From leading scientist-practitioners, this pragmatic, accessible book provides a complete framework for individualized assessment and From leading scientist-practitioners, this pragmatic, accessible book provides a complete framework for individualized assessment and treatment of bipolar disorder.
It addresses the complexities of working with individuals with broadly varying histories and clinical presentations, including those who have been A Deadly Affair. The story begins when prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist, Dr. Joel Steiner, is shot and killed LAPD Det. Joe Kellermann and his partner, Det. Rick Ramirez, begin an immediate investigation into Delivering Caliban John Purkiss, 2. Godsend: A Novel. Like many other eighteen-year-olds, Aden Sawyer Journey to Gonzales: Book Three, Mr. Barrington's Mysterious.
Nick is on a mission. Deeply troubled by the loss of a young friend at Deeply troubled by the loss of a young friend at the Battle of San Jacinto, he wants desperately to return to the scene of the battle—to alter history. But when he furtively opens the mysterious Heaven and Earth Media. Yet with no strength or will of my own to break free from the religion those who tried were threatened and suffered a penalty of death , I continued doing what I did, admiring cult members who said they loved God.
But one day the miraculous happened. I was set free just like the apostle Paul. As he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads. That was how I was delivered from the one who was dragging me to an eternal hell—Satan himself. This is my testimony. Introduction Mark of the Beast Shifting my feet to fight the cold, I waited at the busy crosswalk and watched my breath disperse like smoke in the wintry air.
Though the temperature hovered in the lows, the main street through Castle Hill in the Bronx teemed with people as it always did this time of day. A cluster of little kids played at the curb, seemingly unaware of the traffic roaring past them just a few yards away. Someone leaned on their car horn and shouted obscenities at another driver. A police car zigzagged through traffic, its siren blaring and bleeping to make a path through the crush of vehicles. Home sweet home, I thought cynically.
The light changed. I looked up to see a man I recognized from Step-In, the corner bar near the train station, leaning against the door of the barbershop. We slapped hands in passing before I quickly turned the corner down a side street, not wanting to make small talk. The cold wind whipping through Castle Hill hit me full in the face, and I turned up the collar of my wool coat.
I glanced up to see an older Hispanic woman outside her storefront staring at me, and as I turned my dark, piercing eyes on her, fear swept over her countenance. She made the sign of the cross and hurried inside, a bell jingling in her wake. By now it was unmistakable: the spirits were speaking to me.
I considered not going, but only for a minute. I rang the doorbell and waited, then rang it again. After the third ring I decided she must not be home, but something told me to go knock on the basement door. Stepping through the chain-link gate that accessed the basement entry, I started to knock when I saw that the door was already cracked open. I walked in. Eerie vibes filled the room—vibes I knew well—and instantly I realized some sort of witchcraft ritual was in process.
I glanced at the floor in front of the table and saw strange symbols written in chalk with lighted candles on them, making it appear as if the floor were on fire. For the first time I got a good look at the man sitting behind the table. Short and stocky, he wore a bandana around his head like a biker, and his medium-length black hair was matched by coal-black eyes that seemed to pierce right through me. Whoever he was, I could tell he was in charge of this gathering, and his mysterious aura was strangely beckoning.
My aunt waved me over, not wanting to interrupt the reading. As the reading went on, I stared at the symbols on the floor, fascinated by the power and heaviness that hung like a lead cloak over the room. Whatever it was, I wanted it too. I listened as he described the different aspects of this religion until finally my curiosity won out. As she said that, the man turned to me and opened his mouth to speak.
My heart thumped like a jackhammer in my chest when I heard the words of his prophecy. He held my eyes for a long moment, letting the words sink in. He must be in the first group of new initiates next month because of his power and commitment to Palo Mayombe. In that instant we both knew I had just walked into a supernatural appointment—her nephew was about to become a major power player, controlling spiritual regions of the Bronx. That afternoon was a turning point for me. I knew I was going to another level in the spirit realm and would have power like I never knew before.
As I approached the house on foot, I could feel the rhythm of the conga drums vibrating on the night air. The sound of chanting inside told me that those who came to watch the ceremony—seasoned priests of the religion—were beckoning the spirits, setting the spiritual atmosphere for what would take place on that night in February Opening the basement door ushered me into a world few people will ever experience.
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Flickering candles cast mysterious shadows on the walls, and seventeen tree branches covered the floor, one for each of the initiates to sit on. Two or three dozen roosters squawked from a makeshift cage in the corner of the room. I knew what they were for. The music got louder and the songs more intense, with lyrics inviting the devil to come as the hours ticked toward midnight.
