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Zero Waste Lifestyle

 

The average American generates about 2,072 pounds of trash per year. And in total, America produces 254 million tons of trash per year. We only recycle about a third of that trash. And on a global scale, humanity produces 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage per year. (Titlemax).

Where does all this garbage go? Landfills and the world’s oceans. Many reports estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. (One Green Planet)

Obviously the problem of pollution must ultimately be solved by world governments. But as world governments increasingly fail to do what needs to be done, it is up to us as individuals to try and do our part.

Some people are making an effort to adopt what is called a “zero waste lifestyle” in order to reduce their personal carbon footprint. And some people are so good at it that they only generate one mason jar of garbage per year.

People who adopt a zero waste lifestyle have given up on plastic and other disposable amenities in favor of anything re-usable. Many people are familiar with the practice of using re-usable bags at the grocery store, or bringing a mug to Starbucks instead of getting a disposable cup. But  zero waste folk go even further than that, going as far to even do re-usable diapers, re-usable feminine products and re-usable toilet paper. It may sound icky, but it’s not impossible, and doesn’t even have to be unsanitary when done right.

Here are some tips below from One Green Planet:

1) Get rid of disposables in your kitchen.

  • Replace paper towels with reusable rags.
  • Pack to-go meals with reusable sandwich bags.
  • Use Non-Disposable or biodegradable dinnerware.
  • Always bring your own shopping bags.
  • Earth friendly sponges.

2) Buy in bulk

  • Bring mason jars to the grocery store to hold bulk items or foods from the deli counter.
  • Consider buying bulk castile soap to use as hand and dish cleaner instead of buying a bunch of little bottles of different cleaners.

3) Eat your leftovers

  • Forty percent of all food goes to waste in the U.S.

4) Shop second hand

  • Carbon Trust estimates that CO2 emissions associated with clothing account for three percent of global emissions. This number includes out-sourced production, shipping, washing, and drying. Shopping second hand saves good clothing from a landfill and reduces the overall demand for clothing production.

5) Take care of clothes

  • Buying fewer items of higher quality will save you money in the long run and make it more likely you will take the time to mend rips and tears instead of throwing it out.

6) Bring your lunch

  • Disposable lunches (to-go packaging, plastic utensils, etc) generate 100 pounds of trash per person annually.

7) Go digital

  • The average office worker uses two pounds of paper per day! Take notes on your laptop and communicate with your colleague’s via e-mail rather than using paper.

8) Recycle!

  • Unless your office has gone completely paper-less, chances are there are stacks of paper that could be recycled. While reusable water bottles are the BEST option, any plastic water bottles should be recycled as well.

9) Simplify cleaning supplies

  • White Vinegar and baking soda are all natural alternatives to dangerous chemical cleaners. They are versatile, effective, and eliminate plastic bottle waste.

10) Make your own cosmetics

  • Save money, avoid harsh chemicals, plastic containers, and packaging by making your own cosmetics. Check out Free People’s blog for instructions on how to make your own natural cheek and lip stains, perfume, shampoo, make-up remover, and more. Also be sure to check out OGP’s very own DIY beauty guides right here.

 

RELATED LINKS

Zero Waste Wikipedia

Zero Waste Reddit

Going Zero Waste

Zero Waste Home

A Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste Living (Ps, It Doesn’t Happen Overnight)

10 Ways to Adopt a Zero Waste Lifestyle This Earth Day!

What I learned from adopting a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle (it wasn’t as easy as I thought)


Help Urarv Drummer Fight Cancer

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GO FUND ME HERE

Recently Trish, the drummer of the Norwegian avant-garde black metal band Urarv found out she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I myself have battled breast cancer, and know how expensive and difficult this disease can be to deal with.

So please do what you can to help Trish, even if it’s just donating a few dollars along with a few minutes of your time.

Thanks!

 


Mankind’s #1 Priority Today – Stop Destroying The Planet Before We Destroy Ourselves

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First of all, what needs to be understood in the conversation about climate destruction is that this has the more grievous consequences for the survival of the human race itself. It’s not just the polar bears. It’s not just the ice caps. It’s the future of the human race.

Now whatever happens, nature will survive. In the Earth’s 4.5 billion years of existence, nature has endured 5 major mass extinctions that destroyed most of the life on the planet (at least 60%), and nature will survive humanity, even if it takes a couple hundred thousand or million years for nature to get back on track. However, it is not certain that humanity itself will survive.

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Today, mankind is presiding over what scientists are unanimously describing as a sixth major mass extinction event.

According to the Living Planet Report put out in 2014 by the World Wildlife Fund, humans have killed up to half of the wildlife on the planet in the last 40 years (World Wildlife Fund). And according to the Living Planet Report put out in 2016, this level of decline could increase to two-thirds by 2020. And now a recent study 2018 has said that humans have killed off 83% of wild mammals.

What is also terrifying is that the Permian Extinction (the most deadly extinction event on Earth) may have been caused by circumstances similar to the causes of global warming today. A team of researchers from Canada, Italy, Germany and the US say they have discovered what caused the Permian Extinction. According to a paper published in the journal Palaeoworld, volcanic eruptions pumped large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, causing average temperatures to rise by eight to 11°C. This melted vast amounts of methane that had been trapped in the permafrost and sea floor, causing temperatures to soar even further to levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans.

Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, has said, “If there were a large methane release, which is now possible because of the instability of the methane hydrates underneath the Arctic continental shelves, the off-shore waters, that could quite easily give rise to a very large [methane] pulse.” He was one of the authors of a paper in the journal Nature, which suggested it was possible for a truly vast amount of frozen methane to be released over just 10 years – a blink of an eye in geological terms, which could theoretically lead to similar events that caused the Permian Extinction (Independent).

So this is the key issue we face today. This should be a political focus, a spiritual focus, and a psychological focus of all our current endeavors. Doing what we can to stop this destruction before it is too late.

METAL GAIA ARTICLES

Earth Day Realities and Environ-metal – Change is Needed Before We Reach The Point of No Return

The Era of Fake Reform. When Will We Actually Fight for the Planet?

 

RESOURCES

Humans Are Paving the Way for a Sixth Major Mass Extinction (World Future Fund)

Neil deGrasse Tyson scolds cherry picking climate science (CNN YouTube)

Sixth mass extinction: The era of ‘biological annihilation’ (CNN, 7-11-17)

Earth’s worst-ever mass extinction of life holds ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change, say scientists (Independent, 3-24-17)

Study: We’ve wiped out half the world’s wildlife since 1970 (VOX, 9-30-14)

Are We in the Midst Of a Sixth Mass Extinction? (New York Times, 6-1-12)

Extinction Threat, A Call to World Leaders at Rio Earth Summit: (CNN World News, 6-20-12)
According to the article above: 41% of amphibians, 25% of mammals, 13% of birds, 30% of conifers and 20% of all plants are all threatened with extinction.

One in Five Mammals Threatened With Extinction (Common Dreams, 11-3-09)
The survival of 17,921 species is in jeopardy.

Almost 50% Of The World’s Primates Are In Danger Of Extinction (CNN, 8-5-08)
Habitat destruction as well as hunting are the greatest threats to primates today.


SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, BEHEMOTH Summer 2017 North American Tour Dates Revealed

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Excited for this summer!

Find more info on ticket sales on Slayer’s official site.

July 12 Sanford Center, Bemidji, MN
July 13 Rock Fest 2017, Cadott, WI (Slayer and Lamb of God on this bill)
July 15 Rock USA 2017, Ford Festival Park, Oshkosh, WI (Slayer and Lamb of God on this bll)
July 16 Chicago Open Air Festival, Toyota Park, Chicago, IL (Slayer, Lamb of God and Behemoth on this bill)
July 18 Express Live!, Columbus, OH
July 20 Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC
July 21 St. Augustine Amphitheater, St. Augustine, FL
July 23 Electric Factory Outdoors, Philadelphia, PA
July 25 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
July 27 Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
July 28 Pier Six Pavilion, Baltimore, MD
July 30 Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN
August 1 Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS
August 2 1stBank Center, Denver, CO
August 4 The Joint, Las Vegas, NV
August 5 The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
August 9 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
August 11 The Cuthbert Amphitheater, Eugene, OR
August 12 WaMu Theatre, Seattle, WA
August 14 Encana Events Center, Dawson Creek, BC CANADA
August 15 SMS Equipment Stadium, Fort McMurray, AB CANADA
August 17 KettleHouse Amphitheater, Missoula, MT
August 19 Isleta Amphitheater Albuquerque, NM
August 20 Comerica Theater, Phoenix, AZ


A March for Science in DC Set for Earth Day 2017

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In response to an Administration and Congress that seems hostile to science — particularly in regards to climate change — there is going to be a March for Science in Washington DC, this year, on Earth Day.

There are also a growing constellation of marches around the nation set for that day.

What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.

The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.

The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December.

I usually don’t post politically oriented stuff on here, but I think this goes beyond politics. It is dangerous to me when politicians have so little regard for facts and scientific reality. Somewhere around 99% of scientists around the world state that climate change is a reality, whereas only 50% of U.S. politicians agree with this. Without support for the greatest minds our society has to offer, we’re not going to go anywhere as a country or as a people. It was hostility to intellectualism that thrust Europe into the Dark Ages. There is so much potential in our day and age. Potential to explore the stars. Potential to power our cities with sunshine and wind. Potential to unlock the secrets of the human mind and genome. We can’t give that all up now out of fear and hate.

So if you’re interested in standing up for science, definitely check out this link.

Update: I just joined a chat room with the organizers. So I’ll post more updates if I get any relevant information that needs to be posted here.

 READ MORE DETAILS HERE


Female Chief Breaks up 850 Child Marriages

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Child marriage is a problem in the developed world. When girls as young as 11 and 12 (or even younger) are getting married, this increases their risk of complications in pregnancy, and limits their own futures (in terms of education).

A Malawi tribal chief has taken a stand. Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi, made 50 of her sub-chiefs sign an agreement to end child marriage in her area of authority.

“I told them: ‘Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated,’” Kachindamoto told the news outlet.

She also made a rule to annul any current child marriages, which resulted in the break up of 850 marriages.

