New Year day 3

I originally wrote this in January, not sure why I didn’t post it…

So I find myself starting over spiritually and creatively. Slowly renewing practices and trying to find the energy and courage to start moving forward again. I have looked at the period of increasing withdrawal and inward turning and escapism of the last few years and labelled it depression.

I am not sure if that is what it was exaclty, but it seems to fit the bill.

I have been trying to reconnect with people on places like Facebook and in my real life social circles… pick up some dropped connections renew some and just try get back to myself.

Slowly i have been finding my old sense of humor and mischeif and joy at life again. Its tough because you feel like there is such a wide gulf between where you would like to be emotionally and where you are. There are days I have a lot of trouble just motivating myself out the door for work.

But I breathe, and lately try to ground and center, and say a little prayer to the Holy Powers and keep soldiering on.

More later folks,

..and THEN all that drama about Melania Trump and The Rose Garden happened?!

Hello Friends,

So… I’ve had kind of an interesting intellectual and emotional journey in the last few days!

It started with hearing this recent BBC World News Service program “Can an algorithm be racist?” Which started me wanting to learn more about computer algorithms and how influential they can be. Which through the same source led to this from 2017, “How Powerful is Facebook’s Algorithm?” and then I found a lovely panel discussion from 2019 “Can algorithms be trusted?

At some point I checked Wikipedia to check something on ideas and uses of internet memes. Many people may bag on me for using Wikipedia, and I do as a matter of fact understand how hard the editors there must work to keep the articles up to date and un-vandalized! People do some pretty crappy things sometimes, seemingly, for laughs. Note that seemingly, it comes into play later! Anyway, I have always found it to be a reasonably reliable place to start ones researches overall. Contentious at best as a primary source for a research paper or news report… it’s always better to dig a little deeper into a topic when and where you can, but I was just trying to make sure I had some idea of how memes are used and propagated in internet culture and this time they did not disappoint!

So now, my ADHD blessed and deep-dive-on-a-topic-of-interest prone brain was buzzing with thoughts and questions of how pervasive computer algorithms are in our daily lives to an extent that neither television nor radio perhaps never were, and how completely isolating the ‘filter bubble‘ can be. I was thinking about how input biases and the relatively simple nature of these pervasive algorithms could change the world or be used to manipulate it. How much what we like on social media, and the links we follow and the searches we perform can be so thoroughly mapped and totally influence our understanding of each other and of the world around us. How that information can be, and has been, used to measure and manipulate us by marketers, and politicians, and opportunists looking for power and wealth.

Not that it is all bad news, at least I don’t think so. I mean theoretically what we say and do on the internet, that is what we like, what we search, and what we share; all of these have the potential to change what we see or hear next, the quality and source of our information, AND to potentially influence the decisions of marketers, corporations, and politicians.

(Opportunists who are looking for power or wealth are not always so easily influenced, and historically have reacted badly to all but the fiercest attempts at correction)

THEN I ran into a YouTube playlist “The Alt-Right Playbook” by Innuendo Studios. Worth watching for it’s dissection of how white nationalists, neo-nazi’s, and others on the self-styled alt-right have used tech savvy and some times psychologically sophisticated ways to rebrand themselves and seek power since some time in the mid to late 1990’s. They do a very nice job of threading the needle between critique and attack as they examine their topic, and also put forward a few critiques of the Left and the Democrats. (My teams, in US politics in case you were wondering…) Watch all the episodes, they are quite the alarming education!

And then… then…. THEN… all that drama with Melania Trump and the Rose Garden Happened?!

I honestly try to not share memes on Facebook with as much abandon as I used too. Part of my own spiritual journey over the last year or two has including rethinking what I allow inside my head and what I send out into the world. (more on that in other posts) I’ve also been blessed to have a few of the things I’ve shared get fact checked by the automated system… which should serve any of us as a wake-up call to start using those critical thinking skills the Gods have blessed us with and the fairly basic research skills we should have learned in school!

Something seemed hinky about the first meme I saw about the issue, and I saved it and started doing some actual looking up news articles research. I found several facts on reliable and reasonably non-partisan sources, and tried to comment and share… but people were flipping. Their. Absolute. Shit!

Angry memes coming in from every corner, and all of them with the requisite angry comments. Multiple variations. ANY attempt at questions or links to factual news sources swept angrily aside!

So what ACTUALLY was happening was this

(To a few of you reading this with whom I share social media contact… YES as a matter of fact I DID just Snopes some of your asses!)

