You appear to have Javascript turned off or are not using a Javascript enabled browser. There are many features on Podcast Alley that require Javascript. For the best experience, please turn Javascript on or use a Javascript enabled browser.
Pick a Podcast Genre:
Search for a Podcast:
 
Top Podcasts
Add Your Podcast
Podcast Alley Badges

Site Statistics
Podcasts: 91,794
Comments: 252,493
Episodes:  6,070,164


Special Offers
GoDaddy Promo Codes
PetMeds Coupons
Eastbay Promo Codes
PETCO Discount



E-Content 100 Winner

The Secrets In Plain Sight!

ACTIONS
 SUBSCRIBE
 LISTEN
 VOTE
 COMMENT
 VISIT WEBSITE
 Already Claimed
SHOW STATS
CATEGORY:

 Religion & Spirituality

COMMENTS:

 183 Total
 0 October

VOTES:

 738 Total
 0 October

RANK:

 211 Average
 No rank this month

Spiritual Calisthenics For People Who Are Willing To Think!
Recent Episodes for The Secrets In Plain Sight!
DATE: Sat, 25 Sep 2010
SIZE: 28.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 25, 2010 - Putting It Away!

With Samhain coming, it's worth our while to discuss resolutions.  At Samhain and at the mundane New Year, we have a tendency, and even a desire, to make resolutions.  The resolutions are promises to ourself of things we want to accomplish in the coming year.  Some people sound cynical about such resolutions because of how few of them seem to actually get fulfilled.  Well, it does not have to be that way! Wouldn't it be a good thing to make a resolution and see it fulfilled?  It can happen, even the same resolution that others leave unfulfilled can be yours - and fulfilled!  Do you really want to quit smoking?  Do you really want to lose weight?  Do you really want to get a better job?  Do you really want to fulfill some other dream? There's a way to go about it.  And it does not involve a Pollyanna approach like some take.  There's a way to grasp reality and bring your resolution to be.  All with some basic principles and a healthy bit of selfishness.   You're not just making a resolution into a reality.  You're also embarking on a spiritual exercise which will let you claim your magickal power - and more of it that you knew that you had! And the result can be a chain-reaction of blessings and opened doors! Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 18 Sep 2010
SIZE: 30.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 18, 2010 - Weddings, Funerals And What They Share!

As we see Mabon almost here and Samhain only a few weeks away, it's a good time to think about endings and beginnings.  And during the course of the year, of the more mundane events which might occur, there are none where endings and beginnings are more apparent and obvious than at weddings and funerals. In fact, that's what they share.  They mark a definite ending paired with a beginning.  Or is it a beginning paired with an ending?  Or is it both?  Exploring that point is part of the fun we can have in growing spiritually.  It's like that old debate as to whether a glass is half empty or half full - and someone might add the possibility that the glass is holding the right amount of liquid, but it's twice the size that it needs to be. A funeral marks a definite end.  I can't just call my Dad on the phone anymore, for instance.  And a wedding marks the end of being single and only having to look out for oneself.  The beginning inherent in a wedding is apparent, but what is the beginning that a funeral commemorates?  I never promised you that I'd spoon-feed you answers, and I don't have all of the answers.  But I have experienced enough to know that there is something on the other side of the bridge which we must all cross.  And it is apparent to me that all that I can grasp is one small part of one small corner of the Infinite. And so, let's explore these thoughts for a bit, in preparation for Mabon, Samhain and more!   Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 11 Sep 2010
SIZE: 27.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 11, 2010 - Ahead To Mabon And Samhain!

The Christians use Lent and Advent as seasons leading up to Easter and Christmas respectively as a means of introspection, self-examination and renewal.  It is unfortunate that Lent has especially been mis-directed by some to being almost a season of punishment - that was probably not the actual intention.  And if the actual intention was what I presume it to be, a season such as that could be good for us.  After all, we are coming up to what is spiritually the most powerful time of the year. When I was preparing to become a dedicant at a certain coven, the High Priestess had me write a paper on each Sabbat as it approached.  As the time approached Mabon, I made the observation that Mabon could be seen as being to Samhain as a retirement banquet might compare to a funeral.  Except that Samhain does include another harvest.  And if we know the Wheel Of The Year, we know that it does not end at Samhain, does it?  No, it also begins! That makes right now a good time to look back on where we have been, and that might give us a better idea of where we are on this leg of the journey - and how to steer the course on the next leg which begins at Samhain. Let's see what we might do to make this a most fruitful and gainful endeavor. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 04 Sep 2010
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 4, 2010 - Taking Control Of Rules!

There are those who will claim that rules are unavoidable.  But there are also those of us who have experienced what can happen when rules go too far.  In the Air Force, there was a time when it didn't seem to matter if someone knew which end of a rifle is pointed at the target, so long as there was a nice haircut on your head.  And when dealing with religion or spirituality, there can sometimes seem to be no end to the rules   Rules do have a purpose.  They do make boundaries.  To tell a small child not to play in the street, for instance, is reasonable and makes much sense.  Within the boundaries made by rules, we are more free because the rules keep the dangers away.  But, there can be more rules added in until things get stifling.  Lent is one example.  Or there was the young girl who was convinced that eating meat on Friday would end her life.   Some excesses and some quibblings over when a rule is needed and whether a rule is or is not broken can make for some rather humorous parody, too! So, what do you do with rules?  Much! Let's explore that today. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 28 Aug 2010
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 28, 2010 - Confronting Controversy!

Controversies seem to be all around us today.  It didn't seem that way when I was growing up.  Not until the early 1060's, and that was because a black family decided to move into our neighborhood.  Until then, and much of the time after that until the Vietnam war entered everyone's lives, controversy was something people read about in the newspaper and perhaps saw on the TV news. Today, it's different.  Today, there are enough controversies that everyone can find at least one that's compelling them to take a side. Know what I find interesting?  In every controversy, each side has something valid to say.  If it weren't so, there would be no side.  But, there's the other side.  And there comes polarization, an "either-or" attitude, demonizing or dehumanizing the other side, exaggerating the other side's shortcomings, and perhaps a heavy dose of gossip.  Finally, you're at a point in time where a difference of opinion has grown into a major dispute.   I'm going to offer you some examples, and some of you might find something to get upset about in the examples I use.  But each has something to be said for it.   And look at the energy being expended.  Well, there's a solution out there.  What will it take to find it? Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 21 Aug 2010
SIZE: 34.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 21, 2010 - Forging New Ground!

I've been known to say that where the spiritual is concerned, nobody forges a new path and gets away with it.  Basically, what I do is mostly see how supposedly different things fit together, and sometimes I get into trouble over that.  But Isaac Bonewits was one of those folks who did actually forge new territory.  And it seems right to talk about forging new paths.   When Isaac began his quest, whatever books on magick and non-mainstream spirituality were either gathering dust on university library bookshelves, or were preciously guarded on the bookshelf of a practitioner.  They certainly were not going to be found in your neighborhood bookstore.  And that's to say nothing of jewelry, supplies, ritual garb and the like.   And it's not easy exploring new territory, and it is not going to win you new popularity, either.  And, it's not the safest thing to do, either.  If you want to explore, have some idea that you are walking on solid ground, not thin ice! And yet, for all that can be said to persuade someone not to try, it is a necessary part of our growth as individuals, as cultures, and as societies.   And so, let's look at the implications of something which some of us might want to try. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 14 Aug 2010
SIZE: 36.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 14, 2010 - What's A Saint To You? And The Passing Of Isaac Bonewits

This was another one of those times when I had an episode in the works, and instinct told me to take on another subject.  And it was when the episode was written that I found the reason why. Isaac Bonewits has crossed over. Among many Gnostics, myself included, saints are often referred to as either Celestial Masters or Ascended Masters, the latter being those who once shared our humanity, shortcomings and all.  I cannot think of a better person to fit that description than Isaac Bonewits.  Along with all else that might be said, there was a personal factor.  He gave me much encouragement in building what I am building.   And we can learn much, and gain much, from Ascended Masters such as Isaac, and from Celestial Masters such as the Archangel Uriel. The problem some of us (including me at one time) have with saints is a combination of too much and not enough.  Too much embellishment, and not enough of the person as an actual human being with the same concerns and desires as you and I.  There is no such problem with Isaac - his humanity was obvious. And so let's look at one we knew.  And perhaps celebrate all of them. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 07 Aug 2010
SIZE: 33.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 7, 2010 - Beyond Wrong!

I came across an article about a coming event which I consider to actually be beyond wrong!  Someone is planning on hosting an "International Burn A Quran Day" on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Worse yet, the group planning on hosting the event is a Christian church!  And yes, the people are actually encouraging people to burn a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book!  In explaining his motivation, their pastor claimed that Islam is "of the devil". I cannot imagine a worse expression of hate, not only from the point of view of wanting the various spiritual paths to get along and work together, but it is probably spiritually dangerous to go down such a path. Most of us who are Pagan or Wiccan learned early-on the importance of respecting other people's spiritual paths.  That includes their practices, their deities, their books, and their sacred objects.  Many, many Christians have learned that over the last several years.  I have been in a position to notice some marked improvement, even if there is room for more improvement.  And in this case, even the National Association of Evangelicals has asked them to call off the event.  There are more reasons why a Quran-burning is spiritually dangerous, and I'll cite some very specific specifics. And along with all else, it can be a major mistake to judge a large group by the actions of its extreme fringes.  And that isn't all! Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 31 Jul 2010
SIZE: 33.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 31, 2010 - Finding The Open Door, As Opposed To "God's Will"!

Can anything be as frustrating as feeling a strong call to do something, and not being allowed to do it? One particular priest who I admired back when I was an Episcopalian had the habit of delivering some hard-hitting sermons.  They didn't seem to hit hard at first, but when he was done, you felt like he had really gotten up close and personal.  When I asked him about that, his answer was that he was preaching to himself.  I want to mention that up-front because this episode is sort of like that.  And it touches on my frustrations in answering my call to the priesthood. But please understand, it is not about my frustrations or what anyone made me endure.  What I'm actually talking about is something bigger than that, and something that could easily be happening to you. I recall being once told that if The Divine closes a door, another door or a window is opened.  And I considered that saying to be yet another prime example of Pollyanna-style hogwash.  That is, until recently when I looked back and came to the realization that a window or another door opening when the door I was looking at got slammed in my face is exactly what happened, on more than one occasion, and the result of those opened doors and windows is a priesthood and ministry far better than what I had asked for!  If I had gotten what I had first asked for, I would have been bound under obediance and probably in a bunch of trouble, given their current controversies.  Meanwhile, I get to speak my mind and minister to more people, including some whom many of those other folks choose to ignore! The whole object of this episode is not my journey, though.  The object is your journey, and if you can see the other doors opening.  You might be surprised! Blessed Be!      

DATE: Sat, 24 Jul 2010
SIZE: 29.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 24, 2010 - That Question Of Questions!

Have you ever noticed that especially where the spiritual or The Divine are concerned, there seem to be two extremes where questioning is concerned.  On one extreme, there are the folks who question everything so often that we wonder if they have any faith in anything.  But then also there are the folks who consider it a sin to question anything!  I've even seen some who didn't seem to want me to agree with them if I cited a source they didn't think well of.  And here we come to the "B-word": balance.  There is very little that we do that does not have faith in its basis, even in the basics of survival in the most mundane aspects of our lives.  If you go to a faucet to get a drink of water, do you get the water analyzed?  If you go to the supermarket to buy food, do you check it for contamination?  There are some things at the root which we depend on faith for! And then, of course, there are the basic core values we all share.  But you you as an individual work with The Divine is something that is personal and individual.  And so, your answers might not be the same as someone else's.  For that matter, someone else's answers might not work for you, either. So, let's explore the question of questions.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jul 2010
SIZE: 30.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
JuLY 17, 2010 - Opening Your Inner Eyes And Ears!

While I've talked about the issues which will distract you from your spiritual life, we need to take some time to look at what will give it more power and make it actually work. I'm talking about opening your inner eyes and ears.  In the same manner that you can't receive a telephone call if your telephone is unplugged, you also need to be sure that your spiritual eyes and ears are open.  There is probably a lot going on around you.  It helps if you know what you are seeing, you'll do better if you know what to look for, and you won't accomplish much if you are tuning it out. And, there are things you can do to help your inner eyes and ears open, and to understand what you will discover. Before long, you'll be able to see things from a place where many people don't even know that there is a place.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 10 Jul 2010
SIZE: 33.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 10, 2010 - Some Special Friends

There are some friends who are especially special, especially the ones with four legs.  I have a son and a daughter who I wish would at least write more often now that they are on their own, but Lady Stormy and I have six other "kids" who never let us down.  In fact, we seem to be the focus of their day.  Two are dogs, four are cats, and each one was either rescued or is descended from someone whose rescue we know about. Each one has his or her own story, and it is well worth telling.  But I promise I won't make you hear all of them And some of them are stories of what isn't supposed to happen.  There are folks who claim that a "street cat" can't be made into a house pet.  Well, we have a guy named Thor who can prove that to be a misconception. And, they're both smart and appreciative.  Friends have told us that they are simply too human. And the relationship we have with them is so rewarding.  If you wonder what "familiars" actually do, this is it!  I would say that Thor knows me better than any priest, doctor or even perhaps Lady Stormy! And it does have some great magickal implications.  If you're going to have a pet, then perhaps you can be someone's miracle! Blessed Be!   Blesssed Be    

DATE: Sat, 03 Jul 2010
SIZE: 30.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 3, 2010 - Getting Deep!

Ofver the last few weeks, I've been showing you how to grow your spiritual life, how to protect it, and how to make it uniquely yours. Now, let's talk about giving it depth.  In fact, we'll discuss getting it deep in more than one sense.  And you'll see how depth and protection go together so well. We're not talking about something that your typical preacher has.  And, if your memories go back to some bad times in church, we are not talking about something posessed by those busybodies who insisted upon minding everyone's business but their own.  They have what they have.  If you're reading this, you're able to have much, much more. No, you're not able to get so much more because you're reading something that I wrote.  But if you're here, you are probably asking the right questions which will cause some wonderful doors to open. Did you ever notice someone who seems to have a spiritual life, but has one that inhcludes a quiet confidence and acceptance of other people's paths?  They might have what I'm looking for.  They might know.  For you and me, it's for us to build our own and see if that's what we built. And you'll know! Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 26 Jun 2010
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 26, 2010 - Peeking At Some Secrets!

This is about a secret of mine which will become a secret of yours.  When I was younger and just beginning to explore spirituality, I was especially fascinated by the idea that some of the people I most admired had secret prayers which they didn't share with anyone!  Thomas Merton was well known for his, even if it were in fact secret and nobody knew what it included.  And can you imagine what the Dahlai Lama must have in his most private prayer life? And then, I realized that it was not necessary to know what their secret prayers contained, because they would not do me much good, even if I had a copy of them.  Why?  Because they were theirs, and what I needed was to develop my own. And so, let's explore how such powerful secret devotions are put together.  We can begin with what we might call the obvious and presumable, we can see how they fit into our lives, and we can build from there into something highly personal. And you'll see what I mean! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 19 Jun 2010
SIZE: 30.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 19, 2010 - What Price Revenge?

If you are honest with yourself, you know at least one time when you really wanted to get back at someone.  Someone had you that upset.  They'd done something, or perhaps it is what they did not do.  Regardless of the specifics, what you actually wanted was revenge.  The only folks I know of who might not have had that urge in their life are still in diapers. So, what do you do when the urge calls to get even?  For some, the queston is not "what do you do?", but "what did you do?"  Of course, that can be dangerous.  It might perpetuate something, and give that other person another excuse.  Or, if there has been enough time, it might re-awaken issues which everyone but you assumed were in the past. But you feel that not doing anything about it would also be wrong.  After all, you were wronged.  You were hurt.  You are a person, not a doormat. But spending energy about something in the past is a way of looking backwards, and if you are looking backwards to the past, you are not looking forward toward what is waiting ahead of you. So, how do you deal with all of those apparent contradictions? Let's see what might be able to be done!   Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 12 Jun 2010
SIZE: 32.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 12, 2010 - Books To Help You Chart Your Course

Books just might be second only to your own experience in their sheer power potential in forming your spiritual path.  Is it any wonder that historically, some people have feared books more than anything else you can imagine. From the Christian zealots in Alexandria who destroyed the famous library, to Hitler's followers with their book-burning rallys, to more recent times when people tried to burn Harry Potter books, it's obvious that some folks are simply afraid what books can do. And what can a book do for you?  Quite a lot! Of course, there are books and there are books.  Some I don't bother with, unless to learn how to recognize junk when I see it.  Others are more important.  Some will teach me something knew every time I read it.  In some caes, I have to dig. Do you wish you could meet someone, but the person died centuries ago?  Would you like to visit a place which might not be reachable by conventional means?  Do you want to experience an ordeal without having to endure it?  Books can do all for you, and more. Some of my favorites are the ones which force me to dig even deeper, looking for secrets, such as how another translation might read. And with them, you can do all that - and more! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 05 Jun 2010
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 5, 2010 - Marriage, And Weddings, And Handfastings!

And here again, we have another secret hiding in plain sight.  One which a lot of people spend their lifetimes trying to seek.  Like so much of the others that I've pointed out in the last few weeks, including last week. This was inspired by an event which happened to us in the past week, plus the fact that in the course of the past week, Lady Stormy and I celebrated ten years as a commited couple, and nine years as a married couple. The incident involved a couple who were stood-up by the church.  Note that I did not say stood up *at* the church, but stood up *by* the church.  That in itself is an interesting tale, the first such that I'd heard of in all my years of carious forms of ministry.  But it only leads us to the main point. The point is a simple one, which many express in many ways, but all of those expressions boil down to one single factor, one so simple that many miss it. And those who grasp that point have made a major milestone in their journey.  Note also that it is a point that even someone who is single and celibate can still put to good use. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 29 May 2010
SIZE: 26.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 29, 2010 - Healthy Sin?

Once again, please make no assumptions based on the title!  But it is necessary now and then to bring up the subject of sin, for a number of reasons.  To begin with, how many people actually have an idea of what "sin" is actually defined as? Especially in the root languages of the books which so many people love to cite from! And then, what are sins?  If you listen to certain people, you'll get the impression that the only thing that is not a sin is to fill that person's collection plate.  And so, let us look at what some sins are, and let's look at which aspects of them might not be sins - and which indeed are wrong. And, what can this tell us?  It can give us a more clear path to steer on our spiritual journey! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 22 May 2010
SIZE: 31.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 22, 2010 - Daily Miracles!

Please don't read the title and assume that I've suddely become a fluff-bunny or a Pollyanna.  No, I am seriously in the market for some real miracles.  And if they do come, it'll seem like daily miracles, so why not call it that? Some of you probably have what you might call spiritual wish-lists, and I'll admit to mine.  I have some definite wishes that are on my mind, and some of them would amount to miracles.  And, I can think of a few miracles I've already enjoyed. What do I mean by a miracle?  Well, there are some definitions, but I'll offer you my working definition. I also notice that certain people seem more likely to have miracles happen to them than others.  Why is this?  Let's see what they have in common! And it can indeed be! Blessed Be!

DATE: Fri, 14 May 2010
SIZE: 31.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 15, 2010 - The Comic-Book Characters In Your Spiritual Life!

Take a look at a comic-book, and take a look at the people I describe here, and you'll see why I call them comic-book characters.  And, I can almost guarantee that at least one of them has had an impact on your spiritual life.  There's only one excption, but it's a common exception: you might have encountered a different comic-book character than I mentioned here.  And why not?  There are nearly infinite varieties to choose from. Of course, recognizing them and their game is important.  And so, I've introduced you to some of them.  And please do not think that I'm leaning on any particular spiritual path, because I've found these comic-book characters in every spiritual path that I've explored. And I know that I have not given you a really exhaustive listing,  You'll have your own to add.  And it's for a good reason. By recognizing them when you see them, you can avoid joining them in the rut they have stuck themselves in.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 08 May 2010
SIZE: 30.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 8, 2010 - The Art Of Spiritual Borrowing!

Yes, it is an art.  And you are probably already doing it, although you might not know it, and some don't like to admit it.  And, it can happen for all of the right reasons.  In spiritual paths like many of ours, there isn't a lot of structure, and so therefore it might be a challenge to maintain balance.  Even the major "establishment" religions have this problem, and they have more controls.  Yet we keep hearing of churches where there seems to be so much emphasis on Lent and giving, and it's almost as if they try to have Lent without Easter - but then again, what path does not have folks with such a problem?  If you come from another path, what if there was something which that path offered which really worked for you?  Can you borrow that? And what if you see something and you can tell that it will indeed work for you.  What can you do? There's a way, and often there's a very good reason why you should do so.  And on the way to that reason, I'll warn you about a disease that has been known to decimate religious and political groups.  You'll see what I mean. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 01 May 2010
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 1, 2010 - A Biggie Is Revealed!

This is a biggie!  I really think so!  This contains material which a lot of people don't want you to know about, much less give consideration to.  I begin with citing The Law Of One as taught by the Universal Gnostic Fellowship.  It is perhaps the only thing that approaches mandatory in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship, and it's one of the reasons why such a diverse group can work well together. If you want the full text of what the Universal Gnostic Fellowship teaches about The Law Of One, go to http://gnosticfellowship.com/one.html and read that page.  Here, I talk about applying it. So much that so many paths have in common, it is hard to believe that some folks don't see the unity.  Then again, Wiccans and Pagans have an advantage here because so many of us have so many and varied personal pantheons that we're almost forced to accept other paths' validity.  Others are not so fortunate, and that might be a very sad thing. I find that often the only way to get Christians' attention is to show that a point I am making is in their own scripture, and it is - abundantly.  In fact, I don't even cite half of what I could cite.  But there is a powerful promise and warning few seem to understand.  What is ironic is that it is right next to a verse which is so often quoted that even atheists acknowledge it.  Go from there to the Gospel of Thomas (one of the books that were excluded from the current Bible), and there is even more revealed to show some basic truths which some seem to have forgotten. Talk about secrets in plain sight! Harnessing The Law Of One will mean we can really do some heavy stuff!  You'll see! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 24 Apr 2010
SIZE: 31.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 24, 2010 - Growing Yourself!

One thing is almost as inevitable as the death and taxes some folks quip about when discussing the inevitable.  In fact, some folks might avoid it and still die, but nobody avoids it who is capable of doing something for which they can be taxed.  I'm talking about what some folks refer to as "formation."  And it's something that you're going to do, including (perhaps especially) spiritually.  It's going to happen.  And you might as well benefit from it. Formation comes in many forms, and no two people will have the same formation.  And, there are many influences to your formation.  And, you will have many teachers.  One or two might be your main teachers, but there wil be others.  It can easily be that every person in your life might be some kind of teacher,  and some of the people who teach you might surprise you - and me.  Even someone who is infamous for teaching "junk theology" does teach you (hopefully) to recognize junk when you see it. And therein is the secret.  And the really big secret is what makes your own path stronger.  Some folks will claim it doesn't happen that way, but it does. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 17 Apr 2010
SIZE: 34.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 17, 2010 - Trying To Peek Past The Bridge!

Most Wiccans know what is meant by "bridge crossing".  And this time of the year I think about a number of people who have crossed that bridge which we all will cross one day. Between April 1st and July 1st, there are so many anniversaries of deaths of people I love.  And, of course, the list grows as you grow older.  At age 9, there was a grandpa who influenced the course of my day-job career.  At age 10, my mother who gave me clues where to look when I was older and in need of answers which I could not find elsewhere.  Later, my dad and then my stepmom.  And so many others that I don't dare try to list them for fear I'd miss someone.  The people who have crossed over have one thing in common with people we love who live far away.  We can't help but wonder how they are, what they are doing, do they know what's happening here, all of those questions.  It's only natural to want to know.  The difference is that my son can send me an email, but I can't send my dad an email.  I'm only a plane ticket away for my daughter, but I can't visit my mother. There are some clues which we are welcome to explore, and a fair amount of common sense and an exploration of lore might give us some assurance and comfort, especially those of us who have experienced the spiritual blackmail of people with agendas. And there's a lesson we can learn.  It might sound like something we heard elsewhere, but it's a powerful lesson nevertheless.  And it just might be the one thing that the people on the other side of the bridge would like us to know. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 10 Apr 2010
SIZE: 32.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 10, 2010 - Three Lines To Not Cross!

I said last time that with divination, the basic rules of magick apply.  It seems to me that it would be a good idea to clarify what they might be. But first, let's recognize the danger of rules.  The dangerous thing about rules is that some people seem to make rules into ends in themselves - to the point that they put so much effort into following the rules that they don't actually accomplish anything.  And worse, they add rules onto themselves to the point that it is almost impossible to do anything without breaking some rule. But rules are necessary.  Rules are what we use to keep out of trouble.  Anyone who has been dealing with the spiritual for more than a week has a story of how a dabbler got into a bad situation. There are some basic principles which pretty much cover the rules.  At least, they cover the important parts of the rules so that if you follow the principles you won't find yourself in a world of hurt because of it.  And it keeps you from becoming overly nit-picky. "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt" - that's an example of such a principle. While others might find others, I've noticed three lines that I certainly do not want to ever cross.  And they are way outside the boundaries of a principle like the one I just quoted.  And the descriptions of those three lines can be said to overlap in some important places. Specific rules of a tradition are another matter and for the most part their inforcement is left to the individual follower.  We're not talking about the color of your robe or whether you can eat bacon on Friday.  We're talking about basic principles which, in my never-to-humble opinion, we should all be operating within. And it gives us a lot of room to maneuver - and grow! Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 03 Apr 2010
SIZE: 31.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 3, 2010 - Divining Divination!

First off, let this be understood:  Divination is not "fortune-telling."  Many of you are aware of that basic fact, but enough are not that I need to state that up-front. Is there a difference?  Yes, and it is a major difference.  So-called fortune-telling has a premise that you are stuck with what's coming.  If a fortune-teller tells you that illness is coming, then you are indeed going to be sick.  Divination shows you what can be and what may be, especially if the patterns made today continue.  But if something is looming on the horizon that you'd prefer not to deal with, you have means to avoid or at least alleviate it.  On the other side of the spiritual coin, there is also the fact that something priomising which you see through divination could be lost if you don't do your part. And yes, the standard rules of magick apply.  So many possible ways - there's got to be at least one that will fit you. And for the inevitable objections you might hear from those who think they know but don't, there's a couple of clues here, including one that will surprise a lot of Christians. And this, for any beginners, is but the beginning of the beginning.  Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 27 Mar 2010
SIZE: 32.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 27, 2010 - Making A Joyful Noise

Psalm 100 in the Christians' Bible begins with words which should have a point to anyone regardless of their spiritual path:  "Make a joyful noise...."  Note that it says to make a joyful *NOISE*.  That's a point which even some Christians miss, and they claim it's part of their book! I will grant that in the case of an organized gathering in which a part of the people are set aside especially for making vocal or instrumental music, they should know what they are doing.  That would apply to a Wiccan gathering as much as to Sunday morning at St Whoever's church at the corner of 5th and Wherever.  But we are not talking about that here.  What we are talking about is the rest of us - and all of us in our own devotions. There's a saying that tells folks to "Dance as if nobody's watching, and sing as if nobody's listening."  That's the point! And where do we find something to sing or chant?  And what to choose?  There are so many places!  And what can it do?  Anything from being a secret mantra to being your "heavy atrillery" at your altar.  It can help you focus, it can help you transition, and it might even raise a spiritual army for you! Every path has its songs and its chants.  And some of the most powerful are some of the most basic.  And nobody is going to worry if you can carry a tune.  But you might surprise yourself.  In fact, you might surprise yourself in how many ways you surprise yourself! Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 20 Mar 2010
SIZE: 27.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 20, 2010 - Ostara's Gifts

Ostara has much to offer us, and coming at the end of a winter like the one we had here only proves the point all the more.  Between Yule and now, we had three individual storms, each of which people claim dumped more snow on us than we get in the typical year.  In fact, Yule was impacted by one of those storms, and our Imbolc celebration was threatened by another.  And finally, Hecate (Lord Pan's widow, age 20 and "The Kitty Queen") gets to sit in her sun window again. If you wanted a parallel in terms of a humal life, you might consider Yule to be the birth, Imbolc to be an occasion such as naming, christening, or Briss, and you could consider Ostara to parallel something like a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Look at all of the lore from all of the different spiritual paths, and you'll see much in common in Ostara and in tales which have connection to Ostara in one way or another.  And if there is a kernel of truth at the heart of every legend and there are so many legends so similar in places which did not know of each other, then we've got more hear than the idea that Spring has arrived. And what is the big lesson, and the big gift?  Might it be some idea of what we're supposed to do with this life? Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 13 Mar 2010
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 13, 2010 - Getting A Spiritual Experience!

There are some folks who firmly believe that they have never had a spiritual experience.  And some of those folks would indeed like to have one - or more. Some are influenced by movies, and expect spiritual experience to be like that.  Others have heard stories about saints and others and wondered why they were left out.  I know of someone who claimed that she did everything one particular saint did, and nothing happened.  When she asked the one who was supposed to be teaching her such things, the answer was "You aren't good enough."  I might add "no kidding" to that, but enough of you have had similar experiences to know that I'm not kidding - it happens all too often. And there are others who say that they have had few experiences which were not spitirual, at least in some way.  What's the difference? The differences that you might notice on the surface might indeed be there, but they might also be indicators of the real differences which are deeper.  Does a person really have to be simple, for instance, or is it merely necessary to keep the intellect in its place and not let it affect the spiritual.  Another difference which is exactly as it appears is that these people did not let others try to control their spiritual experience.  And so, how to bring it about?  That's what this episode is about. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 06 Mar 2010
SIZE: 33.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 6, 2010 - A Most Basic Right!

A most basic right.  In fact, it is one of your most basic rights!  That's religious freedom. The gentlemen who wrote the first ten ammendments to the United States Constitution (known as the Bill of Rights) took special care in the first ammendment.  Not only did they not use language which made it sound like the government was granting the right of free religion to the peoplem they did more.  They made two specific prohibitions: one against any law concerning an establishment of religion, and the other prohibiting any interference with the free exercise of religion. Those who claim that the "founding fathers" only intended to protect Christianity have not read much of Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Payne - or a few others.  And the funny thing is that some of the people making such claims belong to denominations which did not exist at the time the Constitution was written - so by their own argument, they would not be protected, either! And so we come to Rav Patrick McCollum, a Wiccan chaplain who is well known in the field.  He applied to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and they refused to look over his qualifications!  Why?  Because he is not of one of the five faiths which they select their chaplains from.  They also exclude Hindus and Buddhists.  Why?  If you've ever visited California, you will find plenty of Buddhist and Hindus.  Is anyone going to claim that none of them have ever been forced to serve a sentence? There is much which can be done, and I'm trusting you to learn what that might be. If it can be done to any one, it can be done to anyone, so now is the time to make our voices known.  And if all of our voices are heard, people will realize that we will not back down. After all, we are talking about a right which the Founding Fathers saw as being beyond government's reach. Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 27 Feb 2010
SIZE: 34.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 27, 2010 - If your devotional life provides a compass, where's the map?

