In praise of weeds

A weed is an unwanted plant, a plant growing in competition with cultivated plants.

A weed is generally hated, considered superfluous, if not harmful. The harm, of course, comes from the assumption that the herb is taking from the plants one wants there simply by existing, that it is valueless or even troublesome, if only because getting rid of them makes work and is not consistent with our imagined garden or lawn. In fact, many herbs improve conditions for other plants around them. We just don’t check.

Emerson said: “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”

Clearly there is nothing different about a weed except our perception of the plants. The problem is not in the weeds, but our minds.  Perhaps if we call it wort or weod as in the Old English source of the word, we wouldn’t think of them so harshly.

When I began studying and learning to identify medicinal and edible wild plants, fields and forests and roadsides became a vast resource to me. It’s our minds that need changing, not our the content of our yards. (unless you have eliminated the clover and dandelions and burdock and thistles and nettles from your yard- in that case, your yard should probably change.)  While not what we were planning or hoping to grow, weeds are often hardier and more useful than what we try to grow.

Herbalists say that if a new plant appears in your yard, it’s because you need it, and I’ve found this to be true. I don’t recognize a new plant, I look it up, and usually discover it helps a problem that someone in the house has. Even “normal” people talk to plants, because they grow better when we do.  Herbalists thank our herbs when we harvest them. Animists, like me, will ask a plant if it wants to help the patient, and sometimes one plant does and another plant doesn’t, even if they are the same species, and growing next to each other. Plants have consciousness and want to help us. I sometimes worry that they are like the Shmoos in Li’l Abner, too good to be true. We just need to know them better.

Eyeore said: “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”

We need to learn more! Although they often do seem to want to help us, I also wonder if perhaps even herbalists and botanists may still be ignorant about plants place in the world. (Just look at all the amazing things we are discovering about mushrooms/mycelium!) There may be so much more than we know about them which explains why they are willing to sacrifice their bodies for our benefit. They may be more evolved than us, who knows? When we talk about “Saving the world” we really mean “saving humans”. Perhaps when mushrooms save the world, it won’t include us anymore. If we can’t understand that we are not the world, not even the most important thing in the world, we may have failed as a species.

An analogy from weeds:

At this point in political history, I can’t help thinking about how so many people seem to see other people as weeds. They want to get rid of them because they don’t recognize their value; they are simply unaware of anything except that those other people are not what they planned and expected to see in their world, so they want to “weed them out”. Kill them, or at least remove them from where they live. They don’t realize that if they did this, it would destroy the complex system that makes everything work. They seem to think that if they get rid of or hide things that bother them, they will feel better. They don’t see how impossible it is that if they get rid of the “weed-people”,  all the thing those people they despise do will be done automatically, (if we get rid of our “untouchable” caste, and suddenly we won’t need to defecate any more). It’s far too easy to simply decide to eradicate something that you don’t like, and assume that your life will be better, rather than trying to figure out why it’s there, and what it is that bothers you about it. The glyphosate crisis has illustrated the foolishness of that theory pretty well.

Plants have always been allies of humans, and it’s only when we decide that we prefer one plant over another, defining them as weeds, that we create an unbalanced ecosystem that will not support us. Go out to your doorstep and see what weeds you have there- bring them in and do an internet search and find out what the world is telling you that you need. You may be surprised to discover that weeds love you, and are trying to help.

Paul Harvey said “When there’s too much of it a flower becomes a weed.”

Save

Advertisements

Coyote Skywoman on the New Normal: The Alchemist

This week Tchipakkan and her guest Deb CoyoteSkyWoman will be discussing the best seller The Alchemist on The New Normal on www.liveparanormal.com.

