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John Barleycorn Must Die — Music for Lughnasadah

ladyimbrium:

For the season.

Originally posted on hecatedemeter:

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“Environmentalism is Meaningless”

Originally posted on PAGANARCH:

220px-EarthfirstmonkeywrenchPatheos Pagan’s series, “Has Pagan Environmentalism Failed?” has gone live.

My contribution, A Call To War, has already garnered some grumpy attention.  Whenever one talks about Capitalism, one’s guaranteed to get any configuration of the following responses:

  • Communism is just as bad (they’re right, but it’s quite American to assume Capitalism has an opposite.  The Coke/Pepsi, Democrat/Republican, Top/Bottom dualistic thinking in the American mind is quite ingrained)
  • Capitalism isn’t the problem, it’s Industrialization (yes, yes, of course, but why’d we industrialize in the first place? To maximize profits with minimized and exploited labor through mass-production…that is, Capitalism)
  • You’re a hypocrite–you use a computer or You couldn’t have this conversation without Technology (this one gets really, really old.  As I’ve mentioned before, the notion that Capitalism is responsible for technology is ridiculous.  Worse, people are too addicted to their blue screens to realize that these conversations occur on the street…

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What are your suggestions and what are you going to do?

ladyimbrium:

I like it.

Originally posted on The House of Vines:

Reading Galina’s declaration that August is Polytheist Community Outreach Month:

Ancient polytheisms promoted civic virtues and involvement in one’s local community. We have a lot of tremendously talented people in polytheism today and I think we could really make a difference if we started reaching out. I know a lot of us do things already all the time and we don’t draw attention to it. Maybe we should, not to brag, but to inspire each other to go out and make a difference. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems we face as a community, as a human community and to feel that nothing we do, no effort will ever make any difference at all. That’s not true though and when we give in to those feelings of hopelessness, we’re denying ourselves a chance to make a good, solid change. We can poke the Filter…

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Baltimore’s Grimscape in review

For the record, Grimscape rocked and I hope it becomes a regular thing. Seriously. I say this as someone who generally prefers the cleaner vocals of other sub genres but Baltimore’s newest black metal fest was fucking awesome.

Here’s the scoop.

None of the following has been requested, funded, hinted or coached by anyone. These are my opinions and the Internet is welcome to take them or leave them.

Grimscape saw the stage debut of two local bands, Hex Temple and AntiKosmos. Hex Temple definitely brought it with their sound, and I attribute some mostly technical issues to it being their first performance at a live show like this. They also had the task of opening the gates for the ritualistic/magic (because I WILL use that word) aspect of the show. That, they definitely did. The group of us that attended included but was not limited to yours truly, a fae, and a Satanist. At Hex Temple’s opening we all exchanged a look and said “yup there it is.”

I have very mixed feelings about AntiKosmos. They were fast, they were brutal, their vocalist had some impressive power and range. Unfortunately, that same vocalist was such a rude bitch off stage that I really don’t know if I can get past it. She vanished after their set- didn’t lift a finger to help move gear- and didn’t return until halfway through not the next band but the one after. In fact she only returned long enough to throw insults at the band then on stage in a voice loud enough to be heard by half the venue before vanishing again. And folks, I expect some jostling and shifting in the crowd as people go back and forth to the bar or to carry equipment or even as the music moves you… but don’t ever put your hands around my arm from behind and shove me to the side. Which this diva did. I held back. I did not get arrested. Those of you who know me personally can thank me later. Seriously though, her off stage performance ruined what was actually a pretty decent on stage performance for me.

The rest of the line up was worth the drive though. Inverted Trifixion and Dispellment, both veterans of the scene, actually had a larger crowd than the headliner. I attribute this to some of the most in your face brutal black metal it has ever been my dark joy to experience live. I kind of expected something to randomly combust from the unholy power. It was fucking glorious. Personally I got a bigger thrill out of Dispellment and their fuller, richer sound but that’s my own preference. I got a moment to meet the Dispellment crew after the show and they were all totally chill which I appreciated. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future performances.

PACT, though, PACT was an experience. The crowd thinned out while they were setting up which I didn’t understand at first. Then as I watched the circle and seals come out with some truly fascinating and darkly disturbing little bits and pieces, I could see why. PACT means it. People left. We stayed. I don’t think I could describe their music if I had to. Crawl to your own execution through stinking marsh on your hands and knees, beat away the ravens that just don’t want to wait until you’re all the way dead. It kind of sounded like that. At least one of them was tranced out from the first note to the last and I’m not sure I want to know what he was seeing. I was aware of my wings. I am normally not aware of them except during fire circle or in trance. I was stone cold sober and wide awake and aware of my wings during their ritual/set. I could feel myself rustling them and stretching in time with the headbangers up front. The space behind and to the side of me cleared out a little bit which makes me wonder if anyone else spotted them. PACT was for real.

