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Friday, November 2, 2018

Rebuttal #3 :

On Halloween, Pastor Sam posted his 3rd blog against Paganism and Witchcraft.  How appropriate.  I didn't let that ruin my holiday fun, though, and I enjoyed spending time with my witchiest of friends.  And now, it's time for me to work on my 3rd rebuttal. 

First, as always, here is Sam's blog post for you to read. Why Christians Should Be Against Witchcraft

In this particular blog post, Pastor Sam talks about the Hebrew and Greek words which have been translated to mean "witchcraft" in the Bible.  He was fairly accurate about some things, and not so much about others.  "Kasap" in Hebrew means "to long or yearn after".  Pharmakeia is obviously poisoning by using drugs.  I own a few of the books of Cyprian which are full of ancient magick.  Some of them most certainly use ingredients such as eel's blood, which is highly toxic.  Think of a time when people aren't educated and are very supersititious.  Then think of people who know a bit of herbalism and are able to use that knowledge to make others fear them.  Pastor Sam even agrees with this translation of "pharmakeia", but then in his last paragraph he says it clearly refers to witchcraft and paganism today.  I'm not quite following his reasoning there. 

Now let's talk about the word "qesem".  Literally it means "one who distributes distributions".  Pastor Sam says it means "the cultic practice of foreign nations, specifically, it was used to discern between two choices".  There's a bit of a discrepancy in meaning here.  And much to be disturbed about as he makes the comparison between this and paganism.  He is basically saying that  paganism is the cultic practice of foreign nations.  Excuse me?  Much of paganism is nature based and comes from ancient Native American spirituality.  And hello.  They were here first.  So, who brought cultic practices of foreign nations to America?  Not the pagans.  Pastor Sam says that this is why Christians should be against Pagan Pride happening.  This makes no sense.  Pastor Sam is saying that Pagans are practicing the "cultic practices of foreign nations" and yet the Pagans are practicing a spirituality that is much closer to what was originally here in this land before some of our European ancestors destroyed it.  And many of them destroyed it in the name of the Christian god, I might add. 

So now let's talk about "specifically, as it was used to discern between two choices".  Pastor Sam is comparing this to divination.  That's fair, I suppose, as much of divination is done to help people make decisions.  This is a topic I can speak about with much confidence as I practice divination on a regular basis.  So, first of all, do you know how the 11 apostles chose the 12th?  They cast lots. Do you know what casting lots is?  It is throwing a set of objects, sticks or stones with markings, etc., in order to make a decision.  There is a TON of lot casting in the Bible.  Seriously.  One of my divination methods is casting bones.  There are three or four actual bones in that bag.  The rest are trinkets that I chose to represent certain things.  The querent will feel the bag of "stuff" between their hands while focusing on an issue and then pass it back to me.  I drop the bag of stuff onto a chart and then interpret their meanings.  This is not ANY different from casting lots.  Also, do you know about the Urim and Thummim?  They were two objects of now unknown nature used by a High Priest in the Old Testament for, you guessed it, DIVINATION.  They were likely two stones.  They were kept in the breastplate of the High Priest.  These were often used to make a decision between two choices.

I come to two different conclusions when considering all of this.  Either God (Jehovah) is a God of contradictions who likes to tell His followers one thing at one time, then changes his mind at another and goes against what He originally said, or else those people who commissioned translations of the Bible and chose which books to keep, etc., had their own agendas.  King James comes to mind.  A superstitious, paranoid demonologist who was terrified of witchcraft and magick.  And also a bit of a homophobe.  What version of the Bible is most often  used today?  The KJV.  You can say this book is God inspired and infallible, but seriously, it was just put together by human men.  Human men.  Who have their own agendas and abuse their positions of power.  I mean really, if God was inspiring the translations of the Bible, wouldn't there be just ONE?  One that made more sense?  Wouldn't it be PERFECT??  Because I have to tell you, it isn't.  What do you think of the "Book of Mormon"?  Joseph Smith said it was "God-inspired".  Who's to say it isn't?  You?  Because you are a fundamentalist Christian?  The conundrum becomes the fact that I will ask "what makes YOUR book the RIGHT book?"  and all you can say is "the book says it is".  Well, duh.  That's the only possible answer.  One day I was inspired and I wrote a version of creation that didn't come from me.  Honestly it didn't.  I just sat and the words poured out.  So, is my version the "right" one?  I can say that it is because I wrote it.  It's right for me.  This I know.  Incidentally, if you want to read it, let me know and I'll send it to you.

