Wake Up America

A rant…

I’m sitting here, scrolling Facebook, and have come to the realization that my fellow Americans need a serious wake-up call.

The posts I see as I scroll:

From China’s inhabitants –> cute pandas, baby owls, ducklings, and other animals; how they educate their kids, the schools that promote and encourage learning, no problems with discipline; videos that promote helping their fellow man, not treating them like they are diseases that should be cut out and killed.

From England’s residents –> books and movie reviews, food reviews and funny as hell commercials banned from TV here in the US.

From Iceland –> positive traditions such as exchanging books on Christmas eve.

From Australia –> post of genuine confusion regarding the US and what’s happening here

From Canada –> a funny, but real, video of their Parliament discussing the zombie apocalypse (that one was old, but cute!)

From U.S. inhabitants –> shootings; cops beating/killing people; violence; religion bashing; and generally a fuck-ton of hate.

Anyone else seeing the problem here? So many Americans saying “what happened to America?”

I saw a meme today, something along the lines of “Back in my day we had a gun rack with guns in our trucks in the school parking lot and no school shootings. What changed?” I’ll tell you what changed, my fellow Americans: There is a serious lack of discipline regarding the younger generations. Parents baby their children and do not make them take responsibility for their choices and actions. Parents are not teaching their children good morals, or the difference between right and wrong.

The government has taken control of the people, not the people being in control of our government, as it was supposed to be the last 243 years. Parents have become too afraid to RAISE their children, disciplining them when they do wrong; afraid that Child Services will come in and take their children away for “child abuse”. Children are growing up with hate in their hearts instead of healthy respect for other people, or for themselves. Kids being raised to blame everyone else, including people and things that have no baring on the situation, for their problems, instead of getting off their ass to do something about it and make their situation better. Kids expecting other people to give them hand-outs, to give them everything in life instead of kids having to work their asses off to get what they want.

America, wake the fuck up. You sit and ask, “What changed?” You did, when you got lazy and expected others to do what you should have been doing. “What changed?” You did, when you let the government decide what was best for you instead of you deciding. “What changed?” You did, when you allowed corrupt politicians to stay in office, re-electing them, instead of putting your foot down and saying, “NO MORE!” The people voted to have term limits for the president, the senators and congress should have term limits as well. “What changed?” You did, when you stopped having pride in a job well done, by your own hands. “What changed?” You did, when you allowed the media to have such control over your lives, believing everything they report to be a statement of fact rather than investigate things for yourself; when you allowed them to continually report lies instead of the truth; when you continually allow them to report all the crap and so very rarely report the good things that happen because of ‘ratings’. “What changed?” You did, when you stopped thinking for yourselves and allowed the government and the media to tell you what to think.

There is a post on my Facebook thread, from Daily Mentions, labeled “This is the best and smartest gun argument I’ve heard yet.” And it is. Mr. Bill Whittle nails the problem on the head. Watch it. LISTEN to what he has to say. Quote:

The second amendment of the constitution is not there to protect us from criminals, and the people calling for gun control know this. That’s why they want gun control instead of crime control. That’s why they want laws that at the stroke of a pen turn law abiding citizens into criminals. The second amendment is there to protect the American people from tyranny. The second amendment is there to protect the American people from politicians. The second amendment is there to protect the American people from us.

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A Pagan Pledge

I am a Pagan and I dedicate Myself to channeling the Spiritual Energy of my Inner Self to help and heal myself and others.

I know that I am a part of the Whole of nature. May I always walk in Balance.

May I always be mindful of the diversity of Nature as well as its Unity and may I always be tolerant of those whose race, appearance, sex, sexual preference, culture, and other ways differ from my own.

May I use the psychic powers granted to me by the Goddess wisely and never use it for aggression nor for malevolent purposes. May I never direct it to curtail the free will of another.

May I always be mindful that I create my own reality and that I have the power within me to create positivity in my own life.

May I always act in honorable ways: being honest with myself and others, keeping my word whenever I have given it, fulfilling all responsibilities and commitments I have taken on to the best of my ability.

May I always remember that whatever is sent out always returns magnified to the sender. May the Forces of Karma move swiftly to remind me of these spiritual commitments when I have begun to falter from them, and may I use this Karmic feedback to help myself grow and be more attuned to my Inner Pagan Spirit.

May I always remain strong and committed to my Spiritual ideas in the face of adversity and negativity. May the psychic powers of my Inner Spirit ground out all malevolence directed my way and transform it into positivity. May my Inner Light shine so strongly that malevolent forces cannot even approach my sphere of existence.

