Monthly Archives: December 2008

Facing North Update

Its our last update for the year, and its a particularly good one.

We have three articles, two on Creative Visualization by the foremost expert, Shakti Gawain and “The Search for Peace” by new author Isha.

We have a review of Llewellyn’s 2009 Herbal Almanac (which includes an article by me on “Four Seasons of Crafts”), Faith and Magick in the Armed Forces, Magic When You Need It, a couple of children’s books (Watchers and Rabbit’s Song), the forthcoming Green Egg Omelette, new fiction (Closing Arguments) and Ellen Dugan’s controversial How To Enchant a Man.

18 reviews in all, making a total of 120 reviews posted this year.

Give the EFF some love!

If you know me, you know I’m very interested in the legal issues that arise from how new technologies and intellectual capital interesect. That means that I support the EFF.

Due to the tough economic times we are all experiencing (and maybe folks with spare cash to spend on activism feeling tapped out after the election), EFF is not getting the usual end-of-the-tax-year donation love.  So they are all reaching out to friends, family and countrypersons to ask them to consider becoming EFF members this year.

I hope you know the kind of work EFF does to protect civil liberties online–such as defending fair use so people can share their home videos and make fun of deserving corporations large and small, taking on the telecoms and the NSA for spying on American citizens without a warrant, fighting to protect civil liberties on the international front, and speaking out (via blog post, press interviews, and speeches around the U.S. and the world) about threats to online civil liberties. This is very important work is and there are very few people/organizations do it as effectively as the EFF.  They also have great T-shirts. 🙂

So I’m asking: if you aren’t already a member, and you do indeed support EFF’s work (or just want a new t-shirt), please consider joining this year. If you are a member, make an extra donation — anything helps.

Also, please use this link:  The membership will be a little discounted and you can specify that you are a friend/family member of my sister, Corynne McSherry — Staff Attorney. (Don’t worry, she won’t find out if/how much you donated unless you tell her).

NeoPagans and Marriage

I’m interested in writing an essay about NeoPagans and their view of marriage and I need your help. I’m looking for anecdotes and experiences from people who are married, handfasted (or the equivalent of ‘joined but not according to the State’), and/or performed such ceremonies.

  • Did you get legally joined as well as go through the religious ceremony?
  • What genders are you and your spouse?
  • Why marriage/handfasting/joining?

Please feel free to tell me more, but the above are the key points I’m looking at for now. I am perfectly prepared to keep everything shared with me strictly anonymous and confidential; if you are comfortable with me using you/your story as an example please let me know that (otherwise, stories will be altered to make a point and not break confidentiality). Responses via the ‘comments’ feature on this blog are great, or you can write to me directly at lisa*@* (remove the spambot-foiling *)

Share this message far and wide — I want to hear from as diverse a group of NeoPagans as possible.

San Francisco to Kent: 14.5 Hours

Our plans were to leave Friday morning between 8 and 9am, and drive to Medford, OR, stay the night and then finish the trip on Saturday. We made incredibly good time (averaging 80 mph once we got across the Bay Bridge) and arrived in Ashland, OR a little before 2pm. J. said “why don’t we just go all the way home? There’s nothing for us to do here . . . and we could sleep in our own bed instead of a hotel bed.” I told him he was crazy, but right.

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DeBeers Says Parody is Illegal?

Sad but true. But you need to know the whole story. First of all, go here (before it’s taken down!) and enjoy one of the most brilliant spoofs I’ve ever seen or heard of.

deBeers — you know, the diamond people — is threatening the Swiss-based domain registrar,, with expensive lawsuits unless they disable the spoof website. The threatened charge? Trademark infringement. *

Our favorite Net Freedom Fighters, the EFF, have taken on the case and are arguing (persuasively) that there is ample US protection for the registrar.

History shows that parody is one of the most basic levels of free speech — if you can’t make fun of something then you can’t speak freely at all. Dictators usually kill the comics first, after all.

* Please note that I am not, not, NOT taking any potshots at DeBeers. It almost hurts to not say anything snarky about their destructive business methods, their lack of morals, or their ability to look innocent while wringing bloody hands.