Category Archives: Writing

GIVE TO ME a Poem

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I’ve found that you’ve given me
Give to me, give to me
Much more than I meant to give
Give to me, give to me
You came from the killing tree
And I from the bull and bee
But I gave and you gave to me
I called and you came to me
Hear my plea, hear my plea

If I lost what you gave to me
Give to me, give to me
Four locks and trilling three
Hear my plea, hear my plea
I’d hunt for the world to see
I’d run to the rocks and sea
I’d dig for the golden key
I’d wait in the broken lee
Hear my plea, hear my plea

One source and it’s you for me
One thing and it’s meant to be
One step and it’s meant to be
Give to me, hear my plea


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

Two New Products in My Shop

 

Two new products added to Mitch’s General Store — check them out!

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Merry Christmas: A Song and a Service

Merry Christmas everyone!  For those desiring to participate in Holy Communion at home today, I made a video of the Christmas service so that you can play along.

And as an added bonus — or is it a punishment? — a little video of me banging out Silent Night on my homemade cigar box guitar.


If you enjoyed this content, please consider buying one of my ebooks or shopping at Mitch’s General Store

Unboxing Sprouthead Magic

The other day my package came.  A few days earlier I had gotten an email alert that Aijung Kim over at Sprouthead was having a sale, so I went and bought a box of blank-inside note cards.

 

Backstory: I met Aijung for the the first time years ago at a zinefest where we were both tabling.  She reeled me in.  I’m no longer an active ‘zinester but I still attend them and buy stuff — especially if Aijung is there.  There was no Richmond Zinefest this year on account of the pandemic, I needed my Sprouthead fix, and s0 I placed an order.

When my package came, the cards were even more lovely than they appeared in the pictures.  The quality and weight of both cards and envelopes was excellent.  And, to top it all off, she included an elegant little mini-zine, some adorable bookplates, and the tiniest, sweetest handwritten note you ever saw.

 

Pure magic.  Go get some for yourself!


If you liked this post…

There’s a good chance you’d love my e-book The Wildwood Workbook: Nature Appreciation and SurvivalClick here to download it in any format.  35 exercises guaranteed to deepen your relationship with nature and get your heart and mind engaged like never before.  120 pages.

Want to study Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts?  Click here to enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts distance learning program for just $19,99/month — all learning materials, testing and certificates included (and a free hat and t-shirt when you sign up too).

Book Review: “Talks to Teachers on Psychology” by William James

An esteemed and pragmatic colleague sent me a copy of William JamesTalks to Teachers on Psychology.  As you can see by the grainy picture on the right, this First Rate Publishers edition is strangely and inexplicably titled incorrectly as Talks to Teachers on Philosophy which isn’t  at all ‘first rate.’  But it is for two entirely different reasons that I recommend those wishing to read this book purchase another edition, those being (a) it lacks page numbers and (b) the type is extremely small.

Upon receiving the book I was perplexed.  Why would my associate want me to read this 100+ year-old psychology book?  Was there some nudge-nudge-wink message here?  This and other questions assailed me.  But the gift-giver being the sort of fellow who shoots straight both literally and figuratively, I quickly saw that this was simply a sincere gift of something he deemed valuable and important.  So I rolled up my sleeves and dug in. 

The volume is thin.  Expecting not much to chew on, I figured I’d read it across one or two nights and send a quick note of thank you.  But but O, happy surprise!  I reached into the sack for a puppy and found a python.  It is a thin book — true enough — but thin, not like boarding house soup, but thin like a fang.  It bites to bone and holds fast.

This little bugger took me two weeks to dissect.  As you can see by the photo above, I put ten tabs in the book to mark key points to return to later.  There’s no magic to that number, it just worked out that way.  Here they are in brief:

  1. Focus on gaining the student’s attention.  Make a lasting impression that is lifelong.  Above all, create a “devouring curiosity” in the student.
  2. Engage student’s senses with material objects, or at least with stories of action, rather than with abstract ideas.  Be excellent and imitable.  Pull students forward by inspiring students to emulate you.  Pushing doesn’t work.
  3. When students “back” (like a horse before a hurdle) or get stuck (either outwardly with attitude or inwardly with self-frustration) move on.   Let them forget the sticky spot.  Then make a circuitous approach later using a slightly different approach so that they don’t recognize the spot.  Often they’ll leap right over without incident.
  4. Help them build good habits.  Habits are far more powerful than most people believe.
  5. Make substitutions for negative ideas, perspectives and thoughts.  Phrase things as “dos” not “don’ts.” Accentuate the positive (see #2 above).
  6. Feelings and actions are behaviorally linked.  To some extent we are afraid because we flee and sad because we cry.  To modify behavior, act how you wish to feel.  “Action seems to follow feeling,” James says, “but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”  Brilliant.
  7. Relaxation reduces wasted energy and prevents moods, nervous breakdowns, melancholy and more.  Harmony, dignity, ease and calm are the key to excellence and happiness.  This speaks directly to revelations I’ve had recently through the Going Powhatan project.
  8. In a related vein, there is a lengthy quotation from a book called The Practice of the Presence of God, the Best Ruler of a Holy Life by Brother Lawrence that also relates to the idea of grace as both a physical and mental state.
  9. Another lengthy quote attributed to one Josiah Royce from his book The Religious Aspect of Philosophy.  Brilliant.
  10. A long section at virtually the end of the book about the tendency of people to polarize that was incredibly insightful and completely relevant to the political environment in the U.S. in the world today.  It could’ve been written this week.  This bit is scintillating as a star ruby.

