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Monday, October 31, 2011

Setting The Record Straight

Hey Gang,
  A Happy and safe Halloween to all!  I thought I had done this last year, but looking back in the vast "Conservative Cauldron" archives (snicker snicker!), it appears I have not.  So here goes.
  For Wiccans, Halloween is Christmas. Our highest of holy days, or sabbats. Halloween is an ancient Celtic holiday called Samhain (pronounced sow-en). It is the third of three harvest festivals  on the Pagan calendar. I could go on with a lot of history about now, but that's not why we are here. I realize I am up against about three hundred years of history and bad publicity, but I would like to explain what Halloween REALLY is.
  In addition to being a harvest festival, it is also the day in which we remember and honor our ancestors, our loved ones who have gone on to the other world.  It is also the day that we believe that the veil between this world and the otherworld is the thinnest. Also, on this day, we might engage in some form of divination. Tarot cards, runes, or perhaps and old-fashioned form of apple divination.
  It is also usually this time of year that the media likes to trot out the resident Witch, perhaps directly from "Witch Central", Salem Massachusetts, wearing flowing black robes and way too much eyeliner. And let's not forget the over-the-top fundamentalist Christian Pastor, who is convinced that Halloween is nothing more than an evil Pagan holiday only celebrated to corrupt and persuade "good Christians" over to the "dark side".
  At the risk of being repetitious, but with the hope that I have new readers all the time, part of my job here is to educate.  There is no hidden recruiting agenda.  Wiccans come from every walk of life.  We just want to practice our faith like everyone else.  We like the fun part of our holiday, but there is also a solemn meaning to it as well.  So when I am done with my ritual, I will be hungry for black and orange M&M's.     

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Who Will Protest For Me?

Hey Gang,
  The "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are a curious bunch. None of them appear to be employed, yet as they sit in the plaza, they are speaking on cell phones, surfing the Internet on laptop computers and Ipads.  There has recently been a "charging station" set up for these devices that come from evil corporations like Apple, Sony, etc....huh??  As their occupation goes on...and on, as far as I can tell, they have a problem with the very free market that make all of their techno-toys available.
  The list of their demands in it's rambling entirety stuff, and lots of it! Free health care, free education, free housing, a minimum wage of twenty dollars an hour.  Wait a minute, if you want it all to be free, why do you need a minimum wage?  Silly Capitalist asking silly questions!
  Well, I have a few more silly questions, and I am pretty sure I am not alone.  I think I am fairly normal, give or take a few spells and Full Moon rituals here and there.  I am up around 5am during the week. I work 40 hours a week.  Sure, getting up when it is still dark sucks, as does the work part.  I would much rather be writing blogs.  My question is, why can't these people do what I and millions of other Americans do every day? Why do you think you are entitled to live on my dime? Why can't I just live off your dime?  And as long as you are protesting "Wall Street" and "corporate" corruption,  why not protest the fact that you are having food and clothing donated to you by the likes of unions and the American Workers Party, an offshoot of the American Communist Party? All the while, attempting to bill this as entirely spontaneous?
  You know, I get it.  I want to protest too.  I want to protest these people who think I should work to support them, think that I have no problem with them trashing public areas which will inevitably cost my tax dollars to clean up, and basically disrupting the lives of hard-working Americans who have worked to earn their success.
  But I have to go to work.
  What a concept. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Religious Freedom Not Just For Americans

Hey Everybody,
   Well, this might be a little off the beaten path, but variety is the spice of life right?  As Americans, we treat the Bill of Rights with the utmost reverence and seriousness.  We believe that the rights enumerated in this most precious document came not from any man-made government, but our Creator. Therefore, no form of government can take them away.  So when someone else's rights are threatened, we take it to heart.
  Pastor Youcef Naderkhani is a 32-year old Iranian.  Born a Muslim, he converted to Christianity at the age of 19.  He is married with two young boys.  He is also fighting for his life.  In Iran, like most Muslim countries, conversion from Islam to any other faith, especially Christianity or Judaism is called the sin of apostasy, and the punishment for this is death.  Pastor Youcef has been given three chances to renounce his faith and has refused.  Because the Iranian "justice" system is not like ours, his execution by hanging can take place at any time, even as his appeal is being heard.
  This is wrong on a basic human level.  But why, you ask, is a Wiccan compelled enough by this story to write about it?  There was a time in world history, and in particular, American history, when people, mainly women, were put to death for being Witches.  They were executed for what people thought they were practicing, not observances of moon phases, working healing and positive magick, and reverence for the Goddess and her planet.  Even today, people are killed for being "witches" all over the world.  In many areas still, if the crops fail, or the livestock is diseased and die, the locals will point and say, "witch!"
  Human Beings have held differing beliefs and faiths since time began.  It will always be.  Religious persecution is wrong no matter who it is directed at. And it must not be tolerated anywhere.  All freedom-loving people of the world must keep pressure on the Iranian government to make sure that this blatant violation of human rights does not happen.
  I can only hope that the courage and steadfastness of heart, mind, and spirit exhibited by Pastor Youcef can be an inspiration to us all.