“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”

~Thomas Jefferson.

I read this today, and I had to re-blog it.

http://unwinona.tumblr.com/post/30861660109/i-debated-whether-or-not-to-share-this-story

This, in its exactitude, has not happened to me. BUT things very similar have — especially when I was younger and more conventionally sexually attractive. The men I know would never do this. They would never allow a guy *they* know to act like this.

But for many many MANY women, this is a daily scenario. Yes, I am saying that assault is a daily event.

I’d like to think that I would be more assertive, especially now that I’ve got some Muay Thai training. But it’s more likely I would have done as she did and just waited for it to end. Because if I mis-calculated, I may have been physically assaulted as well as verbally. The only other thing I may have done differently is called the police. Perhaps he would have gotten off the train, perhaps he would have been met by the police. But, yes, perhaps he may have hit her to shut her up, to stop her from telling the police he was assaulting her.

This real. Pass it along.

Charles Jencks (creator of the awesome Garden of Cosmic Speculation) has created a 1300 foot long reclining woman out of an surface mine. She is called “Northumberlandia.”

Northumberlandia was formed, amid some controversy, as a lasting legacy in recompense for the disruption caused by coal extraction on such a grand scale, as the mine is the largest of its kind in England.

I think she’s beautiful!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9506204/Northumberlandia-giant-naked-goddess-carved-into-hillside.html

Each year I like to look back over the previous year, and then set goals for the coming year. Many people do this on Jan 1st; I prefer to do it on my birthday. I often refine the accomplishments and goals until my new year, Samhain, but the bulk of the work is done on or around my birthday. I also like to do a tarot reading (and other’s readings of me are ALWAYS welcomed).

This year has a lot going on: it’s a year ending in -5, which are always a BIG deal . . . but we’re not doing anything extravagant. In fact, it’s a very low-key, fun weekend. Exercise, good food, entertainment . . . I’m getting a chance to read a lot of books, do some writing (I have a few articles due this week, because I am going on holiday next week), work with the class, and maybe see a movie. On my actual birthday, it’s up early for brekkies, off to water aerobics, then hustling up to Seattle for a 4 hour session at Habitude (pedicure, hydrating salt scrub, and a 90 min massage). After that we’re going to see Samsara  with friends and then have dinner. The ‘big’ celebration is actually next weekend, when we’re going with a HUGE bunch of people to dim sum, and maybe Raiders of the Lost Ark (in IMAX) afterwards. 🙂

What can I say? It doesn’t take much to please me.

(more…)

Presented without comment.

The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. The Lovers: A caring and trusting relationship. Beauty and inner harmony. A decision calling for emotional control and faithfulness to spiritual values.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way – it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Judgement: A swift and conclusive decision. The resolution of a matter long unanswered. A change in point of view, most frequently towards greater enlightenment. Final balancing of karma.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. Ten of Wands (Oppression): Success and gain, leading you to take on a burden greater than you can carry. Noble leadership transformed, through lack of restraint, into tyranny. The crushing weight of ultimate responsibility. Having spent their fuel, the engines of creation grind to a halt.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Wheel of Fortune: The path of destiny. Karma on a grand scale. An unexpected turn of good fortune. A link in the chain of events. Success, luck, and happiness.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. Knight of Pentacles: The essence of earth behaving as fire, such as molten magma: One slow to action, but decisive and unrelenting once set in motion. A force of nature whose methods are as predictable and dependable as they are unstoppable. The voice of duty, honor, and responsibility. The will to the change the world, not through bold action, but through the thorough and unwavering application of proven means.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. King of Pentacles: The essence of earth behaving as air, such as a diamond: A true businessman, with a gift for identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them. A person well informed about the world, skilled in all things physical, and eager to encourage others. A pillar of practicality and dependability, embracing tried and tested methods, and possessing an innate understanding of the material reality. A philanthropist and devotee of both luxury and hard work, whose word is as good as gold.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. Seven of Wands (Valor): Standing courageously for your beliefs in the face of adversity. Fear of failure overcome by the will to succeed. Great obstacles met with heroism and determination. Inner strength brought to bear at a critical moment.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. The High Priestess: A pure, exalted and gracious influence. Education, knowledge, wisdom, and esoteric teachings. The forces of nature. Intuition, foresight, and spiritual revelation of the most mysterious and arcane sort.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Five of Cups (Disappointment): Suffering a loss and wishing for what might have been. Being crippled by sadness, grief, and vain regret. Indecision brought on by the feeling that you made the wrong choice. Ignoring what you still have. May suggest a broken relationship or tragedy. May also suggest a gift, inheritance, opportunity, partnership, or marriage, but one that falls below expectations.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. Three of Pentacles (Works): The commencement of business, commercial transactions, or employment. The constructive use of creative talents, and the expression of artistry in workmanship. Skill and labor turned to the crafting of things of value. Using the conventional as a medium for expressing the exceptional, in order to build something of great renown and glory.