Still Protesting Sunday Shopping

sundayshoppingI was surprised to see a site still protesting Sunday Shopping. At one point the writer says he did not start out protesting due to religion. But, if not for religion it could be any week day. Sunday is the legendary “day of rest”.  But, not if you’re an atheist. Why not keep Sundays  for business and close down Monday? Or Friday? Maybe Wednesday, it’s right there in the middle of the week.

I might pick Thursday but then who would really want to go back to work on Friday knowing you have Saturday and Sunday off?

There can only be so many religious holidays. Christians already have more time off than any other religion in North America. I don’t think the Sunday Shopping protest is going any where. The real test is to see how many people are spending time in church. I’ve heard the numbers are dropping. A shame but… religion is a personal thing.

Image source: Save Our Sundays

Canadian Content Contributor on Squidoo

I put my name in to be the Canadian Contributor on Squidoo.

This is what I wrote:

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians. I already publish a content feed on Scoop.it about Canadiana. Mainly bits of things I find online or happen to think of myself. Scoop.it gives me a place to stash links, share ideas and knowledge. I have over 3,000 views and 41 subscribers, not a lot but it does give me a nice start for promoting any Canadian posts I make as the Squidoo Contributor. Anyway, that’s just numbers. The fact is I was born in Toronto and have grown up all over Ontario. As a younger woman I travelled alone across Canada on the Greyhound bus, staying in youth hostels, meeting other young travelers/ backpackers. I do love it here and travelling (on a shoestring) was a great way to see more than the cleaned up tourist places. These days I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I see a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr. I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too. I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer). I have probably written too much but I would very much enjoy covering the topic of Canada for Squidoo. Partly because as a Contributor I hope to be given some extra promotion on the site and then be read and heard. (So important to feel someone is actually reading and listening). Also, I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

I’m sure I had paragraphs but they didn’t work with the form used. So it is a solid block of text, mainly here for my own amusement.

Men Can be Witches (Pagan) Too

magic manA male witch is not a warlock or a wizard, he is a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch who happens to be male. So, of course, there are men who are Witches too.

If you are a male Pagan you could be the only one, or one of few, in your coven or group. There may be many men working as solitary Wiccans, Witches or Pagans just because they feel isolated even when they are in a group. Women are drawn to Paganism, at least partially, because it is a religion (set of beliefs) which focuses on the feminine Goddess.

However, Pagans don’t have a one sided belief. Pagans have a dual God and Goddess. The Horned God, the Green Man, are names for the male God of the Pagans. It’s a mistake to think of Wicca, Witchcraft, or Pagan paths as female centred only. If it were not for the men who began researching the older Gods, ancient religions and societies we would not have some of the great Pagan history and literature which we enjoy, study and follow in our modern days.

Actually, there have been a lot of men in the Pagan religion. Some of the most popular books for Pagans have been written by male Pagans.

  • Scott Cunningham
  • Aleister Crowley
  • Robert Graves
  • Raymond Buckland
  • Stewart Farrar
  • Gerald Gardner
  • Isaac Bonewits
  • Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Sir James Frazer

Finding Pagan Men Online

Men are Welcome

If men don’t create their own rituals they may find inspiration from the rituals and spells of others. If the spells were written for a woman, men will have to adapt them to their own needs and purposes.

This is nothing unusual. The Pagan religion is very adaptable, making room for all sorts of new ideas and beliefs – different ways of looking at the world.

Men should not be uncomfortable about taking part in Witchcraft, Wicca or Pagan groups. There may be some groups which will not welcome men, depending on the unique point of view and focus of that particular group. For instance, there are covens which focus on the female Goddess or Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of women. In this case, the group would be specific to women.

Many groups and covens are far more generic and welcoming for men, new Pagans and solitary Pagans too. Just as any other time you are looking at a group to become involved with, you have to do some research and get your foot in the door.

Comments from the original post on HubPages:

Radical Rog

Personally, I have a problem with this need to label everyone as being this or that. Witch, Wizard, Hedge, White, Black, Wiccan, each is an individual on their own journey towards spiritual enlightenment, understanding, whatever you want to call it, or maybe just standing still on the Path.

So which Path do you follow? In truth, it’s a labyrinth with many turnings and junctions and crossroads. The symbology of the labyrinth in occult mythology is there for a reason.

LaurencePJones

Waband, far be it for me to question that remark as I have ony begun posting hubs a short while ago and haven’t been involved in Wicca that long but isn’t it a sweeping statement to say that ‘witches are female’. I’m sure the majority of them are but surely a little research is required before dismissing male witches out of hand.

That Grrl

Don’t let me interrupt. I’m loving to hear about word history – two of my favourite things combined.

Radical Rog

Correct Raptorcat, or go back further to ‘wys’. ‘Wizard’ has a different entamology and is more of a construct, though with a similar meaning, from ‘zinoti’ – to know.

