A blog for her friends to check that she's still alive, when she's been missing for a while, and what she's whinging about now.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"It's the knowing with a wink
That we expect in Southern women
It's the wolf that knows
Which root to dig to save itself..."

Georgia will be in Wolverhampton in three days time.   I'm so excited and so nervous at the same time.   I've had 'Country Feedback' on repeat in the car, when I'm not listening to Radio 4.  It's the live version, which starts with the lines from above.  I think that's how I actually see me and Georgia... yes, I know that Michael Stipe is actually singing about sexual knowing with a wink, but there have been plenty of times when Georgia's done the e-mailed equivalent of a wink to let me know that everything's alright and to stop panicking now.  She gets overviews and other people's moods a lot more clearly than I do.   I just do my own head in, then get to be the Wulfrunian who knows which root to dig to save myself... from myself...

I just hope she likes me.   We've been close friends for a good couple of years... more... I don't know, time goes so fast these days.    I keep having internal conversations with myself, nagging myself, in statements which begin when Georgia's here.... and finish with a list as long as your arm.   Over-riding it all is this calm, little voice saying, 'Just be yourself.'    Be myself!  Are you mad, internal voice?  :-o   I'm shitting myself here!   I keep having visions of BS Kate, Laura or Jamie or someone waylaying me in Kate's kitchen with a 'Ok, just calm down now, because Georgia's going to be thinking you're a bloody idiot!'    Or me forgetting how to speak in that slow accent (which sounds so patronizing to my ears) just so I can be understood and having to have the others permenantly translating for me.

Mind you, I went through this before meeting every single solitary Grove member that I've met in real life and I think those meetings all turned out ok.  At least I didn't dribble and they are all still talking to me.

And above all this is GEORGIA!!  It's not like she isn't highly experienced in calming me down and making me see sense.  She's been doing it on-line for bloody years!   I'm just going to have to practice being myself... I'll have to ask the Wulfrun Grovers what myself acts like first... then act like it.

Got it.



Friday, July 23, 2004

Panic Attacks and Dreams

Hi all,

I had the most vivid dream last night. I woke up and promptly went back to sleep, returning to the dream and making myself late for work.

In context, last night I had a massive panic attack. It was one of those which takes in everything in pure fight or flight mentality, which you can only rationalize afterwards. I did get myself out of it, then I went to bed and called Cerr. I GOT TO HEAR WILLIAM! *happy dances* He was making newborn baby noises as his multi-tasking Mama fed him and talked to me on the 'phone at the same time. After that, I just fell to sleep.

So, the dream. In the dream, I was having a panic attack again and I was standing in a kind of void. I heard a voice saying, 'Come with me, we have to show you something'. I I don't know who either the hand which held mine belonged to nor whose voice it was, but I do know that they were Grovers, in the way that you know in dreams. We passed through a weirdness in reality - let's call it the Veil, though Syd Barrett might have experienced something similiar a couple of times - then I was standing in a full technicolour world and Pixie was there. She smiled at me, then at the person next to me and said, 'It's ok, we've got it from here.' She hugged me, then took my arm and pointed to the person with her. 'Here's Osran.'

After that, it was largely Pixie guiding me physically through, while Osran did much of the talking and leading. First thing Osran said was, 'We're going to show you this if it's the last thing we do.' I don't know what the 'this' was, because there were loads of things thereon. I know the dream analysts are going to scream emotions at me. The main emotion was 'KIN HELL THIS IS PIXIE AND OSRAN! The kind of emotions you feel when you meet celebrity legends. Underneath that, it was desolation which nipped over into panic attack every so often.

It's hard to describe where they took me. It wasn't a website land, it wasn't the Matrix, but neither was it a landscape of this world. There was one bit where I looked down and I was in my robes, which I only wear for ceremonies involving muggles. They were all stained and torn. I panicked and Osran said, 'You know, we're going to fix that.' Next thing I know, my robes had morphed into my black jeans and black jumper. I turned around in blind panic and there was a woman with a sewing machine fixing my robes. It seemed that as her needle touched the fabric, a whole area just magically cleaned and fixed with no visible sign that it had ever been torn. I don't know who she was, I just know she was Witchgrove. (Curly, shoulder length brown hair. I'd have recognized Lenny, Teri and Minerva. Was that you Andrea or Lill?) She didn't say a word, just waved me on.

Joe Strummer's Memorial StoneNext there was a stone in the ground - like the Joe Strummer stone at the Glastonbury Festival - but I knew that this one was Kathy's. I really panicked. I told Osran that I feel like Billy Bragg to Kathy's Joe Strummer and there's no way I can carry that legacy. Osran said that I was doing it before and during and she has no doubt that I'll do it in the future. I looked up and there was a mirror. The words, 'This too shall pass', came up in Biblical fiery words and I could hear laughter and a bit of a party going on, but all I could see through the mirror were loads of the monoliths - not gravestones in the modern sense, but single standing stones - with the sound of happy people chatting going on over the top. I looked to Osran for the answers and she just said, 'You'll have a stone of your own one day.' My clothes had turned into hippy clothes by now, which shocked me, because I thought I'd still be in the black.

