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Jan. 11th, 2011

Storyteller

thomasrymour

Aeromancy or Cloud Divination



Cloud Omens

Aeromancy or Cloud Omens or Cloud Reading is a form of augery or divination outdoors in nature. The word aeromancy comes from the Greek word "aero" which means "air" and "manteia" which means "divination". It is the divination by observing events in the air or wind including cloud shapes, weather conditions, rainbows, changes in weather patterns, storms, and atmospheric phenomena (including comets and meteors). It can also be used to foretell or predict weather or climate. Its history is popular as far back as use by the Greeks and Romans. Particular attention was paid to cumulus clouds and the shapes, sizes, forms, and pictures they would create. Clouds through history form shapes, faces, fantastic landscapes, mythical creatures, and wonderous images. Theories behind these images are based on one's intuition trying to create an order out of randomness and some believe are reflections of the workings of the inner self. Seers look for these images not only in clouds, but fire embers, nature, water, smoke, and entrails of sacrificed animals in order to establish auguries and portents for the future. Aeromancy can be achieved by studying wind paterns such as with the seer tossing sand or dirt into the wind after asking a question and the answer being retrieved by the nature of the dust cloud. Another method involves throwing a handful of seeds and observing the pattern that the seeds form on the ground. This is sometimes referred to as Austromancy. To many ancients, the wind was the actual breath of life of their God/desses and was one of the most divine of elements. Alternatively, some believed that heated winds were the work of demons. Observing clouds is the most popular form.
Some popular cumulus formations that are known meanings are the Pegasus Cloud represents the mythical Greek God Pegasus. This usually represents meaning that a person will be rising above a problem or escaping from something that is worrying them. It can also be symbollic of someone achieving something great such as in the myth where Bellerophon tried to fly Pegasus to Mount Olympus and can take on a meaning of a Olympian endeavor being accomplished in someone's life. UFO Clouds appear like an Unidentified Flying Object in clear skies or over deserts and when refracting light from the setting sun gives such an image. Carl Jung philosophizes that modern man wants to see flying saucers as he yearns for the wholeness of the inner self symbolized by the shape of a circle. In the East these can be seen as mandalas to aid meditation to establish the inner equilibrium. These can mean wholeness and completion. Grim Reaper Clouds are usually death-like images or symbols in cloud patterns that usually represent death of the old so the new can emerge. These can be seen as positives. Angel Clouds have been seen as portents of untimely death or as a messenger or a blessing that all will go well. During Elvis Presley's cross-country roadtrip in 1964, he claimed he saw a angelic vision in the clouds of Stalin and believed it meant that God was displeased with him. This face then turned into a smiling face of Jesus which he believed was a portent of his untimely death. Rocket Ship could mean a symbol of rapid movement in one's life, breaking free of physical limitations, or explorations of one's personal or inner space and time. By viewing patterns of clouds in the sky, it is believed that one achieves the opportunity to examine what they see and what questions the mind wants to see based on the symbology and patterning of the clouds. It is very similar in practice to the modern psychology pracice of ink blot testing. Based on how a person interprets a pattern can determine much about intuition and train of thought.

One recommended method of cloud prophecy is before looking into the skies, is to ask a direct question, relax, and allow the mind to accept whatever it sees. Before making out a specific patern, use your imagination to see what might be the connecion and do some research into the meanings of different symbols.

Related forms of prophecy are "Eromancy" which involves divination by taking omens from the air, "Austromancy" as divination of studying winds and cloud shapes, "Anemoscopy" as divination by studying the winds including studying the speed, direction, and sound of the wind or observing certain objects blown by the wind. "Nephomancy" is divination by studying clouds and their colors, shapes, and positions in the sky. This practice was called "neladoracht" by the ancient Druids. "Chaomancy" is a form of aeromancy looking for visions in the sky such as in the shapes of clouds and cloud formations. "Ceraunoscopy" is divination by observing thunder and lightning.
"Brontoscopy" is divination by listening to the sound of thunder. "Roadomancy" or "astromancy" is divination by observing stars, comets, and meteors. "Cometomancy" is specifically the taking of omens from comets as "meteormancy" is from meteors.



