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Monday, July 30, 2012

Beautiful People are Funny



Am I supposed to be somewhat sympathetic?  I don't know.  From images to plastic surgery people are constantly slammed with "I'm not good enough".


All you need is diet and exercise, this isn't always true, especially if you have a genetic disposition.  I think men have forgotten to make love with their hands, no their eyes.  Porn is great for a fantasy shot, but as for real sex, having a little fat cushions you for better longer sex.


I don't think America is sex obsessed, but I think America is image perfection obsessed, even when models are being air brushed everyday to meet this illusion of perfection.
Did you know this a Skin Firming cream?


The most terrifying cosmetic surgery is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and I'm not talking just about the back alley tie a six year old down and use a piece of glass, I'm speaking to women, who aren't culturally obligated, who want a "perfect" vagina.  I thought women were trying to stop FGM?


It's so culturally backwards I become shocked every time I hear it.  Unless I have a STI my vagina is just fine thank you very much.  I will openly admit my boyfriend enjoys eating me out and loves to squeeze every part of me.


Who told women the vulva they were born with is not attractive?  It comes down to money, how can the beauty industry make women feel so insecure about their bodies where they pay for a Playboy vulva?  This is the nightmare, we are living it as women, today, not 100 years ago, today.


I love this next video:




Love your tree, bush, breasts, feet, legs nose, down to your ten toes.  Margaret Cho faces this issue daily and she is skinny, but not because she obsesses, but she let go.  I try to just eat to live, enjoy what I'm eating and not just eat a Hershey's bar when I want chocolate. 


Even though I do not listen, even though I try to eat healthy, even though I have a loving boyfriend who loves every part of me in his way it still hurts me when I see the grotesque advertising to women about how they are not a woman unless you are whatever they are advertising.  I don't wear makeup, I'm about 15 lb. "overweight", I don't care to shop but I'm still a woman, just one not interested in feeling horrible about myself.


















Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quick Sick Post

Sorry I haven't written in a while, I've been sick and it's hard to have any energy to type up an engaging post.  Along with woking 5 days a week with two families and 4 kids (total) at 7 hours at least three of those days, I'm a little tired.  I do have posts on the way, but I need to finish them with photos, links and general content.

Thanks for reading,
Shadow Moon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Abortion: Rewinding Time

by Ceridwen
I feel the American mind is going back to the 1950s when I hear Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a slut and again when Lisa Brown, a Michigan representative, uttered the offensive word vagina.

I don't like the word vagina, it sounds like a dirty word to say, I think my sexual organ should be called electra, but I forgetting the main issue, America, stop acting like the abortion issue is a political one.

An abortion is between a woman and a doctor; it's private, sensitive and a choice, not a political issue.  Even when people make it a political issue just think, how are my medical records any of your business?  The only reason this issue came up again is because of the medical advances available for premature babies.  I honestly believe life begins when a baby is born, until then, the life is just potential.

Unwanted children are a tragedy, but on a very strange note, aborting unwanted children did have a positive effect on the crime rates between 1985-1997.  Freakonomics has fascinating articles and a few podcasts on this topics pointing out how abortion reduces crime.  This is not just a policy for crack whores, but level headed college students who don't want a child now, but later have one.  Most women who have an abortion have children later, when their ready.

by David Roseborough
Doesn't a girl have a right to have a child when she is ready?  I think so, but with America still in the dark ages on sex education, abstinence please, is there any wonder why girls become pregnant as teens?  The rest of the modern world is laughing at America, why is America so scared of sex?  I blame the Puritans and their anti-sex ways.

American's do not want to admit women are having casual sex, abortion makes people confront the issue of woman's causal sex and American's do not like it.  It is an issue dealt with already, Roe vs Wade, learn from the past and move on.  Improve sex education for goddess sakes, teenagers are already having sex, make sure they are educated and have access to check ups and condoms.  Please stop this time travel nonsense and deal with the now issues of Americas sex education.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Educating for the Future

by Southbanksteve
I am a product of the education system here in the United States and I listen to program after program on NPR only to realize the system does not benefit the children anymore.


Billions of dollars go into the US school system and unless a student is from a wealthy family or apart of a wealthy school, chances are he/she will have a severe lack in basic education.


