Posts Tagged ‘Salem’

News & Submissions 9/29/2011

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Arts & Entertainment:

The Biggest Logic Fails in The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 2: “The Hybrid”
The Vampire Diaries is a show where witches can bring back people from the dead, vampires kiss humans instead of ripping their throats out, and werewolves have silky smooth chests when they haven’t transformed. And we accept all of this without the blink of the eye. Yet it’s the little things that make us scoff and say, “that would never happen.” Check out the biggest logic fails from Season 3, Episode 2, “The Hybrid.” Read full story from

More Creepy Footage from 1988 in Second ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Clip
Earlier this morning we told you about a VHS cassette and player that arrived at our house that featured the first ever clip from Paramount Pictures’ Paranormal Activity 3, which arrives in theaters October 21. Another cassette has turned up and features more creepy footage, this time from September 3 of 1988. Check it out inside. Read full story from


Woman walks naked to reunite with lover, rescued
CHENNAI: A 25-year-old woman, spotted walking naked to a temple in the Chennai suburb of Pallavaram on Tuesday night in a reported bid to reunite with her lover, was handed over to her parents on Wednesday.

Renuga (name changed) had come from Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district to fulfill the ‘vow’ on the advice of a woman practitioner of witchcraft, the police said. Read full story from

Teenager died from ‘suffocation’ in exorcism
A teenage girl thought by her father to have been possessed by an ‘evil spirit’ died from suffocation during an exorcism, it has been reported.

Tomomi Maishigi’s father and a monk performed a ‘waterfall service’ on the 13-year-old where she was allegedly bound to a chair by a belt and placed face-up underneath a water pump for five minutes at a Buddhist church in Kumamoto, south Japan. Read full story from


Paranormal group scares up spooky tours in East Bridgewater
EAST BRIDGEWATER —Take a healthy dose of local history, add some props and costumed characters, throw in dark nights and a visit to Central Cemetery – and you have the makings for a spooky evening on the Historic Ghost Tour of East Bridgewater Village.

For the fourth year, the Massachusetts Area Paranormal Society will be hosting the ghost tours on Friday and Saturday nights, starting Friday and lasting through Nov. 5.

“It’s historic, it’s educational, it’s exercise, it’s scary, it’s just a real fun-filled night, ” said Lorrie Parker, tour organizer. Read full story from


New Archaeological Find Discovered: Holy Trinity “Lie” Uncovered
An unprecedented new discovery—which some predict will “devastate” Christianity in the years to come—seems to show that the “Holy Trinity” of “God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is nothing more than a pale echo of an ancient and very powerful “Three-in-One” religion once common throughout Europe.

Richard Cassaro’s controversial new book, “Written in Stone: Decoding the Secret Masonic Religion Hidden in Gothic Cathedrals and World Architecture,” exposes the Christian religion as a Potemkin village of watered-down paganism by exposing what he calls the “Great Lie of the Trinity” that suppressed the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe and covered up important spiritual practices and principles that had been the guiding light of man for thousands of years. Read full story from


Sláinte! Feile Na Marbh
That which we know as All Hallows Eve actually began as a harvest festival several millennia ago in Ireland. Though the evening’s popular colors are black and orange, they might as well be Forty Shades of Green, for the customs of the celebration are Irish as the shamrock.

The ancient Celtic year was divided by the four seasons and reckoned by a lunar calendar. The full moon that rose midway between the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice was called Samhain. It was the most scary and sacred time of all. Read full story from


Saudi woman driver to be lashed (Source: YouTube – AlJazeeraEnglish)


Feel free to leave comments regarding the articles posted.

If you’re interested in guest blogging or would like to submit an article or event, contact me at

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all, have a great day!


News & Submissions 3/28/2011

Monday, March 28th, 2011


Witchcraft accusations and human rights abuses in Africa
Witch‐hunts have become epidemic throughout Africa. Although witch‐hunts have historically been viewed as gender specific, with a large percentage of victims still identified as elderly and solitary women, recent reports show that victims of witch‐hunts include both women and men of all ages. read full story from paganrightsalliance.org3

Whistle-blowing witch grounded by TSA (Source msnbc)
Here’s a situation for all you aspiring managers: If you were the boss at a U.S. government agency and one of your employees complained that she was afraid of a co-worker’s religious practices, what would you do?

