Now, I know a lot of people like to tout Samhain as the pagan new year, but for me, my year always sort of starts on Imbolc. I think of it as "time to make the doughnuts," in a way. It marks the end of my hibernation.
This year in particular is going to be a very big one for me- it marks the biggest Witchcraft 101 class I've taught in ten years, and it also marks the last of that series I'll be teaching for a while. For the last decade, I've dedicated myself to the education of witches in the basics, teaching everything from healing and conjuration to ritual practice and different models of deity work.
I've had a huge love for this work. It has been the single most rewarding thing about my career- the ability to watch people come to know the wonder inside of them, to help them grow into gifts and strengths they didn't know they had. It's been a blessing.
Season's Greetings from the Geekomancer's desk, everyone!
Now, I know this season is not always holly-jolly for everyone, sometimes thanks to religious issues or philosophical differences, sometimes due to more practical or emotional concerns. That's why I thought it might be helpful to show you how this pop culture witch celebrates the Winter Solstice, in hopes that it will assist you in finding new and innovative ways to deal with this, the most (expletive) time of the year.
As some of you may know, I am a former Grinch/Scrooge/whatever. I used to have a very hard time with the holidays, and only by the grace of a very persistent friend with diabolical cookie powers am I able to now enjoy the Holiday Spirit without flinching. That being said, I'm still a very non-standard pagan, and my witchcraft is unorthodox even to other witches. So, it took me quite a while to find (really, build from semi-scratch) a way for me to relate to and celebrate the season.
Not too long ago, I worked a booth at a local anime convention, where we sold magically useful things for people who practice geekomancy. I also read cards and dice from my various geek-centric magical traditions, and actually did really well. I could wish every gig was that successful (although really I've had pretty great luck with events, to be honest).
Anyway, I was chatting with a friend of mine about it, and he brought up a question that I think he'd been meaning to ask me for a while. We've been friends for a long time, studied quite a bit in the same vein, and he never really "got it."
I told you all in my previous article on wands that they were my favorite tool, and I wasn't kidding. I've always loved the idea of waving a wand and casting a spell. I used to carry around wands, staves, and rods as a kid- some made of driftwood, some more ornate deals of crystal and metal. It helps having a mother who was a sci-fi fan and also essentially pagan, when one is secretly training to become a first-class sorcerer and witch. That was my ambition as a child, and honestly I'm rather happy with how things turned out.
But I digress- the point is, I've had wands of all shapes and sizes since I was very young. And one thing always used to drive me crazy about them.
There wasn't ever an instruction manual on how to use them!
This week has been very busy here in Geek Central, NV. Pokemon X and Y just came out, and three of us have been exploring the wild world of strange talking animals for quite a while. This isn't actually terribly unique, considering that six months out of the year, there's a heavy amount of obsession over My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
In this house, a geeky obsession is more than a sudden-and-inevitable commitment of time and finances. It's a chance at initiation into some of the magicks of the world.
While sitting here and watching two of my boys froth over their Pokemon battles, I myself was exploring the online wikis for these games, learning about their legends. There were, of course, the expected stats: growth and evolution progressions, abilities and special skills, elemental types...
It's probably no surprise that I'm a huge fan of parodies and satire, or the various "-ifications" on the net (yes, I know that's not a word, I'm using it anyway).
I really enjoy it when people get creative about their interpretations of things- the creative world is too broad and vast for us to get terribly proprietary over our ideas. Copyright infringement and patent laws and such really bug me. Of course, I like the reversal of such things, like Repo: the Genetic Opera, which is not even terribly tongue in cheek in its commentary on commercialism in health care.
The reason I enjoy these things, far beyond the satirical and political commentary holding people accountable through mockery, is the actual creative genius of world-building. Taking a simple trope or theme, like maybe a memorable scene from a movie or book, and recreating it as a sitcom episode with the cast of Friends, for example.