3 Little Steps : How to Cut the Cords and Stop Paying for Cable TV Guidelines

This is a step-by-step guide on how to cut cable TV and start using alternatives to the cable networks. Over the years, most cable subscribers have been scared to cut the cords and say goodbye tot their cable TV service. For many users, they felt threatened and intimidated, but finally realized that they were tired of a cable bill which was more than $100 monthly. In addition, this price was regularly being increased, even though most users only watch a small number of the channels offered by their cable TV provider. Many of you are probably annoyed with the lack of customer service, the hidden rate increases, and any number of other issues, problems and headaches that come with any basic cable subscription plan.

I was just like you. I had stayed loyal to my cable company of choice, mainly because I never knew there were any cable TV alternatives available out there. I had no idea that I could cut my ties to the cable TV industry, yet never miss any of my favorite TV programs, exclusive movies or live action sports. As I began to seek out cable TV alternatives on my own, a whole new world of information was out there and I began to get some ideas about a new phenomenon for television viewing. 

Giving up on cable TV is so much easier than we are led to believe. It isn't something that only young adults or senior citizens do, both can easily learn the basic technical skills required. Anyone of any technical ability can cut their ties and their cable bills, if they simply follow my step-by-step guidelines.

At first it all seemed a bit too technical for my understanding and the information was hard to grasp, many of you probably can relate. If this sounds familiar, I advise you not to give up. After doing some serious and independent research into cable TV alternatives, I discovered a new way to get rid of my cable bills in only minutes.

In just three simple steps, I was able to free myself from the costly triple digit cable subscription rates that were billed to me each month. I found out that everything on cable was available for viewing audiences at much lower costs and sometimes even free.

Cheap or free television programming of all sorts was being broadcast legally. Everything from live sporting events to the latest TV shows, but also movies, news, and lots of original programming I had never seen on traditional cable networks. So stop wondering what to do about the high price of cable television.

Now let's cut cable TV by showing you how it easy it really is to do. So bookmark this webpage right now, because your TV viewing lifestyle is about to change forever, and this is how. Just remember 3 little steps.

How to Cut the Cords and Stop Paying for Cable TV Guidelines

Step 1 
Get Familiar with Streaming Players for Home TV

The first step is familiarizing yourself with the different kinds of streaming player for TV viewing in the home. Streaming players, such as the hot new Roku 4, will allow you to watch all the best streaming content via services like Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. A streaming player is the modern equivalent to a cable box, only it is a replacement that allows you to view most cable TV alternatives with your existing TV. Your home will have full access to streaming content from around the world, only a streaming player is smaller and you own it. The low cost of streaming players eliminates equipment rental fees, plus there are several version to choose from.

My personal favorite streaming device is the Roku 4, which allows for digital cable TV alternatives and also is ready for online gaming hook ups. Although the Roku 3 and the Roku streaming stick are equally user friendly models, and are the choice of many tech gurus like reviewers at CNET online.
Any streaming player will work like Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV, but Roku devices have some distinctive advantages over all other streaming players. The Roku 3 player streams channels like Sling TV better than other similar devices, which is the kind of viewing you want for streaming live sporting events and online concerts with your giant flat screen television.

The Roku 3 also has a versatile remote controller with 1-click buttons for popular services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. There is also an on board headphone jack, sending sound directing out from the remote. This is a unique feature that allows for listener privacy and voice searching, all without disturbing others around the TV room too much. These are some of the most convenient options available among the world of streaming player devices.

Step 2
Explore the Choices of Online Streaming Services

Once you have made a choice of streaming player, it is time to consider and explore streaming services. 

It is a wild world of uncensored entertainment, movies, TV series, live sports and news coverage from around the globe with online streaming today. Getting rid of your cable television subscription is better, because it no longer means having to sacrifice real entertainment value for affordable TV broadcasting. Still there are so many online streaming services to select from currently, how do you make an informed decision about what services are best suited to your television viewing needs?
First lets talk about free channels, there are more of these everyday as streaming TV grows in popularity. 

A number of free channels have already made a name for themselves like Crackle and TubiTV. Most major TV channels have their own streaming versions that emulate the weekly broadcast programming formats, this includes ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX networks. News streams from TV and media networks like CBS, CNN, MSN, and giants like the Wall Street Journal, Wired and ESPN have their own streaming channels available now. Also users can access free streaming versions of favorite video channel streams from YouTube, Vimeo, and VEVO.

