The Make Up of a Buru

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

What’s fun about cryptozoology are the lists of “What is the creature, really?” This month it has: is it a lizard? Is it a crocodile? Is it a lungfish?! For me, and cryptozoology fans, it’s a buru.


The buru is a large lizard that allegedly terrorized or annoyed, depending on whom you talk to, the people of northeast India. They are described as looking like a monitor lizard. Essentially a twenty-four foot aquatic version of a Komodo dragon. This described appearance is why many believe it to be something from the crocodile family.

It is said that those who lived in the area of the burus drained all the marshes in an attempt to make the land inhospitable to them. Apparently, it worked well, because no one has been able to provide physical evidence of the creature, although there are some fossils that have been found that could potentially belong to the creature. Despite the marshes being drained, occasionally a sighting will occur. This is why some relate the buru with the lungfish, a creature known for its ability to survive at the bottom of lakes during the dry seasons.

Of course, none of the known creatures that people have tried to link the buru to can explain reports of the buru’s cries, which sound like a hoarse bellow.

Magical Buffet Mythology: Ba’alat

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

Religious landscapes are always complex, but they can become downright insane when tracing the most ancient deities. This month we’re discussing the Phoenician goddess Ba’alat. Of course, the Egyptians and Semites claim her as well. She has a list of associated names, whether hers or deities believed to also be her, a mile long. None of that confusion matters to me though, Ba’alat is one of my favorite goddesses and here is why.


Ba’alat is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Gods”. This is mostly likely because she is the female counterpart to the Phoenician deity Baal, who is the supreme God of all. To me, she is the “Queen of Gods” for breaking that most ancient of stereotypes, that smart women cannot be sexy.

Ba’alat is the goddess of libraries, books, and writers. She is responsible for giving humans papyrus, the forerunner of modern paper. Obviously, Ba’alat is a knowledgeable deity.

The Phoenicians would depict this smarty as a woman with a smokin’ hot body, naked, with her hands covering her full breasts. Later there was the addition of an elaborate Egyptian hairstyle and a tight robe with shoulder straps.

Apparently, the Phoenicians had no trouble believing that an immensely attractive woman could be intelligent and sexual, even if it may have only been in their deities. In my mind, this sexed up Velma Dinkley is a wonderful role model for women everywhere.

Product Profile: West Wind Flags

West Wind Flags

Inspired by my vision while trekking in the high Himalaya of Nepal, I created West Wind Prayer Flags. Since 2000 West Wind has been offering prayer flags in English. Every year a new design comes into being and is added to the line. So far I offer Namaste Prayer Flags with messages of universal spirituality, (the original West Wind set in English), Global Peace Flags, Healing Flags, Rainbow Flags and this year’s new set:
Abundance Flags. And there are many more sets in the works. I am passionate about my business and love the wonderful connections I have with customers, who often become friends. My belief is that prayer flags contribute to the world in a gentle, yet pervasive way, and make an impact.



Firmly grounded in ‘Fair Trade’, I am happy to be working with a family of Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag makers in Kathmandu, Nepal who make my high quality flags from 100% fine cotton. We have developed a wonderful relationship and I treasure our interdependence. I have traveled to Nepal three times and hope to visit again soon.



West Wind’s mission (and my mission) is to increase kindness, healing and peace; to benefit all beings by generating abundant blessings on the wind. I am happy to tithe 10% of profits to ‘The Hunger Project’, in recognition and support of its outstanding work to improve the lives of girls in developing countries. For more info visit their web site at www.thp.org


West Wind Prayer Flags™ with blessings in English, are created in the spirit of the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition…where it is customary to give and display prayer flags for special occasions, new beginnings and always for the New Year. For over a thousand years the Tibetans have been displaying prayer flags to benefit all beings. My hope is that this is just the beginning of a prayer flag tradition in the west.

Namaste and be well,
France Robinson

West Wind Flags
www.westwindflags.com
888-388-6467
Ashland, Oregon
Transforming yards into garden sanctuaries since 2000

Product Profile: Folkmanis Puppets

Folkmanis Puppets



Gnome – When you go for a walk in the forest, you may see a clump of leaves, berries, twigs, moss and tufts of milkweed seeds, but look again, the wee folk are masters of disguise! Garbed in the colors of the forest, this little Gnome finger puppet will care for your home…if you take care of his. “Three-fingered” design means you can animate his head and both arms.


Ten Questions with Raven Digitalis

1.Obviously this is a word that each individual defines differently, but for you, what does the term “Goth” mean?
Well, “Goth” was originally used as a derogatory term—much like “Witch” was—to refer to those who were uncivilized and trouble-making, in particular the Ostrogoths and Visigoths of Sweden. The Visigoths are famous for having sacked Rome in 410. Anyway, the Goths had a similar deital/religious structure to the Norse and other Germanic tribes, and were eventually driven underground.

