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Issue 19




Welcome Monthly Correspondence This Months Horoscopes And Chinese Astrology Tarot Events for February Crafts and Rituals Paths and Disciplines Meditation Knowledge and Principals The Green Witch Poetry Featured Stories Personal Journeys Witches Rant Around the News Verse Persephone's Movie Review UnderWorld's Music Box The Cheshire mad book reviews Recipes Pagan UnderWorld Member Articles Pagan UnderWorld Featured Member Pagan UnderWorld Featured Groups


4 5 29 49 55 65 86 98 104 135 144 148 157 159 161 163 166 170 172 179 188 191

Shadow Heart & Soul of the Black Rose Member articles Shadow Heart & Soul of the Black Rose Groups Urban and folk legends Truth Portal Featured Sites Metal shows Events

193 205 208 227 233 242


Forever Gothic Tool Queens Fetish Balls and Events Fetish Article's LGBT Disclaimer and Complaint dept


256 260 278 282 286

Welcome everyone Each day we have is special and each moment we get to share it with all those who we call friends and love is precious, let us not waste a moment of it, let us continue to make each day we have more memorable and precious and fill it with all the love we have for those we love and call friends.. We thank each of you for your support and your help making this magazine what it is and such a blessing to do each month... Thank you each and everyone of you so please keep reading and sharing it to all of your friends & loved ones... Love and Light; Sweet Dark Angel, Oak, Persephone, & Andrew


by: Sweet Dark Angel & Andrew

Moon Phases Full Moon


Last Quarter 2/14/2012 New Moon



Correspondence for the Month of February By: Sweet Dark Angel & Andrew Imbolc: 2/1 (Candlemas, Imbolg, Bride's Day, Oimelc, Brid's Day, Lady Day, St. Brighid's Day, Candelaria, Lupercus,)

Correspondence of Imbolc: The Plants and Herbs of Imbolc: Angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, heather, myrrh, rowan, dill Associated Colours: White, silver, pale yellow


Stones and metals associated with Imbolc: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, onyx, ruby, turquoise Incense and oils: Basil, bay, benzoin, cinnamon, myrrh, vanilla, violet Animals and mythical Imbolc: Bears, eagle, groundhogs, owls, ravens, sheep, snakes, stags Dragons, firebirds, phoenix Gods and Goddess Associated with Imbolc: Goddesses of Imbolc: Virgin or maiden goddesses, the Goddess as a child, Brigid, Aradia, Athena, Gaia, Ianna Februa, Hestia Gods of Imbolc: Gods of fire, the God as a young man or child, love or fertility gods, Pan, Aengus Og, Eros, Februus, Faunus, Symbols for Imbolc: Candles, brides, grain dollies, burrowing animals, ewes, Brighid's cross, priapic wands, brooms. Items for your altar or for decorating: Pictures or statues of the goddess, white clothes, white candles, white ribbons, Brede's bed, white flowers or the first flowers of the season, lamps, silver candles, silver candlesticks, silver bowls, melted snow in a bottle, pictures or statues of the god, representations of animals of the season Foods of Imbolc: Cheese, recipes using sour cream or marscapone, yogurt, curries, fish, white meat, dishes containing onions, peppers and/or garlic, spiced wine, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, muffins, scones, rice pudding, poppy seeds, poultry, foods or breads containing raisins, herbal teas


Activities of Imbolc: This is traditionally a time of purification — clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now. Make your own Brighid’s crosses and hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food. Put out food — cake, buttered bread and milk will do — outside your door: Brighid and her cow walk through the neighborhood tonight, and will appreciate your offering. Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brighid to bless: It can then be used for healing purposes. Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, and ask for Bride's blessing upon your prayers Spell Work of Imbolc: Purity, growth and renewal, new beginnings, purification, household cleansing rituals, rejuvenation, spells for good luck, fertility spells, re-consecration, weather divination

February Correspondences

Nature Spirits: House Faeries Herbs:

Balm of Gilead; Hyssop; Myrrh; Sage & Spikenard


Light Blue & Violet





Heliotrope & Wisteria


Amethyst; Jasper & Rock Crystal


Cedar; Laurel & Rowan


Otter & Unicorn


Chickadee & Eagle


Aphrodite; Brigit; Demeter; Diana; Juno; Kuan Yin & Persephone

Power Flow:

Accepting responsibility for past errors; Forgiving; Growth; Healing; Loving the Self; Making Future Plans & Purification

The Angel of of February - Barchiel The angel of patience. Barchiel teaches us to wait for Spring and to appreciate what winter has to offer. Barchiel during this period will assist us to finalize projects which may have been started but remain unfinished. He also prepares us to establish new objectives which we can start in Spring. The comfort we receive from Barchiel will help us to enjoy the solitude and quiet of the winter.


Archangel Sachiel - Angelic & Planetary Correspondences

Name of Planet under rulership


Symbol Planetary Name in Hebrew


Hebrew Meaning

To be just or right

Teaching Angel

Sachiel. Also Known As: Zachiel, Zedekiel, Zadakiel, Tzadqiel (Hebrew), Tzadkiel, and Zedekul

Correct Pronunciation


Celestial Title

King of the Gods

Tradition - Angel identified in

Jewish and Christian Traditions

Hebrew Name


Hebrew Letter


Egyptian Name

Isis and Horus


Archangel and Teaching Angel

Ruler of

The Sixth Heaven - Zebul

Guardian Angel of Planet


Greek/Roman Gods

Jupiter, Zeus/Poseidon


Tin, Brass, Bronze



Hours of Day (Thursday) Ruled

1st and 8th hours of the day. 3rd and 10th hours of the night

Month Ruled

Not identified

Cycle of Results

7 Days



Variable but Fast

Fixed Stars (Pisces)

Formalhaut, Markab and Deneb Adige

Fixed Stars (Sagittarius)

Antares and Alatrab

Days to Avoid working with the Archangel Sachiel



Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Sugilite or Turquoise

Ritual Candle Colour


Planetary Colour

Purple, Blue

Harran / Hermetics Colour


Complimentary Colour


Astral Colours - Pisces

White and Green

Astral Colours - Sagittarius

Gold and Red


A Square

Tarot Card

The Wheel of Fortune X

Planetary Numbers

14, 18

Talisman Size/Sides


Numbers of Jupiter

4, 16, 34, and 136

Musical Note


Direction Ruled

West and South



Angelic Thoughtform

Bunch of Grapes




Chestnut, Fig, Juniper, Norway Spruce, Oak or Poplar



Anise, Beech, Buttercup, Carnation, Coltsfoot, Cinnamon, Damiana, Lilacs, Hyssop, Narcissus, Heliotrope, Lobelia, Nutmeg, Opium Poppy, Pumpkin Seed, Sage, Thyme and Valerian


Bees and Money Spiders


Elephants, Whales, Fish and Eagles

Anatomy Governed

Right Leg, Liver and Digestive System

Rivers Ruled

Western and Southern Rivers

Letter Composition

Purple Ink, White Paper

Magical Script

Passing the Rivers Script

Planetary Spirit

Iophiel aka Yophiel

Planetary Intelligence

Not identified

Demon of Jupiter


Olympic Spirit


Demon of the Day


Incense, Oils, Perfumes and Inks: General Incense: Incense 1: Cedar, Hyssop, Orris Root, Saffron, Balm of Gillead, Aspen, Poplar leaves, Aloes Wood, Storax, Ash, Ambergris. Incense 2: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Aloes Wood, Balm, Cedar.


Incense 3: Saffron, Nutmeg, Henbane. Talismanic Incense: Ambergris, Balsam, Cardamom, Frankincense, Mace, Orris Root, Saffron, Fig, Oak, Pomegranate Seeds, Poplar

Magical Oils: Base Oil: Olive Oil - Cloves, Lemon Balm, Oakmoss, Star Anise. Anointing Oil: Base Oil: Olive Oil - Cloves, Lemon Balm, Oakmoss, Star Anise.

Essential Oil: Chamomile, Pennyroyal, Valerian, Hyssop

Perfume: Ingredients: Stock, Lilac, Storax, Aloes, Lime, Magnolia, Mint Norway Spruce, Nutmeg, Oak, Red Rose, Saffron, Sage, Red Sandalwood.

Magical Ink: Lampblack (soot), Water (Spring), Orris Root, and Gum Arabic.


Related Astrological Correspondences:

Pisces Astrological Dates

February 19th - March 20th.

Astrological Table


Astrological Symbol





Astrological Plants/Herbs

Heliotrope, Carnation, Opium Poppy, Chicory, Sage


Elm, Willow




Power Gems

Amethyst or Pearl


Sapphire, Emerald


Purple, Crimson


3 and 6





Tarot Card

The Moon (XVIII)


Seal, Sheep and Ox


Stork, Swan.

Symbolic Creatures

Fish and Dolphin

Anatomy Governed

Feet, Toes, Veins

Body System

Pineal, Hemoglobin, Bodily Fluids and Lymphatic


Bithwort, Carnation, Cloves, Dock, Lilac or lillies


Ambergris/ Marmonious


Cancer, Scorpio and Virgo

Geomantic Number


Geomantic Ruler



Anubis, Khepera, Poseidon, Vishnu and Neptune

Age Ruled

55 to 62 years of age


When the Moon is in Pisces works of magic that involve clairvoyance, and the creative arts. Healing may be undertaken on ailments involving the feet.

With Pisces as its ruling sign, the Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. The Querent who gets this card should be warned that they may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if they have any past mental problems, they must be vigilant in taking their medication. They should avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. They can and should trust their intuition.


Related Deities: Adonai Tsevaot, Amon-Ra, Manitou, Num, Odin, Vishnu, Yehovah, Yu-Wang-Shang-Ti, Zeus. Miscellaneous Information: Sachiel is an archangel of the order of Cherubim. The meaning of his name is variously given as "the covering of God" He appears in a purple robe with a cloak, in the image of an older man with gray hair. He also hold a scepter. Ruler of the Sixth Heaven. Angelic Signature:

Signs & Symbols Related - Archangel Sachiel and Jupiter:

Sachiel is an archangel of the order of Cherubim. The meaning of his name is given as "the covering of God" He is associated with the Zodiacal sign Sagittarius and the weekday Thursday, wealth and charity. Sachiel presides over Thursday and the planet Jupiter. He can be invoked for matters involving money, finance, law, politics, and religion. .He appears in a purple robe with a cloak, in the image of an older man with gray hair holding a scepter. (The Pillars of Tubal-Cain p256. - Nigel Jackson & Michael Howard, Capall Bann Publishing. UK. 2003).


Remember Angels are personal to you and tend to correspond to your mental image of them.

The Tarot Card related to the Archangel Sachiel and the planet Jupiter is the Wheel of Fortune (X), Temperance (XIIII) and the Moon (XVII) .The Wheel of Fortune represents the ever-changing aspects in our lives. It represents the Cosmic Wheel, with all the Universe and its planets turning together. Temperance signifies fruitfulness, action, life and vitality. The Moon is that of the occult inquirer. (The Prediction Book of The Tarot. - page 93, 104 & 116- Madeline Montalban. Javelin Books UK. 1986.)

Archangel Sachiel's symbol.


The Kabbalistic sign for the Archangel Sachiel and the planet Jupiter. The Kabbalistic signs for Jupiter, indicated above right, has had a number of variations. To the left are some of the alternative symbols used for the planet in the past.

. Geomantic Symbol (Pisces) Geomantic Symbol (Sagittarius).

Sign of the Planet ( Jupiter).

Character or Seal of Jupiter.

Hismael - Sign of the Demon of Jupiter.

Astrological Sign of Jupiter. Astrological Signs Sagittarius & Pisces.


The Olympic Spirit of the Jupiter- Bethor.

The Sign of the Spirit of Jupiter - Yophiel.

Hebrew Letter "Kaph"

Alchemical symbol of Tin, the metal of Jupiter.

The Archangel Governs: Magical Intention: The achievement of general ambitions, health and wealth. Generates friendships and social prestige. Governs Lawyers, legal affairs and justice. Thursday, the vibrations of this day attune well to all matters involving material gain. Use them for working rituals that entail general success, accomplishment, honors and awards, or legal issues. These energies are also helpful in matters of luck, gambling, and prosperity. Rulership's: Power, legal and commercial transactions, financial speculation, acquisition of wealth, marriage, education, religion, protect travelers, foster friendships, preserve health, banish anxiety, establish sympathy, business, fame, gambling, greed, growth, expansion, honor, leadership, money, parties, politics, power, responsibility, royalty, success, visions, wealth.


Negative aspects: Greed, wastefulness. Magical Intentions: Luck, Happiness, Health, Legal Matters, Male Fertility, Treasure and Wealth, Honor, Riches, Clothing Desires, Leadership, Public Activity, and Power. Note: According to Peter de Abano, “…. that the first hour of the day, of every Country,and in every season whatsoever, is to be assigned to the Sun-rising, when he first appeareth arising in the horizon: and the first hour of the night is to be the thirteenth hour, from the first hour of the day ....” According to occult law a day starts at daybreak, not at midnight.

Table of Jupiter (KAMEA) Finger Correspondence The index finger, the pointing finger, indicates communication and is therefore aligned to Jupiter.


Related Elemental Correspondences:

Water Element Ruled by:


Water Guardian Angel Archangel Gabriel. (Some traditions show as: Raphael) Water Angel


Water Ruler


Water King


Watch Tower




Time Ruled



Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio




Cold, Moist, heavey and Passive

Hour of Day Governed


Season Governed


Magical Phrase

Adure, to dare

Magical Tool


Magical Formula


Tattvic Symbol

Silver Crescent ( Apas)

Tattivic Tide

September 23rd to December 23rd


Symbolic Creatures

Scorpion, Snake, Dolphin, Dragon, and all water creatures

Elemental Symbol

Cup of Joseph

Elemental Spirits


Element Colour







Dolphin, Fish, Seals, all water animals

Elemental Plants

All water plants.

Elemental Tarot Major Arcana

Hanged Man (XII)

Elemental Tarot Minor Arcana


Talismanic Elemental Angel


Body System Ruled

Stomach and urinary system

Geomantic Number


Sefira Number


Positive Aspects

Forgiving, Modest, Sensitive and Compassionate

Negative Aspects

Lazy, Insecure, Indifferent, Dependent and Fridgid

Astrological Personalities

People born under the signs of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces being one of the two drawn elements meaning it is part of two of the classical elements are thought to have dominant water personalities. Water personalities tend to be emotional, kind, nurturing, sympathetic, empathetic and intuitive; however, they can also be needy, sentimental, over-sensitive and irrational


Related Kabbalistic Correspondences: Angelic Order


Order of Angels

Brilliant Ones

Chief of Angels



Sachiel - Tzadkiel. The Angel of Mercy and Beneficence or Tzadqiel

Biblical Name of God


Personal Dedication

Not identified

Spiritual Experience

Vision of Love

Sefirothic Form

King seated on throne



Sefira meaning




Sub Creature



Not identified.


Tzadekh (Mercury.)






Pyramid & Orb


Illusion of always being right




Humility and Obedience



Spiritual Experience

Vision of Love


The four fours





Opium Poppy, Shammrock, Olive and Hyssop


Amethyst, Saffire and Lapiz Lazuli




Wand, Flail and Scepter

Correspondences of the Moon Ice Moon (February)

Also known as: Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Month), Big Winter Moon Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard Colors: light blue, violet


Flowers: primrose Scents: wisteria, heliotrope Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar Animals: otter, unicorn Birds: eagle, chickadee Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite Power Flow: Energy working toward the surface; purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans.


Farmers Almanac for February

Farmers Almanac-February 2012

Skywatch. Venus floats higher each day as evening twilight ends.Use binoculars to find it to the right of green Uranus on the 9th.(It's a close conjunction.) Jupiter, in Aries, is halfway up the southwestern sky at nightfall and remains visible for a few hours. Mars, brightening explosively, retrogrades through Leo.At midmonth,the Red Planet rises at around 8:00 p.m.,while Saturn rises at around 11:00 p.m. Mercury, very low in the evening twilight, is to the left of the crescent Moon on the 22nd. The Moon passes closely above Venus on the 25th and to the right of Jupiter on the 26th.Leap Day,the 29th, shifts the calendar so that 2012's equinoxes and solstices occur earlier than in any year since 1896. Weather rhyme. Groundhogs need sunblock. Winter won't unlock for a while yet,I'll bet. Love's the best remedy for frozen extremities! White:No relief in sight. Drifts too steep to leap! Moon phases. Full Snow.7th,rises at 5:28 p.m.Sets at 6:42 a.m. Last quarter.14th,rises at 12:55 a.m.Sets at 10:24 a.m.


New moon.21st,rises at 6:22 a.m.Sets at 5:45 p.m. First quarter.29th,rises at 10:08 a.m.Sets at 12:56 a.m. 17th.Winter's back breaks. We can complain because rosebushes have thorns,or rejoice because thornbushes have roses.-Abraham Lincoln.


You'll feel aggressed by a friend who overwhelms you with his/her counsels; gently refuse to let him/her continue to do it, for counselors are not payers! Tenacious, enterprising, you'll achieve some professional feats; but, above all, nothing or nobody should annoy you, otherwise you'll flare into one of these famous black angers because your nerves will be skin-deep.

You'll solve practical and material problems with more ease, and you'll very swiftly do away with your pending mail.


This astral atmosphere will rather incline to the blues; boost your morale with some bars of chocolate. Indeed, chocolate contains a substance analogous to serotonin, the hormone of the joy of living. Your intestinal troubles may make a comeback or translate themselves into allergic or dermatological reactions. This astral climate may prove very frustrating in the work field; you must take care of all your pending obligations, be it invoices, bills to be paid, or other things; you must put good order in your papers and accounts.

The support of your friends will prove very precious; you can count on their


help, their faithfulness; you'll even confide yourself more easily in them than in your near ones; think to do them pleasure. Traps will be numerous in your professional life; be vigilant. On the financial front, don't embark on speculative maneuvers with the idea of winning much, very quickly, and without efforts; the results would be catastrophic; remain cool-headed and show patience: your hour will come along.

Your romantic character will make you embark on an affective relation without ulterior motives and without prerequisites; you'll indulge in it entirely and will put all your heart into it. An increase in risks of infection of the genital system; a very strict intimate hygiene must be practiced. These "missionaries" of God or of Jehovah coming from America have everything to charm you; they'll try to make you swallow their religion; they'll spare no effort to save your soul and, also, to empty your bank account later on; vigilance, then!


In love as well as in business, you'll have a versatile mind and will excel in the art of embroiling the most simple things. This means that you'll have to suffer from this negative side to your character which, fortunately, will only have transitory effects this time. You'll much concern yourself about your life environment and will already thinking about your next vacation. Above all, don't mingle sentiments with money: it would be an explosive mixture. Also, it won't be in your interest to lend money to or to ask for it from your friends.

Risks of cardiac palpitations.


In order to cope with them, drink rosemary wine; also, do some walking or jogging: this will greatly contribute to fortify your cardiac muscle. The professional perspectives are good, but the circumstances won't be quite favorable to the achievement of your great projects; you'd better for the time being stick to you routine works and execute them very diligently, without neglecting the least detail. Don't complicate your existence by trying to find answers to questions of a metaphysical nature.

In your career, unexpected events are more than probable. But beware of the temptation of discouragement, which might incite to a hasty and thoughtless resignation. You must think of your health despite your multiple other occupations; refrain from excesses of all kinds, notably excesses of alcohol, tobacco, and sexual activity. It's good to be far-sighted, cautious, thoughtful, sober, and even meditative, and never to let oneself to be blinded by passion; but this is perhaps not the best way to charm the person whose life one would likes to share!


With your family entourage, don't show yourself too intransigent, too possessive. Don't hesitate to grant your children some more freedom. A very intense sensual climate, which will make your ardor and vigor grow tenfold. The fire of your desires will burn you, while your excellent physical form will allow you to resist well to the assaults of your sexual drive. Avoid certain relations, particularly those who'll try to draw you into sects or religious congregations.

Your nerves may be very strained. You'll have the impression that all that you undertake fails, and this will be apt


to throw your morale down to the floor. You'll be submitted to a powerful temptation of a purely sensual order; you may meet a person who'll profoundly stir you or will exercise an almost irresistible attraction on your senses. All that concerns financial questions must be studied carefully; avoid money conflicts, which would draw you into unhappy situations. Also avoid too important expenses on the personal plane.

Take great care of your health; however, don't indulge in hypochondria, which itself is also a disease. Take drugs only in case of actual necessity and always with medical advice. You'll notice a considerable incompatibility between your obligations and what you would like to undertake. In your work, you'll meet with no obstacle; your relationships with your co-workers will have chances to be good; avoid all discussion that wouldn't have a strictly professional character, otherwise clashes will be inevitable.


Rivalries in business may agitate your professional life; don't react inopportunely and violently to the maneuvers of your competitors. Your sexual impulses will be exacerbated by the Moon in this aspect; you'll even be tempted by extra-marital adventures. Appeal to your strong willpower, which should help you not to annihilate your instincts, but to control them better and, in certain desirable cases, to sublimate them. On the other hand, protect your arteries by eating fatty fishes, salmon for instance


Many things, whether positive or unpleasant, can happen this time. You'll be supported when you want to opt for change or make decisions; but you'll be perturbed when it comes to your sentimental life, to the affairs of your heart. You'll give priority to your family life and especially to your children. Whether you're still on the lookout for the soul mate or already have stable relations with someone, it will be highly recommended to you to ask an astrologer for a study of your mutual love compatibilities.


Love will generously smile to you: you'll joyously benefit from the favors of Cupid. You'll have a good chance to make your assets bear fruit and to carry out some juicy investments. You'll be inclined to be very affirmative and to lavish your advice without anybody asking you for it. Don't overdo things, avoid any excessive effort.


Your recent initiatives on the professional plane will be rewarded; your merits will be recognized; all this should give you more self-confidence; but avoid being too proud of yourself.

You'll be able to put yourself forward and collect true rewards for your merits. You'll have the embarrassment of choice of new amorous adventures, but it'll be necessary to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. If you suffer from insomnia, avoid taking too many drugs, and try to relax and rest. Without refusing all opportunities to go out, devote a little more time to your family; one couldn't open one's heart to you if one could only see you between two doors; also, be attentive.


Lower vitality along with a slight malfunction of the liver; go on a small diet. Remarkable successes in your job; they are, however, likely to complicate your family life. Try to solve definitively certain problems which regularly disturb the atmosphere of your household; you'll succeed in this endeavor, for sure! This time the ant will take precedence over the cicada: you'll make good long-term investments.

Beware of risks of friction and incomprehension with certain members of your family.


You'll be able to dominate your immoderate taste for independence and consequently avoid a slight drama. Your life as a couple will give many joys. Single natives will have fair chances to make good encounters and soon put an end to their loneliness. Bleak professional perspectives: at work you'll have to face a person who'll be openly hostile to you; violent clashes could occur if you can't control your nerves.

Become aware of your impulsive nature in all your moves, so as to prevent errors and misunderstandings. You'll bring an extremely difficult and very ambitious project to a successful conclusion. Risks of sexual or renal problems; refrain from all excesses.


Don't feel too bitter if your children show themselves ungrateful to you. The stars will be very favorable to you on the material plane: you who aren't a born manager will succeed in profitable transactions; you'll develop your financial situation in a very significant way. .

Most likely you'll get some very interesting work proposals, and you'll have more than one choice. Beware of your enormous appetite: quality and quantity are likely to go readily hand in hand! Don't be too categorical in expressing your opinions. This time good luck with money. Take care of your parents. Your love life will become lively: many of you will succumb to love at first sight; however there will be serious complications if you're already engaged in a stable relationship.


A rather neutral month: prudently keep a low figure instead of seeking the limelight. Some possible gastric disorders. You'll manage to clear up misunderstandings with your close ones and to make harmony reign in your home. Heartwise, your charm will be very effective and you'll make some sweet conquests. There'll be much agitation around you: discussions and claims will proliferate; don't pour gasoline on the fire by giving free reins to your aggressiveness and your inclination for criticisms.


Beware of ideas turning black: to counter them, indulge in some exciting occupation or practice a sport. You'll enjoy satisfactory health if you don't commit excesses. A phenomenal opportunity for an amorous encounter will be given to you, but you shouldn't be shy. You won't be able to do everything at the same time; try to establish a better order your priorities. The stars will encourage you to be less demanding in your relationships; you'll know how to appreciate the qualities of your friends instead of focusing on their flaws; your behavior will please everybody.


Some nervous fatigue, compensated by a small incoming amount of unforeseen money. You'll do your best to get a pay raise or a promotion. Wisely alternate moments of great activity and hours of rest. You cannot but bravely take on your family and social responsibilities. In your love life, you'll profit by the support of the Moon, which will bring you a solid moral and emotional support; but it'll be necessary for you to accept the severe judgments of others: this will help you to overcome your own difficulties.


You'll feel like making some discoveries and living enriching experiences. Beware of a brutal breaking off with your friends or close relatives! Risks of headaches, hepatic disorders or skin problems; avoid delicatessen, canned or salted foods. A favorable month for commercial activities. If you have money problems, you'll be able to get help from certain people in your surroundings; the stars will see to it that they accept to support you without hesitation


Some delays in your plans will disturb you; but above all don't get discouraged. You'll recognize the person who's ready to share your life and make you happy. A small upsurge of piles for those who suffer from them. Real-estate transactions will be favored by the stars: you'll carry them out under good conditions. Don't let your authority weigh too much on the members of your family for there'll be a risk of rebellion; try to show yourself tolerant without being too easy-going, and understanding without being latitudinarian.


If you stay idle, the blues will invade you. Spend more time reading good books. Your married life won't be totally at ease, but tolerance and comprehension will arrange many things. A person you trust will try to harm you. Spare your heart, eat lighter and cultivate optimism. Loneliness is without any question your worst enemy; you'll need to be surrounded even more than usual; new friendship ties will be created.


Cards used: Dark Angel Tarot (12 card Valentine spread created by: Sweet Dark Angel)

9 of Disk 1)Past experiences Meaning of card: An angel can grow a garden, to feed a raven from a waste land of death.


Knight of Disks 2) Past influences

Meaning of card: Riding with care through the dead the angel protects his burden.

2 0f Wands 3) Your strengths

Meaning of card: On butterfly wings ability and talents allow for forward movements.

8 of Swords 4) Your desires

Card meaning: The unexpected delays and restrains and self doubt restrict movement


5 of Swords 5) Your weaknesses

Card Meaning: The victor will take all that have won, those that sleep will lose

Knight of Cups 6) Current experiences Cards meaning: In a bleak landscape the angel brings the cup of love to the deserving.

King of Disks 7) Current influences Card meaning: The angelic King will take what he desires and damn the consequences.


Judgement 8) Your fears Card meaning: The angel blows the last trumpet and calls the souls of the living and the dead home to judgement. Those that are guilty are right to be afraid, and those that have fallen will be judge.

9 of wands 9) Obstacles Card meanings: Despair brings torment and a prison of one's own devising.

5 of Wands 10) Unseen forces Card meaning: The ambitious struggle against an action, a new goal must be found.


The Emperor 11) Future experiences

Card meaning: The age emperor is the overlord of the waste land. He sits upon his throne and watches his kingdom decay. He has giving his all to his kingdom and it has taking it all from him. The ruler and his kingdom are one.

The Magician 12) Future influences Card meaning: The magician believes he has the power to summon and control that which he calls, but all power must be earned and even for the angels it is a long road before the novice becomes the adept.



Groundhog Day 02/02/2012

Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate


the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g'spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime or quarter, per word spoken, put into a bowl in the center of the table. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition, received worldwide attention as a result of the 1993 film of the same name, Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Punxsutawney Phil.

Valentine's Day 02/14/2012

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.


Presidents' Day 02/20/2012

Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (sometimes spelled Presidents' Day or President's Day). As Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states. History Titled Washington's Birthday, a federal holiday honoring George Washington was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22.[1] On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This date places it between February 15 and 21, which makes the name "Washington's Birthday" in some sense a misnomer, since it never lands on Washington's actual birthday, February 22.


The first attempt to create a Presidents Day occurred in 1951 when the "President's Day National Committee" was formed by Harold Stonebridge Fischer of Compton, California, who became its National Executive Director for the next two decades. The purpose was not to honor any particular President, but to honor the office of the Presidency. It was first thought that March 4, the original inauguration day, should be deemed Presidents Day. However, the bill recognizing the March 4th date was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee (which had authority over national holidays). That committee felt that, because of its proximity to Lincoln's and Washington Birthdays, three holidays so close together would be unduly burdensome. During this time, however, the Governors of a majority of the individual states issued proclamations declaring March 4 to be Presidents' Day in their respective jurisdictions. An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to "Presidents' Day" to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the two, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on 28 June 1968, kept the name Washington's Birthday. By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term "Presidents' Day" began its public appearance. Although Lincoln's birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington's Birthday observances as "Presidents' Day", "Washington and Lincoln Day", or other such designations. However, "Presidents' Day" is not always an all-inclusive term. • In Massachusetts, the state officially celebrates "Washington's Birthday" on the same day as the Federal holiday. State law also directs the governor to issue an annual "Presidents Day" proclamation on May 29 honoring the presidents with Massachusetts roots: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and John F. Kennedy. • Alabama uniquely observes the day as "Washington and Jefferson Day", even though Thomas Jefferson's birthday is in April. • In Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois, while Washington's Birthday is a


federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week. • In Washington's home state of Virginia, the holiday is legally known as "George Washington Day." Desirous of a mid-winter long weekend, five Canadian provinces instituted a holiday which coincides with Washington's Birthday: In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, it's Family Day; in Manitoba, Louis Riel Day; and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. The holidays do not honor anniversaries, and the date was selected, in part, to coincide with the U.S. holiday, since the economic and social links of both countries are tightly intertwined.

