Gender-neutral Pronouns

I’ve been watching people make suggestions for gender neutral pronouns, so that people won’t get upset if you use the wrong pronoun and they are defining themselves as some form of GBLT, or to be more inclusive when speaking of a mixed gender group.

I have had it explained to me that using male pronouns as a default for all humans is part of the way males see women as not quite human. OK, I can get that some men feel that way about women, and some women are damned sick of being made to feel that way, but I tend to think it has a lot more to do with the way people treat men and treat women than the pronouns. We should work on treating men and women as equal although different. Yes it’s hard, but I think we need to do it.

But pronounds? I feel it’s like putting a band aid on a bruise to acknowledge the kid has a boo-boo, even though it’s not going to do any good for the bruise. If you can afford it, and it makes the kid feel better, why not. But it’s still hard not to know that it’s a waste of a band aid and that clearly the kid doesn’t know what a band aid is for.


Ethics of Casting spells on New Normal Podcast

12-27-17 Ethics of Casting spells Wednesday 8 pm est

We’ve all heard the “An it harm none, do as you will”, and “Do as you will shall be the whole of the law”. We’ve also heard the Wiccan “Rule of Three”, where everything you send out comes back to you threefold, which should make anyone a bit hesitant to do someone harm. We all should also know that lots of people who use magick are not Wiccans; indeed many Christians (who have their own Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) create effects in accordance with their will, even if they add phrases like “for the best of all” or “this or something better”. Some call it “manifesting” or “prayer” not magick, but it seems to be pretty much the same thing.

However, given that humans seem to have this ability (to greater or lesser extent- but greater as we practice with it), we then must look at the ethics of doing something with this ability. Can we, as Breitbart reporter Charlie Nash said last week, accept that “feminist-inspired witchcraft movement is casting evil spells on White House officials” and that this is an “increasing thing under Trump”? Last February there was a similar story from the same source telling of Witches casting a binding spell on Trump. This could be just more Trump generated Faux News, or perhaps some of us are trying to use the resources we have to minimize the damage of an out-of-control government. If we complain about the rich “buying” favors, are we as bad as they if we use resources other people may not have to encourage the ends we want?

So Wednesday I’m going to talk about the ethics of using magick on other people, and I’d love others to call in with their perspectives, whether you’re for or against it, whether you’re a witch or not, whether you cast or manifest. Give me a call between 8 and 9 Wednesday 619-639-4606 (live only).

If you can’t make the live show 8-9- and have a question or comment, please feel free to write me a message and I’ll read it on the air.
Want to listen later? Live archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website:

Hope you can join us tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal.

(I’m trying to manifest the studio cooperating, as it has not been doing too well lately. Sorry about last week where we couldn’t get on at all!)


Mothers’ Night on the New Normal

The night before the Solstice is known as Mothernight aka Disablot, Disting, & Modraniht was the celebration /veneration of the Disir or Idisi- the female Ancestors.

People tend to know about the warriors who, when they died, went to Odin’s hall to feast and fight until they became his army at Ragnarok. But what about the women? Well, women who died in childbed, they were counted as having died in battle, but the others, they tended to stick around and watch over the family.

The night before the Solstice is the Norse festival of the Mothers, still celebrated by modern heathens. Yule Eve – On this night (approximately), a Germanic/Scandinavian Midwinter festival known as The Mother Night (or Modresnach) was observed. It was believed that dreams on this night foretold events in the upcoming year. Many of its traditions live on modern Christmas celebrations. The decorated evergreen tree was a symbol of the Tree of Life, or World Tree. The star atop the tree represented the pole star of the Star Goddess. The dinners and gifts were in honor of the food and prosperity given by the Mother Goddesses to their human children. Dreams are prophetic on this night, and this is a good time to contact your gran or great grandmothers for advice on dealing with your problems. I’ll probably brush on some other aspects of northern celebrations that have been transferred to Christmas, but tonight is a night to remember the ladies.

Midwinter Eve also known as St. Thomas’ eve became known for love charms and divination.

I’d love you to call in with questions or comments: 619-639-4606 (live only).
If you can’t make the live show 8-9- and have a question or comment, please feel free to write me a message and I’ll read it on the air.
Want to listen later? Live archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website:

Hope you can join us tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal.

Spirits of Christmas- Nisse/ Tomte 12-13-17

Please join Tchipakkan on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017 (St. Lucia Day), from 8 to 9 p.m. edt. Listen on your computer at

If you missed the live show, it’s archived here:

By the way, this image is by Sussi1 over on deviantart- available for non-commercial use only.

