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On Weekend Roundup

Gwen, that is the 90s-est lip color EVER.

I miss the Rock Steady days.

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm 0

On Coming Out 'Wholesale,' Emotional Affairs, and Crushing on Chicks Who Don't Dig Chicks

LW4: All kinds of things about my sex life (and every other part of my life, for that matter) change with my cycle. Go with it! It'll totally be awkward a little at first as you figure out the particulars, but it opens up so much room for more awesomeness. And if that weirds out your potential partners, then either they aren't great partners for you, or you are exposing them to a part of life that makes them uncomfortable in a productive way, and they will come around. It's gone both ways in my personal experience.

Bottom line: it's real, no matter what anyone else tells you. Trust yourself and your body. People - even/especially other women - love to tell women their feelings and experience aren't real, or that they're making it up, or that they're "reading too much into it." Even if it feels isolating sometimes, it'll get better in the long run as your confidence in it grows.

And even if it doesn't line up with your cycle, like mine does, it's still real, and still ignore the haters. You do you.

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm 0

On La Malinche, La Llorona, La Virgen: My Mother's Ghost Stories

Beautiful! Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I am untangling my own Catholic background and feminism - I'm sure I will be fore life - and I love hearing other women's stories of feminism and faith.

And a fun fact that I've come across in my explorations: the crescent moon was used as a crown in goddess images in various religions older than Catholicism, and there was no distinction between it being the moon and it being horns - often cow horns. If Mother Mary is depicted with the moon, she's standing on it (same goes for a snake), rather than crowned with it, but it's definitely a holdover from the pagan days. La Virgen de Guadalupe is undoubtedly the most famous instance, but I've seen others a lot now that it's something I look for. It's not much, but it's something I hold onto the handful of times a year I walk into a church anymore. Images from when she was whole and powerful in her own right, instead of tamed and repurposed as a tool of oppression.

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 2:02 am 0

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

YES! Hairpin advice again! I love the fancy person approach too, very good call, guys.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm 0

On Mad Men: “I Know How I Want You to See Me”

[Betty] can’t resist a snide comment about the girl.

Absolutely true, yes. And childish. But, to be fair, the teacher's boob very nearly falls out of her shirt. And while it's feels carefree and youthful on this young woman, in a way that hasn't quite been seen on this show before, rather than intentionally seductive (as was Jane Siegel in season 2, when Joan gave her a sharp warning to button up), it's still extremely inappropriate for an elementary school teacher. A sterner woman (or maybe just a more adult one?) would have pulled the teacher aside and given her a talking-to.

But I thought her response was clever! Pretty good for a Betty zing.

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm 0

On Seven Irish Women You Should Know

@Sella Turcica The best Irish patron saint(/syncretization of the pre-Christian supreme deity)!

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 am 0

On Fresh Out of the Coven: Pentagram Pie

@adorable-eggplant Yes! I would love a recipe and suit interpretation for the other three! But if you're doing a spotlight on pentacles because of the time of year, I suppose I'd understand...

But also, I read tarot, and I'd be happy to give you, adorable-eggplant, my personal understanding on the breakdown of the suits. The easiest way I've found to describe it to people without familiarity with tarot is to use the four classical elements and the corresponding parts of the person.

Wands/Staves: Fire, spirit. This pertains to a person's... this is a bit hard to explain. I like to say it's a person's will, or their most essential sense of self. The part of one that gets inspired and wants to create things, like art, but not just art - also whatever kind of work one does. This is passion and anger and sex. When I say "will," I mean that experience of wanting something badly enough that you can summon up all of the energy you need to just make it happen. That kind of will. If you know astrology, this corresponds roughly with Mars. Also corresponds with summer, midday, the full moon, and the south.

Cups: Water, heart. This is about personal relationships, romantic or otherwise. It's about feelings (not physical sensations, that's different), both in the sense of intuition (knowing something by feeling it) and emotions. This is the love part of love - not the passion, but the affection, the fondness. If you know astrology, this corresponds with Venus. The other correspondences are weaker than with fire above, but this would be sundown, autumn, the waning moon, and the west.

