Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Winter Holidays...

...are usually some of the happiest days for me. But this year, I have been  so *disconnected* and really haven't had much holiday spirit. I'm not  gonna whine, just saying that being unemployed for most of the year was a  huge factor in my *scroogism*.


I did muster enough enthusiasm over  the past 3 days (and for the life of me I cannot figure out how my  mother was able to do all the holiday baking/cooking she did for all  those years, I am more than exhausted) to make 5 different kinds of  fudge, which is what most people around here got for gifts from us...I  also wanted to mail some to MD, but couldn't afford the postage. I'm  hoping next year will be better for all of us and postage won't such a  worry...*sigh*.


For the most part, I did have a good couple of days.  Last night was the Foster family get together, dinner was ummmm, OK,  passable. At least the turkey wasn't dry this time. And I snitched the  sacred recipe for her top secret, handed down through the generations,  Graham Cracker Dessert. She told me she couldn't *give* it to me, so I  found her recipe book and now it's mine, all mine...(insert evil laugh  here, LOL).


This morning, Little Man got some cool presents, some  fun, and some for learning. Ed stole the show, he had the ring that  Angel gave to Tanya repaired. One of the prongs had broken and she had  lost the stone out of it. It took some searching but he was able to find  a jeweler who worked some mighty big magic and got it repaired/stone  replaced (not an easy feat...it was a heart shaped ruby) in time for  Christmas.


Ed got a couple new games for his XBox 360, and his  Dad got him a Pittsburgh Steelers Jacket and gloves.


Jimmy got  the expansion pack for World of Warcraft...Cataclysm, and he's already  leveled up a NEW toon to level 10, so he's pretty stoked.


Me...I  get to go to my MOST favorite place, (maybe tomorrow if it doesn't snow  too much here tonight) Barnes & Noble...I told them to just take me  and drop me off for at least a couple of hours. I did get some scented  candles, and a heated vibrating neck massager. With the hopes that it  will help with the headaches I seem to be having more frequently as of  late.


All in all...it's been an OK couple of days. The ONLY thing  that could have made them better would have been for Mylia & Chey  and Justin, Tiffany and their girls to have been here too...


That  is my wish for next year...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TUT~A Note From the Universe

As people progress into possessing a greater spiritual awareness, they finally stop relying so heavily on the tools of intellect, logic, and common sense. A new freedom is then achieved, their assent is accelerated, and a blossoming takes place.

But then later, into ever higher and higher realms of human consciousness, these tools are rediscovered and embraced; used with insight, balance, and care. And, would you believe, new freedoms are found, their acceleration is accelerated, and their blossoms blossom.

Who'd have thunk?
    The Universe

Friday, June 11, 2010

Answers to some of your questions…

It has been very difficult for me to get online and put all of this into words for those of you who have asked why I haven't been available lately. I know you are concerned and worried. I hope after reading this you will have a better idea of what is going on and why I have for the most part been hiding. I'm having a hard time facing reality right now, and sleeping, reading or playing mindless games either online or just on my computer have been the only way I have been able to maintain what little bit of sanity I still possess.

As most of you know, I have been unemployed since February 17th of this year. The company I worked for had 3 accessory kiosks in Cary Towne Center Mall that weren't making any money. The owner could barely pay my wages, let alone the monthly rent or the wages of the 2 part time employees who also worked there. And with the minimal amount of money the carts were making, there was absolutely no way they could keep enough stock ordered for the carts. As a result I found myself in an awkward position…not enough income to order new merchandise…and not enough merchandise to meet the daily sales goals. On Wednesday February 17th at 10:45PM, I received a text message from the *district manager*letting me know I no longer had a job, the owner was closing the carts, and someone was already on their way to pack up what merchandise was still on the carts and take said merchandise to the partner in Atlanta. And because I hadn't worked for this company for 6 months I wasn't eligible for unemployment benefits.

Shortly after that, Tanya also lost her job and moved to Hope Mills with her guy. We went from having three incomes in the household to one income…Jimmy was the only one who was still working. We fell behind with the rent and utility payments, and were living from one disconnect notice to the next. Our landlord was willing to work with us to a point. Each week we were able to buy just enough groceries to survive, and put gas in our car for Jimmy to make it to work for one more week. This car has multiple issues and too many things that need to be repaired. But, it still runs, at least for the time being. OH…BTW, did I mention we are running it illegally? The tags expired in 2008… To get it registered and licensed here in NC, we would need to put an outrageous amount of money into it to just get it to pass the inspection for licensing. Before I lost my job, we were trying to save enough for a down payment on a different car, one that would be legal on the streets and highways of NC. So much for the best laid plans.

