May 1st, 2009


Beltane '09

A happy and fine Beltane to all who wish to be wished a happy and fine Beltane. I was just looking at my entry from this day one year ago, and there's something from that entry that I'd like to repost:

For a long time, I could not allow myself to involve choice in matters of belief, as I held belief back for objective science and material concerns. I did not see how one could ever choose to believe. Partly, the epiphany simply required a different perspective on things I've been saying for years. The Cosmos (=tripartite goddess/horned god/divine adrogyne/etc.) may, in my veneration of it, assume any form. It contains all forms within it that can be realized or conceived. It hardly matters if I "worship" Brighid or Mórrígan or Aphrodite or Kali. They are all merely attempts of a conscious being to sum up an incomprehensible and nonconscious universe. They may, perhaps, each function like characters in a novel, avatars that grant access to the story of existence. It does not matter if they are not factual in their existence, as their existence is true, if they are true in our minds. If they contain within them useful truths, as is the way with all myths. It is not their objective existence which makes them useful avatars, but their subjective truth, what these deities mean to each of us. For me, this is the heart of Neopaganism. Designing ritual and godforms to function as conduits between conscious organisms and the remainder of the Cosmos, which is generally a nonconscious entity.

This is still pretty much where my head is, though I've added Panthalassa ("all seas") as my primary "deity." Which is to say, I may look to and venerate the Mórrígan, and Hecate, and Demeter, and Cernunnos (and a small host of others), but the concept of Panthalassa acts as a sort of godhead, freed of any connotations of gender or consciousness, morality or anthropomorphic form. Panthalassa is, by definition, a vast, impersonal, and almost inconceivable force. Anyway, yeah, I'm still getting better about belief as choice. And, by the way, this is what works for me, I'm not the least bit evangelical in my paganism, excepting where the beliefs of others attempts to infringe upon my day-to-day life or my ability to practice witchcraft as I've chosen to practice it.


Yesterday was just about as tedious as expected. The image behind the cut, multiplied by a whole bunch, will give you some idea:

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We read back over "At the Gate of Deeper Slumber" and "The Peril of Liberated Objects, or the Voyeur's Seduction" (formerly "Untitled 34"), and I made lots of line edits to both. I wrote the prolegomena for Sirenia Digest #41. I did the layout on the issue, and realized that we really need to do an article on Virgil Finlay. When the issue was all nailed together, I sent the files off to Gordon (thingunderthest) to be PDF'ed. And then we read through Chapter 3 of The Red Tree, which got us to page 138 of the page proofs. And that was yesterday.

By now, all subscribers should have the new issue of the digest. Just let us know if you didn't get it. I'm pleased to have included Sonya Taaffe's (sovay) poem, "The Coast Guard," in this issue, along with the two new stories.

And now..well, it's Beltane. I'll do no more work than I have to do.