Cross dressing, cis and trans gender in acolytes of heathen Gods….a philosophical group of questions


In the literature we have on Uppsala, there is documentation that priests of Frey were cross dressers at the least. And Odin dresses as a woman to learn and perform Seidh. I would say, therefore, that some level of transvestitism was performed and acknowledged in ancient ways, because we have the evidence both in the lore and the literature to support it.

And in a separate, but also I.E. tradition, male devotees of Cybele would dance themselves into a frenzy and castrate themselves, thereafter identifying as females, in order to be priest(esses) of Her order.  I would also point out that She shares several traits in common with Freyja including the lions pulling her chariot.

I still see a lot of the over culture assumption of Christian values in heathens. Including in my own group, at least as regards some issues like this. Now, from a purely utilitarian point of view, I agree with the stance that gays and transgenders are not openly welcomed, though tolerated. This does not support the growth and preservation of the tribe, that much is obvious. And with us still having such small numbers, and being so spread out, I can understand this position. I can even support it from the purely utilitarian point of view.  Though frankly, on a personal level, I don’t really care, as long as it’s not directly hindering me from doing something I need to do for myself or my family, or my tribe, and as long as you aren’t harming others in the process.   And you aren’t holding yourself up as an example to aspire to for the children of the group.

And from a population genetics point of view, homosexuality is predicted and expected as the population grows and pressures are placed on species due to competition for resources. This I see playing out in real life.  Again, I don’t care, I see a scientific hypothesis being independently confirmed in real life.

But I have a serious philosophical question. Or related group of questions, rather.
If our religion is going to grow and develop, if we are going to ever have actual cult temples devoted to particular Gods and Goddesses, is there a place for them as there was in ancient times? Will we ever accept cross dressing or even transgendered male to females being priests for Frey?  Will we accept transvestitism from men in order to learn and perform seidh?

Now, in a recent comment on just this topic, someone said that there is a big difference between the modern PC culture of gay and transvestism, and ancient cross dressing.  I am of the opinion(s) that yes, and no.  There was no surgery to make it final.  Other than castration for men, and mastectomy for women.  But I have to wonder if those priests were in fact castrated and if they identified as women in service of their God.  Of course, we also know there were priestesses and cis gendered priests of the same God.  I don’t think they (castrati or whatever they were) were accepted in regular society, I think they were only accepted in the role of devotee/priest/ess.  But there was a place for them.

Thoughts?

New Year, Big Changes Part II


So, I lost my job.  But I didn’t lose my dream.  You see, I knew this wasn’t going to be a long term place for me unless my friend and colleague the doctor went in with some other people I know to buy the practice.

My first paycheck bounced – I had to wait until the next paycheck a month later to get what I was owed, and I still had to insist on a separate check to cover my credit union’s bounced check fee from his bad check.

Then I discovered the owner cheating us, the contracted providers, out of money two months in a row.  When I confronted him about this he denied me access to the accounting section of the electronic health record program (EHR) we use – which is technically illegal to do to a contract employee working on a percentage.  No big deal, when I told the doctor how he was being cheated he offered me his user ID and password which I did not take him up on, because the biller was happy to print out the information I needed.

The owner refused to sign a contract with me, and paid me 5% less than his original offer.  To be cheated on top of it was an insult that could not go unchallenged.  But he stopped returning calls, texts, and even coming to the office.  October 29th was the last time he returned a text message.

So why would I stay there?  Because it was my own community, it was NOT his.  My dream was to work in my community.  But working in this office was not the original dream.  My dream was to own my own practice, to go to the people without transportation, the home bound people with major health problems.  Working here was a stop gap, a way to try to save money to get to a place where, if we were the owners, me and the doc, I could incorporate it into our business; or, if we didn’t, I would start doing part time.

I had, in fact, already been doing home visits as part of my work week, and gaining business via the percentage he collected for the use of his EHR that he never would have had without me as a result.  When I was let go so suddenly, those people were more than happy to stay with me.

The response in the community has been universal shock and outrage – and concern over what will happen to the doctor who remains.  I’ve had patients calling me both to see how they can continue to keep me as their provider and irate that this happened to all of us.  And more than a few to complain about the new staff’s treatment of them.  One of my patients was given a drug screen – I would as soon suspect my cat of drug use as this person.  Way to go there, way to alienate an entire family of 9 patients.  Nice job.

