Monthly Archives: February 2012

Glamour

glammed up berets

From the New Oxford American Dictionary

glamour |ˈglamər|(also glamor )noun  the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special: the glamour of Monte Carlo |[ as modifier ] : the glamour days of Old Hollywood.• beauty or charm that is sexually attractive: George had none of his brother’s glamour.• archaic enchantment; magic: that maiden, made by glamour out of flowers.ORIGIN early 18th cent. (originally Scots in the sense‘enchantment, magic’): alteration of grammar. Although grammar itself was not used in this sense, the Latin word grammatica (from which it derives) was often used in the Middle Ages to mean ‘scholarship, learning,’ including the occult practices popularly associated with learning.

This storefront.....

Not entirely what first comes to mind when you hear the word is it?  All the news this week is going to be about best and worst dressed at the Oscars.  (It wouldn’t matter if there was something actually important going on, something that might make a difference in our actual lives.  The news would still be Oscar fashion.)  So I’m thinking about glamour.  I’m wondering what it really is, what we do to achieve it,  I’m also musing about how glamour is used to distract us or hide things.

It never occurred to me that glamour might once have been associated with education or vocabulary.  Although certainly the power of words, enchantments, to dissuade the eye is well practiced by todays marketing departments.   “These are not the droids you are looking for.”  It seems that most advertisements are about associating the product with glamour.

is really just a painted tarp

I often associate glamour with adornment.  Even children will adorn themselves with all manner of wrapping ribbon, stickers and byproducts of daily life to attempt to achieve some kind of glamour.  Sometimes adults do as well, just for kicks.

everybody plays with bling

Even in our spiritual lives we often reach for glamour.  Whether we look for status because of our training and talent in spiritual pursuits or if we just dress up for church there is an inherent desire for glamour that sometimes seems in conflict with the spiritual intention.  Our spiritual “badges of office” are rarely sackcloth and old rope, but often highly ornate robes, beautiful cloth, or lovely jewelry.

priestess necklaces. You can't have just one!

It feels good to feel glamourous.  It’s fun to play dress up and bedeck ourselves with finery, real or imagined.  It’s spiritually fulfilling to live surrounded by beauty.  It is an exercise of spirit to be able to recognize glamour and know if it is enchantment meant to conceal or enhance or if it is inherently present.

Oh and as for Blodeuwedd, that maiden made by glamour out of flowers, check out my flower fairies.  The walking iris is blooming in the sunshine adding glamour to a winter day.

walking iris

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Sunshine and swollen ankles

Yes, those are palm trees in that photo.  I am ensconced in a lovely hotel in San Jose California enjoying the sunshine in spite of my swollen ankles.  The high temperatures back home are not as high as the low temperatures here.  I’m happy to stick my nose out the door in the morning without a jacket or shoes.  Especially in the sun in the afternoon this is barefoot weather.

I’m here for Paganicon an annual festival/conference/convention with representation from a wide and diverse variety of Pagan practices.  It’s my first time at this convention and I am impressed with the level of thought and care that goes into the presentations I have seen.  Of course the local planners have been at this for 20 years so most of the logistical kinks are worked out.  It also helps that there is a strong focus on authors and publishing.

San Jose Hills from our hotel room

I’m enjoying shopping and eating and running into old friends.  I am technically here on business.  I’ve written a book and I came out to schmooz with other authors and publishers.  It’s useful for me to talk to authors about their experiences with various publishers and to get recommendations and introductions to publishing houses that specialize in spiritually oriented material.

That’s all kind of foggy isn’t it.  Blame it on the excess of water in my system.  The place I am in the process is a little tricky.  Since I don’t yet have a contract with a publisher I am reluctant to talk too much about the book.  What if someone else stole my idea and ran with it.  On the other hand I’m really proud of myself and would like to start promoting my work.

Some of the writers of the anthology, "Shades of Faith" edited by Crystal Blanton (center).

It is encouraging to see a number of workshops that specifically relate to the core topic of Invocation and Evocation.  Although this community uses those terms in a very specific sense, the bulk of my experiences in the more esoteric application of those terms is exactly what many of these people do.  There are a variety of practitioners of the African Diaspora Religions here as well as practitioners of the Norse Seith and the more classically expressed “Drawing Down the Moon.”  There is also oracular work being done, tarot readings and trance dance.

My own work is not specific to these Pagan practices but addresses the issues of relationship to manifest Divine in all aspects of life.  I hope my work blossoms like the cherry tree outside our hotel room.  You all must please be patient with me and wait for updates, which I’m sure will come in good time.

For now though I think I’ll let the writing go (both blog and book).  I think it’s time for a break by the pool.

Doubletree San Jose airport pool from the 10th floor

BB

Hearts

Hearts by artist Karen Brown

I somehow find it obligatory to comment on Valentine’s Day.  This holiday has mixed feelings for me.  Once upon a time the Saint’s days were for a gathering of the community to worship and acknowledge the sacrifices the Saint’s made for the promotion of the faith.  Before that there were community celebrations of fertility.

Try to think of Valentine’s Day the way we think of county fairs.  Everyone gets together and does a grand seed exchange so that their household gardens carry enough variety to feed the family.  Some people are just better seed savers than others.  Some people had bumper crops last season and others didn’t.  All together the community is stronger for sharing and trading, and getting a blessing upon the seeds, before the planting time comes upon us.

plush lovebirds from petcaretips.net

From that fantasy we move to grade school shoe boxes and card exchanges.  We were all told that we should give a card to every other kid in the class, but that was never what really happened.  The popular kids always had more cards, and the best ones.  The least popular kid had a few cards and they were all the same.  The packs always had a lame card and that one unanimously went to the least popular kid.  Why on earth are we promoting “love” relationships in grade school anyway?  Isn’t there enough time for disappointment later in life?

