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La Lune

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Erin

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(Please note that this rant only pertains to a specific segment of the population.


“Life is pain. Anyone who says different is selling something. — Wesley “The Princess Bride”


One phrase I’m absolutely sick of hearing is this one: “Whenever one door closes, another one opens.”

Only if there is a problem with the architecture of the place you are in. Doors are designed to keep out unwanted things, and if you are in a hallway of doors, and one closes, others should not open.

Oh, I know that they are supposed to be for keeping hope up when you are down and opportunity has run away from you on those fast little legs it has. I know it’s supposed to be a means of “soldiering on” and keeping one’s courage up. But the problem here is that most times it’s just unwarranted moronic advice that means little.

Let’s look at this from an emotional standpoint for a minute. And we will illustrate this with an example.

You are a world class athlete. Pick a sport. You are in an auto accident and loose the use of your legs. Which door just opened? You just had your entire life shattered, ended, completely disrupted. The only thing you know is that sport, and in one fiery instant, it’s gone. Where’s the cheerful door now?

Fact is that it doesn’t exist. Yes, you can pick up the shattered remnants of your life and go on to do great things, as anyone in a wheelchair can do, or you can simply wallow in self pity and mourn your loss. There is no magical opening of a new door, because opportunity does NOT automatically come to those who deserve it.

It comes to those who rage and demand that they not be denied. Yes, they rage, they fight, they work their asses off and they get what they want.

Let’s take Christopher Reeve for an example. Here is a man who was at the top of his game. He had a MAJOR acting career, for a wonder he wasn’t type cast in the role of Superman forever, he did all kinds of charitable work, he was a trained equestrian. He had a wife and children. He was doing a lot of good and he was making a ton of money.

Then he falls off a horse and breaks his neck. Now he’s paralyzed from basically his collarbones down. Can’t feel, can’t touch, can’t move, can’t have intercourse with his wife anymore.

I’m sure that someone in their stupidity said that line to him. They probably didn’t know any better, and they probably didn’t think either. He had to mourn the death of all that he was up to that point. There was NO WAY he was going to be a walking, gesturing actor anymore. There was no way he would be able to do Hamlet on the stage again. There was no way he was going to be able to do anything but sit in that chair and have some tube breathe for him. Hell, he didn’t even have control of his own diaphragm anymore, it’s amazing that his heart beat.

It was my privilege to see Christopher Reeve at a convention just before his accident. I think this was the last con he did where he was standing up. It was DixieTrek 1993, and I believe it was the last one. He was in the middle of filming a movie and couldn’t stay long. You could feel the vibrancy emanating off him. I was filming it and I was about 200 feet from the stage, in a loft. I could barely hear him, but I could feel his power and strength coming from him while he talked.

So it was a real shock to hear that he was now paralyzed. I thought that would be the end.

But was it? No. He fought, he worked, he did and was and tried. His wife stood by him. His kids did too, as well as his friends. EVERYONE who knew anything about the situation commented on how he would not stay still.

What did he do? He fought. He strove. He worked and suffered. Granted most of the physical labor was done to him by others, but you know what? He still had a hand in it. He did the traveling, the appearances, the bullying of the doctors to find solutions. He spent his money on things that he considered important, and I’m sure he watched what he considered his life fall apart too. His money going, nothing coming in, assets liquidated and so on. I’m also pretty sure that Hollywood abandoned him for a while.

Did this make him give up? Hell no. He worked harder. He did MORE. Did he go through an open door? Nope, he smashed it open and DEMANDED the universe give him what he wanted.

Back to consequences again. He worked his ass off, watched his body slowly atrophy and he keep doing.

He MADE Hollywierd give him roles, he made people pay attention and he did so much for spinal cord injuries. He did so much that I was impressed, since the implication is that those who are cripples can’t do.

So he didn’t wait for the door to open. He also didn’t look around for a window to crawl through (like the revised statement says). He took his crowbar and forced the door open, breaking it and making the world a better place for everyone.

So, THINK people about what you are saying and who you are saying it to. You may want to change it to “When a door closes, get that quarter stick of dynamite and make your own damned door.” Sitting around waiting for the doorway of opportunity is passive and giving up. Making your own door keeps you fighting.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Just some advice for all you who are in various forums.  Heed and use.


Recently there have been a lot of things I have been going through that are painful and hard to deal with.

I’ve come to a conclusion: It’s not the fucking that kills you, or the problems, it’s the hope that kills.

See, without hope, you are only dealing with what is. You only deal with things as they are, not what could be. When you add hope into the mix, you start seeing down the road a while, and you start seeing what things could become. So when it’s taken away again, it kills you a little more.

I’m depressed. I’m upset. I’m in my cycle again. I was to the point where things could go right, but once again it’s being snatched away. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I believe the saying is.

I’m not trying to bring you guys down, but for me, “It’s the hope that kills.”

If I didn’t have hope, I could deal with things. If this is how it is and how it can be then I can deal with it and actually come to a comfort level with the depression and sewer that is my life. But I start hoping….

Blah.


Warning, I’m planning on ranting in this entry and posting it to a couple other places, most notably, Daven’s Journal. It affects more than just me this time.

First off go to this set of posts and read: The genesis of this situation

Done? Here’s what I’m seeing these days: Judgment and conviction without any proof of anything.

I can empathize with Aimee and the impulse to protect her child. I can empathize with AJ and those who swore to care for the child and their responsibility to protect the child. But NO PLACE do they ever ask Mystie what happened. AJ even goes so far as to say that it wouldn’t matter if he did or not since nothing she could say would clear her.

