Archive for the ‘alpha male’ Category

What Witches Know ~ An Original Fable

April 24, 2009

 

WHAT WITCHES KNOW 

by

Psychscribe

© 2009 http://www.psychscribe.com

 

     My grandmother, just before they burned her, said this to my mother: the only difference between them and us is they don’t know they have it.  She gestured with her chin at  the bonneted, jostling women, who far out numbered the men in the seething crowd around the stake. Her own unbound hair snapped in the wind as they lit her.

     Afterwards my mother fled to this secret, wooded place that welcomes our kind.  The curse they call a power spills like gentle sunlight upon the bears  and other wild things that feed from our hands. The beasts of the forest are kin to us.

     I had no father.  She grew me, all on her own she liked to say. I never asked her for the truth.  I knew he’d met the same terrible fate as all the others, the ones who came after. 

     We never knew how they found her here.  They would just appear between the trees, squinting and searching, as if sucked from the great open spaces by a hungry wind.  Raking her fingers through that thick, viney hair, she would sigh so deeply you could feel the cottage tremble.  I trembled too.  For them and for her.  Go away, she would whisper.  Not again, I would pray. 

     The gods did not answer. The men did not hear.

     She tried to warn them.  I’ll hurt you, she’d cry.  Leave while you can.  They never believed her.  Princes and farmers, hunters and noblemen, even the friar thought he could save her.  They never said from what.

     Save yourself! she would shriek.  They only chased her more.

     She looked safe enough. Layers of violet gauze robes hung from a tall, fragile frame, concealing tiny breasts and skin so pale it seemed as if she might vanish at any moment.  They must have thought they were chasing a fairy.  How could they know what she was?

     What they hunted, hell-bent, was their own annihilation.   They would forget to eat and drink, or wash, or even sleep, and laugh in delight when she called it to their attention.  See what you do to me, crooned the hunter to his prey.   See what you do. 

     And each would whisper his dream of wholeness and nothingness, the dream we’ve been hearing since time began, the one that sends them from their churches and wives’ beds and into our damnation.

     Did she love them?  Almost, always almost, she once said.  But as soon as I can smell the fear in them the feeling is replaced by something else, something I can’t name. 

     Sooner or later she would grow tired from the hunt.  How long can you run from water when your throat is parched?  But she never succumbed, not at once anyway.  Breathless and laughing, she would toss the suitor her robes and the promise of tomorrow, disappearing into the cottage and bolting the door.

     Witch! they would shout at her naked, fleeing form, angry yet smiling in a way I did not understand.  Burn her! Burn her! the wives left behind cried out in their dreams. 

     In the morning, still naked, she would unbolt the door and open it wide, her dark hair coiling and writhing, lifting toward the sun.  I could feel her heat from where I lay in my small bed.  She would not close her eyes when she made what they called love . They liked that at first ( ah… spirit! ) arched triumphantly over her like bows and staring into the depths of what they fancied to be their souls.  They always got to the point, of course, where they needed to close their eyes on what they saw. But by then it was too late.

 

     We keep a little piece of them.  Not because we are evil but because it is our nature.  What we take are their shadows, their dark, howling secrets.  If you’ve ever seen a squirrel skinned alive then you know what it is like.   

     They live through it.  They go home to their wives, their hearths and their children.  But a man without his shadow is never sure he’s really there.  He looks at the ground and sees nothing beneath his feet.

 

     The witch hunts come cyclically, just like the seasons.  We know it is time long before we hear the pounding of hooves, the blood-thirsty cries.

     The man who led the hunt for my mother was probably the most enamored of all her lovers.  And the most tormented.  He brought his wife, a small, plain  woman with flat brown eyes.  She’d known, of course.  They always know.  He’d offered her first torch when they found the witch.

     There must have been forty men.  You could smell the lust in the air when they stripped her.  I sure would like a taste of this one before we cook her, one of them said as he grabbed at her breast.

     Don’t touch her! I’ll kill the lot of you! screamed my mother’s lover, aiming his musket at all of them. The wife paled at his outburst.  She swayed on her feet like a sapling in a winter wind. My mother reached out a hand to steady her.

     A look passed between witch and wife that can hardly be described.. It flickered brighter than the torchlight in the air between them, a fusion of forces human shaped and witch radiant, so brilliant, so strong, that the men had to turn their faces from it. 

     She passed her torch to my mother, then gently wrapped her cloak around my mother’s bare shoulders.  Piece by piece she flung the rest of her garments at the men, laughing and spinning herself into the frenzy that is older than time.

     The men dared not say a word.  The husband could not.

     Embracing the stake like a lover, she wrapped her naked arms and legs around it as my mother lit the pyre.  Not a hand was lifted to stop it. 

     Afterwards he carried my mother home, belly down on his horse.  He married her and got his shadow back.  It was said, for a time, that he’d never looked better.  My mother, of course, died the death the wife had chosen for her.  It was slow, and a terrible thing to see.  First they bound her hair, then they put bonnets on her, and in time when he looked into her eyes he saw nothing.  Nothing at all.

     A witch without her magic is like a man without his shadow: useless both of them, and damned anyway.

When Alpha Males Get Sick

November 23, 2008

hallsbalsamLord help me. He only gets sick once a year, but when he does my hero turns into my worst nightmare.  I truly appreciate that he patiently takes care of me all the rest of the year above and beyond the call of duty, with my lupus and all, but BOY…paybacks are a bitch! He won’t let me take care of him… he wants me to take care of him…. he doesn’t need help…he does need help. I am trying not to get too close physically so I don’t catch his germs. He finds this to be insulting. When I tell him  that I miss his hugs, he looks accusingly at me like its all my fault. I’m also supposed to be a mindreader. When I ask him if he’s hungry, he’s not. Five minutes later I find him cooking himself some soup and sneezing into it. Mmmm….yummy…He then graciously offers me some, which I graciously decline.. And, worst of all, he’s a VERY cranky patient who isn’t a patient.

And just so you know, Alpha Males don’t marry Florence Nightingales. Truthfully, I HATE being a nurse. 

I hope I don’t get sick for Thanksgiving 😦

Alpha, Beta & Omega Males

October 2, 2008

First let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those  people who thinks that individuals can be neatly categorized into labeled boxes. But behavioral tendencies are fun and interesting to think about.   

My previous posts on alpha males have received so much interest that I decided to look up more about the other males…the rest of the story.  Here’s what wikipedia has to say (hardly a definitive or professional guide, IMO, but a jumping off place for thought and discussion).

“In social animals, the alpha male is the individual in the community to whom the others follow and defer. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair. In some groups, the alpha males and females are overrepresented in the genetics of a population if they are the only ones who breed successfully.

Chimpanzees show deference to the alpha of the community by ritualised gestures such as bowing, allowing the alpha to walk first in a procession, or standing aside when the alpha challenges. Canines also show deference to the alpha pair in their pack, by allowing them to be the first to eat and, usually, the only pair to mate; wolves are a good example of this. The status of the alpha is generally achieved by means of superior physical prowess; however, in certain highly social species such as the bonobo and humans, a contender can use more indirect methods, such as political alliances, to oust the ruling alpha and take his place.

Beta and omega

In the power hierarchy of the human group, two other roles also are defined and named. First, the beta male, which is the contender, subservient to the alpha male, but only after testing. The betas act as second-in-command and can either be dethroned alpha males or future alphas if they persist in challenging the regnant alpha male. The term omega (ω) is an antonym often used in a deprecating or self-deprecating manner to refer to member at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The omega is subservient to all members.”

So…are you a beta or omega male? Do you typically befriend or fall in love with one? What’s that like for you?

Relationships Can Be So Hard (Part 2)

June 18, 2008

Please refer back to my previous post, Relationships Can Be So Hard Part 1  before reading this one:

 Live Science reports that female chimps often cry out during sex (better known to scientists as “copulation calling”) to attract nearby males, but they keep quiet when other females are around so they don’t alert their competition, a new study finds. 

The hypothesis has long been that the females advertise their sexually receptive state in this way in order to attract potential mates, apparently to have them fight over the female  and ensure mating with the strongest male in the group and have the strongest offspring. (Here we go with the alpha male thing again….)

Instead, female chimpanzees seem to use the copulation calls strategically to enlist the future protective support of males against aggressive group members, especially other females. The females produced more calls when high-ranking males were around, but kept quiet during their mating when high-ranking females were nearby.

“The female chimps we observed in the wild seemed to be much more concerned with having sex with many different males, without other females finding out about it, than causing male chimps to fight over them,” the one of the researchers, Simon Townsend, says. 

He states that this strategy might minimize the risks of competition, because competition between females can be dangerously high in wild chimpanzees. 

He actually thinks that because females make the calls not only during their fertile period, but also when they’re not in the mood (uh..excuse me, I mean sexually receptive)  when they are most likely to conceive, they are acting something like the chimp equivalent of gold diggers.  

“Copulation calling therefore may be one potential strategy employed by female chimpanzees to advertise their receptivity to high-ranked males, confuse paternity, and secure future support from these socially important individuals,” Townsend said.

So is he calling female chimps promiscuous manipulators? No wonder our poor chimp couple looks so miserable.  We now know that the male is painfully and rightfully insecure, but as for her…well… check out her expression… Its like: get over it.. I am who I am.. girls will be girls…

The findings were published on June 18 in the online journal PLoS ONE. The study was funded by the BiotechnologAy and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom, an EU Pathfinder grant