There is also a connection to the phrase: ‘Singers of the Earth’s Dawn,’ from a time before the written word, when travelling storytellers passed on news and ancient tales. Many of these tales were what are now dismissed as the creation stories of mythology. A wizard was a travelling story teller, a bard, who ‘knew’ the story of man’s relationship to the gods. The early Church missionaries set out to suppress this ancient knowledge and replace those tales with its own version of creation. Hence the subsequent denigration.

A witch was someone who ‘knew’ the tale keeping it alive where they were. A wizard was someone who travelled to spread this knowledge and wisdom, though that last bit is my interpretation.

Raptorcat

Actually, Radical Rog, the word “witch” goes back even further to the original root word “Wicce” which means “Wise” or “Wise one”.

There is also the possibility that it is the root for the word “Wizard” as well, but I am not sure, though the linguistic similarity is there.

Radical Rog

To support your argument, the word witch derives from the original, wichá and wiché (masculine the feminine). The word refers to knowledge/wisdom and a more correct transliteration would be:, wise man or wise woman respectively, or even more correctly, one who knows.

It is this knowledge the Church wished to suppress hence their denigration and persecution.

That Grrl

I’m kind of the opposite. I get started with an initial spurt of idea, even something I don’t know much about. Then I dig up information, decide what I think and what I want to say about everything I have found. Then it all piles into the article. I’m not an expert about anything but I use research and common sense to share information and hope for the best.

I do feel that there will be people who read what I have written and tell me I don’t have a clue. But, usually my research, common sense and my own experience pull me through. I just think it is a shame to let someone else intimidate you from writing and sharing the information you have.

My Uncle told me no one should be a writer until they are 40 and have experienced life – which would mean they had something to say at that point. I was about 14 at the time – a long way from 40. I let that keep me from writing anything more than my diary for a really long time. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school and then college that someone made me feel good about my writing again.

Raptorcat

@That Grrl, Actually, there are a few people on the hub that are at least equal, if not superior to me in that regard. They are also better writers than I am.

It is not with any false sense of modesty that I say that, it is just that I know my own limitations in writing on any subject. In some areas, I am a very skilled technical writer and in others I am a more skilled emotive writer.

I am well versed in many subjects, btw, so it is not as if I feel any inferiority or don’t know my voice, but more that I do know my voice and as I gain more and more knowledge, that voice grows, as all voices do.

If people have specific questions, I am more than happy to address them to the best of my knowledge and experience, but to just start writing on a specific subject is tricky for me. Getting started on anything that is not historical is usually where I run into the problems.

That Grrl

Kittydreamer is one of the HP people I follow. I try to keep a watch out for all the Pagan writers here. (As well as all the other Lauras).

That Grrl

@Raptorcat – You aren’t writing to people who are experts and far more experienced than you consider yourself to be. You are writing to people who know less than you do and would benefit from the knowledge and experience you (in particular) have.

If you always consider yourself to be writing for people who know more than you – how will you ever find your own voice and write anything? There are far more people who know less and would like to know more than there are people who know a lot and don’t want to learn anything else. Even the people you call experts are likely to read your thoughts and find something new or interesting to take away with them.

LauraD093

That Grrl- I found this article interesting also the comments made by Raptorcat were things I never knew in regards to this particular belief system. Paganism doesn’t seem female oriented-although until knowing the true definition for “witch” from Raptorcat I always associated Wiccan belief as female dominate with men taking a secondary role which is the exact reverse for most Western religions. It is informative to know that there appears to be a balance. kittydreamer is a fellow hub-writer who addresses a lot of Wiccan and Pagan beliefs you may want to check her work out.

Raptorcat

To be honest, I really would not know where begin. There are a lot of far more qualified and experienced witches out there that can discuss the issue with far more information and knowledge than I.

Authors like Kerr Cuhulain (who has a column on Witchvox) come to mind.

Factually speaking, we are at a point in the craft where we need to move away from the female-centered attitude and start to balance all practices of the craft, taking the male into the same level of serious consideration that we have, to date, given to the female.

Both are mysteries that are equally important to us, as humans and to us as practicioners of the craft.

That Grrl

Raptorcat, I hope you write about Pagan men too. You have a lot more background to make a better post than mine. I got the idea and wanted to write it up before I forgot my ideas/ thoughts. There is a lot more which could be added.

Raptorcat

That Grrl, There are a lot of books that are mostly fluff and many more that are complete and utter nonsense. Many are geared toward only the female practicioners, which is kind of dishonest, since Paganism is neither exclusively a male nor female practice (with few exceptions). It is bi-gender, like our species is.

Many books are filled with gems of useful information, but the real trick is to discern the wheat from the chaff. Not an easy task for any newcomer to any Pagan path.

