Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting Involved
Theresa Chaze

With the rapid erosion of personal liberties and the increasing power of the religious right, it is time for the Wiccans and Pagans to take back their power both as a group and as individuals. With of the current atmosphere of intolerance, many who follow the Earth-based religions are afraid to come out of the broom closet. They refused to get politically involved because it’s not the spiritual thing to do or because they are frightened of the repercussions. Staying quiet and hiding is what led to the murder of countless Wiccans and Pagans during the Burning Times. By refusing to fight for their rights and going under ground, the Christians were able to hunt them down individually. But the violence and bigotry has not been left in the past; today they do not burn or hang, they use more subtle means to discriminate and harass.
According to the New York Times, both religions are the fastest growing in the country; by the year 2010, Earth-based or those who worship the Goddess will be the third most popular religions in the United States. Both Wicca and Paganism are legally recognized by the Supreme Court, all military branches, and both houses of Congress, yet they are still the most misunderstood and discriminated religions in the United States. Many acts of violence and intolerance go unreported because the authorities refuse to take action or the individuals involved are afraid of the repercussions so they don‘t report the attacks. Some of the responsibility lies with the members who refuse to speak out by demanding their rights under the existing laws, use the influence of the voting booth and with their economic clout that every consumer has. By refusing to get involved, they give their power away to those who wish do them harm.
Online groups are an efficient way for Wiccans, Pagans and all spiritual people to learn about and from each other. It is a wonderful way to share knowledge and to keep everyone up to date with current events. By keeping connected via the net, the distances between us are eliminated and we can be come a strong community. Yet even with the unanimity of the net, many refused to get involved. In one group, after several members brought up political topics, they were told that political discussions were not allowed in the group because it had nothing to do with either the Wiccan or Pagan religions. Members of another group suggested that they stop watching the news because it was too depressing and frightening; instead they suggested that everyone bliss out and pray for peace. The members of the first group refused to knuckle under to the pressure of a few; the discussion led to a vote, which opened the group to all topics without censorship. The second group just went along. No one asked how not getting involved would help the world become a better place. Prayer does work miracles, but unless it is backed up with practice action nothing is truly accomplished. There is an old parable. A group of spiritual people saw a bush wilting. They circled it and prayed. The bush continued to die, so they prayed harder. A woman walked by, saw the condition of the bush and watered it. The bush was saved and the woman moved on. Pray and light candles, but unless you back it up with speaking out very little will be accomplished.
The Inquisition, the Burning Times and the Salem witch trials are only three examples of the savagery inflicted by Christians. The Inquisition was not limited to witches or Pagans, but included anyone who was different, either mentally or physically and anyone who was not following the narrow Christian path. By 430 AD, death sentences for heretics was enthusiastically enforced. The accused had no right to face the accuser, no witness were allowed to testify on the behalf of the accused, the inquisitors were the judges and there were no appeals. There aren’t any reliable statistics of how many people were tortured to death during this shameful period of human history, but the general thought is that the numbers rise into the millions. The Burning Times is considered from the mid 15 century to the early 18th century, with the peak being from 1550-1675. During such time 200,000 -500 ,000 women, children, men--entire families and villages were butchered. However single women were the predominately victims, as was any woman, who own property and didn’t have a man to protect her. The Salem Witch trials brought the madness to the Americas. Not as many people were murdered, yet for a country, which was based on religious freedom, it continues to be a black mark on its history.
Just as the Earth-based and Goddess religions have been reborn with new names and titles, so has the bigotry and violence returned. On one hand the in the 1980’s the laws making g fortune telling illegal were repealed. Wicca and Paganism have become legally recognized religions. Many of their healing techniques have become common practice. Psychic Fairs can be found regularly across the country. Wiccan and Pagans have created successful businesses, temples, and churches. Yet with all the positive changes that happened in the 80’s and 90’s, the year 2000 bought about a revival of the open fear and hatred of non Christians. The Helms amendment was proposed by Senator Jesse Helms to deprive organizations, which “espouse a system of beliefs, rituals and practices derived in part from pre-Christian Celtic and Welsh traditions” of tax exempt status. In 1985, the amend was defeated. However, Jim Towey, director of Bush’s Faith Based Initiative program, revived the old sentiment when he said, “I haven’t run into a pagan faith-based group yet much less a pagan group that cares for the poor.” Although the remark was ignorant and bigoted, it did serve to unit groups across the country. However, not all such case are so banal; increasingly acts of legislation, judicial decisions and personal acts have crossed over to include infringements of civil rights and threats of violence. In Oregon Township in Michigan, a family of Wiccans moved into a new home, only to have their neighbors try to legally drive them out; they were afraid the family would practice animal sacrifice. Judge Bradford, Chief Judge of Marion Superior Court in Indiana imposed his religious beliefs on a couple, whose divorce case he was presiding over, by forbidding them from teaching their son their Wiccan beliefs. In Greer, SC, a couple was pulled over for an out dated license plate. However the officer was more interested in the Druidic bumper sticker. He questioned them about their beliefs and tried to covert them to Christianity. In an interview with a reporter Mrs. Gainey stated the “officer sent a card and letter to her home address days later. ‘In this letter, he promises our problems will continue unless we listen to the words of the Baptists," she told the reporter. "We're feeling like those are threats.’" In Michigan, a woman tried to file an insurance claim for home repair. The adjuster arrived to survey the damage; he was more interested in her marrital status and her religion instead doing his job. The policy was cancel due to the adjusters report of non existent damage. The insurance company ignored her complaints and the governmental agency said it was a civil matter.
The Burning Times has been redefined to refer to “any threatened return of prejudice against or persecution of Witches and neo-Pagans by other religious groups, law enforcement agencies, employers, politicians and others.” All four examples and others to numerous to list are well within the new definition. The time has come to draw the line in the sand and say no more--no more shall we accept discrimination or violence on any level. We need to combine our political and economic clout to insure the Constitutional limits between Church and State remain intact. By standing together, we can made sure the laws of discrimination and civil rights are enforced. To put it bluntly, we can hang together and stop religious bigotry or we can hang separately and lose our rights to follow our own spiritual paths. Every individual must chose how they want to live--in fear or in faith.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Secret Behind the Secret
Theresa Chaze

