Shield and Zoom- Ritual in a pandemic

The weekend of June 13th was the third annual Shield and Bow festival. Or at least it would have been if there were not a global pandemic.

Shield and Bow is a weekend for persons who identify with womanhood. It uses the weekend explore feminine themes based in spirituality as well as practicality, blending ritual and ceremony with a laid-back weekend to relax.

Normally this event takes place on the 100 acre pagan-owned and operated Raven’s Knoll Campground. However due to the global pandemic and life-as-we-know-it on pause, the Shield and Bow Festival, has had to pivot, like many events. The organizers had to make a decision; cancel or bring the festival online.

Founder and lead-organizer Allison McCuaig (and close friend of mine) choose not to cancel and instead bring the programming online. After many months of planning, spreadsheets and creating documents. Shield and Bow was able to take place via Facebook groups and a professional Zoom account.

Shield and Bow is a weekend for us as people 16+ who identify with womanhood. It is a celebration of our chosen identity, driven by commitment to community and offered by the Sisters for their sisters! We hope you can join us online June 12th, 13th and 14th 2020. 

Source
Hand written letters mailed to each participant created a level of connection Source

Upon registering for the event each attendee was mailed out a personal card with a strip of fabric for their entry bracelets, and a tarot card. This is a Shield and Bow tradition known as your “homework”. Not only did you have to research the cards meaning, but also what your personal/inner work would be for the year.

Programming started on Friday evening, with attendees tuning in to the password protected room to join a welcoming ritual. The ritual included grounding and centering (a common practice in various pagan paths to prepare yourself for ritual space) and each participant shared a little bit about themselves as well as lighting a candle, another level of connection. Albeit through a screen you knew each woman had a candle lit in her home.

As a pre-cursor to the festival each woman was able to send photos to the “Shield Wall” posted to Facebook and Instagram. Women discussed what it being a warrior meant to them, be it in motherhood or in a gentler way.

My contribution to the photo shield wall Source

Saturday and Sunday were filled with workshops spaced out every few hours including topics like:

  • Fight Like a Girl – a self defense course
  • Death and Taxes – how to guide on taxes and creating a will
  • Self- Blessing Ritual
  • Ancestor Rattle making
  • Bardic- women shared songs, stories, jokes and poetry

Saturday evening held the feast. Usually when we are in the woods of the Knoll we come together and share dishes, decorate the halls and all sit at the same table. This virtual event invited us to bring our plates and tune into Zoom to chat and connect. During the feast Goddesses and feminine concepts are honored. Women spoke on the divine feminine, honored missing and murdered Indigenous women, and discussed goddess such as Artemis and Bridget.

While this event really differed from the norm of being out in the woods, connecting with your sisters, enjoying a feast together and dancing and laughing around a fire, there was a chance here for a genuine connection and a sharing of space. Although there were challenges, being so far apart from one another and being behind a screen. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to come together in this virtual way. It was clear that this was desperatley needed by many.

It poses the question of how will we adapt our spiritual practice? How will we come together and create shared experiences in this uncertain time? Although it’s not perfect I really believe these stolen moments; the late night zoom chats, sharing of photos and vulnerability on social media, of lighting a candle in the dark together at home, are going to sustain us and keep us through to the other side of this crisis.

Until this crisis is over, all we can do is adapt, light that candle and pray.

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Ritual through Zoom- A new way?

Shield and Zoom – a festival online

Social media, the new reality?

Photo by Tommy Tong

Social media has been a big thing since the early 2000’s with Myspace and Facebook starting the trend. Since then, new platforms and copycats have jumped on the bandwagon such as Instagram, Vine, Twitter and much more. These days social media is being used by almost everyone and seems like it’s a new way of life. If you want to contact a friend or a family member, one tap and you’re in contact with them. You can’t deny that people would rather send a quick text than interact face to face with someone. Even when spending time with friends or family, most people will be drawn to their phones to check social media.

Photo by Filo via Getty Images

One reality of social media is the news. You can’t always believe what you read but unfortunately it’s not the case for everyone. There is a lot of fake news on these platforms that could cause people to be misinformed and share that information further on where it could cause issues. Let’s be honest, news on social media travels faster than news on TV since we follow celebrities that most likely will also speak about it. Have you ever fallen for fake news?  If yes, you’re not the only one! According to statista.com 52% of news on social media news are fake or made up.

