• There never was an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    Good Omens

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Other Blogs

  • Opet Again
    Just popping in to remind everyone that with the Opet season upon us again, the Emboatening Crew is still rolling to support Kiva loans. (My office renovations are going well if slowly, so who knows if that means I’ll get more work done when they’re done.)
  • CowOfGold Moving
    An update on my previous post: Cow of Gold will have a new home here when the maintainer has a chance to put up the site again (with some revisions, apparently).
  • Minor Call for Nerdy Action
    I know I’ve been profoundly absent for a while – my research stuff has gone a bit by the wayside – but I wanted to bring something to people’s attention: The Egyptian mythology/symbology resource “Cow of Gold is hosted on Wikispaces, which is Going Away. Not all of the pages of Cow of Gold are […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

Remembrance

I didn’t do anything in particular to mark the Beautiful Festival of the Western Valley this year (25 May on my calendar) because I am buried under so much of everything that I barely know what month it is, let alone when the holidays fall. It did strike me, yesterday, how interesting it was that it fell so close to Memorial Day this year.

I’ve long described the Beautiful Festival as “a cross between Samhain and Mardi Gras”: the Veil is thin, the dead walk among us; have a flower garland, drink the good intoxicating drink! I’ve been doing some reading, quietly: stories about loss, of the beloved dead, of fallen soldiers, of others.

I’ve been thinking about Portland.

I’ve been thinking about the ways in which the modern pagan movement and the products of Naziism are two branches off the same oh so complicated tree, emerging from the same zeitgeist. I’ve been thinking about an “anti-monotheist” with runic imagery pulling a knife on people who tried to stop him from threatening two young women of color, one of them a hijabi, killing two of them and severely wounding a third.

(And I’ve been thinking about a young black man murdered by a white supremacist. A homeless black man murdered by another one. Charleston. The “mysterious deaths” of several black judges. I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking.)

I’ve been thinking about how, when it’s a white man who does the thing, people leap to “mentally ill” and “lone wolf”. And I’ve been thinking about stochastic terrorism.

I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about any of this.

There’s a bit of European folklore, that takes a number of forms depending on the region, which may derive from older polytheisms: this idea that the Devil steals from us, takes away our harvest, our fertility, our hope. The Devil steals from us, with the help of those of the Devil’s party, robbing life from the world, and if we are going to live, we must ourselves go into Hell and take it back.

I think about that a lot, too.

The veil is thin. The dead walk among us.

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow.

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