Pagan Precept Bible Study. Esther Intro

To date I have studied Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, John, Covenant and both books of Peter. I’ll more than likely have to go back and redo the studies so I can record what I’ve learned. Though I’m studying from the Precept studies I’ll be pulling from other commentaries and smaller studies as we go. So let’s get started.

Esther is the 17th book of the Bible. It is the last of the 12 books of history. There are ten chapters with 167 verses. The author is unknown.

The book of Esther takes place in the years 483-473 B.C. This is ten years in Ahasuerus’ 21 year reign. There is a timeline included with this study and you can see that the book of Esther takes place right in the middle of the book of Ezra. Specifically between chapters six and seven. Strangely enough, God is not mentioned once in this book. It’s written like a good story. It takes place in the citadel of Susa, or Shushan. This is in Persia. Let’s do some history.

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Ahasuerus is the ruler of Persia and Media at the time of this book. Ahasuerus is also known as Xerxes the Great and from now on I will refer to him as such because Ahasuerus is longer and more difficult to type out. As we know from history and the book of Daniel, the Jews were in a 70 year captivity with Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar (fun to say, not to write out). In 2 Kings we learn that Jeconiah was exiled from Jerusalem and nine years later, Nebuchadnezzar laid siege. In the process, the temple was destroyed and all the treasures plundered.  Later the ruler of Babylon died and Belshezzar took over. In Daniel 5 we learn that this new ruler decided to have a party and use the goblets that were taken from the house of God from which they were looted. Belshezzar witnessed a hand and forearm appear by the wall and start writing a language he was not familiar with. Daniel came and translated. Shortly after God divided the kingdom between the Medes and the Persians.

Darius the Mede (not Darius the I) ruled Media and Cyrus ruled Persia. Cyrus was anointed by God. He helped the Jews, but not all the Jews returned home. They were content in staying in Persia. BUT when Xerxes began his rule, he wrote an accusation against the people of Judah so the Jews kept quiet of who they were.

So now I think I’ve got you caught up on the history before Esther. We know what’s going on and where it takes place in history. Thanks for sticking with me this far. Next time we will get into chapter one.

Start of A Pagan Studying the Bible

For a few years now I have been doing Bible studies with Terri. I never really liked studying the Bible. It was always the same to me. The studies never went in depth and explained what was going on or who these people were in the book. So I took a chance and went with Terri to a precept class taught by a beautiful soul we call Ness. If I recall correctly, I think the first one I did was on the book of Obadiah. As we all know Obadiah is only one chapter, but I was hooked. The Precept on Precept studies were created by Kay Arthur. Precept Ministries is based out of Chattanooga and includes dozens of different studies.

I actually had fun doing these studies so I decided I will record what I’ve learned on this blog and see what we can discover. I might change the title of the series when I come up with something a little more catchy. There will still be posts on herbs and deities and book reviews as well as my gaming posts so no worries. I hope you enjoy.

Footnote: When looking for images there were absolutely no creative commons images for Kay or the Precept logo. If prompted I will remove them, but I just wanted to throw that out there: you can find ALMOST anything under creative commons except this Christian organization.

Death on a Sunday Review

There are few opportunities I get to read a “homegrown” novel. Death on a Sunday has taken the cake on the type of novel that gets me going. The third book written by Tish Owen, this is her first fictional work. She’s not only shown that she can create a how-to book and spellbook, but Tish has made it clear that she can write attention grabbing fiction.

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Having heard Tish speak on multiple occasions, it wasn’t hard for me to hear her as I read. It was like listening to a story my grandmother would tell me as I sat at the foot of her bed. There was that Southern charm in the way it was told that’s so hard to capture in written form. She makes it look so easy.

I will admit that it was a bit tough to get into the novel at the beginning. It started off with so much detail. Almost everything that is talked about is heavily described, but it added to the atmosphere. I felt that sense of being where the character was. I could almost smell the house from the descriptions this author had given. I was drawn back to the days reading George R.R. Martin’s novels and the pages of meal dileneation.

As the book went on I was put through so much emotion with the main character, Tess. I personally reminded of my family in some of the conversations she has. There’s just something about family and friends in the South that most people don’t understand, but Tish put into words what I never thought I could say. And the moments where you’re slammed with a new plot point or scenario, you learn as you read to relax as Tish gives better explanations a few pages later.

For a first fiction novel, Tish Owen does not disappoint. I was drawn in and held tight with each chapter. It’s different to read about an area that I’ve called home in a book and it be told so accurately. The plot keeps you guessing and you keep cheering Tess on. I’m very glad and grateful I had the chance to read this novel. It’s a definite staple on my bookshelf.