“First it was difficult, but now people are understanding,” she said to the outlet.

This has protected against girls getting pulled out of school.

“I don’t want youthful marriages,” Chief Kachindamoto told U.N. Women. “They must go to school. No child should be found at home or doing household chores during school time.”

In poor, rural regions like the Dedza District, rates of child marriage are particularly high, according to Unicef, and it can be hard to convince parents not to marry off their daughters in exchange for a dowry. Especially parents who feel like they have no other way to escape poverty.

But this is where Chief Kachindamoto comes in.

“I talk to the parents,” she said to U.N. Women last year. “I tell them: if you educate your girls you will have everything in the future.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE


Behemoth Film Depicts Human Cost of Coal

Not to be confused with the Polish Metal band Behemoth, this is a Chinese movie. Zhao Liang’s film Behemoth provides a striking view of the environmental and health costs of coal mining and consumption in China. The film borrows its plot structure from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, as a coal miner suffering from lung disease. This coal miner guides the audience through a modern-day hell, purgatory and heaven – the coal mines and cities of Inner Mongolia.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE


Frogs: The Thin Green Line

frog

FULL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT FROGS ON PBS

Our little green friends play a vital role in the eco-system. Yet now they’re vanishing off the Earth at an alarming rate.

“It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.  Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.”

“Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken?”

Hopefully this problem can be solved before it’s too late.


Hallmarks of 2015 for Pagans

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As we wrap up 2015, it’s important to think of what has been accomplished and what more needs to be done. While pagans are still a pretty small, religious minority, it is indisputable that our numbers are growing along with our influence in public life.

Since the beginning of the Neopagan movement in the 1950’s (along with more ancient traditions dating back to Medieval Times), pagan and occult practices have been limited to small (and mostly secretive) gatherings.

But now as public religious acceptance grows, these gatherings are becoming less secretive and more public. In fact, we have seen things happen in 2015, that have not occurred in hundreds – and perhaps even a thousand years.

In the beginning of this year, Scotland saw its first gay, Pagan wedding.

Then plans were announced in Iceland to build the first temple to the Norse Gods since the Viking Ages.

Meanwhile, the U.K. announced the creation of a druid college.

In April, Northern Ireland  certified its first pagan priest since the time of St. Patrick. Ironically, the name of the pagan man himself is Patrick. Who says the Gods don’t have a sense of humor?

Another big story in April was when a Wiccan Priestess was invited to give the opening invocation before the Iowa State Legislature.

Then in October, the Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin outlined plans to build a shrine to Cernunnos, God of liminality, commerce and the forest.

In terms of other big news, the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nation wide this June.

And of course, last but not least, the metal heads of this blog will be mourning the loss of the metal god and legend Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead who recently passed. I realized since I wrote my last article, that I shouldn’t say RIP, because I can’t really see Lemmy sitting around quietly for too long. It’s more likely that he’ll be rocking out with the gods in Valhalla and writing some of the best damned metal anyone ever heard with Dio.

So this new years raise a glass in toast for all the good, bad, and ugly that happened this year. And let’s hope to make 2016 even more exciting and eventful than 2015.


Druidic Grove Needs Help In Building Shrine to Cernunnos

The Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) is looking to build a shrine to Cernunnos, God of liminality, commerce and the forest. This will be at the beautiful White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake, Washington state.

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(This is an artistic rendition of the proposed Cernunnos shrine)

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary is created and owned by Kirk Thomas, the Arch Druid of ADF.  On the Sanctuary’s property, he has already completed three shrines, a massive Stone Circle, and a Labyrinth.  The three other shrines include Dagda, The Morrigan and Lugh.

There is also a Bed and Breakfast (Trout Lake Abbey) on the property.  People can reserve an individual room, a bed in the hostel, or places to camp and pitch a tent.

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary is one of the few places in the country that has recreated an environment that we think may be similar to what the ancient druids worshiped in (at least based on what we know). They are interested in creating a place to worship in the spirit of the old Indo-European spirituality, and connect with the Gods and Goddesses, our ancestors and nature.

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CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


Blood Moons and Apocalypses September 2015 Update – What Did Other Cultures Think?

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SEPTEMBER 29 UPDATE: 

The fourth and final blood moon lunar eclipse of the 2014-2015 tetrad just occurred on September 27-28. This was also the rare eclipse of a Supermoon (meaning the moon was closest to the Earth). Total eclipses of Supermoons are rare, and another won’t happen for 18 years.

So what is a tetrad? This refers to the fact that there were four blood moons between 2014-2015, each one spaced about six months apart. The first blood moon in the tetrad was on April 15th. Fortunately the world didn’t end that day, but people did have to pay their taxes (which was the next closest thing).

Blood Moon Tetrad Dates:

2014:
Total lunar eclipse: April 15
Total lunar eclipse: October 8

2015:
Total lunar eclipse: April 4
Total lunar eclipse: September 27-28

So what is the significance of The Blood Moon? Is it the end of the world or a mere astronomical phenomena?  What causes this ominous sounding event?

WHAT SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENON CAUSES THE BLOOD MOON? 