A while back, I spoke of your devotional life, and how that provided you with a compass for staying on course.  So, what else do you need? In my younger days, I learned how to handle a fairly large boat, and I attended US Power Squadron courses with my parents.  I learned how to navigate a boat on a river.  Later, I learned to fly an airplane, and that included the basics of how to navigate an airplane.  And then, in the Air Force, I learned how to find my way on land, including if I was in a place where someone might dispute my right to be there.  I used a compass in all three cases, but I also used a map. And so, what is our map for our spiritual journey?  It's something we know, and it's something we need to get to know.  And it does not limit itself to spiritual matters, either.  It applies in other forms of endeavor, perhaps especially the business world.   You can tell the people who don't have a map - they wander around like they don't know where they're going - but they probably will claim that they know.  In the business world and in the supposedly-organized world of more esstablished faiths, it can sometimes be obvious to anyone who knows what to look for.  In spiritual matters, it might not be as immediately evident - but it is there to be seen. And so, what is this map, and how can we use it? It's more than a map.  It functions as the base camp for your spiritual expeditions, too! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 20 Feb 2010
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 20, 2010 - Tempest Smith Day, Febuary 20th!

February 20th is Tempest Smith Day. Tempest Kayne Smith died on February 20, 2001.  She was twelve years old. Many spiritual paths commemorate the life of a person on the anniversary of the person's death.  The facrt that some Christian churches commemorate saints' days on the day of their death does not mean they have anything anywhere near exclusive.  It comes from the Jewish Jahrzeit and ever-so-many other customs. Tempest Smith died by her own hand, the victim of incessant bullying, and it appears that most of the bullying was because she was a Wiccan. I see her as a patron where two issues are concerned. One is religious freedom.  Some people claim that there is religious freedom in the United States of America, but there didn't seem to be enough to protect Tempest Smith. The other issue is that of victims of bullying. There is much to be said here, and Itry to say it. And next Tempest Smith Day, bring friends!  One day it will be a real event. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 13 Feb 2010
SIZE: 33.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 13, 2010 - Your Friends In The Very Highest Places!

Friends in the very highest places - you have them, and probably plenty of them. Every spiritual path has them, and there are many terms used to describe them.  My favorite is the pair of terms "Celestial Masters" and Ascended Masters".  The difference is that we know for sure that Ascended Masters were once people just like the rest of us.  Celestial Masters might not have ever been our kind of human. Every tradition has them under one label or another, or maybe even a combination of labels.  If you look at the Christian saints, for instance, you will find some who "just happen to match" with Pagan gods and goddesses - they were "adopted" by the Christians. And, it seems apparent that they care about us.  Also, some of them have reason to share interests and concern with us, especially Ascended Masters who had a concern during the time when they were on the same plane as you and I are now. All this leads to some great possibilities - and some great opportunities for spiritual exploration. Please note that they don't have to be on someone else's list to be on your list, any more than someone else would need to choose which deities you work with.  In both cases, that's your business! And you just might discover some interesting "folks" waiting to help you. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 06 Feb 2010
SIZE: 31.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 6, 2010 - Looking At Groups

We need to pause and take a look at groups.  A group may be in your future.  Perhaps more than one group might be in your future.  I help preside over at least one such group, and two if you count the place in cyberspace.  And I like to think that they are good groups which benefit all of their members. I also recall the groups that I've walked away from, and one group that I ran away from! In the right group, you will learn more, and you will learn more quickly than you ever could learn alone.  In the wrong group, you'll learn the "party line" and little else. In the right group, you can agree that you disagree within very reasonable limits.  In the wrong group, sometimes even agreeing can get you shunned. In the right group, you can have friends and confidantes to share life's burdens.  In the wrong group, pseudo-human vipers can gossip your family, your career and even your life into oblivion. In the right group, you will find fellowship and affirmation.  In the wrong group, you might be manipulated into saying and doing things which you regret later. That's one of the reasons for Isaac Bonewits' "Cult Evaluation Frame" which I will recommend to any and all.  And there are a few more signs to watch out for. It is important to know what to beware of.  And there are some signs which you might be able to see. Some faith is not supposed to be blind.  Sometimes faith requires your eyes to be open. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 30 Jan 2010
SIZE: 29.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 30, 2010 - Our Daily Compass

I definitely say our daily compass because of how badly I need to remind myself of this sometimes! Like it or not, life is lived one day at a time.  The problem with that is that most of our real goals take more than a day to achieve.  And this leaves room for diversions, distractions and detours. A colonel I once served under had a sign behind his desk which stated that when you are up to your posterior in snapping alligators, it is very difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.  And that's the problem we are talking about here. And those familiar with Martial Arts know the importance of understanding the flow of things, and making use of that.  And so, if time is in cycles, we can take advantage of that to remember what our objective is. This is especially true of our spiritual lives.  The cycles of what we do spiritually can match the cycles which the world forces us into, and the result is that we can keep focus. There are other tools too, which can help us focus.  The criteria are simple:  That it works and that it fits.  Especially that it fits your life.  In my mroning devotions, I don't begin them when I wake up.  I begin them when I am dressed and ready to go out into the world.  My evening devotions reflect back on the day, and there's a weekly devotion that focuses on the week. It fits and it works.  And you can find what fits and works for you! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 23 Jan 2010
SIZE: 32.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 23, 2010 - Getting Into Motion!

Last time, we had a celebration of 200 episodes, and I spoke some of my journey.  This time, let's look at your journey - and everyone else's.Some of the greatest journeys remain untraveled.  Why?  Because someone "was going to" do one thing or another.  Others get to their destinations because the people doing the traveling insisted.  In fact, some journeys include what some people called impossible and what others tried hard to prevent.You can tell that a goal is yours when the sight of someone who has the same (or similar) goal makes you ache - there's something there that needs to be yours!  And you can tell when you're gotten to such a goal, because among your first thoughts after arriving are how much you can do as a result - and how it is part of your next journey.Or might it be said that one journey is actually part of a larger journey?  See what you think!  And there are ways to chart your journey.  And, of course, the more waypoints you pass, the closer your destination.Above all else, the journey requires getting into motion.  That first step.  Enjoy it! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 16 Jan 2010
SIZE: 31.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 16, 2010 - 200th Anniversary Special!

Welcome to the 200th Anniversary Celebration of The Secrets In Plain Sight!Not 200 years, but 200 episodes - and more to come.It's been said by many, including me, that along your spiritual path it's a good idea to stop occasionally and see where you are, where you've been and where you're heading.  And it seemed to me that this would be a good time to do that in terms of The Secrets In Plain Sight, and to share that reflection with you.It's a path that goes back to before this podcast, and even before the dial-up BBS known as Covenstead Grove.  I'm not claiming anything except that I've traveled a long path that did not go to the places where I thought it would.  But it is that path which brought me to where I am.  For those who have heard too many of the Pollyanna-type stories of quick and easy spiritual paths traveled by the supposedly-favored, this is not one of those.  This is merely the path which I have walked.  And so, a bit of sharing of where I've come from and where I hope to take this show.Everyone has a ministry, beginning with your own ministry to yourself.  Perhaps this might help get some thoughts flowing for someone with a spiritual version of "writer's block".  And a time to pause and celebrate.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 09 Jan 2010
SIZE: 29.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 9, 2010 - Making Your Spiritual Life Sizzle!

With a bit of effort on your part, your spiritual life can really sizzle!  And that is a good thing, because it certainly beats the alternative.  We all know people whose spiritual life is flat, dull, and perhaps might even pass for unconscious or comatose.  Most of us have been there ourselves.  In fact, you can find many such people in churches!  But if you're here, it is probably because you're looking for a spiritual life that actually works.  Having a spiritual life that sizzles is also the easiest way to claim something spiritual, feel like you're grasping it, and knowing that it's actually yours.And it is here that we'll get into the basics of building the sizzle in yoru spiritual life.  Not only that, but also claiming it and knowing that it is yours.You will learn from others, perhaps including me.  Others, perhaps including me, might offer input.  But we are talking about your spiritual life, and you are the one who needs to control it, master it, and nurture it!And within that is the secret that is not so secret, of how to have a really great spiritual life.Blessed Be!PS:  Next week is our 200th episode!

DATE: Fri, 01 Jan 2010
SIZE: 31.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 2, 2009 - Gods, Goddesses, and Spiderman

You may think of super-heroes as being a part of modern popular literature.  Actually, they have been a part of literature since before literature.  They date back to the days of the ancient storytellers of the oral tradition.And, they have a great deal in common with each other.  They also have much in common with the divine characters you will encounter in ancient religious texts, whether you're talking about the Bible, the Havamal, or any of a number of other texts and groups of texts.And this gives us strength to deal with the (usually) verbal slings and arrows of those who doubt what we know, whether they be atheists, agnostics, or the believers in the "my church is the only way" variety of faith.The very existence of these apparently fictional characters allows us to see what really is there.  Add to that the fact that nature does indeed abhor a vacuum, and you have just possibly the closest thing to proof you'll get that The Divine is alive, well, and at work in our lives.And this is something that can be very exciting to explore!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 26 Dec 2009
SIZE: 29.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 26, 2009 - Resolving Into The New Mundane Year

We've made it through Yule (and/or Christmas, Hanukah and a few others) when the mundane "New Year" hits us.  One thing that makes the mundane "New Year" different from other mundane holidays is that it is literally impossible to ignore.  Most of us had our new year celebration at Samhain, but it is the mundane "New Year's Day" which governs what year and day it is when we express time in a manner that the rest of humankind will understand.  It's also a cause for partying and time off from the job.But there is one thing about the mundane "New Year" that we can put to our use.  That is the infamous "New Year's resolution".  It is infamous because it is the butt of every late-night TV comedian's jokes this time of year.  And it is infamous with me because of the wise-guy answers I gave as a child and as a teenager when an adult would ask me what my resolutions were.  And besides, we made ours at Samhain, right?Look at the power we have available to us!  The promise of Samhain has been fulfilled with the birth of Yule.  What a powerful time to set magick into motion, especially the kind which will actually help us help ourselves and others!  It's also a good time to catch up with anything you missed at Samhain, or to get something you tried starting at Samhain back on track!Let's see how we can bring that off!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 19 Dec 2009
SIZE: 28.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 19, 2009 - Yule: Celebrating The Useless And Priceless

Yule is a celebration.  And, in a number of traditions, Yule is the celebration of the birth of a divine child.  Your Sunday school teacher might not have told you this, but Jesus is not the only divine being who has a birthday celebrated at about this time of year!It beings in humanity's earliest beginnings.  Picture a cave dweller peering out of a cave and trying to comprehend the world.  And then, this cave dweller notices that the weather gets terribly cold.  But then, eventually warmth returns.  And then finally, when technology evolves to the point of marking shadows of a stick and measuring how high or low the sun is in the sky, someone notices a pattern.  And the pattern reveals when the sun begins its return journey toward summer when the world will be warm again.  And so, there is a celebration of the fact that the sun is no longer going away - and it is coming back!  And the Yule story takes on as many sets of details as there are cultures to tell the story.The birth is the fulfillment of a promise made at Samhain.  And, if some people don't quite get what I've been saying all along, they won't get what I mean that the birth which takes place at Yule is the gift of Samhain.  And what is it that a seed has to do in order for there to be a flower?And for us, we can begin birthing that inner vision which we began at Samhain.  And here we come to the impact of "Celebrating The Useless And Priceless".  There is little more useless than a newborn child per se.  But at the same time there is nothing more priceless than a newborn child because of the potential of what can be!And therein is the real gift!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 12 Dec 2009
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 11, 2009 - Letting The Infinite Grasp You!

Letting The Infinite grasp you - and why not!  Last week, we talked about grasping the infinite, and you know that there has to be something to be seen from the other direction.  Besides, it is a common question.  In fact it was one of my first questions when I began asking questions.  How can The Divine grasp us?  What will cause The Divine (by whatever name or names we use) to pay sufficient attention so that I can feel The Divine's actual being?That's an especially good question coming from someone who has not actually experienced The Divine.  A Bible story claims that Moses went up to a mountaintop and talked to someone, so why can't I?  Where is your Goddess that I can experience Her?  If I am laying in pain on a hospital gurney in an emergency room somewhere and I call out the name of a Deity, will He or She actually show up and do something to help me?And that's a question which many people have on their minds.  And its answer, lack of an answer, or presumed answer can determine the course of someone's spiritual life.  And beware of that indeed, for there are many people who purport to speak for The Divine - and some of them might not really want to to experience The Divine for yourself!And when you find the real answer, you'll see why I call this show "The Secrets In Plain Sight!"Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 05 Dec 2009
SIZE: 30.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 5, 2009 - Grasping The Infinite

Imagine, if you will, someone who has a Lamborghini or Maserati in the garage but only uses it to go the few blocks to the grocery store!That seems to be the approach some folks want to take where The Divine is concerned.  Bear in mind, that if the universe is infinite, The Divine must by definition be as infinite as the universe.And so, let's see what might be implied by that.In politics and society in general, most of us know that a freedom for must include the same freedom for another, so that a Christian being allowed to distribute Bibles means that a Muslim would be free to distribute Korans.  It's similar here.  If The Divine is infinite, then we have to consider the implications.  That includes the implication that we don't know the number of ways The Divine can be seen, and therefore we have no idea how many other paths are as valid as our own.No matter how much I think I might know about The Divine, all I know is one small part of one small corner.  And here we'll explore that with a look at some writings which show what just some of that might mean.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 28 Nov 2009
SIZE: 29.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 28, 2009 - Finding God!

This is a subject which can be taken vary seriously, or as a jest.  The latter is particularly true in the United States where, unless you live a very sheltered life, you will face someone who will want to know if you have "found God."  One time when I was approached by a streetcorner evangelist with that question, I responded "What, have you lost him again?!?"But seriously, each of us needs their own quest to find which aspect or aspects of The Divine resonates with us.  Most of us have been told about one aspect or one distinct group of aspects of The Divine since we were infants.  But it was someone else telling us about The Divine, and that is not the same as knowing or experiencing The Divine.  When you were first being told about The Divine, it could well have been that the person who told you about The Divine also dressed you every day because you were not grown enough to dress yourself.  Now, you are grown enough to decide if you wish to dress yourself in the same style of clothing which that other person once dressed you.  By the same token, you are also ready to see if what you were told matches your needs and your experiences.And do expect to grow on this quest.  And do not be surprised if the aspect or aspects of The Divine which you find to work with actually seems to grow with you.And with this, you'll really begin to build!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 21 Nov 2009
SIZE: 30.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 21, 2009 - Taking Refuge

Thanksgiving is a celebration of giving thanks for a good harvest, which is what is being celebrated in the US in the coming week.  And we're looking into what makes a bountiful spiritual harvest.Taking refuge is one of the more important things you do to insure a good spiritual harvest.  And to see what's involved, there is no better example of taking refuge than the Three Refuges Of Buddhism.  Go to almost any Buddhist handbook and you will find them:I take refuge in the Buddha.I take refuge in the Dharma.I take refuge in the Sangha. A bit of basic knowledge of Buddhism will give you a grasp of what these are.  And do you know what?  They, or their equivalents are found in almost any spiritual path.  And do you know what?  The cluster of paths which we follow have them in abundance, and at all of the levels you can imagine!In refuge, we find comfort, reassurance, nurturing, strengthening, and all else we need to follow our spiritual quests and deal with the mundance world at the same time!  And with that and what we discover, we can really have a major harvest!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 14 Nov 2009
SIZE: 33.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 14, 2009 - Your Inner Vision

Your inner vision.  That is probably one of the most powerful of the so-called basics.  Even the most mundane of the mundanes recognize its power, and some actually fear its power, especially the inner visions of others.  After all, the inner visions of some people have grown to the point of founding empires, or destroying them.Your inner vision is what you see for yourself in the future.  Some people might have more than one inner vision, but there is usually one inner vision in a person which dominates the rest.It is said that Walt Disney decided to see what he could make out of a mouse.  More than one big name known in the world of retail began with a vision of owning a store - that is, one store.  And when that store prospered, then the inner vision began to include more stores.  They can even break through challenges, such as the hardware chain whose first store had its grand opening on the very day of the stockmarket crash which heralded the Great Depression in the US.To have an inner vision work for you, there are some factors that need to be considered.  Is it long-term?  What will fulfill it?  Will it adapt to its first fulfillment, or will it "expire" at that time?  What will it accomplish?  How long will its effects last?  And so, let's look at a couple of examples.If the inner vision is so central to the success of so many non-magickal people, imagine what it can do in the hands (and minds) of those who are magickal!  It is the thoughtform of spellwork and meditation, transformed into a template for the future!And this is just the beginning!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 07 Nov 2009
SIZE: 34.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 7, 2009: Veterans' Day Thoughts

Veterans' Day, November 11th in the United States, will happen in the coming week.  As usual, I have something to say about that.We also had a tragic shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.  That's the physically largest military installation in the country, and also home to the Fort Hood Open Circle, one of the best military Pagan groups you'll find anywhere.  I don't know if any of their members was directly involved, but having lived and worked on military bases as much as I did, I can say that the mere fact that it happened on their base means that they're involved and affected.I'd like to offer you something to think about, and it is something that might not have occurred to you.And it kind of ties in with one of the main points I was already prepared to make, but the news of the day underlined the point far beyond anything I could accomplish.If you are looking for learning, there is plenty in the news today that qualifies as learning for The Craft (or whatever you call what we do).  And part of the learning process is to recognize where a lesson might be found.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 31 Oct 2009
SIZE: 30.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 31, 2009 - Let's Celebrate Samhain!

It's Samhain!  For many of us (including me) it is the biggest, most important, most major Sabbat (and holiday, for those who choose to differentiate) of the year, especially from a spiritual standpoint.This is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.  Because of that, this is the time of the year when it is easiest for us to reach across the veil - and for those on the other side of the veil to reach out to us.It is also the time for celebrating endings and beginnings (as well as beginnings and endings).  And with that, there are many wonderful opportunities!It has been a while since there has been a ritual celebration on this podcast, and this time it is extra special because it is a "simulcast" with our companion video podcast "Uriel's Gifts/ Mass For The Shut-Out."  But of course, there are things which can be done with audio that are not as easy to do with video, and so here we get to "see" the crowd that comes for this celebration and have a major celebration in a major temple.And that's one of the wonders of Samhain.  This is the time when we can use all I've mentioned here to harness our inner vision and see what we can build from it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 24 Oct 2009
SIZE: 26.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 24, 2009 - Samhain's Opportunities

Samhain will soon be here.  In fact, it is close enough that we can begin making use of its power now!Samhain presents us with some special opportunities.  It is a celebration of ends and beginnings and beginnings and ends.  After all, you won't have an end without a beginning, or a beginning without an end.  An end to something is the beginning of something else.  The  beginning of something is the end of something else.  It is also the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest.  It is a time when we can reach out to the people on the other side of the veil, and they can reach out to us.  Two aspect of one basic fact.Add to this, the inner vision you have for the future.And here is the opportunity to conciliate past, present and future.  It can also  be an opportunity to clear up any unfinished business with someone on the other side.It's not that these are impossible at any other time, but now is when it is easiest to do so, and that means that the energy you might have expended in the work itself can be used to harness the result.All this and more awaits you at Samhain!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 17 Oct 2009
SIZE: 27.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 17, 2009 - Jesus, The Goddess, And The Little Hitlers

"Little Hitlers" is a term coined in Germany during the Third Reich to describe those lesser functionaries whose egos exceeded their authority, and who did not let their lesser status keep them from exercising more power than they were actually entitled to.  And, in the Soviet Union, there was the assortment of "apparachniks".  And don't think that we can't find them where we are living today.They take many forms.  They can be civil servants; assistants to actual or purported bosses; glorified clerks with "manager" or "engineer" in their title; people in the office, neighborhood or church who cannot mind their own business, and sometimes even clergy.  And as to the latter, no denomination has exclusive right to that distinction - or exemption from it.It's important to recognize what they are up to.  It is also important to know how to deal with such people.  Some of them are in a position in which it might not be a good idea to confront them.  But to do nothing would be to surrender - and you probably can't afford what you'd lose by doing nothing.  But what do you do?I've been speaking about challenges in the tinme leading up to Samhain for a reason, and Samhain is nearly here.  Let's see what can be!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 10 Oct 2009
SIZE: 27.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 10, 2009 - The Challenge Of Personal Responsibility!

This is an episode that someone does not want you to hear!  No kidding!Personal responsibility is something which some people just don't like.  For them, personal responsibility means that they can't blame as much of what goes wrong on other people, other things, or even The Divine!  Most of us know someone who points to a traumatic event in their past and blames the sad state of their life on that.  A few of us have even heard someone claim that a shortcoming was because of something in their ancestry, their culture, or the way life was like at sometime before their own birth.  And, most of us can think of the time we heard someone talking about something which happened being "God's will."Have you ever noticed that such responsibility-shifting is so often accompanied by logic that does not survive close examination?And here I will freely admit that you will never have control over everything that happens in your life.  But, it might be surprising (to some) how much you can control of what follows in such an event.And here we harness a basic principle:  with responsibility comes authority.  And so, taking personal responsibility means that you take on personal authority.  And with that authority will come even more!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 03 Oct 2009
SIZE: 35.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 3, 2009 - The Controversy About Character Building

"Character" and "character building" have to be among the least-understood and often-misused terms in the English language.  And perhaps intentionally so, because they contain some powerful secrets for the benefit of those who wish to learn.Those of us who have experienced time in military service and/or a few other experiences have experienced the mis-use of the term "character-building".  That's what we were told when we were assigned tasks which were demeaning, thankless and sometimes even outright pointless.  But then there are also those experiences which do indeed build character and they sometimes on the surface can seem similar to the ones which seem to be mostly degrading.  Can we see the difference?And how does character get built?  What would make the difference between Mother Teresa and Charles Manson?  How can a door be opened, especially for someone who hasn't seen many open doors in a while?And in guiding our own character, what can we look for?With this, we can find some wonderful surprises - and at the same time we can blow away some folks' pre-conceived notions!  Yes, it is true that it might not be easy, but it can have its fun times and lights of happiness.  You'll see,Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 26 Sep 2009
SIZE: 36.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 26, 2009 - Conciliation Part Two: Making It Work!

It's one thing to describe how something might be done, it is another to actually succeed in doing it.Conciliation (and reconciliation) seems to me to be a sufficiently hot topic that I felt it necessary to devote a second episode to actually getting it done.  After all, it is easy to say that something can be done, or that it should be done.  But in this case, it seems to me that you deserve more than just sayings.After all, some of the principles and polarities which deserve conciliation or reconciliation are some of the same ones which inspire closed-mindedness on both sides of the issue - regardless of the issue.  And, there will be those who will refuse to believe that there can ever be conciliation.  But for the rest of us, there's something to be learned, discovered, and appreciated.A good starting point is that eternal source of strife, the argument between evolution and creationism.  I have resolved the issue within myself to the point that I no longer see the need for disagreement between the two.  But, on the one side you'll have your creationists who do not wish to be confronted with facts beyond the scope of their narrow interpretation.  And on the other side, there are those whose replacement for The Divine is nothing more than "random coincidence."Of course, if we go down this path, we are going to discover some other concepts which we might not have thought of, such as how to have unity without homogenzing ourselves!Just how much might we be able to find conciliation or reconciliation for?  If we do, we can expect some good things!

DATE: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
SIZE: 32.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 19, 2009: Conciliation - A Revolution On Your Spiritual Path!

Conciliation?  A revolution?  Of course, especially if you take a look at it!Most of us have been dealing with the conflict between the higher and lower since we can remember, especially those of us who listened to such people as our Sunday School teachers, preachers, and some others.  Some of them made it seem as if it were wrong to have nice things if others didn't.  Many of us had that "guilt trip" imposed on us as children.  That's not the only example of higher versus lower, but that was the first one that came to my mind when the subject came up.OK, so what if there were no real argument between them?  What if they could be brought into harmony with each other, so that they worked together?That's what we're talking about here.  It's not simple, except perhaps in the minds of those who aren't involved.  But what a quest!And the result is something perhaps more powerful than most people can imagine.  And it's waiting for you, for me, for each and every one of us.Come, take a look.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 12 Sep 2009
SIZE: 30.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 12, 2009: Spiritual First Aid Training

Of all of my experiences as a cadet, none made quite as much of an impression as a training session in the subject of combat first aid.  The centerpiece of the training was an Army training film which summed up the initial first few steps into three basic steps.  And it was done with a form of expression which etched the three steps indelibly in my memory.That was for physical first aid, and it was designed for a combat situation.  The principles of spiritual first aid are similar.  Of course, their is one difference.  In combat first aid, most people who are wounded know that they are wounded.  In combat first aid, it is likely that you will know who and what caused the wound.  Where spiritual first aid is concerned, it can sometimes take a while for someone to realize that they have indeed been wounded.  But just like in combat first aid, the initial response once the wound is known can make all of the difference in the world!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 05 Sep 2009
SIZE: 41.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 5, 2009: Spiritual Rivets And Focus

I recently watched a re-run of an episode of Bishop Fulton Sheen's show "Life Is Worth Living" from the 1960's.  In this particular episode, he spoke about "rivets", which in this case is a term he used to describe the "anchor point" or focus (or foci?) of an endeavor.  I realized how right-on he was, and how his talk gave emphasis to some of the concerns I've expressed over the last few years.It has to do with tradition.  You've heard me say that if you have a tradition, follow it.  If you feel the need to go a different way, then please do so, but don't disturb the people who continue to follow the tradition you're leaving.Done the right way, it can be of benefit for both sides.  In fact, that's part of why we have such customs as "hiving off."  And there are many similar examples throughout history.  Done the wrong way, it can be damaging.  In fact, it can bring down the whole thing.  That's why we hive off rather than letting those with a new way take over.  And done right, both can be strong.And might it just be that if your path and mine are not the same, perhaps it might be because the world needs both of them?  See what you think!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 29 Aug 2009
SIZE: 27.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 29, 2009: Opening The Big Door!

Almost every episode has touched on this issue, but this time we're dealing with it by looking it in the eye.Some of you wonder how spiritual things happen, even if they happen for you every minute of the day.  And some of you simply wonder if they can actually happen.Some of us have known the frustration of Sunday School.  Whether it was those pseudo-kids in the Sunday School filmstrips or the stories of saints which Sister Whoever would tell, you'd wonder how they rated such neat things happening and you didn't.  Later on, even on a path which your parents never heard of, you still can find yourself asking.  Especially after encountering a High Priestess or High Priest whose rituals crackle with energy and whose spells always seem to work.  Or simply the person who seems to see and feel so much more than you.  How do they do it?  It's as if a big door opened for them, and you wish that you could open it for you. You can.  It's waiting for you.  Not only that, you have the key.The trick is to find it, and then turn it so that the door opens for you.Let's see just how much we can do!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 22 Aug 2009
SIZE: 34.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 22, 2009: Your Most Powerful Working!

Whether you are talking about ritual, prayer, meditation, or whatever else you might be doing spiritually, they can all go under the general term of "workings".  That will cover everything from a Wiccan Sabbat to the Pope saying Mass to a Jewish Sabbath to a meeting in a Quaker meetinghouse.And what is the most powerful?  Even if we break them all into three categories which I discuss in this episode (three with the option to break up one into two, which would make four), one stands out.  Each has its own strength, and with the exception of one, all have the ability to pack a whallop of spiritual power.  But one stands out above all of the others.  And the reason for that is the fact that what you do by yourself has the greatest potential for letting your energy reach its full strength.There are many reasons for this to happen, and we'll discuss them.  Above all else, let's see why.  And let's see just how much might be able to be done.And we're just barely opening the door to a whole mew world here!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 15 Aug 2009
SIZE: 34.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 15, 2009: Apologies vs Real Atonement

You've heard me say it ever-so-many times before: the apology is the only commodity cheaper than a politician's promise during an election campaign.Michael Vick was recently released from prison after serving his sentence.  He's made statements about how remorseful he is about hurting and killing those dogs he forced to fight.  And when I think of what he did, and I look at the gentle creature at my feet (whose best buddy is a 3-month-old kitten), and I think you can imagine my thoughts about such a person.Just this Thursday, it was announced that not only was Michael Vick returning to pro football, be was going to join the Philadelphia Eagles!  That means that he is coming here, where I live and work!Speaking as someone who lives in the Philadelphia area and works right in the middle of Philly, I can tell you that you won't find many people who don't have very definite opinions about Michael Vick.As for me, I see this in terms of applied theology.  And there's a lesson we can all see here.  What exactly the lesson will entail depends upon Michael Vick.  What do I mean?  Listen to the podcast and find out!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 08 Aug 2009
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 8, 2009: A Lesson From Lammas

Sometimes, the most important lesson from a Sabbat is learned by looking back towards it.  And we're doing just that.  Lammas was last week.I've said before that there is an element of each Sabbat in every other Sabbat, and that no Sabbat is "over" until the Wheel Of The Year has turned all of the way to the next year's iteration of the same Sabbat.  And so, some of the most powerful learning to be gotten from any Sabbat is to be gained by looking forward and backward from that Sabbat to the others.  And, we had a ritual at the Lammas celebration.  It included many things, but one stood out in my mind:  naming the seeds which we may have planted but which we did not want to harvest.  Even the most Pollyanna of "fluff-bunnies" will admit that that is a real issue.  So much so that there was even a classic sci-fi movie which was aimed at exposing a threat of which most magickal folk are only too aware.And we're going to face that.  And maybe we can see how to claim victory over such a "thing".  Perhaps the most difficult thing is realizing that you actually can do that!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 01 Aug 2009
SIZE: 35.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 1, 2009: Decoding Dan Brown

Dan Brown has transformed another one of his books into a major Hollywood movie.  And I cannot help but wonder if there is going to be the same sort of stir created by "Angels and Demons" as was created by "The DaVinci Code."First off, one thing needs to be understood: in both cases, he appears to have had the intent of writing a fiction novel to entertain us.  But there are those who took it too seriously, as if it were a documentary revealing something.  And then there were those who took it too seriously, as if it were revealing a proprietary secret which they are supposed to guard.  And there are those who don't take it seriously enough, as if there were nothing there.If we do explore this, what do we do?  The same thing as for any other exploration.  First off, you get past what's completely fiction.  An organization with a purported history going back centuries before its actual founding is as useless as the cowboy movie "hero" who manages to shoot 25 shots from a six-shooter without reloading!Get beyond that, and we know what is worth looking for.  Once you find that, then the exploring can really begin.  And this is where you can have some spiritual excitement!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 25 Jul 2009
SIZE: 37.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 25, 2009: A Lesson I learned From A Best Friend

I was working on something different for this show, an episode in which we might look at decoding Dan Brown and his writings.  But on Tuesday, July 21st, One of my very best friends wrote a new chapter into my life, and opened my eyes to see far more than I intended to ever see.For all that I'd been through, this was the first time that I'd been with someone at the time they crossed over from this life to the next.  Death is something which some people prefer to not discuss.  Nevertheless, it is the one life-event which each and every one of us will face eventually.  And he made an effort to share his with me.  His name was Lionheart.  He was a cat, of the variety some people call "American shorthair," or what some people call "tuxedo" because his coat made him look as if he were in such formal attire.He came into Lady Stormy's life about three years before I did.  She literally rescued him off of the streets, saving him from a crowd of kids who were abusing him.  I was known to refer to him as Lord Pan's "vice president".He and I became close the moment we met.  Then again, that would be expected from the way he introduced himself to me.  And at the end, he held on until I was there.And I think there was much that he was trying to tell me.  And yet the most profound lesson I learned was both subtle and obvious.  I'm hoping you can see it in what I offer here. 