Somebody asked the helpers to bring us into another part of the basement, and we stood shoulder to shoulder in front of what I sensed to be an altar. I felt the presence of demons so thick I could almost touch it.
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When the drumbeats reached their fullest a heavy presence beyond human comprehension descended on the room. Even though the words chanted were African and Spanish, I knew in my heart and soul and spirit they were summoning the devil. It was Nafumbe, the devil himself. Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead, and a strange mix of terror and excitement swelled within me. At five minutes to midnight, the high tata priest stood in front of me and started chanting some words, spelling out the contract that was about to take place. He chose me to go first.
Taking a one-edged razor, he cut into my flesh. As my blood ran, I knew the contract was being initiated. Out of the seventeen initiates that night, the devil chose only me to be initiated as tata, the calling 9. The godfather cut a pentagram into the flesh of my right arm, distinguishing me from the others. The priests boasted about how seldom one is singled out for the calling of tata, and I held my head high: I had the mark of the beast on my body. It was still dark out and very quiet, but I could tell from the single small window in the basement that dawn would come soon.
I flipped the switch to turn on the light and leaned in close to peer at my reflection in the mirror. The face that stared back at me was the face of a new person, a new man. The black eyes that gazed from the reflection were eyes I had never seen before: I had been born into Palo Mayombe to be a Palero tata—a high priest.
Chapter 1 Beginnings My blood boiling with rage, I walked into a bar and scanned the smoky room for my father, knowing he had to be here. Where else would he be when he was not at home or driving his gypsy cab? And there he was, just as I expected—sitting on a barstool, leaning in close to a woman with dark hair in a tight blouse.
He was smiling and laughing, and I knew thoughts of my mother were far from his mind. A movement across the room caught my eye. Even from this distance I could feel a thick vibe of jealousy and anger radiating from him. The strange man reached inside his coat, and in that moment I realized what he was about to do— what I had secretly wanted somebody to do for a long time: kill my father.
Two shots rang out, and as my father slumped to the wooden floor, the stranger crossed the room to pump the rest of the bullets in the barrel into his cold, vile heart. Just a little. Then his firstborn son would not have spent so many days and nights of his young life wishing his father was dead and finally seeing it come true. A dream. I looked over at my brothers, snoring softly through the uproar of the South Bronx streets outside our dingy apartment window.
The room was freezing as usual, but I was used to it. Unable to sleep, I crossed to the window and peered out. A couple of neighborhood thugs huddled over a trashcan fire on the corner, and a second police car roared down the street, its sirens chasing after the first one that had awakened me from the cruel dream. How did I get here? I wondered. I was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in the Bronx as the oldest of four sons. From the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, with its glorious sunshine, palm trees, warm breezes, and crystal waters, we moved to the harsh, cold streets of the South Bronx.
As a child, I would fold my arms on an open windowsill on one of the upper floors of our apartment building and look out at the trash-cluttered sea of concrete, glass, and brick buildings. I had an artistic soul, even as a boy, but for miles into the horizon I saw no art or beauty. All I saw was an ocean of ugliness. Goodhearted by nature, I was a spirited child who did my best to help my mother and brothers out. It was something every growing boy needed. I longed for a dad to participate in my life, to say he was proud of me and that he loved me.
It was something I never got. Instead my absentee father had countless women on the side, bar fights, and drunken rages. His insane exploits ensnared him and saddened us deeply. His careless, cruel behavior toward my mother and our family became more horrible with each passing year. I would go from being a kind boy to being a very angry one. As time went on, my feelings and outlook on the world festered with the bitterness I felt.
Eventually my once-kind heart turned stone cold. The very next year she gave birth to my brother Julio. We stayed in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, for one year until my parents and both sides of their families came to the United States. Upon arriving in America, in rapid succession my brothers George and Eustaquio Jr.
But the challenges grew deeper. As I got older I realized our family had not been prepared for the realities of living in New York. This was supposed to be the start of a better life in the most promising city in the world—New York. Manhattan was the island that was so close, yet from where we lived in the South Bronx, it seemed a world away. It often felt like we were trapped in a time warp. We lived in an apartment prison with invisible bars that caged us in an endless, living nightmare. The reality in which we lived seemed like a bad dream. My father, who was supposed to take the lead, instead was constantly running out of the home and out of our lives.
He was missing in action for most of our lives. My dad was a young and handsome man with piercing eyes and thick black hair. Within seconds, bustling in her housedress and ever-present apron, my mother would put away any anger because of his absence, and her heart would be taken in again just by the sight of him. What do you mean? No—all they ever want is a dollar so they can go buy candy. Bitterness and hatred churned in my heart. I knew that a reply of any kind was useless. And then my father would make his way to the living room, fall out on the sofa in a drunken stupor, and go to sleep.