The word “eclipse” itself means shadow, an eclipse is the Earth’s shadow on the moon. The red color itself is caused by particles and dust in the Earth’s atmosphere. What’s even more significant about this particular Blood Moon is that it is the first of a tetrad of Blood Moons. This means that there will be four blood moons occurring over a period of 18 months. It is also said that each of these four Blood Moons will fall on a Jewish holiday: Passover, The Feast of Tabernacles, Passover again the following year and then the next Feast of Tabernacles after that.

BLOOD MOONS AND PROPHESY

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I’ve had a very difficult time finding astronomical information on this event, because I’ve been bombarded by several news stories about the biblical prophesy that uses the Blood Moon to predict the end of the world:

Acts 2:19-20: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

Yet as rare as Blood Moons are, there have been other Blood Moons in history that occurred after this biblical prophecy was written, what is interesting is that each of the tetrads did usher in significant events for the Jews: their expulsion from Spain, the founding of the state of Israel and on The Six Day War between Arabs and Israelis.

WHAT DID OTHER CULTURES THINK ABOUT BLOOD MOONS OR ECLIPSES IN GENERAL? 

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The Incans believed that the Blood Moon was a result of a jaguar who attacked and then ate the moon. After it ate the moon, Incans believed that the jaguar would come for them next. To prevent that, they would try to drive the predator away by shaking spears at the moon and making a lot of noise, including beating their dogs and making them bark.

The Ancient Mesopotamians believed that a lunar eclipse was an attack on their king. The Mesopotamians were also very good at predicting when an eclipse would occur. So for this situation, they would install a Substitute King to bear the brunt of whatever attack the eclipse may dole out. The Substitute King would usually be treated very well during this period, but then mysteriously disappear afterwards.

The Hupa Native American Tribe believed that the moon had 20 wives and lots of pets: mountain lions and snakes. When the moon didn’t bring his pets enough food to eat, they would attack him and make him bleed. The eclipse would end when the moon’s wives came to protect him. They would collect his blood and make him well again.

To the Luiseño tribe of southern California, an eclipse signaled that the moon was ill. It was tribe members’ job to sing chants or prayers to bring it back to health.

The Ancient Norse Folk believed that the moon (Mani) was chased around in the sky by a hateful wolf named Hati. And each time the wolf got close, it took a bite out of him which caused an eclipse.

The Ancient Egyptians thought an Eclipse was the moon getting swallowed by a sow and the ancient Chinese believed that it was a three legged toad who was doing the swallowing.

However, not every Blood Moon is negative. The Batammaliba people in Africa saw it as a time that the moon and sun were fighting. Yet the significance of the Blood Moon meant that it was a time to come together and resolve old feuds.

National Geographic: Lunar Eclipse Myths From Around the World

IS THE END NEAR? 

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None of the previous Blood Moons ushered in an end of the world, why is this particular Blood Moon the one that will do it?

In 2012, the world was was supposed to end on December 21st because that was the day when the Mayan Calendar ended. Before that the world was supposed to end in 2000, because of the infamous Y2k crisis, apparently resetting the digital calendars of the world’s computers is enough to usher in a robot apocalypse?

And now, looking at a shadow on the moon through the tint of some atmospheric dust is a sure sign of the end? Perhaps this is the omen that will usher in the end. Or maybe when this prophecy fails, someone will find an image of the Anti-Christ on a piece of toast and surely this will usher in the end of the human era. My point is that people are completely obsessed with the apocalypse and are constantly grasping for a new sign each year of this impending rapture.

So, I’m pretty sure you can all untwist your panties out of a knot and enjoy the astronomical phenomenon that is the Blood Moon with a cup of cocoa. And in the chance that the apocalypse is happening, I will eat my words by taking a jaguar sized bite out of the laptop I’m typing on and die of suffocation before the demons of the apocalypse can descend from the bleeding moon and play softball with my carcass.

Whether it is a portent of death or a cool astronomical phenomenon, we can all agree on one thing: it’s metal as hell. Get your Blood Moon on tonight with some heavy tunes.

VADER – WHEN THE SUN DROWNS IN DARK

SLAYER – REIGN IN BLOOD 


The Release of a New TV Channel Dedicated Entirely to Metal (BangerTV)

I stopped watching TV on the regular about ten years ago. Yet one of my major disappointments (in the occasions that I do watch the boob tube) is that there was no longer a music channel, just MTV (the reality TV channel) and VH1 (the reality TV channel that sometimes had music). So you can’t imagine my excitement when Sam Dunn – the director of several heavy metal documentaries – announced that there is going to be a whole freakin’ channel dedicated to metal. This means more metal documentaries, more metal videos, and the exploration of the millions of sub-genres of metal (including the ones that you never knew existed – or the ones that don’t exist yet). Like how about Pirate Jazz Metal? Does that exist? Maybe I can just create it out of thin air. And what about the prospect of metal commercials? Commercials for things like soap that ooze goat’s blood on you in the shower? (Okay, maybe that idea needs to be work-shopped a bit)

So anyways…something definitely to look forward to. Thank you very much Sam Dunn!

LINKS

Banger TV

Banger Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


Ready for Some Neanderthal Rock? Hear World’s Oldest Instrument (43,000 y.o.)