If you missed the live show, it’s archived here: http://tobtr.com/s/10228735
CoyoteSkyWoman, has been a member of the New England Pagan community for the last 30 years, and she has been a practicing shaman for only a little bit longer than that. She works closely with the trickster spirit, Coyote, and has worked with The Sagefire Fellowship and A Sacred Place since their inceptions. A frequent speaker at the Changing Times-Changing Worlds conference, she has spoken on Tricksters, Channeling, Modern and Historical Paganism, and our relationship with the Devine and the Land.
Wednesday we’ll be talking about a powerful book, the Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho and fist published in 1988. This novel is about a quest by an Andelusian Shepherd, Santiago.
Among the bits of wisdom in this allegory is the idea of your Personal Legend. Your Personal Legend “is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.” also that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Whether you’ve read the book yet or not, the concepts are fascinating.

We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, leave a question on the facebook event page, and we’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

New Normal Kathryn Smith on Kaballah 8-16-17

Please join Tchipakkan and her Kathryn Smith on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt. Listen on your computer at http http://liveparanormal.com/

This year at the Changing Times Changing Worlds conference Kathryn  will be presenting Kabbalah: Concepts and Historical Overview

The Kabbalah, borrowed originally from Jewish mysticism, has become a fundamental building block of Western Esoteric studies. With mysterious diagrams, Hebrew letters, and often Hebrew terminology, it can seem impenetrable to the new student.

Most of us are not going to go into the decades of study the Kabballah requires, but would like to know a bit more, so I’ll be asking some basic questions of Kathryn about the major texts and schools, both Jewish and Christian, as well as history, concepts, and terminology.
If you’ve wondered about the Kabbalah and want to find out a bit more without being overwhelmed, this hour may provide just the right introduction.

Kathryn Smith has been a student of the esoteric in various forms since the mid 1980’s, and began studying with R. J. Stewart in 1996. Since then she been exploring both the Western esoteric traditions and fairy lore. She’s currently pursuing advanced studies in teaching esoteric topics with R. J. Stewart and Anastacia Nutt.

If you’ve wondered about the Kabbalah and want to find out a bit more without being overwhelmed, this hour may provide just the right introduction.

Kathryn has been a student of the esoteric in various forms since the mid 1980’s, and began studying with R. J. Stewart in 1996. Since then she been exploring both the Western esoteric traditions and fairy lore. She’s currently pursuing advanced studies in teaching esoteric topics with R. J. Stewart and Anastacia Nutt.

We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

 

Let’s Talk Unverified personal gnosis

July 26, 2017 UPGs with Thor Halvorsen

http://tobtr.com/s/10166025 link to archive

When you deal with the Occult, the Paranormal, the Supernatural, the Metaphysical, and especially when you discover that your belief systems are closer to those of pagan ancestors than those of the modern world, you have two resources: what’s been written down, probably by Christians who disaprove of or scientists who disbelieve the subject matter, or your personal experiences. You wouldn’t take on the inconvieniences of calling yourself a Pagan, Heathen, or Witch, if you weren’t pretty sure that what you’re dealing with is real, and your life will be better if you maintain a positive relationship with these beings that most of the world seems to be telling you are imaginary.

There are enough of us now, (1-2 million estimated) pagans or polytheists in the USA, that you may have found others to hang around with. You may have found a Hellenistic (Greek), Khemetic (Egyptian), or Heathen (Norse) group that worship the same gods, and would like to do it together. Reconstructionist Pagans try to find as much material (often called Lore) from the pre-Christian writings on which to base practices. But we come to this situation through personal experiences, and keep having them.

At the same time, we are modern people and know that it’s possible to hallucinate, to see something briefly and have your brain turn it into something different, or even just remember things incorrectly. How do you know the experience, the vision, that you had was real? Joan of Arc wasn’t burned for cross dressing, she was burned for believing her visions over the Churches objections. But polytheists don’t have experts to tell them what’s Canon, we tend to come to a consensus. If your personal experienced differs from historical sources, or others experiences, they’ll be less likely to trust your description. It’s an “unverifiable personal gnosis” they might say. If several others have, for example seen the goddess Hecate with blonde hair, others may be willing to say “I guess that’s how she’s appearlng these days.”

