Wisdom Of Trees, Stars & The Irish


Summer Triangle wide field view of stars by NASA and ESA.
Summer Triangle wide field view of stars by NASA and ESA.

“You look at trees and called them ‘trees,’ and probably you do not think twice about the word. You call a star a ‘star,’ and think nothing more of it. But you must remember that these words, ‘tree,’ ‘star,’ were (in their original forms) names given to these objects by people with very different views from yours. To you, a tree is simply a vegetable organism, and a star simply a ball of inanimate matter moving along a mathematical course. But the first men to talk of ‘trees’ and ‘stars’ saw things very differently. To them, the world was alive with mythological beings. They saw the stars as living silver, bursting into flame in answer to the eternal music. They saw the sky as a jeweled tent, and the earth as the womb whence all living things have come. To them, the whole of creation was ‘myth-woven and elf patterned’.  —  J.R.R. Tolkien, from ‘Mythopoeia’


Old Irish Blessing - The Irish Way - May there always be work for your hands to do. May your purse always hold a coin or two.May the sun always shine on your windowpane. May a rainbow be certain to follow the rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you and May LOVE fill your heart with gladness that cheers you. - raise glass - Sláinte!
Old Irish Blessing – The Irish Way – May there always be work for your hands to do. May your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane. May a rainbow be certain to follow the rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you and May LOVE fill your heart with gladness that cheers you. – raise glass – Sláinte!

She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.
I have gone about the house, gone up and down
As a man does who has published a new book
Or a young girl dressed out in her new gown,
And though I have turned the talk by hook or crook
Until her praise should be the uppermost theme,
A woman spoke of some new tale she had read,
A man confusedly in a half dream
As though some other name ran in his head.
She is foremost of those that I would hear praised.
I will talk no more of books or the long war
But walk by the dry thorn until I have found
Some beggar sheltering from the wind, and there
Manage the talk until her name come round.
If there be rags enough he will know her name
And be well pleased remembering it, for in the old days,
Though she had young men’s praise and old men’s blame,
Among the poor both old and young gave her praise.

– William Butler Yeats


Natural Remedies For Cold, Flu And Other Crud

So, for the last few days of last week I was under the weather with a sore throat and chest congestion. Like most of my friends and family, I prefer natural remedies for such situations when possible and save going to the doctor for more serious matters. So, I posted on Facebook that I was gargling with salt water and drinking concoctions of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey as well as ye olde stand by Hot Toddies. I also shared an article on my feed about 22 Natural Sore Throat treatments.

Herbal Remedies - Nature's Pharmacy
Herbal Remedies – Nature’s Pharmacy

My friends quickly chimed in with other suggestions to try demonstrating the great depth of knowledge and wit to be found among my circle of friends. I was experiencing pretty good results with the salt water gargles and the apple cider vinegar and honey however. The salt serves to reduce the swelling in the tissues of the throat by drawing out the excessive fluids causing the swelling. The acidity of the vinegar quickly kills off bacteria which cause the infection. The honey serves as a soothing agent as well as an anti-bacterial. But what about some of these other suggestions? I might want to try them out next time some type of crud creeps up on me and brings me down.

Warm milk and honey makes a sore throat feel better

The honey I am most assuredly in agreement on and perhaps the milk too but my mom was always big on avoiding milk when sick because she believed it causes the body to produce more mucous. Still, I did sneak some milk when I wasn’t supposed to and have to agree with Jay on the soothing properties.Also Mayo Clinic says the milk and phlegm thing is a myth. Anyone else have some thoughts on that?

Slippery Elm Bark is a good one but it tastes pretty horrid so you would have to add Honey and maybe a touch of lemon, adding milk sometimes will add more mucus unfortunately, Peppermint and Marshmallow Root are good soothing herbal teas for the throat. We are all struggling with this crap and yes my Friend it sure does get quite old…Do some Reiki on your throat if you can or have M.

I’ve used peppermint for soothing stomach and throat ailments in the past with pretty good success and have heard about Slippery Elm Bark’s benefits but the aforementioned horrible taste has always caused me to shy away from going that route. Marshmallow Root seems to give some temporary relief and I’ve heard good things about black licorice tea as well but haven’t tried it with a sore throat yet. Anyone else? Unfortunately, I’ve never learned Reiki although I know a Reiki Master near by who has offered to teach me.

