Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Get Familiar With My Familiars

It's Magical Animal week here on eWitch, so I thought I would introduce you to my special animals - my cats! Of course, the supernatural Witch's Familiar of legend comes to mind. However, my fur (and furless) children are more like soul mates and best friends. Heinlein put it best when he said "Women and cats will do as they please...." I have yet to find the spell to allow me to make my will clear to my cats and cause them do my bidding. Oh well. I have to settle for two special beasts with super powers who found me out and decided to stick around, giving me the purest, sweetest love. I would say 'unconditional,' but lets be honest - they are cats. I am often in the dog house around here...

This is my Cici cat. Cici is actually C.C. - Chupa Cabra. She is a Sphinx cat (hairless) and follows me around like a puppy; she also rides around on my shoulder like a gargoyle. She gambols and plays and greets me at the door with a special sound she makes only for me. Cici's super power is that she can always put a smile on my face, no matter how bad my day has been.

Here, Cici and her brother, The Brute, sit like Gargoyle bookends and get some sun on their naked little rumps. People are often put off by the Sphinx - they think they look ugly, or scary. However, just a short amount of time spent with these beauties proves their tremendous sweetness. The Brute is really my soul mate. He knows my moods and knows when I need to be herded into bed for a cuddle. He can be a bossy thing - he doesn't understand why we ever leave the warm blankets, and can be quite vocal about his displeasure when I get up in the morning. His love, however, is true, which is his superpower. He loves (and trusts) me more than anything or anyone, and that kind of love is a strong medicine.

Brutie and Cici may not lend their supernatural powers to my spells, but they lend me their strength and love and are my real support group.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coyote's Practical Magic

 Wile. E. Coyote, genius, super genius! Did you ever watch him on the cartoon with the Roadrunner? I hated it and loved it at the same time. I loved Wile E. Coyote and all the clever traps and tricks he tried to catch Roadrunner with but always failed. What I didn't like was him failing...and then seeing all the horrible ways he was hurt even though somehow he miraculously came back to life.

Many of you have no idea what I'm talking about or haven't seen the cartoon. Basically there was this coyote who was always after a roadrunner who he wanted to feast on. The roadrunner however kept outsmarting the coyote and setting him up for these horrific falls. In pop culture"Wile E. Coyote," is our version of a multicultural legend/deity known as the "Trickster." 

In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. (Wickipedia)

For many of the Native American tribes he is known as "Old Man Coyote" or simply, "Coyote". So who is he and why am I writing about him?

Ewitch picks a theme every week to blog about and this week was "practical magic." My first reaction was, practical, shmactical, oh goodie! I mean come on, being practical is productive and healthy, yada, yada, yada, but for me it's definitely not the most interesting subject to either write about or read about. Although I must admit, my eWitch sisters have done an excellent job on this topic. My muse never lets me down though and as surrendered she lead me my mind through this maze and had me really think about what practical magic meant for ME, no one else. I first thought of the movie "Practical Magic", no, didn't hold a charge for me and then I started thought of practical jokes. But how could I relate that to magic?

Then he came into my mind....Old Man Coyote. He's been around longer than any cartoon character and represents far more than a simple practical joke. He teaches us about chaos and creativity, how to not take ourselves too seriously so that we can keep getting up after embarrassing failures or horrible circumstances, because that's his "medicine" (Native American term for power, essence, magic, spirit).

Most importantly he wakes us up from a long heavy sleep, laughing at us as we grumble about this and that until we see the look and shine in his eyes and we see our own reflection and then the true magic begins. The Zuni, Winnebago, Menomini, Nes Perce, Navajo, Crow, and Apache tribes all know their trickster god as "Coyote" and he is also known as "Crow or Raven" (Native American North Pacific culture), "Hermes" (Greeks), "Loki" (Norse pantheon), "Spider" (African), "Hanuman" (Hindu), "Kitsune" (Japanese), and "Br'er Rabbit" (African American Culture of the South).
It makes sense that the Trickster appears in so many forms as we have to easily relate to them and have a familiar bond.

One thing that never changes though is that the Trickster is always respected, revered and feared. I found this interesting article about tricksters and four qualities and motifs that are cross-cultural and consistent.
  1. They are “go-betweens.” Tricksters are able to move with relative ease among contrasting regions or levels of being. They have the power to escape order, crossing the threshold into another version of it. Hermes was the only god able to enter the underworld regularly and without difficulty.
  2. They embody inconsistency. Rather than enforcing one view of reality, tricksters support the paradox of multiple views. They follow the guiding principle of improvisational theater: you never deny another person’s reality, you only build upon it.
  3. They have “smart luck.” Tricksters are always prepared for the unprepared because they hold their ideas lightly. There really are no accidents in the liminal perspective, only opportunities for discovery and insight: you simply play through. When Loki bet his head in a wager – and lost – he agreed to let the winners take his head as long as they don’t harm his neck.