The Secret wasn't a really a secret. The knowledge and wisdom it contains has been available for centuries. What the DVD and the book do is package the information in a fresh way that makes it clearly understandable by all. It transforms the mystical concepts into clear and practical ideas that can be used in the modern day life. No longer are the theories shrouded in mysticism, but expressed real world ideas that help individuals manifest what they want in their lives.
Where we put our energy in the forms of our thoughts and emotions is what will manifest in our lives for good or ill. If you expect life to give you the best it has to offer that is what will be created. However, you obsess about the lack in your life that is what you will generate more of in your life. There is an internet story about a Grandfather and his grandson. The elderly man points to the child’s chest and tells him there are two wolves living inside him. One is loving, positive and courageous; it isn’t afraid to help others and to ask for help in return. The other is greedy, angry and fearful; it bullies others to hide its fear and to take what others have. These two wolves are battling to be his guardian spirit. The boy asks which one is stronger. The Grandfather say, whichever one he feeds will be the stronger and will be his guardian on his life path. So it is with all of us. Whichever emotion we give our energy to will be the stronger and will be the controlling emotions in our lives.
There is nothing wrong with being afraid. It is what we do with it that makes it positive or negative. Fear makes us more aware of our limitations and our challenges. It helps us find the boundaries that we need to push and inner issues we need to heal through. It can cleanse and strengthen of our personality and our soul, if we chose to recognize its positive aspects. However, when we deny its existence and chose to ignore the lessons it brings, we give it power over us. Whether we like it or not it will influence our relationships with others and our ability to respect ourselves. The more we run from it, the stronger it becomes and the weaker we become until it has total control how we see the world. Only by turning around and facing the fear head on do we once again become powerful within our own lives.
Further more, the way we treat ourselves not only teaches other how to treat us, but also is reflected in how we treat others. When you love and respect yourself, you will draw others to you who feel the same, because that is how you will treat others. People who come from fear will attempt to hide behind walls of anger and other self-destructive behaviors to keep themselves protected from the outside world. They will harm others in order to prevent being attacked. Yet it is this behavior that frequently draws in what they are desperately trying to avoid.
In the DVD, they talk about the Law of Attraction. Unlike magnets where likes repel likes, energy is drawn to similar frequencies. Just like water molecules come together in the atmosphere to create rain droplets that fall to the ground to make tiny rivulets, which come together to form streams flowing into rivers and eventually into the ocean, so does our positive or negative thoughts and emotions create our reality. Whatever we focus on will manifest in our lives. Whether it be love, prosperity, or health, we are the creators of our reality. By focusing on what we lack instead of being grateful for what we do have, we manifest more of the same. Instead of cursing the bills as they come in, we need to be grateful for your ability to pay what you can and actively visualize prosperity coming into your life. The difference is by changing the focus to the prosperity instead of the debt, you create more wealth both of spirit and money. If you are seeking a love mate, be grateful for those in your life that you share love and respect with. By enjoying the pleasures and wonders life offers with the people you enjoy, you open the door for others to come into your life. If good health is the issue, put you energy into being healthy. The announcement last week by John and Elizabeth Edwards’ plan to continue their campaign for the White House wasn’t unreasonable bravo, denial, or Elizabeth martyring herself; it was Elizabeth choosing to put her energy into her life instead of the cancer. By feeding her zest for life, she is empowering herself to be healthy and strong. Instead of the cancer taking over control over her life, Elizabeth chose to be the master of her destiny and live her life to the fullest. There is one thing about life, no one gets out alive; it is up to all of us to determine how we spend the time. We can either chose to live in fear or live wisely by sharing our joy and love.
Sometimes even positive manifestation has unexpected results. Whether it be legal, financial, emotional or spiritual, the Divine grants what we request. When you ask the universe to help you make a difference in the world without setting limits, you might find yourself in a situation that is beyond your control, wondering what happened and why you. If you don’t place limits on to your expectations, you leave yourself give the Divine cart blanch to involve you in whatever aspect life it needs a champion or a catalyst. However, by setting boundaries, you are more able to understand and control the process.
Trust is another major aspect of The Secret. Many times what we loose faith just as what we want is about to manifest. Instead of keeping our energy focused and having faith, we allow negative thoughts and energy to enter our lives, which blocks its creation. Our jobs are to ask, visualize and to accept what we want to come into our lives. How it arrives is the Divine’s job. The more we worry about how it will be provided, the more roadblocks we place in front of it. However, if we have faith and confidence in the end result, there isn’t anything we can’t accomplish in our lives. In spite of the limitations all of us have been taught growing up, there is more than enough for everyone to live healthy, prosperous lives filled with joy and love.
There is nothing in our lives we cannot change by changing our perspective. The only limits on our lives are those we place on ourselves. Having the courage to ask for what we want and expecting to get it, will open manifestation doors before us. Living a life of gratitude and faith will not only give us that courage to ask, but will hasten our goals and desires arriving into our lives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness Make a difference in the world--Pay if forward.

Monday, March 19, 2007

7-year-old on dirt bike arrested, cuffed
Baltimore mayor apologizes; mother says son was just sitting there
The Associated Press
Updated: 2:54 p.m. ET March 17, 2007
BALTIMORE - Police arrested a 7-year-old boy, handcuffed him and hauled him down to the station house on a charge of riding a motorized dirt bike on a sidewalk.

Then, according to his mother, Gerard Mungo Jr. was handcuffed to a bench and interrogated before being released to his parents.

"They scared me," Gerard told The Baltimore Examiner before breaking down in tears.

Mayor Sheila Dixon apologized Friday for the arrest, and Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said it would be investigated internally.

The arrest came after an officer saw Gerard riding his dirt bike on the sidewalk in east Baltimore on Tuesday, police spokesman Matt Jablow said. Hamm, citing the internal probe, declined to discuss how the rest of the incident unfolded.

