shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
Long before archaeology was ever called archaeology, there were people going around searching for historical artefacts. In particular, people sought out holy relics. A holy relic is a part of a venerated person, or a piece of an artefact associated with that person. Although many of the relics are fake (it's been said there were enough splinters of the True Cross to build an armada), these fakes were still items of import. In medieval Christianity, "the physical remains of saints and holy figures were considered an essential part of the faith, offering a powerful connection with Heaven" (1). Pilgrimages to holy relics were vital, and could be used as Indulgences to cut down on time languishing in Purgatory. The most important relics of all were the ones associated with Jesus Christ. Since he was believed to have physically ascended to Heaven, the opportunities to retrieve a piece of Jesus were slim, and limited to hair, blood, fingernail clippings, or his foreskin.

At one point in history, there were a reported eighteen foreskins of Christ floating around Europe. Barring some loaves-and-fishes-style miracles, it is obvious these can't have been real. Even if the foreskin of baby Jesus had been saved, such a tiny scrap of organic matter should have rotted away while he was still an infant.

Regardless, the relic(s), called the Holy Prepuce, got around. Determining the veracity of these relics was vital, and specialists arose. The most common testing method was a taste test. "A properly trained physician chosen by the local priest would chew the shriveled leather...to determine whether it was wholly or partly human" (2). When Pope Innocent III was called upon to pass judgement on the authenticity of one Holy Prepuce, he demurred (3). I can't say I blame him.

One such Holy Prepuce was personally delivered by an angel to Austrian nun Agnes Blannbekin in the thirteenth century (4).

"Crying and with compassion, she began to think about the foreskin of Christ, where it may be located [after the Resurrection]. And behold, soon she felt with the greatest sweetness on her tongue a little piece of skin alike the skin in an egg, which she swallowed. After she had swallowed it, she again felt the little skin on her tongue with sweetness as before, and again she swallowed it. And this happened to her about a hundred times. And when she felt it so frequently, she was tempted to touch it with her finger. And when she wanted to do so, that little skin went down her throat on its own. And it was told to her that the foreskin was resurrected with the Lord on the day of resurrection. And so great was the sweetness of tasting that little skin that she felt in all [her] limbs and parts of the limbs a sweet transformation" (5).

Since people have been making dick jokes for thousands of years, much to the displeasure of the Catholic Church, the topic of the holy foreskin was a source of ribaldry. By 1900, they'd had enough of it, and it was decreed that talking about Holy Prepuce was an offense punishable by excommunication.

By the twentieth century, there was only one known holy foreskin, anyhow. It resided in Calcata, Italy. "For more than four centuries, the 'Holy Prepuce' had been the city's treasure, kept behind bronze doors over the altar in the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. It was displayed every year on Jan. 1, the Feast of the Holy Circumcision", finally vanishing in 1983 (6).

Where did this relic end up? There are numerous speculations. Considering the fate of an earlier Holy Prepuce was transmogrification into the rings of Saturn (7), the hypothesis that it was reclaimed by the Vatican is quite reasonable (8).

[Circumcision of Christ, detail from Twelve Apostles Altar (Zwölf-Boten-Altar). Painting by Friedrich Herlin of Nördlingen, 1466. Rothenburg ob der Tauber]

Works cited )
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
Elder Squirrel Demon Summoning Circle is an environmental installation artwork piece which I placed on my back deck. A multimedia piece, it incorporates a demonic squirrel head, chalk, roses, herbs, peanuts, salt, and pinecones.

I created the centrepiece by hacking a Big Head Squirrel Feeder. Horns were fashioned out of Sculpey by my roommate Amelia, and I affixed them with KrazyGlue. The eyes and eye rims were painted with bright red nail laquer, leaving slit-shapes unpainted for the irises. This gives the eyes a blood-filled, demonic aspect.

Next, lengths of binding wire were attached overhead to the roof and a nearby tree. The wire is green and blends in with the foliage. I next connected the wire to the head with lengths of transparent bracelet cording. This transparent cording makes the head look like it is hovering unsuspended.

