Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Subway Preacher



I see them nearly everyday.  Often there are strings of them from different denominations of Christianity in one spot near the 7 on 42nd Street.

On 5th Ave near Bryant Park, there are a group of Chinese marchers yelling something unintelligible about Jesus.

In Forest Hills, on the corner of Queens Blvd and Continental, there are two Jews who have asked me if I was Jewish (I have honestly never been asked this, usually it's "are you Puerto Rican?" In Spanish).  The younger man handed me a card explaining some such Jewish thing while what I can only describe as the gaudiest of Israeli/Hebrew discotech music blared on a speaker.

I wanted to say something fresh, something degrading.  Like, something about their missing foreskins. Something like, did you know my people wouldn't let your people participate in the Olympic games because your glans were showing?!😂. It's asinine and anti-Semitic.

Sometimes I want to tell the African ones that they need to stop worshiping a Caucasian Jew.

"Go back to your roots!" I want to yell.

"The white man brainwashed your brothers when they enslaved them!"

There are just so many good lines.

And this got me thinking.  What if, as a social experiment someone preached about African tribal Gods?

I thought it would make a very good short story at least.  So I may file it in the recesses of my mind and write it later.

People would get angry.  People love Jesus.

But would it make them stop and think?  Like really, truly soul searching contemplation.

I mean, I am one of those people who went back to my Gods.  The Greek pantheon who have lived on in "myths", but one could call the books of the Bible the exact same shit.  It's all allegory.

None of it is meant to be taken literally.

So how do these otherwise educated African immigrants start spewing this bullshit in the grimy tunnels of the New York City subway system?  Why come and save our souls?  Doesn't Christianity teach you to save those who are less fortunate?  Many peoples on the continent are on the brink of starvation.  Why preach to rich, obese Americans?  The poor New Yorkers who ride the subway aren't going to suddenly convert and save your kids!  It's our kids that need food, and Nike sneakers and the new thousand dollar iPad.

What makes them believe so fiercely in some dead Jewish man?  They spent years studying mathematics and literature and countless other topics, yet their minds seem so closed when all that knowledge should have expanded their thinking.

One day, there could be a man telling you that you're wrong.  That the God you worship snuck into your life forcefully, and that you as a depressed, downtrodden, neglected American need to meet the real Gods of your ancestors.  They have been forgotten for too long, and look what it got you?  Misery!  The cultures of the past were rich, thriving and learned. They all had one thing in common, their collapse after the white man came in preaching his "Savior".

His Jesus of Nazareth.  This Christ who had been resurrected.

Alithos Anesti!

Praise sent out in my mother tongue, an ancient language left mostly unaltered for thousands of years.

What is your vernacular?

Would you stand in a crowded hub and preach your true Gods?

Blessed Be!

🌛🌝🌜


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wicca and People Who Are Going Through Puberty



Damn straight I'm writing this post.

I was a teenage Wiccan once.  Back when I was 13 as I've stated countless times before.  Back when the internet was just a suckling babe yet to be tainted by morons and crazies.  Yes there was porn, as viewing naked people is important for human satisfaction; pleasure predates time.

Back then, when we wanted to learn something, we went to the library and if the library didn't have what we wanted and we had a bit of cash, then we went to Barnes and Noble and purchased the title we wished to read.

We didn't go online asking complete strangers if they thought we were vampires or lycanthropes (that's wolf man in Greek people), because we knew what really went down in Wicca from the books we read.  Works composed by the very founders of our Neo Pagan religion.

Here's the thing kids: hormones fuck your body up.  You're emotional and feel out of place and awkward and are searching for some way to stand out from the pack of germ breeders.  You do not need to drink blood to survive, you don't feel something emerging during the full moon (girls, I may have to address this for you specifically later).  It's all estrogen and testosterone messing with other chemicals in your brain.  You're not thinking rationally.

Some of you may be rational and self actualized, and well that is bittersweet.  Because those of my friends and myself who were not thinking ourselves to be elves or wizards, had gone through some type of trauma in our lives. Thus, forcing our developing brains to mature and come to terms with reality prematurely.  So consider yourself lucky that you're going about this teenage business without having been shot at or dealing with a terrible illness.  Congratulations, if you really want to be a fairy at 13 then you're normal.

However, these beliefs do not excuse you from not doing research.  Erasing years of a previous religion is work!  But don't be lazy, please.  The internet is filled with idiots and then there are the 41 year old creepers who will say "oh you too, wow, I've been searching for so long for another (insert mythical being here), we have to chat!"

My children have been raised Wiccan and only know a bit about Greek Orthodoxy which I grew up on.  I still have to teach my son who is getting to be that age, to READ published books on the subject and not just pop into a chat room to ask any old schmuck religious questions.

My son doesn't believe he's a vampire or werewolf or merman and thank the Gods, he hasn't found some moron discussing breathaireanism (this is a thing, do not do it, it's medically impossible and I trust medicine because my ancestors who worshiped Zues also wrote the Hippocratic oath).

I can not stress this enough children.  Pick up a book.  I know your parents were idiots and gave you iPads instead of books, but please listen to this Mother Witch.  Read the classics.  Research the founders.  Hell, read up on what happens to the human brain during puberty so you have a better understanding of how you're thinking.

Wicca is a religion, we worship a God and Goddess or entire Pantheon.  Some of us practice witchcraft which is a practice steeped in thousands of years of human ritual.  These rituals gave our ancestors meaning and helped them commune with the divine, it helped them understand the seasons and the natural world around them.

