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Archive for the ‘occult’ Category

Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal

 

scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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Ghost

P1020576, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Led by our flapper guide we filed down a stairway into a forgotten segment of the 1920’s. We saw a tunnel (filled in at its mouth), and numerous rooms and abandoned bits of this and that. This picture is of the old boiler; an impressive old machine with doors that hung open like gaping eye-sockets.

Much of our trip beneath the hotel centered either around various stories to do with Al Capone or Clarence the ghost. As the story goes, Clarence who had been working at the hotel – or was it visiting, I cant remember, discovered his wife having an affair with one of the other guests. He is said to have shot her and then thrown himself off a balcony to his death.

As for traces of Clarence – my room (301) sure sounded haunted, the windows shook and rattled all night with a vicious Kansas wind. I got up around 01:00am to try and do something about the window, but for whatever reason, I could not locate the exact source of the noise. As for cold, I was wandering around in the dark, bumping into things and by the time I got back to bed, I was totally numb and nursing a toe that I stubbed up against the bar fridge.

As for sight of Clarence, I cant say that there was anything in there that really suggested a paranormal presence. The following morning I overheard Tony, telling the front desk something of an unusual phone call story – it sounded like the sort of thing that Clarence was known to do; just simple stuff, no chains rattling or headless apparitions.

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“Oh Good Lord”

Nah, I’m not talking about the impression at sunset.

I just got back from a Conference at the Broadview Hotel in Wichita. It was nice to get down to a place that was relatively warm, or so I believed – the Texans thought quite different. I suppose the sky had something to do with the intense cold front that was moving in, the wind was just howling and it got to the point that my eyes were watering so bad, I just had to hope the auto focus on the camera was doing all the work.

This picture was taken from the corners of Douglas and Waco streets. And to the right – “The Broadview” a haunted place – literally put chills up my spine.

It certainly was atmospheric – a beautiful Victorian interior, walked by both the living guests and also those who had lived there – the dead, though it is said that some dont know it yet.

Is it better the ghost you know than the ghost you dont?

I took what they call the flapper tour and was aquainted with the hotel’s rather sinister basement…… And Clarence, “their ghost in residence”. “He generally lives in one specific room – a room with a balcony, but we dont tell guests exactly which room, but as we are starting renovation soon he has started moving around”. “Oh good Lord”, the lady from Georgia muttered, “I’m sleeping with my light on”.

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Life and death in the “bone pit”.

IMG_6946, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Here in a cave that we visited last weekend Greg examines a root – some distance beneath the earth.

Beneath the surface mythology and spirituality feel closer – is it in any way surprising that ritual and ceremony were so closely tied to caves by early man?

There is of course the old connection between life and death – closer to reality when crawling underground. As mentioned we frequently find bones and the remains of the forest creatures. A carcass is a living forest of fungus, its nutrient being a valuable source of food to the underground creatures. And in death new life is usually born.

The Mayans had an interesting view of the world – they saw their universe as existing on several levels, the surface of the earth being just one plane of that universe. With 190 gods that we know of several were assigned to the planes beneath the surface. The sun – bringer of life was swallowed each evening by “Xibalba” (shee – bal – bah) one of the underworld gods. As a jaguar the sun travel through the inky underworld – (caves and cenotes beneath the Yucatan Peninsula) to re-emerge at dawn as the sun again.

In the Mayan culture there is a strong belief in duality – of good countered by evil, life balanced by death, the surface and the underwold etc. etc.

This root that we found – protruding down into the bottom of the bone pit seemed especially significant – its living presence representing the duality that is the underworld – death bringing life. Maybe it is this proximity to the natural processes and the recognition of the unknown and superstition mixed with awe and wonder that brings on that feeling of spiritual connection.

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Locals call him “old yellow mane”. 

