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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wicca

Lately, I've noticed a few books that have the Main character practicing Wicca. This makes me feel warm inside. Often, Wicca is still misinterpreted as evil, however it is one of the most peaceful religions I know of. This would be because of the Wiccan Rede. The last eight words state "An it harm none, Do as ye will."

I know that this is seen on almost any site or any book that talks about Wicca. That is because it is one of the two principles that Wiccans adhere to. One of the things I love about this religion is it can be tailored to your own belief. The are many traditions out there. You practice what feels right to you as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, yourself included. That is pretty much what the Rede means.

The second principle the "Three-Fold Law of Return" is basically cause and effect. What you do, either good or bad, will return to you at three times the potency.

I really hope that to see more of Wicca in novels. It doesn't deserve all the misinterpretation it gets.

42 comments:

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. It seems there is a lot of stigma toward Wiccans. Personally, I have found it to be a peaceful religion which realizes that we are all connected. Therefore, it stresses the idea that we are all connected. Most people don't know about the "Three-Fold Law of Return."

    If you don't mind. I am always looking for reading suggestions. Do you have any that give that positive spin to the religion?

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    1. Ditto on suggested reading! I seem to find all the "bad" books about Wicca...

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    2. Sure: I know of two which would be Rebecca Hamilton's The Forever Girl and Dangerous Lover by Maggie Shayne. I know Silver Ravenwolf published a YA series years ago, but I never got ahold of one to read. I'm always on the lookout for more, so if you see some let me know.

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  3. Great post! Thank you, Noree, for mentioning my book. I agree Wicca is more-often-than-not portrayed poorly (and falsely!) in fiction.

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  4. Becca, you know I'll always take a moment to show your book love. :)

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  5. I totally love adding Wiccan characters to my books and try to also include Rede whenever possible. Had a reader write me and ask if I made it up lol! :)

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  6. That's great. LOL, what do you tell them?

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  7. It's all about what belief you're coming from that determines whether or not Wicca is "good" or "evil." The Judeo-Christian God of the Bible forbids the worship of what He claims to be "false gods." He detested the practices of witchcraft: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you." -Deuteronomy 18:10-14

    "So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger." -2 Kings 17:16-18.

    So the God of the Bible claims witchcraft and the like is evil. Who you worship defines what you believe. Also, what you believe changes the source of Wicca's power. The Bible presents only two supernatural sources of power: God and Satan. Whether or not a wiccan believes they are summoning Satan's power or not, if you are coming from a Bible-based belief, they are, albeit unknowingly, summoning power from Satan.

    Now the authenticity and integrity of the ancient books has to be studied. As far as "manuscript authority" goes, the Bible has the most than any ancient work put together. As opposed to many religious books, the historicity of the Bible is spotless, so precise some would say it had to be written at a later date than determined...

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    1. I disagree that an observers perspective can determine whether someone is deriving power from Satan or not.

      If I had a calculator two hundred years ago, then that would have been seen as powered by the devil. That doesn't make it true.

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  8. ...As for your statement on Wicca being "tailored to your own belief," is not true for all religions. (Clearly, this does not apply to Judaism and Christianity).

    And finally, about your statement, "you practice what feels right to you..." Jeremiah 17:9 claims, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
    I've followed my heart plenty, and it always left me broken, ashamed, hurt, distraught, etc. When I *felt* like I loved a boy, and felt like I could trust him, I'd give my heart over then get it crushed. My heart used to hunger for fame, and riches (what some would call greed). I never once thought of it that way, but that's what it was. The famous, "Don't act on your feelings [or emotions]," is true on so many levels. We may *feel* right about something, I did with plenty of things, and up till I was 18 and a half years of age, what felt the most right, was being with my ex, but I came to find out, after much denial, that we were oh so wrong. That was on February 22nd 2009, less than two weeks later on March 4th I met the man who is now my husband and what we have doesn't just feel right, but by the fruits of our relationship; the love the respect, the good that comes from it, shows it is truly right.

