Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Reading List!

I just noticed I haven't really addressed what I've been reading, or plan to read, this year and we're almost halfway through Spring!

Let's correct this oversight!

On the Society of Diana facebook page I asked for opinions on When the Drummers were Women by Layne Redmond. I've read reviews about how it's heavy on the matriarchy vs patriarchy and less focused on the thread of women (as priestesses?) drumming/communing with The Goddess. However, I won't judge this book by its cover and will give it a go. I'm going to get it from the library. If I fall in love with it, I'll put it on my list of books to add to my Beauty and the Beast style library.

I am skeptical. I used books.google.com to do a word search to see if "tarantella" was in the book and it was not. Hrmmm... We shall see!

Care to read along? You can go to worldcat and enter the title and your zipcode and it will show you a list of libraries near you which have it. You can also probably request an inter library loan through your local library.

Speaking of lists, let's get to it!

Last year I read the Aeneid. This year's epic? The Argonautica! I'll be starting that officially in June for anyone who wants to play along at home.

Where were we? Ah.. on the list so far:

When the Drummers were Women, Layne Redmond

The Argonautica, translation by Douglass E Killings

Sumerian hymns from cuneiform texts in the British Museum by Frederick Augustus Vanderburgh

Tubelo's Green Fire by Shani Oates is one I've been meaning to read for a while! I wonder if the e-book is out yet?

What are you reading now? Have you read any of the books on the list? Have any comments or recommendations?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recent Articles

Thanks to friends and to the meme nature of the internet, I've come across a few articles this week which discuss Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Sumerian religions and cultures. The articles show the influences of each on the other, but this confluence, this trade, or fluidity or syncretization isn't the subject of the articles.

This one isn't a news article or even new, it's an entry on the Goddess Tnt, or Tanit.
"The details of Tanit’s nature and powers are not really clear. Like Astarte, she had a complex personality. First and foremost, she was the mother deity of Carthage, protector of the city and provider of fertility. As such she seems to have been a deity of good fortune. Goddess of the heavens, she was often associated with the moon. Like Asherah, she had maritime connections and was a patron of sailors. There is also some indication that she had a warlike nature, as we would expect of the protector of a city."

Johanna Stuckey, the author of the above entry, has an interesting body of work on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Goddesses.

I posted this one on the Facebook group; It's about Cleopatra's children- what happened to them after her death? Her daughter married and became a queen and had children, including Drusilla, of whom little is known. I wonder what happened to the line? I wonder how many will start claiming descent from Cleopatra, especially when the movie hits theatres. Some have remarked at the blending of Egyptian, Roman and Greek religions and symbolism in Cleopatra's time, but let's remember that she was Greek!

Romeland theme park? Relive ancient times near the city itself...

Female Gladiators? Folks thought this statue was of a woman grooming herself. Turns out she was a victorious gladiator. Mmmm the smell of sexism in the morning...

If you're in the UK, you can Meet the Romans in this new TV special.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shelter from the Storm

Star Foster just posted this article and it's definitely worth the read...

In Paganism a crisis of faith is an alien concept. Paganism is often seen as therapy, as self-help, and as a way to feel better about yourself. To question the pan-Pagan orthodoxy (and there is one whether you choose to recognize it or not) is not acceptable, and likely lead to people suggesting you leave Paganism for a path better suited to you. What is fascinating is that same element that suggests you leave is often the same element that loudly insists you belong when you try to distance yourself from mainstream Paganism.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


The righteous anger of the protester!
The determination of the athlete!
The drive of the flowers and trees bursting forth from the ground!
The artistry of the tango!

That's a quick list of the "positive" uses of such energy. Mars is the passion to make something happen. It's the essence of our drive. It's the will to manifest. What is magic but the application of will?

Mars goes direct on Friday, April 13th. He has been retrograde since Nov 2012. Do you feel like you've gotten much done this year, or have you been reassessing, prioritizing and taking a look at where you are and what you want? I'm in the latter group. Don't get too excited about Friday; mars might be going direct, but we'll be retreading this ground in Virgo again until June 19th.