Kikisa Dinkins said her son was sitting on the bike with the motor off on the sidewalk when an officer grabbed him by the collar and pulled him off.

"I told them to let go of my baby," Dinkins said. "Since when do you pull a 7-year-old child by his neck and drag him?"

Dinkins said she called for a police supervisor to intervene, but the confrontation continued to escalate after the supervisor arrived.

"They started yelling at him, 'Do you know what you did is wrong, son?'" Dinkins said. "He was so scared he ran upstairs."

Police arrested Gerard and confiscated the bike.

Dinkins said officers fingerprinted him and took his mug shot. Hamm could not confirm that and said those actions would not have been normal procedure in a non-felony case.

‘He’ll never be the same’
Dinkins said the arrest scarred her son. "This has changed his life," she said. "He'll never be the same."

The Police Department's zero-tolerance arrest policy — begun under former Mayor Martin O'Malley, who is now Maryland's governor — has drawn complaints that such arrests occur most often in poor, black neighborhoods. Gerard is black.

Hamm said the officer had the option of talking with a parent or confiscating the bike. He said that although the city is concerned about nuisance dirt bikes, the arrest "was not consistent with my philosophy of trying to solve problems in the neighborhoods."

The mayor, who appeared Friday with Hamm, said she also planned to look into the case.

"It is clear to me that the arrest was wrong, that the officers on the scene should not have arrested the child, and on behalf of the City of Baltimore I apologize to the boy and his parents," Dixon said.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17647997/


© 2007 MSNBC.com

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mass recall of dog and cat food after pets die

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pet owners were worried Saturday that the pet food in their cupboards could be deadly after millions of containers of dog and cat food sold at major retailers across North America were recalled.

Menu Foods -- a major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands -- recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, the company said in announcing the North American recall.

Product testing has not revealed a link explaining the reported cases of illness and death, the company said.

"At this juncture, we're not 100 percent sure what's happened," said Paul Henderson, the company's president and chief executive officer.

However, the recalled products were made using wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier, since dropped for another source, spokeswoman Sarah Tuite said. Wheat gluten is a source of protein.

'Cuts and gravy' food sold in cans, pouches recalled
The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between December 3 and March 6 throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and PetSmart Inc., among others, Henderson said.

Menu Foods said it makes pet foods for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies, including Procter & Gamble Co.

Procter & Gamble announced Friday the recall of specific 3 oz., 5.5 oz., 6 oz. and 13.2 oz. canned and 3 oz. and 5.3 oz. foil pouch cat and dog wet food products made by Menu Foods but sold under the Iams and Eukanuba brands. The recalled products bear the code dates of 6339 through 7073 followed by the plant code 4197, P&G said.

Menu Foods' three U.S. and one Canadian factory produce more than 1 billion containers of wet pet food a year. The recall covers pet food made at company plants in Emporia, Kansas, and Pennsauken, New Jersey, Henderson said.

Henderson said the company received an undisclosed number of owner complaints of vomiting and kidney failure in dogs and cats after they had been fed its products. It has tested its products but not found a cause for the sickness.

"To date, the tests have not indicated any problems with the product," Henderson said.

FDA also working to target brands
The company alerted the Food and Drug Administration, which already has inspectors in one of the two plants, Henderson said. The FDA was working to nail down brand names covered by the recall, agency spokesman Mike Herndon said.

Menu Foods is majority-owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, based in Ontario, Canada.

Henderson said the recall would cost the company the Canadian equivalent of $26 million to $34 million.

Below are lists of specific brands recalled by Menu Foods, in addition to Procter & Gamble's recall of certain Iams and Eukanuba products. Menu Brands lists the brands on its Web site, www.menufoods.com, and advises consumers to call 1-866-895-2708 for more information.

Recalled cat foods
Americas Choice; Preferred Pets; Authority; Best Choice; Companion; Compliments; Demoulas Market Basket; Fine Feline Cat, Shep Dog; Food Lion; Foodtown; Giant Companion; Good n Meaty; Hannaford; Hill Country Fare; Hy-Vee; Key Food; Laura Lynn; Li'l Red; Loving Meals; Main Choice; Nutriplan; Nutro Max Gourmet Classics; Nutro Natural Choice; Paws; Presidents Choice; Price Chopper; Priority; Save-A-Lot; Schnucks; Sophistacat; Special Kitty; Springfield Pride; Sprout; Total Pet; My True Friend; Wegmans; Western Family; White Rose; and Winn Dixie.

Recalled dog foods
America's Choice; Preferred Pets; Authority; Award; Best Choice; Big Bet; Big Red; Bloom; Bruiser; Cadillac; Companion; Demoulas Market Basket; Fine Feline Cat; Shep Dog; Food Lion; Giant Companion; Great Choice; Hannaford; Hill Country Fare; Hy-Vee; Key Food; Laura Lynn; Loving Meals; Main Choice; Mixables; Nutriplan; Nutro Max; Nutro Natural Choice; Nutro; Ol'Roy; Paws; Pet Essentials; Pet Pride; President's Choice; Price Chopper; Priority; Publix; Roche Bros; Save-A-Lot; Schnucks; Springsfield Pride; Sprout; Stater Bros; Total Pet; My True Friend; Western Family; White Rose; Winn Dixie and Your Pet.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
St. Paul Teen Loses Her Beloved Canine

Chevy, the murdered dog.
(from America's Most Wanted Site

View LargerIt was an ordinary night in St. Paul, Minn. for 17-year-old Crystal Brown when she let her puppy, Chevy, outside. But, the young girl started to worry when the 4-year-old Australian shepherd didn't come home when she called his name. He had somehow managed to wander off. Crystal was grief stricken when she couldn't find her "best friend." Every day, she walked around her community - door to door - with the hopes that somebody would have found her precious pup. Crystal created "missing" posters and hung them up in surrounding neighborhoods. She would do anything to find Chevy.