DATE: Sat, 18 Jul 2009
SIZE: 30.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 18, 2009: A Reality Check On David And Goliath

I offered the story of Dave Carrol last week in some comments about the news, and since then I've seen even more of the story.And I could not help but think of the stories such as the one about David and Goliath.  I slept through ever-so-many tellings of that story in Sunday School!  The story wasn't so bad, but it was presented in the manner of the stories of how some parent or grandparent had to go miles every day through so many feet of snow to get to school....  But Dave Carrol made it suddenly take on relevance.Goliath was a big warrior, and an airline is usually a big corporation.  There was a shepard boy named David who accepted Goliath's challenge.  Dave Carroll was a relatively unknown country singer who got fed up with how an airline treated him when their baggage handlers damaged his guitar.  And there is where we begin to see the lesson in the stories.  And perhaps it is a lesson that might not be obvious unless one tale is shown in parallel with another that is more contemporary which we can relate to.See what I mean!  It's part of the reason we get to say "So mote it be!"Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 11 Jul 2009
SIZE: 33.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 11, 2009: Four-Footed Friends, Familiars, And Fellow-Travelers On This Road

And here, I offer a salute to some of the dearest friends I've ever had.   I'm talking about my four-footed friends.  And yes, there are those who do not have four feet who would fit in this category, but my experience has been with the ones who do in fact have four feet.Give them broad enough horizons, and I am not sure just how much they might be able to do.  But I do see their level of understanding.  At any rate, the level of understanding in the ones which Lady Stormy and I have as our "kids".  They not only have names and personalities, they have tastes.  It is also amazing the respect which they show to things spiritual.  And to our altar.Having them around definitely has its rewards, even if there is the fact that we know that they are not immortal and their lives are shorter than ours.  And the rescued ones seem especially special.  All of ours are either rescued or descended from someone who was rescued.  The gratitude can be said to extend to their childrens' children because Apollo is the grandson of a cat Lady Stormy rescued many years ago.Whether they bark, meow, or something else, here is a special moment for our four-footed friends, familiars, and fellow travelers on this road.Blessed Be!PS:  The "news and comment spot" will tell you of where you can see just how much power this new media can have - check it out!

DATE: Sat, 04 Jul 2009
SIZE: 33.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 4, 2009: Mantra Power!

Perhaps the most under-rated and under-appreciated of spiritual practices is the mantra.The matter gets complicated by the number of people who think they don't use mantras when they actually are, and the number of other folks who think that they are using a mantra when they actually are not!The mantra is probably one of the most ancient forms of spiritual expression.  It is also potentially the most powerful.So, let us explore what makes a mantra powerful.  And let's see how you might be able to make some good use out of mantras.It isn't quick, so don't think that overnight you'll master something which others work with for years.  But you'll make a beginning and make progress.  Some things about mantras you'll know from your own experience, and others you'll discover along the way.  Perhaps the most important discovery along the way is what works for you.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 27 Jun 2009
SIZE: 28.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 27, 2009: Your Book Of Shadows

Your book of shadows is unique.  No other book can ever be as much of, by, and for you as your book of shadows.Other paths have books which purport to be for similar purposes, but they are collections which were collected by someone else, and often with a "one size fits all" approach.  And, most of them are available for sale at bookstores.  The only challenge in obtaining one is knowing which bookstore has which books.Your book of shadows is different.  It is as personal as your toothbrush, and as private as your underwear.  Nobody else has to approve what you put in there, and nobody needs to see it, either - unless it is with your permission.You can even think of it as a living thing, because it almost is.  One thing that it does do is that it grows with you.  And so, make provision for that growth.  Your child will not be wearing the same shoes at age 20 as he or she did at age 2, and so it is with your book of shadows, because it is that way with you.And so, let's explore how a book of shadows comes to be, and how you can nurture its growth.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 20 Jun 2009
SIZE: 35.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 20, 2009: Is Greed The Real Evil?

Is greed the real evil?You have no idea the work that went into figuring out a title for this episode.  In fact, when I was making the show, I was still calling it "Is Greed The Real Satan?" but then I had to fact the fact that for so many of us, there is no real satan or devil.  But, I believe we can all agree that there is real evil.And here we come to an issue which I felt the need to address.  And, I felt the need to address it now.  There were certainly a number of other topics I could have chose, including/ especially Litha.  But this one subject stood out as if it were begging me to say something.And, I can understand why.  This is a subject about which the preachers and teachers of certain notable other spiritual paths go spinning around in circles about.  They'll talk about evil and/or "the devil", sometimes to the point that I wonder whom it is that some of them are actually worshipping!  But for all of the wind expended from so many pulpits, there has been little actual effort to define it, or figure out what to do about it.  And it's apparent why this has come to be.  Come follow me in this exploration.  You'll find it interesting.

DATE: Sat, 13 Jun 2009
SIZE: 35.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 13, 2009: In Prayer Or Just Praying?

Of all of the apparent contradictions having to do with the spiritual, perhaps none is as dramatic or pronounced as that having to do with the effectiveness of prayer.  Some will say that prayer has a major "kick" to it and is one of the most powerful things they do.  Others see prayer as being ineffective, perhaps even counter-effective.  Over the course of my spiritual quest, I've been on both sides of this divide, and I haven't found many opinions that lay between those two poles.  It's basically one extreme or the other.So, if one group says that their prayer really does big things and another thinks of prayer as a cop-out for people who don't want to do anything, what is it that gives these two groups the basis for feeling that their opinion is justified?  Might it be something to do with how the praying is done?And so, we can go into the ways that some folks might pray.  We can also see what makes prayer weak.  And from that, we can see what makes strong prayer really have a major effect.And from all of that, we can see how to make prayer the most powerful thing we do.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 06 Jun 2009
SIZE: 27.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 6, 2009: Priesthood's Pitfalls

Every form of endeavor has its dangers and pitfalls, and there are some dangers and pitfalls to which priestesses and priests are especially vulnerable.   If you don't think this is about you because you don't see yourself as clergy, think again.  Each of us is our own priestess or priest for the sake of meeting our own needs.  We don't need to hire a "broker" to deal with The Divine for us.  But, of course, there are times when even clergy are in need of clergy.  And I'll be touching on that, too.Some of the most potentially productive (and even spectacular) spiritual paths can have snares.  And, some of those snares are subtle enough that they might not be extremely obvious.Some of the pitfalls might seem obvious, but I'm sure that at least one might cause you to have some thought.  And, some of them might not look like what they are until you're in the middle of a situation.  That is, of course, unless you have your eyes open all along.  That might not be a guarantee of prevention, but it will indeed help.And there is one word which encompasses most of the solution.  Seek it, and most of the answer to these pitfalls will be in your hands.  The full answer might not always be so simple, but the simple solution takes care of most of what might try to tangle your feet.  And what is that "one word"?  You might have guessed it.  Download this episode to see if you guess was right!Blessed Be!PS:  Sorry for the delay.  I had to do an all-nighter at my day job, and came home too exhausted to put out a coherent show.

DATE: Sat, 30 May 2009
SIZE: 27.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 30, 2009: What's In The Roses For You?

Just like what happened last time, once more we're looking at something that some folks will consider to be a trite platitude.  And once again, we cna discover that there is actually something important and exciting within it.The saying this time?  "Take time to smell the roses."There are those people who will hear that and accuse whoever said it of trying to keep them from getting ahead.  But there are also those who go from the beginning to the end of their journey and have not learned anything along the way.You've seen such people, and people who are becoming just like them.  In the "Dilbert" comic strip recently, there were some about an MBA who had just joined Dilbert's company.  What that particular MBA lacks in knowledge, he makes up for in buzzwords and jargon.  And if you think that "Dilbert" is just a comic strip, ask someone who has been accused of leaking stories to the comic strip's author.In some lines of work, people who are making a career in the field will speak of "paying your dues."  Those who have "paid their dues" have smelled the roses.Each rose has a gift for you.  You'll see.  You might not understand the gift today, but the day will come when you will - or someone will recognize you because of it.Each gift from each rose which we smell along the way will make us that much wealthier when we get to where we're going.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 23 May 2009
SIZE: 37.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 23, 2009: The Greatest Teachers You Never Knew You Had!

We all have our teachers.  And some of our teachers are great teachers.  I can name quite a number of teachers I've had, some I've mentioned to you and some have names you'd recognize if I dropped the name.  But there are other teachers, too.  And some of them turn out to be great teachers, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.There are the power-trippers, there are the people with an agenda, there are those who are over-devoted to a faction's party-line, there are those who cannot mind their own business, there are the greedy, and so many others.  I might call it a zoo, except that I do not want to insult my four-footed friends who are above such behavior.And, they get in your way.  There is something which you feel that you are supposed to do, and they do their best to keep you from that.But, do you know what?The joke can be on them, if you want it to be!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 16 May 2009
SIZE: 30.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 16, 2009: Beyond Spiritual Burger-Flipping!

We spoke about The Witches' Pyramid last time.  This time, we're talking about how to get the most if its (and your) power.So often, new students ask questions that begin with "What's a good spell to do...?", or "how would you use magick to...?" and so one of the first things I usually do with those who learn from me is make a comparison between someone who cooks burgers at a local fast-food franchise, and a top chef.The burger-flipper knows how to follow instructions in preparing pre-manufactured ingredients into something you and I are supposed to be able to eat.  Most openings for such jobs do not have too stringent qualification requirements, and pay starts somewhere in the neighborhood of minimum wage.  It takes years to make a chef, and a chef knows food well enough to create recipes as needed, and make variation as required by occasion, need and availability.  While a shortage of some key ingredient will inspire the chef to be creative to meet needs in spite of the shortage, the burger-flipper might only know that there's no point in asking if you want fries with that if a potato shortage means that fries are not available. Likewise with a Priestess or Priest.  It is entirely proper that learning begins with learning how to do something from someone who already knows how to do it.  But eventually, this learning creates an assimilation of principles which will give you the ability to create on your own.And this is when it gets good - when it's uniquely and specially yours.  You'll see.  It's here.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 09 May 2009
SIZE: 30.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 9, 2009: A Tour Of The Witches' Pyramid

Perhaps the biggest misconception about The Witches' Pyramid is that it is exclusive to Witches.  Not at all!  In fact, the principle is basic to almost any spiritual path in which The Divine has an active role in people's lives.  And, in fact, it is the corruption and perversion of The Witches Pyramid's principles which give some paths such strange concepts as "God's will", especially when they claim that their allegedly loving god can will suffering.Think of The Witches' Pyramid as having four walls.  Each wall is a principle.  Brought together, they create energy and power.  Let's look at each of the four principles, and see how they apply.Used effectively, they bring with themselves more than merely what you want and/or need.  And what is especially amazing is how much they bring with them.Four basic principles, and the beginnings of great things!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 02 May 2009
SIZE: 23.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 2, 2009: Beltane - The God's Bar Mitzvah!

Now, why would I pick a comparison like that - comparing Beltane to a Bar Mitzvah?Perhaps because it's appropriate!  And perhaps because one gives perspective to the other!At a Bar Mitzvah, the boy arrives at the synagogue with mom and dad.  But of all that goes on in that major rite of passage, the focus is on the moment when he announces "Today I am a man!"  While the parents will still have a role in his life, the character of his life changes at that moment, and more emphasis is placed on what he does, and less on what is done for him or to him.And it is the same for the God, who was the Divine Child born at Yule, whose growth and childhood we celebrated at Imbolc and Ostara.  Today he steps into his maturity and begins that part of his life's journey in which he is the one responsible for doing the traveling.  And from this day forward until his funeral at Samhain, we'll be seeing what he does.And so, yes, Beltane is indeed the God's Bar Mitzvah.  In so many ways.  And it's one more way in which we can relate to The Divine.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 25 Apr 2009
SIZE: 30.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 25, 2009: Pathworking Your Everyday Life!

Pathworking is something I enjoy tremendously.  In fact, I enjoyed pathworking for longer than I've been a Wiccan.  I say that because of some other spiritual exercises which amount to pretty much exactly the same thing, but they are conducted in the context of other paths.  More than one, but there was one I came to know and love because of the visions.  And I'm so glad to have them now.Of course, pathworking does take a time and a place that is set aside, preferably with people knowing not to disturb you.  But we can take the principle and adopt it elsewhere.It's kind of like taking a vacation.  For a vacation, I'll take a week or two and forget that the office exists.  But I also need evenings, weekends and an occasional holiday in addition to the vacation time.  Otherwise, I'd be a basket case by the time I had vacation time coming to me.  And in this case also, there is something basic that I can take with me and apply it with what appears to be the everyday.Begin with finding The Divine when you are in a very mundane situation.  When you are being spiritual is a good time for this, especially in the beginning.And what are you doing?  You're adding more dimension and depth to your own spirituality.  Not only that, you're developing a way to see the divine in every aspect of your life.And from there, you can really grow!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 18 Apr 2009
SIZE: 31.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 18, 2009: Unity?

Unity?  Unity?There probably are fewer words which have a definition more slippery than "Unity".  Especially where religion and spiritual matters are concerned, "unity" is one of those words batted around in some circles almost like patriotic words on a holiday that is patriotic in origin.  The problem is, "unity" seems to be a word that can have any number of meanings, depending on what is going on in the mind of the speaker.So, what is unity?  Does it mean giving up your spiritual path for some supposed "greater good"?  Does it mean nitpicking, laughing at, and ostracizing those whose paths are at variance with the "authorized way" until they get themselves in line?  Does it mean "cafeteria spirituality" where you pick and choose which aspects of a path you will do?  Of course not!As a matter of fact, if you have a tradition, you need to follow it.  That's one reason why some things might be all right if one person does it, but not if another does.  I am on a path that says that there are many paths, and so I say so.  Someone who is on a path in which there is supposed to be only one path is under a different set of rules.  Which does not mean that we can't give each other's paths mutual respect in the degree we would like to receive.  And there is the beginning.  And we can build from that.And once we figure that out, there is no limit to what we can accomplish!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 11 Apr 2009
SIZE: 33.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 11, 2009: So, What Next?

Last week, we celebrated this podcast's third anniversary.  This week, we look forward to see where it's going.This is something that we all need to do from time to time:  look back to where we've been, and look forward to where we're heading.  There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is to insure that we are in fact on the course which we set out on initially.  We have all probably seen people and groups who have forgotten to do so.  I can think of a church that became so much of a social agency that worship services were neglected.  I can also think of a military unit that seemed more focused on social engagements than they were on being a military unit.  And, there was the savings and loan association in which people were much more focused on how people were dressed than they were on anything resembling what an "S&L" supposedly did - which might have something to do with why that particular savings and loan association is no longer in business.To share this concept with you, I broke one of my own personal rules.  Where computers are concerned, I generally don't tell many folks what I am up to until it is done and in-place.  But I felt the need to make an exception because there was a need to do so.  There's also something to share here about what we're here about.  And that, I am glad to say, has not changed.  And there is more to come.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 04 Apr 2009
SIZE: 30.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 4, 2009: Third Anniversary Celebration!

Yes, it has been three years that this podcast has been coming to you, and there are 159 episodes (including this one) to prove it!  It was in April of 2006 when the first one came out.  As I recall, it was my oft-repeated question as to why we can't get along.Much has happened since then.  The first that comes to mind is that Jerome Birnbaum, who trained and ordained Lady Stormy and then me, finally had a Pentacle-inscribed veteran's headstone for his grave.  And people seem to be becoming more aware of Tempest Smith's tragic story.  Lord Pan, the four-footed patriarch of our little family here, crossed over into the Summerland.  I'm not claiming credit for anything other than these were some of the things we've shared over the past three years.  It might be said that it began with my own hunger and thirst.  And when I found myself not only spiritually hungry and spiritually thirsty but also spiritually abandoned, I looked for a new home, new food and new drink.  And it seemed right that while I should not proclaim this food and drink to be the only ones, I would be remiss if I did not offer them to those who might wish to avail themselves of them.  It might also be said that it grew from what I learned and discovered.  Imagine us as a thread in a beautiful and infinite fabric.  The problems come when we find a thread which thinks that it is the entire fabric!And so, let's take a moment and celebrate that we've made it through these three years, and let's have a vision of what lies ahead for us.  I'm looking forward to it.  And thanks for sharing these three years with me.Blessed Be!   

DATE: Sat, 28 Mar 2009
SIZE: 33.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 28, 2009: Beyond The Bridge - Crossing!

With Ostara, we finished a significant sequence of events within the Wheel of the Year.  We begin with a death at Samhain, and see a birth at Yule.  But what was born at Yule is only an infant.  At Imbolc, what was born is beginning to have some strength.  And at Ostara, the one who was born at Yule is seen as being really back to life in every sense.In many ways, it's like a graduation.  And you can look back and see where you've been.  And perhaps more importantly, you can look forward and see what lies ahead.Ancient lore from almost any spiritual path (including that which we share here) will tell you what lies between death in one lifetime and re-birth in the next.  And there are many points which all of them seem to have in common.  Of course, people who purport to speak for a particular path will lay claim to certain embellishments as if they were true.And somewhere, there is reality.  How to tell your own reality?  There are a couple of basic facts which can make a great deal be abundantly clear.I'm not going to give you answers, but I will show you where to find answers.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 21 Mar 2009
SIZE: 30.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 21, 2009: Ostara - Promise And Fulfillment!

At Ostara, there is a story.  Ostara, Easter, Spring Equinox, whatever name you give it, there is a story that gets told.A story you've heard before, or is it?  If you hear the story from another path, can you recognize it for what it is?  And if groups of people who probably had little idea (if any) of each others' existence come up with the same lore, should we take time and ask why this would happen?It might well be that the slightly-different stories have a truth in common.And here is a message at Ostara that some folks miss.  Does it occur to anyone that if another path has the same lore as yours, that means that the paths corroborate each other.  Neither one is an adaptation of the other, but they share the same truth!Something that I pointed out when remembering Tempest Smith is appropriate to mention again.  In one path, there is a writing in which someone said that he had "sheep which are not of this fold," but he did not say how many other sheep or how many other folds.  And if two paths share a truth, then their respective followers will do well to share respect with each other.  But in this case, the shared truth means something even bigger than that!Blessed Be!New VideoThe video of the Ostara celebration is available at http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/lordaidan

DATE: Sat, 14 Mar 2009
SIZE: 34.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 14, 2009: The One Thing You'll Never Do!

I was listening to some music the other day, and I heard an old favorite: Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence."  I have been known to say that my definition of great writing is one which reveals new things to the reader no matter how many times you read it.  By that measurement, this is one of the greatest!There is a story in the words to that song, and the story brings with it some powerful verbal imagery.  And it leads us to one of the truths which we all need to confront.What I see revealed here is a basic truth about ourselves and our nature.  And as a result, it seems the obvious conclusion is that there is one thing which none of us will ever do.  Not a one of us is capable of doing it.  The irony is that there are many people whose own belief system is such that they are sentenced to living their lives in denial of this truth, but it is there nevertheless.  And by what I say that they cannot do, it implies that there is something that they are doing, because what they cannot do is to avoid doing it.  They might do it on a different basis, but they do nevertheless.A puzzle?  Not if you know what it is that we cannot do.  And because we cannot do that one thing, there is something else which takes on even greater importance as a result.  And it is something which you probably are doing.And it's what makes things exciting.  And it begins with knowing what it is that you will never do.Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 07 Mar 2009
SIZE: 33.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 7, 2009: Barrier Busting!

Barrier Busting!We all face barriers.  There are enough of them in our mundane lives, but on out spiritual paths, they can be formidable.  And they need to be dealt with, one way or another.  Some of them were put up for you by other people (or circumstance), and others are barriers you put up for yourself.There are two kinds of barriers which we all have to address.  The first kind of barrier is the kind that's there for a good reason.  One example would be the things you don't do because of vows you've taken.  Another example might be things you don't do because you feel it's more risk than it's worth.  But there is another kind of barrier, and that is the barrier which keeps you from something which you want or need.  Prejudices can be the basis of this kind of barrier, but they are not the only way these barriers come to be.  Sometimes fear can bring about an unnecessary barrier, such as a person who refuses to fly in an airplane.  And a useful role of discernment is to help you know the difference.And in this, there is another key which can open doors.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 28, 2009: Ritual Construction 101

We've spoken much about what gives you power, and how to avoid that which costs you energy.  And so, now is a good time to step back for a while and take a good look at how to construct a ritual.  In any endeavor, it's worthwhile to occasionally take a step back and remember the basics.  Then again, we're talking about a form of endeavor in which the advanced stuff is nothing more than application of the basics anyway.  It's much the same as in mathematics - all of the fancy stuff is nothing more than sequences of the basic operations.And so we come here, to see what it takes to put a ritual together.And please understand, it does not have to be a fancy ritual at a permanent altar.  You'll also have plenty of opportunity to do them when you don't have set-aside facilities.  In fact, there might be occasions in which you might need to do one in which nobody around you knows that you're doing a ritual.And the most important mortal in your ritual is, of course, you.  Don't worry, Mrs Broadbeam, Sister Sweathog and Pastor Platepass who tried messing with your spirituality before are no longer around to bother you, so don't worry about them.And, armed with the right basics, there is no telling just how much you might be able to accomplish.  Do not be surprised if you surprise yourself!Blessed Be!Special Announcement:  "Mass For The Shut-Out", Temple of Gaia's video cast, can be seen at http://www.veoh.com/search/videos/q/lordaidan

DATE: Sat, 21 Feb 2009
SIZE: 36.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 21, 2009: In Honor of Tempest Smith - A Warning and A Promise

This was intended to be an on-line ritual, but there were enough words to say that they deserved their own episode.  Tempest Smith died on February 20, 2001.  She died by her own hand because she could no longer deal with the daily harassment and bullying she was receiving from her classmates.  At her funeral, there were numerous statements from those who should have been her friends about how sorry they were.  Well, words are like arrows:  Once they've hit the mark, how much good does taking them back accomplish?And in her honor, some words of warning, and words of promise as well.  And they come right from the Christians' own Bible.  They might not be verses which some folks know, but they are there, waiting for those who want to learn.  Three words of warning and promise, in plain sight.If The Divine is as infinite as if must be, there is a whole lot which we simply do not know.  But, we can begin by knowing that we do not know everything.  And we can know that what we grasp of The Divine is one small part of one small corner.  And that's regardless of what name or names we use for addressing The Divine.And when our minds are grown to the point that we might be able to grasp more, then we'll see things differently.  And things that seemed so terribly important today will become so terribly trivial!And the warnings contain promises of what can be ours if we grasp the lesson to be found in Tempest Smith's story.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 14 Feb 2009
SIZE: 33.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 14, 2009: Are People Actually Learning?

In a town in Illinois, there is a protest going on against the environmental education program going on in their local elementary school.  It seems that some of the grownups don't like the idea of children being taught such concepts as recycling, global warming, and environmental responsibility.  One person called it "environmental indoctrination"It reminds me of when I was growing up in Oregon, and some of the grown-ups didn't appreciate the idea that the schools were teaching us kids that people whose skin was a different color had the same rights as everyone else!There will always be those who stand in the way of what's right, but the fact is that the truth is being taught.And then there is Chase Utley, second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies.  I am not a sports fan, but I am a fan of his.  For all he does for our four-footed friends, I'll cheer for the Phillie so that he will have success.  And I first heard of his efforts because of a story of a much-abused dog.  And I've noticed that since he's made such an effort, more and more big-name people are rescuing animals from shelters.  The man is making saving a life the "in" thing to do!  Those who have heard me tell any of Yuengling's story know why that would mean so much to me.And so, we see positive.  Children are learning the right things, and a role model is taking the lead in caring for animals.  And this comes together in magick!The negative is always easy to find.  The positive is sometimes more difficult to find, but it can be found anywhere.  Not only that, but when the positive is found within the negative, it makes the positive shine even more.And what does this have to do with magick?As you will see, it has everything to do with it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 07 Feb 2009
SIZE: 35.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 7, 2009: Looking Prejudice (and yourself?) In The Eye

There is a time for critical self-examination.  The trick is, once again, to maintain balance.  Don't be so over-critical of yourself that you judge yourself to be beyond redemption, but also don't make excuses for yourself, either.  There can be a danger here of a downward spiral similar to that experienced by some folks who experience bullying or a smear campaign.  One prime example of this is the issue of prejudice.  Prejudice begins with a dichotomy, two facts in opposition to each other.At the root of every prejudice, you can expect to find a lie.Anyone who claims to be without prejudice at all is lying. Everyone has prejudices.  There are more causes of prejudice than I've got time or disk space to list.  But the chief causes include what you learn from parents, friends, classmates, and your own experience.  Look at the word "prejudice".  "Pre" means "before".  "Judice" means "judgment".  So, it's judgment in advance.  Jumping to a conclusion before the facts are all in.  And we all do it.And so, let's look at it.  And let's see what we can do about it.  And if it's unavoidable, can we make some use of it?And that's one of the secrets in plain sight!Blessed Be!A Special Proposal And InvitationI would like to propose that we set aside February 20th as Tempest Smith Day.On February 20, 2001, Tempest Smith died by her own hand.  She was twelve years old.  She died because she could not take any more of the daily religious harassment, bullying and torment from her classmates because she chose to follow the Wiccan path.It is customary in some traditions, notably Christian, to honor a saint or a martyr by setting aside the day of their passing as the day to commemorate.  Since her tormentors thought that they were serving Jesus, I believe it would be especially appropriate in this case.As for what to do on Tempest Smith Day, simply take a little time to offer energies and prayers for her and so that this will never happen again.

DATE: Sat, 31 Jan 2009
SIZE: 30.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 31, 2009: Imbolc vs "God's Will"!

And so, we have Imbolc!This is probably the most obscure of the Sabbats, especially for those of us who have spent our lives in temperate climates.  But it is well known to Norse, Celts and others who live in the northern lands.  On the news a few days ago, it was mentioned that the folks at Barrow, Alaska got to see the sun for the first time since November!It's still winter, but the sun is returning.  And for those who are watching, the first of the most hardy shoots are beginning to stick their heads out of the ground.A promise was made at Samhain.  Another promise was made at Yule.  Or, you could say that the promise made at Samhain was repeated at Yule.  At Imbolc, we have a sign (or a token of pledge) that the promise is going to be fulfilled - and in fact it is in the process of being fulfilled.And underlying this is a basic fact about The Divine.  It is a fact which might not sit well with those who speak of "God's will."  And maybe it tells us something about The Divine (by whatever name or names we address our deities).And it might even offer a healing for some, along with fulfillment of the promises made at Samhain and Yule.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 24 Jan 2009
SIZE: 28.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 24, 2009: Music In Your Circle!

A thought occurred to me during a recent ritual.  One of my favorite magickal tools does not get as much discussion as it might deserve.  I'm talking about music in your own rituals.  I'm not really talking about anything involving a group.  What I'm looking at more is the kind of ritual like I do when it's me and The Divine.That's also the time when I can, as the saying goes, sing like nobody's listening and dance like nobody's watching.  In its most simple and basic use, it can be a wall of audio between you and the rest of the world.  It can also aid your focus and vision, and make the thoughtform even more alive and real.  Of course, there are a few cautions.  One of the most basic, for instance, is that if you are using another language, have some idea of what the words mean.  That does not mean you need to be fluent in the language which you are using.  But it does mean that you should make some effort to insure that someone who knows the language doesn't embarrass you when they announce what you've been chanting.The music you use can take any number of forms and combinations.  It might include singing, any number of forms of chanting, a musical instrument, or recordings.  The means and method are not as significant as what they achieve.Some don't use it at all, and some make it a major part of their magick.  And you won't know until and unless you explore and try.It might add some new dimensions to your magick.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jan 2009
SIZE: 29.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 17, 2009: Forging Ahead - But How?

Now, we begin to walk forward.In the last few months, if there has been any kind of recurring theme in my podcasts it would be that of putting any obstacles out of the way.  So then, you ask, what now?Now, you begin to move forward toward your spiritual goal.  It's your turn now.There are stories about others, but this is your turn.  Who is to say that what worked for someone else is going to work equally well for you?  But, we can learn from the stories.First, of course, we need to separate the spiritually successful from the successfully sanctimonious, at least for purposes of this exercise.  Some of the successfully spiritual were very simple people.  Not much education, not much money, and in some cases considered to be not terribly smart.  But others who were successfully spiritual (and spiritually successful) had very powerful intellects and knew how to use it.  So, what would they have in common with the simpler folk?I offer an illustration which, I believe, brings out the point.And with that, a journey begins.Blessed Be!   

DATE: Sat, 10 Jan 2009
SIZE: 37.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 10, 2009: History's Fine Points - And So What?