So, let me get this straight AJ Drew: You have decided that Mystie is guilty of what she was accused of, she gets no chance to defend herself, nothing she could say would clear her name, and you hate her in perpetuity for something that she was ACCUSED OF, but not ever convicted of? Who elected you Judge Jury and Executioner? And as for Aimee’s “I’ll prosecute” statement…. How do you plan to do that? You can’t prosecute someone for a THOUGHT, you can’t prosecute someone for wanting to do something. If that were the case, I can now prosecute you for murder.

I see this more and more often in the physical communities. This is a witchwar.

See, Mystie wants to open a community center in direct competition to AJ’s dream of a unified Columbus Pagan group under him. He wants to be the leader, HE wants to control everything, HE wants to be the HWIC (Head Witch In Charge). Every time that the idea of Mystie’s community center has come up, he has found reasons to belittle it, disrespect it, put it down, insult and slander Mystie and so on. He even threatened to put her in jail if she went through with her plan to make this community center (she’s on disability and can’t work, his contention is that a CC is lots of work and if she does it, she will be defrauding the public and thus he will have her arrested. Really nice way to support things there.)

But with one person (and it’s known who it was) accusing Mystie of this, and this shitstorm coming down? She has problems with AJ, yes, but I know Mystie and she would not do something like that. Even if she said it, she probably didn’t mean it.

But, she stands accused of something, and despite ALL evidence to the contrary that she’s not going to do it or anything else, she’s been convicted by others on the simple accusation. The Secular Witch-Finders of the Burning Times would be so proud. This is commonly referred to as a “WitchHunt”.

See, I know why this is happening. There is a cancer in the community there. It’s spreading. People are leaving the groups and not coming back. They are developing their own groups. They are telling the “leaders” in the area to stick it since things are falling apart. And those that should be in control are watching their “power” (such as it is) erode due to this cancer. So they have to have someone to blame for all these problems. Mystie seems to be the reason this time.

I would suggest that the real cancer is someplace else and they need to find it before it metastasizes throughout Columbus. I have my suspicion as to who is the real carrier of the cancer, and if they love the community as they say they do, they will do the right thing and remove themselves from the community before they continue to spread the infection. No I do not think it’s Mystie. But I also know that this person’s ego is such that they will not see it (since they can’t be the problem, it’s everyone else) and will not remove themselves even if they did.

So the community will continue to perish.

And I see this cycle in EVERY community I know of, online and off. I have participated in this drama multiple times and am sick of it. What pisses me off is most often the very leaders who claim to love the community so much that they will do anything to help it, are the very ones destroying it and who won’t remove themselves since they can’t be the problem. Maven in Dallas, and now another leader in Columbus with the same HPS syndrome, and leaders of various online discussion groups or other so called “elders” out there.

And people wonder why I am solitary. People wonder why I don’t get involved in the community I serve. It’s because of dramas like this that I stay away. I ventured into the community once recently, had a wonderful time for a while, then one troll decided to attack, and I left.

See, while I do guard and do attack, I pick my battles. Fighting a troll only gives more power to the troll. The only way to win is to not play. And for that I’m called a coward. So be it.

Having watched this cycle and this drama over and over and over again, I have come to the conclusion that communities are a myth. Until there is a Pan-Wiccan or a Pan-Pagan overgroup (like the Catholic Church or the Southern Baptist Convention) to keep the individuals in line and discipline the trouble makers, there will not be any group who can claim to be a community. It will always be a gaggle of disrespectful individuals who don’t care about others and are only in it for the ego gratification.

So, that’s it. Spleen vented. Reposting to WiccaVent (found at the top of my LJ), My personal LiveJournal and possibly to one other place.


JFGI!

I see trends in our community. I tend to see a few before they are really bad and I mention them to others and to you the reader. I hopefully mention them early enough that they can be stopped.

I’m noticing a trend now that has me VERY disturbed. It’s a trend in which people want others to do their thinking for them.

Examples of this are:

  • The word “chaplet” being used in a sentence, and someone demanding a definition.
  • The term “CosPlay” put up on a discussion site, and someone wanting the poster to explain it in detail.
  • Someone wanting all the information known on Hekate or Kali.
  • Someone else wanting detailed instructions on how to sew and decorate a robe.
  • Another wanting the full text of a speech given a year ago by a prominent figure in the news.

In EACH and EVERY case listed above, the information was found within minutes by simply putting a couple search terms into Google and hitting Enter. Not just a little information. Not just obscure information. REAMS of information. Better than 25,000 hits in one case, and within the first five hits was the primary information that the person was looking for.

I have a few ideas why this is happening, and most of those reasons boil down to lazyness. The person asking for information is too lazy to find it themselves.

If this person asking were a high-powered executive who was doing 50 things at once, I could understand delegating some tedious information seeking to another. But this person was not. They were in fact a 15 year old child trying to learn.

I have no objection to teaching. I have no objection to teaching someone who is ignorant (and I use the word in the original context). I have no objection to tossing off a quick definition if it is warranted in the context of the sentence. But I have a MASSIVE problem with those who expect me to do their work for them.

Listen up! The people you talk to are NOT your secretary, they are NOT your personal research assistant. Most times they have less time than you do, and they expect that you know your shit already. If you have time to chat online with others in other places, you have time to go to Google and check out some facts. It’s elementary. It’s simple. It’s the law.

