Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beltane 2010 - Why We Celebrate

Beltane 2010 - Why We Celebrate 

Wiccans along with most other NeoPagans celebrate the sacredness of all natural cycles.  These cycles are particularly clear within regions with four distinct seasons, and I think it is natural that we, whose origins most recently hail from the British Isles, emphasize the ever changing and eternal seasons to concretely symbolize the most basic of these cycles.  We have eight Sabbats, four synchronized with the solar cycle of Solstices and Equinoxes, and four linked to the old Celtic agricultural cycle.  These last four are generally the more important, I think because the cycles of birth, life, and death are at their most concrete. 

Of these four days, two are particularly important: Beltane and Samhain.  Samhain honors the powers of death, as Beltane honors those of life.  For these are the two biggest themes in all embodied existence.  Without life, the rest of embodiment is irrelevant, and everything that lives also dies.  As one joker told me, "Life is a sexually transmitted terminal condition."

And that is why Beltane, which most unreservedly and exuberantly focuses on life, also most unreservedly and exuberantly focuses on sexuality.  

In most of the temperate world Spring is far along by now.  In most places Beltane fittingly marks Spring's transition to summer.  The sexual energy of spring is flowing into the generative abundance of summer.  I think of Beltane as a celebration of beauty and delight for its own sake. 

Flowers, the sexual organs of plants, are blooming abundantly, soon to set seeds.  Birds are building their nests.   Throughout the world the energies of reproduction, of sexuality, are at their most visible.  It is through sex that we come into physical existence, and sexuality enables us to connect most intimately with the powers of life and with one another.  It inspires the greatest beauty in the biological world, from flowers to plumage to the celebration of beauty among us two leggeds. The custom of having a May Queen is an acknowledgement of this, and it is fitting that it emphasizes physical beauty and vitality. (There are other Sabbats where we celebrate balance, wisdom, and the other forms beauty can take.)

Beltane begins at sundown, April 30, and extends until sundown May 1.  Those fortunate enough to be able to meet outside in the country will often have bonfires on the 30th, which young couples can jump through, celebrating their hopes for love and perhaps fertility.  That night, weather permitting, many will sleep outside, and fertility will have another chance to manifest. In this day and age many of us honor fertility in all its forms, there now being quite enough of the human kind.  

Covens will meet with friends to celebrate the time, often with small fires safe for a living room as a symbol and reminder of the big ones we'd like to have.  Often our rituals will honor the symbolic wedding of the Goddess and the God, or the revival of the Oak King, to reside until Samhain.  The rituals will often be followed by a feast.

Before dawn many of us will be up, myself among them, to watch and applaud Morris Dancers who symbolically dance up the summer sun.  The first time I experienced this wonderful ritual there seemed something deeply primordial and right about it.  A couple hundred of us had arisen long before dawn to be at Inspiration Point in Berkeley. Today, many years later, Morris Dancers are far more widespread than they were over 20 years ago, and these dawn celebrations are far more common.  Here in Sonoma County, Sebastopol's Apple Tree Morris Dancers  now perform the same ritual.  They are very good, but this year I'll be down south with old friends.  

Those of us who are hard core even come out in the pouring rain.  I will never forget one May morning, joining perhaps a hundred other of the really hard core huddled under umbrellas, watching the dancers as the light slowly grew until a watch told us the sun had actually made its way above the horizon.  

Afterwards, in Berkeley, many of us repair to a Pagan's house, a generous soul who lays out a wonderful brunch to begin the rest of the day.  More of us than normal will be able to do it this year because it's a weekend.  I have no idea how widespread this particular custom has become, but it's a wonderful one, whether as a  gift to the community and offering to the Gods, or as a pot luck.  

As the day progresses public Sabbats will sprout all over our country, in parks and other large open spaces.  This year some will be on Saturday, others on Sunday.  It's a chance to be deeply immersed in sacred time for  long time for those who wish.  May Poles will rise, whether as magickal centers of intention or simply as fun.  In Berkeley NROOGD  will give a public celebration with its "Obby Hoss,"  a old British tradition that, along with being a lot of fun to watch, is said to bring fertility to any woman who gets caught under its cloak.  I know it works. Here are some pictures from last year's festivities.

We celebrate Beltane because it is fun, because it honors the sacred dimension of fun, because it celebrates life and love, because it more than any other honors the gift of life and the blessings of delight.

Temperatures set to soar at annual Beltane Festival

HUNDREDS of semi-naked performers, thousands of spectators, fire, dancing and drumming are expected on Calton Hill tomorrow evening at this year's Beltane Festival.

A crowd of 12,000 people is expected to swarm on to the hill for the pagan-inspired spring ritual.

This year's parade will have the unusual addition of a band of Japanese drummers, and with the party falling on a Friday night, organizers say they expect all the tickets to be snapped up.

Spokeswoman Anna Barge said: "Beltane is a modern interpretation of a very, very ancient ritual that's happened in Edinburgh for thousands of years.

"We've got 350 performers in full body paint with drums and lighting and fire and magic and mystery.

"We've got a capacity of 12,000 and last year I think we had about 10,000, but it's a Friday night, so we'll be expecting capacity, and being on a Friday, the crowds are a bit more boisterous usually.

"We have to advertise it as having 'lewd and lascivious behavior', and it is a fertility festival, it's celebrating the rebirth of the connection between the May Queen and the Green Man, and that union starting spring, so there's a lot of energy, and there's a fair bit of . . . more interesting behavior!"

Participants will begin preparations on Calton Hill on Friday morning, with many of them spending up to three hours being daubed head-to-toe in colored body paints before the procession.

Producer Rob Sproul-Cran said: "Anyone who comes along can expect one of the most memorable nights of their lives. It's unique, there are very few events like it in the world, particularly because it's entirely volunteer-run.

"But it's also unique in what goes on. Thousands of years ago there used to be Beltane Fire Festivals on every hill in the country. It was a common celebration to mark the beginning of spring and to rebuild the community."

Although the festival is based on ancient rites, organizers say they encourage participants to come up with new ideas to ring the changes each year – hence the inclusion of the Japanese drummers tomorrow.

Mr Sproul-Cran said: "We've got a group of Japanese Taiko drummers – there's a center based in Lanarkshire called Mugen Taiko Dojo and one of the girls that plays with them regularly has also taken part in Beltane and she suggested it would be great if they performed at the festival. It's brilliant because Taiko is also a modern retelling of ancient traditions. They seem worlds apart but it's expressing the same thing, which is the celebration of ritual by drumming."

