44 DoW Day 4: Picture of Nature (water element)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wintertime in Crested Butte, CO

I'm a lucky girl.  I was born and raised in one of the most beautiful and magical states in the United States (at least, in my honest opinion ^_^  But hey, I'm biased) and I've gotten to be back for over a year now after so many years away.  One of the things I love about my state is the magic that comes with each individual season.  As much as I loved Texas (and equally hated Oklahoma), one thing I missed about living there was getting to have all four seasons.  Texas (and Oklahoma, admittedly) had beautiful springtimes and hot summers, but the beauty of autumn and winter was pretty much nonexistant.  The leaves don't generally turn until mid- to late-November and snow is rare.

Out of all my friends, I'm the weird one:  I LOVE snow!  I love watching it fall, I love seeing it sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight.  Seriously, I absolutely LOVE winter!  I love all the seasons.  I think being Pagan has enabled me even more to see the magic in all the seasons.  I know some people have their favorite season(s) and the ones that they just flat-out don't like.  But I can't help myself.  Spring shows the magic of budding life, Summer for me is the halfway point between the blooming life of Spring versus the joy of the harvest.  Autumn shows that even death has a beauty and joy to it as the leaves turn their passionate colors of gold and red.  And then Winter, for me, is the cozy, chilly time where the world around me is quiet, introspective, and at peace.

All that being said, I think the first thing that comes to mind whenever one mentions the element of Water is lakes, rivers, and oceans.  But right now in Wintertime (at least for those of us on the Northern Hemisphere LoL), many of us find ourselves surrounded by the element of Water and perhaps it offers us lessons that we don't normally consider from Water in that particular state.

Water is so versatile. First there's the fact that it's the ultimate life-giver.  Naturally, most of us have learned that our bodies are made up of 70% of water and so is our planet.  We also know that, without water, life would never have reached the levels that it has.  It nourishes the tiniest of organisms on up to the largest.

Then there are the many forms that we see water.  From being a tangible pool of liquid such as the ocean to vaporous forms like fog and clouds, and then individual drops of rain that collect together again in bodies of water.  Then there is water in its frozen form.  Frost patterns and snowflakes are like the intricate artwork of the gods.

My point, basically, is that water teaches us to be flexible and determined.  Adaptable, even.  Given enough time, water cuts through even the hardest rock and it does so not by being necessarily the toughest thing out there.  Water can teach us to go with the flow of life rather than allowing ourselves to become stagnant, even in wintertime when the water is frozen.  That just shows us that it's ok to take rest in this darker time of the year as we wait for the return of the sun.

44 DoW Day 3 -- Witchy Tools: Athame

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Getting back on track with the 44 Days of Witchery, there's not much I can really say about athames that other Pagans don't already know.  Not that I can think of, anyway.   But here's a brief run-through anyway:

1. The athame is associated with the element of fire

2. It is associated with masculine energies.  Often times you'll see fertility rites such as the ones for Beltane where the athame is dipped into the wine chalice (which represents the feminine energies) to symbolize the union of the male and female in the Sacred Marriage.

3. Often used for casting circle.

4. Usually a double-edged dagger.  Some traditions declare the athame to have a black handle, other traditions say that whatever knife draws you will work just fine.  

Aaaaaaaaand that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

My new athame
My old athame
Regarding athames in my own life, my first athame was this little silver knife with a matching sheath.  But, due to very personal reasons, I didn't feel the connection with that particular athame so I sold it.  I wasn't able to acquire another athame for many months, but when I did, it was well worth the wait for me.  My athame isn't anything fancy; just a simple little wood-handled knife with a black leather sheath.  And I love it ^_^  Sometimes, it's the simple things that feel the best.

Yule-time Introspection

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Naturally, blogging sites all over teh interwebz on this day are drowning in posts about Yule or the fact that the world's still spinning alive and well and everything in between.  Unfortunately, I'm going to be one of the few who doesn't have much to write about where Yule is concerned, per se.  Not much of a Pagan nature anyway.  We ended up having to miss the Yule Kids' Circle the other day, which sucks.  That makes Samhain and Yule that we've missed but we should still be alright to make it to Imbolc.

