Welcome to my blog!

Merry Meet & Thank you for visiting!
This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello... My Name Is Arachne

I am a huge fan of the Mythology of the Ancient Greco-Roman Cultures. I grew up hearing the stories of the Gods, and watching movies like "Clash of the Titans" (which is still one of my favorites). And although the majority of my beliefs aren't tied to these myths now, I still love them and see their place. One of my favorites is the story of Arachne. I'm sure it's no coincidence that I happen to love Spiders also, but that's a different post.

The story of Arachne, like many myths, is the story of how a mere mortal got tied up in the affairs of the Gods, and got hurt... Not unlike popular mythology of today, the ancient Greeks myths often show the flaws of mortals being punished by vengeful gods... But the story of Arachne has a great lesson to it, one which even today is in need!

Arachne, according to Greek mythology was the worlds first spider. But she didn't start out that way! She was a beautiful young woman, the virgin daughter of a shepherd. Gifted in weaving and spinning wool, she would become known throughout her land for beautiful wool creations.

As a child she had studied under Athena herself. While Athena is commonly known as the Goddess of War, she was also highly masterful when it came to crafts dealing with clay and thread, and she would often teach her crafts to people. This was often how, according to the myths, that people came to hold such knowledge and craftsmanship.

Once Arachne finished her training under Athena, she returned home to her father in Lydia and practiced her weaving until she reached the point of perfection. In time her weavings came to include beautifully intricate designs and pictorials. Upon viewing some of her work a forest nymph once asked her if her talents were in fact a gift from the Gods. But, Arachne was proud and would not admit that she had been taught her craft, insisting instead that it were all her own doing. "There is non is heaven or earth whose weaving could compete with mine. Just let Athena come, if she will, and we shall see who's work is best!" she said.

Unbeknownst to Arachne though, Athena was listening. And she then and there, as the gods often did, decided to avenge her name and challenge Arachne. Disguised as an old hag, Athena suddenly appeared at Arachne's door.

Looking Arachne in the eyes she said "Age and experience bring wisdom, my dear. You need be careful not to offend the Gods so. Recognize the power of the Goddess, for she helps those who honor her. No human work is quite so perfect that it can not be improved!"

But Arachne's humerus was stronger than her common sense. She snapped at the old woman, making cracks about the woman's age and challenging Athena a second time saying:  "Athena's advice would be of no use to me, nor would her help. She has not taken me up on my challenge because she knows I am superior."

In a flash the crone disappeared and in her place stood the Goddess Athena. "YOU, Arachne, have gone to far! I accept your challenge."

Athena produced two looms in a single room, and she appointed the Goddess Envy to judge. The two women worked furiously from dawn to dusk to produce the best tapestry.

When dark had fallen, the two designs were compared. Athena's tapestry showed the Gods & Goddesses of Olympus in all their glory, helping humans, blooming flowers and overall blessing humanity. However, while the center of Athena's design showed the Gods beautifully, surrounding this, the mortals of the day were shown in a less kind way, disrespecting and abusing their gifts from above.  Arachne's tapestry was much of the same, but with the Gods being shown in the ugly light, drunken and falling down, some stories even speak of the Gods being shown in mid orgy.

Both works, however insulting to the other, were beautifully woven. And after inspecting them both the Goddess Envy said she could not choose a winner, as both were equally perfect.  But Athena could find no perfection in Arachne's work.

Angered and insulted by the scenes shown in Arachne's tapestry Athena flew in to a rage. She tore Arachne's work in to tiny slivers and slapped Arachne so hard she knocked her over. As Arachne sat on the floor looking at her now destroyed work, she realized the pain she had caused her once generous mentor. Her depression was so strong that Arachne hung herself.

Athena, shocked by the death of her student, was deeply upset, for she did not mean for this to be the outcome.  Athena took pity and decided to let Arachne live. But, because of her hubris, Arachne would not be returned to humanity.

Athena sprinkled the hanging body of Arachne with the juice of Monkshead (a local herb) and Arachne was transformed in to a spider. Holding Arachne in her hand Athena said "I have allowed you to live, but, for your bride, you will hang and spin for all eternity." And so it is that Arachne came to be the first and mother of all other spiders.

In some circles Arachne is risen to the level of a Goddess herself, however this seems to be a more recent addition to the story.

Numerous versions of the myth abound, as can be said of nearly any Ancient mythology. In some versions of this story, the Goddess Athena is replaced by the Goddess Minerva, however the core of the story is the same.

As for a moral, I have to think that in some ways how we see things has changed a bit and so has some of the way we read the morals here. Some of the "what does this story mean" statements that I've read talk about a women's place and are in my mind rather sexist. But, we do need to remember that gender roles in Ancient Greece, and in today's world are far from equal. To me though, this story is still one with a moral that is usable today. Gender aside, everyone can remember that pride bites back. For Arachne, her pride proved to not only be deadly, but to carry an eternity of punishment. For us, it can ruin relationships, torch our self esteem and stop growth, both in a spiritual and a mental sense. Humility is a lesson we all must learn, and sometimes it's a painful one... Thankfully for us though, we aren't learning it in the way Arachne has!

