31 January 2010


This morning Camden and I took our priapic wands to the nearby state park, and shook them at the trees, the ground, and the lake, yelling "Wake up!" Well, he was yelling, and I was humoring his excitement. ^_^ It was a ton of fun, and now he's all sorts of excited about Spring. And I'm all sorts of excited, because I can tell we were heard. After we finished waving our wands around awaking the world, we saw:

A stick! (He was pointing at it very excitedly just before I managed to snap a picture. So mad that I missed it!)


A heathen! Oh, no, that's just Camden. ^_^

And as we were leaving the park, we found:

these fellows, who refused to run away. I guess that was some tasty grass or something!

And later this afternoon, as we were walking about the town because it was quite toasty out, Camden found the sun!

He was so excited by it! I know he was excited, because I distinctly remember him saying "sun" about 10 times in half as many seconds.

So, although our Imbolc activities happened a few days early (since I'm crazy busy except for the weekend) we still had a great (and successful!) time calling upon the Mother Goddess to give us some light, some warmth, and some Springtime!

30 January 2010

Container Gardening

In May, I'll be moving into a duplex with a bit of porch. I really want to try my hand at container gardening for herbs, veggies (yum!), and flowers. But, I didn't want to wait until May to start my garden! My current apartment has six windows that face West and have window sills big enough (about 6-7 inches wide) for some not-so-large containers. Today I bought some potting soil, seeds, and an on-sale Christmas storage container that is about ten inches high (for my extra potting soil) and has a removable tray, originally for scissors and tape, but I can use it for seed packets, my trowel, and labels. When I got home , I pulled out my old cardboard egg cartons and got to work! I didn't start all the seeds, just some that I plan on keeping indoors or are fairly hardy. I think I'll have to start eating more yogurt and pudding from individual sized cups so I can maybe sell some of the seedlings, or donate them to the down-the-stairs thrift store.

This has led me to thinking about my future garden. My far-in-the-future garden, one that is actually in the ground. My future garden and planting dates. Actually, thinking about it, I can only recall three dates, one of which isn't even a set date. Potatoes on St. Patrick's day; pumpkins on the fourth of July (if you want them to be ready for Samhain/Halloween); and corn when oak leaves are as big as a squirrels ear. And everything else is planted... some other time. lol For almost all my life my parents had a garden, and all I can remember are planting dates for those three plants. But I have my sources for when I finally get my own garden.

When I was about 10 or 11 I found a book for 25 cents at a yard sale called Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills(Bogaman, I think you would really like this book!) I originally wanted it because it told about tanning leather and using said leather to make moccasins. And though I never had a chance to make my moccasins, I have fallen in love with this book for practically everything else it contains, including homesteading, alternative energy, gardening/raising livestock, and canning and storing food. This book was probably instrumental in my love of the Earth (and Paganism) because so much of what it talks about is either organic or using resources responsibly, and maximizing returns while minimizing input. This book has allowed me to evaluate how I live and know what I want to do differently in the future.

One of the things I want to do differently is grow my own food. Right now, I buy nearly everything I eat. I know I won't be able to grow an entire garden's worth of food on my future porch, but I'll be able to grow some things, and that, to me, is exciting. I loved playing in the dirt as a kid, and I still love playing in the dirt! And when that can culminate into something tasty or beautiful, then it just makes it that much more fun. Now I just need to find some more flower pots and whatnot. :)

28 January 2010

To be, or not to be... in the closet!

This is a question that troubles many of our fellow Witches and Pagans. Should we keep our beliefs hidden, or shout it to the world what we know to be true... or something in between? I came to Paganism when I was thirteen(ish). At that time, I was actively, if not openly, searching for a religion or non-religion that could hold up to my world view in ways that Christianity, and my understanding of it, could not. I tried many: atheism, Satanism, Buddhism, and finally Wicca for many years before becoming a generally-whatever-goes Pagan.

