Nice profile of me by the Dallas Observer today, for their Counterculture Dallas issue.
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You know, gods turn up in the strangest places.
There I'll be, stopped at a light, thinking wholly unsacred thoughts.
And then I'll look up and there He'll be, looking me straight in the eye: the Ram that Walks on Two Legs. The Guy with the Horns. Giving me that Speaking Look.
Like they do.
Now the fact that a decidedly unsacred American auto manufacturer should choose the Ram ("You are a ram, lord, greatly to be praised") as its—shall I say—sigil for a popular model makes this neither an unlikely experience, nor (one might think) a particularly sacred one.
And yet. And yet.
After my 2 wedding visions, I was no longer sure where I would go when I die. For 25 years I had expected to go to Freya in Folkvangr. I had previously had a brief glimpse of Odin appearing to me at death, as I related in my post Seeing My Own Death in the Runes, but I had not really thought that I would go to him because I thought his humans went to Valhalla, and Valhalla was only for the battle dead. I don't expect to die in battle, and I would not really want to join the army after death anyway, and that's what going to Valhalla means. It's not Heaven or Paradise, it's a training base for the Last War. It did not sound appealing to me.
I didn't want to fight on the other side either. I had always expected to sit out the Last War, as Freya's dead humans are not prophesied to participate in it. I always pictured Folkvangr as a place where both battle dead and some other types of people went. And cats. I pictured cats....
J.K. Rowling reacts to fans' reactions about the casting of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Jason Mankey makes some interesting suggestions for "witchy" shows on TV. And one writer takes a look at how The Witcher series' approach to magic and monsters is different from that of other fantasy settings. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
I was a professional barista in my past life.* My job was more than just an after school or part-time college gig, and I was far more competent than those who steam milk into huge soap suds, who pull watery and weak shots of espresso, and who pump drinks full of syrup and sugar. I was bona fide. I had been trained by the best, award winning baristas in the area. I read all of the latest coffee trade news and gossip. I worked 40+ hours a week. My cappuccinos were crafted to such perfection that all of the Italians in town would come flocking to the shop, bringing with them their friends and family visiting from Europe. “The best cappuccino in town,” they’d say, as I poured the perfect micro-foam in the shape of delicate hearts, tulips, swans, or rosettas. I went to trade shows, conferences, and competitions. I had a job with benefits. I was a professional.
But those days are far, far behind me. I’m proud of my barista skills and training, but I am relieved that I no longer have to bust my butt for rude customers, demanding management, and lazy coworkers. I don’t smell like milk or coffee grounds, and my arms aren’t dotted with burns or rashes from constant exposure to scalding hot machines or water. It’s been years since I’ve slung espresso. Much to my consternation, however, when I’m feeling particularly anxious or dealing with an especially troubling conundrum, my unconscious and dreaming mind often returns me to coffee shops and cafes. In my dream worlds, coffee has become a literal manifestation of my anxiety....
Three years ago, I sat up most of the night in front of my computer, watching the debate on HB2, one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws, live-streamed from the floor of the Texas Legislature. That was the night of Wendy Davis's courageous filibuster, and although I had been unable to drive to Austin to be part of the Unruly Mob in person, I was glued to the proceedings. In between watching debate, tweeting out and Facebooking links, and talking to my fellow activists who were terrified that this bill would pass and essentially end access to abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare in Texas, I was silently thanking my high school debate coach for teaching me parliamentary procedure and how to "flow" debates. In the end, the Republican senators broke the chamber rules and voted the bill in just past midnight. Another special session would be called, and the bill would become law. It effectively closed the majority of abortion providers in Texas -- many of which also provided other vital healthcare.
Today, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down that law, citing two provisions -- that all abortion providers meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and that all abortion providers have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles -- as placing an undue burden on those seeking abortion care....
Due to a long-standing love, I began a project writing Tarot spreads based on fairy tales. That love also led me to a project with Lisa Hunt that is being published by U.S. Games this summer (2016). That is a Lenormand deck. I'm coming to an appreciation and understanding of Lenormand because of that and due to a class I took from the World Lenormand Association.