Nevertheless, this is still a good Yule.

Just a few days ago marked the one year anniversary of my getting to come back home to Colorado, which is something that I'm still massively giddy about.  After having been homesick for so long while languishing in Oklahoma, I'm still adoring the fact that I'm back in my beautiful home state and I still often gaze off to the west to admire the mountains.  I just can't get enough of those mountains!

And the snow!  It's come in a little late, but I've been as giddy as a schoolgirl over the snow -- which has most of my friends glaring at me as I squeal over the evil white stuff.  Lulz!!!!

Even though Samhain is the Celtic New Year, I'm still used to Christmastime heralding the coming New Year and as such, it still provokes the want for introspection.  This has definitely not been an easy year.  As much happiness as I've had with getting to be back in Colorado, there's still been plenty of unhappiness to work through.

We started out living in a motel for the first couple of weeks, which was definitely not easy.  Especially when all we started out with was what we could stuff into the car and, believe me, that made for a very long drive. After those first couple of weeks, we ran into a money snag where some so-called friends were concerned.  They'd bought some items from us but they hadn't been able to pay everything up front.  Still, considering the day we had to leave, we had no choice but to trust them in hopes that they'd not screw us over which, unfortunately, they did.  Some family of mine helped us out for a week and then offered to let us move in with them for the time being.

Unfortunately, that fell through about a month later when we had a huge falling out and it was back to living in a motel.  Thus followed several frustrating days of house-hunting but we found a great apartment that we moved into about 10 days after the incident with my family.

However, as great an improvement as that was, the whole incident set me back pretty badly on my college courses and I ended up being forced to withdraw from the Spring Semester.  I ended up doing really well in the Summer Semester, but things pretty much bombed out in the Fall due to having to spend more time searching for a job and working said job.  However, even that job, a fast food job, did not work out because around a month after I started, the company started drastically cutting hours.  Fast food work isn't much to live off of as it is; I was barely making it even off of full-time hours (and believe me, I was volunteering to work all over the place even more than my scheduled hours).  But getting cut down to 24 hours a week and less was just impossible. This forced me to look for a job elsewhere (and I found one) but it still isn't enough to manage the finances by itself, so Druid got out to get a job.  Unfortunately, his hasn't panned out either so he's also looking for another job.

Other areas that have been difficult have been areas dealing with depression as well as spirituality.  As I've stated before, my level of practice is still in the Beginner range and I've not really had the resources to progress further.  Plus, it is my desire to achieve Priestesshood, but I've not been able to find a coven that I can learn with.  So, there's the fact that I'm going to have to try to get to those levels on my own for the time being and learn to discipline myself to do so. In the meantime, because learning how to raise my children in the Craft is especially important to me, we've found a local Kids Circle (as earlier mentioned) that we can take the kiddos to when the Sabbats come around and it is wonderful!  But still, it doesn't fully take the place of having a family group to belong to.

But I also know that there's still things I can do with my kids and my family as our own little group, so believe me, no one needs to tell me that if I wait until I can find a group, I'm losing out on time that we can do things on our own.  And that is something I definitely want to work on.

As for depression, that's something I've struggled with most of my life but I didn't really know it until I was about 19 or 20 when my mother pointed it out to me.  Most times I do just fine.  I don't take medication, though there are times I really wish I could afford the damn pills.  I can't afford counseling or therapy.  As much as I try, there are still times where I end up going down a spiral and earlier this past summer I had my worst spiral in years.  It was something that reminded me that depression isn't just something spawned by bad circumstances.  At the time this spiral happened, things were fine.  It was like having a month-long PMS trip, so I know it had to do with my hormones going all blitzed.