About the Author

(Taken from Death on a Sunday)

Tish Owen is an ole Southern girl, born and bred by her very Southern mother, a Yankee father and his Irish mother. She drew up Catholic, and in the South that was a rarity. So she has a bit of a different take on the world and how things work. She spent most of her childhood running in the woods and playing make believe – a good foundation for a writer. She is blunt, funny, hard-working, sarcastic, irreverent, opinionated, polite to her elders, expects children to behave, likes dogs, cats, horses and birds – isn’t such a fan of snakes. She lives in Nashville with her husband, her ninety-seven year old mother, a rat terrier, two cats and an African Grey.

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http://www.tishowen.com/
http://www.goddessandthemoon.com/
https://www.facebook.com/heytish

For Lillia

On November 3rd, a friend of mine commented on a post about the passing of Wayne Static. She said,”death does not discriminate.” Nine days later she died.

I’ve had many friends throughout my life. Most of them were temporary friendships that I was okay with how they faded. Now there’s only a select few that I confide in, one living on the other side of the world from me. I do not trust anyone new that I meet due to the fact that people I considered my kin turned their back on me after I had done so much for them. It’s funny how people change. It’s funny how in one instance, someone I considered a soul mate received a card in middle school from someone she thought was her best friend saying they could no longer be friends turn around and do the same to me eight years later by cutting me off without a fucking goodbye. It’s funny how you spend so much time, money, energy, and love on certain people and they suddenly want to make everyone in the whole town think you’re a horrible person.

Lillia was different. We met through a group on Facebook and became acquaintances. In February, when our dog Gabriel was shot, she immediately messaged me and asked for updates on him. After that, we never stopped talking about everything we could think of. We shared stories of our teenage years, exchanged information on herbs and stones, and introduced each other to new music and animes. She became someone I would talk with every night I knew she was working. Lillia would take time out of her day to talk to me. I’m not going to share detailed information on her life or what was wrong that lead to her death. She named herself Lillia for a reason.

Lil worked way too hard for her own good. That’s what made her unique. She never knew when to rest, but she knew things had to be done. You could tell from the way she talked to other people that everyone who knew her as a friend completely adored her. Those that didn’t had to work really hard for her not to like them. People like that are pure treasures and her family and loved ones knew that.

Some folks might be saying that just because I knew her online, doesn’t mean I actually knew her. That I really have no place in doing any of this because I didn’t know her “in real life.” I say you can go fuck yourselves. It honestly doesn’t matter if you know someone through the internet or the physical plane. The fact of the matter is that you knew another human being that you connected with and formed a relationship with. So anyone who thinks they have a higher privilege because of that needs to check it. Those of us who have no possible way of going around the globe or across a country to spend time with someone still have that connection as if we had.

I don’t know if this post has gone the way I wanted it to or not. I’m being purely honest and not censoring what I’m going to say. I’m devastated and absolutely heartbroken at the loss of someone I loved dearly. I can only count my blessings and keep being the person she knows I am. I learned a lot from her and I will cherish the time I got with her. Now she’s on to the next big adventure. Hopefully she’ll meet me at the bar.

Oh, and Alex, when you finally decide to get your ass to the states, drinks are on me.

Oh, Ye of Little Education

Hehehehehe

JAFPO

When I’m hanging around Facebook doing my thing, I sometimes get messages from people who have encountered a certain breed of people. You know the kind: simple minded, selfish, arrogant, sense of entitlement. I’m always surprised by the stupidity that pops up on the newsfeeds of FaceSpace.

This particular instance happened not too long ago and I was sent screen shots of the discussion. I don’t think I could have facepalmed any harder. I want to share this with you all in hopes that you can educate others… and laugh at this jackass. Of course, all names and photos are censored to protect identity, but not their idiocy.
This is part one where I’m going to make a post about this man’s status and critique it. The second part will be the reactions of fellow Facebookers and his responses. You’ll want to stay around for that, I promise.

dl1

This is a status…

View original post 1,177 more words

I Don’t Play for Gender. I Play for Skills.

In light of all the controversy going on in the gaming community over gender equality, I would like to share some things with all you fine people.

Firstly, if I want to play as a dude in a game, I’m going to play as a dude. I don’t care that some games have the main character as a guy or a girl. I’m playing to enjoy the game.

