Lady Godiva and Other Thoughts

August 21, 2006

lady-godiva.jpg

In the myth of Lady Godiva, (and it is considered a myth. Although she really did exist, what happened on her famous ride, if it even happened at all, is disputed) the beautiful Lady Godiva took pity on the peasentry which was overtaxed by her husband. Her husband agreed to lift the taxes if she would ride through town naked, thinking she would never do it.

But of course she did, and the peasentry who loved her dared not gaze at her, and none saw more than her beautiful legs. And her husband lifted the taxes.

In many ways, the Godiva myth can be seen as a symbolic representation of the universe. In this interpetation, Lady Godiva is the inner mysteries, what lies behind the veil, the secrets to life, the universe, and everything.

Godiva is beautiful, and she is presenting herself to the town in full view, completely exposed, for all to see her as she truly is. But most choose not to look at her, and those that do look mostly just glimpse some small part of her (like her legs).

And much like Lady Godiva, feminists have tried to hijack the inner mysteries as their own.

But that’s the thing. There’s no reason not to look at Lady Godiva, and there’s no reason not to see what lies beyond the viels. It’s presenting itself to be viewed, and it’s beautiful, and there is nothing inherently sinful with apprieciating beauty.

It’s rare in classic Greek works to see the gods depicted in the nude. It was considered profane to depict a deity nude through-out most of Greek history. In contrast though, the Romans regularly depicted their deities in the nude and never saw it as profane. Nowadays some of the Greek deities are depicted nude due to the Roman influence.

A deity is something of great beauty. Even deities who have forms which are not usually considered beautiful, or are considered horrific, are beautiful. They are divine in nature, and there is a divine beauty about them. A deity depicted nude is completely exposing the form of that deity, they are something very beautiful, and to some extent their beauty is there to be apprieciated.

And there’s a parellel between that and human nudity. The human figure is something that is beautiful and should be apprieciated as such. There is a lot of stuff out there on skyclad magick, and there are some very powerful applications of nudity within magick. However there is a lot of idiocy on the subject too. And it’s become somewhat taboo to talk about.

This isn’t to say that the gods want you prancing around the woods naked in service to them. But there is nothing wrong with exposing oneself completely to ones gods so that your complete beauty can be apprieciated by them. Such an act would be sacred nudity.

There is a difference between magickal nudity and sacred nudity. The former is done as a means to an end, it is done for a cause and effect relationship. The nudity will help make something happen or result in some power being gained. Sacred nudity isn’t about making anything happen or gaining any power. It is simply nudity for spiritual reasons. Sacred nudity isn’t the means, but an end.

There also isn’t anything wrong with a group of practitioners operating in the nude for no other reason but so that each could allow the others to apprieciate their complete beauty. That too would be sacred nudity. The fact that one person may apprieciate the beauty of another’s form, that it may have some vouyeristic appeal to it, does not make the act less sacred. The opposite would be true, the act of apprieciation would make the nudity sacred.


What is an Otherkin

August 14, 2006

I mentioned the term otherkin in my last post, so it’s appropriate that I give a definition of the term.

The simplest definition is that an otherkin is an incarnate person that, in a past life, was something other than human. Typically Otherkin refers to those who believe themselves to be a creature that is not of this world, at least outside of mythology. Things like elves, dragons, fae, angels, and demons are common otherkin claims. Some however also include those who believe they were some kind of animal in a past life like a wolf, cat, ect. Some definitions also include past life lycanthropes.

Some even consider all vampires (sang or Psi) to be otherkin, but this seems like a stretching of the definition to me.

In any case, the majority of those who claim otherkin status typically aren’t otherkin or aren’t the otherkin they think they are. The Internet is full of people who claim otherkin status, and yet what they write doesn’t make sense. Many times those who claim otherkin status will behave in a way they think would be typical of a certain species, and yet those of us that have actually dealt with that species know the actions are typically quite different. Elves are an excellent example of a creature that has little in common with modern portrayls and is often times wrongly mimicked by supposed otherkin. And the biggest tell of all, an otherkin’s energy is usually somewhat like whatever it used to be.

However, that being said, I’ve seen enough on my own to say for certain that otherkin are a real phenomenon, and there are quite a few out there. This isn’t a recent occurrence either. References to otherkin can be found in the works of many of the authors involved in the magick revival, and it can even be found in several very old religious works. There even references outside the bible to Noah being an otherkin.


Magick = White’s Only!

August 14, 2006

I use the term magick practitioners alot, and the magick community. Notice I don’t say the pagan community, or pagans. Not all magick practitioners consider themselves pagan, and the magick community is hardly represented in its entirety by the pagan community. I don’t consider myself a pagan, and even if I did, I wouldn’t openly announce myself as such considering how tainted the term has become in just the last decade or so.

Sadly it became common place in the ninties for pagans to embrace the ideals of racism. Magick has always been tied to racism to some extent. See the Thule Society or Klu Klux Klan. But these have always been small segments of the community, and these segments have traditionally been more about racism than magick, and typically shunned outside racist circles.

But in the ninties magick somehow became about white pride. We were no longer seeking our spiritual paths, finding truths, or even commanding power. We were trying to celebrate our white heritage and trying to reconstruct pre-christian white people religion. At the same time the community tried to push away those who were not white.

