Blog changes

In an effort to get this blog back on track I have simplified it, deleted some of the attached one-topic blogs
and focused on Sabbats and Esbats, which was the original intent.
Other writings will be in 'stumbling upon the path of the goddess'
and the Borrowed Book of Charms is still active.
Links in the right hand column.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


The first time I heard the word Imbolc was from a sheep farmer. She told me that it meant 'lambing time.' I think that the translation of the Celtic word means 'in the womb' or something close to that. I have been told that this refers to the idea that the world is pregnant with spring which will arrive soon. I think that this is a pretty modern, urban way of looking at spring and the idea of 'lambing time' might be just as legitimate a description. Lambs are born in February. They arrive in what is still winter and are the four-legged proof that spring is coming.

Imbolc is a cross quarter celebration that continues over 3 days. February 1 is a day to honor Brigid, warrior goddess. She helps to banish the darkness of winter on this day. This is a good day to ask her for fertility or creativity. February 2 is Candlemass Day, also a day for banishing winter by lighting many candles to chase away the dark. February 3 is the actually cross quarter day, the mid point between Solstice and Equinox.

Enjoy this sign of spring. Look for early crocus or other flowers and plants bold enough to grow in the snow. Light a candle and pay honor to Brigid and seek what you want from her. Decorate your altar or your house with candles and spring flowers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Politcal Rant!

The idjits who backed Prop 8 are at it again. They want their list of campaign contributors made exempt from federal law that requires this sort of donation to be public record. Of course, they are asking for this in a state court, which only plays to the concept that they just don't get it.

They put on their brass balls and waltzed into court demanding "protection" from people who were boycotting their businesses because of their support of Prop 8.
They did forget to mention that the 'Protect Marriage' folks had sent out harassing, threatening letters (on their letterhead, duh!) to businesses that supported the fight against Prop 8.

I have come to believe that there is nothing to be gained by talking to these morons who truly believe that they are morally superior to the rest of us.

In the spirit of the is the list of businesses that supported Prop 8, please take a look and take your business away. Corporate Supporters of Prop 8

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Southern Hemisphere

Cwm Goch Chronicles said...

Just wondering - being in the Southern Hemisphere, is the January Moon still a Wolf Moon for us (being summer?). What are your thoughts on this?
Some of the stuff I've been reading just associates the month, others the seasons/harvest cycle. Gets a little confusing for us Southern Hem people!

So I did a little research and came up with this on
Celebration Southern Hemisphere Northern Hemisphere
Solstice20-23 June20-23 December
Candlemas1st August2nd February
Equinox20-23 September20-23 March
Beltaine31st October1st May
Solstice20-23rd December20-23rd June
Lammas2nd February1st August
Equinox20-23 March20-23rd September
Samhain1st May31st October

I am not going to go through the calendar and check every date....this stuff makes my head hurt, I will just assume this is right.

So based on this I would start with the winter solstice, uh...June. The month following the Winter Solstice would be the Wolf Moon, so July.
Carrying on with eyes are crossing now...
July...Wolf Moon
August...Storm Moon
Sept...Chaste Moon
Oct...Seed Moon
Nov...Hare Moon
Dec...Lover's Moon
Jan...Mead Moon
Feb...Wyrt Moon
Mar...Harvest Moon
April...Blood Moon
May...Snow Moon
June...Oak Moon
Which puts you back in the Oak Moon in the month of the Winter Solstice.

Does that make sense? Anyone else in the Southern Hemisphere? Is this how you do this?

I think that the moons must be based on the seasons, not the name of the month. The Wolf Moon was a time that the wolf, among others, was emboldened by hunger and a threat to people trying to survive the winter. This is a winter moon, the name of the month doesn't matter.

I think what screws this up is that everything is based on the seasons, except Christmas which has an arbitrary date of December 25 in both hemispheres.
It's hard to get away from the confusion this causes. I know I associate Yule with Christmas. Just sticking with celebrating the Solstice might help.

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 20, Inauguration Day

Tuesday is the day of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the President of the United States.

I truly believe that this man is dedicated to finding things in common among people who disagree instead of focusing on the disagreement.

It is the only hope for this world to move forward. Bitter religious, political and tribal beliefs and prejudices have not diminished over the course of our blood stained history, on the contrary they are escalating.

