Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Circle And Sigils

The Circle And Sigils
In responding to a question about the spells I have posted here I realized that I omitted a couple of points regarding the performance of those and other similar magical workings. In "Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae" Aleister Crowley writes the following:

1. The student must FIRST obtain a thorough knowledge of "Book 777", especially of columns i., ii., iii., v., vi., vii., ix., xi., xii., xiv., xv., xvi., xvii., xviii., xix., xxxiv., xxxv., xxxviii., xxxix., xl., xli., xlii., xlv., liv., lv., lix., lx., lxi., lxiii., lxx., lxxv., lxxvii., lxviii., lxxix., lxxx., lxxxi., lxxxiii., xcvii., xcviii., xcix., c., ci., cxvii., cxviii., cxxxvii., cxxxviii., cxxxix., clxxv., clxxvi., clxxvii., clxxxii.

When these are committed to memory, he will begin to understand the nature of these correspondences. ("See" Illustrations "The Temple of Solomon the King" in this number. Cross references are given.)

2. If we take an example, the use of the table will become clear. Let us suppose that you wish to obtain knowledge of some obscure science. In column xlv., line 12, you will find "Knowledge of Sciences."

By now looking up line 12 in the other columns, you will find that the Planet corresponding is Mercury, its number eight, its lineal figures the octagon and octagram. The God who rules that planet Thoth, or in Hebrew symbolism Tetragrammaton Adonai and Elohim Tzabaoth, its Archangel Raphael, its Choir of Angels Beni Elohim, its Intelligence Tiriel, its Spirit Taphtatharath, its colours Orange (for Mercury is the Sphere of the Sephira Hod, 8), Yellow, Purple, Grey, and Indigo rayed with Violet; its Magical Weapon the Wand or Caduceus, its Perfumes Mastic and others, its sacred plants Vervain and others, its jewel the Opal or Agate; its sacred animal the Snake, &c., &c.

3. You would then prepare your Place of Working accordingly. In an orange circle you would draw an eight-pointed star of yellow, at whose points you would place eight lamps. The Sigil of the Spirit (which is to be found in Cornelius Agrippa and other books) you would draw in the four colours with such other devices as your experience may suggest.

That sounds like a lot, but it's actually simpler than it at first appears. The study of "Liber 777" is important for two reasons. First of all, when performing a ritual you want the correspondences to immediately leap to mind, which is impossible when simply working off a script. While it is possible to work magick successfully from a text, the better you know the symbols and objects corresponding to your operation the better your magical results will be. Second of all, knowledge of the correspondences will enable you to make your own personal adjustments to the scripts as they are written here. You can add appropriate magical weapons, incenses, essential oils, stones, metals, and so forth based on the correspondences and in many cases this will help to amplify the effect.

I don't work with physical circles very much any more since I have a permanent temple setup with altars at the quarters and so forth, but there was a time when I did. I often get questions about the best way to set one up, especially on a temporary basis. My personal favorite method is crepe paper. You can get rolls of it inexpensively in many different colors and it can be taped to the floor or a rug to in the appropriate shape. Traditionally a magick circle is nine feet in diameter if you have the space. Once you've laid out the circle, you can make the appropriate number of points around it evenly and set down the proper lineal figure. At each of the points of the figure you would then place candles, preferably encased in glass like seven-day candles. You don't want to inadvertently knock one over and set the crepe paper on fire - one downside of using it is that it burns really easily. You can use plain white candles or candles that are an appropriate color to the operation. For my rituals posted here, this would be the color of lineal figure, which should match the color of the hexagrams traced in the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram.

The Sigils from Agrippa can be found here. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the Table, Seal or Character, and the Sigils of the Intelligence and Spirit of each planet. The Table is used to derive the Sigils but it is not generally traced on a talisman or ritual implement. The Seal and Sigils, however, should be. The Seal corresponds to the supernals on the Tree of Life, the Qabalistic worlds of Atziluth and Briah. It should be drawn in the King and Queen Scale colors. The Sigil of the Intelligence corresponds to the Qabalistic world of Yetzirah and should be drawn in the Prince (or Emperor in "777") Scale color. The Sigil of the Spirit corresponds to the Qabalistic world of Assiah and should be drawn in the Princess (or Empress in "777") Scale color. There are a few oddities, such as Sigils for the "Intelligence of Intelligences" for the Moon and Venus and the "Spirit of Spirits" for the Moon. As far as color goes, a spirit is a spirit and an intelligence is an intelligence, whether or not it is plural.

