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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.

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 social justice or political correctness here.

Offsite links open a new window. Underlined links are internal to the site.
Uppercase links go to the lexicon. Script links go to the timetable.

A dashed border and red banner means I don't agree with the defintion
 or that it is a dangerous idea.


Today's secret word is
abaya       ace factor       acknowledge but not celebrate       acquiesce       active       active listening       ad hominem       ad feminam       ad ignorantiam       ad mulierem       ADF       Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame       agape       Age of Wonders       agency cost       agora       aipim       air       Alban Arthan       Alban Eiler       Alban Elfed       Alban Hefin       All Hallows       All Hallows Eve       allies       allies not servants       aluminum oxynitride       amateur radio       Amerindian       An Aoine       An Chéadaoin       An Déardaoin       An Domhnach       An Luan       An Mháirt       An Satharn       analysis‑synthesis       Ancestral Mystical Authority       And yet it moves       anima       animism       animus       answer honestly       anthropic principle       anthropogenic climate change       Antifa       antifashistisch       aphelion       apogee       April       aquaponics       Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF)       Arbor Day       archaeoastronomy       archate       argumentum ad hominem       Arizona monsoon season       Arizona Strip       Arizona time       as a rule, absolutes don’t       Ásatrú       ascending node       Ash Wednesday       Ashkenazi, Ashkenazim       Asimov's Laws       ASIN       Asperger syndrome       asperitas       Association, The Law of       astronomical dawn       astronomical dusk       astronomical twilight       athamé       atheopaganism       attiudes on nudity       attitudes on sex       audere       augmented reality       August       aunts & grandmothers       aura       Authority Figure™       auto‑da‑fé       autosome, autosomal       autodidact       autodidacticism       autumnal equinox       awen            

abaya    caution

A usually black, billowly, long, outer sleeveless garment customarily worn in public by some Muslim women and often proclaimed as a symbol of piety.

If legally required such as in Saudi Arabia, it is oppression of women.

Faith has to be a personal choice to have meaning.

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ace factor    80% of results come from 20% of causes. Especially with people.

My name for the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule that dates back at least to the Roman Republic.

Today in business the 80/20 rule usually means that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients or that 80% of your results come from 20% of your employees. But versions of this rule exist all over. Chances are you only spend most of your home time in just a few rooms. In a store, you'll only use a few aisles. In gardening, most of the crop comes from a minority of plants.

The ace factor really explains people's behavior. In ancient Rome, writers 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. The regular Army found that a similar ratio held for tank commanders.

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 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.

Just remember it’s not necessarily universal.

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acknowledge but not celebrate       ABNC

Some people believe that their moral choice should compel my behavior. Obviously I disagree.

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 anniversaries and holidays that I do not celebrate. From there it was a short step to listing dates that others found important. Finally I realized it was an important idea in and of itself.

It works for sexuality, religion, and politics. You may be Catholic, but I don't have to celebrate Mass because it makes you feel good. I could accept the guy across the street was gay, but I don't have to sleep with him to validate his choice. I could have a Democrat relative, but I do not vote that ticket before I can talk to him at family gatherings.

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They do, they manifest.

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active listening

Active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening - otherwise the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.

Interest can be conveyed to the speaker by using both verbal and non-verbal messages such as maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and smiling, agreeing by saying ‘Yes’ or simply ‘Mmm hmm’ to encourage them to continue. By providing this 'feedback' the person speaking will usually feel more at ease and therefore communicate more easily, openly and honestly.
Active Listening from Skills You Need
When 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.

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ad hominem

Ad hominem (Latin for "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. The terms ad mulierem and ad feminam have been used specifically when the person receiving the criticism is female.

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ad ignorantiam

The fallacy ad ignorantiam, or an appeal to ignorance, occurs when someone argues that something must be either true or false because it hasn’t been proven to be one way or the other. In other words, a particular belief is said to be true because you do not know that it is not true. The issue typically has to do with something that is either incapable of being proven true or false, or has not yet been proven true or false.