Then Osran led us past the mirror (not through it) to a huge horizon, which looked like a landscape made of a web-page. The background was a nice gray colour - the sort that hints at silver rather than being... well... gray. Over the top the writing was in a very pale pink, which made it hard to read. I told Pixie that the programmer needed to put < b > before the writing, so folk could read it. Pixie said, 'I'll tell Chandan Lohia'. I asked what we were looking at and Osran told me it was India. I went in blind panic. I was panicking because Chandan Lohia couldn't get his words read and I was responsible. When I say panic, I mean panic. I was in bits and only still standing because Pixie was holding me up. Osran was telling me over and over again that it was ok, then Chandan Lohia himself turned up. He told me that this part of the Grove was his responsibility and he will get it looking amazing. I looked up and the pink words were now bold and they could be read.

I could see a white dog running along the sides and I thought it was Matilda, but when she reached us, she looked more wolf-like. Osran said, 'We're working on getting the Wolves promoted again this season, but that's Dave Jones's problem, not yours.'

That's when Mum woke me up with a 'JOANNE! YOU'RE LATE FOR WORK!'

So... I get the general sense of what this is all about, but the specifics?


Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Working Class Hero is Something to Be

First thing I thought of when I woke up is, 'Fucking Hell, Kathy's dead.' It's sinking in more today. Yesterday was shocking and, by the evening, when the PG Society were all logging in to read the announcement and respond, I was getting upset. But it was coming out as stress - blink the tears away before they fall, html another page of the Witchgrove web-site, quick! Today, I've just let myself feel it.

That isn't to say that I've actually done what I've felt like doing a few times today, ie sob my heart out like there's no tomorrow. But I've considered the possibility of doing it, and I have let the tears fall, as long as no-one was looking, and it was only one or two. I'm no good at crying in front of an audience.

Ivy Wolfmoon, from Witchgrove, went and asked a Jehovah's Witness friend for us about whether flowers are appropriate. The friend informed her that they were, so it was decided on the PG Society that Paul Bailey was going to sort it out, as it's easier for him to nip into town. Then Mike Fullen called me and he said that Kathy left word that she didn't want flowers, she wanted any money which would have gone on flowers to go to St Mary's Hospice in Selly Oak instead. So the PG Society quickly amended that to us putting together a donation and I'll write a cheque and take it with me to the memorial.

The memorial is in Kingdom Hall, in Highgate, Birmingham. Birmingham. I fucking hate Birmingham. In particular, I hate... read fear... driving through Birmingham and a quick scut on multimap informs me that Highgate is on the south side. Joy. Train and bus then. But if Kathy could come to Wolverhampton for me, I can go to Birmingham for her.

I've been thinking about her more or less incessantly all day. I keep turning over scenes in my head. The time when we went to Whitmore Reans for Laura's quiz, parked up by the Avion Centre, then walked around the streets looked for St Andrew's Church. It was only after about quarter of an hour wandering around that a passing woman led us back to where we'd started. If either one of us had turned around after getting out of my car, we would have noticed that we'd parked outside the church.

That night too, me going outside for a fag and Kathy following me. She asked for one and I said, 'I didn't know you smoked.' She told me that she hadn't smoked in 30 years, but she fancied one now. We stood there, freezing to death in the ice and snow, putting the world to rights - her telling me about how often she nearly said sod the doctorate and just went back to being what society wanted the like of me and her to be. I asked her why she was doing it and she said because I'm interested in the subject and because I want my daughters to know that if they want something, they should go for it.

Then driving back to the station that night and Kathy telling me about when she and a friend became plumbers and handi-women. Back in the days when Feminism was radical, they'd come up with the idea that some women didn't want strange blokes in their houses, and Kathy's the sort to pick up a tool-box and just work it out.

It wasn't long on that when she came into my office and this rant happened: Lifting the Ceiling. She was keeping a scrap book of things which mentioned her invention in the newspapers, but there was very little at that point. I think her printing that out was about the third thing in it. She read it through before I posted it and make a couple of factual corrections, then I sent it off. I forwarded to her the responses from Witchgrove. All I did was make her rant relevant to the Grove and put it in my words, but the 'lifting the ceiling' part of it was her phrase and the rant was all hers.

I was also remembering when all the politics happened with the PG Society and the GSO. I'd posted to list earlier and at that point, I was outside having a fag and calming down. It was only as I was coming back in that I noticed Kathy standing a few feet away. She hadn't wanted to disturb me! *rolls eyes* I'd met her before, but that was in a work context, this was the first time as what was about to be friends. She nervously gave me her subs, the first to do it, and said that she would be a paid up member of the PG Society - basically saying that this is a worthwhile thing and if I was prepared to brave the GSO politics, she would do her bit by becoming a member. In relative terms, that was like the first dude saying, 'I'm Spartacus', and before we knew it, there was a whole chorus behind her.

There was no way, politically, that I could have been President. I didn't even consider it and that was cool, because I know from other situations that I don't make a good leader. I make a shit hot second in command, but I have panic attacks if I think I'm in charge. Instead, I held the politics at bay, while they built up the Society. I ended up chairing the elections and Kathy became President. I sent a post to list saying that I now gracefully bow out and become a simple member. The resounding chorus from President Kathy, Treasurer Paul and Secretary Paula was 'like Hell you do!'

I was in on all of the meetings. Me and Kathy sitting there with Fair Trade coffee, putting the world to rights, waiting for Paul and Paula to arrive. The decisions we made were a consensus of four. Those early days seemed to have an energy of their own - all those people turning up for the first get together, coming from Telford and everywhere.

I remember Kathy's speech and how her nerves didn't sound in her voice at all, telling everyone that she might have been elected El Presidento, but the Society was all of us. I was only going to stay an hour. I stayed all night.

