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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bringing the Money In Spell

Color of the day: Gray
Incense of the day: Sage

For this spell, light some green and gold candles anointed with cinnamon oil. Also, burn some cinnamon, frankincense, and myrrh incense on charcoal. Take five shiny new pennies and hold them in your dominant hand and chant:
When I give away these pennies I see, more money will come to me. So mote it be.
Visualize money being given to you in many forms, like cash, checks, or gifts. When the spell is finished, give the pennies away by buying things, making change, or donating to charity. This simple money spell requires faith that the universe will provide. There also must be a belief in the natural give and take of prosperity: to receive, you must give; to give, you must receive.

By: Olivia O'Meir

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Conservative Christian’s ‘War On Halloween’ Fails In Court

A psychoanalyst could plumb the depths of the human psyche and explain why we need a holiday like Halloween. I suppose, deep down inside, we all know we’re going to die some day. Adults deal with that in part by playing footsie with the dark side for one night a year.

For kids I think the explanation is a lot simpler: You get to wear a cool costume and are showered with free candy. What’s not to like?

I know that some people are bothered by Halloween — but that doesn’t mean they get to spoil everyone else’s fun. I also know the holiday has ancient, pre-Christian roots — but that doesn’t mean it’s a religious holiday today. One needs to look at how the culture celebrates the holiday, and in America, Halloween long ago became secular.

That’s why I think a federal court made the right call recently in a case challenging Halloween decorations at a government building in Puerto Rico. The judge rejected the claims of a Pentecostal Christian employee who argued that the decorations establish paganism. Full Story

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Friday, September 28, 2007

A Load Of Hot Air?

A white witch who has threatened to scupper a fundraising event for a Highland charity by casting a spell over Loch Ness has been told by the organisers he's got the wrong end of the stick.

High Priest of British White Witches, Kevin Carlyon, also known as The High Priest and protector of Loch Ness, has warned he will invoke a hurricane to descend on the loch despite assurances from the Calman Trust that their plans to build a giant Loch Ness monster from 55,000 balloons will pose no threat to the environment.

The trust provides support for young people to move in to their own homes and lead independent lives. Full Story

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Wheel With Five Points

Sometimes, Jen Rowe hestitates to wear her pentagram, or pentacle.

An almost-universal symbol of paganism, it's worn by many pagans as jewelry, says Jen Rowe, coordinator of the Pagan Pride celebration this past weekend.

"It's a circle with a five-pointed star inside," she says. "For most, the points represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit."

Rowe says she's not alone in her hesitation. Full Story

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Runes: The Origin And Purpose Behind The Ancient Symbols And Alphabet

Ask six rune experts ' Where did the runes originate from ?' and you will probably get 6 different answers. There are different versions of runes for each culture and era they seemed to come from. One person told me they came from the vikings, another said they originated from the druids, yet another said they came from aliens, each person was serious and thought they had the correct origins of the runes, how can everyone have a different answer about them ? The answer appears to be ' time ', over the years folks have made up so many tales about the runes that nobody knows the true origin of them. The very name ' rune ', is a word derived from the Gothic word ' runa ', which means "mystery."

One of the oldest and first recorded uses of runes came from German tribes in central and Eastern Europe, these early uses of runes show that they were not even meant to be a language for everyday speech, but were used as a symbolic alphabet system. Each rune letter or shape had it's own sound, and meaning, in fact each rune represented a deity or so called God, that gave it it's special power. Full Story

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Opposite Sides

How did it get this far? How is it that friends in this Hampshire County town of 500 no longer speak? Or that they worry about being run off the road? Or finding a shaving-cream Christian cross sprayed on their driveway?

Cries of devil worshipping? An Egyptian pyramid in a cow pasture? A lawsuit?

It's the worst that happens when friendships, religion, business interests and perceived favoritism simmer in a cauldron of small-town politics.

And here, in Middlefield, a former dairy town on the outskirts of Berkshire County where the closest gallon of milk is a 20-minute drive and the post office resides in a mobile home, a Wiccan couple sit at the center of the conflict. Full Story

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Anti-Abortionist Applies For Float In York Halloween Parade

The Rev. Jim Grove - known for his anti-abortion posters and messages - has applied for a spot in the upcoming York Halloween Parade.

Grove, pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Loganville, filled out an application for a parade entry called “The Devil's Ultimate Handiwork,” for the 58th annual parade, scheduled for Oct. 28 in downtown York.

He wrote in his application that his float would “display the power women have to eliminate the discrimination against the unborn of all races,” Grove wrote.