Tickets for Beltane cost £6 in advance from The Forest in Bristo Place, Ripping Records on South Bridge, or via www.hubtickets.co.uk. They are also available for £8 on the night.


Original article

Faith: Summer solstice has a long history

Faith: Summer solstice has a long history

By Karen Sorensen
GateHouse News Service
 
The calendar says summer starts June 21, but most of us measure it by weather and events: the first day without a winter coat, opening day at the ballpark, the last day of school. Not so for our ancestors 2,000 to 7,500 years ago, who carefully watched the lengths of the days and the orbit of the moon to annually celebrate the summer solstice.

Why was the solstice so important in pagan religions?
Not much is known about pagans, defined as people who lived in “prehistoric” times before Christ, says Lisa Derrick, an editor at Sacred History magazine. Agriculture was the basis of their existence, and they developed a religious faith in which they prayed to nature-based deities. They were very sophisticated when it came to watching the movement of the sun and moon, and the summer solstice — the longest day of the year — was a day of celebration.
 
How did they celebrate?
Historians have used folklore, fairy tales and other means to piece together some of the summer solstice celebration rituals, Derrick says. Fire — a representation of the sun — was a key component, and people would gather around a bonfire from sunrise to sunset to dance, sing and chant. When the fire burned down, they would walk their oxen and other field animals through the ashes to promote fertility. The charred remains of the fire would then be buried in the soil to encourage crop fertility. Naturally, they would pray for their own fertility as well.

Are there current traditions tied to ancient solstice rituals?
June is traditionally known for weddings; this can be traced back to ancient rituals. Pagans would often marry in this month because there was down time between when seeds went into ground and when they began to grow, according to www.religioustolerance.com. Of particular significance was the full moon, which they called the “honey moon.” This was considered the ideal time to harvest honey, which was believed to encourage love and fertility. What we now call a “honeymoon” is derived from the pagan post-marriage ritual in which a newly married couple would consume honey, consummate their union and pray for children, according to the website.

Do modern-day pagans celebrate summer solstice?
Absolutely, says Dr. Helen Berger, professor emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. However, they don’t try to replicate ancient pagan celebrations as much as adapt them for modern times. Celebrating nature is a key component, and practitioners gather to hold an outdoor ceremony at which they form a circle and dance, chant or sing, she says.
 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mississippi tornados motivate pagan aid

Mississippi tornados motivate pagan aid 

Paganism ExaminerJanet Scheffler

An email received last night from a group of Mississippi pagans (regarding the intense tornado activity in their area) reads: -

"Please ask that your pagan readers send healing to our corner of the earth. The tornados have left some dead and many others without homes, no matter their faith. These storms see no difference between us and we ask that other pagans send helpful energy."

In the old days, humans saw tornados as vengeful manipulation of the forces of nature. Pagans attributed these horrific and devastating storms to the gods, striking out at humans, punishing them for some slight or laziness. Because of the time of year tornados hit, whole fields could be wiped out, food for winter obliterated. The winds and strength of these storms often left whole communities without shelter and food.


Today, we know how tornados pack such a force and we can scientifically see why this happens. Pagans no longer have to wonder what they "did wrong" in conjunction with the weather patterns and storms; meteorology making it very clear. Weather professionals have come to an understanding about what happens when a tornado is on the way, what can help save human lives and what makes warning systems so vital to tornado-likely areas.


If you practice a pagan path, please consider a circle or healing moment for the storm-hit people of the southern United States at this time. Many are in vital need of help and the one way all pagans can contribute is the sending of the healing energy we have in abundance. Join together or as solitaries and focus on the tornado-hit areas down there.


The tornado season isn't over and as summer moves closer, the storms may hit other area hard as well. Keep thoughts, energy and prayers headed where they are most needed.

Original Article

Alleged Child Rapist Extradited Back To Tri-State

Alleged Child Rapist Extradited Back To Tri-State

Reported by: Lance Barry
Email: lance.barry@wcpo.com 

CINCINNATI -- A man wanted for allegedly raping a 5-year-old is back in the Tri-State following his arrest in North Carolina.

Waco Tohausen, 37, was extradited to Cincinnati overnight to face several charges stemming from an indictment back in December. He was arrested in Murphy, North Carolina on April 15.

Investigators say Tohausen, who goes by the names "White Wolf" and "Waco Hill", was serving as a clergy in a Wiccan group in North Carolina.

The indictment goes back to 2006 when Tohausen allegedly raped a 5-year-old in Hamilton County. He was also indicted after child pornography was allegedly found on his computer.

An online listing says Tohausen was affiliated with the Correllian Nativist Tradition, which is Wiccan, a form of modern witchcraft.

Tohausen is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County court on an unrelated charge Friday morning.

Original Post

Orlando Wiccans to celebrate spring fertility festival

Orlando Wiccans to celebrate spring fertility festival



The Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida has announced that it will host a gathering this weekend to celebrate Beltane, which traditionally heralds the beginning of summer.

Beltane, which usually is celebrated May 1, is the last of three spring fertility festivals celebrated by Wiccans. The name is the anglicized spelling of a Gaelic word for “May.”

The Orlando-area Wiccans will celebrate Beltane April 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 E. Robinson Street.

The Beltane ritual, which begins at 6 p.m., will include a Maypole dance. A community feast and raffle will happen after the ritual.

Original Post
 

So-Called Wiccan Stabs Man Listed in Phone As “Sacrifice”

So-Called Wiccan Stabs Man Listed in Phone As “Sacrifice”

A woman who describes herself as a Wiccan is being held on charges of fatally stabbing a man, whose phone number she had listed in her cell phone alongside the word “sacrifice.”

Angela Sanford, 30, claimed that the stabbing was in self-defense, and that the man had tied her up with her own rope belt and attempted to rape her. Sanford told police that she stabbed Joel Lebya three times in the stomach, but the 52-year-old was found to have been stabbed at least 11 times.

The two met at a casino, about a week before the incident. Sanford had invited Lebya to a hiking trail near Albuquerque, New Mexico, in order to celebrate spring in a Wiccan ritual. While walking and drinking alcohol together, the pair stopped so that Sanford could urinate. At that time, she told police, Lebya attacked her, tied her hands up with a rope belt she was wearing, and took a Wiccan dagger from her pocket. She also said that he made sexual gestures toward her.

