I'm excited about Imbolc. I think I might try my hand at a "tablescape" and make dinner for my husband and I on Monday night. Originally, I wanted to do it on Imbolc eve, since in Celtic culture, celebrations lasted from sundown the previous day until sundown the day of the holiday. But, the superbowl is interfering with my plan! I'm planning on making potato skins to take to my in-laws for the game, and I'll be able to use the potato leftovers in my (infamous) potato soup! That's what I'll be serving for Imbolc. Potato soup- I'm going to try to get some bread bowls, or make biscuits, and we'll have salad and soup. Ben is a veggie, so I'll have some substitutions, but it still tastes pretty good. Pretty fitting for the feast day of an Irish goddess, methinks.
My groups Imbolc celebration is the following Saturday evening. Tomorrow night I get together with my right-hand woman to nail down the deets for this circle. I have a bunch of ideas, but it might lead to a somewhat complex celebration. One of my personal goals this year is to let the celebration spill over from circle into activities preceding or following the actual rite. We used to sort of do this, but have gotten away from it in months past. I'll post pictures at the coven blog at http://twilightmooncoven.blogspot.com/ and possibly cross-post them here, too. I'm a big fan of Brighid (and her sister hearth goddess Hestia), and so this day is pretty important to me, and it has been in the past. My meditations have been leading me back to my heritage, and the Celtic pantheon, which is frustrating, because I'm consciously drawn to the path of the Greeks.
I have a new EMF meter, which is interesting and exciting. I have an investigation or two lined up in the near future, and I'll post my findings on http://paranormalproject.blogspot.com/ of course. Could I have ANY more blogs? Course I could - I also have one dedicated to the advertising industry from the viewpoint of a peon, but I'll wait until I have a bit of content before I share that one with anyone.
I hope everyone is blessed on this cool winters evening.
Great Lady Brighid!
Daughter of the Dagda,
Wife to Bres,
She who makes her home at Kildare,
Bright Fiery Power!
She who inspires poets and writers, hearth Mother,
She who honors, Heals and promotes the family,
Patronness of the arts, and smithcraft,
Come to us tonight!
As we honor you on your festival day!
I like it that way (difficult), if it is too easy, I'm not challenged, if I'm not challenged, I don't have to think and if I don't have to think, I don't learn anything I like this course very much so far. ~ Morred
This one (lesson) kind of drained me. LOL! It was fun though. ~ Michelle
I agree it was alot to work with. But I learned ALOT. ~Viviane
I'm also enjoying this class a lot! ~ Cara
Both assignments took me a couple hours to do, so I'm not sure if it was difficult or just was long to do. But I loved it cause I found that breaking down a spell can help you see where you went wrong or left something out if it didn't work or it backfired. ~Willow
I thought the lesson was kinda hard (my dad teaches me and he tends to go easy) but overall I really enjoyed learning it and working on it. ~Cara
I decided to instead use one of my spells that I had messed up on caused havock for the whole family, and I'm 99.9% that I figured out the problem after breaking it down! This doesn't mean I'm ever going to try it again, but it's cool to see what I did wrong and know that I shouldn't do that next time! ~Cara
I like it that way, if it is too easy, I'm not challenged, if I'm not challenged, I don't have to think and if I don't have to think, I don't learn anything I like this course very much so far. ~Morred
I'm really enjoying this class so far. I agree that breaking down the spells was a challenge but that's what made it great! ~ Willow
I agree it was alot to work with. But I learned ALOT. I realize how much I don't know. ~Viviane
I am so blessed to have such insightful and interested and interesting students. :) Enrollment is still open for the class, we are only on week 2 if you are interested. :) http://www.circleofteaching.org .
Savory Cheese Biscuits
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1/4 pound Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. In food processor, pulse together with on-and-off motion flour, butter, Jarlsberg, Parmesan, rosemary, thyme, garlic salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper until combined and mixture resembles small peas. Add egg yolk and water. Pulse until ball forms. If mixture is too dry, add 1 tsp water and pulse until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface; knead a few times to blend, if necessary. Divide dough in half.
3. On floured surface, roll out each half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into star shapes using 2 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, flouring cutters well to avoid dough sticking to cutter. Place stars on ungreased baking sheet. Gather scraps together, reroll and cut out more stars for a total of 48. Sprinkle tops with coarse salt.
4. Bake in 350 oven for 18 minutes or until firm and lightly browned around edges. Let biscuits cool on baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes. Transfer biscuits to racks; let cool completely.
5. Lightly sprinkle paprika over biscuits, if desired. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
On a positive note, I've reconciled my issue with eclecticism and my coven practice. I need to build an individual practice. So, thats my plan.
