On paganism and being transgender

(Most of my essays on dreaming and paganism were archived with my older blog. This is the first essay I have posted on this blog, probably not the last.)

Being both pagan and a transgender woman can be a very harsh road. As I was working out my gender identity, I learned some of the hardest people that existed in my own community.

Their were sand still are Pagans who were followers of a belief that only women who had experience of a period could be true women. Forgetting how ableist it is, it was often clearly directed at exclusively. Often in the name of historical accuracy.

I’m certain that such history, is ultimately flawed. Of course though it is up to historians to argue that out. Many cultures though had more than one gender and our binary two have not always been a strict line that must be followed.

Almost all reconstructions of pagan beliefs hold that their is nothing to be done about the parts of history that have humans harming each other. Pagans were systematically persecuted for centuries. Conversel, when the pagans were in control of the government systems that did exist, the same was done to the Christians. It’s unfortunate but true. The other thing was that the pagans who did get more modern practices, those that survived to the point of the Christian church’s reach over the Roman Empire, believed that sex and gender were more fluid than those coming from the teachings of Abraham and his followers.

Virginity itself was a different thing before the Christians changed it.

I’m not looking to open old wounds here. I’m looking to compare. LGBTI people often find sanctuary within the neopagan community. The idea of sex being scared, life itself is scared, and these are qualities that many LGBTI people find attractive against the raw, often strict monotheism s. Though their is a issue. The issue of being excluded. Transgender and intersex people still often are. I have found a pagan ritual or pagan woman’s group that has said I have to have been “born” and or “blood” or have experienced it.

So I exclude myself. Work only with women who see me as a woman. Who actually know “biology” is far more complicated. That “Mother Nature” is a fallible woman. That many animals exist in single gender environment, swapping their physical gender due to temperatures, age, status etc. The gods to some pagans are infallible just like they are to the Christians. Such a thing seems insanely boring to me. The gods are changing, movable, maluble, and almost every mythology tells of a god or goddess changing their mind or being forced to due to their situation or needs. Strict rules are often bent, broken or in some case just plain ignored.

I’m hopeful myself that these things are something more of the pagan community sees as sarcred. The ability for the changeable divine. The transgender devine even. The gods are always going to have to change as we do. One day, maybe we will find how to change as easily as they.

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Blimp’s Folly

Standing in dawn darkness

Outline of a city below harkens

My frigid breath is icy waves

Cascade froth over the cappuccino gaze

Yellow dust flowers spring to life

Wattle, I breathe in its sand castle essence

Danger clouds face me; moon is a crescent

Up beyond a yellow blimp falls

Diners at the street cafe call

It crashes, down like a wet mop

It’s gallon shape flop, flop, flop

Animals as Elements: 25-26 Manganese Rhinoceros and Iron Mouse

Manganese is a strong element that helps with muscle growth. It is a trace element in many vegetables and plants often consumed by herbivores in their food, and Carnivora from the herbivores they eat. Rhinoceros is a animal renouned for its strength and it’s rather brustish way of keeping itself safe using its brute strength and it’s hard horn. Much like the behavior of manganese if it’s misused.

Iron is one of the most important and used elements in the world. Used in most large construction projects, transport projects and in many household items. It wide use and strength led me to draw it as mouse. Mice are a very widely spread animal, on every continent (except Antarctica). They have the ability too breed very quickly and eat everything in sight in the right conditions. Their strength in numbers makes up for their small size and are very worthy of being the representative of iron. 

Animalistic art with surreal elements by Jacub Gagnon. [Sorry but the “previous post” I had to remove, was a WP error.) Incredible?]

FLOW ART STATION

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Animalistic art with surreal elements by Jacub Gagnon


Thinkspace Gallery

Jacub Gagnon’s surreal imagery is conceived in a world where the limitless possibilities of interconnectedness and its unseen bonds are the one true reality. Through the marriage of unlikely events and entities, Gagnon succeeds in opening the lid on intriguing philosophical questions concerning what lies beyond the leagues of perception and understanding our species can achieve, given the five senses with which we’ve been granted to navigate the universe. Often taking inspiration from language and interesting turns of phrase, Jacob builds narratives which may initially seem absurd, however, closer analysis uncovers a wealth of multi-layered associations, made all the more potent by their relationships with discourse and communication. Through our engagement with Gagnon’s wonderful array of surreal correlations between natural and man-made, the new connections we make may take us to destinations filled with illumination and enlightenment.

Source:wowxwow

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Blue Fairy Wren

The rush, the push and fuss

Brindabellas ancient and old

Long stories they tell and have told

Crush, crush the leaves of late summer fuss

Dry mould, blue fairy Wren, oh gush!

