Tag Archive: books

Alright, it’s The Arts!: Samhain Edition! Here, I am posting more witchy based creative materials that you can use! Don’t forget, you can still submit to Samhain Pickers to win a chance for a free divination reading from me, Black Witch!

Want to send in an entry form? All info will be at the bottom of the post, three winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween.

Now for the Arts!

Mythology Dictionary.com
Want to use a great online dictionary that isn’t God Checker because you want something strictly factual, not overly snarky? Mythology Dictionary is for you! It is ahhhhhhh-mazing! I really love it, I found it looking up new deities dictionaries. Usually whenever I check out mythology, I look up entries on African deities because if you need a litmus test on how well an all-around mythology dictionary works, look up anything that isn’t dedicated to the European deities. If the book has pages on pages about Aphrodite but a thumb print size scribble about Yemeya and the book looks and feel like it could substitute a brick, put the book down … or just lob it at the author’s head. Just chuck it. If it’s an online dictionary, just chuck your online device at them instead. Or a rock.

What I love most about it is how thorough it is on everyone and if there are deities of different cultures that happened to have the same names, they’ll get referenced too so you can learn more about the world or maybe you got the name right but the culture wrong. It’s a fantastic resource that I would highly recommend to anyone, new or experienced, because it’s such an outstanding resource for learning about different deities. Actually, this site will be replacing God Checker in my “Links of Interest” now.

Angelology Dictionary
Ever since having that mention about angels and thrones and such, it kind of has gotten me back into the gear of looking up (good) information of angels because hey, never know when you need the info and I founds a nice, useful general use array to use for when I get back into sigil working (I’m a wee rusty). These books are it!

encyclopedia of angelsThe Encyclopedia of Angels (Rosemary Guiley)


Encyclopedia of Angels (Richard Webster)

Remember folks, angels are not exactly people with wings so take caution!

Gryphon’s Moon
Avalon Moon would have been here but they’ve gone offline with their shop but Gryphon’s Moon is still here with their fantastic cloaks, Pagan wall hooks (which is great for me because I forever misplace my keys) and fantastic stuffs for all your magickal needs.

Planetary Hours
I know I featured this before but it bears showing again! It is a fantastic site that is great for any magickal practitioner that wants to know the correct day and hour to cast whatever they want. It’s fantastic for anyone who doesn’t want to pick up an ephemeris. Annnnnnnd it is localized so you’ll never make the mistake of finding out the correct hour for casting and discovering that it’s for a town three time zones over. It totally simplifies magick working.

The Hermetic
For my more hermetic practitioners! Here is the Hermetic Library. Read in English and Latin noted and not-so-noted works regarding hermeticism, Thelma and occultism. I just am speechless at the thoroughness of the site. There are writings from William Butler Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Florence Farr, and Swami Vivekananda. Just so much information all in one place. Outstanding simply!

Alright, now that’s that for The Arts:! Samhain Edition. Next Friday is Ask Black Witch. Don’t forget to submit questions! And for those who want to submit an entry for Samhain Pickers , here’s how you do it:

Send in an email to thisblackwitch[at]hotmail.com with “Samhain Pickers” in the subject line. In the body of the email, type:

– Name
– Email
– Type of Divination want done (option: dream interpretation, tarot, cartomancy, natal chart reading):

And press “Send”! Winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween!

Also, I can’t believe I nearly forgot! Ustream chat on Halloween! It will be done at 9 PM EST on Halloween/Samhain. Be there! Ask me questions, interact with me, whatever. Let’s talk!

Don’t Watch the Throne

So, I was perusing the Black Witch Tumblr (as I frequently do) and up came a couple discussions that provoked a memory from when I was 17.

When I was a wee young lass (ok, this was, like, 9 years ago) I wound up unknowingly summoning a Throne when I was in my room practicing a song for choir. It was blue (as all ethereal beings look like to me because it’s already hard enough to see them, ha) and a fairly big thing that looked like a wheel with an eye in the middle…and coming towards me. I was pretty scared since I sensed a lot of energy coming off it and had no clue what it was and it was coming towards me in a quick fashion in my bedroom. It disappeared (or I got rid of it, I don’t remember but I do remember a forceful energy) before it got to me but not before I nearly fell over my scattered clothes in my junky room. It was there for roughly half a minute but the memory stuck with me for far longer.

