Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Got War?



Recently I wrote a post on Facebook asking the question “Got War?” with the following text.

...“When one man dies, it’s a tragedy. When thousands die, it’s statistics.” - Joseph Stalin
Image from The Nuremberg Pharma Tribunal where the Nazis manufactured the Zyklon B gas used to commit genocide against millions of European Jews in the Holocaust....

Facebook blocked the image and told Facebookers they could choose to look at the image but it was graphic. Which it most certainly was/is. In a sense this illustrates my intent perfectly. (See attached image.)

Most American have no idea what war means. Veterans and certain refugees do. The images are burned into the PTSD soaked minds along with the sounds of guns, planes, exploding bombs and screams of terror.

I wish for people to think about and consider what war means. Who suffers in these wars? Ask someone from Iraq, Syria or Yemen.

No one remains who remembers WW1 or WW2. We can get a sense of it in War Poetry from Homer's Iliad to victims and soldiers of the day. Seems so crass to use the beauty of the language of poetry to describe the pain and gore of war. Cathartic for the composers and instructive for the rest of us.

At this moment John “Bom'em” Bolton, Mike Pompeo and President Trump are rattling swords (or penises??) at Tehran. (Bolton and Dick Cheney are fighting their erections). Analysts tell us that if you thought the war in Iraq was/is horrific, a war with Iran will knock your socks off. Will Israel strike Iran with its (undeclared) nuclear weapons?

How many U.S. Allies will join the fight and how many of Iran's will? How many of you “love the smell of napalm in the morning”?

From the Smithsonian:

The Horrors Of War -Gettysburg
Confederate soldier killed by a shell at the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.

Caroline Hancock was 23 when she served as a nurse after the Battle of Gettysburg, in 1863. She found the smell of the decaying bodies so strong that “she viewed it as an oppressive, malignant force, capable of killing the wounded men who were forced to lie amid the corpses until the medical corps could reach them.” A sickening, overpowering, awful stench announced the presence of the unburied dead upon which the July sun was mercilessly shining and at every step the air grew heavier and fouler until it seemed to possess a palpable horrible density that could be seen and felt and cut with a knife …

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” - Douglas MacArthur

Work for Peace – End Wars

Friday, April 26, 2019

Kether Muse Book of Days

Hello. Been a while.

One of my projects:

I have been working on a coffee table book for a long time. I seek people I find interesting on their birthday via Google days, add to that day in the book, write a simple bio, then add quotes from them and/or significant acts they have done.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's in the Blood



Image from SockUnlimeted.com: Vector Illustration Red blood cells and dna Image ID : 1870101
Post Composed After Conversing With "S"

It's in the blood, it's in the blood. Echoing phrases such as this have been surrounding my awareness the last few days. “It is in ones nature” as in the tale of the frog and the scorpion. Also in what I call my daily morning gymnasts of conscious mental web browsing (as usual geared towards the mystical and occult, my version of “It is in ones nature”) many myths and spiritual results pop up relating directly or indirectly to the subject. From fables as the one mentioned through Buddhism, self help gurus to standard philosophies from Aristotle to Nietzsche or Haagl. Humans. Oft driven by demons or guided by angels. Questions arise of why people do what they do and the consequences of those actions on others and themselves. Deeper conversation of soul, death and karma. Apocalypticism and the end of time. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive!" The pain we may cause ripples further than than some imagine in the moment from object of the subject to others who have been witness to it. And those witnesses who are empaths among us, be they “normal” or enhanced with psychic phenomena, are effected in parallel. In my own life a word or phase has affected devastating effects in me that lasted years. On a human person to person level the key to healing it seem comes down to forgiveness. On the larger scale when things are so intense they cause PTSD such as in sexual abuse or the trauma of war, forgiveness also seems to be the primary tool to heal through use of. Ah war.... Today I say no more. A short post on a large subject. Please visit kethermuse.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Of Psyconauts and Auras

Image captured from here

Do you see auras? In my newest novel Robbyn's Road (scifi/fantasy genre with heavy influences of the occult) my main protagonist, Robbyn is, among other things, a synesthete with extraordinary powers in all her senses. Beginning with readings on electromagnetism I read up on human auras. That is what brought me to Thelma Moss.

Thela Moss is said by many to be the one who brought the occult and New Age belief in auras to the west because of bringing the work of Semyon Kirlian and his wife Valentina Kirlian, now known as Kirlian Photography, to America. Being a psychonaut I liked the simple review of the book Myself and I by Thelma Moss at the end of this post.

