Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Beware! Russia Today (RT) – Propaganda website brought to you by Russia - Review



Investigative Review of Russia Today

The date of this publishing is the date I have concluded my investigation of Russia Today, also known as RT.  The website I investigated can be found at www.rt.com/ should one want to visit.  My investigation lasted over three months of daily activity on Russia Today.   Below are my conclusions.
 
I went in as a new member, reading the various articles and commenting.  The responses to my comments were very surprising, abusive, and full of ethnic and racial hatred.   I have included some screen shots from various stories and their comment threads at the end of this article.

The whole concept of RT is that they will censor your comments if they don’t fall in line of United States and Israel hatred.  They will not allow truth, supported by documentation and facts, to remain in comments.  Just today, I had my whole profile dumped, and over 1,000 comments systematically deleted, one by one, by one of their supposed moderators.    This is the second time this has happened to me, with the last time about six to eight weeks ago.   They do this slyly, so they think.   They will allow you to see the comments you leave, but no one else can see them.   You get no notification that they have “shadowed” you (their term).  They do possess your email as that is required, however, you will never get any notification from them when they alter your account or profile.

Back to the story here.  I was asked to go there and give my thoughts in an article, which you are reading.  The whole Russia Today, RT, website is nothing but a branch of the Russian propaganda machine that many of us have been aware of for decades.   Shoot, the idea of propaganda has Russian origins, so that does not surprise one.  

The main people that comment on the site seemingly are paid personnel based on how consistent they are in the overall message that they repeat, over and over, in various comment threads.  Of course, the wording will change up some, but the same message.   Hatred, blame and ant-this and that always prevail.  Mostly the hatred and blame, no matter what it may be, is always the fault of the United States of American or “Jews”, the Israel state.   Arab nations, European nations and of course President Putin, can do no wrong in the eyes of the website, the moderators, the articles as well as the ones commenting on the various articles there.
 
The articles one finds on RT, Russia Today, are many times redundant, day after day.  The same info from the day before with two more sentences added and a new headline.  This allows for double the amount of comments, on the same news, by the same people who will type the same comments on a “new” story. 

If you type in “Russia”, many times your comment will show, but not be published.  One can check that by going to their profile and observing their “Activity”.  You will not see your recent comment there.  This is RT’s censorship at work.  The same will happen for other various words, attempting to fool you.  What you end up doing, to get by the censorship, is break words up to get them published, such as “Rus sia”, “Isr ael”, “cra zy”, etc.

Every other news site and organization in the world is all propaganda according to the Russia Today membership.  RT is the “only” news source that is accurate and the only news source one should believe in.   Now, for those of us who lived through the Cold War … right!  Whose chain are they pulling? 

Further in depth.  As the days, weeks and months went by, I could see the blatant biased stories, always negative of anything “West”, pile up day after day.   It becomes monotonous when you are there daily.  The also will use the same photos repeatedly, that are not even relevant to the story.  They like flashy photos which they use as “clickbait” to get people to click in. 
 
Headlines are a joke.  At least 50 percent of the time the headlines have absolutely nothing to do with the actual story information.   Again, clickbait, and apparently it works, as I have certainly clicked in to read something that simply was not there. 

The “official” response in email that I received from RT this morning, as for my profile being trashed, was simply the below:

You were blacklisted because you have violated our rules.

We have some rules for posting comments on our web site (http://rt.com/comment-posting-rules/), you should read them before you post your comment.

Best regards,
RT team

Now, to clarify things, when this happened the first time, I inquired if I had violated any “rules” and was told “no,” in an email response.  No explanation was given.

The only comment I left this morning, when blacklisted, was in relation to an article that was talking about President Trump wanting to create a Space Force.   The comments were all anti-American, over 50 plus of them.  I left the comment below which violates no rules:

Russia has had a Space Force for some time now, actually, the only country that does. It was renamed to: Russian Aerospace Forces in 2015.”

The first sentence on the link the “RT team” shared with me above states the following:

The spirit of our 'Question more' motto should guide your stance towards online etiquette, posting, and people protocols. We encourage you to share views, express opinions, agree and disagree with others, discuss and debate.

I would think that my above comment certainly falls in line with that on all levels. What the comment did do was deviate from the main flow of comments there.   It also showed that the author of the article was not very well educated, or he/she would have included this in their storyline, instead of making it look the America was the culprit by being the first to do this.

Another instance that comes to mind is where I had a comment, full of new and uncovered information about a story, that was deleted by a moderator.  Within two hours, my original comment had been expanded upon, and a “new” article was on the front page making headlines.  So, RT will grab your comment info, delete it, and use it as an idea/source of information for a “new” story.

You have been warned, should you go there, to Russia Today, and partake in the comments.  Be prepared to be hated on if you disagree with anything you read there.  It is the worse propaganda web site I have ever seen.  Now it is not just me that has made this judgement.  If you do an internet search on Russia Today (RT), you will find the same kind of reports about this huge propaganda web site machine.  

