Beltaine

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For many pagans the start of May is celebrated as Beltaine (Beltane), May Day, Calan Mei, and Walpurgis Night. It is a cross quarter day, falling between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The UK public holiday May Day occurs on the first Monday of May each year.

Correspondences included: fertility, renewal, maypoles, bonfires, dancing, creativity.
A list of deities and their correspondences can be found here

Words & Phrases (March 2017)

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Something all writers love is words, and we delight in finding the right turn of phrase to express ourselves. As a reader, I also enjoy discovering new words and concepts whether it’s from a published work, an indie short story, a fanfiction, something I heard on a TV show, or a word discovered in a news article. This is a list of some of the things I’ve learnt over the past months.
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Spring Festival: Ostara


Ostara Comments

banner by ~Magickal Graphics~
Ostara is the Spring or Vernal equinox when days and nights are once again equal in length. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. The name Ostara is believed to be derived from Eostre – the Teutonic lunar Goddess (see more on this below). Her chief symbols are the hare, which represents fertility, and the egg, which is a symbol of rebirth.

(In the Southern Hemisphere, it is Mabon that this being celebrated today at the time, with the balance of daylight about to go in the opposite direction, from more daylight to less.)

Ostara is close in symbolism to the Church festival of Easter, but Ostara is fixed at the equinox while Easter is a moveable feast decided by the phases of the moon. The Jewish holiday of Passover also falls during March or April, depending on the moon phases of each year.
Ostara also falls close to St Patrick’s Day amongst other festivals – there’s more detail in this article: Spring Traditions around the World.

Traditionally this day marks the start of Spring, and is a good time for cleaning in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense.

This year, Ostara falls on the 20 March.

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Yule


Yule Comments & Graphics

~banner by Magickal Graphics~

Celebrated at the 21st or 22nd of December Yule marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere while Litha is celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It is of course close to Christmas Day while that is also the feast day of Frau Holle, a Scandinavian spirit who is honoured as the embodiment of nature and the woods. There’s an article at About.Com on the History Of Yule and the various global celebrations held on or near the solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the time of the Summer Solstice, Litha.

This year the solstice occurs on Wednesday December 21st at 10:44 GMT (Universal time).

Holly Kings, Yule Goats, and more winter customs below the cut
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Meta: Reading Girolamo Riario (Da Vinci’s Demons) as on the Asexual Spectrum

I head-canon Da Vinci’s Demons’ Giralomo Riario as somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Not necessarily completely asexual but possibly grey-asexual or demi-sexual, maybe with some sexual attraction to all genders; I also think he could be biromantic and/or demiromantic.

Continue reading Meta: Reading Girolamo Riario (Da Vinci’s Demons) as on the Asexual Spectrum

Photographs – a Visit to Gloucestershire Warwickshire (Steam) Railway

Photographs taken during a visit to the volunteer-run heritage railway Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Even if you’re not that interested in trains, it’s a great day out in wonderful countryside and with home-made cake and local ale for sale.

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The Myth of the Relationship Hierarchy Strikes Again

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I was reading an interesting story recently. It happened to be fanfiction, but I’ve had this experience with plenty of mainstream novels. I was enjoying the storyline, the plot was good, the author was hitting some of my favourite tropes and the story was, overall, well-told.

Then: bam. The relationship hierarchy* reared its ugly head.

Continue reading The Myth of the Relationship Hierarchy Strikes Again

Watsonian vs Doylist: an Overview

picture of an open book with an illustration of a pipe, and an actual pipe

(image composite from images found at pixabay x,x)

Some cultural artefacts become so well known that they can be used as shorthand to express ideas and concepts. For example, movies like “Terminator” and “Robocop” made the idea of cyborgs, any being with both organic and mechanical parts, more visible to the general public.

So it is with Sherlock Holmes, widely read and studied in-depth for many years. Media analysis has adopted the terms Watsonian and Doylist, referring to the Sherlock Holmes fiction written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The ideas behind the two terms are useful when discussing any media artefact and TV Tropes mentions that the terms may have originated or at least been popularized by the Lois McMaster Bujold fan mailing list. 

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Sex is Not Vital For a Loving Relationship

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Sex is Not Vital For a Loving Relationship (No matter what real or fictional therapists tell you)
Excerpt:
This supposed professional just denied the existence of asexuality. She erased the right of not just asexuals, but people with physical disabilities which preclude sex, to be in a “loving relationship”. She basically implied that survivors of sexual trauma need to have/resume having sex or they cannot be loved.

Continue reading Sex is Not Vital For a Loving Relationship