Mirth and Reverence

The Green Phallus
I (Melanie) love penises. 
I have worn a penis necklace often for decades:
I have worked to keep penises intact. 
I love Anaïs Nins story of a woman who loved penises so much that she pretends to faint during a Scottish parade so as to get a better view. 
And yet, I am uncomfortable with the adventures of “green phallus”.
When I first saw the green phallus at a festival, I loved it. It embodied so many things I love: fiber arts, amigurami, penises.
But as time traveled on, I began to feel uncomfortable with green phallus. Or rather, the way it was being treated. Paraded around like a joke. People openly performing sexual acts upon it. Now, you all know that I am bawdy. But in public space, with children present, at 10 in the morning? Even my strong stomach turned. What if this were a vulva? Vulvas are fun. They are sexy. They are sacred. 
But can you imagine a toy vulva being licked, worn, fucked, etc, at a morning meeting?  It might be upsetting!
Chris also feels very conflicted about the adventures of the Green Phallus.  On one hoof, he loves the humor, and holds humor as a sacred thing. He enjoys the light-hearted play around the Green Phallus adventures.  We don’t want to offend anyone, many of whom we love and respect, who have been having such a good time with it.  
 So, we are offering the following in the spirit of balance, and not criticism; to be viewed in addition to the fun, not instead of the fun. 

Our ancestors have employed the symbol of the phallus in their worship for millennia:
Ithyphallic deities are present in many pagan cultures:
Frey, King of Pleasure, Plenty, and Peace:
The God Pole, axis mundi of the God Pole Rite, and site of a beautiful hand fasting at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2011:

So we are torn. Are we being (gulp) puritanical? Do we need to loosen up? Or perhaps green phallus needs to be treated a little more respectfully? What do you think?

What I’m Reading This Week

So many books, so little time!

Today I am cleaning in preparation for tomorrow’s Waldorf Homeschool Day. As I came to the coffee table, I looked lovingly at my knitting (tomorrow…) and stack of books. And since they’ll all be put away tomorrow when you get here  🙂 I thought I’d share. Maybe some of you could read along with me!

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

  I really LOVED the sequel to this book, The Year of the Flood, which I accidentally read first. Apparently I wasn’t alone in this love seeing as the book has a website and musical. It reminded me a bit of The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. I am having a rougher time on Oryx and Crake. I think it’s because the main character is a man and the beginning is very bleak. But I’m holding out.

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Shafira Oppenheimer


Christian-y name, but actually a nice book about applying Waldorf principles to your home. This book is lovely. I don’t agree with all of her ideas, especially her stance on gun play. It also makes me think I should write a book , I have so many opinions on everything! Here is the description from Amazon.com:

As we witness the shifting of old forms that once stood as the foundation of our daily lives, parents—who must prepare the next generation to meet this changing world—have more questions now than ever before. Although our culture and the nature of the family may be changing, the atmosphere in the home continues to create the foundation of a child’s life. In Heaven on Earth, parent and educator Sharifa Oppenheimer reveals how to make the home environment warm, lively, loving, and consistent with your highest ideals. 

Heaven on Earth balances theoretical understanding of child development with practical ideas, resources, and tips that can transform family life. Readers will learn how to establish the life rhythms that lay the foundation for all learning; how to design indoor play environments that allow children the broadest skills development; and how to create backyard play spaces that encourage vigorous movement and a wide sensory palette. Through art, storytelling, and the festival celebrations, this book is a guide to build a “family culture” based on the guiding principle of love. Such a culture supports children and allows the free development of each unique soul. 


Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin 


Why ever put this away? It is breathtaking of course, because it’s by Anaïs Nin, my favorite author ever. (Okay, okay, Tolstoy is pretty awesome too. But WAY different.) I was gifted this book on Sunday by new friend and bellydance student Angela Chenus. She looks EXACTLY like Anaïs. 

Some of the stories are really “out there”, and a few even I take issue with. But some of them are, well, delicious

Here is a description from Wikipedia:

“Faced with a desperate need for money, Nin, Miller and some of their friends began in the 1940s to write erotic and pornographic narratives for an anonymous “collector” for a dollar a page, somewhat as a joke.  Nin considered the characters in her erotica to be extreme caricatures and never intended the work to be published, but changed her mind in the early 1970s and allowed them to be published as Delta of Venus and Little Birds”


 The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

I haven’t even started it yet. But I can’t wait. I love Stephen Hawking so much. I really want a full back piece tattoo of him, but Chris says he won’t like it.


