The greatest thing about working for a University is the week (sometimes, like this year, week-plus) of free vacation that comes about over the Holiday Break, which falls between December 24 and January 1, inclusive. This year, I don't go back until the 4th of January because of the way the weekends fall. Woot.
I'm sure, as it always does, the break will go way too fast and I won't have time to complete a fraction of the things I want to complete, such as:
1. Reading the 13 young adult/children's books I have to read for the start of class on January 5th.
2. Finishing the draft of The First Battle: The Chronicles of Charlie Morning and Mr. Night.
3. Starting on what I hope is the final revision of Broken Gods for publication.
4. Catching up on some pleasure reading.
Thanks to a bizarre happenstance, I've rediscovered my love for religious studies, which is going to be torturous as I only have time to read materials for my MLIS currently, but in any case I realized that in my studies of western religion in antiquity I've left out a lot of interesting modern spiritual paths, particularly dark paths--what attracts people to darker forms of spirituality, and what's the real history of these paths? There's very little new under the sun, as I'm sure many of you know, and most religions have roots that go back way farther than their practitioners and followers realize. For some people, I'm sure, darker paths of spirituality are attractive for rebellious, "fuck society" reasons. But to assume that everyone who follows darker paths is just a blind rebel is to discount some very intelligent, spiritual, educated people who simply have a different view of spirituality than the rest of us. Unfortunately, as with many religions, it's the assholes who tend to make the most noise and unfortunately they set a bad example for the rest of the faith. How many people abhor Christianity because of the way Christians behave? What about Islam? How many people think it's just a religion of extremist, terrorist zealots? The truth is, many Christians are very good people who live as Christians should, and most Muslims don't commit mass murder and acts of terror...but the 10% asshole factor is the most visible and doesn't paint that picture.
The point is, I'm sure that many, if not most, practitioners of darker paths of spirituality aren't necessarily cat-killing cultists or people out to shock the world with how eeeeevil they are. And yet, we as religious scholars overlook them, and indeed many modern pagan and alternative spiritual paths. Why?
Something to ponder as I continue my studies of the divine feminine, which certainly has its own dark aspects.
Well, just another pointless musing. Don't mind me--it's just been awhile since I updated.
Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Chanukkah, Solstice, Happy Festivus, Happy Kwanzaa, Joyous Saturnalia, Happy Birthday Mithras...you get the idea.
And Happy New Year to everyone, should I forget to update before then.