Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My two corporate hypochondriacs are probably very scared with this swine flu. I already heard from Daniel that he will not be going to any events or promotions that involve a large group of people.
Kevin and I just got back from mexico! There is no doubt in my mind that he will start experiencing symptoms of swine flu. He may have already gone to the doctor knowing him! I feel fine!
I have to be at Jackson's school at 6:30 in the morning to help put up the new playground. Urgh. The worst part of that is making Jackson get up that early with me! Urgh!
Supposedly I will have a functioning kitchen tomorrow. Please!!! I want to cook!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Freaking two days in to a 3 day cleanse. I am starving, mean, and extremely agitated!
Interviewing two people for Oklahoma GM position. I spoke with both of them yesterday and both o them interviewed very positively for the position. Each of them definitely had their strong points and seemed quite qualified for the job. What is interesting is that they both have the same negative issue which has bothered me. They are both above 30. Each with one child. Both of them voluntarily quit their previous jobs ( no correlation to interviewing with Coyote) without having another job lined up. That seems very odd and irresponsible to me. I will delve into this further with each of them on our next interview.
Everyone has a story so we will see where their various stories lead us. Good Luck!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I love the special events weekends! I was surprised to see that San Antonio did better on Friday night then Saturday night during fiesta! But great job! Austin awesome check average last night. Very pleased!
I have been told that my kitchen will be in working order at the end of the week. Please!!! It's been a month since I have been able to use my kitchen. I am definitely tired of eating out with Jackson. I don't even know the last time he ate a vegetable! But It's going to look beautiful and I can't wait to use my new oven.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

As usual Memphis anniversary party was awesome. The theme was Disco. They put down a disco floor and played disco all night. Jacqui and I danced for hours. The girls looked fun. They were very colorful. I was very young when the disco era was happening but I don't remember the dress being so colorful. The girls were very sparkly but all their outfits were multicolored. A combination of the 60's and the 70's. Kudos to the Memphis staff for always throwing a great party!
Went to the New Orleans bar yesterday. The new girl needs some work. Someone dared me to bark like the bouncers did. I did it but I have to admit that it must be hard barking witty remarks for 8 hours.
Unfortunately for us Jazzfest does not help us with sales. Most people spend all day at the fairgrounds eating , drinking, and watching bands. By the time they get back to the french quarter they are spent. It actually hurts us more then it helps us.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Got back yesterday from Cancun. Kevin and I met the architects down there and we have some killer ideas to resurrect the space. Plus we will definitely have a Coyote Ugly Drunk bus where we pick people up at their hotels and drop them off!!! Kevin was in rare form. We went out with the architects and scouted our area to see how many people walked by in an hour. While doing this we imbibed many tequilas! It always seems like a good idea while your doing it, but the next day you know you were an idiot!
My boyfriend was supposed to meet me in Cancun on Friday night. He spent 6 hours at the New Orleans airport waiting for a plane to Houston. Houston had severe weather and he had to spend the night at a hotel. The next day he ended up spending the whole day at the Houston airport waiting for a flight to Cancun but again the severe weather grounded most planes. He had paid a $100 upgrade fee to go first class. That upgrade gave him the right to go into The Continental Airlines
president's Club. Free drinks, free food and showers. Let's just say he took full advantage of all those privileges. To end the story, he ended up going back o New Orleans and never seeing Cancun.
Haven't heard from Travis about French Quarterfest yet?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cancun is beautiful. On the flight down here I sat next to a Navy Seal, I know this because he showed me his ID. He started with " I bet you are a Leo , so smart and comfortable in your own skin" . Then " I like to try and gage people . Your toes tell me that you are a natural born leader. You take care of yourself but you don't need makeup because you are naturally beautiful." "what is throwing me off is that your nail color is different on your hAnds then your toes. " I countered these lines with giggles and some insights if my own. But my final words to him were " do you think you can use those pathetic pick up lines on the flight attendent so I can get a pen ?"