IMG_1821, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Though Doug Shier tells me that all roads in the area lead back to Cobalt, I am warned by an older gent in the Silver Load Hotel’s restaurant to be careful out there if I am exploring the ore piles. It was a little cryptic; you might say kind of creepy. I thanked him for the advice, finished pouring my coffee and headed out. I wondered what he might be alluding to. Maybe he was talking about getting lost or falling down a shaft like the Chinese laundering family-hmmmm (They all disappeared one night leaving the food still cooking on the stove – never to be seen again – see one of my earlier posts on Cobalt).

Once out there it really began to play on my mind. I had followed an old tramline down a narrow valley between towering white pines. I was in a hidden valley that for some reason had escaped the miners axe. There was supposedly an abandoned mill a few kilometres up the path. My source told me that it was on the left hand side just before the tailings swamp.

From the impressive “Little silver Vein Mine” I had followed a short incline up to the tramline. I soon found myself pushing along a tree-lined tunnel of soft, feathery-limbed tamarack and cedar. It was a wonderfully “organic experience” that started off in a relatively wholesome way but eventually began to feel quite creepy.

The further I went the more subdued the forest became. Eventually there was only deathly silence. I found myself dwelling on the oddly disturbing feeling of being watched. I thought back to something that I had recently read of. It was the appearance of “Old Yellow Mane”. He is Ontario’s northern Sasquatch. Yellow Mane had first been seen in 1906 by miners at the nearby Violet Mine. He was seen again in 1923 by two prospectors who surprised him while he was picking blueberries. They supposedly threw rocks at the poor fellow and he ran away. As was reported in the North Bay Nugget, Yellow Mane was seen for a third time in 1946. A woman and her son saw him ambling along beside some rail tracks. I never found the mill or “Old Yellow Mane” but the walk was quite surreal.

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Flittering images in a crystal ball.

gemboree1 037, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

From the time of the Indian Raj’s, the Egyptian Queens or the Siamese Princes there had always been an irresistable draw to gem stones. What is it about these rarities that we so value? In my opinion, it is the beauty that is the attraction. It is the natural qualities of pure colour, fire, and brilliance that appeal to the “magpie” in humanity. In years past most of the rock enthusiasts at the show came in the guise of amateur geologists and crystollographers. Today the interest is strong but it is a whole culture of new age enthusiasts that come to worship the stone’s spiritual qualities. The many wayward directions from which a rockhound approaches their interest seems almost irrelevant to the core of the matter. It is the beauty of the stone around which everything revolves.

There is a lady tending a booth of crystal balls and spikes of quartz crystals. A dealer tells me she is very knowledgeable but is officially here just purchasing materials for a class that she is teaching. I ask her how the amethyst balls differ from the rock crystal balls. “The amethyst is more intuitive” she explains. “It deals with feelings and perception, the rock crystal is clarity and intellect. Its vision extends upward in a cone above your head.” Her eyes glitter as she looks into the ball. Flipping her sandy-blond ponytail she gazes at the ethereal images that flitter across the light-flecked innards of the sphere.

Apache medicine men were said to use crystals to help in the location of wayward ponies, and as Fredrick Kunz relates, the gift of a far superior crystal to one such diviner made the giver, Captain John G. Burk, a close friend and ally of the medicine man. He said that with his new crystal, he could now see everything he wanted to see.

Kunz talks of the polished crystal in “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones” saying that any polished surface might act as a scryer, but suggests that a ball shape might multiply the reflections of light. The images seen by a viewer in one position will likely be invisible to a viewer in another position. He does, however, say that the value of brain pictures cast upon the ball will only have as much weight as the importance that we place upon the process of subconscious intelligence.

On the table there are many phantom quartz spikes. This peculiar type of crystal has the property of appearing to possess a second smaller crystal within the confines of the larger crystal. Dust or debris had at some time marred the surface of the inner crystal. Some stopped growing there but others continued and trapped the dusted image forever in the appearance of this phantom crystal. Sometimes the phantom appears as a faint shadow. At other times it is as obvious a plane as the smooth surface of a bedroom sheet.

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IMG_5238, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Check these guys out, there were several clusters of these furry little agglomerations hanging from the roof. Some had fluffy white bellies. I find them quite endearing and have a bat house in my garden.

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