Monday, December 20, 2010

The Goddess is beaming!


My husband reminded me that this is the first time since around since 1378 that there has been a lunar eclipse on Yule. Magically, a lunar eclipse is the time when the sun, the moon & the earth are in perfect alignment with the earth sitting in the middle.  The winter solstice reminds us of the Lord of the Hunt, with darkness abundant & the sun far away. A full moon is of course the goddess in full array.
When we have this kind of magical event with a full moon, a lunar eclipse and Yule we have a time of wonderful magic.


This is the perfect time to focus on masculine magic as well as feminine, the power of the sun & the wisdom of the moon. It really is a time of such stupendous power that anything goes.




May the blessings of the goddess 
& the power of the god 
beam down on you as we enjoy this magikal time.
May your dreams take wing, your energy soar 
& your magic be beautiful.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fall Asleep Counting Your Blessings


Once again, I have raced through the Yule season as if running a race. The finish line being the 25th when presents are exchanged. I have zoomed along so rapidly that I have forgotten why this is such a wonderful time of year on so many levels.
I was raised Christian and for followers of Christ, Christmas is birth, hope, salvation. It is a time of new beginnings, peace & love. I am a witch now & yet we pagans celebrate something quite similar. After all peace & love covers all objections, doesn't it?
At Yule the Oak King & Holly King struggle for dominion with the Oak King winning. He must win so that the wheel of the year turns slowly to warmth & birth & away from cold, dark & death. For us Yule is a time of celebration, as we recognize the ever turning seasons. The Yule log crackles(even if it is a gas log) and feasting, drinking & generally merry-making abounds. We feel loving towards many & peaceful towards all.



And yet, we forget all this so easily as we dash around decorating, buying, wrapping.  I was watching "White Christmas" the other evening. I love that movie. Bing Crosby was sing to Rosemary Clooney, "I fall asleep counting my blessings." That is going to be my vow this year. I am going to count my blessings every evening lest I forget how blessed I truly am: a wonderful husband, three great sons & their friends & girlfriends, a Goddess & God that watch over me, good health, money enough, Mahjong  friends, Happy Hour friends, Meals on Wheels friends, food, love, my beautiful eWitch sisters, my shop & Spelled friends, good health and the myriad of other blessings.


May the Goddess bless all of you with the richness of life, time to enjoy it & a closer presence to Her.

Monday, November 29, 2010

May It Be


There are some songs that warm you to the soul and give a gift of message that is rare.  From the first time I heard this song it brought that feeling to me.  I am sure many of you have heard it many times yet I'd like to share it once more. 
Blessings

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Mourning Moon

Sunday, November 21st
Take some time and enjoy the Full Moon of November.
The Full Moon is currently in Taurus and offers a perfect opportunity for any magic one may want to conjour involving love, property or finances.
The Full Moon also offers an excellent time to plant any flower bulbs that you may be wanting to get into the ground if you haven't already.
For water charged with with the power of the Full Moon, place a jug of fresh spring water out under the light of the full moon.
This is excellent for washing or annointing anything you wish to fill with the magic of the Full Moon

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Knock on the Door

I'm sure a lot of you have seen this video, but I wanted to share it with those who haven't seen it. I never get tired of watching it and Duirwaigh Studios who created this has some whimsical and beautiful treasures to look on at their site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Pagan Partnership

Throughout the month of November, the women of eWitch and I will be sharing articles and anecdotes about our personal relationships and how they are impacted by our spirituality.  Since getting back into writing, I have wanted to broach this subject, but have never found the time.  I look forward to reading what our other eWitches have to say about their own relationships.

The perfect place for me to start discussing this topic is with my own marriage.  Mr. Sparrow (aka Danzig) and I have been married for four years.  We have no children at this time.

Danzig is a third generation American.  His great-grandparents came to the United States from Poland and brought their beliefs with them.  While they openly practiced Catholicism, they practiced Witchcraft from their home country in secret.  Danzig had the pleasure of learning from his great-grandmother before she passed away.

I was raised in a Protestant family that has been in America for generations.  My lineage can be traced mostly back to Norway (yay Vikings!) on my Dad’s side, but I have some family that originated in Wales and Germany.  Religion was not consistently a big deal in our home growing up unless my Grandmother, who is Baptist, was around.  I was programmed from a young age that Witchcraft was Evil and that anyone not saved by Jesus Christ was going to Hell.  Oh, how far I have come!