Another thing to remember is all popular devices like Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Each will work to stream anything, any channel free or paid. A streaming device works in sync with having a home Wi-Fi connection, there is no need for cable TV or subscriptions to such services. Pay services offer special up to the minute or new movies, TV and programming, but at a much lower price than paying for cable TV or any bundled group of services. Netflix and Hulu are each 10 dollars a month approximately, Amazon Prime is similarly priced at 99 dollars annually, and other services tend to fall in this same range. Sling TV is one of the best services to sign up for and it emulates most of the major cable TV networks. Sling TV makes all  cable TV alternatives seem pale in comparison.

Taking back your television through Sling TV is easy, but also a great value. 

Never feel like you are clicking through thousands of channels, but there is simply nothing to watch on any of them, ever again. Enjoy all the top show and the best of live television without paying ridiculous cable company rates. With Sling TV no home installation is necessary, there are no satellite dead zones and never any hidden fees or charges. All users pay a flat rate of $20 per month for everything regular cable TV charges three times that for, maybe more. All the best network channels including ESPN, CNN, Univision, TNT, Disney Channel, and more of the top TV programming on cable TV. Also watch the top name movies and more on EPIX, AMC , Sundance TV and IFC. 

The same is true for sports and news channels, whatever your TV viewing is in the mood for, it is available on Sling TV. So let yourself go where your remote leads you and never look back.

Whatever your streaming device services offer is the only limitation for your home viewing pleasure. Make magic happen everyday without every leaving home. This step will make your costs for home entertainment drop significantly, but only stop paying for cable TV. 

Step 3
Don't Forget About Getting a Digital Antenna

Somethings never change with the course of technological advancement, thus another cable TV alternative is the antenna reborn from the days of analog signals. Most folks do not have any idea the wide scope of free television stations available with only a fairly high quality antenna. Without one, your ability to receive online streaming channels is stronger than anything in past decades, but with one it allows clear viewing of an incredible spectrum of TV broadcasts locally.

With the right accessibility, your home can probably pick up 70 or more stations, just from your household. This includes national over the air ( or OTA ) broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, but also region based affiliates like ION, CW and smaller stations too. OTA TV stations broadcast prime time shows, local sporting events, regional news, public television and special on air broadcasts. All OTA TV stations are broadcast in High Definition format, being higher quality signals than regular cable TV that uses compressed transmission on most frequencies. And I repeat, all this and more is free.

I recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna for several reasons.

First of all, it is a uniquely capable antenna, technologically speaking. It is an indoor ready antenna, does not rely on rabbit ears making it sleek and stylish for public display. Also the Leaf 50 is made to be installed flat upon any wall surface, because it is paper thin and easily hides behind TVs or other furniture. It could be hung equally easy on a glass window surface, behind a picture frame or any semi-flat location inside a room. This antenna is able to pick up signals and broadcast transmissions from 50 miles away almost anywhere in the United States. The Mohu Leaf 50 is powerful and doesn't need to be pointed in a specific directional position to receive HD channel signals.

So the third little step is simple. 

Get an antenna to enhance your viewing options. I highly recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor Antenna for HDTV quality and user friendly installation.

Now A Bonus Step Just For You!!!

Step 4
Find Online Deals and Save Money

In addition to the above step-by-step guidelines, there is another aspect that can be a game changer and a money saver for streaming TV viewers. Asking yourself, what about my internet costs? More than any other question, this one impacts many users throughout the USA, due to the pricing of internet services with the bundled cable TV plans and guarantees of high speed internet connectivity.
One way to start saving money is by cutting the costs of your internet service provider. The trick involves a bit of comparison shopping for the local internet service provider deals where you live. No matter what city or state, there will be multiple choices of ISPs in your regional area. Comparison shopping is the best way to get a solid and consistent deal on internet services.

Essentially, you want to use your local zip code and search for results on ISPs in that area, then refine your results based on speed, features, and finally promotional deals. Once you have narrowed the field to a few optimum choices, begin calling each ISP and talk to the sales department to see what their current offers are for new customers. Don't be afraid to tell them that you are shopping around and looking for a service that will beat anyone else's prices, and the winner will get your loyal customer allegiance today.  

Even if you already have internet service, it is possible that your prices are due for an upgrade with a yearly downsizing. Smart consumers call their primary service provider at least once a year. Doing this allows the loyal customers to negotiate new rates for their existing plan and lets companies offer annual promotional deals to instill customer loyalty.