Is it weird to not match your toenail color to your fingernail color?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last year we had a female manager quit claiming that she needed to move home to take care of the legalities surrounding her mom's death. Yesterday chantel just ran into her and her mom whom looked very much alive!!! LOL
I had Jackson tested by an English specialist . I have been worried that he wAs falling behind. The teacher told me today that he tested 2 years ahead!! She also told me that all the students from his school have tested very high!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh my god my friend just told me that her 70 year old mother just asked her what "teabagging" was? I am laughing so hard!!!
Back from Easter. Off to see Cancun space and meeting the architects. Very close to setting date for Oklahoma City!!
I may have said this before but how wonderful is my son? A few more months and he will have the 9 inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love. What a great kid!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I had a bad dream last night and I woke upset. I was set to write a blog that got a lot of angry feelings off my chest. But I won't because the good of the day definitely outways the bad. My son is still sleeping. He and his cousin created a fort and slept in their last night. I just went in and watched them both sleeping. So precious.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Good day at work today. I am feeling strong and productive. Kevin called me up and told me that there was a GM applicant that practiced Wicca. " Lil do you know anything about Wicca?" All I know about Wicca is that 25% of the storylines on the show " The Haunting" revolve around people practicing Wicca. Maybe we can have a Wicca Night. People can pay to watch Wiccans conjure up spirits at the various bars. Maybe we can conjure up some spirits that haunt the lazy girls!!. That would be awesome! Only kidding. To each his own. I am sure there are some very wonderful Wiccans. . I truly know nothing about Wicca.
I asked Kevin to stain the OKlahoma city bar Walnut and paint the walls red. I just received samples of the bar and the walls. The bar looks black and not walnut and the walls look orange not red. Thinking positive, I hated the mustard color in Memphis but now it has grown on me so maybe the orange will grow on me to. DON"T SLOW THE PROCESS!!!

Wicca (IPA: /ˈwɪkə/) is a neopagan, nature-based[1] religion. It was popularised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant, who at the time called it Witchcraft and its adherents "the Wica".[2]
Wiccans, as followers of Wicca are now commonly known, typically worship a God[3] (traditionally the Horned God) and a Goddess (traditionally the Triple Goddess), who are sometimes represented as being a part of a greater pantheistic Godhead, and as manifesting themselves as various polytheistic deities. Other characteristics of Wicca include the ritual use of magic, a liberal code of morality and the celebration of eight seasonal-based festivals.
There is dispute as to what actually constitutes Wicca. Initially, it referred to the lineage of one of Gardner's rivals, Charles Cardell,[4] although in the 1960s it began to refer instead only to lineages stemming from Gardner and operating as initiatory Mystery Priesthoods (such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca). These are now collectively known in North America as British Traditional Wicca.[5] A third usage, which has grown in popularity in recent years, and which was debatably the original usage,[6] considers Wicca to include other forms of Goddess-oriented neopagan witchcraft that are similar to but independent of that lineage, including Cochrane's Craft, Dianic Wicca and the 1734 Tradition; these are sometimes collectively termed Eclectic Wicca.[7][8][9]
Contents [hide]
1 Beliefs
1.1 Theology
1.2 Afterlife
1.3 Magic
1.4 Morality
1.5 The Five Elements
1.6 Symbols
1.7 Scripture
2 Practices
2.1 Ritual practices
2.2 The Wheel of the Year
2.3 Rites of passage
2.4 Book of Shadows
3 Traditions
3.1 Covens and Solitary Wiccans
4 History
4.1 Origins
4.2 Later developments
4.3 Demographics
5 Etymology
6 Wicca and paganism
7 Acceptance of Wiccans
8 References and footnotes
9 Further reading
10 External links

The Greco-Roman goddess Selene, one of many goddesses equated with the Wiccan Goddess
Main article: Wiccan views of divinity
Although Wiccan views on theology vary, the vast majority of Wiccans venerate a Goddess and a God. These are variously understood through the frameworks of pantheism (as being dual aspects of a single godhead), duotheism (as being two polar opposites) or polytheism (being comprised of many lesser deities). In some pantheistic and duotheistic conceptions, deities from diverse cultures may be seen as aspects of the Goddess or God.[9]
[edit]The God and the Goddess
For most Wiccans, Wicca is a duotheistic religion worshipping both a God and a Goddess, who are seen as complementary polarities (akin to the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang), and "embodiments of a life-force manifest in nature."[10] The God is sometimes symbolised as the Sun, and the Goddess as the Moon.
