Greetings from the Land of Cynicism

Not really.  I’m oddly non-cynical right now.  Pretty content, actually. New job that has made my life eleventy-billion times better.  New room-mate who is fucking awesome and whom I could see being family in the long term.  We got our other stolen cat back just two weeks ago, and it’s like he never left.  

I’m in a really good place right now.  And I’m even learning to enjoy it instead of sitting clenched, waiting for the other shoe to fall.  

I’m good.  Really good.  

And I think I need to spend some time on mindfulness and thanking whatever it was that got me here, whether I give credit to outside forces or my own subconsciousness.  I can’t recall being this happy in years.  It’s kind of scary, but nice. 

I need to remember to not only speak to the Universe when I am sad and in need of help, I need to remember to be grateful for the good as well.  As do we all.  


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Reminders that Sometimes there is More than Meets the Eye…

And I’m not talking about Transformers.

This weekend, I reconnected with some old friends.  We hadn’t seen them in nearly a decade.  Their retreating into being hermits sort of coincided with some weird growing pains I had going on in my late 20s/early 30s.  Long story.  Anyway, a couple of years ago, I woke up from a dream that the female half of the couple had died, and immediately called to see if she was ok.  I talked to her husband who said, yes, everything was fine, but thank you for calling. 

I didn’t hear from them until a couple weeks ago.

It seems that a few weeks after I called, she decided to go in to the doctor’s, just in case.  She wound up having a quintuple bypass and being very lucky that she’d gone in and done it then.  As she hadn’t had a heart attack, her heart was undamaged and with the renewed blood flow to her heart, she should be fine for a long time to come. 

And shit like that is why, though I am skeptical about a bunch of stuff, I just cannot bring myself to write off a lot of “woo.”  Because it’s asking me to write off my own experiences of life, and take it on faith that those things I’ve experienced have no basis in reality. 


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I Don’t Want to Live in a World Without Magic

I think the thing that keeps me from fully embracing atheism is the fact that I think living in a world without the possibility of magic is kind of a horrible thought.  Even if sometimes that magic is scary or could hurt you.

I don’t know.  Just a thought.

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Merry Yule and Blessed Solstice.

I know, I’m late.  Been dealing with things and pondering my views on life, the universe and everything.

It’s kind of funny really.  I just had a sort of epiphany about one of the major attacks atheists tend to use on believers of all stripes.  The “Religion is just a crutch! You’re afraid of reality and knowing so you have this imaginary friend who is responsible for everything and watches out for you.”

Well, yeah, a bit.  I mean, it is a bit easier to navigate the vagaries of life when you think someone loves you and looks out for you, and if you aren’t getting that in your personal life, or you think that maybe your issues or the things you’re scared of are bigger than something those people can handle, yeah, it is a bit comforting to think there’s someone or thing out there looking after you.

But I just realized that you can turn it around on them.  They need to believe we can use science to get all the answers RIGHT NOW!  The idea of “unknowable” things scares the pants off of them.

Really.  Now, the way I feel about is that I’m not exactly married to the idea of GOD.  But, I do think there are a lot of things out there that science currently does not explain, and I think eventually it will explain a lot of those things.  It just doesn’t right now.  So, instead of just saying, “These things that science can’t explain (ghosts, esp, precognition, and a host of other things) just don’t exist, full stop.”  What I’m saying is, “You know, I’ve had experience with some of these things, and what you’re telling me to do, deny my lived experience because the science as it exists now doesn’t have an explanation for them (or it does and it’s not one that makes sense for most of the experiences I’ve had), at least not a satisfactory explanation, that sounds awful religious-y to me.”  That whole because I (science) said so! argument quit working on me when I was 7.

And if you ask them, “So, science doesn’t have an (satisfactory) answer for this yet, what’s the harm in just believing it anyway?”  You’ll get a lot of harrumphing about immaturity and it’s just dumb, and some other folderol.  But no real good reason not to.  “But it’s not REAL!”

