Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best Laid Plans... ?

Merry Meet Again!

Here I was all set to blog on a regular schedule when both my mother and brother came crashing down onto my plans with illnesses and surgeries. In fact, I had to cancel a Mabon festival, the first festival I've ever had to cancel in order to take care of issues at home. I felt awful doing so, especially with the Mountain Mysteries Mabon organizer was so understanding. Deb Striker, thank you for not making me feel worse than I did.

Then, to my horror, I was rudely reminded that non-organic objects also get sick. Yep, the hard drive on my less than 2 years old computer burned out and had to be replaced. Thank Goddess that I learned long ago to back up everything and to do it in more than one location.

Now that the "missing Edain" explanations are out of the way I can discuss my mixed feelings for blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, texting, and all these other "stay in constant touch" devices. A few weeks ago while sipping my morning coffee in front of the Today Show (I can't take hard news first thing in the morning) one of the hosts declared all these devices to be the "most narcissistic tools" ever developed.

She pinpointed my problem faster than a sharp shrink. The constant updates we feel we must share with the world have always made me uncomfortable. I love socializing at Pagan festivals, I enjoy my friends, and anyone who has seen my website knows I have two passions: dogs and dance, the latter being a definite social event. Many years ago someone commented that I was a very private person. I couldn't wholly agree with that assessment either, but just to prove her wrong I added a "photos" page to my website showcasing my life. It made me uncomfortable to share pictures from my childhood or of my hobbies. I couldn't understand why anyone would care about my life outside of the subject inside a book I had written. I remain astounded that I receive many e-mails from readers who love that I "share so much of myself" with my readers.

I suppose that is the point at which I realized we all have a curiosity about the person behind the byline. Politicians and actors have put up with the world knocking on their private lives since the advent of legislature. Before that people looked to the rich and famous for their prurient curiosities. I try to see the positive in all things, so I will be grateful I never have been, and probably will never be, a target of the relentless media, and pleased to know there are readers who want to know about me as I want to know about them.

So I return to my blogspot in hopes that I can post something of interest at least once a week.

Currently I am co-authoring a book on Latin American magick in English-speaking North America with another author. This is the first writing project I've been honestly excited about in a long time. There is a lot of information, variation, ideology, etc., within these magick traditions that one author could never have enough personal experience to capture them all. Between Denise Dumars and myself we cover a broad range of these practices. We've also done our interviewing and research to fill in as many gaps as possible. As with some EuroAmerican Pagan traditions, secrecy regarding specific practices are not revealed until a sincere initiate has reached a specific level of practical experience. Denise and I have made the trek up the ladder of some of Latin American practices, stopping halfway up at some points, and continuing the climb in others.

We want the book to be a practical guide as well as an informative one. Even in our proposal we inserted popular spells from different traditions and look forward to using more in the finished project.

And just in case you think this interest in magickal traditions is only flowing from south to north, we can tell you from experience that we meet many Euro-based Pagans calling themselves Witches or Wiccans than ever before. More "Wiccan" books are being published in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Madrid for the Spanish-reading markets in the Amrericas. This blending of yet more aspect of our lives in the Americas often irritates--even angers--our European friends. Many do not understand how we can take Celtic myths, toss in a few Nordic practices, include a Native American ritual element in our sabbats, and still use the word Wiccan to describe ourselves. And just try calling this mish mash an Irish, Scottish, or Norwegian tradition and watch your inbox flood with messages that are sincerely outraged.

I've begun using the terms Scottish-based or Nordic-based to try to be more PC, but, trust me, it does no good to compromise our semantics. Eclectic Wicca may be an unacceptable term in Europe but, here the bottom line is that we in the Americas love our spiritual diversity. Like a big family we may squabble among ourselves from time to time, but just let someone from another family come after one of us and insist we are doing things "wrong" and we will band together faster than cold fusion.

Until next time I wish you many blessings and a joyous Mabon!

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