The materials will be a small orange pamphlet titled, “The History of Halloween,” which states that the holiday has its origins in Satanic worship and witchcraft. Full Story

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mabon Meditation

Color of the day: Amber
Incense of the day: Cedar

The Autumnal Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark, and many Pagans utilize this powerful turning point by doing magical work for balancing the energies in their life. The modern Neopagan name for this holiday is “Mabon.” It is a bit mysterious why early twentieth-century occultists chose this name for the holiday, as this is a Middle Welsh word which means “Divine Son.” Mabon is a somewhat shadowy figure who is mentioned only briefly in several medieval Welsh myths. However, his name may reflect an earlier British god, Maponus, who was widely worshipped in Britain and Gaul. One of his attributes was hunting, and in a later Welsh tale, Mabon assisted with the sacred boar hunt that takes place before Samhain. Meditate on the “Divine Son” and his ancient role in the ritual hunts that took place in autumn.

By: Sharynne NicMhacha

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

PaCO All About The Goddess, Not About The Pentagrams

What do you think of when you hear the word "pagan?" If you think of large pentagrams on the ground painted in blood, animal sacrifices and deadly curses, then you have been watching way too many horror movies. If you think of Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks dressed in a disturbing level of punk fashion dancing around in goat-skin leggings, well then that's OK, because we love "Dragnet" too - it's a fun movie. But you might still need better information.

We are PaCO, the Pagan Campus Organization. We are not here to harm you, your pets or your children. In fact, one of the most commonly shared pagan beliefs is phrased in the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what you will." We are here to enjoy life as the gods have given it - or as the big bang has chanced into existence or as the power of the human mind has willed into reality, depending on what you believe in.

We would love to tell you what pagans believe, but that is a bit difficult, as there are so many different religious views that fall under the term "pagan." Full Story

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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Basics Of Wicca (Press Release)

First, let me give you my Basics of Wicca write-up, which is my own take on Wicca based on 13 years of practice. It will suggest a couple of truly informative books for you to read. Wicca is a very complex faith, which embraces widely varying practices and many different Traditions. The following, however, is what I consider to be "the basics". Wicca is about 60 years old, with roots in Masonic practices, ceremonial magic, and the Romantic era\'s ideas of classical religions. Its founder was a British civil servant named Gerald Gardner.

It is in many ways a postmodern faith, embracing religious relativism, and one that resonates powerfully for increasing numbers of people.

The central tenet of the Wicca religion is the Wicca Rede: "If you harm none, do what you will." This is a deceptively simple "commandment" which can take a lifetime to contemplate and to master. Many Wicca\'s also believe in the Law of Threefold Return, sometimes called the Rule of Three: "Whatever you do, for good or ill, will come back upon you three times over." Full Story

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thanking the Gods for a Gift

Ellwood Bartlett hangs out at a Baltimore metaphysical store, and despite the pressures of his full-time bookkeeping job, felt compelled to do a little bit of extra teaching last month. A Reiki master, intuitive psychic, and Wiccan teacher, Bartlett said he felt called to put in some extra time at the shop he considers his spiritual home. He told "the powers that be" that if he won the lottery, he would focus his life on teaching.

Looks like his efforts paid off, because Friday, he won about $49 million in the MegaMillions lottery. Full Story

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Europe's Last Witch-Hunt

Fear and superstition fuelled witch-hunts all over Europe in the Middle Ages and caused the deaths of many innocent women. The last execution for witchcraft took place little more than 200 years ago but campaigners in Switzerland claim it may be time to clear Anna Goeldi's name.

To understand Anna Goeldi's story you need to go to where it unfolded, in the tiny Swiss canton of Glarus.

It is a long narrow valley, the mountains loom above, the villages are squeezed below into the spaces where the grey rock unwillingly makes way for earth and grass.

You get the sense, even today, that many of the world's events have passed Glarus by.

This was where Anna Goeldi arrived in 1765, looking for work as a maid. Full Story

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vicar Calls For Harry Potter Debate

A vicar is calling for debate about the use of fictional wizard Harry Potter as a promotional tool for the Church.

The Rev Kevin Logan, of Christ Church with Cannon Street, Accrington, said that JK Rowling's teenage hero has many similarities with religious figure Jesus Christ - but the author's references to paganism could lead children into danger. Full Story

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Monday, September 17, 2007

What Part Of ‘Secular Nation’ Do We Not Understand?

While American soldiers fight to establish a secular democracy abroad, many Americans want to create a Christian nation at home.

Consider the findings of "State of the First Amendment 2007," a national survey released this week by the First Amendment Center. Significant numbers of Americans express support for government sponsorship of the majority religion, especially in public schools:

•58 percent want teacher-led prayers in schools.

•43 percent endorse school holiday programs that are entirely Christian and devotional.

•50 percent would allow public school teachers to teach the Bible as a "factual text" in history classes.

Despite the fact that all of the above are unconstitutional under current law, many people see nothing wrong - and much right - with school officials privileging or even endorsing the Christian faith.