Finding online deals for internet service is a bonus step towards saving big money with cable TV alternative options. It also could be the final step in cutting out the middle man, so you can stop paying for television altogether. Cable television as you know it is dead, as is the mainstream media, news, film and video. This is the 21st century and the digital age moves information at the speed of light.

The future will not be televised, because the streaming media revolution is going worldwide.

Being A Magical Person In Your Community Is A Job

My two cents here comes from a friend that has now passed on. 

Edward Cain taught me about sorcery, magic, and witchcraft and was also an incomplete quadriplegic. He had full tactile sense, but had no ability to move his body from the neck down. Anyway Edward had been in touch with his magical energies early in life, he was his spinal injury occurred at 12 years old. So he had taught himself to read and write with a stick in his mouth, and other very amazing things as a quad. But he amazed me more, that he had been doing psychic readings ( his mediums of choice being reading the crystal ball and psychic auras ) to earn a living since 13.

Ed ( for we were friends, less than mentor or student ) once said to me, when I was very worried about what I should do with my life, career, college etc.

These were his words to me, " All people have jobs that they are drawn to do, choose to do, get paid to do, and even are forced into doing. But the job you are born to do, will never stop being your job. Since I was born with the gift of sight, call it sorcery, witchcraft, soothsaying, or satanic powers from hell..."

Ed loved his theatrics.

"... it is what I do for a living. I am a worker employed by the magickal powers that be. You don't see Gandalf the wizard taking part time jobs as a bus boy, but he does do fireworks shows for hobbits on their birthdays. Wise people and magically gifted souls always have their fall back positions, but their job and career is to be that magical person for their community. Therefore there is no shame in taking material gain from it, as long as you understand that the 3 fold or 10 fold law, applies directly to your credit cards and bank accounts too. Should you be practicing tom fooolery rather than being a legitmate seer."

"Do not ever use psychic powers just to manipulate or steal from those that come for your help, it will burn you. But not using your powers to earn your keep and pay the bills, well even black magic know that is just stupid and evil. Don't say you practice magic and then tell me you can't get a job. Talk to the Goddess about your needs, hell pray to Satan if you want, but use magick or don't. Fence sitters are taking bread out of the mouths of talented witches and wizards every where. Love is the will, pay your toll at the door. Abrahadabra. Love is the Law."

I miss you Ed. 

As always to everyone out there online...
Blessed be, wonderous magic, and lots of love to you and yours.
As the Yuletide is upon us. remember that love is the law. Blake4d

PlayStation 4 Versus Xbox One Some Facts For Last Minute Holiday Game Console Buyers

There are a lot of articles arguing comparisons between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. Most of these articles wouldn't be so bad, if not for the fact that they give consumers absolutely false information. The fact is that most player favor one console or another based on their gaming style. It's kind of like being a straight foot or a gooney foot, as a skateboarder. 

Now that both consoles have been released for over a month, the real battle begins. A major selling point for all new game consoles this season is affordability for gamers, their friends and family members who are buying holiday seasonal gifts this year. 

Some articles argue that it is hard to decide between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, because they are almost evenly matched. Although as the holiday season comes to a close and shopping night draw to an end, it is time to decide which game console to purchase. Not based on all the gaming rhetoric online, but based on the simple fact of how affordable each one is in reality. 

Here are the facts about the affordability and costs of the individual consoles, pitting Xbox One versus PlayStation 4. 

Fact : PlayStation 4 costs the same price new as Xbox One. 

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are the same price to purchase new. A PS4 console can be purchased for $299 with a free game included, this is the same as the Xbox One console.

Fact : PlayStation Plus subscription costs less than Xbox Live Gold. 

PlayStation Plus costs just $50 a year and offers many more free games than Xbox Live Gold does. Xbox Live Gold costs users $60 a year.

Fact : PlayStation 4 controllers cost less, than Xbox One controllers.

A PlayStation 4 controller costs $60. A Xbox One controller costs $60 but doesn't come with rechargeable batteries which requires a separate additional $20 purchase.

Fact : Party chat and free to play games are free on PlayStation 4.

Party chat is free with the PlayStation 4. Party chat is not free with the Xbox One.

Free to play games are free with the PlayStation 4. Free to play games are not free with the Xbox One.

Fact : PlayStation 4 has more games and gaming exclusives overall.