On Wednesday May 26, 2010 Jimmy lost his job. This was the week we were supposed to give our landlord some money towards the past due amount we kept accruing. We talked to our landlord to let him know what had happened…we didn't want to get served with an eviction notice on top of everything else. He was very understanding, but also let us know he couldn't carry us any longer. He gave us until Friday June 4th to either give him a substantial amount of the money we owed him, or we were going to need to move.

After MUCH discussion, we decided to pack up what we could and move to Hope Mills. We are now living with Tanya & Ed in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, doublewide on a fenced lot. There are 5 of us, along with 7 fur babies and so far, the job search hasn't produced any positive results. (It's only been a little over a week, but I was hoping for at least something part time) We have internet, but as of this coming Sunday, June 13th we will once again be WITHOUT telephone. So if you send me a message and I'm a bit slow to reply, please be patient with me…depression SUCKS!

At least we aren't homeless…

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ch ch ch changes....

I haven't spent any time here in the past month or so, there have been SO many changes that have taken place. I don't have the time or the mind set to bring everyone up to date this evening. I promise you that I will make an effort to get back here Wednesday or Thursday and let everyone know what has been going on in my little world.

I love you all...and I miss writing about the happenings in my life.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catching Up…


Things have been a bit unsettled in my world lately. I have been completely wiped out from my weekend trip to Carolina Spirit Quest. And even though I am thoroughly exhausted, I would do it all over again.


When Nancy and I arrived Friday mid afternoon, we were the only campers/participants there. Yes, some of the staff had gotten there the night before, but it was just the 2 of us, checking out the cabins and deciding which rooms we wanted. We decided to lay claim to private rooms in cabin 3 and selected a single bunk room for Nancy (she had WAY too much stuff to be able to share a room, LOL) and a double bunk room for me to share with CJ when she arrived later in the afternoon. I also chose a double bunk room across the hallway from CJ and me for Amanda and Victoria. They were going to be getting to the campground at about 4PM and by then Nancy and I had already begun our *2 hour Community Service* in the kitchen doing the prep work for Friday dinner. Hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, and cold slaw were on the menu, and working with John and his wife Amanda was a hoot!


With community service out of the way at 6pm, we were free to have our dinner, hear all the incoming announcements, participate in the meetings for the Ritual Design Team and then kick off the weekend at the opening Ritual at 7PM. I must say, I have been blessed by the people I met this weekend. I am so fortunate to count them among my friends and my FaceBook friends list has grown considerably, LOL! After opening ritual, which was one of the most incredible rituals I have been part of, we went back to our cabin to begin the weekend long celebration for Nancy and Sharon's Birthdays. We started out with just the 5 of us, Nancy, Amanda, CJ, Victoria and me with a bottle of Duplin Carolina Red wine. Then Sharon and Becky joined us adding beer and more wine to the mix, and then I remember Ben and Becky joining us with a bottle of pineapple mead…yummm! There must have been 25 people sitting on the floor of that hallway before the night was over. All I can say is WOW, what a great start to an PHENOMENAL weekend.


Saturday morning up for breakfast, then to my first workshop…Fun With Yeast & Honey, aka: Mead Making, LOL! After that class, I now have in my hot little hands the beginning of a gallon of mead and I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out. If it fails for some reason, I have the equipment and recipe I need to make my favorite (so far) mead…Joe's Mead. OMG! I found this mead last year at the Renaissance Faire in Wake Forest and promptly fell in love. Now, I'm looking forward to making my own batch and being able to have it on hand whenever I want. Saturday afternoon, lunch, ritual Design meeting, workshop on Tarot with Becky and I'm feeling my day is already a success…not so! I have main Ritual at 8PM and WOW, the creativity with each element contributing; now my day was complete.


By now, I am uber tired and all I want to do is shower and crawl into my bunk. Not gonna happen though, because it's party in the hallway again. LOL!!! Unfortunately or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, the party wasn't as well attended that night. Personally I think one of the other cabins had a party and didn't invite us, but I can't prove it. ;) And because of such, I crashed somewhere around midnight. Up by 7 on Sunday morning and last day of SQ.