Traditionally the God is viewed as a Horned God, associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality and hunting.[11] The Horned God is given various names according to the tradition, and these include Cernunnos, Pan, Atho and Karnayna. At other times the God is viewed as the Green Man,[12] a traditional figure in art and architecture of Europe, or as a Sun God[13] (particularly at the festival of Litha, or the summer solstice). Another depiction of the God is as the Oak King and the Holly King, one who rules over Spring and Summer, the other who rules over Autumn and Winter.[14]

The antlered god from the Gundestrup cauldron, dated to the 1st century BC, depicting the Celtic pagan god Cernunnos and equated with the Horned God of Wicca
The Goddess is usually portayed as a Triple Goddess with aspects of 'Maiden', 'Mother' and 'Crone',[15] though she is also commonly depicted as a Moon Goddess.[16] Some Wiccans see the Goddess as pre-eminent, since she contains and conceives all; the God is the spark of life and inspiration within her, simultaneously her lover and her child.[17] This is reflected in the traditional structure of the coven.[18] In some traditions, notably feminist Dianic Wicca, the Goddess is seen as complete unto herself, and the God is not worshipped at all, though this has been criticised by members of other traditions.
According to Gerald Gardner, the gods of Wicca are prehistoric gods of the British Isles: a Horned God and a Great Mother goddess.[19] Modern scholarship has cast doubt on this claim, however various different horned gods and mother goddesses were worshipped in the British Isles in the ancient and early mediaeval period.[20]

The Hindu Goddess Kali
The duotheism of the God and the Goddess is often extended into a kind of dual pantheism through the belief, in the words of Dion Fortune, that "all gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess"[21] —that is, the gods and goddesses of all cultures are, respectively, aspects of one supernal god and goddess. For instance, a Wiccan may regard the Germanic Eostre, Hindu Kali, and Christian Virgin Mary each as manifestations of one supreme Goddess—and, likewise, the Celtic Cernunnos, the ancient Greek Dionysus and the Judeo-Christian Yahweh as aspects of a single, archetypal God.
A more polytheistic approach holds the various gods and goddesses to be separate and distinct entities in their own right. Pantheistic systems may conceive of deities not as literal personalities but as metaphorical archetypes or thoughtforms.[22] While these conceptualizations of deity—duotheism, polytheism and pantheism—may seem radically different from each other, they need not be considered mutually exclusive: Some Wiccans may find it spiritually beneficial (or magically practical) to shift among one or another of these systems, depending upon time and circumstance.[citation needed]
Wiccan writers Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone have postulated that Wicca is becoming more polytheistic as it matures, tending to embrace a more traditionally pagan worldview.[23]
Gardner stated that a being higher than the God and the Goddess was recognised by the witches as the Prime Mover, but remains unknowable.[24] Patricia Crowther has called this supreme godhead Dryghten,[25] and Scott Cunningham called it "The One".[26] This pantheistic or panentheistic view of God shares similarities with beliefs such as the Hindu Brahman.
Wicca is essentially an immanent religion, and for some Wiccans, this idea also involves elements of animism. A key belief in Wicca is that the Goddess and the God (or the goddesses and gods) are able to manifest in personal form, most importantly through the bodies of Priestesses and Priests via the rituals of Drawing down the Moon or Drawing down the Sun.