The PlayStation 4 has approximately 842 games currently. The Xbox One has 496 games currently. Both of these statistics are according to Wikipedia and maybe inaccurate and outdated by the time users are reading this article. 

According to an Internet gaming troll that shouted much of this information out, here is some other info on upcoming holiday releases that hardcore gamers might want to know. 

Despite some articles incorrectly reporting it, Halo Wars 2 and Fable Legends are not going to be an Xbox One exclusive because both will also be on PC. Also despite bad reporting, Street Fighter V isn't going to be a PS4 exclusive, because it will also be on PC.

A list of upcoming Xbox One exclusives that can only be played on Xbox One for now includes :

Quantum Break
Crackdown 3
Gears of War 4

And a short list of upcoming PS4 exclusives that can only be played on the PlayStation 4 for now include the following :

Uncharted 4
Ratchet and Clank
Detroit Become Human
Gran Turismo Sport
Horizon Zero Dawn
Shadow of the Beast
Ace Combat 7
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
The Last Guardian 
Gravity Rush 2
The Tomorrow Children
Deep Down
Let it Die
RIGs Mechanized Combat League

Now, all facts aside, here is one last opinion...

PlayStation 4 is a more powerful console than Xbox One. PS4 simply outdoes the Xbox One, in terms of features, frame rates, screen resolution and game performance, plus affordability. Xbox One has come out with seven holiday seasonal deals to entice customers, but they really don't offer anything that makes a big difference. Overall, this writer would recommend gamers of all levels invest in a machine with real video game horsepower, that means the PlayStation 4 is the only choice. 

But as stated at the start of this article, many gaming enthusiasts have developed a style that is more geared towards either Xbox One or PlayStation 4. For those favoring Xbox One, try to get one of the current deals for the console, while they last. Because it is now Yuletide and the time to buy before the holiday shopping season ends is almost over.

Whatever your choice, have a great time with your favorite gaming consoles and may they serve you well into 2016.

Weird Webinars : Some Strange and Original Examples of Webinar Marketing

The webinar is the newest wave of online promotion and marketing. Without a doubt, the webinar is the one of the most intriguing and still remains a tool being not being overly used today. Although it has been made popular by all types of business industries to reach the socially interactive audiences of the 21st century. That said, the majority of webinars have the goal of reaching their audience and selling their products in the most straightforward sense.

The general format that most webinars go for is so generic that is belittles the medium itself.

A speaker will be introduced with obligatory pop culture music as the webinar begins. Then the speaker spends up to an hour, as they deliver their supposedly profound ideas, secrets, tips, algorithms, philosophies, and other gobbledygook, then in the last 60 seconds of the webinar, the guru alludes to their incredible discovery of __________. ( Feel free to fill in the blank with whatever product, agency, website address, magic alchemical formula or sheep herding device you would like, all are equally relevant for our purposes.) The goal is simple from there, the webinar audience suddenly has a cosmic shift in perception. As they think to themselves, “Wow, this is the thing I have been waiting for all my life and it is only right now can I get __________ ." From there our trusted guru begins passing around their hat to collect credit cards, blank checks and cold hard cash, from the mesmerized webinar audience.

If you have been around enough webinars, you know exactly what I just described, all too well.

In this golden age of information, webinars have expanded their horizons quickly. No longer are they just elaborate infomercials with a simple product to sell the viewers. In the great weird world of modern webinar blitzkrieg, everything and anything goes. Some are to get online businesses to think outside of the box about their marketing and even how they produce webinars. Others are designed to market ideas or concepts that are already well outside the norm. Still others are so weird, that you will have to judge them for yourself.

Now prepare yourself for some of the weirdest webinars that have been produced for online audiences.

1. Do Your Webinar Backwards.

This is a webinar concept that encouraged the audience to forget everything they know about producing webinars. It was a project idea that came out of doing webinar productions for a company call Accelerance Out-Sourcing, who wanted to make their web productions stand out from other similar companies. What they did was very original and gives pause to anyone that has worked in traditional video production. They reversed the entire webinar and production process.

First the client and IT vendors were emailed questions that the production group thought should be addressed in the webinar. Next they conducted recorded interviews with all the webinar guests. The audio was savagely edited, along with a ton of killer slides to support the audio content, and finally all of it was synced with the audio track. Finally they rendered it all to video file formats for the live web conferencing platform, then played it live for the audience and explained everything in the Q&A afterwards.

