sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Ostara)
Very. I owe you all a post on D'Argo's condition, but haven't had the time/energy to put in everything - he's still here, but very skinny. Stupid hypercalcæ More eventually, honest.

I also missed posting on the Vernal Equinox, so belated Happy Eostre/Ostara. I've got a Geochron-like gadget on my iGoogle homepage, and couldn't miss those straight, straight, up-and-down terminator markings, but never got to LJ.

Also missed Ada Lovelace Day, for which I should make icons. It's been designated a day to celebrate all women in the sciences, and of course Sydney Padua is all over that. Blog-holidays are a great way to share information on special subjects (surviving zombie attacks, for instance) and Women In Science definitely deserve more celebration.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Yule)
I didn't realise until I came out of the cinema how appropriate it was that Avatar be released as a solstice movie. Not that there's anything specific in themes, just... it feels right. My Solstice present to myself, taking myself to the movie.

Howard Tayler mentioned he didn't expect any surprises in the storytelling. He shouldn't, and neither should anyone else, really. Cameron tells old-fashioned SF stories. What makes him special is HOW he tells them, not WHAT he tells.

Avatar is, indeed, FernGully, and Dances With Wolves and goodness, nobody's mentioned it's Lawrence of Arabia. It's also several hundred years of Roman, English and American history (versus the Celts, Irish and Native Americans) - as a sample. No, it's a retelling of some very old story elements, both in and out of the genre. No contempt with this familiarity, though, not from me.

Which is why this virulent, spittle-foaming, pseudo-Christian review puzzles me so much. In which Corgi can't help but to comment on several of the more irrationally-stated points in the 'review', and hopes Google might get the comments back to the virulent so-called writer. SPOILER WARNING HERE. )

Back to less stomach-churning considerations, now that I've got that out of my system. You gotta love a movie where the hero is Not Stupid. No, he's not perfect or anything, but he's well-trained, strategically clever and learns from his mistakes. He knows how and where to ask for help when it's needed - which is Ever So Much More Not-Stupid. He's also got a will like a Green Lantern. We have more of Cameron's typical female characters, which means they are A: not typical B: stronger than steel C: doing ordinary jobs and sometimes extraordinary jobs, just like the men.

The cast are all wonderful. Of course that's CCH Pounder! It almost could NOT not be her in that role. Sigourney Weaver looks even more wonderful as a Na'vi, and Stephen Lang is disturbingly charismatic, despite his character's other... 'qualities'. This cast were worked over worked just as hard as Cameron's previous casts; there's a story about how Sam Worthington wasn't able to react physically to an explosion with quite the desired energy, so Cameron whapped him with a big rubber stick at the vital point for the motion-capture to get the right kind of flying-body.

The depiction of the Na'vi themselves is absolutely amazing. Perfect suspension of disbelief, perfectly natural motions - and it's easy to forget how big they are, proportioned like basketball players the way they are. Only seeing them next to normal-tall Terrans does their hugeness become apparent. The translation of the Terran features into a Na'vi face is flawlessly done; everybody still looks exactly like themselves, only... blue and kitty-nosed and pointy-eared. Look carefully - there's a point I didn't quite pick up on while watching the movie that the Pandorapedia shares. The Terran-Na'vi hybrids have, due to their genetic splicing, five fingers and toes at the end of each limb. The native Na'vi have only four of each. (Considering that the predominant animal life, both terrestrial and aerial, are hexapodal - I'm starting to wonder how native the natives actually are. Could they be a seeded race? And are they mammals?)

I confess I went all verklempt when there was applause when the credits started rolling. When was the last time you heard anybody applaud a feature film without it being a special screening?

Good news from the wikipedia article, by the way. Apparently if this does well enough, and I think it will, the Cameron has two sequels in mind. Gods! Where could he go from here? I'd love another visit, though.

And I can't wait to see Green Barsoomians now.
sff_corgi_lj: (Pentacle)
The Anglican Church takes another step forward into Jesus-like spiritual equality while the Catholic Church says 'C'mere, you can hold on your precious prejudices with no worries.'
Retired Canon Alan Duke, a longtime supporter of women in church leadership posts, said those arguments "simply do not stack up."

Duke said that while Jesus named no female disciples, he used and valued woman in radical and different ways for his time.