Beliefs in the afterlife vary among Wiccans,[27] although reincarnation is a traditional Wiccan teaching. Raymond Buckland said that a soul reincarnates into the same species over many lives in order to learn and advance one's soul,[28] but this belief is not universal. A popular saying amongst Wiccans is "once a witch, always a witch", indicating that Wiccans are the reincarnation of earlier witches.[29]
Typically, Wiccans who believe in reincarnation believe that prior to this, the soul rests for a while in the Otherworld or Summerland, known in Gardner's writings as the "ectasy of the Goddess".[30] Many Wiccans believe in the ability to contact the spirits of the dead who reside in the Otherworld through spirit mediums and ouija boards, particularly on the sabbat of Samhain, though some disagree with this practice, such as High Priest Alex Sanders, who stated "they are dead; leave them in peace".[31] This belief was likely influenced by Spiritualism, which was very popular at the time, and which Gardner had had experience with.[30]
Despite some belief in it, Wicca does not place an emphasis on the afterlife, focusing instead on the current one; as the historian Ronald Hutton remarked, "the instinctual position of most pagan witches, therefore, seems to be that if one makes the most of the present life, in all respects, then the next life is more or less certainly going to benefit from the process, and so one may as well concentrate on the present".[30]
Wiccans believe in magic that can be manipulated through the form of witchcraft or sorcery. Some spell it as "magick", a term coined by occultist Aleister Crowley, though this spelling is more commonly associated with the religion of Thelema than Wicca. Wiccans cast spells during ritual practices inside a sacred circle, in an attempt to bring about real changes (which are further explained in in the "Ritual practices" section). Common Wiccan spells include those used for healing, for love, for fertility, or to banish negative influences.[32]
Many Wiccans agree with the definition of magic offered by ceremonial magicians.[33] Aleister Crowley, for instance, declared that magic was "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will", and MacGregor Mathers stated that it was "the science of the control of the secret forces of nature".[33] Wiccans believe magic to be a law of nature, as yet misunderstood by contemporary science.[33] Other Wiccans do not claim to know how magic works, merely believing that it does because they have seen it work for them.[30]
Many early Wiccans, such as Alex Sanders and Doreen Valiente, referred to their own magic as "white magic", which contrasted with "black magic", which they associated with evil and Satanism. Some modern Wiccans however have stopped using this terminology, disagreeing that the colour black should have any associations with evil.[34]
The scholars of religion, Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge, claimed, in 1985, that Wicca had "reacted to secularization by a headlong plunge back into magic" and that it was a reactionary religion which would soon die out. This view was heavily criticised in 1999 by the historian Ronald Hutton, who claimed that the evidence displayed the very opposite, that "a large number [of Wiccans] were in jobs at the cutting edge [of scientific culture], such as computer technology."[30]
Main article: Wiccan morality
Wiccan morality is largely based on the Wiccan Rede, which states "an it harm none, do what ye will". This is usually interpreted as a declaration of the freedom to act, along with the necessity of taking responsibility for what follows from one's actions and minimising harm to oneself and others.[35] Another common element of Wiccan morality is the Law of Threefold Return which holds that whatever benevolent or malevolent actions a person performs will return to that person with triple force,[36] similar to the eastern idea of karma.
Many Wiccans also seek to cultivate a set of eight virtues mentioned in Doreen Valiente's Charge of the Goddess,[37] these being mirth, reverence, honour, humility, strength, beauty, power and compassion. In Valiente's poem, they are ordered in pairs of complementary opposites, reflecting a dualism that is common throughout Wiccan philosophy. Some lineaged Wiccans also observe a set of 161 Wiccan Laws, commonly called the Craft Laws or Ardanes. Valiente, one of Gardner's original high priestesses, argued that these rules were most likely invented by Gerald Gardner himself in mock-archaic language as the by-product of inner conflict within his Bricket Wood coven.[38][39]
Although Gerald Gardner initially demonstrated an aversion to homosexuality, claiming that it brought down "the curse of the goddess",[40] it is now generally accepted in all traditions of Wicca.
