Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Time Flies

Today, four days after winter solstice, in the northeast, we have gained a whole minute in the length of the daylight hours. Between now and summer solstice we will gain two minutes a day, until on June 21 the day will have stretched out to 15 hours 17 minutes. It will stay there for several days:

The midsummer event actually extends from June 1 to June 26. Then it starts losing one minute a day and then two minutes a day.
What this tells us is that a minute is important, and that minutes add up. The day at midwinter is only 9 hours and 4 minutes: over 6 hours shorter than the day at midsummer. Mother Nature responds to this change in the length of daylight hours by giving us first the spring flowering and then the summer and autumn fruiting of the crops.
Changes in daylight also seem to change our personal outlook on the world. In midsummer everything is much brighter, corresponding to the longer daylight, rather than the drab, colorless, depressive outlook we experience at midwinter. Thus we have to admit that the time of year definitely affects our outlook, so that it is not surprising that babies born in the winter months have a different attitude to life than those born in spring and summer months.
You can help the winter children by making sure that the nursery is brightly painted in sunshiny colors of gold and palest yellow, and that there is adequate light for several extra hours in each 24-hour period.
Be aware of changes in the outlook of people around you; and be grateful that these outlooks will change as the seasons progress.
Blessed Be Gavin and Yvonne

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Apparently the end of the fifth long-cycle Mayan calendar passed without even a whimper, let alone a bang. The question now becomes:

Does prediction work?

In the School of Wicca we have asked students to report psychic experiences; many such reports involve predictions. It is notable that the shorter-term (say, less than a year) seem to work better than longer-term predictions. We have begun to think that prediction is like a game of chess: You can see several moves ahead, but not too many. It may be that the Mayans saw ahead many thousands of years but then decided that their predictions would not be realizable after five cycles.

The longest-term and best prediction we know of is that of Mother Shipton, who foresaw such things as the motor-car, the submarine, and space travel, getting down to such details as the color of the astronauts' uniforms. Nostradamus is often quoted as being one of the best predictors of all time; but looking carefully at his rhymes, there are often many interpretations possible. Intentionally or not, he often used such ambiguities that his verses can be made to fit events in almost any decade since he fastened them down.

So if we give Mother Shipton and Nostradamus a thousand years and the Mayans 15 thousand, then to us it is not surprising that the winter solstice on the 21st went by without incident.

We were all packed, too. Shucks.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Catastrophy at Newtown

The unthinkable act at Newtown, gunning down at least 20 innocent children and at least eight innocent adults, will cause the usual uproar and hanky-twisting about gun control. Perhaps a couple of new laws will be noisily enacted restricting the right of a few of the more obvious psychopaths to own guns. But history teaches us that anyone who wants a gun--especially in the United States--can get one.
There's another control method, though: one that works successfully in England. That is:
ammunition control. You cannot buy ammunition for revolvers or handguns without a permit. Even the parts and pieces necessary for reloading require permits. If ammunition control were to go into effect in the United States today, then gradually the existing ammunition would be used up and gun control would become effectively unnecessary. Even St. Billy Graham might start sleeping without a gun within hand's reach. If we then pushed neighboring nations to enact similar legislation, we would overcome the massacres that occur continually in Mexico, and would even reduce Canada's gun murder rate, already low.
The firearm murder rate in the United States is twenty-two (22) times the rate in England.
It has been said that it's an attitude to violence that causes the statistics to be so different between England and the United States; however, statistics show that violence is just as prevalent in England as it is in the United States. The big difference is the firearm murder rate. The Brits see the same violent TV shows that we see; and many of us have historical family roots in England, so it's not a matter of DNA. The big difference is the availability of ammunition. You can't fire a gun without a shell. So let's push for immediate control of ammunition; what do you say?
Then the gun advocates can fondle their trophy weapons all day long, but they'll be inoperative. Viagra, anyone?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We are Back

Gavin writes: Hi, guys and gals. We're back. I am sufficiently recovered from a series of six operations ... or was it seven? ... to be able to promise that we'll be blogging on a regular basis again. Right now I'm off on one of my favorite rants, having just watched the latest trash on Stonehenge. (You should know that many years ago I worked in the neighborhood of Stonehenge at the British Army's missile range on Salisbury Plain. The soil there is a thin layer of humus covering the chalk. The army found that even driving a tracked vehicle across it would churn up the surface.)

We have watched with dismayed amazement as the various "highly intelligent, expert" archaeologists tried to figure out how the early peoples moved the stones.
To us it's extremely simple. If you look at the thermoclines, you will see that in the period when Stonehenge was built, temperatures in winter were just a trifle colder--perhaps 1 degree--than in the present day. In wintertime the ground on Salisbury Plain gets frozen hard.
We have suggested for many years that the way to move rocks is to slide them on ice: Throw down some water overnight. Let it freeze. Slide your stones.
Anyway, the archaeologists will continue to come up with fanciful explanations and methodologies. Students will grub around and find new artifacts. Let's let 'em have their fun.
On another subject, which similarly seems to us to be self-evident: When we first founded the School, we had many many newcomers seeking information. There were very few books from which they could get "odd" (make that deviant or unconventional) notions. Thus we were able to have them experiment with such things as the size of sacred circles and the best materials with which to cast those circles. It turned out that there was a connection between the size of modern circles and the ancient stone circles, and that electrically conducting materials made more effective circles than non-conductors. Yet today's self-styled Witches constantly ignore this research and go their happy ways casting imaginary circles with beautifully wrought swords--which are in and of themselves magnetic and thus disturb any psychic phenomena. As with the archaeologists, we're going to let them go their happy ways. We won't tell them that more experiments are now being done using ellipses instead of circles. An ellipse does have two focal points, and careful measurement of the old stone circles shows that they were all "squashed": more like an ellipse than like a circle.

Okay. Gavin's rants are done for today. Here comes Yvonne's. Blessed be all.

Yvonne writes:
Because of the kindness and generosity of a friend, I've been able now to read a book recommended in Free Inquiry, the magazine of the Council for Secular Humanism at the Center for Inquiry: freeinquiry@secularhumanism.org, http://www.secularhumanism.org The book itself? Bothwell's Prince of War. Pick it up yourself ... if you've got a strong stomach. If you're a recovering Christian, as I am, you have probably heard the term whited sepulchre: a tomb or crypt whitewashed on the outside, containing rotting corpses. The phrase doesn't even hint at the life-long behavior patterns exhibited by Saint Billy Graham of the Southern Baptist Convention and described with fully documented backup in Bothwell's book. You'd better have lots of aspirin handy when you pick the thing up.
It documents insistent behavior that I think of as a song: "Brown Noses at the White House" and lots more. War-mongering is only one expression of the sainted mindset. I recommend the book as a glimpse at the dark side of Christianity--which we all know exists. But again: You'd better have a strong stomach.