A month went by and there was still no sign of Chevy. Then, one day, Crystal's grandmother, Shirley Brown, came home and found a beautifully wrapped gift on their front porch. The gift was wrapped with red paper and had a pack of batteriers taped to the top of the box. The sender also sent a note that read "Congratulations, Crystal! This side up. Batteries included." Shirley grabbed the gift, took it upstairs, and placed it on her granddaughter's bed. She was excited for her granddaughter and hoped that the gift would cheer her up.

But, what she found was the worst gift she will ever receive.
Teenager Receives Gruesome Gift
When Crystal returned home, she saw the gift and became excited. "I thought it was a gift from my cousin" she tearfully stated. Crystal tore off the wrapping paper and ripped into her surprise. But, what she found was the worst gift she will ever receive.

Inside the box were Valentine's Day candies and a black garbage bag. When she moved the bag, Crystal saw the face of her little puppy, Chevy. She screamed and ran downstairs to the kitchen to find her grandmother. "Is this my dog, Grandma? No! That's not my dog!" -- but, it was.

St. Paul police are investigating the bizzare and heinous crime. The homocide division is leading the investigation because of the "implied" terroristic threats. Sgt. Jim Gray said that there are no strong suspects in the case but forensic evidence is still being done on the box. Because this act was so random, police have no reason to believe that it will happen again. But, pet owners should still be cautious of their pets' whereabouts.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is offering a $2,500 reward for anybody who can provide information on the apprehension and conviction of the culprits responsible for the cruel act.

Animal Abuse Is Strongly Linked To Human Violence
Currently, there is no national database that tracks all animal cruelty cases. HSUS spokesperson, Dale Bartlett, said that it is very difficult to keep track of the number of animal cruelty cases because so many go unreported. But, even in his years of experience, decapitations of animals, especially house pets, are very rare.

HSUS states that animal cruelty laws are different in each state. Forty-two states have felony provisions for the worst types of animal cruelty. Luckily, Minnesota is a state that has a rare provision to their animal cruelty law. The provision states that any individual who is found guilty of cruelty or torture to dogs and cats, and does so to threaten, intimidate, or terrorize another person, may be sentenced to prison time for no more than 4 years or to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both. The provision enforces the highest penalty for animal cruelty in the state.

Past research has shown that there is a strong link between those who abuse animals and those who attack other people. Famous serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer have performed heinous acts on animals before brutally attacking their human victims. HSUS also cites that pet abuse is a significant factor in predicting abusive behavior. Many adolescents who torture and abuse animals usually grow up to have some sort of behavioral problems and they become very violent towards other people. Information on how to end animal cruelty and how to help bring Chevy's murderer to justice can be found on HSUS's website.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Christopher Stewart

Solar Eclipse Sunday March 18th
By Christopher P. Stewart(Christopher P. Stewart)

The Moon's close proximity to the Earth (perigee) also raises the possibility of earthquakes and other geophysical disruptions. The rise and fall of world leaders are often marked by a solar eclipse - occurring in Pisces, ...
Intuitive Living Medical Intuitive... - http://intuitiveliving.blogspot.com/index.html

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have questions about your future? Tarot Readers, Intutitives, empaths--Spiritual councilors are available.

Go to www.asknow.com to ask experienced Psychics one free question--romance, money, spirituality--it's your future, Asknow helps you get a glimpse into it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Copyright--A Writers Self Defense
Theresa Chaze

Some where along the way someone started the rumor that by simply writing a piece a writer automatically has the copyright--that US Copyrights are unnecessary to protect your work. I have also heard that the process is very complicated. All three are untrue. Mailing a copy to yourself and leaving it unopened to keep the postal stamp valid is call the poor man's copyright. It is a good temporary way of protecting your work, however it is only temporary. Accidents do happen and once the seal is broken, the protection has been invalidated. The only truly safe way to legal protect your work is to get a US copyright.
First, what is a copyright? It is legal proof of when and who created an original work. Whether it literary, dramatic, musical or artistic it falls under copyright protection. Owning the copyright means you have the legal right of deciding who and when the work may be distributed, copied, or performed publicly. This doesn’t mean if you are singing to the radio or if you loan your copy of a book to someone that you will be sued. However, if you start making copies of a Harry Potter books and selling them as your own, legal representatives of JR Rowlings who will take great issue with you. Any time you represent another’s efforts as your own you are stealing from them and cheating yourself. Everyone has a creative voice--something inside them that only they can share--if you usurp someone else’s creativity, you deny yourself and cheat the world of your special perspective.
However, there are ways to refer to another’s work without violating the copyright. Always make sure you give full credit to the creator of the work. It’s usually best to keep it enclosed within quotes or only used as a reference. But footnotes are also acceptable as long as they are clearly marked and easily accessible. In one article, I compared the lyrics of a song to the spiritual journey of a generation. I immediately opened the piece by giving credit to the author. Not only did it protect me, but it gave the reader a reference point. Quotes need the proper punctuation as well as the source information. To do other would only reflect badly on you.
I don't know who started it and really don't care. The fact is that writing a piece guarantees you nothing. It can be fun. It can be healing. It can be exciting. However, putting ink to paper doesn’t give you any legal standing. Even if your work is read by others before it is sent out, doesn’t mean it will not be challenged. On the opposite site, it doesn’t mean it will be either. What it does mean is that you aren’t protected. As of September 2006, it cost 45.00 to register a literary piece. If you are the sole author and the piece hasn't been previously copyrighted you can use Short Form TX. It is a single sheet that will probably take you longer to print up than to fill out. If there are multiple authors or other copyrights involved you will need to use Form TX. It is a longer form, but just as simple to fill out. The US Copyright site address is http://www.copyright.gov/
For smaller pieces, such as short stories or articles, I don’t individually copyright; instead, I tack them on to larger pieces and make a notation on the application. However, when you get over ten thousands words you are approaching a novella and that can be worth it to spend the money for an official copyright. Most smaller pieces are written to be published either online or in a magazine format. Once they are published, you have some protection. The publication date is evidence of your claim of ownership, but it is not proof. However, most smaller works are safe. The cost to fight for them is usually greater than they are worth. In addition, once you have a track record, your style will help protect you from someone else claiming your work. Everyone has their own voice, which is very difficult to imitate. Word usage and sentence structure are individual; it what makes every writer unique.
Before sending out any larger than a novella, I send out the paperwork and wait two weeks. Once the paper work reaches the Copyright offices, it is valid; however, receiving the paperwork can take up to four months. If you send it certified return receipt, the returned postcard can temporarily valid your claim of copyright. In this way, I can start approaching publishers, agents or movie producers and honestly say I have a copyright on the piece. In another place, I will describe the dark side of publishing; not everyone in the business is ethical or honest. By protecting my work ahead of time, I insure it will be protected from the beginning. In addition, there are some places that will not even look at work without proof of copyright. People in the film industry have been burned so many times that it is necessary to either have a US Copyright or to have the work registered with the Writers Guild.
Another way to protect your work is to register it with the Writers Guild. There are offices on both the east and west coasts of the United States. As far as I know, the Guild registration only offers protection in the USA. However, the length of the protection is shorter than a US Copyright. The Guild registration is valid for five years and can be renewed for an additional fee. As of September 2006, the fee is 20.00 for non-members and 10.00 for members. They also offer the option of filing online, which is quicker than a US Copyright and offers just as much protection. Their site address is http://www.wga.org.
There are some writers who register their work with both. With screenplays and stage plays that is a good idea. The Guild is part of the industries, which makes your work more accessible. The US Copyright gives it additional protection for a longer span of time. Either path is acceptable. But to send out a large project, without protection, is just playing Russian Roulette with you hard work.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light
Wiccan Wisdom
Theresa Chaze