Regardless of your views on this particular action that he has taken or will take, or that particular action or speech or word used that you can find fault with, send him your good wishes, your prayers and your magick for him to use to find some common ground for people of good will to stand on to combat the insanity in this world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

to be or not to be?

I think I am about to drop the term 'wiccan' from my self description.
I feel wiccan, I follow the sabbats and esbats, I'm polytheistic, the Rede makes sense to me and probably because of my upbringing I am more comfortable with some structure than without.

On the other hand, for a long time my path was a faint set of footsteps that I followed without much looking around but now it is getting wider and I am picking up things along the way.

I am definitely a witch. My practice is decidedly wiccan.
But some days I am a wiccan witch and some days I am a green witch and some days I am a druid witch and some days I am a shaman witch and some days I am a secular witch.

Do I have to have a name for it? I'm afraid that 'pagan' won't do. There are too many alien forms of pagan that I can't relate to at all. If I have to have a label it has to be more accurate than that.

Maybe I don't need a name for it. I can always use wiccan so that Homeland Security knows which file cabinet I go into....I'm sure that one's a mess anyway, they will never get it sorted out.

Do I have to have one name? Perhaps I could have little cards made up with a diagram on them. Like we were taught to diagram a sentence back in grade school, it could show all the descriptors.

I'm still thinking about this.

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Full Moon, Wolf Moon

January is the time of the Wolf Moon. The deep, dark winter. A time of life and death, the time of the hunter. Solstice is passed, the 12th Night Feast has used up all the perishable food, it is time to tighten belts, settle in for the duration of winter and hope for an early spring.

For most people today, this part of winter is not so desperate, but we should think about following the patterns of our ancestors anyway. They were quiet and frugal in the winter out of necessity. But is also created a time of rest before the hard work of the spring started. We should take this time for some quiet and rest. The cycles of nature are not just about marking the passing seasons, but responding to those seasons in different ways, both mentally and physically.

The Wolf Moon is full on Saturday, January 10 at 10:27pm EST.
Posted below is a spell to relieve winter blues.
It can also be found in A Borrowed Book of Charms.

The Flower of Light, a winter spell

A Celtic spell to help with the winter blues

You need:
-a large circle of yellow cloth
-St. John's Wort oil
-two yellow candles
-yellow flowers

Spread the yellow cloth on the floor and sprinkle with a few drops of blood-red St. John's Wort Oil.

Anoint the candles with several more drops of oil.

Divide the flowers into two bunches.

Seat yourself at the center of the circle of cloth and place a bunch of flowers at the edge of the cloth on each side of you.

Light the candles and place them at the edge of the cloth, in front and behind you.

Pick two full, perfect blooms and hold one in the upright palm of each hand.

Focus your mind on the glow of the candle in front of you and chant:
"oh, healing light, surround me now,
relieve my spirit's darkest hour"

Imagine the scented light being drawn from the candles into the flowers on your palms and from there feel it permeating the whole of your body.

Try to keep this concentration for about 20 minutes and when you rise the melancholy will fall from you.

To complete the spell, take the two flowers in your hands and give them back to Mother Earth.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Twelfth Night

The evening of 5th of January is the Twelfth Night.

If you celebrated Christmas, it's time to stop. It's the official end of the 12 Days of Christmas and it's time to take down the decorations. If the decorations were edible, you are supposed to eat them. Yes, really.

If your traditions precede Christianity, that party (aka Winter Festival) that started on Halloween is over...go home.

If you are The Lord of Misrule, your rule is coming to an end. And please drain the wassail bowl before you leave.

