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Banrigh na Boogie

The Vertigo of the Ulsterpersons

January 9th, 2019

Mostly Friends-Only @ 04:31 pm

emotional weather: artistic artistic

Though I do occasionally make public posts here on eljay, most of these posts are visible only to friends.

My more public writing is generally found on my blogspot blog, or in the other public fora I frequent. See sidebar for links.

Comment if you'd like to be added, even if you friended me a while ago but have never posted a comment in my journal. (I rarely check my userinfo, so I may not know you joined.) Tell me a bit about yourself. If I know you from elsewhere, tell me who you are. Sometimes I will read someone's journal for a while before I decide whether or not to friend them back.

I'm rarely here these days, so this is more of an archive. But if I get too sick of FB, maybe I'll be back more often.

Read more...Collapse )

March 25th, 2010

Writer's Block: News development @ 04:06 pm

emotional weather: contemplative contemplative
today's soundtrack: talking heads - life during wartime

What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?

A bunch blur together... all of them protests and funerals.

As a child in the 1960s, the television coverage of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy both stand out and blur together in my mind. Though I was too young to remember the assassination of JFK, the footage from his funeral was replayed at that time as well, and it all became this sense of, "Public leaders who inspire people get shot by crazy men. Everyone watches TV and cries. What on earth will become of this world?"

Growing up with the Vietnam war on TV was a major formative experience for me. We played "Vietnam" on the playground in elementary school. I have vivid memories of televised protests against the war, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. After I was in school, it was the Watergate hearings on TV every day.

All of this played a huge part in who I became: Someone who has never trusted the government. Someone who believes all politicians lie. Someone who has never identified with the mainstream. Someone who sees activism as normal, and indeed a required and healthy part of human life under an oppressive regime.

December 21st, 2009

Grian-Stad Geamhraidh: A' Ghrian @ 05:39 am

emotional weather: calm illuminated
today's soundtrack: Here Comes the Sun - George Harrison / Beatles

For those who aren't on the feed for my blogspot blog:

Fàilte ort féin, a ghrian nan tràth,
'S tu siubhail ard nan speur;
Do cheumaibh treun air sgéith nan ard,
'S tu màthair àigh nan reul.

Thu laighe sìos an cuan na dìth
Gun dìobhail is gun sgàth,
Thu 'g éirigh suas air stuagh na sìth,
Mar rìoghain òg fo bhlàth.

And in English...Collapse )

November 13th, 2009

Writer's Block: Super-human @ 01:18 pm

If you could choose one super-power, what would it be and why?

The ability to heal.

Self-explanatory, really. There's too much pain and suffering in this world. It would be good to have more of an ability to change that.

October 27th, 2009

"Redeemed through pain, Not through joy" @ 07:51 pm

emotional weather: morose reflective
today's soundtrack: day and night - jim carroll

Jim Carroll (August 1, 1949 – September 11, 2009)

I don't know how I didn't hear about this till now. Light upon your path, Jim, your words and music were the soundtracks to some key times in my life. Whether pogoing on the porch in Dorchester to "People Who Died", wandering the streets of Cambridge singing songs from "Catholic Boy", singing "Them" while lost on the South Side of Chicago at 3am, or subtitling a photo essay with lyrics from Jealous Twin ("She moves through the black door / She turns toward the desperate light"), your words captured my mind and heart during a time in my life when my emotions and events around me were intense, violent, and difficult to survive. Thank you for helping me through those passages.

This song is for you my brother.