"He was hardly going to choose women and send them into a situation where they might have been in grave risk," Duke said.
The Catholic Church's statement, per CNN, is:
The number of Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic Church has increased in recent years as the Anglican church has welcomed the ordination of women and openly gay clergy and blessed homosexual partnerships, said Cardinal William Joseph Levada, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Mind you, there's no bothering with cultural context on the part of the dissatisfied:
The traditionalists argued that bishops must be men, as were Jesus and his apostles.
The fact that Semitic cultures, as well as the Roman Imperium, were highly sexist - meaning, extremely restrictive of women's roles, visibility, sexuality, finances and in just about every other way you can consider - is not considered when they decide to put words in Yeshua ben Yusuf's mouth. No irreverence intended, but what Jesus tried to do was what Gene Roddenberry tried to do: They both introduced the radical concept that Women Are People Too and were shouted down by the suits. If one believes
But now, in Christ, all are welcome to his salvation who come to him; all have equal privileges according to their faith in him, their love and devotedness to him.
or
But whether you are in a plane or on the ground, whether you live in wealth or poverty, you have the same weather as your neighbor, you are susceptible to the same illnesses and accidents, and at the end you will die a similar death. Human beings are equal in the eyes of God.
but especially
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:28 (King James Version)
...then where's the dispute?

Look, even Islam, despite the way most practice it ('Christians' living in glass churches shouldn't throw stones, right?) understand spiritual equality:
God treats men and women as spiritual equals. Quran 3:195 tells us :

"Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you MALE OR FEMALE, YOU ARE EQUAL TO ONE ANOTHER........."

The spiritual equality between men and women is reiterated in 4:124, as follows:

"As for those who lead a righteous life, MALE OR FEMALE. while believing, they enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice"

and again in 16:97:

" Anyone who works righteousness, MALE OR FEMALE, while believing, we will surely grant them a happy life in this world, and we will surely pay them their full recompense for their righteous works."

and yet again in 40:40,

" Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness - MALE OR FEMALE - while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.
Are the traditionalists arguing with Galatians (and many stories in Luke) while taking on Corinthians (which, again, has a cultural and a background-data context) merely because it supports their prejudices better? How do they defend this hypocrisy then?

The purest form of any faith, even those from the context of southern-Mediterranean cultures, always asserts that male and female are irrelevant at a spiritual level, and therefore women are as valuable, and as valid as teachers, as men. Why drag God down to men's level?
sff_corgi_lj: (Pentacle)
Some of you might have seen the news about a Sikh guru being killed at a Sikh religious center in Vienna over the weekend - the background is interesting, and reflect back a whole century to a concern, just as valid today, of a loss of Sikh identity and a persistent influence of Hindu-based behaviour, despite the ideals of the newer faith. Just about 100 years ago, the Singh Sabha movement formed within Sikhism, a call to return to the practice of their ideals, 'the old ways of Khalsa and restored the pride and dignity of common urban and rural Sikhs.'

Casteism is still the most insidious eroder of Sikh practice. The Vienna group, or dera, was of a movement named Sach Khand (a term for the pinnacle of spiritual achievement) which is comprised of Sikhs with low-caste origins (Dalits). Obviously, that emphasis alone violates passively or actively ideal Sikh ethics. The attackers, accusing the two leaders of disrespecting the Guru Granth Sahib, who/which is the highest authority in Sikhism - and is a book, not a human. (Compare if you will the evangelical Protestant regard of the King James Bible as a rough parallel, although the Guru Granth Sahib has fewer translation debates involved.) The Sri Guru Granth Sahib was made the final authority for the Sikhs to move them away from cults of personality and the schisms that frequently devolve from same.

Although Guru Ravi Dass, who is revered as the founder or inspiration for the Sach Khand movement, seems to have preached according to the highest standards, according to one article, the modern movement veers from Sikh practice by 'worshipping living gurus such as Sant Rama Nand, which is considered blasphemous by most Sikhs.'

The attackers were of farming caste and a Punjab ethnic group, Jatt Sikhs, which group has traditionall been a strong component of the Indian military (befitting their Sikh majority). Without going into a whole research-paper's worth, the inference is that the Jatt, coming from the geographical heart and origin of Sikhism, are more fundamental and conservative than groups on the fringe, and felt they were acting righteously and in correction of a great disrespect. The fact that riots have broken out in the Punjab over their attack and the death of Sant Rama Nand might indicate that they did not choose the wisest course of action to apply this correction.

