Archive for December, 2006

New Article on Website

Friday, December 1st, 2006

MM,

I finally got around to working on my website a bit. I have revised the “Spiritual Development” page, and added an article in that section called “Spirituality and Religion – What’s the Difference?” In the future, I hope to write some articles about paganism, witchcraft, and in particular, Wicca. There is an abundance of misinformation floating around the internet about these subjects that I feel it is about time I started to write about them.

I hope you enjoy my new article.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local pagan
Brigid’s Flame

Training update – November 27 to 30, 2006

Friday, December 1st, 2006

November 27, 2006

Monday, I went to the gym. It has been a while since I had some good weight training so I went mostly for that. Of course, it’s best to take it easy the first time back after a while so I took it easy and tried not to do too many reps or too heavy weights.

Leg lifts
Pull-ups (aka chin-ups, military and parallel)
Dips
Leg press
Hamstring flexor (called seated leg curls)
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Seated row
Seated chest press
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift (this is called the shoulder press)
Weighted squats

Free weights:
Situps (on a incline bench; worked out the obliques as well by doing double punches during the situp)
Bicep curls

November 29, 2006

Wednesday, I went to the do jang and the gym after. (Tuesday I had to watch some movies and return them, so I had a day off.) The taekwondo class was good. Two weeks and I start to miss it. I still have to motivate myself to go in the afternoon and work on my own. When I left the do jang though, I asked my taekwondo Master if it was okay to come by the afternoons. He said it’s fine, anytime is good. 😀 He’s such a nice guy. Always smiling. It really is great to have a do jang where the Master treats you like family.

At the gym, I did more weight than I did last time. It occurs to me that it gets hard for me to remember exactly what I’ve done at the gym after a few days. I try to do enough exercises making sure to cover off all the muscles groups. Anyway, I think what I’ll do is list all the available exercises and then just mark done if I’ve done them. (Note: I avoid the quad extensor machine now because it aggravates the knee I had surgery on. Besides, cycling, the leg press and the weighted squats work the quads just as well.)

Complete list of weight training exercises
Machine/apparatus Exercises:
Leg lifts
Pull-ups/chin-ups – military and parallel
Dips
Leg press
Hamstring flexor/seated leg curls
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Seated row
Seated chest press
Lateral pull-downs
Pectoral fly (sometimes done using free weights)
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift/press
Back extensor
Tricep extensor
Bicep curls (usually done using free weights now)
Weighted squat machine

Free weights:
Two additional shoulder exercises
– lift weight in front using shoulder muscles
– bending at waist lift weight out to the side using muscles along the scapulae
– wrist strengthening

Other exercises:
Pushups
Situps
Cycling

I should note that some of the exercises listed are somewhat redundant. When feeling a little tired, those exercises can be skipped. These are the lateral pull-downs, the tricep extensor, and the bicep curls.

Wednesday, I did almost all the exercise except the lateral pull-downs, the tricep extensors, those listed under the free weights, pushups and cycling. Cycling I do occasionally like the running.

November 30, 2006

Thursday, I finally went for a run. It was over two weeks since I last ran. It turned out it was still raining when I headed out and I got a little soaked. It was hard to run in that weather – cold and wet. I ran a mile and a half. My time was 13 minutes 30 seconds, which I suppose is good considering I hadn’t run for over two weeks and I was running in cold and rain.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

Public Ritual – November 26, 2006

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Last Sunday’s public ritual was an interesting one about balancing intellect and imagination. The southwest (fire and water) corner represented imagination and the northeast corner (air and earth) represented intellect. Each participant was given the opportunity to choose between the two corners, deciding what they needed most at that moment or in their character. At each corner the participant would then be blessed by the two elements represented and drink from the chalice. Overall, I thought the ritual was quite nice and well thought out. I particularly liked the idea because some people tend to be more of one than the other, although there are some who are balanced between intellect and imagination (in which case you were to pick the corner you were most drawn to at that moment). Being Summoner though, I did not participate although I was given the opportunity to. I just feel that as Summoner I should not need to participate because that is my sacrifice. Besides, there are private rituals that I attend or may attend, and I continue to do private rituals for myself (and Nathan).

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

What I’m Reading

Friday, December 1st, 2006

MM,

I finished reading book five (The Fires of Heaven) of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time last week (I finished reading book four just around Samhain). Interesting story and characters. I got quite absorbed – at least until I thought my life was passing by because it takes me a while to read the 800 to 900 page books. Suffice it to say I’m taking a little break from the novels for a bit. Book 6, Lord of Chaos, is another long novel and I’d like to get some other work done before I find myself absorbed in another 900 paperback. There are a few other novels I’d like to finish reading. I started reading The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley and The Shadow on the Glass by Ian Irvine. Additionally, I have some books on my “must read” list.

Right now, I’m making my way through The World’s Religion (second edition) by Ninian Smart. It’s quite a good read because it is written for academia providing a relatively unbiased (are we ever truly unbiased?) look at many of the different world religions. I’m taking my time getting through the book though because there is plenty of information in each chapter. The book is divided into two parts, and each chapter is divided by geographic region. The first part focuses on the origins of each religion essentially providing a look at ancient religions. The second part discusses modern religion, although depending on the geographic region the time period for “modern” can vary. I’m on chapter four thus far, though I read both chapters on Chinese religion already since I’m already familiar many aspects of Chinese worship being ethnically Chinese myself. Ignoring the introduction and the first chapter on primitive religion, the first region encountered in the book is South Asia, which is primarily India but includes Sri Lanka and Tibet. The next chapter I’m reading is on Japan.

Another book that I’m reading right now (since I’m taking my time reading the world religions book) is Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner. This book has been on my “must read” list for a while and it was since it was newly published that I got a copy of it. Since getting involved with Wicca more and more, I’ve been more absorbed in reading mythology because in the Odyssean tradition there is strong emphasis on learning mythology. In any case, it’s time to read what “ol’ uncle Gerald” has to say about the religion I have chosen to follow. Plus, it provides a look at what used to be done originally in Wicca versus what is being done now. (Perhaps, if/when the time comes around I will write a review of the book.)

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame