Friday, 18 January 2013


One of the biggest problems for most people who are keen on doing their own research is the limited access to academic journals. The kind of articles you can find in journals are often some of the most useful resources because they can deal with the kind of minutiae and specialist areas that won't fit into a book, or else they provide the kind of bite-size burst of information that's a lot easier to chew on than a dry and dense academic book. But unless you have access to a university library, or academic resources like JSTOR, you pretty much have to rely on what's freely available online (such as ones I've listed here), or hope you can find someone who might trouble themselves to obtain a copy for you.

For a while now, JSTOR have been offering access to some of their articles that are already in the public domain, but now – and finally, because they've been promising to do it for ages – they're allowing members of the public limited access to their still-copyrighted catalogue. From what I've read, you won't get access to all the brand new articles that have just been released, but if what you're looking for has been published for a good three years or so, then you might be able to access it (if it's included in the scheme). You have to sign up to the site, and then you'll be able to add no more than three articles to your "shelf," where you can then view them. You don't get to download the articles, you just get access to images (so you can't cut and paste them to keep forever and ever), and whatever you add will stay on your shelf for two weeks, after which you can remove it and then pick something else to read.

So it really is limited – and frustratingly so if you're relying on it to do research for a particular piece you might want to work on – but it's better than nothing I suppose. For me, while I have access to a university library and can get a lot of articles there, I don't get access to JSTOR or other kinds of online resources, so it's a bugger if I want to access an article in a journal the university doesn't carry. Now, though, I can access journals like Béaloideas, whereas otherwise I'd have to jump through hoops to get what I want to look at when I happen to be able to visit the library. So that's a definite YAY.

I'm still holding out for unlimited access, though...

More new stuff

Good news, everyone! Kathryn and Treasa have published a new article over on Gaol Naofa that I want to point to, because it's well worth a read:

Breath of Life: The Triple Flame of Brigid

The link above gives you some background to the piece and links to a pdf of the article, which covers various elements of flametending and fire associated with Brigid - traditional flametending, the hearth in the home, and the festival flame. There are lots of good things that are touched on in there, and you'll find some liturgy there too. As noted, though, this is the "short" version, so keep a look out for the long version.

Also worth noting is this statement from the CAORANN council, which I've been involved with for some time now. There's also this one, which touches on a worrying trend in some parts of the wider pagan communities as well as the reconstructionist ones:
Recently there is a movement on the part of some non-Natives - Americans, Canadians and Europeans - to identify as "Indigenous European." The first people to use this phrase were white supremacist groups, who are appropriating the term "Indigenous" to make it seem like white people are somehow an oppressed minority. Others are appropriating it because they have racist stereotypes of Native people as all "mystical" and therefore white folks who call themselves "Indigenous" are somehow more mystical too. We have seen non-Natives using this cloak of "Indigenous European" in an attempt to colonize councils of actual Indigenous people, and to even lead and pretend to speak for real Indigenous People. This is an act of racism and attempted cultural genocide.
The bit about "Indigenous Europeans" (or on this side of the Pond, "Indigenous Britons", even, mainly because the people concerned about this kind of thing don't tend to like Europe much either) is something that's a common refrain in certain political parties or organisations in the UK at the moment, though thankfully they're very much in the minority (and hopefully it will stay that way). And really, it's something that's no stranger to certain parts of the wider pagan communities too, even though the wording and phraseology has maybe changed over the years - though rightly or wrongly the outright white supremacist stuff is probably more commonly associated with groups like Ásatru. I've encountered it from people who have identified as Celtic Reconstructionist in one form or another in the past as well, though thankfully it's very much something that's not common to CR as a whole. But that's not the only kind of racism that's out there and the kinds of responses and attitudes that have come about as a result of the Idle No More movement gaining a wider audience have made that point painfully clear.

So given all that - and as if our other Facebook pages and groups aren't enough - if you'd like to join us on the new CAORANN Facebook page, then feel free to like it.