A lot of the books in our personal library are a bit on the fluffy side, but we still have them for the gems of useful information buried within them.

Raptorcat

Wabond, the word “witch” is actually based in the old English “Wicce”, which means “wise”, which has no gender. SInce the word has no actual gender, I have never called myself a male witch. I am, simply, a witch.

The wicce have always been the ones that performed many duties, from healing to leading ritual at the sabbats and esbats, to officiating at weddings and funerals. They were always the ones that understood herbalism, signs and portents and, sometimes, counsel to the village elders or even to the nobility before the rise of Christianity.

In some cultures they were called priest or priestess, depending on gender, yet there were other cultures, like the celts that had a single word to denote that person who was of the wicce.

That Grrl

I know people who think there is a big difference between being labelled as a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch. I don’t see it that way myself. It’s a shame you let a label change your path. But, you said there were other reasons too.

@Raptorcat – Thanks for the suggestion of another book. I looked for awhile to find books that seemed worth listing. I remember when I started out and had no idea what the right books were to start with. There are some who trust faithfully in books which I think are pure hogwash. There are always people who will write a book full of fluff and nonsense just to create sales.

Raptorcat

Interesting article. As the acting HP of a Gardnerian Coven, I often find myself pointing out that the word “witch” is neither male nor female and that the term “Warlock” is wholly inappropriate as the word means “oathbreaker”, not male witch.

Many of the books that you have listed here I have. They are all good reads, but I would also add the book “Wiccan Warrior”. Most male pagans will find it to be a very enlightening book concerning the warrior spirit found in the God and how it can be applied to both practice and everyday life.

wabond

I was a male witch years ago, and never felt comfortable with the concept. That was one of the reasons I got out of witchcraft. To me witches are female, why do we need men to be witches as well?

Extinct Animals All Alive Again and No Place to Go

Tasmanian Tiger

Extinct Animals You Might See Alive Someday Soon.

I really enjoyed this article. It was fantasy, creative and practical minded. What do you think about the idea of bringing back dinosaurs and extinct animals? Beyond that, what do you think about keeping animals in zoos, breeding them so they can be kept in captivity and be viewed by school children just for the sake of being able to say “here is another species mankind hasn’t killed off yet”!

Nice to read from the point of view of a writer who can see things realistically rather than going on about how much they love animals. I don’t think anyone is a real animal lover if they can’t see beyond the cute and cuddly.

The point about what to do with these animals once they are brought back is exactly what I was thinking as I read along. The habitat for the animals still here is shrinking all the time. The animals surviving best are the scavengers because they will adapt, fit in where they can and eat just about anything. What is the point in bringing more animals into the world when humans can’t make space for the animals now.

Also, the whole thing about keeping near extinct species in zoos and breeding them (with so much human intervention that we would be calling rape if they were people). The babies are taken from their Mothers and the Mothers are upset and so disturbed they become unable to look after the babies. Then the zookeepers take over claiming the Mother was unfit all along. It is ironic that people take over for nature and then say it isn’t our fault or we need the space because we are the caretakers of our world after all.

(Maybe I’ve just been reading too much Les Miserables today).

Where the Wild Things Are: Choosing your Words

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, June, 10, 2003.

“The bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.”

This was on a button, a collection of buttons, on a website. I think it’s an interesting point.

How much trust do you put into someone’s words. If they make it into black and white are they gold? Or do you think about what they say, compare it to your own ideas, values and common sense?

Then, do you go a step further and consider who the writer is. What influence do their own values have on their writing. After that, do you think they are a good source to base your opinions or actions on? Never stop using your common sense as a guide, no matter how grand the authors seem.

Just as you should never copy someone’s Book of Shadows and claim it as your own. It will never be yours, why would you even want it to? Your opinions should be your opinions, not a copy of someone else’s life and thoughts. Stretch your mind, take a chance and have opinions and experiences of your own.

In the end, people who believe everything they read and copy it as their own, never are anything but a clone – a copy. Be unique, be an individual, take a deep breath and step out into mid-air, invent something new – yourself!

Introverted Art

My name is Ana and I am an introvert. Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. I am a full time introvert and a part time photographer, cook and food connoisseur, artist, writer, and couch potato.

via . introverted art ..

 

I liked the description on this blog.

Where the Wild Things Are: Pagans and Writing

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, November, 7, 2003.

What have you written or published lately? Not that every Witch or Pagan needs to be a writer or share their writing with others. But, we do tend to be journal keepers of some sort. Most like writing in their Book of Shadows; thoughts, ideas and experiences. Some choose to go farther and share those same ideas and experiences with others. Of course, each of us chooses where and how large our audience is. Also, how personally connected they are to yourself.

Anyway, I’ve found a lot of Pagans in the arts: writing, crafting and so on. We’re a pretty artsy bunch.