Oregano, cloves, cinnamon and ginger help also. I usually eat the oregano fresh and make a tea with the rest. Hope you get to feeling better soon!

I have had some luck with the cloves, cinnamon and ginger when sick. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried oregano in my remedies though except, perhaps in chicken and noodle soup. It’s worth a try though, right?

if you are fighting a cold try GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) Will pretty much kill anything. you just put some drops in say orange juice to hide the taste and it works amazing.

I can’t say that I’ve ever tried Grapefruit Seed Extract but I did some reading on it and have to say that it sounds quite intriguing.

Bourbon

I’m definitely with you on that. Enough bourbon or whiskey and I won’t care how my throat feels or if I even have a throat. Lol!

Fresh tumeric in your soup is great too – tastes nice *and* has anti-inflammatories & antioxidants… I’ve been finding fresh tumeric in the asian food stores pretty regularly and at the regular grocery too (Haggens in Snoho carries it) – a little chunk really adds ommph to the broth in soup, and you can feel it spreading the goodness… I swear by it…. and it freezes well

I do enjoy turmeric. I’ve never had fresh. Only powdered. Thank you, I’ll look for some. There’s an Asian Market not far from my house. My daughter likes to shop there.

 

Get some Rooibos ( African Red Bush ) tea and drink at least three cups of it a day. Feel better soon my friend!

Oh yeah, I forgot about Red Bush tea. I think we used up what we had on hand the last time some crud was going around. I guess it’s time to get some more.

Changing Times And Some Laughs

Friday the 13th ya say? Whatever, I’m not changing my ways.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
Cause the times they are a-changing – Bob Dylan

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving.
Suddenly, a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down the window and asks, “What’s going on?”
“Terrorists have kidnapped Congress, and are asking for a $10 million dollar ransom. Otherwise they are going to douse them all in gasoline and set them on fire. We are
going from car to car, taking up a collection.”
“How much is everyone giving, on average?” the driver asks.
The man replies, “About a gallon.

I am the wild hunter of the forest deep
And I am the fire upon the hill
And I am the sower of the seed
And the tiller of the soil of the earth
And I am the golden warrior whose arrows are the shafts from the sun
The thunder is my hoof fall
The wilderness is my shrine
I wield the oaken staff
The elements at my call
By day I am the sun
By night I ride upon the wild winds.
– Daghda Cosantóir Dandelion‎

“It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.” – 1984 George Orwell.

Another reason to love Cards Against Humanity:

Cards Against Humanity - Changing Life For Workers In China
Cards Against Humanity – Changing Life For Workers In China

I love this! Workers in China usually don’t get to have vacation time to spend with their families and loved ones. But this company did something remarkable to change that. We need more of this in the world. We need more people caring about people. Profit is one thing but goodness and humanity should always prevail.

We're going to build a wall. It's going to be the best wall. And we're going to make the Picts pay for it. Vote Hadrian AD117
We’re going to build a wall. It’s going to be the best wall. And we’re going to make the Picts pay for it. Vote Hadrian AD117

Kylism 11217 “Hey dad, what if there was a pancake eating a waffle next to a waffle eating a pancake?”

More Kylisms here

Who Built The Georgia Guidestones?

The Georgia Guidestones is a granite monument erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, in the United States commissioned by a man using the self-confessed pseudonym Robert C. Christian.

Georgia Guidestones - Public Domain
Georgia Guidestones – Public Domain

Some have referred to them as the American Stonehenge. Whatever you call them though, they contain a set of 10 guidelines, inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message, inscribed at the top of the structure, in four ancient language scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

Who put these here and why under such secrecy? How is this 500,000,000 population to be achieved in a world of more than 7 billion now? Erecting this mysterious monument could not have been cheap so someone with fairly deep pockets was likely behind it. But to what end? What might their agenda be and how do they intend to go about achieving it? Are they a call for how humanity should rebuild civilization after an apocalyptic war or some other calamity? Some have praised their message and others have been stricken with fear at what they might represent but they are clearly there and someone spent a great deal of time and money to have them placed and did so under a secret identity so the big question is why? Any ideas?

Some have pointed to how the pseudonym R.C. Christian resembles Rosicrucian. That’s rather interesting to note as well but is there anything to it?

