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Archive for the ‘atheism’ Category

aida steals a post from Jenny Martineau

I, with a little help from my friends, celebrated the full moon/fall equinox last night.  I love doing witchy stuff.  It’s just so much fun!  I am a Bright Green Witch, meaning that I am a materialist, herbalist, doer of fun stuff.  Having full moon parties and equinox celebrations are fun stuff to do.

The equinox (equal night, in Latin) is the time of the year when the daylight and the darkness of night are nearly equal in length.  So, a lot of people view them as times of balance.  Balance is a hot buzzword and has been for a while.

Do everything in balance.  Strive for balance.  Is your life in balance?  Be sure to be in balance.  There is a very strong resistance at the core of my being which can manifest as loud hacking noises or hand convulsions or delirious mutterings when I hear this stuff.

Find me something in nature that truly strives for balance as its goal. The universe is so much more comfortable with chaos.  Things are constantly moving, changing, growing, dying, decaying, transforming, becoming.  The earth is tilted for a reason.  We don’t have equinoxes every day for a reason.  There is not balance consistently for a reason.  Balance is stagnation.  Balance is death.  But, far worse, balance is boring.

So last night, we didn’t celebrate balance.  We honored darkness.  We celebrated light.  We high fived nature’s extremes.

Darkness gives us wisdom.  Think of the creatures of the night: owls, cats, and bats are some of my favorites.  They all like to hang out with wise women (witches).  They all have reputations for secret knowledge.  They all freak us out…just a little.  Wisdom is like that.  It is not easily won.  The dark night of the soul, the depressions, the mourning periods, the mysteries, the mischief, the fear in the darkness…all of these things widen our lives. Darkness stretches us.  In the dark, we can’t see in the way that we are accustomed to see.  Our eyes take a back seat to our other senses.  Sounds gain a texture that we almost feel with our ears to orient ourselves.  The tiniest movements of air help us know in which direction to move.  The smell of a place brings up images in our brains.  In the darkness, even taste becomes important.  Next time you’re outside and it’s dark, stick your tongue out and taste the air.  Go somewhere else and do it again.  Do different places have their own taste?  I’m willing to be that they do.  When our eyes do accustom to darkness, we see things with new perspective.  The relationship between things becomes more apparent.  Shadows come to life.  The whole world can be taken in as there is not one particular thing that glows bright enough to steal our focus.

Light…well, how many people wax poetic about it?  It’s already been deemed pretty cool.  The light feeds our bones, our skin, our brains.  Giddiness, passion, happiness, exuberance, painful truth…these are the things of the light.  There is no mystery in the light.  The laser sharp truth lives here.  It is here that we must see clearly.  It is the domain of the rational.  It is the place where the heart can be buoyant.  It is a place of confidence and boldness-there is nowhere to hide here.

The darkness shows us who we are, the light lets us show others.

So, I’m not a big fan of balance.  It’s a much more magical life when we delve fully into it.  I don’t worship nature.  It’s hard to worship something that is you.  We often forget that in our quest for balance.  We “learn” from nature, we “study” nature, we “sanctify” nature.  All of these things indicate that we are trying to achieve balance with nature.  But, we will never be able to do that.  We ARE nature.  So, instead of maintaining a balanced relationship with nature, let’s just dive into growth, change, chaos, decay, death, birth, and transformation.

*The above entry has 666 words.  I SHIT YOU NOT!

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aida feels homantic.*

strong woman? scary!

there is no shortage of women in my life.  being a witch, loving to attend conferences about herbs and the wise woman tradition, all lend themselves to me spending A LOT of time with women.  there is a very, very sad (sob) shortage of men in my life.

i am a staunch feminist, champion “female” causes (i have a hard time seeing them so compartmentalized.  every issue affects all of us.), and have a rather large pool of lesbian friends.

around the homestead, i am the muscles, the driving force.

but, i’m straight as a well-crafted arrow.

straight men are allowed their bromances.  i am heretofore declaring space for homances.

