Monthly Archives: January 2014

Pagan/Heathen community rant

I’m gonna start this off saying straight up, I’m not a bigwig in the polytheist/pagan community, I’m a relative newcomer so to speak.

 I was talking to a friend today, about how the Polytheist/Pagan community is just so divided it isn’t even funny.  Divided on paths, divided on spiritual practices, divided on the very Gods they worship (Anti-Lokean Asatru I’m looking at you).  It’s rather disturbing.

We need, as a whole, a sense of community.  Christians have it, no matter what denomination, Jewish people have it, no matter what denomination, Islam, Hindu, Buddhists.  They ALL have a sense of greater community.  We don’t for some reason, and it’s getting kind of old.

See, how I see it, is, everyone has different paths, different practices, different JOBS.  Some are driven to go serve their local communities, some are driven to improve their own broken shells of humanity before progressing to the bigger picture the Gods have for them.  Yes, some of the self-improvement may seem like ego stroking and making oneself feel good, but broken doesn’t feel good.  Gods can’t use broken people.

I compared the whole thing to mortal jobs.  All jobs in the mortal realm have value.  They are all needed.  Walmart needs the minimum wage (Yes I know it needs to be increased that’s another rant) inventory keepers, just as much as they need the CEO at the top of the food chain.  We need janitors as much as we need principals.  We need pizza delivery guys as much as we need the managers/owners of the establishment.  We are all cogs in the wheel, and all of our jobs matter no matter how small.

Even in the grand scheme of things, the humble little bacteria that starts the nitrate cycle in the aquarium, heck even in the ocean!  Exactly!  those humble little bacteria allow greater life to thrive.  How cool is that?  

So yeah, before we start having a sense of community, we need to start valuing everyone in the pagan community, even if they don’t believe or walk the same walk we do.  We all have jobs to do.  We need support to do them well.

Heck some of us are lone wolves.  I have literally no one near me to help me along my walk as a polytheist.  Zilch, nada, no one.  I rely on the internet polytheist community to guide me and help me see I’m not freeking crazy.

I have never understood the beef against pop culture paganism vs reconstructionism vs Fluffy Bunny Unicorn Rainbowfartism.  Seriously.  Reconstructionism is a good thing, it helps keep the old traditions alive, one also has to realize that we live in modern times.  The old rituals are fine and dandy, but we can’t just go out and slaughter a goat for Thor, that’s sort of frowned upon by local authorities depending on where you live.  Whereas honoring The Gods without a solid background in their lore, be you Hellenic, Kemetic, Northern-Trad or whatever Polytheist religion you embrace, isn’t really cool either.

I think, it all boils down to this.  Are you doing what your Gods are asking of you?  Are you honoring Them in your day to day life, in the mundane and mystical?  Weather you’re a God Spouse, Gothi, or just someone who believes in hard Polytheism and doesn’t have much of a magical/witchywoo spirit working practice, but just honors them, it doesn’t matter.  Are YOU doing it for Them?  It doesn’t matter how you believe They manifest and how you practice.  Are you working for the Gods you believe in for the sake of Them.  If so, who gives a fuck if you run around the forest naked howling at the moon or whatever you are called to do (Within the whole legal stuff…if a God tells you to sacrifice your child, you MIGHT want to not listen to said God and go talk to a shrink)

Judge orders brain-dead pregnant woman off life support

Judge orders brain-dead pregnant woman off life support

Judge orders brain-dead pregnant woman off life support

About fucking time.

Click it.  Just click…

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Rare Interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about Sherlock Holmes and Spirituality

I figure I would blog this, because it was very interesting. This is the author of THE most classic mystery stories ever. In my opinion, this is the father of the mystery literary genre, hands down.

I really enjoy his views on spirituality and the like as well, and how he came about the inspiration for Sherlock is really insightful.

Please take a few minutes to listen to him. It’ll be worth your time.

The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

The only reason why started a fitness routine was so I could get into the military, and do basic training without getting hurt. Now, I just want my back to stop hurting, that’s it. So I work out so I can get my back to stop hurting. It works, sort of…but it’s better than not doing anything and losing my mobility entirely.

Reembody

The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort…

View original post 1,993 more words

Excerpt from my novel, Wild Hunt.

Hey all.  I figure I’ll do something that was suggested to me by one of my facebook friends, who happens to also run a successful marketing business.  (Not a pyramid scheme but he advertises for other people.  He runs http://marketingninjas.com/ )  

He suggested I put up a short excerpt from my novel to see if it drums up interest.  I figure, meh why not.  So without further ado, here is a relatively spoiler free, yet attention grabbing excerpt from my novel, Wild Hunt. A paranormal romance that involves gods and goddesses of the Norse Pantheon, most notably, Loki and Odin.  I feel I do quite a good job at trying to portray the Gods and Goddesses in a modern-ish light and stay true to their lore at the same time.

