A Lawyer’s Perspective on Why Copyright Infringement is So Hard to Fight

Terence Ward over at The Wild Hunt wrote a great piece, “You call it sharing but pagan authors call it stealing,” on copyright infringement in the pagan community and more specifically, pagans thinking it’s okay to upload the entire books of pagan authors and sharing it on Facebook.

A Facebook group called The Wiccan Circle has uploaded the digital files to hundreds maybe thousands of books by pagan authors and are disseminating those copyrighted books for free download. I wanted to get to the bottom of it on my own, so I put in a request to join the group. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been let in, hehe, so truth be told, at this point I don’t actually have any personal knowledge of the allegations. I’m relying entirely on Ward’s reporting of the facts.

For this particular post, I want to address why copyright infringement claims under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) are so difficult to follow through with, from a lawyer’s perspective. I’m a corporate transactions attorney who works in-house at a venture capital firm in the Silicon Valley, so I know my way around intellectual property law. I’ve tried major copyright infringement, trademark, and patent suits in both state and federal court, some of those cases making headlines in the news. I’ve worked in entertainment law and represented independent artists and writers against major production companies in Hollywood, major cosmetics companies, and more. That’s the background context I’m coming from in writing this post.

Continue reading “A Lawyer’s Perspective on Why Copyright Infringement is So Hard to Fight”

2018 Metaphysician’s Day Planner [Pre-Order]

$25 USD

PRE-ORDER

The 2018 Metaphysician’s Day Planner

The first, debut Metaphysician’s Day Planner came out last year, so if you’re curious about this planner’s origins, check out what I wrote in 2017 about the product’s conception.

This year’s day planner is better. Okay, well, I think it’s better. Who knows what you think of it all. Ephemeris tables, charting sign transits for the Sacred Seven for each and every day of 2018, and also, this year’s day planner comes with a 200 page Guidebook. Yep, that’s right. The day planner has its own operation manual.

And in that operation manual you are going to find loads of folk magic, astrological data, and also all void of course moon dates for 2018 in case that’s something you look at for spell-crafting. It’s got forecasts for 2018, step by step instructions on how you can do your own forecasts for 2018 per your natal chart and solar return chart, reference tables galore, and so much more. I’m sure you’ll find something interesting in that Guidebook that you ultimately decide to integrate into your own craft.

Short Summary (aka TL;DR)

You’re getting the digital files to a day planner calendar book that’s part organizer and part grimoire. Then you can upload the day planner digital file, along with your choice of a front and back cover design (many options provided for you to choose from!), to a third party printer (I give you illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to do that), and get your day planner printed and bound. And if you lose your book midway through the year for whatever reason, you can always print out another copy for yourself, since you’ve got the digital file.

This day planner is keyed to a metaphysician with eclectic leanings, and a keen interest in both the sacred arts of the East and the mystery traditions of the West. It presumes the importance of transits astrology in your practice, and so moon phases, ephemeris tables, and key astrological events are noted.

Continue reading “2018 Metaphysician’s Day Planner [Pre-Order]”

The 2017 YouTube Pagan Challenge #ytpaganchallenge

Now that I’ve completed the 2017 YouTube Pagan Challenge on the grimoire, I thought I’d consolidate the three videos I made in response to the challenge and also throw in some additional commentary. This year’s theme: the personal grimoire or metaphysical journaling. For your reference, here is a PDF reference to all question prompts for the 2017 YouTube Pagan Challenge that I was going off of for the video responses.

I’m going to be making references to the question prompts by number. So, for instance, when I say Question 1, I mean the “Show and Tell” prompt, or if I say Question 45, I mean, “What kind of pagans were your ancestors?” and so on. Number to question references are on that PDF.

In retrospect, Part 3, my last video, should have been Part 1, the first video, so for those who haven’t seen any of them, oh good. Now you can actually watch them in the better order. In this post I’m going to be featuring the final Part 3 first, since it makes more sense that way, and then you’d move on to Part 1.

Then, of course, it turns out there were a whole load of questions I totally missed, so I’ll try to answer any that seem relevant to my path at the very end, via blog rather than another video upload.