  4. They have no home. The trickster is closely associated with the road or constant motion. Hermes is the god of roads and escort of travelers.
(Article: "Why So Serious? How The Trickster Teaches Us About Inner Travel."
F. Daniel Harbecke; article originally posted on website; "Brave New Traveler")

Coyote has always lingered in my life, teasing me and taunting me, daring me to get into trouble or cause mischief upon someone else though never in a malicious or harmful way. I'll be writing in an upcoming eWitch post my very surreal, magickal, synchronistic ways that Old Man Coyote has met me on the internal and external realm.

Oh and the practical joke of this whole post? I kept having reformat this post over and over again while I was writing this on Blogger's editor AND in another individual blogging editor as well as almost deleting it five times!I have never had trouble before with my posts. It could be one of those days, or the way all blogging editor's are, but somehow I don't think so.

I think Old Man Coyote is laughing his head off, as I sat here all day, frustrated writing about practical magic of the practical jokes he makes up. Have you happened to run into Coyote or perhaps another trickster lately?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finding Your Own Magic

There is not a day that goes by when something magical does not happen. Of course sometimes we miss the opportunity to take part in such events even when they are happening right in front of us. We dismiss them at times as coincidence or possibly just a misinterpretation. They may not necessarily go with what we are “suppose to” believe, therefore we cannot acknowledge the possibility of its validity. I will be the first to say that I am not quite sure what to call myself when it comes to the labeling and/or naming of my beliefs. I envy those who can speak right up and claim to be Wiccan, Pagan, or even Christian. I call myself Pagan yet at times wonder if I offend others who also claim this name. Offending a specific belief has always been something I try hard not to do. As I would not like anyone to say I do not have the right to practice the beliefs I hold or that I am damned because of what I do or don’t believe; I likewise do not feel I have that right to do the same to them.

A non specific Pagan is what I call myself for the most part. Gleaning from all the information and experiences I have had over time and taking some and leaving others. Still I know that I am continuously evolving. I attempt to keep my mind open and my ears sharp for those morsels that come our way. Growing up in Middle Rural America, I did not have a variety of beliefs to choose from and Paganism was definitely not one of the choices. Yet I remember from a very early age having experiences that could not be explained. I was not able to really examine its origin until I was much older and much of this was done via reading. Unfortunately we did not have the internet and even finding suitable reading material could prove to be difficult. Thus much of my walk was done blindly in the dark.

I have never been a member of a Coven. My journey has one of a solitary. Quite honestly the only group religion I have been active in participating with others in is the Christian religion. Yet this experience taught me much. I believe that much of what I learned could easily be applied to any group. It is close to impossible to please everyone. This is mainly due to the fact that there are so many differing opinions. There is the need for leadership yet there are times when this can be a very delicate road to travel. The elders or wise ones teach those who are young and learning their way. Yet even in this one has to be careful not to neglect the wisdom of the young ones. I have learned many a lesson from a child’s words.

Whatever one’s beliefs may be, they are often quite personal. Yes there are those who follow simply because they are told to do so. I have always felt sadness for such people. Although I have found much wealth in the knowledge of others journeys, I have learned the most from my own. Otherwise I would still be following the church. I choose to set out and seek the answers to the questions that I had. Some led me straight back to what I had been told, others led me elsewhere. The earth in all her wisdom has been here longer than any of us. In her there are many secrets. Who can say that one can not feel the energy from her? It is a continuous journey that we all must take. Whether we make our own choices or allow someone else to.

As previously stated, there is never a day that goes by when something magical does not occur. Practical Magic is all around us. From the wearing of a crystal for protection, to the clearing of the mind via meditation, to the casting of a spell for luck, or the channeling of spirits, who is to say what is right and what is wrong. My wish for you as you continue your journey is that those moments of clarity come often to you, that your road is easily traveled, and when times do come that try or question you that you find strength to continue and wisdom to know what is right. Blessings

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


While I was trying to decide what to write on for this weeks post, I kept thinking about Luna's post from last week, about her Grimiore, or Book of Shadows. She mentioned that it might be more practical for us to keep our Book of Shadows as a file on the computer, "But still," she says, "I like having something pretty that can be passed on." I can get behind that idea - I love feeling my own book in my hand, I love the immediacy of it, and I am deeply in love with the idea that I am doing something that people have done for centuries - writing down my thoughts, discoveries and observations onto paper with ink.

I ponder this link to the past a lot. As modern Pagans, we are trying to walk an ancient path, but this is complicated by the modern world. We can keep our journey book on the PC; several pagan themed apps are available for the iPhone, including a Voodoo doll app, a tarot app, a Wiccan Ritual Calendar app; we can take classes in Witchcraft, Magical Herbalism, Sorcery, over the internet. Where is our ancient past among all of the shiny new tech of the future?

