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Quaerere,  Perceptum et Docere

The I.C.P.R.P.I. is a not-for-profit research consortium and educational resource centre. The purpose of the consortium is to firstly; gain a better understanding about the enigmatic nature of psi-phenomena as related to the human condition. Secondly, to act as a depository for related research into the investigation of psi-phenomena, which is to be made available for all interested persons world-wide, and finally, to uphold and positively augment the reasoning and purpose of psychical and parapsychological research in order to better the discipline as an accepted, and respected aspect of science and philosophical inquiry. 

The I.C.P.R.P.I. is invested to research and scholarly contribution, yet not limited to of the following areas of such thought: Hauntings, Apparitions and Poltergeist phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), Post-Mortem Survival (PMS), Psychokinesis (PK), Metaphysical Studies, Dream-State Research and Astral Projection, Out‑of‑Body Experiences (OBE) and Near-Death Experiences (NDE), Mediumship and Spirit Channeling, The Occult and Magical Arts as related to the paranormal, Altered States of Consciousness, Ecto-Connectivity (EC), Religious Experiences and Beliefs (Sympathetic/Contagious Magic), Psychic Healing and Alternative Medicine, Astrology and Divination, Demon Possession and Demonology. In addition to this, The I.C.P.R.P.I. is also interested in regional and international aspects of Folklore and Urban Legends, Cryptozoology, as well as UFO incidents, Alien and Abduction phenomena.

We welcome all to participate in our investigations, and welcome your individual input in order to better the understanding of these and other controversial subjects.

“…Scientia potentia est, sed parva; quia scientia egregia rara est, nec proinde apparens nisi paucissimis, et in paucis rebus. Scientiae enim ea natura est, ut esse intelligi non possit, nisi ab illis qui sunt scientia praediti…”

Thomas Hobbes, De Homine, 1658.

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The following listing of organizations, agencies and private groups and societies constitutes a primary listing of affiliates, and which represents the professional end of the field of psychical research and related paranormal investigations. These organizations have been chosen by the I.C.P.R.P.I. as the main source for investigating this field from a professional and exact standpoint, and are of such advised for serious scholars to take part in. Having said that; it is important to realize that other groups and organizations that refer to themselves as professional and/or as ‘parapsychologists,’ though not having a scientific background, or at least having an actual working knowledge of the profession, should instead, begin taking part in serious research in order to better acquaint themselves to this profession as a whole…Its not only about ghosts and poltergeists. Although I can certainly respect the interesting nature of the popular ‘ghost hunting/reality “in-your-face” television shows,’ it would be a good choice to ‘investigate’ from another perspective. Furthermore, though this blog page is a retrospective of popular notions and concepts; almost entirely from a ‘folkloric’ perspective, we do indeed value the importance of the purely scientific quest to get the truth by scientific means. I hope you will too.

Training and Research

        If you’re looking for down-to-earth training in parapsychology, consciousness studies or transpersonal psychology, there are several organizations that can offer this, either from a scholastic, hard science foundation (listed later on in this report), or from a more hands-on foundation, taught by real-time professionals in the field. My first recommendation is Loyd Auerbach, a well-known expert on ghosts and psychic experience, holding a Master’s degree in Parapsychology; is director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations, as well as a professor at JFK University. He is the creator and instructor of the Certificate Program in Parapsychological Studies at HCH Institute, and hosts many lecture series both from a distance perspective and in California. Professor Auerbach is known to be open to questions and for offering sound advice for those who are serious about the profession.

For more information, please visit: http://www.atlanticuniv.edu/index.html and http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostvillageu/parapsychologycourses.shtml For professor Auerbach’s Blog page, visit: http://mindreader.com/

 My second recommendation is Dr. Andrew Nichols, Ph.D., a well known figure in the psychical research community, having been seen in dozens of documentaries, is author of Ghost Detective: Adventures of a Parapsychologist and who is director of the American Institute of Parapsychology (AIP), a non-profit research and educational organization based in Gainesville, Florida. AIP’s purpose is to foster to its students a greater understanding about the anomalous aspects of the human experience, which of course includes the subjects of ghosts and hauntings. AIP conducts various courses in parapsychology, aimed at the general public, and maintains a library specializing in parapsychology, abnormal psychology and occult/mystical studies (a collection that includes hundreds of books, audio-visual materials and issues of the main parapsychology journals for students). Dr. Nichols and his staff offers top-notch instruction, but don’t expect silliness or reality show drama — This is the real thing, and will offer its students a chance to explore this topic from a direct point-of-view.

            For more information, please visit: http://parapsychologylab.com/  

           

 Top Organizations in Parapsychology and Psychical Research 

 

        The following organizations are among my favorites, and are ones I am involved with directly, or indirectly. I hope you, the reader, will take a moment to look at these groups and institutions and see how the ‘Real Ghost Hunters’ operate within the profession of psychical research. This listing should be regarded as the best of the professional organizations affiliated with the methodology utilized by the ICPRPI, and is recommended for the serious researcher to take part in, and/or join. No doubt, there are other groups and organizations befitting this listing, so if I missed anyone, my apologies. Please send your details for review, and we’ll be happy list you here. Otherwise, enjoy the grand opportunity you have to take part in the actual study of parapsychology from the top listing below. 

 

  • Rhine Research Center (USA)

 http://www.rhine.org/

Based in Durham, USA, the Center continues and expands the work of J.B. and Louisa Rhine, the Rhine Research Center is an integrative center for the study of consciousness. It serves as the hub for ground-breaking research and educational activities on the nature of human consciousness, which includes all aspects of paranormal and psychical research. This organization offers a scholarly listing of lecture and conference series, as well as resources that will aid the researcher in all areas of the field.

2741 Campus Walk Ave # 500
Durham, NC 27705-8878 — (919) 309-4600

 

  • Society for Psychical Research (UK)

http://www.spr.ac.uk/main/

The SPR was first overseen by Henry Sidgwick, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge University, and the society’s first president. The SPR is the ‘first learned society’ of its kind, founded in London in 1882 for the purpose of “investigating that large body of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic, and to do so in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled science to solve so many problems.” Among the early members of the SPR were such prominent figures as the physicist William Barrett; the experimental physicist Lord Rayleigh; Arthur Balfour, philosopher and Prime Minister Gerald Balfour, a classical scholar and philosopher As this is the first such organization to openly research and ponder such things; other than another of England’s premier psychical organization; ‘The Ghost Club,’ the SPR continues to be the pentacle of such societies, offering students, researchers and the public a plethora of resources regarding this area of scientific inquiry, though lecture and conference series, library inter-loan privileges and much more.

For further information: The SPR
49 Marloes Road, Kensington, London.

W8 6LA — Tel:  0207 9378984        

 

·         The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (USA)

http://www.parapsych.org/

The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (PA) is the international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of ‘psi’ (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition. It is also engaged in the more traditional aspects of the research, such as ghosts, haunting and related paranormal events.

 

·         The Parapsychology Foundation (USA)

http://www.parapsychology.org/

The Parapsychology Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation which provides a worldwide forum supporting the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena. The Foundation gives grants, publishes pamphlets, monographs, conference proceedings and the International Journal of Parapsychology, hosts the Perspectives Lecture Series, and even conducts an Outreach Program. In addition to this, it also operates The Psychic Explorers Club, operated by world-renowned psychic, Eileen J. Garrett. Visit  www.psychicexplorers.org/ for more information.

 

·         The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research P.E.A.R. program (USA)

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/

The (PEAR) program, an organization that has existed  for nearly three decades under the aegis of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, has completed its experimental agenda of studying the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, systems, and processes, and developing complementary theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of consciousness in the establishment of physical reality. It continues to research various aspects of anomalous phenomena.  This unique organization also housed the International Consciousness Research Laboratory http://www.icrl.org/home/an international, interdisciplinary consortium. Its goal is to foster a broader range of inquiry; to encourage a new generation of deeply creative investigators to expand the boundaries of scientific understanding; and to strengthen the foundations of science by reclaiming its spiritual heritage. 

 

  • Society for Scientific Exploration (USA)

http://www.scientificexploration.org/

The SSE is a multidisciplinary professional organization; the SSE is committed to the study of phenomena that cross traditional scientific boundaries. Designed as a professional organization for scientists and scholars who study unusual and unexplained phenomena, the SSE intermingles the foundations of mainstream science and technology with such concepts as consciousness, UFO research, and alternative medicine, yet often offers profound implications for human knowledge and technology. The SSE provides a professional forum for presentations, criticism, and debate concerning topics which are for various reasons ignored or studied inadequately within mainstream science. Their secondary goal is to promote an improved understanding of those factors that unnecessarily limit the scope of scientific inquiry, such as sociological constraints, restrictive world views, hidden theoretical assumptions, and the temptation to convert prevailing theory into prevailing dogma.

 

  • Institute for Scientific Exploration 

http://instituteforscientificexploration.org/

            The ISE conducts groundbreaking research in the biomedical, natural sciences, and social sciences fields, as well as investigates alternative practices, such as alternative medicine therapies, and alternative scientific theories and hypotheses, in order to help explain the many unanswered scientific questions, as well as, the many scientific anomalies and other unexplained phenomena of all kinds that have been observed in these fields. Secondly, based on research findings, ISE’s mission is to develop novel services and technologies that will benefit people, and help solve the major problems faced by corporations, government agencies, and other organizations and institutions that serve society, worldwide. This organization should be considered among the more scientific, though not entirely from the psychical perspective. This is an excellent organization for those who hold degrees in a scientific discipline, who wish to get active in a present field, and/or to publish though their network.

 

  • The Ghost Club (UK)

http://www.ghostclub.org.uk/

Noted as the original ghost-lore and paranormal organization in history (founded in 1862) the Ghost Club has had an illustrious membership. From Charles Dickens, Siegfried Sassoon, Harry Price, Peter Cushing, Peter Underwood, Maurice Grosse and many others, today the Ghost Club is a non-profit, social club run by an elected Council of volunteers. Its purpose remains true to its roots; the Ghost Club offers open-minded, curious individuals the opportunity to debate, explore and investigate unexplained phenomena with like-minded people and record the results for posterity.   The Ghost Club offers overnight and on-site investigations (Throughout the United Kingdom), as well as club meetings and a newsletter for its members.

 

  • Cognitive Sciences Laboratory (USA)

http://www.lfr.org/LFR/csl/

The Laboratory conducts Parapsychological research, and is part of The Laboratories for Fundamental Research based at Palo Alto, USA.

 

·         The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (USA)

http://www.csicop.org/

The purpose of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote serious investigation and critical thinking in the areas of the claims of the paranormal and similar concepts of a controversial nature. Though at first this organization appears to be the international naysayer of the paranormal investigator, it is vital for said researcher to view the opposite spectrum of the paranormal debate, and learn from their studies and contributions in order to better our own scholarly database. To that end, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry serves as a staging point from the skeptic’s point of view, and then to consider their findings in spite of the oftentimes demeaning approach in doing so.  

 

  • Department of Psychology, University of Goeteborg (Germany)

http://parapsykologi.se/artiklar/ganzfeld.html  

The Ganzfeld project at the University of Göteborg (Gothenburg) is aimed at bringing so-called subjective psi-experiences into a laboratory setting which will the exact nature of the experiences and the conditions influencing their occurrence to be studied. It incorporates the essential features relating to the occurrences of the spontaneous phenomena. The focus of research interest is the nature of consciousness and its relation to brain processes and human potential.

 

  • Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia (USA)

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page

Founded by the late Professor Ian Stevenson, the main purpose of the unit is the scientific investigation of phenomena that suggest that currently accepted scientific assumptions and theories about the nature of mind or consciousness, and its relationship to matter, may be incomplete. Examples of such phenomena include various types of extrasensory perception, apparitions and deathbed visions, poltergeists, near-death experiences (NDEs), out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and claimed memories of previous lives.

 

  • Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (USA)

http://www.igpp.de/english/welcome.htm

The Institute, based at Freiburg in Germany, engages in research concerning insufficiently understood phenomena and anomalies at the frontiers of current scientific knowledge.

 

  • Institute of Noetic Sciences (USA)

http://noetic.org/

The Institute is based in California and conducts research into consciousness-related matters. Founded by astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, now serving as a board member for the institute, he continues to be active at institute events, including lectures and conferences. The institute is an excellent way to find scholarly information and related referrals within the psi related communities, as well as offering a way to contribute and gain knowledge in this arena.

 

·         Berkeley Psychic Institute (USA)

http://www.berkeleypsychic.com/

Also known as the “psychic kindergarten,” founded in 1973, the institute is designed to further education in various aspects of psychic research, and teaches how to recognize and develop psychic abilities through classes in clairvoyance, meditation, healing and energy. This is an excellent resource for those living on the west coast of the United States.

 

·         The Boundary Institute (USA)

http://www.boundaryinstitute.org/bi/index.html

Boundary Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to the advancement of 21st-Century science. We are currently pursuing two major research themes, one concerning the foundations of physics, the other the foundations of mathematics and computer science.

 

  • Centre for Fundamental and Anomalies Research C-FAR(USA)

http://www.c-far.org/

The Centre for Fundamental & Anomalies Research aims to encourage, sponsor and conduct research into controversial or open issues in science and philosophy, and to use findings to promote positive social change.

 

·         The Koestler Parapsychology Unit KPU (UK)

http://www.koestler-parapsychology.psy.ed.ac.uk/

·         The Koestler Parapsychology Unit is a research group based in the Psychology Department at the University of Edinburgh. This scholarly organization consists of academic staff and postgraduate students who teach and research various aspects of parapsychology and psychical-based research, including: the possible existence of psychic ability, the belief in the paranormal the psychology of anomalous experiences, pseudo-psychic deception and other aspects of the field.

 

·         Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute PNI (USA)

http://www.pni.org/esp/

PNI researches, among other topics, the anomalous experiences (those of a person’s having a paranormal, psychic or otherwise bizarre experience) that it cannot easily be explained using our conventional laws of science. Subjective paranormal experiences in temporal lobe dysfunction Déjà Vu, Out of body Experience and Vortex Pluralism to name a few.

