The Willow Knot Spell

THE WILLOW KNOT SPELL

To win the love of a young lady, according to the old Gypsy Witch lore, a young man must go into the woods on Saint Johns Day (mid- summer) and find some willow twigs that have grown together into a knot. With a sharp, white handled knife, he must cut the twigs, put them into his mouth, and repeat the following incantation with his eyes closed.

WILLOW TREE
WILLOW TREE
GIVE ME THE LUCK
OF THINE THEN
(NAME OF LOVED ONE)
SHALL FOREVER BE MINE.

The Witches Spell for November 3: Cloud Eye Rite

Cloud Eye Rite

This is a version of a rite by an unknown author which involves transferring one’s ‘essence’ to another form, such as a rainbow, an animal, another person, a cloud, even a tree. In this case, you move your perception to a cloud.

You will need: An open space

Dry ice

Passivity

 

Open by whatever means feels appropriate. (You might just cast a circle.) Set the dry ice in the center of the working area. Participants circle deosil around the ice, chanting “Ka-ao-opua-loa” (the sharp-pointed living cloud). In the Hawaiian legends, this was the name of the kupua of the cloud people. Circling and chanting continue for 10-15 minutes, at the end of which all sit down in a circle as close to the ice as possible. All stare into the fog rising from the ice until tunnel vision sets in (the field of vision goes black except for the object focused upon). At the moment that tunnel vision occurs, say:

As below, so above The cloud is in my eye Ka-ao-opua-loa carry my sight

Participants begin spinning at increasing speed with eyes closed, all the while repeating:

Tenfemet-Douck

When spinning is no longer possible, participants lie on their backs and open the eyes completely (no squinting) and focus on the first cloud they see. All repeat:

As above, so below My eye is in the cloud Phenomenize the cloud-eye

Visualize a fog exactly like that rising from the dry ice leaving the eyes and rushing up to join with the clouds. Observe it entirely passively, and with the inner voice repeat:

This self is Tenfemet-Douck, The cloud that sees.

When tunnel vision again sets in, close the eyes and open them again quickly. Look down over the terrain that passes below your cloud-eye. Note details if desired, but do not attempt to influence direction or speed of motion. All control of these should be left to the wind. When you have achieved your desired results, switch out of the passive mode and attempt to influence direction or speed. Find yourself back in your human body looking up at the clouds. Banish by laughter, and leave the circle.

Help for Making New Habits Deepak Chopra

Help for Making New Habits

by Deepak Chopra

Every habit is a cooperative venture between body and mind. Generally  speaking, the mind leads the venture and body follows as a silent partner. It is  attention, or awareness, that touches the sleeping powers of the mind and makes  them vital again. The smallest shift of attention can change the world you  perceive and the body you live with.

Guidelines for new habits:

1. The habit should be  acquired effortlessly over a period of time.

2. It should be guided by  positive thoughts.

3. It should be consciously repeated, but always in a  good frame of mind, never forced in as the enemy of a bad habit.

Cultivated in this way, new habits condition the whole mind-body system to  create health and happiness automatically.

I am again reminded of those two sentences from Abraham Maslow about very  healthy, creative people: “What such a person wants and enjoys is apt to be just  what is good for him. His spontaneous reactions are as capable, efficient and  right as if they had been thought out in advance.” It sounds too good to be  true, but is just habit at work.

All that is needed is the awareness that the unconscious mind can be changed  in its routine, and then one simply changes it. People who have been unhappy all  their lives can become happy simply by realizing that the source of change is  inside themselves.

The unconscious can be refined and rechanneled through suggestions,  repetition, and above all, attention. Do not fret too much over “how it all  happens”—that is just an old mindset saying, “It won’t happen, it can’t.”

 

6 Government Surveillance Programs Designed to Watch What You Do Online

By David Rosen, AlterNet, Printed on June 13, 2012

President Eisenhower was right on point about the military-industrial complex, but he could not have predicted the emergence of the massive surveillance state — combining the government and private sector — that bolsters it.

Sadly, neither President Obama nor his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, has the desire or moral courage to fight the growing power and influence of the Corporate Security State.  We are witnessing the integration of spying on two levels, the government level (federal, state and local) and the corporate level (via telecom providers, web services and credit card companies).