The haunting music you hear above comes from a 43,000 year old Neanderthal bone flute. That’s right, I said ‘bone’ flute. It is believed that this instrument was made from the bone of a bear. Is that metal or what? The flute itself was found in a cave in Western Slovenia in 1995. There was a great debate over whether the holes in the bone were intentionally made or not. In 2009 this was finally resolved. A clay replica of the artifact was made, and it was verified that it indeed was made for a singular purpose – for Neanderthals to rock out with cave bears as if they were in some kind of early Led Zeppelin tribute band.

READ MORE HERE


Jill Janus of Huntress Describes Her Life Long Battle with Mental Illness

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READ INTERVIEW HERE

It is not uncommon for a very creative person to suffer from mental illness, especially living in today’s world, which can be very unfriendly and cruel towards creative people.

Jill Janus, the talented vocalist of Huntress describes the challenge of living with mental illness along with a recent cancer diagnosis.

I wish this heavy metal heroine all the best. Sending some positive vibes her way.

Don’t forget. The new Huntress album ‘Static’ comes out September 25th!

A METAL GAIA INTERVIEW WITH JILL JANUS ABOUT HER TALENT AND EXPERIENCE WITH WITCH CRAFT


HUNTRESS COVER OF JUDAS PRIEST ‘RUNNING WILD’

Even though this is a cover, I think it demonstrates the incredible range and power of Jill’s voice.

The Huntress Official Website

The Huntress Facebook


“Isis Should Be Afraid of These Women,” Meet Helly Luv, The Kurdish Music Star Fighting Terrorism

HELLY LUV – “REVOLUTION”

The Kurds have done the amazing. With the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world at their front door, they have still managed to protect their own with little outside help (aside from U.S. airstrikes and some volunteers). Part of the power of their fighting force are the brave Kurdish women of the Peshmerga. Their job is to send the ISIS scum to hell – literally. Many of the guys in ISIS believe if they are killed by a woman, they won’t get into heaven. So the Kurdish women are more than delighted to take up arms and send these assholes where they belong.

Helly Luv is a Kurdish music star who has used her voice and dancing to bring attention to the Kurds and their battle. She is a singer, dancer, choreographer, actress and model. Her career began when she started uploading her own videos to Myspace and YouTube and then took off from there.

In 2014 she created the Helly Luv non-profit organization to help the women and animals in need in Kurdistan. On July 6, 2014, Helly Luv visited the peshmerga headquarters in the city of Duhok, Iraq near the border of Mosul, Iraq during the defense against ISIL (ISIS); with a mission to deliver food and water to the Peshmerga troops.

She is famous for her ‘Revolution’ video above, calling people to help build Peace by fighting ISIS. It may sound like a contradiction, but as she said in a recent interview “you can’t hand these people flowers.”

LINKS: 

Helly Luv Facebook

Helly Luv Wiki

Peshmerga

Meet ISIS’s Worst Nightmare: An All-Women Battalion Of Kurdish Fighters

hellyluv


Tribute to Christopher Lee: Epic Saruman Speech

Christopher Lee died on June 7th at the age of 93 after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure. He is known as the master of horror, and is famous for his portrayal of Dracula and Saruman in Lord of the Rings. His career as an actor, singer and writer has spanned near 70 years. What is lesser known is he also was involved in metal music. He was involved in Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. He was also honored with the “spirit of metal” award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods award ceremony.

RIP Christopher Lee. You truly were a living legend in modern times.

 


New Zealand Now Recognizes ALL Animals As Sentient Beings!

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READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

ANIMAL WELFARE BILL


To interrupt my long stasis from blog updates (been a busy month with visiting my new born nephew, and all sorts of other stuff), I would like to bring you this exciting news. New Zealand has just set a new precedent for how a nation should think about nature and its animal brethren.

For a long time many people have believed in foolish things about animals, such as the idea that animals “don’t feel pain.”

There’s this idea of “sentience” that certain animals have a more valuable existence than others, because their thought process is more complex.

However, New Zealand just said ‘to hell with that,’ and has now announced that ALL animals have feelings. This has set the precedent for the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, last month, to prosecute people involved in animal abuse/cruelty, as well as to ban animal testing and research. Much of the testing of products on animals can be done via other means. For example, many cosmetic companies will put their products in an animal’s eye to see if it causes them pain.I’m sure there’s a better way to conduct that kind of research.

Hopefully other countries will begin to follow New Zealand’s example in the protection of animals from abuse and cruelty.

Our lives are no more valuable than theirs. The first step towards living on this planet in a sane manner is to start seeing our furry friends as relatives, not as lifeless tools.


Earth Day Realities and Environ-metal – Change is Needed Before We Reach The Point of No Return

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Happy Earth Day everyone! But of course, we must remember that everyday is Earth Day, not just today.

We must also remember that we do not need to worry about Nature. Nature has been around for billions of years, and Nature has survived 5 major mass extinctions. The worst one, The Permian Extinction, wiped out about 90% of the life on the planet. So human activity may cause temporary chaos – but Nature will get past it – even if it takes her 100,000 years to clean up the mess human beings have caused, this is just a drop in the bucket in the overall scale of time.