 

·         The Paranormal Network/The Office of Paranormal Investigation (USA)

http://www.mindreader.com/

The OPI draws on the investigative and research traditions of parapsychology, psychical research and other fields of science to provide information and consulting services for the general public, Media, Business, the Legal Community, Law Enforcement, Realtors, and other specialized audiences. It is interested in potential applications of psi experiences in those arenas.

 

  • ASSAP (USA)

http://www.assap.org/

The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena is a scientifically-oriented educational charity and amateur research organization dedicated to a better understanding of anomalous phenomena.

 

  • Austrian Society for Parapsychology (Austria)

 http://www.parapsychologie.at/index.htm

Based at Vienna University, the society organizes public lectures and maintains a library, and serves as an excellent resource for our German/Austrian scholars and Germanic speaking students of the paranormal who are looking for related information and lecture series in their home countries. It also offers good resources for contacts and links, as well as having an excellent archival section of past and ongoing investigations and symposiums on the many aspects of psychical research.

 

  • Exceptional Human Experience (USA)

http://ehe.org/display/splash.html

Here’s another excellent web community that focuses on fascinating topics regarding   everything within the realm of parapsychology, but also the concepts of psychology, anthropology, sociology and all things akin to the human condition. Although the founder and primary contributor, Rhea White, passed away in 2007, the contents of this scholarly community continue, with their exceptional web journal ‘Psiline.’ For more information, on the subject of psychical experiences, contact http://www.parapsychology.org directly.  

 

  • The European Paranormal Society Germany (German)

http://www.teps-germany.de/english.html

Teps-Germany is located in Essen, Ruhr, and investigates throughout Europe. Because the founders have typical occupations, their meeting times are by appointment arrangement to be determined. This is a new organization which is dedicated to serious research and for the collection and preservation of all findings.   

 

  • The International Institute of Metaphysics IMI (France)

http://www.metapsychique.org/

The L’Institut Metapsychique International (IMI) or ‘The International Institute of Metaphysics’ is another excellent resource and scholarly organization/society for French-speaking students of the paranormal. Located in Paris, and established in 1919, the IMI supports the scientific study of phenomena related to paranormal, psychical and occult research. It houses an excellent library at its headquarters, and hosts lectures and related symposiums throughout Paris. 

 

  • Psychic Science (UK)

http://www.psychicscience.org/daniels.aspx

Dr. Michael Daniels BSc (Hons, 1st Class), PhD, AFBPsS, CPsychol. Is the administrator of the Psychic Science web page. He is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Program Leader for the M.Sc in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. He is the author of several books and many academic articles and chapters in the areas of transpersonal psychology, parapsychology, psychical research and Jungian psychology. This site offers an introduction to parapsychology and a number of psi tests online. It is an excellent resource for those interested in the other aspects of Parapsychological research, which has been neglected in recent years. It retains a professional and courteous way in teaching this area of psychical research.

 

  • Paranormal Database (UK)

http://www.paranormaldatabase.com/

The Paranormal Database is a serious ongoing project to quantitatively document as many locations with paranormal/cryptozoological interest as possible, region by region throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Ninety-four areas are currently covered, now totaling over 9600 entries, with frequent additions and current stories continuously updated. This is website will offer the serious investigator a chance to explore the United Kingdom from an insider’s point of view. For our world travelers, this association will prove invaluable.   

 

  • The Princeton University School of Engineering Anomalies (USA)

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program is a scholarly aspect of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Its primary goal was to experiment the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, such as systems and processes, and developing complementary theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of consciousness in the establishment of physical reality. Though this organization is comprised of scientists and engineers who take their craft very seriously, they are open to ideas about the paranormal from a purely scientific stance, and have a plethora of scholarly contributions to the field. Their theoretical models and detail to proposed implications will serve the technical student of psychical research with favor. 

 

  • Scottish Society for Psychical Research (UK)

http://www.sspr.co.uk/

The SSPR was founded by Professor Archie Roy in 1987, and aims to investigate all types of phenomena known as Paranormal or Parapsychological, and collect, classify and study reports of such phenomena. There are monthly lectures in Glasgow, (Sept. through April) which usually take place in the Boyd Orr Building of the University of Glasgow. These lectures cover everything from medium-ship and psychic detection to ghost and haunting research. The SSPR also has the PSI Report Magazine, which covers its meeting minutes and offers information of upcoming lecture series and referrals. 

 

  • The Harry Price Website (UK)

http://www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/index.html 

This web page is dedicated to the life and work of England’s most famous ghost hunter and controversial psychical researcher, Harry Price (1881-1948). Harry Price had offered a great deal to the exploits of the historical psychical researcher, as well as for modern-day researcher. Though the constant victim from naysayers and critics of his day, he had investigated the concept of parapsychology with a certain zeal that continues to be used to this day. Best remembered for his research into Borley Rectory ‘The Most Haunted House in England,’ Price was one of the first researchers to use animals, primarily dogs, to accompany him on overnight vigils, as he believed that such animals had a keener sense of the unseen world around us. This concept, which is hardly refuted today, was an topic of humor in his day. This website will offer researcher a good look into the paranormal investigation of the past.  

* Please note: All stories, conjectures and resources have been written by the author, Greg Jenkins. All photos used are either those of the author, or are from a non-licensed source, such as from a public domain.  As the stories are in part from the author’s books, and owned by Pineapple Press, Inc., permission must be secured before any story, in part or in whole is reproduced, outside of being used as a cited quotation.       

Source:

http://new.pineapplepress.com/booksummary.asp

 

yule

Courtesy of the ‘Enchanted Hollow’ website

http://www.enchanted-hollow.com/yule/

 Merry Christmas, Happy Yule and a Joyous Winterfest to one and all!

For many people worldwide, the holidays render both joy and mirth. For others, it brings unhappiness and sorrow. It’s a complicated time of the year for many reasons, but regardless, we all know these holidays as either a High Holiday, or simply an aspect of our commercially-charged world. The fact is, however, the holiday you think you might know, with the jolly fat man shimmying down the chimney, and the standard over-played songs echoing on the radio, is simply not the way it always was. That is to say, that the human race has celebrated this time of the year since the dawn of civilization, and in very different ways.

As I will be having a cookbook coming out around May, 2015, I thought I’d share a little history of the ancient customs of what I refer to as the “Paganus peoples” and a recipe a recipe or two. So, whatever your faith, custom or background, take this gift as my holiday wish for you, a blessing that all will have a safe and joyous  time with family and friends, and a wonderful year ahead…Cheers!

For ancient peoples, and many pagans today, the Winter Solstice has been a standard time of the season for celebrating many things. Whether for giving thanks for the past year’s harvest, or to secure a favorable harvest for the year ahead, this season has many faces. And while some peoples had other devotions, pre-Christian peoples had some of the most festive celebrations you could imagine. Either way it’s offered, you can bet the history, the customs and the sheer imagination involved will surprise you.

Celebrated between December 20th and the 31st in the northern hemisphere and on June 21st in the southern, is a traditional holiday, along with All Hallows’ Eve and Easter, are the most recognized world-wide, as well as by the Christian faiths, though most don’t realize it. As Samhain is synonymous with All Hallows’ Eve, and Ôstara with Easter, so is Yule to Christmas. The variations are actually quite small, though for the majority of contemporary Christians today, they are completely unaware of the facts; to the chagrin of both scholar and contemporary pagan. The original Yule holiday celebrates the winter solstice, when the Holly King battles the Oak King for ruling rights, where the Holly King wins, and rules until Midsummer. It is a time for slumber, and waiting out the cold winds from the north, as well as representing a time for prayer and thanks for the food stored before the first frosts arrived, and for the bountiful harvest yet to come.

The ancients would have associated this holiday with the Wild Hunt, and the Norse god Odin, where the last hunting parties went out before the heavy snows set in. It is also associated to the pagan Anglo-Saxon rite known as Modranicht, meaning “Mother’s Night,” where sacrifices were made on what is now known as Christmas Eve. Nonetheless, this is a time for rejoicing as it is a time of fear; fear of the unknown and of the darkness, though at the same time, a sense of joy in knowing that hope and trust will eventually come to pass. In short, this is a wonderful time, and should be praised to one’s path; meaning that personal flair and enthusiasm should be seen by all who enter your home.

 

Colors and aesthetics to use — Forest Green, Mulberry Red, Indigo Blue and Snow White

           

These basic colors represent those of nature and hold great significance for both the ancients and contemporary Paganus folk alike. Forest greens signify the very life that offered fruit and nuts, as well as a means for making shelter and defensive shields and weapons. Greens represent life, so be sure to dazzle your home or place of worship with such, as this honors life and hope in many meaningful ways. Likewise, the color of mulberry; a deep, blood red also denotes the lifeblood of the trees, as well as a token of life offered to other living things, both man and animal. Blues and whites also have a place for this season, as they signify the darkness of the winter skies, and the light of the stars, and offering a sense of hope for the coming midsummer. Add these accompanying colors to serving tables, alters and to your clothing to honor the season, and inspire those around you.            

 

Trees, fruits and herbs to offer — Apples, Red Currents and Bayberry, Mistletoe and Evergreen boughs  

           

Suggesting steadfastness throughout the winter, we can see two philosophies you might consider: The first signifies those things that keep life during the winter, such as the apples and berries, which are kept for food throughout the snowy season. The second concept is the hearty greens that do not fade in spite of the bitter cold. The bayberry, holly and evergreen remain thick and fragrant no matter how frigid the winds blow, as does the mistletoe, which hibernates at the tops of trees. You could offer bowls of pinecones to signify sturdiness and self-esteem, and boughs of bayberry leaves mingled with branches of evergreen or similar pine, tied with ribbons of corresponding colors as a way to greet friends old and new, and to ensure that old things pass, and that new things always return.          

           

Animal icons for this season — The Stag, Snow Fox, Boar, Bear and Dove

           

The deer and stag, as well as the bear and the boar have direct lineages to the ancient Celts, Britons and Anglo-Saxons, and represent strength and longevity; able to survive almost any adversary; either by nature or by predator. The dove and the snow fox represent speed and agility, which may have stood for such wishes on the community for surviving or ‘outrunning’ the sleet and snow. Either way, the ancients understood the path of nature and that which flourishes, so be sure to honor these stout and quick icons of old with natural effigies of these creatures, such as the antlers of a stag, or claws of the bear. You can show reverence through creative designs on foods as well. When making meat or fruit pies, be sure to pay homage to the animal that represents your spirit or your group, by adding a dough representation on the top. Doing so not only honors the ancients, but also livens-up the appearance of foods.

 

Fragrant scents and festive music to consider — Frankincense, Myrrh and Acacia Gum; and Classical quartets

 

Believe it or not, Frankincense and Myrrh was cherished among resin incenses used by magi centuries before the wise men offered it as gifts to the Christ child. Indeed, such resins were utilized by Chinese magi and physician alike almost 500 years before the birth of the infant Jesus. Not only this, but scholars now believe that the gummy sap that oozes from the Boswellia and Commiphora trees native to Asia, Africa and various parts of the Middle East, may have many healing properties for aches and pains, arthritis and even headaches. Magically, of course, both have properties that repel negativity and evil influences, which may be the reason so many Christian churches continue to use the smoke in their rituals. Either way, ancient Paganus folk were no different, as they too prized the rare resin for its supernatural forces.

When celebrating Yuletide and the Winter Solstice; be sure to burn the delightful resin of Frankincense and Myrrh for an uplifting and spiritual feeling so synonymous for the season. You may add a few grains of Acacia Gum resin for a scent of the exotic. Bayberry candles are also appropriate for the season, as it grounds the area with the steadfast aroma that has allured our ancestors for centuries. When selecting music for the Yule holiday; notably that which goes beyond the commercial spectrum, we might be dumbfounded to find just the right music to fit that of Paganus peoples. Yet, with a little searching, you’ll be surprised at just how much is out there. Indeed, when I celebrate with friends, where food and drink is abundant, I tend to have Celtic folk music playing; such as Enya or Clannad, both excellent examples of modern Celtic music that will fit those who enjoy new age and metaphysical-like music. Moreover, artists like Lisa Thiel, Dar Williams, Emerald Rose and Loreena McKennitt are also wonderful examples of bright and positive music that will settle and inspire those of our mindset. Without a doubt, these women are viewed as true icons of the Paganus path. When sitting for the main meal, I find that soft and sophisticated music like chamber music and classical quartets perfect for settling the soul and grounding the area. Though some might feel it too stuffy, when just the right music is found, it will make all the difference in the world.    

           

Foods and libations to offer — Wassail, Meat Pies, Heavy Meats and assorted side dishes

 

Whether Wæs þu hæl, translating toBe thou hail” for the ancient Anglo-Saxons, or Ves heill for the ancient Norseman, these cultures took part in the curious act of Wassailing, an ode and a gift back to nature. Though thought of as a Victorian-era custom, where nicely dressed men and woman walked the city streets caroling to those listening; sometimes collecting money for the poor, or simply doing it for the sheer joy of the season, the true history dictates the celebration of life and the harvest of the apple trees. Indeed, it was not uncommon for villagers to take to the orchards with the spiced-apple drink and loafs of bread to thank and plea. While soaking up the drink with shards of bread, and then squeezing the liquid into the cracks of the trees, it was thought that doing so offered thanks for a bountiful orchard and harvest, and acted as a plea for another good harvest come the following midsummer.  When celebrating the Yuletide season, you might want to begin with Yuletide Wassail, the highly festive and spiced drink of history. Other drinks to accompany this could be Hippocras, also called “Tripple” and Hogmanay Berry Bounce. Each is a customary beverage, and can be used for opening Yule rituals and with meals accordingly. Consider natural berry teas and drinks, as well as apple cider for those who wish to abstain from alcohol. For starters, offer bowls of assorted nuts and seasonal fruits, such as apples and various berries, such as blackberries, red currents, blueberries and some types of winterberries. For the main meals, begin with a selection of hot soups, such as Bosham Lobster Soup, Stewed Pompion a “Spicy Pumpkin Soup” and Pease Pottage with bread wedges. For the feast itself, consider dishes like roasted Honey Chicken, which always gets complements, a Grete Pye, that time-honored tall meat pie that goes along with the Yule season as much as a warm cup of Wassail, or perhaps Dr. Dee’s Roast Beef and Crisps, an authentic English delight. Other meats like Herne’s Venison Pottage and Dainty Pasties, along with side dishes like Scotch Clapshot Potatoes, Frumenty, a thick wheat stuffing, and Onions in Cumin Sauce are great choices for a celebratory meal of great regard. For dessert, consider traditional Cornish Figgie Hobbin and Clotted Cream and English Syllabub, along with a plate of powdered, candied fruit to round out your event.