Gnosis btw, is a knowledge of spiritual mysteries.

Wikipedia tells us:

“Unverified personal gnosis (often abbreviated UPG) is the phenomenological concept that an individual’s spiritual insights (or gnosis) may be valid for them without being generalizable to the experience of others. It is primarily a neologism used in polytheistic reconstructionism, to differentiate it from ancient sources of spiritual practices.

The term appears to have originally appeared in print in Kaatryn MacMorgan’s book Wicca 333: Advanced Topics in Wiccan Belief, published in March 2003, but seems to have originated in German–Scandinavian Reconstructionist groups in the 1970s or 1980s. The same phenomenon has also been referred to as “personal revelation”, or “unverifiable personal gnosis” (in a somewhat derogatory sense).

Ideally the term is used to label one’s own experience as a new and untested hypothesis, although further verification from the spiritual interactions of others may lead to a certain degree of verifiability[disambiguation needed]. At other times, the term is used in either a value-neutral or disparaging sense, about someone else’s experience.”

Tune in to http://www.Liveparanormal.com, to listen on your computer. If you’d like to join the conversation, we’d love to hear your perspective and experiences. call 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, leave a question on the facebook event page . We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join us on the New Normal, at LiveParanormal.com

Money and government

I was thinking about how people make “big” money these days. They make products- by finding places so economically strapped that they can pay slave wages. They find places where they can get resources for free, or nearly so, generally by taking them away from the people who live on the land with the permission of the government.They dump waste products without taking responsibility for cleaning up what hurts others, simply so they don’t have to pay for it.
Is there a way for people to make money on a large scale without exploiting people? Without making their profit by making sure that other people are working for almost no return under horrible conditions, by raping the land and fouling it?
If it is not the role of world governments to prevent these abuses, by making and enforcing laws stopping the people who are creating this (not just the ones who are caught up in the process), then what is a government for?

Starwolf talks about Bindrunes

Please join Tchipakkan and her guest Starwolf on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

We’ll be talking about bindrunes!

If you missed the live show, here’s the link to the archive.

 http://liveparanormal.com/

The topic of the evening is Bindrunes and Rune Magick. We’re told that the runes were given to the Norse folks by Odin (or Freya). They’re a symbol system, an alphabet, a method of divination and a method of working with energy, and Starwolf and Tchipakkan will be talking about the more metaphysical uses of the Runes.

What is a bindrune? It’s when combine two or more runes often using the same long central line. The magickal properties of both/ all runes are still there. Why and how would you do this? Listen to learn more.

Want to catch this intTchipakkan Fair Richards-Taylor's photo.erview, or call in with your own questions?

If you just want to listen, you can go to the above site, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.

We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join Starwolf and me tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

 

 

 

 

View your post in the event discussion.

1 Going · 0 Interested

Share this event with your friends

Details

Please join Tchipakkan and her guest Starwolf on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.
We’ll be talking about bindrunes
It’s another podcast coming up for your education and entertainment!
Wednesday night Starwolf will be talking with Tchipakkan on http://liveparanormal.com/ from 8-9 pm.
The topic of the evening is Bindrunes and Rune Magick. We’re told that the runes were given to the Norse folks by Odin. They’re a symbol system, an alphabet, a method of divination and a method of working with energy, and Starwolf and Tchipakkan will be talking about the more metaphysical uses of the Runes.
What is a bindrune? It’s when combine two or more runes often using the same long central line. The magickal properties of both/ all runes are still there. Why and how would you do this? Listen to learn more.

Want to catch this interview, call in with your own questions?
If you just want to listen, you can go to www.liveparanormal.com , click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.

