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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.

Elvis has left the building

Neo admits he's still a bit of a nerd, even after all these years


Any suggestions?

A not so smart technical advance


Mark time

You can tell she's a witch by her pendant.


NeoNote — He would deny it

Your desire does not control another's choice.
— NeoWayland, sexual beings

NeoNote - White sage, Amerindians and virtue signalling

White sage is really not that hard to find. You need a little care when harvesting to avoid harming the plant. If you're in the right area and you don't overwater, it's fairly easy to keep in a container garden. Oh, and if you're harvesting your own, avoid polyester thread or yarn to tie the bundles, that smells terrible when burned.

I grew up next to the Diné and Hopi and near the Havasupai and a handful of other tribes. I promise that pretty much any sage ceremony from a book or a pamphlet or a website isn't anywhere near culturally appropriated, much less "authentic."

Okay, maybe I am not understanding because the stuff is all over New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Maybe I'm wrong, but if it was a native supplier who was selling, how is wrong for the company to resell?

I never really have understood the whole cultural appropriation bit. Syncretism happens.

Pardon, but it's some of the First Nation folks. Some of the Diné I know are far more concerned with the abuse of corn rituals than sage rituals.

I guess what I am saying is that this strikes me as politics, a way to control other's behaviors using little-understood religions. Look at this, we're talking Native, we're talking First Nations, but these groups are absolutely not the same as the various tribes.

This was acceptable and practiced behavior a couple of days ago. No one was hurt, no one was abused, no one was demeaned. From what you yourself have said, anyone who is not Native should Stop Now. This isn't about honoring the First Nations, it's about control through guilt.

Why does your enlightenment require that I sacrifice?

Granted I haven't been able to talk to more than a handful of people in the last day or so about this issue, but most of what I got was laughter.

This is not a "bubble," I was born on the res, the Diné and Hopi are some of my friends and neighbors.

This whole thing about honoring the First Nations seems very selective. A few months back during the Dakota protests I tried to point out how the state of Utah was using legal maneuvers to steal land and money from the Ute and Diné (Navajo). That didn't rate so much as a burp, but the discussion on the protests went on and on.

Trust me, white sage is not endangered. Not even in the wild. The land is mostly desert and the plant life is not as plentiful, but it is all over the place. It's not the most common plant, but it's not rare.

That's something else we've been tiptoeing around, isn't it?

That also drags the FedGovs in. Truthfully there are some peyote users that aren't interested in the ritual.

The whole mess between the NAC and the Feds is one thing that convinced me that government and religion should be strictly separated from other. And that was when I was (briefly) a Young Teenage Republican Male. Twelve years old and I could see what a farce it was on both sides.

Well, the hunt is part of the ritual, but yeah.

==>Insert obligatory lengthy libertarian anti-drug law rant here<==

For the record, I don't even drink or otherwise imbibe. I even try to avoid aspirin.

So you can use the higher authority gambit to cite the Good Amerindians, but I am not allowed to question?

These are questions that should be asked.

Starting with the big one that almost everyone keeps tiptoeing around. Why should white sage be forbidden to anyone not of First Nations stock?

That in itself raises questions, very political questions in fact. Some tribes have taken a hard line on who is and is not a member.

Do you have to be Officially Recognized before you dare consider using white sage?

I do that when someone claims higher morality so they can control the choices and actions of others.

It's a first step.

You should see what I do with self-righteous Christians.

Pardon, but some Native Americans are upset. The (admittedly few) that I talked to just thought it was silly.

They still think the plant and the smudging ceremonies are sacred. They just think there are more important things in the World than this fuss.

Which, BTW, didn't exist a week ago.

I have a bit of a problem with lumping different tribes under one heading like First Nations or Native or Amerindian. Whenever possible, I prefer to refer to the tribe name and not the generic label. The cultures and ceremonies are different.

That being said, the handful of Diné I talked in the last couple of days thought this was silly and virtue signaling. I think they were more irritated by "whites" trying to "protect" Amerindian rituals and plants than "whites" using sage in purification rituals.

It was only a small number of people. It would be a mistake to claim their opinion is representative or that I have a greater understanding of their culture.

But that's parity again. It cuts both ways. If the people I talked to are not representative, then what about the Amerindians who complained? If my understanding is insufficient, then what about all the non-Natives who are making a fuss now?

That happens a lot.

Thomas Sowell said “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”

Just because it is truth doesn't mean people will listen.

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


Rain, rain, stay a while

I'm not something less, I'm something else.
— NeoWayland


I don't turn on the bathroom lights.


Last night…
I dreamt I walked as a bear


New category and new idea. Occasionally Neo reveals his fun side


In the still of the night

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20060525233957

My journey to and from a funeral reminds me of the world outside artificial light

I did some driving in rural Arizona and New Mexico this last week.

