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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

“Venice and the Ottoman Empire: Crash Course World History #19”


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“Int'l Commerce, Snorkeling Camels, and The Indian Ocean Trade: Crash Course World History #18”

“In which John Green teaches you the history of the Indian Ocean Trade. John weaves a tale of swashbuckling adventure, replete with trade in books, ivory, and timber. Along the way, John manages to cover advances in seafaring technology, just how the monsoons work, and there's even a disembowelment for you Fangoria fans.”

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“Opposites attract.”

Like attracts unlike; energy and actions often attract their “opposites.”
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Altar versus alter

Any questions?

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“Wait For It...The Mongols!: Crash Course World History #17”

“In which John Green teaches you, at long last, about the most exceptional bunch of empire-building nomads in the history of the world, the Mongols! How did the Mongols go from being a relatively small band of herders who occasionally engaged in some light hunting-gathering to being one of the most formidable fighting forces in the world? It turns out Genghis Khan was a pretty big part of it, but you probably already knew that. The more interesting questions might be, what kind of rulers were they, and what effect did their empire have on the world we know today? Find out, as John FINALLY teaches you about the Mongols.”

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“Fairies, Aliens and Demons - Common Evolving Archetypes”

tip of the hat to Chas Clifton

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“Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Crash Course World History #16”

“In which John Green teaches you about Sub-Saharan Africa! So, what exactly was going on there? It turns out, it was a lot of trade, converting to Islam, visits from Ibn Battuta, trade, beautiful women, trade, some impressive architecture, and several empires. John not only cover the the West African Malian Empire, which is the one Mansa Musa ruled, but he discusses the Ghana Empire, and even gets over to East Africa as well to discuss the trade-based city-states of Mogadishu, Mombasa, and Zanzibar. In addition to all this, John considers emigrating to Canada.”

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❝What’s in a name? — Everything!❞

Knowing the complete and true name of an object, being or process gives one complete control over it.
— Isaac Bonewits, The Laws of Magic, The Law of Names

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“The Crusades - Pilgrimage or Holy War?: Crash Course World History #15”

“In which John Green teaches you about the Crusades embarked upon by European Christians in the 12th and 13th centuries. Our traditional perception of the Crusades as European Colonization thinly veiled in religion isn't quite right. John covers the First through the Fourth Crusades, telling you which were successful, which were well-intentioned yet ultimately destructive, and which were just plain crazy. Before you ask, no, he doesn't cover the Children's Crusade, in which children were provoked to gather for a Crusade, and then promptly sold into slavery by the organizers of said Crusade. While this story is charming, it turns out to be complete and utter hooey.”

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❝Knowledge is power.❞

Understanding brings control; the more that is known about a subject, the easier it is to exercise control over it.
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“The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They, Really?: Crash Course World History #14”

“John Green teaches you about the so-called Dark Ages, which it turns out weren't as uniformly dark as you may have been led to believe. While Europe was indeed having some issues, many other parts of the world were thriving and relatively enlightened. John covers European Feudalism, the cultural blossoming of the Islamic world, and the scientific and artistic advances in China, all during these "Dark Ages." Along the way, John will raise questions about the validity of Europe's status as a continent, reveal the best and worst years of his life, and frankly state that science and religion were once able to coexist.”

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❝Beings within…❞

It is possible to establish internal communication with entities from either inside or outside of oneself, said entities seeming to be inside of oneself during the communication process.
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“Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13”

“In which John Green teaches you the history of Islam, including the revelation of the Qu'ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. Learn about hadiths, Abu Bakr, and whether the Umma has anything to do with Uma Thurman (spoiler alert: it doesn't). Also, learn a little about the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and how to tell if this year's Ramadan is going to be difficult for your Muslim friends. Let's try to keep the flame wars out of this reasoned discussion.”

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“Fall of The Roman Empire...in the 15th Century: Crash Course World History #12”

“In which John Green teaches you about the fall of the Roman Empire, which happened considerably later than you may have been told. While the Western Roman Empire fell to barbarians in 476 CE, the Byzantines in Constantinople continued the Eastern Empire nicely, calling themselves Romans for a further 1000 years. Find out what Justinian and the rest of the Byzantine emperors were up to over there, and how the Roman Empire dragged out its famous Decline well into medieval times. In addition to all this, you'll learn about ancient sports riots and hipster barbarians, too.”

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“Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11”

“In which John Green teaches you the history of Christianity, from the beginnings of Judaism and the development of monotheism, right up to Paul and how Christianity stormed the Roman Empire in just a few hundred years. Along the way, John will cover Abram/Abraham, the Covenant, the Roman Occupation of Judea, and the birth, life, death and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth. No flame wars! Let's keep the commentary civil.”

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NeoNote — Mostly

It means I watch for the exceptions where neither IS nor IS NOT applies. It means our understanding is limited by our perception and assumptions at the moment.

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“The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or...Which Was It?: Crash Course World History #10”

“In which John Green explores exactly when Rome went from being the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Here's a hint: it had something to do with Julius Caesar, but maybe less than you think. Find out how Caesar came to rule the empire, what led to him getting stabbed 23 times on the floor of the senate, and what happened in the scramble for power after his assassination. John covers Rome's transition from city-state to dominant force in the Mediterranean in less than 12 minutes. Well, Rome's expansion took hundreds of years, he just explains it in under 12 minutes. The senate, the people, Rome, the caesarian section, the Julian calendar and our old friend Pompey all make appearances, but NOT the Caesar Salad, as Julius had nothing to do with it.”

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“Who Invented Parkour?”

“While David Belle is unquestionably known as the original innovator and spiritual figurehead of parkour, the discipline’s origins can be traced directly back to his father, Raymond, and his time as a child in Vietnam. Though details surrounding Raymond’s early life are rather hazy, it’s generally accepted that he was separated from his parents during the First Indochina War and taken in by the French military in the city of Da Lat as an orphan at just age 7 in 1946. According to later interviews with his son, Raymond was routinely abused as a child, which motivated him to become as physically fit and strong as possible so that he could protect himself and escape danger if it ever presented itself.” Read More...
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“Alexander the Great and the Situation ... the Great? Crash Course World History #8”

“In which you are introduced to the life and accomplishments of Alexander the Great, his empire, his horse Bucephalus, the empires that came after him, and the idea of Greatness. Is greatness a question of accomplishment, of impact, or are people great because the rest of us decide they're great?”

