Saturday, September 29, 2007

Freedom of Speech

"Prevented from Harassing Wiccans and Pagans, Xians Claim Discrimination"

Freedom of Speech does NOT mean that you can say
- what ever you want
- when ever you want
- where ever you want
- to whom ever you want
- for what ever reason you want
without any consequences...

The 1st Amendment of the American Constitution reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

You may not use your rights to limit someone else's rights.

It's not ok to speak against the peaceful assembly of representers of another religion - or the peaceful assembly of ANY KIND.
It's not ok to exercise your religion in a way that it limits others opportunities to exercise their religion - or choice of no religion.
It's not ok to speak against any opinion or religion as long as it is expressed peacefully and legally.

In this case the park was lawfully separated from public space to form a specific feast area for celebration of certain specific forms of religion. Entering the area with any other attitude except respect towards Paganism was thus equal to entering a church, mosque or synagogue with any other attitude than respect towards Xianity, Islam or Judaism respectively. I can't understand how anyone can even consider anything else.

The same way speaking for limiting another person's rights because one doesn't approve his skin color; ethnic, cultural or religious inheritage or identity; political opinion; sexual orientation; gender etc. etc. is not protected by any laws guaranteeing freedom of speech.

You may NOT use your rights to try to limit someone else's rights!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Birth control, abortion...

"Last night, I had dinner with my six youngest children at a restaurant (ages 6 to 22). It had been a long time since we were all at one table. I loved every minute of reminiscing and laughter. Midway though the meal I realized and announced, “If I practiced birth control, I would be the only one at this table right now!”"

Her six youngest? How many kids does she have?

I got offended...
I am against abortion, but I am for abortion as an option. It's not my job, place or business to decide whether other people go through their pregnancies or not.
But birth control? That's the best thing ever invented! Of course, there's a lot of promiscuity as consequence, but millions of women have been saved thanks to birth control, and that's more valuable than some forced moral problems. Sex is a lovely thing, and every adult should be able to enjoy it without fearing the society's condemnation or other unwanted consequences. Pregnancy related deaths are a big problem in the world today, and was even bigger before the invention of birth control. Also, condoms protect you from STDs. (Which any existing or non-existing foreskin or hymen doesn't do...)

This woman is happy for her 11 children - I would be too - but she is privileged. So am I.

My husband loves me and would love all our children - so does her husband. There are millions of women out there whose husbands - or fathers of their children - do not love them.

I am well educated, can read and write, can speak several languages and live in a country where freedom of opinion, speech, religion etc. is self-evident benefit. I am fairly intelligent, and would be able to homeschool my children. So is she. Millions of women are not educated at all, can't read or write, can speak only their mothertongue and don't enjoy the freedom of speech - they wouldn't even get a hearing at home.

I am an emancipated woman, living in a society, where my worth is not necessarily bound to my gender. The whole world is open for me, I can become what ever I want. So does she. There's millions of women whose worth is to breed and take care of the household. They are forced to breed from the day they are able to, often force-married to someone lot older than they, raped, beaten to submission...

The Western women's life was very much like that only 100 years ago - before the invention and availability of birth control.

The main thing is that I have a choice.
I can CHOOSE to use birth control.
I can CHOOSE to abort a pregnancy that is going to kill me.
I can CHOOSE to have sex.
I can CHOOSE to stay home and take care of it and my children.
This CHOICE is what women all over the world NEED.

Another thing, "I have experienced the deepest hurt when our adult children have not understand my spiritual beliefs or convictions."

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-- Kahlil Gibran

My children are not MINE. It's their life, their choices, even when it comes to things important to me. Of course I'd want all my children to follow the same path I do, but it's not my decision - it's not their decision either, I believe. They were born on the path, and I - or anyone else - have no right to try to seduce them from that path! So I have no reason, no justification, no sense in getting hurt when they disagree with me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First meeting with another Pagan...

