Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Terrific Tuesday!!

Hello People! I am back, and feeling terrific! Being waylaid by pneumonia is not the best way to spend your days. Especially during Thanksgiving. Bolstered by penicillin, and the TLC of my wonderful family, I am ready to face December!

Here's something terrific that happened just this past Saturday. I received an email from the dear lady over at OctoberFarm blog http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/  that I had won her weekly giveaway!!! Now that was a real pick-me-up!!! Almost as good as penicillin!!! LOL!!! I can not wait for the postal delivery that brings me Joyce's basket of goodies. I will share pictures!

My husband and I have a couple of terrific kids. They prepared Thanksgiving dinner for us, cleaned up the place afterwards. And then over the weekend, went out to a Christmas Tree Farm and selected a beautiful tree and brought it home.

son nicarus getting on his game face

nicarus and almost-son-in-law working the saw
the team joined by best friend wrapping the tree
Unfortunately the photographer, daughter raethan, did not get a picture of herself in her terrific hat!


We will enjoy the old traditional pagan custom of setting up our tree (it is a fragrant balsam) and bringing in other greenery such as holly and a variety of evergreens to place around the house. It is a way of connecting with nature during the dark days of this month. Greenery of all kinds help refresh the households' energies as we prepare for the Celebration of Light that we will observe on Yule.

Wishing everyone a Terrific Tuesday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

After Thanksgiving Greetings

I have been "missing in action" for almost a week, thanks to a good case of pneumonia. Thankfully, my two kids cooked the Thanksgiving feast, doing a fantastic job. It is a blessing to have such great children. (Children are actually ages 22 and 24, but they will always be my "kids").

A few more days of recovery and I should be able to get back into life and daily activities.  I am looking forward to posting some great photos of our winter weather, tracking the progress of the "Great Craft Corner De=Clutter", all kinds of Yule posts, and there is talk of a special giveaway here at Wiccan Writes that will knock your socks off!!

In the meantime, I wish blessings and love to everyone, and thank you all for your well-wishes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturdays are for Sneezing

Sick. Ill. I mean, really sick. Fever. Headache. Cough. Hack. Cough. Sneeze. Could be flu, or pneumonia or bubonic plague. See you all in a day or two. and stay well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--Thanksgiving Preparations

Talkin' Turkey

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wiccan Reads---Dolores Stewart Riccio, Wiccan Fiction

It is hard to find really good Wiccan fiction. But with the writings of Dolores Stewart Riccio, you have hit the jackpot!! I stumbled across her series quite by accident, whilst browsing amazon.com for new authors.




The first book in this series, that totals seven at this time, is called Circle of Five.  This is where we meet five women of varied backgrounds who have formed a friendship. This friendship moves beyond just kaffee klatches and lunch dates. These women experience a spiritual awakening and form a circle to explore Wicca and all the varied magickal practices that each woman has a particular gift for. Tarot, herbal magick, candle magick, psychic skills, and more.  Soon they find themselves involved in a missing child case in their town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and events spiral into a wild and scary adventure that none of them expected or were prepared for.  As the story progresses, we learn how these women care for each, cope with individual crises and deal with the prejudices against witchcraft that can be found in towns large and small.

The characters are real, warm, funny, serious..they span the ages of a young mother with children, accomplished business women, and a delightful lady of a certain age who has the gift of glamour: the magickal glamour where she seems to apparently alter her appearance.

I  became so fond of these women as I continued on with the series. I would love to have a Circle of friends just like this. Dolores Stewart Riccio writes with a real sense of place and purpose. Her characters are so delightful, so strong, but also so real in their everyday lives. There is comedy, romance, mystery, frights, drama.  Ms. Riccio has a strong background in Wicca and its sabbats, esbats, rituals, spell casting, history, and all manner of magickal practices. It was a joy to read this series!!  Please, please give yourself a treat and read the first book, Circle of Five. You will be glad you did...you will enjoy!  I do so swear!

The Circle books are seven at this time: 1: Circle of Five; 2: Charmed Circle; 3: The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief; 4: The Divine Circle of  Ladies Courting Trouble; 5: The Divine Circle of Ladies Playing with Fire; 6: The Divine Circle of Ladies Rocking the Boat; 7: The Divine Circle of Ladies Tipping the Scales.

