Daily Archives: November 2, 2011

Finding Pagan Stories in Unexpected Places

It’s a half-moon today, My Lady of the night (and day) wears two faces.


I read a lot of Terry Pratchett. Nowhere near as much as I used to, granted, but still. A lot. His Witch Books (part of the Discworld series) actually had a bit of a hand in helping me to articulate my own worldview.

I remember being asked, unexpectedly, by a stranger to point her in the direction of books on kitchen witchery. I, being very much of the intuitive school of both cooking and magic, didn’t suggest much in the way of spell-craft and, instead, pointed her towards The Wee Free Men, a YA/kids’ book that had so hit my personal nail on the head in terms of relating to one’s Land and using what one’s got that I actually sobbed when I read it.

A friend of mine was more than a little horrified that I’d sent this person to fiction, but I stand by my choice. I’m enough of a DIY Pagan (okay, I’m pretty-much entirely a DIY Pagan) that books about kitchen-witchcraft that are heavily influenced by Wicca and which, more to the point, involve a certain better-homes-and-covens kind of vibe… kind of make me twitch. The don’t typically go into the emotional/spiritual side of kitchen witchcraft and, instead, treat is as, well, surface stuff. On-the-fly spells and recipes that, while they may contain sabbat-significant ingredients, don’t actually touch on their significance (because that’s all stuff you get from the Wicca – or which ever – books, right?). So fiction – which is all about stories and motivation and head-space (of the charcters, definitely, but also – to a point – of the readers) – is actually a pretty handy place to turn if you’re looking for mythology[1]. (Honestly, I think that’s a big part of why the Heralds of Valdemar series did/does so well. It’s horse stories for teenagers, but with added magic and polytheism).

Anyway. Wee Free Men is pretty faboo as far as I’m concerned. If you’re looking for something to read in an afternoon, or have an eight year old who you’d like to gently introduce to a Pagan worldview without clocking them over the head with it, I’d recommend this one.

That’s my prattle for today.

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] As in: Stories that articulate and confirm your worldview and/or value-system.

Dark Deities and Riding Power

So. I had originally planned to write some kind of a post – a day late, no less – about Samhain, the thinned out veil, various ancestors who have headed out this past year (or other years, just to name them), and then I didn’t.

Instead, I found this post, over at Root and Rock, and realized that, in my own practice (such as it is), I don’t actually have any “dark” deities.

My household gods are all pretty positive/non-scary. Even the one gal who throws the life-experience equivalent of bowling balls at me any time she figures I could do with a good shaking up… isn’t scary. Maybe it’s because I went looking for relationships with deities (or not?), or maybe it’s because I’m a bit like Miss Sugar and tend not to be inclined towards the whole GodSlave Thing, or maybe I’ve just really managed to dodge a bullet so far, but… my Girls don’t make me tremble. They don’t give me reason to cower or cringe from them.

I’m… Look. I’m pretty-much endlessly fascinated with the Fierce Chicks. Whether they’re human girls I crushed on in high school or deities I’ve glancing at out of the corner of my eye for years, Powerful Women get my attention. This is going to start sounding like a post for the kink blog in a minute, but… the thought of containing that power, holding it, making it soft with me where it’s totally unyielding with the rest of the world… there’s a big part of me that wants to take up that challenge and show Whoever It Is that I’m capable of handling it, and them, really, really well.

The trick is: I’m not that skilled with this when it comes to humans and – just barely – I’ve got enough self-awareness (or self-preservation?) to know that trying to hold power with/over/for a god is, perhaps, a very, VERY bad idea.
Part of me wants to find out what it’s like to ride that, do that calling in, become the devourer.
Part of me is… cautious[1], afraid that I would burn up in the doing of it, that I wouldn’t be able to control my own trajectory (for lack of a better word); afraid that they wouldn’t let me go; afraid that I wouldn’t want to stop[2].

So… Yeah. Something more to ponder about this stuff but… it’s something I wonder about, even if my fascination is more like being fascinated by a lightning storm: It’s really awesome from a distance. Still awesome, but a lot more dangerous, when it’s directly over your head.

I would love to hear comments from people who do Drawing Down about the experience of being “god-drunk”, the repercussions, how to do it safely, how to discourage hangers on and/or encourage a developing relationship with the deity/ies in question, and anything else you’d care to throw in here.

Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] And I don’t actually know how much of that caution is sensible versus how much of that caution is fear-based foolishness and unwillingness to Try New Things. It could really be 50/50 in this case, OR it could be heavily weighed in either of those directions.

[2] Because, apparently, I think that Drawing Down is like, what… Cocaine?