From Magical Child to Magical Teen by Joseph Chilton Pearce


This is a re-read for me, sometimes I just need a reason to keep the teens out of the kennel. My favorite book by Pearce is Evolution’s End.

Success With Houseplants by Reader’s Digest

I have owned this book since my childhood. I am reviewing the section on cyclamen. I cannot keep these beauties alive, yet insist on buying them every year. I am open to suggestions.

Living Cafts, Spring 2011

The beautiful bellydancer Rhea introduced me to this magazine when my baby Méabh was sick in the hospital. I have subscribed ever since. This Spring issue has articles on silk dying (April’s Waldorf day activity) and a daughter’s wedding!

Midwifery Today, Spring 2011, Number 97

I have subscribed to this magazine for 15 years. Just got the new issue today. Can’t wait. Especially the article by the very sexy Gail Tully!

Oh, and I can’t forget, Chris has a book on the table too!:

A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism by John Michael Greer

I’ll have Chris write a review. I know it’s led to lots of discussion here, and that Chris is looking forward to meeting the author at Paganicon next weekend.

Here is the description off amazon.com:

In this book John Michael Greer turns his attention to the intellectual underpinnings and superstructures of the Pagan and magical movements. Pagan religions have tended to be more concerned with practice that with theory and in a system that has no dogma – no legislated doctrine – that is as it should be. Yet as out movement grows and matures, it is inevitable that we will begin to think in a more abstract way about our models and systems. John Michael Greer has provided a primer on the kinds of ideas and themes that must be included in any discussion of the theology and philosophy of Neo-pagan religions.

There you have it, with links even! Read along with me!

What are you reading?



 So sorry for the long delay in posts!  At this time of year, we dance the May Pole, while singing this song:

Hal an Tow

What shall he have that kills the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.
Your father’s father wore it,
and your father wore it too.

Hal an tow, jolly rumble-O,
we were up long before the day-O
to welcome in the summer, to welcome in the May-O,
for summer is a-coming in, and winter’s gone away-O!

Do not scorn to wear the horn:
it was the crest ere you were born.
Your father’s father wore it,
and your father wore it too.

What shall she have that tills the field?
The greenest gown the grass shall yield.
Your mother’s mother wore it,
and your mother wore it too.

Do not frown to gain the gown,
for thus it was that you came round.
Your mother’s mother wore it,
and your mother wore it too.

Robin Hood and Little John,
they’ve both gone to the fair-O,
and we’re away to the good greenwood
to hunt the buck and hare-O.

Whither went maid Marion,
a-clothed all in green-O?
She’s away to the good greenwood,
where merry men are keen-O.

[What happened to the Spaniards
that made so great a boast-O?
They shall eat the feathered goose,
and we shall eat the roast-O!]

We bless the people here today
with power and with might-O,
and peace be to Paganistan
by day and by night-O.

Those are the verses that we know;
the rest are on the shelf-O.
So if you want more Hal An Tow,
you’ll have to sing it yourself-O.

We also jump the fire:

We also went to Paganistan (Minneapolis) to attend the Heart of the Beast MayDay Parade, and a beautiful Rite of the Stang, created by master ritualist Steve Posch.  The Red and Horned God was embodied by none other than our own Rowan:

Oak Moon

  We gathered early Wednesday for full moon festivities.  First we had homeschool Waldorf craft day. Felting balls with the children was delightful. The house got steamy from all the boiling water and the children got clean.

  Juniper helped the children make nature offerings to use during the ritual. She spoke of how even the smallest of gifts can be meaningful. She had us bring to mind hardships that had occurred during the year and think about ways they made us stronger.

  For the evening ritual, the children called the Quarters and lit candles. Because it is the Oak Moon, we processed to our little pin oak tree and hung our offerings upon it. On this dark December night, the moon is visible the longest time of the year. Simple words were spoken:

 “Lady of the Night, be our guide;
Lady of the Moon, stand by our side.”
Blessed Be!