The response was wildly positive and the speakers loved it, because they didn't have to work as hard to sound intelligent, look great and come across well to the live viewers. Backwards works better for experts who aren't trained speakers, when the topic works better with a back and forth dialogue, if the content is going to be re-purposed later or if the webinar producer is a control freak. This webinar was amazingly insightful.

2. The Best Pre-Recorded Webinar You've Ever Attended

Sometimes necessity gives birth to originality, even when using techniques that are known to everyone. Despite all the attempts for webinars to be flashy, high tech and use all the latest gizmos, there is something to be said for doing it all the old fashioned way. A webinar producer named Shelley Ryan was on location to shoot a live webinar, along with other speakers that each had an allotted time slot of 15 minutes. She was the final speaker of the program, when they ran out of time.

Oddly the show was a fireside chat style webinar at the first Content Marketing World event. Apparently the program wasn't about how to plan your webinars, so that everything is run on schedule and ends timely. Our damsel in distress went ahead and shot her own footage of what she planned to talk about, then later would produce her own longer version for the webinar format. This webinar is interesting, because of the juxtaposition of our speaker letting out frustrations as she records the original video, then giving her opinions about webinars dos and don'ts in the live unedited later version.

The point here is that sometimes context and relevance are everything. This webinar had nothing dazzling about it. It was basically an actual illustration of the worst case scenario and the opinions of someone having been through it, was very enjoyable to listen and learn from. Never neglect to realize that reality is more interesting than well worn concepts. It is real and it is humanizing.

3. How to Act Like a Zombie

Originally this was called the 'Zombie Webinar', but was re-titled for future events that continued using the theme in later versions of this webinar. It was a comic metaphor used by Providence Publications in their corporate webinars with Cal-OSHA Reporter and their collective employees. The webinar explained that with the immanent zombie apocalypse on it's way, there was only one true way to defend against the zombie horde, by learning how to act like a zombie. Then the audience was instructed on methods of how to dress, look and interact with zombies in the real world.

The webinar was using a comic metaphor to illustrate ways of interacting with customers in various niche marketing scenarios. The goal was to get viewers to understand how important authenticity was in niche marketing, but also what to do if you need to relate to customers and don't know how to communicate with them. This webinar actually inspired a second incarnation that was aptly titled, the Zombies are Coming, because it was so well received by employees.

What worked well here was capitalizing on how effectively pop culture translates into complex business ideas. Taking a mundane concept that maybe boring to a webinar audience, but bringing it back to life ( an intentional pun ). The idea takes on a new and energetic characteristics that gets the audience to identify with it, plus makes it fun. This will be reflected later, when the viewers go back to the workplace and share what they have learned. How to act like a zombie is a fine example of a well purposed webinar idea.

4. The Secrets of Erotic Hypnosis Webinars

This was the first in a series of exclusive and members only webinars, all of them produced by an online marketing guru named David Shade. Say what you want about some of the ideas in this webinar, when a product has a marketing potential, it will sell itself. Within this webinar and the series to follow are a well crafted set of ideas that become almost mythic, as explained in detail by the live speaker with other guests.

The whole webinar is very typically formatted from start to finish, but the use of dramatic content makes it's target audience shake with anticipation. Everything is geared toward knowing what the men watching have experienced, are feeling, and even gives them a lot of good advice, despite a strange mix of tantric sex, occult magic and scientific methodology. Everything presented in the webinar is highly unethical ( such as conversational hypnosis techniques to lure women into unconscious sex ) and extremely vulgar, but the presentation is so on target for the audience. Also the webinar is inspiration, after listening to it enough times, any low confidence male would be able to take on the challenges of dating and meeting women.

It just goes to show, how powerful the webinar medium can be. Anything can be presented in a way that appears interesting and acceptable, even if the brain should be able to process it differently. Nobody is recommending this webinar experience, but the work of companies like this are case studies in the strengths of modern programming techniques. The same way that subliminals were once used for brainwashing in advertising, now webinars can do the same with less elaborate technology. There are many wicked secrets of erotic hypnosis within the webinar, all probably work is the scary thing.

5. Psychic Television and the 23 Enigma

This last webinar and many others like it, were produced by an underground organization called the Temple of Psychic Youth or TOPY. The goal of this TOPY webinar was an orientation style introduction to the principles practiced by elder members of the organization. TOPY utilizes a combination of concepts to fund their global interests, but here is the simplest version of what they do as an online business. Essentially TOPY markets itself by being an underground music, arts and media entertainment corporation. All artists come from the membership of TOPY, so there is a cult like family structure that keeps the commerce within the wider TOPY circle internationally. Cult or not, TOPY has been around for several decades and they use two main ideas that were the focus of this webinar.