i enjoy my female friends.  living on the fringe as witchy, homesteading, surfer, single mom’s tend to do, my friends have to meet certain criteria that so many people in the bulk of society just don’t.  in technical terms, i’m a weirdo.  it takes special to love a weirdo.  luckily, i am surrounded by special.

i love spending time with my friends.  we giggle.  we play.  we cry.  we howl at the moon.  we make medicine.  we talk art.  we dance.  we go on absurd adventures.  we eat together.  it’s all very relationship-y.  we all bring something to the table.

i feel a little giddy when we get to do something cool together.  i feel comfortable touching their arms, hugging them tight when they’ve had a bad day.  in a culture so frightened of intimacy, we don’t really pussy-foot around it.

i’ve had more than one person ask me if i’m gay now.  apparently, i’ve been spending a lot of time with my female friends since the “breakup”. (calm down…it doesn’t really even deserve ” “)    yes, it was a painful breakup.  but not THAT painful.  boys still make me tingle.  i just think it’s sad that the expected behavior of women to each other is cattiness, competition, and backbiting.  if one supports women, it seems so counter-culture that that act alone puts one on the fringe.

if i wasn’t so far on the fringe already, that would REALLY annoy me.  instead, i’ll just lift a glass to homance.

*Thanks, Suzanne, for the term.

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Daisy gives you an internet tour in unbelief.

Aida and I have thrown around one or two new ideas for Hex and the City as we’re changing seasons.  We’ll still do the Sunday Zen with a photo and quote, but now Saturday has its own theme as well.  Each Saturday, we’ll pick a topic and share a few of our favorites.  Lots of topics to choose from:  real food, herbalism, homesteading, gardening, animal care, feminism, atheism, unschooling, healing, simplicity and whatever else inspires us on any given weekend.

Today let’s start right at A with atheism.  If the term atheist bothers you, substitute whatever words you feel more comfortable with, such as bright, freethinker, secular humanist or non-believer.  Whatever you call it, there are millions of people throughout the world who don’t believe in gods (for reasons as varied as the people themselves).  If you count yourself among those who don’t hear the voices of gods, then I hope you find humor, insight and inspiration in these websites.  If you count yourself among the believers, be warned that you may find your faith mocked or derided.  The Herban Cowgirls don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions you’ll encounter on these webpages, nor the manner in which these opinions are conveyed.  It may be worth a look, though, if only to get a glimpse inside the minds and hearts of a few skeptics and heretics.  I stayed away from some of the more obvious or famous like Dr. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, going instead with lesser known (but more entertaining) websites.

Kissing Hank’s Ass (by the Reverend Jim Huber)

This is a fun one to start with.  This guy only updates his site every year or so, but what he’s got there is gold.  This link will take you directly to one of his pamphlets, entitled “Kissing Hank’s Ass.”  If you love Hank, look around the Reverend’s site for more.  Essays, stories, pamphlets, and a list of “Questions For Bible Thumpers” that had me crying and screaming, “Oh no he DI-int!”

http://www.jhuger.com/kisshank

Normal Bob Smith

Normal Bob is a free-lance artist and evangelical atheist living in New York City.  He started his web page about 10 years ago with a game he calls Jesus Dress Up.  It’s a paper doll of a cartoon crucified Jesus, with different outfits you can dress him up in.  He now boasts several different versions that you can order as refrigerator magnets (there’s even a Mohammed Dress Up!).  You can get lost on his site between the games, the comics, and the Amazing Strangers of Union Square, but the icing on the cake is the hate mail.  He has posted over 400 pages of hate mail (with his responses) from Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Agnostics and even fellow atheists!  Warning:  this site is not for the easily offended.

http://normalbobsmith.com/

God Is Imaginary

This website is serious in tone, so I don’t go there often, but it’s a fascinating source of philosophical and logical “proofs” of god’s non-existence.  Don’t bother with the videos, they’re heavy handed and boring (religion is EVIL-blah blah blah), stick with the links to the proofs.  I found a few questions there I’d always wondered about, as well as a few head-scratchers that had never occurred to me.  Read through them and question what you believe and why.  You may discover something new about yourself (always exciting!).  My favorite question on the site:  “Why won’t God heal amputees?”

