Mystic Faerie Calendar

If you’re like me, you tend to give a lot of thought to what kind of calendar you’re going to buy for the next year. That’s why I was so psyched when my friends over at Llewellyn sent me a copy of their Mystic Faerie Calendar for an advance sneak peek.

These days it seems like there are hundreds of fairy calendars…. that is probably because there are! I can easily say that this one stands out from the crowd. It features the fanciful artwork of Linda Ravenscroft and great quotes from literature about the fairy realm. For me though, what makes this fairy calendar so unique is that the artwork is pulled from the Mystic Faerie Tarot that Ravenscroft did for Llewellyn. So not only is there beautiful artwork, but there is an extra layer to it as you gaze upon an image from tarot.

The calendar releases in August. If you’re a fairy fan, this is the calendar for you.


Seeing Sounds

Well, it’s time to get back on track with keeping you up to date on my summer music buying frenzy. This review is for an album that came out in June. I know, I know…but there has been a lot going on. Don’t worry though, things are getting back on track and soon you’ll be all caught up. So enjoy.

Trying to describe N.E.R.D. is essentially impossible. I know plenty of people do describe and define them. For instance the Wikipedia entry for them starts with, “N*E*R*D is an alternative rock band formed in 2001. Their music is best described as funk rock, with various other influences, including hip-hop, soul music, alternative rock, and blues rock.” It’s as good of an attempt as any.

N.E.R.D. are hip-hop with live bands. Rappers influenced by rock music. The best way I can describe it is that N.E.R.D. are in a bubble of hip hop. They push against it, stretching the bubble, but are careful not to burst it. They’re all over the map and I love them for it.

Their latest album is “Seeing Sounds”, which is a theme that plays as an undercurrent for the album. How do you see sounds? Try listening to this CD. It’s a glorious cacophony. A masterful collage. A Jackson Pollack painting pressed onto a disc. At some points it’s rap, like the tracks “Anti Matter” and “Spaz” (two of my favorites), other times it’s rock, bordering on pop, like the song “Happy”, and occasionally they meet up and mingle like on the first single “Everyone Nose”, which is rap running through a funky jazz jam.

Here’s the first video/single from the album “Everyone Nose”. Enjoy! (And yes, if you watch carefully you will see Lindsay Lohan. Lohan, in a music video, about girls using cocaine. Insert your own mean spirited joke here.)

Rebecca Speaks!

Yep, another online radio show was crazy enough to ask me to be on as a guest. I will be a guest on Isis Paranormal Radio on Sunday July 27, 2008 from 6-7pm eastern. Be sure to tune in!

ISIS Paranormal Radio is a show that delves into a variety of paranormal topics. Listen into discussions about ghosts, hauntings, the unexplained, Wicca, the occult, different aspects of the esoteric, and their previous cases! The show airs 6-7 PM EST, Sunday evenings.

You can listen in at blogtalkradio for free. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/isisparanormal to tune in! The shows are archived for listening convenience, so if you can’t tune in on Sunday you can listen later.

You can visit their official website at: http://www.isisinvestigations.com/ for more information!

You can also visit them on My Space for up to date shows and airing times.

Visit: http://www.myspace.com/isisparanormalradio .

Magical Buffet Mythology: Hypnos

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

Listen to the sound of my voice. Or, um, read the words on your screen. You’re getting sleepy. Sleepier. What does hypnosis have to do with Magical Buffet Mythology? Well, not to sound like the father from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” but hypnosis comes from the Greek word hypnos, and Hypnos is actually the Greek god of sleep…so there you go.

Hypnos’s mother is the goddess of night, Nyx, and his twin brother is Thanatos, a god of death. His three sons, or brothers depending on perspective, are Morpheus, Phobetor and Phantaso, and represent things that occur in dreams. According to some stories he lives in the Underworld along with Hades and his crew, but other stories say he lives in a cave underneath a Greek island and that through that cave flows the river of forgetfulness. Um, don’t plan on me coming to the family reunion, okay?

Hypnos is always depicted as a handsome young man. Sometimes he is naked, sometimes he has a beard and wings at the temples of his head, other times he is clean shaven with wings on his back.

Hypnos biggest claim to fame, aside from getting $.02 every time we say the word hypnosis, is granting Endymion the power to sleep with his eyes open.