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to assent tacitly; submit or comply silently or without protest; agree; consent

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Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger
Evaluation Frame
      - 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.

See also politics
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agape      or agaph

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 words for love.

See also love

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Age of Wonders

Today is the Age of Wonders, the most amazing time in human history, with marvels and miracles far beyond any other time.

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  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.

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aipim     See cassava


One of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and in Western alchemy. One of the five traditional elements in Western occultism.

In a standard Tarot deck, air is symbolized by the Swords. In Gaelic myth, there is the Sword of Nuada. In the Grail romances, there is the Sword.

Corresponds with one of the four best known states of matter, gas.

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Alban Arthan     See Yule, winter solstice

Alban Eiler     See Ostara, vernal equinox

Alban Elfed     See Mabon, autumnal equinox

Alban Hefin     See Litha, summer solstice

All Hallows     See Samhain

All Hallows Eve     See Samhain


The closest meaning would be totem, but that is not exactly accurate. They are spirits manifested in this world, but the link isn't because of clan or kin.

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?

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allies not servants

My version of what Starhawk called “power with instead of power over.”

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aluminum oxynitride      transparent aluminum, ALON®

ALON® or Aluminum Oxynitride is an amazing and unique transparent advanced ceramic that is polycrystalline (made from powder) with a cubic spinel crystal structure. In the popular media and in the Star Trek community, it is commonly referred to as Transparent Aluminum. Surmet is the only company globally, that manufactures ALON®.
ALON® Optical Ceramic from Surmet

Transparent aluminum starts out as a pile of white aluminum oxynitride powder. That powder gets packed into a rubber mold in the rough shape of the desired part, and subjected to a procedure called isostatic pressing, in which the mold is compressed in a tank of hydraulic fluid to 15,000 psi, which mashes the AlON into a grainy “green body.” The grainy structure is then fused together by heating at 2000 °C for several days. The surface of the resulting part is cloudy, and has to be mechanically polished to make it optically clear.

Bullet-resistant glass has some clear drawbacks, namely, that it doesn't bar all bullets and that piling on the protective but heavy material merely slows the vehicle in question. So what can save the lives of soldiers and civilians under fire?

Researchers think the answer may be transparent aluminum armor, a finely polished ceramic alloy that's both lighter and stronger than traditional bullet-resistant glass.

Known commercially as ALON, transparent aluminum armor is made of aluminum oxynitride, a combination of aluminum, oxygen and nitrogen. Before it can end up as a hard transparent armor plate, it begins as a powder. This powder is then molded, subjected to high heat and baked, just as any other ceramic is baked. Once baked, the powder liquefies and then quickly cools into a solid, which leaves the molecules loosely arranged, as if still in liquid form. The resulting rigid crystalline structure of the molecules provides a level of strength and scratch resistance that's comparable to rugged sapphire. Additional polishing strengthens the aluminum alloy and also makes it extremely clear.

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amateur radio

Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.

Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators.
What is Ham Radio? from ARRL

My late stepfather was a ham for decades.

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According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Amerindians are the aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Inuit and Aleut peoples, however, are frequently excluded from the category of Amerindian as they are considered closer genetically and culturally to other Arctic peoples than to Amerindians.

Amerindian is a portmanteau of American Indian. Amerindians are also known as aboriginal Americans, indigenous Americans and Native Americans. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that the ancestors of Amerindians crossed a land bridge from Asia around 30,000 to 12,000 years ago when sea levels were low enough for that to be possible. These ancestral groups were nomadic, relying on hunting and gathering for sustenance.
Who Are the Amerindians? from reference.com

I don't really like the word "Indian" for American indigenous peoples, and I think "Native American" is misleading. Amerindian is the best compromise I've seen, although I prefer specific tribe names.

