A work in progress. Explaining words and phrases that I often use. Noting new and interesting ideas. Discussing certain verbal warning signs. There’s no political correctness here.Use the pull down menu above. Underlined links will open the tag or category page. Offsite links will open a new window.
ace factorMy name for the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule that dates back at least to the Roman Republic. Writers at the time knew that if you isolated the right 1 out of 5 prisoners from the others, the rest became nearly docile. In WWII, the U.S. Army Air Corps discovered that roughly 20% of the combat pilots delivered 80% of the kills. The Army Air Corps studied combat aces to identify the traits. All that work just showed that aces had a certain irreverence for authority, an incredible drive to get the job done, and a certain intuition that defied any kind of classification. The regular Army found that a similar ratio held for tank commanders. The really freaky bit is that without those “aces” well distributed and highly visible to the rest of the service, the service’s effectiveness could drop by nearly half. We need our heroes clearly in sight. Today in business the 80/20 rule usually means that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients, but versions of this rule exist all over. Just remember it’s not necessarily universal.
acknowledge but not celebrate(ABNC) - This grew out of my birthday calendar. I don’t celebrate birthdays myself, but birthdays are important to the people around me. I should at least keep track. Then it spread to other holidays that I do not celebrate. Finally I realized it was an important idea in and of itself. I could accept the guy across the street was gay, but I didn’t have to celebrate his homosexuality. I could have a Mormon relative, but I do not have to practice his faith.
activeThey do, they manifest.
active listeningWhen I use my version, I say approximately one thing for every three things that the other person say. This is a simplification, other methods may be worth your time
acquiesce❝to assent tacitly; submit or comply silently or without protest; agree; consent❞
(ABCDEF) - One of the best tools to evaluate groups or leaders, particularly those that seem a little off. I first ran across this marvel in Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon. Pre world wide web, I can’t tell you how many copies I made for minister and priest friends who were looking for a little help with awkward situations
A selfless love, a self-giving love, self sacrifice that requires no reciprocation. Call this the "just because" love. The appearance of agape is often used to cloak possessiveness. Christianity places a great deal of store by this love, although it can easily mask codependency and some really questionable behavior. One of the Greek ideals of love. See love
Today is the Age of Wonders, the most amazing time in human history, with marvels and miracles far beyond any other time
agora❝ 1 a popular political assembly.
2 the place where such an assembly met, originally a marketplace or public square.
3 the Agora, the chief marketplace of Athens, center of the city's civic life.❞
❝Agorism is a political philosophy founded by Samuel Edward Konkin III and developed with contributions by J. Neil Schulman that holds as its ultimate goal bringing about a society in which all "relations between people are voluntary exchanges – a free market." The term comes from the Greek word "agora," referring to an open place for assembly and market in ancient Greek city-states. Ideologically, it is a term representing a revolutionary type of anarcho-capitalism or free-market anarchism. Schulman integrated the idea of counter-economics into Konkin's libertarian philosophy, which is the advocacy of untaxed black market activity, which agorists say will lead to development of private defense force sufficient to protect private property and liberty from the state to the point where such protection is strong enough to overthrow the state.❞
I share part of their world, and they share part of mine. Sometimes more than I am comfortable with. I don’t converse with them as much anymore, but I can still feel them. Do they exist separately or are they my own subconscious creations? See also useful fiction, Bear, Coyote, Raven
My version of Starhawk’s “power with instead of power over.” See also Golden Rule, POvsPW, and parity test
Ancestral Mystical Authority
Ancestral Mystical Authority claims at least one unbroken line of magick workers with the strong implication that their juju is better than your juju because their ancestors did it better and longer and that True Magick is only passed through the ancestor’s blood. Often used as a distraction to keep other people from noticing that the claimant lacks 1) ability, 2) training, 3) common sense, 4) experience, 5) lineage, or 6) any or all of these things. Basically it’s a big “Shut the F*ck Up!!” to any one else present who might have another way. Used by certain pagan authors who want to become Big Name Pagans.
animismAll things possess a Divine nature because the universe is the Divine made manifest. But there are individual spirits. Granted, these spirits may be little more than human projections, but I choose to perceive and honor them as if they were separate.