Science isn’t foolproof.  I respect the hell out of science.  And the scientists I respect the most are the ones who are honest about how much we don’t know.  I fully expect science to explain a lot more stuff as it progresses.  A lot of it stuff that the current skeptic/atheist community has already made up their mind is bullshit.  Much like we’ve come to learn that the earth-centered universe is bullshit.  As we develop better and better tools, we’ll uncover more and more awesome stuff.  And yes, I think it’s a good idea to be skeptical when someone says they have scientifically uncovered the truth about ghosts or auras, just as it’s a good idea to be skeptical when someone says they’ve discovered a cure for all cancer, or AIDS.

For me being skeptical means exploring and researching things.  Not taking anyone at face value, particularly if what they’ve said sounds too facile or too good to be true.  Skepticism is not diametrically opposed to having a spiritual belief.  I kind of think it IS diametrically opposed to allowing someone else to dictate spirituality TO you.


So, someone will invariably bring up the “Where’s the proof of ESP? Russia and the US did all these studies on psychic warfare during the cold war, what about that?”

I don’t know. Since it’s been my experience that most people with talents in that direction prefer to lie low, you know since we freak people out and are not all that removed from burning, stoning or hanging witches (and in some parts of the globe not removed from it at all).  I find it difficult to believe that anyone who did have those talents would willingly out themselves to the government of either nation.  I mean, really, there’s a reason “I’m with the government, I’m here to help,” is considered an oxymoron by most of US society.  I’m just saying.  If someone walked up and said, “I’m with the government, and we’ve heard you do this thing…”  I’d tell them they heard wrong, that’s ridiculous, and slam the door in their face.  Thanks, I do not fancy being “studied.”

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Been Doing a Lot of Thinking

I spend a lot of time at Skeptical and Atheist blogs, because I agree with them on a lot issues.  I don’t believe in Intelligent Design, I’m not Christian and haven’t been for a long time, I think Homeopathy is bullshit and that people who don’t vaccinate their children are at best idiots, and at worst criminal.

However, I have some personal experiences that I think I’ve touched on in other entries involving knowing things I couldn’t have known, or seeing or feeling things that the skeptics have unilaterally declared nonsense.  And I’m just not that keen to disbelieve my own experiences in the name of science any more than I am keen to believe something just because some ancient dude said so.  We’ve had studies that talk about the way prayer and other meditative states create unique brain patterns, and both sides are claiming that this is/isn’t definitive proof that god does/doesn’t exist.

My response to that is, that I do not necessarily believe in a God as many people recognize it, but rather I believe in a primal creative force that spawned life in the universe.  If I have talk about an origin story, I think the Big Bang does just fine.  And if you want me to anthropomorphize it, then let’s just say whatever it is threw a bunch of stuff in a petri dish, gave it a good stir, and maybe they check in every so often to make some notes, frown a couple of graphs and record a few of the weird plaintive sounds emanating from the dish.

I don’t think there is any disconnect between being skeptical and spiritual.  Nor do I think there is anything skeptical in denying your own experiences because someone who doesn’t believe in them has created a null hypothesis.

I like science.  I think it’s awesome and should be taken far more seriously than it is.  I think it will uncover a lot of the stuff that skeptics right now scoff at, and explain them better than, “It’s all your silly imagination.”  And I’m waiting for it to do so.  Just to shut some of those assholes  up.


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Prayer and Spellwork is Not Enough

One of the biggest mistakes most people with a belief in spirituality make is the belief that once they’ve asked for something, either through prayer or doing a ritual, that that’s it.

Neither the Universe, nor dieties, work that way.

The Christians have a saying, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

Translated, “If you aren’t going to work for what you want, you aren’t going to get it.”

Now, this does not mean the spellwork and prayer have no place.  I know for me that having done the spellwork gives me a little mental boost toward the goal.  It helps me focus my mind on what I want and how to get there.  It makes me a little more likely to see the opportunities that can help me get to that goal than I might have been before.