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An Aoine      See Friday

An Chéadaoin      See Wednesday

An Déardaoin      See Thursday

An Domhnach      See Sunday

An Luan      See Monday

An Mháirt      See Tuesday

An Satharn      See Saturday

     See analysis‑synthesis, thought modes

auto‑da‑fé    caution

Auto-da-fé, (Portuguese: “act of faith”), plural autos-da-fé, Spanish auto de fé, a public ceremony during which the sentences upon those brought before the Spanish Inquisition were read and after which the sentences were executed by the secular authorities. The first auto-da-fé took place at Sevilla in 1481; the last, in Mexico in 1850. The ceremonies, which became increasingly elaborate and spectacular, were normally staged in the city plaza, often in the presence of royalty. They usually comprised a lengthy procession, a solemn mass, an oath of obedience to the Inquisition, a sermon, and the reading of the sentences. The victims were most frequently apostate former Jews and former Muslims, then Alumbrados (followers of a condemned mystical movement) and Protestants, and occasionally those who had been accused of such crimes as bigamy and sorcery. Life imprisonment was the extreme penalty that the inquisitor could impose; the death penalty was imposed and carried out by the civil authorities. Generally, neither punishment nor the handing over of condemned persons to the secular power took place on the occasion of an auto-da-fé.

the public declaration of the judgment passed on persons tried in the courts of the the Spanish Inquisition, followed by the execution by the civil authorities of the sentences imposed, especially the burning of condemned heretics at the stake.

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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:

  • ability,
  • training,
  • common sense,
  • experience,
  • lineage, or
  • any or all of these things.
Basically it’s a big “Shut the Fuck Up!!” to any one else present who might have another way. Used by certain pagan authors who want to become Big Name Pagans.

See also politics

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And yet it moves.      See Eppur si muove


According to Carl Jung's early work, this refers to a person's innermost, largely unconscious being. In contrast the persona, is conscious and externally directed. 2. Later in Jung's life, used to reflect the universal archetype of the feminine manifestation within the male psyche.
ANIMA from Psychology Dictionary

: an individual's true inner self that in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung reflects archetypal ideals of conduct

also : an inner feminine part of the male personality
Positive traits include (but not limited to) patience, compassion, consideration, tenderness, love, nuturing, and intuition.

Negative traits include (but not limited to) uncertainty, moodiness, insecurity, hypersenstivity (especially being "triggered"), cattiness, and vanity.
See also animus, persona

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All 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.

  1. the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.
  2. the belief that natural objects have souls that may exist apart from their material bodies.
  3. the doctrine that the soul is the principle of life and health.

The term animism is derived from the Latin word anima meaning breath or soul. The belief of animism is probably one of man’s oldest beliefs, with its origin most likely dating to the Paleolithic age. From its earliest beginnings it was a religious belief that a soul or spirit existed in every object, even if it was inanimate. In a future state this soul or spirit would exist as part of an immaterial soul. The spirit, therefore, was thought to be universal.

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  1. : a usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will
  2. : basic attitude or governing spirit
  3. an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung

in analytic psychology and coined by Carl Jung, this refers to an archetype imbued by masculine characteristics and/or the unconscious male side of the female psyche.
ANIMUS from Psychology Dictionary
Positive traits include (but not limited to) assertiveness, positivity, rationality, thoughtfulness, courage, power, objectivity, honor, and wisdom.

Negative traits include (but not limited to) negativity, ruthlessness, coldness, destructivity, opinionated, brutality, and recklessness.
See also anima, persona

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answer honestly

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.

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anthropic principle

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

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anthropogenic climate change    caution

Anthropogenic climate change refers to the production of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. By examining the polar ice cores, scientists are convinced that human activity has increased the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has skyrocketed over the past few hundred years.
Anthropogenic Climate Change
from Global Greenhouse Warming
Yeah, about that. Not exactly.

Humans are not uniquely positioned to save or doom the World. That's our conceit, not truth. Life will go on long after our decendents have dissolved into dust.

