Unsouling From The Wilderness

By Kingsley L. Dennis

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Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one

Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks

 

Modern man, I dutifully noted, is in search of a soul, and the age is an age of longing.

Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends

 

Perhaps the reason some of us are feeling a sense of loss and longing is that we are, as Black Elk informs us, living in the shadow world. Our reality on this side may only be the fleeting ghosts of a place that is more real somewhere else. On this side we have broken our commitment to the earth and have unsouled ourselves from the wilderness. By the first century CE, the essayist Plutarch was asking, “Why is it that the gods are no longer speaking to us?”

For a long time now, we have been trying to create a new and different image of ourselves. It is an image where modern humanity is placed at the center of its own universe. We learn by observing, probing, experimenting, and finally dissecting and destroying the dynamic world we live within. From this, the modern mind started to develop a new reality for itself.

The collective reality in which we now reside does not take kindly to opposing perspectives. We have inherited an alienated consciousness that views the world as an outside entity – a world of objects that move in mechanical motion. This alienated consciousness has substituted the enchantment and mystery of living within a dynamic and animated world with a dream of the artificial, and ultimately the unreal. The modern landscape is now more scattered with administration than adventure. The central image of our modern age has been that of consumerism: the ability of the average person to buy the material goods they require in order to have a decent standard of living. A standard of living albeit promoted to us through our mainstream media and glamorous propaganda.

Only recently have some of us come to realize that consumerism has now become a contemporary form of crash therapy for unsatisfied people wanting to buy their way into happiness to escape from the very system they are simultaneously supporting. The easy acquisition of things has become more about trying to cover up anxiety as a substitute for contentment. Modern life, especially in the highly-developed West, is now rife with people parading their false selves in place of authenticity.

The modern history of the West has been about the removal of mystery, mind, and magic from the world around us. In the past there were realms of wilderness that existed outside of the social order, and each culture had these ‘wild zones’ where people danced with the little folk in the woods, undertook initiations in caves, circles, and hard-to-find corners. There were pagan rituals, crazy ecstasies, and unknown zones where primal energies were released. These were the places of wilderness, where dreamtime reigned, and clock-time was banned. And now these wild places are fewer and fewer as a new ‘reality order’ becomes the manifesto of the day. Now it is many of us who are feeling haunted. We have lost the presence of the ‘transcendent’ within our modern societies.

We must now recognize that something has happened – a break, a mutation, has occurred that has placed us in an ‘intermediate’ stage between eras. Modern life is being not so much rewritten as reconfigured. We are seeing odd things occurring in relation to time, speed, and distance. It’s as if right now the clock, and our sense of timing, is malfunctioning. This ahistorical period is out of time, until it resets itself. And here, the possibility of transcendence lingers like a phantasma.

We are in a time of carnivalesque distortion where ‘fast food’ is a parody of our normal food preparation and consumption; mediatized sport is a spectacle of its original form; and the music industry is one huge commercial carnival that mocks genuine creativity. In the pop music industry, the spectacle, the live show – the ‘carnival performance’ – is often more important than the actual merit of the song (even when the performer mimes, as they often do). We are in a different world right now – or at least a seemingly different reality.

In this new world of different relations, symbols, and meanings we have become unmoored from our harbors.  We are talking about the fractal, the quantum, the molecular, the nano, the bots, artificial intelligence, and the singularity – yet we find we have no soulful connection with any of these terms or their significances. Perhaps we have entered a void-time.

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2018 Mount Haemus Award Article – Channeling the Awen Within: An Exploration of Learning the Bardic Arts in the Modern Druid Tradition

The Druid's Garden

I am excited to annouce that my 2018 Mount Haemus Award article, titled “Channeling the Awen Within: An Exploration of Learning the Bardic Arts in the Druid Tradition” has been released on OBOD’s website (a better formatted PDF is at the bottom of the page; I suggest downloading and reading that). In 2020, I will travel to the UK to deliver a talk tied to the paper itself, as every four years, OBOD offers a Mount Haemus lecture for the four most recent scholars. Every eight years, OBOD publishes a volume, and the next volume will also include this paper. Given this incredible honor–and the fact that the project is now finally finished (whew!)–I wanted to take a bit of time today to talk about the project, what I learned, and how I hope it can help others.