May I always grow in Inner Wisdom and Understanding. May I see every problem that I face as an opportunity to develop myself spiritually in solving it.

May I always act out of Love to all other beings on this planet — to other humans, to plants, to animals, to minerals, to elementals, to spirits, and to all other entities.

May I always be mindful that the Goddess and God in all their forms dwell within me and that this divinity is reflected through my own Inner Self, my Pagan Spirit.

May I always channel Love and Light from my being. May my Inner Spirit, rather than my ego self, guide all my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

SO MOTE IT BE!!

Telltale Signs of a Pagan Personality

Alrighty then… Now… Like many pagans, I believe that anyone can enjoy and benefit from the unique perspective of nature spirituality. But, as I have stated many times, I do not believe in trying to convert anyone to my way of seeing things. If you feel the pagan path is for you, great! I hope you will explore it further and hope you find it fulfilling as I have. If not, well, that is entirely your choice. Whether because of personality, beliefs or just your personal preference, not everyone will choose to explore the pagan path.

So… You may be wondering if paganism is for you. Well, here’s a quick list of some of the common characteristics of the pagan mindset. Keep in mind that not all pagans believe the same things… That is the wonderful thing about paganism that appeals to so many people. It can be very difficult to nail down what the “typical” pagan is like, but this list can help with learning a little about paganism in general.

Pagans tend to be open-minded and curious people. They are not necessarily anti-religious, but many find that the traditional religions leave them cold. Before discovering paganism many may say “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious.” Some may even say that after embracing paganism as many pagans do not consider the pagan path to be a religion but rather a way of life.

Pagans come in all political shapes and stripes, but most have a basic sense of fairness and justice. Because of this, many pagans believe that the traditional idea of God as father, without a Goddess as mother, is way out of balance and deeply unfair to women.

Pagans prefer to think for themselves rather than to be told what to think. They love to ask questions and believe it is a good think to question authority and challenge dogma. The average pagan would much rather learn by experience than simply accept something on faith. Frankly, I cannot understand why I am to believe in something that has no shape, no form, and that I cannot see. But that’s another section…

A vast majority of pagans love nature and would much rather be found outdoors, if the weather were permitting. It’s hard to be cooped up inside all day when the sun is shining and mother nature is calling for us to visit with her. It doesn’t matter if it’s the remote wilderness or the neighborhood park, the back yard is even good!

Pagans love life! Life on Earth is not considered to be some sort of painful journey through a vale of tears, though mine seems that way sometimes. Pagans have an honest and realistic assessment of life as containing both pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, happiness and disappointment. The point of spirituality for pagans is not to escape life but ways to maximize the joys and minimize the sorrows.

What Is Wicca?

The Craft is accepting, generous, and loving. It’s gentle, unobtrusive, and supportive. It’s an ethical way of life that, once embraced, brings immeasurable joy and wonder to everyday living.

Who are the Wiccans and Witches of Today?

Witchcraft is not merely legendary; it was, and is, real. It is not extinct; it is alive and prospering. Since the last laws against Witchcraft were repealed (as recently as the 1950s), Witches have been able to come out into the open and show themselves for what they are.

And what are they? They are intelligent, community-conscious, thoughtful men and women of TODAY. Witchcraft is not a step backwards; a retreat into a more superstition-filled time. Far from it. It is a step FORWARD.

Witchcraft is a religion far more relevant to the times than the vast majority of the established churches. It is the acceptance of personal and social responsibility. It is acknowledgement of a holistic universe and a means towards a raising of consciousness. Equal rights; feminism; ecology; attunement; brotherly/sisterly love; planetary care–these are all part and parcel of Wicca/Witchcraft, the old yet new religion.

Wicca, the religion of the “Witches,” has long been shrouded in secrecy. Anyone interested in learning “The Craft” had to content themselves with hints from books and articles. The Wiccans wouldn’t say much, save that they weren’t looking for new members.

Growing numbers today are dissatisfied with traditional religious structures. Many are searching for a personally-involving religion, one which celebrates both physical and spiritual realities, in which attunement with deity is coupled with the practice of magic.

Wicca is just such a religion, centering around reverence for nature as seen in the Goddess and the God. Its spiritual roots in antiquity, acceptance of magic and mysterious nature make it particularly appealing.

Since we have arrived at a point in time where one mishap could end our planet as we know it, there has never been a time when Wicca as a nature-reverencing religion has had more to offer.

