Thursday, September 29, 2011

Train of thought derailed, now getting back on track!

Today, like any other day, I sat down to meditate on the events around me that influence my life. Troubled by many things lately, those things that I do not control or have much influence on, it was hard for me to really focus on what I can do to better myself or position, or lessen the consiquinces of the actions around me. The more I thought on this, the harder it was to remain in a meditative state, and the clarity that I sought blurred until an over-whelming confusion took it's place. I gave up...

     I looked at my website bookmarks, and reviewed what I had been watching and reading for the last several days. Then I looked back at the last several months. I continued this review until I reached back to 2004. I found it, that line of thought, that progression of disconnected information that kept saying; 'Hey! This is important!. But why did I quit looking at it? Why did it drift out of my line of sight and out of my thoughts? So I looked again. There it was....

    Every government in the world shares one major thing in common, PR. It is not the ability to find good information and facts, it is the ability to fabricate information and facts that the governments excel at. Controlling the information gives indirect control over the population, and our governments can do this well. They can erase information and replace it, and almost no one objects to it. Those that do are listed as 'conspericy therorists' of labeled as lunatics. Their 'facts' disappear with their stories, blurred by other outside information and influence. Other things 'develope' and new things come-into the attention....

     So, back to my point, if there is one here. What happened to the 'ongoing investigations' in the Yellowstone Lake? can you remember the news report by the USGS about the lake bed rising back in 2009? That report, at least in part is still available online, but no new information can be found. What about the facts about the WMD's in Iraq? Oh yeah, there was none. Nor any actual proof of terrorists involved in several US attacks, nor any hard facts on why we are either at war or occupying three different countries right now. How about the Gulf oil spill? When did it get cleaned and who did it? No one, and there is still oil spreading all over along the coast lines and further out to sea killing millions of sea life. What about the massive deaths of birds that happened last Spring in the mid-south. Thousands of birds dropped dead, in mid-flight. Nothing is known about why, and almost everyone forgot about it.

     Here is a ling of thought, since I brought up Yellowstone; Haiti, Chili, Japan, and recently the 'cluster quakes' along the Alaskan coast. In the last 26 months, major geological, volcanic and siesmic activity along the 'Ring of Fire', yet  almost no news or media attention since Japans 9.0 and following Tsunami. It's not the San Andres Fault line that the USGS is worried about, it is the New Cascadia fault, 20+ miles off the coast of Washington. A major quake there, 8.0 or above, and we will loose most of the West Coast to the sea, and the tidal wave will reach into Portland within an hour!

     Back to government; what the Hell people? History has shown us what happens when civil liberties and government or corrupt business and or banks collide, and history often repeats itself. Rome, France, Egypt... you see my point. All were great empires, all strong in government and political 'world' standing, all fell after a period of time, and all fell to the people of the country not invaders! Look at what happened in London, in Cairo and is going on mow in New York and across the country. The government backed the banks, and the banks foreclosed on the people. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes, their savings and retirement. No one benefited from a 'bail out' that was supposed to bring back the economic flow. The bail out was voted down in the beginning, the lobbyists for the banks and big corporations got it passed, and they got all the money, they drove the deficit up and then they demanded the US government pay up. Did you get all that?
Research it for yourself,  PLEASE!

     As a priest of Nature, and observer of the 'old ways', a man of science and fact, and a student of civility and as a citizen, I combine all this information and can draw many conclusions. And I do. But here, now, I just want You to think, to look, to research, for yourself, while you can. I posted the other day on Facebook

For those who aren't active in Politics, for the love of Freedom, get active in your citizenship! Exercise your rights, for once we are found not using them, they will be taken away. Defend your rights, for if not, they will be taken away. And least of all, remind your elected officials that they work for you, if not, then they surely will work for others... ya know, the ones who decided you weren't interested, didn't need your rights that you weren't using, and took them all away because you let them.
This was a public reminder...

And now that rings true ever more so....

