The A.Lizard Pagan Resources Page.


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If this is your first time here, you might want to click here for some bad news (written 4/2005) that could affect us all. The largest corporation on Earth has suddenly become reinvolved with the Religious Right.

Note: This page is not linked from the home page or the other site pages, which are intended to serve the general Internet population. This was done on purpose, so don't expect to see this page on the menu bar from anywhere else on this site. The internal search engine is intended to get you to useful non-pagan / non-magick related information on the rest of my site.

Note: if the results show Terrarium Home Page, once you get there, I recommend putting whatever search term you used in the Find (Edit Menu > Find or Control-F in Windows) window of your browser and clicking to it that way. Searching through the 99 pages of text on the Home Page might take. . . a while otherwise.

Pagan Advanced Search Page (full site)

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Disclaimer

This page is not intended to serve as an endorsement of any single piece of information (files found on sites, newsgroup posts, etc.) found in any location I specify here, unless it's pretty obvious that I like it. Regardless, judge what you see in light of the best information you can find, and use trustworthy people if you can find some to judge any piece of information you get from these sources. Some information will be duplicated on the non-pagan parts of the site.

Bush on Wicca:
original source
Today's Rolling Cyber Debate Question for George W. Bush
Question: With religious diversity increasing, what are your thoughts on the protection of religious freedom and the separation of church and state? Should religions like Wicca be banned from recognition by the military, as some legislators suggest?

Submitted from Amber of San Diego, California through Yahoo! (10/15/00)

Answer from George W. Bush:
Religious Freedom And Tolerance Is A Protected Right

I am committed to the First Amendment principles of religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity.

Whether Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, or Muslim, Americans should be able to participate in their constitutional free exercise of religion. I do not think witchcraft is a religion, and I do not think it is in any way appropriate for the U.S. military to promote it.
end quote

It appears that if Bush wins, we can expect trouble. Religious discrimination? Toleration of anti-pagan violence?

Of course, business as usual with the above remark simply intended to keep the Religious Right on board is always a possibility, but I wouldn't even want to bet your ass on this, let alone mine. I suggest paying special attention to the Religious Harassment of Pagans and Self Defense for Pagans sections, but this is a good idea anyway.

Survival and disaster preparation is a good idea for pagans, too and the fallout from 9/11 and the impending war with Iraq should be a wakeup call to you. You should always be prepared for the stores being down for a few days or the water suddenly not coming out of the tap or worseTo find out more, go to my former Y2K page here

If you are on your personal computer, and you have a cable modem or xDSL (any kind of DSL) 24/7 link to the Internet and you don't have a firewall running right now, this page can wait, click HERE RIGHT NOW. Get a firewall running on your machine before you come back here. If your connection to the Net is via dlalup modem connection, you can wait until after you read this page. The issue isn't quite as urgent for a dialup, though a firewall has gotten me out of trouble more than once speaking as a dialup user. The safety of your computer, your personal life, your business, or your coven could be at stake. Unless you and your organization have no secrets you would object to sharing with the outside world, you need protection between your computer and the Internet. Use your "back" button to come back here, for privacy reasons, this page isn't linked to the public portions of my site.

Virus-check any software you get from a pagan ftp site just as you should any shareware you get from any other location, a good virus scanner site is the McAfee Associates site. That reminds me, ever see a computerized Ouija Board? You can find one for DOS/Windows here. Doesn't seem to work well with NT/9.x, I'm looking for a replacement to make available. For other cool software, check out Alchemy Mindworks. That page will take you to the Pagan Daybook... calendar of pagan-related events with cool artwork, configurable as a screensaver. They're also the people who do GIF Construction Set, a tool for manipulating GIF image files I highly recommend, and other graphics software I'll be trying out after the next computer upgrade.

More pagan-related software can be found here.

ZIP is a file format that allows the compression of multiple files into a single file to save space. It's the most common archive format around, to get a program that will unzip files into something you can read or run, go to WinZip and download the program suitable for your operating system.

Programs listed here are for DOS/Windows unless otherwise indicated. I'm willing to list Mac software relevant to magick, but don't know what's out there. Those who know of good software relevant to magick / paganism are invited to let me know.

There are probably dangerous psychotics on EVERY newsgroup, both people who post and people who lurk. Pagan newsgroups / mailing lists have a special problem due to Xtian fanatics. If you're new to the Internet, you should go to my new user page and review my advice on how to protect your personal privacy in e-mail and on Usenet newsgroups (online conferences). You can also learn Websearching and Web site development on my Websearch page.

Then, there are annoying nuisances like spammers. To read about an exploding spammer, click KA-BOOM!, to find out how to deal with spammers, go here.

If you're new to paganism / Craft stuff in general, the revised version of a document I prepared for new pagans some years ago is available here. It's oriented towards helping you find your own path in safety, or at least to help you avoid the obvious hazards. Note that the only way to be really safe on any pagan path is never to get on it! Revision of this text is in progress, comments are welcome.

If you find broken links in this section, please let me know, my mail address is at the beginning and end of the page.

If you'd like to be notified by e-mail when this page changes, go to URL Minder and follow the instructions. If you like what you see here, it's probably worth doing, I change this page at random intervals.

Good News for Religious Freedom

It appears like the defunding of the GOP due to Religious Right excesses is in progress. For more information, click here.

And, it looks like the Southern Baptists have declared spiritual war on the Mormons. They've decided to convert them to Christianity. Don't expect the Mormons to react with gratitude.

Bad News for Religious Freedom

Congressman Barr of South Carolioa is trying to force the US military to ban the currently tolerated practice of Wicca by US military personnel. For more information, go to Military Pagan Network. There is something you can do:

There's a petition online to protest Rep. Bob Barr's recent attacks on Wiccans in the military. Please consider signing the petition, and distribute this notice widely.

Many thanks,

The petition is located here. Here's more anti-Wicca Xtian propaganda: "Her tale climaxes when she "discovered the dark side of goddess worship and Wicca as she progressed higher in 'the craft'. She was entrenched in the rituals when her teacher asked her to raise a dead body...." Read more here.

If you haven't already been thinking about defending yourself and your right to practice our religions, click here.

Is Magick Real?

This argument has been going on for thousands of years. By magick, I mean the ability to affect external circumstances, i.e., the real world via what we now call "psi" powers. The definitions of magick that do NOT include real world effects, i.e., the ones that describe mind-changes on the practioner ONLY are a confession of failure on the part of the definer.

The argument is now settled, repeatable effects that can most logically be attributed to "psi" have been repeatedly demonstrated in the laboratory. Read The Conscious Universe by Dean Radel, PhD. Get more information on it here In other words, scientific research says it's for real.

Here's a copy of the famous paper, A Skeptical Inquiry into the Skeptical Inquirer. It's a hard look at the source of "establishment" viewpoints on magick, parapsychology. Hint: Honest scientific inquiry has nothing to do with this, it's publicity and media manipulation and a small but profitable "debunking" industry.

Since as far as I'm concerned, the argument is settled, it is time to move on... as to discussions on how to do it and make it work, and what should be done with it, i.e., magickal ethics.

