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A while ago, a well known and powerful Witch and High Priestess gave me a reading. The Tower card was face up and she was explaining its significance. Suddenly, she realized that a card had become stuck to the bottom of the Tower card. She detached the card and discovered to our chagrin that it was the Death card. She said something to indicate that there was some significance here. (An understatement.)

Events transpired as she foresaw and life turned out okay. I've learned that you determine how real life happens, not the cards. Since then, I don't get too hung up on individual cards or even the entire reading. Just live with integrity and honesty in all you do. Everything will be alright. I know you do already; I have good friends. I just wanted to tell you that.

Song Meme

Oct. 15th, 2004 08:46 pm
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The words of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1-8 teach me of balance in the universe. I may not be able to understand all of the aspects of the Divine. However, the first principle or law of the Divine is balance. In my mind, balance is among the most potent, powerful forces with ourselves as well as in nature.

As I stand in awe of the enormity and power of "creation", I am informed of two guiding principles: first, that I am obligated to know and worship the Divine, and secondly, that I am obligated to pursue the full enjoyment of life with the time that is given to me.

The implication in the remainder of the chapter, verses 9-22, is that God alone knows the time allotted to everything and is the ultimate judge. While I cannot accept that as a matter of faith, I can accept the notion that the Divine knows the time allotted to all things and will joyfully receive its energy, or soul to its bosom at the end of its days.

While most Masons may not agree with me, it is my understanding of Masonic philosophy that we Masons are profoundly in awe of the order and structure of the universe. That wonder is reflected in our rituals of opening and closing the Lodge, and certainly in the manner in which we confer our beautifully masculine degrees.

I have resonated to the truths contained in this song since I first heard it performed by Pete Seeger and by the Byrds during the 1960's. Yes, I am that old.

Turn, Turn, Turn
From the book of Ecclesiastes
Adapted and arranged by Pete Seeger, (performed also by the Byrds and others)

To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

chorus: To everything, turn, turn, turn

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

chorus: To everything, turn, turn, turn

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace: I swear it¹s not too late!

chorus: To everything, turn, turn, turn
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I am The Moon

The Moon is the light of the realm of the unknown - the world of shadow and night. Although this place is awesome, it does not have to be frightening. In the right circumstances, the Moon inspires and enchants. It holds out the promise that all you imagine can be yours. The Moon guides you to the unknown so you can allow the unusual into your life.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit LearnTarot.com


What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

Month: Day: Year:

cadfael: (Buff)
Okay, so I'm working out today and I pumping along on the elliptical trainer. My target heart rate of 130 was reached a while ago and is now at 145 and I'm feelin' real good!.

The gym has huge TVs along one wall and one of the soaps breaks to a commercial. A chubby guy, a little bigger than me, is standing in a spotlight and suddenly starts dancing and whirling around as if he has no weight. Ten seconds later, he is standing again.

I want to do that! Can someone teach me? Either at an IG or FG?

I have some rhythm, buried there somewhere, perhaps.
cadfael: (Buff)
Sabri,

Is there an exercise LJ group that I somehow missed?

Bill

FG 2004

Oct. 11th, 2004 03:28 am
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Thank you to all who attended FG 2004! Especially to those who organized and planned the event. Speaking for myself, it was a great opportunity to actually talk F2F with those I care about but have not seen in a while.

The rituals and workshops were really well done. There were so many distractions that I was unable to attend all of them.

I should go public: I was pulled over by a State Trooper for speeding. (The shame of it all!) But, I squeaked out with only a warning. I'll be good, honest! Trust me!

Thanks for a great weekend, all y'all!
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The Service for Jim was held today. While it was very dignified and every aspect of his life was represented, Jim was in the back of the room, pointing his finger at us saying, "do it right the next time."

And indeed, we must have a celebration of his life for our community. Many Pagans said that before leaving the chapel. I spoke with several of the Brothers of the Key and we will begin planning the kind of celebration that Jim would approve of. It will need to involve Port wine and Bushmill's (Protestant) liquor, and certainly lots of Jim Morrison music.

Jim will be missed.
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My Coven Brother, Chris sent the following message to the Covenant of the Goddess distribuion list. It is so eloquent I wanted to share it in its entirety.

The message follows:

Brothers and Sisters of the Covenant,

I bring sad news from Northern Dawn Local Council and Paganistan.

Jim Runnels, a long time member of the Covenant, and my good friend and coven mate in Brothers of the Key passed away today. Jim, was known sometimes as "Mad Dog" and "Moon Dog." I hope many of you remember meeting him at Merry Meet in 1997 or 2002.

Jim was active in Northern Dawn Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess, the Twin Cities CUUPs chapter, and was a central participant in the Minnesota Omphalos Pagan Community Center project. Jim was one of the three men who created the group which led to the founding of our men's coven, the Brothers of the Key. Jim also worked with Stewardship of the Self, a small group inspired by the Reclaiming Tradition.

