In Which I Reminisce About Young, Pagan Me

[sorry to the folks who saw this posting before.  it was very far from finished. this is what I get for using multiple devices to post.  also, GIF WARNING!  there are a few here and one were there is lightning/flashing lights. so just a heads up to those who are sensitive.]

I love The Craft. Always have! There was something about the movie that just captured my interest.  I had been in the 6th grade when it came out, not seeing it until it was on television some time later. I have two memories about the movie.  The first was my older sister telling me I couldn’t be a true fan if I didn’t know which actress was Fairuza Balk (she is the same one who said I wouldn’t get a quote from Revenge of the Nerds because “it was before your time”[it was before hers as well]).  The other one was going to a slumber party where we did try Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.

LaaF,SaaB

Sadly, it didn’t work.

What it did end up doing was jump start my journey down the pagan path. That slumber party was the turning point of it all.  Sure we played the game, talked about and watched the movie, but then a few us of TRIED stuff.  Specifically voodoo dolls.  Long story short about that bit in particular, I stay away from it because I nearly hurt myself and obviously didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  I mean, a few young, middle class white girls in the midwest had to business messing with the stuff.

The girl who was hosting the party and I REALLY got into the witch stuff, though.  We picked out ‘code names’ and had a notebook we traded so we could share information.  She checked out the witch books because I couldn’t.  Unfortunately she got caught and, in turn, so did I.  I ended up rediscovering everything, so to speak, only a few years later but she stayed away from what I can recall.

But The Craft was the beginning of it all and set me up with a very romantic version of witchcraft.  The first few seconds alone roped me in.

 

giphy

It was beautiful then and even more so now.

Like I said, I had a romantic view of witchcraft thanks to the movie.  Even now I prefer the movie up to the circle on the beach.  After that, everything goes to shit because Hollywood. Yet it was the scene on the beach that was most powerful and amazing.

beach

I watched the movie only a few days ago and Grendal and myself both agreed that this movie was perfectly fine up to this part.  Like I said, everything after this goes to shit but it’s because of the whole Rule of Three bit.  They stuck with it and made things roll out so everyone got what was coming to them.  Except Sarah, who is the movie’s hero.  Sure, the dude she roped with the love spell got way too creepy and died in the end, but it wasn’t her doing for that.  She never TRULY got what was coming to her and quickly got onto Manon’s good side before shit went down big time.

High School was my re-initiation, so to speak, into paganism.  I found websites, snuck away at the library to read books, and eventually asked to buy one.  I was shot down because my mother freaked out.  She was born and raised in a strict catholic community and while she no longer follows the religion it was very much a part of her still.  I remember printing up a bunch of pages of information about Wicca to show my mother that it wasn’t bad.  It did the trick.  She was still nervous but she finally let me do my thing.

College, though, was where things began.  I remember trolling around our school’s online community and going into the religious board.  Usual fair of stuff.  I loved, and still do, religious debates and discussions.  There was someone on the board looking for anyone interested in paganism.  I shoved aside my shy side and responded.  We chatted for a few minutes before she asked if I was currently on campus, and I said I was.  She wanted to meet up and do a proper introduction and asked where I was.  Turns out we were both in the library.  I was on the main level and she was on the second.  We met and it was amazing. She is still a dear friend to me.  We hit it off right away. Discussed things and connected quickly.  It wasn’t long before we gathered a few other girls on campus that were also interested or practicing pagans (all I still talk with, though the first girl is the only one besides myself who still identifies as pagan).  We quickly had our own little group of five girls.

We had a few circles, we went to a local pagan Halloween ball, supported an amazing local New Age store, celebrated the Holy Days, the works!  While things were going, it was amazing.  We were never able to make ourselves into a school club but it was an amazing time of growth for all of us.  Like most things, though, it ended when life began and people wandered off to different schools or finished there time at the college.

Watching The Craft made me miss those days.  The time that I had a close group and even a small sisterhood of sorts.  I miss it and find myself now part of the bitter old pagan brigade (don’t think that is a thing and I’m not REALLY bitter, it just seemed funny).  I truly want to immerse myself back in my own craft and stretch those muscles once more.  While it’s no longer new and I’m seeing it with world weary eyes, I know that I can reach that spot again.

I’ve gone through this many times before.  Times where I go to rediscover things but always end up in the same spot.  This time, though, I can reach that happy medium.  I have Grendal to help me along the way if I stumble.

It will be glorious.

Advertisements

In Which I Refuse to Leave Middle Earth

It’s weird. I listen to my coworkers talk about how Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies were huge part of their childhood and I get confused. That is when I remind myself that there is at least a 9 year difference between myself and most of them.

