A Nice Guy and Some Special Ladies in my Life

It is that time again folks! Where I’ve got a bunch of random stuff to share with you, so I smoosh it together into one post and call it an “article”. Where to start?

Well, lets’ first start with the internet can be a nice place sometimes. Not too long ago I got an email from Spectral Dragon (aka Jason Compton) who runs a website called Gates of Mysticism. He was contacting me to ask for permission to re-publish Lupa’s article “An Abbreviated Introduction to Chaos Magic” that we had published in January of 2008. He had already secured Lupa’s permission so he contacted me for my blessing. Anyone who has spent any time on the internet knows that often people just copy and paste their way to new content for their websites. You can see why it was greatly appreciated that Jason asked for permission and assured me that he would be sure to mention that the article had originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website. Once he published the article he emailed me a link to it. In the past when I’ve re-published articles I usually just make a bland note at the top of where the article originally came from (including link) and say that it is being used with permission. However Jason took it a step further:

“A note on this article’s origins: This article’s origin is at this link to The Magical Buffet. Since The Magical Buffet has plenty of excellent articles on metaphysics and the occult it might be a good idea to check them out at The Magical Buffet Home Page. Gates of Mysticism would like to extend many thanks to both Lupa, the author of this article, and the Magical Buffet for allowing GOM to publish this excellent article.”

Nice, right? So if you’re interested in metaphysics and/or the occult why not check out Gates of Mysticism? They seem like good people.

Speaking of good people, I recently got an email from Cindy Chaney, founder of the My Nerd Girl website and one time Buffet interview subject. For those of you who may not remember this from last year, Cindy also suffers from Lupus. Last year the scarring on her lungs left her with difficulty walking and so her friends and fellow Nerd Girls decided they would pull Cindy in a customized wagon as part of Team Cindy for Walk for Lupus Now. This year she is fund raising again for Team Cindy, but sadly this time around she’s suffering from stage four kidney and lung failure and will be unable to attend the walk personally. Cindy is 31 years-old and had to go on hospice care.

I can’t read those words and not feel a welling up of rage. I won’t mention anyone by name, but at least one of the women I work with a lot for The Buffet suffers from a chronic pain condition, I myself suffer from several yet to be effectively diagnosed and treated health conditions, and here I find that Cindy, a woman who I would readily describe as one of the “best of the best” is in hospice care. I can’t help but feel there is a war on women right now, and we’re all losing.

As I said last year, I typically don’t donate to charity walk/runs. Since the cost of organizing and running the event comes out of the donations I always worry that not enough of my money goes to the charity itself. But again like last year I can’t help but be moved by Cindy’s spirit and the women she has supporting her as she goes through this. So like last year, I’m encouraging anyone who has $5 to spare to donate it to Cindy for Walk for Lupus Now. Every dollar helps, and every dollar reminds a remarkable woman that she doesn’t have to go through this alone.

Visit Cindy’s page here.

Update: I’m saddened to say that our losses continue. Just days after securing a review copy of the book “The Small-Town Pagans Survival Guide” by Bronwen Forbes with the intention of interviewing the author I learned that Bronwen Forbes passed away. According to her Facebook page, she died from a heart attack brought on by her chemotherapy drugs. I can’t articulate how saddened I am to have come so close to speaking with a woman who touched so many lives, only to have missed the opportunity. I wish to extend condolences to her friends and family, her readers, and her family of Llewellyn Publishing.

And in other news regarding remarkable women, Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, who contributed the beautiful article “Weaving a Woman’s Life” to The Magical Buffet is getting featured in the May 2011 issue of People Magazine! In this country issue of People a summation appears of an interview she did regarding a recurring dream of country singer Rodney Atkins. Paula is truly an amazing lady, if you haven’t done so before, check out her website Divining the Muse!

Lastly, it’s been a long time, but I’m back in the public speaking ring! As long time readers know, the past two years I’ve gone to the Spiritual Arts Fair in Oneonta, NY (2009 and 2010) and I always have a great time. Well this year I won’t just be attending, I’ll be giving one of the presentations! Along with the gigantic crowd of vendors there will be free workshops all day that include Hindu spirituality and chanting, Tibetan Buddhist meditation, Native American spirituality, Soul Mask making, Zen meditation and chanting, and more! Part of that more will be my presentation “Protection from Evil: Religion, Folklore, and Myth”.

For those of you in the area, the event is Saturday May 7, 2011 from 9:30am – 5:00pm. Admission is $5 and covers the workshops, but if you want a psychic reading, a henna tattoo (I get one each time we go), or other services, additional fees will be involved. The Spiritual Arts Fair is held at the Unitarian Universalist Society located at 12 & 16 Ford Avenue and Wilbur Mansion 11 Ford Avenue in Oneonta, NY.

In closing, thanks Spectral Dragon, stay strong Cindy Chaney, congrats to Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, and see you at the 7th Annual Oneonta Spiritual Arts Fair!