I next adjusted for height by winding the binding wire until the head hovered the correct distance from the ground. Because of the elastic nature of the transparent cording, this process had to be repeated several times during the exhibition of the installation piece. Once the head was in place, I marked the centrepoint beneath and sketched out a circle in chalk. I drew the pentagram, then added Enochian text traditionally believed to have been used to summon demons. Technically speaking, a traditional demon summoning circle looks different (and contains far more Enochian text), but for the purpose of making the circle more identifiable to the average viewer, I chose to go with a circle of protection. Besides, I doubt squirrels know the difference. ;)

To add colour and to tie in the elements with nature and the history of the occult, I also added roses from my garden, herbs, small heaps of rock salt, and pine cones gathered at a nearby cemetery.

Since I intended to make this piece interactive with nature, I included peanuts to summon the squirrels. Then I sat and waited for the squirrels to get cheeky and brave enough to approach while I awaited with my camera. To aid with the summoning, I participated in a dread occult practice: the osculum infame. In other words, I made kissy noises.

Eventually, a black squirrel demon was summoned.

My ritual worked!

As a note, no squirrels returned the next day, but two days later, when I went to look, the peanuts were gone, and in their place, at the centre of the summoning circle, was a cherry. I summoned a demonic cherry! I swear I did not put it there, and no one else was in the yard all day. Ooooo. Spoooooky!

I confess that I ate part of the cherry, but as of this time, I have not evinced any signs of demonic possession....

Pics and video behind the cut! )
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
(Character sketch for a Hunter game....)

So I knew I was special from an early age, right? Yeah, I know everyone thinks there special, except maybe those flinching ones who hide in the corners at school hugging their bookbags to their chests, but I knew I was. I mean, Ma and Pa always told me I was special, but that’s like their job, right? I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but it came to me in a dream. I’m a bit of an oracle, when it comes to dreams, so when I dreamed about the Great Eye on top of ye olde pyramid, and how that eye scanned all around like the freaking Eye of Sauron until it lit on ME, well, yeah, of course I knew I’d been singled out. By what exactly, I wasn’t sure, but there’s a reason the unknown is called the occult. I was singled out for life as an occultist. )
shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
I just thought about this short story I wrote back in 1994 and thought I should bring it back to view. It seems relevant to what I'll be doing tomorrow (I plan on writing a play on Pope Innocent VIII!).

Enjoy! (Oh yeah. It's a nasty little story with violence and such, so be warned.)

Matthew stares. Fascination. Repugnance. She flips chestnut hair over, around. Brushes bottom of her shoulder-blades. Sequinned bra glitters under strobe lights, Matthew's pulse quickens. )
shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
In 1212, disenfranchised commoners
(children, the poor, and mendicant clergy)
Left Europe for the Holy Land
To peaceably convert Muslims to Catholicism.
It ended in mass death and slavery.

In 1229, Church leaders banned commoners from owning Bibles.
After all, a commoner is uneducated
And will have no recourse but to make
False interpretations of divine scripture.

The ban didn't do the trick.

In 1231, Pope Gregory IX formed
The Inquisition as a means
of bringing order and legality
to the battle against heresy.

Until then, alleged heretics were
often burned to death by mobs
of angry townspeople.
The Pope didn't want that.
He wanted to learn
What made these alleged heretics tick.
He wanted to give them the opportunity to recant.
To convert to proper teachings.
And if that didn't work,
They'd be burnt to death.

We can take faith in knowing
The executions were performed by experts
and not some damned commoners.
shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
I'm currently feeling woozy and ill, and since hard physical activity is currently out of the question, I may as well do a bit of writing.

I got thinking about the things I do now (or have done) which I could not have done as a Jehovah's Witness (JW). Any one of these things could have gotten me disfellowshipped (to those not in the know, that's roughly analogous to Catholic excommunication). Here are my sins, in no particular order.

  • Reading literature critical of the JWs.
  • Celebrating birthdays.
  • Celebrating holidays.
  • Singing a national anthem.
  • Singing religious songs which are not JW songs.
  • Smoking tobacco.
  • Reading/writing/watching pornography
  • Donating money to the Red Cross
  • Entering non-JW places of worship
  • Attending non-JW religious services
  • Taking religious studies courses at university
  • Taking courses and workshops on sexuality
  • Going to a women's bath house
  • Playing Dungeons and Dragons
  • Playing Vampire: The Masquerade
  • Playing Demon: The Fallen
  • Watching movies about the occult
  • Reading/writing occult stories
  • Knowingly eating food which contains animal by-products
  • My score on the Purity Test. ;)
  • Talking to disfellowshipped JWs
  • Believing evolution is a perfectly logical theory
  • Considering the Bible a great collection of mythology
  • Thinking Charles Taze Russell was a charlatan
  • Knowing that many Bible stories have mythological antecedents
  • Fucking swearing
  • Independent thinking
  • Not keeping God foremost in my mind while having sex

There are more, I'm sure, but these shall suffice for now.
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
(From this writing exercise comes this:)

I am from landwash, mountain valley, trailer park, and forest, from saddle leather, horse liniment, big yellow bags of No Name dog food, and from baling twine and Watchtower magazines.