After I'd managed to get over the worst of it, I did a full moon ritual and asked for Brighid's help.  I asked Her to help me to heal from a lot of things that I recognized I'd been holding onto.  Even if those things don't cause a depression spiral, they can sure as hell make it worse.  Ever since I reached out to Brighid, I have been feeling Her so much in my life since then.

No, things aren't perfect and there are still days I don't handle stressful things the best, but She's helped me so much to work through and let go of those things as well as to recognize and be more aware of the good things around me. She's helped me to remember to be thankful for all the good and to focus on that more than the not-so-good.

All-in-all, I think the lesson for me this year was learning to be thankful and to let go of the bitterness that I've been carrying around for I don't know how many years.  There's just been so much bad junk that's happened over the past several years that has been hard for me to get over.  I think that my getting to come back home to Colorado put me in a better frame to finally begin to work through this bad junk and finally let it go.  It's much easier to do when you're in a more healthy environment rather than being stuck in a place that feels like a black hole.  I don't mean that in any offense to anyone who lives in Oklahoma or is from there and actually likes it there.  But for me, that place was a black hole and I had more misery there than good.

Thank you, Goddess and God, that I've gotten to be home!  Thank you for continually bringing us through the hard times and thank you that, even though we can't really afford to have Christmas this year, thank you for the fact that we're still getting to have Christmas in our awesome apartment!  It's definitely a step-up from spending Christmas at a motel.

So what has this year been for you?  What lessons have you faced and learned?  What are you thankful for? What's better this year for you than last year?

Happy Yule, everyone and a Blessed Solstice!

A Moment of Silence

Monday, December 17, 2012

I was on my last 10-minute break at work last Friday when I saw the news on one of the TVs concerning the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I didn't even want to clock back in when my break was up.  It seemed really stupid, to me, to concern myself with my job when all I wanted to do was keep glued to the news even as I sat there fighting back tears.

20 children dead.  My heart shattered for all the victims and their families, but my mind has kept thrumming on the children.  See, my children are in the same grade and age range as the children who died and even the mere thought of something like this happening to them is enough to have me on my knees, so I can only imagine the agony of their parents as they found out that their child was one of many who wouldn't be going home.  I can't even fully imagine and I'll admit that I don't even want to.  I'm an empathetic person by nature, so it doesn't take much for me to start picturing myself in other people's shoes, but this is one path that scares the ever-living shit out of me.

Sure enough, just as President Obama had said, I got home from work and hugged my babies tightly.  We never think that it could happen to us, but the horrifying fact is that it could.  It's not something we should really dwell on lest we find ourselves unable to even let our children out of our sight long enough to obtain their education, but still.  It makes it hard.  So very, very hard.

And this year, to my memory, has been especially hard where such things are concerned.  There was the murder of Trayvon Martin (Details of Trayvon Martin's murder on Wikipedia complete with reference links), the theater shooting in Aurora earlier this year (Aurora Theater Shooting), the disappearance and horrific murder of Jessica Ridgeway (Jessica Ridgeway's body found), not to mention a slew of other kidnappings and murders that sprung up after Jessica's disappearance and murder, and now this?  So many lives lost, especially of our precious babies and all during things that should be normal, everyday things that one shouldn't have to fear the appearance of some psycho armed with a gun and/or explosives.

What does anyone really do with this?  It makes it more nerve-wracking to go to an early showing of a movie that has high national attention (20-year-old suspect in "Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2" shooting plot) or to even send our children to school.  Even before what happened to Jessica, I couldn't ever fathom letting my children walk to school by themselves.  Nuh uh.  Not happening.  Even before the Sandy Hook massacre, I was still paranoid when dropping them off at school.

I had to have a talk with my son, Aspen, because one morning last week when I dropped him and his siblings off at school, I was starting to drive off and I happened to look back toward the door to the cafeteria where they have breakfast only to see Aspen hiding outside of the door against the wall and basically watching for me to drive off.

Um....excuse me??