California spends, on average, about $8,887 per student, this is about $260,000 going into the class room, $68,000, on average, goes to the teacher where is the rest of the money going?


When teachers buy their own supplies, work 70+ work weeks, have to pay off a master's degree where is the money to help they be paid for their time and energy in the classroom?  


Even though California is one of the lowest in paying per student in the public schools, a quarter of a million is still a huge chunk of change and if the teachers aren't getting it who is?


Obviously it's the infrastructure filled with janitors, secretaries, administrators, who take up most of the funding.  I'm not saying schools do not need infrastructure, however, it is far from streamlined considering how teachers have to buy simple school supplies like paper.


This is a monstrous problem in the system and I truly believe no one wants to deal with it.  charter schools can be better, but not always, however the greatest difference between a charter school and a public one is if the charter fails it's shut down, but if the public school is failing it receives more money.


How does that make any sense?  It sounds like an absent father who throws money at problems rather than go to the root of the issue.  I'm not saying looking into the school system will be easy, but it looks like the whole body needs a therapist.


by Stroble, David
Root causes for the issues pop up everywhere; teachers, money, parents, students the government, but I think we need to dig deeper to an older issue.  Placing similar age groups together, learning the same subject at the same time, different classrooms or no, has not  proven to be an effective teaching practice, honestly it is an experiment.  


To go to a more recent time, the 1950s, schools trained college bound students and blue collar workers on different tracks, but with the manufacturing leaving the US to countries like China this system is no longer valid.


The roots of the educational system are flawed and unless we rip out the old dying roots the system will just try to grow again leaving the education of the future no better than before.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nuns vs Vatican

uploaded by Sporti


The most poignant question pertaining to this religious raking of nun was about the sex scandals surrounding the priests in the Catholic church.  Time and time again these sex offenders were left to teach under the ambiguous protection of the church, but these nuns are confronted with the fears as to how "'the church's interpretation of how we talk about God, interpret Scripture, organize life in the church — how have they been tainted by a culture that minimizes the value and the place of women'".

by José Cruz/Abr
Why I left Christianity in the first place was because of the suppression of women.  I never felt like I could be myself and follow the Christian faith, I think these nuns are hitting the same wall, but on a larger scale.

They wanted to provide services to the communities they but the Catholic church wants to control these nuns and black out their agenda of making women equal under the eyes of the church.

Again, the Catholic church was putting their image before the needs of the people.  Even in the assessment of the nuns their concern was not about how they were helping the poor;  "For example, the LCWR publicly expressed in 1977 its refusal to assent to the teaching of Inter insigniores on the reservation of priestly ordination to men" and that was the Catholic church finds important, the absolute power of the male priesthood.
by Gerbilo

Change comes slow, especially in the Catholic church, it took centuries for the Holy Bible to be interpreted into common English why should the equalization of women in the church be any different?  I hope Christianity grows from this, rather than shutting people who have a different perspective out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dream: Escaping North Korea

by Gilad Rom

I watched many documentaries about North Korea and every time I found myself in a more depressed state.  Maybe this was what influenced my dream a few nights ago.


I remembered being in North Korea with my boyfriend and there was a rally where everyone nearby was distracted.  Hundreds of people decided to escape during the rally with the help of an underground railroad group.


We traveled through a run down building and there was a chain link fence in the way.  Some of us, including me and my boyfriend, tore down the fence.  After the fence was removed the underground group started to celebrate and I said, "Why don't we enjoy freedom after we go over the fence?"  Everyone looked at me, stunned at what I said, but I went over the fence.


There were some themes in this dream and I went onto Dream Moods to help me interpret them:
rebel: stand up for yourself, take action
by Ksd5
I certainly did by escaping and speaking my mind to the rest of the escapees.


escape: escaping from restriction, running away from restrictions
Sense I cut the fence and escaped I don't think I was running away from my problems, but confronting and dealing with them by cutting them out.


foreign land: change, how did the country make you feel
Obviously, I didn't feel very secure and happy because I was escaping from North Korea.


boyfriend: an expression of what I feel about my current boyfriend
We were both escaping together, working together and escaped together, I think this was rather positive.


fence: unable to express myself
Sense I cut the fence I maybe cutting away my creative barriers.


group: a merge between different aspects of yourself
I don't remember anyone else with us when my boyfriend and I escaped, so perhaps my aspects were faceless because they were my collective will towards a goal.


by David Eerdmans
ruins of a building (building): self image has taken a blow, need to change, perspective is wrong
I was escaping from the impoverished country of North Korea and cut through the building to leave, so perhaps I am changing.