I can put fairy wings on my daughter for a ritual, but she will know that her DNA is human and not that of the Fae.  My son can say that he likes his pointy vampire teeth but he knows that trying to drink blood can lead to HIV or hepatitis.

The world is a scary place sometimes but you don't need to be reckless.

Stay away from people who say they will teach you.  They can't unless you're 18.  This is law.

Stay away from people who say they are part (insert supernatural entity here).  They're not.  They're lying or if they truly believe that then there is something wrong with them psychologically.

Don't solicit yourself online.  Don't tell people your age, don't ask for teachers, don't ask to join covens or circles or other groups.  And certainly don't tell people where you live and give out your real name and number.  Do not use hangouts, because instead of a nice chat you're more than likely going to see a dick hanging out instead.

I enjoy giving advice but I don't deal in false hope.  Another common question I've seen on the communities lately is a spell for changing ones gender.  This is such a complex issue.  First off, no there isn't one.  Gender is who you are mentally, spiritually, psychologically.  This is NOT the same as sex.  Humans can have male external genitalia and know deep down inside them that they are a woman and enjoy those things which are typical of womanhood.  Spells can not change these things.  If you are dealing with these issues, then I want you to know it's OK.  The Gods don't care about any of that, but there are hotlines you can text and call and organizations that can help you.

So, now that we have a clear understanding that the alleged beast within is not forthcoming, I want you all to fucking meditate on this shit, like dead ass for realz yo.

Blessed Be, peace out, toodle-oo and because it's pride month: bye bye mein lieber herr! 😉

🌛🌝🌜


Monday, June 5, 2017

#ShelterLife

The New Yorker recently published an article about #vanlife and the phenomenon of heavily curated lifestyles as depicted on social media. Naturally, I found it intriguing (not just because my mother always accused me of being a hippie) and posted a comment basically saying that I too would receive many likes and comments if I showed some side boob of myself in line at the food pantry.  

It really got me thinking, could I conceivably make my and Shadow's life look perfectly peaceful, beautiful and fulfilling even though we're in the system?

I believe the answer to be yes.

First of all, the couple in the article admitted that it takes many shots to get the perfect pic and that the ones which receive the most attention on their accounts feature a semi clad girlfriend basking in the sun on some pristine California beach.

Second, it's just a snippet of their life, they're not going to discuss the tire changes, insurance issues or the crime against the American road trip that are gas prices.  You as the viewer only see the lovely, the rainbow at the end of the storm, hell, the storm itself can be shot to be a beautiful thing lending much needed water to drought stricken Cali.

There is a formula to these things.

If I had a professional camera, or even an iPhone like I used to, I could get some very nice shots.  You know, totally glamorize seeing the social worker, or using my WIC checks to purchase Greek Yogurt and brown rice.  No one would ever see me struggling to do my day to day tasks as I suffer with very severe psoriatic arthritis, unless of course I gave a thumbs up and captioned it, "doing better today, I thank God everyday that He is watching over me and keeping me going."

See what I did there?

People eat that shit up.  And I don't know why.  Today on Fox 5, they ran a short bit about how Facebook and social media is making people depressed.

Well no shit it is, everyone posts their perfect lives, their beautiful kids who never have temper tantrums and their McMansion house that is always clean and well organized.  They're putting more energy into looking perfect than they are actually living.  But because no one is complaining about their broken dishwasher or their husband who favors his daughter over his gay son, the general viewing public only sees happy healthy families with good Christian values.

How would they view a Neo-Pagan family with two disabled parents and their adorable son and daughter.  I mean, just look at how fucking adorable my daughter is:



She's so happy in her new dress that I hand knit for her despite the painful arthritis in my hands.  I'm so thankful to God for the green grass and trees and the roof we have over our heads.

It just eats at your heart strings don't it?

The point I'm trying to make is that it's all bullshit.  Yes, you can work hard for a good life, or be lucky and be given one, but for the most part there are ups and downs, sickness and turmoil, all that shit some of you vowed during your weddings, life is not a piece of organic vanilla bean buttercream frosted cake!

However... and this is the evil, sinister Spiral speaking here, you can make other people's lives miserable by making your own seem perfect.

Let's go back to my WIC checks.  There are many middle class families that can't afford to buy their kids Chobani yogurt when Dannon or Yoplait is on sale 10 for 10 at Stop and Shop.  If I posted a "WIC Haul" on a given platform, it could potentially make people angry that their tax dollars are going to feed my daughter expensive yogurt while I sit on my ass and allegedly recover from a terrible inflammatory illness.  Others may comment things like, "thank God you and your family have a place to live", or "I'm wishing you so much good health as you fight this painful disease".

It seems to me, that there is no in-between.  There is no, "here is my mediocre life, it's just like yours but you refuse to see it."

Some people are sadists and thrive on other people's misery.  Is that the key to creating one's brand?  Being just enough of a sociopath to say, "oh man this is totally going to rip them a new one when they see my girl's new ride" or the free swag we got as endorsements or whatever the kids are saying and getting these days.

As a social experiment I would love to just sit back and see what happens. Create the hashtag #shelterlife and watch the chaos unfold.

Would this give me more or less credit as a Wiccan mom, would it elevate me to some wonderful social media deity status?

Who knows.

It would just be interesting to see, purely because it's absolutely ridiculous.  No one should be glamorizing life in an NYC shelter.

But, I could.