TagWicca

ACLU Sues Library for Blocking Wiccan Websites

Pentacle

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Eastern Missouri sued a local public library on Tuesday for allegedly blocking websites related to Wicca, a modern pagan religion.

Anaka Hunter of Salem, Mo., said she tried to access websites about Wicca, Native American religions and astrology for her own research, but the library’s filtering software blocked the sites.

According to the ACLU, the software labeled the sites as “occult” and “criminal.”

The Hill: ACLU sues library for blocking Wiccan websites

Bonus: the library director is accused of saying she had an obligation to report people who accessed said sites to the police.

Have we really learned nothing from the West Memphis Three fiasco?

West Memphis Three Go Free – But At What Cost?

ABC News reports that West Memphis Three are being released today after a special hearing in which the three men made an Alford plea. According to Wikipedia, an Alford plea is: “A guilty plea in criminal court, where the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence. Under the Alford plea, the defendant admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

What this means is that the WM3 will not be able to sue the state for wrongful prosecution, or profit financially from book, movie or speaking deals based on the ordeal. Or, in other words, it means that those responsible for railroading these kids in 1993 and putting them in prison for nearly two decades (while the real killer(s) remained free) will never be brought to justice, and the WM3 will never be compensated in any way for the years of their lives that they lost.

It’s a surprise move to those of us following the case. In 2007 new DNA evidence placed two men, including one of the victim’s stepfathers, at the scene of the crime, but provided no evidence that the WM3 were at the scene. I should emphasize that this doesn’t in and of itself exonerate the WM3, nor does it necessarily implicate the stepfather in the case. However, it was widely believed this DNA evidence would be enough to get the WM3 a new trial, and, given the lack of evidence in the first trial, would likely result in the three being exonerated.

I don’t know why the WM3 decided to take this plea, and I don’t blame them for taking an opportunity to go free after 18 years in prison. If they and their counsel believed this was the best option, then it probably was. But it’s extremely disappointing that the individuals – including David Burnett, Brent Davis and Dale Griffis – who railroaded the WM3 to advance their own careers will never be held accountable for their crimes.

Woman accused of Wicca denied retrial in custody case

Did talk of a mother’s (alleged) adherence to Wicca cause her to lose custody of her child? That is the allegation of Andrea Hicks, who said that Chicot County Circuit Judge Robert Vittitow improperly considered her religious views in his ruling.

“In her appeal of Chicot County Circuit Judge Robert Vittitow’s decision, the mother noted Vittitow described Wicca in his opinion letter as ‘a religion, movement, cult or whatever it that may be.’ The judge also wrote that while the mother testified she was only joking when she told the boy’s father that she was involved with Wicca, the ‘court believes she is much more involved than she would lead us to believe.'”

Hicks’ first appeal was denied, even though the two dissenting judges believed that the ruling ‘impermissibly considered’ her faith. You can read the opinions of the judges on the appeal court, here (Andrea Hicks v. Joshua A. Cook). Now, somewhat unsurprisingly, a motion to rehear the appeal has been denied with the same justices dissenting.

“In a dissenting opinion Wednesday, Hart said Circuit Judge Robert Vittitow interrogated the mother about the practice of Wicca and made an explicit finding that she was practicing Wicca in his written order. Even if the mother did practice Wicca, “there is absolutely no evidence that practicing Wicca was in an way harmful to the child,” Hart wrote. Hart also accused the child’s father of making “vile and slanderous” statements in his response to the petition for rehearing…”

Full Story: Wild Hunt

(Thanks Bill!)

Area Pagan Dreading Big Family Vernal Equinox Celebration

Happy Equinox everyone!

“Despite evidence that the planets are aligned in his favor, local pagan Jeff Birch, 27, said Monday that he would “rather have a peaceful weekend at home” than attend his family’s Vernal Equinox celebration on March 21. “I realize it’s supposed to be a festive time of conception and new growth in the womb of Mother Earth and all,” Birch said. “But I just know that within an hour of arriving, things will get so bad that I’ll be reverting to my 12-year-old self, hiding in the rec room downstairs, wearing my Iroquois false face mask and fingering my runes for comfort. It’s not worth it.”