When asked answer honestly, but don’t volunteer information. Don’t correct anyone else when they are talking about their beliefs, but don’t be afraid when they are spreading misinformation about yours. Don’t call another out unless it’s to prevent greater harm.
❝Antifa, which stands for “anti-fascist action,” is a network of loosely affiliated far-left anarchist and communist groups that orchestrate violent protests and attacks on populists, conservatives, and anyone else its members deem to be “fascists” or “Nazis.”
Antifa was formed originally in Germany in the 1980s, its members taking the name of the communist paramilitary groups that engaged the Nazis in street-fighting in the 1930s. It now has active cells across the world, including in Germany, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Czechia, and France.❞
➣The Shadowy Extremist Group Behind the Anti-Trump Riots
My version is lifted shamelessly from Babylon 5, “We are the Universe trying to understand itself.” In cosmology, any of several similar explanations for the nature of the universe, and for the values of its fundamental constants, that states either that the universe is as it is because otherwise we wouldn't be here to observe it, or that the very presence of intelligent life constrains the universe to be as it is.
- weak anthropic principle - conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist
- strong anthropic principle - the universe must have properties that make inevitable the existence of intelligent life
aphelion❝the instant when a planet is furthest from the Sun❞
apogee❝the instant when the Moon is furthest from Earth❞
Arbor DayArizona’s Arbor Day is the same as the National Arbor Day. I celebrate mine about a month early along with the original Earth Day during the vernal equinox.
Arizona timeTime in northern Arizona is complicated. Technically Arizona does not do Daylight Savings Time. But the Navajo Reservation does, mainly because it spans four states. The Hopi Reservation does not do Daylight Savings Time, but it's surrounded by the Navajo Reservation.
Now to make things even more interesting, the Arizona Strip in northwestern Arizona is cut off from the rest of the state. The only way to reach it is to drive into Utah (which does do Daylight Savings Time) and drop back into Arizona. Across the western border of the Arizona Strip is Nevada, which also does Daylight Savings Time.
As a rule, absolutes don’t(AARAD) - My quick and dirty answer to people who give a “moral absolute” to life or the practice of magick. The long answer is that while there are some absolutes we accept in the physical sciences, there are other things that we used to call absolute which later proved anything but (i.e. exceeding the speed of sound). Usually these absolutes are highly dependent on local conditions (speed of light in a vacuum). Every moral absolute I’ve ever encountered depends on cultural or religious assumptions that probably aren’t shared by all people present
ascending node❝the point where a planet crosses from the southern to northern portion of its orbit❞
astronomical dawn❝Astronomical dawn is the time when the geometric center of the Sun is at 18 degrees below the horizon. Before this time, the sky is absolutely dark.❞
See also nautical dawn and civil dawn
astronomical dusk❝Astronomical dusk is the instant when the geographical center of the Sun is at 18 degrees below the horizon. After this point, the sky is no longer illuminated.
In the morning, the sky is completely dark before the onset of astronomical twilight, and in the evening, the sky becomes completely dark at the end of astronomical twilight. Any celestial bodies that can be viewed by the naked eye can be observed in the sky after the end of this phase.❞
See also nautical dusk and civil dusk.
astronomical twilight❝Astronomical twilight occurs when the Sun is between 12 degrees and 18 degrees below the horizon.❞
See also nautical twilight and civil twilight.
ASIN❝The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon.com organization.
ASINs are implemented in multiple local region editions of Amazon, including the United Kingdom, French, German, Italian, Canadian and Japanese storefronts. Although ASINs used to be unique worldwide, global expansion has changed so that ASINs are only guaranteed unique within a marketplace. The same product may be referred to by several ASINs though, and different national sites may use a different ASIN for the same product. In general, ASINs are likely to be different between the country sites unless they are for a class of product where the ASIN is based on an externally defined and internationally consistent identifier, such as ISBN for books. (Where the ASIN is the same across sites, it is likely to be because the 3rd party creator of the product information was careful to quote an existing ASIN when creating the product in second and subsequent countries, or the subsequent product creation offered exact duplicate information and long enough after the initial creation to allow indexes to have been updated. Also, ISBNs can vary between countries for the same book if a separate print run or edition was published for the country.)