It's also time for people to keep an eye on what parapsychologists are doing, some of it has application to making spells more effective and measuring their results... and talking to magickal practitioners might make parapsychologist's lab procedures more effective. (this idea is from Bonewits' Real Magic)

Here are some interesting experiments for the newcomer to try with respect to getting objective magickal results.

If you're having trouble doing magick yourself:

  1. Look to your experimental design, i.e. the spell you're casting... perhaps the spell you're trying to cast won't run on the platform you're trying to run it on. (that's you!.) Perhaps new symbols and/or tools and/or procedures and/or information might help, i.e., new software and / or a hardware upgrade. Or taking a break from magick.
  2. If you still can't get the results you want... (this is, of course speculation) you might lack the ability to do magick in the area you're trying... presumably the ability to do magick is distributed in the population the same way that every other measurable characteristic is... along the bell curve. Perhaps you're on the wrong side of the curve to do what you wish to do... or perhaps there are a number of magickal abilities... the person who can work weather consistently may not be able to work sex magick worth a damn. A test of magickal abilities (as opposed to skills) might be useful...

Here is where you can find computer software parapsychological tools which might help you focus and even measure your magickal skills:

You can download a fairly primitive psi test program here. It's a DOS program. . . probably Windows 95 compatible, as in if you run it, the machine probably won't crash, but you'll have to access it via the DOS prompt icon.

Note that there are a fair number of programs which were written for DOS and never updated to any Windows environment. Some are still useful. If you want to learn more about DOS, if you can find one, (Amazon Books will know if it's available), get a copy of DOS For Dummies, published by IDG Communications. It's a very good novice tutorial, except for the chapter on shareware, which should be ignored in favor of my advice, which is virus scan everything that's executable that you download or purchase.

You can download a photic driver program here. What it does is produces flashes on the screen at a user-selected flash rate, color, and screen pattern. In theory, your primary encelphographic rhythms will lock to it, producing alpha, beta, theta, etc. states depending on what flash rate you asked for. Some rates might work for you for meditation, others for simple relaxation, some might even get you into the right state for magick. DON'T download this if you're prone to seizures. It's a DOS program. . . probably Windows 95 compatible, but you'll have to access it via the DOS prompt icon.

Here is a piece on the future of magick as I see it...

Check this out: Electronic Telepathy. Pat Flanigan may be considered fringe. . . but I'm very much inclined to believe his claims for the Neurophone, I've heard from a reliable and technically qualified witness who built one that it works, and there are any number of references in reputable sources describing it in operation. The Neurophone discussed might be a very useful tool for magickal workers.

You can find out more about its use in a document on mind control with specifics on use by Xtians can be found here as a very long Web document and as a straight text ZIP file here. One interesting thing about it is that many of the technologies in the document might be put to constructive use in the big open rituals. . . where people have usually gone to a good deal of trouble to get to a place where Craft practitioners can their minds into an "altered state". For more information, check Lifton's Eight Criteria for Mind Control. When you read these documents in this context, remember that all magickal training systems without exception involve reconditioning the human nervous system to receive inputs and produce outputs that are pretty much not possible for the previously unconditioned person.

To learn more about conditioning, I recommend History of Secret Societies, by Arkon Daraul. While he doesn't believe in magick, the book is interesting both as a historical document and as a source on the use of psychological conditioning.

There's a whole spectrum of "New Age" toys and tools, consumer gadgets and software that might be of interest to a person who wants to become a more effective magick practitioner, explore her own mind, or simply relax more effectively than usual. I'll try to add pointers to some sooner or later.

Here's something related from The Mind Has No Firewall, from the US Army War College Quarterly. Notice certain parallels between this and the Dick Sutphen mind control document cited elsewhere on this page. For those of us who know where and how to look, it appears that fringe technology and the real world are beginning to intersect.

Here's an interesting patent. Applications to magick: if one can successfully record the mental/emotional state of a successful magick practitioner and transfer it to someone trying to learn magick, that person might get results quite a bit faster. Or maybe not... It may be that this configuration can be implemented in computer software for a typical PC using a sound card for I/O with a coupler-isolation box added for safety reasons.

Check Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research, Scientific Study of Consciousness-Related Physical Phenomena some time. Among other things, they have come up with an objective measurement of distortion of "random" chance as applied to psychic activity. The patent on their experimental setup (and possible consumer applications, e.g. thought controlled devices can be found here.

If you'd like to see an interesting collection of articles on parapsychology, do this search: "Ganzfeld experiments". Something new came up on the search, from CSICOP, a group of professional debunkers of anything they consider not part of the "scientific" worldview. (Or when you get under the public facade, a psuedoscientific cult.) I mention it because it came up as the second hit on the search. If you bother with their page, regard it with a great deal of skepticism. Here's why. For the Enhancing Human Performance study, skip towards the end, the conclusions are the most interesting part.

Chaos Magick + Theory v Network Computing. Haven't had a chance to check this out, but this certainly sounds interesting.

Here's an interesting essay: Magic,Science,and Religion

If you'd like to try something different for yourself, note that the sound card on your PC has a pair of high-precision 16 bit analog to digital converters on it. With the right kind of analog isolation and buffering, turning them into electroencelphographic (EEG) measuring devices should be just a matter of software. Turning 2 channels into several is a matter of adding multiplexing. Finding out where to put the electrodes is a matter of reading a good textbook on neurophysiology. So. . . what if one could figure out what pattern of neural impulses correlate with a magick spell that's successful in real-world terms? Outrageous question, but one could probably answer it for under $100 in parts and writing the right software analytical tools. (Or get a copy of Labview/Labwindows and use the control oriented visual language as a basis for prototyping. Note what I said about isolation, one does not want to find out by literally frying your brains out that your personal computer has a bad power supply ground. Admittedly, this information is of more use to you if you have an electronics and software background.

Thinking about this, the best way for most people to control a setup like the one described above would be to implement the user interface in html with cgi scripts to connect the interface to the hardware. If you know advanced Website design and any of the major scripting languages (say, enough to put up your own Webcam by writing the cgi yourself) you probably know enough to do this. Implementing a control knob as an IMAGEMAP which will actually control a potentiometer is just a matter of knowing how.

Sooner or later, I want to do a interesting fringe-tech / fringe-science page. Right after I figure out how to differentiate fringe technology from magick. Don't hold your breath, this will probably be a matter of years and the problem may not be worth solving anyway.

You can find out how to obtain or make low-cost magickal supplies of a more conventional nature than discussed above for your own research here

Here is an illustrated glossary of occult symbols.

This site is worth checking out. Tools of Chaos.

Levity is hard to characterize. 60's stuff, occult, advanced New Age. A good place to seriously stretch your mind. The most interesting subsites are:

This is another site I guess could be called fringe - leading edge... if you've heard of Hakim Bey, he's one of the things you can find on Hermetics, Qabala, alchemy, wild concepts. I liked it, but it's hardly for everyone.

Paradigm Shift. This is more a futurist e-zine than anything else. Articles on the occult, interesting fringe tech, and the issue I saw had an interview with Robert Anton Wilson.

Robert Anton Wilson personal Web site.