Ash Wednesday 02/22/2012

Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. According to the Canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this forty day liturgical period of prayer and fasting.


Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. This practice is common in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and some Baptist denominations. Ritual At Masses and services of worship on this day, ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful (or on the tonsure spots, in the case of some clergy). The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the shape of a cross, which the worshipper traditionally retains until it wears off. The act echoes the ancient Near Eastern tradition of throwing ashes over one's head to signify repentance before God (as related in the Bible). The priest or minister says one or both of the following when applying the ashes: Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. —Genesis 3:19 Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. —Mark 1:15

The imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday Ashes may also be sprinkled on the top of the head, as shown in this 1881 Polish painting. The liturgical imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday is a sacramental, not a sacrament, and in the Catholic understanding of the term the ashes themselves are also a sacramental. The ashes are blessed according to various


rites proper to each liturgical tradition, sometimes involving the use of Holy Water. In some churches, they are mixed with a small amount of water or olive oil, which serve as a fixative. In most liturgies for Ash Wednesday, the Penitential psalms are read; Psalm 51 (LXX Psalm 50) is especially associated with this day. The service also often includes a corporate confession rite. In some of the low church traditions, other practices are sometimes added or substituted, as other ways of symbolizing the confession and penitence of the day. For example, in one common variation, small cards are distributed to the congregation on which people are invited to write a sin they wish to confess. These small cards are brought forth to the altar table where they are burned. In the Catholic Church, ashes, being sacramental's, may be given to anyone who wishes to receive them, as opposed to Catholic sacraments, which are generally reserved for church members, except in cases of grave necessity. Similarly, in other Christian denominations ashes may be received by all who profess the Christian faith and are baptized. In the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance—a day of contemplating one's transgressions. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer also designates Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting. In the medieval period, Ash Wednesday was the required annual day of penitential confession occurring after fasting and the remittance of the tithe. In other Christian denominations these practices are optional, with the main focus being on repentance. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 (whose health enables them to do so) are permitted to consume only one full meal, which may be supplemented by two smaller meals, which together should not equal the full meal. Some Catholics will go beyond the minimum obligations demanded by the Church and undertake a complete fast or a bread and water fast. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are also days of abstinence from meat (mammals and fowl), as are all Fridays during Lent. Some Catholics continue fasting beyond Lent,[citation needed] as was the Church's traditional requirement, concluding only after the celebration of the Easter Vigil. As the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday comes the day after Shrove Tuesday


or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the last day of the Carnival season

Awareness For the Month of February

February 2012 Health Current Events - Months Awareness Event


Related Organization

Heart Month


Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada

Raynaud's and Scleroderma Awareness Month

United Kingdom Raynaud's & Scleroderma Association

AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month

United States

Prevent Blindness America

American Heart Month

United States

American Heart Association

National Children's Dental Health Month

United States

American Dental Association

Duchenne MD Awareness Week


Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

February 2012 Health Current Events - Weeks Event





National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

3rd Feb - 9th Feb


National Eating Disorder Information Centre

Tinnitus Awareness Week

6th Feb - 12th Feb

United Kingdom

British Tinnitus Association

Contraceptive Awareness Week

11th Feb 17th Feb

United Kingdom


Sexual Health Awareness Week

14th Feb - 21st Australia Feb

SHine SA

Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week

21st Feb - 28th Australia Feb

Medicare Australia

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

24th Feb - 1st Mar

National Eating Disorders Association

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

25th Feb - 2nd United Mar Kingdom

United States

February 2012 Health Events - Days


Beat Eating Disorders





Give Kids A Smile Day

1st Feb

United States

American Dental Association

National Wear 6th Feb Red Day

United States

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

National Condom Day

10th Feb

United States

American Social Health Association

Sexual and Reproductive Health Day

12th Feb


Canadian Federation for Sexual Health

National Donor Day

14th Feb

United States


Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

14th Feb


Congenital Heart Defects Foundation

United Kingdom

The Sexual Dysfunction Association

14th Feb National Impotence Day


Crafts Valentine's Day Red Bowl Candle Crafting for a special occasion doesn't have to be

difficult to be effective. Here's how to make a pretty candle for Valentine's Day with no muss or fuss.


Red Bowl Candle - Materials List: 1. plain glass globe vase or ivy bowl 2. glass votive holder to fit inside the vase 3. candle to fit inside the votive 4. decorative glass pebbles in red Red Bowl Candle Instructions: This candle is very simple to assemble. Simply place the votive candle holder inside the glass globe and surround with red decorative glass pebbles. When you light the candle, you'll find the candlelight is defused by the colored glass, casting a lovely warm reddish glow for Valentine's Day. Make several candles as a centerpiece for your Valentine's Day dinner or leave one on the bathroom countertop as an invitation to indulge in a relaxing candlelit bath. If you place the candle on a highly polished or mirrored surface, like the one in the upper right photo, the effect of the candle is doubled in the reflection.

Variations: If you are using an ivy bowl with a fluted edge, consider adding a red satin ribbon around the neck of the bowl and tie in a bow. Or tie a few strands of raffia around the neck of the bowl and hot glue small silk rosebuds in the center of the raffia. For gift-giving, use a fragrant rose-scented candle and attach add a small gift card.


Rose Stencil Valentine's Day Mug Here's an inexpensive Valentine's Day gift that you can make yourself for that special someone. We provide the free, full-sized rose stencil pattern (at right) - or you could use your own romantic theme. Either way, a mug that you paint yourself is sure to please! Rose Stencil Valentine's Day Mug

Materials List: 1. white coffee mug 2. printed rose stencil pattern (also shown below) 3. Perm enamel surface conditioner 4. Perm enamel paints (your choice of colors) 5. Perm enamel gloss 6. sharp nail scissors or Exacto knife Stencil a Valentine's Day Coffee Mug Instructions: Purchase an inexpensive glass coffee mug or use a solid white one that you may already have around. Clean the mug well with dishwashing liquid and water, then rinse and dry thoroughly. With a paint brush, brush on the surface conditioner. You must let this dry, but you can usually paint on your design within an hour.


You can purchase stencil paper that is specifically manufactured for making your own stencils, but why not save the money and use plain paper and tape? Print out the pattern, put wide tape on both sides of the paper pattern, then

cut out using sharp cuticle scissors or an exacto craft knife. Put the stencil in position on the mug (not too close to the top) and keep it in place with spray stencil glue, or tape it firmly in place. Use a makeup sponge to sponge the paint colors on the stencil. You will need two coats of paint. Make another stencil on the other side of the mug handle so that you have a picture on both sides of the mug. If you wish, try painting some small hearts at the bottom as a border, as well as down the stem of the handle. Let dry overnight. Paint on the perm enamel gloss with a brush, and let cure for ten days before washing. (Hint, I set mine in the oven at 225 degrees, when it was dry, for a couple of hours. The paint was fine and I was able to skip the 10 day waiting period.) Caution: Check the manufacturers instructions when applying paint, particularly if you are using paint on an object that will be used for serving food or drinks. Most paints should not be applied close to the lip of a cup, for instance - so please make sure you read the bottle label carefully.


Learn to Paint on Glass: How to Paint a Seasonal Motif on Wine Glasses

Painting on Glass - Materials List: Wine glasses or champagne flutes Glass paint (brand used here was Pebeo vitrea, available at Michaels) rubbing alcohol Soap and water red ribbon How to Paint a Motif on Wine Glasses Instructions: 1. Wash glasses thoroughly with soap and water and allow to dry completely. 2. Paint design on glasses. You may use stencils, or place a picture that you like on the inside of the glass, applying your colors on the outside to match the photo. Simple hand drawn graphics like hearts, shamrocks or daisies also work well. Free hand designs will give your work an artsy, hand made look. 3. Remember, with glass, "less is more" and less busy designs often provide the best effect. If you make a mistake, dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe away anything outside of the design (be aware, however, that if the


rubbing alcohol runs into your design, the paint may run or smudge). Be creative, be artistic...if you truly dislike the result, just wash in warm water, or wipe completely with rubbing alcohol until the paint is gone -- and try again! 4. Wait 24 hours to allow paint to set and cure, before baking to set the design permanently. Follow package instructions for baking -- the glasses shown were baked in the oven for 40 minutes at 325 degrees. After baking, your design should be resistant to normal usage and dishwashing.


Star of Love Spell What you'll need: · Paper · Pen or pencil · Pink or red rose petals · Jasmine incense · Red candle · Red crystals, such as garnet, rose quartz or ruby Note: This spell should be performed on a clear night.


Instructions: Arrange the items on your altar, then light the candle and incense. Think about what qualities are important to you in your mate and write them on the piece of paper. Take the flower petals and crystals outside with you, and look up at the stars. Choose one bright one and focus on its light and energy. Hold up the petals and stones to the star and repeat the following, three times: Star of love, burn so bright, aid me in my spell tonight. Unite my true love to me, as I will it, so mote it be. Mediation is really a great gift and will help you in this spell. As you say the words, visualize the light from the star beaming down and filling the things in your hands. After saying the spell, return to your altar and place the flowers and crystals at the base of the candle. Focus on the candle flame, and repeat the words above another three times. Love spells can work, but you need to do some of the work yourself. Get out, be social and meet people. The love magick will do the rest.

Vanilla & Lavender Love Spell This is a spell specially formulated to draw love, desire, and attraction your


way. What you will need: pink candle pin or needle bottle of vanilla scented oil pinch of ground sea lavender mirror 1. Pick an evening where you will be undisturbed. Take a few hours to calm your mind-perhaps take a soothing bath with lavender scented oil, or burn some aloeswood incense while you meditate. 2. Once your mind is free of stress and troubles, look in the mirror and repeat 3 times: I search for love I find love I embrace love 3. Keeping this positive energy in mind, take the unlit pink candle (color of candle represents love, friendship, romance, affection, forming partnerships, and peace) and use the pin to engrave your name in it. 4. Anoint the unlit candle with a drop of vanilla-scented oil. Focus on your goal as you drop oil on the candle. 5. Light the candle as you say: "Lady Venus, I light this fire so that you may show me the way." 6. Once the candle is lit, hold it before you and close your eyes. Focus your mind and all your energy on feelings and thoughts of love and desire. You may focus on the object of your desire, or you may even focus on positive images that remind you of love. Remain in this meditative state until you feel the urge to continue. 7. When you open your eyes, lay the candle back on the surface before you


and say: "Lady Venus, take these thoughts of heart's desires and carry them through this flame I search for love as it searches for me, and I hope to find it again." 8. Add a pinch of ground sea lavender to the flame. This will add to the positive energy of the spell. 9. Allow the candle to burn out on its own as you feel the positive effects of your spell take charge.

Candlemas (Imbolc) Ritual: 2 February Materials • a candle for each covener present. • a MAIDEN, dressed in white. • a Crown of Light, made from three, six, or nine candles. • a BARD/GREEN MAN. • a DARK LORD, dressed in dark clothing, and holding a dark cloak. The place of ritual should be set up, away from the gathered participants. It is more than a good idea to manage bathrooms and such like before the circle is closed. This Mystery is not something any of the participants should miss out on! The BARD should stand to the WEST, unless otherwise specified in the ritual. HPS Go we now to the sacred place And stand within the sacred space Turn your minds to sacred things


And dance with me unto the ring! HP and HPS lead the coven to the place of ritual by a spiral dance, ending in a circle around the altar. The cauldron should be at the south. The Bard/Green Man dances at the end of the line. A good song to sing here is "Lord Of The Dance." HPS Come we forth, with the Spiral Dance Within the Lady's radiance To celebrate the Sun's rebirth To renew life, to warm the Earth Earth and Water, Fire and Air I invoke the Goddess there! This night we are Between the Worlds To celebrate the year unfurled! HP Earth and Water, Fire and Sky I invoke the God on high This night we are Between the Worlds To celebrate the year unfurled! The corners shall be called thusly, that all may hear, but shall not be called until the HPS reaches that corner on her circumnabulation. EAST O Guardians of the Eastern Tower, Airy ones of healing power I do summon, stir and call you See these rites and guard this circle!


Come to us and heed our call! By the Power that made us all; By the Power that blesses Thee: Come to us; and Blessed Be! SOUTH Oh fiery ones of Southern Power Thus I invite you to this tower I do summon, stir and call you See these rites and guard this circle! Come to us and heed our call! By the Power that made us all; By the Power that blesses Thee: Come to us; and Blessed Be! WEST Western ones of water's flow Help to guard us here below I do summon, stir and call you See these rites and guard this circle! Come to us and heed our call! By the Power that made us all; By the Power that blesses Thee: Come to us; and Blessed Be! NORTH Earthen ones of Northern fame Bless and guard our Power's fane I do summon, stir and call you See these rites and guard this circle! Come to us and heed our call!


By the Power that made us all; By the Power that blesses Thee: Come to us; and Blessed Be! The HPS shall move to each corner, and say, following each corner's crying as she moves to the next: HPS So I cast and consecrate This Circle of the small and great: By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree, By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea, By Fire and Water, Earth and Air, By the Lord, and Lady Fair! By Love and Joy and Work and Play, All things harmful cast away! By lightening's flash, and rain's soft fall, By the Power that made us all; By the Power that blesses Thee: (Cast the Circle: Blessed be!) On her return to the first corner she shall change the last line above, and say: The Circle's cast; and Blessed Be! The callers of the corners shall return their tools to the altar, and then shall join the circle at their corners. Here begins the Candlemas (Imbolc) Mystery: The Maiden shall step forth, and say: MAIDEN


This is the time of Brigid, the Patron of Poets and Fire, and of Healing. HPS This is the time of new beginnings, when the Mother has become Maiden. HP The days have turned, and grow longer, and the Sun-child is growing to His strength. BARD/GREEN MAN I have been a wave upon the sea, And a spark in the firelight. I have been a fish in the ocean. I have been a Thought within a Word, And a Word within a Deed. I was cast away, and found again. I have been made of flowers And of cold steel and brass. Fire and ice are alike unto me. I have been the narrow blade of a sword That kills without cutting. And the Void is my homeland. I have been in Caer Sidi In the Spiral Castle of Glass. And the letters on the Standing Stones Are no secret from me. I have been in Annwyn


And Tir na n'Og, I have danced the Spiral Dance, And drunk from the Hierlas at daybreak. I have ridden beneath two ravens And served in the kitchen, And all places are alike unto me. I have been a child And now I come into my strength! I invoke the Land, the dear Land, the Earth our Mother! MAIDEN The cycles of the Moon have taken their course, and I am in my Maidenhood. The stars are kindled, and I dance in their light. DARK LORD Thy home is with me thru the long months of Winter, and the Earth shall lie fallow and bare. The HPS shall then light the candles of the Crown of Light, and shall approach the Maiden, who is now standing in the East, and place it upon her head. She shall now, in company with the Bard/Green Man, circumnabulate the circle, and the coveners shall light their candles from her crown. The Bard/Green Man shall return to his normal place within the circle and the Maiden shall place the Crown of Light on the altar. The Maiden shall then approach the Dark Lord, and kneel before him, and he shall say:


DARK LORD As it always is, always was, and always shall be. Come to my Kingdom. Here he shall place the dark cloak around her, and they shall retire to the West. Here ends the Candlemas Mystery. A normal cone-of-power may be raised, for growth and healing: HPS In a ring we all shall stand Pass the Power, hand to hand. HP As the Sun is given birth Build the Power; root to Earth HPS Pass the Power, hand to hand Bless the Lady, bless the Land HP Bless the Lord, and bless the Skies Bless the Power that never dies! The above four verses should be repeated three times, (or as many times as needed) and then the HPS should say: HPS By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree: Let the Power flow out and free!


All should release, at this point. Such coven business as must be transacted may be done here. This is a good time to bless candles for use during the coming year. This is also a good time for initiations. The Circle is opened. HPS Thus I release the East and West Thanks to them from Host to Guest Thus I release the South and North With "Blessed Be' I send them forth! The Circle's open, dance we so Out and homeward we shall go. Earth and Water, Air and Fire Celebrated our desire. The Sun's returned to banish dark The Earth awakes to sunlight's spark. By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree, Our circle's done; and Blessed Be! COVEN Blessed Be! All spiral dance out from the Circle.


Candle Blessing

Blessings be upon thee, O creature of light! Thrice blessed little herb! Herb o' grease, with thy waxen stem and thy blossom of flame! Thou art more potent against spells and terrors and the invisible menace than fennel or dittany or rue. Hail! antidote to the daily nightshade! Blossoming in the darkness, thy virtues are hearts ease and quiet sleep. Sick people bless thee, and women in travail, and people with haunted minds, and all children. *To be spoken when a new candle is anointed with oil, or when candles are being made - when wax is being poured or the candle dipped - preferably on Candlemas*

Also known as: Candlemass, Imbolg, Bride's Day, Oimelc, and Brid's Day Date: February 1st or 2nd Symbols: Candles, Brides, Grain Dolly, Burrowing Animals, Ewes Colors: White, Silver, and Pale Yellow Deities: Virgin or Child


Goddesses, Gods as Young Men or Boys Herbs: Basil, Bay, Benzoin, and celandine may be burned; Angelica, myrrh, yellow and white flowers may be used as altar decorations.

*Imbolc is THE Sabbat which honors the Goddess as the waiting bride of the returning sun God. Before the Nordic influence, it was also the Sabbat in which the Celts saw the sun as being born anew. In Ireland it was, and still is, a special day to honor the Goddess Brid in her guise of bride. The modern Irish know this as St. Briget's Day, St. Briget being a vaguely disguise and Christianized version of the Pagan Goddess.

Celts would often dress grain dollies, representations made from dried sheaves from the previous harvest, as brides, and set them in a place of honor within their homes. They were usually placed in cradles called Bride's Beds, and nuts, symbols of male fertility, were tossed in with them.

This is also a Sabbat where candles are lit in profusion, often within a wreath, another symbol of the Wheel of the Year. These are symbolic of the heat and light of the returning sun.

At Imbolc the deities are still youthful and not yet joined as one through sacred marriage. They are innocent and fun-loving, and are waiting just as anxiously for spring as we are. *from: "Celtic Myth and Magick"- Edain McCoy


Activities: Here are a few suggestions for Imbolc activities, some of which can be incorporated into the Sabbat celebration or simply as something to make the day more special, especially for children.

Burn the Yule greens to send winter on its way.

Make the Bride's Bed using the Corn or Wheat Doll made the previous Lughnassadh. Dress the doll in white or blue with a necklace that represents the seasons. Lay it in a long basket adorned with ribbons; light white candles on either side of the basket, and say: "Welcome the bride both maiden and mother; rest and prepare for the time of the seed; cleansed and refreshed from labors behind her; with the promise of spring she lays before me." Next morning, remove the dress and scatter the wheat outdoors (or if you use corn, hang it up in a tree for the squirrels and birds). this can be seen in terms of the Lady's recovery from the birthing bed and readiness to begin the turning of the seasons anew. The Imbolc Corn Doll represents the mother nurturing her son, who will grow and become her husband. This is the earth and the sun, which is still weak but gaining in strength.


On Imbolc Eve, leave buttered bread in a bowl indoors for the faeries who travel with the Lady of Greenwood. Next day, dispose of it as the "essence" will have been removed.

Place three ears of corn on the door as a symbol of the Triple Goddess and leave until Ostara.

Light a white candle and burn sandalwood incense. Cleanse the area where you do card readings or scrying with a censor burning rosemary or vervain, and say: "By the power of this smoke I wash away the negative influences that this place be cleansed for the Lady and her babe."

Cleanse the altar and equipment, do a self-purification rite with the elemental tools representing earth (salt) for body, air (incense) for thoughts; fire (candle flame) for will; and water (water) for emotions.

Make dream pillows for everyone in the family.

Create a Solar Cross from palm fronds, make enough to place one in each


room of the house. Place a red pillar-style candle center to the front door; with palm crosses in hand, light the candle and open the door and say: "We welcome in the Goddess and seek the turning of the wheel away from winter and into spring." Close door; take up the candle and go to each room of the house and say: "Great Lady enter with the sun and watch over this room!" Leave a Solar Cross in the room and proceed thusly throughout the house. This is great for the kids as you can divide up the tasks for each to do - one can hold the palms, another can open doors, another can carry the candle, and so forth. The last room should be the kitchen and here you say: "Mother of the earth and sun, Keep us safe and keep us warm, As over our home you extend your blessings."


The Book of Five Rings As Continued from the November, December and January Issues Go Rin no Sho by Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645 Table of Contents: Introduction The Ground Book The Water Book The Fire Book The Wind Book The Book of the Void

In the November Issue, the Introduction and Ground Book were covered. In


December the Water Book. In January the Fire Book. Now we move onward to the Wind Book and end this series with the Book of the Void. Though written from a perspective of battle, the understanding and use of these philosophies can be applied to many parts of life for successful outcomes in various situations. The Wind Book In strategy you must know the Ways of other schools, so I have written about various other traditions of strategies in this the Wind Book. Without knowledge of the Ways of other schools, it is difficult to understand the essence of my Ichi school. Looking at other schools we find some that specialize in techniques of strength using extra-long swords. Some schools study the Way of the short sword, known as kodachi. Some schools teach dexterity in large numbers of sword techniques, teaching attitudes of the sword as the "surface" and the Way as the "interior". That none of these are the true Way I show clearly in the interior of this book - all the vices and virtues and rights and wrongs. My Ichi school is different. Other schools make accomplishments their means of livelihood, growing flowers and decoratively colouring articles in order to sell them. This is definitely not the Way of Strategy. Some of the world's strategists are concerned only with sword-fencing, and limit their training to flourishing the long sword and carriage of the body. But is dexterity alone sufficient to win? This is not the essence of the Way. I have recorded the unsatisfactory point of other schools one by one in this


book. You must study these matters deeply to appreciate the benefit of my Ni To Ichi school. Other Schools Using Extra-Long Swords Some other schools have a liking for extra-long swords. From the point of view of my strategy these must been seen as weak schools. This is because they do not appreciate the principle of cutting the enemy by any means. Their preference is for the extra-long sword and, relying on the virtue of its length, they think to defeat the enemy from a distance. In this world it is said, "One inch gives the hand advantage", but these are the idle words of one who does not know strategy. It shows the inferior strategy of a weak spirit that men should be dependent on the length of their sword, fighting from a distance without the benefit of strategy. I expect there is a case for the school in question liking extra-long swords as part of its doctrine, but if we compare this to real life it is unreasonable. Surely we need not necessarily be defeated if we are using a short sword, and have no long sword? It is difficult for these people to cut the enemy when at close quarters because of the length of the long sword. The blade path is large so the long sword is an encumbrance, and they are at a disadvantage compared to the man armed with a short companion sword. From olden times it has been said: "Great and small go together.". So do not unconditionally dislike extra-long swords. What I dislike is the inclination towards the long sword. If we consider large-scale strategy, we can think of large forces in terms of long swords, and small forces as short swords. Cannot few me give battle against many? There are many instances of few men overcoming many.


Your strategy is of no account if when called on to fight in a confined space your heart is inclined to the long sword, or if you are in a house armed only with your companion sword. Besides, some men have not the strength of others. In my doctrine, I dislike preconceived, narrow spirit. You must study this well. The Strong Long Sword Spirit in Other Schools You should not speak of strong and weak long swords. If you just wield the long sword in a strong spirit your cutting will be coarse, and if you use the sword coarsely you will have difficulty in winning. If you are concerned with the strength of your sword, you will try to cut unreasonably strongly, and will not be able to cut at all. It is also bad to try to cut strongly when testing the sword. Whenever you cross swords with an enemy you must not think of cutting him either strongly or weakly; just think of cutting and killing him. Be intent solely upon killing the enemy. Do not try to cut strongly and, of course, do not think of cutting weakly. You should only be concerned with killing the enemy. If you rely on strength, when you hit the enemy's sword you will inevitably hit too hard. If you do this, your own sword will be carried along as a result. Thus the saying, "The strongest hand wins", has no meaning. In large-scale strategy, if you have a strong army and are relying on strength to win, but the enemy also has a strong army, the battle will be fierce. This is the same for both sides. Without the correct principle the fight cannot be won.


The spirit of my school is to win through the wisdom of strategy, paying no attention to trifles. Study this well. Use of the Shorter Long Sword in Other Schools Using a shorter long sword is not the true Way to win. In ancient times, tachi and katana meant long and short swords. Men of superior strength in the world can wield even a long sword lightly, so there is no case for their liking the short sword. They also make use of the length of spears and halberds. Some men use a shorter long sword with the intention of jumping in and stabbing the enemy at the unguarded moment when he flourishes his sword. This inclination is bad. To aim for the enemy's unguarded moment is completely defensive, and undesirable at close quarters with the enemy. Furthermore, you cannot use the method of jumping inside his defence with a short sword if there are many enemies. Some men think that if they go against many enemies with a shorter long sword they can unrestrictedly frisk around cutting in sweeps, but they have to parry cuts continuously, and eventually become entangled with the enemy. This is inconsistent with the true Way of Strategy. The sure Way to win thus is to chase the enemy around in confusing manner, causing him to jump aside, with your body held strongly and straight. The same principle applies to large-scale strategy. The essence of strategy is to fall upon the enemy in large numbers and bring about his speedy downfall. By their study of strategy, people of the world get used to countering, evading and retreating as the normal thing. They become set in this habit, so can easily be paraded around by the enemy. The Way of Strategy is straight and true.


You must chase the enemy around and make him obey your spirit. Other Schools with many Methods of using the Long Sword Placing a great deal of importance on the attitudes of the long sword is a mistaken way of thinking. What is known in the world as "attitude" applies when there is no enemy. The reason is that this has been a precedent since ancient times, and there should be no such thing as "This is the modern way to do it" in dueling. You must force the enemy into inconvenient situations. Attitudes are for situations in which you are not to be moved. That is, for garrisoning castles, battle array, and so on, showing the spirit of not being moved even by a strong assault. In the Way of dueling, however, you must always be intent upon taking the lead and attacking. Attitude is the spirit of awaiting an attack. You must appreciate this. In duels of strategy you must move the opponent's attitude. Attack where his spirit is lax, throw him into confusion, irritate and terrify him. Take advantage of the enemy's rhythm when he is unsettled and you can win. I dislike the defensive spirit know as "attitude". Therefore, in my Way, there is something called "Attitude-No Attitude". In large-scale strategy we deploy our troops for battle bearing in mind our strength, observing the enemy's numbers, and noting the details of the battle field. This is at the start of the battle. The spirit of attacking first is completely different from the spirit of being attacked. Bearing an attack well, with a strong attitude, and parrying the enemy's attack well, is like making a wall of spears and halberds. When you attack the enemy, your spirit must go to the extent of pulling the stakes out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds. You must examine this well.


Fixing the Eyes in Other Schools Some schools maintain that the eyes should be fixed on the enemy's long sword. Some schools fix the eyes on the hands. Some fix the eyes on the face, and some fix the eyes on the feet, and so on. If you fix the eyes on these places your spirit can become confused and your strategy thwarted. I will explain this in detail. Footballers do not fix their eyes on the ball, but by good play on the field they can perform well. When you become accustomed to something, you are not limited to the use of your eyes. People such as master musicians have the music score in front of their nose, or flourish swords in several ways when they have mastered the Way, but this does not mean that they fix their eyes on these things specifically, or that they make pointless movements of the sword. It means that they can see naturally. In the Way of Strategy, when you have fought many times you will easily be able to appraise the speed and position of the enemy's sword, and having mastery of the Way you will see the weight of his spirit. In strategy, fixing the eyes means gazing at the man's heart. In large-scale strategy the area to watch is the enemy's strength. "Perception" and "sight" are the two methods of seeing. Perception consists of concentrating strongly on the enemy's spirit, observing the condition of the battlefield, fixing the gaze strongly, seeing the progress of the fight and the changes of advantages. This is the sure way to win. In single combat you must not fix the eyes on the details. As I said before, if you fix your eyes on details and neglect important things, your spirit will become bewildered, and victory will escape you. Research this principle well and train diligently.


