As long as the grass grows and the poverty shows
During the election cycle we tend to ask: What does America mean; where are we going? And then someone decides to check on the Indians to find out the answer, as though Indians represent America’s soul hidden in the attic. And of course politicians have long stood next to their “souls” and posed for pictures on the campaign trail.
Within the last year, Diane Sawyer and “20/20″ did a special on the sorry conditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the New Yorker featured a grim photo essay on Pine Ridge too. The New York Times published a piece on brutal crime at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and another on the deep financial problems at Foxwoods, the Pequot-owned “world’s largest” casino in Connecticut. Indians make the news, but the news isn’t really news, it’s just a way for the country take its temperature. Read full story from latimes.com
Indian Benefits: Misnomer and Propaganda
Contrary to popular belief, especially among non-Natives, American Indians did not simply relinquish their rights to lands, waters, and other natural resources. Indeed, as a result of historic negotiations and treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations, federal agencies are obligated to provide specific rights, services, and protections as payment for the basic wholesale exchange of the land mass of the United States.
Misnomer—the use of a wrong or unsuitable term to describe something.
The United States contractually owes tribal nations. “Indian benefits” is a misnomer for the debt owed to Native peoples. The federal government pledged through laws and treaties to compensate for land exchanges accomplished through the forced removal of tribal nations from their original homelands. Unfortunately, payment is commonly expressed as “benefits.” This term—benefits—implies giving assistance, subsidy, or even charity, rather than deserved reimbursement. The Department of Interior even describes the obligated recompense for American Indians as benefits on its webpage. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Catholic groups sue over federal contraception mandate
(CNN) – The University of Notre Dame and “a diverse group of plaintiffs” filed lawsuits Monday challenging the federal mandate that religious employers offer health insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and birth control services, Notre Dame spokeswoman Shannon Chapla said.
The Notre Dame suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana, is one of a dozen filed Monday by 43 separate Catholic institutions in different federal courts around the United States, Chapla said.
The lawsuits are efforts to “vindicate the country’s constitutional and traditional commitments to religious freedom and pluralism,” Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett said in a university statement. Read full story from cnn.com
Truce between Obama and Romney on faith?
Washington (CNN)– A political truce may be brewing between the Obama and Romney campaigns on the issue of the candidates’ faith and religious practice. An all-out war over such issues nearly erupted last week, but neither campaign would take up arms. Read full story from cnn.com
Split family blamed on maid’s sorcery
A Saudi family who suffered from a series of problems has accused its Indonesian housemaid of causing them by using witchcraft to punish them for bad treatment of her, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The maid had confessed to the police that she did cast a malicious spell on the family but later retracted her confession after colleagues warned her she could be executed for sorcery in the conservative Gulf Kingdom. Yet the court sentenced her to five years in prison.
Just a few weeks after she was jailed, police told her she would be released under a pardon of thousands of prisoners announced by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia following his return from a treatment trip abroad. Read full story from emirates247.com
Aiding Children Accused of Witchcraft
Over a year ago, Selene’s 9-year-old daughter Emma began waking up every morning and saying that witches were taking her to the woods at night to teach her witchcraft. Selene, a gentle farmer in rural Malawi and fiercely protective mother, soon noticed that Emma was also experiencing weight loss, mood swings and chronic morning fatigue. Determined to help her daughter, Selene tried to save enough money to bring Emma to a powerful witchdoctor, despite her nagging suspicion that many are charlatans. And then Selene heard about our mobile legal-aid clinic, which was offering free legal services for witchcraft cases in her rural community. She came to us for help.
My law students and I were in southern Malawi partnering with a Malawian N.G.O., the Center for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance, to run the mobile legal-aid clinic. In the months before our arrival, the students researched the legal and social contours of witchcraft accusations in Malawi and other African countries, guided by our Malawian partners who work on witchcraft cases year-round. Read full story from huffingtonpost.com
This kind of momentum means this year’s Gathering could be even bigger then usual. And that’s saying something considering more than 500 tribes from all over the country and Canada converge on Albuquerque in late April (this year’s Gathering is on April 28, 29 and 30). With the 2010 census putting Albuquerque’s population at roughly 870,000, each year’s Gathering balloons the population by roughly ten percent. This means if you want to take in this legendary pow wow, you need to plan ahead and know what you’re doing before you get down there. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Becoming a Witch and Learning Magick!