“Anyway, wasn’t I just back home for Mabon?” Birch added. Most pagans look forward to marking the Vernal Equinox, when the hours of sunlight equal the hours of darkness. Yet for some, like Birch, this sacred springtime celebration of balance and harmony means contending with family infighting and undue stress.”

(via The Onion)

The Occult Experience

This is a great old documentary from 1970 on various occult groups. There are interviews with Alex Sanders, Selena Fox, Olivia Robertson, Micheal and Lilith Aquino, H.R. Giger and many others. Warning: NSFW.

(via Google Video. Thanks Dedroidify!)

Interview With The Koldun (Part 3) – Natalia and Anton Tikimirov Discuss The Tarot Constellation with TiamatsVision

In parts one and two of our interview we discussed the history of the Koldun and their relationship to the Tarot. In this third installment we discuss how to find one’s Tarot Constellation, which form the basis for other Kolduny practices.

TiamatsVision– You mentioned that you use the Tarot Constellation for assistance in helping someone. How does one go about finding their Tarot Constellation?

NATALIA– The process of finding a person’s Tarot Constellation consists of first reducing the birth date down to a single digit. This is the Soul Number. Then find the Tarot card within the major arcana that is associated with that number. Next, you have to find the Persona and Will cards and then the Fate and Path cards. From there you look for the Hidden Influence, Visible Influence and the Inner Teacher cards.

NATALIA– To determine one’s Tarot Constellation you must first determine the Soul Number. To do this you add all the numbers of the birthdate up. Let’s say someone was born on 6-12-1955. Add 6+1+2+1+9+5+5=29. Now take and reduce 29 to its lowest single number which is 2+9=11, 1+1= 2. The person of this birthday has the soul of a 2. The second card of the major arcana is The Priestess. So you pull The Priestess card and the 2’s of all the suits. These twos are the Fates and Path cards. Next you find the Inner Teacher card. The easiest way to do this is to ask The Hermit card, which is a card that portrays one holding either a lantern or hourglass and is the 9th card of the major arcana. If a person has a Soul of a 2, you add 9 and you get 11, 1+1=2. The reason you ask The Hermit is because no matter what the Soul Number is, by adding 9 you get the Inner Teacher number which adds up to the Soul Number. Work it out and see. A soul number of 5? Add 9 you get 14, 1+4=5, The Temperance card. A Soul Number of 7? Ask the Hermit; add 9+7 and its 16, (1+6=7) The Tower.

The Soul Number, the numbers of the suits, and the major arcana numbers that add up to the Soul Number form the skeleton of the Tarot Constellation.

ANTON– This is important to understand, and it is the basis of the constellation. A soul of 2? 2 plus 9=11. 1+1=2, the original Soul Number. A soul of 3? 3 plus 9 =12, 1+2=3, and so on. If you know a Soul Number and ask The Hermit, you will not fail finding the Inner Teacher.

The point is that the Soul card, no matter what the number is, has an Inner Teacher card that when broken down and added up, matches the Soul Number. In every circumstance The Hermit card stands lighting the way.

TiamatsVision– What is the significance of the different cards (i.e. the Soul card, the Inner Teacher, etc.)?

NATALIA– The Soul card reflects what will please and perplex the individual. The Inner Teacher card is the card of the inner teacher. When this card comes up it means that the inner teacher has a message or lesson for you. This card should be trumped by placing a card over it sideways and then considering the card in both a positive and negative manner. Fate and Path cards are cards that show how a person will view the issues raised by the suits. Cups are interpersonal relationships and romance. Swords are conflicts and lusts. Wands are creativity and intellect. Pentacles are work, money, home and survival. Influence cards reflect what will influence the person, both visible and hidden. The Hidden Teacher is the reflection of the hidden lessons that one’s past has taught them. The Will and Destiny cards reflect how one will behave in a struggle and how they routinely respond to certain situations.

