14th Century castle and we were both in fits of jealous ecstasy over it. So who wants to buy a castle with me, hm?? I'd *love* to buy one and have a bunch of us live together in it - I'd even learn to drive so we could lift share 'cos obviously it would have to be out in the countryside. Any takers? And yes, I am serious, you all knew i was a bit of a hippy, right? Maybe I should start playing the lottery...
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
Let this Heart,
Which has lain frozen too long
Under Winter's mantle,
Stir with the promise of Spring

Let a Fire be lit
And nurtured

Let this Heart,
Smouldering as yet,
Be reborn with the Sun
And burn as fiercely
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
Hmmm, yes, i don't like this new 'update journal' page format either :(


We have sunshine finally! From Saturday onwards, it has been cold, frosty and sunny with clear blue skies. Yay!

Have lots to do which is why I'm pratting around on here, my excuse being that my hair is only recently dry and now I should have lunch before I venture into the cold. At some point, there will probably be To-Do lists posted, book lists updated and a favourite roleplaying character meme written.

Apparently, according to my boss's newly invented jargon, I am a proto-modeller. According to a certain young man who is qualified to have an opinion, albeit a rather out of date one, I am also Sex on Legs when i want to be... I suppose I should stop hiding away next year and allow some new people to discover the wonder that is me *she says in a very light-hearted, somewhat sarcastic way, just incase you thought my head had swelled scarily*

The style gurus on [ profile] stylishly_yours are getting to me, I scared Alex on Saturday by starring at his eyes to see what colour they are and then lecturing him about how mustard doesn't match his skin tone ;) He did ask for my opinion before you all gasp in horror!

Hmmm, food, is that the time already??? Oh BTW, peeps over the pond, i'm afraid you'll have to make do with internet wishes or New Year cards 'cos i never got around to posting cards last week :(

Oh, one more thing because I'm curious. You lot are an electic mix of believers of various stripes and non-believers - what would be your take on a practicing pagan attending a church carol service on Christmas Eve?
alithea: (Red Inara (made by singingrl))
After a lazy weekend, aside from visitors and games on Saturday night, the week began well when I noticed a water leak in the boiler cupboard on Monday afternoon :( Made it to T'ai Chi anyway, since an old margarine tub was sufficient to contain it so not too bad. Didn't make it up to Aberdeen on Tuesday as heating guy said he could come round in the afternoon to fix said leak, so had a quick potter in town and then waited in for him. Had fun and games because they had to climb up into the loft to block the water pipe so they could replace the joint into the pump but is now sorted. I voiced my concern that such things come in threes (since the thermostat died last week) and was assured that everything else looked fine. *fingers crossed* the fact that the self-ignition switch on the hob has stopped working will account for 3 and nothing further will go wrong in the immediate future *touch wood* (yes, i'm feeling superstitious...)

Anyway, Wednesday managed to achieve 'naff all and still be half an hour late to pottery :( Realised that several days of not getting out much in daylight had meant my SAD had progressed from just not being able to get out of my bed in the mornings, to being flat, heavy and generally lacking in energy and enthusiasm. Not good :( Anyway, did eventually make it to pottery, although discovered that some stuff I made about 3 weeks ago was still in the cupboard drying and hadn't even been biscuit fired so the idea of making nearly all my pressies has gone out the window :(

Have spent the past 2 days out and about to combat SAD. Yesterday, went over to Amy's for lunch and chit-chat. My bodice is getting new longer laces and posh metal ends so that i loosen the side laces to pull it on and off, rather than unlacing it, and the belt for my new skirt is now a sensible length and i have a matching handbag from the spare fabric :) And today, went to Montrose festive shopping and managed to get the lads' Yule pressies and [ profile] mcwoof's Xmas pressie in a fab little shop, where I could have spent a fortune but settled for only treating myself to a wooden woven ring for decorating with stuff, leaves, ribbons etc and the like, as seasonally appropriate, and a really adorable baby brass bell for my altar. Which i must reset soon!