Cloud Omens



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Dec. 13th, 2010

Storyteller

thomasrymour

Sacred Wells of Brigid in Kildare



Brigid's Well #1, the "Wayward Well", Kildare, Ireland


Brighid's Holy Wells in Kildare
*
Kildare, Ireland


The Goddess or St. Brigid has two holy wells in Kildare? She certainly does. Some say that one of the wells belongs to the Ancient Goddess Brigid while the other well belongs to St. Brigid. Both are sacred, both are holy, and both hold Brigid's magical healing waters. Well #1 is the ancient "original" sacred well of Brigid. Well #2 is the dressed up sacred shrine and park of Brigid with her well. They were two distinctly different entities ... an Ancient Goddess who's ethereal Godly presence can manifest as a human female and the actual magical human nun turned Saint who was the personification of the Deitie. One in the same? could be. Two differently distinct entities who share the common thread? very possibly. Two wells ... that seems to be the case. One for the Goddess and One for the Saint? I would say "both" wells contain "both" the Saint and the Goddess in them. I've come to notice a pattern with this, that the "ancient" Pagan "original" well is often offset from the "Christian" one. This seemed to be the case when I went to see the Madron well in Cornwall, England (though technically that one had "three" - the original one buried in the marsh, the Pagan "original" one offset from the one underwater, and the Christian well house.). There are many Brigid wells in Ireland as well as Britain. As wells were the sacred sites of veneration in the Druidic faith, many also have an associated sacred tree with them that are covered with votive offerings. These are often called "Wishing Trees". Trees covered with "clotties" or ribbons of cloth done as a prayer for healing or a spell to obtain something. Pilgrims come here to get in touch with the well inside themselves. Wells are sacred places where people for thousands of years have come to pray, worship, and reflect. Pagan and Holy wells are often seen as the entrance to the womb of Mother Earth, the source of life. Each holy well usually is always related to healing, and each well usually has a specialty that it performs. Brigid's wells are pretty powerful for healing sore eyes. Brigid is associated with all healing. Her girdle is capable of curing all disease and illness and this well is rumored to make "the blind man seeing, the dumb girl speaking, etc."

Brighid's Holy Well #1 a.k.a. "The Wayside Well"


The first well is the ancient Pagan sacred well of the Goddess Brigid. It is located just next to the car park of the Japanese Gardens. This well / spring itself feeds and nourishes the Gardens themselves. This is the spring source whose waters run off and feeds the newer well. It's not really decorated and is simple, rustic, ancient, and silent. Seemingly forgotten. I has only an inscription sign in Irish that translates "St. Brigid, Mary of the Gael, pray for us." However it is still a major focal point for pilgrimmages and ceremonies. The Brigid Eve ceremonies (January 31st) start at a small fire set up just outside the Japanese Gardens car park with a chanting to the Goddess Brigid which is followed by a candlelit journey of contemplation about the Goddess and the Saint and the spirit that weaves them together. The candle lit journey goes to this well and ends at the second well. It is customary to gather this well water in a bottle because of its strong healing properties and in exchange to leave an offering for the spirits and faeries who dwell there.


"Tobair Bride" / St. Brigid's Well, Kildare, Ireland



Brighid's Holy Well #2 a.k.a. "Tobair Bride" (St. Brigid's Well)


The second well is the "supposed" Christian well of St. Brigid. It's the tourist one. It's the "Official" one. This is the one in the tourist guides, sign posts, and advertisements. It is located in a landscaped grotto at the end of a short lane close to Well #1. The local Catholic clergy moved Christian devotion and practices to this site in the 1950's supposedly out of concern for people's safety in accessing the original well which was at the bend in a narrow busy road. It is here that the Roman Catholic healing well is located. While pilgrims often visit both wells, this is the well where an involved ceremony, similar to the "stations of the cross" is conducted. Pilgrims reflect on the Goddess and/or Saint Brigid and how they weave together.