One does not have to know magick to become a witch or even be initiated into a coven or secret coven to become a witch whether it be a wiccan or even a pagan witch. I used to own and operate six wiccan sites and offered free spells to other individuals. I know that I have been practicing witchcraft at the tender age of 14. Although I was baptised and my grandmother wanted this for me, still…I took the Wiccan Crede, and ”harm ye none” and live by this golden rules. I do not like to cast black magick on other people, even though..in the past, I have to those I thought or felt wore deserving of it. I know of folks that stole jewels and a good sum of money from me, but still..I do not wish anything bad to befall them, or bad luck of any kind. I wish them well and hope that one day, they will come forth and admit to me they stole from me. I can only guess whom did these dasterdly deeds to me.
All and all, becoming a wiccan witch or even a pagan witch, to back track here for a moment, does not require a lot of effort, you may worship gods or goddesses during all your ritual magic. If you prefer to not worship a deity, then this is entirely up to the individual. I much more prefer to worship Isis and Aphrodite, as they both are kind and good Goddesses or so I feel they are. Read full story from modernghana.com
The statement came after the speaker read to the legislators the spiritual leader’s proposals to accord greater powers to their elected representatives.
“The essence of a democratic system is, in short, the assumption of political responsibility by elected leaders for the popular good. In order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to such an elected leadership,” the Dalai Lama said in his message to Tibet’s parliament-in-exile, which is meeting at Dharamsala, India. Read full story from cnn.com
Traditional medicine a source of shame?
The use of traditional ‘muti’ today, unlike in the past, has been made a secret such that many people would not even admit to using it. Many people are ashamed of using traditional medicine and would rather go for consultations at the coven late at nights or early in the morning so as not to be seen by other people. They will not even talk openly about it for fear of being stigmatised by the society.
Research from the Traditional Health Organisation website indicates that the use of traditional medicine is confused with witchcraft, citing the abuse of the gifts of God has given to cause harm or influence another’s life to their own benefit with traditional healers. A true healer could not take part in any action that can harm another person. According to Head Mountain Church preacher, Goitseone Mperi Chidubi, people would rather apply traditional medicine in things like Vaseline, food, and lotions, and face powders and creams which other people would not be suspicious about. Read full story from mmegi.bw
Llangollen’s Cerwyn Jones last week had a night-time curfew lifted so he can go out when there is a full moon.
The 52-year-old dad-of-three was in court because his blade was seen as an offensive weapon.
Sympathetic magistrates accepted he was a genuine follower of the religion of Wicca – or white witchcraft. Read full story from dailypost.co.uk
How Japan’s religions confront tragedy
Proud of their secular society, most Japanese aren’t religious in the way Americans are: They tend not to identify with a single tradition nor study religious texts.
“The average Japanese person doesn’t consciously turn to Buddhism until there’s a funeral,” says Brian Bocking, an expert in Japanese religions at Ireland’s University College Cork.
When there is a funeral, though, Japanese religious engagement tends to be pretty intense.
“A very large number of Japanese people believe that what they do for their ancestors after death matters, which might not be what we expect from a secular society,” says Bocking. “There’s widespread belief in the presence of ancestors’ spirits.” Read full story from cnn.com
In a speech posted on the internet and delivered in the northern Indian hilltown of Dharamasala, the veteran Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said that he would ask the Tibetan parliament in exile to make the necessary constitutional changes to relieve him of his “formal authority” as head of the Tibetan community outside China.
The assembly, which meets early next week, is expected to approve his request. Though long-anticipated, the move away from the limelight by one of the world’s best known political figures signals a dramatic change. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
Chillicothe looks to add diversity to invocations
CHILLICOTHE — Chillicothe City Council has no intention of removing prayer from its formal meetings, but it likely will draft formal plans to make prayers more diverse and keep them separate from official business.
At a community affairs committee meeting Wednesday, council members met with Columbus attorney Matthew Burkhart, a member of the Alliance Defense Fund, a group that has helped communities across the country adopt policies to keep invocations as part of their meetings.
“This policy would see those invocations continuing and formalizing the procedures,” Burkhart said. Read fulls story from chillicothgazette.com
Pagan holidays in modern Ukraine
For the most flavourful celebration of pagan rituals, visit Ukraine in the summer for the Ivana Kupala festival of making wreaths, jumping over bonfires and peeking into the future. In December, Saint Andrew’s Day is another chance for some quality palm reading while saying goodbye to the sun for the winter. Epiphany, celebrated in January, helps wash sins away – in icy rivers and lakes – but not before another healthy dose of fortunetelling. And when decadent parades sweep European and American streets for Mardi Gras, Ukrainians stand by their forefathers munching on pancakes during the Pancake Week celebrations.
The easiest way to experience the supernatural is booking a trip to Kiev in July. Celebrated after the summer solstice on 6 July, Ivana Kupala refers to the god of the fruits of the earth. Legend has it that if you venture into the forest and find a fern in bloom – although it is nearly a botanical impossibility – start digging. This magic fern allegedly indicates a hidden treasure. The rite has found its way into films, cartoons and children’s books, all contributing to its mass popularity across the country. Read fulls tory from bbc.com
Even though there’s a lot that we still don’t know, the U.S. Army has launched a gargantuan program to teach resilience to soldiers and their families, an effort that encompasses more than one million people. There is a software training module in one segment of the program to teach “spiritual” fitness. The Army is smart and they emphasize that the program is oriented toward the “human” side of spirituality. Translation: we are not violating separation of church and state. Secular, secular, secularissimo.
Here’s where it gets interesting, though. The atheists don’t really buy the official interpretation as handed down by the Army. “Spiritual,” to them, can’t be construed as anything but the sotto voce mouthing of the letters “G-O-D.” I got several e-mails about my uncritical mention of the spiritual fitness module, one of which contained a press release from The Freedom From Religion Foundation , the nation’s largest atheist organization (actually, they call themselves ‘nontheists’ because they also have agnostic members) that stated: Read full story from scientificamerican.com
The True Language of a Pow Wow Drum
The pow wow season is under way, and the sound of drums—the universal “heartbeat of the nation”—will reverberate in dance arenas around the country.
But in Denver, a major crossroads in Indian country, surprisingly few pow wow-goers may actually understand the words that accompany some drum songs—veterans’ songs, for example– rather than just hearing the vocables, or syllabic sounds, that accompany others. The same gap is likely true at other pow wows.
Doug Goodfeather, Lakota, leads a drum group that carries his grandfather’s drum’s name, Rock Creek Drum, from the South Dakota side of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. His name, Goodfeather (“Wiyaka Waste’”), was derived from both who he is as a Hunkpapa Lakota and also from who he is in terms of his personal character. It was given him as a small boy in ceremony by his grandmother after an eagle flew at him in attack mode and then shot skyward, leaving a feather behind.
The values of his Hunkpapa band are embodied in Sitting Bull, to whom Goodfeather’s grandmother always referred to as “Grandpa Sitting Bull” not “Chief Sitting Bull,” he said, adding he has not done the genealogy that might describe lineal descent.
He estimates that only a very small percentage of the 40,000-some Native residents along the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range are regular pow wow attendees or participants who really know and understand the songs. Read full story from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com
Who wrote the dictionary on the word paganism exactly? The World English Dictionary defines this interesting umbrella term as “a member of a group professing a polytheistic religion or any religion other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam” then in the second definition names a pagan as “a person without any religion; heathen.” Pagan, to The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is a term that describes a person who “belong[s] to a religion which worships many gods, especially one which existed before the main world religions.” Its origins span as far back as to the early Roman empire as another word for “civilian” compared to “miles Christi” (Soldiers of Christ). More derivations conclude the simple-minded ridiculed “country bumpkins,” “outsiders,” and “hicks.” Basically an episode of Glee. The pagans are the underdog, the overseen and underrated. At least in word alone, causing animosity through time of medieval Witch hunts, the obsession with magic and outside misunderstanding of human mortality in a organized religion. Read full story from examiner.com
A Cultural History of the Moon
The book “Moon: A Brief History,” with its wide variety of illustrations from classical texts, science fiction and other sources, describes not just the history of the celestial body but the ways it inspired the human imagination to take flight, fueled, as Proust put it, by “the ancient unalterable splendor of a Moon cruelly and mysteriously serene.” Read full story from nytimes.com
What made these discoveries possible was DNA, which is becoming biological science’s window into the past. Read full story from npr.org
Harry Potter was a good Christian?
