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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Living Deliciously

Wouldst thou live deliciously?

So the Dark Lord* whispers into Tamsin's ear, from behind, at the climax of Robert Egger's 2015 film The VVitch: A New-England Tale.

(Anyone who knows the Master well will recognize that nape-nuzzling whisper from behind.)

Forget all the nonsense about the Devil and temptation. We enter here into the realm of the Animal God.

See Him that we call the Horned as the collective body of animal life on planet Earth.** Embrace Him—embrace Life—and live deliciously.

Or reject Him and what He has to offer, and endure a joyless existence of crabbed misery.

“Buddha” was wrong. Yes, life is full of suffering, but there's joy, too. Embrace the Horned, embrace the life which as animals, is our inheritance by right. Embrace bodily existence, for all it's worth.

This is the gift of the Horned, lord of this world: the gift of a god.

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Why Black Phillip Eats the Lion from the Lion's Den

Every decade has its premier witch movie, and that of the twenty-teens (so far, anyway) is surely Robert Egger's 2015 The VVitch: A New-England Tale, in my opinion the finest filmic invocation of the Horned Master since Roman Polanski's 1999 The Ninth Gate.

So there are two recommendation for your next coven film night.

In The VVitch, young Jonas and Mercy sing a song with an eerie three-note tune about Black Phillip, their family's ornery he-goat and (as it later turns out) something more.

Black Phlllip, Black Phillip,

a crown grows out of his head.

Black Phillip, Black Phillip

to nanny queen is wed.

Jump to the fence post,

run to the stall:

Black Phillip, Black Phillip,

king of all.

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Thirteen Surprising Facts About 'The Wicker Man' (with Just a Wee Bit of Snarkiness from the Blogger)

Yes folks, it's time for your annual appointment with...the Wicker Man.

(No, not the one with Nicholas Cage!)

 

The role of Sergeant Howie was originally offered to actor Michael York. He turned it down.*

American composer Paul Giovanni, who wrote the film's strikingly memorable score, was the boyfriend of director Anthony Shaffer's brother Paul at the time. That's how Shaffer knew him.

Though set at Beltane, the film was actually filmed in mid-October. Between takes of the bonfire-leaping scene, the naked schoolgirls had to be bundled up in blankets to warm them up.

Because of the cold temperatures, while shooting many of the outdoor scenes, the actors had to hold ice cubes in their mouths so that their breath wouldn't smoke.

The blooming apple trees are all artificial. Because the budget was so tight, they had to keep moving the few trees that they had for the sweep shots of the orchards.

The phallic topiary, however, was all real. It was filmed at Hush House Manor in Kent, home of actor David Kennings (who had also been offered the role of Howie and turned it down).

Rowan and Howie's escape through the caves was shot at Wookey Hole caves in Somerset, home of the famous Witch of Wookey.

Edward Woodward (Howie) actually broke a toe on a rock while being dragged to the Wicker Man. (Technically, this injury should have disqualified him as a sacrifice, but of course—as their pastiche paganism suggests—these are neo-pagans we're talking about.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I don’t remember a Disney movie launching with as much controversy as this year’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.  First it was Emma Watson, a well known advocate for women’s causes, taking fire for playing the role of Belle, one of a long line of Disney Princesses who fall for the charms of a man (the term “man” used loosely in this case).  Then there were Christian groups advocating boycott of the film because of a brief moment hinting that the character of Lefou (Josh Gadd) was gay.

Source: comingsoon.net

In the midst of the blowback resulting from that “gay moment” (which, for the record, was quick and innocent), social media blew up with a meme shaming the film’s detractors with a message to the effect of “Keep your gay characters out of my movie about bestiality and Stockholm Syndrome.”  A first, I thought the meme was funny, but then I finally saw the film.  The truth is, this Beauty and the Beast is about much more than the 1991 animated film leads us to believe.  This version is bigger, smarter, more emotional, and- dare I say it- more human.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The new film Hidden Figures tells the story of three black women (among many) who helped to save the American Space Program.  In segregated Virginia, these women battled both racism and misogyny, deftly fended off micro- and macro-aggressions against both race and sex, and figured out the very mathematics necessary to launch Americans into orbit and bring them back safely.  Ultimately, their work helped to win the Cold War.

Source: Educationworld.com

Their stories have been largely untold until now.  Their lives were mostly unknown by the general population.  Sadly, despite their incalculable service to their country, despite the fact that they fought against all odds and proved their value and their capabilities, the same fights are still being waged.  Racism is alive and well; misogyny is on its way to taking power in the White House.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Polywood

India being India, there's an entire genre of Bollywood films about gods and goddesses.

They're called “the theologicals.”

Some are overtly mythological in nature, but the vast majority tell the story of how our hero N manages, with the help of deity G, to overcome what at first seem to be virtually insurmountable obstacles.*

This, of course—as pretty much any pagan can tell you—is how things really do work in a polytheist world. Small wonder that it plays so convincingly on screen.

As America moves towards its own irresistibly polytheist future (ex uno plurimus), realistically we can expect something similar from the US film industry.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2015-11-25-at-11.40.28-AM.jpgRecently I saw Spotlight, the movie. Set in 2001-2002, the film chronicles how the Boston Globe's team of investigative reporters revealed the pattern of child sexual abuse rampant among Massachusetts' Catholic priests — and the Boston Archdiocese's systematic cover-up.

Early on, the film gives us psychotherapist Richard Sipe. He's been braving the Church's opposition and documenting this pattern for decades. He cites one aspect of the problem's origin: the secretive atmosphere surrounding priests' sexual activity.

Sipe estimates that, at any point in time, about half of all priests are engaged in a sexual relationship, despite their vow of celibacy. Given the film's timeframe, Sipe's "metric" indicates that 6% of all priests are molesting children. With further research, Sipe later revised that figure to 9%.

Recently I also read Margaret Starbird's book, Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile (Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont, 2005). Another of her books on Mary Magdalene, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, was a central, inspiring resource for me back when I was writing The Woman's Belly Book.

Starbird presents a convincing argument that Jesus, being Jewish and according to Jewish custom, would most likely have been a married man. His partnership with Mary Magdalene as wife, consort, and colleague would have testified to the wholeness, and sanity, of creation.

Starbird links the Church's 12th-century rule of priestly celibacy with its denial both of Mary Magdalene's relationship with Jesus and of the Sacred Feminine:

In the aftermath of scandals involving Roman Catholic priests, people are now, for the first time in centuries, seriously asking, "What else did they forget to tell us?" Because the current crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy is directly related to this hierarchy's dissociation from the sacred feminine, the relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is entirely relevant to the problem. Enforced clerical celibacy, after centuries of devaluing the feminine half of creation, was mandated in 1139 when an edict by Pope Innocent II forced married priests to abandon their wives and children. (p. 150)

Absent Magdalene, insanity arises in a multitude of forms.

Spotlight shines the light on one form of insanity: Nearly one in ten Catholic priests have engaged in sexually abusing children.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes, the painful reality of denying the Divine Feminine within institutional structures. Thank you for this post. I am one of th
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Thanks, Lizann, for your comment, and for your good work. Blessed be!

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