Ethics vs. Morals

Ethics and Morals are often used interchangeably that it has become quite the task to sort out the difference between the two.  There can be both a societal and personal Ethic.  The same is true for Morality.  Generally speaking, these concepts deal in what is right and wrong, correct and incorrect behavior to produce particular outcomes.   From early childhood you are told stories with a moral with the purpose of coaching an Ethic.    As you mature you discover that the effort is a futility.

Hansel & Gretel first published in 1812, is such an example of a story with both a moral and ethics at work.

Right off, the story begins with a couple with two children that are in financial strife to the point where they must make a decision, otherwise all (4) will starve.  When the wife suggests that the children should be left to the woods and no longer their burden, the husband immediately reacts from a moral position.  He couldn’t dream of abandoning his children and leave them directly in harm’s way.  The wife counters with the practicality of such an act (Ethic), for if they keep their children then they run the risk of all of them starving.  As Grimm as the story is, the silver lining is the chance that the children could learn to survive, and so too can the couple having 2 less people to be a burden to them.   The husband reluctantly agrees but still feels ‘bad’ about what they are about to do.

The children are left and at first, they stay and weep and then hunger sets in.  They can either stay put and starve, or venture out to find food and shelter.  Hansel assures Gretel that God will not forsake them.   Along their journey they happen upon a house made of sweets which alludes to HIS presence.  Inside is an old woman that lures them with promises of comfort, though her intent is more malicious as she only seeks to fatten the children for her pot.

Morally, the children trusted the old woman because they couldn’t imagine in their naivety that she’d mean to do them harm. Once they discover her plot, Ethically they must do something or else end up her dinner.    The two devise a plan, trick the old woman and push her in the oven to die thus saving themselves.  To boot, they steal items of value before heading home.  Why didn’t they stay, since the obstacle in their path to survival has been overcome?

Once they find their way home, they hand these goods over to their Father believing in the “Happy Ever After”.  Mom is no longer in the scene, leaving that issue to the imagination and the reader’s instruction to explain it to their children.  God has forsaken her, “Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Poisoner to Live”.

Metaphorically, the Mother and the Old Woman in the confectioner’s house are the same person.  This is why she’s no longer mentioned after the old woman is killed in the oven.  Thought to be written during a period of famine in the Middle Ages, this is situational Ethics.   In spite of the normative sense of morality and ethics in any given society, there are situations that call for actions that may be in direct opposition to them.  What is right and wrong, good and bad – change places.

The parents deceived and abandoned their children.

The children Murdered but by doing so, saved their own lives.

The old woman/mother is the villain, even if both parents share in responsibility.  This contrast is needed, in order to teach morals.  Forgiveness for Father but none for the Mother?

Father having shown a moral at the beginning of the story is forgiven, the stolen goods are salvation and happiness Ever After.

In spite of the religious era, and “All Seeing God”, sin is rarely if ever a consideration during the telling of the tale.  Murder and Theft is no longer immoral because the ethic dictates that if one seeks to harm you, you do what you must to save yourself from harm.  Didn’t Father also seek to harm the children?  This can easily be justified by Religious Ethics, for God would just consider it self-defense and forgiveness is arbitrarily assigned based on the moral fiber of the characters.

Stories like this apply to a modern society that considers itself civilized and moral to have ethics that are situational.

Ethically, a governing body is seen as a ‘good’ until it does something bad.  Equally, in spite of a personal moral, the normative sense opposes it.  Even if citizens see ‘wrongs’, ethically they are lost to ‘right’ them.  The ‘freedom’ to lament without consequence is even in ethical dilemma when the morals of what is being said fall subject to scrutiny.

Is it any wonder why the distinction between the two is so difficult to see?


All of Them Witches!


Witch Trial in Salem?  All of Them Witches are at it again.  Christian Day receives international media attention when a friendship goes south and Witches compete for the retail market in Salem.  Tune in to Poison Apple Radio for a frank discussion about the aftermath of Pagans Behaving Badly, the Witch Trial in Salem and how negative press forces one to rethink their public image and its impact on business.

