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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Lurker in the Lake

Did you know that there's a giant octopus in Lake Erie?

One that has wrecked ships and been responsible for hundreds of mysterious disappearances over the years?

To the uninitiated, this eldritch being is generally, unimaginatively, known as the Erie Octopus, but those of a, shall we say, darker disposition call this Old One instead by his true name: Yog-Nazathog.

High school was a great time to discover to world of Lovecraft. At the time we lived in Erie, Pennsylvania, AKA New Arkham (after the witch-hunts of the late 17th century, the most stalwart worshipers of the Old Ones fled west, and founded a port on the southern shores of Lake Erie), so as a budding writer, naturally I wrote about what I knew.

The story itself is long gone. (I don't think I actually called it The Lurker in the Lake, but I may have.) It took the form of a series of letters from various people that eventually revealed the usual Lovecraftian Dark Powers poised and ready to spring just beneath the outer layer of seeming reality, italicized last sentence and all.

With the cruel superiority of adolescence, a friend and I used to terrorize his little brother with tales of the Erie Octopus. There you'd be, standing on the cliff looking out over the lake, when suddenly you'd feel it: the tentacle around your waist, gripping inexorably, lifting you up off your feet, lifting, pulling, and you scream, scream....

Poor little Larry believed implicitly in the Erie Octopus. One day, down at the Lake, we really had him going.

“Ohmigod, look, there it is....!" "The Octopus!" "It's coming in!" "Shit: run, run, run!”

We ran.

Finally Larry's mom made us stop. He was beginning to be afraid of the Lake. When you live near a body of water, you have to respect it, but you can't fear it.

Oh, but then came a night. Payback, you could call it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Those days were the beginning and end of my Lovecraft period. Since then, I've found his writing pretty much unreadable. I do sti
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading Lovecraft back in the 70's. I even have that book of his poems "Fungi from Yuggoth" around somewhere. In the
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    When living in Berkeley years ago, and frequently seeing friends at Chaosium, I designed maps for Call of Cthulhu. It was great fu
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, my dear Mr. Azedius, I've sometimes wondered why pagans are so often drawn to Cthulhuiana. Personally, I suspect a little se

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bring on the Blackthorn!

This wild and weird winter. It has been coldier and snowier than usual in Ireland. And what snow we got was POWDER, instead of the wet stuff that automatically turns our lane into an ice rink. Normally, winter is - should be, OUGHT to be - a time of going within and hibernation. But not the winter of 2018! This first quarter has rocketed. It has jetted through time zones and international datelines.

That's a metaphor actually. I have strayed no further than county Mayo at March New Moon. It's just been very, very busy.

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Everything's better with Parsley on it

            "Remember the parsley," Stephen said as I got out the eggs to make scrambled eggs for supper.

I nodded and smiled. "I have some in the 'Fridge, already cut up.    

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MOUSE FAMILY: Examine Life’s Lessons

Mice have taken up residence in my kitchen. The old building that I live in is a haven for snakes and mice with my kitchen being a thoroughfare. Of course, I wondered what message the mice have to tell me. 

Mice are natural archivists. Besides storing seeds, they carefully line their nests with grasses. Using the materials at hand, their nest becomes a time capsule of their home area. In cities, mice nests are treasure troves for archeologists. These nests contain bits and pieces of paper, buttons, and other historical objects.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Are You Doing for New Moon?

In the year 691 the emperor Justinian II convoked what has come to be known as the Quinsext Council.

Bishops from all over the Christian world gathered near Constantinople to pass 85 different canons, mostly of a disciplinary nature.

A clergyman may not own a tavern. No one may have a Jewish doctor or “consort with Jews in the baths.” It is forbidden to give communion to the dead.

Of special interest to pagans is Canon 65: It is prohibited to build New Moon bonfires.

New Moon bonfires.

In “a world lit only by fire,” the Moon is important. Nights are dark without the Moon. So when she comes back from her three-nights' sojourn in the Underworld, what you do?

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My Psycards Story OR How I Got Into This Crazy Business


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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Catt Foy
    Catt Foy says #
    Update: Today Nick Hobson officially declared me the "boss" of Psycards International. I am proud to take the helm to continue t
A Technology of Connectivity: New Light on Animal Sacrifice

Exciting new scholarship is exploding many of the old “myths” about animal sacrifice and casting fresh light onto the origins and meanings of this ancient and—to many of us today—mysterious practice.

Some findings from the emerging new consensus on the topic:

Animal sacrifice is a phenomenon of pastoral and agricultural societies. Hunters-gatherers don't practice animal sacrifice. (Think about it: how could they?) Of course, they do make offerings; hunters may set aside the god's portion from their kill. But in virtually all known examples, animal sacrifice comprises the offering and sharing of a domestic animal.

Animal sacrifice is not a “primitive” phenomenon. The old “evolutionary” paradigms for understanding the history of religions broke down long ago. Some religions sacrifice; some don't. The absence of animal sacrifice in contemporary Judaism and Christianity is due to specific developments in the history of these particular religions, which cannot properly be generalized to other religions.

There is no single reason for, or meaning of, animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifice is polysemous: it means different things to different people. It may mean something different to every single person attending any given sacrifice. Previous theorists attempting to extract a single origin, purpose, or meaning for animal sacrifice were mistaken. While it makes sense to compare sacrificial practice across cultures, there are no universals when it comes to meaning.

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