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I’m going to say this quietly.

I’m going to whisper this softly.

Companion animals feel pain, feel hunger, feel cold, feel heat.

They depend on us.

Our companion animals may be descended from creatures that do fairly well in the wild, but cities and suburbs are not the wild and our pets do not have automatic ‘instincts’ that will ensure their survival if we fail them.

They depend on us.

Support low-cost spay/neuter programs. Support your local shelter. Support legislature that will curtail or close down ‘puppy mills’, dog-fighting, and other such horrible crimes.

They depend on us.

I’m going to say this quietly.

I’m going to whisper this softly.

Because if I don’t I will rage until the world burns down.

ASPCA — http://aspca.org/
WSPA — http://www.wspa-international.org/
The Humane Society — http://www.hsus.org/


. . . and we are in a breathing space before the next begins. I’m talking about my year-long Art of Ritual class. We start the year on July 1st and end it on the last Friday in June.

Our three students are outstanding. They are funny, intelligent, and generous people who clearly *grew* over the course of their year with us. I am very very proud of them and what they’ve accomplished. Moreover, two of them will be joining JaguarMoon as Dedicants; thereby continuing the cycle of student to mentor. (The third may join our daughter coven, Southern Cross, as she is in Australia and the timing of rituals and such is so much more complicated for her.)

Each year is so different, even though the overall structure of the lessons remains constant. Since I first created this lesson plan in 1998 my life has followed its rhythms, with a couple of exceptions (that is, the year I took a semi-sabbatical and the year we closed the class in mid year).

Six months ago I didn’t think we’d have a class to teach. Now we have five students, two of which are the rare breed: males, and one is a returnee from a previous year. With four people mentoring, my HP (Daystar) and I don’t have to mentor as well as lead. That means we can start to develop a more advanced curriculum, and get deeper into the Mysteries.

I may occasionally dream of a tradition that spans the globe and encompasses thousands of practitioners, but I am truly pleased that we remain small and focused on our mission of teaching in service to the Lord and Lady, teaching Wicca to those who are unable to find teachers elsewhere, and expanding/deepening our spirituality.

The Wheel turns, and a new cycle begins.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.

Thank you Mr. Ebert.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090623/REVIEWS/906239997

My car accident the other day has produced definite injuries — mostly having to do with sitting at the computer for more than an hour or two at a time. As a result, my usual Facing North update will be delayed a week.

On the way home, having turned into our complex, we were hit by another vehicle. My neck hurts. The hood  of our car is bent up on one side. No damage to the other vehicle.

A big Nissan Armada had stopped on the   of an intersection, so we stopped (prudently on *this* side of the intersection). We waited a bit (was she waiting for the garage to open to pull in? looking at directions?) and then the Armada turned its reverse lights on and began to back up.  I figured they were reversing into a side street to turn around.

Half way through the intersection I realized she was rolling all the way back and hit the horn with one long loud burst. She kept coming and before i could take my hand off the horn and get the car (remember, fully stopped on this side of the intersection) into reverse — BAM. Right into us.

This has not been a good day.

Hi All!

My article/essay on the Wiccan Rede is now published over at The Magical Buffet: http://themagicalbuffet.com/blog1/2009/06/01/the-wiccan-rede-project-lisa-mc-sherry/

Comments welcomed.

from elsewhere on the web:

1. Anyone who looks at this entry has to post this meme and their current wallpaper.
2. Explain in five sentences why you’re using that wallpaper!
3. Don’t change your wallpaper before doing this! The point is to see what you had on!

briliant-sunset

1. It’s called Brilliant Sunset.

5 reasons:  I love the colors. It takes me to a very good ‘place.’ It has a lot of movement. I feel like I’m at the beach. When I look at it I feel like I can go forever.

from: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/06/15/neo_nazis_army/

Over a plate of chicken wings, he tells me about his path into the white-power movement. “I was 14 when I decided I wanted to be a Nazi,” he says. At his first high school, near Los Angeles, he was bullied by black and Latino kids. That’s when he first heard Skrewdriver, a band he calls “the godfather of the white power movement.” “I became obsessed,” he says. He had an image from one of Skrewdriver’s album covers — a Viking carrying a staff, an icon among white nationalists — tattooed on his left forearm. Soon after he had another white power symbol, a Celtic cross, emblazoned on his stomach. (emphasis mine)

Excuse me, but there is NOTHING to relate the Celtic culture, and specifically the so-called Celtic Cross with Neo-Nazism, white supremacy, or any of that ilk. I mean, it’s totally wrong to do, but at least it’s understandable when people mistake Viking or Norse symbols for “white power’ symbols. But the CROSS? (Celtic or not)

One of my other roles is the editor of Facing North, a review site for all things alternative spirituality. Every month or so, I send out a pile of books and things to my group of reviewers.