If you’re not familiar with this character, here’s a bio written by the man himself:

Christian Day is a modern day Warlock living in the “Witch City” of Salem, Massachusetts. A practitioner of the ancient arts of Witchcraft—a spiritual path devoted to old world folk magic, healing, and veneration of the dead, Christian and his husband, Brian Cain, own two occult shops in Salem: HEX: Old World Witchery, dedicated to the practices of Witchcraft, Hoodoo, and Conjure, and OMEN, a psychic parlor and Witchcraft emporium which features a staff of gifted psychic readers. They also have a Hex shop in New Orleans. Each October, Christian and Brian host Salem’s annual Festival of the Dead, an event series that includes such popular events as the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, an Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, and an authentic séance. In June, Christian and Brian host HexFest, a Weekend of Witchery in Old New Orleans. Among his many media appearances, Christian has been featured on The Travel Channel, Showtime, TLC, MSNBC, Dish Network and in The Chicago Tribute, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and, of course, The Salem News. Often controversial, Christian has certainly raised eyebrows and turned heads in his over 25 years in the Craft, but, despite all the chatter, good and bad, he insists on marching to his own drum and standing for his own vision.


The show will be 90 minutes, I may or may not take live callers depending on the flow of the discussion.     It’s bound to be full of drama, at times funny and at others face-palm worthy.

Be there or despair!


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The Adversary in the Scriptures


Is it the Devil?  Satan? Your Enemy? Conflict? You? Them?

People seem so certain and yet, their interpretations are in flux with the message intended.  Sure the scriptures have been translated, transliterated many times and a lot gets lost in this process.  Scribbles on paper have become both Gospel and Sword and the biggest fear during the English religious Reformation of the 16th century was that people would begin to challenge what they were told and seek to better understand the importance of the Words.   To ensure the supremacy of the Roman Papacy? Dominion of Kings?  What determines their worth?  In the 21st century we can look back at these historical events and think:  “These people were quite mad!”  How different is it today?  There’s still a class-system. incarceration system and capital is still GOD.   We see the parallels drawn between America and the Roman Empire but do we really see them?

There’s always been a clear message to me in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelations.  Knowledge corrupts and that which you know can not be unknown, no matter how deep you bury your head in the sand or bury that information in your head for that matter.  The Great Beast isn’t going to emerge on the horizon like Godzilla.  It’s always been more subtle than that and that mistress of Babylon, is the great union of Church and State.  Only, it’s not the power of the religious or the matters of the people.  What does any of that matter when it’s just you against the blade of the world?

Daniel 7:17

These great beasts, that [are] four, [are] four kings, they rise up from the earth.

Daniel 7:18

and receive the kingdom do the saints of the Most High, and they strengthen the kingdom unto the age, even unto the age of the ages

The age of ages.  In the 21st century people have been led to believe that they are free.  Free from the Dominion, Free to Choose, Free to be as they are.  Free. Free. Free. I don’t believe that, never have and probably never will.

Some say that the Bible itself is the great Mark of the Beast and that the Roman Papacy purposely changed the Sabbath day to Sunday to ensure that God’s Commandments would be broken, thus damning adherents to hell eternal.  Does this make the Pope Satan?   Hold back your laughter, it’s funny I know but plenty of people believe this which is why the Catholics are most hated among Christian sects.  Universal?  Hardly. Break-away groups challenge Catholic Orthodoxy and go their own way to live this so-called ‘good Christian life’.  Why was a messiah necessary in the new age, if all believers had to do was follow God’s Commandments to avoid eternal punishment?   Matters of the there-after, are only of concern when you stare death in its face anyway.  I’d say people are more concerned with daily distress of living, not dying.  Life is a Battlefield.