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❝Knowledge isn't mastery. Eclecticism depends on discipline.❞

Knowledge isn't mastery. Eclecticism depends on discipline.
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“2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius: World History #7”

“In which John introduces you to quite a lot of Chinese history by discussing the complicated relationship between the Confucian scholars who wrote Chinese history and the emperors (and empress) who made it. Included is a brief introduction to all the dynasties in Chinese history and an introduction to Confucius and the Confucian emphasis on filial piety, the role the mandate of heaven played in organizing China, and how China became the first modern state.”

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“Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course World History #6”

“In which John relates a condensed history of India, post-Indus Valley Civilization. John explores Hinduism and the origins of Buddhism. He also gets into the reign of Ashoka, the Buddhist emperor who, in spite of Buddhism's structural disapproval of violence, managed to win a bunch of battles.”

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Two wolves

“Which one wins, Grandfather?”

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“The Persians & Greeks: Crash Course World History #5”

“In which John compares and contrasts Greek civilization and the Persian Empire. Of course we're glad that Greek civilization spawned modern western civilization, right? Maybe not. From Socrates and Plato to Darius and Xerxes, John explains two of the great powers of the ancient world, all WITHOUT the use of footage from 300.”

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Seek wisdom

Seek wisdom in books, rare manuscripts, and cryptic poems if you will, but seek it out also in simple stones, and fragile herbs, and in the cries of wild birds. Listen to the whisperings of the wind and the roar of water if you would discover magic, for it is here that the old secrets are preserved.
— Scott Cunningham
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“Magick is the essence of change and evolution” banner

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❝All things are possible, though some are more probable than others.❞

The total number of universes into which all possible combinations of existing phenomena could be organized is infinite.
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❝I already knew that the teachers were lying to me.❞

I had the fortune or misfortune to learn how to read fluently starting at the age of three. So I had read maybe 150 books by the time I hit 1st grade. And I already knew that the teachers were lying to me.
— Alan Kay
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Multiple and diverse

The idea of polytheism is grounded in the view that reality (divine or otherwise) is multiple and diverse... Polytheism has allowed a multitude of distinct groups to exist more or less in harmony, despite great divergence in beliefs and practices.
— Margot Adler
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“Ancient Egypt: Crash Course World History #4”

“In which John covers the long, long history of ancient Egypt, including the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, and even a couple of intermediate periods. Learn about mummies, pharaohs, pyramids and the Nile with John Green.”

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“There’s always something new”

The number of phenomena to be known is infinite; one will never run out of things to learn.
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❝Gods and Goddesses of myth…❞

The Gods and Goddesses of myth, legend and fairy tale represent archetypes, real potencies and potentialities deep within the psyche, which, when allowed to flower permit us to be more fully human.
— Margot Adler
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“Mesopotamia: Crash Course World History #3”

“In which John presents Mesopotamia, and the early civilizations that arose around the Fertile Crescent. Topics covered include the birth of territorial kingdoms, empires, Neo-Assyrian torture tactics, sacred marriages, ancient labor practices, the world's first law code, and the great failed romance of John's undergrad years.”

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“Gods of Arabs before Islam”

“Gods and goddess of polytheistic Arabia”

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❝You can become another.❞

It is possible through maximum association between the elements of oneself and those of another being to actually become that being to the point of sharing its knowledge and wielding its power.
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“Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2”

“In which John Green teaches you about the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the largest of the ancient civilizations. John teaches you the who, how, when, where and why of the Indus Valley Civilization, and dispenses advice on how to be more successful in your romantic relationships.”

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“The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1”

“In which John Green investigates the dawn of human civilization. John looks into how people gave up hunting and gathering to become agriculturalists, and how that change has influenced the world we live in today. Also, there are some jokes about cheeseburgers.”

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One tripod leg

The lore behind magick is only one tripod leg. Even there it's about real mastery, not rote recitation. I call it moving beyond the recipe. When you can adapt your technique to what is there and what is needed with a minimum of effort, that's mastery. The lore is about core ideas, not specific practices. That's one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn and I am not good enough with it yet.
— NeoWayland, A Rule of Three
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“Mythical Language and Idiom: Crash Course World Mythology #41”

“It's the end of the world, everybody. Well, it's the end of our mythology series, anyway. This week, we're talking about how mythological themes have made their way into the English language. We're taking on the Herculean task of tracking down phrases that have made their way into language from mythical stories.”

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“Freud, Jung, Luke Skywalker, and the Psychology of Myth: Crash Course World Mythology #40”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and how a lot of their work was influenced by myth and mythology. While Freud and Jung aren't quite as revered as they once were, they were undoubtedly a huge influence on the practice of psychology and psychiatry, and these two fellas were undoubtedly influenced by foundational stories. Today, we'll learn about Oedipus, the collective unconscious, archetypes, Star Wars, and more!”

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Ro3 № 15

Don’t hold someone responsible unless they were present, of age, and participating. Remember the Practical Grudge Limit.
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Discovering odd scraps

Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.
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Ro3 № 14

At it's simplest, Shiva is not Loki who is not Brighid. Do not treat each of them the same. Do not expect the same from each of them. Respect them on their terms and make that respect a part of your life.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three, see also Really real pagan
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Ro3 № 13

Books aren't destinations, they're signposts. Like it or not, you still make the journey yourself. You can always go further than the book can carry you.
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Ro3 № 12

What you think you know is not what you need to know. Where you are is not where you need to be. Who you believe you are is not who you were meant to be.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three, see also Systematically
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Ro3 № 11

Know what you can do. Know what you're willing to do. Know the price you're willing to pay.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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“Witches and Hags: Crash Course World Mythology #39”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about the stories we tell about witches and hags. It's definitely unfortunate that a lot of social orders have generated stories about evil women with magical powers. Today we're going to look at a few of those stories, and talk a little about why these stories appear, and what they mean.”