There was a movie made about them in 2012 which I haven’t seen yet. I wonder what they might have uncovered?

The Hurrier You Go, The Behinder You Get

Hurrier and hurrier the people go in this rush, rush world we live in. No one stops to smell the roses anymore.

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

For the past twenty seven years and then some of my life I have worked for a major airline. The transportation industry is all about keeping on schedules and keeping things moving. So, you might think I would be a person who is always in a hurry but the opposite is true actually. I hate to be rushed and usually resist anything that forces me to be in a situation where I must feel the pressure of time upon me. That doesn’t mean that I am always late wherever I am going. No, quite the opposite actually. I typically leave my house nearly an hour and a half before my shift is to begin even though the drive to the parking lot from my house is only around twenty minutes followed by about a ten or fifteen minute bus ride from the employee parking lot to the terminal. I have plenty of time to get to work and that’s how I like it. Just in case traffic is bad on the way in or I have a flat tire or some other trouble along the way. I leave very early specifically to avoid having to hurry. If I were running late then I would have to be like so many others out there driving at excessive speeds on the roadways, weaving in and out of traffic, pushing and shoving onto over crowded buses to try to be the first one on board and first one off board then running to the time-clock to get there just in time to beat the clock.

That’s just not how I roll though. I prefer to live a life that I don’t need a vacation from. I take my sweet time. I’ve sat and waited for three buses of people with standing room only to go so I can take a nice, leisurely ride up to the terminal or out to the parking lot. Why? Because I have plenty of time to do so. I structure my life in such a way that I do not have to play “beat the clock”. You know what? I find it quite liberating and relatively stress free. Oh, sometimes I am forced into running late by situations or people who are beyond my control but when I can influence the situation I keep it at a nice, leisurely pace. I enjoy the scenery along the way. Smell a flower, touch a tree, take in the view of the sky. Little vacations every single day. That’s just my way and I like it like that.

How about you?

Psychopomps We Know And Love

Psychopomps are coming to take us away!

Psychopomps take us to the afterlife. - Image is Public Domain
Psychopomps take us to the afterlife. – Image is Public Domain

I was inspired by a guest post by author, Paul Andruss on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

He had a lot of good and interesting things to say about psychopomps from various cultures and it got me to thinking that I have a few thoughts I would like to share about them too. He started his article off with a bit of humor and I like his style. But, no, the word does not indicate people who are both psychotic and pompous as one might initially guess. Instead,  they are creatures, spirits, or deities in several religions throughout the world whose responsibility is to escort newly departed souls from this realm to the afterlife. They are not charged with the duty to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage of their spirit. As a cartoon I’ve seen floating around ye olde internet says, “Why does everyone hate the Grim Reaper? It’s not like he killed you. He’s simply there to walk with you into the next world and isn’t it nice to not have to make the journey alone?” I have to agree. I appreciate their services and hope to have a nice conversation with mine along the way when the time comes. I picture a Hogfather like dude walking along philosophizing the universe and what’s right and wrong.

As Mr. Andruss pointed out in his article, Hermes/Mercury is viewed as, not only the messenger of the gods but also one who fills the role of psychopomp too. But this also made me think of ol’ Charon or Kharon, the ferryman of Hades who carries the newly departed across the rivers Styx and Acheron which divide the worlds of the living and dead. In Norse folklore we have the Valkyries choosing the slain who will be swept from the battlefields to feast with Odin in the halls of Valhalla. He speaks of the Great Queen Morrigan whose bird, the raven, is often seen picking over the barren fields after harvest or the battlefields after the slaughter. I’m delighted to learn about this new, to me, author who states in his bio that he has…

“written 4 novels, Finn Mac Cool, and the (Harry-Potteresque) Jack Hughes Trilogy. ‘Finn Mac Cool’ and ‘Thomas the Rhymer’ are available for free download. Hint! Hint!”

I’m definitely going to check out his work and hope some of you who are reading this post will do so as well. Some other figures I’ve seen mentioned here and there as being possible psychopomps are Manannan Mac Lir, son of the sea, who, at one point, seems to have been counted as a ruler of the Otherworld Mag Mell or Emain Afallach. I’ve also seen it said that the Greenman might be seen in this role and Cernunnos too because of his association with being “he who sits between the worlds”.