There is no doubt that humans change our environment. What impact and how much and are questions that we are only now beginning to answer. We can measure changes in the water table, in deforestation, in cities, in roads, in landfills, and in the oceans.

What we have is computer projections that overemphasize greenhouse gas emmissions and especially carbon dioxide while diminishing all other known factors. Let me stress that. Computer. Projections.

What we don't have is proof that greenhouse gases significanly alter climate over the long term. The "cascade effect" where minute shifts in carbon dioxide change atmospheric behavior is theoretical, it has never been observed outside a computer. No one has yet explained why the "cascade effect" doesn't show after volcanic erruptions or major forest fires.

What we have is periods of solar activity that match the "greenhouse climate changes" on Earth. And a similar changes on Mars.

What we don't have is anyway of predicting exactly what the noon temperature is going to be Thursday after next. Or if the wind is going to blow the next day. Or if it's going to rain the day after that.

So there just might be common sense reasons to doubt temperature graphs that forecast trends in tenths of a degree annually.

Hardly anyone goes back and compares the accuracy of the computer projections from previous years. Was today's climate forecast sixteen or seventeen years ago? Nobody takes the computer models from today and plugs the figures from five or ten years ago to see if today's climate was accurately predicted.

Years ago I came up with four simple questions.

Is it unusual?

Is it entirely or mostly human caused?

Is it evil or bad?

Can human action reverse or slow it?

Unless each and every question can be answered yes, there is no anthropogenic climate change.

Humans do change the planet. But humans don't change the climate.

If the science doesn't hold up, we need to look at who is demanding change and why? Who benefits from a climate change panic?
See also climate at Pagan Vigil,
climate change at Pagan Vigil,
Ecology at Pagan Vigil,
Gaia, politics, precautionary principle, ugh‑politics
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Antifa   caution

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.

Antifa, short for the German word antifashistisch, is a congerie of anarchists, socialists, Communists, liberals, and social democrats who disrupt, break, beat, and make it physically impossible for those whom they deem fascists, capitalists, white supremacists, etc. to carry on their activities. Antifa’s slogan is “abolish capitalism, antifascist action, smash fascism.” Their members dress in black, wear masks, and fight under black and red banners. Footage of their violence is readily available online.
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the instant when a planet is furthest from the Sun

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the instant when the Moon is furthest from Earth
See also Moon

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April      Fourth month of the Gregorian or Julian calendar year.


The most simple definition of Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.
WHAT IS AQUAPONICS? from The Aquaponic Source

Aquaponics (/ˈækwəˈpɒnɪks/) refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates that are utilized by the plants as nutrients. Then, the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.

As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.

Aquaponics works and is viable on a small scale. However it takes time and effort, much more than the average person in a home setup may be willing to give.

I do see it on a small commerical scale, especially in areas with inclimate weather or restricted water. If the costs can compete with trucking in fresh vegetables and fish, it could do very well.
See also greywater, water

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Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF)

Ár nDraíocht FéinputÁr Ndraíocht Féin (pronounced - arn ree-ocht fane) in Gaelic means “Our Own Druidism”, is an independent religious fellowship of neo-Pagan Druids founded in 1983 by P.E.I (Isaac) Bonewits, a former Archdruid of several groves in the Reformed Druids of North America. Ár Ndraíocht Féin has no direct links to the ancient Druids but is a reconstruction of Druidic and Indo-European Pagan rituals and religions. Organized into groves, many of them named after trees, the ADF integrates religion with alternate healing arts, ecology-consciousness, psychic development and artistic expression. They have eight seasonal High Days (equivalent to the Wiccan Sabbats) and they conduct regular study and discussion groups in addition to a wide range of artistic activities.
Traditions from Controverscial.Com

ADF is working to combine in-depth scholarship with the inspiration of artistry and spiritual practice to create a powerful modern Paganism. We're researching and interpreting sound modern scholarship (rather than romantic fantasies) about the ancient Indo-European Pagans — the Celts, Norse, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Vedics, and others. Upon these cultural foundations we are working to build a religion that these ancient people would appreciate and understand yet one which has depth and power for modern people. We're developing genuine skills in composition and presentation in the musical, dramatic, graphic, textile and other arts. We're bringing together people trained in ritual, psychic skills and applied mythology to bring the remnants of the old ways to life. We're creating a nonsexist, non-racist, organic, flexible and publicly available religion to practice as a way of life and to hand on to future generations.