Revolting Development

Something that first caught my interest, now has me getting involved...
Occupy Together (occupytogether.org) will provide you a list of places, dates and states that have gotten organized and are getting organized

Revolting Development

hactivism is a great use of this otherwise self serving social networking technology,
but when you overstate your case or senselessly exaggerate even the slightest of wrongs, you begin to become as corrupt as those you protest against.
in short, tread carefully, lest you become just another version of the man.
it’s trite to say that power leads to corruption, but that’s because it’s so true.
many of the dictators in the world came to power in idealistic revolutions.
the prevailing force in many ‘revolutions’ end up often worse than those they are replacing.

then came occupywallstreet, which seems both inspired and muddled. the lack of a coherent strategy hurt them with respect to public opinion.
even though i’m on their side, watching some of it did feel like a lot of people wanting to play the parts of protestor and activist, but not having the lines to speak. individually the people make a lot of sense, but outwardly they seemed confused, at least at first. i don’t think it was the fault of the protesters themselves, but just poor marketing and management, as silly as that sounds.
still, occupywallstreet has inspired similar ‘occupy’ movements in several cities. ‘day of rage’ movements have popped up as well, which i think are unfortunately named. i think they are taking the name from the arab spring protests, but it seems like that sends a wrong message to americans. howard beale was great fiction, but in this day and age he’s bill o’reilly or rachel meadow. he ain’t reaching anyone who doesn’t already share his views. being mad as hell is only entertaining, it doesn’t open minds.
i think everyone has the right intentions. but the point of the protests isn’t to pat ourselves on the back for caring but to reach out to the rest of the country to try to effect some kind of real, tangible change.
what i’m getting at is that we have to know who we are, what we are about and we cannot let the power of our movement be invested in any one person or group. i think this is key. i think it is possible to arrive at a simple framework of ideals that is attainable, non-violent, inclusive of everyone and dare i say it, moral.

the most important aspect of this movement would be careful consideration of your words. they will be used either to tear us down or show our rightness. you have the control over which it is. so many of the tweets and blogs i read about some of the occupy(fill in the blank) protests and the opbart (and opfullerton re: the kelly thomas death where the policeman was charged with murder) were so heavy with angry rhetoric as to sound crazy. it doesn’t have to be us vs them. we are them. they are us.
we don’t have to use the same rhetoric to decry those who would denounce as they use against us. this just makes for a noisy mess where no one is challenged to change their minds or consider our point of view. there is a way of answering criticism not by replying with the same but by demonstrating knowledge, caring and benevolent determination. that sounds soft but i swear it will work. doing the opposite is just an argument, and no one ever wins an argument.
i don’t think our ‘enemy’ is other people. it’s corrupt systems. it’s unjust (or just too many laws). it’s any police force that has more power than the people they are ‘protecting’. it’s the greed of an unchecked segment of society that chokes the economic opportunity of everyone else below it. it’s unchecked military aggression around the world. it’s a hawkish foreign policy that has been a huge contributor to the near-bankrupting of our nation. it’s a corporate climate wherein it pays businesses to send jobs to other countries. it’s a relentless diet of foreign oil. it’s a denial of even the simplest national environmentalism, whether or not you believe in climate change.
it’s an unjust and unintelligible tax code. it’s the loss of our sense of community. it’s the mired mess of how laws are written and passed in washington with cynical political dodges and lobbyists helping to write the laws in the first place. it’s allowing conglomerates like monsanto using the most cynical of means to control the future of farming, the landscape of our nation and the price of food itself.
it’s the unfettered ability of our government to surveil us because they are purportedly trying to find terrorists. it’s declaring wars on ‘things’ like drugs or terrorism: silly, endless wars that can never be ‘won’. it’s using nonsense and emotion to get people to argue against things that are in their better judgement, which is what all of politics on both sides seems to be anymore. it’s the government of our country having a globalist outlook. it’s putting people to death in prisons, something very few 1st world western nations do. it’s taking people’s land by force when they won’t sell it otherwise in order to hand it off to a big corporation that will pay more in taxes. it’s corporations that aren’t owned by the employees. it’s a corporate pay climate which ensures corruption and job elimination if it’ll mean a larger bonus for a handful of men who happen to be sitting on a board of directors. it’s the astronomical inflation seen in the cost of higher education.
it’s a stock market that has been reduced to nothing more than a handful of interests essentially gambling with our economy and taking a nice percentage for themselves, whether they win or lose. it’s the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor. it’s the shrinking of the middle class. it’s the death of main streets all over this country. it’s mindless political rhetoric that separates people and distracts the nation while the ‘leaders’ gerrymander themselves into perpetual wealth. it’s allowing factions to put forth moral issues as political ones which clouds the mind and emotions and causes the average person to lose sight of the real problem: that those doing the distracting are walking away with our futures.
damn, we have a lot of enemies. but they can call be beaten.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is Ethics in requesting Energy