The first is the 23 enigma, in simple terms TOPY believes that be focusing energies and meditating on the number 23, as a collective. Contract signings, recording dates, musical appearances, live appearances and nearly everything done by members for the organization is done on a year, date, time, minute, or second that numerically equals the number 23 mathematically. TOPY is very ritualistic and formally committed to this, because members then focus on the success of such dealings and artistic endeavors, so that the whole membership is more successful.

The second topic is the practice of psychic television. TOPY believes that the TV is an electrostatic medium for talking to others from a distance and influencing events around the world, simply by staring at and focusing psychic energies through your television set. The organization makes fantastic claims from having made speakers stutter during presidential addresses to causing quarterbacks to fumble football throws during the Superbowl. Psychic television is used between members and branches of TOPY to communicate, but more importantly they use their magic powers to sell music, books, and art around the world. TOPY calls these practices Chaos Magick. The webinar focused on using this for online marketing campaigns and have chaotic influence on the world, which one assumes is lots of fun for the kids.

In Conclusion

These are a only a small sampling of many weird webinars that have been produced for online viewers. The choices listed here range from the somewhat practical for business to the stranger than fiction variety. The point is not to argue whether anyone should accept any of these webinars at face value, rather to illustrate the wide range of ways that this medium can be utilized for marketing. What all these examples of webinars have in common is a commitment to their product. Each believes strongly in what they are promoting and give ample evidence that the audience should as well. Each also illustrates how different styles of marketing through either production, promotion, and persuasion can be used to hit home with a chosen target audience. Also all of them have been very successful in their own right.

Keep in mind these strange and original uses of webinar marketing, as examples to draw inspiration from at some point. They are each profound illustrations of how far thinking outside of the box can go. With webinars and online video production, the medium is the message. This means that a webinar must find ways to connect with the live audience, not just pound an idea at them and clobber them with relentless advertising techniques. The best webinars need to have a meaning, be memorable, create magic, and dare to be weird, or it's really just another video or web cast.

10 Yuletide Gifts For That Your Pagan Friends Will Enjoy

Do you have a friend who is pagan?

Are you pagan and want to share Yuletide and the Christmas spirit with gifts that express your traditions with others during the holiday season?

It is very easy to come up with ideas for gifts for both pagan and friends who do not share your beliefs. The seasonal holidays are for everyone to enjoy, but your pagan flair can show itself in a special and magical way during Yuletide and Christmas with some thoughtful gifts.

Some of these ideas are meant specifically for the pagan you know and share interests with. Some are for your more traditionally minded friends, whom you would like to share your personal world with better, yet not be pushing your beliefs upon. All of them are simple enough, that with a little forethought they can be made in time for Christmas and Yuletide. Letting them bring something special to the the gift giving rituals of the next month.

Remember it is the thought behind everything about a gift that makes it magical. One or more of these is sure to warm the hearts of your loved ones as you ring in the Yuletide cheer this Winter.

The first three are for your non-pagan friends, although everybody will probably want them once they get a peek at how nice they are. Because all are hand made and add a touch of magic to the home.

1. Homemade candles

Make homemade scented candle sets. Your town has a local honey and bee keeping company, or a distribution for such products locally. In mine there is honey manufacturer, and on site they have a show where you can buy fresh bees wax sheets, wicks, and it is a very simple process to make candles. You just hand roll them like making dough, and scent them with light essential oils by hand. They are always a hit.

2. Bath salts

Make homemade bath salts with basic seas salts and essential oils in any variety of scents. All materials that can be bought a local health food stores or yerbalias. You also can find similar types of ingredients in retail shops, but possibly at a greater expense. The sachets can be made with materials found at any local fabric store. Ribbon is color full and nice for tying them off.

3. Dream catchers

Make homemade dream catchers. All you need to make a dream catcher is yarn, and some basic circular pieces of wood or metal. Your local hobby stores or craft outlets will have all the supplies in stock regularly. Ask the staff, they probably know all about it. You can incorporate beads, jewels, feathers, or any number of ornamental decorative accessories to make each dream catcher unique.

