Refer to the
section of the Choices and Negotiations page.
An example of
when a professional was not as knowledgeable of a specific topic as a lay person.
We know of an individual who learned from a yearly physical that his serum cholesterol
was not within a range considered normal. The blood-work report showed that his
cholesterol level was extremely low – in the lower ½ of 1 percentile of the
population. The doctor thought this was nothing but good news. The patient however
felt it might not be a totally good thing. Cholesterol must be used for something
or why would a human body store it?
The patient did some literature research at the local University’s medical library
(this was a few years before the “Internets”). He discovered the cholesterol
molecule is a component of bile salts used for digestion. Cholesterol gives cells
membranes stiffness and stability. The body also uses cholesterol in the repair
of damaged blood vessels. Cholesterol is also needed for proper function of serotonin
receptors in the brain. Low cholesterol levels had recently been linked to depression
and suicidal tendencies. This was long before serotonin had become big news in
the general media.
He presented his physician with the collected information. His doctor admitted
that he was not aware of that recent line of research. For this particular subject,
the patient was the medical knowledge expert because he had done the research
and collected the data for presentation.
(Not to be confused with the magic performed by people like Penn & Teller)
In some sections of this website magick is included in descriptions of processes
and ritual. This may seem superstitious or “woo-woo” to some people. We beg your
indulgence for just a few moments as we describe why many people believe that
planting crops by the light of a full moon gives a better yield and where this
belief came from.
Agriculture started about 8,000 years ago. This was before electric lighting,
mechanized farming and insecticides. Picture these ancient farmers planting
their fields. It took a lot of labor and time. For a large farm it took more
time than daylight. But if you have a moon that is nearly full and a sky without
clouds, you have enough light to turn dirt, place seeds and cover with dirt.
It’s a pretty simple operation.
Let’s say that after several years the farmer starts to notice that the fields
planted at night produced more than the fields planted in the daylight hours.
The conclusion has to be that planting at night by moonlight is a good idea.
Human beings can’t just leave it at that. We like to have reasons for things
happening. We make meanings up when the reasons for events are not evident.
Several thousand years ago they did not have microscopes, laboratories or scientists
that would know what to do with microscopes and laboratories. So they made stuff
up. Gods caused the thunder and lightning and the moon had power to help things
grow. Whatever the meaning applied by humans, the planting by the light of the
moon worked and fields planted that way produced more.
Science came along and started learning all manner of stuff. Science has become
somewhat arrogant and dismisses many of the old ways out of hand, calling them
primitive or old wives tales. However, a study done by the Agricultural Research
Service in Iowa found a link between weed germination and exposure to light.
They determined that tilling the soil (i.e. bringing weed’s seeds momentarily
to the surface during tilling) was best done at night by a new moon (when there
was as little light as possible). Tilling in the dark led to less weed seed
germination and thus to fewer weeds in the garden. This practice results in
a higher crop yield.
So maybe a group breathing together in unison or casting a circle seems primitive
and unscientific, but it seems to work for many people. And what’s the harm in
deep breathing or casting a circle? Don’t make it mean anything. If it works
for you, it works. If it doesn’t work for others, it doesn’t work. Just remember
the story about planting by moonlight before you dismiss people who include
“magick” in meetings and rituals as Lunatics. They just might be onto something.