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Ro3 № 10

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don’t.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three, see also Would you know?
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Ro3 № 9

Honor expects three warnings before you act.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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Ro3 № 8

Test it thrice.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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Ro3 № 7

To ease your pain and shame, share it separately with three people you trust.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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Ro3 № 6

If you find information on the internet, verify it with three offline, reputable, and independent sources and experiment BEFORE you depend on it.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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“Serpents and Dragons: Crash Course World Mythology #38”

“This week, Mike is teaching you about the most mythic of mythological creatures: Dragons. Cultures across the world (and across Westeros) tell stories of dragons, and their power to destroy, their power to prop up kings, and their power to cause a nice, refreshing rain shower. ”

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Ro3 № 5

If you care for the other person, if you respect them, if you share deep passions with them, then the sex makes all that better.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three, see also Collecting pelts, sex rules
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❝Law of Weird❞

Duality is singularity reflected.
— NeoWayland, weird
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❝Law of Perspective❞

Change your perspective.
— NeoWayland, WebTree
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Ro3 № 4

Let people discover truth before you speak. Make sure the truth is necessary before you speak. Judge if the listener is worthy of truth before you speak.
— NeoWayland, Rules of Three
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Ro3 № 3

Say only one thing for every three things they say.
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Ro3 № 2

Ask questions. Question the answers. Question your questions.
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Ro3 № 1

Start by listening. Before you say anything, listen again. Just to make sure you understand, listen some more.
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“Mythical Horses: Crash Course World Mythology #37”

“Horses have been human companions for thousands of years, and have been essential companions and tools for the development of human culture. So, it makes sense that horses would make their way into our most important stories. Today, we're looking at horses in myth, and we'll talk about noble steeds from all over the world, including Svadlfari, Sleipneir, Pegasus, Qilin, Bucephalus, Al Baraq, and Unicorns! Let's get to the horsing around.”

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Another study guide

Lexicon entries worth studying.

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“Monsters. They're Us, Man: Crash Course World Mythology #36”

“This week, we're starting our discussion of Mythical Creatures with the WORST creatures. Monsters. What makes a monster monstrous though? Mike Rugnetta will guide you through the fine line between a magical creature and a monster. Spoiler alert: like 60% of the time, the difference is that monsters eat people. We'll talk about sea monsters, Sphinxes, and take an elongated look directly into the Canadian face of horror, the Wendigo.”

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“Cities of Myth: Crash Course World Mythology #35”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, we're getting urban. Mike Rugnetta is the man with the orange umbrella who's about to give you a free tour of mythical cities. We'll talk about a few cities that didn't exist, but we're going to focus on real cities with mythical founding stories. We'll talk about Jericho, Jerusalem, and Rome, among others.”

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Revived 12Oct2018

These blog entries have been reformatted and entered into the current directories.

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❝Mythical Trees: Crash Course World Mythology #34❞

“This week on CC Myth, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about mythical trees. There are lots of trees in myth, and we've touched on some of them before, but today we're going to focus on three trees from three different traditions. We'll talk about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the biblical tradition, Yggdrasil from the Norse Tradition, and Ashvattha, which is important in both Hindu and Buddhist tradition.”

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Revived 05Oct2018

These blog entries have been reformatted and entered into the current directories. Redirect pages have been placed in the old locations.

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“Mythical Mountains: Crash Course World Mythology #33”

“Our mythical places series continues, and this week Mike Rugnetta is talking about some stories that revolve around mountains. Mountains loom large in human stories, not least because mountains are, well, large. So ascend with us to the lofty peaks of The Ten Thousand Treasure Mountain in China, and Mount Fuji in Japan.”

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Weird - from the lexicon

Duality is singularity reflected.

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“Ancient Rome in 20 minutes”

“Caesar, The Colosseum, Republic, Nero, geese, plebeians, legions — everything that you once knew, but forgot, in a crash course video by Arzamas.

Narrated by Brian Cox.

"Ancient Rome in 20 minutes" is an English version of a Russian video by Arzamas.”

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“Mythical Caves and Gardens: Crash Course World Mythology #32”

“This week, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about mythical gardens and caves, which appear in cultures all over the world. Caves and gardens can stand for different things, but in the two stories we're talking about today, they tie into the creation of the world in general, and the origins of humans in particular.”

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“Ma'ui, Oceania's Hero: Crash Course World Mythology #31”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about Ma'ui, prominent hero of many cultures in Oceania, aka the Pacific Island nations. Ma'ui is just the kind of hero we're interested in here at Crash Course. He's a culture hero, he's a an adventurer, he has a divine birth, AND he's a trickster. In short, he's pretty cool, and the tasks he accomplishes in his life are great examples of how human stories can touch on universal themes.”

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“Herakles. Or Hercules. A Problematic Hero: Crash Course World Mythology #30”

“This week, Mike Rugnetta re-introduces Herakles, the strong man of Greek and Roman myth. Strongman with a darkside, that is. You'll learn about Herakles' 10 actually 12 labors, the story of his birth, his death, some of his marriages, none of which turned out that great, and some of his character flaws that definitely wouldn't fly in the modern world.”

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“The Mwindo Epic: Crash Course World Mythology #29”

“In which Mike Rugnetta teaches you about the hero of The Congo, Mwindo! Mike will tell you the stories of Mwindo's birth, his many deaths, and his evolution from a braggy superhuman baby to a wise, superhuman leader of his people. Along the way, we'll learn about the Wiki game, and when you should and shouldn't drink banana beer.”

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“Galahad, Perceval, and the Holy Grail: Crash Course World Mythology #28”

“In which Mike Rugnetta quests for knowledge of the Holy Grail of Mythology. Which is the actual, literal Holy Grail! The cup of Christ! Legends about the Holy Grail are often connected to the British legends of King Arthur, and this episode is definitely about this. Except we’re not talking much about Arthur, since he never actually found the grail. Instead, we’re going to talk about a couple different versions of the Grail legend, the stories of Perceval and Galahad. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy learning Grail lore. You have chosen wisely!”