    So I would say follow your heart, your feelings, your emotions, last. Use your mind first and I would go on to say use a reference of truth to base your decisions off of. I've come to find the Bible as truly what it claims to be, "the prophetic word, inspired by God" or "God-breathed." Based on personal encounters and continued ones with the risen Christ, His Father and the Spirit He promised before and after His ascencion to heaven, and the study of the Bibles authenticity, I believe it is as true as true can be.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post. With love,
    Natasha

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    1. I could produce such a long and wordy response, but I will spare you and everyone here from that and simply say this: Paganism is the oldest religion in the world... approximately 300,000 to 50,000 years old... the reason for uncertainty is the lack of a language to know what everything means. Paganism (which is where the art of witchcraft and later wicca come from) is one of the most rationally responsible religions aside from the ideals of something more being there. Like atheists (myself), pagans have a neutral idea of the human moral worth. Christianity (in a majority of cases) assumes the mortal to be a flawed and broken creature that can not attain a worth that is good without external and supernatural intervention. I personally believe you to be a decent person, which is why I wonder why you are torturing yourself to a supernatural idea that teaches that you are a terrible person? Buddhism, Humanism (moralistic atheism), and the "non-gother-than-thou" versions of Paganism do as much good in spirit without self-deprecation. I would invite you to give up God. Or better, read the Bible front to back, and try to make sense of it. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Judges all tend to defy realistic and reasonable morality and humanity.

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    2. Thank you for getting into the history of paganism a bit. I was going to but I've tried that before, and I can always see the words hitting the skull trying to get in, yet never quite making it.

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    3. Hi Natasha,

      I am not 100% certain how you intended your words to come out, but I would like to think that you meant no harm and are just a little misguided.
      Just some background. I am a Christian and was a Christian minister for 6 years. I have studied the Bible on the college level for many years. So I am extremely familiar with the Hebrew and Greek Bible.
      I find it vaguely disconcerting that you would use the Bible in the way that you are. You said that Judaism and Christianity are not "believe as you will" religions, yet Christianity has broken into more denominations that all believe the other is wrong than any other religion.The Baptists think the Pentecostals are full of the devil because they speak in tongues.
      Here's a scripture for you, I Samuel 16:7 "The Lord seeth not as man seeth,for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." The Lord is more concerned with what's going on in the heart than he is in anything else. I think we can all say that we have the same concern.Wiccan, Christian, whoever.
      I would recomend a book to you.."The War is Over" by Andrew Wommack. In it he says that the message that Christians are delivering to people is the wrong one, like the message that you are delivering in these posts.

      Don't you think it's funny that you say that witchcraft is evil so Wicca is evil, but glaze right over the fact that you have been married more than once. God said divorce was wrong too. Or does he loves us all?

      Teaching that God is angry and wants us to know that he is is a bunch of malarkey. God is not angry with everyone and the more that you say that he is, the more you drive people away from him. Don't you understand that? It's ridiculous to get on a forum like this and irresponsibly blast people for what they believe and then expect that they will take you seriously.

      I would just rather love people, all of them, everyone.If anybody ever wants to know more about what I believe, I am happy to talk to them about it. But not in order to make them feel like they are less than I am. They are not. I am one of the most flawed human beings on earth. I do not believe that Jesus or the Bible is to be used as a blunt instrument to bludgeon people to death.I would never be able to live with myself if I thought that people hated me for force feeding them Christianity. On a forum that was not talking about Christianity at all. God doesn't need you to defend him. he wasn't being demeaned here. I personally know Noree and she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. So where do you get off coming here and saying what you did?
      Natasha, don't you see that we are to love God and love people. Loving people means not condemning them and judging them. I'm surprised that you didn't know that.
      I would recommend that next time, you don't come on to a forum, running off at the mouth. Everyone believes something. It is important more than ever that people just understand that they are loved. Don't you think that is the way God would have it?