Mind you, I NEVER drive off until I see them go in the door, but given where my car was when I first dropped them off, I could only see them go into the entry way and not fully through the door.  So when I saw him do that, I gave him a stern talk about it.  This isn't the first time he or Rain have tried to sneak off after I've dropped them off.  Last year Aspen and Rain were going to an elementary school in Oklahoma and, same thing there:  I wouldn't drive off until I saw them go into the building.  Well, I about had to get into it with their teachers because one morning after I saw them go into the building before I drove off to head to work, I ended up getting a call from Rain's teacher who tried barking up my backside saying that I can't leave until my kids go into the building.  She explained to me that both Rain and Aspen had decided to sneak off to play (which made me go !!!!!!!!!!!!!O.O!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but thankfully, they hadn't left the school grounds.

I then proceeded to tell her, coldly and matter-of-factly, that I NEVER drive off until I see them go into the building and that once they are in the building, they are THEIR responsibility and what the hell were they doing that they didn't notice two Kindergartners heading off AWAY from where they should have been going (the cafeteria was pretty much right inside from the main entry door).

Now, mind you, I know that there's only so many teachers and a crap-ton of kids to keep track of, but this was not the first nor the last time I had to butt heads with those people over matters that were their responsibility nor was that the first nor last instance where their actions (or the lack thereof) had caused me a heart attack because they'd not know where my kids were.

And, of course, I still had stern talks with Aspen and Rain about wandering off and not going where they were supposed to.

The long and short of it is that it is a great and heavy thing for many of us to entrust our children to the care of teachers and a principal and there are still times where, even as they do their best, unforeseen factors come into play.  It might be inclement weather, a school bus accident, or a psycho with a gun comes into our schools and opens fire on our children and those who try to keep them safe.

When things like the Sandy Hook massacre happen, it's so easy to write off the perpetrator as someone who is supremely evil.  I'll even admit that I had that frame of mind.  Honestly, I haven't exactly switched from it.  It's hard for me to, honestly.  Even the thought of someone doing that to any of my children and I automatically see red and seethe.  If something like this, Goddess forbid, were to happen to my children, I cannot promise that I wouldn't be totally overcome with hatred toward the person who did it.

However, my good friend Stephanie Fox, author of The Coexist Cafe blog, wrote a very good and thoughtful piece on how perhaps we, as a general population, jump too quick on the hate bandwagon without really taking the time to consider just what might be behind what makes that person snap.  It has been proven that many occurrences like this can be linked back to mental illness or brain damage.

The Coexist Cafe: "Mass Murders and Mental Illness" by Stephanie Fox

She pointed me to her post when a discussion about this was going about on her Facebook and it reminded me of another instance where mental illness/brain damage could be linked to a murder/suicide.

Do y'all remember the pro wrestler Chris Benoit?  I watched a documentary a couple years ago that discussed as to whether or not brain damage was responsible for what happened.

See, Chris Benoit's father, Mike Benoit, had described his son as being a total family man who adored his wife and son.  He described him as even being a very gentle, considerate man but towards the end, he'd begun deteriorating in a rather alarming way. He became overly obsessed with things of a religious nature.  When police had come upon the murder scene, they'd reported to have even found Bibles all over the place and it was later found that in his last days, Benoit had become particularly obsessed with the prophet Elijah.

Read the full story -- Chris Benoit's Murder/Suicide: Was Brain Damage to Blame?

All in all, when we hear about such unspeakable tragedies, it is so easy to forget the humanity of the perpetrator.  It really is, and I don't think any of us are exempt from it.  But, perhaps for the sake of our own humanity, we should try harder and not give in so easily to the hate.  It's perfectly logical, of course, to be angry.  Perhaps it's even understandable that so many of us are relieved when people like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter take their own lives.   Yet, for not only our sake but also the sake of our future generations, we would do better to work through our feelings about such tragedies and still try to remember that there is a story we haven't heard about the people who do these evil things.