There are some suspicions in the Sikh community that this was a provoked act to cause fractures within Sikhism and weaken it; Sikhism's radical ideals (universal mutual respect regardless of caste and gender) present some threat to majority status-quo. On a smaller scale, police have determined there was a clear plan on the part of the attackers and are investigating how much further and deeper this may reach.

(I can't find any good information on the Sach Khand Ballan sect because none of their branches have managed to complete a website yet - there's one with profiles on their various leaders, some other information and no index page. Argh.)
sff_corgi_lj: (Pentacle)
It has a light touch without mocking the subject: A Sikh Nihang who wears a turban... that has to be seen to be believed.
sff_corgi_lj: (Knackered)

I feel somewhat better today.

I say that because I had a fairly lousy weekend, due to the mess I found when I got home from work Thursday (read: Friday before dawn), which turned into the scare I found. See, Annie might have separation anxiety, but that doesn't explain the... explosion in the crate. I had the girls separated because Meissa, the wench, is in heat again already and it was easier to crate them together than leave one alone and the rest of the horde loose.

(Did you know Press 'N' Seal makes pretty decent emergency cleanup handcovers when you've run out of latex gloves?)

However, after I secured them in the kitchen, started hauling dirty things outside, starting the laundry, deposited that which should go in the toilet in the toilet... that sounded wrong, didn't it? and otherwise started to sort things out, I found two puddles of blood in the kitchen. Not spots, puddles. As I started to pull soiled bedding out of the crate, that's when I saw what must have been the first spots.

Engage EEEK MODE. Vet wouldn't be open for another 2-3 hours.

Turns out he didn't notice anything outstanding, other than leftover blood when he took a sample. It could have been the plastic picture frame Gemma (probably) disassembled the other day. It could have been one of the seeming flock of dead birds showing up in my yard lately (I think the Puppy might be a stealth bird dog). One way or another, she didn't seem to be overly lethargic from the incident, and I've seen no problems since. Marmesh gave her meds, too. Still scary, though.

Related to this, and having to clean up so much (my poor carpet!) and maybe something I ate, not only was I feeling generally down, but I also found myself getting really groggy at all sorts of odd times during the weekend. I just sort of drooped sideways and napped where I sagged, to wit: living room floor, using my sort of computer seat as a pillow. I seemed to take 4-hour naps on the whole. It seemed to wear off some time Sunday night, for which I was grateful, because it kinda creeped me out.

woof horizontal rule

G. said something really nice (and amusing) to me earlier. She said, and I paraphrase poorly, I notice a lot of things people miss. I told her that was reassuring, because I feel so dense so often. She replied, 'You're not dense, just congested.'

*heeheehee*

woof horizontal rule

Finding gaming miniatures to represent female characters that are not Frazettan nudist exhibitionists can be a real trial. I happened to spot these Dark Heaven 'Reaper Miniatures' figures while looking for historical/fantasy movies with female swordfighters and was pleasantly surprised to find:
  1. Normal proportions
  2. Complete outfits of clothing
  3. Pretty nice sculpting in general
  4. NORMALLY-PROPORTIONED FEMALES IN CLOTHES
Yes, it's redundant, because it's important. They also have several handsome elven figures, females of all sorts of professions, but all the elves are together and not separated by gender. The female sea-elf is pretty neat - she looks very 'flowy'.

This reminds me of what The Patricia was saying about having 'travelling gods' not too long ago. Alas, these wouldn't suit even if they're the right size, because they're metal and therefore able to take over aircraft at a single bound - at least, that's what TSA thinks. Bah. But some of them might just hit the right note with others. There's a witch-figure in the collection for instance, Welshy pointed hat and all, who's beautifully rendered and not at all mundane-Halloweeny.

woof horizontal rule

I thought I might have had something else to post, but it's rather departed my so-called brain. I must think about mail and hemming instead.
sff_corgi_lj: (Eeek!)
I brought home some leftover sausage dish from work to finish it off so it wouldn't get wasted — and I just remembered today's Good Friday.

Cusswords.

Just because I'm noting like a 'good' Catholic doesn't mean I don't understand and try to honour the symbolism of the day, eh?
sff_corgi_lj: (Anime - Busy corgi Ein!)
I'm likely to be AFK until Friday (Thursday at the very least), so I have to ask you a favour.

---=>°<=---

But first, to wrap up Women's History Month in a bunchy clump, here's the last six profiles:

Ada BlackjackMarch 27:
Ada Blackjack


March 28:
Anna Garlin Spencer
Anna Garlin Spencer


Emma BrunskillMarch 29:
Emma Brunskill

If you Google for Emma Brunskill's latest work, you'll see she's been involved in ambulatory robot studies. Very technical page, though.

