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donna frankland (uk)

ot. i dont know how to write this

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Hey Olivia

Well I'm planning a feast (so much for fasting lol). I'm thinking ham for the main course but not sure yet. I'll be having a ritual evening too during which I have bought myself a mini herb garden to plant. My hubby has bought himself some seeds too this year, so I'll be doing something with him too. So far I've started painting some Ostara eggs ready. That was fun trying to blow them, I have the lung capacity of a three year old I've decided!!!!

And of course I'll be leaving something for the faeries!!! (running joke in our house, my hubby is in the military and his trades (avionics technician) nickname is the fairies)

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Originally posted by sea4th:

Didn't Ghandi say something to the effect of:

 

"I like your Christ. It's you Christians that I don't like".

No... that is very un-Mohandas Gandhi. He was about peace, respect and non-violence. Quite an interesting character.

 

Here are two quotes about western society:

It is my firm opinion that Europe does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan?s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips.

 

I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ?s Christianity.

 

All said... I believe all spiritual practice leads to fundamental goodness. All the books (the Bible, the Koran, the Torah) and all practices lead people towards absolute goodness.

 

We all fail when we hold out our religion and are blinded to others because they do not conform to what our 'interpretation' of what a good person should be.

 

I went to a catholic high school. To a degree I was educated about religion and forced into it a bit. I am not religious, but I do have beliefs about life and how it all works together. When I was graduating, an old nun that had always given me a mess of grief, came up to me and smiled. She said to the effect of, "You have more 'religion' than most people you will ever meet. You are kind and have a good heart. Stick to that and be true, and you will always follow in the light of 'my' lord".

 

Basically her offering her respect to my feelings and beliefs although they directly conflicted with what she was all about. True tolerance and respect. Those words have carried a long way with me.

 

At the end of the day... the sun shines warm on us all. I have long lost touch with Anne Marie Bosica, but I hope the sun shines warm upon her and finds her well.

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Mmmmmmm...ham!!!! Maybe I'll try to eat greens and end my fast with a feast! I've never made hot cross buns but since they are traditional I thought I'd give them a try.

 

I have no artistic talent so painting eggs wouldn't work for me but I thought I might try some of the new tie-dye type egg dyes.

 

I am a sucker for sweets so it's great for me that this is a time to celebrate sweet treats!

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mmmm I think I'll cheat and by the hot cross buns, but will be making honey buns. Fish is also a typical Ostara food so i'm thinking of doing a seafood starter. You dont need to be artistic to paint eggs (I hope or mine will be a disappointment :rolleyes: )! I agree on the sweet treats idea though... but generally I dont need an excuse . I've got a load of Ostara recipes to look through and decide on what to do!

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I would love to see some of your Ostara recipes if you don't mind sharing. You can send them to my e-mail if you want. If they are private I understand.

 

DH and I were just talking about how we haven't had good fish in a while so maybe we will break out my good blackened salmon recipe!

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Here's the entire quote. I just remembered a portion of it before.

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Ghandi

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Tammy - as to your question about any other religions that say they are the one true way... One I know of is the Ladder Day Saints (Mormons). BYU is here in Hawaii and they have a very big population or Mormons on the island. My sister-in-law is Mormon and I've had many days of long discussions about her religion.

 

#1 - as I understand it - they believe that it is their way or you will not reach your salvation. It's not a heaven to them, it's more of a royalty club. If you are a member in good standing (and thus allowed into the temple and can wear the special garment that keeps you pure) you will find salvation in the form of becoming a "king" or a "god" of your own kingdom. That is the highest form of salvation. They have many rings below that (I think it's 3) that you can end up in as well. Everyone else that is good still finds salvation in the form of one of these rings (places that you go when you die). So they don't say that Christians are going to hell - you just don't get to be a king!

 

Mormons are pretty in solid in their beliefs that their founder was visited by god and told to form the 'TRUE' religion that He had intended. It's a very fascinating story and their journey from Illinois to Utah is also fascinating.

 

They believe in no drugs, alcohol, caffeine, etc. (no tea! no soda!) Modesty. Pants/skirts no shorter than your knees, sleeves to mid arm, necklines that don't expose collar bones. They do collect a tithe (can't remember how that's spelled) from the members that can afford it. And my sister-in-law had to use some of that money once for dental work. They do have stores of food in case of....(insert whatever drastic event here - biblical or not) and can take care of their own for some time without the aid of folks from the outside.