In order to keep Lebya from raping her, Sanford claimed, she pretended to seduce him by stripping to her underwear and encouraging the man to lie down. At that point she knelt above him, grabbed the dagger, and stabbed him three times before running away.

Sanford was crouched behind some boulders a short distance down the trail, still wearing only her underwear, when a witness came upon her and made eye contact. Sanford then said that she had been raped, the witness told police, and several others came over to offer assistance. Before then, however, none of them had heard calls for help or saw Sanford fleeing from Lebya.

A detective later discovered Lebya’s telephone number stored in Sanford’s phone under the nickname “sacrifice.”

Wicca, a neo-pagan religion and a form of modern witchcraft, is not generally associated with sacrifice or violence; in fact, one of its main tenets is the so-called Law of Threefold Return. This concept is similar to karma, and states that the actions a person commits, whether benevolent or malevolent, will come back to them with three times the force.

Members of Wiccan groups in the Albuquerque region have said that they are not acquainted with Sanford.
Sanford was indicted by a Bernalillo County grand jury, and bond set at $500,000. She is being represented by a public defender.

Original Article

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monster of Florence: Amanda Knox Prosecutor's Satanic Theories Rejected by Judge

Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda KnoxMonster of Florence: Amanda Knox Prosecutor's Satanic Theories Rejected by Judge

CHICAGO (CBS) The Monster of Florence was a serial killer who murdered eight lover's lane couples in the Tuscan hills surrounding Florence, Italy in the 1970's and 1980's. Debate continues to this day about the real identity of the Monster.

In October 1985, Dr. Francesco Narducci was found dead near a lake outside of Perugia, Italy. The doctor died of an overdose of Demerol, it appeared to be a suicide. The death was seemingly unrelated to the Monster cases.

Nonetheless, in 2001, Perugia prosecutor Giulano Mignini decided that Narducci's death was part of the Monster of Florence case. Mignini claimed Narducci was a member of a satanic sect that killed women for body parts to be used in black masses, and the wealthy Perugia doctor was the keeper of those body parts. Mignini claimed Narducci was killed to keep him quiet.

Even though all the Monster's victims were shot with the same gun, Mignini told a court that it wasn't the work of a single serial killer. Rather, Mignini described an elaborate conspiracy of 20 people, including government officials and law enforcement officers, who made up a secret society behind the Monster killings.
Mignini indicted the 20 people and charged them with the concealment of Narducci's murder, and laid out a hard-to-follow plot that included body doubles and featured Narducci's body being swapped - not once, but twice!

If all of this sounds hard to believe, it is. Tuesday, in a preliminary hearing, Perugia Judge Paolo Micheli threw out the case against the 20. The judge found there was no solid evidence to back up Mignini's claim that Narducci was murdered, let alone the victim of a satanic sect.

"Mignini's malicious and completely unwarranted accusations ruined many lives and impoverished the defendants and their families," Douglas Preston, the author of "The Monster of Florence," told Crimesider. Added Mario Spezi, Preston's co-author in Italy, "The great question is: How was it possible that Mignini was able to pursue a case that everyone knew was crazy?"

Those who follow the case of Amanda Knox, the American student convicted of murder in Perugia last December, will find much of this familiar.

Giuliano Mignini was the prosecutor in Knox's case. Mignini argued, at one point, that Knox was demonically motivated when, he says, she killed her roommate, Meredith Kercher in November 2007.
Just like the court in the Monster case, the judge in the Kercher case threw out Mignini's demonic motive, saying there were no facts to prove it.

Late Tuesday evening, when the 20 defendants were freed of all charges, they celebrated in front of the courthouse, opening bottles of champagne.

Though happy about the ruling, Douglas Preston says, " I find it hard to celebrate." Preston points out that Mignini, himself, was convicted of Monster of Florence related charges in January. The Perugia prosecutor and his chief investigator were convicted of abuse of office while pursuing the case.

Add to that the fact that in the past two years, Mignini has hurled satanic charges against 23 people. With Tuesday's dismissals, and his failed arguments in the Kercher case, the Perugia prosecutor is 0 for 23 on the satanic tally board. Yet he remains in office. A fact neither Preston nor Spezi can understand.

"Why are people afraid to stop him?" wonders Mario Spezi. "Why was he allowed to work on the Amanda Knox case and present his crazy ideas?"

Good questions, still begging answers.

Original Article

Time for 'dialogue of freedom'

Time for 'dialogue of freedom'

By Andrew Beale | DAILY LOBO

The opening ceremony for White History Week was not what you would expect, even if you already knew the event’s name was misleading.

White History Week promotes understanding across racial barriers by encouraging discussion of white privilege. The opening ceremony was a Wicca ritual to “honor the spirit of the season and call in blessings for the event,” said Cedar Love, who presided over the ceremony.

The idea behind White History Week is to use artistic and therapeutic means to work towards a society without racism, said event co-organizer Jered Ebenreck.

“I would say it’s about opening up the imagination of what’s possible,” he said. “If we live in a world of racism and we don’t like it, we have to be able to imagine what’s possible.”

White History Week started Wednesday and continues through Tuesday. Most events, including an art opening on Friday and a poetry reading on Saturday, will be held at Muykind Culeros Studio on Coal Avenue.

The event started at the Out ch’Yonda performance space six years ago, said Virginia Hampton, one of the event’s founders.

“It’s just about making people aware of how white privilege has developed and kind of denied white people aspects of their culture,” she said. “(White privilege) is a new concept. It’s only a couple of hundred years old. Though it seems like white people have gained a lot, they’ve lost a lot, too.”
The event’s name is controversial on purpose, Hampton said.

“One of the things I really think is interesting is when white people become interested in it and try to tell people about it, they realize what a hot topic it is,” she said. “A lot of people have a knee-jerk reaction.”
Hampton said one goal of the event is to connect white people with parts of their culture that have been lost, such as monotheistic pagan religions. She said the Wicca ceremonies that open and close the event reconnect white people to their ancient cultures and bring good fortune to White History Week.

“I liked the idea of adding magic to it, to help with healing,” she said. “In the Middle Ages, people still had connection to the land.”

Love, who teaches religion at CNM under the name Mark Love-Williamson, said the Wiccan religion is often misunderstood in wider culture, and some people accuse practitioners of devil worship.

“We don’t have anything to do with the devil, because Christians invented him,” he said. “We have traditions that what intentions you put into the world come back to you, so to want to harm someone would be to want to harm yourself.”

