Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Been One of THOSE Days

For anyone who doesn't know me, Mercury in retrograde is NOT a good time for me. And while it probably won't or doesn't effect many people in an adverse way, I am among the few who will have the absolute worst possible time with the next 24 days until it goes direct on April 23rd. 

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 *re*read, *re*view, *re*consider, *re*write, *re*charge and *re*do some projects.  Ya know, those things that begin with *RE*. Sometimes during Mercury retrograde things that have been lost will mysteriously *re*turn 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. 

Knowing this was going to happen, I really tried to prepare for anything that could possibly happen today. I drank LOTS of water, I meditated, I made a concentrated effort to control my emotions. And I thought I was doing a good job...until about 6:00. I had my music going, enough candles lit that my room looked like a catholic church, I'd tried grounding, extra meditation, chanting...nothing has helped. I'm even sitting here now with just candles burning, no electric lights on at all except those coming from my monitor. And I still can't shake the *unsettlednesses* (It's a Vickie ism).

Oh yeah, it was a rainy, cold day too...and everybody knows how well I deal with those types of days. But even snuggling with Calliope & Chaos under the comforter with the Nook and cinnamon tea didn't make a difference. So, I'm done for today. I'm getting into bed, pulling the covers over my head and *hoping* that tomorrow will be better...and any improvement over today will be a significant one in my book.

Good Night All,
~xoxo,
V



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Short, Short, Short

Just a few words tonight before I try to get some much needed sleep...

My day began by falling on the back deck as I let the Fur Babies out for their morning break. Seems that the rain we had yesterday decided it wanted to freeze overnight, so when I stepped out the door, whoosh went my feet out from under me. The top of my left foot is pretty scratched up and now BOTH of my knees are giving me hell instead of just the right one.

Then ummm, somewhere around 2ish, we went to the new house and painted the bedroom. It's now a delightful shade of blue. Somewhere between periwinkle and ocean. All I know is it matches almost perfectly the floral design in the pillow shams for our bed. :) Next up in the bedroom is re installing the shelving/closet organizer and adding the room darkening curtains. Since the windows are an East facing, bay type, 48 inches wide EACH (there's 2 of them side by side with a 4 inch space between them) and we live in NC where it *can* get warm before noon, and I wanted to have the ability to keep out some of the excess heat, I just felt room darkening curtains were the way to go...

I got most of our bathroom taken care of as well, new shower curtain, new bath mat, new towels...etc. And since Becca (our room mate) had already painted the walls a lovely shade of pale lavender, I just added colors in dark royal purple. Any of you who know me, know this is my absolute FAVORITE color and I am beyond the moon to have it in my house in some way...finally! LOL!! All that's left for the bathroom is a storage cabinet that will fit over the toilet and a smaller rug...I *eyeballed* the space in front of the tub and was off by OH 6 or 7 inches, LOL! I'm keeping the one that's too big, putting it in front of the sink and just adding a smaller one for in front of the tub/shower.

It's possible we may be able to begin moving as soon as this coming weekend. We need to see about a truck to move the larger items, the bed, chest of drawers and the 2 desks, and are hoping our friend is not working and able to help. It's all up in the air for now.

Tanya has chosen the *theme* for Ravyn's room and if anyone had any doubts, y'all can put them to rest now. Of course it's gonna be Tinkerbell! After we get moved out of here, I'll more than likely be back frequently to help paint and put up wall paper borders just above the chair rail with Tink and her friends. Good thing we're only gonna be a couple blocks away.

Well all, that's it for tonight. The pain meds are finally beginning to work and I'm getting drowsy. Tomorrow's another day, it's supposed to rain, so look for me curled up with my Cuddle Puppies and the Nook.

Love to ALL!
~xoxo,
V

Monday, March 28, 2011

So Much to Do & Good News From AZ!!

Seems I can never find the time to get it all accomplished. Now I'm so tired and achy, I just wanna take a HOT shower, find the Tylenol and crawl under my blankets.