[edit]The Five Elements
Wiccans believe in the five classical elements, although unlike in ancient Greece, they are seen as symbolic as opposed to literal. These five elements are invoked during many magical rituals, notably when consecrating a magic circle. The five elements are; Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Aether, or "Spirit", which unites the other four.
Various analogies have been devised to explain the concept of the five elements, for instance, the Wiccan Ann-Marie Gallagher used that of a tree. A tree is composed of Earth (with the soil and plant matter), Water (sap and moisture), Fire (through photosynthesis) and Air (the creation of oxygen from carbon dioxide). All these are united through Spirit.[41]
Traditionally, each element has been associated with a cardinal point of the compass; Air with east, Fire with south, Water with west, Earth with North and the Spirit with centre.[41] However, some Wiccans, such as Frederic Lamond, have claimed that the set cardinal points are only those applicable to the geography of southern England, where Wicca evolved, and that Wiccans should determine which directions best suit each element in their region, for instance, those living on the east coast of North America should invoke Water in the east and not the west because the colossal body of water, the Atlantic ocean, is to their east.[42]
The five elements are symbolised by the five points of the pentagram, the most prominently used symbol of Wicca.[43]

Triple Goddess symbol of waxing, full and waning moon
Various different symbols are used by Wiccans, similar to the use of the crucifix by Christians or the Star of David by Jews. The most notable of these is the pentagram, which has five points, each representing one of the five classical elements in Wicca (earth, air, fire, water and spirit) and also the idea that the human, with its five appendages, is a microcosm of the universe. Other symbols that are used include the triquetra and the triple Moon symbol of the Triple Goddess.
In Wicca there is no set sacred text such as the Christian Bible or Islamic Qur'an, but there are various texts that were contained in Gerald Gardner's Book of Shadows. Many of these texts he claimed to have at least partially rewritten, since the rituals of the group into which he was initiated were fragmentary. The most notable among these is the Charge of the Goddess, which contained material from Charles Godfrey Leland's Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches (1899) and the works of 19th-20th century occultist Aleister Crowley. Other texts which are important to Wiccan beliefs and rituals include Eko Eko Azarak and the Wiccan laws.

[edit]Ritual practices

A black handled athame and a white-handled boline, two ritual knives in Wicca with quite different purposes.
When practising magic and casting spells, as well as when celebrating various festivals, Wiccans use a variety of rituals. In typical rites, the coven or solitary assembles inside a ritually cast and purified magic circle. Casting the circle may involve the invocation of the "Guardians" of the cardinal points, alongside their respective classical element; Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Once the circle is cast, a seasonal ritual may be performed, prayers to the God and Goddess are said, and spells are sometimes worked.
Common tools in the Wiccan practice include a special set of magical tools. These usually include a knife called an athame, a wand, a pentacle and a chalice, but other tools include a broomstick known as a besom, a cauldron, candles, incense and a curved blade known as a boline. An altar is usually present in the circle, on which ritual tools are placed and representations of the God and the Goddess may be displayed.[44] Before entering the circle, some traditions fast for the day, and/or ritually bathe. After a ritual has finished, the God, Goddess and Guardians are thanked and the circle is closed.
A sensationalised aspect of Wicca, particularly in Gardnerian Wicca, is the traditional practice of working in the nude, also known as skyclad. This practice seemingly derives from a line in Aradia, Charles Leland's supposed record of Italian witchcraft.[citation needed] Skyclad working is mostly the province of Initiatory Wiccans, who are outnumbered by the less strictly observant Eclectics.[citation needed] When they work clothed, Wiccans may wear robes with cords tied around the waist, "Renaissance-faire"-type clothing or normal street clothes. Each full moon, and in some cases a new moon, is marked with a ritual called an Esbat.