Part 3: Pagan Practice, Opinions, and the Personal

I start this video by addressing the question of whether I am even considered pagan. Then I address my go-to divination techniques, Question 6, how it’s not recorded in my grimoire but elsewhere in separate journals, ritual work or Question 8, my answer to Question 12 is implied in some of what I say in this video, and Question 13, where I talk about a code of ethics for spell-crafting. Here I also talk about the religions that influence my path and give glimpses of my witchy rooms or…more accurately, witchy house.

Continue reading “The 2017 YouTube Pagan Challenge #ytpaganchallenge”

Why Some Posts Going Forward are Password Protected

Like so many of my colleagues, I come from an earnest place and share what I believe will be valuable resources, for free, and just like so many of my colleagues, we experience this: those you’ve fed come back to bite you in the hand. Each one of us deal with that in our own ways. For me, this will be my approach.

Here’s why certain posts are under lockdown going forward. People readily acknowledge that they’ve been enriched by the content I provide, take from it freely, exploit it, but then–forget “thank you” that’s just asking too much–they can’t even restrain themselves from hurling ad hominem attacks at me in public forums. How do you acknowledge you’ve benefited greatly from someone’s work and then in the same breath, say that you actually hate that person? It’s okay to hate my personality, but then you should avert your eyes and not keep coming back for second, third, and fourth helpings of my content.

It’s as if you’re standing out in the town square cheerily handing out free cookies and on an ongoing basis, certain folks keep coming back for the free cookies but immediately after enjoying the cookie, punch you in the shoulder. Or, as they walk away with your free cookie, smirk and say to anyone within earshot, “Man, isn’t she such a horrible human being? The rest of you don’t seriously like her, do you? I mean… look at her. Horrors. Plus, her cookies are shit. Munch, munch, munch…” What do you do? Most people call it quits and just stop handing out the free cookies. I didn’t want to go that route, since I enjoy baking, but I was also getting fed up.

Continue reading “Why Some Posts Going Forward are Password Protected”

On Tarot Reading Ethics, Part I: Health, Legal, and Financial Readings

Deck Pictured: The Awakened Soul Oracle by Ethony

Not one to miss a tarot bandwagon, I figured I’d work in my own thoughts, or at least a few of them, on tarot reading ethics. If you’ve been out of it all month and would now like to catch up on what the heck I’m talking about, check out this recording of a live episode of Spread This, Witches (STW), “The Ethical Tarot Reader,” featuring Allorah Rayne, Chase from Two of Owls, Nico of Scarlet Moon, Ethony, and hosted by Avalon. Ethony then put out this educational video, “Is Your Tarot Reader Scamming You?” to continue the conversation on tarot ethics. Chase also talked independently about the topic, starting a discussion vlog here, “Discussion: Tarot Ethics.” Allorah Rayne added more from her perspective here, on “Red Flags of Unethical Spiritual Practitioners.”

Here’s a Model Code of Ethical Conduct you can download and use in any way you like. A text version for you to edit and revise, and yes you are free to use, copy, or modify in any way whatsoever for your own personal or commercial uses is here, on my Holistic Tarot Study Guides page, under “Advanced.”

I’ll be subdividing this topic into three parts. These posts will explore some of my personal thoughts and also professional opinions on certain oft-adopted ethical rules.

This is Part I of III, in which I’ll be tackling the question of reading for medical, legal, and financial concerns.

7/11/2017 Update: This is Part I of II only. I’ve decided against publishing Part III. Explained at the close of Part II.

7/18/17 Update: I’ve decided to proceed with sharing Part III, but it is a password-protected post. Please do not ping me with requests for the password. It is made available in closed circuits to those who have access to those circuits.

You often hear readers say that it’s against tarot ethics to do readings on health or legal questions. But why? Why are tarot readers discouraged from reading on health and legal issues?

It’s for legal reasons and, as far as I understand it, that’s pretty much the only reason. In most jurisdictions, there are codified laws against the “Unauthorized Practice of Medicine” and the “Unauthorized Practice of Law.” At best, it’s a misdemeanor and a fine of thousands of dollars. At worst, either one could be charged as a felony and carry several years of jail time. To get charged with such an offense would be the worst day of your tarot reading life.

Continue reading “On Tarot Reading Ethics, Part I: Health, Legal, and Financial Readings”

My Go-To Knick Knacks in a Reading Space

Sandalwood mala prayer beads and a smoky quartz cintamani stone.

