Archive for the ‘furry spirits’ category

Daemons of “His Dark Materials”

November 7, 2019

I’m not going to try and explain the strange and wonderful world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials here as it’s vast, complex, and can be quite bewildering.  Rather, I’m just going to latch onto one item of it as suits this blog, namely the notion that we all have an animal spirit representative or daemon, which is kind of an external soul never far from you which is intelligent, talks, interacts with you, and can be seen by others, as well as by other daemons.  Although part of your soul, these daemons also have distinct personalities, opinions, and feelings. They’re not pets, and you don’t want others to pet them…that’s a serious transgression and violation of etiquette that’s simply not done!  Furthermore, the form of your daemon can transform or shift when you’re a child, assuming a permanent form when you reach puberty.  Then the “tiger in your tank” (dated advertising reference) is yours for the duration…

A British fantasy adventure series based on the novels by Pullman and available on HBO, His Dark Materials depicts a Harry Potter-esque kind of world sometimes referred to as a Narnia for atheists.  Set in a past kind of alternative universe, there are airships and other steampunk kinds of touches.  The notion of daemons exists in other cultures and in their literature as well.  In our universe, daemons are said to be invisible and internalized.  Socrates, however, is said to have seen and talked to his…but he always was a wise guy!



Tales of the Cat Sith…

October 31, 2018

Let us talk about the Cat Sith this Halloween, who has nothing to do with the Star Wars universe, although he may be feline the Force, ahahahaha!  The Cat Sith (or Cat Sidhe) is a creature from Celtic mythology described as resembling a large black cat with a white spot on his chest.  By some accounts, he is a fairy, while by others the Cat Sith is a witch capable of transforming into a cat and back eight times; should the witch transform a ninth time, they would remain a cat for life.  This gives origin to the notion of a cat having nine lives…

Now the Cat Sith is said to be capable of stealing the soul of the deceased should it pass over it before burial, which led ancient Celtic people to create diversions for the cat like wrestling, jumping games, and riddle-telling in rooms adjacent to where a body was laid out so as to entertain the cat and divert him from soul-stealing. Party animal that he was, the Cat Sith would partake of the fun and forget about stealing any souls…

It was considered prudent to leave out a saucer of milk for the Cat Sith on Samhain as a treat, lest he trick you with a curse, such as causing your cows to dry up and yield no milk; remember, a dry cow is a Milk Dud!  The spectral cat figures primarily in Scottish mythology, where he is said to haunt the Scottish Highlands; references are also made in Irish mythology.  There may also be a link with the King of the Cats tale in British folklore.  In this story, a farmer saw eight black cats (some accounts say nine) carrying a coffin with a royal crown seal on it.  The cats are lamenting the death of their king, and the farmer goes home to tell of his encounter to his wife and cat, Old Tom.  Upon hearing the account, the farmer’s cat cries, “Old Tim is dead?  Then I’m King of the Cats!”  Up the chimney he goes, never to be seen again…a calling was received from on high…  

 So this All Hallow’s Eve, you may want to put out a saucer of milk on your doorstep, lest you hear a whisper in your ear to look behind you…AHAHAHAHA!




Thunderbirds, Skinwalkers, and More!

May 2, 2013

skinwalker– – The season finale of Monsters and Mysteries in America went off with a bang in their “Desert Wasteland” episode, treating us to tales (and tails) of thunderbirds, skinwalkers, nightstalkers, and not to be forgotten, aliens!  The American Southwest may be a desert wasteland, but it’s rich in really cool folklore!  Of course, I was hooked, and wouldn’t have been disturbed unless there was an earthquake or I was on fire.

Now since at least the 1960’s, cattle mutilations have been reported in this domain, and it ain’t Ronald McDonald or the Burger King that’s doing it!- – Now who could be mutilating the cattle, excising pieces and organs of them with bloodless, surgical precision?  This question served as the springboard for an introduction to things supposedly possessing the capability for such mayhem, namely thunderbirds or skinwalkers.

