Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox is the second time of the year when day and night are equal in length, the other being the Spring Equinox. The leaves are beginning to turn, except for the evergreen plants, and the birds are beginning to migrate south (or, at least the ones that are less tolerant of colder weather).

It is in our nature to begin to slow down at this time of year. Especially those of us who are of northern European descent. It gets very cold in the northern parts of the world, and conservation of energy is important. We need the energy to help keep us warm in sub-zero temperatures.

Once the harvest is done, there is still work to do. This is the time to can food, or freeze it, so extra is available during the cold winter. Even though humans (for the most part) no longer rely on storing everything we need over the winter, it is still a good idea to have a lot stored. If there's a natural disaster (such as a blizzard) that prevents you from going to the store to get food, you already have plenty on hand.

This time of year is associated with Persephone returning to her husband, while her mother begins to neglect the duties she is commanded to perform.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Xenia

Xenia was a social contract the Greeks, and most of the world around them, obeyed.

There are three parts to Xenia.

  1. The host respects the guest. A host must be hospitable to their guest and provide food, drink and a bath, if needed. It's impolite to ask questions until the guest's needs have been met.

  2. The guest respects the host. The guest must be courteous and must not be a burden.

  3. The parting gift (called xenion) is given to the guest to show the host's honor at receiving the guest

Xenia was especially important before the Gods stopped interacting with us. If a deity had played the part of the guest (called theoxenia) and the host performed poorly, the deity would respond with anger.

Xenia also included the protection of bards. In exchange for news and entertainment, they received a place to sleep, food, drink, and xenion. These bards were believed to be protected by Zeus, and any violator would be at the mercy of Zeus, or whoever he sent in his place.

An example of a violator of Xenia is Paris of Troy. While visiting Menelaus, king of Mycenaean Sparta, Paris kidnapped Menelaus' wife Helen. In response, Menelaus declared war on Troy.

An example of someone obeying Xenia occurs in the Bible. Lot, who was living in Sodom, allowed two angels to enter his home. He offered to wash their feet, and to give them food. When a mob came to his door, he offered his own daughters instead of his guests (I know this is unthinkable now, but it was the way Xenia worked then. Guests were more important than family).

I believe that this should be followed today. People should offer food and drink to guests (and most still do). Guests should treat the property of the host with respect, and should treat everyone in the hosts' family with respect. Anything farther should fall within the customs and laws of the society the host and guest are part of.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ahoy, Matey!

It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! For yer viewin' pleasure, I be showing Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate talking to Murray the Demonic Skull!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Green Cleaning: LCD Screens and Computers

Have your prepared All Purpose Surface Cleaner and a soft cloth ready. You can use cotton or a microfiber cloth, but never paper towels. The reason is that paper is made from wood pulp, and even though it feels soft to you, it's rough on your sensitive LCD screen.

First, turn off your computer and its components (such as the monitor and speakers). Spray your cleaner onto your soft cloth, then gently wipe the LCD screen like you would glass. Once you're done with that, use a can of compressed air and clean out between the keys. Then you take another clean cloth and wipe down the exterior of your device.

If you're cleaning a desktop computer, another good maintenance idea is to disconnect the tower and take it outside. Then, carefully open up the tower and use your can of compressed air to get all the dust out. Do not touch anything inside with water or your fingers, unless you know what you're doing. Contact with substances like oil (from your hand) or water can damage some parts. Also, you could accidentally shock the components which would force you to have it repaired by a technician. I recommend doing this on a regular basis, as dirt can cause your computer to work slower. But if you feel uncomfortable doing this part of the maintenance, hire a friend that's also a computer geek to do this part for you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pagans are Supposed to be Vegans?

Many pagans seem to believe that if you're not a vegan, or at least vegetarian, then you're not a "real pagan". They say that consuming meat is harmful to the enviroment. They say the animals suffer. I beg to differ.

I was raised on a farm where we grew various plants and animals. I distinctly remember having a flock of turkeys meant for Thanksgiving slaughter, and it goes with a very funny story I might share in some other post. We had cows, rabbits and ducks as well. A neighbor raised pigs for the meat, another had chickens. I know that if the farmer or rancher raises the animals, slaughters them himself, or herself, it's humane. The animal is not fed massive amounts of steroids and fatty foods for more meat. The animals, with the exception of the rabbits and birds, were allowed to roam free. The reason the rabbits and birds were penned was to try and keep carnivores from eating them. There is nothing inhumane about eating meat from a source like that. I can understand, however, boycotting meat from a factory slaughterhouse. That meat tastes terrible for one thing.

I believe that it doesn't matter if you believe we were intelligently designed or if we are a product of evolution. Or, maybe, you believe both. What is truth, no matter which side of the debate you're on, is that we're omnivores. Meaning we're designed to eat both plants and animals. The proof is in our teeth. The proof is also in the vegans (and those that eat mostly meat). Those that eat one thing while excluding the other need suppliments to receive the nutrients they're lacking in their vegetable-only or mostly-meat diets.

I know that some people say "eat plants, they don't feel it". But I think they're wrong. Plants are alive in every definition of the word. They must have some sort of mechanism that tells them of an injury (what we call "pain"). The way they display this, however, is unnoticed by us because we cannot understand the plant like we can an animal. It's beyond our realm of experience to even consider this.

Since I believe that, if we stop eating something because it feels we shouldn't eat it, we would starve. I proudly eat meat. If I wanted to get up that early, I would hunt for food for the winter. I also believe in using the entire animal, that nothing goes to waste. For this reason, I will wear leather and fur. But only taken from something I have eaten. In Montana winter, it can get down to -50 F. Fur and leather are very necessary in that sort of enviroment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Instructions for Life in the New Millennium from the Dalai Lama:

  1.  Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

  2.  When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

  3.  Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.

  4.  Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

  5.  Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

  6.  Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

  7.  When you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

  8.  Spend some time alone every day.

  9.  Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

  10.  Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

  11.  Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

  12.  A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

  13.  In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

  14.  Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

  15.  Be gentle with the earth.

  16.  Once a year, go some place you've never been before.

  17.  Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

  18.  Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

  19.  Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon

Label Cloud

101 2011 2012 44 days of witchery ability activism agnosticism air alberta altar ancestor anubis apatheism apocalypse apollo aquarius arachne arts athame atheism athena autotheism autumn banner beliefs bigotry bottle burning times calendar canada candle celtic child children's christian christmas cleaning coexist common man correspondences crafts creation cryptozoology cycle dalai lama deism deity deity of the month demeter deucalion E3 egypt electronic entertainment expo electronics elements end of the world endymion equality equinox extinction feast festival festivus fires flood food fur g4 gaea gaming germany glass god goddess great flood great spirit greek green griffin halloween hanukkah health henotheism herbalism history holiday holidays hospitality instructions international internet irish italian jack o'lantern kathenotheism kwanzaa lakota lavender leather life luna magic magical place makoshika meatless monday microsoft minerva mjöllnir monolatrism monotheism mothers mythology native american nature norse oil oisin ostara pagan pagan values month paganism pandeism panentheism pantheism pelops pepitas persephone philosophy pipa pirate politics poll polydeism polytheism prayer prayer chain preternatural prophecy pumpkin pyrrha rant Recipes religion religious roman rules sabbat sacred element samhain saturnalia seasons seeds selene shrine sioux sol invictus solstice sopa spider spiritual element spiritualism spring stories sun sign sword of truth symbol tantalus thor three tir na nog tools triad trials trio triskele values vegan vegetarian veneration viking vinegar warlock water wax wheel wheel of the year wicca winter witch witchcraft wizard xenia year yule

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