Valkyrie Publishing announces the March 1 release of Theresa Chaze's new ebook, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light. It is a 105-page ebook containing Wiccan wisdom and rituals for the beginner as well as the advanced practitioner. It contains rituals for the individual as well as for groups.

Although Wicca is a modern term, it is based on traditions that reach back to when humans toiled the soil and hunted the forests for food. It is a wisdom, which helps Wiccan and Pagans work in harmony with the rhythms of nature to provide and protect the family or tribe. Most of us today do not grow our own food or hunt in the forest; instead, we work jobs and forage in supermarkets. This doesn’t change the essential nature of our goals, which is to provide for our families and ourselves. By working in harmony with the nature's energy, which surrounds us, we can bring balance, peace and prosperity into our lives. This doesn’t mean our lives will be without challenges, but it does mean with faith in ourselves and the Divine we can weather our challenges to reach our best and highest good.

Wiccans also respect other religions. We do not alter their rituals or prayers as an anti-religion. I have heard of covens, which as part of their initiation require the initiate to say the Lord’s Prayer backward. Wicca is based on spiritual traditions, which began long before Christ walked upon the Earth. We are a positive, loving force in the universe. Only by respecting all paths can we honor ourselves, each other and the Divine life force, no matter what is called, which is in all of us.

In Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, I share some of what I have learned. It is a positive healing magic, meant to help you on your path. If you are looking for rituals to control or harm another, you are looking in the wrong book. Anytime you try to control another’s destiny, it is black magic. Which brings me to the Wiccan Creed “do what ye will, but harm none.” and the “rule of three”. The only exception to these rules is in self-defense. Once you are no longer being attacked, you must stop; otherwise, you become the attacker and the rules apply to you. Both the creed and the rule of three have been hotly debated. Whether you call it the rule of three, karma, or what goes around comes around, your actions do have consequences for good or evil. Harm or manipulate another, no matter what your intentions, and you open yourself to the same at another’s hand. However, random acts of kindness bring help and healing back to you when you need it. It is your choice.

There are two categories of protection. The first is a response to an attack that has already begun. Rituals, which reflect back or bind the other’s negative energy, fall into this section. The second set of rituals are preventative measures, which include cleansing, shields, and reinforcing your own energy. Protection rituals or spells, which reflect back or bind, are specifically for self-defense on a spiritual level. Once you are in a safe spot, you can then turn your attention to preventing further aggression. These protection rituals are solely for self-defense. To follow the attacker and to continue, reverse the roles and you become the attacker. These rituals are specifically designed for self-defense, nothing more.

More than protection, justice rituals are for situations, which are bigger than the individual is, when you want to clear your karma, or break karmic ties with another. They are the best way to release the situation to the wisdom of a higher power. However by doing so you also forfeit your control over the end results. By letting go, you allow the best and highest good to determine the outcome. There are many situations both on the personal level and on the grand scale that would benefit from setting aside the ego and allowing Goddess/God to deal with the challenge.

What would a book of Shadows be without prosperity rituals--a book of other wisdom. But if you are looking for rituals to help you win the lottery or to steal others’ belongings, you need to look elsewhere. There aren’t many rich witches out there who didn’t become so without hard work. That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen, only that is unlikely that you will win millions. Prosperity is more than the sum total of what is in you bank account, but of who you are and what you have accomplished. That doesn't mean you can set aside the mundane needs of life and go meditate on a hill--even then you have to eat. What it does mean that you need to take responsibility for your decisions and your life. Casting spells and doing rituals can help, but I have yet to meet a rich witch. The best way to insure a successful, prosperous life is to remain in school and get a good education. In doing so, you'll find a source of satisfaction as well as being able to live comfortably.

Most love rituals are in fact black magic. If you try to influence another against their will to love you, even for good reason, it is black magic and eventually you will pay. In the movie, The Craft, the one witch discovered how dangerous it can be. She forced a classmate to love her, but instead of a lover, she created a dangerous stalker. Besides wouldn't you prefer to have a love match where you were loved you for yourself instead of forcing someone to love you. How could you ever trust the love between you? Created in trickery and deceit, it could never be a strong bond. Also in doing so, you would create very bad karma and destroy any chance you and any of your true soul mates would have of connecting.