Witches Weekly Question

I was born in an ordinary Finnish family, where the parallel reality was recognized - my mother's family had their encounters with the unusual and extraordinary - seeing true dreams and passed spirits etc. My mother is a Xian and my father... I don't know about his religious or philosophical views, but I suppose he's quite agnostic humanist... The religion was not discussed in my family, but it was available. I read my older siblings religion books with Bible stories told for children. Growing up all I knew was Xianity. Finland is an evangelical Lutheran country.

I loved fairytales, so I read the Greek myths already when very young - 8-10 I suppose - and was introduced to the Greek polytheist world view. At that point I didn't understood that it's a valid religion just as well as Xianity. I read other myths as well, and was thus introduced to pantheism and animism too.

When I was a teenager I tried hard to fit into the Xian world, but it didn't do me anything. I suppose that - using the Xian terminology - the Holy Spirit never thought of collecting me >:->
So I decided I was an atheist. There really was only those two options; if one believed in God, one was Xian, if one wasn't Xian, one didn't believe in God. I knew I wasn't Xian, so I had to be Atheist LOL (Why the big laughter? Because I'm the most theistic person I know :-D)

I was confirmed - as all christened children in Finland - but... It was just a way for me to be social with other teens. Some time after that I decided I was Pantheist and Animist. I thought it was a nice way of seeing things. Still I hadn't met anyone I knew to share my ideas, attitudes and philosophies.

All this time I was reading fantasy books - a natural conclusion from fairy tales;-) - and I so wanted to be a witch. I started studying divination, herbs, magic, what I could get my hands on... in the 70's and 80's there really wasn't ANYTHING about that subject in Finland. My sisters gave me a book "Witch's Handbook" by Dannie Druehyld at that time, and even though it was in Swedish - and I wasn't too good at it then - I swallowed the book whole... it was the first time I found out that there ARE witches abroad... There are people who think very much the same as I do, and have it as their religion!

It was only about 10 years later, when someone mentioned Wicca. I had a small witch circle, and the other two girls were talking about a film they'd seen and wondering what Wicca was. I went on line and searched for information and decided that that was what I was :-) (Wrong again...)
I printed out all the information I could get, and my husband supported me in this - he made me an altar to be used in rituals and bought me some books he had read in his past he thought I'd like etc. I tried to be as Wiccan as I could, and did it for a couple of years.

Some other friends of mine were witches as well, but there never were any discussions about the issues - there never were true circles or sabbaths, never rituals together, never any common spell casting or sharing of experiences and tips... That is something I miss.

2004 I joined Care2, and there I'd say I met the first true Pagans I have had discussions about these things. It was there I realized that I wasn't Wiccan, "just" a Pagan witch. I was over 30 at that time, and self-taught, eclectic, and very much sure of my position in the spiritual world. I also met some very lovely communities in both Delphi Forums and Yahoo! Groups. Lovely people :-)

I enjoy the feeling of not being alone, not being some insane weirdo... My true confirmation happened in these discussion groups. Even though my resources were extremely limited - Goddess' really didn't have much to guide me with ;-) - I have arrived to the same conclusions and insights so many other people on this planet. I would say I am appreciated in the Pagan community that knows me, even though I'm "just" a self-taught "no-body" :-)


Friday, September 14, 2007

Flying with the Broom Friday

Heart of Wisdom has a blog entry on weekday memes. This kind of "memes" is a nice inspiration to write a blog entry, when the day arrives, when you don't know what to write about.
There's the Daily Meme, if you would like to know other "memes" around the internet.

Meme is not just "an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog" - it's a cultural building block, like genes are genetic building blocks, and "an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog" is just one form of memes. Memes are fascinating things :-)

One of the Friday memes is "Fruits of the Spirit Friday"

"Fruits of the Spirit" are "the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life";

“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
-- Galatians 5:22-23

According to this, the majority of Xians are not Xians at all... >:-> I am slightly offended by the idea that because of this quote from the Xian scriptures the Xians have claimed monopoly, the sole ownership of these qualities - as if no-one but a Xian can be loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle and controlled... I know there are Xians who truly believe it to be so... doesn't sound loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful or gentle to me.