Generally speaking, the symbols should be drawn together on one piece of paper or parchment that will then serve as a talisman linked to the operation. For certain kinds of magical work, such as healing spells, you might want to draw the Sigils on your own body in the appropriate colors if you are healing yourself or on the body of the person you are trying to heal. In such a circumstance it is perfectly fine to use some sort of water-soluable marker for this since the Sigils only need to be present while you are performing the ritual. It you decide to use a paper talisman for such a ritual, though, carry it around with you after the ritual to maintain a contagion link to the spell or have the target of the operation do the same if the ritual was worked for someone other than yourself.
Monday, February 9, 2015

A Nation Under God

A Nation Under God
EXCERPT FROM "THE DARK SIDE: HOW EVANGELICAL TEACHINGS CORRUPT LOVE AND TRUTH" (Each week during the summer and fall of 2006, one chapter from this book will be posted on exChristian.net.)

PREFACE: A NATION UNDER GOD

"

Our goal is a Christian nation.... We have a biblical duty; we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. We want theocracy.

Theocracy means God rules.-Randall Terry, Head of Operation Rescue, 1993

NOT LONG AGO, AN ASSOCIATED PRESS STORY CAUGHT MY EYE. TEXAS GOVERNOR Rick Perry signed two bills into law, one opposing gay marriage and the other restricting abortion. Rather than conducting the ceremonial signing in a state office, flanked by officials or staff, he stationed himself in the gymnasium of an Evangelical school, with Christian symbols in the background and an out-of-state evangelist at his side. Shouts of "amen" rose from the audience. Meanwhile, outside the school, protesters called for separation of church and state. For days after the signing, the internet crackled with similar "amen's" and protests.

The afternoon after I read about Perry's bold fusion of Christian symbols and governmental powers, I went to my hair dresser, let's call her Ann. While Ann worked, she told me about an experience that had shaken her the night before. She had gone to a movie with an old friend. Afterward, over coffee, the friend expressed how worried she was about Ann going to hell. She explained that the only way out of this fate was to be saved by Jesus Christ. "I told her that I just couldn't believe that stuff," said Ann. "I tried to explain why, but I didn't want to get in a fight. She wouldn't stop. Finally I said that I had to leave because I needed to get up early. But I was so upset that I didn't get much sleep afterwards. I can't believe the same things she does, but I get scared that maybe something is wrong with me. I need to talk to her because I don't want this to wreck our friendship. I don't know what to say." The questions examined in this book have never been more relevant.

When I was growing up in Arizona, most of my friends, neighbors, and role models shared my Evangelical beliefs, and when they did not, we didn't talk about it. When I was in graduate school working on a degree in psychology most of my fellow students and professors shared my religious misgivings, but we didn't talk much about that either. When I settled in the Northwest, I also settled into a posture of "don't ask, don't tell" with regard to spiritual questions. Religion had little place in conversations, whether among colleagues or friends.

In this, I was not alone. Except in churches and religious forums, the general consensus in our pluralistic society during the latter part of the twentieth century was to keep private faith out of social conversation and public debate. Since the year 2000, something has changed. Religious beliefs and moral values are now discussed in every form of mass media. They have become topics of conversation among even casual acquaintances. George Bush and the religious right, for better or for worse, have reopened a conversation in America, a conversation about the meaning of faith and morality and Christianity. This conversation has been driven by Evangelicals, and consequently, much of the debate has been about Evangelicalism itself.

Led by organizations that focus more on advocacy than theology and emboldened by increasing political clout, Evangelicals have come out of the closet. In November 2004, the religious right claimed credit for putting George Bush back in office and demanded payback in the form of laws that advanced a conservative social agenda: funding for faith-based social services, restrictions on reproductive education and contraception, bans on civil unions for gays, and changes in science curricula to make room for the biblical creation story. The media sat up and took notice. Articles began cropping up in the mainstream press about dominionism: the belief that Christians have a moral responsibility to run the country, and ultimately the world, according to biblically derived principles of governance. Conservationists bewailed "end-times" theology, which predicts the impending return of Jesus Christ, making climate change and species extinctions matters of indifference for some believers.