*Originally published on my One Witch's Wonderland Blog, which has since closed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Newest Project - Pagans Together

Apparently a small business, part time classes, three children, a blog, 2 facebook pages and a house to run weren't enough for me. I thought hey, I still have 8 hours a day I sleep that aren't filled with projects...  To be completely honest, this project isn't completely separate from all the others, it's kinda in support of, rather than in addition to my business and blogs.  In fact, it's in support of Pagan businesses, blogs, authors and artists of all kinds!

So exactly what am I talking about?  Think about this - What if there were a Facebook Page where one could find products, services, blogs, websites, and all the things the Pagan community has to offer without all the filler?!?  You may be thinking, there are already a million facebook pages for businesses, blogs, artists and everything else - WHY do we need another one? Well, until now, they've all been separate from one another. So one page might have a reach of 10,000 people while another only has 200.  Because they aren't working together, they're missing out on a great deal of cross promotion.

There are other pages that were created to promote Pagan businesses and pages - this is true. Before officially creating mine, I took a few weeks to look into these pages and see how they worked and if they worked.  All of them had a few things in common - First, they were run by one or two individuals who were expected to neglect their own projects in order to promote others by sharing pictures and links...  Second, they rarely posted some even had weeks between posts.  Because of these two factors, they all had a third thing in common - VERY LOW readership! And quite frankly, low readership equals little to no actual promotion for those involved...

My new page is named Pagans Together.  And my goal is to involve as many Pagans as possible. Business owners, Artists, Authors, Bloggers, Website Owners and others who have something which they'd like to promote.  Each member posts to the page at least once a day, sharing updates on their projects, links to new products, coupon codes, give-a-ways, new blog posts, questions for members and whatever else that may come to mind...  Then they share our page with theirs twice a week.  What does this do?  It means that Pagans Together has constant activity AND continually grows in page likes.

How does this help? Well, if you have a page with 100 fans (assuming they all visit your page and view your posts) your posts get 100 views or so...  But if you could bring just 10 of those fans to a page with 25 other people - who also bring 10 fans, you've more than doubled your readership.  Now, think about what happens when that page then doubles, triples and quadruples it's readership...   You can see how quickly your posts would go from having just 100 views, to 200, 400, 1000 or more... And of course, more views means more sales, more readers or more views...

I can't say (today) that Pagan's Together will ever have 10,000 fans.  But, I officially launched this page on September 9th.  As of today, we have more than 350 fans and a post reach of over 5,000.  Of course the more members we have involved, the higher and faster those numbers will raise.

Now, it may appear as if this page only has benefits for those who have something to promote. But in fact it has benefits for non-promoters as well.  This page's purpose IS to get the blogs, books, websites, art, and of course businesses (and their products) to a larger audience who may be interested in them.  Those of you who fall into the "non-promoter" category ARE that larger audience!  DUH! Right...  But what benefit does that have for you?  Well, it means you will always know about sales, give-a-ways, and promotions for all your favorite (and new favorite) Pagan businesses. It also means you'll never miss a blog post, new pieces, or project from numerous Pagan artists and authors.

As Facebook is set up now, you have to follow dozens of pages in order to follow all your favorite Pagan authors, artists and businesses... And because most of them are small pages with a small amount of posts, most of them will never make it into your feed. Because this page is run by many members all posting throughout the day, the higher number of posts, page likes and activity means that it's MUCH more likely for these posts to show up in your feed - meaning you will miss a LOT less!

So how do you get involved?  Well, if you would like to join our team and promote your project (whatever it may be) simply visit and "Like" the Pagans Together Facebook Page and message me. Let me know what your project/business/etc is and I'll let you know what we need to promote you to our Admin team. Don't worry, there's no rigid application or anything!

If you don't have something to promote and you simply want to support others within your Pagan community, just head over to the Pagans Together Facebook Page and "Like."  If you really want to ensure that you never miss a post, make sure to select the "Get Notifications" option!

I can't wait to see every one of you involved! I'm so excited to see this project finally being birthed to life as it's something I've wanted to do for quite some time now!

Remember -

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Birthday to all those 9/11 People!

Recently someone told me she was no longer comfortable celebrating her birthday because she was born on September 11 and she felt strange celebrating herself on a day that had so much death associated with it.  I was kinda saddened to hear that.

I've never been big on birthdays. They just aren't all that important to me. I grew up never celebrating them because of my mother's faith and now as an adult it's just another day to me.  I get up, get dressed, do the dishes and take out the trash like every other day of the year.  I have thought about making a big deal in the past, but I never really saw the point.  My birthday isn't really any more special to me than any other day. In general I love my life. I love my husband and my kids, I'm building my own business and working hard to keep my house clean. Maybe it's not the life I dream of, but in general I don't see any real reason not to enjoy every day.  So my birthday isn't special.  Now don't get me wrong, I love an excuse to eat cake and add another year to my age, but to be honest, I was telling people I'm "in my 30's" since I was 22. So the fact that I'm now officially 31, is kinda exciting to me.