I am from the white and green mobile home converted to wooden house. I am from the home-made white camper, and 31' fifth wheel travel trailer pulled on the back of a 3/4 tonne crew cab bright orange Chevy.

I am from the humble potato, planted, weeded, picked, peeled, and chopped until my back ached, knees cried out, and fingers cramped and waterlogged, from the fields of green and gold timothy, heads bobbing in sweet-smelling breeze, pulled out with care so I could chew the tender stems and pick my teeth with the tough ones.

I am from door-to-door Saturday mornings and three-times-a-week Kingdom Hall meetings, from hours spent reading novels on the back of a pony, from picking berries and rose hips after school, from stacking wood onto the dogsled and alongside the house, from Powell and Twombly and Rolf.

I am from the attention-seeking side of the family, the side that always says "Look at me!", and from the side who believes it is a sign of weakness to show tears. I'm from skin stinging from turning the other cheek.

From blood of the butchered chickens, pigs, deer, moose, goats, rabbits, and fish being poured onto the ground and always reading the labels to be sure there were no animal byproducts--not even in the cat food--and being told we weren't superstitious even while I shivered to hear tales of demons coming out of role-playing books, second-hand clothing, and Smurf wallpaper.

I am from three preceding generations of Jehovah's Witnesses, zig-zagging their ways back and forth across both sides of the family. There will be no fifth generation. It stopped with my sister and with me.

I'm from Dorn Ridge and Springhill and Dead Man's Bay, from plain-cooked meat and boiled potatoes, and from Jiggs dinner on Sundays.

From my Dad embarrassing me by doing backflips and log-rolling down hills in front of the other kids, Mom's Barbara Cartland and Louis L'amour books covering every table, countertop, and shelf in the house, my sister spearing a broom handle through my door during yet another fight between us.

I am from washed-out photos from Cameron Beach, pictures of us eating lobsters or of us all holding collie puppies up by their arms, from hikes through sagebrush and tumbleweeds to craggy outcrops and jigsaw pines, where we'd light a fire and boil water in a tin can and eat bannock cooked over a stick. I couldn't want for more colour and flavour.
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I stood on the holy hill, and I moistened my lip with my tongue, staring up into the cave. Is it time? No. Soon.

Is it time yet? No, soon.

And then I heard the susurration of sudden inhalation, saw the excitement come cascading down the queue of women like a crest breaking along the surf, and I knew. It was time.

The men came bursting from the cave, clad in nought but blood as on the day they were born from their blessed mothers. Their lips were smeared with the milk of the holy she-wolf, and they cried out, but not as babes. Their shouts were virile and stirred my heart and my loins. I leaned forward for a better view. We all did. Besmeared with blood, erupting from the sheath of the earth, and blessed by the gods, the young men, the finest in all the land, tore down the hill, arms raising and falling in vicious rhythm. My heartbeat caught up with their rapid footfall. My breast thudded as though it might burst. "Pick me, oh pick me," I prayed.

I saw unblooded virgins battling with matrons, pulling hair, clawing flesh. Some collapsed in tears or in swoons. I could not tell which. Could not care, no, not so long as I was chosen. I heard screams of rage and despair, saw fists clutching at the men, but their feet never slowed. Their arms swung methodically, their blows falling where the Fates deemed it best. Oh gods, let their blows fall upon me.

And then he was before me, his nostrils flared with exertion, his eyes bloodshot and stupefied with drink. The hairy februa in his hand was still slick with blood. Was it dog or was it goat? It did not matter. He was raising it. Raising it to me. Tendons bulged on his neck. Oh, this one was as mighty as Europa's bull, and surely as fertile. I burst from the fray of women. He pushed at me with his free hand but I yanked at the arm that tried to propel me back. I braced my legs and clung to him, dragged off my feet but never letting go. Those behind me clawed at my flesh. But I did not care. His arm was raising. His arm was falling, and I was splattered with a spray and the strap stung me not once, not twice, but three times.

