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Ain't nothin' like wakin' up to the sound of chain saws buzzin' right across the street from the house. A little bit later on, as I'm headed to the back yard for a little privacy, I'm greeted to the sight of a guy on his roof in the house behind. He's up there because his roof is covered with pine needles from all the pines on that side of his house. He's got his blower up there, for God's sake, and is trying to blow these HUGE clumps of pine needles off his roof. They are too big, even for the blower, proving yet again that blowers are not always the best tool for the job (though the entire neighborhood seems to think otherwise)! Meantime, he's staring straight down into my backyard, as well. So no privacy to be found there! Haha, a couple minutes later, his wife (or someone on the ground) must have thrown him up a rake, because now not only is he up there in his flipflops trying to do all this - he is also having to set the blower down somewhere and take up the rake. Within five minutes, he's got the roof cleared. Wow. Could've avoided the whole blower fiasco by just starting out with the rake. And thus ends my rant about blowers for today. They are nothing but noise pollution!
Besides that, it's a gorgeous Fall day here in North Florida. People from elsewhere may not realize that there is some changing of seasons here in these parts. Even when I lived further south, in Clearwater, there was still that change in the air. I can remember bicycling on the Pinellas Trail (which I miss SO much) on October days down there. Everything would have this beautiful, golden tinge. Just as it does in other areas in October. Just lovely, and still so warm and pretty! I'm not one to take a lot of pictures, but I think I'll start carrying around my camera more often when I'm out on walks. Capture some more nature shots! (I did not take the above picture, btw., but you get the idea!)
Speaking of walks - I've been "down in the back" almost all week! Haha! I've never even used that phrase till this week! And believe me, this has been no laughing matter! Last Sunday, I did some new kind of workout that I had downloaded on my phone. At first, the moves seemed simple, but when I was done I could feel it! One of the moves was to simply sit towards the edge of your chair, lift your legs, and basically bicycle your legs out in front of you for a certain number of counts. DO NOT TRY THIS MOVE unless you are absolutely certain your lower back is going to be okay with it, and/or you are used to a move like this!! I didn't think at the time that it was a big deal for me. I work out almost every day, so I'm pretty confident when I do stuff like this. Well, the next day, my hip and lower back area were feeling kinda stiff, so I decided to do a hips, buns and thighs workout (bellydance style). It went fine. The day after that, I went on my usual 4 mile walk. Wednesday morning I woke up barely able to move. Excruciating pain in my lower back and basically all through my hip area!!! It's been a really rough week, and I haven't felt pain like this in a very long time. I've been trying to take it a little easy (mostly not through any choice of my own), and have been trying to override the pain with my mind. It's about the fifth day of this now, and it is definitely getting better, but definitely nowhere near 100%. What's funny is that I may have jinxed myself! In a conversation not long ago, I talked about how I only ever get sore in my upper back, between my should blades, but usually never in my lower back! Ha! So much for that!
This week I learned that pain can do some weird things to the mind. I also learned that getting more sleep seems to improve the eyesight! That was a happy revelation! So I am aiming for 7 hours per night, which is something for this night owl! Speaking of a beautiful Fall day, I need to get out there in it! Have a wonderful day!
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A simple but very powerful Near Death Experience
(my time with a retreatant)
“What could ever harm you? You are God’s child and Christ is your brother. Isn’t that a wellspring of joy? Escape from yourself. Forget all earthly cares. Return unceasingly into the eternal womb that bore you. Give yourself to the Spirit. He will quicken you. He will interpret you to the Father. You can’t understand this; so knowing that you know nothing, give yourself all the same, and the smaller you are the more the Spirit will exalt you. Go over your deficiencies. You would like to fly and you do not even know how to walk. “Then hold out your arms and the Spirit will take hold of you.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3574-3578).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
I have spoken a few times on how powerful, and yes, humbling, it is for me to sit down and talk with the men, and women, who come here for retreat. When people share, and truly listen to each other, the reality of the uniqueness of the ‘other’ becomes ever more apparent.
This week there was a retreatant here for a four day retreat. The name of the retreat was “Too Deep for Words”. It was given by Jackie R., and our Br. Elias. It was based, more or less, on his book, “The Tears of an Innocent God”.
The man’s name was Thomas, and he has given me permission to write about what he shared with me.
While it is true, that life is very hard, I believe, for everyone, and that none of us knows the future, and that future will be very difficult at different times in life, and sad to say, there is no escape from that reality. No one is spared from the “Outrageous Fortunes” of life. So how are we protected by the love of God? Not an easy question. Also, not one I can answer, or give it justice, even if I tried. Yet, I do feel that we are protected from deep harm to our souls. Some believe that our lives are not just about physical survival, but there is also a spiritual battle that is going on, and is borne out in people’s lives through personal experiences.
When I sat down with Thomas, and he was sharing his life with me, I was impressed by his balance, his deep spirituality, and humility. I felt truly, that he was teaching me. I meet many who are far ahead of me in the spiritual life, and love to converse with them. Towards the end of our meeting, he brought up that at one time, not too long in the past, he was heavily addicted to drugs, to opioids, in fact. He mentioned that it cost him his marriage, though at this time, he does have a good relationship with his children, and a cordial one with his ex-wife.
He shared that he was brought back from dying from an overdose, four times in fact, over a short period of time. Then, he died, during the fifth overdose. His body was found in the bathroom of his home. During this time he had a very simple, straightforward NDE, not much fuss, nor meeting of anyone, no deceased family members coming to greet him. When he died, he felt himself leaving his body, and then he saw this flash of light. He knew then that he died. He continued that he called out to God, and said, please don’t take me now, it is too soon, please take my addiction away from me. Then he woke up, and saw the EMT’s, working on him. He was taken to the hospital. They took his blood to find out what he overdosed with. To everyone’s surprise, as well as his, he came back clean. There was no trace of drugs in his system. After that he told me, he never desired to take drugs again. It transformed his life. Now he knows that the meaning of life is to love and help others. Not to try to escape it.
Was he protected? Well, not from his beginning his addiction, nor the loss of his marriage, but on the level that matters more than anything else, his soul was protected. When he called out, it must have been from the depths of his heart, and he was healed, restored, and regained his family, though still divorced. He has a good apostolate, and also makes good money which he uses to help others.
I do believe that at the time of death, all are given the choice to be called late in life, to a loving, trusting, relationship with God. He was able to accept, and he was also healed because he was ready for it, there were no obstacles to God’s healing love. We have to open our hearts and minds to the grace that is always offered. It is a freely given grace, brought at a grace price.
