Friday, February 1, 2013

C is for Crows

Ah, crows. Crows and ravens have always been special to me. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest; there are crows EVERYWHERE, and the occasional raven. I remember walking to school, and seeing a crow sitting on the sidewalk, simply watching me as I approached, until he finally hopped to the side of the sidewalk to let me pass. Perhaps some of the connection came from the tabletop roleplaying game I was playing at the time, in which I was playing a were-raven. I could see the intelligence in the crows that made the game creator think they could be humans in disguise.

A crow in the forest behind our current apartment
So I grew up loving crows, and in high school when I started role-playing, found a deeper appreciation for them.

And early on in discovering my own witchiness, I spent some time with a dear friend of mine near Seattle. She's a witch, and had been for quite some time. Enough that she knew what she was doing at the time, and helped me with a lot of my questions. More than I think she realized I had. Simply being around her and observing her helped answer a lot of my questions. She has a close connection with a murder of crows. Watching her interaction with her flock, how they occasionally guided her through city streets or appeared when she needed a sign, deepened my appreciation further.

A year or two later, I was again in the Pacific Northwest while Sascha was deployed, and found there was a murder of crows that roosted in the trees surrounding my apartment. Every day I found feathers. Every day. And always in multiples of three. Always. I now have a large plastic bin full of black feathers; not enough for a cloak, which is what I'd really like to do with them, but a lot. I keep a couple of them on my altar.

I no longer live near a murder - at least not year-round. (There was a giant murder roosting in the woods behind my apartment for a week or so this last fall.) But I still occasionally see crows when I'm pondering hard questions. They always seem to show up immediately after I've made a decision, as if verifying I've made the right one.

When we moved from North Carolina to Maryland, we saw them on the shoulder of the highway every couple of miles. As if moving was precisely the right thing to be doing.

To the right is Boudi, being very curious about the bowl of crow feathers on the table. (That bowl is about a third of what I wound up collecting, and yes, that is a normal-height table, Boudi's just huge.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Educating myself!

So I've enrolled in two classes on Coursera that start today. Coursera, if you haven't heard of it, is a website offering free structured classes; they have weekly readings, video lectures, and sometimes homework. It's an international site; you can take these classes from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

So the two classes I'm taking are:
Contraception: Choices, Culture, and Consequences
It lasts 5 weeks, the readings are a free download. It starts today, and I'll be diving into the videos and readings as soon as I'm done with this entry.

Introduction to Philosophy
This one lasts 7 weeks, also starting today. There seems to be online videos and readings. I've taken one philosophy course before, Introduction to Ethics, and I LOVED it, so I'm expecting to enjoy this one as well.

So I'm excited, and will probably be talking about these two classes on the blog in the future!

Oh! And in this same note, I've been watching Crash Course videos on Youtube. They have series on World History, Biology, Ecology, and Literature. I'm halfway through World History, I'm keeping up on Literature as it comes out, and I've started on Biology. But I find John Green, who does World History and Literature, a lot more watchable than his brother who does Biology and Ecology. (Though Sascha feels the opposite, so to each their own!) These are the same brothers that did the Youtube series Vlog Brothers. (I never watched that, but I'm told it was popular.)

Education. It's fun. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Photo

Boudi doing what she does best - cheering me up. This time by being derpy.