For the friends who are beginning or newly seeking their way as a pagan. These gifts are things that any beginner of the magical arts will appreciate. Even if it ends up not being their thing next year.

4. Books, books, books

Books are a big part of any religious or pagan persons life. Pagans are notorious readers. A generous gift certificate for your local Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore or even Amazon.com is sure to please, often it is nice for them to purchase books of interest privately, especially if they beliefs are practiced in a solitary form. So do not about what your Pagan will buy, just know that a gift certificate for books will always be used.

5. Blank journals

A more serious pagan is likely to be keeping a journal or book of shadows about their pagan rituals, planning events, or dream work. A blank journal or diary book will suffice, but most new age stores or brick and mortar bookshops will have larger size books that will last and become an actual volume of their personal spiritual workings.

6. Ritual supplies

Another great gift for the aspiring pagan practitioner is a stock up kit of house hold cleansing and ritual supplies. This can be simply put together with any simple basket, which you fill with sage, incense, charcoal, and any of the like that might be used for rituals or household smudging and  cleansing of the space. Big boxes of wooden matches are always a welcome and cheap filler as part of this gift. Use your imagination and go wild.

These last four are more for someone who you know is dedicated to their personal growth and their spiritual path, and now maybe would enjoy more grounded and serious exerperiences. Each is very personal and will be the kind of thoughtful gesture that shows respect and want for them to gain positive things from the gift even after the holidays are over with.

7. A massage

Get them an appointment with a professional massage therapist. Who wouldn't like a massage? Male or female, body conscious or body proud, it doesn't matter. Try to find one that offers an options of techniques and styles that they specialize in, making it better for any individual. The Pagan friend receiving it  will appreciate the opportunity to relax amidst the candles, incense, and soft meditative music.

8. A psychic reading

Take them for a tarot reading or to a psychic workshop for a one on one session. If they have never had an chance to experience an individualized energy balancing, Reiki, or even a standard reading...they will likely benefit from the  chance to do so. As a magical practitioner, it is a part of learning to be on the receiving end of the spiritual working of their path. Also it can be fun. Just make sure you go to someone they feel comfortable with.

9. Full moon or Solstice weekend

Take your friend for a weekend outing to do a full moon or winter solstice ritual in nature. Most of us are blissfully unaware of how trapped into our city lives we really are. Getting outdoors in the real world with trees, stars, and quiet air for even one night can do wonders for the health and psyche. It can be just the two of you, or make it a group outing. The magic will be running wild in the freedom this gift can bring to the holiday.

10. Plant a Yuletide tree

Help them plant a living Yuletide tree. As part of their reverence for Mother Earth, most Pagans at least try to cultivate a green thumb. Tree worship is paramount in Pagan ritual, particularly during festivals. The Christmas tree is an evergreen symbolizing eternal life and is worshiped by Pagans. Having a living holiday tree to decorate and tend through the year is very Pagan, and very good for the environment.

11. A pagan cookout

Have a pagan and gentile cookout. Eating together is always good for the community and friendship. Plus you can never go wrong in Arizona with a good old fashioned outdoor cooking party. Barbecue or vegan, the spirit is still the same. It is usually best to have something on the menu for everyone that might show up.

12. Adopt a new pet

Help your pagan friend adopt a pet. This time of year, local animals are more in need of good homes than ever. Take the time to see if your pagan friend might want to go adopt a new pet for the Yuletide season. It will build a lifetime of memories.

You've determined that the pagan in your life is still interested in celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and some late-December gift-giving holiday - you call it Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, but he or she will refer to it as Yule or the Winter Solstice from now on. These same principles can be applied all year round as well.

Believe it or not, just because this person you've known for years has adopted a new religion doesn't mean he or she has fundamentally changed that much. If you have always given him or her a certain kind of gift, being Pagan means you can now expand the meaning and thoughtfulness being your gift giving. Pagan Yuletide and Christmas gifts are as magical as you make them.

Blessed Be.

Subliminal Messaging in Everyday Life

Using subliminal messaging, it is possible to stimulate the mind and the senses with suggestions that can change an individual subconsciously. They can be used for a wide range of therapies and self improvement purposes, so powerfully that they have become stock and trade for psychology, advertising and many other fields involving the neurosciences. It is the ability to make subconscious suggestibility influence the human mind that makes the use of subliminals a very powerful tool.

