Technology and Magic

Technology and Magic

I finally acquiesced to being old. Okay, maybe not that far, but I realize I need help. I can’t write as fast as I used to. That’s probably because of accidents I’ve had in my misspent youth, which means that I can’t really type that fast.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve always been a slow typist.

The Dead Type Faster Than I Do

This guy types faster than I do.

I had a coworker once claim that the only people who can type slower than I can, is the dead. And since I’m not a necromancer, nor do I know any necromancers around, I can truly say that that has never been tested. So, I constantly say that the dead type faster than I do. It elicits chuckles, but it is a definite problem when you’re a writer.

Being a Slow Typer and a Prolific Writer

You would think that being a slow typer and a prolific writer would be mutually exclusive. Au contraire. The truth is I never had a typing course. Of course, my mom wanted me to take typing in school, but I decided that taking a typing course in high school was the equivalent of acquiescing to a secretarial job. That was something I had no desire to do.

But, I didn’t really think about how much I would type as a software engineer, which was originally my chosen profession. If I had been thinking straight — and who think straight when their 15 to 18 years old? — I would’ve realized that taking Typing I would have been useful for writing programs.

Sending Typewriters to the Graveyard

Welp, my typewriters were never this bad.

Furthermore, as a budding author, I had already burned up at least two home typewriters. It got so bad that my dad ended up getting an old style IBM Selectric. (Not the cool IBM Selectrics that we still see occasionally in offices. Oh no, this was one with a movable carriage return. If I had thought it wasn’t cool at the time, it still managed to outlast my budding attempts at authorship. It managed to survive at least one poorly written novel, and maybe another one. I don’t remember, because it was that long ago.

Word Processors and Computers

The goddess of obsolescence and all the computers my coworkers bought for thousands of dollars.

You would think once I was out in the real workforce, I would buy a computer. Ah, you’re assuming that I actually lived during a time when computers were relatively inexpensive. Ha!

As a software engineer, I was making $27,000 a year, which was average for a new hire. IBM ATs, and eventually XTs, ran in the thousands of dollars. Like four or $5000. If you compare what I made to how much a brand-new IBM would cost, which didn’t have any of the nifty apps that we have nowadays, and had to be programmed in Basic for the most part, you can see my reticence for purchasing one.

I think you could also program them in assembly language, which wasn’t particularly fun to do. Plus quite honestly, why the fuck would I program at home, when that was what I was doing at work?

So, when Brother word processors became a thing, I wrote several articles and even a couple of books on one.

Why I’m Telling You All This

Dragon explaining how I’m doing it wrong.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m taking you on a boring trip down memory lane. It’s because after several times of using Dragon NaturallySpeaking on various computers, I’ve ended up with a subscription on an app on a tablet.

And it seems like fucking magic. Except when you try to have it say the word, “Fuck.” Dragon NaturallySpeaking seems to have an aversion to swear words. Which is bucking cool. Buck buck buck. — See what I mean?

Dragon NaturallySpeaking used to be meh when it came to figuring out words. Now, it’s positively brilliant.

And this is when technology has bridged the gap to magic.

When Technology can be Mistaken for Magic

Just me taking my Orcs out for a walk.

At this point, you’re saying that magic is magic and technology is technology. I’d agree with you, except throughout history, humans have always depicted their gods with the same technology they use. Case in point: armor, weapons, clothing, and household goods. Our gods’ abilities seem to coincide with ours, with the exception of “magic.”

Could it be, we depict our gods’ the way we can only understand at that time given the current level of technology, and not really how are gods are? It’s an interesting thought.

When we depict our gods, we depict them as creatures from a thousand years ago. And yet, are we to say that we as humans are more technologically advanced than the Nordic gods? That are gods don’t have access to technology that we do? Do we depict Thor with Viking weapons and armor, or maybe it would be better to depict him with full battle-rattle and an AR-15? Mjolnir as a rifle? OMGs.

To take this further — are Idun’s apples are actually some type of longevity medicine? Do the gods ride in cars instead of chariots? Freyja in a Jaguar; Thor in a GTO? Hugin and Mugin are drones for Odin? I mean, I can go on and on with this.