I had a conversation with someone recently dealing with the new Borderlands game coming out Oct. 14th. For those of you not familiar with the Borderlands franchise let me give you a quick rundown. In Borderlands 1 you play as a vault hunter. You’re looking for a massive treasure with lots of loot. In Borderlands 2 you are a vault hunter that must stop the villain, Handsome Jack. In these games you can play as a male or female. In the first installment of the game you have the options of Brick, Roland, Lilith or Mordecai. They all have different skill sets and special actions. None of them are alike in the least. When I play a game, I usually go for tank or sniper so obviously I would pick Brick or Mordecai. Their stats and action skills are set to those specific gameplay styles.

Mordecai, Lillith, Brick, Roland

Mordecai, Lilith, Brick, Roland

In Borderlands 2 you can choose Axton, Slavador, Maya, or Zer0 (Krieg and Gaige came with downloads). For this game I had two choices for “tank:” Salvador the Gunzerker or Krieg the Psycho. The sniper or rogue character was Zer0. Now the skills and actions are a little different from the tradition tags of tank or rogue/sniper, but it’s the same idea. Salvador’s action skill is to wield two weapons at once; any gun could be paired with any other type of gun. Krieg had his buzz axe which made melee such a thrill. Zero has sniper stats, but his action skill was to make a clone so you could get some distance from your enemies or (as you built up your skill tree) to keep melee actions going so long as it was a one hit one kill or enemies were present.

Axton, Maya, Salvador, Zer0, Gaige, Krieg

Axton, Maya, Salvador, Zer0, Gaige, Krieg

Now in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, it takes place on Pandora’s (the planet the previous games take place on) moon, Elpis. You are helping the villain from BL2 (Handsome Jack) take his place over the Hyperion company. It’s like an origin story, but in space with the most kick ass villain I’ve fought against except you’re not fighting against him. You learn the backstory of how Jack got to power in the Hyperion Company. In this game you can play Wilhelm (a boss in BL2), Athena (a former ally from a DLC in BL1), Nisha ( a boss from BL2) and everyone’s favorite robot Claptrap (or CL4P-TP Interplanetary Ninja Assassin).

Not his official title.

Not his official title.

Now the decisions for these characters are a bit taxing. There’s no set label such as the tank, rogue, magic user, etc. So right now, I don’t know who I am going to play. I’m leaning more toward Wilhelm because of his drone action skill. I will go more into The Pre-Sequel in a later post.

But this brings me back to the conversation I had. I was explaining all this to a person who does not play video games. Yes, she has played a few but it’s not her hobby. I told her about the characters and the vast amount of options you had with each one. It was kind of cool to have someone listen to me babble on and on about a game that wasn’t my husband. She paused for a moment and asked,” Which character are you going to play?”

I responded that I didn’t know, but was thinking of Wilhelm or Claptrap. Her brow furrowed and she tilted her head a little. “You’re not going to play a girl character?”

What? I… don’t think so… I don’t like their gameplay styles. I might when I do a second playthrough just to get the experiences for that particular character. What she said next made me realize that gaming related gender issues come out of the community and leak into the rest of the world… at least a little anyway.

“But you’re a girl. Why wouldn’t you want to play a girl character? The people who made the game put the girls in there so chick gamers can play as a chick.”

Me^

Me^

I’ll admit that game developers have come a long way to include the female gender in the gaming world, but that’s not the reason there are female protagonists in games. For instance you have women like Mrs. Pacman, Lara, Faith, Samus, Sonya…. I could keep going. Some games you don’t have a choice but to play a female just as there are games where the main character is a male. If the game gives me a choice, I’m going to play the class I feel will get me the best results in the game. Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Skyrim, and Fallout are wonderful examples of what I like most about picking a character. You can be a guy or a girl while customizing that character to your specs. It’s freakin’ awesome.

So while I don’t mind playing as a female character in most games, I will pick a character to play that I feel will benefit me most in the game. If I like what that character’s stats are then I will pick them. The gaming world has become largely more inclusive to women in the recent years and I’m glad that I’m here to take advantage of that opportunity. Just don’t think differently of a person by the character they play.

Bangarang

There are many stories that stick with us as we grow up. They remind us of happier times sitting down and either watching it unfold or letting it bloom in our minds as we read the words printed in a book. It’s a strange thing, growing up. We forget we’re doing it and one day we look back and mourn the loss of childhood. Some of us have children in the underlying hopes that we live, once more, what we had long ago. We share those stories we promised ourselves never to forget; the stories that made us immortal in our minds.

We were superheroes, wizards, cowboys, fairies, robbers, ninjas, and pirates. We had sword fights and shootouts. We scaled castle walls and crawled through trenches. There was no impossible with us. Towels served as capes just as couch cushions were the impenetrable walls to our fort. We were gods among men.

