http://anjelkitty.tumblr.com/ - Art and Reblog Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/hulahoopdance - Hooping and dance Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/anjeloutandabout - Hiking and travel Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/shit-i-knit - Crochet and Knitting Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/whosinbloom - Photography of Botany/Mycology Tumblr
My ever shifting interests has brought me full circle back into the fandom fray. I recently decided to take my life in a new direction professionally, and take a break from doing my PhD and go to work in the private sector. My longterm goal is to one day have a research firm where we study microbial ecology and try to find ways to make microbes work for us. For now I'm starting out working in the bio-tech industry down in Phoenix and we'll see where things go from there.
I love getting good critique on my art, so feel free to provide advice on how I can improve. I'm trying to get out of the artistic tunnel vision mode of only drawing furries in blank space and thus I'm challenging myself to construct scenes with more lighting and perspective, and with backgrounds.
Outside of visual art, I really enjoy performance art. My main dance form is Hooping, and I've been hulahoop dancing for about 4 years now. I've been to quite a few festivals and done performances at lots of different venues. While hooping is my most practiced dance form, I also really enjoy belly dancing and just shaking my ass recklessly, and I sincerely enjoy inspiring other people to do the same.
Also when time can be found I really enjoy playing table top games with my husband. The main two games I play are Pathfinder and Shadowrun. Quite a bit of my art is inspired from gaming. Additionally my husband and I are LARPing again here in SoCal at a post apocalyptic LARP called Dystopia Rising.
If you want to follow me socially check me out on Twitter:
It has been my experience the furry and witchcraft, or more precisely the practice of ancient nature based faiths, are synergistic in a way that furry easily fits into a nature based spirituality. This is not to say that all furries practice witchcraft, or that witches should take part in the furry fandom. In fact I have found a lot of pagans seem to look down on furries, and suggest that we're all just perverts and sex freaks (which is funny considering what the core tenants of some of the neo pagan religions and sex magic). I have found that furry satisfies a void in the modern human psyche that speaks to some of the yearnings that support the neo-pagan movement, especially in the US. For me, furry has in a way become part of my own spirituality through my practice of witchcraft.
I have always been a furry. From the time I was a very young child, I was drawn to cat people. They were always my favorite TV shows (re: Thundercats) and transformation narratives always captivated me more than anything else. The idea of having human and cat aspects to me seemed like an idealized form, and I was always interested in anthropomorphics well before I knew about the furry fandom.
In the same way I was always drawn to neo paganism, despite growing up in a very religiously oppressive place in southern Mississippi. I was forced to go to christian church, but the experience never resonated with me in a way that seemed to overtake so many other people. I never really connected to the idea that all my sins were forgiven by a man who died on a cross 2000 years ago, and this was an event that I had to constantly think about and obsess over in order to find my way into heaven. I can recollect as a child being chastised in my church for drawing furry ears, tails and antlers on Jesus and all his disciples in a coloring book, saying I, as an 8 year old, had profaned the sacred image of Jesus in my coloring book by giving him antlers. In a lot of ways my experience with Christianity was very negative, despite my attempts to study and passionately follow the teachings of the adults around me, it always seemed like I was wearing clothes that never fit me.
I found my way to practicing witchcraft in a very superficial way that the movie the Craft came out when I was 14, and despite being mostly fluff, there was something about that movie that just activated me in ways I didn't know. I knew that worshiping nature seemed to me the most sensible thing in a way of being spiritual, and that I wanted to find a coven of witches to practice spells and avail the mysteries of nature based faith to me. My first introduction to the furry community came during the time I was beginning to learn about witchcraft as a 16 year old growing up in the deep south. I had been reading every witch craft book I could get my hands on, and being as this was before the days of online ordering, that was pretty much restricted to books by Silver Ravenwolf. I started wearing a pentacle around, and put the Wiccan Rede on my door at the public boarding school I was attending. I was of course harassed and bullied by Christians, who told me I was going to hell for worshiping Satan (PSA: Wiccans do not believe in Satan. That is a stereotype and part of Christian mythos). I had to start to hide my beliefs and ideas, keeping myself in the broom closet for fear of being harassed.
It was during this time that I found out about the furry fandom through the internet access I had at my t1 cable line at boarding school. I found out that Yiff was not blocked by my school's firewall, and thus my first introduction to internet porn was through the artwork of the early furry artists that were posting art online in 2001. Of course living in the rabid sexually repressive atmosphere of Mississippi, I had next to know sex education outside of "Don't have sex, you'll get pregnant". And so, the forbidden knowledge of furry fandom and witchcraft converged in my life at a very impressional time when I was 16.