[edit]The Wheel of the Year
Wiccans also follow the Wheel of the Year and celebrate its eight festivals known as Sabbats.[45] Four of these, the cross-quarter days, are Greater Sabbats, coinciding with Celtic fire festivals, and these were initially the only four sabbats. The other four are known as Lesser Sabbats, and comprise of the solstices and the equinoxes, and were only adopted in 1958 by the Bricket Wood coven.[46] The names of these holidays are often taken from Germanic pagan and Celtic polytheistic holidays. However, the festivals are not reconstructive in nature nor do they often resemble their historical counterparts, instead exhibiting a form of universalism. Ritual observations may display cultural influence from the holidays from which they take their name as well as influence from other unrelated cultures.[47] The eight sabbats, beginning with Samhain, which has long been thought of as Celtic new year:
Samhain - Greater Sabbat of the dead
Yule - Lesser Sabbat, the Winter solstice
Imbolc - Greater Sabbat
Ostara - Lesser Sabbat, the Spring equinox
Beltane or May Eve - Greater Sabbat
Midsummer, or Litha - Lesser Sabbat, the Summer solstice
Lughnasadh, or Lammas - Greater Sabbat of the Harvest
Mabon - Lesser Sabbat, the Autumn equinox
Gardner made use of the English names of these holidays; "The four great Sabbats are Candlemass[sic], May Eve, Lammas, and Halloween; the equinoxes and solstices are celebrated also."[48], but other names are now also commonly found.
[edit]Rites of passage
When a person joins a coven and begins to study the craft, they go through an initiation ritual. In this way, all British Traditional Wiccans can trace their initiatory lineage back to Gerald Gardner, and from him to the New Forest coven. Gardner himself claimed that there was a traditional length of "a year and a day" between when a person began studying the craft and when they were initiated, although he frequently broke this rule with initiates.
In British Traditional Wicca, initiation only accepts someone into the first degree. To proceed to the second degree, an initiate has to go through another ceremony, in which they name and describe the uses of the ritual tools and implements.[49] It is also at this ceremony that they are given their craft name.[49] By holding the rank of second degree, a BTW is therefore capable of initiating others into the craft, or founding their own semi-autonomous covens.[49]
The third degree is the highest in BTW, and it involves the participation of the Great Rite, either actual or symbolically, as well as ritual flagellation.[50] By holding this rank, an initiate is capable of forming covens that are entirely autonomous of their parent coven.[50]
The Cochranian tradition, based upon the teachings of Robert Cochrane, does not have the three degrees of initiation, merely having the stages of novice and initiate.
Some solitary Wiccans also perform self-initiation rituals, to dedicate themselves to becoming a Wiccan. Several self-initiation rituals have been published, in books designed for solitary Wiccans such as in Scott Cunningham's book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

A handfasting ceremony at Avebury in England, which occurred during Beltane in 2005
Handfasting is another celebration held by Wiccans, and is the commonly used term for their weddings. Some Wiccans observe the practice of a trial marriage for a year and a day, which some traditions hold should be contracted on Lammas (Lughnasadh), as this was the traditional time for trial, "Telltown marriages" among the Irish. A common marriage vow in Wicca is "for as long as love lasts" instead of the traditional Christian "till death do us part".
The first ever known Wiccan wedding ceremony took part in 1960 amongst the Bricket Wood coven, between Frederic Lamond and his first wife, Gillian.[30]
Infants in Wiccan families may be involved in a ritual called a Wiccaning, which is analogous to a Christening. The purpose of this is to present the infant to the God and Goddess for protection. Despite this, in accordance with the importance put on free will in Wicca, the child is not necessarily expected or required to follow a Pagan path should they not wish to do so when they get older.