Not to mention that so much ancient wisdom has been lost over the centuries, we are forced to reexamine and extrapolate so much in order to fill in the blanks. We read and study and google, and yet, so much is still left to our own imaginations. I can't help but wonder what we are creating for the future, these amalgamations of old and new. I think, though, that this is also why Paganism, in it's different flavors, appeals to so many people now: We are watching the ancient past evolve into a bright future. Our link to ritual, magic, other worlds, folklore... these things give the cold, tech filled void of the present and future a meaning. Our rituals, our recipes, our methods of gathering herbs or building ritual tools - the things passed from one of us down to another. These things may seem impractical, and yet they bind us to one another, as well as to our past and our future, as a culture. I find that idea really beautiful, and it helps me understand better my own motives for somewhat esoteric way that I have chosen to exercise my faith.

Does it matter if we keep our spells in the computer? Or that we use our iPhones as a script prompt for our rituals? I'm not certain. In terms of spirituality, we may be living in our own Brave New World on a certain level, and perhaps we must make some things up as we go. A few centuries ago, Christians feared that science undermined the value and teachings of their God. The ancient Celts wrote almost nothing down, though they had a written language - was this because it was a dishonor to the knowledge that was being passed down? Or because keeping something in writing meant that you didn't actually have to learn it? I don't think anyone can really say. It does seem possible, however, that both of these cultures stood at a threshold of the future and felt the need to protect, strengthen and preserve a sense of spirituality. Maybe keeping our leather bound grimiores and other methods of maintaining or ancient collective spiritual histories in the face of these other, more 'practical' methods is our own way of preserving the spirit, the sacred link that connects us all to the Creative Forces of the Universe.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quick Book Talk Tuesday Update

Howdy all!  Sparrow here...

I just wanted to let y'all know that the Book Talk Tuesdays should resume next week.  There are many great books that I can't wait to share with everyone.

The week before last I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  The doctor has me on some hormones that have completely turned my life upside-down in an effort for us to be able to take back control over my reproductive cycle so hubby and I can have a child one day.  Needless to say, I haven't been feeling much like myself.

So keep turning those pages and I will talk to you guys again next week!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thought For The Day

It is better to believe than to disbelieve;
in so doing, you bring everything
to the realm of possibility.
- Albert Einstein -

Friday, May 14, 2010

What is a Grimoire Really?

I have always wanted one of those huge leather books with the iron clasps. A special key of course would be needed to unlock its contents as they were to be viewed by only a few. The pages would have the look of aged paper and each would be colorfully printed in an old English font that gave it the appearance of being handed down through the ages. Drawings of ingredients and what not would also be included. Yet in all honesty this is somewhat impractical. Although it would be a great conversation piece and something that visitors would see sitting on a table closed and die with curiosity to know what it was. It is just not something that is easily used or managed no matter how many movies one may see such a book in.
I don’t think you would call what I have necessarily a Book of Shadows; especially since I have several of them. I have always considered myself somewhat of a journal whore. Early on in my life I started keeping journals of my thoughts and so forth. They have all evolved as time has passed and now I keep several going at the same time. Each one has its purpose and its content.

I have the normal journal for everyday thought and such; the rants that come out as they do and the joys and sorrows also. In my earlier days I guess this is what I would have considered my diary. This probably is what the majority of my journals contain. Yet there are others. I have my poetry books that very much show my life through the years if only in the manner of emotion that may have inspired me at the time. I enjoy reading these every now and then. I have to say at times I surprise myself with what I wrote. I have found these books at times to be more therapeutic than the simple diary.

There are also the ones with the secrets I have discovered or been told throughout time. These are probably the ones I refer to the most. They will probably also be the ones that when I do pass will need to be designated as to who will be granted their possession. They contain such information as cooking tips, gardening pointers, and herbalism info I have learned. Recipes for incense, medicines, and so on are also found throughout many of them.

I will be honest and say that I am not really even sure what is all suppose to be in ones Book of Shadows. I have heard many speak of their books and such and marvel at the intricacy and detail of some. Yet I have also always thought from what many say that such books are a very personal thing. That being said I would think that what works best for one may not necessarily work well for another… Or maybe it is just the way I justify the simplicity of my book. Maybe as time moves on and more time is made for me to dabble in things that are not necessarily a rush, I will be able to have a grand book with beautiful pages and intricately written words. Something that will be passed down to my granddaughter and then to her granddaughter… But then again maybe she will just have to settle with my footlocker full of journals.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Luna's Book of Shadows

I made my own BOS several years ago. I used some pretty royal blue leather that I had from the miniature bookbinding that I do. The window on the front has a pane of mica that covers the German gold paper moons. It has a leather band for a hasp but the "lock" is just a feather. As much effort as went into this book I rarely use it now. It is bulky & doesn't stay open easily. Now, my main BOS is a recipe box that is full of the details  of my oils & incenses. My sketchbooks are my backup BOS'. I make copious notes & sketches about the things I make & the magic that I do. I have a separate journal for my Tarot card readings & I use the Llewellyn Witches' Date Book for my day to day journal. I know from a hand-learned lesson that I HAVE to write ingredients & amounts down. I cannot remember whether I used 1/8th teaspon of rose otto or 8 tablespoons of rose water. I must write all the details down. Plus, if you write down how you cast a spell you can recreate it or tweak it as needs be.