It wasn't until I was older, almost 20 years later that I began to reflect on the significance of my emerging identity as a furry and pagan and how they happened to correlate. My return to paganism has only really happened in the last 5 years, as prior to this I was an ardent atheist, after relinquishing my early aspirations to be a teenage witch by the time I went to college. During this time I was still active in the furry fandom, but in a more superficial way wherein I was more interested in fur popularity, partying at cons, furry drama and gossip and selling my art, rather than exploring the deeper meaning behind why I was so much into animal people. It wasn't until I initiated my relationship with :IconTriadfox: under the intention of being a consultant about the female perspectives to the plot of his comic. Around this time I was first exploring the concept of poly (another thing that the neo-pagan movement gave us all a word for) and Triad was studying Thelema and sex magic. I wanted to know more about it and was willing to be his partner in some of the rituals, but in a casual, friends-with-benefits kind of way.
We were completely unprepared for what we were getting ourselves into, as 2 months into our casual friends-with-benefits relationship/exploration into thelemic sex magic, Triad's mother suddenly passed away on his birthday, Feb 7 2013. I was the closest thing he had to a girlfriend at the time, elected to support him through the process. At this point, things were already very rocky with my PhD program in Flagstaff, and I needed to make a choice as to what really mattered in terms of my time and energy, and I chose to be with Triad. Through the whole process of his mother's funeral and dealing with the business of death, we spent more time together and what once began as a casual curiosity became a full on deep and passionate relationship that endures today, despite many many challenges. My relationship with Triad helped to reawaken a spiritual side of me that had laid dormant for a long time, and as I began to read and explore some of the things he was also studying, I began to have more experiences that seemed inexplicable to my rational atheist mind.
This time also signaled a very difficult time for me, as I was failing out of my PhD program in Flagstaff, juggling my poly relationships, and dealing with a very nasty and emotional friendship break up that had ruptured my entire friend group. It was this time I started to return to my earlier practice of witchcraft as a way to find some sort of spiritual affirmation towards dealing with all the massive amount of stress in my life. It was also this time I moved down to Phoenix to find a job and be closer to Triad, and began more actively seeking a pagan spiritual community. Once more furry and paganism had found their way back into my life, and I began to think of my connection to a spiritual life intertwined with my fascination for animal people, as well as the strong influences these aspects of my life had on my social circle and relationships.
For me, furry fulfills the need to be reminded of our connection of nature. While we as humans may think ourselves apart from the natural world, we still are organisms that evolved from the same evolutionary processes that shape all life on this planet, and we have this shared history in our DNA. The combination of human and animal traits seen in anthropomorphic art reminds us of this, as well as invoking ideas of ancient gods of Egypt and many other cultures, where the divine was represented by a combination of human and animal characteristics.
In my professional life, I am a scientist. I study the interactions between plants and fungi, and also I do a lot of work for quality assurance of products for companies. Despite this very materialistic approach to how I earned my living, I started to find a lot more affirmation of how science and witchcraft are based on the same principles; in that they stem from a curiosity of the natural world, but utilize different tools for exploring it. In science you try to remove your bias, your assumptions of what will happen as much as possible and try to repeat the results. In witchcraft, you send your intentions to have an outcome of your will. Much of what I was learning about analytical chemistry and microbiology affirmed what witches intuitively knew about the world, in that witches had a sense of the terpenes in plants and what synergistic effects this had with the body.
Today, I avidly practice witchcraft, specifically Wicca, with some Yoga, Buddhism, and Thelema thrown in. I consider myself an Eclectic witch, whose craft is informed by nature, scientific insight, and meditation. I do a lot of reading and networking in the Pagan community up here in Oregon, and have been to a lot of different rituals and events. Triad and I have even started a furry incense company, blending a lot of our ideas about science, ancient wisdom and esoterica with anthropomorphics: http://anthroesoterica.com/
Furry has become more than just a fandom for me. It has become a way for me to express my ideal self and connect with my inner animal. I feel that Furry has a way of filling that void in most modern people's experience, and connect us with our imaginations in a way that heals us from being forced into a materialistic world devoid of magic. When we don our fursuits and wear our furry ears and tails, we are enacting our way of becoming our more idealized selves, and in a way this is a ritual, whether you are a Christian or Pagan, or Materialist Atheist. This sets our intentions out to the universe that we wish to connect with this aspect of ourselves and take in this power of the animal or fantasy creature of our own imaginations to become us in the material world, and in that act there is great power.
To close this meditation that few, if any, will read, I invite you to consider the deeper meaning to your furry side, be it through your faith or through what it provides to you and how it nourishes your life. I also ask those reading with this share your thoughts on this topic, as it's nice to have discourse about topics like this, and I find rare occasion for it online anymore these days.
Joined 27 October 2012