Jim had been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor in December of 2002, and after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Jim was in full remission for much of the past year.

Over the past few months, his balance and independence had been suffering and this was being exacerbated by a hydrocephalic condition, otherwise known as water on the brain. Two weeks ago he went into surgery intended to relieve this condition. A day or two later, he slipped into a comatose state from which he apparently could not return.

He passed away Monday, September 27, 2004, holding the hands of his wife and eldest child.

For those in our region, or wishing to contribute to the healing of his family and community, memorial services will be held at the Cremation Society of Minnesota on Saturday, October 2, 2004, co-led by Unitarian and Pagan clergy. There will be visitation at 9:00 a.m. followed by the memorial at 10:00 a.m. The Cremation Society of Minnesota is at 7110 France Avenue South in Edina, Minnesota.

Jim will be greatly missed by our entire community.

Please remember our brother this Samhain.
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I heard the following on NPR some months ago and was unsuccessful at obtaining a copy. Someone kindly emailed a copy to me and I wanted to share it with you.

"A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE REPUBLICAN

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
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I will most likely know more later this week and I will keep you posted. As of now, the service will be held this coming Saturday, October 2nd at the Cremation Society of Minnesota on France Avenue South and about 73rd Street. It will start about 10am and end around 11am.

I and a Unitarian Minister will lead the service and at some point the Brothers of the Key will have a role in honoring our departed Brother.

More details will follow.
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Our coven brother passed this afternoon around 4:30pm. His wife called this evening and asked if I would co-lead the funeral service with a Unitarian Minister. Our men's group will meet tomorrow to plan our part in the service.

The service will be held at the Cremation Society on France Avenue in Edina at around 10am. As I know more details I will pass them on.

His spouse is holding it together for now. She is a neat woman.
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Most of you may not know that I am a member of a men-only coven. (In addition to membership in Raven Star.) The group was formed about seven years ago and I joined about 5 years ago. We call ourselves, "Brothers of the Key" and we are the only male, non-gay coven in the Covenant of the Goddess (COG). Several of us, myself included, have been national officers of COG during the past several years. Two of the members are bi and the the only gay member moved away earlier this year. It is an interesting mix of men.

One of the founding members is dieing. He is in a coma and the medical professionals have just disconnected him from all life support, saying there is nothing more they can do for him. Two years ago he blacked out while driving his car and woke up in surgery to remove a brian tumor. He has been in recovery ever since. He became a different person. Often confused, sometimes belligerent, and he has had difficulty after difficulty until this recent development.

I am very sad. He is/was a bright spirit in our group, and often a pain in the ass to all of us. But, loved for his joy of living and his exceedingly high standards.

He will be missed when he passes. Our coven will be forever different, but blessed for his eternal spirit.

Exhausted!

Sep. 26th, 2004 09:46 pm
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The Minneapolis BS crowd moved another one of our own today. We are all tired, sweaty and crabby. At least those around me were. We all grunted, lifted, pushed, strained, and we got the job done.

We've all gone home eaten dinner and are now relaxing after finishing the fourth move this summer.

No workout today except the beating I got from all those boxes, mattresses, and other stuff.
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I need to gloat. A week ago I was asked by the President of my company to make a presentation this past Wednesday. He didn't tell me that I would be following him and the Legal VP. We were addressing a large group of investment professionals who we depend on for their client's pension business. And I was to explain my new position as Relationship Manager. I used to be in marketing, working with those same investment professionals.

In short, my presentation was perfect, appropriate humor, and conveyed necessary information. Many kudos followed.

This week I received a nasty-gram from an accountant who works for the CPA firm used by one of our clients. He made a mistake, we made a mistake. He berated us for billing his/our client for the additional time necessary to correct our error. In reality, we incurred additional time charges because of his error, not ours and, we did not bill any additional time. We billed only the amount agreed to in our engagement letter, not one penny more.

I responded to his letter without venom and delivered it myself. I met with the guy and explained what had actually occurred. I wanted to turn him around and make him as asset to us rather than a pain in the ass.

The president of my company sent me a nice note expressing his appreciation for a job well done and in a professional manner.
cadfael: (Buff)
The workouts are going well! I am not feeling the "buffness" I felt initially, though. Probably because my body is now more accustomed to working out and I do not "feel" my muscles as I did when I started. My muscles are getting harder, however. Yesterday I noticed a slight strut as I walked to the office from my car. I was reminded of my days on the racetrack when I was in professional-athlete form.

During my anaerobic workout I usually do a set of twenty curls with 35 pounds. Yesterday I did that set and at the end of the workout I thought I would go back and curl forty-five pounds as many times as I could. Ended up doing fifteen.