Recently I had lunch with a small group of people who are trying to build public policies that protect the poor, the ill, and children: those whom Jesus called "the least of these." During the conversation, one person, a young attorney, announced that he was Evangelical, adding for emphasis that he prayed to Jesus every day. No one else had announced his or her spiritual beliefs, and yet nobody flinched at the proclamation or thought it off topic. The young Evangelical said that if the group wanted to succeed in helping vulnerable populations, they needed to engage others who shared his beliefs. All at the table agreed.

Why could the young attorney make his announcement, confident that it would be well received? For two reasons. First, although he may not have been among other Evangelicals, in virtually any gathering in the United States it is safe to assume that the majority of people present are people of faith. Second, thanks to the prominent role of Evangelicals in the press and in public life, non-Evangelicals are increasingly aware of the growth in Evangelical religion and are anxious to understand how this growth may affect their own communities, deeply held values, and spiritual priorities.

Newspaper headlines, evangelists, and astute politicians may talk about a secular assault on religion, but the truth is that the United States is more religious than any other developed nation. In a recent poll, ninetyeight percent of Americans said they believe in God (in contrast to about fifty percent of Germans). In U.S. census data, less than one half of one percent self identify as atheist, and another five percent or so call themselves agnostic. About eighty-five percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian and forty to fifty percent call themselves born again or Evangelical. A secular assault on religion? Politicians know better. They accuse their opponents of shunning faith and religious values precisely because potential constituents across the political spectrum are virtually all people of faith in one form or another.

The strong inclination of Americans toward religious belief is neither new nor news. Non-Christians have always been a small minority of the American population and non-theists an even smaller minority. The change that has occurred in recent decades has been primarily a shift within Christianity itself. For over thirty years, while enrollment in mainline Protestant churches has been declining, Evangelicalism has been quietly gaining ground, offering a very clear set of core beliefs and behavioral rules to those who otherwise might hold more convoluted or vague forms of faith. Utilizing good marketing practices and modern technologies, Evangelicals have built communications empires that broadcast their message around the globe. As traditional communities have fragmented, Evangelicals have built communities centered around churches that offer not only meaning but also friendship, counseling, legal advice, leisure activities, and mutual aid.

These benefits come with conditions attached. They are offered only to believers or prospective believers of a very specific sort. Some faith traditions provide social services to nonbelievers simply for the sake of promoting a more humane society. Catholic Community Services or Lutheran Family Services, for example, are open to all comers, with few strings attached. Evangelicals do things differently. Social services are offered to outsiders first and foremost as a means of winning converts. This means that testimonials, teaching, Bible studies and so forth are a part of the package. Evangelicals call this witnessing or sharing the faith.

Without this piece, which offers the hope of salvation through faith to those who are otherwise lost in sin, social services have little value. In fact contact with nonbelievers in general has little value, and when Evangelicalism is at its worst, the nonbelievers themselves have little value.

Evangelicals, as they like to say, prefer to be "in this world but not of this world." They see themselves as a people apart. The most devout buy their books almost exclusively at Christian bookstores. A small but significant minority home-school their children if they can't afford private Christian schools. Many socialize only with members of their own church communities or people they meet through related organizations. In spite of their growing influence, Evangelicals often see themselves as an embattled minority. And because many don't believe that other Christians are Christians, they see Christianity per se as an embattled minority religion.

On a plane in India, I once sat in front of an American teenager who was part of a youth missions trip. He was talking earnestly to an adult companion about how hard it had been to approach young Indians, interrupting their conversations and activities to tell them the Good News: that they, too, could be saved by Jesus Christ. The young man speculated: "What if someone threatened me? What if they even threatened to kill me? Would I have the courage to face death in order to carry God's message to the world?" I remembered, as an earnest Evangelical youth, asking myself these very same questions. The adult mentor might have reassured him: History suggests that Christianity has been lethal to missionaries far less often that it has been lethal to those on the receiving end of the message. Instead, the mentor responded as such mentors often do, with stories of martyrs and language of warfare that both affirmed the rightness of their mission and cultivated a sense of imminent threat.

Otherness and threat, political power and moral certainty. It is no surprise that this combination is generating anxiety among nonbelievers and non-Evangelical Christians. In the past, when political power has accrued to any Christian orthodoxy that demands exclusive allegiance, the result has often been dangerous for both outsiders to the faith and Christians who don't hold the dominant view. Is such an environment in the making? At least among some Evangelicals such a possibility has become thinkable.

