Monday, December 28, 2009

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

A month or so ago, an upcoming movie was brought to my attention - "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." The plot sounded interesting and I'm a sucker for anything involving mythology. Although I consider myself a liberal Celtic Reconstructionist and NeoDruid, Greek mythology will always have a special place in my heart. It was what I was first exposed to. Indeed, my favorite Saturday Morning Cartoon was a series of animated Greek myths!

When I found out that the movie was based on a book I decided to find it and read it. I'm a bit out of touch with juvenile fiction. As an English major I was far too busy reading old classics to have time to read anything else! When I had free time to read what I wanted, I found myself reading history and NeoPagan studies. As a college grad with some time on my hands, I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.

The first book, which shares the movie title, follows the adventures of Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, and his friends as they race to recover Zeus' stolen thunder bolt to its rightful owner in order to prevent a massive war. The book, in my opinion, is Harry Potter meets American Gods. There is a world of mortals and a world of Gods, monsters, and Godlings or half-Gods. This classification is the witch/wizard and muggle world of Harry Potter, I suppose. The Godlings even have a special place to go in the summer called "Camp Half-Blood" where they learn to be better heros (because that's what people with divine parents naturally become!). It reminds me of Gaiman's wonderful book because the Gods are very much alive, interacting with the mortal world, and have modern touches. Poseidon, for instance, wears a beach shirt and his throne looks like a fisherman's chair. Whimsical touches like that really make the book enjoyable.

The colloquial first-person narration was, at times, annoying, but that could stem from the fact that I generally don't read juvenile fiction. I did get used to it but there were times when it was a bit jarring. The story was fun but some elements were predictable (or didn't add up to the mythology I studied in college - but most of it was really well done). That said, I can't wait to read the next one! It was a relaxing and enjoyable read. I can definitely see myself reading it to any children I have.

Sigh of Relief

After the holidays are over, I can't help but sigh with relief. It's a busy time, especially when you're a Pagan from a Christian family! My parents, sister, and future brother-in-law were nice enough to come up and celebrate the Winter Solstice with the hubby and I. This past weekend being Christmas, we went down to celebrate with them. It's a two hour drive and it can be kind of annoying, especially when you have to go through the Snow Belt and there's freezing rain... But it's worth it. I love seeing my family even when the occasion isn't one I care about in a religious sense. My husband, an agnostic, remarked that he enjoyed having two celebrations. Not because of gifts, though. We've never lived this far from our family and friends. We miss them and love seeing them.

Truly, whatever your religion is, just being with family is the most important thing in the chill of the winter.

I hope you had a peaceful, loving holiday!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally getting the show on the road...

This is a new blog to go along with my website Grey Catsidhe's Den. I have an lj, but it is more personal. I did have another blog but for various reasons I have decided to create a new one. The others... I didn't like the format of the program or my username was not reflective of me. Anyway... I may take some of the old entries and post them here at some point.

Anyway, I'm a Druid in Ár nDraíocht Féin. I've been in the organization for... three years I think. I really enjoy the community and the balanced approach. It's comfortably between reconstructionism and Neo-Paganism.

I live in Northern NY. Way, way upstate to the point that I'm nearly in Canada. I used to live in Central NY where a small but vibrant Pagan culture was forming. I am maintaining close contact with my Pagan family in Central NY (Syracuse and Utica), but also keep my eye open for Pagans in the North Country. There is supposed to be a UU chapter of CUUPs here but I've yet to check it out. I've also heard tell of Pagans in the nearby Fort Drum. But, for now, unless I'm going to my grove Syracuse or the open network in Utica, I'm solitary.

More later.