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  9. "tailored to your own belief," is not true for all religions. (Clearly, this does not apply to Judaism and Christianity)"

    Actually, it does seem to apply to those latter religions. Everyone just THINKS that the way they are practicing is THE way. They all claim their very different ways are THE way. Even the people who are only "doing exactly what the Bible says."

    Finally, whatever anyone might be believe, the truth remains that 1) too many people still don't understand what Wicca really is and 2) Christians, going by their OWN book of beliefs, aren't supposed to judge nor condemn others. And yet they do.

    Yes, sometimes our hearts deceive us. And yet, so does our minds as well. And if I WERE going to put my mind in front of my heart, I would never in a billion years believe in something as far-fetched as Christianity. That is not to knock it. The reality is just that Christianity requires FAITH. That is something you don't get from the mind, but from the soul (for those who believe they have one).

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  10. Interesting post Natasha. We are all entitled to our beliefs as long as it harms none. :)

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  11. Oh where to begin Natasha? For as though I’ve never set eyes on you, I’ve known you all my life. I’m happy that you have found such insight through Christianity and seemingly took your own path getting there.

    Therefore, to take the time to respond to a post, and do nothing but preach while snidely condemning others beliefs are not only rude, it is also quite unchristian of you. The Bible is a book. Thousands of years and it’s exact date of creation has yet to ever be determined. It is a widely known fact that many of the books were written over hundreds of years. Stories perhaps passed verbally, some possibly made up all together.

    We cannot know, hence it isn’t for us to force faith on another human being. This has nothing to do with a difference of belief; this you trying to change people by passive aggressively calling them Satan Worshippers.

    Fanatics are not the only ones to have read the Bible cover to cover (which I have, but doubt tremendously that you have taken the time to do so) Must we really rely on passages from your beloved bible to render any of this noteworthy? Fine, I have all night. I will be quoting the ESV, since I think it is easiest for the layman to understand.

    Things the Bible actually says:

    11 “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, 12 then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.
    Deuteronomy 25:11-12 (although that WOULD stop a fight, sucks to be handless though)

    27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.
    Leviticus 19:27 (see you in hell Beatles)

    19 “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
    Leviticus 19:19(There go your polyblends, hope you don’t shop at Target)

    11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
    Mark 10:11-12 (Good thing you weren’t married to your ex Tasha!)

    In conclusion, if you want to quote the Bible you can do it all day long. Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t mean you follow it, and doesn’t make you a better person. I am pretty sure God also preached humility, kindness, and respect above all else.
    Those above did not come to your church or your church’s webpage and personally attack you. You might consider extending the same courtesy. Hopefully, you are still young and this behavior, which is only a veil for hate, will work its way out of you before you can pass it to another innocent generation.

    This is how the world ends, when we turn on one another because of things written in old books.

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  12. I REALLY tried to be nice. I swear.

    First off... As a survivor of a strictly religious household, I believe I have a bit of a right to be jaded against the Christian faith and all of its beliefs as portrayed by people who GROSSLY misunderstand the teachings of the One they claim is the great and almighty creator. (Note I said "survivor")

    However, I choose to be a grown up and accept everyone's beliefs because that is what WE, in the Wiccan faith, are taught to do, instead of bashing, hanging, burning at the stake, starting wars with, etc. others for having different ideas other my own.

    In the beginning, there was ONE religion. The Old Religion. There are cave paintings and other evidence that supports this information and, if you like, I can go into it. However, I feel that your mind may be too closed to comprehend all of this evidence so I will refrain from going informatively postal on you. K? K.

    Let's look at a few things, shall we? Your bible was supposedly written by God, right? How is that possible? Did he take a break from sitting on his throne to come down here and put words on paper? I think not. The bible was written by MEN under the INSPIRATION of God. So there are BOUND to be flaws in it's interpretation.

    There are many christian-based religions, i.e. Baptists, Catholics (fuckers), Pentecostals, etc. etc. etc. The reason for this is that one person interpreted the bible one way and another was like "No. I don't think that is right at all. I am going to teach it my way." BOOM two separate religions with the same basic idea. And so on and so forth.

