Looks like a fox, Eats like a snake: The Guirivulu

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Occasionally I stumble across a creature that I want to discuss that but find very little information about it. Case in point, this month’s creature the guirivulu.

The guirivulu is a creature of folklore from South America, particularly Chile. It is generally described as having the body of a puma with the head of a fox. At the end of its tail is a large claw. The guirivulu lives in the deepest pools and rivers it can find. From there it is known to attack animals and humans alike. When it attacks, its giant mouth swallows the victim whole. As it goes down, the guirivulu’s body expands like a snake’s to accommodate its meal. For this reason it is sometimes known as the fox-snake, not to be confused with the two species of non-venomous rat snake, the eastern fox snake and the western fox snake.

That’s really about it. So why even mention it? Why not write about something that I could fill pages up with, like the Loch Ness Monster? (Or Champy for my Upstate New York peeps!) Why the guirivulu and its little blurb?

It is a matter of introduction. Sure, we all believe in fantastical creatures of our persuasion, for most of us that translates to dragons, unicorns, griffons, and the sort. For most of us, the idea of our personal mythologies including creatures that have a body like a puma, a head like a fox, and a tail with a giant claw that devours its victims like a snake would seems out of the question. Ridiculous. Now you know it’s out there. Some culture already went there and now thanks to reading that little blurb it’s yours now too.

Perhaps one of you will write the continuing story of the guirivulu for me to enjoy.

Maman Brijit: Loa of the Cemetery

Article by Matthew
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Maman Brijit is a Voodoo Loa who watches over the dead. She comes to us in the form of a corpse in a wedding dress; she tells bad dirty jokes and swears like a sailor. The reason for this is that being dead she doesn’t have to follow any of society’s rules, so it is very common to hear her and her family talk constantly about penis’ and other sexual organs.
But where does she come from?

Most of us know of Brigit, the Celtic goddess of smiths, healing and poetry however when the Scottish and Irish indentured servants were sent to Haiti they brought their legends and love of Brigit as well. As time went by, she eventually became absorbed into Voodoo as the wife of the Baron and the mother of the Ghede (the dead), and by all accounts she is very happy to be there!

We can call on her for just about any purpose; however, her specialty is reuniting the dead with the living, fertility and healing. She is known to save people from the brink of death at the very last moment, and removing curses just as the begin to go into effect, however, as with any loa, she will not do this just for fun – she requires payment!

How do you call upon Maman Brijit?

Go to your local cemetery and look for the first female grave. This may require some research, but it is well worth the effort. Bring a purple, black and a white candle with you (these are her favorite colors) along with some piman (raw rum with 21 hot peppers) if you can get it, otherwise plain rum or strong black coffee will work. She also likes roasted peanuts (unsalted), roasted corn, peppered bread and if you aren’t too squeamish her offerings tend to be a pair of doves. Sacrifice is not required though, she is happy with the legume offerings too. Maman Brijit also loves strong unfiltered cigarettes.

Erect a cross over the grave (sticks are fine) and make the veve you see at the head of this article in flour over the grave itself.

If you are not able to do this work in a graveyard, you can set a space in your house for her, but make sure it’s clean and free of clutter; set the cross against a wall and make the veve in front of it with the candles.
When the space is ready, light the candles and say a prayer to the most high god/dess. Traditionally this would be the Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostles Creed, but so long as you are addressing the Creator of the Universe you will do fine. Next you might want to ask your ancestors and dead loved ones to attend the ritual as well.

The Baron, Brijit and Ghede are interesting loa in that you do not need to call upon Papa Legba to open the gateway for you, you can just begin calling on them after your opening prayers. I would recommend not calling her into a circle though because she tends to be slightly claustrophobic – and its no fun playing host to a freaked out corpse!!

Here is a beautiful song that the Haitians sing to Maman Brijit:

(Haitian Creole)
Mesye la kwa avanse pou l we yo!
Maman Brigitte malad, li kouche sou do,
Pawol anpil pa leve le mo (les morts, Fr.)
Mare tet ou, mare vant ou, mare ren ou,
Yo prale we ki jan yap met a jenou.

Gentlemen of the cross (deceased ancestors) advance for her to see them!
Maman Brigitte is sick, she lies down on her back,
A lot of talk won’t raise the dead,
Tie up your head, tie up your belly, tie up your kidneys,
They will see how they will get down on their knees.

From http://members.aol.com/racine125/vleson2.html

Keep singing this song, maybe shaking a cha-cha, in a sing-song sort of way. When you begin to feel her presence say something like: “Maman Brijit, it is I who am calling you, do you see me? Look at this food and drink that I brought for you. Please eat them. This food and drink and smoke is for you Maman, please give me … “

Now continue to rattle the cha-cha and sing her songs, light a cigarette for her, puff but don’t smoke it; the cigarette belongs to her, and she might get upset if you eat, drink or smoke her offerings without asking permission.

When you are done, and you feel that the ceremony went well, you could do a tarot reading to see if she has any messages for you. Then simply thank her and say goodbye.

The magic of the loa tends to be subtle; you will go along with your life and not notice the results right away – which is why it would be a good idea to journal your experiences with Maman Brijit.

Matthew has traveled the world in search of magical knowledge..

Product Profile: Mission Studios

Inspired Sculptures from Mission Studios

We have traveled around the world, inspired by what humans have created in celebration of God.

In our travels we have collected sculptures that were representative of various faith traditions. These pieces were the original inspiration for our interfaith catalog. We delighted in the variety of these many cultures, but mostly we were touched by the common threads of Divine Guidance and Compassion evident in so–called primitive art as well as masterpieces.

Combining our various artistic and technical skills, we developed Mission Studios’ growing collection of fine sculptures. We start each sculpture at a larger size and then miniaturize them with an invention we received in prayer. The final pieces are then individually cast by hand, antiqued and polished, by our family of artisans in Oregon.

Our ivory substitute is warm to the touch and very durable, it is also environmentally friendly. Our sculptures, like fine ivory, should be protected from direct heat and sunlight. They can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Try adding a drop of aromatic oil on the porous backs!

We wish that our museum quality sculptures will serve as daily reminders of Divine Love in a world that may sometimes seem overwhelming. We are grateful for this opportunity!

Ann, Robin and Paul

Visit our web gallery of photos and stories at www.inspiredsculptures.com
Email ann@inspiredsculptures.com
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Ten Questions with Cari Stone

1. All right, how did you get on the radio?
I contacted Lou Gentile in an email telling him how much I enjoyed his paranormal talk show. And if he needed any talk show hosts to please let me know. He contacted me a week later and here I am. I did have a background in radio broadcasting, I went to school in the summer of 2001, and graduated Madison Media Institute in the spring of 2002. I did have on air experience at a Madison radio station. I produced a political talk show as well.

