I recently began contributing to online shrines, creating main pages. I did Bast first, and continued with the Capitoline Triad. The Jupiter entry is complete, but I am stumbling on the Juno entry. I completely erased it what I had written a few nights ago. She is so much more than I had anticipated. I’m not entirely sure how to describe Her. I need to avoid saying diminutizing things. I just feel like I don’t have the right idea about her yet. Her cosmology is vast!
I think I am going to start daily rituals again. I have an interest in Ancient Rome and Roman religion, and I do have a lararium of sorts. There is an article here at novaroma.org for well researched morning and evening rituals.
I confess that I have a hard time being consistent. I can make all the announcements I want and it doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it. I think I will first study these rituals thoroughly, and then I will attempt them.
It’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot of late. I’ve actually been laying my cards on the table at work, and the hardest thing to do is…nothing. I’ve been horribly, horribly mistreated. I need to do again what I’ve done in the past: Let it percolate in their minds. They know I’m angry now, and they know I have leverage. What I need from the universe is some kind of …lack. I need there to be nothing for them to hold on to, and nothing to go by. I need them to be unable to make a dent in my “show” of courage.
They could still let me go, fire me, lay me off. But with that, comes unemployment and I don’t think they want to pay unemployment.
I’ve got everything where I think it should be. I simply can’t push it. It is very hard to wait. But in this twilight stage of my situation, I still need cognitive stimulation, and I usually put my thoughts and energies forward toward the time when things will come to a head.
My intuition has been very good with this job so far, but in the next situation, I’ll be on a balance beam, though it is no fault of my own.
So, I will contribute to my next “win” with silence, and an absolute “drop” of the issue. In the meantime, I will visualize energy being taken away from the situation and not replaced.
Four years ago, when I first started my Pagan Music Project, I got asked “What’s the difference between Witchcraft and Paganism?” That was difficult for me to answer. I struggled with it for a while, and then forgot about it. Now, I think I’ve got it.
Witchcraft is about energies and powers that be. Witchcraft spells and Witch magick are about working with the energetic machine that the world and universe are part of. It’s almost more of a job than it is a religion. Witches around the world are people that “do.” Whether good or bad, Witches “do” things.
Paganism is religion. Pagan spells are about sharing the power of a Deity, should that Deity choose to share with you. Pagan rituals, spells, and magick are about worshiping Deities, who, in return for long-term service and offerings to them, grant you boons, and may even visit with you on the material plane if They find you worthy of it. Whether a Deity is good or bad, you will find Pagans worshipping Them.
In Witchcraft, the central point of the ritual is the magick worked, and the power used is naturally occurring energy. In Paganism, the magick takes place through the Deity’s power and consent.
I used to think that Paganism and Witchcraft were not very far from each other, and I thought they were mostly the same thing with different names. I realize that that isn’t so. The reason that this has been so difficult for me -and I’ve asked this question before, and not been satisfied until now- is that their functional practice is intertwined. Witchcraft can be and is very often done in the presence of Deity, and Deities will teach and practice magick themselves.
Take Aradia/Herodias or Hekate, for example. Aradia/Herodias is the daughter of Diana, who lays the task upon her daughter to teach all who wish to learn sorcery and witchcraft. Hekate is the keeper of the knowledge of magick; the librarian of the dark powers of the universe. Hekate will let you in to the library; Aradia will teach you the spells.
This leads me to believe that the magick cogs in the universe are separate from Deity- both Humans and Deities are capable of accessing the Power, but to a degree based on experience, training, and of course, supernatural existence. I think Deities have both personal power and energy, as well as the ability to work with the natural power of the universe, and we call on them in Witchcraft and Wicca in order to teach us and guide our magick. In Paganism, we ask them to do magick and grant wishes on our behalf, and are expected in both cases to follow through with real-world actions post-ritual to prove our commitment.
In short, there is a clear separation between Witchcraft and Paganism, however, it is very hard to see it that way, especially when it is the Gods themselves that are teaching us. Deities use magick themselves, as well as raw power, and so do we, as practitioners. We work together with Deities to get the most out of Life, Death, Nature, and Power.