We got the paint, along with the curtains for the bedroom today as well as the towels, shower curtain and all the necessary accoutrements  for the bathroom. Had planned to finish up the walls and begin painting today, but our trip to Home Desperate (as my fellow blogger Leeanne calls it) and then to that wonderful place called Walmart, took entirely too damn much time. Ahhh, tomorrow is another day.

I'm anxious to get everything painted and move in ready because A: Tanya needs this room for the nursery. Ravyn is due June 6th and there's a BUNCH to do to make ready for a little one. And B: I REALLY HATE MOVING!!! I want to get it done and over with as soon as possible, but with the cold, wet, weather we have had the past few days, it is virtually impossible for the repairs to be completed as soon as we'd hoped. And cold also makes me slow moving. Old age is a bitch!

GOOD NEWS!!!

We got a message from my niece today, my brother is doing MUCH better. His treatment has made a HUGE difference and his spirits are climbing and his health is improving as well. Even though he will never be cancer free, the doctors are pleased. This is such good news and I was so relieved to get it.

That's all for this Monday...I'm off to the shower!

~xoxo,
V

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cloudy & Cold Today

We got a late start to the day today, should have been awake and up long before we were. But for some reason I couldn't manage to pry myself out of bed before noon. Maybe it was because today was another cold, cloudy, rainy, drizzly day. Then there's the ritual coffee time, don't mess with me until I've had at least one cup, and better if you give me time for 2.

For some reason I just couldn't get going today. Watched a little TV while I was trying to wake up, had my fruit with yogurt and granola, and then got back in the bed and finished reading a book I down loaded to my Nook last week. Now mind you, all this time Jimmy has been trying to get me motivated, with little to no success. Finally, around 4PM, I'm a bit less lethargic and off we go to the new house. Got LOTS of work to do there so we can move in sometime in the next week or so...

Jimmy finished filling in the spaces in the wall with tape and joint compound and says the stuff he's using has a 20 minute dry time... we should be able to get the sanding finished so we can paint tomorrow... that didn't quite work out like planned. It was way too cold  and even after about an hour, there were still places that were too damp to sand. By this time it's going on 8PM and the pain in my knees is about to send me through the roof, I'm ready to go home, take a hot bath and see if I can get them to stop hurting and burning so I can get some sleep tonight. Thank Goddess for Nurontin and Vicodin...

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day. Gotta go to Home Depot to get the paint, then back to the house, finish the sanding, wipe the dust off the walls, vacuum the carpet and prep for paint. I am hoping we can get the painting done tomorrow. I want to start moving our stuff down there and I know Tanya is anxious to get into this room and start making it into a nursery for little Ravyn.

WOW! I just realized this is going to be a busy WEEK...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cold, Cloudy, Drizzly, Rainy Day

Usually, when it's rainy outside, you can find me curled up on the bed under my favorite blanket, spending the day snuggled up with Chaos and Calliope, reading something on my Nook, or just relaxing and doing nothing. I'd more than likely have some candles burning and soft music playing and today the only difference is I also have some Nag Champa oil burning as well. Sometimes these types of days cause me to over think too many things. And of late I have been more emotional than I probably would normally be.

There seems to be so much going on in the world around me, but more still right here at home. I'm also finding myself disappointed in people in general and a few others in particular. In reality, I shouldn't take things so personally, nor feel things as strongly as I sometimes do, but that is what happens more frequently than not. So, when someone upsets one of mine...I can sometimes feel it alot deeper than that person does. Or maybe I just take things more seriously than they really are.

I removed another person from my friends list on Facebook today. My perception of their behavior upset me to the point I didn't even want to see their random posts any longer. Thankfully we weren't close and in actuality had never even met, just chatted on line a few times. They probably won't even notice that I'm gone...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Close Minded People...

Ya know that post that's been circulating the internet about the institution of marriage? In case you've had your head buried in the sand for the past few weeks and have NO idea what I'm talking about, it's this one:

So, let me get this straight...Charlie Sheen can make a "porn family", Kelsey Gramer can end a 15 year marriage over the phone, Larry King can be on divorce #9, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with EVERYONE. Yet, the idea of same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage? Really?