Photo by Sergiu Gatlan

Communicating in person is easy to see who you are talking to but, on social media it’s another story. There are a lot of fake accounts activated each day with fake names and pictures. Unfortunately it is all too common to photoshop a picture and make it seem like it’s yours. You have to be careful, some fake accounts could be your crazy ex looking to see how you’re doing or may be a creep/predator looking for a prey. Furthermore it could be someone posting as a girl when in fact is a male looking to scam vice versa.

With all of this technology and social media wouldn’t you think there would be better security?

Fake news: https://bit.ly/3eqVBBj

COM0014_Blog#6 – Who I Am – My Story (Digital Communication)

I’m Bernadette Alcock, creator and gardener and fashionista.    I’ve been creative all my life, but had to put visual arts on hold while working full time and raising 3 beautiful children.   I’m now retired and along with the joy of gardening and fashion, I have been lucky enough to find and experience the joy of creating something truly unique while recharging my batteries and stepping back at the end of the day feeling happy, refreshed and proud of what I have accomplished.   After taking several sculpting workshops over the last 6 years, I fell in love with this medium and worked toward my instructor certification.    And now, in addition to creating, I also teach workshop to share my passion.

I also love fashion and gardening.  I assist a small fashion boutique with their social media/content creation on Facebook and Instagram and get to model their fashions from time to time.   I enjoy photographing for the boutique as well creating fashion videos.

For the last 15 years, I’ve been experimenting with garden creating, purchasing and nurturing new plants and shrubs, learning along the way, and have now to come to place where friends and family are asking me for advice and guidance.

Sometimes, I feel like being a gardener is much like being an artist. The more I think about it, the more similarities I see between the two.   Like an artist, a gardener must try to mentally visualize their work in completion long before the work has even begun and must draw from the knowledge and inspiration inside them. Some of which are learned, some of which are discovered through the practice of the art.   Like an artist, the gardener must be prepared with any necessary tools needed to perform the task. 

Finally, the gardener must be a constant student, so they are continually developing and not left behind. Every day new techniques and tools are emerging. Members of the gardening community, fashion community, as well as the artistic community, are always doing innovative new things. Have fun, be creative, be happy is my new motto in life.

The Skies Opened Up and Devastation Followed

As I started writing blogs for this course, I felt that I had to write about youth since my entire job surrounds the wellbeing of youth and young adults.  But that was not the case and so I have spread my wings and writing hand.

The past weeks have been filled with news of the pandemic which we thought was the worst thing.  Then the news from the United States started flooding our television and every thread online.  Images of death, of protests, of destruction of property, of government leaders bickering with each other.  One story that a friend of mine had posted rocked me to the core and I researched the story.  It was complex, it was a story of a phoenix rising from the ashes and it was a story of incredible deceit, pain and death.  It appeared, as an article, in the Smithsonian Magazine that reported the story as “a long lost manuscript of a searing eyewitness account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.”  The manuscript was written by a lawyer named Buck Colburn Franklin.  I can put the article into a short synopsis, but we must start with the back story.

President Lincoln liberated the African American slaves on January 1, 1863 but due to the Civil War, the liberation took time and it was only halfway through 1865 that it had been enforced.  Many were not happy with this as plantations and farms lost their slave labour and for generations, slaves had been viewed as subhuman and that belief was the hardest to reform thus, tensions continued into the next century. https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

There was an area of Tulsa that many African Americans had move to, gladly given to them as it was deemed worthless land (until oil was discovered on it).  They set up their shops and places of business, said to be in excess of 300 establishments.  It thrived and many of these people prospered, were highly educated, had beautiful homes, cars, family outings and back yard get-togethers.  It was the Greenwood district but was referred to as the Black Wall Street.

A white woman made a complaint (which she later rescinded) against a black man and he was arrested.  As he declared his innocence repeatedly, a mob gathered, wanting a lynching and riots ensued as the man’s friends tried to protect him.  The authorities were told that black people were attacking white people and so the authorities arrived with the idea to beat down the African Americans.  Homes were looted, homes were set on fire and businesses destroyed.