Breakfast, workshop on Tarot spreads, by now my day has begun to blur from lack of sleep. But I do remember getting everything packed and in the car, having lunch, and closing ritual. After that, the ride home and the remainder of the day/evening/night on Sunday is a complete loss for me. Wait!! I do remember watching the new Clash of the Titans and I have to say about that is it SUCKED!! They managed to utterly destroy not only the original movie but the ENTIRE Myth. I am NOT happy with the way this movie was remade…


So here it is Thursday afternoon, I have made it thus far in my week. Also went to Book Club last night and enjoyed a lively discussion on The Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird. Next month we are reading CristoPaganism, by Joyce and River Higgenbotham, which I have been able to get a jump start on today. It is another that promises to generate a lively discussion. I can't wait to hear from the others as to how they did or didn't like this book.

I gotta tell ya…I LOVE my life, *sigh*.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mercury In Retrograde


To most people Mercury in retrograde means duck and cover…

This is a time of flight delays, computers crashing, and intense serious arguments. It also rivals the New Moon for statistically counted incidents of sheer craziness and if there is a New Moon during retrograde, hold onto your hat! Even the people who don't have any idea what's going on in the astrological system ask "What's going on?". 


When Mercury retrograde happens, we "could" just hide (that's what I wanna do). But since most of us can't afford that luxury, I need to figure out what I should put on pause, and what I actually need to do to survive.

This is a good time to reread, review, reconsider, rewrite, and redo some projects. Sometimes during Mercury retrograde things that have been lost will mysteriously return to you. All I know is for me personally, when Mercury goes into retrograde, I become an emotional wreck. I stress over everything, I am more susceptible to crying (at the drop of a hat) for no good reason, I have uncontrollable panic attacks, I get angry a whole lot easier over stupid shit, to put it plainly and simply, I become the Bitch From Hell…and the more I try to control my emotions, the more out of control they become. 


Today is a perfect example of that. I am overtired from my amazing weekend getaway at CSQ, spent with my wonderful Spirit Sisters, and although I woke up in a good mood, I have been crying off and on all morning. And there is absolutely nothing I can put my finger on to have caused these crying bouts. Should I chalk it up to being tired? Possibly. Is it an effect of Mercury retrograde? Probably. How am I going to deal with the emotional roller coaster I have found myself on? Good question…first I'm going to adopt the "pick your battles" strategy. When something challenges me I am going to try to take a step back and determine if it's really a challenge or if I honestly need to confront the issue. OK, for those of you who know me, this is NOT one of my better qualities…I normally jump into things head long without much consideration. But for the next few weeks, well, at least until Mercury goes direct on May 11th at 6:27EST, I will try to control myself and my impulses.


But I'm giving you all fair warning…if you intentionally piss me off, the game is ON and I can almost guarantee you won't like the outcome. So please…for the next 24 days, cut me a little slack, don't make me cry, don't piss me off and don't upset me in any way. I know, I know, it's not your responsibility to make my life easier…just help me out a little is all I'm asking, OK??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Do You Make Friends Easily?

Do you tend to make friends easily?

This was a question on a pre employment questionnaire I recently completed

My answer was: No.

I suppose I should clarify and expand that, but it really comes down to just that. I'm not saying I don't have friends. I'm not saying I don't want or appreciate them, but it doesn't come easy. A lot of people are put off by my occupations, or former occupations. Not that I care about their opinions, but it does make that first hurdle of friendly acquaintances harder to get over. I'm naturally suspicious. I learned early that giving trust easily is an unwise move, and when even your best friend betrays that trust, it makes it harder to trust again.

I always feel like I'm living on the edge, and I've learned that the only person I can completely depend on is me. I may learn to trust others, to a certain extent, but that knowledge is always there and it makes the friendship making process more difficult.

I'm prickly, or so I've been told. I'm opinionated. I'm quick to solve a dispute in violence, and have few qualms about violence. None of this lends itself well to making friends. It makes people wary, and rightfully so. Of course, I'm wary of them as well. So we circle each other warily and keep from reaching out for a long time.

I have friends. There are people willing to see past that, willing to be patient until I trust them. But not too many, and it is never easy. It works for me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chronological Order for Journal Posts

A few days ago my friend A suggested I should write about my life, the experiences I have had, the things I have learned, mistakes made and challenges faced. I'm still not too sure why anyone would want to read about what I call my mediocre existence. However, the more I think about this, the more I am inclined to at least try to put it all down in black & white. Even if no one else is interested in what I have done or where I have been, at least I will have a written accounting for my own records. Ya know what they say about age: the memory is the first to go...

So, here's a dilemma I have. I want the entries for this to be in chronological order like a handwritten journal would be. But I haven't been able to find a site on the web that will give me this option. So until, I can find said site...I am just going to put this idea on the back burner for a while longer.