Let's talk about divination a bit more.  I have a beloved aunt who spent about 15 years as a cloistered nun.  She has had major issues with me doing divination.  So, I went to someone I admire who spent years as a monk before leaving that calling, getting married and having children.  He is a medium, meaning that he has the ability to see those who have crossed over and receive messages from them.  He is also still very spiritual.  He gave me much insight into what I do when I cast bones and read cards and what he does when he practices mediumship.  If you listen to the weather forecast, that is a form of divination.  It truly is.  The meteorologist is looking at the current conditions to predict what will happen in the future.  I do the same thing.  My client and I will look at the current conditions and the current path he/she is on and predict what might happen in the future if the client continues on that path.  If there is some danger ahead, the cards or bones might give a warning.  The purpose of this is to prevent the danger.  So, we actually hope the "forecast" at that point does NOT come true.  Anything can change the future.  One small choice here or there, one small delay, saving a butterfly, these all affect what will occur.  I also do my readings for free but I do accept tips.  So, I'm not out trying to con anyone out of their money.  And I'm not getting rich from it.  I am honestly trying to help people.  More often than not, our reading sessions turn into a sort of counseling session. 

One thing the "metro monk" (that's his entertainment name) told me is that from a Catholic Catechism standpoint, it is absolutely wrong for anyone else to tell me that my vocation is wrong.  You really don't get to do that.  My path is not yours.  Pastor Sam, your path is not mine.  Who am I to say that you are on the wrong path?  I admire your passion for your faith.  I sense a "spark" in you.  You might not understand what I mean by that and that's fine.  Your faith is just as wrong for people of certain other faiths as their faiths are wrong for you.  And honestly, to think that your path is the only path is prideful.  Way more prideful than a Pagan Pridefest. 

Under his link to his blog post on his Facebook page, I posted a link to an article about the persecution of witches by Christians.  It has a lot of good information.  It is also a bit terrifying.  HORRIBLE things were done, HORRIBLE murders committed, HORRIBLE tortures carried out in the name of Jehovah.  You really should read the article.  It is eye opening.  I'll post it here. Christian Persecution of Witches.  I would think that good Christians, instead of going forth and spreading more fear of that which they do not understand, would instead condemn the evil acts of those that went before them.  This takes me back to the Bible again.  I love the Ten Commandments.  I really do.  "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is one of them.  God says it, loud and clear.  He communicates this through Moses (another favorite of mine).  But later on, how many times does He tell people to kill someone?  Kill witches.  Stone adulterers.  So, which is it?  Don't kill anyone, or just kill certain people?  Kill non-Christians?  Have an inquisition?  And of course, he tells Abraham to kill Isaac.  Then He says "just kidding, I was testing you".  If Jehovah is all knowing, the alpha and omega, all that is seen and unseen, why did he need to test Abraham?  This all would bring me to a huge discussion about Gnosticism and the demiurge.  But that's for another time. '

Finally, I would like to discuss the fact that Pastor Sam met with two representatives of our local organized Pagan community.  From what I understand, that was a very positive meeting.  Both parties were able to have a civilized discussion and talked about their own backgrounds and religions.  Pastor Sam also agreed not to protest Pagan Pridefest.  Then he wrote his third blog post about why Christians should be against witchcraft and in this particular blog post, he once again mentioned that there should not be a Pagan Pridefest.  Since I was not at this particular meeting, I am not able to speak to what was said or not said.  However, Pastor Sam is now talking about how "you people will not be happy until I embrace a universalism".  I disagree.  I think all the pagans want is for everyone to live in harmony as our creator intended.  Pastor Sam, you don't have to believe what they believe, but you do need to love thy neighbor and let them practice their religion in peace.  I guarantee they aren't going to perform any sacrifices.  They are some of the most peaceful people I know.  I have to respect a religion that has "harm none" as one of their tenets.  Does Christianity?  I ask, WHY would our creator want us to harm each other?  WHY would He/She tell any of us to kill others of us?  WHY???  Does any parent want their children to harm each other?  No?  Then WHY DOES GOD?  My answer to that is that I don't think He does.  I believe with all my heart that God wants us to live alongside each other in peace and harmony, being true to our own paths. 