I remember quite clearly one instant in my first days of Wicca. I was studying it, as one does, when my mom came home. Now, I wasn't trying to hide it, because I saw nothing wrong with it. So, it was very much a surprise when she FREAKED OUT about seeing a pentacle on the computer screen. I was so excited to have found a religion that worked for me, and I wanted to share it with her. And what did she do? She banned me from it. And as all teenagers do, I studiously followed her wishes completely ignored her! Even after that, it never occurred to me that I shouldn't tell a soul I was no longer Christian. I was quite open about it at school, though I knew better than to say anything at home. Eventually, my mom found out anyway, and she finally came to accept me. My brother and dad never said much about it, and after my then-god-fearing sister gave me the cold shoulder for several years, we are now very close and she very much accepts that my beliefs are right for me.

Since those first days I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm a Pagan. I never really advertised (aside from openly wearing my pentacle on a regular basis) but I didn't hide it, either. Yes, I experienced confrontations, from friends as well as complete strangers. (Yes, creepy guy eating Chinese food, I am reading a book called Celtic Myth and Magic. No I don't want to talk to you about your God who supposedly hates everything not directly under his power.) But I've never actually worried about what my being Pagan might mean. At the moment, it means the end of a relationship, because my boyfriend cannot/will not accept that part of me. However, I've also started worrying about my career. I want to be an elementary music teacher (or maybe middle school/beginning band teacher), and I have only two years until I start looking for a job in that field. What effect will my being Pagan have on my ability to find a job? I'm not going to put on my application/resume, "Hey, I'm an Earth-worshipping witchy Pagan," but at some point, it will surely come to be known. And, of course, this is on top of the fact that I'm a single mother.

I hope, though, that I will end up either in an area with a relatively high number of pagans (Southwestern MO seems to have quite a few, especially compared to the ~10 to be found in NEMO), or in a metro area where keeping my social life separate from my work life will be relatively easy. So, it seems I shall remain outside of the dusty broom closet (because who dusts the broom closet?!) And hopefully, I will pave the way for future Pagan teachers in this primarily Christian world.

24 January 2010

Priapic wands and ... orbs?

Lots of pictures today, so my apologies in advance for those of you who might have slower connections.

Yesterday Camden and I made our priapic wands. Rather, I let him pick out the ribbons and beads, and I made them. If only he knew how to tie knots! And thanks to this, I have no pictures of the process. :(

But I did get pictures of the finished wands on my alter, posing with my Goddess-figure statue. This is the best:

Cam's been playing with his quite a bit. I hope that by the time Imbolc gets here, he'll still be willing to use it.

As for the orbs... I finally got the pictures onto my computer from x-mas and New Year's. In the pictures from New Year's, there is an orb floating around. I'm about 80% certain it's not just a speck on the lens, because it's not there in later pictures taken just a few minutes later.

Here, the orb is hanging out just under Cam's left hand.

In this picture, it's a bit more difficult to see. Find his left elbow, and go almost directly right. It's at the edge of the picture, just hanging out.

And this one is so easy to see, I'm not even going to mention it. :D

23 January 2010

Nature of God/dess

I've been pondering the nature of God/dess the last few days. I "believe" in "one god," or Deity, if you will. This Deity is usually celebrated, worshipped, etc as either the Goddess alone, or the Goddess and God together. I fall into the second category. When I pray or do rituals/spells, I call upon the Goddess and God, despite the fact that I see them as equal but opposite sides of Deity (rather like the Chinese yin and yang.)

I suppose those Christians who actually put thought into how the Holy Trinity functions as one in three and three in one feel about as mixed up as I do on the subject of Deity/God+Goddess/gods+goddesses. There is Deity, who is divided into the masculine and feminine God and Goddess, who are further divided into gods and goddesses who are associated with the differing aspects or faces of the Goddess and God. At least, that's how I see the divisions. There are the "hard polytheists" out there, who believe each and every god and goddess are their own separate deity, and may all the gods and spirits in existence help you if you say Zeus, Thor, and Jupiter are the same being! I am a "soft polytheist" as I see the lines between deities as much more blurred.