It seems very complicated and in some ways it is. But the constellation is the beginning of understanding what makes the individual tick.

The next three cards that you need for a person’s Tarot Constellation are the Persona cards. These cards are the Personal Potential Card, The Hidden Teacher Card and the Manner of Expression Card. These cards are based upon your Sun Sign, your Moon Sign and your Ascendant. Your Sun sign will be the Personal Potential card, your Moon Sign is your Hidden Teacher card and your Manner of Expression card will be the sign of your Ascendant.

The signs and cards align like this:

Aries– Queen of Wands

Taurus– King of Pentacles

Gemini– Knight of Swords

Cancer– Queen of Cups

Leo– King of Wands

Virgo– Knight of Pentacles

Libra– Queen of Swords

Scorpio– King of Cups

Sagittarius– Knight of Wands

Capricorn– Queen of Pentacles

Aquarius– King of Swords

Pisces– Knight of Cups

So if your Sun was in Libra then your Personal Potential Card would be the Queen of Swords. If your Moon was in Leo then your Hidden Teacher would be the King of Wands. If your Ascendant sign is Virgo then your Manner of Expression card would be the Knight of Pentacles.

The next cards to consider in the Tarot Constellation are the Visible and Hidden Influence cards. These are based upon planets that were either in the Midheaven or on the Ascendant at the time of birth. Planets in the Midheaven would be reflected by Visible Influence cards, while planets on the Ascendant would be reflected by Hidden Influence cards.

The planet and card associations are:

Mercury– The Magician

Venus– The Empress

Jupiter– The Wheel

Neptune– The Hanged Man

Mars– The Tower

Pluto– Judgment

Saturn– The World

Uranus– The Fool

The Sun– The Sun

The Moon– The Moon

If a person was born at noon with the Sun in the Midheaven, then the Sun card would represent a Visible Influence. Let’s say Jupiter was also in the Midheaven, then The Wheel would also be a Visible Influence card. Now let’s imagine that Pluto was ascending at the time of the person’s birth. Their Hidden Influence card would be The Judgment card. There are only 3 cards left to determine that will complete the Tarot Constellation.

The last three cards to determine in the Tarot Constellation are the Will cards of which one is the Destiny card. The Will cards are minor arcana cards that are associated with the Sun sign, and the time involved in the Sun sign. Each Sun sign in astrology is broken down into three deaconates. Each deaconate is represented by a minor arcana card. The minor arcana card that represents the actual date of birth is the Destiny card.

They break down like this:

Aries:

March 21-30: 2 of Wands

March 31- April 10: 3 of Wands

April 11-20: 4 of Wands

Taurus:

April 21-30: 5 of Pentacles

May 1-10: 6 of Pentacles

May 11- 20: 7 of Pentacles

Gemini:

May 21-31: 8 of Swords

June 1-10: 9 of Swords

June 11-20: 10 of Swords

Cancer:

June 21-July 1: 2 of Cups

July 2-11: 3 of Cups

July 12-21: 4 of Cups

Leo:

July 22-Aug. 1: 5 of Wands

Aug. 2-11: 6 of Wands

Aug. 12-22: 7 of Wands

Virgo:

Aug. 23-Sept. 1: 8 of Pentacles

Sept. 2-11: 9 of Pentacles

Sept. 12-22: 10 of Pentacles

Libra:

Sept. 23-Oct. 2: 2 of Swords

Oct. 3-12: 3 of Swords

Oct. 13-22: 4 of Swords

Scorpio:

Oct. 23-Nov. 1: 5 of Cups

Nov. 2-12: 6 of Cups

Nov. 13-22: 7 of Cups

Sagittarius:

Nov. 23-Dec.2: 8 of Wands

Dec. 3-12: 9 of Wands

Dec. 13-21: 10 of Wands

Capricorn:

Dec. 22-30: 2 of Pentacles

Dec. 31-Jan. 9: 3 of Pentacles

Jan. 10-19: 4 of Pentacles

Aquarius:

Jan. 20-29: 5 of Swords

Jan. 30-Feb.8: 6 of Swords

Feb. 9-18: 7 of Swords

Pisces:

Feb. 19-29: 8 of Cups

March 1-10: 9 of Cups

March 11-20: 10 of Cups.