Well, anyway, Jimmy had the nerve and audacity to post it as his status to show his support for our MANY gay/lesbian/trans gender/bisexual friends who may or may not want to be able to have the same rights and privileges to marry as any one else has. I say nerve and audacity because his post caused QUITE the ruckus with a couple of the people on his friend list. Most were agreeable with the post, but ya know, there ALWAYS has to be a rotten apple in the bunch.

OK, before I go any farther, if you don't already know, I do have to let you all know, Jimmy is a Christian. (*GASP* I KNOW! A Witch and a Christian together as a couple, OMGoddess, what ever will the world do with that?) LOL!!!

He is rooted in his beliefs and reads his Bible regularly. He is also the most open minded Christian I have ever met in my life! He *firmly* believes there needs to be a *new version* of the New testament written for the world of today. I know, what a concept, but he does have a point. One of his favorite things to say is "I believe GOD is happiest when people are happy. I don't think He stops loving them based on what the heart chooses."

So you all are wondering what the problem is, right? Hmmmm, there are a couple people on his friend list who not only completely disagree with his views on marriage, they also got pretty vocal in said disagreement. Which caused him to post "Word of the Day...Tolerance" in his status update and then write a note about how he felt about the intolerance he and our friends were being shown. This opened a whole new can of worms, LOL! The close minded few became overly excited in their efforts to show him the error of his ways. With the biggest discussion being whether or not the Gay lifestyle is a choice or if it is genetic. I bet you can't guess what was Jimmy's opinion was, can ya? In case you are confused by now, Jimmy believes that being Gay is NOT a choice, that it is genetic.

Unfortunately, the vocal minority upset and angered him to the point of telling everyone who might have a problem with his beliefs to remove themselves from his friends list. So far I don't think anyone has taken him up on that but I can't be sure. I hope no one does, but I DO hope the ones who are so unhappy will stop trying to convince him that there is only one way to be a Christian...if this were true there would be no need for the MANY different denominations of Christianity.

As we Witches say: "All roads lead to deity"...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My "Personal" Views on Organized Religion AKA: Christianity

This was written in 2006 at a time when I felt the need to express my reasons for making the choice to leave the religion I was raised in. I recently found it while going through some files on a flash drive and decided to post it here.

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT directed towards anyone. I am writing this as my PERSONAL opinion on Christianity and the effects it has had on MY life. Having been raised in church since I was 8 years old (I'm 50 as of this writing), I feel I am entitled to form some of my own thoughts on the subject. IF you see yourself here, it is your own guilty conscious and paranoia speaking to you.

I was one of those people you find in church every time the doors were open...Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Friday night for youth group, and then choir practice on which ever night it was scheduled. Church was my life. All my friends were there, and none of them went to the same high school I did, so everything I did was centered around church in some way. I was very active as a teenager, held an office in our youth group, and won a few awards for the events I took part in. Was even crowned *Sweetheart Queen* when I was 16 for raising the most money for our *Light for the Lost* missions youth banquet. I was in EVERY play and program, taught Sunday school, helped out in the nursery and the kitchen for the meals the church sponsored every Sunday night after services.

This all came to a screeching halt right before my 18th birthday. You see, I had gotten married, had a baby, and then did the unforgivable...I filed for divorce. I divorced an abusive man who took great pleasure in beating me black & blue. (He even beat me the night I went into labor, causing the premature delivery of my oldest daughter). Now, because I was divorced, I could no longer be a part of the things I had been so active in just a few months prior. I was informed by my minister that I was *welcome* to come to his church, HOWEVER, I would only be permitted to sit on the very most back pew and I wouldn't be returning to ANY of the church activities that had been such a major part of my life.

Now, they still expected me to contribute my weekly *tithe* (monetary contribution) to the church, it was my *duty* to continue to support the minister and the work the church was doing. I said oops, NOT! and I stopped going to church. After that, I tried going back but to a different church, where I pretty much felt like an outsider.

SO, this is MY opinion and feelings about the Christian church...

There is too much condemnation and hypocrisy in Christianity, too much of people who claim to be Christians, but are the first to judge you for something either truly done or just something they have perceived you have done. Too much *I love the Lord*, but spit on my neighbor, too much give me your money, but I can't help you out when you are broke and almost homeless, too much you MUST be saved or you will burn in eternal damnation...yeah, OK.

