Mar. 23rd, 2011 03:03 pm
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Some of my personal Feri work led me to another round of self-work on LGBT stuff in my own life a month or so ago (yea Amethyst Pentacle!). With a focus on 'visibility.' Despite being an organizer and all that, I still had some itchy spots. Probably always will, yadda yadda.

And now I've got the Trans Day of Visibility event coming up, and people are contacting me out of the woodwork! New therapists looking to learn, or to find help for young FTMs. New film makers. A guy who is a legislative assistant asked if he could speak. Not to mention having a couple of drag performances. And more. 

Maybe this will be an opportunity for me to learn more myself, perhaps find a segue into some new career paths. Who knows. I feel pretty proud of it all, really, and it hasn't even happened yet.

OTOH, I still have to connect with friends to get the sound system, and relearn how to use it, and order and pick up coffee for that evening, and make a script, and make sure the projector will work, and find all of the film dvds... :-)

Transgender Day of Visibility
Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose
March 31st, 7-9pm
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Boosting the signal... Lee Harrington, a long-time leather player, has shared a new Feri-style pentacle; Ruby/leather. Pentacles are ways of working with our common human experience/energies. I'm going to work it and see what I find.


Aug. 13th, 2010 11:32 am
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 Thinking about shoulder tension; watching my manager, and reminding her that when it comes to releasing tension, the exhale is more important than the inhale. I recognized the tension in her upper body; I know it intimately in my own. 

Then realized 'exhaling' also corresponds to letting go of 'stuff,' aka clutter, something on my mind even more than usual right now, due to moving my household. When I've got what I need/what works for me out of an object, I (need to) let it go. In reality, when I do declutter, there is always an energy release, a sense of right/calm/peace.

And now I realize... this is at least part of the Buddhist concept of 'not clinging'. But I think it's huge to see this 'exhaling' is how things work in the real world. It's not an attitude or habit which arises out of nothing but (less than reliable) self-control and will... it's just seeing oh, when I exhale, the tension eases from my shoulders. When I reduce my quantity of t-shirts so that they all fit in one drawer, I feel at ease and satisfied. Even happy to imagine someone else might get use out of the quality items which I'm passing on.

Now I need to explore applying 'exhaling' more to relationships; another type of 'clutter' (though that one is much more complex). ! Though I think actually I already have.

It's trippy to take the philosophical out and start with the body. Where it all starts. Some of this is perhaps available to me because of Thorn's great post on the body and the spirit, which I read the other day.  
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The Begining

The Circle of Dionysos do an awesome queer circle at Pantheacon.

Chewey blog entry.
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O intarwebs.... there is a shape... center is kinda long and tube like, it opens out on each end, and I think kinda wraps back into itself. Maybe used in theoretical depictions around wormholes? I can't think what it is called in order to find an image of it (I was guessing 'bolus', but that appears to be wrong).

I don't even know how to start searching for this. Any ideas?


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It's a good day.

President Obama is! I don't expect miracles, but I have a lot of hope. With his new staff, and his own beliefs, things will change.

The U.N. has issued a statement confirming human rights, specifically addressing sexual identity and gender identity. More info.

I'm working on a talk for the local MCC. I think I will be using the phrase 'God Herself'... it gets right to the core of things. :-)
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I've made a few crafts so far this winter.

Bath salts and body scrub: tea tree/peppermint/lemon, and white ginger/bergamont

A medicine shield; the circle and elements for protection, the feather for attracting good stuff, the central symbols as reminders of his path

Candles; I saw a reference to microwaving wax to make candles. I've saved candle bits for a long time. I wanted a green and black candle for some Feri work. Time to try making candles! I used a small empty jar for one (curious to see how it burns) and the traditional milk carton for the other.


Still need to make a peacock feather fan. Someday I'd like to get my sewing machine tuned up and get back to sewing a vest (tentative on the sewing part....)
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Well, I hope one or two of you fine-arts skilled folks can offer me some suggestions. I am working on an art project (I know, most strange! But it's a Feri thing, so of course!).

I have a round crystal (with raised random-y lines, to make things yet more challenging) oil lamp that I want to 'paint'. I'd kinda like the color effects to be fairly sheer, but will go for deep if that's more doable. I'm hoping to draw some fairly simple designs on it, in about half a dozen colors.

I can't draw, let us be clear. So using paint makes me even more nervous. However... I want this to be as fun as it can. Is there a type of marker I can use? If not, what type of paint?

Might be a nice background project at Costume-Con, though I'm leaning heavily towards the hot tub and whatever sun appears. :-)

Thanks guys!
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It was great attending workshops by other Feri teachers, especially now that I know enough to actually take in the differences.

I have upon occasion ended up talking to Lugh when I thought I was heading towards Melek Ta’us. It was wonderfully validating to have someone else make that connection. ;-)

So much fire work! The Promethean Spark ritual really rocked, as well as was beautiful. The cone of power stood me back on my heels when it went. I liked that they let it take as long as it took. Nothing perfunctory in a Feri ritual.