As with the protection rituals, the following are not meant to be the only path to take. If you are physically ill or injured for goodness sake, seek medical help. I am not a doctor or a medical professional. Healing rituals are designed to heal from the spiritual down to the physical. Many illnesses, both on the physical and emotional level have their sources in the spiritual. By healing etheric body or the soul, the physical body is restored. There isn't a simple explanation of why illness happens--nor are there any cure all. Frequently illnesses are learning experiences, karmic balancing or the result of emotional trauma. The only way to deal with them is to find the root cause. In doing so, the lesson is learn or the trauma is understood so trapped emotions can be released. This is no guarantee that the physical ailment will just disappear, but it will aid with the healing process.

Wiccan and Paganism are multi-dimensional paths whose main purpose is to be able both live well and in harmony with the universe. You won’t find them on street corners trying to convert others, nor do they actively attack others; it would be against their belief system. Instead, they chose a life’s path in the pursuit of wisdom, honor and harmony. They work their jobs, care for their families, and pay their bills, while trying to make this world a little better for everyone.

"An amazing and in depth BOS written by the published Wiccan writer Theresa Chaze. An Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church, Wiccan Priestess, and expert in Dragon Magic, Mz Chaze shares her personal wisdom and experiences with the reader. The artwork is inspiring and you will find invaluable spells, rituals, Moon phases,
Pagan Holy Days and much much more. Not the run of the mill BOS fare, but a tantalizing buffet!"


“When I use the term “awesome” in reference to Theresa Chaze’s new book, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, it is such an understatement that I really feel ashamed I cannot come up with a better term. Out of the Shadows and Into the Light is an excellent reference guide for anyone who really wants to know what Wicca is really all about. Theresa, an Ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church and Wiccan Priestess, guides us through rituals, alter-building and dragon magic with such a gentle and easy tone that even those of us who don’t practice Wicca can understand that it’s not about evil, but about finding good in the world. It has totally changed my way of thinking. I believe that if more people would realize that Wicca is not about burning animals at the alter or casting evil spells, but concentrate on Theresa’s principles that “…Wicca is a wisdom…based on living in harmony with the rhythms of nature to provide and protect the family…,” you will see the full impact that those who practice Wicca are trying to portray. I highly recommend Out of the Shadows and Into the Light…a must read for anyone who wants to know the REAL world of Wicca.”

--Dorothy Thompson, editor, The Writer’s Life (www.thewriterslife.net) and editor/contributing author of Romancing the Soul (Zumaya Publications 2004)

Out of the Shadows and Into the Light is only available at www.theresachaze.com. Downloads are five dollars to be paid through Paypal.

Theresa Chaze has been described as the woman who plays with dragons, especially the dragons of the mind. She leads her readers to magical realms and others worlds. Her work is based on her philosophy that all peoples can live together in peace as long as we come from respect, not only for ourselves but those who follow different paths or beliefs. Her work has been compared to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey with an adult version of Harry Potter mixed in. Theresa Chaze's major works so far include the first two novels of the Dragon Clan Trilogy and a free fantasy ebook called, Sisters, Mother, Daughters. Her screenplay, Never Can Say Good-bye, is one of the 2006 winners of the Gloria Film Festival. She publishes an ezine called, Messages From the Universe, which is available on her site www.theresachaze.com.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Rev. Gary Fearn stands in the sanctuary of his Universalist Life Church, 109 W. Fourth St.

Congregation thrives on eclectic view
To say that the Rev. Gary Fearn's church is not mainstream is an understatement.

Fearn's congregation, the Universalist Life Church, is about as far out of the religion mainstream as can be - not that that's a bad thing, of course.

The congregation describes itself as a metaphysical church, meaning that there are philosophical, belief, intellectual and scientific elements involved.

Specific doctrine and dogma are not much a part of the nondenominational congregation, led by Fearn, 42, a Pueblo native.

"We look at all religious and other traditions to try to reconnect to the divine, the spirit, to God," he said, "and we begin with a premise that we are co-creators with the spirit, with the divine.

"We appreciate Christian teaching - and we have several people in our membership who identify themselves as Christians - but we consider Buddhist, Hindu and other teachings, as well.

"There is truth as a reality, but we remain unconvinced that any one preacher, congregation or religious system has all of it or exclusive rights to it."

The congregation has been in place since last July, and about a month ago relocated from a belly-dancing studio to a storefront operation at 109 W. Fourth St.

Fearn is happy with the locale, saying, "The last thing we need to do is build another church building."

Belly dancing, however, is still at least tangentially connected to the Universalist Life Church, insofar as teaching that art is one of the items offered as a part of the several church-sponsored well-being services offered at the site, also including naturopathy, reflexology, hot-stone massage, gem therapy, pedicures, iridology, reiki, acupressure, pastoral counseling, aromatherapy, homeopathy, body wraps, manicures and life coaching. Pastorally, the church provides the usual weddings and funerals, but also has rites to accompany divorce, bless unions that other churches shy away from and various ceremonials connected to neo-pagan Wiccan worship.

Fearn said there are a few Wiccan worshippers in attendance at Sunday services, as well as agnostics and members of mainstream Christian churches.

"There are a couple of Catholics who are able to go to early Mass at their parishes and then make it in time for our 45-minute, 11 a.m. services," he said, smiling.

The church has a simple set of operating principles:

"Our goal, a fuller life for everyone; our objective, eternal progression; our slogan, to live and help live."

Fearn - married and father of two - was raised in the rigorous Southern Baptist Convention, but clearly has set that denomination aside.

He has been involved in other jobs and ministries since 1991. He has been a police officer and police chaplain, owned a chain of religious-goods stores based in Las Vegas, marketed painting and maintenance services in Denver, managed a Southeastern Colorado branch of Jackson-Hewitt tax services and is an examiner for Colorado's Real Estate Board. Additionally, he lists on his resume some 26,000 hours of hands-on pastoral duties.

Fearn earned his non-academic doctorate in divinity from the Universal Life Church in 1988, and was interim pastor of a Pueblo Universal Life Church congregation from late 1995 to early 1998.

The pastor said there's an average attendance of 20 to 30 at Sunday services, and that "we're growing, maybe five or six people a month." He said the church really doesn't yet have a budget, but runs on about $1,000 a month.

"We're big on fellowship, as well as worship," Fearn said of the congregation, which he said is about evenly divided between singles and families and with an average age of 30 to 35.