He tore himself from my grasp and continued down the hill. I lay on the path and the screams melted away. Though violence surged around me, I was at peace.
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
Happy Sol Invictus, all!
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
Yesterday, I went to Bethel Canada. Most of you will have no idea what that is. It is the headquarters for Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) in Canada, and is in Georgetown, Ontario. Why would I do such a thing? Well, my parents came to visit, and I haven't seen them in about two years. They were only here for two days, and wanted to go to Bethel. When they invited me, I sucked it up and said, sure, I'll go too.

And so I dressed to go behind enemy lines. I wore my BPAL Perversion perfume, labrys earring, my Plow Me panties from Mr. Plow, and my skirt with the repeating vagina motif. And I looked respectable.

[Bethel garb]

My parents were excited. This is like Mecca meets Disneyland to them, with a Leave It To Beaver twist. I had to talk them out of leaving three hours before the appointed time. It's only a one-hour drive. We left two hours ahead of time, instead, and they were surprised to get there an hour early.

Since we were an hour ahead of our tour time, we wandered around the grounds a little. The property is lovely. Acres of manicured lawns, beautiful flower beds, and well-placed ornamental trees make the place look very much like the visions of Paradise in JW literature. The only thing missing are the scores of lions cuddling with lambs while toddlers clap and giggle. I did, however, see a mangy fox lope across a parking lot.

[Creepy!]

(More odd photo manipulations of "paradise on earth" here.)

At one point while we sat on a park bench, Mom looked at me and asked, "Have you ever thought about coming to Meetings again?"

"Nope," I said.

"Ah. That's too bad."

And we continued to wait.

Around 1 o'clock, the doors to the administration building opened and we went inside. The building is modern in appearance, with a bright, airy reception area appointed with comfortable stuffed arm chairs and a handsome long wooden bench that runs along sections of the perimeter wall. A framed Hebrew document on lambskin vellum is displayed on the wall. I have no idea what it is about, but it dates from the 15th century, and had the Tetragrammaton on it five times. A friendly woman at the reception desk gave me some postcards and an information pamphlet about Bethel.

We met up with the other people in our tour group: three young Sisters (a Sister is jargon for a female JW, and does not imply they are actual siblings. A Brother is the male version, of course) from Indiana, a woman and her two little boys (about 6 years old and 16 months old) from St. Vincent, her mother, and her uncle. The American women were armed with a big bag of peanut butter cookies. My parents chatted with the other JWs, and my inward cringing began. "What congregation are you from?" "How long have you been in The Truth?" (The Truth is JW jargon for being a JW) "How did you discover The Truth?" "So-and-so left The Truth...." Et cetera, ad nauseum. I was not asked what congregation I belonged to. I'm sure my nose ring tipped me off as "worldly" (ie. not a JW).

My brain rebelled against the old mindset, and tension built up within me. I had my iPad with me, and chatted a bit with Kathryn, Shaun, and [livejournal.com profile] knightky. My asthma kicked in, and I mentioned it to Kyle. He asked if it was caused by Bethel, and I said, "Probably. Lungs aren't made to breathe horse shit."

Our tour guide arrived: a charismatic young woman, modestly attired in a long skirt. The tour would be two hours long. I steeled my reserve, and off we went.

We walked through the complex, occasionally stopping at propaganda displays on the wall. One of the first such displays was about the legal department, which deals very much with ensuring JWs don't accept blood transfusions. I noted that it seems only men can do this vital work, because there was only mention of Brothers who worked in the law department.

Although there are a smattering of women in various departments, they seem to work primarily in the housekeeping departments. There are a few female dentists, and a few women in the printing facility, but mostly that appears to be the domain of the menfolk. We went into the Kingdom Hall with its theatre-style seating, and I walked up close to the stage with its podium/pulpit. Our tour guide was leaning back against the stage, explaining the structure of the meetings, and how everyone had assigned seating. Things have changed since I was a good little JW kid. Now, at least at this Kingdom Hall, there are cameramen (not camerawomen, continuing with the tradition of the mike stud. ie., a mike stud is a young man who carries around the microphone with an elevated sense of authority because of his important job). The cameraman trains his camera on the mike studs as they carry their microphone over to whoever is going to read out the answers to questions read out by the elder on the stage. And then the rest of the congregation gets to watch that lucky person regurgitate the information they underlined in the article just read to them by a man on the stage.