What about you? Do some other possible psychopomp figures from different cultures and folklore come to your mind? I’d be curious to hear of some from Native American or Asian sources perhaps. The closest things that come to mind for me from such sources are the sin-eaters of some meso-american and other tribes. Some have hinted that the Wendigo of Algonquin-speaking people might also be connected but these are way different concepts, to me, from those typically considered psychopomps. A preponderance of things to ponder. Lubrication for the gears of our minds.

 

It’s Part Of A Larger And Bolder Strategy

A glimpse into social networking versus search engine optimization strategy as it has gone for me so far.

SEO Strategy & Referral Traffic
SEO Strategy & Referral Traffic

If you’re a fan of The Vikings series on The History Channel, as I am, then you probably know where I got that title from. Lol! Hey, it was a great line, can you blame me? But, alas, no this won’t be a post about Ivar The Boneless, Bjorn Ironside and the other sons of Ragnar raising the Great Heathen Army to avenge their father’s death. I’ll probably write about that again later though, no doubt. Instead, my mind is on some things I’ve uncovered while perusing the stats and numbers for Our Pantheons Way in recent times and what it tells me about where my traffic comes from and, more importantly, where it doesn’t get a whole lot from. This helps me plan my promotional strategy.

Social networking is not to be ignored, for sure. Those numbers do add up and they can be significant. Also, the social networks are where a post or some other thing you’ve put out has the potential to go viral and take on a life of it’s own which may be a big break for you, depending on what it is you do. But what I am seeing here (and you big blog people with much larger numbers, don’t laugh at my puny numbers okay) is that for one thing, although Facebook might be considered by many to be the Big Kahuna in social media or Twitter maybe. Pinterest actually brings me more referrals than either one of them. Of course, for anyone, your mileage may vary and it probably depends a lot on what sort of content you’ve got as to whose going to send you the most referrals. Apparently I’ve got some pictures that people like and they’ve made some decent splashes on Pinterest. I know Mom’s Homemade Super Laundry Sauce is a big part of that and it was a re-share but, if it works, it works. Facebook comes in third and I spend a LOT more time on ye olde book of face than I do on Pinterest. Twitter is…..well….where the heck is Twitter? I don’t even see Twitter anywhere. Wow! Just wow. Lol! So much for that strategy.

But, by FAR my biggest source of traffic is, and always has been, the Search Engines. At a whopping 567% more referrals than the number 2 source, Pinterest, Search Engines kick all over social media in my numbers. Also, if you break that number open you will see that Google is by far the king of all search engines still but that’s no secret really is it? I suppose that makes sense though because, let’s be honest shall we, a lot of people you get through the social media sites are just other people with blogs, websites, shops, bands, or whatever of their own that they are hoping to promote too. They’re doing the social networking thing too, like you are, and maybe they genuinely do enjoy your stuff and might reshare some of it in hopes that you’ll return the favor. I’m not completely cynical but I understand some strategy is involved. I know a lot of us fellow bloggers really do like the other bloggers we’re following and we like each other’s stuff. It’s not all just about networking but being honest, some of it is and that’s okay. But what we’re all really hoping for are those people who are actually looking for our stuff. Whatever our stuff is. The things we like to write about or the music, art or ideas we want to promote and maybe sell. Maybe it’s an organization we want to get more members for. But the real deal isn’t the friendly share we get from our fellow bloggers. The real deal is that ever elusive creature we’ll call “the fan”. The fan doesn’t have any agenda whatsoever but, indeed, purely a genuine love of whatever it is you’re putting down. The fan might run across your stuff on social media and start following for more, sure. But a lot of times the fan is going to their favorite search engine and typing in those magical words that bring them to you. Those keywords which sum up what it is you’re writing about which happens to be exactly what they were looking for.