 

*After dinner drinks like Brandy Syllabub or Raspberry Shrub are excellent choices for this holiday, as the spicy and fruity tastes will unite a sense of the ancient, along with a warm feeling for you and your friends. Like the Samhain, and if possible, have a small fire burning in an outside fire pit, or if not possible, you can gather a few candles together to signify the fire and warmth of your community, which signifies the very life of our ancestors.

 

Here are a few drink recipes for your holiday feast!

 

 Yuletide Wassail

01-03

English recipe, circa 16th Century

Here’s to thee, old apple tree; that blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full, an’ all under one tree. Hurrah! Hurrah!

Without a doubt, this quaint ode to the ancient act of “Wassailing,” as collected by the Whimple History Society of east Devon, United Kingdom, certainly shows the importance of fruit trees to pagan and common man alike. One of the most favored holiday drinks in the history of antiquated beverages, Wassail has been an English tradition for many centuries, and continues to usher in jubilant cheer even today, though its roots can be traced back to the dark ages. Wassailing or “Waes hael,” a time-honored toast to health and prosperity was, and is a ritual honored by Paganus folk of Celtic and Germanic traditions, where the people would walk through the orchards and sing and drink the festive beverage to the health and growth of the trees. It both thanked and beseeched the orchard in producing for the years to come.

Wassail is easy to make, and will no doubt delight your guests during the winter months and all through the year, as well as offering your home the aroma reminiscent of old England, when the scent of chestnuts filled the air, and rolling fog blanketed the countryside…When our ancestors danced and sang in the dark of night, to rejoice the Yuletide season and the Winter Solstice.

 

To make Wassail, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups Brandy

3 small Apples (Cubed or cut in shards)

6 Medium Juice Oranges

6 cups Cider or (hard apple juice)

3 cups Cranberry Juice

12 Cinnamon sticks

30 to 40 Whole cloves

1 tablespoon Allspice, ground

½ cup Raw or Natural Sugar

2 teaspoons Aromatic Bitters (found in most gourmet grocers and liquor stores)

5-10 slices of Bread (For toast to be served with the drink)

 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and then crush the cinnamon sticks, allspice, and half of the cloves into pieces using a mortar and pestle. Take the crushed and broken pieces and wrap in a large piece of cheese cloth and tie the ends with string. Take the remainder of the cloves, and pierce them into 3 of the whole oranges, and three of the apples, and then slice the rest into thin slivers. Next, combine the cider, or apple juice, along with the cranberry juice, and aromatic bitters into a stainless steel or glass casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes, making sure not to boil. Stir the mixture to agitate the ingredients, and then add the sachet of spices, apples and oranges. After 15 minutes, add in the brandy and turn off the heat.

Take the eggs and divide the yolks from the whites. Beat the egg yolks until light, and put aside. In another bowl, whip egg whites until stiff and frothy. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, and set aside. Fold in the egg yolks with the whites, and then slowly pour in about a half cup of the wassail to the egg mixture, slowly stirring in order to temper it. Remove the spice sachet from the wassail and pour in egg mixture. Transfer to a punch bowl if you wish, or leave in the hot dish. Float the baked apple and orange slices in the wassail and ladle by the mug, topping each much with a small slice of toast if desired, to represent the ancient custom of offering.

This wonderful drink will not only lift the spirits of your guests, but will add a special scent to your home that will pronounce to all that good times are waiting inside, inviting everyone who catches the delightful aroma, that a celebrative occasion awaits. Serve warm from a large serving bowl, with ladle, garnished with the sliced oranges. Serves 15 to 20 respectfully

 

Hogmanay Berry Bounce

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            English recipe, circa 17th century

An all time favorite drink during the Cavalier days; especially with the ladies of the court is this delightfully light and fruity drink. Made with cherries, raspberries or blueberries, this traditional ‘bounce’ recipe will soon become a favorite for any party or feast you will host. Thought to have traveled down from the Scottish highlands, this mixture is believed to have existed during the first mention of whiskey’s inception, as expressed in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, in 1495. The word “Hogmanay” refers to a New Year’s event in Scotland, but is actually related to the ancient festivals of the Celts, the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons, where it had various individual meanings. It represents the festival before Yule, but also stands for “hoog min dag,” which means “great love day” to the Flemish, “Oge maiden,” meaning “A new morning” to the Celts and “Homme est né,” meaning “Man is born” to the ancient France, and representing the last day of the year. Today, Hogmanay is marked for the festive torch and bonfire ceremonies observed today in Scotland, though this event can be dated back to medieval times. Although there are several variations of this recipe, this one seems to be a historic favorite.

 

To make a Hogmanay Berry Bounce, you will need the following ingredients:

 

1 lb. Cherries, Raspberries or Blueberries

1/5 cup Scotch whisky (single malt Scotch is best)

1 cup Natural or White Sugar

 

Much like a traditional Shrub recipe, first place the berries (cherries work very nicely) in a medium-sized to large earthen crock or wood cask and add the whisky and sugar. Mash the entire concoction with a potato masher until a fine mush. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth sieve into another pot or jug, and clean the earthen crock or wood cask of any pulp or seed, and then return the liquid to it, sealing off with lid with cellophane or wax paper, wrapped tightly with string. Store in a dark, cook place for at least 3 weeks for proper fermentation, strain once again through cheesecloth into a separate, clean bottle; or preferably glass demijohns or carboys to store the wine, as this will give it an authentic look. Keep in a cool place until ready, and serve in frosted wine or whisky glasses straight or over ice. Serves 6 to 8 respectfully

 

HAPPY YULE!

 

 Ghosts- Hammersmith_Ghost

 The Hammersmith Ghost

 

“Poltergeists, phantasms of the dead, ghosts, and haunted houses are words which to most of us represent a kind of pre-scientific science fiction. Like Frankenstein’s monster and the vampire, they keep going because we sometimes like to escape to the misty and creepy, but completely safe, land of childish imaginations.”

Dr. William G. Roll, Ph.D., 1972

 

This statement by the late parapsychologist, in his book: The Poltergeist; conjures a proper and scholarly view towards the subject of ghosts and associated events that seem to create more questions than answers. Indeed, though these sentiments are quite sober and reasonable, he devoted his life to the understanding of such things as ghosts, poltergeists and haunted houses all the same. In the end, he secured a sense of understanding and reason for psychical researchers around the world, with honor and logic that shall no doubt be long lived. Yet, we must contend the age-old question: Are there such things as ghosts and haunted locations?  Since the dawn of mankind the question of survival after the death of the corporeal body has been asked in one form or another, leaving the questioner to ponder onward without the dubious pleasure of obtaining an answer of empirical order. Regardless, anthropologists believe that ancient humans did indeed ponder such questions, and that they found ways of appeasing the unseen by following various methods during and after funerary rites. Whether to gain favor from the dead or as a result of simple fear remains the question.

From at least the period of Neanderthal man; dating 60,000 B.C., evidence of funeral rites had been determined fact through the remains of flower fragments and animal remains such as antlers and pelts found atop and within gravesites, indicating that a form of reverence was committed by the living unto the dead. Moreover, the many cave paintings discovered later would seem to indicate an afterlife belief system by way of art, showing stick figures of man in various states; from birth to manhood; in the hunt for food; to old age and finally death. Other images would show at least an interest in the afterlife through luminous, bipedal creatures coexisting with the living, sometimes interacting and sometimes floating about or near the living in some altered state. Indeed, these events would continue throughout history, and would be found in every culture.

From the time of the ancients we can see a definite focus on the spirit entity as a separate aspect of the corporeal body. The Epic of Gilgamesh written somewhere around the 18th century B.C. expresses a good amount of information regarding spirits and daemons that were readily accepted as fact by the majority of Sumerians and similar peoples, specifically detailing entities with present day attributes. The “Utukku” of Akkadian mythology were types of discarnate spirits that also held similarities to the contemporary concept of daemons or devils, and could be either evil or benevolent, a view very similar to that of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians. These people held secure views that these spirits of the dead, in fact an ether-image of one’s soul could not only coexist for a prolonged period of time after death, but that it could also visit the living, act as conveyors of information, such as an oracle, and exact revenge on an mortal enemy if need be. Moreover, these spectres might also be subjected to a second death; this time from a position of death to eternal release, to exist in a state similar to the Christian concept of a heaven.

 

Ghosts-utukku

The Utukku

Later, as other regions embraced the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i faiths, people begin to witness a dichotomy of sorts, where in regions like Babylon and Assyria, the discarnate being was now able to transcend simple positions of haunting or simply lingering on in any one area, to that of taking on a more defined aspect of their own, even creating a singular and separate society coexisting with the living. Here we can see the leap from the limited stance to an entitled, self-realized reality; now having the ability to come and go as they please and exist in a so-called netherworld, a place that is as real as the physical world, but on a different plane of reality and existence. In effect, the spirit may not only travel; visit friends and family, and exact revenge on the wicked, it is now capable of having its own separate existence, complete with a home and family life beyond the veil of death.

In contrast to this concept, regions that embraced Judaism, Islam and Christianity found the more supernatural aspects less appealing, as the use of spirits and associated entities might be seen as mirroring the old magic-filled ideas found in Egypt and Babylon. The Koran denies the concept of ghosts altogether, classifying such supernatural ideals as that akin to the Jinn, the cosmic entities, along with man and the angels, that make up the three sentient creations of God; a force that exists in a different reality altogether. The ancient Jews might have seen the idea of ghosts directly related to magic; specifically those kingdoms that made great efforts to suppress their freedom in the name of their suppressor’s infernal gods and demigods. Basically, the idea of using magic and the belief in ghosts might very well be conceived as blasphemy, and disobedient to God’s laws, as both were quite evident during that vast time period. One example might be viewed with the lack of certain creatures, as listed in the Jewish Mishnah and similar orthodox doctrines. To that end, it is possible that simple realities like the existence of felines, for instance, were shunned from the hierarchy of Jewish literature simply because their former captors paid so much reverence to cats as equal to gods or as related to gods. Likewise, as a simple house cat might be denied a certain amount of veneration, so does the concept of ghosts and spirits, which exemplifies very few references to such things, considering the interest as dabbling in the occult, and being akin to spiritism and similar forbidden activities. Indeed, the First Book of Samuel (I Samuel 28:3-19 KJV), describes the story of King Saul and his dealings with the Witch of Endor, who summons a spectre for the purpose of divination as a great act of sin. Thus, the idea of ghosts becomes a taboo subject, and one left to scholars or to those embracing the mystic aspects of this faith.

“The ghosts rejected are th’ unhappy crew depriv’d of sepulchers and fun’ral due: The boatman, Charon; those, the buried host, he ferries over to the farther coast; nor dares his transport vessel cross the waves with such whose bones are not compos’d in graves. A hundred years they wander on the shore; at length, their penance done, are wafted o’er.”

Vergil — Aeneid VI

 

We can see by this passage that by the 1st century a profound understanding of ghosts; apparitions and that which exists beyond bodily death was beginning to evolve. The adventures penned by the Augustan-era poets Horace, Ovid and Vergil, told many ghost stories in tales meant to fancy the scholar and commoner alike, but also to recount histories, steeped in the unknown with a feverish joy. Though for the most part Roman spirits were viewed with the typical mannerisms, they became elevated to the relevance of a curse, whereby the spirit in question could be held responsible for a portion of land to be haunted, as well as being cursed. Indeed, there are many historical examples of such cursed places, such as the many burial chambers that lie beneath the city, where voices and other human-like echoes had been heard by the commoner, soldier and statesman alike. Here, and in similar burial chambers and assorted underground mausoleums such events had been witnessed and shunned because of the activity. Other reports of haunted locations in and near the Roman capital began to grow in frequency, and in some cases, these places were boarded-up and sealed to detain the spirits, fearing that once loose, they might seek revenge on their mortal foes, such as the soldiers and statesmen who might have sent them to their graves.

 

Ghosts-Athenodorus

Le philosophe Athénodore vint à Athènes, lut l’annonce et entendit

le prix que sa modicité rendait suspect.

Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, the first century Greek essayist and historical scholar had chronicled several stories about the haunted baths of Chaeronea, an ancient Grecian city now known as Livadeia. He wrote that these once beautiful and flowered lands, known primarily as a place of many fierce battles were being besieged by violent spirits. The area itself; mostly ruins by that time, still had enclosed bathing pools with aqueducts, which made the circumference dark and foreboding, as well as easy to be viewed as enchanted by the villagers there. One of this region’s time-honored legends revolved around the spirit of a man who was murdered on the grounds, and that his angry spirit would groan and lament throughout the night, making it impossible for any citizen or wayfarer to escape the bellowing agony of the fitful spectre. The community gathered frequently to complain about the restless spirit, until the day came that action was necessary. The result was a garrison of soldiers searching the premises and then sealing up the chamber portals with wood and stone blocks, and then salting the ground to help bind the spirit I question. In addition to this, ornamental talismans and other magical icons were used to secure the area from future spectral disturbances; likely making this one of that century’s first community-organized exorcisms.

Another legend regarding this region tells of a ghostly army marching up the hills and through the dales of Chaeronea searching for an enemy that had been dead for centuries. It is believed that this spectral army was the élite unit of Theban soldiers known as the Ἱερὸς Λόχος the “Sacred Band of Thebes,” which was wiped out by Philip II of Macedon around 337 BCE. The army had been witnessed with colors risen and spears prepared for battle, right on down to the leather armor and bearded faces. Witnesses continued to report that this ghostly throng of soldiers could be observed engaging an unseen enemy and then disappear. Others would claim to hear sounds of grunting men and the clanging of swords, while others would say that they heard nothing, just viewing the misty shapes of military men fighting. In the end, this event may very well be one of the first chronicled examples of a ghostly army, an action or drama-like series of phantasms that has since been reported around the world and by every culture throughout history.