All that said, and my own reaction to my birthday aside, it saddened me to hear someone who did celebrate their day and enjoy it, that they weren't comfortable doing it any longer.  What a better day to celebrate you and your life than your birthday?

September 11 was a horrifying day for millions of Americans. No doubt!  But if a multitude of death related to a specific day is enough reason not to celebrate, doesn't every day have BILLIONS and BILLIONS of deaths associated with it? I mean it.  On average, 156,000 people die every day!  I'm 31 years old, so in my lifetime alone, 4,836,000 people have died on my birthday.  And that's if we only take the 31 years I've been alive into account. If we start talking about all of history, the count is simply innumerable.  Now, granted, not all of those people die in national tragedies. But it's unquestionable that a minimum of 5% of those were victims of homicide in one way or another, and of course that doesn't add in all the accidents and other tragic deaths. So lets see, 5% of 4,836,000 is 241,800. I can't even fathom that amount of people. But that is the (approximate) amount of people who have been murdered on August 17th (my birthday) since 1983.  Do the math for your own birthday (if you're not 31, if you are the math is the same as mine) and see just how many lives the world has lost on your birthday since you've been here.  And ask yourself this, are the 3000 deaths lost on 9/11 any more tragic than all those others? Or are they just better publicized? In my way of thinking, murder is murder. I don't care if it comes at the end of a knife, from a bullet or in a terror attack, a life was ended because of someone else's evil.

So, in my opinion, NO, all those other deaths are NOT any less important that those lost on 9/11! They may be less well known. They may not be remembered by a nation, but they are no less tragic. Yet if we don't allow them to stop us from celebrating our births, marriages, children and so many other things. So why should 9/11?

I am in NO WAY attempting to discount the horror or pain from the Sept. 11 Terror Attacks! But I am simply trying to say that on any given day you can assume there are THOUSANDS of people being murdered, and that's in this country alone. Nearly 3000 people were killed in the attacks that day, and I still get emotional about the subject! At the time my fiance's father worked for Air Traffic and was locked down for fear of an attack on Pittsburgh due to Flight 93.It was without question a terrifying day.  (Finding pics for this post in all honesty made me sick - STILL - 13 years later)

All of that terror however, doesn't - or shouldn't - for a second change that for millions of people who's birthday falls on September 11, there isn't cause to celebrate.  Yes, you were born on a day which became a tragedy for our nation. But you are still here! You survived! And THAT is something to celebrate!

It's not just that though, it's the fact that the attacks were meant to change our way of life here. They were meant to anger, depress, and cripple us as individuals.  If we allow them to stop us from doing exactly what it is that we would normally be doing on this day, instead focusing on them, they've done just that. They've won! They've altered our path. They've forever scarred our souls.

I say, don't let them win. Celebrate your day! And enjoy it. Yes, it's a "national day of remembrance" but not a single person who died that day would have wanted you to forgo happiness just to remember them! And it's important to remember, that your birthday isn't JUST your birthday, it's the day you survived, it's the day an entire country survived... That's something work cutting a cake over!

So go ahead... Blow out some candles, have a slice of cake - hell, have two, and open a few gifts from friends. Today is YOUR DAY TOO! Celebrate, have some fun and love that you are here and healthy!

Happy Birthday!
Make A Wish!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Education is a Right - That includes Sex Education!

Well, it seems it's that time of year again...  Classes are back in session and so are the Sex Ed. arguments.  All across the country news stories are popping up about this school board or that school board or this parents group or that parent group - for or against Sex ed... It's seriously a mess! And in my view, it's rather disgusting that we are STILL having this discussion.  Education is a right, not a privilege! That's why every child in the country, poor or wealthy has the right to go to school "free of charge."  Now, I know there are those who disagree with our education system, and that's fine, but in general they are the ones who are homeschooling and not the ones I'm discussing.

So my question is, if education is a right, why are we still arguing over whether or not we're going to educate young men and women about their own bodies?  This isn't rocket science - although THAT we teach the basics to in most schools.  Yet we can't teach kids that a Penis is called a Penis and that boys have them...  I mean really?  Next we won't be to teach them plant reproduction...

Now, I know the argument - It's the "parents" job." Right?  And in the perfect world where ALL parents had the knowledge, tools and drive to properly teach their children about their bodies as well as sexuality, sexual functions, STD's/STI's, pregnancy, birth control and so on... That would be the ideal way to go. But in a perfect world we wouldn't be arguing over this because there would be no need.  In THIS world, the vast majority of parents either don't educate their children or poorly educate them because they either feel their children don't need or should have the information, disagree with the facts, or don't have it themselves.

This comes from a post listing statements made by
 medical professionals on a message board.
More comments like this & access to original message boar here.

How can we expect these young people to make good choices if they don't have a good base of information to make them on.  The idea that simply telling them "Say No" is going to work is simply ridiculous! That approach has never and will never work. If we want our young people to make solid decisions we have to provide them with a solid education.