I’m not ashamed to admit that James was a big hole in my knowledge of philosophy, and happy to report that it is far from plugged but at least somewhat patched.  I have added The Varieties of Religious Experience to my reading queue as well.

A truly estimable book.  Highly recommended, especially to educators, parents, pastors, managers and leaders of all stripes.


If you liked this post…

There’s a good chance you’d love my e-book The Wildwood Workbook: Nature Appreciation and SurvivalClick here to download it in any format.  35 exercises guaranteed to deepen your relationship with nature and get your heart and mind engaged like never before.  120 pages.

Want to study Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts?  Click here to enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts distance learning program for just $19,99/month — all learning materials, testing and certificates included (and a free hat and t-shirt when you sign up too).

Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities

Yesterday afternoon I took my daughter Morgan and her fiancé Jack to see Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibition displays treasures recovered from two powerful ancient Egyptian cities, Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, that were sunk into the Mediterranean  in the 8th century AD.

Previously known only by scattered mentions in ancient writings, no physical trace of their splendor and magnificence had been found until maritime archaeologist Franck Goddio and his European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) made the discovery and lifted their secrets up from the depths.

IEASM’s ongoing underwater excavations have fundamentally changed our understanding of the cultures, faiths, and history of Egypt’s Mediterranean region. This exhibition features a staggering array of objects from these excavations, supplemented by treasures from museums across Egypt.

Photo set and video below.

 


If you liked this post you’d probably like my e-books.  Click here to download them in any format from Smashwords or purchase them wherever fine e-books are sold!

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The Hermetic Cross: Sixteen Days of Insight

John Bell over at Hermetic.com is starting to build up a Fundamentals  section at the library — an area that encourages people to get off the sofa, put down the cell phone, and do some real spiritual work. 

That sort of thing really resonates with me. 

So when he asked me if I’d be willing to come up with a month of daily meditation exercises for his site, I immediately said “Yes!” and began to put together a program based on the Hermetic Cross, a.k.a. the Hermetic Quaternary, a.k.a. the “Powers of the Sphinx.”

Click here to check it out.

What is the Hermetic Cross?

Nobody really knows how old the Quaternary is or where it originated. All we can say is that it was first revealed in Eliphas Levi’s book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie and not widely known until Levi’s book was translated into Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual by A. E. Waite in 1896.  I’ve been working with the Hermetic Cross for almost thirty years, and still each year brings a new insight or two.

The power of the Cross is not to be taken lightly. 

So I’m leaping at the chance to make this deceptively simple framework accessible to a wider audience. There is mystery at the center of the Quaternary that awaits you, but I dare not name it for fear of spoiling the revelation.

Check it out and let me know what you think.


If you liked this post you’ll love like my e-books.  Check them out at Smashwords.com or wherever fine e-books are sold.montage

 

RILEY’S RECEIPT a Poem

From the bolt she measured and paid
Four yards of rope, a triangle squared and laid
A cream-colored coil, a circle wound
She knew the yarn but not the story
The line was cincture bound

Clerical top and layman’s bottom
The fancy top is my pronotum
To hold me tight, arcanely tied
Binds up ego, holds in lies

Into my hand she pressed rope, receipt
I took them both with self-deceit
Rushing off to communion adventure
Unaware of my indenture

Somewhat stilted, self-aware
Involuting, standing there
Trying to be and love and fly
The more I limp the more I try

Meal is over, dalmatic gone
Alb laid by, cincture withdrawn,
The receipt beckons like a prayer
The note she wrote lays be bare

Grand loves yes, but small ones too
Seed the fields and spirit breathe
Small kindnesses, simple things allow
The pupil of the greater eye to see
The true I within the I


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

Change the Name of the Weekly Training Involution?

Help me decide.  I’m thinking of changing the name of the weekly “Martial Arts Training Involution” to broaden its appeal and reflect its truer nature as a fourfold supporter of my teaching on martial arts, fitness, primitive skills, and spirituality.

It isn’t just a weekly martial fitness thing anymore. Now each contains a martial drill, a fitness piece, a primitive skills angle, and a spiritual exercise.

If I take “martial” out of the name, will people check it out and perhaps ‘eat off the menu’ so to speak?

Click here or click the picture to vote!

 

SHIFT Issue #10: Snake Eyes, Social Networks, Grackles and Grace

Have you subscribed to my twice-monthly newsletter yet?  If not click here.

IN THIS Month’s ISSUE…

A 1/3 off coupon for Mitch’s General Store, looking at the eyes of a snake, a review of the documentary The Social Dilemma, the call of the humble grackle (and a handy app for identifying it), and why the mat is always lava…

Archived issues are stored here.