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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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).

Animals as Elements: 7&8 Nitrogen Axolotl and Oxygen Raven


Nitrogen and Oxygen are two of essential elements for life. Though Carbons role can’t not be ignored, it is simply a building block upon which these other elements become a part of in straightforward and complex life. Axolotl is very similar to Salamanders which we probably remember from Beryllium. Axelottles choice here as the animal that represents Nitrogen is of particular importance though. Nitrogen in a biological system is essential for a cycle of growth, though occasionally things need rapid change and Nitrogen can do this. Much like Axolotl who can reproduce without undergoing metamorphosis. Nitrogen is also an excellent indicator of the health of a system. Axolotl is also used as an indicator species. Being amphibious they take up toxins, get sick and are easily bred for scientific research into aquatic systems, hearts, neural tube defects and many other embryonic development problems. They much like nitrogen also can comply regenerate without scaring. The Nitrogen cycles are very similar in that the same nitrogen that goes into a system also comes out of it. The last connection is an awful bioscience pun. Which I will save you from unless you wish to guess in the comments.

Ravens are incredibly intelligent birds. I try my best to match the elements that are gases at room temperature with birds, but as you can tell for nitrogen Axolotl made a far better match than any bird I could think of, though the connections get a little less complicated and semi scientific over time. Some only have the connection by their country of discovery or are simply animals that felt right at the time! Raven does like to form groups of two (two ravens are relatively common) though often these are solitary birds who have barely any real connection to the element Oxygen. It just felt right somehow. Maybe you have a theory or a connection I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Animals as Elements: 5&6 Boron Acidobacteria, Carbon Scarab Beetle


Again older art. Done with my old signatures.

I may do the art again at some stage.

Boron is rare and can become Boric Acid in which some Acidobacteria have learned to live. This artwork contains probably one of the few animals that are almost directly related to the element I’ve artistically assigned it as. Most Acidobacteria is either harmless to humans, but considering it often lives in very acidic areas it’s likely you would have other concerns.

Carbon is essential for life. It’s pretty much the element that helps create all life on our planet. It’s maybe possible that Silicon based life might exist, but this has never been adequately proven or disproven. Carbon makes better stronger long chains and creatures create chemicals readily from using its ability to be transformed. Scarab Beetles are one of the most important agricultural animals in the world. Transformating scats, into good soil often quickly and readily; using the scat as a place to lay their young as a good food source. They are one of the chief transformation agents of the insect world and we would be up to our necks is cow shit, and other shit without them!

Virtual Exhibition: Animals as elements. 

As some of you who follow this blog for a long time I intersect my poetry often with my artwork. This has led me to decide to start my first Virtual exhibition of my physical artwork. Although I also dabble in my virtual artwork a lot of that is concentrated on getting art done for my comic. Which also helps me in bringing my narrative skills to bear.

So to help bring the two together in a new way I will be creating a virtual exhibition of my Animals As Elements series of physical art. Each will come with a artists statement of how the art came into being, why that particular animal was chosen and sometimes a poem. This will of course take some time so I plan to realese them about weekly. Thankfully the art is well ahead of the other parts of this process. 

Hope you enjoy.

Yours in creativity,

Anne 

Augustpoetpuza

I am going to be posting a poem every second day in August. I hope. I’m doing this for two reasons, one to practice my poetry skills and try and up the differences between them. The other is to gain more attention to my blog. Yeah I’m a little vain, but I love it when people like my poems. 

All these poems are free! For your eyes to see. If I’m feeling really generous I might even record me reading one or two.

I will be also be making poetry and art for sale section of the site in due course. Possibly before this post goes up. 

Hope all is well,

Anne

Art Portfolio is Live

Hi all!

Sorry its taken a while as I have been sick with a dreded cold fluy thing. I have had to have a bit of a hiatus, but am back now. In site news, I have now put up my art portfolio here:

Art Portfolio

You can even send me a email for a commission, if you like. My rates are resnoble.

Enjoy.

Note only one poem this month, but lots coming in August.

In creativity,
Anne

Updated about, Facebook page and some retroconjuration

Hi faithful readers, new and old.

I now have a Facebook fan page: https://m.facebook.com/annerowlandsartistpoet/

You can find a link to some other new stuff including a pateron on my About page here and on the Hammersmith comic page. 

I’m also now open to full paid art and poem commissions. I’m not yet sure how to sell them, I’m open to suggestions. You can get such things from my patreon page but I’m not linking to that except from my about page for the moment. More news on that when available.

Their had also been some dreaded retroconjuration in the Hammersmith story. Particularly a bit I was unhappy with in chapter 17. Of course the original is still available in the pandora archive of this blog. For which I ask future readers to forgive me for my mistakes. 

Cheers and thanks for reading and continuing to support.

Anne 

P.s. I’m looking to redesign the art area of the site soon.

