Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rowan Update

Rowan and playmate, gardening
We are in the throes of summer here in Ohio and with it, Rowan is reliving parts of my childhood: running through sprinklers, catching and releasing lightening bugs, watching wildlife, and fighting sleep because it is still light outside at bedtime.

Today, we went with the neighbor family down to the parking lot of the abandoned school behind our house (and over the ravine's bridge) and the kids rode their bikes (Rowan rode his trike) around the parking lot. Rowan has a ridiculous helmet that he picked out- it has silicone attachments that look like a twee pony head. He picked it out himself, and looks "awesome" wearing it (his words). There we had an encounter with a kestrel who kept a close eye on us and dive-bombed us a couple of times, trying to drive us away. Rowan was enchanted and "flew" around the parking lot as well.

On the carousel at the zoo
Rowan has also started demanding to wear rain boots as his shoe of choice, over sandals and sneakers, even in hot weather. His hair is down to the middle of his back now, and despite hating to have it brushed, he still says he does not want us to cut it. So be it.

He swears like a sailor- have I mentioned that? While many people refrain from cursing in front of kids, we never did and neither did his paternal grandparents (who see him several days a month- and we lived with them for 5 months). As a result, he is now a demanding toddler who adds "dammit" for emphasis. "Where's my sandwich, dammit?" is a common lunchtime refrain.

Bouncing on his ball.
We are now working with him on appropriate language and manners- which is super fun as you can imagine at this age. Chewing with your mouth closed, not whining, not calling things "stupid", and not being physically rough when frustrated are at the top of the list right now. We have already mastered sharing, taking turns, and saying things like "please" and "thank you".

Additionally, we are teaching him magical lessons as well. Just today, he was whining about having to walk home from Dairy Queen (poor neglected child!) and his father was talking about how life means struggle and right now he is suffering, but you must suffer in order to learn and he needs to figure out what he is learning in that moment. We tend not to talk down to our son, and it seems to work for him- he is advanced for his age and understands much more than most give him credit for. We are teaching him to respect other creatures and be gentle and not abuse his size or other advantages with them. He learns quite quickly in that regard, probably because he loves animals so much.

We are giving him all the basics about the elements as you would imagine, plus more. He gets warnings about fire being hot and dangerous, but when we give him that information, we also tell him how concentrated well-tended fire is a tool and needs to be respected. we talk of building the fire within ourselves- the fire of Will to get stuff done.

He talks regularly of invisibles. Just this morning on the way to work, Rowan said, "There's a lady." "Where?", Daddy asked. "Right there", he said, pointing to the spot my maternal grandmother often used to sit and visit me. I haven't seen her in a while, so I am glad that she is now visiting Rowan.

What are your kids up to?

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The older (and crankier!) I get the more I am convinced of the toxicity of everyday life in this culture. We are spoonfed products and ideas that harm the body, mind and spirit on a daily basis and this Witch is now actively working to simplify, detox, and create harmony within my body and on my little patch of soil.

I was thinking about this while showering today. I had just cut my hair (it is liberating to have short hair again, in a simple flattering style that I can cut myself) and was hosing off the little hairs from my body. I reached for my handmade body scrub and exfoliated, invigorated, and oiled my dry skin simultaneously. I then reached for my No Poo and Rinse and treated my hair. I was one of those that dyed my hair from the age of 15 and my hair was always a split-ended dry mess. Since stopping that and using homemade products it is healthy and shiny beyond belief!

I ran out of product, so afterwards, I went downstairs to make more.

Add essential oils of choice to a carrier oil. While many use sweet almond for skin products (and I do, sometimes for products whose fragrance is subtle and I want it to be noticed), this oil is plain old organic extra virgin olive oil. I use it for cooking, toiletries, and lighting. It is a great all purpose oil and everyone can find some!

While my last batch of scrub was rosemary/eucalyptus, this batch was lemongrass/wild marjoram/tea tree. That's what's great about making your own- you can change it up and create whatever you want! And you know exactly what goes into it.