Then comes the Gothic architecture style of the Renaissance, in which case “Gothic” is derived from the previous “Goth” or “Gothick” derogatory term, because the architecture of the time was very much against the grain and, though immaculately gorgeous, was not generally looked upon too fondly at the time.

Modern Goths, however, have nothing to do with the historical Goths. The title “Goth,” in this case, comes from the literary usage of the term in the later European Romantic period, in which “Gothic” was used to describe darkly-themed literature. Modern Goths carry over this vibration, seeing as they are darkly expressive in their own art, including musically and visually. To me, the modern usage of “Gothic” refers to a particular energy pattern; that of dark beauty, emotional depth, and creativity shrouded in shadow. I find it to be a very spiritual thing, which is greatly the focus of my book Goth Craft.

2.According to your website, not only are you trained in Georgian Wicca, but also Buddhist philosophy. What influence has Buddhist philosophy had on your spiritual and magical practices?
Yes, I am very much aligned to Buddhism. I find the religion’s focus on love, compassion, and awareness to be like none other. Buddhist thought has many psychological levels that are applicable to anyone in any moment. Buddhists “take refuge” in the Three Jewels; the Buddha (as a teacher), the Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), and the Sangha (fellow practitioners/seekers), and strives to do away with the three Mental Poisons of Greed, Hatred, and Delusion. Every school of Buddhist thought is different, but all emphasize compassion, awareness, and diligent meditation.

3.Um, now I have to ask, what is Georgian Wicca, and how is it different from other traditions?
Georgian Wicca is derived from British Traditional Wicca, and practices rituals and observations that are included in Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca. It has many different influences and is, like all traditions, a conglomerate of numerous preceding trads (though British Traditional is its main influencer). Georgian Craft was begun in 1970 by George ‘Pat’ Patterson, Zanoni Silverknife, and Tanith. I was lucky enough to be trained by Zanoni Silverknife herself, here in my hometown of Missoula, Montana.

4. Joy Division or New Order?
Oh gosh. Umm, they’re quite similar, seeing as New Order is basically Joy Division without Ian Curtis. New Order is considerably more dancey, though, which I adore, but I have lots of respect for Ian Curtis, so I’d have to say Joy Division!

5. What do you feel is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Goth culture?
Probably that we are sinister, self-serving, or bitter people. Most Goths are actually quite pleasant; we simply have different viewpoints from most people and tend to express the darkness of our minds and society through dark art.

6. Who are some of the people that have inspired you spiritually and magically?
Countless authors, teachers, musicians, magicians, Witches, and friends. I’ve known so many people over the years that I couldn’t even begin to count how many have had positive spiritual influences on me. I am so grateful for everyone I know. I would say that the people who have had the most impact are my two Priestesses, Estha McNevin and Zanoni Silverknife. If I were to name two musical artists as being profoundly influential, I would name Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins and Anna-Varney Cantodea of Sopor Aeternus and the Ensemble of Shadows.

7. What other Llewellyn author would you like to take out for some heavy drinking and general mischief making?
Hah! I actually did just that a few days ago with Kala Trobe (my new roommate!) and Christopher Penczak. It was a hoot-and-a-half. We are all soul-connected so it made for a magickal, bonding time.

8. Liquid or pencil eyeliner? Any brand you’d like to endorse?
Definitely liquid eyeliner; it’s like using a paintbrush. You can do anything with it! I actually go off in my book about how awesome it is. As for brands, I tend to endorse brands that don’t test on animals. For general makeup and cosmetics, I recommend the following brands that are cruelty-free (this list is taken from Goth Craft): Clinique, Revlon, M•A•C, Avon, Chanel, Almay, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Burt’s Bees, Prestige, Bonne Bell, Estée Lauder, Manic Panic, Stargazer, Urban Decay, and GoodGoth.

9. What’s next?
I’m gonna get a cup of tea and write some more of this short story I’m working on.

Oh, you mean in general? Well, my second book, Shadow Magick Compendium, is contracted and the manuscript is finished, so that’s going to be the next big project. I love writing! In the near future—October to be precise—, I will be going on a book tour and hitting up Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, LA/Hollywood, and Baltimore (see website for [up]dates), and will be working on book #3 after that.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question?
Okay… What are your thoughts on genetically modified food?

I know I put too much faith in the FDA, but I take on faith that my non-organic food is safe. Thanks to advances in science we may not have achieved the fabled all breast meat Kentucky Fried Chicken ( http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/kfc.asp), but our plants and animals yield more food than ever before. The tragedy to me is that we use all this science to generate more food and still so many go without. I don’t mind genetically modified food, I mind that those advances aren’t helping the people they should.