I dislike the way *most* Christians tell you in one breath how much they love their Lord, and how good a Christian they are, but then turn around and manipulate a situation so things turn out the way they want them to go. If you are a *true* Christian, it's not for you to be the judge...that's Gods job.

So wake up and realize that those of you who are now judging others, YOU will be the one to answer for it when you stand before God and from what I have read (and I DO remember ALOT of the scripture I learned while attending church), he can be a very vicious, vindictive God...

I could sit here and write scripture after scripture, but that's not what this is about. It's about my feelings and why I feel the way I do about organized religion...

We are the OTHER People

I found this in a bulletin on myspace from my friend Sage of AutumnMyst. I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to keep it so I am adding it to my Blogger. It is NOT my work and the author is clearly posted

"We Are the Other People"
by Oberon Zell


"Ding-dong!" goes the doorbell. Is it Avon calling? Or perhaps Ed McMahon with my three million dollars? No, it's Yahweh's Witlesses again, just wanting to have a nice little chat about the Bible...

Boy, did they ever come to the wrong house! So we invite them in: "Enter freely and of your own will..." (Hey, it's Sunday morning, nothing much going on, why not have a little entertainment?) Diane and I amuse ourselves watching their expressions as they check out the living room: great horned owl on the back of my chair; ceremonial masks and medicine skulls of dragons and unicorns on the wall; crystals, wands, staffs, swords; lots of Goddess figures and several altars; boa constrictors draped in amorous embrace over the elkhorn; white doves sitting in the hanging planters; cats and weasels underfoot; iron dragon snorting steam atop the wood stove; posters and paintings of wizards and dinosaurs and witchy women, some proudly naked; sculptures of mythological beasties and lots more dinosaurs; warp six on the star-filled viewscreen of my computer; a five-foot model of the USS Enterprise and the skeleton of a plesiosaur hanging from the ceiling; very, very many books, most of them dealing with obviously weird subjects... To say nothing of the great horned owl perched on the back of my chair and the Unicorn grazing in the front yard. You know; early Addams Family decor.

And then, of course, it being late in the morning, you can expect Morning Glory to come wandering out naked, looking for her wake-up cup of tea. Morning Glory naked is a truly impressive sight, and the Witlesses look as if she'd set titties on stun as they stand immobilized, hands clasped over their genitals. With the stage set and all the actors in place, the show is ready to begin.

Their mission, of course, it to save our heathen souls by turning us on to "The Word of the Lord" - their Bible. I guess they figure some of us just haven't heard about it yet, and we're all eagerly awaiting their joyous tidings of personal salvation through giving our rational faculties to Jesus. Every time they come around, I look forward to trying out a new riposte. Sure, it may be cruel and sadistic of me, but hey, I didn't call them up and ask them to come over; they entered at their own risk!

This time should be pretty good. After letting them run off their basic rap while lovely Morning Glory serves us all hot herb tea, I innocently remark: "But none of that applies to us. We have no need for salvation because we don't have original sin. We are the Other People."

"Hunh? What?" they reply eloquently. It's clear they've never heard this one before.

"Right," I say. "It's all in your Bible." And I proceed to tell them the story, using their own book for reference:

Genesis 1:26 - The [Elohim] said, "Let us make humanity in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth."

Elohim is a plural word, including male and female, and should properly be translated "Gods" or "Pantheon."

27 The Gods created humanity in the image of themselves, In the image of the Gods they created them, Male and Female they created them.
28 The Gods blessed them, saying to them, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth."

Now clearly, here we are talking about the original creation of the human species: male and female. All the animals,plants, etc. have all been created in previous verses. This is before the Garden of Eden, and Yahweh is not mentioned as the creator of these people. The next chapter talks about how Yahweh, an individual member of the Pantheon, goes about assembling his own special little botanical and zoological Garden in Eden, and making his own little man to inhabit it:

Gen 2:7 - Yahweh God fashioned a man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus the man became a living being.
8 Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned.
9 Yahweh God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.
15 Yahweh God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.