Perhaps it is truly a case, like Chris Benoit, that if they had been in their right mind they would have never done such things.  I suppose the step that comes after such a difficult thought is one that's even more difficult: forgiveness.  Not forgiveness because this person has necessarily done anything toward us, but forgiveness because of the heartbreak we experience for the real victims as well as the fear it causes at the thought that something similar could happen to our own children.  Perhaps we must also find it in ourselves to forgive these people because otherwise we very well might find ourselves trapped in such fear.

Not everyone who commits a heinous crime such as these is defected by a mental illness, true.  But at the very least, we should learn to withhold judgment until we know and even then, what good does our judgment do?  It doesn't help any of us to heal and it does nothing in mourning and remembering those who have been taken.

So, take a moment and spend it in silence to remember not only the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.  Light a candle and spend a few moments to remember all the victims of violent crimes and tragedies.  They should never be forgotten.

44 DoW Day 2: A Myth or Story From Folklore

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Morgana La Fey is a pretty iconic figure in the Pagan community as I've noticed and I'm no different in my fascination with her story.  I mean, considering the name that I go by, I should think that much would be obvious! Hahaha! I especially like to hear the tales that show her to be a priestess of the Goddess instead of the evil sorcerer that she's always portrayed as.  I think that where Morgaine is concerned, she was painted up in such a horrid light because she was a strong, empowered woman in a time when women were still generally thought of as chattel and property and society was extremely patrifocal.  And with the Christian religion in the midst of its takeover, it wasn't uncommon for anti-women sentiments to be spread that portrayed strong women as being possessed of the devil and other such nonsense.

I saw the movie "The Mists of Avalon" when I was about 17 or so and I loved it but only in recent times have I gotten to actually read the book where I discovered just how much the movie lacked in comparison.  It didn't portray Morgaine as this perfect, infallible person.  Marion Zimmer Bradley portrayed her as a very realistic character complete with her own flaws and frailties as she worked through her struggles and challenges, turning away from the Goddess and then learning to find her way back to Her and to claim her place as a Priestess of Avalon.

I also read "Lady of Avalon" for my Goddesses & Women of the Ancient World class and it, too, was an interesting book.  I still liked "The Mists of Avalon" better, but it was definitely interesting to see Ms. Bradley's vision of Avalon's history right on up to where Viviane became the Lady.

All in all, I would recommend Ms. Bradley's beautiful books to any Pagan looking for some great fiction spun from well-known folklore.

44 Days of Witchery: Day 1 -- What's Your Witchy Background?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Well, hooray! Things have been totally cray-cray!  *sarcastic happy dance*   It's not all been bad; things have just been stressful as I try to get things squared away for the Spring semester and trying to get my job situation worked out.


It's been about 10 days since I mentioned making yet another attempt at this 44 Days of Witchery challenge and now that I've actually got the time to sit down and write, I find myself dragging my feet.  I guess that part of it is because this would be the 3rd time I've had to write out this introduction and it's just SO damn tempting to just copy and paste one of my previous attempts.

And, on top of that, I'm really tired.  So the thought of trying to, yet again, cover the rather long story of how I came to be a Pagan.....It kinda makes my eyes water.

Honestly, the long and short of it is this:  I became Pagan when I was 20 years old. I'd been raised in a Christian home and had even moved to Texas to go to a Bible college of sorts.  However, it was there that I became extremely disillusioned with everything.  I watched people who'd begun their time there as people who were as kind and compassionate as anyone you can imagine and then watched them turn into the cold, unfeeling, and judgmental people that I've seen so many "Christians" be.

Having been raised in Christianity, I had been taught, of course, that Harry Potter was of the devil, witches worshiped Satan and that they do nothing but spells and curses and hexes to hurt people and other such things.  Not saying that that kind of stuff doesn't happen, but one day while perusing the book section at a Target, I happened upon a particular book.

It was called "The Dream Book: Dream Spells, Nighttime Potions and Rituals, and Other Magical Sleep Formulas".  That intrigued the hell out of me.  As I flipped through it, I saw nothing of any devil worship.  I saw nothing of curses or hexes or anything to try to hurt anyone.  Instead, there was nothing in there but things to try to help one sleep better, banish nightmares, find lost objects through dreams, etc.  That definitely opened the doors of my curiosity even further.