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Condemnation of memory

Someone is pulling your strings. You'd be a fool to accept that.

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“Rama and the Ramayana: Crash Course World Mythology #27”

“The next entry in our parade of heroes is Rama, the protagonist of the Ramayana, one of India’s oldest stories. We’re going to be talking about Rama’s importance to Hindu culture, and how Rama fits into Campbell’s idea of the Hero’s Journey. Although, Rama may not even be the hero.”

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Six new pages

I've been busy on the site, it's just not been obvious.

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Added to the lexicon

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“The Epic of Gilgamesh: Crash Course World Mythology #26”

“This week, we're continuing our discussion of heroes by talking about Gilgamesh, star of one of the earliest written hero stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was a terrible ancient king who left his kingdom seeking adventure, and eventually on the prowl for immortality. Along the way, he checks pretty much all the boxes on the checklist of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.”

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Added to the lexicon

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First day of Harvestpoint

WebTree fire festival & cross quarter day. Harvestpoint marks the beginning of fall and the return of the dark, staring at sunset the day before the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox and ending at sunset on the day after (traditional three days).

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“The Hero's Journey and the Monomyth: Crash Course World Mythology #25”

“Let's get Heroic with Mike Rugnetta. This week on Crash Course World Mythology, we're talking about the Hero's Journey and the Monomyth, as described by Joseph Campbell. Campbell's theories about the shared qualities of human story telling are pretty cool. And they've been hugely influential on the way we tell stories today. So, consider this your Call to Destiny. Crash Course is going to help you Cross the Threshold into the Belly of the Whale that is YouTube, and escort you through the Many Trials, on our way to the Ultimate Boon of knowledge. And there are a bunch of other steps in there, too. So, come along heroes! Let's learn this stuff!”

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“Ragnarok: Crash Course World Mythology #24”

“Ragnarok! It's the end of the world, Norse style. It's got everything you want in an apocalypse. Earthquakes, destruction, armies of the dead, a giant evil wolf, giants with flaming swords, and a kind of happy ending. It's got it all. But is it really Norse? It wasn't written down until after Christianity had arrived in Europe. So how much influence is there?”

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Searching The Wild Hunt

It's not the easiest to search, particularly the comments.

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“The Apocalyspe: Crash Course World Mythology #23”

“Mike Rugnetta is going to tell you stories of death, destruction, divine judgment, damnation, and the occasional happy ending. That's right, this week we're talking about the Apocalypse. Actually we're talking about a bunch of ways the world could end. Prepare for stories of the end times from Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam! It's the (mostly) Abrahamic Apocalypses on Crash Course World Mythology.”

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“The Dying God: Crash Course World Mythology #19”

“This week on Crash Course World Mythology, it's the Circle of Life. And Death. And sometimes, Life again. Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about Dying Gods, by which I mean gods that die, and then return to life. You'll learn about the Corn Mother from Native American Traditions, Adonis of the Greek and Roman pantheon, Odin of the Norse, and a little about the most famous dying deity, Jesus. These aren't all the dying gods in the world, but it's a good introduction to the archetype.”

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“American Floods: Crash Course World Mythology #18”

“We don’t want to deluge you with information on the subject, but this week on Crash Course Mythology, Mike Rugnetta is talking once again about floods. We’re looking at ancient flood myths in the Americas, and what they can tell us about the stories that people tell, and how they can look similar, even in cultures separated by large swathes of time and space. We’ll talk about floods from Mayan and Aztec traditions, and as always, see if we can find something in these tales that gives us some insight into what it means to be a human.”

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“Yu the Engineer and Flood Stories from China: Crash Course World Mythology #17”

“On this Crash Course in World Mythology, Mike Rugnetta is teaching you about floods and deluges, specifically in China. In Chinese myth, flood stories pretty much all revolve around a guy named Yu the Great, or Yu the Engineer. In the distant past, he was tasked with stopping the flooding on the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, and he did it. After working on the job for 13 years. Yu also founded the legendary Xia Dynasty. Yu exists as a sort of model for future emperors. He works tirelessly on behalf of his people, and always does the right thing. He's a good emperor, and a model for rulers to emulate. He's also super cool, and can turn into a bear when he needs to dig really fast.”

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Study guide - Bonewits' Laws of Magic

I was working on the lexicon and realized I had totally forgotten Isaac Bonewits' The Laws of Magic.

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“Floods in the Ancient Near East: Crash Course World Mythology #16”

“This week on Crash Course mythology, Mike is talking to you about floods. You may have heard the story of Noah and the Ark from the Bible, but that is not the only deluge story humans tell. It's a common thing across culture. You could say the study of mythology is...flooded with them. Sorry. We'll be looking at floods from Mesopotamia from the Epic of Gilgamesh, and a flood story from the Zoroastrian tradition. And we'll look at a Roman flood story from Ovid's metamorphosis. It's a deluge of flood stories!”

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“Archetypes and Male Divinities: Crash Course World Mythology #15”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, Mike is teaching you about the archetypes that are often associated with male divinities. We’re going to talk about Fathers & Sons, Kings & Judges, Saviors & Sages, Shamans, Tricksters, and Lords of Destruction. Along the way, we’ll look at the story of Hwaning, Hwanung, and Dangun from the Korean peninsula, and we’ll learn about Arjuna and all the help he got from Krishna. We’ll also touch on a ton of other myths from around the world. These things play out this way all the time, man.”

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A book fell on my head

I've always had my suspicions about that.

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“Fire and Buffalo Goddesses: Crash Course World Mythology #14”

“This week, we’re continuing our talk about the characteristics of Goddesses, and we’re going to look in depth at two stories from parts of the world we haven’t visited much in this series so far. From Hawaii, we’re going to hear a story about Pe-le, the great goddess of the Hawaiian Islands, and we’ll hear the story of the gifts of the White Buffalo Calf Woman from Native American tradition. We’ll look at the similarities and the differences in these stories, and talk about how goddesses interact with the world and with humanity in pretty interesting ways.”