Comfort speaks of me and my red cloak

Under those hills she sometimes yerns

When she’s angry, they burn

I can find her then, just like the Wren.

Will she be ready to join me? Travelling this mortal place?

Not till the oceans boil, and the dark wolf throws his muzzle and gapes

It’s taken all I’ve lost and all I’ve earned to find peace in those words

In the meantime, perhaps I will spend some time

As a blue fairy wren

Animals as Elements: 23-24 Vanadium Mayfly, Chromium Mantis Shrimp

Vanadium and chromium are a set of a pair in a way. They both produce colourful salts. But vanadium tends to be a bit more uniform, and thus I chose to use the mayfly as it’s animal. They come in all sorts of colours and sizes and often live short lives. Chromium has even more different salts and is commonly used in paint, stains, tanning, plating and many other uses. The mantis shrimp is one of the most curious creatures in the ocean. It has eyes that pick up colours well beyond the red, green, yellow and blue we can perceive. They can also produce  an almost bullet-like snap with their claws that they use to stun their prey. 

Calamity street

Dodgers on a street mistreat all they greet Moldy shirtsleeves looking in the dirty earthly thirsty drags

smelt like the strike of blight, no they are not alright

Podgers conjured by the constabulary 

thicken the air with their reactionaries 

pressed clean curt is their mirth 

gelt like the pike of mights, no they are not right

 

Animals as Elements: 21-22 Scandium Polar Bear, Titanium Wombat

Scandium is a rare earth element mostly used in alloys of aluminum. It’s depiction as polar bear is pretty much a pun with a little bit of the fact that polar bears are getting rarer. 

Wombats are the Titanium of the marsupials. They are tough heavy and very strong. Wombats are somewhat rodent like eating roots, grasses and have similar teeth to rodants. In Australia they are can be involved in road accidents, often causeing significant damage to vehicles involved. They are a covergant evolutionary species. Titanium is very like them in being a adaptable, strong and hard metal. 

Spring colony

In the new leaves I lookseeing growth makes you think your off the hook

theives takes all they can

no matter how fast you ran

you can’t even remember your grans

memory gone from their nous with haste

kicking the can along the road 

crow watches swooping low

crook took it all and your stuck to the roads

they built them like the romans 

absent potion to take us from this location 

Animals as Elements: 19-20 Potassium Termite, Calcium Dougong 


Potassium is another one of those reactive elements. It’s often used to create some pretty spectacular explosions. Termites are usually harmful to trees and also to wooden houses. So much, so that homes in termite-prone areas are made of aluminum or steel to stop them from destroying them.

Dugongs are one of my favorite animals. They are closely related to dolphins. They are herbivores and mostly eat seagrasses in tropical and semi-tropical waters. They are often quite slow but can make quick escaped from predators if need be. They are an indicator species, and their mas death usually indicates problems with the environment.

Calcium is a unique little element, often associated with bones as it makes up a considerable amount of bones and shells. It is also an indicator of problems with the environment of their is to much or too little for the soil type. It’s also something to watch out for in a nuclear fallout as radioactive calcium is often present in the weeks after a human-made atomic explosion. Its presence in the environment will mean it attaches to our bones and potentially causes cancer.

Kurrajong grove 

read or seen in the depth of mind blue and black and full of rind 

pieces falling over themselves to prove their mine

jumping thumping in that dark clouds or just sitting in simple mounds

some left bereft of wisdom and grace

others given life by the fleshy roots 

a tree, kurrajong above sitting in a grove

deep a creek runs smoothly over granite stones 

drying yellow grass fields around 

black seed pods scattered around the ground 

a faint hearted smile from a girl sitting in this tree

singing softly words and thoughts about who she really is

a little altar is nearby, resplendent in dawning lights 

Animals as Elements: 17-18 Chlorine Alge and Argon Finch 

Chlorine is often used to kill bacteria in our pools, homes, hospitals, etc. It has nothing to do with Chlorophyl which is a set of organic chemicals that help plants and bacterias photosynthesis process. Other than of course the horrible pun.

Finches are of course Birds and have a vast variety of subspecies. It was Finches of the Galapagos that helped Darwin formulate the Origins of Species. Argon is the second Nobel gas we have got to with this series. As with most of the novel gasses, it’s inert and doesn’t react with anything unless under certain conditions. We have a not insignificant amount of it in the air we breathe every day. It was by the discovery of Lord Rayleigh that we found out that Argon existed. Lord Rayleigh studied birds, finches, seabirds, etc. in his studies of how the atmosphere moves. Thus we have the connection to the humble Finch.