Matthew 10:34

Ye may not suppose that I came to put peace on the earth; I did not come to put peace, but a sword

Does that make Yeshua Satan?  Perhaps in some regard to the Classical Hebrews.  What bothersome people they were, which may account for their conquering by both Assyrians and Babylonians. That’s the ancient propaganda at least.  The Semites we encounter today are more likely to be entirely different peoples.  How could they not be?  Time, events and generation after generation tend to change a people.  I am so unlike my ancestors and I couldn’t even attempt to emulate their way of life or thinking.

During the Hellenistic period we see more scribbles penned by Hellenized Jews about a Savior.  People that feel oppressed tend to look for heroes to save them from plight.  Is slavery a state of mind?  Can conquered people be Free?

Enter the Adversary.  As young as I can remember there was always some force of power pushing against me.  Pushing hard too.  When you’re a small child and it seeks to break your spirit (like breaking the spirit of a horse) it gives you cause to lament.   In youth you learn your lessons, the most valuable being those had in your self. I could either continue in my distress or see my way through it…Beyond it.  If I was being forced to do something I didn’t want to do, or saw no wisdom in doing, I learned to play along in some cases and in others fight against it by claw.  The former is easy, the latter can give rise to great personal injury.

Having been injured time and time again, you also learn Pain. In doing so you also increase its threshold.  While I’m quite the vain creature, my body is covered in scars.   Some have trivial stories behind them while others could never be trivialized by the telling of their story.  I’ve caught myself trying to convey a message pointing to remnants of a past that could never truly be understood, by anyone.

In that regard, the Scriptures remain Occult.  If you’ve been there, you understand.  You can’t un-know what you know.  You’ve been corrupted by it.

Daniel 7:25

and words as an adversary of the Most High it doth speak, and the saints of the Most High it doth wear out, and it hopeth to change seasons and law; and they are given into its hand, till a time, and times, and a division of a time.

Luke 22:31

And the Lord said, `Simon, Simon, lo, the Adversary did ask you for himself to sift as the wheat

1 Samuel 29:4

And the heads of the Philistines are wroth against him, and the heads of the Philistines say to him, `Send back the man, and he doth turn back unto his place whither thou hast appointed him, and doth not go down with us into battle, and is not to us for an adversary in battle; and wherewith doth this one reconcile himself unto his lord — is it not with the heads of those men?

1 Kings 11:14, 23

And Jehovah raiseth up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; of the seed of the king [is] he in Edom

And God raiseth to him an adversary, Rezon son of Eliadah, who hath fled from Hadadezer king of Zobah, his lord

Numbers 22:22, 32

and the anger of God burneth because he is going, and a messenger of Jehovah stationeth himself in the way for an adversary to him, and he is riding on his ass, and two of his servants [are] with him

and the messenger of Jehovah saith unto him, `Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? lo, I — I have come out for an adversary, for [thy] way hath been perverse before me

1 Chronicles 21:1

And there standeth up an adversary against Israel, and persuadeth David to number Israel

Psalm 109:6

Appoint Thou over him the wicked, And an adversary standeth at his right hand.

Zechariah 3:1-2

And he sheweth me Joshua the high priest standing before the messenger of Jehovah, and the Adversary standing at his right hand, to be an adversary to him.

And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary: `Jehovah doth push against thee, O Adversary, Yea, push against thee doth Jehovah, Who is fixing on Jerusalem, Is not this a brand delivered from fire?

The message from the Apostle Peter was this:  BE ALERT. KEEP YOUR MIND SHARP.  I’d take that a step further and say, it’s valuable to be self-aware but we forget. It’s easy to forget.  To forget what you know, the pain, the memory of past errs, and so, the best anyone can do is to remember. Remember yourself.   The ego has been regarded as Devil and I believe that to be true.  Ego eimi.  Even in a scriptural context the Apostle John regards it as: I have been… What I know is not just collecting information from source material but rather life experience wrought. I have been there.  The Devil inside propels me.  It may account for why I’d never ride a horse either.