Would it change your decision if the religion were Wicca, and the employee feared her co-worker because she thought she might cast a spell on her? Read full story from

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Arts & Entertainment:

Exploring power held by goddesses (Book Review)
Her intention is clear: to provide goddess stories drawn from ancient myths that can empower women to find from within the courage, power, strength, love and wisdom they need to live their lives to the fullest — to “save the world one woman at a time.” Read full story from

Rob Zombie Gives a Peek at The Lords of Salem film
And so it begins. Here are a few shots from my recent scouting in Salem. Great town, great locations. Stay tuned to this blog for all upcoming LORDS updates. Much more to come since we are now moving full steam ahead. See photos at


Coldest Star Found—No Hotter Than Fresh Coffee
Dubbed CFBDSIR 1458 10b, the star is what’s called a brown dwarf. These oddball objects are often called failed stars, because they have starlike heat and chemical properties but don’t have enough mass for the crush of gravity to ignite nuclear fusion at their cores.

With surface temperatures hovering around 206 degrees F (97 degrees C), the newfound star is the coldest brown dwarf seen to date. (Related: “Dimmest Stars in Universe Spotted?”)

“Over the years there has been steady but slow progress in pushing the boundaries of finding the coldest stars,” said study leader Michael Liu, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii.

“But with this latest discovery we have made a big leap forward—besting the previous record holder by at least 150 Kelvin [270 degrees F, or 150 degrees C],” he said. Read full story from


First Practical “Artificial Leaf” Powers Fuel Cells for Rural Homes
Scientists have long been trying to mimic the photosynthesis perfected by leaves — turning sunlight and water into energy that can be stored. While many have made attempts, there seems to be one group of scientists that have pulled it off. The news comes from the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, where the researchers made their announcement. The “artificial leaf” would be used to generate power for off grid homes in developing areas, and the hope is that one such “leaf” could provide enough energy for an entire household. Read full story from

Lifestyle & Religion:

Mass graves replace elaborate funerals in northern Japan
Kamaishi, Japan (CNN) — Ikuo Fujiwara stops in front of the wreckage of the Buddhist temple, brings his hands together and prays.

The monk bursts into tears, an involuntary act, as he asks heaven what he can do to comfort his destroyed hometown and begin to rebuild his house of worship.

Fujiwara needs heaven to speak to him, for he must preside over Kamaishi’s first mass burials in memory. Behind his temple, the sound of heavy machinery digging giant ditches for unmarked coffins echoes through the shattered remains of the 300-year-old building. Read full story from

Herbalists Form National Network
Kigali — Practitioners of traditional medicine from across the country, yesterday, met in Kigali to establish a forum that will protect their rights and regulate the profession.

Herbalists currently operate without clear guidelines, although the Ministry of Health, says that it has prepared a document that spells out the ethics for the practice of traditional medicine, guidelines for quality assurance and assessment, good agriculture practice and guidelines for research. Read full story from

Too Many Psychics in ‘Witch City’?
Salem, Massachusetts is famous for its modern witches and history of witch persecution. The city’s unique past supports a thriving menagerie of businesses selling everything from magical charms to fortunes, but some fear the number of psychics flocking to the community north of Boston could be too many.

In 2007, the city lifted a cap on the number of psychics allowed to operate and now some believe the ‘Witch City’ is getting overrun.

Barbara Szafranski is a long-time psychic license holder who conducts readings at her downtown shop Angelica of the Angels. She needed no crystal ball to tell her business would take a hit when more fortunetellers hit the scene. Read full story from

Christians and the pagans
In her letter Dr Emma Chung, President of Leicester Secular Society, stated that Christians had “purloined” Christmas and Easter from pagans (Mailbox, March 16). This is wrong.

In the time of Rome‘s dominance (a pagan society), Christians were in the minority.

It was emperor Lucinius, a pagan, who “ordered” Christians to treat Sunday as a day of rest, as it suited Rome. Later, Emperor Constantine “ordered” Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the same day, December 25, pagans celebrate the re-birth of the sun following winter (the Feast of Natalis Solis Invicti), as it suited Rome. Read full story from

A deity diverse and divisive
In the wide, red land led by an atheist and where evolution has prevailed in its political war with creationism, God has not died. But Australia’s almighty has become a far more diverse and divisive deity, still influencing laws and values and maintaining the potential to undermine social cohesion.

The complexity of beliefs haunts policies and legislators. Christians fear suffocation by political correctness and attack from opposing fundamentalism; Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists complain of bias; pagans rail against marriage laws and the ban on pagan chaplains in the military.