I do prefer the high reps and low weight than to high weight and low reps. I know, however, that when you stress your muscles they grow more quickly. The best way to achieve that stress is high weight.

I am disappointed that I am not losing weight as quickly as I would like. I seem to be stalled at 170. I desperately want to get down to 150 and then 135. Typical Aries - must do it fast! Bad, bad.

I have a hard time slowing down. I see myself making progress and I want it to go faster. Intellectually, I understand that my body doesn't respond in the same manner it used to, and that is a bit disconcerting.

Overall, however, I am feeling great. I can feel my body getting stronger every day. Now I really need to pay attention to nutrition.

That is another issue. Because of my racetrack experience, I discovered that I have an eating disorder. Back then, because I was a bit larger than most of the other jockeys, I had more difficulty keeping my weight below 100 pounds. Consequently, I found an MD who would prescribe amphetamines to help me control my appetite. Then, of course, I needed barbiturates to help me sleep.

One day, I realized that I would spend the next twenty years in this cycle. That and other events helped me to firmly decide to leave the track, go back to college and start a new life. I also quit smoking, cold turkey.

I also have a fear that I will miss a meal. Because I used to starve myself all the time now I typically overeat. Not good.

Jeez, I didn't expect to go into such detail! But, there it is. I'm a mess.

Before I forget, S., you asked about the machine I've been using, the cross-trainer. Go to the website www.lifefitness.com and look for the elliptical machines. It is call a Cross-Trainer. I like this machine because I can use the cardio program to enter my specs (age, weight, ego, etc.) and the computer will increase resistance until my target heart rate is reached.

BTW, S. gave great advice about doing the anaerobic workout before the aerobic to make it easy for my heart rate to get up to peak. I like it. And I've been stretching. I just didn't tell you.

In sum, I need to get food under control - now.
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I've been insanely busy this past week so I did not have the energy or brain cells to log onto LJ. Please let me know if I need to review something important. All of you are important to me and I don't want to miss anything. I dread, however, going back over the mountain of LJ posts.

I will be having another insane week coming up. But life should be normal (yeah, right) after that.

Thank you!
cadfael: (Buff)
Interesting workout today. I started on the cross-training machine wanting a 25 minute exercise. I found that to be very difficult. I couldn't get my heart rate above 107 without a great deal of difficulty. I decided after 6 minutes to stop and do my anaerobic workout and return to the cross trainer later.

Did the anaerobic stuff and came back and the workout was teriffic, with a heart rate over 140 without too much stress.

My immediate goal is to get back from the 170 I am now (was 180) down to 150. My ultimate goal is to get back to 135 pounds of rompin' stompin' sex.

When that happens I will change my magickal to something really masculine, like, Biff. Whadda ya think?
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Last night at my Toastmasters Club one of the speakers promised to give us seven numbers that we would be able to remember, not only until today, but for a lifetime.

The numbers were:

18,800
4
13
½
2
1.3 billion
1

Their explanation follows:

$18,800 is the poverty level. Anyone earning less that that in the United States, with a family of four is living in poverty, and each of the family members must survive on $13 per day.

One half of the world's population earns less than $2 per day. 1.3 billion people on this planet must survive on about $1 per day.

Where do we begin?
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Most you may know, that I have been (when I was MUCH younger) a professional jockey and that certainly requires one to be in top physical form. Further, shortly after leaving the racetrack I began jogging and have run zillions of 10K races, five or six half marathons and even the NYC Marathon in 1982.

I am, or have been, very aware of how my body works and I know instantly when something is awry. At least, when I was in good physical shape.

For the past eight or nine years, however, I have been fairly sedentary. Only recently have I begun an exercise program that has me very excited - you've seen my posts to LJ.

During the past five or six years, I have experienced heart attack-like symptoms, including the pain radiating down my left arm, during physical stress. The pain dissipates after completely after a short while. I've seen many doctors and heart specialists, and I've had an angiogram to determine if my heart is not healthy. It's not my heart, say all the medical professionals. The TCM Doctor I've been seeing recently says it's blocked heart chi and his herbal remedies and acupuncture have seemed to help. So much for an abbreviated history - on to my question.

As I have been exercising every day for two weeks, I am starting to notice subtle changes in my body. It appears to be getting the message that I want to do the routines and it is starting to cooperate rather than threaten death if I continue.

One of the subtle messages is "the second wind." During a very recent workout, the second wind came quickly and easily and the workout was one of my best. The last time, however, the second wind came late and the workout was difficult - no, very difficult. And the pain in my chest went away grudgingly.

My question: could my chest pain be caused by my heart muscles resisting the transition to the second wind. My body muscles need oxygen and when it is not supplied, cause pain to get me to stop needing oxygen. What causes the resistance, and what can I do to reduce the resistance, if that is what is causing the pain?

I am going to post this to the B* email list for Doctor Jen.

Thank you for your help.
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