I am a witch, and I am not quite sure I agree with who ever wrote the letter to Galatians. I wish there was a "holy scripture" of witches... it would make keeping this blog and the purpose of this blog so easy... (The purpose is to be one point of spiritual Pagan witches' internet community and network.)

The classical attributes of a witch are "flying on brooms, intercourse with the Devil, and meeting of demons and other witches at sabbaths"... Sounds "bad", huh? ;-)
* "flying on brooms" is to trust in oneself, trust in the miraculous world which is more than can be empirically proven and trust in Goddess - and believing in magic - trust and belief - faith;
* "intercourse with the Devil" is loving the Goddess and being faithful to Her misunderstood by elitist, ignorant and arrogant fundamentalists, and
* "meeting of demons and other witches" - community - having healthy, social life; not isolating oneself and remembering that we are One -
* "at sabbaths" - attuning to the seasons and Circle of Life - enjoying and celebrating life.
All good things.

Of course, there are Scott Cunningham's 13 Goals of a Witch, which can also be used.

I think it would be best to make your own list of the qualities you consider essential for a good life as a witch, and use them as "fruits".

Robin is very good with this kind of things, so I am going to adopt this meme and make it mine :-)

The purpose of this meme is to make me aware of what it is to live in Goddess and for Goddess, and how can I honor Goddess through my daily behavior, attitudes, qualities and deeds.
As you noticed, I said "according to this most Xians are not Xians at all" - how can I live so that the same cannot be said of me.
I am doing this for ME, not for anyone else. I am not doing this to show the world how "good" I am, but to show my traveling companions that you are not alone... I am just one of them, with bad qualities, struggle, good intentions, aspirations to become a better person... and perhaps, you - my companions - could show me that I indeed am one of you, just another human being, with the same kind of thoughts and doubts, reactions and conclusions - sometimes right, sometimes wrong...

Tips for writing these blog memes

* Trust in Goddess to help you with it. Ask for guidance and LISTEN to Her answer.
* Don't wait for Friday to start thinking about this. Decide already the previous Friday what the next Friday's quality will be, and keep your eyes and mind open all week through.
* Don't limit yourself to the prompt questions in this blog entry. They are there just to help you, if you find it hard to write. So be open for Goddess' suggestions during the week. ;-)
* Write the ideas, quotes and anecdotes down as you encounter them.
* Limit yourself to one quality a week.
* You don't need to do this on Friday, you know ;-) Write the blog entry when you can.
* This is not a competition. There are no limits in how much - or little - you write, how well you write, there are no rights or wrongs here - it's YOUR blog and YOU write what YOU want, think, feel...


Which quality am I focusing on this Friday?

How do I define this quality? How do other people define this quality?

Robin's prompts are based on her experience of Bible study journaling and the idea of using the meme as a base to the journal, so she asks "how does the Bible define this fruit". We don't have a holy scripture, but as the Bible is said to be "God's word mediated through inspired people", I am going to try to find some insightful quotes instead. Goddess speaks through everything, so if you find a quote inspiring, insightful, well said, take it as Goddess' Word. (Even if it happens to come forth in another spiritual tradition's holy scripture ;-))

How does this quality show in the everyday life? How does it affects others in my surroundings?
How does the LACK of this quality show in the everyday life? How does it affects others in my surroundings?

How do I know someone possesses this quality? Do I possess this quality?

Is this quality common or generally missing among people in my life; my family, friends, relatives, acquaintances?
Is there someone who is an especially "fine example" of a person possessing this quality?
What brought these people into my life?

Is there someone "famous" who expresses this quality or lack of this quality?
Is there someone who used to "have it" but haven't anymore - or didn't "have it" but has it now - and what changed it?

How can this quality be reached/developed?
How could I show more of this quality in I?