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Storyteller

thomasrymour

Brigid's Sacred Flame of Kildare


Brighid's Flame
* Kildare, Ireland *


For well over 1,000 years, if not 2,000 years or more, the sacred fire of the Goddess Brigid (now St. Brigid of Ireland) has existed and kept holy / sacred by her followers, priestesses, and/or members of her Order. In Ancient times, the Priestesses of Brighid kept her flame eternally lit with 19 Priestesses keeping vigil that the flame was never extinquished. As Christianity spread through Ireland, the Goddess Brigid was so integral to the Irish population that She could not be eradicated and thereby made a Saint by the Catholic Church. In the 6th century C.E., A nun iconified as "St. Brigid" came to Kildare and built a nunnery/monastery and school on the same site where the Brigid Priestesses were keeping vigil at the Fire Temple eventually absorbing and taking over the duties of the Priestesses now brandishing the torch for Christianity while keeping the Pagan faith alive just hidden. Through many Viking conquests, raids, and wars, the original wooden church, monastery, and foundation was eventually rebuilt as a stone Cathedral by the 13th century. Giraldus Cambrensis wrote in the 12th century that the Flame was attended by twenty "servants of the Lord" at the time of St. Brigid with Brigid herself being he 20th. When she died, the number went down to 19 with each of the nuns taking their turns at night and on the 2oth night, the nineteenth nun would put logs on the fire and St. Brigid would miraculously tend the fire which never went out. By the time Giraldus wrote that, the fire had been continually burning for 600 years, and thereby never had its ashes cleaned out, nor did the ashes ever seem to increase in size. Surrounding the fire was a legendary hedge that no male could ever cross. By Legend, one of Strongbow's men attempted to cross the hedge and wound up going mad. Another had attempted but just as his leg crossed the threshhold, his comrades pulled him back. Unfortunately the leg that did cross became maimed and he was crippled for the rest of his life. The magical hedge no longer exists, but in times of legend, protected the flame from male invaders by cursing them to go insane, die, become maimed, or have their penis wither. The Sisters of Brigid (Catholic nuns) continue the work in safeguarding the eternal flame in Solas Bhride which means "Light of Brigid".

Once during the 1200's the Eternal flame was briefly extinquished by Henry of London, the Norman arch-bishop of Dublin who ordered it to be put out as he considered the tending process to be a Pagan practice and not to be tolerated. It was quickly relit by the locals and the Sisters continued doing this until the 16th century's British Reformation. During the Reformation, King Henry XIII had a campaign to destroy Catholic monasteries and in this process, attacked the St. Brigid foundation at Kildare, thereby extinquishing the flame. On February 1st of 1807, the Bishop of Kildare, Daniel Delany, restored the Sisterhood of St. Brigid and thereby re-lighting the Eternal Flame of Brigid. The Sisterhood of St. Brigid's mission was at this point to restore the Ancient Order and bring back the legacy and spirit of St. Brigid to Kildare (and thereby the world). The town center saw the Flame rekindled in the heart of Kildare's Market Square once again as well, in 1993 by Sister Mary Teresa Cullen, the leader of the Brigidine Sisters at that time. From that point, the Perpetual flame was monitored and kept alive in their home and on February 1, 2006 - the flame was brought back to the center of the Market Square where it has been permanently housed in a large glass enclosed vessel (and numerous flames kept alive in the Sister's houses). The St. Brigid's Flame monument, centered in the photo above, was unveiled by President Mary McALeese on St. Brigid's Day, February 1st, 2006.