I think these were the most significant signs in my dream and now I see a recurring theme.  I wanted to change and took action to do so and escape a former life of unhappiness and supression.


This could be a recent as how I finally changed my career to a nanny rather than persue a writing career or even how I finally broke up with my x-boyfriend Brian about two years ago.  I needed a change and this dreams showed me I'm on the right track.


Any weird dreams lately?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Faith Healers

This is just a general opinion, I'm not targeting any specific faith healer.  On Paganspace.com there is a post about a young woman hurt by her mother when the mother asked her daughter not to pray to her fake gods for her health.  The topic leads to faith healing when more information reveals how the mother's minister tells her she will be healed by faith, not medication.


I'm no fan of over prescribing antibiotics, but when you have a chronic condition or a deadly one I don't think doctors are trying to kill you any faster.  There is nothing wrong with looking to faith to help heal you, but reputable herbalists and Riki workers will tell their patients to seek modern medical help along with their alternative testaments.


The statement may be just a legal nicety, but I believe using both alternative and Western medicine can aid in healing the body and soul.  Western doctors tend to treat the symptoms and find the cause later, perhaps a little spiritual guidance is what the mind needs when prospecting suffering and pain?  If yoga, riki, herbal remedies, meditation make you feel better why not try them?  

by Mysid
There is no harm in trying alternative techniques, however, if anyone tells you to ignore medical advice and says only they can heal you, roll your eyes and walk away.  Faith is one idea, but absolute trust in an individual who goes beyond simple assistance and into I'm the one territory is dangerous.  There are many people who just want to be healed and have their pain go away, but this want doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind.


Do not let people take advantage of your hope, it's yours, trust a few people with it alone because if it sounds unbelievable, it probably is.


Have you ever been scammed by a spiritual practitioner?

Monday, July 16, 2012

What are Pagans fighting for?

by Niusereset
I recently listened to Pagan Centered Podcasts (PCP) 214-216, 239 and 240 for help with my drama on Paganspace.net recently.

The drama was over and done with, but what did the confrontation mean in the longer life run?  The drawn out debate wasn't pointless, but I learned how to handle it better next time.  If someone has a personal problem with me I will try to keep it private, publically stating this of course and hopefully comeing to a resonable discussion off the flame war board.

I meditated on the point of me being a warrior for Luna and recieved a question back, "What are you fighting for?"  This question made me aware about how lost I was about where I need to be.  I can't just pick useless fights, I need to do something with my fighting spirit to help the community, not add fire to the drama.

People in general are drawn to drama, but what is the Pagan community fighting for.  PCP points out how Pagans hang on the tail ends of any universal ideal important to us; gay rights, religious rights, employment rights just to name a few.  The Pagan community cannot just take a backseat in other's protests, letting them do all the work while we cheer at the victory.

I'm not saying there aren't Pagans out there who don't stand up and take a frontal position in social protecting, but I'm concerned the larger community is complacent in preforming their occult practices behind closed doors.

However, if Pagans stay behind closed doors public pagan figures like Fiona Horne, Silver Ravenworlf, Edain McCoy and others will continue to sell a false history and money hungry image.  Even if you want to stay in the broom closet, like me, there are ways to take a stand in the Pagan community.  I write a blog, Brook Stargazer has a podcast and even just talking to individuals about your fatih can help bring about a change in perception about Pagans.

How will you change the Pagan community?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finding Nature in Urban Living

My little herb garden
I live in downtown in a large city surrounded by other cities.  There are nice parks around my home, but I wouldn't call them "natural" because they are constructed greenery for the eye.