This week I’ll be talking about the Swedish Tomte, the Danish and Norse Nisse, the Icelandic Yul Lads, English Brownies, and other spirits associated with the winter Solstice holidays. They are generally small, from a few inches to a few feet tall, often with conical or knit caps in red or some other bright color, and look a bit like garden gnomes. Nisse gained popularity during the romantic era and are popular Christmas decorations- along with amanita muscara mushrooms!
These spirits seem to partake both of the ancestral spirit as well as the house or land spirit, and are protective of those whose space and family they share. There are also many tales showing that one shouldn’t disrespect or take the Nisse lightly- for instance the story of the year the farmwife buried the butter in the Christmas porridge, and when the brownie thought he’d been stiffed, he killed the cow. When he ate the porridge, he discovered his mistake and switched the dead cow with a neighbor’s live one. Generally they protected the livestock and often seen with the farm cat.

The Yul Lads (and their mother’s cat) were less benevolent (Mom and the cat were known to eat naughty children) but have been made more safe for company in the modern world. But… I’ll be talking more about these stories on Wednesday and I’d love to have you to call in with questions or stories of your own: 619-639-4606 (live only).

If you can’t make the live show 8-9- and have a question or comment, please feel free to write me a message and I’ll read it on the air.
Want to listen later? Live archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website:

Hope you can join us Wednesday night from 8-9 at the New Normal.

There’s an amusing interpretation of a nisse here:



Amy Wilson and Emotional Manifestationon the New Normal

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

In these stressful times, sometimes it’s hard to not get afraid about the things we can’t control. Amy has worked to figure out how to make our unwanted emotions work for rather than against us. We will be talking about how our fear based emotions guide us through our lives to teach and transform us into enlightened beings. She will discuss how to recognize these emotions and learn how to transform them into positive experiences.

Amy C Wilson is a celebrated Spiritual Medium and Psychometrist who has worked with and read for individuals and missing person cases. She has been a practitioner of the Magickal Arts and has worked in various New York City occult stores for over 25 years specializing in healing others through Candle Magick.

Amy holds Round Tables every month to discuss various life topics from a metaphysical perspective and how to transmute our energy into positive reflections into our outer reality. Amy also is the voice behind the Reluctant Spiritualist which she created to help other’s become more conscious of thought patterns that are holding them back from their fullest potential.

We’d love you to call in with questions or comments: 619-639-4606 (live only).
If you can’t make the live show 8-9- and have a question or comment, please feel free to write me a message and I’ll read it on the air.
Want to listen later? Live archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website:

Hope you can join us tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal.



Justice (from movies)

I’ve been binge watching “courtroom dramas” recently and just finished A Cry in the Dark. It’s the one about the real trial of Lindy Chamberlain who was accused of murdering her baby, when it had been carried off by a dingo (wild dog). I can’t help but be reminded of the “right to life-ers” who want to charge women who’ve had miscarriages with murder. Way to make a traumatic event worse! This was a case of “trial by media”, and I avoided paying any attention to the trial and the movie until now. As presented in the movie, there was a lot of forensic evidence that just went over the heads of the jury, so they decided she was guilty based on her unemotional behavior.

I also remember my friend Paul’s trial, where he was sent to prison because he’d accompanied a friend (some friend!) to an apartment where the man had beat his wife in one room, so badly that she later died, while Paul changed and fed the baby in another room. Later, the man turned states witness, but the furor was so great (not only did the mother die, but so did the baby because no one came back to help either of them), that the prosecution said “somebody must pay!”. Since they couldn’t try the murderer, or the police, who’d apparently been watching the apartment but left it alone hoping the father would come back to help the baby, all the weight of the law- and public opinion- fell on Paul. I’ll give you (and so did he) that condoning that a man could be allowed to beat a woman that badly because he thought she was unfaithful is not acceptable. But I find it worse that the public has such a taste for vengeance.

In so many of these trials I’ve watched, jurors, the public, and others who have nothing to do with the case, jump in and demand that “payment” must be made for the victims. What payment could give a victim back his or her life? How will making someone else suffer do anything to improve the situation? Yet so many people seem to feel that punishment is a good thing. No one has ever been able to explain this to me adequately. It has been proven that the severity of punishment doesn’t reduce acts (although the certainty of it does). No, it seems to be nothing more than feeding the appetite of the public for revenge.