Indigenous Australians say their spirituality has been bundled with paganism and dismissed as a valid belief system, further undermining their ability to manage their affairs, and damaging the fragile process of reconciliation. Read full story from


Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs
TOKYO — As radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant reached a new high Sunday, workers contended with dark, steamy conditions in their efforts to repair the facility’s cooling system and stave off a full-blown nuclear meltdown. Wearing respirators, face masks and bulky suits, they fought to reconnect cables and restore power to motor pumps the size of automobiles. Read full story from

Vietnam Zoo Owner Gets Jail Time For Selling Dead Tigers
A zoo keeper in Vietnam was charged with the illegal selling of five endangered tiger carcasses and was sentenced to 3 years in jail. The owner had raised the tigers on his farm near Ho Chi Minh City, but after they died (reportedly from bird flu and choking on a bone), he attempted to sell the carcasses — a product that can earn big money on the black market. Read full story from

Radiation From Japan Plant Seeping Into Pacific
Radiation from a crippled atomic plant northeast of Tokyo has wafted into the air, contaminating farm produce and drinking water as well as seeping into the Pacific Ocean, although officials stress there is no imminent health threat.

Highly radioactive water has been found seeping from reactor two’s turbine building, the operator said Monday, worsening fears that it is leaking into the environment.

Engineers are racing to restore cooling systems knocked out by the tsunami, but have been hindered by pools of highly radioactive water thought to have leaked from the steel-and-concrete reactor casings or their pipe systems. Read full story from


Who you gonna call? Family send in paranormal experts after ‘capturing ghost’ in home video
A spooked family have called in a real-life ‘ghostbuster’ – after claiming to have captured on video a poltergeist moving a chair across a bedroom.

Lisa Manning and her children Ellie, 11, and Jaydon, six, have fled their house in terror several times because of bizarre goings-on.

They include pots and pans being thrown around the kitchen, window blinds moving up and down by themselves, lights being switched on and off and drawers being opened. Read full story from


Exclusive: Neil Gaiman confirms ‘American Gods’ film (Source Digital Spy)

Syfy ‘Destination Truth’ Sandstorm spirits (Source Syfy)


Feel free to leave comments regarding the articles posted.

If you’re interested in guest blogging or would like to submit an article or event, contact me at

Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great week!


Saturday Morning Post

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Toronto’s one-stop Occult Shop
The next time you’re satisfying a serious ice-cream craving at Dutch Dreams on Vaughan Road, wander a little bit north and you’ll find a large, white building containing an inconspicuous store framed by clouded windows. The red, weather-beaten, wooden sign hanging above the entrance reads, “The Occult Shop,” and despite its humble facade, the store serves as a gathering place for a range of spiritual subcultures in Toronto.

Tamarra and husband Richard James (pictured at right) opened The Occult Shop in 1979 at a location on Queen Street West (where Doc’s Leathers & Motorcycle Gear now resides). After a few years of moving around, they finally settled into their current home at 109 Vaughan, where they dole out spiritual advice with their herbs, incense and candles.

“We make sure that we know our product really, really well,” says Richard, who, with Tamarra, also also founded the Wiccan Church of Canada (WCC) around the same time that they opened the store. The church’s headquarters and main temple—which holds open rituals every Sunday at 7pm—is housed in the same building as The Occult Shop. The James started the group partly because of customer demand, but also to educate people on this often misunderstood faith. The church currently has a satellite temple in Hamilton and around 100 members, although Richard points out that that number fluctuates. Read full story from

It’s a witch…It’s a boat…It’s Salem
These three words, together with a logo that can be seen as either a sailboat or witch hat, were unveiled yesterday as a new brand Salem will use to sell itself.

“We want this to be a tool for communication and for sharing what we are here in Salem,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem.

A nonprofit funded by a combination of city money and advertising dollars, Destination Salem is charged with promoting the city and attracting visitors. The group paid Rattle, a Beverly advertising, design and marketing firm, $25,000 to create the logo and tag line.

When it was first shown at the end of a video about the city, the Salem business owners and managers who gathered in a Peabody Essex Museum auditorium broke into applause.

“I’m super excited about it,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said. “What it says to me is that the more we change and grow, in many respects, the more we stay the same.”

The dual-purpose logo acknowledges Salem’s popular “Witch City” identity but also celebrates its maritime roots. Read full story from

Norse code as Vikings return to York
WE’RE used to seeing the occasional blood-spattered Viking wandering the streets of York. But for nine days you won’t be able to move for axe-wielding Norsemen, even when you are doing the weekly shop in Monks Cross.