Like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father of lights, as revealed in Jesus Christ, waits for each of us to return. When that happens, we are picked up and embraced. Any, and all, who call on the Lord will be heard and as Infinite Mercy has shown them, they are loved. Those who don’t, it is a choice that is free, deliberate, and sad to say, eternal.
Only God knows each heart. From this man’s story, no one is outside of God’s mercy. So to pray for all, is often to pray that when they come to their own deaths, that there is a small flame of love there that the Holy Spirit can increase.
We should never lose hope. It takes courage to stay on the path when it is filled with many falls and starting over. Yet humility grows in our falls, and grace lift us up, all we need do is to open up our arms to the Spirit, just like Thomas did.—Br.MD
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In a few months, I will hit the big six-oh, much to my astonishment. I always expected to die real young and if you knew me, you would understand why. I always had a wide (think skunk stripe LOL) streak in me of The Fool of tarot fame, that blend of naïve and fearlessness that can lead to almost anywhere and any ending of a story. But, for me there was only ever one Goal for all of my adventuring into the spiritual world and pursuit of "why" and "god?". I wanted to find out The Truth, and I was not satisfied with the person I was. I believed I was designed to be more than the emotionally abused and confused and lost kid I was way back then who saw things nobody else did and heard things no one else seemed to hear either. It has been a long road, many ups and downs, too.
Lord, looking back, I have been a fundie Christian, a tarot reader, a medium, a Vodou Asogwe ranked Initiate (Bishop basically in Haitian Vodou. That is as high as Initiations go in that tradition). I have been a lot of other things as well. A Shaman, a cop (retired now), military vet in the war, homeless and living in a Salvation Army shelter (that was a brief phase, soon as I got work I was out and back to supporting myself, but it happened and was a good experience in growing I am not ashamed of). To me, this is what life is for, covering a lot of ground, learning, finding things out for myself, enjoying every moment of it and what I could not enjoy, then finding out the meaning in it.
There actually is The Truth out here. I have found parts of it. Some of the things I have been I still am. Some of it I am not sure what to do with anymore. I have outgrown it but it remains a large part of what I know and so I feel a need to kind of acknowledge that. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am right. I will sort it out.
I want to tell you this. If you ever learn anything from anything I ever write or say, learn this: Go out and find out. You do not need to take anyone's word for anything. Go, find out, and live, for your sake while you have time and breath in your lungs. Don't be afraid. Don't let the bullies scare you off either, and God knows there are growing hordes of those wearing all different kinds of hats. Some are fundies who will assure you in high glee you are on the highway to hell. Some are sceptics who will be as vicious assuring you that you need psychiatric intervention and drugs. You deserve only what you have the brass to brush off and go on despite it, that is what they are around for, I think. Distractions.
When I was a cop we had to qualify often with weapons and we'd go out and fire in day and then at night with lights flashing and the trainers screaming and harassing us to compare our accuracy in both situations. You had to pass no matter what, both times. It works the same way in pursuit of anything occultic or paranormal. Like being a cop, it can get you killed and it can snap your temper and reason as well.
It can also make you the unique person you are and set you on a firmer foundation of answers to the questions you have asked to learn this lifetime. It can temper you to not be bothered by ridicule or sneers, you can know what you know, and be at ease with the great lot you do not know - and know others do not know for a fact either.
If you will learn a second thing from me, then let it be this - don't get in a rut or think it is over with. Keep asking and searching and learning and don't worry about how it looks to anyone else. This is all about you.
As a few of you know, my latest foray in study has been the Catholic faith in depth. I am applying myself to that right now with the same intensity and exactitude as I have studied everything else along the way. Naturally, my focus is on the mystical aspects of it more than the straight up liturgy. I was already and long since grounded in early church history, so that bit is easy. I am even taking the classes at the local Parish, which will run for several more months. I have no idea yet if I will actually join at the end of it, but it has been an interesting break to actually kick back and have someone tell me things for once, then go and see what I think about what was taught. I am learning vastly more outside of class about it, but, it is all interesting and a good place to be for me right now, and interesting to find many things that overlay what I already know, and things which challenge it all.
A lot of these folks I already know from other places, like Michael the Archangel, and Jesus Christ, both of those guys are tremendous friends of mine, proven many times. Quite real, too, whatever anyone thinks or tries to say. So, I have a few friends there when I walk in to the Church and have made a few more.
I am writing about this to assure anyone who wonders or feels awkward about where they are that it is alright, and you have freedom to explore wherever you feel is best for you to check out next. Compared to the value of your soul, if you believe you have one (I definitely do), what anyone else thinks matters about as much as cold ramen. Do not stop searching and go ahead and work on becoming the person you hope to be in the end, whenever that comes along for you.
Me? Hell. I was never a "good" Adept in Vodou as I considered it horsestuff that a real spirit needed me to kill an animal to feed it, so I did not ever do that and still got wanga done which rocked a few worlds of jerks. I worked with spirits who did not need that superstitious happy crap and did just fine. I probably won't be a perfect Catholic either if I join up, because you cannot unlearn some things I have seen and know to be true.
But, you know? In the end, we just have to do the very best we know to do, be true to ourselves, and live our lives as the best man or woman we know how to be. Some are going to hate you some will love you, some will like you anyway.
Which would still be true even if you sit home and buy into the party line and never take a risk.
Love you all.
I write to serve.
Haunted Saint Kitts & Nevis
By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI’s Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.
Sacramento Haunted Paranormal Hotline: (916) 203-7503 – 4 Advice & Investigations
I dug this up from HPI’s dusty files from 4 years ago. This was a paranormal hotline call from the now defunct D.O.O.M. (Designer Orb Observer Marines), formerly known as D.O.A.T. (Designer Orb Analysis Team). DOOM worked out from the Caribbean. They made claim that they had professional scuba divers on their team. The team leader also made claim that they would hunt for ghosts at sunken shipwrecks. They also believed in my philosophy that if you could prove that an orb has intelligent movement, then the orb can be declared as “paranormal”. They also studied designer orbs, that have intricate designs inside of them. If someone could recognize a face in the designer orb, this orb would also be deemed as “paranormal”. I love the Caribbean and many of my relatives have visited Saint Kitts & Nevis, including my relative Karen Jean Caruso Walker Roberts, my sister Sharon, my father and step-mom. I have visited the Caribbean and unfortunately I have not visited this spectacular island in which the natives say…”I’m just limin’” which means “I am just chillin’”. Saint Kitts and Nevis are actually the same territory and merely separated by a few miles of water called the Narrows.