Speaking of trance (in the Promethean ritual), trance was another subtheme of the weekend for me (along with fire, lgbt, Feri). I was having visions trance dancing during the Pombagira ritual. Yes the dance ritual/music was different this year, but it still worked for me.

Yea for meeting a couple of my classmates! It was great to have an in person shared lesson with our teacher (Storm Faerywolf). As powerful as the class was, I was amazed to find when I was home writing up my notes that most of that experience (as well as Thorn’s I Am workshop) had totally flown out of my head. Really bizarre. OTOH, when I did my practice yesterday and visited the south again, the heart of it came back, yes indeed.

So many Feri workshops! An ongoing theme was ‘radical authenticity,’ from the Ethics workshop to Thorn’s Warrior Pentacle to Fire and 3 Souls. Guess it rather fits as it's core to Feri practice.

I liked Morpheus’ stuff a lot. I didn’t quite catch the name of one of the other initiates whom I thought was pretty cool. Sigh.

Had some Black Heart work from Morpheus and Storm. It kinda ‘intellectually’ worked at the time, but again snapped in hard and good at home. There was so much to take in and process. A lot of integration is still going on inside me.

I kept half-running into Thorn, and not introducing myself (we’ve spoken briefly in the past, but not met). So I had a conversation with myself about that. And sent her an after-con note. Wothehell. Interestingly, the social aspect of Feri isn’t something I’ve thought much about, though it’s a priority for some folks. I did a *ton* of community work back in the Nineties, so I guess I got some of that out of my system. Which is funny, since I’m also aware I didn’t do as much personal connecting as I would’ve liked. So, I’m working on it.

It was really cool wearing my newish Celtic/southwest wolf vest a couple of times. I met a Next Gen (leather) Feri! She asked about my club pin and on we went. Someone else asked if the colors were my family crest. That's worth further thought one day...

I’m so grateful I could go!

lobolance: (uncle)

Happy Early Harvest! Or End of Summer! Or Height of Summer! Or Fair Day! Or Sporting Events Day! Or Climb a Big Hill Day! or Visit a Well Day!

Just for the heck of it I've been doing a bit of reading around (on the web - what dig into one of my 1200 books??) about Lughnasa. Found all kinds of origins. Which makes sense really - traditions vary from neighborhood to neighborhood today, internet or no internet, so surely it makes sense that this turn of the wheel was celebrated in many ways. (Just so you know, it's not that I don't have a long relationship with Lugh, it was just the urge to look with fresh eyes.)

So what matters is what it means now. I tend to take the cross-quarters approach; Lughnasa signifies the first sign of fall in the height of summer, with related first fruits and harvests (though I also have a lingering Irish festival/sports connection from the time I found one of the god's stone circles in that part of the world).

Today I brought a loaf of cinnamon bread to work and put it out to share (I actually had a conversation with Lugh, where he suggested sharing food as a good celebration; pretty traditional :-) ).

Walking on the path at lunch, I noticed for the first time tiny green acorns on the ground; a promise of fall to come. So I picked up an acorn which still had a few leaves attached and brought it in to my cubie and sat in on top of the file cabinet next to the bread.

It's nice when the reality meets/becomes the symbols. 

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to nauseate my non-pagan friends: does any one else find the nearly human image in the aqua wind leading to the red clouds rather evocative? :-)
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Anaar was one of the Feri teachers at Pantheacon this year. I'd seen her before, just hadn't known it. I decided I was interested in buying her book, *The White Wand*, as it was about art and spirituality, and mostly because she was cool (I loved her Kala ritual workshop; she shared some stuff that made me see more ways I could integrate the many threads of my spiritual practice-btw that phrase is sounding really lame to me but I don't know what else to use) . But I resisted at the dealer's room... as I had a suspicion... and yes, I'd already bought it earlier in the year and just hadn't gotten round to reading it! But now I was ready.

So I read it at lunch yesterday (yes, it's a slim volume). Aside: I remember when I first came into paganism uh hem many years ago, finding these skinny little books and always thinking they looked ridiculous. I'm quite sure Cora Anderson's *50 Years of the Feri Tradition* was among them, due to it's very remember-able cover... I guess there's a right time for everything). And in truth I still think they look a bit ridiculous, however that is no longer stopping me from finding the gems inside. :-)

This slim book has plenty of shiny gems, much unexpectedly and gratifyingly erotic as well as arty. I suck at "real" art, though I've always loved doing crafts (having a mom and sister who were really good at "real" art didn't help; but I was a good writer, so that's where I focused, which is just fine :-) ). If you're interested in art, paganism, sex, I highly recommend this book, from its thinking to its few but excellent exercises.

What this post is really supposed to be about is one of the book's basic concepts, which entirely whammed me. The idea she posits is that the drive to beauty/"shiny things" is a human basic (think kids), and something to enjoy, not squish. There's a section about personal adornment which fascinated me (historically to contemporarily). Reminded me of how in my own dress I constantly look for something a little brighter, "different"... but which also works in my identity as a leatherman, etc. Yes there's a time for everything I know... but it's an interesting challenge to "display" more than one or two personality characteristics or interests at a time. Especially if you're a man, and don't just want to be perceived as "flaming." Masculinity is terribly serious stuff in our culture.

