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Day 01 → Your favorite song
Day 02 → Your favorite movie
Day 03 → Your favorite television programme
Day 04 → Your favorite book
Day 05 → Your favorite quote

Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 → A photo you took
Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 → A fictional book
Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Day 15 → A fanfic
Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 → A talent of yours
Day 20 → A hobby of yours
Day 21 → A recipe
Day 22 → A website
Day 23 → A YouTube video
Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
Day 27 → This month, in great detail
Day 28 → This year, in great detail
Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy

When I was in eighth grade I went through an embarrassing Wiccan phase. This was at least partially because I'd seen The Craft and thought that Fairuza Balk was really cool. It was also because I wanted to piss off my dad. I spent a lot of time haunting Halifax's single New Age store (where everything smells like patchouli and a single crystal costs twenty million dollars), reading Tarot cards (badly), and attempting to cast spells in my bedroom using a stick and some garlic powder.* For about a year I basically embodied every teenage Wiccan cliche in the book (Wicca is the world's OLDEST RELIGION! Christians are all oppressing me by being Christian! My devotion to the Goddess is best expressed by reading epic fantasy novels and drawing pentagrams at the top of all of my homework assignments! Etc, etc) and whined and pretended to hex people and was basically a blight on the face of the earth.**

Then, the summer after eighth grade, I read this book.

Photobucket


Whether or not The Great Cosmic Mother can actually be classed as nonfiction is maybe a little iffy- you have to take a helluva lot of leaps of faith when you read it- but at the time at which I discovered it it was the most crazy mind-bending thing I'd ever read that wasn't a novel. At that point I was just starting to identify, pretty tentatively, as a feminist; this book tipped me over the edge and into full-on radical territory. It also helped me develop a much deeper, richer understanding of the Divine than the one I'd had before, not just because it was so adamant about God being a woman*** but because it addressed the ways in which "woman" as a thing didn't have to be limited to what I'd been taught to see as "feminine." (Ex: this book was the first I'd ever read that said anything about the Sacred Androgyne or the third gender, which, since I was also starting to question my own gender and gender as a social construct, was a Big Fucking Deal.) The type of "woman-centric" religions I'd been exposed to up to that point were all about duality- the God is the sky, the Goddess is the earth, the God is active, the Goddess is passive, the God is masculine, the Goddess is feminine, blah blah blah sacred polarities balancing energies blabitty blabitty blah****- and this book helped me get beyond that without having to give up on the whole thing altogether. And it was just fucking cool.

My Wiccan phase pretty much ended that year, a little while after reading this book, and I've forgotten most of the other things that ~blew my mind at that time. But this one is still important to me.


* I figured if you can substitute powdered herbs for fresh ones in cooking you can do it during rituals as well. Turns out it doesn't actually work like that!

** Not all Wiccans are like this, obviously. Not even all teenage Wiccans are like this. But I was a dumbass teenage Wiccan.

*** Which, for whatever reason(s), is still an important part of my own piecemeal wishy-washy spirituality today. Probably it has to do with my relationship with my mother, or something.

**** Please note: if the idea of two very separate, distinctly gendered deities is a big part of your personal faith, that is fine. But man, it is so very, very Not My Thing. Also, my understanding of Wicca was a religion at that point was formed mostly by the websites I found on the subject (all terrible!) and the few books I could hunt down in the public library (even worse!), plus the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (oh my God what WAS that bullshit!). So there was probably a lot about it that just did not properly register with me. Hear you me, kids: if you want to convert to a new religion, READ THE RIGHT BOOKS.
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Questions for... well, everyone, I guess:

1) How big is the gap between Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism? (From what I understand the two overlap a lot. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

2) What is the Baptist Church's official stance re:stigmata? (Any info about the Baptist Church would be useful, actually- I know very little about it.)

3) What does it feel like to have a nosebleed? (I've never had one.)

4) How do you know when "coffee" is not just coffee but coffee? (Because I just made plans to go for coffee with a friend, but I think said friend may be under the impression that these plans are for coffee instead of coffee. And, um, that could be problematic!)

5) How much does Thomas Hobbes suck? (Like, a lot, right?)

This list brought to you by the Gerald Doesn't Wanna Finish Hir Philosophy Paper Wildlife Fund.

ETA: From the essay I am currently writing on Hobbes' theory of the state of nature:

"Hobbes would have us believe that people tend not to murder their children because of the power of law and the state, but this is nonsense: anyone who has ever been in the same room with a fussy baby for more than ten minutes is sure to wonder why its parents do not simply drop it into the nearest lake and tell the authorities that dingoes ate it."

I don't even care if I am grossly misrepresenting Hobbes here,* I am not cutting that sentence.

* I am, but only because I don't like him.
ishyface: (hmm)
Have any of you ever attended any kind of Christian summer camp/retreat/youth group/etc? What was it like? Did you enjoy it? Were/are you religious? I've been thinking about my experiences at Jesus camp recently and wondering what other people's experiences were like in comparison. (I may write a long, rambling story about that at some later date. Or I may just write a book about it. Who knows, really.)

