This blog is part of the Scáth na Feannóige/Shadow of the Hooded Crow project exploring fénnidecht as a practice to follow the War Goddessses, Badb, Macha and the Morrígan whose name is Anann. This is a less formal place for me to discuss various issues of interest to someone on a modern version of the Outlaw warrior path such as physical training, history, Old Irish literature, pop culture inspirations, werewolves, ecstatic trance (okay, I find that one tough to write about but I may try), gender issues the wilderness....


Monday, August 24, 2009

Out of the freezer

When I began this blog I actually intended to have it focused on the combination of my own training, which you will find here, and thoughts about early Gaelic warrior culture especially relating to women and how that influences my physical and spiritual path working, which you probably find lacking. A lot of stuff went on, however, making be back away from writing about my spiritual path. Some was the hells I was going through with all the death, other issues were around a collaboration that went all to hell which has caused me to disassociate from not only everyone I was working with at the time but also the name, I coined, for the religious path. And then there was all the death going on around me. I also had looked back at the writing I did on this when I was in college and that sort of killed any real interest; while I feel I learned a lot while in college, I've learned much more in the years since, making my hope to rework what I wrote back then mostly futile.

So I turned my attention more to "women warriors" in pop culture here, a subject which is, in many ways connects to the other for me. How? Through story.

Whether it's the ancient Irish literature (and yes, it's more correctly "literature" rather than "myth" even if some myth might influence it none was the mythology of those who wrote it down and much was influenced by classical literature that the monks would have been trained in) or a modern movie, story matters. How it matters to a woman today walking a warrior path is a large part of my exploration, no matter the origin of the story. So the focus here changed to exploring how movies and TV can affect us and our path.

However, when I lost internet access, I ended up pulling this project out of the freezer...having long since removed it from even the back burner. Some of it was spoiled, useless, had to be discarded. But there were a few bits still useful, along with other things I've written since then. And others have done research since then that helps.

Land of Women by Lisa Bitel is a wonderful, if often sobering look at the realities of life for women in early Christian Ireland (the first era we have any such information on). A Woman's Words: Emer and Female Speech in the Ulster Cycle by Joanne Findon takes an interesting look at how this woman is presented...not a woman who is going to be much featured in my own work, but it's a tactic that interests me. And was well used by Diana Veronica Dominguez in her dissertation "Is dethbir disi" [It is appropriate (that she behave in this way)]: applying the lens of gender parody to Medb in the Old Irish Ulster Cycle about a woman who does. Are All Warriors Male? Gender Roles on the Ancient Eurasian Steppe edited by Katheryn M. Linduff and Karen S. Rubinson is another exciting find. There are more, really, too many to list, but I thought I'd share these.

So, I may or may not share more about getting back to this study. You might have to wait for the book, provided I can sell it. It's not going to be what many seem to look for, from what I can tell by what is out there, in a "woman warrior book." I'm not giving grand fantasies that women warriors roamed the ancient world in huge numbers, nor am I giving some new age platitudes about "peaceful warriors" or "inner warriors" or any such thing. Of course, this latter, at least, I suppose those who read this should expect. I will be preaching that "warrior" does mean one is at least prepared, if not actually experienced, to fight. That this isn't fantasy, but life.

And yes, while there is a focus in this project on exploring the ancient tales and what history there is, there will be a discussion on how pop culture relates as well as a lot on physical training both in fitness and fighting. So much of what has been here already will be reflected.

I just thought I'd share where I'm at with this, while I do have a moment with access to the blog. Meanwhile, stay strong!