If any one out there knows where I can find this type of option, please let me know...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday before Easter

When I got up this morning, I knew I was going to have a busy day. I made coffee, watched a bit of TV while I tried to wake up and face the day, and then after about an hour decided I'd better get my shit together and get motivated.

We started out for the errands that needed to be taken care of today by first making a stop at Panera Bread for bagels and orange juice, then off to get Jimmy's fishing license renewed.

While we were at Walmart (getting said fishing license renewed), I picked up cat litter and went into the garden department to look for the planter I'm trying to find for my little back patio. I have a wooden fence type divider with gaps between the 1x8 pieces of wood, between my patio and the neighbors that gives a bit of privacy for each apartment. On this fence I have hung 2 bamboo curtains for additional privacy. The wood is SO old and rotted that it won't hold a nail. In my quest to anchor these bamboo curtains I came up with the idea to put one or two deck railing planter boxes over the top of the fence. The Walmart we went to today has a very limited selection of planters of any kind, and unfortunately, I came away empty handed. Shopping for another day.

After Walmart came PetsMart, BJ's (where I picked up a birthday cake for my friend Amanda who is celebrating her Birthday with us tomorrow), and then grocery store, we made it home with no catastrophes.

By this time, I'm uncomfortable because it's in the low 80's and the pollen here in NC is some of the worst I have ever been exposed to. I put my comfies back on, turn on the AC and crawl back into my bed...and after sleeping for over 3 hours, got up fixed dinner (chicken on the grill) and since season 4 starts on the 11th, Jimmy & I sat down to get caught up on season 3 of the Tudors. Thank Goddess for On Demand, LOL!

Now, I'm off to sleep again, because tomorrow promises to be another busy day. Easter Sunday, Jimmy is serving at church for all 3 morning services. He needs to be there uber early as the first service is at 7:45AM. Then Amanda and Steve are picking me up at 10:30 so we can go to the 11:15 service. After church, it's back here for dinner and a relaxing afternoon with our awesome friends.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Things to think about...

I think I misunderstood the concept behind the 250 words a day challenge. Maybe my interpretation was acceptable, maybe not. Who can really determine how a person perceives something except the person them selves.

So, after rethinking the idea and chatting with some friends who are also writers, I *think* I am going to start some type of journal. My good friend A says I should write about my life, she finds it interesting, I find it mediocre. She says if I write about the things I have gone through, it will force me to confront the things I have buried or hidden.

I don't know about that. Maybe it will give me the chance to face the reality of them or maybe it will allow me to dig the hole deeper and keep them out of sight. I have done some pretty nasty things and been through some pretty depressing times. But I am hoping this will allow me to be able to FINALLY put some of them to rest and just move the fuck on with what is left of my life.

We'll see how it goes...for now at least.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

UNEMPLOYED....again, *sigh*!

Yep, that’s right, AGAIN! This time it came as a complete shock…I worked my regular shift, and Melissa came in that Wednesday night to work the closing shift. After the mall closed and everyone had gone home for the night, I got a text message (yes, a TEXT MESSAGE) from the *regional manager*, telling me that the owner of the company was closing the carts and I no longer had a job. Sheesh…


So, since February 17th, 2010 I have been unemployed.


And it seems that NO matter which field I search in, I am unable to find some sort of employment. I have tried everything from Administrative/Office, Customer Service, Retail/Wholesale, Salon/Spa/Fitness to believe it or not transportation. Yeah, I have even tried to find something where I could deliver auto parts or flowers or something like that.


It’s getting extremely frustrating at this point. And on top of that, we have only one car at the moment, so, it’s doubly difficult to find something with the hours I have available to work. I’m not sure about the public transit in this area. So, even though some would say take the bus, Jimmy is very cautious and neither one of us is positive the bus would be the right fit for me. Especially since I am a HUGE chicken and don’t like doing new things for the first time by myself. I’d probably get lost, get off at the wrong stop or miss my stop all together. Then I’d have a panic attack, and end up having to go back home for the day anyway.


It’s a never ending cycle, LOL!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RELEASE THE KRAKEN...

...ahhh, those infamous words from a classic dating back to 1981. Clash of the Titans with Harry Hamlin, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Claire Bloom, and Burgess Meredith, just to name a few distinguished actors.

This movie was one of my all time favorites, telling the story of young Perseus, who having fallen in love with the beautiful Andromeda, must overcome a myriad of obstacles. This was an incredible interpretation of the classic Greek Myths, bringing to life Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Cassiopeia and who can forget Medusa?


