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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Moon, Waxing Moon

Thursday, March 26 was the New Moon. We now enter the waxing moon.
New projects, new beginnings, new hope, new rituals.
Use the energy of this moon phase to manifest what you need in your life.
Be specific, be strong.
You are a witch and a daughter or son of the Goddess, weave your magic with your will and create what you need.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

an invitation...



Please come and visit my latest blog, Seeker.
It is about divination. My divination tools are Tarot and the pendulum. When I agreed to take an astrology class I got curious about other forms of divination.
I would love to post pics of your tools, stories or tips that you want to share.
Comments, of course. But you can also send information and photos to pagantapestry@gmail.com and I will post them on the blog. If it is just me it is going to be r-e-a-l-l-y boring, cuz I just don't know that much.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

pagan clergy

I have been sitting on the fence on the subject of pagan 'clergy.'
I have been swayed in both directions. To me paganism is all about finding your own personal path to divinity, whatever that is.
You can't tell me how to connect to the goddess, I can't tell you. All the research and education in the world is only one small tool along that path. A good tool, a necessary tool, but still just a tool.

OTOH, the arguments for presenting a public face that doesn't speak of Buffy or teenage Goths has great pull. We all want to be respected in our beliefs, in our lives. We all get tired of saying "I'm-pagan,-no-it-is-not-satanism" as if it were all one word.
Having someone ELSE front and center to make explanations and create good will is very very tempting these days.

My mind was made up this week in a gigantic leap, a vivid light bulb moment. I sincerely wish that I could credit the person who caused this, but I have been unable to. Instead I will relate how this happened.

Driving to work, listening to an NPR story about the Pope in Africa. Someone from one of the many health organizations trying desperately to stop the relentless advance of disease in Africa was being interviewed. I started listening at the very end of the interview, which is why I don't know who this was.
The questions and answers turned to the Pope's remarks against the use of condoms and the interviewee said:

"...he cares more for his dogma than for his people's lives."

Raised Catholic, I think I had always known this, but never said it outloud. Yes, he does.
And I realized that we must NEVER EVER fall into the trap of believing that my way or your way or
anyone's way of approaching the gods must look a certain way or feel a certain way or contain certain words. The moment that we anoint people to step forward and say that they represent Pagans, we are heading for the slippery slope of caring more for dogma (and for appearances) than for connection and knowledge.

Most of us are so indoctrinated, more honestly we are brainwashed, into thinking that 'religion' must look a certain way and act a certain way. Even when we think we have thrown off the shackles and started down a path of freedom and knowledge, those old beliefs start to tug at us.
Clergy, temples, sacred texts tipping into dogma. We are conditioned to it, we must resist it or this path can just become another way to control other people.

double posted, here and 'stumbling upon the path of the goddess'

Celtic roots in the American West

"I want to be in there with the trees and the sage and the animals, not feeling like an interloper, but as part of that whole world."

An artist that I just stumbled over, Connie Dover, interviewed on NPR. Her music is a mix of Celtic folk and cowboy ballads and often speaks about connecting with spirit.

Read more about her here:
NPR article
and
Connie Dover homepage

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ostara wreath





Add ImageHibiscus Moon asked me to post pictures of my Ostara wreath after I mention one in a previous post. Here it is. I made it as ritual yesterday, smudged all the pieces. The little talisman is a hand painted spring flower pendant. The bunny I found at Hobby Lobby, not the usual Easter bunny, he is a bean bag and he was calling to me from behind a pile of fuzzy pink and yellow bunnies.
Normally with a grape vine wreath I like to weave ribbons thru the vine and give it little bits of color, this one I just lashed around like the ribbons were holding it together and I like it.
I was going to hang it on the front door, right now it is in my bedroom and I like it so I haven't decided yet. I could make another one for the front door. If you click on the pictures you can see a larger view.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

countdown to Ostara

1
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Ostara, the Spring Equinox, celebrates the return of spring, life, light and the Goddess Eostre.
Eostre is an Anglo Saxon goddess. She exemplifies youth, joy, light, dawn, new beginnings. Her energy is that of innocence.
When there were only two seasons, summer and winter, the winters were long. Eostre brought the summer back each year and her return was a great celebration.

Decorate your altar for Eostre with pastel colors, spring buds, butterflies, Easter eggs (which belong to her) and other symbols of spring. Her companion, messenger and symbol of fertility is the hare. If you are not familiar with Eostre, you might want to send a message with the Hare to invite her to attend your ritual. Offer the Hare a place at your altar also.

Celebrations held outside are especially appropriate for the Equinox. If you would like to find out more about Eostre I highly recommend Goddess Alive by Michele Skye. The first of her books celebrating the Goddesses, there is a chapter dedicated to Eostre as well as a wonderful ritual that would work well alone, with a circle or especially with children. (I am not going to reproduce it here as it is 7 pages long)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

countdown to Ostara

2
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Make a spring offering for the goddess.
The materials you need are a grape vine wreath,
an inexpensive garland of spring flowers,
some ribbon and any charms that you wish to add.