Use of the Feet in Other Schools There are various methods of using the feet: floating foot, jumping foot, springing foot, treading foot, crow's foot, and such nimble walking methods. From the point of view of my strategy, these are all unsatisfactory. I dislike floating foot because the feet always tend to float during the fight. The Way must be trod firmly. Neither do I like jumping foot, because it encourages the habit of jumping, and a jumpy spirit. However much you jump, there is no real justification for it; so jumping is bad. Springing foot causes a springing spirit which is indecisive. Treading foot is a "waiting" method, and I especially dislike it. Apart from these, there are various fast walking methods, such as crow's foot, and so on. Sometimes, however, you may encounter the enemy on marshland, swampy ground, river valleys, stony ground, or narrow roads, in which situations you cannot jump or move the feet quickly. In my strategy, the footwork does not change. I always walk as I usually do in the street. You must never lose control of your feet. According to the enemy's rhythm, move fast or slowly, adjusting you body not too much and not too little. Carrying the feet is important also in large-scale strategy. This is because, if you attack quickly and thoughtlessly without knowing the enemy's spirit, your rhythm will become deranged and you will not be able to win. Or, if you advance too slowly, you will not be able to take advantage of the enemy's disorder, the opportunity to win will escape, and you will not be able to finish


the fight quickly. You must win by seizing upon the enemy's disorder and derangement, and by not according him even a little hope of recovery. Practice this well. Speed in Other Schools Speed is not part of the true Way of Strategy. Speed implies that things seem fast or slow, according to whether or not they are in rhythm. Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast. Some people can walk as fast as a hundred or a hundred and twenty miles in a day, but this does not mean that they run continuously from morning till night. Unpracticed runners may seem to have been running all day, but their performance is poor. In the Way of dance, accomplished performers can sing while dancing, but when beginners try this they slow down and their spirit becomes busy. The "old pine tree" melody beaten on a leather drum is tranquil, but when beginners try this they slow down and their spirit becomes busy. Very skilful people can manage a fast rhythm, but it is bad to beat hurriedly. If you try to beat too quickly you will get out of time. Of course, slowness is bad. Really skilful people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy. From this example, the principle can be seen. What is known as speed is especially bad in the Way of Strategy. The reason for this is that depending on the place, marsh or swamp and so on, it may not be possible to move the body and legs together quickly. Still less will you be able to cut quickly if you have a long sword in this situation. If you try to cut quickly, as if using a fan or short sword, you will not actually cut even a little. You must appreciate this. In large-scale strategy also, a fast busy spirit is undesirable. The spirit must be


that of holding down a pillow, then you will not be even a little late. When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent. Train diligently to attain this spirit. "Interior" and "Surface" in Other Schools There is no "interior" nor "surface" in strategy. The artistic accomplishments usually claim inner meaning and secret tradition, and "interior" and "gate", but in combat there is no such thing as fighting on the surface, or cutting with the interior. When I teach my Way, I first teach by training in techniques which are easy for the pupil to understand, a doctrine which is easy to understand. I gradually endeavour to explain the deep principle, points which it is hardly possible to comprehend, according to the pupil's progress. In any event, because the way to understanding is through experience, I do not speak of "interior" and "gate". In this world, if you go into the mountains, and decide to go deeper and yet deeper, instead you will emerge at the gate. Whatever the Way, it has an interior, and it is sometimes a good thing to point out the gate. In strategy, we cannot say what is concealed and what is revealed. Accordingly I dislike passing on my Way through written pledges and regulations. Perceiving the ability of my pupils, I teach the direct Way, remove the bad influence of other schools, and gradually introduce them to the true Way of the warrior. The method of teaching my strategy is with a trustworthy spirit. You must train diligently.


I have tried to record an outline of the strategy of other schools in the above nine sections. I could now continue by giving a specific account of these schools one by one, from the "gate" to the "interior", but I have intentionally not named the schools or their main points. The reason for this is that different branches of schools give different interpretations of the doctrines. In as much as men's opinions differ, so there must be differing ideas on the same matter. Thus no one man's conception is valid for any school. I have shown the general tendencies of other schools on nine points. If we look at them from an honest viewpoint, we see that people always tend to like long swords or short swords, and become concerned with strength in both large and small matters. You can see why I do not deal with the "gates" of other schools. In my Ichi school of the long sword there is neither gate nor interior. There is no inner meaning in sword attitudes. You must simply keep your spirit true to realize the virtue of strategy.

The Book of the Void The Ni To Ichi Way of Strategy is recorded in this the Book of the Void. What is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. It is not included in man's knowledge. Of course the void is nothingness. By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the void. People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do


not understand must be the void. This is not the true void. It is bewilderment. In the Way of Strategy, also, those who study as warriors think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. This is not the true void. To attain the Way of Strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void. Until you realize the true Way, whether in Buddhism or in common sense, you may think that things are correct and in order. However, if we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. Know well this spirit, and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true spirit as the Way. Enact strategy broadly, correctly and openly. Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and, taking the void as the Way, you will see the Way as void. In the void is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom has existence, principle has existence, the Way has existence, spirit is nothingness. Twelfth day of the fifth month, second year of Shoho (1645) Teruro Magonojo SHINMEN MUSASHI This concludes the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.


Introduction to Mantra Meditation By: Andrew Mantra meditation is understood as the teaching of the magical effects of linguistics sounds. The Sanskrit word "mantra" basically means "Magical phonetic formula" and has been a permanent part of the language of Western esoterism for a good 100 years. Every mantra used magically serves one purpose: To induce gnosis or a state of magical trance. For now we don't need to concern ourselves with the extremely complicated theories that characterize Indian and Hebrew mantra meditation. It's enough to remember that in Hindu and Jewish traditions (but not only here), Sanskrit


and Hebrew were considered to be among the "primal languages of creation". Sanskrit in particular was considered to be a source of power in Hindu culture and mastery was thought to make the magician divine "In the beginning was the word" the biblical quotation can be applied here quite well: The person who masters the subtle energies of such a sacral and ritual language can become a creator. Similar thoughts can be found in Hebrew and Latin and at times such power has also been ascribed in Arabic used in the Koran. This is the macrocosmic approach. The microcosmic approach is more concerned with the effect the mantras have. Lets forget for awhile about the thesis of the "objective" power that mantra's contain and experiment with the effects that can be achieved with certain mantra's. We don't want to change the fact that some literature on mantra meditation even warns against such "Profane use" of mantra's. But experience has shown that in such cases these sources generally support a dogmatic-religious perspective that has nothing to do with practical experience in magic. For now the important thing to remember is that mantras are combinations of sounds used for the following purposes: A). bringing about gnosis B). bringing about magical effects They have other effects as well, including; C). blocking out disruptive external influences D). increasing concentration E). causing a state of empty mind F). improving magical powers and perceptions


Some parts of (A) automatically overlap with (C-F) but there is no need to go into details on that now. In practice we'll notice that there's quit a difference whether we use Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Arabic and Japanese mantras, all of these languages have a unique unmistakable energy quality and therefore cause different forms of gnosis. We'll have the opportunity experiment with this soon. In general Traditions says there are 5 ways to intone mantras 1). loudly 2). softly 3). silently {silent/mental intonation is considered in many mantra schools to be the "highest" form although this most likely depicts the subtleness of the energy and isn't meant to ne a moral evaluation. Logically, the types of intonation used should be chosen according to the purpose. As a rule of thumb intoning mantras loudly can block external impulse and enable a state of trance, while soft intonation is best for concentration and self reflection; silent intonation on the other hand, creates the spiritual-astral detachment from the physical body. We've discovered an interesting correlation between the way a mantra is intoned and how wide they's are open during meditation as far as we're aware of this has never been mentioned in literature before. You can meditate A). with open eye's B). with 1/2 closed eye's C). with closed eye's Mantra's on the other hand can be intoned loudly, softly, or silently. Loud


intonation is easier and more accessible, soft and especially silent intonation requires much better concentration skills and the ability to tune out external distractions. The same applies to meditation but in the opposite order. Generally it is easier to meditate with your eye's completely closed, and more difficult when they are 1/2 closed and being able to meditate with your eye's open is surely a master of will! The following chart depicts this schematically since the quality of energy is different in each case, we recommend that you try out several different combinations when working with mantras, for example: closed eye's while intoning softly, with open eye's while intoning silently and so on. This will also keep you fallible in your habits.



degree of difficulty

Loud intonations

closed eye's


Soft intonations

1/2 closed eye's


Silent intonations

open eye's


We'd like to introduce some traditional mantra's that you should get accustom to working with. Tibetan- OM MANI PADME HVM "behold the jewel in the lotus-an intonation for Buddha" Sanskrit- OM -according to Indian teachings this is the "primeval syllable" of creation, Pronounced like a long nasal "aaauuuooommm" Sanskrit- OM NAMO SHIVAYA "Holly is the name of Shiva" Shiva, the 3rd aspect of the hindu trinity, Brahm, Vishnu and Shiva is not only the god/dess of (constructive) destructive but also the Lord of thee yogis and ascetics as


well as the master of meditation. Sanskrit- LAM VAM RAM YUM HAM OM (the so called said syllables of the lower six chakras that can be used to awaken the power of the Kundilini) Sanskrit- OM HRAM HRIM HRUM -Actively god names/used syllables but described and implemented by many schools as being "meaningless" Sanskrit- SO HAM/HAM SO - I am He/that/the Infinite/God manually used during meditation as a silent mantra. Arabic- LA ILL ALAH/LA ILL ALAHV - God is God: This mantra is wide spread in the Sufi traditions and every faithful Muslim is familiar with it's recitation. It express the fact that the divine cannot be described in words. (ALAM, ALAMAS, ALAR, ALAMAR, TA HAM, TASAM, JAS) KAHA JA AS, CHAM ASAK.) These Arabic mantras are magical spells from the Koran and there meaning cannot be clearly defined. Your already familiar with a number of Hebrew mantras through the Hebrew formulas, through the work with the 2 pentagram rituals and the hexagram ritual. Mantra training Practice 1 of the traditional mantras in this section each day for at least 10mins or you can use a diffrent mantra if you like as long as it comes from entirely diffrent language/culture than your own. In either case recite it out loud at first (volume is irrelevant) and save silent intonations for a latter practice. Pay close attention to the various types of energy and any visual, smells, and sounds that you experience and keep a record of each meditation.


Mot a worda min muoes ond pa geondoenca min geonces gelician pe, Leof min. Pronunciation: Mot tha worde min muthes ond tha yeondthenke min yethonkes yelikan tha leaof min Rough translation: "My words of my mouth and the contemplations of my heart be pleasing to Thee, My Beloved (Lord) For contact with Odin


Magical Correspondence to the Body By: Andrew

The hands Thumb: Element: Spirit Planet: Mars Zodiac: None Magical Formula: EHLOH VA DA’AT Second Finger Element: earth Planet: Jupiter Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini Magical Formula: Adonai Ha ahretz


Index finger Element: water Planet: Saturn Zodiac: Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces Magical Formula: Shaddai El chai Third Finger Element: Fire Planet: Sun Zodiac: Cancer, Leo, Virgo Magical Formula: Ehloheem Gibor Little Finger Element: air Planet: Mercury Zodiac: Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius Magical Formula: Eh I EH Inner Palm Planet: Venus Outer Palm Planet: Moon Left hand Element: Fire It is commonly used for channeling, but can also be used to shield. Depending on what you are doing the left should be used for and spell work or ritual that you want more energy used in. The left hand is that of action and strength. Right Hand Element: Water


It is commonly used for shielding but can also be used to channel. The right hand is more of a passive in action so spell and ritual work done should represent such qualities were we are not looking for strong overpowering energy but fine intricate energy. The following is the true attribution of the seven apertures of the head Right Ear Planet: Saturn Magical Formula: Yeh hovah Eloheem Right Eye Planet: Sun Magical Formula: Elohah Va Da’at Mouth Planet: Mercury Magical Formula: Eloheem Tzaboath Right Nostril Planet: Mars Magical Formula: Eloheem Gibor Left Ear Planet: Jupiter Magical Formula: El Left Eye Planet: Luna (moon) Magical Formula: Shaddai El chai Left Nostril


Planet: Venus Magical Formula: Adonai Tzabaoth

Divination using Runes: Introduction by Persephone

Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet, used for writing, divination and magick. They were used throughout northern Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Iceland from about 100 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Runic inscriptions of great age have even been found in North America, supporting stories that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus. Tacitus, in Chapter X of his Germania, describes a form of divination used by Germanic tribes: "To divination and casting of lots, they pay attention beyond any other people. Their method of casting lots is a simple one: they cut a branch from a fruit-bearing tree and divide it into small pieces which they mark with certain distinctive signs and scatter at random onto a white cloth. Then, the priest of the community if the lots are consulted publicly, or the father of the family if it is done privately, after invoking the gods and with eyes raised to heaven, picks up three pieces, one at a time, and interprets them according to the signs previously marked upon them."


I've been working with Runes since 1994, when I was introduced to their use at a family reunion. I'm of Norse heritage. I believe that this is why I found a natural affinity to runes, although one certainly does not need to be Scandinavian to use them. Runes are an oracle from which one seeks advice. They work best if you detail your current circumstances and then ask a specific question. Rune readings are sometimes obscure. They hint toward answers, but you have to figure out the details. This is when the rune casters intuition becomes paramount. Some times the Runes "sing" to me, and their meaning becomes instantly clear. Runic divination or "rune casting" is not "fortune-telling" in the sense that one actually sees the future. Instead, runes give one a means of analyzing the path that one is on and a likely outcome. The future is not fixed. It changes with everything one does. If one does not like the prediction, one can always change paths. Since ancient times, runes have been used for divination and magic, in addition to writing. The word "rune" actually means mystery, secret or whisper. Each rune has esoteric meanings and properties associated with it, beyond its mundane meaning and phonetic value. Each translates into a word or a phrase signifying concepts important to the early peoples who used them, representing the forces of nature and mind. Each rune has a story attached to it, a relationship to a Norse God. Odin, the Norse High God of the Aesir, hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, impaled on his own spear, for nine days and nights in order to gain the knowledge of runes. When the runes appeared below him, he reached down and took them up, and the runic knowledge gave him power . He later passed on this knowledge to the Vanir goddess Freya. She, in turn, taught him the magic of seidr. Heimdall, the god who guarded the Rainbow Bridge, taught the runes to mankind. Runic alphabets first appeared among German tribes in central and eastern Europe. Some runes symbols are likely to have been acquired from other alphabets, such as the Greek, Etruscan, and the Early Roman. The runes were


made of straight lines to make the characters suitable for cutting into wood or stone. The earliest runic inscriptions on stone are dated to the late 3rd century AD, although it is probable that runic alphabets had been in use for some centuries before. The Old Germanic Runic alphabet or "Elder Futhark" contains 24 runes. The first six runes of the alphabet spell out the word "FUTHARK". As the runes spread northwards into Scandinavia, some rune symbols were dropped and the alphabet was reduced to only 16 runes. Between 400 and 600 AD, three Germanic tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, invaded Britain. They brought the runes with them. The forms of several of the runes changed, notably the runes for A/O, C/K, H, J, S, and Ng. Also, changes in the language led to nine runes being added to the alphabet to compensate for the extra sounds, and several runes were given different corresponding letters. This alphabet, expanded to 33 symbols, has become known as the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. The rune names themselves have been passed down relatively intact. Although no manuscript exists listing the names of the older, Germanic runes, the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian rune poems agree to such an extent that their common origin can be deduced. Here you can see number of Runic Scripts. The Runes are divided into three Aettir or groups of eight. D.J.Cooper discusses the significance of the Aettir in understanding the runes and using them in magick. On the other pages of this website you'll find information on rune casting, making a rune set, rune magick, recommended reading, etc. These pages are directed to the curious, the beginning runester, and the runemaster. One who aspires to become adept with runes must have some knowledge of the mythology, history, and culture of ancient Europe and Scandinavia. The kenning of rune lore is inextricably dependent upon these. Much of what you find here will merely point you in the right direction. The rest is up to you. Delve as lightly or as deeply as you wish. I hope you fall in love with runes as I have.


Meanings of the Runes by Persephone

I work with the "Elder Futhark", the runic alphabet which is a composite of the runic symbols most commonly used in northern Europe. The names of the runes of the Elder Futhark are speculative recreations of what linguists call "proto-Germanic", which stems from "proto-Indo-European". There are many versions of the runic alphabets. Each has variations in names, shapes, esoteric meanings and magical uses. One should not mix futharks, or the intent or meaning becomes confused. The Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, and the Younger (or Scandinavian) Futhark are the most frequently seen versions of the runic alphabets in use today. The runes are broken into three sections or groups of eight, called aett (aettir, plural). This helps one to remember their order, and later, you will see, has significance in magical uses. First the rune name is given, then its phonetic value, its symbolic image, and finally the esoteric meaning used in divination. Rune users disagree on whether or not to place a different meaning on a rune that falls in an inverted


or reversed position. Some runes look the same upside down and right side up. These cannot be "reversed". Nevertheless, any of the runes may appear as a "merkstave" (which literally means "dark stick" and implies a "dark" meaning), depending on how the runes are cast. Note that a "reversed" or "merkstave" meaning is not the opposite of its primary meaning, but usually has a more negative connotation.

Fehu (F: Domestic cattle, wealth.) Possessions won or earned, earned income, luck. Abundance, financial strength in the present or near future. Sign of hope and plenty, success and happiness. Social success. Energy, foresight, fertility, creation/destruction (becoming). Fehu Reversed or Merkstave: Loss of personal property, esteem, or something that you put in effort to keep. It indicates some sort of failure. Greed, burnout, atrophy, discord. Cowardice, stupidity, dullness, poverty, slavery, bondage. Uruz: (U: Auroch, a wild ox.) Physical strength and speed, untamed potential. A time of great energy and health. Freedom, energy, action, courage, strength, tenacity, understanding, wisdom. Sudden or unexpected


changes (usually for the better). Sexual desire, masculine potency. The shaping of power and pattern, formulation of the self. Uruz Reversed or Merkstave: Weakness, obsession, misdirected force, domination by others. Sickness, inconsistency, ignorance. Lust, brutality, rashness, callousness, violence. Thurisaz: (TH: Thorn or a Giant.) Reactive force, directed force of destruction and defense, conflict. Instinctual will, vital eroticism, regenerative catalyst. A tendency toward change. Catharsis, purging, cleansing fire. Male sexuality, fertilization. (Thorr, the Thunder god, was of Giant stock.)Thurisaz Reversed or Merkstave: Danger, defenselessness, compulsion, betrayal, dullness. Evil, malice, hatred, torment, spite, lies. A bad man or woman. Rape? Ansuz: (A: The As, ancestral god, i.e. Odin.) A revealing message or insight, communication. Signals, inspiration, enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming. Blessings, the taking of advice. Good health, harmony, truth, wisdom. Ansuz Reversed or Merkstave: Misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation by others, boredom. Vanity and grandiloquence. (Odin is a mighty, but duplicitous god. He always has his own agenda.) Raidho: (R: Wagon or chariot.) Travel, both in physical terms and those of lifestyle direction. A journey, vacation, relocation, evolution, change of place or setting. Seeing a larger perspective. Seeing the right move for you to make and deciding upon it. Personal rhythm, world rhythm, dance of life. Raidho Reversed or Merkstave: Crisis, rigidity, stasis, injustice, irrationality. Disruption, dislocation, demotion, delusion, possibly a death. Kenaz: (K: Beacon or torch.) Vision, revelation, knowledge, creativity, inspiration, technical ability. Vital fire of life, harnessed power, fire of transformation and regeneration. Power to create your own reality, the power of light. Open to new strength, energy, and power now. Passion, sexual love. Kenaz Reversed or Merkstave: Disease, breakup, instability, lack of creativity. Nakedness, exposure, loss of illusion and false hope.


Gebo: (G: Gift.) Gifts, both in the sense of sacrifice and of generosity, indicating balance. All matters in relation to exchanges, including contracts, personal relationships and partnerships. Gebo Merkstave (Gebo cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Greed, loneliness, dependence, over-sacrifice. Obligation, toll, privation, bribery. Wunjo: (W or V: Joy.) Joy, comfort, pleasure. Fellowship, harmony, prosperity. Ecstasy, glory, spiritual reward, but also the possibility of going "over the top". If restrained, the meaning is general success and recognition of worth. Wunjo Reversed or Merkstave: Stultification, sorrow, strife, alienation. Delirium, intoxication, possession by higher forces, impractical enthusiasm. Raging frenzy, berserker.

Hagalaz: (H: Hail.) Wrath of nature, destructive, uncontrolled forces, especially the weather, or within the unconscious. Tempering, testing, trial. Controlled crisis, leading to completion, inner harmony. Hagalaz Merkstave (Hagalaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Natural disaster, catastrophe. Stagnation, loss of power. Pain, loss, suffering, hardship, sickness, crisis. Nauthiz: (N: Need.) Delays, restriction. Resistance leading to strength, innovation, need-fire (self-reliance). Distress, confusion, conflict, and the power of will to overcome them. Endurance, survival, determination. A time to exercise patience. Recognition of one's fate. Major self-initiated change. Face your fears. Nauthiz Reversed or Merkstave: Constraint of freedom, distress, toil, drudgery, laxity. Necessity, extremity, want, deprivation, starvation, need, poverty, emotional hunger. Isa: (I: Ice.) A challenge or frustration. Psychological blocks to thought


or activity, including grievances. Standstill, or a time to turn inward and wait for what is to come, or to seek clarity. This rune reinforces runes around it. Isa Merkstave (Isa cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Ego-mania, dullness, blindness, dissipation. Treachery, illusion, deceit, betrayal, guile, stealth, ambush, plots. Jera: (J or Y: A year, a good harvest.) The results of earlier efforts are realized. A time of peace and happiness, fruitful season. It can break through stagnancy. Hopes and expectations of peace and prosperity. The promise of success earned. Life cycle, cyclical pattern of the universe. Everything changes, in its own time. Jera Merkstave (Jera cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Sudden setback, reversals. A major change, repetition, bad timing, poverty, conflict. Eihwaz: (EI: Yew tree.) Strength, reliability, dependability, trustworthiness. Enlightenment, endurance. Defense, protection. The driving force to acquire, providing motivation and a sense of purpose. Indicates that you have set your sights on a reasonable target and can achieve your goals. An honest man who can be relied upon. Eihwaz Reversed or Merkstave: Confusion, destruction, dissatisfaction, weakness. Perthro: (P: Lot cup, vagina.) Uncertain meaning, a secret matter, a mystery, hidden things and occult abilities. Initiation, knowledge of one's destiny, knowledge of future matters, determining the future or your path. Pertaining to things feminine, feminine mysteries including female fertility, and vagina. Good lot, fellowship and joy. Evolutionary change. Perthro Reversed or Merkstave: Addiction, stagnation, loneliness, malaise. Algiz: (Z or -R: Elk, protection.) Protection, a shield. The protective urge to shelter oneself or others. Defense, warding off of evil, shield, guardian. Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies appropriately. Follow your instincts. Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned. Algiz Reversed: or Merkstave: Hidden


danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of divine link. Taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels. Sowilo: (S: The sun.) Success, goals achieved, honor. The life-force, health. A time when power will be available to you for positive changes in your life, victory, health, and success. Contact between the higher self and the unconscious. Wholeness, power, elemental force, sword of flame, cleansing fire. Sowilo Merkstave (Sowilo cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): False goals, bad counsel, false success, gullibility, loss of goals. Destruction, retribution, justice, casting down of vanity. Wrath of god.

Tiwaz: (T: Tyr, the sky god.) Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one's true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters. Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One's energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation. Berkano: (B: Berchta, the birch-goddess.) Birth, general fertility, both mental and physical and personal growth, liberation. Regenerative power and light of spring, renewal, promise of new beginnings, new growth. Arousal of desire. A love affair or new birth. The prospering of an enterprise or venture. Berkano Reversed or Merkstave: Family problems and or domestic troubles. Anxiety about someone close to you. Carelessness, abandon, loss of control. Blurring of consciousness, deceit, sterility, stagnation. Ehwaz: (E: Horse, two horses.) Transportation. May represent a horse, car, plane, boat or other vehicle. Movement and change for the better. Gradual development and steady progress are indicated. Harmony,


teamwork, trust, loyalty. An ideal marriage or partnership. Confirmation beyond doubt the meanings of the runes around it. Ehwaz Reversed or Merkstave: This is not really a negative rune. A change is perhaps craved. Feeling restless or confined in a situation. Reckless haste, disharmony, mistrust, betrayal. Mannaz: (M: Man, mankind.) The Self; the individual or the human race. Your attitude toward others and their attitudes towards you. Friends and enemies, social order. Intelligence, forethought, create, skill, ability. Divine structure, intelligence, awareness. Expect to receive some sort of aid or cooperation now. Mannaz Reversed or Merkstave: Depression, mortality, blindness, self-delusion. Cunning, slyness, manipulation, craftiness, calculation. Expect no help now. Laguz: (L: Water, or a leek.) Flow, water, sea, a fertility source, the healing power of renewal. Life energy and organic growth. Imagination and psychic matters. Dreams, fantasies, mysteries, the unknown, the hidden, the deep, the underworld. Success in travel or acquisition, but with the possibility of loss. Laguz Reversed or Merkstave: An indication of a period of confusion in your life. You may be making wrong decisions and poor judgements. Lack of creativity and feelings of being in a rut. Fear, circular motion, avoidance, withering. Madness, obsession, despair, perversity, sickness, suicide. Ingwaz: (NG: Ing, the earth god.) Male fertility, gestation, internal growth. Common virtues, common sense, simple strengths, family love, caring, human warmth, the home. Rest stage, a time of relief, of no anxiety. A time when all loose strings are tied and you are free to move in a new direction. Listen to yourself. Ingwaz Merkstave (Ingwaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Impotence, movement without change. Production, toil, labor, work. Dagaz: (D: Day or dawn.) Breakthrough, awakening, awareness. Daylight clarity as opposed to nighttime uncertainty. A time to plan or


embark upon an enterprise. The power of change directed by your own will, transformation. Hope/happiness, the ideal. Security and certainty. Growth and release. Balance point, the place where opposites meet. Dagaz Merkstave (Dagaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): A completion, ending, limit, coming full circle. Blindness, hopelessness. Othala: (O: Ancestral property.) Inherited property or possessions, a house, a home. What is truly important to one. Group order, group prosperity. Land of birth, spiritual heritage, experience and fundamental values. Aid in spiritual and physical journeys. Source of safety, increase and abundance. Othala Reversed or Merkstave: Lack of customary order, totalitarianism, slavery, poverty, homelessness. Bad karma, prejudice, clannishness, provincialism. What a man is bound to. Blank Rune: There is no historical support for a "Blank Rune" in runic divination. It was invented in the 1980's. It should not be used in a rune casting. If you bought a rune set with a blank piece, save it in case you lose another rune piece, but don't use it in rune casting.

Rune Casting - Divination by Persephone


"Divination - regardless of the tools - works because in the system one is using the individual card/hexagram/rune etc. represent the whole in some unified way. At the moment of 'random' mixing, because of intent, the cards order themselves to mirror the reality of the querier." Sig Lonegren (, author of The Pendulum Kit and books on dowsing, labyrinths, and sacred geometry. Visit his site at

Runic divination, "runecasting", is not "fortune telling". Runecasting works deeply with the subconscious. The rune pouch with its runic symbols represents the entire universe. As one poses a question, one's entire conscious and unconscious mind is focused toward that question, so that the runelots selected are not truly random selections, but rather choices made by the subconscious. Runecraft operates on an ancient form of psychology. Even back in Viking times, there was a remarkable understanding of the human psyche. They recognized cause and effect, and the interconnectedness of all things. The word to describe this interconnectedness was "wyrd", which was eventually perverted into the modern meaning of "weird". It did not originally mean


something unusual or strange. Rather, it referred to the far-reaching effects of that which one does. The concept of "fate" was also not as we know it now. Instead of a helpless predestination, "fate" meant a destiny created by one's earlier actions. Wyrd was pictured as a web, like that of a spider. The symbology is excellent. When the spider steps onto a thread (a path) the vibrations affect the entire web and that which is contained within the web, just as our actions affect our immediate world and those around us, and the actions of others affect our lives. When one does a runic reading, one usually addresses a particular issue, and examines the past, the present and the "future", or rather "what will be if one follows the path one appears to be on". The future is always perceived as mutable, changeable. The runic reading is done as an evaluation process, not as fortune-telling. One has an opportunity to look at what has occurred in the past (regarding the issue being questioned), what is occurring right now, and what direction one is headed. A runecaster does not see the future. He/she examines cause and effect and points out a likely outcome. Not exactly occult, is it? It's not supernatural and it's not very mysterious--although the uninitiated considered it a delving into mystery, much like a patient of a psychiatrist might. It's certainly not magical or demonic. Instead it is a methodology for examining the path one is on and what the effects might be, by making use of one's subconscious (i.e. an "intuitive perception"), unfettered by limited conscious belief systems. Dowsing, or "divination" by bent stick or pendulum is similar. It is not supernatural. It is, again, a manifestation of one's subconscious. All "intuitive perception" is such. Nothing magical about it, merely a means of awakening one's right-brain.

Find a suitable place to do the reading. You do not want to be disturbed. Try to sit facing North if possible, the direction of the Gods in Norse mythology.


Place a small white cloth on the surface in front of you. You work with the runes on this cloth. This cloth protects them from getting dirty and also forms the boundary for the casting. Carefully form a question in your mind. Take your time doing this, as it is very important that you do not change the question midway through the reading. Once you have the question firmly fixed in your mind begin to gently mix the runes in their bag or container. Continue to mix the runes until you feel compelled to take up certain rune lots. (This is why it is important that the rune lots be of the same shape and size: so that you can't identify each rune by shape.) Continue to stir and select lots until you have the correct number of runes in front of you for the layout you will be using. Keep track of the order in which the runes were pulled, laying them in their proper position in the layout as you pull them. You can use any Tarot layout, or one of the methods described below. Runes are oracles, and oracles are often obscure. Each rune can mean many different things. It is up to the runecaster to decide how these meanings apply to the question at hand. You may get even deeper interpretations through your own "gut" reactions to the rune's definition. However, don't delude yourself in thinking that you have a completely different understanding of the cast than indicated by the traditional interpretations. Stick to the recognized interpretations, but learn to expand on their meanings through insight and meditation.

Here is one way I do a rune casting. I reach into my rune bag, stir them around a bit and pick up a bunch. I "cast" them onto a white cloth, and see how the symbols land. Some will be face down and I ignore them. If a rune is upright, it has a certain meaning. If a rune is upside down, it has a different meaning. The combination of the visible runes affects the interpretation. Sometimes the runes "sing" to me and the answer to the question is instantly


clear. Here are the three non-structured castings I use most frequently. On another page I'll describe some formal "layouts" to be used for runecasting.

The Norns are the Norse goddesses of fate. Urdh was the goddess of the past, or what has been. Verdhandi is the goddess of the present, what is. Skuld is the goddess of the future, or what shall be. Fate or wyrd was a very important factor in the psychology of the ancients. A Norns cast is very simple, consisting of three runes, drawn one at a time from the rune pouch and laid in a row. If face down, flip them over as if turning the pages of a book. The first rune represents the past of the situation in question. The second indicates the present, the path that the querier is currently on. The third suggests the future, a likely outcome if one continues on the present path.

"This method will give a detailed overview of a person's situation, providing insight into where they are in terms of their spiritual path, and clarifying the options and possible outcomes available to them. Nine is a magical number in Norse mythology. Pick nine runes at random from the pouch. Hold them between your hands for a moment, and focus on your question (if you have one). Then scatter the runes on the table, floor, or cloth if you have one. Read the runes which land face up first. These will relate to the current situation and the circumstances which led to it. How the runes are read is largely subjective, but in general, runes lying in the center are the most immediately relevant, while those lying around the edges are less important, or represent more general influences. "Runes that are close together or even touching often compliment each other, or may even represent a single thing, while runes which fall on opposite sides of the pattern frequently represent opposing influences. Occasionally, a rune will land completely off the cloth or fall off the table. Some people consider


such runes to be particularly significant, while others ignore them completely. "Once you have looked at the runes which landed face up (and remembered which ones they are), turn over the rest of the runes without moving them from their positions. These represent outside or future influences, and will point to possible outcomes. It is up to you to decide what the various positions and patterns in a reading mean, but once you have come up with a few general rules, try to stick with them. As I have said before, consistency is very important. However, rune readings by their nature are very fluid, subjective things. Try not to impose too much order on your readings by inventing set meanings for every triangle, square and tetrahedron. Runes are like people - you never know how they will get along together until you introduce them. Look at the patterns and relationships that appear in each reading and see what interpretations make sense to you." from Runic Journey by Jennifer Smith.

Rune-tines (such as twigs or popsicle sticks on which the rune symbols are inscribed) work best for casting on the ground. I use these simply by tossing all 24 onto the ground and read the runes which land upright, in the positions in which they land. Their relative positions give their relations. For example, if two upright runes are close or touching and lying nearly parallel, then the runes are related. If they cross, then they are in opposition. There are obviously many degrees of this, and you also have to consider groups of runes, and ones which are far away, and the general direction. This technique relies heavily on intuition, since it doesn't have a spread to lay the runes in, like tarot would use. Between 4 and 8 runes generally land upright, which is about right for most inquiries.


Runecasting - Layouts by Persephone

Here are various layouts that can be used for runecasting in order of increasing complexity. The first two can be done quite quickly. The others take great deliberation. I often spend several days on the more complex layouts. A description of each position on the layout follows the diagram. Five Rune Layout Seven Rune Layout Futhark Layout Eight-fold Wheel Worldstead Layout

Peschel, A Practical Guide to the Runes.


Select five runes one at a time and lay them face down on the rune cloth. [Three runes are placed side by side. One is placed above the center and the final one is placed below the center.] The three horizontal runes represent your past, present, and future. It is usually best to turn over the center rune (1) first. This is the rune of the present and will show your problem as it is now. It can also show your state of mind. A negative rune in this position that does not seem to be in synch with the question can often show that you (or your querant) are of a very troubled and agitated state of mind. The rune in position to left of the center (2) signifies the past and will tell you what was in the past that caused you to be in your current position. Next read the rune laying above the center (3). This indicates the help that you can expect to receive in the problem at hand. If there is a negative rune here, it can indicate an unwillingness to accept the advice given by the runes or another person, or it can indicate delays or slight problems that may impede the speedy resolution of the matter in question. The rune below center (4) indicates what aspects of the problem must be accepted and cannot be changed. Positive runes here show a lack of troublesome influences and oppositions, while negative runes show the obstacles to your success. The rune to the right of center (5) is the result rune. This rune indicates the final outcome, given the other factors in the runecast. This runecast indicates recent future happenings, usually within three months.


Peschel, A Practical Guide to the Runes This runecast gives a bit more detail with more information on how to deal with your problem and on what lead you to your present dilemma in the first place. It usually speaks of events three months into the future and into the past. If you wish to use this layout but want information on happenings more current than three months, be certain to concentrate on your time frame as well when you are concentrating on your question. The questions you can answer with this layout can be much broader in scope than with some other runecasts. Instead of asking "yes" or "no" or "what about my relationship?", you can ask questions like "How will my job progress if I take this new business course?" or "If I started seeing other people, how would my current lover accept it?" Through questions like these, you can certainly get enough information to solve all but the most complex problems. Select seven runes and lay them out in a row of 6 with the final one below the row and centered as shown. In this reading, you will have to be interpreting two runes at a time. The first two runes are the problem. Runes 3 and 4 are read next. These show the factors in the past which have led up to the situations at present. Runes 5 and 6 are the two most important runes in this runecast. They represent the advise the runes are giving you, and extra special care must be taken to interpret their meanings as they relate to one another. They can indicate a need to wait and not act or a need to act immediately. They also may indicate a total shift of emphasis to new realms totally unrelated to the


problem in question. The final position, rune 7, is the result position. Keep in mind that a positive rune in this place (or a negative one, for that matter) will only be truly positive (or negative) if the preceding runes indicate such an outcome. This is a challenging runecast and certainly worth the time it takes to master it.

Edred Thorsson, Runecaster's Handbook. Fehu: Money matters. Psychic energies. Uruz: Physical health. Vital energies. Thurisaz: What opposed you (perhaps physical). Ansuz: Sources of inspiration and intellectual expression. Raidho: Travels&emdash;inner or outer. Kenaz: Creativity. Erotic relationships. Gebo: What will be given to you. Wunjo: Relationships, friends. What will give you happiness. Hagalaz: Area of possible crisis leading to transformation. Nauthiz: What resists you (psychically). Source of discontent. Isa: What is constraining you. Jera: Where rewards can be expected. Relationship with the natural environment. Eihwaz: Hidden influences, state of whole being. Relationship with the numinous environment.


Perthro: How you will find joy. Algiz: Thing that needs attention. Way to the gods. Sowilo: What will guide you. Tiwaz: Cognitive state. Legal matters. Ideals. Berkano: What provides growth and beauty. Ehwaz: With what or whom you should work. Erotic relations. Mannaz: Overall psychic state. Attitude toward death. Laguz: State of emotional Balance. What will test you. Ingwaz: What you should contemplate. Dagaz: Area of unexpected synchronicity. Othala: Greater family matters. National or community issues.

Aswynn, Northern Mysteries The Airt (Ætt) of Freya is primarily related to practical and mundane matters. One selects the runes unseen and places them in the area next to the runes already there. These meanings are very simple and on the most basic level serve as the background for a strait forward reading, in which questions of a practical nature can be answered. Fehu - Financial strength and prosperity of the present and near future. Uruz - Health matters.


Thurisaz - Conflicts and complexities of an aggressive nature; psychological problems. Ansuz - Communications and transmissions; points things back to sources in the past. Raidho - What is right or not right; what move to make; decisions; returns. Kenaz - Opening up of new ways; opportunities; information. Gebo - All matters of an exchanging nature; contracts; personal relationships. Wunjo - Gain; accomplishments; that which is wished for.

The second airt, of Hagalaz, principally corresponds to emotional matters and the psychological conditions present within the individual. Hagalaz - The uncontrolled forces in the unconscious, which are usually of a disruptive nature and which usually originate in the past. Nauthiz - Restrictive forces in the unconscious; fears, anxieties; feelings of guilt. Isa - Blocks; stultified conditions; grievances; anything that the individual is not prepared to let go of; the formation of the personality; conditioning. Jera - Hopes and expectations; turning points; gradual changes; results of earlier actions. Eihwaz - The driving forces in the unconscious; motivation; sense of purpose. Perthro - The deepest creative part of the unconscious; the hidden realm of higher material that is waiting to come to fruition and birth; hidden talents; occult or psychic abilities.


Algiz - The strong protective side in the unconscious; the influence which will protect you; religious aspirations. Sowilo - Position of the higher self in relations to the unconscious; the direction in which you will be guided by the higher self; the ability to establish contact between the higher self and the unconscious.

The third airt transcends the two others, in that it largely relates to relationships with other people, and also to the sexual side of life. Whereas the first ĂŚtt is largely concerned with the outer world, and the second mainly deals with the inner world, the third ĂŚtt synthesized both the inner and outer world, and most of the runes in this ĂŚtt contain a dual meaning involving both aspects. Tiwaz - Creative energies in the martial sense; where your strengths lie; where to direct your energies in taking initiatives; honor and justice, leadership and authority. Berkano - Fertility; birth' rebirth; growth; maternity; family life; feminine mysteries. Ehwaz - Adaptability; relationships with others; joint efforts; cooperation; sexuality. Mannaz - People at large; attitude toward others; other people's attitudes towards you; legal matters, friends and enemies; intellect. Laguz - Emotions; stability; imagination; psychic matters; affections. Ingwaz - Integration; gestation; expectations; progeny.


Dagaz - Transmission; opposites; position between light and darkness; initiation; balance between the worlds outside time and space; cosmic consciousness; change from one thing into its opposite; new beginnings. Othala - Home life; country; spiritual heritage; experience; foundation; fundamental values; establishing.

Thorsson, Runecaster's Handbook. Aswynn, Northern Mysteries The pattern of the Norse Ættir of the Heavens (which points out North, South, East and West, and the quadrants between) is combined with the other most obvious division of "space", that of the nine worlds of Yggdrasil, to form the Worldstead design used to divide the casting cloth into fields of meaning. In reality, this figure represents the "collapsing" of multidimensional space into a two-dimensional model&emdash;as do many sacred symbols of all kinds. The fields are names for the nine worlds of Yggdrasil and derive their meanings from these concepts. (The actual cloth should not have the names of the worlds on it.) The lots falling within the inner circles made up of Midhgardr-Àsgardhr-Hel-Ljóssálfheimr-Svartálfheimr (which in the three-dimensional model make up the vertical column) give a reading of the


subjective or psychological state of, or influences on, the person. Those of Ljóssálfheimr and Svartálfheimr are more "personal". while those of Àsgardhr and Hel are more "transpersonal". The lots coming down in the outer fields of Niflheimr-Muspellsheimr-Vanaheimr-Jötunheimr (which together with Midhgardhr form the horizontal plane in the Yggdrasil model) clarify the state of the objective universe and how it affects the person in question. Note carefully the special synthesizing function of Midhgardhr&emdash;the center&emdash;where all potentialities are (or can be) manifested. The runes are cast blindly upon the cloth and are read as they lie on the cloth in their steads of meaning. According to personal custom, lots which land face down may be read as murk-staves or they may be removed from the cloth and set aside. "Inverted" runes cannot be read as such operations of this kind. Those that fall off the cloth altogether should be disregarded. (Note, however, what these lots are&emdash;they may be significant by their absence!) Once a final configuration has been established, a complex picture may appear. This kind of casting is sometimes so complex that it cannot be fully interpreted in one sitting (especially by beginning runecasters). Therefore, be sure and draw out a record of the casting. Often the direction a lot is facing&emdash;it may seem to be "pointing to" another lot&emdash;gives subtle clues which reveal nuances in the lot's interpretation. For this reason a sketched record is preferred. The true significance of the casting may not be realized until sometime later when your are contemplating the working record. Continued next page. The pattern resulting from a casting upon the airts can be read in several ways. You may start from what is now manifesting itself in Midhgardhr and work out to the more remotely influential realms, e.g., from Midhgardhr to Ljóssálfheimr and Svartálfheimr, and from this pairing to Àsgardhr and Hel, and from there to the outermost realms of Vanaheimr. Or, you might reverse this process working from Niflheimr and Muspellsheimr back to Midhgardhr. Ultimately, no linear progression is really inherent in this pattern&emdash;it is rather an ultra dimensional model. Therefore, intuition may be each runester's best guide.


Niflheim: Nordhr (North). That which resists you. Passive or restrictive influences from the outside. Things tending toward dormancy. The deepest part of the shadow in the unconscious. Nifelhel of Niflheim means literally "fog world". Fog is an intangible, insidious state between water and air. All the rejects of the conscious get deposited here. It is the place from which conflicts originate. Jotunheim: Austr (East). That which confuses you. That which may be left to chance. Forces pressing for change. Realm of crisis. Disruptive, raw masculine forces of the unconscious; the destructive male urge; the chaotic part of the self. Åsgard: Landnordhr (Northeast). Higher influences. Nature of relationships with the divinities. The veiled branches of the question. Matters of honor, positive (active) influence from past states of existence ("incarnations:)--ørlög. Individuality. Highest plane. Higher self. Spirituality. Vanaheim: Vestr (West). Promotes growth. Erotic relationships. Persons of the opposite sex. Balancing influences. Forces of continuity, structure, and well being. Feeling (Water). Ljóssálfheim: Utnordhr (Northwest). Mental influences. Family matters. Messages of Huginn&emdash;directions in which you should plan. What will help you. Paths to help you realize influences from Àsgardhr. (Air). Plants, elves, tree spirits and birds are ruled over by Freyr, Lord of the Vanir. Midgard: Center. The way people come together to manifest themselves in life. The outcome in life. Ego consciousness. The Personality, Ego Consciousness or Lower self. Hel: Utsudhr (Southwest). Hidden or suppressed instinctual desires. Nature of automatic functions or behaviors. The hidden route of the question. Negative (passive, restrictive) influence from pasts states of existence&emdash;ørlög. Destructive part of the Feminine, hidden fourth aspect of the moon; the devouring part of the mother; the half-alive half-dead daughter of Loki, half black, half white. Svartálfheim: Landsudhr (Southeast). Creative emotional influences. Money matters. Messages from Muninn&emdash;things you should reflect on. Paths


to realize influence from Hel. Sensation (Earth). The Dark Elves are smiths, like Volund, working with minerals, taking base materials from the earth and transmuting them into higher materials. Muspellsheim: Sudhr (South). State of vial energies, that which vitalizes you. Active influences from outside. Things tending toward activity.

The Blank Rune by Persephone

You may have picked up a book about runes or purchased a rune set that includes a "blank rune", "Odin Rune" or "Wyrd Rune". This is a very strong clue that author is not an authority on runes. There is no historical evidence that runemasters of old ever used a blank rune. It's self-evident because a rune is a symbol, not the token that carries it. Have you ever seen a blank symbol? Of course not, that's an oxymoron. In runic writing, a space, a single dot (.) or two dots (:) may break the symbols or words. Sometimes no break was used and the rune symbols all run together. Runic writing can run from left to right, or from right to left; some times even from top to bottom or the opposite. It makes interpretation of runic writing difficult, especially since runic symbols and the languages changed over the years. Even the futharks changed over time. This is why ancient runic inscriptions are often often obscure or may be interpreted several ways. What follows is a "nid rune", a harsh magical script curse, that demonstrates the breaks. Regardless of the language used, or the futhark used, or the style of writing


used, no one ever used a "blank" rune. We can thank Ralph Bum and his commercially popular but historically inaccurate Book of Runes for the introduction of the "blank rune" in the 1980's. While Blum's books are the most readily available rune books found in bookstores, use of his flawed interpretations reveal the user as a novice and lacking in knowledge of true runelore. If you've bought one of his books or another of similar ilk, keep the runeset (and save the blank one in case you lose another) but toss the book in the trash and get one of the books I've recommended instead. Click here for Recommended Books


Natural Herbal Insecticides by Gossamer Wings

Natural Herbal Insecticides This page is designed to help with bug control safely. Man-made insecticides is burning up the very Earth we hold so dear to our survival. The more that is made, the more the bugs become immune. Then man makes stronger pesticides. We eat these pesticides in and on our food, we drink water from the run offs that are seeping into the ground. And at this time there is more health problems then there ever has been. It tends to make you wonder!


DEWORMING CONCOCTION This is an old time remedy for deworming dogs and cats. Use full amount on dogs and 1/4 amount on cats. Mix one teaspoon of dried, powdered rosemary and one teaspoon of wormwood with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground garlic. Mix well and divide into 4 portions. Give pet a portion mixed in with food or pet treat four times a day. Repeat this for 3 days and pet should be completely dewormed House and Garden Natural Insecticide 2 tablespoons liquid soap 1 quart water Spray bottle Mix soap and water; add to spray bottle; spray plants evenly, aiming directly at pests whenever possible. All-Purpose Insecticide 1 bulb of garlic 1 small onion 1 tablespoon cayenne (red) pepper 2 tablespoons liquid soap 1 quart water Spray bottle Finely chop onion and garlic; mix with tap water; add cayenne pepper; let sit for one hour, then add soap. Mix well. When foam subsides, strain into spray bottle. Keep refrigerated. Good for 1-2 weeks.


Special Pest Treatments Ants Use boric acid, talcum powder, or chalk as a barrier along the line of entry. Snails and Slugs Fill a shallow pan with flat beer and place in the infested area. Roaches Set out a dish containing equal parts sugar and baking soda. Roaches are attracted to sugar, and baking soda is deadly to them. Fleas Orange peels Grapefruit peels 3 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon rosemary, (optional) 1 pint water Combine ingredients in blender; blend until liquified. Heat mixture on low heat for 15 minutes. Strain liquid into spray bottle. Spray on pet, and massage thoroughly into your pet's coat, avoiding their eyes. Note: Feed your pet brewers yeast and garlic, as a diet supplement. Vacuum furniture and carpet frequently (store vacuum outside of home--in shed or garage--during problem periods); clean your pet's favorite sleeping spots regularly and sprinkle with fennel, rue or rosemary. .


THE SAFE INSTANT KILL INSECTICIDE The most effective insecticide that instantly kills flying and crawling insects on contact but does no harm to mammals or birds is the dried and crushed flowers of the Pyrethrum Plant. This brown powder will kill or stun the insects the moment it touches them but does no harm to pets when sprinkled on their coats. This member of the daisy family is a beautiful ornamental and will compliment any garden or flower bed. While very effective, the dried powder only lasts for a few days. You can prolong its use throughout the year by freezing fresh flower heads in zip-lock bags and drying and crushing them as needed Cedar Oil Try a cedar oil spray. I get it at PetSmart & use it on the dogs, cats & kids - it may seem a bit pricey but one bottle lasts for awhile. There may be another source for it among herbal shops, natural food stores, etc. One tip for anyone using it for fleas - it's a REPELLANT and works best if used before you see any fleas. If you've already got fleas, the same company makes a shampoo. Rubbing Alcohol I found out many years ago, when I was a young teenager, that just splashing plain rubbing alcohol on me and allowing it to dry would deter mosquitoes from biting me. I am allergic to mosquito bites and develop huge welts everywhere they bite me. With the alcohol, they never bit me. And once it dries, it leaves a pleasant odor on the skin, not repugnant at all. Thought this might help. And it only costs less than 50 cents a bottle!


Vaporub This is going to floor you, but one of the best insect repellents I have found and I am in the woods every day, is Vick's Vaporub. I rub it on my pants and legs to ward off ticks. If you can tolerate the smell it's pretty good. Marigolds in the Yard There are several things to do when trying to protect yourself and kids from those nasty bugs in the yard during the summer. One thing to do is plant marigolds around the yard, the flowers give off a smell that bugs do not like, so plant some in that garden also to help ward off bugs without using insecticides. Try putting a bounce dryer sheet on your belt or in your sock, the sheet will mask your smell and ward off the bugs. Marine's Choice I don't know how "organic" you want to go, or if it's just DEET you're trying to avoid. But here in Jacksonville, NC, home of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, our "tough guy" Marines who spend a great deal of time "camping out" say that the very best mosquito repellent you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol. I've tried it, and I have to admit it works just as well if not better than the commercial sprays. Actually, I just saw an ad on TV this week for Avon's own Skin-So-Soft insect repellent. I'm assuming it's made about the same way -- but it may turn out to be less expensive in the long run to mix your own. An added plus -- it smells great too.


Homemade Recipe

20 drops Eucalyptus oil 20 drops Cedarwood oil 10 drops Tea Tree oil 10 drops Geranium oil 2 oz. carrier oil ( such as Jojoba ) Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities . Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.

Vanilla One of the best natural insect repellents that I've discovered is made from the clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol). This is the pure vanilla that is sold in Mexico. It's cheap there if you know of someone that lives there or in the US close to the border. If not, health food stores usually carry it or can order it for you. I use it half vanilla and half water and find that it works great for mosquitoes and ticks, don't know about other insects.


It's nice that you don't smell like a chemical plant but a cookie! I cannot use chemical insecticides, so I love the way this works and I hope you and your kids will also.

Moth Balls

To the person who needed natural insect repellent. This is not natural but if you put out moth ball in the yard where children can't find them, they are great for mosquito. Or make a mixture of 1part baby powder, 1 part flower of sulfur(found at drug stores), 1 part cornstarch. Mix in a ziploc bag, sprinkle on the ground. Repels most bugs.

from HGTV I am testing a preparation suggested by HGTV's Paul James. "Finely chop a dozen garlic cloves into 4 ounces of mineral oil. Soak for a day or 2, strain it and add 4 drops of dishwasher liquid. Dilute with half cup of water and pour into sprayer." I used a coffee filter to strain it (sort of messy) and it smells out loud. So far I have used it on two plants and it appears non-damaging. Incidentally, I planted garlic cloves next to each rose bush and that appears to have repelled insects. That is a widely known practice, I gather. Incidentally, I use old soap and garden spray bottles with no harmful residue.


Catnip Concoction Make your own by filling a quart jar with some herbs from the mint family - catnip, spearmint, pennyroyal and then cover with apple cider vinegar. Shake twice a day for 2 weeks. Strain and either rub on or spray on.

Lavender Oil I just read about a pleasant solution, though, that worked for me last weekend in the mountains (lots of biting bugs, but they pretty much left me alone.) Use lavender oil, and dab it on your pulse points (I used it on my wrists, behind my ears, temples, behind my knees, and on my ankles). Smells wonderful, but apparently the insects don't think so. Bug-Proof Your Yard There are many insect repellents that contain 'pyrethum' which is actually a natural extract of the marigold plant. It is very safe for use around children and pets but it is quite expensive. You may also want to regularly spray your plants and grass with a soap and water solution. This will have 3 effects: 1) it will dehydrate most bugs and kill them without chemicals, 2) it will help to keep your grass and plants clean of pollution and make them healthier and 3) it will soften your soil which mean you won't have to water as much. Use a hose-end sprayer filled with 1 cup of any cheap dishwashing soap for your grass or 1 tablespoon of soap in a hand-held sprayer for your plants.


THE GREAT MOSQUITO REPELLENT Mosquitoes are very sensitive to certain scents, Chamomile and Citriodora especially. Both are easy to grow and both are used in dry flower arrangements. Citriodora is also used in potpourri. To make The Great Mosquito Repellent, take one oz. of green leaves from both plants and boil in a gallon of water. Strain and place in the refrigerator. Before going outside, splash the mixture liberally over your face and exposed parts of your body. You will enjoy the fresh, citrus smell but the mosquitoes will stay far away. TOBACCO DUST. This dust is ideal for making a great natural pesticide. Mix 1/8 oz. of tobacco dust with one tablespoon of black pepper and one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Simply apply as you would a chemical pesticide. This dust is also very effective sprinkled around the base of plants. Paint Sticks. To repels bugs from your plants, Pick up paint sticks from your paint store. You can get them for free. Spray paint them florescent yellow. Then spray them with a spray adhesive. Put near all your plants. The bugs will be attracted to the color, they will fly or crawl on the sticks and get stuck!


Beauty By: Andrew

Beauty is grace, & elegance, It is that of perfection, Dancing within the mind & heart, It is our inner essence, Radiating throughout time, In perfect union, with what is before us, It is as a spring flower blossoming at first light, Opening gracefully, for all to see,


And ever changing, becoming fuller & brighter with each passing day. It is what captivates the soul, And brings tears of joy, And fills you with tranquility. Such is the beauty shared between two lovers, Filled with passion, & love that is never ending, For this is the one true beauty that last for all time eternal.

DREAMING OF A SHOOTING STAR By: Andrew Dreaming of a full moon nite, And a warm soft gentle breeze, Embracing the one that I love, As the moon, & stars shine down a pawn us, Kindling our hearts & fueling our love, Just waiting for the first shooting star to make a wish, That this nite will last forever, & our love sealed for all eternity, With our kiss the heavens shine bright, The moon & stars illuminate us with there light, The inner glow within pulsates, as time stands still, The beat of our hearts is as one,


Our breath is in harmony, As we look into each others eyes, We see our love reflected within each other, And for the first time we see, That our souls are as one, Pulsating with each passionate kiss, I do not wish to let go, As tears start to glisten, & fall gently down, For I know soon I will awake, And my heart will yearn to be back in your arms, Wishing a pawn that shooting star, That this dream will become alive, And you'll be there in my arms with the moon & stars.

MY ANGEL By: Andrew (This is dedicated to My Pristine Angel & Mistress Muse) When I look a pawn you I see what true beauty is, You are perfect in every way, Your heart is so pure, That one weeps tears of joy, Your voice is that of an angel, That brings the hardest of souls to there knees, For your soft spoken words fills them with harmony,


And gives there souls new life, Your inner beauty is an endless sea of splendor, Full of fiery passion, That knows no limit, Given so freely to those you love, The sun moon and stars are just a glimmer of light, For your soul shines with such brilliance, Filling are hearts with light, And guiding our way. You are the true state of perfection, For no other can compare, Such beauty and love, For you are my true angels! And one that is truly Divine!


CUPID AND PSYCHE by: Josephine Preston Peabody (1874-1922) The following short story is reprinted from Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew. Josephine Preston Peabody. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1897. Once upon a time, through that Destiny that overrules the gods, Love himself gave up his immortal heart to a mortal maiden. And thus it came to pass. There was a certain king who had three beautiful daughters. The two elder married princes of great renown; but Psyche, the youngest, was so radiantly fair that no suitor seemed worthy of her. People thronged to see her pass through the city, and sang hymns in her praise, while strangers took her for the very goddess of beauty herself.


This angered Venus, and she resolved to cast down her earthly rival. One day, therefore, she called hither her son Love (Cupid, some name him), and bade him sharpen his weapons. He is an archer more to be dreaded than Apollo, for Apollo's arrows take life, but Love's bring joy or sorrow for a whole life long. "Come, Love," said Venus. "There is a mortal maid who robs me of my honors in yonder city. Avenge your mother. Wound this precious Psyche, and let her fall in love with some churlish creature mean in the eyes of all men." Cupid made ready his weapons, and flew down to earth invisibly. At that moment Psyche was asleep in her chamber; but he touched her heart with his golden arrow of love, and she opened her eyes so suddenly that he started (forgetting that he was invisible), and wounded himself with his own shaft. Heedless of the hurt, moved only by the loveliness of the maiden, he hastened to pour over her locks the healing joy that he ever kept by him, undoing all his work. Back to her dream the princess went, unshadowed by any thought of love. But Cupid, not so light of heart, returned to the heavens, saying not a word of what had passed. Venus waited long; then, seeing that Psyche's heart had somehow escaped love, she sent a spell upon the maiden. From that time, lovely as she was, not a suitor came to woo; and her parents, who desired to see her a queen at least, made a journey to the Oracle, and asked counsel. Said the voice: "The princess Psyche shall never wed a mortal. She shall be given to one who waits for her on yonder mountain; he overcomes gods and men." At this terrible sentence the poor parents were half distraught, and the people gave themselves up to grief at the fate in store for their beloved princess. Psyche alone bowed to her destiny. "We have angered Venus


unwittingly," she said, "and all for sake of me, heedless maiden that I am! Give me up, therefore, dear father and mother. If I atone, it may be that the city will prosper once more." So she besought them, until, after many unavailing denials, the parents consented; and with a great company of people they led Psyche up the mountain,--as an offering to the monster of whom the Oracle had spoken,--and left her there alone. Full of courage, yet in a secret agony of grief, she watched her kindred and her people wind down the mountain-path, too sad to look back, until they were lost to sight. Then, indeed, she wept, but a sudden breeze drew near, dried her tears, and caressed her hair, seeming to murmur comfort. In truth, it was Zephyr, the kindly West Wind, come to befriend her; and as she took heart, feeling some benignant presence, he lifted her in his arms, and carried her on wings as even as a sea-gull's, over the crest of the fateful mountain and into a valley below. There he left her, resting on a bank of hospitable grass, and there the princess fell asleep. When she awoke, it was near sunset. She looked about her for some sign of the monster's approach; she wondered, then, if her grievous trial had been but a dream. Near by she saw a sheltering forest, whose young trees seemed to beckon as one maid beckons to another; and eager for the protection of the dryads, she went thither. The call of running waters drew her farther and farther, till she came out upon an open place, where there was a wide pool. A fountain fluttered gladly in the midst of it, and beyond there stretched a white palace wonderful to see. Coaxed by the bright promise of the place, she drew near, and, seeing no one, entered softly. It was all kinglier than her father's home, and as she stood in wonder and awe, soft airs stirred about her. Little by little the silence grew murmurous like the woods, and one voice, sweeter than the rest, took words. "All that you see is yours, gentle high princess," it said. "Fear nothing; only command us, for we are here to serve you."