And if I’ve made your brain hurt, that’s okay. Because what the flock? Uh, I mean…buck. I mean FUCK!!

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today!Become a Patron!

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

I had forgotten it was Easter last week until my spouse told me they were off work Sunday for the holiday. So, I knew I had to write something about the stupid thing because Christianity still has a stronghold in the United States. Even though nearly one third claim they don’t belong to a religion.

Zombie Jesus Day

I was debating whether to call up my siblings and wish them a happy Zombie Jesus Day, but I figured it wouldn’t go over that well. And one of my siblings still hasn’t sent my Yule…er, Christmas…presents yet from last year. So, I spent the day working and my spouse hunted bear, which was all okay, because neither of us care about such silly things as Easter.

Eostre Posts

I’ve written about Easter and Eostre over the years, so you’re welcome to read the following pieces:

Eostre and Spring: Is Easter a Christian Holiday?

Four Ways to Make Easter Not Suck

How Heathens Can Celebrate Easter with Christians

Eostre: Was Easter Appropriated?

5 Great Things Heathens Can Do to Celebrate Eostre Anytime (And while under Quarantine)

Hail the Goddesses and Gods of Spring

They’re fun pieces, and you’re sure to find something to celebrate the Month of Eostre/Ostera in it. Sure, the Christians have one Sunday in March or April*, we’ve got an entire month! (April is the Month of Eostre.)

Did you forget it was Easter on Sunday, too? If there’s good news, Easter candy will be half off on Monday! Woo Hoo!

*Unless you want to call Holy Week theirs too, but it’s full of depressing images.

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today!Become a Patron!

 

Slavic Heathenism or Rodnovery

Slavic Heathenism or Rodnovery

Part of being a heathen is understanding that while our gods are indeed our gods, there are gods of other pantheons that are similar to ours, such as in Rodnovery or Slavic Heathenism. Sometimes called Slavic Native Faith or Slavic Neopaganism, I considered writing about it after the war in Ukraine started.

Praying to Slavic Gods, or How I Got a Kick in the Butt to Write About Them

I knew I had to write about the Slavic gods when I came across an article by another pagan who wondered if we should consider praying to them for peace in Ukraine.This is an interesting idea, but one I am ambivalent about. Not because I think it’s cultural appropriation, but more because of the lack of familiarity. I believe that establishing a relationship with a god or gods is important. Like us, gods seem to prefer to work with the people they know, rather than total strangers.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say an old friend contacts you to help him. Chances are, you would go out of your way to help, especially if this person was asking for something that was in your power.

Now, let’s say a total stranger sends you an email asking for help. The help is something you could do, but would you? Unless you’re really into opening emails from someone you don’t know, you probably would delete the email and move on with your life. Maybe if the favor they ask for was simple, like voting for a their pet or something in a contest, but if it were more than that, probably not.

This is how I see the gods. They are busy doing whatever they do, so they’re more likely to listen to those they know better than those who first contact them. Yes, there are exceptions. But in many cases, a god or gods will pay more attention to a human with whom they have a relationship. It just makes sense.

So, What About Slavic Heathenism?

Slavic Heathenism is a rich religion and one I believe all Heathens should study, simply because it has some amazing folktales and beliefs. As far as I can tell, the Ukrainians and Russians worshiped the same gods, although with the Vikings invading and trading in what is now modern day Ukraine, I suspected our Northern gods were also worshiped by those in the area. Case and point, Perun is very similar to Thor, which makes me think that Perun took on attributes of the Thunderer when he became the head of the pantheon. I talk about Perun in this post, so check it out.

Interestingly enough, Slavic Heathenism is both polytheistic and pantheistic. They have many gods, similar to Heathenism. However, they believe that the gods are all aspects of their one god, Rod. Rod is the original god in their pantheon.

Rod, also known as Sud to the Southern Slavs, is a god of the family, fate, and ancestors. He is often accompanied by the Rozhanitsy, which are female spirits similar to the Norns. They determine each child’s fate when it is born.

