Con Huesos: 1

Bones are extremely alluring and sexy. They hold us together and they connect us to the Earth. Magaly Guerrero, of “Pagan Culture,” is sponsoring the blog party:

          In accordance with our current MO, The Barbed Pentacle is showing up late to the party (we didn’t even RSVP!). However, we have such a boner for Magaly and the up coming Beltane season, that we’ll be posting bone related posts even after the party is over.

As I said earlier, bones connect our physical beings to the Earth. This is most easily seen when a body is cremated. According to Greg at The Cremation Society of Charlotte (www.csofcharlotte.com), the cremains that a mourner receives is nothing more than ground up bones. There are no clothes, no cadaver container, no hair or finger nails–none of those things are in the “ashes”. It costs $75 to run the cremater for one cadaver  That’s only $25 more than it takes to fire a kiln full of pottery.

 After firing a cadaver at 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 1/2 hours, there is nothing left but a cadavers skeletal structure. The temperature of the cremater and the amount of time that it is run is dictated by each state. Typically the temperature mandated is between 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,600 degrees. A cadaver’s bones are then placed into a big blender-like machine and crushed.

Greg said that all crematoriums strive to produce a fine sand consistency,  but that if a crematorium’s equipment is old, there may be small white chunks left in the cremains.

When someone is cremated, their ashes are usually kept in an urn as a morbid memento or scattered into the wild (which, by the way, in many areas you are suppose to get a permit to do–something about public health).

However, some people incorporate a deceased’s ashes into their own body, either by ingestion or inhalation. The first time that I heard about this, I thought it was a weird anomaly, something borrowed from a more exotic culture. But over the years, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is becoming a more accepted practice along the fringes of American culture.

The first story that I heard of inhaling cremains was about the cremains of Mad Dog. Mad Dog was a Hell’s Angel that wore a piece of his scalp that he had lost in a motorcycle accident on his belt as a weird sort of coup. When Mad Dog died (by accident, on purpose, or bad health–I don’t remember), his club rolled his cremains into a big blunt and passed him around. Mad Dog was smoked in the early 80′s.  While the practice certainly wasn’t mainstream then,  now it’s fairly common to hear some hipster exclaim, “Man if I go, I want to be baked into brownies!” or some such nonsense. The concept has even appeared on South Park.

Inhaling or ingesting cremains is probably not safe and I would assume it’s probably not legal. However, it does give you a lot to think about. When I tried my cremains, I was at the appropriately named La Playa de los Muertos in Sayulita, Mexico.

My companions and I climbed out onto the rocks and drank some of the cremains in rum and pineapple juice and then we smoked them as well. For the most part, the cremains dissolve in liquid. There’s not as much to strain with your teeth as you might think. With smoking them, the cremains remain in your mouth longer since they get sucked into your mouth when you inhale. Even if you put the cremains mainly toward the lit end of whatever you’re smoking, it still happens. It’s gritty and gives a new meaning to “a duster”.

If you decide that you want to ingest or inhale cremains, there are a few things that you should consider. First, once it happens, there’s no going back. While I’m not sure that partaking in cremains makes you a cannibal,  you are taking what’s left of a human being into your body. Kind of like a very personal calcium supplement. Next, you need to consider your method of ingestion or inhalation. Of course, I should urge you to consider legal methods, but you’re already considering taking a dead, burnt up human into your body! The last thing that you should consider doing is grinding up any bone fragments with a mortar and pestle.  Enjoy your calcium!

These folks enjoy true grittiness:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Jesus: Yum, yum, eat him up!

 

I had considered writing a nice Ostara post last week about creating a fertility spell with Scotch eggs, but I spent my time instead drinking Scotch and watching Justified.  So, here we are.  When I was a Christian, the Maundy Thursday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maundy_Thursday) service was one of my favorites.  First of all, there was no preaching (Presbyterians don’t preach unless there’s a cause to).  Second of all, we got to eat Jesus.  Third of all, the Maundy Thursday service is extremely creepy and unsettling if done properly.  Our church organist would make these horrendous, blood curdling sounds come from her organ when the scripture about the earth quake was read and the whole sanctuary was pitched into darkness.

While there are many popular traditions with Pagan roots that have been adopted by or continued by Christians, the Eucharist is probably the most hard-core.  I’ve often wondered if Jesus knew about things like Dionysian myths when he was setting the scene for the Last Supper.  Pagans seem to have all different views about Jesus from he was completely fictional to he is just another name for the God.  Personally, I think Jesus was a real man with real followers and real problems but that he was no more the Son of God than I am a daughter of God.  Yes, as we all know from the chant, we all come from the Goddess, but we’re not Messiahs.  I think he talked a really good talk and created a religion just like Gerald Gardner did based on what people wanted to believe in a repressed society.