GOTH CRAFT DESCRIPTION:
“When Paganism and Gothic culture collide, a powerful blend of independent thought and magickal transformation is often the result. Raven Digitalis explores this dynamic intersection and what draws us to the dark side. Digitalis introduces many kinds of Goths and Witches, and the philosophy of each. Practical as well as insightful, Goth Craft covers the basics of magick, with special attention to blood magick, death magick, and necromancy. You’ll also learn how to channel dark emotions, express yourself through the dark arts (clothes, hair, makeup, body modification), choose appropriate Goth music for ritual, and myriad other ways to merge magickal practice with the Goth lifestyle. Also covered is vampyrism, BDSM, gender/sexuality, and the magickal-spiritual use of drugs. From working shadow magick to spellcasting on the dance floor, Goth Craft revels in the exciting convergence of two vital subcultures.”

AUTHOR BIO:
Raven Digitalis (Missoula, MT) is the author of Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture, and the forthcoming Shadow Magick Compendium, both on Llewellyn. He is a Neopagan Priest and co-founder of the “disciplined eclectic” shadow magick tradition Opus Aima Obscuræ, and is a radio and club DJ of Gothic, EBM, and industrial music. With his Priestess Estha, Raven holds community gatherings, Tarot readings, and a variety of ritual services. From their home, the two also operate the metaphysical business Twigs and Brews, specializing in magickal and medicinal bath salts, herbal blends, essential oils, and incenses. Raven holds a degree in anthropology from the University of Montana and is also an animal rights activist and black-and-white photographic artist.
www.ravendigitalis.com
www.myspace.com/oakraven

Profile: University Of Metaphysical Sciences

Text provided University Of Metaphysical Sciences

The University Of Metaphysical Sciences is a non-profit distance learning facility, offering downloadable courses from the internet or delivered via postal mail. Study at your own pace while you work, stay at home, or travel. University Of Metaphysical Sciences brings professionalism to the field of metaphysics. The curriculum is designed to give the student a well-rounded education in all areas of metaphysics. As a practitioner, healer, teacher, writer or leader, the graduate will be more effective in his or her work with others. The credentials are within your reach. Become a true professional in the growing field of metaphysics, and do your part to lead the world into peace and a higher understanding of life.

UMS has approximately 1,000 students world wide in multitudes of countries. Each day several more people enroll at UMS, and it is growing exponentially as its reputation as the best school of its kind travels far and wide. UMS has set new standards in the field of metaphysics that other schools have not yet been able to achieve. University Of Metaphysical Sciences is unlike any other metaphysical school because it cares more about humanity than money and provides the greatest possible curriculum yet operates with the essence of a true non-profit organization in a “break even” format so that it can keep its prices as low as possible for the true education that it offers. No other metaphysical education compares to UMS.

Mission Statement
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to assisting people in becoming knowledgeable about metaphysical concepts and discovering the true self.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences has made its program affordable for people of all walks of life, keeping tuition prices low, and creating payment plans for every budget.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences is here to help the student answer his or her calling in assisting the human population in its spiritual evolution and awakening, giving the student knowledge, experiential practice, and legitimate credentials.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences purposely designed courses for the distance learner so that relocation is not necessary and attendance in person is not required. The student can study on his or her own schedule rather than a schedule set by a university.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences is dedicated to assisting spiritual teachers as they pursue their life purpose and life work, learn to live with integrity and grace, and teach others how to do the same.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences is a facility for spiritual learning, whether the student seeks knowledge for personal growth or goes on to become a metaphysical teacher, writer, minister, workshop facilitator or other type of healer.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences believes that the healer must be whole before true efficiency in helping others is attained.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences gives the student vast amounts of academic information so that the student is well versed in the wide variety of material and techniques many spiritual seekers are using in their efforts to heal themselves. The culmination of these studies is geared to assist the graduate in becoming a radiant, steady source of love and grace through self healing and introspection.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences provides courses to fill in the gaps that might have been missed by the more advanced student who has studied on his or her own.
* University Of Metaphysical Sciences is a metaphysics university level school teaching new age concepts, including holistic theology, enlightenment, spiritual education, and meditation classes. Much research has gone into every course. Metaphysic classes are an excellent way to go for any spiritual seeker on the path to the truth of the self, leading to a metaphysical degree which can assist the graduate in his or her spiritual work after graduation from this metaphysical college.

Courses:
The courses are designed to give the graduate a broad understanding of metaphysics and metaphysical subjects. The material spans several religions and belief systems so that the graduate will be well versed in the ideas many parts of the population hold. It is important for the student to be exposed to all areas of spirituality for a broader understanding of human nature.

Some of the courses are meant simply for the student’s self-introspection and self-inquiry, which is a necessary and ongoing practice for any teacher, healer, or leader. Audio meditations will serve the student for many years.

The student is highly encouraged to investigate more deeply the subjects that interest him or her. Recommended reading is given on every subject in the curriculum for further study, although it is not required, and a complete bibliography of reference material is given.

The graduate will have a resource of lists, diagrams, exercises and information which can be referred to anytime the need comes up in his or her professional practice. For instance, many of the courses have easy to use reference lists like the properties of herbs, sacred symbols, dream symbol indexes, and other quick access reference lists that the student will find useful.