So wtf does this mean? I kinda like how the Cafe Astrology folks lay it out:

When Mars is in its retrograde cycle, we are forced to re-assess our current projects, our approach to getting what we want, and our desire nature. Rather than directly asserting our desires, we tend towards introspection. While Mars in direct motion is direct, straightforward, assertive, and aggressive, with Mars in retrograde motion, Mars energy is essentially turned inward--it's internalized, intensified, personalized, and perhaps pressurized. We can be hesitant about taking action, second-guessing our instincts or our natural impulses rather than acting upon them. The way we react to situations under normal conditions doesn't necessarily work for us now, or we don't exactly trust it.
When anger is internalized, there can be some rather negative byproducts, such as tension, resentment, depression, apathy, and even some paranoia. On the other hand, it can also be personalized and made more intimate. The goal of a Mars retrograde period is not, however, to simply sit on our impulses or to squelch our enthusiasm. Rather, it's to better understand our impulses, our survival instincts, our anger, our sexuality, our inner courage, and the ways we go about getting what we want from life. The cosmos are asking us to look before we leap rather than throw ourselves into action, just for the time being.

Yeah that. They go into more of an explanation about how this is expressed in Virgo, the sign in which He's currently retrograding.

On our facebook page I talked about writing a post on how to harness this energy for good instead of "rawr." I suppose I should define "rawr:" It's that moment where rage or drive/desire takes over and you can't fucking think. And that's another thing... if you "see red" or get "red in the face" or go "red with rage," then WHY was the Incredible Hulk GREEN?!??! I call bullshit! I digress!

You can't meditate this shit away. Maybe you can, but I sure can't, neither can anyone else I know (tho I'm sure with practice the advice of the Buddha can be followed for visualizing anger as a person running, slowing sleeping). I don't think this is a meditative, contemplative time. It's the time for dancing, for rough sex, for primal scream therapy, for a mosh pit! But this doesn't "harness" the energy, it spends or transmutes it. I think that's the best we can do. We can ride this wave like a pro surfer with some foresight, intuition and practice.

Keep an eye on your natal chart and the transits and feel where the energy is taking you. For fucks sake, don't keep it all in- anger turned inward is depression, so they say. Find something to be angry about- there's plenty out there wrong in the world, go work on fixing some of it: protest, write letters, organize fundraisers- further your cause! Just understand that this is a short term burst of energy, not the slow burn of the long haul.

Now... who wants to come dancing with me? I think a fierce tarantella is in order!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The number 3 in Roman Mythology

The three rulers:

In Roman myth three brothers Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto were each rulers of their worlds. Jupiter was ruler of the sky. Neptune was ruler of the sea. Pluto was ruler of the underworld.

The three graces were followers of  the Goddess Venus. The three Graces gave beauty to the world. Every attractive human being could thank the three Graces for the gift of beauty. They chose the humans who would receive the gift of physical beauty.

The ancient Romans believed that the first seven vowels were invented by the three Fates. The first was known as "The Spinner". She spun the life web of the humans. Her name was Nona. The second was known as "The Apportioner". She decided how long each human was to live. Her name was Decima. The third was known as "The Inevitable". She cut the life when it was time for someone to die. Her name was Morta.

The three Furies were goddesses of revenge. They were greatly feared as they showed no mercy. They were particularly upset with anyone who killed a family member.

The entrance of a home was also protected by three different Gods. They had the power to keep evil demons from entering the house. The three Gods were Forculus-god of doors, Cardea-goddess of door handles and hinges, and Limentinus-god of thresholds.

Lastly there is the Goddess Hecate/Trivia. Three faced statues of Hecate were often found in forks of the road looking in three directions. She was the protector of witches, sorcerers and wizards. She was accompanied by ghostly and scary dogs. She was also associated with the three phases of the moon.

So there you have it. The number 3 is also significant to us Streghe.

Many Blessings,