On another positive note, a spell I did following my circles esbat rite seems to have really changed me. I've had a different midset since I woke up this morning. Clarity. And a hyperawareness I haven't had in years. I don't know if its because of my spellwork, or what- but I'll take it.
We aren't doing well, financially (like the rest of the nation), my husband has been out of a job for almost 2 years now. Trying and trying and trying. He hates being home- he hates me working and him staying home. In his mind, he'd like me to be able to stay home. I've done much spellwork toward our financial stability. I don't know what else to do now, but I must trust in the Goddess, as I've learned many lessons in this tough time, and I now know that my husband and I can survive something like this.
I'm having some internal issues. If you are of the witchy perspective, remember when you first discovered the path? The excitement and how everything was just. so. fascinating? And there was SO much to learn. So, what happens 12 years later, once you've learned a lot, put it into practice, experienced much? An abrupt change can happen. Something that shakes your faith up a bit. You can tell in my previous blog post that I'm having issues with the eclecticism of my path. I believe in eclecticism, but I feel like personally, its gone to far for me. Planning circles for my group is difficult, because its different every single time. And my group is very small, so although rituals are planned and written by the whole group, its still a lot of work. I feel as though if we focused on simply Celtic, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian pantheons, that we'd be able to focus more. I feel unrooted. I honor who I honor, but my practices are so varied. And it puts me in a shitty place.
And so I meditated. I did a visualization pathworking, where I chose between the goddess that I know, and the unknown. The path I walked was to the unknown. It took me to a mirror, and looped me back on the path right back to the goddess. The Goddess threw back her cloak and it fell to the floor with nothing/no one underneath. Just a puddle of cloak on the floor. I asked for a sign, to help. I got a small box, inside was a music note, a harp, and a feeling of kinship. Which might lead me to the Celtic pantheon- which is interesting, because while I know they are the Gods of my ancestors, I've been drawn lately to the Greek Gods. So, I have a mirror- to look inside myself (or maybe AT myself, again the Celtic Gods), and allusions to the Celts (specifically Irish). *sigh* So, maybe thats what I need to do, even though I still am SO interested in the Greek pantheon, especially Artemis. Shit.
And all of this leads to the question- what of the group. If I am to immerse myself in Celtic culture, how am I to find time to devote to the group, and my studies? So much time is already taken up with the group.
On another note:I was on another forum tonight. I don't believe people who say that there isn't enough time to devote to their witchcraft studies. It's really a pet peeve of mine. Really? You don't have time? Take a book and put it by the toilet. That's something you can do and multi task. Make flash cards- I found an app for my ipod and created flash cards to learn the magickal properties of herbs and crystals. Its interesting to me, so I find time. Don't tell me that you went out last night and partied, but you don't have time to devote to your studies? Prioritize! I'm not saying that you MUST STUDY. But if you are interested, and want to learn something, don't bitch about the lack of time. Make flash cards and keep them in your purse. Make. The. Time.
Anyway, back to my issue. So, what can I do? Can't change the group- its not fair to them. Do I leave the group? It's so small as it is, I don't know what might happen.
I've mentioned this to other witches before, and they say- well, why don't you change it? Well, its not "my" coven to change, first of all. Just because I'm the leader, it doesn't mean that I get to change things willy nilly. Its not mine to change. It belongs to all the sisters. And what pantheon would we change it to? The one that I want? We are separate people with separate personal deities. I'm drawn to Greek Gods, others Celtic, Roman or Egyptian. Who gets to make that choice? The eclecticism is one of the reasons we all chose our coven, that we'll be able to honor deities of our chosen pantheon at one time or another. It's been suggested (more than once) that we focus on one pantheon per quarter. But is that really enough time to establish a relationship with the Gods, to immerse ourselves in the culture and flavor of those ancient people? 3 esbats, 3 gatherings, 2 sabbats? And then what? We drop the Gods we've fostered this relationship with to start over? If its was simply reading and discussion, it would be different. But we are witches. We practice, we learn, we get hands on in the dirt, we try new things, we commune and pray and interact. And so, 3 months, or 6 months, or even a year seems noncommittal when it comes to deity.
Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Yesterday, I was forwarded an email from a colleague of mine in regards to the company holiday party with a link to RSVP- I was surprised because I hadn't yet received an invitation. I checked it out, many people RSVPd and were looking forward to attending. I actually began moving my schedule around for this. Then, this afternoon we received an email from our HR manager. This year, "due to budget constraints" we are excluded from the company party. Instead, we will be having smaller office parties, etc. It's great, that we'll be having smaller parties, but I was really looking forward to seeing old friends- not just those who transferred to the larger umbrella company, but those in other offices that I haven't seen in ages.