As for me, I am a protector.  I will continue to watch out for those who are oppressed and bullied.  Even if the oppressors and bullies are Christians.  Even if they are pastors.  I will uphold the cause for religious freedom in our country.  Pastor Sam Jones, if you are oppressed, I will fight for your cause.  I really will.  I will fight for my lgbtq friends, my transgender friends, my Pagan friends, my Muslim friends, anyone who you are speaking out against and infringing on their right to pursue happiness, I will fight for.  And if anyone speaks out against you and infringes on your right to pursue happiness, I will fight for you.  You are entitled to your religion as long as your religion doesn't infringe on the rights of others of different religions or lifestyles.  That's the way I see it.  Religious persecution of any kind is wrong and needs to be a thing of the past.

In closing, I can honestly say that I've enjoyed the dialogue via blog posts with Pastor Sam.  We do not agree with each other and in my opinion, that is fine.  I enjoy intelligent conversation and debate and Pastor Sam is certainly intelligent and a worthy opponent.  I wish you the best, Pastor Sam (and Patrick Wyett, you, too) and hope that our conversations help us both to grow.  Peace.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rebuttal #3, AKA Conversations With My Daughters

This is the 3rd rebuttal to Pastor Sam's series of blog posts regarding witchcraft, paganism, and now, the occult.  Part of the title of this particular post is "Conversations With My Daughters", and the reason for that will become clear later on in this post.  First, let me post the link to Pastor Sam's most recent blog entry.

A Christian View of Witchcraft and Paganism, AKA The Occult

The very first thing I want to say is that this post is, again, fear mongering.  Pastor Sam is doing his best to try to make people afraid of anybody else who is different from themselves or believes differently from them.  Whether that is his intention or not, that is exactly what he is doing.  And this is the most dangerous thing anybody can do.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is fear that causes the worst violence, the most killing, genocides, bullying, discrimination, and the list goes on and on.

In the mornings, I drive my very wise daughter to school.  I have two wonderful daughters, but lately I have enjoyed the morning drive with the younger of the two and the conversations we have.  I will often ask her opinion on different topics, whether they be politics, religion, or current events.  What I have found is that there is much to be learned from our young people before their views get distorted by the world.  They tend to see things very clearly.  If you don't have these conversations with your own children, I would encourage you to.  Ask them what they think and then listen without judging.  Because as soon as you judge, they aren't going to want to tell you anymore.

I have been having conversations about the dialogue Pastor Sam and I have been having through our blog posts with both my daughters.  This morning I explained how Pastor Sam shared a story about an occultist who was a very evil murderer and cannibal.  I said that I intended, as I formulated my own blog post, to tell a story of a Christian who was a very evil murderer who did horrible things.  My daughter said, "That shouldn't be hard".  We went on to discuss how Pastor Sam was telling the story of ONE PERSON, not a GROUP OF PEOPLE.  One very bad person who more than likely suffered from some form of mental illness or psychosis.  The fact that this one particular person happened to be an occultist is a minor detail.

Let's leave the conversations with my daughters for a bit and explore the word "occultist", which Sam uses in this particular post.  Do you know the definition of "occult"?  The definition is "knowledge of that which is hidden".  The definition is NOT working with demons, worshipping satan or the devil, or dabbling in magick and ouija boards.  Those are NOT the definition of "occult".  I feel the need to make this clear.  In this sense of the word, I can say that I am an "occultist" because I study and research the more hidden aspects of various religions and spiritualities.  Let me make it clear that I am not worshipping any demons, sacrificing ANYTHING living, or doing ANY harm unto others.  I find religion fascinating and love researching the history behind modern religions.  In particular, I enjoy Jewish, Christian and Muslim mysticism.  I enjoy reading and studying different religious texts.  I like trying to figure out why certain aspects of religions became "hidden" in the first place.

Whenever religion is concerned, it always seems like someone who is a member of that religion will call out someone else who is a member of that same religion for doing that religion the "wrong" way.  It's easy to go after people who believe differently than you.  It's easier to look at other people than it is to look at yourself.  It's easy to say other people are sinning and going to hell.  It's easy to say that only what you believe and practice is right.  These things are easy.  It's harder to find the beauty and joy in our differences.  But it's a better way to live.  Pastor Jones doesn't just speak out against witchcraft, Paganism and the occult, but I have seen, time and time again, how he speaks out against other Christians.  How he speaks out against social justice.  How he speaks out against anyone who is different from his congregation.