 

They also believe in family. Go forth and populate! This was evident at BYU (Brigham Young University) here in Hawaii. I acted as an escort for a family friend who's daughter was going to try and go to BYU. She was from Japan and 17 years old at the time we took the tour of BYU. It was during a school day and everywhere in the university we say little babies, children, strollers. 18 year old girls walking around with their book bags and pushing a stroller. They even have "family" dorms especially for those students that have children. (!!!!!!!) This SHOCKED me. Really. I'd say the ratio of babies to college kids was 1 baby for every 10 students. They offered babysitting during class time and study time. It was so very differnt from what I was raised into - school first, family second - but it's their religion and they are not hurting anyone as long as they can take care of their own.

 

So Tammy - that's just a snipet of one religion that firmly believes they are right and all others are wrong. (Including Christians!) In their eyes, you will not be saved (yes, even though you are good, you are kind and you love Jesus - the same Jesus they love.) unless you come to their church and prove yourself pure enough to enter their temple.

 

Melanie - after I read your first paragraph I thought "she sounds like a Shintoist." Main difference between Shinto and Buddhist religions is that Shintoism believes in all good with nature. Buddhism believes in suffering to find your path - more that you have to have pain in order to find good. Usually both are practiced in Japan by the same people - wedding in Shinto Shrines - funerals in Buddhist temples.

 

When I lived in Japan there was a very important Shinto Shrine near our home. It was the shrine of Mt. Fuji and Mt. Fuji is a very important part of their religion. As was a member of a quilting club while I lived there. And one day, in my horrible Japanese, I was told that I should take all my bent and broken needles/pins to the shrine in celebration of "Thank you Needle" Day (loose translation!)

 

Basically, you don't throw away broken needles, you take them to this yearly "festival" or "day" and you sit on your knees during some chanting inside the temple. Then you go out to the gardens and at the base of a rock there is a huge block of tofu. You poke your needles into that tofu and that is how you thank the needle for it's work it gave you. Does that make sense? It's not 100% the meaning since my Japanese is not so good. But it's the general way of that religion. Everything has a spirit - chairs, bugs, needles! And you must respect that spirit - that energy.

 

As for the Wiccans - here are some questions:

 

1. Ostara? What is it? Seems like an easter sort of thing? Spring celebration? Fasting? Like lent?

 

2. Wicca defines gods and goddesses? Is it based on everything or are there higher gods?

 

3. Is the sex of the god important? Stressed? Observed?

 

4. How do other religions factor into Wicca? (Many other popular religions spend a lot of their energy putting down other religions and explaining how they are wrong and they are right, etc. How, if at all, does Wicca explain/deal/treat other religions?)

 

5. What is the benefit of practicing Wicca?

 

6. Why do you feel Wicca is the way for you?

 

7. How would it benefit others?

 

8. Why do some of you feel the need to keep it quiet? More so than a catholic or christian? I didn't really know there were too many folks out there that studied this - education is a path to enlightenment - so please, educate me!

 

I think that we've all been very good about this discussion so far, but if you feel that you'd rather PM me, that's fine as well! :rolleyes:

 

Thanks,

 

Denise

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Thank you needle day at Sengen Jin-ja. (Shinto Shrine in Japan)

 

Here is the rock and the block of tofu! All the jars in front of the tofu are old needles/pins. The book in my hand is my English/Japanese dictionary!

needle1.jpg

 

Here I am with the Shrine Virgins (yep, they are). Mt. Fuji is in the background.

needle2.jpg

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Donna I'm glad that you are seeking help for your depression. I went through a lot of depression issues when I was in my late teens/early 20's. I still have lots of anxiety and I take meds for it now. I don't know if it will help, but I can share some of what I went through.

 

I was really depressed, to the point of attempting suicide several times. Like you, I would sometimes make things up to make myself feel better. I hid my depression from everyone, until the suicide attempts. I was hospitialized for quite a while and was medicated a lot. None of the meds worked. Then the doctor's told me that there was nothing wrong with me and I was doing it all for attention. That made things even worse for me. I knew there was something horribly wrong with me. I moved back to Newfoundland with some family and attempted suicide again and was hospitalized again. This time they did ECT treatments on me. (If you don't know, this is electro shock therapy) I sort of came out of it for a bit and moved back home with my mother, but the depression came back and back to the hospital for me. This time I had a better psychiatrist and got a properish diagnosis and was put on some medication that helped me for a while. I moved back to NB and found myself a really good counsellor that I could trust and talk to. I found out there was a lot of stuff that I didn't want to deal with from my past. We talked through it and eventually I was able to come off my medication. Things were pretty good after that for a number of years, until the anxiety started. I saw my doctor about it and I do take medication for it now and I'm a whole lot better.

