Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sumerian Goddesses and My Little Pony

In past blogs I've mentioned the Mayans (and Aztecs and Incas) and also talked about my interest in Norse Goddesses such as Skadi and Hel. For a long time, ever since high school in fact, I've been incredibly interested in Sumerian culture and religion. Sumer was the cradle of life and civilization. I've seen a few movies that use 'Sumerian cults' and 'obscure Sumerian gods' as the antagonizing forces. It makes sense to capitalize on something so ancient and mysterious when trying to terrorize an audience but I've always felt there was more to it than that. I recently went on a light search to learn a little about Sumerian gods and goddesses and what I found was very exciting. Until I read and learn more I won't talk about the overall myths, but I do want to share a little about Inanna and Ereshkigal. 

Inanna, who is also known as Ishtar, is the goddess of love and war. She is the patron for children conceived in love and for those who die in battle. To me this feels beautifully familiar to Freyja who is the Norse goddess of pretty much the same thing. She appeals to me very strongly because of the immense scope of her patronage and also because of how revered she is still today by many people who study/revere the Sumerian Pantheon. There are many books on the subject, some of which I will be owning as soon as my life calms down and funds increase (or hell, if neither of those happens I will still be owning them soon): 

Innana's sister, Ereshkigal, is the goddess who rules the underworld. I haven't researched her as much as Inanna, but I wonder if I'll find similarities between her and Norse's Hel. She is an interesting and provocative figure. There are a few books written about her as well and most of them delve into BDSM as part of devotion and worship. I've been curious about the sensual side of a BDSM spiritual path for a while now so it is little wonder why I'm so drawn to this Queen of the Great Below. 

The books that I'm interested in purchasing as a way to get to know her better are as follows: (the first book in the list deals with her specifically, the next three talk about merging BDSM and spirituality)
Many books that talk about both goddesses. Inanna and her sister, Ereshkigal, are bound together in the myth of Inanna's descent into the Great Below. I don't have a Norse correlation of hand, but the way these sisters compliment each other reminds me very much of My Little Pony's Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. Just as their names suggest, one is the pony Princess of day and the other is the Princess of night. During the IEPG campout this June I'm going to lead a 'My Little Pony' themed ritual to banish our nightmares to the moon. I will invoke the archetypal Princesses to join us and I can't help but think that Inanna and Ereshkigal will be there too, in spirit if not in name.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A.D.D. and a blog that's all over the place!

Life has been incredibly complicated lately. In March, Hannah, F, and I went to Seattle to drive F to a wedding.  We visited my aunt and cousins, went out to Whidbey Island, visited the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Granite Falls, and had a wonderful time. When we got home, however, we took our sweet baby Galen to be put down at the emergency vet's clinic. His bronchitis had turned into something much worse and he was fighting for breath. It was one of the hardest things I've ever been through. Until that night, I'd never been present for the final moments of any of my fur-babies. Somehow I'd always been away (school trips, college, too young to go in, etc.), but with Galen I was not only in the room, I was the one holding him. We said our goodbyes and he went limp in my arms. We were a mess.

After that life picked up again for a while. I fell ever more behind on my novel - working and working on parts of it and nit-picking so slowly that I thought I would never get a full draft done in time for the second reader. But in the end, I did. I took four days off from work and spent every single waking moment sitting (on the couch, on the toilet, at the library, at the table, on the bed, in the living room, at the desk) and writing. I became physically ill and perhaps mentally ill as well. Between writing bouts I would tromp around that apartment like a gorilla or laugh maniacally and alternate between screams of "I can do it!" and "I'm going to diiiiiieeeeee!" I didn't expect to finish but I did. Just barely though, I finished shitting out the final part of a major chapter at about a quarter to noon on Saturday and then ran to Fed-Ex to catch the overnight pick up by 1:15. I printed everything out, snapped it together and sent it on its way for about fifty bucks. A hefty price but if I manage to graduate then its a price I'm willing to pay. 

After that I went to work. My boss has been a negative Nancy since our previous Assistant Manager retired. The new ASM is a nice person and I like her but I don't know if she's the perfect fit for the group of girls who work here. When it's just her and me working it's great, but some of the other girls have issues and on some days it feels like we're in middle school again. And I hated middle school. I desperately need a different job but now that it seems I shall be graduating (and please, I still need everyone's prayers and positive energies on that front), I will stop looking for the moment and focus on looking after I return from Boston in July with my MFA! It should be easier to get a decent job after that but we'll see.

In other news, I just got the class list for the MFA residency and I'm very excited. I'm going to start reading the required pieces tomorrow. Now I just have to update my bibliography, get a decent synopsis written by the first of May, and have a revised and *finalized* draft sent to Sandra by the fifteenth and I'll be looking pretty good. Then I have to detail out what I'm doing for my class - I think I shall take lots of notes while at work this next week or two - and get my workshop pieces written and ready. And then I shall take a huge breath. Also I'm going to write down every single date that I need off from work in the next two months because I'm tired of missing rituals and celebrations. I am going to miss the IEPG celebration Beltane this Saturday and I sort of want to do something fun on my own, but what I'll probably end up doing is just going to Hastings after work to participate in free comic day. Not quite the welcome to fertile summer that I had hoped for. 

Other, other news: Hannah and I will be adopting my aunt's cat, Ray. He's an older kitty (I think he's about 8 years old) and she wants to re-home him. I understand her reasons and I've told her in the past that I adore the kitty and if she needed to place him somewhere that Hannah and I would take him in a heartbeat. Well, she has agreed to send him our way. I just hope Narcisa can handle a new big brother. He's a gray short-haired complete lover boy and I cannot wait to welcome him into the family. I would like to have a welcoming ritual for him as well as a remembrance ritual for the boys (our sweet babies Yoda and Galen). The kitties are a huge part of our lives, emotionally and spiritually, and I want to express that in a divine way. 

That's all for now. Blessed be and good night. I took today off to just relax and rest and tomorrow begins the next chapter of a very stressful novel called 'my life.' 

Oh also, F and a few friends of our with the IEPG think I need to get checked out for Adult A.D.D. I've always had attention and focus problems but they seem to have escalated to a very destructive level lately. It may be that I just need to adjust my anxiety and depression medication but something definitely needs to be done. 

And in other, other, other news, my poor father is suffering from the same type of infection that I had in January. It seems he and I are cellulitis twins. Lovely. His infection is in his leg which really sucks but at least he isn't having to go to the hospital every twelve hours for IV antibiotics. I do have some good news about all - I sent in all the paperwork to see if our county's social services could help me out some with the bill and they not only helped, they wrote off the entire thing. All nine invoices are now balanced at zero. When I got the letter in the mail I nearly cried I was so happy. Maybe things can keep looking up. Dad is going to get better very soon, mom is going to get a new job this fall, and I'm going to graduate and so will Hannah! These things will happen. I have to believe it.