But to hear the memes tell it Melania had grabbed a hatchet and a torch and personally tore down every historic planting from 1962, and cackling like Cruella DeVill before setting democracy ITSELF on fire!!!!!

Through most of the last week I’ve seen folks, many of them usually quite sensible human beings… (and a few of the Salty and Angry ones whom I love/appreciate but am kind of glad the algorithms don’t subject me to their shade and rage on the daily?) …well you’ve seen it. It’s not the first outrage, it’s not the first distraction… it seems like the last 4 years have been a flood of all to much trivial BS amidst some failures of public officials and policy.

What I’ve started asking is. Why is this suddenly taking over my feed?! Where are all these really poorly informed memes coming from? Who profits from the propagation of this idea in terms of marketing, propaganda, or mis-information in this particular moment? Does the timing coming at the tail of the Democratic National Convention and the beginnings of the Republican National Convention have anything to do with it?

Are there important issues that might be getting pushed out of peoples awareness by this sudden influx of rage and distraction? Who might benefit from distraction and division in this moment?

Well, anyway, that’s whats been going on with me… I am looking forward to watching footage on the 2020 Civil Rights March happening later today…

Oh, before I go, let me leave you with a bit of advice…

meme from Facebook, source unknown.

Pax / Geoffrey

So the Plan was…

Hello friends,

So the plan starting in January was that I would be blogging on a weekly basis. Plans didn’t really change, I just procrastinated and made excuses and told myself “tomorrow” or “Next Week”….

This post is the lead up covering some of my spiritual and metaphysical life in early 2020….

So in the last week of 2019 or perhaps the first week in 2020, I was resurfacing from my “Year from Hell in 2019″… (side note: I have sent 2019 a formal letter of apology for calling it that given the current situation here in 2020…)

I was striving to ground and to center and to breathe into my chakras; have been doing that for a while… trying to remember who I was…. or perhaps who I can be… when I am not letting a job eat nearly every ounce of my brain and time.

This particular evening I had been experimenting with my recently acquired Spotify account (Free cause I am cheap and don’t particularly mind ads). I have loaded and am experimenting with Spotify and Instagram. I briefly explored Snapchat and Tik Tok but was not enamored with either enough to leave on the phone. So I was looking through stuff I could stream on Spotify and came across a couple of Podcasts I knew from a few years ago… including Down at the Crossroads. The new intro for DATC is a bit of ritual…

The Crossroads Rite

by Christopher Orapello and Tara Love-Maguire

From the east, I go to West

About to North.

And then to South

Crossing roads as I go about.

Laying the ground for a witches work.

Down at the crossroads is where I vow.

To meet with she and he and they and thou.

Upon this night, and in this hour.

I call upon thee to beseech thy power.

The words stirred something inside me… I found myself gathering a bunch of my old notebooks and a number of the magickal and pagan books from my shelves and looking through them… the itch to witch had been stirred once more! After a while of looking through things and listening to the podcasts and remembering and rediscovering a number of notes and journalings from my past; I decided to go out onto the back patio and enjoy a cigar and a bottle of cider.

For some reason, I made in my mind the resolution that this was an offering to the Witchfather. At the back of my skull, where I have felt a sense of connection to Him in the past, I felt…almost plugged in…as if properly connected for the first time… and in that moment a strong sense of presence.

Over the next few weeks there was a strong sense of connection to Him, and small stirrings of my creative energy and urges to write and my best grounded and centered self. At the same time the first few months of the year are a busy season in Central Florida and being in the budget segment of the Hotel/Motel industry here means the first few months of the year are hectic! Thus the above mentioned procrastination.

Now I’d be lying if I said it was all based on the business of work. Some of it was the low ebb of my self-worth and self-esteem and self-confidence that had been afflicting me since late 2018… (more details on that later) The house was a mess and in disrepair, still is mostly but some progress has been made so “Yay us!” I guess? (us as in myself and the Fabulous Jonathan, my bear and partner)


The first few weeks of 2020 were not bad overall… busy and with the continuing phenomena of moments of realization or guidance… small moments where I would catch myself having a thought or realization that came from the Witchfather rather than from my own self. Small things like thinking about the frustrations of my day as I took a cigarette break and having what I sense as His influence or thoughts in my head “Well smoking cigarettes serves neither of us well….”

