Review of Maleficent, plus What is Evil?

Shauna Aura Knight:

I’ve blogged about the movie Maleficent, Fairytale magic, and the nature of evil, over on my fiction blog. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Shauna Aura Knight: Fantasy Author & Artist:

maleficent-trailer-500x256I just got back from seeing Maleficent at last. While there were parts that were overly cuteified, I did enjoy how they twisted the plot to achieve the feminist/backstory/how all this came to be. I also enjoyed the nod to the original cartoon/movie, particularly the curse scene. Angeline Jolie might as well have been the original actress who voiced Maleficent; it was brilliant how she pulled the two movies together in that scene.

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Reconnecting Astrology with its Animist Roots.

Shauna Aura Knight:

A fantastic perspective on astrology, well worth the read.

Originally posted on animist jottings:

The Constellations with Astrological Signs of the Zodiac, Atlas Coelestic, 1660.  Andreas Cellarius.  British Museum, Creative Commons.

The Constellations with Astrological Signs of the Zodiac, Atlas Coelestis, 1660. Andreas Cellarius. British Museum, Creative Commons .

The belt of sky along which the planets wander has long been known as the zodiac, from the ancient Greek zodiakos – ‘circle of animals’ or ‘sculpted animal figures’.  Western (and many other) astrologies are, therefore, woven around stories about celestial powers or presences -perhaps we might call them the Wanderers -also from their ancient Greek name planetes-  moving in a cyclic dance, through a succession of animal (including human, centaur, and other-than-human hybrid) figures and forms.  A vivid depiction of the zodiac from Andreas Cellarius’s Atlas Coelestis of 1660 (above) reminds us of astrology’s deep animist roots.

In the first volume of his cultural history of Western astrology, Nick Campion finds, for example, remarkable similarities between stories about the Pleiades from North America, Europe, and Australia, and comments on the…

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Predators, Cheating, and Lying

20619462_xxlThis post is a tangent off of my series on Pagans and Predators. I want to talk a little bit about cheating, in other words, infidelity, and why cheating is 1. bad and 2. a red flag as far as the issue of predatory behavior in the Pagan community. Well–in any community, for that matter.

I hear a lot of Pagans prevaricate and tell me, “Cheating’s not so bad, you shouldn’t be so hard on people just for cheating. It’s not like it’s abuse or something like that.”

And in some cases they are right, and in some cases they are wrong.

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Lughnasadh: Abundance and Seeking Your Dreams

Lotus Queen

The Lotus Queen: One of my large mixed media pieces with gold, metal and glass pieces.

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I’m joining the Tarot Blog Hop on the theme of the Lughnassadh (harvest), and the abundance of the Queen of Disks.

In order to harvest, you have to have first planted the seeds. I find that when I’m the most often wrapped up in the spiral of self loathing and overwhelm, the root cause is that I wish I’d gotten things finished (or started) sooner.

You can’t realize a dream if you haven’t watered the garden and tended the land.

In my case, I look at the magical map I’ve created as an intention setting. I call it a Grail Map. I see the crucial projects that must get finished so that the bigger, larger-reaching dreams can be realized. Sometimes I get stuck thinking, “I should have had a novel published when I was 25,” “I should have gotten those MP3’s recorded by now, ” “I should have finished that book on facilitating ritual by now,” “I should have done dozens more paintings,” “I should have gotten more gigs doing magazine covers and book covers.”

“I Should” is a pretty big red flag; it’s a big time blame game.

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Challenges with Personal Transformation

1979075_xlThere are some inherent challenges with the process of personal transformation. To put it into geek terms, you are hacking your own programming. And it’s going to impact your life. In other words, there are sometimes unintended consequences.

I think that facing the shadow tends to have repercussions–we’re hacking our self identity. We’re saying, “Yes, I identify that thing as bad, and yes, I do that thing, and I now have to accept that as part of my identity.”

Our ego doesn’t cope so well with that.

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Reblog: Squid Eye and Sexual Exploitation

I’m reblogging this very excellent post by Lydia MN Crabtree. It was written in March and it continues to be relevant as I see the Frosts are still out there teaching, and many Pagan groups and organizations still need better policies and processes regarding abuse, harassment, and other issues.

The Fish Rots from the Head Down: Squid Eye and Sexual Exploitation

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2014/03/the-fish-rots-from-the-head-down-squid-eye-and-sexual-exploitation/

What Happened After I Reported: Elise Matthesen, WisCon, and Harassment

Shauna Aura Knight:

This is an account of a mishandled sexual harassment complaint at a scifi convention. I think that this is a great model to look at for future Pagan events–and a cautionary tale about how to properly manage complaints of harassment. Many Pagan events don’t even have a way to handle complaints like this; next steps are getting policies in place, and the final step is actually properly dealing with them.

Originally posted on Whatever:

My friend Elise Matthesen last year filed a report at the WisCon science fiction and fantasy covention, because she believed that (then) Tor editor Jim Frenkel had sexually harassed her. Harassment policies are not only about what those policies say, but how those policies are administered and those reports handled. Here’s Elise telling you how WisCon, which identifies as the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention, handled her report. The short version: It did so very poorly.

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Last year at WisCon 37, I told a Safety staffer that I had been treated by another attendee in a way that made me uncomfortable and that I believed to be sexual harassment.  One big reason I did was that I understood from another source that he had reportedly harassed at least one other person at a convention. I learned that she didn’t report him formally, for a lot of reasons that aren’t…

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