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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Greece Sued Over Sectarian Prayer

In just a few seconds' time during the April Town Board meeting, Jennifer Zarpentine made Greece history.

Zarpentine, a Wiccan, delivered the first-ever pagan prayer to open a meeting of the Greece Town Board.

Her hands raised to the sky, she called upon Greek deities Athena and Apollo to "help the board make the right informed decisions for the benefit and greater good of the community."

A small cadre of her friends and coven members in the audience chimed in "so mote it be." Full Story

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

EPA Might Not Act To Limit Rocket Fuel In Drinking Water

*Editors note: Not quite magickal in nature, but this issue is very important.*

An EPA official said Tuesday there's a "distinct possibility" the agency won't take action to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has contaminated public water supplies around the country.

Democratic senators called that unacceptable. They argued that states and local communities shouldn't have to bear the expense of cleansing their drinking water of perchlorate, which has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states -- or the risk of not doing so.

The toxin interferes with thyroid function and poses developmental health risks, particularly to fetuses. Full Story

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Substitute Teacher Says Wizardry Accusation Cost Him Job

The telephone call that spelled the end of Jim Piculas' career as a substitute teacher in Pasco came on a January day about a week after he performed the disappearing-toothpick trick for a group of rapt middle school students.

Pat Sinclair, who oversees substitute teachers in the Pasco County School District, was on the phone. She told Piculas there had been a complaint about his performance at Rushe Middle School in Land O' Lakes.

He asked what she meant.

"She said, 'You've been accused of wizardry,' " Piculas said. Full Story

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Pagans Celebrate New Season

Pagans from around the region gathered in Barrie this weekend to celebrate Beltaine, but some feel misconceptions about paganism make newcomers reluctant to join in the fun.

"Even though we are becoming more open as a society, there are still some old beliefs kicking around," said Katt West, a pagan, and manager of Earth and Sky Connection in Barrie, where the celebration was held.

West said a lot of people associate paganism with witchcraft or devil worshipping, which she says is inaccurate. Full Story

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kitchen Spell

Color of the day: Ivory
Incense of the day: Hyssop

For this kitchen spell to promote harmony in the home, consider preparing a Mexican meal to honor Cinco de Mayo. Visualize harmony in the home as you cook, add ingredients, stir, bake, or even use the microwave. Imagine the food being infused with your intent; the feelings of peace and harmony will be passed along to those who consume the meal. Use this chant as you cook:

Herbs and spices,
Fruit of vines,
Veggies, meat, water, wine,
Sugar and bread,
Salt and flour,
Bring harmony to
Every hour.
Peace and love
To fill our home,
With each meal
Let it be known.

By: Ember

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

US Ordered To Act On Polar Bear

A judge has told the US government to decide within weeks whether to list polar bears as an endangered species.

The decision was hailed by conservation groups which have been hounding the government on the issue for years.

The federal judge rejected the Bush administration's pleas for a further delay, and ordered it to make and implement its decision by 15 May.

A listing could restrict oil and gas exploration in the US Arctic, and lead to curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Full Story

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Taking Medicine Back To Nature

Ancient cultures never doubted the healing powers of plants and animals. A sick person turned to their local medicine man, wise woman or witch doctor, who would mix a treatment made from local plants, bark, herbs and perhaps even parts of insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds.

For thousands of years before willow bark was used to create aspirin and the opium poppy to make morphine people knew about their pain-relieving properties.

Now phytochemicals are again high on medical science’s priority list. Full Story

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Are The Quakers Going Pagan?

When his partner died in 2004, Kevin-Douglas Olive reached a crossroads in his faith. Even though he had been a Quaker for almost two decades and put his trust in Jesus, he began to explore other ways of tapping into the divine.

He started to explore Wicca, a nature-based pagan religion, surrounding himself with pentacles, candles and incense. But that didn't stick. "It seemed like more make-believe on top of the Christian make-believe," he says. "I was rejecting one; I didn't want to bring in another."

Even after Olive found his way back to Jesus, he retained some elements of paganism. While he upholds the standard traditions of his local Quaker meeting hall, he privately incorporates pagan ritual into his prayer.

He's part of a small but growing movement of Quakers who also identify as pagan — a trend that may or may not exist in other Christian traditions, but certainly not in such an organized, public fashion. Full Story

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