The last time I actually spoke to her, I'd just organized a hotel in Leeds for her to stay in, to attend a conference on behalf of the PG Society. The last time we had an e-mail conversation was in April/May, I've worked out. She was more interested in my whiplash than spilling the details on her illness. That was pretty played down. I thought she was saying that she needed to give up the Presidency because she was ill and likely to be for a little while, then she'd be back. She didn't let on once that she was dying. She just went on about my whiplash.

The university are on about naming a wing of the new building for her. I've got to ask the family about it on Saturday. After work, I went around members of the PG Society, who'd e-mailed to say they wanted to make a donation. Paul Bailey had said what room at what time, so I meandered in there to find a load of students. He was lecturing! I immediately assumed professional University staff member interupting mode, but Paul wasn't having any of it. He just hugged me in front of them.

I think my eyes filled up after leaving each of them. They did the same each time I walked past Costa's in Queen Square, and the Varsiety; and I couldn't stop them pouring down in the middle of bloody Clinton's, choosing a Sympathy card. I went for one with purple flowers - purple being her favourite colour - and one about being an inspiration, because she was and is.

If I grow up to be half the person she was, then I did my bit for this world.

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Kathy Davies is Dead

I had a 'phone call from Pauline earlier to break the news that Kathy Davies is dead.   It's understatement of the century to say it's knocked me for six.  I really wasn't expecting that. 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Smoking seriously improves your health!

Look what Sarah found! 
Smoking Can Seriously Improve Your Health
I've had a great 24 hours.  FT Kate came and picked me up last night and drove me over to hers, before we went to watch 'Fahrenheit 911' in the cinema at Castlegate in Dudley.   Afterwards, we canted until about 4am, putting the entire world to rights.
This afternoon, she drove me over to BS Kate and Phoenix's house, where the first meeting of the Wolverhampton Witches' Working Guild took place - with buffet and cake.  It was a brilliant meeting, with me, BS Kate, Phoenix, Jennie, Mandy, Juell and Andy Charnell there.  Aud couldn't get a sitter.  :-(    We've worked out what we want to do and we're meeting next week to do it.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

'The rain forms in gray
Far away
...I'm screaming,
I met you this way...'

I am feeling so much more positive about things today.  FT Kate was coming over last night to get me, after worrying that it's got to 'Dominoes'.  It's got to the entire album now -  I've had 'Barrett' on repeat all day and me and Syd are duetting on every song.  Where he can't make the note, I'm helping out by singing it for him.  We're a great double act.  ;-)  But it's Syd because I want it to be, rather than 'Dominoes' for sanity.  There's a world of difference, though it might not be entirely obvious what that difference is from the outside looking in.
Yesterday, in between FT Kate, Anna, Pixie and finally BS Kate, I really did sort my shit out.   This morning, I awoke to a gray world and decided not to be depressed and upset anymore.  Syd helped, the fact that I'd run out of fags didn't.   Because I don't want to risk damaging Rebecca more, I went for a walk up the shops. 
I didn't fancy walking up Shant's Bridge, so I cut over the old quarry, which was hours of fun.  Really!  It was fun.  It was like an old fashioned (ie when I was a kid) adventure.   I could have gone the direct route, which only involved two barbed wire fences, but I spotted the trees.  I haven't been in those trees since I was about 10.  In those days, they were the far distant lands sort of trees.  We had our own line of trees this side of the quarry, but those trees could be full of Chesos and you know what the Cheslyn Hay kids are like.  *insert contemptive noise*  (It's only as an adult that you suss that their estate was only slightly posher than ours and really that quarry and the railway track weren't quite the massive barriers they appeared to be at the time.   Yes, as an adult, I've met the real middle class!  The Chesos aren't the same thing.)
Anyway, the trees!   I walked over the old quarry and went into those forbidden trees with much the same sense of adventure that I'd ventured over with as a child.   You can't see inside them unless you are inside them.  I remember them as being proper woods, unlike the trees on the Wyrley side of the quarry, which are mainly a single row.  Once there, I discovered that two or three rows of trees don't actually constitute proper woods, but it was still cool.  :-D  
I did have to scut a bit to find a way out onto the road which wouldn't damage me too much.  There was a gauntlet of barbed wire fences, nettles, hawthorne, brambles AND thistles, which I thought rather excessive myself.  Why is it, when I decide to go a walk over the old quarry and try to get into Cheslyn Hay that way, I always seem to do it in sandals or, as today, flip-flops, and some kind of extra material on my back?    Today I had to unhook the hood of my cardigan from barbed wire three times!   'kin Hell.    But otherwise, I managed my adventure with only a couple of nettle stings and a big scratch up my thigh (which didn't tear my trousers to scratch me).  It could have been a lot worse, but this was the terrain in which I trained to be a Jedi Knight, aged about 8-11, so I know how to stamp brambles down and use whatever is to hand to lift myself over nettle patches. 
I also stopped to make the reacquaintance of a few old tree friends.   We've all grown a little bigger, but we're all still in fundamentally the same place.  One of the oaks now has a fir which has nearly matched him in height and whose branches interweave.   As I canted with the oak, there was a fluttering up in the fir and a green cone hurdled down missing me by inches.  Ta very much.   I moved on.
Of course, my adventuring brought me out mid-way between Cheslyn Hay and Wyrley, in that kind of No Man's Land where the factories are.   Big decision then, do I walk up to the Co-Op or down to the Spar?   Fair Trade won, as it should, and I walked up to the Co-Op, reading 'Stupid White Men' along the way.
Not much to tell about Co-Op.  I didn't cause chaos like I did last time I was in there.  *grin*  That was the day when I realized that a) the shop was full,  b) while there leaflets galore on the front shelf, none of them were Fair Trade ones and c) I didn't recognize either of the members of staff from the million other times I'm in there.   As I was buying Fair Trade wine, I asked if they had a leaflet 'to help me explain Fair Trade to my friends'.    Instant chaos ensued.  I wouldn't have asked if I'd realized that the wench on the till was new and flustered enough as it was.  Neither would I have asked if I'd realized that the manager was a little on the slow side.   Neither knew about Fair Trade (I got a good plug in for all the people in the shop) and panicked.   It took a grand total of 20 minutes for me to buy one bottle of wine and two packets of fags (the wrong brand, but the wench was really flustered by then and I told her it was ok, I'd have them!), and to calm down two panicking members of Co-Op staff.  
Today, however, the usual people were in there and I successfully did my shopping without incident; walked home, reading 'Stupid White Men', until the point where I had to traverse the barbed wire- nettle- bramble- hawthorne- thistle obstacle course (anyone would think the general public weren't supposed to be over there! *grin*) .   After a few minutes, it occurred to me to stop saving my place with my finger and put the book in my bag so I could have that hand too for holding onto branches in order to lever myself up and over.   At one stage, I had a bit of barbed wire attached to my flip-flop, whilst still attached to the fence.   I had to balance myself mid-air to yank myself free.  LMFAO!  
After all that, I actually did some MA work.   *pauses for anyone reading this (are you mad?) to get up off the floor again*    I'm looking at the Margaret Murray issue and I've come to the conclusion that she never actually read 'Witchcraft Today' before writing its foreward, seeing as she contradicts everything in it.  
I came across something about the Leannan Sidhe, in 'Witchcraft Today', which is something that one of the Witchgrove people has been asking on.  Of course, after venturing into Witchgrove there is no escaping.   I haven't looked at the MA stuff since! 
And here I am.
'kin Hell, I can waffle, can't I?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Pixie! On my 'Phone!