Most of the world does not realize that we are surrounded by all types of subliminals everyday. We see them in advertising, art, entertainment, television and on billboards. We hear them in muzack, radio commercials and even use them to influence children learning in scholastic settings. They are used by the new age, psychology, sociology and even the occult for various types of self empowerment techniques. What is really more surprising is how few of them we actually notice around us in daily life, as we are constantly being influenced by the market forces of the world.

In the most simple sense, subliminals are able to make formative changes in though patterns, so powerfully that it can shift the consciousness of individuals and help them overcome almost anything. Because the suggestions are hitting the subconscious mind, the level of impact is greater than if they had been heard or seen consciously. Often the effects are ten to twenty times more dramatic and influential, which is why these powerful tools are being used in all types of industries today.

The basics of subliminal messaging are so simple, that it is amazing the effects that are achieved with most individuals. Subliminals can be introduced in both audio and video presentations. They are equally effective when transmitted in music or movies, this is why advertising entertainment has made such effective use of them in modern times. By subliminally inserting images, audio affirmations, post hypnotic thought suggestions or randomized patterns of color, a person can be exposed to things without being aware of it.

Subliminals can be designed with the most rudimentary audio and visual types of stimuli, and the cost of creating subliminal tapes or video is relatively low. Thus the applications for effective subliminal affirmations can be utilized to help someone quit smoking, keep them from shoplifting merchandise in a store, make them feel more romantic with a partner or even make them feel more relaxed. Any type of messages can be made for subliminal usage, with almost any type of purpose or intentions.

Through the processing of information and affirmations with subliminal messaging, the conscious mind can be rewired to become attuned in ways that would not be possible in other ways. Subliminals can be used to improve health, build self confidence, learn languages and many other literal applications. The practice of using subliminals has become an art form and the stuff of scientific method, as well. We live in a world where the subliminal and subconscious mind is as important as the conscious mind.

Christmas Gophers and Golf

There are somethings about the holidays that just should not make sense, but come together like Christmas, gophers , and golf did for us. It all started as an innocent enough attempt to clear out some of the garbage piling up in my mother's backyard from the last few seasons. It also was time to conjure up the seasnal theme for her front yard which was a yearly ritual for us as a two person family.  Never had Christmas become so silly as this year when we incorporated golf and some gophers into the holidays.

My step father and mom had long since divorced, yet some of his artifacts still were looming amidst the backyard odds and ends. The day we began setting stuff out on the roadway for the local bulk trash pick up later in the week, we discovered three gophers of the mechanical persuasion that sang and danced the song ' I'm Alright' by Kenny Loggins. Along with the three singing vermin, we also found a pair of golf club sets that were a little rusty but still had some life in them.

Three gophers, that my step father bought for their uncanny singing of the theme from my step fathers favorite movie of all time Caddyshack.  I suppose that at least one of them must have been bought in honor of  Caddyshack II , in honor of the sequel. 

My mom and I already had put up the standard decorations around her yard. Twinkling lights in the bushes and trees, hanging ornaments in various places, tinsel draping some of the more visible foliage, and of course snowflakes hanging from every high beam or bough.

Yet the finishing touch was just about to be set into place.

The trio of gophers was the perfect addition my mother decided, and so we hid them in various places abou the yard. In her words, it would be just like the movie, when unsuspecting strangers would wander by there would jump out at them a singing Caddyshack gopher.

It was a funny as it was corny.

It seemed a bit silly to me at first, but my mom's eyes got excited about this like a child in a toy store.

Her inner child took control and so did her sense of fun and giggles for the season. Christmas had finally arrived in her world this year, thanks to those three silly gophers. One hid by the dog house, one under her most decorated tree in the yard, and the third hid among the sage bushes behind a huge pine cone awaiting to pounce.

We even came up with an even more silly idea to make use of the golf clubs.

Using some garden tools and a little ingenuity. We dug holes a few inches deep in four places throughout the front yard and driveway, creating a make shift four hole golf course. Luckily four holes was the perfect number for two very handicapped players like my mother and I.

What we lacked in athletic abilities on the green, we sure did make up for in pure unconditional funny good times with those golf clubs. We had more fun this year, than perhaps any other time spent in the past decorating her yard for the Christmas holidays.

So there you have it, the story is simple enough, and the method was far from well planned. Yet the real Yuletide spirit has nothing to do with fancy decorum or expensive glitz and glitter. The only thing that you need to put the jolly back in you holly these days, is three equal parts of Christmas, gophers, and golf.

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