2. Why choose to discuss the paranormal?
Why not? I have always been fascinated by the paranormal. I love listening to the investigators and non-fiction writers stories.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about how your shows are put together?
I contact the individual or individuals I want as my guest, schedule them. I call them 5 minutes before the show starts we discuss a bit about what will be said on the show. I ask what do you want to speak about? What don’t you feel comfortable speaking about? And then away we go!

4. Aside from me (Rebecca), who has been your favorite guest and why?
Lorraine Warren, and Lou Gentile have been my absolute favorite guests. I have so much respect for both of them. Lorraine Warren is the Queen of the paranormal field. Lou Gentile is a wealth of knowledge, and he tells it like it is.

5. What has been the most bizarre topic discussed on your show?
That would be whatever was discussed when Rebecca Elson was on the show.

6. So, with you being a celebrity and all, are you constantly hounded by hot male groupies?
Hot males, no! And we will leave it at that.

7. I know you have strong feelings about Ouija boards, want to share your thoughts with our readers?
I just want kids and adults to be educated about what they are really playing with when you play with a Ouija board. You don’t know where the information is coming from and it is a door that can allow negative entities to come through. I’m not saying something negative will come through every time. But it is a possibility.

8. What is the XX Factor?
The XX Factor is The 1st Annual Prominent Women Of The Paranormal Conference. Juli Velazques is the Founder of The XX Factor and she has asked me to be he host of the event. It is a celebration of women in the paranormal field. Juli wants to recognize the outstanding women of the paranormal community. It will be held June 13th thru the 15th, 3008 in Alton, IL. Everyone is welcome and no you don’t have to be a paranormal investigator to come and join in the fun. To find out more about The XX Factor go to www.myspace.com/thexxfactor.com

9. If you could have anyone living or deceased as a guest on your show, whom would you choose?

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question?
What is your favorite paranormal talk show?

The Cari Stone Show, and that’s not a suck up answer, it’s the truth. Cari has a wicked sense of humor and lots of strong opinions. I may not always agree with her opinions, but I always enjoy listening. Love ya!

Cari Stone is always being asked how did she become a paranormal talk show host. The answer to this question is simple…Ms. Stone wrote an email to Lou Gentile telling him what a great job he was doing and that she really enjoyed his show. Cari added at the end of my message if you need any new talk show hosts please let me know. Cari Stone went to Madison Media Institute, in Madison, WI. for radio. Cari graduated in 2001 with a diploma in radio broadcasting. Lou Gentile called Cari a week later and left a message on her cell phone. Cari was so excited, she couldn’t believe he would take time to actually respond back to her! While Lou and Cari were planning a weekend talk show for her Lou Gentile had an industrial accident and was seriously hurt. Lou needed someone to step in and help with the show. Cari was lucky enough to be the one he asked and the rest is history.

Profile: The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca

Text provided by The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca Western Washington state’s oldest, friendliest open attendance Interfaith church of Wicca and earth Religions. We are family friendly and welcome seekers on all Pagan paths and people of all orientations, ages and beliefs. We’ve been here for over twenty five years while others have come and gone. We must be doing something right! Come, worship with us, eat with us, meet new friends. Ask us about SpiralScouts, the ATC’s alternative to mainstream scouting programs that has become world-wide in just a few years.

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, the “ATC,’ or sometimes just “The Tab” is the creation of Pete Pathfinder Davis, who serves as Archpriest along with Deborah K. Hudson, who is Archpriestess of the tradition worldwide. ATC is based on English Traditional Wicca, with a focus of serving the larger Pagan communities by providing open worship opportunities to the public, education, interfaith liaison, and in general, providing the infrastructure available to the followers of most faiths, but previously just not available to Wiccans and Pagans. Things like major Sabbat festivals, full and new moon worship, a place to gather, a lending library, and many other services associated with faith communities.

This all started on October 31 of 1979, when Pete and a few friends decided to form a formal church organization, and established the ATC. It was their intention to establish a quiet place in the countryside outside of Seattle where Wiccans and Pagans could gather for worship without being hassled by ignorant neighbors or suspicious authorities who did not understand their benevolent nature worship practices. The “Tab,” where the church facilities are located, is about 50 miles from downtown Seattle, in the Cascade mountains of Washington, on the banks of the Skykomish river, one of the nation’s last “wild rivers.” Less than a mile away, two twin peaks, Mt. Index and Mt. Persis rise 5,000 feet above the river valley floor. Bald eagles and ospreys nest nearby and soar in the rising wind currents from the nearby hills and mountains. It is truly a natural site in every sense. Out to the rear of the main church building that houses the library, office, kitchen and dining areas, is the MoonStone Circle, the actual place of worship.

The MoonStone Circle is a circle of tall standing menhirs or stones, on a small rise within a stand of old stately cedar trees. This circle was constructed by Seattle area Pagans over a period of two years, using slabs of local granite found along an 1,800 foot high cliff that defines the northern edge of the valley. The circle was dedicated in the evening of December 29th, 1984, in a blinding snow storm. The area was blanketed in new snowfall, and illuminated by literally hundreds of candle stubs, set in the snow. The boughs of the cedars were bending low in their white mantle. The circle dedication was performed by 29 Pagans, some of whom had driven from as far away as eastern Washington, Oregon and Canada. Everyone there had a part in the ceremony. It was a memorable occasion on several counts (it was 2 days before the cars could be dug out of the snow and people could make their return trip home!)

With the participation of many like-minded Pagans, the ATC grew and flourished. Most noticeable was the absence of the customary frictions and infighting common to many Pagan enterprises, to the puzzlement of many observers. Later, we discovered it was due to the fact that we did not define ourselves by who we would not let join in. From the very beginning, ATC was an open attendance Pagan group, where anyone who wanted to attend could, without the usual need for someone to “vouch” for them. Everyone was given a chance to have their say, their ten minutes on the soap box to present their ideas. Certainly, not everyone agreed with everything said, but ATC soon became known as a “safe place” for everyone and their ideas, conventional or non conventional. We believe it is that original concept of Pete’s that is the major force in building the resulting community that ATC has become.

The ATC is a hierarchic organization, though you’d seldom notice that from the way things are done. There is a large core group of about 40 people who are deeply immersed in the activities, outreaches and events of the church, and an overall membership in the Pacific Northwest of in excess of 300. The Archpriestess and Archpriest oversee the overall activities of the church, both locally and on an international basis, through Archpriestesses and Archpriests of the church in each foreign nation where ATC has an official presence (ATC has recognition as a legal church tradition from the governments of USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and South Africa at the moment. France does not recognize any church.). The Archpriesthood works with an advisory group, the Red Cord Council (or just “the Board”) and virtually all decisions are arrived at through discussion and compromise in the best interests of the mission of the church, by consensus. Rarely, if ever, has a vote been taken on anything. The Archpriesthood, however, retains the right of veto if they believe an action is not in the long run going to be in the best interests of the church or Paganism in general.

