This week’s noteworthy posts: on relationship with the Land, from Dayan Martinez; an interview with Tylluan Penry at Anima Monday; and on the difficulties of translation, from A Pilgrim in Narnia.
The Ancient Mothers
A beautiful piece of writing about the Land of Florida and the Everglades, from Dayan Martinez.
..,here the sawgrass dances its ballet with the wind and the water ripples. Birds glide and swoop, while just below the surface and a little bit away alligators prowl their waters. I could compost here, quietly, and happily.
There is another element to this miracle place: the gracious Sun beating down on everything with equal love. Few places here fall to shadow, and do so only to grow and riot with life all the better. Few places here do not shine. And, when the water’s still and smooth as glass, the heavens greet you from below. You become suspended in a world of utter peace and light.
Be kind if you can
If I had to give some advice to a new witch, I would just say, “Be kind if you can. And if you can’t, well, at least avoid being cruel.”
Lost in translation
Language nerds like me might enjoy Brenton Dickieson’s review of a new translation of the Christian bit of the Bible, in which, among other things, he calls out the hypocrisy and idolatry of evangelicals.
If civilization survives the climate apocalypse, and if Wicca survives that long, I can imagine future debates about translating Wiccan texts into other languages.
I once heard a story about someone whose first language wasn’t English misunderstanding what “make love” means in English. They didn’t realize that it is a polite way of saying “have sex with someone you love”. This was a conversation specifically about the use of the phrase “make love” in The Charge of the Goddess.
I can imagine that in the future, language will have morphed in as yet unguessable ways, and people will be arguing about the meanings of these texts. Thankfully there’s already a lot of secondary literature offering interpretations and analysis of the sources, for example the excellent Wicca: Magickal Beginnings by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine.
There are also unintended consequences of using imagery. For example, I used a peacock in a piece of writing to symbolize the many colours of the rainbow and the varieties of LGBTQIA sexuality and gender expression. When my friend translated it into Polish, she had to omit the peacock, because the primary meaning of the peacock in Polish is vanity.
And there’s the classic example of the phrase “suffer the little children to come unto me” in the King James Bible, which means “allow the little children to come” but many people seem to think it’s a licence to make children suffer. (What do they teach them at these schools?)