Here is a page that persuasively argues the case for Robert Heinlein's being a closet Thelemite (practitioner of Crowley's beliefs and possibly, an experimenter in magick) and that Stranger in a Strange Land is a Thelemic allegory. While I don't necessarily endorse its conclusions, (I'd say his writings point more towards his being an athiestic positivist) there is certainly food for thought here. One reason why I started studying Crowley was the reference to "The Book of the Law" in Stranger in a Strange Land. I do disagree with the opinion expressed in this paper that the rereleased version (the one including the 100+ pages chopped from the original) of Stranger in a Strange Land is less valuable than the more common shortened version.

While space industrialization isn't a pagan topic as such, I think pagans should support programs that reduce the amount of air and water pollution generated by our factories, mines, and our electric power generating technology. I think that space industrialization is the best long term solution. Here's why.

This will get you to the Web descendant of the BaphoNet BBS. OTO (Caliphate oriented) / Crowley / magick. You'll need to get a login and password to download the interesting stuff. Just ask the sysadmin.

Ever see a Goddess billboard? Look here

The Silicon Valley Tarot. I think the "hacker tarot" is something else entirely. More tarot links if I ever get around to it.

Finally, since a section on magick isn't complete without one, here's a page which will get you to most of the available Crowley content on the Web: Disinformation's Crowley Page. The following site provides a whole lot of Crowleyan text material in searchable form: The Ape of Thoth. I wonder when someone will do an all-Crowley CDROM or DVD? The book 777 in particular would be useful in hypertext format. (If you've read it, you know why... but it isn't for the novice. Nothing awful about it, it just won't make any sense.)

Here are the only known audio recordings of Aleister Crowley from the Aliester Crowley - The Great Beast Speaks CDROM.

I'm not sure if all of Crowley's books and articles are listed here, but most certainly are. Warning, while most of the links are to text articles on the site, some of the offsite links no longer work. The current version of Nagasiva's magickal archives are only part of the Luckymojo parent site, which is worth seeing.

Where to find pagans?

How many of us are there?

This links to a recent soc.religion.pagan post where I took a shot of answering this question based on estimates of Usenet pagan-oriented newsgroup usage derived from actual server statistics.

Here's a survey suggesting that the number of pagans on the Internet may well be higher than anybody would have guessed.

More pagan finding information

To find San Francisco Bay Area pagans, start here. As you may have guessed, I live in the SF Bay Area. This badly needs updating. Please contact me if you have information on SF Bay Area pagan groups.

For an international calendar of events, click here. The bad news is that this may not be of much use for you who are tryin to find out what's going on around where you live, but you might get lucky and this also might help you make foriegn travel plans.

To find pagans elsewhere, go to the Pagan Web Weaving page. There are also many categorized pagan (general, commercial, anti-discrimination, etc.) links on the Witches Voice - links page. The main Witches' Voice page is here. Note that Witchvox is now at long last a legal non-profit organization and can legally accept tax-deductible contributions. They are one of the most useful resources for the pagan community and really do deserve your support.

Here are some California pagan listings I don't have here.

Also check out PagansOnLine. It's another pagan megasite. Content from Bonewits and other people you've probably heard of onsite. Chat rooms. Forums. "Protected" space for gay / lesbians. I'm not sure what else is there, but I plan to find out sometime soon.

The Medea's Chariot site is definitely worth seeing. About 3 dozen pages on various pagan / magick related subjects, the ones I've looked at have quite a few interesting looking links. I bookmarked this one on sight.

Check out Connections. This pagan oriented magazine looks rather impressive. Also has a lot of articles which should be useful to teen pagans.

If you're around Iowa, check out this Iowa pagan organization. You also can go to the Usenet alt.pagan.contacts newsgroup.

For information about the US Midwestern pagan community, check out the Midwestern U.S. Pagan FAQ page.

Here's where to find pagans in the Southern US.

Are you a pagan in the US military? You should contact the Military Pagan Network.

The Covenant of the Goddess home page. COG is probably the largest specifically Wiccan organization.

A starting point for those into Norse religions can be found here. Contact information can be found somewhere around here

This link will get you to Frigga's Web Clergy Accreditation Program (FW-CAP). Needless to say, this is only for the advanced practictioner of the Asatru religion, to learn more about Asatru, try here and here.

You can get to The Troth Asatru site here

You can subscribe to the asatru_N_action mailing list. This is one it looks like you'll want to use digest format (a single daily or so posting) instead of individual e-mails, the message I saw this described on said "3,000 posts for September".

Here is a well-written comparison of the Wiccan and Asatru religions.

Find out about the Young Pagan Organization Here is a group of youth-oriented sites. Here's a new mailing list for pagan teens.

Pagans on IRC Chat? Yes, we are there... there are channels on most of the IRC networks. #Wicca on Undernet's one of the best known ones with its own Web site.

For other specifically pagan groupings, I'd recommend going to Dejanews, a specialized search engine for the Web and entering whatever search terms you think appropriate. If you need help in Internet search techniques, click here. You can also find quite a few pagans on Usenet newsgroups:

* - moderated... largely via killfile, with a drastic spam and stupidity reduction

Here are some posts from pagan newsgroups I collected. If one of yours is here and this is a problem for you, please let me know.

The alt.religion.wicca newsgroup FAQ is at this location. The alt.pagan FAQ is at this location. These FAQs, like most other newsgroup FAQs are also excellent short summaries about the subjects dealt with by the newsgroups.

There are also alt.magick and newsgroups. Actually, at this point, there's an entire alt.magick.* hierachy of newsgroups.

WARNING: the magick newsgroups aren't for the complete beginner, you need at least the basic vocabulary to be able to make use of them. The regulars on these newsgroups generally have no patience with stupid questions. The newsgroup FAQs can be found around here.

For a listing of college-based pagan organizations, go to this site.

Mailing Lists

A pagan singles mailing list can be accessed at this location.

Pagan Digest is back, after an absence of a few years. It was excellent. While the earlier Pagan Digest was a respectable contribution to the pagan community, my current recommendation is neutral. For more information as to why I no longer recommend it, including a link to the Pagan Digest site, click here.[I resubscribed, I'll update this entry later.]

Mailing lists have gotten much easier to start, now that there are Web sites that offer free setup of mailing lists. Pagan mailing lists can be found at Yahoo-Groups and at Topica. These sites have indexes / search facilities. Type the word "Wicca" or other pagan search terms and you should find plenty of matching lists. If you can't find one matching your specific interests, you might want to start one. Note: I've heard Topica has problems. In the case of Yahoo, while their technology works, the corporation itself I no longer regard as trustworthy. If anyone has had good current experiences with managing a mailing list on a free server other than Topica or Yahoo, please let me know immediately, I'm a Yahoogroups moderator (non-pagan list) in need of an alternative.

A commercial list server is here if you want to start a list server around a more robust setup,The price starts at $5/month (mailing list to 2K user, I think.) though in general, the first place to check for a place to put your own mailing list is your own Internet Service Provider, if you're in unix, one popular mail list program is called majordomo. However, given how good the free mailing list sites have gotten so good and that their advertising is fairly unintrusive, one might as well go the free route (I like e-groups best, though it is merging with onelist) unless there's a good reason to do otherwise. If you need the content to be secure, use PGP to encrypt the content to everyone on the list. Sounds complex, but I know of an anti-terrorist US military unit that's doing just that.

Here is a mailing list search engine. A search on the word pagan turned up 64 lists. I don't know if this engine covers mailing lists carried on (and only announced on) the mailing list servers.

Another possibility is go to href="">altavista and do a search for Usenet posts (use Usenet option on home page) announcing mailing lists using the search terms:
+pagan +"mailing list"

Substitute the tradition of your choice for pagan in the preceding example.

Here's a mailing list contact point in Florida: Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida.

My pagan mailing list page is REALLY under construction. Beware of falling plaster and go here. I'll check the page sometime soon and see if it will be maintained, with the list search engines, it may not be needed.

To find pagan-oriented merchandise, (books, magickal tools, etc.) particularly for those who live quite some distance from a major city or worse, live in the Bible Belt, try Inewt's site.

Recommended Books:

You may have noticed the Amazon Books logo. I figured it would be easier to find books I recommend if there were a way to buy them with a few browser clicks. I also get a commission on any books sold this way. It's also the least intrusive way to get a little return out of the time and effort I put into this site. Buy if you feel like it, ignore the links otherwise. Or try your public library. Note that books I recommend based on my reading will be named in bold type. Books I recommend based on reports, etc. will be in regular type, figure you're looking at books I personally intend to read when time and cash allows.

While I do plan to link any book listings you see here individually to Amazon Books to allow you to see book reviews and related information and to allow you to order the books conveniently, you can use the search form below in the meantime:

This form will, of course, find anything that's at Amazon Books, not just my recommended reading list. Note that they are adding music and video to their products. For authors, the format is last name,first name. For books, simply type in the title.

Here's another and much longer list of recommended books which looks useful from the brief glance I had at it. This is what an Altavista Web search turned up under pagan magazine. This should point you at print / electronic pagan publications. No recommendations expressed or implied for obvious reasons.

Books to AVOID:

So you want to start a Pagan Web Site?

If you'll click here, you'll find out how to avoid the mistakes I spent several hours a day looking at when I reviewed Web sites for a living. I'll try to find some good pagan graphics / font / icon links to put here sooner or later.

If you want to design a good pagan megasite, Witches of the World is an example of how to do it right. Rationally sized graphics, lots of content, and you can navigate it with graphics turned off. If the search engine isn't up soon, it will be sooner or later.

AvatarSearch is a specialized pagan/occult search engine. The bad news is that the onsite search application seems to be a Java applet, so if you run with Java off or are using Opera as I do, you've got a problem. It's also drastically commercially oriented and heavy on graphics files, some of which you're going to need to navigate the site. I'm looking for a better pagan search engine. It's here as an example what not to do.

A pagan science-oriented web page and information network is now up, the Pagan Astronomy Network (PAN) Downloadable software and a chat room should be available soon.

Questionable Organizations

First, if you feel uncomfortable around the people in an organization, trust your feelings. If you're wondering if an organization is dangerous, check it against Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame. It's pretty objective. For fun, try it on your favorite organizations, and your least favorite ones.

And, regarding The Temple ov Psychick Youth, a warning about them from a person who allegedly had a VERY dangerous experience at her initiation. Judge it for yourself, you can find out about it on this page. I can't express an opinion about this, I've never met any of the members in person, my experience with them has been with friendly and helpful people who've sent me useful information via e-mail. As a matter of fact, the Battle for Your Mind by Sutphen document above was provided by a member.


My recommendation on this site has now changed to neutral, pending having time to review the site. The Webmaster contacted me in a friendly, rational manner and asked me to check his site out and change my recommendation. While I have had problems with him in the past, we can hope that this is where those problems will stay.

Interesting Miscellaneous Stuff

This Usenet post may give you a feeling for what you'll encounter when you enter the wonderful world of real pagans. A Field Guide to Neo-Pagandom. Of course it's humor.

Are you a fluffy-bunny pagan? Find out here. Sorry, no recipies as of my last check of the site.

A Possible Cure for Fluffy-Bunnies:

I regard those who don't know that Nature is about death, violence, predation, and prey as well as love and harmony and peace, and I do not symbolic death and violence as fundamentally ignorant of things a pagan should know to be an effective instrumentality of the Goddess and the God. There are times when the sacrifice the Goddess wants is not fruit and flowers, when what She wants to see is a heart ripped out and bleeding on Her altar. If you don't like this, perhaps you would be happier in a more mainstream or a New Age cult where the realities of blood and death are ignored and/or denied.

I've thought more than once that pagans in a structured instructional setting (coven, Circle, etc.) should eat an animal they have killed and butchered with their own hands. This is in order to teach the predation / prey cycle of Nature, to show pagans who think steaks come from grocery store the often brutal reality of nature, to connect us to our ancestors, and as a lesson about blood sacrifice and the energies that can be released that way. I do not believe that vegans should be let off the hook on this, though a bite of the flesh and a teaspoon of blood is adequate for a symbol. No, I do not believe that vegans are showing spiritual superiority to the rest of us or to animals by not eating them. I regard a cow or a pig as my spiritual equal, (though the same is not so of some humans I've run across) and when I eat meat, I know well that the reason why I'm eating cow instead of vice versa is a matter of evolutionary happenstance, that a cow would happily eat me if she could track me down, kill me, and digest me. Here's how-to information on how to do this, though the specific locations to obtain animals Dan Savage gives should be adapted to similar places in your area. I don't know whether he's personally pagan or not, but he certainly shows the right kind of spirit for this.

If you cannot kill an animal, how can you kill a human in self-defense in the context of defending your right to worship Deity as you see fit against those who would take this right from you by force?

You might be a pagan redneck if . . ..

Heard about the pagan - filksong version of Old Time Religion? Find it here

The website of the author of Real Magic, Issac Bonewits can be found here.

Here's Z Budapest's web site. Hate to admit it, but I still haven't read any of her books. Yet. I had the good fortune to meet and talk with her briefly at a couple of open rituals in SF she presided over. She's on a very short list of people. . . ones that greatly impressed me. If you know who she is, comment isn't necessary. If you don't. . . find out. The site should be a good start. This will be of particular interest to you if you're a Dianic Witch. While I have great respect for Dianics, I'm male and fairly egotistical. . . so Dianic Craft isn't going to fit me well. Here's a link to her Open Letter to the Pagan Community. . . strongly recommended reading.

[Note: I am still neither a Dianic nor likely to become so. My devotion to Diana is more of a personal thing.]

The best pagan / Craft / occult site I know of is probably here, when I say best, I mean in terms of size, completeness in certain areas... you can find things like Crowley texts, astrology font files for Windows, etc., and other things for the serious student you won't find at Egghead Software and can't buy from Microsoft. Here's a list of other pagan / mystical / occult ftp sites. However, most of them are either not around or have Web front ends these days.

A new pagan megafile site: "The 'Pagan Files List' site will contain more than a two thousand individual text files on "Pagan" religions within the next week. These files are free to download for education, study, enlightenment, or just plain enjoyment."

I no longer use the Gozilla download accelerator, it has the Aureate spyware built into it. If you have it, I recommend going to this site and get the copy of OptOut... something which will delete the software on the machine that invades user privacy worst. The site has other PC security related info and is worth reading. If you know any non-Aureare download accelerators, please let me know. One trick you can do if you have a unix shell account along with your regular SLIP/PPP account (check your ISP account info, you may have one without knowing it) I get the file URL for the multimeg file I want, then telnet to my ISP account and use lynx to download it, then use the upload command (sz) to get it to my own machine.