General Beliefs of Rodnovery

Rodnovery tends to emphasize community over individualism (sound familiar?), and while there are certainly lone practictioners, the emphasis is more on group worship. They also emphasize more “traditional” roles and put a strong emphasis on the importance of Slav ethnicity. Reconstruction is important to many practicers of Rodnovery, although given most of the information we have on the ancient practices are according to biased Christian sources, I wonder how much can be reconstructed. I suspect they have the same problems that we do with reconstructing their religion.

Problems with Right-Wing Believers

Rodnovery, like Heathenism and Asatru, has similar problems with white supremacists and other trash that we have to deal with. I guess that’s common in any religion that comes from Europe. It’s also a religion that is considered more conservative when it comes to male and female roles, and also about who may be able to join their religion. Although I don’t have problems with people being proud of their nationality and ethnicity, there are groups within Slavic Heathenism who espouse ethnic purity, ethnic separatism, patriarchy, and traditional families. Certainly not all Slavic Heathens believe this, which is why there are different groups within Rodnovery.

Painting those who worship the Heathen Slavic gods with the same broad brush would be similar to saying all Heathens are white supremacists or all Muslims are terrorists. So, if you decide to study the Slavic gods, keep this in mind.

Should You Pray to the Slavic Gods for Peace?

My thoughts is that if it feels right to pray to these gods, then go ahead. Otherwise, consider praying to their counterparts with our own Northern gods. I don’t think a Slavic god is going to smite you for a request such as peace, but whether they pay attention is a whole other story in and of itself. Certainly the Slavic Heathen gods are well aware what is happening in Ukraine.

I think I’ll probably be covering more about the Slavic Heathen gods in other posts, as well as more about the lesser known Nordic gods. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today!Become a Patron!

The Elder Futhark: Perdhro/Perthro

The Elder Futhark: Perdhro/Perthro

The fourteenth rune in the Elder Futhark, and sixth rune of Heimdallr’s ætt, is Perdhro or Perthro, which corresponds to the “p” sound in the English alphabet. This powerful and enigmatic rune deals with secrets, magic, and female powers.

In Anglo-Saxon, Perdhro is spelled Peorð. It has no equivalent name in Old Norse. Perdhro is the rune of secrets and mysteries. We can go into how women are mysterious and the sexual connotations of this rune, but I tend to think of this rune more as one of freewill and choices.

Perdhro is an enigmatic rune because it is by its nature unknowable. People who add the blank rune to the Elder Futhark tend to ascribe Perdhro’s meaning to it, which isn’t correct. That’s why I don’t do rune castings with the blank rune.

Divination with Perdhro

When you get this rune in a casting, it suggests there is something unknowable in what you’re asking. It can be helpful in certain positions and annoying as Hel in the outcome or upcoming positions.

Should you get this rune in your castings, it is a sign that right now, the Wyrd isn’t set, and your actions can seriously influence the outcome. This is the part of free will portion of this rune, but it does mean that it can’t advise you what direction you need to take. You may need to look at the runes around it to understand what is influencing that rune. Remember, the runes don’t stand alone when doing a cast. Perdhro is influenced by the runes around it, as well as it being able to influence the runes cast with it.

Some Final Thoughts on Perdhro 

When Perdhro appears in a spread, you may feel frustrated with it, because it says that the path is unknown. At the same time, you can feel secure in the fact you have choices and you need to consider all aspects before starting down that road. Perdhro also addresses magic, that is, of the feminine type. Could be Seidr or another type of magic typically associated with Gythia.

For me, getting Perdhro in a spread is probably one of the most frustrating experiences. Luckily, it usually shows up under the matters under consideration position of the spread, but not always. If it is in the upcoming events or outcomes position, I tend to pull another rune to get a perspective on the unknown portion. The fourth rune usually tells me why it was pulled in that position.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from these links, I get a small stipend which helps support The Rational Heathen. I would encourage you to support my site. Thanks. Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today!Become a Patron!

Permanent Daylight Savings Time Rant

Permanent Daylight Savings Time Rant

I hate daylight savings time. The whole purpose of it came about in World War II to keep the factories working extra shifts, which was fine then, but not now. Then, there was the bullshit argument that it would save energy (nope, didn’t), and now the Senate has passed a bill approving daylight savings time as the standard for the US.

Gods, they are that fucking stupid.