There are traditions that are better left in history. And just in case you thought the Christmas season was long over -- nope, but it will be tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

S.J. Tucker

SJ Tucker, awesome pagan songwriter and singer, was taken ill over the holiday. Like many of us who are self-employed, she has no health insurance and now a big hospital bill. You can help her out and benefit yourself by going to her website and buying one of her CDs as a reduced price. Follow the links in the story about her illness, rather than the normal merchandise links, and it will take you to a page where you can buy the album you want at the price you name (minimum $10). All proceeds are stated to go to her medical bills. (If you do the download thing, there is less cost on her end.)
I downloaded an album for myself. Here is the site. Skinny White Chick

new discussion forum

Ariel, the host of the Druidic Craft of the Wise Lectures and The Witch's Primer podcasts, has opened a new discussion forum at the DCW website.
You can find the forum here.
It just opened, there are already some discussions going on. It is not limited to Druids, but open to anyone who wants to discuss any aspect of the Craft. Feel free to visit and join if you wish.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

book review

Paganism, An Introduction to Earth Centered Religions

by Joyce and River Higginbotham
published by Llewellyn Publications
1st Edition
7th printing, 2007

If you have family or friends that you would like to introduce to Paganism or answer their questions about your choice of a path, and you would like to do it in an academic way, this is the book.

Much as I love Cunningham's basic works and recommend them freely, even they are too much for some people. Some born-again Christians that I know would not be able to get past the altar setup and so would never make it to the spiritual part.

Paganism, An Introduction to Earth Centered Religions, is a text book. It is not a how-to or primarily a book to explore your spiritual path. It is a frank and informative discussion about Paganism and its many paths.

Some of the topics covered that I believe many people are curious about include:
--why so many people are drawn to earth based religions
--why there is no dogma
--why so many divergent views can get along
--how modern science and the pagan view of the cosmos are converging
--what exactly is the difference between Pagan and Satanist
--why is there a cultural prejudice against pagans, witches and magick

There are exercises at the end of each chapter that the easily put off can just skip over, but the more curious or those finding themselves drawn to Paganism can work on.
These are not spellcasting 101, but rather questions about beliefs, attitudes and why you believe or don't believe certain things.
You might want to try these exercises yourself, they are quite thought provoking.

This is a book that anyone, from long time Pagan to the mildly curious devout Christian, will find educational and interesting and an excellent text for someone new to the path.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Winter Meditation

The meteorologists on the TV stations here are committed to the cause of fighting the war of winter. They talk about 'making it through' as if we were all still huddled in our caves hoping the firewood doesn't run out. Or my (least) favorite...'battling the elements.' And this is in a state where skiing is a major industry and our drinking water depends on the snowpack. While I don't enjoy rush hour traffic in a blizzard any more than any one else does...there is another way to think about winter and those of us involved in earth based religions should celebrate it. Winter is a time for rest, for gathering energy, for contemplation, for quiet.

I found this lovely winter meditation in The Way of the Green Witch by Ann Murphy Hiscock.

Ideally this meditation should be done outside, but you can do it inside also.
Settle yourself comfortably and close your eyes. Visualize a fine green mist rising from the ground. Take three slow deep breaths. Each time you inhale visualize that mist of verdant green energy flowing into your lungs and spreading through your body, bringing with it the feeling of comfort and relaxation, of oneness with your surroundings. As you exhale release any tension, stress or worry you may be feeling.
Allow your personal energy to expand slightly so that it merges with the natural green energy around you. Direct your awareness downward into the soil. Allow it to sink deep into the earth slowly and gently. Do not force your energy but let it sink and sift through the particles of earth. When you feel comfortable stop and feel the energy of the soil around you.

Once you have reached a place of comfort deep inside the earth, breathe that energy in and feel it fill your body. Feel the soil's energy at this time of the winter solstice. Feel the energy of quiet and stillness that permeates the earth. Reach out and sense the darkness, the feeling of slowness as it flows through the roots and stems. Explore the barely perceptible movement of energy throughout the soil and roots as the world above lies sleeping. Sense the feelings of relaxation, of incubation, of dreams and the breath of what may become that trickle through the land. Remain cradled by the energy of the soil as long as you like, enjoying the feeling of warm stillness and sleep around you.

When you feel it is time to return to normal consciousness, offer the soil around your awareness a small gift of gratitude. Then allow your awareness to slowly rise up through the soil to return to your physical body. After spending time within the earth like this, you will probably be so relaxed that slow movement will be natural to you. Take your time, do not simply snap back or you will be disoriented and your energy will be unbalanced. Once your awareness has returned, ground yourself and take three deep breaths. Open your eyes, gently move your arms and legs to reaffirm your physical form. Stand slowly and do a few gentle stretches.

If you journal your meditations, do it now.

photo found here


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