Just Fucking Google It. It won’t kill you. It is a phrase that will save your ass in many chatrooms, and you get the added bonus of looking intelligent, which is always a plus.

Not doing so usually results in you looking like a simpleton who can’t be bothered to look up areas of their own interest and has to be spoon fed everything, resulting in most of the people you want respect from treating you like a simpleton and talking down to you.

Your decision.


Well, one of my readers suggested this particular rant to me.  So, without further ado, Marriages made in hell…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happily married and it will be 13 years in November 2004.  It seems like only 13 weeks at the most.  Nor am I down on marriage in general, I think it’s wonderful if you wish to be married.  What I’m down on is marriages where the engagement is under a month long.

It’s all over the media these days, and it’s promoted in shows like “The Batchelor”, “For Love or Money”, and “Who Wants to Marry My Dad?”  Here are a bunch of strangers who are suddenly thrown into close quarters with one person, and then the strangers are supposed to fight it out for the love of the person who is the focus of the show.

How one person can get to know more than the name of the 15 people who are competing for their attention and love before the show is over is beyond me.  I mean, I have about 15 hours of wakefulness a day.  I’m on a gameshow and 15 women are after me.  That means I can spend one hour with each of them per day.  Over the course of a month, I will have spent a total of a whole 30 hours, or TWO DAYS with each of them.  Based on this, I’m supposed to choose one of them to marry in a HUGE ceremony which will be televised and shown to millions of people.

So, in this two days, I’m supposed to do everything in my power to make this person fall in love with me and then make her stay with me for the rest of our lives.  Two days isn’t enough time to learn how she likes her steak, what her religion is, how she likes her eggs or even if she wears panties.  Heck, one of the MAJOR criteria, sexual compatibility, is completely skipped over in interest of retaining a PG rating.  Heck, a month isn’t enough time to do all this even if she were the only one I had to pay attention to.

I won’t watch such shows.  It’s a matter of principal.  Then when they fall apart a month after the cameras are off, people are surprised that they broke up.  What else were they expecting, honestly.

Then we come to Britney Spears and her 17 hour marriage.  People were shocked and scandalized when she got married and divorced in the same day.  I don’t know which was more shocking, that she got married or that she got divorced.

Is it any wonder that we have kids getting married in ceremonies at city hall and then it falling apart in two weeks or so.  Is it any wonder that people are shocked when someone gets married after knowing a person for a week or two.

I courted my wife for two months.  I had actually asked her to marry me after about a month of being with her.  But we had spent about 13 hours out of every 24 hour day together.  The rest were work or sleep.  On her days off, we spent something like 20 hours out of every 24 together.  This added up to an incredible amount of time together, and we were talking and relating to each other the whole time.  I learned things from her in that month, that her own children didn’t know.  Even then my mother and sisters still thought that was too little.

YOU CANNOT KNOW SOMEONE IN A RELATIVELY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME!!!! Say it with me now, you cannot know someone in a relatively short amount of time.  You must spend time relating and learning and being inside each other (mentally) before you are going to be capable of understanding each other to the depths that a married couple should know each other to.

That knowledge is key to a lasting relationship.  I should know, I almost married someone only because I was horny.  Good thing I didn’t, it would have been a nightmare.  My step son is also involved in a relationship where he almost got married after a week of knowing this lady.  And there are many other similar stories.

For the love of the Gods, wait and get to know someone BEFORE getting married.  Or your divorce may be blamed on the oh-so-dangerous homosexuals who are corrupting marriage in America.


Days like today

It’s funny the things that spark a thought or train of them. Take today for instance, it’s my wife’s birthday. She’s 52 and getting younger every day. It’s also the day the George Bush is in town to tell us how wonderful the healthcare situation is in this great country of ours, all thanks to him. It’s also the Thursday before Memorial Day.

It makes me think about life and death and the war in Iraq. How those people over there are living and how they are dying. It makes me wonder how many other people won’t have birthdays anymore, but are looking forward to the first anniversary of their death. I’m not talking solely about the soldiers, although they are the ones closest to my heart. I’m also talking about the Iraqis too. Thankfully the executions of women for not having their head veils on has stopped (at least on the news).

My wife and I have made plans to go on Monday to bleed into a bottle. That’s a euphemism for donating blood. It seems appropriate to me on many levels. First, local blood supplies are at a critical low, one day’s supply for O Neg (Mary‘s type) and three days’ supply for A Pos (mine). If the Red Cross would take a child’s, I’d try to get our daughter to donate, but she’s only 11 and I don’t think they would take hers.

What better way to honor the soldiers who have passed. “Look, spirits of my ancestors! Come, watch! You spilt your blood so I could live in this world, now I spill my blood to help the injured live. Boidh Se! (bee shay, it’s Irish for “so be it”)” Or there is the “Hey, I had an operation when I was 8, my adenoids opened up and was hemorrhage into my stomach after my tonsillectomy, and I lost 1/4 my blood volume. Someone’s donation saved my life, and I pay that back now.” Or even “This is the right thing to do. Others need this and I have it.”

Yes, I am a big proponent of blood donation, but that’s not the only thing I’m thinking of. I’m also considering how many people get put up for adoption. See, Mary’s adopted. If she hadn’t been, who knows what kind of person she would be now? If I had the money, I would get her mother a present to say “thank you” for taking her in and raising her. If I knew who her biological mother was, I think I would get HER a present too, for bringing my heart into this world.

No rant this time, just some thoughts. If your local Red Cross is open on Monday, say thank you to those who came before you by donating a pint. Visit the graves of your ancestors and clean them up, go to the local memorial graveyard and pick up some trash. The dead have feelings too, and just because they aren’t here to nag you, doesn’t mean they don’t want their headstone cleaned up. Memorial Day was created to honor those fallen in battle, to remember their sacrifice. Don’t forget them.


An Open Letter to the President of the United States

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing you today to let you know about the state of some of your constituents, some of the ordinary citizens of the United States. I feel you need to understand that your plans are just not working as well as your staff is telling you they are.

I want to give you some demographic background before I start telling you what is going on from the average citizen’s perspective.

(read more….)


Well, it’s been a while since I wrote a REAL rant, so here I go again.

I hate the holidays, and I don’t make any excuses about it.  As a consequence of that, I can’t stand the music going on during this time of the year.  So I listened to NPR.  I had been hearing many political shows and many shows that deal with the upcoming primary campaign.

I listened to part of a speech given by George W. Shrub.  He said (and I can’t get a transcript nor can I listen to the audio file) something to the effect that his economic plan was working because unemployment was down from where it was 3 months ago.

Mr. President, that’s too little too fucking late.

We had the best economy in a long time going into your presidency.  We had the lowest unemployment rate in decades under Clinton, we had a SURPLUS in the budget, we had a plan in place to lower the deficit over 20 years, the dollar was up on EVERY indicator and we were prosperous.

I remember that time, I had a choice of jobs and companies were competing to give jobs to qualified workers.  I lost my job at one company, and within a few days, I had a replacement where I am now.

Then you are elected (some say you stole the election, but I won’t get into that).  Immediately the surplus in the national budget is gone, and you are trying to con us into believing that the money you are giving to us is a bonus, when it’s actually an advance against our tax returns.  Then the economy takes a dive.  The job market starts closing down and unemployment goes to a 40 year high.  This means, Mr. President, that in the time you were in control of the national economy, more people lost their jobs taking us from a record high to a record low point.

And you say that a slight increase in available jobs is a good thing, an indicator that your plan is succeeding?  What happened in the preceding 3 years of your rule?  Why the hell didn’t you do something then?  So we go from 1.5% unemployment (for example) to 10% unemployment in your time in office, and I’m supposed to cheer when that dips to 9.5% unemployment?  What about the other 8%?  What are you going to do to get us back to where we were before you took office?

I would only consider your economic plan a success when we surpass the benchmark set by Clinton in his time in office.

Too little too late.

Oh, and I would point out, that this slide in the economy coincides with a military conflict, which historically creates several thousand jobs, and boosts the economy.  Normally in a conflict there is a demand by the industries to make more munitions, more weapons, more guns, and that dumps jobs on the market to increase production.  But this has not happened in your regime.  Why?  And how can you, in good conscience, call your economic plan a “success”?  EVERY indicator says that it’s failing, and it’s only when you ignore the long term and focus on the very short time, the last few months, that it becomes a success.

Truthfully, I would rather have had the jobs, done without the war, and taken the Democratic “failure” that our economy was.

Oh, I get it, it’s a success since you and your rich friends have more money in their pockets.  The devil take the hindmost, eh?  I guess that you want 90% of the population of the US to move to other countries since they can’t make it here, taking all those jobs with them, all those industries with them, removing all the people who are supporting your lifestyle from the equation , since you couldn’t care less about us since you already have our money, right?

To quote a campaign slogan of the upcoming Democratic convention, “When Clinton lied, no one died.”

So when are you going to start telling us the truth?


Okay, we are coming up on that time again. Time to go out and spend some time in your day to make a decision on who you want to represent you in the various governmental organizations out there, from the City Council, the School Board, the Judges and Sheriff, to the State Representatives to the Senators in the US Congress.

Know what? You are the only one who can affect who is there and who is not. Don’t like the current representative? Vote. Don’t like BushCo’s politics? Vote. This is the one mechanism YOU have to be able to change the way things are. Patriot Act got you down? Vote for someone who doesn’t like it either.

The short theme here is that if you can’t be bothered to vote on the issues, if you can’t be bothered to pick your Representatives, you have no fucking right to complain when laws/acts of congress/resolutions and other governmental instruments are passed that you don’t like.

As part of this, you MUST remain active in your political system. How can a Representative or Senator represent you fairly if you don’t tell him how you feel on some of the issues facing him? Is he (or she) supposed to be a mind reader?

I’ve watched the political system as an armchair critic for some time now. I have watched documentaries and shows on the political system, I am a huge fan of “The West Wing”, “An American President” and “Mister Sterling”. But I also know that those are fantasy, and that they can’t truly show all the problems and compromises that are inherent in our system of Government. All they can do is boil the principles down into palatable chunks.

Which is why I get fliers from the ACLU on issues I’m interested in. And I send my thoughts and opinions to my Representatives and Senators to let them know how I feel on these issues. I read and do research. I have worked to keep some things from passing in the past. Ever hear of the “Religious Freedom Amendment”? No? That’s probably because it never got to the States for a vote, it was defeated by two or three votes when it came up for approval. I know that my efforts didn’t defeat it, I know that I wasn’t mostly responsible for that, but I like to think that I helped a little bit, if only by informing people that it was out there.

Do you realize that only about 49% of the people that can vote actually do? And that only about 75% of those that are able to vote are registered to vote? And that results in about 25% of the nation determining the direction/morals/law of our country at any one time? ( Statistics and Article ) Do you understand that our ancestors DIED to give you this right and privilege that you refuse to use? That our Constitution guarantees this right to every citizen, including the Military, women (19th Amendment), race (15th Amendment) and there is no discrimination based on any factor other than age (26th Amendment) and if you are in jail or not?

The fact of the matter is that, ultimately, you are responsible for speaking up. You are the only person who can speak for yourself. It does not matter that the system is bloated, that professional politicians are spending millions to stay in their job, it does not matter that GWBush and his cronies are in control now, we have the power to change that, the best power that is, we have the vote.

Don’t fool yourself, America is NOT a Democracy. A Democracy is defined where each citizen has a voice in the political system, and any decision taken in that system the people have a say in. Ultimately, we are in a Republic, where the people elect representatives to go to the Government and represent them and their interests, in the name of the people who sent them there. Once in office, a Congressman does not have to do a damned thing that the People who elected him want him to do, he is free to vote his conscience on any issue he chooses. The ONLY safeguard is that we can exercise the power of the Ballot Box and vote him out if it’s not what we want. We can call, write letters, visit, email, fax and any number of other things to tell our Congressperson how we want them to vote on an issue, but ultimately they will do what they want to do.

It’s your choice. You have seen what has been going on recently. A war brought on when most of the People didn’t want it, using resources that we need at home. A deficit that makes the deficits of the 1980’s look like pocket change in comparison, every other nation on Earth waiting to the be the next one that America Attacks, hating us simply because we have a war-mongering undereducated idiot in the Oval Office. (And I can say that, I was in Texas when he was the Governor there, and he was one of the worst that I can recall.)

Voting is the only way to change this. Don’t whine, don’t complain, VOTE. Or shut the fuck up.


What the ^&*(%^&%$ do these stupid Canars think they get when they don’t participate in the discussions?!?!@?!?

Sorry, I’m on a list that discusses Druidism. One of the topics is Copyright and use as teachers of Druidism. Now, it was my impression that teachers had to be cognizant of what the laws were, so that copying out 50 pages from a 100 page published work would not come back and bite them in the ass.

This idiotic lurker comes out of no place and starts saying “I lurk here and I don’t like this topic….” whine whine whine….

My read:

IF YOU CAN’T FUCKING WELL BE BOTHERED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CURRENT DISCUSSION, YOU HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHT TO COMPLAIN WHEN IT’S A TOPIC YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN!!!!

I see this happening on lists all over the place. Every list I am a member of, have been a member of, post to (including this list and newsgroups) have about 80% of the membership passively reading what someone else writes. Normally there is only something like 1 person for every 7 who actively writes to the list in question. That means that in a 100 member group, only about 9 to 14 people will actively discuss something, resulting in only about 2 discussions going on at any one time (with allowances for “did not, did to” and research all of which take time).

And in this particular case, the Druid list pretty much only has the experienced Druids and practitioners and Canars posting, every else is passively sitting there like daises, hoping to soak up the illumination of wisdom from being passive. So, we are talking about things that interest us, like the political situation in Ireland and if you were a druid advising the President of the US what you would say about what is going on now…. You know, constructive discussion about REAL topics.

I even presented my class on Astral Projection to this group because that is one skill that it seems like MOST of the old Druids had.

All these newbies jump in and go “This list is nothing but Llewellynish new age bullshit and can we PLEASE (* whine whine whine *) talk about something relating to Druidism….”

I’m so freaking sorry, I thought that was what we were doing….

If you are interested in a discussion on a particular topic, suggest it, ask a flaming question, participate….

Or don’t complain when I’m talking authoritatively on the magickal tools the Druids used and if a bleached Ox hide is appropriate in this day and age or if it HAS to come from an albino Ox, how you don’t UNDERSTAND what that has to do with Druidism today…..

<working on calming down now….>


Time for the next installment of….

WHAT PISSES DAVEN OFF!

Before I go too far in this, let me ask a question. Why did you come to this site? Was it to read about what a Druid feels? To read some about Wicca? Maybe see what is in the classes on High Magick and Astral Projection? To learn how to cast spells for fun and profit?

Was it to do research on Magick?

Now, let me ask another question: Do you really think that the plastic dropcloth that you bought at the local Martmart actually has a mystical power when combined with a candle and a piece of string? The string is any string you could find anyplace, including the gutter, and the candle is just gasoline leftovers with a wick in it. Do you honestly think that getting these three things together and saying some words over them will give them magickal powers?

Ceremonies from the actual grimoires of the Middle Ages, things like the “Key of Solomon” and so on, had entire rituals just to make the tools that another ritual called for. The spell would usually call for the magickain to get the components of the item, cast a magickal circle and then to scribe the medallion (or whatever) with the symbols and so on, pray over it, cast spells on it, dedicate and consecrate the medallion, name it what it was supposed to be (The Seal of Hiytoieha;ln or whatever) and THEN, and only then, could it be used in the ritual it was made for.

But the item was utterly changed at that point. Magickally it was a new thing, different from what it was before. It had been cleansed and infused with new energy, given a purpose and a “pattern” to be that was different from what it had been. But this process took sometimes days and a great deal of effort on the part of the magickian.

Did this give some sort of special virtue to the item? Well, yes and no. If the magickian in question didn’t go through this process, then no, it would not have. It also did not change the tool from what it was to something else. In other words, it would not change the silver dagger to plastic. But it did change the item on a spiritual/metaphysical level.