Back to my daughters.  At the time my older daughter was born, I was teaching in a Catholic school and also attending Mass at the church.  I was a member of the church.  I wanted to have my daughter baptized, but instead of having her baptized in the Church, I had a Christian minister who had studied Christian mysticism perform her baptism.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  By the time my second daughter was born, I was a bit more involved in the Catholic church and had her baptized there by the Priest.  Also a beautiful ceremony.  Both girls went through religious ed and both girls celebrated their First Communions.  I even got to celebrate my first reconciliation with my older daughter when she did hers.  It's kind of cool that we have that bond and went through it together.  Eventually both girls wanted to go to Protestant "religious ed" type youth groups.  Not being one to tell them what their spiritual paths were, I absolutely allowed and encouraged it.  Their school friends were Protestant, so they got to spend some time with them.  In the case of my younger daughter, several of her friends went to the same group at a church which, while being non-denominational, was most closely aligned with the Baptist Church.

The real eye opening conversations came from my younger daughter.  Today's youth are intelligent and smart and have been taught critical thinking skills.  They no longer just take anybody's word for anything.  They need proof.  They need reasons.  And I admire that.  In their youth group meetings, they would ask the tough questions.  The "why" questions.  Not just my daughter, but other girls who attended this group.  What they found time and time again was that the youth group leaders, who were amazing people, really didn't have the answers.  It would come down to "I don't know, it just says so in the scripture".  And these young people were not having any of it.  They can see injustice.  They can see bullying.  They can see right from wrong.  They can see discrimination.  They can empathize.  "Because it says so", was not a good enough answer for them.  So, eventually my daughter and others left that group.

I asked my daughter if I could quote her this morning and she said that I could, but I want to be very careful about how I word it.  She was making a generalization and is aware of that and so am I and we want to make it clear that we don't really feel there is one group of "bad" or "mean" people in the world.  But, what she said was, "It's the white Christians who are the mean people".  Which, I repeat, is not to say that she or we believe all white Christians are mean.  NOT AT ALL.  But, still, think about that and what her experiences are telling her.  I should tell you we are white, by the way.

Aleister Crowley is a well know name in certain spiritual circles.  He was well known for his work with a group of spirits known as "The Goetia".  However, it might surprise you to know that he never really believed they were spirits.  He actually believed they were part of our own brains, our own subconsciousness that was usually "hidden" (remember discussing what was hidden before?) and needed more than just our day to day thinking to tap into.  So, his system is not a system for working with spirits, but rather of accessing that part of our brain we don't usually use.  This doesn't really have anything to do with what my main point is, but considering the conversation, I thought readers might find it interesting.

I said earlier in this post that I could easily find a Christian who had committed horrible acts.  Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK killer, is one such man.  He was a family man.  A Christian, who, in fact, held high offices and was highly respected within his church.  Did he dabble in the occult?  No.  In fact, he is still a Christian.  He considers himself to be a victim rather than the 10 people he brutally tortured and murdered.  It is much easier for him to blame his acts on a demon than it is to accept responsibility for what he did.  And yet he was never involved with anything that could be considered paranormal or occult.  Think about that.  And of course, I don't believe Christianity is going to lead you to commit horrible acts.  That's not how any of this works.  And I could have recounted hundreds of other stories of horrible things done by Christians.   And to be fair and honest, I could have recounted hundreds of other stories of horrible things done by someone of any group any religion.  The truth is there are a lot of bad people who do a lot of bad things.  Saying it's all one particular group based on the actions of one is wrong.

I feel I must repeat that I do not speak for anyone other than myself.  I do not represent any group.  However, since Pastor Sam titles his blog post "A Christian View.....", I believe he feels he is speaking for all Christians.  And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel that blaming misfortunes on certain subgroups of a community or on religious groups other than your own IS WRONG (not to mention primitive and irresponsible).  I feel that contacting city council members to say that a religion other than your own does not belong in our community IS WRONG.  I feel that trying to put a stop to one particular religious group having an event which harms nobody else IS WRONG.  This is why I am continuing this dialogue.  This is why I am continuing to write rebuttals.  I feel strongly about this.  Don't be afraid of that which you do not understand.  "Seek first to understand, then to be understood", Stephen Covey.

I will leave you with a link to an interesting read.  Someone tagged me in it this morning and I feel it is relevant.  Take from it what you will, have a peaceful day, and do no harm.  Mr. Ouija and Mrs. Gail

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rebuttal - Part Deux

Greetings again!!  Hopefully by now you have read my first rebuttal to the first blog post by Pastor Sam Jones on "Why We Should Be Against Witchcraft".  Some people would advise that I just let this issue "be", but I enjoy writing, debating and good dialogue and honestly, while I vehemently disagree with many of his beliefs and how he tends to incite fear regarding certain sub groups of our community, he is someone who has always been respectful towards me personally and whom I feel I can have intelligent discussions with.  So, here is Pastor Sam's second post.