Would you expect someone not to eat cupcakes or candy just because you tell them they aren't good for them?  I sure wouldn't. Americans know this stuff isn't healthy, but that hasn't stopped most of us from packing on extra weight and ruining our health with processed foods and refined sugars, has it?  But educate people as to WHY these things are unhealthy and teach them how to make healthier yet still satisfying choices and they have a better chance of avoiding the Little Debbie isle in favor of fresh produce. Sure, there will always be those who make bad choices, and those who just plain screw up...  But without an education knowing that junk food is dangerous, no one would ever turn it down, it just tastes too good! Sex isn't any different.

Sex feels good, why do you think it's so popular?!?  So simply telling someone not to do it or to do it "safely" isn't enough reason for them to do so. Especially since the alternative doesn't feel as good.  No, instead, they need to understand the risks AND the benefits of sexual activity. And they need to understand ALL of their options for remaining safe, whether they choose to become sexually active or not.  Without all this education how can someone really be expected to make proper choices when the opportunity arises?

And for the vast majority, it WILL arise!  I was never permitted to leave my house unless I was going to school. In short I was grounded the entire four years of Highschool, yet I found time to have sex. And I can tell you I wasn't alone either. In thinking over the group of friends I had in HS, I don't think many of us were sexually inactive. And those that were, weren't for lack of trying. In fact of all the people I considered "friends" back then, I can only think of one or two who were virgins when they graduated, and like I said before, it's not because they chose that for themselves.

I, like most teens, had very little education on the subject though. My mother's "sex talk" consisted of her asking if I knew what sex was and how it was done. I told her (quoting here) "sure, the guy puts his thing in the girls thing" and that was that... No more questions were asked, no more advice or information was shared.  My sister, who is five years my younger, didn't even get that much of a "talk." My mother just figured she'd pick it all up. And since my mother's religion teaches "no sex before marriage" and she was attempting to brainwash us into her beliefs, she didn't see any need to share the information because we just "weren't going to have sex" - period... That was it. I was never taken to the gynecologist, and it wasn't something my regular doctor ever brought up either.  In fact, when I was pregnant with my oldest, I didn't even know I had to call an OB/GYN. I called my PCP, who then informed me that I needed an OB/GYN for things like this and that they didn't deliver babies.  Who knew? I didn't. And I was in my 20's.

I think back on the classes my school offered and although they were better than what most kids get today, they were extremely lacking.  Yes we were taught that a penis is a penis, how your periods work and why (thanks to a video which made you want to rethink eating pancakes) and we even watched a video of a woman giving birth...  But there really wasn't any education beyond that. Yes, we knew HIV was out there, but none of us really knew what it was or how it affected the body. We all just kinda figured if you have sex with someone who's "sick" you could get Aids. The fact that you may not be able to see it or know who has it never crossed our minds.  And a few of "us" did end up with this or that. Once I had a girl call me from the hospital. She said she had Gonorrhea and thought I should know because she was sleeping with my boyfriend.  I assumed I couldn't get it though because I wasn't sleeping with him yet, I was just preforming oral...  Thankfully I didn't catch anything.  But that's how naive I was.

Over the years I've heard countless stories from people who had similar experiences.  They had little to no solid education and they based their choices off of what they thought to be true, rather than facts.  Many made choices which ended in utter disaster.  I've known teen parents and teen brides, seen HIV, HPV and numerous other STDs & STIs.  And then there's the date rape, straight up rapes and abuse...  I actually had to hide one girl in my closet for nearly a week before we could figure out a way to get her away from her boyfriend - don't worry, my closet comfortably fit up to 6 people at the time, it was like a small room. Of course none of that takes the emotional affects that a sexual relationship can have on a love struck teen, or the heart break when they discover they're not the only one their partner is doing it with...

Again though I ask, how can we expect our young people to make good choices if they don't have all the information? How can we ever expect to make a difference when it comes to teen pregnancy, rape, abuse, STIs or even suicides (many of which come out of depressed teens feeling rejected by a sexual partner) if we aren't willing to give these young people the information which could enable them to avoid these things?

But, shouldn't it be up to the parents? Don't parents get a say in what their kids do and don't learn?  NO! No they shouldn't. Not when it's information which could save their child's life. If they are choosing to with hold proper information about sex, they are choosing to withhold information which could affect that child's health for the rest of their lives. Information which could prevent pregnancy, life threatening diseases, and more.  Any parent who would choose to withhold such information doesn't deserve to get a vote on whether or not their child should be educated on something.

Yes, it's ideal that parents would teach their kids this stuff, but as I said above, they don't and many don't have the knowledge themselves.  Call up your sisters and friends, find out how many of them can tell you what HPV is or how it affects your health, or how you can get it... As them all how an IUD works. Or even what HIV is.  Most know it's a "retro virus" but few know what that means.  If parents don't know this stuff, how the hell can they teach it to their kids? And in my experience the parents who DO have all the information are the ones who are pushing for comprehensive Sex Ed to be INCLUDED in schools.