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“Great Goddesses: Crash Course World Mythology #13”

“This week on Crash Course Mythology, we're talking archetypes. Specifically, we're talking about archetypes as they're applied to female deities. Goddesses, man. You'll learn about prehistoric fertility goddesses like the Venus of Willendorf, life and death goddesses like the Ancient Greek Fates and the Norse Norns. And we'll learn about regeneration goddesses like Ireland's Nimah, and Japan's Oto-Hime.”

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“Theories of Myth: Crash Course World Mythology #12”

“This week, we're talking about theories of Myth. We'll look at the different ways mythology has been studied in the last couple of millenia, and talk about the diffeent ways people have interpreted myth, academically.”

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Encyclopædia Brittanica gets it wrong

I doubt that anyone except a calendar geek or a pagan would have caught it.

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“African Pantheons and the Orishas: Crash Course World Mythology #11”

“So, today we’re talking about African Pantheons. Now, you might say, that’s ridiculous. Africa isn’t a single place with a single pantheon, and we’d be fools to try and cover all that in an eleven minute video. You’d be right. Instead we’re going to focus on Yoruba religion from west Africa, and the Orishas that populate Yoruba stories. The many, many Orishas cover all aspects of life, and can be pretty specialized. We’re going to focus on a dozen or so.”

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Growing season

In some European countries especially further north, there were two seasons, winter and summer. May Day traditionally marks the beginning of the growing season, not the beginning of spring. If the summer solstice is midsummer, that makes May Day the beginning of summer.
— NeoWayland, May Day
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The magic circle

The magic circle usually has a candle or lamp at each of the four quarters. The powers of the Four Elements are naturally connected with the Four Airts. Different exponents of magic have differing attributions of these; but the most usual one in the Western magical tradition is air at the east, fire at the south, water at the west, and earth at the north.

This attribution is based on the quality of the prevailing winds. In Britain the south wind brings heat and dryness, while the west wind usually brings warm rainy conditions. So these quarters are regarded as the places of fire and water respectively. The wind from the east is cold, dry and bracing, so this is the place of the powers of air. The north wind is cold and freezing, coming from the place of eternal snow. It represents the darkness of earth.

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Purpose of ritual

The purpose of ritual is to change the mind of the human being. It's a sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant, and the purpose of it is to activate the parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity ... 'Magic' becomes the development of techniques that allow communication with hidden portions of the self, and with hidden portions of all other islands in this 'psychic sea.'
— Margot Adler
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NeoNotes — Women's studies

Okay, seriously though, and this relates to one of my long standing criticisms of women's studies (and any number of gender studies, skin color studies, etc.)

If these various fields of study have any worth at all, they have to acknowledge that they are only part of the picture. Limiting your studies to one subgroup is going to limit your understanding. Especially if you dismiss without question other subgroups. It's the difference between rigorous study and fantasyland. It's why the theoretical has to cross over with the practical. It's not enough to say how things should work, you have to examine how things actually work together. You have to look outside your preconceptions and expectations for the things you can't explain. Otherwise you never leave the echo chamber.

Or, women's studies without human studies is sh*t.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Practical philosophy

You know, in this day and age the term philosopher is disparaged. There are a bunch of academics debating the works of people long dead, trying to stretch writings and sayings to fit their own worldview. They argue over punctuation and the implication of what was not said in which edition. Most of the people called philosophers today are little better than research librarians. They don't think about the practical application, you see.
— NeoWayland
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“The Norse Pantheon: Crash Course World Mythology #10”

“This week, we're headed north. To check out the gods of the Northmen. Or the Norse. That's right, we're talking Thor, Loki, Freyr, Freya, Odin, Frigg, Baldr, and Tyr. And Fenrir. And the Frost Giants. There's a lot to cover here, and it's going to be fun. Watch this prior to Ragnarok, as this video probably won't be available after the end of the universe.”

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“The Greeks and Romans - Pantheons Part 3: Crash Course World Mythology #9”

“This week, we continue our look at various Pantheons, and Mike digs deep into the gods of the ancient Greeks. We're talking Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Artemis, Hephaestos, Ares, and Apollo. We're also talking Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, Diana, Vulcan, Mars, and...Apollo. Similar gods, different names. We'll start with the origin stories of the gods, talk about their family relationships, and what exactly their specialties are.”

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Journey

The Journey is SUPPOSED to drag you out of your comfort zone and your expectations and your perceptions and understandings. You can't walk between the worlds if you have both feet and nine fingers firmly anchored in one. The Story is told while the Journey is lived.
— NeoWayland, journey
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Cauldron

The cauldron in fact represented a great step forward in civilization. Before men were able to make metal cooking pots, which would withstand fire, they had to be content with thick earthenware pots, which were heated by the laborious process of dropping very hot stones into them. The metal cauldron, over which the woman as head of the household presided, gave men better cooked food, more plentiful hot water to cleanse themselves, and herbal medicines which could be decocted by boiling or infused in boiling water. Hence the cauldron became an instrument of magic, and especially of women’s magic.
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“Indian Pantheons: Crash Course World Mythology #8”

“In which Mike Rugnetta continues our unit on pantheons with the complex Indian pantheon, focusing on stories that were written in Sanskrit. We start with a violent creation story. We talk about the concept of Brahman, and the personification as three deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Then, the goddess Durga teaches us how to behead a buffalo demon while riding a lion.”