Why I Hate Daylight Savings Time

First, I lived through the seventies. And yeah, I remember the permanent daylight savings time during the “gas crisis.” The thought, of course, was by giving more hours of daylight at night, people wouldn’t need to run their electricity as much. Hah! No one took into account air conditioning and other energy usage. Sure, you have more light when you’re home, but in the summer, that means you need more cooling, and in winter, you want to stay in a cozy house. So, all that energy you “save,” really gets burned up.

Second, I live in the North. That means that the sky is light up to 11 pm as we approach the summer solstice. In fall and winter, that just extended hunting into the late evenings. Which sucks, especially if my spouse has to go into work the next day. Extra light in the evenings in wintertime is annoying at best.

Third, daylight savings doesn’t follow nature. You heard scientists, medical professionals, and whatnot talk about circadian rhythms. You think you have trouble sleeping now? Just wait until daylight savings time becomes permanent.

As Usual, Well-Intended Fools

I think the entire Senate voted for the damn thing. Apparently they think that having Daylight Savings Time as a permanent feature to my life is something I won’t protest. Well, guess what? Nope, nope, nope. Put our lives back on Standard and let us just get back to normal life.

Why We Even Have Timezones in the First Place

Timezones are a relatively new invention. Before timezones, people set their clocks or told time by the position of the sun. We really didn’t need timezones until the train came along. Why? Because until communication and travel became fast, knowing when a carriage, ship, or letter would arrive didn’t require a precise time. Maybe departures would be on time, but the further you went from your town, the less precise the arrival time would be.

All this changed with the railroad. In 1883, the United States adopted four timezones in the continental US. By synchronizing times across each of the timezones, people living in the timezone could expect arrivals and departures to be standard across the new zone. No more guessing if it was 8:00 am, 8:07 am, or 7:59 am. The new time would be standard.

The Greenwich that Stole the Meridian

Now, the Brits advocated the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian (or timezone starting point) with consensus from the international community, and it was adopted as the prime meridian in 1884 at the International Meridian Conference held in Washington DC. Two factors contributed to the Greenwich Meridian as being the start of the timezones. One, Greenwich Observatory was reputed as an observatory with the most accurate charts. Two, the Brits still had more ships than anyone else at the time, and they kept accurate logs, for the most part. So, everyone let the Brits have Greenwich Mean Time, which all the other timezones follow. In all, there are 24 timezones, which accounts for a full rotation of the Earth.

And yeah, I couldn’t help myself with the Dr Seuss reference.

What’s the TL;DR Upshot?

Okay, for those who don’t put up with my complaining, here’s the TL;DR version. We need to keep a standardized time for travel and commerce. We shouldn’t keep switching between DST and ST because there is no cost savings and actually causes more accidents. And we should stay on Standard Time because it’s closer to the actual circadian rhythms we’ve evolved to expect. What’s more, permanent DST was implemented in the 70s and everyone hated it. Lastly, the world operates on Standard Time, not permanent Daylight Savings Time, which makes the United States the odd one out.

Plus Putin says America needs to go on DST. Yeah, he really does.*

*No, I can’t back that up. But he’s an asshole, so what the fuck?

 

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today! Become a Patron!

 

 

 

The Ukraine Invasion, or the 800-Pound Bear in the Room

The Ukraine Invasion, or the 800-Pound Bear in the Room

By the time you see this post, it’s likely the whole Ukraine invasion will have resolved itself one way or another. While I am staunchly in Ukraine’s corner, I have a terrible feeling that without the US putting boots on the ground, (or at least providing air support), that Russia will have a huge smoldering hole where the country of Ukraine was. Call me pessimistic, but I’ve been amazed the Ukrainians have held out as long as they have. They are one tough people.

A Madman with Nukes

The reason the US hasn’t gotten involved to a level greater than we already have with the Ukraine invasion is because we’re dealing with a madman with his finger on a very large arsenal of nuclear weapons. Putin’s saber rattling has to be taken seriously because we really don’t know how unstable he is.

At least when we were dealing with the USSR, we knew that the Soviets didn’t want to use their nukes as much as we didn’t.

History is Repeating Itself with the Ukraine Invasion

“Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.”

