Oberon Award for Master Wizard

On June 21, 2017 The Grey School of Wizardry announced the first annual “Oberon Award for Master Wizard.” This award is given by the Grey School to recognize public figures who have exhibited visionary wisdom in their lives and works, and who exemplify and/or portray the ideals of Wizardry through outstanding life work dedicated toward the betterment of humankind and of the planet. This is a lifetime achievement award, and is given only once to any individual.

This award of recognition for “Master Wizard” is named in honor of renowned Wizard Oberon Zell, Founder and Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry, and an esteemed Elder in the worldwide magickal community since the early 1960s.

The 2017 Award Recipients are:

Science at the Edge: Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey)

Visionary Technology and Philanthropy: William Henry “Bill” Gates III & Elon Reeve Musk

Film Production: Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) & George Lucas (Star Wars)

Film Portrayal—Wizard: Sir Ian Murray McKellen (as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings)

Film Portrayal—Witch: Dame Maggie Smith (as Minerva McGonegal in Harry Potter)

Television Portrayal—Wizard or Witch: Alyson Lee Hannigan (as Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Magickal Literature: J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)

Graphic Novels/Comics: writer: Neil Gaimon (Books of Magic; Sandman; The Dreaming)

Visual Artist: J. H. Williams III (Promethea)

Bardic Arts: Enya Patricia Brennan

Illusion Magic: David Copperfield

Wizardry

Wizardry means “wisdom.” Just as artistry is the craft of an Artist, wizardry is the craft of a Wizard—literally, a “wise one.” Wizards were the first scientists—science means “knowledge,” as wizardry means “wisdom.” Philosophy means “love of wisdom,” and “natural philosophy” was the term used for science up through the 19th century. Many noteworthy scientists are referred to as “Wizards” in their biographies, and brilliant computer engineers today are commonly called “Wizards.” Thomas Edison was known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” Steve Jobs was called “The Wizard of Silicon Valley,” and Warren Buffet has been nicknamed the “Wizard of Omaha.”

The Grey School of Wizardry

The Grey School of Wizardry was incorporated as a non-profit Educational Institution in California on March 14, 2005; and in 2007, received a 501(c)(3) from the IRS for charitable and educational purposes. The Grey School provides an extensive program of arcane and Classical studies for youth and adult students.

As a secular online facility of esoteric education, the Grey School is dedicated to preserving the arcane arts and crafts of the past (i.e. “The Wisdom of the Ages”) for generations to follow. The core of those teachings is the School motto: Omnia vivunt; omnia inter se conexa (“everything is alive; everything is interconnected.”).

Learn more about The Grey School of Wizardry here.

Meditating with Oprah

So Oprah emailed me about an upcoming event. That’s right, Oprah emails me. We’re tight like that. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Oprah exactly. Perhaps it was someone from OWN Television. But that’s almost like Oprah, right? All right, I’m done being silly. Thanks for sending me the info to pass on to my readers Gemma!

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra announced on March 13, 2017 the newest “Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience” titled “Hope in Uncertain Times,” open for free registration now at Oprah.com/meditation. This new meditation experience, beginning on Monday, April 10, will help participants use hope as an active force of transformation, and make hope an ally to be relied upon for strength, security, high self-esteem and optimism.

“Chaos can be a prelude to creativity,” said Deepak Chopra. “In these times of seeming confusion, a deep dive into consciousness can help us find the light of hope that we need to begin true transformation. Our next 21 Day meditation experience is timely for this next stage of our evolution.”

“Hope in Uncertain Times,” led by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, offers a 20-minute audio meditation each day and a series of thought-provoking reflection questions designed to anchor the teachings with a centering thought and mantra. Through a private, interactive journal feature that is provided, meditators are able to record and view their progress, giving them an invaluable picture of personal growth and development. The meditations are easily accessible from a tablet, computer, or the mobile companion app available in iTunes or Google Play.

Originally launched in 2013, the “Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience” now features a catalogue of 13 different programs with more than seven million participants from over 200 hundred countries around the globe.

Below is an overview of what participants can expect throughout this experience:

Week One: How Hope Can Change Your Reality
Week One will focus on seeing what hope is to each of us, and where it is and is not working in our lives, so that we can begin the process of change. Learning to identify passive, false hope and then discover true hope as a way to create change and believe in oneself sets us on the right path for positive growth.

Week Two: Where Hope Can Take You
Week Two is about hope in action. We learn to start hope from a place of open, accepting awareness and to use intention for a favorable outcome to bring forth and fuel a fulfilling present experience. Instead of relying on the past and pinning hopes on expectations, the challenge is to merge hope with the present moment to prevent repetition of the past. Such hope comes from the deep security of the true self, and that is what we will seek and build upon in Week Two.