Now this next is crucial: note Yahweh's precise words:

16 Then Yahweh God gave the man this admonition, "You may eat indeed of all the trees in the garden.
17 Nevertheless of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die."

Fateful words, those. We will refer back to this admonition later.

Then Yahweh decides to make a woman to go with the man. Now, don't forget that the Pantheon had earlier created a whole population of people, "male and female," who are presumably doing just fine somewhere "outside the gates of Eden." But this setup in Eden is Yahweh's own little experiment, and will unfold to its own separate destiny.

21 So Yahweh God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh.
22 Yahweh God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

Right. Man gives birth to woman. Sure he does. But that's the way the story is told here.

25 Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame in front of each other.

Well, of course not! Why should they? But take careful note of those words, as they also will prove to be significant . . .

Now this next part is where it starts to get interesting. Enter the Serpent:

Gen. 3:1 - The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, "Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?"
2 The woman answered the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden.
3 "But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, 'You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death'"
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "No! You will not die!
5 "God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil."

What a remarkable statement! "Your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil." The Serpent directly contradicts Yahweh.

Obviously, one of them has to be lying. Which one, do you suppose? And, if the serpent speaks true, wouldn't you wish to eat of the magic fruit? Wouldn't it be a good thing, to become "like gods, knowing good and evil"? Or is it preferable to remain in ignorance?

6 The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loincloths.

The author makes an interesting assumption here: that if you realize you are naked you will automatically want to cover yourself. Further implications will unfold shortly...

8 The man and his wife heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
9 But Yahweh God called to the man. "Where are you?" he asked.
10 "I heard the sound of you in the garden," he replied. "I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."
11 "Who told you that you were naked?" he asked. "Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?"

And so the sign of the Fall becomes modesty. Take note of this. The descendants of Adam and Eve will be distinguished throughout history from virtually all other peoples by their obsessive modesty taboos, wherein they will feel ashamed of being naked. It follows that those who feel no shame in being naked are, by definition, not carriers of this spiritual disease of original sin!

12 The man replied, "It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it."

Right. Blame the woman. What a turkey!

13 Then Yahweh God asked the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman replied, "The serpent tempted me and I ate."

So of course she blames the serpent. But just what did the serpent do that was so evil? Why, he called Yahweh a liar! Was he wrong? Let's see...

21 Yahweh God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on.

Out of skins? This means that Yahweh had to kill some innocent animals to pander to Adam and Eve's new obsession with modesty!

And now we come to the crux of the Fall. Yahweh had said back there in chapter 2:17, regarding the fruit of the tree of knowledge, that "on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die." The Serpent, on the other hand, had contradicted Yahweh in chapter 3:4-5: "No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil." So what actually happened? Who lied and who told the truth about this remarkable fruit? The answer is given in the next verse:

22 Then Yahweh God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live forever."

Get that? Yahweh himself admits that he had lied! In fact, and in Yahweh's own words, the Serpent spoke the absolute truth! And moreover, Yahweh tells the rest of the Pantheon that he intends to evict Adam (and presumably Eve as well) to keep them from gaining immortality to go with their newly-acquired divine knowledge. To prevent them, in other words, from truly becoming gods! So who, in this story, comes off as a benefactor of humanity, and who comes off as a tyrant? THE SERPENT NEVER LIED!

This story, to digress slightly, bears a remarkable resemblance to a contemporary tale from ancient Greece. In that version, the Serpent (later identified as Lucifer, the Light-Bearer) may be equated with the heroic titan Prometheus, who championed humanity against the tyranny of Zeus, who wished for people to be mere slaves of the gods. Prometheus, whose name means "forethought," gave people wisdom, intelligence, and fire stolen from Olympus. Moreover, he ordained the portions of animal sacrifice so that humans got the best parts (the meat and hides) while the portion that was burned to the gods was the bones and fat. In punishment for this defiance of his divine authority, Zeus condemned Prometheus to a terrible punishment for an immortal: to be chained to a mountain in the Caucasus, where Zeus' gryphon/eagle (actually a Lammergier) would devour his liver each day. It would grow back each night. Zeus promised to relent if Prometheus would reveal his great secret knowledge: Who would succeed Zeus as supreme god? Prometheus refused to tell, but history has revealed the answer...