Next weekend they will even be rampaging across the racecourse.

The annual Jorvik Viking Festival starts today and this year hundreds of warriors will descend on the city to commemorate King Ethelred’s battle to capture York. Read full story from

Thomas Reed Interview: Part 2 (Conclusion) (Video)
Well everyone, here it is! The long awaited conclusion of the Thomas Reed Interview. It’s been a long time coming and it took quite a lot of editing to get it to a manageable length but I did it.The Reed Saga is quite extraordinary and I hope I was able to do it justice. In the conclusion we talk to Tom about his mid to late abductions as well as those of his brother Matt. We also were able to speak with Debbie Kauble and get her input as well as a video clip she took during a MUFON investigation of Matt’s SUV after his latest experience. Read full story from

Renowned atheist draws crowd at Nova Southeastern
t was more than an hour before the biology professor walked onto stage at Nova Southeastern University, but dozens of fans had already lined up Thursday night in hopes of getting in to hear his much-anticipated speech.

Universities are naturally magnets for academics to talk about their study, but this was no average scientist.

A sold-out crowd was already inside.

If it’s possible to conceive a God of the world of atheism and evolutionary biology, Richard Dawkins would be hard to beat for the title.

One of the most prolific atheists and secular humanists living today, he spoke on “The Fact of Evolution” and his stance against creationism in an hour-long chat that spanned topics from philosophy and theology to biology and gene mutation. Read full story from

Rob Zombie Talks ‘The Lords of Salem’
Rob Zombie is touching on some of his inspirations for his next film “The Lords of Salem.”A co-production between Haunted Movies (“Insidious”) and Alliance Films, “The Lords of Salem” is written and directed by Zombie (“The Devil’s Rejects,” “Halloween”).

The film will center on contemporary Salem, where the residents encounter a 300-year-old coven of demonic witches.

“I’m going to probably start pre-production in March,” Zombie said in an interview with “Hopefully I’ll shoot it around June. … ‘Lords of Salem’ is an original idea, it’s a new thing. Read full story from

Why Are Some Paranormal Beliefs More Attractive to Males While Others Are More Appealing to Females?
There are interesting differences between men and women on so-called “paranormal beliefs,” such as the belief in astrology, ESP, UFOs, Bigfoot, and ghosts. An abundance of research in the sociology of religion has found that women are more spiritual than men in a variety of ways. Women are more likely to belong to conventional religious organizations and hold traditional religious beliefs. They are also much more likely than men to believe in psychic powers, astrology, the power of mediums, and ghosts.

Men are more likely than women to believe that some UFOs are extraterrestrial craft and about equally likely to believe in creatures such as Bigfoot. Concerning an escalation of participation to the level of active research, men are also more likely than women to pursue these beliefs by becoming Bigfoot or UFO “hunters.”
These discrepancies indicate that men have a tendency to approach the paranormal differently from women. Men are more likely to see the paranormal as a means of discovery—i.e., they hope to capture Bigfoot to prove to others that it is (empirically) real. Females are more likely to see the paranormal as a source of personal discovery and enlightenment, a route to achieving a more thorough understanding of themselves and their relations to other people. Such lines of interest may also be pursued in the effort to “become a better person.”

Buying a new home? Add a touch of witchcraft (source necn)

Couple Finds Image of Jesus in Wooden Chair (source ktla)

News & Submissions 2/18/2011

Friday, February 18th, 2011

PantheaCon 2011: Pan-pagan convention returns to San Jose on February 18
PantheaCon, an interfaith pagan convention that brings together thousands of people from across the United States, will be happening in San Jose, CA this coming President’s Day weekend.

The convention’s dates are Feb 18-21 and will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel. As usual for PantheaCon, they will be taking up the entirety of the hotel’s function space.

The theme for this year’s gathering is “Walking the Talk.” People who submitted presentations for the event were encouraged to focus on the meaning of that phrase for pagans in modern times. Read full story from

Malawi’s jailed witches get a lease of life
A human rights group in Malawi is causing a stir as it embarks on a mission to gather 10,000 signatures from locals to force President Bingu wa Mutharika free several jailed witches.Association of Secular Humanism (ASH) says most of the convicts are women jailed for teaching witchcraft to children. Reports say some are doing jail time of up to six years.

“I’m asking you to sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures. I care deeply about this cause, and I hope you will support our efforts,” a senior official of the association, Harold Williams is quoted saying.