Transpose the location (or substitute another religion) and the result would surely be very different. Full Story

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Moving? Congratulations. Moving With Pets? Condolences ...

I've had just about every nightmarish pet moving experience imaginable, including having one cat disappear for several days after I moved. I've boarded my pets, kept them in the car, brought them to someone else's house, emptied a room and kept them there, and hired someone to sit with them while I moved.

And none of it works.

Oh, you can read, and in my case, write, articles giving advice on stress reduction and safety for pets during a move. But let me tell you, as the author of such articles, most of the advice doesn't really make all that much of a difference.

You can put them in a covered container with food and water. You can play soothing ambient music. Heck, you can sit there next to them holding their little paws all day, but the bottom line is this: They don't want to move. Not now, not later, not ever. Not to a bigger house, not to a better house, just not. Full Story

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pagans Have Their Goddesses With ´Em

American soldiers come from every background and faith. For years, the higher-ups of the Veteran’s Association repressed the demands of pagan soldiers to put a symbol of their religion, a Pentacle, on their headstones in the event of death. Recently, Pagan lobbying groups have had success overcoming this issue: veteran pagan soldiers can now be inducted into the “Order of the Pentacle,” assuring them proper posthumous graveyard notation.

Still, what about the living, breathing, battling pagan soldiers? At the Ninth Annual Pagan Pride Day festival you can help support them too by recycling your old Pagan/Wiccan/Druid religious items. Full Story

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Some Religions And Politics Just Don't Mix

Court documents dating back to 1692 show that an ancestor of Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani was convicted of practicing witchcraft in Salem, Mass. The records were found in the archives of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who reportedly considered posthumously pardoning everyone convicted at the witch trials but feared looking soft on crime.

Court papers show that Mr. Giuliani's great-, great-, great-uncle, Giuseppe Proctor-Giuliani, was convicted of black magic in the first degree. He was sentenced to three months in the stocks, but was released after two days because of overcrowding. Full Story

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tolkien Tales Come Alive In Denmark's Unspoiled Faeroe Islands

It's just after 9 p.m. when the magic begins.

The late-setting sun breaks through purple rain clouds to drape the rugged island of Eysturoy in a golden shimmer. A perfect rainbow arches over the Slaettaratindur mountain. Offshore, a wild ocean launches ferocious swells against the Giant and the Witch, two spectacular rock pillars that protrude from the surf like craggy teeth.

All that's missing from the storybook setting is a band of orchs or goblins crawling out from behind a rock, or a pipe-smoking hobbit emerging from one of the turf-roofed houses.

The Lord of the Rings analogy is never far away in the Faeroe Islands, a barren and wind-swept archipelago whose volcanic peaks shoot out of the Atlantic Ocean halfway between Iceland and Norway. Local legend even claims the ring of power is hidden here. Full Story

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Justice Plea For Town’s ‘Witches’

A witch hunt has been launched in Paisley in a bid to bring justice to those who were hunted down and slaughtered unjustly centuries ago.

The move to highlight the tragedy is being made by the Paisley Development Trust and heritage enthusiasts in the town.

And it is hoped that with Hallowe’en just six weeks away Buddies will rally to the cause to make amends for generations gone by. Full Story

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How Green Was Burning Man?

The majority of the nearly 50,000 celebrants at the Burning Man counter-culture event have been re-adjusting for two weeks to the real world of running water, cubicles and commutes. With the week-long party in the Nevada desert in the rearview mirror, how green was the burn?

Supporters and critics of the festival of radical self-expression anticipated that this year's Green Man theme would set the ephemeral city apart from those of the past. Many hoped that Burning Man would clean up its act, show off promising clean technologies and set a fresh example for eco-friendly events. Others accused festival planners of hypocrisy, pandering to the green chic trend and corporate interests by inviting green tech companies to participate. Full Story

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Americans Wrong On Their Rights

According to a new poll released by the nonpartisan, nonprofit First Amendment Center, 55 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation, and 56 percent believe that the freedom to worship as you choose doesn't extend to all religious groups.

It's troubling that at a time of serious constitutional debates in this country - from school prayer to the detainee program at Guantanamo - so many Americans don't even have a minimal understanding of the very bedrock of our Republic.

Just in case, here is a refresher on the rights guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution: Full Story

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

On Pagan Pride Day, Visibility For The Occult

It was Old World beliefs meeting modern-day lifestyles.

Pagans gathering by a pond inside Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover socialized to the persistent pop of gunfire from a nearby hunting club. Witches in jeans and Crocs were elbow-to-wand with heathens and druids, vampires and those just beginning on their spiritual quest.

