phases by Irisanya

Jul. 28th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] paganbloggers_feed

Posted by Jamie

I don’t know what to say since my mother died in April, but there are words in every crevice of my life. There are ways to create signposts that alert me to what’s happened and no direction to what happens next. I know that something will emerge, that something will reveal itself in the light of the day and the night.

There is magick in the liminal.

The Poison Dress

Jul. 28th, 2017 03:28 pm
[syndicated profile] paganbloggers_feed

Posted by David Salisbury

Who doesn’t love an urban legend? Here’s one that’s as creepy as it is mystical.

The Poison Prom
The story goes that a beautiful young woman set out for prom night wearing an impossibly gorgeous dress that she got for a bargain. It fits perfectly. She cannot believe that she scored this dress, making her prom night dreams come true.

As her night of revelry goes on, she starts to feel faint and rushes for the restroom. The next morning, the police find her dead in that very restroom. The cause? Poison by contact.

You see, the dress truly was a deal to die for. A funeral home resold the designer gown to a thrift store after it has been soaked in formaldehyde and set upon a corpse. The chemical contact with the dancing girl’s skin poisoned her from the outside in.1

Ancient Origins
This morbid tale of fashion gone frightful is more than just a modern-day urban legend. There is some good ol’ pagan mythos behind it as well.

In the Greek myths, the sailor Jason left the sorceress Medea to marry Glauce, daughter of of King Creon. In her rage, Medea sent Glauce a dress dipped in poison, which eventually killed the princess as well as her father when he tried to save her.2

Poisoning the Powers 
The references to this particular story aren’t given much context by scholars of the classics. Why a dress? Why poison? Why did Medea pick such a roundabout method to seal the fate of Jason’s betrothed?

The things we wear, even when we don’t put much thought into them, tell a story. Clothing contributes to our identity and the glamour we attempt to cast upon our surroundings. It is horrific to imagine something so sacred as our physical identities becoming compromised with something that could hurt us.

Even when the things we wear aren’t transformed into something dangerous, simply not having them at all can become a burden. Consider the myth of the descent of Inanna. In this legend of the Queen of Heaven, the goddess travels down to the Underworld. In the process, she is challenged by gate-keepers who demand that she discard her robes, grown, jewelry, and other symbols of her sovereignty and power. Who are we when the suits we wear become toxic and profane? When the outer shell of the self is withered down to bone, all that remains is the essence of what we truly are.

Consider the story of the poison dress, the dancing girl at prom, and Jason’s poor princess. Could you survive if your very environment were shattered? Do you have enough power in your skin and song and bones?

I write this post on my 30th birthday. A place in time that’s considered to be an initiation into full adulthood. A time when we become less concerned with our outer trappings and what others think of us. We start to realize that the criticisms of those who seek to poison us matter little when we’re truly self-possessed, autonomous human beings. It might seem bizarre to think of things like poison dresses and evil curses on such a joyous occasion. Such is the morbid humor of my family that I’ve been blessed to inherit. As I look to my future, I still hold that there is a beauty and value in facing the poison and confronting our darkness. In doing so, we can appreciate our balms and have gratitude for our blessings. With my gratitude, I can walk confidently in the world, assured that I’m wearing my own skin and not the poisonous remains of another.

1Brunvand, Jan Harold (2002). Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 322.
2Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 3. 6

                    “The Olde Apothecary Shop” by Lois Bryan


Jul. 28th, 2017 09:02 am
karadinart: (Default)
[personal profile] karadinart
 Remember, it is illegal for a nation to occupy territories they have captured in wartime, and displace the indigenous population. At some point, the war is supposed to end, but the extreme right-wing in Israel wants there to be perpetual war, it is a way to gain territory, but also to keep their own people in line in increasing orthodoxy and lack of democracy. 

The US gives billions in aid to Israel with no strings, even as we cut social services to our own people, we spend more on Israel’s defense than the Israeli’s themselves. And Israel per capita is one of the richest nations in the world.

 If the US even slowed aid, so that it determined how it was spent, even in this small degree, Israel would have to begin to faithfully negotiate with Palestinians. 

[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by Liz Williams

LONDON —  A march against wildlife cruelty will be held in London August 12.  The joint protest is being sponsored by The Badger Trust, the Make Hunting History coalition, and Care2.