There seems to be a feeling that if someone suffers, someone else should be made to suffer, and that this somehow makes things better. How? I’m good with consequences- if you do this, then you must try to make the situation better, even if this is a hardship for you. But just passing out punishment? No. I can understand someone who’s hurt wanting the person who’s done it to understand how much it hurts- perhaps if they realize the extent of the pain they’ve caused, they’d avoid doing it again. But this “punishment” goes beyond that. I don’t understand why they want it, I see no benefit to anyone. I understand that some victims see punishment as recognition of the suffering they’ve endured, and think that this is giving them “justice”.

I see this as wounding our society, and worse, unnecessarily. We are taking on the role of the party intentionally hurting individuals, and that cannot be a good thing for our group soul. The self righteousness of the “court system” may bother me because that is often one of my failings. I’m all for using the system to find out who is going to have to offer recompense, because often it is a burden to someone who didn’t intend, but did cause harm- for example a drunk driver does not INTEND to kill or maim others on the road. Still, in as much as possible, he must take responsibility for the results of his choices.  In the Chamberlain case, many people didn’t want dingos as a group to suffer for the (alleged) action of one, much as we shouldn’t judge all people in leather jackets or hoodies by the behavior of one jerk who happens to have been wearing that style when he did something awful. Can we not come to a place where we don’t judge a whole group by one of the members, and where we don’t see hurting others as a way of helping a victim?

I cannot help but feel that we do our society more damage by supporting vengeance than we help. I’m not sure how we can fix it. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” was meant to counter acceleration of return, to restrain, not sanction vengeance. We should find better ways to respond. Frankly, I would like to think that the juries I’ve been watching in these movies are designed for dramatic effect, but I fear they are typical. They see someone hurting, and want to hurt someone back, even if it’s not the specific criminal. In In Cold Blood, the courts played with the sentencing to make it possible to keep the death penalty an option. In The Thin Blue Line, the cops went after an innocent adult because the criminal was a minor, and not eligible for the death penalty. Our thirst for vengeance warps our desire for justice. In 12 Angry Men, they showed how each of the jurors brought his own prejudices, as well as insights to the jury room. This is, I expect, what drama is for- from the ancient Greek religio-theatre to modern movies. How much insight into ourselves do we need before we desire to change?
How do we reduce the thirst for retribution  in ourselves and our society? Perhaps, like sexism, the first step is to recognize it.

Call in chat about CTCW on New Normal

Please join Tchipakkan and her guests on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

Miss the live show? Here’s the link to the archive.

We’ll be talking about the Changing Times-Changing Worlds Conference this past weekend.  Please let anyone who was there- as an attendee, vendor, speaker… know. We’re all busy but if you have that hour free, we’d love to hear from you!

It started Friday afternoon and ran until Sunday afternoon with both workshops and panels, rituals and a concert.  There were dozens of dealers and vendors, over 40 speakers and panelists. We celebrated Joy and our community.

CTCW brings people together from New England to Maryland, from many different communities, and we share a joy of exploring what we all know is real, even though our modern culture denies the reality of the paranormal/ supernatural/ metaphysical/ occult whatever you want to call it, we know it’s real and it works.

We love gathering where there is no need to try to justify and prove what we already know, instead our workshops go beyond introductions to these topics, but on to how-to and more advanced techniques.

Some of those who were there (still tired but exhausted) will talk about what they did there this year.

We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you can’t make the live show- please feel free to write a message and we’ll read it on the air, or ask questions (for example, yes, there are work-study options if you can’t afford to come

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website:

Hope you can join us tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal , especially if you were there this year.





Rune Divination on the New Normal

Please join Tchipakkan with her guests Jane Sibley and Thor Halvorsen on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

Miss the live show? Here’s a link to the archive.

This is going to be a chat about using Runes for Divination. Runes were used for writing, and for magick, but since Ralph Blum came out with his little rune divination kit, many people seem to think that this is what Runes are for. Well, they sure work, so let’s talk about it. Jane Sibley is an expert on Norse folklore and Runes, and Thor is a Rune reader and student of pagan sociology (as is Tchipakkan). This should be a fun conversation. Feel free to call in at 619-639-4606 with questions or comments.


Listen to the show on , live Wednesday 8-9 eastern time. If you miss the live show, we’ll share the link to the archive as soon as it’s done on fb, and the site, as well as Hope you can join us!









Living in Interesting Times: practical energy Work

Image of a female entrepreneur walking on the street while holding a laptop with storm on the sky

Please join Tchipakkan and Catherine Kane on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

Here’s the link to this show’s archive.

We’ve all heard the joke that “May you live in interesting times” is a curse. Catherine Kane, author of insightful books including the Practical Empath, Manifesting Something Better, and Adventures in Palmistry, has just published a new book Living in Interesting Times: Practical Energy Work When Times Get Tough. (available through and we’ll talk about it.