 

Now don't get me wrong, medication is not the first answer, and it sometimes isn't the answer at all. Lots of times doctor's are too quick to perscribe something when it may not be necessary. I recommend starting with counselling, especially since you mentioned that you think there's some stuff from your childhood that you don't know if you want to remember properly. Sounds like that could be a huge part of what's going on with you. It is absolutely normal to be scared. That's part of what's making you depressed. Once you've tried counselling, if you get to the root of the problem and you're still feeling depressed, then you may want to start exploring the option of medication.

 

Sorry for the long winded reply. If you have any other questions, you can feel free to message me privately, or post on here. I'm a pretty open person and I don't mind sharing my experiences if it will help someone else. My thoughts are with you. Hugs from me and Tiga!

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Wow Denise! That is all so fascinating! The part about the mormons that I... well shall we say agree with/align with most is the taking care of one's own family... of being self-sufficient. I like that idea. I watched this special on TV the other week about the family with 16 kids (and more on the way)... it was a really interesting look into a totally different lifestyle. (They were Mormons, or very close to that - modest dress, belief in family and self-sufficience, etc.) At first I thought "16 kids! That's crazy!" But afterwards I was a bit impressed with how strongly they all felt about family, and how well they looked after each other.

 

I won't comment too much on Wicca as it's been a long time since I really delved into it, but from what I learned there is no one true way in it. There are no set gods/goddesses, though in general there is a belief in the "mother goddess", the mother earth. But everything I saw was extremely varied... some Wiccans believe in one god, some believe in many, some believe in none. Other religions are more or less regarded as a differnt way of looking at the same world. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong.

 

When I was studying/following Wicca, I felt drawn to it because it was so based on nature and yourself. You didn't have to go to a church or follow anyone else's idea of a religion - you took it all in and found your own path. There are covens, but it's also practiced alone, in however you see fit - outdoors, in front of an altar, or just in every day life. I meditated nightly in front of my own "altar" - I bought a big candle specifically for the ritual, and I would sit quietly in the dark and meditate. I felt so peaceful while doing it. In the end I ended up feeling that my path didn't really fall into the category of Wicca or any other religion. But still to this day there is something so peaceful and soothing about meditating in the dark.

 

I was very quiet about my beliefs back then because I knew my family would have problems with it, for different reasons. I didn't wish to be lectured or questioned about it, since I didn't have any answers, I wasn't really comfortable with it yet. I just wanted to be left alone. Nowadays I'm very comfortable with my beliefs but I generally don't bring it up in public forums such as this because I don't want to risk offending anyone. As probably everyone knows, most religious discussions do not go off half this well.

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Wow what a neat thread! I have an aquaintance who is Wiccan and I always wondered what that really meant, so you all have def helped me learn some new things.

 

Personally I've found it hard to find a church that seems to fit. My family attends a Unity church (not Unitarian, just Unity) and that's where I feel most comfortable, but there are none near where I go to school. :rolleyes: I am looking forward to this summer as it looks like I'll be near a few churches and that will be fun to check out.

 

Unity is kind of a hybrid I think - it's technically Christian but brings in a lot of pieces from other religions. The thing that seems to draw me most is the idea of "Spirit" rather - Spirit is mother-father-god and encompasses all things really. Unity also holds that Heaven and Hell are both states of mind that you create for yourself and that reincarnation is possible but not necessarily an absolute - it's pretty much up to you, at least as I understand it.

 

One of the really neat things about Unity is that we do a lot of meditation and affirmation stuff - it was kinda odd for me at first, but now I find that I start missing the meditations most, although my yoga class is starting to meet that need. I'm a much more positive thinker now too I think, which is always a good thing imo.

 

I find it sooo interesting to hear from all sorts of veiwpoints in this type of discussion; it really makes you think about your beliefs and the ideas/assumptions behind them I think and also reevaluate your interactions and feelings toward others that share the earth with us.

 

Thanks all for the insight and knowledge!

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Hey Denise I'll try and answer as best I can

 

1. Ostara? What is it? Seems like an easter sort of thing? Spring celebration? Fasting? Like lent?

 

Ostara is the spring equinox (apx Mar 20 each year). It is a celebration of the days getting longer etc etc. If you ever wondered where Easter eggs and bunnies fit into easter ask a Pagan. LOL. I personally dont fast but some do

 

2. Wicca defines gods and goddesses? Is it based on everything or are there higher gods?

 

Not entirely sure you mean but I'll try. There is a Goddess and a God (they mean different things to different people). Mother Earth/Mother Nature and Father Sky/Father Nature. A lot of Pagans will identify with an ancient deity too, for me it is Qetesh an egyptian goddess of sex (also fertility depending on your studies), beauty, femininty etc etc. This is not to say these Gods and Goddesses exsist the deities represent aspects of the Goddess (or human nature).