For pagan clip-art shareware, try Magical Mystical Symbol Libraries. Warning, the downloads are in .TIF format, while this works fine for WP/DTP, you'll need something to convert to .JPG / .GIF / .PNG for the Web. Then, explore the rest of the site.

Then, there's

Pagan Awareness League - spiritual and antidiscrimination information.

Why Pagans are the Christian's Bogeyman? An interesting article.

Think Magazine. It bills itself as "the best in pagan thought". Their stuff is indeed thought provoking. Check out the article by Z Budapest.

Herbal Medicine

Here's a paper I'm writing on modern herbal medicine. Here's a warning about herbal information that might save you a trip to the doctor... or the morgue.

I just found out about a couple of books that probably should be in the library of anybody serious about herbs:

Here's where you can find some interesting downloadable files and buy CDROMS containing a lot of information in the form of books that our great-great grandparents knew that simply got lost. . . some of which is still useful in the wired age, either as something worth trying again, or to leave you to wonder how your ancestors managed to stay alive despite the good advice they got. Warning on plant and medical information - check it first against modern herbal / medical information before trying it yourself. . . my home page has links to medical sites.

Here's a collection of offensive Bible verses. (I mean offensive to Xtians!)

One of the fun things about being pagan is constantly having to explain the Bible to Xtians. The Bible Search Engine will help. Multiple translations, and if you enter a book/chapter/verse reference, it'll give you multiple translations simultaneously. Very nice. However, I'm looking for something heavier, if you know an online Interlinear (provides literal word-by-word translation), please catch me in e-mail.

Here's something a fair number of people may find offensive. There's good reason to avoid the use of Lust Spells. . . some are dangerous to the user as well as the target, and there are obvious ethical problems. My home page has links to hacking and anarchy sites as well. Not all the information I link to is either safe or sane, it isn't supposed to be.

Here's a homeschooling oriented page for pagan parents.

Here's supposed to be a list of metaphysical stores around the world.

The following is from non-Wiccan witches. While I don't necessarily agree with the contents, it's a good way to see how at least one group of "traditional witches" sees themselves. The Traditional Witchcraft FAQ is located here and at a mirror site.

Circle Sanctuary

Check this out... a Pagan 'Best of the Web' site. Can't comment further... haven't checked them out yet.

Omphalos has a wide range of coverage, including 10 megs of information that was distributed via BBS in the early days of pagan cyberspace via Fidonet and other non-TCP/IP networks. Much of this archived information and finding it anywhere else will probably be difficult.

http://145.18.23+0.25:4711/Winter.html was a site with lots of pagan / magick related documents and an encyclopedic collection of links. Winter site mirror. Glad somebody got around to doing this.

Then, there's a collection of writings by Tyagi. He's an expert on ceremonial magick, he frequently posts to alt.magick and alt.pagan, his posts are usually well worth reading. On this site, look for "A Mage's Guide to the Internet" . While it's a bit dated, it's a good pointer to the non-Web places to find occult / pagan related info on the Internet. You can also find the alt.magick,, etc. FAQs here.

For a long list of pagan Web sites, most of which I have NOT visited, check La Rose Noire ... good elementary stuff on tool consecration, rituals, astral and aura colors...

Drop in on Kethra's Domain.

The links from Earthspirit - links look pretty good.

There is a fairly extensive occult oriented archive site here. It contains a lot of text, in particular magick-oriented mailing list and some newsgroup archives. Haven't checked in detail, but it looks useful.

Here's a historical text on witchcraft from the old days... as in the late 1800s. I moved a copy to this site so I could reformat it... find it here witchhst.txt No endorsement of the contents is implied... but it is interesting. This is where I got the orginal... witch.txt.

This is what looks like a good source of historical record on the Burning Times: check out BEST WITCHES.

Here is a skeptical look at various traditions about pagan-connected history. Check out "When is a Celt Not a Celt?". I interrupted my reading of that page to link it to this one about 1/3 of the way down. Consider this an endorsement. Neither the pagan religious movement nor the Goddess benefits from letting the idea that pagans are credulous tards get around. We are best served by the people who blow big holes in the myths some of us are trying to get the rest of us to accept as proven fact.

Here's a downloadable course on Wicca you can download here. Can't comment on contents, I haven't had time to read the material yet. Warning, the files are 120-260K as zip files. (probably 2-3x that when decompressed)

Here are more Wiccan study materials, prepared collectively by the people in the alt.religion.wicca.moderated Usenet newsgroup.

Pagans in the Workplace

Religious Harassment

There are several organizations which try to guard the civil rights of pagans, some are Wiccan-specific. You can find out more at this site.

Here is the Witchvox Pagan Protection Center, valuable information that may help you cover your ass with respect to the right to practice our religions.

There's a new organization, called PagansVote. It's a pagan-specific political action organization. It 's probably about time for one.

However, I think what we really need is a well-funded pagan PAC (Political Action Committee) along the lines of the corporate model; a permanent lobbying presence in DC and major state capitals with money to dispense to our friends and against our enemies, mailing lists to get the word out to fax (ACLU has a very good setup, you click the URL in the mail, you get to a page with a pre-written letter which you can sign and they'll automatically send to your Congresscritter or Senator.) / mail about legislation likely to affect the pagan community, a permanent media campaign with commercials encouraging tolerance towards pagans, etc. A good big legal defense fund would also be in order.

While this means quite a few megabucks per year to do right, isn't it worth $10 or so a year from each of us to be able to stop worrying about getting discriminated against and harassed by government because of our religion? The lowest estimate of the pagan population I've seen lately (haven't updated the "how many pagans" page because I've been too busy) is 3,500,000 , the highest 11,500,000. A PAC with $35,000,000 a year to spend will be taken seriously. A PAC with $115,000,000 a year to spend will practically own the political process, at worst, even with a mass effort among Xtians, this should give us parity.

Wren's Nest is the Witchvox anti-discrimination section.

Check out Gardens of Avalon III... and the people who operate it also are still operating a PODSnet BBS... Those who still remember PODSnet, you should also check this out. Note that this page is witchcraft oriented, but not Wiccan.

Would you believe that there's an anti-pagan censorware product designed to "protect" kids? It's called CyberSitter. It's designed to "protect" kids from bad people. Like us. From the descriptions I've seen, I think it's fair to call it Religious Right hate speech in the form of a software package. If your local public library or public school is considering buying a censorware package, you might let them know that doing this will probably buy them a lawsuit... on the basis of religious discrimination from a long list of religious groups which they will probably lose. Examples of "unsafe" sites include the National Organization for Women and quite a few others that would surprise any sane person who hasn't checked into the story. There is already an infamous case where the company invited comment about their product and allegedly responded by mailbombing. For more information, go to CyberSitter Information and Peacefire.