These islands according to DOOM are haunted by many things. DOOM claims that they have seen apparitions along the beach of what they believe are Saladoid people making a turquoise type of raptor jewelry. The Saladoid people are an ancient people that originated from Venezuela. DOOM says that natives of the islands have also made claim to have seen apparitions of what they believe are Igneri people, another ancient people, along with seeing disappearing phantoms of African slaves picking sugar cane or tobacco leaves. Chip Trejo from New Jersey says when he was vacationing with his family at Nevis, his family witnessed a great battle. The battle looked realistic and before he knew it, a greenish fog came drifting in and the warriors in this battle vanished in front of their eyes. According to DOOM, Chip said that he did some research and believes his family saw the Kalinago fighting against the Igneri tribes.
DOOM also received reports that on the islands, there were reports of people seeing 2 women walking the streets with blood dripping from their bodies and one of the women is missing hands. DOOM says that they obtained an EVP of what sounded like 2 women moaning. Ixtaro from DOOM says when he hears reports of the woman with no hands, he simply calls them Ms. No Hands and Girlfriend.
DOOM also says that there is a male ghost that haunts Saint Kitts named Fetty and a male ghost that haunts Nevis named Fatty. DOOM says that there were two murders that occurred and it happened only minutes apart. Fetty is shot down in Saint Kitts and Fatty was shot down next in Nevis. A couple of women in Saint Kitts said that they were touched imappropriately by Fetty and they know it is Fetty because he has been recognized by other locals. Fatty has been seen walking down the street looking to his left and looking to his right. One witness says that Fatty was digging in his pocket for something. DOOM says that when they conducted an EVP session and asked…”what is your name?” The male voice EVP said “Fatty”.
On my bucket list is the time that HPI can get out to Saint Kitts and conduct their own investigation. I would also be interested in the Nevis Lake Monster which some islanders believe is a huge tadpole and the UFO sightings seen near and around Saint Kitts and Nevis.
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Nick Drake was an English Singer-Songwriter born in 1948 mostly known for his acoustic guitar-based songs he was reluctant to preform live or give interviews but It´s baffling to me that he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime. Drake suffered from Depression which is clearly reflected in his lyrics and died at the age of 26 at his parante home in Tanworth in arden, Warwickshire, England from an overdose of approximately 30 amitriptyline pills (an antidepressant.) His cause of death was determined as sucide. Depression is no joke :-( . I highly recommend Nick Drakes masterpiece Pink Moon from 1972 it´s very dreamy and beautiful. Does anyone else like him here? what is your favorite drake song?
" Don't be shy you learn to fly
And see the sun when day is done
If only you see
Just what you are beneath a star
That came to stay one rainy day
In autumn for free
Yes, be what you'll be. "
(Things Behind The Sun)
nick drake 1971
Medjugorje is right there with Lourdes and Fatima
I nearly got stuck in a canyon today. I hiked into a very remote part of Colorado and down a stream bed draw. I found an old archeological dig, and then I found the alcove that I wanted far out on the precipice. Comeing back I realized I was way over my head. I’m not in the same kind of shape I used to be in. I literally sat in one of the alcoves and felt like it was my turn ( not really I’m being dramatic). I did realize a lot of danger though.
My bad knee wasn’t working right, half my water was gone, and I was exhausted. I thought I was going to have to build a shelter in one of the alcoves and rest for the night to get the strength to get out. All signs of heat exhaustion were starting to happen. My legs were quivering, I was nautious, and I was light headed. Luckily I still had water with me and I was currently hydrated but dropping fast.
I only had a hoodie with pants and really did not want to spend a night in the thirties with just that and pants. A debri shelter that will hold body heat actually takes a lot of work. It’s funny I actually teach survival skills, but today I was just being stupid. I didn’t have any fire starters and to build a bow drill to keep me warm would take hours too.
I actually sat in a diferent alcove and went into meditation to stop me from throwing up my water. I knew I couldn’t afford to loose any. It was working mediocrely, but something weird happend. I spontaneously started singing/chanting native American sounds/songs. I used to hear my mother sing them. They actually helped to focus my mediation and hold down my water. When I was feeling stronger, I applied the 10/30 method of self rescue for that situation. Climb about 30 yards to any shade if possible, rest for ten minutes, and take a mouth full of water then repeate. You cover about 100 yards an hour, but you don’t further exhaust yourself. It worked well, but dam it was tough and I’m hurting. I think I’ll use one of the closer alcoves to where I can park my jeep.
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Welcome to the first blog of the Wïççåñ`ś Bėåçöñ where I'll be touching base upon the basic info and FAQ regarding to becoming a Wiccan! If at any point there's further into you'd like to see here or want a answer to a question. Post down below and I'll add it here or in upcoming blogs. So let's begin!
What is the belief system/(s) does a Wiccan have?
Some Wiccans base their beliefs upon the equality of both the Goddess (Feminine) and God (Masculinity) while there's others believe in the balance within the universe. With that being said no matter what belief you pick as a Wiccan we all have the Divine power within.
What are the rules for Wicca?
the Rede/Creed which is the main focus within our practice which is "If you harm none, do what you will." Meaning you shall not place a spell upon another against their Freewill as this will need end well upon your behalf. It's pretty much karma what goes around will come around whether it's positive or negative.
Take FULL responsibility for the everything u do. Meaning if u treat someone poorly you must make amends why? Because u need to take responsibility for your action(s)/word(s).
What types of Wicca paths are there available for me?
Here are some paths briefly summarised for u all to find ur inner Wiccan each type that's highlighted in blue is a link to further information upon each path:
Alexandrian: Wiccan path who follow the philosophy of Alexandria.
Celtic: Path of Wicca that involves the Celt and their languages.
Dianic: A tradition that focuses upon only the Goddess and feminine forces.
Eclectic: Alternative Wiccan the one who mixes and matches other paths to suit their beliefs and needs.
Faerie: The Wiccan who believes in the fae and works with the realm of fae.
Hereditary: A path of a Wiccan who continues their magical path from generation to generation within a family.
Gardnerian: The Wiccan green thumb of the group
Shamanic: This is a path that's a combination of Shaman and Wicca.
Traditional: Follows the only traditional path of Wicca.
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Welcome to the first blog of Ałł Thïñgš Tåröt to kick this blog off let's begin with the simple basics of Tarot and some FAQ. If there are other questions you'd like to know about tarot pls comment them below and I'll both the question and answer to this blog.
What are tarot cards?
Are a deck of 78 cards which are separated into Major Arcana which are 22 cards which represent life lesson. The remaining 56 cards are our Minor Arcana which are then split into four suits Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands.