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Kirlian photography

As for Kirlian photography, it has nothing to do with the aura. There's no overlap, and someone's insistence that Kirlian photography ‘proves’ that the aura exists just complicates things.
— NeoWayland, aura
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“Pantheons of the Ancient Mediterranean: Crash Course World Mythology #7”

“In which Mike Rugnetta begins our unit on pantheons, which are families of gods. We further define pantheons and talk about why they're important. Then, we discuss pantheons from the myths of the ancient Mediterranean, starting with ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia. The Egyptian pantheon brings us the story of Osiris and his envious brother Seth. We learn what these two pantheons suggest about the cultures where they originated.” Read More...
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“In the Footsteps of Brasidas”

“Life lessons from reading Thucydides and hiking at night”

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“Humans and Nature and Creation: Crash Course World Mythology #6”

“In which Mike Rugnetta brings you the final installation of our unit on creation myths. This week, we're talking about human beings and their relationship to the natural world. It turns out foundational stories have a lot to teach us about the ways in which people relate to the physical world around them, and the other organisms that inhabit that world. We'll talk about the Biblical idea that humans have dominion over animals, and we'll talk about Native American stories in which people and nature collaborate to create the world.”

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“Social Orders and Creation Stories: Crash Course World Mythology #5”

“In which Mike Rugnetta sits you down for a little talk about myth as a way to construct or reinforce social orders. Specifically, we’re going to look today at stories from around the world that establish or amplify the idea that the errors of women have brought bad things into the world. We’re talking about the idea that death and disease and pain came into the world as a result of human (specifically woman human) action, and that men should therefore be considered superior to women. This idea, which on its face may sound a little out there to our modern ears, is persistent and pernicious. We’re interested in looking at the ways that stories make social orders. We’ll look at Abrahamic, Greek, and Japanese creation stories that have, over the millennia, served to push something of a social order agenda.”

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“Earth Mothers and Rebellious Sons - Creation Part 3: Crash Course World Mythology #4”

“So, we’re still talking about sex this week, but we’re talking about Earth Mothers and their children. We'll start with Gaia, and her son Kronos, who had a classic childhood rebellion, and castrated his father. We'll also get into Kronos’s son Zeus, who would go on to dethrone his father. We’ll talk about Norse mythology, too, and look at the family that created the world, and worked together to make people.”

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“Zeus and Antiope”

Here is where the scandalous part comes in.

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Disconnect

I don't suppose it's really important in the overall scheme of things, but I find it unnerving.

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NeoNotes — IQ is culture dependent

It's not that they don't have the raw ability, most just don't have the skills.

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NeoNotes — the middle

If the winter solstice is the middle of winter and the summer solstice is the middle of summer, the vernal equinox is the middle of spring and the autumnal equinox is the middle of fall.

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NeoNotes — multiple intelligences

As a rough definition, measurable intelligence is the practical knowledge and skills necessary for a given set of problem solving.

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In defense of Bonewits' work

If his work can't stand on it's own, people will find something else.

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“Circles”

An old favorite

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Think you know

What you think you know is not what you need to know. Where you are is not where you need to be. Who you believe you are is not who you were meant to be.
— NeoWayland, Systematically
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“Nina Paley's haunting, mesmerizing, and life-affirming God-Mother animation”

Gimme that old time religion.

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“Cosmic Sexy Time, Eggs, Seeds, and Water: Crash Course World Mythology #3”

“In which Mike teaches you about the creation of the universe, with sex. This week we're talking about creations stories from Egypt, West Africa, Greece, China, and Persia that have a lot in common with human sexual reproduction. And also some castration and puking, to boot. We've got your cosmic eggs, right here!”

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Considered supernatural

Though often considered 'supernatural,' magic actually operates within a traditional view of the universe, complete with a recognizable set of natural laws.
     — Jay Kinney from “Magic: What is It?”, Gnosis № 2, Spring-Summer 1986
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“Coyote and Raven, American Tricksters: Crash Course World Mythology #22”

“Mike Rugnetta continues to teach you about Tricksters in myth, and this time we're headed to the Americas. Coyote and Raven appear in stories from many Native American groups, and more often than not, they're tricky. They're also often kind of, well, nasty. Not to get too judgy. But we do a lot of talking about poop in this episode. I'm just saying. We also talk about Tricksters as creators, as Coyote creates constellations, and Raven creates some rivers.”

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“Hermes and Loki and Tricksters Part 2: Crash Course World Mythology #21”

“In which Mike Rugnetta continues to teach you about tricksters. In this episode, we're talking about tricksters as culture heroes. Basically, a culture hero is someone whose creativity adds to their mythological culture. We'll learn how the shennanigans of Hermes are credited with deeply influencing Greek culture and myth, and we'll look at how Loki's tricks led to a lot of important aspects of Norse myth. This episode has it all! Cattle rustling, cook outs, luthiery, joke haircuts, and Gullinbursti the Battle Swine. All that's to say, this is a good one.”

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Best practices

If it's Tuesday, it must be technopagan.

There was a great piece that I linked at Pagan Vigil in my Tuesday headline roundup, Why Simple Beats Complex. Ben Carlson is addressing the investment world, but I think it may be universal. Regular readers may recognize the theme from Zed Shaw's The Master, The Expert, The Programmer. Both these pieces are worth your time.

Shortly after reading Shaw's essay, I examined my writing. I was making it complex, I was flourishing what I knew and expecting people to pat me on the head and say, "Good job." Stripping out the nonessentials was hard and time consuming. It once took me nine months to get a single sentence exactly right. But there it was, simple, basic, and no one could disagree. But people could dismiss it as trite. I had to learn that just because others didn't see the possibilities didn't mean I had to explain it. Four Powers of the Magus all over again, to keep silent.

Carlson makes two important points. Complexity is about tactics; simplicity is about systems. Simple is harder.

Successful people usually stick to basic rules. It's because those rules usually work. And if the rules don't work, people who understand the rules usually understand the World. That gives a leg up in choosing what to try next.

Take one of my favorites. It's the one I try to build my life around. Leave the World a little better than when you found it. I call it a secret of life for good reason. This rule doesn't say do not litter. It's implied. This rule doesn't say clean up the kitchen every morning. This rule doesn't say tend your garden

Let's look at three other rules I use.

GOLDEN RULE - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

SILVER RULE - Do for yourself at least as much as you do for others.

IRON RULE - Don't do for others what they can do for themselves.