Now to Mr. Franklin, noted lawyer who, with his partners, had their offices in the heart of Black Wall Street. He tells of leaving his office and seeing buildings and people on fire and it was coming from the sky.  Private planes were fire bombing from above and plowing people down with machine guns.  Within two days, 35 city blocks were destroyed, 1200 homes were razed and 300 people dead.  Martial Law was declared, and the National Guard was called out.  As many as six thousand were detained, some for up to eight days.  Although post cards of the riots and the results of those riots were distributed to instill fear, Mr. Franklin did set up his offices in a Red Cross tent to continue his business, but many other businesses did not return, and the homes were not rebuilt. This piece of history does not appear in many history books in school.https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-lost-manuscript-contains-searing-eyewitness-account-tulsa-race-massacre-1921-180959251/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&fbclid=IwAR2cyu6fWw9OmoZQTx_3fJ7lulfhI3q-rtws49a8SEUwIeSmjFyPNvP47UQ

According to Wikipedia about the Tulsa Race Riots Commission, “there was an effort toward public education about these events through the process. The Commission’s final report, published in 2001, said that the city had conspired with the mob of white citizens against black citizens; it recommended a program of reparations to survivors and their descendants.  The state passed legislation to establish some scholarships for descendants of survivors, encourage economic development of Greenwood, and develop a memorial park in Tulsa to the massacre victims. The park was dedicated in 2010. In 2020, the massacre became part of the Oklahoma school curriculum.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_massacre  It should be noted that three hundred scholarships were issued to descendants of the massacre, but no cash reparations have been awarded to the families or the survivors of the massacre.

Having read this account, I thought of the riots and protests continuing today.   I saw an item on the news and followed up the story at https://abcnews.go.com/US/investigation-launched-central-park-incident-involving-white-woman/story?id=70902898 A few weeks ago, a woman with her dog, was in Central Park and the dog was unleashed.  An African American man, Mr. Christian Cooper, was bird watching and he told her about the leash law in the park.  She said she would call the police and claim Mr. Cooper was threatening to kill her, and, she did.  She made a frantic call to ensure the reaction of the authorities when they would arrive. (Mr. Cooper recorded the entire scene on his phone).  As she stood there and lied, she was holding the dog by his collar and the dog was trying to fight this type of hold.   Fortunately, the police saw the recording.  She surrendered her dog to the ASPCA and lost her job at an investment firm.    But what if he had not record it?  The girl in the elevator that lodged the story that set the Tulsa Race Riot Massacre in motion claimed she had been attacked and that story ended in devastation. This story could have had a very different, very sad ending if not for that recording.   ABC News reports “Efforts to intimidate Black people by threatening to call law enforcement draw on a long, violent and painful history.”  ABC News also reported that “The Central Park Civic Association condemns this behavior and is calling on Mayor de Blasio to impose a lifetime ban on this lady for her deliberate, racial misleading of law enforcement and violating behavioral guidelines set so that all can enjoy our city’s most famous park, Association president Michael Fischer said.” With this in the news, have you thoughts on this woman’s actions?

Affirmative action has begun but is it enough, and, if so, is it too late?  The pandemic is still out there and, maybe, it has given people a new perspective on how they live and what they do.  In times of crisis, the best and the worst of people shine through.  It is hard to say where these current events will take us but, as with the pandemic, there will be no return to the normal we understood before.  How do you view this great divide? As a Christian, I believe in the great commandment

The Bible John 13:34-35 (NIV)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love and respect, is that not what each of us wants and needs?

Have you ever heard of Black Wall Street? Do you know about the Tulsa Massacre? Check out my blog How the Skies Opened Up and Rained Terror on Tusla, https://bit.ly/2CwZVB3

History that was not recorded well. https://bit.ly/2CwZVB3 #TulsaMassacre#BLM#BlackWallStreet

Blog #4

By Chris Price

COM0011

Starting a Podcast

Resource Image WordPress Stock Image

A Podcast is a radio show transmitted over the internet. Anyone can produce a podcast with an internet connection and some inexpensive audio equipment. Podcast shows can be on any topic or theme from Gardening, Travel, Cooking and Baking, Entertainment (talking about T.V. shows and Movies), to News and Sports. People host and produce a podcast as a way to share their passion for the subject-line the podcast is about. For example Rick Steves hosts podcasts on travelling through Europe and the hidden secrets most tourists will miss on their own travels . He hosts the podcast to share his experience with other travellers.