I'm lucky that I have a decent size backyard where I can cultivate, but also let nature grow.  I have a garden and a few planters, but otherwise I just sow the seeds and let them sprout on their own.  Not everyone has this luxury and I recomend heading out to a local bike path, it may be the closest picture to a nature scene from a National Park.

If you want to create a little space for nature in your apartment, it can be a little more difficult.  Some buildings do not even allow plants or there isn't any space for them.  If possible you could always speak to your landlord and ask if he would allow a small garden for everyone to enjoy, unlikely, but there is no harm in it.

If your landlord says no, you can always plant a small herb garden in your kitchen window, just don't forget to water.  I have one outside my front door, it's close enough for cooking, but if I could fit the herbs in my kitchen I would have.

Also, there are local community gardens you could sign up for or just walk by and enjoy.  This will not only help the community, but add some vegstables and geen visuals into your life.  I've seen these pop up around schools and if people don't parpisipate they will just dissapear.

buckets of plants
I think having acess to nature is not only important for Pagans, but as a community as a whole.  I'm not talking lawns with immigrant workers mowing the lawn, but places where nature is allowed to be or even just a garden in the front yard.

I have asked my friends to plant with me in my large back yard to offer them a place to relax and some fresh vegstables.  Gardens and nature promote community and make the block look presentable for people just walking by.

What do you do to connect with nature?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Possible Tumor On One Of My Rats

Poor Tasty :(
I have a pair of rats, one, male, is named Snack and the other, female, is named Tasty.  My boyfriend and I rescued them through a place called Northstar at Andy's Pet Shop.  These particualr rats were babies from an episoide of Hoarders, so they are semi-famous.


They both have lived a semi peaceful life and have a 3 foot cage to run around in.  We let them out occasionally, but we also have 3 cats and want to avoid making them living toys.


Recently I noticed Tasty has one red eye.  There can be a number of causes, probably an infection, but there isn't much I can do for her.  Unfortunatly it would be a $300 pet bill and the treatment may not even help, it may be a tumor requiring major sugury.


It looks like it's Porphyrin, because I looked closely at the irritated eye and there are red flakes around it.  This could be a deadly infection and I noticed her left leg is sevearly swollen.  It's likely a tumor and there is literally nothing I can do.


Honestly, I feel awful, I hate letting an animal suffer.  Thankfully she doesn't seem to be in any pain and her man is with her.  I really just don't want to find her dead in the cage one day.


I love the rats, they are also a symbol of both my boyfriends and I's Chinese zodiac animals.  I like the story about how the rat defeated the ox to be first in the zodiac, it's a story about how small ideas can have the greatest impact.


I know there isn't really any ideas too profound in this post, but I'm just worried about another one of my furry babies.


What kind of pets do you own?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why Did I Choose Paganism?


My response to a post at Paganspace.net:
When you're a child growing up on Christianity you were taught God can change the world and you could be apart of it if you were faithful.  Slowly you discovered the world wasn't fair, regardless of your boundless faith and belief, becoming angry at the injustices allowed to happen while God does nothing while you pray.

Later, you actually read the Bible, trying to understand it, dissecting it, analyzing it like a real historical text and realized it doesn't stand up to common logic.  You asked why were the four Gospels written about 70 years after Jesus' death?  Why are there no authenticated outside records of Jesus' life, or even the earthquake hitting Jerusalem after his death? 

As you researched more, you found the Jews worshiped multiple gods at one time and Yahweh, or Jealousy, was the one surviving over the ages.  You realized the Bible wasn't written all at once, and there was no way for any one man to follow all the rules.  You understood the cultural and historical context of the words and sought out understanding the original Hebrew, Arabic and Greek translations by scholars. You looked at other religions and saw patterns with Buddha, The Sin Eater, Osiris and Isis close to the story of Jesus.  Opening and understanding brought you a new belief applying to all religions on a path of "do as you will, but harm none."

You took control of your life, with this new found knowledge and through yourself stop in injustice overflowing to another generation in your family.  You didn't pray, you said stop, took the heat from your family for revealing a dark secret and are now stronger for it.

When I finally found the power within myself to confront my family for my abuse, my sisters abuse and my nieces abuse this is when I knew I wasn't Christian, I am something else.  I am a warrior for justice, called by Luna after much meditation and study living my life without fear of judgement.

