All posts by MistressPrime

Cybersecurity, Social Media Marketing, & Web Development Consultant. Co-founder/Partner ParadoxPrime Information Assurance. Certified in Cybersecurity and Risk Mitigation - Harvard University Voice Actress with radio, commercial, live events, and telephony experience. Practitioner of the Craft since 1982 Ordained Pagan Clergy; Elder High Priestess of Wicca Spiritual Counselor and Life Coach Teacher of Wicca, Witchcraft, and various Pagan traditions Lecturer, Presenter, and Consultant on topics of Wicca, Witchcraft, and modern Paganism to various schools, universities, and media outlets. Daughter of Odin Community organizer of several social networking Meetup groups based in Orange County, CA since 2002 including Pagan, Witches, Geekdom, & Japanese. Co-Founder of the United Pagans of Color Board Member of Women Who WP (WordPress) Entertainment Coordinator and MC of Pagan Pride Day LA/OC History & Science Nerd Anime & Sci-Fi Geek Known by many as MistressPrime

D. J. Conway, Raven Grimassi, Edain McCoy, Ralph Metzner: What is Read and Remembered, Lives

I’m genuinely heartbroken with so much loss this month.

The Witching Hour

45609132_2432927726723575_6048530940341256192_n Image from Mondazzi Book, Bead & Crystal

Four prominent authors have passed in the past month: D. J. (Deanna) Conway, Raven Grimassi (aka Gary Charles Erbe), Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner. We lost D. J. Conway in early February, and Raven Grimassi and Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner in March. What links these four prolific authors is the fact that their books, focused on slightly different paths in modern paganism, were all well loved and popular during a time when the pagan community was passionately devoted to reading and supporting its authors.

There were some books about the nascent witchcraft movement in the 1960s and 1970s (like those by Hans Holzer, Colin Wilson, Marian Weinstein, Doreen Valiente, Leo Martello and Sybil Leek, among others), but American paganism didn’t really start to take off in a systemic way until the late 1970s. Prior to that, many seekers read books by British…

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VVhat Ɨs ₸raditional VVitchcraft?

VVise Ħome Ƒoundation ~ Øld VVays Бorn Ånew

coven

“Traditional Witchcraft”, in Pagan circles, is often held as both a measure
and milestone. Likewise, it has become a point of contention and demarcation,
of discrimination and conflict. Envied or not, it lingers as a vague Holy Grail
amongst those who walk the Dark and Wyrd Ways.

Evenso, defining what exactly it is, seems to escape so many.
Take for example the definition of Paganism, which is often given as “non-Christian,
non-Muslim, non-Jew”. So too, Traditional Witchcraft is defined by what it is not:
“non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan”.

For a moment, I want to set aside the ‘traditional’ part to better focus on the ‘witch’
part. Today, for example, there are three words which are freely exchanged –
so mostly misunderstood – in Pagan circles: Shaman, Witch, and Seiðu (a practitioner
of Seiðr). In almost four decades of research and practice – skulking the scrolls
and weaving the runes – I…

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Victim to Predator

His birthday arrived and once more I went to his Facebook page to both wish him a happy birthday and hope that there would be some sign he was alive and ok. It had been almost 4 years since he went missing. The last sign of anything we knew of was a post from his roommate stating he never returned from a trip to Atlanta. Each one of us had done our own searches for our friend with our limited information and came up empty.

I met Craig at my first LARP in 2002 and we’ve been friends ever since. Over the years we hung out at other LARP or tabletop games and ran into each other at group gatherings, but mainly we stayed connected on MySpace then later on Facebook.

This year our wish finally came true, but not in the way any of us had hoped. We received news he was alive and reasonably well, we assumed, but the news had caused each of us to process a form of grief none of us were entirely expecting.

A woman I don’t know posted a comment on everyone’s birthday wishes that contained a link to an FBI press release from last month. Our friend had been in police custody since he landed in Atlanta in 2015.