My first step into reading about Wicca was Silver Ravenwolf.  Now, dear reader, don't cringe and don't start in on me about the evils of Silver Ravenwolf.  I may not be one to ardently recommend her books, but I am still grateful to her, nonetheless, for the fact that as I read through those books, she answered a lot of questions that I'd had that had made me very hesitant to explore my newfound interest in Wicca.  For me, the biggest sigh of relief was knowing that I didn't have to just drop-kick everything I'd previously learned while I had been a Christian because there were still things that I held to.  I didn't have to renounce God or suddenly say that I didn't believe in Jesus anymore or anything like that.

Rather, she told me that I could simply incorporate new spiritual learnings into what I had already learned.  After that, I felt absolutely liberated and the more I learned about Wicca and Paganism, the more I felt it resonate with me and the happier and more fulfilled I felt spiritually.  A whole new world of possibilities opened up for me rather than just keeping God stuffed in a box.  I felt liberated to not just love the Father and the Christ but to also love the Mother and do so knowing that God wouldn't hold it against me  Seriously, God is not an asshole like so many "Christians" are and how they portray God to be.  And that was a pretty big lesson for me to learn because after what happened at the Bible school, I was angry at God and didn't speak to him for months.

It's kinda a long story, but the final straw for me concerning the Bible school had been in my 2nd year when I had unknowingly come down with an upper respiratory infection.  I merely thought I'd caught a cold, but I'd have it for a couple weeks, I'd get better, be fine for about a week, and then I'd get sick all over again.  At one point I was over at my ex-roommate's apartment with some of my classmates for a study group and I quietly told her that I could feel myself getting sick all over again (this was like the 3rd or 4th time I got sick) and one of my classmates (we'll just call her JB) butted her nose in to tell me in a very snotty tone,  "Well, quit calling it on yourself!"

I was flabbergasted.  There was no compassion, no care.  Just, as my mother has put it before, "faith with a 2x4".  And it was not how she had started out at that school.  She had started out this spastically joyous person who's happiness and kindness was positively infectious and I had adored her for it.  By the time I left the school, however?  Her personality had done a complete 180 and even when I'd see her at the Wal-Mart where we both worked, I'd say "Hi" to her to be nice and she would just give me this longsuffering look like "Why is this sinning plebian trying to speak to me?" and she would just keep walking without saying a word to me.

My last day at that school was the last day before Thanksgiving break and once classes were concluded, I was called into the office to speak with the new Dean and his wife.  I'd missed A LOT of classes because of being sick.  Did they care?  No.  Instead I was told that I needed to come to school anyway because "school was a place of rest" and blah blah blah.  I stared at them dumbfounded and it was all I could do to not get sarcastic and go  "No, my BED is a place of rest; especially before I have to go to work."

That was the absolute last straw for me and I left the school and, as I previously mentioned, I was angry at God because of how so many of those people had treated me and treated others.  But I eventually realized that God is not responsible for how those holier-than-thous chose to act and it CERTAINLY was not how he had EVER said we were supposed to behave.  That was another freeing lesson and I've maintained my closeness to God ever since and never have I once felt any disapproval from Him for my path.

And, really, I don't see why He would.  I have learned so much about unconditional love and about respecting other people regardless of differences of beliefs.  I don't sneer at people regardless of their spiritual path.  Truthfully, about the only time I do is when I see people being jerks to others because they don't believe the same way.  I can't abide it.

Anyway, getting back to the point:

I've been a Pagan for almost 10 years and I wouldn't change it for anything.  No, it's not like my life just suddenly made a miraculous turn where I never had any problems because of it.  Quite frankly, NOBODY has that happen be they Pagan, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever else have you.

