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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Pursuit of truth and beauty

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
— Napoleon Hill

Ro3 № 24

“Study: People Who ‘Microdose’ LSD and Magic Mushrooms Are Wiser and More Creative”


Ro3 № 22

The honor is in giving truth when needed, helping when you can, and leaving the World a little better than how you found it.

Ro3 № 4

Start by listening. Before you say anything, listen again. Just to make sure you understand, listen some more.

Journal - Friday, 26Oct2018

Thinking by blogging
This last week I've been polishing the behind the scenes stuff on this blog. That includes cleaning up the formatting for my quotes & thinkums. There's a goof in 2017 that's throwing things off, but I will find and fix it. I've been reading my old stuff. I've been cross referencing. Most of it isn't obvious.

Mom isn't doing so well. She forgets things. She's having a harder time moving around. We'll see.

One of my biggest frustrations is sex. One companion passed and the other moved. I try to avoid casual sex these days and I don't do the pickup scene at all. The younger women aren't interested in an older guy, especially the kind that makes them think. The older available ladies, well, many are into the victimhood thing. Some of the others want a bad boy. When they find out I am pagan, they think danger and blood and risk. Usually that's not me. I used to have sex six or seven times a week and now it's once or twice on a good week. I'm horny in an age of #MeToo and regret equalling rape accusations. I'm not sure how to fix that.

Truth is winning in a small way. I've been finding people that I agree with online. Of course it will never be a massive or even an impressive number, but there's hope for Isaiah's Job yet. I serve veritas, that has it's own rewards. Widespread recognition for my, um, obvious insights and grand wisdom is not one of them. I'm pretty good, but it won't bring fame and money. Still, it's nice to stumble across some like minded folk here and there. Wisdom is where you find it.

It dawned on me that I can save time by copy-pasting the source code from the quotes & thinkums blog entries in my comments. I'll have to eliminate the <div class="offset"> and the following </div>, but the rest shows up in Disqus just fine. Not with all the bells and whistles, true, but with enough to show it's a blockquote. I sill may have to toss in some <em> and </em>, but it works.

Time for a shower. Then I'll greet the sunrise while sharing breakfast with my raven friend. Then over to check on Mom.

What's in a word?

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather just different kinds of good weather.
— John Ruskin

NeoNote - White sage, Amerindians and virtue signalling

White sage is really not that hard to find. You need a little care when harvesting to avoid harming the plant. If you're in the right area and you don't overwater, it's fairly easy to keep in a container garden. Oh, and if you're harvesting your own, avoid polyester thread or yarn to tie the bundles, that smells terrible when burned.

I grew up next to the Diné and Hopi and near the Havasupai and a handful of other tribes. I promise that pretty much any sage ceremony from a book or a pamphlet or a website isn't anywhere near culturally appropriated, much less "authentic."

Okay, maybe I am not understanding because the stuff is all over New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Maybe I'm wrong, but if it was a native supplier who was selling, how is wrong for the company to resell?

I never really have understood the whole cultural appropriation bit. Syncretism happens.

Pardon, but it's some of the First Nation folks. Some of the Diné I know are far more concerned with the abuse of corn rituals than sage rituals.

I guess what I am saying is that this strikes me as politics, a way to control other's behaviors using little-understood religions. Look at this, we're talking Native, we're talking First Nations, but these groups are absolutely not the same as the various tribes.

This was acceptable and practiced behavior a couple of days ago. No one was hurt, no one was abused, no one was demeaned. From what you yourself have said, anyone who is not Native should Stop Now. This isn't about honoring the First Nations, it's about control through guilt.

Why does your enlightenment require that I sacrifice?

Granted I haven't been able to talk to more than a handful of people in the last day or so about this issue, but most of what I got was laughter.

This is not a "bubble," I was born on the res, the Diné and Hopi are some of my friends and neighbors.

This whole thing about honoring the First Nations seems very selective. A few months back during the Dakota protests I tried to point out how the state of Utah was using legal maneuvers to steal land and money from the Ute and Diné (Navajo). That didn't rate so much as a burp, but the discussion on the protests went on and on.

Trust me, white sage is not endangered. Not even in the wild. The land is mostly desert and the plant life is not as plentiful, but it is all over the place. It's not the most common plant, but it's not rare.