Some people make sugar scrubs, others make salt scrubs. I do both. Both are inexpensive and exfoliating. Salt has cleansing properties while sugar won't sting any cuts you may have. It's up to you!

Mix infused carrier oil with salt or sugar. I use a non-porous mixing utensil- wooden spoon, not so good. I personally use a plastic chopstick that I stole from a chinese restaurant in San Francisco in 1997. 

My much-used bottles for No Poo and Cleansing Rinse.

No Poo is 1 TBS baking soda to every cup of water. Too astringent? Use less. Need more oil cutting? Use more. The ratio can be personalized.

Rinse is also 1 TBS apple cider vinegar to every cup of water and be adjusted as necessary.

You can also add herbal power to each by using an infusion for No Poo and an infused vinegar for Rinse. This Time, I used plain water for No Poo, but used a citrus thyme infused vinegar for my rinse.

I continue to make natural medicins and toiletries for myself and others. Boline is chugging along, and my next plan (now that I have a logo and final packaging complete) is to get the products into local stores (in addition to my online presence). I just listed a couple more remedies on Etsy, Poppyswap, Copious, and Bonanza today: Clove Oil, Vitex Tincture,  and Calming Tonic (Valerian and Hops tincture).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Mrs. Biddlebox Her Bad Day and What She Did with It

My version has a different color.
I am sure some of my Witchy parent readers out there struggle with story time as I do. Sure, there are some great pagan-centric tales and even some mainstream tales with fairies or Witches that aren't evil (although Witches not being evil is certainly the minority), but most tales where there is a Witch character mostly take two roads: either the Witch is the villian or the tale is all about being a Witch.

Where are the books about Witches where the story proceeds and the fact that they are a Witch is part of the story but not THE story? I mean, are we, as Witches, allowed to have lives?

I was delighted when I checked out this book from my local library. It was happenstance, but a fortuitous one.

Mrs. Biddlebox is a woman who gets up on the wrong side of the bed one day and everything is awful and bothers her. So... she fixes it, through sheer will. She takes her broom and cauldron (ahem) and gathers up the elements that bother her and cooks them into a cake, does a little dance around the baking spell, and then she later consumes it and feels great about it.

Then she says goodbye to that dreary day and welcomes in the dark sacred night with a smile. It's about as Witchy as you can get, and teaches some major magickal principles and spells as well. But the story is about how she handles having a bad day- we are not beaten over the head with the fact that she is a Witch. In fact, the word Witch does not appear in the rhyming book, although "witchety delight" does.

I think this book is so excellent that I am going to buy a copy for Rowan of his own.

Formal Ratings:

Title: Mrs. Biddlebox Her Bad Day and What She Did About It
Author: Linda Smith and Marla Frazee
Publisher: Harcourt Inc.
Price: $15.00 USD 
ISBN: 978-0-15-206349-8

Topics Covered: Magickal Thinking, Spells, Witchcraft

Target Audience: children ages 2-10

Witch Mom Rating: Three Hats

This book is agreat story, plain and simple. It teaches kids that bad moods are something that they can control. It teaches basic spellcraft, it has a protagonist Witch without being evil or beating you over the head with it. Love this book!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Medicine Making as Spiritual Practice

Yesterday, I made and packaged three new remedies for Boline. I thought that I would tell you about them (they are not yet up in any store for sale).

Clove Oil. This is a versatile remedy- check out all its uses here. As a dental topical anesthetic, safe for children and safe to use orally. Hence, many generations of folks have used it for teething pain or canker sores. (Rowan recently started cutting his two year molars and I had actually forgotten the drooling, runny nose, fussiness, and fever that accompanies his teething- I am glad we have this now!)
I am bottling it in two ounce tincture bottles and selling it for $5.

Calming Tonic. I made a tincture of valerian root and a tincture of hops buds. While I have both are available as simples, this combination is particularly potent! It is great for insomnia, stress, anxiety, PMS and the like. A two ounce tincture bottle is $12.