The petition reads: “Belief in witchcraft is widely held in Malawi by people of all levels of education and stature in society. Whereas the law does not accept the reality of witchcraft, the Police and judicial authorities, many of whom share the belief, distort the law to punish those who are accused of witchcraft”

“It is mainly the elderly, men and women, who are accused of witchcraft and there are many very elderly and infirm imprisoned throughout Malawi – sentenced for up to 6 years without anything that would pass as substantive evidence in courts which do not accept superstition and suspicion as adequate.”

“The Association of Secular Humanism in Malawi has made several attempts to persuade the authorities to release these unfortunates and has visited many in our prisons. We need your help!” Read full story from

Witchcraft Legal Aid in Africa
NEW YORK — Accusations of witchcraft in Africa have gained increasing attention because of the severe impact they can have on the lives of those accused, including imprisonment, deprivation of property, banishment from villages and in some cases physical violence.The human-rights law program I direct recently partnered with an N.G.O. in Malawi to run a mobile legal-aid clinic focusing on witchcraft cases in two rural communities.

Men, women and children flocked to our clinic seeking legal assistance. The cases were challenging and engaged the question of how to confront accusations of witchcraft, particularly when children and elderly women disproportionately bear the brunt of such accusations.

The persecution of accused witches has not historically been confined to Africa. Witch-hunts have occurred in Europe, America, ancient Rome, Aztec Mexico, Russia, China and India. But the practice persists in poor settings in part because witchcraft can be used in communities without routine access to modern medicine and science to explain seemingly inexplicable instances of death and misfortune. Read full story from

‘Adventures’ every witch way in Salem
With its witch-hunt past and embrace of all things ethereal, Salem is hallowed ground for anyone interested in the paranormal.

So when the crew from the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” (tonight at 9) wanted to up the ante in season four, they pointed their Electronic Voice Phenomena recorders to the North Shore.

“I actually have been dying to come back to anywhere near my hometown for a couple years now,” “Ghost Adventures” investigator Nick Groff, a former Pelham, N.H., resident said. “Everybody knows about Salem, the witch trials, the movies — everything that’s been done here.” Read full story from

New York City’s Official Apocalypse Manual
Should New York City face a “very grim” situation, the government has the right to “establish curfews, quarantine wide areas, close businesses, restrict public assemblies and, under certain circumstances, suspend local ordinances,” the New York Times explains in a feature this morning about the legal rulebook that governs potentially apocalyptic times. It’s terrifying in theory, but also very boring because it’s written by lawyers. The “New York State Public Health Legal Manual,” a/k/a The Oh My God We’re All Goin’ to Die book, “provides a catalog of potential terrorism nightmares, like smallpox, anthrax or botulism episodes.” But don’t worry, they have a plan. Read full story from

New Bigfoot sighting near Pittsburgh
It was early Tuesday morning February 8th 2011,  Sam was just exiting route 60 at about 7:45AM and about to turn into the PA turnpike when something odd caught his attention.The intersection was in the middle of a rolling landscape with hills on every side. The tenacious winter weather of the season had coated the hills with much snow, and every hill was glistening white in the early morning sun. But to his left a large dark brown figure stood out in stark contrast to the colorless background.  It was a massive dark brown humanoid figure, trudging its way effortlessly through the deep snow that covered the hillside to his left. Sam was shocked and amazed. The figure was familiar to him, he had seen it so many times before on documentaries and cable television specials. He was watching a Bigfoot creature first hand from about 100 yards away. Read full story from

Capture of wanted killer sheds light on life in polygamist cult
THE revelation that one of Australia’s most wanted killers took sanctuary in an obscure polygamist cult in the Cairns hinterland has finally lifted the veil on the secretive sect, which former followers say has thrived for more than 30 years.

Headed by millionaire property owner Daniel Landy-Ariel, the Jesus People preach an orthodox Christian lifestyle in which adherents speak ancient Aramaic and some forms of violence against women and children are allegedly encouraged.

Guided by their spiritual father, the cult’s 150 followers are crammed into urban properties in Sydney and Cairns, as well as three massive kibbutzes in remote areas of Queensland and NSW.

Police are now investigating the extent to which cult members may have sheltered convicted murderer Luke Andrew Hunter, 42, and whether or not they helped him obtain work with Queensland Health. Read full story from

Cast Your Love Spell with a Love Potion
A love spell has been described as a positive love-thought that you send out to the universe as an affirmation in the way of an incantation, or simply in the form of a prayer, and then you visualize with intense feeling what you desire to attract to your life.

