Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Lives Inside Mt. Shasta?

Somehow as a young teenager I heard about aliens or creatures or monsters that lived inside of Mt. Shasta. Maybe from newspapers, magazines, TV, or casual conversation. The landscape of California is, after all, littered with sites and monuments and legends of popular occulture. Here, a Mystery Spot, there a mountain said to be sacred to local Native Peoples, down the road the headquarters of the Rosicrucians, down the other road geysers and healing springs and odd cult hang outs like Bohemian Grove.

Two different but vaguely linked occultural notions might have led me to link inhabitants of Mt. Shasta with flying saucers, and to flying saucer contactees--the Shaver Mystery and the I AM movement.

The Shaver Mystery, promoted by Amazing Stories science fiction magazine during the late 1940s and early 1950s and mentioned in passing later, proposed that degenerate creatures called Deros lived beneath the Earth and did things to us with their rays. There was also some vague connection with flying saucers.

So maybe I got this notion from science fiction fandom.

During the 1930s, a mining engineer with strong occulture interests announced that he had met the Count St. Germain on the slopes of Mt. Shasta. Esoteric beings inhabited the hollow mountain. Ballard and his wife started the I AM activity.

I could have picked up the idea that aliens lived inside Mt. Shasta from conversations about I AM.

Plus, Adamski claimed to have met and talked with and flown on flying saucers of--Venusians. Space brothers and sisters.

What's more, Mt. Shasta is a volcano located on the southern end of the Cascades Range. In 1947, Kenneth Arnold saw flying saucers from his airplane near Mt. Ranier, another prominent volcano northwards along the Cascades Range.

What I find intriguing about this is how simple and easy it was--and is--to discover occulture associations between fragments of this and that information. Casual conversation, fandom, geography, fringey fascination, the regional occulture landscape and mindscape, creative brain play, the urge to make stories, stuff like that.

Powered by Zoundry Raven

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did I Ever See A Flying Saucer?

One of those What's your occulture? questions.

Did I ever see a flying saucer?

No, I never have.

But I've looked for them. And I find flying saucers a fascinating notion. Interstellar, maybe intergalactic, craft conveying alien life forms to visit, communicate with, study, kidnap, secretly manipulate, or whatever else is on their agendas, little old Earth and its peoples.

As a young teenager, I read Flying Saucers Have Landed by George Adamski and Desmond Leslie. Not only did it tell tales about flying saucer watchers making contact with aliens right in my own home state of California, near Mt. Palomar, but it also had a bunch of photographs of flying saucers! Plus, the flying saucer aliens looked a lot like us Earth folk and were worried about our atomic weapons.

During that time, I was also worried about our atomic weapons. So it made sense to me that flying saucer visitors would, too.

It was kinda like the science fiction stories that I enjoyed reading and the science fiction movies that I enjoyed watching had come to real life! Maybe there would be cute flying saucer girls and adventurous undertakings that all turned out right in the end.

I was, as a fan, more a science fiction optimist than a pessimist. It's a meta-literary sort of preference.


So I often, when outside, watched the skies, hoping to see a flying saucer.

Mostly, I saw birds and aircraft. On two different occasions, I did see fairly large, pretty bright, silvery colored objects high in the Eastern afternoon sky. In the daylight sky, they were visibly brighter than, say, the plane Venus. I imagined that they might have been flying saucers.

But they turned out to be balloons used to explore the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The large polyethylene balloons were launched from U.S. Navy ships out in the Pacific. They drifted eastwards on the prevailing jet streams. Looking at the right place at the right time, I happened to see them.

Still, poking around in the notion and subculture of flying saucers did give me a handle on that--What's alien technology like? Are alien visitors friend or foe? What could the government know and when and how could they cover it up? Who lives inside of Mt. Shasta? Do Zeta Reticulans really experiment on us? Are we Earthlings the one time and maybe still slaves of dreaded alien overlords?--side of occulture.


High altitude balloon flights--

Powered by Zoundry Raven

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pagan Solidarity--Just Wondering

In the interfaith discussions and disputes that go on, there's often a supposition that--somehow--all Paganism is one and the same when compared to, say, Christianity or to monotheism. And a parallel supposition that all Pagans--by virtue of being Pagans--share a common interest in promoting or upholding Paganism.

I find that these suppositions kinda irk me. And I'm not quite sure why.

But I suspect that it has something to do with how I categorize myself and my world view.

I do not consider myself simply a Pagan.