There are many talk shows on FM/AM Radio but most people don’t have an opportunity to host a radio talk show. Radio show hosts and producers have to deal with sponsors, commercials, station managers, government and corporate regulations. Podcasts don’t have as many rules and regulations and anyone can start a podcasts. They don’t need to be a formal broadcaster or have permission from a broadcasting corporation (CBC Radio). The cost of starting a podcast is much less than the cost of studio time at a radio station because you can buy basic recording equipment, microphones and computer software starting around a hundred dollars. 

Before starting a podcast you have to choose a theme and category for the podcast talk show, such as News, Sports, Entertainment, Comedy, Health, Music, Business and Politics. “Social Pros Podcasts” hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown is an example of a well known Social Media podcasts. The show talks to guests that are working for different companies and they discuss their different social media strategies and ideas that they have used in social media. “Social Media Marketing” hosted by Michael Stelzner is a weekly podcast that also interviews social media experts and successful business people to help listeners learn new strategies to deal with social media marketing. “Well since you asked” is another podcasts that focuses on business and where listeners can learn how to become entrepreneurs and how to start a business.

To be successful, podcasters need to make their podcast interesting, informative and entertaining. If the podcasts is based locally, it needs to receive recognition within the community (town, City)? Podcasters need to decide how many people (and the demographic of people) listening to the podcasts makes it successful by setting goals or targets for attracting new listeners. If the podcast has a topic with wide appeal, a high target of perhaps a thousand new listeners or downloads per episode may be an indicator of success. If the topic has niche appeal, then perhaps more modest goals should be set. Podcasters need to measure their “listener count” at the podcasts networks website to verify that their goals are being achieved. If goals are not being met, podcaster need to either set more modest goals or change the format of the podcast to attract a different demographic of new listeners. 

Podcasts make it easy for listeners to hear from talented people or leaders in industry, to share their experiences and give advice. It provides a platform for information that we might not read or hear about anywhere else.

Resource

https://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/how-to-podcast.htm

Com0014: Blog#7: Recipe for Success: Blog Plating 101

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Just like a chef, bloggers need to prepare and present content that looks so appealing that it will entice the customer to consume it. Throughout this course, I have found many similarities between the culinary and literary worlds, so much so that it has left me hungry to develop this easy-to-follow recipe:  Blog Plating 101

Step 1: Know your audience

Who is going to be consuming this?  Audiences can be diverse – – different generations, backgrounds, interests and tastes.  Write with the audience in mind, not yourself. What is their experience level?  What type of appetite do they have for jargon and terminology? 

Step 2: Create a Framework

Pick a main idea (or ingredient), do your research and build a framework by listing the most important information first as many do not read past the first few sentences.  Be sure to include interesting tidbits and a cue for engagement.  Be clear and concise and format the material so it’s easy to digest. 

Step 3: Make it Appealing

People connect with people and their stories rather than encyclopedias and lists of information.  Titles should be tempting and support images eye-catching. You can even sauce it up with your own humour but don’t overpower your main topic.  Garnish with your own style.

Step 4: Taste Testing

Test everything before it goes out the publishing door.  Personally, I utilize speech programs and listen to the content being read aloud  – – Did that passage make sense?  Is punctuation needed to make it flow more smoothly?  My goal is to create content that will inform and engage, not sour the reader’s taste buds.

Everything on the blog plate should serve a purpose and be a literary expression of one’s many flavours.  

Comment below with your own ‘secret ingredient’ for blogging (and try to keep it within the ‘culinary’ theme).

The Past, Present and Future of the Net (Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0)

Two of the major things in things in this course that I have gotten very excited about learning have been the development of better and better networks as I talked about in the last blog post, but here is the other one; development of the web itself. In today’s final blog post for COM0011 – Introduction to Social Media, I would like to talk a little bit about the evolution of the web itself, through the phases of Web 1.0, 2.0 and the future of Web 3.0. Huge shoutout to this article from GeeksforGeeks.org which will be also added to the bibliography of this post where you can get more information on this topic.

Web 1.0

These are the earliest days of the internet. From basically 1994 when the internet was first launched, until around 2004 when social media sites started popping up, these were the types of sites that you dealt with. The main things to take away from the early days of the internet is the fact that most of the pages were pretty static (not changing), there were no pop-ups or ads of any kind because in a lot of places advertising on sites in the 1990s was illegal, and there were not a lot of people creating anything online, mostly just people consuming the content from the internet, looking things up, reading them, and then moving on.