Week Three: Bringing Hope to Others
The third week focuses on expanding hope into a wider sphere of influence. Being the embodiment of hope can inspire people wherever they are. By becoming a living example of the power of hope, we become catalysts for engaging that transformative force of hope in others around us. The hope that lives within us becomes a universal wave of hope based on our shared humanity that can lift society through our actions of caring, listening, loving and shared efforts toward common goals.

About Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience
“Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience” is a powerful guide of daily audio meditations voiced by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, co-produced by Harpo Studios and The Chopra Center, connecting members of its core community to the benefits of regularly practiced meditation. Select meditation series have been distributed in Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide and introduced at Omni Hotels & Resorts as part of their commitment to wellness. Via a 21-Day Mobile Companion App, the meditations are easily accessible from a mobile phone or tablet and available for download in iTunes and Google Play stores. Over seven million people from hundreds of countries around the globe have participated in past meditations, which include 13 series in total: Perfect Health; Miraculous Relationships; Desire and Destiny; Finding Your Flow; Expanding Your Happiness; Energy of Attraction: Manifesting Your Best Life; Manifesting True Success; Manifesting Grace through Gratitude; Become What You Believe; Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit: Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life, and Creating Peace From the Inside Out: The Power of Connection. Registration for the meditations are available for free, online at Oprah.com/meditation.

About Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P., Chairman of the Board of The Chopra Foundation and Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and co-Founder of Jiyo.com is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and global and personal transformation. Chopra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Researcher, Neurology and Psychiatry, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Executive Management at Northwestern, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University and Professor of Consciousness Studies at Sofia University. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.”

With more than 85 books, including twenty-four New York Times Bestsellers, his latest book “You Are The Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters”, became an instant New York Times Best Seller and Wall Street Journal Bestseller.

People’s Climate March

This information was provided by People’s Climate March & the Sierra Club.

In the wake of the Women’s Marches, activists have announced a major People’s Climate March on April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country. The effort is being organized by the coalition formed out of 2014’s People’s Climate March, which brought over 400,000 people to the streets of New York City and many more around the world.

The April 29th march comes in response to widespread outrage against President Trump’s disastrous anti-climate agenda – including his executive orders advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines – as well as his attacks on healthcare, immigrants, and programs and policies that improve the lives of all Americans. The event will cap off 100 days of action to fight Trump’s proposals to reverse climate action, dismantle our government and hand power over to the one percent.

Over 145 protests in local communities took place across the country in the first 100 hours of the Trump presidency, demonstrating widespread opposition to the administration’s anti-environment and corporate agenda as part of an ongoing campaign organized by the People’s Climate Movement.

The People’s Climate Movement grew out of the largest climate march in U.S. history in New York in September of 2014, creating a groundbreaking coalition of green and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups working to advance a climate agenda rooted in economic and racial justice.

With the 100 days of action and April march, this coalition will leverage their power once again, to resist the Trump administration and corporate leaders’ efforts to thwart or reverse progress towards a more just America.

Now more than ever, it will take everyone to change everything. So, the People’s Climate Movement is calling on everyone to join in resisting Trump, his crooked administration and the one percent who are running our country.

For more information on The People’s Climate Movement and the mobilization on April 29th, please visit: https://peoplesclimate.org/

Glens Falls Brewfest 2016

Guess who is finally back? Granted, my ass is dragging and my head is aching, but that’s a whole other post. For now I’m back and I bring you beer! That’s right, I went to Glens Falls Brewfest 2016!

Let me tell you people, this little lady drank! There were a bunch of hard ciders represented and I don’t care what anyone says, hard ciders are great. Despite their wide representation at the event I overheard more than one attendee say, oh, they just do cider, and walk away from a booth. That’s just more cider for the rest of us! This worked out great for me because it meant lots of hard ciders and short lines. Hard cider drinkers of the world unite! I guess I should tell you what I drank, huh?

Champlain Orchards Cidery – Vermont Hard Cider – Heirloom: This was refreshing because it wasn’t overly sweet. According to their website their Heirloom “is pressed, fermented, and crafted from old and new world cider varieties.” I could see serving this to people who like hard ciders but also wine drinkers.

Elf’s Farm – which is maybe also the Adirondack Cider Company, it was all very confusing – the cider itself was…..cider. It was good. I’d gladly drink it again, but other than the cute name of Elf’s Farm, it wasn’t a superstar.

Downeast Cider House – Cranberry Blend: Seriously, just drink it. Drink lots of it. The tartness of the cranberry combined with the sweetness of apple combined with booziness is what makes life worth living.

1911 Spirits – Ciders – Founders’ Reserve Hopped: I noticed an alarming trend of adding hops to hard ciders while at Brewfest. I am not a fan of hoppy beers and so at first I was quite concerned seeing ciders, now with HOPS! However, the addition of hops to this cider added no bitter after taste and I found it to be a pleasantly sweet sip.