If any of my readers are metalheads who like their sound as black as I like my coffee, check these guys out. The YouTube has some of their work but it pales in comparison to the live show.

And seriously, support local music, y’all.

This unsolicited review has been brought to you by an opinionated dragon, a kindle, and slow summer evenings.

Pact to headline first Grimscape

ladyimbrium:

This Saturday. Baltimore. I will be there. Will you?

Originally posted on Metallomusikum:

There are many bands labeled as American black metal, but few in the USBM scene that present a full-fledged occult ritual the way Pact does. The Moribund Cult Records group perfectly blends traditional black metal aesthetics and symbolism with the pummeling grind and growl of death metal.

The Erie, PA group will headline Metallomusikum’s first-ever Grimscape Saturday, July 26 at The Sidebar in Baltimore along with Virginia’s Dispellment, Maryland’s black metal underground veterans Inverted Trifixion, and newcomers AntiKosmos and Hex Temple, who are both making their stage debuts. Tickets are $12 at the door or online at Missiontix.com.  Pre-sales of this show have been strong and a sell-out is possible.

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Pact

Pact’s most recent album, The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating the Threshold of Night, elevates the band to the next realm of aural assault with more complex songwriting, better production and even more visceral vocals than their debut…

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Prosperity spells, or, be careful what you ask for

I had a conversation with a friend the other day that bears recording and commenting. There’s been a dearth of magic recorded here lately. That’s not for lack of magic going on or for lack of conversations with friends. I’ve been too busy to record much of anything and some of it really hasn’t been the sort of thing that gets recorded.

In any case, my friend and I were speaking about magic and the ways in which our prayers/spells/meditation manifest. I mentioned that some time ago, January I think it was or maybe February, I had begun to petition my gods and the Universe to help reduce my financial stress. I should clarify that this is in fact the language I used since I have never been one to seek wealth for its own sake. Rather I sought the peace of mind and freedom of movement that comes with financial security. I should have realized that this would be yet another thing that Levay got right.

Magic tends to take the path of least resistance. In this case the path of least resistance has turned out to be not an increase in my income but a reduction of my need for income. Let me explain. In our current national economy of crisis and ever increasing inequality it is very difficult for a person to increase their income unless they are already earning much more than they need. Studies have been done, look them up. Instead of immediately boosting my client list I find myself in a totally different and far less expensive situation. I have escaped my crushing rent and instead my camper trailer is parked on an unused corner of shared family land. I’ll contribute to property taxes but that’s it. I also escaped my electric bill in favor of a solar panel and a deep cycle 12volt marine battery. It’s enough for the few electronic gadgets I have. There is a plan to set up a hand pump well which would provide not only me but the nearby chicken coop and series of vegetable beds with water. Since this corner of land is lacking one anyway, there is also a plan to install a composting toilet system here. Right now I’m glad there’s another house nearby. The result of all this? Low cost living with shelter, food, sanitation, family and friends all accounted for.

This is why I believe as I do. I’ve even managed to land a temporary but lucrative side job which will pay for the necessary facilities that are currently missing. Magic (and for the record I’m one of those folks who is pretty sure that some of what we call prayer is its own kind of spell craft) doesn’t always work the way we anticipate. But it does work.

An interfaith definition of prayer?

So I do this thing where I meet up with a bunch of folks from a variety of different spiritual paths and spend a few hours rambling about whatever book we’re all reading. It’s an interfaith book club and it might be the only one in the area. We’re a mixed bag which includes a Unitarian Universalist, an Episcopalian, a Buddhist, a Jew and a pagan. There are others who come and go but it seems like the five of us are at most meetings. I have to say, those meetings are some of my favorite evenings.
We come up with some really fascinating conversations. We agreed at the very beginning that it is better to ask a question than be confused or ignorant. We agreed that no one is trying to convert anyone else. We agreed that we will be polite and respectful to each other and to other spiritual paths which may be mentioned in conversation. In other words no bashing people or beliefs; inform yourself; don’t preach. It’s gone very well so far.
At one of the most recent meetings the subject of prayer came up not as a dividing concept but as common ground. We each do it a little differently but we came to an interesting conclusion in our conversation. Each of us uses prayer to create space for the divine in our lives. We all agreed that it is an active thing and can have varying results, but no matter the specific impetus it creates some sort of connection with forces beyond ourselves.
The definition we came up with, as different as our prayers may be, was kind of mind blowing.
Thoughts?

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