Friday, March 28, 2014

Time to Talk About the Ugly Stuff

Kenny Klein was a Wiccan leader, a pagan elder and a musician. He was also a pedophile, a known creep who followed young kids around at pagan festivals. And no one, not his wife, nor his coven nor anybody in the pagan universe said, or did anything to curb it, end it or call him out on it. Yesterday morning, he was arrested for owning child pornography. He didn't even try to hide it - owned up to it and got himself arrested. And now, the blogosphere is -- what?  Well, doing exactly what they did all the past years of Klein's pedophilia career - ignoring it, hoping it will go away and blow over, without tainting anyone in the community.

Guess again. How we stand up as a community says a lot about who we are and how we are perceived in the world. Frankly, I find the silence deafening.

It's ugly, but let's review the facts. Klein and his wife started out in the Blue Star tradition. It was a pretty big deal here in the Philadelphia PA area during the 70s and 80s. I was not a part of it but I know many who were. Klein also appeared as a regular entertainer at pagan gatherings up and down the east coast. Many folks have some of his music. But those festivals are magnets for pedophiles. Kids are generally allowed to run wild through the camps. Clothing is optional, and parental over-site is near-sighted at best. It's a pedophile's dream, actually.

Notice I keep saying pedophile? That's because that's what Kenny Klein is  - he is a pedophile. A man who to see children as sex toys for his own amusement and pleasure. He hunted for small kids at festivals and the Feds found over 3500 photos as well as hours of videos showing children engaging in sexual activities on his computer. His excuse - they were for his own viewing pleasure. Wow.  Just Wow. I find it morally reprehensible and absolutely disgusting. So what is the blogosphere saying?

Well, some folks are saying, he was a good leader, that one should not throw out the magic with the man. Really? Are they that blind? From one side of the mouth, we say a leader should walk his talk, be an example to to his students. I have read reams of writing talking to this very point - the sterling attitude and positive outlook every leader needs to exhibit. How a leader must be upright, of good character, doesn't have ego, doesn't abuse his students, doesn't prey on younger members. F*&%ing REAMS.  That if said fictitious leader does not exhibit all this, then run as fast as your little Frodo feet can carry you, this is the wrong person, run away, run away!

What hypocrisy.

Here's what I think (don't candy coat it Mambo - ok I won't...) Your leader lied, Blue Star. He was a fake, a phony-baloney leader who hid his sickness in plain sight. How about this - just take a look at some of the books attributed to him - The Flowering Rod, Girls I have Known, Faerie Tale Rituals. Ick.  He was such a good liar, that all pagans have been accomplices to his pedophilia. Yup. If you were at a festival and saw that letch leering at kids, and you didn't go find the organizers to have him thrown out, then you just helped him hide his illness. People have said they remember him leering at kids in the pool at Free Spirit. Those same people are now saying they thought he was a creep, they thought he was a letch. Well, he was always a creep, he was always a pedophile and we let him come amongst us; we let the wolf into the lamb's pen and by god, we are lucky he didn't devour them whole before our turned-away eyes.

We can't say the magic was good, but the leader wasn't - it doesn't equate. If a leader is supposed to be an upstanding person of good moral character, with no ego, is helpful and insightful, then they cannot simultaneously be sexual predators, pedophiles, and morally bankrupt characters. No they can not. And I got one more news flash - a pedophile is born that way. Not made, not led to it, or forced into it or moves to that side or any of the other idiotic and stupendously ignorant statements I have seen today. Pedophiles comes into the world as pedophiles.

Pagans need to begin policing their own or the world is going to come calling and do it for them. And it won't be pretty. The rest of the world follows a pretty strict moral compass. It's very simple - don't touch children. Do whatever thou shalt to your adult partner, but leave the kids alone. That's it, plain and simple. And the punishment metted out for breaking this rule is just as simple. The Law (however you wish to define such a thing) places the pedophile in the general population of prison, and allows said population to level the playing field. Right now, I actually feel a tad sorry for Klein. He's about to learn what the repercussion of his illness is about to bring to his person.