And busy weekend ahead too - Dunblane tomorrow for Helen & Chris's Xmas party, and round to June's on sunday for dinner and tree decorating :)

So hopefully, i'll have more energy by next week. Also, must go out before lunch everyday, if only to trudge round the park in the rain, and no pratting around on here until the afternoon! Still have family pressies, and a few friends to get, but at least i have some cards to write now. It's surprisingly hard to find nice charity seasons greeting cards...

anyway, dinner smells good. Have a good weekend!
alithea: (altar candle (please do not take))
Monty Don was on Start the Week on radio 4 this morning talking about a project to use working on a small holding to rehabilitate heroine-addict criminals and as he was talking about a spiritual connection to the soil, the land, and growing things, I think I grasped what Brian Day is presumably trying to get at with his book The Modern Pagan: How to live a natural lifestyle in the 21st century. When I saw this in the bookshop, i read the blurb which insisted that modern paganism had nothing to do with religion and was instantly turned-off. But a spiritual connection to the land and living things, and living in sync with natural cycles is a major aspect of pagan spirituality to me, that's what Earth-based means. And just because I recognise Goddess in the Land, the Cosmos and Nature, doesn't mean everyone has to have such a pantheistic worldview in order to have a spiritual connection to these things. I call it sacred and consider it Deity but if others feel reverence and awe and connection without Deity, does that really matter?

One of the major sticking points I always had back when I assumed I was Christian because I believed in a notion of 'God', was the idea that what you believed was more important than how you lived your life. I would never accept that what was important to God was that you believed in Him NOT that you lived your life in a way which honoured His creation and treated others like they were all His children. And that hasn't changed just because I realise my god is Goddess. We are all a part of Her, regardless of whether we recognise Her, other gods/goddesses, God, or Nature, or Humanity, and by honouring ourselves, each other, and this Land, we honour Her. And I'll always have far more respect for someone who rejects the notion of Deity but lives with reverence and love*, than for someone who claims they love 'God' but doesn't feel the need to manifest His love in their daily lives.

* provided they don't feel the need to shove their belief that Deity is a stupid idea and the root of all evil in the world down my throat, thank you very much.
alithea: (V ideas (made by garinungkadol))
Saturday was history day - Alex came over and we went to Pictavia, the Pict information centre at Brechin Castle. T'was interesting but mostly consisted of us picking holes in the information boards. I would love to know where they got their evidence from for the board about Pictish paganism, I suspect they mostly made it up but maybe I'll get around to attempting some research at some point. Also, the pro-Christian bias was most entertaining, especially since pre-Roman christianity was probably pretty unrecognisable to modern Christians, but apparently the coming of christianity allowed for a better system of hereditary kingship and allowed their society to advance and flourish, in a way which their traditional pagan system supposedly didn't. Hmmmm *sceptical face* I'd have liked to see some evidence of this, beyond an assumption that any christian system is obviously inherently superior! Then we went to Edzell Castle, which was intersting and less controversial :)
Also I bought mead, a candle holder and a late harvest/winter garland thingy. And saw the freakiest christmas decorations ever - fake stuffed animals and a Christmas tree which was like one of those toilet roll holder dollies, it had a head, torso and arms and then the tree part as a skirt and was about 6' tall!!

Watched the new Robin Hood in the evening. It didn't even try to be historical, half the cast have trendy haircuts and designer stubble, the first 'wench' to appear looked like her makeup had been applied with a trowel, and it had silly kungfu-esque combat and bizarre camera work, and was generally very silly. And apparently set to get sillier with Marian (no Maid anymore) becoming some kind of masked vigilante superhero. Okaaayyy. Think I'll be sticking with Robin of Sherwood thanks very much! The new series of Strictly Come Dancing started well though so at least there is something worth watching.

Yesterday, I pratted around doing naff all and then watched My Summmer of Love, which was good, in a strange sort of way, and just showed that playing games with people is a Very Bad Plan, especially if they are delusional or madly in love with you!