When I met Danzig in 2004, I was coming out of what turned out to be the darkest time of my life.  I was furious at everyone, especially myself.  I didn’t know what to believe and had pretty much shunned Christianity.  There was a gaping hole in my heart that begged to be filled.

Little by little, Danzig introduced me to his Earth-based path.  I soaked the information up like a sponge, quickly beginning my own research into the various practices and paths.  He taught me how to meditate, how to cast a circle, and the basics of protection magick.  He is the one who laid the foundation for my future as a Pagan and Witch.

That being said, I have a unique and wonderful spiritual relationship with Deity that includes my husband.  We each have our own path, but are respectful of the other’s beliefs and work together to honor the Divine.

Next week I will share some ideas of how couples can practice their spirituality together and grow closer in doing so.  Be sure to stop by my blog, The Balanced Witch, to check out the “366 Days of Magick” that is going on all this year.  I also have a giveaway going on now!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Rememberance - All Souls Day

All Souls


A THIN moon faints in the sky o'erhead,
And dumb in the churchyard lie the dead.
Walk we not, Sweet, by garden ways,
Where the late rose hangs and the phlox delays,
But forth of the gate and down the road,
Past the church and the yews, to their dim abode.
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.



Fear not that sound like wind in the trees:
It is only their call that comes on the breeze;
Fear not the shudder that seems to pass:
It is only the tread of their feet on the grass;
Fear not the drip of the bough as you stoop:
It is only the touch of their hands that grope -
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can yearn and the dead can smite.


And where should a man bring his sweet to woo
But here, where such hundreds were lovers too?
Where lie the dead lips that thirst to kiss,
The empty hands that their fellows miss,
Where the maid and her lover, from sere to green,
Sleep bed by bed, with the worm between?
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.


And now that they rise and walk in the cold,
Let us warm their blood and give youth to the old.
Let them see us and hear us, and say: 'Ah, thus
In the prime of the year it went with us!'
Till their lips drawn close, and so long unkist,
Forget they are mist that mingles with mist!
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the dead can burn and the dead can smite.
Till they say, as they hear us - poor dead, poor dead! -


'Just an hour of this, and our age-long bed -
Just a thrill of the old remembered pains
To kindle a flame in our frozen veins,
Just a touch, and a sight, and a floating apart,
As the chill of dawn strikes each phantom heart -
For it's turn of the year and All Souls' night,
When the dead can hear, and the dead have sight.'


And where should the living feel alive
But here in this wan white humming hive,
As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
And one by one they creep back to the fold?
And where should a man hold his mate and say:
'One more, one more, ere we go their way'?
For the year's on the turn, and it's All Souls' night,
When the living can learn by the churchyard light.


And how should we break faith who have seen
Those dead lips plight with the mist between,
And how forget, who have seen how soon
They lie thus chambered and cold to the moon?
How scorn, how hate, how strive, we too,
Who must do so soon as those others do?
For it's All Souls' night, and break of the day,
And behold, with the light the dead are away. . . .

Edith Wharton

Monday, November 1, 2010

Resolutions for a New Year

I hope that each of you and your families had a wonderful Halloween and a blessed Samhain.  Saturday was spent at the zoo and hanging out with friends.  On Sunday, we stuck close to home.  I managed to get some last-minute homework done and snuck in some Halloween artwork.  Mr. Sparrow did a good smudging on our new apartment and some protection work.  Overall, it was a busy, but enjoyable weekend.

As Samhain is known as the Witch’s New Year, my family makes resolutions for the coming magickal year at that time.  We usually write these resolutions down on paper and burn them.  This releases our intentions into the Universe.

My major resolution for this year is to take a trip back to the basics.  Since I have been sitting on the precipice of my 3rd Degree initiation, I have been feeling more spiritually blah than ever.  I’m not sure if it is because I am coming to an end of my “official” training or confusion about where to go from here, but I need something to regain focus.

Another resolution of mine for the year is to write a little every day.  I have wanted to be a professional writer for a while and do quite a bit of it between blogging and writing articles, but it has not been a focus.  Since I began writing somewhat regularly, I have noticed that it is coming easier to me and that I am able to convey my thoughts much more clearly.  I have dreams of writing a Pagan romance and want to be able to make those a reality one day.

In an effort to fulfill both of these resolutions (and because I am a project-aholic) the “366 Days of Magic” was born on my blog, The Balanced Witch.  For the next 366 days, there will be a new post on my blog each day about the basics of Earth-based spirituality and magickal practice.  I just posted the first day and am excited about the next 365!