Within the Minor Arcana we have the court cards who are the Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages who provide the 16 personality characteristics to your readings.
Why are tarot cards used?
They are used to help provide information regarding to a situation, person or event which helps make decision making easier.
How do I use tarot cards?
1. Once you have a question in mind begin shuffling the cards in your hands. Stop shuffling when you are ready to begin the reading.
2. Pull out the amount of cards that a the spread calls upon that you are using.
3. Now refer to your deck's guide book (if you don't have one because you have either lost it or don't own one. Look up the card's meaning online).
4. Record the reading for future reference (optional) keeping a record on your readings helps you develop a better understanding towards Tarot and yourself as a tarot reader.
Continuing to place my poor fiction all in one place.
When I reached my 21st year I was eager for the first real test of my new manhood. I was well prepared, my ritual dagger at the ready, waiting anxiously for my opportunity.
Favorable circumstances alluded me, however, for many weeks, longer than I wished, being the impulsive youth that I am. Always my victim kept close association, was alert, seldom alone.
It was the first days of spring, tender buds beginning to open in the fields and gardens of the village. I think it was this innocence of the earth’s new awakening that perhaps disarmed him as we strolled one fresh morning together along a quiet forest path, the trees above beginning to flower against a clear blue sky.
We talked casually of mundane affairs of the village, then paused to view the greening valley beyond. The moment was ripe.
I reach into my cloak, my dagger feels firm and cool in my hand. I spring! I strike! Caught by surprise, he faces me, a look of startled knowledge in his eyes. He clutches his chest, hesitates, falls gently as an old tree falling silently in the forest.
Lying still in the dew grass at my feet, I stand over him. I watch him closely, dagger firmly in hand. His eyes flutter and open slowly. He stares upward as if waking from a dream. Slowly he sits, carefully rises to his feet, stands before me, his gaze peering deeply into mine.
I say, “Thank you for dying, father.”
He says, “Thank you for killing me, my son.”
We embrace. Taking my hand, we continue our walk together, sunlight filtering down upon us through the newborn branching blossoms of a fresh and new morning.
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There isn't much to tell about my earliest experiences, there were some odd things that happened to me that I cant explain. I would, even as a kid try to rationalize the things I saw, heard or felt, but this wasn't always possible. Even since I've grown up, there are a few things that simply couldn't be rationalized.
The first of these memories deals with the house I grew up in. Both my brother and I experienced, what you might call, bad vibes; feelings of unease, anxiety, and of being watched. It was very common for the room to go dead silent. No ambient noise of any kind. It was at these times you could feel the air get stale and heavy. It wasn't restricted to any specific time of day, either. I remember feeling this just playing in my room. Night time was the worst, though. I would be laying in bed an feel my hair being twirled by fingers. My grandma said this was the Devil plying with my hair; something about it being because I lied (I don't know how much I believe that. Old German wives tale, I think). There was many occasions where I dreamt that I was laying in bed awake at night. The room was dark, but I could see everything. I could see under the door that the hall light was on. I would just stare towards my door rom my bed. Then a shadow would appear in the middle of the crack under the door as if someone was standing just on the other side. Its as if my vision would then zoom in to that spot. I would see yellow eyes staring back at me from under the door. I would always wake up from this dream sweating and completely freaked out.
It only really occurred in that one room of the house. My brother and I would switch rooms every few months to, in an odd, unspoken way, take turns. My mother just assumed that we got bored of the room we were in or both of wanted the bigger of the two rooms (the scary one). Actually my mom never actually found out the full story about the room and why we were always switching back and fourth. It wasn't until I was about 30 that we were talking and she mentioned something about my sisters not liking that room either. She asked if I thought it was the same reason me and my brother didn't like it (though she didn't know what that reason was). I told her is was the exact same reason and then I told her what that reason actually was. She went wide eyed and pale. She had never noticed. I then proceeded to tell her about my other experiences throughout my life and she was shocked.
I will be sharing those other experiences throughout this blog. That's about all the time I have for today.
Thanks for reading.
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Around 11, Mum and Dad came home from the OP Shop. Mum handed me a bright yellow box which was the Rider Tarot Deck by Pamela Smith for $2. I was amazed by the price and the condition that the cards were in. The deck itself is usually $150+ when I was given the deck it lifted up my mood for pretty much rest of the day.
Since they were second hand I needed to heavily cleansed the deck before further usage from me. While I was shuffling I picked upon a female voice who introduced me to herself as "Pamela" which at the time I didn't know who created the deck till I saw the author. Anyways for my test reading of the new deck I done a reading on the effects of the Blood Moon which I'll be uploading as well on here to share.
Lately ive been having a lot of technical difficulties which I'm not understanding and it's a real head **** to deal with. Pulled a couple of cards to figure it out which was the Star in reversed and the High Priestess. "It's the electric impulses from the moon" that screamed in my head. The original meaning behind the the Star reversed really confused me but the High Priestess was simple because she represents the Moon and intuition. So I needed to be patient and the answer revealed itself as a scream.
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Well that was a short lived btreak as some may have noticed from a few postings in the forums. Due to some real life crap that goes on I was pretty messed up for a bit. I won’t go in to it so don’t ask but some RL friends recommended that I continue to come around.
so with that being said i have something in common with Arnold because I like him came back. Well minus the cyborg body that is.
John 12:20-33 Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
“Seeing the Glory of Jesus Christ” Year B
A couple years ago my wife and I got to visit Washington D.C. It was my wife’s first time there, so it was awesome to be able to show her all the breathtaking sights of our nation’s capital. We went to all the major places...like the White House, the Capital Building, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. We even got to see and tour the United Methodist Building.
Another great thing about this trip was how we got to see the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. When we were there, I discovered something I was just fascinated by...The Jefferson Bible. Have any of you, my readers, ever heard of it? When it came to religion, the great Thomas Jefferson was what you call a deist. This is a belief where God creates and sets everything in motion, but is withdrawn from humanity. Deism was a really popular view back then and other founding fathers were Deists as well.
So as a deist, Thomas Jefferson rejected belief in the God of the Bible. He didn’t believe in things like the Trinity or in miracles. He felt that the Gospels had been hijacked by Jesus’ followers to advance their own agendas and ideologies. But in spite of all that, he loved the teachings of Jesus. He adopted His teachings as a moral code to guide his life. He said that Jesus taught "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
And that leads us to the Jefferson Bible. Using a razor and glue, Thomas Jefferson meticulously cut up four copies of the Gospels in English, French, Greek, and Latin. He kept only certain passages, the ones he felt were authentic sayings of Jesus and without the miracles. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday. There is no resurrection and no Easter Sunday. He felt all of that was a myth. Jefferson called this version “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. As a history lover, it’s such an interesting story and it’s fascinating that he took all the time and effort to make that book.