Why did you choose Paganism?

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

by MarkGallagher
I watched the documentary Chemerical a few months ago and wanted to start making my own cleaning products at home for a while.  I do not like the smell of most conventional cleaning products and bleach makes me want to gag, even with the windows open.  I'm using what I have now, but I bought glass mixing bottles from Ross and just grabbing ingredients as I go.

As soon as a bottle was empty I went to work creating my own mosquito repellent, because the screens on my bedroom widow doesn't quite fit and I'm being eaten alive.

I bought some lemon eucalyptus oil from Whole Foods and grabbed some Rubbling Alcohol from CVS, I also grabbed some vinegar to make a natural all purpose cleaner later.

The recipe I followed was based off the instructions from About.com:

One 16 oz. Bottle of Rubbing alchohol
One Small Bottle of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (One bottle is almost not enough for the ratio, so 1/2 of another bottle of essential oil will cover the appropiate ratio)

The rubbing alcohol cost a little more than a dollar and one bottle of oil was about $6 and still cheaper than a 16oz bottle of the premade natual repellent.

by Stephanie (strph) from Oklahoma City, USA

How well does the concoction work?
I haven't been bittin again sense as long as I spray it nightly around the windows and front door.

How does it smell?
Like Off, but not too offensive once it dries, I think if I added more essential oil it would smell fine.

I also made my own personal all purpose cleaner:
32 oz. bottle (glass for me, but you can use your own old spray bottles too!)
1/4 cup of salt
about 16 oz  water
about 16 oz vinegar
If you don't like the smell, add favorite essential oil (about 100 drops, more or less)

With the essential oil it doesn't make for a great glass cleaner, but you can just do 1 part water and 1 part vinegar to make a good glass cleaner.

A great car windshield recipie:
3 tablespoons of cornstarch (to clean off bugs)
1 cup vinegar
3 cups natural glass cleaner (I used Method Glass Cleaner)

Another recipie I've used was for deodarant:
1 part corn starch
1 part coconut oil
1 part baking soda
Essential Oil 4 drops per oz

You mix all the ingridents in a pot or pan, put in mold or old deodarant stick container and keep in fridge in hot weather.  If the deodarant irritates your skin add less baking soda or change the essential oil.  I recomend a small batch of unsented to just try it out and change it later for your needs.

These are just a few I've used so far, do you have any cheap natural recipes for cleaning your home?





Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Petition Effectively


by Kennet1

I was listening to the Pagan Centered Podcast: Episode 239 1/2: Action and Reaction and the cast spoke about how people try to petition through a variety of sites; Change.org, Moveon.org, Care2 Petition Site, Causes.com.



All of these sites attempt to bring attention to important issues, but when I tried to search on any of these sites there was over 20 different petitions, sometimes more, about the same subject.  100 signatures on one, 13 on another, 0 on another, it went on and on for pages sometimes.  Every single signature disjointed for, perhaps, a just cause because of the lack of unity between these people.


Like the hosts on Pagan Centered Podcast (PCP) said in the Occupy Movement was as cluttered as a grandma's house of nick-knacks; many ideas, but no unity.  Well thought out campaigns, like Kony 2012, brought a concise view with a powerful message:


by occupyhelp 
"Joseph Kony is one of the world's worst war criminals, and I call on my leaders to support the international efforts now led by the United Nations and African Union to arrest him and his top commanders, bring the child soldiers home, and restore lasting peace."

With one sentence the reader knew the offenders name, where he was from, what he was accused of and the ultimate goal.  Occupy and many other campaigns do not have this concise message and were lost under the mounds of repetitive intentions.


Once I attempted a petition, but I lost my fire in it because I felt I was overwhelmed with clone messages throughout the Change.org site.  One of the better ways to begin a petition, a recommended by PCP was going directly to the White House website and sign there.  The site  was a direct link for an average person and the White House where a politician in need of a plan will actually read the words and notice the signatures.

 by Ed Brown, as Edbrown05
The best way a person could help a politician was to have a step-by-step plan ready to go with little to no thought effort on the elected officials part.  This may sound sad to the average citizen, but our responsibility to throw fully formed ideas in Congresses' face and keep them on their toes.