Put these ingredients of manifestation together with the power of a ritual and you have a love spell that is simply spell-binding! During my years of studying metaphysics I am honored to have close friends and soul sisters from my home land in Australia, Deborah Gray and my late friend Athena Starwoman, both self-confessed and practicing white witches who lived in a coven and follow a spiritual way of life.

Having kept such company, over the years a little of their white magic rubbed off, and for this Valentine’s Day, I have created a concoction suitable for your star sign so you can cast your very own love spell. Read full story from

News & Submissions 1/13/2011

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Hub City Hogwarts? Magic classes on offer
MONCTON – Witchcraft class: for many, the term calls to mind a bunch of little wand-toting English kids running around yelling ‘Expelliarmus!’

Okay, so there’s no Hub City Hogwarts concealed in a secret dimension off St. George Street. But wannabe witches and warlocks are, in fact, lining up for local classes in witchcraft and wizardry.

The instructor is Tony Raven, a 36-year-old Moncton business owner and practicing witch for 20-plus years. The aim? Training credulous New Brunswickers in the basics of magic.

The term ‘witchcraft,’ Raven explains, means different things to Wiccans, Pagans, and Stregheria (to cite just a few strains of modern magic). The traditional witchcraft that Raven teaches traces its roots to ancient Europe. As he defines it, magic means the “art and science of causing change to conform to one’s will.” Read full story from

East Meets West in the Bedroom
When it comes to sex, there’s a lot of noise out there. Do it this way! Buy this! Try this! Do it more! Do it now! Do it today!

It’s a message we see and hear all around us. It makes you wonder what the real deal is. So, I thought I might take a step off the well-beaten path and look in an entirely new direction for some insight — Eastern religion and philosophy. I wondered if I might be able to find a little quiet in the sex storm, and I did.

So, here it is. The top things we can learn about sex from the Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism and Shinto philosophies. Read full story from

Third mass grave found in Ivory Coast, says UN
A third mass grave has been discovered in Ivory Coast, according to the UN, following weeks of politically motivated killings that have raised fears of a new civil war.

After two days of deadly clashes it was also claimed that a UN vehicle had been set ablaze and its driver dragged out and beaten.

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, told Reuters that her officials had been denied access to three mass graves including a site alleged to contain 80 bodies.

“I am very concerned now that a third mass grave has been discovered,” Pillay said in Geneva. “Not only my representative there but the UN representative has not been allowed access to the mass graves.” Read full story from

Worship has no place in schools
Lots of children like studying religions. They enjoy thinking about religions, philosophy and morality. They are engaged by questions about capital punishment, euthanasia and whether prayer actually works. What they don’t like, they tell me time and time again, is feeling that it’s “being rammed down their throats”, or that they’re “being told what to believe”. Such activities should have no place in our schools.

To argue, as The Church Mouse does, that it is “hard to imagine how a child’s spiritual development can be supported if they never experience any form of worship” is fallacious, and conflates the terms “spiritual” and “religious”. We should see “spiritual’ as a flexible term, that could incorporate the religious and the nonreligious. Look, for example, of the definition Ofsted offered in 2004:

“[Spiritual development] is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s ‘spirit’. Some people may call it the development of a pupil’s ‘soul’; others as the development of ‘personality’ or ‘character’” Read full story from

Monks make, donate casket for youngest victim in Arizona shooting
A group of Trappist monks in Iowa have donated a handmade casket to bury 9-year-old Christina Green, the youngest victim in the Saturday attack that killed six and wounded 13 others in Arizona.

Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets in Peosta, Iowa, told CNN a family representative of the Greens reached out to the monks at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque after her death. The custom-made casket arrived in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t want to send an adult coffin that would be too big, we wanted something just for her,” said Mulgrew, who is not a monk but who manages the 11-year-old casket business that is part of the abbey. Read full story from

The Housing Slump Has Salem On a Witch Hunt Again
SALEM, Mass.—There’s a certain look and feel to a foreclosed home, and 31 Arbella St. has it: fraying carpet, missing appliances, foam insulation poking through cracked walls.

That doesn’t faze buyer Tony Barletta since he plans a gut renovation anyway. It’s the bad vibes that bother him.