Why We Should Be Against Witchcraft Part 2

In this blog post, Pastor Jones recounts a few stories.  Interesting stories.  He also posts a passage from the Bible about the "Witch of Endor", who calls up the spirit of Samuel for Saul, who disguises himself and then deceives the witch into doing this for him.  So, to sum it up in my own words, Saul says "Hey don't do witchcraft, you'll be put to death", then he wants some answers from Samuel so he goes to the Witch of Endor in disguise and says "Call up the spirit of Samuel....I've got some questions for him", but she says "No way, you know what Saul says", but Saul, in disguise, says "Fuggedaboudit, I promise you in the name of the Lord that you'll be okay", so she does it, then realizes he's Saul and has deceived her and has immediate regrets.  Hmm.  I think that story speaks for itself.  Draw your own conclusions.  Who's the bad guy here?

Moving on, Pastor Sam tells a few stories about his Great Grandmother, who was a witch, and his Grandmother, who was a witch.  Honestly, neither woman sounds like the type of person I would probably hang out with.  Neither woman sounds like ANY of the witches or Pagans I know.  Clearly, neither one was Wiccan or followed the Wiccan Rede, which states thou shalt do no harm.  In my opinion, they had several issues.  First of all, conducting seances.  I have yet to attend an actual seance.  But if someone DID do a seance, all mystical paths would teach that protections should be in place first, often calling on archangels and YHWH, before engaging in such an activity.  Obviously his great grandma didn't do this.  Second of all, cursing.  This is wishing harm on other people and you don't have to be a witch to do that.  I am all about karma and justice and I will admit that sometimes I will have the intent that justice be served, but not by my will or law, but by the will and law of the Universe.  I also know that Christians will pray that justice be served, so there's no difference there.  Throwing around curses willy nilly like his grandma did is not being a "good' witch, though.  It's careless and says more about his grandma's state of mind and soul than it does about witchcraft.  It sounds like she was careless about several things.

If, indeed, as Pastor Sam says, the power his grand matrons used was admittedly from the "devil", then they are absolutely nothing like me and absolutely nothing like most witches and Pagans.  Certainly not any whom I have ever met here in the Cedar Valley.  I posed this question to Pastor Sam on his timeline:  "What if your grandma was just a "bad" witch?".  Because it sounds to me like she was.  The great grandmother, too.  And not just bad witches, but not very good people in general.  I am glad that the grandmother got saved in the story and was able to turn her life around.  I am genuinely glad!  That was her path.  Not everyone's path is the same.  For her, she clearly needed to be saved to become a good person.  Another point I will make on this topic is that I have known several "bad" Christians.  Christians who have done bad things and done things to hurt others.  I also know that this does not mean all Christians are bad.

I am blessed to know so many good and wonderful people in my life.  I am literally surrounded by them.  Here's the truth.  Some are Christian (this includes Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, some who are ordained pastors, etc. etc.), some are Pagan, some are witches, some are Muslim, some are Jewish, some are Hindi, some are Buddhist, some are atheists, some are Gnostic, some are chaotes, and the list goes on and on.  And I will also tell you this.  As long as they are not harming others or infringing on the rights of others with their beliefs, I support, accept and respect all of these paths.  I simply do not understand and cannot comprehend the thought that we can't all live together in peace.  I do not understand how Pastor Sam and his congregation feel that certain people of certain faiths don't belong in our community.  As long as we live in peace and harmony, and do no harm, we all belong here.  We ALL belong here.

In my opinion, a blog post such as this one is nothing more than fear mongering, which is far more dangerous than witchcraft could ever be.  "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself".  What inspired the Inquisition?  What inspired the Salem Witch Trials?  What inspired the Crusades?  What has caused more war and suffering than anything else on Earth?  Fear.  Fear of those different from you.  Fear of those who believe differently. Fear of that which you do not understand.  Pastor Sam says he understands witchcraft because he comes from a "long line of witches", but honestly, he's only mentioned two thus far.