Last week, I spoke of the Principles Of Wiccan Belief.  There are 13 principles in that 1974 statement, and each one could command its own episode on a podcast like this - or even more.But Number Eleven stands out in my sight, because it deals with a principle so basic.  Yet it is a principle which is so often forgotten:  "As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of The Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions.  We are concerned with out present and our future."As far as I know, every spiritual path known to humankind faces its detractors and debaters.  But does it accomplish anything?  I recall in college, it seemed that every wanna-be "intellectual" felt the need to debate whether Yeshua Bar-Joseph actually was an historical individual.  Some anti-Jewish and anti-Israel groups are trying to claim that King David never existed.  But I find it really upsetting to see Wiccans and Pagans engaging in such debates, especially when they make such debates with other Wiccans and Pagans.  I've said before why I consider challenging another person's spiritual path to be spiritually dangerous.  I would also point out to any debaters that if it's not your path, what's it to you anyway?I try to make as few exceptions to this as possible, and those exceptions have to do with basic morality.  Beyond that, I'll even give The Flying Spaghetti Monster the benefit of the doubt for now.  If it's not my path and it doesn't bother my path, what business is it of mine?For some folks, certain things are so basic that they don't even require mention.  For some others, it might just be a secret in plain sight.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 03 Jan 2009
SIZE: 39.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 3, 2009: And by this yardstick, who would not be a Wiccan?

This episode might get me in trouble with some folks.  But that might not be so bad, because a number at least equal to them will be glad that I measured my tent and they see that it is large enough to include them with no big issues.In 1974, the American Council of Witches adopted a set of 13 points which they declared to be the Principles Of Wiccan Belief.  I was barely aware of Wicca's existence in 1974, and the American Council of Witches has since disbanded.  But their Principles Of Wiccan Belief are an important legacy which has been passed down to us.  When the Internal Revenue Service or other government body looks at a religious group and tries to decide if it constitutes a "church", one of the documents which they look for is a basic set of distinguishable beliefs.  This is ours.  We do indeed have a debt of gratitude to those who wrote it.  And going through it, I find answers to some of the questions which seem to plague so many of us - and really bother me.  What, or who, is or is not Wiccan?  "Wiccan" encompasses a broad range of spiritual paths.  And by virtue of these 13 principles, it can be said that it encompasses more than many people are willing to admit.  Some Wiccans will be reluctant to recognize that certain other people are in fact Wiccan.  Then again, some other people will be reluctant to admit that they are Wiccan.There are basically three kinds of people, as I see it, who are not Wiccan regardless of their claims:The closed-minded.People using the spiritual for their own agenda.Folks who just don't get the point. And the point of all of this?  When we get this point and put it to use, wonderful things can happen!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 27 Dec 2008
SIZE: 37.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 27, 2008: Putting Yule To Use!

If I repeat a point, it just might be because it's an important point which folks will do well to remember and use.One advantage we have over the more mundane folk is that while their holidays end at the stroke of midnight on the day of the holiday, each of our Sabbats can be seen as never being really over until the same Sabbat of the next year arrives.  Yule of 2008 will be with us until Yule of 2009, and we will see it not only in every other Sabbat between now and the next Yule, but in each and every single day - if only we look.And Yule's big gift to us, the one I spoke of last week, is ours to cherish the whole year.And here is where I find the need to take off the figurative gloves.  I am known to be not only tolerant but generally accepting of other spiritual paths.  But in one place I draw the line and I will not move that line.  I find it impossible to accept, believe in, or follow a deity whose would constitute abusive behavior if one of us mortals did the same thing.  And within this is a gift from The Divine, and it is a gift which we can indeed cherish and nurture each and every day.  And herein is the greatest gift of Yule, and the one we can really put to use all year!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 20 Dec 2008
SIZE: 40.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 20, 2008: Yule's Gift To You!

It's Yule!  Yule is one of my favorite times of the year.  So many spiritual paths converge at this time of year, whether they want to or not.  Why?  Because there is something special at the root of all of the celebrations at this time of year, and it is something special that everyone needs, whether they want to admit it or not.  As for me, I admit that what I've found at the root of all of these celebrations is something that I do need.Now, what could Yule, Christmas, the birth of Mithras, Hannukah, the Winter Solstice and some others have in common?  Why do so many of them include the exchange of gifts and feasting in their celebrations?  Could it be that there is a gift at the heart of this?  Could it be that these celebrations, especially at the root which all of them have in common, have this gift in common?And what is this gift?  The gift begins with a promise.Go back to the beginning, when our ancestors were first trying to make sense of the world in which they found themselves.  Peer out of your cave at this time of year, and what do you see?  What would you be wanting?  What would you hope for, and what promise would be the most precious right about now if you were living back then - and knowing only what they knew?Know what?  That gift is still there, still waiting for each of us - including you!  And for some of us, it is even more precious today.  Claim your gift, and join in the celebration we offer on this wonderful Sabbat!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 13 Dec 2008
SIZE: 34.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 13, 2008: From How Many Wells May You Drink?

From how many wells may you drink?  The simple answer would seem to be that you may drink from as many wells as are necessary in order to quench your thirst.  But what about drinking from spiritual wells in order to satisfy a spiritual thirst?How many spiritual wells may you drink from when you are seeking to quench a spiritual thirst?  This is one of the toughest questions you will face in your spiritual quest, and you will indeed face it.In the beginning (or re-beginning, if you are seeking a path after losing a previous path), you need to find a tradition that meets your needs.  That means building a relationship between yourself and not only a tradition but also (and especially) its deities.  That will be enough to keep you busy for quite a while.Later, you may want or need more dimension and/ or depth, such as noticing an affinity to some deity, discovering a need, or the call of ancestors.  You might also want to come to peace (not necessarily reconcile, but come to peace) with a former path.  For these or other reasons, you'll have grown to the point where you find yourself  needing to drink at more than one well to satisfy your spiritual thirst.  How do you deal with that?There are all kinds of answers.  Some incorporate a fact which makes the followers of some paths cringe.  Nevertheless, there is only one answer which is valid for you, and you need to know where and how to find it.  And that's what this is about.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 06 Dec 2008
SIZE: 31.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 6, 2008: A Time To Be Selfish!

A time to be selfish?  Yes!The problem with selfishness is that most of the time when someone is talking about it, they're talking about its excess or abuse.  The fact is that a small, healthy dose of selfishness is not only not wrong, it is healthy and necessary.  Without it, we become doormats.It might be unreasonable to expect folks to make a big deal of every little thing you might do for someone, it is extremely reasonable that you should at least expect that a reasonable effort not be insulted or snubbed.We have become what we are  because we help each other.  We each also have our own boundaries.  We need to know where the line is.  We need to know what we're going to do if someone steps over that line.You've heard me speak of the need for balance before, and none quite so much as here.  While we reach our potential by helping others, we must also look out for ourselves.  And in this episode we explore that.And armed with this, we can explore even more.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 29 Nov 2008
SIZE: 35.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 29, 2008: Thanksgiving And Giving Thanks!

In the United States, the fourth Thursday in November is the federal holiday known as Thanksgiving Day.  Many other countries have a thanksgiving day of some sort during the course of the year.  In the case of the US, it is claimed to commemorate a celebration had by the Plymouth Pilgrims to celebrate a bountiful harvest after a hard winter in which many of them died of starvation and cold.  It is a mundane holiday, and we are spiritual people.  What can we do with this?This is a celebration of "the harvest" in the same manner as Lammas, Mabon and Samhain are the celebrations of three distinct harvests.  For those of us in modern times, this might not seem so apparent to someone whose food comes not from a field but from a supermarket.  But there had to be a harvest even if you and I don't experience it.Another dimension of the mundane Thanksgiving holiday is the number of families who come together, some of them overcoming miles and others setting aside issues for the sake of the celebration.  How well I remember trips to Duluth (Minnesota) for Thanksgiving.  What a way to give thanks, including for family!But it is a time set aside for giving thanks.And the kind of thanks we can give at such a special time (or any other time we set aside) is more than just thanks.  It is the basis of something which we can build upon!  And build we shall!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 22 Nov 2008
SIZE: 35.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 22, 2008: When It Happens!

When it happens?  Yes, it can happen and it will!  It's what you've been praying about, isn't it?When it happens, what are you going to do?  As one actor in a commercial for travelers' checks once expressed it, "What will you do?"You've prayed, you've done (or attended) rituals and other gatherings, and done everything else you're supposed to, and maybe worried about not doing enough, and suddenly - there it is!  What you've asked for is yours.Strange thing, there isn't much good advice about how to handle things when it happens.  From Sister Sweathog and/or Mrs. Broadbeam at Sunday School to Brother Billy-Bob behind the pulpit telling you about "God's will," there just isn't much decent advice about what to do when you have what you've been asking for!Will you know what it is when it is staring you in the face?  It might not look like what you thought it would look like, you know.  Some seeds do not look much like the trees which they can become.Will you know what to do with it once you have recognized it?Will you have any idea what the next step will be once you understand what is yours?Please understand that there might be something coming to you.  You do not have to give in to the naysayers, the meddlers and the people who ought to mind their own business.  It can be yours.And if you can grow that into what you pictured in your minds' eye, what can be next?Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 15 Nov 2008
SIZE: 33.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 15, 2008: The 10 Most Popular Ways To Destroy Your Own Spirituality!

Here are the ten most popular ways to destroy your own spiritual life! With the coming and going of Samhain, we have the end of one year and the beginning of another year.  And this is a most appropriate time to reflect for a bit on some of the most basic of basics. Everyone from the Pope and the Dahlai Lama down to frizzy-haired church gossips will offer advice on how to have a quality spiritual life.  Some of the advice might be excellent.  But, there is so much of "how-to". Some folks take another approach and speak of "how not to".  They show the more common shortcomings of some efforts in hopes that we'll avoid repeating the mistakes of others. Here' I've taken a third approach.  Every day, there are people whose spiritual life just sort of whimpers.  One day, someone wakes up and suddenly discovers that their spiritual life is not only gone, it has been gone for a long time.  So, I've decided to show how to make your spiritual life do an outright crash-and-burn! Now, of course, it is not my intent to encourage you to be spectatular failures.  Rather, it is my hope that in this list of the most popular ways to colossal spiritual failure, you'll find some clues as to how to be a major success. As is often the case in many fields, the difference between success and failure is the grasping of a basic principle.  Take marketing as an example.  One store prospers over the long run, while another store does very well initially but then just sort of dies and goes out of business.  There's a principle that says that once you've got the customer to come to your store, you need to give that customer reason to come again.  And so one store flourishes over time while another store seems to be doing very well and then suddenly begins to wither away.  It's the same thing with your spiritual life. And perhaps there might be some clues here as to how to make your spiritual life sizzle! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 08 Nov 2008
SIZE: 36.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 8, 2008: Samhain's Follow-Through!

Spiritually, just possibly the most powerful of all Sabbats has just made its yearly visit to us here in the Northern Hemisphere.  So, what now?The answer can be found in a term often used by athletes and their coaches: follow-through.  In baseball, it's what you do with the bat after it encounters the ball.  In football, it's what your arm does after you release the ball.  In golf, it's what you do with the club after it hits the golf ball.  Sometimes, it seems as if follow-through is as important as anything else you do.  Quite often, it actually is!We often make jokes about our more mundane friends and the resolutions which they make at the mundane new year - and usually break before February.  Then again, they make the same jokes about themselves.  They make the resolution, but what's next?Like all Sabbats, this past Samhain will be with us until the next Samhain.  And while our mundane friends make their December 31st/January 1st resolutions to family, friends, the office water cooler and the person filling their glass, we do more.  Samhain is a time for endings and beginnings.  And so, we do well to be a bit more serious.And how to follow through?  There are some basic principles, and a few "rules" which seem to work for me.  At any rate, at the 2007 Samhain I once again resolved to end my smoking habit, and it seems to be ended.  At any rate, I am 11 months smoke-free.  I can't say that precisely what I did will work for you, but it was follow-through and I share some thoughts on follow-through.We have some great things to build, and the building begins at Samhain.  And the follow-through continues through the year.Blessed Be!

DATE: Fri, 31 Oct 2008
SIZE: 36.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 31, 2008: It's Samhain!

It's Samhain!If there's ever a time when we shouldn't have to mention the specific date, it would be Samhain, and it is Samhain!According to lore, Samhain is the time of the year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest.  That is when we can most easily reach through the veil to those on the other side, and when those on the other side can most easily reach through to us.  That is not to say that it is not possible at other times, because it certainly is.  But this is when it is the easiest to get things done which involve both sides of the veil.This is when we can remember those who have left us, especially those who have left us since last Samhain.  But we can also remember anyone else who has left, even someone who left before we began this particular incarnation.  Not only do I commemorate those I knew, I also commemorate those I wish that I would have known (and maybe might have known in another life).  This is a time when we can also look ahead to what is to come.  Do you have a vision of what you wish to make of your future?  I certainly do.  And if you do, now is a great time to ask for it.So long as you remember the basic "rules" about what you wish for, there is no limit.  And, it can happen.Why do I say that it can happen?  You might recall my comments about Chase Utley, the second baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies.  He and his wife Jen do a lot for animals.  They came to my attention about a year ago when they were involved in the rescue of a dog who had been terribly abused.  I'm not a fan of athletics, but someone like that has my respect.  It became my opinion that someone like that deserved the best honor he could achieve in his profession - and in his case, that would be winning the World Series.  And he did!  And those of you who joined in with me had a part of it.So, yes you can!And so, this celebration of Samhain can be the most powerful that you have ever experienced, if you're willing to see what's on the other side of the door.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 25 Oct 2008
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 25, 2008: Getting Ready For Samhain

If it hasn't been obvious (and it probably has been blatantly obvious), everything that I've been talking about for the past few weeks has been a lead-up to Samhain.  And the next episode will be the Samhain episode, released on Samhain.  And so, this episode concerns with specifically getting ready for Samhain.  I consider Samhain to be the most spiritually powerful of the eight Sabbat we celebrate in the cycle of the year.  It is so powerful that other paths have similar celebrations around this time, too.  The veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.  This is the time when you have the best chances of reaching through the veil to someone who has crossed over and you miss.  It is also the best chance for someone on the other side of the veil who misses you to reach out.  It is also a time for resolutions.  It is a time for beginnings, and it is a time for endings.  Then again, every beginning is an ending and every ending is a beginning, isn't it?  It is also a good time to share your visions with the Divine, by whatever name or names you address the Divine.  We can begin with the most basic question: What is it that you want to accomplish between now and the next Samhain?  And five years hence?  And ten years hence?  OK, so if they're listening, it would be a good idea to ask in such a way that you might get what you want - and recognize it when you have it.And so, let's look into that.  It's a good question anytime, but especially now.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 18 Oct 2008
SIZE: 31.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 18, 2008: Yes, You Can!

In case you haven't figured it out, the last few weeks (and this episode also) have been a lead-in to one of the most spiritually powerful times in the cycle of the year: Samhain.  Not that the rest of the year can't be spiritually powerful, but what sparkles or shines the rest of the year can really sizzle and shine at Samhain.Last week, we spoke about confronting The Divine, the week before we spoke about confronting your priesthood, and the week prior to that we spoke of confronting tradition.  And this week, we'll look at the three-word phrase which pretty much sums it up.  Yes, there is more to it.  Yes, there are some other considerations if you really want success.  But it all hangs on three words.Personal responsibility is there, too.  In fact, what we explore in this episode just might be the ultimate expression of personal responsibility we can deal with.  After all, if we're talking about your spiritual life, then by definition we have to be speaking of your personal responsibility for it.  After all, it is yours.  And so, you need to be in charge of it.  Suggestions, advice, teaching and learning are all good and worthwhile, but that does not mean you need to be led around by the nose.Given that, there's much that can be done.  You might surprise yourself.  And the most powerful point of all reveals the sheer power of all of this in just three words.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 11 Oct 2008
SIZE: 38.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 11, 2008: Confronting Gods, Goddesses, and God!

Samhain is coming soon, and according to many (including me) that is spiritually the most powerful time of the year.  Hence, this set of "Confronting ...." episodes.  So that you might have an appreciation of the tools and resources you already have.  You might be stronger than you know.  Unfortunately, there are some folks who think that they are weak only because they have been told that they are weak.  And so, some of the strongest people can behave like weaklings.  This can be unfortunate if the person has to deal with someone who is a genuine weakling but has convinced himself/herself that he/she is actually strong.  And so, we come to confronting The Divine.  It can be done.  In fact, it is very likely that there are times that The Divine wishes to be confronted.  Some people get told a long list of what you aren't supposed to ask for.  Add to this the things that some say that The Divine cannot do.  And then there's that infamous excuse generally referred to as "God's will."  Do you know what The Divine's will really is regarding you, me and each and every one of us?And, so we can go beyond the walls of what may have once been our spiritual prisons and see what lies beyond.  But to do that, we need to know that we can confront The Divine - provided we do it the right way.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 04 Oct 2008
SIZE: 30.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 4, 2008: Confronting Your Priesthood!

Last week I spoke about confronting tradition, and this week I'm speaking about confronting your priesthood.  It sounds like a spiritual path can involve a lot of confrontations.  And yes, it can.  Especially if it's successful enough to worry some folks.We're talking about your own priesthood.  And yes, you are your own priest or priestess.  This doesn't have anything to do with ordination, which primarily concerns taking the authority to act in public in the name of a body.  Your own priesthood concerns your own your own ability and authority to deal with The Divine directly on your own behalf.There are those who are very uncomfortable with the idea of you having your own priesthood for yourself.  They are the same people who want your spiritual path to fit their agenda.  That's why it can take some courage to claim it and use it.  And you'll need to guard it jealously.Here's some ideas of where to look and what is built first.  And there's so much more.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 27 Sep 2008
SIZE: 36.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 27, 2008: Confronting Tradition!

Back when I was an Episcopalian, I was a traditionalist.  Today, I am a traditionalist.  I may have adopted a different tradition than the one I was following a few decades ago, but I honor the tradition which I follow.But there are those who are not comfortable with tradition, and especially with traditionalists.  To some, a traditionalist is some individual, too hide-bound to explore, secure in saying that what was good enough for his or her ancestors is good enough for them.  I suggest that a different approach might be more appropriate, and perhaps more common.Learning about tradition is learning about where you and those who preceded you have been.  Questioning tradition is a usually-healthy way of exploring the basis of a tradition and seeing how it fits in to your life today.  There are occasions, and I describe one, in which you might discover that the basis isn't really there.  And there are other cases in which the basis is really there, especially if you follow the tradition in the same heart as those who first established it.And on the way, there can be learning and growth!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 20 Sep 2008
SIZE: 27.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 20, 2008: Let's Celebrate Mabon!

It's Mabon!  And Mabon is one of the most powerful yet one of the least understood of all of the Sabbats.  Or, at least until you see how the mundane folks have re-arranged the calendar for their convenience.  Most countries have a Thanksgiving Day of some sort, many of them of that very name, but few are on Mabon.Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals.  Lammas was celebrated a while ago, and Samhain will follow soon enough.  And for now, we have Mabon!Like all Sabbats, Mabon has its lessons for us to learn and take with us through the cycle of the year.  Like all Sabbats, Mabon has a contribution in each of the other Sabbats.And especially, Mabon can help us to see why the year in a cycle is so important.  It teaches us some points that are missed in linear calendars in which the spirit of a holiday is pronounced dead the following day.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 13 Sep 2008
SIZE: 35.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 13, 2008: How To Make A Miracle!

This is another one of those difficult topics, and for the usual reasons, just like charity is such a difficult topic.  Neither topic is actually difficult, except for the fact that people made them that way.If a spiritual path actually works, then there can be miracles.  And I think we can agree that the one thing expected of any spiritual path is that its followers expect it to work.Miracles can be a major source of contentment or contention, and therein lies so much of the problem.  I'll speak more on this in the podcast, especially the contention.  It might be one of the reasons why so many have turned their backs on religion.  But how do you recognize a miracle?  If you were looking at a miracle right now, would you recognize it?And if you want a miracle, would you know how to go about it?  And perhaps especially, would you know what to avoid?Some have forgotten, some have re-discovered, and some knew but were told that they were wrong.  Sound familiar?I think it might be good to see just how much we can do.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 06 Sep 2008
SIZE: 32.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 6, 2008: What About Charity?

Among those who consider themselves clergy, there seems to be two lines of thought on this subject.  There are those who consider it a subject "too hot to handle," and those who don't seem to talk about very much else.  Please note that I am not limiting the scope to any particular kind of clergy.  In the meantime, it is a subject that we're forced to deal with every day.  If you don't see a poster for some cause, there will be the annual charity drive at work.  And if it isn't the annual fund drive at work, there's the commercial on TV about a hungry child you can sponsor in some far-off land.  And if it isn't a TV commercial, someone will ask for "change" the next time you go downtown.  And as if that isn't enough, there's always the possibility that someone you know will be knocking on your door with either a tale of woe or some great venture for you to invest in.  And we still haven't mentioned the folks who go to church and have a plate passed at them, have we?Meanwhile, you and your family have legitimate needs.  And if you gave in to all of the pitches you hear and see, you might find yourself in a situation in which you're doing without lunch so that someone else can have beer with their lunch!  And that's not fair.And then there's the question of attitude.  Actually, it's a question of more than one attitude.  Those who give with the expectation of reward might be disappointed.  And that's a shame, because nature abhors a vacuum.  What goes out will have its place taken, but you've got to give karma some room to maneuver.  And there's the other expectation: the expectation of those who are receiving the charity.   That can wear things down.And no wonder some consider the subject of charity "too hot to handle", especially in a religious context.And maybe that's why I decided that I needed to say something about charity.  It's not like I can get away with avoiding it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 30 Aug 2008
SIZE: 36.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 30, 2008: Labor Day!

Most countries celebrate Labor Day, or have an equivalent holiday.  When it is celebrated depends on the country and its traditions.  In the United States, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September.Labor Day is a secular holiday.  It is not a religious holiday, although some faiths hold services and some have special prayers to be said or hymns to be sung on Labor Day (or the nearest Sunday/ Sabbath).  But that does not mean that there isn't something of the Divine to find in Labor Day.  In fact, Labor Day can teach one of the most important spiritual and theological lessons which we all need to learn.We all labor, and almost all of us at some time in our lives will be doing the kind of labor honored on Labor Day.  It doesn't matter if you're the president of some manufacturing company, or the janitor on the factory floor - it's labor.  And there, in that point I just made, is the kernel of a theological point worth recognizing.And Labor Day is when we honor the labor done by ourselves and others.  And that, combined with the previous point, leads us to a morality issue.  Morality, you question?  Yes, especially if you understand what authentic morality actually is.And from there, you can see what might be one of the nastier issues facing us today.And you'll see how there can be a very powerful spiritual and theological lesson found in a secular holiday.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 23 Aug 2008
SIZE: 38.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 23, 2008: The Threefold Law, The Cop, And You

Officer Paul Stephens of the San Marcos, Texas Police Department has been spending most of the past week experiencing the enforcement of a law more powerful than any law which he might be called upon to enforce.  He has been experiencing the enforcement of The Threefold Law.  The Threefold Law is one that most of us are very familiar with: Whatever you do, for good or for evil, returns to you threefold.  Officer Paul Stephens pulled over a motorist for speeding.  As a former police officer myself, I appreciate the situation in which Officer Stephens found himself.  When he found the situation was that a couple was trying to get their seriously ill dog to an emergency vetrinary clinic because the dog's life was in danger, his response was "It's a dog, relax, you can get another one."My personal guess is that if Officer Paul Stephens has any form of a law enforcement career left after his becoming internationally famous for that remark (captured for posterity on his dashboard video camera), nothing that he can accomplish will be able to overshadow his remark to the desperate parent of a loving poodle who had a medical emergency.And here is where we can see how this can apply to us.  Admittedly, Officer Stephens was recruited out of the same human race as the rest of us.And so, let's see what we might be able to see in this incident that can be four our own learning.  It's hard to tell if Officer Stephens or his bosses learned anything, but that does not stop us from being able to learn from it.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 16 Aug 2008
SIZE: 36.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 16, 2008: An Eye-Opener!

Let me invite you to a web site which is full of some of the greatest information you'll find anywhere: http://www.universalgnostic.com/.  And on the front page, you'll find two of the most exciting!  I'll leave "The Heiroglyphic Monad" for another time.  Right now, I'd like to talk about "The Severn Sermons Of The Dead" by Basalides of Alexandria, as translated by Carl Gustav Jung.  These seven sermons deal with a great deal, but more than anything else, it is perhaps one of the best sets of writings dealing with what many of us know as either the Law Of Polarities or the Law Of Opposites.  Most books, including some very good ones which have probably been recommended to you, mention that such a law exists, and gives mention to the obvious fact that there are polarities.  This work goes the additional step and tells us how to work with them and deal with them.Believe it or not, some spiritual paths do not really address balance or polarities except in a black-and-white of way, kind of like "good guys" and "bad guys" in an old cowboy movie in which the "good guy" always wore a white hat and didn't cuss, and the "bad guy" looked like he needed a bath.  And no wonder some of their followers encounter spiritual frustration - it's impossible to be "good enough."Well, here is a different approach, making use of balance.  I can't recommend  "The Severn Sermons Of The Dead" enough, and I'm using this episode to introduce them to you.  They were an eye-opener for me, that is certain!  Enjoy this, and have fun with it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 09 Aug 2008
SIZE: 36.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 9, 2008: The Bible Verse Which Some Christians Hate!

A Bible verse which some Christians hate?  How can that be?Well, to begin with, it might well be the most well-corroborated verse in the Christians' entire Bible!  It's just about verbatim in three of the four gospels, and it makes reference back to the Old Testament.If you read just a wee bit more than the single verse, you will see that this was the verse which Yeshua uttered which got him into really big, bad doo-doo!  He might have irritated and angered the powers-that-were in his day until then.  But that was what caused them to decide that he had to go!There is a definition of ministry which goes: "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."  We will do well to remember that in the light of what this verse tells us.Depending on who you are, it is either a promise, or it is a threat.  It is either a reassurance which gives you comfort, or it is so scary that it is spine-chilling.Many have avoided the subject, but many more simply try to dodge the thought that it might still be an issue.  The act of repeating the same action and expecting different results is a popular definition of insanity.  By that definition, an establishment which has the same issues about itself as the establishment which it replaced but does not expect to be replaced - by that definition that establishment is insane!  But that is the aspect of it that is a threat to many.And the promise?  There might be something there that could be the clue to build something more wonderful that we can imagine!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 02 Aug 2008
SIZE: 30.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 7, 2008: Lammas! - And Requiem

It's Lammas, and it's a time to celebrate the first harvest Sabbat!We also need to give some honor to Danessa Smith, who crossed over on Monday due to complications from recent surgery.For those who don't know who Danessa Smith is, she is Tempest Smith's mother.  Tempest Smith, as you know, died a few years ago by her own hand because of the constant torment she was receiving from her classmates due to the fact that she was a Wiccan.  Tempest Smith was twelve years old at the time of her death.Danessa Smith founded the Tempest Smith Foundation, and I recommend you visit their web site.  Seeds of sadness were sown in sorrow.  The work of the Tempest Smith Foundation is the harvest that we pray will not stop having a bountiful yield.  And so, Danessa Smith's life illustrates a major point of Lammas and the other harvest Sabbats.The harvest is a fulfillment of a promise.  There's no quibbling about "God's will" or any of those other cop-outs.  We do our part, the Divine does their part, and the harvest is the fulfillment of the promise!And that's the point we're celebrating at Lammas!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 26 Jul 2008
SIZE: 30.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 26, 2008: Freedom!

Of all of the words that I can think of, it seems that "freedom" just might be the most over-used, and perhaps the most mis-used.  And where spiritual matters are concerned especially!I try not to disparage other paths, but there are some times when I can't help it, and this is one of those times.  I will admit to spending some time among the "New Age" folks, but I did not pick-and-choose.  Nor did anyone ever succeed in accusing me of "dabbling."   Either I did or I did not, and there was no in-between.  The New Age are not the only ones who have "pick-and-choosers" in their midst.  We've heard of "Sunday Christians."  And I can't help remembering the episode of the sitcom "Different Strokes" in which the younger brother attends a friend's Bar Mitzvah and decides to become Jewish - until he discovers what else is involved in being Jewish.  And there is one thing I've always wondered about the "pick and choose" crowd: how do they get anywhere, if at all?Someone I admired greatly wrote in one of his better-known books about how much freedom he had in the Trappist monastery.  Most folks don't associate monasteries with freedom.  Understanding what he meant sheds a whole new light on the concept.If you draw an analogy to sailing a boat, if you cast off from the dock and went into the middle of the lake/ river/ sea and just got batted around by the winds and the waves, would that be freedom?  No, that would actually be a form of captivity.  Freedom in this context would be the ability to cast off from the dock, and sail to your chosen destination and arrive at about the time you chose to arrive.  And here you can find freedom.  And with that, you gain yet more power.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 19 Jul 2008
SIZE: 33.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 19, 2008: An Episode On Obstacles

It's time to talk about obstacles.  I know I've talked about them before, but it's time to discuss them again.You've seen what I've been talking about in the last few episodes, and the result is inevitable: someone, somewhere, is going to think "it didn't work."  And it is amazing when they ask why it didn't work, the ignorant will give all sorts of pseudo-reasons, generally in either the category of "you aren't good enough," or the infamous "God's will."  And of course, there could also be "God's time" and "God's higher plan" (and what did he have to be high on to make such a plan).Take a look at the obstacles that I mention here, and you'll see that they all have one thing in common: The Divine, by whatever name or names, is not involved in them.  That is because The Divine wants you to have that which you want, need, and love.  Unfortunately, some people think that they are doing The Divine's work by speaking as if they actually knew what The Divine is thinking.And there's a way to deal with obstacles.  And, there's a way to recognize what the situation is and move appropriately.  And with this, you might really be equipped!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 12 Jul 2008
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 12, 2008: Beyond The Bookshelf

With this episode, we'll take the previous one to one of its logical "next steps."  I'll also use it to give an answer to one of the questions which every Pagan or Wiccan podcaster has already addressed at least twice, and which every teacher of The Craft probably addresses weekly.  That question is the perpetual one: "Why are there so many primers and so few advanced books?"A major part of the answer to the question lies in the very nature of our path.  What is the main difference between your Book Of Shadows and either the Maryknoll Missal or the Book Of Common Prayer?  What would your most powerful book begin with - or as?  And where is the pen that can write the most powerful book you can ever have?But it doesn't end there.  Let's never forget balance.  There needs to be balance.  In the same manner as I enjoy pizza but know better than to have pizza for three meals a day, there needs to be balance in peoples' spiritual lives, too!And so, let's examine how to step beyond the bookshelf.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 05 Jul 2008
SIZE: 36.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 5, 2008: Snatching Excitement From The Jaws Of Dullness!