So two weeks before closing, Mr. Barletta followed witch Lori Bruno and warlock Christian Day through the three-story home. They clanged bells and sprayed holy water, poured kosher salt on doorways and raised iron swords at windows. Read full storyi from

Conservative Media Attack Native American Blessing At AZ Memorial Service
Hume: “While I’m Sure [Native American Ritual] Has An Honorable Tradition With [Gonzales'] People, It Was Most Peculiar.” After Fox News aired the Tucson memorial live on January 12, several Fox News anchors commented on the service. Brit Hume said he thought the “sobriety you might have expected was not to be found” at the service and attributed this “tone and atmosphere,” in part, to the “opening blessing” by Gonzales, which he called “most peculiar.” From the Fox coverage following the service: Read full story from

Not all in northern Sudan embrace Islamic law (source cnn)

News & Submissions 11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Masters of Math, From Old Babylon
If the cost of digging a trench is 9 gin, and the trench has a length of 5 ninda and is one-half ninda deep, and if a worker’s daily load of earth costs 10 gin to move, and his daily wages are 6 se of silver, then how wide is the canal?

Or, a better question: if you were a tutor of Babylonian scribes some 4,000 years ago, holding a clay tablet on which this problem was incised with cuneiform indentations — the very tablet that can now be seen with 12 others from that Middle Eastern civilization at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World — what could you take for granted, and what would you need to explain to your students? In what way did you think about measures of time and space? How did you calculate? Did you believe numbers had an abstract existence, each with its own properties? Read full story from

How the Internet Changed Paganism
The Internet is a wonderful tool used by numerous people worldwide. Although some might not admit it, most people rely on the Internet for most things that they do. Now, how does this relate to Paganism, one might ask? Well it seems that the Internet has made information on Paganism and the various traditions that it encompasses (i.e. Druidism, Wicca, etc) more accessible to people now a days. There are many articles on Paganism available to read on the Internet (not all are good but there are many informative pieces out there) .

If it weren’t for the wonder that is the world wide Internet, I probably would not be on the spiritual path that I am today- I cannot say that for sure but it is improbable. To be honest, I can’t quite remember exactly how I ended up typing “Wicca” into the Google search engine on my laptop computer. However, what I do know is that for some reason I did and it led me to reading various articles on the religion, that I now call my own. It led me to discover that there is a spiritual path that seems to encompass basically everything that I believe- in terms of what the divine is. It felt to me like I finally had found the spiritual path that I was meant to be on. Many people will understand what I am saying by this; that something which had been missing was finally filled. In fact, Wicca helped me become a better person and Paganism in general, is something that I find myself feeling extremely passionate about. Read full story from

Istanbul Treats Its Famous and Beautiful Bosphorus Strait Like a Trash Can, Turkish NGO Says
From the deck of a boat bobbing on its surface, Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait seems to flow fresh and strong, breathing air and energy into the city it divides into two continents. When anchored in a secluded cove near the Black Sea end of the strait, it even feels clean enough to swim in. But what lies underneath the waves is apparently another matter altogether.

“Everywhere there are people, there is pollution,” Hakan Tiryaki, the head of the Underwater Cleaning Movement (STH), which works to raise awareness about aquatic pollution, told the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet. Members of the group have dived down to the seabed 250 times since 2005 and say the strait is full of garbage — from old furniture to boat parts, cleaning supplies to restaurant trash. And, of course, plenty of plastic bags. STH divers have removed more than 16,000 pieces of solid waste from just one part of the waterway. Read full story from

Wicken Traditions in Salem During Halloween
Halloween in Salem—the phrase generally conjures up images of reveling party-goers dressed as scantily as possible, roaming the streets for a night of fun and excess. Halloween is taken to the extreme here in Salem, as anyone who ventures downtown can confess. College students are especially revved up for Halloween, since their celebrating typically includes partying in costumes, stuffing their faces with candy, and generally having a good time.

For some of us, however, there is more to Halloween than ghosts and ghouls and sexy French maid costumes. To the Wiccan and Pagan community, Halloween is a sacred holiday which stems from the ancient Celtic New Year known as “Samhain” (pronounced “Sow-ain”). Samhain is traditionally celebrated as the end of the harvest season, and also as a time when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. Read full story from

In Salem, Life After Halloween
It’s no surprise to Salem residents and to SSU students alike that the city of Salem is a madhouse in the days leading up to and on Halloween. However, now that the season has come and gone with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, what happens to all the businesses that thrive off their long-gone cash-cow month?