Vitex tincture. Vitex, or Chasteberry, is an amazing herb for most women. It is a hormonal regulator, meaning that whether you are having issues from too many hormones or not enough, it helps your body achieve balance. So it helps with PMS, menopause, heavy bleeding, night sweats, painful menstruation, and more. It also has been known to be used in trans women's formulas to assist them with their hormone regulation. I also seel this two ounce tincture for $12.

I make my remedies and even package them all by hand, slowly and with magickal intent. I create the labels myself and hand glue them on each package. I could buy pre-made labels, but I like the meditative deliberate quality of doing everything myself, with known non-toxic materials.

Valerian and Hops
I will be bottling an triple antibiotic oil and a ginger tincture soon. As soon as I buy more alcohol, I'll have a medicinal mushroom tincture (my reishi harvest is going really well!), an artichoke tincture, and a cinnamon tincture to start. The last two are to be combined with the ginger, hops, and gentian for a great digestive bitters formula I like.

I have plans in the works for facial scrubs, deodorant balms, bug sprays, body and baby powders, and a muscle rub. Just need a few more ingredients for each recipe.

My herbs are growing! Echinacea, ephedra, calendula, feverfew, and more are making their debut and will be featured in my remedies next year. This fall, I'll be buying all my beekeeping equipment, so that I am ready for the spring. I'll also be building a green house for herbs and veggies during the winter.

I also finally created new uniform packaging for Boline products and am relabeling all my things. I am going to take them around to local stores to see if I can sell locally. I hope to be a part of the new harvest farmer's market just starting this year, and have a booth.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Before and After (Actually, During!)

My neighbors and I have been super busy creating the kind of yard that we want- one that sustains us with food, medicine, and respite. We had our work cut out for us, too. The property has been neglected for a while, since for the first two years the people in my unit were horrible and no one wanted to be in the yard near them. Before that, no one has done anything in the yard for quite some time.

Remember my horrible 1970's era bushes in the front of the house?
Ugly. A real eyesore.

And they hid gross decades of trash, too.

They are GONE. It was sooo hard getting those things out of that large planter box. First, we took a chainsaw to the shrubs. Then these horrible stumps with viney roots were left:

We are saving it to let the cukes and eggplants grow over them.
Don't let it's compact-ness fool you. Many of those long roots were cut off with shears or a saw. It took hours of grueling work and many people to get all 4 out.

What does the box look like now? It is in process, but here are some pix:
Long shot, from my steps towards the neighbors. Pond in the center, Plants and doo dads on the sides.

My neighbor's side is neater than mine. All my cool things were left behind with my peeps in CA.
Working on acquiring fun things.

Her side- I will have a matching lattice on my side for the morning glories we planted on my side soon.

Above my neighbor's side.

My foxglove.

My side has morning glories and other vines planted behind some Hostas.

Where my trellis will be by the end of the weekend- waiting for my morning glories to come up!

I have also made progress on other parts of the yard. The side has been cleared for veggies:
Before: We transplanted the wildflowers to the front, eliminating some grass.

After- tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplants, and more!
The herb spiral needs more bricks! Here it is so far, next to a small bed of herbs, framed by beer bottles. (I also planted wildflowers on the slope near the driveway, and they are coming up really well!)

My neighbor is ahead of me. She not only has her side bed filled with herbs and lettuces (hers is rimmed with wine bottles), but she has her trellis up for her vining flowers. (See mine on the lawn, waiting to be cut with my neighbor's dremel tool?)

Here's her side trellis and a salvaged stair rail (it was in the box behind those awful bushes!) for our green beans.

Lettuces and basil.

Basil and oregano

So there we are so far! I haven't shown you the back, but the neighbors got a FREE gazebo (minus the netting) off of freecycle, so we are growing thornless blackberries around it for shade. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Carnival of Natural Parenting: My Birth Experience

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.
Those who have followed this blog since the beginning may remember my birth story. It is the first post on this blog, carried over from a personal blog that no longer exists. I chose to start out Witch Mom with my birth story, so that this blog officially documented starting this new chapter in my life.