In a new book out this month, author Danielle Tumminio asserts Harry Potter is good Christian. Tumminio argues Potter lives a life that lines up with Christian values.
“I see him best as a seeker in a world where Christianity is not the vocabulary. I see him best as a seeker trying to live a life of faith in the same way a Christian seeker tries to live a life grace,” Tumminio told CNN.
Tumminio said she wrote God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom, to explore the contention by conservative Christians that Harry Potter is akin to heresy. Read full story from cnn.com
Researchers in the US have found grains of cooked plant material in their teeth.
The study is the first to confirm that the Neanderthal diet was not confined to meat and was more sophisticated than previously thought.
The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The popular image of Neanderthals as great meat eaters is one that has up until now been backed by some circumstantial evidence. Chemical analysis of their bones suggested they ate little or no vegetables. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
When it’s “pushing indigenous peoples off their lands,” it’s a luxury, said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, chair of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. “Hundreds are murdered and thousands are forced off their land of origin to grow the palm oil that goes in your cosmetics.”
Besides deforesting land for palm oil plantations, the controversial crop also used in biofuels, detergents, toothpaste and foods has fueled a ruthless landgrab by paramilitary groups in Colombia’s rural areas. In a desperate bid to protect themselves Colombia’s Internally Displaced People have set up “Humanitarian Zones” on small patches of collective land. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com
Santeria faith in Park City: decapitated animals are telltale sign of followers
The decapitated animals discovered in Park City in mid-December appear to have been killed in sacrificial ceremonies conducted by people practicing a faith that originated in Africa, an expert said in an interview, affirming a suspicion by local investigators that the animals were killed as part of some sort of ceremony.
Don Rimer, who spent 30 years as a law enforcement officer and now provides training in the fields of ritual crimes and the occult, said the decapitated animals are telltale evidence of people who practice a faith known as Santeria. Followers brought the faith with them to the New World when they were taken from Africa during the slave trade, first establishing themselves in the Caribbean region, he said. Santeria is a blend of ancient African religion and Catholicism, Rimer said. Read full story from parkrecord.com
WRIGHT WAY: Behind New Year’s Day
The New Year celebration is considered the oldest holiday observance in history, dating back some 4,000 years to Babylon. It was also known as Akitu and it lasted 11 days. Each day had its own unique celebration.
The carnival atmosphere laced with laughter, food and drinks epitomized each new year celebration as the most vibrant occasion of Mesopotamia, according to www.123newyear.com. Some form of a New Year’s celebration is performed around the world by people of all cultures.
In fact, it would be difficult to understand our days of the week and months of the year without considering the origin of New Year’s Day. Why is this true?
According to The World Book Encyclopedia, “The Roman ruler Julius Caesar established Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day in 46 B.C. The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors and beginnings. The month of January was named after Janus, who had two faces — one looking forward and the other looking backward.”
Although the Romans continued celebrating the new year into the first century, the early Christians condemned their festivities as paganism. Centuries later the church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many pagan celebrations, blending the two, including New Year’s Day. Read full story from clevelandbanner.com
There won’t be a total lunar eclipse this far north on the sky’s dome until December 21, 2485.
That’s because this eclipse is happening almost simultaneously with the December solstice – which in 2010 occurs on December 21 – when the sun will be southernmost for this year. Remember, a totally eclipsed full moon has to lie exactly opposite the sun. The winter sun rides low to the south now, as it crosses the sky each day. So this December full moon is far to the north on the sky’s dome. It rides high in the sky – much like the June solstice sun. Read full story from earthsky.org
It brings pleasure to those engaging happily in it, and grief to those who don’t.
Both war and Facebook are rooted in it.
We first become aware of it as toddlers, and spend the rest of our lives either trying to perfect it, wondering why we can’t, or both.
And until individuals understand its evolutionary underpinnings, we’ll never learn how to truly get along with each other.
It’s called ethnocentricity: the tendency to measure other groups according to the values and standards of our own, especially with the belief that one’s own group is superior to others. Read full story from naplesnews.com
Murphy, the author of “Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead,” says Americans’ appetite for zombies isn’t fed just by sources such as the AMC hit series “The Walking Dead” or the countless zombie books and video games people buy.