Snatching Excitement From The Jaws Of Dullness!  Now, there is a topic that most of us would at least like to relate to. Where would we be in technology if fewer elementary school teachers had used math drills as a punishment?  And had more actual interest in science?  I recall how Miss Lauer, my third grade teacher, managed to make mathematics repulsive to me.  We had the little rhyme "Miss Lauer is sour" for a reason.  And where our spiritual learning is concerned, how much of our earlier (and even later) learning was so concerned with the form that the substance was almost entirely forgotten?  We got drilled on memorizing the words to prayers, on when to bow our heads and close our eyes, and even how to fold our hands (should the right thumb or left be on top?), but did anyone bother to consider telling us in plain English what the words to the prayers meant?  Or what the particular exercise was supposed to accomplish?  No, we just learned to recite "la-te-da-te-da-te-da", in some cases while Sister Sweathog hovered over our heads with a brass ruler in her hand!I admit to being lucky.  Instead of being dragged into a Catholic school, I walked into an Episcopal church on my own feet, and the priests I met were a better kind than most you'd meet today.  And they taught me the substance, and let the form fall into place when it came along.  And so, I came to love and find meaning in something that so many people learned as, in essence, an empty drill.  And so, let's see what it might be to reclaim something that was made into a hollow rote drill, and let's make it exciting!I'm telling you how I'm going about it with something that I am reclaiming.  And, I'm giving you some specifics.So, what might you do?  Find something that you can reclaim, and reclaim it for yourself.The possibilities are limitless!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 28 Jun 2008
SIZE: 29.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 28, 2008: Retrospect On A Sabbat!

Just like we did a few Sabbats ago with Yule, let's do a retrospective on Litha.As Wiccans, we have a special advantage with our Sabbats.  Our Sabbats are in a cycle, with each Sabbat having an influence on each other Sabbat.  And the end result is that there really is no such thing as a Sabbat being "over" in the same manner as Christmas is "over" on December 26th.Sometimes in the mundane and Christian calendars, a holiday being "over" can really be felt.   It's not that way with a Sabbat.And at Litha, we can ask some of the same questions we can ask about life itself: where am I, where have I come from, and where am I going?  Then again, the cycle of the year does mimic the cycle of life, doesn't it?And what can we see?  Our ancestors, most of whom had a closer relationship with the land than we get to have, looked back at the planting and nurturing, and saw at this time the crops and herds growing in the fields and pastures.  They knew what they wanted to have when the olast harvest was over at Samhain.  And from Litha they could look at what has been done and guage what needed to be done in order to arrive at Samhain with what they wanted to arrive with.Let's look, and see how everything weaves together.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 21 Jun 2008
SIZE: 31.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 21, 2008: It's Litha!

It's Litha, and we're celebrating!It has many names besides Litha.  Summer Solstice is one other such name.  If you want to know the other names, go look.  There are many ways to look at Litha, but here I'm going to offer one that seems to fit my situation right now.  Litha affords us an opportunity to look back on what we have accomplished, and to look forward to what is yet to be done.  A mid-point to look both ways, if you will.This is entirely appropriate for me right now, because my Mom passed away this past week.  That means that for the first time in my life, I am without parents.  My real Mom, Deloris, the one who gave birth to me, died when I was 10 years old.  My Dad married Peggy when I was 12 years old, and she finished the job of being the Mom to raise me.  My Dad died three years ago and from that time my roof has also been Peggy's roof.Two moms and a dad have passed on.  Even if I didn't need them to the degree that I once did, even when Mom (Peggy) may have been more in need of me than I was in need of her, the feeling of permanence, of "roots" means some feeling of stability in an unstable world.  And now, I'm the one everyone looks to for stability.And so yes, this is the time at which I really need to look back at what has been and look forward to what I need to bring about.And that makes this a real Litha.  And so we celebrate the Sabbat with a ritual.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 14 Jun 2008
SIZE: 36.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 14, 2008: Celebrating The Masculine!

In the space of a week, we in the US have two occasions which celebrate the masculine.  At least, those of us who are Wiccans and Pagans have such a double-opportunity.  One is Father's Day, which in the US is always a Sunday in June.  The other is Litha, the Summer Solstice.  Litha celebrates the full maturity of the god who was born at Yule and who will be dying at Samhain to be born again at the Yule which follows Samhain.  He came of age at Beltaine, but this is his full maturity.  In terms which most Americans will appreciate, it means that while he could buy his own drinks at Beltaine, at Litha he's matured enough to not get "carded" anymore.  There are those who criticize Wicca and Paganism for supposedly over-emphasizing the feminine.  It is true that there are those who might not have bothered with balance, but it is also true that it takes a goddess to give birth to a god.  And those whose idea of the Divine is "A white man in the sky keeping score on you," might see any thought of the Divine including the feminine as being overboard.  But it seems to me that there is a need for both.  And this is the time of year when the god is in full maturity.What a perfect time to have a celebration of the most important role which a god or a mortal man could have!And so, let's look at that and celebrate it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 07 Jun 2008
SIZE: 36.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 7, 2008: The Most Censored Subject!

And what, would you imagine, is the most censored subject in contemporary society?  If television is any indication, the most censored subject is death.  Yes, death - even more so than sex.  And I think it fair to say that experience dealing with the current mundane world might demonstrate that fact.Most folks readily acknowledge where babies come from, and that it's not from the stork or a cabbage patch.  But what about where old folks go?  On TV, you'll see death being a part of war, western, and crime dramas, but then it's the "other people" that die.  In the family-oriented shows, most of the acknowledgment of death is when someone is dressed in black because they had just been to a funeral of someone who was never on the show.In the movie "Braveheart," there is a profound quote: "Everyone dies, but not everyone lives."  That is true.  Nothing is more utterly unavoidable than death.  And so, it might well behoove us to acknowledge it and get some understanding of it, from what genuine knowledge is available.  If you look, you will find some available.  Not a whole lot, but as much of a peek as we'd be able to handle.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 31 May 2008
SIZE: 38.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 31, 2008: Your Own Exploration!

Last time, we spoke of Indiana Jones, the fictional hero archaeologist and how he relates to your own spiritual journey.  All that having been said, how about going on your own exploration?  The fact that you're not Indiana Jones or a Schliemann (in real life) doesn't have to hold you back.  Neither does the thought that your travel opportunities might be limited.First off, it needs to be understood that a lot goes on before any archaeologist gives any thought to packing any bags.  It's always a good idea, after all, to have some idea of where you are going and what you might be looking for.And what are you looking for?  I know what quests I've been on, and I also know the quest I've been on for the last two years.  Or has it actually been most of my life?  No, in the last two years, I've explored something that has been a major part of most of my life.You might be surprised at the tools available to you.  And you might be surprised at what you find.If you are Pagan, Wiccan or Gnostic, you have the opportunity to re-discover what our spiritual ancestors knew.  And if you aren't, you can still find what's at the root of things.  And never lose sight of the fact that you might be dealing with something that took your ancestor many years to learn how to deal with.  And yes, common sense is a good tool, too!There is much waiting to be found!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 24 May 2008
SIZE: 32.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 24, 2008: Indiana Jones and Your Spiritual Quest

So, what does Indiana Jones have to do with your spiritual quest?Perhaps more than you know.  I do know that I was surprised at how much he had to do with my own spiritual quest.  It was only when watching some TV shows concerned with how his latest movie relates to his earlier shows that I noticed some facts that really got my intention.Notice how the main subjects of Indiana Jones' quests are physical objects which either are, or are related to, something which an aspect of The Divine did for the sake of humankind - or at least the portion group of people withing humankind which that particular aspect of The Divine was caring for.Notice also how the people who oppose Indiana Jones do an excellent job of embodying a definition of evil.  After all, what else is most evil other than someone (or several someones) perverting something good to fit a greedy agenda?  And that is merely the beginning.  Indiana Jones is just as much of a frail mortal as you and me.  He might be skilled with a handgun and a bullwhip, he might be fluent in Hebrew, Coptic and Hindi, but he can't speak a word of Hovitos if his life depended on it (it almost did), he can't figure out how to fly a plane, and he becomes a total wuss whenever any kind of snake appears.  But whether we agree with his ideas of right and wrong or not, he is true to what he believes.  And he has respect for all aspects of The Divine, whether it be El Shaddai of the Ark Of The Covenant, or Shiva who gifted people with the lingam.There is much to discover in Indiana Jones, and some of it you might be able to use on your own spiritual quest.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 17 May 2008
SIZE: 31.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 17, 2008: Open Eyes!

Open eyes are very nice to have, especially if you are looking for something.  And a statement like that is perhaps reminiscent of the time when Mahatma Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization.  His reply was: "That would be nice."It is a good idea to have eyes open when looking for something, but sometimes that is easier said than done.  There are always the people who want to mind your business for you and tell you what you are seeing.  And there are the false leads that look like what you are seeking but are not.  And then there are the distractions which try to get you off of your path.  And then, of course, there's the situation in which you are looking at what you are seeking, but you don't recognize that what you are about to overlook is what you've been after all along!Of course, there are those folks who don't even know that there is something to look for.  But they're not likely to be listening to a podcast like this.I will admit that I've never had a burning bush want to discuss something with me, and I've never had a heavenly lady, angel, goddess or god suddenly appear and introduce herself/himself and give advice.  But that does not mean that I might not occasionally hear from The Divine or from someone who has gotten to be much closer to The Divine than I am right now.On my own spiritual quest, the most major discoveries have not been accompanied by a "Eureka," but more often by something to the effect of "Well, DUH!"And so, something on the subject of open eyes.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 10 May 2008
SIZE: 33.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 10, 2008: Sacrificing Sacrifices!

Sacrifices - a very special topic.  Most Wiccans know a version of the Charge Of The Goddess which explicitly says that She does not desire sacrifices.  But some don't, and others bring the concept of sacrifices as part of their emotional baggage from other spiritual paths.  So, let's look at it from what this show tries to make as its usual point of view - that of practical theology that you can actually use every day.We know that sacrificing is in the past of our ancestors.  That's how they got food, especially meat.  It was also what had to suffice sometimes as a way to deal with people who were not able to "pull their own weight" in ancient society.  Most interesting is that sacrifices seemed to increase with the fanaticism associated with a dying culture - as if cutting the hearts out of the best warriors would help win a war.And, sacrifices are a part of modern life, especially spiritual life.  Did you ever hear someone encourage anyone to "give until you feel good?"  No, the saying is "give until it hurts."  And, of course, we cannot forget the preachers and others who will promise blessings to those who put the rent money in the collection plate and "have faith" that their need will somehow be met.Salvation, if you need it, is not for sale.  Nobody has the franchise on the Heavenly Admissions Desk.  And above all else, The Divine cannot be bribed.  Yes, The Divine might very well accept an offer.  But filling some pastor's collection plate is not the way to get the attention of The Divine.And do you think that human sacrifice is gone?  When a child is told that someone they loved is dead because of "God's will", the effect is pretty much the same.  To say nothing of what a way that is to introduce a child to The Divine.And perhaps there is something better.  In fact, there is something better.  Like so much else, it has been waiting for us to make more use of it.  A way that doesn't hurt, and can often do much more than sacrificing could ever do!Not only can we break the bonds of sacrifice and spiritual blackmail (and guilt-trips), we can move to an even higher level.Once you see what I'm talking about, you'll see what I mean!Blessed Be! 

DATE: Sat, 03 May 2008
SIZE: 34.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
May 3, 2008: Healing!

There is a need for spiritual healing.  That is, spiritual healing of the genuine kind.For some, the word "healing" connotes a sterile environment with people in white coats and scrubs.  For others, it might bring a mental image of someone at a tent-revival shouting "halleluia" and passing the offering plate.  The real kind is neither, but it is something that is within your grasp when you're called upon to do it.  Until recently, I never gave much thought to the idea of myself doing any kind of healing.  But then circumstances forced me.  And healing does happen.It can happen, and it does happen.  It happened twice for me in the last few months.  Joe came home today.  And as you know, Lord Pan went home last week.  That Joe was a healing that worked is obvious, but what of Lord Pan?  True, we would have liked to have him live longer, but eighteen years old is pretty old for a cat.  And he did cross over while he was comfortable and at home with his family, not in some vetrinarian's office.  Cats are mortals too.And here are a couple basic lessons about healing.  One is the fact that no matter how divine The Divine might be, sometimes you can't transform a bowl of broccoli into a glass of beer.  The other is that if you don't get what you want, you might still get something that you can deal with.   There are obstacles to healing as there are obstacles to any form of magick, but they can be dealt with.Anyone might find theirself called upon to heal.  The complication is keeping the simplicity.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 26 Apr 2008
SIZE: 32.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 26, 2008: Doomsday and Divination!

Doomsday and divination - no kidding.Admittedly, people have been preaching that the end of the world is near for so long as people have been preaching.  So, what does this have to do with us?Strange, how the Mayan calendar, the I Ching, and a few other sources can come up with the same day for it to be happening.  The Mayans and the folks who wrote the I Ching probably did not know much about each other, if at all.  And if the same answer comes from two sources so different, I am going to pay attention.First off, let's look at divination.  Those of us who have been in The Craft for a while know the difference between divination and "fortune-telling," but let's make the distinction abundantly clear.  And I'm not into "fortune telling," but I take divination seriously.And what are we supposed to do about it?  Giving the matter some serious consideration would be a good beginning.  And for a follow-up, keeping under control those things which, if doomsday were to happen, would only make it worse.  And it would help if we don't act as if we were totally ignorant.And there are some things that we might be able to actually do, beginning with looking at the prospect seriously.And many thanks to those who expressed their sympathies at Lord Pan's passing.  We do miss him.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 19 Apr 2008
SIZE: 34.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 19, 2008: Saying Goodbye To A Special Friend

When an exceptionally special friend crosses the veil into the arms of the goddess who had watched over him for so many years, I need to pause and make note of it.  And when it is someone as special as this friend was (and still is), then I would be remiss if I did not share some memories of him with you.If you visit the Temple of Gaia web site, you'll see pictures of him.  And now, there is a memorial for him in the Memorial Garden of the virtual chapel I maintain at "Aidan's Place On The Web".  You can find that memorial page at  http://www.groveunion.templeofgaiainc.org/lord_pan.htmH e was a very special friend from the day I met him eight years ago, and Lady Stormy had known him for ten years before then.He was the living embodiment of so many of the principles that folks like you and I keep talking about.  We talk about them and try, but he lived them.  He understood how what is put out comes back.  And I think he was part of the inspiration to that saying that I came up with "If everyone did for one, most of the work would already be done."  Lord Pan was a cat, and he was the kind of cat who showed why in our hearts there cannot be any such thing as "just a cat".  He's with Bast now, probably telling her about this place.  To those who showed him love, he gave abundantly.  I would not dare to count all that he did for me.  And some is simply between him and me and will remain that way.  He knows what I mean.You know Yuengling, whose bark greets you at the start of each show.  Among his other accomplishments, Lord Pan could be well-described as Yuengling's "foster-dad."  And Yuengling wasn't the only four-footed "child" he fostered.I'll be back to the regular schedule next week, but please join with me in saying thanks to this special friend for all that he did for so many. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 12 Apr 2008
SIZE: 33.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 12, 2008: The F-Word!

Someone is going to jump to a conclusion about this episode before they even hear it, all because of the title I chose.  And they will be very embarrassed with themselves after they discover what I'm actually talking about - as opposed to what they thought it might be!Clue:  I insist on keeping this podcast as something that anyone and everyone can listen to, and I'm proud of my "clean" rating. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about what this episode is actually about.  It's about a word which might possibly the most mis-used word in the English language.  That is especially unfortunate, since it is so often batted about when religion or spirituality is a topic for discussion.Most words have a definition in a dictionary, but some fit one US Supreme Court justice's description of pornography: "I know it when I see it."  And that is perhaps the situation here, once you get past the rhetoric and grandstanding that goes on about this particular word.And once you have a grasp of what that word really means, you might be surprised at how much of it you actually do have.  You might have more than you thought and if you do, you'll be very glad of it.So, what is this special word that I've got you so curious about?Listen to this episode and find out!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 05 Apr 2008
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
April 5, 2008: My Three Miracles

There are any number of miracles that I could talk about, but there are three in my life right now which I think most of you might be able to relate to in one way or another.There are many that I could choose from, but I chose these three.  Two of them, at least, you might know some about if you've been following this show for any length of time.Perhaps between them, there's some idea of how miracles happen.  I can certainly tell you that none of them happened by waiting for that infamous "God's Will."Beginning with a vision, believing it can happen, taking what I'm given and cherishing it, and the whole rest of the thing that I've been talking about.And there's a catch.  Well, some will see it as a catch.  There's the idea of giving in terms of what you hope to receive.  And there's also the saying that I've been known to say: "If everyone would do for one, most of the work would already be done."  Simply put, The Divine is hoping to hear more from you than "give me, give me, give me."It can.It will.It might already be.  Take a look.  And keep looking.Blessed Be!And this podcast celebrates two years of "The Secrets In Plain Sight!"

DATE: Sat, 29 Mar 2008
SIZE: 28.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 29, 2008: My Crazy Theory!

I probably have several theories that some folks think are crazy.  But in the eyes of many, this one is the craziest.Of course, it is a theory that has some people afraid.  Some are scared because they fear it might infringe on their franchise to sell salvation.  Others are upset because it might hamper their ability to offer spiritual blackmail, spiritual intimidation, and even bullying in their god's name.  And others cringe in fear of the possibility that they might not know everything!And here I must admit that what I offer here I could not accept emotionally until fairly recently.  That I could accept it as an intellectual fact is one thing, but to feel it emotionally is  something else altogether.I can offer you any number of examples, and some teachers will caution against using only one example to illustrate something, but bear with me.  I think this one example illustrates enough for now.  Follow this, and we'll have our own examples to illustrate.Can you tell the difference between what you want to see, what you think you see, and what you are being shown?  So many people go around looking for "massages".  Can you tell the difference between the message you were looking for and the message you are being given?These are a part of my daily struggle, and I cannot imagine anyone who has an easy time with them.So let's look, so we can put this to use as we move on.Blessed Be!

DATE: Fri, 21 Mar 2008
SIZE: 30.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 22, 2008: Ostara!

It's Ostara!  That's Easter to some of you, Spring Equinox to some others, but Ostara to the rest of us.  And it's time to celebrate.No matter the name you give the Sabbat/ feast, it is a celebration.  And no matter your tradition, the celebration is about the same thing.  A promise was made a Samhain.  It showed its first steps of fulfillment at Yule, and more at Imbolc.  At Ostara, we know for sure that it is happening.  No hedging about any deity's "will", it is happening. No quibbling about whether it's going to be in any deity's "time", it is not only happening and it is  happening when it needs to happen!That is part of the wonder of it all, and the wonderment we need to have when we think of the Divine.  So many people look upon the Divine with such a narrow viewpoint that even so-called "tunnel vision" would seem an improvement.  And worse, they miss so much, including the basic point that the Divine is trying to make.And so, join us for a celebration.  Once again, The Virtual Mission Chapel Of The Archangel Uriel opens its cyberspace doors to one and all for an Ostara celebration with a ritual and a get-together to follow.  Let's greet the Divine with a smile as we celebrate the promise being fulfilled.Oh, and you'll hear an announcement about something that you've been hearing about over the last couple of weeks.  It's an announcement that demonstrates what Ostara can be about if we only let it!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 15 Mar 2008
SIZE: 33.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 15, 2008: A Priestly Reality Check!

Last week was a wonder check, this week is a priestly reality check!Priestly?  Yes, because you are your own priest or priestess.  While there are indeed others who will insist on giving such authority to someone else, you do have your own priestly authority where your own ministry to yourself is concerned.  This has nothing to do with ordination, or any body licensing you to perform rituals in their name and under their authority.  The first priesthood which ever existed is your own priesthood to minister to yourself.And in this, some will accuse me of "talking in riddles," while others will understand it quite clearly.  Then again, that always happens.It begins with the understanding that as a priest or priestess, each of us is "in the miracle business."  The trick here is simply knowing what to do about that, and what to do with that.  And don't let the word "simply" fool you into thinking that it's easy!  That's where the "reality check" part comes in.And so, I begin with some good counsel that I got when I was first becoming serious about becoming a priest, and from there going into the cautions, typical pitfalls, and perhaps even how to recognize when you might actually still win!Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 08 Mar 2008
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 8, 2008: Wonder Check!

It's time for a Wonder Check. We've all been faced with reality checks - let's take time for a wonder check.  A reality check is something we know - it's when the needle of reality pops the bubble of some image in our mind.  What about a wonder check?  A wonder check is when we get to see that something that has caused us to wonder actually is a wonder - and worth wondering about! A reality check brings us face-to-face with illusions and points out the fact that they are illusions.  A wonder check does the absolute opposite.  A wonder check lets us remember to grasp the greatness of something before we get so busy with the details that we forget. The Divine is a great subject for a wonder check - so many people put limits on the Divine.  And how would it even be possible to limit the infinite?  That's the double problem.  One part of the problem is remembering the infinite nature of the Divine.  The other part is the fact that some folks actually try to force the Divine into their own pre-conceived notions of what the Divine is supposed to be like. There are some wonderful implications here, too. So, let's explore a wonder check! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 01 Mar 2008
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
March 1, 2008: A Wiccan Lent?

No kidding.  Let's look at this idea.I've mentioned before the idea of borrowing from the Christian path the idea of setting aside February 20th as a special day to honor Tempest Smith.  Now, how about Lent?  If we take a look at what it's about, you'll see the point.  We keep talking about balance, don't we?  Polarities?  Opposites?  Yin and Yang?  OK, so does this mean that we can go around patting ourselves on the back all day and ignore the times we miss the mark?  I hope not!But it would also be a good idea if we were to get the point and keep getting the point of it all.  Those of you whose spiritual experience includes Christianity probably have a tale or two about Lent to tell - and it probably illustrates how form can overshadow substance.  And there are a few stories about how kids got to sacrifice during Lent, but grown-ups could always find "exceptions."  One of the greatest sets of missed points is in their own Bible, conveniently in one chapter (the sixth chapter of Matthew).  Perhaps not an absolute, but some principles about how to do spiritual things most effectively.  And one of the most obvious of those points is that you don't do it for the sake of putting on a show for all to see!  It's between you and the Divine.  So, what would a Wiccan Lent be like?  Probably not what Christians would think of as Lent, but it would get the job done - and perhaps better.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 23 Feb 2008
SIZE: 27.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 23, 2008: Change!

I keep hearing about change all the time, beginning with at the commuter station where I take the train home from work - there's always someone there asking for "change."  But in the US, this is a presidential election year, and this time especially we're hearing candidates talking about "change".It's not that it's particularly political.  In many of the mainstream churches, there's so much change back and forth that those who are long-time members might not recognize what they one thought was their church.  And in business and in the military service, I saw several instances of change for change's sake , especially if one of the bigger bosses was replaced.Let's  make one thing clear: there are many situations in which nobody in their right mind is going to like the status quo.  But, there are some things that need to be done if change is going to have any quality.  Is there a goal?  Is there a plan?  Do we know that we're actually on the path we think we're on?  Are we going to make enemies as a result?  Have we thought of everyone involved?Words can sound really pretty and they can be very inspiring, but credible specifics to show how something can be accomplished - where are they?Consider this a timely exercise in practical theology.Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 16 Feb 2008
SIZE: 31.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 16, 2008: Tempest Smith's Day, February 20th

For this podcast's 100th show, I wish to make a "modest proposal" in quiet seriousness.  I would like to propose February 20th as Tempest Smith Day.How many of our traditions, rituals, holidays and even deities have the Christians borrowed from us?  Therefore, I consider it fair exchange if we borrow something from them.  With the exception of John the Baptist (who is an acknowledged reincarnation), the day to honor a Christian saint is the day on which that saint crossed the bridge.  Tempest Smith was a victim of not only bullying, but religious persecution because she was a Wiccan.  I see her as a martyr, and I feel comfortable in referring to her as an Ascended Master.  She crossed over on February 20, 2001 and so I feel that February 20th is appropriate to set aside as a day in her honor.And so, what should someone do to honor Tempest Smith on her day?  There are some ideas that come to my mind, all of which have something to do with the fact that she crossed over because she could no longer deal with the torment.  There are any number of things appropriate, and some of them offer opportunity to accomplish something in a postive direction.  We're not just talking about stopping the bullying here, but also making sure we're not dehumanized in the eyes of some people.  You might see what I mean.I didn't coordinate this with anyone.  In fact, I didn't even tell Lady Stormy about this "crazy idea" until I had already recorded the show.  But I want to offer this idea, for better of for worse.She walked a path that some of us can remember walking.  I know what I'll be doing in her honor on February 20th.  Want to join me?Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 09 Feb 2008
SIZE: 34.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 9, 2008: The Point So Many Miss!

A point which so many miss.  And such a basic point.  And do you know what happens to those who don't get it?Quite often, those people spend their entire spiritual lives accomplishing little more than repeating the slogans someone taught them.  And sometimes they were taught by someone who was only able to repeat the slogans that they were taught.  In some instances, some might get paid very well for how they repeat the slogans that they were taught.  But then again, that is not the purpose of spiritual pursuits, is it?It's a basic point, and an obvious one.  Of course, the fact that it is so obvious might make it obscure to those who have their own particular agenda.  But for those with open eyes, it's plain as day.It can even be found in the sacred writings used by the people who criticize us the most!If you've been listening to this podcast for any length of time, this particular point is a familiar one to you, and there's a good chance that you're fairly comfortable with it.  And some of you might accuse me of doing what Christians call "preaching to the choir."  But once choir practice is over, the choir members do have go out into the world and be part of it.  And in dealing with the world, affirmation can be nice.The point which so many miss is so basic, but it can seem so elusive to those who haven't looked it in the eye.Maybe that's why so many miss that point.

DATE: Sat, 02 Feb 2008
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
February 2, 2008: Hey, It's Imbolc!

Hey, it's Imbolc!One of the more overlooked  Sabbats of the year.  Well, there's a secret to Imbolc, and it's a secret that perhaps some people don't want you to recognize and appreciate.  The people who do appreciate Imbolc are those who appreciate the land and nature, and pay attention to it.  It's especially appreciated in places where winter is strong enough that spring and summer are appreciated all the more.  It's the middle of the dark time, and it's the time for blessing seeds and consecrating agricultural tools.  And in that, you can see Imbolc's secret - and power.  Imbolc is the time when we are shown that the promise made will be fulfilled.  There's no quibbling over the Divine's will.  There's also no discussion about the Divine's time - we know the schedule.  And it will be.There's a word which so many Christians use without much understanding.  Almost like a theological "over and out", to use past decades' two-way radio lingo to describe it.  What does "Amen" actually mean?  The same thing as a phrase so common among those of us who are Wiccans!And there is the secret of Imbolc.  Find it, and enjoy it!  It has been waiting for you!

DATE: Sat, 26 Jan 2008
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 26, 2008: Two Dangerous Revelations!

Here are a couple of dangerous revelations.  No kidding.Wars still are fought as a result of them, and at one time wars were fought regularly as a result of them.  And even if people are less willing today to take up weapons, the gossip, shunning and bullying that goes on can be just as deadly - and as evil - as any war.Please understand that in almost any endeavor, no matter how advanced you become, most of your work will deal with the basics.  And that is the case here.  Two dangerous revelations concerning "Where the rubber meets the road" in theology - especially the theology of leading your daily life.For some, they are obvious.  For others, they seem hard to grasp.  You might call them principles - I sometimes do.  You might also call them secrets.  They can also qualify as weapons.But they are two dangerous revelations.  You'll see what I mean.And you might also be able to see what we're building here!

DATE: Sat, 19 Jan 2008
SIZE: 29.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 19, 2008: When You Get Hurt - A Call To Courage!

What do you do when you get hurt?Well, if you really get hurt, one of the things that will happen is a lot of advice, much of it unsolicited, some of it downright unwelcome, and more than you want of it will be of no real use!What do you do?This is one of those "dangerous topics" I alluded to a couple of shows ago, and it is something that can happen to anyone, anytime.  And there appear to be very few people who have actual skills in dealing with it, much less the ability to advise others on it.So then, why am I talking about it?  Nothing makes me so special as to offer advice as to what to do when you're hurting.  Perhaps instead, I will show you where to look and what to beware of.  And then, you'll be in a better position to find your own answers.  I've been talking about the importance of finding your own answers, and this subject is no exception.And when this is something you're experiencing, that's what you need: your own answers that work for you.

DATE: Sat, 12 Jan 2008
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 12, 2008: Dangerous Topics!

If you deal with anything spiritual, some topics are dangerous. More correctly, some people will see certain topics as dangerous.  Whether they actually are dangerous is for you to decide, but some people will indeed see certain topics as dangerous. And, their actions when confronted with a dangerous topic are predictable.  They might ignore it.  They might use it for their own agenda.  They might cook up their own theory and hope you'll believe it.  Or, they might stir up a big fuss, even if it's really over nothing. Most often, they see the questions as dangerous because they cause folks like me (and you?) to ask questions that do not have easy answers. You may have already figured out that it is in confronting those dangerous questions that you find the real answers.  One thing should be apparent to you: the questions will not go away. I spend a lot of time dealing with what many consider to be dangerous topics.  And so, before we get even further into dangerous topics, let's take the time to examine the topic of dangerous topics.  

DATE: Sat, 05 Jan 2008
SIZE: 31.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
January 5, 2008: Spiritual First Aid!

Spiritual first aid?  Of course!  A couple of basic facts need to be acknowledged and dealt with as reality.    I see it, nobody forges new ground spiritually and gets away with it.  There will always be attackers and detractors for those who try "something different", even (or especially) if it is actually re-discovering something that everyone else forgot. And, lest we forget, the easiest way to get some people to hate you is for you to do something well.  Of course, there is also the fact that there are so many of us who came upon our spiritual path as a result of trauma suffered on another spiritual path. And so, there is need for spiritual first aid. As a cadet, I experienced an Army training film on basic first aid in combat situations.  The film is indelibly etched in my mind, particularly the three steps in immediate wound care: Stop The Bleeding, Protect The Wound, Treat For Shock.  After all these years, those words echo in my memory along with other bits of wisdom from the film, such as: "Use his first aid kit - you may need yours later." And there are some basic steps in spiritual first aid. We do need to know about spiritual first aid.  There is one difference between spiritual first aid and the kind of first aid you learn in a Red Cross class.  For spiritual first aid, the most important first aid you give is the first aid you give to yourself.  And there's a reason for that. The most important person in bringing about your healing is you.     Special note: This podcast now has its own CafePress shop.  You'll find a link at the podcast's website at http://secrets.libsyn.com, or go directly to http://www.cafepress.com/inplainsight.  

DATE: Sat, 29 Dec 2007
SIZE: 28.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 29, 2007: New Year's - Yule's Secular Next Step!