To determine your Will cards go to your Sun Sign. To determine your Destiny card, go to the deaconate of your birth. This completes the Tarot Constellation. Each person has one which is totally unique to them alone. Some come close, but no two are exactly alike. It is like a fingerprint. The uses of the Tarot Constellation are numerous. Everything from Tarot readings, to herbal prescriptions, to talisman for spells; they all come back to the individual’s Tarot Constellation.

(Next: Part 4- The different tarot spreads)

 

 

Imbolc in Ireland

“Winter in Ireland means dark and rain and mud and chill that aches in your bones. It means short wet days and long wet nights. Cold that runs damply down the sides of stone walls. Ashen fields, rubbly with last year’s hay. Winter, which began as the sun lost its vigor at Samhain, still holds sway as the land nears Imbolc, or so the cold and the damp proclaim.

But spring is near, near as sheep who materialize out of the fog near spiky outcroppings of granite. Lambs kick within the ewes, hidden as spring on a foggy winter morning. The bitter chill and the ashen fields give no clue to the nearness of a new season but, like the lambs, spring is “in the belly” of winter, for that is the meaning of the word Imbolc. Soon spring, in all its robust fragility and wild insouciant joy, arrives as suddenly as birth which, like death, is always sudden no matter how fervently anticipated or feared.

Imbolc is La Feile Bridghe, the day of Brigit, celebrated each year in ritual in Kildare, the town historically associated with the Celtic goddess and saint. The festival focuses on the largest of the area’s 32 holy wells, where a tiny wooden bridge leads into a grassy sacred precinct. Miniature standing stones link a deep rock-circled well with its outlet in a stream into which shallow stone steps descend. Brigit, sculpted in an old-fashioned nun’s habit, stands in a stone grotto among coins and flowers and other offerings.

People come to the holy wells continually throughout the year, in groups and singly, for traditional healing rituals. But the greatest crowds arrive for Imbolc, when Brigidine sisters sponsor a vigil at the well, which I was honored to attend several years ago. Hundreds join in, many coming from other parts of Ireland to attend at Brigit’s central shrine for her most important holiday. As we gathered in the late evening, we were greeted by a bonfire of gorsewood, welcome in the still-wintry chill. But that was not the only fire that lit the dark well precinct, for the women of Ch?irde Bhr?de — “heart of Brigit,” the local laywomen’s association — had placed hundreds of candles on the pathways and stone steps, outlining the well and the spring and the pathways. The rushing waters caught and reflected the candlelight, so that the whole precinct shimmered with light.”

(via MatriFocus)

(Thanks Pat!)

Wiccan Beauty Queen Rejected as Pageant Judge

“She might be a witch, but Stephanie Conover says that’s no reason for officials at an upcoming Toronto beauty pageant to reject her as a potential judge. Conover, who was crowned winner of the Miss Canada Plus Pageant last year, said she was recently invited to be a judge at the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant on Feb. 2. “I said I’d definitely be there,” Conover told the Star yesterday.

“Then, last week, on Monday, they asked me for a biography. I told them everything I do, how I’m an entertainer and a singer and a dancer. I talked about my charity work and I said I also have hobbies, including songwriting, knitting, painting, yoga, reiki and tarot cards.” That’s where things got sticky. “We just got her bio a week ago and we don’t agree with it,” said Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director. “We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult.”

“We need a judge who has an upright reputation and we would be proud to introduce to the audience,” noted a Jan. 24 letter to the Miss Canada Plus group from Murray and another official with the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant. “Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world.”

(via The Star)

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