First from her Wikipedia page:
“However, she struggled for years with persistent psychological problems, rooted in depression and grief at the loss of her husband (he died of cancer two days after she gave birth to a baby daughter). She survived two suicide attempts. For treatment for her problems, she underwent a course of LSD psychotherapy; she later published an autobiographical account of her treatment, My Self and I, under the pseudonym Constance A. Newland; the book was a bestseller in 1962.”

A book review from the time:
“This book is the true story of one woman's experiences with LSD the new, experimental and dangerous mind drug that is exploding into use across America. LSD is odorless, colorless, tasteless--and potent. One ounce provides 300,000 average doses. One dose can send a user into a shimmering, color-drenched world of wonder...or into a self-contained prison of frenzy and fear.”

please visit KetherMuse

Just for an added read try An Occult History of the Television Set from Gizmodo

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cultural Appropriation And Spirituality


People have asked why I call myself Kether. The story begins when as a pre-teen I had an “entity” come to me. He called himself Rufus. For many years I thought about this entity and came to the conclusion it was just my vivid imagination or some sort of imaginary friend. Then I quit thinking about it. This “friend” told me things and also was a protector of sorts to me. Its voice was with me and gave me warnings about situations. He also told me my real name was Kether. This name stuck in my mind and I told no one about it until I was in my fifties.

I was about eighteen when I learned what Kether meant. It was then I thought perhaps I had subconsciously picked it up from my mother, who was a psychic and read tea leaves and tarot. As I became more involved in Chaos Magic it became my “secret name”. (or Craft name if I were a neo-pagan). As I said, I was in my fifties before I used it publicly in any way. This brings me to the heart of my post today. Cultural Appropriation. Specifically spiritual cultural appropriation.

The most vocal group who are angry about this are Native Americans. They decry “Pretendians” and especially White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men. The debate goes on about the difference between the two, shaman or medicine man/woman. I began my page on Indians with this in mind. There is a group who tracks “Plastic Shamans” and New Age practices avidly. In their introduction they say “Native people DO NOT use the label "Shaman.”

One of the main points and purposes of my website Kether Muse is to show how myth, spirituality, religion and also science share beliefs and blend together. Even politics is in part a blending of these themes and culture.

The United Nations wrote the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to address this as well as other issues. “The Declaration recognizes and affirms the rights of indigenous peoples to their cultural, religious, and spiritual practices, to have private access to sacred sites, as well as to maintain and strengthen their spiritual relationship with their traditionally held lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources. With the Declaration, Native peoples have rights acknowledged by the international community of nations, including rights to sacred places both within existing reservation or territorial boundaries and beyond.” But as I see it the declaration gives no explicit opinion on a monopoly of ritual or practice. It is more about land. So to me it is a matter of personal opinion.

Back to my Name Kether. I am not Jewish. I am not a Kabbalist per se. But one reason I call myself a Chaos Magick Practitioner is I don't want to be pigeon holed in my spiritual quest. Just because I am not an Indian does it mean I cannot do a Vision Quest? Many Native Americans say so. Or because I am not an Aborigine am I not allowed to Dream Walk or have Dream Time? When Jesus went into the wilderness, was not that a vision quest? Or the forty year adventure of Moses? Or when the Buddha took his walk and sat under the Bodhi tree wasn't that a Vision Quest? For a pantheist a rock is as sacred as a cross is to a Christian? I have many rocks I consider sacred.

When I walk down a mountain trail and I come upon an owl or hawk feather I consider it a gift and a blessing. My spiritual mentor (now dead) gave me an eagle feather which I have on my alter to represent the element of air. Now Native Americans and the law would say that I had no right to keep that feather. According to federal regulations, only enrolled members of federally recognized tribes can possess eagle, hawk and owl feathers according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Does it not seem odd this is a felony but I can go dig up a grave, and it's only a misdemeanor? (Alabama Grave Robbing Law)

In my last post I spoke about understanding other people, what they consider sacred and the dangers of slipping into ones cultural spiritual identity, sacrificing ones basic moral and ethical standing which has many shared traditions. It is all about coexistance. As our world becomes smaller and smaller the need for this is more important than any time in history.

So in closing I implore you to reject the dogma. Like Matt Johnson (musical heroes) said in the song Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) “The world is on its elbows and knees. It's forgotten the message and worships the creeds.”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

“Beware Of Darkness”

It is the day of sexual abuse allegations and basically I am proud of those who are coming forward and I believe most of these allegations to be true. The Me Too Movement is long overdue. It is always better when accusations can be proven.