But the clock ticked by while we danced and played to our heart’s content, and we had to grow up. There’s one story that keeps me sane through this growing up that I’m going through: The tale of a boy who could fly. For me, my earliest memory of the story was *When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies* -JM Barrie

It wasn’t just JM Barrie’s tale alone that drilled its way into my life, but the continuation of the story by James V. Hart. The movie *Hook* taught me a few things about growing up. Peter Pan grew up. He fell for the same trick Time pulled on us… he lived for the adventure. Yes, Peter grew up, but he showed us that it’s okay to go back. It’s alright to pretend and play.

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It seems most of us are waiting for our next adventure when we grow up. We keep waiting and waiting and get drawn into the limbo of just pushing through and thinking something huge is coming. So when is it coming? It’s not unless you go get it.

For some, that adventure is getting a new home. It could be moving to a new place or buying your own car. Sometimes, it’s dying. Death is the next great adventure for people who have had their share of adventures in this life. We should never fear death, but we should also cherish life. It can be hard at times and people go on that next adventure way before they’re due. Others suffer at their expense. When life becomes more of a burden, that decision to end it is the final choice for some.

Never take that final choice as the answer. There are troubling times in our lives for a reason. They are adventures that you, as the hero, must overcome and defeat.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. -William Shakespeare

No one should ever take their exit early. Always remember you have a part to play no matter how big or small. There is always help and a hand waiting to help you back up. Look around. There are more people around you who have ventured in their minds and dared to imagine that next adventure. I’m one, but I have a pillar I can lean on. Everyone does. Just look. Father Time is the only one who decides when we can rest between journeys. Trust him and your next quest will be amazing.

★Bangarang★

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Adventure with Jeffrey

This post is also featured on the Pentacle Project Blog: http://pentalcleproject.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/adventure-with-jeffrey-by-aradia-lecrawe/

In 2013, I attended the Pagan Unity Festival in Burns, Tn.

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I was invited by my adopted mother and our friends, Ariel and Tom of the Green Egg. It was my first festival and my excitement was to the roof. This was the first time I could be open about who I was with people who were like me. The VIPs of that year had me looking forward to learning new things. I wouldn’t consider myself a “baby Pagan” but I felt like one amidst the heavy hitters. There was a bit of intimidation, but I remembered everyone, festival goer and speaker alike, were there to learn and have a good time. To be honest, I got along more with the speakers and a few vendors than the rest of the people.

If you go to PUF and see this woman, give her a hug and say thanks. Also tell her everything is going to be okay. She stresses to much. :P

If you go to PUF and see this woman, give her a hug and say thanks. Also tell her everything is going to be okay. She stresses too much.😛

Now this story isn’t going to be an account of my experience. It’s a story of understanding, or trying to, the level of a person; one person in particular. It’s also an lesson in the sanctity of the earth. So this person in question stood out at the festival. We will call him Jeffrey. I’m hoping his real name isn’t Jeffrey or this will be awkward. He didn’t really make a big impression at the start. I couldn’t help but notice him walking around when I arrived. He was a small, lanky fellow with freshly dyed black hair, glasses, the infamous three wolf and full moon shirt, and cargo pants with sneakers. His gait was wide and almost John Wayne-esque as he waddled up and down a little path leading from the main hall to vendor’s row. Of course, I thought nothing of it. I’ve seen people like him before and accept them for who they are, but things were about to get perplexing.

Ah. The wonderful Three Wold Moon shirt. Decoration for the Gypsy Soul.

Ah. The wonderful Three Wolf Moon shirt. Decoration for the Gypsy Soul.

Now, mind you, I wasn’t watching Jeffrey like a hawk the moment I got there. I just saw him in passing as there weren’t many people at the festival that year, and trust me, he made his rounds. My first strange experience with Jeffrey came during the talk that Oberon Zell-Ravenheart was giving about education. Brilliant speech, but I kept getting distracted by Jeffrey. I think he decided that in order to get the best view, he wouldn’t sit like everyone else and share the tables and benches. No, he was going to open his lawn chair right in the middle and sit front and center. Granted, it’s not a bad idea, but if the people on either side want to get up, they can’t. It really wasn’t that big a deal. It was just a little strange to me, but I let it go. The next thing I took note of was after Oberon was finished, he opened the floor for questions. Naturally people would ask about the subject of his lecture (education and the school systems). Not Jeffrey. I saw his hand go up and he asked,” What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever done?” Okay. A little off topic, but curiosity is good. I have to admit though, I titled my head and stared at the back of his for a few seconds in confusion.