Could there possibly be a more perfect place in time for the secular New Year's Day than right after Yule?  At Yule, we celebrate a new birth.  And now, the secular world is giving us a time to give the newborn a sense of direction. What was born for you at Yule?  I gave you a little peek of what was born for me, but not so much that I would be accused of "spilling the beans".  The part about keeping silence has been sufficiently kept.  And you know what was born for you. And now, between the mudane and the magickal, you can start guiding it.  The limits might not be what you think, and the limitations are rather broad.  The basic rules and principles apply as well as common sense.  But also be mindful of what does not apply.  You'll see what I mean.  This is an opportunity to get rid of "old tapes" and see what can be! And yes, it can be and it will be!

DATE: Sat, 22 Dec 2007
SIZE: 32.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 21, 2007: A Yuletide Celebration!

Let's not just celebrate Yule, let's celebrate Yuletide!  And why should we just celebrate it when we can be part of it! We've talked before about visualization, and seeing things with the mind's eye.  At Samhain, you joined with me in the celebration with so many others all over the world.  And now, here's a full-fledged Yule celebration to join in, complete with a potluck feast to enjoy after the ritual! All of this ties into why Yule is such a natural consequence of Samhain, and here we see how we can harness the power of the birth at Yule. What is born here?  What will it become?  We can have some input into that if we want to, and yes we do want to.  And on the way, we'll discover yet another of the secrets that has been hiding in plain sight for us to find. Blessed Be, and a happy Yuletide to each and every one of you!  

DATE: Sat, 15 Dec 2007
SIZE: 30.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 15, 2007: What Makes A Saint Or Ascended Master?

This makes a good lead-in to Yule.  At Yule, we celebrate a birth.  And with the birth, it might be a good idea to have some idea of what course the new like might be able to take. We've talked about what Saints and Ascended Masters are, and we know that they were people like you and me.  It might not seem that way if you read their official biographies.  Official biographies might not be the best way to see them, especially as people.  But if you get beyond the official biographies, you'll find some common threads - and much to learn.  And even with their human shortcomings, you'll find something to learn. And what if I told you that they had something in common?  What if I told you that there were three particular traits that they had in common? Three traits, and those three traits can be summed up in three words.  The formula is simple.  The pursuit of those three traits might not be as simple as it appears.  Or it might be just as simple.  You'll have to see. What makes a Saint or Ascended Master?  Three traits are always there, and their pursuit can be a lifetime quest.  And that's where the excitement begins! Dig into this, and next week you might be putting this and much else to use.  Next week will be a spiritual experience, and perhaps something special.    

DATE: Sat, 08 Dec 2007
SIZE: 34.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 8, 2007: How To Ruin Your Spiritual Life!

Here we examine the ten most popular ways to ruin your spiritual life. Please note that I am not talking about letting it gradually weaken until you wake up one morning to discover that you don't have one anymore.  No, I am talking about really ruining your spiritual life, sending it crashing-and-burning almost like a scene in the movies! It's surprising how easy it is to do, and I know that I've found myself doing some of the things I've listed in this show for you. So, why would I be talking about how to ruin your spiritual life? With Yule coming, there is so much secular hype that it's sometimes difficult to remember what Yuletide is supposed to be about.  And maybe here is a good opportunity to look for opportunities.  And maybe here is a chance for something powerful to come to be! Maybe in here there are some hints about how to make your spiritual life actually come alive and gain strength!  And with that, your Yule (or whatever you are celebrating now) can be more than you ever imagined that it could be!  

DATE: Sat, 01 Dec 2007
SIZE: 32.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
December 1, 2007: For Your Protection!

For those who think that only two things in life are certain, I will add a third.  We know about death and taxes as certainties.  Another certainty is that anyone who has a genuine, sincere spiritual path which he or she is seriously pursuing will get assaulted.  The assults might not be physical, but the assults will be just the same. In my experience, I've had agnostics tell me that what I was following was a symptom of mental illness, while at the same time I heard atheists tell me that what I was pursuing was obsolete superstition.  And all the while, no matter the label on my spiritual path that I or someone else chose for it, there was always someone who claimed that my spiritual path was wrong because it wasn't the same as theirs.  Assaults. And so, spiritual people need spiritual protection. When I was given training in marital arts, the first thing I was shown was how to stand, and how to know that we were standing solidly.  It's the same thing here, only it is standing solidly on our own spiritual feet instead of physical feet.  And yes, there is some spiritual foot-care involved. In both cases, it's easy to miss something and get tripped.  But if you are prepared, then you don't get tripped.  It's that simple.  Those who are the best prepared for a spiritual fight are usually those who get to enjoy genuine spiritual peace. And it's not what a lot of folks think it's about, either.  

DATE: Tue, 27 Nov 2007
SIZE: 31.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 24, 2007(intended): The Coming (Spiritual) Revolution

Is there a spiritual revolution coming?  If you have to ask that, you might be surprised to know that it's here. Revolutions do happen when the established order fails to meet the needs of a sufficient percentage of the people.  And if you are listening to this podcast, there is a good chance that your local religious establishment has not met your needs.  You might be looking for something else, but more likely you are looking for something more that will make you feel more fulfilled.  And that's what we're about. As they said in that TV series "The X-Files", the truth is out there.  And, you can't stop truth.  Look at the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Found in about 1948, it was decades before folks like you and me got to read their contents.  It wasn't that they were waiting for translation, it was simply that certain people didn't want them circulating among folks like you and me.  But now, it is close to impossible to put a lid on truth. What does this mean?  Let's do a little exercise.  We'll take a few words that you probably have heard many times, and let's see what those words might actually mean.  I believe that you will  be surprised.  Some time ago, someone spoke about so-called "liberation theology".  What we have here is genuine liberation. Look and see.  You'll see what I mean. Sorry for the delay.  The doctor had me spend Thanksgiving in the hospital.  Details in the podcast.  

DATE: Sat, 17 Nov 2007
SIZE: 23.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 17, 2007: The Secret Of The Sabbats

What makes the Wiccan/ Pagan Sabbats so different from the mundane world's holidays?  It's a secret! Of course, there are two kinds of secrets.  One kind of secret is the kind that people don't tell other people.  The other kind of secret is the kind that folks just don't bother to notice.  The secret of the Sabbats is one of the latter kind.  We know it if we've taken any kind of a look at the Sabbats, but most mundanes don't even know that there's something to find. It's in the very nature of the Sabbats, individually and as the full cycle of eight Sabbats.  In fact, without the secret, the Sabbats would not be able to be what they are. You can "sort of" find the basis of the secret in the mundane holidays, both the religious and the political/ patriotic ones, but most of the mundane folks have not bothered much about it.  In fact, most of them don't even know that there is anything to bother about.  Look at how much "Christmas spirit" there is on December 26th, and you'll see what I mean.  But we have it in our Sabbats.  And the more I see of it, the more I'm able to appreciate each and every Sabbat. When you see what I'm talking about, you'll see what I mean. Maybe the others can learn something special from us and our Sabbats.  

DATE: Sat, 10 Nov 2007
SIZE: 31.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 10, 2007: For Veterans!

November 11th is Veterans' Day in the United States.  In many other countries, there is a day set aside for honoring veterans.  And every country has veterans - those men and women who put on a uniform to serve their country. They put certain aspects of their lives "on hold" for a while.  Perhaps it was for two years, perhaps it might have been for as much as thirty years.  And now, they have taken off their uniforms and become veterans. I, Aidan Odinson, am a veteran.  So are several others that I know.  And I have a few things to say. I have listened to Veterans' Day speeches my entire life.  This time I make one, and I make one from the viewpoint of someone who has experience as a veteran.  Don't expect flowery words. Do expect to be reminded of the Threefold Law, because I find an implication of it in every celebration of Veterans' Day that I see.  You'll see what I mean.  

DATE: Sat, 03 Nov 2007
SIZE: 30.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
November 3, 2007: The Southern California Wildfires And Karma

I felt the need to say something about the Southern California wildfires.  If other tragic events are any indicator, I am sure there will be many railing from their pulpits as to why it came to be. If you're old enough to enjoy this podcast without having Mom or Dad help you, you're old enough to remember 9/11, and you probably have memories of what you were doing when you got word of it.  And you might also recall on Pat Robertson's "700 Club" a few days later, Jerry Falwell made a statement that 9/11 happened because his God had "lifted the veil of protection from the United States" because the country had gotten too tolerant of gay people.  And Robertson agreed! I can only imagine what pronouncements are going to be made about the Southern California wildfires.  From Malibu to the north of Los Angeles down to past San Diego and to the Mexican border they raged - and they're not really over yet.  So, there's some ripe sermon-fodder there. So, what's the real situation?  If we go past any possible agendas to look at what really happened, what will we see? The issue is summed up on one word, and it is a word that is repeatedly misused.  And it takes a while sometimes to see it.  But it's there. We don't need to be told, we can look.  And when we look, what are we shown?  Let's see.

DATE: Sat, 27 Oct 2007
SIZE: 27.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 27, 2007: A Samhain Celebration

It's Samhaintide!  Soon Samhain will be upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere, and those in the Southern Hemisphere are welcome to join in, too! I get excited about Samhain.  And since you are your own Priest or Priestess, you have much to be excited about at Samhain, and for the same reasons. We've got a wonderful - and powerful - group here, so let's do a Samhain celebration together!  There is so much that we can do!  This is when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.  That means that we can reach to the other side, and those who are on the other side can reach to us.  There is so much that happens at Samhaintide that there isn't room enough in all of cyberspace to list it all!  But especially, with the frequent focus of Samhaintide being what it is, it is natural to look at endings and beginnings at this time of the Cycle of the Year. The thing some folks forget about endings is that they are paired with a beginning.  They also forget that every beginning is paired with an ending.  And so much of the magick of Samhaintide deals with endings and beginnings.  And what does that mean for us?  Endings and beginnings exist together as pairs.  If we seek an ending to something, we should also seek a beginning.  If we seek a beginning of something, we should also see what ends.  Some pairings are obvious, some are much more subtle.  But they are there. And let's celebrate this together.  A place is prepared, and it's ready.  Watch with your third eye, and see what you might see!  And see what you might be able to take with you from the celebration!

DATE: Sat, 20 Oct 2007
SIZE: 28.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 20, 2007: The Warm-Up To Samhain!

Samhain is coming, and I'm excited! It has so many meanings, but the one that means the most to me is the basic one that the veil between the worlds is thinnest at Samhain.  And that has a special meaning for us. If a ritual is going to be powerful at anytime, it will have the most power at Samhain.  And so, if the wind is at our back and we're sailing with the current, let's make the most of it! And so, some thoughts that can be used at any time, but especially now.  Of all of the magical messes I've seen people make, they center around one principle - get that one principle, and you'll be ahead of many.  That's just one of a few things worth sharing as Samhaintide approaches. I feel that this is going to be a most special Samhain.  Here's some ideas on how to "make it so." Next week: A Samhain Celebration!

DATE: Sat, 13 Oct 2007
SIZE: 29.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
October 13, 2007: The Plastic God!

I came across an interesting statement by a Rabbi which begins with "If you had a small, cheap god that you bought in the dime store, then of course you can reach it, you can have him in your pocket, and you can even play with him and kiss him." It reminds me of the song that used to play on jesusdance.com about the "plasic Jesus, riding on the dashboard of my car." And that's one of the problems that some folks have.  Their god is actually that small.  For some people, that's all they want.  According to others, that's all they're going to have.  And let's not forget the folks who not only don't want to have any more god than that, they don't want anyone else to have any more than that, either! There might not be a lot of dime stores left, but there are dollar stores, religious gift shops, Wiccan shops and other places where it is possible to find a nice small figure of a god, goddess, other deity, or other subject of veneration - and at a reasonable price.  Whether it is Jesus, Mary, Shiva, a Buddha, a Saint, or anyone or anything else, thay all have in common one basic factor, and one basic connection to each other.  And that is why that little figure you buy can become so powerful for you. Take it in common with the infinite nature of the Divine, and you have a weapon for spiritual self-defense.  Not only that, it will show you some of the wonders of the Divine that are beyond the most powerful imagination. And exploring this can be a lot of fun, too! 

DATE: Sat, 06 Oct 2007
SIZE: 32.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Oct 6, 2007: Revenge!

Revenge.  That is a subject that needs to be addressed from time to time.  We live in this world, and we are human.  Anyone who has never felt the desire for revenge about something must have led an extremely sheltered life.  And that, too, might be an issue to be dealt with. The trouble is, so often the desire for revenge results in some really stupid deeds that cause trouble and/or cause your adversary to want their own revenge in turn.  So, what to do? We can learn from anyone, so long as we look at the lesson being taught and what is within the message being shown to us.  It might not be what the speaker actually wants us to learn, but nevertheless we can learn. In this case, I found two sayings which I once considered to be Pollyanna-style advice to do nothing except be trampled upon.  But within them, there is something else - and it is something that we can use.  And there is the secret! Never lose sight of the fact that what we think and say we want or need might not be what we really want or need.  Look within for the answer, and see what the answer is.  And we can look at a few examples of how satisfaction was obtained without getting into too much trouble. Are you wondering what I am driving at?  Download the show and enjoy it!

DATE: Fri, 28 Sep 2007
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Sept 29, 2007: Introducing The Emerald Tablet

Eleven lines, that's all there is to The Emerald Tablet.  But what an eleven lines! Then again, Wiccans know "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt" and how much debate and exploration that has inspired. For this episode, many thanks to the Universal Gnostic Fellowship and their Presiding Archbishop, Dr John Gilbert.  We're looking at the translation found on their web site and I'll touch on some of the commentary that they include.  But that is certainly not the only translation of The Emerald Tablet, or the only commentary.  Those who have translated and/or commented on it include Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Aleister Crowley, Albertus Magnus, Isaac Newton, and many others.   There is a basic truth contained within The Emerald Tablet - and perhaps several basic truths, depending on how you count them.  And within it is a major secret, perhaps one which might be called an "ultimate secret." Eleven lines is a quick read.  A few times through and you'll be able to recite it comfortably.  It won't take an excessive effort to memorize it.  But what will it take to master it?  A few minutes of your time to read.  A lifetime to grasp, comprehend and discover.  Such is The Emerald Tablet.  And such are the secrets we find in plain sight.   

DATE: Sat, 22 Sep 2007
SIZE: 26.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Sept 22, 2007: Gnostics - They're Everywhere!

Every week, you've heard me introduce myself as "High Priest of The Temple of Gaia, and a Priest of the Universal Gnostic Fellowship".  So, some of you might ask: what is "Gnostic" about?  Some of you may know, and some of you may wonder. There are some who might wonder how I can be both a Wiccan and a Gnostic.  After all, most people say that you can't be both a Catholic and a Baptist.  But, you can be a Gnostic and any number of other things. I've even come across some folks who confuse Gnostic with agnostic - even though they are opposite.  An agnostic claims to not know if there is any sort of deity.  A Gnostic knows - in a very special way. First off, there is the word "gnosis", which is one of two Greek words which can mean "to know", and the difference is very major.    Understanding the distinction is critical to understanding Gnosticism. Then, there is what gnosis is and how it works.  And there you'll see why many religious leaders who want to have their followers "march in step" are uncomfortable with Gnosticism. This is a very brief introduction.  Gnosticism isn't for everyone, but many have found comfort and strength in it.  Know what?  Some people are Gnostics without knowing it.  Sort of like how I say that some people are Wiccan without knowing it.  Give a listen, check a mirror, and see what you see.  

DATE: Sat, 15 Sep 2007
SIZE: 31.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Sept 15, 2007: Giving Honor To Someone

I had something else to say, but then the news came and it was sad.  Someone passed over, and it seemed as if few noticed.  Upsetting, actually. You'll see and understand what I mean when you listen.  If he held an equivalent position here in the US, things might have been different.  But he did not.  I've said it before: When I was an Episcopalian, I was a traditionalist.  So much so that it got me into trouble.  I am still a traditionalist.  Different traditions, but I honor my traditions. What is a traditionalist?  I can't give you a definition, but I can tell you what a traditionalist is not.  A traditionalist is not someone behind a pulpit screaming that his way is the only way.  A traditionalist is also not a government functionary whose definition of tradition is what most folks call blind, unquestioning obedience.  And it is easy and downright comfortable to be a traditionalist when one is part of the power structure.  But what if the power structure puts you on the outside looking in? And so, I want to honor someone who spent half a century honoring his traditions.  His way might have been different from mine, but he had his traditions and he honored them.  And so, I wish to honor him. 

DATE: Sat, 08 Sep 2007
SIZE: 29.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Sept 8, 2007: A Wiccan Breviary

A breviary is, in essence, a daily cycle of prayers and "mini-rituals".  Many monastic orders have their own breviaries, and of course there are other published breviaries - including fancy four-volume sets that command a hefty price. Of course, such breviaries are written by people that you and I don't know, and they take a "one size fits all" approach which doesn't work for most of us. But, Wiccans have an advantage.  Instead of missals and breviaries, Wiccans have Books Of Shadows - and they are as personal as your athame or your toothbrush. You already probably do a daily ritual of rituals, even if you don't know it.  Look and see.  And what are you doing with that ritual of rituals?  You are establishing and maintaining a relationship with various people and things.  The first kiss in the morning, the kiss goodnight, the hug when you come home, walking the dog at certain times, putting a baby or child to bed for the night - you're doing more than what you're physically doing.  And if you miss doing something, you really miss it! And so it is with your prayer life, and this is where a breviary helps.  And it helps even more when you write your own.  And, it is important.  No matter how important your rituals are, this is how you maintain your relationship with the Divine between rituals. Look and see.  You'll see.

DATE: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
SIZE: 36.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
September 1, 2007: Opening The Hall Of Honor

Today, we open the Hall Of Honor at The Virtual Mission Chapel Of The Archangel Uriel. Where is this chapel?  As near as your computer.  Just go to http://www.groveunion.templeofgaiainc.org/ and "follow the signs" and you'll be there.  The first two to be honored in the Hall Of Honor are Jerome Birnbaum and Tempest Smith.  If you've listened to this podcast for any length of time, you know some of their significance.  If not, we offer a "quick sketch" of who they are on their pages in the Hall Of Honor. This is something you might be able to do, too.  A special place to honor those who have made a special contribution to your spiritual life.  It can be done any number of ways: a bookshelf, a web page, a page in a photo album.  And, I'm sure yours might include some that the more major faith groups haven't bothered to notice.  There's also some news about how President Dubya Bush snubbed Roberta Stewart.  And his apology.  But the apology has become a cheap commodity, hasn't it?  I'm offering a couple of suggestions as to how Dubya can atone so that his apology includes some credibility.  

DATE: Sat, 25 Aug 2007
SIZE: 32.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 25, 2007: Wiccan Lessons From The Gospel Of Judas!

If you want to read a book that has the Christians upset, one of the best choices is the Gospel of Judas.  It's not that they weren't warned, there were many, many references to it in ancient writings.  But it wasn't until very recently that someone found a copy. If it were phoney, an inconsistency would have been found, just like what happened with the infamous "Hitler War Diaries" of a couple of decades ago.  There would be an inconsistency in the ink, the paper, the language, or known historical facts.  In the case of the Gospel of Judas, it appears to fit perfectly. Many times, I've pointed to places in writings associated with Yeshua Bar-Joseph and said "How Wiccan can you get?".  And there is a story here that has much bearing on Wiccans, Pagans, and anyone else who deals in magick.  It's the same warning you find in The Sorcerer's Apprentice and in Rumplestiltskin.  And it bears repeating. There are other revelations in the book.  Taken in context with other evidence, there is a jealousy and rivalry going on among Jesus' disciples that's just like a soap opera.  There's also evidence that Yeshua (and his god) are more like us than your Sunday School teacher would ever allow you to think.  But above all, there is a lesson here in dealing with magick and the Divine.  

DATE: Sat, 18 Aug 2007
SIZE: 29.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 18, 2007: Poetry - A Tool And A Portal!

Explore any writings written before a certain time, and you find that they were "written" in poetic form.  And it certainly was not the kind of poetry that your fourth-grade teacher bored you with! Why were they written in poetry back then?  Because they probably were not written down for some time.  This was how knowledge was conveyed - in everything from history to family lineage to practical matters like cooking or sailing a ship.  It was also the way that some information might be passed on quietly, beyond the reach of prying eyes.  A poem could contain more than one message.  It could be more than a poem.  And this is a tool, a portal, and a weapon that we can use today just as well as our ancestors could. Here's one.  Maybe it's from 750c.e., or maybe it's from 1993c.e. - I'm not saying right now - enjoy it and see what it says. Here's a door.  Look through and see what might be waiting to be found.  

DATE: Sat, 11 Aug 2007
SIZE: 27.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 11, 2007: Revisiting The Line!

On the Web, you can now order a genuine, official, Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy.  Michael Vick, as we all know, is the football star who has been indicted for his alleged involvement in a dog-fighting operation. Does this mean that Yuengling, along with your dog and all of the other dogs can have a part in that man's karma?  After all, most people who would listen to this podcast know about poppets and other representations of people used for magickal purposes.  Is a Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy anything else? And then, there is the work of the Innocence Project, which keeps finding evidence which transforms Death Row inmates into free people.  And a man who briefly lived not far from me who spent two decades fighting for his life on Death Row until DNA proved him clearly innocent. And, of course, we can't forget O. J. Simpson, can we? What will activists on either side do when truth comes to the surface?  It will have its effect regardless of which side the newly-revealed truth helps. So, what to do when there is a situation in which you're forced to take a side even though perhaps not all possible facts are in? Yet another secret in plain sight, perhaps?

DATE: Sat, 04 Aug 2007
SIZE: 28.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
August 4, 2007: Harry Potter's Gift For Us!

One thing I mentioned in the promo that would be mentioned here is "the latest book that makes the Christians cuss" - and none has done so much as the books about Harry Potter. Harry Potter has done a lot of genuine magick in this world, beginning with transforming a single mother on welfare into a renowned author, and going on to transforming kids who thought that reading was "something nerds do" into eager readers.  Not bad for a fictional adolescent! So, what's the fuss over Harry Potter? Could it be that there is a secret in the Harry Potter books, waiting to be revealed?  Yes, there is! And if you see some Fundamentalist Christians ripping the electric lights out of their churches and homes, you'll know that they listened to this podcast and decided that the real message of Harry Potter was really evil! Go ahead, listen to this podcast!  See what kind of a message Harrry Potter has for you!  

DATE: Sat, 28 Jul 2007
SIZE: 31.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 28, 2007: The Line

The Line. I've talked about The Line before: sometimes you must not cross it, sometimes you may cross it, and sometimes it moves.  Let's talk about it in terms of what I call Real Theology.  Some people think of Theology as discussing ancient texts or the color of some saint's toga, nitpicking how to conduct a ritual, etc.  Real Theology consists of taking all of that (and more) and applying it in daily life. And so, let's take a couple of items in the news recently and see how that applies to you and me.  In both of the cases I'm going to specifically mention, you just might find something to invest emotionally in both cases.  The question is: What do you do? The "Monday morning quarterbacks" have an easy job, as do the people who don't "connect" emotionally and those who want to talk all in theory.  They're not there in the situation having to make the real decision.  You and I are in the situation of having to make the real decision. An ancient Hebrew admonition to judges described "The sword of God at your head, lest you set the guilty free; and the fires of hell at your feet, lest you punish the innocent."  And there is where our puzzle begins. I promised you "Spiritual calisthenics for those who are willing to think."  Welcome to part of my workout.

DATE: Sat, 21 Jul 2007
SIZE: 29.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 21, 2007: Satan, Bin Laden and The Boogeyman

One of the favorite techniques of bullies is intimidation.  Really effective inimidation begins with a small kernel of truth, but it stretches into something beyond reasonable reality.  Like the child who tells a playmate that her daddy is a policeman and she'll have him come and shoot.... A form of intimidation that some of us remember from our childhood is The Boogeyman.  If mommy and daddy run out of other ways to influence behavior, there's The Boogeyman.  The Boogeyman comes after children who don't eat their broccoli, children who don't get to sleep by a certain time, and children who wet their beds.  Of course, if The Boogeyman were real, real mommies and daddies ought to do something to protect their children from The Boogeyman.  In mundane life, do I really believe that allowing the government to read my emails or (as was once proposed) track what books I read is going to keep Osama Bin Laden at bay? In your spiritual life, many of you have been told about another boogeyman - the Chrisitans' "Devil".  But what can we see about this theological boogeyman if we do a serious examination, including comparing their version of The Boogeyman to other deities - especially the ones who are known for getting nasty.  Some truths might have been stretched a bit. As a child, most of us eventually figured out that there was a positive reason for getting to bed and sleep at a reasonable time, and that The Boogeyman had nothing to do with it.  In our spiritual lives, there is so much more that can be offered besides avoiding punishment. 

DATE: Sat, 14 Jul 2007
SIZE: 41.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 14, 2007: A Wiccan Looks At Jesus

Bear with me on this, and I think you'll see what I'm driving at. I'll have to admit that nothing gets some Wiccans more upset than to have to hear "the J-name".  But it's not his fault.  Take a look at what he taught and how he lived, and compare that with the stuff you find shouted from pulpits.  I wonder if he would even recognize that which was built in his name as being anything having anything to do with the points he kept trying to make.  Sort of like the story I told you a while back about a certain Air Force captain who kept going around saying "Colonel wants...." until a certain lieutenant asked the colonel. And, do you know what else this is good for?  When someone tries to "save" you, this is some good information to let it be known that he probably would be more comfortable among us than he would be in the religious establishment built in his name.  Some good intellectual ammunition, I do believe. Besides, our issues are not with deities or pantheons.  Our issues are with what mortals do while claiming to be serving their deity.  Enjoy this. 

DATE: Sat, 07 Jul 2007
SIZE: 30.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
July 7, 2007 - Putting Ritual In Its Place

Today, people in countries such as Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia will meet together in small groups in places where they hope they won't be disturbed by either the officialdom or nosey neighbors.  It doesn't matter what their spiritual path might be, what's important is that their spiritual path is so disapproved by their government that they have to take what they do underground.  And they meet to do a ritual. There was a period of many years when Christians took their faith underground.  In those days, their churches didn't have youth groups, ladies clubs, or picnics.  They came together to say Mass, which remains the core ritual of much of Christianity today. In between then and a few years ago, our own spiritual predecessors met in secret - and that was if they met at all.  And when they met, the did a ritual. Does this offer a clue as to what is at the core of who we are and what we do?  And if it nurtured us through the times when we merely wanted to survive, how much more can it do for us now that we've come out into the open? You never know what power we might already have!

DATE: Sat, 30 Jun 2007
SIZE: 36.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 30, 2007 - Thinking About Tempest Smith

In the course of the next week in the United States, we will have Independence Day on July 4th. That's a day of fireworks, picnics and, of course, speeches. The speeches take the same course, to the point that I think most of us have them down to memory. The speeches will be about our freedom, and our democracy. And then I read once more about Tempest Smith's death in February of 2001, and I wonder just how much freedom and democracy we actually have. It can be fairly said that a prisoner in jail has freedom of movement - he may move anywhere he wants within his cell. Is our Religious Freedom that constrained? Let us not forget that Tempest Smith died because of the non-stop teasing, ridicule and bullying she was subjected to. She was twelve years old, and a student at Lincoln Park Middle School. Much can be said about her classmates who taunted her, and then made such apologies at her funeral. Much might also be said wondering how the faculty and staff at the school could actually claim to not have known what was being done to her. Suicide is a favorite subject for "Monday morning quarterbacks," since the person most directly involved is not available for comment. But suffice it to say that Tempest Smith died from the torment. Perhaps there is a lesson for the rest of us to learn from this. The Jewish Defense League came up with a slogan some years ago which seems to fit this situation: "NEVER AGAIN!"

DATE: Sat, 23 Jun 2007
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
June 23, 2007 - Why I Quit Praying

Yes, there was a time when I decided to quit praying.  After becoming a Wiccan, I still didn't pray.  As a Wiccan Priest and for my first few years as a Wiccan High Priest, I did not pray.  There were many, many of other things that I was doing in relation to the various deities in my life.  I would give energy for or about something or someone, I would do rituals, and I would address Gods and Goddesses directly.  But I wasn't praying. So what was I doing then?  I came to the realization that I was doing the same thing, but without the label.  When I was a Christian, I had issues with what seemed busywork while I was supposed to sit on my you-know-what and wait for their God to get off of His You-Know-What, and that was assuming that I was praying about something that I was supposed to pray about, and that also assumed that what I was asking for was in accordance with His Will.  See why I quit?  See why I did so much by getting rid of the label and its associated "baggage" for a while? There are some things that do indeed get in the way.  Here's my list of the worst of them, and how to get past them.     On schedule for next week:  Maybe I can stir something.  And it will be appropriate for the coming holiday.  

DATE: Sat, 16 Jun 2007
SIZE: 29.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 65 - Dad's Day!

This was one of the easiest shows I've ever put together, and also one of the most difficult.  It was easy because the words just came out.  It was difficult because I got emotional while I was preparing it.  This weekend includes Fathers' Day.  At least, that's when it is in the US.  Something similar might be at other times in other places.  And if there is so such designated day where you are, you're welcome to borrow this one! ;-> If you've heard me mention my Dad before, then I think you know that I miss him.  And, I'm a Dad with two children who are grown and on their own.  And I miss them, too.  Let me point out that if you think that my Dad and I spent the time we had together as some special incarnation of Ward and Wally Cleaver, guess again.  But we did come to share something that was priceless.  And I'll share some of that with you. And so, a special offering on the subject of Dads. Fathers' Day.  A special day to celebrate and honor Dads.  And for those of us who are Dads, a special day. Thanks, Dad!

DATE: Sat, 09 Jun 2007
SIZE: 32.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 64 - The Controversial Episode

Seeing what causes most of the arguing among Wiccans and Pagans, this is likely to be the most controversial show I ever do! You've probably heard my personal theory that a person's spiritual development can be measured in terms of what they fuss about.  What does that mean in a practical sense? Is there a point that you have to "get" before you move beyond a certain level?  If so, is it something uniquely Wiccan, or is it something that applies to all fails, religions and spiritual paths?  Here, I'll break the usual "rule" and answer that question - it is a point that applies to anyone, regardless of their spiritual path, denomination or religion.  And so, now the bigger question:  what is this point that so many don't get? That's what this episode is all about!  For those who already get the point, this will be an affirmation that what others might be nit-picking you about is, in fact, only a problem because they don't get it and you do!

DATE: Sat, 02 Jun 2007
SIZE: 32.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 63: So You Want Some Advanced Stuff?