It is time for a revolution in politics and only together can we arrive there.

What are you concerned about politically?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dream: Shapeshifting Father to Significant Other

by AT2663 
I recently remembered another dream, so I wrote it down and used Dream Moods to help me interpret it.  Any good dream sites I should know about?


This dream was a little long and filled with symbols:


At first the dream started out in a casino, I think it was in Lake Tahoe, because of the forested atmosphere later in the dream.  I'm a person who takes risks when I need to, but I wasn't betting in this casino.  A man was, very happy, don't remember his face very well, but I don't recognize him.


Since I wasn't taking the risk, maybe the dream was telling me to take one in this casino.  The man just  was on a winning streak and just won $10 in nickels.  The nickels could follow suit in the risk taking factor because of the number five.  However, I did not take the risk and the dream moved on.


Later in the dream I'm was at a farmers market, I was just looking and went into a comic shop.  The farmers market could mean something I need was there, maybe a healthier diet?  I didn't buy anything there, but I did buy a comic in the comic shop.  I left, got on a bike and started biking down a road where I bumped  into my father.  He looked at the comic and said it was silly.  Perhaps I just need to be silly sometimes.


http://www.mindat.org/photo-36880.html
He was holding a tourmaline quartz while he was walking to a fundraiser at a local elementary school for ninth graders.  The quartz probably shows a union of masculine and feminine energies because it both has black and white in it.   Why my father was holding it was a mystery.  


The mention of an elementary school brought back memories of being relentlessly teased and along with the number nine could mean I'm finding closure about my past.  I biked to the school and I noticed some very short swings, another reference to childhood and perhaps how short it was for me.  I also saw some children playing in the distance, but I do not go there.


Inside the school a bunch of people were still setting up and I look at the menu.  It was an all you can eat shrimp buffet and I'm allergic to shrimp.  I saw my dad and told him I would help out, but I couldn't eat the food.  He said sorry and decided to drive me back to the farmer's market to pick up something to eat.


At the farmer's market my father and I ordered rice bowls and as we waited I turned around and saw my current boyfriend, Mike,  standing there instead.  The lady who was making our order asked Mike what kind of noodles he wanted and he snapped back "I told you I wanted rice."


I looked at him and said, "She just wants to get your order right."  I held my boyfriend and kissed him, he smiled back.
by Tammy Farrugia



The strangest part of the dream was my father suddenly turning into my boyfriend.  I know they look alike and are almost the same height, but the sudden transformation is strange.  I'm already pretty self reliant so I'm guessing when I saw my father doesn't mean I'm dependent.


However, my father turning into my boyfriend was a symbol of our current relationship.  Mike reminds me of my father and I think he is the sweetest man on the planet, considering some of my baggage he deals with.  I'm just going to take it and run because I can't ask for anyone better than my dad.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Problem with Health Care

I'm all for health care, especially for the poor and people with pre-existing conditions.  I read article after article about how it will turn America into a socialized country, how it will raise taxes, how it will raise health care prices and how America cannot afford the health plan.  


Honestly, most of the arguments are shallow and invalid after a few researching clicks on the Internet.  Medicare is a form of a socialized health care system along with social security and welfare.  I have no issue with paying higher taxes because I want to support Americans and the health care system.  Also, I understand health care prices will go up in the short run, but fall once everyone is on.
Source: http://rochecoach.tumblr.com/post/20024335660


The last argument can be the strongest if there were no examples of successful health care systems from around the world.  America is one of the only first world countries not to have a healthcare system in place.  America spends about 15 percent of their GDP on health care, compared to most nations, we spend more.  

Frontline has an excellent report about countries like Japan, England, Canada, Germany and Taiwan who do not spend enough on their health care, Japan spends about 8 percent GDP, and they continuously work on it, every few years the prices change and they examine policies.  
Americans cannot afford not to regulate healthcare, but the system is so vast and broken where do we begin, some would even say not to start.  However, if everyone is covered costs will go down and there will be no more bankrupt families because of health care. 

by Pass3456

As for how it helps me personally Washington Post does a simple article and questionnaire to help the common American see and understand how the plan will help.  For me, because I only earn about $14,000 and single my insurance premium would be no more than $560 a year and my out of pocket pay could only be 6 percent of my income.

