Claustrophobia? It’s relative.

This is the oldest post on this blog, made when it was still called “The Red Faery” and was primarily historical in focus. I’m trying to go back to writing more informative posts, rather than personal ones. Any suggestions?

Flight of the Hamsa

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An illustration from a late Heian picture-scroll, showing a “respectable” lady behind curtains of state. She is surrounded by her less-respectable gentlewomen.

“Respectable” ladies in Heian Japan lived their lives hidden away behind barricades of screen and curtain and bundled into layers upon layers of robes. Theirs was a sedentary life, spent away from the prying eyes of men. Indeed, the ladies of Heian Japan led confined existences that any modern observer (female or not) would no doubt find oppressively claustrophobic.

Heian ladies certainly were supposed to live sedentary lives indoors, safe from the unwanted gaze of men. That was the ideal, anyway. Unfortunately for the women of Classical Japan – and for men and women everywhere throughout time – ideals have a way of remaining little more than abstractions, their existence serving as a frustration to those who can’t make things quite measure up. So it shouldn’t really be…

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If we’re doing it wrong…

Because the gods are perfectly capable of protecting themselves!

Pagan Church Lady

The Gods will let us know.  Whether by voice or withdrawing their favor or lashing out and pushing us away.  If the Gods have agency, they will make these things clear to us.  If they need humans to enforce the proper way to think, worship, and relate to them and to shake their fingers and scold them when they’re doing it wrong then they don’t have much in the way of agency, now do they?

I am reminded of Christianity in America, where the Devil lurks around every corner, subverts every mind, manipulates every politician, controls every industry… and God, the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent needs representatives to defend him.  When I hear that, it makes their God sound very weak, and their Devil sound very powerful.

You may tell me what you think of my devotion and theology and I may listen, but at the end of the day…

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No, You Don’t Want This

This morning one of my friends died, and I feel like I’m somehow responsible because a few months ago I had a premonition of her death. Plenty of books out there will tell you how to develop psychic powers, but it seems like very few of them tell you what the consequences of those powers can be. Do you want to see the future? No, you don’t. You really, really don’t.