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Artemis, one of my matron Goddesses, was given among many epithets one that truly sticks out in my mind today: Pheraea. Pheraea means “of the beasts,” and while Artemis was a Goddess of the hunt, she was also a Goddess who cared for Her wild creatures. To the Greeks, although She was a huntress, she never did so out of cruelty but rather to sustain life. I do not believe the practice of hunting itself is cruel, but hunting does come with a set of ethics.

I know I recently ranted about the senseless torture and killing of the mama raccoon I posted about just a short time ago, but I feel a disrespect for wildlife and animal cruelty is an important issue. As my grandfather was leaving today, he saw a turtle near the edge of our pond. He called for my brother to go grab a gun and shoot it. Keep in mind that we have no fish in the pond anymore, they all died during the last drought. They also had no intention to use the meat for anything, such as making turtle soup (I’m contemplating learning how to skin and strip the carcasses of different species of wildlife for meat, comments about this idea would be much appreciated). They shot the turtle for no reason other than a habit they have of always killing turtles, and other animals they happen to not like (for example, snakes) on sight. This mentality is the same one that drove the wolf population in North America to the brink of extinction.

I guess it’s just a part of living in the redneck southern United States, but it seriously concerns me. I feel outraged against this type of senseless practice embedded in redneck culture, and the only peace of mind I have is knowing that people who kill animals on purpose for no reason whatsoever, or committing any cruel injustices against wildlife, nature, or other people, will reap the karma they sow.

But on a brighter note, I had a visit from a lovely little bluebird today at my window this morning. At first I was alarmed thinking it was a bad omen, because when a bird is pecking at your window and trying to get inside, it traditionally signifies that Death is approaching the household. But when I researched into it further, I found that a bluebird pecking at the window is actually a positive fortune, as the bluebird is traditionally associated with happiness. He was a very beautiful bluebird, and I hope to see him again soon!