If you take away anything from Sam's blog, I do want you to pay very close attention to his last statement.  If you are protected, by God, Jesus, Archangels, your own soul, or whatever other protections you may have, there is no witch or sorceror or spell caster or voodoo practitioner or anything similar of any kind that can harm you.  THIS IS TRUE.  You are honestly in control of your own life.  So many people forget this.  Take responsibility for what happens to you.  Take responsibility for the things that you bring upon yourself.  Change the things you can.  Accept that sometimes things out of our control happen, but know that it is your reaction to the event that really counts.  Stay strong in the face of adversity and celebrate your life.  The worst evil in the world is the evil that lies in the hearts of mankind.  And that is everywhere.  No spirit can harm you, but other humans certainly can.  In my small circle, the people with the happiest, most well adjusted, peaceful and prosperous lives whom I know are atheists.  Hmm.  Why is this?  Could it be that they are not living a life full of fear and paranoia?  They don't acknowledge the "other side" so to them, it simply doesn't exist.  Of course they are not touched by the supernatural.  It does not exist for them.

How are you choosing to look at the Cedar Valley?  You can choose to look at all the bad things and misfortunes and then blame it on the people who are different from you, who according to your holy book are engaging in activities that displease God, or you can choose to look at all the wonderful things that are happening.  The people who help each other.  The small acts of kindness.  The generosity of strangers, the sun shining in the middle of a rainy week.  There is so much goodness in our community and so much diversity.  To me, this is beautiful and I rejoice in the good things that happen.  We here in the Cedar Valley make wonderful works of art, we lift each other up, we celebrate our differences as well as the way we are alike, we help those not as fortunate as ourselves, we teach our children, we dance, make music, play sports, live together, grieve together, laugh together and LOVE.  Those are the parts of the Cedar Valley I choose to focus on and see.  What do you choose?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


What's this?? A blog post???  What could have possibly occurred to cause me to resurrect this long resting blog?  Another blog post.  By someone else.  Which I am finding difficult to stay silent about.  So, yes, this is a rebuttal of sorts.  But first, here is the blog post I am rebutting.

Shining Light Ministries Witchcraft Does Not Please God

First off, I'm not going to go into what the Bible says or does not say.  I'm not going to mention how the word that has been translated to mean "sorceror" has been found by scholars to actually have meant "poisoner".  I won't mention that the earliest spells that these said "sorcerors" used often involved ingredients such as eels blood, which in fact, is a poison.  I won't mention that the practice of "magick" as found in the Bible is confused with the practice of "poisoning", which is much less witchcraft than it is drug dealing.  There is no supernatural "magick" involved with slipping a few drops of eels blood into an alcoholic's glass of wine in order to cure alcoholism.  This, in fact, is an actual spell in one of the very ancient books of Cyprian.

All of that is beside the point.  The points in this blog post that are the most disturbing to me are that this pastor believes our community should be exclusively Christian.  He has a complete disregard for the constitutional right to "freedom of religion".  Not to mention that "witchcraft" as a practice isn't even a religion.  Wicca is a religion and there are Pagan religions, but "witchcraft" is a practice which has the ability to enhance one's religion, no matter what that religion might be.  You don't even have to subscribe to a religion to practice witchcraft.  One of the comments on the pastor's timeline under this blog post was a "gif" that said "Burn the Witch, Burn Her".  This, in my opinion, is nothing more than an actual invitation to violence.  It is not funny.  "Though Shalt Not Kill", remember that?  Pastor Sam Jones even goes on to suggest that he and his congregation need to contact city council members to make sure they know that those of any Pagan religion or those who might call themselves "witch" are not welcome in the Cedar Valley.  He also said that those businesses who support such activity need to be boycotted.  All of this from a "Christian" pastor.  All of of this from a so called "patriot".  Nothing could be more "UN-American than denying others their freedom of religion. 

I have many Christian friends.  They are good people.  They are wonderful people who I love and adore.  You know who you are.  As long as your religion does not interfere with the rights of others, I honor and respect your religion and your right to practice it, whatever it may be.  However, if your religion discriminates against other religions or interferes with the rights of others, up to and including their right to the pursuit of happiness, then I will openly have an issue with your religion.  There is no war on Christianity.  In fact, if your religion is being persecuted unfairly, I will be there to defend you.  I am all about freedom of religion, and not only that, but freedom FROM religion.  Religion is not mandatory.  Being a Christian is not mandatory.  Contacting city council to suggest that "pagans" don't belong in our community is WRONG.  It is persecution.  It is evil and it is not the work of God. 