Well, I had suspected something was up for a while.  And in the first part of December, I decided to take action.  So I began looking at available names for incorporating my own business.  Come to find out, the legal name of the business, the name they received their billing under, was NOT the name they had been using before I was hired  – and it was available.  So I trade marked the name and incorporated my business under the name.

The day I was let go, I heard the new front desk person answering the phone with *my* business name, the one that hadn’t been in use since I was ‘contracted.’  I informed the new owner that he could not use that name.  He, rather pompously said he could do whatever he wanted since he owns the business, and since he rather liked that name he planned to change the name to that.  I responded, “That’s nice.  But you can’t.  Because I own it.”  Stunned silence was his response, and the accountant for the former owner (who was there helping them) asked me how I did that.  I said, “It was easy.  I researched the name, it was available, so I bought it and incorporated under it.”  Again, stunned silence.

Score one point for me.  One small satisfaction in a morass of disappointment and disgust.

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

RIP Michael Ruppert. You deserve it.


I didn’t know him personally, but I was a follower of his original website From the Wilderness since its inception in the late 90’s.  He was a brilliant, flawed, tortured man with a message that is too hard to hear (i.e., understand and act on) for most.

May he rest in peace.  He deserves it, for he found none in this life.

Words can’t describe how sad I am right now.  He will be missed, both by his friends and family, and by those like me who heard the message.

Fever-reducing medications may aid spread of influenza


This is no surprise whatever, and entirely predictable. If a single mom risks unemployment by staying home when she or her children are sick, she is going to do whatever it takes to get to work. It’s not that she doesn’t know she might be putting other people at risk per se, it’s that she can’t afford to think about others who might be hurt. It’s only when the basic needs are taken care of in Maslow’s hierarchy — food, shelter, safety — that things like caring for others can take precedence.

THE OUTBREAK

Hamilton, ON (Jan. 21, 2014) — Contrary to popular belief, fever-reducing medication may inadvertently cause more harm than good.

New research from McMaster University has discovered that the widespread use of medications that contain fever-reducing drugs may lead to tens of thousands more influenza cases, and more than a thousand deaths attributable to influenza, each year across North America. These drugs include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and acetylsalicylic acid.

“When they have flu, people often take medication that reduces their fever. No-one likes to feel miserable, but it turns out that our comfort might be at the cost of infecting others,” said lead author David Earn, an investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) and professor of mathematics at McMaster University.

“Because fever can actually help lower the amount of virus in a sick person’s body and reduce the chance of transmitting disease to others, taking drugs…

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How to stop Jeff Bezos from filling our skies with drones


Ilargi over at the The Automatic Earth has the  best idea ever.

Drones equipped with jammers….brilliant.

OK, so I’ve been thinking about this as well — and I think the way to keep these things out of the hands of our local police agencies is to make a very LARGE hue and cry over the ultimate loss of personnel this will cause.  After all, if there are drones patrolling the skies, what need is there for actual police on the ground?  A smaller force can be detailed to respond directly to an area where a crime was committed after the fact; there’s no need for actual in-person patrols when the drones can be deployed in place of people to detect crime.  Do we really want drones instead of personnel?

The same can be said of drones being used by other county/city agencies:  why should they, ultimately, employ people to go and check for code violations, say, when they can simply fly a drone over properties and very poorly pay someone to look at the pictures to find them?  Then they too can send out a small force targeted at violators.  Wouldn’t you rather have people being paid than drones?

The upshot is that if our tax dollars are going toward anything, it should be toward PEOPLE, not drones.  The use of drones will always and ultimately lead to job loss, or the replacement of better paid and trained people with lower paid and poorly trained drone masters.  Which will always and ultimately lead to more unemployment/underemployment and a poorer economic outlook for one’s own community.

The cognitive dissonance hurts.


My husband and I went to a preparedness/survivalist meeting last Saturday at a neighbor’s house.  It was held at a Mormon’s house, with several Mormons and other die hard republicans in attendance.  One person stood up to talk about forming a tribe, and how we needed to form a tribe of like minded individuals.  Another stood up and challenged everyone in the group to go without electricity after 4 pm every night for a week.  My husband, on being invited to this meeting, volunteered me to give my talk on When Zombies Attack!  that I developed as a preparedness lecture for fellow HAM radio club members (sadly, the tongue in cheek zombie references went unappreciated).   The talk dealt with the practical items one should have on hand so that when an emergency happens one is prepared, such as minimum water storage per person per day, foods that store well and can be eaten without a heat source, medicines, records, and so forth.  My husband seemed to think the talk went over well.  I was not so sure, for several reasons I’ll outline here.