A recent book review in "Christianity Today", a mainstream Evangelical publication, ends thus: "[Flannery] O'Connor once wrote that 'more than ever now it seems that the kingdom of heaven has to be taken by violence, or not at all. You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you.'...we mortals are playing in a world increasingly given to moral relativism. As the title of one of [O'Connor's] best stories put it, 'The life you save may be your own.'"

"What is Evangelicalism?" a bewildered friend asked recently. "How does Evangelicalism relate to fundamentalism?" These questions are not easy to answer. The term "Evangelical" has been around since the Reformation, and its meaning has varied. In modern terms, Evangelicalism is a kind of Christianity that structures itself around one particular, ahistorical interpretation of the Bible. From the Bible, which is taken literally and accorded absolute moral authority, Evangelicals justify a set of doctrines that govern day to day life in realms ranging from prayer and parenting to civic life. These doctrines are described in detail in Chapter 2, and their implications fill the remainder of this book.

Fundamentalism is a movement that arose within Protestant Christianity in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, largely in reaction to modernism. The name comes from a set of essays called The Fundamentals that were published between 1910 and 1915. These essays were intended to combat the ways that theology was changing in response to scholarship in archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, psychology and biology. They reaffirmed the traditional Christian doctrines that form the basis of modern Evangelicalism. Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism are closely related, and both are offspring of traditional Christian orthodoxy. However, the term fundamentalism is now used to embrace a variety of absolutist approaches to religious faith both inside and outside of Christianity. Few Christians call themselves fundamentalist. Many call themselves Evangelical.

Those who do, hope and pray that others will join them. In their eyes, there is no alternate path to God and, ultimately, no other form of goodness matters. This means that, as context and culture allow, Evangelicals will continue to speak out, both in the public sphere and over coffee.

What should you say when a dear friend or family member expresses concern for your soul and offers you a path to Salvation? How should you respond to Evangelical advocacy in your community, your workplace, your school, or your government? The answers depend in large part on your own values and spiritual identity. But in order to form those answers, it helps to have a clear understanding of the core teachings of the Evangelical movement and when these teachings pose threats to love and truth.

Chapter one: Leaving Home

If you are interested in reading further, "The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, "is available at www.lulu.com/content/220355; more musings by this author at www.spaces.msn.com/awaypoint

Omega 0 75 Ad

Omega 0 75 Ad
(ESTABLISHING SHOT) A weary ADVENTURER, wearing battered armor
and 10 glowing rings, clutching a potion bottle, and laden with all manner of weapons, magical devices, and sacks of gold, lies panting on the ground outside of the seedy-looking entrance to a grimy Dungeon.
The nearby scenery is uniformly grey and uninteresting.

Bluff Male Voice: Retrieved the Amulet of Yendor too many times to
count?

Sultry Female Voice: Can't see anything in the Eye of Larn?

BMV: Eaten one too many Zombie corpses?

SFV: Run out of Greater Gods to kill?

CLOSE-UP: The ADVENTURER's sweat-streaked face, which is
nicked and bruised. He has a black eye.

The ADVENTURER nods wearily, and, it seems, with some boredom.

MBV+SFV: Then take the ultimate challenge... The final quest... OMEGA!

(PAN VERTICALLY TOWARD SKY)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Ooooooo -- mega!

A shaft of brilliant sunlight pierces the overcast sky,
revealing a Mystic Portal in the sky. A rainbow bridge lances from
the portal toward the ADVENTURER. As the ADVENTURER hesitantly sets foot on the bridge, he (with the viewer) is swept through the M.P.
in a masterpiece of computer animation. There is a flash of light,
and a TRANSFORMED ADVENTURER, in newly polished and chromed armor,
wielding a flaming sword, strides confidently toward an edifice that makes the Castle of Ultimate Darkness look like a sandcastle. The
landscape is vibrantly colored, and we feel that there are new
challenges awaiting just over the horizon.

TMTC: Magnificat! Magnificat! Magnificat!

BMV: Coming Soon to a site near you!

SFV: Challenge Omega -- The Final Quest!

As the ADVENTURER passes through the entrance to the AWESOME
CASTLE, a giant portcullis slams shut behind him with the force of
a Death Star bulkhead, and we hear a muffled scream, soon cut off.