Pastor Jones, you are right about one thing.  The Pagan community (which is a very large umbrella title as there as many different types of pagans as there are types of Christians) is growing.  Quite rapidly.  So, what businesses will you boycott?  How will you know which support witchcraft and pagans and which don't?  We are everywhere.  We are family members, we are doctors, we are lawyers, we are teachers, we are chefs, musicians, artists, pastors, city council members, politicians, librarians, and the list goes on and on.  Webster's definition of "pagan" is anyone subscribing to any religion other than the mainstream religions.  So, if one is not Christian, Muslim or Jewish, but still has a religion, then one is pagan. 

And speaking of pagan, are you absolutely sure that you are not one?  Do you celebrate birthdays?  Do you light birthday candles and make a wish?  Do you put up a Christmas tree?  Do you color Easter eggs?  Ever wished on a star?  You might want to check yourself to make sure you're not pagan before you start saying that pagans don't belong in our community.  That we don't want our community to be known as a "safe haven for pagans".  Are you really that hateful?  And hypocritical?

As for your posting the tweet by Cedar Valley Pagan Pride, they are quite thrilled with the attention and free advertising, so on their behalf, thank you.  Hopefully your outcry has drawn attention to it and even more people, pagan or not, will be in attendance. 

Do you know what happens when groups try to force Christianity on others?  Nothing good.  Remember the Inquisition?  The Crusades?  The SALEM WITCH TRIALS???  There is no way God celebrated any of that, especially that it was being done in His name.  So, my advice to you would be to stop trying to drag us back into the dark ages when women had to join the convent to be safe from men, and start living in peace alongside those who are different from you.  We are here and we aren't going anywhere.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Musings

Wow!!  What a weekend!!  We set out early Saturday morning to go to the great Iowa State Fair.  Angelle performed for the Bill Riley Talent Search and I'm happy to say she advanced to the semi-final round.  She will perform again on Thursday, so wish her luck.

While we were enjoying all the wonderful things the state fair has to offer, unspeakable things were happening elsewhere in the country.  Hateful things.  I supposed I was lucky to be unplugged for a day.  I have since caught up.  I condemn white supremacy, I condemn acts of hate, I condemn violence.  I am saddened that we seem to be on the brink of a civil war.  I really don't have much else to say about it.  Just know that I detest the current climate of racism and hate in our country.  I'll be banishing negativity and praying for change.

Last week my Amorphophallus Konjac was delivered.  The other name for this plant is "Voodoo Lily" although that name is also given to other similar plants.  I have, however, named her Marie Laveau, after the famous voodoo queen.  I thought I was just going to receive a tuber, but I received a lovely, very healthy plant.  Since she won't survive an Iowa winter, she is currently in a pot outdoors and will come inside once it gets cold.  If you're not sure what this is, she is related to the "Corpse Flower" which recently bloomed in Des Moines.  Yes, she will be stinky and draw flies.  My plan for next spring is to make a grave shaped plot for her with a headstone that says "Here Lies Marie Laveau".  I also ordered a "Dracularis", aka voodoo lily or dracula plant.  It's another one of the stinky variety. That one will also be in a grave shaped flower bed with a headstone that says "Here Lies County Dracula".  With our new dog, Misty, they will have to be fenced in, so I'm thinking it will look like a little cemetery.  So fun!!

KD and I recently auditioned for "Wrinkle in Time" at the Black Hawk Children's Theatre.  I am happy to say that we were both cast.  I am going to play the part of Mrs. Whatsit, and KD is going to play the part of Mrs. Which.  We are both witches of a sort in this play, but are really inter-dimensional beings.  KD is basically my boss.  She is going to love that!

Angelle will sing again at the State Fair on Thursday.  Then on Friday she is moving into her dorm at college.  If she advances to the final round at the State Fair, she will have to come back on Sunday to perform.  I figure I will probably bring her back with me on Saturday so she's here and ready to go. Please send positive vibes her way for a great performance on Thursday.  And if you're at the state fair that day, stop by between 1:00 and 1:30.  She should be performing anytime in there.

In the wake of all the hate, violence and negativity that is going on in our country at this moment, please do what you can to help turn the energy around.  Perform a random act of kindness.  Hold the door for someone.  Pay for the person in line behind you at Starbucks.  Adopt a dog or a cat.  Donate to the Humane Society.  Do whatever you can, my friends, and never lose the faith.  Together we can make America "kind" again.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Witchy Wednesday

Happy Witchy Wednesday!!  Today my Amorphophallus Konjac plant arrived.  It's a very witchy plant to arrive on Witchy Wednesday.  If you don't know what it is, it's related to the famous "Corpse Flower" and is also known as a "Voodoo Flower".  That being said, I have named her "Marie Laveau", after the famous voodoo queen.