My plan is to make another leather BOS that is easier to use. I want to model it after the book from the movie "Practical Magic." The Aunt's BOS had two sections & was two books in one, with double spines. Quite frankly, a computer or a 3-ring binder is more practical for witches these days. But still, I like having something pretty that can be passed on.
See how the book is divided? The smaller section was the "Dark Magic" portion & you have to turn the book around to open it & to have it right side up. I want this so badly! One of these days, when I have a few extra days in my life I will start it. I have the paper already. I only use 100%cotton rag for hand bound books. I also have some gorgeous black cotton rag paper that I lugged home from London last year. I don't have the leather yet but I keep my eye out for the perfect piece & color. 
For now I make vintage style pages for BOS. I love to write spells & then after I have the spell, I design a page to go with it. I am also a font ho & like to buy vintage fonts that have been pulled from original, hand written documents & letters.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Booke Of Magike

My grimiore, or as I like to call it, my journeybook, was a long time evolving. When I was younger and read too much bad fiction, I was pretty sure it was supposed to be a huge dusty tome, full of archaic script in faded ink - recipes with ingredients like frog's tongue and eye of newt. I was not planning on keeping one.

But I did need a place to write down the things I learned on my travels - folkloric cures for this or that; uses for herbs, oils or incenses; spells discovered in other books or composed on my own. I tried a lot of things - the computer, 3 ring binders - but have finally developed a system that works for me.

I write everything down in a journal. The current incarnation has polo ponies on it. No particular reason, I just had it around the house. Waste not, want not. Every time I start a new one, I copy information from the old one: I keep a section with lists of oils, incenses and herbs and their uses. Tried and true spells. Words of wisdom. Rituals. Prayers. Rewriting these out every year or two may seem a ridiculous waste of time, but I believe that it helps me to learn this information by heart. In time, I want these things to be a part of me, an intelligence I can rely on at all times, not just when I have my Tome of Magikal Lernings and Informations Moste Importante at hand. The rest of the book is for my own journaling. When I devise a new spell, I record it, and then I also try to record my experiences or observations of things relating to the spell working. I am trying to become more sensitive to the world around me and my own influences upon it. I do the same thing with Feng Shui, which I've recently become obsessed with. Every time I add more black to my career area, for instance, I record it and then record any observations - like throwing a pebble into a pond and seeing how far the waves reach.

Rituals, ideas for honoring my pantheon, recipes for teas or tisanes, etc. Words of wisdom from my grandmother. A sighting of a wild animal or a strange experience that feels otherworldly. All of these things go into my book, so that I can remember them and learn from them. Once I fill up the book, I keep it and come back to it every once in a while, returning to an experience and re-examining it anew.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I was always the "wild child" in the family, coming up through the hippie years. My mother didn't understand why I didn't, wouldn't, COULDN'T conform, she just knew she didn't like it . My behavior embarrassed her at the bridge table. Other women were bragging about all the accomplishments of their children & she had a flower child.

I was an only child for 8 years & then my parents had a baby every year for three years. The pressure was mostly off me & focused on the babies, I thought.  But more children just made mom crankier, bitchier & pickier.  She didn't have time to fool with my escapades & didn't want to anyway. I realized later my parents preferred the, "don't ask, don't tell" policy & I was too much of a bonehead to pick up on it. At the same time a pecking order developed: Sara was the favorite child, Robert was the baby boy & Lee was the smart one & I was the bad girl.
At any rate, this bad girl grew up, went to school, got married & had three children of her own.  My mother was a dandy roll model: don't do ANYTHING the way she did & I would be a wonderful mother & that is what I have done.
My mother mellowed for years and then somewhere in her 70's she & dad picked up the old  banner of crabby unhappiness & began to wave it with vigor. After a number of confrontations, the worst after their 50th anniversary party, a party that she demanded we have & pay for, we had a fight so ghastly that I quit talking to her. My dad pleaded & Barry getting tired of telling Joan/mom that I wasn't available to talk begged me to resolve  the problem and so I talked to her. At this point in a story this is where I would tell you that our differences were resolved, we both gained insight & became the best of friends. Well not in my story. Mom was unrepentant & I just didn't care much anymore.
We talked off & on but I rarely picked up when she called. Thank the goddess for caller ID! I would see that she was calling, not answer, compose my self & tighten my belt & then call her back. We really didn't have a lot to say beyond trivialities.
Ultimately, both my parents got ill & needed a lot of tending. They had sold their house & moved into a place in Sarasota that had independent living, assisted living & nursing home care. Because I was the oldest I flew back & forth for months helping them. They finally died, 8 weeks apart to the day, dad first then mom. Mom had gotten very frail, lost over 50 pounds but lost none of her mean-spirited disposition. The last things she did was call my sister Lee (who had long since fallen from grace, too) to the bedside & read her a long list of "bad" things that Lee had had done. This is how my mother chose to spend her last time with Lee. She did the same thing to Barry, my husband. The only reason I was excluded was because she need me to help take care of her. There was a lengthy list with my name on it , too.
My mother died while I was sitting with her watching M.A.S.H reruns & it was the happiest day of my life. I still marvel that the burden of "Joan" is gone. The phone rings & my heart doesn't flip or my stomach roil. I am sorry that I feel badly about my mother & do wish things could have been different but they were not & that is that. You do not get to pick your family & would have NEVER chosen someone so nasty as a friend.
I try to tell my sons every time we talk how much I love them & how proud  of them we are. We let bygones be bygones within our little group so that long-past wrongs are not brought up endlessly & critiqued. We are supportive, nurturing & loving & our boys seem to be doing fine. My parents have been dead nearly four years. They left us all some money & used part of mine to buy trophy diamonds, in part because I wanted them & in part because it would have annoyed my mom so much for me to fritter my money. It is my final, finger waving salute.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Turned to Stone