That's something else we've been tiptoeing around, isn't it?

That also drags the FedGovs in. Truthfully there are some peyote users that aren't interested in the ritual.

The whole mess between the NAC and the Feds is one thing that convinced me that government and religion should be strictly separated from other. And that was when I was (briefly) a Young Teenage Republican Male. Twelve years old and I could see what a farce it was on both sides.

Well, the hunt is part of the ritual, but yeah.

==>Insert obligatory lengthy libertarian anti-drug law rant here<==

For the record, I don't even drink or otherwise imbibe. I even try to avoid aspirin.

So you can use the higher authority gambit to cite the Good Amerindians, but I am not allowed to question?

These are questions that should be asked.

Starting with the big one that almost everyone keeps tiptoeing around. Why should white sage be forbidden to anyone not of First Nations stock?

That in itself raises questions, very political questions in fact. Some tribes have taken a hard line on who is and is not a member.

Do you have to be Officially Recognized before you dare consider using white sage?

I do that when someone claims higher morality so they can control the choices and actions of others.

It's a first step.

You should see what I do with self-righteous Christians.

Pardon, but some Native Americans are upset. The (admittedly few) that I talked to just thought it was silly.

They still think the plant and the smudging ceremonies are sacred. They just think there are more important things in the World than this fuss.

Which, BTW, didn't exist a week ago.

I have a bit of a problem with lumping different tribes under one heading like First Nations or Native or Amerindian. Whenever possible, I prefer to refer to the tribe name and not the generic label. The cultures and ceremonies are different.

That being said, the handful of Diné I talked in the last couple of days thought this was silly and virtue signaling. I think they were more irritated by "whites" trying to "protect" Amerindian rituals and plants than "whites" using sage in purification rituals.

It was only a small number of people. It would be a mistake to claim their opinion is representative or that I have a greater understanding of their culture.

But that's parity again. It cuts both ways. If the people I talked to are not representative, then what about the Amerindians who complained? If my understanding is insufficient, then what about all the non-Natives who are making a fuss now?

That happens a lot.

Thomas Sowell said “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”

Just because it is truth doesn't mean people will listen.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


It's only shame if I accept the premise.

Yes, this pose is a little submissive.


NeoNotes — accusation

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
— Albert Einstein

Truest life

Thinking by blogging

Reading is a dying art, especially the way I do it.


You don't know

Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.
— C.S. Lewis

Tainted frisson

We've not had one of these in a while, have we?

I've been busy, but that is not the reason. Politics has tainted paganism in my mind and I am working to re-establish the separation.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. Politics is not a part of that.

This author is Officially Approved this week, but that doesn't mean anything about next week. Next week it may be old fashioned. The week after there may be some scandal as defined by Today's Morality that wasn't immoral when it happened. If it happened.

This isn't new. One of my favorite symbols is the wheeled cross. But it has white supremacist connotations, so I can't use it in "public" pagan discussion. Never mind that it makes more sense to me than the pentagram. It's racist. Off limits. Not allowed.

Sex play and flirting that was allowed a decade or so ago is now denounced. And everyone who participated is expected to abase themselves before the new morality.

As this leaks more and more into how pagans act, it's less about paganism and more about doing the "right thing." Enforcing the echo chambers. Closing out dissent or contrasting opinions. Expelling all that might be tainted by immorality or evil. Part of it is politics, but it goes beyond that.

Some pagans want to change paganism from an experienced faith to a revealed faith. Something with all the bumps and twists and turns ironed out. No unexpected surprises. Nothing not previously declared. No uncomfortable truths. No juice. No frisson. Everything nice and neat and perfectly defined.

The experience has been sanitized for your protection. Truth will be revealed, but only if you do as you are told.

It has been approved by the powers-that-wanna-be.

Not necessarily the gods.

It's politics, not faith.

Some things will be revealed. If you pay attention and ask the proper questions. In the proper order. And no more. Politics will advance you more in this new pagan faith than experience.

Except those people aren't really a part of paganism.

It's about your Journey. Not about their Story.

Paganism is about the experience. The juicy, sexy, messy, screwed up experience that you struggle to make a part of your life. It's about embracing the passion. It's about where the gods point you. It's about finding and living your own way.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. It can't be revealed, it can only be experienced.