Here is a US Military Chaplain's Handbook section on Wicca. If you ever need to prove that Wicca is a "legitimate" religion, this is a good place to start. You can find the current list of pages from the online edition that serves various minority religious groups here. You can find historical information on how the Handbook was put together, what it's intended use is, and what it's legal status is, and a link to the local copy of the current version of the Wicca article here. I didn't provide a direct link because I think anybody who uses the Wicca article really needs to know the background on it, which was simply unavailable until now. The Wicca article is an Adobe Acrobat file. You probably have the plug-in, if you don't, get it here. Note that this is no longer an "official" publication, but it is still useful. The best way to prove that Wicca is recognized in court may well be to find IRS tax-exempt (i.e. religious organization that can accept tax-exempt donations) pagan churches.

Like the truth about the stories of "Satanic ritual child abusers?" Here's a quick summary. . . after several years of looking, the FBI has found no evidence for this. Here's a copy of the FBI's Investigator's Guide to Allegations of `Ritual' Child Abuse. (best known as the 'Lanning Report') Also on the Alliance of Magical and Earth Religions site are other valuable publications that will give you clues as how to deal with religious harassment.

The British did their own report on "Satanic ritual abuse." You can find it here. Unlike the FBI report, the local government tried to suppress its publication on the Web when it didn't reflect the conclusions it wanted to see. For info on suppression, check here.

Self Defense for Pagans

My own advice on the subject starts with a question you should have asked yourself when you first thought of becoming a pagan: Would you be willing to use violence to defend your right to freedom of religion... or your safety and those of others if violence is offered to you as a result of practicing your religion? There are a lot of violent crazies in America. Many are Religious Right, and most of the ones who know of us DON'T like us. Our religions have had enough martyrs over the years.

If your answer is "NO", I suggest you rethink your choice of religions. If you don't understand why I think a person who wants to be pagan should be concerned about self-defense, click anti-pagan hate site. This is what the Religious Right looks like with the masks off. This is what the seriously crazy in the Right have in mind for us.

Here is a call to bring back the good old days. . .of witch burning. This was a letter to the editor from an Xtian minister.

You've heard of Christian Reconstructionism? Find out more about it here. They are the exact Christian equivalent of the Taliban in Afghanistan, i.e. they want to "reform" their religion by eliminating every compromise that it has made with the requirements of a modern technological society in the last thousand years, they are massively funded, and they are the reason why the Protestant churches in general and denominations like the Baptist in particular have swung to the right, especially the ones that leaned that way to begin with. Slavery? Stoning adulteresses? The death penalty for being gay or being an "infidel"? Not only are there really people like that, they have to be taken seriously by anyone who would like to live long enough to enjoy the practice of our religions.

Are you gay? Check Landover Baptist Church.

This is a Religious Right congresscritter on Wicca in the military.

Xtian Lunatic Fringe sites page. Unfortunately, some of the belief systems here are held by our more dangerous opponents, only some of the people linked to are harmlessly bonkers. Entertaining, though.

This is a bit less entertaining: Cult and America's Abortion Industry. Yes, we actually have people crazy enough to think that Wiccans are into sacrificing kids. While I don't know that the author blows up birth control clinics and shoots doctors in the back in his spare time, I wouldn't be surprised.

This is what happens when pagans try to start a permanent church in the Bible Belt, and . For my opinion of this as sent as a "Letter to the Editor" to the news station broadcasting this, click here.

UPDATE - Ralph Reed... the future of Religious Right Politics?

What's below was written in 2000. Between now and then, all that's happened with respect to any of the issues dealt with below are that. . . a lot of money was donated from MS to Microsoft to get Bush elected, Reed apparently left his involvement with MS over "ethical issues" and . . . DOJ mysteriously lost interest in exacting penalties in the MS antitrust trial after they had won.

And of course, the biggest upsurging of theocratic Christianity I have seen in my lifetime over the Terri Schiavo case where the GOP under control of the most insane elements of the Religious Right tried to keep a body alive from which intelligence had fled 10 years before.

As of a couple of days ago, after a generation of very good efforts on behalf of gay/lesbian rights, MS suddenly, at the last minute, pulled the plug on their support of a Washington state gay rights bill, explaining that they didn't have the political capital to expend on issues that didn't have much to do with their company.

Ralph Reed just crawled back out from under his rock. It seems he was a paid employee of both Bush and Microsoft during the last election and is on MS's payroll as of right now... the site has invoices going from now (late April 2005) at least back to November 2004.

No matter how one tries to spin it, the alliance between MS and one of the prime Religious Right and GOP leaders can not be considered good for American democracy and freedom.

Read down for more UPDATE stuff.

The following contains an unverified rumor I've seen on one mailing list (not magickal cauldron) and on the Usenet newsgroup soc.religion.paganism:

Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2000 6:40 PM Subject: [magickalcauldron] Ralph Reed & the 6 Mind Tools

UPDATE: this anticipates a lot of Lakoff's work on political framing. Of course, this is hardly surprising given that he got the ideas from watching the GOP. > For those who know how precious our rights are and how easily they can > be lost to those who wish to take them away through force and fear: > > "Ralph Reed & the 6 Mind Tools" > > ------------------------------------------------------ > PAGAN INTERNET CONFERENCE > MARCH 16th, 2000 > > ------------------------------------------------------- > RALPH REED AND THE SIX MIND-TOOLS > by Rev. Ed Hubbard > > Ralph Reed is the most dedicated Christian Strategist in the > country, working closely with the Religious Right and the current > elections. He writes and formulates policies on elections and issues for > Christian Organizations and Government Officials. And his decisions > comes with millions of dollars of Christian Coalition Special Interest > Dollars. > Who is Ralph Reed? Ralph Reed is the protege of Pat Robertson. > Brought on as a director of the Christian Coalition, being a position > nominally abandoned by Pat Robertson during his presidential campaign, > Ralph Reed has become the chief advocate of the Religious Christian > Community. Currently, he is a campaign consultant to George W. Bush, > and openly speaks out about the need to be a religious advocate. Ralph > has moved out of pure religious organizations to become director of > Century Strategies , which allows him to work > fully in the political field without constraints. > Why am I mentioning Ralph Reed? Because he allegedly commissioned a > report recently, on laws pertaining to Witchcraft throughout the United > States for the purpose of incremental enforcement of laws on the federal > basis. Further, according to sources seeks to denounce Witchcraft as a > legal religion through the courts if necessary. He is a long term > strategist, and he is only 38 years old. And he sees the Pagan Community > as a potential voting issue and media attention attractor. He is just > waiting for the right moment and then he will use us to further his > cause. Never forget, George Bush Jr. has made promises to eliminate > Wicca from the Military, as President. Mr. Reed would assure Bush > carries out that promise. I mention him know those who would take from > you your rights in the name of God. > How will he do it? Here are the six mind-tools used by social > propagandists, political consultants, and governmental officials use to > incite the public. > > These are the tools of the Media War. > > Mind-tool One is Atrocity Allegations. In it's most common form, it > is the accusal of ritual murder, infanticide, rape, sexual depravity, > mass murder and so on. This can go deeper, with unfounded and untrue > statements as well as true statements of small numbers of people, left > to fester. Remember, an Atrocity accusation can even be as simple as the > wear black because they are afraid of the light, as long as it isolates > the community member. > Mind-tool Two is Hyperbolic Inflation of the Stakes. This recently > took form in Bosnia when NATO stated if we do not stop Serbia we will > have another Hitler, and fight a larger war. For us, If children are > allowed to wear Pentagrams soon all our children will be. Further, If > children are allowed to practice Wicca then they will become involved > with *put you own derogatory here*. > These first two mind-tools create a powerful argument, no matter > how true or false. Simply put, atrocity and Hyperbolic inflation assures > that even if you are not sure it is true, you don't dare defend them in > case it is true, and you certainly don't become involved. > The Third mind-tool is Demonetization and Dehumanization. In every > conflict, the enemy must not have a human face. Broad brushes are used > to slander and deprive human feelings for the attacked, otherwise one > would have to consider them as individuals. For Wiccans it was Satan > Worship, but lately we are all said to be nudists and we do not believe > in God or State. > The fourth is Polarization, "Those not for us are against Us." > Simple and is the basis for all manner of fights. > The Fifth is the Claim of Divine Sanction, which frames all > arguments, out of the human context and instead places it on God, Allah, > or some other authority in charge of the action. Further the power to > forgive for any excess of zeal is gained. This assures no matter how > much one would feel the action is wrong, the person committing it is > secure because God told them to do it. > The Sixth mind-tool is Meta-proganda, and the most powerful. This > discredits the other sides propaganda not by challenging the veracity > of a single story, but by repeating holes and mistakes on the whole > argument and discredit everything coming from the enemy. The aim is to > produce wholesale disbelief and close doors to redress. > Being aware of the tools being used by Ralph Reed and other > consultants, "Spiritual Warriors", and "Prayer Soldiers", we will be > able to understand how they reached their world-view and prepare our > statements accordingly. After all, Ralph Reed has already begun. > ------------------------------------------------------ > Permission Granted to Forward this > Original Daily Goddess News Article > > ------------------------------------------------------