One of the perpetual complaints among Wiccans and Pagans is that of the books available, there are so many primers and so few advanced books.  Meanwhile, I have a personal theory that one of the ways to measure a person's spiritual development is to look at the level of things that they fuss about.  If someone is fussing about the style of robe a priest chooses to wear while someone else is trying to tackle a real issue, might that be a clue? If you want some advanced stuff, there is one author I will recommend to anyone who is ready for him.  One book in particular is a challenge - but it is worthwhile.  It opened my eyes. And what would you look for in an "advanced book"?  And what makes it so advanced? Some will think that there's a "magickal book" that separates the real ones from the wanna-be's.  On occasion, you'll come across someone seeking the "super-book" which will open new gateways to enlightenment.  They'll still be looking a long time from now.  That sort of accomplishment comes from within - not from a book.  But, there is a book that helped me change the way I looked at things, especially spiritual things.  It let em see new doors to open and explore, and it also got me to go back and look into doors I thought that I had already seen - and re-open some that I had thought I needed to close. Powerful - if you're ready for it.  

DATE: Sat, 26 May 2007
SIZE: 39.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 62: Special For Memorial Day

May 28th is Memorial Day in the United States.  Over the years, it has become the day set aside to honor our fallen warriors and those veterans who have crossed over. If you are outside the United States,  feel free to join in this one by honoring your own fallen warriors and veterans. This year will be the first Memorial Day in many years that I see in a positive light.  Most Memorial Day celebrations that I've seen in the past consisted mostly of bigwigs utttering insincerities - and then proceeding to talk out of the other side of their mouth once the speech was over.  But this year is different. For the first time in the history of the United States, memorial markers with Pentacles as the symbol of faith are being dedicated.  Some replace blank markers.  Others mark graves which went unmarked until there was an appropriate marker.  Some might be new.  It took a fight in court to make it happen.  There is more to fight for, but this is the time to celebrate what has been won for those among us who stepped forward to answer their country's call.  

DATE: Sat, 19 May 2007
SIZE: 38.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 61: Forgiveness, Aologies, and Insincerities

Forgiveness.  If you went to a Christian Sunday school, the teacher probably said much about forgiveness.  Sometimes, the lesson on forgiveness sounded like I was supposed to become everyone's doormat - and that I was supposed to forgive no matter what. I had a couple of opportunities to visit this subject in the last few days.  One came from someone I had not heard from in many years.  This person offered an apology for a hurt that I had received (and it still ached after all this time).  Given the circumstances, I was able to learn just how good it can feel to forgive and have an old hurt go away.  And then there was another.  I had just gotten done telling a friend that now that we're offering rituals via podcast, Temple of Gaia now offers everything Jerry Falwell does except the hatred and bigotry.  And then I see the news that Jerry Falwell died.  Do I forgive that man, the one who claimed that Pagans, gays and liberals were to blame for 9/11?      News:  Three bulletins concerning our victory in the Veteran Pentacle Quest, and how the victory is manifesting itself.  Celebrations are being arranged and scheduled.   Coming Soon: Next Week is Memorial Day Weekend.  Expect something special.   

DATE: Sat, 12 May 2007
SIZE: 43.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 60: A Most Special Dedication

It occurs to me that I've been saying that Temple of Gaia wanted to offer its members anything they'd expect to find in any other church, but in the past year this podcast has been me flapping my jaws.  So with this one, I'm adding something different. A church should have a chapel that is available at any time, and now ours can be found at http://www.groveunion.templeofgaiainc.org/chapel_courty ard.htm.  If you want, go into the sanctuary while you enjoy this podcast, and if you want, you can join me in this celebration. This has been in preparation for some time, and finally I decided I might as well try, and see how it goes.  Jerry Falwell has his Sunday services on TV, the local Catholic church has a Mass on TV and/or radio for those who can't go to church, so why not a try in that direction for Wiccans and Pagans? Next week will be a show in the usual format.  But for right now, let's celebrate this, and see how this goes.  

DATE: Thu, 03 May 2007
SIZE: 32.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 59: What Next? How About These?

We won!  If you visit Circle Sanctuary's web site at http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/veteranpentacle/  you can see photographs of the markers for Jerome Birnbaum and Patrick Stewart - freshly arrived at Circle Sanctuary, and still in their shipping containers. Being right is a very good thing.  Agreement is also very nice.  But, there is definitely something that must be said for fulfillment - and that's what those pictures show.  It has come to pass. What next?  We've won one battle, but we have more to come.  And that's only talking about battles.  There's more to do than just fight. What do we do now? Perhaps there are some ideas!  

DATE: Sat, 28 Apr 2007
SIZE: 37.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 58: We Won! Now What?

The big news is that the US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to a settlement.  Within 14 days of the settlement, the fallen who have been waiting in unmarked graves will have their markers.  And the Pentacle is the newest symbol to be added to the list of symbols of faith. Many people contributed in many ways.  It was not the quality of individual threads, it was the fabric we wove from those threads that made the difference! After all these years of fighting, waiting and hoping, it's done.  And with every gift comes a responsibility.  The wise use of the gift and the wisdom in light of responsibility might be determining factors concerning what other gifts might be. So, what next?  

DATE: Sat, 21 Apr 2007
SIZE: 27.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 57 - Here's A Clue!

Here's a clue, for those who need one.  I'm providing it for the benefit of those who are confronted by the clueless.  Atheists, agnostics, and people whose faith is so weak that they can't tolerate other people having different spiritual paths are forever asking for evidence.  It's staring them in the face, and they don't know it. And then there's the one who just completed the class required for church membership (confirmation class, or its equivalent) who is all filled with knowledge and wants to spew it forth!  Or anyone who thinks that they've learned all that they need to learn.  There is more, and it's beyond the scope of anything that we've dealt with yet.  And there's proof that it's there. "Seek and ye shall find" is something we're often told.  But there is no promise that we won't find that there's more still. And it's pretty good evidence to stop doubters and debaters in their tracks.  

DATE: Sat, 14 Apr 2007
SIZE: 30.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 56 - Reclaiming: Taking Back (or just taking) Our Own!

Last time, I spoke of the cafeteria lady and the spinach she dumped on my tin tray in elementary school.  Imagine if someone from a spinach company had come to that cafeteria, gotten a tin tray of food, and gagged on the spinach too!  And imagine that person telling the cafeteria lady that spinach is not supposed to be as bad as what she served! This is the third of three on reclaiming.  The first two spoke of reclaiming concepts which some of us walked away from because of how they were presented to us.  And now, let's talk about reclaiming that which always was ours, but others have mis-used and abused.  

DATE: Sat, 07 Apr 2007
SIZE: 33.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episone 55 - Angels And Celestial Masters: Reclaiming

Imagine (or remember) if you will... if your only experience with spinach was what the cafeteria lady in elementary school pulled out of that big can to put on your plate.  That was my experience with spinach, and that was why I avoided spinach for many, many years.  Then, Lady Stormy came into my life.  One evening, she prepared a dinner for me which included - you guessed it - spinach.  I tried it, and was amazed!  The spinach that Lady Stormy cooked for me was not the same stuff as what the cafeteria lady dumped onto my tin tray when I was in sixth grade!  It was actually good, and I've enjoyed it regularly ever since. Last week, I spoke of Ascended Masters - or saints, as they are known in some spiritual paths.  This week, I speak of Celestial Masters - or angels as they are known in some spiritual paths.  Go into any story of mortals meeting the Divine, you'll find the deity has divine helpers. So, there's more to this than the stuff that Mrs Whatzit tried to bore you with in Sunday School.  Look, see, experience, use what you learn, and don't be upset if someone else sees something a bit different. ******************************************************* *** SPECIAL NOTE:  This is the One Year Anniversary of The Secrets In Plain Sight! Also, the technical problems appear to have been solved - at least for now.

DATE: Sat, 31 Mar 2007
SIZE: 32.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 54 - Saints and Ascended Masters: Reclaiming

What happens to people who have lived their life as one of our fellow mortals sufficiently well enough?  They become Ascended Masters! What is an Ascended Master?  The same as what certain other spiritual paths refer to as a saint.  The difference is that the concept of Ascended Master is more omnidenominational.  But, I can already see some folks beginning to wince.  And the expression might be similar to: "Ewwwwwwww....that's the stuff Mrs. Whatzit bored us with in Sunday School."  Not exactly.  Did you ever notice that the saints Mrs. Whatzit presented seemed too perfect to have been real people?  Sort of like the story of George Washington tossing a silver dollar across a certain river?  Or the kids in the Sunday School filmstrips?  And did you ever notice how some of the pictures and statues (especially the "gift shop" variety) make them look like wusses? The fact is that they all had their beginnings as real people.  Gauthama Buddha, St Francis, and Mahatma Gandhi began as "poor little rich kids" enjoying privilege at a time when there wasn't much privilege to go around.  Some of the others include those who spent time as party-animals, atheists, criminals, and at least one unwed mother.  And after they started seeking their potential, not all of them saw poverty as necessary.  In fact, some of them "lived the good life" their whole life. What they have in common is that the Ascended Masters were just as human as you and I, and they realized their potential.   

DATE: Sun, 25 Mar 2007
SIZE: 29.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 53 - Your Most Powerful Magick!

There is one situation in which your magick is going to be at its most powerful.  It is also where you gather strength for all of the other magick that you might ever do. It is also the situation in which you do some of your greatest learning.  As with any field of endeavor which requires developed skills, there is a time when you need to put the book down, walk away from the video, and actually do it. We're talking about your private rituals. Even in the best of covens, groups, churches, kindreds or families, you're most likely to encounter more advice and help that you actually need.  And in the larger, more organized churches, there is always the "self-appointed Pope" (even in denominations that don't have a Pope) who makes it their ministry to mind everyone's business but their own.  In your private rituals, they're not there.  What you do is between yourself and your deities.  That's because it's private. This is where you learn.  This is where you can try things. This is also where you can substitute.  If all you have for a robe is a blanket, if all you have for a chalice is a styrofoam cup, so what?  You have what you need for this. There are limits, but the limits are broad, well-known, and the ones you should respect anyway. And it strengthens all other aspects of your priesthood and ministry!  ************************************************* ******* SPECIAL NOTE:  The issues concerning FTP transfer speed and time-outs have not yet been resolved, but they have been reduced to the point that it is possible to transfer a file.  Thank you for your patience while my own patience was being tested.  

DATE: Sat, 17 Mar 2007
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 52 - Putting It All Together!

Putting it all together.  In any learning exercise, it's necessary to do that from time to time. In elementary school, I often wondered about the sense of what I was being made to learn.  What use would I have for it was one question.  The other question was if the subjects were being presented as separate entities, did they ever come together? And so, here we look at it from an "all together" point of view to see what is to be seen.  And do you know what?  There's a secret that some elementary school teachers didn't bother to share with me, but it became an important part of my research in graduate school.  The secret is this:  If you put them together, then even more is revealed! And here in this episode is a quick peek at what I mean.  There will be more of it later, but here is the first peek.   

DATE: Sat, 10 Mar 2007
SIZE: 32.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 51 - Coming Out In Private

Coming out in private - a contradiction?  No.  You might "dress for success", but you probably do the actual dressing of yourself in private.  One of a few supposed contraditions which aren't so long as you look beyond the surface. Some people think that the only way to deal with the world is to try to convert the whole rest of the world to their way, which is why you occasionally see someone trying to "save" you on the streetcorner or in front of a supermarket.  And then there are those who try to deal only with their own kind of people so that they can avoid the real world as much as possible.  And then, there are the people who try to keep anything spiritual in their lives a big secret - announce at work that you saw them in church, and see how they react.  There might be a better way.  I prefer to be who I am and deal with the rest of the world. There are tools available to help accomplish that.  And most of them are basics that some other folks just don't grasp.  Here they are.

DATE: Fri, 02 Mar 2007
SIZE: 33.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 50 - Rituals To Come Out About!

We've talked about coming out of the broomcloset.  Now, let's deal with the one occasion when outsiders are forced to deal with our existence - public rituals. Most discussion among Wiccans about public rituals deals with how to officiate.  There's more to it than that, and there are some principles which apply whether you're officiating or merely attending. If you've gotten the point about anything about The Craft, you already know that there is no such thing as "knowing enough" or "knowing all about" any subject that is of any consequence.  But in a public ritual, you sometimes have to deal with people who think that they know all that they need to know. Four basic principles.  Actually think of them as tools.  Armed with them, you'll disarm those who would be your/our enemies.  Use them wisely, you'll do well for yourself and all of us. Like so much else, those four tools have been hiding in plain sight.  

DATE: Sat, 24 Feb 2007
SIZE: 33.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 49 - Coming Out Of The Broom Closet

Closets have always been in demand.  The demand for closets is at least as old as history itself, perhaps even older.  During the Babylonian exile, there were Israelites who busied themselves trying to show how Babylonian they had become! In 1492, before his famous voyage, Christopher Columbus was the Spanish admiral who arranged for the deportation of all of the Jews in Spain.  There were exceptions - those willing to convert.  And there were enough last-minute conversions that a large number of people with Spanish heritage also have a Jewish heritage which they might find difficult to reclaim. I, Aidan, won't live in a closet, especially the Broomcloset! Gossips have less to gossip about someone who is up-front about who they are.  And being up-front about who you are opens a door.  When others find out that you are just like them, you'll find more people who are just like you! The movements which have brought African-Americans, gay people, Jewish people and others more into the mainstream have one thing in common: they had differences which they set aside in order to work together.  But they had their beginnings with each and every individual involved taking pride in who they are.  And, there is strength and power in being counted.  Just how powerful can a prayer or a ritual be from a broomcloset? Besides, we're going to surprise even ourselves with how many we are.  My guess is that if we were all counted, we'd already be mainstream!  

DATE: Sat, 17 Feb 2007
SIZE: 31.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 48 - Get Off The Guilt Trip!

Sin and guilt.  Tune in a TV preacher, go into any of a number of churches, or even watch some commercials on TV, and you'll hear a lot about sin and guilt. And, they have many definitions.  Is it really a sin to put less than a certain amount into the collection plate, especially for the sake of being able have money for food?  Or the other no-no's like ladies coming to church on Easter without a real fancy hat.  And then, there is guilt.  Like how, according to one charity's TV commercial, a cute little girl in some other country will suffer unless you send them money.  Or the TV evangelist who once announced that God was going to "take him home" unless he raised a certain amount of money for the university named after him. But there are a couple of other kinds of guilt, more evil and more common.  One is "guilt by pronouncement", such as the teacher at school or the supervisor at work who tries to blame you even for a rainy day.  And then there is "guilt by gossip", the most evil of the guilt-trip-generators. I am not sure if the image of gossip being housewives at the back fence ever was anywhere near accurate.  But it does seem that in recent years, gossip has gone from "cottage industry" status to factory proportions.  This is especially true in schools, churches and the workplace.  Guilt trip?  Yes, probably are innocent, but you were pronounced guilty anyway! So, what are you going to do if someone manages to put you on such a guilt trip?   There are ways, and we'll discuss them. And how to deal with the people who put others onto such guilt trips?  We'll make some mention of that, but one basic truth about such people is evident:  They are their own karma!

DATE: Sat, 10 Feb 2007
SIZE: 30.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 47 - Our Other Friends And Companions

One of the secrets to be found in spirituality lies close to us.  In fact, it may be under your own roof!  In my case, some of the keys for me to find this secret are not only under my roof, not only do they lay close to me, they lay on my bed at night when I'm sleeping! I can't make a blanket statement for all animals, but I can say that the animals I've gotten to really know are very spiritual.  And why not?  They don't have most of the distractions we use to take our focus off-target, so they have no excuse not to have a good grasp of the spiritual! Of course there are those who will argue against that.  And they are the spiritual descendants of the theologians who once claimed that women didn't have souls!  There were also those who claimed that people who didn't qualify as "white" weren't really human.  Since such people have been proven wrong on those issues, perhaps they missed on some others? And what can we see when we take a look at our special friends? I can say something of what I've experienced, and you might compare that with what you've experienced.  But basically, this is a question for which I can't write out the "right" answers, even though some of the wrong answers would be apparent enough. Look, see, perceive, and understand.  Someone close to you might have something to offer. 

DATE: Sat, 03 Feb 2007
SIZE: 35.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 46 - The Blessing Of The Peek

I've said before not to expect major visions and revelations in your meditations and rituals.  There are reasons why.  Try to imagine your deities in their terms, and "on their turf."  If you and I pray to the same deity at the same time, that deity listens and responds.  But not only the two of us, but for everyone else in the world who might be praying to that deity at the same time?  That would be overwhelming.  And then not only listen, but do things and maybe have a life on top of that?  I don't know about you, but I'm not ready for that level of multi-tasking. So, what are these glimpses and peeks that we get?  And what can we do with them?  Much! But woe to the people who think that the peeks are a full picture.  They are really missing something! ******************************************************* NEWS FLASH! Some major news that needs to be shared!  Along with Al Gore being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, there's a major story of significance to all who read this: A federal judge has refused to let the VA stall anymore on the veterans' pentacle case, and the case is moving forward. Aidan has also issued a challenge to Pat Robertson, as well as to every Catholic priest, bishop and cardinal to join in supporting the Veterans' Pentacle Quest.  After all, religious freedom means all religions if it is actual religious freedom.  If they want to talk about religious freedom, here's their chance to show what they mean.  Are you listening, Pat?

DATE: Sat, 27 Jan 2007
SIZE: 29.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 45: Met Any Deities Lately?

How many times have we heard the story of someone going around and telling people what some big-named big-wig wants, and then finding out that the big-named bigwig had said no such thing?  And how often might that have happened regarding a deity? For many, if not most, overcoming such mis-information (read: spiritual garbage) is one of the most important tasks on a spiritual quest.  Whether we're talking about a TV preacher, a college campus "guru", the nun who used to stand over your head with a ruler in her first, or the lady in church who devoted her life to minding other people's business, their interpretations of the Divine are not what a spiritual quest is about. A spiritual quest is about your own relationship with the Divine!  Some folks miss that point.  Some other folks are afraid of that point.  After all, if you actually know the Divine, that might contadict their pre-conceived notions which they are pitching to you, right? And so, how to overcome that and actually know the divine? And what will there be when you do? And why have we let so many people stand in our way?  

DATE: Sat, 20 Jan 2007
SIZE: 32.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 44: Words: Lies, or ...?

On your quest, you will of course encounter words.  Written and spoken.  What do we do with them. So many are intended to guide us.  But are we hearing what was intended?  Or are we hearing what someone between us and the original author wants us to hear? An oft-quoted saying in The Craft is "One cannot be a Witch alone."  But, let's have a definition of "alone".  Does "alone mean not having membership in some group (or particular group), or does "alone" in this case mean being stuck so far into the broomcloset that even close friends of like mind don't know who you are? When translation from one language to another is added, then the situation really gets muddy.  An oft-quoted verse in the Christian Bible (particularly the King James Version) has been the pretext for violence and even killings in the English-speaking world.  But is what King James said that it meant what the original writer meant? This is one of the challenges of a spiritual quest, and one which must be met.  And once it is met, there are secrets waiting to reveal themselves. 

DATE: Sat, 13 Jan 2007
SIZE: 29.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 43 - Spiritual Nourishment: Cafeteria Or Restaurant?

Reading a blog sponsored by a group which represents a viewpoint I once held dear and also reading what the mainstream media have to say about non-mainstream religions, I came to a realization:  how regularly the so-called mainstream misses some of the most important points! The current rucus going on among certain mainstream religious groups would be hilarious if it didn't have to do with perhaps the most important thing we mortals might be involved in.  And if all of the fuss did not have such a high price on the spiritual paths of so many. And in the middle of it all, there's one basic point which many of us get, but so many of the so-called mainstream misses completely. Can a Christian be a Christian if he or she has a good time at Christmas and enjoys Easter candy and clothes, but avoids Lent?  Can someone be Jewish by celebrating Hannukah but avoiding Yom Kippur?  If there are "pluses" and "minuses" in every spiritual path or tradition, how is someone supposed to deal with the "minuses"? And is Aidan saying that we need to rigidly follow a path without question, or is he saying something else? There's something basic here.    

DATE: Sat, 06 Jan 2007
SIZE: 30.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 42 - What's Next? Much!

Gauthama Buddha (known to some as "the Buddha," although there have been several) taught that all we had to look forward to in this life are sickness, old age, and death.  Did he really mean that, or did he teach that as a way to spur us on to something more, something greater? Most Christians have a teaching which is similar in its implications.  They teach that we are miserable, terrible creatures who would never "make the grade" without a savior.  Some of them take it further and make lists of demands of what we must do in order to be chosen for salvation, lest we find ourselves going to that "hell" which some of them love to tell us about.  Add to that their common teaching of "one chance in this life is all you get," and there's a wonderful opportunity for spiritual blackmail. But even if there is a savior available for those who would not otherwise pass muster and those who insist on having only one chance, is this teaching all there is, or might it be that there is something more, something greater, that can be reached for. In every spiritual path, teachings can be found that say that if you seek, you will find something worth seeking.  And they all teach that we have it within ourselves to do jsut that!  The Buddhists teach that there is a Buddha within each of us.  In Wicca, I learned that there is the spark of the Divine within every creature.  And so many, many more.  How many teachings of how many paths teach that we can claim what is already ours, waiting for us to claim? Is there something waiting that transcends our artifical boundaries of sect and denomination?  If so, will we see something that we must preach from the rooftops and impose on each other, perhaps with baseball bats if necessary?  Or will we see something that is highly personal and individual, that each of us can take into our hearts and nurture? There might not be much that's new, but there can be quite a lot that's next!  

DATE: Sat, 30 Dec 2006
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 41 - What's New? Not Much!

A recent comment about my podcast, which I much appreciated, said that I had given someone a new perspective on old ideas.  This person got the point! How many new ideas have there been?  How much of what we are looking at in spirituality is so ancient that it is beyond ancient?  How much is so ancient that it was already ancient when the Ancient Ones were young?  Some ideas might be new to the beholder if they are newly found  by that individual, but how many are actually new? And what's new?  Problems, mostly.  Things like forcing one particular path down someone else's throat, claims of spiritual superiority, the manufacturing of a spiritual elite for the rest of us to be dependent upon, and an "us against them/ them against us" mentality. But the worst is a disease, an infectious disease with terrible effects.  I first heard it described by name by a political commentator, but in my opinion the disease infects religion and spirituality even more - with worse effects.  What is the disease, and what is its name?  Listen to the podcast and you'll learn about it. Get past such obstacles and spiritual diseases, and hopefully there will be a new perspective.  And perhaps some of the most infamous words might no longer appear to be limits, but a prod to seek something more and better. At any rate, that's what I am hoping for.      

DATE: Sat, 23 Dec 2006
SIZE: 27.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 40 - The Phoney War On Christmas!

If you choose to believe what certain Christians are claiming, there's a war on - and it's a war against Christmas! There's a group that wants to boycott stores where employees wish customers "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".  And there are those who are up-in-arms because some holiday displays are beginning to include symbols appropriate to Hannukan and Kwanzaa as well!  Is this a war on Christmas? News Flash: Not everyone is a Christian.  Not only that, but most of those who are not Christian are just as satisfied with their own spiritual path as Christians are with theirs! Does anyone take the time to look to the root of the celebrations going on at this time of the year?  Pagans and Wiccans in the Northern Hemisphere are celebrating Yule.  The Jewish celebration of Hannukah is under way.  African-Americans are celebrating Kwanzaa.   And Christians are celebrating Christmas.  Those are the names of the celebrations.  But what are the celebrations about. At first glance, you might see the outer trappings and the things that are used and done to celebrate them.  But go deeper, and you'll find something that started each one of them.  Yes, the stories and/or histories behind each are different.  But what is the message and the promise conveyed with each of them? And therein lies the secret.  Look at what each one promises, and the message of each one.  If we can look, see, and admit to what we see, then perhaps one more reason to be more together than apart!   

DATE: Sat, 16 Dec 2006
SIZE: 27.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 39 - Prayer: Megaweapon Or Cop-Out?

If you are in need and someone says that they'll pray for you, how do you feel?  In some cases, you feel strengthened.  In other cases, it can be a let-down.  Consider the following words written by someone a few years ago: "For I was hungry and you said you'd pray for me.  I would have rather had a sandwich. For I was ill and you said you'd pray for me.  I would have rather been able to afford some medicine. For I was in prison and you said you'd pray for me.  I would have rather that you testified in my defense." See the point?  But what of the opposite, practical action without the spiritual?  If you have two hands to do a job with, are you going to want one of those hands tied behind your back? And what are most of us taught about prayer?  Is it to some god way up in the sky, in hopes that he'll pick up his heavenly voicemail?  And what have we learned from those who have no business teaching?  So much spiritual garbage to get in the way!  Some people seem to actually want to out-Pharisee the Pharisees of biblical times.  Is it any wonder that so many of us have had to leave one path to find what we need?  And what we have left is a bunch of people squabbling over who gets which scraps that fall from a banquet table - when each of us is entitled to a seat at that table! So, how do we get to that seat and actually enjoy the banquet - that of genuine communion with the Divine?   

DATE: Sat, 09 Dec 2006
SIZE: 32.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 38 - It's Happening!

It's Happening! Remember my very first podcast, when I asked the very basic question of why we can't all get along?  I see an improvement in that situation. The one who seems to be leading the charge is someone who was once expected to be a sitck-in-the-mud!  But, rather than that, someone of major significance to all religious paths has broken with the past and moved to heal wounds which have been festering for over a thousand years.  While some might criticize Pope Benedict as not having done quite enough, what he did accomplish in a few days was more than his predecessors ever did!  And what does that have to do with us? Well, something similar is happening for us!  The Pagan Headstone Campaign, the Veterans' Pentacle Quest, the Order of the Pentacle all have a couple of things in common.  Besides the fact that they came into being to right an injustice, they have also brought people together. So, what's the big deal about a single-issue campaign?  The big deal is that people are coming together, putting any differences into perspective, and getting a job done!  And that's the point!  We're learning to come together when there's work to done without homogenizing ourselves. In light of history, perhaps that's one of the more important things we can do!  The Aquarian Age is beginning and, as the saying goes, it's "a whole new ballgame."  And that means that coming together and working together when there's a job to be done will be all the more important.  And it's coming to be!

DATE: Sat, 02 Dec 2006
SIZE: 28.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 37 - Your Ritual Construction Kit!

So many times, I've heard the same complaint about Pagan and Wiccan books: so many primers, not enough of the "advanced stuff". Then again, what is the "advanced stuff"?  And what is in something that is advanced which would not be found in a primer? Or is the difference simply the subject matter being dealt with and the nature of the magick being done?  If so, then is there something common to all spiritual paths which is begging to be noticed? Perhaps even more important: Is there something which sometimes is neglected and which might deserve more attention? Then could it be that building an effective ritual is both basic and advanced at the same time?  Could this be one of the secrets which makes some rituals crackle with energy while others are mere exercises in motion? A look, and perhaps this won't be directly addressed again for a while.  But it is also unavoidable.

DATE: Sat, 25 Nov 2006
SIZE: 26.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 36 - Passages, Ordinations and Initiations

Passages, ordinations, and initiations.  Similar, yet different. Is it something that happens anyway, which people have chosen to mark as a milepost?  Is it the result of a quest and a process of learning?  Or, it is something that happens - perhaps even when you are unwilling - that causes a change? Are we acknowledging a change which has already come to pass, conferring something on someone who has achieved something, or is it something that actually causes a change in the person?  Is it an acknowledgement by society or a group of people, or might it be something that is at least partially secret?  Those are some of the distinctions.  And therein lie the differences.  But therein are also some of the similarities. But they have one thing in common: they are signposts on your spiritual journey.  Some might also mark your mundane journey.  Some of them, you can see ahead of you, or at least anticipate them.  Some of them, you can see behind you.  In some cases, you might only recognize them when you look back at them.  Some initiations are especially like that.  To recognize where you've been is one of the secrets to knowing where your spiritual journey will lead you.  

DATE: Sat, 18 Nov 2006
SIZE: 38.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 35 - Boundaries Which You Must - And Must Not - Cross

On your spiritual journey, you will find boundaries.  Or at least, you will find them if your journey is to take you where you need to be. Some boundaries are there to be crossed.  And, in fact, some boundaries must be crossed if you are going to get anywhere that is worth going to.  They are the same boundaries which hold so many others back from having a real spiritual journey. There are other boundaries which must not be crossed.  Why?  Because if you cross them, you might find yourself distracted or on a "side-trip" which will prove either non-productive or even counter-productive.  But, these boundaries can move over time.  In the same way that you don't go to the high-dive on your very first swimming lesson, but you might well do so when you've become a more accomplished swimmer, some boundaries do move.  But, you need to know how to define those boundaries. Once you know the boundaries, you can chart the course of your spiritual journey so that you can seek what you need and want, and get there!  And that path is moving forward, but on the path that is right for you. My Odeo Channel (odeo/620b37d6b5f8aeeb) 

DATE: Sat, 11 Nov 2006
SIZE: 30.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 34 - Reaching Through The Veil

Much of what so many of us did at Samhain was to honor and reach out to those who have crossed over to the other side of the veil.  But what about the rest of the year?  Surely we don't only miss them and honor them one day a year! There is an old saying: "There is nothing new under the sun."  That seems to be especially true where spirituality is concerned.  Find any spiritual or religious practice, and you will find that its current practitioners "borrowed" it from someone else's tradition.  Follow the history of that tradition, and you'll see that they learned it from yet someone else's tradition - and so on through history until you finally reach a point where you run out of records and even folklore. And this gives us something that we can do to reach across the veil the rest of the year if there is reason to and it is appropriate - and to help the people on the other side reach out to us.  The veil may thicken, but it does not become a brick wall! Of course, the common rules of common sense, reasonableness, and the like do apply.  And with this, we can begin to look at some of the secrets which have been waiting for us.  

DATE: Sat, 04 Nov 2006
SIZE: 27.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 33 - Samhain - And Now What?

Samhain has come and gone.  And what of it?  Does having celebrated Samhain make any difference now? What do I mean?  Look at how the Christians and others deal with Christmas.  From approximately the time of the US Thanksgiving holiday until the time when it's OK to open presents under the tree, those people are so nice, aren't they?  And then, suddenly and for the next three months or so, watch your back! Is there something we can take from Samhain and use throughout the year?  What might it be?  How would someone go about doing it? For Wiccans and most Pagans, Samhain is a major holiday as well as a Sabbat.  It is one of eight sabbats in the cycle of the year.  If we take something from each sabbat to use during the course of the year, we'll have gained something. ************************************************** ***Special Announcement *** ************************************************** At the end of the podcast, there is an announcement and invitation concerning November 11, 2006 (Veterans' Day).  Expect some other announcements to be coming from Circle Sanctuary and others. My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-0cb9966db1210acb6b7097869be9c7c7}

DATE: Sat, 28 Oct 2006
SIZE: 24.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 32 - Making Samhain Personal

Samhain is a most special sabbat, but it's possible to make it even more special.  How?  By using some basic principles that can apply to any sabbat or, for that matter, any day of special observance. That's a point that a lot of folks miss, especially those who follow the so-called "mainstream religions" .  They have their cycle of the year too, and they follow it.  But if they "punch the divine time clock" every Sunday morning, give up something they enjoy for Lent, fast when they are supposed to fast and don't do all of the things they're not supposed to do, can they tell you why?  Or is their answer something to the effect of "we're supposed to." And so, what does that mean to us?  By making a Sabbat more personal, we make it more meaningful and a genuine part of our lives!  What is more, you give yourself a personal, and affirmative, reason for doing it! And so, some thoughts on making Samhain more personal.  Samhain is an end and a beginning.  That's a good place to start.  