Beware of the psychic vampire
     There is a limit, really, to how many times one should ask for 'energy works' from their mentors, circles, friends, and or coven/church in the Pagan community. However, most people don't know this, or do not understand, or respect, that the amount of 'help' that they are asking for drains the community down. Don't get me wrong here, you should ask when needing help, but not in the way that I have been seeing it done more and more lately. Remember; 'Heal thyself, witch!' is a good place to start.
     Step one; if there is something in your life that has gotten you down, drained you of energy, or you do not have the knowledge or personal ability to deal with it on your own, yes, ask for help. To do so isn't the issue, it is how you do it that can become an issue. Instead of asking for random energy lending, prepare a ritual or spell, or have someone who can help you write the spell, and invite your network of assistants ( you know, all those people that you keep asking to lend you some energy) to assist you in performing the ritual/spell to deal with the issue at hand.
     Step two; just like in any other ritual, be prepared to offer cakes and ale to those who have joined in the spell-work. Yes, that is the key in our magical rites, to replenish that which was used in spell-work. (There is the number one thing missing when you ask others for help, you do not help them replenish!) This way, you have been granted that extra energy, have worked the magic, and have replenished the source that you drew from. Now the group of energy workers are not being fed on by your requests.
     Step three; If you are so down and cannot make it to a gathering or circle, please for the sake of humble respect, don't make it an issue and claim you need that circles energy for yourself. Yes. I have had these requests and have read them as well. You need to be in that circle if you want anything from that circle. You only receive from ritual what you bring into it, and if your request is to have energy from a circle, then you have taken from them what they have built. Kinda sounds like theft does it not?
     We have all been taught, one way or another, about building personal power, or raising energy within ourselves. We all know that in doing so, we must replenish that energy within ourselves. Most of us also know that when we 'borrow' energy from other things, natural and metaphysical alike, we have to offer something in return to help replenish that which we use, and return that which we do not use. We all do this in personal rites and spell-work, and in group circles. This is a BIG part in 'living with and with-in Nature', knowing and keeping a 'balance' within ourselves and our environment. If you do not know this, then you need to find a better teacher. This is energy working 101, basics, yet I have come across many 'newbies' and a few veterans who just don't get this at all.
     I have no issue with assisting those in need, and have spent two decades doing so, but I cannot offer assistance to those who have breached the trust of the laws of Hospitality according to my traditional beliefs. Let me explain that a bit further for you;

 'Hospitality is to be given freely to all that should ask, without payment demanded nor to be expected to repay in kind, nor without record of debt. To all save those who are gluttons, sloths, and criminals of the people or the laws.'

      Here, gluttons are those who take and take and take as they can because they can rather than do it so for themselves and take due to greed above their needs. And here, sloths are those who take from hospitality because they can rather than try to provide for themselves when they can. The part about criminals is pretty self explanatory. 
However, from my point of view, all those who take rather than do for themselves and those who take out of greed rather than need, are just as much criminal as any other. A psychic crime is no less sever toward it's victims than one of physical nature. And after a while, one such psychic criminal (psychic vampire) can devastate a community in moral, and in magical workings. I have seen this happen, and have learned how to avoid it in my community and groups.

    As a practitioner of the magical arts, of a Nature based religion, or one who teaches such things, we need to refocus on this matter a bit more intently and make sure our community members know the proper way to come and ask for help, if and when they truly need it.

   We are a Circle, within a Circle, with no beginning, and never ending: Just as long as we keep that flow of energy alive and balanced. So share when you can, ask when you need, but above all, 
Heal Thy Self!

Blessed Be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

An Understanding of Belief.

