Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Tis The Season Of The Witch

The entertainment industry goes in cycles of what its favorite "creature du jour" is.  First it was Vampires (sparkly and more traditional) with Dracula in his many forms up to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The Vampire Diaries, Being Human and (gag) Twilight.  Zombies have had a long shambling run which isn't quite finished due to the popularity of the television show The Walking Dead.

Supernatural creatures and beings have always been popular.  People love to be scared and intrigued, drawn to the power and the fantasy of something otherworldly from our folk tales and nightmares.  People want to be vampires, ghosts, werewolves, shape changers and whatever else strikes their fancy.   People dress as zombies and participate in zombie walks, even the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a page on how to prepare for the "Zombie Apocalypse" as a way to show people how to prepare for a natural disaster!

Now, for better or worse, it appears as if "it's the season of the Witch".  It started with Hansel and Gretal Witch Slayers, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror and Maleficent in the movies, Once Upon a Time, Witches of East End, Sleepy Hollow and American Horror Story - Coven on television.  

There have always been witches in movies and on TV with Bewitched, Tabitha, Buffy and Charmed to the classic Wizard of Oz to Disney's Snow White.  The new fascination with witches seems to be more intense and less innocent...the characters are darker, more powerful, scary and dangerous.

There is much discussion regarding this in the Pagan community.  Most of us really enjoy the movies and television shows.  They are taken for what they are, fantasy, entertainment and only a smattering of reality.  If real witchcraft were shown on television it wouldn't last long as it would be incredibly boring!  The problem with being the "creature du jour" is the perception of others towards witches and witchcraft.  I know it sounds silly, but it is a real concern.

People fear that which they do not understand.  The concern is that the dark nature of many of these programs combined with the historically incorrect view of Witches perpetuated by monotheist religion will cause problems for modern Pagans and Witches.  There are cases almost every month of Pagan homes and events being bombed, vandalized, picketed and communities trying to drive out store fronts that cater to Pagan needs.  Facebook recently was contacted by numerous Pagan organizations and convinced to remove two pages that were seriously advocating burning and killing Pagans and Witches.  Facebook had originally not considered these pages in violation of their "hate speech" guidelines!

There seems to be a very loud minority of people in the United States who have a twisted version of their religion and are convinced that anyone who does not agree with them is the spawn of the devil.  This combined with the hate filled rhetoric that floods the Internet and other media and the willingness of misguided individuals to act upon it is scary.

Another less dangerous yet worrisome result of Witches being popular is the influx of people who suddenly decide that they are a witch!  They will go out buy a pentagram, maybe read one book or look at an Internet site then go forth into the world with little knowledge, inflated attitude and ego causing more public misconception.  I personally feel that this is going to be the more serious problem.

  Perhaps some of the "want to be" witches will eventually make the commitment to learn, study and dedicate their life to this path.  With luck the others will only last as long as the Witch is the "creature du jour" and then quickly move on to the next big thing.

The Pagan community will always have to deal with religious extremists and public misconceptions.  They have always existed and always will.  You will be infuriated at their ignorance, ridicule and intolerance and saddened by their hatred.  Generally you are safe as long as they don't show up on your doorstep with torches and pitchforks.

The number of people in the world who classify themselves as Pagan (I'm using the term "Pagan" to mean every type of Pagan path, Wicca and Witchcraft practitioners etc.) is huge, much larger than most would imagine.  Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the world and has been for several years. The majority of Pagans and Witches are "in the broom closet", meaning they practice in secrecy mainly because of the of the public, their former churches and their families.  Those of us who are "out of the broom closet" try to educate either through Pagan Pride events, community outreach or by just answering questions when asked.


Le Petite Crone says:  Please, If you want to play at being a Witch wait for Halloween!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mini Minion Rupert

For those of you who are regular readers you are familiar with my dogs - my "Mini-Minions" Rupert and Boomer.  

Boomer is a psychotic seven year old miniature Australian Shepherd.  He has a wicked sense of humor and is full of energy.  Boomer is really my beloved spouses dog, even though he gets quite frantic if he doesn't get enough attention from his favorite little Crone.  Rupert is my sweetie pup, he's a 10 1/2 year old English Bull Terrier.  He's blind, has one eye, a bad heart and is in the early stages of "doggie dementia" Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  

It's been very hard watching my dear Rupert deteriorate through the years.  He's been such a solid little tank of love and devotion.  I'm not sure I could have gotten through my own physical difficulties without his cuddles and kisses.