I was singing “When Ezekiel Saw The Wheel” and when I was visited by the faint blue entity but had no clue what the relation was for the longest time until I had gotten deeper into my metaphysical studies.  I had learned that it wasn’t a random visit nor anything my imagination could cook up but I mistakenly attracted it. It turns out the song was about seeing a Throne:

“Ezekiel saw the wheel
Way up in the middle of the air
Ezekiel saw the wheel
Way up in the middle of the air
And the little wheel run by faith
And the big wheel run by the grace of God
A wheel in a wheel
Way up in the middle of the air”

Yah, I thought it was about the sun and its rays.

I had never heard of a Throne when I was that age but I really did like the song and thus sang it often and with heart. Putting all that energy in the song and singing it so frequently probably is what mistakenly brought the Throne I saw. Oh, and I’m sure it didn’t help that I’m in an area that’s surrounded by old churches, an old synagogue (that was bought by the Freemasons) and the Freemasons main building is roughly a street away.

For those who are probably going, “What…is a Throne? You’re not talking highly bedazzled chairs, are you?” don’t feel bad, it’s not common knowledge. A Throne is an angel. A high ranking angel as that. Google search the image of “Throne – angel” and you’ll see that angels are not exactly “people with wings”. The “people with wings” concept is from European artists for people to better connect with the imagery… and not frighten them. The Throne I saw is an Ophanim, which is a high ranking Merkabah angel that guards the throne of Glory. They’re mentioned a lot in The Encyclopedia of Angels (Rosemary Guiley). I highly recommend reading the book.

So, that was a “Wow” experience I kinda never wanna have again. Only thing that surprises me is that I could summon such an entity at a young and magickally inexperienced age.

See you next week for The Arts!

Alrightee, folks time to continue the very last American election coverage on Black Witch and get something for Samhain underway. And don’t forget Samhain Pickers and the Ustream chat on Halloween, that’s at the bottom!

Let’s Take a Vote

Alright, American readers, things are going down to the fine line as the election is less than two weeks away and man, is it starting to show. The debates have really been something (as some of y’all could tell from my Twitter) though I don’t like how Third partiers like Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala have been locked out of the debates. They should be allowed the floor to talk about how they plan to fix America just like everybody else. Instead, they get arrested for something that should have been so basically granted to them:

Since creating such an election info dump the last time around, I notice the one I touted the most was Vote Smart. It’s their Vote Easy, simply stunning. I have used both their presidential and congressional election sections and suggest everyone to do the same. It is fantastic, if you haven’t used it, do so.

So to keep this one even more brief than the last, here’s what you need to know and use:

Vote Smart/Vote Easy: Best way to find how out who you stand with and who stands most for you.

The Debates: They are quite entertaining. Watch them here if you haven’t. There’s one more for the major parties on Monday and then there’s the Third partiers debate on Oct 23.

Samhain Edition

Woot, Samhain/Halloween is around the corner! I’m very excited. It’s my favorite holiday, I’s love it muches. So here are some books and sites for Pagans and those curious about joining the faith:

Where To Park Your Broomstick (Lauren Manoy): First book I ever started out with and will always recommend no matter what. Great with the basics and even teaches about other religions so you can make a sound choice in what faith you really want to follow.

Elements of Witchcraft (Ellen Dugan): Another book I started out with as a noob. The guided meditations are fantastic and everything is so thorough in the book with some writing exercises in there, too.

The Crystal Bible (Judy Hall): Great book for beginners in crystal work and other forms of Earth/Green magick. The visuals are stunning, the information is simple and easy to use, great for beginners.

The Watkins Dictionary of Magic (Nevill Drury): Great resource book for those trying to figure out the magickal world and simply curious alike. Very well written and I refer to it all the time.

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews (Scott Cunningham): This book is a late add but useful in its basics for those that want to get into potion making. The recipes are pretty nice, some entries are a little dated but this is a good book overall for noobs and experts alike,

Candle Magic for Beginners (Richard Webster): Great book for those getting into candle magick. It teaches how to work with colors, fragrances, different types of candles and with spiritual beings (even angels).

