An invocation may take the form of: Supplication, prayer or spell. A form of possession. Command or conjuration. Self-identification with certain spirits; these forms are not mutually exclusive. See Theurgy; as a supplication or prayer it implies to call upon a god, goddess, or person, etc.. When a person calls upon God, a god, or goddess to ask for something or for worship, this can be done in a pre-established form or with the invoker's own words or actions. An example of a pre-established text for an invocation is the Lord's Prayer. All religions in general use invoking liturgies, or hymns. An invocation can be a secular alternative to a prayer. On August 30, 2012, Dan Nerren, a member of the Humanist Association of Tulsa, delivered a secular invocation to open a meeting of the City Council of Tulsa. Nerren was invited to perform the invocation as a compromise following a long-running dispute with the City Council over prayers opening meetings; the invocation was written by Andrew Lovley, a member of the Southern Maine Association of Secular Humanists who had used the invocation in 2009 to invoke an inauguration ceremony for new city officials in South Portland, Maine.

In this usage, it is comparable to an affirmation as an alternative for those who conscientiously object to taking oaths of any kind, be it for reasons of belief or non-belief. The word "possession" is used here in its neutral form to mean "a state in which an individual's normal personality is replaced by another"; this is sometimes known as'aspecting'. This can be done as a means of communicating with or getting closer to a deity or spirit, as such need not be viewed synonymously with demonic possession. In some religious traditions including Paganism and Wicca, "invocation" means to draw a spirit or Spirit force into one's own body and is differentiated from "evocation", which involves asking a spirit or force to become present at a given location. Again, Aleister Crowley states that To "invoke" is to "call in", just as to "evoke" is to "call forth"; this is the essential difference between the two branches of Magick. In invocation, the macrocosm floods the consciousness. In evocation, the magician, having become the macrocosm, creates a microcosm.

Possessive invocation may be attempted singly or, as is the case in Wicca, in pairs - with one person doing the invocation, the other person being invoked. The person invoked may be moved to speak or act in non-characteristic ways, acting as the deity or spirit. A communication might be given via imagery, they may be led to recite a text in the manner of that deity, in which case the invocation is more akin to ritual drama. The Wiccan Charge of the Goddess is an example of such a pre-established recitation. See the ritual of Drawing Down the Moon; the ecstatic, possessory form of invocation may be compared to loa possession in the Vodou tradition where devotees are described as being "ridden" or "mounted" by the deity or spirit. In 1995 National Geographic journalist Carol Beckwith described events she had witnessed during Vodoun possessions: A woman splashed sand into her eyes, a man cut his belly with shards of glass but did not bleed, another swallowed fire. Nearby a believer a yam farmer or fisherman, heated hand-wrought knives in crackling flames.

Another man brought one of the knives to his tongue. We cringed at the sight and were dumbfounded when, after several repetitions, his tongue had not reddened. Possessive invocation has been described in certain Norse rites where Odin is invoked to "ride" workers of seidr, much like the god rides his eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Indeed, forms of possessive invocation appear throughout the world in most mystical or ecstatic traditions, wherever devotees seek to touch upon the essence of a deity or spirit; some have performed invocation for the purpose of controlling or extracting favors from certain spirits or deities. These invocations involve a commandment or threat against the entity invoked; the following is a curious example of such an invocation, found engraved in cuneiform on a statue of the Assyrian demon Pazuzu. Although it seems to constitute an identification with the demon, it was considered a protective amulet with the power to command this entity not to harm people or their possessions.

I am Pazuzu, son of the king of the evil spirits, that one who descends impetuously from the mountains and bring the storms. That is the one. Another example is found in the book Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches during the Conjuration of Diana, where the goddess is evoked into a piece of bread and threatened to grant a wish: I do not bake the bread, nor with it salt Nor do I cook the honey with the wine I bake the body and the blood and soul The soul of Diana that she shall Know neither rest nor peace and be In cruel suffering till she will grant what I request What I do most desire I beg it of her from my heart! And if the grace be granted, O Diana! In honour of thee I will hold this feast Feast and drain the goblet deep We will dance and wildly leap And if thou grant'st the grace which I require Then when the

Yellow-billed duck

The yellow-billed duck is a 51–58 cm long dabbling duck, an abundant resident breeder in southern and eastern Africa. This duck will wander in the dry season to find suitable waters, it is gregarious outside the breeding season and forms large flocks. These are mallard-sized grey ducks with a darker head and bright yellow bill; the wings are whitish below, from above show a white-bordered green speculum. Sexes are similar, juveniles are duller than adults; the north-eastern race has a brighter bill and blue speculum. It is a bird of freshwater habitats in open country and feeds by dabbling for plant food in the evening or at night, it nests on the ground in dense vegetation near water. Found in suburban areas, in close proximity to golf courses and lakes or dams; the clutch numbers between six and twelve eggs. The male has a teal-like whistle. There are two subspecies of the yellow-billed duck: A. undulata rueppelli A. undulata undulata The yellow-billed duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.

The southern nominate subspecies is declining due to competition and hybridization with feral mallards. Rhymer, Judith M.: Extinction by hybridization and introgression in anatine ducks. Acta Zoologica Sinica 52: 583–585. PDF fulltext Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa ISBN 1-86872-721-1 Madge and Burn, Wildfowl ISBN 0-7470-2201-1 Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds

Clover Stakes

The Clover Stakes was an American Thoroughbred horse race run forty-one times at New York State's Gravesend and Aqueduct racetracks between 1888 and 1932. A race for two-year-old fillies, it was contested over a distance of five furlongs on dirt; the first Clover Stakes was hosted by Gravesend Race Track from inception in 1888 and run through 1908 and for a last time in 1910. Passage of the Hart-Agnew anti-betting legislation by the New York Legislature under Governor Charles Evans Hughes led to a compete shutdown of racing in 1911 and 1912 in the state. A February 21, 1913 ruling by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division saw horse racing return in 1913. However, it was too late for the Gravesend horse racing facility and it never reopened. Picked up by the operators of the Aqueduct Racetrack, the Clover Stakes returned in 1914 and would run continuously through 1932; the valuable race fell victim to the effects of the Great Depression in the United States which forced track owners to cut costs and eliminate some events in order to provide funding support for others.

The final edition was run on June 15, 1932 and was won by Sonny Whitney's Disdainful, stablemate of his Champion and U. S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee Top Flight. Speed record: 0:58 flat @ 5 furlongs: Top Flight 0:55 2/5 @ 4.5 furlongs: Sweet Lavender Most wins by a jockey: 3 - Fred Littlefield Most wins by a trainer: 6 - James G. Rowe Sr. Most wins by an owner: 6 - Harry Payne Whitney