Annually at the Hekate’s Sickle Festival held each Samh’ain, the efforts of the members of the church are recognized by the awarding of beads for their cords, each bead having a particular significance. While every member is considered a priestess or priest, to be ATC clergy, one must attend a 4 year college level seminary program culminating in the award of a Bachelor of Ministry degree from our own Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, with recognized religious education status by the Higher Education Coordinating Board of state of Washington. The Seminary also has Masters’ and Doctorate programs available. ATC does not intend to try to tell anyone how they should conduct their own clergy training, but we are fully committed to the professionalization of the clergy of our own tradition if they are to undertake matters as serious and delicate as pastoral counseling in the areas of life strategies, marital problems, and psychological and childhood trauma.

This is just a basic outline of the ATC’s history and accomplishments. No less than noted author Raymond Buckland, the man credited with bringing Gardnerian Wicca to the shores of the USA, has said in his encyclopedic Witch Book “…the ATC has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the most respected Wiccan institutions in the country, if not the world.”

A Chronological History of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (as of March, 2002)

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church was founded by Pierre C. Davis (aka Pete Pathfinder Davis) on Nov. 1, 1979 in Index, Washington. Davis, born in Jersey City, N.J. on March 22nd, 1937, the second son of Joseph A. Davis, a Catholic, and Adele Claveloux Davis, a self-proclaimed Pagan at a time when there was not yet a Pagan movement (1940s) visible in the United States. While “Pete” was and remains the major moving force behind the church, the ATC is not about him personally, but has become something much larger, standing on its own as a leading force in Paganism today. The ATC continues to be based in Index, Washington where ATC erected the MoonStone Circle, an outdoor circle of tall standing stones in a grove of tall old cedar trees behind the church buildings. This worship site was dedicated and consecrated on Dec. 29, 1984 by 29 Wiccans who arrived there for the ceremony from three states, during a blinding blizzard strength snowstorm.

Davis had received his first initiation into the craft on the 14th. of August, 1974, in Patterson, New Jersey, into a small, closed and very secretive tradition known as the Dorpat tradition. He was subsequently initiated into the Kingstone branch of English Traditional Wicca on the 21st. of September, 1983, after relocating to Seattle, Washington. Although it was his intention only to establish a small Wiccan retreat in the mountains near Seattle for local area Pagans to worship unmolested, it quickly became his objective to establish a Wiccan church with the recognition of the federal government, tax exempt status, to gain tolerance if not acceptance by the local mainstream religious bodies. The Goddess, however, had a much larger view and the ATC received governmental recognition in the USA on November 12, 1988 and subsequently gained IRS Group Exemption umbrella recognition as a Wiccan tradition on Dec. 30th., 1991. Any congregation that ATC accepts as an affiliated group in the U.S. receives automatic recognition as a tax exempt church through this Group Exemption.

The ATC went on to receive recognition in Canada Nov. 15th., 1993, and was registered and recognized in 1994 in the country of Australia through its’ affiliate there (which received its original recognition in 1984). The church was established in Ireland by Janet and Stewart Farrar on Feb. 24th., 1999, and subsequently received governmental recognition there as the first (and only) officially Wiccan/Pagan church in Ireland through the efforts of Rev Barbara Lauderdale, presiding elder, in October of 2001. The ATC has also been recognized by the government of South Africa in August of 1998. The ATC maintains a presence in France since April 24, 1999, but France does not officially recognize any church organizations, not even Catholicism, and recently has enacted restrictive laws against all minority religions. Recognition is in process in New Zealand at this writing.

There have been a number of “firsts” in the history of the ATC. In March of 1985, as a result of Davis’ being retained by the Washington State Attorney General as an expert witness to enlighten the Federal Court in Tacoma, WA. about the tenets of the religion of Wicca in a lawsuit brought by a prisoner, Wicca became acknowledged by the Department of Corrections as a religion worthy of recognition for inmates to practice. Shortly thereafter, Wicca appeared in the department’s first edition of “Handbook of Religious Beliefs and Practices” published for institutional chaplains.

In 1992, the ATC was accepted as the coordinating agency for the appointment of Wiccan delegates to the Interfaith Council of Washington (state), and in 1992, Rev. Pete Davis was unanimously elected as the president of the Interfaith Council of Washington. He served two terms, being unanimously reelected at the end of his first term. (So totally unheard of, this has to be a “first” for a Wiccan priest or priestess anywhere in the known universe!)

On April 7th of 1994, the ATC, through its in-house publishing effort then known as Pathfinder Press, issued the first of several mass-produced Pagan tracts (or, more correctly, anti-tracts) intended to educate as well as take some pokes at the fundamentalist Christian tracts published by the Jack T. Chick Publishing Co. of Chino, CA. ATC’s tracts, “The Other People” and “Heathens Idolize School Prayer” were published as parodies of Chick tracts, in the exact same format and appearance as Chick, with the same purpose in mind.

In October of 2001, the first outdoor Circle of tall standing stones was erected within the confines of the Twin Rivers Correctional Facility as a place of Wiccan worship. To our knowledge, there exists no other state sanctioned Wiccan outdoor stone circle intended for inmate worship anywhere in the world.

On April 2nd, 2001 ATC incorporated formally a young people’s nature lore and woodcraft program which had been begun in 1999 only as a local activity for the mother church. Because of the demand for some alternative to the Boy Scouts of America’s gender biased, and in some areas its pervasively fundamentalist Christian programs, “SpiralScouts” was launched as an international organization. SpiralScouts (note it is one word) was developed through an Internet on-line committee of slightly more than 500 participants, presaging its phenomenal acceptance and growth in the Pagan community worldwide. The program was created in such a fashion as to allow its use by any minority faith (or no faith at all) based group as a vehicle to educate children in a particular tradition. The program is adaptable to any non hostile religious community. As of July of 2004, in the months since SpiralScouts “went public,” there are over 100 chartered SpiralScouts groups in the US and Canada. The program continues to grow rapidly. (see WWW.SpiralScouts.org)

Established in April of 1998, the ATC’s Woolston-Steen Wiccan Theological Seminary received authorization from the Washington State Dept. of Higher Education’s Degree Authorization Board to issue academic degrees in Wiccan Ministry in August of 2000 under the agency’s religious exemption regulations. This seminary appears to this writing to be the only Wiccan educational effort to be granted an Internet identifier ending in (dot) edu. (see www.WiccanSeminary.edu).