I’ve come across a client that could sure use some protection during our sessions. No, not from me, and no,not from sex. He needs protection from himself!
He humped the carpet, naked. Rubbed his junk raw. Showed me a picture, and wanted to be humiliated for it. I told him he belonged on the short bus, and I guess that did the trick.
I think, though, that in real life, I will probably make such guys wear acrylic or metal male chastity belts to protect themselves, and of course, deny them what they’re searching for.
He was a friendly, likeable guy up until this point. Called me ‘darlin’ and ‘love’. Shit like that. Cuddly type. I knew I liked him too much. I kinda had the hots for him, a little bit. I try not to get too close to people at work. I don’t tell them about my private life, but his openness got me to let slip. He said he liked to tie women up and do gothic things to them. I asked him if he was on FetLife and he looked like he had no clue.
I just found out yesterday that he is a cheater and he’s PROUD of it. I asked him if he’d made arrangements for open relationships, and he hasn’t. Shook his head like I was the stupid one. Then, he brings his girlfriend over and tells me and my other female coworker to be quiet about it. We were. At the time, I felt like, okay well, if this is how he wants to live his life, who am I to judge?
I am a Domina, that’s who I am. I IMMEDIATELY wanted to kick his ass upon hearing that he’d been dishonest with his many partners. Respect went down the toilet. It really did make him not sexy anymore. Now I want to yell, scream, and finally, tie him upside down to a St Andrew’s cross, and beat the ever-loving shit out of his bipolar ass until he agrees not to be a lying, cheating bastard. I want to abuse this motherfucker.
This is one person I actually WON’T be dominating. I would lose myself in my anger and reprobation. I need to find a way to confront this issue without getting into an argument.
I notice this is an important theme in my domination. I want to make men understand what it feels like to be a woman, and I want to know what it feels like to be a man. I don’t want to change my sex or cross dress, myself. I want to change gender roles and be in control, and I have a specific cause-sexually-based emotional abuse.
I don’t think he realizes that he’s abusing these women. He thinks “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” Au contraire. Because if he’s sleeping around, he’ll catch herpes at some point and give it to one of them. Fucking asshole. That word isn’t enough to describe him.
I think the only thing to do would be to tell on him. He’s already been told, by other dudes at work not to get so personal. Now I know why. I think I’ll mention it in conversation, because I find it offensive enough to ruin his life over. I think I’ve found my niche market-beating the crap out of men who cheat and lie.
We are definitely not friends anymore.
Peter Ringo asked if I would write an article on Gender Roles in Opera. I can’t. There are already so many good ones out there and I’d just be stealing their work. I would much rather create a list of good articles so we can get a good discussion going about how these things came about and continue today, and see what may possibly apply to modern day GLBTQ-types of Pagans and our music at large.
So, here are some articles and my own little paraphrases of what they are about:
- “Brief History of Cross-Dressing in Opera.” Pretty self-explanatory, but contains a short description of several operas, photographs, and short descriptions of who the role is written for, and finishes with a critique of modern voices.
- An introduction to cross-dressing in Opera. Covers intro topics, such as roles that are written such that women play youthful boys or effeminate men.
Homosexual Composers and Operatic Themes
- Benjamin Britten, and Ancient Gay Greeks. What could be better?
- Gay Tchaikovsky, the Ideas of Fate, and Fatalistic Symphony (and one or two operas)
Lesbians in Opera
- A discussion and interview of two successful lesbian opera singers. Who are together, yes.
- Synopsis of Fidelio. Okay, this is more of a cross-dressing/mistaken identity opera, but Beethoven wrote it, and the heroine is so bad-ass that she pulls a gun on the bad guy. She’s like the Angelina Jolie of the Romantic Period. And she sings.
Trans-people in Opera
- First Openly Trans Opera Student at SF Conservatory. Bio and interview of African-American m-to-f transgender singer Breanna Sinclaire.