Meanwhile, the concept of ghosts and haunted locations was already ancient in many Far East and Asian cultures. From the second century B.C. to the end of the 14th century, tales of ghosts and supernatural creatures were arriving with silk and spices along the great trade from Chang’an, intermingling with the Roman Empire and others. Later as the trade routes expanded, the famous explorer Marco Polo would continue the tradition of cultural exchange as Europeans learned about the Far East’s examples of the spirit world. Indeed, one can imagine how interesting it was to ancient peoples that their concepts of ghosts and hauntings were not dissimilar in concept, only different from a cultural point-of-view.

 

Ghosts-Japan

Asian ghosts

 

Throughout Asia, specifically in China, ghosts were as common and as accepted in their culture as their gods and rituals. And much like their European counterparts, ghosts had specific cultural meanings that set them apart. From tormented spirits and benign shades of a person’s soul to horrible abominations that mirrored daemons; this culture’s folklore was a rich and diverse as the intricate fibers of their silk and artistic creations. Certainly, when we view the Chinese concept of lost or wandering spirits of the dead; angry spirits seeking revenge; hungry ghosts and even seemingly happy spirits, we will see that there is a unique bond that connects all cultures in spite of their differences, or even if they had not formally met. Once cultures intermingled, it most likely astounded our ancestors to learn that their views and philosophies towards the strange world of spectres and ghosts were quite similar in most respects.

The Chinese culture in particular has many spirits and various demons to speak of. Out of the many there is the Kui and the Kuei-shen, which are basically common house ghosts; malevolent spirits or daemons known as Oni and a Diào Sǐ Guǐ, which are spirits of those who have died violently or who had committed suicide. There is the Yuān Guǐ, spirits of those who died a wrongful death, and which are cursed to roam the world, haunting the living in hopes of finding an answer to their problems they had in life. Then there’s the Wú Tóu Guǐ, which is a hideous vision of a headless man or woman that wonders the earth in search of something unknown to the living, a concept that is just as common around the world and in all cultures. In addition to this type of spirit, there is the Nǚ Guǐ, an unruly spectre, usually that of a tortured woman who died violently or by suicide. They are considered dangerous because they have a propensity for searching for revenge on their abusers during life. This classification of ghost is quite common in the traditional belief system, and can be found in practically every region of the country. There is also an È Guǐ, or “hungry ghost,” which will sometimes be seen during “Hungry Ghost Festivals,” an elaborate series of celebrations and releasing rituals aimed at freeing condemned spirits by giving them an offering of food. These spirits are of people who might have been selfish or greedy in life, and due to that sin, is cursed to feel hunger in death. Without a doubt, this culture is brimming with colorful and reasonably significant ghost lore.

There are many other types of spirits said to roam the Chinese landscape, and indeed all of Asia and Far Eastern cultures that seem to follow a systematic behavior very much like that of any other culture worldwide. To be sure, we can see various cases of elemental entities, such as water spirits, woodland ghosts and mountain wraiths from Tibet to the Polynesian Islands, and all in between. In Japan, for instance, the ghostly traditions hold similar attributes as their western counterparts, having just as many colorful spectres roaming the islands and provinces. Here, when a person dies, that soul enters a state of purgatory until such time that that person receives the proper Shinto or other Buddhist funeral rite and burial. If that is done properly, that person’s soul becomes a Reikon, a spirit designated to become a family guardian. If, however that person is denied the proper funeral rites, or if that person was murdered or had committed suicide, then that soul becomes a vengeful spirit known as a Yurei, which haunts the physical world like a common ghost of world traditions.

The Yurei, which translates to “The Dead,” basically reflects what all of us are to become, though retaining violent overtones of an insane person, or criminal mind bent on revenge. Either way, this classification of ghost is still considered a common entity experienced.  Indeed, though the Japanese culture has its share of similarities when it comes to things of a supernatural nature, there are other aspects to their spiritual philosophies that transcend the norm. One oddity to the rule is that the living can also haunt the living, believing that a strong emotional energy from a living host can affect another living person in a positive or negative manner, having attributes to the doppelgänger of German lore and literally translating to “double goer,” representing a living impression of a separate living person. In spite of these ancient concepts from two vastly different cultures, there seems to be a direct connection nevertheless.

 

Ghosts india

Indian ghosts

In India and its territories; from Sri Lanka to Mumbai and the borderlands of Bangladesh and Nepal, various ghosts and spirits roam as freely as the vast array of animals do in the massive jungles and forests here. Ancient in origin, many of these spirits are of the most colorful in all of folklore. Spirit entities that have the power to transform from animal to human, to mythical creatures pairing well with anything the ancient west could imagine, the native peoples here have accepted such things for centuries. Though for the most part the spirits of the dead walk the earth for about a year until they can cross over to another reality, or be reborn to another life form, the most common type of ghost is known as a Bhoot, an entity long believed to be restless spirits of the dead, who for whatever reason were denied entry into that culture’s version of a heaven or nirvana; and who are assigned a semi-physical medium to walk the earth for a nonspecific period of time. Though traditions vary from region to region, most agree that these spirits are angry in that they may have died by violence or suicide, or who were wronged in some way. Moreover, if a proper funeral rite was not offered, a person’s soul might seek revenge for the disservice, making the haunt similar to many folkloric belief systems observed in Asian cultures.

One particularly frightening aspect of the Bhoot is its behaviors and features. Though the concept of a hitchhiking ghost appears to have its lineage in ancient Grease and then following to Europe and England, where hapless travelers would pick up seemingly weary, and lone people on a roadway, only to find that these souls vanish in the midst of their journey, also have roots in ancient Africa and India. In this case, such a person, usually a woman wearing white garments is observed walking on an unlit road late at night. A traveler, usually a lone man will pick her up, and in the process of talking with the woman, the man will often find that the hitchhiker is odd, and behaves strangely. He might first notice that the woman will cast no shadow, or might be observed hovering slightly off the ground, as if gliding, but when he takes a closer look, he might find that the woman’s face had changed, appearing to have four eyes and two mouths, as well as having feet facing backward, the sure sign that the woman is indeed a Bhoot, or a creature known as a Churail, in Nepal. Without a doubt, these spectral oddities appear more monster than ghost, though many of their attributes mirror the traditional phantasm observed world-wide.

Regardless the similarities or uniqueness of such spirits of the dead, there certainly seems to be a connection between all peoples and customs. One suggested theory by the late Dr. Brian G. Turkington, PhD approaches a less-visceral opinion of such sightings as being related directly to the human condition in spite of the much dissimilarity of various cultures. Dr. Turkington referred to this idea as Ecto-connectivity, an idea that takes the word “ecto,” from of the Greek root word ektós meaning outer, or that which is external or outside, such as from the related word ectoplasm, representing an alleged mist-like substance from an unknown source of human design, and akin to the ethereal realms where ghosts are said to inhabit. He felt that such is a concept directly associated to the human condition as a whole, regardless of the vast differences. In short, the premise is that all humans and possibly some species of animal may have a direct, spiritual link to each other, making it possible for humans to have an innate understanding of themselves without social or physical cues; witnessing similar events of a psychical nature, as well as experiencing events that appear either on or within the ethereal realms, and from many perspectives.

As the centuries waned on, there have been countless reports of poltergeist outbreaks, what many today refer to as recurrent and spontaneous forms of psychokinesis, or recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK), though known by many other names to different cultures. Other events like the classic haunting; complete with phantom footfalls in the night, cold and hot spots emanating from places where such variations should not occur; disembodied voices; unintelligible sounds and even music have been experienced since ancient times; filling the experiencer with a preternatural dread not dissimilar from modern day witnesses of the unknown. Undeniably, every age and every culture has had experiences that can only be described as paranormal in nature, despite the language or cultural barriers.

One of the first recorded haunted houses or otherwise enchanted domicile legends might very well be seen in the works of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, otherwise known as “Pliny the Younger;” one of Rome’s greatest lawyers, authors and statesmen. Around Year 50 A.D., reports were surfacing about a common home in Athens, Greece and its haunted reputation. The home was a simple dwelling, yet appeared to have a noisy spectre who moaned and clamored during the night, and his apparition being observed wearing the clothing of a well-mannered man of the day, though clad in iron chains. In what might very well be the fledgling incident that has formulated countless tales of chain-laden ghosts; inspiring a plethora of Hollywood renditions of such events; like that of the ghost of Jacob Marley, who warned Ebenezer Scrooge of his greedy ways in the Charles Dickens’ novella — A Christmas Carol, this event amazed and frightened even the most hardy men of ancient civilization. Once the elders of the village decided to investigate the spectral goings-on and searched around the home and grounds, they eventually unearthed the skeletal remains of a man bound in iron chains; a man in fact, that had been reported missing a year earlier, and presumably who met his end by the hand of another. Once the elders buried the remains in a nearby cemetery, and given the proper rites of passage, the disturbances ceased.

From the era of late antiquity to the Middle Ages, western society was grasping the concept of respect for the dead, or at least gleaning a healthy fear of the dead if the remains were not properly buried and given the expected funerary rites as seen by the primary religious factors of the day. If a body was haphazardly disposed of, such might not warrant much spectral attention, as doing so might be necessary in times of plague or war, where bodies would be buried in mass graves or burnt on great funeral pyres to prevent disease. However, if the body is not blessed or is otherwise mistreated, then the spirit of that person might be seen again, and might very well be perturbed that that particular respect was not afforded to them. Moreover, many cultures have chronicled examples of just what happens when the deceased is not given the proper respects.

During this period, specifically in medieval Europe, ghosts were placed in various categories, due largely to the Catholic Church. The two types of spirits were the standard ghost of a living person, and the other of daemonic origin. The souls of the dead, if not given the proper burial, or perhaps was a victim of a crime, might return to earth for a certain amount of time, and for a certain purpose. These entities could be benign in their behavior or quite violent. The primary idea was that these ghosts were residents of purgatory, who have been offered the chance to repent for their particular sins. Though strictly a dictate of Catholicism, we can see the teachings of the church in the common folklore, having the chance to avoid the fires of hell by doing service in a separate locale other than the heaven. These souls would have to pay their debts in a specific manner according to their sin.

 

 Ghosts-medieval2

Medieval spectres and ghosts

Another aspect to the medieval spectre is that it was often viewed as being more human than spirit. Indeed, some ghosts could be imprisoned for a certain amount of time, physically touched or held, and on occasion may even be released by a priest through a last rite of passage; post mortem. Though not as common as the typical frilly, semi-translucent spirit, the later type was certainly a relevant form of folk tale designed to place a certain amount of fear in both the faithful and the heathen. Regardless, however, it was the ever-present fact of early death by the many wars, disease or the harsh cruelty of the day that kept the people in line, along with knowing that the afterlife could be quite horrendous that helped them make wiser decisions.

The daemonic type of spirit, in contrast, was not of human origin, meaning that it was never human to begin with, rather an entity directly from hell, and sent to either tempt or mislead mortal humans. The medieval era instilled more dread than folly, as people believed that such creatures stalked humans for the devil’s gain, and had many supernatural powers to win humanity over. However, for Europeans and other Christians, with the simple name of Jesus Christ, these daemons would dissipate and return to their various levels of hell. Certainly this concept would continue with the faithful, as well as those who entertained in such concepts. We can see the power of Jesus throughout this period, past the renaissance and well into Victorian England with the tales of other popular spirits and revenants, such as Varney the Vampyre as seen in the popular penny dreadful magazines of the day, and more specifically Bram Stocker’s Dracula, which is responsible for being the fledgling source of contemporary understanding of such entities. Though largely incorrect from actual folkloric accounts of wraiths and various malevolent spirits, we can see how such entertaining fodder can persuade the masses nonetheless.

Various spectral entities that would eventually transmute their image over the years would find favor in entertainment amongst the civilized world, and continue to haunt the minds of common folk in villages and small towns throughout Europe, though such entities were anything but a traditional ghost. In Poland and throughout the Carpathian regions, as well as in adjacent Slavic lands, various forms of discarnate phantoms known as the Moroaică or the Naw, were types of wandering souls or spirits that have been reported throughout the centuries, striking fear and awe to its witnesses. Taking the example from Catholic doctrine, these lost souls could be the unfortunate victims of murder or suicide; who were not given the last rites at the time of death, or that of an infant that was not baptized before it died; all constitute the deep impact religion had on the folklore of a particular time and location. Nevertheless, we can see a significant roster of such events from the Gothic period well into the late Renaissance, where these wandering spirits walk the streets in an oblivious manner, as if looking for someone or something. Indeed, such spectres continue to be seen throughout the world, though are mostly classified as something more akin to a non-intelligent form of spectral energy pattern, commonly known as a Place Memory Event, sometimes referred to as a “residual haunting” to the lay investigator. It is also known as the Stone Tape Theory with many psychical researchers, whereby images, sounds or other aspects of the five senses, as well as the psychic sense may be detected by various means.

Regardless of the modern concepts of what these manifestations could be, European folk legends from medieval times are filled with benign ghosts and malevolent spirits similar to the aforementioned wraiths of Central and Eastern Europe. Known formally as a Revenant, from the Latin word “revenans” meaning returning or to return, is a classification of entity seen as something enhanced to that of a simple spectre, seemingly created for the purpose of feeding on the living. Such legends have their roots in Slovakia, the Ukraine, Romania and Hungry, and vary in description, though for the most part exemplify the classic legend of the vampire in precise detail. Whereas the ancient Greeks had the vrykolakas, and the Vikings had the gjenganger, which have specific overtones of the undead returning in flesh for the purpose of revenge, and which can be dealt with in various ways in order to detain or destroy them, the Romanian strigoi and the Serbian vampir take on a more spectral nature in consistency and purpose, leaving the modern concept of the vampire myth to that of Bram Stoker and Hollywood respectfully.

 

 Ghosts-revenants

Medieval era revenants

The later version of the revenant deals directly with the “unfinished business” theme, where this entity has returned for the purpose of getting even with an enemy; a husband retuning to take his living bride to the grave with him; or to simply haunt a person or place because he or she had been denied mortal rest or entry into an afterlife due to being uncouth in life or because of any manner of offenses, from murder and committing adultery or incest; suicide and not being baptized. And though these would constitute the primary reasons for the revenant’s existence, in England, however, this concept is quite different, and can be dated back to the age of the Anglo-Normans, later following to Ireland and then to early America. Here, the revenant appeared to take on strictly vampire-like attributes, such as existing solely on the taking of blood for sustenance; being observed lumbering through quiet village streets at night; seen with eyes glowing red, and then returning to a grave before dawn. Moreover, influential writers of the 18th and 19th centuries, most notably authors Montague Summers’ The Vampire: His Kith and Kin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Robert Southey’s Thalaba the Destroyer, would continue to chronicle the revenant in the vampyre form, almost totally reducing the spectral aspects entirely and placing the ambulatory “undead” motif into modern culture and literature alike.