Even if the above story about Reed is totally bogus, the description of religious propaganda tactics shown above is valuable even without it. This sort of thing has been used to stir up jihads against defined groups for thousands of years.

While trying to get Witchcraft banned does sound like something Ralph Reed and his organization would do, we do not know whether or not he actually did what the above article describes to further this goal We also do not know whether or not a President Bush would provide any form of cooperation with an ultra-right agenda after becoming President. One common GOP mainstream strategy is to cooperate with the Religious Right until after Election Day.

Of course, this doesn't work as well if the Religious Right has the mortgage on Bush's balls, which is quite possible. If you're in favor of freedom, be ready for a fight next year no matter who becomes President. We can hope that this fight can be won with words, whether spoken in public forum or in courts of law. The question isn't whether or not any major candidate is a publically admitted enemy of freedom. All of them are. The question is how do we protect ourselves?

The Ralph Reed discussed above is also a consultant for Microsoft Corporation engaged in trying to get the court decision that nailed Microsoft for anti-trust violations nullfied politically. Imagine a US in which the President of the United States are allied with Microsoft and the Christian Right in opposition to everything that isn't right-wing Xtian. Gays/lesbians and pagans are probably on the top of any hit list a cabal like that would put together.

UPDATE: Watch the news to see what happens in the news that's on the following list in the months ahead.

What kind of deal could Ralph Reed make with Microsoft in exchange for getting the antitrust case guilty verdict overturned politically?

  1. MS founder money (e.g. Gates Foundation) to causes Reed objects to is either cut off or drastically reduced
  2. MS starts contributing substantially to right-wing PACS and individual right-wing politicians
  3. MS starts contributing to right-wing religious non-profits, i.e. churches with a political (say, anti-abortion) agenda.
  4. low-key religious-right themes (e.g. "family values") start appearing in MS advertising
  5. MS uses its lobbyists to work in favor of Internet censorship and in general, right-wing social control legislation in conjunction with Religious Right groups.
  6. MS stops hiring gays, lesbians, pagans, [???]. While this is of course, illegal, the lack of regard of MS for any laws it didn't make or buy itself is well known... it would take years for a pattern of discrimination to become sufficiently clear to be provable, and a Bush Administration would be likely to dismantle an EEOC or castrate one they can't get rid of as was done during the Reagan years.
  7. MS stops fringe benefits for dependents of employees if the relationship is a gay one, an extreme version would be if they cut off the benefits except to a parent (in a heterosexual relationship) or a wife in a legal marriage.

That's what I'd be asking for if I were in Reed's position making a deal on the basis "I get the Department of Justice off your company's back, this is what I want other than my fees." If I were doing this, I wouldn't figure on getting everything I asked for, but even any two items on the list would be bad for the country and the pagan community. I would think 2, 5, 7 would be the most likely quid pro quo. 6 could be implemented against pagans as an insignificant and relatively safe way to make Reed's friends happy, but I'm not sure if such a policy could be implemented without leaving a paper trail of the sort that discovery via subpoena would be prefect for.

You can probably guess why I'm thinking of an old Warren Zevon song right now. It's called, of course, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money"... with the refrain:
"Send lawyers, guns, and money. . . the shit has hit the fan". Things seem to be heading towards the point where lawyers, guns, and money may be necessary for our survival both as pagan individuals and as a pagan community. Just be sure that if you're in that position, you pick the right solution from the list of possibilities above. . . lawyers are worse than useless in a situation involving real-time violence. A gun is useless in a situation where what's needed is a smart lawyer. Sometimes money (e.g. campaign contributions) is the answer. OK, usually.

Update However, right now, what you should be doing is to figure out how to stop giving our enemies money. Or at least less of it (unfortunately, MS can't be dispensed with completely yet for most business situation)

Being told to take your pentacle off (but not a cross) seems to be getting increasingly popular among high school administrators, this is a fairly typical example.

There's a new program for schools in North Carolina which while it isn't aimed at pagan kids, is likely to be used on them; it's purpose is to provide an anonymous tip line provided by a major corporation for young people to rat out their fellow kids with respect to any behavior that they see as "different" or "threatening", complete with a rewards program for frequent kid users. It's called WaveAmerica, more information can be found here.

An account of a pagan-related murder. Here is a newsgroup post which has supplemental information:

Newsgroups: alt.religion.wicca.moderated
Subject: Re: Recent killings because of Wiccan beleifs
Organization: - Before you buy.

i have a few more details on this incident...

the man responsible has said to family that if the Wiccan/Pagan element
had been there he would not have been as enraged, he was upset with his
daughter living with a younger man who was married (in the process of
the divorce)...and said he also feared for the safety of her two teenage
daughters, fearing they may be used in some type of ritualistic fashion.

and no the fire was not an accident, what the paper failed to report is
that he doused the place in gasoline and lit it, staying int he fire to
try to kill himself, which didn't work, his injuries are not life
threating and he will be charged as soon as he walks out of the

and another scary tidbit that i have recaived from family....he has
gained the SUPPORT of some local community members....

Sent via

Convinced that there is a problem yet?

Read Understanding the Religious Reich 1.5 by Issac Bonewits.

Here are some interesting comments on that paper.

The newest threat to democracy in the US is. . . the touchscreen electronic voting machine. No verifiable audit trail, the code driving the voting machines, the counting is considered "commercial secret" and can not be verified by any member of the public, and the major voting equipment companies are owned by leaders of the Religious Right.

Note that counting votes is not rocket science, anyone with background in simple electronics who's had more than a semester or two of computer programming (enough to write a program capable of reading switch closures through a PC, for instance) should be able to build an voting machine capable of an honest count. Why would the major voting machine vendors want how votes are counted by their equipment kept secret?

