Monday, April 22, 2013

Stonehenge is looking for a manager

Need a job? Good at management and bossing people around? Know a lot about the esoteric practices and beliefs of the druids?

There is a job waiting for you with English Heritage. English Heritage is looking for a general manager to oversee the Stonehenge site.

Tim Reeve, English Heritage's Historic Properties Director, states in the online announcement, "We are looking for a dynamic and inspirational person to welcome the million plus visitors to Stonehenge each year including the tens of thousands who celebrate the sun-rise there every Summer Solstice." Plus they are about to open the new visitor center, so there will be even more visitors in future years.

Now, personally I don't know enough about Stonehenge to apply for the job. After all, I believe that Stonehenge is part of a large trap to catch a particular pesky time traveler. I am quite sure that is not the type of knowledge that they want their general manager to gravitate towards.

But still, maybe one of my readers would be a perfect fit for the job. And if so, please remember that I told you about the job opening first...because it might help me get some decent photographs of Stonehenge that I can use in a book someday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spider Mania (Coffee Cup edition)

Yes, that is a spider on my coffee mug. 
Here is a picture of the spider that was on my coffee mug as I was writing the article for the April 2013 Hearthstone Community Church's Newsletter. Just in case, any of the newsletter readers are curious about what it looked like.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Familiar animal spirits and the modern pagan

[The following article was written for the April 2013 Hearthstone Community Church newsletter (the "Open Full Moon people"). The April 2013 Open Full Moon ritual is April 19, and will be held in the upstairs of the First Unitarian, 1400 Lafayette, Denver Colorado--doors open at 7 pm, with the ritual starting at 7:30 pm.]

Recently, one of my sisters has started to complain about me. Or rather resumed complaining about me. One of the complaints that my sister has about me is that I seem to care more about animals than I do human beings. She especially does not like it when I point out that animals have not invented nuclear bombs, credit ratings, and the IRS, therefore they are more worthy of my respect. She does not see the humor of that logic. But I must admit that I often have more empathy for animals than I have for some human beings. (There are some humans I really enjoy the company of, and there are the other ones that I just want to whack with a stick.)

In the records of the witch hunts, one often encounters the claim that witches have familiar spirits, often in the shape of an animal. Honestly, most of the people harmed during the witch hunts were Christian, and a high percentage of them seemed to be property owning unmarried women. And many of them seemed to have been crazy cat ladies. A good number of animals and their owners seemed to have been tortured and killed by the Christians in their quest to rid the world of the devil and to line their pockets with other people’s property.

And yes, I am on the side of the accused witches, be they pagan or Christian.

Scanning the literature concerning primitive religious beliefs, and the early days of religion, there seems to be a lot of respect given to our animal brethren. In shamanism, often a shaman would channel the power of an animal, such as a bear. The shaman often had that power because they survived an attack by such an animal—the logic being that if you survived a traumatic attack by a hostile animal, then you must have some power over that type of animal.

Fortunately, the modern pagan does not need to go to such extremes to be able to access the power of an animal. But it still can be dramatic to gain such a familiar spirit. For instance, my wife used to have nightmares about spiders. It took her a long time to come to terms with the spirit of the spider. Today, spiders are perfectly safe at my house. Proof of this can be found in the fact that I did not freak out a few minutes ago when I found a spider crawling on my coffee cup.

Correction—the idea that spiders are perfectly safe at my house is not completely true. The familiar animals that I work with the most—cats—tend to eat them if they venture into reach. There have been many of a time that I have watched one of the cats hunting and then eating one of the spiders. There is probably a lesson there about the spirit of one entity absorbing the life force of another entity…we probably do not want to think about it too hard.

So how did I start working with cats? At first, I started by adopting one. Well, actually two. Well, really four of them. I wanted one cat, and my friends (who were moving) insisted that I take the other one also. I agreed. Turned out that one of the cats was pregnant. I became an instant kitty daddy. A few years later, when my wife and I brought a house, we were surprised that it came complete with its own feral cat colony.