Did anyone else make any resolutions?

Have you seen this?


This is not what we usually post but my son sent this via email. See the story here at Fox News.  The New York Times wrote about it, too.
Here is the blurb about the label on The Lost Abbey Web site:

The Story on the Label
Whether you’re a wonder healer, a caller of spirits or a lover of black magic, they will find you. And on that day, they will boil your blood, singe your skin and make a point to burn your soul to the ground. From that lonely stake, you’ll be left to contemplate your life of spell casting, obscure texts and a world operated between the shadows of night and day.
Convicted of a dark art, the crowd will gather to watch as they raze your earthen existence. An intolerable pain is the cross you’ll bear that day as you are removed from this righteous world. No one will summon the courage to save you in fear of their life. It sucks. But such is the life of a witch. In honor of your fleeting existence, we brewed Witch’s Wit. A light and refreshing wheat beer, it’s exactly the sort of thing you might expect to find being passed around the center of town on witch burning day. Say hello to the Prince of Darkness for us.

About the Label Art 

From Tomme:

When I imagined this beer, I thought of two perspectives that would make for the best story. The first story could have been told from the Point of View of our Witch (or Heroine depending on the story). Ultimately, I think I like not knowing her story is better. How she got there is a big part of the mystery.
I became more fixated on the guilt of the crowd. There would surely have been people (the faceless souls) who could have/ would have wanted to help. There also would have been some righteous people smug with satisfaction knowing another “witch” leaving their world.
The Point of View for this back story label is about that smugness and righteousness in light of a horrific atrocity against mankind. It’s written in a modified 3rd person Omniscient Point of View (partly a member of the crowd and my own voice). I knew that most people wouldn’t spend the time delving into the mystery of the piece I wrote but at the same time, I wanted a voice of reason (or counter reason) to be present for this beer. Specifically, we knew this to be a thought provoking original art piece.
I cannot think why anyone would believe that to put artwork of someone burning at the stake  would be a good idea. It is offensive as well as creepy. Maybe they could put a picture of someone on the rack? Or going into the iron maiden?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Samhain Night ~Loreena McKennitt~

 For those of you who don't know Loreena McKennitt's work, she happens to have one of the most beautiful and soulful voices I've ever heard. Every time I hear one of her songs, I'm put into a trance. Below are the song lyrics from one of my favorite songs by her called, "Samain Night."



When the moon upon a cloud cast night
hung above the tree tops' height



You sang me of some distant past 
that made my heart beat strong and past
Now I know I'm home at last.




You offered me an eagles wing
that to the sun I might soar and sing



And if I heard the owl's cry
into the forest I would fly
And in its darkness find you by


And so our love's not a simple thing
Nor our truths unwavering



But like the Moon's pull on the tide
Our fingers touch, our hearts collide
I'll be a moons breath by your side





Below is the video of this song by Mckennitt so that you can enjoy hear this gorgeous and haunting song. May each of you have a Samain full of moonlight, mystery and magick.


















Friday, October 29, 2010

A Fresh Look at Female Archetypes

Any woman who has picked up a book about the Goddess or taken a 101 class has been taught that the three female archetypes are the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.  This idea, the Triple Goddess, is delicately pounded into our heads from the beginning of our training.  Even thought times have changed and we are living longer than our ancestors, modern traditions cling tight to this model for explaining the stages of a woman’s life.

I politely disagree on just the three and offer up an additional two phases…

Maiden

The Maiden archetype is generally depicted in white with long, flowing blond hair.  She is running through a meadow, communing with the animals, and basking in the glow of nature.  She is innocent, not aware of the ways of the world.  She is just coming into her own and at peace with herself.

How many teenagers these days are like that?

In my mind, a Maiden falls in the birth to preteen age group.  She exhibits the youthful innocence that has come to be expected of the archetype and has not yet become worn down or jaded against the expectations of society.

Warrior

I was introduced to the concept of the Warrior phase while working on my degree studies through the Family Wiccan Traditions International (which has since disbanded).  Since I always felt that there was a huge gap between the Maiden and Mother, I quickly folded the Warrior into my own life and belief system.

The Warrior represents women from their teens until somewhere in their mid-twenties.  She is on a quest to discover who she is and what she wants out of her life.  She is learning when to take a stand, fighting fiercely for something she believes in.  She is also learning when to compromise.  She may or may not be in a relationship, but understands that her needs and happiness come first.