Many fear that including sex ed in schools will send out a message that teen sex is okay, or that it will encourage sexual experimentation.  Some worry that it will even send out the message that homosexuality or bisexuality are normal and acceptable, which works against their religious teachings.  And others simply believe that if teens are educated they will feel they have the information to make choices which would otherwise scare them, and they'd prefer their children be scared by sex than consider participating in it... And I suppose there is something to these fears.  Yes, there may be a few who take this type of education and feel it is society saying "It's okay to go do this at your age" - but in reality, most aren't looking for that permission, they're doing it anyways.  And yes, there would almost definitely be a message that "alternative sexualities" are equally natural to heterosexuality. But guess what, they are, and if that's a message that bothers you, move to Iran where homosexuality is still a crime.  In this country, the message that LGBT sexualities are normal and healthy is everywhere because MOST people understand that it's the truth. As for the idea that kids are going to make the right choices because they lack information - I call bullshit!  Sure, there may be a few who are to afraid - usually due to that teachings of their parents - to have sex. And this type of education may remove some of that fear. But again I go back to the idea that if you would prefer your child fear their own body than have knowledge about it, the issue isn't their education, it's you!

Sexual Education is a RIGHT!  We all deserve to have the correct information when it comes to our own bodies and what we can and can't do with them.  We all deserve to know that anal sex doesn't prevent HIV, which was something I thought as a young person. We all deserve to know that birth control pills have side effects and can even be dangerous.  We all deserve to have access to information about safety, pregnancy prevention, and emotional support for when we make the wrong choices.  And we all deserve to understand that sex has the ability to affect us in both wonderful ways, and horrible ones too.  Every last one of us deserve to know this stuff.  And that includes young people.

Of course there is the argument that in this technological age if they want the information its out there for them. But it's worth also considering that there is a lot of misinformation out there too.  And then there is the fact that if they don't know what to look for, they won't ever do it. In fact, most won't do it because they assume if it's important someone will tell them about it.

So what should sex ed classes actually cover? How does an educational system include information about sex and sexuality without working against the "just say no" rule which has been taught for generations? And how do you teach sex ed without touching on taboo issues like anal and oral sex? Where would this education stop? Do we go so far as to teach the Kama Sutra - as many parents believe sex ed will lead to that...  How do we print text books or show educational videos without tap dancing on the line between education and porn?

All of those are valid questions. But they aren't really hard to answer. First of all when it comes to what should be covered, I say the more the better. Of course we want to fall short of teaching positions, but I'd say just about everything else should be included.  These young people NEED to have a clear understanding of their bodies, how they work and why. They need to understand that sexual arousal and/or orgasm is a physical response, and not something which can be controlled.  When speaking with rape victims I've often heard that they felt ashamed because they would orgasm, which to them meant they must have wanted it on some level. Of course this isn't true, no one really wants to be violated and having a physical response to stimuli (orgasm) is not permission or an excuse to rape you. But of course, these are things we don't tell people.

We also need to explain that sexuality is unquestionably who we are. Science has proven over and over again that the brain controls sexuality, it's not a choice, it's not something that we can change, it's simply who we are. Yep, that's going to piss a lot of people off, but guess what, it's fact. It's been proven. And it's important, especially for that 10% of students who are homosexual and terrified!

I had a good friend when I was in Highschool who was gay. I never knew. In fact he went as far to make up girlfriends from other schools, he'd talk about the sex they were having, and even emailed me photos of his penis at one point... Turns out he did it all to hide who he was. I still wonder why he felt he had to keep that from me. I'm Bisexual and I never hid it.  But he was so ashamed of who he was that he couldn't be honest and open with me.  I've been out of school more than a decade, and that still bothers me.  Another friend waited til the last week of school our senior year to come out to me.  He started his statement with "I'll understand if you don't want to be friends with me any more after I tell you this."  He, however, wasn't quite so good at hiding it as the other guy, I always knew, from the time we were kids I knew... But it was never something that mattered to me, so it was never something I brought up. I can't imagine though what went through their heads. The depression, the self loathing, the anger... I still worry about how that must have affected them. That is NOT something anyone should have to go through. And I really believe had we been teaching students that "alternative sexualities" aren't really an "alternative" they're simply who these people are, it would have stopped a lot of that... But that's a conversation for another blog.  So lets get back to sex ed...

Access to source and original message board
where this quote came from here.
What else needs included?  Emotional effects, how to stay safe beyond saying "no" - condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, sponges, pills, IUDs, and even the "rhythm method."  And not just what these things are, but how you use them, how effective they are, how they affect your health, what risks do they carry, what benefits.... Why choose a condom over rhythm alone? Why think twice before getting an IUD. Why a the pill isn't a guarantee. Is there a such thing as a condom being "too small?"  Again, this information isn't meant to scare, but give young people - and the adults they will soon become - the tools to make good choices.

Then there is the issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections & Diseases.  Each one should be explored. What are they, how do they spread, how do they affect the human body, how can you prevent them, how can you identify them, how and when should you get tested, what treatments are available and can they be cured...