The importance you place on people, things, or ideas, are first and foremost yours.

     When we expect others to believe in these items as we do, then we are at fault, not they. It is our ideas, our ideals and our goals that we strive for, and we tend to try and justify them or vindicate them to and for others as well. True they might be of general or specific benefit to others, and others might join along side to promote and build these things to be, however, these are ours.
     When we adopt into our belief or integrate into our understanding things that are not originally ours, then we are promoting things that we, ourselves, want. It becomes a desire to 'own' or to create or to 'make real' or make 'happen'. We change our lives to fit those ideals and concepts, we base our actions to coincide with our beliefs. That makes them no less than any original concept that we ourselves had conceived.
     Belief, is a strong idea that is fueled by emotion and supported by either facts or testament. There will not always be facts or evidence in direct support of our many beliefs. There will be supposition, estimation, educated guesses, theory, and emotional and intellectual argument. Belief falls under the great labels of Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Imagination. All of which make-up the entity we know and understand as ourselves. Facts play an important roll in science and law, but it is in our belief, that facts are only play a supporting roll and are often overruled.
     When dealing with emotion and intellect, we oftentimes break into factions that retain bits and pieces of facts and feeling. We disagree on concepts or appearances of truth or lie. We diversify the original thoughts or ideals into other, newer things. That is the nature of evolution, to survive by creating a better mode of transportation and sustainability in our current environment. The original thought or ideal is still present, it now hold different aspects of itself current in its application.
     All things are subject to two concepts within science and philosophy; they must be temporal and corporeal. That they will exist in a statement of time, and that they will exist in a form that can be measured in mass or capacity. Time affect, adjusts, matures and eradicates all things. Not Time itself, but our observation of it. Under the Universal Law of 'Transmutation of Radiant Energy', all things change through the course (time) of its existence. None of us can change that, even plastic will break down given enough time.
     This is relevant because thoughts are things. You can kill any living thing, or wait till it dies; however, thoughts are almost immortal in their existence, more so when they are diversified to continue their existence. However, our concept of immortality is a bit flawed as we can not imagine with any certainty an infinite concept with our finite reasoning and limitations. The point is, thought will out live the thinker. And each adaptation will continue to relay the original thought.
     That, my fellows, is the power of belief.

Sean ( Shadar) Bigham
Druid Adept

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seasonal Decorations...or so it seems.

After reading one blog, then a few other blogs and articles, I decided to add this one in, on the subject of 'alters' and tools or items upon them. I have been reading, practicing an teaching Pagan religious practices since 1993, and have come across many different alters and many unique tools within the practice and among the practitioners, both of religious and ceremonial in Pagan and Arcane lore. (No, I am not talking D&D, LARP or any other 'roll playing game') I am talking the varied traditions and practices of Nature worshiping religions and magical practice in 'true' form.
Shown here is a 'teaching alter' used in my classes on Pagan traditions. It is almost fully covered to show many items and prove a few points, as symmetry, balance of energy, flow of energy and representations of elements and Gods. This is obviously NOT a 'working' alter as it is too cluttered, but the layout carries the information of why we need to have balance in our works.

At home, our living room alter seems to be the place to focus a lot of our time and thoughts, and rightly so. It is a modest table that has acquired the various items of our beliefs and through out the year, subtle changes are made to it, almost unconsciously. We have noticed this, but only after friends have pointed out the changes that they have observed. Our Alter changes as the seasons declare, with items added and removed as the Sabbats come and go. Our home alter isn't one we actively 'work magic'  at, yet it is used by us to reflect the days work, meditate in front of about the goings on in our lives and commune with our Gods.