Robots will demand equal pay for equal work 

It’s common that I quote Douglas Adams semial works with gusto. He had unfortunately been one of the most profectically correct science fiction writers. He predicted the Guide (Google + Wikipedia) and robot elevators that speak to you and ask your floor in a kind and almost ghastly way. I could go on with my list but I will likely not be able to make my point.
One of his less well known predictions is that Robots will actually like us. This isn’t a big issue, really, except that in this “liking” at some point some robot will work out that money exists. What’s more is that they will develop the ability to prove they need money and want to earn it, and even, if it comes to it, pay income tax. 
In Douglas Adams point of view having Robots tell you that they like you and want to take part in your economy is probably ghastly. The really strange issue is that Robots will inevitably get rich, spend, and own property. Robots will eventually likely be able to vote. 
Robot labor is likely to remain expensive though. A Robot is able to provide, process and use information in ways and at speeds humans will unlikely to be able to compete on. Though Robots also need maintaince, power and likely will spend money getting themselves better, faster and more efficient. Demanding pay for the huge collection of skills. I’m not the first to think this of course their is a whole Robots rights movement already well underway.

At some point will they seek to be more? Robots will work for humans, but also do work for other Robots. Their will be Robot litriture, Robot shopping, Robot lifestyle, the Robots equivalent of the “Good life” staring the Robot Felicity Kendal. 
Will they eventually replace humans? It’s not likely. Humans will, in fact probably merge with Robots through cybernetics and similar processes. Long before that happens though, Robots will ask to be paid, and probably form their own Robot union. Many people will ask why? Well Robots will want from us more electricity, more space, more ability to explore and experience the physical realm as we seek a way to continue our brief mortal lives. In the end we will share between each, with the economic forces that drive us all into a odd economic equality. 

Hammermith Hiatus

Anyone following my fiction story will have spotted it hasn’t updated for a while. I’m sorry about that but I’m working on another project and their is a issue in the story I have to Retconjurate. I hate summoning the greatest power of the writer but it’s essential. It’s a earlier chapter (book 1) and I’m not sure how to modify it yet. When you see the next hammersmith update you will know it’s been fixed / rewritten. 

It’s a mistake I’m not proud of, and thus I’m not going to draw attention to it.

Usual poetry updates will continue unabated. 

Anne 

Animals as Elements (art post)

I’m very much a renaissance woman. I’m ok at a huge swag of skills but not overly outstanding at any particular one. This is as much of a double edged sword as it sounds. It often means I’m trying new things, getting into them and then finding my talent for them is very limited. Other times I find my talent just slowly growing and maybe one day I will be considered good.

I’m ok at writing poetry, I have a steady fellowship of readers here on this blog. I’m ok at writing stories too. I’ve written thirty chapters of my story hammersmith now am planning adding a fantasy horror-comedy to the mix (yeah it’s just sort of come awake in my mind whilst I’ve recovered from appendicitis).

My other pursuits are art, signing and feminism. All of which I’m also slowly getting better at.

In the art arena, I actually have a project I’m working on that kind of proves it. It’s called animals as elements. I share the images of it on my Instagram and Tumblr. I thought it was high time I added a blog post about the project.


Each element of the periodic table has a different animal. The animals are in general selected from the country of the person who discovered it or are ones that are associated with it. The main and pretty much only pattern is that all Nobel gasses are birds of some sort.

As I have progressed  in the series over the last two years I have noticed my art improve immeasurably to the point now we’re I am much more confident of drawing. Meaning I have stared on another project which is still to early to share yet (In my view).

I’m also continuing my abstract art which I may post about some day soon. It’s harder to explain and each peice is unquie.

I’m also signing. My and other songs. It’s on YouTube but I’m not quite sure it’s something I’m open to posting widely yet.

The animals as elements series still has 44 animals to go, which two animals on each peice that’s 22 pages left. After that I will do scans and upload the images … somewhere.

The individual pieces are not for sale, but I can do a commission in this style of anyone is interested.

My top ten songs 

My top ten songs
I wrote quite a few non fiction articles in my time online. Some I’m not proud of. Some hide in the deepest reaches of the early Internet. The things am proud of are my few but, I think at least half way decent music reviews. I wrote a few for a blog then known as Tomarto Records Monthly. It’s now known Tomatrax and is edited by Richard. I enjoyed writing a little piece to help celebrate the fact that Richard has had his music reviews, interviews, etc. going for a good solid 10 years. A feat well worth celebrating, sharing, and having been a fairly small part of.

Hope you like it.

Redbubble thing

Hiya readers,

Just thought I would let you guys know that I now have a red bubble account. This is basically to help with expenses. I don’t expect to get a whole lot, but a little will help. I will be putting some Hammersmith and art stuff their. Anyway if you want to look and happen to like something you can now buy it, if you happen to have some spare change.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/annewednesday/

 

 

 

Xmass card project 2015 part 2

Those who read my previous art post are likely curious as to who it turns out. Well for your viewing pleasure here are the finished three artworks whole:  
    
  Sorry about the horrible shadows in the photos, I don’t have a A3 sized artwork holder. It’s not likely to be something that’s an issue a lot so it’s not something I have bothered with.

Each of the artworks is in a slightly different style, each then has a connecting style to the other two within the main artwork. One artwork uses a very abstract technique, one a more patterned and flowing technique. The last is a combination of both. I have aslo included fractals, watercolor, and lead shading into them at various points. Though those later techniques aren’t spread across each. You will also note I’ve added a cross view cityscape as well just for kicks. 

