Saturday, July 21, 2018

How To Make a Magic Wand

The Harry Potter series made magic wands kind of popular and trendy, but wands have always been around. There are two kinds: ceremonial wands and working wands. Today, Teacher Annie is going to tell you how to make a working wand!

Steps for Making a Working Wand:

1. Find a stick that is no longer than your forearm. Half the length of your forearm is better. You need to be able to hold it in your hand with about four to five inches of it extending beyond your hand. Your stick can come from a tree that is special to you. You can find it along the road. Personally I like driftwood, since it's smooth, but a nice sturdy stretch of any tree or branch is good. (A loved one can give you this stick. This includes the trusty canine.) It's also okay to buy a fancy carved wand from a vendor or artist. Me personally, I don't want to call attention to my working wand, so I favor ordinary sticks.

2. Power your working wand with Earth. Place the end you'll be holding into the soil of a land base you love. (If you love the beach, placing it in sand will be great.) Tell the wand what you are doing. Example: "I am charging this wand with Earth energy from this land that I love."

3. Power your working wand with Water. Place the whole wand in a body of water that has significance to you. This can be anything from your fragrant bubble bath to the churning surf of the ocean ... and everything in between. You can power a working wand in a rain puddle or a bird bath. I wouldn't recommend a bottle of spring water, because all that plastic, you know? Instead, fill a casserole dish with tap water, if you're in a hurry. Tell the wand what you are doing. Example: "I am charging this wand with Water energy to surround it with a power source."

4. Power your working wand with Fire. Place the end you'll be pointing in any fire, from a campfire to the flame on a gas stove or a candle. Remember, all you want to do is char the tip. You don't want to burn the whole thing or your fingers! Tell the wand what you are doing. Example: "I am charging this wand with Fire energy for purity and light."

5. Power your working wand with Air. Take it to a musical concert or a drum circle. If there's no concert handy, turn on your favorite tunes really loud. Hold the wand in front of the music. Music is vibration in the air. That's why it's so wonderful. Tell the wand what you are doing. Example: "I am charging this wand with Air energy so it becomes filled with the sky."

6. Power your working wand with Spirit. Hold it close to your heart. Speak kindly to it. Fill it with your most loving and positive thoughts. Take it to bed with you while you sleep, keeping it close to your face. Don't deliberately fill it with nastiness or negativity! You don't need that kind of aggravation in your life. The whole world is nasty. You want your wand to be different.

There you have it! A working wand. It's really that easy.

 I carry my working wand in my purse or in a pocket. When I'm teaching school and I want things to go smoothly, I put it on my desk.

So, what do you do when curious minds ask you about your wand?

Example: A student said to me, "Miss, why do you have a stick on your desk?"

Sample answers:

*I like sticks.
*Why don't you have a stick on your desk?
*This is my favorite stick.
*Get back to work.

(Actually I think I said something like, "Have you finished the assignment, Student? Let me see how you did.")

The important thing here is to not divulge that your "stick" is a working wand. If you do identify it as a working wand to a friend or colleague, be sure you totally trust that person. Magic isn't showy. It's not fashionable. It's best kept secret, just between you and your wand ... until you need to use it in the public sphere.

Now that you have a working wand, you must be asking yourself: What can I do with it? Stay tuned. I'll address that in my next lesson!

Friday, July 06, 2018

I Was Wrong about These Creatures, but the Battle Is Engaged

I started blogging in 2005 because I opened the morning newspaper and read that some woman got her dog's vet bills paid by her blog fans. I had a cat, and so I thought, "What the hell? Give it a go."

So I came here to Blogger, and suddenly I had choices to make:

*What would my blog be about?
*Would it be funny or serious?
*How long before I could ask my readers to pay the cat's vet bills?

Turns out the answers to those questions were:

*Paganism and politics
*never have -- but Gamma Cat is still young


I began "The Gods Are Bored" as a humor blog, and nowhere was my stinging wit more focused than upon "prayer warriors," those so-called Christians who have weaponized the faith and seek to impose their worldview on the rest of us through politics.

Back in 2005 I thought these people were stupid and harmless. I compared them to hippies, even calling them "chippies" because they were such a small minority of Americans, and yet they had an outsize influence on the national narrative.

They are still a minority of Americans. But they are calling the shots. They will soon own the Supreme Court -- not because they feel like corporate overlords should have free reign, but because they want to make abortion illegal. The sad thing is, while they will gleefully celebrate getting their way on abortion, they might not be ready for the blow-back.

Chippies, you will be the victims of your own battle tactics.

In your zeal to overturn Roe v. Wade, you've allowed big money to gush into politics. That would be great if all the rich people were of your mindset, but they aren't. Some have gladly harnessed your single-minded religious zeal to promote their agendas (fossil fuels, union-busting). But now there are other rich donors stepping forward, tossing great hoards of ducats around to thwart your plans.

In your zeal to overturn Roe v. Wade, you allied yourself to a foul-mouthed, childish brute who is detested across the globe and loathed by quite a hefty number of your fellow Americans. Chippies, how are your children behaving, with Donald J. Trump as your family hero? Do you take your kids to his rallies? Do you tell them that it's okay to support someone who is an unabashed sinner if he supports your agenda? What kind of message are your kids getting from that strategy? Do you tell your kids that Donald Trump is a "baby Christian" who hasn't quite learned the Holy Bible yet? How long will they fall for that, in light of Trump's behavior? Remember, they admire who you admire ... they're just not sophisticated about it yet.

In your zeal to overturn Roe v. Wade, you have created a hostile environment for living children all across the globe. Let's see: We've got climate change causing political turmoil, floods, and drought; we've got immigrant kids locked up in cages; we've got planned rollbacks in nutrition programs for poor children, and we're slipping backwards into a degraded environment full of pollution and toxins. But all that's okay, right? The baker doesn't have to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In your zeal to overturn Roe v. Wade, you may be alienating your most important constituency: your own descendants. You can home school them, you can surround them with only people who think the way you do, you can choose their friends and set a good example of godliness for them. But the ones who can think will desert you. The ones with curiosity will spurn you. The ones with critical thinking skills will do a zero sum analysis while checking out a banned podcast and decide that you are truly evil human beings. This will be your legacy. Your children will jump ship.

Wow, Anne, that's a bold prediction! However could you make it?

I was exposed to chippies as a kid. My mother sent me to their church because she felt like her own church wasn't stern enough. It took me six months at the tender age of eight to realize that the whole "prayer warrior" thing wasn't what Jesus would do, wasn't in fact based on the Bible at all.

But you go right ahead, chippies. You celebrate your Pyrrhic victory.

Your children will be in other rooms, listening to other voices. Listening to other, more sensible Gods.