Pixie just 'phoned me!  *happy dances*
I've laughed and cried and ranted and raved on that wench tonight.  It was so cathartic!  
She's given me permission to be human.  :-D
I can do human very well.  Messiah, I'm shit at;  human is good.  :-D


It's an idea, someday in my tears, my dreams, don't you want to see her proof? Life that comes to no harm, you and I,  you and I and dominoes,  the day goes by... You and I in place wasting time on dominoes, a day so dark, so warm, life that comes to no harm, you and I and dominoes, time goes by... Fireworks and heat, someday hold a shell, a stick or play... overheard a lark today losing when my mind's astray, don't you want to know with your pretty hair stretch your hand, glad feel, in an echo of your way. It's an idea, someday... It's an idea, someday in my tears, my dreams don't you want to see her proof? Life that comes of no harm you and I, you and I and dominoes, the day goes by...

'Look at me with starry eyes
Push me up to starry skies
...Don't sell the dreams you should be keeping
Pure and simple everytime.'

I haven't put much in here this week, have I?   I've been keeping busy, trying not to analyze too deeply where and what I am.  
V has said that she wants to engage with my research as, 'You are writing the thesis that I always wanted to write'.    The list of e-mails from those congratulating me for passing my project reads again like a Pagan Who's Who.   Another witch informed me that,  'Everyone knows you are going right up there (with the big name Pagans).'    And an0ther said, 'I don't think you've quite got how famous you are already'. 
Unless I'm blocking it out or willfully not seeing it, I'm not sure what to make of it all.   I genuinely can't see it nor can I see any evidence.   I don't think I'm past the point of no return yet if it is all true.  It does worry me a lot though.   Hell of a lot.
I like that I can help; I like supporting Cerr in running Witchgrove (I shit myself everytime someone mistakes me for the owner); I like that I have the contacts to do my research; I like that I'm learning more and more all of the time.   I hate the politics.  If people fought as much for Amnesty International or Fair Trade as viciously as they did in their own power struggles, the world would be a much better place.   I can't even see why power is so attractive - doesn't it just make you the target for everyone else's power struggles, make you have to watch every word you say in case someone takes it seriously and eats away at all the time you have to do anything useful at all?   When it comes to true baddies, those who'd torture, commit genocide or the vast destruction of land and water, then I'm with Billy Bragg - 'if you've got a blacklist, I want to be on it' - but when it's just a matter of personal power.  Fuck it.  
In a couple of situations (well, two and a half), I'm the one keeping the peace by whatever means are necessary, but the peace has only been broken by such power struggles.   I came up with this last night:

I am the hand in Fenris's mouth,
The pin in their grenade.
For as we conspire,
I draw the fire,
To keep the chaos contained.
You know it's on my mind when I'm mentally writing poetry about it!  LOL   Usually with things that disturb me, I'm writing to the president of somewhere or other, it's only powerlessness which has me reaching for the bardic metre! 
Before the Festival, I removed my fingers from pies all over the place to give myself the breathing space to see what I wanted to do.   I want to do Witchgrove, which was one of the things which, before, I had decided to step down from (be a member rather than a Mod).   That I enjoy it, and want to stay helping out there, is now a certainty.    The only other things I have picked up again since are those I don't necessarily want to be involved in, but have been talked into it by others.   
I should be keeping my dreams pure and simple everytime, just like the tune in my head.   Is it time to become a hermit again?    Or time to hold on for the ride?
The questions for 'Priestess' never materialized.   I've given up on Pedwyr now and just pushed it all inside.  Not thinking on it, not allowing myself to even dwell on an associated subject.   I got up and walked out of a room where dieting was being discussed and read 'Stupid White Men' instead.   I'm not even going to think about the Fisher King anymore, because that leads directly back, though I was learning a lot from that meditative journey.   It hurt just that bit too much and I was starting to hate folk for letting me hurt.   It's safer and better all round to just let it go.
I have broken the cardinal rule of everything and let myself become cynical.   I'm far more suited to Kindly Ones than Witchgrove in temperament these days, but not in subject matter.   I could do with time out or with a long, long cant about things, but I don't know where to start and who to start with.   I have a lot of people who I could cant with, but... but...  I think I'm losing the faith.
I was enjoying the deities/mythological people/legends thing that happened, where Tyr seagued into the Fisher King and I got to meditate on those, until the urgency had passed.   Since I stopped thinking about the Fisher King, no-one else came.   That's disappointing.   I don't want to force one, as the other two happened so organically.
At least this isnt burn out, like normal.  It is cynicism, pure and simple, and why I'm constantly fighting and putting myself out for those who couldn't give a shit about me.   Have things become warped in my head?   Who knows?   I'm in my head, so I couldn't know if my A-B route is actually A-R or A-Q.   But I don't think it is. 
Feels good to vent though and not watch what I said at all.   Perhaps the best way to remove myself from the politics is to demonstrate just how shit at them I am.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


I have a really warped sense of enjoyment. We're having a census of Witchgrove members - nothing personally identifiable and there is the option of sending it anonymously, through a specially created e-mail account. It was only posted yesterday and so far 12% of the Grove have filled it in and sent it back.

I'm really looking forward to evaluating it all and reporting back!


Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I've been spending a fair bit of time over in Between Planets (link in my... links) and Bob's created a section for blogs. This blog is now there and can be rated - 10 is great, 1 is shit.

Here's where you vote. I'm Matilda Mother on there.



I know I really should be poking my head into Kindly Ones and answering some e-mails there, but I'm enjoying... if that's the right word, given the subject matter... being educated there instead. I spent a large chunk of last night reading some of the long articles that had been posted there.

I'm finally more scared than I am angry. Usually, on the subject of politics, my anger is a controlled, cold thing, which manifests in trying to do my bit to make it better, rather than erupting in unproductive rage, sounding off at folk, but doing little to change things. Both have their place on Kindly Ones, but I'm generally of the former persuasion. The world of politics moves so quickly, with so many ducks and dives, that just keeping up with as much as you can staves off having to think too deeply on issues. There simply isn't the time for that. Kindly Ones works best when there are opposing views, as that does force you to think through your position, even if it means you have to only concentrate on one or two issues.

Reading through last night, I got scared. I'm scared that Bush will get in again; I'm really scared that it will be because 70% of the voting American public can't be arsed to vote. That angers me. I got into a conversation at the weekend with three other British people about Americans and voting. One person suggested that the answer would be to pay Americans to vote. The worst of it is, he's probably right; but the very principle of the thing sent shudders down my spine.

It would be so easy to become xenophobic and say that Americans are evil, but they're not! When I say 'I've got a lot of American friends' I don't mean that in the same sense that folk say, 'Well, I've got a lot of black friends...' I really do mean that. I have American friends, some very close, who are the most loving, generous, beautiful people on earth. I daren't ask if they all voted in the last election for fear that they will say that they didn't. That's cowardice on my part.

I get angry and right now I'm scared. I read about the Bush administration looking into how they can delay an election in the advent of a terrorist attack, and I just know that there will be a 'terrorist' attack there sometime at the end of summer, beginning of autumn. Their main rivals, the Democrats, are already calling for legal definitions of in what circumstances an election can be stopped. If all of this runs into its natural conclusion, you have totalitarianism stark in a country which surrendered democracy years ago, no need any longer to hide it under placitudes. A country a lot stronger, and with more probability of being able to annex the rest of the world, than any of the regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Napolean etc.

I'm scared for my American friends and then I'm scared for the rest of the world, myself included.

I wish I could make them all vote, however they vote.


Monday, July 12, 2004


I don't know how I managed it, but I made the template of my blog disappear. I've just had to re-write it from scratch, but it does mean I've lost all of my comments.

But, a change is as good as a rest. What do you think of the way I've done it now?


Sunday, July 11, 2004

In the other news...

I promoted myself to chief dictator in the Pagan Headstone Campaign. I didn't mean to, but it was a personal choice between walking away or walking onto the front line. I'm me, there are no middle grounds in anything I do, only the extremities.

I haven't been involved for a while. I was armpit deep in it at the beginning, but then MA followed by that yampy time I had meant that I couldn't be nearly as involved. I stepped away during one of my major burn-out moments, with the instruction that I should be called upon for any web-site up-dating. No-one called.

In the week, I popped my head in to find that there was a blazing row going on in there over Bush v Kerry. I took the opportunity to invite everyone to Kindly Ones, both in a general e-mail and by inviting all the flamers personally via a KO invite. I then asked for a summary of where we are with the campaign so far. Several dudes joined KO, but nothing else happened. The row didn't stop and no-one gave me an update.

