Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Group Apathy?

At this current moment in time, in a couple of areas that affect my life, some more than others there is a distinct sense of apathy or perceived apathy. People are getting stressed about inaction or are already assuming there will be inaction so are not bothering, if people stop thinking things will be thus & start being proactive surely it should help chivvy people along rather than just assuming that people will not be willing & then not bothering to do anything about it, thus creating a self fulfilling prophecy. I have become an employee forum rep for the company I work for & it does appear that there is a sense that it is impotent so people think why bother, no one is going to listen to you if you don't say anything, so speak up & people may want to listen. this applies to other areas of my life too, but people taking this attitude is surely self defeating. If women, gay people & black people had such an apathy in trying to get their rights then they wouldn't have got them. Nothing is achieved by saying why bother, don't assume people wont be interested, don't assume things won't get done & maybe, just maybe you will be proved wrong.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Would the world be a better place without money?

With the world seeming to be going belly up financially at the moment it almost makes me feel that it would be better if we didn't have money & people just did skill & product exchange, no corrupt bankers screwing people over, no wars over financial gain & no imploding on a vast scale that could leave us all doomed. It could be argued that society would not have advanced so much without out it, but have we advanced? We have nice things yes, society has expanded, we trade further afield & therefore communicate further afield, We experience different cultures more as we travel, though as to whether we treat them as positive or negative comes down to the individual. We still need law enforcement though, to keep people from doing wrong, we still get sick, we are living longer but half the time we are sticking our older generations into retirement homes to let someone else take care of them & shipping our children off to child minders or nurseries from an ever younger age so we are longer bonding with the older or younger generations like we used to, just so we can earn more money. I suppose it all comes down to status, people think that money is the key to that, are they wrong? Should money equal power? Are we failing our poor just so we can lord over them with our money, shouldn't we be helping all of society? Would having no such thing as money sort out these problems? Money is just a man made construct, if we reset the worlds finances as zero in all countries or cancelled all debt would the world end up in a better place because of it? Would making one pound equal to one euro, one dollar, one yen etc make the world a fairer place to live in, with people earning from their commodities but not then going from country to country for a better deal as their money is worth or in a different country? It is hard to tell but soon the world's economies could implode with the euro destabilising even further with the possibility that Greece may have to pull out & that Spain & Italy could also need bailing out, it could then be that Germany, the richest country in Europe could see it finances going down the toilet which could see the economic world come crashing down as Europe is one of the major powers in the economic market. I'm hoping things will turn out well in the end but until things either settle or go horribly wrong we will not know how best to tackle whatever financial situation is on a personal level. Hopefully if we keep paying our taxes that the government will try to see the country right (though not holding my breath)

Friday, 18 May 2012

2012 The Year of Dead Musicians?

It does seem to be the year of it doesn't it? not sure whether I'm noticing it more but there does seem to be some quite notable deaths this year & we aren't even half way through. Will this be the cursed year for musicians? Is it a dangerous year for them? Perhaps its the Mayan Calendar's fault, well what ever it is we have lost a lot of talent so far this year. Makes me wonder who is next. (fingers crossed for Celine Dion, on second thoughts scrap that otherwise we will be subjected to My Heart Will Go On over & over & over again & that is not something you would even wish on your worst enemy) Goodbye to:-
Herb Reed
Robin Gibb
Donna Summer
Donald 'Duck' Dunn
Adam Yauch
Tommy Marth
Chris Etheridge not my taste but they ho
Earl Scruggs
Greg Ham
Barney McKenna
Davy Jones
Whitney Huston
Kay Davis
Etta James

There have also been a lot of opera singers & organists that seem to have died too but have to admit they are not in my repertoire. So if you are a musician take care. I hope not to have to add more onto this list.