I still struggle with clinical depression with the occasional bad spiral, but you know what?  As I've strived to grow ever closer to God and Goddess, I have found that they don't take away my problems; they just make them easier to bear.  And I am so thankful for all they ways that they have watched over me and my family and brought us through so many hardships!

So, there you have it.  In summary, I came to Paganism because Christianity itself was just not for me.

Testing Out the Blogger App

Monday, December 03, 2012

It's 2:30am at this time. Druid, my beloved boyfriend, is out at his job and my poor eldest baby boy, Aspen, has gotten sick  :-(   I've given him a ginger tablet, had him chew on some mint gum, and gave him a cup of Yogi Stomach Soother tea.  Now all I can do is wait and see if it helps him at all and allows him to get some sleep.

This just sucks though. I friggin' HATE IT when any of my kiddos get sick even if it's just because their food didn't agree with their tummy. But, at any rate, Aspen will definitely be staying home from school tomorrow.  Good thing I already have the day off.

So, whoever is reading this, please send my little guy your good thoughts, positive energy, and prayers that he feels better ASAP.  I'm really hoping that he'll be able to sleep now that he's had some tea.  *crosses fingers*

44 Days of Witchery Challenge

Sunday, December 02, 2012

On my last couple of blogs, I always meant to get around to taking this challenge, but I never did, so here's to this third time being the charm!

1. What’s your witchy background?
2. A myth or story from folklore.
3. Witchy tools: athame.
4. Picture of nature (water element).
5. A favourite Goddess.
6. A favourite God.
7. Air element.
8. A photo of a magical place outdoors.
9. A favourite mythological animal.
10. Your sun sign.
11. Witchy tools: oils.
12. Picture of nature (air element).
13. What are some of the witchy books that influenced you?
14. A favourite pagan holiday that you celebrate.
15. Thoughts on the afterlife?
16. Favourite witchy website(s).
17. Picture of nature (fire element).
18. Have you had any paranormal experiences?
19. Fire element.
20. A picture of a tarot or oracle card, and its meaning.
21. A favourite scent.
22. Current moon phase.
23. A favourite candle.
24. Your moon sign.
25. How do your close ones feel about your witchy path? Do they know? Why or why not?
26. A witchy podcast.
27. Picture of nature (earth element).
28. A picture of a witchy I-Want-It-Now!
29. Water element.
30. Witchy tools: wand.
31. A favourite pagan/witchy movie.
32. A pagan/witchy artwork.
33. Faerie of your choice.
34. Rune of your choice.
35. Something that I think people who don’t know much about paganism/witchcraft should know.
36. Flower of your choice, and its magical properties.
37. A famous pagan/witch!
38. Witchy tools: cauldron.
39. Something that inspires you.
40. Your altar, if you have one!
41. A spell you’ve done.
42. A favourite nature spirit.
43. A magical recipe.
44. Witch’s choice!

Pardon My Dust

Well, for starters, call me Morgaine.  My first entries are always so bloody awkward.  Even now, I'm sitting here staring at these first 3 sentences wondering if it's going to sound as ridiculous as I think.  Beh.  Whatever.

So, here's the deal:  I'm a Witch.  If you're reading this and you're not overly acquainted with witches or Pagans, perhaps you find yourself picturing ridiculous stereotypes.  Green skin, perhaps?  Warts?  Or maybe something more modern.  Perhaps I walk around permanently bedecked in Goth clothing.  Maybe I'm like one of those girls off of "The Craft"?

Psh!  Nah.   My skin is most definitely normal; while I enjoy the Goth fashions I hardly ever get to wear them (I'm particularly fond of corsets but I don't currently have any as mine got lost in a series of moves :-(  It sucks).  In fact, if you could see me right now, you'd find me wearing my favorite comfy pair of Broncos loungers and a t-shirt with a nifty wolf picture on it.  I did have the misfortune of having to deal with warts when I was a child, so that's probably about as close to any bullshit stereotypes that I get.