I consider myself a Neo-Pagan Craft practitioner with deep and strong links to elements of Tantra and Hinduism and to elements of Hawaiian spirituality and to elements of the Western Magical Tradition.

But, honestly, there's a lot of aggregate Paganism that is much more intellectually interesting me than magically important or spiritually active. So I don't feel any compelling solidarity with aggregate Paganism. Aggregate Paganism is too expansive a category.

At the same time, I understand that it's easy and convenient in interfaith discussions or disputes to aggregate Paganism, and to allow a few characteristics of this aggregate to stand for the diversity and complexity of Paganisms in sum. But a lot of times, I just don't consider myself as representing all Pagans or all Paganism.

Powered by Zoundry Raven

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mythology Synchroblog--Postmodern Monsters In My Meta-Pantheon

One of the distinctive features of a Neo-Pagan world view is the willingness and ability to cobble together meta-pantheons using elements from non-traditional, often popular culture, sources.

Neo-Pagans take a figure or a creature from a book, a movie, a notion circulating through the infosphere, a movement originating in therapy or spirituality or sportive play or eroticism. They fool around with these elements and refine their enthusiasms for them, combine them together in different ways, then combine those innovative elements with more traditional sources. Out of this activity emerge meta-pantheons that mix and match deities, guardians, entities, monsters, and powers across historical periods and cultures and domains of fandom.

Preparing for this synchroblog post, I looked around my house to review the images, items, and figures that I deploy on the altars and special locales that support my Neo-Pagan Craft practice. I thought that I kept few monsters around. Somewhat to my surprise, I realized that, in fact, I keep plenty of monsters around. And that most of them are postmodern monsters.

Each of my mountain bikes, for instance carries a little Devil Ducky figure ziptied to the handlebars. Horned red rubber duck mojo figures.

Plus, here and there in front of me on my computer desk are three different Devil Ducky figures--cammo, black eye-patched pirate, and glow-in-the-dark. In my office, site of my main altar, several other Devil Ducky figures sit in various niches and crannies. Back on my computer desk, in addition, sits a rubber duck wearing a peaked with hat.

At the base of my computer view screen are two figures dedicated to destroying obstacles--a little brass Ganesha and a Wile E. Coyote figure standing over a pile of TNT and round black bombs, detonator in paw, poised to blow himself up.

Also lending some additional mojo is a little stuffed Azrael the Cat figure from The Smurfs. And an enameled metal Mele Kalikimaka Xmas wreath of hibiscus flowers.

Overlooking the room from the top of a bookshelf are a Mickey Mouse figure and my favorite muppet, Fozzie Bear.

On my main altar there's a small cobra figure commemorating Shesha Naga and a Dragon's egg from the Harry Potter movies.

Also in the office sit three figures of Nazgul, including The Witch-King of Angmar. From the moment I read The Lord of the Rings as a young teenager, I've been fascinated by the evil ways of the Nazgul.

And, yes, there's more stuff scattered around the office. A figure of the Evil Queen from Snow White, for example. And a print of Darth Vader.

Back in the day, I had a rare opportunity to get some Japanese robot toys. So various good guy and bad guy mecha figures stand protectively or menacingly on my bookshelves. And a few little Space Cruiser Yamoto spaceships fly around the books.

Oh yeah, safeguarding the kitchen and front of the house stand several different figures of Godzilla.

Finally, hanging on the bathroom wall is a 3-D Cthulhu plaque. Now I have been a Mythos fan just about as long as I've been a Tolkien fan, so Cthulhu works for me on that account. But one of the Craft Trads I'm affiliated with has, for better or worse, linked with the Mythos pantheon in one of those sideways, squinty, witchy ways that Craft Trads sometimes do.

So I find that I've surrounded myself with mostly postmodern monsters, which at the same time, I don't regard as all that monstrous. They're just members of my Neo-Pagan meta-pantheon, something that, going by my own experience, works magic for me.

Note: I've blogged about postmodern monsters earlier. Here's some links:



Cthulhu & the MAD Nuclear Physicist--

Here's the posts in this synchroblog so far--

Our Gods, Our Monsters (Aquila ka Hecate)
Mythical Monsters (Khanya)
The Multi-Headed Serpent (Between Old and New Moons)
scary monsters (Druid’s Apprentice)
Lamia nas maaos da Sibila/Lamia in the hands of the Sibyl (Magna Mater)
Postmodern Monsters In My Meta-Pantheon (Pitch313)
Paleothea: the Ancient Goddess
The Dance of the Elements
Bubo’s Blog
When Isis Rises

Powered by Zoundry Raven