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Miriam stood outside the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Staring at the forlorn statue of Bobby, the little Skye terrier that guarded his master’s grave for thirteen years was supposedly buried there. The damp cold of the early Edinburgh autumn seeped into her bones, the cold wind tugged at her crimson hair, which was secured in a braid at her nape.

Luke better have known what he wanted by asking her to wear that dress. It was damn chilly out that night; almost unseasonably so. Mist started to form around the grave stones and mausoleums that filled the haunted spot, adding to the chill that had already permeated her bones.

Miriam reached into her purse and pulled out a smudging stick and a lighter as she approached the circular stone structure beyond the Covenanters Gate, she hoped that it would grant her some protection from the poltergeist beyond the gate as she waited for Luke to show up.

Who am I kidding; she thought to herself, this has been tried before. Mackenzie’s energy is stronger than this.

 

Bluddy Mackenzie was Sir George Mackenzie, the Lord Advocate in charge of the Covenanters Prison at the church during the mid-1600. He was responsible for imprisoning twelve-hundred Presbyterian Covenanters after the battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679. During this time, he had many tortured and executed, the rest, died of maltreatment.

He caused countless suffering. Despite his treatment of the Presbyterians, he actually defended an alleged witch during her trial. He wrote in one of his essays, that witches weren’t as common as the people thought they were and most confessions were garnered via means of torture, therefore were not reliable. His poltergeist carried with it, the weight of the souls he actually did send to the grave.

He targeted unbelievers as well as believers when they walked through that gate during the guided tours, leaving bruising, bloody scratches and other physical signs of assault.

For some reason, the Covenanters Gate remained unlocked after the last tour went through. It was usually kept barred to protect people from any attacks from Mackenzie, despite people being skeptical, he was one of the most documented paranormal events in history and the overzealous United Kingdom health and safety department ordered the gate kept locked at all times, except when guided tours were being held

As she stepped closer towards the black mausoleum where Luke told her to wait for him, she heard braying of dogs and the pounding of many hooves on the ground.

Is that what I think it is? Her train of thought continued, this is in modern Edinburgh. No one rides horses anymore and fox hunts are illegal now in the United Kingdom.

 

She heard a horn sound as the hoof beats and dogs surged closer to her. There was nowhere to go to get out of the way, except Bluddy Mackenzie’s tomb which was locked, even if it were a good idea. She closed her eyes and hoped for the best, that the riders would move around her. She felt a cold hand grasp her arm. She gasped in shock and fear and then she then heard a blade whistle from its scabbard followed by an eerie hollow cry, as the hand that was grasping her limply slid from her arm.

As the hoof beats slowed down and came to a stop, Miriam heard the snorting and stomping of horses, the hounds whined and yipped at being kept from their prey.

 

“Been trying to get him for centuries now! You have our thanks!” a kindly and familiar voice said, startling her out of her trance.

She looked up and found herself surrounded by 9 horses, one of which had 8 legs. The one she was facing was shining white, no mud splatter on its fine hide and its rider was a man. His hair was as red as a summer bonfire and his eyes were as green as the finest emeralds. His face was young and boyish, with a definite impish cast to it.

 

“You’re welcome?” She stuttered. “I was coming here to see if I could exorcise him anyway, I’m supposed to meet…” Miriam’s jaw dropped

 

The Fire Haired Rider said “Me, actually. Mackenzie has been eluding us for so long during our Hunt. We needed a pretty lass like you, to lure him out so we could send him to Hellheim”

Soon as the rider said that, the woman’s eyes widened and she knew what she had seen. A sense of doom sunk down on her and she started shaking.

The flame haired rider, the woman realized, was Loki, but he also looked like Luke. He wore a chain mail tunic over a tough leather jerkin; His legs were cloaked in chain mail as well.

The man on the eight legged steed, Odin, bore a striking resemblance to her old guidance counselor from high school. The others, their faces were a blur…but she felt a few other Divine presences in the host.

 

Loki slid off his horse and walked towards the stunned woman.

“It’s ok. You will not be harmed, I called you here and you are under our protection; the Hunt will not harm you. If anything, you are invited to join if you so wish. But not on my steed. See, my Brother over there is a man of very few words when He is around mortals, but He knows you. He knows your potential. He would like you to ride with Him.”

 

The woman looked at the man on the eight legged horse. His black hair tied at the nape of his neck. Silver eye patch gleaming on its own and his black goatee highlighting a very strong and masculine jaw. He wore a chain mail jerkin over a hardened leather chest piece. On his back, he wore a fur cape made out of a wolf pelt.

 

”L…L…uke?” Miriam stammered, “Mister Baley?” she said looking up at Odin. “What on, oh my…” She collapsed on the ground trembling as the full force of the realization came crashing down on her. For a good portion of her life, she had been monitored and mentored by the Norse Gods.

