October 28, 2013

Notes on Horseback, Firing Arrows Into the Trees

Experiencing internet outage at home. Expect posting to be spotty, especially since Ghost doesn't allow scheduling or queueing yet.

The cotton spinning continues to improve, although this week I haven't been able to put the time into it that I mean to. When I have to get out the door to do something, spinning is the part of my morning rituals that gets skimped on. Still, I finished a skein.

I finished the wool for the Ghost Masks, and got about 70 yards before I called it done, because a mask doesn't take much, and I hate it when a spindle gets that heavy and the cop starts getting unmanageable and unwinding itself at the bottom. I don't understand how anyone fills a drop spindle so full the cop is sticking out beyond the whorl. Also, must remember that candy caning the yarn is more important with fat yarn, not less.

I'm exploring the way Hellenic reconstructionism is practiced, so I can see what of it works for me. I keep being baffled by how they pick and choose which bits to keep and which to discard. Why leave behind watering the wine, when it's key to at least one myth and at least one major festival, and seems to have been an assumed part of every time anyone partook of wine, both a symbol and a practicality? Why stress the importance of miasma (ritual impurity or pollution) and katharmos (ritual cleansing), but then discard specific acts of katharmos that are part of specific festivals, because they are inconvenient? Why thus-and-such interpretation of one festival, without any support for it in the primary sources you cite for it? Because some scholar fifty or a hundred years ago interpreted it that way? What did he base it on? Other than UPG (unverifiable personal gnosis; there's an April Fool's joke in there somewhere about a Personal Gnosis verification service), how does one pick and choose, if one is trying seriously to reconstruct ancient practice? I don't get it. And it's one more reason I'm not a reconstructionist.

I'm working on several posts about some of the specifics, and I suspect it's a theme I'll be returning to. I feel a little bad about them, because I really respect some of the people I'm planning on discussing the inconsistencies of, if only because those are the people I read most, and therefor see those inconsistencies from the most. And because the ones I have less respect for, I tend to laugh at more than think about. (Because holy crap, are some of the sites and claims out there absurd. Anyone that utterly dismisses a book as being "pure neopagan propaganda" is someone I simply cannot take seriously.)

My mom has requested that the length of cloth I wove for her be turned into a bag, or sewn onto one. She loves bags, and can always use more, and that way she gets to show it off more. So now I need to find a tote the right size, or see if I have fabric stashed that will do for making one.