Human beings are the ones who should be worried. If we continue to destroy the resources we need to survive – there will be a massive scale of death of human beings in the billions. This sounds far-fetched, but remember that a plague alone killed a third of Europe’s population in the 13th century. What percentage of the world’s people would die if we were dealing with global plague, famine, increased super storms – and of course the wars ignited in reaction to these things?

The global environmental crisis isn’t just something that will stay in the third world either – already it is wrecking havoc in California with the chronic water shortage.

So climate change is a real issue – THE issue – and we need to take it very seriously.

If we don’t do something soon as a society, we will reach the point of no return. At a certain point, problems will start solving themselves – just not in a way that we would like. (Think of Hurricane Sandy times 100).


WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ON A GLOBAL LEVEL

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I won’t be able to go over everything in minute detail, or else this blog post would turn into a book. But I’ll go over a few basics.

  • THE SHIFT TO A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY: When I say “clean energy,” I’m not talking about “natural” gas. Putting the word “natural” in a name doesn’t make it any more clean or natural. Fracking has actually been shown to cause more pollution than the standard oil drilling, (since fracking releases methane – and methane is at least 20 times more powerful as a green house gas than Carbon Dioxide). There needs to be an initiative on a major level to transition away from our global dependency on oil drilling, fracking and coal burning – and shift towards solar and wind power. The transition towards a “Clean Energy Economy” would actually create millions of new jobs and would be better for the environment overall. Also, according to CleanTechnica, such a shift would create around 3 million new jobs in America alone and would only cost 1.2% of the GDP. To put this in perspective, keep in mind that the top earning companies have used 4% of public GDP just to improve the worth of their own company stocks. (The Atlantic, 2015).
  •  A MAJOR AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION: One of the largest causes of pollution and environmental destruction is the structure of our global food systems. Modern agriculture has set in motion a gigantic reduction in global water supplies. Industrial fertilizers were only invented 100 years ago, so there is no long term track record of what they are going to do to the planet (which is pretty scary!). Modern fertilizers have also played a role in the extinction of helpful species (such as bees, bats and frogs), as well as destroying the local soil. The domestication of animals on a major level also requires a large amount of land, the consumption of vegetation, the destruction of forest land, and releases a record amount of methane in the atmosphere. On a global scale, the agriculture industry is the largest cause of methane emissions (EPA). Yes, industrial agriculture has been helpful so far in averting global famine, but it doesn’t have a long term future. A global shift towards family owned organic farms, urban farming, self sustainability and even low meat diets would be a start in solving this problem. There needs to be a greater conversation about a “Plan B” for achieving a realistic replacement plan for the non-viable Industrial Agriculture system.
  • TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ON A POLITICAL/LEADERSHIP LEVEL: Much of the modern narrative about Environmentalism has been about what you – as an individual – can do to save the planet. There is all this talk about buying new light bulbs, driving a hybrid and shopping at Whole Foods. Perhaps if everyone did these things it might make some minor difference, but the major cause of pollution and global warming is actually caused by large industries that can really only be regulated by the government. The problem is that in many governments (particularly America) Environmental reform is occurring at a glacial pace – if not a non-existent pace. The Environment wasn’t even mentioned in the 2012 presidential election until hurricane Sandy hit New York; Here’s a scary fact, half of the newly elected Congress doesn’t believe in global warming (motherboard) – compare this to the fact that 97% of scientists do believe in global warming.
  • TACKLING THE LIE THAT A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT CAN’T EXIST SIDE BY SIDE: The lie that many big companies use to avoid new regulations or a shift towards a more environmentally positive policy is this idea that environmental reform isn’t “profitable.” This is a lie, a complete and total lie. The reality is that today’s big businesses would actually not be profitable if they had to pay for the resources they used. Industries like big oil and big agriculture (Monsanto) receive a record amount of subsidies and government level support to keep their industries afloat. None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use (Grist, 4-17-13). The reality is that an energy-efficient economy would actually be much more profitable, create more jobs, would have a better chance at a long term future and would be better for the environment. After all, what is big oil going to do when they run out of oil? How much longer can the fracking industry last? Most scientists give them only 20 years. What is big-agro going to do when they run out of ground water? The reality is that the people who are currently in power are scared – as they should be – because their companies have no long-term future, are not truly profitable. Here is another fact. An economy can’t exist when its people are dead. Environmental reform on a large scale is key if we are to solve the major issues of our time. 

 WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL? 

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From what I wrote above, I made it sound like that the individual can’t do much, but that is not true. As an individual, you can actually do a lot to help the planet. But the main contribution won’t be using an energy efficient lightbulb (although that is a thoughtful gesture), your contribution will be in using your voice, your talents, your activism and your creativity to help contribute towards the creation of a culture and political system that prioritizes the protection of nature and the development of sustainable systems.

Here are some ideas for Earth Day action for the individual.