Viewing the gods in this light, it's hard for me to assign names to them. It makes little sense, in the big scheme of things. But I think calling upon the gods using specific names makes sense from time to time. Sometimes we need that extra symbolism and connotation that is associated with that name. For instance, my son is behind with his speech and language development, despite a year+ of ear tubes and speech therapy. So when we do certain activities (reading, flash cards, or other games that involve speaking on his end) I call upon Baile (BAWL-uh), the God of Blarney, who is associated with glib speech, quick speech, and verbal communication, as well as Nessa, who aids in increasing mental abilities and helps look out for the interests of children. This evening, we will be calling upon and thinking of Brigit as we make our Priapic wands (will blog about this tomorrow!) for Imbolc.

21 January 2010


I wish I had had my camera last night. I was filling out the FAFSA and remembered I needed something out of my car, so I slipped on my boots and coat and ran out to get it. As I stepped out of the doorway to the building, I turned and through the light mist, I saw a tree, covered in ice, lit from behind by a street light. It seemed to glow in that cold, orange light, while the stoplights behind me left the street gleaming red, then dark, then red.

Although much of the effect was a construct of man, I felt the Goddess in that moment. For is she not within everything? Is she not All That Is, including the flashing red lights and glowing street lamps?

This morning as I got to campus, I heard the wind through the trees, which were still icy. It sounded like snow falling. Have you ever sat in a snow covered field at night, lit only by the glowing moon above, and listened to the snow fall? The first (and probably only) time I did this, it was before I was Pagan, before I even knew what a Pagan or Wiccan was. Probably before I knew that there was a choice. But even lacking that knowledge, I felt the magic. I felt the connection. Now, when I'm lucky enough to actually hear the snow fall (not often, living in town), I still feel that connection and peace that I associate with that first time.

As the day moved on, it warmed a little, and the ice began falling off the limbs whenever the wind blew, so by the afternoon most of the trees had faerie circles of ice around them.

Wow, this has been a random post! Well, suffice it to say, that although I find winter to be a very magical time, I would much prefer it to be spring or summer! Bring it on!

18 January 2010

Imbolc activities!

Imbolc will soon be upon us, and since everyone else is posting about it, I figured I may as well, too. I found an activity that I think will be fun to do with Camden (if he decides he wants to participate!!)

Priapic Wand

Small Tree Branch, Acorn, Thin Brown String or Thread, Yellow, Green, and Gold 1/4" Ribbon, Small Gold/Silver Jingle Bells.

Select a small branch about 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter. Cut top end flat. Approx. 1/2" below top score a groove (parents only) with a sharp knife. Take 1' long piece of string/thread and tie in groove. Take another 1' piece of thread and tie in groove on opposite side of branch.

Place acorn at top of branch (flat end) and adhere with some glue. Now pull the string up over the cap and wind once around acorn. Repeat with all 3 other pieces of string. Pull strings back down to the groove in the branch and tie off. This will hold the acorn in place.

Decorate the branch by wrapping it with the ribbons, leaving enough length at top for streamers. Tie gold/silver jingle bells to the ends of the ribbons. For smaller children, thread the bells onto the ribbon while wrapping the branch.

Tell the children about how the acorn-wand is a symbol of the Lord of the Forest, and how this magical wand helps the sleeping plants and animals wake up and prepare for Spring. Then walk about pointing and shaking it at plants and trees, invoking them to wake up from Winter's sleep to witness the union of the Bride and the Lord of the Forest!

So if you happen to see anyone walking around shaking a jingly stick at trees in the coming weeks... It's probably me!