The Ukraine invasion feels like another invasion that happened about 83 years ago. At that time, another totalitarian regime attacked a smaller country while the world stood by and watched. Emboldened by the West’s response, that totalitarian asshole attacked and conquered other nations because nobody was willing to stand up to him.

You probably know that I’m drawing parallels between Hitler and Putin, and Poland and the Ukraine. This isn’t that big of a stretch. Whether they’re Nazis or Vlad’s Russians, the situations are striking similar. Sure, the Nazis were more motivated, but honestly, do you really expect Putin to stop with Ukraine? He sure as shit didn’t with the Crimea.

War Gods and War

If you look at our gods, you see quite a few war gods and goddesses. Odin, Freyja, Thor, and Tyr were all considered gods of war at one point or another. Cases could be made for other gods and goddesses as well. Because Northern peoples–in particularly Vikings–seldom lived past fifty years old. Dying from old age was rare. More likely you would die from disease, accidents, or war. Since war was likely due to the migration from Scandinavian countries, it makes perfect sense that the promise of going to Valhalla that much more desirable. Our gods were not only gods of nature, but gods of war. They had to be because war ruled our ancestors’ lives.

Why We Need to Dial Back the Russian War Machine

Nowadays, we live longer lives. Most of the time, those of us in the first world aren’t dealing first hand with the horrors of war. Sure, we sent soldiers to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and other wars, but since WWII, Western nations have been at relatively, if not uneasy, peace. These wars didn’t affect our countries like they do with an actual invasion. Sure, there have been invasions and wars throughout Europe, mostly due to the Soviet Union and later, Russia, but the death toll and suffering has not been the same since WWII.

I’m not marginalizing the seriousness of other invasions and war across the globe. Syria, Georgia, Gaza, Lebanon, Somalia…the list of human suffering just within the 21st Century is staggering. But, Ukraine is different in one crucial way: it is the beginning of Putin’s attempt at bringing the borders of the USSR back to its pre-Berlin wall days. That means if Ukraine falls, it opens the Russian dictator towards other countries. And I doubt seriously that Putin will stop at the USSR borders.

The Cold War and Nuclear Threats

Sure, I lived under the threat of nuclear war during the Cold War. Yeah, I remember the whole bullshit “duck and cover” thing, as well as air raid drills. Honestly, I was too young to understand fully the ramifications of the drills; just like I had no idea that those drills wouldn’t have saved my life if we were hit with a nuclear bomb.

My first job out of college was working on nuclear missiles. The Cold War still existed and the threat was always there, but neither the US nor Russia really wanted to start armaggedon. After Reagan survived his assassination attempt, he was convinced he should work toward fewer nukes. The nukes I worked on had more warheads, but fewer missiles. Semantics, really.

But I understood the nuclear missiles were a deterrent. It was unlikely the US or the USSR would launched at each other. There were enough sane people in both camps to decide the risks of destroying both countries, let alone the planet, were too great.

Dealing with a Madman Sending Troops into Ukraine

I knew Putin was a thug and an asshole, but I hadn’t thought of him as a madman. But I should’ve known with the poisoning of Alexander Livinenko, Putin had no decency. Other high profile poisonings include Ukrainian presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko; Russian opposition leader, Alexey Navalny; and double agent, Sergei Skripal.  This is a man who will stop at nothing to harm his enemies and critics.

It should surprise no one that Putin has had his people violate their ceasefire and attack civilians without remorse. Attacking children’s and maternity hospitals won’t even register with him because he is clearly a sociopath, and quite possibly a psychopath.

To be quite frank with you, the end game has me scared. The thought of another world war–probably with nukes–should terrify any sane person. But if we fail to stand up to Putin now, we will have a bigger problem in the not-so-distant future.

If you wish to send sunflower seeds to the Russian Embassy in solidarity with the Ukrainians, their address in Washington DC is: Embassy of Russian Federation, 2650 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007.

If you want to help the Ukrainians, consider donating to one of the charities mentioned here.

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today! Become a Patron!

From Book Burnings to Witch Hunts

From Book Burnings to Witch Hunts

No sooner had I excoriated Greg Locke and his group of followers in my last post, then he starts with actual witch hunts. He claims that there are six people who are witches sent to infiltrate his church–two of them in his wife’s bible study group! And–you ain’t goina believe this shit–he discovers this from talking with demons.