If you are a user of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Craigslist or another popular site, the U.S. security state is watching you.  An increasing number of federal agencies are employing sophisticated means to monitor Americans’ use of social networking sites.  Federal entities from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Department to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are involved in developing programs to track the American public online.

Here is a brief summary of some of the other programs.

1.  Justice Department. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a report from the DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section, “Obtaining and Using Evidence from Social Networking Sites,” that describes how evidence from social networking sites can reveal personal communications that might help “establish motives and personal relationships.”

It reports that monitored data from such sites can provide location information and “prove and disprove alibis.”  Perhaps most illuminating, it advises agents that “going undercover” on social media sites can enable law enforcement to communicate with suspects and targets, gain access to nonpublic information and map social relationships.  The DOJ document notes that Twitter retains the last login IP address, but does not preserve data unless legally required to do so.

2. The IRS uses a variety of social media sites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and Second Life to investigate taxpayers.  It seems to have started this practice in 2009, providing agents with special training on social networking.  The EFF posted the IRS’ 38-page training that offers detailed tips to agents on how to conduct searches, locate relevant taxpayer information, narrow down and refine results. 

3.  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is seeking a tool that integrates all online information, including web searches, Wikipedia edits and traffic webcams.

4. The Defense Department has solicited proposals through DARPA for a $42 million “Social Media Strategic Communications” (SMISC) program, a tool that tracks social media and weeds out information.  It has set four goals for the project: (i) to detect, classify and measure the development of ideas, concepts in hidden social media messages; (ii) specify the structure of the campaign and influence in social media sites and the community they create; (iii) identify the participants and intention in conducting a social media campaign of persuasion and measure its effect; and (iv) develop an effective counter-message to an identified campaign carried out against the enemy.

5. The FBI is soliciting a bid for a program that seems very similar to the DHS social-network monitoring program.  Dubbed the “FBI Social Media Application,” the program would have “[the ability] to rapidly assemble critical open source information and intelligence … to quickly vet, identify and geo-locate breaking events, incidents and emerging threats.”

In the FBI’s 12-page solicitation, it requests a program that can quickly identify, display and locate alerts on geo-spatial maps and enable users to summarize the “who, what, when, where and why” of specific threats and incidents.  Going further, it seeks to not simply detect “credible threats,” but to identify those organizing and taking part in gatherings and to predict upcoming events.  According to the FBI, “Social media will be a valued source of information to the SIOC [i.e., Strategic Information and Operations Center] intelligence analyst in a crisis because it will be both eyewitness and first response to the crisis.”

An FBI spokesperson insisted, “[We] will not focus on specific persons or protected groups, but on words that relate to ‘events’ and ‘crisis’ and activities constituting violations of federal criminal law or threats to national security. Examples of these words will include lockdown, bomb, suspicious package, white powder, active shoot, school lockdown, etc.”  Rest assured, much like the assurances voiced by the DHS, the FBI insists that its monitoring won’t be used to focus on specific individuals or groups.

6. Department of Homeland Security. A more aggressive monitoring program was recently revealed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) when it secured from the DHS a list of approximately 380 keywords that the agency tracks.  The allegedly threatening terms were found in the DHS’ Analyst Desktop Binder, part of its 2011 Media Monitoring Capability (MMC) program.

These terms are organized into nine categories:

Agencies – 26 terms, including “DHS,” “FBI”, “CIA,” “Air Marshal,” “United Nations” and “Red Cross”;

Domestic security – 52 terms, including “assassination,” “dirty bomb,” “crash,” “first responder,” “screening” and “death.”

Hazardous materials – 34 terms, including “hazmat,” “nuclear,”  “leak,” “burn” and “cloud.”

Public health – 47 terms, including “ebola,” “contamination,” “wave,” “pork” and “agriculture.”

Infrastructure security – 35 terms, including “AMTRAK,” “airport,” “subway,” “port,” “electric” and “cancelled.”

Southwest border violence – 65 terms, including “drug cartel,” “decapitated,” “gunfight,” “marijuana,” “heroin,” “border” and “bust.”

Terrorism – 55 terms, including “Jihad,” “biological weapons,” “suicide attack,” “plot” and “pirates.”

Emergencies and weather – 41 terms, including “disaster,” “hurricane,” “power outage,” “ice,” “storm” and “help.”

Cyber security – 25 terms, including “cyber terror,” “malware,” “virus,” “hacker,” “worm,” “China” and “Trojan.”

The DHS has been engaged in monitoring social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn as well as blogs since at least 2010.  Its effort is run through the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS), National Operations Center (NOC), and is entitled “Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness (Initiative).” Its ostensible purpose is to provide situational awareness and strengthen its common operating picture.

The scope of DHS’ practice of social monitoring was unexpectedly revealed in a special congressional hearing, the House Subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Intelligence, headed by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), in February.  Two DHS officials, Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan and Director of Operations Coordination and Planning Richard Chavez, raised the representatives’ ire by appearing to be deliberately stonewalling on the scope and practice of the agency’s social media surveillance.

Most disturbing, the DHS reps appeared unsure about the monitoring program’s goals, how the gathered information would be used and whether it would be shared with other agencies.  In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, Reps. Billy Long (R-MO), Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) joined Rep. Meehan in chastising the DHS officials.

Under intense congressional probing, DHS reps revealed that the keywords chosen for monitoring were drawn from commercially available, off-the-shelf database programs that were customized to meet its specifications.  The agency was particularly interested in determining first witnesses to breaking events like the 2011 Tucson shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others and the January 2012 bomb threat at an Austin school.

The DHS reps insisted that data gathered was only used to confirm other news reports and that information on private citizens was not being collected.  In addition, they claimed that that all personally identifying information was regularly scrubbed from the agency’s servers.

Few should feel comforted by the DHS assurances.  At the House hearing, it was also revealed that the agency was involved in what appears to be an ongoing campaign to monitor the actions and beliefs of individual Americans engaged in community-based political activism.  It compiled a report, “Residents Voice Opposition Over Possible Plan to Bring Guantanamo Detainees to Local Prison-Standish MI,” that tracked community reactions to the proposed location of Guantánamo detainees in a local Michigan prison.

The DHS report is part of the EPIC documents acquired through a Freedom of Information request.  It details that information was gathered from a variety of sources, including newspaper articles and responses, blogs by local activists, and Twitter and Facebook posts.

The House hearing also shed light on the DHS practice of outsourcing keyword tracking of social media through a sole-source contract to the giant defense contractor, General Dynamics. In 2011, General Dynamics had revenues of $5.5 billion of which 84 percent ($4.6 bil) came from government contracts.  Earlier this year, it’s Advanced Information Systems division was awarded a $14 million DHS contract to (in the words of a press release) “provide constant and continual watch operations for critical communications to the agency’s National Coordinating Center.”  In addition, it will “identify the possible impacts of potentially disruptive events.

In keeping with the prevailing ethos of corporate unaccountability, it turns out if the General Dynamics employees are found to have misused the information garnered from a social network user, including a journalist or public figure, the employee must take a training course or, worst case, lose his/her job.  No criminal penalties are specified.

A word to the wise, Big Brother is watching you.

View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/155764/

Daily OM for June 12 – Roles of Support

Doing Our Best Work

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Each one of us is very much needed and we all have our role to play adding to the success of the whole.

 

In the great symphony of life, we all have important parts to play. While some people are best suited to be conductors or soloists, their contributions would be diminished considerably without the individual musicians that lend their artistry to the fullness of an orchestra. The magical accents of the percussion section might sound random and out of place without the music they accompany. But any one member of an orchestra, doing less than their best at their particular part, can destroy the harmony of the whole piece, such is their importance. So although we may not receive the same amount or quality of attention as another, all of our contributions are valuable and integral to the success of the whole.

When we do our tasks well, we infuse them with our unique energy, making each act a gift. Each of our personalities and talents are suited to different roles of support. Even leaders and star performers support others in their own way. We can look around us at any moment to see that while we nurture some people with our work, others are supporting us with their gifts. Doing any job from this place within us allows us to do our part with humility and gratitude, while also learning lessons that move us steadily toward our goals.

When we can be fully present in every job that we do, we bring the fullness of our bodies, minds and spirits to the moment. Our contribution is enhanced by the infusion of our talents and abilities, and when we give them willingly, they attract the right people and circumstances into our experience. Anything we do begrudgingly limits the flow of our energy and closes us off from the good that is available to us in every situation. But by giving the best in us to make the world around us better, we open ourselves to receive the best from the universe in return.