Bachelors Degree Curriculum:
140 credits

Consciousness I: 25 credits
CS101 Archetypes
CS102 Enneagram
CS103 Metaphysical Communication & Problem Solving Methods
CS104 Affirmations & Reprogramming
CS105 Shadow Work
CS106 Transforming Personality
CS107 Emotional Well-Being
CS108 First Causes-Core Issues
CS109 Inner Child Work For Adults
CS110 Anger Management

Metaphysical Health Studies I: 15 credits
HS102 Juicing, Fasting & Cleansing
HS102 Pranayama & The Art Of Breathing
HS103 Herbs & Natural Medicines

World Religions: 25 credits
WR101 Overview Of World Religions
WR102 Great Spiritual Teachers, Gurus & Yogis
WR103 Mystical Beginnings Of Christianity
WR104 Native American Traditions
WR105 Gods, Goddesses & Mythology
WR106 Wizards, Magical Creatures & Adepts
WR107 Witchcraft
WR108 Shamanism: Indigenous Worldviews

Meditation Skills: 15 credits
MS101 Overview Of Meditation
MS102 Hypnosis: Self & Others
MS103 Colors & Symbols
MS104 Unlocking Imagination
MS105 Mantras & Mudras

Intuitive Skills I: 25 credits
IT101 Chakras & Auras
IT102 Psychic Skills, ESP
IT103 Divination Systems
IT104 Channeling Skills I
IT105 Crystals & Gemstones
IT106 Astrology Basics
IT107 Phenomena
IT108 Connecting With Angels

Miscellaneous Courses I: 25 credits
DR100 Dreams & Dreaming
CM100 Course In Miracles
RC100 Reincarnation, Past/Future/Simultaneous
MF100 Manifesting Skills
EM100 Energy Of Money
CP100 Creative Project

10 Electives: 10 credits
Masters Degree Curriculum:
90 credits

Consciousness II: 20 credits
CS201 Metaphysics & Meditation For Children
CS202 Relationships
CS203 Trauma & Recovery
CS204 Death & Dying
CS205 Metaphysical Technologies

Metaphysical Health Studies II: 25 credits
HS201 Spiritual Nutrition/Eating/Cooking
HS202 Reiki
HS203 Physical Exercise For Spiritual Well-Being
HS204 Yoga

Intuitive Skills II: 25 credits
IS201 Hypnosis II
IS202 Channeling Skills II
IS203 Predictions
IS204 Unconditional Love
IS205 Astral Projection
IS206 Lucid Dreaming
IS207 Aura Viewing
IS208 Vibrational Healing

Career Skills: 15 credits
CA201 Finding Life Purpose/Life Work & Soul Agenda
CA202 Awakening To True Self
CA203 Leading A Meditation
CA204 Attracting Clients
CA205 Practitioner Ethics
CA206 Promoting Your Spiritual Business
CP200 Creative Project

5 Electives: 5 credits
5,000 Word Master’s Thesis
Ordination
Practitioner Certificate
Electives Courses
1 credit each
CW301 Writing In The Metaphysical Field
EA302 Emotional Art
FS 303 Feng Shui
GA304 Gaia, Mother Earth
AM305 Attracting Your Mate
QB306 Qabalah/Kabala
UF307 UFOs & Extraterrestrials
EC308 Ear Candling

DO309 Dolphin Healing
CE310 Moon Ceremonies, Equinoxes, Solstices
TO311 Taoist Healing Arts
AR312 Altars & Rituals
FA313 Falun Gong
AY 314 Ayurveda
TA 315 Tantra
PO316 Polarity Therapy
LB317 Sacred Labyrinths
BR 318 Breatharianism
UR 319 Urantia Book
HP320 Hope
CS321 Coping w/Stress Using Mindfulness
FG322 Forgiveness
MM323 Mary Magdalene
More Electives always being added…

Doctoral Degree Curriculum:
Your doctorate degree is based on your 10,000 word doctoral dissertation. The student is highly encouraged to pick a subject that he or she can truly expound upon with written text.

Degrees:
You can obtain your minister’s or reverend’s ordination in the Master’s Degree program. Ministerial Ordination is all you need to legally practice as a minister or religious counselor. The primary reason to acquire a doctoral degree is to establish a professional image of yourself as a person well educated in your chosen area of expertise, which is metaphysics. Obtaining a doctorate shows a deeper level of commitment, education, and professionalism. Most people seek out a “doctor” when looking for a counselor, not necessarily a reverend or minister, even though a reverend or minister can legally counsel people. With Doctorate credentials behind your name, you establish yourself as a “doctor” and can list yourself as such in the phone directory with other counselors, rather than as a minister or reverend only.