Then there are issues such as pornography, toys, self gratification and experimentation which need to be explored.  What does pornography do to the brain?  Is porn or prostitution a good career choice?  Is sex ever as good in real life as it is on the screen?  Are toys dangerous? Will your palms really grow hair if you masturbate?  Are any of these things things to be ashamed of, or does everyone do it in secret? How does masturbation benefit you, how can it damage your relationship?  I don't think we should be teaching teens where to find free porn, but I do think we should be explaining that porn and the real world are very different. We should also be explaining that self gratification and toys have their place but if they're used improperly can have a down side to them.  Toys NEED to be cleaned properly to prevent infection and bigger is not always better. More than that excessive masturbation or the use of toys can "train" your body to react only to that type of stimulation meaning it could affect your current or future sex life with a partner.

Of course pregnancy should also be explored in a class like this. It may seem like a separate issue, but in fact pregnancy comes from sex and should be explored as deeply as STIs. Like I said, we were shown a tape of a woman giving birth. But in all reality, it must have been her 8th child because birth is rarely that quick... I'm not saying students shouldn't see birth, but it shouldn't be made to look easy (like this tape did) or extra hard.  Each "month" of pregnancy should be explored briefly. What changes does it make to the mother's body and emotional state.  How big is a baby at 2 months, 6 months and 8 months? When does the heart begin to beat? When do they open their eyes? What really happens at birth?

Then there are the questions of "what should you do" if you think you're pregnant?  What are your options? How does the adoption process work? What does it cost to raise a child? And yes, even abortion options should be explored.  What are the local state laws about abortion? Do you need your parents permission? What is Plan B? What is the Abortion Pill? What is a late term abortion and how are they preformed? How should you talk to your parents? Are there places you can go for support?

The list could go on and on.  The point here is to illustrate all the subjects that a comprehensive sex ed class should include. Yes, some of this information steps on the parents toes and may even go against what their beliefs and teachings are. But as a parent I believe it's my duty to teach my children what I believe or know to be right even if what they learn in school is wrong.  My son came home with a paper about Christopher Columbus "discovering America" and my first question to him was "can you really discover something that other people already have?" The school's job is to teach him the agreed to mytho-history of this country. My job is to teach him otherwise. His job is to take it all in and decide for himself what he believes and/or thinks.  Sex education isn't any different.  It's the schools job to teach the facts as they are understood by biologists and sex educators today.  It is the parents job to teach their own beliefs, morals and opinions. It's the young persons job to take it all in and make the best choices they can.

Now, I think it's worth pointing out here that I do not make these statements without fear.  There is a good deal of misinformation out there and a good deal of doctors buy into it.  The idea that my children could be taught that the "best way to avoid HPV is a vaccine" scares me, because I know the facts about those vaccines and HPV as well.  It worries me that classes like this would become a general breeding ground for propaganda when it comes to safety and health. But again, I believe that's where the parents job kicks in.  It's my job to fill in the blanks and point out things that maybe the class would have missed... Of course there is the argument that if I feel the class could miss important points then why would I ever encourage such a class in the first place, what's the point?!?  Well, the point is this, even if they miss or mis-teach a few things according to my opinion, they are still teaching much more than most of these young people would ever find out for themselves.  It's just like history class, are their parts that are missed? Are there parts that I wish they would teach differently? YES! But does that mean I with they didn't teach history at all? NO! History, Sex Ed, Science... These all have points which could be debatable among this group or the next, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be taught.  My science teacher didn't believe in evolution, but he still taught it, because that's science.  Same story here...

Okay, now I said my piece, and I'm sure I'll get a bit of hate mail on this one... But that's okay. Hopefully too, it will make my points known to a few people who maybe hadn't considered things this way... Ideally, sex ed will ALWAYS start at home and start young, making these type of classes more of a "review" and less of a class. But most don't get it at home, young or old, they are the ones the classes are most important for.  For those who's parents didn't drop the ball, it's a review, a reinforcement, but still a benefit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Night Links

At one point this blog focused on sharing a lot of links and less of my own works... But I felt that this was not the path I wanted to go. That said, I come across a great deal of great articles, recipes, sites and so on... All of which I feel are worthy of sharing with my readers.  SO I decided to begin doing one post a week with some of the links I feel are in need of sharing.  I hope this will provide a "middle road" for my blog between the link type posts I have done in the past and the writing that I feel is so important.  I don't know everything, and I'm constantly learning - I hope you all are too. And I hope these links can help!

Welcome to my new FRIDAY NIGHT LINKS feature!

--- --- ---

This is one that I posted on my Facebook Page. It astounds and baffles me that we STILL have to fight this issue!  I have never heard of a community which held a ban on Christian buildings, businesses or practices, yet numerous such bans exist all across the country when it comes to non-Christian faith based buildings, businesses and practices... And the idea that allowing a Pagan business to exist within 1000 feet of a school would somehow damage the children is purely sickening to me! It simply goes to prove to me that we (the Pagan Community) still have A LOT of work to do educating the public!