Mother

The standard image of the Mother is a woman who is with child or one who is holding a small child in her arms.  She has long dark hair and wears red, for the blood that she has shed.  She is the nurturer, guide, and protector for those to come.

To me, the Mother does not have to actually have children.  She not only nurtures her children (and pets), but herself, her significant other (if she has one), family, friends, and her career.  She is fiercely protective of the ones she loves and guides the younger generations with a gentle, but firm hand.  She is represented by women in their late twenties until early forties.

Queen

I always felt that there was another gap between the Mother and Crone, but never knew what to call that particular phase.  In the SageWoman Magazine issue 74, entitled Visions of the Goddess: Queen, I found what I had been seeking in an article called “Why We Need the Queen.”

The Queen presides over the woman in their late forties until their late fifties to early sixties.  If she has children, they are grown and beginning their own lives.  They are wiser, still have “it,” and pretty much have life figured out.  They are living out their dreams, taking risks, and doing what they want to do when they want to.

Crone

Cloaked in a veil of darkness, the Crone breathes wisdom into the younger generations.  She has lived a long, full life and retains her blood each month.  She has done her duties and now is her time of rest.  Her light still shines, but is dimmed by experience.

With women living longer than ever and more active in their older years (my grandmother is still feisty at 87), the entire image of the crone has changed.  She still clings to her youth (especially if there are grandchildren) and serves as a Matron and respected elder of the family.  She pursues her hobbies, may still work, and keeps busy doing things she loves.  She has learned from experience and applies the wisdom she has acquired, not making the same mistakes anymore.  She is loved and celebrated by all, sought out for council, and living on her terms.

So there they are - my five female archetypes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nanny Ogg-the fun one of the bunch & I want to be just like her


 I want to be happy & fun like Nanny(Gytha) Ogg, who is the "mother" of the MMC witches in Terry Pratchett's Discworld.. I am moving there as soon as I can find it on the map. Nanny Ogg is round, a smoker & drinker, is sex-obsessed, wears striped stockings & red boots. She knows ALL the verses to the Hedgehog Song, not just the chorus:

The spines on his back are too sharp for a man
They'll give you a pain in the worst place they can
The result I think you'll find will appall:
The hedgehog can never be buggered at all! 


She has many great reasons to be very happy, she makes her own Scumble. Scumble is made from apples, well mainly apples. It melts spoons & must be drunk by the thimbleful. Nanny's daughter-in-laws, their numbers are legion, clean her house. Daily. Nanny is a very good witch & is Granny Weatherwax's best friend. Nanny Ogg can play her banjo while she rides her broom. She plays a mean hand of "Cripple Mister Onion," she is a betting woman & she wins most of the time. (You can buy your own deck here, at The Fat Pack Playing Card Company.) I have one.


Everyone loves Nanny Ogg. She is happy, honest a lot of the time, has a ton of kids & grandkids who also love her & she sometimes wears one of those kitchen aprons that look like a Merry Widow bustier. She is the subject of the Mona Ogg, both I and II(smiling, well grinning really. Maybe a leer..) She also knows all the words to, A Wizard's Staff has a Knob on the End. Another venerable pub song in Discworld.

O, the wizard's staff had a knob on the end.
It does! It does!
O, the wizard's staff has a knob on the end.
It does!
O, the wizard's staff has a knob on the end
And the wizard's staff is the wizard's friend.
It is! It is!
 Really, the very best thing about Nanny is that she is what she is & makes no apologies. She is a witch. She loves men, has had a number of husbands & is quite risque. She drinks, smokes & sings dopey pub songs-even though she has a VERY bad singing voice and she is F-U-N!
 Well, I can now recognize the theme in my October posts: Just be yourself. All the characters/witches I have written about are fictional & different as night & day & I love & admire them all. They are the women I want to be like, in all their guises. Well, dang. Maybe I will just be me.

 



Monday, October 25, 2010

My Most Embarrassing Halloween Yet...

I know most of you have been having fun with Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween with the Haunted Blog Tours, the Guest Posts and yes, the giveaways!

Well, tomorrow my number is up, it's my turn to be the hostess with the mostest ; ) for the Haunted Blog Tour. I'm going to be telling everyone about "the costume of death" I was forced to wear by my mother. Why am I going to be posting about this? Probably, because I'm a glutton for punishment. Really though, I think it's a funny story, now that I'm an adult (mostly) and I hope you'll get at least a smile out of it. I'm also having another small giveaway.