 

3. Is the sex of the god important? Stressed? Observed?

 

A lot of places descibe Wicca as a Goddess based religion so yes the sex plays a part. The Godess is the main deity if you like. A bit similar to The Father, The Son and the Holy ghost (hope I got that right), we have the Maiden, The Mother and The Crone. Feminity plays a big part in Wicca

 

4. How do other religions factor into Wicca? (

 

A common belief in Wicca is that we are all trying to get to the same place, there isnt just ONE path to get there. Other religions and beliefs and people in general are to be respected. Not put down!!!

 

5. What is the benefit of practicing Wicca?

 

For me it allows me to feel more connected to nature and leaves me feeling calm and at peace. Herbology can be a part of it too and there are benefits to herbal teas, remedies etc (if u know what youre doing!!!!!)

 

6. Why do you feel Wicca is the way for you?

 

I have always felt connect to nature, I didnt find Wicca... it found me. The first thing I ever read on Wicca just rang so true to what I already felt.

 

7. How would it benefit others?

 

It depends on the person and how they feel

 

8. Why do some of you feel the need to keep it quiet?

 

We very often get a bad reaction from people who have no wish to be educated. They have been taught, through all sorts of media that witch craft is something to be scared of. Peoples definitions of a Witch are very different and a lot of people jump to the assumption of black magic etc. Its easier not to advertise the fact so we dont draw negative attention.

Just today there is an article on a Wiccan Social worker in the papers.. her colleagues are doing nothing but slating her in the public media!!!

 

I hope that helps, feel free to ask any more questions or tell me if I ghavent answered your question. i'm sure others will answer too. Wicca can mean different things to different people!!! Thank you for being willing to be educated!

 

And Olivia I'll happily share recipes with you!!!

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Oh we have eight Sabbats a year (holidays). Funnily enough they roughly fall around Christian holidays but I wont get into that :rolleyes: .

 

Yule Dec 21/22 apx

Imbolc Feb 2

Ostara Mar 20/21 apx

Beltane Apr 30

Litha June 21 apx

Lammas July 31

MabonSept 2 apx

Samhain Oct 31

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More questions -

 

Since Wicca seems to lean more to the female side - is there a majority of women in this? Or, is there a male conterpart?

 

Stupid question - are Wiccans called "witches?" Or is that a poorly used term brought over from long ago? Just trying to see where those two go together as I would call you a Wiccan and not a Witch.

 

Another stupid question - since I just got back from NZ and their seasons are opposite of ours - how does Wicca deal with these changes due to location? IE: It's obviously NOT spring south of the equator, so do Wiccans down south just switch their Sabbats? (those that deal with seasons)

 

Natalie - I too find the LDS way of caring for their own and large families very nice. It's part of the reason why I like to study religions on my own - you discover different things that fit your own beliefs and you hold them close. It's when those groups tell me that even though I hold the same beliefs in family, friends, etc - that I won't be saved because I'm not worthy of their temple (or their god, etc.). So I admire and observe from afar, but the cultish side of religion does not sit well with me. I think that's why I enjoyed the religions in Japan so much - it was more a part of the culture and had not yet been separated from daily society.

 

Denise

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Witches are immediately thought of to be female and I believe the majority of Wiccans are female but men can also be Wiccan!

 

Yes Wiccans are Witches (regardless of sex... not warlocks for male Wiccans). Wicca is also known as the Craft. The term Wich/Wicca etc is beielved to have derived from an Anglo Saxon (I think dont hold me to that) word Wic... meaning Wise. Witchcraft loosley translated is The Craft of The Wise.

 

I dont know about being south of the equator but yeas as far as I see the same Sabbats would take place just on different date.

 

Again Olivia or someone may have different views, Wicca can vary from person to person as a lot of Wiccans are solitary practioners.

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The word witch comes from the Middle English word wicche, which was basically a wise woman that practiced the Old Religion.

 

And as previously noted, a witch can be either male or female. A warlock is not, as seems to be popularly misunderstood, a male witch, but rather an evil witch. Its origin is Scottish. It was a term coined in the Burning Times, used to denote a traitor to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old Religion. Its original meaning, derived from the Old English waer logga, is oath breaker. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today.

 

Blessed be...