By the late 19th century, the concept of ghosts was evolving into a new foundation that involved faith and religious reason. The ghost, spectre and the haunt was now considered approachable, lacking the customary negative attributes as seen a few decades earlier, where old world ideals of blood-sucking or soul-devouring creatures fell to the wayside, albeit retaining some of the time-honored trappings. The old, abandoned houses and deserted castles might still hold the spirits of the past, but were now less of something to despise, and more a thing to admire, and desirable to actually contact and understand. This was the age of religious enlightenment, where knowledge stood far bolder than that of a century earlier. This was an era of exploration, a time of mystical wisdom and altered human perception, when the séance room was taking the place of the priest’s council; and where the spiritualist church was gaining acceptance even in the most dogmatic regions of western culture. This was the rebirthing of mediums and soothsayers, magick and divination like that not seen in human history since ancient times.

In understanding the modern concept of human survival and what we refer to as ghosts of the dead; the once living consciousness that had somehow survived the bodily death of that once corporeal being, we must first base our investigations not within the scientific circumference, but rather on the mantle of faith and individual belief systems. Once that task has been honestly explored, then and only then should we consider the scientific aspects of the question. Through an incredulous notion from a scientific point of view, we should understand that many aspects go into the ideal of ghosts and all things “haunted.” From the religious viewpoints that span the planet, being the first step in reasoning for humanity, to the more scientific avenues of thought, both from the open-minded researcher to the hardboiled naysayer, the existence and purpose of ghosts and post mortem survival has always been with us in one form or another. Certainly, without such contributions, psychical research as we know it would not have formed as we see it today.

So what are your beliefs…What will follow the death of the corporeal body?

 

Selected Bibliography

Maher, M. C. (1999). Riding the waves in search of the particles: A modern study of ghosts and apparitions. Journal of Parapsychology, 63, 47–80.

Harper, Charles G. Haunted Houses. Detroit: Tower Books, 1971.
Images and engravings

Kirby, R.S. (1804). “The Hammersmith Ghosts”. Kirby’s Wonderful and Scientific Museum. pp. 65–79.

“The Utukku” fusionanomaly.net

Nasium la cité des leuques http://www.nasium.net/spip.php?article270

Fiji Arts http://imaginez.net.free.fr/illustrations/origines/japon/japon1.htm

Medieval Spectres and Ghosts ghostsandfolklore.blogspot.com

Morbid Anatomy Museum “Revenants.” morbidanatomymuseum.org

 

 

In the past year alone several videos have surfaced in the media that have gone viral on the Internet, pushing even more speculation into the existence of such things as ghosts and other strange things, as well as the question of sentience after the death of the corporeal body.  In The Best Ghost Sightings Of 2014. (Part 1) , published by “Mister Enigma” you will find a few really good examples of situations that otherwise defy logic, and the laws of physics (seemingly, at least).  The first segment shows a couple of children playing in a store shop, with items falling to the ground on their own accord. This could, of course, be a purely natural occurrence, though when we see a glass curio cabinet, and notice that the glass is being blown out from within, we should at least investigate further. In spite of there being natural factors that could produce such effects; such as heat, vibration and similar natural occurrences, none seem to be a factor here.

Another segments shows infrared footage of certain ghostly phenomena, including the ever-popular “orb,” a subject of some debate, and mostly thrown out by psychical researchers, nonetheless proves of interest. The footage was taken in a Liverpool (UK) Medical Laboratory, and shows some interesting visual anomalies, where on past occasions a ghostly image of a man and a dog have been witnessed. Considering there are copious amounts of bodies, body parts and such in the location makes for the question of spectral residue, such as from alleged cursed objects? Whether or not it is factual ghostly interaction is the question, but it is certainly interesting.

Yet another video piece taken in New Orleans, LA shows what appears to be a ghost-like image of a giant man (at least twice the size of an adult man) walking across a street. The footage was taken from a security camera, and shows the dark image casually walking on the walk-path, with a very human gait. The only aspect that might take away from the argument that it is simply a cross-over image or a burned in image does not seem to work, only because of the image’s placement and size. Moreover, people walking on the street appear to see the image and react to it. Is it a ghost of a once living person…Or an inter-dimensional being from beyond?

What do you think?

 

Check out the other videos from Mister Enigma, and subscribe!
Ghost News: Ghost Giant Caught On New Orleans Street Cam. Ghost News.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rVFm…

UFO News: Insect Like UFO Filmed By The ISS. Another ISS UFO.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4NEA…

UFO News: Massive UFO Sighting In Devizes Somerset, Great Britain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQeX6…

UFO Flying Saucer Photographed On Mars -DEBUNKED-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coIzz…

UFO News: UFOs Filmed On Live BBC News In The UK.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEVD5…

UFO News: UFO Flying Saucer Photographed On Mars.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucGHv…

UFO News: Secret X37B Space Plane Returns To Earth After 2 Years In Orbit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k820o…

Massive UFO Sighting In Fayetteville, North Carolina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEn5Y…

UFO News: Blinking UFO Descending To Earth Caught On ISS HD Camera.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHsWf…

UFO Mysteries: Mysterious Object Lights Up The Sky In Brazil. OVNI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md6DD…

UFO News: A Message Concerning Comments From Mister Enigma.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnZjc…

UFO Crash Site With Alien Beings Photographed On Mars By Curiosity?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_IqO…

UFO News: UFOs Filmed In Colorado Springs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ZtW…

UFO Sightings Of 2014 (October) Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQwSi…

UFO Sightings Of 2014 (October) Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMmT6…

UFO Mysteries: 5 Amazing UFO Photos Surface from 1960s In New Mexico.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NXK…

UFO News: UFO Cluster Filmed Over Abruzzo, Italy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFl4…

UFO News: UFO Cluster Caught On Video Over Swansea, Wales.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlyXn…

UFO Update: UFO Mother Ship Over Erie, Pennsylvania Solved?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd6F_…

UFO News: UFO Seen During NASA Spacewalk On October 7th, 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVf03…

UFO Sounds Heard In Albrightsville, Pennsylvania.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBvJg…

UFO News: UFO Mother Ship Seen On Live TV In Erie Pennsylvania. 3rd One This Week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-3Jd…

UFO News: UFO Caught Desending On Live French TV.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCuSu…

UFO Mysteries: Alien Frog Found On Mars?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_cjP…

The Best UFO Footage Of 2014. (August and September)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx8Qs…

UFO Mysteries: 3 Strange Objects Found On Mars This Week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLATP…

UFO News: UFO Over Hong Kong Protests. (Smoking Gun Footage)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI5yH…

Ghost News: Ghost Caught On Police Security Camera In New Mexico. September 26th, 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLvF…

UFO News: Triangle UFOs Seen In 3 Separate States On The Same Night.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btSOH…

UFO Takes Off At The Speed Of Light In Kernersville, North Carolina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhA7L…

UFO News: A Message From Mister Enigma. September 29th, 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7hT…

The Top 10 Mister UFO Sightings Of All Time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYThR…

UFO Mother Ship Filmed Over New York City, New York. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM72t…

UFO Footage Leaked From Area 51 In 1949. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSneC…

UFO TR3B Filmed Over Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLKTl…

Ufos Filmed By The International Space Station. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEdaW…

UFO Filmed Hovering Near The Moon. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SClHi…

UFO Mother Ship Filmed By The International Space Station. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo2uN…

UFO Disappears Through Portal In Afghanistan. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgkNV…

UFO Filmed By The International Space Station. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN2H9…

UFO Filmed Over Brooklyn, New York. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29ckx…

UFO Filmed Over Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. (Top Ten Mister UFO Sightings) #10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oyjnh…

UFO News: The Final Message From Mister UFO.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYrJO…

Ghost News: Ghost Giant Caught On New Orleans Street Cam. Ghost News.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rVFm…

UFO Sightings Of 2014 (September) Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh13G…

 

 

 

So far, there have a few thousand reports world-wide of otherwise difficult to explain UFO sightings. Many are explainable, or simply misidentified, while a select few are truly remarkable.  Though the video above is considered to be genuine, some feel its a high tech, hovering model. What do you think?

Published on Youtube Aug 14, 2014

WHOA!! UFO Video Shocks The WORLD! UFO Sightings 2014!!!!
The Video Submitted To Thirdphaseofmoon Has Been Shut Down From the Original Source, We Have Decided To Post It Anyway! It’s Up To You To Decide…Spread The Word! Disclosure Is Now!

If you have captured anything Amazing regarding UFOs contact Thirdphaseofmoon Via Skype or Facebook!

Thirdphaseofmoon Album Paul Barrett https://itunes.apple.com/album/third-…

Subscribe to my channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/thirdphas…

Check out more videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcWp7…

▼ Follow…

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Thirdphaseofmoon Radio Show Every Friday Night! Check Link for Details http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thirdpha…

Thirdphaseofmoon Blog http://thirdphaseofmoonufo.blogspot.com/

Official Thirdphaseofmoon Website! Check it out! http://www.thirdphaseofmoon.net/

Check out Our Blog For Exclusive Content http://thirdphaseofmoonufo.blogspot.com/

 

G. Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.), M.Sc.:

Here’s an excellent blog page by an equally excellent colleague of the unknown, Dr. David Clarke; senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Please read “Nessie: shoot on sight!” as seen in ‘The Sunday Express,’ by Mark Branagan.

Originally posted on :

The Sunday Express has published a summary of my research into official files on The Loch Ness Monster. The article by Mark Branagan is headlined: ‘The day big game hunters were called in to kill Nessie…and almost sparked war’ and begins:

‘It was a tourist attraction and a national treasure to those dreaming of an independent Scotland. Now previously unpublished documents can reveal that when London put a bounty on landing the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, big game hunters were not the only ones sharpening their harpoons for the kill….

‘Now previously unpublished documents can reveal that when London put a bounty on landing the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, big game hunters were not the only ones sharpening their harpoons for the kill.

A Nessie cartoon from 1933  that appears in the Scottish Office file at The National Archives of Scotland (Crown Copyright)

A Nessie cartoon from 1933 that appears in the Scottish Office file at The National Archives of Scotland (Crown Copyright)

‘In fact…

View original 1,104 more words

G. Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.), M.Sc.:

Here’s a great opportunity to get serious about parapsychology, and all things of a psychical nature. Take part in the Rhine Research Center’s programs, and get a first hand look into the strange and fascinating world of psychical research!

Originally posted on Parapsychology:

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center

Irwin Education in ParapsychologyWhile parapsychology is an underdeveloped academic field, many of us involved in it have been concerned for years about the lack of proper training and education in the field (for my distinctions between training and education click here). Recent discussions of the problems with this enterprise and the need to improve and expand it have been presented by Harvey J. Irwin  in his monograph Education in Parapsychology  and by Nancy L. Zingrone in her video “Education in Parapsychology: Context, Problems, Needs” (see also one of my blogs).

Zingrone Education in Parapsychology

While there are lists presenting places where courses (click here  and here) and some general thoughtful advice can be found, my interest here is to offer some practical advice regarding choosing courses.

Unfortunately the Web is full of courses that seem to be of low quality and that…

View original 1,568 more words

O.C.

O. C. White’s Seafood & Spirits Restaurant 

O.C. White’s Restaurant is one of the mainstays of St. Augustine eateries. I have been enjoying this restaurant for several decades due largely because of the particular class it resonates, and of course the fine food. When dining at O.C. White’s with friends and family, I always suggest they try one of the restaurant’s specialty drinks, like the Pirate’s Lemonade, made with Citron vodka with fresh lemons and limes, or one of their fantastic strawberry or banana daiquiris. After this, you can sample a number of their festive starters, like the mini Blue Crab cakes, coconut shrimp and my favorite, Gouda crab-stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Along with a great selection of artistically-presented entrées of fish and beef, you’ll receive an excellent education on true Florida cuisine that will have you coming back for years to come.   

Designed to offer a sophisticated, yet laid-back atmosphere, this huge, three-story coquina block restaurant has a long and illustrious history that most out-of-state visitors and even many Floridians are unaware of. The original structure was designed and erected by an influential St. Augustine shipping ‘armador’ and building contractor named Don Miguel YsNardy in 1791. He built this remarkable mansion in the Spanish Colonial style with leftover coquina blocks from nearby quarries. The structure would rest on the west side of Marine Street, as it was close to one of the original shipping lanes. Don Miguel lived in the home until 1799 when he sold it and the parcel of land to an entrepreneur from South Carolina, who then transformed it into a prominent hotel. The structure remained in use as a hotel for over fifty years, having such stately names as The Union and the Hotel Levington, until it served as commercial property for local businesses by the middle half of the 19th century.

 

Gen. Worth

General William J. Worth

By 1852, the structure was purchased by Margaret Stafford Worth, the recent widow of the distinguished military hero, General William J. Worth; for which the city of Lake Worth, Florida was named for. He died of Cholera in 1849, and shortly after that, Mrs. Worth decided to reinvent herself by moving to St. Augustine to begin a new life. She completely renovated the old hotel back into a beautiful private home, by making extensive renovations over a period of four years. She had the wood flooring replaced and stained, new wall and railing casings added, windows replaced and adorned the interior with expensive draperies, fine art and a modest staff to maintain it. Ms. Worth would live there with her daughter Mary and her husband, Col. John T. Sprague throughout the Civil War until Ms. Worth’s death in 1869. Mary and her family would stay there until 1903, when the home was sold to a prominent cigar maker. The home remained in this family until the mid 1940s, and then became vacant for a few years as the owner was convalescing elsewhere.  By 1948 the home was sold to George L. Potter, the onetime owner of Potter’s Wax Museum, which is located just up the road on 17 King Street. There is speculation that Mr. Potter had plans to convert the home into one of his popular museums of oddities, and in 1961 he had the entire structure dismantled and relocated to its new location, directly across the street. Though many feel this is mere conjecture, others believe that he wanted to sell the bay area property, and secure more land with the proceeds. Mr. Potter apparently had a good understanding and love of all things historic, as he would have the home renovated back to its antiquated, yet posh look of Margret Worth’s mansion of the mid 19th century.