I recommend working in sacred space.
Smudge all the materials before you assemble your wreath
and offer the wreath and the intent to whichever deity you wish.

Weave the garland and ribbons into the wreath until
you have a design that pleases you.
Somewhere in the wreath I will hang a small charm or talisman
specific to the goddess that I offered the wreath to.
I like to hang this wreath on the front door.



Monday, March 16, 2009

ah, Saint Paddy!



Probably born Maewyn Succat, later known as
Patrick, Patricius Daorbae, Palladius, Naomh Pádraig, early 5th century Briton (?), educated in Gaul, first Bishop to Ireland



St. Patrick's Day has become a way for expat Irishmen and their descendants to celebrate their roots. It has also become a day to wear green, claim to be part Irish and drink green beer.
Nothing wrong with any of that.

As a Catholic child I was taught how Patrick saved the Irish from their pagan ways and drove the snakes out of Ireland.

As an adult I discover that while Patrick may have baptized the thousands that he claimed, most went cheerfully back to their pagan ways. My grandfather, who was Catholic and an Irish immigrant, had as much belief in the 'old ways' as in the Church...1500 years later.

As for the snakes, Ireland never had any. But Patrick had a running verbal battle with the Druids and used the symbol of a snake to represent them in his letters. He felt his lack of formal education in Church doctrine put him at a disadvantage when debating with the Druids and mentions this in his letters.
Patrick's references to the Druids makes for an interesting historical puzzle. Patrick is believed to have been in Ireland in the early 5th century and there is some historical data to support this. The Druids were supposedly disbanded, destroyed or run into hiding in the 1st century by the early Roman excursions into Ireland. So is the Patrick who wrote about Druids a different person than the Patrick in Church records? There is some debate along the lines that there actually were two people later identified as Patrick, one in the 1st century and one in the 5th. Or were the Druids a little less extinct than reported? Or did Patrick mistake another group for Druids?

At any rate, running the snakes out of Ireland was probably just spin by the bishops in central Europe.

And speaking of them, they were often known to chastise Patrick, which didn't exactly make his status with the people any easier. It may have centered around his ability to talk women of status and property into going into the nunnery, which may have had something to do with Patrick's personal supply of funds. But he was known to be generous to the poor, so rumors were never investigated.

One legend about Patrick says that he was known to carry an ash walking stick. When he would address a crowd he would drive the stick into the ground where he stood. He would speak for so long that the walking stick would take root.

Taking the Church's history of Patrick out of the equation, he apparently was well known, well liked, and considered somewhat harmless. He may have baptized thousands and begun the Catholic take over of Ireland, but no one there was quick to throw the old gods or the old ways out the door. And many will tell you that the old gods never left.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

countdown to Ostara

5
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The position of the Spring Equinox on the Wheel of the Year is East. The position of the Dawn, Air, new light and new beginnings.

Ostara, or Spring Equinox, is on Friday March 20

Saturday, March 14, 2009

countdown to Ostara

6
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Being somewhat pre-occupied with wishing for spring, I am going to do a countdown to Ostara and see if I can find a ritual, tradition or celebration to bring here each day. It may keep me from staring at the bare trees, willing them to burst into leaf and blossom.

Here is a great little seed blessing from Gerina Dunwich, and you have time to run down to to your local nursery and purchase some seeds. Perform this blessing at sunset on the day of the Equinox.

Cast a clockwise circle. Place the seeds in a basket or cauldron (if you have seed packets you may leave the seeds in the packets). Using an athame, wand or your finger, draw a pentagram three times in the air over the seeds and say:

As Winter's reign comes to an end
And spring brings warmth and light,
The Spirits of these seeds I do call forth
On Ostara's sacred night.

From your rest so dark and long
Awaken now with birth!
You shall, in time, grow green and strong
In the soil of Mother Earth.

So mote it be.

Ostara, or Spring Equinox, is on Friday March 20

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

full moon

Tonight is the full moon. Celebrate your knowledge of the Goddess.
Go outside for a few minutes and feel her power.
Blessed Be.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Full Moon, Chaste Moon

March Full Moon is known as the Chaste Moon.
It is also called the Seed Moon, but since the April Moon is called the Seed Moon this is just a little confusing. Spring Moons are almost as bad as the Fall Moons for overlapping names.

March Moon is the time to bless your herb garden and start preparing the soil in your garden for the seeds that you will be planting soon.

Prepare yourself for new experiences.

March Full Moon is on Tuesday, March 10 at 10:38pm EDT.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another great new podcast

I really hope this one sticks around. Pagan Spirituality Today is a thoughtful, interesting podcast about today's paganism. Tune in and check it out for yourself. It's on my list and it's on iTunes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Life of a Witch

Mama Kelly at 2 Witches Blog posted this. I thought it was so lovely I wanted it here also.
Enjoy.

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