These days, however, with $RW and many others, we have “insta-magick” where we don’t have to go through making our own tools. Go out buy a dagger off the K-Mart shelf and voila! Instant Witch, just add athame and stir.

Because of that, no one wants to go through the long processes of making tools for use in spells, just buy it off the shelf and make it work. Well, it can, but there is something that needs to be substituted. Will and desire and visualization needs to be substituted for virtue of tools at that point.

See, this is where we get away from Ceremonial Magick and into Chaos Magick. Chaos Magickians do not use tools very much, they use their mind. In the ChM view of things, it’s the willpower of the person and the attitude they bring to it that makes or breaks the spell, not the tools they use to actually cast the spell.

For instance, a ChM (Chaos Magickain) casts a spell to call their true love to them. This could be done in a variety of ways. First is sitting and doing a meditation in which he sees himself and his true love together, doing something. He could write all the qualities his true love will have down, sigilize them, chant something like “Thou and me, become WE” 50 or 60 times to set the spell and then burn the paper to release all that energy. He could do a poppet spell (ala Wicca) to bring that person to them. He could go on dates and send out a set of personal vibrations to bring someone who “resonates” to that vibration to them. He could ask the Angels, demons, Gods, Sylphs or whatever entity to push the perfect person to them. Or any number of other things. He could do a Cabbalistic tree path (the true meaning of “pathwork”) and trace the route from one place to the other where he is, bringing her closer to him.

See, to the ChM, it’s not the tools that are the real deal, it’s the willpower and HIS energy put into it that make the spell. If he puts no energy or willpower into it, then there will be no return, no matter if he follows an ancient spell or one from Llewellyn. It’s that willpower, his DEMAND that the universe order itself THIS way that is the key.

Unfortunately this is what SHOULD be written down in all those spellbooks with the pretty covers and the crescent moon on the spine should be telling you, but most don’t. They don’t say “these pieces of wax in the shape of people have no meaning, it’s the meaning YOU give them to represent the people in your life that is the key”, so you are left with the impression that all you need is a few pieces of candle carved into the shape of a person and that’s the object of your hatred, and it just isn’t so.

I mean, come on, it’s just a candle, so what if you scotch taped a picture of your worst enemy on it? It’s still a candle. It’s your BELIEF and your WILL that makes it special, not the words you recite over it.

WAKE UP!

If the spell calls for a 30″ by 30″ piece of plastic tarpaulin, and all you can find is 18″ by 36″, then use that, it’s your WILL that makes the spell, not the tools you are told you need.

The only tool you absolutely need is a sharpened, intelligent, creative, visualized, stubborn mind. That’s it. Nothing else is necessary.

Update, April 30


Okay, this rant has nothing to do with Paganism, but everything to do with road courtesy.

One of the things that happens to me on a daily basis is that I drive in Rush Hour. Twice a day, every day. Normally this would be nothing new to anyone in American Society as 90% of us do this, but I would like to talk to everyone on one thing: Cut in-fronts.

Come on, you know these people. Like here, in one section of the road I travel, it widens from a 2 lane bypass to a 5 lane bypass right around an amusement park (or what is left of one, now it’s a mall). Then the road narrows back down to a two lane road again, JUST in time to hit a bridge over a major river, the only bridge for miles in any direction.

What happens if there is a problem on this road, well, traffic backs up, naturally. What do 10% of the drivers out in this traffic do? Go flying up the extra 3 lanes of room and cut in front of those people who have been waiting patiently in this traffic jam for a couple hours. Why do they do this? Because they can.

I understand if someone is dying or in need of a hospital, and I will let any emergency vehicle who has it’s lights on in front of me. I will let an exit ramp full of drivers getting on to the road in front of me, I will even let another road that is merging with my road in front of me, but these parasites who are not willing to wait the hours in the jam like I have just done, who think it’s acceptable to almost cause accidents simply because their shit don’t stink, can sit in their car and fume and wait for all I care.

This is like walking into a bank, full of customers who are cashing their checks, looking at the line and cutting right to the front of the line, because you can’t be bothered with standing in line like everyone else. This kind of asinine action gets me steamed.

And Gods help you if you don’t naturally let some of these people in, because they will force their way in and cause a wreck. After all, it’s their RIGHT to do this. Fuggem.

I want to ask you all to not let these idiots into the line anymore. They do this because they can get away with it. I want to start a campaign to stop this kind of action. No cutsie banners, no bumper stickers, no ribbons, just an iron will that says “you think that just because you don’t want to spend 3 hours in this traffic jam like *I* did that you can cut in front of me? Oh no you don’t…” and no space for them to cut in front or behind you.

An if you are one of the assholes that actually do this on a regular basis, well, don’t try to count on my goodwill to let you come flying by me and then merge into the traffic lane ahead of me, after I have been waiting hours to get where I am. I don’t have any goodwill for jerks like you. You can flipping well wait just like all the people beside me, in front of me and behind me have been doing. The only exception to this is the jerk who jumps out of the line ahead of me, goes flying up the lane trying to jump ahead, and is prevented from doing so. That jerk I will let resume his place in line that he left.

In other words, he gains nothing by doing this.


Copyright rant

Well, now it’s time to rant on this subject….

Most of you have seen my copyright statement. If you have not, please read it now.

So, what does this mean to you? Very simple, your best bet is to ask the author before you republish anything. It’s as easy as that. Ask. Simple, common courtesy.