After many years of existing as a private home for the well-to-do, a young businessman named Dave White bought the old Worth Mansion in the early 1990s. He had high hopes of turning the stately mansion into a shanty-like seafood restaurant and pub. After extensive renovations in order to create space and amenities suitable for restaurant clientele, though a lot of work had to be done, he managed to finish on schedule. Strangely, an unforeseen event would occur just before the planned grand opening. It was during the evening hours, on Friday the 13th, 1992 when a mysterious fire blazed out of control within the newly reimaged restaurant. The second and third floors burned to a cinder, leaving the rest of the structure completely unusable. The fire marshal concluded that the fire started in one of the storage closets, though no evidence of anything flammable was ever found. The fire remains a complete mystery.

Though the entire second and third floors were gutted by the fire, where furniture and woodwork were blackened and warped, a few items that should have been destroyed, miraculously survived the blaze. One item in particular was an antique, framed photograph of the Worth family, which was found still hanging on the wall of the owner’s office. Though the office was completely destroyed, where even the walls were blackened and blistered, the photo was completely unharmed, save that for a few small burn marks on the frame. Another item was a genuine heirloom from Margret Worth’s silver collection. This 18th century candelabra was found on the floor completely untouched by the flames, with scorched flooring around it, as if the fire deliberately avoided the artifact. Dave still cannot figure out how such a thing could have happened, though it didn’t take long for him to consider the idea that his restaurant might be haunted. He considered the age of the building, its use as a private residence for several families and as various hotels as a possible reasoning for the strange occurrences, though as the months and years passed, he, his staff and even patrons would marvel at the downright frightening events that would follow.

Haunting Events and Ghostly Manifestations

As owner and manager, this unfortunate turn of events must have been completely overwhelming for Dave. Knowing that your fledgling business actually burned to the ground just before it was to open would be a sure sign to vacate any further attempts to take part in such a venture, yet Dave didn’t have a reputation for quitting, so he marched on, and began to rebuild his dream from the bottom up. It was while he was making his initial inspections and boarding up the blown-out windows that the first paranormal events occurred. Firstly, it was while he entered the scorched building that late night, as he was walking up stairs that he heard a loud female scream directly behind him. Understandably startled, he jumped back, maybe expecting to be mugged, no doubt. But as he searched the immediate area, he found absolutely no one there. Later, he would find the framed photograph of the Worth family still fastened to his office wall, and the candelabra resting on the floor, both which survived the intense heat it took to ravage the upper floors, to the point of turning his entire office into a charred mess. These things should have been destroyed.

 

030

                                           

The stairwell where screams were heard in the dead of night…

Can you see a ghostly image?

The restaurant was opened later than expected, but it opened with great success all the same. As the manager and staff were becoming accustomed to their surroundings, they began to notice a few things that just did not seem right. First of all, things would appear or disappear all the time, such as personal items like car keys or a waitress’s purse. These little oddities make some of the staff think that a prank is being played on them, though there is never any evidence of that going on. Other incidents like phantom smells will confound all who detect them, as these unknown scents, like that of intense body odor will waft through the air, usually after closing time or while Dave’s doing paperwork in his office. At times, the distinct feeling of being watched is quite common, like someone is standing behind a half-opened closet door and just staring at you is one of the most popular experiences. Such feelings continue to be typical reactions for certain female staff members, and some of these young ladies will not go on the upper floors without an escort.  Among the odd incidents that occasionally take place are doors that lock and unlock seemingly by themselves. For instance, when the manager will head up to his office; fumbling for his keys in anticipation of unlocking the door, he’ll hear a ‘click’ and the door will come ajar, just enough to show the dark room within. Unnerved, he’ll open the door slowly to see who was unlocking the door from inside, only to find an empty room when he does. Other times, if he leaves the office for just a moment, expecting to return in a minute or so, he’ll intentionally leave the door unlocked. When he returns, however, the door will be found locked again. On some occasions staff will hear this door slamming when no one is there, only furthering the belief that something very strange is going on in this otherwise light and airy restaurant.

On several occasions a cook will come in to work in the mornings and find pots, pans and flatware scattered about the floor as if someone had a fit the night before. Sometimes, both staff and guest will observe things they cannot readily explain. In one retelling of one such an event, several waiters and patrons saw a set of salt and pepper shakers move on their own accord on a table top. The shakers didn’t just move, they tittered and rolled on the table by themselves, as if some unseen person was playing with them. There was no wind inside the restaurant and no human interaction, so the fact that these relatively solid shakers could be manipulated in such a way without physical assistance has remained one of the many mysteries here. Another mystery concerns candles that evidently light themselves. On occasion Dave has climbed the stairs to find the table candles lit when no one else was in the building. As he makes sure all lit candles are properly extinguished at closing time for safety reasons, the fact that they are glowing when staff comes in the following day is certainly unsettling, but characteristic of a playful spirit.

031

The dining hall where many strange things have taken place

 

I had the opportunity to interview several of O.C. White’s staff over the last year, where their testimonies seem to prove the presence of something uncanny. According to one young bartender named Ryan, when she came in one late morning to set up for the busy day ahead, she and the other staff members found the liquor bottle rack placed neatly on the floor behind the bar. These racks are screwed into the wood bar itself, but on this occasion, the rack, with all the bottles in it was apparently removed and placed on the floor by unknown means. Because the alarm system was still set, and no code entered during the night made this a head-scratching mystery indeed. If that’s not strange enough, each of the screws were neatly placed on the floor next to the rack, as if some ghostly repairman was doing a little midnight work. Someone or something unscrewed the rack from the wood. Over the years, Dave and his staff have come to the conclusion that the majority of these incidents; primarily the doors opening and closing, locking and unlocking, as well as the sense of being watched are coming from the late Margaret Worth. Because she held strong, loving feelings about her home during her life, some feel that she created a psychic impression or bond with the home during her lifetime, and that these psychic emotions carried over to evolve with the home as time went on. Indeed, some parapsychologists feel that such emotions in themselves may forge unto material objects like that of stone, crystal or even wood, and then remain there for various periods of time. Others believe that a significant part of the human spirit may remain between the living plane of existence and that of the netherworld or afterlife, which may then interact with the living in many ways. Apparitions are a good example of this, where the living can view such etheric impressions, as well as hearing thuds, rapping sounds or even music by such psychic impressions. Some people may detect strange smells like those experienced in the restaurant after hours…The possibilities are vast.

The question of O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits Restaurant being haunted seems quite possible judging by the events to have taken place here. Moreover, practically every staff member including the owner himself believes the place is haunted. By the sheer uniqueness of the seemingly paranormal events that have been reported here over the years seems to suggest at least one entity involved, but we must consider other possibilities too. Firstly, the restaurant was once home to several families since the turn of the 19th century. Secondly, this location was also used as a hotel for several years, where people could have left their personal impressions long after they left. Some of these people may have died while staying here without it being recorded in the ledgers of the day. Furthermore, because finding any records from these hotels are far and few in between, we simply have no knowledge of any deaths taking place or not. Finally, we have the paranormal incidents and the eyewitness accounts themselves, which are quite compelling to say the least. When all these elements are combined, we have more than just a simple ghost story for the visiting vacationer; just ask the staff members for yourself.

When enjoying O.C. White’s for cocktails, dinner or for a Sunday Brunch, try to remember the intense history, both known and obscure that has taken place here. From the simple lives that enjoyed this beautiful mansion as a home, or the many souls that have passed through here when it was a posh hotel of yesteryear, know that perhaps a part of each personality may have been etched in the vary stone walls here. Perhaps; like a beacon to the spirit world, entities beyond our understanding roam the hallways here as their earthly abode. Perhaps the table next to you is indeed occupied by an unseen patron of the past, or maybe Margret Worth herself is simply watching over the place she called home. Either way, this uniquely Floridian restaurant is not just an enchanting eatery, it’s downright haunted!

 

O. C. White’s Seafood and Spirits is located right on the bay, on Avenida Menendez, between Cadis Street and Artillery lane, near the Saint Augustine Marina and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

 118 Avenida Menendez, St Augustine, Florida 32084                                                 

Phone: (904) 824-0808                                                                                                  

Website: http://www.ocwhites.com/

 

More info….

http://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/o-c-whites-seafood-and-spirits/

http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/fl/oc-whites.htm

 

 

Originally posted on The Theban Oracle by Greg Jenkins:

The Theban Oracle

Discover the Magic of the Ancient Alphabet That Changes Lives

Interpreted and Designed

by

Greg Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.) M.Sc., C.E.A.T.

           “Since the dawn of time men and women found ways of holding the greatest of secrets to the written page. Whether written upon ancient papyrus or within the studious tomes of history, humankind’s most beguiling mysteries had coexisted with us throughout time. From King Solomon and Zoroaster, and from Nostradamus to Cornelius Agrippa, the masters of ancient magick had secured their goodly works to secret tomes for safe keeping. Yet, many of these manuscripts containing the wisdom of the ages would lapse into obscurity — seemingly lost forever.

In recent years, however, the literary efforts of Honorius of Thebes, the 13th century magi have been rediscovered by contemporary seekers of truth and scholarship.  For it was this ancient master of the occult sciences…

View original 8,005 more words

Theban Oracle by GJ

 

All too often, authors will find negative reviews and even a little biased reaction from individuals and masses that profess to be professionals in the field or interest of that author and/or reviewer. When their efforts to produce a worthy addition to his or her interest, or hinder it, however, going beyond the normal review requirements, it sours the very nature of the source material, and eventually takes away from that review. Moreover, if that reviewer attacks the author in a vile and unprofessional manner, it nullifies the foundation of his or her review all together. And though it is perfectly legal to “offer your heartfelt opinion,” such an opinion might reveal that reviewer’s true nature in spite of how neatly and professional the review is written. Below is a grand way to exemplify this idea, as it is intended to not only discredit the book, in this case The Theban Oracle, but inadvertently casts the reality of that reviewer in a light that may eventually harm his integrity as an honest scholar.

I enjoy a good review, whether of literature, film or other artistic performance. It may have various elements of personal opinion, a professionally-related review and suggestions as to how that (the subject) can be improved. But, when a review is set like an attack, filled with demeaning remarks in order to poke fun of or discredit the author in question, the entire review just becomes another rant typical of bad tabloid television. It removes the credibility of the person or persons reviewing that subject, and ultimately tarnishes that reviewer’s motives. In an online blog review of my latest book we will observe just such a negative review, and how it is designed to not only take away from a book and its premise, but we will see how one little word takes that concept to a whole new, and hated level of verbal violence — Plagiarism.

 

Patrick Dunn2

Professor Dunn

            The author of the review, Dr. Patrick Dunn, Assistant Professor of English Literature and Poetry with Aurora University, in Aurora, Illinois, and self-proclaimed pagan of high standard since childhood, best exemplifies not only an unprofessional review, but also shows us his personal arrogance about such things, and ignorance toward a subject, where he is unbendable under any circumstance to admit such. Moreover, the examples of personal distain will also be highlighted and expounded upon for purposes of education, and what not to do in a critical review of another’s creation. Like or dislike, professionalism is always desired. Moreover, this is a critical defensive review, and is intended for both authors and budding students with otherwise arrogant professors and/or general naysayers (Yes, they’re out there), so please take all within as a professional response to a verbal attack and accusation.

 

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary, Tenth Edition 2002:

“Negative: 2. a: lacking positive qualities; especially: disagreeable b: marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development negative outlook…”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negative

 

“pla·gia·rism: the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person: the act of plagiarizing something

   http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism

 

According to Indiana University:

“Plagiarism indicates that [students] may be disciplined for several different kinds of academic misconduct. These include cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, and violation of course rules…In particular the code states: #3. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered [common knowledge] may differ from course to course.”

The Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (2005)

www.indiana.edu/~istd/definition.html

 

As a notation the above definition of “negative,” as a concept offers us a reasonable understanding, and certainly adds up to the review that follows. Constructive, in contrast is defined as: Promoting improvement or development, a concept that will not be observed by Dr. Dunn in any way. Moreover, the concept of plagiarism and its basic understanding will be exemplified here too, in order to prove that the attack-points of the reviewer are indeed misjudged. Note: Dr. Dunn had made several grammatical errors throughout his review, so I took the liberty to correct them here for easy reading.

 

Dr. Dunn’s review:

Section 1 – Example of incorrect observation, incomplete reading and lack of proper research:

“This book is set on an intriguing foundation: take the symbols of the Theban alphabet, assign each to a famous occult figure, and use them for divination. This idea is so rich and interesting; it’s easy to imagine productively pondering the biography of some famous occultist, and trying to weave his or her life into your own in a relevant and meaningful way. I wish I could say The Theban Oracle lives up to that very rich premise. But it just doesn’t. Worse, it pollutes the whole concept. Greg Jenkins has plagiarized portions of The Theban Oracle.” 

 

For example, in the entry on Paracelsus, we read:

“At the age of sixteen, Paracelsus began his formal education at the University of Basel, where he studied alchemy, surgery, and medicine. . . . By adulthood, he had become known as the precursor of modern chemical pharmacology and therapeutics, and as the most original medical thinker of the century.” (pp. 134-135)

 

Alchemylab.com’s page on Paracelsus has this to say:

“At the age of sixteen, Paracelsus entered the University at Basle [sic] where he applied himself to the study of alchemy, surgery, and medicine” and “Manly Hall called him ‘the precursor of chemical pharmacology and therapeutics and the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century.’”

http://alchemylab.com/paracelsus.htm

 

Summary by Dr. Jenkins:

As we can see, there are elements of similarity, in that the paragraphs exemplified both states that Paracelsus went to the “University at Basle,” and it is this partial sentence that appears identical, only because of the date and the school information given. The [Jenkins] sentence: “…By adulthood, he had become known as the precursor of modern chemical pharmacology and therapeutics, and as the most original medical thinker of the century” is not alike, largely because there are no other words for modern English to represent “chemical pharmacology and therapeutics,” not to mention that such is completely out of context to the one issued by [Alchemy Lab.com]: “where “Manly Hall called him ‘the precursor of chemical pharmacology and therapeutics and the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century.” Please note that the “Manly Hall” addition found in [Alchemy lab.com], is written at the end of the ‘Paracelsus’ paragraph, and not as he listed it above. Dr. Dunn added that section directly himself. Furthermore, and more importantly, the [Alchemy Lab.com] website had itself [plagiarized] this source material from other books without proper citation. The website’s entry is written by “A. Cockren,” author of Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored (July, 1999), and had been taken from at least nine separate sources with sentence structures similar to Dr. Dunn’s focus points on The Theban Oracle, which will be listed at the end of this section.