Today, I had every intention of clearing my inbox and my Kindly Ones folder, then chilling. Instead I noticed all of the people leaving the Pagan Headstone Campaign, so I went and read the digests since my e-mail. This is what happened next:

Hi all,

As a moderator here, I'm sitting at my computer watching the constant
stream of people delisting. No big fanfare, no final gesture, just
leaving. Presumably, these are the people who want to see a military
headstone with a Pagan symbol on it, but will either campaign quietly
for it on their own or else have now got so disillusioned with the whole
campaign that they'll sit back and hope someone does it for you.

Divide and conquer is such a powerful tool in destroying any grass-roots
organization. It's a powerful tool for destroying anything, but at
least the bigger, more restrictive groups can survive such a thing.

I've just received another two digests not only still full of members
tearing each other apart over the politics of another country (I'm in
Britain), but still neither giving me an up-date as to where we're at
with the campaign nor letting me know of any links to add to the
web-site. Am I right in assuming then that no-one has added anything
to any web-site anywhere since Beltane 2004? The publicity machine has
completely broken down then. As there isn't an update, am I to assume
that fuck off has been done in the months since I took my sabbatical?
I wasn't the only person fighting back then, where did everyone else go?

Politics are important. The fate of the whole world more or less lies
in the American elections, as anyone with their eyes wide open can see.
But they aren't important here UNLESS they affect the Pagan Headstone
Campaign. Cry censorship all you want, but I worked too bloody hard to
see us divided and conquered now. The campaign is too important to be
pussy-footing around the tantrums of people too short-sighted to take
their whinging about Bush and Kerry to a group about politics. Getting
the message out about the good and bad of those in charge is important,
but not at the expense of this campaign. It's not about Republicanism
or Democratism or whatever else, it's about stopping the flood of people
delisting or washing their hands of the Pagan Headstone Campaign.

The Kindly Ones will welcome you with open arms:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KindlyOnes/ Just about every political
point of view is represented there and you can argue until the cows come
home. Or choose another group where these threads are welcomed:
http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=politics. But not here.

Call me an evil, censoring, tyrannical bitch if you want, because from
anyone who wants to destroy this campaign, I will take that as a
compliment. I am now going to go through the archives and remove all
of the political, non-campaign posts. Anyone who posts in such a manner
from this moment on, I will place on moderation and I WILL censor what
goes into here, until I'm sure that you actually do support the

Herr Mab


'The powerful play goes on
And you may contribute a verse.'
Walt Whitman

My homepage:
Pagan Headstone Campaign: http://www.paganveterans.org


Did I have any right to do that? Disappear for months, then come back and play the heavy? I followed through and I did delete all of the political arguing. Since then, I've had a few people approach me off-list, either showing me what they've done for the campaign or else doing it and cc:ing me. Georgia gave me an up-date on-list; others gave me an up-date off-list, and the posts have been about the Campaign ever since. A couple of people left; Kindly Ones welcomed new members; and all seems well on the Western front.

I wasn't planning on getting involved to any deep level. Should I? I haven't a clue. We'll see where the Lady leds me on this one.


Saturday, July 10, 2004

*happy dance* and the Road Ahead

I'VE PASSED MY PROJECT! This means that I have a grand total of 120 credits toward my MA. If I dropped out now, I'd get a Postgraduate Diploma, but I'm going for the Masters, which is 180 cedits, 60 of which are gained by the dissertation.

Here's what comes next:

The dissertation should not exceed 15,000 words (excluding footnotes and appendices). It has a credit rating of 60 credits. The dissertation is a major piece of independent study, normally combining original research with a thorough analysis of the established literature in the relevant area. The ability of the student to complete this successfully is central to demonstrating his/her capacity at Master's level.

The dissertation... is a substantial piece of work. It may be conceived of as a 'problem solving' exercise; for example, the exploration of a neglected area with a view to contributing to scholarly inquiry or a critical review and adjudication on a topic of scholarly dissension. In either case, a 'narrow' narrative approach is insufficient.

The dissertation should normally include:

I) an awareness of differing and competing methodologies (eg Marxist vs Liberal interpretations; quantitative and qualitative issues);

II) a critical consideration of the historiographical debate;

III) a comprehensive review of the secondary literature;

Iv) the use of primary sources.


And what have I got so far:

British Wicca: Towards an Academic History?

I'm not going to go into as much detail about the approaches to the methodology - just a couple of sentences/a paragraph - then I'll cross-reference to the project; a literary review of the sources already out there; a look at applied methodology; an overview of the academic work already done, and what is missing, plus the debates; enter into the debates myself.

Today, I e-mailed all of the people who have supported or actively helped me during the last project. Kate, the Witchgrove gang, plus those who specifically helped me individually, Ronald Hutton, George Chyrssides, Selena Fox, Raymond Buckland, Charles Arnold, Isaac Bonewits, Mike Cunningham and Owen Davies. They are all wonderful people and I am grateful for all that they contributed.

Now to do it again, three times as big, and hope to pull it off. I have more confidence that I can now than I did at the start of the project!


Friday, July 09, 2004

I'd Forgotten...

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Do you, don't you want me to love you?
I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer.

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter.

Do you, don't you want me to make you?
I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer.

Look out
Helter skelter
helter skelter
Helter skelter

Look out, cause here she comes.

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of my slide
And I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Do you, don't you want me to love you?
I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer.