What?

What?

Nevertheless, Oberon would never let an inquisitive mind go without being sated and answered Jeffrey’s question. He didn’t give a specific instance, but how could you if you were Oberon?

Being an empath, I felt something odd. A feeling of dissatisfaction. Not from myself, but from in front of me. I realized that wasn’t the answer Jeffrey was looking for. Thankfully, he was respectful and accepted Oberon’s answer. Not a big deal, right? Of course. I’m sure there were a few people coming with specific expectations that weren’t met. It’s okay. Just take a breath and move one. It’s what most people do.

I don't think I have to reiterate what this picture says.

I don’t think I have to reiterate what this picture says.

 I naturally went on about my day walking around with my other adopted mother, Lora. We ventured through vendor’s row and saw many excellent wares. It almost felt like walking around a Khajit caravan from The Elder Scrolls Series. There was incense burning, music play, and a drum circle over by the giant oak tree. The vendors were absolutely wonderful and friendly. I’m hoping one day Sylveey, Lora and myself could set up a tent. I think it would be fun.

Anyway, I sat through a couple of other talks and met Dorothy Morrison, one of the sassiest, classiest fucking witches to grace this earth. Seriously, read her books and watch videos of her talks (especially with MR Sellars). I’m not afraid to be a bit wicked and put my foot down thanks to this woman. You’ll see another post later on about Dorothy.

Can't contain this much awesome.

Can’t contain this much awesome.

The reason I bring up Dorothy is she is involved somewhat with my experience with the Jeffrey. You see, that night in a cabin there was a small class called “Chicken Feet avec Dorothy Morrison, Byron Ballard, and Nancie Clark.”

Nancie, Oberon, and Byron

Nancie, Oberon, and Byron… I didn’t take this btw

Oh I was completely over the moon knowing I was going to sit through a talk with these women. I love Hoodoo. I love Folk Magic. I love herbs. This was right up my alley. Sylveey and Lora had been mentoring me in these magicks since I had met them, and to learn with them was whole other experience.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing and get back to Jeffrey.

Unfortunately, there were no tables or chairs in this tiny cabin. Thankfully, it was a small group. I recognized a few people from earlier in the day. Oberon even made his way inside. It was a new experience sitting on the floor against the wall, bare feet sticking out from my dress, and fanning myself along with other sweaty, happy Pagans. Before everything got started I looked around and lo and behold there’s Jeffrey, middle of the room in his lawn chair. This was probably the first time I regret not bringing one.

So the ladies started to get things going. We were informed that they didn’t have a set itinerary for the talk and they decided to make it a huge discussion involving everything. They asked if we had any questions or if we had anything to discuss. Out of the corner of my eye I see a pasty white arm shoot in the air. Guess what…

It was Jeffrey.

Now this next bit is where my brain starts turning and a series of events unfold where my inner Southern woman comes out. Jeffrey didn’t want a discussion. He didn’t want to talk with a group or to the women teaching. No. The first thing that popped out of his mouth was,” Are we going to do a powerful ritual?”

hmmmm...neutral suspicious face activated

hmmmm…neutral suspicious face activated

I know I said earlier about letting things go, but I had this feeling that I should pay attention and not ignore what he had just done. So, naturally, I kept him in my peripheral. He was informed that rituals take place out on the ritual field and this was a class. Forgive me, I cannot remember the details of everything that was said so bear with me.

Dorothy shared that you can use chicken feet to cleanse a person before a ritual. You go around them making the motions of chicken scratching (with the foot in hand, of course) and “scratch off” any negative energy.  She called on a couple of volunteers and sure enough, I catch that lily white arm rocket into the air. Jeffrey leapt (btw, did you know that WordPress does not recognize “leapt” as a word?) like a gazelle over a few people and stood front and center as Nancy’s husband stepped forward. I will have to give you a picture to show a similar point of view I had.

Nancy's husband is Tsun... the big guy

Nancy’s husband is Tsun… the big guy

might be over exaggerating a tiiiiny bit, but like I said: I can’t remember details.

Anyway, Nancy’s husband (I will call him Tsun and I’m sorry I can’t remember his name) cleansed Jeffrey. It was an interesting spectacle to watch a cleansing with a chicken foot. I was actually thinking of how I could acquire a chicken foot and if I could use a different bird. Sadly, I’m still guessing but that’s my fault for not asking. Jeffrey stood there kind of meditative. Out of nowhere, Dorothy sounds off with,” You can also use scissors.” Again, I’m intrigued until she says to switch places.