Often the next morning, although we were his own family, he seemed so detached, like his mind was elsewhere.
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It was as if he needed to be treated more like visiting royalty than a father, and we all My mother probably wanted to tell him news of her last few days or weeks. My brothers and I were bursting to share our baseball victories or basketball stories or talk about what happened in or after school. Maybe mention some cool car we saw or some girl we had a crush on, or even share a funny joke we heard. But more often than not we just ate in relative silence, afraid to say much of anything.
At other times it seemed more like a brick wall that we could never break through where he kept his emotions walled in, never expressing any real joy or love for us. I saw other boys with their fathers going to the park, hitting a ball, playing catch, talking about sports. Those fathers would talk enthusiastically with them, pat them on the back, and walk along with their sons, sharing a good laugh. He seemed to go out of his way to discourage my brothers and me, to criticize us and talk to us in a condescending tone.
We were never good enough to make him happy. I hated who he was, and I was even ashamed to tell others he was my dad. The picture was either distorted or ugly or strangely blank. He left no template for me to pour myself into, no image for me to model myself after. He frequently made promises, and like fools we let our hopes get high.
What do you say to that, huh? He had run out of our lives once again, to be missing for days or weeks on end. Mom was the backbone of the family. With four children at a very young age, it was difficult for her to do things and move around from place to place. Since my mother was poorly educated and had no work experience outside the home, we depended on public assistance, food stamps, and whatever help my mother could get. Everything ran out after only a week or two, but we tried to make the best of it.
From time to time my father would give her twenty dollars to buy food for the week. Even back then, that was not enough. But at times it was much worse than that. Once I walked into the kitchen and stopped cold, staring in amazement at the five dollars he had left on the counter for food and other necessities. Five dollars! For his wife and family of four growing boys! Even with my grade school math I knew that five people six whenever he came back home , divided by five dollars, meant my dad had left less than a dollar apiece for each of us to live on for the week.
My mother used the basics—rice, beans, and potatoes—to stretch everything. But even with her creative and good cooking, five dollars was just a bad joke. What my father had left for us to survive on was more of an insult than a help. That was one of the many ways he humiliated my mother and controlled the family, by leaving us in lack. Where Are You, God?
Like so many others, my father was involved in espiritismo spiritualism and appealed to his gods in a darkened room with strange rituals, chanting, and candles. To him it was just a cultural thing. One afternoon toward dusk I walked down the hall of our apartment and heard my father chanting in the bedroom he shared with my mother. Tiptoeing to the door, I peeked through the crack and saw him before a makeshift altar glowing with candles.
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The sight of my father chanting to his favorite saint, whom he called San Lazaro St. Lazarus , both frightened and fascinated me. He often sent me with five dollars to the nearby botanica, a potion store, to buy an orange candle and flowers for San Lazaro, whom he probably loved more than his own kids.
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I was on a mission, dashing through cars in heavy traffic, my hands tightly gripped on the money. As I ran into the botanica, I hoped and prayed they would have what my dad sent me to buy. Why did He allow my brothers and me to hurt at the hands of our own father—not to mention the anguish my mother endured?
I pushed the thoughts aside as quickly as they came. It was too painful to dwell on what the answer might be. One afternoon I went down the block to play in the schoolyard, but to my surprise I heard loud music emanating from it. Curious to see what all the commotion was about, I drew nearer and saw a large red tent with a church service going on underneath. Somebody was playing a keyboard, and a choir swayed at the back of the tent as they belted out songs about Jesus.
For a while I stood at a distance, touched by the music and stirred up in my heart. While the choir sang, a man came around off the stage and touched people on the forehead randomly. Whenever he touched them, they fell to the ground onto their backs, as if going to sleep. They looked so peaceful lying there, and suddenly I wanted the same thing to happen to me. I felt a love there that was indescribable. As if on cue, the man leading the event started moving in my direction. My pulse quickened. One by one he touched people in the crowd near me, the closest one being a man standing right next to me.
The man fell out on his back, and I could see the blessing on him—that something special I longed for too. I looked up expectantly, waiting for the minister to touch me, but he had passed me by, moving to another section of the crowd instead. I left that event feeling heartbroken, unwanted, and unloved. My Father, My Enemy Most nights my father came home already roaring drunk and enflamed by rage. For no reason at My brothers and I cowered in our rooms, trembling with fear. We were all just little boys, and I would bite my lip and beg God to make the screaming and hitting stop. One night the sound of my mother screaming pulled me out of a deep sleep.
