Welcome back! We hope you had a great weekend. This week for Pagan News Beagle's Airy Monday section we take a look at what is arguably the biggest pop culture phenomenon of our times: Comic Con! We share a number of stories from the cross-media extravaganza held at the end of last week, including new details about Once Upon a Time, The Legend of Korra, and Warcraft. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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I'm not the most recon of Loki's followers (I'm sure some of you snicker snorted: GOOD), however, I do enjoy sumbel - yes I know, Wiki, but I lack the spoons to vet heathen sites for racist, folkish bullshit today, so you're getting the wiki. If you need a non-Wiki recon take on Loki worship, read Nono's blog entry on it. Anywho, the practice of Lokabrenna celebrations in July/early August are a modern Lokean practice.
I'm fortunate enough to live near a number of Lokeans - one of my distance kindred members actually wondered aloud recently "why are there so many Lokeans in Florida?"...
Almost everyone has health issues now and again. Some unlucky folks have chronic pain or disabilities, or are surprised with a sudden unpleasant diagnosis that turns their lives upside down. Whether it is something small and annoying or large and disruptive, health issues can a pain in the, well, pain.
Those who have to deal with such things (me included) use whatever tools they can to help themselves heal. Sometimes that means doctors and medicine, sometimes it means increasing your exercise and changing your diet, or taking up meditation, or making sure your life is more balanced. For anything major, it usually means all of those and more....
These past few months have been filled with changes. Changes that have occurred at all levels of my life and brought with them joy, stress, worry, sorrow and all of the things that make us uniquely and fully human.
My life is full and complicated, so change upsets the perfectly ordered and balanced energy that keeps everything moving as it should. One of my greatest joys has always been my children and I loved that they were close in age (5 under 5, at one point), and gave little thought to the idea that they would also be leaving the nest, one right after the other. My husband and I raised our children to find their own paths and follow with passion what inspired them. So, true to this course, our eldest daughter, son and newly graduated youngest daughter are all living on the West Coast. Our twins will soon follow, leaving Pa. and pursuing a medical residency for one and Vet school for the other in parts yet to be determined. Each departure has reminded me of the changeable role as Mother and the necessary release of what we have nurtured so that these beautiful creations may find their own journey of creation....
I was sitting in a circle discussion on the Sunday morning of a recent Buddhist retreat when the word 'aggression' came up and was decried as a thing that ought to be scoured out of our minds if we want to create an enlightened society. I disagreed and reclaimed the word 'aggression' with a liberal dose of straightforward humor, whereupon it was suggested to me that (1) 'aggression' was the wrong word for what I was describing, and (2) I'd 'get it' eventually if I just kept working on myself. This while one of the men in the circle tittered and exchanged sidelong glances with another man as I spoke. Of course these responses were problematic, especially since much of the conversation was about the aggression, assertiveness and strength of women. But I understood them, coming as they did from basically good people at a Buddhist retreat who were working toward peace. Still, they reminded me of the reasons why I'm not a Buddhist.
This morning I started a pot of soup. The beef shanks came from a farm where the cows live on grass or hay and, during the summer at least, they spend their days outside in broad fields. The family that runs the farm has been raising and selling meat for a long time. They are all business in their farm store, perhaps even taciturn. But they are efficient, and their prices make up for any perceived grumpiness. But back to the soup…
The shanks get roasted in the oven and then left in the crock pot for a few hours to make stock (damn, I forgot to put in some onions! But there’s time for that.) Then the meat is picked off the bones, and set aside while veggies cook in the stock, and finally the meat goes back in. It’s a slow process. While I do have the capacity to whip up a quick meal – I keep organic frozen veggies handy and often take a day to make frozen entrees ahead of time – soup is just best if one takes some time.
The lush smell of it, the warmth on a single digit day, and the balance of flavors are all important, but the care that went into the making brings just at much to the table. It takes time and attention not just to make the soup, but to choose the ingredients. I’m picky about food. I want my food to be clean and grown by people who care. Some of it I grow myself because I love my garden and I do some canning and other food preservation because it saves us money. The soup is not just ingredients, it is time and labor, not just the act of making, but the labor that paid for the ingredients. How we spend our time and labor shows what we love.
And this is where it gets complicated.
Welcome back to Faithful Friday! This week we've done something a bit unusual and have gathered several stories about the irreligious, rather than the faithful. Follow below to read about the rising number of atheist politicians, the blow dealt to lawmakers concerned with religious law by Obergefell v. Hodges, and the impact of "nones" (the religiously unaffiliated) on the modern Republican Party of the United States. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!