There was a shift in the air around the cabin. No one said a word but you could literally feel everyone collectively think,” I…. don’t think that’s a good idea.” So now, all of us sat in silence with straight faces as Jeffrey started snipping the air around Tsun.

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It was almost comical when Dorothy reminded him to get the top of the head and watch Jeffrey strain to reach. You could almost catch a glint of mischief in Tsun’s eye as he stood there…. from what I remember anyway.  Luckily, that experience went by without anything unexpected. Everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief both internally and externally. I also got confirmation through empathy that I wasn’t the only one a bit iffy with Jeffrey. So we then went on to talk of different tips and tricks using brick dust and herbs and protection. I wish I could remember what exactly it was we talked about but the next bit kind of blew that all away.

THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES CONTAIN NSFW LANGUAGE AND RANTS. DON’T LIKE IT? DON’T READ IT.

There was a couple there that also took some time to explain some things to people using their experience. One lady had a question and the gentleman went on about how to help her. I could feel there were a few people who thought it was rude he was talking and talking, but I was interested. But remember this couple… they are important later.

Right after this exchange, Jeffrey’s arm was in the air again. Dorothy pointed at him and a classic came out of his mouth:

“I think I’ve been cursed.”

Just........ no

Just…….. no

First question in my head which was also immediately followed by Dorothy: Who did you piss off?

Now here is where my southern charm is gonna show. This “Playgan” decided to visit the Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tn. If there is one legend I know by heart, it’s the Bell Family and their “Witch.” When visiting the area, you are taken to the cave itself. Little Jeffrey thought it was a good idea to take a rock. HE TOOK A ROCK! He then stated that he lost his job and some other stuff but I was fuming.

Would you like to know why?

YOU DON’T TAKE SHIT WITHOUT ASKING!!!

He thought the Bell Witch was an actual fucking person! NOOOO!

And lastly:

IT’S A GODDAMN NATIVE AMERICAN BURIAL GROUND!

Rage.sh-600x600

I had stayed calm up to this point. I wanted to correct him. By gods, if that man and woman could share a thing or two then I would as well. This was an open discussion. Too bad everyone was talking at once. I leaned over, and from later stories from witnesses, I was in the lap of the person next to me pointing at Jeffrey. I wanted to say so much but I WILL NOT talk over people.

For the first time, Jeffrey looked right at me and all I was able to say to him was the first rule of going into a cave:

Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

Tacoma Falls, MI

Tacoma Falls, MI

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville, Florida

Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville, Florida

 These are just a couple of examples. There are signs in just about every place that involves caving systems or state parks. Tennessee is known for having some sweet caves. Anytime you visit one you are reminded of this little motto. Apparently Jeffrey didn’t listen so I reminded him. The problem was that I was being drowned out and interrupted by the couple in the back. I don’t know if they knew they did, but I was already in angry ginger mode so they were on my bad side too. Though, now, I couldn’t care less.

Let me tell you what I wanted to say; what I wanted to shove in his tiny little ears and make sure it fuckin stayed. He had dealt with two things that I hold dear.

1. The Bell Witch

The Bell Witch was not a witch at all. The Bell Witch had NOTHING to do with that damn cave. The movie that was released a few years ago had it right. The Bell Witch was a manifestation caused by a little girl who was going through undue stress.

I suggest reading The Bell Witch: An American Haunting by Brent Monahan.

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2. Caves are Sacred

On top of the cave being a burial ground where Native Americans don’t want to be disturbed, it’s also a sacred place. We are of the earth. We are a part of it. When you walk into a cave, feel reverent that you are inside of our mother. You are in the womb. Caves hold a completely different energy that is awe inspiring and powerful. Respect shouldn’t be a choice, but a necessity when you enter such a place.

Lost Sea in Sweetwater, Tn

Lost Sea in Sweetwater, Tn

What Jeffrey did was take something from a place that was occupied by those who have left this plane of existence. If Jeffrey were knowledgeable, he would have asked. Yes, I did think of the probability that Jeffrey was one of those “computer taught pagans” who hasn’t had the opportunity to be taught by an actual person. Then again, he could have been one of those and thought he knew what the fuck he was doing.

Did I overreact? No. I never got to share what I wanted to. This is a rant to the readers.

There are Pagans out there who think they know everything. They tend to give the rest of us a bad name. I don’t think Jeffrey is one of these. I sensed he was wanting to learn.  He had the air about him of being a loner. Maybe he was the only one in his family to take this path. He just seemed so lonely, but it’s those kinds of situations where you know if you befriend them, it’ll only end badly.