Since our founding in 1983, we have succeeded in building the foundations of this vision's reality. We have local congregations, called groves, in many cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, along with a handful in other countries. Within those groves we are designing powerful magical and religious ceremonies to bring the blessings of the gods and goddesses to our world. Our groves offer regular public worship of the old gods, serving as centers of Pagan organizing in many localities. We offer our people the full range of religious and social activities including weddings, funerals, child blessings etc. — along with ways of enriching the soul.

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Arbor Day

Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. As a formal holiday, it was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska, but tree planting festivals are as old as civilization. The tree has appeared throughout history and literature as the symbol of life.

The idea for Arbor Day in the United States originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Among the pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was Julius Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife, Caroline, were lovers of nature, and the home they established in Nebraska was quickly planted with trees, shrubs, and owers.

Morton was a journalist and soon be- came editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper. Given that forum, he spread agricultural information and his enthusiasm for trees to a receptive audience. His fellow pio- neers missed their trees and needed them for windbreaks, fuel, building materials and shade from the hot prairie sun. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose the state was once a treeless plain, yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day in the 1800s.

Morton wrote and spoke about environmental stewardship and the interrelated- ness of life. He encouraged everyone to set aside a specific day to plant trees.

New Mexico Arbor Day - second Friday in March - state tree is piñon

Arkansas Arbor Day - third Monday in March - state tree is pine

National Arbor Day - last Friday in April

Arizona Arbor Day - last Friday in April - state tree is palo verde

Nevada Arbor Day - last Friday in April
state trees are single leaf piñon and bristlecone pine

Utah Arbor Day - last Friday in April - state tree is aspen

Colorado Arbor Day - last Friday in April - state tree is blue spruce

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The modern scientific study and theorization of memorialized constructions, prior to telescopes, by worldwide students of the sky, including writings and symbols engraved in stone, related to their observations of the Sun, stars and constellations with the placement or carving of paired gnomon and target alignments,comets, rhythms of the 5 visible planets, lunar eclipses, phases and standstills,or an anomaly such as a localized total solar eclipse, a planetary occlusion by the Moon,a planetary conjunction, a supernova, an asteroid, a meteor or an unidentifiable object.

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to initiate force; to use violence against someone who isn't being violent; to start the fight; to throw the first punch; to attack without a credible imminent threat of being attacked; to bully or govern
With apologies to movie purists, "Be nice until it's time not to be nice." Tit for tat.

But there are exceptions to every rule. Exceptions that you can only invoke at your own peril and at the risk of undoing everything that you believe is right and just. There are times when playing by the rules just invites your own destruction. There are times when certain people game the system, just so no one can honorably oppose their moves.

Depending on circumstances, I'm no longer willing to rule out initiating force. But I'm still smart enough to accept that initiating force could (and probably will) invite total catastrophe.

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Arizona monsoon season

For my purposes, the Arizona monsoon season begins at the summmer solstice and ends at the autumnal equionx.

During the monsoon or summer thunderstorm season, Arizona experiences more severe weather than many other states. On some occasions, a severe storm may spawn a microburst, but more often high winds, dust, and severe downpours result in flash floods.

Prior to 2008, the Phoenix area monsoon season was considered to start when there were three consecutive days that the dew point averaged 55 degrees or higher, but in 2008 the National Weather Service decided to take the guesswork out of monsoon start and end dates.

After all, since monsoon season is a season, most people should not be concerned with whether or not a particular dust storm is defined as monsoon storm or not.