What I Learned

Regeneration, card 79 from the 3rd edition of the Tarot of Trees Regeneration, card 79 from the 3rd edition of…

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Philmont “77” A Poem by Charles “Danny” Hutson

Dan Hutson was my father-in-law. He treasured his time as a Boy Scout leader, and told many stories about my husband as a teenager.

Oro Cas Reflects

Philmont “77” A Poem by Charles “Danny” Hutson

This poem was written by my father in 1977 which was the year me and him had the adventure of a lifetime for a father and son.

My older brother and I were both in the local Boy Scout troop and our father was the Scoutmaster for many years. It was a wonderful arrangement between a father and his sons.

It got even better when I decided to follow in my older brothers footsteps and go to the “high adventure camp” known as Philmont that the Boy Scouts had created in northeastern New Mexico.

During the last training week I attended in northern Virginia one of the leaders had to drop out of the trip and my father was asked if he would be interested.

Of course he said yes and the rest is history.

This poem tells a story. It is…

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how about a sale? — Natalie J Case

Today and tomorrow only, my first book, Forever is on sale for your Kindle pleasure. Just 99 cents gets you a gothic tale of a girl born into a family of vampires, and her life as she grew to understand her differences, sought her freedom, loved, lost and more. “I am comfortable in the dark, […]

via how about a sale? — Natalie J Case

Wild Foods and Foraging

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

It’s all rainy days, low slung clouds, and rain on tin-roofs around the Gunnison Valley these days—a much needed, thirst-quenching storm has arrived and settled in.  A perfect excuse for warm coffee, bouquets of flowers on the table, and a book, of course.

It’s also a great time to get well-versed in the foraging dos and don’ts.  There is plenty to learn in the way of safety, sustainability, legalities, terms, and botany in the world of foraging, and its best to have at least a cursory grasp on these things before heading out, wicker basket and clippers in hand.

Today, a word on foraging safety, considerations, and a note on common poisonous plants to the mountain states.  All of which, can be found in Briana’s new book Mountain States Foraging, a guidebook to wild edibles in the mountain west.

Foraging for Briana has been a lifeline to a wild…

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Sylum Advent 2017: December 29th ~ Sylum Teasers & Snippets

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Title: Waiting For Me To Catch Up
Characters/Pairings: Jeremiah Parks/Ray Kowalski; Benoit Franciscus; Ray Vecchio; Peter Parker; Original Characters; Members of Tallikut Clan
Rating: PG
Summary: When Jeremiah Parks returned to the city of his birth, his life was in such turmoil that he failed to realize the most important thing in the middle of all the chaos. Now he has to learn to open his life to someone new.

~ Chicago, Illinois, February 2005 ~

Sitting with his chin resting on his fist, Jeremiah Parks watched the snow beginning to accumulate on the branches outside his office window. An email from his Operations Manager containing the year end numbers on his clubs had put him in a contemplative mood. The numbers were remarkable considering he’d bought and remodeled one property, and sold one. If the next six months continued the same way, it might be time to think about the best city for this year’s club. He was sure something would drop him a clue.

Reaching for his coffee cup, the light flashed off the diamonds and sapphires embedded in the wide platinum band on his left hand. A soft smile lightened his mood thinking about all that happened in the past seven years, including a trip to Massachusetts two weeks ago. He’d have to talk with his Mate about where he wanted to take a honeymoon trip, or maybe he should make the trip a surprise.