We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.
If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join Starwolf and me tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

Save

Save

Save

New Page Werewolf handout

I just put up the handout to the Werewolf workshop I did at GNEW and will do again at Pennsic, Link here

To keep it to one double sided sheet I cut the bibliography down to my favorites. I am looking forward to writing the longer “booklet” with more fun information in it. It’s hard to leave out so much to get it down to the barely fleshed out outline!

What is mythology? on the New Normal

 

Please join Tchipakkan and her guest Thor Halvorsen on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

Will be archived here: http://tobtr.com/s/10136601

We’re going to be talking about Mythology, what it is, what it’s for, and how calling something a myth changes our attitude toward it.

A joke defines a myth as “what you call other peoples religions”.

Stories are often called myths (“just a myth”) to indicate that they are not true. Yet, while not factual, myths are stories that express fundimental truths, as seen by their culture.

How do you feel when/if a person from another faith refers to your religious stories as myths, but to their own as expressions of truth (although they may not insist that they are intended to be taken literally.)

We may talk about the dichotomy between monotheism and polytheism, the colonization/power structure of religion (when Thor was on in April, we talked about that, and this show is an outgrowth of that one); we can talk gods vs religion vs mythology. What are gods, what is worship, what is immortality? What is religion vs dogma?

Want to catch this conversation, or call in to be part of it? Call 619-639-4606 (live only between 8 and 9 Wednesday).

If you can’t tune in then, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join Thor Halvorsen and me Wednesday night from 8-9 at the New Normal on www.liveparanormal.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Changing Times-Changing Worlds on the New Normal

Please join Tchipakkan on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.
If you miss the live show, here’s the link to the archive.http://tobtr.com/s/10122467 http://tobtr.com/s/10122467

Some years ago some friends and I decided we needed a conference for occult stuff in New England, and if no one else was going to do it, we’d do it ourselves. We wanted it to be more than just the “Spooky foo” collection of “isn’t that weird” experiences. Some of us had been doing psychic stuff and magick for 40 years or more, and wanted good instructive classes beyond the “introduction to” level. We also wanted to create / facilitate communication between different groups who do this stuff- who do energy healing, who talk to the dead, who dowse, who do divination, who know this stuff is natural and “Normal” (within certain parameters of normal). We called the conference Changing Times-Changing Worlds, because, as with the New Normal, we are hoping that in another generation we’ll have gotten to the point where the fact that people are psychic, that we can do magick, that “this stuff is real” will be accepted, and we’ll be able to mention it in public without worrying whether we’re going to be considered mad or stupid to believe in this.

The conference is going to be held in the Hudson Valley, November 3-5th this year, and if you want to learn more, listen on your computer at www.Liveparanormal.com, 8-9 edt Wednesday. (Or check out the website www.CTCW.net , or both.)

If you’d like to join the conversation, ask questions, please call in 619-639-4606 (live only).

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join me Wednesday night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

 

 

 

Learning Magick from Books of Fiction

Please join Tchipakkan on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

Link to show in archives

While we’d all love too be taught magick from witches or wizards from great volumes like the Owen’s Book of Shadows in the movie Practical Magic, or the volume in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (minus the disaster unless it comes with the last minute save), the chances are good that you learned whatever you know either from books from Llewellyn, Weiser, or hand-copied from a friend’s hand-copied notebook. OR maybe, like many of us, you picked up techniques from the fantasy and SF books you read. It seemed like it might work, so you tried it, and maybe with a little tweaking it did work. Perhaps not as well as in movies, but many books have some good, solid technique in them. Others can teach us useful things about the supernatural world- while telling a useful story.

I’m going to run through a list of some of the books I’ve found useful over the last half century, and would love if you’d call in with some of your favorites as well. I’ll try to explain just what I like about my favorites, and where I think they shouldn’t be taken too literally.

Open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.

Want to share your own experiences- what books helped you develop your skills and talents? Call 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question or contribution, leave a note on the facebook events page; I’ll try to answer or mention it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: https://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join me tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

 

 

 

 

Save