So, I hope you come visit my blog tomorrow as well as reading the guest blogger post (which have been really well-written) and entering the "official" giveaways at Mrs. B's.

Also, don't forget to go see Mother Moon's blog and enter for a wickedly cool giveaway.

A Walk with Those Passed

St. James Cemetary - South of Avon
The  year slowly meanders its way to All Hallows Eve many of us have or will take the time to remember those who have passed before us. There are many traditions that some use to honor this time and ritual.  Some set an extra place for those gone before at the table on the eve of October 31st.  Some hold a special time of rememberance and place pictures and other items that resemble their loved ones. 


Myself I enjoy visiting the cemetary.  I have always been amazed at the stories behind each headstone marker. Although I do frequent my family and friends on occasion it is this time of year when I just go visiting.  There have been some over the years that I have grown attached to and wonder about the story behind them.  Jackie Moon and the children that surround her is a good example of this
Higates Cemetary In London

Yet today I am keeping with my love for the beautiful art that can be found as one walks through so many cemetaries.   I would like to share some photos of some of my favorites.  I have not visited each one yet their beauty is amazing.

New Orleans Cemetary

There is a peace that comes to one when they stroll through a cemetary

Bonaventure Cemetary - Savannah GA

I am sure that there are places where a restless soul may reside and the aura may not be as settled as most.

Bonaventure - Savannah GA 

Yet for the most part it is calm and serene.

Albany Rural Cemetary
The love can be seen in many of the monuments that have been placed in honor of those passed.

Bonaventure - Savannah GA
Such detail put into some as if to place a watcher next to their loved one for safe keeping.
Bonaventure - Savannah GA

The children are what move me most

Bonaventure - Savannah GA

So many passed at such tendar ages.

Bonaventure - Savannah GA

This week take a few moments to remember those who have passed before us.  Reflect on the gifts they gave you as well as the ones they still give.  And if you have some free time on a beautiful October day, consider taking a stroll through your nearest cemetary.  You may be surprised what inspiration you might receive. 
Blessings

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tea Under a Halloween Moon Blog Party!



I hope I'll see everyone tomorrow at the "Tea Party Under a Halloween Moon" blog party hosed by Anna from "The Frosted Petunias" Blog. If you attended the "Practical Magic" blog party then you know how fantastic this party tomorrow will be. If you've never been to a blog party, be sure to check out all the blogs on Anna's blog and then you can visit and see all the wonderful ways magick is going to be celebrated. I'll be having a giveaway on my blog, "The Year of the Cats," so please stop by to drink some magickal concoctions as we visit some family members who are just dying to meet you. Oh, wait, I forgot, they're already dead... I invited a dear friend of mine to put us all in the mood. See you tomorrow.



Pumpkin Pie and Parlor Games


One of the many fun activities of times of old was the hiding of charms in foods as a means of divination. With Samhain being upon us who hasn’t thought of the wonderful aroma and tastes of a pumpkin pie. The following is an old parlor game often played during Samhain.

Choose your favorite recipe for pumpkin pie and prepare. After the pie is cooked but before you add the whip cream cut the pie into eight slices. Into two of the slices hide a ring. Into two other slices hide a coin. Into two other slices hide a marble. Leave two of the slices with nothing in them.

Before you invite your guests to partake of this parlor fun, be sure and advise them of the possibility of the objects in the pie they are about to eat as to prevent any choking mishaps. Serve the pie to each one and advise the recipients of the possibility of the items enclosed.

If one finds a ring, marital bliss is theirs. If they discover a coin, wealth is said to be in their near future. If they find a marble; the coming year will be cold and lonely for them. If they get no treat in their pie, their future is sure to be filled with uncertainty and many concerns.

For a little more Halloween fun visit my personal blog Mother Moon and check out my Samhain Giveaway. 






Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Those Who were Condemned in the Burning Times



With a grim fascination, we modern day witches and pagans look back into the tortured history of the past and The Burning Times. I was fortunate to have a mother who not only was a witch, but studied in depth the history of Witchcraft and the times when no one was safe from accusations which could lead to torture or death. In grade school and beyond I always felt a lack of strong knowledge from my teachers when they talked about the Salem Witch Trials. We learned about the  young girls who were "inflicted" by witchcraft,  Tituba, the slave who was the first to "confess" of practicing witchcraft,  and a few more "educational" bits that were scattered to us like seed for the birds. I'm not blaming the teachers at all. Teachers are told they have to talk about "x" subject with "y" factors and if they resist the system, then they are often fired. My brother is an English high-school teacher and I have gained great respect for the art of teaching.

