Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Devil Is A Theologian

The Devil Is A Theologian


By Mark Judge

EXCERPT:Fr. Guarnizo has JUST ISSUED A STATEMENT about what actually happened, and I believe him. In the original version of the story in The Washington Post, written by Michelle Boorstein - a reporter whose problems I will address shortly - it appeared as if Barbara Johnson had arrived at her mother's funeral, and in a casual chat with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass had introduced her girlfriend. Then she was denied communion.

Why didn't I listen to my instincts, and the wisdom I have acquired about the left over the years?

The left lies.

And they lie in particularly slippery ways. I have written several articles over the last couple years about one of my favorite films, "The Exorcist," and one of the deepest observations of the book and film is that the demonic does not necessarily come storming down the street on horses with flaming swords held high. It plays word games. It shames and bullies. It attacks the soul through sexual dehumanization. When Christ was in the desert fasting, Satan did not arrive in a thunderous chimera of lightning. He attempted to fool Jesus by quoting scripture. As Pope Benedict noted in his book about Jesus, "It turns out that the devil is a theologian!" Indeed.

Fr. Guarnizo has now issued his own account of what happened. According to him, Barbara Johnson met with Fr. Guarnizo before Mass and intentionally introduced her girlfriend as her "lover." Johnson then left, and when Fr. Guarnizo attempted to follow her, Johnson's lover blocked his way. When Johnson presented herself for communion, Fr. Guarnizo quietly whispered to her that he could not give her the Eucharist. She then went to a Eucharistic minister a few feet away, who gave her communion. THE REST

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pagan Blog Project B Is For Buckthorn

Pagan Blog Project B Is For Buckthorn
I love working with herbs. When I first started working with them I went to Ebay and bought a huge assortment of herbs to use in my work. While some of the small, carefully labeled packets are still unused I have never regretted that initial purchase. There is nothing worse than not having the right ingredients for whatever I am working on be it oatmeal cookies, a good luck amulet or a spell bottle. This week I chose to write about Buckthorn ("RHAMNUS CATHARTICA" ) as I am working on protection amulets for my Etsy Shop and Buckthorn happens to be one of the necessary ingredients for these particular amulets. There are many type of Buckthorn, including both deciduous and evergreen varieties. The Rhamnus cathartica species, also called Common Buckthorn, is one of the deciduous types. This particular shrub grows up to 25 feet tall, has green leaves and gray/brown bark. The black berries are slightly poisonous to humans but Buckthorn is still used to make an herbal laxative. Buckthorn's magical properties are: protection, wishes ">Element: WaterPlanet: SaturnGender: Feminine

Parts used: Bark, branches, leaves and berries. Scott Cunningham notes that the bark must be aged at least two years before using internally.

Medicinally Buckthorn was used similar to Syrup of Ipecac is today, as a purgative for children however due to the severity of the reaction it fell out of use with humans. Buckthorn has also been used as a laxative in the form of teas, tonics or syrups with sweet ingredients added to make it more palatable. In addition to its magical and medicinal properties, Buckthorn bark and leaves are used to make yellow dye to color fabrics and if collect before they ripen its berries, when mixed with gum-arabic and limewater, form the pigment 'Sap or bladder green" for water color painters.Scott Cunningham relays the following legend in his Encyclopedia of Magical herbs:It is said that if you sprinkle buckthorn in a circle and dance within it under a full moon, an elf will appear. The dancer must notice the elf and say "Halt and grant my boon!" before the creature flees. The elf will then grant one wish. Perhaps this will be part of my next full moon ritual, if I miss the elf at least I'll have fun dancing and he'll have fun watching from his hiding spot. Sources for this article:

Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbshttp://www.paganlore.com

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Witch Is A Healer A Sage A Mystic And Very Powerful The Powers That Be Fear This Feminine Power


"I'd never thought about witchcraft like that: A FLEXIBLE, CATCH-ALL REPOSITORY FOR ANYTHING THAT UPSETS AUTHORITY AND STRUCTURE. Even in the Bible a witch is defined as someone who does something "that we do not do."

Witchcraft is very much about power, and we continue to be interested in it because of that! Of course, what is threatening to an early modern religious system is not threatening in the same way today. We have different sources of authority. Back then, there was no difference between government and church and science; today, we've split those loci, but that question of power is still one of the reasons we find witches so intoxicating and enticing. What they represent is incredibly exciting: the idea that you have a set of secret powers that no one can perceive.

Yeah, and yet even that idea can get twisted back around to serve the place of power where government/church/science is still connected. I'm thinking of Todd Akin saying women's bodies have the ability to shut down a rape. If that were true, we'd be witches. And almost, what a cool fantasy that we could do that, and how terrible that even that fantasy doesn't get to serve us at all."

"So, I have a question for you that I'm not even sure how to formulate. I am curious about: where do witches start? What's the oldest mention of a witch? You talk about Exodus, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." I think I've always assumed that the idea of a witch is basically as old as women and fear. But I don't know!

That's a good question and I don't know if I can answer it. For one, there are so many different dimensions of witchcraft. Today, there are still examples all over the world where people (oftentimes children) are accused of being witches and scapegoated, just as in a witch trial. There are whole populations of children in Central Africa who have been isolated because their families or villages cast them out for witchcraft. So, it's hard to say: witchcraft is hard to trace back to a single idea, and each case arises out of specific factors. The word is translated differently in different places, too. Even in the Bible it's hard to understand the difference between witch, sorcerer, wizard, necromancer.

But essentially there are two pieces to the witch idea: scapegoating, and power. It's safe to say that in any culture, at any time, we might have looked for ways to scapegoat people who are on the outs.

Or people who have power that we don't want them to have.

And there are always ways to punish people who have gained that kind of power. But I can't identify a real starting point for witches: I'm a little uncomfortable drawing any broad trans-cultural conclusion about witchcraft.

It is interesting, though, that the idea is almost inherently syncretic. It flips from folk to religion and back, it seems easily transmissible.

Yeah. I will mention that there's a certain idea about witchcraft and colonialism-the idea that witchcraft is imported into places through colonization, and intense and imported religious activity might bring about this Western idea of a witch.

Where does the like, Walgreens witch come from? The super-simplified pop culture symbol of the witch?

There are definitely very old woodcuts of witches that are very Hollywood-esque. I don't know exactly how to answer that question, but I can tell you where the major symbols come from.


So the broom comes from early modern descriptions of what witches do. It shows up in early modern and some medieval woodcuts, and one big feminist interpretation is to see the broom as a phallic symbol, of course. One thing that's different between the Hollywood version and these old woodcuts is that the early modern witches were supposed to carry the broom with the straw facing forward, and they'd melt a candle into the straw to light their way.

That is really beautiful, actually.

Yeah, and there was this sense that witches could send their souls out of their bodies to fly around at night, and the broom is part of that."

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