The Fellowship of the Ring was released my senior year of high school. I saw it on a whim. It was after a winter performance for our madrigal group and a group of us were out eating, in costume no less. We wanted to see a movie and someone suggested The Lord of the Rings. We went. It had already started. I don’t remember what part it was but we were there. I do remember seeing Elrond and whispering to my friend, “Agent Smith decided to go into an RPG”. They laughed. I also remember wondering when the movie was going to end moments before it did. I was in awe. We were asked if we had dressed up for the showing.

I was hooked. I don’t know what about the series did it for me but I was in love. I read the books soon after, read up on Tolkien, found out about the history of it all, delved into the history. The trailers excited me. I couldn’t wait for more. The battles, the heart break. Listening to others get excited about this scene or that battle. Lord of the Rings was a modern epic I had to see before I knew it existed. While it saddened me I hadn’t read the series when I was younger, I was desperate to catch up.

I have become a huge fan, if you couldn’t tell. For coming into the fandom a little late I have reached a point where I am comfortable with. There is much for me to learn but I am content with my pace .

Now it is time that I touch on my original point for this post: Battle of Five Armies. So, if you haven’t watched it don’t look under the cut. Though, I do suppose it doesn’t matter if you look at it if you have read the book. You know the gist of what happens.

Read ahead for personal opinions and slight ranting.

Continue reading

Nerves of Steal!

I love horror movies.  LOVE THEM.  The horror genre in general is my buddy.  The majority of my PS2 games was survival horror based.  I had the Silent Hill games, Fatal Frame, Kuon, Haunting Ground, Rule of Rose, etc.  Nothing thrilled me more than sitting up late at night, lights out and Grendal sleeping, with one of those games going and the sound low.  Edge of my seat, heart racing.  Any little sound around me made me jump.  I was scared by our dog at the time, a big loveable ball of fluff named Lucky(a beautiful Huskie).  He managed to creep up the steps as quiet as can be, which is a feat in and of itself, and then come over to me.  I was crossing a bridge during a Fatal Frame 2 playthrough.  The bridge was over a body of water and this water logged ghost begins to emerge.  Cue wet sensation sliding down my arm.  Not wanting to wake Grendal, who had work in the morning,  I freak out silently and look down to see the dog happy as can be.

Horror movies could never get to me like games did.  I had so much invested in the game.  I was the one wandering through the abandoned town or building with little to keep me safe.  I had to run and hide or sneak past the creatures.  The breathing of the character matched mine in those moments and I felt like we were being pursued by the same thing.  Movies?  I usually feel more like I’m just  watching what happens, which is how it goes.  I know the cues.  The music changes or cuts out all together.  The characters themselves are tense and have a feeling that something is around.  Wait for it!  The thing jumps out, music crescendo, cue scream. Also, don’t forget to keep your eyes on things in the background!  There might be a shadowy shape, a face, or something in a mirror!! It had gotten to the point where I, and Grendal, could call the scares before they happen.  The downfall of anyone loving any genre I believe.

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy horror movies.  I love them to no end.  Grendal isn’t much of a fan and puts up with a watching or two, but I’ve gone the route of having to view these things on my own.  He can be pulled into watching a Japanese horror flick (a personal favorite) but when he does watch, he is disappointed by the ending. It is a rare moment for Japanese horror movies to have a ‘happy ending’. ( I love it but he prefers the western take)

Along the line of horror is HP Lovecraft.  I love his work and the Cthulhu mythos.  I have a book of (a few) short stories, have watched the black and white film done by the Lovecraft Society, and have enjoyed my share of Delta Green games.  They’re not horrifying in any way but it’s an interesting peek into what was once considered disturbing and scary.

That is until I stumbled onto a movie called The Banshee Chapter.  It is a movie based of Lovecraft’s short story ‘From Beyond.’  It’s one I haven’t read and me being me, I was instantly interested due to the Lovecraft connection.  So I get my hands on a copy and play it.

(The following is my account of what I saw, as jumbled up as it is.)

Getting old news clips, interviews, etc.  Get some cam footage(I don’t care what anyone says, I love that stuff and Blair Witch was interesting in it’s time).  I like cam footage type movies.  A little closer to video games!  Dude takes a drug, friend films so dude can talk about what’s going on and get accurate notes for a book he’s writing. Nothing is happening, dude and friend a little dejected.  Creepy ice cream truck music starts playing(wtf?) followed by static and then a voice reciting numbers(Numbers station…..oooooooooo).  Dude and friend go downstairs trying to find source, which is a radio.  Dude stands there, window behind him, and says that something is coming.  Shadow dashes across the window.  Dude and friend freak out and the camera starts to cut in and out.  It’s obvious SOMETHING is chasing them but you can’t tell what.