But, back to the Burning Times, this year I decided I wanted to learn more about the background and history that lay hidden waiting to be discovered. Here are a just a few "facts" (I say this with a grain of salt) that I have found interesting or meaningful.

  • A conflict between the people who lived in the West (farmers) part of Salem versus the people from the East (businessmen and store owners) part of Salem was so strong that the accusations of witchcraft became a weapon of choice. Historians believe that this was one of the flames that lit the match leading to the witch-hysteria.


  •  In Colonial America, people were hanged for being a witch, not burned at the stake as many people still erroneously believe. However, in Europe, those who were proven guilty of being a witch were killed by burning.

    • Giles Corey, a prosperous farmer and honorable church-member was accused of being a wizard and refused to confess to any guilt. In order to force a confession out of him, Corey was placed between stone weights over the course of two days. "After two days, Giles was asked three times to plead innocent or guilty to witchcraft.  Each time he replied, "More weight." More and more rocks were piled on him. Three mouthfuls of bread and water were fed to the old man during his many hours of pain. Finally, Giles Corey cried out "More weight!" and died." (Giles Corey. (2010) from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles_Corey)
    • Tituba was an Indian woman, not (as commonly believed) an African slave. She was originally from an Arawak village in South America, where she was captured as a child, taken to Barbados as a captive, and sold into slavery. It was in Barbados that her life first became entangled with that of Reverend Samuel Parris. She was likely between the age of 12 and 17 when she came into the Parris household. She was most likely purchased by Parris from one of his business associates, or given to settle a debt. Parris, at the time, was an unmarried merchant, leading to speculation that Tituba may have served as his concubine. (Doug Linder. (2010) THE SALEM WITCHCRAFT TRIALS: A biographical sketch of Tituba from http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/asa_tit.htm)
    Graphic from: www.geminimoon.net
     There is so much history to still learn and recover from the times that we'll never completely know the truth about the "why's" and "wherefore's." I don't think though, that these historical facts are as important as remembering and honoring all of those who were condemned because of fear and envy. If you build a Samhain altar, now is a good time to place a token or a symbol to represent those who came before and ask for their blessings as the veil thins and the doors of communication now open.

    Also be sure to check out this excellent post from eWitch's Mother Moon to learn more about the whole Witch Trials, I love it!

    Below is a half-hour documentary which I feel is really well made about The Burning Times. Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Onion Shortcake And Thanks


During the season of Samhain is a good time to contemplate what we have reaped. It is good time to reflect all the goodness that has come to us. It is a good time to reflect on the obstacles that we have overcome in the previous year. It is a good time to think back on the desires we had and how we have manifested them in our lives.

As we gather on Samhain as friends and or family such reflection can be shared. Gathering around the fire during the coolness of evening and as the sun set on the previous year is an excellent time to share with one another. Working in a clockwise fashion around the circle ask each to share what they are grateful for. A fresh homemade loaf of bread passed around at the same time allowing each one to break a piece off as they share is symbolic of allowing this gift be become part of one’s whole being.
It is always helpful to share with others yet if some feel uncomfortable allow them to write down their thanks or to silently think their thought. Below is a recipe for Onion Shortcake. A simple recipe to prepare and also to share with the gathering.



Onion Shortcake

2 cups flour   
                     4 teaspoons baking powder  
1 ½ teaspoon salt      
         4 tablespoons shortening     
2/3 cups milk       
               2 teaspoons butter
2 ½ cup sliced onions  
       1 egg            
½ cup light cream

Preheat oven to 400. Sift flour and baking powder with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cut in the shortening. Add the milk and knead the dough lightly. Flatten into a greased 8 by 8 inch dish.

Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the onions until golden. I like to combine red and white for an added color. Let the onions cool then spread them over the dough.