Kenny Klein is and always was a pedophile. He found an easy way to satisfy his sickness. He joined a Wiccan coven, became a pagan leader, and then used his position and status to gain access to our most vulnerable members - the children.  He attended pagan gatherings where young children ran free (and often naked) for his viewing pleasure. The real question now is: who else is hiding in sheep's clothing?

Think about that while you've got your head down that hole. Just remember, your ass is still showing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LaSiren's Pwen - Part Two

We consecrated the pwen on Saturday at Loko's fet. It sat front and center on the Rada altar, just soaking up the power.  The client adored her - as did everyone else. We sang, we danced, we saluted, and then I realized that C was here. She is a child of LaSiren, and a pretty powerful medium. As she is four months pregnant, she was sitting down at the point in the service.

 I was singing through Agwe and Siren, when I got to C's chante vayan (her valiant song).  My legs turned numb - a wierd enough sensation, but then the numbness crept all the way up my body and I found myself being propelled over to the other side of the temple - and then I was gone. Siren was in my head and blessing her child and the child-to-be in her womb.

Should have  known Siren wouldn't allow her child to leave without her protection and blessings. Anyway, back to the pwen - she was gorgeously consecrated by the spirits and handed over to the client. But as promise, here are a couple shots of her for your viewing pleasure:

Siren very much had her own desire when it came to how she was going to look. First was the demand for a cowl of wavy, fin like structures to the back of her head.  The wave structure was continued down her face and over her cheeks. At this point, I thought she resembled a Lion Fish, with the waves and  projections.

Her body was determined by the bottle that I used as her armature.  It was basically square, but twisted 45 degrees around, giving it a sense of motion in stillness.  I also did wave like appendages and fins off her back.  I used a subtle imprint of stones and building edifices, like a submerged Atlantis for the body embellishments. I also sculpted cockle shell attachments, and sea-snakes that undulated down from her arms.  The hands were heavy covered in clay and decorated with sea sigils, as Siren is a sorceress and commands the dead of the waters. face was another challenge. I did not want her to look like a baby doll, nor did I want a Disney-esque visage with doe eyes and wavy hair.  If she spends her life in the water, I mused, submerged, then she would resemble a fish.

I sculpted out the nose entirely, replacing it with a smoother, more fish-like profile. The mouth I modeled after my beloved Parrot Cichlids, whose mouths are heart shaped and open. I also obliterated the cheeks in favor of a gill-like shape, also modeled on the cichlid face. Finally, I painted and repainted the eye, but it still looked too human. Again, refering to the cichlid, I painted out the entire eye and simply dotted the pupil over the iris. It looked eerie, not human and perfect in rendering.  This is the first time I have used Interference paints.  I used them to highlight her head so it had a bio-luminence to it. And I diluted it as a wash on the fins and wavy cowl. I think it lent the right amount of "otherworldliness" to her overall visage.

I kept to a blue green palette and added a touch of red to hint at her Petro nature. And finally, I doused her in matt finish help tone down the sheen that makes this look so plastic. All in all, I am very satisfied. And I believe the client was as well. Here's a couple more shots of her completed:

Like I said, creepy cool and I can't wait to sculpt her again for my own altar. Mesi anpil Legba, for opening the way between myself and LaSiren. I will again complete her next week. Ayibobo.

March is Papa Legba on the Petro side

Legba from New Orleans Vodou Tarot

At the Legba fet in January, Papa pulled the Legba Petro card for March – well, Mambo G pulled it.  Legba said “There will be fast changes.  You need to pay attention.  Some may change in kanzo.”  As Legba Petro is Mambo G’s Met Tet, I thought it very appropriate as the card for March.  We sang Saluwye Legba e! Legba nan Petro, Saluwye Legba E! and I felt as if I had grabbed a live electric wire for the rest of the night.  The Lwa train pulled into Station Scheu and we danced with the angels till they departed – Ayibobo!

