Archive | December 12, 2012

The Crank

I apologize for the unscheduled crankiness or at least more cranky than normal posts of late not because I’m sorry I wrote them but I know where this is coming from, it’s partly the job I’m doing at the moment and partly getting emails from Chicken Littles whose opinion I normally respect but who should know better. If some of this has been preaching to the choir, sorry but sometimes I read things that just set me off and now well into my cronehood I can’t physically adminster a Gibbs slap to the head to all the Tony DeNozo’s of the world so I have to settle for a verbal one. (And I must have watched one too many NCISs.)

The other part is my job. I solve broker commission problems. Most of the time I love troubleshooting  people’s problems. Sometimes we have made a mistake and I’m glad to fix it but this time of year is when people apply for their this year’s Medicare policy so we have a lot of work and this I don’t mind. What I mind is the stupids who write me letters in caps about how stupid we are and when I look at the applications they have A) not bothered to fill the broker section out. B) Filled it out under a different name than they were contracted under and use a messy signature and no tax id. C) Put their license number and not their Tax ID, D) only sign their name like it’s a flaming autograph, (really? I’m supposed to know that says Joe Smith, it’s a messy line) E) They aren’t contracted in this state F) They didn’t bother with certification and they still want to get paid?

But it’s my fault you aren’t getting paid? And I’m sorry but the NY brokers are the rudest letter writers. They start on the offense. I love the people in GA, they apologize when it is our fault and I bend over backward to fix the problem. California and Colorado brokers are somewhere in between and the WI people are Minnesota nice most of the time.

I admit we do screw up. It is why I have a job after all but please, brokers do your part before you start verbally abusing me? You don’t even know who is at fault yet.

Why I don’t do spell correspondence charts

I don’t “do” spell correspondence charts with herbs. If I’m really desperate for an herb for a particular spell I’ll go to one of Paul Beyerl’s excellent books. Number 1, because I’ve taken many classes from him and he’s a friend and I trust him and Number 2, he’s a gardener and a excellent researcher of herbal properties.

I think the best way to learn correspondences is to grow the herb. I never use an herb I haven’t grown at least once so it’s lucky I live in California where a good share of the herbs can be grown since a great many of the most common are Mediterrean in origin.

So how do I decide? By the properties of the herb itself. If it has thorns or a really strong odor it’s probably good for protection. If it smell sweet or attractive it’s probably good for love or friendship. If it doesn’t allow other plants to grow near it or smells vile, it may be good for banishment. Etc.

But I also know the constituents of a plant and how its chemistry affects things. If it is a healing plant externally it may not be good internally, a good example would be comfrey which can be very soothing in a salve but carcinogenic when taken internally. Mugwort is excellent for bug bites, nettle stings but if taken internally is a hallucinogenic and can enhance a tendency to mediumship which I found out to my detriment one Hallows when we drank it in a tea before going into a group trance.

When I trance it’s like leaving the porch light on and I attract things. Things can get frustrated if they have been trying to make contact and can’t find anyone to listen. This causes them to get really excited when someone finally can hear them. I’m still not sure if it was the being it said it was. All I know was that she was big, really big, bigger than my head could hold and I was not in the mood to give over any space there to someone I had not been formally introduced to and some one speaking such an archaic form of Scottish Gaelic as to be virtually un-understandable. That was one whopper of a headache and all because I opened the front door unwisely. And it took awhile to get the door shut again afterwards.

I do rely on tradition when the tradition is strongly in the culture. Things like oak being associated with strength knowledge and longevity are both actually true of the tree but strong in centuries of tradition in many people.

I used to have an incense and oil business so I learned a lot about what should and should not be combined and what can be burned safely and what should not be burned indoors. I also found out that for some people all incense smells like dope which was interesting to learn.

I also don’t use colour correspondence charts and sometimes my students would get really miffed at me when I wouldn’t but I think colour is incredibly personal. For one person yellow is a colour of joy and sunlight and for someone else it’s the colour of pee or cowardice. We all have our own internal dictionaries from our own experiences and just because someone says blue is for peacefulness and you hate blue means it probably won’t work for you. I hate pink therefore I would never use pink for affection as some of the charts say.

I’m a practical witch/druid/magic user. I do my own research. Over the last few years I have also learned not to use incestuous new age sources because they all seem to have plagiarized each other half the time. I’ve also had my butt kicked enough times by making mistakes to take a lot with a grain of salt and not go wide-eyed blindly believing anything anyone says. I fear the little boy from the Emperor’s New Clothes is strong in me. And quite frankly no one should blindly believe anything I say either without trying it for themselves. I’ve frustrated an awful lot of my students that way who wanted it given to them. Not going to happen.

A timely rant

If I get one more email, facebook posting or any other notification on it being 12/12/12 or the end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar , I‘m gonna run screaming through the office.

Earth to the nutballs: the calendar is a human construction. We decided it is 12/12/12 and in fact Pope Gregory changed it from the Julian Calendar set up by Julius Caesar. For 12/12/12 there you are early because it 11/30/2012 according to the Julian Calendar and he changed the calendar back in 709 auc (ab urbe condita or from the founding of the city AKA Rome) in 43 BC.

Also according to the Islamic calendar it is 28 Muharram 1434, It is 28 Kislev 5773 and it is star date 07780.00 So knock off the “12/12/12 business is a special date. It’s not. And it comes again in another one hundred years in 2112 and even more fun number to play with.

As to the Mayan Calendar and the world ending, no one really knows what the ancient Mayans really intended on their calendar. It could be the end of a cycle like the Celts had of 19 years and then a great cycle of I forget how many years to complete. Or it could be the carver ran out of room since another one has been found that goes into the future and I sincerely doubt you will find the words and numbers written in any European language, winter solstice 2012.

Modern humans have been taught to perceive time as a line. Other peoples perceive it as a cycle or circle or even a spiral. So the idea that any fixed point in time other than the day you were born and the day you die has any significance for all people everywhere is just plain stupid and rather vain and self centered since it makes you the center of the universe and I hate to break it to you but you aren’t. And by the way, it’s the year of the Dragon in the 10th Lunar month and the 29th day of the month if you happen to follow the Chinese Calendar and we are in the Holocene Epoch of geologic time which if you ask me is the one you have to worry about.

Ps It’s no different than when you car’s odometer reaches an interesting number. It’s interesting but not world changing.

Yuletide Blogging Festival – What Child Is This?

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What Child is this?

What child is this who brings such light
That all who see Her grow hopeful? The Solstice candles this darkest night
Rekindle a flame in our souls.

This, this is the Solstice Child The Maiden brilliant,
the Maiden mild.
Come family to hold her near.
The hope and the light of the New Year.

Yuletide Blogging Festival – Pecan Pie

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Pecan Pie

Make a pie crust or use one of the ones available at your grocer

Filling for a 9″ pie
Beat together with a rotary beater:

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 Tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
melted 1 cup dark corn syrup

Filling for an 8″ pie shell:

2 Large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cups dark corn syrup

Mix in 1 cup pecan halves / 3/4 cup pecan halves

Pour into pastry lined pie pan

Bake until set and the pastry is slightly browned in a 375 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes
Cool
Serve cold or slightly warm

This from Mom’s really old Betty Crocker Cookbook from the 1950′s with the cool photos.