I leaped from the top bunk bed where I slept and stumbled down the hallway, my stomach churning in knots. As I approached the kitchen, the sound of shattering glass exploded in the air. My mother sobbed as she tried to serve him the dinner she spent all afternoon cooking.
Suddenly a reheated meal of beans, rice, tomatoes, chicken, and plantains went airborne as he slammed his dinner plate against the wall. He grabbed her by the hair and began to beat her mercilessly. At one point during his pounding, my mother—literally knocked out of her shoes by him—managed to break away and run barefoot in terror down the hall into their bedroom.
She struggled to lock the door in a futile effort to escape him. He lunged after her and broke down the door, and her screams grew louder as the beating continued. Though I was still a young boy, I knew I had to rescue her. He turned around, eyes blazing with fire, cursed me, and tore me off him with rough hands, throwing me violently across the room.
I hit the floor hard in a broken heap, feeling physically and emotionally hurt, angry, and powerless as he continued to beat my mother. Shaking with fear and anger, I crawled back into my bunk bed and tried to go to sleep. In just three hours I would have to wake up, get dressed, and go to school as if nothing had happened. I would have to show a brave face to the world, pretending that my home life was not the living hell it truly was.
That night as I examined my bruises and thought about the injuries my mother must have too, my hatred for my father grew stronger. It was that night I first wished my father was dead. Chapter 2 The Burnt-Out Bronx Instead of getting better, life stumbled on with violent scenes repeating themselves as if on a demented loop, spiraling further and further down in our circular, hellish way of life. No one who lived in the other boroughs was rushing to visit anyone in the Bronx back then. It was like a ravaged war zone. In one apartment building, thirty families filled the dingy, cramped living spaces, but because the building was so rundown, many families moved out, leaving only three families—including ours.
This building had no hot water or heat in the winter, and some nights my brothers and I slept in our clothes, bundled in our sweaters, coats, scarves, and gloves just to stay warm throughout the night. We huddled in our rooms, the air so cold it felt almost like camping outdoors, with icy blasts of air coming from our mouths as we tried to get some sleep. I glanced over at the clock—the faint glow of the hour hand ticked off the hours.
I stared out the window at the cold night, the light from the corner streetlamp shining into our bedroom window. Gangs ruled the different neighborhoods of the Bronx, and ours was no different. A gang called the New York Reapers patrolled the streets and alleyways we called home, and in a strange paternalistic way they took care of the neighborhood residents—saving their blood-thirst for any rival gang members foolish enough to try to come onto their turf.
And when the rival gangs were foolish enough to encroach on Reaper turf, it was time for a rumble. His pimped-out Chevy Nova idled at the curb, the exhaust pipes rumbling. I glanced up from my task of filling two buckets with Once full, my brother Julio and I would stagger up five flights to our apartment, which had no running water, and return to make the same trip six or seven more times until there was enough water for the evening.
I pretended not to hear him. I looked him straight in the eyes, a flat expression on my face. You hear me? I nodded and went back to my chore, but I could feel my heart pump faster. Rumbles were frightening, no doubt about it. But they were also exciting. As soon as the Nova roared around the corner, I shouted to Julio. Tell Mom, George, and Eustaquio! His eyes widened. What time? A weird, almost tangible vibe ran up and down the streets of the neighborhood. Like an electric current, news of the rumble spread. Mothers did last-minute shopping at the battered storefront shops along Deli Avenue and th Street.
Little kids playing by the street jittered in a crazy hop-skip dance, and horns blared from cars, as if signaling the coming showdown between the rival gangs. My brothers and I leaned on our open bedroom windowsill like we had ringside seats to a championship prize fight. In every direction we could see, people hung out their windows like we did. One thing I've found about recording a lot of this material on my own is that there is a lot of material that gets left on the "Cutting room floor".
I was playing a lot of random demos that I've been recording since for some friends and their response was "Why haven't you just released this as is for people to hear? Some of it was written to be Planet Gemini and some of it was written to be other projects. Chritus said "Everyone wants to sound like Ozzy's Black Sabbath Our schedules just didn't sync up at that time but I'm sure they will. I have a TON of respect for the man.
Devil's Punchbowl is beautiful, but dangerous
At the very end of the project I have a vocal track that I did for a band called "Wrath of Ragnarok". They posted on the "Hellride Music" Forums that they couldn't find a singer and so I tried to find someone to help them. I was sent a raw "track" with a skeleton of vocals and I just didn't like the lyrics, melody or