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Sylum Advent 2017: December 19th ~ A Scribe’s Tale: Queen Mousette

By Paula Cas

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Title: A Scribe’s Tale – Queen Moussette
Author: Paula Cas
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Queen Moussette; Dilios/Robert Muldoon; Nicolaus Meridius/Warrick Calhoun; Shepsit Hemet Amun-Ra/Nefertiri; Clarissa Barton; Original Characters; Members of Sylum Clan, Tallikut and Vampire Council
Summary: With so many new Vampires in the Clans, it’s almost impossible for a simple scribe to keep up with all their stories. On a trip to New Orleans, Dilios looks forward to spending time with his Mate in beautiful New Orleans, but what else might a member of the Vampire Council learn in the city of magic and mystery.
Author’s Note: A huge THANK YOU to BJ Jones for allowing me to play in her ‘verse over at Sylum Clan. Love this ‘verse she created when a beloved character was ‘killed’. The Sylum ‘verse at: Sylum Clan Wiki. You can find all the fantastic stories at: Sylum Clan Manor ArchiveTHANK YOU to Taibhrigh for the terrific banner art for my Sylum stories.
Artist: Taibhrigh

 

~ Geneva Aeroport, Geneva, Switzerland, January 2016 ~

Dilios shifted his messenger bag to a more comfortable position after handing off his and Robert’s luggage to the flight crew. The self-appointed scribe to the Vampire population, had been thrilled when the Leaders of the Ghost and Darkness Clan had spent the holidays in Geneva. The South African Vampires might complain about the cold, but it simply didn’t seem like the holidays without snow. Lending half an ear to his Mate’s grumbling, he smiled as they climbed the steps of the Council’s jet.

“’Bout time we’re heading someplace where I’m not covered in layers so thick you won’t see skin ‘til midsummer. At least I can wear proper short pants until you nag all the Vampires in New Orleans into running us out of the States.” Muldoon continued until they were settled in their seats for take-off.

“The stories are much better when they come from the people involved. History is much richer if you can see and feel the emotions of the main players.” Dilios dropped his voice to a whisper. “It is what you asked of me, My King.” He felt love along with a rush of lust across their Bond.

“You have been even faithful to that request.” He growled. To distract himself from the desire to drag his Mate to the floor, and Claim him, regardless of Jason and the crew, Robert changed the subject. “Tell me about your latest victim.”

Hearing chuckles from the cabin, Dilios gave Bourne his fiercest glare. “I’ll be hearing from you and your cretin of a Mate, when I get back. I just know there are adventures you haven’t shared.” The chuckles tuned to groans as Jason went looking for other things that needed his attention.

After a quick stop in Lisbon to refuel, the passengers settled down to get some sleep in preparation for an afternoon landing in New Orleans.

~~}~~

It’s Published!

koolkosherkitchen

Here it is, my first collection of recipes, coming out to a Kindle near you on Saturday, December 16, available for pre-order right now!

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=kool+kosher+kitchen

Click and get it – I can’t think of a better holiday gift for your beloved friends and family members!

Paperback soon to follow.

Thank you for your unwavering support, Beautiful People, and Happy Holidays to all!

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Sylum Advent 2017 ~ Against The Tide

By Paula Cas

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Title: Against The Tide
Fandom: Sylum Universe: The DaVinci Code; Predator vs Alien; Historical Figures;
Characters/Pairings: Ababuo/Sebastian de Rosa; Loch-Nah/Juba; Allan Quartermain; Robert Langdon/Leonardo DaVinci; Members of Ghost and Darkness, Medjai, Lealta Clans; Original Characters
Rating: PG
Summary: After being Turned, it seemed like Ababuo spent all her time going against the tide of society and expectations. Sebastian did what was expected of him until he didn’t.
Artwork: Taibhrigh

A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences … Dave Meurer

Why We Write

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

“I hate writing, I love having written.”
~Dorothy Parker~


By Gayle R. Lee

11/21/2017

We write to express ourselves. But there’s more to it than the desire to communicate our thoughts and ideas to others. We write because it clears out the clutter inside us. It heals, transforms, and settles us. We don’t write so we can say, “Look at what I’ve done. Admire my work and make me feel great.” We write to share parts of us that make us feel vulnerable. This connects us to our audience in a personal way.

Writing lifts the burdens we carry within. It enables cleansing. Day after day, we accumulate stress and add to our baggage. The events of the day can make us feel tired and heavy. Getting our thoughts out on paper releases this stress. It strengthens us in a calm and balanced way.

When we write, it helps us…

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