Keep in mind, that Russia Today’s posting rules only apply to those who do not follow the biased way of the website as well as the comments.   My screenshots will prove this out, so it is factual, and not a simple theory of mine. 

Below is a random sample of some comment threads from Russia Today (RT): 










Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Wiccan & Pagan Deities, Seasons & Elements



Image result for Witchcraft

Honoring The Deities, Seasons and Elements

On many occasions, my readers have asked specific questions regarding what Deities, Seasons, and Elements do most practicing Wiccans use in their spiritual and magical practice.  Below are specific to Wicca, however many other Pagan Paths, including Witches that are not Wiccan, also known as eclectic witches or pagans, also incorporate the same or parts of.

I reference the use of these deities, seasons and elements within a coven setting, but know that all solitary witches can also use the same basics that are included within this outline.  Acknowledging the Wiccan (and Pagan) deities, seasons and elements in your practice of rituals, magic and spells is a vital aspect of your spirituality.

Deities:
  • The Lady: The Lady is the Goddess and represents the three stages of womanhood.  She is often symbolized by the triple moon symbol, showing the waxing, full, and waning phases.  These three phases represent the Goddess in Her roles as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone (an elderly wise woman.)  The maiden is youthful innocence and beauty, while the Mother is the creator of life.  In her aspect as the Crone, the Lady is typically a symbol of sagacity, intuition, and knowledge, and she is usually pictured with water and cups.
  • The Lord: Sometimes referred to only as the God, the Lord is the embodiment of the scared masculine.  He is seen as the young and virile Horned God, associated with the fertility of Spring.  At different times of the year, he can be the Oak King or the Holly King, or even seen as the Sun God.  He is associated with the sun itself, the fertility of the land, and with phallic symbols as horns, antlers, branches and wands.
  • The All: In some traditions of Wicca, there is another theological concept of the Divine known as the All or the One.  This is an omnipotent and impersonal Being that can never truly be known, only acknowledged.  A pantheistic divinity, the All is found in every aspect of Nature and is sometimes viewed as the life-creating force of the universe.
The Seasons:
  • Fall: During the harvest season, Wiccan rituals focus on reaping and what you have sown and gathering abundance.  This is the season of thankfulness and gratitude.  In addition, it’s the period in which the nights are growing longer and darker, and for Wiccans, it’s the season of the Witches’ New Year, the time in which the cycle of life, death, and rebirth begins anew.  The crops and fields are dying, and with them, the earth, but we know that despite the end of the harvest, life will return again in a few months. 
  • Winter:  For must of us, Winter is a fallow time.  It’s the coldest part of the year, the land is frozen, and the skies are dark and gloomy.  However, this is also a season of celebration, when we gather together with our loved ones.  We mark the return of light at the Winter Solstice, when the sun begins to move closer to the Earth, and the days gradually begin to get longer.
  • Spring:  During the Spring season, life is beginning anew in the fields and gardens.  Spring is a time of planting and fertility, and the rebirth of the land.  It’s a time of year when we feel revitalized, as life returns once more.  It’s the season we begin to start thinking about what we want to bring into our own lives as we plant seeds—both physical and spiritual—for our goals for the year.  We rejoice in the greening of the earth in Spring and recognize that this is a time of year when we can take advantage of the earth’s natural cycles to bring about our fruitfulness and creation in our lives.
  • Summer: In the Summer months, the theme is power and energy.  The sun is at its peak in the sky, and warmth and light are everywhere.  Focus your Summer celebrations on strength and power, drawing on the energy of the sun.  The days are long and warm, we’re outdoors more, and we’re staying up later.  This is the time of productivity and powerful energy.  It’s also the season in which our gardens are blooming and blossoming, and we can begin harvesting those crops—both physical and spiritual—that we began tending in the Spring.  Take some time during the Summer months to nourish your personal power, reconnect with the land, and embrace that which you have planted.
The Four Elements:
  • Earth: The element of Earth doesn’t just mean the planet itself; it also applies to all the planet’s attributes, such as stones, trees, and mountains.  Associated with the north, Earth is Feminine, fertile, and stable, like the Goddess herself, and tied to the endless cycle of birth, life, death, and final rebirth.  Earth is usually represented by the colors green and brown.
  • Air: The element of the east, Air is representative of the soul and the breath of life, as well as wisdom and the powers of the mind.  Air is the element of communication and can be used to rid the troublesome issues, carry them away on the breeze.  Air is connected to white and yellow in color magic.
  • Fire: The masculine, purifying energy of Fire is associated with the God and the south.  It’s tied to strong will, passion, and energy.  Fire both creates and destroys and can heal or harm.  For color magic, use red and orange for Fire associations.
  • Water:  Used for cleansing and purification, Water is related to the west, and to the Goddess.  Water is often associated with blessings, healing, and our emotions.  In many Wiccan covens, consecrated water is used to bless the sacred circle and any tools within it.  Water is associated with blue in color magic.
  • Spirit (the optional fifth element): Some Wiccans incorporate a fifth element into their practice, that of Spirit.  Although you certainly don’t have to, if you choose to work with Spirit, it is generally seen as the Aether, a universal inner space.  Spirit is associated with the color white in some Wiccan traditions, although others believe that Spirit has no color at all; it simply is.  This element is unlike the other four in that it is not connected to a specific direction but to the higher self, the Divine, and the wisdom that can be attained only as we grow and develop spiritually.
You can read more about the elements here: The Living Earth authored by myself. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Altar Tools Of The Pagan, The Wiccan and The Witch

The Use Of Pagan Altar Tools

Altars are sacred space that Pagans and those who practice witchcraft use to work magic, spells, give thanks, ask for blessings, do rituals and rites. The altar is within a sacred circle that is created by the participant of one or more of the above. Creating a sacred circle will be another article at some time in the future.