I'm also writing this on the day of a none musical friend of the family's funeral goodbye Bob

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Herbal Remedies for Hayfever

I'm no stranger to herbal remedies, I have used a fair few in my time to great effect, at the moment though I'm using eyebright for my hayfever & although it is doing its job it should come with a side effect warning that it may leave you with your eyes not adjusting automatically from sleeping to being awake, as I wake up with dilated pupils & everything looks a little blurry first thing, it does go after a short time, this is not written on the bottle & it is sold as a dietary supplement, though what its dietary values are I'm not entirely sure. I have tried giving local honey ago, but getting local honey is not easy & can be expensive, but again works, it puts the pollens in your system so you are less sensitive to them. Lavender is also good but is generally a good all rounder anyway, though I have run out of this. So when taking herbal remedies do look up its side effects, make sure that they are suitable for you, as some herbal preparations can trigger off health problems, negate the effects of medication, leave you sleepy or may not be suitable for use in pregnancy. I'm hoping to have a sneeze free year without feeling drunk on antihistamine or having to wash eye gack off my eyelashes just to open my eyes

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Meaning of Dreams

Do you have a dream dictionary? A dream journal? Does the interpretations from looking up even fit? I find when looking at dream dictionaries they seem ill fitting or even contradictory & a jumble that doesn't even make sense. i tend to try & put the rational sheen on it for instance this morning I had a dream that I was in a teddy bear shop that also had a soft play area in it, I met with an old school acquaintance of mine,  I was also with my partner & I kept losing both of them & all kinds of cakes & refreshments were being served there & all I wanted to do was buy a teddy bear. So this is how I have interpreted it, yesterday I saw a post from said school acquaintance about him taking his son to the cinema for his birthday, this is why he appeared in my dream, his son is only young so that wouldn't make it unheard of that he was in a teddy bear factory, my reason for being there I found out that I'm an 'uncle' again (the quotation marks will disappear when marriage happens), as my partner got a text at ridiculous o'clock in the morning saying that his sister had given birth. The cakes & refreshments I put down to the bake sale that the chaplaincy had to raise money for Christian Aid (which raised an impressive £157) & the soft play bit came from a post I saw on UK Pagan about a bouncy castle of Stonehenge. The reason I kept losing people is whilst most of these things were happening I missed out doing them or something else during yesterday. Logical maybe but when you them all together it makes sense, it is not a case of what is happening in the future but your brain processing things that have either happened or you need to do, but somewhere in your head everything jumbles up into one place, either that or it was that I ate too much cheese last night.

Monday, 14 May 2012

I think I've forgotten something

You know those nagging feelings you get, sometimes it is teamed up with the paranoia did I remember to do whatever it is usually lock the back door or switch the oven off, which when you are walking down the road & then all of a sudden do a U turn must make the people in my neighbourhood think I am nuts, which admittedly many people accuse me of even my nearest & dearest. At times it makes me think I am paranoid or OCD, but I have come to the realisation that it is neither, as the other day whilst setting out for work I got halfway up the road & thought I don't remember locking the back door or switching of the oven, I went back to check & low & behold I hadn't. Last night I thought I had left the oven on when I went to check it was off, but I new there was something I had missed, I hadn't closed the window downstairs. So other than my tending to get distracted & general mind on too many other things than what is in logical order I find that it is good survival instinct. But there are times when I do things as a course of habit & pay no attention to doing it. Most of the time I double back on myself I find that the house is all safe & secure & I beat myself up for not having the confidence in myself not to have forgotten anything. I also forget my shifts at work a lot generally because I'm taking all the things I have to do or need to ponder on from the day. I have tried writing down my shifts but most of the time my shifts change so that is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. I often find that I have to phone in to find out, they must get fed up of me doing it & I very much apologise for that. I just thank goodness that...... oh the irony I can't remember where I was going that statement, I will kick myself later, nope still not there. I shall leave it at that & post a reply if I remember where I'm going with it. Yours forgetfully Pagan Chaplain

Friday, 11 May 2012

Is gay marriage doomed before we even get it?