October 23rd, 2009

October 14th, 2009

New Age Death Sweat III - Response by Arvol Lookinghorse @ 11:15 pm

today's soundtrack: song to say goodbye - placebo

Original Post here: Lakota Pipekeeper’s Statement Concerning Sweatlodge Deaths

My blog post (just reposted same text, but in case that site goes down

Oh, and the syndicated feed for my blogspot blog so it will just pop up in you LJ friends list: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/paganachd/profile

New Age Death Sweat II - NYT Editorial by Dr. Al Carroll @ 06:01 pm

emotional weather: on it...
today's soundtrack: for what it's worth - placebo

At the request of the New York Times, Al has written an editorial on the Newage Death Sweats. The following is scheduled to appear this coming Thursday or Friday.
* (Re)post on Pàganachd Bhandia
* Original Post
* Thread on Oprah's forum (we'll see if it stays up)

October 10th, 2009

Plastic Death Sweat @ 12:28 pm

emotional weather: angry appalled
today's soundtrack: breathe underwater - placebo

2 Dead, 3 Critical, More Hospitalized

James Arthur Ray promised to make them Spiritual Warriors.

The newage, pyramid-scheming, scam artist crammed 21 people into a plastic sweatlodge. In the hot, wet dark with the man who had no idea how to lead an Indian ceremony, and no connection to any culture that could have taught him how (or told him this was a really bad idea), they sweated for two hours... till two were dead, three were unconscious, and everyone else went to the hospital.


October 1st, 2009

The Do's and Don'ts of Being a Good Ally @ 04:14 pm

Current Location: Taigh na h-Aibhne
emotional weather: working working
today's soundtrack: placebo - song to say goodbye / infrared / meds

For anyone who is trying to be an ally to any oppressed group they are not themselves part of:


Required reading, IMNSHO. :-)

August 21st, 2009

July 13th, 2009

Writer's Block: Lights Out @ 01:21 pm

emotional weather: accomplished accomplished

All it takes is a blackout to realize how much we rely on electricity. What's your most memorable story from a power outage?

1990-something. Central Massachusetts. The depths of winter. Without power, without running water, for about nine days in an ice storm. Due to living at the end of a dirt road, in a forest, essentially on an island, we were totally marooned. Ice took down all the phone lines, power lines, and multiple trees. The state was declared a disaster area, and we waited for crews from Canada to come help us out.

Thank all deities we had a wood stove and plenty of wood. Having been raised by paranoid midwestern farmers, I know enough to keep a good stock of food and water on hand, or we could have died.

I read a lot, with the aid of a battery-operated reading light. We talked and tended the fire and slept three to a bed for maximum warmth. The dog was perfectly happy and didn't notice anything was wrong.

For extra credit, I had my period at the time. And the flu. You will notice I have no icons that include snow or ice.

June 1st, 2009

Suirbhé Mór na Gaeilge / The Big Irish Language Survey @ 03:20 pm

emotional weather: working working
today's soundtrack: Cath Eachroma - Flaithrí & Eoghan Neff, et al

The Trust for Irish Medium Education / Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta are asking for wide participation in this survey. No matter where you live in the world, no matter what language(s) you speak, they are interested in your opinion on preserving the Irish language (Gaeilge). Go raibh maith agaibh for taking a few minutes to help out.

more details, if you haven't seen it cross-posted yetCollapse )

www.thetrustforirishmediumeducation.com </blockquote>

Go raibh maith agat to Eireannoir over on Óenach for passing this one along. Sláinte Mhaith!

May 19th, 2009

Кэтрин Прайс. Религия - о публичном и приватном @ 05:50 pm

Current Location: Taigh na h-Aibhne
emotional weather: curious intrigued
today's soundtrack: Irish folk music played by Ukranians

No, it's not the Return of the Cyrillic Spammer. Members of a Ukranian LJ community have translated one of my blog rants into Russian:

Кэтрин Прайс. Религия - о публичном и приватном

I have no Russian, so I'm taking the translators' word here that that's what it is ;-)

It's funny, because I don't think the original rant is among my best writing. I was tired and rambling, and I've always meant to do some editing on the (imho, long-winded) piece, but I got the translation request before I got around to it, so I guess I'll just let it stand. Apparently I'm not all that easy to translate into Russian. I've heard this from translators in other languages, too. Perhaps my colloquial style relies overmuch on... colloquialisms?

It's always interesting to me which pieces people key in on, as it's often not the same ones I pick as my best or most relevant. But I've had the same experience - there have been times where a piece of writing and music that means a lot to me I'll later discover that the creator just tossed it off, while something sweated over will be met with a resounding, "meh".