Satanic Male Voice: If you dare!



Source: spellscasting.blogspot.com

Mk 421 25 Gifts And Apps

Mk 421 25 Gifts And Apps
Mk 4:21-25 Gifts and Apps!

"(Click here for readings)"

"Jesus said to his disciples, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?"

It is striking to me how the Lord tells us that we should not hide our light nor place it on the floor, but that we should lift it high on a lampstand for the entire world to see!

Am I doing my part to share the Good News?

Yesterday morning I spent four hours speaking to four different groups of 8th graders at a Catholic school. For me, it was a wonderful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Why? Because I could see a real transformation (conversion) in their hearts and minds. I was sharing my Catholic faith with them in a no nonsense manner. Almost all the children asked the question, "Why did you choose to become a priest." They were stunned when I told them, "It is not I who chose Christ, but Christ who chose me. I simply answered his call." Another child asked, "Is faith a gift or a choice?" I told the kids, "It's both. The Lord gives it, like you give a gift. Now, it is up to you to either accept it or reject it."

Another child asked, "Why do I need to be Confirmed?" I answered, "The Sacrament of Confirmation gives you everything you need to live in this world, do battle in it and be successful. Remember, you will be receiving what the Apostles received (except for Judas) and what all the Saints received.

By the look in their eyes, I could tell that they were having a hard time believing this or understanding what I was trying to saying, so I made a comparison they could all understand. Once child blurted out, "But sometimes it seems as though Confirmation doesn't work!" Forgive me if I sound heretical here, but I told the kids that Confirmation was like receiving an "iphone." PLEASE DO NOT HATE ME!

Before you stop reading this meditation or put an end to your free subscription to my blog (or tear your garments in disgust), let me explain. This is what I told the kids.

"Imagine for a moment receiving an iphone as a gift (n.b. they didn't have to imagine it because most of them already have it!). You can do so many things with it, right? You can send and receive phone calls and text messages, listen to music and watch movies, record audio and get Internet access. These are just a few of the things you can do with an iphone. But now imagine if you only used your iphone to make phone calls. You would not be using it to its full potential, correct? "

"Well, the same can be said about Confirmation. When you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, you will be receiving everything you need for life! You will receive seven free apps (gifts) of the Holy Spirit. You will receive the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, knowledge and fear of the Lord. But what you do with all these gifts will depend on whether or not you chose to use them. That is totally up to you. Confirmation does not take away your free will. In fact, you are free to turn off your Sacrament and not use it at all. But if you do choose to let loose the graces, then you will discover what the Lord can do for you! And believe me; he can do amazing things if you just let him!"

They seemed to like the analogy. I hope you can use this for your children and/or grandchildren that are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

May the Lord strengthen your commitment to Him and that of your children or grandchildren!

"A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.

Credit: master-of-pentagram.blogspot.com
Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Free Fascinating Tip For Online Guided Meditation

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Free Fascinating Tip For Online Guided Meditation
by Robot Monster

Article by Vik


Folks who wish to start meditation need to understand that it would certainly take time for them to learn. Nobody can learn meditation and harvest it's advantages in a short time period. Patience plays a very important role for all those folks that are new to the sector of meditation. For newbs, there are many eBooks which offer the best meditation techniques for beginners.

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This is one of the meditation techniques for uneasiness that involves concentrating on respiring process. All you need to do is target your mind on each and every breath. Also, known as silent meditation, this method focuses hard on the pace at which respiring happens. When we breathe, we take in oxygen and give out CO2. So, one has to focus on this rhythm of respiring when following this meditation method.The 1st stage of meditation is basically a strategy in concentration. Once relaxed, focus on your breath for a few minutes. After you find yourself completely relaxed and at ease, focus on the sounds around you. Try not to form thoughts about the sounds but rather just listen and let your intellect flow around and thru the sounds without clarification or judgment.

Simple meditation strategies for kids will teach them something much more crucial than any other lesson ever could. It will be the most influential exercise of their life as the power to give deliberate thought and concentration of their own mind will remind him / her how to use the imagination in a targeted and positive way.Using these strategies will open you to a world of thought management, directional focus and a deeper appreciation of self and acknowledgment of others. By concentrating on the bre! ath as y ou develop your meditation and concentration abilities, you may start to subconsciously associate these tranquil and relaxed feelings with the control over your breath.