Loki knelt down and helped the dumbfounded woman back to her feet. “Shh, it’s ok. I’m still the same person you’ve been with. I haven’t changed. I just had to do that to get close to you, without causing suspicion from everyone around. As much as I would like to, it’s not a great idea going around going ‘Hey look at me! I’m a GOD’ everywhere I go” He explained to Miriam.

 

She looked up at the imposing form of Odin. “Mister Baley? Odin? Why?” she asked.

“Because I promised my brother to keep you safe while he couldn’t be there himself.” Odin replied.

 

Loki looked deep into Miriam’s eyes with love and longing. “You know, I’d really like for you to come with us. It’s not like you have anything waiting for you and think of it as an adventure, as training.”

Miriam swallowed her fear and asked “Why do I ride with Odin? Like I can’t get it out of my head that he used to be my guidance counselor back in the day.”

 

“Because, His steed is the one with the broadest backs, giving you less of a chance to fall and hurt yourself.” Loki replied. He didn’t dare tell her that Odin wanted her first in order for her to be allowed on the hunt. “So what do you say? You wanna come with us? Will be pretty fun.”

If you are interested in reading more, please head on over to http://mybook.to/WildHunt and buy the book!  It’s available in both Kindle and paperback editions.  Thank you so much!  I am currently working on Book 2 in the series.  

 

Indie author promo tips

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I was lurking on twitter today and noticed one of the people I follow/followers @raynehall, was talking about #twittertips. Mostly discussing what didn’t work, and what does work. We decided to be silly and make up a random hashtag called #uselesspromotweets. We got into many a discussion, talking about how free promos don’t work, and that just being engaged on twitter, is the best way to a: drum up real human followers and b: secondarily, book sales.

See, free promos rarely work to generate buzz. People pick the boom up thinking “meh it’s free why not.” Then it sits in a kindle dust pile never to be seen again. Or the person doesn’t value it at all, and leaves you a negative review, even if your writing is sound. There are 100,000’s of free kindle books out there, that this strategy is now pretty damn useless. I gave away a few hundred kindle copies of my novel, and got jack shit in buzz and reviews in return.

Another thing that doesn’t work: relentless promo tweets, hence the silly hashtag #anotheruselesspromotweet. If you act like a person, engage your twitter followers, you might very well draw in the type of readers you want for your book. Not trolls, not bots that will endlessly retweet your stuff between each other, real people, the ones you want reading your book.

Raynehall is a cool person. I highly suggest following them on twitter to get more hints, (link to the twitter page is at the top of the article)

In the mean time, if you are an indie author, like myself, trying to drum up sales of your book, it’s hard to do, but relax, if you are confident you put out a good product, and it IS a good product, eventually it will sell itself. (The link to mine is in the side bar, hint hint nudge nudge BUY MY BOOK!)

One small step

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Starting to build my own self confidence from scratch.

Ok, my primary love language is “words of affirmation” according to that book “the five love languages”. Now, I rarely, if ever get them from outside sources. I mean it.

This will be the start of me trying to fill my own love bank and be responsible for my own happiness. I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness or emotional well being, except those of my children until they become able to do so for themselves.

My standards are my own. If I wish to raise them, I shall do so on my terms.

I am good enough.

I am smart enough.

Nobody’s opinion of me matters except my own. I have spent my whole life bending over backwards trying to make other people happy, and in the end, it has left me a complete and utter wreck. I have been taught, if you love someone, you do everything in your power to make them happy. Well what are you supposed to do when the other person refuses to be happy? What if that other person expects you to do all you can to make them happy and nothing is ever good enough to reach that unattainable goal? How many more hoops? How much longer should I dance for?

It ends today. No more hoops, no more song and dance. I do things my way to my standards, for myself. I’m done tying myself in knots.

A bit of a pondering

Alrighty, we had spaghetti and home made bread served at the table all warm and cozy, and some home made garlic butter.  I was talking to Frank and I was just all musing and whatnot.

When people find out I bake my own bread, they act like it’s some sort of crazy tomfuckery wizardry shit.

Dude, it’s warm water, yeast, flour and a bit of oil mixed together into a blob of dough, kneaded, then left to it’s own devices for about an hour.  Then punched down, and shaped, then left again.  THEN it’s put on a fucking tray and baked at 425deg for about 30 minutes.  THAT IS IT.  It’s not wizardry, it’s nothing magical, it’s just good old fashioned patience.

Same with me making my own booze.  The look of perplexed awe on my friend’s face when I say “Yeah I make like a gallon of mead for like $15..it’s not hard”  Like “You can make your own booze?”  

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Yes, you can, it just requires..dah dah DAHHHHH Patience again.

 

*sigh*  just my little rant.