Chronology: WebCrafter’s Note: The following chronology describes much of Pete’s life and accomplishments, and he expressed his concern over it looking like a “Pete Davis Dog and Pony Show”. It is my contention that without the energy and vision of this one man, the ATC might never have been started in the first place, and certainly would not have grown to the size it is now, or would have accomplished even half as much. The members and clergy of the ATC should look upon this chronology as an example of what a serious minded Pagan can accomplish if he or she puts aside his or her own self-imposed limitations, and just does what is right.

March 22, 1937- Pierre C. “Pete Pathfinder” Davis born in Jersey City, N.J..

August 14, 1974- Davis first initiated into Wicca in New Jersey.

August 1, 1976- Davis and his family relocate to Seattle area from New Jersey

November 1, 1979- Davis starts the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Index, WA.

September 21, 1983- Davis initiated into the Kingstone tradition of Wicca in Seattle, Wa.

Summer of 1984- Davis and friends build a circle of standing stones in a forest grove.

December 29, 1984- The Moonstone Circle is dedicated in Index, WA. Summer,

1985- The ATC tradition liturgy is formalized and written down.

March, 1985- Davis hired by Washington Attorney General as an expert on Wicca in a federal civil rights court case brought by a prisoner. The prisoner prevails.

March, 1985- ATC’s first Spring Elusinian Mysteries Festival is held.

December, 1985- Wicca is listed as an accepted religion by the Washington Dept. of Corrections’ publication, “Chaplains’ Handbook of Religious Beliefs and Practices (1985)” in an entry written by Davis.

November 12, 1988- ATC receives IRS Letter of Determination of tax exempt status.

March 1990- ATC appointed the coordinating Agency for Wiccan and Pagan religion members by the Interfaith Council of Washington State.

May, 1991- ATC decides to expand into a nationwide tradition.

December 30, 1991- ATC receives IRS Group Exemption as a Wiccan church tradition.

January, 1992- Davis is first Wiccan Priest ever to be listed in Marquis’ “Who’sWho in Religion.”

March, 1992- Davis unanimously elected president of the Interfaith Council Of Washington State.

November 15, 1993- ATC-Canada receives official registration in Canada.

January 31, 1994- Church Of Wicca of Australia-ATC receives tax exemption in Australia.

March 1994- Davis unanimously reelected president ICOW.

April 7, 1994- ATC published “The Other People,” the first Wiccan anti-tract.

September, 1995- ATC’s Spirit Series of publicly offered Wiccan classes begins.

September, 1996- “Heathens Idolize School Prayer,” the second anti-tract, is released.

April 23, 1997- MoonStone Circle at church is vandalized; attacker confesses but is never prosecuted.

August 27, 1997- ATC is the first Wiccan/Pagan organization to apply to Veterans Administration for approval of the Pentacle as a religious symbol for use on government supplied headstones and markers for deceased veterans, beginning an eight year long battle to have Wicca and Paganism recognized by the VA.

August, 1998- ATC-South Africa is established and recognized.

April, 1998- The Woolston-Steen Wiccan Theological Seminary established.

February 24, 1999- ATC-Eire established by Janet & Stewart Farrar in Ireland.

April 24, 1999- ATC established a presence in religiously hostile France.

February, 2001- Ray Snyder, ATC representative to The Interfaith Association of Snohomish County (WA) was elected president of that organization.

June, 2000- Woolston-Steen Seminary recognized as a degree granting religious college level education institution by the State of Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board.

April 2, 2001- SpiralScouts International established as a Wiccan youth group.

October 1, 2001- ATC-Eire receives notice of official registration as the first tax exempt Wiccan church recognized by the Irish government.

October, 2001- ATC facilitates the construction by Wiccan inmates of the first worship ring of standing stones within the confines of the Washington Twin Rivers Correctional Center prison at Monroe, Washington.

October 31, 2004- the ATC celebrates its 25th anniversary as a public Wiccan church.

March 2005- ATC celebrates the 20th continuous presentation of ATC’s world renowned Spring Mysteries festival, the recreation of the Elusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece.

In the words of Pete Pathfinder Davis, ATC founder & Archpriest: “Never Forget that life is a journey, not a destination. You will never build a reputation on what you are going to do, and unfortunately, it’s never too late to do nothing. Only those who can see the invisible can accomplish the impossible, so go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, right now! If you can dream it, you can do it, so do the things you think you cannot do. Luck is nothing more than good planning, carefully executed. Wisdom is knowing what comes next, and knowing just when to jump off the swing. You are only young once, but if you don’t pay attention to life’s lessons, you will be immature forever.”

To learn more visit: www.aquatabch.org

Toil and Trouble? The Cauldron

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

In “Symbols and Their Meanings” Jack Tressidder says this of cauldrons, “The cauldron’s ancient links with magic probably originated with its capacity to produce surprising quantities of food and to turn everyday nourishing materials into gastronomic marvels.” Anyone who has had stew made from leftovers knows that “gastronomic marvels” may be an exaggeration, but in this modern era, it’s easy to forget that this now seemingly magical tool was once a cook’s beast of burden.

So, in the beginning there was a big ole’ pot. Boy, who would have known where it would end up! The cauldron has turned up in the tales of the Greeks (where under the advisement of Medea, King Pelias’ daughters chopped him up and put him in a cauldron in an attempt to rejuvenate him) and the Celts (for instance Undry, the life-giving cauldron and prized possession of Dagda). Also, who hasn’t heard “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble”? It’s various cameo and starring roles in all these tales lent a certain mythology to the once simple pot.

The cauldron can represent plenty, transformation, and rebirth. With the stories of saints boiling in cauldrons, it can also be viewed as a tool of torture. Thus, the cauldron can also symbolize punishment, trial, and initiation. Perhaps it’s these symbolic seeds that have helped the cauldron blossom into it’s best known modern day association…Wicca and witchcraft.

Cauldrons are a common tool/ritual item for Wiccans and other magic practitioners. This once huge metal pot, is now much smaller in size. It’s size is better suited for the modern user, who wants a cauldron for its symbolism and capability for brewing small quantities of potions. You know, we all have crock pots for stew these days!

The cauldron is viewed as the womb of the Goddess and many times takes a central symbolic place amongst a circle of Wiccans or Goddess worshippers. For the knowledgeable magic practitioner the cauldron can be a scrying tool when filled with water. It holds and burns incense or candles. Many burn requests in their cauldrons as well.

Here’s Rebecca’s cauldron, forlorn and dusty from neglect.

Feasting on the Unique Qualities of Maritess Zurbano, Starrfire Price and Rebecca

by Rose Rosetree

Talk about delicious dining! Using deeper perception to read people turns any interaction into one of the greatest feasts on the planet. Be my buffet guest as I read three faces that may already be familiar to you. Then we will enter into an even more sumptuous area of the banquet hall, using a technique I teach for doing an empathic merge into their auras.