“With a degree in metaphysics from University Of Metaphysical Sciences you can become a Metaphysician. Career opportunities, metaphysics / metaphysical job: a Metaphysician helps people learn how to change their reality by working with the underlying thoughts and emotions that cause the problems and create manifestations of suffering. This is a different kind of doctor, one who works with the energy that creates disease and illness, rather than treating the resulting symptoms in the physical body or reality. It is most important to reach deeper into the roots of the problems, and by changing the inner landscape, the outer landscape, as pertains to the universal laws of nature, must change with it.” —Christine Breese, founder of UMS

*For more information on the specific degrees you can earn with University Of Metaphysical Sciences, please visit http://www.umsonline.org/Degrees.htm

Testimonials:
“The diverse information University of Metaphysical Sciences offers is a gift to the soul. The need and desire for a college such as this has been long awaited. As the mother of a UMS student, I know this material is definitely broadening his awareness. I am very excited for his future!” —CS, mother

“I wish this kind of university was around in my younger days when I was first exploring the concepts and teachings in metaphysics. I have attended multitudes of workshops, read hundreds of self help books, and spent thousands of dollars on spiritual teachers, but nothing compares to the knowledge I have gained at the University Of Metaphysical Sciences so far, and I am not even finished with the program yet! It is presented in a very organized and easy to follow format, and I am truly enjoying my studies here at UMS.” —YP, UMS Student

“Thank you so much for all of the joy you have brought into my life with this course. I love it!! The courses are genuinely a gift that just keeps on giving… Thank you very much for founding the University and for all the work that you and your staff have put into it. For the first time in my life I have found a program that is truly a labour of love. This has all been a very rewarding, fulfilling, highly interesting, thought provoking, illuminating, joyful, humbling, satisfying and ineffable experience that continues to surpass all expectations. This program is a conduit that is changing my life for the better in so many ways. I am very grateful to be able to learn this material and I really just wanted to thank you for the exceptional work that you have done. Everything that you and your staff have done is outstanding.” —DI, UMS Student

Snakes. Why Did It Have to be Snakes?

According to Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, in her book “Dreams and What They Mean to You”, a snake in your dream means, “An evil omen predicting danger through enemies, deceit, and general misfortune. If you kill the snakes, you will overcome all obstacles.” Fortunately, I have outgrown the idea of a dream dictionary, and the idea of two dimensional snake symbolisms. The snake has a rich and varied symbolic history, and I would venture to guess that if right now I asked five different people what they thought of when they heard the word “snake” I would quite possibly get five different responses.


Let’s start with evil. The poor serpent. By telling Eve about a certain tree in the Garden of Eden, the snake will always be associated with evil, or Satan. Thanks to that, any animal that beats up a snake seems to be associated with Christ. Both elephants and birds of prey that stomp or claw snakes to their doom are symbolic of Christ triumphing over the Devil, or evil. Yawnsville. Seriously, if this the only symbolism you can come up with for the snake, put down your worn out dream dictionary and read on.

How about sex? Snakes are symbolically sensual. In Renaissance and Baroque art the deadly sin of lust was frequently represented by snakes. They were often depicted feeding on the breasts or genitals of women. Those Renaissance guys had a weird relationship with women! In other purviews, snakes are related to the umbilical cord and penis. From sexuality, it is just a short hop to fertility. The snake is a creator. Earth mother deities are continually associated with snakes. The Cretan Earth Mother holds the snake of death in one hand and rebirth in the other. Aboriginal art depicts the snake, a Dreamtime ancestor, known for abundance, rainfall, fertility, and creating mankind.

Let’s not just be fertile, let’s heal! Snakes, despite some being poisonous, are continually linked to healing and health. There is some debate, or not depending on what you read, but the entwined snakes on Hermes’ staff caduceus and/or the symbol of a tree snake wrapped around a staff ala Asklepian are symbols of healing or the health professions. But to heck with health, how about immortality? The snake’s continuous shedding of skin makes it a perfect symbol of endless renewal. The image of a snake swallowing, or eating, its own tail, sometime called the Ouroboros, often depicts eternity.

It is safe to say that the snake is a primordial symbol. Since the dawn of time the snake has meant many things to many people. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Hindu, Christians, Europeans, and just about every other culture and religion that has ever been or will be on this planet has had an opinion of the snake. It is a wonderfully complex symbol and once you start learning about its history, it becomes easy to see why there have always been people that worship it. Let’s face it, when even the cartoon “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy” have a cult devoted to worshipping snakes, you know you’ve made it to the big time.

Case Study: Metroplex Paranormal Investigations

August 04, 2007
Private Residence
Gainesville, TX.

We decided to invite a new group in North Texas along with us on the investigation. This group was PRINT from Greensville, TX.