Ebenreck said people are more comfortable talking about racism than white privilege. He said white privilege is the idea that white people, just because of the color of their skin, enjoy certain advantages. This differs from racism, which is denying people privileges based on skin color, he said.

“White History Week is a safe space for white people to talk about being white, and how it affects them, and a space for them to hear nonwhites talk about it,” he said. “It’s also a creative space, rather than a sociology conference.”

Many white people are reluctant to accept the idea that their skin color confers special advantages, Ebenreck said, and white people should learn to accept that their skin color does give them privileges so that they can begin working towards changing that.

“When you accept it, then you can move on to a dialogue of freedom,” he said. “White people are the people in the position where they need to say something, because they have the access to the media and the capital.”


For a full schedule of White History Week, visit NMAntiracism.blogspot.com

 Orginal Article

Monday, April 19, 2010

"True Blood" casts Lauren Bowles as Holly

True Blood: The Complete Second Season (HBO Series)"True Blood" casts Lauren Bowles as Holly

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Lauren Bowles, who occasionally appeared as a waitress alongside half-sister Julia Louis-Dreyfus on "Seinfeld," has landed a key new role on HBO's "True Blood."

Bowles will have a recurring role in five episodes of the vampire drama's upcoming third season, with an option to continue as a regular on Season 4.

She will play Holly, a thirtysomething mother of two who applies for a job at Merlotte's and creeps out Arlene (Carrie Preston) with her oddly prescient observations. Holly is a major character in the Southern Vampire Mysteries books "True Blood" is based on, in which Holly is a practicing Wiccan and also hooks up with Hoyt, a character played on the show by Jim Parrack.

Bowles' recent TV gigs include guest spots on ABC's "Private Practice" and CBS' Cold Case."

Original Article

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Finding the right path

Finding the right path

Bucks County Courier Times
 
A 13-week course offered in New Britain promises to make you a spiritual leader of no particular religion.
Cindy Peto found herself in several religions before finally choosing to start one of her own.
She was raised in Bristol Township as a Protestant.

Peto then married and adopted the religion of her husband, who is Catholic.

After a divorce, Peto sought inner peace with the Buddhist monks of the Mongkoltepmunee Temple in Bensalem.

Now, after graduation from a 13-week course, Peto could essentially become the leader of her own unique ministry.

She is one of 14 area residents who graduated Saturday from the Circle of Miracles' school for non-denominational spiritual leadership.

The church and school are located at 10 Beulah Road in New Britain. Graduation ceremonies were held at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

The Rev. Hannelore Goodwin emigrated from Germany and founded the school in 1996. She said it appeals to "people who don't want to be told, 'You have to take a certain path.' "

The number of free spirits in America appears to be growing, according to a 2008 poll from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

Researchers from the university polled 54,461 Americans and found that the number with "no religious identity" had increased from 10 percent in 1990 to 20 percent in 2008.

Still, spiritual convictions nationwide appear constant. Only 2.3 percent of those polled said, "There is no such thing (as God)."

The greatest decline in religious identity appeared to be among Christians. The number of Americans who identified themselves as Christian dropped from 86 percent in 1990 to 76 percent in 2008, according to the researchers, who noted that the challenge "does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion."

Goodwin wasn't surprised by those numbers.

"My idea is that every one of us already has the truth and wisdom within us," she said. "You can search and find something that goes click, and then you know that this is your own personal truth.

"Spirituality encourages you to grow your tentacles, your own receptors to God," Goodwin continued. She said students at her school do much more than soul searching, though.

The course list includes studies in Buddhism, Celtic tradition, Christianity, Judaism and the Kabbalah, Hinduism, Islam, metaphysics (the philosophical study of the universe as a whole), Native American rituals, nonprofit tax law, and pagan teachings such as Wicca.

"We study all the major religions, and the purpose or goal is to find the commonality and the founding principles," said Goodwin. "You'll find that they are very much alike. They're all originally based in love and peace and we can learn to communicate with other faiths without saying, 'I'm right and you're wrong.' "
The faculty also teaches "hatch, match and dispatch" - classes on birth rituals, weddings and funerals.

Classes are marathon sessions each weekend. Students spend three hours in class on Friday nights, 10 hours at school on Saturdays, and four hours in lectures on Sundays.

The entire semester costs $3,900, Goodwin said. The school has traditionally attracted more women than men. Only two of this year's 14 graduates are men.

Peto said she still isn't sure what to do following graduation. It's hard to think of herself as a minister.
"I will be Minister Cindy Peto. It does sound a little funny to say that. But my journey has just taken me here," she said.

"There's so many ways that I could pursue this. I could be a minister in a new church. I could be a minister in a hospital," she continued. "I'm going to help people where I can help people. I'll volunteer my time in hospitals or nursing homes or wherever I'm needed.

"Most people who know me don't even know that I did this," Peto confessed. "I didn't want to worry about what anybody thought, so I just kept it quiet. I wanted to go on this wonderful journey on my own."
The Circle of Miracles says it has trained ministers since 1999. The church also holds a weekly Sunday celebration.

The 10 a.m. service begins with this opening prayer of self-actualized, positive thinking: "I now ask the innermost center of my being to release all negativity from the week just passed, and throughout my life. I let go of angry feelings and disturbing emotions. I remove from my mind thoughts of doubt, fear and guilt."

Original Article

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Witch-hunts then – and now

The Witch Hunts: A History of the Witch Persecutions in Europe and North America (2nd Edition)Witch-hunts then – and now

It may be a historical curiosity in the west, but witchcraft casts its spell over much of the world – and those accused can be killed  Malcolm Gaskill, guardian.co.uk

Anyone who thinks that witchcraft belongs only to our past and imaginations should think again. Tens of thousands of people were executed as diabolists between the 15th and 18th centuries, an episode that for many signifies an age of ignorance and intolerance from which the Enlightenment saved us. There's some truth in this. And yet much of the world still believes in witches, their supernatural powers and malevolent intentions. And all too often the accused are abused and ostracised, or tortured and killed.

Here is one story. It happened in India's Jharkhand state in October 2009, but might have come from any part of early modern Europe. Five women were accused of causing harm, a suspicion bolstered by local witchfinders and a cleric. A mob dragged them before a large crowd, where they were stripped and beaten until the authorities intervened. They were lucky. Every year hundreds of Indians, mostly women, are murdered by their neighbours, usually in the most atrocious manner.