The only issue I see for health care is if the government is too slow of inflexible to fix the issues coming up.  Taiwan and Germany are doing fine in this economic climate, including their health care system.  The warnings on how health care can bankrupt a country are true only if the country decides to miss manage their funds and refuse to change policies with the times.

I can only hope the people, yes us, come up with a well thought out plan for our politicians about health care, because the less we make government think, the better we can run it ourselves.

What do you expect a positive or negative change in the American health care system when the reform is in full force?
  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spontaneous or Structured Rituals

by Fer Doirich
I really do try to plan for a ritual, but life doesn't always give me enough time to go through the entire process I like.  My process may differer from others, but if I really have the time this is my process:

1. I prepare all of my tools, herbs, oils and whatever else I need.

2. Take a shower and visualize the water cleansing me.  You can rub with salt, but I use a nice organic soap and it doesn't irritate my skin.

3. I put on some loose fitting clothes.  I live in an urban area so I can't exactly go skyclad.

4. I try to go outside and do my ritual, but sometimes the weather doesn't permit.

5. I then ground myself, Ariel has a great meditation for this, #26 Lesson 2 (A)

6. Lastly, cast circle and I preform my ritual.

by Nyo
Sometimes I skip one or two steps, but I always try to ground myself so I'm not up for the next week bubbling with energy.  I remember my first Esbat and I did not ground myself, I was up for a week beeming with energy, but I was so tired.

I really do try to plan out most of my rituals, mainly because I like to make an effort.  There are only 21 rituals a year, unless I decide to do a spell.  I haven't really done any spells lately, I haven't the need, really I just need to work on my mundane life mundanely.

Going through the effort is a sign of respect to the dieties, directions and any other enities called upon.  I'm inviting them to my ritual, being prepared is just curtious.  It would be just rude to throw it together last minitue and hope for even an average expierence.

How do you prepare for your ritiuals?


Friday, July 6, 2012

American Colleges Murder Artists

Sweeney Hall SJSU Outside
I went through some depression while I was at SJSU and ranked up $20,000 in student loans.  Sadly this was not only a waste of time because I decided to peruse a Child Development degree at De Anza College, rather than my Creative Writing degree, but I couldn't complete hardly any of my classes because of how depressed I was.


The only problem I to have are getting the federal government to find my taxes for 2011.  I cannot simply print out my tax forms from Turbotax, no, they want documents from the government.   I've tried all my addresses, talked to a representative who said all the tax forms are not in yet, so there is a chance I will not be going to school in the fall.


Sweeney Hall Inside
What am I paying for?
If the school wants to encourage students it should be relatively simple for students who apply, especially when you have to have official documents from the federal government.  The government is slow and still cannot find my information.  I'm just so frustrated.


I believe De Anza is making their students do some of the legwork because of the lack of staff and horrible education cuts.  I just wish they chose another way to reduce their costs, because I cannot see how this is making a student's life any easier.


To go even further when a student works part-time it leaves less time for studying.  But he needs to work to pay off his bills, unless he lives at home or has financial support from his parents.  If he does need to work, he still doesn't earn enough to pay the bills and has to have a loan.  This makes the student acquire debt.


Coffee Backpack
by Rocketpacks1
Yes, education is an investment, but at what cost?  Lack of health care for the student, sleep deprivation, emotional stress, poor diet, long work hours, financial debt all promote health issues spanning well beyond college years.  


After a student acquires all of this stress and debt there is no other option but to "opt to major in fields that will give them more marketable skills in the current job market: Think computer science, information technology, and engineering" (From the interview with Andrew Delbanco on NPR).  The artists are dead because society has murdered them financially, so will only rich children shape the art in America?


I think all of this helps promote the stress and unhealthy fervor for money.  I plan not to pay back my student loans for as long as possible, because I do not think my higher education helped me peruse the goals I wanted.  I felt they threw a bunch of English classes together and some writing classes, only 15/48 units were writing classes; not even half the classes you are required to take focus on your personal writing ability.
by Axstrat


Perhaps this is just the major I chose, and changed after I was so unhappy, but if colleges cannot make an effort to help liberal arts students making a living in a field they love, what is the point of earning a degree?