DATE: Sat, 21 Oct 2006
SIZE: 32.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 31 - Looking Forward To Samhain

As of today, Samhain is only ten days away.  It is known by several names, and in some cultures the date maight differ, but the root is the same, and the roots are as old as humanity's realization of the spiritual. We can speak of various rites, customs, and celebrations, but so many have done that.  Instead, let's take a look at what's at the root of Samhain. According to the ancient Celts and many others, Samhain is the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.  This is the opportune time to reach across to those who have crossed over, and for them to reach out to us.  It is also a good time to consider what crossing over is all about.  We will all die.  If you have lived any life at all, there are those who are dear to you, those whom you love, who have crossed over.  Samhain is a good time to think about how each of us deals with that.  Some are able to deal with it readily.  Others, especially cowans and those whose spiritual learning is limited, will suddenly plunge into the spiritual when someone crosses over and they can't handle the separation.  If you've been called upon to give spiritual help, you may have encountered such a situation. Samhain is a time to celebrate those who have crossed over, and to reach out to them to let them know that they are honored, remembered, and loved.  For me, this is a good time to look at the roots of Samhain so that my celebration will have even more depth and meaning. 

DATE: Sat, 14 Oct 2006
SIZE: 28.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 30 - Some Ammunition For You!

Here's some ammunition, but not in the mundane sense.  Rather, the kind of factual ammunition that you might find handy when faced with the inevitable debate with someone who wants to "save" you, and bring you to a "right" path. There's no legitimate "winning" or "losing" in such a debate.  The only outcome worth having is that both sides respect each other and honor their differences.  But that can be an elusive goal in dealing with those who think that they represent the so-called "only way". This "ammunition" can help in other ways.  By seeing how many important threads can be found in paths which are different from my own, it strengthens my own path and helps me to respect other paths.  I won't give you all of the answers, but I'll show where some of them are.  And we can begin with two of the questions which some faiths seem so smug about: reincarnation and whether there might be more than one god. You've heard their arguments, I'm sure.  One is the claim that one chance at life is all you get, so you'd better get it right - and right now.  The other is that the god which they worship is the one and only god. What would you say if I told you that their own Bible speaks of reincarnation as a fact?  I'm not talking about someone returning in the form in which they left, as some expect (a proper Passover Seder always includes a place for Elijah), but someone coming back the way Wiccans and Pagans expect: coming back by being born. Is there really only one god, or does their own Bible show that there are others?  Did their god demand to be their only god, or did he only demand "top billing" from the people Moses led?  And what else can we find that speaks of other gods, and might even imply some respect toward them? This is but one tase of an entire banquet.  When I speak of "Secrets In Plain Sight," I mean it. 

DATE: Sat, 07 Oct 2006
SIZE: 34.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 29 - Another Book That Makes The Christians Cuss

Some people get really upset about books, and this one has been a bother to the so-called mainstream Christians for centuries!  In fact, it might even be said that one of the more accepted gospels, the Gospel of John, has much of its content dedicated to countering this book. This controversial book is short and to the point, devoid of stories and other "fluff", since the author appears to have intended to have it contain only teachings.  It's a quick read, and fairly easy to grasp.  What is more, when the learning in there is taken with the context of the time and mixed with some common sense, the lessons are revolutionary. For those who had to leave Christianity because of various issues and for those who had too many questions that the preachers and teachers did not want to answer, many of those answers are in this book. For those who are on other paths (Pagan, Wiccan, or any other), what is taught here can be applied to any spiritual path - any spiritual path. The book is the Gospel of Thomas.  The Gospel of Thomas is one of the books you never found in the Bible they read from in church.  Why was it excluded?  Does it contain something that someone didn't want known?  Is there something you can do for yourself in spite of others claim that you have to go through another mortal "more chosen"?  Is there an issue that people today are raising a stink about that really is a non-issue?  Are people being intimidated while being told to wait for something coming "soon" when it is already here for them to claim and enjoy?  Is there a group of people keeping others from drinking at the best well - and they refuse to drink from it themselves?  If it weren't for the name of the person quoted in this book, it could pass for learning in any of many other spiritual paths.  It's not what you might think.  And it is one of the secrets hiding in plain sight.

DATE: Sat, 30 Sep 2006
SIZE: 35.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 28 - How Many Gods Are There?

How many gods are there?  That's a tricky question, almost as bad as that old one of "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?".  And the answer can seem elusive.  So how many gods are there?  Some will say many goddesses and gods.  Some will say many, but leading back to one.  And, of course, there are others who will claim that there is only one, and has never been more or less than one. But if we look at what the monotheists are teaching, why is it that different groups seem to have the same "one god", but with a completely different personality.  While one has a god whose current activity seems to be little more than watching and keeping score, another one's god is actually able to do things and open doors.  And yet another has a god whose "will" can seem downright arbitrary and capricious, if not outright erratic. Add to that, some of the so-called monotheists appear to have a second god.  At any rate, some of them give so much power and attention to their "devil" that an outsider might wonder whom they actually worship. Assuming that the monotheists' god is not schizophrenic or suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, is there an explanation which would make all of these viewpoints more rational? Let's take it one step further.  If we look to the other spiritual paths, the ones which might have more than one god or goddess, and perhaps those which don't even address the issue of gods per se, will there be something which they offer which might reconcile them, and also reconcile them to the monotheists? And if there is an answer there, what can we do with it? There is an answer.  The application of that answer takes this topic from being something that might be explored in a late-night debate in a seminary basement to something that can be downright exciting!  Not only that, but it puts much of past history and current events into a perspective worth examining! This is just possible one of the more powerful secrets that have been hiding in plain sight, waiting for us to discover.

DATE: Sat, 23 Sep 2006
SIZE: 28.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 27 - The One True Enemy!

The One True Enemy! There are some armchair philosophers who will claim that there is no such thing as a "one true" of anything.  But there is one "one true".  It's the enemy.  Look beneath the surface of any of history's long list of humankind's inhumanity to their fellow humans, you will find supposed root causes too numerous to list.  Yet at the root of the roots, you will find one common thread connecting them all, and that is the One True Enemy. As often as not, it is the first thing that starts problems between people, and it continues to encourage the festering until there's some sort of an eruption.  And that is what makes it The One True Enemy.  It's something that you and I face every day of our lives. It might even be said that if The One True Enemy can be finally defeated, most of our other problems would probably go away by themselves. And what is the One True Enemy?  That is one of the Secrets In Plain Sight, waiting to be seen for what it is!  

DATE: Thu, 14 Sep 2006
SIZE: 36.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 26 - Maybe The Greatest Challenge In Practical Priesthood

Of all of the rites one might conduct in the public eye, there is one which is the real test of priesthood.  Other than pre-printed rites that someone might recite, there is little written about how to deal with the rite and the situations which make it needed.  And yet, it is the one rite which every human being will be in the market for sometime.  That one rite is the funeral. If you stumble while officiating at a wedding, they might laugh when they see the video and perhaps even invite you to the 20th anniversary party to be the butt of some jokes.  But if you do a questionable job officiating at a funeral - about all anyone can say is that you did have your chance to do it well. There's a saying that "funerals are for the living," but that's not entirely accurate.  If you believe that death is not the absolute end, a well-done funeral in which some good farewells are said, at the very least you give the deceased a better chance to rest and move on. Weddings are important too, and most states have qualifications which you must meet if you are going to officiate at a legally binding wedding.  But almost anyone can officiate at a funeral.  Yet a funeral is the last chance people routinely have in this lifetime to deal with someone they've known.  It needs to be done right.  

DATE: Sat, 09 Sep 2006
SIZE: 33.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 25 - Marketing Your Ministry

Marketing, you ask?  We're talking religion and spirituality, aren't we?  Yes!  And we're talking about making all of our ministries as effective as possible! Priesthood is something that you have.  Such things as ordination and lineage mean that someone has agreed with that to the point that they are willing to put their "seal" on it, but the fact remains that priesthood is something that you have.  If you didn't have it, you wouldn't be reading this.  Ministry is what you do with your priesthood.  And if your ministry extends anywhere beyond the door of the room where you keep your altar, this subject is important to you.  Of course you might have put a different label on it, but it's marketing your ministry. Nothing irritates me quite as much as a news report in which one of our priests or priestesses is referred to as "self-styled".  And that's quite a statement to be made by a self-styled journalist whose qualifications might include literacy and a glib enough tongue to get hired.  And if you catch my drift in the latter, you've got my point about the former.  And the "self-styled" description is but one issue.  But I do love to point out that there's more reason that I am a priest than my claims. And this is one of the ways to prepare for that and other challenges which I promise that you will face.

DATE: Sat, 02 Sep 2006
SIZE: 31.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 24 - Putting It Into Action - A Practical Application

For all this time, we've talked about principles, practices, and the general field of applied theology and practical spirituality in today's world.  Due to circumstances which should never have been allowed to be, there is a situation which is begging for these principles to be applied. When a member of the US armed forces dies on active duty, or when a veteran comes home honorably and lives out the course of his or her life, one of the basic entitlements is a memorial marker provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  Religious faith is important to men and women who go into harm's way on behalf of their country, and the memorial marker can include an appropriate symbol representing the individual's religious faith - unless the person happens to be Wiccan or Pagan.  Why? Applications have been "pending" at the Department of Veterans Affairs for nine years.  In that time, several other faiths have had theirs symbols approved.  In one case, approval came withing a matter of a few weeks!  Meanwhile, the Pentacle remains "pending".  Of course they can't disapprove of it!  To disapprove of it would be as wrong as racially segregating the cemeteries!  So, it remains "pending."  For all of the officials who claim to be "invesitgating" and others who claim "their hands are tied", two political appointees are in a position to take immediate action to correct the situation.  It's time to take spiritual action, to call upon the Divine - in whichever names or forms each of us addresses our deities, and call for those two individuals to have the wisdom and courage to do what is right - and stop this daily insult to those of our spiritual paths who have served their country.  A basic application of all the stuff we've been talking about.  And a time to apply it. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 26 Aug 2006
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Epsidode 23 - How To Make Miracles

We've all heard of miracles, especially religious miracles.  Some of us have experienced them, others of us want to experience some, and still others wish that they could.  We've heard of those who have visions, those who are told things, and those who are healed when even the most expensive doctors have given up.  How does this happen?  More importantly, what can someone do to see one, and benefit from it? There are some who claim to offer formulas that usually consist of prescribed prayers and other things to do, almost as if it were a recipe on the box of some sort of spiritual bisquit flour.  Then again, some of those folks are the same ones who speak of "faith" almost as if it were a measurable commodity that might be obtained at some sort of spiritual supermarket.  But how does it really happen?  Is it like some of the movies and the Sunday school filmstrips?  Or something else? And, theres an even more important question.  When it does happen, how do we recognize it and make use of it? That's a secret that is waiting for all of us to find!

DATE: Sat, 19 Aug 2006
SIZE: 39.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 22 - A Different And Very Special Magick - Priesthood In The Public Eye

I've made much emphasis on the Priesthood of the individual, and how much can be done by one Priestess or Priest in the privacy of their own altar.  But that is not to degrade or belittle what can be accomplished in the rituals a Priest or Priestess might be called upon to do in a public or semi-public setting. In that sort of situation, the "rules" (for lack of a better term) are a bit different, and there are some "do's and don'ts" that can make a major difference.  And with each type of public/semi-public ritual there are some specific points to be aware of.  But they also generate a special kind of magick that can't happen in private.  You just have to know how to bring it about. What do I mean?  People come together for a reason, and you're there to help them with their focus and to help them meet the need that caused them to ask you to come.  And there's more. It's also one of my favorite things to do.  I, Aidan, am a priest.  And what I find here are some of the reasons I love being a priest.  What do I mean?  I think you'll see!  

DATE: Sat, 12 Aug 2006
SIZE: 34.7 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 21 - What Do You Do When Somebody's Made You Just Plain MAD?

Every faith teaches something about forgivness.  The problem is, it can be hard to do.  Face it, some people and groups of people make anyone feel like there's an absolute right to get mad. There is a lot written on forgivness that sounds like it must have been written by someone who hasn't had to forgive very much.  Either that or the person is being used for a doormat.  How many times do you "turn the other cheek" until you've run out of cheeks? Of all of the obstructors that can get in the way of spirituality, there is none harder to deal with than "anger-based baggage."  This is especially true since you might be carrying this "baggage" around long after the people who caused it have become irrelevant to your current life.  Some of those people might not even still be alive! And how can you forgive if the hurt won't go away?  So often, some of the standard advice you get sounds ridiculous.  It's easy to tell someone to ignore the hurt if the person giving the advice isn't hurting, right? So, here's another way that works for some, when nothing else would work.  But it must be done carefully, and with wisdom.  Anger, hurt, and their remedies have one thing in common:  they should be taken seriously. And we are talking about the kind of "baggage" which does need to be put behind you so that you can move forward to where you need to go.  

DATE: Sat, 05 Aug 2006
SIZE: 33.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 20 - Sins And Saints 101

Stepping forward from the previous episode, let's see where we can go once we get past the obstructors. I added "101" to the title because in a college catalogue, the 101 courses are the ones that are for beginners with no prerequisites or presumed knowledge of the subject.  Not that you haven't heard the terms before, but because we need to understand some more proper definitions. "Sin" comes from an ancient archery term meaning "to miss the mark".  That's different from some definitions which connote breaking a rule.  And if sin is missing the mark, we could call sainthood the state of completing our lives on this plane on-target. And by that definition, sainthood is not the exclusive domain of Christians.  What of Stewart Farrar, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham or Lord Serphant?  Why not! Let's look at it from that perspective and see if we discover something hiding in plain sight, waiting for us to discover.

DATE: Sat, 29 Jul 2006
SIZE: 36.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 19 - With Obstructors Like These, Who Needs A Devil?

If you have any kind of a spiritual life, you will encounter obstructors.  Beginning with the obstructors which attack from within and going to those who obstruct from without, there are plenty of obstructors to go around.  To make matters worse, the more spiritual you are, the more obstinate some of those obstructors might become. Obstructors have been mentioned before, but this time we deal with them head-on, so that you might have a chance to recognize them when you see them.  If you haven't met some of those mentioned in this episode, then you must have led an extremely sheltered life to this point. And yes, you have to recognize them to deal with them.  And you have to deal with them to put them in their proper place, which is behind you and out of your way. And how do you put them in their proper place, behind you and out of your way?  The answer is something that we've discussed before, but this time we'll see it in this specific context.  Yet another secret that is hiding in plain sight.

DATE: Sat, 22 Jul 2006
SIZE: 34.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 18 - How Do You Do The Dont's or Don't Do The Do's If You Really Have To?

If I were to claim this episode was about ethics and morals, you'd have a pre-conceived idea.  To some, "ethics and morals" brings to mind the image of a schoolmarm or Sunday school teacher wagging a finger, or perhaps a nun with a brass ruler aiming for your knuckles.  For others, it sounds like an opportunity to have a juicy debate over some point that is probably either obscure or far-fetched.  To me, this concerns how to get what you want or need with a clear conscience and no bad karma. Let's take a real-life situation and see how it applies.  The US Department Of Veterans Affairs has been "in the process" of approving the Pentacle as a religious symbol for grave markers for nine years.  During the same time period, several other faiths had their symbols approved.  Of course they know better than to deny the applications, because that would be a religious version of "Jim Crow."  So, they simply keep it "in the works".  In the meantime, Sgt Patrick Stewart, a hero who fell in Afghanistan, is one of many who are waiting for the recognition which would have been theirs as a matter of course if they had not been Wiccan. There are doubtlessly Wiccans on the VA payroll who are unfortunately not in a position to act on this.  And would we want to phrase our prayers in such a way as to affect a Wiccan nurse in a VA hospital?  But it would be nice to have our power felt by those who can and should act.  I cannot presribe answers for you, but I can show how I arrive at answers which meet my needs.  That process is one of the secrets which are hidden in plain sight.  

DATE: Sat, 15 Jul 2006
SIZE: 30.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 17 - The Basics Of Basics Of Putting It To Use

Now and then, even the most advanced find it good to review the basics. Rituals are a part of our lives, even the mundane lives.  From office staff meetings to children going to bed in the evening to family holiday dinners such as Thanksgiving in the US, there are mundane rituals.  And where our spiritual paths are concerned, even more so. Each ritual can be seen as consisting of a certain set of parts, each of which has its importance in the effectiveness of the ritual.  Certain specified components might be in one part of one kind of ritual and in a different part in another type of ritual, but the parts are there, and each component will fit well into one of them. The six parts of a ritual are there for a reason, and they're pretty much unavoidable. Let's look at them, and see how they fit together.  And from there, we can move on to making stuff happen.

DATE: Sat, 08 Jul 2006
SIZE: 30.2 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 16 - Your Most Powerful Magickal Tool!

You have one magickal tool that is more powerful than all of the rest combined!  I can say that without even knowing who you are. Everyone on any kind of spiritual path has magical tools, whether or not they want to admit it.  And those who admit it usually have a few - or quite a few.  But there is one tool which you have which is more powerful than all of the other tools combined, to the point that if you had no other tools, it would not really matter.  But without it, none of your other tools matter.  And that's why some people try to mess with it, to keep you from using it to its full potential. But some people let their most powerful tool get messed with by not focusing it, by aiming it at targets that are unimportant - or might not even actually be there anymore!  And then there are those who shoot it off in most any direction, like a cowboy in an old low-budget Western movie shooting his six-shooters into the air. Regardless of the spiritual path you are on, regardless of the names you use in addressing deity, This one magical tool makes all the difference. And here are some observations on insuring that it is able to be its most effective.

DATE: Sun, 02 Jul 2006
SIZE: 36.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 15 - Reading Within The Reading - or Holy Zombies!

Once upon a time, when Aidan was a Christian, a college sophomore and wanna-be philosopher referred to him as a "zombie-worshipper" because his pantheon included someone who was dead for a period of time and returned to life. Then, there is the story in which Jesus ascended into a cloud in a scene which, in modern terms, would be reminiscent of "Beam me up, Scotty!" Christians are not alone in this.  Look at the number of doors in Valhalla and the number of warriors who will go out of each door when the call comes to fight the battle known as Ragnarok!  Interesting how that number relates to Armageddon. If we stay at the level of the literal words in the stories, we will be left to wonder at the fantasy.  Baldur was killed, and he was cremated, so how will he return after Ragnarok if his body was turned to ashes? Or is there something more?  And if there is something more, can we see what we're being told at a much higher level, and perhaps unlock the secrets hiding within those words we've seen so often? Is this a way to unlock some secrets which have been hidden in plain sight?  

DATE: Sat, 24 Jun 2006
SIZE: 28.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 14 - Can You See It?

Let me show you what I've built!  Take a good look, and see why I built it and why it was built that way.  And you might be able to see what it really does. What do you want to build?  The same tools are available to you, and you can build something at least as good as what I've built.  In fact, from your point of view it will be even better because it will be your design to meet your needs. And on the way, you'll learn one of the greatest tools to bring major power to your spiritual life, especially your prayer life! Come and look!  Then start sketching what you want to build!  It's been waiting for you all this time! This is where it can start getting exciting!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jun 2006
SIZE: 36.3 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 13 - Cults! What about them? And what are they?

Much is said about cults.  But what is a cult?  What makes a cult different from any other group of people who come together for a reason, especially a religious reason? There are many definitions of cults.  According to some, a cult is any religious group that does not agree with the person speaking.  And, there might even be some who will want to claim that you are enmeshed in a cult.  After all, you're listening to this podcast, right?  A cult does not have to be a group of robed fanatics chanting at an airport or shopping mall.  It might appear on the surface to be very mainstream.  But what is a real definition of a cult?  We'll take an evaluation frame authored by someone whose name might be familiar to most, and we'll see.  More than that, let's take a look at a more important question: how to tell if a particular group might fit the definition of the word "cult", especially one that is actually dangerous.  

DATE: Sat, 10 Jun 2006
SIZE: 28.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 12 - The Dangers Of Divine Inspiration!

Dangers of divine inspiration?  Yes, no kidding. Remember that commercial for a brand of audio tape? "Is it real, or is it Memorex?" as the glass broke.  We listen for inspiration and guidance from the spark of the Divine within each of us.  But what of the TV evangelist who claims that his god tells him that in retribution of our "errant ways", there will be hurricanes this year - in hurricane season, of course.  Or the leader of an isolated church who is becoming nationally infamous for the way he and his followers are preaching what their god hates?  Or the one who tells someone that a tragedy is their god's (or godess') will?  Are such people listening to the Divine, or are they listening to their own ego?  Or are we speaking of a situation in which perhaps a doctor might help? But there are times when the Divine has spoken and things have happened.  People have indeed been healed of cancer and other diseases that doctors had pronounced untreatable.  There have been those who found their special niche in life because they listened.  What's the difference? Knowing the difference, and knowing how to escape the pitfalls, will make a difference. 

DATE: Sat, 03 Jun 2006
SIZE: 34.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 11 - Some Books That Make Some Christians Cuss!

"The DaVinci Code" has caused a ruckus.  Even more so than Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of Christ", or even "The Last Temptation Of Christ".  Why? Might it be, as Shakespeare might have said, "someone doth protest too much"?  And if so, why?  What's in "The DaVinci Code" that would cause such controversy?  And there are other writings. The Gospel Of Judas caused controversy since its existence became known, and the Dead Sea Scrolls have been available to ordinary folks for only a relatively short time, in spite of their having been "studied" since their discovery in 1948! And this has led some mainstream Christians to suddenly be up-in-arms about the whole of Gnostic scripture.  Once upon a time, Gnosticism seemed only to be a long-forgotten sect that would be briefly mentioned in college and seminary classes about early Christianity, and now it seems much more than that.  And suddenly, it is possible to buy quite a lot of very good Gnostic writing at almost any decent bookstore.  Why? What are the differences between the more orthodox Christianity and that of the Gnostics.  Did Yeshua Bar-Joseph have something else in mind instead of what came down to us as Christianity?  There's an excellent book available which provides some powerful insight into this. And why would such objections be raised?  No answers, but some places where those with questions can ask.  And the principles used here can be used on any spiritual path to find the answers you seek.

DATE: Sat, 27 May 2006
SIZE: 25.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 10 - Let's Do Spells And Magic!

Spells and magic or magick, as the Crowleyans and some others prefer.   Every spiritual path that's spiritual has them.  A priest transforms bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, that's magick.  And for those who say that they don't do magick - then does a Baptist get nothing from being baptized except wet? And so, what do you need to know to make your own magick effective?  What are some of the basic rules?  Are there lines not to cross?  Are there some basic points that will work for just about anyone working magick, whether they call it that, or if they insist that they are simply praying?  In a Buddhist temple, a Synagogue, a church, a monastery or a covenstead, what might the common points be? Before we get into the heavier stuff, let's look at this.

DATE: Sat, 20 May 2006
SIZE: 32.0 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 9 - What You Can Do With Scripture!

Scripture.  One of the words that can either raise smiles or hackles, depending on who is talking and who is listening. What is scripture?  It depends on whom you ask.  But, in essence, scripture can be defined as written-down words which contain some of the basic precepts of a particular spiritual path.  And based on that, even some traditions who claim that they don't bother with scripture can be shown to have scripture. Christians have their Bible, the Buddhists have their Sutras, the Hindu have their Gitas, Islam has the Koran, Judaism has the Torah, Asatru has the Havamal and some others, et cetera.  There's lots of scripture out there.  And most of it is not from the path that you follow!  What can you do with it? To show what I'm trying to do, let's look at a particularly excellent piece of scripture from a spiritual path in which many followers shy away from claiming to have any scripture.  Let's see if there's something in it that anyone from any path can use.  And what about the parts we don't agree with?  I'll touch on that a bit, too. If you are on a particular spiritual path, it behooves you to know the scripture associated with that path.  If you are dealing with someone who is on a different path (especially if the "dealing" can be best defined as hostility, opposition, debate, or some other sort of negative, if your opponents are involing their religion on you, knowing their scripture can be helpful for you! Regardless of your spiritual path, you deal with scripture - possibly your own, or perhaps some other person's that gets thrown into your face.  If we've got to deal with it, we might as well think of how to deal with it.

DATE: Sat, 13 May 2006
SIZE: 32.4 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 8 - Visiting Another Spiritual Path

Aidan recently visited a pow wow, a Native American gathering hosted by a nation which has some major significance for his wife.  More than a vacation, the pow wow proved to be a profound experience, loaded with learning! What has that to do with you?  Part of your spiritual learning could very well include visits to other spiritual paths - not to stay, but to experience them and to see what they might have to teach.  This is nothing like so-called "cafeteria religion" in which someone takes only what they have an appetite for, and perhaps that might change from one day to the next - this is a quest to see what another path might be able to teach which might be hiding too subtly in your own path.  This is not the first such visit that Aidan has made, and he looks forward to more. Of course, like visits to fellow mortals on the material plane, there is a right way to visit.  Most such visits will include some learning, and included in that learning might be some basic truths.  That's discussed here, too.  Unfortunately, there are those who don't appear to know such basic truths - and then we all lose as a result. But their is a way to visit another spiritual path - and come home to your own path with something very valuable.

DATE: Thu, 04 May 2006
SIZE: 33.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 7 - Things You Can Do With Bread And Wine!

Bread and wine.  To most of us, in a religious context, that brings to mind one particular type of ritual - and a Christian one.  But is there more to that? What is the significance of bread and wine?  Do they figure in any other rituals?  Or are there other parallels?  And how many possible meanings can we find in bread and wine from a spiritual point of view? Based on Aidan's basic premise that there's really little pretext for all the disputing between spiritual paths, is there something in common? No answers, just questions.

DATE: Sat, 29 Apr 2006
SIZE: 19.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Priesthood Is A State Of Being!

What is priesthood? Let's begin by saying what it is not.  It is not a job.  It is not something you get merely as a reward for completing a course of studies.  Some of the best priests and priestesses have some of the least significant credentials, and some of the worst have some of the most impressive credentials, and for every one that supports those two statements, there are many others that support the opposite view - or somewhere in between. So, what is priesthood, then?  What is it that so many find themseves either desiring to attain, or find themselves being dragged "kicking and screaming" into it? In 2004, Aidan published an essay on The Witches Voice titled "Priesthood Is A State Of Being".  A couple of years and more study and experience later, his ideas have evolved even more. One priest's viewpoint on what a priest or priestess might expect, and what might be expected of them.  And why, for some, priesthood seems to be even more unavoidable than taxes.

DATE: Sat, 22 Apr 2006
SIZE: 25.1 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 5 - Tools For Your Spiritual Journey

There are tools needed on any journey, in either the physical plane or the spiritual.  Even if you are walking to the convenience store at the corner, you dress to protect you from the elements and take with you something to use for money in order to conduct business at the store.  On a spiritual journey, there are also tools that you will need.  These tools are not physical implements per se, but at a higher level - but they are things that are there and waiting for you at this time. Let's explore the four main spiritual tools you'll be using.  Almost everyone does use them, including people who do not consider themselves to be spiritual and who don't think that they have a spiritual journey. What are those tools, and how to use them?  With that, we can move forward.  

DATE: Sun, 16 Apr 2006
SIZE: 28.6 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 4 - The Doorways Some People Want To Keep You From

On your spiritual journey, there will be doorways, windows and paths which will offer themselves to you. There will also be people who will try to stand in the way of those doorways, windows and paths. Nowhere does this happen more often than in regards to books that you might read. After all, they are the way that you might be able to take a peek behind a doorway, look through a window, or see what a path entails. As an example, let's explore a couple of theological bombshells that are disturbing a lot of people, beginning with one bombshell that hit the major mainstream media in the last few weeks. There's more here than exploring the contents of some writings that cause a fuss. There's also what to look for and why, both in the positive and negative. If it is necessary to "separate the wheat from the chaff," it's best to be able to do it yourself rather than someone else doing it for you. It's part of finding your own answers to your questions.

DATE: Sun, 09 Apr 2006
SIZE: 23.8 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 3 - Your Own Spiritual Path

Now that we've determined that you're going on a spiritual journey, what about the journey itself?  It has a beginning, it will have a final destination, but what of the journey itself? There are some good examples of spiritual journeys, and some of those stories are well worth knowing.  But no matter how much you might admire and wish to emulate someone (if you do), there is no way that you will be able to step into their shoes for your spitirual journey. No matter the destination, no matter the nature of your spiritual journey and quest, there are some basic principles to use as a guide, and they can help make your journey more productive and perhaps even pleasant.

DATE: Thu, 06 Apr 2006
SIZE: 17.9 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 2 - Where Do We Begin?

A spiritual journey, like any journey, begins with the first step.  As with any other journey, how well you do the first steps might be important throughout the journey - and this is a long one!  But what is that first step?  Is there something you need to have to really begin?  What is it? 

DATE: Thu, 06 Apr 2006
SIZE: 26.5 MB
DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Episode 1 - Can We Please Get Along?

For the first show, I want to cover the question that has been bothering me longer than any other question having to do with religion or theology.  That question is simply: Why can't we all get along with each other? The answer to this is perhaps the biggest secret hiding for us to find!

Recent Comments for The Secrets In Plain Sight!

A vote and a lot of love from Brook, the iPod Witch. :)

Submitted By: brook@... (on 11-2011)


A vote and much love from Brook, the iPod Witch. :)

Submitted By: brook@... (on 9-2011)


Top 10 Podcasts
 98.3 Radio Universidad...
 Pod-porn.com
 The YoGPoD
 The Great Detectives o...

5 Featured Podcasts
 Buzz Out Loud (MP3)
 Lab Rats
 Tech Weekly
 Up Next at CES Podcast...
 TechVi - All Shows

5 Newest Podcasts
 Surrounded in Pittsbur...
 Sword and Scale
 The Magick Jukebox
 eClinicalWorks Podcast...
 HouseDeelings




home | about | support this site | contact | MEVIO
© 2004 - 2014 Chris McIntyre and PodcastAlley.com