In sub-Saharan Africa the problem is even worse. The war in Congo (1998-2003) killed millions, mostly through starvation and disease. High child mortality was widely blamed on "night dancers" – witches who steal blood and smear poisons on houses. European witches of the 16th century were charged with identical crimes, for instance the Swiss plague-spreaders known as engraisseurs. In 1999 the pro-government chief of Mwenga fled an advancing rebel army, leaving his wife behind with the town's protective charm; the soldiers publicly buried her alive with the charm. In the province of Ituri, as many as 4,000 may have been killed.
The history of witchcraft helps us to understand this tragic phenomenon. Unfortunately, the subject remains littered with powerful myths. Some modern witches sing a protest song called Catch the Fire, which mentions the 9 million women burned during the "witch-craze". Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code says 5 million. The actual figure was about 50,000. This still might seem a lot for an imaginary crime, but viewed in context of time, space and population levels, it's clear that witch trials were comparatively rare. Plus executions followed in only about half of trials.

This demonstrates that our ancestors were much more cautious about prosecuting witches, and courts more unwilling to convict, than we might imagine. The idea that powerful states and fanatical clergymen launched mass persecutions to suppress the peasantry (especially women) is generally false. The impetus for most accusations came from below, and the role of the state was to dampen witch-hunting ardour in the interests of justice and order. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence that witch-hunting was a campaign waged by the medieval Catholic church turned out to be a 19th-century forgery, just as the figure of 9 million was an 18th-century miscalculation.

England only experienced one serious witch-panic, in the eastern counties during the 1640s. It was intense but brief, its causes and termination suggesting why persecution for witchcraft came to an end and why it endures around the world. This was a time of economic depression, poverty and social dislocation, political and legal disruption, and civil war. Almost all the offices and institutions, not least a sceptical monarch, that had restrained mass witch-hunting had collapsed. A sense of anxiety and suspicion, and a willingness to resist evil with violence, were pervasive. The similarities with the Congolese crisis are striking. When order was restored in England, witch trials did not cease, but rampant witch-hunting did.

In September 2009 the UN identified witch-hunting as "a form of persecution and violence that is spreading around the globe". In July this year the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network, an organisation established last year, will hold its first conference devoted to alleviating the crisis in developing countries.
The ferocity of witch-beliefs, however, knows no frontiers. The fundamentalist churches of some African communities in the UK sustain the concept of demonic possession and the need to fight it by physical means. In 2005 three Londoners were convicted of cruelty to an eight-year-old Angolan girl they believed to be a witch. Her tormentors, one of them her aunt, had tried to "beat the devil out of her". The trade in body parts taken from albinos in Tanzania for use in muti magic, also crosses borders and continents.

Far from being a historical curiosity, then, witchcraft is a living problem, a belief in occult forces to which all human beings are prone, but manifested in a way that is horrifically unfamiliar to people in the west. It can even spread to affluent societies, but obviously cannot trigger mass persecutions there. In Africa, India and south-east Asia, better education is important in the war against witch-hunting, but without the conditions that prevent neighbour fighting neighbour for scarce resources, and lawless armies unleashing rough justice, the spread of enlightened ideas will not be enough to stop the killing.

Original Article

Psychic Sorcerer Condemned to Death

Psychic Sorcerer Condemned to Death 

By Benjamin Radford, LiveScience's Bad Science Columnist

Ali Sabat was supposed to die last week.

Sabat, the Lebanese host of a popular TV show, for years gave his viewers psychic advice and predictions. This may cost him his life.

Many people around the world claim to foretell the future, talk to the dead, and do other amazing (if scientifically unproven) feats. So what's the problem?

Sabat is a Shiite Muslim, and many Muslims—like many fundamentalist Christians—consider fortunetelling occult and therefore evil. Making a psychic prediction is seen as invoking diabolical forces, perhaps even entering into a pact with Satan. Fortunetelling, prophecy, and other forms of divination have been condemned by Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders.

In 2008, while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, Ali Sabat was arrested by that country's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. His crime: sorcery. Yes, people can still be accused of practicing witchcraft and condemned to death for it nowadays.

According to the human rights group Amnesty International, a court last month upheld Sabat's death sentence, with the judges deciding "he deserved to be sentenced to death because he had practiced 'sorcery' publicly for several years before millions of viewers."

He was scheduled to be publicly executed last Friday, but his beheading was deferred.
Sabat is not out of trouble; he did not receive a reprieve, merely a temporary stay of execution.
In an ironic twist, Sabat might save his life if he confessed that his psychic predictions and powers were all a hoax (or an act merely for entertainment) and therefore not a true exhibition of occult powers. Hopefully Sabat's death sentence will be repealed, but it does seem odd that his psychic powers didn’t predict this travesty in the first place.

Benjamin Radford is managing editor of the Skeptical Inquirer science magazine. His books, films, and other projects can be found on his website. His Bad Science column appears regularly on LiveScience. 

Original Article 

In Full Swing

Pendulum Healing HandbookIn full swing

Dowsing can be healing, revealing, ‘masters’ show

Jaclyn Youhana  The Journal Gazette
 “Don’t sit there. They do emit frequencies, and you can get a headache.”
Sharon Martin warns a guest to sit to the side of the pendulums displayed on black velvet on her kitchen table. Martin, of Fort Wayne, uses the pendulums – metal weights in various shapes hanging from a string, or what she calls the “antenna” – to dowse, or to predict.

Dowsing is a practice that dates to around 6,000 B.C. and involves a rod or pendulum answering a question. Historically, that question is often “Where is water?” and dowsers – also known as “well-witchers” – would stalk the land, rod in hand, and wait for a Y-shaped branch to twitch or two L-shaped rods to cross and show, “Hey, dig here; there’s water.”

Martin dowses for a variety of reasons: for fun (“Should I eat pizza for dinner?”), for health (to figure out why she wasn’t feeling well – turned out to be kidney stones) and for healing (using her pendulums to draw negative energy out of a person in pain).

All objects – living and inanimate – emit frequencies and the pendulums pick up on them, Martin says. She is a Reiki master, a discipline that deals with balancing frequencies, which is what dowsing instruments like pendulums or rods detect.

She illustrates how dowsing works. The previous night, she had sliced an apple, which had browned and softened the next day. She brought the slices on a tray to the table and retrieved a fresh, whole apple from the refrigerator.

She dangled the pendulum above the browned apple slices and asked, “Is this good to eat?” The pendulum started to swing in a circle – the motion Martin’s pendulum makes for “no.” When she dangled the pendulum above the fresh apple and asked the same question, it swung in a horizontal line, Martin’s “yes.”

