Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Am I Here?

I am here (on blogger, writing this now) for two reasons, primarily, and these two reasons overlay a whole set of inklings and thoughts and motivations.

My first reason is that my Feminism Button has recently been pushed. I think I'll get to the reasons why in another post, but essentially it boils down to the pro-choice stance on abortion, and what this means (and more importantly, what opposing stances mean) for a woman's ownership of her own body.

I grew up as a feminist. I was a feminist when I was very small, though I didn't think of it that way; I simply felt that girls could do anything boys could do, and any suggestion otherwise would have to be thoroughly explained and vigorously defended. I think perhaps Lisa Simpson worked her influence on me somewhere in those early years. Then of course the 1990s gave us Girl Power in the form of the Spice Girls, which really wasn't much to do with feminism but made you feel somehow empowered about being female anyway. I've essentially remained unchanged in my stance since I was little, and honestly haven't done much investigation into the concept of and history of feminism. I know my country was the first in the world to grant women the vote back in 1893, something of which I'm fiercely proud. So I'm not well versed in the lingo, I'm not well read in this area, I'm not active in feminist protests or movements. So you'll have to forgive me if my words are a bit unversed in this area. It is, I think, something I shall be working on. But I believe any person is entitled to the same rights as any other regardless of whether they are male, female, or third gendered. My rights as a woman are something I've always simply taken for granted. I have since childhood always assumed I would be afforded the same rights and treatment as a man would and rarely think about it.... and as a result, when it appears that I may be losing out in some way by virtue of having a uterus I am at first shocked and appalled, and then very angry. Quite simply, I am a woman, I deserve no less than others by virtue of being such, and I'll be damned if I'll let anyone take my rights away from me.

My second reason is that I hoped to write and post a series of book reviews on the subjects of Paganism and witchcraft. I feel one can never have too many reviews to read through when wondering on what to spend their hard earned money, and there are far too many reviews (particularly on book purchasing websites) that simply laud the book without going into any detail about what made the book great, and where it failed. And they always fail. Even the bests books on Paganism and witchcraft have particular flaws, and these should be discussed even in a five-star review. Besides, this or that reviewer might be brand new to Paganism and not know their athames from their hammers.

To that end, I intend to post reviews on books I have read and own, mostly on the subjects of witchcraft, Paganism, mythology and theology. I'll give scores out of ten and... well, frankly my book standards are pretty high. After nearly eleven years as a practising Pagan and more reading about the occult I am bitter, angry and dissillusioned with much of what I read. So many "facts" stated without citations, so many biblographies loaded with the author's own works, so much arse. And yet, I buy more books, I return to the library, all in the vain hope that I'll find a book I really like. So even on the books I do enjoy, I intend to review rather harshly. The bad points often stick in my mind better than the good, anyway. I'll also post reviews from friends if they are happy to share, so they may use a different scoring system than myself. Rest assured anything not written by me personally will be properly attributed to its author(s).

As mentioned, I've been a practising Pagan for nearly eleven years, and a practising witch for just as long. As a child with a long interest in the occult (for some reason) it was inevitable that I would stumble upon "real witchcraft" at some point. Unfortunately when I did so, I was naive and believed pretty much everything I read if it was classified as "non-fiction". I started out, as many do, with eclectic Neo-Paganism falsely marketed as Wicca. That served me well for a couple of years, but I had always had theological issues with "the rede" and eventually attempted a more general eclecticism. In time I came upon the Nordic pantheon, fell into Heathenry (Norse Reconstructionism and Recon-derived religions) and remain there quite happily. I have a thorough interest in other religions as well. I'm a Hedgewitch of sorts, and a religious one (ditheistic), which is a path I doubt I'll go into any detail on in future.

So, those are my two reasons, and the background to each. And here I am.

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