The first thing is that these people are trying to be hard core survivalists, it seemed to me.  They are expecting just that thing, the “zombie apocalypse” and that a sudden and irreversible catastrophic event a la “The Road”   or something equally catastrophic though perhaps not so cannibalish.  I stated at the start of my talk that this was originally aimed at preparedness for a local disaster such as occurred not too many years ago; a local creek flooded due to the massive amount of rain we received from a storm and as a result many many people were stranded for up to 10 days without electricity, water, food, and no way to cross the creek to access said items.  I referenced what had recently happened as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and what had not so recently happened as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and pointed out that the great majority of people, even with the lessons of Katrina plain, refused to do the bare minimum FEMA recommends regarding food and water storage.  I then very clearly and emphatically said that, while preparedness for a disaster is wise, prudent, and appropriate, I do not think that there is going to be any sort of catastrophic event that will forever change the landscape in America and cause a sudden, profound die-off as so many survivalists do.  I referenced the last days of the Roman Empire, and pointed out that the center stood firm for a very long time after the periphery started contracting, and pointed out how that’s happening even now in our own nation, our own time.  I gave very specific examples from my own experiences as a home health nurse in our own community that show very clearly that the periphery, economically speaking is already most definitely contracting.  There were a few nods of agreement but I couldn’t help but notice that there were also those jaws set tightly and the shakes of the head disagreeing most vehemently with me as well.

So that right there was one point of cognitive dissonance, it seemed to me.  For the most part, the down and dirty items one should keep in a ‘bug out bag’ were practical and I was asked for a list/printout of the presentation so that people could use it for stocking their own bags.  The dissonance arises because it seemed so odd to me that these were people who, for all intents and purposes, are committed to prepping and have been so for quite some time, but don’t have the faintest idea of what to store or have on hand in the event they actually might need it.  Of course, the Mormons in the group have their lists of items they are religiously required to keep on hand and I do believe a years’ supply of stored food per person in their household is one of them, but what to have other than food or herbal remedies didn’t seem to have crossed anyone’s mind.  As Mormons, I suppose the apocalyptic viewpoint is part and parcel of the religious outlook, but I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to only prepare for the short term…

The second part of the cognitive dissonance was that most, if not all, the people present were either self professed “Tea Partiers” or had sympathies with them.  One of the people present is also going to school, though he is pursuing his bachelors degree.  He began a rant about how our country is turning socialist and communist.  I interrupted and said that he said that like socialism is a bad thing, and told him I really don’t think he has the faintest understanding of what socialism actually is, nor communism either.  I went on to tell him that we ALREADY live in a socialist society, and that we enjoy the benefits of said socialism:  postal service, public schools, fire and police service, public roads, libraries, retirement.  He then said something about Marxism (I don’t really remember what) and I responded that he didn’t understand Marxism because if he had ever actually READ Marx’ writings he would know that Karl Marx never advocated for socialism or communism either.  I told him that Marx was an economic theorist, plain and simple, and he was pointing out the problems with capitalism and positing a theoretical alternative.  Yes, Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, but he and Engels were positing a definition of socialism and of communism very, very different than what became the United Soviet Socialist Republic; he was fighting against the the standard of the time, the absolute monarchy with a parliament that represented only the wealthy and landed, and advocating for the common man to have a say in his own destiny, government, and a piece of the wealth pie he was working so hard to create.

His point was that same one Romney was making in his speech to the wealthy where he was surreptitiously filmed saying that 47% of Americans are takers.  Whereupon I put him on the spot by asking him how he was funding his education…and yes, he’s getting federal aid for his schooling.  So I told him that he’s a taker too, then, just like those he wants to hate.  I didn’t say it cruelly, or with malice, I just wanted him to see the hypocrisy inherent in his viewpoint.  And I could tell he got it, and had never even thought about it before.  We were unable to continue our conversation because we were both reminded that there were to be no political discussions at this meeting.