 

Daily OM 

In The News – Venus Transit Tonight

Transit of Venus

On June 5, 2012 at sunset on the East Coast of North America and earlier for other parts of the U.S., the planet Venus will make its final trek across the face of the sun as seen from Earth until the year 2117. The last time this event occurred was on June 8, 2004 when it was watched by millions of people across the world. Get prepared for this once in a lifetime event!

For over 100 years the main quest of astronomers was to pin down the distance between Earth and Sun (the Astronomical Unit), which would give them a key to the size of the solar system. Careful studies of the transit of Venus became the gold mine they would harvest to reveal this measure.

Live Web Cast

Live Webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii

On June 5, 2012, we will air a live ‘remote’ webcast from a mountainside Visitors Station site near the observatories in Hilo, Hawaii. This location will give a wonderful view of the entire transit with little chance of cloud cover to a worldwide audience.

 

Safe Solar Viewing

Safe Viewing Techniques

You can experience the transit of Venus safely, but it is vital that you protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters.

 

Sun-Earth Day Videos

Transit of Venus Videos

Let Sun-Earth Day help you prepare for the Transit of Venus through a new series of videos hosted on our YouTube Channel.

Heartwings Love Notes 347: The Goodness of Friends

Heartwings Love Notes 347: The Goodness of Friends

 
Heartwings says, “It is wonderful to have a good friend, and even better to have more than one.”
 
On Sunday Stephen and I slept late, had a nice brunch and prepared ourselves for a relaxed creative day. Then the clanking began again. The noises had gone on occasionally for the past week or so, once or twice waking Stephen up. We couldn’t figure out what they were, and they seemed to be getting worse.
 
From the basement where I had gone to investigate I heard Stephen calling. I rushed upstairs and into the sunroom. With three large windows and a slider, that room is often cold. That morning I discovered that several of my plants had frozen in the night. There was more to come. Water was flooding from the baseboard. We fetched a bucket and bailed to no avail.
 
Water poured on out. The rug was already soaked. I called a friend who had helped us get settled and knew the heating system to help me shut off the water to that room. It took time but we finally did. I opened the door to the garage. Water had come out of the broken pipes long enough to have soaked much of the garage ceiling. Water and plaster rained down on the car.
 
A second friend came and helped us by pulling most of the sheetrock down and carrying it away. He also brought over a large fan and a dehumidifier to help dry out the rug. His wife called their heating technician who came over today and now the pipes are fixed and the heat is back on in that room.
 
Even though the whole experience was quite traumatic, Stephen and I are extremely grateful for the way it all worked out. First, if it hadn’t snowed we would have been gone all that afternoon. Then if it hadn’t been for the help of our friends I don’t know what we would have done or how we could have managed. What a blessing it is to have friends and how grateful we are.
 
May you be given whatever help you need whenever you need it.
 

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

 

For more Love Notes or to subscribe: www.heartwingslovenotes.com.

My poetry and blog: www.gotpoetry.com under the Avatar of Pujakins.

Domestic Tranquility, conversations between me and Stephen and Cooking with Tasha are posted on You Tube under Stephen and Tasha Halpert.

Check Heartwings Place on YouTube to hear me read my Pujatales.

For Stephen’s and other humorous writing go to: www.funnywrite.com

To view Stephen’s art, go to www.stephenhalpert.com

 
 

The Party

This is a wedding reception with a difference. There is no first dance. Instead, live musicians play instruments such as the fiddle, the cello, and the accordion throughout the dinner. After eating and drinking, the guest, in high spirits, start to dance. After a few dances, the groom makes a speech and thanks all of his guests and his right-hand man for their help and assistance. The bride next make a thank you speech and gives small gifts to each of her handmaidens, the high priestess, and her new mother-in-law. This offering is usually in the way of something small and personal, such as a crystal, a magickal pouch, or a fresh bunch of herbs. Right after she has given her presents, she summons all the single people (male and female) for the bouquet toss. Whoever catches this bouquet must take it home and dry it to ensure that they meet their true love in this lifetime.

Lunar Lore

Lunar Lore
The moon had climbed the highest hill
Which rises o’er the source of Dee,
And from the eastern summit shed
Her silver light on tower and tree.
– John Lowe, “Mary’s Dream.”
The Egyptians worshipped the cat as a symbol of the moon,
not only because it is more active after sunset,
but from the dilation and contraction of its pupil,
symbolical of the waxing and waning of the night-goddess.
– Brewer, “Dictionary of Phrase & Fable”