Organizers write, “The key aim […] will be to call on the new Conservative minority government to bring an immediate end to the cruel, costly and ineffective badger cull policy and to strengthen rather than seek to repeal the Hunting Act.”

They also want to “raise public awareness of the barbarity of fox-cub hunting, otherwise known as ‘cubbing’ or ‘Autumn hunting’, which is currently in season and has started across the UK.”

Additionally, the driven grouse season starts August 12, the same day as the march, and is reportedly “detrimental to the much persecuted Hen Harriers.”

According to the organizers, the march is “expected to be the largest ever British wildlife protection protest” and will bring together “thousands people united in their determination to stop the government from playing politics with the future of our wildlife.”

Although opinions among UK-based pagans obviously differ on the issues surrounding various forms of hunting, the community in general remains opposed to wildlife cruelty as described by the host organizations. UK Pagans, across various spiritual paths, support of the ban on fox hunting, and a number of Pagans are currently engaged in activism against the more recent badger cull.

Fox hunting in the UK has been a practice for several hundred years, until a ban was introduced in 2004.  That legislation bans the hunting of wild mammals, most notably foxes, deer, hares, and mink, with dogs in England and Wales.

Drag hunting – the practice of dragging a bundle of scented material across the countryside to allow the dogs to follow a trail – is still permitted. Therefore, traditional fox hunts across the UK are still active.

Policing the ban is obviously problematic. Hunts are wide-ranging and often occur in remote areas, and the police are overstretched. Whether these hunts actually keep within the law remains a concern.

Badger culling was trialed in the South West of the country in 2013, in an attempt to control bovine TB. The theory was that badgers were contracting the disease and spreading it to cattle.

However, there is significant scientific controversy over whether this is actually the case. Now concerns are being raised over the way that the culls have been conducted.

This particular issue has raised concerns in the Pagan community.  Colin Lovelace said, “I just hope DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] see sense and at least stop killing badgers whilst they re-examine the huge amounts of data and evidence that shows culling badgers will never stop btb [bovine TB] transmission.”

“In my area, North Cornwall, there were relatively few farm breakdowns until culling began last year and since then the breakdowns reported by DEFRA on ibtb website has exploded,” Lovelace went on to say.

“As predicted, culling badgers increases outbreaks. All the research recently carried out shows infection from badger to cattle is minute, less than 5% as previously known from previous culls. 95% of infection is cattle to cattle or from contaminated slurry spread on fields. The weight of evidence against culling badgers is enormous but DEFRA refuses to look at it.

“The only way to control btb is better testing methods, vaccinating, and tighter movement controls of cattle…Very angry, very active doing everything in my power to obstruct this cruel and damaging cull.”

London March 2014 [See Li/Flickr]

Maggie Bond, a representative of the Pagan Federation said, “The badger cull is despicable and there is no scientific evidence to prove that badgers are spreading bovine TB. With regard to fox hunting, this is a so-called ‘sport’ and serves no useful purpose.”

She added, “Blood sports are archaic and have no place in the 21st century. The majority of the British public do not want the hunting ban to be repealed.”

Activist Diane Evans said, “The Badger culls so far have been inhumane, astoundingly costly, caused prejudice and violence in communities and not achieved the desired result ….yet they are still going on. The elephant in the room is the demand for cheap food and greed in the western world for choice and plenty of it regardless of the cost to animals’ lives and the Earth…

Evans has been involved in actions against Badger Culling and theFox Hunts. “Millions of people protest against Badger Culling and Fox Hunting and a good part of these follow a Pagan path,” she said. “I don’t believe we stand up against such barbarism just because we are Pagan but because we are in the main, decent people trying to protect these animals and the Earth we all live on. I guess the fact that we hold them in such high regard is why we followed a Pagan path in the first place.”

The level of feeling against these practices continues to run high, both within and beyond the Pagan community in Britain. There will be reportedly a considerable Pagan presence on the forthcoming march in the capital.

Weekly Sketch

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
karadinart: (Default)
[personal profile] karadinart
karadin patreon weekly sketch 

Each week I will draw a sketch based on Patron Prompts! This is your only chance to commission something from me! Polling starts at the 5 dollar level.