Nothing about Rowan's conception, my pregnancy, or our childbirth experience was ordinary. But whose story is? Birth is the everyday miracle at which we all marvel yet take for granted.

The part of the story that I tend to focus upon, when telling his story now, is how quickly I willed myself to dilate and push him out when he was in danger and I was in danger of being cut open. I wanted my VBAC so bad and wanted Rowan so bad that I performed that everyday miracle within an hour.

Mama and Rowan, shortly after they brought
him to me from the NICU.
I knew I was in final stage labor when we piled into the car to cross over the San Francisco Bay Bridge from my home in Oakland to the birth center in San Francisco. And when I arrived at 2:30, i was 5 cm dilated. My midwife was excited and started monitoring the baby and that's when she told me we would have to go to the hospital. She rode with me in the ambulance and eventually got scrubs to enter the OR that they wheeled me into- just as they were prepping me for the C Section that I worked so hard to avoid.

They had just assessed that in that short ride to the hospital, I went from 5 cm to 9.5 cm! At that, my midwife begged them to give me a chance at vaginal delivery. She has a great relationship with the folks at that hospital, so they told her to coach me. They also told her that they would only give me three contractions before they would have to do a C section, for fear of losing my baby.

I remember looking up into her face, masked and clad in bog glasses and cap. "OK- make these contractions count!", she barked. I remember them manually opening me up that last .5 cm (ouch) and when the contraction came an instant later, I pushed and screamed. "Stop screaming and push all that energy down there- don't let it come out your mouth!" she said insistently. I was glad for her direction and was all consumed by the sheer physicality of it all.

My midwife, Judi with Rowan. I will always be grateful to
her for the excellent prenatal care and that she got them to let
me try for my VBAC. She saved me from another C Section,
to be sure.
The next contraction came and I pushed so hard Rowan's head came out. The doctor and nurses were stunned. They had not expected me to accomplish this and were expecting to start anesthesia instead. I got wild encouragement from my midwife, and with one more push during that third contraction, his shoulders passed through.

My midwife came to see me the next day after Rowan and I were settled in, starting to breastfeed (he had to go to the NICU for his first 14 hours). "They (the hospital staff) were surprised that this was your first vaginal birth- you handled it really well.", she told me. 

What could I say? I knew if I wanted a vaginal birth and a healthy baby, I had to do it- there was no wiggle room, no hemming and hawing that could be done. So I did it. I willed myself to open, just as I willed my body to push. It was a profound lesson that I can do anything. I think birth does that for women who are given the chance to give birth the way we are supposed to- naturally and with support. When women are told that their pregnancy  and birth needs to be managed and treated like a pathology, they are disempowered and do not learn the very real magic and discipline of birth. It robs women of a rite of passage- all those interventions.

Rowan's father, doing skin-to-skin contact the day
after he was born. He took off his shirt but kept on a
hoodie, to keep Rowan warm.
I am not saying that interventions aren't always necessary. Sometimes they save lives. But they happen all too often in this country for no other reason than convenience and comfort (of the mother sometimes, but more often of the medical staff that attends her). And comfort does not teach the real life lessons. Only through irritation and pain does an oyster make a pearl.

Did I get the birth that I wanted? No. I wanted to labor in the birth center, taking my time in a sacred space that I, my partner, and my doula created together. I wanted my son to be born and suckle with skin-to-skin contact immediately. I wanted my partner to cut the cord. I wanted to encapsulate my placenta and ingest it. Did I get any of those things? No. But I got what I needed: a healthy son and an initiation into a powerful women's mystery that I will remember always.
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Forever a Student

Totally irrelevant but cute!
As many of my regular blog readers know, I was a student of Faery Witchcraft for over 6 years and then was initiated last year. Studying Faery (and of course, getting initiated) changed my life in many ways, and I will never be the same. My connection to the gods and mighty dead of Faery keep growing and developing. Being intimately involved with the tradition that I am in has been the relief that comes after a lifelong itch.