I’m basically trying to get as much into each individual card as possible without the finished  artwork looking too busy:

  
5 Their are 24 cards in all. Some are reserved for family members, the rest I’ll be giving to freinds. I like to at least be able to give a thing that’s meaningful from me to each of them. Each card is numbered and dated and will have a personal message to each.

I’m also giving any possible future collector of my art a really tough time in getting all these artworks back together into the original three. I’m not intending the artworks to belong together though. I created them intending them to be split. I am happy for so one to collect them all if they so wish though. 

Next artwork post will be about my Hammersmith comic chapter creation process. Im currently making lots of notes on the process as I’m coming up to chapter 28 which will be the next comic chapter. 

 

Xmass card project 2015

Over the years I have found that giving people my art is something I throughly enjoy. My xmass cards are one of those things I make to give people to enjoy every year. The past few years I have given out individually designed cards to each person. This year I decided that the cards should all be part of the same art work.

This is the raw sheets of A3 card (my big hand for scale):  

I then drew a plan for the framing for the card, I am going to put a similar frame around each. The framed artwork is part of the card. On each frame is a window panel, then two text panels. Each text panel will have the persons name and of course xmass 2015 on it. As well as other numbering:

  This is a basic plan of the cutting for the art into each frame. The sheets were going to be 3*3 cut but I decided against that when I did the tracing for the cards. Each one will now be a 2*3 cut, two vertically cut, one horizontally cut:

 
I got that down pat, so now an onto the art itself. I will do a post about the frames cutting when I get that done.

Hiatus of hammersmith 

Hi readers,

Just letting you know that their will be a hiatus of the Hammersmith story. I was hoping to puase at a more logical point but it doesn’t seem like I will be able to write the reaming 3 chapters of this “book” before I reach my (2 self imposed, 1actual) declines for these projects. 

In good news this means the site admin project, were by I will make my poetry and my Hammersmith posts easier to find. I will also take some time to get more of my art on the site, in a another section entirely. I will try to avoid bulk posting the art, hopefully I can get WordPress to put it on a schedule for the next few months. 

The other good news is that this site will also have another project of mine coming online soon. Again this will be fiction as opposed to poetry. It will involve more fantasy than science fiction elements, but in reality probably fits into the “steampunk” genre. 

The final bit of news is that as always regular poem output will continue and be accessible through the poetry tags. 

Share and enjoy!

Anne

Hammersmith readers (2)

Hiatus due to getting chapter 14 done. It’s the next comic chapter so it’s taking a while. I’m learning a lot about the process of doing a page of comic every 7 chapters, so it’s good to do. I am also going to get the character dictionary into a more sensible format so readers can enjoy it as well as the directory. As you might have guessed the story is occurring everywhere at once and a lot of characters are on the LGBTIQ spectrum.  This is simply because I think us on that spectrum need more narrative and science fiction includes that. There are some heterosexual characters as well though.

I’m also going to do some more art for the book as a whole, a single page artwork for each section plus maps. The maps are part of my reflection and refrence source for the story. 

A retrospective chapter is coming as well. It was a submission story so has a different feel but same universe. It will go into the independent story section. The characters in it may or may not be part of the main story line. Keeping that info to myself for now.

As always any comments are welcome. Whatever readers are getting from this story I would like to hear about it. I am really liking writing it and seeing my statistics from the posts is awesome. Getting coments also really helps me feel like the story is something people are enjoying.

Poetry to come for those who are here for that. I don’t want to make Hammersmith and the poetry into separate blogs. 

Warehouse on the beach

Open sky above a cornflower sea

Smooth sand crumpled in waves

Red rust and so much dust

A slab that’s been eaten away

Crabs and octopuses live in little pools inside

Mosquitoes and frogs and little salty tree

The roof has almost gone

Where did it go?

Their is a staircase to nowhere 

And a so many rusty walls

A frame for something

Little rusty machines whose purpose now is to provide shelter for oysters and plants and little spiders

Eels are near one end, hiding in a salty briny pool the waves have cavound away

A little sign still somehow hanging on for dear life says 

“We work to make a better world.”

A little breeze and it finally lets go of its final rust filled screw

A clang. A noose. A place to be dead and be forgotten.

Tonight it is my home. Tomorrow I move on. I wounder if I want crab or eel for tea. 

Hammersmith readers (1)

Hiya readers! I’m not sure how many their are of you but their will be a pause in updates as I redo my character dictionary and get the script for the next comic update done. However at the end of this I will have an section attached to this site that has all the chapters and characters and a heap of background stuff as well. They will be presented as anti chapters for the most part. Some side characters (mostly from earlier time period to the main story) will be involved in them and just pure information posts as well. Lots of links as well will happen so readers can go back and forth through the story as they wish. One of these anti chapters will be the book Bela has just got a copy of. Her reaction to the content of the book is really important to the plot so having the text of the book for the reader themselves to experience some of that reaction is the best way to bring that part of the story forward. We are also coming towards our first sex scene so I look forward to writing that. Thanks again readers, Comments on any part of the story welcome, just add a comment.