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Millions of people all around the world use meditation strategies to chill and revive their bodies and their minds. One of the most constructive meditation techniques is called led images. Steered imagery uses music or sounds with verbal proposals to help align the body-mind connection.

The biggest obstacle for folks wishing to know where to begin is the various meditation.methodologies and knowing whereabouts to find the correct and supportive information they seek before choosing a appropriate method to try. There's so much info out there on meditation and speculation, some will be more advanced and some will be the easier systems targeting primarily on relaxation and breathing exercises.

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The Next Iron Chef Redemption Episode 2 If You Cant Be Innovative You Cant Be An Iron Chef

As evidenced last week, we're in for quite a treat with this season of Next Iron Chef, aptly named "Redemption," in which chefs who crashed and burned in other seasons have been given a chance to come back and show food nerds like ourselves their greatness.

In tonight's episode the tensions were high as last week's winner Alex Guarnaschelli was given the task of dividing the remaining chefs into three teams of three who would be going head to head in the Chairman's Challenge where this time they would be required to cook global

This came as a surprise to our crew of food super heroes because the challenge began at Nickel Diner in downtown LA where the chefs thought they would be given the opportunity to work their collective magic on traditional diner food.

But with the theme being global, donuts, bacon, and American cheese were thrown out the window in favor of tacos, falafels, and banh mi sandwiches.

In light of that, Alex had the difficult job of picking the teams and I thought she chose wisely, pitting chefs with less experience with particular types of cuisine against one another and placing herself against Spike and Duskie in the taco category for what looked like an easier win for Alex based on the street cred and experience of the group as a whole.

The teams were as follows:


Spike Mendelsohn, Duskie Estes, and Alex on tacos, Amanda Freitag, Jehangir Mehta, and Marcel Vigneron on falafel and Elizabeth Faulkner, Nate Appleman, and Eric Greenspan on the Banh mi.

As an aside, Greenspan of redemption grasshopper fritter fame, called out his competitors as "The Banh Mi group of death," and I don't blame him. In head to head competition this early in the season Appleman and Faulkner would not be my first choice of chefs to compete against!

As another aside, Spike was channeling his inner Ninja Warrior as he looked into the camera and said: "It was a bad pick picking me to be on her team, because since my show down, I'm in the zone right now."

Spike, Spike, Spike... you are up against my girl Alex G - in other words, Godspeed, and may your knives be blessed.

The dye was cast (to steal a line from host Alton Brown) and the chefs were given 60 minutes to create innovative versions of their assigned dishes. Nate Appleman put together a banh mi fo, Chef Faulkner attempted a banh mi ravioli (but got tripped up cooking her pork), and Chef Greenspan, who said "If you can't be innovative you can't be an Iron Chef," came up with an amazing banh mi panzanella.

The innovations were every bit as amazing for the other two teams and when the time of judgement came, Chef Mehta's take on falafel won. Greenspan's panzanella and Alex's taco also received high marks while Chef Freitag, Chef Duskie, and Chef Faulkner - who was none too happy with comments from the judges - were left to compete in the secret ingredient show down which featured white bread.

While all three chefs came up with incredible offerings for the secret ingredient challenge, Chef Faulkner blew me - and the judges - away with her amazing menu which included a french toast ice cream.

Not only was hers the winning dish, she was told it was in the top five of best dishes ever created in the history of Iron Chef!

Week 2 - girl power, going strong!

In the end, it was a close decision, but Duskie who won the internet challenge and made a ravioli to remember, was asked to go home.

As a non chef I like to play along with these challenges, and elevating myself to "Iron Home Cook" - here's an innovative (and incredibly delicious) recipe I've come up with using white bread.

I hope you enjoy!

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Source: wiccalessons.blogspot.com
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday Fairy Tale By Cyn Balog

Waiting On Wednesday Fairy Tale By Cyn Balog
Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on. I have decided to participate because I have a list that can go on forever and ever and it is interesting to see what else others are "waiting" for also.

My choice this week is the much awaited book Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog. The cover is gorgeous and the blurb leaves me wanting for more.