So at the Smithsonian I got to see the original from 1820, encased in glass. And I was also able to buy a Smithsonian Edition copy that was created from high resolution photographs of the original.
But I think what’s most interesting about that story is the fact that…like the Greeks in our text….he really wanted to see Jesus. But what kind of Jesus? Was it the real Jesus? Or was it a Jesus entirely of his own making?
And when we fast forward to today, all of that brings us to an interesting question. How do Americans see Jesus Christ today? I think it’s safe to say that almost everybody has an opinion about Jesus. And as I was preparing for this sermon, I got curious about where people stand.
So, I did what you always do when you get curious about something….I typed the question into Google. The results were interesting. The vast majority of Americans believe that Jesus was a real historical figure…approximately 92%. But the next Barna survey result was really interesting. 83% of Americans still describe themselves as “Christians”…..but only 56% of that number believes that Jesus is actually divine and that He literally rose from the dead. 26% felt that Jesus was only a great moral teacher, much like the Buddha or the Prophet Mohammed. Another 18% said they just weren’t sure about His divinity. So in sum….at least 92% of Americans still want to see Jesus. But is it the real Jesus? Or is it a Jesus of our own making?
In my essay this morning, I’d simply like to explore this request…”we wish to see Jesus.” So it’s my hope that after today, each of us, dear readers, will be able to see the glory of Jesus Christ more clearly. And to do that, we have to lift our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to the Cross. May the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit open our minds to the understanding of His word and open our hearts so that we may feel His love coursing through us.
To begin, our Gospel lesson is set in the context of the Passover festival. As I said recently, Passover was one of the holiest feast days of the Jewish faith. Thousands of faithful pilgrims would have flocked to the Temple from all over the Mediterranean to celebrate and make their offerings to God.
But not everybody who came….were Jews. John says, “Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, Sir we wish to see Jesus.” Now the question is why. Why would these Gentiles come all the way from Greece to see Jesus?
Well, for one thing…there was no Instagram. It’s hard to believe, but in those days you couldn’t just hold up a phone…take a picture or a video….and then send it to all your friends in a few seconds. If you wanted to see somebody…you actually had to get up out of the house and do it. Imagine that? And we complain about our connection speeds….first world problems!
For another….I suspect news of Jesus…had already travelled that far….with no help from social media. See, I think they’d probably gotten wind of some of the things He was teaching. Jesus was saying and doing some pretty radical things. He taught with authority. He broke all the rules of social convention. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He had real compassion for the poor. He put down the religious leaders for their false piety. Then He told little children that they would be the greatest in God’s Kingdom.
And then there were the miracles. Turning water in to wine. Calming storms and walking on water. Healing sick people and casting out demons. Maybe most importantly….Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead….and that’s a pretty big deal. So no doubt all of this stuff was traveling far and wide. They were probably hearing all these wild stories…all the way in Greece….and these people were like….”is this for real?” They wanted to see Jesus…because they were curious.
In other words, these Greeks were no different than…say….Thomas Jefferson…or Americans today. Curiosity is the great motivating force of research and discovery. And like Thomas Jefferson and so many of us today…I’m sure they had their own preconceived notions about who Jesus was. I’m sure they’d taken a mental razor and cut out the things they didn’t like or believe and glued in the things they did like and believe.
I imagine they probably had their own Jefferson Bibles by the time they reached Jesus and the Disciples. Now after they made their request to Philip, he did what a lot of us church leaders do when outsiders come to our doorsteps seeking God….he formed a committee. He went and told Andrew. They probably debated about it for an hour. Then maybe they took a vote. Annnnnnddd then they told Jesus.
Their minds had to have been racing. They might’ve thought these would be the first Gentile followers of Christ. Or maybe they were apprehensive. Aren’t you here for just us Jews? I’m sure those two disciples had their razors and their glue just as the Greeks did. But on that day…none of them saw a Jesus of their own making.
They saw the real deal. Now we don’t know this for sure, but I imagine Jesus turned and said these things to the entire crowd…Jews and Gentiles alike. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
This is the real Jesus. We can say we want to see Jesus, but is it the real Jesus or is it the Jesus we want to see? We can spend endless hours with our razors and our glue. We can glue in a safe Jesus, a Jesus we can control.
We can glue in a Jesus who says some nice things, but we aren’t sure if He’s really divine. Or we can glue in Jesus who’s a divine butler who exists solely to grant our wishes and doesn’t ask for anything in return. We can do a lot of work with our razors and our glue.
But when we encounter the real Jesus, the glass cases of our own Gospels shatter. The pages crumble…they fall apart and wither in to dust. You see, that’s one of the key purposes of John’s Gospel.
He wants us to see Jesus as He actually is….beyond our limited perception of reality…beyond our physical and our mental understanding….beyond our razors and our glue. He wants us to see the great spiritual reality of Jesus Christ….and to respond by believing and trusting in Him as the one sent by God. The thing is, though, seeing Christ in His real glory isn’t all that easy to do because it flies in the face of just about everything we do believe in. Let me explain.
This concept of life from death would’ve made very little sense to the original audience of this Gospel. It’s widely accepted that this Gospel and all the writings attributed to John the Beloved Disciple are the products of a Johannine community of churches in Asia Minor. They were dedicated to preserving the teachings of John, but like most of the other early Christian communities, they were persecuted heavily…by both Romans and Jews.
And as they were being persecuted and martyred…they had to wonder….how can death possibly bring life? Here they were living in another place and time...and they wondered...where is this supposed glory of Christ? These questions are similar for us today, too. As a culture we try to avoid thinking about death. We cling desperately to the good things we have because we want life and still waters. And yet, our lives our filled with little deaths.
Sometimes our circumstances shift and the old securities go and the only roads before us…go right through the valleys. So we wonder. How can the fallen wheat of our lives really bear fruit?
In fact, I originally wrote this essay during the Christian season of Lent…I think this is the heart of what Lent really means. Our symbolic gestures of giving things up, our extra time spent in prayer…all of those things are important, yes. But the reality of Lent is that Lent comes to each of us in its own due time. At its heart, Lent is “Media vita in morte sumus ”…”In the midst of life we are in death.” “In the midst of life we are in death.”
