A March for Science in DC Set for Earth Day 2017
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.
Hallmarks of 2015 for Pagans
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.
New Zealand Now Recognizes ALL Animals As Sentient Beings!
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.
A Prospective Research Book on Sacred Pagan Sites in Northern Europe
Megan Löwe plans to write a book on Sacred Pagan Sites and places of power in Northern Europe. An obvious example is Stone Henge. Yet Megan is also interesting in compiling information on lesser known places in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Austria. Of course, in order to gather information, she needs to actually go to these places and talk to to people – which involves that thing we’d like to call money.
If anyone here is interested in Megan’s project, you can check out more details HERE at GoFundMe
Megan describes her project more on her blog page.
Also check out Kraftorte to read more about recognizing natural landscapes of power.
RIP Ravi Shankar: The Lauded Godfather of World Music
Yes, you are correct, that is Ravi Shankar teaching George Harrison of the Beatles how to play sitar.
The long and eventful life of a music legend ended yesterday when Ravi Shankar died at the ripe old age of 92 with his wife and daughter at his side. This man was the lauded godfather of world music. He has also been described as the most contemporary known Indian musician. Ravi’s career took off after he started mingling with the Beatles and soon inspired the “Raga Rock” fever in the west. He found himself playing shows with some of the most famous musicians of the era – including the opening day of Woodstock.
In the 60’s, music (and maybe just maybe a few drugs), worked the magic of opening the mind to a broader state of reality. The inclusion of sitar into western rock music symbolized an increased awareness to Eastern spirituality and ideas. I’m not saying that everyone who rocked out to raga rock instantly understood India. I’m sure there were lots of people who appreciated a good sitar lick who didn’t know the difference between Delhi and a sandwich shop. Yet at a deeper level, began an awakening of a sort of cultural consciousness between East and West.
Music has a power beyond words. Feel the magic of the sitar as you listen to the songs below:
WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU – THE BEATLES
RAVI SHANKAR AND THE BEATLES
RAVI SHANKAR – RAGA ONE