The 600 Club Topic Tie-in:  Your Personal Manifesto


Ulalume — A Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe, 1847

Bone Eater2The skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crispéd and sere —

The leaves they were withering and sere:

It was night, in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year:

It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid region of Weir: —

It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul —

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

These were days when my heart was volcanic

As the scoriac rivers that roll —

As the lavas that restlessly roll

Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek,

In the ultimate climes of the Pole —

That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek

In the realms of the Boreal Pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere —

Our memories were treacherous and sere;

For we knew not the month was October,

And we marked not the night of the year —

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)

We noted not the dim lake of Auber,

(Though once we had journeyed down here)

We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent,

And star-dials pointed to morn —

As the star-dials hinted of morn —

At the end of our path a liquescent

And nebulous lustre was born,

Out of which a miraculous crescent

Arose with a duplicate horn —

Astarte’s bediamonded crescent,

Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said — “She is warmer than Dian;

She rolls through an ether of sighs —

She revels in a region of sighs.

She has seen that the tears are not dry on

These cheeks where the worm never dies,

And has come past the stars of the Lion,

To point us the path to the skies —

To the Lethean peace of the skies —

Come up, in despite of the Lion,

To shine on us with her bright eyes —

Come up, through the lair of the Lion,

With love in her luminous eyes.[[”]]

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,

Said — “Sadly this star I mistrust —

Her pallor I strangely mistrust —

Ah, hasten! — ah, let us not linger!

Ah, fly! — let us fly! — for we must.”

In terror she spoke; letting sink her

Wings till they trailed in the dust —

In agony sobbed; letting sink her

Plumes till they trailed in the dust —

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied — “This is nothing but dreaming.

Let us on, by this tremulous light!

Let us bathe in this crystalline light!

Its Sybillic splendor is beaming

With Hope and in Beauty to-night —

See! — it flickers up the sky through the night!

Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,

And be sure it will lead us aright —

We safely may trust to a gleaming

That cannot but guide us aright

Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,

And tempted her out of her gloom —

And conquered her scruples and gloom;

And we passed to the end of the vista —

But were stopped by the door of a tomb —

By the door of a legended tomb: —

And I said — “What is written, sweet sister,

On the door of this legended tomb?”

She replied — “Ulalume — Ulalume! —

’T is the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober

As the leaves that were crispéd and sere —

As the leaves that were withering and sere —

And I cried — “It was surely October,

On this very night of last year,

That I journeyed — I journeyed down here! —

That I brought a dread burden down here —

On this night, of all nights in the year,

Ah, what demon hath tempted me here?

Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber —

This misty mid region of Weir: —

Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber —

This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

Said we, then, — the two, then, — “Ah, can it

Have been that the woodlandish ghouls —

The pitiful, the merciful ghouls,

To bar up our way and to ban it

From the secret that lies in these wolds —

From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds —

Have drawn up the spectre of a planet

From the limbo of lunary souls —

This sinfully scintillant planet

From the Hell of planetary souls?”


What Do Women Want?

I was reading What Do Women Want? and this stuck out to me:

“women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic” — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need.

I tend to agree but I’d consider it relational.  The relation is between self and idealized self.  If a woman’s arousal is due to being idealized as an object of desire by another person, then its relational in that level of arousal would be determined by how much the other person idealizes her.

Intimacy may take second seat but I think it’s still playing a pinnacle role.  Without intimacy with a partner, then how could those idealisms be known or manifested in any meaningful way outside her mind?  The sexologist goes on to say that many if not most women prefer to receive than give.  This chick?  Being the source of pleasure appeals to my Narcissistic tendencies that considering it a chore or not something I’m more than willing to do, is alien.  I can see through the lens of cultural fetishes and the need to find answers to questions such as these but in seeking understanding it may just over complicate matters.   I can’t tell you how annoying it is to be compared to another woman, sexually or otherwise.    I’m not like other women and I can’t imagine other women are like me.  I recognize that other women have issues with self-image, intimacy and sex and seek out the ‘experts’ to alleviate their distress but what about the rest of us?  In an attempt to treat other women, those without such issues get caught up in nets to be untangled from.