Today Camden reached a milestone, which I thinks fits perfectly with the Earth coming to life and growing. He undressed and dressed himself! I was quite surprised, because he decided to do it and did it entirely on his own, even picking out what he was going to change into (Buzz Lightyear pajamas). I was also impressed, because in the past he's always had trouble getting his arms in the right holes to put his shirts on. So, yay! My little boy is growing up! Now if I could only get him talking!

16 January 2010


I love moments of deja vu; I find them incredibly fascinating. My deja vu moments are always something I have dreamed. The very first I remember was when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I went with a friend of mine and her mom to look at a house. (Maybe they were thinking of buying it, I don't remember) As we walked up the yard, I was struck with the familiarity of the place, and when we stepped into the kitchen, it hit me like a rock. I'd been there before. I dreamed it. I was able to lead them straight to the stairs that I knew led to a loft bedroom with an old-fashioned quilt on the bed. Other times that this has happened, this knowledge of how things will go, was during a track meet in 7th/8th grade, my geometry class in 9th grade, and once with my boyfriend in the last year. These aren't the only times, but for whatever reason, they're the ones that stand out in my mind.

There's always this moment of "I've done this" immediately after which, I say to myself, "Should I deviate from the plan?" I never do, though. I'm always too engrossed with the line "Oh, gods, I know what's going to happen!" running on repeat on my head to actually concentrate on changing what I know will happen. Sadly, these moments only last for 15-20 seconds at most, and I never get anything as fulfilling as winning lottery numbers. Haha! And of course, there's the fact that I never remember having the dream until I am reliving it. Granted, only my repetitive and fantastical dreams (such as being chased by zombies) stick with me for longer than the minute or three it takes me to wake up. Honestly, who wants to remember a dream where one is sitting in geometry or wrapping an ankle on the football field?

(And of course, I get a phone call in the middle of my post... and I am now horribly distracted by a youtube video of an ensemble piece which I'm part of this semester. FYI, I play the same part as the guy just to the right of center! Minimalism rawks) Okay, where was I?

It seems as though my dreamy precognition happened more often and was more detailed when I was younger. In that first instance, with the house, I knew it like it was my own home. I knew that there would be little blue bottles (perfume or some such) in a window, and there were! Now, though, when it does happen, I'm lucky to remember how a conversation will go for ten seconds. The instance with my boyfriend, for example. I was talking to him (face to face or over the phone, I can't remember) and suddenly it hit me that I'd dreamed it. The knowledge of how it would go only lasted for another ten seconds, if that long, after that awareness. Is that because my dream ended at that point, or because I'm just not properly utilizing my skills? Perhaps it's time for me to leave behind the "Oh, gods, I know what he's going to say, how exciting" and begin moving on to "He said this, and then I said that, and it turned out like such... Is that how I want it to turn out, given this opportunity to change the (predetermined?) future?

15 January 2010

What not to Wear

Tonight on What not to Wear, Stacy and Clinton were dressing a witch! I was somewhat looking forward to it, because I figured "Hey a Witch on reality television is generally a good thing at dispelling (hah!) stereotypes." Unfortunately, I'm not so sure this was the case.

First off, the woman could barely say anything but "I'm a Witch!" Second off, she was a "goth" witch. I don't understand how the goth look came to be associated with Witchcraft, but that image needs to go! Our's isn't a religion spanning back to the middle ages; it is both newer and older than that, so all that renaissance garb for ritual needs. To. Go. (Which it did, by the end, of course.) And finally, third off: the woman was attributing magical powers to the new clothes. Sorry, darling, but it's not magic that makes you look good when you step into something a bit nicer and better fitting than flannel pajamas!

Granted, I have clothes that make me feel more "witchy," though mine are generally reminiscent of Bohemia and not the Dark Ages. Honestly, though, I can't help but wonder what made this woman (and the witches in her coven, too!) feel the need to dress like a movie witch? Is it because they're in Salem, and they feel they have to be "authentic." Or... Do they just not get it? It honestly blows my mind. Although, to each his/her own I suppose.