Beginning in 2008, the National Weather Service established June 15 as the first day and September 30 as the last day of the state's monsoon season, allowing visitors and residents alike to be more concerned with monsoon safety and less concerned with technicalities of the season's start and end dates.
The Official Definitons™ are always needlessly complicated.

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Arizona Strip

The Grand Canyon isolates the Arizona Strip from the rest of Arizona, making it among the most remote and rugged public land in the lower 48 states. With nearly 4,000 miles of unpaved roads in this spectacular remote region, this distinctive part of Arizona has a special appeal to many people.

The Arizona Strip is the part of the U.S. state of Arizona lying north of the Colorado River. The difficulty of crossing the Grand Canyon causes this region to have more physical and cultural connections with southern Utah and Nevada than with the rest of Arizona.

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Arizona time

Time 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.


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as a rule, absolutes don’t

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 uninfluenced by gravity). Every moral absolute I’ve ever encountered depends on cultural or religious assumptions that probably aren’t shared by all people present.

See also politics
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Ásatrú (Icelandic, "Æsir faith") is a modern revival of the pre-Christian Nordic religion as described in the Norse epic Eddas.

Ásatrú is an Old Norse word consisting of Ása, referring to the Norse gods, and trú, "troth" or "faith". Thus, Ásatrú means "religion of the Æsir." The term was coined by Edvard Grieg in his 1870 opera Olaf Trygvason, in the context of 19th century romantic nationalism.

Generally synonymous terms for Asatru include Germanic Neopaganism, Germanic Heathenism, Forn Sed, Odinism, Heithni or Heathenry.
Asatru from ReligionFacts

A modern day Icelandic poet, Goði Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson, promoted government recognition of Asatru as a legitimate religion; this status was granted in 1972. Since the early 1970's, the religion has been in a period of rapid growth in the former Norse countries, as well as throughout Europe and North America.
Asatru: Norse Heathenism from ReligiousTolerance.org

There is some question regarding how closely Odinists have actually managed to recreate these beliefs, and of whether Germanic mythology ever qualified as an organized religion as it is understood today. Many Asatruar go to great lengths to link themselves with the past, such as taking on a Nordic "baptismal name" like Heimgest or Gunnar. Presumably when there are more than a dozen Asatruar widely known by these names, patronymics will be introduced. When more than four can actually agree on something, you get a group known as a "Black Metal" band kindred, which will then scream about Odin as if they have swallowed boiling grease. Possibly they have.

According to the neo-Druid Isaac Bonewits, some practitioners of Asatru are "mesopagan," meaning that they try to make their practice as close to the old form as possible with no intentional (but some unintentional) modern influences, while others are neopagan. Practitioners typically prefer to be called heathens rather than pagans. If you really want to piss these people off, call them neopagans — within the community, this is often a snarl word used in the same way as "cafeteria Catholic", associated with Wiccans and other "fluffy" groups. However, most neopagans accept them as a slightly kookier branch of the big neopagan tree.

It's worth noting that not a whole lot is really known about how the Norse people worshiped, so despite their hatred of the term, practitioners of this religion can be most aptly named neopagans.
Asatru from Rational Wiki

Ásatrú (ancient Nordic mythology) is based on the old religion of Germanic Northern Europe and is popular in Scandinavia and Germany. They believe in two groups of gods: the Æsir (associated with kingdom, order, and craft), the Vanir (associated with nature and fertility), opposed by the land of giants. The Æsir or Asa gods are the by far most prominent group, with the Vana gods, stemming from even earlier polytheism, being absorbed into their realm. You are probably familiar with many of their deities, such as Odin (king of the gods, god of wisdom and death), Thor (god of thunder and warriors), Frey (nature) and Freya (fertility). The 12th-13th-century Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson wrote extensively about the mythology in the Prose Edda, which made it possible to preserve a wealth of information to the present day.
  • Regrettably, a number of white supremacist prison gangs have decided to "adopt" a racist form of Asatru as their religion, and it is these groups that are more likely to be written about - even though the Southern Poverty Law Center notes that no more than 15% of Asatruers as a whole fall into this category. It should be noted that there is no real support in the Norse lore for the idea of "racial purity" even among the Gods, several of whom married or mated with Giants - their traditional enemies.
  • In recent years, Asatru has become something of a subset of Heathenry, which is often used as an umbrella term to cover the various Norse/Icelandic/Saxon-based faiths. These include Odinism, Theodism, Vanatru, and Forn Sed among others.
Useful Notes / Neo-Paganism from TVTropes