Please note: Mr. A. Cockren did not write this passage; a passage that has been conservatively dated to be a product of the mid-seventeenth century, but has been used extensively since that time.

*Dr. Dunn provides another example, this time regarding “Simon Forman,” but admits it’s better disguised. When researching the accusation of plagiarism here, take into account that the same logic applied to the topic of “Paracelsus,” is also applied here.

It is important to realize that the “common knowledge” aspect that comes into the rules regarding plagiarism, as seen by Indiana University, for instance, comes in because the aforementioned passage commits to literature already stated in great number, and worldwide. In fact, these paragraphs that have caused Dr. Dunn his focus point were actually written more than 200 years ago, putting the basic structure of the paragraph well within the public domain. In contrast to this, when a writer “directly quotes another person’s actual words, whether orally or written; using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories as their own, and without acknowledgment,” then the concept of plagiarism should be considered as legal. Though in-paragraph citation does not exist in the Theban Oracle, a choice made by the publisher, source information can be found in the book’s reference/bibliography section.

In this case, regarding “Paracelsus,” there are several books to find this quite basic sentence, in at least a similar voice, which would be considered plagiarism my Dr. Dunn.

 

“At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel, later moving to Vienna. He gained his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara in 1515 or 1516.”  [1], [2]

 

I submitted these entire sections to the publisher’s plagiarism checking systems, including ‘PlagScan’ (http://www.plagscan.com/seesources/search.php?PlagSessID=q05r718e5kejh4e0664kekd216) to take the Dr. Dunn challenge. Guess what?

The results came back as: No strongly similar text sources found on the Internet” AND “No Deep Search Necessary,” which scanned, among others: Wikipedia and Alchemy Lab, with no plagiarism found. This is only one system used by colleges and universities. So……. 

I guess the only real problem is the fact that the “Alchemy Lab.com” material, which claims to come from: Cockren, Archibald (1999) Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored. Book Tree Pub., in fact is taken verbatim from the following two sources:

 

(1.) Johannes Schaber (1993). Paracelsus, lat. Pseudonym von {Philippus Aureolus} Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 6. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1502–1528. ISBN 3-88309-044-1.

AND

(2.) Marshall James L; Marshall Virginia R. (2005). “Rediscovery of the Elements: Paracelsus” (PDF). The Hexagon of Alpha Chi Sigma (Winter): 71–8. ISSN 0164-6109. OCLC4478114

 

The Alchemy Lab.com does not (as of this defensive review) offer the above books as a source. This means that the authors of Alchemy Lab.com have [plagiarized] said material, without giving proper in-text citation, or in a bib/reference section (as of this date). Dr. Dunn, having missed this simple fact through a lack of proper research necessary before his attack, is highlighted here. My direct sources, which are cited, can be found in my reference section are from my private collections, and are:

 

(1.) The Architoxes of Magic. Translated by Robert Turner, London, 1656

AND

(2.) Thorndike, Lynn. History of Magic & Experimental Science, (Volumes V and VI, Sixteenth

            Century). New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

 

Partial listing:

The following is a list of books, websites and related documents that exemplify the same target paragraphs within Dr. Dunn’s critique. This list was compiled by a Dr. E. S. Cavallo-Voss, Ph.D. as a response to me, and then to Dr. Dunn’s blog page.

Here are [9 links] to references of this exact same sentence, without the type of in-verse quoting Mr. Dunn was speaking of. As you will find, from the earliest examples (1923-1965 to the more recent), this sentence example is profoundly similar. Please note, I found close to 68 of such references before I got tired of looking. In short, I think Mr. Jenkins was just paraphrasing related and common documentation for the sake of getting his point across. When I asked Red Wheel Weiser [publisher] about this fact, they noted that the Theban book was not meant to be an exhaustive resource of magical figures from history, rather to give a simple, and more importantly “short” example in order to get to the subject matter across to the common person, or as a brief introduction. Also, that resource material was offered in the back sections, which I found in order.

 

Dated from a 1965 treatise: http://www.teosofia.com/Mumbai/7207movement.html New World Encyclopedia: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Paracelsus University of Pennsylvania. http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/People/paracels.html From the book: The life of Paracelsus, Theophrastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541 by Anna M. Stoddart (1923): http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Paracelsus-Theophrastus-Hohenheim-ebook/dp/B009OLV00A The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy By Dennis Hauck:http://books.google.com/books?id=x9PCBsiP4oIC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=At+the+age+of+sixteen,+Paracelsus+entered+the+University+at+Basel&source=bl&ots=UAaRzXoGvP&sig=3IHIysvkFPVtJACg2ZRJ_f-pZic&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B0kNVJfdKba1sQT8w4GoDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAjgU#v=onepage&q=At%20the%20age%20of%20sixteen%2C%20Paracelsus%20entered%20the%20University%20at%20Basel&f=false http://cdict.net/q/Paracelsus http://www.cosmovisions.com/Williams020701.htm http://www.refdictionary.com/d/p/a/r/a/paracelsus.html http://www.lindakayeastrology.com/documents/MedievalAlchemyMedicineAstrologyandParacelsustheGreat.pdf The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature: http://books.google.com/books?id=yyTKrDK2c0sC&pg=PA749&lpg=PA749&dq=At+the+age+of+sixteen,+Paracelsus+entered+the+University+at+Basel&source=bl&ots=YqhmVyNOUd&sig=1AozDO19KQL-9AkpP2MoIvm5yII&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4UYNVIOTD8XCsATjx4GADg&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=At%20the%20age%20of%20sixteen%2C%20Paracelsus%20entered%20the%20University%20at%20Basel&f=false

And the list goes on….

 

Dr. Dunn’s review:

Section 2 – Example of unprofessional comments intended to reduce or destroy credibility:

In this section, I’m listing the best source examples of what NOT to do in a critique, especially if you are a professional, and doubly so if an educator (See the end of this blog for advice on proper etiquette). Such only exhibits and instructs in poor behavior, but also offers nothing but a lack of common respect. Even in a duel to the death, there is an assembly of honor and respect. Moreover, because it offers no positive viewpoints on instruction, or how to “make it better,” for instance, and because it’s filled with cruel and demeaning remarks that have no place in a professor’s diction, the following rant should provide ample reasoning for concern.

 

Example 1: Unacceptable

“If you have a Ph.D., and if you choose to advertise that fact on the cover of your book, and if you make a statement in the introduction about being “engaged in the task of scholarly research” (XI), then you do not get to copy people’s exact words and claim them as your own, whether those words come from the internet or a published book. And changing a few words around does not make it your own words. College sophomores know this. High-school freshmen know this, for goodness’s sake!”

AND

“These last points — the lack of diversity, the inadequate biographies, the lack of citations, and the impenetrable prose — are quibbles in the face of the plagiarism. It is possible for an author to be confused, to forget that a set of notes were copied verbatim rather than original, or just lose track of citations between drafts. This kind of carelessness is forgivable. However, when an author puts Ph.D. after his or her name, it’s a promise of a certain kind of intellectual training and carefulness. Even a Ph.D. may make an accidental slip. But a Ph.D. should know that you cannot use another author’s unique words or ideas without quotation marks and a citation, and you cannot use another author’s ideas without indicating their origin.” 

Example 2: Personal observations, but acceptable

“When the author is writing his own prose, it is often turgid, sometimes bizarre. Take this example from early in the book: “In what appears to be a simple cipher-like code, and having no bearing in any known language, nor able to form the necessary elements to create verbiage as we might understand it, the alphabet has no other purpose other than to code common words” (21).

AND

“I read that four times (five, as I copied it here), and I still have no idea what it might mean. A “cipher-like code” — well, a cipher is a kind of code, so does that just mean “cipher”? How does something have “no bearing in . . . “? Don’t things usually have a bearing on, rather than a bearing in, and moreover, what does that mean? Does that mean we can’t link it to a known language?”

AND

 “The author admits that there are just far too many “luminaries” to include, which is fair. But those sensitive to diversity at all will be disappointed by the inclusion of only three women and few people of color. This dead-white-man list might be due, in large part, to the time-period he has selected from which to draw the names of important figures; but since this time period stretches back to Hypatia, perhaps there could be room for one or two other important women, here or there. There’s also no clear rhyme or reason why certain figures are assigned to certain letters.”

 

Summary by Dr. Jenkins:

After a careful review of Dr. Dunn’s findings, I have come to the conclusion on several very simple concepts to his personality and why he writes reviews like these. And though I cannot honestly say that all his reviews are tainted with libelous statements, such as the accusation of plagiarism, I can say without doubt that he is simply unwilling to take any debate into consideration, nor explained his findings to the author. When I tried to confront him, referring to him as an attacker in another’s query, I received the following remark:

 

“I reviewed your book honestly, offering my honest reaction to it and to the fact of your plagiarism. That honesty is the obligation of a reviewer, whether or not it may hurt someone’s feelings. I did not attack you and have no intention of attacking you. I’m sorry you’ve received hate mail; I would certainly never send someone any such thing. If people are sending it in reaction to this review, then I would want them to stop immediately. A review exists so that you can judge whether or not you wish to read a book, not so you can attack the author.” 

 

Here he again offers his original idea that he is giving an honest opinion and review. That’s fine, but his stance of plagiarism still stands regardless of constant proof to the opposite, as well as examples in proving that he is indeed incorrect. Moreover, he only responded to my words with another person, placing himself in a position of royalty, as if too important to address those he reviews. That’s too is fine, but those who dwell in an ivory tower seldom know every truth.

The first thing I noticed was his complete inability to comprehend simple and straightforward writing style. He remarks that he just couldn’t see the relation between the word cipher and the word “like” put together [cipher-like]. Apparently, Dr. Dunn is unaware of the Theban alphabet and what it “might” have been used for in history. It’s important to remember here that every aspect of the “Theban Oracle” is highly subjective only because there is no concrete history to this alphabet; its true origins or even who created it. Subjective, as any scholar should know is something that is based on or influenced by one’s personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. The Theban alphabet “might” have been used as a cipher, and to be sure, history tells us practically nothing, which is why I, the author, used this form of writing. Whether used as a code, as suspected by some historians or is nothing more than a writing system designed as an art form is anyone’s guess. When Dr. Dunn refers to this process as “polluting” the idea of magic and the occult, is like saying the color green has no right being a color at all. For even if one does not like the color green, one should be able to admit that that color has a right to be in the spectrum all the same. The occult in itself is as subjective as abstract art. What pleases one, disgusts another; what is considered truth is true one, while fictitious to another.

Dr. Dunn, a self-professed expert on the occult, having been a pagan since childhood (his words), takes an odd stance in the wake of his views. He remarks that the luminaries I used were nothing more than a “list of dead-white-men,” implying that I was deliberately, or irresponsibly leaving out the female element, highlighting only a few that didn’t fit in his understanding. Firstly, there really were not a large list of female magi to make a note of, but more importantly, the entire system is designed to follow traits as seen within a persona of the human condition, as well as that person’s gift to the world, in spite of one’s gender…Such an observation is redundant. Furthermore, whether signifying concepts like “A New Beginning” and “Change,” for instance, simply act as one or more positive, as well as potentially hazardous traits found in all of us…Its designed to make us think, and learn from it, and is a personal designation by the author. Though Dr. Dunn is trying to make his readers think that I’m a self-absorbed woman-hater because there are not an equal amount of females highlighted is also quite irresponsible, and untrue.

*The most fascinating conundrum to this aspect of the Theban Oracle and the many reviews that followed, which incidentally have been penned primarily by men, have all been negative. Indeed, they all professed “not to get it.” Those reviews by women, however, have been far more positive, but also in that “they got it!” To that end, I think Dr. Dunn should be happy that the “female” population that I obviously have forgotten on purpose, are my champions, in addition to being wiser than the men who lambast the Theban Oracle as a concept and as a divinatory process or as a relevant and original idea.

 

Dr. Dunn says:

“There’s a general narrative thread of a liberal, proto-New-Age, gentle soul being savaged by poor, ignorant, usually Christian, fools. Historical facts are glossed over. It matters why the church killed Giordano Bruno, and it had little to do with his magical work. Sometimes minor facts are also changed.”

 

Again, the Theban Oracle is a brief, pocket-size book that is meant to me a “game-like, divinatory system.” (I do hope everyone understands the word game-like). It’s not, nor ever had been rationalized as some ancient and time-revered tome, or major treatise on the occult or on magick. Historical facts here are not “glossed over,” they have been, for lack of a better word “annotated” for the reader to receive a very basic, but to-the-point rendering of an historical event, and then to lead the reader to the overall point of the process. It is done so to lay a foundation about the character or “luminary” so the reader can understand what was going on, and why its relevant in the first place…Nothing more. Furthermore, when Dr. Dunn writes: “It matters why the church killed Giordano Bruno, and [that the book] had little to do with his magical work” is incorrect, as such does “matter,” as well as his magical works, in spite of their circumference in length and prowess are actually irrelevant. At the very least, these generalizations might very well entice the reader to research further. That is after all, the catalyst for many occultists, and magi to become who they were meant to become.

The unacceptable words by Dr. Dunn do not, as he has suggested “hurt my feelings.” On the contrary, his words will, if not presently only show his ignorance to the concept of Theban Oracle, and what it stands for; its purpose and its reasoning. It will likely exemplify that he’s simply an angry man with some sort of agenda yet to be discovered or that he may have had a similar idea, which was not realized in time…Such is life.