March 30:
Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson

On September 16, 2005, Laurie’s exhibition The Waters Reglitterized opened at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. According to the press release by Sean Kelly, The Waters Reglitterized is a diary of dreams and their literal recreation as works of art. This work, created in the process of re-experiencing or re-working her dreams while awake, uses the language of dreams to investigate the dream itself. The resulting pieces include drawings, prints and high definition video. The installation ran until October 22, 2005. In 2006, she contributed a song to Plague Songs, a collection of songs related to the 10 Biblical plagues.

Laurie Anderson narrated Ric Burns's Andy Warhol: The Documentary Film, which was first televised in September 2006 as part of the PBS American Masters series. Anderson also performed in Came So Far For Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute event held in The Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland on October 4 and 5, 2006.

Recently, through her web site, Laurie announced a re-release of her first album, Big Science, on Nonesuch Records, a DVD box set containing her short films and the concert movie Home of the Brave, a book of drawings titled Night Life, and a new album to be released in 2008, Homeland.Wikipedia

Wonder Woman Elizabeth Holloway Marston March 31:
Elizabeth Holloway Marston
Virginia 'Ginny' Heinlein Virginia 'Ginny' Heinlein


-30-

woof horizontal rule

Here's the 'favour' part. I'm not going to have much access, if at all, because Myfanwy is ever-so-delightfully dragging me away from my various burdens (and puppies) for a day or two to visit lovely Gaithersburg, north of Washington, D.C. We'll drive back and visit the Poodle Breeder Previously Blogged About, too.

However, this means I won't be able to do my webcomics votingespecially since the turnover is on Sunday, when I'll be back, but Myfi with or without boychild, might still be visiting here.

Can you please take a few minutes (5, 10 if your pages load slowly), and indulge your buried urge to just click like crazy? (c.f. 'Oooo, ticky-box!') Especially on April 1 (no joke)? Top Web Comics and WebbedComics turn over at midnight Pacific (GMT-7, currently); BuzzComix is every 24 hours, from whenever you vote.
sff_corgi_lj: (Pentacle)
Laurie CabotMarch 11:
Laurie Cabot


Gah. I've had an inappropriate possessive form posted for three years?!? *shudder* [corrects hastily]

From CabotWitchcraft.com

...The Witches Public Awareness League, as it will now be known as, began it's return, on Samhain 2006. We formally registered the League at Salem City Hall, and with the funds raised through our Spirit of Samhain celebration, we have begun this journey anew. We have been working behind the scenes for several months now, but with the Celtic New Year behind us and Mercury gone direct, it's time to move forward. As of this writing, there are already several volunteers who have dedicated themselves to this venture and donated their time and good energy to this cause. With this said, we would like to welcome the Cabot Academy of Witchcraft class, and wish them the best on their journey with Witchcraft III: As a Religion. We hope that each and everyone of you will help us and join us in creating and bringing back the WPAL to the status it was way back when. We are proud of what each of you have done with your class-work and your dedication to the Cabot Tradition....
Laurie Cabot, Rev.HPs
Founder and creator of the WPAL, 2006 
sff_corgi_lj: (Knackered)
*blink* Um... it's still morning in Hawaii? [posts hastily]

Kateri TekakwithaMarch 4:
Kateri Tekakwitha
sff_corgi_lj: (Buddug)
Did I ever mention I went to a Protestant evangelical high school? This was before the phrase 'neo-conservative' became a commonly-understood concept. This school was, oh yes, ever so neo-con. If I was there now, during this 'administration', I'd probably have to turn to The Anarchist's Cookbook to get my point across on the school buildings. So that's where my deeply radical disgust with them comes from: seeing the sheer intolerant illogic of sincerely-felt faith based on warped interpretation of Diety up close and personal, and having it nearly drive me mad (OK, I'll concede a small exaggeration there... small. One more year there, I would have needed actual therapy.) One example, to point up the exclusivist intolerance of this poisonous lot — my sixth-grade teacher announced to the class in no uncertain terms that Roman Catholics were idol worshippers (cf: 10 Commandments). My mother, the ex-nun (novice, no Vows), had to have her over for a chat. It permanently changed my mindset about... nearly everything. Taking stands. Religio-philosophical stances. Invested me with pure Celtic-style mulishness. I was at that point, however, already anti-Nixon, so take that as you will.