I just think its idiotic that they spent so much time rebranding, and partnering with our larger entity, and then we're excluded from the fun. In no uncertain terms are we to RSVP to these parties, and if we do, we'll be turned away at the door. That was made super clear by our HR person.
Happy Holidays to you, too.
It's so funny, because people ask how I came to the path, and I've told at least 2 different stories. I realized this a few years ago, and so I guess a few things led me to a Craft path.
My great granny practiced folk magick, could see ghosts, and 'knew' things, in addition to being a midwife. Everyone would go to her with their problems, and if she couldn't help them, she would take them to another woman who would. Sounds kinda strange just typing that. Weird. Weirder even is that she died on my birthday 2 years before I was born. Probably doesn't mean anything, but I thought it was cool when I found that out.
Anyway, I grew up in a household that was Christian, but we never went to church, and my dad's agnostic- though some of the folk magick trickled down via my grandmother, and sometimes my mother. At one point, my mother almost died and turned to some new age concepts. So, I grew up being open to crystals, runes, that sort of thing. My mom always said to me, "thoughts are things, and things are real." And I believed her- cause when I'd pray, stuff would come true. I didn't understand why other kids didn't believe in God, cause He always answered my prayers. One time, my mom wouldn't let us turn on the slip and slide- it was summer. I decided that I wanted it to rain, so my friends and I did some "rain dance" that I made up. Clouds rolled in and it rained. My mom called us all in out of the rain. Never did get to slip and slide that day. That kinda sucked.
I have always had some "energy" issues. Polterguiest activity (which I believe is usually a manifestation of human energy rather than ghosties), and that sort of thing. Growing up, things would move by themselves. Only when I was in the room, or if it was just me and my mom. Mirrors would bump against the wall, 20 pound weights would rock back and forth, doorknobs would jiggle. Glasses sliding off of a table, lightbulbs popping and going out,etc. Usually when you have polterguiest activity, you have a teenager- usually female. It went away, of course after awhile. Or at least died down. Lately, it's picked back up, but I think its cause my hormones want me to get ready to have a baby. The stuff that's been happening sounds pretty unbelievable, so I'll just abstain from explaining. Oh, and if you don't want to believe me about my weird experiences, thats totally okay. I probably wouldn't believe it either. I'm really skeptical- an open minded skeptic.
So, backbackback... I had graduated from high school and was hanging out with a then-bf at hot topic. I had found $5 in my pocket that I had no idea how it got there, but I was broke so- yay. I came upon a book called True Magick by Amber K. I thought it looked hilarious! How stupid that people thought that magic was REAL. It just so happened that it was $5, and so I bought it for a laugh. Reading through it, it wasn't funny at all. Well, it was funny in the sense that it made sense. It felt like I was coming home. It took my childhood experiences and tied it in to the energy stuff I'd experienced. I was always a nature girl (Girl Scout 12 years, yo!) and so things started making sense. I don't think that that people are born "witches," but I think that some people are born with a talent for energy manipulation. Some end up witches and embrace that talent, some don't. Not like you need to have "talent" to be a witch, like singing, it can be taught- IMO. I think I might be one of those energy talent people- had some unbelievable experiences. I think I might have liked to have a talent for singing instead, though. I like to sing, but I'm pretty bad.
I think the toughest thing for me was the label of Wiccan. I had studied and practiced probably for 2 years before I was comfortable making the transition from calling myself Christian to calling myself Wiccan. Once I had studied for awhile, I looked at some book recommendations, and they sounded familiar. My mom had a Cunningham book and the Celebrate the Seasons book by Laurie Cabot. So, I stole them.
I've been actively studying/practicing since 1996. I started a small online coven in 2000 that ran like a RL coven (since I didn't find a suitable coven in our area) and learned that you can do powerful energy raising with women in different locations. Something else I didn't really believe before having tried it. I hated having to give that up, but had to when I took on the priestess role in a local coven in 2003.
I like to consider some BOS' of mine as my priestess toolkit (which is part of the priestess training in my coven). I'm starting a new compilation of information on ritual crafting. I copied some ritual ideas from Womens Rites, Womens Mysteries by Ruth Barrett yesterday and am planning on creating a notebook simply for ritual ideas. I think it's going to definitely help when I am trying to think of something that we have yet to do.
It will also help when I make the inevitable move to Kentucky. I'm trying to make some witchy and coven leader contacts there, so I can join a suitable coven if I find one that I feel may fit me. Or, I might end up starting my own, again. The last thing that I want to happen is for history to repeat itself and end up leading a coven that was poorly structured to begin with. I'm not saying that would happen, but I learned that it was definitely futile to do. I'm not a solitary kind of girl, I really like the energy raised by a group. Whether its rare rituals with a social group, or a closed-knit coven environment, I really enjoy helping facilitate that.