Martin, who draws business by word-of-mouth and works out of her home, has dowsed to make serious decisions, too. Four years ago, she needed an anti-virus program for her computer. She did research and collected advice from three or four sources, leaving Martin unsure which program to buy. So she got out her pendulum and asked, “Which virus-protection software should I buy?” She listened to the pendulum and hasn’t had any problems with the software.

Martin dowsed for healing purposes when Leanne Agostini, a fellow Reiki master whom Martin taught, asked her to use pendulums on her throughout her pregnancy. She experienced morning sickness for six months and indigestion for the last three, she says. Martin would relieve stress and calm Agostini’s body; for a time, her indigestion would go away.

“For the hour, hour-and-a-half I was on her table, I would feel great,” says Agostini, of Fort Wayne. “And afterward, too. Indigestion would come back eventually, (but) there was a noticeable difference, and the baby responded very well to the Reiki. He would just kick like crazy because he was enjoying it. I would calm down and almost fall asleep.”

Agostini describes the feeling of stress relief from dowsing – everyone has a different reaction – but she would feel like weights were being lifted from her shoulders.

Martin doesn’t do much work with environmental dowsing, though she has taught the method and has seen its successes, especially with “negative green energy,” or sections below ground that have negative frequencies and can cause health problems or chronic illnesses. Before building a house, Martin says, some people will test for negative green energy to assure, for example, that the bedroom isn’t over a hot spot.

Craig Arnold, the field and laboratory supervisor for the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Archaeological Survey, says he’s never seen dowsing work to find water.

“I know a lot of the old-timers swear by it,” he says. “I’ve had guys tell me they can find water. As far as scientifically, I’ve never had anyone be able to walk out and show me, ‘That’s where something is.’ ”

However, Arnold has experience with electrical dowsing, or witching. He used to work in construction, and on at least one occasion, he says, it saved his life.

“We were asked to drill in a certain location, and it turned out that location was put right on top of a high-voltage electric line that hadn’t been located,” he says.

A witcher located it.

“In that instance,” he says, “if I’d have drilled there and I’d have hit it, it would have killed me.
“The mind is an area that we really don’t even understand the depth of it. I can’t sit here and say there’s nothing to it, but once again, it gets into that realm of, ‘How do I scientifically test that?’ – which is not a possibility.”

Martin acknowledges that her specialty has plenty of skeptics.

“I believe that if you’re drawn to something (as she is drawn to Reiki and dowsing), you’re drawn to something, and if you don’t believe in something, don’t believe in it,” she says. “I don’t feel I have to convince somebody.”

Original Article

Reiki offers relief for pets and people

Animal Reiki: Using Energy to Heal the Animals in Your LifeReiki offers relief for pets and people

Posted By CATHERINE HAWLEY

Reiki and therapeutic touch therapy for animals too? Yes! Each can aid in the reduction of the pain of health problems including arthritis, joint injuries, hot spots, bee stings, insect bites and more. Many veterinarians approve of these noninvasive healing practices for well-being and first aid. 

Susan Rouse, a registered reiki master/teacher and a recognized therapeutic touch practitioner, first experienced their value for animals when her dog suffered from debilitating breathing problems, enduring a long-term course of drug treatment. When Rouse began treatments on her aging canine she saw an immediate change. Cleo's breathing improved dramatically, and Rouse was able to wean her from the medications. It was a tremendous help because the drugs had unpleasant side effects.

Including pet therapy in her practice, and providing home visits for pets was inevitable for Rouse.

"Pets are very open to energy and are highly intuitive," she says. "They can show us where they need healing."

Reiki, a holistic healing technique, channels universal life force energy from the practitioner into the client human or animal. This healing energy assists the body's ability to heal itself. Gentle and non-invasive, reiki speeds the healing process, increases vitality and reduces -- sometimes even eliminating -- pain. People often seek reiki treatment for stress relief and for the healing and releasing of mental and emotional issues, but it can be a successful therapy for many other ailments including headaches, sinus pain and arthritic aches. 

Rouse exudes calm, peacefulness and well-being as she explains: "Reiki is a valuable practice for anyone. Once learned, you have it forever. It draws positive energy into our lives. Energy follows intent. What you put out will come back to you, but it must always be used for the greatest good for practitioner or client."

Rouse has been practicing healing energy work since 2003. Teaching quickly became her passion, and she loves sharing her knowledge and gift. An active volunteer at PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, Rouse provides reiki and therapeutic touch for the animals every week. At her home, just north of Baltimore, she teaches and practices in a peaceful, tranquil setting. Here, students learn to see the energy around them.

"I steer people through the stages of opening up to the universal vital life force energy which flows through all that lives," she says. "In its simplest uses this healing practice will reduce the pain and speed the healing of burns, cuts, bruising and sprains. It reduces, and can eliminate, the discomfort of headaches, stomach aches, colds, and flu. Because of its ability to relax children, adults and pets, reiki can lower blood pressure and create a more restful sleep. Even the most sceptical benefit, and are often converted."

As well as providing healing treatments for people and pets, Rouse teaches first-, second-and third-degree reiki, an informal Introduction to Reiki, and Reiki for Parent and Child workshops. Rouse will be offering complimentary treatments at the Baltimore Home & Leisure Show, April 24 and 25. You can contact her at 905-377-1743 or cedarcove@ sympatico.caand visit her website:
www.cedarcovewellness.webs.com.

Catherine Hawley, freelance writer, operates Home Organizing Services from her home in Northumberland.

Original Article

The Secret of Kells

The Secret of KellsThe Secret of Kells

Dir. Tomm Moore (GKIDS) -- 5 STARS

Witchcraft: affliction or religion?

Witchcraft: affliction or religion?
Damon Leff

A Nigerian cleric, Bawa Madaki, was recently arrested and charged with child trafficking. He is accused of exploiting 23 children between the ages of 5 and 20 he claims were brought to him for deliverance from witchcraft. The cleric says Jesus appeared to him on 25 June 2004 and blessed him with the powers to "cure witchcraft".

Nigerian Child Rights campaigner Leo Igwe has argued that "children alleged to be witches and wizards are persecuted through torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, which sometimes leads to their death. Such children are starved, chained, beaten, matcheted or even lynched. At the churches, pastors subject children alleged to be witches and wizards to torture in the name of exorcism. Witchdoctors force such children to drink potions (poison) or concoctions which can kill them or damage their health."