A note about the Fourth book, The Divine Circle of Ladies Courting Trouble. Ms. Riccio changed publishers at some point during her writing of this series, hence there may be difficulties finding "Ladies Courting Trouble". I was having a terrible time myself. Amazon.com did not have it, except for some astronomical price, Barnes and Noble did not have it all, and neither did any other website, or store I called. Finally, I went to Dolores Stewart Riccio's website:  http://doloresstewartriccio.com/
What a delightful site, filled with information, poetry and Ms. Riccio's email address. So I sent her an email about my trouble...and she emailed me back almost immediately, offering to pass along to me one of her "uncorrected proof" copies of the book. For 5 bucks + $3.50 shipping.  And I jumped at it (she must have thought I was some deranged reader and wanted to be rid of me!!! LOL) Anyhoo, she mailed it off right away, and even autographed it:    


So read her books and visit her website. She is a real gem, and I adore her and her books. It is a wonderful way to pass the time with some Wiccan friends, who may be fictional, but are very real to me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dreaded Craft Corner

Okie doke......in recent weeks around the blogspot, I have seen photos of craft areas in various stages of organization (or disorganization). I am taking the plunge and daring to post my own little craft nightmare corner.  Mind you, I have already spent some time about a month ago hauling out the flotsam and jetsam of the household, that somehow seems to wash up on my craft shore (sorry about the nautical metaphors). So today, I present to you an area that I hope in no time at all will soon become a beehive of creative activity, buzzing with so many projects, organized and spotless, a veritable honeycomb of beauty (sorry about the apian metaphors).

Without further ado, here it is:  Ta-da....and all that:

The Craft Corner...turn left past the woodstove


At least I can now get INTO the Corner






Didn't somebody say once that a tidy desk is a sign of a cluttered mind?




So now that I have publicly and irrevocably embarrassed myself, I now will attempt the impossible, and bring order and beauty to this small space. I wish I was Samantha Stevens, and could just twitch the nose, and voila!  Can anyone else top my mess?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Altars

Aine O'Brien over at her blog      http://deepestwell.blogspot.com/      has a great post today about altars. Very interesting and thought-provoking. Please go take a look at it.  I am posting a picture of my current household altar. It changes with seasons and sabbats, and moods, and new acquisitions.

Robin Larkspur's altar

And now after a hard-working Sunday morning of reading the paper, shepherding dogs, and doing some washing up, I am going to relax with a nice cup of coffee and piece of cake I baked last night for my husband. It is a spice cake, with a cooked caramel frosting, and if I do say so myself, it is worthy! LOL!




Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pagan Troops Need Our Help

An excellent website for Wiccans and pagans in general is  http://paganwiccan.about.com/  by Patti Wigington. This is my "go-to" blog for either a quick reference, or in-depth reading. Patti has it well-organized and it is loaded with so much great information for pagans/wiccans. She always has up-to-the minute news, current events, and just about everything from A to Z involving the pagan world. Excellent site for the new pagan, and the long-time practitioner.

Yesterday (November 11th) was Veteran's Day and Patti wrote about spreading awareness concerning pagan troops serving our country. Operation Circle Care, run by Circle Sanctuary is putting together care packages for Wiccans and other Pagans on active duty in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and to Germany, Korea, and to Navy ships. Patti placed this announcement from Circle Sanctuary on her site:


Here's How to Help:

(1) SEND CONTACTS: Send us names, postal addresses, and if known, email addresses, of deployed Pagan service members who would like to receive Yuletide packages. Pagan service members can submit their own names & contact information. Contact info received will be kept confidential for use by OCC only. Send contacts to the OCC Program Coordinators: occ@circlesanctuary.org. Be sure to include full name and rank as well as an accurate APO/FPO address for each deployed military Pagan.

(2) DONATE ITEMS: Donate gift items that are small and easy to mail such as Pagan music CDs, incense, jewelry, Pagan calendars, books, and altar cloths. For more ideas on items to donate, visit the Operation Circle Care web page here. Please send your items to us by December 1 so that they are received in time to ship out in early December. Contact OCC coordinators for shipping options & addresses: occ@circlesanctuary.org.

(3) DONATE FUNDS: Shipping costs for Operation Circle Care packages range from $10.70 to $12.50 each. Monetary donations are needed to help to cover postage costs, plus related OCC expenses, such as production of our Pagan military prayer cards that we send free of charge to Pagans on active duty and their families, both overseas and here in this country. To donate by credit card visit our secured on-line site: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/donate or call (608) 924-2216. Be sure to select "Operation Circle Care" when designating your donation. Funds are tax deductible in the USA. Or you can send a check or money order, payable to Circle Sanctuary - OCC to: Operation Circle Care, Circle Sanctuary, PO Box 9, Barneveld, WI 53507 USA.