May 10th, 2009

Mothers Day @ 05:13 pm

emotional weather: calm thankful to m, gm, et al

On this Mothers Day I honor all the women who are raising their children with strong values, teaching girls to respect themselves and boys to always treat women and girls with respect. And I honor the women who have chosen not to give birth, but who put their mothering energies into helping the community and fighting for justice. Be well, women, and look out for one another.

May 2nd, 2009

Identifying the Predator: Spiritual, Financial, and Sexual Abusers @ 02:48 am

As some of you know, I've been involved for decades now in trying to do something about predators in our communities. And as some of you also know, one of the reasons I do it is that I, and some of those I love, have been harmed by predators. All of these guys initially seemed kind, soft-spoken, spiritual and loving. Until they... weren't. They all waited until we loved them to harm us, until we were committed to the relationship and invested in "making it work," and the abuse always happened behind closed doors. Once the honeymoon was over, life with them became hell. The reason they were able to fool us long enough to gain our love and trust and then hurt us is because they are skilled at it; it's what they do. If they weren't good at it, they would have moved on to another sort of con game by now. Hopefully this information will help those who may have been victimized. Even better, maybe it will help someone spot a predator before they have a chance to harm them. I'm not sure if there's anything more devastating than having someone you love assault you. I hope no one reading this ever has to go through it.

April 24th, 2009

You want me to go to sleep... when?!! @ 04:17 pm

emotional weather: calm awake... now
today's soundtrack: piggie on guitar, with the windows open

Larks, Owls and Hummingbirds
By Leon Kreitzman

Only cultural norms and the alarm clock give us the pretense of choice by overriding our inner rhythms — and there is increasing evidence that we are paying a high cost in terms of our health. Disruption of the circadian clock is linked with cancer, cardiovascular diseases, gastric illnesses, asthma, schizophrenia, learning disorders and other conditions. more...

Bear this in mind the next time you're nodding off while I'm wide awake, or nudging me in the morning while I'm still having my beauty coma. Or if I'm up awaiting the dawn while you're snoring. The odd thing is, I have sometimes been able to change my normal rhythms... for a while. Sometimes for years at a time. And then I always revert. Should probably get those cortisol tests done, if I can ever be awake at the right time.

April 6th, 2009

Bronze Age burials on the Island of Barra, Outer Hebrides @ 02:27 pm

emotional weather: curious intrigued


Tony Robinson and the team travel to the windswept island of Barra where a recent storm ripped apart one of the dunes, revealing Bronze Age burials.

A Scottish friend sent me this. The summation of this program, and some of the others, looks intriguing. But so far I haven't been able to get the video to load. Let me know if you figure out how to view it, and what you think.

crossposted to oenach

April 1st, 2009

New Online CR Community @ 01:36 pm

From Felmac:

Óenach (Old Irish: assembly, gathering) is an online Celtic Reconstructionist (CR) community and forum--open to newcomers and the experienced alike--for the discussion of CR and other Celtic-related topics from a traditional perspective, that is a perspective more strictly in accordance history, culture and tradition.

"Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. It is an effort to reconstruct, within a modern Celtic cultural context, the aspects of ancient Celtic religions that were lost or subsumed by Christianity." -- From the CR FAQ

Principles and Parameters

What We Mean by CR
1. Celtic Reconstructionism is a methodology to restore and revitalize the pre-Christian worldviews and polytheistic systems of the various Celtic peoples in the context of contemporary yet traditional Celtic cultures.
2. This methodology is part of a manner of living and being that involves a commitment to the living Celtic cultures and their pre-Christian thought and character.
3. History, culture and tradition form the foundation that informs our methodology, everyday lives, and the process of restoring our pre-Christian spirituality, values and conceptions.

