X – Xena, Warrior Princess, or “Gee, I hope my Gods Have a Sense of Humor” (PBP week 47)

I have a confession to make.

I am a huge fan of Xena: Warrior Princess, despite its horrific history and its ridiculously inaccurate costumes.  Even despite its questionable to horrifying portrayal of the Gods.

So, I sincerely hope the Gods have a sense of humor about stuff like this.  They’ve been portrayed badly in pop culture long before this show came along and I don’t remember any reports of mass smitings going down, so maybe I’m OK.  I take comfort from the Odyssey, and its scandalous tale of Ares and Aphrodite told for amusement.

The characterizations of the Gods in the show range from refreshing (Hades), to questionable (Athena, Ares), to horrific (Aphrodite.)

Ares is the deity that appears most often in Xena, and I don’t imagine He would mind His characterization much at all, despite being the chief villain.  He’s pretty much used to that, I’d think.  He is shown to be a serious badass (though, of course, Xena always gets the best of Him) and He gets all the best lines.  On top of that, the actor Kevin Smith (no, not THAT Kevin Smith, this Kevin Smith) is one big hunk ‘o’ tasty.

When I envision the real Ares, it’s this image that comes to mind.  Haven’t noticed any objections so far.

Hades, too, comes off pretty well compared to other modern interpretations.  He is a little on the wimpy side, what with getting His helmet stolen and losing control of His realm and all, but He is refreshingly not evil.

Athena’s characterization isn’t too bad either.  She’s sympathetic, but cold, and in the end completely daddy’s girl.  She cares about humanity, but when it is “Us vs them” She unashamedly takes the side of the Gods.  The actress, Paris Jefferson, is gorgeous and has the most amazing grey eyes.

I can’t imagine Her being at all happy about that outfit, though.

The same is true of Artemis, costume wise.  All that skin cannot be good.

I haven’t seen the episodes She appears in – they are part of the “Twilight of the Gods” storyline which makes me incredibly uncomfortable (even my fangirlishness has its limits.)

So I can’t speak to how She is portrayed, except that the actress is too old, but I have no problem seeing Artemis in this image.

Cupid is shown as a teenage momma’s boy and Discord, well… Discordians may approve of Her portrayal, actually, though she is a bit petulant.  Dionysos, called Bacchus, appears in one episode “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”  I honestly don’t remember how they wrote Him, as I was too busy being alternately horrified and amused by the demonic vampire maenads.  Many other Gods make appearances in the series and I haven’t seen them all.

Now comes the real trouble.  The second most divine appearances in the show are from Aphrodite.  I really, really hope Aphrodite has a generous sense of humor.I suspect She does.  Otherwise the regular portrayal of Her as a lingerie clad air-headed mean girl would have resulted in some serious smiting.  (*Note to self:  see if you can find out how Sam Raimi’s, Alexandra Tydings‘, and Lucy Lawless’ love lives have been going.)

Then there’s that whole “Twilight of the Gods” story line I mentioned earlier.  Xena gets the power to kill Gods and does so with abandon, in order to protect her daughter Eve (this is when the show decided to throw Christian mythology into the mix.)  Ares and Aphrodite survive, having become mortal (temporarily) but that’s about it.  There’s more to it than that, but as I said even my fangirlishness has it’s limits.

And yet, I can’t resist Sam Raimi‘s ridiculously campy style, I adore Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor, and I am delighted by the occasional appearances of Bruce Campbell as Autolycus.

Most of all I love the story of love and heroism among women.

So still a fan, even though I watch it less than I did before becoming a follower of the Greek pantheon.  And even though occasionally when I do watch, I sometimes feel I should take a shower to clear away the miasma and then make conciliatory offerings.

Are your Gods often portrayed in fiction?  If so, how well?  Do you approve, ignore it, or take offense?  Do you disapprove and watch anyway?


To all my friends who voted for Romney:

I know there are a few of you: whether Tea Partiers, fervent supporters, or those who quietly cast their vote for what they believe in. I just wanted to say: I sincerely sympathize.

I remember how disgusted and frightened I was when Bush was elected. And re-elected.

I won’t ask you to stop complaining. I know I didn’t stop for about 8 years.

But the thing is, even if things do go very badly (as they did under Bush), you get to try again in four years.

Two actually – mid-terms don’t get the attention of a presidential race, but they are just as important. Congress actually has more power to change things for better or worse in many areas.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that its an election. One that didn’t go your way. It’s really NOT Armageddon, I swear.

So please, take a keep breath and calm the fuck down.

If you want, prepare for next time. I know I will be.

That’s how democracy works.

Sequoia Park, Eureka, CA

Spectacularly bad day today.  Only a few minutes to blog, so I hope the tarot post I just made makes some sense.  I’ve somehow missed a day on that project, way back in the beginning.  So tomorrow, cards 9 and 10 – I promise.  In the meantime, here’s a pretty picture for your enjoyment.

Tomorrow will be better – I’m carving me some punkins!

We’ve been decorating the house for Halloween, something I haven’t been able to do for years, and I’m having a blast.  Waiting for the neighbors to complain, though.  I’m literally two blocks away from the Pentecostal church I went to as a girl.



This, too, is Samhain

Because its not a proper blog if it doesn’t have kitty pictures.

Samhain turns five this October. He was a semi-feral kitten we adopted right before said holiday because I didn’t like the idea of a poor tiny little black kitty out on his own that time of year. (Or any time of year, really. I’d pretty much adopt any stray cat I met, if it didn’t mean my husband would leave me.) Not so tiny any more.

Isn’t he a handsome boy?


In honor of the move to WordPress…

… I am going to be changing the name of this blog from “Thorny Path” to “An Introspective Maenad.”  Those who have noticed the new URL may have suspected this.

Anyway, I was going to wait until the Pagan Blog Project wrapped up to avoid confusion, but we’ve recently been told it will be continueing on after year’s end.  (W00t!)  So there’s no real reason not to just do it now.

For those few followers I’ve aquired – my apologies if this messes you up.