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

Well, okay, I can see this is going to be good Heathen fodder. Let’s first talk about witches, shall we?

Witch Hunts and Insanity

Looking at the topic, I can see that if I covered the history of witch hunts, that would end up being a post unto itself. (Which I may just do for GP.) Suffice to say, you’ve probably heard of at least the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition, and yes, the whole witch burning thing. Witch hunts still exist primarily in third world countries such as India, Kenya, Ghana, and Tennessee*.

Greg Locke has added his state and the US to the list of people willing to accuse six people as witches. Furthermore, he has threatened to dox them and has even threatened to bring brooms to “fly them out” of the church. Whatever the Hel that means.

Witches, Seriously?

Let’s first consider this preacher’s accusations. Would a true witch really try to infiltrate a church group such as Global Vision Bible Church? (Greg Locke’s church?) This is the same church that insists people going maskless, not getting vaccinated, and held a book burning. I think that most pagans (including witches) would avoid their church just to avoid that cesspool of Covid-19 carriers. If anything, witches would probably just hex them from afar and be done with it–not sully their brains with such pedantic chatter.

Locke made some interesting accusations such as “sage burning” and “adultery.” Because only witches could burn sage, and only witches commit adultery, right? Rrriiiighttt…

Most likely, a person in their religious group is having an affair with another church member. And someone noticed another person having new-agey stuff like sage and crystals. Because they’re kind of cool. Sage is more a Native American cultural thing–not a demon thing. It certainly doesn’t have its roots in European witchcraft.

So, these people are apparently in league with the devil, because…sage and adultry. Got to love that.

Speaking with Demons?

Interestingly enough, Locke claims he got the witches’ names–and one of their addresses–from demons. Uh, isn’t talking to demons something you’re not supposed to do as a Christian? Assuming he talked to them–maybe performing exorcisms or something–why the fuck would you talk with a demon? Demons can lie just like people, so how in the Hel does Locke know they said anything trustworthy? I mean, he’s taking a word of what Christians consider a fallen angel? What. The. Actual. Fuck?

If I were a member of his congregation, I’d be having serious doubts about this guy just from the standpoint that demons talk to him.

Locke hasn’t a clue about the supernatural, just like he hasn’t a clue about witches. He’d probably shit his pants if he met an actual fallen angel–assuming they exist. Seriously, dude?

What is Behind the Witch Hunts

If you consider witch hunts of the past, you’ll notice that it’s a way to gain power over the population. Witch hunts were often aimed at marginalized members of society, such as women, Jews, poor people, slaves, and those who simply couldn’t fight back. Occasionally, you’d see some prominent people such as the Templars be labeled witches, but in the Templars’ cases they had already fallen from grace because they had boatloads of money and the French king wanted to get his grubby hands on it.

Witch hunts are a way to keep the population in line. When everyone sees what happens when one is outted as a supposed witch, they keep their heads down and behave as if they’re following cannon, lest they be singled out as a witch, too. Witch hunts are a control mechanism, pure and simple. Step out of line and you’re liable to be burned at the stake, or in the United States, doxxed, harassed, and kicked out.

A Resume Enhancer, Albeit a Scary One

Getting kicked out of the Global Vision Bible Church is a resume enhancer, in my not so humble opinion, but the harassment and doxxing is no bueno. This is a scary precedent because it automatically labels witches–a large part of the pagan community–as something really bad. Some scapegoat that will be perfect to hold up for people to hate. And you can bet that the witch hunts will make no distinction between witches and Heathens.

*Yeah, I know Tennessee isn’t a country–for those who don’t get sarcasm.

Did you know you can become my patron for as little as $5 a month? This entitles you to content not posted anywhere else. Plus you get to see posts like this three days before the public! Without patrons, I’d be having a very hard time keeping this blog going. Become a patron today! Become a Patron!

Book Burning and Christian Taliban

Book Burning and Christian Taliban

It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them! — Dr. Henry Jones, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into an article on the Christian religious right holding a book burning. While it’s common for many of us to dismiss it as “those right-wing wackos,” I need to point out why this is especially dangerous to us, the Heathens, whether you’re Left-Leaning, Right-Leaning, or Centrist.