My earliest memory of a psychic reading was in Taiwan with a nun at a monastery that my aunt, who is a nun, resided at. (Do I still refer to her as my aunt if she’s now a nun? I have no idea…) When you’re an Asian kid, grown-ups, especially grown-ups of the holy variety, don’t have names. They only have titles. So in Chinese, since we only spoke to her in Chinese, she was Shi Fu, or Teacher, and in English, privately amongst ourselves, she was The Psychic Nun. The aunt who is a nun is Auntie Nun. Auntie Nun is a little bit psychic while The Psychic Nun was full-on knew-your-past-life and knew-your-future psychic plus could-speak-to-the-dead so also medium. The Psychic Nun is referred to in the past tense because she’s no longer with us. I heard of her passing a few years after my maternal grandmother’s passing. It’s okay. She was like a billion years old already anyway and with all that good karma, is off to somewhere awesome.

Anyway, that introduction was way off-track from the subject matter of this post. This post is about go-to knick knacks in a tarot or divinatory reading space. I’m not asking about what you need to get your read on (because inevitably some holier-than-thou advanced tarot reader master will pipe up and say, “I don’t need anything but the power of my mind… I am not bound to materialism… toot toot“)–right, right, we all know that. But I’m asking what kind of knick knacks do you like in your reading space. I don’t need a pink toothbrush for effective dental hygiene but I like it when my toothbrush is pink, so I have a pink toothbrush. Get it?

Continue reading “My Go-To Knick Knacks in a Reading Space”

Benevolence and Your Book of 1,111 Acts

What if the story of your life is told through a record of your acts of kindness, your benevolence, compassion, and personal sacrifices?

I’ve created a blank notebook that can help you to tell just that kind of story.

In fact, I’ve created three different versions of the notebook. You can either print out the notebook yourself and set it into a binder or you can have it print and bound by a third party publisher.

Keep scrolling down for the free downloads and printing instructions.

line

The above video explains the premise for this notebook and the #1111acts. For those who have a copy of my book, The Tao of Craft, check out page 152, in the chapter “The Tools of Craft,” section titled, “Accumulating Good Deeds.” I’ve even pulled that section out as an excerpt, so if you don’t have the book, just check out the PDF below.

“Accumulating Good Deeds” (from The Tao of Craft)

Unlike most tags, this one is something you’ll work through for life. The idea is to log 1,111 acts within your lifetime.

Why the hashtag #1111acts? It’s my little effort to help transform the tone of discourse we see online these days. You’ll take part, too, won’t you? Any time you undertake neutralizing a negative energy in this world, even in the world of social media, especially in the world of social media, by contributing a positive energy, include the hashtag #1111acts.

Continue reading “Benevolence and Your Book of 1,111 Acts”

Psychic Protection: Shielding Recitation Ritual (Free mp3 Download)

Image source: nasa.gov

We know the sun’s UV rays can be harmful to our skin, so we put on sunscreen before we go out. If we know we’re walking into the rain, we’ll bring an umbrella or wear a raincoat. At any given moment in your environment, there could be wave-particles on the metaphysical plane that affect you.

So when those who are the more sensitive ones among us leave their sanctuary, they really oughta be protecting themselves through shielding. If you’re spending the bulk of your days working in these metaphysical realms and you’re not shielding yourself routinely, then the equivalent of your mother, big sister, or mentor should be beating you over your head with her wooden spoon and nagging you until your ears ring.

You really should be shielding.

Shielding is a psychic exercise like putting on sunscreen to block out harmful UV rays (…or perhaps the better analogy is a hazmat suit when you know you’re walking into a hazardous environment…), but in the case of shielding, the purpose is to block out metaphysical toxins that you might encounter in everyday life. When people wish you ill, that negative energy is less likely to affect you if you are well shielded.

Electromagnetic frequency waves, lower vibrational energies, even people you encounter who, at that time and place are being toxic, any detrimental metaphysical waves airborne around you can have a negative impact on your personal vitality, especially if you’re sensitive. Difficult astrological transits can also have a detrimental impact. Shielding is about keeping your energies covered and protected.

However, this post is not about shielding. Find another article or articles to get you up to speed if you’re drawing a blank when I say the word “shielding.”

This post is to share with you a free audio download in the form of an mp3 file.

Continue reading “Psychic Protection: Shielding Recitation Ritual (Free mp3 Download)”