See also Brosatru

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ascending node

the point where a planet crosses from the southern to northern portion of its orbit

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Ash Wednesday      See also Selected Christian Observances

Ashkenazi, Ashkenazim

Jews of central and eastern Europe, or their descendants, distinguished from the Sephardim chiefly by their liturgy, religious customs, and pronunciation of Hebrew.

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Asimov's Laws

Fictional rules developed by Isaac Asimov for artificial intelligences. First mentioned in the 1943 short story “Runaround,” these rules defined his robot stories and inspired other writers and many science fiction fans.

  • First Law - A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

  • Second Law - A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

  • Third Law - A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

In his short story "Evidence" Asimov lets his recurring character Dr. Susan Calvin expound a moral basis behind the Three Laws. Calvin points out that human beings are typically expected to refrain from harming other human beings (except in times of extreme duress like war, or to save a greater number) and this is equivalent to a robot's First Law. Likewise, according to Calvin, society expects individuals to obey instructions from recognized authorities such as doctors, teachers and so forth which equals the Second Law of Robotics. Finally humans are typically expected to avoid harming themselves which is the Third Law for a robot.
One interesting variation came from the DC Comic series Shadowpact (#9 Three Laws Safe, March 2007).

First Law - The lives and safety of innocent bystanders will always be protected.

Second Law - The lives and safety of you (the superhero) and members of your team will be protected to the extent that it does not conflict with the First Law.

Third Law - The lives and safety of all opponents will be protected to the extent that it doesn't conflict with the first two Laws.
Now obviously I don't think pagans are superheroes running around fighting Ancient Evils and villianous threats. But the morality is worth some thought.

See also politics
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The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-snwc 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.

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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.
Asperger Syndrome from Autism Speaks

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asperatus clouds over new zealand
Asperitas (formerly known as Undulatus asperatus) is a cloud formation first popularized and proposed as a type of cloud in 2009 by Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Added to the International Cloud Atlas as a supplementary feature in March 2017, it is the first cloud formation added since cirrus intortus in 1951. The name translates approximately as "roughness".

The clouds are closely related to undulatus clouds. Although they appear dark and storm-like, they almost always dissipate without a storm forming. The ominous-looking clouds have been particularly common in the Plains states of the United States, often during the morning or midday hours following convective thunderstorm activity.

Pretor-Pinney described the formations as “localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.” Asperitas clouds tend to be low-lying, and are caused by weather fronts that create undulating waves in the atmosphere.

In layman’s terms the clouds look downright apocalyptic — these are the clouds you’d expect to see on Judgement Day, or in the lead-up to an alien invasion. One look at these clouds and you know something very bad is coming.
Earth’s newest cloud is terrifying from The Verge

See also Asperitas
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Association, The Law of      See The Law of Association

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.

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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.

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astronomical twilight

Astronomical twilight occurs when the Sun is between 12 degrees and 18 degrees below the horizon.

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athamé      - the ritual blade

The black-handled knife that is the traditional witches’ weapon. It is used for drawing the magic circle and for controlling and banishing spirits.

The use by witches of a magical weapon of this kind is very ancient. A picture upon a Greek vase of circa 200 B.C. shows two naked witches engaged in ‘drawing down the moon’, that is, invoking the powers of the moon to aid in their magic. One holds a wand and the other a short sword. Evidently the magical knife could have evolved from this sword.

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.

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.

