Lupa's Words for the Wise

(a sidebar to Lupa: Reclaiming Our Feral Inheritance)

Drawn from post-Jungian psychology, aspecting refers to the practice of identifying different parts of one's self through archetypal characters or "aspects." To say, for instance, that you see yourself as a lover, a fighter, and a poet — and to give each of those elements a specific "voice" and personality — would be aspecting yourself through a Lover, a Warrior, and a Poet. Not to be confused with Multiple Personality Disorder, aspecting involves creative, conscious visualization, not disassociation with one's material-reality self.

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Lupa: Reclaiming Our Feral Inheritance

wp20int_Lupa-shroomLife bleeds. Life is raw. Life has teeth and bones, sinew and skin. For all too many of us, though, life is a plastic paradise filled with toothless distractions and virtual vitality. We live our lives surrounded by computer monitors and neutered beasts, claiming to love a feral inheritance but doing little to cherish that legacy.

Lupa wants to change that.

By way of her blogs, the website she shares with her husband Taylor Ellwood, and — best of all — the books they both edit and author under the Megalithica imprint of Immanion Press, Lupa is trying to bring the Wild back to the wasteland of plastic Paganism. Sure, she lives in a modern home; she and Taylor maintain active web presences… and yeah, they're total geeks. Still, Lupa refuses to settle for an air-conditioned life that's factory-sealed for her protection. Lean, fit, and active, she lives the path she describes, and inspires others to do likewise. A shaman in deed as well as name, Lupa favors the raw edge of modern magic, working up a new future with her hands in the soil, in fur, and occasionally even in blood.

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Hometown Pilgrimages

head_Kenaz-Filan_wp-24Looking for the sacred?
It may be closer than you think.

Many Pagans seek the Goddess in primal, unsullied Nature. Some commune with Her in untamed wilderness; others travel to national parks or to campgrounds where trees and green spaces are accompanied by showers and fl ush toilets. They make their pilgrimage to the sacred grove and seek the holiness which exists outside civilization.

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Connections - Into the Forest

head_Archer

In the forest, nothing stands separate.

There’s a ravine near my home where I often walk. The entrance is through a graveyard, where only a chain link fence separates the gardens of the dead from a jungle of untended growth, a green cleft that slices through the city. I find this shadowy, forested otherworld strangely entrancing. One of my favorite spots is a kind of “giant’s causeway,” an elevated road running high above with its enormous concrete supports sunk deep into the forest.

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The Stag Who Bears the Sun

head_Archer Antlered creatures hold a central place in our imaginations.

It’s an image familiar from popular culture: a stag with head proudly lifted, antlers encircling the sun or some other radiant symbol. The shining stag has become a mute symbol of everything from hunting-themed video games to alcoholic beverages— but it has roots in a more glorious past, in which it drew us, even against our will, to something greater than ourselves.

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The Moral Lives of Animals

wp-24_reviews_01The Moral Lives of Animals
DALE PETERSON, BLOOMSBURY, 2011

Apes, Rules, and Natural Law

Presenting academic knowledge to a not-necessarily-academic audience can be difficult for even the best writers. Zoology is not as obscure as, let’s say, quantum physics, but still presents challenges. Dale Peterson is a fine writer for such a job.

He understands the science very well, partly through his own research as well as through his personal friendship with Jane Goodall. He also has a doctorate in English, which means he understands storytelling, narrative, and words. Indeed the very first chapter in the text is about words: especially words which describe moral ideas, and assign moral standing to one thing and not to another. But the same opening chapter is also about stories. He opens with a personal story about being chased by an angry elephant through a thicket in western Africa. He also explores his thesis through other, better-known stories. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, probably the finest love story about a man and a whale ever written, features prominently here. Melville’s story is about human characters with radically different attitudes about what that whale might be thinking, or even whether it is thinking at all. It’s a very good choice for a story through which to explore Peterson’s topic. So if you don’t have much of a background in biology or anthropology, have no fear.

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