Not to eat behind anyone’s back, as it were, each volunteer to be read in this article will append her reaction to what I’ve written. You’re also invited to contribute. To speak up at our perception buffet, send your comments by email to Rebecca@The Magical Buffet [relson@themagicalbuffet.com].

My system of physiognomy updates a 5,000 year-old art. Everything about the physical face except coloring becomes meaningful. Reading our magical crew in this article, I’ll read three physical characteristics each. After describing the face data, I’ll summarize a corresponding talent, also a life lesson. The latter is listed with a question mark. Was the challenge overcome or not? Ask the face owner. And that could mean you, if you share similar face data. So I recommend that you read this part of my article with mirror in hand.

Before munching away, click on these links if you’d like to learn more about the outrageous, heart-opening art of Face Reading Secrets (R)

Maritess Zurbano
Maritess Zurbano redefines the traditional rabbit-out-of-the-hat magic show with enthralling illusions and play-with-your-mind feats of mentalism. Forget balloon animals, vapid-minded female assistants, bad jokes and showy Vegas acts, The Amazing Maritess tackles the male-dominated world of magical feats and shows what a Filipina-American from the Chicago suburbs can accomplish.As the only female Asian Mentalist in history, and one of the few professional female magicians in the world, Maritess combines dramatic monologue with internationally award-winning sleight-of-hand, mind reading and illusions.Maritess Zurbano has performed at every major casino in Las Vegas, and toured with her illusion show throughout Asia and Europe. She was nominated for competition in the Federacion Internacionale Des Societe Magique 2000, considered the Olympics of magic. Jane magazine, NHK Japan, Lifetime Television, VH1, Yolk Magazine, The Philippine News, and NYC Newsday love her show.Visit her Website at www.maritess.com.

UP-ANGLED EYEBROWS have the outer corner higher than the inner corner.

The talent: Expect Maritess to understand the very latest. Whatever her interests, she’s plugged into the zeitgeist and will quickly appreciate the latest developments in her field. That could include pioneering those developments herself.

The potential challenge: “Goddess, spare me this old fogy!” Patience may be limited when Maritess deals with those who refuse to change with the times.

PRIORITY AREA 2 is the longest of three facial areas for Maritess. Area I goes from hairline to eyebrow. Area 2 reaches from eyebrow to bottom of the nose. Area 3 extends from bottom of the nose to the chin.

The talent: Priority areas reveal the initial impact of someone’s personality. Despite the distinctly alluring pose in her photo, I suspect that Maritess cares a great deal about success. Ambition runs deep. And she not only wants to make a significant contribution through her work. She wants to be credited.

The potential challenge: American women aren’t generally thanked for letting their ambitions show. Finding an acceptable way to pursue her ambitions—that’s the challenge with Maritess’ extra long Area 2.

ANGLED CHIN BOTTOM means a triangular shape at the end of the chin, in contrast to the more common curve. Even straight chin bottoms are more common than what shows here with Maritess.

The talent: A will of iron is employed for making decisions. Sure, Maritess has plenty of soft, sensitive qualities elsewhere in her face. But here is where push comes to shove, and I pity the poor fool who would try bossing her around.

The potential challenge: It may be tempting to do things just to show others, as in “If they don’t think I will do this, watch out. (Even if, inside, I don’t particularly want to do this.)”

A Highlight of Her Aura:
At the root chakra, Maritess shows an extraordinary ability to connect with the elements and with Mother Earth Herself. Courage is part of the mix. Maritess has clearly come through more than the normal share of obstacles, real-life material challenges. By choosing to grow strong, rather than becoming a victim, Maritess has gained power. Also, it is clear that her priestess qualities came in with her in this lifetime.

Maritess Comments:
“Wow, it’s all pretty accurate. She did a great and thorough job. Very professional and detail oriented, pointing to specifics on the face and elaborating on how that translates into a reading. Her writing is entertaining and she managed to read me in a way that captured not only my outlook, but my personality, which was pretty amazing.” Maritess Zurbano

Starrfire Price
Starrfire Price is the author of The Journey Into Witchcraft: Labyrinth, (www.journey.witchesway.net) web mistress of The Witches Way (www.witchesway.net) and its community driven sister-site The Witches Way Member’s Community (www.members.witchesway.net). She is also the founder of the group, Witches of The World Coven, currently home to over 900 members worldwide. Starrfire is co-owner, alongside her fiancé and fellow author, Hieros, of The Magical Agora (www.magicalagora.com), An affordable marketplace for the mystical soul. She also works as the VP of Marketing, Promotions & Author Relations, as well an editor for the publishing corporation, Alexandrian Archives, Inc. (www.alexandrianarchivespub.com & www.alexandrianhouse.com).
Starrfire, is an active public figure in the Occult, Witchcraft, Pagan Community. Appearances include news, print media, television, radio and public appearances.
Starr is an active supporter of Pagan Troop Support (www.pagantroopsupport.org) and various other groups. Outside of writing, she has been a professional web & graphic designer for the past ten years, actively works with several paranormal groups as a spirit communicator, former Senior VP of a corporate housing firm and former CEO/Founder of a metaphysical genre traditional publishing corporation (2003-2005).
Starrfire is a proud mother of three teen boys (ages 19, 17, 14) and a daughter (9). She resides quietly by the water in the beautiful state of Michigan with the love of her life Hieros.

Starrfire’s comments appear in bold and italics below Rose’s readings

LOWBROWS are eyebrows positioned so close to the eyes, they nearly fall in.
The talent: Spontaneity could be Starr’s middle name. Blurting things out puts her in her power.

SP: I am very well known for blurting things out (probably not considered a talent to some…lol), so I feel that this is very accurate

The potential challenge: If Starrfire tries to please people by reigning in her natural verve, she will really stifle herself. Given the body language in our photo, I suspect that she has overcome this challenge.

SP: I agree with this potential challenge and many years ago I learned the lesson of this challenge. I do love to help people but I will not be someone that I am not in order to do that or have friends. That lesson I learned long ago… I am very comfortable with just being myself around people and have always found myself gravitating towards people who are real, as well as comfortable with themselves. You cannot please everyone all of the time and if you try you’ll only waste a lot of time and energy on something that is impossible to do in the first place… The beauty of people is that we are all unique and possess different qualities. Always be yourself because that’s where your beauty resides…

LARGE, ROUND NOSTRILS—yes, physiognomists intrepidly check out a part of the face that is often taboo. And when you know what nostrils can tell you, probably you’ll also stare at them often as you can.

Those breathing holes on Starrfire count as “large” when you can see them clearly while looking on the level. Shapes of nostrils vary more than you might suppose. Just follow the visible edge to tell if a nostril is rectangular, flared, triangular or round. A round one makes a shadow shaped like a coin.

