Friday, January 4, 2013

PBP - Andraste's Hare

Well, here we are again! It's a New Year, and a new Pagan Blog Project. So we start back at the beginning of the alphabet with A. Conveniently, the name of this blog starts with A, so I thought I'd explain the meaning.

Andraste is believed to be an ancient celtic warrior goddess and the patron goddess of the Iceni tribe. (The tribe Queen Boudicca hailed from.) Andraste is a warrior goddess, a goddess of victory. She oversees battles and is represented by ravens. There's a very in-depth look at her here.

A few of the more important bits from that blog about her:
"Andraste is a warrior goddess, the goddess of victory, of ravens and of battles, similar in many ways to the Irish war goddess Morrigan. Her name is thought to mean "the invincible one" or "she who has not fallen". It is told that her presence was evoked on the eve of battle to curry favor. As a Goddess of divination, she was probably called upon to divine the outcome of battles and war."
"As Andred, her romanised name is Andraste, she was a lunar mother-goddess figure associated with fertility and love. In her dark aspect however, she was associated principally with warfare and specifically with victory. She is sometimes compared to the goddess Andarte, a deity worshipped by the Vocontii of Gaul."

The hare was believed to be a sacred animal to Andraste; before Boudicca led her troops into battle it's said she released a rabbit and watched where it fled, as an augury.

So Andraste's Hare, to me, is a path to victory. It's the journey. This blog is about exploring my spiritual side and deciding who I am. While Wisdom is what drives me, more than Victory, my condition of victory is finding wisdom, so in a way it works.

The mythos of Andraste and Boudicca and the white rabbit has more than one meaning for me; my Maine Coon cat is named for Boudicca. My beautiful fearless girl. I've often thought of this entire pagan journey as falling through the rabbit hole, or chasing the white rabbit. It's kind of amusing to me how often Andraste and Boudicca and her hare show up in my workings and in my life.

So Andraste's Hare. Finding victory and wisdom in the path of the White Rabbit.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review - The Hollows, by Kim Harrison

Today's review is a little different. I'm about six books into The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I'd read the first four some years ago, and decided to re-read those and then catch up on the rest of the series. And they are FANTASTIC. They start with Dead Witch Walking. Dead Witch Walking introduces Rachel Morgan, Ivy Tamwood, and Jenks. They all leave the I.S. (think a supernatural FBI/police force) to form an independent investigator firm. Rachel's a witch, Ivy is a living vampire, and Jenks is a pixie.

The books remind me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, before they devolved into porn. The Hollows has a few romance side plots, but they are definite side plots. They're not the main drive of the books.

So far I've read Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, and I've just started The Outlaw Demon Wails. The action does not stop in these books!

I thought the take on vampires was especially interesting in this series; there are living vampires and undead vampires; you can be born a vampire or bitten and turned. That makes you a highblood or lowblood living vampire, respectively. Once you die, you come back as an undead vampire without your soul. Through the use of vampire pheromones, the undead and living vampires manipulate those around them. They wind up being a very abusive family, where the undead vampires use and abuse all around them, their only thought being for their own welfare/pleasure, while the living vampires strive to please their undead masters because the pheromones make them think they love them.

I could see it being triggering for someone who'd been abused or lived through a similar situation. The author mentioned in an interview that she intentionally styled them after abusers/abused; where the living vampires struggle with their feelings of love for their abusers while fighting the instinct to pass the abuse on. The relationship between Ivy, Rachel, and Piscary (Ivy's undead master) is a good example of this.

The series continues with White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, and, on January 22, Ever After.

I'm hoping to be caught up with the series by the time Ever After comes out, and I'm making good progress.

If you're looking for a good supernatural series that ISN'T all about the sex (there's a few sex scenes, but mild ones) then you should take a look at the Hollows series!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013. I am making a re-commitment to this blog for New Year's, but we're going to do it a little differently. I'm going to keep a couple of my theme days - Friday will still be the Pagan Blog Project, Sundays I will probably still just post a photo. Thursdays I will still be trying to review all of my books. Mondays are already Monday Madness, and pretty random. I've been having trouble finding anything to write about on Tarot Tuesday and Kitchen Witch Wednesday, though. So those will also now be random days. I do need to start posting more recipes, so I'll try to start that, but not only Wednesdays.

So Happy New Year! Did anyone do anything witchy for New Year's Eve? I went to a party with a ton of friends, and met a lot of new friends. The only thing witchy I did was invoke a quick circle and meditate for about five minutes because the noise level was breaking my little introvert heart. I like parties - I like people - but every so often I have to retreat to a corner of the house and get some peace. Luckily, the house was big enough I could do that easily!

I am looking forward to a new year of sharing things here on Andraste's Hare. What are you looking forward to this year?