Anyhow, while the tour guide was leaning against the stage, she got a little uncomfortable looking, stood up, straightened her skirt, and said she felt a bit out of place being so close to the men's domain. The other women in the group tittered appropriately, and all stepped further away from the pulpit. I saw a bit red for a little, but kept it contained, and then we left the Kingdom Hall to continue our tour.

For two hours we were "encouraged" by the volunteer work done by the hundreds of Brothers and Sisters in Bethel. We saw the huge printing press, the giant laser printer, the dining room, one of the residences, the laundry facilities, etc. The woman from St. Vincent carried her well-behaved, but very tired, baby in her arms the entire way. I felt bad that she didn't have a stroller for him. The women from Indiana always paused the group any time they saw young men, and rushed to give them cookies. Maybe they'll find a god-fearing husband amongst the Bethelites.

The dining room was interesting. It has assigned seating, and everyone is expected to meet each morning where they get "spiritual food" along with their breakfast. Once again, there are cameras, and on a rotating roster, different people are assigned questions to answer, and are given 60 seconds to do so. The questions are based on pre-assigned readings from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's interpretation of Scripture. They are told how to answer the questions, and prepare accordingly.

I was reminded once again of the exhortation to "avoid independent thinking."

I am relieved to be home.
shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
I've spent the past few days thinking about theology. Not real-world theology, mind you, but theology within a fictional world. It's quite interesting, to see how certain pre-existing points match up, and discovering where the mysteries lie. I'm going to keep working on it, and upon character development. I believe I'm coming up with something quite interesting. Well, it's interesting to me, at least. Whee!

Last night, I played paintball with Steph, Adam, Jordan, Kate, and Tom. Although I've decided indoor paintball is not my cuppa tea, it was still fun to run around with a gun, and to hang out with folks. The floor, with it's eleventy-billion ounces of paint bukkake, was pretty disgusting to walk on. It squelched underfoot, and if I leaned on anything or got shot, I looked like I'd been bled on by Bishop from Alien. Neck/throat shots are a real bitch, by the way, though I think my worst bruising is across my thighs. Adam decided to do one game the masochistic way, and went shirtless. Miraculously enough, he only got shot once, and that was in the arm.

Tom gave me a wicked headband with a picture of Buddy Christ and a "Killing For Jesus" motif. I'll wear it when I go for runs. I will not wear it tonight, when I go and teach my first dance class in ages.

I hope I remember how to dance. I hope I remember how to teach. Eee.

I am still wonderfully sore from pole dance class on Monday night. Although I can do chin-ups on my chin-up bar in the kitchen, I discovered I can no longer do chin-ups on the dance pole. I am ashamed. Ashamed and weak, like some girly man. I need to pump me up!

Where I have not been failing is in the walking department. I've been going on long walks to try to discover the somewhat natural parts of Kitchener. Alas, but even these pseudo-rural areas are tainted by stupid humans. A stream has a big, overstuffed chair in it. Ducks and geese swim amongst candy wrappers and worse. No matter where I walk, I seem to end up at a major intersection near a Beer Store. It must be a sign.

Time for a wish list of socks. I want all of these. )
shanmonster: (Sacrilicious)
I wrote this one around 1993 or so, and thought I'd dust it off. Enjoy!

I cannot help what I am. I was raised from the earth, and my hands have been black with soil since I was but a young boy. But now the black on my hands has been mixed with red, and I have been cast away, cut off from all my family, all my friends, and from all of humanity itself.

I work with the soil. I take pleasure in the riches produced from the earth, and from the sheer bounty of the land. From composted manures doth arise great fruit trees, grape vines, and the meaner tuber vegetables. From rotted vegetation springs forth a new crop of legumes, berries, and gourds. This renewal is a constant reminder of the eternal life I have been denied.