While you're thinking about it, click here and start checking links.

To repeat my question, Would you be willing to use violence to defend your right to freedom of religion... or your safety and those of others if violence is offered to you as a result of practicing your religion?

If your answer is "YES", do you own a gun yet? If not, for around the house or apartment, a 12 gauge shotgun, pump or automatic, using #6 or #8 shot... is a good choice; i.e. enough to blow a big hole in the target, not enough to blow holes through multiple walls, and easy to aim.

Here is a sane book on armed self-defense written by a non-pagan SWAT team instructor I know. It's a work in progress, but what's there is very, very good.

Handguns can be a good thing... 9 mm is very popular these days. If you live in a state where concealed carry permits are available, seriously consider getting one. If you don't, pepper spray and/or Mace (CN gas) or best, the combination of pepper spray pressurized by Mace in jurisdictions that allow it is a good thing to carry. If you do, don't hesitate too long about using it. Based on experience.

Since my real attitude toward violence is on the order of gathering up by hand particular odorous, obviously long dead garbage, I found that in my last encounter with a street criminal, I waited about 1/2 second too long. 1 second and I wouldn't be writing about this. . . I escaped minus my wallet but without injury. I should have used the spray as soon as I was 90% certain of the criminal's intent instead of waiting until almost too late. Don't you make the same mistake. Remember that people generally live through getting sprayed. You may not live through what a criminal or Xtian fanatic has in mind for you.

While a rifle, particularly an assault rifle (if legal in your jurisdiction) is quite a bit better than nothing, one has to be very careful with it if used for ordinary personal self-defense because many rifle bullets will penetrate walls and if a fired round doesn't hit a target, it may travel for thousands of feet before finding another unintended target. Assault rifles have lots of intimidation value, though. If the US government really is taken over by a horde of Religious Right fanatics, of course, the situation may change from a personal self-defense situation to armed combat, where having an assault rifle might be a very good thing.

Pepper spray is capsicain (the active ingredient in tabasco and other "hot" sauces) suspended in a liquid carrier of some sort, with an inert or active propellant. If you have a choice, use a pepper spray with tear gas as an active propellant, and ideally, an oil based carrier. The oil based carriers take immediate effect, for the alcohol carriers, you have to wait for the alcohol to evaporate. Of course, if the propellant is tear gas, the tear gas will give your attacker something to do while waiting for the capsicum to take effect. If you live in California, you can thank the brain-damaged imbeciles in the California Legislature for restricting us to the least effective of the pepper spray formulations. (inert propellant, alcohol carrier) The best of those I've seen is the Mace(tm) brand full sized canisters, combining capsicum and detergent. A person with both soap suds and pepper in his eyes is likely to become a very ineffective attacker. This gives you the option of running, or finding a blunt instrument and hitting him hard enough to reduce his effectiveness to zero.

Check into CDT (Compliance Direction Takedown) self-defense training. There are borderline situations where one needs to be able to subdue someone without permanent damage or excessive force. This course only takes a few sessions and is very popular with law enforcement, airline stewardesses, etc.

Black powder cannon are perfectly legal in most jurisdictions, but are of rather limited practical use. Historical note: private possession of black powder cannon, back when they were considered devastating military weapons, was totally legal, several of the Founding Fathers donated their cannon to the revolutionary army.

You may find a laser gunsight helpful (no, not for the black powder cannon!), the prices are dropping. I saw one for $7 at a 99 cent store a few weeks ago. It should be possible to adapt a laser pointer to a laser sight, for a pistol, rifle or shotgun, get a set of scope rings that fit your gun, put in the pointer and align it with your gun, add a switch to the pointer so you can easily activate it while aiming. These also have a certain intimidation value, but if you're using this for real, you are probably better off shooting to kill.

Intentionally shooting to wound is something the movies are fond of, it is not recommended for real situations. The only situation where a private citizen is permitted in the US to point a loaded gun at someone is where that citizen has reasonable cause to believe that his personal safety or that of another is in imminent danger, i.e. where a person has no reasonable option other than to shoot a person to protect someone's life from being taken. Aim for the center of mass with a handgun and may the Goddess help you.

As for gun choice in general, if you already shoot, you know what you like and why. . . have fun and Goddess Bless. . . and may you never have to use it on a human target.

Home firepower should be backed by a good electronic security system, if you've got a midnight intruder, whether a burglar or religious fanatic, you want to find your gun before the bad guy does. Dogs are a good thing, too, but not everyone can keep them and more to the point, there are ways to take them out of action quietly. While a burglar will probably look for an easier target, a religious fanatic who knows you've got a dog will probably bring poisoned meat. Though I've heard Easy-Off Oven Cleaner is becoming increasingly popular these days. In other words, a dog is just another target when one is dealing with the kind of people who would enjoy killing your dog.

If you get or already own guns, make sure you are willing to use them if necessary (a threat to your life / safety and/or those of others) and get enough gun range time in to make sure the lead will go where you intended it to go. I advise against wearing your pentacle openly at a range, the person who can tell you how not to keep hooking your shots to the right will probably be a friendly, nice member of the Religious Right. As for you, leave your religion at home, you are there to learn how to protect yourself, not to debate theology.

The good news. A gun doesn't care what religion you are. For more information about this, check out the National Rifle Association site. Whatever you think of their politics, these people do know guns. What they can tell you may keep you alive someday. Some more info on guns can be found at Recguns, they're supposed to have good info on gun selection for self-defense. Once you've mastered the basics, try to find a combat shooting course in your area. You need the reflexes that can take over, help you figure out quickly if you want to shoot and make sure you do the shooting instead of your attacker(s).

Note: The good thing about a pump has a certain psychological intimdation value, the ker-clack of a round being loaded into a pump action shotgun chamber will get the attention of potential targets.

Here is the closest thing I've found to an online self-defense course. Looks good, at least at first glance. My thanks to an alert reader who found an archived version of the page this link was intended to point at. However, learning unarmed self-defense is something you're better off doing in person. There should be classes in your community (adult education, park and recreation department, check the phone book, etc.) no matter where you are.

Some non-gun hints on self-defense. Mainly oriented towards knives. While I don't agree with the writer about guns, there is some useful information and that's why it's on my site.

It seemed appropriate to put in this section a reminder that not all Xtians want us dead. There are good and decent people in all religions. (and some hard core scumbags in the pagan community as well)I'll add to this that we had an Xtian moderator on both soc.religion.paganism and alt.religion.wicca.moderated for a while and she did an excellent job.

A final note: If you want to see Xtian fundie stupidity raised to the nth power for sheer entertainment, go to the Jack Chick site which will give you THE TRUTH about pagans, Buddhists, and as many other nonXtian religions as that gang of idiots can think of. For more entertainment, click on this story in which "Poseidon adventure in Sacramento pits Christian group against residents in dispute over statue of Greek god standing in the buff".

If you're looking for an antidote, try Burning Church Enterprises T-shirts. Guaranteed to offend Xtians. Actually, some T-shirts there will offend most people, so don't say I didn't warn you.

Check out The Wiccan Rede Project. Multiple versions and discussion of where it all came from.

Finally, here are two versions of The Charge of the Goddess, common to most Wiccan traditions.