But I am one of those "must keep learning" people. While I am still in grad school and constantly learning about herbalism, wildcrafting, beekeeping, and gardening, I want MORE. There is so much out there that I want to know and do! I also plan on taking some art classes in the fall- either drawing and then painting, or sculpture. I am drawn to both!

In terms of Witchcraft, I also want to constantly be learning and growing. So I applied to a teaching coven of another non-Wiccan traditional Witchcraft called Coven Agoriadau Tri, and was accepted. It is a cunning tradition, which is something that I have always been drawn to, and it is also non-Wiccan, like Faery. Very exciting!

How about you, readers? What knowledge and experience are you pursuing these days?

Friday, June 8, 2012

What's New on Pinterest?

For those of you that do not know, I have pretty comprehensive Pinterest boards on many topics:

Making a besom, from my "Witchcraft DIY" board.
Witchcraft, Magick, and the Occult:
Witchcraft: a general board of images that pertain to Witchcraft. Gorgeous!
Witchraft DIY: A how-to board of quality links. Make mead, make cords and garlands, and more!
Kitchy Witchy: Retro and silly Witchcraft images I find.
The Occult: Links to Magick and ceremonial stuff.
Gods/Goddesses/Spirits/Beings: images and links to non-corporeal beings.
Melissae: All about bees and being a bee priest/ess
Pagan Parenting: resources and articles
Greater Pagan Community: links of interest to pagans in general.

Finger Knitting, from my "DIY for the Kids" board.
DIY boards:
DIY I wanna do Inside: indoor house and furniture projects
DIY I wanna do Outside: outdoor garden, building, and landscaping projects
DIY Remedies: herbalism for all of us
DIY Toiletries: chuck the toxins and make your own!
DIY Craft: all manner of crafty projects, links to how-to.
DIY for the Kids: fun things to do with kids
Homesteading/Sustainability/Frugal Living: gardening, canning, old-timey things we all should know.
DIY Home Care and Cleaning: how to care for you home in a non-toxic way.
DIY Apparel and Accessories: clothing and handbags, mainly.
Embroidery and Cross Stitch: lots of inspiration for things to make patterns out of, as well as tutorials.
Crochet and Knitting: tutorials and gorgeous patterns
Tricks and Tips: things you wish you knew when there is something to fix!
Emergency Kits: everybody needs them!

Date-with-a-parent box, from my
"New Family Traditions" board.
Resource Boards:
Natural Parenting: non-toxic attachment style.
Tricks and Tips: (see above)
Building Community: Where to start?
New Family Traditions: Things that please me so much, we are making them happen in our home.
Customs Worth Resurrecting: old timey customs that never should have went out of style.

Recipe and Food boards:
Recipes to Try: general board of things that don't fit into specific categories below
Baking and Candies
Crock Pot
Freezer and Make Ahead (includes Canning)
Condiments and Larder (includes Canning)
Carcuterie and Pescuterie: make your own salumi and preserved fish!
Entertaining and Gift Edibles
Slow Food and Sustainability
Outdoor Cooking
High Tea
Homesteading/Sustainability/Frugal Living (see above)

Hellen Keller, from my "Important People" curriculum board.
Homeschooling Boards:
Resources (General)
Reading and Literacy Development
Health and Life Skills
Religious and Multi-Cultural Curriculum
Social Studies
Physical Education
Politics and People's History
Important People Curriculum

April Fools Day Cupcakes (they are really
meatloaf) from the "April Fools Day" board.