[edit]Book of Shadows
Main article: Book of Shadows
In Wicca a private journal or core religious text known as a Book of Shadows is kept by practitioners, similar to a grimoire used by magicians.[51] In lineaged groups, such as Gardnerian Wicca, the Book's contents are kept secret from anyone but the members of the lineage concerned (i.e., those initiating and initiated by a particular coven). However, several proposed versions of the Book have been published.[52][53] Sections of these published versions, such as the "Wiccan Rede" and the "Charge of the Goddess", as well as other published writings about Wicca, have been adopted by non-initiates, or eclectic Wiccans. For many eclectics, they create their own personal books, whose contents are often only known by themselves.

See also: List of Wiccan organisations and Category:Wiccan traditions
A "tradition" in Wicca usually implies the transfer of a lineage by initiation. There are many such traditions[54][55] and there are also many solitary or Eclectic Wiccans who do not align themselves with any particular lineage, some working alone, some joining in covens. There are also other forms of witchcraft which do not claim origins in Wicca. Traditions within the United States are well described in Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, and Chas S. Clifton's Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America.[56]
The lack of consensus in establishing definitive categories in Wiccan communities has often resulted in confusion between Lineaged Wicca and the emergence of Eclectic traditions. This can be seen in the common description of many Eclectic traditions as traditional/initiatory/lineaged as well. In the United States, where the confusion usually arises, Wiccans in the various lineages extending from Gardner may describe themselves as British Traditional Wiccans.
[edit]Covens and Solitary Wiccans
Lineaged Wicca is organised into covens of initiated priests and priestesses. Covens are autonomous, and are generally headed by a High Priest and a High Priestess working in partnership, being a couple who have each been through their first, second and third degrees of initiation. Occasionally the leaders of a coven are only second-degree initiates, in which case they come under the rule of the parent coven. Initiation and training of new priesthood is most often performed within a coven environment, but this is not a necessity, and a few initiated Wiccans are unaffiliated with any coven.[28]
A commonly quoted Wiccan tradition holds that the ideal number of members for a coven is thirteen, though this is not held as a hard-and-fast rule.[28] Indeed, many U.S. covens are far smaller, though the membership may be augmented by unaffiliated Wiccans at "open" rituals. When covens grow beyond their ideal number of members, they often split (or "hive") into multiple covens, yet remain connected as a group. A grouping of multiple covens is known as a grove in many traditions.
Initiation into a coven is traditionally preceded by a waiting period of at least a year and a day. A course of study may be set during this period. In some covens a "dedication" ceremony may be performed during this period, some time before the initiation proper, allowing the person to attend certain rituals on a probationary basis. Some solitary Wiccans also choose to study for a year and a day before their self-dedication to the religion.
In contrast, Eclectic Wiccans are more often than not solitary practitioners. Some of these "solitaries" do, however, attend gatherings and other community events, but reserve their spiritual practices (Sabbats, Esbats, spell-casting, worship, magical work, etc.) for when they are alone. Eclectic Wiccans now significantly outnumber lineaged Wiccans, and their beliefs and practices tend to be much more varied.[57]

Main article: History of Wicca
The origins of Wicca are much debated. Gerald Gardner brought the religion to public attention in the early 1950s. He claimed that, after returning to England on his retirement from a career spent in Asia, he encountered a coven of witches located in the New Forest in southern England, (the "New Forest coven") and was initiated into it. In line with the popular Witch-cult hypothesis, he claimed that the religion practised by the coven was a survival of a pagan religion of pre-historic Europe, known as Witchcraft to its adherents. Subsequently fearing that the religion would die out,[58] he published details of its beliefs and practices in a series of books: his novel High Magic's Aid (1949) and his non-fiction works Witchcraft Today (1954) and The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959). These books helped to attract many new initiates to a coven that he formed, the London-based Bricket Wood coven.