On a more personal note, and to explain why I chose to title of this defensive review “When the witch becomes the witch finder general,” was done to ask the unfathomable question: Why do so many pagans reenact the behaviors of their ancient enemies, where thousands died as a result of intolerance or even the detractors in modern days who happily degrade and condemn for their path. This is a concept that has always confused me. Indeed, I have met many pleasant and open-minded witch, wizard and sage, just as I have met the opposite populations. This is simply a human condition, but those who consider themselves wise and knowledgeable of otherwise hidden things, they should conduct themselves as such, and not take on the behaviors of the many detractors of the ages. [We] should be better than that.

One sad element discovered after the seemingly overnight barrage of negative reviews, was when I learned that the editor of Dr. Dunn’s host blog page, a women named Sheta Kaey (http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Shetan-Kaey), is also one of Dr. Dunn’s staunch champions. This is certainly fine, and common for those involved in magick and the occult to belong to various groups. Such will pick and choose groups and authors like others pick football teams; indeed, this is all a part of the natural order of the human condition to pick a publisher as a ‘team,’ so to speak, where a rivalry can be as daunting as any bar room fight. In this case, its a competition between the biggest publishers on the block; Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing and Llewellyn Worldwide. Both are excellent book publishers with a long and lustrous history, though there does seem to be bad-blood between some rival authors. This too is all a matter of form, so its important for the reader of such reviews to realize that “motives” and “agendas” can sometimes exist, which can make for an extremely biased review.  Moreover, when a group of said reviewers are on the same ‘team,’ it can become their job to downplay the competition, so please remember  — Its [your] opinion and review that counts the most.

In the end, I wish to thank the contributors that wrote to me about the book, with either negativity, praise or to offer advice of Dr. Dunn’s blog page, specifically Dr. Cavallo-Voss, Ph.D. and Mr. Gray Gorjan. Their candor and in some cases even defense from a seemingly harsh review, will add to the concept of individual thinking, and form those who take reviews; all reviews with a grain of salt, and with the knowledge that opinions are like bellybuttons…Everyone has one. Though I’m sure Dr. Dunn is a competent educator on the subjects of literature and poetry, and perhaps even magick and soothsaying, he nonetheless has much to learn about etiquette. For indeed, a mere 150 years ago, if such a review took place, the articles of ‘Code Duello’ might have followed, and one poor soul would not have left some field of glory. Today, thankfully, and especially, in the United States, one can say as much as they wish, and demean anyone they wish without such threats. Regardless, we should know how to govern ourselves and how to act accordingly, as a lady or as a gentleman. It’s the civil thing to do.

…Even for learned professors

 

Bibliography

This section is taken from the “Further Reading and Internet Resources” section, which holds all the information regarding works used in the book; citation information and a way to research. Dr. Dunn should have these books in his personal library as I do, but if not, many universities and larger libraries should have access to them, or through a lending library. 

 

Burnham, Sophy. A Book of Angels New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.

Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Gaebelein, A.C. What the Bible Says About Angels, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,

1987.

Godwin, Malcolm. Angels. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Graham, Billy. Angels. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986.

Leavell, Landrum P. Angels, Angels, Angels. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press,

1973.

Lewis, James and Oliver, Evelyn Angels A to Z, Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press,

1996.

Luk, A. D. K. The Law of Life: Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A. D. K. Luk Publications, 1989.

Masello, Robert Fallen Angels. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare How To Work With Angels. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1996.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark L. Saint Germain on Alchemy: For the Adept

            in the Aquarian Age. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1986.

            The Open Bible, Nashville and New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1977

            Seven Beloved Archangels Speak, Voice of the — I AM Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint

            Germain Press Inc.

Web Page Resources 

            Copeland, Mark. Ministering Spirits: Angels In The Old Testament http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_02.htm. Executable Outlines.

Copeland, Mark. Terms And Descriptions Of Angels http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_01.htm. Executable Outlines.

Fares, Aymen. Angelics and the Angelic Realm http://www.spiritual.com.au/articles/angels/angels_uk.htm. and Spiritual.com.au Pty. Ltd.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Hierarchical Chart of Angels http://radicalgrace.com/creat15.htm. Worldnet Grace Ministries.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Distinguishing the Higher Ranked Angels (http://radicalgrace.com/creat11.htm). Worldnet Grace Ministries. The Bible Searchable online version http://bible.com/bible_read.html)

 

Bibliography

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Translated by James

French, London, 1651

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Antwerp, 1539;

Edited and translated by Donald Tyson, Llewellyn Publications, 2004.

Barrett, Francis. The Magus. London: Lackington, Allen, and Co., Temple of the

Muses,1801.

Bias, Clifford. Ritual Book of Magic. York Beach, Maine: Weiser, 1981.

Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine (3 Vols.) The Theosophical Publishing House Ltd,

London, 1928.

Buckland, Raymond. Advanced Candle Magick: More Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose.

Llewellyn Worldwide, 1996.

Buckland, Raymond. Practical Candleburning Rituals. Llewellyn Publications, (1987).

Butler, E. M. Ritual Magic. Cambridge University Press, 1949.

Burnham, Sophy A Book of Angels (New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.

Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Llewellyn

Publications, 1993.

Davis, R. T. Four Centuries of Witch Beliefs. London: Methuen, 1947.

Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Fischer, Lynn. Original paintings of the Seven Beloved Archangels and Their Archeiai.

Marius Michael-George Angels of Love and Light, South Yarmouth, MA:

Transformational Media Publications, 1996.

Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1922.

Gaebelein, A.C. What the Bible Says About Angels, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,

1987.

Godwin, Malcolm. Angels. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Graham, Billy. Angels. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986.

Grimble, Arthur. Return to the Islands. London: John Murray, 1957.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Angels. Checkmark Books, 2004.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Witches & Witchcraft, 2nd Ed. Checkmark Books, 1999.

Hedegård, Gösta. Liber Iuratus Honorii: A Critical Edition of the Latin Version of the Sworn

Book of Honorius. Stockholm: Almovist & Wiksell International, 2002.

King, Francis, X. Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Hamlyn Pub., 1987.

Kirby, W. F. Kalevala. London: J. M. Dent, 1907.

Leavell, Landrum P. Angels, Angels, Angels. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press,

1973.

Lewis, James and Oliver, Evelyn Angels A to Z, Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press,

1996.

Luk, A.D.K. The Law of Life: Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A. D. K. Luk Publications, 1989.

Masello, Robert Fallen Angels. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.

Morgan, Lawrence, Flute of the Sand. London: Odhams Press, 1956.

Morrison, Dorothy. Everyday magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living. Llewellyn Worldwide,   1998.

Paracelsus. The Architoxes of Magic. Translated by Robert Turner, London, 1656.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare How To Work With Angels. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1996.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark L. Saint Germain on Alchemy: For the Adept

            in the Aquarian Age. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1986.

Silver Raven Wolf, To Stir a Magic Cauldron: A Witch’s Guide to Casting and Conjuring.

Llewellyn Worldwide, 1996.

Thorndike, Lynn. History of Magic & Experimental Science, Volumes V and VI, Sixteenth

            Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

Thompson, R. C. Semitic Magic. London: Luzac and Co., 1908.

Trachtenberg, J. Semitic Magic and Superstition. New York: Behrman House, 1939.

Waite, Arthur Edward. The Book of Ceremonial Magic. New York: Bell Publishing, 1889.

Whitcomb, Bill, The Magician’s Companion: A Practical & Encyclopedic Guide to Magical &    Religious Symbolism. Llewellyn Publications, 1993.

Yasmine Galenorn. Embracing the moon: A Witch’s Guide to Rituals, Spellcrafts and

Shadow Work. Llewellyn Worldwide, 1998.

Zolar. Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge. New York: Prentice Hall,  1970.

Manuscripts

Magical Treatises by Caius, Forman, Dee and Kelly; British Museum, Add. MS. 36,674,

16th century.

Tractacus Magici et Astrologici, British Museum, Sloane 3821.

Schema Magicum, British Museum, Sloane 430, 14th century.

De Maleficiis, British Museum, Sloane 3529, 16th century. Liber Iuratus Honorii: The

Sworne Booke of Honoryus: A Translation of a Book of Magic. British Museum,

Sloane MS. 3854, 15th century.

 

Web Page References 

Copeland, Mark. Ministering Spirits: Angels In The Old Testament: http://www.ccel.org/             contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_02.htm. Executable Outlines.

Copeland, Mark. Terms And Descriptions Of Angels: http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_             outlines/angel/angel_01.htm. Executable Outlines.

Fares, Aymen. Angelics and the Angelic Realm: http://www.spiritual.com.au/articles/    

            angels/angels _uk.htm. Spiritual.com.au Pty. Ltd.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Hierarchical Chart of Angels:

http://radicalgrace.com/creat15.htm. Worldnet Grace Ministries.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Distinguishing the Higher Ranked             http://radicalgrace.com/creat11.htm. World-net Grace Ministries.

The Bible Searchable online version http://bible.com/bible_read.html

 

*****************************************************************

Elements of a proper critique

For your interest, here is a basic set of guidelines rendered by Ms. Stivers-Isakova of the Huffington Post. I think she sums the concept of proper critique in a clean and respectful manner, which should be followed by all, whether student or teacher. Moreover, concepts like liable and slander should also be understood and reviewed thoroughly, as accusations can be considered defensive by a court if deformation of character is found. It’s always best to follow the rules of etiquette no matter who you are.

 

According to Ms. Stivers-Isakova:

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being mean in book reviews, or rather, how to strike a balance between honest and being fair, and if meaningful critique is worth doing in a small book-reviewing world where the de facto style seems to be politeness, encouragement and praise. And then, this ranty rant in Book-Riot, anti the New York Times, inspired me to formulate some rules…”

  1. Do write a brilliant, opinionated takedown of a major literary figure. Everyone will read it, talk about it and give you lots of attention, bad or good. Which, let’s face it, if you are a book reviewer, is an unfamiliar sensation.
  2. But, make sure the figure you critique isn’t someone likely to cause you any harm. Old Canadian ladies, popular authors, authors not in New York, authors so famous and remote that it really won’t matter. Dead authors. All good choices.
  3. In all other cases, write something positive, even if doing so requires sophisticated acrobatics. It’s a small literary world, and either you may know the author you’re reviewing, or definitely you have friends who know them, or you may need them for career advancement later.
  4. Try to congratulate yourself on your acrobatics. Saying something good about a terrible book takes some doing.
  5. Be aware that if you are writing for a major mainstream publication, you will get pushback on any note of critique, even in an otherwise glowing review. This can be from your editor, or from the book’s author, publisher, publicist, friends, etc., on Twitter, on Facebook, in person. The editor version is particularly insidious, because editors tend to say “If you didn’t like this, let’s not run it,” on the valid-ish grounds that the readers want recommendations. In that case, you read a bad book, wasted your time, got a fraction of your fee, and had an aura of failure hang about the venture, not likely to lead to more assignments.
  6. Admit to yourself that all this pressure is quelling. I have written decent-ish reviews of books I thought sucked. I have written nice things with no critical notes about friends’ books. I have elected to not review bad books by distant acquaintances. And every time I do criticize a book, I imagine its author’s child denying my child a job someday, when I am dead, and the world is 200 degrees, and a spot in the air-conditioning in a corporate tower of the future is a matter of life or death.
  7. Wonder why you — ok, this list is about me — why I am doing this, anyway. I started writing about books, despite the low pay and small audiences, because I love to read, and I love books, and I wanted to speak eloquently about them. If I’m not being honest in a book review on my personal blog, what, dear god, is the point? 8. Read this Tweedledum and Tweedledee debate about book reviewers. Are they in decline? Do we even need book reviewers, when we have Amazon and our friends to recommend books? Can anyone make money at this these days? — besides writer Peter Damien of Book Riot, whose myriad well-paying alternative press editors, unicorns all, with long silky manes, if they’re reading this, please call me!
  8. Remember that in our fairly bleak and corrupt world, literature and the arts are one of our few forms of enlightenment, transcendence and salvation. Great books matter, and intelligent debate about them matters. A problem with the culture of toothless commentary is that people seem to forget there’s a difference between saying something well and having something to say. What does a book mean? What is its message? Does it display any moral depth? The author can talk, but are they worth listening to? I find that’s the question I most often have to steer away from, if I want to be diplomatic…There are books that save lives, books that change lives, books that crack your head open and pour in a new substance and you walk around with your brain sloshing for weeks. There are books you’ll never forget. There is a difference between these books and most others, and that difference is worth articulating.
  9. Have integrity. Write the truest thing you can about what you read, in the most generous way possible. I do not always succeed, but I do try.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-stiversisakova/10-rules-of-writing-a-bad_b_4572229.html

 

Fin – Pax

 

Dr. Joe Kiray

Dr. Joe “Squatch” Kiray on the court

Every  once and a while there comes along a serious, but down-to-earth researcher of the unknown, who adds to the circumference of our interests, whether its in psychical research, Ufology or cryptozoology. Fortunately, I received an email from a gentlemen, who just happens to be just such a person: Joe Kiray, a professional Chiropractor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Though he’s a professional healer, he’s also a racquetball enthusiast; camper; a hunter; angler and loves to do what he likes to call “Bigfooting.”

He has just released a fascinating video on YouTube (below) that shows what might be considered a creature like a bigfoot, though could very well be something totally different. To me, this very cool clip shows a very strange image that I have yet to figure out just what it is…Bizarre! When you look at the face (track to 1:31/4:35 and 3:25/4:35 for a better look). When close-up, it almost looks like a typical troll from Norse mythology, at least to me, though a face can be made out. Far-spread eyes, what appears to be a large, bulbous nose. And no way is it a bear, as Dr. Kiray has no doubt seen his fair share of bears, and he says it isn’t one of our fuzzy friends. If it is, its been spending too much time near a nuclear reactor, and has the patience of a priest. No, can’t figure out what it is, but just to be sure, the researchers should go back and have another look to make sure its not something more explainable. This way, the naysayers cannot find fault…Though they will regardless.

 

Taken from Bigfoot and Beyond: Breathtaking footage of something in the bushes! Did we make history and film the legendary creature known as Bigfoot, Wild Man, Bear Man, Dogface? You decide!  The team was out scouting a location for some evidence Bigfoot evidence, while we scout locations Dr. Squatch always films with his cell phone just in case we miss something with our eyes. Well this video right here shows why that is such a great idea.

Hopefully we’ll see some results on this weird creature, so be sure to sign up to Dr. Kiray’s blog page

…Keep up the great work Doc!

 

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