In one part of the article it quotes a town hall meeting commented who stated:  "We do not advocate abuse or harm to any homosexuals. Such would be contrary to the virtue of charity. However, homosexuals do not usually extend such charity much less tolerance toward homosexuals who do not agree with them. You need to understand that most parents want neither pagan practitioners nor homosexuals to have access to the minds, bodies and souls of their children."  In addition she suggested the town adjust the license fee for inflation to $2,987 by her calculations and include more questions on the business license application.

Thankfully not everyone in attendance had such a narrow minded and intolerant view with another man stating: "I'm a Catholic and I believe that people should be able to follow their religion, whatever they want, and if Catholics can make money without being licensed, then anyone should."

A secondary article (and video) on this are also available at: http://aattp.org/in-2014-a-virginia-town-is-still-battling-witchcraft-magic-and-gypsies-video/

--- --- ---

The Catholic Church has made it's position on LGBT Rights known for years.  Even making threats to excommunicate those who vote in favor or Marriage Equality laws. So you can imagine it's not easy to be a part of that system and work towards a better future for LGBT individuals. This woman, however, has been doing it since 1977.  It's a beautiful story about a beautiful woman - a hero in my view - who has been willing to step outside of her place within the Church and attempt to make the world a better place.  I don't often see "Christ-Like" Christians, but in this case, I think we've found one!

--- --- ---

I am a Feminist, and as such I'm often the first to speak up about gender inequality.  This case is no different! Unfortunately I think most people aren't going to see that as the issue.  In this country gender inequality is preferable to men in "drag."  

In my view though, this is about equality! This is about the fact that women can walk in to the Drivers License place appearing to be males and no one requires them to change, but this young man walked in appearing to be female (which is how he looks in his day to day life) and is required to change his appearance.  Now, I always thought our ID's were meant to provide an "official" record of the way we look so that law enforcement (as well as others) can identify us when need be.  If this young man spends his every day looking this way isn't forcing him to change for his photo going to cause more issues? How can his ID actually identify him if it's totally different from how he appears every day? Women aren't asked to remove makeup to reveal themselves, so why is this young man? Because it's assumed that a woman with makeup is who she is... In fact when I didn't wear makeup for my photo I was asked if I wanted to take a few moments to "fix my face." It's also assumed that a young man in makeup is not who he is. An assumption which is both bias and discriminatory! 

I applaud this young man's mother for standing up for him and being willing to take this to court! Many parents in this country would not be so supportive. And although I'm not shocked by the state's actions, I'm appalled that in this day and age we are still having to fight against these types of narrow minded views on what makes one male or female and what is appropriate for someone's life because of their gender. 

--- --- ---
*CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement*

This is another story which I shared through Facebook, but which simply hasn't been getting enough media coverage. In fact for as HUGE as this news potentially is, I have yet to hear of it on ANY of the major news networks!  After years of blasting Dr. Wakefield as a fraud, not a single news story (to my knowledge) has come out in his defense now that the truth is being told.  The fact is, parents who did the research, already knew the truth. We saw the study results and we were able to read between the lines. However it wasn't until this very moment that the rest of the world has their proof - There is an UNQUESTIONABLE LINK between the MMR vaccine and Autism!  And the CDC KNEW IT!

--- --- ---
*U.S. Court Ruling Supports Polyamorous Families in Utah*

Times are a-changin'! And frankly, I couldn't be happier to see it.  While many are jumping on the wagon to support same sex marriage however, few have chosen to take up the cause of true marriage equality.  The Browns of TLC's Sister Wives, however, have been one of those few.  As a Plural Family, they have faced a great deal of static from all sides.  And with laws banning the practice of Polygamy in the US dating back to the 1800's, they've more than likely often felt like they had little chance of ever really seeing changes - especially since most American citizens still view polygamy as abusive.  It seems though that their fight was not in vain! As a U.S. District Court Judge finalized a ruling stating that Utah’s ban on cohabitation was unconstitutional last week.  It's worth noting that this ruling does NOT "legalize" plural marriage, but it instead takes the steps to officially decriminalize it, by changing the "cohabitation" laws.  What does that mean? Well, it means that, once officially decriminalized, those families who choose to live this way will no longer have to worry about facing arrest or criminal charges.  Utah, as well as all other states, continue to have laws on the books criminalizing "bigamy" which is the practice of having more than one spouse.  BUT, in most cases these laws ONLY apply to the practice of having more than one LEGAL spouse. So long as additional partnerships do not take place on a legal level (obtain a license, etc) and/or attempt to claim married status on taxes or other legal paperwork, they aren't technically "married" in the eyes of the law and therefore not illegal.  Who doesn't love LOOPHOLE!  

As I've said before, I would LOVE a second wife to join our family... In fact the only reason we haven't gone that route is my husband doesn't want "another person around telling him to take out the trash..."  

--- --- ---

I love homemade stuff!  If it were up to me I would figure out how to make everything from scratch - and somehow afford to make it all... But I haven't been able to find too many recipes that I felt did as good as I would like or that didn't include 15 different ingredients that I don't have. This one is simple enough and I have all the ingredients already, so I'm going to have to make it this weekend... You may want to too... Just to see how it works!