Now Thunderbirds here do not refer to the legendary Ford sportscar, but rather to pterodactyl-like flying creatures with wingspans of perhaps thirty feet or so, long referred to in Native American folklore.  Skinwalkers are my personal favorite of the things covered, a kind of demonic assassin created by magic to harass and harm.  A type of male witch, the skinwalker can change form at will, often taking the shape of wolves or coyotes although owls or other bird forms are also known, and any shape is possible!  Skinwalkers execute curses at the behest of someone else, and in human form could be anyone, even a neighbor.

Nightstalkers as presented are an enigmatic bipedal creature that can come in different shapes.  Their form is indistinct, although red eyes are commonly noted.  As their name suggests, they tend to come at night, and can haunt dreams.  Claw-like scratches on flesh and metal are reported by those who contend that they have encountered them.

Aliens are commonly considered as potential cattle mutilators, presumably possessing the technology capable of bloodless organ excision.  In the southwest, alien grays have been reported to abduct and “harvest” humans, in one case supposedly removing a fetus from a pregnant woman.  The biological father of this child reported being again abducted years later, and introduced to the product of that pregnancy.  Presumably the kid would get some pretty advanced schooling!

All in all, the episode had great, captivating stuff, but did I  believe all of it?  I see the purpose of such shows as being to entertain and inspire wonder, and to cause us to consider alternative explanations of phenomena.  I love such shows dearly…but I’m not quite ready for the tinfoil hat brigade yet!

Two Paws Up for “Life of Pi!”

October 29, 2012

– – Described as “visually stunning” and “the next Avatar,” an upcoming November 21st movie Life of Pi is a 3D magical adventure tale based on the best-selling 2001 novel by Yann Martel which centers on Pi Patel, the 16-year-old precocious son of a zoo keeper who has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal psychology and behavior.  The Indian teenager is the only human to survive the sinking of a freighter, and finds himself on a lifeboat with several animals that include an orangutan, a hyena, a wounded zebra, and a Bengal tiger.  While on the surface a tale of survival, Life of Pi holds spiritual dimensions as well, although there is no preaching going on here, and more questions are raised about faith and belief than answered.  Pi himself practices not only his native Hinduism but also Christianity and Islam; paralleling the story of the young man and the tiger, this is a zen-like tale about coexistence, tolerance, and the reconciliation of opposites…something the world could use more of!

As one might suspect, the tiger by the name of Richard Parker dispatches all of the other life forms except for Pi, whose knowledge, fear, and cunning allow him to coexist with the tiger for 227 days lost at sea.  The film mixes real tigers with computer-generated effects almost seamlessly.  Through all of this, the tiger remains feral; this is not a Disneyesque movie about the “power of friendship.”  Upon reaching the Mexican coast, the tiger returns to the wild, never to be seen again.   Japaneses investigators don’t believe the tale of Pi’s survival, and compel him to tell another one; which will you believe?

Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Life of Pi is one of the year’s most beautiful, original, and adventurous pictures that can be appreciated on a variety of levels, and is likely to be an Oscar contender…


April 18, 2011

 – – On this night of the full moon, I find it appropriate to post about my fave were-animal, the werefox.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love werewolves dearly…some of my best friends, and all!  With the understandable excitement over werewolves, however, the other were-animals tend to be neglected a bityet fall into the same furry shapeshifting family.

Werefox stories are common to northern China, where they are seen to inhabit the netherworld between the material plane and the unseen dimensions.  They can take human form and mate with normal humans, although such people tend to turn into a zombie-like slave of the werefox;  (–heh, gotta get me some of those!).  Even while in human form, the werefox retains his or her fox tail, which can be a dead give-away when it pops out of clothing!  The werefox can also lose control of its human form when it sleeps or gets good and drunk.  This can pose a major embarrassment.

Werefoxes are not the strongest of the were-animals, and are accordingly not as likely to rip deserving individuals to shreds.  They are rather more inclined to mess with the heads of their intended victims, playing heavy-grade tricks on them or perhaps laying a curse on their sorry asses.  For this reason werefoxes are often associated with sorcery, and in Native American legends sorcerers preferred to shapeshift into this form. – – Can’t say that I blame them!