So Jeffrey, if you’re out there, I’m offering an open invitation to come have a chat with me. Let’s talk and we will get you on the right track on being a Pagan. I’m not saying I know everything, but I can help you out. I know what I’ve been taught… by human beings, not computers. I can give you books and videos about things that will blow your little mind. I’m not coming here offering to be a teacher, but I’m giving you my hand to take you where the information flows like wine.

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

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Names:

Bloodwort, Gandana (Sanskrit), I-chi-kao (Chinese), Lady’s Mantle, Milfoil, Miilifolium, Old Man’s Pepper, Sanuinary, Soldier’s Woundwort, Stanch Grass, Thousand Leaf, Thousand Seal, Nosebleed, Achillea, Bad Man’s Plaything, Carpenter’s Weed, Death Flower, Devil’s Nettle, Eerie, Field Hops, Gearwe, Hundred Leaves Grass, Knight’s Milfoil, Knyghtenm Old Man’s Mustard, Seven Year’s Love, Snake’s Grass, Tansy, Yerw

Description: 

A hardy weedy perennial, grows 8-18 inches, sometimes to 24 inches tall. If cultivated and fertilized, can grow to 5 feet. It is identifiable in the part by the finely divided leaves (millefolium= of a thousand leave) and the erect flowering stalk with the white or reddish composite flowers that are arranged in panicled false umbels, and in part by its aromatic scent, which is released when the leaves and flowers are crushed. Borne in large, flat, dense clusters 6 inches in diameter, the flowers are on top of the erect stems. Each flower head resembles a single flower but has five ray florets and a central disk. Flowers in summer to early fall. Seeds have small wings. It has soft, grayish, feathery, ethereal-looking leaves. The flowers are usually white but hybrids of today come in lavenders, reds, lemon-yellow and pinks. Varieties: A tomentosa, A. filipendulina, A decolorans. The white blooming A. millefolium is the most cultivated for medicinal use. Raising it from seed is possible, but quite involved. Collect a few plants from the roadside, etc., and set them 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) apart in normal garden soil in a sunny location. Everything else will take care of itself, as long as the area has no standing water. Zones 3-10. Not heat tolerant.

Culpeper
Descrip.- It has many leaves cut into a multitude of fine small parts, of a deep green color and tough substance; the stalk is upright, of a dull grayish green, and the flowers are usually white, but not all of the whiteness and grow in knots. Some of these, among others, will grow of a delicate crimson, which are those that produce seed, and from this seed will rise red flowered plants.

Where Found

Native to Europe, now commonly found growing wild in North America (except far north). This herb is a familiar plant in meadows and fields, along the sides of country lanes, roadsides, on embankments, and in landfills and garbage dumps.

 This is an upright, and not unhandsome plant common in our pasture grounds, and, like many others, of much more than is generally known. It is perennial and grows to two feet high.

Time

It blooms from July to the latter end of August.

Gender: Feminine, Planet: Venus, Element: Water, Powers: Courage, Love, Psychic Powers, Exorcism

Government and Virtues

It is under the influence of Venus. As a medicine it is drying and binding. A decoction of it boiled with white wine, is good to stop the running of the reins in men, and whites in women; restrains violent bleedings, and is excellent for the pilea. A strong tea in this case should be made of the leaves, and drunk plentifully; and equal parts of it, and of a toad flax, should be made into a poultice with pomatum, and applied outwardly. This induces sleep, eases the pain, and lessens the bleeding. An ointment of the leaves cures wounds, and is good for inflammations, ulcers, fistulas, and all such runnings as abound with moisture.

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Parts Usually Used
Whole plant in flower, dried in the shade. (usually leaves and flowers)

Medicinal Properties
Astringent, antispasmodic, tonic, promotes sweating, styptic, hemostatic, alterative, diuretic, vulnerary, diaphoretic, carminitive, and stomachic

Biochemical Information
Yarrow yields a volatile oil containing azulene, also gum, tannin, resin, chlorides of calcium and potassium, and various salts such as nitrates, malates, and phosphorus, cineol and proaculene, achilleine (which is the bitter component of the herb), and vitamin C. Over a 100 biologically active compounds have been identified.