”Mother’s Day”I do not doubt you would have liked one of those pretty mothers in the ads: complete with adoring husband and happy children. She’s always smiling, and if she cries at all it is absent of lights and camera,makeup washed from her face. 

But since you were born of my womb, I should tell you: ever since I was small like you I wanted to be myself -- and for a woman that’s hard --(even my Guardian Angel refused to watch over me when she heard). I cannot tell you that I know the road.

Often I lose my way and my life has been a painful crossin navigating reefs, in and out of storms, refusing to listen to the ghostly sirens who invite me into the past, neither compass nor binnacle to show me the way.
But I advance, go forward holding to the hope of some distant port where you, my children -- I’m sure --will pull in one day after I’ve been lost at sea.~ Daisy Zamora ~

I know it is not easy being a mother, believe me, I have a twenty-two year old son and while he has brought me my greatest joy, he also has caused my greatest sorrow. My mother used to say to me when I was young, ”Just wait until you have a child of your own, then you’ll understand” as if she were casting a curse upon me. I remember vowing to myself, “I swear I will never be like my mother when I grow up” and what happened? I catch myself being the mother I loved, hated, feared and admired. She passed away over fifteen years ago, but I live with her ghost. She visits me in my dreams, I’ll smell her perfume out of no where and I’ll have a memory of us that’s so strong, it’s as if, I was reliving that moment over and over again.

 Other people envied me for having a mother who was sensual, intelligent and full of live. They didn’t know the dark side of her. All I wanted was ”Mrs. Cleaver;” a mother that was soft, nurturing, always pleasant, etc..The type of mother that only lives on television is created in our personal fantasies. Instead I had a mother who abused me physically, verbally, and emotionally. I’m not writing this to get sympathy or tell you my “poor little me” story. I’m writing for greater clarity and as a tribute to my mother which I was never able to give her when she was alive.

"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths."
~Joseph Campbell~
My mother taught me about magic, witchcraft, mythology, anthropology and a love for great literature. Speaking of mythology, when my mother was in college, she went to lectures by Joseph Campbell, and if you don't know who he is, and are interested in mythology and world religions;learn about him. This famous quote was written by him;  

”When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” 
She said that attending his lectures changed how she viewed the world and introduced her to a world of mythology and magic she had never known before. My mother read me myths, fairy-tales and amazing childrens books every night when I was little, and at the same time,she had an envy of me that was strong and bitter. My mother's relationship with my father was painful and stormy which eventually ended up in a divorce. Even though they were so unhappy, my mother and father wanted a daughter because they believed that would bring them closer together and complete the family as they already had two sons. Another one of my mother's sayings to me was; ”Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it."

 My father adored me and I became the princess of the family my mother resented because the love and closeness she wanted so much with my father was focused now on me. Sound like a fairy-tale? didn’t achieve the closeness she wanted from my father. If we're not aware of those parts of ourselves that we view as destructive, shameful or scary, we try and shut them out which only ends up giving them a strength robbing us of our desire for love and happiness. For example, when I was a little girl, my favorite move when I was a little girl was ”Snow White."   I could identify with this young girl who had and innocence and a fear of a witch who wanted to kill her. Not that my mother actually wanted me dead or tried to act upon it, but I know on an unconscious level her unhappiness in her marriage which I became the scapegoat for created a huge emotional rift between us that makes my heart clench in sadness even today. As a child I wasn't able to understand the antagonism between us and stop me from believing that I was a bad, horrible child. I wish that she had the peace and love for herself that may have healed all the hurt that came between us.

I could identify with this young girl who had and innocence and a fear of a witch who wanted to kill her. Not that my mother actually wanted me dead or tried to act upon it, but I know on an unconscious level her unhappiness in her marriage which I became the scapegoat for created a huge emotional rift between us that makes my heart clench in sadness even today. As a child I wasn't able to understand the antagonism between us and stop me from believing that I was a bad, horrible child. I wish that she had the peace and love for herself that may have healed all the hurt that came between us.