Our zombie fascination has a religious root. Zombies are humans who have “lost track of their souls,” Murphy says.
“Our higher spirit prevents us from doing stupid and violent things like, say, eating a neighbor,” Murphy says. “When we are devoid of such spiritual ‘guidance,’ we become little more than walking bags of flesh, acting out like soccer moms on a bender.” Read full story from cnn.com
Ending ‘Don’t Ask’ Will Take Time
Congress has repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but the task of lifting the ban against gays serving openly in the military would likely take months, officials said.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in a statement after the Senate voted Saturday to end the policy that he would “approach this process deliberately.”
Once the change becomes law with President Barack Obama’s signature, the military will need to revise policies and regulations that govern everything from leadership training to standards of conduct. And before the policy officially ends, the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must sign a letter certifying that the changes wouldn’t affect military readiness. Read full story from wsj.com
President holds pre-meeting with select tribal leaders
WASHINGTON – A select group of tribal leaders from some of the 565 federally-recognized tribal nations invited to join President Barack Obama at his Dec. 16 tribal summit were summoned to meet with the president a day before the main event.
The White House announced the evening of Dec. 15 that 12 tribal leaders had met earlier in the day with the president in the Roosevelt Room. The meeting was closed to other tribal leaders, as well as press.
The president was in the room for approximately 15 minutes. His aides listened to tribal leaders speak for much longer, according to sources familiar with the event. A photo of the session was taken by a White House photographer while the president was in the room.
The first myth to die is the idea that everyone feels bad when the weather gets foul. It turns out that most people might fall into one of four categories when it comes to their moods and weather, say researchers who have studied more than 2,000 Germans by way of daily questionnaires about their moods and other happenings in their lives.
“We saw differences and we actually categorized people according to their differences,” said Jaap Denissen of Humboldt University in Berlin. He and his colleagues have submitted their latest work, an expansion of an earlier study, to the journal Emotion. Read full story from discovery.com
A strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe — a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that teleportation or even time travel may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers.
Until this year, all human-made objects have moved according to the laws of classical mechanics, the rules governing ordinary objects. Toss a ball in the air and it falls back to Earth. Drop a coin from your roof and it falls into your yard. But back in March, a group of researchers designed a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics — the set of rules that governs the behavior of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles.
If the sun’s gravity could be used to create a giant telescope, people could send and receive intensely magnified signals that could allow us to call an alien civilization, some researchers propose.
According to Einstein’s general relativity, the sun’s behemoth mass warps space-time around it, which actually bends light rays passing by like a giant lens. If a detector was placed at the right focal distance to collect the light, the resulting image would be extremely magnified. Read full story from msnbc.msn.com
Celebrate the return of the light with ice lanterns
The way light refracts through ice is fascinating. Forget the science — it’s just plain fun to look at. Flickering light, captured inside an ice lantern, adds a warm and distinctive ambiance to any winter setting. And the gentle glow of fire and light cutting through the dark of winter can take the chill out of the coldest days — at least in spirit.
In Norse mythology, the space where the worlds of fire and ice meet is the place of creation — a place of light, air and warmth. With the arrival of winter solstice and the sun on its slow return, ice lanterns are an easy and fitting way to welcome brighter days.
The formula is simple: Add water to any mold and set it outside or in the freezer. Five-gallon buckets work well if you like the look of a traditional lantern. If you prefer globes, balloons are the way to go. Start now, and with a few supplies and a little patience, you’ll have your own creation ready in time for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The amount of water you’re freezing and the air temperature will affect how long it takes to make your lantern. The more science you apply — tap vs. distilled water, temperature variances, thin vs. thick walls — the more varied outcomes you can achieve. Read full story from alaskadispatch.com
We all know that the summer solstice, the moment when the sun reaches its most southerly point in the sky, falls on the longest day. So it seems logical that the day would coincide with the earliest sunrise and the latest sunset of the year. But the earliest sunrise tends to happen in early December, while the latest sunset is on another day in early January.
This phenomenon is created by a combination of the Earth’s oval-shaped orbit and its tilt of 23.5 degrees, says Professor Fred Watson, astronomer-in-charge of the Australian Astronomical Observatory.