The talent: The combination of size and shape reveals a person’s most comfortable relationship to spending. And I’ll go on record by admiring Starrfire’s prosperity consciousness. Money flows through her, rather than being something to hoard. As I noted in my how-to book, The Power of Face Reading, people with large, round nostrils are the biggest spenders on earth.

SP: This is very interesting, I admit I do indeed like to spend money and I find far more enjoyment spending it on other people and the projects that I believe in. I am definitely not one who hoards money so once again, I find myself rather amazed at what one’s face says about them.

The potential challenge: Well, yes, could there be some not-so-great consequences to being among the biggest spenders on earth?

SP: There are definitely challenges with having a giving nature when it comes to money; one being to acknowledge that gut kicking instinct when you’re being taken advantage of. As that has been a rather large challenge and I have indeed been taken advantage of for my obvious giving nature even in the not so far off past. Though, I have learned over the years that it’s good to be money conscious, though it’s equally good to be giving. Hopefully there is a balance in there somewhere.

SEX GODDESS CHIN is my fancy terminology for a chin that is both broad, short, and curved.

The talent: For 5,000 years, physiognomists have noted that people with such chins are exceptional lovers. How they did their research, I don’t know. 😉

SP: Oh Gods, I’m not sure what to say about this but hopefully my fiancé, Hieros agrees….lol

The potential challenge: Wherever Starrfire goes, whatever the context, will sex be part of the conversation? Even without her sending out come-hither vibes, will she have to deal with people paying attention?

SP: I will admit I have faced this challenge before with people which has led to some rather embarrassing situations as I have glistened them with my previously explored “blurting things out” talent… while giving them the “deer in the headlights look” along with the “have you lost your mind” type comments…lol Though, this does not happen that often as I do think and hope that many people acknowledge my purpose of helping others on their journey.

A Highlight of Her Aura:

At the third eye chakra, you’ll find a dramatic contrast to the earthy playfulness that Starr projects in her photo. To move into her spiritual experience to enter an experience of hush, imbued with a pristine sense of the sacred. Playful though Starr clearly is, even right out on the surface of her photo, she shifts gears dramatically when moving into spiritual mode.

The simplest comparison is to the trance state you may have noticed when someone (you, for instance) becomes seriously sexually turned on. Instantly (temporarily) off go the usual thinking circuits, interests, and projection of personality. Just as sexual space is a radically different space, so too with the pursuit of religion. The potential is there for everyone, though usually un-activated.

For Starr, however, spirituality is the ultimate turn-on. It is as though time stops. She moves through into a realm of right, where peace prevails, power is as natural as breath, and she is at one with what is.

SP: Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very playful, I love to laugh and I thoroughly enjoy people. This part of the reading definitely hits the nail on the head when it comes to the shift that occurs from my light hearted side into my sacred time. My spirituality, my Gods and my guides have been my life for so very long. The time I spend in the ether realms has been the most aweing experiences of my life. In that place, there is no time restraints, no hindrances and so many awakenings that take place in these journeys. I indeed find so much peace and knowledge in the many experiences I have been blessed with. My life is about sharing the beauty and understanding that comes from finding this place and my desire to share that will never change. I truly want everyone to experience the mystery and the awakenings that come from walking hand-in-hand with our deities while exploring and learning from the many, beautiful mysterious places and beings that reside within the veil, some call the ether or the astral. My spirituality and my Gods have been with me through everything both good and bad, they are my life and the fuel that ignites this flame within me. I will work until the day I leave this place once again to assure I have given them all I have to help bring understanding back into the world. Magic is everywhere all you have to do is open your eyes to see it.

Starrfire Comments:
I cannot express my thanks enough to The Magical Buffet and to Rose Rosetree for asking me to be a part of this wonderful article. May the Gods guide you always on this journey of spirituality and magic. This is an absolutely amazing ancient technique that I will surely learn more about after seeing this reading.

Rebecca Elson

Rebecca Elson is the Publisher of the online magazine The Magical Buffet. The very thing you are currently reading. Rebecca devotes too much time to blogs for the Buffet website, too little time to cleaning her apartment, and just the right amount of time to reading celebrity gossip. She is an outspoken advocate for First Amendment rights and hopes, when reincarnated, in her next life she’ll be Maritess Zurbano.

NARROW NOSE—You can easily see the central bone down the length of Rebecca’s beautiful nose.

The talent: At work, she must do things her way. Highly independent, she’s self-motivated. And she’ll be most productive, I wager, when she’s the boss.

The potential challenge: Rebecca, when was the last time you had a job working for a micro-manager? Was that “job hell” or what?

BLARNEY LIPS is an expression coined by my colleague, Lailan Young, for lip proportions like Rebecca’s. Yes, Lailan may have minted the term just for you, personally, Rebecca. But the term of art will also apply to any reader whose lower lip is at least twice as full as the upper lip. For you, Rebecca, that’s about five times as full, making this a VERY trait, inwardly extreme in keeping with the outward intensity.

The talent: Persuasive communication is your thing. You could sell ice to Eskimos. And if anyone could persuade earnest fundamentalists that the Magical Buffet is as sacred as a communion table, that would be you, Sweetie!

The potential challenge: What are you going to do with all that extreme communication talent? How are you going to balance it with the rest of your life? You’re like the singer born with a huge voice that could fill the opera hall. It’s a neat trick, learning to modulate that voice when involved in everyday conversation.

Having a DIMINUTIVE CHIN is a matter of proportion. Notice how delicate and petite that chin is, compared to the rest of Rebecca’s face.

The talent: Ethical values couldn’t be stronger. I think it matters enormously to you that you truly walk your talk.

The potential challenge: With standards like these, could you be wired for guilt? Repeat after me (especially since I have the same chin characteristic): “No self-criticism, please.”

A Highlight of Her Aura:

This is some throat chakra. As a communicator, Rebecca is in her glory. The wry, offbeat sense of humor is uppermost. Her courage verges on defiance. You’ll also find verve—an authentic and distinctive way of communicating, regardless of the method, be it talking, writing, or any other art form Rebecca uses.

A BIG, powerful talent bounces out of this part of her aura. And if you’ve noticed that this parallels the most extreme thing about Rebecca’s face, described above, that’s no coincidence. Auras are one hologram of the soul, faces another.

Rebecca Comments:
Yes Rose, I am wired for guilt and big on self-criticism, you caught me. In fact it feeds very nicely into the “it matters enormously to you that you truly walk your talk.” Thanks for bringing that up. I’m going to be sure to tell my prison psychologist about this little experiment one day.

In regards to most of your other points, I have to say they seem very accurate. Although I’m not very comfortable talking about my strengths, my skills with people far surpass any other talents I may possess. Your reading was incredibly flattering and I had to read it several times before I could do so without blushing.