So what does this card mean for us as a house? The traditional meaning that was given is that this lwa represents the fire of the sun.  The sun is fertility, male and power.  As Legba is considered to be the solar lwa of the Word Made Manifest, he is the ancient male creative force.  And in his Petro aspect, he is explosive creation, like the Big Bang in action.  This avatar represents explosive and sudden transitions of a magnitude that boggles the mind giving way to choices that reverberated own the halls of time forever.  Bilolo!  Fiery Legba Petro, the younger, more aggressive avatar, speaks loudly and aggressively.  This is the Legba of impulse, fast paced moods, and multiple choices.  He is said to walk the fiery points of Mars, aggressively and without fear.  Legba Petro is quick-fire, a true mercury in the sense that he can move fast, make quick decisions, change his mind, turn around, do it, not do it, change how it's done, undo it and do it again a different way!  Bilolo!
This is the avatar of the Haitian Revolution. This was Toussaint L'Overture's Met Tet.  This Legba inspired and gave voice to L'Overture so that he was able to speak to an entire island of people and unit them against the common enemy.  This is the Legba who helped Toussaint gather the 21 nations of Africans into a cohesive army capable of defeating Napoleon.  And this is the Legba who rode into the Battle of Vertieres in L'Overture's head, clearing the Big Road (Gran Chemin) for all the freedom fighters to find courage and resolve.  So blazingly alarming and seemingly insurmountable were Toussaint's talents, that Napoleon sent an entire battalion of men to capture just him.  When Legba Petro speaks, nations listen.
In this month of March with its erratic weather patterns and wildly fluctuating temperatures, Legba Petro will be speaking loudly and aggressively for change.  Revolutionary energy will be at play. This is the kind of energy that can make your life feel out of control.  We just exited out of an incredible difficult Mercury Retrograde period.  And when things have been stopped or misdirected for so long, it's only natural that the first impulse is one of explosive action.  It's like Bodhi when I let him off leash outdoors.  He goes a little berserk, running pell-mell around the yard, up the hill, jumping wildly off the ledges and highpoints and running full tilt boogie for the sheer joy of having no tethers. But I watch him carefully -- he's still a pup and I don't want him to hurt himself.
You need to be your own constraints at this time.  Pay attention to your choices this month - they will come on top of one another, with seemingly little or no warning.  You will need to make choices quickly.  Those choices will affect your life and your outlook for a long time to come.  Be ready to change or be changed.
Set a place for Legba Petro in your home. As this Legba opens the way for the Petro nation, place him before or on your Petro altar.  Use spice scented candles (Anise, Cinnamon) or red candles or make your own, with cinnamon and anise scents.  Offer him spiced rum, spicy candies, spiced cakes.  This is not a HOT Legba -- this is still Legba, but the facet of Legba who opens the road for the Petro Lwa to come forth.  This Legba smokes cigars, not pipes, so a good cigar is always appreciated. And sing for Him - the "Legba Gwetor-a, ki lwa ou ye!" is a perfect song.
One final note – this is the Legba who will produce His shadow come September.  Mambo G will have to watch her work and her choices then. The road opening talents that are so prevalent this month, will revert to the opposite in six months time.  Everything has its opposite – and it is the same for Legba.  Where is He is quick to move things now, He will become sluggish, lackadaisical and pouty.  He will be more of a trickster than an opener of the way and much more likely to cause you to step off the beaten path but not for a good reason.   It is part of His nature – all Lwa have two sides, the positive and the negative.  It is na├»ve to think that They only do good in the world, when we know They can do the other and quite well.  So a word to the wise – be more aware in September.  But for now, Legba is a power house of possibilities.  Make good use of Legba during this timeframe – He can open paths before you that you never thought possible. And He will just as quickly close them down in six months time.