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Calling Yourself a Wiccan

by Malcolm Lidbury (aka Pinkpasty)
There is some debate about if you are a true Wiccan if you are solitary.  I believe you are, considering all religions evolve and change with the times.  Even in the Christian faith there are churches who accept gays, promote a modern view of men and women and honestly follow Jesus' ways.


Wicca is no different, from Gerald Gardner who created the first recognized branch of Gardnerian Wicca to Cunningham's Solitary branch of Wicca, this Pagan path evolves with the people who follow it.  I do not think Wicca is an inflexible path, but many think it is Gardanian (or a variance created by a student of Gardner) or nothing.


Fairie, Dianic, Green, Seax Wica, Alexandrian, Eclectic and many more scattered throughout the world.  Some are recognized as "official" traditions, others are not, I personally belong to an Eclectic Solitary path, mainly because I haven't found a tradition I like.
by Zoeysixx


Recently I've been harassed by another Pagan, who considers himself an Eclectic-Neo-Pagan, which is fine, but says I am not a Wiccan based solely on my solitary path.  He does not consider this path valid just on the one note it is not apart of a coven.  I think it is truly sad how he judges people and doesn't even try to speak with them.


I think if you follow the Wiccan Rede, practice the esbats and sabbats and  believe the universe is made up of god and goddess entities you are a Wiccan.  However, you can only become a priest/priestess if you are initiated to a coven.


Of course you can self dedicate, but this just makes you dedicated to the gods and goddess' you will honor.  If you want to go beyond self dedication, to become a certified elder in a tradition, you have to join a tradition.  However, it doesn't mean you shouldn't read every book you come across about Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft or anything that interests you, because you are a valued member of the community and need to be an educated one.


These are just my personal beliefs and have no negative standing against becoming apart of a coven.  But if you feel drawn to the path of Wicca, learn, live and blessed be.


The post was closed and the aggressor banned from the site, you can read it for yourself, but mainly I just told him off for his arrogance of "I'm right and you're wrong" mentality.  In the end I called him a coward for just attacking me, of course I was reacting, but I felt I needed to fight for my personal choice.  


by pbyrne
He refused to contact anyone else about his views, podcast or otherwise, because he was "being smart" by avoiding harassment for his views.  I was willing to guard, defend and take the heat, he obviously was not and was banned for his actions.  There was no right or wrong, but I tried to be concise with my words and not mean to offend.


After all this debate I really want to understand the different paths and why they are different so, what is your path?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Grandma's Wisdom

by George Nikoladze
Happy Fourth of July to all you Americans out there and on this Fourth I would like to remember my grandmother.

She was actually one of the first female managers at Lockheed and worked on projects she can still not talk about because of top secret status.  Yes my grandmother is a true American, but now I'm worried about losing her.

I was lucky enough to know my great grandmother on my mother's side and lost her around the age of fifteen.  Now I'm facing both of my grandmother's health issues, but mainly from my father's side.

My grandmother used to live about a quarter of a mile away from my childhood home, but now she rents an apartment about an hour and a half away from her closest family.  I keep telling her she can't take care of her aging friends when she has no one close to care for her.

She lived a hard life in Colorado, where her mother died around the age of 50 and my grandmother was left to care for her own small children and some of her siblings.  The older siblings were left to the state and suffered from horrible abuses and never truly forgave my grandmother for it.

Source: U.S. National Archives and
 Records Administration
Many stories lie beneath her wrinkles and she is a devoted Christian whose love and kindness is not tainted by extreme opinion.  There is still time to sit down with her and record her stories and even though she will never know I'm a witch I want to remember her as a person.

Elders die and we move on, but their knowledge can be lost forever and this is why I'm going to make an effort and try to record my grandmother's stories.  This would honor her and keep her alive in a way before she passes on to where she believes she will end up.

How do you honor your ancestors?  I know it's more of a Samhain question, but sometimes there is only so much time before they go.