My open blog for people who want to read my books,articles, and any other things that I might produce, keep track of storytelling engagements, listen to my less demented rantings, and generally play nice (or naughty, I'm easy... as is widely known).
I have posted this poem on the blog before, in written format, but thought I'd do a spoken version as well. It's from the 17th century Chinese myth of Hu Tianbao, a lowly soldier who fell in love with a pompous Imperial official who scorned his advances and had him battered to death. The Gods decided to transform Hu Tianbao's soul into a minor deity, Tu Er Shen the Rabbit God, and he became the patron of male love.
The temples were popular around Fujian province, before eventually being suppressed. Recently his worship has been revived and includes at least one temple in Taiwan.
I've been meaning to post a review of this book for some while, as it is one of the recommended reading texts on the Classical Polytheism module of the Religious Studies degree that I run. Brendan Myers' "The Earth, the Gods and the Soul" is an excellent resource in the study of both early pagan thought and its more modern expressions. The author summarises the key beliefs of a wide range of philosophers who either were pagan (such as Pythagoras) or whose writings have had a strong influence upon the development of pagan philosophies (such as Rousseau and Graves).
Myers' precis of the central beliefs is both accurate and succinct, and he ties the assorted ideas together to build an overarching set of arguments around the necessity for institutional structure to help in the building (or rather rebuilding) of a cohesive philosophy of the world, weaving together such strands as animism and Neo-Platonism.
The author also addresses such issues as the enchantment of t…
Today is the eve of Calan Mai - the first of May, Beltane in the Gaelic calendar. The story below is the tale of Rhiannon's child. She is described as a magical queen in the Mabinogion, but some historians and many pagans believe that she is the euhemerised form of an ancient British horse deity, Rigantona. She certainly has a presence in ritual.
The story was recorded in two halves, due to an interruption, so I have learnt how to splice them together - hopefully without causing too much discordance. Calan Mai, or Beltane, marks teh start of summer - hope you all have a peaceful, productive, and joyful one.
I recorded a rather rambling podcast for the Pagan Federation virtual moot. This is almost the same, but in this version I remembered to say what I forgot to say in their version. The theme set was 'Food for the Soul' and so I've reflected on the way in which storytelling - from novels to family narratives to mythical sagas - shapes our lives (scop's them, if you want an Anglo-Saxon pun) for the better or worse. We feed our bellies with bread, but our souls with sagas.
One day I might transmute these disparate ideas into something cohesive, but at the moment you'll just have to endure the meandering version. I've been asked to write something a bit clever for an anthology ardently read by people who are very, very clever (and some who just think they are). I'm wary of doing so because they also seem to relish ripping one another apart in the way that posturing academics and pseuds in equal measures are prone to do. If I ever manage to produce a chapter, i…