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

You're coming down fast
Yeah, you're coming down fast
You're coming down fast
You're coming down fast

You're coming down fast

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah


I had that nightmare again last night, but it's hard to know what to do about it. I should have put a time-limit on how long I was prepared to drag it on before answering the questions, however awkward that makes me look. Internet friends can't possibly know such implications, can they? They can't look in my eyes.

I think before I sleep again, I'm going to have a cant with Anna and let her know what me and FtE were canting about. Then if there's no interest, and no questions, I can get on with burying it again secure in the knowledge that I let no-one down but myself and that it's safe to hide away again.

FtE said to me: 'It's a bit more honest when I cut, you can see the blood. You cut your mind and that's really fucking dangerous.'

I think there's a bit of projecting going on there myself.

It's more a case of knowing myself really well. I knew I could push it before; and I know I should be backing away now. I'll have a cant with Anna and see whether it's a push on or abandon, then take the next step from there; whilst also canting with Fforest Elf about a bit of dreamwork.


Nicked from Georgia's blog

"the meditator, philosopher, sage, wise

You can not and will not compromise your values and
have a desire to complete past things before
begining the new (you value completion,
perfection, and introspection highly). You are
a natural way-shower, sage, and seeker. You
have an appreciation of the body and the wisdom
of the earth and its natural process. You have
a deep love for beauty, harmony, and order.

which major arcana of the thoth tarot deck are you? short, with pictures and detailed results
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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

"It was madness in any direction
You could strike sparks anywhere..."

Life has slowed down enough for me to see it a little more clearly and I'm exploring some totally new territory. I have confidence in myself, which is an entirely new development, and I know myself. That isn't to say that there isn't a lot more to learn and I still have growing to do, but right now, I know myself, I accept myself, I forgive myself and I praise myself. That's quite an accomplishment.

My next task is to not assume that I have the same understanding of other people as I have with myself, though, being a Virgo and all, I have subjected everyone in my orbit for the past 30 odd years to the same intense scrutiny that I have subjected myself to. The major difference being that I have had my own thought processes as clues and I've been with myself 24/7. I can only analyze others on what they choose to show or tell me.

I also find myself in an entirely new position. Until now, I've always been the 'officially difficult' one, who follows more than leads, and who can drop out of any given situation at any time. I'm more likely to walk away than confront dodgy people now, whereas before I'd hold the front line until I was shot down; unless it's something important enough to stay put, and then I'll be stubborn as a bull in holding that line. Never before have I been in the position where people were listening to what I had to say and calling it words like 'wise', with the exception of a handful of very close friends, who could just as easily call it 'foolish'.

Then Kindly Ones. Then Witchgrove. Then a whole process of things, a stream of events, which led to this new-found confidence in myself. A brief diversion into taking on way, way too many things, and being simply too busy to look at what was going on anymore.

Now, this place. I've removed my fingers from pies left, right and centre, and I'm resisting all temptation to get involved in any more pies until I've worked out what's important externally, as well as internally. I guess that if this was the Fool's Journey through the Major Arcana, I am at the stage of the Empress now, which means that the Emperor is coming up (supposing I do it in order). That should be fun... Ah! Just remembered! Tyr is the Emperor! Ok, I'm already there. Yippee! It's the Hierophant next! My favourite!

What have I learned from this Tyr stage then? I have had the rune inside my bra since Friday.

1, The weekend taught me that there are rules and regulations within the rules and regulations. It's sometimes better to walk into the warzone with no pre-conceived ideas and to simply find out the craic when you get there, then work within that.

2, You cannot control who notices you, human or deity, nor how they perceive you in that noticing. It is better to simply carry on as you would normally and not worry about the insides of their heads, beyond acknowledging it. It is your own self-perception which is important. However, there is going to be a reason behind your being noticed, and that is the thing which is important.

In fact, everything I've learned boils down to how you react when you have no control over a situation. My major bonus here is that it's ok, because I haven't really any desire to BE in control! LOL I'm quite content to wander around letting the laws and order shepherd me to wherever I ultimately need to be, without any real need to know where that is. I am thinking of Anna's reading here, where she told me that I'm on a Journey and not to afret, because I'm naturally being placed where I should be placed.

Control... that old chestnut. I'm thinking back to what I see as the last major Journey I was on, and the difference between this stage of it now and the counterpart then. It was all about control then too, but my reaction was so different. Then it led to me putting my hand into the wolf's mouth, knowing that it was for the greater good, but knowing I'd be fucked. I was, but it was worth it, in unexpected ways. Would I do it again? Not in the same way, because until I banish the last remaining demons from that, I don't think my sanity could cope; but in concept, yes. I'd always put my hand into the mouth of Fenris.

I'm not a gytha, nor do I have any great understanding of the Norse Gods, but I have an inkling as to why Tyr put his hand into Fenris's mouth - he had no option, but he had hope. Whatever the odds, he hoped that his hand wouldn't be bitten off, with the same sense that none of us truly believe that we will ever die. He was obviously of that sort of nature which doesn't believe that he is more important than the Universe (which most people do believe) and that's why he had no option but to do it.

One thing I've forgotten to ask the Norse/Heathen/Frejan types - did Tyr step back and let Odin take over as the All-Father immediately after the Fenris incident? If so, then I can see totally how he got to be the God of Law. Often knowing when not to be in control is far more important than knowing when to be in control, especially after Fenris type incidents.

I have a lot of respect for Tyr now and I'll consult with those who know him to find an appropriate blot offering for him.

He's also taught me about the Emperor, which has always been a tarot card that I've held in distaste, being closer to an anarchist than a fine upstanding member of community in the vast scheme of things.