FAIRY TALE BY CYN BALOGReading level: Young Adult

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 23, 2009) Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam's cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what's going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan's no longer sure what's best for everyone, or whether her and Cam's love can weather an uncertain future. SO...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Origin: about-world-religions.blogspot.com
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Modern Wicca Today Evolving And Growing

Modern Wicca Today Evolving And Growing
There seems to be some controversy among Pagans about Wicca/Paganism becoming to organized. The fear, I believe, is that if Wicca and other Nature Based religions get to focused on running Legal Churches and maintaining a non- profit status that the Spiritual aspect of the religions will suffer. I hear the cry, "Nature is my Religion," Which seems a bit ironic, when I see this posted everywhere on social networks from PC's where the "Nature" Pagan is typing, in a artificially heated and air-conditioned environment, who probably drives a vehicle to and from their place of employment that is a organized institution designed to produce, sell or distribute a product or service, all, for the ALL mighty dollar, in order to survive in the community in which they live. Unless you live in a cave you are a part of an organized communityPagans are suppose to worship Nature, to me, it's one of many parts of what I consider my community. I have a Circle in my yard and I'm out there no matter what the weather communing with my Gods. Does that mean I can't commune with them if I'm in a building? And what about those who are disabled, who have great difficulty in getting into Nature? Most Circles I seen outside in our community, aren't handicap accessible. So, yeah I see a need for Pagan/Wiccan Temples and Buildings. I've always believed that Eclectic Wiccan/Pagan Churches were necessary and provided fellowship and assistance to those who practiced a more solitary path. It gives them a place to join without having to follow a pre-set Tradition. But the Church is more than just it's congregation. It is a part of the community in which it exists. Therefore it is not just there for the Pagans, it is there a a vital part of the community as well. To do this Pagan Churches have to get involved within their environment. In this way they have the opportunity to inform and educate the people to the sacredness of Nature. You can not do this without involving your fellow human beings.

Now in saying all this brings me to what's happening at SDCW - ATC. The Church has struggled for the last twenty years trying to serve the larger pagan community; but now we are about to receive some of the fruit of our labors. Home Depot in Jonesboro, AR has nominated the SDCW - ATC as their local charity. They will donate 5000 a month in building materials to the Church. The Church then gives back to the community in helping the Elderly and Aging and low income families with home repairs. A labor of love. This is our Community Out Reach Program. C.O.R.P. To get this established and under way the national organization GOOD360 is the partner with Home Depot. There is a one time administration fee of 600, once paid Home Depot will continue to donate from now on to the Church! We are in the process of raising this money. We have done well so far with about 200 in donations to the Church; but our window of opportunity is shrinking. I'm requesting all who wish to help with our project please send your donations to your through paypal to sdcwatc@yahoo.com or mail checks, money orders to 104 Main St. Lake city, Ar. 72437.

Thank you and Blessed Be!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Jesus The Magician Post 5 Chapter 4 Summary

Jesus The Magician Post 5 Chapter 4 Summary
(Prior posts in the series are located in Category "Jesus the Magician")

In Chapter 4 Morton Smith examines a number of early depictions of Jesus by non-Christians that have been preserved outside of the Christian gospels. First Smith takes a look at the earliest non-Christian work to reference Jesus - namely, Josephus' "Antiquities". It is pointed out that not much can be gleamed from the two passages that mention Jesus in "Antiquities". The first passage merely references Jesus as the brother of James who was illegally brought to trial and executed. The second passage as it exists today is, according to Smith, a rewrite with numerous Christian elements inserted at some point subsequent to its original composition. Accounting for these extraneous Christian elements, the author conveys that the original composition likely advanced the view that Jesus was a miracle worker who led the Jews astray and who indulged in impiety while claiming to be more than a man.

Next Smith considers some of the portrayals of Jesus preserved within rabbinic stories that stem roughly from the same time as Josephus' "Antiquities". In one of the stories ascribed to the distinguished rabbi Eliezer, Jesus is identified as the son of Panteri/Pantera (and its variants). Smith points out that this name was not a very common name at the time and speculates that one possible candidate for this mysterious "Pantera" might be a Sidonian archer named Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, who served in Palestine about the time of Jesus' birth. Next Smith considers another very cryptic passage by Eliezer in which he sees hidden references to Jesus as someone educated in magic and tattooed with spells during a sojourn in Egypt.