So with great vindictive pleasure, I'd like to bring you the following link:

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/ (tagged in reverse chronological order, so scroll to the bottom to start reading):
The cultural standard bearer for these Very Bad Ideas is the "Left Behind" series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. These books have become so popular that every pastor in America is now confronted with the task of gently, pastorally explaining to their congregation why the theology of these books is misguided and misguiding.

I'm not a pastor, so I won't be pastoral here. These books are evil, anti-Christian crap. This weekend, I'm beginning a new series of posts in which I'll go through these books, page by page.

Millions of your fellow citizens are reading these books. Millions. If you're wondering what that means for you, read the following....
He's been working on this for over three years now - strong stomach! And so much better a job than I think I could ever do of this.

I thought these paragraphs by Fred 'Slacktivist' Clark was a good summation of one of the major flaws in UnChristianity:
Christianity has traditionally held a high view of vocation. Christians believe that the artisan, tradesman or professional has the opportunity and obligation to glorify God by striving for excellence at his or her craft. The primary duty of a Christian plumber, in other words, is to be a good plumber. And the primary duty of a Christian artist is to be a good artist. This is true whatever one's calling: doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, online copyeditor.

This teaching goes way back -- at least to Aristotle (as rechristened and adopted by Aquinas). But a competing understanding has arisen in American evangelical Christianity. From this perspective, the primary duty of every Christian regardless of vocation is evangelism. Everything else is just a means to this end.

According to this view, then, the primary duty of the Christian plumber is to spread the gospel. After all, what doth it profit a customer if a Christian plumber fixes their sink, but leaves their immortal soul in disrepair? This doesn't necessarily mean that such an evangelist-plumber will be incompetent at his trade. It's possible he could still be an excellent, if somewhat annoying, plumber. But excellence -- or even basic competence -- is no longer his priority. And he certainly does not believe, as craftsmen of the Aquinastotelian tradition did, that incompetence is a sin.
sff_corgi_lj: (Politics - President Bartlet's debate)
David Kuo, as interviewed by MSNBC/Newsweek, from here:
...In some ways White House power is like [J.R.R.] Tolkien’s ring of power. When you put it on, it feels good and it’s dazzling. But after a while it begins to consume you in ways you don’t realize. That’s the nature of White House power. I have no doubt that Christian political leaders have gotten involved for all the right reasons. I just think over time it becomes harder and harder to stand up against that ring of power and the White House, to say no and walk away....
sff_corgi_lj: (Mind the blog)
From the end of his 'New Rules' endshow monologue, March 31, 2006:
The Christian right are now officially the party of paranoia. Secularists are attacking Christmas! Gays are attacking marriage! Liberals are attacking values! White girls are being abducted at an alarming rate! You know, if you're going to be that paranoid all the time, just get high.

And the worst part is, the people bitching loudest about being persecuted for their Christianity aren't Christians at all. They're demagogues and conmen and scolds. And the only thing they worship is power. If you believe Jesus ever had a good word for war or torture or tax cuts for the rich, or raping the earth, or refusing water to dying migrants, then you might as well believe bunnies lay painted eggs.

And Jesus - and Jesus never said a word about gay marriage. He was much too busy hanging out with 12 guys. Now - now I know George Bush says Jesus Christ changed his heart. But believe me, Dick Cheney changed it back. The only thing Bush has in common with Jesus is they both went into their father's business and got crucified for it.

Thomas Jefferson called the type of Christian who trumpets his own belief in the divinity of Jesus rather than the morality of Jesus "pseudo-Christians." And that's who's running our country today. And since they thrive so much on turning water into "whining"—and get off on their endless pretend persecution, this Easter season, let's give them what they want. Let's go to the zoo, get some lions, and feed them Tom DeLay.





Bolding mine.

Gotta love the red-headed left-handed Welsh-ancestried scientist who helped found this country, too. ;)
sff_corgi_lj: (Anime - Busy corgi Ein!)
Hey, we're only a month apart! I left the cake at home, though....

woof horizontal rule

Off [livejournal.com profile] heidi8's quote on the state of (Florida) local politics1 2, then spiced up by Bill Maher's 'New Rules' for August 25th, I present to you:


They also offer 'Armor of God Pajamas' dolls; you have to specify gender, of course, and choose between 'American' or 'African-American', because you know real Christian unhyphenated Americans only come in light pink.