“These two things together have a real effect on the sunrise and sunset times and they skew them so you don’t have the longest day, the earliest sunrise and the latest sunset all on the same day,” Watson explains. Read full story from abc.net.au
My Take: Religious Cities are Among the Most Violent
In one of the more jarring passages in God is Not Great, the celebrated atheist Christopher Hitchens writes of being asked a “straight yes/no question” by the conservative Jewish broadcaster Dennis Prager. Hitchens was to imagine seeing a large group of men approaching him in a strange city at dusk: “Now – would I feel safer, or less safe, if I was to learn that they were just coming from a prayer meeting?”
Hitchens’ answer, of course, is that he would feel less safe. And the rest of his polemic, which is subtitled “How Religion Poisons Everything,” is an extended attempt to explain why.
Whether religious people are more prone to criminality than unreligious people is, of course, an empirical question. So in some sense it doesn’t make all that much sense to argue about it. Just go instead and look at the data. Read full story from cnn.com
Thanksgiving symbolizes Native generosity and kindness
VERONA, N.Y. – When the first immigrants from Europe arrived on the North American shores, they were homeless and hungry. They survived thanks to the generosity and kindness of Native peoples, who helped them through the first brutal northeastern winter and shared traditional methods of agriculture that would sustain them through future seasons.
That tradition of hospitality and help is replayed throughout Indian country during the Thanksgiving season in various acts of kindness by tribal nations. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com
My Take: My top 3 books for the hotel nightstand
If you have ever contemplated being stranded in a hotel room without electricity, you might be happy to hear that the Gideon’s ubiquitous nightstand Bibles are no longer your only reading option. For some time, many Marriott Hotels have featured copies of the Book of Mormon, and, now, according to Kate Shellnutt at the Houston Chronicle, Hare Krishnas have placed roughly 7,000 copies of the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita in 100 Houston-area hotel rooms. Read full story from cnn.com
Banned medic vows to fight GMC ‘witch-hunt’
WHEN Doctor Sarah Myhill first began treating sufferers of ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, she saw herself as a pioneer – changing the lives of hundreds of patients who had nowhere else to turn.
But now, banned from practising medicine and under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) for posing a risk to patients’ health, Dr Myhill says her life has been engulfed by legal battles and her ongoing fight to clear her name. Read full story from walesonline.co.uk
People packed into University Baptist Church near the University of Texas during a nearly two-hour ceremony that featured prayers and songs from different religions. Read full story from statesman.com
Seeking Proof in Near-Death Claims
At 18 hospitals in the U.S. and U.K., researchers have suspended pictures, face up, from the ceilings in emergency-care areas. The reason: to test whether patients brought back to life after cardiac arrest can recall seeing the images during an out-of-body experience.
People who have these near-death experiences often describe leaving their bodies and watching themselves being resuscitated from above, but verifying such accounts is difficult. The images would be visible only to people who had done that. Read full story from wsj.com
Ancient Roman bath found in Jerusalem
Jerusalem – Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a 1 800-year-old bathing pool which proves that Aelia Capitolina, the Roman city built after the destruction of Jerusalem, was larger than thought, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Monday. Read full story from news24.com
Secret chamber in National Library
KOLKATA: National Library has always been reputed to haunted. Now, here is a really eerie secret. A mysterious room has been discovered in the 250-year-old building a room that no one knew about and no one can enter because it seems to have no opening of kind, not even trapdoors.
The chamber has lain untouched for over two centuries. Wonder what secrets it holds. The archaeologists who discovered it have no clue either, their theories range from a torture chamber, or a sealed tomb for an unfortunate soul or the most favoured of all a treasure room. Some say they wouldn’t be surprised if both skeletons and jewels tumble out of the secret room. Read full story from indiatimes.com
Oklahoma voters approved the amendment during the November elections by a 7-3 ratio. But the Council on American-Islamic Relations challenged the measure as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order November 8 that will keep state election officials from certifying that vote Read full story from cnn.com
Are Some People Not Fit to Be Vegans?