As a side note: Is it Spring yet? I'm ready for warmth, sunshine, gentle breezes, and greenery. I'm also ready to move. (I'll be moving into a bigger apartment that won't involve stairs!) The Sun/Son was born again. I think it's time he makes himself known!

12 January 2010

All That Is

This morning as I walked from my car into the music/art (but most importantly music :D) building on campus, I was thinking of the Goddess and the God and just Deity in general, I guess. I'm not sure there was a reason, perhaps a sugar high from the doughnut I'd just eaten... Or because it was really freaking cold *and* 7.15 in the morning. (I HATE 7.30 classes!) Anyway, I was thinking how nice it was to be able to see Her/Him/Them/It in everything there is. That She is All That Is. Who can name the Goddess (or God) knowing that name attempts definition, therefore attempting limits upon Her(Him, usw). For a long time I worried about finding "my" goddess, finding a name to call Her. But now I realise that by attempting to give Her a name, I can limit the power I perceive in Her, which in turn limits the power I have from Her. She is not Cerridwen, Hecate, Diana, etc. She is All That Is. Those names are a part of Her, but in no way, shape, or form can they encompass Her entirety.

Just that short tidbit for today, I think. Also a quick note to say that I won't be posting except once or maybe twice a week until May. I'm taking a full course load this semester plus two classes that are 0-credit (but still take up time!) so I am hella busy!

Until I see you again!

07 January 2010

Magical Name

Your fairy is called Feather Yewfly
She is a weird enchantress.
She lives in high places where the clouds meet the earth.
She is only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky.
She wears pale blue like the sky. She has russet-coloured wings like a brightly coloured butterfly.

Generate your very own craft name here!

While I understand the premise behind magical or craft names, that once upon a time there was this thing called the Inquisition so witches had to take on craft names (and probably masks, lumpy cloaks, and a false limp) to keep from being caught, I myself am not a fan. If the Goddess and the God were to come to me right now and say "We name you such and such, then, yes, I would probably use that name. With the God and the Goddess.

I see Divinity in everything, the spiritual as well as the mundane. And as such, I, along with my name, am part of the Divine. My name is magical enough. Also is the idea that with a new name comes a new persona. If I adopt a new name (let's take my 13-year-old self's craft name of SkyeRaven), then don't I stand before the gods as SkyeRaven, someone who is quite possibly very different from me (or my 13-year-old self?) Is that being honest, or is it a way of lying to the gods? "Hey, God and Goddess, I'm not really good enough to stand before you myself, so I'm going to let my alter-ego stand in for me using the craft name I picked out." Meh, maybe I am being overly dense about it, but it seems to me as though a person should be able to stand before his/her gods as him/herself, fully and honestly.

The Lady Pixie Moondrip has written an excellent article on this topic, Lady Pixie Moondrip's Guide to Craft Names, that I think is a very lovely read. Probably much more interesting and succinct than my incessant rambling.

04 January 2010

Chants, Songs, and Prayers

I made a resolution to be more religious. Or maybe not. I don't remember what I said and I'm much too lazy to go look! On Monday, I received in the mail a book I ordered sometime after Christmas (yay for gift cards!) called "A Book of Pagan Prayer" by Ceisiwr Serith. In it he writes about the importance of prayers and offerings to us Pagans. Our gods aren't omniscient, they have better things to do than stick their nose in our business every hour of the day. The gods, ancestors, and spirits are akin to our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, so why shouldn't we talk to them? As for offerings, he says these are important in closing the cycle. We witches see life, nature, and history as an endless loop: birth, life, death, rebirth; summer, fall, winter, spring, summer again. When we take what the gods freely give to us but offer nothing in return, we break the cycle. It should be, the gods give to us, we take from the gods, we give to the gods, the gods take from us, und so weiter. I think this book will be elemental in helping me get more in touch with the gods as well as introducing religion into Camden's life.

