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    Across the Great Divide

        “Ghost Hunting: A Eulogy” A recent death went largely unreported. There was no outpouring of grief. No endless video loops in the network news feeds. It went unnoticed because it was a death that had been slow and arduous, occurring over the last 20 years. Like a bedridden relative whose end was known to all, so that when it finally came it was of no surprise and everyone was glad to see an end to the suffering. I am talking about ghost hunting. In the period between 1880 and 1980, paranormal research was a science taken- at least in part- seriously among academics who loved the intellectual debate,…

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    The Tree of Life

    Back To School As summer nears its end, a new cycle begins. It is a time not just for preserving the harvest in readiness for the winter months ahead, putting the garden to rest and excavating your cold-weather clothes from the back of the cupboard – it is also time to go back to school.   Though most of us left full time education behind many years ago, the onset of autumn is an excellent time to start new study projects. The combination of cooler weather and longer evenings make the prospect of curling up by a cosy fire with a book, or getting engrossed in some fascinating research much…

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    Book Review: Stones of the Seven Rays by Michel Coquet

    Stones of the Seven Rays By Michel Coquet © 2012 by Inner Traditions International ISBN: 978-1-59477-433-1 339 pages Paperback $24.95 (U.S.) This book holds an amazing amount of information. It is divided into two parts, the first an esoteric discussion of the history of the seven stones and the second part is detailed information on each of the seven stones. Most are aware that stones have been used since man first picked one up to use as a tool or weapon. The author also shows how stones have been used throughout history for a variety of purposes including defending self, eating, healing, mortuary rites, fertility and more. The discussion starts…

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    Art & Mystery

    Stepping Back to Go Forward   August is the worst month in my third floor studio. I rarely wander up the stairs into the suffocating heat, which means I don’t see my paintings-in-process for several weeks. I have to admit that I miss them and begin to look forward to working with them again.   When the temperature breaks in early September, they surprise me greatly. They look very different from how I remember them. This one is much better than I thought it was when I stopped working on it. I can see immediately what my next steps are for another one. I have gained some distance and can…

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    Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

    Wiccan and Satanism   When confronted by individuals who misunderstand Wicca and boldly state that it is a form of or is Satanism, I believe it is important to educate them on what Wicca IS as opposed to what Wicca IS NOT. Yes, I would state that Wicca is not Satanism and that the two spiritual paths are different but I believe that it is important to do so without degrading Satanism in the process.   I’ve heard individuals who identify as Wiccan say, “Wicca is not Satanism. We do not worship The Devil and don’t believe in Hell. Why would you assume we do?”   And I’ve read statements…

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    Spell-Struck

    Get out of a rut and get going! It’s back-to-school time and the kids are ready…but we’re like… “What?”  Too much to coordinate; too much running around to do; appointments; vaccinations; recordkeeping; scheduling; taking care of the house…and all the business that that requires; cooking dinners; let alone preparing for the “homework fun” each night…; AND, to boot, it’s still hot out there!  Our bodies are still screaming Summer!!!!  What’s up with this; and what’s more, how do we get motivated when the air is thick, sluggish, muggy and warm and everyone’s moving in slow motion?  Now, maybe it’s not so hot/warm where you are, but it sure is here…

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    Spiritual Seeker

    I feel like this month has not been very spiritual productive, and so I had a hard time writing this column. I spent several days trying to come up with a topic that I could write about that would allow me to show some sort of progress. But, this was a month of dark nights of the soul, failure, and stagnation.   My biggest failure was my attempt at meditation. I signed up to take part in a 21-day guided meditation program with high hopes that it would provide the impetus I needed to get back into a regular practice. The daily program was short; I just needed to find…

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    Warrior Women

    Malala Yousafzai is a child, a baby, really, in the whole scheme of things. She is sixteen years old. On October 9, 2012, Miss Yousafzai was shot in the head, point blank, by a grown man, a coward. He was a member of that benevolent group known as the Taliban.  (I promised myself I would not editorialize, but it is very, very hard.)   You must know the story by now. Miss Yousafzai advocated education for girls, and, indeed, had been writing a blog for the BBC World Service since the age of eleven. She defied the ban on education for girls, in Pakistan, and got shot for it. On…

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    Tink About it

    Pagan festivals   During the last two months Ron (my husband) and I visited two more or less pagan festivals in The Netherlands. Very different, but at both we had a great time!   In July we went to the Heartbonds Festival. It is a fairly new festival, this was the second edition. Created from enthusiasm, creativity and passion by two young women with a little help from their friends in a wonderful meadow in the forest. Ron is one of the volunteers. The festival is meant to be low-budget and affordable for almost everyone; meals and camping space included. Small-scale with free workshops and an inspiring market with artists…