The church is loosely affiliated with the sometimes-controversial, 47-year-old, Modesto, Calif.-based Universal Life Church.

Fearn and his congregants begin with a premise that all things and people are part of one main source and should thus be respected, even in their independence and interdependence on other beings and things.

Metaphysics, the local church notes in a brochure, "is the way to interpret and understand life on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes."

Additionally, the brochure notes, "Metaphysics understands the Law of Attraction and how it effects and affects our lives." The law, at the risk of oversimplification, may be enunciated as "you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny."

Fearn said the church never focuses on political issues, and the congregation seems about evenly divided between liberal and conservative thought.

"We're focused on spirituality, not political division," he said, adding that the church makes no moral judgments about interpersonal lifestyles and relationships.

"That's pretty much up to the individual's responsibility to figure out," he said. "It's our aim to reconnect people to the creator, whatever that means to the individual."

All of which indeed places the church well out of the mainstream - not that that's a bad thing, of course.

The church maintains a Web site: www.universalistlifechurch.org and Fearn may be contacted at 671-5866.
Prevented from Harassing Wiccans and Pagan
Christians Claim Discrimination
Theresa Chaze

On September 23 2006, several friends and myself drove down the Pagan Pride Day in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sun was playing peak-a-boo with us all the way down. However, by the time we got to the park the clouds had parted somewhat. It was a beautiful day and we were excited about going to the festival. The parking lot was nearly full. We ended up finding parking spots on opposite ends of the lot for our two vehicles. As we walked to meet each other, we were suddenly confronted by men declaring we were evil and going to hell. Some of them quietly handed out flyers with Christian tracts to pedestrians walking by, but they were also putting them on the windshields. Others weren't so benign. They verbally assaulted people going into the festival, sometimes blocking their path and declaring they were in league with the devil. One man was arrested for using a bullhorn without a permit. Others went around the parking lot, writing down license plate numbers of the cars present. The only reason they would want that information is to harass the vehicle owners later. Granted after a certain point, I stopped being nice to them. I’m a fully dedicate Wiccan Priestess, who goes out of her way to help others and make the world a little better. I resented being called evil and being cursed to damnation by people who knew nothing about me.
We paid our admission with cat food for the local animal rescue group and joined in the festivities. With or without garb, people were enjoying each other’s company, the shopping and the positive energy of the group as a whole. We arrived in time to take a scrying class. After which, our group started breaking off to find our own interests. One of the local animal rescue groups had a few cats and dogs that were available for adoption. Angie commented that they had lost me for a while; she and Kayla went on to shop, while the two others found another class. I talked with the rescue volunteers for a while and scratched a few furry heads before moving on. There was some beautiful hand made crafts, intuitive readers and representatives from some Occult shops in Michigan. I stopped to chat and promote my novels. On the far end was a shop that sold inexpensive daggers and swords; none of them would be really considered weapons, being more decorative than being able to hold a true edge. I found one that was really cute and affordable, so I bought it. One of the SCA groups was teaching the younger children how to fence with patted sparing swords and showing off their own skill with their blades. There were also rituals being performed for the healing of the planet and for the equinox. There were other forms of entertainment, including a magician who did magic along the lines of the Mind Freak.
The atmosphere was relaxed with people laughing, chatting and enjoying the festival. Everyone was having a good time, except for the group of “Christians” who continued to screech how evil we were for not believing in their one true God. If harassing the festival goers in the parking lot was not enough, they were given specific areas in the park where they could spout their bigotry and negativity. Law enforcement kept an obvious presence by standing off to side, close enough to keep the two groups from colliding, but far enough so they wouldn‘t interfere with either group.. Most of the festival patrons ignored the Christians. The more they were disregarded, the louder the Christians became. No one from the festival or from law enforcement made any attempt to silence them. A few people did mock them, but they did not interfere with their free speech. They were able to spew their bigotry and ignorance to their hearts content. As the afternoon passed and the coming storm make its presence more apparent, the Christians disbursed.
You would think that would have been the end of the story, but is not. David Ickes and seven other members of the Worldwide Street Preachers’ Fellowship with the help of the Allied Defense Fun have suited the City of Grand Rapids, claiming their First Amendment Rights were violated by police when they attempted to speak in a public park.
“It is truly disturbing when those charged with upholding the law disregard or do not understand the First Amendment rights of citizens,” said ADF-allied attorney Randall Wenger of the Lancaster, Pa., law firm Clymer & Musser, P.C. “The officers in this situation acted in violation of the Constitution when they chose to silence those who were simply exercising their free speech rights.”
I was there for most of the festival. They were not silenced, just mocked and ignored. They were also prevented from harassing the festival goers by being limited to selected areas in the park. They claim that they did not use amplification equipment, but this is not true. It was the reason the person was arrested.
Ickes and the others claimed they merely wanted to address the festival goers. Their group was able to speak out; they were just prevented from harassing others who walk a different spiritual path. They had the right to speak out. We also had the First Amendment right to mock them and ignore them. They claim their First Amendment right of free speech was violated; however, they were violating our First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
“Religious speech is protected under the First Amendment and cannot be silenced because of a city-imposed permit requirement,” Wenger explained.
This is true, but so is our right not to be Christian and to live our lives free of harassment and intimidation. Ickes and his fellow preachers have the right to believe whatever they wish, but they do not have the right to inflict it on others.
A copy of the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in World Wide Street Preachers’ Fellowship v. The City of Grand Rapids is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/IckesComplaint.pdf. The motion for preliminary injunction may be viewed at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/IckesPIMotion.pdf. The memorandum in support of the motion for preliminary injunction is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/IckesPIMemo.pdf.

Theresa Chaze has been described as the woman who plays with dragons, especially the dragons of the mind. She leads her readers to magical realms and others worlds. Her work is based on her philosophy that all peoples can live together in peace as long as we come from respect, not only for ourselves but those who follow different paths or beliefs. Her work has been compared to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey with an adult version of Harry Potter mixed in. Theresa Chaze's major works so far include the first two novels of the Dragon Clan Trilogy and a free fantasy ebook called, Sisters, Mother, Daughters. Her screenplay, Never Can Say Good-bye, is one of the 2006 winners of the Gloria Film Festival. She publishes an ezine called, Messages From the Universe, which is available on her site www.theresachaze.com.