WICCA (sometimes called Wicce, The Craft, or The Old Religion by its practitioners) is an ancient religion of love for life and nature; a personal, celebratory religion in which there must be balance in all things. We are Pagan, celebrate the Goddess and the God, and are joyous creatures. Blessed is the Pagan that walks with their head bathed in sunlight, shoulders among the clouds, feet treading the moonlight, heart warmed by nature. Blessed is the Pagan that casts the magic Circle in the name of the Goddess, for their magic shall always be blessed. Blessed is the Pagan that preaches not, hates not, doubts not. The Pagan heart is full of joy, love and magic. The Lady and the Lord watch over Their Priest/ess with perfect Love, perfect Trust, and is honored that such a creature would praise them. Blessed is the Pagan that walks the Wiccan Path.

In prehistoric times, people respected the great forces of Nature and celebrated the cycles of the seasons and the moon. They saw divinity in the sun and moon, in the Earth Herself, and in all life. The creative energies of the universe were personified: feminine and masculine principles became Goddesses and Gods. These were not semi-abstract, superhuman figures set apart from Nature: they were embodied in earth and sky, women and men, and even plants and animals.

This viewpoint is still central to present-day Wicca. To most Wiccans, everything in Nature — and all Goddesses and Gods — is true aspects of Deity. The aspects most often celebrated in the Craft, however, are the Triple Goddess of the Moon (Who is Maiden, Mother, and Crone) and the Horned God of the wilds. These have many names in various cultures.

Wicca had its organized beginnings in Paleolithic times, co-existed with other Pagan (“country”) religions in Europe, and had a profound influence on early Christianity. But in the medieval period, tremendous persecution was directed against the Nature religions by the Roman Church. Over a span of 300 years, millions of men and women and many children were hanged, drowned or burned as accused “Witches.” The Church indicted them for black magic and Satan worship, though in fact these were never a part of the Old Religion.

The Wiccan faith went underground, to be practiced in small, secret groups called “covens.” For the most part, it stayed hidden until very recent times. Now scholars such as Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner have shed some light on the origins of the Craft, and new attitudes of religious freedom have allowed covens in some areas to risk becoming more open.

How do Wiccan folk practice their faith today? There is no central authority or doctrine, and individual covens vary a great deal. But most meet to celebrate on nights of the Full Moon, and at eight great festivals or Sabbats throughout the year.

Though some practice alone or with only their families, many Wiccans are organized into covens of three to thirteen members. Some are led by a High Priestess or Priest, many by a Priestess/Priest team; others rotate or share leadership. Some covens are highly structured and hierarchical, while others may be informal and egalitarian. Often extensive training is required before initiation, and coven membership is considered an important commitment.

There are many branches or “traditions” of Wicca in the United States and elsewhere, such as the Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Welsh Traditional, Dianic, Faery, Seax-Wica and others. All adhere to a code of ethics. None engage in the disreputable practices of some modern “cults,” such as isolating and brainwashing impressionable, lonely young people. Genuine Wiccans welcome sisters and brothers, but not disciples, followers or victims.

Coven meetings include ritual, celebration and magic. Wiccan magic is not at all like the instant “special effects” of cartoon shows or fantasy novels, nor medieval demonology; it operates in harmony with natural laws and is usually less spectacular — though effective. Various techniques are used to heal people and animals, seek guidance, or improve members’ lives in specific ways. Positive goals are sought: cursing and “evil spells” are repugnant to practitioners of the Old Religion.

Wiccans tend to be strong supporters of environmental protection, equal rights, global, peace and religious freedom, and sometimes magic is used toward such goals.

Wiccan beliefs do not include such Judeo-Christian concepts as original sin, vicarious atonement, divine judgment or bodily resurrection. Craft folk believe in a beneficent universe, the laws of karma and reincarnation, and divinity inherent in every human being and all of Nature. Yet laughter and pleasure are part of their spiritual tradition, and they enjoy singing, dancing, feasting, and love.

Wiccans tend to be individualists, and have no central holy book, prophet, or church authority. They draw inspiration and insight from science, and personal experience. Each practitioner keeps a personal book or journal in which s/he records magical “recipes,” dreams, invocations, songs, poetry and so on.

To most of the Craft, every religion has its own valuable perspective on the nature of Deity and humanity’s relationship to it: there is no One True Faith. Rather, religious diversity is necessary in a world of diverse societies and individuals. Because of this belief, Wiccan groups do not actively recruit or proselytize: there is an assumption that people who can benefit from the Wiccan way will “find their way home” when the time is right. Despite the lack of evangelist zeal, many covens are quite willing to talk with interested people, and even make efforts to inform their communities about the beliefs and practices of Wicca.