Swords: air, mind. This has to do with thought, perception, intellect, education, communication, logistics, planning. The correspondence here with astrological Mercury is very strong. The mind is the major knowledge center, and here we know things through observation and deduction (as opposed to heart, above with feeling/intuition). The analogy of a sword/sharpness and the idea of "cutting through bullshit" is very useful - when we are perceiving clearly, we cannot be fooled. That is swords positively expressed. However, when negatively expressed, swords is the place of fear and reactionary behavior. We can deduce incorrectly and perceive inaccurately, so knowledge in this sense is prone to error, and that's the birthplace of fear. (Whereas with intuitive knowledge, the feeling itself can't be wrong, per se. We might interpret it wrong, and that's why intuition still isn't 100% reliable, but the interpretation itself happens in the mind, which is, again, the place that's prone to error.) I'm rambling here, sorry. The directional correspondences here again are weak, but they would be sunrise, spring, the new/waxing moon, and the east.

Pentacles/disks/coins: earth, body. This is all about the material life, and I don't mean that in any pejorative sense that's associated with the popular understanding of "materialism." It's about the physical, lived experience of having a body - eating, sleeping, physical sensation, having physical possessions, home and hearth, family, to a certain degree it's ancestry. It's about money, physical work (not the part where you get inspired to do your work - that's fire/wands), nature, gardening/growing food. And everything the author said above. There isn't really an astrological correspondence here because the planet would be Earth. The directional correspondences are also weak, but they're midnight, the dark/new moon, winter, and the north.

However... the way the cards use this imagery becomes infinitely complex in practice. Two cards can interact with each other in such a way that it might look to someone getting a reading like the reader is disregarding the suits, but really, it's a very complex interplay of symbols, ideas, and immediate reactions to the images. Like... If you've ever read His Dark Materials, my experience of finding meaning in a tarot spread is remarkably similar to the way that Lyra had a sense of how the different symbols on the alethiometer changed and influenced each other's meanings as they came up in a reading together. (And in case you couldn't tell from my tone here, I think it's completely fucking sweet.)

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm 0

On Interview with a Pagan Clergyman

@stonefruit I consider myself like... Pantheist-Pagan-Catholic I guess. I definitely don't have a "church" the way this interviewee does, but I have a spiritual community in my city, and we observe the moon cycles and the yearly festivals like Samhain and Beltane and what not (although not with as much enthusiasm or structure as what the above interviewee describes). We've largely created this together as we've gone along, and it's really not patriarchal. But also, it has been overwhelmingly women participating in things, and the community has mostly grown from the women's circles we've held, so that will obviously set the tone, but we do have plenty of male friends and partners who participate to varying degrees. Some of them are working on getting a men's circle together. I think the lack of any real leadership will keep it from even having the opportunity to be patriarchal, since there isn't anyone directing things who could take it there. There is a smaller group of us within the community who facilitate most of the gatherings, but we all have the explicit intention of keeping it vague enough that anyone who joins us can really home-brew her own spiritual practice within our spaces.

So I think that this completely grassroots approach is a really excellent approach for seekers who have either vague or specific desires about what kind of spiritual life and community they'd like to have. The obvious problem is access, though, since the way we do it is entirely word-of-mouth and mostly in private residences. But I'm in Philly, if there are any Philly-area 'pinners who are seeking and want to chat.

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm 0

On Drinking Up and Sitting Down With the Men's Men at the Nashville Whiskey Festival

@Lauren C. Ostberg@facebook Thanks for your response! I think there is a place for editorial input on moments like that within pieces. Like, if The Hairpin wants (which I can't really assume, but I hope they do) to present feminist material, they could turn to you and mention the line, and suggest that you include maybe one more sentence reflecting on that reaction. I don't think an honest sentiment like that should be excised, because that's part of what I love about this website and other similar outlets: they're honest reflections of what our daily lives entail. But I've grown used to a vague culture of reflection here at the Hairpin, and I think there's a way to do it that both preserves honest expression and encourages a standard of social awareness. Websites like this build culture, however small the impact of any given individual post, and the privilege and power of having a widely-read media outlet, I believe, come with a responsibility to use them... at least with intention, if not for outright social good.

Anyway, I felt my original comment was aimed more at the Hairpin editorial staff than at you, the author, fwiw.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm 1

On Drinking Up and Sitting Down With the Men's Men at the Nashville Whiskey Festival

The woman who pours my whiskey is tall, which helps me take her seriously, despite her perky demeanor and conventional attractiveness.

Seriously?

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 1:08 am 8