Clutching the Sun – Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped

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Clutching the Sun

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Riding in the car on the way back from a wonderful time in a nearby nature preserve, a cloud formation caught my eye.  As I continued to observe the overall shape, a definite impression of a god-like cloud hand enveloping the afternoon sun became more and more obvious to me, so this photo seemed like the best choice for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post.

Twirling Oak Wreath – Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

Twirling Oak Wreath - Summer Solstice 2014

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This photo was taken on the last Summer Solstice, the height of the year for the Oak King in the Oak King and the Holly King story.  Although the dim light of the cloudy day and tree canopy prevented a crisp still shot of the gently twirling oak wreath, made of freshly fallen oak branches, the motion in the image was still interesting.

A Floating Salute – Weekly Photo Challenge

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Double Floating Salute

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While ducks floating on water is not exactly an original choice for representing “afloat” in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I found this particular shot interesting because the duck pair were in almost the exact same position when I snapped the photo.

~Alaina

Feeling Stranded in Family History

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As genealogical histories go, the records of the modern day Netherlands, in most cases, do not go back very far; most records get jumbled and lost beyond the 16th century.  Because of this, I feel more or less stranded in my family history.   Continue reading

Quiet Candlelight and Other Ephemeral Things

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I had just finished reading the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral when I looked up and noticed a candle on the anima/animus altar that had been lit earlier this afternoon was still burning.  As I stood up and moved closer, I thought about how the shape of the unmelted outsides and the molten insides surrounding the wick were very ephemeral.  If I let the candle burn longer, the overall shape of the candle would continue to change, and blowing the candle out would allow the molten wax to cool thus losing the reflection of the tiny flame.  Each of the key elements of the photo had to remain as they were in that moment to have this image, fitting very closely to the idea of ephemeral as The Daily Post described it.

Ephemeral Flame

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Will probably be posting more photos under this Weekly Photo Challenge theme over the course of the next week.

~A

Winter Solstice 2014

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Clootie at DuskYes, it has taken this long to get around to posting about the Winter Solstice of 2014.

Continue reading

The Serpentine Mother and the Altar of Dreams (Birth of Heroes)

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254as

The Serpentine Mother and the Altar of Dreams (Birth of Heroes)

Serpentine Mother, beautiful and terrible
of breath and spirit, lantern-eyes brightening
patterns in sunlight and forest shadow –  she enters
the labyrinth and places sacred riddles,
scribbled flags in perfect order,
for you to find when you awake in the center,
on the altar of your dreams.

Her Spirit and Breath will never be far, but now,
a vessel of living or dying and her ancestral scream
unchains you –
Light!
Sight, sound, touch, and
SCREAM. Aahhh, the taste of

dappled shadow ground in the grove, a pattern of sunlight,
an unknown verse, the first of your great song,
resting on the deep lake of Mother, warm
with blood of forgotten riddles, cold
from long footsteps of journey, she dares you
to read those scribbled flags, she leaves you
trembling,
on the altar of your new name.

The Beowulf Complex: A Frightening and Beautiful Story

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killinggrendelBeowulf is a frightening and beautiful story. It is an Anglo-Saxon poem of heroic battles against monsters. The hero, Beowulf, goes to a kingdom that is being plagued by a monster named Grendel, who attacks the great hall only at night, killing and destroying. Beowulf, after a heroic struggle with sea monsters, arrives to bring battle to Grendel. After killing the gruesome Grendel, his praises are sung, but his work is not done. After her son is killed, Grendel’s mother attacks the great hall and in revenge kills the king’s rune-reader. Beowulf is then given a magical sword and sets off to kill the mother, whose lair is under a lake. He ultimately does kill her, but in so doing, the sword is disintegrated, leaving only the rune covered hilt. Beowulf returns to the great hall and presents the king with the hilt. The king seems melancholy, pleased that his kingdom has been freed of the menace of Grendel and his mother, but melancholy nonetheless. He counsels Beowulf not to succumb to the same fate as he did. Beowulf then returns to his own land and becomes king. After ruling for many years, one of his men steals a chalice from a dragon’s lair. The dragon awakes, and the aging Beowulf must do battle with the dragon. Ultimately, he succeeds in killing the dragon, but in the process he is mortally wounded and dies. Beowulf is a frightening and beautiful story of being within a frightening and beautiful world, among frightening and beautiful creatures.

Unlike most Anglo-Saxon poetry, Beowulf is, at its core, mythological. Not only in the motifs of the hero’s journey and fantastic creatures, but in the purpose it served for the people of the Anglo-Saxon culture, and, I would argue, for us today. There are many motifs in the story that deserve attention, and many ways the story, as a whole, can be interpreted. There is no doubt that Beowulf is a mythic story though, and as such, conveys an account of cultural and personal psychospiritual development. Unfortunately, much of the available scholarship is dry, stale, and unsavory; many of the interpretations are grossly inadequate. Along these lines, I would like to draw special attention to two elements of the story upon which I feel any interpretation must ultimately rest. These are foundational keys to understanding the story, but ones that most interpretations, for one reason or another, seem not to take into full consideration, robbing us of a complete, vivid, and relevant account.

The first of these points is the death of the rune-reader. Continue reading

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