One of the big differences between urban areas and rural areas is the amount of light at night. Depending on the size of the town or city, even as little as thirty miles is enough to reveal a whole other world.

Headlights are visible for miles if the road is in view. The shadows wrap around you so you feel like you could just reach out the window and gently stroke it. The desert night air has it's own scents and promises. The plants rustle in your side vision which seems a notch or two sharper. The land hints at it's shape rather than revealing.

And then the stars. Oh gods, the stars.

In a city, you see a few twinkles of the stronger stars, but that is nothing compared to what you see when you get away from the city lights. Suddenly the words "Milky Way" make sense. When I have been away from all the stars, my first instinct on a clear night is to strip down and bathe in all that silver starlight.

It's not just lights. In the desert and away from the roads and cars, you swear you can hear every single sound for miles around. Maybe it's just psychological. You're away from the normal stimulus so you pay extra close attention to the ones you do sense.

There are times I am very much in hermit mode and there are reasons for that. I can't tell you the name of the American Idol contestants. I have no idea what the Top 40 is these days. I have no interest in having Dr. Phil solve my problems on national television. More importantly, I've no real desire to think about these subjects. But they wrap themselves around you, insidiously. It's all that most people talk about.

It's the same with religion, at least for the people who want to get noticed. Folks are so busy making noise for their gold stars that they don't pay attention to the "stillness of the soul." The Blessed recognize that as the place where your inner journey begins, the gateway to your higher selves.

So away from the churches every block, the people mouthing the noise they think the Divine wants to hear, the flood of television and radio evangelism, and away from all those bits that we humans like to wrap ourselves in, that is the where the inner soul can wake and the outer soul can sleep.

I need to go camping again soon I think.

Posted: Thu - May 25, 2006 at 11:39 PM


◊ Wayfaring Day

A pagan take on another holiday classic.


Warm Autumn in Arizona

A Weather.com reading makes me think


“Thunder in the vicinity”

A pagan author and blogger also notices the trendlines


Rainy and windy

Always do what you promise. Try to do more than you promise.
     — NeoWayland, Quick notes to a new seeker

“Three Graces in a Cactus Garden” by Lotan Lotan

To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

Northern lights

This particular photo was taken on the customary Earth Day at Valdez, Alaska.


★ Arbor Day (Arizona observance)

We have to laugh at ourselves. No one else would take us seriously enough.

Solstice snow

The first snowfall of the year in my high desert was about a half hour and melted as soon as it fell.

Last night I was keeping vigil, well, sort of. My knees don't like me these days, so I can't kneel in front of the fireplace for extended times anymore. But I was still feeding the fire and still meditating. About 22:30 or so I noticed that the streets were wet and I thought that was the rain we were expecting. Then I noticed that the car had snow on the top. So it was a very wet snow. Somewhere about 4 it started sticking, and as I write this at 8:22 it is coming down slowly but steadily.

Today marks the last day of Starwell, my version of the solstice. I'll need to go check on my mother later. Obviously I don't want her going outside in the snow.

I'm winter-born, so a good snow always touches my soul in a quiet joyful way. I could watch it for hours. I did watch it for hours.

Mostly my high Arizona desert gets mild weather. Not too hot in the summer, not too much rain, and not too much snow.

I'm thankful that I have snow, a fireplace, and a big set of windows to watch it this day.

Take joy in the day as the light returns.



I liked it better when they were their own species.


No significance

I spent WAY too much time yesterday on this site


NeoNotes — What witch?

I don't think animals should be killed for ritual use. I have issues with animals being killed for food. It's why I still pray before meals. I'm honoring their sacrifice even though I know they don't understand.


Taproot: Through the Woods

I’ve put the Sex catagory in the main menu


Before the Gate of Winter

But kids (especially BRIGHT teens) know when you’re different. They like different, they’re attracted to it.


The NeoDen gets a new workroom

Humanity is a colony organism. People cherish their passions. Competition breeds progress and encourages honesty. In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates. Seek paradox for truth. Resist dogma for growth. Beware anyone who offers an absolute.
     — NeoWayland, On Humantics

Front door and back door

When I'm stressed, I remember


Revisiting writing the book

If it’s bad when the People of the Book do it, then why on Earth is it a good idea when neopagans do it?


Real flows, direct from the source

Keeping the past alive


Solar festival

Want some seasoning with that weather?


Just like clockwork

Fundamental principles


Something I did not know

Places on the Wheel



ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX IV: I mean what exactly are you doing with your life?

ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX: I'm being attacked by a Vogon Fleet.

ZB IV: Doesn't surprise me in the least.
—The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series, Fit the Ninth

Dirty hands

Rambling on time & calendars


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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