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Police Abuse: Sovereign Immunity Protects the Abusers
Theresa Chaze

Police abuse is a national problem with officers over stepping their bounds and deliberately doing harm to the people that they have sworn to protect. The country doesn't need more police officers. It needs to set a higher standard for the officers to meet. They need to have a clear understanding of the law and their role in society, so they can protect without infringing on Civil Rights. However, it is not only ignorance of the public’s rights that causes abusive situations, but the officers attempting to secure their jobs by inflating the crime statistics and personal satisfaction of having power over others that are the root causes of the abuse. With statewide budget cuts, every government job is at risk. However by inflating the crime statistics with unjustified arrests and unreasonable traffic stops, they insure the law enforcement system will be immune to pay cuts and lay offs. In addition, individual officers have learned that they won’t be held responsible for their actions. Most officers are ethical and honorable. But there are those who intentionally inflict harm on those in our society they see as vulnerable. They also target those who have lifestyles or points of view that differ from their own.
The cases of abuse, misconduct and bigotry are increasing expediently, because no one in the government willing to address the root cause. One only has to Google--police abuse or police abuse of power to learn how severe the problem has become. Officers get away with it because they can. Victims can sue the law enforcement agencies but the individual officers are never held accountable for the harm they cause. Sovereign Immunity is the legal doctrine that states the sovereign or government and its agents cannot be legally prosecuted for harm they cause. By definition, Sovereign means monarch, the ruler or permanent head of a state, especially a king or queen. Law enforcement officials are neither; they are public servants, not public masters. However, instead of serving and protecting society, they are rapidly become a bigger threat to the public than the criminal element. At least with the criminal element, you can defend yourself without additional criminal charges being added. To merely touch an officer is to be guilty of a crime, yet they are capable of searching your person and property if they have the faintest suspicion you have possibly broken a law. They no longer need proof a crime, just the mere illusion is enough to support a search. They feel entitled to harass and intimidate those they find objectionable because of lifestyle, political affiliation, religion or skin color.
In addition, the abusive actions of law enforcement does not make the public safer. When an officer is actively involved in harassing an individual or group, they are not available to do the job they were hired to do. It adds to the response time, which could be the difference between life and death for the victim of an actual crime.
The changes need to happen on every level--local, state and federal by holding law enforcement responsible for their actions. Either by executive order or legislative initiative, the Sovereign Immunity needs to be rescinded and the individual officers held responsible for their actions. It would not only force the abusers to take personal responsibility for their actions, but it would give the ethical officers the reason to break through the blue wall and expose the abuses. Instead of depleting the law enforcement ranks, it would open the opportunities to officers who are willing to work within their legal limits.
In addition, independent civilian review boards with the enough power to be effective need to be set up in every community. With the existing systems, a person has to file a complaint with the very people who did them harm. Frequently, those who attempt to file complaints are threatened and harassed into silence.
Thirdly, local authorities need to be pressured into investigating the current abuse cases and following up with the appropriate disciplinary actions and retribution for the damage done to individual.
Also, public service campaigns that inform the public of their rights and responsibilities will do much to eliminate confusion and help the public understand what they need to do when confronted with an officer in order to remain safe. A well informed person is more capable of dealing with an abuse situation. By knowing their rights, they can not only prevent the situation from escalating, but also save themselves legal entanglements and remove most excuses officers use to detain individuals.
Individuals should be compensated for their pain not only by the law enforcement agency, but the individual officers as well. If the abusive officers and all those who protect them can loose their homes, cars and everything they have worked for, they will have more of an incentive to follow the rules.
The public has to also stay involved by reporting abuses, filing complaints with the Attorney General of your state, and speaking out in the media. With the popularity of cell phones with cameras, it is very easy to document the abuse and share it with the world, thereby exposing the abusive officers in a way that cannot be disputed. How many more people have to be harmed or killed before the abuse of power is addressed? Civil rights are not optional, yet they frequently ignored and those who are different or weaker become victims to bigotry and ignorance.

Theresa Chaze has been described as the woman who plays with dragons, especially the dragons of the mind. She leads her readers to magical realms and others worlds. Her work is based on her philosophy that all peoples can live together in peace as long as we come from respect, not only for ourselves but those who follow different paths or beliefs. Her work has been compared to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey with an adult version of Harry Potter mixed in. Theresa Chaze's major works so far include the first two novels of the Dragon Clan Trilogy and a free fantasy ebook called, Sisters, Mother, Daughters. March 1, 2007, she released an Ebook of Shadows called, Out of the Shadows and into the light; it can only be purchased from her site. Her screenplay, Never Can Say Good-bye, is one of the 2006 winners of the Gloria Film Festival. She publishes an ezine called, Messages From the Universe, which is available on her site www.theresachaze.com.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Million Dollar Ghost

Wiccan Book of Shadows--A Review
"Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, A Book of Shadows for the Modern World."
A Review by GrannyMoon

An amazing and in depth BOS written by the published Wiccan writer Theresa Chaze. An Ordained Minister
of the Universal Life Church, Wiccan Priestess, and expert in Dragon Magic, Mz Chaze shares her personal wisdom
and experiences with the reader. The artwork is inspiring and you will find invaluable spells, rituals, Moon phases,
Pagan Holy Days and much much more. Not the run of the mill BOS fare, but a tantalizing buffet!

Her other works, "Dragon Clan Trilogy", "Awakening the Dragon" and "Dragon Domain", as well as,
"Sisters, Mother, Daughters", her free fantasy e-book, are available on her website,

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Messages Fromt The Universe March Issue

Here is March's issue of Messages From the Universe. Sorry it was
late. As always, the individual authors retain the copyright of the
articles, but you are more than welcome to share the ezine

You may hve to cut and paste the address in your browser.