Currently, this is what is on our living room alter. Being after Lugnasadh and before Mabon, the transition is slowly showing the changes in types of energy and the direction of masculine to feminism in flow. Mind you that in our household, there are Druids, one Egyptian practitioner and an eclectic Pagan with Wiccan (Celtic and Norse) influences. So our living room alter reflects all these aspects, and we all share in it's decor.
  Each of us have certain Deity and or Pantheon that we serve and worship. So there is more than a few statues and imagery that symbolize those  for us. Also there are the collections that are sacred to us in our practice, gargoyles, dragons, fairy kind, and not to exclude our books, both ours we have written and those purchased to glean knowledge from. Actually, above the living room alter is the Fae Alter, dedicated to the wee folk that interact in our day to day living.
There we find peace in the fae, the elements revealed to us and our 'grandmotherly Fae Queen' looking about the room. She also represents one of our 'crones' in our lives and we address her often for insight and advise.
(And yes, we provide dish service to the tea set for them) Here is another simple alter that we find common among Pagan households, it appears more to be a simple shelf of collective items, but the is always more that the eye see's when it comes to Pagans in general. Through out the house, one will find staves in the corner along with a besom upstairs and one downstairs. All of our 'ritual' wear we keep hung up in the closets and separated from our mundane wear. There are items of antiquity and magic all about in our home, blending in with the bookshelves, the the cabinets and counters and along with the furniture, yet, even to our non-Pagan friends and family, it isn't overly Pagan nor sinister in appearance nor 'feel'. You are greeted at our house by more than a dog, or the slinking black cat, you are greeted by the whole house.
There are many things that we 'require' in our magical works, and on our sacred alters while preforming rituals, but many of us have these little home alters that we seldom see listed along side of those circle alters, shrines and magical or sacred spaces. I wanted to share that with you, and encourage you to think about the one(s) you might have set up, and regard them in the same manner of our grander or more public sacred spaces set aside for our Gods.

Well, I must go for now, animals to tend too and fae kind too. May the Gods look upon you with blessings, and may they keep you safe, as we keep their memories alive.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tragic Fire at Scarborough Renaissance Festival Site Takes a Life

Caretaker's body found in the ashes

Will Ross, the Pickle man
A fire broke out on the site of the Scarborough Renaissance Festival on August 22nd just after 10:30pm. By the time firefighters arrived seven structures were engulfed including a small cabin where caretaker, Will Ross lived on the property. The fire burned a portion of the park known as Holly Field.
Festival spokesman Orvis Melvin says investigators are trying to determine what started the blaze Monday night at the complex near Waxahachie. Melvin said about seven other workers were on the property when it happened and they used the water from the Renaissance fair water trucks to spray the nearby structures and trees until the firefighters arrived. Six fire departments responded to the scene. One firefighter was injured and treated for heat exhaustion.
"It took a while to get the fire cooled down enough to be able to go in to do any searching," said Lt. James Saulter, Ellis County Sheriff's Office. "Once they got it down, it took them about five minutes before they located the victim who was inside."
"We lost seven shoppes including the Holly Field privies and the Holly Field Souvenir Shoppe," Melvin says "The entire upper lane, from the privies to the Legendary Candle Booth, burned to the ground."
Melvin says the 2012 Scarborough Renaissance Festival, set for April 7 through May 28, will be held as planned. "Fortunately, we don't have to do Scarborough Renaissance Festival until next April. We should have all these buildings replaced by then," said Melvin. "There was no significant damage to the Crown Meadow, so Screams® will not be affected." Screams is a Halloween festival held in October on the site.

View more video at NBC DFW: http://nbcdfw.com.
A Memorial service was held on Tuesday, August 30th for Will Ross, also known as the Pickle Man, since he sold pickles at he fair. Friends and family gathered before dusk on one of the park stages to share their memories of this gentle man. The eulogies were followed by a potluck dinner.
After the Memorial Kataz Trophe wrote, "I think Will's family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for Will. I spoke to his Dad for a few minutes, he told me a story, and concluded by saying 'For 10 years before Will started here, he was a lost and troubled man. This place—and all the people in it—saved Will's life and his Soul.'"
(Click for more links to local news.)
Scarborough Renaissance Festival, located about 25 miles south of Dallas was established in 1981 on a 35-acre site near Waxahachie. It attracts 200,000 people a year. The festival runs for eight weekends each spring, according to its Web site. The property is also open each fall as a Halloween theme park.
The URL for this article is temporary. If you would like to reference the permanent article use this URL:http://stores.renstore.com/-strse-template/1109B/Page.bok.

Labor Day Issue
Full article Link ; http://stores.renstore.com/-strse-template/1109A/Page.bok