I spent quite a bit of time searching online today for chants and songs, too. Handy little things, these are, when one is in need of magic or even grounding. This page has chants, rhymes, songs, and couplets on numerous topics. Very handy for when I'm in need of a little magic with no time for a "proper ritual." And for me, that's generally all the time. lol I hope these will also be useful in introducing Camden to Paganism. I grew up with "Little Miss Muffet" and "London Bridge is Falling Down." Camden will too, along with rhymes like "She changes everything She touches: Everything She touches changes" and "We are a circle; within a circle; with no beginning; and never ending."

02 January 2010

New Button

In celebration of my blog's new name, I've made a new button. Can't have a button saying "Witch at Church" when my blog is named something different, now can I? So if any of you, my dear readers, have networked with me by putting my button on your blog, please change it!

Thank you muchly.

Life of Pi and One Witch's Story

Today (and some of yesterday, I guess) I read most ofLife of Pi by Yann Martel, not for the first or even second time. I say I read most of it, because I skimmed parts that I find particularly tedious the fourth or fifth time around. Besides, I knew what I wanted to read. When it first came out, or when it first became popular, it was known as "that book about the kid on a life raft with a tiger!" And that's why I read it. But it is also about zoos, survival, and a boy loving God. The boy, Pi, is Indian, and as such, is Hindu. But during the course of his youth, he is introduced to both Christianity and Islam in a peaceful, calm, and unassuming manor. He accepts both, along with Hinduism, as his Truths. His religions. He does none of what I tried to do with Christianity and Paganism, which is combine them into one religion that espouses the best of both. Instead, he believes in all three of them fully and separately. Something I don't think I could do, honestly.

In one part he asks his mother for a prayer rug and to be baptized, and she tells him he cannot be a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian; he must choose one. And he asks about his uncle/friend of the family who is a citizen of both India and France, with two passports. His mother says there is only one nation in the sky; to this, Pi asks, "Then shouldn't all passports be accepted?"

This book is filled with much wisdom. I can see myself in Pi, a young sixteen year old boy from India, in that I see the Truth told in every religion and accept it as valid, even if I myself cannot (or will not) subscribe to more than one.

Another wisdom from this book: words imply invention, and invention implies story.

Isn't telling about something... already something of an invention? Isn't just looking upon this world already something of an invention? ... The world isn't just the way it s. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?

And in this quote, I found the inspiration for a new name for my blog. (Even if my "Witch at Church" title has managed to find me a follower or two in the last few days.) In a blog, we tell how we look upon the world. Even in blogs that stick to the facts, invention runs rampant. So what are blogs other than a story, especially blogs such as mine that don't deal entirely with politics, but rather the warp and woof that make up a life. And if life is a story, what is mine other than one witch's story?

01 January 2010

New Beginnings for a New Year

My first post of twenty-ten. How exciting!

The New Year is a time of new beginnings and deciding what we're going to change about our lives in the coming year. I haven't made a New Year's resolution in several years. And the years I did, I doubt very much that I held to the resolutions I made. This year I am breaking my tradition of not making resolutions. This year I am resolving to be more patient with Camden. I am also going to devote more time reaffirming my Pagan faith. I've always been something like the person who considers their self a Christian but never goes to church. I've read about and studied Paganism since the beginning, and held a few rituals for myself. But what started out as not practicing in order to shelter my beliefs from my parents developed into habit. And the last few years, though I've been out of my parents' house, I've been busy raising Camden and going to school. But now Camden is at the age where he is beginning to understand the unseen a little bit more (or at least can appreciate the stories and songs!) So I want to make time in my life for worship, via ritual on holidays and full moons and at other times. I want to follow a more "religious" Pagan path than I have in the past, and this year is the beginning of that.

Another new beginning for this year: this blog. Since I'm no longer a "witch at church" I really need to come up with a new name for my blog. I'm just not entirely sure where I want the blog to go, now.

Many happy wishes for you and yours for twenty-ten!
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