Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ten Things That Raise the Hackles of the Bored Gods

I know, I know ... you're saying to yourself, "How does Anne get an inside track to the bored gods?" Have you no faith? I compiled an exhaustive survey of over 300 downsized deities, and here are the things that they're hating on just now:

1. Fracking. Hades says that if one more drill bit comes through the roof of His bedroom, He is going to send us an 8-point earthquake. You heard it here first.

2. Drones. Even the War Gods categorically detest drones and even guided missiles. Please forgive them for that, reader. It shows how old-fashioned they are, with antiquated notions about being able to visibly identify your enemy before you start randomly killing.

3. Global climate change. Only the gods are supposed to change the climate, and They are really pissed that the human race has figured out how to do this. They say They will issue a few more gentle warnings, and then ... forget it. We reap the oven.

4. Lil Bub. This one came out of nowhere. Just jealousy, I suppose. Or overkill.

5. Genetically Modified Organisms. The bored gods say They gave us some latitude to breed plants and animals in an old-fashioned way, leading to dachshunds and sweet corn. But splicing genes? Evil! Only the bored gods can alter genetics. Again comes a warning from various pantheons with no specific threat attached.

6. The busy god. Other deities claim They have never seen such hatred as this busy god engenders, especially since so much of it is aimed at other followers of the same god. The Aztec pantheon attributes this hatred to overpopulation of the planet, while the Norse deities blame it on global warming.

7. Machines. The vast majority of bored deities see machines of all kinds (except simple ones like the wheel and the pulley) as a threat to the future of the human race. More than one Goddess said that going back to grinding with a mortar and pestle would be preferable to hours spent on Facebook.

8. Greed. Have you ever heard of a deity who liked greedy people? This one is no surprise.

9. Bottled water. A hatred of this is pervasive among the bored gods, with more than one saying it should only be handed out for free, and only where the existing water supply is dirty or depleted.

10. Inconclusive response. Many of the questionnaires came back listing "Amazon" as something the bored gods hate. Our researchers cannot determine whether the deities meant the company, the warriors, or the river. Further study is needed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Micro Meadow Mangled

We didn't even choose the lowest bidder.

But never mind. The "professional" tree service Mr. J chose to trim our ancient pear tree consisted of a cast of goofs.

They arrived promptly at 7:30 Monday morning, powering up their chainsaws in a way that pays back all of our noisy neighbors for their damn leaf blowers and lawn services.

Mr. J went out to greet them. I heard him tell them to be careful with the garden.

About two minutes later, I heard one of the crew say to the other, "Didn't the guy tell you to be careful with the garden? Look where that branch landed!

It landed in my micro meadow, crushing just about everything.

There was only one flower blooming in the whole patch. They knocked it over.

Not seeing any other flowers, they just tramped through the patch, dragged branches over it ... even after I came out and told them not to. I said that the garden didn't look like much, but that it was just planted this year.

All the plants were doing well, too. The prickly pear had grown ... and there was that one lone purple spiky flower. Now in a vase in the kitchen.

Our neighbor across the way came out in a purple rage because branches (and pears) were falling in his yard.

The proprietor of the service told Mr. J that his crew would arrive with "a million dollars worth of equipment." I don't know where they stored it. They used our step ladder and stood (perilously) on the roof of the garage.

They did not wear hard hats. No brains to protect anyway.

 One would think that wild flowers can bounce back from a bashing. Time will tell. Tree-trimming is an affront to the Green Man. Guess I'll pay the price.

Oh ... I was smart enough to cover the Shrine of the Mists with a good, strong tarp. If they had trampled that, I would have had to join a well regulated militia pretty quick.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Artist of the Bored Goddesses

It's that time of the summer when everything gets a little dried out and brown. Time for some color!

I've never met Thalia Took, but I sure would like to. She has accomplished the amazing feat of getting dozens of bored Goddesses from multiple pantheons to sit for portraits! I'm lucky these days if I can collar them for a spot of tea.

So today you might want to biff over to Thalia's Great Goddess portrait gallery and find your religion. Many of them!

Image: Thalia Took

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Briefly the Empty Nest

This day comes for all. For me it's been coming in fits and starts. My daughters are trying to navigate a difficult labor market. Trust me, it's like sewing together a crazy quilt -- part time job here, part time job there, minimum wage because you're doing what you love ... and for poor Heir, one last year before she has to get Obamacare and pay off college loans.

All the same, she has found a room in a house in West Philly. The Heir is going to launch.

The Spare has a less-than-posh apartment in Center City Philadelphia, where she will live while she finishes her final two years of college. She has received heaps of financial aid but will still have five-figure loans to pay off herself.  But that's down the road.