That Iron rule applies in my magick. When someone comes to me for help, I judge if help is necessary, needed, and deserved. I don't just rely on my own judgement, but there have been only a handful of times when I've been "overruled." I'm not in this to save souls, I'm in this to leave the World a little better than how I found it. That means sometimes I say "No."

It's not easy. People in need don't want to hear it and it makes pain worse.

Right now one of the things I'm doing is the Timetable page on this site. I'm planning on redoing the lexicon using the same techniques. It's modular, built up from tested parts added one at a time and tested again as I go along. Most people will never think about the construction of the page, for them it will just work. Just like this site.

I try to strip my magick and my rituals down to what's needed and build from there.

Complexity can work, but adding complexity means making it more unstable. If I am building to last, I want to know it will last.

In my home.

In my words.

In my magick.

Simple, well tested ideas that work well together without constant tweaking. Doing more with less. The mark of a master.

Sometimes I actually pull it off.

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“Creation from the Void: Crash Course World Mythology #2”

“Today on Crash Course Mythology we’re starting in on creation stories. This week, we’ll focus on the creation of the universe out of nothing, or Ex Nihlio creation. Basically, a god decides to make a universe out of nothing. We’ll look at the Genesis story (which has nothing to do with Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins), a Mayan creation tale, a Kono story of the beginning, and we’ll even look at the Big Bang.”

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Absolutely maybe sort of - updated

Now, should I reject Bonewits and all he stood for because he and I didn't agree?

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“What Is Myth? Crash Course World Mythology #1””

“Welcome to Crash Course World Mythology, our latest adventure (and this series may be literally adventurous) in education. Over the next 40 episodes or so, we and Mike Rugnetta are going to learn about the world by looking at the foundational stories of a bunch of different cultural traditions. We’re going to look at the ways that people’s stories define them, and the ways they shape their culture. We’re going to learn about gods, goddesses, heroes, and tricksters, and a lot more. We’re going to walk the blurry line between myth and religion, and we’re going to like it.”

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“As a pagan…”

As a pagan, I've found that 99% of my practices and worshiping consists of just going outside, sitting still, shutting up, and listening.
— AmericanCeltic
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Life cycle

We are all part of the life cycle. Like a seed we are born, we sprout, we grow, we mature and decay, making room for future generations who, like seedlings, are reborn through us. As for the persistence of consciousness, deep down, I thought, ‘How can we know?’ Perhaps we simply return to the elements; we become earth and air and fire and water. That seemed all right to me.
— Margot Adler
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Ego-trapped

I let my ego off the chain last weekend. It was a vain and foolish thing to do. And it had consequences.

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NeoNotes — Satanic sacrifice

You know the problem with these massive conspiracy theories are that there are never enough conspirators and never enough victims.
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NeoNotes — Judaism

Pardon, but Judaism wasn't the original monotheism. Akhenaton introduced Atenism in Egypt, which may have influenced the development of Semitic polytheism into monotheistic Judaism.
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“Tricksters: An Introduction: Crash Course World Mythology 20”

“This week, Mike introduces you to Tricksters, starting with Anansi, the West African trickster god who is also sometimes a spider. Tricksters are, well, tricky. They're wise and foolish, they're promiscuous and amoral, but in a lot of ways, they're good guys. We'll also talk about the occasionally tricky Hercules and Atlas, and touch on more recent tricksters like B'rer Rabbit.”

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Transcribing Faith

The Newberry Library in Chicago is home to some 80,000 documents pertaining to religion during the early modern period, a time of sweeping social, political, and cultural change spanning the late Middle Ages to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Among the library’s collection of rare Bibles and Christian devotional texts are a series of manuscripts that would have scandalized the religious establishment. These texts deal with magic—from casting charms to conjuring spirits—and the Newberry is asking for help translating and transcribing them.

As Tatiana Walk-Morris reports for Atlas Obscura, digital scans of three magical manuscripts are accessible through Transcribing Faith, an online portal that functions much like Wikipedia. Anyone with a working knowledge of Latin or English is invited to peruse the documents and contribute translations, transcriptions, and corrections to other users’ work.

     — Brigit Katz, Chicago Library Seeks Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts, h/t The Wild Hunt

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Secrets

At present, books are widely available which contain the lion's share of the secret teachings that one is likely to come upon in most secret societies. Yet the lack of interest most people have in penetrating into inner realities assures that these teachings remain unperceived - and therefore 'secret'.
— Jay Kinney from “Human Rites and Hidden Assets”, Gnosis № 6, Winter 1987-'88
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Penetration into the darkness

The penetration into the darkness surrounding God - the gulf between one's self and the All - involves the willingness to relinquish the comforting certainties of one's religion and risk heresy, if that is where the path leads.
Jay Kinney from “Heresies 101”, Gnosis № 4, Spring-Summer 1987
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Question

If you don't question what a book or Authority Figure™ tells you, you aren't doing your part.
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Technology

Gods and magick have always lived in technology.
— NeoWayland
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Science and Paganism

“Empirical Meets Spiritual: the Intersection of Science and Paganism”

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❝Love begins at home❞

It may sound like a cliché, but love begins at home. No amount of one-night stands will compensate for not feeling okay about yourself. Anyone who tells you that they are still looking for the 'right' partner so that they can practice sexual magic 'properly' still hasn't cottoned on to the basic facts that so-called sex-magic 'power' does not reside in other people, techniques, or in occult 'secret teachings.' All magical 'power' comes from within, and cultivating Self-Love is a first step to unleashing this power. Which is not to say that it is easy—it often isn't, and many people spend years struggling to like themselves. Self-Love requires that you accept yourself—warts and all, rather than trying to live up to a self-image which is unrealistic and unbalanced. Self-Love enables you to relax so that you are not continually flogging yourself with internal criticism, and, significantly, you do not feel an overwhelming need to have other people's approval. Self-Love changes the way we relate to others, so that we no longer use other people as props to support our fantasies, but begin to see them as independent agents. If you do not love yourself, then you will find it difficult to love other people—you will continually use others to prop up parts of your ego.
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❝Lose your own center…❞