Each product sold on Amazon.com is given a unique ASIN. For books with 10-digit International Standard Book Number (ISBN), the ASIN and the ISBN are the same. The Kindle edition of a book will not use its ISBN as the ASIN.❞
See also ISBN and ISSN
Asperger syndrome❝Asperger syndrome is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual in 2013.
Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.❞
athamé❝Often referred to as the athame (pronounced a-tha-may) in Wiccan traditions, the magic knife is not used for cutting but for the directing of energy and manipulation of power. In some branches of Paganism, a sword is used in place of the athame. The traditional athame is double-edged and although the tip is usually pointed, the edges of the blade are often dull. After all, it's a ceremonial knife rather than a practical one. Commonly linked with the element Fire, the athame is a phallic symbol and is often used to represent the God. The athame is used for casting a circle or for the direction of energy. ❞
(the ritual blade)
❝One of the common altar tools. Traditionally, it's a double bladed knife with a black handle. Sometimes they can be difficult to find, so many modern Wiccans will use any kind of knife or blade as their athame. The athame represents the element fire (or air, in some traditions) and is often used to cast the circle. Athames are not used for cutting or other mundane tasks, though they can be used to cut the cake at a Handfasting. Pronunciation: a-THAW-may or athem-AY ❞
❝It is a dagger used in rituals, primarily to focus and concentrate power. It is a phallic symbol and as a cutting tool a divider, and thus represents The God. Magic swords are another version of the Atheme and are popular in fantasy novels and myth. One example is Excaliber, which King Arthur uses via "divine right". Another is Stormbringer, as used by Elric in the stories written by Micheal Moorcock. Note the dual imagery. Excalibre was used as a force for order, Stormbringer drank souls and was a force for Chaos. Tools are only as good as their user.❞
After study and experimentation, I'm pretty sure that the athamé owes more to high ceremonial magick than any pre-Gardnerian witchcraft tradition and probably is closer to a ritual sword than anything else. But sometimes the best symbol for a thing is the thing itself. I've experimented with something based on a Roman gladius, but really don't like the feel.
Still, for most purposes, a blessed pocket knife will do as well. —NW
audereTo dare. Act with courage. Question everything. Traditionally associated with fire and change. One of the Four Powers of the Magus (4PM)
“The men may sit in council but the aunts and the grandmothers shape lives.” Measure a culture by the attention it pays to those not a part of the official leadership structure. Especially the women.
Another one of those really, really misunderstood concepts that has caused more problems than it has solved. It's not seeing, it's perceiving. More accurately, it's translating “resonances” into sensory analogues. Sort of like “hearing” by seeing the waveform on an oscilloscope at a distance through a telescopic lens with filters that randomly change. It's imperfect, imprecise, highly subjective, and varies according to location, experience, mood, and expectations.
As for Kirlian photography, it has nothing to do with the aura. There's no overlap, and someone's insistence that Kirlian photography “proves” that the aura exists just complicates things.
If you don't question what a book or Authority Figure™ tells you, you aren't doing your part. Ask questions. Question the answers. Question your questions.
auto didacticismThe process or practice of learning a subject without a teacher or formal education; self-education
Inspired by the writings of the late Zena Henderson and the Celtic Mighty Dead. It's not quite ancestor worship, my version of a Before is closer to “revered inspiration” Think of it like “respected ancestor who I choose to honor by living their example." I've expanded the original idea, it is no longer limited to my blood ancestors. I have adoptive Befores, those who inspire me in other ways. Each year at the beginning of Winter, I name five.
- Before of Bone - in my family line
- Before of Heart - provided compassion and love in any of it’s forms. See Greek ideals of love
- Before of Thought - provided wisdom or knowledge
- Before of Deed - provided action that shaped my world
- Before of Spirit - touched me beyond words and strummed my passions
But don’t invite trouble
Fame is their motivation. I am less impressed by fame than what someone has done and how they have lived.
Traditional Diné word for “white man.” It loses something in translation. I’m one of the few born among the Diné. There’s not a word for that, but it’s understood on both sides that there is something more to the relationship. I’m what happens when Louisiana farming stock takes root in the Four Corners region.
(pronounced with two syllables, emphasis on the second) - the God-touched, the ones who walk between the worlds, agents and elements of magick
Another concept I caged from Zena Henderson and mixed with parts of a Christian prayer chain. When I can, I ask permission before putting someone on my Bless List. With some exceptions, I keep the details private. I put it on my calendar so that each day I am reminded.