Investigators present:
Gordon Joswiak, Jr.
Mary Leigh
Robert Isaacks
Terri Schyner
Cynthia Rice
Johnny Snyder
Wayne Kenemore
Vicki Isaacks
Rob Martin
Shawn Newton
Pam Gardner
Rita Louise (psychic)
Cody Bertrand (psychic)
Chad, Nez and Wendy from PRINT

Equipment used by Metroplex:
Dr. Gauss EMF meters
Trifield meter
ELF meter
SPER Scientific meter
Cell sensors
Minolta Freedom zoom 115 camera (35mm)
Olympus FE-100 4.0 megapixel Digital Camera
Kodak Digital Camera EasyShare DX4900
Sony SLR Camera
Nikon D80 Digital camera
Canon D440 6mp Digital Camera
CEM DT-8810 Infrared Thermometer
Raytek ST20 XB thermometer
Radioshack IR thermometer
Dual infrared non contact thermometer with air probe
GE 3-5027 Shoebox audio recorder/player
Sony ICD B-300 digital voice recorder
Sony ICD P320 Digital Recorder
Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN-2000
Olympus DS-330 digital voice recorder
RCA 64M digital voice recorder
Sherrill Digital Compass
Bushnell NightHawk Infrared Viewer
QuadCAM DVR Clover Standalone 4Channel w/17″ Monitor
2 IR-0 LUX Cameras Lorex Model SG6117
2 IR-0 LUX Cameras CCTV
2 Wireless Cameras
1 Pinhole (Unobtrusive) Camera
1 9V LG Housing Camera
Assorted Sony nightshot camcorders

Investigation:
Arrived at property at approx. 7pm. Met with homeowners and PRINT paranormal. Took tour of house and outside property.
Took baseline EMF and temperature readings
Psychics did a walk through
Took digital and analog still photos inside and out
Unpacked stationary equipment and set it up to run.
Turned on stationary equipment and swept location with EMF meters and thermometers throughout the night. Also continued taking still photographs. Started recorders for EVP.
Left property at approx.7am.

Conclusion:
After approximately 3 weeks, all still photographs have been re-viewed with no results.
All video has been reviewed and we may possibly have an orb in motion which is moving quickly enough to leave a contrail. Although this has been sent to homeowner, we have not validated this piece of evidence yet. It does not appear to be a bug. It is moving very
quickly and seems to have a flight pattern. It is not dust due to the lack of air circulation in the house.
There were no unusual EMF or temperature readings.
Based on the piece of video from us and the photograph and EVP’s recorded by PRINT, we feel that this location does have paranormal activity.

About Metroplex Paranormal Investigations

Metroplex Paranormal Investigations was formed in June, 2001 to investigate claims of paranormal activity. We are a group of open-minded professionals who seek to either confirm the existence of paranormal activity or explain it through research and analysis by collecting scientific data.

Our primary focus is to attempt to validate or explain the experiences that you have had. We do not specialize on getting rid of the activity but we can connect you with those that can, should you request that.

Located in the Dallas, Texas area, we offer professional no fee investigations for private homes and businesses and we also investigate the occasional urban legend.

To learn more visit: www.metroplexparanormalinvestigations.com

The Fifth 13th Birthday Interview

A very special man is having a milestone birthday tomorrow.  On November 30, 2007 Oberon Zell-Ravenheart celebrates his sixty fifth birthday.  To commemorate the occasion a special birthday interview was emailed out to those of us who are friends, colleagues, or in my case, a lucky schmuck that has managed to ricochet into the orbit of his awareness.  I share this interview as a small token of my esteem and as a modest birthday gift.  For those of you who enjoy the interview, stay tuned…Oberon Zell-Ravenheart was kind enough to do a “10 Questions” interview for The Magical Buffet.  You can read The Magical Buffet interview in our January issue!


Interview with a Living Pagan Icon

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart Celebrates his Fifth *13th* Birthday
By Mabyn Wind
 
OBERON ZELL-RAVENHEART, (November 30th, 1942- ) is a Founder of the Church of All Worlds and a leading figure in the Neo-Pagan community. A modern Renaissance man, Oberon has fulfilled many roles, including: community creator, transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, healer, seer, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, eco- activist, magician, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. He sums all this up in the designation of “Wizard.”
 
Oberon was the first to apply the terms “Pagan” and “Neo-Pagan” to the newly emerging Nature religions of the 1960s. He spread this message far and wide through his publication of the award-winning Pagan magazine, Green Egg—1968-1976; 1988-2000; now an online e-zine (http://www.greeneggzine.com/)—and he is currently Publisher Emeritus. Oberon has been instrumental in the coalescence of the Neo-Pagan movement, which for the last third of a century has been reclaiming the religious heritage of the pre-Christian Europe.
 
He has written the best-selling “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard” (with
Grey Council; New Page, 2004, now published internationally in Rumanian),
plus “Companion for the Apprentice Wizard” (with Faculty of the Grey School; New Page, 2006) and “Creating Circles & Ceremonies” (with Morning Glory; New Page, 2006). His latest book is “A Wizard’s Bestiary” (with Ash Dekirk; New Page, 2007). Oberon’s writings and creative spirit can also be found on the web at: http://www.caw.org/, http://www.greyschool.com/, and http://www.mythicimages.com/.
 