Naked Flock Hudson Valley Hard Cider – Draft: What made me pick this one was that it’s fermented with Belgian Trappist Ale yeast and used maple syrup. I wish I could say that I was all like, man I can really sense that Trappist Ale yeast, but honestly, it was just a tasty hard cider.

Awestruck Ciders – Lavender Hops: This bad boy wins for originality and taste. A great balance of sweet and dry. The scent of lavender is pervasive and I’m not sure what lavender tastes like, but I think this cider tastes faintly of it, and that it tastes good! It was so unusual it took a few sips for me to definitely decide I liked it, but once I did, I was telling everyone I saw to give it a try. Delicious!

Just as an aside, McKenzie’s Hard Cider and Doc’s Draft Hard Cider were both in attendance as well, but I’ve tried both of their ciders before so I skipped them. They both make some tasty and pretty widely available hard ciders.

And yes, I did have a couple of beers too.

Smuttynose Brewing Company – Amber (?): At the event my husband jotted down that what we tried was called Amber. It was pretty great. Very smooth and a touch sweet up front with an almost too bitter for me finish, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m a hops wimp. When I go to Smuttynose’s website I can’t find “Amber”, so who knows what I really drank?

21st Amendment Brewery – Toaster Pastry – India-Style Red Ale: How can you resist a brewery called 21st Amendment? You can’t. This was good. I wish I had something intelligent to add but all I’ve got was, it tasted good and I liked it.

This other one I found rather amusing. I work in an office, so when I see Avery, I automatically think office supplies. In fact, I and my friends were sipping our Smuttynose beers making fun of a brewery that would call themselves Avery. “I can’t do it,” I told them, “I can’t drink a beer with the same name as an office supply company.” But then I was like, “How can I NOT?”

Avery Brewing Company – Joe’s Pils: I’m not ashamed to say I like Pilsners and I’ll be damned if Avery doesn’t make a fine one. My friends had one of their stouts and were pleasantly surprised that the office supply company did a good job there too. And thus ended the office supply company jokes and instead we admitted we would just have to be content with enjoying their beer.

I also have to give a shout out to the awesome hometown heroes of Shmaltz Brewing Company. They were at the event as well but there were only two of their brews I really wanted to try, because I haven’t yet, Slingshot (American Craft Lager) and She’brew (Triple IPA) and they didn’t have those with them. But they’re a great bunch of guys so I wanted to give them a shout out!

If that wasn’t enough, there was food! Sadly demand was greater than what most vendors brought so by the time we got over there everyone had packed up except for The Queensbury Hotel, from which I tried some great corn chowder and a soft pretzel stick, and SUNY Adirondack Culinary, who provided a taste of suckling pig with a cauliflower puree. Delicious!

Glens Falls Brewfest 2016 was a great event and I had a lot of fun. I’ll probably be going next year.

Think Before You Pink 2015

It’s October, which means it is time for me to tell you about this year’s Think Before You Pink campaign from Breast Cancer Action. This year’s campaign, “Poison Isn’t Pretty”, has been rubbing some people the wrong way but I’m hoping I can present it to you in a way that helps you understand their position and why I’m supporting “Poison Isn’t Pretty” and I hope you will too.

“Poison Isn’t Pretty” is calling out the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society for including cosmetic products containing harmful chemicals in kits they give to cancer patients through their “Look Good, Feel Better” program. The “Look Better, Feel Better” program provides free workshops, beauty tips, and complimentary makeup kits to women in cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Action IS NOT saying that the “Look Good, Feel Better” program is bad. What they are asking for is more responsibility from people who are helping women getting treated for cancer.

Many of the products offered to women in “Look Good, Feel Better” kits contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk, including parabens, Teflon, and formaldehyde releasers. Some of the chemicals in “Look Good, Feel Better” products may actually interfere with breast cancer treatment. The chemical methylparaben, for example, not only increases breast cancer risk by mimicking the hormone estrogen, it can also interfere with the common cancer drug Tamoxifen.

It seems that since the “Look Good, Feel Better” program is a charitable organization established by the Personal Care Products Council, which is described on their on their own website as “the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry”, that they should be able to ensure that the makeup kits given to cancer patients only contain cosmetics that are safe for use. I won’t even discuss that perhaps maybe us other ladies who enjoy makeup shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not our cosmetics are increasing our chances of cancer.

To sum up, the “Look Good, Feel Better” program is good, however stocking the makeup kits with potentially cancer causing cosmetics is bad. So let’s tell them that “Poison Isn’t Pretty”!

To learn more about the “Poison Isn’t Pretty” campaign, visit here.

Both the Personal Care Products Council and American Cancer Society responded to the “Poison Isn’t Pretty” campaign here.