The gathering yesterday was among many Pagan Pride Day celebrations being held in autumn worldwide for the 10th consecutive year. Full Story

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Enduring Mysteries Of The Moon

The moon — linked in myth with goddesses of witchcraft and the hunt, with gods of magic and wisdom — is nearly as old as Earth itself, with enigmas of its own. As close as the moon is to Earth, we are still far from solving all its mysteries — from how the moon was born to whether life on Earth has its past and future there.

How was the moon made?

Most scientists think the moon was born from a gargantuan collision — when a young, 30-million-year-old Earth was sideswiped by an embryonic planet the size of Mars some 4.5 billion years ago, with debris from our planet and this impactor eventually coalescing into a molten, red-hot moon.

Curiously, while the latest computer models suggest most of the moon came from the impactor, lunar samples from the Apollo and other missions suggest the moon is very chemically similar to Earth's mantle. Full Story

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Pagan Pride Fest Sept. 22

The sixth annual Salt Lake Pagan Pride Festival — with workshops, vendors and an Interactive Deity Altar — will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at Murray Park.

The annual harvest festival this year also is commemorating the Veterans Administration decision to make the Pentacle, a nearly universal pagan symbol, an approved insignia on the grave markers of fallen pagan soldiers, according to festival spokesperson Rita Morgan. Full Story

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pagans Fight Stigma With Pride Day

People who practice pagan religions are familiar with a number of misconceptions about their faith.

Some think they worship the devil; others say pagans are godless people.

But none of that is true, said two area residents who are practicing pagans.

Tom Vandeberg and Teresa Frederick, both of Stephens City, are coordinating Northern Shenandoah Pagan Pride Day 2007, an event that aims to educate the public about pagan beliefs and eradicate the stigma surrounding religions such as Wicca, Asatru and Druidry. Full Story

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Florida Students Challenge Ban On Gothic

Fifteen-year-old Amaris Mulhauser prepared for school Thursday morning using a thick-black eyeliner to draw tear streaks dripping down her cheeks.

A few hours later, she was pulled out of her Rockledge High English class and told to go home -- the second time this week -- for wearing the Gothic makeup that administrators had warned her to remove.

Brevard Public Schools' dress code policy specifically prohibits Gothic-style clothing or accessories, citing that such gear is tied to "violent or death oriented themes."

Amaris -- a soft-spoken sophomore who said she'd never been suspended and had never received a grade lower than a C -- argues she has a right to her style of dress. She said her clothing is part of her Wiccan religion, a neo-pagan, Earth-centered faith. Full Story

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

UN Backs Witches In Row With Shires Developers

The United Nations has ruled in favour of a group of witches in a dispute with the firm behind the Shires development.

Hammerson, the developers behind the £300 million extension of the shopping centre, launched legal action to stop the group of witches using the disputed name for their website.

The witches registered the website www.highcrossquarter.com to promote their beliefs - but Hammerson wanted the website after it used the same name for the shopping centre.

Despite ditching the name for Highcross Leicester, the firm continued its legal bid to take control of the website domain name.

The United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization ruled against the FTSE100 firm, saying the witches had registered the domain name legitimately. Full Story

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Candle Rituals Being Practiced In Commissioner's Office?

For weeks, pictures have circulated along with talk that Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy was practicing candle rituals in her Precinct One office.

Pictured on the side of candles are the names of 9 people who some people say are who she considers threats to her political career.

Oscar Garcia, a former Handy employee of 10 years who we sought out, is among the list of names.

Why? Full Story

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Non-Christian Events Concern For Employers

Last December, retailers nationwide encountered a firestorm of criticism for removing Christmas themes from their holiday displays in an effort to avoid offending non- Christians. Instead, they inadvertently offended many Christians.

The controversy reminded employers that being respectful of employees' religious practices often requires walking a fine line.

The issue isn't relevant only in December. In fact, the autumn calendar is full of non-Christian holidays, such as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the autumnal equinox, an important date in many pagan religions.

The challenge for employers is to accommodate employees who celebrate those holidays, thereby avoiding religious discrimination lawsuits, without alienating other employees. Full Story

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

In The Cards

If you want a glimpse of your future, it might be in the cards. Tarot cards, used for centuries to sum up the past and predict the future of believers, are experiencing a bit of a revival.

Readers of tarot cards, who in the not-so-distant past might have been associated with gypsies and carnival booths, have entered the mainstream, opening storefronts and taking appointments.

Connie Marks, a psychic and tarot card reader, operates a psychic business with her brother and sister. They have offices in Loveland, Windsor and along U.S. 34 between Greeley and Interstate 25. They take appointments, counsel couples, accommodate walk-ins and even offer readings at parties or private gatherings.

Reading tarot and being able to predict the future, Marks said, is a gift that has been handed down through the women in her family. She keeps a deck of tarot cards owned by her grandmother, a Cherokee Indian. Full Story

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