For one month, before Extra Chair returns from China, Mr. J and I will be empty nesters. That will be weird. It's not like my daughters have needed to be coddled over the last few years, but they've been around.

May the Goddess protect them. May they walk in the Old Ways. May they become themselves, "like the tadpole, its time come, tumbling towards the slime."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Where the Lilies Bloom

It's a big, tough world out there, and I honestly don't know how I got so lucky as to live comfortably, have enough to eat, health care, and the age of fifty-plus. There are so many dangers without and within. Ah, but rest assured my time will come. I don't know anyone who has escaped the Reaper.

In the meantime, here's a little bit of mundane happiness. My lilies have bloomed.

The plant lady who came over to help me make a meadow says that these are the only native American lily. All the others are imported. I got the seeds for these lilies from my dad, out in Appalachia. They have grown in my back yard, under pretty plant-unfriendly conditions, for 27 years.

I have more of these than usual this year because I took an axe to my butterfly bush. There's more light in lily-land. And that's the way it's going to be.

The broad leaf in front is not lily, but milkweed. It is having a good year too. As long as I stay here in Snobville, the native fauna will prevail on my little patch of heaven.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pagan Ministry for Kids

Ahem. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please. This sermon will be about ...

ZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzz! Hey, I'm no scholar! This is me, Anne, the Mistress of Mayhem! Time to have some fun!

In today's mail I received a lovely note from my dear friend the Monkey Man. How time flies! I haven't seen the Monkey Man since we went to a Snobville Fighting Wombats football game last fall. However, next week I'll get to see him at his monthly poetry get-together in sunny downtown Camden. I'll get someone to snap a shot of us together. Here he is, in all his Monkey Man glory, with my nephew.

The Monkey Man is a member of the Society of Friends. He also attends Mass sometimes because he helps with the Catholic ministries in Camden. He is not a Pagan and is not interested in being a Pagan.

And yet he has informed my Pagan path more than anyone else.

The Monkey Man is famous and celebrated throughout the Delaware Valley because everywhere he goes, he takes his monkey, Bongo. (You can see Bongo in the picture. My nephew is holding him.) Bongo talks with a high-pitched monkey voice. He makes kids smile.

When I first got to know the Monkey Man, I saw him one night at the local pizza joint. He asked me to hold his monkey while he went to the water closet. I felt honored. I peppered the monkey with questions, but the loyal chimp was mum until his owner returned. Nowadays, Bongo and I are tight.

Bongo the monkey inspired a magical creature who came into my life in 2008. That creature is Big Red.

Unlike Bongo, Big Red doesn't talk out loud. He whispers to me, and I translate for him. Other than that, he's pretty much Bongo.

Big Red has gone with me to the Spoutwood Fairie Festival for six years. There he helped me to recruit for the Mountain Tribe. Mostly, though, he greeted little kids and accepted hugs. Lots of hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. The number of hugs every single stuffed animal everywhere dreams about all the time.

This past year, I was somewhat distracted at the Fairie Festival. On Friday and Sunday I didn't take Big  Red. So, in order to make it up to him, I took him with me to Four Quarters Farm. He was a huge hit at Four Quarters. I wouldn't say he got hugged there. He got mauled. Tossed. Peppered with questions. Passed from hand to hand. He got flown across a glen and landed nose-down in mud. He also got to march in the Fourth of July parade there. And he danced with me -- and with lots of happy little girls -- around the fire.

My goodness. I'm the Monkey Woman. Except I don't have a monkey, I have a dragon. This is appropriate. Pagan kids love dragons.

So if you see me at a Pagan event where there are children, chances are I'll be holding this dragon. It has been my privilege to study puppet politics at the knee of the great and renowned Monkey Man, and I am now ready to take my place amusing kids and adults with the help of my friend, Big Red.

Love me, love my dragon.

Final photo from Facebook page "365 Days of Fairies"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Open Invitation

I will be sojourning in sunny Baltimore for two days in order to visit my mother-in-law. This is a good time to issue an


To a Lughnasadh ritual hosted by Grove of the Black Oak

Area 14, Ridley Creek State Park, Media PA

Sunday, August 3

1:00 p.m.

Bring some eats and beverages for yourself.

Free of charge

This is a beautiful wooded setting. Our group is easy-going, egalitarian, and funny. The ritual is not aligned with any particular Pagan path ... all are welcome.

I would love to meet you.

Oh yeah ... we do this rain or shine. Once it hailed on us. Hoping for a sunny day, but we take what we get.