Notice they must think girls have harder heads than boys - symbolically, at least. The boys' PJs have a soft-sculpt helm, in accordance with the imagery in the Bible verse referenced; girls only get an embroidered headband with a pretty sparkly veil attached, making them look like nursing sisters in really aggressive scrubs.

Now, it's actually a cute concept. Kids love having metaphor in physical form, don't they? If it only weren't presented in such a sexist, semi-racist, near-fanatic-religious-right sort of tone, I wouldn't have any reason to even consider mocking the product.

1 In case of F'lock: Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly newspaper of the Florida Baptist State Convention
2 and from a horrible, sinful secular source: Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale)
sff_corgi_lj: (TV - Technomage Galen)
Laurie Cabot

Laurie Cabot icon

Laurie was born on the 6th of March 1933 in Wewoka, Oklahoma, at a time when her businessman father was in the process of moving the family from Boston to Anaheim in California. Cabot, her maiden name, she claims is descendant from a long line of Cabots based in Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands situated off the southwest coast of England and the northwest coast of France, a place steeped in the lore of witchcraft.

Laurie was originally raised in the Catholic Church and says it was in such a Church that she first experienced an altered state of consciousness: "Mary, the mother of Jesus also fascinated me and I wondered how she could give birth to someone divine without being divine herself?"

In 1947 accompanied by her mother, Laurie returned to Boston in order to finish her high school education. At the same time in an effort to understand her psychic gifts, she started on a comprehensive study of religion. Spending much of her time alone at the library, she soon caught the attention of a friendly member of staff, a woman who encouraged and advised her to look beyond Christianity into other belief systems for more information on psychic paranormal phenomena. Later the woman revealed herself to be a witch.

At the age of 16 when the three witches who were teaching her deemed she had learned sufficient knowledge, they initiated Laurie into a Craft coven proper. It was during the ceremony of initiation that Laurie underwent a profound transformational experience, and so began her life long association with witchcraft.

Through the 1950s, early 60s Laurie was twice married, first to an Italian and then to a Greek, each marriage producing a daughter, Jody in 1963 and Penny in 1965. After her second marriage broke down and they divorced in the late 1960’s, Laurie with a friend and her two daughters moved to the northern end of Boston. It was here that Laurie made a vow that she would live the rest of her life 'totally as a Witch', that she would wear nothing but traditional Witch clothing (long black robes), wear her Pentacle pendent displayed and emulate the Goddess by using black ‘eye-makeup’, according she says to an ancient tradition.

Having moved into Salem, Laurie started teaching ‘Witchcraft as a Science’ classes as part of the continuing education program at the local Wellesley High School, and thus began forming the beginnings of her ‘Science Tradition of Witchcraft’. Later she also taught classes for seven years at the Salem State College, again as part of the continuing education program. Despite her flamboyant style and outspokenness, and the petty criticisms such a style evoked from others, her reputation expanded and more and more people sought her advice. At one point she worked as a consultant for an Oil Company and even helped local police enquiries with her psychic abilities.

Undaunted by the rejection of her request to be 'The Official Witch of Salem' and the many other snide remarks she received, Laurie continued to build her reputation and use it to aid her work in the local community, at the same time striving to make Witchcraft a recognized religion. In 1973, Laurie started up what was to become one of Salem’s main annual events, the ‘Witches Ball’ (a celebration of ‘Samhain’, more commonly known as ‘All Hollows Eve’ or ‘Halloween’). This was a real Witch hosting a real Pagan festival in front of eyes of the general public. It attracted major media attention and over time has drawn national and international crowds.

Laurie was also fiercely defensive of a witch’s civil rights and has long urged other witches to make a stand for their equality, rights and public image. To help with this in 1986 she founded ‘The Witches League of Public Awareness’, an institution that serves as a media watchdog and civil rights advocate for witchcraft. The League’s mission statement reads: "The Witches' League for Public Awareness is a proactive educational network dedicated to correcting misinformation about Witches and Witchcraft. The work of the League springs from a shared vision of a world free from all religious persecution".

Well into her reclining years, Laurie still heads the family and continues to teach and write. She has also opened a new Witch shop in Salem, a magical Witch's cottage filled with the wonder and mystery of the old ways called ‘The Cat, The Crow and The Crown’.

Adapted from http://www.controverscial.com/Laurie%20Cabot.htm

Laurie's website: http://www.lauriecabot.com/

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