And of course historically, males dressed to show off a lot! Which reminded me that a phrase for such men is, to this day, "peacock". Which is one aspect of the god as Feri perceives him.

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Fri. evening I took a bit of time at home to eat and chill, then went off to the Doubletree for Further Confusion 2006, aka Furcon.

I found [ profile] bovil and [ profile] kroche pretty directly,finishing their dinner, so I sat with them for a bit. From there we went to the party room (which had changed location a time or two...) to finish the prep work for our CostumeCon-promoting League of Evil Genius' party, along with help from a couple of other guys (I entirely missed the main part of setup).

[ profile] bovil had procured a number of frightening candies to be used for Lab Rat testing (said rats were rewarded with a party ribbon). One LOEG friend in particular spent a lot of time offering evil concoctions for folks to earn their Lab Rat ribbons. His technique was a joy to watch. :-)

I tried a truly awful tamarind candy squeeze that bovil offered. It was evil fun to be offering bad liquor at the party, too, a Chinese spirit. And it got rid of half the bottle, which was good too! I checked ID, mostly w/out actually being able to read the date ;-). Taking that role offers me a chance to interact a little with people. I wasn't very 'on'. Still, I did flirt a bit with a few guys.

I cruised the parties once, then headed to to the dance; the 'chill out area'. All the night events were pretty lightly attended; a lot of
room parties I guess. I did dance for a time, which was really fun. I went back again and danced some more on Sat. night. Had to talk myself into getting out on the floor each time, but had fun once I did. Sat. night I worked some with Peacock God energy, which was pretty cool.

Sat. I slept a bit late, intending to take it all slowly… but found my friends Rod and Allen called while I was showering, going off to the con! They've never been to such an event before. We'd had dinner earlier in the week where I'd suggested they might enjoy the event; the pure cuteness factor cannot be denied! And they did enjoy the event. :-)

I found them at the con pretty quickly. We chatted a bit, then off I went to first spend a chunk of time helping clear out the party room, then ran through the dealers room, followed by the art room, which took a fair amount of time. Furcon is pretty big.

There was not much SM porn to be found, though lots of vanilla naughty stuff. ;-) Lots of interesting art. The art show was pretty nice, and big as ever. There is a lot of looks-the-same stuff (and I do respect the reality that folks have to start somewhere), but also some that was more individual. I was startled by some of the stuff in the adult section; because of content yes, but not what one would guess... it was the complete lack of adult content in a lot of it. Maybe if the artist had any adult content in any work all of their work was in the adult section? Between that and the hoopla around the bondage workshop (how it was referred to or not referred, that it was canceled on its day, and finally reinstated...), the con seemed extraordinarily anti adult content.

(Yes, furcon is family friendly and rightfully careful re the presentation of adult content, but it is possible to circumspectly admit adult stuff exists so that those who want it can find it.)

The day passed gently enough. Lots to look at, folks to pass a moment with, though a bit lonely for me. I had dinner with [ profile] bovil and [ profile] kroche at the sushi bar; Rod & Allen went off site. The sushi was good, the bar waitresses sucky as usual.

Afterwards, I changed into my ren faire shirt and one of [ profile] bovil's belts, then we all headed to the costume contest. We sat near the back. Such an event as a furcon is closer to a cosplay event than a science fiction costume event; it's mostly folks jumping around being cute in their fursuits (pease don't be offended anyone, I do admire the worksmanship and appreciate the intentions as well as the guts it takes to get up on any stage, it's just a different type of event). There was also some professional level stuff, very amazing animatronics; I loved the fox who could show and hide his teeth! There were a few skits, but mostly one could've been in the lobby watching fursuits (which I admit is a fun way to pass some time! I caught part of a monsters interaction doing that, which included a very young Godzilla; too cute for words :-) ).

In the course of the day, I did manage to talk to a couple of leather wolves (plus the one I already knew!), and invite them to the SCCLA St. Paddy's Perverted Pet Parade event. yea! One agreed to let me use his photo on the advertising post card I want to create, which is great- solves my art problem, I hope. I'd like to work on that tonight.

At 9pm, Rod and Allen and I managed to find the bondage workshop our friends were doing. I got volunteered to pair with a pretty new guy; it was fun helping him out. We ended up benig one of the last pairs to finish, taking our time with stuff. He was very straight, but it went well, even with
crotch harness and such. I let him take and keep a picture of my back in the harness he'd done. I heard some conflicting stories over how the event had been canceled and reestablished. ;-) Anyhow, the workshop was well attended and well instructed.

All told, Furcon for me is a nice place to foster fannish connections and have some fun fun, but it is not so personally involving as an sf con. I just think it rocks this entire huge separate furfan universe exists. I know there were a number of people I know at the con that I somehow never saw. :-( Our paths will cross another day.

Yesterday I elected to stay home. Gorgeous day. Got roses pruned and a lot of cleaning up done in the apt. VCR issues remain.


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