Depth of Praise is now published

Depth_of_Praise_Cover_for_KindleIt is done.  With the click of a mouse, my first book is released to the world.  Depth of Praise is now available via CreateSpace, and this Poseidon devotional will be available via Amazon.com in 3-5 business days.  It is not, and never will be, available in any electronic form.

My Kickstarter backers were advised earlier today about this good news; even now, copies of this book are being prepared and rushed to my door so that I may fulfill their many expectations.  These good people waited far, far longer than I expected that they would, and that was my fault.  I did not fully understand the process of working with an illustrator, and believed I had built enough wiggle room into my estimates.  We live and learn.

As I noted above, there are no plans to offer any electronic versions of this work.  I have seen far too many books by Pagan authors available for unauthorized free downloads around the internet, and I do not wish to chase down violators on my lonesome.  However, that surely makes these autographed copies of Depth of Praise all the more valuable.

It pleases me to no end that I have completed this important task for my patron only days before the retreat at which I hope to become his priest.

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A hearty “thank you” to the people of Asatru Folk Assembly

Throughout most of my life, racism has been a squirrely, slippery concept for white people like me.  When the hate isn’t being thrown your way, it can be tricky trying to discern what’s racism, what’s rudeness, and what’s paranoia.

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No more!

Growing up in a town that had one — maybe two — black kids in the same school, I only ever heard nasty racial epithets in social studies class.  In the suburban Northeast years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, I mostly met kids of other races at summer camps and swim lessons, and never personally thought they were any different than I was.  Lacking lynchings and police-involved shootings in the news, I never saw the kind of racism that I could easily recognize.

Thanks to the new leaders of the AFA, finally I can see that kind of hate is alive and well.  I knew it was intellectually, but it’s been like a blind person trusting that there’s such a thing as color.  I can lie to a blind person, and they will either trust me or try to figure out if something is a given color, or not.  Racism in recent decades has mostly been like this:  it can be explained away because it’s subtle.  Observers are forced to conjecture about motivations, which means that unless you are the target of the racist behavior, which give you a sense of the intent, it’s not any different than ascertaining thoughtcrime.  (I imagine that someone who has been abused raw by racist behavior might be quick to assume it when they see similar behavior, but again, I have not lived this experience.)

But this racism?  It’s easy to spot.  It’s like giving red a C sharp, allowing the blind person to identify it with ease.  This is the kind of racism we can do something about.

What to do, though?  In theory, these are just masculine men and feminine women who just want to care for their beautiful white children.  Is it okay to let them build little white enclaves, or will they be stockpiling guns behind the walls to “solve” the problem they see in the world?  There exists in humans a desire to associate with those who are familiar, and some humans identify that familiarity in very shallow ways, features that can be seen quickly like skin color and “traditional” gender.  Is it okay to let our simpler fellows enjoy the quiet enjoyment of their little white paradise, or are they also prone to violence?

I don’t have the answers to these bigger questions.  All I know is that thanks to this statement from the AFA leaders, it’s a lot simpler to figure out who I don’t wish to have in my life.

What I learned from the hilasmós of Athene

  1. Dionysos hates owls.
  2. Athene ritual doll

    Doll for the drowned dead

    Galina Krasskova takes honoring the dead very, very seriously.

  3. I haven’t the slightest clue how to pronounce “theoi.”
  4. Athene is a protector of the dead.
  5. Markos Gage should have been there.
  6. All the Hellenic gods seem to have a chthonic aspect, which makes ancestor veneration all the more important.
  7. A Litany for the Many Dead is even more profound when someone else reads it aloud.
  8. The complicated-sounding doll design isn’t always as hard as it seems.
  9. The number nine always seems to crop up when there’s a Heathen in the room.