Here we will discuss various altar tools that are used on the altar and within the sacred circle. I would like to note that tools are not required to perform any type of sacred work, as visualization can be employed. Altar tools are used to help us create focus for our thoughts and energies while working within the sacred space.

An altar can be any space you set aside for work as mentioned above. Some folks use temporary altars and take them down after using them. This is especially true for those who cannot openly display that they are of a Pagan path. Others have a more permanent setup, such as a table or counter where they leave everything in place after doing their sacred work. We are in this category. Our altar space is in our living room on a table we had donated to us, a rather nice, old wooden coffee table. It is large in the eyes of some, however, it seems that we have out grown it at times!

Various altar tools:
Pentacle
Pentacle
Athame - An athame is a ritual knife/dagger. A sword may also be used in the place of an athame. You can purchase an athame, or use a favorite knife of your own. Once you select which to use, you need to cleanse it and only use it on the altar. An athame is used in the sacred circle for various purposes. Most commonly it is used for directing and banishing mystical energies and summoning. It will also be used to create, open and close a sacred circle. Your athame is never to be used for cutting, stabbing or a weapon. It is your magickal tool used specifically for magickal purposes only.

Cauldron - Most of these will be cast metal, usually iron with three legs. They represent the feminine energies and can be used to burn herbs, mix herbs, hold candles and also, as we use one for, to place prayer requests in. About once a month or so, we burn off the requests that have built up in the cauldron.

Censer - There are many types of censers out there. The choice is up to you on what type you may use. We have censers that hang, that sit on the altar and a bowl of salt that we place stick incense in.

Chalice - A chalice is used to hold various liquids. Most commonly you will find that it is used to hold water and is symbolic of the element of water. The chalice can be made of any substance, however many will use ones made from metals. Silver and silver plated are common. A second chalice can be used for holding wine that may be used within your sacred circle.

Pentacle - This is a five pointed start that is set within a disc or saucer. Pentacles are used for protection and also used to consecrate various altar tools such as your chalice and censor. You just place them on the pentacle. The Mother Goddess is represented by the pentacle and is symbolic of the element Earth. They can be made of metal and wood. You can make your own using a piece of wood and carving your own pentacle on it.

Salt - Salt is usually placed within a bowl and represents the element Earth. Many people will use sea salt, however, I have found all salts work. Salt is a very powerful tool for purification and ridding your area and tools of negative energies and vibes.

Candles - As an eclectic Pagan/Witch, it has been my experience that Pagans have to stock up on many candles! Fortunately they are not expensive, but they do add much ambience and spirituality to your altar and sacred space. Commonly a white candle is used to create a source of light on the altar, but many will use a colored one that corresponds with the deity or desire that you may be working with at any particular point. Four candles are used in the four corners of the altar that represents the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Colors are associated with all aspects of altar candles, however, I have found that any color will work as long as they are charged with the proper intent. I will not go into specifics on colors, uses and further placements due to the large amount of space needed for such. This is a thought for a future hub. Tapers are best used on the altar however votive candles and tea candles will work just as well and are less expensive.

Candle Holders - Candles need holders without a doubt. Any type of holder can be used. I have found that glass works well and is easy to maintain and cleanse. Also, picking up some unique holders at various thrift stores and such is great! As with any tools or items introduced into your sacred space, always cleanse them first. I would advice against using wood for holding your candles for obvious reasons.

Wand - Us witches really do use magickal wands! The wand is a symbol of the element Air, however some traditions use it as being symbolic of the element Fire. The use of the wand is to direct mystical energies.

Altar Bell - At times your ritual may require the ringing of a bell. There are many types of bells, but what works best is a small bell that can be lightly struck to get that subtle ringing noise.
There are many other items you may find on an altar, but this is a good list to start with. Some Pagans will wear a cloak that can be bought or handmade. Also, you may find a second knife on the altar which is used to carve on candles as well as cutting up of herbs. This knife is called a boline. A candle snuffer is always a great tool to have as well. Using a snuffer shows more respect to the elements than blowing a candle out.

A Book of Shadows is commonly part of the tools found on an altar as well. This is a journal that is kept for spell work, your magickal experiences and various insights you may have. In the past the Book of Shadows was always handwritten, and that tradition is still carried over today by many. Others have taken to using the computer to create their Book of Shadows and then printing it out and placing it within a journal or binder as well as saving it on disc and such.