The interesting thing about all this is that the Greeks properly regarded Prometheus as a noble hero in his defiance of unjust tyranny. One may wonder why the Serpent is not so well regarded. On the contrary, snakes are loathed throughout Christiandom.

23 So Yahweh God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken.
24 He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

So that's it for the Fall. But the story of Adam and Eve doesn't end there.

Gen 4:1 - The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain...
2 She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil.
3 Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for Yahweh,
4 while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. Yahweh looked with favor on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favor on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast.

Well, why shouldn't he be? Both brothers had brought forth their first fruits as offerings, but Yahveh rejected the vegetables and only accepted the blood sacrifice. This was to set a gruesome precedent:

8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let us go out;" and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.

Accursed and marked for fratricide,
16 Cain left the presence of Yahweh and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

We can assume that the phrase "left the presence of Yahweh" implies that Yahweh is a local deity, and not omnipresent. Now Eden, according to Gen. 2:14-15, was situated at the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, apparently right where Lake Van is now, in Turkey. "East of Eden," therefore, would probably be along the shores of the Caspian Sea, right in the Indo-European heartland. Cain settled in there, among the people of Nod, and married one of the women of that country. Here, for the first time, is specifically mentioned the "other people" who are not of the lineage of Adam and Eve. I.e., the Pagans.

So let's look at this story from another viewpoint: There we were, around six thousand years ago, living in our little farming communities around the Caspian Sea, in the land of Nod, when this dude with a terrible scar comes stumbling in out of the sunset. He tells us this bizarre story, about how his mother and father had been created by some god named Jahweh, and put in charge of a beautiful garden somewhere out west, and how they had gotten thrown out for disobedience after eating some of the landlord's forbidden magic fruit of enlightenment. He tells us of murdering his brother, as the god of his parents would only accept blood sacrifice, and of receiving that scar as a mark so that all would know him as a fratricide. The poor guy is really a mess psychologically, obsessed with guilt. He is also obsessively modest, insisting on wearing clothes even in the hottest summer, and he has a hard time with our penchant for skinny-dipping in the warm inland sea. He seems to believe that he is tainted by the "sin" of his parent's disobedience; that it is in his blood, somehow, and will continue to contaminate his children and his children's children. One of our healing women takes pity on the poor sucker, and marries him...

17 Cain had intercourse with his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Enoch. He became builder of a town, and he gave the town the name of his son Enoch.

With both of their first sons not turning out very well, Adam and Eve decided to try again:

25 Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth...
26 A son was also born to Seth, and he named him Enosh. This man was the first to invoke the name of Yahweh.

Now it doesn't mention here where Seth's wife came from. Another woman from Nod, possibly, or maybe someone from another neolithic community downstream in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. But her folks also, cannot be of the lineage of Adam and Eve, and must also be counted among "the other people."

But whatever happened to Adam? After all, way back there in chapter 2:17, warning Adam about the magic fruit of knowlege, Jahweh had told him that "on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die." So, when did Adam die?

Gen. 5:4 - Adam lived for eight hundred years after the birth of Seth and he became the father of sons and daughters.
5 In all, Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years; then he died.

Hey, that's pretty good! Nine hundred and some odd years isn't bad for a man who's been told he's gonna die the next day!

Well, the story goes on, and maybe next time the Witlesses come to visit I'll tell more of it. But suffice it to say that those of us who are not of Semitic descent (i.e., not of the lineage of Adam and Eve) cannot share in the Original Sin that comes with that lineage. Being that the Bible is the story of that lineage, of Adam and Eve's descendants and their special relationship with their particular god, Yahweh, it follows that this is not the story of the rest of us. We may may have been Cain's wife's people, or Seth's wife's people, or some other people over the hill and far away, but whichever people the rest of us are, as far as the Bible is concerned, we are the Other People, and so we are continually referred to throughout. Later books of the Bible are filled with admonitions to the followers of Jahweh to "learn not the ways of the Pagans..." (Jer 10:2) with detailed descriptions of exactly what it is we do, such as erect standing stones and sacred poles, worship in sacred groves and practice divination and magic. And worship the sun, moon, stars and the "Queen of Heaven." "You must not behave as they do in Egypt where once you lived; you must not behave as they do in Canaan where I am taking you. You must not follow their laws." (Lev 18:3) For Yahweh, as he so clearly emphasises, is not the god of the Pagans. We have our own lineage and our own heritage, and our tale is not told in the Bible.