Those are the people who don’t drive up your bounce rate so much by hitting your page then off they go to somewhere else never to be seen again. (For those who don’t know, in SEO analytics a high bounce rate is generally seen as an undesirable thing because it means someone took a look at just one of your pages then left the site immediately rather than sticking around and reading more.) No, the fan sticks around awhile, peruses some more posts, maybe subscribes or at least bookmarks your page and comes back for more later. The fan sought you out, liked what they found and decided to stay for more. That’s who we’re all looking for and these numbers tell me that the search engines are better at delivering those people than the social media sites and that’s fine. When you think about it, that makes sense really. How do the social media sites stay in business? What is their business model? They don’t charge you and me, Joe blow user to use their services. It’s free to be on Facebook and socialize, chat with friends, promote your thing, create events, all of that. The social media sites’ strategy is that they need to keep your eyes on their site because that’s where the ad revenue is coming from. They need to keep their audience at home because sending them off to my blog, or your etsy shop or this other guy’s band page on ReverbNation or wherever isn’t going to keep eyes on their ads on their sites. I’m not knocking it. It’s their business model and you can’t blame them for doing what’s in their best interests. Promoting you isn’t in their best interests unless you’re paying them to promote you.

Search engines work differently though. They know people are always going to be coming back to search so their ads will get those eyes back. Their product is their search results. People go to them to find what they are looking for so whatever search engine delivers the goods is the one that rules. It doesn’t hurt that they have ad networking deals with websites all over the internet too so they still get a slice of ad revenue on a lot of the sites they send you to like….mine for example. It’s just a difference in strategy and understanding that might influence where you prefer to spend your time and energy related to promoting your thing. Whatever thing that is. This is my thing right here. I hope you like it. If so, please share! 🙂

 

P.S. I found Twitter. It’s wayyyyyyy down the list at 18 views for all time. Egads. Shaking my head. Lol.

Have You Considered Edible Landscaping?

Wouldn’t it be incredible if your lawn was edible?

Something edible instead?
Something edible instead?

About 5 years ago, I remember seeing this article going around the internet regarding a town called Todmorden in Great Britain where the entire town is full of raised bed gardens in which residents can plant, tend and take whatever herbs and vegetables they desire. According to a Mother Nature Network article I read about it at the time, the town had about 15,000 residents and it is located 20 miles from Manchester. Todmorden is home to Incredible Edible, a project which grows and campaigns for local foods. I found this all very inspirational and it reminds me of something I have discussed with others in the past. If you drive around a typical neighborhood or parks in towns and suburbs you will see mostly manicured lawns, ornamental shrubbery and the like. Then look at the medians in the roadways planted with ornamentals and grass for the most part. If you were to just take out 1 in 10 of those plants which produce nothing other than aesthetics and replace them with something which produces an edible, fruit, nut or vegetable instead can you imagine what that would do to help fight hunger and to give us the ability to produce our own food?

Doesn’t it make you marvel at how arrogant we as a society have become that we actually breed trees like the Bradford Pear or pistachios which produce no fruit or nuts because we consider the food they produce to be litter? Look around your yard and see how many Photinias, Yaupons, and Box Shrubs there are. What if you just took one or two out and replaced it with a dwarf fruit tree or a berry bush instead? Wouldn’t it be nice to walk right out your door and be able to pick fresh fruit? You could save a few bucks at the grocery store and would be in control of what pesticides, herbicides, etc. would be on them. There are plenty of natural ways to control pests so you would have clean, healthy food for your family. Walking around my neighborhood I have noticed a few of my neighbors already doing this. Sweet potato plants have lovely leaves and make great ornamentals. They are becoming increasingly popular these days I have noticed. You might want to consider it too. I’ve seen some nice looking peach trees at Lowe’s, Home Depot and the local nurseries and blueberry bushes too. Not to mention dwarf apples, plums, pecans. These might be something to consider for the coming Spring.

Well, now I’m just making myself hungry. Hahaha! Have a great day! 🙂

 

In The Distance 6 – Come On You Apes!

Apes are humanity’s closest living relatives. In fact, people are apes. Humans share about 98 percent of their DNA with chimpanzees.

Come On You Apes!
Come On You Apes!

Did you land in the middle? Go to Page 1 to start the story.


When Ciaran arrives he finds Donnchadh in his shop as usual hammering away on something and a fire going in his forge. When he looks up at Ciaran he seems somewhat surprised to see him, throws down his work gloves and comes running out to greet him.

“Hello ol’ lad! How are ya this fine mornin’? Did ya sleep well? You seemed a bit out of sorts when you wandered away from the revel fire last night. How are things?” Donnchadh probed.

“Well, I got a little too deep into my drinking horn and the mead was buzzing around in me something fierce so I stumbled off to bed.” Ciaran didn’t want to mention stopping by his fishing spot beforehand or what he saw and heard. Not until he knew a little more about it himself at least. Too soon to start spilling beans just now.

“Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have a really long ladder I could borrow would ya?” Ciaran asked, trying his best to sound casual.

“Uhm, well how long do ya need? Where are ya trying to get to lad?” Donnchadh inquired.

“The top of Big Blackie, the old Walnut tree down by the creek.” Ciaran revealed.

“Whoop!” Donnchadh laughed long and hard until his face turned red and tears began to form around his eyes. Finally he gasped “In all yer born days have you ever seen a ladder that big? You’d be better off to sprout wings and fly up there with the faeries!”

Donnchach has no idea how close he is to the fact of the matter Ciaran thought to himself.

“Well, is there some way we can safely get up there? I spotted something odd I’d like to get a better look at.” Ciaran implored.

“Well, it might be better to get one the younguns to climb up and get it for ya maybe. You’re probably not up for a climb like that anymore ya old dog.” Donnchadh chuckled and jabbed Ciaran in the ribs playfully with his fist.

At this point Ciaran isn’t sure what to do. Considering the circumstances it’s probably not a good idea to have a kid go up there and retrieve what he was pretty sure might be up there. But he wasn’t sure if he should reveal to Donnchadh his experience from the night before just yet. Still, how was he ever going to get to the bottom of the matter unless he confided in his friend and sought help?

Ciaran sighed, “OK, Donnchadh, let me level with ya a bit here. Last night, when I left the fire, I was on my way home but first I stopped by my fishing hole to relax a bit and to drain the main vein as it were. But when I got there, a strange buzzing sound was coming from the top of Big Blackie and when I looked up I saw a shadow up in the top but it didn’t look like an owl, or a bird or anything else I’ve ever seen in these woods. To tell ya the truth I was frightened and I ran home straight away because I wasn’t sure what it might be. So this morning I go back there to have a look and indeed there is something up in that tree but it’s too far for me to get a good look at it. But, it looks like…..well, it looks like a wing of some sort. ” Ciaran inhales a deep breath and continues ” I don’t want to get people spooked and worked up until I have a better look at the thing though.”

This time it’s Donnchadh’s turn to sigh deeply and look Ciaran over thoughtfully before speaking.

The Apes Find A Cave

“Okay, I suppose it is soon to be the time  of your induction into the Circle Of Elders so the things I’m gonna show ya and tell ya will be revealed to ya before much longer anyhow and considering the circumstances ya might as well know. But no telling anyone, I mean anyone at all, and especially the elders because this is serious, oathbound, stuff here. I could be in really big trouble for revealing it even if you are destined to know anyway.” Donnchadh disclosed while still eyeing Ciaran cautiously as if weighing whether he was doing the right thing or not.

Everyone in the tribe knew that behind Donnchadh’s place was his workshop and behind that was his fenced in yard where he kept his dogs when they weren’t out hunting. The reason the dogs were there was not only for their own safety but also as watch dogs because they would sound the alarm if anyone came unannounced to snoop around the mound which was on the south end of his back yard where the fence stops. On the side of this mound was a locked door to which only Donnchadh had the key and behind that door was a crevice in the mound. If you slip past the crevice there is a set of stone stairs which lead down into what everyone calls “the stores”.  The apes knew about this opening and the natural caverns which opened up beneath this mound when Ciaran’s grandfather as well as Donnchadh’s grandfather and the other apes chose this location to settle. It was here that they established storage for all of the tribe’s long term food, equipment and supplies, away from the watchful eyes of the stalkers, satellite imaging and other technological spies. Under the ground things were out of video site and deep within the ground EMF frequencies, radiation and other tell-tale signs of technology were not readily picked up on. The apes wanted a place to keep out of sight and this was just the place. But all of this was common knowledge to the members of the tribe. In “the stores” were walk-in refrigerators, freezers as well as shelves and shelves of food. For the first generation apes there were lots of freeze-dried and canned rations but over the years those have before more difficult to come by even through barter with the wandering traders who occasionally stop by.