No one’s immune from suffering, loss, the fear of death, or death itself. In other words…Lent isn’t always about choosing our losses…no….it’s the season for acknowledging them…for coming to grips with them. It’s the awareness that even as we’re living and drawing breath….we’re also dying. Heavy stuff.
And this is why our razors and our glue are useless. If we try to create a Jesus of our own making, then we miss this spiritual reality. We miss the full expression of what God is offering to us through Christ.
We miss seeing Christ in His real glory, and so we miss our opportunity to be lifted up…even in the midst of our own deaths, big or small.
So what is the real glory of Christ? The glory of Christ is the Cross and the fact that life will be offered to all people through death. Now that just might be the most theologically complex sentence I’ve ever said…so naturally, we’re going to have to unpack it. I think it’s safe to say the meaning of the Cross is the most difficult thing to understand and explain in all of Christianity. I bet most of us get a headache whenever we even try to think about it.
And it’s been debated from the earliest days of the church right up to our time. There’s entire classes in seminary devoted to making sense of it. Some have said that the Cross was a ransom…a payment that bought the world freedom from sin and death. Some have said that the Cross was substitutionary…that Christ took on victimhood and died in our place to atone for our sins and guilt.
Some have said the Cross is our “moral exemplar”….that through His life and death on the Cross, Christ shows us how to live. Now I think there’s validity to all these theories. I think all of them might reflect part of the truth of this great Mystery.
But what’s interesting for our message today…is that all these “classical theories” of Atonement are completely absent from John’s Gospel. John focuses on one thing. He’s focused completely on the restoration of the relationship between God and humanity.
When Jesus turns to Philip and Andrew and the Greeks He’s saying “If You want to see me as I am, if you want to see me in glory….then you have to see this…you have to see the Cross.” Why? It’s the sign of His true glory because it reveals God’s everlasting, self-emptying, self-surrendering love for all of humanity. He becomes what we are and He endures what we endure. The doubts, the fears, the little deaths, the weaknesses of the ‘Father, save me from this hour’ moments…He takes those things all onto Himself because…He loves us that much. So in the end, the Cross isn’t ultimately about paying ransoms or substitutions and the need for someone to be punished because of sin.
Through His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ is creating a new reality. It’s a new reality that says you are reconciled to God. You are loved and accepted by God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Indeed, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Out of His death He brings us new life.
So if we want to see Christ in glory, then we have to look at Him as He’s being raised up on the Cross….because the Cross is our signpost that points to the limitless bounds of His love and the unfathomable depths He will go to…just to be in relationship with us.
In the words of the great Saint Catherine of Siena: “As a child who sucks the milk from his mother’s breast, likewise we, in love with God, draw love from Jesus crucified, always following His footsteps and walking with Him on the path of humiliation, pain and insults. We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross. Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved, and in him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!” My sisters and brothers…this…this is how life comes from death.
This is how the dying wheat that falls to the ground bears fruit. All we have to do is put away our razors and our glue and see the glory of Jesus Christ. And when we look on Him who was raised up for us, we should also be raised up. Maybe you’re cast down today. Maybe you’re grieving over the death of a loved one. Maybe you’re having financial troubles.
Maybe your marriage is strained or you’re fighting with members of your family. It’s in these moments...as the wheat is falling where we feel the most vulnerable and the most alone. But if we let go….if we just let the wheat fall….we’ll see that we’re not alone.
We’ll see that we’re not just God’s second-class citizens clinging to words in a 2,000 year old book…no….we’ll see that He’s here….that He’s with us….and that He’s lifting us...and all people up and drawing us to Himself....in the power of His reconciling love that flows from the Cross.
Today I’m going to leave you with the words of a poem written by an Eastern Orthodox Monk by the name of Fr. Seraphim Rose, a poem that beautifully sums up the true glory of Christ bringing life from death on the Cross.
And it’s a poem that has brought me comfort and hope as some of my own wheat fell to the ground. My friends, may it be so for you as well:
"Come to Me, says the Way,
The way seems long only because you cannot see the end.
But when you reach the end and look back, the way will seem so very short.
And you will see that you could have never known happiness
Unless you had known this sadness.
You will be thankful.
You will be glad things happened just as they did.
That they are just as they are.
You will be thankful in the harbor, if only you can endure to the end.
To be empty is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed.
Follow Me, says the Way, Descend into the Valley,
Enter the city, and then be raised with me in ignominy
Torn and Tattered, Dragged down to the most abased place on earth, Atop the highest tree
On the highest hill outside the city.
Follow me, says the Way
Hollow, empty, selfless
Resting in forsakenness, There abide in Me as I abide in You.
Abide in the highest, You who have been abased in the depths with Me.
Be filled with Me, you who have been emptied with Me,
Be renewed, you who have been tattered with Me.
Taste incorruption, You who have lain in the grave with Me.” (Taken from Christ the Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene)
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Mention must be made of an archaic cultural site discovered in the Valley of Mexico in the 1920s, which has come to be called Niven’s Buried City. William Niven started his investigations in that same valley in the early nineteen hundreds (1910), and in the course of his research, he encountered enigmatic stone artifacts and tablets, which had no discernible connection with any other Mexican cultural sequence. This was curious! However, it was not until the period of 1921-23 when he hit archaeological "pay dirt" at Santiago Ahuizoctla, a hamlet contiguous to Amantla. At that time, he discovered the "infamous" tablets and the evidence of an archaic culture of a high order. For a short time, his discoveries set the archaeological world afire with rampant enthusiasm. Then, most sadly, his discoveries were summarily discredited by the mainstream academic culture and its media. He was made to look a fool, while his artifacts were carried off and scattered far and wide. William Niven died a broken man in Austin, Texas in the 1930s. It is sad to contemplate that he died without ever having his work properly evaluated by the scientific prowess of today’s world. We know not where to find his works though there is rumor that some are hidden away at a distinguished eastern university. Such is an example that could face us with this project.
Teotihuacan, the great city near to Niven’s excavations in the Valley of Mexico, has always caught my imagination, even as a boy. It looks like a great space port with pyramid-like structures lined up on a 4 kilometer rampway for travelers departing and arriving for destinations now long forgotten. At an early age, I can recall thinking upon great flying machines, perhaps saucers, sitting on top of all those little launch pads lining the road of the dead (dead-our idea, not theirs). Too many space movies; one would think that the MIR space station would have ended such dreams!
