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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

From melissadesa.wordpress.com

With none of my household being Christian, Christmas is an odd holiday to celebrate.  But as my daughter so aptly observed, “I like getting presents!”  Yes, tis the season!  Commerce has packaged December as the month of buying, whether you be Christian, Jewish, or African-American, or none of these.  Who wants to be left out of the present-getting?  (A lot of people, but…)  I most likely would not celebrate Christmas at all, if it were not for my daughter’s desire to eat sugar, get presents, and do fun creative stuff while cooped up in the house.  As a mystic reveler, it is my challenge to turn Christmas on its head.

Goodbye, Baby Jesus.  Hello, 2-dimensional Christmas.

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“There are a good many fools who call me a friend, and also a good many friends who call me a fool.”
—G. K. Chesterton

Among the scattering of winter holidays, both sacred and secular, there is nothing quite like the medieval Feast of Fools, an event once loathed by both Catholic and Protestant alike for its biting satire, ridiculous excesses and heathen trappings. This popular feast for centuries involved the occupation of a cathedral by peasants, boy bishops and livestock under the direction of a Lord of Misrule or Abbott of Unreason, usually on or about the Feast of the Circumcision (January 6). Celebrants wore costumes, cross-dressed or sported mock-clerical garb. Other features of this unusual celebration included the burning of old shoes instead of incense, gambling on the cathedral steps, and incredible inebriation. Much of the appeal of the farcical feast comes from its social and clerical inversions which ostensibly date back to the Roman Saturnalia, a week-long pageant during which slaves, at least ceremonially, ruled over their masters and everyone took a holiday. This pastime was so popular that even crazy Caligula Caesar was unable to mitigate the festivities.

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You can start your search finding more of pics like this here.

And then “friend” us on facebook here.

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Peacock Angel camp, Flipside 2006, TX*

I was a senior in high school when I first heard of the Pleasure Dome. I had just been kicked out of J.R.O.T.C. for a series of subversive pranks, and an agreement was reached with the Drama Department that I could finish out the year there and receive full credit. My drama teacher was a Rosicrucian who was having a fling with my best friend at the time, who was a sociopath. She gave me Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” to read for a UIL competition. “I think this fits you,” she told me. I went on to give a listless reading but the poem haunted me afterward.

In the early ‘90s, I read an interview with physicist Nick Herbert in Mondo 2000 in which he suggested diverting a portion of U.S. military spending to fund a series of pleasure domes. It seemed like an inspired idea. I returned to Coleridge’s poem, finding fresh inspiration, and began to do some research, learning that the dome had actually been a large yurt, Xanadu’s Summer Palace of Kubla Khan, grandson of Genghis.

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That’s right, kiddies. It’s Harvest Moon time. And, with that brings the beginning of the Resting Tide and the downward swing of the year. Hooray!

From the New Old Hymnal of Holiday Happiness:

FALL EQUINOX: “The Birth of the Moon” (On/around September 21st)
By nightfall we will once again celebrate a birth, the birth of the Moon (ALL: Hooray!) The Sun has finally made peace with its transition and has yielded to the power of its relative. From now until the Spring Equinox the Moon will begin to regain its influence over our days and nights. Similar to the Spring Eq., the Fall Equinox is a time to celebrate equality and re-establish our connection to the seasons.

Enjoy!

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What does it mean to be a patriotic American in this day and age?  If we shop at Wal-Mart, we may be under the impression it means buying red, white, and blue plastic crap—extruded petroleum from China, of course.  Newspapers suggest that being patriotic means supporting the wars du jour, rooting for the home team and providing support for “our boys over there” by forking over streams of taxed money while our infrastructure at home crumbles beneath our feet.  For many of us, the Decline of the American Empire has removed any meaning of these words.

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As we ponder the history and meaning of our New Old Traditions, Memorial Day is upon us. Barbecues and clearance sales! Car races and a day off from school! Apparently these things that most Americans associate with Memorial Day are the reasons that prompted Congress to pass a bill in 2000 that declared 3pm on Memorial Day as an official “National Moment of Remembrance,” suggesting you take a moment from your picnicking with friends and family to be silent or ring a bell to commemorate and pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

Taking time to think about soldiers and war can certainly complicate an otherwise relaxing weekend. Thinking about soldiers means thinking about the army, and that means thinking about war, its politics, the politics of who ends up becoming a soldier, what they fought for, and who they killed before they were killed themselves. Any ceremony or speech made on behalf of fallen soldiers will inevitably touch upon some of these issues. But the issues do not obscure the simple fact of their deaths.

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