- Get permission first.
- Question human action, but trust in the wisdom of the gods and the universe.
- Make sure it is deserved.
- Carefully weigh the options, recognizing that sometimes a blessing for one can be a curse for someone else.
- Try to make it what is NEEDED rather than what is WANTED.
- Make it specific.
- Make it private.
- Better to build on what is already there than to slap a new structure down. And if you do have to put in a new structure, make sure the foundation is strong and won't be rejected.
blue moonThe third of four full moons in a season
❝This rare calendar event only happens once every few years, giving rise to the term, “once in a blue moon.” There are normally only three full moons in each season of the year. But since full moons occur every 29.53 days, occasionally a season will contain 4 full moons. The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon. Blue moons occur on average once every 2.7 years.❞
Where one area touches another, the border shares traits of both
borosilicate❝Borosilicate glass is a type of glass that includes at least 5% boric oxide. The boric oxide makes the glass resistant to extreme temperatures, and also improves its resistance to chemical corrosion. This glass is very popular in the manufacture of scientific instruments, and it was once widely used to make glass for kitchens as well. Today, soda-lime glass is the glass of choice for kitchenware, due to the fact that it is generally cheaper to produce.❞
See also Pyrex
bozo❝A bozo is someone who thinks they are much smarter and capable than they actually are. They constantly over-estimate their abilities and under-estimate the risks and threats around them. They typically don’t keep an open-mind. They look instead for data that confirms a previously held bias.❞
❝An incompetent person, especially in new companies. Bozos have a net negative effect on morale and profits, and everyone knows it.❞
bracer❝A bracer (or arm-guard) is a strap or sheath, commonly made of leather, stone, or plastic that covers the inside of an archer's arm to protect it while shooting. Bracers protect the inside of the archer's forearm against injury by the string of the bow or the fletching of the arrow. They also prevent loose clothing from catching the bow string. They normally cover part of the forearm only, but chest-guards are sometimes worn, usually by female archers, and other areas have at times been protected. With some combinations of non-baggy clothing and bows with a larger distance between the bow and the string, the archer may not need to wear any bracer.❞
See also vambrace, ketoh
Bright & Dark BlessingsOne of my signature goodbyes
bright and dark passionsSome people (me included) enjoy giving pleasure and pain. When this is true, you can’t repress it, you have to find a way to express it or things can get ugly. Find your balance and acknowledge your passions.
bright MoonA “full Moon,” see Moon phase
cant (not can't)❝cant -
- insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.
- the private language of the underworld.
- the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, profession, etc.: the cant of the fashion industry.
- whining or singsong speech, especially of beggars.
- to talk hypocritically.
- to speak in the whining or singsong tone of a beggar; beg❞
can't hoardI can’t hoard the magick. I can’t put it somewhere “safe” in a cabinet or carefully sealed in a jar. It has to flow. I bring it home, I mix it with some of me. I manifest what I can. I give it away. Then it comes back changed. I have to take it back through me and manifest again. It never stops.
cascade effectWe're plugged into more information and more information sources than ever before. A cascade effect is pretty common, where the same information (right or wrong) hits you from several channels at once, making it seem more important or more widespread than it actually is. That is why the number of channels is not nearly as important as the diversity of channels.
cauldron❝cauldron - a traditional cauldron is a cast iron, pot-bellied pot with three legs. If you cannot find such a thing, any pot will do in a pinch. It represents the element of water, but is also used to house small fires (especially at Beltane). Still water in a cauldron makes for excellent scrying.❞
See also horn of plenty and Taliesin
This author did not make the obvious connection. A cauldron is a COOKING pot, it's used for cooking and brewing and simmering the contents. The housing small fires thing is safety more than anything else. A cauldron housing a fire possesses a completely different symbolic meaning than a cauldron used for cooking. Still water means something completely different again. Better to use three different things.
ceremonial magickHonoring the gods, the spirits, and the magick with rites and rituals performed at a set time and place. Roughly speaking, the more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
civil dawn❝Civil dawn is the moment when the geometric center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon in the morning.❞
See also astronomical dawn and nautical dawn.
civil dusk❝Civil dusk is the moment when the geometrical center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon in the evening.❞
See also astronomical dusk and nautical dusk.