A Witch Alone (Marian Green): I’ve just picked this book up but it seems pretty decent so far. It’s very strong in information and for all Pagans, not simply Wiccans and great for solo practitioners.

The Temple of Witchcraft series (Christopher Penczak): There are several books in this series, such as The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, The Outer Temple of Witchcraft and more. I used these when I was new and they’re great and very thorough.

The Magickal Life (Vivianne Crowley): Great book for beginners that covers on just about everything Pagan from her beginnings to her discoveries and learnings. Very entertaining read, too.

Amulets & Talismans for Beginners (Richard Webster): Another flawless book from Mr. Webster, he’s just that great an author. This book is to teach you about, you guessed it, amulets and talismans. And it is spiffy.

Pagans & Christians (Gus Di Zerega): This book pretty much came from a roundtable discussion between Christians and Pagans in the comparisons and contrasts between our faiths. It’s a pretty good read to see where we’re the same and where we’re not.

Shades of Faith (Crystal Blanton): This book is about Blacks in Paganism and through various essays, explores those personal experiences in the Pagan faith and the cultures they lived in. I have written two pieces in the book, “Missing in the Picture” and “Why Don’t You Like Me?”

A couple sites that practitioners can use:

MysticWicks: This message board has it all and is great for noob Pagans and the experienced alike. They have a section for everyone.

Alabe: Natal chart drafting site, I use it all the time when I’m creating natal charts for anyone. Fantastic and free to use but their software is also stunning.

AAWiccan Society: This is for all Black Pagans, don’t let the name fool you. On this site is information about other Black Pagan blogs, the AAWS blog, twitter and Facebook group. Definitely check it out.

God Checker: Fantastic online checker of the different deities in the world with a hint of humor. Very much fantastic.

That it for this week, folks! Next week is Ask Black Witch! Send questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

Don’t forget though, I’m announcing the winners of Samhain Pickers next week! Be sure to submit! Send an e-mail to thisblackwitch@hotmail.com with “Samhain Pickers” in the subject line and in the message, provide:



Type of divination: (Tarot, cartomancy, basic natal chart, dream interpretation)

Click send and you’re done! Also, there will be an Ustream chat on Halloween at 4:30 PM EST with me, Black Witch! I want to interact with you guys so I’ll be taking questions through Ustream and Twitter (@thisblackwitch) so ask some good questions, okay?

It’s that time again! It’s The Arts:! Samhain Edition! Before we start, I would like to say all the Samhain Pickers winners will be read for this week! And don’t any of you forget of the annual Black Witch Samhain vcast chat at 9 PM EST (sorry trick-or-treaters). Fun and hijinks! May even star my cat! (Seriously. She’s cute, great promotion material.)

This year’s winners:
Erika B.
Shaquez L.
Sherry W.

This year’s round up is Black Pagan blogs, books and other very Pagan things! I’m super happy that there are actually Black Pagan blogs to mention and just in case I miss a few, please do meander over to the African-American Wiccan Society’s Important Links page to find more and more.

Let’s get started!

Black Pagan Blogs
These blogs are just like mine, they’re Pagan blogs intended for a Black audience. I will admit, there has been a very recent sprouting of many Black Pagan blogs that provide a very multifaceted look of the Black Pagan community.

Black Pagan

University Witch

The Shy Witch

African-American Wiccan

Katrina’s Joy

Daughters of Eve

Cosette from Jupiter


I’m happy to see this when only a year or two ago, I haven’t seen really even this much of a blog roll dedicated for Black Pagans and written by Black Pagans. This is great! Takes work off of my shoulders definitely!

Pagan Books
I believe I have focused on some fairly Witchy books last year and not enough divination so I’ll be doing some of that. But first, I was asked to do a book review! I thought that was a very nice opportunity! The book is titled The Spellcasting Picture Book: Visual Tools for Grown-up Magic, written by Diana Rajchel.

Okay then, here is my review for the book: I believe that the book could definitely use some improvement as I feel that it is not exactly ready for prime time yet. From the start of the book, the reader is faced with the fact that the writer is mired in controversy apparently. On the cover under the author’s name it reads, “Yeah, that one.” And the Preface sounds very pointed: “If you’re reading this it’s likely because you know me, know my perfumery, or know a little bit about me and want to see if whatever the current batch of rumors is are true.” What rumors?  I, and I’m sure most other potential readers (unless I’ve been living under a rock), are not at all familiar with Rajchel or her work so it presents as a personal and private dislike aired in a public place. I understand having haters buuuuut there is a way to discuss them in an objective manner or at least provide a more thorough background than the one provided. A blog is one thing to air out disdain for those who dislike what you’re doing but a book is a bit different.

