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the cone of power, the fizz of modern myth ________________________________________________________________
Is there anything more boring than another article on pagan religious revivals on Halloween...if you think yes read this from the sfgate.com...

All are welcome, a reflection of the pagan belief that the divine is present in all things and people. There is little dogma, and participants hail from many different traditions.

"I'm Hecate," said Kala Levin of Oakland. "She's the goddess of death."

Levin walked using a staff and wore a hooded cloak and leather mask depicting another Bay Area witch who had died.

"When you have choices in your life, and you're at the crossroads, she guides you," Levin, 60, said of Hecate.

Depicted in pop culture as a witch flying across the moon on a broom, Hecate typically walks with a hound, which wasn't feasible Saturday inside the pavilion, which is usually a basketball gymnasium.

A self-described pagan Jew emceed the event in a cloak and yarmulke. And a lapsed Roman Catholic enjoyed the pantheistic nature of pagan worship, which she said reminded her of the variety of Catholic saints.

Jaynie Lara, a 50-year-old member of the Yaqui people, who are native to the Southwest, said worshiping with pagans made sense.

"They honor mother Earth, they honor sacred animals ... they honor the ancestors," said Lara, who said the Yaqui traditions she practices also recognize that this time of year is the best opportunity to communicate with the dead.

Samhain is one of eight major festivals that pagans celebrate, one at each solstice and equinox and the midway points in between. The holiday honors the death of the growing season and recognizes a time when people believed their ancestors would return.

"Death is never seen as something final," Starhawk, 55, a witch and priestess, said in an interview. "It's always seen as part of life, part of the whole cycle, so that's what the ritual is focused on."

Through an escalating series of ceremonies, the rites that make up the Spiral Dance are believed to transform participants individually and as a group and change the world at large. The evening culminates when believers hold hands in a line and wind around one another in a spiral, in which each person is supposed to be able to look into everyone else's eyes.

The dance stops at this climax, but the choir's chants continue and the singing rises. It becomes an arms-in-the-air, foot-stomping, rhythmic and explosive drumming release of energy.

Spiral Dance participants believe this energy is directed into a "cone of power," directed "toward a particular intention or goal," said Starhawk.

The goal this year, she said, was to "turn the wheel of life back to courage, creation, justice and healing ... to put our energies toward shifting our society away from greed, corruption and destruction." Political issues such as the war in Iraq, the right of a woman to choose an abortion, and global warming were given voice throughout the night.

(ugh, says steve in the cone of no power)

posted by wrangler steve at Tuesday, October 31, 2006 >0 comments

looky lou goes to library new ________________________________________________________________

Will "he" be there?

(charles frazier, THIRTEEN MOONS)

posted by wrangler steve at Monday, October 30, 2006 >0 comments

run don't walk... ________________________________________________________________
...and rush over to the bookstore and plunk down whatever it takes to read the most significant work produced on Life and the origins of it since the days of Darwin himself. The book is entitled POWER, SEX, AND SUICIDE: mitochondria and the meaning of life (Oxford Univ Press, Oct 2006)...I shall order my copy just as soon as I am paid by my employer I assure you. (I do not buy many books...and the ones I do buy I read, re-read and one thousand per cent absorb...Faulkner, Wolfe, Chatwin, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Tolstoy, Baldwin,and now that I think about it Joan Didion)...

Shield your eyes now if you dislike thinking and skip this quote from an excellent review of this new scientific masterpiece...

He explores the hypothesis that the critical moment in the development of the eukaryotic cell, and hence multicellular life, and ultimately man himself, was the union of two cells, one of which became subservient to the other as the ancestral mitochondrion.

As a Darwinian evolutionist, the author tells a good tale: "Once upon a time a methanogen and -proteobacterium lived side-by-side in the ocean where oxygen was scarce..." and there are more twists and turns than in an average detective story, all plausible and potentially possible. Those on the creationist or grand design side of the fence will be consoled by the fact that although Nick Lane implies the evolution of humanity or the human consciousness he cannot believe that bacteria will ever "ascend the smooth ramp to sentience, or anywhere much beyond slime."

Struggling clinical academics will be encouraged by the historical perspective in this book. For example, Peter Mitchell, who won the Nobel prize for chemistry for his description of the mitochondrial proton pump, was a reclusive who set up his own laboratory in an old country house in Corn-wall, funding some of his research from the proceeds of a dairy herd. Charles MacMann, who described the cytochromes, was a practising clinician who worked in a small laboratory in the hay loft over his stables, carrying out research in his spare time

See I told you so, run, right now and go find this book...adam and eve turn out to have been mitochondrial elements outside the walled city of the nucleus, isn't that right?

posted by wrangler steve at Friday, October 27, 2006 >1 comments

seeing the blindside ________________________________________________________________

visit radio open source with my favorite intellectual on air 'caster Chris Lydon...hear Michael Lewis discuss the "yen for violence" in modern football...the factor of fear in the game...why the position of left tackle is the most important one on the field...how long is the arm of the number one pick? The ideal type defined...not only size but speed...little man in a big man's body...michael orr...three thirty four...violence...the mind of the game now...mental qualities...you want some football you gotta have some brains...the articulate lineman is the norm...isn't that right?

posted by wrangler steve at Thursday, October 26, 2006 >0 comments

mullah dadullah and other items of interest ________________________________________________________________
...as you few but select elite readership may have noticed (thank you J for the email) we've not posted recently but life intrudes and daily events in the earning of our living have preoccuppied us not to mention the fact we have purchased many books and have marked and marked through them for ideas and words and thus have been in solitary exile from the reading public as it were...