--- --- ---

I Love Coconut Oil!  And I've seen quite a few of these lists, but this is the first one that I've seen that actually explains HOW to execute each of their listed uses.  So even though this list has only 107 uses listed (I've seen some with over 300) I like this one better. I mean, if you don't know HOW to do something it doesn't help you to know it can be done...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Got Morals?

So, today I was told I am "immoral." And this made me think of all the times I've heard this in the
past... Personally, if I'm required to live within someone else's little boxed idea of what "moral" is in order to be so, I'm proud to be considered "immoral!"

I mean, lets take a look at some of the reasons I've been called "immoral" in the first place...
1.  I believe in marriage equality for EVERYONE in all and any form of marriage - Gay, Straight, Open, Closed, Plural or Singular... As long as everyone is entering the marriage of their own free will, I say go for it!

2.  I do not view the human body as shameful, dirty or sinful. Nudity to me is completely natural and healthy. Skin is skin, regardless of whether it's an arm or a penis... It's not scary, offensive or harmful, it's just skin!

3.  I do not view sex as sacred!  To me, sex is completely physical. It has nothing to do with love, emotion or marriage. You have an itch, you scratch it. That's it! Nothing sacred or special about it! Just use your head and make sure you're doing it because YOU want to and safely. Otherwise, I say go for it!  (For the record I'm not saying it CAN'T be sacred, special or emotional... It CAN be all of those... OR it can just be sex. With all things it's what you bring to the table that make it what it is.)

4.  I don't watch sports!  Believe it or not, I've been told that I'm immoral because I don't watch sports. I've been told I'm a bad wife and mother and even "unAmerican." Seriously, people?? I find them boring! My husband finds them boring! And my kids aren't interested... Why do you care?

5.  I don't vaccinate my family!  I know it's a point of contention on both sides of the issue, but frankly, it's not your choice what I do with my family or my body! I have done the research, for THIRTEEN YEARS! I have more research and education under my belt on this issue than any doctor I've met. NO, I am not putting my family at any risk, and NO I am not risking society... If you don't believe me, do the research yourself! I'm glad to give you a place to start!

6.  I eat meat!  If you read my post about this one, you know where I stand on it. But frankly, it boils down to this - I have researched this issue and made an educated choice which fits both my spiritual and physical understandings. If you don't agree, do something different.  Really, I don't understand why this is such an issue!

7. I'm Pro-Choice!  This could be a whole post in itself. But basically I think it's your body, and you should have the choice as to what happens to it - that includes pregnancy.

8.  I'm Pro-Death Penalty!  I figure if you have so little respect for life that you ended up on Death Row, I have no reason to have any respect for you or your life...  It's basic Karma!

I'm sure there are others, but none I can think of at the moment...

Of course there are those who believe if you aren't "main stream" you can't possibly have any morals. To which I usually just say "Screw off!" I, do, in fact, have morals! Morals which to me, seem like basic common sense, but which are apparently rather foreign to way to many others!  So let us explore the morals of such an "immoral freak."

1.  Be respectful of others!  It's unfortunate that you have to spell out things like "Do not kill" and "Do not rape" but you usually do in cases like this. I'm not going to list them all, but basically respect others - don't do things that will harm them, scare them, control them or oppress them! Do not place limits on them because of their race, religion (or lack of), gender, sexuality, age or health status.

2.  Do NOT abuse power!  Abuse is not simply something that leaves bruises and cuts! Abuse of power removes the rights of others and forces them to live lives not of their own choosing.

3.  Respect our Earth!  We only get one, so we need to ensure that all of our actions keep her in mind - otherwise, we're only killing ourselves!
4.  Remember that plants and animals are just as "alive" as you and I!  Obviously we can't live a life that never kills a plant, animal or insect - at some point we have to eat... But it's important to remember that we are all a part of the cycle and abuse of resources, needless killing/trapping does not benefit us or the world around us.

5.  Give to others that which we would choose for ourselves!  There are always those who are not as blessed as we are, and it's important to ensure that we are not only doing enough for ourselves and our loved ones, but those who can not give to themselves!

6.  Always stand up for those which can not stand up for themselves!  The strong should not abuse the weak, but should protect them!
 Again, I'm sure if I sat here long enough I could come up with more. But basically the "harm none" rule which I've talked about in the past really sums it up. Stand on your own feet, support others and always protect the gifts the Gods have given to us! It's not rocket science! Nor does it require any lengthy Dogma to explain or dictate.

I do not, and probably never will, understand the belief that one needs to have strict religious beliefs in order to possess basic morals. Morals are simply the principals which we live by and by which we define right and wrong. We all have them, religious or not, main stream or not.

I am not "normal" and I'm proud of that fact! I live outside of what is the accepted and conservative, and that's how I like it! Maybe I do make my own rules, but that's how I see the world. If you don't agree with me, then follow your own path, but if you try and force your "morals" on me out of some belief that I'm wrong, I'm going to stand up for myself in every and any way I may need to!

This Blog Post was originally written & published for my One Witch's Wonderland Blog,on 4/14/12. This blog has since been closed.  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...