- Transgender Opera Singer. Tona Brown, Bio and interview.
So, I hope this gave a general overview of LGBTQ issues in opera today. We’d have to comb historical operas to find transgendered characters. I’m sure they are there, however, quite a few operas have been written and then left aside for the ages. I’m sure that some of us could find an opera written for Hermaphroditos somewhere, likely by Handel, on IMSLP…..
I want to write. I wish i could write something for a pagan periodical, but I am just pooped. I can’t think of what to write for my blog, even though I’ve got an answer for a question someone asked me. I’m to write a blog post about non-gender normative behaviors in classical opera and I just don’t feel like it. I mean, first the story that the opera is based on has to have those themes, and is cross dressing enough of a gender issue to make it? Cross dressing was big in Opera Buffa (Comic/comedic Opera) and vaudeville-style Commedia Dell’Arte of the middle ages. There were the castrati, but those were artificial and not technically ‘gay.’ There’s the mezzo-pants roles that women often play because a.there are no more castrati, and b.mezzos were written into it anyway. I don’t think there are any lesbian roles in opera, but there’s depressing melodrama, realist opera (complete with dead babies), pagan opera (of a sort), political/verismo opera, fantasy opera, and historic opera.
It was the ‘movies’ of its time-a complete submersion into a the creative vision of a composer. Then, as now, performers were responsible for creating the suspension of belief-the idea that what they were seeing was actually happening. One thing that bugs me about Opera is recitative; it’s always been unclear whether the speech-like soloing was supposed to be breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience, or if it was supposed to be a representation of the character’s inner thoughts. About 50 percent of the time it’s clearly dialogue, so its purpose in the plot line isn’t befuddled there.
I wish I knew more about Opera. I’d be able to answer it better.
So, a friend let me borrow a book to review. It’s called ‘Rhythmajick’ and on the front it says: Practical Uses of Number, Rhythm, and Sound. by Z’EV. I sat down with my drum one day and opened the book, looking for inspiration.
If I had a picture of myself scratching my head, I’d attach it to this post. You see, I’m a musician and I know how to read music. I’m also an educator and I know how to teach music. A lot of people learn music by rote instead of reading it, so it can be hard to write about music if you don’t have the notation.
Z’EV doesn’t have the notation. He’s got the Qabbalistic Tree of Life and numerical correspondences down pat. But so far, in the book, the first rhythmic exercise doesn’t have any explanation of beat, rhythm, rests, tempo, meter, or duration. Not even in a form that would be easy to understand by a ‘rote’ learner. The correspondences are for numbers and they are unconnected to any known rhythmic patterns, tempi, time signatures, or other rhythmic terms.
The book has exercises in it that are based on…wait for it…drawing sigils with pen and paper. Not with playing a drum. Rote memorization does play a part, but only of what number corresponds to what sigil. I find it really hard to believe that this book is 50 dollars on Amazon.
The book does provide an example of a beat pattern, but it uses x’s, dots, and dashes without an explanation as to how long each one lasts. I would like to see a discussion of where to strike on the drum, loudness, softness, crescendi and ritardandi and other musical terms. That means there is no way to reproduce what the author is talking about with 100% accuracy unless I contact the author, and that’s fishy to me. This makes me wonder about the validity of the musicianship of the author.
It’s fishy because I already have an uneasy feeling about the Qabbalistic Tree of Life and other Western Esoteric practices to begin with. I’ve done research on several figures involved in it, and I don’t wish to practice a method that is linked with an Abrahamic tradition.
As for the musicianship of the author, coupled with lack of musical information such as notation or tempo, it appears to be more of a “look at me, look at me, I’m smarter than you because I can count” situation. I think the author wants to be contacted because they want to feel special.
As a book of correspondence theory, however, it is interesting and informative. I could very likely come up with my own interpretation of what is being represented in the book with little trouble.
But I think that RHYTHM was left out of this book on purpose, so the author could have some attention. I was disappointed with this book. It is more Majik and no Rhythm. Not very practical.