Full of amazement and delight, Psyche followed the voice from hall to hall, and through the lordly rooms, beautiful with everything that could delight a young princess. No pleasant thing was lacking. There was even a pool, brightly tiled and fed with running waters, where she bathed her weary limbs; and after she had put on the new and beautiful raiment that lay ready for her, she sat down to break her fast, waited upon and sung to by the unseen spirits. Surely he whom the Oracle had called her husband was no monster, but some beneficent power, invisible like all the rest. When daylight waned he came, and his voice, the beautiful voice of a god, inspired her to trust her strange destiny and to look and long for his return. Often she begged him to stay with her through the day, that she might see his face; but this he would not grant. "Never doubt me, dearest Psyche," said he. "Perhaps you would fear if you saw me, and love is all I ask. There is a necessity that keeps me hidden now. Only believe." So for many days Psyche was content; but when she grew used to happiness, she thought once more of her parents mourning her as lost, and of her sisters who shared the lot of mortals while she lived as a goddess. One night she told her husband of these regrets, and begged that her sisters at least might come to see her. He sighed, but did not refuse. "Zephyr shall bring them hither," said he. And on the following morning, swift as a bird, the West Wind came over the crest of the high mountain and down into the enchanted valley, bearing her two sisters. They greeted Psyche with joy and amazement, hardly knowing how they had come hither. But when this fairest of the sisters led them through her palace and showed them all the treasures that were hers, envy grew in their hearts and choked their old love. Even while they sat at feast with her, they grew more and more bitter; and hoping to find some little flaw in her good fortune, they asked a thousand questions.


"Where is your husband?" said they. "And why is he not here with you?" "Ah," stammered Psyche. "All the day long--he is gone, hunting upon the mountains." "But what does he look like?" they asked; and Psyche could find no answer. When they learned that she had never seen him, they laughed her faith to scorn. "Poor Psyche," they said. "You are walking in a dream. Wake, before it is too late. Have you forgotten what the Oracle decreed,--that you were destined for a dreadful creature, the fear of gods and men? And are you deceived by this show of kindliness? We have come to warn you. The people told us, as we came over the mountain, that your husband is a dragon, who feeds you well for the present, that he may feast the better, some day soon. What is it that you trust? Good words! But only take a dagger some night, and when the monster is asleep go, light a lamp, and look at him. You can put him to death easily, and all his riches will be yours--and ours." Psyche heard this wicked plan with horror. Nevertheless, after her sisters were gone, she brooded over what they had said, not seeing their evil intent; and she came to find some wisdom in their words. Little by little, suspicion ate, like a moth, into her lovely mind; and at nightfall, in shame and fear, she hid a lamp and a dagger in her chamber. Towards midnight, when her husband was fast asleep, up she rose, hardly daring to breathe; and coming softly to his side, she uncovered the lamp to see some horror. But there the youngest of the gods lay sleeping,--most beautiful, most irresistible of all immortals. His hair shone golden as the sun, his face was radiant as dear Springtime, and from his shoulders sprang two rainbow wings. Poor Psyche was overcome with self-reproach. As she leaned towards him, filled with worship, her trembling hands held the lamp ill, and some burning oil fell upon Love's shoulder and awakened him.


He opened his eyes, to see at once his bride and the dark suspicion in her heart. "O doubting Psyche!" he exclaimed with sudden grief,--and then he flew away, out of the window. Wild with sorrow, Psyche tried to follow, but she fell to the ground instead. When she recovered her senses, she stared about her. She was alone, and the place was beautiful no longer. Garden and palace had vanished with Love. Over mountains and valleys Psyche journeyed alone until she came to the city where her two envious sisters lived with the princes whom they had married. She stayed with them only long enough to tell the story of her unbelief and its penalty. Then she set out again to search for Love. As she wandered one day, travel-worn but not hopeless, she saw a lofty palace on a hill near by, and she turned her steps thither. The place seemed deserted. Within the hall she saw no human being,--only heaps of grain, loose ears of corn half torn from the husk, wheat and barley, alike scattered in confusion on the floor. Without delay, she set to work binding the sheaves together and gathering the scattered ears of corn in seemly wise, as a princess would wish to see them. While she was in the midst of her task, a voice startled her, and she looked up to behold Demeter herself, the goddess of the harvest, smiling upon her with good will. "Dear Psyche," said Demeter, "you are worthy of happiness, and you may find it yet. But since you have displeased Venus, go to her and ask her favor. Perhaps your patience will win her pardon." These motherly words gave Psyche heart, and she reverently took leave of the goddess and set out for the temple of Venus. Most humbly she offered up her prayer, but Venus could not look at her earthly beauty without anger. "Vain girl," said she, "perhaps you have come to make amends for the


wound you dealt your husband; you shall do so. Such clever people can always find work!" Then she led Psyche into a great chamber heaped high with mingled grain, beans, and lintels (the food of her doves), and bade her separate them all and have them ready in seemly fashion by night. Hercules would have been helpless before such a vexatious task; and poor Psyche, left alone in this desert of grain, had not courage to begin. But even as she sat there, a moving thread of black crawled across the floor from a crevice in the wall; and bending nearer, she saw that a great army of ants in columns had come to her aid. The zealous little creatures worked in swarms, with such industry over the work they like best, that, when Venus came at night, she found the task completed. "Deceitful girl," she cried, shaking the roses out of her hair with impatience, "this is my son's work, not yours. But he will soon forget you. Eat this black bread if you are hungry, and refresh your dull mind with sleep. To-morrow you will need more wit." Psyche wondered what new misfortune could be in store for her. But when morning came, Venus led her to the brink of a river, and, pointing to the wood across the water, said, "Go now to yonder grove where the sheep with the golden fleece are wont to browse. Bring me a golden lock from every one of them, or you must go your ways and never come back again." This seemed not difficult, and Psyche obediently bade the goddess farewell, and stepped into the water, ready to wade across. But as Venus disappeared, the reeds sang louder and the nymphs of the river, looking up sweetly, blew bubbles to the surface and murmured: "Nay, nay, have a care, Psyche. This flock has not the gentle ways of sheep. While the sun burns aloft, they are themselves as fierce as flame; but when the shadows are long, they go to rest and sleep, under the trees; and you may cross the river without fear and pick the golden fleece off the briers in the pasture." Thanking the water-creatures, Psyche sat down to rest near them, and when the time came, she crossed in safety and followed their counsel. By


twilight she returned to Venus with her arms full of shining fleece. "No mortal wit did this," said Venus angrily. "But if you care to prove your readiness, go now, with this little box, down to Proserpina and ask her to enclose in it some of her beauty, for I have grown pale in caring for my wounded son." It needed not the last taunt to sadden Psyche. She knew that it was not for mortals to go into Hades and return alive; and feeling that Love had forsaken her, she was minded to accept her doom as soon as might be. But even as she hastened towards the descent, another friendly voice detained her. "Stay, Psyche, I know your grief. Only give ear and you shall learn a safe way through all these trials." And the voice went on to tell her how one might avoid all the dangers of Hades and come out unscathed. (But such a secret could not pass from mouth to mouth, with the rest of the story.) "And be sure," added the voice, "when Proserpina has returned the box, not to open it, however much you may long to do so." Psyche gave heed, and by this device, whatever it was, she found her way into Hades safely, and made her errand known to Proserpina, and was soon in the upper world again, wearied but hopeful. "Surely Love has not forgotten me," she said. "But humbled as I am and worn with toil, how shall I ever please him? Venus can never need all the beauty in this casket; and since I use it for Love's sake, it must be right to take some." So saying, she opened the box, heedless as Pandora! The spells and potions of Hades are not for mortal maids, and no sooner had she inhaled the strange aroma than she fell down like one dead, quite overcome. But it happened that Love himself was recovered from his wound, and he had secretly fled from his chamber to seek out and rescue Psyche. He found her lying by the wayside; he gathered into the casket what remained


of the philter, and awoke his beloved. "Take comfort," he said, smiling. "Return to our mother and do her bidding till I come again." Away he flew; and while Psyche went cheerily homeward, he hastened up to Olympus, where all the gods sat feasting, and begged them to intercede for him with his angry mother. They heard his story and their hearts were touched. Zeus himself coaxed Venus with kind words till at last she relented, and remembered that anger hurt her beauty, and smiled once more. All the younger gods were for welcoming Psyche at once, and Hermes was sent to bring her hither. The maiden came, a shy newcomer among those bright creatures. She took the cup that Hebe held out to her, drank the divine ambrosia, and became immortal. Light came to her face like moonrise, two radiant wings sprang from her shoulders; and even as a butterfly bursts from its dull cocoon, so the human Psyche blossomed into immortality. Love took her by the hand, and they were never parted any more.


9 year old outsmarts captor A 9-year-old girl is getting credit for her quick thinking and for speaking up after managing to escape from her alleged kidnapper last week. Calysta Cordova was reported missing Thursday afternoon by her mother when she didn't come home from school. Authorities believed she was abducted on her walk home and issued an Amber Alert. "My baby girl always walks through my door at 3:21 p.m. I noticed something was wrong, when she was nine minutes late...I called everyone, I panicked," said Steven Ryno, Calysta's stepfather. "We must find her, that was the main thing that was kicking through our head. It is getting late, it is getting dark, it is getting cold, and I know my baby is hungry," said Ryno, recounting the incident. Calysta was found safe Friday at the Circle K convenience store in Colorado Springs, according to ABC News' Denver affiliate KMGH. Colorado Springs


police spokeswoman Barbara Miller told KMGH that authorities believe Calysta was in a car with 29-year-old suspect Jose Garcia when the car broke down. A passerby picked them up and drove them to the Circle K convenience store, police said. There, Calysta ran into the store and asked for a phone, saying she wanted to call her uncle. Instead, she called 911. When asked how she found the strength to do what she did, Calysta said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," that she "got my fight from Daddy." Calysta said her father taught her "to stand up for myself." "She had two black eyes, bruises on her cheek," witness Efrin Villapondo told KMGH. "She was in bad shape. The bruise on her face was enormous." When Garcia entered the store, Calysta defiantly refused to go anywhere with him, yelling, "I'm not going anywhere with you. I'm waiting for my mom," according to police. "She looked at me, pointed into my eyes and just said, 'I ain't going nowhere. I'm waiting right here for my momma. I looked at the guy, he looked at me, into my eyes, spun around and just high-tailed it out of there," said Efrin Villapando, a witness. Garcia took off on foot before police arrived. Calysta was transported to Memorial Hospital to be treated for her injuries. Garcia was found at a bus stop in downtown Colorado Springs, about 7.5 miles south of the convenience store where they had been dropped off. KMGH was on-scene when Calysta's mother Stephanie Cordova discovered her daughter had been found safe. As the family shrieked and cried with joy, Cordova took a moment to thank all the family's supporters. "Thank God. Thank you for everybody who watched, who kept an eye out for my daughter and brought her home," Cordova said, crying. "Thank you for your kindness, for putting yourselves in our shoes and bringing my daughter home."


When did we stop caring? Is it just me or does it seem that our country is spiraling completely out of control and that most people have just quit caring. New laws are being passed that take our very freedoms away, new laws are making the internet no longer a place for a open mind and the freedom to post our opinions with out fear of being labeled anti-government or worse the now infamous "T" word which I will not use. It seems that most people just don't care or believe what there local news and world news tells them to be fact, or when the do take the time to read a document will take it at face value or when they see something underlined and in bold print but ignore what is written right after where it says as of section such and such, for if they would have read it they would have saw that what was in bold and underlined was not true. We live in a day of age were we can research all these things, but even that is com8ing to an end with the new laws that are trying to stop such things, and yes I know SOPA & PIPA was


defeated but there was one that wasn't and that is just now getting media attention (ACTA) but has been in place since OCT 2011 funny that didn't get media attention at all. Just this morning Jan 27, 2012 TWITER announced it was changing it's privacy and censorship policies stating that it will now remove any tweet's that violate that countries law's that it offers it services too. Just another way to control what is being posted by people to prevent the truth of what is going on, just look at last year some of the major events that happened we found out and learned about it through tweet's post to youtube and facebook. Now what happens when a country says it doesn't want that posted for it violates their laws? How will people see the truth or see that there loved ones are ok? This is what happens when we stop caring and are not doing research into the things we vote for or what is in a bill that is being passed. How many tries in the last 6 months has there been to make pagan's a second class religion? There is already laws in policies in some states that already do this but because it is directed and a certain group of pagans and not the other's no one seems to give a damn, but what you fail to realize is that these laws are now LAW and be used to make others to do the same for all the rest and in a court of law that holds ground for there is one in place that can be argued to justify it. I wonder how many people out there will even read this and even care or will they just continue to believe this things aren't happening even when it is happen right infront of them.....


With in the next few months we have some major bills that will once more be back in front of congress that will have a major affect on all of us. As we enter the 2nd month of 2012 we have come to see a government that is out of control and have seen bills passed that violate our very liberties and constitutional rights and as this year has gone on, our very rights to freedom of speech is under attack and what we can say on the internet and now the threat of another country infringing on what you can say on the internet to the point of having your sites shut down or being able to have your internet access from you net provider terminated which falls under ACTA and is considered a treaty that many nations signed and so many of these things have come about while so called other major issues or major focus on elections as been used more of a smoke screen as these bills are brought infront of congress without many people even knowing about that them till they have been passed. We should all be very concerned with the tax and unemployment bill that will once more be back in congress this month and Obamacare set to follow, these two issues can break us if we do not speak up and if we fail to pay attention


especially the Obamacare for that is so unethical and basically gives the government the right to say who has the right to live or die and what social classes has access to what kind of care, if you are over 70 and have a stroke or aneurysm you will not be covered under Obamacare, or even our young kids that have mental illnesses may not be covered based on your social class or the seriousness of the illness. I want everyone to check this out A Neurosurgeon from Chicago called in to the Mark Levin show and made it public that they were being told these very things and how panels will be set up to say who is eligible for what, basically who has the right to live or die, who can afford what and what they will be entitled to under that coverage. Here is the Link check it out for your selves . My question is what gives you the right to make such laws, your not God, nor do you have the right to say that because I don't have a job or income that you can fine me for not having insurance and that I will receive no care because I don't have it and now I have to pay a fine and get coverage. Sounds like social genocide to me, just away to get rid of the poor and make sure the middle class never makes enough to be able to do anything or have any rights because they are not millionaires. All these new laws that have been passed or are coming before congress such as Obomacare, ACTA, NDAA(which has been passed), and the tax and unemployment bills are just another form of social and economic genocide. It is time we start paying attention and voicing what we think and what we want. They are put into office to represent us and what we want not what the rich want or what will better line there pockets, when is enough enough when you can no longer get the health care you need and you can no longer speak freely about these very issues, well that time is almost at hand. So it is time for us to wake up and for us to start using there voices..


King of Devils Island

There is no way that the filmmakers of this Norwegian escape drama could have known that its eventual U.S. release would have such heavy resonance, opening a week after the aftershocks of the Penn State sex scandal, where higher ups allegedly covered up and failed to report child sexual abuse. The film’s authority figure-as-sexual predator and the denial of his actions by authorities are the most egregious example of the film’s many piled-on injustices. It’s also the main linchpin that


nearly topples a house of cards, a draconian correctional facility for problem boys isolated on frigid Bastoy Island off the mainland—and sealed off from scrutiny. It could be Boys Town goes to hell (there’s no one like Spencer Tracy in sight). Based on real events, the script, set in 1915, shapes the story as a prison breakout film. The campus even looks like a penitentiary, with a separate building for solitary confinement set apart from the main buildings. King of Devil’s Island joins the scrappy brotherhood of other European prison dramas, like A Prophet and Cell 211. What was once a hard-boiled American staple has recently been vigorously reinterpreted abroad, each with its own temperament and sociological backdrop. The moment a hardened stone-faced teenaged Erling (Benjamin Helstad) steps foot on the island, the film puts him steadily through his paces. Erling already has bruises from his detention by the police, and at first, we don’t know why he has been sentenced there. Most of the other kids have committed petty crimes, but by the stares that greet him, we at least know his crime was much more serious. In his first meeting with the school’s governor (the aloofly sinister Stellan Skarsgard), he’s told that the school’s mission is to mold the boys into honorable, humble, and useful Christians. For Erling, a former harpooner on a whaling ship, the governor uses a metaphor to warn him of any misbehavior, “This island is my ship,” and from now on, Erling will be called by his assigned name, C19. Though there is educational and religious instruction, most of the boy’s time is devoted to manual labor. Immediately, the film gets down to business—Erling attempts an escape. If the key ingredient to any prison-breakout movie is that you want to root for the escapees, no matter their pasts, then King effortlessly achieves this, and not only because the convict-like characters are baby-faced boys. Through the terse dialogue, we know that Erling is the rebel; the blond Olav (Trond Nilssen), the captain of Erling’s barracks, the teacher’s pet; and big-eared, wide-eyed Ivar (Magnus Langlete) a victim. (The sexual abuse is off screen, and the film’s much more effective for it.) The cast wisely underplay their


roles—avoiding archetypes—leaving the visceral reactions to the audience under Marius Holst’s crisp and clear direction. Holst also offers solid proof that the 3-D format is just one way to create a tactile film-going experience. The boys’ visible breath practically drifts out of the screen, whether they are cutting down trees in the snow (just one of their menial chores) or packed inside their barracks. He also has a great sense of compositions that never upstage the actors. Best of all, the movie saves the most tense action sequence for last, a chase scene that would have made D. W. Griffith proud: careful on the ice. Directed by Marius Holst Produced by Karin Julsrud, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Ewa Puszczynska, Mathilde Dedye & Johannes Ahlund Written by Dennis Magnusson Released by Film Movement Norwegian with English subtitles Norway/France/Sweden/Poland. 115 min. Not rated With Stellan Skarsgard, Benjamin Helstad, Kirstoffer Joner, Trond Nilssen, Ellen Dorrit Petersen & Magnus Langlete


I think this band really say it all on how this year has started off with there songs you don't know (fuck off) and Sell out. For those of you who loved Sublime and No Doubt you will love these guys. There music is diffrent but yet fresh and down to earth, and just makes you want to remember the good time's in life...

BIO Reel Big Fish was one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the mid-’90s success of No Doubt and


Sublime. Like most of their peers, the band was distinguished by their hyperkinetic stage shows, juvenile humor, ironic covers of new wave pop songs, and metallic shards of ska. The group cultivated an underground following that broke into the mainstream in summer 1997, when their single “Sell Out” became a modern rock radio and MTV favorite. Their appearance in the movie “Basketball” as the halftime band also gained them more fans and helped the bands popularity to grow. Still fronted by original lead singer and song writer Aaron Barrett, they continue releasing albums and touring relentlessly, playing more and more countries and bigger venues all over the world. Reel Big Fish recorded its self-released debut album, “Everything Sucks”, in 1995. “Everything Sucks” became a word-of-mouth underground hit in ska-punk and college circles, which gave the band enough leverage to sign with the indie label Mojo Records. The label’s president, Jay Rifkin, and former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila co-produced “Turn the Radio Off”, which marked Reel Big Fish’s first album for Mojo. “Turn the Radio Off” was unleashed in August 1996, and over the next year, the group continually toured in support of the album’s release, expanding their fan base all the while. In spring 1997, the single “Sell Out” began receiving heavy airplay from several influential modern rock stations in the U.S., which soon translated into MTV support for the song’s quirky video. By summer, the song had become a moderate modern rock hit, and the album had charted in the Top 100. In 1998 the song “Take on Me” from the “Basketball” motion picture sound track was released as the promotional single for the movie and once again found the band in regular rotation on rock radio and MTV in the USA. The Album “Why Do They Rock So Hard” followed a year later, once again enlisting Oingo Boingo Bassist John Avila as producer. The album was not as commercially successful but is still regarded by many fans as the bands finest work. The band filmed a music video for “the Set up (You Need This)”, the only single released from this album. The guys wound up on Jive Records in fall 2001 when their current label,


Mojo, was bought by Jive’s parent label, Zomba. Reel Big Fish’s first release for Jive, a more rock-oriented record entitled “Cheer Up!”, appeared in mid-2002. This album was very successful in Europe with the video for the single “Where Have You Been” receiving heavy airplay on many music video channels. The band’s next album, the cynical yet catchy “We’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy”, was issued in April 2005. Touring continued for the rest of the year, and Reel Big Fish happily parted ways with Jive in January 2006, having wished to be dropped from the label since the “Cheer Up!” release. In August 2006, the group self-released a double-disc live CD (along with an accompanying DVD) titled “Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album”. A few months later — and much to the annoyance of the band — Jive issued its own Reel Big Fish album, a best-of compilation entitled “Greatest Hit…and More”. Reel Big Fish received no money from the album’s sales, as Jive Records now owned the rights to the bulk of their songs. The band has urged fans not to buy this album because it was not approved by them and the sound quality is inferior. Nevertheless, the band returned with some new material in February 2007, splitting an EP “Duet All Night Long” with their friends in Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer. “Monkeys for Nothin’ and the Chimps for Free” followed several months later, marking Reel Big Fish’s first full-length studio release since leaving Jive’s roster, and 2009·s “Fame, Fortune and Fornication” found the band covering songs by the likes of Poison, the Eagles, and Tom Petty. The band’s latest release is called “A Best of Us for the Rest of Us”. It includes a 22 song disc of re-recorded hits and classic fan favorites as well as a bonus disc of 14 Acoustic or “SKAcoustic” versions. Reel Big Fish continues to tour non-stop, playing over 250 shows a year to thousands of loyal fans all over the world, gaining more and more underground popularity as the Ska scene continues to flourish.


Up Coming Tours 2/1/12 – Academy – Leeds UK 2/2/12 – Academy 2 – Manchester UK 2/3/12 – Academy – Liverpool UK 2/4/12 – Sub 89 – Reading UK 2/5/12 – Cardiff Uni Solus – Cardiff UK 2/6/12 – Pavilion – Falmouth UK 2/7/12 – Westlands – Yeovil UK 2/8/12 – Hippodrome – Kingston Upon Thames 2/9/12 – Shepherds Bush – London UK 2/10/12 – Haarlem, Holland @ Patronaat 2/11/12 – Dynamo – Eindhoven Netherlands 2/12/12 – Sputnikhalle – Munster Germany 2/13/12 – Knust – Hamburg Germany 2/14/12 – Batschkapp – Frankfurt Germany 2/15/12 – Lucerna Music Box – Prague Czech Rep 2/16/12 – Flex – Vienna Austria 2/17/12 – Milan, Italy @ Leoncavallo 2/18/12 – Roncade,Itlay @ New Age 2/19/12 – Usine – Geneva Swtizerland 2/20/12 – Abart – Zurich Switzerland 2/21/12 – Luxor – Cologne Germany 2/22/12 – Cassipeia – Berlin Germany 2/23/12 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg France 2/24/12 – Boule Noire – Paris France


The Book Of Talismans, Amulets And Zodiacal Gems by William Thomas, Kate Pavitt

I most say this book was a rare find and one that is filled with a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be explored. Each section is a treasure trove of information and very well detailed. It covers a very wide range of cultures and beliefs open you to a deeper understanding of the use of Talismans, Amulets & Zodiacal Gems and to use them or correspondence to be used in making them.


As someone that has been researching and delving deeper into this area I have found that this very book is the key to must of the books out there today. And a very good reference book when you come across conflicts in other books or questions to origins or the proper use. With age come wisdom and this book open it's wisdom to those that read it and seek to understand an ancient practice that is still used today but not fully understood or considered less than important than new age teachings. I give this book 4 1/2 star's out of 5 and is well worth a read but even better if you can find a copy of it to add to your collection.


Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients • 1 cup milk • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract • 1 cup white sugar • 2 tablespoons cinnamon • 4 eggs, beaten


• 1 cup raspberry puree • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened • 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch slices • butter • confectioners' sugar for dusting • nutmeg, for topping Directions 1. In a bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon into the beaten eggs until well blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together raspberry puree and cream cheese until smooth. Make 'sandwiches' by cutting each slice of bread in half and spreading raspberry-cheese mixture in the center, then top with the other half. 2. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet or griddle. Dip bread into egg mixture, coating thoroughly. Cook until well-browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and nutmeg. Serve immediately. Nutritional Information Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast Servings Per Recipe: 6 Amount Per Serving Calories: 622 Total Fat: 18.9g Cholesterol: 157mg Sodium: 706mg Total Carbs: 96.8g Dietary Fiber: 3.6g Protein: 15.8g


Strawberry Schaum Torte

Ingredients • 8 egg whites • 1 tablespoon white vinegar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 2 cups sugar • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream Directions 1. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Beat egg whites, vinegar, vanilla and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. 2. Spread into a greased 10-in. springform pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 65-70 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool (meringue will fall). Serve with strawberries and whipped cream. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


Strawberries Flambeed in Vodka with Hot Ice Cream

Ingredients • 2 large scoops vanilla ice cream, softened • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce • • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1/4 cup white sugar • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries • 2 fluid ounces vodka Directions 1. Stir together the vanilla ice cream and hot pepper sauce in a medium bowl. Place in the freezer until firm. 2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then add the strawberries. Cook, stirring occasionally until the strawberries are hot. Pour the vodka over the berries, and carefully light with a match. Let the flames burn off, then remove the pan from the heat. 3. Scoop the hot ice cream into two bowls, then divide the strawberry vodka sauce between them. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information


Strawberries Flambeed in Vodka with Hot Ice Cream Servings Per Recipe: 2 Amount Per Serving Calories: 379 Total Fat: 15.6g Cholesterol: 45mg Sodium: 45mg Total Carbs: 44.7g Dietary Fiber: 3.3g Protein: 2.3g

Lamb for Lovers "This is a rack of lamb dish with rosemary and mint demi-glace. Serve with oven roasted red potatoes and sauteed green beans amandine. Perfect for Valentine's Day! Buy a seven bone rack of lamb, and have the butcher trim the fat cap and in between the bones for you, and save these trimmings for roasting."

Ingredients • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 (7 bone) racks of lamb, trimmed, fat reserved • salt and pepper to taste


• 4 cloves garlic, minced • 1 large onion, diced • 4 carrots, diced • 1 cup celery tops • 1 cup port wine • 1 cup red wine • 1 (14.5 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth • 5 sprigs fresh spearmint • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary • 1 cup mint apple jelly • 2 tablespoons olive oil • salt and pepper to taste • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 4 sprigs fresh mint Directions 1. To Make Demi-Glace: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, and add trimmings from lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the fat, reduce heat, and add 4 cloves minced garlic, onion, carrots, celery leaves, port, red wine, and chicken broth. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, and simmer on Low 8 hours, or overnight. 2. Strain the slow cooker mixture into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in the spearmint, rosemary, and mint jelly, and simmer, adding more port, wine, or broth as needed, until mixture leaves a syrup-like


coating on the back of a spoon. Strain once more, and keep warm while lamb roasts. 3. To Roast Lamb: Place a cast iron or oven-proof skillet in the oven, and preheat to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Rub lamb with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Coat with panko bread crumbs. 4. Carefully remove the heated skillet from the oven, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet, and sear lamb on both sides. Return the skillet with the lamb to the preheated oven, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes, to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). 5. Pour a small amount of the demi-glace on platter and arrange lamb criss-crossed. Drizzle with more demi-glace, and garnish with fresh mint to serve.