Brazil Tries to Get it Right

On July 7, 2008 LifeSiteNews.com reported that a Brazilian judge has ordered the removal of a Catholic priest’s book from bookstores. Father Jonas Abib’s book, titled “Yes, Yes! No, No! Reflections on Healing and Liberation”, cautions readers about the dangers of the occult, which includes the Afro-Brazilian religion Spiritualism.

According to LifeSiteNews.com, public prosecutor Almiro Sena is quoted as accusing the Priest of “making false and prejudiced statements about the spiritualist religion as well as religions from Africa, like Umbanda and Candomble, as well as flagrant incitement to destruction and disrespect for their objects of worship.” Sena also added that “the State Constitution (of Bahai) says that it is the obligation of the state to preserve and guarantee the integrity, respectability, and permanence of the values of Afro-Brazilian religion.” The court agreed.

Man, where to begin. Banning books, censoring books, seizing books, it’s all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m sure I disagree with Father Jonas Abib, I’m kind of used to not being on the same page as the Catholic Church, that said, he should be allowed to spew out whatever nonsense he wants in a book. I highly doubt his book was going to change any minds. I suspect if you bought the book, you were already on his team. Let’s try this another way, David Icke, who for the record I just love, cranks out book after book of total artwork quality out there-ness. Yet, no one seems overly concerned about the impending lizard threat, and I’m pretty certain he’s sold way more books than Abib!

I find it noble, and wonderful, that the Bahai government is concerned about maintaining the “integrity, respectability, and permanence of the values of Afro-Brazilian religion” but, with all due respect, at what cost? Will it be at the cost of the other faiths in their state being denied those things? The courts also censored an organization that initiated a campaign to condemn homosexual behavior. And just in case you haven’t been playing along, I have no problem with homosexuality…I backed Dennis Kucinich for crying out loud! (One of the only Democrats who ran for the Democratic nomination for President who was for gay marriage. The other one was Mike Gravel.) Yet, they have the right to be against homosexuality, however wrong they are in their belief. I mean, however wrong I find their belief.

Although not always executed the way I would like, America has got it right Brazil. First Amendment, all the way. Protect all the religions and all the speech, and then let God, the free market, or the history books decide which of them has it right.

Rebecca Talks Enlightenment

The name Rose Rosetree should be familiar to long time Magical Buffet readers. Why? Well, there was this and this. It’s safe to call Rose a friend of the Buffet. I was dumbfounded and flattered when she invited me to write a guest post for her blog about enlightenment. What follows is that piece.

I have to admit, I was surprised when Rose asked if I would like to write a blog about enlightenment for her website. For those of you that are not familiar with myself, or my website The Magical Buffet, asking me about enlightenment is comparable to asking your family doctor to perform neurosurgery. They know the basics, but you may not want them putting them into action.

Enlightenment implies a level of spiritual or intellectual insight has been achieved, and perhaps you may even be able to share it with others. It is hard to achieve, and harder to prove that it has been achieved. If that is the case, one starts to wonder, what is the deal with enlightenment? Why does the concept even exist in these modern, fast paced times? Does one really need to worry about enlightenment when you can find out everything that’s going on in the world in under one minute and every day more and more people seem to seek the spiritual through quality one on one time with Oprah? Can spiritual enlightenment ever be achieved in this environment?

Perhaps, but I’m here to suggest that obtaining spiritual enlightenment is not half as important as the idea of enlightenment. Let me be first to state flat out, for the record, I have not even nudged towards enlightenment, and that I am 100% positive that even upon my death bed the only real insight I will have is that it’s really easy to make an ass out of yourself on the internet. Yet I stagger down a path that perhaps, despite my rum soaked brain, will lead me to some greater understanding of that which makes up the spiritual. Frequently I ask myself what is it I’m doing. What on Earth, do I hope to achieve? I have cluttered dusty book cases filled with books on mysticism, holy texts, and Idiot’s Guides. Why do I keep investing time and money on them? As cynical and snarky as I may be, I cannot deny that the answer is enlightenment.

I am not enlightened. But, the quest for enlightenment has helped me start a website/online magazine, allowed me to attend religious observances of multiple faiths, and become friends with a vibrant, diverse group of people. It has also caused me to become more attentive to global affairs and national politics. None of this would have been possible if not for the concept of enlightenment dangling in front of me like some deep-fried dessert of my dreams. My goal of enlightenment has definitely not been achieved, but it has certainly made me better person. And in my humble, unenlightened opinion, that may be more important.

A Letter: Part One

Hey Guys! It so good to be back and able to share my stuff in this sweet looking new format. I’ve got so much stuff that has been sitting around that’s been waiting for the website re-launch! I hope enjoy it all!