It has been estimated that Teotihuacan supported a population of 200,000 persons at one point in its florescence. Many of middle American’s old cities seem to have this otherworldly look of high sophistication that was either emulated by other cities at a later date, or were part of an older civilization that was to some degree very advanced. Teotihuacan represents more than that, it has the engineering built into its structure to suggest more than what is told to us by today’s archaeologists. Were the cities of Mexico old memories of a time far away in the minds of their well educated priests? Or, could they have been the whispers of a very ancient Enmayi tradition that bled through to show itself 4 million years later? To do this, the Enmayi had to have a seat of civilization somewhere on Earth that lasted as the stalwart to carry these traditions forward. Where is such a site?
Teotihuacan presents another feature that is also arcane to the extreme. Peter Tompkins, Graham Hancock and other historical writers have pointed out, time after time, that enormous, thick sheets of mica were found by Leopoldo Batres on the fifth level of the Sun Pyramid in 1906. Later, at 350 meters down from the Sun Pyramid, reported by the Viking Foundation, another mica slab was found of considerable size: some 27.4 meters square (90 feet square). To the astonishment of all archaeologists, it was identified as a type of mica that is found in Brazil, and nowhere else. This begs the question of why was this particular type of mica removed and transported some 3218.6 kilometers (2000 miles) to be incorporated into the building site at Teotihuacan? How could something this large be transported in a stone age period of history? It is also to be noted that similar finds of Brazilian mica were discovered in certain Olmec sites. This is the "silver bullet" of the archaeological world which proclaims that the technology of the ancients is far removed from what we consider it to have been. Mica is utilized as insulation to atomic expressions.
In my estimation, the importance of the discovery of mica, which had been transported thousands of kilometers from its place of origin to its final resting place, is equivalent in historical importance to Dr. Oppenheimer’s comment upon the detonation of the first atomic explosion in the deserts of New Mexico. At the time of the explosion, he was heard to remark that "it was the second [ time ] for humanity to experience such." He was, of course, referring to the old Sanskrit tradition that the first atomic device was detonated in the area of the ancient Indus Valley civilizations some 8,000 years ago. The very old ruins of Mohenjo-Daro certainly reflect that this is indeed what occurred, with thousands of its fallen resident’s bones recently found radioactively "hot" in the bottom of the old streets of the city.
In the old Mahabharata, we find that there were references to flying machines and a frightening white flash of an ultimate weapon that destroyed cities, and caused the survivors to rush to the rivers to cleanse themselves of the unseen killer. The evidence of classic radiation sickness, such as hair and nails falling form the body before death, are everywhere in the ancient writings. With all this strong corroboration of evidence from our planetary past, we should not decline the information offered by all this data that our celestial messenger has poured forth in the last few weeks.
From my vicarious youth, I have wondered about Mexico. Were those old tribes a part of this powerful technological base that peeks to us between the lines of mythological history? The gods seem to appear out of space and time, as did the Sons of Annu, the Sumerian god of gods. One wonders if Claronu’s nickname for Anjona — Annoo-a was the same leader of the Niberu, as translated by Zecharia Sitchin in his body of highly informative and passionately charged books about the Earth Chronicles. Annu was the Anunnaki god who brought genetic engineering to Earth. We have data that supports some of these researchers, so why do we not announce the truth to humanity?
Today, expeditions into the volcanic wastes of Mexico are showing that cultures were present earlier than the Olmecs as Niven believed. Were these first people the sons of the Enmayi who had risen in technology over and over again through the cyclic volatility of this unstable planet of garden-like beauty? Cast back into the barbaric states of human evolution time and time again, they continued to climb back out of the agglomeration of defeat to strive once more up the ladder of be-manship. While the poles of the planet wobbled around the globe, they fought to maintain their traditions, each time of destruction, they restarted the flame of the hand that sees – becoming the minds that move. Even the art attributed to the Olmecs seems more modern, with their head-mounted lenses on space helmets that often seem to have support systems attached to their bodies. It is all more relevant now, after having this immense data before us from out of Time.
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When I create I always want to express something, a feeling, a thought, a mystery.
Through the process of creating, my mind starts to fly into another dimension.
A mystery is unfolding in my mind's eye, my mind's wings are fluttering in a happy dance.
I call this piece of art "The Red Room"
A chronic lack of civility in our public discourse has led to an approaching breakdown of social order. When it comes, when the nastiness reaches a critical point, who will be willing to back down and compromise? When hotheads shed blood, who will reach across to make peace? WWII ended 73 years ago. Is our institutional memory so short? Do we so little value what has taken 2 centuries to build? Finally, are we so full of hate that we'd rather lose all than admit an error and compromise? Our electronic media is our access to the wider world. How are we to understand what is happening in our world if we cannot trust what these arbiters of truth tell us? There is yet time for cooler heads to prevail but that time is shrinking.
This year has been one of the most growth-inducing years of my life. It began with a break up after a 3 month relationship I expected to go further than it had. I went through depression of course, not knowing what I did wrong, and desperately trying to fix the relationship any way I could. I had my mind set on suicide once the pain got unbearable. I planned out goodbye letters, and had other information written down so things could be taken cared of when I had gone. Something in my mind told me to pray for help instead - so I did. February came along and I began researching Archangels because of one I heard of shortly after praying. Archangel Michael was the first one I had researched, and the more I looked, the more curious I became and once I knew I could ask them for help, I started calling out to them and praying every night for something to happen. It started the domino effect that paved the road towards my Spiritual awakening in March, then Kundalini awakening in April. I've been visited by many of the Archangels in the last 6 months, and I have a direct cord connecting me to Michael. It's so powerful, when he's with me I can feel heat cascade down my entire back. I have many experiences to voice about, and I plan to do so in this blog. All events are true, and I use to be an atheist, so if people are concerned with me making this stuff up - there is no way I could possibly make things of this significance up!
Until next time, have a good day!
Just over 12 years ago I joined this site. I was in my early 20s and noticed something strange in the sky. I took photos then went online on my old PC and came across this forum to share my experience. It was great and opened up my mind to so much more. Since then I’ve learned to look beyond what we can see. I don’t post very often but I read very often. Personally I don’t have many experiences that are worthy of sharing on here but I do appreciate others stories and experiences.
That leads to me, now. For most of my adult life I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. It’s getting worse. Realising that 12 years has passed since that day I registered on here is a major eye opener. Then I had a few ideas and dreams of where I wanted to be in the future. I’ve not achieved much of that. I bet most of us would think that in a decade into the future from now, loads of things would have changed! Aliens would be here, ghosts and monsters would be easily detectable but nope, all is as it was. It’s a good thing though because no matter how much technology progresses, those same questions we asked years ago still remain.
