The world mourns another fallen star in the wake of Alan Rickman's death. The new video game Dreamfall Chapters: Book Four is reviewed. And Wonder Woman's childhood on Paradise Island is revealed in a new comic. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in pop culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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“If there is one chant in the universe it is to create.”
–Chris Griscolm quoted in Nicole Christine, p. 25
If you have ever eavesdropped on a conversation between my husband and me around the clamor of our four children’s voices, you will hear me making a tired lament: “All I want is a broad swath of uninterrupted time.” In listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, on audio book I was interested by her mention that many creative people lament not having long stretches of uninterrupted time available in which to work. She quotes a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, lamenting his lack of time and how he is always pulled “hither and thither by circumstances.” Melville said that he longed for a wide-open stretch of time in which to write. She says he called it, “the calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose.”
…I do not know of any artist (successful or unsuccessful, amateur or pro) who does not long for that kind of time. I do not know of any creative soul who does not dream of calm, cool, grass-growing days in which to work with- out interruption. Somehow, though, nobody ever seems to achieve it. Or if they do achieve it (through a grant, for in- stance, or a friend’s generosity, or an artist’s residency), that idyll is just temporary—and then life will inevitably rush back in. Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration. Reality’s demands are constantly pounding on the door and disturbing them. On some other planet, in some other lifetime, perhaps that sort of peaceful Edenic work environment does exist, but it rarely exists here on earth. Melville never got that kind of environment, for instance. But he still somehow managed to write Moby-Dick, anyhow.
Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB
In some ways, I’m glad I wasn’t in CT when Hurricane Sandy ripped through our lives. I have had enough stress in my life, that my adrenals are no longer high functioning. Too much, and I’m a wreck for days. But I’m almost sorry I missed seeing the land spirits save our house.
Gardening is one very effective way of connecting with land spirits, and I’ve been doing that since I moved to Connecticut. We don’t own the wooded lot behind our house, and because our own plot is tiny, we had lots of shade. I longed to grow vegetables, but made do with cherishing native shade perennials. Growing these is a slow process. They take years to spread, and I lost some of what I put in to slugs. My long term goal was to spread them into the woods where non-natives had taken over. I spent a lot of time outside talking to trees, and plants. As my spiritual practice became more defined, I set up a cupped stone as a place to leave libations for the land spirits....
In recent years “the Sacred Feminine” has become interchangeable with (for some) and preferable to (for others) “Goddess” and “Goddess feminism.” The terms Goddess and feminism, it is sometimes argued, raise hackles: Is Goddess to replace God? And if so why? Does feminism imply an aggressive stance? And if so, against whom or what?
In contrast, the term “sacred feminine” (with or without caps) feels warm and fuzzy, implying love, care, and concern without invoking the G word or even the M(other) word--about which some people have mixed feelings. Advocates of the sacred feminine stand against no one, for men have their “sacred feminine” sides, while women have their “sacred masculine” sides as well.
Nothing lost, and much to be gained. Right? Wrong.
When Goddess feminism emerged onto the scene, it had a political edge. It was about women affirming, as Meg Christian crooned in “Ode to a Gym Teacher,” that “being female means you still can be strong.” Goddess feminism arose in clear opposition to patriarchy and patriarchal religions. It was born of an explicit critique of societies organized around male domination, violence, and war; and of the male God or Gods of patriarchal religions as justifying domination, violence, and war. In this context, “the sacred masculine” was not understood to be a neutral or positive concept. To the contrary, the male Gods of patriarchy were understood to be at the center of symbol systems that justify domination.