This is what prayer (to any diety) and spellwork should do.  They should focus YOU.

It is beyond arrogant to assume that a force that may have had a hand in controlling and creating the Universe gives a damn about what happens to you on an individual level.  I know this, and you know this.  However, it makes us all better to feel that there’s something out there looking our for us.  Unlike Christians who assume an all-knowing, ready to meddle diety, I tend to think of mine as beings like parents.  Yeah, if they’re around, they’ll help you out, teach you what you need to survive, but what they give you are the tools to help yourself.

Because you’ve done the spellwork for that new job, you might just feel a little more confident going into the interview.  You might also get that same feeling by doing extra reading on what the position entails.  If you do both?  More focus doesn’t hurt.

Just remember, the Universe/dieties/whatever, doesn’t owe you anything.  It can might give you a nudge in the right direction, but it doesn’t have to.  And it’s entirely possible that these nudges could be or will be explained scientifically some day.  Then again, maybe not.

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Long Form Warding and Cleansing Ritual

I don’t do a lot of “words” when I’m doing things.  Oddly enough, given how wordy I am everywhere else.  What I mostly focus on is intent.  If I’m leading another person, or more, in a ritual, I mostly do what could best be described as guided meditation.

This ritual has two parts:  The House and The Property


For the House
Enough black candles and white candles to burn one of each in each room
Sea Salt (lots of it)
Bay leaves/mistletoe or any other protective herb
Essential oils:  Sandalwood, Frankincense

For the Property
Four black and four white candles
Sea Salt
Hematite chips

Start by cleansing and purifying the house.  Circle the house completely with sea salt (going counter-clockwise) except for one door or window, through which you will be expelling the malign forces or negative energy.

Starting at the opposite end of the house from your portal.  Rub your white candles with Sandalwood oil, and your black candles with frankincense.  Light the white candle, visualize the light from the white candle banishing all negativity and malign influences.  Once you have done that, light the black candle and visualize it’s light covering the room in protection, as a temporary ward.  Do this in every room of the house, including closets if you want, or you can just include them in the “room” in which they are located.  I generally do the latter.

After you’ve repeated this, visualizing pushing all the negativity and bad out of your unsealed portal, and swept the last of it out of the house (some people use an actual broom to help in the visualization), seal the portal.  For added protection put bay leaves and/or mistletoe or holly over your doors and windows.

Now, it’s time for the property.

I won’t tell you to start at the ordinal points of the compass, because I know that  most properties aren’t lined up that way.  If the corners of your property line up the way, rock on.  But most won’t.

Pick a corner to start.  Clear a patch of earth about a foot square.  Dig down a bit, and using some sea salt, draw a pentacle with the salt in the earth.  Put hematite chips at the points of the star, and place your black and white candles inside the pentacle, and light them as you did inside, white first, then black, while visualizing the flames racing to the next corner of your property.  Wait until the candles burn out (this is where birthday cake candles are really awesome) and then carefully bury your pentagram and hematite chips, being very careful to disturb them as little as possible.

Go the next corner and repeat.  As you light the last set of candles, visualize the flames chasing the last of the malign forces and negativity out, and sealing it out.  Like a metaphysical invisible fence.

The source of power for most spells like this is intent and will.  I do have some words that I use, but I encourage you to find your own.  Make up your own spells that feel like magic on your tongue and cause a shiver down your spine.  I tend to start all invocations with “Maiden Huntress, Mother, Crone” and go from there.

I don’t do cleansings and wardings for money.  I might let someone buy me dinner afterward, and someone once bought me a really awesome journal.  But I don’t do this for reward or to make money.  I do it to help people who ask me for help.

Feel free to use this as you will.  But do not swipe it to publish as your own.  All I ask is credit where credit is due.  And I hope it works for you as it has worked for me.

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