It becomes increasingly difficult, as Rose highlights, to just.... post. We live in a world where Amnesty International deploys teams inside the land of the free.
So instead, let me briefly share some perspectives on tricksterism, disruption and non-dominant narratives. Firstly, from The Trickster and the Paranormal.
Why did God allow such brutal tortures to be inflicted upon St. Lydwine when she was so holy? Such a case, where direct, personal suffering is endured by someone reputedly close to God, poses a philosophical dilemma that is neither abstract nor obscure. The physical trauma impacts not only the mystic but anyone who sees it. This direct, living contact is exceptionally powerful. It is easier for the ecclesiastical authorities to avoid the issue, to ignore or downplay the role of mysticism, rather than confront and explain it.
The more one becomes immersed in trickster phenomena, the more salient the questions can become. After deep involvement with Fortean research, investigator John Keel wrote The Eighth Tower (1975) asking not: “Does God exist?” but rather the much more disturbing question: Is God sane? Encounters with the supernatural can be profoundly unsettling and provoke questions that raise grave doubts about the legitimacy of religious and scientific authority. Eruptions of mysticism and the paranormal destabilize the rational world. The phenomena, and the questions they raise, are deeply disturbing. Supernatural events can legitimize what would otherwise be seen as deviance or even madness.
And if you haven't caught it yet, here is a lovely documentary about Aaron Swartz. Please watch.
Also, Avalonia have released The Cunning Man's Handbook. Good stuff in there. I'm pimping it because I have never seen a more succinct description of what happened to the western tradition in the mid-nineteenth century.
[T]he first occult revival did stay within the general bounds of European esotericism and did not threaten the cunning tradition. It was the second "revival", which began with the Spiritualist movement in the 1850s that changed the course of European occultism and contributed to the decline of traditional home-grown low magic. The revival involved the wholesale importation of miscellaneous baggage from Masonic and Rosicrucian ritual, Theosophical cosmology, "Secret Chiefs" and cabalistic terminology as well as a variety of reputedly Asian -generally Indian- concepts, which revolutionised the European occult "habitus". Coinciding with a new middle class interest in the esoteric inspired by mesmerism and spiritualism, the second revival embraced the contemporary confidence in scientific discovery and "progress" and blithely went ahead to construct a "modern" occultism. The older systems were now not faulted as blasphemous or irrational -but rather as ignorant, quaint and obsolete - modern society's most damaging form of rejection. Oral traditions assiduously sought out and recorded by folklore collectors were regarded as quaint, endangered examples of popular credulity and cultural backwardness rather than satanic threats. The condescension of some educated collectors stemmed from what they thought was the long-overdue disappearance of superstition (or, alternately, the regrettable death of an aspect of "Merrie England"). I suspect they would be surprised to discover that in time their labours would become fodder for new invented traditions.
Also I did not know black fasts were a thing. All this time I have been fasting when I could have been supercharging my curses with it. Ahh well. Anyway, good book.
And if you missed it, here is my AMA from the other weekend.
One final note... Friday is the Feast of Saint Guinefort. Like pretty much every saint of the Dog Days, he is associated with healing and protection from plague. In light of ebola and such, please leave a metaphoric bowl out for him that night.