When she was dying of cancer, she became this fragile, vulnerable and scared woman which scared me even more than I was of her as a child. I wanted her strong and alive, able to form a friendship now that I was an adult instead of losing each other in such a final way. I asked her in the last few days of her life, was I ever good enough for her. She replied how much she loved me and how proud she was of me. She told me that she would have left her marriage much earlier than she did because she was afraid of the effects it would have upon me. Oh mom, how much we missed.

I went through my anger phase with her and now only compassion, understanding and love are present when I think of my mom. I am like my mother in a lot of ways. I started to do a lot of inner personal work before my son was born so that I wouldn't have this tortured relationship as mine was with my mother. Of course, I made and still make a lot of mistakes with my son and he'll be the first to tell you how flawed I am as WELL as how much he loves me and is proud of me. I asked my son once what he learned from me that was positive. He told me, that I gave him a love of books that has made him who he is today. The circle keeps going around, doesn't it? I can't celebrate mother’s day tomorrow with my mother, but I can celebrate her and thank her for what she gave me in little ways every day. This is one of those ways.

I saw you once, Medusa; we were alone.
I looked you straight in the cold eye, cold.
I was not punished, was not turned to stone.
How to believe the legends I am told? . . .
I turned your face around!  It is my face.

That frozen rage is what I must explore –
Oh secret, self-enclosed and ravaged place!
That is the gift I thank Medusa for.         

~May Sarton~ “The Muse as Medusa”

Friday, May 7, 2010

Remember Mother's Day - Sunday, May 9th

"A mother understands what a child does not say."
- Anonymous -

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How I Celebrated Beltane - Mother Moon

As many of you know one of my fondest activities is tending my garden.  I have long awaited this spring and the warmth to return so that I could once more venture outdoors.  This spring I have planted more than in previous years.  Also as the fruits of my previous years efforts began to spring forth, I realized that it was going to be quite a colorful spring.  It seems that my efforts to harvest and replant as many seeds as I could from the previous year is starting to show some progress.   The pond is encircled with a variety of wild flowers as well as the small gardens I have scattered throughout my yard.  I will say that I give much credit for my great abundance to the wee folk or faery that reside in the woods that surround me.  I have asked that they help to tend my gardens and in turn I have helped them when needed as much as one can.  It seemed only fitting that the bulk of my festivities this Beltane be focused towards them.

I had tended my garden under the Elm, a special place of theirs.  Earlier in the season I had cleared out an area and planted more of a variety of flowers for them to enjoy.  Foxglove, english daisies, Bleeding hearts, and many more were scattered across the area.  Throughout the area I set up small solar lights  to give a subtle glow.  As May Eve began, I was sure to set out an extra special treat for them to enjoy as they celebrated the coming of Beltane.  Fresh cream and freshly made butter with honey drizzled across the top were nestled underneath the tree where I always place my offerings to the fae.  I lay some choice flowers along side for decoration as well as for an extra edible treat.  Before exiting I gave a quick blessing and bid them a hearty celebration and left them to their festivities.

The next morning cleaning up from the night before, I found a shiny red stone.  Occasionally they leave treats for me.  I have found special bird feathers, stones, and other things with no explanation as to how it could have gotten there.  I keep them all in a special place as I truly beleive they are gifts from the wee folk.  I then hung the ribbon, beads, and other colorful items from the branches of the trees.  I made sure that ample seed was there for the birds to enjoy as I also think they enjoy this time also.  Once again a short blessing as well as a request for blessings on the planting that had been done. 

I know that it is not how most spend their Beltane, yet it was a delight for me to share it with the fairy.  I feel I have been blessed with a magical place to enjoy and because of this I wish to do what I can to help it thrive.  I did enjoy a nice glass of wine with my choosen "consort" (Vincent of course).  And in our own manner we enjoyed the time and what it represents.  It was a pleasant way to welcome in the growing season.  I hope that all of you likewise had a joyful and fulfilling experience.  Each enjoying it in your own unique manner.  Blessings

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to the winner of Merfolk Monday...


Please send me an email (serephinas @ with your mailing address :)

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (Wendy)

Archeology, anthropology and studies of ancient cultures is a real passion for me, so when I first read the book, "Clan of the Cave Bear" by Jean M. Auel when it first came out (2002), by the first page I knew it would be one of my favorite books.