What to eat? It’s still a touchy subject, and posts about food choices here at TreeHugger tend to draw (at best) sprited debate and at worst, heated ire. So here’s more fuel for the fire – dedicated vegan food blogger Tasha at the Voracious Vegan has turned her back on 3.5 years of veganism, drawing support but also ire from her readers. Some people say veganism doesn’t meet the nutritional needs (especially for B-12) of its practitioners. Others, including medical expert Dean Ornish, swear that a low-fat plant-based diet is better for the body and for the planet. Read full story from treehugger.com
“Don’t be afraid if your friend needs to walk around or talk during the service,” she told the two dozen-or-so people and their canine friends.
On cue, in walked Addy, a Chinese crested powderpuff, with her owner, Lis Carey of Lawrence. Instantly, the room erupted in a chorus of barks, as suddenly-alert mutts looked around, angling to get a good glimpse or sniff of the late arrival. When order was restored, Keith-Lucas resumed. Read full story from Salemnews.com
Recent Discoveries Shed Light On Ancient Human Migration & Sport
In 2009, the Norwegian research magazine ‘Apollon’ reported that archaeologists had discovered a 70,000 year old religious site in the remote region of Ngamiland, Botswana. In the year since the announcement, little follow-up discussion and speculation has been undertaken despite the fact the discovery is both profound and history changing.
This discovery can not be underestimated, for not only does it shed new light on the mankind’s earliest religion but also on early human migration, biblical accounts in the Book of Genesis, as well as the historic significance of ancient stick and ball sports. The Ngamiland discovery is the first solid evidence of the ‘Serpent Religion’ being practiced by early man 30,000 years before similar sites appear in Europe and the Near East. In addition, it adds new fuel to the on-going debate on pre-Columbian New World civilizations and their ancient links to Africa and the Mediterranean. Read full story from boxscorenews.com
Public apology to Natives overdue
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – President Barack Obama will be asked – again – for a formal and public apology to Indian country on behalf of the U.S. government for past atrocities, said Don Coyhis, whose White Bison Inc. made a cross-country trek in 2009 fruitlessly seeking such an acknowledgment.
Instead, Coyhis noted, the president issued an “Apology to Native Peoples of the United States” last December that was buried in the Defense Appropriations Act and was “never properly presented to Native Americans and to the American people.”
The apology said, in part, that the U.S. through Congress, “recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the federal government regarding Indian tribes.” Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com
Islamic community center developer seeks federal funding
The developer behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque planned for Lower Manhattan has requested federal funding through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to support the project known as Park51.
The funding would come from money the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated to help rebuild the neighborhood after the 9/11 attacks. “Park51 has applied for a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant,” said Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of SOHO Properties, the developer behind the Islamic center. Read full story from cnn.com
Shamanism: Spirits in the valley
The cultural heritage of pre-Islamic philosophy and mythology is so interwoven into the mountainous Gilgit-Baltistan that strands of it survive to this day. Religions born of their environments, the influence of centuries of Shamanism, Buddhism, Baoism and Zartosht are seen most clearly in their interaction with nature, where the word worship can be interchanged with respect for and love of. Read full story from tribune.com.pk
Media needs to stop enabling stigmas
The Senate is on the verge of change as 37 of the 100 Senate seats are up for election in November. However, one candidate for the senate in Delaware is causing quite a stir. Tea party favored Christine O’Donnell caused an upset when she became the GOP Senate candidate after the primaries. Though I disagree with everything the tea party stands for, my issue with O’Donnell does not revolve around her party affiliations, but rather her idiotic comments. Read full story from understatesman.com
Katherine Hofmann, 45, and Kim Stout, 55, were charged last year in the death of Sharon Snow on Feb. 1, 2004. Read full story from journalnow.com
Red Power activist Madonna Thunder Hawk going strong at 70
“I was kind of a radical from day one,” said Lakota activist Madonna Thunder Hawk, a veteran of many of the battles of the Red Power movement, from the occupation of Alcatraz and Mount Rushmore to Wounded Knee. Now a 70-year-old grandmother, Thunder Hawk remains politically active, just as her grandmother before her. Read full story from indiancountrytoday.com
Indian vets score a win in Congress
WASHINGTON – Legislation supporting Indian veterans and their survivors has made it through both branches of Congress, and will soon be signed by President Barack Obama into law.