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Dec. 12th, 2010

Storyteller

thomasrymour

Brigid's Cross



Brighid's Cross

* Kildare, Ireland *

Another blessed part of my pilgrimmage to Brigid and Kildare was learning more about Brigid's Cross. I had the pleasure of Faerie Moe as a guide, a local friend giving me the tour of Kildare and the sacred wells as well as giving me an on-hands explanation on how to weave a Brigid's Cross. As a dedicant to the Goddess Brigid for over 20 years, in my early years i fumbled at making them, but never made anything as intricate and powerful as the crosses I saw at St. Brigid's shrine and Sister Mary's house. Amazing. Many say that the St. Brigid's Cross, a.k.a. Cros Bríde, Crosóg Bríde or Bogha Bríde, is actually an Irish symbol of sun worship representing the sun in the center with rays of light coming from it in the shape of the arms of the Cross. Some say it represents a Brigid legend where in the story St. Brigid miraculously hung her wet clothes to dry on a sunbeam. It is also considered a Pagan sunwheel. They are traditionally made on February 1st for Lá Fhéile Bhríde (St. Brigid's feast day). It is also a symbol of Ireland and its provinces. Ireland has four provinces, but in ancient Ireland there were five - an invisible one in the center of Ireland. To some, the Brigid's cross represents the four provinces (in the modern standard design) and in the 5 handed cross like shown in these pictures, representing the 5 provinces. The arms represent North, South, East, West, and Center. The 5th Province, the invisible one, is the province of healing and reconciliation. Brigid's Cross probably first appeared in Ireland between the 2nd century B.C.E. and the 2nd century C.E. It is a folk magic tradition of weaving together straw to creat a equal-armed Celtic cross that represents the Goddess Brigid, or modern day St. Brigid. Taking rushes that are woven together into a swastica-like/Celtic cross-like ornament, with a central square and four spokes protruding from each corner of the square in opposing directions, that has some variations found in Celtic art both ancient and modern. Brigid's cross appears often traditionally on February 1st, the eve of St. Brigid's feast / Imbolc / or Candlemas. In some traditions, the Brideoga or Biddies, young virgin boys who would carry a churndash (post used to churn butter) that is dressed up as a woman or an effigy of St. Brigid, and would go door-to-door through their neighborhood collecting alms for the poor. While collecting alms, they would leave bundles of straw and rushes outside the homes that they visited. At nightfall, young virgin girls would pick them up and ask to be admitted to the homes in the name of Brigid and would weave the rushes into crosses. After traditional prayers and a meal at the homes, the crosses would be placed under the eaves in the house or in the outhouses and sometimes blessed with holy water. The leftover rushes would be woven into a girdle called a "crios" or a tie for cattle or sometimes as a Brid's bed or mattress for the Saint. Just as cattle were traditionally led through holy lakes or doused in water from Brigid's well, they were ofen led through uplifted arches of these girdles. The Brid's bed or holy mattresses were often placed at specific sacred wells and believed to possess curative powers to counter barrenness and to protect families and animals from natural calamiies, especially lightning and fire. Some see the Brigid's cross as symbollic of the evolution of the Goddess into the Saint. The Brigid's Cross magically is believed to protect a house where it hangs from evil and from fire. Because of this, it is often hung in kitchens.

Here is a great web site with diagrams of the weave: http://www.fisheaters.com/stbrigidscross.html



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Storyteller

thomasrymour

Sister Mary Minehan and the Brigid Shrine




Sister Mary and the Shrine to Brighid
* Private Residence / Kildare, Ireland *

Probably one of the most enlightening and blessed experiences on my pilgrimmage and quest to Ireland in June of 2010 was meeting, visiting with, and being passed Brigid's Eternal Flame from Sister Mary, the Brigidine Sister - one of the 19 sacred guardians of Brigid's Flame. A call to see if she was home, me and Faerie Moe headed down the hill to Sister Mary's private residence. A very humble, peaceful, and vibrant woman, Sister Mary welcomed us into her house and took us into the back room where the Shrine to Brigid was and one of the protected eternal flames of Brigid stay lit. We admired the numerous Brigid's crosses, the artwork, and the spiritual offerings/dedications to St. Brigid (aka. Goddess Brigid). I was tingling with excitement and had an overwhelming ecstatic experience just standing in the room - in the presence of two of my favorite women - The Goddess Brigid (St. Brigid) through Sister Mary and the Shrine, and my friend Faerie Moe. What more could one ever ask for? If ever a glimpse of enlightenment, it was this particular moment in space and time for me. Being shown around Kildare by Faerie Moe who lives in the area and getting indepth local's tour of the sacred sites that mean so much to me, learning about the work of Cairde Bhride, and being passed St. Brigid's flame was an overwhelming experience. I did my best not to let it show, but i know I clumsily stumbled around from the feelings of awe I was in.