Aren’t the cultural trappings enough to deal with?  I see this Free the Nipple campaign in an attempt to gain more gender equality and it just seems foolish to me.  All these Feminists are hell bent on removing the allure that is Woman that I wonder what kind of lives these women live.

censored mediaIf you ask your average American if breasts are innately sexual, you’ll most likely get a YES, which is why they should be covered.  Women breast-feeding in public places have become somewhat normalized but you still see plenty of stories about women being asked to use a private area of a public place to do it.  Carry-over from a more modest era, certainly, and the rebuttal is usually “But…Men go shirtless all the time!”   How many men?  All men?   Then go on finger pointing to places like Africa where breasts aren’t fetishized in the same way as the U.S., well duh… Culture clash.  In a modern era however, you can find plenty of breast fetishism all over the continent.  I just chalk it up to confirmation bias.  Why are women so hell bent on being treated like men anyway?  Discomfort with the den of inequity?  Any woman can tip the scales in her favor with a little know how and passion  cup-size driving the weight.


Too offensive for the public… Dead Baby Dolls

IMG_2446This doll was deemed too offensive to the public. It was too lifelike, too morbid and too “real”. Nevermind that it’s a miniature doll, or that Vampire and Zombie infants were completely acceptable at a public Library event called “Monster Fest”.

Mothers that have lost infants in childbirth were offended and I was asked to remove it from my vending table. Once again the question is asked: “Is Art Satanic?”

My little art doll sure was a topic of provocation, do I stay or do I go? Why continue to support an event that has an unspoken criteria of acceptable items? A library is full of information arcane and yet, when that knowledge is portrayed through material objects, it’s too offensive to know. Go figure.

October is a strange month, it’s a time for hallmark holiday fare and a time to react to figments of one’s own imagination. It used to just be the 8th month on the Roman calendar (mensis-months) then by the late 16th century, menses was adopted to describe the crisis of Women during menstruation. Sounds legit.


The baby doll itself is thought to be a ritual object. To little girls everywhere, it was a Mother’s way of teaching their daughters how to nurture to later become Mothers. If she mistreated her doll, it gave Mothers opportunity to correct the child’s behavior. While imagination is taken into account, I doubt the things imagined ever were, at least not in any real meaningful way. The battery of tortured dolls found in every household or garbage bin should demonstrate that dolls are objects to project upon.

I’ve never played with dolls in a traditional sense, they’ve always just represented intent. When I was given my first baby-doll, even then I knew it wasn’t really for me to have a doll to play with. It was a replica of that idea and like any poor emanation it tends to deteriorate over time. I received a doll just like the girl next door, not because I wanted it but because “I” was to be just like the neighbor’s child. Watched-over to determine if that intent would thereby be projected upon me.

I observed the girl next door for cues and wondered why I didn’t actually believe this was a “real” baby like she seemed to. Why, I asked myself, did pretending to put a doll to bed, change its diaper or rock it back and forth feel stupid and acting. Who was the act for?

If you’re caught not playing with your dolls like you should, you’re faced with demands and projected guilt: “Why aren’t you playing with that doll I bought you? You know, I spent a lot of money on it, it’s a collector’s item!”

What’s a little girl to do? Meet expectations, play-act to satisfy the demand, or collect ritual objects?

For me it was the latter, which is why I don’t know that I qualify as a doll-collector.

When I see a discarded doll at a yard sale or thrift that catches my eye, I feel impelled to alter it. They don’t all end up like this, mostly they end up collected but changed in some manner, whether literally or metaphorically.

I do like dolls, some even make me giggle, like that little fat fucker that sits atop a kitchen shelf. The epitome of too much “Mangia!”

IMG_2444Perhaps even the mass produced doll is art, it does provoke me to project my ideas upon it (maybe even some paint). Art, some say, is magic and that every manifestation of it is a ritual object. If it can manage to alter your perception then it qualifies as authentic.

I’ve decided to keep this one and continue to contemplate whether it’s an art doll or just causality having been provoked by it.