Happy Halloween Month, San Diego
If San Diego (and I don’t think we’re alone) can take Halloween as a month-long theme, why not me? And why not here? I don’t think the chamber of commerce has adopted the once-pagan holiday as an official 30-day refrain but many businesses certainly have. My favorite (mentioned last column) is the Crypt on Park at University. How this display designer managed to incorporate childlike, playful fun into leather, whips, chains, blood, rats, spiders, and general imagery of punishment and humiliation, is, I think, remarkable. But then, we’re a can-do kinda town. Read full story from sandiegoreader.com
Florence mosque defaced with bacon
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A national Muslim civil rights and advocacy group is calling on the FBI to investigate a message written in bacon at mosque in Florence.
Three chair members of the Islamic Center in Florence discovered the words “pig” and “chump” written in strips of bacon on the walkway along the mosque Sunday afternoon. Read full story from wmbfnews.com
Hallowe’en: trick, treat and a total travesty?
Hallowe’en, as we know it now, is a fake. It was imported from America in the 1980s, which is when British children found out from the film ET (1982) how to go about trick-or-treat. It may not be long ago, but it is long enough to seem immemorial to anyone under 30. To them, Tesco’s Hallowe’en Frankenstein cake or Asda’s “Bride of Chuckie’s very own recipe for Creepy Cupcakes” seem just like the commercialisation of Christmas. The difference is that there’s really nothing behind them. Read full story from telegraph.co.uk
Obama pledges new relationship with Native Americans
Washington (CNN) — President Obama said Thursday that the federal government was guilty of mistreating Native Americans in the past and promised to forge a new relationship between the federal government and tribal leaders. Read full story cnn.com
Days of the Dead
From October 31st through November 2nd, a number of festivals, holidays and solemnities take place, all loosely related and revolving around remembrance of the dead. Halloween, Samhain, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, the Day of the Dead and other festivals trace their origins back to Celtic, Aztec, Roman and Christian traditions. Halloween is largely a secular observation these days, All Souls and All Saints remain mainly Catholic observations, and the Day of the Dead is still largely a Latin American tradition, its roots in Mexico’s Aztec heritage. Collected here are photographs over the past week from the varied observations of the Days of the Dead around the world. Read full story from boston.com
PERFECT EXCUSE FOR A LITTLE WITCHCRAFT
Before pumpkins were so widely available people would use a large turnip or swede instead (as I did as a nipper) and everyone bobbed for apples, face first into a tin bath full of cold water. It’s all very ancient. In pre-Christian days, October 31 was celebrated as All Hallow’s Eve, when ghosts and spirits were thought to be at large, so superstitious people took steps to ward them off. Read full story from express.co.uk
Going green? What about going pagan?
Since the rise of the major world monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and of secular culture, pagans have gotten a pretty bad rap. When we switched to one God or no god at all, we labeled pagans as heathens and idol worshipers, connoting uncivilized primitiveness and even evil. Read full story from statepress.com
Are Wicca and Witchcraft the same?
The subject of this article comes up a lot in books, online, and in conversation (not to mention misleading films and television shows). Ancient civilizations knew more about the answer to the above question than most people do today. Read full story from The Examiner
Dead Man Mistaken for Halloween Decor
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 17) — Residents of a Southern California apartment complex say they saw a lifeless body slumped on a neighbor’s patio, but didn’t call police because they thought it was part of a Halloween display. Read full story from news.aol.com
Speak Your Piece: Selling Indian Spirituality
The recent tragic deaths of two people inside a sweat lodge at Angel Valley near Sedona, Arizona, (a third participant died on Saturday) compelled me finally to write something about an issue that has long haunted me: the expropriation of American Indian culture and ritual by New Age entrepreneurs. Read full story from dailywonder.com
Witches, Ghosts and Hauntings..Oh My!
Pauline Bartel is an accomplished author, President and Chief Creative Officer of Bartel Communications, Inc., an award winning a corporate communications firm. She is a teacher, a sought after keynote speaker, and self proclaimed psychic. Read full story from troyrecord.com
What the Hex is going on in Canberra?
If you happened to be in Canberra for the weekend but limited yourself to the usual tourist circuit, you missed out on quite the exorcism. Danny Nalliah, the head of Catch the Fire ministries – convinced that Canberra witches’ covens had cursed our federal government with blood sacrifices on Mount Ainslie – gathered some 50 Christians to the North Canberra mountain to drive Beelzebub out. Read full story from WAtoday.com.au