  • Think about how you can use your voice and your talents to spread awareness about the destruction of life on the planet and the need for major environmental change.
  • Plant a tree (Like I said, won’t change the world. But it is a fun Earth Day activity that will help your local environment and help get you more in touch with nature).
  • Go for a hike in nature.
  • Host a clean up at your local park.
  •  Start a garden (Growing your own food won’t cause a revolution, but its a positive step towards sustainability and ending the dependence on destructive agricultural systems).
  • Donate your time or money to a company/cause that fights for climate change/climate justice.
  • If you vote, look into the candidate that has the best track record of environmental protection
  • Consider eating a low meat diet (or getting your meat at a Farmer’s Market). Apparently half of the world’s crops are used to feed domesticated animals. I’ve already talked about the problems of Industrial Agricultural above. If the meat industry was downsized, that would be more land – less pollution – and more crops for the hungry. The U.S. could feed 800 million people alone with the crops that domesticated farm animals eat (Cornell).
  • Get in touch with Earth Based Spirituality. One of the greatest things we need to do to change is change our culture – change our perception of our role on this planet. This world wasn’t meant to be mankind’s plaything. The growth of indigenous, Earth based religions and traditions around the globe is helping to focus people’s attention towards what really matters. Looking at the Earth as a divine mother, rather than a material product is the first step towards a positive change.

  NOW ENJOY SOME ENVIRON-METAL

HAVOK – POINT OF NO RETURN

While this video deals with a variety of geopolitical issues, I thought this video does a great job of hammering home the point that humanity is reaching a point of “no return.” If we don’t achieve real change now, we’ll reach a point where problems will start solving themselves – in a way that we don’t like.


KREATOR – PEOPLE OF THE LIE

Much of the structure of today’s world is a lie – the lie that this is a good system and if you cooperate you’ll have a good future. Perhaps things may look good now (if you live in a developed country, and are in a part of that country with a strong economy). But much of our current wealth has been borrowed from the planet, and borrowed against the future. This current lifestyle has no long term future. The politicians won’t tell you that – but it is the truth. Our current system and its leaders are the people of the lie.


TESTAMENT – DARK ROOTS OF EARTH

“Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the earthy
Will see us home eventually”

A simple but powerful point. The dark, primordial power of the Earth is a long lasting, ancient truth. We will find ourselves home if we connect with nature, and if we do not – we’ll find our ruin.


Northern Ireland Certifies Its First Pagan Priest Since Time of St. Patrick

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(Patrick Carberry: Source: Belfast Media Group)

I truly believe the Gods have a since of humor. For the first time in centuries, Northern Ireland has allowed Patrick Carberry, a shamanic healer and a pagan priest to be certified by authorities. It was a man by the name of “Patrick” who was famous for bringing Ireland under the Christian fold (even though there were Christian missionaries in Ireland before St. Patrick) and now it is another “Patrick” who is paving the way for the ancient religion to reclaim official recognition. Ironic? Is it not?

Patrick Carberry, who is based in Glengormley, applied to Stormont five months ago to be certified as a holy man. Officials have finally got back to him with the news that he can now carry out religious ceremonies for people who follow Irish pre-Christian religions.

Patrick has been attacked in the past for his beliefs. It is his hope that bringing official recognition to the pagan religion will help it to become more socially acceptable.

“I am the very first pagan priest in Northern Ireland and it’s a big milestone because until now Stormont has point blankly refused to recognize paganism,” he said.

“In 2009 I set up a church called the Order of the Golden River but the members and I agreed to keep it underground because the people were afraid of being targeted.”

Apparently this fear is well founded. Patrick was assaulted at a small outlet he opened in the Park Centre last September. But he says he’s now happy to announce he is a full-time priest in the pagan religion, now that he has official recognition.

“I’m not in the slightest bit bothered. I am a full-time pagan priest and it’s as simple as that. That’s what I do. Other people have jobs and do their paganism outside of that but I am the same level as any priest or reverend and I have now been recognized as such.”

Patrick said the Order of the Golden River deserves to be respected along with other religions.

“Now we are officially recognized as a church and it comes down to the fact it’s the first time paganism has been officially recognized since Saint Patrick came here and did away with all the pagans and made the whole place Christian. This is the first time pagans have had the opportunity to officially celebrate their beliefs.

“We are a pagan order which believes everyone has the right to live and have their own faith without fear. We were underground but at a meeting the Order members agreed to speak out about our faith and stand up for our beliefs. We are happy to explain our faith to anyone who asks because our aim is to dispel all the misinformation which people have about paganism.”

Patrick says he can now perform weddings in full compliance with the law.

“I can marry people in stone circles or ancient woodlands. It really is a milestone for Northern Ireland and a great day for pagans.”

PATRICK’S ROLE AS A CELTIC SHAMAN1511783_928870647165390_4937131844352472608_n

Patrick describes himself as a traditional Celtic Shaman who aims to live as close to nature and the old ways as possible. While he practices mainly in Ireland and the U.K, on his website he states that it is his goal to help people on an international level connect to the spirit world. He provides shamanic healing, Shamanic Healing, Energy Healing, Energy Balancing, Angel  Healing, Shamanic Readings, Soul Readings, Holistic Massage, Animal Communicator and Animal Healing.

THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN RIVER

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The Order of the Golden River (of which Silent Oak is a trading name) is a pagan order which believes that everyone has the right to live and have their own faith without fear. Set up in 2009 the Order have been practicing its faith in private. The members have had to remain anonymous to protect their families from harm because of their beliefs. At a meeting in January 2015 the Order members agreed to speak out about their faith and stand up for their beliefs, they will explain their faith to anyone who asks, their aim is to expel all the misinformation which people have about paganism.