Far inside and around here 

decorum forum this autumn festival praxis for that rat flesh underminer 

bourgeois terrine poisoned with benzene 

on muddy moss rest us all 

soul diviner I arrived here

fear this social fetish or is that all we have left to cherish 

Madam Bovary 

every treasury is a menacing menagerie 

factory thunder blinders 

hanger allotment, down the street

information forgot that, oh how it reeks 

Commissions open!

Hello,

I have a big announcement! For the first time as a artist I am opening commissions. Both for watercolor, abstract artwork and digital (cheapest). Prices and such are here: 
https://enigmagarden.wordpress.com/art/

I’m not yet ready to sell any of the Animals as Elements series. Clearly I want to complete the whole series and photograph and scan the whole  series before I do that. 

Please note I have a maximum of 5 commissions slots open. 

At the moment I’m not going to ask for a down payment for anything smaller than A4. For A4 and above, their is a 5% down payment for physical artwork. If you are no happy with the artwork I will not charge you any more than that. This is to make sure I can pay to replace my materials etc.

Those wanting a commission need to contact me at: annewrowlands(at)gmail.com (replace at with @).

In creativity,

Anne

Animals as Elements: 15-16 Phosphorus Firefly & Sulfer Crested Cockatoo

IMG_3802 (1)
Phosphorus is an element that is very reactive. When it was first discovered, with the purification of urine, the green, yellow glow given in a low light gave it the name it now holds. Phosphorescence now also hold this name too, even though the light produced by phosphorus belongs to the broader chemiluminescence. Though truly fireflies produce their light using a luciferin chemical which contains no phosphorus at all. Some luciferin chemicals do though. Fireflies were, however, the ones to give fame to Bioluminescence and Phosphorescence and the study of producing light without flame or electricity.

Sulfer Crested Cockatoos are another Australian animal. It is also the first animal in the series to have an elemental name in its common name. The yellow crest though just looks like crystallized Sulfer, though this was how the common name for the cockatoo came about. It pretty much reacts with most elements, and though the cockatoos are not as harsh, they have been the bane of farmers, eating grain sowed in soil or from crops. They make what is regarded as the worst calls in the bird kingdom. Thus the element is a good name for them. Despite this, they are a fairly intelligent and like budgerigars have made it into homes as a pet.

Bus stop bleaker 

Bleakness in the meekness of my weaknessesgrievances in the darkness 

sharpness of my scars 

thrust my distrust 

in society quietly ebbing this uglyness away

trending on the busway 

eucalyptus oil and ledendary threading

thrift shop mending my grifted mops 

copping, chopping the dross away

motor floater fished from ocean emotion 

devotion of this seating area 

brings me memories of Bulgaria

rescue my venue 

address the menu I would lent you 

 knew that true is my crew

through and through

Animals as Elements: 13-14 Aluminium (European) Cockroach, Silicone Dragonfly

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Aluminium is a fairly common but reactive element. The cockroach is one of the most abundant species of beetle. Though in this case, we are talking about the European cockroach as I accidentally realized that cockroach was also a perfect match for Lead. Why? Well, we will get to Lead at another stage in the future (32 posts away). So Aluminium is an unforgiving element… Kindof. It is very malleable, changeable and if you treat it right, it will do the same for you. Treat it wrong, and it rots to the core. Much like what will happen if you leave European cockroaches alone!

Silicone is a rather interesting metalloid being one of the most abundant metals in our crust, its use in computing, glass, and many clays and ceramics is now well known; its separation as a single element, however, is relatively late in 1823.
Dragonflies often have four transparent wings, which often reflect the light iridescently giving them an almost seemingly magical glow. It is because of this glow that Dragonflies hold a significant place in some mythology and culture. Wetland loss, however, means they are now less common. Silicone and dragonflies both have this iridescence in the natural form, and thus they belong together.

Animals as Elements: 11-12, Sodium Townsend Big Eared Bat & Magnesium Viper


Sodium’s elemental is Na. The science memes that have been all around the Internet will tell you that “Na Na Na NA NA” will or should be immediately followed by “Batman!”. This is pretty much the only connection I have. A bad pun will always win with me.

Magnesium is a relatively volatile easily oxidized element that is relatively abundant as alkaline metals go. As vipers make up one of the most abundant species of snake, it seemed to be a good match. Some Vipers spit venom; some inject it with their bite. Quite a few give birth to live young, a rarity in reptiles. Though none exist in Australia despite our reputation for venomous reptiles, most of our venomous snakes are Elapidae but not true vipers. Some even belong to a “viper like” family that is possibly a sign of some convergent evolution (though a biologist might tell me I am wrong here).