Moving to New Location

11/12/2013 10:40:00 PM | 1 comments »

I have not visited this blog in a long time.  The original theme was not one I could keep up indefinitely.  Originally I thought I would let things naturally evolve over here, but in the end I just couldn't.  This site is just too keyed to the original theme of tying it to the Wicca website.

Moreover, Blogger has just not kept up with the times.

You can now find me at  My general focus will be history and alt-history, primarily Steampunk.  I'm sure there will be a few other things from time to time.  keeping me focused on a single subject is like herding cats.

 I am also still writing about Alternative Religions at

Other projects include steampunk costuming at Steaming Apparel, and the Promethean Society on Facebook.

I hang around Yahoo!answers a lot providing answers.  Of late, we've been getting a slew of weird Wicca questions, and none of the regulars can figure out where they are coming from.  I'm wondering if a reader might be able to help.

We're getting a lot of references about the goddess Nyx and Wicca.  The suggen popularity of Nyx comes from a book called House of Night.  I've not read it, but in all the reviews of it, I can't find a single reference to Wicca.  Does this book even mention Wicca?  And if not, what in this book keeps getting equated with Wicca?

Also seeing a lot of questions asking "What's my Wiccan element?"  There's no such thing.  Wiccans commonly work with the concept of elements, but people aren't associated with a single one.  Quite the opposite, a balance of forces is a goal.  Where is this coming from?  I think part of it is coming from avatar: the Last Airbender (occasionally we get questions about "bending,"), but questions now specifically ask about being a "Wiccan element."  Any clues?

People often ask for advice on how to follow one faith while their family is another.  Some of it is about how to get along with everyone and not piss anyone off.  Others are more dramatically silly, like "As a Wiccan, am I allowed to attend a Church service?" (No, you'll burst into flame upon entering...seriously, what are you expecting me to say to that?) 

There's a difference between participating and believing.  I see no reason why my gods would take offense at me entering a church, particularly since I also don't see them taking offense at me at making offerings to other polytheistic gods.  I go to church for weddings and funerals, because those are primarily about the bridal party and the deceased, and I'm certainly not going to slight them over their choice of religion.

I don't repeat prayers in church.  I stand or sit quietly while such things are going on.  I don't believe what those prayers are saying, so I do not say them, but I also don't make a show of not saying them, because I'm a guest in their house.

But I was faced with a new scenario this week.  If you follow me on, you probably know that my 62 year old mother had a stroke in May and I've spent a good portion of the summer helping with her.  Mom has always said grace every day before every evening meal.  Mom's communication centers have been damaged now.  Still, for the first few meals at home, she was able to say some form of grace.  But one night she just couldn't find the words, and it was clearly heartbreaking.

So I said it.  I hailed that God is great and thanked him for our meal. I used the prayer I had memorized by rote as a child.  I prayed to a God in which I don't believe.

And I'm OK with that.  Because it wasn't about my beliefs at that moment.  It was about my mom's welfare and family tradition and holding onto what little normalcy the family has at the moment.  My only real concern was if Mom would suddenly feel like I've been put on the spot to act outside my religion and, thus, feel guilty.

I don't have to pout and stomp my feet and declare it an affront to my Wiccaness.  The fact is my family IS Christian and it has Christian traditions.  Yet I have been Wiccan for 20 years within that family with very little friction, and almost all of that friction came from the first few years when I was still an awkward and somewhat rebellious teen or college student. 

There's a difference between practicing and believing.  My gods know my beliefs.

Practicing doesn't make you a believer.  Saying a Christian prayer doesn't make you a Christian.  Likewise, reciting a Wiccan ritual or collecting Wiccan tools doesn't make you a Wiccan.  Do you understand?  Do you believe?  Do you have a purpose for the ritual you work or the item you use?  Because if you can't answer "yes," then you are looking like a Wiccan, not actually being a Wiccan.

This explains my work processes (and why my blogging is so erratic) so much better than anything I could write.

Cleaning House

1/30/2012 05:54:00 PM | | 0 comments »

One of the benefits of having your computer take a crap on you is that in many ways you get to start over.  Most of my life exists in digital format at this point.  I back up the important stuff.  i lost some unimportant stuff, and the process of reloading files from the backup gave me the opportunity to sort out shat should stay and what should go, in addition to creating better organization.  I start off with good intentions, but after a while all my new files tend to just get chucked in a couple of places.

In short, my digital world looks largely my my physical world.  I am not a neat freak, but periodically I go through my stuff, reorganize, and throw out the unneeded.  The fact that my husband does not is one of my great pet peeves, not just because it clutters up the house with things he hasn't used in 10 years, but because of the sense of being overly anchored to the past, accumulating nothing but burden which you have to drag forward indefinitely.

Periodically, we need to let go.  Not everything, of course.  There are important things in our past, good or bad, that should continue to be embraced.  But one of the things I did, for example, was trash a pile of old emails from a gaming group I have long ago left for the very reasons shown in the emails: disrespect, cattiness, two-facedness, favortism, etc.  For a long while I kept everything just in case I needed to produce evidence of what was going on.  But let's face it: no one is going to revisit it two years later, and I don't even want to.  Just reading those emails is stressful.  So most of them went into the trash.

It's practical in that it makes my email account easier to sort, but there's also a psychological benefit.  I'm accepting that I am past it.  Those materials no longer matter to me, which is why they are being junked.  I'm moving on.  They are no longer baggage.

So I'm actually kind of enjoying this cleaning phase in the wake of the computer crash.  I can re-prioritize, and put those projects somewhere I can actually find them.

State of My Life

1/23/2012 11:37:00 PM | | 1 comments »

I've gotten delinquent with the blog again.  I'm very bad at this.  Too many projects.  To much work.  yada yada.

On top of which, my computer spectacularly died last week, so as I hastily prepare for the new semester (and an entirely new course, which is part of the reason I've gone back into silent mode), I frantically had to buy a new comp and reload software.  I'm still reloading software.  I'm also cleaning out viruses that my new anti-virus apparently is ignoring.


This is of particular note to anyone following this for steampunk.  You may have noticed my forum link now goes to a Mexican site.  Not my doing.  The company running the forum can't even explain how it happened.  So, clearly, I need to at least remove the link.  Unfortunately...I'm still reloading the software for that.  And considering it's part of the hobby side of my life, it's kind of low priority.

But I'm getting closer.

I'm a bad, bad blogger. =(

Llywellyn Publications has decided not to accept my manuscript.  However, they did suggest that I set it up as an eBook for the Kindle on my own, which I will probably do.  They are also still open to other manuscripts.  I have a couple small presses I can also approach.

It will take me some time to set this up.  I've been sick for the last month.  A persistent cough has turned into pleurisy, the treatment for which is Vicodin.  I'm feeling much better now, but not terribly useful ;)  I've also been run ragged by the beginning of the school semester, so I'm going to be pretty out of touch for some number of weeks.