Here’s what I found very bothersome on the How to Use this Book page: “About Witchcraft: If you want to know more about Witchcraft and/or Wicca, please ask someone else.” That’s as if saying, “Please don’t read my book, it’s a waste of time.” Rajchel does mention other books that would be good to reference at the back of the book but she should have at least mentioned that in the “About Witchcraft” blurb.

The artistry is very base and, frankly, poorly done. If this was a book where Pagan religious artwork was collected from kids, fine, but it’s not. Bad photoshop of floating arms and hands, poorly assembled artwork that – for me – is reminiscent of crack conspiracy websites, reuse of drawn pictures – none of the artwork is good. The author describes it as “primitive” but this is not at all primitive. I have seen primitive art from various cultures and this is not it. It is moreso very basic and childlike. Very poorly done. Whatever good artistry is there was nicked from the internet and ‘shopped in. I have seen picture spell books such as The Spell Bible and they are done well. This book, I cannot say I have the same opinion for. The writing, which was both handwritten and typed was not incredibly provocative but fairly mediocre at best.

The Spellcasting Picture Book, claims to be a picture book for adults but at a glance, it seems more for children. I wouldn’t recommend it at all to anyone. Yes, the art in this work are doodles and personal works of the author which she put her heart and mind into it but still, I have to hold the work to a particular standard that it does not meet.

Onward to the other books!

The Spell Bible (Ann-Marie Gallagher)
If you do want to see a picture book of spells done well, get The Spell Bible. It is amazing the works they have in there and the spells are very beautifully photographed and explained. There are various spells in there for a range of subjects (no jinxes though. If you’re that coldhearted, just be yourself, that’s jinx enough.) and while I haven’t tried them myself because I make my own spells, they are very well crafted. This is a wonderful book for starters, intermediates or those who just need a little guidance for their spellcrafting. The pictures are beautiful, the spells are amazing and it’s all simply wonderful in a little, compact book. The pages are color coded for ease of use and there is an index and glossary as well as a reference page for materials and anything else you may need.

Playing Card Divination for Beginners (Richard Webster)
This book has taught me all I needed to know about playing card divination, my very first divining skill. It is a great book that breaks everything down card by card, has a special section on the joker, suggest spreads and more. My book is pretty tattered and worn from all the use, I’ve had it for half a decade but I still refer to it when I do readings and if I forget how to do a particular spread. This book also talks about combination spreads (such as what happens if you get three Aces in a spread or face cards everywhere) and there’s a great history section at the start of the book. Webster shares his own experiences doing card readings and gives ideas of how to diversify the divination practice using dice or paper. Now, I think this book is out of print and if that’s true, I’ll digitize my copy and have it up here. I tried emailing Webster and I think even the publisher themselves but I haven’t heard anything back I’m not going to wait. Information is information.

The Art of Hand Reading (Lori Reid)
This is one of the many books I have on palmistry – okay, one of the three, I don’t believe in having a billion books on one metaphysical subject because info overlaps and most books out there are pretty crappy. This book is completely awesome in that it goes into the political and religious history briefly in regards to palmistry. It’s very interesting to learn! Also there’s a section that talks about how different hand gestures mean different things in different parts of the world. The easiest example is the peace sign, palm inwards. In America, it can be a parting salutation. In the UK, it’s flipping someone off. The book is very factual so there not much, if any, fluffy content there.

Shades of Faith (Crystal Blanton, ed.)
The first anthology for Black Pagans has arrived! If you saw this post calling for Black Pagan entries, this book is what has come of it. It is very well done and two of my writings are in the anthology, one that is here on Black Witch “Why Don’t You Like Me?” and one exclusively for the anthology “Missing in the Picture”. There are a variety of Black (and I think other minority) voices heard in the anthology and it is indeed nice to have a Black book on religion but it not be focused on Christianity. Nab it!