Before I Get into All That…

If you’ve stuck with me, I want to thank you sincerely. You see, being sick practically all of January left me with little energy. Fucking COVID. And I probably wouldn’t have gotten sick if my state actually did something to control the spread like mandate masks, insist on vaccinations or at least mandatory testing in the workplace, and insist on adequate quaratines instead of the political BS the CDC came up with. SIGH. Anyway, the good news is that the disease could’ve been a lot worse if I had not been vaccinated. Instead, it was probably the worst “severe cold” I’ve dealt with. But enough about me, let’s get back to the subject at hand.

Back to Moronic Book Burning

It seems that a controversial preacher named Greg Locke is going to/has held a book burning. His desire is to burn any books that he doesn’t agree with including “witchcraft” books like Harry Potter and the Twilight series. (While I admit that I’m not particularly fond of Twilight,  it doesn’t mean that those books should be burned.) He also wants to burn oujii boards and anything else that he deems doesn’t fit with his brand of Christianity.

A Danger to the Flow of Ideas

Book burning is, at its heart, suppression of ideas. If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time, you know that you can find someplace that espouses just about any idea, both good and bad. Before the Internet there were books. Books that held ideas you might not agree with. That you might find stupid, silly, or even abhorrent. Books that challenged what you believed to be true. And even books that you vehemently disagreed with.

When people take a torch to books,  they are saying that they cannot stand another belief to exist outside of their own. They are saying that they should control what other people read and believe. In other words, they should be the gatekeepers of what people know.

It’s Good to Be the King

Well, it’s all well and good if you are the guys in charge. But as soon as your king gets dethroned, or if you’re in the minority, you find your own ideas suppressed. And that is the problem with censors and people willing to burn books.

In the United States, the Founding Fathers were so adamantly against having their ideas restricted that they ended up writing it into the First Amendment to the Constitution. They included freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press as part of the Bill of Rights.

But What About the Preacher’s Book Burning?

Assuming Greg Locke has a permit and doesn’t burn anything in anyway that violates the law, he is within his rights to do so. That being said, I think it sets a terrible precedence for the United States, which has presumably been the land of freedom (except if you were a slave, Native American, or some other infringed upon minority, but that is an argument for another time.)

This is a terrible precedence because of several reasons. One, his own congregation applauded the idea of burning books. Second, he shows that these ideas are so dangerous to his beliefs that he has to burn them rather than weigh them on their merits next to his own beliefs. Third, it show intolerance for other ideas and beliefs other than Christianity.

Why Book Burning is Dangerous to Heathens

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the news, you know the Christian right is calling the United States a “Christian nation.” In fact, many of those in the religious right are installing their own brand of fundamentalist Christians in office. Instead of governing their states or representing all of their constutents (not just the Christian ones), they have shown their colors by governing according to their god’s laws.

Shutting down the flow of ideas is one step away from totalitarianism. These people want the Heathen ideals to go away, because they’re not Christian. Burning books is an attempt to censor ideas–both good and bad–and even if you disagree with the writing, it should be available for anyone who wants it.

Warning! Danger Will Robinson!

What I’ve been talking about should alarm any and all Heathens, because the fundamentalist Christians have already plastered a bull’s eye on us as being “witches.” Don’t believe me? Just ask one of them if they understand the difference between Witches, Wiccans, and Heathens. And even if the Christians do understand, do you really want to have another pagan religion get persecuted?

Let me put it another way:

  • Do you want the Eddas burned?
  • Do you want to have to practice your devotion to the gods in secrecy?
  • Do you want the statues of your gods destroyed?
  • Do you want your sacred spaces clear cut?
  • Do you want women oppressed because of some stupid book a bunch of bronze age people put together?
  • Do you want to limit access to birth control?
  • Do you want LGBTQ+ people harmed, marginalized, maligned, and unable to obtain information about their own gender identity?
  • Do you want Christian creationism taught in schools because they do not accept the scientific explanation of evolution?
  • Do you want right-wing Christian lawmakers to decide how to use the country’s natural resources when they’re convinced that their god gave them the ownership of the land they live on?
  • Do you want right-wing conservative Christians deciding what is best when they believe that the end of times is coming soon and they will be Raptured, leaving the rest of us with their fucking mess, assuming anyone survives?
  • Do you want Christian elected officials impose their beliefs on you because they believe that you need to believe the same thing?