Set in the Ice Age, Ayla five years old, loses her tribe, the Cro-Magnons in an earthquake leaving her alone forced to survive by herself. She is attacked by a female cave lion which leaves a scar and marking her to have the cave lion, one of the fiercest animals back then. The lion leaves a scar on Ayla physically and spiritually which tells us that Ayla can face any threat with courage and strength. The Neanderthal clan who another race of humans at the time, find Ayla and take her back to their tribe. Because she looks so different and acts so differently from them, Ayla is treated as a slave and outcast, except for two of the Neanderthals, the old male Shaman and a Medicine Woman who become her teachers and parent-like figures for Ayla. As Ayla grows the Neanderthals become more hostile to Ayla and events happen that forces Ayla once again to fend for herself once again in the wilderness. Ayla goes off to search for other Cro-Magnons that may live somewhere else as well as having a child she has take care of which resulted because of a rape from a Neanderthal. What an amazing journey we venture with Ayla. I was obsessed with the book and still am.

Ayla is a character who spoke to my soul because of her strength, her vulnerability and willingness to persevere no matter how hard life became. The insight and research that went into this book made me feel as if I was living life back then and was fighting along besides Ayla. There are four books in this series but "Clan of the Cave Bear" remains my favorite. I couldn't recommend this book more; especially if you want to learn more about our early ancestors and want to meet a character who is a true heroine in every sense.

A remarkable epic of one woman's odyssey--filled with mystery and magic.

Here is the saga of a people who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear; how they lived; the animals they hunted; the great totems they revered. But mostly it is the story of Ayla, the girl they found and raised, who was not like them. To the Clan, her fair looks make her different--ugly. And she has odd ways: she laughs, she cries, she has the ability to speak. But even more, she struggles to be true to herself and, with her advanced intelligence, is curious about the world around her.

Although Ayla is clearly a member of the Others, she is nurtured by her adoptive parents, befriended by members of the Clan, and gradually accepted into the family circle. But there are those who would cast her out for her strange, threatening ways.

So the conflict between the ancient Clan, bound by heredity to its traditions, and the girl in its midst, of a newer breed destined to alter the face of earth, could never be resolved. And it is this same struggle that leads Ayla to venture where no Clan woman has ever dared. Driven by destiny and a will to survive, Ayla breaks the forbidden taboo...

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Mother Moon)

First let me say that for some time I have been more a informational type book person and have not read many fiction books lately (something I have started to change).. Yet there is one fiction book that I have read that I truly loved. 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Being a lover of Celtic tradition as well as the lore of Arthur I was immediately drawn to the book.  Yet as I began to read it, the book took on a completely different meaning for me.  I loved how instead of focusing on the men of Camelot (Arthur, Lancelot and so on) it took the view of the many women who had their place in this legend.  I grew to love Morgan le Fay or Morgaine as I like to call her, as a woman of strength and strong convictions.  She is definitely one of my heroes and quite possibly one who gave me strength to follow my own convictions and beliefs/intuitions.  In the prologue she speaks and says such words of wisdom I often have trouble thinking them as fiction as they hold so true still today.  "...there is no such thing as a true tale.  Truth has many faces and the truth is like to an old road to Avalon; it depends on your own will, and you own thoughts, whither the road will take you, and whether, at the end, you arrive in the Holy Isle of Eternity or among the priests with their bells and their death and their Satan and Hell and damination.. ."   This book had a way of teaching me that there is always more than one way to look at things and although we may think that we know all that we need to know, in order to say we know the truth, there is always more to be seen.  Truth truly does have many faces.

Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come...

Passage by Connie Willis (Luna)

My most recent favorite is Passage by Connie Willis. It is a story based around two researchers, Joanna Landers & Richard Wright and their work on "near death experiences." Dr Wright has found a way to chemically recreate NDEs & using volunteers, they are able to get some good data, just not enough. In trying to collect & quantify their data Joanna decides to go under to see an NDE first hand. The story weaves through Joanna's attempt to make sense of her own experiences, the experiences of the volunteers & ultimately just what the data really means. Ms Willis is is able to build a story so insidiously intense that you barely realize that your nails are nubs & you are perched on the edge of your chair. I love a good long book with a super ending. In my experience many writers can create a great book but have a hard time wrapping it up. Not so with Connie Willis. I was so stunned by the ending of Passage that I had to reread the last few chapters twice more just to confirm that I had really read what I thought I had read in the beautifully crafted ending. No gore to speak of even though the setting IS a hospital, no gratuitous sex (shucks) just a really good read.

A tunnel, a light, a door. And beyond it ... the unimaginable.

Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Joanna’s first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined — so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why that place is so hauntingly familiar.

But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid.

Yet just when Joanna thinks she understands, she’s in for the biggest surprise of all — a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (Lynelle)

My favorite book is Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn." I read it as a teenager and it's been my favorite ever since. I know it almost by heart! It's a tale about an innocent unicorn who leaves her forest to go on a quest to find her people. Along the way she encounters events and people who touch and change her, as she touches them. The experiences leave her wiser but changed from who she was when she started out, which is, in Beagle's world, both beautiful and sad. The prose is lyrical and full of magic and beauty, and the characters have an eccentric charm. It's a perfect book to read in the sun dappled light of a park or garden.