What We're Not About
1. Celtic Reconstructionism does not involve and in fact rejects modern and artificial syncretisms, eclectic practices and modernist interpretations, and does not affiliate with Neodruidism or Neopaganism.
2. This community supports and wishes to preserve the space of women in relation to the flame of Brigid, ie male flametending is not a supported practice.
3. While we maintain that reconstructed Celtic Polytheisms are ethno-religious traditions, this is not an excuse for embracing notions of racial or cultural superiority, or racialist ideologies, and we firmly oppose discrimination based on factors such as race, heritage, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.

What's On Topic
Anything directly relating to Celtic cultures (past and extant), history, languages, and polytheisms.

Please consider joining!

Moran Taing to Tomás for his work on this, and to everyone who's been participating.

March 22nd, 2009

Chris H. @ 05:02 pm

Any friends of Chris H. who are reading this and haven't been updated recently... If you want an update, please contact Bonnie or email Paul or me.

March 3rd, 2009

Writer's Block: More Island Time @ 07:59 pm

You're packing your bag for that other desert island—the one with no electricity—what 5 books do you take with you?

1. The Carmina Gadelica, complete bilingual set.
2. The Gaelic Otherworld - Campbell/Black
3. My best Gàidhlig dictionary
4. Teach Yourself Gaelic
5. Psychotic Reactions and Carbeurator Dung - Lester Bangs

Alternates: The Dictionary of the Irish Language (DIL), and something else with lots of Gaelic song lyrics. More practical sorts would also bring The Whole Island Catalog - a manual for survival on that sort of Island. (No, the book doesn't exist; but it was one of the options when I did an exercise like this at an awful conference.)

February 12th, 2009

Yet another note on terminology @ 07:41 pm

Current Location: Taigh na h-Aibhne
emotional weather: accomplished clarifying & amused
today's soundtrack: Bratach Bàna - various versions

Recently an online, caucasian Pagan acquaintance was confused by some of my mentions of "traditionalism," "traditionals," or "traditionalists"; specifically, when I mentioned that some of my family, friends and political allies are, or were, traditionals (or consider/ed themselves to be such).

So, to clarify for anyone who's looking at this through a different frame than I do: I am not talking about any of the white Americans, of any ethnicity, who have in recent years1 misleadingly called their polytheistic revivalist or reconstructionist efforts "traditionalist". In general, I am referring to those in the historically (and currently) Gaelic-speaking areas, who are maintaining the cultural traditions they were raised with; and in many (most?) cases I am referring to traditional Native Americans who were raised with intact traditions, languages and cultures, who still live this way and are passing the traditions on to the younger generations.2

a bit of history...Collapse )

So, I hope that clears things up. I often forget that many of the people who read these posts are coming from a primarily Neopagan background, where these things are less clearly defined, or redefined on a whim. But in recent years I seem to be speaking less and less with Neopagans, and more with people for whom these terms are not really confusing or debated. That's where I feel more at home these days.

Even in the various traditional communities, there are at times discussions or disagreements about who is really being traditional, whether ceremonies or songs are being done in the right way, and where the lines are drawn. And there can also be the problem of outsiders to those communities trying to claim more position or knowledge than they have. But these discussions happen in a very different milieu, for the most part, with very different customs and expectations than found in the Neopagan communities. So, as traditional cultures and cultural preservation efforts have been my predominant milieu in the past few years, that's the framework I've been tending to see and speak through. We speak the languages of those around us and, more and more, that's where my life has tended to be centered.

ETA: Surrealism and Faerie GoldCollapse )


1. By "in recent years" I mean in the past ten, twenty, or thirty years. For an actual living, traditional culture, that is a very short span of time. Traditional culture moves in generations and millennia, not mere decades.

2. In a broader sense, I'm also referring to "traditionals" of other cultures who fit the above definition - such as some of the Yoruba and Hindu friends who were kind enough to take me in when I was young and confused, or the parents or grandparents of friends and family of European heritage who have maintained a significant amount of old traditions. Again, people can have varying degrees of traditionalism in their lives, families and communities, and not everyone agrees on where to draw the line. But it is still a very different framing than seen among mainstream Americans (and hence, among most Neopagans). I went into some of my family history in this interview. Though most of these discussions take place in person, we also have ongoing discussions about earth-based, traditional spiritual values and cultural appropriation, largely dealing with Native American and First Nations communities, over on NAFPS.