I found a site with some very cool gothic attire.  Heavy Red Couture has some wonderful handmade hats, cool costumes, elegant and spooky dresses, and some awesome jewelry as well.  You should really check it out!  Some of their regular priced items can be a bit high, over $100, but they have some sale categories that are more affordable!

Here is one of their handmade hats.  "Alice" themed.  I love it!

You will need a dress to go with that awesome "Alice" hat.  How about this one?

Or maybe you prefer this one?

Do you go swimming in the summer?  When my girls were young, I did quite a bit, but now, I'd just as soon not!  But if I did, I'd wear one of these great gothic swimsuits!

I especially like the one piece suit.  Very elegant and a throw back to the 40's era.

I love the drama of a cape, and with the skull on the back, this one is especially appealing.

I mentioned the sale categories.  Here are a couple lovelies that are on sale.  I love them both and either one would be perfect for the Cedar Valley Silent Supper.

There's so much more to see at Heavy Red Couture.  Be sure to go check them out later!!

Stay witchy, my darklings!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Musings

Here we are with another Monday.  Angelle only has two more Mondays (including today) at home before she spends her first Monday at college.  Wow.  I woke up with a bit of anxiety today.  State Fair, moving day for her, more State Fair, then school.  Time is flying by right now.

Also, that magical Monday which is Angelle's first Monday attending college classes is the day of the Great American Solar Eclipse.  I'm a bit excited about the event, but a bit anxious about it, too.  First of all, this is the sort of thing my family really enjoys experiencing, but unfortunately, we will all be in different places when it happens.  It's my first day of teacher preparation for school to start (aka a lot of meetings) and I'm really counting on my administration to let everyone go outside during the eclipse.  I mean, come on, it doesn't happen very often and I ordered solar eclipse viewing glasses.

I learned a couple interesting things about this eclipse.  First of all, did you know that this eclipse is a part of Saros 145?  No eclipse stands alone and this one coming up is an eclipse cycle with 77 solar eclipses repeating every 18 years, 11 days.  Okay, so if you're into numerology at all, you will see many significant numbers in there.  I mean "The Great American Eclipse" is part of number 145? And who wants to "Make America Great Again"??  Yep.  Number 45.  I doubt I have to go into the significance of the numbers 77 and 11.  I thought that was all a bit interesting.  Also, this is eclipse number 22 of the cycle of 77.  Hmmm.  Many double digit numbers in there.  Also, did you know that #45 was born during a lunar eclipse?  Astrologers say this makes him much more susceptible to the power of eclipses.

Also, why is this eclipse called the "Great American Eclipse"?  Because it is primarily just America that will experience the total solar eclipse.  That's right, fellow Americans, this one is focused on us. Just for fun, read what astrologers have to say about this.  It is speculated that this eclipse has much to do with bringing about the changes America is currently involved in, primarily a huge division. Some astrologers say that this eclipse will bring destruction for #45.  Others say it will seal the division which is quickly approaching in America.

Okay, so hang in there with me for awhile here while I explore that some more.  This particular eclipse is a bit meaningful for me because it occurs two days before my 53rd birthday.  I was born on the cusp between Leo and Virgo, but feel as though I identify with Leo more.  This eclipse is occurring in Leo, which is rising in Trump's chart (it's not his sun sign, but rising).  I am no astrologist, so I can't speak to all of these astrological things I am sharing with you or what they mean exactly.  The lion is the symbol for Leo, and so the sign represents rulers and kings (and queens).  At the moment that he was born, astrologically speaking, certain degrees were activated.  This eclipse is activating those same degrees. When astrologers consider this and other aspects of the eclipse, they expect some kind of downfall for #45.

So, what do you think?  Does the Great American Eclipse have any particular meaning or is it simply a very cool scientific phenomenon?  Will you be watching the eclipse with special eclipse glasses? Will you have anything special planned to mark the event?  Let me know in the comments.

Also, before I go for today, remember that tonight is the full moon for August.  This particular full moon is supposed to be a good one for "letting things go".  So, if you do any sort of full moon ritual, make it an opportunity to let those things go that are no longer working for you.