Web 2.0

This is our current age, as of 2004 we have been living in the evolving Web 2.0 world where there are not only far more sites, but far more sites that focus on user-generated content. It is what is known as the “participative web”, the one where sites like YouTube (seen in image below), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many more thrive. The Web 2.0 era is also one about having the ability to access as much of the same content no matter where you are looking at it and consuming it. On your desktop at home? No problem, Laptop in a café? No issues at all! On your phone in the bathroom? It is still there and still available for you to access in some way.

I do understand that there are some applications like TikTok that may be mobile only, but the main point is that even with that, tablet or smartphone, it is still accessible to the same degree, whereas Web 1.0 sites would have had to be built for mobile which many were not.

Web 3.0

The future! Web 3.0 will revolutionize the way that we use the internet. Right now, we want to find something on the web we will get to Google (or if your mad Bing) and search for it as standard and it will draw up a list of the most visited sites that respond to the query in question. Web 3.0 plans to use what is called the “Semantic Web” and make Googling things a thing of the past by turning the ENTIRE WEB into an infinite database and we will be able to search for what is necessary and what we want to find, without the need for search engines or SEO for our sites. User behavior will be monitored by AI online to guide us to the places we tend to visit and bring us safely to the new places online when searching for something. It is still in the works, but it is rather interesting to think about the future of the web! Let me know in the comments section what you think about the move from the past to now, and do you remember the 90s internet? How does that shape up versus now? Let me know! I have always wondered what came next after the internet…maybe this is what actually happens…it evolves!

Thanks for the read!

Social Media Posts

Facebook: The Past, Present and Future of the Net (Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) Check out this blog post on my WordPress site where I discuss how the interfaces online have changed, super fascinating to think how far we have come since the beginning days of the internet! (https://bit.ly/3fA0WX9)

Twitter: The Past, Present and Future of the Net! From Web 1.0 all the way to the future in Web 3.0, the internet has changed a lot since the earliest of days! Check out my #WordPress post about this on my blog! (https://bit.ly/3fA0WX9)

References

Sharma, M. (2018, September 24). Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 with their difference. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/web-1-0-web-2-0-and-web-3-0-with-their-difference/

My Personal Brand

I would consider myself as a sympathetic, intelligent, and funny person. I am not the type that would judge someone else’s flaws and imperfections, but I do not think that I am better than anyone despite my positive characteristics. When I am around my friends and family, I do not mind having thoughtful discussions that relates to current events. At the same time though, I like to brighten up other people’s spirits by telling a joke or giving words of encouragement concerning their passions in life and what-not.

If there is one thing that I have been doing lately that makes me standout from others, it is that I choose to still partake in physical activities to improve my health during the pandemic. One thing that I like to do the most is walking outside during the day for at least 30 minutes a day. Of course when I go in the outdoors, I obviously engage in social distancing as much as possible while walking so as not to catch the virus via close contact. I like to listen to music on my phone while doing grocery shopping or other errands for the house, which makes me feel that I did something productive during the day.

My colleagues would say that I am a open-minded person who likes to discover new hobbies and interests, due to me being someone that is young-at heart no matter my age. They notice that I can be a spontaneous person who would almost never say no to any opportunity that is presented to me and taking advantage of it. This applies to my personal life and my career, as I do not see myself being comfortable with one strict schedule every day, but instead continuing to discover new things in life.

COM0014 Blog #5: Personal Brand

A personal brand today is different from what it used to be, its meant to open up yourself to others as a original, unique and powerful individual but now a days everyone is on social media presenting themselves as plastic and using fake identity that are not who they really are. All over media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and blog sites people are using them as a tool to project their personal brand onto each other because everyone has access to the worldwide web, the internet is meant to connect us with other friends, family and co-workers. If i could describe my personal brand from another persons view the people I connect with would say that I am a reliable , determined and positive individual, I created a small thriving lash business that all my clients love so much that they keep coming back for my service. I am considerate of other and their need as well as available to them to provide their desired look because what is important to them is important to me. I personally have experienced getting my lashes ripped out by “professionals” and i would never want that for my clients and in order to avoid that i learn and practice to have the necessary rolls to be a great Lash Technician. What is your personal brand? What are you proud of?

Develop your personal brand for career success | New Scientist Jobs