This month the finish color artwork ‘Lily of the Valley’ was taken from the Patron prompt for Nude Sunbathing.  

(this week we have two sketches because the second is a multifigure historic au)

[syndicated profile] huginnsheathenhof_feed

Posted by Katla Hase

There is a growing voice of Heathens that have been working to publicly bring to light a disturbing long standing trend in the Heathen community. In part, it is the emphasis on procreation. This is seen throughout many cultures and is indeed part of the Abrahamic over-culture as well. It is not anything new to hear people say they have felt pressure to have children. Those who do not have children by a certain point in life often end up being looked down upon. Why wouldn’t they want to have children? Countless individuals don’t even stop to think about infertility struggles, the weight of various financial responsibilities, mental and physical health issues, and abusive situations before even posing these inquiries. Much less thinking that maybe someone simply doesn’t want to have children and is happy with their life, or the promise of a future they desire without children. It is unfathomable to some to think anyone could be happy without offspring. This is all seen in Heathenry as well as the mainstream culture. However, in Heathenry, it is often those who claim they wish to preserve the “white race” that are pushing women to be broodmares.


Example: The AFA calls for making 'white babies' in a Facebook post.

Case in point…

Long ago as a baby Heathen when I was young and single I was approached online by multiple individuals to be a vessel for white children. To join Asatru communes they claimed to be forming in order to create ‘pure’ communities (all in the Midwestern United States oddly enough). To make Teutonic babies to command the next generation of Heathens. To make little Vikings to “take back” the world. In a post I made recently, I stated that this was why I married a non-Heathen. Partly jokingly as I had no control over who I fell in love with; partly in all seriousness as this trend of focusing on whiteness and procreation in Heathenry was and is disturbing.


Eventually, I did marry and have children long after these initial requests. Not because I felt pressure to procreate but because I wanted children. I wanted to be a mother for no reason other than I wanted to have children to love unconditionally and experience part of my life with. To learn and grow from myself and to do so for them. So I had them and I was happy. Or so I thought.


There is this dark cloud that looms over many mothers that have just given birth. We rarely talk about it, especially in the Heathen community, where women are often pressured to be as strong as a Valkyrie. Every woman is some kind of shieldmaiden and weakness isn’t tolerated. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away however and many of us are dealing with hardships beyond the normal everyday difficulties of being a parent.
According to “11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you settled on an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get PPD each year in the United States alone”.
Based on my personal experience, and how difficult it was to speak up about my hardships, I think this number may be even higher simply due to how many cases go unreported. Some may be afraid to tell their doctor they are having difficulties, fearing that their children may be taken away instead of getting the help they need to persevere. Thinking their thoughts of running away or contemplating ending their lives (it’s more common than you would think) will hurt their chances of receiving help rather than help them. Or they are told their hardships will lessen and don’t “sound” like what many call simply “PPD.” I know for me I also had good days and weeks before my life felt as though it was falling apart again. So when I did seek out help I felt fine at the time of my appointment. The doctor felt satisfied and sent me home with a $40 bill for a 3-minute conversation. Little did I know how much worse it was going to get.


When I talk to others they almost all feel alone. In the world we live in now many of us don’t live in the kind of communities where we can find support close by. Most of us don’t live in villages where we all know and interact with each other on a daily basis more than just basic pleasantries. It has been discussed on many forums I am part of that a lot of us yearn for a “tribe” of sorts. For something that once was but is no longer. Some call it a longing for sisterhood. Though the issue of calling one another “brother” and “sister” in the Heathen community has been pointed out before. A topic I won’t discuss here. Now, before anyone argues about this I am not saying this kind of support doesn’t exist for some. It’s just not common in my experience and from the cries of many I see online and in person. Or those that bring themselves to discuss it.