Here is my birthday interview with a Living Pagan Icon, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart himself:
 
MW: What form will Church of All Worlds take in resurrecting itself—phoenix-like—in the future?
 
OZ: This time around (our 3rd resurrection!), the main central operations and focus will revolve around a vastly expanded website—www.CAW.org—which
will include everything that’s there currently, plus interactive forums, a wiki, research and ritual resources, clergy applications, nest applications, affiliate and subsidiary order applications, etc. The Membership Handbook will be substantially revised and updated, to be printable in PDF, and a new Operations Manual will replace much of what is currently in the Bylaws. The Bylaws will be considerably streamlined for long-term viability and presented as “Canons.”
 
The biggest change from our previous conceptual Vision is that in this new phase we are separating the inward progression through the 9 Circles from the process of Clergy application and ordination. Now 3rd-Ring members will no longer be automatically designated as “Clergy,” but as “Beacons.” So the 3 “Rings” will now be: 1. “Seekers” (Circles 1-3); 2. “Scions” (Circles 4-6); and 3. “Beacons (Circles 7-9).
 
As we get all the current revisions to the website in place, we will begin an active outreach program to welcome new (and old) members, Clergy ordinations (primarily an application and review process), Nest charters, Order charters, and affiliations with other groups who may wish to be chartered under CAW’s Group Exemption. Each chartered entity will then have its own page/section and links on the CAW website.
 
And eventually—what so many have been asking about—we hope to be able to
scan and put up online printable PDFs of the entire run of back issues of Green Egg, all the way back to 1968.
 
MW: What role will the future CAW have in intentional communities and schools?
 
OZ: I cannot say, as I don’t expect to be as centrally involved in CAW this time around as I’d been for the past 45 years. My primary work currently is writing books and being Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry. I do certainly expect that CAW will continue to pursue the establishment and networking of intentional communities in the future as it has in the past. And, of course, I’m deeply involved now in the manifestation of a school such as I’d always dreamed of…
 
MW: The whole Pagan world is buzzing with news about The Grey School—what
can you tell us about it?
 
OZ: The whole Pagan world? Wonderful! I hope many come check us out! The Grey School of Wizardry—www.GreySchool.com—is absolutely the finest work I have ever been involved in, and I am very proud of it. I spent nearly a year designing everything it should be with a top-notch Pagan web designer. He managed to implement all of my ideas, and came up with many more I’d never have thought of. I recruited some of the best teachers in the magickal community (and by the way, we are still accepting applications…). We created a foundational curriculum of functioning classes, and we opened our virtual doors on Aug. 1, 2004 to an initial rush of students who’d heard of the Grey School from my 2004 book, “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard”.
 
The Grey School teaches Wizardry—not Witchcraft, or even Paganism, per se. That is, we are teaching the “Wisdom of the Ages,” which transcends any particular faith. The Grey School is not a school of religion, but of magick and wisdom, and we accept students of every religion (or of none).
 
The Grey School is set up with seven “year-levels,” designed to be the equivalent of junior high through high school. Graduates will be certified “Journeyman Wizards” (and yes, we are planning a college-level Journeyman to Master program for later). About 1/4 of our 650 or so students are youths (ages 11-17), and 3/4 are adults (ages 18-70s). The School is highly interactive, with four Elemental “Houses” for youths, and “Lodges” for adults. Each has both a Faculty Head and a Student Prefect. We have competitive programs for earning both credits and merits, and a “House Hat&r
dquo; and “Lodge Cup” are awarded at equinoxes.
 
We have about 30 brilliant, dedicated, and highly-qualified teachers, and currently more than 275 classes in 16 color-coded “Departments,” each with a Dean, clubs, etc. These are: Wizardry (indigo), Nature Studies (silver), Magickal Practice (gold), Mind Magicks (aqua), Healing (blue), Wortcunning (green), Divination (yellow), Performance (orange), Alchemy (red), Lifeways (pink), Beast Mastery (brown), Mathemagicks (clear), Cosmology (violet), Ceremonial Magick (white), Lore (grey), and Dark Arts (black).
 
Each House and Lodge has its own forum, each class has a forum, and there
are other forums for clubs and such—even a campus tavern (for adults only!). There is also the “Great Hall” forum, where all students and teachers can communicate directly with each other. We have a system of student leadership for the Houses and Lodges, and a quarterly student-run School newsletter in printable PDF format. The Library and School store (“Magick Alley”) have many resources available to students at any time.
 
The motto of the Grey School of Wizardry is: Omnia vivunt; omnia inter se conexus. “Everything is alive; everything is interconnected.” (Cicero)
 
MW: How does it feel for you that CAW has given birth to more spiritual groups in North America than any other Neo-Pagan founding organization?
 
