Religion News Service: Hindu Monastic Order is Reclaiming Transgender People’s Status in Indian Society

This is a fascinating article about Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, an Indian reality TV star who later came to identify as transgender, and who eventually founded the first monastic order of transgender people in Hinduism.

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CNN: ‘Witches’ Marks’ To Ward Off Evil Found in Cave System

This is a fascinating article about apotropaic symbols that were carved into the walls of a cave system in England centuries ago, but which have only just been discovered and recognized for what they are. (I have to admit, it makes me giddy to see a CNN report with the word apotropaism used in the text several times!)

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ABC.Net: An Australian Rodent Has Become the First Climate Change Mammal Extinction

This cute little fellow is the Bramble Cay melomys, and he no longer exists; the government of Australia has now declared his entire species to be extinct. What’s more, his species appears to have been wiped out by human-made climate change.

Now I know some of you are saying, “So what? It’s just a rat.” And that is certainly true; the Bramble Cay melomys is (or was) most certainly a rat. But I think it’s sad whenever an entire species goes extinct—especially if the root cause of its extinction is the human race. Unfortunately, I’m sure the Bramble Cay melomys will not be the last species to disappear thanks to our own species’ destructive behavior. I think we can expect to hear more reports like this one in the years ahead.

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Introduction: The LV-426 Tradition

The following is an article about my particular religious tradition—the LV-426 Tradition—and what it’s all about. I’ve also posted the article in full to the Introduction section of my main website.

There are three other Setians with whom I’ve been privileged to work some truly life-changing magic over the years. These individuals know who they are, but out of respect for their privacy, I will only identify them here as Blackwyn, the Tonester, and Sister Bean. To walk with Set is a solitary path, even when you’re part of a group, and not everyone in my circle will always agree with each other on everything. But the point isn’t that we always believe or practice the same things. The point is that we are each drawn to Set in our own ways and for our own reasons; that we’ve crafted a number of effective rituals and spells together; and that we’ve all witnessed the same eerie results these procedures can yield. Years have passed since we first declared ourselves a coven back in 2003; we’re spread far apart from each other now, living in our own areas and focusing on our own priorities. But even if we never meet in person to hold another ritual together again, we will always be connected with each other somehow.

That “somehow” is Set.

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CNN: Kansas Judge Calls Teen Victims in Sex Abuse Case the ‘Aggressors’

No wonder so many women never come forward to tell their stories of sexual assault and abuse. Does Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens honestly expect us to believe a couple of 14-year-old girls are really the “aggressors” in this situation? Does he expect us to agree that Raymond Soden—the 67-year-old man who offered money to these girls in exchange for some nude photos of themselves—is the “real victim” here?

Granted, Soden appears to be physically and mentally impaired, lacking a “substantial capacity for judgment” according to the court transcript. I’m assuming this is why his sentence was shortened from the customary 14 years and eight months to a mere five years and 10 months. When I first read this, I assumed that perhaps Soden didn’t fully understand what he was doing at the time; yet the transcript indicates he has admitted to knowing the girls were minors when he first solicited them for sex. Besides, being ignorant of a law is really no excuse for breaking it, so I’m not feeling very sympathetic here. Rather, I am mystified as to why this judge seems to think we all need to have a pity party for Soden, and why he thought it was appropriate to shame and humiliate the man’s victims in court.

Children do all kinds of things they know they shouldn’t do. Name me a single town in all the U.S. where there are absolutely no teenage minors who smoke, drink, or have unsafe sex, and I’ll make a video of myself eating my own shorts. When a minor gets caught doing either of these things, what do you think happens? Do the cops arrest them and throw them in jail? Does the judge throw the book at them and send them to prison? No—they might be disciplined in some way, but not normally by the criminal justice system. Extrapolating from this, it is pure folly to treat the girls in this situation any differently. Did they know they were doing something bad and potentially dangerous? Perhaps—but then again, so does the kid who sniffs glue to get high in art class. The point is not whether kids know that what they’re doing is harmful; the point is that many of them purposely engage in such high-risk behaviors because:

  • They feel neglected and desire attention.
  • They’re responding to peer pressure.
  • They’re testing the limits of adult authority.
  • They can’t control their emotions.
  • They have needs that aren’t being met.
  • They want to feel like adults.
  • They have underlying mental health issues.

And the list goes on. Why did these girls interact with Raymond Soden in the first place? It could be for either of these reasons, or perhaps more than one. Perhaps their parents don’t pay enough attention to them, or perhaps one of their peers bullied them into it. Perhaps one or both of them thinks they actually have feelings for this man. Whatever the case may be, they clearly didn’t know what they were doing. If a minor solicits an adult for sex, the responsibility to defuse the situation rests entirely with the adult. So Judge Gibbens’ statement that these girls are “partially at fault” for what happened is complete horseshit. One wonders if he would feel the same way about this matter if the girls had been boys, or if it had been a daughter of his own. In any case, here’s praying for the prosecutors in their attempt to appeal Judge Gibbens’ decision, and here’s praying the girls will get past this situation to lead healthy adult lives.

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“Praise the Red Lord” (An LV-426 Prayer to Set)

This is a recording of myself reciting one of my favorite prayers to Set. A copy of this video has also been embedded into my article, Praise the Red Lord. The litany for this prayer is included below for anyone who might wish to follow along.

Music: “Triptych: III. Winter (Requiem, Chapter Three: Finale)” by Celtic Frost, from their 2006 album, Monotheist. (Used without permission.)

O Dazzling One,

Great of Strength,

Lord of the Red Lands!

The rest of the world

May curse Your names,

But I give You praise,

For I know that nothing,

Not even the Creator,

Can exist without You,

Save for the accursed Serpent.

Though You are reviled,

You carry the weight of all worlds

Upon Your shoulders,

And You have never once failed

To do Your duty.

Truly, there is no other God

Who deserves as much praise

Or sympathy as You,

For Your blessings

Are never contingent upon

Your acceptance by anyone.

Know then, Great SET,

That when I praise You,

I do so simply because I love You,

Not from fear of punishment

Or desire for reward.

When I am a husband to the widow,

When I am a father to the orphan,

I dedicate my service to You,

That none may ever say,

“Nothing good ever came from Him.”

Let it be known that You

Are my greatest inspiration

To be noble and true,

And so shall I swear to all people

Until You beckon me to Your desert

Beyond the Great Bear.

My Prince, reach down

With Your mighty red hand

And straighten my spine,

That I may face the Serpent

And withstand its evil gaze.

Sharpen my eyes,

That I may discern the Serpent

When moral clarity is absent.

Open my mouth,

That I may utter great spells

To drive the Serpent

Back into darkness.

I will stand by You in this world

And the next;

I will offer You praises

Until the end of my days

And beyond.

I love You and worship You

From the bottom of my heart,

And I hope and I pray

That I make You proud somehow.

All honor and praise upon You,

Most holy Lord SET!

So mote it be!