Comments are screened, so be as honest as you like.

Question!

Oct. 11th, 2009 02:56 pm
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Can anybody recommend any books, sites, etc. on Dianic Wicca that aren't either all "look at these manhaters hatin' on the menz!" or "KILL THE DICKS"? I've been interested in paganism for years- even had a brief, kind of embarrassing ~*~sparkly Wiccan~*~ phase back in junior high- and I've found myself increasingly drawn to Goddess worship lately, at least in theory, but some of the resources I've found on the subject have been... er... sketchy.

(This is one of the few exceptions. Oh, Monica Sjoo, I love you despite your weird anti-BDSM tirades.)

There's a pagan society at MUN that I've been meaning to check out as well, but they're more oriented towards more mainstream Wicca, with the sacred dualities and the Horned God and the Maiden-Mother-Crazy Cat LadyCrone thing. Which is fine and good and more power to them, but doesn't appeal to me as a genderqueer person.
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Today in Sci Fi and Fantasy we were discussing (for a given value of "discussing"- nobody ever talks in that class) Connie Willis's Doomsday Book, which is about time travel and the plague and other nifty things. About half the book takes place in the Middle Ages around Christmastime, and one scene involves the Christmas liturgy.

Professor Walsh: So what's the message of the liturgy in this scene?
Class: ...
Crickets: *chirp*
Professor Walsh, frustrated: Oh, come on.
Class: ...
Someone in the back: *cough*
Professor Walsh: Whatever you're thinking, it's probably right! This is an easy one. What was the message of the Christmas mass?
Ish: *tentatively raises hand* ... Jesus was born and it was awesome?

Ish: simplifying Christianity since 1988.

And then Trnka explained Hobbes' views on equal rights thusly: "Equality sucks, because then everybody gets an equal opportunity to try and kill you." Oh, Hobbes. You're the Eeyore of philosophy.

To be honest, though, I'm kind of hating school right now. This is mostly due to Grammar. I haven't worked so hard at a class in ages- I study, I take meticulous notes, I go to the teacher for extra lessons, but my average so far is still a 60. :/ It's frustrating, especially since I don't know why I'm doing so badly.

Although it may be partly due to a phenomenon I've only recently noticed- namely, that I seem to have a radio station playing in my head at all times. Here's how that works:

Ish: *sits down* Okay, Self, today is the day you pull it all together. You are going to pay attention. You are going to get good grades. You are not going to zone out and think about Pete Wentz or his baby.
Prof: Good morning, class! Today we are going to learn about-
Ish's Own Personal Radio Station: WWWWWWWWWWWWELCOME BACK TO ANOTHER FORTY MINUTE MUSIC MARATHON! Today we'll be playing a distracting selection of hip and groovy tunes that will get stuck in your head forever and drown out whatever the hell that guy's saying! *plays "Take Me Out," "Dancing Queen," entire Beatles catalogue*
Ish: :)
Prof: - and that's absolutely everything you need to know to pass the final exam. Bye!
Ish: :(

Does that happen to everyone or is it just me? Just me? Okay.
ishyface: (kiss my sass)
... ostensibly to register for courses, but really to tell you all THIS.

Camper: *pokes head into kitchen* All right, perogies! Keep up the good work, ladies! *looks at me* And... uh... gentleman...?

GENDERFUCKING AT CHURCH CAMP. \o/

Also, there is a list on the board to my right entitled "5 Things You Should Know About Christianity." They are as follows:

1. Be nice to others.
2. Jesus is the son of God.
3. Love thy neighbour.
4. Get presents on Christmas.
5. Eat chocolate on Easter.

Christmas presents: less important than loving your neighbour, but only just.
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Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] elorie:

God in the dust: What Catholics attacking 'The Golden Compass' are really afraid of

This view of Dust echoes many of the theological ideas that the Catholic Church finds threatening today. The most obvious thread is liberation theology, the Marxist and socially progressive rereading of the Gospels born among Catholic theologians in Latin America in the 1960s. Liberation theology teaches that Jesus is a political revolutionary who loves all that God has created and wants all creation to flourish on this earth, not just in heaven. Liberation theology also holds that believers should disregard doctrine that leads to oppression.

I'd never interpreted His Dark Materials as theistic, but it's certainly food for thought, and I love that the books can be interpreted in so many different ways. I think that Philip Pullman and authors like him* are the only people who actually respect children- they write complex, dark, multi-faceted works and assume that children are not only capable of enjoying them, but understanding them.

I mean, I'm sure the people protesting HDM would prefer their children to read Curious George Uses The Potty, or something like it. But they're going to watch them grow up and wonder why they don't want to read, and I will point and laugh. And then buy good books for my nieces and nephews.

(I'm still not going to see the movie, though. The book's built up so much in my head I'd only be disappointed, and anyway, I can't do Nicole Kidman post-The Hours.)

* Madeleine L'Engle, Lemony Snicket, Michael Ende, Terry Pratchett when he writes kids' books, Neil Gaiman with Coraline... I definitely need to read more good, thoughtful kid books.

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