Which is probably why most people don’t do it. It’s easy, it’s fast, and there is the option of them saying “no”. Yep, the author retains the SOLE authority to say how his/her work is used and where it is put. Just because it’s on the Internet does not mean that they have given blanket permission for you to use it on your site or in your class.

I think that’s the crux of the matter. The “Fair Use” statutes in International and United States law say that it’s okay to use a fact or section of a publication if it’s for educational purposes, and many webmasters go “AHA! I have a site that is supposed to educate the public about Wicca, so it’s for an educational purpose! I’m covered!”

Um, not quite.

See, that particular statute is to protect ACCREDITED educational institutions from copyright infringement, not everything that calls itself a school. State licensed, fund receiving, SCHOOLS, not this online class you decided to put together. Now, if you have a parochial school, then as long as it is licensed by the state and you use it in educating the students of that school, then you are correct and you are covered.

Other than that, you MUST get permission. And if they say “no” you can’t go ahead and use it anyhow “since they don’t understand your vision or know how important it is to be published.”

Let me tell you about two articles I found on the Internet. One was on Theistic Satanism, and one about the Myth of the Burning Times. Both of these articles I feel need to be read by everyone who comes to this site, and I wanted to reproduce them both on this site for the visitors to see, and to make sure that if something (Gods forbid) should happen to their sites, SOMEONE would have a copy so that the knowledge would not be lost.

One author gave me permission, the other didn’t. Know what? I have one article here, and the other is linked, even though it is harder for me to pull attention to it that way. But, I’m not going to go and post it to this site without her blessing, because that’s like I took a plant from her home after she told me not to, since I know best. It’s theft, pure and simple.

“How can it be theft” one may ask. It’s words on a paper, about as ephemeral as speaking, and speech is not copyrightable. So, writing should not be either.

Know what? Speech is copyrightable, but there are a lot of things that have to be done in order to copyright a speaking engagement or a song. But that is not here nor there, the point is that so much more effort goes into the written word than goes into speech there is little comparison.

Say for example you and I are talking over the phone. I say I think you are being stupid and I then tell you what I think you should do in a situation. I can’t call those words back and re-say them, but if it’s an e-mail, I can always delete that line and write something more diplomatic. I can write that I think what you are considering is not what you should do, I can say that you may be better served to consider THIS course of action. It’s called editing, and that takes time.

So does spell-checking and grammar-checking done by the editor, the layout and typeface and the actual printing of the document or book you are referencing, along with the paper, artwork, printing ink, card stock for the cover, the secretaries who call the bookstores and tell them that there is a new book, the publicists who send out press releases and contact reviewers, the free copies to those reviewers and so on. Do you think that all these people do this for free? No, they get paid out of the sales price. That’s why a 250 page paperback book is now costing almost $7.00 American per, when I remember them being 50 cents or so.

So, you taking this chapter out of a book and publishing it on your site is theft, pure and simple. If I can download it or read it online for free, why should I pay for the book? Thus, those people who are all taking $0.25 or so out of the price of the book to put food on their table don’t get that now.

Oh, that’s right, we were talking about documents on the Web. But the same thing applies. Suppose that Silver RavenWolf had the Internet when she started writing. She could have published to her site a LOT of her own writing, articles on everything from how her family operates to how to piss off the community fast. Articles on Dutch Hexmeistery and PowWow traditions. Along comes a publisher (who DO look around the Internet for copyright violations and for new and upcoming authors) and offers her a publication contract. So, she takes a bunch of her writing, smoothes it over, compiles it into a series of books, and presents it. She also removed it from the Web as well, so that what is in print is the only copy of it floating around.

But wait, there is that pesky copy that you lifted off her site and posted to your site out there. What about that? And then there are those 500 other people who have done the same thing, that particular document being one of the most popular. Then there are the 50,000 other people who have grabbed different sections of her site and put them on their sites.

You know what would happen? The publisher would likely retract the offer they made since the market is already saturated with her writings for free, and no one in their right mind would pay for a book of this when they can use some patience and cunning and get it all for free.

So, by grabbing someone else’s work, even if they don’t have a book out there, you are reducing FUTURE revenues they could make off their words. Which is why most publishers don’t offer anyone who is published on the Internet any kind of contract. The work they publish is unique to the print medium and may be reproduced to the Internet eventually, but it’s published as a book first.

Which is why most authors and ALL publishers are so jealous of the copyright and guard it so fiercely.

At the very least, ask. Don’t assume that because it’s on the Internet that you can post it to your site, mailing list, newsgroup, metaphysical shop or what have you without thinking this through. You could be taking a meal out of someone’s mouth. (Okay, I’ll admit that was a cheep shot, but if it works….) Besides, if enough people take our work, authors won’t write anymore. We do this for a living, for the money, not because we are masochists, altruistic or because we enjoy the long hours writing and editing, the research or the plotting and re-writing or clarifying statements and ideas and so on.

And don’t think that just because you post whatever blurb with the author’s name and where you got this quote from that you are safe, because you are not. Just putting in an attribution is not enough, you MUST get permission from the author. Sometimes the author of a piece of work will state that it’s okay to republish it as long as their name and copyright statement is intact, and that’s their choice. Their work, and their choice how it’s used. But this only applies to that one document, not all documents. It’s a special case of copyright, and the author is giving his blanket permission with some restrictions.

