Saturday, November 19, 2011

Some Links

In lieu of actually providing content myself, it might be worthwhile to point out some interesting articles and items that other people have published.

Over on the Tairis site, Seren has given us an excellent four-part article detailing the virtues of Gaelic tradition and culture. Of course, the rest of her site is also well worth reading.

Here's a site which gives a short overview of Proto-Indo-European religion.

On the NEOHEMAS blog, there's an article discussing how to train for Irish-style stickfighting without a partner.

Speaking of Irish stickfighting, here's a place that makes sticks appropriate for fightin'.

Black Dogs have a number of features in common with werewolves in Europe. Here's some more about them.

Here's an implementation of a lunisolar calendar derived from Celtic antecedents.

In the story of Tam Lin, the titular character is part of the fairy procession. That procession has some relation to the Wild Hunt connected to werewolves of European conception.

Some people are trying to revive the Gaulish language.

There's an interesting article discussing a feminist perspective on werewolves in pop culture. This is a useful perspective on an aspect of the werewolf concept as it is affected, and as it affects, the modern world.

Here's a look at how information about folklore subjects (in this case, werewolves) can get switched around and create a mistaken idea. A short note in O'Donnell's Werewolves (aka Werwolves) got changed around, a definite location added, and with some judicious mixing in books and then on the internet we end up with a fallacious "clan" of werewolves on the Isle of Lewis.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Werewolf Spirits"

I don't normally deal with current events here, but I'm going to make an exception for two reasons. The first, and more important, is that I haven't put anything in this blog for far too long. I do hope to change that soon. The second, though, is because of the nature of the incident, as it is being reported by some reporters.

It seems that up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there were a couple of roommates who decided to invite an internet friend over for some sexy times. One thing led to another and such, and to make a long story short the visiting guy ran to the police covered in blood and lacerations. Now, this would be just another stupid story of "kinky" sex getting out of hand, but it seems that one of the girls was allegedly interested in "The Occult". As evidence of this, the police have pointed out a book they called a "necromantic ritual book", though they did not supply the title, a folder of information titled "Intro to Sigilborne Spirits", and a tongue-in-cheek book titled The Werewolf’s Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten, targeted at the Twilight crowd and similar. Yeah, there's a solid case there, alright (if by "solid" one means "entirely flimsy").

Anyway, it seems that this mildly sordid exercise in trying to make sex more interesting than, you know, sex already is has resulted in some odd speculation by reporters. I don't know where the reporter got her information, but she claims that, "According to various websites, Sigilborne spirits include female werewolf spirits who engage in sexual acts." I've written to her to find out which websites discuss this idea, but she hasn't yet gotten back to me. My suspicion is that it includes largely Christian websites dedicated to fighting against The Occult. I'll update that when she responds. Edit: She has written back, and apparently her "various websites" include only eBay, on which she found something like this entry. (That link probably won't be around in a month or so. It is an offering of a sigil purporting to be connected to a spirit named "Rakshana the Lycan Sorceress", who can allegedly provide a number of benefits related to sexuality. For reference, the matters I discuss here are not connected to such alleged "werewolf spirits".)

Anyway, my point is that this is a strange thing for a reporter to do. As another site mentioned, "My guess is that this reporter knows about as much about werewolf mythology and “sigilborne spirits” as she does about brain cancer. However, if she were writing about someone with brain cancer, she’d talk to a brain surgeon or oncologist, right? But when it comes to information about the occult — a complicated and varied subject poorly understood by the public — the Internet can provide you with all the information you need." There's a lot of information available that purports to be about The Occult. Most of it is nonsense, written by people who don't know anything about occult matters. It's because there isn't a widely known discipline of occult studies at colleges in the US, the fact that there are dozens, hundreds, of books on the subject written by people who may or may not know anything about it, and the fact that some people, who have not themselves studied it, have claimed that there is "nothing to" occult subjects makes it so that the public, including reporters, seem to think that they already know everything that they need to know about occult subjects. This is nonsense. In point of fact, most people don't even know what occult/esoteric matters exactly constitute.

Just had to rant about this.