Is there a quality I find hard to reach or express?
Do I get misunderstood/misinterpreted? How? What could I do to change it?

Is there something that makes it harder to express or possess the quality?
What could be done to encounter that?

Addition after having read a comment from "Steph" at Heart of Wisdom, on December 28th, 2010:

Calling me "this Ketutar chick" shows exactly how much respect YOU have to your fellow human beings. None.

You are right, I'm not trying to seek God. I don't need to, as I have never lost God. God is here with me, always, forever. If I was, I wouldn't go to the Xians, and definitely not to Robin. None of you know God, as is evident from your actions and words.

You are wrong in claiming that I'm "stalking" Robin's blog. I found this meme from a place where they were giving a lot of different memes for different days of the week, and through that site I found Robin's blog. I neither look for things to attack Robin or Xians.

Every time I have come to Robin's blog, I was lead there by something else.
First it was the memes, then it was homeschooling, then it was trying to find JEWISH Chanukkah things, because I'm married to a Jewish man, which you'd know if you were just a little bit more intelligent and kind a person, which I know is totally unrealistic to expect, and found CHRISTIAN Chanukkah things. Not cool, not cool at all. Then it was about the USonian elections and she trying to tell people GOD wants you to vote Republicans... Geesh! Then I received a newsletter which I definitely did not want, and it was impossible to ignore the Pagan bashing... as that was the only newsletter I have EVER received from "Heart of Wisdom", I think it might have been a deliberate provocation.
I try to keep away from the darned blog, because it's so hypocritical, offensive and deceitful. I don't think I have ever read ANYTHING WORTH reading there. Even this meme was tainted, so I had to fix it to be able to use it. Memes are meant to be used, you know. They are not anyone's private property, and one cannot copyright ideas.

Also, if you knew a little more than you do, you'd know I have given Robin due credit, and I didn't attack her once or said something unkind of her in this blog entry. But, typical of a person like you not to acknowledge that FACT, and typical of a person like you to try to make ME look bad...

If you think God loves YOUR actions, you love "wrong" "god"...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sin in blogging?

In a Xian blogging society (As the Lord Works, Heart of Wisdom, J Boys' Mommy) the ladies are a bit worried about letting internet and blogging to become an idol - replacement of the True God. I find the idea a bit far fetched - as to me internet is just one way of Goddess to communicate with me, one way of likeminded people to get in touch with me, a community - just as well these ladies could be asking if they have let their community service and church work to become an idol in their lives... Sure, it could happen, but I doubt any of them is worried about that ;-)

Sure, if I tell people that I can't meet them, because "I HAVE to write my blog" or because the virtual reality of internet has become more important and "real" than the "real" life - then I could start rearranging my priorities. And that is exactly what these ladies are talking about.
I am internet addict. I feel slightly lost without the connection, I feel somewhat absentminded, longing to get back to my computer, I prefer the time by the computer to the time by a good book or good friends - some times at least.

So - why do I blog, what am I doing in the internet?

I don't think anything I say is going to reveal hidden secrets and truths to anyone. I know it does, but I don't say it for that reason. I say it because I want to. I want to put my ideas and thoughts into words and "out there". It's not that I want to be heard, I don't care if anyone reads my blog or not. To my surprise people do read my blog and some even comment, which makes me happy (most of the time). The truth is that I want to write... if there were no other people on-line, I'd be writing anyway... I like the blogging possibilities, ability to illustrate my journal/diary, the ability to link - I simply like internet as a medium.
I write journals, diaries and logbooks to keep an eye on what's happening inside me.
I like reading what I have written, I like the insights and ideas I get from what I was thinking several years ago... I am very self-centered person in that way... but I'm not arrogant ;-)

I am in the internet because of the information and beauty. I love libraries, museums and galleries, and internet to me is a combination of all of them... Sure, I prefer reading books in paper version, and I prefer having my library in books and not in files. I also prefer visiting museums and galleries in person, but internet is quite adequate replacement and surrogate for immediate need and when my social phobia stops me from leaving my safe haven.