This is like Spider Robinson publishing the first two chapters of his new book on the Internet to try to generate sales. It’s a teaser or the author thinks it’s important enough that they don’t want to enforce the copyright. Doing this is like a car manufacturer developing a foam cushion system for a car that is deployed in under a millisecond that will guarantee a 100% survival rate for the occupants of the vehicle using it. They patent this process and release it to everyone, complete details and chemical formulas included, and they don’t enforce their patent. Why? Because this is too important to worry about the money. One life is not worth the revenue generated by the patent. As a courtesy, the companies usually still pay them for the use of it, but tell me, if YOUR car had the option of having this and the holders of the patent were enforcing it with an iron hand and milking the industry for all it’s worth, and the manufacturer decided not to go with this new technology because of the expense, and your relative died in a car wreck, would that patent be worth it? But this ONLY applies to those documents that are circulated this way, not to all writings.

Copyright is the same thing. Someone spent time, effort, energy, research and probably some family ties (because most often the family doesn’t understand about the drive to spend 15 or so hours a day in front of the computer writing these thoughts down and they get jealous) to create whatever you are looking at, they deserve to get some sort of reward for that time and effort.

Plus by doing that, you are the one in control. If writes a book, and you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy their future stuff. That’s what a library is for, to check out the new crop of authors. YOU have that control, but you know what, you have to pay for the books you DO want. It’s like the Neilson Ratings, in which they judge the popularity of a TV show by how many people watch it. They judge the popularity of a genre or type of book by how many people buy it, and it’s the power of the consumer.

Besides, in a lot of ways the Web is a popularity contest. You want me to visit your site and read what is there, to learn about you and maybe come to like you. Why the heck should I go to your site and read what’s there if you are just repeating the words of others verbatim or even paraphrasing what someone else said? If you can’t say something original, don’t bother to say anything. I hate reading the same damned information I can see on 50 other sites. I would much rather see an idea that is already on the Internet linked to an article you wrote dealing with that thought.

I find it amazing that of the reviews I have of this site, each and every one of them make note of the original material on my site. Like this is a huge innovation, original writing and material. It’s amazing that something that SHOULD be standard is seen as such an innovation.

So, the point here is pay attention, pay the author, respect the copyright of others, don’t steal their work and say something original, even if it is only a clarification of someone else’s thought. Bet more people will come to your site and read what you are saying.

And you know what? You can then jealously guard your own copyright just as others guard theirs, and you can know the frustration of someone grabbing your thoughts and taking them out of context and republishing those thoughts as their own without so much as a “thank you” for your work.


On being a Celt

I have heard it said in many groups online that because I’m a Celt that I have to do certain things, that I have to act in certain ways, that I have to give my allegiance to ______. To which I say “bunk”. I have to do exactly what I want to do.

By my understanding, the Celts were extremely independent people. They knew and valued their freedom. They knew what it was to live under an oppressor, to have their rights taken away. They fought for those freedoms often enough to know their worth. They would have been warry of anyone who promised them one thing, and then did something else. They had no problem stabbing those people in the back and taking them for everything they had when they were getting vengeance.

The Celts were honorable people, ones who knew the worth of the promise. If a Celt promised someone something, a chieftain let us say, then by the Gods that action they promised would come to pass come hell or high water. There was no slacking off and trying to get out of it, that person owned a piece of the honor of the Celt, and that Celt would see that promise fulfilled or die trying.

The same went for their loyalty. The Celt bent knee to only a few people. Their spouse, whom they honored and helped, partnered with and supported, their Gods, whom they worshiped and talked to as an adult child talks to the parents, and ONLY then to a chosen chieftain. Please note here that it is their CHOSEN chief. Just because the Romans came in and conquered the Celts did not mean that the Celts decided that the Romans were now the government. Quite the contrary, in many cases decades after the conquest was an established fact, the Celt was still resisting and fermenting rebellion and doing everything possible to get out from under the yoke of oppression.

However, one reason their loyalty was so sought after by leaders is because of several things: First once given, their loyalty was unshakable. You could buy no more loyal troops than a Celt who’s trust you had earned. They would not desert you in the heat of the moment, nor would they stab you in the back. They may disagree with you in private and it may come to blows, but in public they were supportive and helpful, often arguing the case of the leader, despite it being a possession that they did not support themselves.

Great acts followed the Celts like dogs followed meat. The Celts were honor driven. Because of that, they sought out great acts and did them only so that they could be praised on how well they did things. Why do you think the Red Branch was such an elite group? All of them were honorable warriors, out for fame. Because of that, they were in the front line of the battle, and could be counted on to take out many of the opposition before dying gloriously themselves.

They were not afraid of death. They saw this life as one stage along a long line of lives and deaths, therefore, dying here was no big deal. It was a transition from one state to another. The only significance that it could have was that they were not honorable enough in their lifetime to be worthy of moving on, therefore they would have to come back. again.

Please note, that I say the loyalty of a Celt had to be EARNED, not demanded. Demand something, and it was refused, force that same thing at sword point, and while it would be given for the minute, that promise had no weight because of how dishonorably you got it. And in that way, all oaths were null and void.

So, if you want me to act as my Celtic heritage demands, I will. But be prepared to be judged by a much harsher standard than you ever have before been judged, and be prepared to earn my loyalty and respect, probably by bribery and gifting. Don’t say that because you are descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, and the Comyns were allied and part of the family of the Nialls, and since I’m a Comyn in descent that I now have to follow you to the letter, because I’ll just slit your throat for all the cattle you stole off my family in the past, and get a little of the Comyn’s blood back too.

Have a nice day.


Onward to the rest of the rants.

End of Rant

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