Holiday Boards:
Advent and Other Countdowns
Cinco de Mayo
Earth Day
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day for the Birds!
Mardi Gras
Tu B'Shvat

Dia de los Muertos

Groundhog Day
Mother's Day

Make Beloved Dead ornaments
"Samhain" board
April Fool's Day

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Yom Kippur
Rosh Hashanah

Plantable Paper for Earth Day
...and believe it or not, there are more than that! And I participate in several group boards on organic gardening, food and more. Click on the link above to check out my boards. I will be adding more pins and boards each week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vaccinations: Why We Don't

James GillrayThe Cow-Pock—or—
the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!
In the US, we vaccinate our kids more than any other country, and certainly we "require" more vacines before the age of two than anyone else. The amount of toxic load we expect a child to carry, even before their immune systems are fully formed, is outrageous. I believe the reasons we are so different from other countries is the for-profit health care system. 
"In 1982, there were four drug companies making and selling vaccines for children in the U.S.: Merck, Wyeth, Lederle and Connaught. In 2007, after two decades of mergers and acquisitions, there are six drug companies making and selling vaccines for children in the U.S.: Merck, Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune and Novartis. Foreign companies, like Australia's CSL Biotherapies, are poised to enter the lucrative US vaccine market soon. There are more than 200 vaccine trials in various stages worldwide and most vaccines being developed will be targeted by CDC officials and drug company lobbyists for widespread use in order to guarantee stockholder profits for vaccine manufacturers." -National Vaccine Information Center
While there are no conclusive studies definitively linking vaccines to myriad health and developmental issues, there is enough anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies, from this country and elsewhere, to give me pause. The reason that there are no studies in the US on this topic? There is too much money invested in the vaccination schedule. No one will fund such a study that impedes such astronomical profits.

I chose to delay and possibly refuse all vaccines for Rowan. I know that this is a polarizing issue for many- one where anger and fear make both sides uncivil to one another. But the truth is, we all want the best for our children. I happen to believe that less pharmaceuticals in my son's body is better for him. I believe developing natural immunity through exposure is best.

"Even CDC data show a 99.8% pertussis recovery rate during the 1992-94 period. One Cincinnati Children’s Hospital infectious diseases expert said at the time: “The disease was very mild, no one died, and no one went to the intensive care unit.” 
Nearly always, childhood infectious diseases “are benign and self-limiting. They usually impart lifelong immunity, whereas vaccine-induced immunization (when achieved) is only temporary.” In fact, it can increase vulnerability later on by postponing better tolerated childhood illnesses until adulthood when death rates (though still low) are far higher. 
Most important is that nearly all common infectious diseases are rarely dangerous, and, in fact, can develop strong, healthy adult immune systems when they’re most needed. In addition, few people know that children who didn’t contract measles have a higher incidence of skin diseases, degenerative bone and cartilage ones, and tumors while ovarian cancer is higher among mumps-free adult women. The human immune system benefits from common childhood infectious diseases. Freedom from them may be harmful later on." -Alan G. Phillips

To me, the risks to my son's health and development are not worth it. For example, the chances of a serious adverse reaction to the DPT vaccine are 1 in 1750, while my son's chances of dying from pertussis each year are about 1 in several million. With pertussis in particular, the number of vaccine-related deaths dwarfs the number of disease deaths. Simply put, according to CDC numbers, the vaccine is 100 times more deadly than the disease. 

Did you know that there are enough of these "adverse reactions" that the government (FDA) has set up the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System)? It receives about 11,000 reports of serious adverse reactions to vaccination annually, and 1% (112+) of those are *deaths* from vaccine reactions. And frankly, while these numbers are scary enough, they are the tip of the iceberg:

  1. The FDA estimates that only 1% of serious adverse reactions are reported and the CDC says it’s 10%.
  2. Medical school students testified before Congress that they’re told not to report these incidents.
  3. According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), only one in 40 New York doctors reported their adverse vaccine reactions or deaths.
  4. International studies show vaccines cause up to 10,000 US SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) deaths annually, and at least half of them are from vaccines.
  5. Another study determined that 3000 US children die annually from vaccines.
  6. Poor reporting in America suggests that annual adverse vaccine reactions, in fact, number from 100,000 – one million;
  7. Since 1988, the government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) paid families of affected children $1.2 billion in damages;
  8. As authorized by the 2006 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, HHS Secretary Sebelius, granted drug companies legal immunity (except for impossible to prove willful misconduct) to proliferate dangerous, untested Swine Flu vaccines globally;
  9. Vaccines are legally mandated in all 50 US states, though legally avoidable in most.
  10. In settling vaccine damage suits, drug companies impose gag orders to keep vital information from the public.
  11. Insurers refuse to cover adverse vaccine reactions because of the high potential liability they’d face.