Lots, of little moments like that… So the mad rush of days continues into February and in late February both my partner and I came down with what we though was a horrible flu or bronchitis or something.. Miserable flu like symptoms and lots of coughing (with a mess of phlegm… gross detail but important later…) With Tree Pollen season in Central Florida being in late February through late March I am used to physical suffering this time of year and allergy season seemed to start earlier this year with a bunch of hot and cold spells in December and January priming the pollen pumps on the trees.

One night I had taken every medication I could to fight the miserable physical symptoms I was feeling… and unable to sleep I tried doing a cleansing life force exercise.

I’ve written about this before, it’s an idea I got from the writings of T Thorn Coyle and apparently originated in the Anderson Faery Tradition of Witchcraft. This exercise is one where you pour a glass of water into a cup or chalice or what-have-you.. and then you visualize pouring your energy feelings and thoughts into the water, you bless and cleanse and consecrate the water and the energy… and then you drink it up taking the cleansed energy back into yourself. I like the idea of this better than simply cleansing or washing away the negative energies one can accumulate with water and salt in a bath or what not…

So as I was trying to do this I started thinking about all the times I had not spoken up or done something about in a negative or difficult or painful situation over the last few years. It saw like mental dominoes as I started to contemplate every time I had let me best truest self be smothered due to fear or a sense of helplessness or the bs of the moment. (note to self: hopped up on cold and flu medication is probably not the best time to be doing this sort of magickal work!) I started to just sob and feel like there was no way I could deal with all of this…

My right hand moved from the chalice I was cradling in my hands and moved to the back of my head where I have always felt my connection to Him and the thought came to me…

“You do not have to deal with ALL of this now….do what you can and keep trying to heal…”

So I blessed and cleansed the energy and water and drank it down…

And the mad rush of days, and the general feeling physically icky, continued for the next few weeks. Covid was starting to hit the news cycle regularly…

Disney had announced they were closing their Parks world wide and their cruise lines for the next six or nine weeks… which in itself was more than a little scary given the money involved and the fact that since opening in 1971 Walt Disney World had at that point closed for about 9 days in its 40 plus years of operation… 8 times for Hurricanes impacting the Orlando/Kissimmee area and once for September 11th 2001… So Disney’s announcement that they were shutting operations for months…

I had shortness of breath. Persistent. Nothing I did seemed to help. So feeling desperate I got my insurance information together and went to the ER….

(And I am realizing that this is more of a multi-post experience… more on my adventures thru 2020 later…)

That Which is Remembered Lives: Cannon Hinnant

I say this to all my friends, those on the Left and the Right…

This child’s death is a tragedy!

His alleged murder, as identified by a witness, has been apprehended. The witness reports they saw a neighbor come out of his house, shoot this child, and then go back inside his house. His neighbor happens to be black…

That the Far Right here in the United States is seizing upon this child’s death and callously using it to besmirch others is a travesty!

“Where’s the National Outrage?!” people are asking….

I would refer you to the many, many, many voices who have advocated for sensible gun rights legislation, for examinations of gun violence as a cause of death in the United States by the government agencies that track crime and death statistics, and for examinations of enforcement strategies throughout the country.

I promise you. Those of us speaking out currently (and many Still, thank you all) against Racism, Police Violence, and Governmental Corruption; we have also been outraged and in some cases screaming about Gun Violence for most of the last 40 years.

Much to the chortling glee of some, and the widespread indifference and frequently vigorous resistance of many on the Right, as I recall?

Now I like to believe that in many cases Conservatives have been misinformed by and starved for objective facts (as opposed to ‘alternate’ ones) by special interest groups. Including those whose leadership has in recent years BOTH been visibly targeted by agents of foreign powers, and subject to the strictest of investigations related to embezzlement…

And yet….

That the far Right … indeed lets call it like it is…the Alt-Right …is using this child’s death to besmirch others and sow the seeds of racial division and fear that our Nation continues to struggle with as we strive to bend the moral arc of the universe in service to the ideals embodied in, and not yet fully realized under, the U.S. Constitution; that they transparently seek to whip up the flames of the torches of their most violence prone and ardent followers aka those “…very fine people….” as President Trump called them; that they are doing so in a time of Social Unrest, Economic Upheaval, and World-wide Pandemic is an atrocity!

I would respectfully ask my friends upon the Left and the Right that in the upcoming U.S. Elections, we hand these people such a crushing defeat that it will stand witness to posterity and the world that We The People will not stand for such a thing!