I met my first husband on Valentine’s Day.  We were college students and he lived near campus.  A mutual friend invited me to join him for a gaming session.  (Yes, I was once a fantasy role player.)  Since I had a rehearsal on campus that morning (and a theater major) we agreed I could just meet him there.  So I knocked on the door of a stranger with a bag of chocolate hearts in my hand.  It wasn’t love at first sight, but it sure was a convenient place to crash after a late night rehearsal.

Now, single yet again, I have no real plans or interest in the day.  My daughter, however, is desperately trying to squeeze in some time with her boyfriend.  The things we perpetuate!  I must be feeling a little sorry for myself since I bought a chocolate cake the last time I was at the grocery.  It has a little red sugar heart on top.  

I’ve been looking for hearts.  There isn’t a lot of color in the winter, but occasionally there is the red flash of a cardinal.  The poet Chaucer apparently promoted the idea that this is the time of year that birds choose their mates.  I like that idea, for the birds.  Of course the reality of both birds and seeds is that climate makes a difference.  It’s a little early here in Minnesota to be getting the seeds out.  We just need to get the orders in before the end of the month to get the early discount.

So maybe this holiday is just a little reminder.  In spite of the cold and the (guaranteed regardless of the groundhog) 6 more weeks of winter I could stand to open my heart a little more.  I can be aware of all that I have to be grateful for.  I can be open to compassion for others and especially for myself.   With that in mind, I got myself a card.  

Happy Heart Day!

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Up in the North where winters are actually cold, walking on water in February isn’t really as dramatic as it sounds.  But as a metaphor it seems to serve how I’m feeling today.  On the one had I have been getting a lot accomplished in the past few weeks.  I had an article published by the Pagan News Collective; I’ve done some research on publishers for my book and am preparing to speak to more later this month; I’m enjoying my new stove and computer and my taxes are with the accountant.  Generally speaking life is good.

On the other hand, the one where walking on water means you’re out in the middle of a vast expanse of frozen wasteland with the cold wind blowing and no place to hide, I’m feeling a little lost.  I’ve been doing enough writing outside of this blog that I’m not sure what to put in it.

This things are really good/ things are really bad dichotomy seems to run pretty dramatically through my life.  Even when things are at there worst I’ve always been able to put together a list of some things that are really good.  Even when things are at their best there’s always something that needs more work.

Ice Fishing on Medicine Lake

Ice Fishing on Medicine Lake

Looking at it across that vast expanse of ice it seems to be very obvious that it’s all about perspective.  The really interesting thing is that perspective is something we ALWAYS have a choice about.  It may be difficult to find an alternative perspective, but no one can take the choice of perspective away.  It’s something that’s worth thinking about.

If we are the one’s who choose our perspective then why don’t we always choose the perspective that serves us best?

That doesn’t mean that we should all look at the world through rose colored glasses.  But maybe choosing to look at the bad stuff with the intention to actually do something about it is better than looking at the “bad” stuff to prove how miserable we are.  Likewise (and this is a big one for me) taking time to look at the good stuff and not worry about all the things still on the “bad” list.

So maybe instead of worrying about what I’m going to write for this weeks blog I’ll just get in line at the drive through.  A cup of good coffee always brightens my perspective!

Large Dark Chocolate Mocha with a shot of Peppermint, Please

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Up in the North where winters are actually cold, walking on water in February isn’t really as dramatic as it sounds.  But as a metaphor it seems to serve how I’m feeling today.  On the one had I have been getting a lot accomplished in the past few weeks.  I had an article published by the Pagan News Collective; I’ve done some research on publishers for my book and am preparing to speak to more later this month; I’m enjoying my new stove and computer and my taxes are with the accountant.  Generally speaking life is good.

On the other hand, the one where walking on water means you’re out in the middle of a vast expanse of frozen wasteland with the cold wind blowing and no place to hide, I’m feeling a little lost.  I’ve been doing enough writing outside of this blog that I’m not sure what to put in it.

This things are really good/ things are really bad dichotomy seems to run pretty dramatically through my life.  Even when things are at there worst I’ve always been able to put together a list of some things that are really good.  Even when things are at their best there’s always something that needs more work.

Ice Fishing on Medicine Lake

Ice Fishing on Medicine Lake

Looking at it across that vast expanse of ice it seems to be very obvious that it’s all about perspective.  The really interesting thing is that perspective is something we ALWAYS have a choice about.  It may be difficult to find an alternative perspective, but no one can take the choice of perspective away.  It’s something that’s worth thinking about.

If we are the one’s who choose our perspective then why don’t we always choose the perspective that serves us best?

That doesn’t mean that we should all look at the world through rose colored glasses.  But maybe choosing to look at the bad stuff with the intention to actually do something about it is better than looking at the “bad” stuff to prove how miserable we are.  Likewise (and this is a big one for me) taking time to look at the good stuff and not worry about all the things still on the “bad” list.

So maybe instead of worrying about what I’m going to write for this weeks blog I’ll just get in line at the drive through.  A cup of good coffee always brightens my perspective!

Large Dark Chocolate Mocha with a shot of Peppermint, Please

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