We were not "made" like clay figurines by a male deity out of "dust from the soil." We were born of our Mother the Earth, and have evolved over aeons in Her nurturing embrace. All of us, in our many and diverse tribes, have creation myths and legends of our origins and history; some of these tales may even be actually true. Like the descendants of Adam and Eve, many of us also have stories of great floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other cataclysms that wiped out whole communities of our people, wherein "I alone survived to tell the tale." Nearly all of our ancestral tribes (and especially those of us who today are reclaiming our own Pagan heritage) lack that peculiar obsessive body modesty that seems to be a hallmark of the original sin alluded to in the story of the Fall. We can be naked and unashamed! Why, our Goddess even tells us, "as a sign that you are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites." Not being born into sin, we have no need of salvation, and no need of a Messiah to redeem our sinful souls. Neither heaven nor hell is our destination in the afterlife; we have our own various arrangements with our own various deities. The Bible is not our story; we have our own stories to tell, and they are many and diverse. In a long life, you may get to hear many of them...

May you live long and prosper!

Puppy Size

This is one of the neatest stories I've heard. You will know precisely what this little girl is talking about at the end! ~Author Unknown at the time of posting

"Danielle keeps repeating it over and over again. We've been back to this animal shelter at least five times. It has been weeks now since we started all of this," the mother told the volunteer.

"What is it she keeps asking for?" the volunteer asked.

"Puppy size!" replied the mother.

"Well, we have plenty of puppies, if that's what she's looking for."

"I know...we have seen most of them," the mom said in frustration...

Just then Danielle came walking into the office
"Well, did you find one?" asked her mom. "No, not this time," Danielle said with sadness in her voice. "Can we come back on the weekend?"
The two women looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed. "You never know when we will get more dogs. Unfortunately, there's always a supply," the volunteer said. Danielle took her mother by the hand and headed to the door. "Don't worry, I'll find one this weekend," she said.

Over the next few days both mom and dad had long conversations with her. They both felt she was being too particular. "It's this weekend or we're not looking any more," Dad finally said in frustration. "We don't want to hear anything more about puppy size either," Mom added.

Sure enough, they were the first ones in the shelter on Saturday morning. By now Danielle knew her way around, so she ran right for the section that housed the smaller dogs. Tired of the routine, mom sat in the small waiting room at the end of the first row of cages. There was an observation window so you could see the animals during times when visitors weren't permitted.

Danielle walked slowly from cage to cage, kneeling periodically to take a closer look. One by one the dogs were brought out and she held each one. One by one she said, "Sorry, you're not the one."

It was the last cage on this last day in search of the perfect pup. The volunteer opened the cage door and the child carefully picked up the dog and held it closely. This time she took a little longer.

"Mom, that's it! I found the right puppy! He's the one! I know it!" she screamed with joy. "It's the puppy size!"

"But it's the same size as all the other puppies you held over the last few weeks," Mom said.

"No not size Mom ---- sighs. When I held him in my arms, he sighed," she said. "Don't you remember? When I asked you one day what love is, you told me love depends on the sighs of your heart. The more you love, the bigger the sigh!"

The two women looked at each other for a moment. Mom didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As she stooped down to hug the child, she did a little of both.

"Mom, every time you hold me, I sigh. When you and Daddy come home from work and hug each other, you both sigh. I knew I would find the right puppy if it sighed when I held it in my arms," she said. Then holding the puppy up close to her face she said, "Mom, he loves me. I heard the sighs of his heart!"

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the love that makes you sigh. I not only find it in the arms of my loved ones, but in the caress of a sunset, the kiss of the moonlight and the gentle brush of cool air on a hot day. They are the sighs of the Goddess. Take the time to stop and listen; you will be surprised at what you hear.

"Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."