    "'So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.' -2 Kings 17:16-18."

    We don't worship idols that we have created. We respect the fact that EVERYTHING was made by the Creator and, naturally, has a part of the Creator in it. The trees, the rocks, the ocean, all of these hold a piece of the Creator. Think about it this way: When you create something-a painting, a book, a fucking doodle-you put a part of yourself in that. When you create something that you love, you put a LOT more of yourself into that. You craft it with patience and love and you take your time. It took the Creator seven days (by your book) to created everything. Obviously He/She is all powerful and all knowing and all that jazz so why did it take him/her seven days instead of an instant. Why? Because He/She wanted it to be perfect. He/She took His/Her time. Is this making sense or do I need to slow it down for you?

    How many people were killed because they didn't believe YOUR way of thinking? How many fucking men, women, and CHILDREN? Thousands. How many people have WE killed because they didn't believe? Zero. You can count that high, right? Personally, I choose to follow this religion because of two main reasons.

    1. This religion is all about opening your mind, finding your path, loving others (even those who are against you), and acting to make YOUR life and the lives of those around you richer and more fulfilled.

    2. It doesn't claim to be "the one true way". That, in my opinion, is a pretty hefty statement. Wow, you are better than everyone else? Cool story bro.

    Is everything an abomination with you people? Jesus Christ! Gay Marriage destroys the sanctity of marriage? What about the skyrocketing rate of divorce in this country? What about the rising rate of domestic abuse?

    Check this out for me, will ya:
    http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0ushk28mg1qlemdlo1_500.jpg

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    1. Who ARE you?! My word you are awesome.

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    2. I'm just me. ;)
      https://twitter.com/#!/HorroticaWriter

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  13. Also, may I add. You have some nerve to write something demeaning and not have the guts to sign your whole name. Pretty sure Jesus signed his for you! :)

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  14. I wonder why I never met people like Tasha here face to face in my life so far, though many of my friends and family members did meet many.

    Because if I ever meet any, the only thing I could say to them would be.

    "I am sorry that you may not meet me in Hell,as its clear you are going to Heaven as you believe in Him and am not,according to you. But one thing I must say, and that is, all religions to me are the same, after all don't they teach the same thing?Love?Love every being as equal? And if I live an honest life,love people the way they are,harm none,no so-called-Gods of any religion would DARE to throw me to the pit of Hell"

    No religion is good or evil,it's the people who misinterpret and make them sound so.

    I am not sure if I must add this, but am pretty sure Christianity is one of the youngest religion religion in the world.There were many other religions before. :)

    No offense to any Christians, i pretty much have many Christian friends in my life, and none of them say that their path is the ONLY path and that i have what is "tailored to your own belief"

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  15. Jessica FortunatoMarch 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    It's people like that, that I hope I just bump into in heaven one day. And they'll be like "oh YOU'RE here? You got in....OH" and walk away awkwardly. It's the only afterlife experience I'm looking forward to.

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    1. the above came from an incident a friend had with a stranger who just pulled her by when she was walking and then said "Are you ready to take the hand of Jesus, or go to Hell?" :D

      She was confused at first, and then asked that person to define hell and then she will decide.haha ;)


      Yeah,that would be an afterlife experience to look forward to. :)

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    2. OMG you made me laugh.

      You should write a book about it. Or a short story. It would be funny!

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  16. Natasha,

    You desperately need to read I Corinthians 13 in its entirety before you ever do something like this again.
    I read it all of the time. It reminds how to treat people.

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  17. Sorry, I kind of skimmed along most of the comments, so if this has been mentioned just ignore me. I just had a thought that struck me as amusing and I wanted to share it.

    Regardless of your own view of pagan faiths (I'm not pagan, BTW), something seems odd to me: We often see people of more "mainstream" religions quoting the bible or other sources from their own faith. But, why would this make any sense in the context of the discussion?

    Let me explain that with an example: The bible says that God forbids the worship of anyone other than God. Fair enough, but if the person you're talking to doesn't believe in God or believe that the book you're quoting is a valid authority, then why on Earth would they be swayed by such a quotation?