With the political dust settling, with few people voting, the Conservatives are being told to scrap some of their policies including gay marriage & concentrate on squeezing more money out of the poor to line rich peoples pockets, sorry I meant get us out of the recession, sorry that should be credit crunch to sound more like a cereal rather than the monetary sink hole we are in. I have one question, why? Gay marriages will provide income for people, so therefore will boost the economy. Plus they want to ditch the nasty party image so giving equality would also do that. There are very few bills put through parliament that don't get someone's back up somewhere along the line. At one point my view on the Tory/coalition government was softening a little because of this (when I say softening it went from stone to house brick level of softening). So why are they backing down? There are some senior members of the church who are anti us, not all of them but so far the ones that are getting most of the press attention are. But the church does not own marriage & it never used to in this country until the Reformation. Plus there are religious groups who are backing the bill. They could kill 2 birds with one stone though at this time of year the only game birds in season are pigeons & Canada geese. Please everyone support the bill for gay marriage we are so close, we can't lose it now. This Birmingham Pride instead of a vigil we (Birmingham LGBT Interfaith Network) are doing a support of gay marriage ceremony, please come along & show your support.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


I see many people on Pagan forums with pictures of dragons on them, some of them have the notion they walk/fly/slither among us, it does kinda make me cringe a little as my theories on dragons are less than romantic. It would be cool to have them exist, perhaps that is just the fantasy geek inside of me coming out, but as per usual I have my theories on such creatures & more & more recently I'm finding people who agree with me & have found books & even saw a TV program that also backed it up. Dragons are in fact misinterpreted dinosaur bones, it is difficult to say that it isn't feasible, they are giant hulking great lizards, some even fly some swim in whole sea serpenty way, they lay eggs, they are found underground & it they are always put in a time long ago, in times when people didn't know much about the whole evolution thing, so this was how they explained them. If you compare cultures like the Chinese, Native Americans (though they are described as water monsters, thunder birds & thunder horses) & the Greeks you will find similarities, the dragons may not not look exactly alike but then the numbers of different species of dinosaur could account for that. It does become a bit cloudier when the mythologies of dragons come to a slightly more modern mythos, with Saints killing/taming dragons it is thought that it is actually a euphemism for a Pagan Viking leader just as the same that serpents were Druids. In the case of the Lambton Worm it could have been an exotic snake such as a python or just a regular adder or grass snake that people were scared of & when it was killed the tale was over exaggerated (the I caught a fish & it was this big tale springs to mind). But then what are people seeing when they see dragons today? Are they allowing their mind to wander to a place where fantasy & reality merge, like when I daydream or go into a meditative state? Are they channelling the spirits of the past? Or is it just a trick of the eye? Or is it a face that is put on spirit of place? Whatever it is I will still be spellbound by Skyrim & legends of these mysterious beasts whatever they are, as you should never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Facebook Game Notifications

I was one of these people, I would play Farmville etc, but now I don't. apart from the monotony of the games that used to take up hours of my time the biggest thing that annoyed me was the notifications when I achieved something or making requests for something I needed. It clogged up my social feed, anything profound that was said got lost in a mass of cutesy pictures that meant little more than I had way too much time on my hands. It filled the strong sunlight hours which I would not go out in unless absolutely necessary but that was all it did. I have got to the point where I'm getting fed up of request from other people to play a game that I left as it was so mind numbing that I was only habitually playing it. A colleague of my partner was having difficulties with the processing speed on his smart phone & had a friend whose only posts were 'HELP' repeatedly with no pictures or follow up dialogue & being the dutiful got onto the phone to friend wondering what was going on & being rather concerned, when his friend didn't answer panic set in until one call got through to him only to explain that he needed a budgie for his pet shop game. I have no objection to people playing the games but the clogging up of Facebook with all the pictures does get me annoyed, it never used to as I was one of those people, but now being an outsider it bugs me & the fact that you can buy vouchers for said games is a little worrying too as what's the point? So if you play them that is all well & good but could you make your requests internal between friends who do play them & keep your achievements hushed? as it is taking longer for me to scroll down my pages. I would also like to say sorry to those who had to put up with me doing the same for a couple of years.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why do people put so much stock in weather forecasting?