Ive began looking for personal answers. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Is it all just random events or is the simulation theory real? If so then are any of us really in control? Are we the highest power or are we just left alone to think we are? Are we insignificant like that random ant hill in Africa?
Having depression is strangely soothing for me. I can’t get excited and I’m used to feeling alone and disappointed. If we are alone and are just a freak of nature doomed to disappear when the sun explodes then fine, I can deal with the pointlessness of it all. But what if we’re not a freak of nature? What if we’re here for some reason? Test? Experiment etc?
Who gets those feelings of “there’s something more than this”? I do constantly. I’m not religious but I do believe there’s something out there with a degree of control but I have no idea how to find out! I’ll keep searching!
I try to ignore the distractions in life, they seem to be set up for us like TV, sport, video games and so on. They seem to mask or hide something. Why do we need to be entertained when we have the instinct to explore? There are so many unanswered questions but we ignore them and instead go shopping or go drinking or fall asleep watching TV!
The people on here, keep up the good work! Keep searching and asking! Share what you find! Silent observers like myself appreciate it .
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So yesterday, my three cousins and I were laying in bed watching movies. It was around 11:30pm or 12:00pm, and the door in my cousins room started shaking slightly. We were a little creeped out, but just assumed it was the fans in and outside of the room. It continued after a while, so we just opened the door and put some things in front of it. Today, it started again. My aunt claims it has never happened before, because I'm just visiting when it happened. We turned off any fans or air circulating through the house. No windows or doors were open. The door continued to shake, but much harder. When we would open it, no one was outside. Nothing. So we just cracked the door, due to heat, and the door once again shook. While it was open. Later, all of the doors started to shake slightly while closed. Not really sure what's going on here, any thoughts?
You breathe the air of your sweat, light and shallow.. the liquid air around you without breath to give you respite. The sun above does little more than remind you that your flesh can cook in the steam just like that nice batch of veggies you dressed with a cool cucumber dressing last night.
Then you hit the shade while the hot wind does whip up-blowing the debris of seasonal blossoms gone to seed and dust from the streets... and it's a cool blessing. You are happy that the sweat pops up to be blown off.. and take a moment to drink deep of that iced beverage.. swat a sweat fly or two. Too hot for skeeters to be bugging, even their spawn is dying in the water tanks, much to the dismay of the birds that like to eat and drink while perched on the ledges.
The high light of summer is already past us, and has been for a couple weeks. We are now on the hot steel slide into the dark.
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Short post. My Photo. The Arseniev Museum in Vladivostok. Second floor. Hall of Archeology. On the left under the glass are the medieval bronze mirrors. The Jurchen Empire. The Primorye Territory of our Far Eastern region is very rich in these historical relics.
Well, all the search parties have returned. It turns out that the first search party had already come back and just went straight to bed (apparently they emphasized the “Party” part of their title)… Stern notes were posted in the personnel folders of all involved…
This year’s route has been selected and without further ado, here it is:
The race will begin in the Grand Central Square, in the heart of the UM Complex… All racers will be sorted by their teams, in order of talent, winning records (and bribes of course)… Each team will be lined up in one of the many (mostly) straight (and mostly paved) streets that radiate out from the Grand Square (it’s not really square shaped – it’s just named that to confuse people)… When the starting bazooka is fired, the racers will all rush inward onto the (mostly circular-ish) traffic circle (known as a roundabout to some), and will speed around counter-clockwise for three full circuits… At this time the Grand All-High Inquisitor Mod will pull the lever that opens the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” (which have been mostly covered with the cheapest grade of plywood we could find – so that it forms a 15 mile long 60 degree spiral down ramp…
The “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” were the result of a Public Works Project by a group of Inquisitor Mods a few thousand years ago… The original plans were for this to be a rather short spiral staircase down 15 meters to a lavish train station, which was to be built to begin linking UM’s far flung areas together… However, the designers abbreviated 15 meters to 15 m which the construction crew mistook for 15 miles… After the construction crew had gotten started, it was discovered that no one had invented trains yet, so the Inquisitors scrapped the project but neglected to tell the furiously digging crews… When the bottom was reached it was discovered that they had dug down into a series of ancient lava tubes, Prehistoric mammoth-gopher tunnels and some of the original dungeon levels…
Upon reaching the bottom of the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” those racers that survive will be directed by rapidly strobing neon lights down the twisting tunnels and chambers, along the Ancient Grand Gallery with its view that overlooks 30 deeper levels (watch out – no safety rails!) and finally along the Ancient Underground Sea (be cautious… there are “things” that live in there and they have tentacles!)…
The racers will then find themselves emerging from the underground at the base of the World famous Icanseemyhousefromhere Mountain and across the lovely and scenic Misty Marsh of Miasmic Wonder… (The Race Committee would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you to the many “volunteers” (and their next of kins) who worked so hard (and for so little pay) to layout the plywood over the swampy ground to form the roadway for the racers to use…)
After crossing the Misty Marsh, the racers will travel through the Eastern Artillery Impact Zone (B), where as they speed along they will have the pleasure of witnessing the production testing of the latest model of Rocket Assisted Pogo-sticks for Seniors – which should amuse the racers to no end…
Once across the Impact Zone (which will most definitely be probably not receiving artillery hits at the time of the race – but you never know!) the racers will pull into the courses sole rest stop, where they can stretch their legs, get a cold frosty beverage (on sale from the Renegade Beer Balloon Fleet) and change their pants (as necessary), The Noggin’ Knockers Band will be providing musical entertainment (for a small fee they will move on and play somewhere else) and everyone is encouraged to polka for a bit before getting back on with the race…
The next leg of the race is perhaps the most dangerous… It is across the heart of UM’s “Land of Lost Tax Accountants”… Racers are advised to make all speed through here as the Tax Accountants are likely to ensnare you into a lengthy and hideously boring Tax audit – so beware!
After escaping the clutches of the Tax Accountants, it is directly into the Eastern Squiggle Reserve, where the racers will attempt to evade the rather lonely squiggles who are just looking for someone to pet them and take them home – racers are reminded that Squiggle Anti-Dote, chain-mail gauntlets and anti-itch cream are NOT on sale at the final rest stop – so bring your own!
And the final leg of the race is into the Eastern Oubliette Zone of the Central Complex, where the teeming mobs of fans will be waiting excitedly for the racers to speed past as they pelt them with rotten fruit, water balloons and glitter bombs…
So that’s the route for this year’s race… Study it, form your strategies and remember that June 3rd is the final day for Bribes to be placed (unless of course you bribe the officials to accept later bribes) – and may the best tricyclist (and best briber of course) win! (or at least survive)…