 

The following link got passed along to me: http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/585924.html

He has some interesting points, but like a lot of people, he misses the greater point.  The point is not whether modern Pagans erroneously attribute universal fertility symbols to a little known or completely fabricated goddess, the point is that all the things that make Easter “fun” are Pagan. There may not be an unbroken lineage, but Jesus didn’t miraculous turn into a rabbit once he was crucified.  So, if it’s not in the Bible it must be Pagan (or so they want us to believe).   The egg, however, could be argued not to be Pagan.  A Jewish Sadar is the type of meal that was served to Jesus and his apostles at the Last Supper.  I wonder why artistic depictions never show matzoh being served and why there is never an empty seat for Elijah?

The sadar egg doesn’t represent fertility.  Instead it represents its opposite–destruction–which is vital for balance.

 

I hope everyone sent Tucker and Tammy an awesome Ostara symbol.  As promised, I went the cheap and easy route and mailed them plastic eggs.  There were no bow ties, however, because it turns out I’m not that crafty!

These folks want a Lambbit:

 

 

 

 

 

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggershttp://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Squeeze My Melons and Plow My Furrow, Part 5: What Zombies Like to Eat

Zombies like to eat people, and not in the same why that I like to eat people.  They like to eat fresh, live people. According to Wiccan author Tonia Brown, who has made a name for herself in the horror, zombie, steam punk, and smut genres, zombies will also eat other live animals.  The key word here, though, is live.
Zombies historically have been cannibals.  As humans, we have a deep aversion to cannibalism, even when it’s done for absolute survival and the cannibalized person died of natural causes.  Why is this?  Is it because if we engage in cannibalism then we give in to our primal selves and become more animal-like than human-like?  Other animals engage in cannibalism, why shouldn’t we?

There are many cultures around the world that engage in different forms of cannibalism, from straight up killing your neighbor and putting him on the grill, to eating a dead monk’s brain to ingest his knowledge, to smoking a cremated relative’s ashes.  On a recent episode of Shameless, Frank and Monica smoked Grammy Gallagher’s cremated remains.

I’ve smoked remains before, as well as eaten them in brownies and drank them in Cuba Libres.  It’s a little gritty, on a lot of different levels, but considering all the things they do with cremated remains now (even packing them into empty ammo casings), it’s really not that odd.  What better way to honor a dead friend than to make them part of your body and engage in some sorta legal cannibalism?


Moral discussions about cannibalism, as well as the usual quest for food, is an all consuming drive in Tonia Brown’s new novel, Bad Ass Zombie Road Trip.

The novel is about two guys, Dale and Jonah , who fancy themselves musicians. On the way to a gig, things pretty much go to Hell in a beat up Ford Focus on the side of an interstate in California. Anyone who has been to or lived in California knows that the interstates there are Hell, so it should come as no surprise that the handsome devil Lucifer is roaming the asphalt. In a series of unfortunate, profanity laden events, things go from bad to worse as Jonah is swallowed up by a whale of a situation. The boys end up on a cross-country race against the clock to recover the most precious thing that Dale possesses (and it’s not his penis). Along the way, the boys learn that it’s almost impossible to outwit the Devil, they pick up a stripper named Candy, and they learn about the weird toilet phenomena that happens when a zombie eats human food.

This is a perfect electronic read for your spring break beach adventure or your summer road trip to visit the numerous over-priced Pagan festivals that are being planned as you read this review. Its light, raunchy prose will keep you amused and slightly aroused for hours on in while you bake yourself in the sand and sun or pretend to be interested in some over-hyped Pagan expert that charges several hundred dollars an hour to tell you how wiping your ass is no longer healthy and that Gaea doesn’t approve of Charmin toilet paper.

The only negative thing that I have to say about this novel is that Candy does not come across as a genuine Carolina girl. If she were really from the Carolinas then she would never have told the boys that to people who live on the board between North and South Carolina, that it doesn’t really matter which state you say you’re from. Yes it does Candy! It matters a great deal! As someone who has lived in both Carolinas, you learn from an early age that each state thinks it’s better than the other one. To people in South Carolina, everyone from North Carolina is in-bred and a redneck. To people in North Carolina, everyone in South Carolina is a snob and a crook. They’re very different places, Miss Candy. How about you don’t get caught in the rain and melt as you try to decided which Carolina you’re from, sugar foot!

For more information on real zombies, check out Zora Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse. To purchase a copy of Bad Ass Zombie Road Trip visit: http://www.amazon.com/Badass-Zombie-Road-Trip-ebook/dp/B006ZAJ4M4.

Check out these awesome folks:
Sub-shop.com   http://bit.ly/subshop
Tonia Brown  www.thebackseatwriter.com