July Update at Facing North

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
~Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

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Foul Weather Friends

Everyone knows the phrase ‘fair weather friend’ — the ‘friend’ who is only around and interested in you when when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. If the going gets tough or tricky, they just completely disappear. Not many consider that the opposite type is also possible.

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June Facing North Update

I just published the summer edition of Facing North!

We can take things a little slower during the summer, enjoying the weather and being outdoors all the more. It is, however, a great time for sitting in the shade with a tall glass of your favorite cold beverage and one of the many wonderful books we have been reviewing lately.

This month, we offer:

The Weiser Book of the Fantastic and Forgotten: Tales of the Supernatural, Strange, and Bizarre
Reincarnation, Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need
Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death
Numerology Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need
The Herb Gardener’s Essential Guide: Creating Herbal Remedies & Oils for Health & Healing
The Mythic Journey: Use Myths, Fairy Tales, and Folklore to Explain Life’s Mysteries
Shamanic Wisdom for Pregnancy & Parenthood: Practices to Embrace the Transformative Power of Becoming a Parent
Tarot of Bones
The Witch’s Book of Shadows: The Craft, Lore & Magick of the Witch’s Grimoire
Hearth Witch’s Compendium: Magical and Natural Living for Every Day

May the heat of summer fill you with joy!

What Do You Value?: Oath-bound and Trickery

Last night I had the pleasure of acting as a priestess-counselor for another priestess. (For the sake of narrative, I will call her M.) She was concerned that her speaking would involve the revelation of oath-bound information and that had prevented her from reaching out for quite some time. M, however, felt that there were current events occurring based on a former group she had been with, and that the oath-bound materials were a core of the issue. Not being able to speak to anyone from that group without risking (psychic) injury, she turned to me.

In the end, M. invoked the blessing of Isis to have compassion for her if she was going to transgress, and I took an oath not to reveal anything to another. . . and we talked.

And now I’m writing about it.

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My World(view)

A Statement of My World View

In my world:
Who you choose to be your sexual partner does not define you.
Who you choose to love does not define you.
Whether you choose to have sex, or not does not define you.
What you do to earn money does not define you.
Whether you earn money for your labor does not define you.
Whether you believe in ‘deity’ in any form, duality, presence, or religious framework does not define you.
What color your skin is does not define you.
What school you got a degree from does not define you.
What level of degree (grade, high, bachelor’s, etc.) you have been awarded does not define you.
What gender you are does not define you.
Whether you have suffered violence does not define you.

In my world:
You are shaped by your thoughts and feelings.
You influence others through your expression (whether verbal, visual, or written).
How you treat others defines you.
What you do with your life defines you.
What you choose to do in response to others defines you.
Everyone is ‘other’ which is wonderful and a constant opportunity to learn.
We are all in progress, not perfect, and the journey is the process.

I recognize that my world is not THE world. In no way does my worldview accept ‘color blindness’ or ‘erasure’ or any kind of dismissal as acceptable. In recognizing the disparity between my worldview and ‘reality’ I offer my space — at home, work, online, teaching — as safe for everyone as long as they agree that different is not threatening, lesser, or to be cast out.

Fear can be unlearned; but it’s not on those you fear to help you. (They’ve got enough to deal with already.)

Hate cannot be tolerated.

Being Hungry

(I almost can’t write this, I still feel intense shame.)

There were two times in my my life when I was poor enough to feel actual physical hunger. The first was when my parents first separated and I was living with my mother in a commune in Berkeley (CA).* I’d been wrested from a typical middle-class (white) suburban lifestyle full of meat and bread in unlimited quantities and thrust willy-nilly into a hippie commune. No sugar. Homemade bread. No meat, except when we killed a chicken or rabbit. Nothing processed.

I hated it.

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Why AI?

(I’m gritting through these last days of Mercury retrograde . . . looking forward to the release coming!)

In a conversation with someone the other day I was asked how I feel about AI. My first reaction was ‘Terminator!’, my second was from Jake Stonebender (I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was along the lines of “why do we view AI with such suspicion?” and then proceeded to present an AI of charm and joy and grace.)

But what it comes down to is this: Why do we need AI? what is the purpose?

Answer me that, and I’ll tell you how I feel.

Because let’s face it: doing science for the sake of science isn’t always a good idea.  I mean, we could theoretically give cats opposable thumbs so they can open doors for themselves . . . but I’m convinced they would just light matches all of the time and therefore end up burning down the house.