Well, now there is a remake, in 3D no less. From the trailers I have seen, this edition promises to be packed with action, combat, special effects and of course the love story between Perseus and Andromeda. So, I have been saving my pennies and I am planning to be at the theater this weekend when the 3D version hits the screen.


I am anxious to see how they made Medusa uglier and more frightening, if that is possible. I’m looking forward to seeing the mightiness of Zeus, the hostility of Hera, and the passion that only Aphrodite can bring to the story line. But more importantly, I want to see if producers were able to keep the dignity of this movie classic. More times than not, when a movie is *re-made*, the storyline from the original production is completely lost. I hope this isn’t the case this time. I am hoping the integrity of the story is maintained.


We’ll see…I’ll let you know what I felt AFTER I see the new version.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Challenge

One of my friends who is a teacher of Middle School children has signed up for the 500 words per day challenge. After following her blogs for a few days, I checked out the link she has on her page and decided that there was absolutely no way I would be able to write 500 words each day. So, luckily for me, there were a couple more options. One for 1,000 words and then the one that works for me: 250 words!

So, I will *try* to write at least 250 words each day and I'm anxious to see if I can meet this challenge. I don't consider myself a *writer*, but I have always thought it would be a good thing to put the crazy things that run around in my head down on paper. I know plenty of people who can just belly on up to the keyboard and write a *gazillion* words without giving it a minutes thought. When I grow up I wanna be like that...

So for today, here is my entry...did I make 250 words? I don't think so, but if I did happen to somehow stretch this into a viable entry, so much the better for me. LOL!

**Yes, I counted the damn words. My first entry for the challenge made it to 200 words BEFORE this edit. I figure this isn't too bad for an old lady, who has no formal training and has to search her pea brain for something other than just the simplest way to express herself. So with this edit, I have now made it to 271 words. I'm pretty proud of myself today.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

As the Darkness Surrounds Me

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As the darkness surrounds me, I sit here, wondering what shall be said this time. Will it be the norm of things such as this? Or will it be something wonderful, something different, something that makes you think?

Read between the lines. Take a chance and look through the eyes of chaos. Seek, you shall find.

The rain pours down, soaking the world. Lightning flashes, making everything brilliantly lit. As the Earth unleashes it's fury on those that have made themselves unsuspecting yet are still deserving, I wander through the rooms in my mind. Searching for that one thing that was lost, I find things that should never have been placed there.


These images play in my mind, like a movie that is on repeat, never ending, never forgetting. Blood streaks the screen, slowly dripping down, making puddles on the floor. I frantically search for the stop button, and when that fails, I find the cord, and pull the plug. The memories don't stop, so I am forced to turn my back. Which I do, with difficulty.


I carry on to the next room, wiping dust from the boxes of memories. I begin to open them, one at a time. Slowly, ever so slowly, I begin to find what I was looking for. As the last piece of the puzzle is placed within the collage, I see the whole picture. I see what I was missing.


Throughout this entire time, I never once realized the voices in the back of my head. The one that stands out the most is a voice that I will now follow. The voice of love. The voice that took control of my emotions and reactions. Safe and secure within the cocoon, I am lulled into sleep.


When I awaken, deep inside the maze of my mind, I see a pair of unknown eyes staring at me. I drown in these eyes, never once having a chance to grab a hold of anything to stop myself. Later, I find, that I never would have known this sweet surrender if I had stopped myself.........


As the visions that swirled within my head become reality, I know that this is my life. A never ending story of deceit and lies which wraps itself around me like the silken threads of a spider's web, trapping me in this existence. The pattern repeats itself over and over, forcing me to deal with it. Having no choice, my life becomes full of Vindictive Chaos.


Yes, this was written by me in one of my more darker moments...~xoxo~,V

The Salem Witch Trials

Throughout history, examples can be seen of persecution against people that others didn't understand. People are scared of the unknown, and can, if left to run rampant, cause mass hysteria. It happened during World War II, and even earlier than that in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 1600's.

Most have heard the tale in some form or another, and most know that it's a direct result of several girls accusing the women of Salem of witchcraft. Around the web, if you've explored any Wiccan sites, you've undoubtedly run across some with their banners proclaiming "The Burning Times -- never again!" While the Salem Witch Trials were a tragedy, as much so as those who died earlier in history in Europe for similar reasons, there is possibly a reason behind the behavior that started the problems in the first place.