About Rose Rosetree

Rose will offer an Aura Reading Intensive this May, using her distinctive method of Aura Reading Through All Your Senses™. She has over 100,000 books in print, including “The Power of Face Reading,” and “Empowered by Empathy.” One title has become a bestseller in Germany; in America, two were selections of One Spirit Book Club.

At Rose Rosetree’s website, you’ll also find free articles, FAQs, and practical ways to use Deeper Perception to make life better. Sign up for “Read Life Deeper,” her free monthly zine with face and aura readings of people in the news, at www.rose-rosetree.com.

You can order Rose’s books at www.rose-rosetree.com or call toll-free 800-345-6665. To arrange an interview or an appointment for a personal session, call 703-450-9514 or email mitch@rose-rosetree.com.

The Malaysian Conundrum

On Wednesday May 30, 2007 Malaysia’s highest court ruled that they did not have the authority to help Lina Joy, a Malay Muslim, officially convert to Christianity and have that change reflected on her National Identity Card.   Depending on what you know about the Malaysian Constitution and their judicial system, this may or may not surprise you.  Obviously, I found it distressing.  When I then learned that Article 11, clause 1, of the Malaysian Constitution states, “Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause 4, to propagate it.” I grew more confused.  I should also mention that Article 3, clause 1, is “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”  So why is Lina Joy screwed?  Welcome to the nightmare of the Malaysian Constitution butting heads with the Malaysian judicial system, and religion.
“This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of inconsistency, be void,” Article 4, clause 1, the Malaysian Constitution.  Of course, the Malaysian Constitution is enough to make the average person bash their head against the wall, or maybe that was just me.  The Constitution became official in 1957 and has been amended approximately 42 times up through 2005.  The wrinkle is that every batch of amendments only counts as one, regardless of how many changes were actually made each time the Constitution was amended.  Thus, some scholars estimate that the true number of amendments has been more like 650.  Ouchie.  To help with your perspective, the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, takes up roughly nineteen 81/2×11 pages.  The Malaysian Constitution, in a similar font and format, uses up one hundred and sixty three 81/2×11 pages.  Most authorities agree that the Malaysian document was deliberately vague, because the founding fathers were unwilling to upset any of the three dominant groups at the time of independence from Britain, when building a multiracial and peaceful nation was more important.  Upon reading the document, a brain buster to say the least, I can safely say that the Malaysian Constitution is a somewhat conflicting piece of governance.  Among loads of things, it allows for the freedom of faith, yet it says that Islam is the official religion.  Anyone who understands the importance of separation of Church and State knows that this is a recipe for disaster.
I found several different numbers, so I’m taking the average.  Approximately 54% of Malaysians are Muslim, with the remainder being Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh.  Malaysia has long served as an example of the world’s most progressive and modern Muslim democracies.  I don’t want to put down Malaysia, it’s blend of religion and cultures is impressive and made for an awesome episode of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain, but the more I’ve been learning, the more I have to say that Malaysia has some issues that terrify a born and raised American.  Here is where the fun starts.  Most native Malays, like Joy, are Muslim and have been for generations.  Muslims, by order of their faith have certain requirements, and in an effort of the Malaysian government to better serve the Muslim needs, which have different laws that apply to them, a Muslim’s National Identity Card identifies them as Islam.  In addition, to better serve the Muslim populations, they have their own court, the Shariah courts.  These courts deal in the family and personal affairs of Muslim citizens.  Civil courts see to the affairs of everyone else.  Bumiputra, Malays and other indigenous people, who are primarily Muslim, benefit from a 30 year-old program of privileges that require certain levels of ownership by bumiputra to be maintained and enforce hiring quotas within large companies.  Obviously, those standards continuing are dependent on the bumiputra staying a majority in Malaysia, and that religious conversions potentially can mess with those numbers.  All of this lays the groundwork for how Lina Joy was screwed.
In 1990, Azlina Jailani began attending a Christian church.  In 1998, she became baptized and filled out the paper work to have her name legally changed to Lina Joy.  She also requested that her religion on her National Identity Card be changed to Christian, so that she could marry her Christian fiancé.  Muslims in Malaysia are not allowed by law to marry people of other faiths.  The intended spouse is expected to convert to Islam.  Her name was legally changed, but both times she made the request to have Islam removed from the card, it was refused because she was ethnic Malay and was legally Muslim and could not change religions.  Citing Article 4, 3, and 11 of the Malaysian Constitution, Joy took her case to the civil courts, because she was a baptized Christian and felt that the Shariah courts should not be involved in the matter.
The Federal Court was divided 2 to 1 in its decision that the matter was beyond the jurisdiction of the country’s civil courts and must be handled by religious authorities.  Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim said that the government agency responsible for identity cards acted reasonably when it refused to change Joy’s religious status.  According to the International Herald Tribune, he was quoted as saying, “She cannot at her own whim simply enter or leave her religion.  She must follow the rules.”  Yep, 8 years is very whimsical.  Silly girl.
What are these rules that Joy should follow?  She must offer proof in a special Muslim court that she has abandoned Islam and that the civil courts cannot interfere.  Oh, that’s not so tough.  Bearing in mind that according to Leonard Teoh Hooi Leong, a lawyer representing the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism (they’re called MCCBCHST for short…I’m serious), Joy will have a very difficult time getting the Islamic authorities to allow her to leave Islam.  No one in recent years has done it in the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, where Joy is registered.  He says that those who have tried have been threatened and cajoled.  Um, okay.  That’s tougher.  Oh, by the way, the abandonment of Islam is called apostasy, is deplored by many Muslims, and in several Malaysian states is punishable by fines and imprisonment.  (To show how progressive Malaysia is, in other Muslim countries the punishment could be death.)  Lina Joy’s fate now rests with the Shariah courts, and that would be why she is screwed.  The Malaysian Constitution does not clearly state who has the final say in such matters and so by default it goes to the Islamic court.
Judge Richa
rd Malanjum, the one dissenting opinion, was quoted in the International Herald Tribune as saying Joy’s “fundamental constitutional right of freedom of religion” had been violated.  Also, “She is entitled to have an identity card in which the word Islam does not appear.”  Calling the agency’s refusal to officially change her religion “an abuse of power.”
Well amen brother!  The older I get, the more I appreciate the simplicity, yet effectiveness, of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  After trying to learn and weave my way through this mess, I would kiss every last person involved with the Philadelphia Convention.  Moreover, I don’t mean that figuratively.  Go!  Dig up their bones!  After learning all this, I appreciate them enough I would French kiss their decomposed remains!  Take heed friends, Malaysia is a shining example of what happens when there isn’t an effective separation of Church and State, and when civil liberties are whittled away at.  The next time someone is willing to make a concession and gives away even a sliver of our rights, all it’s doing is making it easier for them to take more away. 
In honor of Lina Joy and her plight, take a moment to read the Constitution of the United States of America, its Bill of Rights, and subsequent amendments.  Savor the freedoms that our Constitution gives us that poor Lina Joy does not have access to.  http://www.constitutioncenter.org/constitution/constitution.pdf
Obviously, a dumb average American like me does not innately know all about the Malaysian Constitution and justice system.  I read many articles and visited many sites to cobble this together.  If you want to walk in my footsteps, here are the many websites I visited and articles I read:
http://www.pogar.org/publications/other/constitutions/malaysia-e.pdf (all 163 pages of Malaysian Constitutional headache!)