Still, there were solar dehydrators, pickling and canning methods in use among the modern apes of the tribe so the shelves were kept well stocked to make it through even the harshest winters. Hunger was never a problem for the tribe because the tribe knew how to live off the bounty of the land. A lot of things most people in the “before times” called weeds and considered a nuisance in their well manicured “lawns was actually food and that food as well as wild boar, deer and other meats were plentiful. But the really interesting part is how the big fridges and freezers were powered. In the very back of the big chamber where all the food is stored is another opening which leads into a tunnel and down that tunnel is a thing which is about the size of a full grown cow. It’s a sleek, black box and it hums. Everyone calls it “the generator”. Before the apes moved away from the city Donnchadh’s grandfather worked for the government of the old United States in the “before times”. He brought this generator out here on his very last trip before he went “off grid” and cut his ties with the outside world. It was a very special kind of generator which required no fuel that anyone knew of and would provide power for many generations to come according to Donnchadh and the few he trusted with this knowledge. He discouraged any curious visitors from going down the tunnel toward the generator by shouting “Stay away from that thing, radiation will get ya!” Just as his father and his grandfather always warned before.

But even this wasn’t what Donnchadh was ready to reveal to Ciaran. Ciaran already knew all of this.

“Okay, come with me.” Donnchadh finally decided after a long minute of evaluating Ciaran and the gravity of the situation.

NEXT PAGE COMING! –  Corporate Security

I haven’t had much feedback on these. It might be awhile.

Footnotes

  1. Apes here sometimes refers to the colloquial name given to descendants of a fictional organization called the Alliance of Pagan Eclectics.

Glossary Of Terms Used Here

Because I use terms here that some might not be familiar with or that I might use in a different way than you are accustomed to, I thought a glossary might be helpful to my visitors.

Glossary
Glossary

My Glossary

Eclectic

 

 

 

To derive concepts, ideas, styles, or tastes from a widely diverse range of sources. I believe knowledge and wisdom knows no cultural or geographical boundaries. Therefore, I seek enlightenment from any sources available regardless of my primary cultural leanings. I believe my ancestors would have done the same given the resources to do so.

Heathen

 

 

 

A heathen was originally a word that meant hearth dweller or hills dweller. People who refer to themselves as Heathens rather than Pagan typically make the distinction that they follow a hereditary or folk-religion based spiritual path. Although many Pagan paths draw from folkish sources as well, Pagans tend to be more earth and nature centered in their spirituality. Heathens, generally, are more culturally specific in their path. Although both terms are often used interchangeably there are subtle differences in the ways some folks who choose between the two descriptors approach their spirituality.

Kindred

 

 

 

The Kindred is an inclusive term which refers to the gods and goddesses, the ancestors and the nature spirits. I learned this term while studying with ADF (A Druid Order founded by Isaac Bonewits). In my view, all beings are children of the creative force of the universe and all are descended through countless lines of mothers and fathers. Beyond the mortal kindreds, are the numerous tribes of supernatural beings as well. In my spiritual practice I may deal with, and make offerings to, many kinds of spirits.

Magick

 

 

 

An effort to make a change in ones life by using your own personal energy and the energy of the creative force from which all things and all living beings are derived. Practitioners often add the “K” to differentiate this concept and practice from stage illusion magic and slight of hand tricks. The practice of magick involves finding your connection to the Earth, the divine and all that is natural, alive and moving in the universe. It is channeling the energy which binds all that exists together.

 

Occult

 

 

 

The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus which means clandestine, hidden or secret and refers to knowledge of the hidden. It’s often taken to mean knowledge that “is meant only for certain people” or that “must be kept hidden”, but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality. The words esoteric and arcane are very similar in meaning with occult and are often used interchangeably. Most of the knowledge which is considered “hidden” is actually hidden in plain sight but one has to be willing to look for it because it is not taught by mainstream sources.

Orthopraxy

 

 

 

Orthodoxy, a word most people are already familiar with, literally means “correct opinion” in Greek whereas heterodoxy, or being heretical, means to have a different opinion. Paganism, to us, is about orthopraxy. In other words, it’s more important how you do things than what you believe. In ancient times, “believerhood” at a temple had more to do with things like entering the temple and walking three times around the idol, making your image and reciting an inscription on the wall, as was done in Roman temples for example. No one really asked much what one might believe about the divine, about its nature, or whether you treated it as objectively real or not. Your relationship with the gods was a personal matter between you and them. What you practiced and what you did said more about your path than what you personally believed. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good philosophical discussion about beliefs of the divine. But I don’t hold those beliefs to be of greater importance than how I choose to live and practice my faith.