http://godisimaginary.com/

The Skeptics Annotated Bible

This site is amazing.  It’s the entire Christian Bible, footnoted and commented on by a non-believer.  In addition to the biblical text, there are pages that catalog bible verses into sections:  family values, good stuff, absurdities, violence, sex, women, contradictions and homosexuality.  There are pages devoted to questions like “Does God know everything?” with biblical quotes to back up both the yes and no answers.  The guy who does the site includes links to Christian sites that refute his work, and he’s even working on a Skeptic’s Quran and the Book of Mormon.  When my mom talks to me about bible verses, here is where I look them up. 

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

George Carlin

And finally, this isn’t George Carlin’s website, it’s just a YouTube video of his “Religion is Bullsh*t” bit.  Rated R for foul language, of course — this is Carlin we’re talking about.  This piece is angry, sincere and hilarious.  I miss George Carlin.  He was a heckuva funny guy, and as godless an atheist as the day he was born (of course, his parents made him be Catholic for a while, but he got out as soon as he could).  I thought I’d end the atheist link post with some comedy.  It’s just how I roll. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RT6rL2UroE

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aida loves the earth.

so sorry that its been so long since i’ve posted.  i’ve been places where the internet could not follow.  it was rather nice in a way to be unplugged from the virtual world and to experience life so fully.  since it’s been so long that i’ve posted, this post is long.  grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your feet on the ground….where they should be.

Satan's Arrow of Certain Doom

so, i love the earth.  yeah, yeah, i know that this is a very catchy marketing line.  “love the earth” water bottles, t-shirts, granola bars, humvees painted green, and canvas bags can all fall into this massive scheme.  but, i’m serious, i LOVE the earth.  like the earth is my BFF with benefits.

when i got off the plane last night with a tear-streaked face and fingers cramped from gripping the seat in front of me, i wanted to kiss the earth.  it’s rather difficult to find here in miami, though.  it all wears a rather crunchy candy shell of concrete.  but, the first patch of bare earth will find me spread eagle giving it a kiss.  who knows?  it may even get some tongue and a little dry hump.

i am a creature of the earth, of the sea (because the earth is right underneath it.  i can dive down and touch it.)  creatures of the air have hollow bones, feathers and rather pointy mouths.  my bones are calcium dense (thank you herbal infusions!), chock-full of marrow, and heavy.  the only feathers i have are a found on a pair of earrings i bought from earthbound trading.  and my mouth is many things, but pointy is not one of them.

i HATE flying.  there are people that say this because they find the seats in the airplane too close together.  others, because they have control issues and don’t like it when someone they can’t see is driving.  still others say it because they don’t like having to take their shoes off in public.  what they mean is:  flying INCONVENIENCES me.

remember that little bad dream that a certain dante had?  pfft.  the ninth circle of hell?  ha!  dante could only write this little adventure because planes had not yet been birthed from those deep, fiery bowels.  that’s right.  planes are satan’s winged arrows.

being a recovering christian, i still have certain moments where i feel that there just might be a red, horned beast persecuting me.  all of those moments happen when my seat belt is securely fastened and my tray is upright and locked into the seat in front of me.

seven years old: we are flying to my mother’s home in ohio.  we are eating a hot meal on the plane (i know this is like an ancient fairy tale.), when, literally, out of the blue, the plane drops.  the plane keeps dropping.  people scream.  the drink cart careens down the aisle.  a stewardess (sue me, i’m being historically accurate.) does a somersault.  cups of coffee and ginger ale soak suits.  satan’s arrow finally finds air.  it finds it hard.  we smack down into it.  coffee and ginger ale are sopped up with napkins.  the stewardess gets up with perfect stewardess elegance and walks back to get the wayward cart.  conversations return to a steady hum.  i am forever scarred.

twenty-four years old:  the dance company that i tour with is flying back from france to guadeloupe.  i am stuck between two large people in the very last row.  the bathroom is actually a little forward of me.  tears stream down my face as every little cloud feels like a pothole.  the tail of the plane, in which i am tucked away, bounces along with no regard for my terror.  my dance teacher comes back every couple of hours to give me another valium.  i want to eat them like candy.  i feel the glares of the two large people, my bookends, on my face.  i want to die.  but, you know, not literally.