In an attempt to dissuade witch-hunts in Nigeria in 2009, two Nigerian Catholic Bishops asked the Synod of Bishops for Africa to "make a clear commitment to educating Catholics about the fact that, while the devil exists, witchcraft does not." Bishop Augustine Akubeze is quoted as saying "Witches do not exist and so the accusations are always false. Even worse, people have been known to accuse someone of being a witch just to settle personal squabbles. Witchcraft lacks any justification in reason, science and common sense but people continue to believe in it."

In response, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) called on the Human Rights Council, the African Union and the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights "to urge governments to do more through improved education and policing to eliminate the twin scourges of those practicing witchcraft and those claiming to find and cure witches."

How should actual self-identified Witches in South Africa, who seek to retain our right to continue to identify as Witches, respond to the accusation of superstition against Witchcraft by Catholic Bishops on the one hand, and the call for elimination and suppression of Witches by the IHEU on the other?

Do we remain silent about our existence and risk the prejudicial characterization and suppression of our beliefs and magical practices, or do we advocate for recognition of our existence and for the recognition of our belief system as a bone-fide religion? Irrespective of whether you view our spiritual beliefs and magical practices as bad religion or bad science, Witchcraft as a religion remains and thrives in broad daylight.

In Australia, Paganism and Witchcraft in particular is the fastest growing religion. Census figures for 2001 indicate that the number of Witches who participated in the census stood at 9000 and the number of self-identified Pagans at 10 632. It has been estimated that in 2006 the number of Pagans increased to 70 000. A New Zealand census recorded 2196 self-identified Witches (Wiccans) in 2001. In the UK 30 000 Pagans participated in the national census (2001). It is estimated that a similar increase in the UK puts the current number of self-identified Pagans at 280 000. The number of US Pagans is estimated to be between 200 000 and 1 million (0.1% to 0.5% of the total population). A 2008 Pew Forum survey put "New Age" religious believers, including Neopagans, at about 1.2 million.

In South Africa the number of self-identified Pagans, most of whom are Witches or Wiccan, is conservatively estimated at between 3000 and 5000. Official government Census' have never listed Paganism as a census choice. It may be assumed that Pagans, who registered for the 2001 Census, were collectively lumped with ‘others’ under either one of these listed figures: Other beliefs 283815 - No religion 6767165 - Undetermined 610974

South Africans who already possess bias and express prejudice against Witchcraft will no doubt argue, and indeed have argued, that Witches who seek to rehabilitate existing negative stereotypes of Witchcraft are attempting to force a European perspective and context on black South African cultures who regard Witches as a source of evil and harm. This unfortunate cultural bias, one supported by the African National Congress and its alliance partners, may in practice deny caucasian Witches the right to dignity and equality.

In South African society existing legal, cultural and religious stereotypes and biases have already pre-determined, at least for the vast majority, a conformist negative social response to Witches and Witchcraft.

The unintended consequence of reinforcing institutionalized negative stereotyping against Witches and Witchcraft merely serves to reinforce the erroneous notion that Witches are indeed sub-human, unconscious of their evil influence, and always to be regarded with suspicion and loathing. Biased reporting on Witchcraft inspires prejudice against Witches themselves because such reporting reinforces, whether deliberately or unintentionally, generally espoused misconceptions and untruths regarding Witchcraft. When the group identity is defamed, individuals who share in that identity suffer a loss of dignity.

Discrimination and scapegoating based on the tacit acceptance of negative stereotypes have served elsewhere as the precursors to persecution, violence, and genocide. They can not and must not be ignored or dismissed as non-issues. The Bill of Rights must not be circumvented through an appeal to a non-existent right to maintain and propagate cultural, religious and racial prejudice against Witchcraft.

For centuries Witches have lived in the shadows of other people's religion; between the lines of mythology, folklore and deliberately constructed propaganda. In the 21st century, Witches don't exist because superstitious folk believe in our existence, and we won't disappear if people decide we are merely figments of their imagination.

Original Article

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Occult dabbling at ancient Gloucestershire well


Occult dabbling at ancient Gloucestershire well

Wannabe teenage witches are being blamed for sinister signs and symbols springing up around the ancient sacred site at St Anthony’s Well.

The spring, which is supposed to have miraculous healing powers and was once used for public baptisms, is becoming a magnet for young people interested in witchcraft.
But those who have seen the signs and symbols in the secluded woodlands fear the teenagers are too young to be “dabbling”.

Some symbols appear to be harmless “well dressings” associated with Pagan-style rituals to welcome the spring equinox.

But placing pentagrams and other witchcraft emblems so close to a Christian site could be more sinister.
And some visitors walking near the well in the secluded Flaxley valley between Mitcheldean and Littledean have been “spooked” by the latest developments.

High priest Tim Oakes says members of the Forest of Dean coven and other white witches are planning a clean up operation at the well which is named after a Christian saint canonised after a series of miracles associated with water.

Mr Oakes says it is also among the top 20 pagan water sites in the country and added: “St Anthony’s Well has become a target for what I can only describe as amateur pagans. It is a beautiful sacred place and we deplore any attempts to redecorate it. Our view is that these things should not be there, you should not have these symbols in the middle of a glade.

“There are a series of books aimed at encouraging teen witches but no reputable coven will accept anybody under 18 so they have nowhere to go.

“They read these books and go down there armed with a little bit of knowledge to try to get involved.”

Over the years neighbours have become accustomed to the sight of semi clad or naked people bathing in the square stone basin which is said to cure skin complaints.

Neighbours say police are often called out to noisy teenage camping parties at the beauty spot in the summer.
Now the number of pagan symbols appearing in the undergrowth appears to be growing. This week they included flowers at the entrance to the spring and a five sided pentagon of leaves within a circle of pine cones in the middle of the main path.

Cleared ground was covered in undecipherable writing and what appears to be several mini altars created from natural materials.

One churchman, who did not want to be named, said the symbols, whether innocent or a direct challenge to Christianity, should not be there.

“The intricacy suggests a degree of deliberation,” he said. “What is forbidden is quite alluring to the teenage mind but we have to ask ourselves what is happening when young people are turning to this kind of behaviour?”

“I think it is tuning into the sense of hopelessness and abandonment many young people feel today. The danger is, they do not understand what they could be unleashing.”
 
As a border county the Dean has become a magnet for witchcraft and iron age artefacts suggest the well has been a ritual site from ancient times.

