“What is it with damned ravens….”

This comment was made earlier today and I commented back with some amount of whimsy and didn’t take it very seriously. Afterwards, though, whatever the actual intent of the comment (which I took as whimsy itself), it occurred to me that ravens do make an inordinate amount of appearances in what I write here, and I don’t think I made it clear how the pen name I had came about, or the significance of the raven.

It all really started about the time I was eighteen years old, maybe nineteen. I’d decided I was done pretending to be a Catholic — I had no respect for the Church and had the whole Dear God thing going on in my head. I’d always had a torrid relationship with the Church when I was asked to not come back for a while to Sunday school for asking difficult questions, and I was appalled at the hypocrisy I observed when someone in my family had their future spouse bought their way into the faith to marry them, and then she had to pay extra for an annulment when it turned out he was a scam artist, draining her bank account as fast as she could fill it and had the authorities after him for doing it to other women in the past.

So I started looking elsewhere. Buddhism (which was unfortunately presented to me in a very unhelpful manner and turned me off completely at the time) was first. Then I researched others and stumbled across Mists of Avalon at the same time as the Mission’s Carved in Sand came out. As a result, I stumbled on Starhawk and her flavor of Wicca. I immediately gravitated towards it because of the familiar ritualism. The Arthurian influence of Mists also drew me towards British Isles myth; at first welsh and British, and eventually dropping me off in Irish myth. Throughout this, the figure of the Morrigan kept cropping up and I adopted her as the archetype resembling the Goddess in my practice.

Continue reading

Conspiracy.

He shift-stuttered down to the fisherman’s warf, streetlight’s malarial fingers reaching down from skyward, casting sick silhouette shadows from him as he went. The shadows knew how to dance, though he was certain nightclub vampires had decided he couldn’t — he envied the ghosts cast from his tormented shape and their ability to both draw smiles from the bloodthirsty and for the moves he could only mime when the music thrummed in his bowls and groin.

None of the times he’d trod these dock had he’d seen a fisherman in the Greek wool caps decorated with braid on brim. Nor anyone bringing fish to dock after high seas or in competition with orca whales. He was probably either too late in the past or too early now, though it approached the witching hour as he shambled along. The sole convenience store had sold him snuff when he was still almost a tourist, a newcomer. Maybe the fisher king did reside here.

He wished he had some snuff now; perhaps it would chase away the writhing shapes pouring from the honeycomb brickwork now, moray eels looking to taste his mind. Instead, he shook his katana, still sheathed, red tassels threatening the mouths and hands reaching for him.

Continue reading