When reading about recent allegations of sexual abuse by Isaac Bonewits from Moira Greyland, daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley, in her book, “The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon” I read many things. Personally, like his family and others like Lilith Dorsey,who knew him well, I do not believe it. But that is for you to decide I suppose and as for Isaac Bonewits he is dead and cannot defend himself.

Here is a good article from the Wild Hunt on this matter with Isaac. It is also noted Moira Grey's father, Walter H. Breen Jr., was a convicted child sex offender based on her testimony to police.

But beyond the story of Isaac Bonewits this post is about something else. While reading I came upon the open letter he wrote to Salena Fox that was rather disturbing to me. I have always had great respect for her, as well as for Isaac Bonewits. The Dark Side Of Paganism definitely is a subject of much debate but it is disturbing when any “evil” may be found in the prominent people who represent a spiritual path of any kind.

As in all forms of intolerance there is the element of not understanding things in their entirety. That is why organizations like Religious Toalerance.Org are a good place to start to gain understanding, or of course my website Kether Muse. There are common threads that run through all spiritual paths and religions. If ones desire is to find true peace and justice, in religion as well as politics, understanding of the nature of The Other and of ones true self are imperative.

It is a truth (???) that Belief is a powerful thing in both spiritual practice and in politics. As spiritual seekers say we are seeking the Truth. But too often we settle on something that suits our comfort zone. I rather like this article from Elephant Journal that fits with my “belief” quite well.

Narrow-mindedness is all to prevalent in our world. But I am a dichotomy being one seeking truth and hopeful as well as being a dystopian in many respects. Is Hope just a myth? Is there empirical evidence that all can agree on that hope is worthy of pursuit?

In closing faith, trust and hope are determined by one's World View as we all seek absolutes. Keep seeking truth, keep an open mind and continue to seek balance and harmony, whether secular or spiritual. For no other reason than it feels better. As Edward R. Murrow used to say, "Good Night and Good Luck".

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades


Please be patient with me. The following is just a brush with a much deeper conversation.

Frank Robinson (still living) was a Major League Baseball baseball player. He has been attributed as the person who first said, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." The quote appeared in Time magazine July 31, 1973. It is a quote I once said often. Another phrase I currently use is, “Green shaming is just another form of bullying.”

Green Shaming is a specific form of what is known as Culture Jamming, a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements. “There are four emotions that activists often want viewers to feel. These emotions - shock, shame, fear, and anger - are believed to be the catalysts for social change.” (quote source Wikipedia) Also from Wikipedia, “Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes-accurately or not-that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a universal moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.

So I will explain how “horseshoes and hand grenades”, Green Shaming and guilt tie in together for me today. But first I would like to mention briefly another conjoining term. Activism Ethics. Activism Ethics needs further open source study. There is research on this but most are on those sites where you have to have academic credentials to even read them. That is why I am an advocate of open source knowledge. (my website page on this is here)

As an lifelong political and social activist I have always tried to live by a set of values. Specifically the philosophy of Ahimsa. I also consider myself a Pantheist as it relates to nature worship and my desire not to be an Anthropocentrist holding myself above the rest of creation. I have always had struggles with that. But recently a situation has come upon me that has garnered much anxiety for me. Mice.

In my home I have always had mice and have used catch and release methods for years to deal with them. But these days my physical body is not well and it is difficult to do best practices with catching and releasing mice. I have been agonizing about it for about a month now. I recently came to a decision about it and now I find I am really getting stuck on Green Shaming myself and also struggling with my Activism Ethics.

Living in this modern world and society it is near impossible to adhere to these ethics. For instance how many of us actually do not participate in the use of plastics? Or the mining of rare earth metals that often come via some form of Indigenous Racism just as oil and other natural resources we use every day.

Bottom line I do not like Green Shaming of others. But I find I am adept at using it on myself. And as far as other activism I pour guilt on myself in regard to the mice of not really practicing Ahisma or Pantheism. As a means of justification many use what is know as “whataboutism”. Another action I abhor. Can ther be a reverse whataboutism to use on one's self like saying, “Ya, I kill and support racism but look at all these groups I support and rallies I attend. Don't that balance it out?”

So if I catch and release my mice directly into the garbage can with food, can it ease my mind that when the garbage man takes them to the dump they may survive? Or is it true that, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."? Do the Jains really never step on a bug? What do they feel and do if they do? As an activist is “cutting ourselves some slack” just a convenient excuse? Still wondering, no real answers. It all may may seem silly but the anxiety is real. What do you think?

Just for drill a couple of articles:



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