Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Comments On Blogickal's The Holy O

[I'm posting this comment here because of glitches in Blogickal's comments.]

Even though Feri is, in principle, a sex positive Neo-Pagan Craft Trad, it is also, on the ground, a constellation of human practitioners. Some of whom are more sex-positive, some of whom are less sex-positive, any one of whom may act in a sex-positive manner one day and a sex-negative manner another day.

I think that each practitioner emerges from a sex-negative culture and finds her or his way into a sex-positive realm that seems both enchanted and enchanting--because it is so different in the living of it. But this way crosses through many varied experiences and understandings and refleactions and visions. Only some, perhaps even a few, of these may grow from Feri practice. Others may come from the rough and tumble of relationships and not-relationships. Others may come from sources of guidance involving other Trads and spiritualities. And other may come from finding that your bliss is yours.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

If Only There Was A Culture Left To Poach!

In the little part of the world where I grew up--North San Francisco Bay Area--there was once not so long ago, maybe 150 years or so ago, some Native Americans with religions of their own, just as good--or maybe even better--than Christianity and cultures that suited the land. Groups of Coastal Miwok, Suisunes, other Patwins, and Karkins.

Between the Franciscan missions, the Spanish/Mexican governors, the Gold Rush, statehood and its politics, smallpox, and good old greed for land, you'd never have a clue. The few from these small Native American groups who didn't die were shipped off or ran far from the new and European civilization. Nobody was left to ask about their indigenous religion or their indigenous culture.

I couldn't have poached it, no matter how much I tried.

The only Native American from my little part of the world I ever met was a bronze statue of the Suisune Chief Solano, Sem-Yato.

A photograph of the statue, sculpted by William Gordon Huff, may be viewed on CaliSphere:

Solano County Seal from:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is My--Or Anybody Else's--Metapantheon Cultural Poaching?

Look at my blog post about Metapantheon. My personal metapantheon includes Deities and figures from quite a few pantheons. Some represent disparate historical cultures, others literary sources or pop culture upwellings or occultural discoveries. It's a true post modern assemblage, not a legacy of continuous tradition passed on to me by my ancestors. I put it together. It speaks for me. And it's probably an assemblage unique to my practice and my world view. A work of
Neo-Pagan occultural art.

And it's crossed my mind more than once that this sort of assemblage relies on cultural poaching. It mashes up cultural elements, subsystems, and realms that probably would not happen within the domain of any particular historical culture. Or only in the course of culture contact and acculturation.

That's for the historical cultural sources. It's a little tougher for me to say that borrowing from literary sources or the heaps and harmonies and holocausts and and hordes of pop culture that englobe me across so many media and modalities is poaching much of anything. Yes, we have copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual properties by the digital millennium. But the fannish adaptation is to pay homage more than steal outright.

When I get down to it, that's how I see my personal metapantheon. It's a fannish homage to the multi-layered and inter-connected culture I live in and live through and live around. It's the sort of culture where everything makes sense and nothing makes sense and this current makes sense for a moment then that impulse makes sense for another moment and this impulse is skewed from that one only they converge without dissonance over here and everybody has to believe five impossible things just to get to work.

Fannish because I gotta have some enthusiasms to survive and prosper, express what inspires me and do my best to smother what alienates me. Fannish because the many ways things fall together or do not is often funny, occasionally ha-ha but more likely according to other dimensions of incongruity and contrast. Fannish because there's a continuing series of new events, issues, matters, interests, discoveries, knowledge, forms, formlessness, models, episodes, tales, lore, tunes, gossip, technologies, rules of thumb, identities, mysteries, versions, angles of view, summits, nadirs, discourses, panels, paginations, storyboards, scenes, styles, and who knows what more on the horizon or sinking beneath it.

Besides, so much of the sorts of things that make up my metapantheon were already within my own culture before I was born. I didn't have to mount much bigger an expedition than to get to school, the public library, turn on the TV or the radio, listen to a folksong or a concert, walk down the street, or talk with other people to learn about most of what's in my metapantheon.

Culture went global a long time ago. Culture got more global in my lifetime. If it's cultural poaching, we're all of us cultural poachers.