The Last Unicorn is a tearful tale of the last existing unicorn's journey out of her familiar forest to save the species. On the way she encounters evil magic, dark castles, cursed towns, and a particularly interesting sea shore. The character's in this magical story invite you to learn with them, while Peter S. Beagle poetic prose are something to remember as he tells a story of bravery and courage. Do love, freedom, and happiness prevail? Or will we forever live in fear in a world without unicorns?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Sparrow)

My fav fiction book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

The reason that I love this book so much is because it really changed my outlook on life and my gifts.  It taught me that I do not have to be a slave to what everyone else wants or needs.  I need to take care of myself first and then the people that I care about the most.  I actually worked this theme into my written statement of Honor, Ethics and Values (which was part of my degree studies with FWTI).

"Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life.'" ~ Helen Exley

Though it is not an easy read, this book truly can change your life!

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex

Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own the philosopher who becomes a the woman who runs a transcontinental the lowest track worker in her train tunnels.

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller.

eWitch’s Favorite Fiction

Today is a very special day at eWitch!  We are going to be sharing our favorite works of fiction on this Book Talk Tuesday!!  Each of our eWitches has selected a book that is important to them to share.

Come back throughout the day because the books will be posted every couple hours, each with commentary by the eWitch who chose it.

Share your favorite works of fiction in the comments!

And don’t forget, the winner of the Merfolk Monday drawing will be announced later today so you can still enter until noon CST.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Merfolk Monday Giveaway

I am feeling a little blah today so I thought I would give away some artwork!

Angelique Art Studios is my art business, including work from both my husband and me.  Since out website for sales is still under construction, you can check out our portfolio here.

To be eligible to win a free 8 x 10 print of one of our latest merfolk prints (Poseiden, God of the Seas or Moonstone Princess), leave a comment with your favorite print.  Suggesting a product you would like to see our work on will get you an extra entry!

The winner will be selected at 12pm CST on Tuesday, May 4th.  Entries should be in before then to be eligible.  Winner will be contacted via email.

** Be sure to leave an email address so we can get in touch with you to ship the print. **

While you are at it, sign up to follow this blog because myself and the other eWitches will be offering some really cool stuff from time to time.  *hint hint*

Moonstone Princess by Angelique Mroczka

Poseidon, God of the Seas by Scott Mroczka

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Divine Marriage on Beltane

"One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,my house being now all stilled.
In darkness,and secure,
by the ladder,disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! - 
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.
On that glad night,
in secret,for no one saw me,
 nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
 than the one that burned in my heart. 

This guided me
 more surely than the light of the noon
 to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well - 
there in a place where no one appeared.
O guiding night! 
O night more lovely than the dawn!

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
 with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved; 
all things ceased; I went out from myself  leaving my cares
 forgotten among the lilies."
~St. John of the Cross~

 It's bound to happen that we will all be disappointed in love. We want everything from our lovers; to listen to our darkest secrets, to comfort us when we're hurt, to treat us like a god or goddess and on and on. And there's nothing wrong with wanting that quality of love, the problem is, that our human partners can't always love us the way we want and when we want it. I know for myself that I have made assumptions about love that have cost me dearly. Through therapy, dream-work, spiritual practice, studies of world mythologies and having romantic relationships I finally met my true soul-mate. He is the divine lover within myself. 

Some may consider me strange, narcissistic, vain or delusional. I don't follow any organized religion, consider myself "born again" or believe in a new-age philosophy. The relationship with the inner lover has been written about, sung about, and portrayed through every medium you can think of for centuries. Our romantic relationships on the external realm are shaped by our relationships on the inner realm. Each of us must find our own divine lover in our own individual way, but we can learn from others how they have found soulful love.

 Today is Beltane, and many of you either celebrate it or have learned what Beltane represents.  My eWitch sisters have written some wonderful posts about Beltane. Today the joining of the May Queen and the Green Man are being re-enacted as they have from earlier times. The song I've quoted above called "The Dark Night of the Soul" was written by St. John of the Cross expressing "divine union of the love from God." When I first heard this song performed by Loreena McKennitt I though it was the most beautiful and perfect song for any type of love. You don't have to be a Christian or worship  a similar path to know this divine love St. John sings of. It's the acceptance and willingness to surrender yourself to God however you know her/him that makes the difference. 

 In alchemy the masculine principle; the sun king marries the feminine principle; the moon queen in a sacred marriage for wholeness and harmony. In psychological terms; a man's inner feminine queen is known as an "Anima" and for a woman her inner king is known as the "Animus." Anima and Animus stem from the word; "animate", to bring alive with spirit and soul.  King Arthur and Guinevere, Isis and Osiris, Psyche and Eros, Father Sky and Earth Mother, the Yin/Yang are all representations of the God and Goddess uniting for wholeness in a sacred marriage.

So while I may not be jumping over a Beltane fire with a lover today, I will let myself be loved and honored as every May Queen deserves from my divine soul-mate. How are you going to celebrate Beltane?

Please check out the video of Loreena McKennitt singing "The Dark Night of the Soul."


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