For a religious community that pushes procreation and kin so fiercely, I am at a loss as to why there is so little support for women. Not just for PPD as I mention here but in all aspects of our lives. We are an important part of this community. If you don’t want to drive us away (like some have been) we need to be supported and appreciated other than just a pat on the head for creating life, etc. There is so much more to us than holding the mead horn and making babies. This focus also alienates our non-binary brethren. Though I have a feeling those who care so little about its cattle…I mean women…care even less for anyone who doesn’t fit in their worldview.
I personally feel that we need to stop fighting about lore and focus on living Heathenry if we want it to survive. By survive I mean to say ‘be more than books and online arguments’, and grow as a practice. For years I knew little of practicing Heathenry and more of myth as the information for even practice was disputed so heavily I had no idea what to do. Or was afraid of being torn apart for not doing it right. Many of us have scorned other religious groups but I see more support programs and community in them than I do Heathenry. Bitching online about the correct root word for a practice isn’t helping us grow and thrive in my opinion. Not all of us must be scholars. To start with we can focus on helping one another. Build supportive communities online and off, create programs on dealing with grief/depression/etc in a Heathen context, show our women they are valuable and wanted here as equals, et cetera. That’s how I see the possibility for a strong future for Heathenry coming to be. Especially, as I see more of us are creating families (through blood or not) and need more than to sit around shouting over lore.


PPD is more than just feeling “sad” for many of us. I often see comments focusing on that and not understanding what the big deal is. Not looking past that and seeing how can it can consume lives and even cause physical pain through mental exhaustion. If you are curious about PPD and wondering what some of the symptoms are this article goes in depth about the experiences one may have, CLICK HERE. I am no doctor and this article is not meant to diagnose any illness/state of being or prescribe any treatment. Please see a medical professional for an official diagnosis if you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression. You are not alone. You may feel alone but you’re not, I speak from experience here. 

Enjoyed this article? You can help support this author by clicking the button below and becoming a Patron of Huginn’s Heathen Hof!


Short rows! Or, k-r has opinions.

Jul. 26th, 2017 05:29 pm
killing_rose: Baby corvid, looking incredibly fluffy and adorable (fluffy raven)
[personal profile] killing_rose posting in [community profile] knitting
So I am currently working on the Wonder Woman wrap ( that's been making the rounds. It's a solidly written pattern. I do freely admit that I am only partially using the pattern; making substitutions and changes is my prerogative and also something that I do on most projects because I can't work with fingering and thus have to make changes to almost any pattern.*

It's also fairly easy, relying on garter, M1, and kfb for most of the shaping. The points of the Ws are made by double decrease. However, it does use short rows. This is, apparently, a reason many people I know do not want to make it.

This is like my at least fifth short row project in a year. I really love short rows. I was, thus, exceptionally confused a couple months ago when someone at the knitting table said, "I don't do short rows. They're difficult and fiddly and I don't like them."

So I poked at them to explain this. And this is when I discovered that this person was under the assumption that there's only one technique for short rows. Guys, here is where I admit: every person I know who likes short rows has their own personal favorite technique. But most people who have met short rows and run away screaming have never said, "I hate this technique, but maybe I won't hate another technique." Mostly because there are like five different ways to do it, but since they evolved in different places, not everyone's heard of them. So, this is me, giving resources in case you want to knit the above project (or a different one) and you just really cannot bring yourself to like short rows.

I loathe wrap and turn with every fiber of my being. It doesn't work for me. It just doesn't. My first couple projects used the yarnover technique. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all projects. So the first project I made that used wrap and turn I dropped in a heap and said, "NOPE" at very loudly. And then I got a book from the library and studied all the different options to try and figure out what might work for my brain.

And when I found one that worked for me, I hung out at the knitting table, checked my phone a couple dozen times to make sure I was doing it right, and clung to it like it was the best thing ever. Now, I use that particular technique any time there's a short row project I'm doing. It saves my sanity. (It also means I've never had to use safety pins in my work; there was a project where I may have, in frustration, snarled out the words who the hell thought that the Japanese short row technique was the fastest technique on the planet and or their favorite. However, there are people who do so, and this is fine. [When I am not being introduced to new and fun ways to torture my brain mid-project setup. I am not at my best mid-project setup.])

For me, German short rows are my very favorite thing. This is a good tutorial for them:

This is a good instruction for wrap and turn:

This is a free class by the author whose book saved my sanity:

And this is the book in question:

As an important note, for patterns like the Wonder Woman wrap, where they use w&t, you knit the stitch you're supposed to wrap, flip around to the other side, and do the german short row technique on that side.