After completing his examination of rabbinic literature, Smith turns to an inspection of the Roman depictions of Jesus preserved in the reports of Suetonius and Tacitus, two Roman historians who were active in the early second century. He also touches upon the writings of Lucian, a Roman poet. Some of the charges brought against Jesus in these writings contain the accusations that Jesus promoted "hatred of the human race" and "cannibalism," both of which Smith argues were common charges against magicians.

Subsequently, Smith turns to an assessment of Palestinian anti-Christian propaganda preserved and responded to by the Christian apologist Justin Martyr, who wrote in Rome between 150 and 165 A.D. It is pointed out by Smith that we learn from Justin that Christianity is viewed by many as a "godless and libertine heresy" that originated with Jesus, a Galilean magician. Justin's writings also indicate that the Palestinian priests and Sanhedrin denied the resurrection and claimed that Jesus' body was stolen.

Smith argues that all of the preceding depictions of Jesus stem from Palestinian traditions originating from direct observations of Jesus. According to Smith, a slightly different depiction of Jesus began to emerge from pagan observations of Christian communities in the Diaspora. These depictions portray Jesus as a teacher who introduced a new "initiation," which Smith contends should be interpreted as meaning that Jesus was viewed as the founder of a new mystery cult.

To round off this chapter Smith makes the case that the very fact that Jesus was later invoked as a source of magical power in both Christian and pagan spells and exorcisms indicates the existence of a longstanding tradition that links Jesus with magic. He also contends that the very nature of early Christian communities themselves probably helped to perpetuate the idea that Jesus and his followers where practicing magicians. According to Smith, Christian talk of mutual love and the Christian community's inclination to refer to its members as "brothers" and "sisters," when taken together, led to charges of promiscuity and incest. The idea of Christian communalism led to speculations of polyamorous relationships between husbands and wives. Above all, the practice of the Eucharist led to charges of cannibalism. According to Smith, all of the above charges leveled against the Christian communities were charges typical of those leveled against magicians as well.

To bring an end to the chapter Smith combines the views of Jesus' opponents preserved both within and outside the gospels to offer a sketch of Jesus' life "as it was pictured by those who did not become his disciples." (Smith, 67)

What follows below is Smith's "sketch" of the life of "Jesus the Magician" in its entirety.

"The son of a soldier named Panthera and a peasant woman married to a carpenter, Jesus was brought up in Nazareth as a carpenter, but left his home town and, after unknown adventures, arrived in Egypt where he became expert in magic and was tattooed with magical symbols or spells. Returning to Galilee he made himself famous by his magical feats, miracles he did by his control of demons. He thereby persuaded the masses that he was the Jewish Messiah and/or the son of a god. Although he pretended to follow the Jewish customs, he formed a small circle of intimate disciples whom he taught to despise the Jewish Law and to practice magic. These he bound together and to himself by ties of "love," meaning sexual promiscuity, and by participation in the most awful magical rites, including cannibalism - they had some sort of ritual meal in which they ate human flesh and drank blood. Surrounded by this circle he travelled from town to town deceiving many and leading them into sin. But he was not always successful. The members of his own family did not believe him; when he went back to Nazareth his townspeople rejected him and he could do no miracle there. Stories of his libertine teaching and practice leaked out and began to circulate. The scribes everywhere opposed him and challenged his claims. Finally, when he went to Jerusalem the high priests had him arrested and turned him over to Pilate, charging him with the practice of magic and sedition. Pilate had him crucified, but this did not put an end to the evil. His followers stole his body from the grave, claimed he had risen from the dead, and, as a secret society, perpetuated his practices." (Smith, 67)
Sunday, February 1, 2015

Last Day To Vote

Last Day To Vote
With all the drama and controversy I'm actually happy to see the end of the Top 25 Blogs of Faith by Moms at Circle of Moms.

Many blogs have posted about this contest and I'm sure they've probably seen record voting. Mrs. B is hanging in there at the number one slot at the time of this post with 12,363 votes. Her closest competitor is tailing her by about 400 votes. It looks as though it could be a close one.

I am very happy to see our community come together and cast votes every day. I've watched as the Pagan Mom's moved from just outside the top 25 to the majority of them being within the top 25.

That says a lot of our community. There's a lot of great information on that page and I'm extremely proud to say that I'm a follower and reader of the majority of the blogs listed there.

Keep up the great work ladies!

Namaste & Blessed Be

Sosanna

)O(Read Confessions of a Modern Witch