civil twilight❝Civil twilight occurs when the Sun is less than 6 degrees below the horizon. In the morning, civil twilight begins when the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and ends at sunrise. In the evening, it begins at sunset and ends when the Sun reaches 6 degrees below the horizon.❞
See also astronomical twilight and nautical twilight.
claws that rip
clean sheets & hot running waterI like my clean sheets & hot running water, my internet and my fireplace. Modern conveniences are great things when coming home after being outdoors for a while.
collecting pelts - counting sexual conquests without the benefit of friendship. Bedding someone based mainly on the status it brings. Sending them on their way before breakfast and without getting their phone number. The lower end of casual sex and only a step or two above masturbation. No connection other than the sexual act itself. My preferred way of advancing in my Corporate Clone days. I try to do better now.
See also fur.
Very good friend and sexual partner. More than “friends with benefits,” less than spouse. The Lady Always Chooses
companion plantingIn companion planting, different crops are planted in the same spot, each benefiting the other. Perhaps the best known historical example today is the Three Sisters from certain Amerindian tribes. Squash, maize, and beans worked together. The maize supports the beans so no trellis or poles are needed. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil. The squash spreads out, preventing weeds while blocking some pests. Together, the three plants provide a fairly healthy diet.
conjunction❝the instant when a planet appears closest the Sun as seen from Earth❞
A Corporate Clone is a mid ranking or higher employee who appears to conform but actually plays nasty games against employees on the same level in preparation to take on the higher-ups. Lower level employees are considered game pieces>
❝A politico-economic system in which most power is held by large corporations, often mistakenly called capitalism. This is the current governing system of most of the world❞
If your business model depends on government intervention, you'll ignore the "customer" and focus on manipulating and controlling the government. That's how to get a bigger profit under corporatism.
corporate social responsibility
❝economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary expectations with society has of it's corporations and institutions at any given point in time❞
As hard as it may be for some to believe, corporations have absolutely zero social responsibility. A corporation is responsible to it's shareholders first and last. The way that a company keeps and makes more customers is by selling what the people want in a way that is equal to or maybe a bit better than the competition. That brings more profit which means the owners are happy. Anything else is literally the price of doing business.
Companies don't care, people should. If you don't like what a company sells or how it does business, go to the competition. Under no circumstances should you get government to make a company do what you want. That leads to corporatism, and that means neither the government nor the company has any reason to listen to the likes of you.
There are three rules that companies should keep in mind. If done right, following these rules can put a company in the top twenty percent.
A company is responsible to it's ownership. Customers are the ones who pay the bills. Sometimes the real customer is the government, see corporatism.
- Competition keeps us honest.
- Always do what you promised.
- Try to deliver more than you promised.
crescent moonThe Moon’s phase is less than half full. See Moon phase
The closest fit would be lower elementals in the classic sense, but that doesn’t quite fit
cross quarter dayfire festival, WebTree High Holiday, one of the gateways between the four seasons. A cross quarter day marks the midpoint between the solstice and equinox (or equinox and solstice). It begins on sunset of the first day and lasts until sunset of the third day. See also High Holiday and fire festival
A crusader is a pernicious form of True Believer™ who won’t stop until everyone is saying and doing the exact same things at the exact same time. Or else. Marked by immorality, intolerance, and intrusiveness towards others because the crusader believes they know what is best and for “your own good.” Crusaders can’t stand criticism of their Ideal, it makes them irrational as well. “Why does your enlightenment demand that I sacrifice?”
It's pretty understood that you can't bless if you can't curse. Now ethically that's a whole new situation. Just because I can hit your kneecaps with my baseball bat doesn't mean I will.
Beyond ethics, in Western occultism there's something called The Law of Similarity or, like calls to like. If I cast "bad luck" or "sickness," then I risk attracting those very same things to me. Yes there are ways to avoid that, but the only one worth sharing online is the simplest. Don't try to curse in the first place.
Dealing with curses, well, that depends. It may be very unromantic, but most people are dealing with their own emotional baggage and not external forces "out to get them."
A…B…C ∙ D…E…F ∙ G…H…I ∙ J…K…L
M…N…O ∙ P…Q…R ∙ S…T…U…V ∙ W…X…Y…Z