Roman Catholic Womenpriests

Canon Law 1024, “A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.”  This is from the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, which was put forth on the feast of Pentecost in 1917, and later revised in 1983.  So when I see the statement that only a baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly I feel forced to ask, “Says who?”  The answer is a bunch of guys in 1917.  Not good enough for me, nor is it good enough for the Roman Catholic Womenpriests.
In 2002, the Danube Seven were ordained.  The Danube Seven are a group of seven women from Germany, Austria, and the United States, who were ordained on a boat on the Danube (river that is) by Romulo Antonio Braschi.  Although Braschi has since left the Roman Catholic Church, he was at the time a valid Roman Catholic Bishop.  Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church viewed this as an extreme violation of Canon Law and when the women refused to repent, they were excommunicated and their ordination was invalidated.
A movement was born that is active to this day thanks to the efforts of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests (http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/index.htm).  In fact, on May 27, 2007 in Toronto (that’s in Canada for you kids playing along at home) 5 women and 1 married man were ordained as priests or deacons. 
In an article on Canadianchristianity.com (http://www.canadianchristianity.com/nationalupdates/070531priests.html) Father Damian MacPhearson, Director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto was quoted as saying, “Since Roman Catholic doctrine forbids the ordination of women, the ordinations are automatically invalid.”  This is in response to the RCWP’s assertions that its ordinations are in apostolic succession since they began with ordination by a Roman Catholic Bishop.  MacPhearson was quoted in the same article stating, “Whatever happened today had no relationship to the Roman Catholic Church whatsoever, whatever those individuals may say.”  In case a church based smack down is not annoying enough, The National Post ran a brief, and I might I mention unattributed, editorial letter in response to the ordinations (http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=a4bf9bc7-2ab7-4679-b341-8cc2008fb5b0).  In this piece, the author encourages the women to “go find another Christian sect” and suggests, “they (the RCWP) are less interested in reforming their faith than in putting on showy feminist stunts.”  To that I say, if you’re not man enough to sign your name, your opinion doesn’t matter.  I like my critics to have enough conviction to sign their name.  (In case you weren’t aware, Rebecca Elson is writing this piece.)
So, just what is the deal with these evil subversive women?  I went to their website and found “A Brief Overview of Womenpriests in the History of the Roman Catholic Church” (http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/RCWP_Resource.pdf).  It tells me that “In our mission statement we clearly uphold the following: The goal of the group ‘RC Womenpriests’ is to bring about the full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church.  At the same time we are striving for a new model of Priestly Ministry.  The movement ‘RC Womenpriests’ does not perceive itself as a counter-current movement against the Roman Catholic Church.  It wants neither a schism nor a break from the Roman Catholic Church, but rather wants to work positively within the Church.”  Those vixens!  In the same document they mention an equally world destroying opinion, which is “We All are church, not just some.” And that “We reflect the people we serve: married, celibate, domestic partners, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered.”  How dare they try to be all-inclusive and adapt to our modern society!  I mean, just because it’s largely known that in 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission concluded that there is no biblical reason to prohibit women’s ordination, doesn’t give them any justification to feel that can be ordained Roman Catholic Priests!  Oh, wait, that is not too bad a justification. 
There’s more where that came from too.  To see more arguments to their point visit the link to their document.  However, just like a paranormal investigator speaking about skeptics, “For a believer there is already enough proof, but for the skeptic there will never be enough.”  Neil MacCarthy, a media relations representative for the Archdiocese of Toronto, says in the Canadianchristianity.com article that the Church “doesn’t have the authority to change the rules Jesus established.”  Then how and why were the Canon Laws revisited after 1917?  Also, I’m not a New Testament girl myself, but I doubt that Jesus said, “Don’t let women be priests.”  I could be wrong on that one.  Of course, not to worry, both MacPhearson and MacCarthy point out in that article that there have been statements made by recent Popes affirming the role of women.
I read one of the statements in question (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women_en.html) and I was not impressed.  Don’t get me wrong, those Popes write some beautiful documents, but as a woman, I didn’t find it very satisfying at all.  Pope John Paul II thanks women for all the important roles they fill, but in my opinion, the Pope thanks us for being team players, but never offers the indication that he thinks we could ever coach.
After everything I’ve read, I have come to this conclusion, these women are Roman Catholic Priests and Deacons.  They are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and that despite what Father Damian MacPhearson says, everything these women do is in relationship of the Roman Catholic Church.  To say otherwise is ludicrous.  These women were baptized in the Roman Catholic faith and have never stepped off the path of that faith, and in fact were so inspired and moved by the Roman Catholic faith, that they desired to become ordained priests.  At what point do you feel they stopped being Roman Catholics?  I cannot see it.  The role of the Roman Catholic priest is unlike any other role within the Church, and to try to sell people on the idea of settling for a different position is outdated thinking. 
It’s 1917 thinking.  It’s before the Pope was even televised kind of thinking!  Religions need to respect that 1917 is not 2007, and that their followers are not the same people that they were 90 years ago.  It is time; in my opinion, it’s well past the time, to allow women and married men the option of becoming priests.  I would also say homosexuals, but it’s the Roman Catholic Church, what do I expect, miracles?
I have been in contact with Bridget Mary Meehan, Media Contact with RCWPs.  She was kind enough to send me one of her published articles with permission to quote until my little heart was content.  It’s a thoughtful piece, and here are some of her thoughts that I would like to share with you.
The Catholic Church teaches that a law must be received by the faithful. Seventy percent of Catholics in the U.S. support women’s ordination.  Therefore canon 1024 which states that only a baptized male may receive Holy Orders does not have the force of law because it has not been accepted by the community or sensus fidelum.
In fact, we have a moral obligation to disobey this unjust law.  St. Augustine   said that an “unjust law is no law at all.” As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the former bishop of Rottenberg-Stuttgar, Germany and current president of the Vatican ‘s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity wrote: "Some situations oblige one to obey God and one’s own conscience, rather than the leaders of the church. Indeed, one may even be obliged to accept excommunication, rather than act against one’s conscience. It is time for an inclusive church, in which all are welcome at the table.”