Nutritional Information Lamb for Lovers Servings Per Recipe: 4 Amount Per Serving Calories: 1246 Total Fat: 79.4g Cholesterol: 192mg Sodium: 422mg Total Carbs: 68.4g Dietary Fiber: 3.2g Protein: 45.3g


Featured Articles

Ancient signs discovered by Bliden


THE GIST An ivory board engraved with zodiac signs was found in a cave overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The board dates back more than 2,000 years. An ancient astrologer could have used the board to show the position of the planets, sun and moon at the time of a person's birth. What may be the oldest astrologer's board was discovered in a cave in Croatia. The surviving portion consists of 30 ivory fragments engraved with signs of the zodiac. What may be the oldest astrologer's board was discovered in a cave in Croatia. The surviving portion consists of 30 ivory fragments engraved with signs of the zodiac. Click to enlarge this image. Journal for the History of Astronomy A research team has discovered what may be the oldest astrologer's board, engraved with zodiac signs and used to determine a person's horoscope. Dating back more than 2,000 years, the board was discovered in Croatia, in a cave overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The surviving portion of the board consists of 30 ivory fragments engraved with signs of the zodiac. Researchers spent years digging them up and putting them back together. Inscribed in a Greco-Roman style, they include images of Cancer, Gemini and Pisces. The board fragments were discovered next to a phallic-shaped stalagmite amid thousands of pieces of ancient Hellenistic (Greek style) drinking vessels. An ancient astrologer, trying to determine a person's horoscope, could have used the board to show the position of the planets, sun and moon at the time the person was born. PHOTOS: What Will the Constellations Look Like in 50,000 Years? "What he would show the client would be where each planet is, where the sun is, where the moon is and what are the points on the zodiac that were rising and setting on the horizon at the moment of birth," said Alexander Jones, a


professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. [See Photos of Astrologer's Board] "This is probably older than any other known example," Jones said. "It's also older than any of the written-down horoscopes that we have from the Greco-Roman world," he said, adding, "we have a lot of horoscopes that are written down as a kind of document on papyrus or on a wall but none of them as old as this." Jones and Sta路oForenbaher, a researcher with the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb, reported the discovery in the most recent edition of the Journal for the History of Astronomy. A 'King Tut experience' In 1999, the team was digging near the entrance of the Croatian cave, a site well known to archaeologists and people at the nearby hamlet of Nakovana who simply called it "Spila," which means "the cave," Forenbaher told LiveScience. But what nobody knew at the time was that the cave had a section that had been sealed off more than 2,000 years ago. Forenbaher's girlfriend (now his wife) burrowed through the debris, discovering a wide low passageway that continued in the dark for nearly 33 feet (10 meters). Forenbaher described going through the passageway as "the unique King Tut experience, coming to a place where nobody has been for a couple of thousand years." Stepping into the cavern "there was a very thin limestone crust on the surface that was cracking under your feet when you went in, which meant that nobody walked there in a very, very, long time," Forenbaher said. The team would later determine that it had been sealed off in the first century B.C., possibly in response to a military campaign waged against the local people by the Romans. When the archaeologists investigated they found the phallic-shaped stalagmite, numerous drinking vessels that had been deposited over hundreds of years, and something else. "In the course of that excavation these very tiny bits and pieces of ivory came up," said Forenbaher, "we didn't even realize


what we had at the time." The team went to work. "What followed was years of putting them together, finding more bits and pieces, and figuring out what they were," Forenbaher said. In the end they found themselves staring at the remains of the oldest-known astrologer's board. How did the board wind up in the cave? Archaeologists are not certain how the board came to the cave or where it was originally made. Astrology originated in Babylon far back in antiquity, with the Babylonians developing their own form of horoscopes around 2,400 years ago. Then around 2,100 years ago, astrology spread to the eastern Mediterranean, becoming popular in Egypt, which at the time was under the control of a dynasty of Greek kings. "It gets modified very much into what we think of as the Greek style of astrology, which is essentially the modern style of astrology," Jones said. "The Greek style is the foundation of astrology that goes through the Middle Ages and into modern Europe, modern India (and) so on." Radiocarbon dating shows that the ivory used to create the zodiac images dates back around 2,200 years ago, shortly before the appearance of this new form of astrology. Researchers are not certain where the board was made although Egypt is a possibility. The ivory itself likely came from an elephant that was killed or otherwise died around that time, they suspect. Being a valuable item, the ivory would have been stored for several decades, or even a century, before it was used to construct the zodiac. These signs would then have been attached to a flat (possibly wooden) surface to create the board, which may have included other elements that didn't survive. BLOG: Is Astrology Rubbish? Don't Get Me Started At some point it may have been put on a ship heading through the Adriatic Sea, an important route for commerce that the cave overlooks. The people


who lived in Croatia at the time were called Illyrians. Although ancient writers tended to have a low opinion of them, archaeological evidence suggests that they interacted with nearby Greek colonies and were very much a part of the Mediterranean world. It's possible that an astrologer from one of the Greek colonies came to the cave to give a prediction. A consultation held in the flickering light of the cavern would have been a powerful experience, although perhaps not very convenient for the astrologer. "It doesn't sound like a very practical place for doing the homework for the horoscope like calculating planetary positions," Jones said. [Gallery: Victorian-Era Illustrations of the Heavens] Another possibility is that the Illyrians traded for or stole the astrology board from someone, not fully understanding what it was used for. The board, along with the drinking vessels, would then have been placed as an offering to a deity worshiped in the cave whose identity is unknown. "There is definitely a possibility that this astrologer's board showed up as an offering together with other special things that were either bought or plundered from a passing ship," Forenbaher said. He pointed out that the drinking vessels found in the cave were carefully chosen. They were foreign-made, and only a few examples of cruder amphora storage vessels were found with them. "It almost seems that somebody was bringing out wine there, pouring it and then tossing the amphora away because they [the amphora] were not good enough for the gods, they were not good enough to be deposited in the sanctuary," Forenbaher said. The phallic-shaped stalagmite, which may have grown on the spot naturally, appears to have been a center for these offerings and for rituals performed in the cavern. Forenbaher cautioned that all stalagmites look phallic to some degree and it's difficult to determine what meaning it had to the people in the cave. "It certainly meant something important," he said. "This is a place where things that were valued locally, were deposited to some kind of supernatural power, to some transcendental entity or whatever [it



Herbal Teas: Benefits and Cautions Š 2008 Leonore H. Dvorkin

A newcomer to the wide world of herbal teas might find a perusal of the large selection in any health food store - or even the smaller selection in the average supermarket - a rather bewildering experience. All the boxes are so beautiful! And they all promise such wondrous health benefits! But the variety is dizzying.


What to buy, what to try? And how to know whether there are any hidden dangers lurking in those colorful little boxes? I'll give you a few suggestions here, listing both the benefits and possible dangers of some of the most popular types of herbal tea. Herbal "teas" are actually herbal infusions or tisanes. Tisane is derived from a Greek word meaning a drink made from pearl barley. An herbal "tea" is not true tea, but rather an herbal infusion made from anything other than the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). It can be made by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds, or roots, then letting the mixture steep for a few minutes, then draining off the hot liquid. But in this modern day and age, with so many delectable varieties packaged in handy, sanitary teabags and sold for relatively little money, most city-dwellers prefer to buy their herbal teas in stores or online. There are herbal teas that are mixtures of as many as a dozen or more different ingredients. Some I have in my kitchen right now are Celestial Seasonings' "Tension Tamer" (with 13 ingredients, including peppermint, chamomile, licorice root, and vitamins B6 and B12); the same company's "Mandarin Orange Spice" (with 11 ingredients, including orange peel, hibiscus, rose hips, and coriander); and TAZO's "Wild Sweet Orange" (with 13 ingredients, including lemongrass, blackberry leaves, rose hips, spearmint, rose petals, and orange essence). In my opinion, these are all delicious mixtures, but you might be happier and possibly safer - if you first try herbal mixtures that consist of fewer ingredients. Adverse reactions to some of the components of mixtures are certainly not unknown. Especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking prescription medications, or have known allergies to certain foods or plants, caution and consultation with a physician or pharmacist are advised. Obviously, it's much easier to research the possible side effects of a single


ingredient, such as the chamomile in Traditional Medicinals' "Organic Chamomile," or the four ingredients in the same company's delicious "Ginger Aid" mixture, than it is to seek out the effects of a dozen or more ingredients. Traditional Medicinals is a company that practices responsible marketing. I buy their teas at the local Vitamin Cottage. A side panel of the box clearly states that you should not use chamomile tea if you have known allergies to plants of the Asteraceae (daisy) family, such as blessed thistle, echinacea, safflower, or yarrow. That's because chamomile is closely related to ragweed. It can cause violent reactions in hay fever sufferers, up to and including anaphylactic shock and death! However, for most people, very popular chamomile tea is soothing to both the digestion and the nerves. It is a natural sedative, and can help relieve anxiety and insomnia. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It can help relieve cramps. An exfoliating paste for sensitive skin can be made by mixing the tea with powdered milk. Use cooled chamomile tea bags to make a compress to treat skin irritations and even burns. Reduce puffiness and eye strain by relaxing with cooled teabags over your eyelids. Ginger tea can help relieve feelings of nausea. Thus it's popular with pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness and also with travelers who are prone to motion sickness. I like Traditional Medicinals' "Ginger Aid," which also contains blackberry leaf, stevia leaf, and lemon myrtle leaf. The spiciness of the ginger can be softened a bit by adding a small amount of honey to your cup. Peppermint is another extremely popular herbal tea. Some sources claim that it can relieve stress even better than chamomile. It soothes the stomach after meals, and also freshens the breath. My Denver acupuncturist, Lauren Mathews, recommends it for its cooling properties. A peppermint tea blend that I like is TAZO's "Refresh." Besides peppermint, it contains spearmint and


tarragon. Sometimes I prepare an extra-large mug of hot water and put into it one bag of "Refresh" and one bag of TAZO's "Zen" tea. The latter is a delicious green tea which is flavored with lemon verbena, spearmint, and lemongrass. (Lemongrass also has a calming effect.) "Zen" is the most popular tea that I serve to my many language students. I ran across one mention of rosemary tea as a remedy for headaches. If you are prone to headaches, it's worth a try. Again, a bit of honey can relieve any bitterness. If you have a sore throat or a cough, give one of the popular throat-soothing mixtures a try. Traditional Medicinals' "Throat Coat" is marvelous! Some of its ingredients are licorice root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, and sweet orange peel. Obviously, this short article barely scratches the surface of the very broad topic of herbal teas. I hope you'll do some online research of your own, and then embark on a delicious voyage of discovery.


Featured Member 路OneCrow 路

Thank you so much! I am truly honored!

1. When coming into Pagan UnderWorld community what do enjoy doing first, heading to your favorite group, reading the newest discussion, greeting members, interacting with friends? Answer: I usually go to groups first. Then check out latest activity.


2. Give us an idea of how you came about your beliefs and what you do to express them? Answer: I began to believe at an early age of around twelve, that there was more to explore, and learn from than I was being taught. I started practicing the craft in my twenties, and later began to adopt the Native American beliefs, as my family has Native American roots. The two beliefs, and practices work for me. And go hand in hand. I am a lover.. and protector of animals, and nature. I am an animal empath. I read the Native American Medicine 'Totem' cards. And I celebrate the Sabbats, and do magic when needed. I meditate daily, and smudge my home and myself. 3. Express yourself on yourself! A quote, A prose, A personal belief, An interesting Fact. Answer: I'm not sure how to answer this, I have become an animal advocate/activist, and it has intensified for me in the past four years. I believe that the human race is regressing... not progressing. We hurt our children, the elderly, the animals, and we are destroying this planet. I am only one voice, but if only one person hears me, and then one more hears that one.. and so on, we can make a difference in this world before it is to late. Someone told me a few weeks ago, that I am an advocate for lost causes... I do not believe that! There are no lost causes, only lost opportunities to make a difference! 4. What have been some fascinating things you have come across in one of the Groups you belong to? Answer: I am fascinated with all of the groups here. I especially love the Mysticism group, and the Native American group. I've learned so much from being on this site for these years. I am very grateful! 5. We considered you a good member to feature; this is your chance to voice your opinion on anything you wish.


I think I might have voiced to much above. lol! I am so honored to have this opportunity! I appreciate all of my friends here. And this community is full of knowledge for the taking, and wonderful connections with like minded people. It has been a pleasure to see this site grow, and such an inspiring place to come to everyday. Blessings always! OneCrow


Featured Group

Writers Pen This group are for those that have written a book or want to share their wonderful stories.

Very awesome group for all you talented writer's. It is a group to share and to show off all of your talents, for the pen is mightier than the sword, it can bring a nation to it's knee's or bring peace and hope to those that need it.. So come and share and be apart of something that has always held it's place throughout history.....


The Wolf Den

Spiritual Love and Understanding of the Wolf....

If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys. Chief Dan George Whether you are Blessed with a Wolf Spirit Guide or Helper/Protector or You just have a fascination with Wolves of all kinds from the Beautiful to the Bloody.... Werewolves of all kinds Always Welcome here!!! No one is left out! Ever!!! Every one Welcome!!


Featured Member Articles Fire Element by Porcelain Doll

Fire has been an important part of all cultures and religions from pre-history to modern day and was vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a metaphysical constant of the world.


Greek and Roman tradition, Fire is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness, and passion. In one Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to protect the otherwise helpless humans, but was punished for this charity. The ancient Greeks distinguished the destructive and consumptive (aidelon) fire, associated with Hades, from the creative fire, associated with Hephaestus, the god of metalworking and smithing. Goddess Hekate was called Pyrphoros (Fire-bearing), Pyripnon (Fire-breather), Daidoukhos (Torch-bearer) and Phosphoros (Light-bearer) Fire was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom sought to reduce the cosmos, or its creation, by a single substance. Heraclitus (c. 535 BCE – c. 475 BCE) considered fire to be the most fundamental of all elements. He believed fire gave rise to the other three elements: "All things are an interchange for fire, and fire for all things, just like goods for gold and gold for goods". He had a reputation for obscure philosophical principles and for speaking in riddles. He described how fire gave rise to the other elements as the: "upward-downward path", (···· ··· ····), a "hidden harmony"· or series of transformations he called the "turnings of fire", (····· ······), first into sea, and half that sea into earth, and half that earth into rarefied air. A concept that anticipates both the four classical elements of Empedocles and Aristotle's transmutation of the four elements into one another. This world, which is the same for all, no one of gods or men has made. But it always was and will be: an ever-living fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out. Heraclitus regarded the soul as being a mixture of fire and water, with fire being is the more noble part and water the ignoble aspect. He believed the goal of the soul is to be rid of water and become pure fire: the dry soul is the best and it is worldly pleasures make the soul "moist".[7] He was known as the "weeping philosopher" and died of hydropsy, a swelling due to abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495 - c. 435 BCE), is best known for having selected all elements as his archai and by the time of Plato (427 - 347


BCE), the four Empedoclian elements of were well established. In the Timaeus, Plato's major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid he associated with fire was the tetrahedron which is formed from four triangles and contains the least volume with the greatest surface area. This also makes fire the element with the smallest number of sides, and Plato regarded it as appropriate for the heat of fire, which he felt is sharp and stabbing, (like one of the points of a tetrahedra). Plato’s student Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) did not maintain his former teacher's geometric view of the elements, but rather preferred a somewhat more naturalistic explanation for the elements based on their traditional qualities. Fire the hot and dry element, like the other elements was an abstract principle and not identical with the normal solids, liquids and combustion phenomena we experience: What we commonly call fire. It is not really fire, for fire is an excess of heat and a sort of ebullition; but in reality, of what we call air, the part surrounding the earth is moist and warm, because it contains both vapour and a dry exhalation from the earth. According to Aristotle, the four elements rise or fall toward their natural place in concentric layers surrounding the center of the earth and form the terrestrial or sublunary spheres. In ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element. Yellow bile was the humor identified with fire, since both were hot and dry. Other things associated with fire and yellow bile in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of summer, since it increased the qualities of heat and aridity; the choleric temperament (of a person dominated by the yellow bile humour); the masculine; and the eastern point of the compass. In alchemy the chemical element of sulfur was often associated with fire and its alchemical symbol and its symbol was an upward-pointing triangle. In alchemic tradition, metals are incubated by fire in the womb of the Earth and alchemists only accelerate their development. Indian traditionMain


article: Agni Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. The word agni is Sanskrit for fire (noun), cognate with Latin ignis (the root of English ignite), Russian ogon (fire), pronounced agon. Agni has three forms: fire, lightning and the sun. Agni is one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal. In Indian tradition Fire is also linked to Surya or the Sun and Mangala or Mars, and with the south-east direction. Astrological People born under the astrological signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are thought to have dominant fire personalities. Fire personalities are believed to have good leading qualities, and also tend to be extroverted, rebellious, passionate and enthusiastic, brave and valiant; however, they can also be moody, hot-tempered, snappy, uncontrollable and anger. Ceremonial magic Fire and the other Greek classical elements were incorporated into the Golden Dawn system. Philosophus (4=7) is the elemental grade attributed to fire; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic Sephirah Netzach and the planet Venus. The elemental weapon of fire is the Wand or Dagger. Each of the elements has several associated spiritual beings. The archangel of fire is Michael, the angel is Aral, the ruler is Seraph, the king is Djin, and the fire elementals (following Paracelsus) are called salamanders. Fire is considered to be active; it is represented by the symbol for Leo, and it is referred to the lower right point of the pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Many of these associations have since spread throughout the occult community. Modern witchcraft


Fire is one of the five elements that appear in most Wiccan traditions influenced by the Golden Dawn system of magic, and Aleister Crowley's mysticism, which was in turn inspired by the Golden Dawn.[15] Common Wiccan attributions include: Cardinal direction: South Season: Summer Time of life: Youth Time of day: Noon Elemental being: Salamander Colors: Red and orange Magical tools: Athame and ceremonial dagger Tarot: Wands or Swords in the Minor Arcana. Wands are traditionally associated with fire and still are in most tarot decks, however, increasingly decks are being published with Swords associated with Fire. This is still a matter of debate within the esoteric and Wiccan community.[16] Altar tool: Candle Masculine energy Other: Correspondences include blood, the guitar, rubies and in writing fire is sometimes represented by a red upwards triangle. In rituals, fire is represented in the forms of burning objects, love spells, baking and lighting candles or fires. The manifestations of the element are found in the sun, lightning, volcanoes and lava and all forms of light. Cats of all types, especially the lion and tiger are also thought to personify the element of fire, as are all predatory creatures, such as the fox. Other mythic and legendary creatures of fire include phoenix, European dragon and occasionally the hawk. Other traditions Fire represents the creativity and passion that all intellectual and emotional


beings have. It is an active force that has the passion to create and animate things. The element is also very rational and quick to flare up as is the personality of many fire-children. Fire in many ancient cultures and myths has been known to purify the land with the flames of destruction, however, it is also capable of the renewal of life through the warmth and comfort of those very same flames. The element of fire shows up in mythological stories all across the world, often in stories related to the sun. In East Asia fire is represented by the Vermilion Bird, known as ·· (Zh· Què) in Chinese, Suzaku in Japanese and Ju-jak (··, Hanja:··) in Korean. Fire is represented in the Aztec religion by a flint; to the Native Americans, a mouse; to the Hindu and Islamic faiths, a lightning bolt; to the Scythians, an axe, to the Greeks, an apple-bough; and in Christian iconography, a lion.

Limbo by Hetty

Ok, the way I figure it, we get busy living, really living, or we get busy dying, but sitting in Limbo, is no way to exist. An artist, any kind, seems to be in a constant state of Limbo. But the artist finds a way to live by using that state of melancholy or anxiety to be productive and enjoy their life. I mean, poetry is my outlet. I write such somber, scary, often perverse poetry and it helps me to vent so I am able to be my perky self. So you see, I am not saying that we shouldn’t embrace darkness or have intense feelings. I suppose I am saying that it would be a sign of strength to find an outlet for our feelings instead of moping and letting these feelings make us so close to wanting to die that we don’t live.


The people I mean are the ones that continuously talk about how horrible life is and how they want to die. We all have moments of sadness, anger, frustration, self-loathing, regret, misery, grieving, etc. We all have hard times. We can turn to friends, a creative outlet, a medical or psychiatric professional, etc, anything that gets us through. We do what we need to do to survive. Please, never let these feelings get you to the point where you feel that suicide or harming yourself is an option. It is not. There is no excuse for that. Even those with chemical issues, there is help and hope. It takes hard work, but we can be healthy and exist well. We can have a good quality of life. 1. Call a hotline or professional if you are absolutely desperate or too embarrassed or shy to turn to others 2. Call a friend or other trusted person to be with you or talk to you 3. See a medical and/or psychiatric professional 4. Take medications if you have a prescription as directed 5. Eat well, exercise, etc 6. Meditate, pray, whatever helps you 7. Go somewhere you enjoy 8. Go shopping, get a make-over, etc 9. Write in a journal to help remember good times or to just vent 10. Find a creative outlet, such as music, art, writing, poetry, etc 11. Count the good things in your life 12. See what great things are around you 13. Get a new job if miserable 14. Go volunteer for those less fortunate. See what you actually have. 15. Think about what suicide does to others. I can tell you first hand that it leaves the loved ones feeling lost, scared, shocked, confused, empty, depressed, worthless, hopeless, and dead inside. They never recover fully, ever. We are left behind to doubt ourselves, life, faith, everything. We feel like failures, because we couldn’t help save you. 16. I cannot stress enough. GET HELP! 17. Do anything that keeps you safe!


The thing is, friends and even strangers can listen, hold you, be there to give advice, etc. , but consider this. When you get to a point that the conversation goes in circles and you sense the other person simply cannot handle this situation or is feeling desperate and worried, stop and think. If you cannot be helped and will not listen to their reasoning, remember, they are perhaps not a professional and may not know what to do. They may be feeling frustrated and lost. They may get drained. At that point, you could try some of the above options. You could try what they advise. You could call that hotline. Perhaps you can think about the fact that they care enough to try. Perhaps you can realize that you are cared about. Perhaps, you can realize how much you will destroy this person if you do kill yourself after they tried so hard. Ok, I’ll just come out with it. Stop being so selfish! Stop and think about how much others need you and want you here. Try to see the good they see in you. Stop drinking so much/doing drugs/both, if you use. Stop doing destructive things. Start doing good things for yourself. Start seeing your worth. Start seeing all of the beauty around you. Remember that these trying times are temporary. Things do get better. Am I saying be a perky, numb doll? No! Embrace your dark side, your emo side, your wild, wicked side. Reread your amazing depressing poems and see your talent, stop worrying that you make less money or need to find a new job. Start letting people love you, even you are grumpy, etc. Embrace the psycho, quirky, crazy, imperfect, comical, sad, trying, infuriating, creepy, bizarre parts of life, people, and things about yourself. See that if you are dark, light, cheery, grumpy, sweet, sarcastic, smart, flighty, etc or a combination of all of these, you are worth living, really living! You are important to someone at all times! Please, don’t ever check out early. Take responsibility for your life and your actions. Fight, hope, dream, and dare to really live!


Lucid Dreaming by SunKat

Definition There is nothing inherently difficult to understand about the concept of lucid dreaming: lucid dreaming is simply dreaming while being aware you are dreaming. You can think of lucid dreaming as being conscious while dreaming. If, by chance, during a dream it suddenly dawns on you that you are dreaming, then you have experienced a lucid dream, regardless of whether you have been able to attain control of your dream. Lucid dreaming is usually induced by some sort of cue—something that indicates to the person that what he or she is experiencing is a dream, and not reality. Cues, however, are not necessary for becoming lucid: sometimes people spontaneously become lucid without noticing anything strange or typical of dreams. Lucid dreaming is a very simple concept but for most it will take patience and determination to achieve. Many people seem ignorant of the distinction between having a lucid dream, and controlling a dream. Being able to freely control one’s dream does not directly follow becoming lucid: one can have a lucid dream without any control whatsoever. Controlling your dream is simply proceeding to the next level, by attempting to exert your will upon your surroundings. Misconceptions Since lucid dreaming is a relatively unknown phenomenon, there are a number of misconceptions that encompass it:


Lucid dreaming is new-age As stated in the introduction, many people when first introduced to the concept dismiss it as being bizarre and too “new-ageish.” In reality, lucid dreaming is whatever you want it to be—because, after all, they are your dreams—and does not necessarily fall under the stigma of “new-age.” This site offers a very practical examination of lucid dreaming along with practical reasons for why one would want to endeavour to induce lucid dreams. Lucid dreaming advocates escapism Another misconception is that lucid dreaming advocates escapism. Lucid dreaming occurs while you are sleeping; it is not meant at all to infringe upon your involvement in the real world. Indeed, reading a book or watching a movie will take you out of the “real world” more than lucid dreaming will. The idea that lucid dreaming advocates escapism is valid only when one attempts to sleep more in order to induce lucid dreams. It is suggested that one maintain a healthy sleep pattern to promote lucid dreams—an average of 7 or 8 hours a night is recommended. Lucid dreaming is unnatural, involves "dark arts," or is occult related Some misguided people immediately assume lucid dreaming must be a corrupt practice; this is just plain silly. Denunciations such as this are the direct result of fear of the unknown—this site hopes to dispel such ignorance. There is nothing inherently wrong or questionable with lucid dreaming; instead, there are many positive reasons to practice it. People who believe otherwise should first read about it before forming an opinion. Dreams contain messages that are lost with lucid dreaming


Finally, many people take an intransigent stance against lucid dreaming based on their belief that our dreams are trying to tell us something, and we lose those messages by trying to alter our dreams. That’s a reasonable position to take, however, that idea is not entirely valid. First of all, most people that endeavour to have lucid dreams only have them occasionally—perhaps a few times a month. Some obviously will have them more often (perhaps several times a week or even in a night) but again for the most part, on average, those who attempt lucid dreaming still have more non-lucid dreams than lucid ones. Perhaps even more valid a point is that becoming proficient at lucid dreaming demands excellent dream recall. Thus, while practicing to become lucid in dreams you are also increasing your ability to remember your dreams, which as a by-product will provide you with more memorable dreams to sift through in search of hidden insight. Therefore one can practice lucid dreaming and still attain enough “regular” dreams so that he or she need not worry about losing something important. Levels of Lucidity & Dream Control Lucid dreaming was defined as becoming aware you are dreaming; the actual level of awareness varies, however. When the level of lucidity is high you are well aware that nothing you experience is real, and you realize that you have nothing to fear—you cannot be harmed by any situations that may seem precarious. With low-level lucidity, although partially aware you are dreaming, you are not aware enough to have a great impact on your dream—you may accept some aspects of your dream that you would not normally accept in the ordinary world (you may not find it at all strange that your dog flies around the living room, etc.) With low-level lucidity your realization may also quickly fade and you may accept the whole dream as reality. Again, attaining lucidity does not immediately mean you’re in control of your


dreams. As we’ll discuss later a lot of practice is necessary in order to exert and maintain control. Obviously you have the best chance of controlling your dreams with a high-level of awareness, but even then it may not be possible to exert much control, at least, at first. Although experience plays a part in how well you can control your dreams, your own belief and confidence is key. If you lack confidence in your dreams, you may fail at controlling them—if you believe in a dream that you cannot do something, it is very likely that you won’t be able to. Instead of changing the dream, however, you could merely control your own behavior. This kind of dream control is most beneficial during nightmares. Rather than attempting to change the dream, you can change your own attitude. By realizing it is merely a dream and that you cannot sustain physical damage, you can allay your fear, which is the only real part of the nightmare. Changing your attitude in such a manner usually transforms the nightmare into something more peaceful as well. Defeating nightmares is only one of many reasons to attempt to have lucid dreams.


Featured Groups

Sex, Love, and Insanity

Created by Hetty We will discuss all things about relationships, sex, dating sex, and more! nity


Members: 26 Latest Activity: Jan 18

If the name doesn't say it all well take my word for it this group has it all from personal stories to great discussions that will help you in all aspects even covers those discussions that must wont ask or write. There is no discussion off topic in this group so stop by and check it out...

The Soul's Song

Created by Hetty Poetry Members: 24 Latest Activity: Dec 12, 2011 http://shadowheartandsoulofthebl

Poetry is a way for our very soul to speak and sing. We write to express joy, pain, longing, fear, and more through our writing.



Valentine's, Cupid, Phobias, and History Originally the word Valentine meant the person whose name was picked from a box to be chosen as your sweetheart up until the 1500's. Then around 1533, it meant the folded piece of paper with the sweetheart's name on it. By 1610 it then became the gift given to this special someone and by 1824 it then became a poem, letter or verse to a sweetheart. Although Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 every year, it originates from the Roman celebration called Lupercalia, which was held on February 15, a fertility festival. Roman armies invaded countries physically as well as socially. When the Romans invaded France, they introduced this festival in which Roman boys drew names of Roman girls out of an urn (to determine their partners) and then the couple exchanged gifts on the festival's day. This was considered a pagan celebration, so in 469 C.E., Pope Gelasius decided to put a Christian


spin on this celebration by declaring that it was now to honor St. Valentine (A young Roman who was martyred by Emperor Claudius II who was said to have died on February 14, 270 C.E. for refusing to give up Christianity). Why was he killed? Rumor has it that St. Valentine was a priest who defied the emperor's ban on marriages by marrying young people in secret. He was discovered, and put to death. Note: Why was marriage banned? According to legend in the 3rd century after Christ, the Emperor Claudius II did not want any of his soldiers falling in love and marrying because he felt women and families distracted the soldier's from their duty to him. And in some cases made the men not want to go to war at all. And he needed more soldiers so he declared marriage illegal. And anyone performing this ceremony would be killed. Another story goes like this...A man named Valentine (who was in prison for helping persecuted Christians) witnessed to his jailor and ended up converting his entire family to Christianity. The jailor also had a blind daughter, Julia, that Valentine ended up falling in love with (as well as restoring her sight). But love did not prevail. :( On the morning of Valentine's execution, he sent a message to the daughter signed, "From your Valentine." Italy also had another Spring festival during the Middle Ages (un-named btw) in which young singles gathered in the gardens to listen to love poetry and romantic music. Afterward they paired off and strolled through the trees and flowers etc. In France this pairing-off custom went on for a while, but it ended up causing a lot of jealousies and became more trouble than it was worth and was dropped. But in England the custom of young men drawing names for "Valentines" or sweethearts remained for centuries even after the Roman occupation ended. The young men in England would write down all the names of the young women on pieces of paper and then roll them up tightly


and put them in a bowl. The young men (blindfolded) would take turns drawn a name from the bowl. The girl's name that he drew meant that she would be his "valentine" for the next year. I might add: Wouldn't a guy's handwriting give away who wrote whose name on this paper? ;) So I wondered how many guys actually drew the name of the girl they submitted? (wink!) Another variation on this festival goes like this: Two Roman youths (who were blessed by their priest) would run through the streets swinging a goatskin thong called a Februa. The Latin word is Februatio, (the act of lashing with sacred thongs) and was believed to be for purification. From this word comes our word "February". And the belief is that if a woman was touched by this thong, she would be able to bear children better. Thus again, we go back to a similarity with fertility? According to the legend, they did this to honor their God Faunus, the god of crops. (Similar to the Greek God, Pan.) February might not be considered Spring for many of us today, especially in certain areas of the US where there is still snow on the ground. But for the Romans this Lupercalia on the 14 and the Valentine's Day on the 15th got blended into one day (on the 14th because I assume the young men and women couldn't wait any longer to get together?) and occurred 7 weeks after the Winter Solstice, marking the progression from Winter into Spring. In the Middle Ages it was felt that birds chose their mates on February 14. So February 14th has been considered the official mating day for centuries. Another theory about Valentine's Day doesn't begin with the Romans but with Norse. The Normans had a St. Galantin, which meant "lover of women." Now the "G" is not pronounced like a "Gah" in the English language. It is pronounced like a "V" and so the word is like "Valantin" in sound. And so they believe that their St. Galantin's Day is part of the confusion over St.


