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Alternative Approaches

Incident at Starbucks

Today we visited the new Harris Teeter that just opened on Reynolda Road where the Roses once stood, mainly to see if they carried Hoffman hot dogs, which is a favorite of my roommates. While there, we picked up some roasted chicken, some ice cream and a few other items, and while going through checkout, my roommate noticed that there’s a Starbucks in the store.

I like coffee and despise yuppies too much to like Starbucks, which insists on ruining gods-little-beans by adding milk, sugar or any other ingredient they can find to everything. Coffee is perfect by itself; it doesn’t need any help. But order a plain cup of joe at Starbucks, and they decide — meaning the guys and gals who, by dint of working behind the counter, are the arbiters of what passes for cool and what doesn’t — that you’re an uncouth and unsophisticated laggard who wandered in from (stereotyped cliche alert) some trailer park.

The headquarters for the friendly down-the-road little place where everybody knows your name and you can stay sober.
Needless to say,

But my roommate doesn’t share my disdain for corporate deceit, and asked if I would fetch for her a decaf mocha latte while she took care of paying for the groceries. No problem. I sauntered up to what looked like an ordering spot at the Starbucks counter, and waited a minute or two for the young lady who had absolutely nothing to do, to notice she had a customer.

For a while she chose to keep her attention on the store’s front door, but she eventurally turned around and without smiling or being in any way cordial asked if I wanted to order. Yup, I do, I nodded. She walked up to another ordering area, about ten feet away and told me I’d have to go to her to order. Fine. I did.

Dr. Strange’s 418th Dream

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Saint Rémy de Provence; September 17, 12:00:10 am…
Dr. Strange’s 418th Dream:

Saint Rémy de Provence; September 17, 12:00:10 am…

I was in bed asleep in the tower room of the Hotel les Antiques when something, some sound from outside, awakened me. The French doors to the balcony stood open and the curtains drifted slightly in the breeze. The air tasted of crushed sage and lavender, and the breeze did have a voice, whispering quietly as the edge of the lace trimming danced over marble. The window squeaked faintly, opening a little wider as the breeze stirred up from the town with a promise like a goddess’ kiss.

DANCING WITH THE DEAD: Voodoo, Paganism and Possession

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Dr. Strange runs the Voodoo down. . .
Voodoo, Paganism and Possession

The drumming and chanting have been going on for hours. The final offerings and propitiations have been made, and now the tension mounts to its peak. The Spirit moves its host, performing an intricate and physically impossible dance. As full possession strikes, series of tests are performed by the Spirit to prove its authenticity. Then it speaks, answering questions and making pronouncements. When the Spirit is released, the host slumps to the floor, exhausted.

Fulcanelli and the Mystery of the Cross at Hendaye

In 1926, a mysterious volume issued in a luxury edition of three hundred copies by a small Paris publishing firm known mostly for artistic reprints rocked the Parisian occult underworld. Its title was Le Mystère des Cathédrales (The Mystery of the Cathedrals). The author, “Fulcanelli,” claimed that the great secret of alchemy, the queen of Western occult sciences, was plainly displayed on the walls of Paris’s own cathedral, Notre-Dame-de-Paris.

The Man Who Sees Dead People

Psychic/medium Joe Power: “I see dead people.”
The film The Sixth Sense scared the heck out of movie-goers a few years ago. This so-called horror story dramatizes the eerie life of a young boy who sees, hears and feels spirits. Dead people invade his bedroom at night and blow in at school confusing and frightening the boy. Psychic/medium Joe Power knows the story well – he lived it!

“My boyhood was a nightmare,” Power says. “Just like in The Sixth Sense, spirits raided my life starting at a young age.” He remembers the first time he saw a dead person. He was three years old lying on his back in the soft grass of his stepfather’s magical garden. As he stared lazily at the sky an image appeared. It was hazy and fleeting yet Joe saw the image of a face.

An old, rusting car was parked in the middle of the garden and Joe often played inside pretending to drive to faraway places. Many times he felt a presence beside him riding along on his imaginary adventure. Young Joe sensed it was a man and was comforted by his company.