Another Bard gone to the Other Side

Nobel Prize-Winning Irish Poet Seamus Heaney Dies


Published: August 30, 2013 at 7:22 AM ET

DUBLIN — Seamus Heaney, one of the world’s best-known poets and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, has died aged 74 after a short illness, his family said on Friday.

Northern Ireland-born Heaney, one of the world’s foremost poets writing in English whose works include his 1966 debut “Death of a Naturalist”, “The Spirit Level” and “District and Circle”, died in a Dublin hospital on Friday morning.

“The poet and Nobel Laureate died in hospital in Dublin this morning after a short illness,” said a statement on behalf of the Heaney family released by his publishers Faber and Faber.

Heaney was a rarity among poets, having won acclaim from critics while producing best-sellers. It once took him three hours to walk down Dublin’s main street as autograph hunters pursued him.

Born on a farm in Mossbawn, County Derry in Northern Ireland in 1939, Heaney’s poems nostalgically recall the sights and smells of a country childhood, reveling in the recurring images of Irish potato diggers and peat bog cutters.

He was a tousle-haired figure with a shy and subtle manner, who hated media hype and publishers’ publicity caravans even as he became one of Ireland’s most famous figures.

His death sparked immediate sorrow among poets and politicians and was the main story on Irish news bulletins north and south of the border.

“Everywhere I traveled in the world, the name of Seamus Heaney just came up in conversation,” Ireland’s Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan told national RTE radio. “He is going to be really missed, in so many different ways.”

(Editing by Paul Casciato)


Statement by the Lady Liberty League on Witch Hunt Pages on Facebook

I have pulled this from the Circle Sanctuary web site here:

I have done so because I think that it is important that this get out to everyone.


Statement by the Lady Liberty League on Witch Hunt Pages on Facebook

ladylibThe Lady Liberty League (LLL) has been contacted by many members of our community, concerned by several Facebook pages that promote violence against people the members identify as ‘witches or wizards.’  

Several pages have been identified as being highly problematic.  Most appear to have been created by people identifying themselves as Christians in Africa.  

In response, on Tuesday, August 20th the Lady Liberty League released the following open letter to Facebook.

Open Letter to Facebook

The Lady Liberty League (LLL) is an organization supporting religious freedom for Wiccans, Pagans, and other Nature religion practitioners and  human rights worldwide.    Over the past few days we have received numerous reports from members of our community concerned about several Facebook pages and groups advocating violence and murder against “witches or wizards.”   These pages include:

The stated aim of these pages is to advocate for the torture and murder of people their members believe to be ‘witches’ or ‘wizards.’  These threats are of particular concern to our community, many of whom also use the word ‘witch’ to describe their own nature-based religious practices.  Members of our community have been all too frequently targeted by violent people who do not understand the distinction between our religion and their idea of malevolent ‘witches’ or ‘wizards’.  

We have also observed with growing alarm, the increase of ‘witch hunts’ in Africa, where the authors of these pages seem to live, as well as in other parts of the world.  There, religiously motivated ‘witch hunters’ are singling out the most powerless members of their communities, including children, widows and the sick, and subjecting them to torture and murder.  This is not ancient history or the Wizard of Oz; these deaths are happening now.  In that context, and in that location, we cannot interpret the Facebook pages in question as anything but justifications of and calls for violence against real people.

Our community members and LLL staff have attempted to use Facebook’s integrated reporting function to alert your company to these pages, which are a clear violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SSR), which states under Item 3. Safety –  7. “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence,” (emphasis ours).   We have received responses from Facebook indicating that you have not found a that these pages violate Facebook’s community standards.

Facebook has become a meeting place of many ideas, and a force for freedom of expression around the world.  Our community deeply values the work that your company has done to support the free exchange of opinions.   We appreciate the enormity of the task that Facebook has, in answering the millions of abuse reports it receives, however we strongly feel that in this case your reviewers have erred.   

We are confident that Facebook will review your own community standards and recognize, in light of the real, daily violence that these pages are part of, you will revise your decision and disable these and all future pages calling for violent witch hunts anywhere.


the Lady Liberty League

LLL is also in the process of coordinating with the Covenant of the Goddess, other organizations and individuals within the Pagan Community to constructively address this issue, and to contact decision makers within Facebook.

Read CoG’s August 21 StatementRead CoG's August 21 Statement

In the meantime we ask that the Pagan community exercises restraint and clear communication in addressing this issue.  If we are not specific and accurate in our objection, it is likely that we will be ignored.

Our investigation into the pages that have been brought to our attention suggests that the hateful speech there is part of a larger pattern of individuals using ‘witch hunting’ as a justification for violence against scapegoats within their own communities.  These victims, which include children, the elderly and the disabled, may, for the most part identify themselves as also being Christians.  While religious difference has been the root of many persecutions for ‘witchcraft’ or ‘sorcery,’ that does not appear to be the case in the regions where these pages are coming from now.  Therefore, we feel it is critical that we express our opposition to these pages as being rooted in a respect for human rights and an abhorrence for violence, rather than seeing this as an example of religious discrimination.  

We encourage the Pagan community to engage in respectful and calm dialog with Facebook, focusing our message on preventing violence.  

We strongly urge our community not to engage with the members of these pages directly.  Such attempts are not likely to promote understanding, and may even make the situation on the ground worse.  Members on these pages are already interpreting attempts by well-meaning Pagans to ask them to change their language to be ‘evidence’ that there are evil, malicious ‘witches’ and ‘wizards’ who wish to silence them.  The last thing we want to do is to give the authors of these pages ammunition to spread their twisted world view to others.

If you have contact information for decision makers within Facebook, we encourage you to send that information to  LLL is a program of Circle Sanctuary.

This is an opportunity for our community to come together and take a stand against violence anywhere and everywhere.  Our religion shows us that all things are connected, and therefore we feel it is critical to speak out for human rights for all.  

August 20, 2013

Makes you think

Chapter 3 of the Tao Te Ching.


If you overesteem great men,
people become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
people begin to steal.

The Master leads
by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.

The Harvest of the Mother – paganSquare – PaganSquare – Join the conversation!

The Harvest of the Mother – paganSquare – PaganSquare – Join the conversation!.

Womb of Light: The Alchemy of the Goddess
Womb of Light is an exploration of the Sacred Feminine and the application of Her transformative energies. These writings will have the intent and focus of inspiring and quickening within the individual a thirst for deeper connection and opening to the magick and gnosis of the Goddess in all of Her forms. She is the Mother, the Uraeus, the Muse, the Warrior, and the Healer, to name a few. SHE is the cycle of life and death and all that is held between; and my goal is to share the wisdom of her Womb of Light that all may claim their Divine birthright.
The Harvest of the Mother
Robin Fennelly
Posted by Robin Fennelly on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 in SageWoman Blogs
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The blade is sharp
Scythe swings in
Flashing arc as
Sheaf of wheat
And apples fall
The Harvest now begun.

Gather the grain
Leave what you must
Fill carefully woven baskets
With the overflowing bounty.

Consume the energy
Swallow the light
Feel the great
Blessing of living grain’s
Sustaining of all life.

No time to linger
Fields are awaiting
The reaping and
The gathering.

Grain man’s sacrifice
Willingly offered
As humanity peacefully
Slumbers sated on sacred
Harvest with warm bellies full.

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