The great God had blessed me with favourable growing conditions during the last growing season. The rains had been gentle, and the sun had coaxed young seedlings up into full golden heads of wheat. They grew, unplagued by insects or by disease, and they were beautiful. The weevil did not devour my grains, and the beetles left off their attacks upon my legumes and tubers. In gratitude for the generosity of my God, I harvested the best of my crops to offer in supplication. I culled the plumpest red grapes, largest black olives, most milky-juiced figs, and the longest, straightest carrots. The gourds I offered to my God were smooth, round, and hollow, lacking any soft spots or mildew. The pomegranates I offered were filled with luscious seeds, and the blood-red juice flowed from them in ample amounts. I also offered five skins of the finest red wine, pouring the libation at the foot of my altar to God.

But God spurned my offerings. He sent down his blessing of fire upon the slaughtered sheep which lay upon the altar of my brother, these the very sheep that had grown fat on the clover of my own fields that now lay fallow. The wine-soaked ground of my altar was ignored, and God cast the fruits of my labour onto the ground, smashing the gourds and crushing the figs and pomegranates under the very sandals of my own brother. Is it unjustifiable that I grew jealous? Is it wrong that I burned with anger?

But God could read the trembling of my limbs for the anger they contained, and he spoke down to me, saying, "Why are you so hot with anger, and why has your countenance fallen? If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?"

And I stood still, the heat of anger burning hot within me, and I did not answer my God. My brother looked upon me with his expression of exaltation, and he held no pity for me, no, not even for his own brother. He taunted me, and he gave forth the decree that only the meat and flesh of the finest slaughtered beasts could be offered henceforth to God in sacrifice. And he proceeded to kick my ruined crops away from where he stood, and he offered to trade two of his yearling rams for twenty skins of my wine, saying that if the wine held no value for God, it did hold value with him. But he held no pity for me, for he did know that twenty skins of wine did contain more time and care in their preparation than did two yearling rams who are cared for by their dams.

And even still did I burn with a righteous and unholy anger, and I did proceed to say to my brother, "Let us go over into the field where your sheep graze upon my clover." And my brother did proceed to walk with me, gloating in his approval in the eyes of God. At the edge of the field I did pick up a large sharp-edged rock, and I did strike my brother over his head with it. As he lay prone on the ground with the blood pouring forth from his head, I proceeded to choke the very life from him, strangling him with the cord that I use as my belt. And my brother I let lay at the side of my field, amongst the dung and rotted vegetation of a compost heap. Then I did leave the field, and I scraped up the ruined remains of my God-spurned sacrifice, and I did add these remains to the compost heap which bordered my clover field.

But while I was walking back to my home, God did approach me and ask me where my brother, his favoured son, was. And I still felt my anger, and I answered him in a lie. I said that I did not know where my brother was, and I asked if I was to be my brother's keeper. But God knew that I lied, and he cursed me twice. He banished me from my family, and he forbade me the very ground that I had so grown to love and respect.

The punishment was too heavy for me to bear, and I begged for protection. For as a man hated even by God, I would be hunted down and killed just as I had schemed to kill my own brother. But God proved to be lenient, and he granted me protection against murder and violence by branding my face with a burning sigil.

With that I left my home with my wife and I travelled far to the east, learning to be a hunter and a gatherer. No longer will the ground grow my crops, for God either takes away the rain or he sends so much that it rots the heads off my wheat and mildews my gourds. The blackness of the soil is gone from my hands, but even if I cannot see it, the redness of the blood remains. My children grow spindly like the ill-fated grains, and several have died during drought and famine.

God has kept with his contract with me, that he should protect me from violent death, but I feel no obligation toward him. I do not offer sacrifices to him. I do not pour libations to him. My children do not know him, but we do know what it means to have been denied eternal life. We rejoice that we have not been cursed thus.

One of my sons has proven to be a great hunter. He does not know what it is to work the earth. He never partakes of the fruits of the soil. He slays antelope, zebras, and the great lions of the plains. He has slain many enemies, and he has even slain one of his own brothers after a heated dispute. I do not fear for him, for he has no fear himself. While I lay as fallow as my clover fields, my son abounds with fertile life. His family is large. He has three wives and many sons, and even among his enemies he is revered even as he is feared.

He has become like God himself. I fear him as I fear God. I loathe him as I loathe God. But even as God protects me, so too does my son protect me. In my old age he brings me meat, cheese, and milk. In my old age he brings me the bread and beer he has traded from foreign lands. In this way does he preserve me alive, and in this way does he prolong God's curse upon me.