RELATED LINKS: 

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Order of the Golden River Website

Order of the Golden River Facebook

The Mind Body Spirit Center in Belfast


Druid College in U.K. is born!

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2015 has been an exciting year for Pagans so far, and we’re only in February! First it gets announced that Iceland is buildings its first temple to the Norse God to be erected in 1,000 years. Now a U.K. branch of the Druid College has been born. The other sister college is in the U.S. in Maine. (I personally would love to see one in every state).

The Druid College’s goal is to cultivate priests of Nature. They are dedicated to

  •  to Earth-centered spirituality
  •  to  the integrity of our natural home
  •  to the crafting of sacred relationship

The foundations for this life long journey are established by three years of study. Unlike contemporary universities, Druid studies are furthered not only by personal reflection but primarily by ongoing personal connection and spiritual guidance of (i.e., apprenticeship to) a Druid Priest.

What does being a priest mean to the Druid College? Here is what the website says: “Being a priest of nature does not mean being an intermediary, but instead living a life in service, crafting a sacred relationship with the land, the ancestors and the gods.  It requires service to the community as well as the land, wherein the priest acts as guide, witness or celebrant to a journey or journeys of crafting sacred relationship.”

While one can learn about druidry anywhere, the college itself has a specific focus on cultivating people who can perform service to the land and community. Given that human beings currently have a very dysfunctional relationship with their environment, the college stresses that priests of nature are needed more now than ever.

NOTE: The Druid College is not an accredited college. It’s not a place where you would go to get a degree. They use the word “college” in an earlier sense to describe the place as a center of learning.

 RELEVANT LINKS

Druid College Home Page

Druid College FAQ

Druid College Facebook

Big News – Druid College UK is born! (Witches and Pagans, 2-6-15)


Iceland to Build First Temple to Norse Gods Since Viking Age

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE (More Information Here)

Ásatrúarfélagið website (The group for which the temple is being built)

For the first time in 1,000 years, a temple to the Norse Gods will be built in Iceland. Most pagans these days tend to worship in each other’s houses or outside somewhere, since our numbers are pretty low. So this will definitely be a historic landmark for Iceland – if not for the whole Pagan community in general.

Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.

While the number of Norse Pagans is small in Iceland, the rate of growth itself is pretty large. The number has tripled in the last decade. So it makes sense that a temple will be built to accommodate this growing community.

This temple will be a place where weddings, funerals and initiation rites will take place.

After 1,000 years of oppression the old ways will re-emerge once again.

Amon Amarth – Thousand Years of Oppression

RELATED ARTICLES

Is Paganism the Fastest Growing Religion in the U.S?


The Lie We Live [Video] – Are You Really Free? Think Again

Once our days were timeless. Now they are scheduled. We give our entire lives – and planet – to money. But what’s left over after the money? Once there was clean air, yet now it’s polluted. The soil was once pure and now it is toxic. One fifth of the world’s people are starving, even though there is enough food for all. The corporation’s main resource is us. As long we are money driven slaves, we’ll fight their wars, work in their factories and spend most of our lives trying to make a wage before we die.

But there is another way. We need to carve it out for ourselves. We need to think for ourselves. We need to have the courage to build a new and better world. We are a majority. The wealthy elite are a minority. Let’s not let them destroy our future.

Definitely a video that everyone should see. Very brilliant and thought provoking.


United Kingdom’s First Gay, Pagan Wedding Held in Scotland

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LGBTQ NATION ARTICLE

EDINBURGH NEWS ARTICLE

Cue the soundtrack of Billy Idol’s “It’s a nice day for a white wedding,” and replace that with, “It’s a nice day for a Gaaay Wedding!”

I would like to send forth a major congratulations to Tom Lanting, 34, and Iain Robertson, 39, who were the first two to have both a gay and pagan wedding in Scotland. The couple has been together for 12 years, but has just recently tied the knot. Since they both describe themselves as hedge witches, they had a ceremony where they casted a circle, invoked the elements, handfasted (which involves tying the hands together), shared mead and jumped the broom.

After Sunday’s wedding, the couple said: “As hedge witches we always wanted to have a pagan marriage ceremony in line with our beliefs and it was really important to us to be able to share this ceremony with our friends and family.”

Scotland is the only part of the U.K. to allow pagans and other religious minorities to solemnise legal weddings.

Louise Park, the presiding officer for the Pagan Federation (Scotland), conducted the ceremony. She said: “Equality for people of all faiths is something that is very dear to the vast majority of pagans.”

Hopefully we see more of this kind of thing in the future to come for Scotland.

BILLY IDOL  – “WHITE WEDDING”

Since I mentioned it I might as well post it. Not metal, but a bit of cheesy 80’s magic.


Nature is Speaking – Humans Need Nature, But Nature Doesn’t Need Us

Nature Is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature | Conservation International (CI)

Nature has been here for billions of years. She has made and broken species greater than us. Our actions will determine our fate. Nature is prepared to evolve, are we?