Monday, July 21, 2014

The Cover

We all know the old saying, “You can't judge a book by it's cover.” I suggest that the statement be taken a step farther. You can't judge a book by it's PR, either.

Ever since becoming disabled, I have entertained myself by plunging deeply into a sea of books. We have an excellent library here in Monroe Township, and a staff that can suggest great authors based on my reading patterns. I've been reading so much, I've started keeping a summary log.

Of course, some books I stumble upon on my own, based on summaries, reviews, etc. One in particular promised to be a story about a sidhe princess who was in hiding in the human world. She knew her aunt, the queen, wished her death, so for three years she managed to live in L.A., working for a detective agency. This agency only took supernatural cases. The result of one case ended up “outing” her to humans and sidhe alike. What results is an interesting journey, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now, at my age, I've read, seen, and/or done enough in the realm of sexuality to be able to express a mumbled “meh” when it comes to procreation, passion, and porn in literature. Give me that other “p” word...NO, not that one!...PLOT! Once I finished with the incomplete story of the sidhe princess (there is a follow-up book. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!), I didn't feel as though I read a fantasy novel. Nope. I just finished “50 Shades of Fae”. It was a journey I hadn't planned on taking.

Now, this “book by it's cover” thing extends way beyond the written word. For instance, I was trying to look up “Satanic Images” using Google. I got the usual suspects. This, for instance:

and this:

A whole lot of stuff like this:

This came up. I don't even want to know:

And, finally, this:

...At which point I said, “Hey, goat, hold it!”

(Little Rascals reference...never mind...)

This is the “Goat of Mendes” as drawn by Eliphas Levi. This is NOT a Satanic symbol. The goat has a pentagram on his forehead with the point upward – a symbol of light. One arm points up towards the white moon, Cesed. The other points downward to the dark moon of Geburah. This shows not only the balance of yin and yang, but also the balance of mercy and justice. One arm is male, the other – female.

The torch of intelligence shines between his horns, themselves symbols of the waxing and waning of the moon and energy. The rod taking the place of his genitals is the staff of Hermes, or the caduceus of Mercury. It brings healing and vitality to the body and spirit.

The body is covered, in part, by scales, representing Water. The wings are the element Air. Naturally the torch is Fire, and the half-globe upon which the goat sits is Earth. The chest of the goat also shows the representation of mankind: one breast is male, the other female.

In total, the Goat of Mendes is a symbol of balance, vitality, intellect, justice and mercy. It was only when the Church of Satan chose this as their logo...

that the Goat started to be identified as the Devil. (also note the INVERTED pentagram. How many of us have spent time explaining that Our star and THEIR star aren't the SAME stars?)

My point to all this is a simple one: There is a lot of misleading info out there. It could be the PR on a book or movie, the politics of the day, or the information on the Craft that's gleaned from the Internet. Be aware. Look harder. Don't just jump the band wagon and grab a piccolo..find out for yourself.

I'm thinking of teaching the Craft again. If I do, I want students that have developed the skill to dig deeper, and with an independent mind. That's something we should all be doing, every day. Always.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... things are going along fairly well. I turned 60 on July 1st. My friend Ellen organized a surprise birthday party...and it didn't suck! I have lived in fear of surprise parties. I've had two others in my life, neither of which went very well, but this was grand! Thanks Ellen, family and friends for all the good wishes.

For myself, I got a new color and cut. Now I look like The Great Pumpkin with a better doo...

I won't see my Cancer Clinic until August 12, so fingers still crossed, but I did have my foot surgeon punch my ticket. Ankle needs an x-ray, but he thinks everything is OK. My legs may never get better, but they aren't any worse, so I count my blessings.

There is one change to announce: The book signing set for July 26th has to be moved to August. I'll post on this blog when we have a new date.

Finally, some Sherlock news. Filming will start in Jan 2015 for a one-off Xmas special to air December 2015. Filming for the 4th Season (yeah!) will commence sometime mid-year, and be shown 2016. Yeah, I know, but meanwhile, there is plenty of fan art, music, and parodies to keep you all going. Like THIS one, for instance:


Enjoy July, folks. The Summer appears to be on roller skates this year!