3.Regrets, Confessions and Apologies. Friends-only post. Public Disclaimer on Former Acquaintance's Crappy Book.

January 6th, 2009

R.I.P. Ron Asheton @ 03:37 pm

today's soundtrack: stooges on heavy rotation

Ron Asheton, guitarist for the Stooges, has died.


Astonishingly influential, though many who imitate his riffs and style probably never heard of him. I'm glad he got a chance to shine again in his final days. May all the Guitar Deities light your path and welcome you home, Ron. Slàinte Mhath.

More videos in the comments. Including some not-exactly-SFW bits.

December 31st, 2008

Good Hogmanay all... @ 04:36 pm

emotional weather: accomplished accomplished

Let us know if you first foot.

Off to get ready for festivities.

December 22nd, 2008

Just Because... @ 03:12 am

emotional weather: accomplished accomplished


December 18th, 2008

Just Because... @ 07:37 pm

emotional weather: artistic quite amused
today's soundtrack: well, isn't it obvious?

Cheap Trick_He's A Whore_pre-first album

December 16th, 2008

Rare Public Post... about the weather @ 03:19 pm

Current Location: in a warm house, thankfully
emotional weather: calm calm
today's soundtrack: Cheap Trick - Music For Hangovers

The ice storm out here was bad, but we're all OK. Some of my friends higher up in the hills had a really bad time of it, though, and it's not yet over for them. If there's someone you know up there and haven't heard from since the storm, I suggest checking on them.

I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple people whose phones are out. If we don't hear soon, it's time for another expedition through the downed trees and power lines. Some people still don't have power restored.

S, if you're reading this, drop me a line and let me know you're alright, OK?

ETA Fuck. I just heard from one of my friends we were ready to go search for. She's in the hospital. She's OK, or they say she will be, but that's how bad it's been here. I am so grateful we are OK. That could have been me.

November 11th, 2008

Must. Have. Puppy. Cam. @ 10:04 pm

Current Location: glued to the puppy cam
emotional weather: hopeful puppified
today's soundtrack: puppy noises

I will figure out how to embed this live feed. Until then, you must see:

Puppy Cam: http://community.livejournal.com/shiba_inus/234476.html

It is the cure for all that ails you.

November 5th, 2008

Brief thoughts the morning after @ 01:56 pm

Current Location: America, apparently
emotional weather: pleased pleased
today's soundtrack: kick out the jams - mc5

Though there is hard work ahead, and this is only a beginning, we have kicked the NeoCons out on their asses. It's about time.

And though I retain my cynicism about mainstream politics, I was touched to have a president-elect, in his historic acceptance speech before the whole world, actually include "Native American," "Gay" and "Disabled" in his shortlist of valued Americans. Again, it's about time.

We proceed with guarded optimism ;-)

I appreciated Michael Moore's post today: http://michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=240

It was also poignant to see that huge gathering of crying supporters in Chicago, thirty years after the riots. But how come the MC5 didn't play?

October 14th, 2008

Anti-Semite on the Beaver's Head @ 07:12 pm

emotional weather: discontent discontent
today's soundtrack: john lennon - free the people (now)

So, as I've mentioned previously, Mel Gibson is filming a movie here. Unfortunately, they're building sets up on Mt. Sugarloaf.

Despite it having a bit of development up there already (a simple road, a couple parking lots, a picnic area and an observation tower) the site is sacred to the first peoples of this area, and many of us who live here now acknowledge the mountains and their role in the local creation/destruction legends. So some of us are pretty disgruntled they're building stuff and trucking in equipment up there.

Some folks protested the other day, but the coverage didn't mention the sacred site angle.

Any local folks want to protest this with us? I'm not too sure what the upcoming shooting schedule is, but I'll bet we could find out without too much trouble.

cross-posted a bit

Banrigh na Boogie

The Vertigo of the Ulsterpersons