Will you live it?

Or will you avoid the taint?

In defense of Bonewits' work

Since the reddit comments on my blog entry saying that I don't think Isaac Bonewits abused Moria Greyland, this site has been labeled as "supporting abusers."

Over the years I've developed a small reputation for straight talk and honest answers about sex, particularly sex in a pagan context. My two personal carved-in-stone sex rules are consenting adults and you're off limits if you promised to be someone else's "one and only." I believe that those two rules cover most of the sexual issues in American society. I've recently added two more. "Regret does not equal rape." "Acknowledge but not celebrate." These are personal rules, they affect me. I can't impose them on anyone else. But honestly, the first two cover so much of what is wrong with American sexuality that I often use them in discussions to show how messes could have been avoided. If it's not consent, it's not right. Now I could go into the why and wherefore, but that is not really relevant here. I will say that my sex category on this blog doesn't include porn. There are essays on ethical pagan sex and how responsible sex can fit into paganism. I also point out frequently that sex is not love, nudity is not sex, and love isn't nudity.

The site gallery does include nudes. With a couple of exceptions it does not include sexual nudes. And you will not find photos of nude children anywhere on the site. Many of my vintage nudes are classical pieces of art where I point out things that the artist was trying to convey.

I discourage sexual abuse and sexual misunderstanding. I condone truth, I do not condone abuse. Before the accusations against Bonewits, no one questioned that.

I have this habit of pointing out truths, even when they are uncomfortable. Look at the motto of this site. I firmly believe that I am called for veritas.

My introduction to Isaac Bonewits was in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon. For a seminary dropout with magickal experience but very little formal training, it was eye-opening. His ABCDEF talked about how people were treated. Bonewits didn't focus on the "correct" Deity or if the priesthood/leadership had special "rights" beyond the membership.

Of course Bonewits wasn't the first to focus on how people were treated. But it was the first that I have ever seen that didn't start with a religion-specific context. I wore out my first copy of DDTM because I used to copy that chapter for minister friends when they asked for help. There was no web addy to hand out in those days.

Real Magic wasn't my next purchase, but I did buy it within a year or two. Rural location, a lot of road trips, no real bookstore, no internet, yeah, it took a couple of years. When I started studying, I was hooked. Here were explanations that actually fit in the real world. Bonewits credits Sir James Frazer with isolating the laws, but points out that anthropologists don't acknowledge him. Still, here was a framework where I could hang my own studies. Even when I goofed up and had to backtrack, I never had to throw out Bonewits. His stuff was just too damn useful.

That should be a law. Oh wait, it is. Bonewits calls it the Law of Pragmatism.

Were the Laws of Magic as defined by Bonewits absolute? No. But he allows for that too.

To this day, I've a poster of the laws hanging near the altar in my sanctum.

So here's the question. Now that P.E.I. Bonewits has been "shown" to have questionable character, should his work be forgotten? Should his name never again be mentioned in polite pagan company? Should we conduct a cultural scrubbing and remove any influence that Bonewits might have had?

No. I don't think so.

He was a flawed man. How flawed is still open to discussion. But his contribution to neopaganism and anthropology can't be denied. We can accept the work without accepting his sexual activities. And if his work can't stand on it's own, people will find something else.

I think removing him and his work is very close to what a fundamentalist Christian would do. I don't think the world is either/or, and neither did he. I tell people that if they tell you the choice is black or white, you should go for the fuzzy. Or maybe the minty. Reducing the choice to all or nothing means you probably overlooked some things.

For ourselves, for our understanding, we should keep Bonewits' work.


Quarter Moons and Semi-Truths

I want to choose my own


Difficult truths

It isn't as far as you think


Truth is…

Freedom from the Known is death, and then you are living.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti

THE truth



Religious Truth

Conversation with Juliaki


Called for veritas

We’re not naked, we’re skyclad!
— Kelley Armstrong, Dime Store Magic


As a pagan, I've found that 99% of my practices and worshiping consists of just going outside, sitting still, shutting up, and listening.
— AmericanCeltic

Truth behind the curtain

And that raises the first philosophical question. What exactly is that something beyond?


What makes a pagan different?

Bolines can be fancy…



I usually just call this kind Gaia


Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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