Another painful dissonance was the stated intention of these people to hold our community with a perimeter via the use of firearms from any of those from ‘outside’ (both the have-nots within our community and those who might come to try to take what little we have) as though we have in any fashion a self sustaining community here.  A couple dozen chickens and a ranch miles and miles away does not make any sort of community that can supply all its own needs for food, let alone anything else one might think goes with a modern lifestyle.  Which brings me to the final point…

Perhaps the most glaring cognitive dissonance it seemed to me was that these people actually think that they will maintain their standard of living in the face of this coming apocalypse.  The hosts, while having much experience in canning and food storage, do not have a swamp cooler.  They have a large, energy sucking air conditioner/heater, as most houses in the Sun Belt do, and no solar or wind power, and a very inefficiently insulated home.  They have no visible water harvesting system.  They do have chickens, but I didn’t see much of a garden area; nothing like Mr. Tin Foil and I have developed over the years.  I really don’t know how they expect to maintain their living standard if there is an apocalypse, especially if the electricity goes off for good.

I guess it just goes to show that I can’t relate to Tea Partiers any more than I can relate to fanatical Obama supporters.  The lack of critical thinking skills from both sides, and the blinders to whatever doesn’t fit their particular world view, is simply amazing.  And they are so tuned into their points of difference I’m certain they are blind to the fact that in many ways they want the same things from our government, our society, and life.  How very sad.  And I stand at the periphery of both, wondering how the divide will ever be crossed, because it surely has to if we’re to remain anything resembling a polite society.

New job


I simply wasn’t getting enough pay at my present job, even though I really like it.  Working five days a week, all hours, and going to school on a sixth was just becoming exhausting.  Thanks to my adventures with stress related illness last year, I am still vulnerable to insomnia if I don’t keep a regular sleep/wake schedule, and working until 10pm one day only to have to get up at 5 the next to be at a client’s house by 7 was getting very difficult.  That, combined with the fact that my hours (not just mine, but most of my fellow nurses) were severely reduced in July, made for the perfect storm of stress and anxiety and the resultant sleepless nights.

I put in resumes at several places without much hope of a job offer; in this economic climate no one wants to train a nurse for anything, they want to hire someone with lots of experience that only needs to be oriented to their particular way of doing things.  And, while I have a lot of experience, it’s a quirk of the nursing world that nothing you do while at a different job title is allowed to be transferred, experience wise, to the nursing job.  So any and all experience I have had as a paramedic working and living in a rural area doesn’t count because I didn’t do it as a nurse.  This is because nurses ‘are unique’…just ask one (not me, because I don’t buy it) 🙂

Lo and behold, I got an interview.  And a job offer.  And a formal job offer that I happily signed and returned.

I hope it works out!  I have two weeks of orientation with my boss/trainer, then I start mid September.  I’m relieved, hopeful, and excited to finally be doing pretty much what I had wanted when I started nursing.  It’s mostly M-F with some call, and some weekend stuff, but at least I will be on a normal schedule and hopefully be able to have family time on the weekends.

I will have to develop some better discipline about studying though!  Every night for an hour is my plan; we’ll see how that works out in practice though.  And I will hopefully have time to devote to my fiber arts business as well.  I really need to warp my loom for the towels I designed, but with only one day off I have too much to catch up on to ‘waste’ time on weaving.

In other news, our chickens aren’t defective; we are finally getting eggs!  It’s been so hot that their laying has been delayed by a month or so but at least two of them are laying now.  Little banty-sized eggs but hey, they’re new to this and I’m grateful for them.  I can’t get over how calm the Buffs are; they really help to mellow out the Rhode Island Reds.

We had quite the adventure a few weeks ago; three of the four birds flew over the back fence and were in the alley.  Mr. TF and I spent probably an hour chasing chickens to pick them up and get them back into our yard.  I got smart and clipped wings as we caught them, except for one.  She managed to fly up on our barbeque as proud as you please to be at eye level with me.  She let me pick her up with very little fuss, and promptly got her wing clipped as well.  Which she chewed me out for as soon as she was back with her sisters.  Ah well.  Such is the life of a chicken.

No canning, no preserving other than lavender flowers and indigo leaves.  I’m glad I got a good harvest of yarrow last year because the grasshoppers have absolutely devastated my stand this year!  Even nolobait doesn’t seem to stop them from reproducing and eating.

