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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in canada

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Reposted from Between the Shadows, November 12, 2014:

Remembrance Day is how Canadians acknowledge November 11th.  In the US it is Veterans Day.  These observances evolved out of Armistice Day, which continues to be observed in some countries (or simultaneously.)  There are commonalities but the focus is different.  Our identity of ourselves as a nation came from fighting together in World War I.  At that time, Canada was still a British colony, and most of us thought of ourselves as British (or French, under British occupation).  We became Canadians together at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for sharing.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Canadian flag courtesy of WikipediaIt's Election Day in Canada!  I awoke galvanized!  This election is different from any that I can remember in my lifetime.  I feel that the stakes have never been so high.  Really, it's about Canada's heart and soul.

For the past ten years, the Conservative Party has been in power.  They were elected on their campaign of "accountability" in the wake of the Liberal Party sponsorship scandal.  Since then, for the past several elections most of the country has been trying to remove them because they've dragged us through one scandal after another, one unconstitutional law after another, one restriction to our freedom after another. I have no words for how much I loathe them, and I have lots of reasons.  The reason why Canada has not succeeded in removing them is the odd way in which our electoral process works.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Sorry about the lack of posts this month!  I've been working a lot of extra hours at my day job and then I was busy with Sabbat celebrations.  In that spirit, I thought I would share a couple of Autumn Equinox related recipes from my personal formulary.

Apothecary by Sable Aradia.  Copyright (c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Apothecary by Sable Aradia. Copyright (c) 2015. All rights reserved.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Canadian summer essentially starts, from a cultural perspective, on Victoria Day (the weekend after Memorial Day) and ends with Labour Day, which we celebrate on the same day that the United States does.  For most Canadians it's become no more than the extended long weekend before school starts again.  But this year I am struck by the great importance of remembering the necessity of the Labour Movement, especially in this time when the 1% seem determined to bleed off every scrap from the working class and divide us into rich and poor.

Let's not forget that people died so that we could have a forty hour work week, an eight-hour work day, stat holidays, overtime, safe working conditions, worker's compensation, unemployment insurance, job equity, and once upon a time before all the teeth were taken out of our unions, benefits and pensions.  If we are to keep all of these things, we must not forget that the only way to do so is to band together and support one another.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, August 4

This week for Fiery Tuesday we take a look once more at the lives and struggles of Native Americans / American Indians throughout the United States and beyond. Join us in considering the findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the struggle of natives to protect their sacred land from mining companies, and how police forces have disproportionately targeted natives for violence. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Yesterday Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party dropped the writ to announce the beginning of an eleven-week election campaign.  It will be one of the longest campaigns in Canadian history.  Without getting into a very long litany of what I believe to be the sins of the Canadian federal Conservative Party, I will say that for the first time in my life, I am working as a volunteer in a political campaign.  I have given my support to the party most likely to defeat the Conservative party in my riding.  I have volunteered to cold-call people on the phone; something I have to work up considerable courage to do.  I have volunteered to write press releases.  I have folded little paper fans as promotional materials.  I am doing this because I am angry and because I believe that supporting the party I've chosen to is our best chance for change.

In the meantime, I have also pleaded with Athena for the victory of my chosen party, and I am lending my magickal skills to the task.

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Body Painting in the Wild by Gerhard Lipold.  Courtesy http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/.The Pagan Festing season generally runs from May until October and usually takes place in campgrounds that are reserved for this purpose for anywhere from a weekend to a week. In Ontario, notable campgrounds that host Pagan Festivals include Raven's Knoll,Mythwood, and Whispering Pines.

Some of these Festivals feature Clothing Optional areas so that people have the option to be naked if they so wish. This is because some Pagans like to cast-off their wrappers and be caressed by the sun and the wind, while others consider their nudity to be part of their sacred relationship with the Gods and a Pagan event is a place where they can feel comfortable enough to explore that relationship.

However, because not everyone is comfortable with that, Clothing Optional areas can be restricted to certain areas, including:

  • campsites
  • the beach
  • the firepit area after 10pm

The important word in "Clothing Optional" is the term "Optional". A Clothing Optional area is not zoned as a Strip Club. You have the option to be as naked, clothed, or a variety of both as you wish and it's nobody else's business.

I cannot believe I must state this so blatantly, but this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked. No one has the right to tell you how naked or dressed you must be based on other people's decisions to be naked or dressed. No one has the right to express opinions about your character, your values, or your sexual identity. No one. No exceptions.

Now I know that sometimes people can unintentionally cross this line. In their minds, they want you to know that you are beautiful and valued and they want you to know that they are not judging you for any reason, so if you want to strip down, they are ready to support you in this decision. The problem is that it's very difficult to express this idea without it sounding like they are pressuring you into coming to this conclusion.

A person's state of nudity is NEVER an invitation for people to touch, stare, or make sexual references about. EVER. A person's nudity can be an expression of their relationship with the Gods, but it is not meant to be a show for other people to ogle or make snide remarks upon. However, if you want to quietly appreciate the beauty of the human body, that can be okay, but you need to be subtle in your appreciation.

Unwanted, unwarranted, unasked, uninvited contact with a person in a state of undress can constitute assault or sexual assault. The fact that the person is naked does not justify anyone's actions without EXPLICIT permission being given. It also does not give you the right to pressure anyone into being more naked or less naked, for any reason, even in jest. If you think you have accidentally crossed this line, take the person aside (probably better when they are dressed), apologize sincerely, and then learn from it.

Whether it is intentional or unintentional, here are some statements you should NEVER make to someone about their state of dress or undress:

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  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "this is also means that no one has the right to pressure you to be clothed or naked" Does that actually happen? It sounds uber-c

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