Web Shops!
I have few webshops that I go to because I am quite accustomed to buying in person but if you have any suggestions, speak your mind in the comments! To see more, please refer to last year’s Samhain Edition.

Kotori Cards – This is pretty much shilling for my friends who are very awesome diviners. My (recently married :3 ) friends Jess and John started their store online after having a very successful run for many years. Now, I usually am not for people paying for readings, I still think it is better you learn for yourself but these two are amazing readers for those who still want to pay for readings.

The Dark Moon – The African American Wiccan Society finally has their store up and it has just about everything and growing in stock each and every day. The ritual chocolates look wonderful and there’s even gear specifically designed for Black Pagans such as tarot bags and more.

Well that’s it for The Arts!: Samhain Edition!

The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

Alright, this The Arts is the Samhain Edition, where I list out great books, sites and resources for Paganism, Witchcraft and finding like-minded individuals! Expect this to be yearly, there’s always new content! Have something to suggest? Lemme know! But first lemme kick things off with the winners of my first divination giveaway, Samhain Pickers! The winners (and their divy requests) are:

– C. Wright (Cartomancy)

– P. Scales (Tarot)

– S. Francis (Natal Chart)

All winners have been notified and will be read for this week. If you do not see your reading in your email by Halloween/Samhain, please do notify me. Thank you for making this contest so successful, it’s gonna be yearly so people who didn’t take part or didn’t win this year, there’s always next year! Alright, let’s head on with The Arts!

Books are where I first learned about Paganism and Witchcraft and the source I trust the most. I’m a total bibliophile and books I trust to be a very noteworthy source of information. Now this isn’t to say there aren’t any bad books, oh there are and plenty of them. I’m just recommending some of the best ones to you. In this year’s list I actually own these books (and more but that’s next year).

Where to Park Your Broomstick (Lauren Manoy)
This book is the first book I ever read on Paganism and Witchcraft and it totally was a great and revolutionizing read for me when I was a teen. I always refer back to this book, even now, and it still provides itself to be a wonderful source, no matter what. Ms. Manoy is fantastic and perfect for everyone, although it is originally pitched at teens. Gotta start somewhere.

Watkins Dictionary of Magic (Nevill Drury)
This book was suggested to me by my friend Brandon and wow is it amazing! It’s an encyclopedia of valuable information ranging across different backgrounds and mythos as well as history, facts and symbols. Over 3,000 entries on the magickal world from formulas to secret symbols to the sheer occult! Anything you need to know, no matter how obscure or well-known, it’s in this book.

Witch’s Halloween (Gernina Dunwich)
This book I referenced a lot in my last column “Witch’s Halloween.” Great book about the history of Halloween, how it is celebrated all around the world. Included are also backgrounds of the symbols of Halloween such as the black cat and Jack O’ Lantern, Samhain divination, spells and recipes to ring in the Witch’s New Year right! Very amazing read, Dunwich is a marvelous author!

Elements of Witchcraft (Ellen Dugan)
This book I had read after Where to Park Your Broomstick and I highly recommend it to any age. I love Ms. Dugan’s storytelling entries of her own experiences in the craft and the information that she gives is simply priceless, especially if you decide to go into green (nature-oriented) magick. Great book overall

Books are valuable but you can’t always connect with others through them and some things are easier with the help of the internet. Take note, there are a lot of terrible sites on Paganism and Witchcraft, my god it’s like some of them were written up while trippin on acid. I’ve seen a good few that I have stored away on my favorites tab in my computer or been recommended to by my readers and I’m giving them to you!

Black Pagans (AfroPunk)
I’m a firm believer in Booker T. Washington’s quote, “Put your buckets down where they are, there’s diamonds in your own backyard.” There’s a Black Pagans group here on AfroPunk. go and join it! Ask questions, look around, socialize, do whatever but know that there is a place for Black Pagans here on AfroPunk.

African-American Wiccans
Despite the name, it’s not entirely for Wiccans but really a Yahoo group for Black Pagans all over. I was recommended by a reader of mine on AfroPunk and went to see for myself. It really is a wonderful way to connect with other Black Pagans across the US, I even managed to make a good friend myself who I visited on my last trip to Philly! Really nice spot and I very much recommend it!