Sister Mary Minehan: A humble, peaceful, and shining powerful spiritual woman that embodies the illumination of the Goddess Brigid/St. Brigid. She is one of Brigid's guardians of the sacred Eternal flame, a Brigidine sister who lives in Kildare, Ireland. Her life is dedicated to the work of Cairde Bhríde, the Catholic Order of St. Brigid that embraces both the Christian Saint and Goddess aspect of Brighid. The Order has an outreach community of 50 men and women who call themselves the "Cairde Bride" or "Friends of Brigid". The Group do circle dances, rituals at the wells, greet pilgrims, watch over the wells, guard the Sacred Flame, teaches about Brigid, throw the "Feile Bride - Brigid's Festival", promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation. Sr. Mary Minehan grew up in Puckane, a small country village where she was boarded at a private boarding school and the Brigidine secondary school in Mountrath. During her last year in secondary school, on a retreat, and had a revelation to become a Brigidine sister. She joined the convent and live sacredly dedicated to God and Brigid at the Novitiate in Tullow. From there she became a teacher and worked in various Brigidine schools around the country before ending up in Kildare in 1992. (Brigidines work throughout Ireland, the UK, US, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, and Papua New Guinea) She chose Kildare upon being asked to come there to explore her Celtic Heritage and to reclaim Brigid of Kildare for the new millennium. Sister Mary was first exposed to Brigid at an early age through her grandmother who used to make Brigid's crosses with rushes. She remembers her mother's leg ulcer being cured by Brigid and came to know her as Brigid the Healer and Brigid the Protector. Sister Mary is one of the Protectors of the Flame and one of the Brigidines who will pass the flame to pilgrims to Kildare. Sister Mary Minehan can be reached at Solas Bhride at solasbhride@eircomnet and is a must for anyone on a pilgrimmage to Kildare for Brigid to meet.




Me receiving Brigid's Eternal Flame from Sister Mary


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Oct. 11th, 2010

Vargo

techno_gypsy

4th Annual Manitou Springs Zombie Crawl

Apr. 29th, 2010

Vargo

techno_gypsy

Spring Zombie Crawl: Saturday, May 1st, 2010: Manitou Springs, Colorado


MANITOU SPRINGS' SPRINGTIME ZOMBIE CRAWL
SATURDAY, MAY 1ST, 2010: 2 pm - Makeup, 3 pm - Crawl

Come dressed as a zombie or the undead, splattered in blood, or get splattered at 2 pm, and drag your feet moaning with hunger for fresh brains, up and down Manitou Avenue. Meet 2 pm for costume assistance (or to help make people up), bring fake blood if you can, guts, cauliflower to dye as brains, and other costume props. Be there prompt at 3 pm for the Crawl down Manitou Avenue. Social afterwards at the Townhouse Lounge. Rain, Snow, or Shine. Bring Out Yer' Dead!!!

For more information:

Mar. 24th, 2010

Storyteller

thomasrymour

Facebook | Santa Christ video shoot for Ron English

April 4th, 2010 : Colorado Springs, Colorado

A large handful of you have responded to the big SantaChrist/Ron English/Electric Illuminati event coming to Colorado Springs. I appreciate your response but we still need many, many SANTAS to reach 100.

Please email Douglas at douglas@rouse66.com to confirm your participation.

Your Santa costume does not need to be elaborate, nor authentic. Think of it more as a sea of red and white and if there are 100 or more people wearing red and white the effect could be quite astonishing. It doesn't even need to be a Santa outfit specifically, but something celebrating or resembling Santa would be awesome. For ten bucks at the thrift shop you can get a sweet outfit (hint: Saturday's at the ARC everything is 50% off).
Facebook | Santa Christ video shoot for Ron English


Storyteller

thomasrymour

Facebook | Faerieworlds 2010


Facebook | Faerieworlds 2010

Oct. 28th, 2009

Vargo

techno_gypsy

The Third Annual Colorado Springs Zombie Crawl and 80's Dance Party

Flash News Update: Colorado Springs 3rd Infection


photograph by Steve Carlin

The Third Annual Colorado Springs Zombie Crawl and 80's Dance Party
Every October * Downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado *

Every year, the zombie clans of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, Denver, and surrounding areas take over the streets of majorly populated city centers in Colorado. Some say it's an active re-occuring flu-like flesh-eating variant of the swine flu, others say it's a zombie apocalypse, while many just embrace it as a new annual tradition around the world. Yes, Zombie crawls happen in almost every major city on the globe. They are growing phenomenally in population and occurence. Some say this is a sign that the end times are near and is a training routine for the zombie apocalypse. Are you prepared? Basically a Zombie Crawl is either an organized or unorganized assembly or flash mob of people dressed like zombies or the undead. Its primarily advertised by word of mouth, the internet, and social networks as it is meant to be a surprise event on the public. It is a mass group improv theatrical performance. It mutates annually to involve not only the living dead, but zombie hunters, and victims. Some are staged as spoof political rallies organized "to raise awareness of zombie rights". Often you find a combination of all the above. The First zombie walk to hit North America, took place in 2001 on the streets of Sacremento, California. This replicated in 2002. Then October 2003 the zombies hit Toronto, Ontario. Frequency started to occur throughout North American cities. On October 29, 2006, 894 participants gathered at the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh, which served as the set of the classic zombie film Dawn of the Dead setting the Guiness Book of World Records. A zombie march in Brisbane, Australia on May 25, 2008 set an unofficial record of over 1500 participants according to media reports. On June 21, 2008, a zombie march took place in Chicago with a reported of over 1,550 zombies, setting a new unofficial record. Close to 50 cities worldwide participated in World Zombie Day on October 26, 2008 with over 7,500 zombies estimated. On October 30, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the largest site of zombies anywhere in the world. Even though the official tally was at 3,370 zombies, well over 4,000+ zombies showed up to this event. [wikipedia] On 3 July 2009, a zombie walk in the Fremont neighboorhood of Seattle broke the previous record set by Grand Rapids - Guinness World Records officially recorded 3,894 zombies, though local news claimed 4,277 participants (I was there and have to say there were hundreds of zombies who didn't want to stand in line for the official registration count so I believe the latter).


photograph by Jeff Kallaus


After attending the 2006 Denver 1st annual Zombie Crawl, Leaf McGowan decided to start and become founder of the Manitou Springs, Colorado on October 17, 2007 [roughly 45 zombies]; and continuing with the one in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 28, 2007 [with 67 zombies] that was put on by his shop "The Tree Leaves Oracle." In addition to the Tree Leaves' Oracle, the Manitou Springs Crawl was also sponsored by the Ancient Mariner where the after party was held. The Colorado Springs one was also sponsored by the Underground Bar's Goth Night. It was so successful that he continued them in 2008. [ Manitou Springs 2008 Zombie Crawl and Party with est. 70 zombies ] [ Colorado Springs 2nd Annual Zombie Crawl & 80's Party with 150+ zombies ] The 2008 Manitou Springs after-crawl social was held at the Ancient Mariner and the 2008 Colorado Springs crawl party was held again at the Underground with the amazing 80's tunes by DJ Gypsy. This year, the crawls and parties took place again - in Manitou Springs on October 12th with 45 zombies braving freezing cold ice-rain conditions and ending their party at the Townhouse Lounge that hosted live entertainment and drink specials for the brave souls bearing winter conditions. This year's Colorado Springs Zombie crawl took place on Friday, October 23, 2009 at the Underground Bar on the corner of Kiowa and Nevada. They openened their doors for the crowds to have a warm place to do make-up and costume help at 6:30 pm, from which they crawled from at 8 pm down Nevada, Bijou, Tejon, and Kiowa - returning back to the Underground for a spectacular 80's dance party with music by the amazing DJ Gypsy. The party lasted until 1:30 am. It was estimated to have had 209+ participants this year. This year's crawls came out to be a complete success with no known injuries, accidents, or issues. To become part of next year's crawls, with a possible addition of a Spring crawl, visit the following network sites: http://www.treeleavesoracle.org/events/zombie.html; Manitou Springs: http://www.myspace.com/manitouzombiecrawl or http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=139839019208; Colorado Springs: www.myspace.com/coloradospringszombiewalk or http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=139839019208. Also in Colorado, organized by completely different Monsters is the Denver Annual Zombie Crawl and the new Boulder Zombie Crawl.


photograph by Steve Carlin


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