We’ve all been there, whether health problems, loss of job, family crisis, or societal upheaval; the “interesting times” that overwhelm us and make us wonder if things will ever get better and how we’ll make it through. This is what “Living in Interesting Times” is about. It’s a collection of easy and practical techniques, some energetic, some not, of finding our centers, taking care of ourselves, holding onto our joy and keeping our energy positive so we can come through those interesting times and into the light again. In “interesting times”, you need skills to survive and thrive. Living in Interesting Times is the book that shows you how.

Catherine Kane is a professional psychic, a Reiki Master, a bard, a metaphysical Christian, and  a delighted student of the Universe (amongst other things). She brings creativity, an eclectic body of knowledge, and an attitude of fun to empowering people to find and live their best and brightest dreams. Her writing has been seen in magazines such as Thorn, the Door Opener, and Helix; and she is also the author of “The Lands That Lie Between“, “Magic for Pennies“, and “The Psychic Power of Your Dreams“.   Visit her and husband Starwolf online as Foresight (the Information you need for the Adventure of Life) at and

you can also find Foresight on Facebook.

Catherine’s Amazon page, and her writing blog.

Listen to the show on , live Wednesday 8-9 eastern time. If you want to call in with a question or comment, the number is 619-639-4606 If you miss the live show, we’ll share the link to the archive as soon as it’s done on fb, and the site, as well as Hope you can join us!




“I don’t want to be any trouble!”

One of the unspoken “side-effects” of illness, whether physical or mental, is the added stress of worrying whether one is causing problems for friends and family.

I think the short answer is “yes”, and the more accurate answer is “yes, but we think it’s worth it.” We all have perfectly healthy friends who need help occasionally, who need us to forgive when mutual plans are messed up because of something they overlooked or didn’t anticipate. In theory the sick person could always anticipate something going wrong, in which case we’d probably be annoyed with them for depriving us unnecessarily of their company, and knowing that their behavior is making their own lives harder in order to reduce inconveniencing us.

On the one hand, while we admire people trying to take care of their own problems, it can get frustrating to try to have to deal with a problem that has gotten worse when help could have kept it a minor inconvenience. At the same time, it’s too easy to criticize those who ask for help frequently. It seems a no-win situation. But as parents know that while it’s easier to do almost anything for a child, that only by letting them do it themselves (even though it takes longer, and possibly more effort for the parents), this is the way kids learn and get better, and feel good about themselves. We have to let our friends choose their own comfort levels about when to ask for help. But we also need to reassure them that needing help isn’t going to drive us away, that in balance, the extra effort having them in our lives is worth it for us.

Since they have to spend so much time and effort focusing on dealing with their problems, those problems may be the only aspect of the relationship they notice. We need to help them see past that filter, and not feel that we are keeping them around out of sympathy.

This may be why many of us are happy to push for awareness and general societal supports, from ramps to interpreters for the deaf. If we recognize the rights of all to participate in society in a useful, meaningful, and satisfying way, our whole society is better off. We benefit from the things that they can do. On a personal level, friends each have some special something that enhances our lives that makes it worth while for us to make sure that the restaurants we go to have a reasonable selection of gluten-free or vegan offerings, or even that activities are enjoyable for everyone participating. This is normal social interaction for everyone (I’m not counting the occasional narcissist who assumes that just because sports is the center of his life that everyone must enjoy it). Yes, sometimes we may want to eat Mexican, even though our best friend thinks cilantro tastes like soap, or wish we could go see fireworks, although our friend has PTSD that is triggered by loud noises. It’s a matter of scale.

There are some people who seem to think that their special circumstances entitle them to have the world, including you, rearrange itself for them. Hey, a jerk is a jerk whether they have a handicap or not, I’m not talking about that. There are mothers who still do their adult son’s laundry, but most of us achieve a better balance. I haven’t yet found a perfect answer to how to decide when to ask for or to offer help when it might make a task go faster, but make the person feel more helpless, and I think it probably each situation needs to be looked at individually.

I am getting older, and this means I sometimes have to have jars opened for me, and get help carrying heavy loads. I don’t drive after dark anymore. I don’t hear as well, nor is my memory as annoyingly good (there may be an advantage to that). All of us, unless we die young, are going to need help. And, let’s face it, not only is an old person not as cute as a baby, we’re a lot heavier, so it’s not as easy to pick up an elder as it is to change a baby’s diaper.  We’d better make ourselves pleasant enough to make it worth it to those we need help from.

There’s no answer to this one, we can only think about it, and try to be kinder to each other.