When I die I know I will join my slaughtered son. I will join him as bones in the earth. I will become as a sterile seed in the ground, and no growth shall shoot forth from me. The ground where I lay buried will forever lie desolate, for although I have been denied life to time indefinite, I have been granted eternal death.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
This morning, I saw a vulture eating carrion, went out for a delicious breakfast at Cora's, and went to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and snapped an assload of butterfly photos. Check 'em out! They're gorgeous....

[Purty]

Tonight, I'm off to a Satanic Lagomorphic ritual, done in a neo-pagan Laveyan tradition. Or something like that. Yes, it's Rabbit Sabbath time. Woo!

Link time? Ok.

How Disney Makes Money: Don't fuck with the formula (thanks, Terre).

Owen Davies's top 10 grimoires: "Grimoires - books of magic spells - have exerted a huge influence on religion and science." That reminds me. I really need to finish writing that story I started years ago about the grimoire....

Turtle Eating Pigeon: Predators on the half shell!

Bonding With Their Downward-Facing Humans: Doga. The silliest trend I think I've seen in a while. The first picture is great for the expression on the dog's face.

Indian in record chilli attempt: It seems to me that this woman devoured 51 Scotch Bonnet peppers in 2 minutes. She also rubbed some in her eyes. AIE!!!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Canada: Rick Mercer explains the very fucked up government of Canada (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] gha5t).

Billy Bob Thornton Gives Bizarre Interview On Canadian Radio: What a space cadet (thanks, Terre).
shanmonster: (Default)
Happy Parentalia!

Today is the ancient Roman holiday for honouring one's dead parents. Since my parents are quite alive, and I'm not about to murder them, I guess I'll have to give this one a miss.

Hmm.

Sacrifices of grain and wine were made, and that much I did. I had some toast with my supper, and just polished off a nice glass of port. I guess my duty is done.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
Happy Fornicalia!

No, it's isn't exactly what it sounds like. I will not be celebrating by fornicating. I'm actually a day late, but from what I've read of the holiday, that's ok. February 5 marks the first day of spring for the Romans, and I'm celebrating by cleaning the bathroom. Nowhere near as exciting as meaningless sex, I know, but at least I end up with a nice, sparkling clean privy.

The word February, after all, comes from the Latin februa (the means of purification). And in turn, februa comes from the Etruscan equivalent for purgamentum (purging). I choose not to barf, though.

[Oven]Fornicalia, also known as Fornacalia, is celebrated in honour of the goddess Fornax. A fornax is also Latin for furnace, so the celebration is also the feast of ovens. I have already done my part by baking a delicious Devil's Food Cake. In this way, I am right on time, because Fornicalia is a moveable feast, always celebrated before February 17th. "On February 17th, if anyone had forgotten the feast or didn't remember which curiae he belonged to, he could make a private sacrifice at the Quirinalia, a general assembly of all the curiae. The Romans called the Quirinalia, the 'Feast of Fools' (from The Fornacalia."

But that's another holiday....
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
Too much caffeine. My interior is vibrating like mad. Ack!

I want to share a few print oddities with you. First up is a spam I received. Mary Atoo writes,
hi
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus christ.Please i really need a bible.this is my main purpose of contacting.hope my humble request will be granted.thank you and God Bless you.this is my address.
MARY OTOO
NAZARETH ASSEMBLY
P.O.BOX1931,
MAMPROBI-ACCRA
GHANA
If this is a 419 scam, I don't get it. Weird.

Next up is an excerpt from an "erotic" tale called Shards down south? I'm down south in Kagome!:
Drawing one hadn out of her shirt, trailing his claws softly over her skin, Inuyasha tore each side of her cloth barrier before he plunged his head inside her craving pussy. He slowly inched into her until he felt her hymen, "This is gonna hurt," Inuyasha cautioned her before bucking into her womb and breaking her woman barrier.
Wow. Such a short excerpt, and so much that is wrong....