I did plant some purple irises; they are supposed to make a lovely color fast dye on wool.  I hope so!  I got them from a fellow guild member; she has the most fantastic garden I have ever seen!  She also gave me some Egyptian walking onions which I am extremely grateful for – I have been looking without success for those for something like four years.  She was gifted the original plants some years ago by someone else.  I hope they do well for me so I have the opportunity to pass the gift on.

OK, enough babbling.  Back to studying.  It’s a school day, after all.

 

Damned javelina!


They’ve apparently figured out a way to get into the back yard – when I got up this morning to water they have eaten every squash and plant there was.  They devastated my lima bean patch.  They trampled my swiss chard – apparently they don’t like it much.

I’m telling you, electric fence and a silencer for my .22 is in the works…

Uh Oh. I did it now.


I received two job offers today, both of which were from jobs I applied for before I went out on stress related illness. So, after seeing the assigned physician yesterday and my personal doc today, I have officially submitted my two weeks’ notice to my present employer.

Scary, scary, scary. I’m giving up job security (Ha!) and benefits in exchange for sanity and flexibility. No guarantees of work from either job though; they’re both pool/on call which scares the bejezuz out of me. I know, realistically, I’ll work probably as much as I can handle, especially during the cold months, but still. Scareeee.

Now I have to go get my personal stuff from my locker, before they cut off the lock and take it. I’m not sure how that works when you go out on disability and then give notice that you’re quitting on the day you’re due back. Probably not in the best taste, but it can’t be helped that my appointments fell the way they did. I’m just glad I got my appointments, because doctors and the phrase ‘booked for a long way out’ go hand in hand.

I learned a lot in my term of employment there, about the health care system, people, and myself. Mostly myself, I think. Which may be the most important information I will ever garner, and is something a lot of people die without ever gaining. Often, in fact, they die because they don’t learn it.  I feel lucky in a way, to have had this massive breakdown, because it forced me to look at my lifestyle, my spirituality, my marriage, my goals, my career, and so many facets of each in a way that simply would not have been possible had I not run right up to the edge of that cliff and nearly fallen off.  Perhaps, in a way, I did fall off that cliff.  The Gods, however, had other plans for me and I fell onto a ledge about ten feet down.   “What’s wrong with you is no little thing” as my DH says…but what’s right with me is no little thing either, and the knowledge of that is what I really needed.

I am just another casualty of our broken health care system.  Thankfully there was a safety net for me; so very many people are not so lucky.  I can’t imagine how awful our life would be right now without that safety net.  I think perhaps I will do more letter writing, more lobbying (though I hate lobbyists!) for causes that we as a nation cannot afford to ignore, even in an era of austerity.

On my palm my lifeline is broken into three segments – one stops abruptly, the next starts right below it but not connected to it, and the third breaks off as a new line from the second.  I don’t follow palmistry, but my aunt was always amazed by that and predicted I would have great upheavals in my life.  If the last year is any proof, she was definitely right!

 

My favorite kitchen tool


IMAG0038

Originally uploaded by susancoyotesfan

This is one of my favorite kitchen items. It is my Presto pressure cooker, circa sometime mid twentieth century. It belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and we inherited it when Oscar, my husband’s grandfather died at the ripe age of 97. Yes, it’s dirty on the top because it’s cooking our dinner.

This is a life saver for days like today, when we both were busy studying and taking tests for our on line classes. Neither of us came up for air or remembered about dinner until 6 pm; so, there’s a ham hock with veggies and rice in there cooking. In less than an hour we’ll have dinner (plus prep time, about 45 min).

Wow, you say. Nearly two hours to make dinner??? Well, it beats the hell out of a frozen meal, made with God only knows what for ingredient sources, and preservatives to boot. Everything came from our freezer or our storage. And it surely beats the hell out of spending money on a take out meal.

Believe it or not, a pressure cooker can use less power than a crockpot or regular cooking. That’s because the pressure makes the food cook faster. I could make it even more efficient by cooking on my rocket stove, or by bringing it to pressure and then putting it into my haybox cooker to finish coming back down to atmospheric pressure. In the summer this may well be cooking on my firepit outside, or on my campstove.

My haybox cooker is a wine case with styrofoam glued to the outside, and nested in a cardboard box.  I use an old felted wool blanket folded in it as the ‘hay’ because it’s neater and holds heat really well.

All in all, this has been a lifesaver for two college students trying to maintain honors gpa’s while still working. If only I could find a lifesaver that would help us out that much with laundry and housekeeping.