Computers and the Craft

This one is for the techy-witchies out there. I found it very educational and helpful, and so I’m sharing it now with you ^_^ I hope you enjoy!

Witches have taken to computers like ducks to water because the technology is incredibly useful. But are you applying your witchcraft to your computer?
For example, do you use magic to protect your computer? To physically protect your computer, use a guardian figure, like a small dragon statue or a small protective goddess or god image. Set this on top of your CPU or monitor. Invoke the spirit or deity and ask it to protect your computer and other equipment. Do not burn incense or sage around your computer, however. Smoke of any sort contains particles that can clog up moving parts, which can reduce air circulation and cause overheating. If you must use incense, do it when the computer is off. If you have a laptop with no place to put such a guardian, you can find a picture to put somewhere on your laptop or carry a tiny figure in your laptop case. You could even have a wallpaper display a protective image.
If you are keeping your Book of Shadows or other materials related to your Craft practices on your computer, you should consider either password protecting or encrypting those files (if you know how to do this). This is especially important if you share your computer, but useful even if you have your own. Computers may get lost or stolen, and eventually you will upgrade and discard or recycle your old computer. Check the help files for your word-processing program for details on how to password protect your special files.
Your passwords can provide magical as well as mundane protection. Mix numbers and letters, and, if the application is case sensitive, mix upper and lower case. To avoid words found in an ordinary dictionary, go to an old grimoire or other book of magic that uses unusual words. Pick a few names that are associated with communication or protection. Associations with Mercury or Mars are good, but avoid evil or chaotic names. Change passwords on a regular basis, at least every holiday, if not every New Moon. If you use numerology, the numbers may also be chosen according to your intent.
Of course you do regular backups. Wednesday, the day of Mercury, is connected to communication, so its a good day if you do weekly backups. Do an extra set of backups a day or two before Mercury goes retrograde (see chart below for Mercury retrograde dates for 2010), when communication will be more difficult and more likely to get quirky.
Defragmenting the hard drive, often just called defragging, gets rid of the extra dead space, allowing you to store more information on your hard drive and enabling your computer to find that information more quickly and easily. Because this is a form of banishing, I would recommend that you defrag the hard drive during the waning Moon.
My favorite thing about computers is email. I can email my coven about an idea I’ve had for a ritual, or ask who left behind a baking dish, even though its nearly midnight. I don’t have to worry about who is awake, and I can tell everyone the same thing at the same time. (There are also file-sharing programs that can enable your group to share the writing and revising of rituals online.) One etiquette note: if you are sending email to a larger group, additionally to your coven and/or other small group of friends, use “bcc”, blind carbon copy, so the email addresses of the recipients aren’t displayed. It keeps people’s email address private, which is very important to some people in the Craft.
Since email is all about communication, during Mercury retrograde be sure to reread everything before you send it to ensure it says exactly what you mean. Also, be sure to pause before responding to any email sent. As you follow-up, even if a message seems somewhat alarming, be prepared to cut other people more slack about what they intended to say during this time because Mercury retrograde affects everyone, whether they know about astrology or not.
If you are online, you have to decide how much you want other people to know about you and your practices. Would you prefer that people like your employer or your landlord not know you are a Witch?
Pick a pseudonym that resembles neither your legal name nor your Craft name. Get a separate email account from a free service such as Gmail or Yahoo!. Give as little information as you can, such as giving only the city you live in, or the general area. Since many online sites want your name and email, its not a bad idea to come up with a name and email address you use only for surfing, to keep your main email address from attracting so much spam as to make it unusable.
Other things you can do to protect yourself online, besides the usual mundane warnings, include spells to keep away viruses and other malware, and against spam. Make a talisman in the shape of your cursor icon, an arrow, for example. Color it bright red, or make it out of red paper. In black letters, write the word “avert”. Chant “avert virus, avert spam, avert worms, avert harm”, several times, ending with “Avert!” shouted as loudly as you can. Fasten this to the upper right corner of your monitor, with the arrow pointing toward the center of the screen.
If you want to attract people to your website, come up with a short phrase that sums up your desires: “Buy my magical herbs”, or “join my group”. Reduce the phrase to one word made up of the nonduplicate letters, for example, “readmyblog”. Place those letters in the html or other code for the page in such a way that is doesn’t display.
Another way is to come up with a sigil of attraction, and place it in the background of your webpage nearly -but not quite the same- color as the background. As an added bonus, doing this will also enable you to find out if someone is copying your webpages and using them without your name.
by Magenta Griffith, Llewellyn Worldwide

Planetary Retrograde in 2010: Mercury

– 12/26/09 09:38am
– 04/18/10 12:06am
– 08/20/10 03:59pm
– 12/10/10 07:04am


The Whale Said Thank You!


A recent front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale that had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands(outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help.

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her..

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around….she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
vegan shoes

Vegan Shoes

Vegan Shoes Take Over The World?
by Lindsay, a author

vegan shoes

Some of you might remember that last summer, I blogged about the top 10 places to find vegan women’s shoes. Well, proving once again that when it comes to fashion—as with most things—vegans are ahead of the curve, the Wall Street Journal recently ran an article all about fashionable vegan footwear!

The authors of the article gave the thumbs up to cruelty-free pumps, boots, and flats by Olsenhaus, Neuaura, Stella McCartney, and Toms, schooling the Wall Street Journal’s more than 2 million readers in the virtues of vegan fashion. (Yes, I said 2 million—it is the second largest paper in the country, after all

No doubt, we’ll be hearing more buzz about vegan footwear (and cruelty-free fashion in general) as savvy shoppers seek out “green” additions to their wardrobe. Vegan products are pretty much synonymous with eco-chic—environmentally friendly style that is taking fashion magazines and runways by storm.

Unlike leather products, vegan shoes, belts, and bags don’t require harmful chemicals to keep them from, um, decomposing. Leather is also an environmental no-no because tanneries pollute groundwater and streams and because raising animals for their flesh and skin wastes massive amounts of resources—not to mention that it sentences animals to cruel deaths!

Are you still scuffing around in the skins of dead animals? Maybe it’s time to get in step with fashion—and compassion—and treat your feet to a pair of pleather shoes!!)

Halloween decorating: Utahns spare no expense on scares

“Utahns seem to like decorating for Halloween almost as much as at Christmas.

Just ask Jim Lauscher of The Village Christmas Shoppe at Gardner Village, who said business in Halloween decorations is already brisk.

‘Halloween in the state of Utah is the second biggest holiday for decorating,’ he said. ‘I am from the Midwest, and on Halloween people dress up the kids for one night. Here they are starting to decorate the inside and outside of houses on Oct. 1.

‘The other thing about Halloween is that price doesn’t matter,’ he added. ‘I have trouble selling a $100 Christmas item, but selling a $200 witch is no problem.’ “ (via Salt Lake Tribune)