Oh look a trail of blood! ‘This means something cool is gonna happen,’ I think to myself. Dude cuts into frame, face distorted with mouth open and black spaces for eyes.

Cue my reaction of hands flying to face and stumbling for the mouse when the film goes to black.  This was only about 9 minutes into the film.  The movie is still sitting on my computer, waiting for me to watch it.  All I can think is damn. I may have found something that will get to me!

Then again it’ll be my luck that I watch the rest of it unphased.

I Have a Soft Spot for Dragons…..

and Dwarves.  It’s the truth!  You can throw Hobbits in there too for good measure.

Grendal and I did the whole ‘double date’ thing with a friend of ours and his lovely lady a few days ago. The four of us got together to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and then we got some food stuff at Steak n Shake.  While I could sit here and regale with my review of the movie, I won’t.  I never like reading reviews for movies, games, what have you.  Why?  I usually like what the reviewers hate and I wouldn’t be surprised if the vast majority of reviewers were either paid off or letting their own prejudices/hang ups/opinions of the creator or series come through.  But I will kinda ramble about it for a second or two! Why? Because this is my small spit of internet and I need to get this information out of my damn head.

So, I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings.  Read the books, have multiple copies of the Peter Jackson films, the LEGO game, and that sort of stuff.  Hell, two years ago we had a combined birthday thing for my father in law and myself which ended up being Hobbit themed. Second breakfast feast and Lord of the Rings soundtrack playing.  My geek was showing to say the least.

Anyway, I saw the first Hobbit movie and loved it.  Gandalf was back, Bilbo wasn’t half bad, and Dwarves.  Loved those men to death.

Especially this one!

Especially this one!

I have been barred from reading the book until I see the last movie as a strange experiment between Grendal and I.  We wanted to see what would happen if someone who had no foreknowledge on the book (me) saw it versus someone who has(him).  Grendal enjoyed the first movie.  The second, not so much.  That is his rant though, and this is mine.

One of my problems with the movie was the strange editing points.  Hoping back from group to group is fine.  There is action happening everywhere and at once, which must be seen.  Gotta ramp up the excitment!  This can be done in wonderful ways.  The editing group this time around didn’t do an awesome job.  The emotional impact of the door opening to Erebor and Thorin taking a step inside after so long should have had me sniffling(I sniffled alot during the previous movie, thankyouverymuch).  This time around I sat there and waited.  Nope….nothing.

Another problem were the elves of Mirkwood.  I will admit that I am not a HUGE fan of Jackson’s take on elves in general.  I did end up enjoying Legolas in Lord of the Rings and Elrond is awesome in both trilogies(don’t tell Grendal).

Yeah, I'm okay with this.

Yeah, I’m okay with this.

For the most part though, I can do without them.  Thranduil was meh for me.  He looked awesome and I loved the costumes for him as well as his jacked up face.

Real or not, awesome!

I like this look.

Legolas, not so much.  A bit of a scene stealer and not the same elf I was hoping for(even Fellowship Legolas wasn’t so gruff).  Tauriel?  I was nervous about her from the get go.  I did like the idea of an elven woman in the warrior aspect and was getting a little more interested!  Then I heard about the little love interest bit.  Which turned into a freaky love triangle and Legolas being a major creeper in the background (of course I can’t find a picture of it, but you know what I mean).  Not a fan of Tauriel being foisted into a role where she falls for someone, has someone pinning over her, and turns into a strange, watered down version of Arwen.  So much potential.

Now onto Smaug.  Smaug the Great! Smaug the Mighty! Smaug the pretty golden candy coated lizard.  Loved the bits with Smaug!  Loved his voice.  I have never watched a thing that Cumberbatch has done.  Not even the newest Star Trek movie and I LOVE Star Trek.  So, everything with Smaug was beautiful.  My friend and I had major dragony type ‘feels’ due to the two of us playing dragons at one point or another during Dungeons and Dragons.  We understood Smaug’s need for the gold and not wanting any nasty people touching it.

Despite the wonders of Smaug the Golden and my  many, many Dwarves I left the movie with a general feeling of ‘Meh’.  And it made me sad.  I wasn’t super excited about seeing it but I wanted to be pleasantly surprised and blown away.  Now I wish I had the ability to re-edit little things for better flow and possibly negate the over use of elves. But that’s just me.

I’m gonna buy the movie once the extended edition is out, so I’m not THAT disappointed.

To appease people that may have turned grumpy, I give you the best(in my opinion) rendition of ‘Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold’ that I have yet to find.