Uses
Used since antiquity for headaches, fevers (drink hot tea), colds, and influenza. Helps curb diarrhea, dysentery, anemia, gas, diabetes, Bright’s disease, palpitations and excessive menstruation. Treatment for gastrointestinal and gallbladder complaints, gonorrhea, toothache (chew the leaves), lack of appetite, and catarrhs of the digestive system, hyperacidity, nervousness, nosebleed, bleeding from the lungs, anorexia, enteritis, stomach ulcers, hemoptysis, gastritis, high blood pressure, styptic, and sleep disturbances, produces a feeling of peace and relaxation for women in the menopause, and is a tonic. The herb, either as a tea or as a bath additive, has proved helpful in allaying rheumatic pain and control of high blood pressure. Used for smallpox, typhoid fever, measles, malaria (it is more effective than quinine), and chickenpox to relieve itching.
In antiquity, and during the Middle Ages, yarrow was used primarily to treat old wounds. As a wash, it can be used to stop bleeding from piles, nosebleeds, and cuts , and to soothe sores and bruises.
Used as an insect repellent for Japanese beetles, ants and flies. Plant as a border to the garden.

Formulas or Dosages
For medicinal purposes, all the flowering parts above ground are used, everything except the lower, lignified parts of the plant. Cut it up to dry in the open air, then cut it into small pieces and store it in containers that can be tightly closed, protected from light and dampness.
One or two cups of tea made from the leaves or blossoms is reputed to stop nausea within minutes.
Tea: steep 1 heaping tsp. in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Drink 3 or 4 cups per day an hour before meals and upon retiring. It must be warm to be effective.
Take one wineglass full night and morning of a standard infusion from the leaves and occasional flowers.

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⊗Warning⊗
Yarrow interferes with the absorption of iron and other minerals.
Small numbers of cases of allergic reactions have been reported upon contact with the plant; their skin turned red and an itchy rash developed. Such people also cannot tolerate yarrow tea or yarrow baths. Discontinue the treatment at once if problems of this kind appear. Then the allergic reaction will disappear quickly. Avoid large doses in pregnancy because the herb is a uterine stimulant.
Large or frequent doses taken over a long period may be potentially harmful. Contains thujone, considered toxic. Consult with the doctor.

Magickal Uses

When worn, yarrow protects the wearer, and when held in the hand, it stops all fear and grant courage. A bunch of dried herb hung over the bed or yarrow used in wedding decorations ensures a love lasting at least seven years. It is also used in love spells. Carrying the herb not only brings love but it also attracts friends and distant relations you wish to contact. It draws the attention of those you most want to see. The flowers are made into an infusion and the resulting tea is drunk to improve psychic powers. Washing the head with a yarrow infusion will prevent baldness but won’t cure it if it has already begun. It is also used to exorcise evil and negativity from a person, place or thing.

Datura

**Datura is a poison and acts as a skin irritant if touched. Do not ingest without professional guidance**

Datura_stramonium_flower

Datura is of the nightshade family. It contains belladonna alkaloids. High doses lead to central excitation, compulsive chatter, delirium, hallucination, mania, and restlessness, often followed by exhaustion and lethargy and/or sleep.

Dature is also known as Angel’s Trumpets, Moonflowers, Devil’s Apple, Ghost Flower, Jimsonweed, Love-Will, Mad Apple, Madherb, Manicon, Stinkweed, Sorcerer’s Herb, Thornapple, Toloache, Witches’ Thimble, Yerba del Diablo (Herb of the Devil).

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Saturn

Element: Water

Powers: Hex Breaking, Sleep, Protection

It was used in Shamanic practices and religious rites and the Aztecs considered the plant to be sacred.

Magickal Uses: used to break spells by sprinkling it around the home. If insomnia persists night after night, it may be cured by placing some datura leaves into each shoe then setting the shoes under the bed with toes pointing outward the nearest wall. A few leaves placed the crown of a hat protects the wearer from apoplexy and sunstroke.

Used as: Anesthetic, anti asthmatic, antihitimanic, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, sedative, stimulant, fungicide, hallucinogen, hypnotic, mydriatic, narcotic, poison, sedative.

Used to treat: abscess, acidity, alopecia, apoplexy, asthma, ataxia, boil, bruise, burn, cancer, childbirth, colic, convulsion, cough, cramp, dandruff, delirium, dermatosis, diarrhea, earache, ecstasy, emphysema, epilepsy, fever, fits, flu, fracture, fungus, gout, headache, heatstroke, hemorrhoid, hiccup, hydrophobia, hyperacidity, hysteria, infection, inflammation, influenza, insomnia, madness, mania, melancholy, motion sickness, nymphomania, pain, paralysis, parasite, parkinson’s, psychosis, rheumatism, sciatica, sore, sore throat, spasm, sprain, stammering, thirst, tremor, tuberculosis, trismus, tuberculosis, ulcer, wart, wound.