Vaccines don't do a good job at preventing disease outbreaks. Measles, mumps, small pox, polio and Hib outbreaks have all occurred in vaccinated populations. So the vaccines do not even provide the protection they are supposed to. One of my friends can get vaccinated over and over, and still not build up immunity. It is her unique biochemistry, and it is doubtful that this issue only affects her.

In 1918, the Philippines experienced their worst smallpox epidemic ever after 8 million people received 24.5 million vaccine doses; the death rate quadrupled as a result. In 1989, the country of Oman experienced a widespread polio outbreak six months after achieving complete vaccination. In the U.S. in 1986, 90% of 1300 pertussis cases in Kansas were "adequately vaccinated." 72% of pertussis cases in the 1993 Chicago outbreak were fully up to date with their vaccinations. Statistically, I am just not buying what they are selling.

When I was a kid, the vaccine schedule was much less than it is today. Here is a link to today's schedule for kids 6 and under. When I was a kid, we got DTP (Diptheria/Tetinus/Pertussis), Polio, and the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella -which was new- it was introduced in 71, a year after I was born). That's it. Now kids get 35 vaccinations by age 6. There have been no long-term studies on the effects of vaccines. And some of the ingredients are highly toxic. While most manufacturers claim to have removed mercury from their products, a simple reading of most ingredient labels shows that this is not true.

Thimerosal is the preservative of choice for vaccine manufacturers. First introduced by Eli Lilly and Company in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the company began selling it as a preservative in vaccines in the 1940s. Thimerosal contains 49.6 percent mercury by weight and is metabolized or degraded into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Mercury, or more precisely, ethylmercury, is the principle agent that kills contaminants. Unfortunately, mercury also kills much more than that. 
The Department of Defense classifies mercury as a hazardous material that could cause death if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Studies indicate that mercury tends to accumulate in the brains of primates and other animals after they are injected with vaccines. Mercury poisoning has been linked to cardiovascular disease, autism, seizures, mental retardation, hyperactivity, dyslexia and many other nervous system conditions. That's why the FDA rigorously limits exposure to mercury in foods and drugs. Some common sources of mercury include dental amalgam fillings, various vaccines and certain fish contaminated by polluted ocean waters. 
The toxicity of mercury has never been in question. The real question is precisely how much mercury-laced thimerosal is toxic, and what are the possible consequences for our children at low doses?-Natural News

Of the manufacturers that have replaced Thimoserol (due to public pressure), they have replaced it with a neurotoxin- aluminum. I am aghast.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pagan Insights Project

Have you heard about the Pagan Insights Project? It's a way for pagans to get to know one another and what we believe (since the term pagan really can only mean non-Abrahamic to apply to everyone under this umbrella).

There are several different kinds of posts that you can do, and there will be a monthly round up so people can read your contribution:

* In Your Own Words - your thoughts and feelings – maybe a full blog post on a topic of your choice related to your path (or Paganism in general) or just a few sentences on where you are right now. What are you studying? What are you thinking? Who are you, and where are you going on your Pagan path? What’s right and what’s wrong in Paganism at the moment?

Post A Pic -
 post an image related to your path, or one that invokes a feeling/emotion related to your spirituality (or craft… if one is a non-religious Witch), along with a sentence or two describing the image.
* Musical Musings - post a song, chant or poem related to your path, or one that invokes a feeling/emotion related to your spirituality (or craft). Can be in word form, but videos would definitely be awesome as well. On a spiritual level, what is your music of the moment? Is this a song stuck in your head, or one you played before your last ritual?
*Action, Action - post about a ritual, working or other experiential moment related to your path that has occurred recently, or that you are planning to do.
Eureka! - post about something new that you have learned, or discovered recently, that is related to your path or Paganism in general.

Stay tuned for some of my contributions!