Pagan

 

 

 

According to Google’s online definition a Pagan is a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. I can live with that. Mine is certainly outside of the current mainstream in religious beliefs but it was not always so. The term Pagan originally came from the Latin word paganus which meant a villager or rustic person from pagus, the country district. To Roman soldiers paganus also meant a civilian and later became used to mean one who is not enrolled in the army of Christ.

Pantheism

 

 

 

The belief that the spiritual makeup of everything, ourselves, the divine and other spiritual forces exists within every atom of everything within the universe, a collective soul so to speak. For the purposes of this glossary I say that from this collective energy, the gods and goddesses as well as all other beings both natural and supernatural is formed by the conscious will of the beings within that energy’s field of influence.

Psychopomp

 

 

 

A creature, spirit, or deity in several religions throughout the world whose responsibility is to escort newly departed souls from this realm to the afterlife. A psychopomp is not charged with the duty of judging the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage of their spirit.

Rede

 

 

 

A Middle English word that means to give counsel, advise, interpret, or explain. It can also, in an older sense of the word, mean to tell a story. It is said to have derived from the Old English word “raedan” or the Old High German “ratan” which both also mean to advise. There is additionally a possibly related Sanskrit word “radhnoti” which means “to archive or prepare”. In any event, I take it to mean to give counsel or advice as in the Wiccan Rede which advises followers of that guidance to “harm none” among other things.

Ritual

 

 

 

At it’s most elementary level a ritual is simply a series of acts that is always performed in the same way. I get up in the morning, say my daily devotional prayer, pull a rune for guidance and go make coffee. That’s my morning ritual so to speak. I do it almost every day in almost always the same order. In religious rites we also have certain things which are always done a particular way and in a set order. We cast circle, we call the elements, we welcome the gods and goddesses, we have cakes and ale, we close circle. Of course there are more steps and things that go on in between but that’s the gist of it. It’s a prescribed way and order of doing things for a particular occasion.

Skyclad

 

 

 

Working skyclad (nude) has a long and distinguished, albeit controversial at times, history within paganism. I believe that when we are skyclad the energies of magickal workings are less muddled and it is easier to focus and channel them. Also, it is felt by many, as is stated in The Charge Of The Goddess it is a sign of our freedom to be naked in our rites. I am a fan of skyclad working. But not everyone who practices a Pagan religion and not even all Wiccans, for that matter, practice skyclad. It’s a personal preference. I am blessed to have a group of people with whom I  practice that share my views and also come from a background in naturism.

Spell

 

 

 

Disregard the Hollywood version of what spells and magick look like. Unfortunately, real magick doesn’t come with a special effects team. Essentially, a great many spells you will find are simply a focused form of prayer. Candles of a particular color, crystals which vibrate at particular frequencies, aromas from various incense varieties, all of those things are basically tools to help focus and direct energy.

Syncretic

 

 

 

A syncretic faith is one made up by the combination of different forms of belief or practice. Some examples include Voodoo, Santeria and some would say Wicca as well.

Wicca

 

 

 

In this glossary, Wicca is defined as A modern religion influenced predominantly by the pre-Christian agrarian cultures of western Europe that believes in and practices magick and honors both male and female deities who exist in nature. Wicca emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles based on solar and lunar cycles.

Witch

 

 

 

For the purposes of this glossary, a practitioner of natural or folk magick, particularly the sort relating to candles, herbs, stones, colors, knots, etc. I say this because generally, those who practice the more ceremonial forms of magick or “High Magick” as it is often called tend to prefer the term Magi to refer to themselves. Witch is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves and in Wicca either a male or female is called a witch. Male witches do not use the term warlock and it is actually a derogatory term. That being said though it is important to note that not all witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccans necessarily consider themselves witches. Witchcraft tends to have more to do with the workings of magick and spellcraft while Wicca is a religion with many facets beyond the witchcraft aspect of it.

Thank you for reading this post and if there are any other terms you would like to see added to this glossary feel free to ask. I’m always happy to help foster better communication and discussion.

P.S. Why did I insert such a ridiculous amount of blank space between the words and the definitions? Because, the WordPress theme I use apparently can’t handle anchor texts properly and without the big blank space people who click on links for definitions within the articles would miss the first few lines. It’s a sad workaround but it works.