I have learned to always put a ‘delivery confirmation’ on my packages, otherwise they tend to mysteriously disappear en route. (I once had thirteen, yes THIRTEEN, packages to different people disappear — an entire mailing.) This costs me more money, but media mail is pretty cheap to begin with so I just chalk it up to the cost of doing business.

Late last year, however, one of my reviewers wrote to me to say that her box of books (6, several of which were from the same publisher) had been delivered, but it had been clearly opened en route and the contents removed. We looked into it, but all the USPS could say was ‘sorry’. Especially since — that one time — I’d neglected to put a confirmation on the box, so it couldn’t be tracked.

Now its happened again. I sent a couple of books to one of my people who lives in Columbus, OH. The confirmation showed it making it to Cincinnati:

Label/Receipt Number: 0308 3390 0001 4874 7805
Class: Package Services
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™
Status: Processed through Sort Facility

Your item was processed through and left our CINCINNATI, OH 45235 facility on April 24, 2009. The item is currently in transit to the destination. No further information is available for this item.

Detailed Results:
Processed through Sort Facility, April 24, 2009, 9:41 pm, CINCINNATI, OH 45235
Processed through Sort Facility, April 21, 2009, 9:28 am, FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003
Acceptance, April 20, 2009, 10:26 am, SEATTLE, WA 98109

I didn’t think anything of it, presuming it would be delivered the next day.

Much to my surprise, a few weeks later (yes, weeks) I got the package back in the mail — sort of. You see, I got the envelope with a form note stapled to it. The note said : “The enclosed was found loose in the mail or damaged by mechanical equipment . . . ”

so sorry

so sorry

I looked at the envelope, and it is clear that someone ripped it open along one side and removed the books and then tossed the envelope back in a batch to be sorted.

a machine did this?

a machine did this?

I called the customer service line and got a case number and a promise that someone would call me back to help me. Two days later, while I was out of town for a few days (of course) Tom from the USPS called me and left a local number. I returned Tom’s call, but he said it wasn’t him, it must be the other Tom (even though it sounded like the right guy). The other Tom was completely unhelpful, and finally I realized that my package made it to Cincinnati before being opened — why was I talking to someone in Seattle?

Back to the customer service line, and THIS time I was told that unless I insured my package, there was nothing they could do. I said “so left me get this straight: I am basically telling you that there is a thief in your Cincinnati office and I want to tell the supervisor there of this problem, but you have NO CONTACT INFORMATION to give me. I can’t even file a complaint?”

S’truth: you can no longer actually file a complaint about a theft . . . unless the item was insured, of course. (ka-CHING).

So I offer unto you, my public, the evidence of the envelope — did a machine do that? is there a thief in the system? And I ask: is there anything else I can do? I don’t even know where to send a letter!

(driving home from work)

J: I love you, sweetie.
M: Aww . . . . I love you, too. Where did that come from?
J: I just got the feeling your day was extra-tough and decided to send you some love.
M: That is sweet, and appreciated.

(I bask for a moment and enjoy the love. Mellow good feeling time.)

J: You are not like other girls.
M: Um, no.
J: I mean . . . candy and chocolate just doesn’t cut it. . . . Flowers, sometimes.
M: Flowers, often. But yes. It is hard to cheer me up sometimes.

(moment of silence)

M: I’m sort of an odd duck that way.
J: That’s just it, you’re not a duck at all. It’s one of the great things about you.
*beat*
J: You’re a swan.
M: Well, that’s lovely. (I’m thinking about swans now.)
J: Oh yeah. Swans are beautiful, graceful, lovely . . . .

We say together: “And vicious, vicious, beasts!”

*laughter*

J: I’m so glad you found that funny.

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