It also became a popular notion around that time that gods should only be communicated with by those who had a heritage tied to that god. It was also said that a person should have a relationship with gods that don’t share their cultural heritage.

The gods themselves transend even this dimension and the aspect they keep here, let alone a small geographic location on this planet. And let’s not forget about all of those people who are reincarnating and taking their divine relationships with them through out multiple lifetimes. And, most importantly, the gods are very powerful and able to speak for themselves and choose who they wish to have relationships with, and if they don’t want a relationship with someone they can deal with it themselves.

What this line of reasoning is really getting at is there’s something wrong with a black person, or a hispanic person having relationships with Norse, Greek, Celtic, or Roman dieties. It also spills over that white people shouldn’t have relationships with Asian or Native American dieties. And there are several Asians and Native Americans that would like to perpetuate this idea.

Meanwhile many pagans have embraced the idea that certain non-white magickal systems (like Hoodoo and Santaria) are either evil or not real. They’ve also completely disregarded the fact that the eastern mysteries more than likely are to some extent at the foundation of whatever it is they’re now studying.

This idea doesn’t just extend to race. Many discriminate against other perfectly legal life choices. As an example take the nudists. Many are magick practitioners yet they are often times even discriminated against within circles that do practice skyclad. Another are those that claim an otherkin status. And there’s a big list of other things that are discriminated against.


Degrees

August 14, 2006

The colored belt system used in many martial arts is actually a recent invention. Not too long ago, a person would study a martial art and gradually become better at it, gain a better understanding, and that would be the payoff for the work they did.

In the same way, it can’t be said for certain that a black belt has a better understanding of a system than a white belt, or that they are the stronger fighter. There are too many other factors involved, including the fact that we all learn at our own pace as our needs necessitate, we don’t start as blank slates but bring some wisdom with us when we begin a new system, and there are different aspects of a system where we can excel with greater ease than others.

Is a man who spent four years perfecting his punching a better martial artist than one who spent three perfecting his kicking?

All of this is true of magick. A 5th degree Wiccan, a 32nd degree mason, 8=3 in the golden dawn, a 9th degree thelemite, ect. It’s ultimately meaningless. Some masters don’t have the common sense that a self-taught practitioner with no degrees began with.

Community acceptance isn’t a valid judge of ability either. The community is notorious for pushing certain individuals as ‘masters’ when they lack the common sense of a small bird and have the magickal ability of a concrete brick.

Of course none of this should matter. Practicing magick isn’t about earning degrees, or having the community proclaim you a master or an elder. It’s not about being mystical. It is, and should be, its own reward.

How can anyone call themselves a spiritual leader when they aren’t happy with their own lives? A long term practitioner of magick should be able to bring their lives into a position where it is not only tolerable, but they are happy. And as insane as they may be, they should be emotionally balanced and stable. These are not things that a practitioner finds near the conclusion of their path, but things they should start working on as soon as they begin working with magick, and typically a necessity to doing any greater magickal work.


Perseus and Medusa

August 5, 2006

Perseus has always been one of my favorite myths. The rescue of Andromeda by Perseus depicted on the Lovers card in some tarot decks is a reference to the realization of the divine nature of man. But then I met Medusa.

I had been sent to Medusa to find answers for some questions I had. I really didn’t know what to expect her to be like.

When I spoke with Medusa, she was extraordinarily beautiful. And it was a beauty born out of pain. It was compassion, and yet to a degree befitting a deity, along with the burden that must be carried to feel compassion at that degree.

I became depressed for some time after talking with Medusa. She had told me that I was only seeing a part of her, that to see all of her would ruin me.

But Medusa did help me, and she was so beautiful in such a selfless way. And after that the idea of Perseus holding up her severed head seemed profane.

But I’ve since been told the truth about the beheading of Medusa and what it fully represents. The connection between mortals and the divine is fully achieved at the point where Perseus beheads Medusa. For a mortal has become a god, and a goddess has found mortality.

Medusa’s energy is filled with compassion, and part of compassion is understanding. In order to fully understand mortality, Medusa would have to become mortal. Being mortal means eventually dying, and when she was beheaded her mortality ended, and she again took her place as an immortal goddess. Perseus did not profane Medusa, he did what she needed done, and afterwords a goddess knew fully what it was to be mortal.

But at the same time when Perseus defeats Medusa he becomes god, for he has killed a goddess. And his next act is to best Poseidon, another god, and save Andromeda from his wrath.

With the myth of Herakles, Herakles becomes a God, but no god becomes mortal to complete this act. In the same way with the crucifixion, God has become mortal and dies, but man does not become God, and man is left as God’s inferior, unable to do what He has done, and saved not by their own acts, but through his love.

But with Perseus beheading Medusa the act moves both way, and the divisions between mortality and the divine become blurred. A mortal has gained an understanding of being divine, and a goddess now understands humanity. Also it is proven that man can aspire to be a Deity and succeed, and in the same way a god may aspire to become mortal and achieve this goal.

Also here neither party is the greater or the lesser. Medusa did not give anything to Perseus that he did not give back to her. Each party was equally dependent on the other.

The idea here, the gods are not above mankind or greater than mankind. And mankind is not greater than or above the gods. Each has their purpose and their part in the universe, and each is of equal importance.