It’s been around a year since I’ve last written about pop culture work. I don’t spend nearly as much time reading fiction books these days, so actively thinking about pop culture work like I did when I was reading the Wheel of Time series has kind of fallen to the wayside. But a little while ago, one of the Pagan podcasters I listen to came out with an episode called Inciting a Wonderful Riot. In the later half of the episode he talks about incorporating pop culture figures as sources of strength in one’s practice, specifically Wonder Woman, which he goes into more detail about in a recent post called Wonder Woman on my Altar: Modern Faces of Ancient Deities.
Now, I’m a hard polytheist. So pop culture deities aren’t something that really gels with my practice. But I do adore storytelling and have a soft spot in my heart for a lot of characters. The new Wonder Woman movie especially struck me. I could gush about that movie all day. And as I started to think about the characters in fiction that I could see myself drawing on, a lot of powerful women came to mind. Wonder Woman is the most recent and at the top of that list, actually I could see myself drawing on the entire island of Themyscyra. There were also a lot of witches and sorceresses coming to mind as well.
While many of these women are cast as villains, I have really been drawn to figures like Morgan le Fay, Maleficent, Regina from Once Upon a Time, and more. I think part of it is aesthetic but why not draw on the power of a damn good aesthetic to boost whatever it is I’m doing? All of these women have also had their stories retold or developed to show their perspective and make them sympathetic characters. Those are the stories that really grab me.
Long story short, I am rethinking my understanding of pop culture work. Before I was looking for things I could more or less lift out of the source material, slightly modify, and fold into my own practice. Now I still adore and frequently use the flame & the void meditation I took from Wheel of Time. But at the moment I am interested in experimenting with characters as a source of inspiration. These women do have some pretty clear correspondences too, so to speak. Why not try it? I already incorporate shapeshifting and other pictorial representations in my craft. This doesn’t seem like too more of a departure from that.