OZ: Really? Have we indeed? Cool! It is good to leave a lineage… One is glad to be of service.
 
MW: What is your favorite passage from “Stranger in A Strange Land”?
 
OZ: “Love is that condition wherein another person’s happiness is essential to your own.” This was the radical redefinition of the very concept of love that changed the world for so many of in the 1960s.
 
MW: What are some of the ways “sharing water” can change the world?
 
OZ: Deepening our connections with each other—and every living being—beyond the traditional narrow boundaries of blood, family, and tribal kinships. Humanity must come to embrace connections of global kinship, and water-sharing is an important means of encouraging this expansion of our affinities and affiliations. “Perfect love and perfect trust.” And this will lead to the Awakening of Gaia…
 
MW: What is your most vivid mystical experience and how did it change your life?
 
OZ: Unquestionably the great “TheaGenesis” revelatory vision of Gaia as a
living planet, that I had on Sept. 6, 1970. (See www.caw.org/articles/theagenesis.html). That changed everything—not only in my own personal life, but the ripples spread throughout the Pagan community and far beyond…
 
DE: What do you believe lies in the future of Mother Gaia?
 
OZ: The Awakening. Then the great Diaspora, “flying Mother Nature’s silver seeds to a new home…”
 
MW: What are your plans for your next sixty-five years?
 
OZ: Personally—to keep writing books, creating sculptures, and designing
jewelry. I have so many ideas it would take me many lifetimes to implement them all! Fortunately, I have those. I also want to learn hang-gliding, fly a paraplane, ride in a hot-air balloon, and go sky sky-diving. And travel to the many countries I want to see that I have not yet visited: Thailand, Egypt, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, China, India, Ireland…
 
At the next concentric circle outward, I’ll be continuing my work with the
Grey School, particularly towards the manifestation of a physical campus.
I’m envisioning something like an old monastery, retreat center, or country estate, on maybe 100 acres of land, with forest, lake, gardens, orchards… Facilities would include residential accommodations for students, teachers, and staff; classrooms and laboratories for studies; offices for faculty; a big kitchen and Great Hall; and a large enough library and museum to house all the books and collections that I and others would bring. Interesting creatures (such as Unicorns) would roam the surrounding woods…
 
Of course, this would require major endowments, and to that end the Grey
School has recently obtained our 501(c)(3) Federal tax exemption so we can
apply for educational grants.
 
Overseeing the 3rd resurrection of the Church of All Worlds—and restructuring it for the 21st century—is also a major focus of my current attention, and this will continue as we prepare it to fulfill its potential and offer all the services other churches have traditionally provided: places of worship, regular meetings, schools, summer camps, retreats, seminaries, community outreach, land-based communities and retirement villages.
 
At the next circle outward, I will eventually be returning my attention to the revivification of the Universal Federation of Pagans—an idea I set in motion in the early ‘90s as an ecumenical alliance of Pagan groups representing all Paths and Traditions, like the World Council of Churches. Unfortunately, once past its incorporation in 1993, I have not been able to give this Vision the attention it deserved and required. I hope to remedy that in the future, as I feel that this is really important.
 
I’m also holding out to see a human mission to Mars, the discovery of non-terrestrial life, and “first contact” with a star-faring alien civilization that would usher humanity into a galactic era.
 
MW: How old do you feel, really?
 
OZ: About 544 million years. I’m in the prime of my life!
 
MW: What do you want for your birthday?
 
OZ: Success in all my endeavors. And 65 more years in which to manifest them (and come up with new ones).

 

 

Freeze! It’s the Vice Squad!

On November 13, 2007 news sources began releasing the list of moral vices that had been debuted in Iran.  I tried to dig up what would be a 100% full and accurate list of these vices, but unfortunately I can’t read Persian!  Here’s the jist of what we’re looking at:

Terrorising people by quarrelling and feuding in public

Women failing to cover up in a suitable way, such as wearing short trousers revealing the leg, hats intead of scarves, small and skinny scarves that do not cover up the head, and make-up that is unconventional and violates public morality

Wearing decadent Western clothes and displaying signs and insignia of deviant groups

Procuring decadent films

Procuring alcohol and drugs

(List from BBC News, who cites E’temad Newspaper as their source.  The BBC has people that speak Persian!)

So what does this list mean you ask?  According to Arabian Business the list is part of an ongoing "moral crackdown".  The article states that "police have raided underground parties, seized satelite dishes and conducted street checks on the improperly dressed."  And that "Between April and October police warned 122,000 people, mostly women, about flouting dress codes, of which almost 7,000 attended classes on respecting the rules."

Iran has Islam as its state religion.  This post isn’t anti Islam, it’s against the idea of state or national religions entirely.  Religion and government have no reason to be mingling.  Why not?  Well, in America I can spend all weekend on the couch watching "Mythbusters" and no one comes into my home to bust me for Sloth.