My mother has always been a letter writer. I speak on the phone with her once a week and still, more often than not, I receive a handwritten letter between calls. More important to this story is the fact that she has never been afraid to write letters to strangers.

My childhood is filled with wonderful stories and experiences thanks to my mother’s letter writing efforts. There was the time we found a small piece of metal in a piece of Oscar Mayer deli meat. I remember watching her sit at the table handwriting a letter to the company and carefully taping the piece of metal to the letter. One day a man in a suit knocked on our door. He was from Oscar Mayer and he was there to personally apologize…and take us shopping! Better still was the time she wrote to a company that made brass polish (I wish I could remember their name) to tell them how great their product was but she couldn’t find it in the town we moved to. Could they suggest somewhere for her to get it? Next thing you know we receive a giant box filled with the complete line of their polishing products!

The point I’m getting to is this, I’ve seen first hand the power that a letter can have. Which brings me to Zimbabwe. Thanks to BBC America World News in the morning I’ve developed a horrid fascination with the country. Anyway, what follows outlines the country’s tale of woe so I won’t lay it out here. However to sum up, one day I just got so mad at the circumstances there I found myself swearing at the television. But what to do? I’m not rich, I’m not a celebrity, I’m not a politician (I know some exist that are neither wealthy nor have a celebrity level profile), I’m just a schmo. Then it hit me, I could write a letter. Not send an email to a website, but an honest to goodness, put it in an envelope and slap a stamp on it letter. And that’s just what I did.

Of course, who should I send the letter to? Well, Obama and McCain want my vote, don’t they? Then of course there are my senators Clinton and Schumer, they need my votes too, right? And since the letter referenced the run off elections in Zimbabwe taking place near the end of June, I begrudgingly acknowledged that perhaps George W. should get a letter. Why choose? I sent the same letter to all of them. I made sure to let them know who else was getting the letter, no secrets here!

See my letter below:

6/7/08

Dear Elected Official:

I never thought I would write this letter. I mean, the possibility of me writing to you, or probably more accurately, one of your staff, always existed. I just assumed if it ever happened it would be to address some of my concerns about the challenges our country faces, such as the need for health care reform, a restoration of civil liberties, the ever-widening gap between the wealthy and the poor, or perhaps my belief that homosexuals deserve the right to marry. Instead, I’m writing to you about Zimbabwe.

I blame the BBC. I never would have known anything about Zimbabwe if it wasn’t for BBC America World News. I took notice when they started reporting about skyrocketing inflation in the country. Eventually climaxing with Zimbabweans making startling statements such as a loaf of bread now costs as much as what they paid for their home when they first purchased it. As a rabid believer in the freedom of speech, what came next was horrifying. Newspaper offices were being raided and shut down. All the foreign press was kicked out the country. Suddenly my BBC reports were coming from Johannesburg. Seriously, who kicks out the BBC?

Then came the elections. How long should it take to determine who wins a presidential election? Yet, Zimbabwe still awaits the answer. Stories keep coming out of people being beaten, detained, and killed, just for voting for the MDC candidate. Now the government has ordered that all aid organizations must re-register because of alleged political involvements, thus depriving millions of Zimbabweans of aid they need while the organizations go through the process. There’s speculation that the government is doing this so that they can offer aid for votes for the current government. To make matters even worse, the opposition candidate keeps being detained by the government when he tries to campaign for the run off election!

Why on Earth do I care so much about Zimbabwe? As a proud American, how can I not? What the people of Zimbabwe are going through is the worst-case scenario that our founding fathers imagined when starting our new country. President Mugabe helped the people of Zimbabwe break free of British colonial rule. Now he and his government, for lack of a better phrase, have become tyrants, unwilling to surrender their authority, seemingly unable to help the countrymen they originally sought to liberate. Some say this is why our country has the Second Amendment.

My husband once told me that you can’t force democracy on people, they have to want it. The people of Zimbabwe don’t just want it; they are fighting and dying for it. The people of Zimbabwe are our kinsmen. Our country more than any other should understand their plight, it’s written into our nation’s DNA.

Please, tell me there is something our country can do to help Zimbabwe.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Elson

cc: President George W. Bush
Senator John McCain
Senator Barack Obama
Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Charles Schumer

To keep learn more about what’s happening in Zimbabwe, visit: www.bbc.com/zimbabwe. I’ll be sure to post any responses I receive here, so stay tuned!