Valentine's Day today. And yet the French want to say that the word Valentine comes from their word "galantine" which means a lover or gallant. But the Roman Catholic Church did their best to try to ban this pagan fertility/mating festival. However, it remained popular in the hearts of the people and so they finally decided that it was hopeless to get rid of it. Thus they decided to redefine it as a Christian Saint Day of St. Valentine as I mentioned above. And so in 1660 Charles II officially restored Valentine's Day into England's society. And it is due to this that Great Britain is the country who is given credit for starting the printing of greeting cards, especially those expressing love, admiration, infatuation and other emotions. St. Valentine's Day did not come to America until 1629 with the Puritans and even here went against some of the church elders. But love prevails, whether openly or publically and the church could not hold back love and passion even in the New World. About 100 years passed before the first Valentine Cards appeared in the United States. Margery Brews (England) wrote the oldest known valentine in letter form dated 1477, sent to John Paston. For Valentine once meant "sweetheart" it grew to represent "message of love." On 2-14-1667, Samuel Pepys in his diary described a kind of valentine that he got from his wife. It was a sheet of blue paper in which her name was written in gold letters. This became the forerunner of later valentines. But the custom didn't grow quickly. It took 100 years before it was common to leave a valentine love letter at the doorstep of your sweetheart. As I said above, although the Catholic church was not thrilled with Valentines per se, the custom slowly began to grow also in Catholic countries.


Surprisingly, the Valentines were made by the nuns, appearing really lacy and decorated with hand-painted flowers with the center not cupid but often a saint or a sacred religious-styled heart. Germany is credited with providing the expensive paper and elaborate borders to Valentines in the 18th century. But they were not given on Valentines, but more often on New Year's Day or on a person's birthday. So the fancy German paper was imported to England and they used it for Valentines. But this paper was expensive and soon the English began to make it themselves. Valentines did not always appear as hearts as we know them today. Most were known as "paper pockets" and were more like envelopes and folded over. And mailing was expensive too. A folded and sealed with wax.

So, how does Cupid, Hearts, Arrows, etc. all fit in? Valentine Symbols Cupid Cupid is the Roman God of Love and the most popular symbol for Valentine's Day. Originally he was shown as a young man with a bow and arrows. But over the years, Cupid went from a handsome man to a pudgy baby? The reason is that the Romans had Cupid as the son of Venus (Goddess of Love and Beauty) and a symbol for passion, playful and tender love. His arrows were invisible and his victims (which could also include other Gods btw as well as humans) would not be aware that they were shot until they fell in love. But, the Victorian era want to help make Valentine's Day more proper for


women and children. So they tossed out this handsome Roman Adonis guy and made cupid more of a chubby baby. In other words, it's all on how you want to spin the story from PG-rated to R-Rated!

The colors of Valentine's Day are : Pink, Red and White for most cards and decorations, but is also on other Valentine commercial items like clothing, stuffed animals, candles, etc. Red symbolizes warmth and feeling. It is associated with the color of the human heart. White is a symbol of purity. (In some cases also of Faith and so it means the faith of the love two people have for each other.) And so Pink (combination of Red + White) is then a symbol as I understand if of innocents or virginity in some cases. Hearts and Arrows A heart (red or pink) with an arrow piercing through it is the most common shape and look for a Valentines, and even candles, candies, cookies, cakes, figurines, stuffed images, etc. The heart is a symbol both of love and also vulnerability. When you send someone a Valentine, you take a risk of being rejected and your feelings hurt. So a piercing arrow is a symbol of death and the vulnerability of love. On the other hand, the heart and arrow also symbolize the merging of the male and female as one. In the 12th century, physicians believed that the heart was the seat of love and


affection in the human body. But the actual biological shape of the human heart does not look like the heart as we see it today. Why? Well, some people are guessing (and it is funny!) that the Valentine heart-shape as we know it today was done by a doodler to represent the human female buttocks or a female torso with well-endowed breasts or the imprint of lips (wearing lipstick) made upon a piece of paper. Once again, it's all on how you want to spin the story! :) Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve? This expression comes from early 1800's where young American and British men wore slips of paper pinned to their sleeves with their girlfriend's name written on. They did this for several days (why and when I have no clue) and so it started the expression "wearing one's heart on one's sleeve." Today the American Heart Association in the US has a "Save a Sweet Heart" anti-smoking campaign during Valentine's Week to help educate school kids against smoking. Lovebirds As I mentioned above, it was believed that birds chose their mates on February 14. And so the dove was chosen to be the bird representative because it was sacred to the Roman Goddess Venus because it chose a lifelong mate. They also make a cooing sound, which further proved they were the love couple. The dove was also a sacred bird to the Goddess, Venus (and other Love Deities). And Noah had considered the dove to be his messenger. In the Song of Solomon, the word "Turtle" is really referring to the "turtledove." The turtledove is common in Asia and Europe, but it is not found in N. America at all. Since all doves are part of the pigeon family, they mate for life, and the male and female both share in the caring of their young. Their cooing sounds are often considered "love sounds" and today it is often said that when people


in love talk rather sugary and baby-like it is "cooing" with each other. Dove superstitions are that they were magical and were often used to divine the future. The heart of a dove was often an ingredient in love potions. If you saw a white dove fly overhead it was suppose to be good luck. If you dreamt of a dove it was a sign that you had a promise of happiness. And, if you saw the first dove in Springtime, made a wish, that wish would come true (much like wishing upon a falling star.) But during the years, love birds have changed from Doves to hummingbirds to birds of paradises. Today, love birds depicted on Valentines are tiny parrots brilliant in color because genetically they really are in the parrot family. They often act like young lovers also. How? They are known for living in pairs and keeping to themselves, much like young lovers want their privacy today. As pets they are considered lovable, easy to tame and respond to affection. Some can even be taught to speak. The bad side of lovebirds is that they can carry a disease harmful to humans. And so, there are strict rules regarding importing them into the United States. Valentine Cards The custom of exchanging love notes goes back to the Roman Lupercalia festival with the names being drawn. But the British were the ones who popularized sending your feelings to someone via a printed card. The first Valentine card was created by Charles, Duke of Orleans, imprisoned in the tower of London for several years following the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. he sent Valentine poems to his wife in France from his jail cell. Commercial Valentines didn't appear until 1800 (In England) and although handmade cards had been around for years. In the 19th century a new kind of Valentine emerged called "penny dreadfuls" that were insulting and cruel rather than loving and flattering. They were mostly sent anonymously too.


In America, hand-made Valentines appeared around 1740 and were sealed with red wax and left secretly on a lover's doorstep (or sent in the mail). Commercial cards for the most part took over around 1880's. But people still (and will always) make homemade ones too. Some included trinkets, some locks of hair and in some cases there were checks that were drawn against "The Bank of Love" and valentines printed to look like money. One was so realistic to a 5 pound note it was quickly recalled! Valentine verses were romantic, whimsical and critical. As I mentioned above, postage was expensive. And during the English Victorian times the custom was that the recipient paid for the mail they got (not the sender as we do it today). So you can imagine what a double insult it was to pay for a Valentine only to open it up and discover it is critical aka "Vinegar Valentine." Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway were famous children's book illustrators of their time. At the age of 22, Kate sold her first Valentine design for $15. Within weeks, over 25,000 copies were sold. For a few years after, she kept designing Valentines, but was never paid a penny more. Today, Kate Greenaway Valentine's are considered collectable items, as well as those designed by Walter Crane. When Valentine Cards got to America, they also got more creative. The first known to come to the US is a note written by John Winthrop in 1629 to his wife before leaving England for the New World. It ended with "My sweet wife, Thou must be my valentine for none hat challenged me." He later became governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Valentines were not only done in delicate pen and ink, but also watercolor and the handwriting also became a thing of beauty for the card as well, as good penmanship was considered a form of art, as well as the quality of a person.


Acrostic Valentines - had verses in which the first letter of the lines spelled out the loved one's name. Example of the name Amanda. A - Another moment without you is M - more pain than I can bear. A- And no other love will ever be N - nearer to my heart than yours. D - Days pass slowly until we shall meet A -again and our lives forever share. Cutout Valentines (which most children do in school today also) were simply made by folding paper several times and then cutting out small areas to make lace like designs. Pinprick Valentines were made by pricking tiny paper holes with a pin or needled into the paper into a lovely design. Theorem or Poonah Valentines had designs that were painted through a stencil cut in oil paper (style originated in the Orient) with a coat of gum arabic to keep the paint from running. Rebus Valentines had verses in which tiny pictures took the place of some of the words. An example is: Puzzle Valentines - Had a puzzle to read and refold, in which scattered among their many folds were verses that had to be read in a certain order. I remember making these in school in which they ended up like a pyramid in


which you put your your index finger and thumb of both hands on both sides and moved the puzzle valentine North to South and East To West chanting some silly rhyme until you stopped and could chose a flap to open and read. Fraktur Valentines - had ornamental lettering in the style of illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. But, Valentines did not always come via paper and lace. Many sailors would return from their voyages bringing silk scarves (or other items) to their wives or girlfriends that had designs of hearts, flowers and other romantic images or words. And, in return many of the wives or girlfriends of those sailors (before they took off to sea) made them stronger bundles decorated with loving images and thoughts (and filled with items) to take with them on their voyages to think of them. And during the Civil War some of the Valentines were more like paper dolls that were actually dressed with cloth (or paper) to try to resemble the person sending it. And during the Roaring Twenties, some valentines were actually shaped like tomatoes. At that time, tomatoes only grew in flower gardens and were considered "love apples." (Kinda makes you wonder what they considered ketchup to be then!) Roses Flowers were considered love tokens before there even was a St. Valentines. The Roman God, Bacchus (God of Wine and Joy) and Venus (Goddess of Love and Beauty) both considered the beauty and fragrance of flowers to be tied with romance and love. But since the time of Solomon, the primary flower linked to romance was always the rose. Cleopatra of Egypt covered the floor with roses before receiving Mark Anthony.


A Roman myth is that Cupid was carrying a vase of sweet nectar to the gods on Mt. Olympus and spilled it on the ground. From that spot of spilled nectar, roses grew! But if roses are so symbolic of romance and love, then why the thorns? Well, another story goes like this: The soft west wind named Sephyr one day opened a lovely rose and Cupid bent over to kiss the elegant petals. When he did, he was stung by an irate bee hiding inside. Venus got so angry she told Cupid to shoot some bees and string them up on one of his arrows. She then planted this string of dead bees on the rose stems, and the stings became the rose's thorns and ever since roses had thorns. The ancient Romans also believed that anything discussed under a rose (I mean how low can you go to talk?) was considered sub rosa and to be kept secret. Today the Latin term is still used today to express something that is to be kept confidential. Another Roman theory is that the Rose reminded the Roman Catholic Church of watching Christians devoured by lions. Later on, the Virgin Mary was called "The Rose of Heaven."

Daisies, Violets and Bachelor Buttons There are a few other flowers considered to be romantic also. The Romans believed that the daisy was once a wood nymph. One day, while dancing in a field she was seen by Vertumnus, the God of Spring (who fell in love with her of course). But when he reached for her she got frightened. So, out of pity the other gods let her sink into the earth and she became a daisy.


I do not know how the game of holding a daisy and plucking off it's petals saying "He loves me" or "He loves me not" got started. As far as Violets day it is said that Venus got jealous of a group of beautiful maidens. And when Cupid refused to say that his mother's beauty was better than theirs, Venus go furious, so she beat her rivals (these maidens) until they were blue and she watched them shrink into violets. In the Science of Botany, the cornflower is known as Kyanus, named after a Greek youth who was born in a field one day, making garlands of the blue blossoms for the altar of Flora, Goddess of Flowers. He died, unfortunately, leaving some of the garlands undone and so this touched Flora's heart and so in his honor she named the flowers after him. Say It With Flowers... This is most commonly known as FTD's slogan today. But what to say and with what flower? Here are some traditional meanings for some other flowers often sent for Valentine's Day or other touching moments: Bleeding Heart = Hopeless, but not heartless. Gardenia = I love you secretly. Gladiolus = You pierce my heart. Lily-of-the-Valley = Let us make up. Rose - I love you passionately.


Sweet William = You are gallant, suave and perfect. Violet = I return your love. Green leaves represented hope in a love affair. (Often rumored to be the reason why British girls sprinkled bay leaves with rose water and put them on their pillows on Valentine's Day Eve. They wanted to see their loved one in their dreams.)

Sweetheart, Sugar Pie, Honey etc. When people a are in love they just seem to automatically develop this type of dialogue. But why? We often refer to someone we care about as sweetheart or honey. Researchers have found that when we fall in love, a chemical called phenylethylamine or phenylalanine is produced. This drug is responsible for that erratic, psychotic love high that we all feel. When phenylethylamine or phenylalanine is flowing through our veins it's as if we are on amphetamines. We can stay up all night and work all day the next day. And a pheromone called androstenol is also released, which heightens our sexual attractions. Thus, we also end up producing what is called a sweet taste in our mouths and we start spouting off phrases like "luscious" and "sweet" and "honey" and other things that we like such as "muffin" or "cupcake" or "pudding." However, there is nothing as bad as love gone wrong! And so then we suddenly start spouting off words that have to do with being disgusted, depressed, angry, bitter etc. These are like, "a sour taste in my mouth" or "foul mood" or even being a little "stinker."


Apples Historically, apples have been tokens of love and fertility. The Norse gods ate apples to stay young and scholars say that Hebrew women drain and washed with the sap of an apple for fertility. Apples have also been known for divining and fortune-telling since ancient times. So the phrase, "Mom, Country and Apple Pie" all refer to types of love....maternal, patriotism and sexual. But, apples are NOT really the original aphrodisiac at all. What is? The Spaniards believed that the tomato (nightshade vegetation) to really be the true romance-inducing fruit and brought the seeds over to the US from South America. So "love apples" are not really apples at all, but tomatoes. And this is how we get the phrase, "She's a really hot tomato!" Chocolate Believe it or not, chocolate contains the same chemical mentioned above called phenylethylamine or phenylaline that is produced in our brains when falling in love, and that gives the same emotional high related to amphetamines. Many psychologist feel that chocolate is an instant "love booster" and an automatic sweet taste in our mouths. And with some people, both chocolate and love can be addictive. Anyway, the idea of giving chocolate to someone we care about is a way to stir up the same emotions in them (only artificially if they don't really feel the same way emotionally back) as well. As with all drugs, the phenylethylamine will wear off if it's not produced due to real emotions. Some also say that "sweets for my sweet" is a pun for giving any candy to someone you care about.


Love Knots It has no beginning and no end and consists of graceful loops (sometimes forming hearts) in which messages of love are either attached and knotted in (or written on the ribbon or rope) and read by turning the knot around and around. And, if you couldn't make a real love knot, then many Valentines included a design of one. A young man often hung this love knot on his true love's doorknob, slipping a letter under also. (Some feel this began with the sailors since many were skilled at making fishnets and so doing knots or macramĂŠ were their skill. Others say it is a celtic custom and design. While others say it is Scandinavian.) Paper Hands By the 19th Century another symbol of love became the paper hand. It was considered a symbol of courtship because of the custom of a man "asking for a lady's hand" in marriage. And eventually tiny paper gloves became a valentine card symbol as well....evolving into gloves (esp. silk) becoming a popular gift to for a man to give his sweetheart. Eventually, a woman sort of expected a pair of good gloves as a gift (in she was in certain social circles). Eventually (I guess it depended on how well you knew the woman?) a man would also give shoestrings, silk stockings, garters and jewelry to his sweetheart for Valentines. Scrimshaw & Cameos Now, back to those romantic sailors longing for their true loves while at sea.... Many sailors would scratch designs on tusk, bones, ivory or wood as a token of love. This is known as scrimshaw today. Long flat decorated scrimshaw were often meant as corset stiffeners known as busts and stays. Some carved


messages into them. And it is also rumored that talented sailors would often carve images of their fair ladies on conch shells (known as cameos) because photos were not invented yet. some cases they carved images of themselves on conch shells to leave with their true loves to remember them by (had them mounted as pins). The male cameos are more rare than the female ones. In other cases, the men would carve pictures of Gods on the cameos or scrimshaw and give it to their loved one as an omelet of love and protection for them. Here is a poem written from a sailor to his sweetheart when he sent her a carved scrimshaw whalebone bust. Accept, dear girl, this bust from me Carved by my humble hand. I took it from a sperm whale's jaw One thousand miles from land. In many a gale had been the whale In which this bone did rest. His time is past, but his bone at last Must now support thy breast. I find this the most phenomenally personal gift from a man to a women in that day. Today, if a man gave a woman say a Victoria's Secret bra or lingerie, it would not be considered that intimate as in the Victorian times when a man literally carved the support bones for his woman's corsets! Valentine Lace Expensive Valentines today have real lace, perhaps gold charms, real flowers (or dried) and even made with red velvet and not paper. For thousands of years, certain "pretty things" have often been associated with romance. In the


days of olde, knights often rode into battle with his lady love's scarf or ribbon tied somewhere on him. Lace, because of it's delicate nature, has come to represent something lovely to look at and thus represent love (because lace really isn't practical as far as a fabric.) So lace as long as 400 years ago because a popular trimming for clothing...especially clothing associated with love = wedding dresses! How lace paper got made was purely accidental. Joseph Addenbrooke in 1834 was working for a London paper when by accident a file brushed over a sheet of paper embossed with a raised design. The high points of this embossed design thus got filed off leaving small holes, and giving a lacey look to the paper. This led into the business of making paper laces and soon others followed --competitively to the point where some of these paper laces are of museum quality today. Valentine Phobias Although most of us who are not in love, married or seeing someone, dread Valentine's Day for it's reminder of loneliness, we only face a slight sense of depression and nothing more. For some people with certain phobias, the following can be a problem for them: Orintho-Apiphobia - Fear of the Birds and Bees Ereuthophobia - Fear of Blushing Obligaphobia - Fear of Commitment Anlophobia - Fear of Flowers


Dorapophobia - Fear of Furs Zelophobia - Fear of Jealousy Amoraphobia - Fear of Love Gamophobia - Fear of Marriage Arotophobia - Fear of Physical Love Hedonophobia - Fear of any kind of Pleasure or Having Fun Haphephobia - Fear of Touching or Being Touched Gynophobia - Fear of Girls Androphobia - Fear of Men So what do these have to do with Valentine's Day exactly? Well for some people, they really fear any kind of "potential" social interaction with the opposite sex, or what in their minds might be perceived as a potential. If a guy perhaps is afraid of being hugged by a female, he might dread Valentine's Day for this? It might never happen, but he worries about "what if" all day long. The same can be true for a female. Or it might be that they fear their own reactions if they get a Valentine, such as blushing. So they don't want one given to them publically. For most of us, this sounds a bit extreme or crazy, but for those with certain phobias it's a really serious situation.


Forcible Sterilization On Men And Women In Our Very Near Future? by SteamPunkRebel

Compulsory sterilization (or sterilization) also known as forced sterilization programs are government policies which attempt to force people to undergo surgical sterilization. In the first half of the twentieth century, several such programs were instituted in countries around the world, usually as part of eugenics programs intended to prevent the reproduction and multiplication of members of the population considered to be carriers of defective genetic traits One of the first acts by Adolf Hitler after achieving total control over the


German state was to pass the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring (Gesetz zur Verh端tung erbkranken Nachwuchses) in July 1933. The law was signed in by Hitler himself, and over 200 eugenic courts were created specifically as a result of the law. Under the German law, all doctors in the Reich were required to report patients of theirs who were mentally retarded, mentally ill (including schizophrenia and manic depression), epileptic, blind, deaf, or physically deformed, and a steep monetary penalty was imposed for any patients who were not properly reported. Individuals suffering from alcoholism or Huntington's Disease could also be sterilized. The individual's case was then presented in front of a court of Nazi officials and public health officers who would review their medical records, take testimony from friends and colleagues, and eventually decide whether or not to order a sterilization operation performed on the individual, using force if necessary. Though not explicitly covered by the law, 400 mixed-race "Rhineland Bastards" were also sterilized beginning in 1937.[6] China Coercive sterilization to enforce the one child policy has occurred in China. This is not permitted by the law, and some local officials have been jailed for their actions.[16] In 2010, Amnesty International accused authorities in Puning of compelling people to be sterilized by imprisoning their elderly relatives.[17][18] See also Iron Fist Campaign India India's state of emergency between 1975 and 1977 included an infamous family planning initiative beginning April 1976, which involved the vasectomy of thousands of men and tubal ligation of women, under coercive conditions. Son of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi was largely blamed for what turned out to be a failed program.[14] A strong backlash against any initiative associated with family planning followed the


highly controversial program, which continues into the 21st century.[15] Peru In Peru, President Alberto Fujimori (in office from 1990–2000) has been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity as a result of a sterilization program put in place by his administration.[19] Peru put in place a program of forced sterilizations against indigenous people (essentially the Quechuas and the Aymaras), in the name of a "public health plan", presented July 28, 1995. The plan was principally financed using funds from USAID (36 million dollars), the Nippon Foundation, and later, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).[20] On September 9, 1995, Fujimori presented a Bill that would revise the "General Law of Population", in order to allow sterilization. Several contraceptive methods were also legalized, all measures that were strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Catholic organization Opus Dei. In February 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) itself congratulated Fujimori for his plan to control demographic growth.[20] In September 2001, Minister of Health Luis Solari launched a special commission into the activities of the Voluntary Surgical Contraception, initiating a Parliamentary commission tasked with enquiring into the "irregularities" of the program, and to put it on an acceptable footing. In July 2002, its Final Report ordered by the Minister of Health revealed that between 1995 and 2000, 331,600 women were sterilized, while 25,590 men submitted to vasectomies.[20] The plan, which had the objective of diminishing the number of births in areas of poverty within Peru, was essentially directed at the indigenous people living in deprived areas (areas often involved in internal conflicts with the Peruvian government, as with the Shining Path guerilla group). Deputy Dora Núñez Dávila made the accusation in September 2003 that 400,000 indigenous people were sterilized during the 1990s. Documents proved that President Fujimori was informed, each month, of the number of sterilizations done, by his former Ministers of Health,


Eduardo Yong Motta (1994–96), Marino Costa Bauer (1996–1999) and Alejandro Aguinaga (1999–2000).[20] A study by sociologist Giulia Tamayo, Nada Personal (in English: Nothing Personal), showed that doctors were required to meet quotas. According to Le Monde diplomatique, "tubal ligation festivals" were organized through program publicity campaigns, held in the pueblos jóvenes (in English: shantytowns). In 1996 there were, according to official statistics, 81,762 tubal ligations performed on women, with a peak being reached the following year, with 109,689 ligatures, then only 25,995 in 1998.[22] The eugenistic legislation was enacted in 1934 and was formally abolished in 1976. According to the 2000 governmental report, 21,000 were estimated to have been forcibly sterilized, 6,000 were coerced into a 'voluntary' sterilization while the nature of a further 4,000 cases could not be determined.[24] However, the 40,000 or so socio-medical cases are contested, and Zaremba and others argue that they were more in the interest of society than individual women. 1979 A survey conducted by Family Planning Perspectives finds that approximately 70% of American hospitals fail to adequately follow U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines regarding informed consent in cases of sterilization. A Strong Eugenics Movement in the USA It is not widely known that there was a strong eugenics movement not only in Germany, but in the USA as well. The doctrine, hatched in the second half of the 19th century, combined elements of social Darwinism with the Mendelian theory of heredity. Its advocates pushed for perfecting the human "gene pool" by influencing the reproductive process. Their ongoing attempts at achieving a "perfect" society included aggressive - and in the case of the Nazis,


murderous - actions against marginal groups and minorities. American scientists played a vanguard role in the eugenics movement, which also had its supporters in Scandinavia, Latin America and Japan. U.S. biologists like Charles B. Davenport and Harry H. Laughlin advocated keeping the "Anglo-American race" pure. Their premise was that most ailments, as well as such social problems as poverty and criminality, were hereditary in nature. Therefore persons with a "good genetic makeup" should be encouraged to have families, while "inferior" people of allegedly poor genetic stock should be prevented from reproducing. Among those people regarded as inferior were epileptics, manic-depressives, prostitutes, alcoholics, the homeless and criminals. Under the eugenics laws, people who came to the negative attention of the social authorities could be branded as "feeble-minded" by court order and legally forced to undergo sterilization. May 2, 2002, marked the 75th anniversary of the shameful Buck v. Bell decision, which has never been overruled and was cited in a federal appeals case as recently as last year.7 The Court’s action in Buck led to the forced sterilization of more than 65,000 Americans by 1979.8 To mark the anniversary of the Buck decision, Virginia Governor Mark Warner formally apologized for his state’s role, saying: "The eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved." As for the legacy of Harry Laughlin, his model law was adopted by Nazi Germany in 1934 and led to the sterilization of 350,000 German "feebleminded" people. In 1936, Laughlin was honored with a degree from the University of Heidelberg for his efforts in eugenics. By 1940, Germany adopted a policy of euthanasia for German children and adults with birth defects and mental disorders. In 1941, "special actions" were ordered to exterminate Jews, gypsies, and other "undesirable elements."9


What Tomorrow May Bring The eugenics issue has begun to rear its ugly head once again on the politically explosive issues of immigration quotas, embryo research and human cloning. Bioethicists and religious opponents lob accusations at genetic scientists, saying they are "playing God" or seeking to create "designer babies." Germany, which is still haunted by its history of Nazi eugenics, has banned its scientists from most embryonic research and creating cloned embryos. Meanwhile, in France, political opponents of ultra-nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen, accuse him of eugenic-like anti-immigration policies. Many in this country are also weary of rampant immigration. Pat Buchanan’s latest book, The Death of the West, warns of a "clear and present danger" from declining birth rates and uncontrolled immigration of peoples of "different colors, creed, and cultures." In the wake of September 11, dozens of Americans of Middle-eastern descent were the targets of unwarranted reprisals.


Rainbow Construction is by far thee best theme site that I have ever seen and one that we are happy to support and be a part of. It has some of the best themers's on the web. But what makes this site so much more is that everyone there is willing to help and teach and will always answer any of your questions and give you advise and tips. So for those that want to learn this is the place to be, for those that want a place to show off there work, this is were you want to be. All there groups are for helping you with


ideas to code tweaks, even to finding the right site to find pic's and cursors. You will not find any site out there that as everything you need to create a work of art and the help and support that will help you as you go along and learn. They also have themes in many categories that you can use for your ning pages some may need there codes updated so just follow this saying and you will have a perfect theme for your page: "Seasons change and so do codes so if you have an issue with a theme please let the creator know and they will fix"

So please stop by and check this wonderful site out if your looking to learn or show off your work then this site is for you..... One thing we do ask is that if you join please be respectful for the people that are there are serious and dedicated to there work, and if you join just to use themes that are available please send a thank you or leave a comment for it does mean a lot to all of them.....

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Bikers Against Child Abuse International Breaking The Chains Of Abuse

MISSION BACA Mission Statement Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle. How BACA Works Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (BACA) is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts BACA, or refers the individual to contact BACA and the name and address of the child is given to our BACA/Child


Liaison. The Liaison determines that the case is legitimate, meaning that the authorities have been contacted, and the case in being processed within the system. The Liaison contacts the family and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or in some other location. The entire BACA chapter rides to meet the child and he/she is given a vest with a BACA patch sewn on the back. The child is free to wear the vest or not, and we support their decision. The child is also given bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public. These initial visits generally last about a half an hour. Following this initial contact, the child is given the name and number of two BACA members residing geographically closest to them, who then become the child's primary contact person(s). Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by clearing an extensive background check, have ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and have received special instructions from the Licensed Mental Health Professional. Anytime the child feels scared and feels the need for the presence of his new BACA family, the child may call upon these bikers to go to the child's house and provide the necessary reassurance to feel safe and protected. BACA members and supporters also support the children by: providing escorts for them if they feel scared in their neighborhoods; riding by their homes on a regular basis; supporting the children at court and parole hearings; attending their interviews, and; staying with the children if they are alone and frightened. The BACA members never go to the child's house alone and never without the knowledge or permission of the parents. Our mission is not to be permanently engaged as the child's power. Our mission is to help the children and their families learn how powerful they can be. Our presence will be available as long as the child needs us. BACA also holds other functions for the children such as Bar-B-Ques, and parties. Level 1 Intervention Will consist of the organization deploying a ride, uniting as many BACA members as are able to attend. We will ride as a group to the child’s house where the parent(s) / Guardians will be present to assist us in


presenting the child with a patch, stickers, and a photograph of the child with his/her new biker family. If the child is afraid, it is our hope the child will use the photograph as a comfort to convey the message “I am not alone, and you don’t want to mess with my family.” Level 2 Intervention If Level one is not sufficient to deter further abuse or harassment, several BACA members will be sent for further exposure. This group of BACA members will create a presence at the home of the child, being visible at times when the family might be the most vulnerable. The purpose of BACA’s presence is to deter further abuse and to protect the children and the family, if necessary. Level 3 Intervention If the physical presence of our BACA members at the residence of the child’s home does not deter the abuser, a formal letter will be drafted by the Chapter President or Vice-President in the area in which the abuser lives. This letter will be written on BACA letterhead. The substance of the letter will be to explain to the perpetrator that we are prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to become the obstacle to further abuse. Level 4 Intervention While it is against the purpose of BACA to purposely engage a perpetrator, we will ask for the general geographical location of the offender, and conduct a “Neighborhood Awareness Ride” in which we will ride to the general location given to us and go door to door letting people know who we are, hand out stickers to kids, and distribute our literature regarding our mission and how we function. If the location or address of the perpetrator becomes known to any BACA Member, we will immediately withdraw our physical presence to avoid any contact. BACA does not condone, support or participate in the use of aggression, violence or physical force in any manner. If, however, ANY person should seek to inflict harm on one of our BACA Members, we will respond with commitment and loyalty to protect our Member.