The wet weather did eventually make me grumble as my May Day plans of going to the Greenman Festival in Clun got cancelled due to the sustained rain turning the events field marshy & the level of the river Clun was dangerously high which is seems almost strange as it never really seems a deep river but hey ho nature is unpredictable at best. So why do we do weather forecasts? We only complain when they get it wrong, its sunny when it is supposed to rain, its howling a gale when there is meant to be a gentle breeze etc. Many people take what they say as truth rather than pattern reading & prediction & then they scoff at fortune telling saying it is all a load of hooey ignoring the fact that is what weather forecasting is. The term forecast is used in fortune telling too & they they use the word predicted a lot. So why is weather forecasting taken with less of a pinch of salt? There are computers that work it out yes, but computers can only deal with probabilities of data, fortune tellers on the other hand tend read a person's body language when they go to see them & can pretty much tell what is going on before the person has sat down, like it or not fortune tellers use psychology to help them predict patterns in a person's life, though I dare say many fortune tellers don't even realise they are doing it & think they have a mystical talent beyond all measure, people who are good at fortune telling are observant & will have noted in their brain certain patterns of behaviour which will also indicate how the person would normally act, the oracle that a fortune teller uses is a focus & as a prompt for things missed though sometimes the oracle will show up something entirely different but the reactions would be fairly similar. So if reading patterns & observing data & then making a prediction on what is seen is not for you take no notice to the weather forecast & pack for every eventuality of weather. I tend to do that anyway mainly because I forget to empty my bag & then wonder where either my waterproofs or sunscreen are when I'm panicking in a mad rush to leave the house on time, or is that just being forgetfully organised?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Do Animals Have Souls?

Well my pathworking went well on Tuesday, didn't write anything down just in case the rustling of paper distracted people from meditation & I had regained my ability to concentrate, it was well attended as far as faith focus session went & I was pleased the way it turned out. Various people in the pathworking saw animals in their visuals in their meditations, which being a wildwood working is not surprising I guess, but it was not the the last time that animals got brought up in a spiritual context that day as later on I got talking to our Catholic chaplain (which when we get into our little discussion modes can be quite interesting, sometimes we agree, invariably we don't, but agree to disagree & without coming much to a conclusion still shake hands). But we got talking about animals which is no surprise for those who know me & we got talking about animal conciousness, do they know the divine? Are we spiritually & otherwise superior to animals? He took the traditional Christian view on the subject, I being Pagan did not.

There was the argument about an animals ability to grasp concepts of the divine, can animals see the great divine, do they have their own version of it, Catholic chaplain said no, I said I'm not so sure what is there to stop animals having an idea of such concept, just because we don't necessarily know what they are thinking doesn't mean that they don't have any idea of such a concept, my mind drifted off to Neil Gaiman's Sandman novels & I did recommend he read them (lead balloon time). Then I found something that foxed him slightly more, the elephant graveyards & no clear disagreement happened. Then there was the argument that animals don't prepare their food & i pointed out that Japanese macaque monkeys do, they wash their food before eating & only in certain springs that it will also season their food too again the argument was not so clear cut, I should have also pointed to the point that bluebottles & little owls tend to prep food in their own ways too. Then there was the beautifying argument that kinda got lumped into the food argument, if I'd separated it out from it i could have pointed out that birds like the bower bird, magpies& adelie penguins decorate nests sometimes just because they like them or to impress a potential mate who will hopefully will, so they appreciate beauty, animals groom themselves & each other so understand the need for cleanliness & appearance, so what is there to stop them having spirit/souls.

I don't see myself as above other animals, but equal to, our brains maybe more developed & we may have move dexterity in our hands & tend to be better problem solvers, but isn't that more to do with the fact that we lack the natural defences of speed, agility, strength & noxious chemicals (barring the after effects of eating curry or over cooked cabbage). We may have built bigger houses but in that respect we could argue that we are getting in contact to our in bower bird & have the ability to use a larger array of tools, but without animals we would have little food either by direct or indirect production, they provide us with companionship, some fabrics, transport & awe at such beauty, how can you not feel connection with them on an equal level, we couldn't live without them, but I wouldn't like to put a bet on it the other way around. Also when the Pagan cultures that were & still are still around when the more modern communities came into contact with them they refer to animals as brother or sister as well as the plant kingdoms & they communicate with the spirit of them to live in harmony with them & they live freer lives believing it. We are not the uber species, many manials can kill us some which eat us like lions & wolves some don't like hippos & elephants, so let us not forget that. We maybe impressive in many ways but animals can be more so so don't write of their abilities in their minds yet.