Avalon Moon
One of the first sites with Pagan goods online I have ever come across. I remember being in high school consistently leafing through their staple-joined catalog at the end of class, looking at all the lovely stuff they had. I believe I bought a ring from them with the little bit of money I had and I still have it, the lovely ring. I also remembered when they didn’t have a store but now they do in Delhi, NY! Their selection is amazing! Amazing books, products and simply a one-stop shop for all your Pagan needs! And best of all? Free shipping on orders over $19. Can’t beat that!

The Celtic Connection
Ah, good old wicca.com. Very good site detailing Paganism  and a decent jump off point for anyone new to the path or pretty curious about it.

Gryphon Moon
I loooooove this site ever since I stumbled upon it years ago! It’s entertaining (I love the freebies and the buttons section), has beautiful products such as the jewelry, everything is simply lovely. The site is very well done, I highly recommend going there and checking it out!

Witch Vox
This is pretty much the Witches’ Yellowbook, you can find just about anyone there. It’s a useful directory to find other Pagans and Witches in your area, functions and read essays from fellow Wiccans, Witches and Pagans all around the world!

Mystic Wicks
This is the first message board I ever was on for Paganism. I honestly have forgotten how I found it but I’m glad I did. Connect with other Pagans, participate in free online classes, be happy and merry! It’s a great place to hone your knowledge, make friends and learn from others.

These are resources that I use when I need something. Divination, charts, dreams whatever I need.

I trust this site for the current astrological conditions and to draft natal charts with. I have always used alabe to draft and interpret natal charts with. I think I have recommended them before in a previous Black Witch post, “Baby, the Stars Shine Bright”. The natal chart casting is free but take a gander at their software if you choose to get serious, they have some amazing stuff!

The Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams (Theresa Chang)
As a dream interpreter, I need a book with as far of a stretch as possible. I have a few dream books but this one I would really recommend because of the diverse and detailed entries.

The Crystal Bible (Judy Hall)
See a stone but don’t know what it is? This book is for you! Flip through thousands of countless crystals, their backgrounds, densities, various properties (including metaphysical) and how to’s, simply amazing. Wanna know the difference between a lodestone and a hematite and ever wondered what a Herkimer diamond looks like and how it got its name? This books is a wonderful resource, especially if you work with stones often. Even if you don’t, stones represent Earth so it’s best to have a book like this tucked away for just in case.

The Palmistry Bible (Jane Struthers)
This little, thick book is an amazing source for palmistry as it goes over every line in the hand, rings, fingers, fingerprint and very in-depth!

The Art of Hand Reading (Lori Reid)
Wonderful suppliment for The Palmistry Bible but great on its own as well, this book is taller and skinner but discusses the history of palmisty, how it is used and perceived around the world throughout time and the hand gestures that are made in different societies such as the peace sign and the handshake.

What is Paganism page
This I found after some long and hard searching for a good webpage or website to explain Paganism without the author sounding crazy or crazy high and this page is it. It’s now a staple on my Black Witch external site under “Links of Interest” on the right hand side, it’s so on point.

That’s all for The Arts: Samhain Edition this year! I couldn’t put everything down or this would be nothing but a long list! But never fear, The Arts: Samhain Edition will come every year with new books, sites and resources for you to use. Have something to suggest? Speak up! I found African American Wiccans through the recommendation of a reader, certainly there must be more out there I haven’t found. You know how to send ‘em to me, just comment, email or tweet.

Next week is Ask Black Witch so if you have any questions about me and my faith or just something in general you want to ask, send them! And on Halloween I will be at Mystickal Voyage metaphysical shop in Nottingham, MD doing my vcast on Ustream! AfroPunk and I are still talkin about which Ustream account to use, mine or theirs but you will know for sure by next week’s column! Regardless of whichever gets used (hopefully the BW Ustream The AfroPunk Ustream will be used), the streaming starts at 4:30 EST (the time changed) so be there! Now, I’m also kinda new to Ustream and from my understanding you can participate either with a Ustream account, twitter login, Open ID or even AIM. It seems a Ustream account is your safest bet but feel free to try whatever method works for you. And I’ll be on my twitter (@thisblackwitch) as well so if you can’t get into the chat via Ustream somehow, just tweet me and I’ll get it.

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