    I just thought that was humorous is all. Carry on... :-D

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  18. To Nicole and Jen...I recommend Gael Baudino. She is herself Wiccan and has a number of fantastic books. Gossamer Axe is my personal favorite, followed by a series she wrote: Strands of Starlight, Maze of Moonlight, Shroud of Shadow and Strands of Sunlight.

    Another good book and also YA is a newish one by Sally Dubats: The Grimoire Chronicles: Veil Between Worlds. Book 2 is due out soon.

    I also recommend Lammas Night by Katherine Kurtz.

    Also, Cat Magic by Whitley Streiber is another good one.

    I agree, it is hard to find decent books out there, or decent portrayals in movies and TV.

    Moon

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    1. Moon,

      Thanks for the book recommendations. I'll have to look into those as well. :)

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  19. Awesome post! I agree, there needs to be more books where Wicca isn't seen as evil, or isn't simply portrayed in an inaccurate, all-too-fantastical way. I would love it if more writers respected it as a religion and showcased it as such. Of all the books I've read, Isobel Bird's Circle of Three series has been my favorite portrayal of Wicca in fiction by far. (The books are out of print now, but I think ebooks might still be available.)

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    1. I read those and loved them as well! I also loved L.J. Smith's "The Secret Circle"

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    2. I'm a primarily Alexandrian Wiccan priestess (although I prefer to be called witch) and I generally ignore novels that mention the word Wicca because of the inaccuracies. Wicca, per se, is a modern pagan religion. So if in your novel you want to have a coven of ancient lineage abide by a concept similar to the Rede or the Charge of the Goddess, call it something else. If the book includes fantastical witchcraft, just call it a paranormal fantasy. Read Crowley (Thelema), Gardner, Valiente et al for inspiration but please, unless you're writing about realistic characters from about 1950 on who happen to be Wiccan, please don't apply the term. Interestingly, Gardner wrote a work of fiction called High Magics Aid which is heavy on the ceremonial magic and written supposedly because he couldn't publish works of witchcraft outright. On that thought, The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathon Stroud uses elements of ceremonial magic and calls it nothing but fantasy.

      I did read read Nora Roberts' Three Sisters Island trilogy, which was light, fun and fairly well-researched.

      I wouldn't write a book about laser-eyed, casserole-loving, winged beings from another galaxy and call them Lutherans, would I?

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    3. I'm sorry, but what book are you referring to with this post? A lot of books have been mentioned on this post. And if the laser-eyed, casserole-loving, winged being followed the Lutheran religion then I would call them Lutheran.

      Also, the great thing about fiction is that you can make life fantastical. Just because a character in a book practices Wicca does not make that a Wiccan book. It can still be Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, etc.

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    4. I wasn't referring to any book but was agreeing with Heather H.'s post, "...or isn't simply portrayed in an inaccurate, all-too-fantastical way. "

      A winged being from another galaxy would not worship a golden statue of a tulip and then identify itself as a Lutheran. My point is that like any other religious practice, Wicca is not anything anyone wishes it to be. It has its own history. I encourage writers to do their research.

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    5. Ah, ok you had me confused for a moment. And yeah, though there are a lot of traditions for Wicca there is still a foundation of the religion.

      I definitely agree about writers doing their research. Research is important for any aspect of the story in my opinion.

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  20. Check out books by Deborah Blake - author of pagan and wiccan non-fiction plus urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

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  21. I'm Christian and I understand how Wicca is a beautiful peaceful religion. Some say Jesus was a Wiccan :-)
    Great post. I feel it's important people see the difference between Wicca and devil worship. Too many people seem to put the two together which isn't the case!

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  22. Stewart Farrar former journalist & Alexandrian High Priest did write a few books with Wicca/witchcraft themes. It's hard to find books though that don't involve the nose-twitching type of magic a la Charmed and focusing on the religious aspect.

    Certainly shall check up on some of the suggestions in this thread.

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