Yeah, it seems slippery slope, but consider this: Hitler burned books. The USSR, North Korea, and China burned books. The Taliban burned books.

What we have are Christian Taliban. And yeah, that should alarm you. So, if you’re seeing book burnings, remember: the people who are doing it are dangerous because they don’t want other ideas to exist. Including ours.

Omicron Blues, or Fuck the Antivaxxers

Omicron Blues, or Fuck the Antivaxxers

Did I just say “fuck the antivaxxers?” You betcha. Because Omicron isn’t just a letter of the Greek alphabet. It’s also what I have.

The Rational Heathen Gets a Greek Letter

Despite all my vaccinations/boosters, I knew it was just a matter of time before COVID-19 showed up on my doorstep. My spouse deals with the public, which means no matter how much masking and handwashing, he was bound to get this contagion. Lucky for us (I guess), it is Omicron and not Delta.

Omicron Most Likely

I presume it’s Omicron because it’s “mild,” although I might argue that “mild” is relative to “in the hospital and intubated.” My spouse could barely get in to see our doctor–forget the county testing and other sites. They’re backed up. The doctor didn’t have enough appointments to see me too, so when the test came back positive, the doctor said I had it as well and treat it the same. Our instructions were explicit: 10 day quaratine and don’t go to the hospital unless you’re damn near dying.

In other words, suffer at home.

I’m Beginning to Hate Greek Letters

In all fairness, I guessed my spouse had it even before he took the test. I also knew that I was exposed to it via him, so I was screwed. It proved to be Omicron in symptoms, which means I’ve had next to no energy to do much, let alone write.

I have no fever. I have had nasal congestion, ear congestion, attempts at congestion in my lungs, pink phlegm, exhaustion, coughing, joint and muscle aches, night sweats, chills, and little appetite. Right now, it feels like a really bad cold that will not go away. I eat not because I’m hungry, but because I know I’ll get sicker if I don’t. Half the time I can’t tell if the room is cold or hot. My internal sense of temperature is fucked up.

Dried Herbs, or Quit Fucking Around

As a semi-knowledgable herbalist, you’d think I’d grab whatever dried shit I concocted and douse myself with it. Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ve ignored the ancestors’ meds and went straight to Tylenol, Musinex, and whatever else makes sense. My brain fog is real, which means I can’t even ponder what might make me feel better in the herbal realm. Instead, I’ve relied on 21st Century medicine, because that’s how I roll.

I’ve written a lot about how we modern folks wouldn’t be able to handle the conditions of a millenium ago. Our ancestors were damn lucky to live to 50, if that. Seeing as I am past that age, (aka “older than dirt”), I’m pretty much guessing I’d be plant food if I had to live at that time.

Right Now, Not Feeling Particularly Charitable

Right now, I’m pretty angry at the morons who are antivaxxers. They are serving as cesspools in the world’s largest petri dish and you can pretty much bet that these variants use them to multiply and mutate. The fact we’re seeing COVID-19 change so rapidly is because of antivaxxers’ unwillingness to step up and get a vaccination. Sure, the disease mutates in animals and even in those who have breakthrough infections, but this wouldn’t spread so rapidly had there been fewer unvaccinated people.

So, I blame them for my misery. And, if you want the truth, I know I’m a whiner because I’m at least not dead yet. Not like the more than three quarters of a million Americans. Or however many have been hospitalized (or are hospitalized). And yeah, I have the mild form with two shots and the booster which has made me whine. Gods know, I don’t fucking want the full-on crap.

Just an Update

So, this post is more or less to tell you all that I’m sick, but not dead yet. My health is improving, but it’s still slow. Probably will have this bullshit longer than two weeks at this rate. (I’m on day 9, I think.) I will come up with better posts when I am feeling better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Stay safe, get vaccinated, and wear your mask.