According to the press release he was convicted on one count of traveling from another state to engage in sexual activity with a child under the age of 12 years, and one count of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

We were shocked. This is not the person I thought I knew. Some of us argued there had to be a mistake. There were no photos for us to confirm this was our friend but after further investigation too many of the details added up. Once the group of us were convinced the story was true folks began to disconnect from our friend’s page.

I admit I took a bit to disconnect. I was processing in a way I was not expecting, The news cast a pall over my mood that week.

One of the details that had come up was from trusted friends who let us know that before Craig moved to his own place that his father was under investigation for allegedly running a child porn ring. Upon learning that I suddenly remembered the one time I went to visit him when he lived with his dad. We were just hanging out in his room, but I remember his dad came home and it seemed like there was an issue with my being there. At the time I assumed it was because I was unknown to him and maybe Craig wasn’t supposed to have any girls in his room, but I didn’t think my presence was inappropriate given that Craig was already 23. I also remember that as I was leaving Craig didn’t want me to go and tried to get me to stay longer, but I distinctly felt his dad didn’t want me there so I left.

Because of his father’s situation, I started to wonder how Craig grew up and began to feel sorry for him. There’s a fair chance Craig was also a victim as a child. I’m a survivor of child sexual abuse so I could empathize with him and I started wondering where our compassion for him was as friends started walking away. But why wasn’t I angry with him? Why wasn’t I equally quick to disconnect like the others? Since when did I ever have sympathy for a child predator? And that’s when I realized I was still looking at him like he was a victim and not the predator he’d become. It’s like that moment when the vampire or zombie loses the last shred of their humanity and they start eating their human friend.  He’s a predator now and simply not the person I thought he was.

Hail, hail, there’s lots of weather here

ORANGE COUNTY TRIBUNE

HAIL blanketing Dale Street in Garden Grove made the neighborhood look like it has been through a snowfall on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Renee Hatten).

Garden Grove and other cities in West Orange County had a hail of a day and night Saturday as the area was lashed by lightning, thunder, hail and heavy rain, but later brightened by rainbows.

Bright lightning flashes that struck around 3 a.m., followed by booming thunder, awakened many area residents. The rainstorm that ensued combined with chilling temperatures to create a downpour of hail, so heavy that it resembled snow. To locals who have been around a while, it echoed a hailstorm in 1999 sufficiently thick to allow people to build “hailmen” and throw “hailballs.”

By Saturday afternoon the harsh weather cleared and a rare double rainbow arched over the area.  Although the weather should clear for Sunday with highs in the low 60s…

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DNA Relatives

I was put up for adoption at birth and adopted fairly quickly. I grew up an only child and never knew anyone I was genetically related to until 1995 when I first met my birth mother. Turns out our paths had crossed a few times in very peculiar ways over the years, but never in such a way that I knew who they were nor they I.
Blank family tree
Just before our “big” wedding in 2014, I had submitted a DNA test through Ancestry.com. When results came back there were a few DNA connections, many of whom I knew at this point, which grew as the weeks and months passed. 200 grew to 600. Then to 1,000. I was already in awe of the concept that I, a person who was an only child and grew up not having any known genetic connections to the people in my life, now had proof of a genetic connection to over 1,000 people. The idea was a bit overwhelming and I admit I didn’t know what to do with the information. I tried to reach out to a few folks, but when there’s no reply it can get discouraging to try further.

Every now and again I’d work on the family trees and get a bit gleeful when little green leaf hints would lead to genuine information.

Today I went onto Ancestry only to discover my DNA connections page no longer lists how many connections in total because apparently there’s too many. So I looked further… 513 pages of connections. There are 50 people on each page, except for the last page which has 9.

(512 x 50) +9 =25,609

Wait… 25,609 people? People whom I’m genetically connected to and also have an Ancestry.com account. Holey guacamole, dude that’s amazing! Of course, I realize I’m related to even more than that because not everyone that I already know of has submitted a DNA test or is even on Ancestry, but just that number alone is mind-boggling.

UPDATE 3/15/18:

I checked my DNA connections again last night. 660 pages!

(660 x 50) + 12 = 32,962 people

Seriously, I’m just stunned.