[A bad kiss]And finally, an excerpt from a 1936 booklet called "The Art of Kissing" written by Hugh Morris wherein we learn that short men and tall women are terrible kissers:
It is, therefore, necessary that the man be taller than the woman. The psychological reason for this is that he must always give the impression of being his woman's superior, both mentally and especially physically. The physical reason, with which we are more concerned, is that if he is taller than his woman, he is better able to kiss her. He must be able to sweep her into his strong arms, and tower over her, and look down into her eyes, and cup her chin in his fingers and then, bend over her face and plant his eager, virile lips on her moist, slightly parted, inviting ones. All of this he must do with the vigor of an assertive male. And all of these are impossible when the woman is the taller of the two. For when the situation is reversed, the kiss becomes only a ludicrous banality. The physical mastery is gone but the fact that two lips are touching two other lips. Nothing can be more disappointing.
shanmonster: (Default)
[Carmenta]I'm going to be out of town this week, so my observances of the Roman holidays will likely grind to a stand-still for the time being. However, today is the first day of Carmentalia, a festival celebrated primarily by women and devoted to Carmenta, goddess of childbirth and prophecy.

I prophesy I shall never give birth, except in character.

It was forbidden to wear leather or other forms of dead skin in her temple, so I have taken off my watch, which has some leather detailing.

Pictures of Carmenta are exceedingly difficult to find, and the one I've included seems to show a scene from the Lupercalia, which, as you can see, is a pretty exciting holiday.

If I can find some hunky young men wielding whips while wearing blood and dead sheep, I think I will have one hell of a party.
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
Janus must be propitiated on the Agonal day.
The day may take its name from the girded priest
At whose blow the God's sacrifice is felled:
Always, before he stains the naked blade with hot blood,
He asks if he should, Agatne? and won't unless commanded.
Some believe that the day is called Agonal because
The sheep do not come to the altar but are driven (agantur).
Others think the ancients called this festival Agnalia,
'Of the lambs', dropping a letter from its usual place.
Or because the victim fears the knife mirrored in the water,
The day might be so called from the creature's agony?
It may also be that the day has a Greek name
From the games (agones) that were held in former times.
And in ancient speech agonia meant a sheep,
And this last reason in my judgement is the truth.
Though the meaning is uncertain, Rex Sacrorum,
Must appease the Gods with the mate of a woolly ewe." ~ Ovid
Happy Agonalia!

[Janus]Today marks one of the numerous celebrations of the Roman god Janus, who even the most uneducated peon references, if they know the months of the year. January is named in honour of this god of doorways. Before he was deified, he was recognized for having introduced law, field cultivation, and money to Rome. That sounds pretty important to me. No wonder he was turned into a god.

In order to celebrate this occasion properly, I should sacrifice a ram. But since sheep are short at hand, I will make do by wearing wool and checking to see if there's any feta cheese in the fridge. I shall also give the doors in my apartment a washing.
shanmonster: (Don't just sing it--bring it!)
Out of sheer weirdness, I think I'd like to try to celebrate the Roman festivals this year.

Some of them look quite entertaining, or delicious. Some look just plain puzzling. Where will I ever find sheep to drive through burning straw? Ah well. I'll find a solution, I'm sure.

I'll see if I can do photo documentation of my celebrations. The first holiday on the list is Agonalia, which commences tomorrow. It's in honour of Janus, so I'll have to find some way to celebrate this two-faced god.

Did you know a janitor is a caretaker of doors, and therefore kinda like a priest of Janus? Nifty. Neither did I. Maybe I'll celebrate by cleaning the doors in my apartment. Woo....

So, who's in this crazy endeavour of mine? Anyone?

Link time.

Coco Ginger Cookies: I love ginger. And I quite like chocolate. I love the two together. AND I like cookies, too! That means I must make these.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: I've ordered this and am looking forward to seeing it, soon!

Cute Things Falling Asleep: Exactly what it sounds like. The perfect balm for a shitty day (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] raine_storm).

Home-Made: Just watch it. It just keeps going and going.

Chicken Military Cap: Oh! Oh! Oh! I NEED this hat!

Nigeria bikers' vegetable helmets: "Motorcyclists in Nigeria have been wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads to dodge a new law forcing them to wear helmets, authorities say."

The Case Of The Pubis VW Bug: NSFW. "California Highway Patrol in the Los Angeles area recently found some amusement filling out accident reports in a series of car accidents. As it turned out, drivers were losing control and running into other vehicles upon seeing a giant women’s pubis displayed on the front part of an oncoming car."

Cow Giving Birth to Dude: Incomprehensible.

Donkeys boost Ethiopian literacy: Donkey libraries, and donkey rights, too!

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