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atheopaganism symbol

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attitudes on nudity     See pagan attitudes on nudity & sex

attitudes on sex     See pagan attitudes on nudity & sex

audere      - To dare.

Act with courage. Question everything. Traditionally associated with water, change, and courage.

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August      Eighth month of the Gregorian or Julian calendar year.

augmented reality

Augmented reality puts a computer-generated overlay between you and what you sense. There's been some very interesting work done (separately) by Alphabet and Apple, among others.

The novels Daemon and Freedom™ by Daniel Suarez have an interesting take, right down to a hero's quest.
On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world -- or at least the way its users see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. Similar devices and applications already exist, particularly on smartphones like the iPhone.

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aunts & grandmothers

“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.

See also politics
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aura   caution

One or more energy fields supposedly generated by and surrounding all beings and many objects; those persons blessed with clairvoyance or other psychic talents can “read” the patterns of energy and determine information about the person or object.
Isaac Bonewits,“glossary - Aura”, Real Magic
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.
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Authority Figure™

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.

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autosome, autosomal

any chromosome other than a sex chromosome

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a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.
One of my hats. I'm going to brag here.

I've a wide range of interests with eclectic depths. I majored in television and film production. I spent a short time in a Methodist seminary. Along the way, I picked up management, accounting, law, motivational speaking, auditing, and teaching. That's just what I needed professionally.

In my own time I studied art, architecture, graphic design (back when that meant cutting things out on a light table), history, comparative religion, government theory, psychology, economics, practical politics, the craft of debate, paganism, magick theory, anthropology, literature, political theory, stage magic, web design, and medicine.

I'm not an expert by any means, but experts can let complexity interfere with practicality and understanding.

I am a philosopher in the old sense. I groove when I think about thinking. I look for the hidden connections between disciplines. I take the working ideas from one field and see if I can find ways to make them work in another.

Think of me like a non-specializing specialist, a term lifted from an Asimov story.

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The process or practice of learning a subject without a teacher or formal education; self-education.

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autumnal equinox      See equinox
      The MIDDLE of fall, not the beginning.


Awen is a Welsh, Cornish and Breton word for "(poetic) inspiration". In the Welsh tradition, awen is the inspiration of the poet bards; or, in its personification, Awen is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general: the inspired individual (often a poet or a soothsayer) is described as an awenydd.

In Druidry, we learn often hear the word, awen, being used, but what exactly is awen? Loosely translated from Welsh, it means flowing spirit, or flowing inspiration. Awake to our own energy, and stretching out towards the energy of nature around us, we begin to see just what awen is. It is an opening of one’s self, of one’s spirit or soul, in order to truly and very deeply see. When we are open, we can receive that divine gift, inspiration that flows, whether it is from deity, nature, or whatever it is that you choose to focus on.

For awen to exist, there must be relationship. We cannot be inspired unless we are open, and we cannot be open unless we have established a relationship, whether that is with the thunder, the blackbird or a god. It is cyclical in nature; we open and give of ourselves and in doing so we receive, and vice versa. Letting go, releasing into that flow of awen allows it to flow ever more freely, and we find ourselves inspired not only in fits and bursts of enlightenment or inspiration, but all the time, carrying that essence of connection and wonder with us at all times. There is, of course, a line to be drawn, for we can’t be off our heads in ecstatic relationship with everything all the time.
Awen by Joanna Van Der Hoeven

By far the most popular meaning of the Awen is three rays of light.

The number three is a very sacred number not just in Druidry but also in Celtic culture.

The meaning of each ray of light has different meanings in culture.
  • Some believe that they represent three divisions of the soul (mind, body and spirit)
  • Others believe it represents the three realms we inhabit (land, sea and sky)
  • Also underworld, middle world and upper world
  • Love, Wisdom and Truth
  • Nature, knowledge and truth
  • So as you can see, there are many meanings for the Awen.

    Interestingly the three words for Druidry that illuminate darkness are nature, knowledge and truth.

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