Today, Work, and this evening T'ai Chi, finally! And I should go out while the sun is still shining 'cos yesterday it had gone all grey again by the time I thought to move :(
alithea: (Imagination (made by celandineb))
I've updated my (fiction) book list for the year here. I read my first Barbara Erskine, an author recommended to me by Amazon because I read Diana Gabaldon, after finding one of her books for the vast sum of £1.49 in Oxfam, and thoroughly enjoyed it until it just stopped rather than having an ending :( Ah well. If you like part romance, part 'supernatural' thriller type books, you might enjoy her stuff. I put supernatural in inverted commas because if this one was anything to go by, they are about spirits and pagan-themed things rather than the vampires and werewolves which may come to mind for those of us who read supernatural fantasy books. The one I read was Egyptian and while I know next to nothing about Kemeticism (have i even spelt it right??), she certainly seemed to have done her research as far as depiction of modern paganism goes.

Anyway, time for lunch, i have a dentists appointment this afternoon so i have to head out in an hour to catch the bus.
alithea: (Bang (made by amiyuy))
Battlestar Galactica was fantastic last night, but when are we going to get season 3??? Apparently they were due to start filming last month...

The windows in the spare room are, helpfully, too tall for standard blinds, but fortunately you can buy 90' x 90' ready-made curtains.

The flat is a complete tip, desperately needs vaccuuming, and I have a stack of washing up to do before I even start on the spare room, so flat-wrangling calls - can't concentrate amongst all this mess!

Also, when I get time, I want to make an Offering Tree for my room. And my first birthday pressie arrived this morning :)
alithea: (Red Inara (made by singingrl))
Had a very civilised weekend :)

Friday, I ended up cooking chicken and pepper fusili, which was rather delicious if I do say so myself

recipe here if anyone is interested )

There was good food, wine and chatting, all good :)

After Adam and Amy left, I was relaxed and in a happy grateful mood so I set up an altar and attempted impromptu ritual, spirituality rambling )

Anyway, Saturday Alex came over and we pottered in the Ferry and had lunch and then I went round to Small Mike & Aileen's with Adam, Amy and Bradley and spent a very pleasant evening chatting and enjoying some very nice red wine, and Sunday I enjoyed my left overs and the last of the wine from Friday night, relaxing in front of the Winter Olympics, and then played Nobilis. All very civilised, and on Monday I was even helpful and crafty as I went round to Amy's and helped bead the wedding outfits she's been working on. We're planning on starting a little craft circle soon, hopefully that will encourage me to actually *make* something rather than just think about it!

Now I just have to get back into work gear, too many late nights has been the only drawback to all this socialising and tired eyes and reading pdf files all day don't mix well. But all in all, given it's still February, I'm feeling surprisingly content, if not quite up to productive ;) Also, I'm a complete numpty because it only occured to me this morning that I could dump the junk that's destined for the tip in my shed rather than falling over it in the flat until someone has time to take it away for me!!

And while I'm here - [ profile] mcwoof Gillies have your furniture on sale until next week and do you fancy a film after work or a curry night if you're busy Saturdays for the foreseeable future? I'll try and catch you on the phone tonight. Hope the OU thing went well!
alithea: (Default)

You fit in with:

Your ideals are mostly spiritual, but in an individualistic way. While spirituality is very important in your life, organized religion itself may not be for you. It is best for you to seek these things on your own terms.

90% spiritual.
80% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

Hmmm, I was kinda surprised by having such a low 'faith' rating but then I guess, I do equate 'faith' more with 'spirituality' than anything else. And in this quiz, 'faith' basically seems to equate to 'belief in organised religion' so I doubt many pagans would score highly. It's interesting to consider what we define as faith though. I consider myself to have a great deal of faith because I am unshakeable in my belief that the Divine exists, but on the other hand, my understanding of Divinity is something which is inextricably linked with the world as we know it, and therefore not believing it exists, would be the same as not believing the universe existed. Which I guess is rather more 'reasoned' than what most people would call 'faith'.

It also brings up my age old bugbear about people refusing to accept that you can be scientifically minded AND spiritual. Many early scientists were religious men, they viewed their work as trying to understand the mind of God. Trying to understand the mysteries of the universe is only opposed to faith if you believe that God wants us all to be ignorant of the wonders around us and never question anything!

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