Since Salem’s 300th anniversary in 1992 of the Witch Hysteria, the city has seen a regular increase in the number of revelers out to enjoy the month-long Haunted Happenings celebrations.

According to Destination Salem, Salem’s tourist office, there has been a 12 percent increase in the number of visitors since last year, and it is estimated that the October season pumps approximately $9 million into the local economy. So what happens now to all our local tourist traps after Halloween? Read full story from

One scientist’s hobby: recreating the ice age
CHERSKY, Russia – Wild horses have returned to northern Siberia. So have musk oxen, hairy beasts that once shared this icy land with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Moose and reindeer are here, and may one day be joined by Canadian bison and deer.

Later, the predators will come — Siberian tigers, wolves and maybe leopards.

Russian scientist Sergey Zimov is reintroducing these animals to the land where they once roamed in millions to demonstrate his theory that filling the vast emptiness of Siberia with grass-eating animals can slow global warming. Read full story from

Spanish woman claims ownership of the Sun
MADRID (AFP) – After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner — a woman from Spain’s soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our Solar System. Read full story from

Leaking Siberian ice raises a tricky climate issue (source USA Today)

The Sahara Solar Breeder Project (source DigInfo)

Psychic Healers: Shamanic Healing Teacher Answers Essential Questions (source

News & Submissions 11/01/2010

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Friends honor Wiccan with Halloween burial
BARNEVELD — On a warm, sunny Halloween day, a group of 20 people drove up a rural road at Circle Sanctuary, a nature-based pagan church and ecological preserve here, to spread and inter the ashes of one of their own.

Bruce Parsons, of Milwaukee, who identified as a Wiccan or pagan, died in June at age 63, but his Circle Sanctuary ceremony was held Sunday afternoon, coinciding with the sanctuary’s green cemetery dedication. Read full story from

The PC’s guide to arresting a witch: It’s normal for people to be naked, bound and blindfolded and whatever you do, don’t touch their book of spells
When out pounding the beat for a spell, a policeman never knows when he might bump into a witch.

So it’s best to be prepared – with a 300-page guide which includes instructions on how to deal with members of the pagan community.

The Metropolitan Police has produced a diversity handbook offering officers a range of dos and don’ts when it comes to followers of a range of religions and beliefs, from atheism to Zoroastrianism, druidry and shamanism. Read full story from

Arizona retiree says, ‘My witchery is my faith’
“It’s our new year. It’s the beginning of the new year for us. It’s the end of what we call the wheel of our year,” she said.

“Samhain to us is when the veil between the worlds are at the thinnest. It’s when you can call your ancestors, when you can honor the dead, when you can have more contact with the netherworlds and the other beings that are out there.” Read full story from

Magic circle charms visitors
SALEM — For Tammy Honickman and Lori Ann Busel, both practicing Wiccans, no place beats Salem for Halloween, which is their religion’s New Year.

“My best friend and I thought it was the best way to celebrate Samhain,” Honickman said. Samhain is the name for the Wiccan holiday on Oct. 31 when the dead are remembered. Read full story from

BBC accused of neglecting Christianity as it devotes air time to pagan festival
The BBC has been criticised for extensive coverage of a pagan festival to mark Halloween and accused of neglecting Christianity.

The corporation’s 24-hour news channel devoted considerable time to the celebrations in a riverside meadow where witches gathered to celebrate mark Samhain, the turning of the year from light to dark.

Dressed in hooded gowns, women were seen standing in a circle around a cauldron while ritualistic acts were conducted. Read full story from

Native Americans fill out census forms
Census Bureau and South Dakota tribes say new tactics to encourage American Indians to fill out the 2010 Census forms appear to be paying off.

Data recently released show the Yankton Sioux reservation had 55 percent of households mail back their forms, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux reservation had 53 percent.

That’s lower than the overall state participation rate of 76 percent but officials tell The Argus Leader they’re still pleased. Read full story from indiancountrytoday,com

Uprooted in hail’s wake, tribe wants help
KEWA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) – For the first time in more than two years, Dominique Martinez, 2, has been able to sleep through the night.

Dominique, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been struggling to breathe at night because of mold in her family’s home. After a hailstorm earlier this month damaged the family’s 1916 adobe home at Kewa Pueblo, Dominique was displaced along with four family members, including her sickly grandmother, Andrea Calabaza.

For the past week, they have been staying at the Love Your Heart Program administrative building, where offices are filled with cots, blankets and a few personal items for several displaced pueblo families. Read full story from