Beat the egg, cream, and the remaining salt. Pour over the onions. Sprinkle with paprika and poppy seeds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I want to be street smart (AND gorgeous..oops! too late) like Rachel Marianna Morgan

 I do not know how many of you read Kim Harrison's, The Hollows series but they  feature a modern, younger witch named Rachel Mariana Morgan, known by Rachel.  She is so talented as witch but also brave, daring & bold. She of course gets in a lot of trouble. What she does for a living is be a detective in her own little firm that includes her room mate Ivy, a living vampire  & a pixie named Jenks who lives in their garden with his with and pixie kids.
She has numerous fairly steamy romances with various & sundry males including vampires & other supernaturals although, like James Bond, if you are the current paramour you may get killed or at least attacked. Everybody seems to want a piece of Rachel. She is not an easy person to date, but she is a very easy person to like.


What I like best about Rachel is that she knows who & what she is. She knows how powerful her magic is & she knows how to use it and she never backs down. I am a never back down person, too but for me, it is purposeless. If someone tells me I cannot or should not do something,  it's the thrown gauntlet. I am the gal who has to touch the paint right by the "Wet Pint" sign.  So I end up doing a lot of stupid, bonehead things. I am like Rachel who is there for her friends: to fight, cast spells or just stand up for them or by them. She is definitely a risk taker(NOT me,chicken little) & will stand up to the wealthy & powerful men(not me either, the coward) that seem to pop up in her life. She is fearless (generally) & wears cool black, leather boots. Ivy helps dress her-she has more money & better taste but also lusts after Rachel so that is a problem, too as Rachel is hetero not even bi. Well I am hetero, too & think I will stick with that in the next life. I really like men.
I cannot go back in time & relive my youth but in my next life, I am going to be a stronger young woman, firmer in my convictions. I want to have convictions when I am young not just drift along my life like a dandelion puff, landing here, there, everywhere. Of course, I was a teen in the late 60's and all that that implies. Drifting was pretty fun back then!
But when I come back things will be different. I will have goals, purpose, pick a great career, be gorgeous & wear black leather boots. Hunh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I am late as usual. The title: WWGWD?**



On the topic of witch craft learned from fictional characters, I press on. In the absence of any witch mentors locally & since I moved to witchcraft via a fictional book, it shouldn't seem odd that my teachers would  not be real, either.
When in doubt about a course of action I ask myself, **"What would Granny Weatherwax do?" Granny Weatherwax is  the crone of a group of three, sometimes two & sometimes four, witches that live in Discworld. Discworld is a world in the multiverse that is a flat disc carried by four huge elephants that in turn stand on the back of a gigantic turtle named the Great A'tuin. The world is flat. The witches live in the Ramtop Mountains. They each have their own little cottage, a shack more like, especially Granny's.


 Granny is an extraordinary witch who knows that the hard part about magic is NOT using it. Granny is sensible, solves her problem's & everyone elses, too, by using her head, "thinkology" in her terms. She doesn't approve of shiny wiccan jewelry or fancy witch terms instead she views herself as he local wise woman nurse/midwife. She does what others won't & she stands up for those who cannot. She lives thriftily since witches do not get paid except in kind: chickens, old boots & worn out sheets to roll for bandages. She helps people. But not by spell casting but by changing bandages, visiting the elderly & infirm & by doing what is right. She is my beacon. When I want to sit and  gossip nastily  I think, WWGWD? & because if you have to ask, you already know the right answer, then I do it. I think most of us have someone in our lives like Granny, be it real or divine or made-up. Someone you turn to get level again. Someone who epitomizes the woman or man you want to be.Someone who can help you become the person you know lurks deep inside, hidden under the layers of fluff & stuff. So, does it matter whether the guide is real or not? Why would it?


Some favorite quotes on the nature of Granny Weatherwax~

from Wyrd Sisters:
"'Tis not right, a woman going into such places by herself," Granny nodded. She thoroughly approved of such sentiments so long as there was, of course, no suggestion that they applied to her.

Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly regarded of the leaders they didn't have.

She had never mastered the talent for apologizing, but she appreciated it in other people.

from Witches Abroad:
..Granny Weatherwax, who had walked nightly without fear in the bandit-haunted forests of the mountains all her life in the certain knowledge that the darkness held nothing more terrible than she was...

Granny Weatherwax disapproved of magic for domestic purposes, but she was annoyed. She also wanted her tea. She threw a couple of logs into the fireplace and glared at them until they burst into flame out of sheer embarrassment.

from Lords and Ladies:
"Blessings be upon this house," said Granny Weatherwax. In much the same tone of voice have people said, 'Eat hot lead, Kincaid.'

".......you stupid man!"
"I do happen to be king, you know," said Verence reproachfully.
"You stupid king, your majesty."
"Thank you."

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