One of the things you accept when you bring a dog into your life is knowing you will outlive them and that you have to watch them grow old, get sick and all the pain that goes with that.  I've have many dogs in my life, I've loved them all but Rupert has been special.

We noticed a few days ago that his remaining eye is turning red.  The pressure is so intense that it is hemorrhaging.  His vet told us that he is in excruciating pain and that his eye needs to be removed.  When his first eye was removed his heart stopped three times during the procedure.  He's much older now, and he has a bad heart.  

We have decided to take the risk and have his eye removed.  His surgery was suppose to be this morning but there was a county wide power outage.  I had a reprieve and have been able to spend a long quiet day cuddling with my mini minion.  We have watched the flames in the fireplace (well, I have anyway), we've shared some peanut butter and crackers and I've been able to tell him how much I love him.

Tomorrow will bring what it will bring.  I hope Rupert makes it through the surgery and once recovered he will no longer be in pain and I'll have more time with him.  If he doesn't make it through the surgery I know I've done all I can possibly do to give him a good life, one filled with love, play, walks, tennis balls, cuddles and cookies.

Please keep Rupert in your thoughts and prayers.

Le Petite Crone says:  Be strong and brave my sweetie pup!  I love you!

10/04/2013 - UPDATE:
Rupert update: We dropped him off at 8 AM, they called about 10 to say they were prepping him and so far so good. His vet called about 12:30 PM and said that he is all done and Rupert did fine. We are so relieved. I was very worried about him. He's bleeding much more than he should be, probably due to the pressure and all the pain meds he's been on for so he's got a pressure wrap on his head for the time being. But he's sitting up and listening to stuff..a good sign. We will be picking him up at 4 PM and will have to take him back on Monday. Not out of the woods, but much closer! Thank you all for your good energy and prayers....if you don't mind please keep them coming for a few more days. I'll keep posting updates...I know he's got lots of friends out there.
 Rupert update: It was a VERY rough night. Rupert was very upset, in pain, agitated..he ate a little food (had to hand feed) but wouldn't drink any water. He was breathing so hard and his heart was thumping so rapidly I was afraid he'd have a heart attack! We made up a nice bed in the ex-pen which we put in the corner of our bedroom (he can't fit in his regular kennel with "the cone"). I ended up laying in the ex-pen with him trying to keep him calm. We called the vet (thank goodness she gave us her home number) to see if we could give him more of the liquid pain meds (yes we could), plus a dose of his old pain meds. I finally got some water into him by using a syringe and squirting water into his mouth. He finally went to sleep about 3 AM and I crawled into bed fully dressed. The vet called this morning to check on him. We were out of his old pain meds so she is making the trip in on the weekend to get some for him. Hopefully today will be a bit better. No food yet this morning, a little water via syringe. He's sleeping on the couch next to me. He had his liquid pain meds and a dose of his old pain medication. He's had his morning antibiotic dose. Keep the good energy, thoughts and prayers coming. I do appreciate it!
Rupert update: Well the little tank must be getting better as he's cranky and uncooperative. He decided today that under no circumstance would he drink water. He didn't drink anything until about 8:30 PM this evening...then he drank and drank and drank. His eye is pooching out a bit and very purple and he was bleeding from his nose. Called the vet and she said that was normal, blood pools in the socket and will have to be reabsorbed and some of it will leak out of his nose...but she and I decided that it's best to keep him on his full pain meds even though it dopes him up a bit...that way he'll stay calmer. We'll wean him off the pain meds once the stitches are out. I'm very, very tired as he is taking ALL my attention. I try to leave the dreaded cone of shame off as much as I can so he'll be comfortable...but I have to watch him like a hawk in case he decides to scratch his eye. It's been a long day, but every day he's a little bit better. I can take him out on the leash and he's able to go up and down the stairs to the we don't have to carry him now...a big improvement...he is a pretty heavy little dude!
 Thank you, Le Petite Crone.