Social anxiety be damned!
So, Southern California is on fire again. That really makes me sad. To think that so many people are losing their homes. What bothers me even more is that people are complaining about how bad their allergies are, because of all the smoke. Hello. People died today in their homes. Animals died. Memories were destroyed. Am I the only one who realizes this? Probably not. I might be the only one who actually cares, though.
It just bothers me.
Anyway, tonight I'm going to a SoCalSisterWitches party in Long Beach. I'm going to try to not punk out. I've been having some issues with my social anxiety the past few months, so I haven't really gone to any of those gatherings. The last one I went to was the celebration for Cella- being free of cancer! The SoCalSisterWitches parties are really fun- we rarely circle, usually just craft or watch movies and talk. This month, Lisa is hosting a SWAK party. I'm going even though I'm broke. I won't buy anything, but I am going to bring something to eat with me.. And its not bread! Usually I bring garlic bread, but tonight I'm trying my hand at potato skins, again. I'm going to post a bit more in a little while.
I'm on PaganSpace. Its a nice little social network that has an active discussion board. But holy shit- the diplomatic billshit can get crazy over there. They don't have a rule of respect there, like we have on MysticWicks, so it can get pretty heated over there, but wow.
A person posted 20 tenets, saying that all Pagans should follow them. It got a little heated, because people -like me- said that he doesn't get to choose what we all do. Many people agreed with me, but some people called us out for saying that. It made me actually laugh out loud.
This was said to a person who stood up and disagreed with the original poster (I think these two poster have some sort of history):
"I just hate the mob mindless attack on the one they feel is alone and might be an easy prey. Unfortunately, not a single one of the mob, if alone. would dare to attack. People of the mob are the ones who are too coward to fight their fights when standing alone.
Don't worry, Felicity, you made a quite clear picture of what "ugly" means.
I might not agree with Paul, but it's HIS right to think what he thinks, and his right to have his opinion. He was gracious enough to share it with you.Are you sure you want to go there, Felicity? Remember, I'm a lone wolf. I don't mind standing up alone. I don't need to feel the mob behind me for moral support. What about you? ?
I would completely share my feelings if I faced this guy alone. My response was carefully crafted, and anytime you post on an internet discussion board, you put yourself out there. In addition to this, if you try to tell people how they should act, they are going to tell you to go eff yourself. Rare is the person who likes to be told what to do. I believe that what Paul posted is misinformation that could harm those who are in the learning stages of the craft, and I will stand up for those people.
Of course its his right to think whatever he wants, but its also my right to vocally disagree. Just like there are hate organizations who have the right to assemble, but its my right to stand on the other corner and assemble friends of my own.Paul was not GRACIOUS to share his opinion with us. He called himself humble while telling us how we thought we should all act according to him. He felt he should step in because we have a "lack of Pagan leadership." Thats not grace.
It's also funny to me how "fluffy" people can be on paganspace. I'm not anti-fluff. I'm anti-ignorance, anti-idiots, anti-mindlessness, and anti-those who obviously follow a path with no introspection. Of course this doesn't mean that I'm mean to these people, or regard them with negativity or hate or think less of them as a person. It simply means that I'm less likely to respect what they have to say. We all have this discernment. If someone really truly believes that their God rides the waves of the ocean on a unicorn, and likes lollipops as offerings, I totally respect that- as long as this came from their own feelings and introspection. If someone comes up to me and believes the above because someones ancestors have for thousands of years, and her friend told her it was true, then I'll have less respect for her opinion. THINK, people. Meditate- question- feel- observe.
Samhain is coming... and I'm getting ready! I'm still putting touches on the ritual for Saturday night. We still have to do the shopping, and I still need to gather the things I'd like to bring for the ancestor altar, but everything is coming along well. I just need to remember to go with the flow. This week is super busy, from the class I teach tomorrow night, to the potluck at work on Friday, to Friday night, to Saturdays circle... and on to my nieces birthday party on Sunday (OMG, I need to make her something)... Finish up next weeks lesson for the online class I teach that releases on Monday. When am I supposed to breathe?
It's tough, living in the real world. There always seems like there is too much to do and not enough time. I face that at work, especially right now during political season - Im in advertising, and its a crazy time, what with all of the political advertisers. We have some controversial issues this year, thats for sure! Yes/No on 8. I wanted to go to a local No on 8 (8 prevents gay marriage)rally this weekend, but I can't manage to squeeze it in. Bummer! I just hope that I touch someones life for the better every day.