Cistercian monks from the nearby abbey swore by the powers of the water, said to work best if you visit the well nine times at sunrise during May .

Mr Oakes is expecting a lively discussion when the earth mysteries group discuss ancient wells at their meeting on Thursday, April 1 at the Anchor Inn, Lydbrook at 7.30pm.

Original Article

Celtic spirituality

CrossroadsCeltic spirituality

Now that the US Air Force Academy has finally set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and other followers of Earth-centered spiritual practices, Jenna Greene's sonorous exploration of Celtic mythology seems especially appropriate. "I have always been fascinated by ancient legends, stories of heroes and heroines who overcome the greatest of obstacles, and possess unmatched mystical skill," she writes on the back cover of her 14-song CD. "The myths of the Celts hold a special place in my heart. Their truths are both simple and profound."

The same can be said about Greene's lovely songs. What's especially appealing is how easily past and present realities merge. Tracks such as "Harvest," which speaks of the Sun King's embrace of the Mother, are ancient in their inspiration. But others, certainly "Dance with Me" ("You walked in the pub, you'd had enough./ You don't need a doctor, you don't need a shrink, you don't need to win the lottery./ Dancing is cheaper than therapy!"), are very today. Equally attractive are the uncomplicated beauty of Greene's voice and the well-recorded acoustic accompaniment. You don't have to be a pagan to enjoy the unfettered sincerity of Greene's songs and the purity of her inspiration.

Original Article

Derry couples seeking Pagan weddings - claim

Sterling Silver "Love" Rune Script Ring Size 9Derry couples seeking Pagan weddings - claim

There has been a rise in the number of Derry couples wanting a Pagan wedding, it has been claimed.

Raymond MacSuibhne, of the Pagan Federation of Northern Ireland (PFNI), says the peace process has allowed "interest and participation in Paganism" to flourish in Derry and across the North over recent years.
He says changes to marriage laws in the South has seen Derry couples further explore that interest.

" The appointment of the first legal Pagan Religious Marriage Solemniser in the Republic of Ireland in December 2009 has allowed Pagans there to avail of the same legal marriage rights as others of differing religions.

"Many couples from the Derry area have expressed their intent to be married this way, according to rites and customs relevant and significant to their own beliefs, and to have the marriage then recognised in Northern Ireland."

He says the PFNI is lobbying to have a Solemniser registered in Northern Ireland.

Mr MacSuibhne says that, despite the rise in interest, the ancient religion remains misunderstood.

"Paganism is commonly mixed up with Atheism, a belief that no Divine being exists. Within the Pagan community, belief in the Divine, as manifested in the world that surrounds us, is very strong, and for many Pagans it forms the core of their belief systems.

"Other misconceptions concern Paganism being anti-Christian. But as Paganism pre-dates Christianity by millennia, this is obviously incorrect."

He says Easter is as important a time for Pagans as it is for Christians.

"Many people are surprised to learn that Easter was originally a Pagan festival, with the familiar symbols of Easter bunnies and brightly coloured eggs having a history that pre-dates the foundation of Christianity by thousands of years.

"The name Easter originated with the name of an ancient Pagan deity, Eostre, who was the Great Mother Goddess of Northern Europe. The symbol of the Easter Bunny came from worship of Eostre, whose earthly symbol was the Rabbit."

He says the tradition of Easter eggs also has its roots in Paganism while modern day Pagans view Easter as a "a time that the renewing signs of life become evident, and a time to celebrate the first buds and shoots that emanate from Mother Nature."

 Original Article

A Vampire’s Kiss Turns up the Heat in New Erotic E-Series

The Witches of Dixie: Book One of the Witchery SeriesA Vampire’s Kiss Turns up the Heat in New Erotic E-Series

Kittyfeather Press Award-Winning Author Laura Stamps Delivers Fans Exciting Paranormal Vampire “Serial Erotica”

Columbia, SC (PRWEB) April 1, 2010 -- Kittyfeather Press is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a hot new paranormal e-series by award-winning erotica novelist Laura Stamps featuring chapters from her upcoming new series titled “The Manigault Vampires”. Rather than have her readers wait months for the release of the first title, Kittyfeather Press chose to publish Laura’s latest work immediately as a monthly e-series. Each month a new issue is released, containing at least three chapters of the first novel in this series, "A Vampire's Kiss: Book One of the Manigault Vampires."

The Manigault Vampires is actually a spin-off series based on her popular “Witchery Series” trilogy and contains many of the same Witches and Pagans readers fell in love with from that series. “A Vampire's Kiss” is the first novel in this series that definitely turns up the heat.

"Sara Gadsden is a Wiccan Green Witch addicted to paranormal romance novels and their gorgeous vampire heroes. Like most people, she has no idea vampires actually exist until she meets Drayton Manigault at a Samhain party. Dray is not only one of Columbia's wealthiest businessmen, but he's also been a vampire for the last 145 years. Oh, and he's totally yummy. When Dray offers Sara a job working for his computer company, Manigault Technologies, fantasy collides with reality, and Sara's future is suddenly transformed into one wild, smokin' HOT ride!"

"I love this new serial format," says Laura Stamps. "I was searching for a way to give my readers addicted to vampire erotica novels a sexy 'fix' every month. When Kittyfeather Press offered me the chance to publish these novels as a serial, I jumped on it. Since its release, readers have told me this serial format is the perfect solution for those times when they only have ten or fifteen minutes to read during their hectic day." Ms. Stamps who recently expanded her reader community with a very active Twitter and Facebook following knew her readers could not wait to get their hands on this steamy new series, giving her fans exactly what they asked for as e-book chapters priced at $1.99 each.

For additional information on this sexy vampire erotica series visit http://www.avampskiss.blogspot.com.
About Kittyfeather Press

Kittyfeather Press has been publishing the novels of Laura Stamps since 1988. Stamps is a Wiccan Sex Witch, and an award-winning novelist specializing in erotic paranormal fiction with a wickedly naughty blog (www.laurastamps.com). Her work has appeared in over one thousand magazines, anthologies, and journals. She is the author of more than forty-five books and is published by several publishers. Ms. Stamps is also the recipient of many awards, including a "Pulitzer Prize" nomination in 2005 and seven "Pushcart Award" nominations. Find her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sexwitch or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/sexwitch
 
For more information, review copies, or interviews, contact the author directly at:
Laura Stamps (803) 394-5635

Original Article

Thin Line: Witches Are Not Deadly

Thin Line