I don't suppose that such a thought is as shocking as it would have been at one time.  When I was a child, it would have been more of a shock to learn that your normal-looking next door neighbor was a Witch.  It's not that it was so terribly long ago that I was a child, but I grew up in a very conservative atmosphere where everyone seriously believed that if you were a Witch that meant you worshiped Satan.  I cannot even begin to describe how much that one makes my eyes roll.  Of course, I have to put my quirky sense of humor into it and joke that we actually worship Santa.

Yeah.  I'm a dork.

Truthfully, though, I worship God and Goddess.  I also have an actual matron Goddess that I worship and that would be the Goddess Brighid.  I don't view Her as being separate from the Mother, I just connect with Her as a particular face of the Mother.  As for God, I don't have a patron, but I grew up in a Christian home, so I pretty much just connect with Him the way I did even back then.

And, really, I have to touch on something:  It bugs me when I hear other Pagans snidely refer to Him as "the Christian God".  Meh.  That's just a personal pet peeve of mine.  See, to me?  All Gods are one God.  All Goddesses are one Goddess.  They are the Father and the Mother.  Hell, I even still believe in Jesus.  I just don't see the Divine in the same way as the Christians do.

For instance, there is so much of the Bible that I don't put any stock into. According to them, God is supposed to be the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever, yes?  Well, the God that I know and look up to is a loving Father.  He knows how to get stern when he needs to, but he's not abusive and, I'm sorry, but the God that gets described in the Bible?  If any human were to act like that, they'd be branded an abusive motherfucker.  God is not like that.  That's just how the Bible (with the exception of Christ, you might notice) and Christians (generally speaking) paint Him up as.  And it's sickening, really.  But whatever.  I'm not going to get into all that right now.

I have three children that I'm trying to raise in the Craft.  I often find myself envying the people who were raised in Paganism.  Being raised in Christianity, it didn't take much effort.  Obviously, we went to church on Sundays and even on Wednesdays. And, of course, there is a wealth of reading and learning materials at the Christians' disposal.  Now, the treasure trove of informative Pagan books are getting ever more vast.  Many are geared toward helping the beginner Pagan with beginning their path. Still more are there to help the beginner progress to higher levels.  There are Pagan books for just about anything you can think of.  But the number of Pagan books for Pagan Parenting or even Pagan books for children to read are not nearly as abundant in comparison.

And churches?  Pfffft!!!  Yeah, right.  Y'all would not believe how difficult it is to find a Circle or anything that is family-oriented where the kids are allowed to join and participate.  Even at my local CUUPS a great many of the circles are for adults only.  *sigh*  So that's another huge challenge for me.  But we do the best we can.  I have a few books geared toward Pagan parents, one of which is Circle Round by Starhawk.  I haven't been able to go through it very thoroughly yet, but I've met many people who swear by it.  At some point I definitely want to acquire the CD that goes with it.

In the meantime, this is....well....this is my new blog.  I used to have a couple Bloggers but those just......meh.  Fizzled out?  Like, for some reason, they didn't feel like home for me.  Does that make sense?  Plus, this year I had tried to do the 2012 Pagan Blog Project as put on by the awesome Rowan Pendragon.  I'd only managed to get up to the...E's or F's I think?  But it fizzled because of a whole bunch of shit that was going on at the time.  This upcoming year I am actually really hoping I can keep up with the whole thing.  *crosses fingers*

We'll see.  As I mention in my header, I'm not the greatest at juggling and already I have to try to balance work, family, college, and my spirituality.  On top of that I'm wanting to lose weight, get into writing more poetry, AND now I have the Pagan Blog Project 2013 that I'm going to try to keep up with.  Woo Hoo!!!


For now I'm just trying to get this blog established.  I don't expect to be as well-known as my friend Stephanie (The Coexist Cafe) or even like Angela Pippinger (The Pagan Mom Blog) or Kallan Kennedy (The Secret Life of the American Working Witch).  I just want this place to get out my own thoughts regarding Pagan spirituality and whatever else crosses my fancy.