I like to think that I earned the right to have cats as one of my totem animals by serving as a caretaker to them. After all, we trapped, fixed, and released the members of the feral colony, and continue to feed and watch over them to this day. And Bast, the Egyptian goddess of cats seems to agree with my logic.

So instead of having to survive vicious animal attacks, the modern pagan seems to have gone the route of the medieval witch, gaining the companionship of animal spirits by caring and living with animals. And I imagine quite a few of them like their animal companions better than some of the humans that they know.  Heavens knows that I like my cats better than I like my sister at the moment—that probably also makes her upset. I wonder if she would like a big box of spiders.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kitty says it is cold outside

Let me in--it is cold outside.
Before you declare that I am heartless and cruel, just remember that I have been trying to convince Fierce Kitty (also known as Studio Kitty) to come live inside for the last two or three years. But he refuses because my wife insists that the doors must be closed, and there are three bully cats living on the inside of the house.

And where is all this snow and cold coming from? Did some weather witch decide that they were tired of the drought? If so, I wish that they would have done their spellwork before the Denver Water Board declared this year's watering restrictions.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Winter drought in Colorado

What the neighbor's plum tree looks like before  the blizzard.
This is the third snow day post that I have done since the beginning of the calendar year. And why is snow in Denver, Colorado such big news?! Because Denver is already in a drought.

Yes, that is right. Denver Colorado is already suffering drought conditions. And Denver Water wants everyone to cut their water use by twenty percent. So much for trying to increase the size of my garden to try to cut down on the grocery bill.

I am thinking that I might create a three by three feet raised bed, and restrict my vegetable gardening to that. I find it annoying that the first garden season that I actually have time to work on the garden that I will not be able to because of drought conditions. Ahh, the joys of living in Colorado.

Of course, this particular snow storm came at a time, just designed to annoy me. The flowers were coming up. The mugwort was getting green. And the neighbor's plum tree was blooming (yes, I pick all the plums from the branches that overhang in my yard)...I guess no plums for me this fall.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ciceros in Toronto July 2013

[File this under "Another Golden Dawn gathering that I can't afford to go to"...because all such gatherings are well outside of my budget at the moment. But I can dream, can't I?]

Chic and Tabatha Cicero are going to be lecturing in Toronto at the Temple of Ma'at-Heru on July 12 and 13, 2013.

They will be talking about the Bornless Ritual, the Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram, Opening of the Watchtower, Tarot, skrying and spirit vision, telesmatic images of the angels of the Tarot, and Enochian Magic.

Tickets can be purchase at Hermetic Virtues site
You can download PDF version of itinerary from

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy April Fool's Day (Zealot's Dictionary Edition)

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

Originally, I made a video for today, but I decided that no one really wanted to watch it (too long and nothing but a pack of lies) instead, it is time for another addition of the Zealot's Dictionary.

Humility—the ability to say that you are the greatest at some endeavor, and that everyone should focus on that endeavor, while being able to say in the same breath that you are not claiming to be the best.

Diversity—something that everyone supports as long as everyone agrees that your opinion is absolutely the only right opinion.

Pride—the ability to fly too close to the sun after super-gluing feathers to your arms.

Ego—the inability to understand rational statements while lecturing people that your understanding of the issues is the only correct one. Ego also makes one believe that you are the only person who has done “hardcore” magical, exercise, and business techniques. Ego is the number one reason that people get assassinated. “Your Honor, the man’s ego was so big that I had to kill him with that tire."  

Watermelon—a fruit of the Citrullus Vulgaris plant. It has been sacrificed many times by people, often after being named after their favorite villain. Half-rotten watermelons have been placed in charge of governments, banks, churches, and esoteric Orders since the time of Adam and Eve, where their sickly sweetness convinces numerous people that they are not the evil buggers that the conspiracy theorists believe that they are.