One must understand the way of life in the late 1600's. While settlers had arrived in America, the US Constitution wasn't drawn up until 1787, and we didn't even declare our independence from England until 1776. In the early colonial times, there was a strict way of life under religion, as the King of England believed it should be. At this time, the Puritan religion was the strength and backbone of Salem, and consisted of strict rules. For example, among the Puritan children, a child of six was expected to act as an adult! Additionally, anything new or different was probably brought about by the devil, according to them.

At the beginning of the whole issue, Reverend Parris was elected the minister of the community, but wasn't popular. It was his daughter and his niece, Abigail Williams, who became ill in 1692. They enjoyed the tales of a Barbados slave girl, Tituba, and often invited their friends to listen to her tales, as well. Their illness was described as involving convulsions and delirium. One of the friends soon followed with the inexplicable sickness, and clergy and doctors watched baffled, as the girls would shout nonsensical things, contort their bodies, and simply act unusual.

Because a natural explanation was absent, they turned to the supernatural -- such was the way of life. Immediately, it was decided that the girls were bewitched, under a spell. In those days, witchcraft was part of the devil's work (and sadly, is still considered to be so, regardless of how many say Wicca isn't about devil worship, but I digress). When coherent, the girls were forced to point the finger at the person(s) who were the cause of the spell. Three were originally named -- Sarah Good, Sarah Osborn, and Tituba, the slave girl.

Sarah Osborne declared her innocence; Sarah Good, in turn, pointed the finger at Sarah Osborne; and after a lashing, Tituba spoke of a white-haired man who forced her to sign the devil's book, and spun tales revolving around animals. She claimed that undiscovered witches lived amongst them, and longed to destroy their peaceful Puritan society... which is exactly what happened. The hunt for witches began.
New women and men were fingered as witches, and in May of 1692, the Salem Witch Trials began, and turned into pandemonium. By this point, the girls originally affected, whether it had degenerated into lies they didn't feel they could fess up to or not, were a presence in the courtroom and boldly announced when one of the accused were doing things to them. Martha Cory, they said, would wring her hands, and it would harm the girls physically.

Their drama filled the courtroom, and those of 'good and pure' souls ate it up, believing every word about people they'd known their whole lives. These girls, who were 'possessed' or 'tormented' would cry out the names of those afflicting them in the town, and that was considered enough evidence to charge a person with witchcraft.

This type of accusation, followed by hangings and other such executions went on for a year and those in prison on witchcraft charges, along with five awaiting execution, were pardoned in May of 1693.

The mystery still lies in ... what happened? Were the stories Tituba told so frightening to the young Puritans that they became ill? Did they just want some attention, and the lies grew to such proportions that they felt they couldn't take them back? Or was it something more natural?

One theory is that all of the behavior can be explained away by a diseased plant. Ergot, claviceps purpurea, affected many through history. In Europe, prior to the Salem Witch Trials, no one knew what it was, but they called it Holy Fire. Ergot is caused by a fungus growing on rye and other cereal grains. In the days of the colonies, they survived by farming, and if this hallucinogenic fungus was consumed, it held the same symptoms that the girls originally suffered with. It acts similar to LSD, and interferes with the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Additionally, it develops after especially wet seasons, which fits with the weather patterns that year.

When the symptoms of the original two developed, they screamed words of blasphemy to the Puritan community, had convulsive seizures, went into trance-like states, and complained of ants crawling on them. All of these are consistent with symptoms brought on by ergotism.

No one at the time knew anything about ergot, so no cure would be known, and because of the way of thinking during the time, they blamed something that they weren't able to understand, and linked it to the devil, since it had to be bad to cause such illness and behaviors. While it's true that they had no knowledge of true witchcraft, it was not a direct jab at Wicca. Even today, those that don't understand it point the finger at the devil.

Just like today, ignorance, and the lack of willingness to understand, or to even attempt to, is the root of the problem.

Loyalty

Loyalty is a word that people seem to find a myriad of definitions for. Some people have loyalties that shift as the winds change course. They view loyalty as their own means to an end.

It's not like that.

To me, loyalty is not a word. It is a concept, an understanding...a way of life. Loyalty is the thread that weaves your world together and binds your life to your ideals and the ones you love. It is the leash that those who love you use to try to keep you from doing something rash or dangerous to yourself.

Loyalty means that you face down whomever and whatever you must face in order to keep those who rely on you safe and secure. It's an ideal that cannot be structured and it's an emotion that causes you to often look out for others before you look out for yourself.