So, what's your opinion on short rows? Or Wonder Woman? Or both? :)

*This is, I note, not a "I don't like fingering" but "I have two projects in fingering right now, and even on size five or six needles (let's not talk about the idiocy of the size 4 project), it still makes my poor, abused hands [thank you chronic illnesses] make me nauseated and need more pain meds." But some yarn is really pretty, so I do about three projects a year in fingering and the rest in medium, chunky, or bulky yarns.

A Blessed First Harvest

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:31 pm
[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by The Wild Hunt

TWH — This weekend and next, many modern Pagans, Heathens and polytheists are observing the summer festival of Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, Lughnassa, and Harvest Home. Typically celebrated on Aug. 1, Lughnasadh is one of the yearly fire festivals and marks the first of three harvest celebrations.

It traditionally honors Lugh, the Celtic god of light and many talents, and his foster-mother, Tailtiu.


[Sybarite48, Flickr/CC.]

In addition, the weekend brings the Ásatrú festival of first fruits called Freyfaxi. Both celebrations are celebrated with feasting, songs, games, thanksgiving, and the reaping of the first fruits and grains of the season.

There are many other late summer religious and secular holidays around the world, some of which are related to the harvest and some are not.

In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, followers will be celebrating Choekhor Duechen, or the first turning wheel of Dharma, July 27. The day marks the time when “the Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the four noble truths in Sarnath, India, and first turned the wheel of the dharma.”

The Order of the Black Madonna, based in California, hosts a number of feast days in August, including an annual dinner in mid-August to honor the Queenship of Mary.

During this time, several Native American nations celebrate the Green Corn festival. This was particularly true of “Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Timucua, and others, who used corn (maize) as their single most important food source.” The ceremony and festival, also called puskita or Busk in English, was “an expression of gratitude for a successful corn crop.”

Outside the U.S., the Slavic communities celebrate Dozhinki, a pre-Christian harvest festival that happens in late August. This year, the holiday is dated Aug. 28.  

In the Southern Hemisphere, Pagans, Heathens and polytheists are readying for Imbolc, and other holidays focused on late winter and the coming potential of spring.

This year, the full moon arrives Aug. 7, and a total solar eclipse is coming to America Aug. 21. According to reports, the entire country, from Oregon to South Carolina, will be able to witness at least a partial eclipse.

Here are a few recent quotes about the seasonal celebration:

“Lammas is basically about work, coming and going. Mind you, there are three harvest sabbats, and the trick with this first harvest that it falls midpoint of the fiery sign of Leo, which lends its ‘fixed’ energies of sustaining the cycle, to bring our work to full fruition; no slacking behind now! Magick demands much of us at this time. Toil and sacrifice are required if we are to claim the big prize come Mabontides.” — Heron Michelle, Lammas Ritual of Integration and Sacrifice

 *   *   *

“This August 1st, I suggest we forget everything we have heard about Lughnasadh or Lammas. Instead of treading that well-worn path, let’s forget about Celtic myths from long ago and the agricultural customs of 18th century English peasants.  Forget even the words ‘Lughnasadh’ or ‘Lammas.’  Instead, go outside. Look. Listen. Breathe in and breathe out. Bend down and touch the earth. And then ask what the world is telling you.  Listen for what calls to you. Discover what needs to be celebrated, or what needs to be mourned. And if the season still speaks to you of harvest or sacrifice or making bread, then so be it. But if not, don’t force it.” — John Halstead, “Why I’m Boycotting Lughnasadh Again

 *   *   *

“What will I do during those 100 or so sacred seconds [of the solar eclipse]? Will I hold a ritual? Just revel in it? Hug my kids?[…] Would the descent into darkness (and then the return of the light) be better times for ritual activity? After all, those times are ~90 minutes long each, and that would make the whole time of totality part of my ritual if I started before totality and ended after it.  […] All religions have sacred times and sacred places. For those of us with a Pagan spirituality (as well as for many others), reality itself – and especially our Earth, moon and sun – often show us those sacred times. For many of us (and certainly me), this August 21st will be one of those most sacred times. What will those 90 seconds be like for you? I don’t think that can be predicted – we can’t decide when the sacred will touch us.” – Jon Cleland Host, “The Spirituality of the Eclipse