The only way to fly: a hazy, drugged cocoon.

twenty-seven years old: i am headed to the u.s. virgin islands.  my boyfriend at the time has connections.  we are in a small six-seater plane.  the navigator is young, dumb, and full of stupid.  he faces us.  all of sudden we are in a storm cloud.  the rain hammers out a death march on the aluminum foil body of the plane.  the sky lights up with a flash and i feel my heart plop right out my butt.  “we’re all going to die!” he screams.  i scream then burst into tears.  he laughs.  i am never again able to look at a young marine with anything but loathing.

thirty-five years old:  on a commuter jet from albuquerque to savannah, i am in a fitful, dramamine induced sleep.  suddenly, i feel the plane nose-dive.  i jolt awake.  my hoodie covers half of my squooshed face.  the big boy is next to me, gripping my hand.  “is this normal?  is this normal?”  i ask him.  he doesn’t answer.  “who the HELL is driving this shit?”  i yell.  yep, i yell it.  out loud.  fifteen people turn in their seats to see the mussed hair and crazy eyes of this person disturbing their landing.  two of the people in the plane who do not turn around are my sister and her girlfriend.  they practically disappear into their seats and they roll up into teeny-tiny fists of horrified guilt by association.

thirty-six years old:  we are flying to haiti for the holidays.  the plane is large, almost roomy.  however, it is packed.  across the aisle is a seven year old screamer.  he is one of those kids that is apparently momma’s little darling.  he is wearing a suit with shiny shoes.  he screams every five seconds like a swiss crafted timepiece.  between swallowing back thoughts of my own fiery death, i plan his.  i hate him with pure hatred.  we are ten minutes away from landing.  boom.  we are in a storm.  i get my yelling and screaming in public places honestly.  the back twelve rows of the plane erupt in calls to their jesus, their mothers, and their hometowns.  the plane shakes like those stupid carnival rides.  you know the boxes hooked up to large rubber bands that are shaken in every direction for “fun”?  the plane becomes a rubber banded box hurtling through storm clouds.  out the window is only grey.  inside is only a screaming mass of people.  of course, being haitian, each scream is followed by a burst of laughter.  “JEZI!”  hahahahaha.  “AMWE!”  heeheeehee.  the laughter makes it worse.  i am rubber band box bouncing to my death with a mob of crazy people.  we land, unharmed.  even the five-second screamer escapes my death glares.  applause erupts from the passengers.

then, last night:  dramamine cannot be found in haiti, or at least not at the three places i tried before heading to the airport.  the haze that it provides me is the fluffy duvet of denial i need to get through flights.  without it, i start to inspect the faces of all the passengers who are boarding with me.  i’m intent on memorizing the people with whom i will share my flaming fall from heaven death.  no dramamine.  it is with mounting apprehension that i walk down the neck of the gate into the belly of the beast.  we are seated in the 22nd row.  anything over 10 is trouble.  we begin the taxi down the runway.  i breathe deeply.  having taught yoga, i know how to breathe.  my eyes are closed and i am trying to get to my happy place.  but, i can’t because i am trapped on this g.d. hunk of metal.  we take off and so does my rationality.  i start to cry.  my face is a mask of terror.  i shake so hard that my son has to hold my arm down.  he is seated at the window because he loves to watch the ground slip away.  he is apparently one of those “look death in the eyes” kind of people.  jerk.  i spend two hours panting, moaning, gripping the seat in front of me, and i am not having a good time.  i loathe the screaming baby in front of me.  it is partly jealousy.  i want to scream, too.  my son’s hand on my back is the only thing that prevents that.  there is a kind haitian man sitting next to us who keeps asking my son if i’m alright.  “she’s scared.  she has a phobia.”

and there it is, in plain, plane english.  i have a phobia.  but, i don’t want treatment.  you know how they treat fear of flying?  by making you fly.

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