I see the friends I have got through internet as a bonus. I don't find the possibilities of discussion through internet as valuable. 70-90% of social communication is mediated with something else than words, and I can't read people through internet. I don't hear the tone of their voice, I can't see their eyes, facial impressions, body language. I can't smell them and I can't receive the subconscious messages. (Now, one could discuss if there are any subconscious messages, ESP and like, but I want to believe they exist, and therefor use the hypothesis as base of this blog entry ;-)) Emoticons aren't sufficient to mediate the emotions that one isn't aware of or that one doesn't want to be seen. The thing is that our BODY doesn't CARE if we intellectually want to hide some hints and messages or not - it will "lure" our brains to believe the words we have chosen KNOWING that our unconscious mind is taking care of the major part of communication are sufficient, when our feelings and attitudes are ESSENTIAL for understanding of our words. No chat room can replace a face-to-face meeting in a nice, comfy tea room, and that's the CLOSEST we get to a conversation in the internet.

The thing is that friends I have got through internet HAVE TO move into category "real life friends" - friends I have contact through other mediums than internet, to be counted as real friends. If I have never met the person, if I have never received a letter from this person, if I haven't talked with this person in telephone, my conscious doesn't KNOW this is a REAL person. There's always the possibility that this "person" I'm talking to is just... AI or... my imagination... perhaps the screen name "Batsheba65" belongs to a 50-years-old man or 13-years-old girl - perhaps the middle-aged man and young girl are the same person... there might be an international conspiracy trying to take over the world, and the "person" I'm talking to is one of "them" trying to manipulate me into believing this and that... but if there is a real person that I have met outside the ether, all this doesn't matter.

I'm not into this for some popularity contest. I have never been popular, so it's one of the things I don't know anything about. I wouldn't even recognize if I WAS popular LOL The majority of "blogging awards" and what ever, is given to friends, and is not a measurements of how "good" my blog is. Besides - it doesn't matter if people think my blog is "good" or not. I'm not writing blogs because I'd want to PLEASE people; because I'm in some kind of contest; because I'm trying to prove how good, wise, intelligent, enlightening, entertaining, informative or what ever I am. I write blogs because I want to write blogs. If people want to give me some kind of award, if people find my words giving, if people like my blog, all that's just a bonus.

I find some of the reasons given by these Xian women very... they make me uncomfortable. I feel like saying "if THAT's the reason why you do this, get out of here. You're right, you HAVE made internet into something that isn't good for anyone." But I doubt any of these women have ever been bullied, ever been "different", "eccentric" or which ever word to use, I doubt any of these women have even the slightest tendency to social phobia... I have. To me social connections and popularity contests are source of suspicion, fear, paranoia, anxiety... I'd stop blogging in a week if I was doing this for friends, for popularity, for admiration, appreciation, praise and fame.

The question still remains, am I letting internet lead me away from Goddess.
My reason to be in the internet is information and beauty. I am obsessed by the quest of information. I collect information as if it was the Holy Grail. An astrologer-friend of mine told me that it is because of my Virgo "soul". I am collecting information to be able to answer correctly when The Questions are asked of me at the gate to Afterlife. I use collecting of information, organizing information, cataloguing information as a mean to relax and create a sense of having some control of life. I don't see the information as God, but I do get obsessed by it, and even though I see the Goddess in information - I hear Her voice and see Her message in it - I am not listening as often and well as I suppose I should...

On the other hand... She will take care of it anyway. Her will WILL happen, whether I am with it or not. She does control my life in all, whether I conscientiously allow it or not. "I should..." only creates fear and displeasure, and THAT will lead me from Goddess if nothing else...

So in all, I think this kind of thoughts are more sure to lead me away from Goddess than enjoying the pleasures and possibilities of internet. But - I'm a bit Epicurean, and the Xians are definitely not ;-)

"To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote."
-- Benjamin Franklin