Gardner reported that the rites of the New Forest coven were fragmentary, and that he substantially rewrote them. Many of the rituals and precepts that he promoted can be shown to have come from the writings of earlier occultists (such as Aleister Crowley) and other writers (including Rudyard Kipling and Sir James Frazer). The remaining original material is not cohesive, and mostly takes the form of substitutions or expansions within unoriginal material. Roger Dearnaley describes Gardner's texts as a "patchwork".[59]
The veracity of Gardner's statements cannot be independently proven, however, and it is possible that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s.[60] Even the very existence of the New Forest coven has been called into question. It has been posited by authors such as Aidan Kelly and Francis X. King that Gardner invented the witch rituals in their entirety,[61] incorporating elements from the writings of Dr. Margaret Murray, incantations from Aradia[62] and practices deriving from ceremonial magic.[63] Some of Gardner's historical claims are consistent with ideas that were current in the earlier part of the 20th century but are in conflict with later scholarship. The idea of a supreme Mother Goddess, for example, was common in Victorian and Edwardian literature: the concept of a Horned God—especially related to the gods Pan or Faunus—was less common, but still significant.[64] Both of these ideas were widely accepted in academic literature and the popular press at the time.[65]

The first edition cover of Witchcraft Today, which first brought Wicca to public attention
Some writers, such as Isaac Bonewits, have been unwilling to believe either that Gardner fabricated his religion out of nothing or that it represented a genuine survival of a historical pagan cult. They have suggested instead that it was constructed at some point in the 20th century prior to Gardner's initiation, perhaps by the New Forest coveners. Bonewits writes:
“ Somewhere between 1920 and 1925 in England some folklorists appear to have gotten together with some Golden Dawn Rosicrucians and a few supposed Fam-Trads to produce the first modern covens in England; grabbing eclectically from any source they could find in order to try and reconstruct the shards of their pagan past.[66] ”
Although some have described Wicca as "the only religion that England has ever given the world,"[67][68] many Wiccans themselves disagree, claiming it stems from very ancient practices."[69] Even the word "Wicca" seems to come from "the Indo-European (IE) root word weik, having to deal with magic and/or religion."[70] This word evolved into the Germanic "wikk", meaning magic or sorcery.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Working on a overseas deal today. Interesting. I had a meeting with these people a couple of weeks ago. They were very nice and we spoke strict business during the meeting , with the help of a translator. At the end of the meeting I went to shake and give the standard side kiss to the female partner and she froze like a popsicle. I said I am sorry, I was raised in a latin family I was taught to kiss hello and goodbye.
I am having my kitchen remodeled. For the last week. I have had no stove, fridge, cutlery. Jackson and I have to eat out for every meal. It's going to be beautiful when it's done but I am definitely tired of not having my space back or food here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy Crap, way to go Austin and San Antonio!I love opening up such incredible logs. Unfortunately Memphis did not have quite the same type of night as some of the other bars!
I love reading the logs sometimes. Nashville's log said that the convention in town is a Chess Comvention. Well judging by the fair numbers , it seems that the chess club doesn't drink as much as I would like.
These lawyers have me so concerned about every word I say. I reread the line " the chess club doesn't drink as much as I would like." and the first thing that comes to my mind is " what lawyer is going to use my words against me? When I started the Lil Spill years ago I was definitely more free to speak my mind. I miss those days. Funny things happen all the time but I am so cautious about what I write. Is it against some health code that years ago when I was working so much at the NY bar I may have had a quickie in the walk in? Now even though I haven't run the NY bar for 10 years , I wouldn't doubt I will hear some shit from the GM's, " Lil the staff gets a mixed signal about our rules when you write that." What is the mixed message? I am the owner I can do what I want!"
Right now I am thinking about how I loved BBQ ing in the back of the NY bar. Again over 10 years ago but is some residential group going to use that against me?
It will all come out if I ever write a book.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Having problems with my computer and I can't read the logs.
What exactly is twitter? Is is a mix between myspace and IMing? I don't get it. I don't even have a facebook page. I am old

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