I wish I'd known about Tyr last time I was at this stage in the great Fool's Journey. It might have saved my friends and family from a lot of heartbreak.


Monday, July 05, 2004

Which Alice in Wonderland character am I?

DAMN! I wanted to be Alice!

you are the white rabbit...you must have everything
perfect...no time to stop and chat...must be
there right on time...but sadly your
late...poor little perfectionest

What character of Alice In wonderland r u?
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And it's perfectionist...


William, it was really nothing...

Unless you're Cerr, who carried him for nine months, then GAVE BIRTH ON SATURDAY 3RD JULY!

I'm so ridiculously excited. What I wouldn't give to go to Vegas now for the party and to have a gander at the baby. *bounce bounce bounce*

Draig made this:

for the front page of Witchgrove and the entire Grove are just bouncing away in excitement.



Which Sci-Fi character am I?

I was hoping for Luke Skywalker, like Georgia, but this isn't bad :-D:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Glastonbury - Thursday

I woke early-ish on Thursday and meandered down to the tap for a wash and to do my teeth, then over the old railway track to buy a cup of tea. I sat in the lounge part of the tent writing down what I'd come up with about the Mysteries.

This was a cross between remembering something which, I think, Minerva Ravenwing said a while ago about there being no books about Wicca above the beginners/introductory level. I was vaguely thinking about a philosophy/theology type book by then, Wiccan Thought. That would centre on the Mysteries.

I wrote a whole paragraph before Bob poked his head in the tent, then I abandoned it completely. LOL Here's what I'd written:

Hardly going to change the world, is it? LOL

A note about the tent. It's Kate's new mansion of a tent and was absolutely perfect, particularly on the rainy days at Glastonbury. Kate and I have a bedroom each, which is very sizeable, then, between them, is an area where about six people can comfortably sit on their camping chairs. It was really nice to have folk there like that.

Bob sat making coffee on his hex stove, which smelt beautiful. However, he had neither sugar nor milk (not using either himself), so when it came time for me to have a sample, it was a bit bitter. Afterwards, some sugar did turn up and I made sure I'd bought some milk, so it was gorgeous and very welcome thereafter. The smell of coffee certainly got Kate out of her sleeping bag.

I sat there trying to work out how to use the digital camera/camcorder that my brother had bought my parents, and finally got there. Unfortunately, I can't get the pictures from there onto the computer. :-(

It was Loz's birthday! He's only 23, bless him. As a big group of us, we meandered into the main market place for breakfast - Chris, Harry, Joseph, Ian, Bob, me, Kate, Andy, Ellie and Loz. I had pesto pasta with garlic bread, which was gorgeous.

Thursday was mainly wandering and shopping. Bob bought an orange sarong; I got a green hair-wrap. The sun came out and it was a scorcher! I was stripped down to bikini top and short skirt and was still too hot, though I learned from last year and was plastered in factor 30 suncream.

That was the day we discovered Cafe. It was a cafe called Cafe, in the Green World field, run by a bloke who never seemed to sleep or leave his cafe, named Paul. That became our cafe of the Festival, which we all knew and therefore could meet up in easily. Loz and Kate found it. The rest of us were in Lost Vagueness just looking around and chilling, when we phoned them to see where they were. Kate ran outside to find the name of the cafe and the sign just read 'cafe'. We found it amusing enough to make it ours.

Ian and I discovered the counch shell swing thing and lay in there for ages. I loved it! It was so comfortable and I just got a huge sense of all the world is wonderful and I'm a part it it.


PS I'm off up Kate's now, so I won't be back until tomorrow.

I'm not very good at this...

... writing up what happened at Glastonbury malarkey, am I? LOL

I'm still half there though, it has to be said.

I've got my e-mails answered, except for a couple which need more thought than my sleepy mind can muster right now - I'm abed in a minute.

A Norse God named Tyr keeps cropping up. I'm not sure if it's one of those where I've noticed him once and so keep on noticing him, but it does seem a little uncanny. I opened a book on Celtic history and came across Tyr! Ok, he was only mentioned in comparison with Nuada, but he was still there. Also, Anna told me that I should find his rune. As an experiment, I put my hand into the bag of runes (I couldn't see them, only feel them), rummaged around and pulled one out. It was Tyr's rune. Time to give up and call it Fated then.

I've just found this Coming to Terms with Tyr. Which was interesting, because simultaneously, I was listening to New Model Army's 'Fate' (it was on the album I had on).

It's difficult not to look for omens, when things are coming this thick, fast and precisely, when it's obviously better to just wait and see what falls out of the mix.

I wonder when Fenris will turn up. Unless Fenris was those bags and boxes which has knackered the right side of my neck and shoulder. I was joking on Tuesday that I'll end up with a muscular left arm and my right arm all withered with disuse, as it's still pretty painful.

I'm uncomfortable with the fact that the last two deities to really impact on my life have both been Norse ones. While I have every respect for them, just as I have all deities, they aren't my Gods and therefore are an unknown quantity. It's like being forced to learn another language, when that which you speak is everything you already need. I'm not unduly worried by it though. In some ways, it's fun as a detective adventure; in other ways, it's knowledge and that could possibly lead to wisdom.

For now, I'm taking the advice of those for whom Tyr is a known deity; I've got the rune in my bra and I'll ride it out to see where it goes. I've got various folk e-mailing on Witchgrove or off-list, with messages or advice, so it seems that it's not just me who's getting told things.


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