So support and respect your friendly neighborhood werefox, and give him his due…you may have found a clever and resourceful new friend!

One of Us?

April 4, 2011

– – Imagine a surreal TV series about a guy, the girl next door, and her mixed breed dog, Wilfred. The twist is that the dog is played by a comic in a rather mediocre fursuit, complete with a drawn-on black nose!  That’s right, there may be a furry cult classic in the making here!

Wilfred will be aired on FX, and is based on a successful award-winning Australian series.  Not all foreign shows translate well to American television, although there have been notable exceptions such as Being Human. The premise of this show is exciting as we who are furry generally have to content ourselves on television with anthropomorphic animal ‘toon characters such as Brian in Family Guy, or occasionally catch glimpses of fursuited actors such as Bill Murray’s dog character Frisbee all too briefly portrayed in the movie, Scrooged. Such tantalizing tastes only leave us hungry for more, and here in Wilfred we have the promise of a major, on-going furry character!

Family Guy alum David Zuckerman is adapting the quirky comedy for FX, and will write and exec produce.  Jason Gann, who co-created and starred in the Australian series, plays the title character.- -Coming your way in  June!

At One With Beer and Nature?

March 30, 2011

– – The Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World is notable here because of his apparent natural abilities with animals, who also seem to appreciate his legendary charisma.   We pause to salute this man because he goes out of his way to protect animals such as husky dogs, bears, and as illustrated,  foxes. As evidence of his ability to get along with and even control nature we cite the fact that whenever he swims, dolphins follow him.   He has a live owl that is shown in one commercial landing on his arm.  A recent commercial shows this beer-drinking wonder shooing a mountain lion out of his kitchen!

The actor who plays “The Most Interesting Man” is in real life Jonathan Goldsmith, who is committed to Saber Tigers, an organization designed to save big and endangered cats.  That makes Goldsmith one cool cat himself…

Not Mickey’s Twisted Cousin…

February 13, 2011

– – I don’t know a lot about progressive and house dance music, but I know what I like, and Toronto-based electro sensation Deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”) often performs in costume that includes a giant stylized mouse head , usually red in color and with strobing eyes, although I prefer the black variant, evil maus (shown above left).–Someday, perhaps more icons will be furry!

His album, For Lack of a Better Name (2009) is a personal fave, with “Moar Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” playfully creepy and hauntingly memorable with a repeating funereal theme!  It’s great stuff for those of us who like Halloween year-’round!–Rock on!

Magnificent Obsession

August 28, 2010

– -Uh–oh!–The previous post has gotten me going again on Catwoman, and I’m afraid you’ll just have to ride it out with me…

Catwoman really has the complete package; she’s furry, female, and feline with just the right touch of sado-masochism going on.   As the folks at Toyota might say, who could ask for anything more?

In the cult of Catwoman, I might be considered a zealot; I’d go door-to-door for her! In fact, I think a National Catwoman Day might be a good idea as kind of a fusion of Halloween, religion, and furry awareness. Besides, who couldn’t use another day off, especially for such a worthy cause?

Catwoman also has an approach-avoidance thing going on; she’s dark, and we wouldn’t have her any other way!   You know that Catwoman would take you to heaven before she sends you to hell…

…and I know it’s all a fantasy.  Catwoman belongs to Batman, after all. –But a fox can dream, can’t he?  😉

Not the Purr-fect Criminal!

August 28, 2010

– – I’ve confessed before to having a weakness for Catwoman, and can you really blame me?  It turns out, however, that a real-life “Cat-Lady” was staging robberies of boutiques in Queens and Manhattan in New York City, wearing a variety of disguises that included…(dramatic pause)…a cheesy cat mask! Her wanted posters were unusual, to say the least…crank up the Bat-Signal, Commissioner Gordon!

The felonious feline’s daytime identity was that of a death-metal band singer, who performed under the stage name of Purgatory. Now her evil-doing days are over, and Gotham City is safe again!

This was, of course, a pale impersonation of the genuine article, whose whip this wanna-be is not worthy to carry…Meow!

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