 *   *   *

“Lugh was the first god I got to know as an individual being. Before that, most of my practice revolved around the Wiccan idea of the Goddess and the God, or other concepts that some would describe as panentheist and others would describe as vague. This was before my encounter with the Ennead of Egypt that put me firmly on the road to polytheism, and I honestly don’t remember what I thought about Lugh. But I clearly remember how I related to Lugh – as an individual deity with his own sovereignty and agency. Did Lugh call me or did I pursue Lugh? My notes from the time are sparse and I can’t begin to remember. I just remember I felt a strong affinity with him. I am no master of all arts, but I’ve always had a wide range of interests, and Lugh seemed like he would be the perfect patron for me.” — John Beckett, “The Birth of Lugh

 *   *   *

“Lughnasadh is a very good time to express gratitude to the gods and the earth spirits for their blessings and gifts that we are now receiving. In times of microwave and frozen pizza it may seem anachronistic to thank for the harvest. Many of our modern foodstuffs make it hard to still recognize the waving grain on the field in them. And yet there is a way to connect with nature via the food that we eat. This is especially valid for self-harvested fruits. But also conscious eating, eating with focus on the food and not on TV or newspaper, is one way of expressing our thanks for the harvest – all year round, but especially at Lughnasadh.” — Eilthireach, Deeper Into Lughnasadh


Returning after long absence

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:42 am
1_mad_squirrel: (Default)
[personal profile] 1_mad_squirrel posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Any Pride and Prejudice or Lost in Austen active communities?

Hail the Tech Spirits! by Ember Cooke

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:25 pm
[syndicated profile] paganbloggers_feed

Posted by Jamie

Aha! Finally, I have a working desktop computer again!

That took weeks longer than I expected it to. It’s been a bit of a rough couple of months for me, tech-wise. My tablet screen shattered. My desktop computer video card died. My phone battery started dying, too. Fun times.

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[personal profile] dreamling
My latest #portrait based on#photoreference from @sktchyapp using #prismacolormarkers and #gellyroll on #leuchtturm1917 paper #art

Food! Glorious Food!

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:21 am
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[personal profile] lsanderson
Traces of Controversial Herbicide Are Found in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
The ice cream brand joins the list of food companies that are grappling with trace amounts of glyphosate in their products.

The Hot New Thing in Guatemala, Land of Coffee? It’s Coffee
Guatemalan coffee is revered at cafes around the world. Now it is gaining a devoted following not far from the farms where it is grown.

Miso duck is good in any season, but especially as the star element in a main course salad, perfect for summer.
An Instant Way to Bolster Flavor

Miso imbues everything it touches with a sweet, salty, nutty complexity.
Recipe: Grilled Duck Breast With Miso, Ginger and Orange

The base for a good nondairy ice cream relies on alternative milks, like those from hemp, coconut and cashew.
Vegan Ice Cream Enters a Golden Age

With a huge variety of plant-based milks now available on the market, nondairy ice creams are getting better than ever.
Recipes: Nondairy Ice Cream Base

Hot Enough for You? Try Eating Something Even Hotter

On summer scorchers, Korean tradition calls for a boiling bowl of chicken, rice and ginseng that’s believed to work better than anything cold.
Recipe: Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)

For the Chile Aficionado, a Good Book

The chef Maricel E. Presilla’s new book, “Peppers of the Americas,” is an encyclopedia of facts and recipes.

The Delicious World of Bruno, Chief of Police

Martin Walker shares the wines and food of the Périgord region, which inspired the fictional world of Bruno Courrèges, his small-town French police chief.

Bo Pilgrim, Founder of Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry Products, Dies at 89
Mr. Pilgrim joined a brother in taking over a Texas feed store owned by their father and transformed it into a company with 35,000 employees and operations in 17 states and Mexico.

Your Journal is your own safe space

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:25 am
karadinart: (Default)
[personal profile] karadinart
 No one can tell you what to post, or how to post, on behalf of themselves or other people.

If your own space isn't where you can express yourself where is it possible? Very particularly on topics like politics, race, sex or art. 

Of course anyone who finds something offensive is free to not follow, no harm no foul, but if your followers are adults, they don't need the internet screened on their behalf, they can make their own decisions.


