Friday, November 25, 2005

Making the Papers

Last night, I went out to the West Island to join a few other fellow pagans to be interviewed by the Montreal Gazette. With Yule coming up, one of their reporters was curious about what Pagans do during the holidays and asked to interview us about it.

We talked about Pagan philosophy and Pagan practice. We talked about Pagan creeds and guidelines. We talked about rituals and symbology. We talked about community and public reactions. We talked about good and bad experiences about being Pagan in a non-pagan society.

He wrote all of it down and his photographer snapped off a few pictures of us in discussion and some of us in posed shot with an athame and a goblet of wine (symbolizing the Great Rite).

All in all, it was a nice discussion and we were well-pleased with it. The article is supposed to appear in the paper sometime before the CUPS Yule Fair (on December 3rd). But before the reporter left, I asked him what section the article would be in, and he replied "The A section".

The A section. That's the front of the paper. It has all the city news in it. I suddenly worried about what this would mean. I was going to be Pagan in a VERY public way now and I'm worried about what that might mean. Not worried enough that I'm going to ask for a retraction; I volunteered for this interview and I'm sticking to it.

Actually, I'm more worried what this might mean for Ms. Carotte. She's a devout Christian and she attends an Evangelical Church. She's starting to make friends there and getting involved in that community. I do stuff for that Church too since I think it offers positive contribution to our neighborhood (not that any of them know I'm Pagan).

I don't care if these Church people started to treat me differently based on my religious affiliations, but I would hate it if they started to treat Ms. Carotte differently. That would suck.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Take a Moment

If you missed the 11am moment on the 11th, take a minute now to sit or stand silently and meditate on the sacrifices made by those who were left behind and who live on today.

I find reading this poem helps to put me in the proper headspace. Lest we forget...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Reflections of a Greater Glory

I teach a Paganism 101 class at the Crescent Moon School on Wednesday nights, so last night we were watching an NFB documentary on pagan spirituality, the new feminist movement, and the environmental movement (Full Circle).

With so much on Goddess spirituality in the mainstream media, the concept of Goddess spirituality is certainly well-known. I'm sure that in 1992 (over 13 years ago), this would've been a relatively new concept to hit the mainstream consciousness.

So the film was more than a bit dated for my students, as well as myself. There was also a nasty undercurrent of anti-male sentiment that I found disturbing (that the males were responsible for everything that had gone wrong in the world). That type of male-villification just gets my blood boiling (so don't get me started).

I was discussing this with Ms. Carotte last night and I said:

"The movie attributed everything to the Goddess! The oceans, the moon, the animals, and the earth is the Earth Mother. And what about the God? The God gets regulated to the Sun, sperm, general security, and taking out the garbage. Argh!"

"Think of it this way," she smirked. "The only reason we can see the Moon at all is because it reflects the light of the Sun. What does that say about the Goddess?"

I grinned malevolently. "I'll be sure to use that on some unsuspecting pagan feminist. Maybe I'll go get my tombstone done now and avoid the rush."

There's a reason I love that girl. She always trying to get me killed in some kind of spectacular way.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Feet are Wet

Remeber back in August when I posted about fighting Cold Feet about my new business idea? Since then, I've been meeting with a few people, discussing the project and generating some interest, but no one has formally given me the Nod.

Until this morning.

I got my first committed client and work on the project will start in January 2006 (although the setup work will probably start this month). When I complete this project, I will formally launch my new company project with some kind of shindig, probably in the Spring.

In the meantime, I celebrate my first victory. I'm very excited and terrified at the same time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Handout Gets Bitten

As I do every year, I decked the front of the house with all things ghoulish and ghastly, including spooky music and ghostly moanings and groanings. Ms. Carotte and I both got dressed up and we freaked out the little kids as they went Trick or Treating. I really love this time of year.

It took about 2 hours for the kids to clean us out of our goodies and we got some really interesting costumes. There was one kid who had a steady stream of blood pouring down his skull face.

But then came the Teens. I hate it when Teens go trick or treating because they refuse to get into the spirit of the night. Going around with a pillowcase to get free candy doesn't make you a Trick'OTreater: it makes you a Beggar. So we refused to give anything to the teens who just showed up in their regular clothes.

I had a pair of brothers show up (with their Mom looking on) who were not only offensive, they were abusive. I made the mistake of asking the youngest one what he was as I gave him the candy. He replied loud and proud "I'm a faggot!" Stunned, I looked over to his mom who just shrugged and admonished him lightly as she laughed.

"If that's your answer, then I'll take my candy back," I said, reaching for his bag.

"Okay, okay," he laughed, snatching his bag away. "I'm really a vampire. Watch!" and he grabbed my hand and bit me hard! Again, his mum just laughed. I turned to his brother, ready to ask him what he was (he was in his regular clothes), but he just grabbed the candy from my hand and pushed me out of the way with a "Yeah, yeah. Whatever."

As they walked away from my porch, I called out "If you're trick or treating, you could at least get into the spirit of it! I spent money on these candies, so I'm not asking that much from you to just wear something interesting. And if you're going to take my candies, you can can the attitude!" I swear, I'm getting more and more like the "old guy shaking his cane at the young folks" every day.

The mother looked so torn. She was shocked and surprised that I would rant at her son, but at the same time, she knew I was right. She just waved half-heartedly and ran off after her children. Better spend a bit more time teaching your kids to pay *some* respect to others, especially when asking for food.

Halloween is one of those rare occasions when you actually get to meet your neighbours. I love doing that, but if you could just keep your bratty, arrogant, "whatever" teens away from me, it'll take the horror out of my holiday experience.