(I cannot wait to begin the new novel of Richard Powers, THE ECHO MAKER, with that lone goose flying over the brackened earth...and farrar straus giroux published it which in itself gurantees the supreme level of quality in writing, wouldn't you agree?)

...the current issue of THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE has a wonderful article answering that nagging question the headlines impose upon even the most superficial human...what accounts for the return of the TALIBAN five years after our victory over their theological totalitarianism? Why are people like Mullah dAdullah now so powerful? Who are these new warlords in the Afghan mountains? Why have the poppy fields and the opium harvests increased?

The BBC short answer is the best "Pakistan" that's why... The Pakistani generals are quoted in the Times magazine article as saying of the American military during the war against the Afghan Taliban, "The Americans used us like a condom". I shall file that under the heading Ugly Metaphors we have Seen"...

The world spins on with its global problems...me I've got to go and handle the political struggles of my own tiny universe...but first a walk at the Walton gymnasium is in order where evil may be held at bay for a while...

Peace out...as we said in our idealistic youth...and now repeat just for a nostalgia high...

posted by wrangler steve at Tuesday, October 24, 2006 >1 comments

wednesday word up ________________________________________________________________

I saw this in the Washington Post...

the demise of handwriting will diminish the power and accuracy of future historical research. And others simply lament the loss of handwritten communication for its beauty, individualism and intimacy.

"It's like so many other things in our society -- there's a sense of loss for what once was," said Laura B. Smolken, a professor of elementary education and early childhood development at the University of Virginia.

At Keene Mill Elementary in Springfield, Debbie Mattocks teaches cursive once a week to her gifted-and-talented group of third-graders -- mainly so they can read it. All their poems and stories are typed. Children in Fairfax County schools are taught keyboarding beginning in kindergarten.

"I can't think of any other place you need cursive as an adult other than to sign your name," she said. "Cursive -- that is so low on the priority list, we really could care less. We are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs [standardized tests], and that doesn't require a bit of cursive."

Older students who never mastered handwriting say it doesn't affect their grades. "A lot of kids have just awful handwriting. . . . Teachers don't take off points for poor handwriting," said Matt Paragamian, a 10th-grader at St. Albans School in Northwest Washington. Many of his classmates take notes in class on their own laptops and do homework on computers.

Until the 1970s, penmanship was a separate daily lesson through sixth grade, said Dennis Williams, national product manager for Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, the most widely used penmanship curriculum. At its peak in the 1940s and '50s, most teachers insisted on as much as two hours a week, but a 2003 Vanderbilt University survey of primary-grade teachers found that most now spend 10 minutes a day or less on the subject. To adapt to this new reality, the Zaner-Bloser method has been changed to a 15-minute daily plan.

In Montgomery County, schools "don't have separate handwriting instruction for handwriting's sake," said spokesman Brian Edwards. Only a handful of schools in Prince George's County teach handwriting. Fairfax educators struggle to include penmanship.

posted by wrangler steve at Wednesday, October 11, 2006 >1 comments

thirteen moons, fifty six years ________________________________________________________________

...i reference the new novel by Charles Frazier...someone still writes literature...how frustrating it is to live in a wordless world...but I recall the first year of college...1969...miss jones a beautiful literate english teacher and that classroom of vile yokelboys and yokel-er women...how much sympathy i felt for her as she discussed the glories of william faulkner whom none of us had ever read...i so desperately wanted to catch up and know what she knew...and now I feel like i am in a room surrounded by word hating anti-intellectuals but that is a dream the truth is even worse, most just don't care...

posted by wrangler steve at Tuesday, October 10, 2006 >1 comments

cormac rides again ________________________________________________________________

It has been decades since I read so good a book as the new novel by Cormac McCarthy THE ROAD...i fear revealing its plotline but suffice it to say he finally sails above the bar set by Faulkner...and I have read and own every thing Faulkner produced.

posted by wrangler steve at Saturday, October 07, 2006 >1 comments

"lucky" ________________________________________________________________

posted by wrangler steve at Friday, October 06, 2006 >0 comments

Only in October... ________________________________________________________________
dear editor,

Only in October,I thought to myself as I waited in line at the drive through for a sandwich (a very refreshing cool wrap it was called), something out of the ordinary had begun to take place.

The lady ahead of me had lowered her car window to interact with the person in the store window.The very second her window came down a bat bounced off her main windshield, ricocheted into the order window, and mistaking her car for a cave of hope swooped by her raven haired head into the dark interior of her vehicle.

The female driver, wearing a jet black outfit,jumped out of her car screaming for help. Three managers came running to her assistance and with a bit of wrestling and acrobatics they released the big gray creature back to the open light of day.

We humans pretend fact is truth but truth is fact interpreted. I know the facts of what I saw. What it means you might try asking a Sigmund Freud. Isn't that right- and Happy Halloween to you!


posted by wrangler steve at Wednesday, October 04, 2006 >0 comments

when every day is a holiday ________________________________________________________________

every day is a holiday...isn't that right?

posted by wrangler steve at Wednesday, October 04, 2006 >1 comments

when steve was sam ________________________________________________________________

...i truly enjoyed my day working as a pharm tech at sams...if fate smiles upon me i shall be there again in the future...i did not have the opportunity to look over the books or office supplies as I also worked at store one hundred later in the day....whew busy boy...

posted by wrangler steve at Tuesday, October 03, 2006 >0 comments



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