Jul. 26th, 2017 01:18 am
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[personal profile] zhelana posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Name: Zhelana
Age: 35
Location: Atlanta
Gender: Female
Languages: English and a little Spanish

Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I'm a writer and a photographer living in a small house with a husband, two dogs and two cats. I collect things like tshirts and stuffed animals. I like audiobooks while I drive, which I do a lot because I'm in the SCA. I have a youtube channel unboxing lootcrates. I have schizoaffective disorder, but the mood symptoms are largely dealt with with meds and it's mostly just psychotic symptoms now.

Top 5 Fandoms:
seaQuest DSV, Firefly, MCU, HP, Star Trek

I mostly post about: Day to day life which currently includes a partial hospitalization program, writing, volunteering at an aquarium and zoo, as well as volunteering reading to a 3rd grade boy at his school. I'm learning to play golf, and learning to play the recorder. You may eventually get youtubes of me playing the recorder. But first I need to learn how to read music. lol. I go swimming fairly often. I'm in the SCA. Occasionally I get off my but and go to Synagogue. I'm a photographer. I also talk about what I'm reading, which at the moment and for the foreseeable future, includes reading the entire Bible one chapter a night and summing it up in a few sentences of "WTF?" once a week on my Wednesday reading meme. I also post music every Monday, and writing every Tuesday, and unboxing videos every Saturday. I'm also in the middle of a 365 day meme, which will not actually take me 365 days because I keep skipping questions for being too stupid to bother with.

I rarely post about: politics (although every once in awhile it comes up), my husband's dysfunctional family,

My last three posts were about: Weekly reading meme, my partial hospitalization program, taking the dog to the vet, and writing, considering starting a 101 in 1001 list.

How often do you post?: Daily

How about commenting?: I read every day, multiple times a day, but I'm not always the best about commenting. I'll comment if I have something to add, but I won't comment just to comment on every single entry (and tend to get annoyed with people who do that),

looking for fan friends :)

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:36 pm
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[personal profile] fallon_sousa posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Name: Fallon Sousa
Age: 21
Country: USA
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Posted by Terence P Ward

ATLANTA –The first Mystic South conference may be remembered as a time when Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists came together to put their collective best foot forward. It may be remembered as the year when the hotel lost all running water, and its staff had to go far beyond the normal call of duty to keep the environment safe and comfortable for guests. It may even be remembered as the conference with the free ice cream.

The conference ran July 21-23, and attendance topped out at about 250 people. That was confirmed by Star Bustamonte, the self-described “chief bottle-washer and lightning bug herder” for the conference, which was her way of saying that she was in charge.

According to hotel management, water was shut off by 9:00 the morning of July 22 because the pipe leading from the  water main had unexpectedly broken. Water is not only needed for cooking, washing, and waste removal, it is also required to run the hotel’s air conditioning.

“The system that they use to cool the hotel is a water-cooled system,” explained Bustamonte,”so when they lost the water they also lost the air conditioning. If you ever wanted to go to the sauna that’s right at the gates of hell, it’s been not quite that bad but it’s close.”

Bustamonte recalled that she got a steady stream of information as problems developed. “Somewhere between 9 and 10 a.m. [our hotel representative] came to us and said, there were some water problems and the water was going to be turned off so they could figure out what it was so they could fix it and it wouldn’t be more than a couple of hours.”

About an hour after that she came back and said now the whole hotel is going to be completely without water and then a little bit after that they realized it was actually the water main,” continued Bustamonte. “Which meant that it was on the city to find it and fix it. They weren’t sure what that was going to mean.”

Nashville resident Lori Newbury was a volunteer at the convention. “It was about 10:15 we looked at each other and said, why’s it so humid in here? That’s when we noticed the air was out,” she said. A veteran of many conventions, she said that this particular problem was a first for her.

[H. Greene]

By 2 p.m., the temperature inside the hotel had risen to 80 degrees in places, but it was even hotter outside. Hotel staff members were completely forthcoming about the issue. Wild Hunt editor Heather Greene is the Mystic South hotel liaison, and she was updated hourly by her contact as the day unfolded.

From nearly the beginning, the hotel management was forthcoming with Greene about all the ways the situation could unfold, including the possibility of a full shutdown. They brought in Gatorade, bottled water, ice cream, port-a-potties, and offered to waive room charges for that night.

That afternoon, Bustamonte praised efforts made by hotel employees. “I want to be clear that the hotel has gone out of their way to make sure that we’ve been accommodated for the conference.”