Don't get too concerned about fighting evil. You lose your own center that way.
— Robert Anton Wilson, from “Doubt! The GNOSIS Interview with Robert Anton Wilson”, Gnosis № 50
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Stranger

When we look at the Tarot for what it apparently is, we look into a mental map of the time when the Italian and French Middle Ages were poised on the cusp of the Renaissance - a time that is actually stranger and intellectually more foreign to us than we tend to think.
— Chas S. Clifton from "The Unexamined Tarot," Gnosis № 18, Winter 1991
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Mosaics

Our energy fields often look like mosaics of pieces from family, friends, co-workers, people seen on TV, or even random strangers encountered on the street.
— Rebecca Wilson from “The Art of Psychic Healing”, Gnosis № 34, Winter 1995
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❝We are the music makers…❞

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream.
Wandering by lone sea breakers, and sitting by desolate streams.
World losers and world forsakers, for whom the pale moon gleams.
Yet we are movers and the shakers of the world forever it seems.
— Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy
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“Reflection-Medusa”

Sorrow and regret

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Patterns

The patterns we see in the universe may be nothing more than longing and human conceit. But if using those patterns gives us a desired result, then the patterns are a useful fiction. The "ultimate reality" doesn't necessarily matter or even our belief doesn't matter, if we behave as if we believe and successfully reach our goals.

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Point of view

Notice the relationships

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❝Only the Natural❞

The Supernatural is only the Natural disclosed.
— Emily Dickinson
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Truthful

You are connected.

see also Season of my idiocy Read More...
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NeoNotes — Witchcraft as rebellion

She is a parasite who is capitalizing on tragedy

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NeoNotes — Nothing supernatural exists

You're thinking of magick as cheat codes that let you get around universal rules.

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NeoNotes — Origin of Wicca

At some point you should go out and find your own way.

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Rhythm Of Life

”And The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat…”

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Coding your mind

Let's talk about how your mind works.

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Interconnections

Just because we humans don’t like a species doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely essential.

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Intuition & Inspiration

You have to begin by learning. Intuition relies on knowledge and experience.

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The Lady Always Chooses

Poetic inspiration gives a glimse. That's a long way from manifesting.

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Totems I have known

It made my childhood interesting, some of my “imaginary” friends were really there.

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Letter & Spirit

Sometimes ravens leave a primary feather in my yard.

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Religion

I think too many people are into religion for the politics.

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Impress Me

If that "Living Word" exists, it has to be in the hearts and souls of those people who have really embraced it. It's not in a dusty book. The verses don't matter except to show you the way. Tell me what lives behind those printed words. Tell me how you turned your sacrifice into a blessing.
from the private journal of NeoWayland
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Do Be Do Be Do

Speaking of the way that one idea links to another, I can’t help but notice a conflict. And a song.

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Voices

Sometimes it looks like I might know what I am doing and saying

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Tying thoughts to emotions

Thought germs are memes

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Gods make you stretch

Most people go through life letting the Robot drive

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On commitment

If it was what you expected, why do you call it change?

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Right or Write

Thinking by blogging

The decline of the written language

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Gnosis Journal

Library stuff - feel free to skip

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A Rule of Three

Not about problem solving, just about getting the job done

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Touch of a Master - Updated

The main thing I noticed about the experts I’ve encountered is they are into impressing you with their abilities. They are usually incredibly good, but their need for recognition gets in the way of mastery. Everything they do is an attempt to prove themselves and in order to do this they must perform like an actor on stage. There’s nothing wrong with this, and I don’t think the expert can become a master without going through this stage in life. At some point though, the expert becomes comfortable with themselves or fed up with impressing everyone and starts to look inward to the core of their art.
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Charlie's story

Lady who raised a coyote

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The Red Book - First Impressions

droolworthy and then some

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Love

It's what brings us together

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How to convince me you're a poseur before I've finished the first page of the preface of your book - UPDATED

Why bother to write if you're going to undermine everything you say?

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“We are the Pagans who have moved on”

Inspiring words

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Quarter Moons and Semi-Truths

When someone starts talking about THE truth, it's to exclude the thoughts and ideas they find uncomfortable.

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Relics of faith

Just what was revealed?

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A little slice of mind

NeoWayland studies what he doesn't agree with

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Snap out of it!

Neo got kidnapped

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Taking full measure

Just how well did that ritual work?

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Dream a little dream for me

A little piece of me - Updated

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Ephemeral

Where you live and how it shapes you

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Foolish thoughts

Just a couple of quick things

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Strings of universes that work

Ready for your homework assignment?

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Transcending the label

Thinking by blogging

Be - updated


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Creative destruction

Economics, magick, and life

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Another Fine Message

Pulling together the bits on the mind that I have touched on before

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Knot truth

Going beyond the 101 and even beyond the tradition

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Invoking passion for failure or success?

Why some fail all the time and how they can start to turn it around, with a little help from Stan and Ollie

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Lost Wonderers

Another class of seekers

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Why the internet may suppress thought

My web surfing turns up a couple of articles. Irony abounds.

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Blessed Journeys

The next step depends on the focus of your faith and your choices. It's not enough to be just Pagan.

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Does the origin determine validity?

Musing on assumptions

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Mulling over the nature of Deity

Fiction and nonfiction collide and spawn in my semi-fevered brain

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Male or female?

An internet quiz to tell how you think

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In the moment

Part of a IM conversation I had with Juliaki.

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The price

The dire wound that never heals

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Real flows, direct from the source

Feeling the energy

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Discussion on initiation

A great discussion on what initiation is and what it is for, touching on whether self-initiation is valid

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Coyote

Adapted from an IM session, but it is just my words and beliefs

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What's in a word?

Mixed meanings can give mixed understandings

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Study notes

Working my way through my "to read" shelf

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Some thoughts from my
WebTree tradition path - updated

Moon phases and sabbats on a rainy night

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Calling yourself pagan

Part of an IM conversation I had with Juliaki tonight. You might find it interesting.

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Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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