Our Court Appearances We also attend court with our wounded friends. The sole purpose for our physical presence is to assist the child in being less intimidated and frightened, and subsequently give an accurate testimony regarding his/her abuse. If the child requests our presence in the courtroom, the parent or guardian for the child must petition the child’s attorney, who then will intercede on behalf of the child to the presiding Judge. Absolutely no physical confrontation of the perpetrator will be tolerated by BACA, and anyone acting in such a manner will be acting outside of the scope of BACA and will be held completely and solely accountable for his/her actions. When possible, the two bikers assigned to the child as his/her primary contacts should be in attendance. Given that it is not always possible for the primary contact bikers to be in attendance, a petition may be made to the general membership for their attendance and support. A listing of the court dates and times will be kept and updated on the BACA hotline at all times. BACA Creed I am a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I wont look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past has prepared me, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by the faith in my works, and lean on the strength of my brothers and sisters. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with power. My fate is set, my gait is fast, my goal is the ultimate safety of children. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are tried and true, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought,


compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I wont give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and showed up for all wounded children. I must go until I drop, ride until I give out, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me, for He will see my BACA backpatch and know that I am one of His. I am a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse, and this is my creed. Chapters

United States

Select a state (states in gray do not yet have a BACA chapter): • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connectic ut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky

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Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachus etts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota

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Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming





Thursday Feb 23, 2012 7:00 PM Korn The Fillmore - Detroit - Detroit, MI Tickets Friday Feb 24, 2012 6:30 PM Korn Congress Theatre - Chicago, IL Tickets


Saturday Feb 25, 2012 Korn The Rave-Eagles Club - Milwaukee, WI Tickets Monday Feb 27, 2012 6:30 PM Korn Fillmore Auditorium-CO - Denver, CO Tickets


Friday Feb 24, 2012 6:30 PM Chevelle Orbit Room - Grand Rapids, MI Tickets


Saturday Feb 25, 2012 8:00 PM Chevelle Piere's - Fort Wayne, IN Tickets Sunday Feb 26, 2012 6:30 PM Chevelle The Rapids Theatre - Niagara Falls, NY Tickets Tuesday Feb 28, 2012 7:30 PM Chevelle State Theatre-ME - Portland, ME Tickets Wednesday Feb 29, 2012 7:00 PM Chevelle Irving Plaza - New York, NY Tickets


Anthrax and Testament Friday Feb 3, 2012 7:00 PM Anthrax and Testament Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus, OH Tickets National Thursday Feb 2, 2012 7:30 PM Anthrax and Testament The Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA Tickets Saturday Feb 4, 2012 7:30 PM Anthrax and Testament Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH Tickets Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 7:30 PM Anthrax and Testament Best Buy Theatre - Times Square - New York, NY



Motley Crue

Friday Feb 3, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Saturday Feb 4, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets


Sunday Feb 5, 2012 10:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Friday Feb 10, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Saturday Feb 11, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Sunday Feb 12, 2012 9:00 PM


Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Tuesday Feb 14, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Friday Feb 17, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Saturday Feb 18, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets Sunday


Feb 19, 2012 9:00 PM Motley Crue Hard Rock - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV Tickets


Wednesday Feb 1, 2012 7:30 PM Tool Izod Center - East Rutherford, NJ Tickets Friday


Feb 3, 2012 8:00 PM Tool Hampton Coliseum - Hampton, VA Tickets Saturday Feb 4, 2012 8:00 PM Tool Bojangles Coliseum - Charlotte, NC Tickets Monday Feb 6, 2012 7:00 PM Tool Bank Atlantic Center - Fort Lauderdale, FL Tickets Tuesday Feb 7, 2012 7:30 PM Tool UCF Arena - Orlando, FL Tickets Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 8:00 PM Tool Arena at Gwinnett Center - Duluth, GA



Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead

Wednesday Feb 1, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Glens Falls Civic Center - Glens Falls, NY Tickets Friday Feb 3, 2012


6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Bell Centre - Montreal, QC Tickets Sunday Feb 5, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead K-Rock Centre - Kingston, ON Tickets Tuesday Feb 7, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead General Motors Centre - Oshawa, ON Tickets Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, ON Tickets Thursday Feb 9, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Palace Of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI Tickets


Friday Feb 10, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Aragon Ballroom - Chicago, IL Tickets Sunday Feb 12, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead The Rave-Eagles Club - Milwaukee, WI Tickets Tuesday Feb 14, 2012 7:00 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Myth - Saint Paul, MN Tickets Thursday Feb 16, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Prairieland Park - Saskatoon, SK Tickets Monday Feb 20, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead


Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre - Abbotsford, BC Tickets Tuesday Feb 21, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead ShoWare Center - Kent, WA Tickets Thursday Feb 23, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead San Jose State Event Center Arena - San Jose, CA Tickets Friday Feb 24, 2012 6:45 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Gibson Amphitheatre - Universal City, CA Tickets Saturday Feb 25, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Comerica Theatre - Phoenix, AZ Tickets Sunday


Feb 26, 2012 6:30 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Tingley Coliseum - Albuquerque, NM Tickets Tuesday Feb 28, 2012 6:00 PM Gigantour feat. Megadeth and Motorhead Fillmore Auditorium-CO - Denver, CO Tickets

Don't forget to check out the realms huge music section of groups, we are not lacking in the metal~Realms Music Page


Gothic Makeup Gothic makeup is an art that takes an massive offer of practice to master properly and sadly is misunderstood by many people. The quantity of misinformation relating to the Gothic lifestyle has created the improper image. Far as well many folks have the wrong image of what Gothic people symbolize and why they apply their make-up in a unique way. Regrettably individuals instantly believe vampires depression and loss of life when they feel of Gothic people. The Gothic lifestyle can be traced back again to the Edwardian era in which folks started to experiment with their makeup and clothing. Each males and females found that spectacular looks and dark make-up created beautiful results. Although the Gothic makeup is distinctive there are types that can be


connected to the punks Elizabethans and Victorians. Many various intervals during historical past have motivated the general Gothic design these days.

The remarkable contrast in between black and white which is used is incredibly popular with Gothic make-up. Frequently the deal with will need to be extremely pale just before applying the spectacular touches of black to the deal with. Infant powder it usually utilized to make sure that the deal with is incredibly pale some individuals also choose to use really pale groundwork.


No matter what foundation coat you choose you want to remember to apply a small as also much will create a poor search. One of the most notable makeup items in the Gothic lifestyle is the black eyeliner. Both males and ladies will use this and produce amazing deep eyes. The eyeliner is utilized to the bottom lid and you will want to enhance your eyes. Gothic’s usually want other people to notice their eyes before anything else consequently they require to be remarkable. Your eyebrows ought to be plucked and ideal which will open up the area bordering your eye. The variety method for the eyeliner can consider a excellent offer of time to ensure that the perfect 1 is identified. Black is of program the conventional color to fit with the Gothic lifestyle however some folks choose browns or grey. There are several great liquid eye liners available to ensure that you can generate wonderful looking eyes for your Gothic make-up.

The liquid eyeliner will produce a extremely clear sharp look which is perfect when searching to create the best impression. Mascara is equally essential and will be applied by both men and ladies in excellent quantities. There is an exceedingly good line in between a remarkable volume of mascara and also much. Understanding how to use the Gothic make-up is an art type which can consider some time to grasp. Nonetheless apply will permit you to experiment with what look great and what is above the best. Your lips will require to have some color and this differs from person to person. Typically the Gothic life-style would have looked at black lips nonetheless nowadays dark reds purples and blues are all extremely well-liked. The idea powering the Gothic make-up is to boost one particular region of your deal with so if your eyes are the characteristic your lips ought


to be more subtle. Every person is individual even when you are following a Gothic way of life therefore your Gothic make-up ought to search fantastic and express who you are. Experimenting with different makeup’s until finally you accomplish the

appear that you desire is crucial.


Welcome my kinky friends! And another packed month of fetish fun to keep yourselves more than amused ;)

On a personal note if anyone goes to any of these events please oh please let me know and maybe send me a pic or a little write up on it so I can let others know what's hot and what's not! Happy Playing my beloved friends TQ


February 3-4 Winter Wickedness Columbus, Ohio, USA

It's gonna be the middle of winter, and you know that the AIS Staff continues to work harder and harder for each event! This year, AIS has driven from pillar to post, from hither and yon, from Kink event to evermore, in search of another fantastic presenter line up. We have a line up that is guaranteed to stimulate your senses, elucidate your imagination, titillate your … well – we are sure you are gonna love 'em. We know you want a sneak peak at all the things we are going to be bringing! So, let's start with some of the world-class presenters ~ WW 2012 Featured Presenters BusDriver – Fearless Leather Daddy Dom & Semi-Arrogant Bastard Graydancer – International Rope Guru Lady Justice - Leatherwoman Extraordinaire


Mistress Jenn - The Dean of Discipline MojoDaddy – Dynamic Dom & Master of the Mojo Princess Kali – Kink Academy’s Driving Force Scotty – Professional Sexuality Educator & Leatherman Shanna Katz – Board Certified Sexologist Sergeant Major – Classically Trained Leatherman tomo – Slave & Bi-Coastal Butch Leatherdyke Vesper – Ridiculous yet Efficient Purveyor of Awesome And more… In case you were wondering, AIS Kink Labs has been cooking up some really fun pieces of furniture. While we are still working at replacing many of the first run pieces, we have some brand new designs in the works that you are sure to love. We may also be putting another piece or two on the block… could it be the Octobeam? A Bondage Table? It just might be! So, if you ever wanted some of the Twisted Designs or AIS Kink Labs furniture? Now's your chance! We also have some new theme rooms in store for you. You never know what’s going to happen at this one. Could it be play? Ceremonial? Sexy? Who knows… What else do we have in store? We have already picked the Friday night event theme. Can you guess? No? Well, we will be hinting around with pictures, interesting turns of phrase, and spilling the beans sometime right after the new year! Don't worry! The 4000+ ft playspace will be filled with gorgeous, sturdy AIS Kink Labs furniture. The music will be thumping and rocking the night away. The huge vendor area will be open for all your kink shopping needs, with many new vendors from near and far. Don't forget about the social area, the chocolate therapy stations, the late-night snackies and the breakfast offerings!


So make sure you clear your calendar! Winter Wickedness is coming and it's going to be Freakin' Amazing!

February 10-12 \"On The Edge 2\" Erotic Photography Exhibition (tm) Boston San Franscisco, California, USA

EROTIC ART EVENTS is a San Francisco Bay Area company that produces and promotes erotic art events, shows and exhibits, featuring photography, paintings, sculpture and performance art. Upcoming Erotic Art Event "ON THE EDGE 2"


Erotic Photography Exhibition A group exhibition of 25 photographers displaying over 400 erotic photographs, from the fine art nude to the extreme erotica. The ultimate in erotic photography for sale, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

FEBRUARY 10-12, 2012 Friday, 4-9pm - Opening Exhibition Reception Saturday, 1-9pm - Exhibition and Reception Sunday, 12-5pm - Exhibition Fashion Show, Sat. 7:30pm Infinite Hüdü Wearable Art Original Designs by Rü Gala Free Admission - Must be 21 This Erotic Art Event is being held at: Gallery 4N5 863 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94103 Conveniently located in downtown San Francisco between 4th and 5th St. Easy parking at the Mission St. Garage above the gallery Access by BART and MUNI


February 11 My Kinky Valentine Los Angeles, California, USA Come Join Us! Join The Threshold Society for our Fourth Annual winter Vendor's Market: Saturday, February 11thth, 2012 12noon - 6 PM Play Party to Follow: 8pm-1:30am Threshold Clubhouse Hollywoodland Studios 11300 Hartland Street North Hollywood CA, 91605 Threshold will also be selling snacks, lunch items, soda and water throughout the day. Fair-$10


Special Sweetheart Deal

-$25 for both


February 17-19 Madtown Kinkfest Madison, Wisconsin, USA

February 2012 Schedule FRIDAY 9:00 STAFF, PRESENTER, VENDOR & VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION VENDOR SETUP 11:30 REGISTRATION OPENS (closes at 8:00pm) 2:00-3:15 Mistress ExiraK & Master Gary - Who Are You & Why Are You Here? Spike - How to Tie a Square Knot for an Hour and 15 minutes Big Bad Jim - The Dominant Mouth Roughinamorato - It's OK To Hit Them 3:30-4:45 Travis Wilson - Communication in a Scene How to Read a Bottom How to be Read by a Top Vesper - Redefining BDSM Eid - Wax Play


Severus_Snape - Role Play 5:00-6:15 Capt. Thomas - Safety Awareness in the Lifestyle Elevate - Rope Connection Sol - Yes SUH! Layering Shame, Use, and Humiliation Mistress Simone - Flogging for Sensation (small dungeon) RuleofThree - From Diapers to Diplomas: An Overview of Ageplay 6:30-7:30 DINNER & PRESENTERS DINNER 7:30-8:00 PRESENTER MEET & GREET 8:00-9:00 OPENING CEREMONIES 9:00-2:00 DUNGEON SATURDAY 8:00 REGISTRATION OPENS (closes at 12:00pm) 9:30-10:45 Vesper - ZAP! - Violet wand play for everyone. Lqqkout - Scratchy, Rough, & Irritating Rope Karcus - Genital Piercings for Sexual Health Mistress Simone - Traditional English Corporal Discipline


AA Meeting 11:00-12:15 Sol - Burn it In: Branding from A-Z SherynB - Spirit, Energy & Psychology of BDSM: A Round Table for Kinky People Spike - Erotic Massage for Couples** Feral Minette - Clown Play 12:30-1:30 LUNCH 1:45-3:00 Dmitri E. Ville - Slave/Service Positions Lqqkout - Pre-Flight Briefing Wheels-Down Guide to Suspension Basics Big Bad Jim - The Energy Within Roughinamorato - Rough Body Play RuleofThree - Who’s Your Daddy? A Primer on Caregivers and Ageplay 3:15-4:30 Ms_J - Fire Play Severus_Snape - Interrogation Play Travis Wilson - Knives and other sharp pointy things. Sol - Scrambling the Huevos: Rope Torture for Cock and Balls 5:00-6:00 DINNER 7:00-8:30 FETISH PAGEANT 9:00-2:00


DUNGEON SUNDAY 10:00-11:15 Travis Wilson - Whips Spike - Self-Suspension Roughinamorato - D/s Relationship Advice Dmitri E. Ville - Making your own toys/Hands-On Leather Crafting...........a series 11:30-12:45 Feral Minette - Your Tongue is a Muscle SherynB - Harder than it Looks: Playing at the Emotional Edges Karcus - Play Piercing 1:00-2:00 CLOSING CEREMONIES

February 17-19 Lupercalia MMXII Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Lupercalia MMXII Join us for Lupercalia MMXII - Kinky Fun February 17-19, 2012 in Edmonton, Alberta The 13th annual celebration of this ancient Roman festival. A weekend of fetish and fun with a taste of ancient Rome. Mark your calendars now. Lupercalia 2012 will feature keynote speakers, interactive workshops, vendor marketplace, dinners, 3 play parties and social events for adults interested in erotic BDSM and alternative lifestyles. Lupercalia offers a safe place for individuals to share information, practice old skills and acquire new ones.

February 17-20 Dark Odyssey Washington, DC, USA

Imagine a vacation where you can explore the many facets of sexuality in a private, intimate community of like-minded people. A wholly unique experience which brings together sexuality, spirituality, education, and play in a fun, supportive, non-judgmental, diverse environment where fantasy becomes reality.


By day, learn sexual tips and techniques to create, maintain, or revive the erotic spark in your relationship. Explore a multitude of Partnering possibilities, from swinging and open relationships to threesomes and polyamory. Brush up on the basics or get hands-on experience at new BDSM skills like bondage, flogging, sensory deprivation and Dominant/submissive dynamics. Delve into a world of spiritual journeys and teachings on Earth-based spirituality, Tantra, and paganism. Find all this and more in a series of dynamic workshops from top-notch sex educators, relationship experts, BDSM masters, and spiritual teachers. At night, a very different fun begins. Join in a wonderland of freedom as people explore the things they were taught that day. In the playspace, seasoned BDSMers and novices tease and torment their partners on beautifully crafted equipment. Spin the Wheel of Destiny and try something new at our mixers. Dance, mingle and make new friends in the Saturnalia Ballroom. Dark Odyssey is a weekend convention for open-minded adults from all walks of life. This year's Winter Fire is taking place at a first class hotel in downtown Washington, DC. We will be moments from Union Station, the Mall, the Smithsonian, and Capital Hill. The hotel is scene friendly and knows exactly what we are doing. We will actually be taking over the entire hotel for a weekend everyone is sure to remember. Join us on an adventure where we play, discover, and learn to achieve more ecstatic states of love, awareness, and personal


sexuality. Dark Odyssey will immerse you in an atmosphere of sexual energy and experimentation that will add excitement and passion to your relationships and create deeper levels of connection between you and your partners.

February 17-19 BOLD Con Los Angeles, California, USA BOLD 2012

“Defining the Male Dominant/Female Submissive Het Leather Dynamic� February 17-19, 2012, Los Angeles, CA BOLD 2012 will bring together members of the Heterosexual Male Dominant/Female submissive community for two days of discussion and education focused on how we create a healthy, empowering, and


mutually gratifying dynamic for our relationships. The core of the Male Dominant/Female submissive dynamic is the relationships we build, with a basic recognition that BDSM as practiced by our community can be a healthy and positive expression of our sexual identity, needs, and desires. We further believe that leather serves as a cornerstone of community building in the BDSM lifestyle and focuses on honor, authenticity, and integrity. This conference is a step toward embodying those principles and will feature classes in three tracks: • The Art of Consensual Power Exchange: Defining Male Dom Het Leather (MDHL): • These classes and discussions will focus on identifying and clarifying the nature of Male dominance and will explore issues of ethics, transparency, honor, and integrity as well as understanding the cultural and historical basis for Male Dominant Het Leather as consensual power and authority exchange. We believe that understanding who we are and engaging in self-reflection will enhance our relationships and help foster a sense of community among Dominant men. • Empowerment through Submission: Defining the Female Submissive Role in a MDHL-FS Dynamic This track will explore themes of empowerment and liberation through the experience of female submission. Classes will be designed, taught, and programmed by female submissive's for female submissive's and will cover topics ranging from identifying needs, communicating desires, personal health and understanding and embracing multiple paths to submission and service. • Defining the Dynamic: Constructing Inspired Relationships This joint track will focus on how the Male Dom/Female submissive dynamic can foster relationships that are mutually gratifying. Taught primarily by lifestyle couples, these classes will focus on issues of both long-term and everyday concern to those who practice consensual power exchange in an


MDHL dynamic. Topics will include connecting through play, creating and managing protocols, polyamory, and communication.

February 18 Boudoir Bizarre Zaandam, North Holland, Netherlands BOUDOIR BIZARRE Over the last six years Boudoir Bizarre has earned it's place in the Dutch Fetish Scene for being a true and genuine Fetish Party. Now even one of the last remaining true Fetish Events, a distinct difference with the growing number of Kinky Dance Parties popping up all over the place. With original Fetish shows, the Bizar, Latex and fetish dressed crowd, a connection with the creative Gothic


scene and of course the fantastic atmosphere on the parties itself. For that a big thank to all the Pervs from all over the country, to all the people who helped create this Fetish Event and no less to all the people attending Boudoir Bizarre every edition in their finest outfits and with the naughtiest of intentions. The lat two years we enjoyed our vices and virtues in a venue, similar to the "Waakzaamheid" (RIP), where we had our finest and most famous editions. Many enjoyed our latest perv parties in "De Kade, in Zaandam, but now once again we're forced to move to a new venue, as the Zaanstad City Council did not want to put money in a new building for De Kade, (please feel free to tell them what A-holes they are for that). But we found a new Home again close to Amsterdam for the intimate Fetish, Goth, Burlesque, Underground, VIP and Perv party you don't want to miss. The try out last time was a big hit. Everybody loved the spac, the people, and it's fairly easy to get to and from the venue. So again we will transforme the location to suit our special needs and wants and for those who missed the last one... Don't make the same mistake twice... :-) Whether you want to dance, lounge, show off, emerge yourself in darkness, explore in the twilight, or get on your knees to ask for forgiveness in the spotlights, it's all possible. We again have the perfect place and the perfect party to do it. So, we look forward to see you and your friends again in our new surroundings at Silverstone, Zwanenburg and of course, the same motto as always applies .. At Boudoir Bizarre everybody is a V.I.P. So dress like V.I.P., Act like V.I.P., And we will treat you like V.I.P. !!!


February 24-26 WCR Winter Warm Up Palm Springs, California, USA It's 2012 and West Coast Rubber is heading back to our roots - yep we're back in Palm Springs! WCR 2012 is set for February 24 - 26, 2012. We've reserved the entire Camp Palm Springs resort for all of the hot rubber and gear action. Check out the weekend schedule and then snag your Full Weekend Package or individual tickets. Remember that you must have a full weekend package to book a room at the host hotel*. And that's definitely where you'll want to be this year.


FRIDAY • Meet and Greet, 7 PM - 9 PM - CPS (Camp Palm Springs) • Play Party, 10 PM - 2 AM - CPS SATURDAY • BBQ and Perv Pool Party, 12 Noon to 4 PM - CPS • Full Rubber Dinner, 6 PM - 8 PM - Location TBA • Mr WCR 2012 Contest, 9 PM - Midnight - Location TBD • Mr WCR Victory Party, Midnight - 3 AM - CPS

SUNDAY • Brunch 10 AM - 12 Noon - Cafe Lulu (on your own - not included in weekend package) • Goodbye Pervs Pool Party 1 PM - 4 PM - CPS What's in a name? Well obviously we love rubber! But we're multi-function kinksters and get hard for other gear as well like tight gear spandex & lycra, sports kit, superhero, hazmat, skin, uniforms, and leather. The important thing is to Get Your Gear On & Get Your Rocks Off! *You must have a full weekend package in order to book a room at the host hotel. Once you book your full weekend package, you'll receive an email within 24 hours with a booking code to give to the hotel. Buying a weekend package doesn't guarantee a room however. The hotel is on a first come-first served basis.


How to spice up Valentines Day with a little pleasure and pain By: Andrew What better day to show our sub's and slaves how much we love them than Valentine's day, for what better gifts we can give than a little bit of pleasure and pain that will leave him/her begging that everyday was Valentine's day... Let us start off with breakfast in bed. Here we can get into a little bit of food play and some bondage and blind folds, as we tie our sub/slave to the head board and tie the bind fold over his/hers head as we then begin to tease them with there favorite foods, as they feel comfortable we can now add a bit of pain to it with hot melted chocolate as we slowly let it drip onto his or her chest as they react to the heat take a cold strawberry and run it over the fresh hot chocolate bring the mixture of hot and cold into play as we then start to work our way down, at this point we can now switch and let the hot chocolate stay for a bit as we then take a knife and carefully using the edge to scrape up the chocolate and then letting them lick it of the knife. From this point you


can take your play to were you want it to go, but don't forget that at some point it is time for the sub/slave to please you as well... What about a romantic evening? A candle lit room and roses , a fine dinner with their favorite wine or champagne and dress for the occasion make it look and feel romantic it will add to what is to come. Start the nite as you would a romantic evening enjoy the main meal even hand feed your sub/slave when it is time for desert let us start our play. If you did the breakfast in bed she/he will have this in mind as you grab them by the hair and pull them unto the table as you rip off or cut off his/hers clothes as you then take then take the candles and start to drip the hot wax over them or you might just want to take them right then and there and just have rough hard sex but remember you have the whole nite ahead of you so there is many things that can be done, my suggestion would be to add all the favorite types of play that you and your sub/slave love to do and just remember there is still desert to be served and that can be used as a break before getting back at it, and you can at this point server there favorite desert in there kitty or doggy bowl as you eat at the table and after that well the sky's the limit and how you wish to play this out is solely up to you and your partner..... The object is to make this day special and one the you both will remember and can't wait till next Valentine's day to top the last and you will both find that it will spicy things up a bit for the rest of the year. So plan it out and hold nothing back and make it a day to remember.....


My Mistress Muse By: Andrew What must I do to make you scream. Cover you in firm and passionate kiss's, Grab you by the hair and bend you over my knee, Paddle your soft and bare ass till it's red, How many lashes till you are dripping wet, Or must I fuck you deep & hard, As I take your breath away, Will you beg for more... Or should I tease you more, As I bind you in the air, testing your clit w/ the crop, Sliding my tongue between your swollen folds, Sucking your juices till you start to quiver, Is that a tear I see, Are you ready to scream for me, Or most I ravage you as you are suspended before me, AS I drive deep inside you, And softly kissing your lower ear, Ahh you are almost there, Should I take you all the way, Or make you wait for a bit more, How much more can you take, As I pull your head back by your hair, Bring your breast to bare,


Placing soft kiss's and tantalizing bite's, As I drive harder & deeper into my suspended beauty, Are you now finally ready to scream?


(Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender community)

Is It a Choice to Be Gay? It Depends on the Meaning of 'It' When Cynthia Nixon, who became famous for her role on Sex and the City, recently told The New York Times that being a lesbian was, for her, "a choice," her words lit up the LGBT list servs, angering many who believe that Nixon is giving comfort to the enemy. Those who believe sexual orientation is a choice are far more likely to oppose our equality, while folks who think we are "born that way" are more likely to support us. If we can't help it, goes the thinking, we shouldn't be punished for it; and the corollary to that: if you can't choose to be gay, there's no need to stigmatize it as a way to discourage people from making the wrong choice.


Those angered with Nixon's comments felt they were both unhelpful and incorrect. They say that research, along with so many of our own experiences, make clear that being gay or lesbian is not a choice. And what Nixon was really describing, although she refused to apply the term, was the fact of being bisexual, since she had previously been partnered with a man (Nixon later said, "I don't pull out the 'bisexual' word because nobody likes the bisexuals"). But many have also defended her words, particularly lesbian and bisexual women. They say she was only speaking of her own experiences and that if she feels it was a choice for her, it's not for anyone else to say otherwise. The problem is that this is not just about what Cynthia Nixon "feels." It requires more rigorous thinking about what identity and choice really entail. Nixon's comments further muddy a matter that sometimes seems to stem from a vast but rather simple confusion in American thinking. To paraphrase President Clinton, the question depends on what the meaning of "it" is. When I hear "it's a choice" (or "it's not a choice"), I can only make sense of the statement if I know if we're discussing same-sex attraction or same-sex action. I can't say it better than the blogger John Aravosis: "It's only a choice among flavors I already like." That is, I don't choose to like chocolate ice cream, but I choose whether, when, and how much to eat it. The idea that one can choose to be attracted to one type of person over another is nonsensical, just as no one is accused of choosing to prefer chocolate over strawberry. The question is what someone will choose to do with those feelings (eat chocolate or strawberry, partner with this person or that), and whether any particular choice is morally good, bad, or neutral. Many in the LGBT community, as with progressives more broadly, would rather not contemplate the moral consequences of personal choice, lest we commit the same acts of judgment that have hurt so many of us in the past. Instead, they "bracket" questions of morality and opt for privacy, saying what we do in the bedroom is no one else's business. If we choose to engage in same-sex sexual behavior, no one but us is equipped to judge our choice. If Nixon feels this was her choice, so be it. But at a minimum, it is imperative to clear up the confusion between sexual


attraction and sexual action -- not because a same-sex sexual attraction has anything wrong with it (indeed, the problem with bracketing the moral question of choice is that it wastes an opportunity to argue that, in the words of the late Frank Kameny, "gay is good"), but because the suggestion that we chose our sexual attractions does not make sense (it's not just wrong; it's literally meaningless). Then we can move onto questions of choice about our actions. And here it is equally imperative that we insist that those actions are dignified choices, not because they're done behind closed doors or because no one has the right to judge others' actions -- they do, just as progressives rightly judge those who oppose paying taxes or recycling or treating their children nonviolently -- but because there's nothing wrong with same-sex activity, and because choosing to act in a way that's consistent with your sexual orientation -- gay, bi, or straight -- is a positive moral good. (Likewise, for those who have maturely searched their souls and found that their best and truest identity is a different sex than the one they were assigned at birth, it's a positive moral good to choose to transition genders or identify with a different one.) The best analogy for the question of choice and sexuality is not race or gender (in which people argue that we don't choose our race, sex, or sexual orientation, so we therefore deserve equality regardless of what identity we were born with) but religion. Among defenders of Nixon's "choice" remarks are those who say that, just as Americans choose their religion, why can't we choose our sexual orientation? But genuinely religious people do not experience their faith as a choice in the same way that we choose a Gucci or Armani sweater; rather, the choice is whether and how to practice a faith to which we feel called, whether and how to express a belief of which we are persuaded. They live a life of integrity by choosing to act in ways that are consistent with their best selves. Viewing attraction and action in this way -distinguishing between core parts of our identities and the choices we make as to how to express aspects of those identities -- could go far toward putting to rest the idea that we can choose to be gay, or the equally false idea that if we do choose a same-sex partner, there's anything wrong with that choice.

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Keepers of The Underworld February 2012  
Keepers of The Underworld February 2012  

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