“I mean they put fans in the rooms, they’ve been giving out free water, they brought in port-a-potties but it doesn’t look like they’re going to need them because they’re going to be coming back online. In a terrible situation they’ve done really well.”

Oreon Millard, who traveled to the conference from Tennessee, was impressed by the efforts made to provide for guests’ comfort, observing that “they have poor staff flushing the toilets with buckets.”

As it turned out the porta potties were in fact needed as the water woes continued into the late afternoon and dinner hour.

[Nathan Hall]

Despite the hotel’s concerted efforts to provide for the guests, it wasn’t enough to satisfy everyone.

In addition to the Mystic South conference, the Crowne Plaza Ravinia was hosting four large family reunions, another smaller corporate gathering, and other individual guests. At least two of those reunions each had more guests at the hotel than Mystic South; Bustamonte said one was twice as large. The hotel was filled to capacity.

In the late afternoon, Dunwoody police had to be called when one hotel guest, who was not a Mystic South attendee, pounded on the manager’s office door demanding staff members come out; the individual was described as “irate.”

“Most people have been okay [but] there’s been a lot of complaining,” said Mystic South volunteer Caterina O’Sullivan. “A lot of guests were out on bus tours and when they came back that’s when problems started.”

“Our group has really handled this well. Pagans are used to these conditions from camping. People are used to the heat.”

Newbury said, “After watching a lot of complaints from other guests,I’m really happy to say the Pagans have sort of persevered.”

Bustamonte was pleased with how conference guests bore up under the difficult conditions. “Mystic South and all of its attendees have been pretty good and calm, this has become sort of like five-star glamping.”

Damaged ceiling reportedly caused by a frustrated guest [Nathan Hall]

The first fix for the broken pipe was itself a bust, and plumbers had to wait for parts to be delivered to give it another shot. That time they were successful, and both air conditioning and water were up and running again by 8 p.m. that night.

Guests went scrambling to their rooms for showers and rest. Then, Mystic South closed out the day on schedule with a ritual offered by local priestess Lady Magdalena and a Tuatha Dea concert.

By early morning, however, Mystic South’s hotel representative advised organizers that another pipe needed to be repaired, and that closing down the hotel would be required. However, the general manager agreed to hold off on the shutdown long enough for Mystic South to conclude its programming, timing the process to coordinate with the conference’s scheduled 4:00 p.m. end.

The final ritual was performed by John Beckett, Cynthia Talbot, Heather Campbell, and Jason and Ari Mankey. Beckett, who wrote the ritual script, sat down Saturday afternoon to pen some poignant additions:

“Yesterday we saw people doing what had to be done,” he said. “We moved some presentations, we gathered around the fans, we put up with the heat. The hotel brought in port-a-potties and bottled water and ice cream.”

Referencing the role of hospitality in the ancient world and much of modern Paganism, he noted, “we never forgot who we are and why we’re here. All the presentations went on. All the rituals went on. All those wonderful hallway conversations went on. This has been an awesome conference and I’m so glad I was here. . . . Things like yesterday are going to keep happening. And when they do, remember yesterday, and how we all responded. Do what must be done. Take care of each other. And never, ever forget who you are, and why you’re here, and what’s really important.”

Despite a situation that was covered by local news reporters, Bustamonte gave the conference high marks. “For a first year event I think it’s gone really, really well. I won’t say there haven’t been a few misfires and some things that could have gone better, but overall, I have to plug the staff, which is all volunteer, nobody gets paid have done an extraordinary job.”

She singled out Greene for liaising with hotel employees and managing technology, Marla Roberson for coordinating workshops, Ryan Denison for his efforts developing the academic track, and vendor coordinator Gypsey Teague.

“We couldn’t have done it without these people, she said.

The few Mystic South Guests who intended to stay over Sunday night were provided with complimentary rooms at other hotels. The Crowne Plaza Ravinia was shut down behind them as they departed, with high hopes that the problem would be fixed for good.

Bustamonte said that, after a short rest, the organizers will be planning for Mystic South 2018. The group thanked all the attendees, performers, vendors, presenters, and the hotel for persevering and for making the conference “a memorable, inspirational, and successful event.”

[Editor’s note: Columnist Nathan Hall, who was in attendance at the hotel, contributed to the writing of this article.]

January 2011


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