If you do want to dip your toes in the water and share your Pagan writings you can find plenty of online groups. Some are geared to specific areas of Paganism and some are geared to those who are Pagan and writers. It’s not trading one craft for another, it’s growing yourself and your craft.

Of course, you are taking a chance. You can count on finding someone to disagree with whatever you write about. Sometimes they disagree in the form of an attack against you personally. You can choose to ignore this immature stuff, though it’s not easy to stop yourself from feeling defensive. This is all very personal stuff after all. But, if you’re lucky enough to stumble into a group of like-minded people you will have so many new ideas, new angles and slants on old ideas and access to so many experiences. It’s like finding a vast treasure vault without having the expense of hiring a boat, getting seasick and risking pirate attacks, well something like that. You get the idea.

Anyway, this newsletter is one of the things I have written to share with other Pagans. Before this I write a few articles for a print zine and assorted other odd bits here and there. Some newsgroup postings too but that was quite a long time ago before the newsgroups got so snit picky.

I wouldn’t count myself as some grand high authority on everything Pagan. But, I do think I have some ideas and a sense of what I believe to be right and good that I can share. You, the reader, can decide how you feel about what I write. I’m always glad to hear from you, even if you don’t think everything I write is glorious and completely right. We all see things differently and what feels right to me could seem completely crack-brained to you. I don’t mind. I’ll listen to you and make up my own mind. Just as I expect you do with the blatherings I type in here.

If you do post/ publish your Pagan writings online let me know. I’ll be glad to give you a link in the newsletter. Although I believe in reading things I don’t agree with, in order to get more perspective, I won’t link to or promote something I believe is completely harmful.

Seasons Greetings (cause it’s always some season).

Applying to Lifehacker

I’m Laura. ASCII artist, stick figure cartoonist, urban and rural explorer of abandoned places – these are a few of the things I am doing when I’m not writing. I began as a web writer in 1998 but I started online in 1996, an IRC diva. I think I am a great fit for Lifehacker because I have experience, stamina (I was an editor at Dmoz over ten years), creativity, originality and inspiration. I’ve also been a copy editor and forum moderator so I can write and self edit my work quite well. I love finding new things online: new gadgets, new sites, new ways to use what we already have. I’m not the most organized person so I look for anything to help me with that.Some things work and some don’t but I try them. Once a year I reformat my hard drive to make sure I’m not left with any nasty critters from my experimentation. I’m teaching my Mother to use the computer. It takes patience, a lot of simple words, straight forward answers and I’m usually repeating the same things over a few times before she actually listens but we are making progress. I’m Sagittarius, I just feel the need to teach the world.

WordGrrls (http://wordgrrls.com) is my site for web writers. Originally I used it to stash content I had written for BackWash, WZard.com, HerPlanet, LockerGnome, BellaOnline and Suite101. On WordGrrls I post (daily) creative writing prompts, writing inspiration, web publishing ideas and generally my point of view about anything to do with keeping a space for yourself on the web. There is a flood of information for SEO and marketing your blog but the writing itself is being put on the backburner. I bring the writing back into the lime light. I love writing and even making lists of topics to write about. A bit crazy. Currently I am working through a mild addiction to WordPress plugins. I have found several I like for odds and ends but I’ve yet to find just what I want for displaying a featured past post.

I’m located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Not the US but I was once married to an American and spent a few years living in Illinois, does that count?

Right now I am not employed, trying the work from home plan but still mostly just unemployed. I have a lot of availability. Usually I am online in the evening when it is quiet and dark and I can pretend I’m far more mysterious than I really am.

Unusual Page on Today.com

I was looking at Today.com, thinking about trying it as a writer. I wanted to find some kind of directory of blogs (by topic preferably) on the network. Instead I found a girl licking the butt of another girl. Not quite what I expected to find. See the screen capture below. Maybe someone hacked into their site and they have not found it yet. I sent a note, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, I think I will hold off on joining for now.

Update: They fixed it sometime during the day today. Someone on the support staff emailed me back and said they were going to fix it right away. So, it must have been hacked. But, how long was it up there? Funny that a page on such a big site could be hacked, unnoticed.

Addendum: Seems this has been up for at least a month on the Today.com site and it is a deliberate thing. They make money by keeping a porn link up. Wow! Would you want to write for a network that pretends to be one thing and is in fact something else where it thinks the sun don’t shine?

Blog Award


Francis at Caught in the Stream has given me this award.

That Grrl – Laura is a woman of many talents. She is a fantastic writer. She maintains multiple web sites. She doodles and organize others to do the same. She takes photos of rural ruins. She is a mistress of the meme. She just generally kicks arse as a blogger.

Now I feel lazy for not keeping things going a bit more this past week.

Thank you for the kind words. 🙂