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Thank you Bustopher, I had read that too but forgotten it... again there are so many different explanations to its origin floating around out there, I find it hard to tell which one may be true. I like the sound of that one though

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I wanted to interject that IMO Jesus is the originator of rights for women and children. If you look strictly at his teachings and ignore all the others in the Bible (Paul for example), Jesus taught that all people deserved respect, tolerance, and love. For his times, he interacted with the women he met in ways no other did and was ridiculed for this repeatedly. (or maybe the first really influential person)

 

If you take Christianity as what it is meant to be and ignore various church teachings (mostly penned by men), the basic tenets of most religions are the same. Love for your fellow man, protection of the earth, service to others. To me it is Jesus who keeps Christianity apart from the others. It is significant to me that my question has not been answered. Was Jesus the only one to claim to be the one true path, the Son of God?

 

There are multiple Christian religions which believe their way is the only way to get to Heaven, (they are wrong), but only one person (who I believe was not an actual person at all), claimed this.

 

If I follow Christianity the way it is meant to be followed, with most of the same tenets that all religions follow, it makes me a better person. If I believe that Jesus is God's Son and that ends up being the thing that gets me to Heaven if it exists, what have I lost by living this way?

 

What is the advantage to your way if we believe the same things about life today, but you are right and there is no afterlife?

 

Again, no disrespect. I am curious that's all. I have appreciated all your honesty and open-minded ness about this topic.

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Check out the T-shirts I made for our participating in the Komen race against breast cancer. Got a lot of men saying I shouldn't have that on my shirt, it's not true (but it sure is). And a lot of women who gave us thums-up or came over to compliment us.

 

Maiden-Mother-Crone

 

We'll be out there again this June. Anyone, anywhere, who wants to join our "team" is welcome. Got the T-shirts and fabric paint at ACMoore. You just have to do your local race.

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You have lost nothing by living this way... again we are all heading the same way we just choose different paths to get there. I know you dont mean any disrespect hunny.

And I do believe in an afterlife so I'm a little confused by that statement- perhaps I misread something.

I cannot answer the question about Jesus being the only person to say there is only one true path as I dont know much about other religions but there is nothing about Wicca that says that is the only, right way of living etc.

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Denise, that's exactly how I feel.

 

Tammy - I have no idea if Jesus was the only one to claim that, as I don't have enough knowledge of other religions. But I'm a little confused about the question. You said that many religions say there is only one right way, but only one "person". What do you mean by person? Because I have met plenty of people who claimed there is only one way. Do you mean prophet/religious figure?

 

About the advantages of living one way or the other.... this is something I've thought a lot about. I believe there is no afterlife, no heaven, no rebirth. So I believe there is nothing gained or lost by believing one way or another other than what you gain by it in this life. So I try to live my life the best I can, not to earn anything for later, but simply because it is what I believe is right. Now if I'm wrong... if I'm wrong and there is something else (I am not naive enough to believe that I, of all people, have everything figured out!) I believe that because I lived my life the best I could, I did right, that it would all come out well in the end anyways. Any god worthy of my opinion would reward me for doing good, no matter what name or belief it was under. And if it's not a nice god who doesn't agree with that? Well... then I'm in trouble. :rolleyes: (But even if I knew that was the case, I'd still do what I'm doing now, because I refuse to live my life in fear or for something I can't respect.)

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Hello all,

 

Sorry, I've been celebrating the end of a long series of exams with a couple of friends over margaritas. Woohoo!

 

Anyhow, I think Clair put it very nicely. I am pretty much a solitary witch though my family did visit a coven once or twice when I was younger. As they were pretty far away and had some different ideas we never went back but still respected them for all they taught us. A Father Sun and a Mother Earth but no other major gods or goddesses personally. I do think that herbal cures (done with care) can be wonderful. I have had friends ask about casting spells and I admit that I have cast spells. Please keep in mind though that spells work on the power of positive thinking. The more I feel that I can make a difference the more of a difference I make! I have leared to read runes and to an extent tarot cards (runes seem to work better for me), though these are not skills/hobbies that all Wiccans believe in/practice.

 

Wicca has always seemed the path to me, the duality of nature, rather than a masculine dieity, is just more logical to me.

 

When I lived in a small Alabama town I very much felt the need to keep it quiet. Too many people equate Wicca with satanism even though they couldn't be farther from the truth. When I went to undergrad college I found friends (including my now husband) who were open minded enough to accept me for who I am. Now that I am in vet school I have found more open minded friends. When I become a vet I doubt I will speak of it much as I don't want people to be scared away or to spread untrue rumors.

 

Olivia

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Tammy - one person? Buddah. There is a different way of finding a salvation (or enlightenment). It is one figure/god. Today the Dali Lama is the symbol of that path. (And I might add a FASCINATING man!) Just as the Pope is for others.

 

Is that what you mean by one figure/man/person?

 

Denise

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