(4) TELL OTHERS: One of the MOST important things the Pagan community can do to support Operation Circle Care is to help us get the word out about this program. Please let others know about Operation Circle Care and our call for contacts, gift items, and donations -- forward this email to lists, blogs, websites, others; circulate widely the OCC website address: http://tiny.cc/operationcirclecare

For more information about OCC and other Circle Sanctuary Military Pagan Services: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/ministries/military/

(end)

Take a moment to consider pitching in to this request. And spread the word.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

To all who have served, to all who are serving now, thank you















Public Domain photograph source 
(click for photo source)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Porch Pumpkin Party

I will give you one guess as to WHO (whom?) is responsible for this travesty....this stealthy and messy attack on my front porch. This area is unprotected by dogs, unfortunately. Now perhaps this means the birdfeeders will be left unassailed...though I have my doubts. 



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seeking Inspiration

A bit of a dreary day today. Not really cold, but cloudy, and the house is dark. It is tough to find inspiration to do anything creative on a day like this.  (sigh).

So take a look at some photos I just took, to shake me out of my doldrums. Recently I went to Feydragon (website on my sidebar) and besides delightful conversation with Mary there, I found these wonderful Yule cards. A pack of 8 cards, 2 designs each, with wonderful envelopes. From original paintings by Anne Stokes, these cards are perfect for my pagan friends.   Here is a link to the company that produced the cards, but I am sure you will be able to find these cards at a lot of retailers.    Website:www.eastgateresource.co.uk

Snow Dragon and Yule Angel


Snowflake Fairy and Spirit of Yule


The envelopes, front and back

My favorite is the Spirit of Yule, the GreenMan himself.


I have also been shopping around for little jars to store my herbals in.....really trying to get myself organized. I found these little jars, some at Hobby Lobby   http://www.hobbylobby.com/
The squat little Ball jars, I found at my grocery store.



I am thinking of taking photos of my so-called Craft Corner....I have been (very slowly) de-cluttering and reorganizing, because I  really and truly want to get going on some craft projects I have in mind. Perhaps if I post the in-progress attempt, I will feel obligated and accountable to show results!!! That corner is the end zone for anything in the house we dont know what to do with!  So I shall use positive words and visualize a stunning and clearly designated area for creative endeavors. So mote it be!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A dog's job

The daily squirrel watch

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The yearly setback




Time is an equal opportunity employer.  Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day.  Rich people can't buy more hours.  Scientists can't invent new minutes.  And you can't save time to spend it on another day.  Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving.  No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.  ~Denis Waitely

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Besom Buddies

One of the Witch's magickal tools is a besom, or broom.  It actually is more than a tool, it is a hard-working cleaner and protector, a sacred helper for ritual.  Before circle casting, ritual or spell casting, the besom is used to sweep negative energies away. In case you were wondering, witches do not use their brooms for transportation. (I do enjoy the sight, though, in that scene from the movie "Hocus Pocus" where the three sister witches jump on their broom, mop, and vacuum cleaner!!)



Here are some old beliefs, stories and facts about the besom:

When you move to a new house, leave the old broom behind...you will not have good luck if you bring the old broom with you.

Make a wish when you use a new broom for the first time...the wish will come true.

If you drop a broom, make a wish before picking it up.

Jump over a broom nine times to be married within a year.

Swing a broom over your head outside to bring rain.

Your broom will act as a lightning rod if you place it on the porch during a thunderstorm.

To keep the evil eye away at night while you sleep, place a small broom under your pillow.

To protect your house, place a broom on the ground in front of the door, or hang two crossed brooms on a wall.

Another way to guard your home: take two needles, make an equal-armed cross with them, and place this cross in a broom....place the broom behind a door.


Stepping over a broomstick will prevent ghosts from haunting you.

Hang a broom on your bedroom door to prevent nightmares.


Use a new broom to sweep something into the house, before using it to sweep dirt out. If you do not, your luck will go out the door.


Do not sweep floors at night...this will prevent good fortune.


Sweep towards the fireplace. If you do not have a fireplace, sweep in any direction except towards the front door, which will remove your luck.


When you stand your broom in a corner, put it bristles up, handle on the floor. This will keep the luck from running out of the broom.

 These adages and more can be found in Scott Cunningham's The Magical Household, published by Llewellyn.






Click on the link below to see how you can help pagan students at Syracuse University.
http://jesusandthegreenman.wordpress.com/


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Special Request for Help

I would like to direct your attention to this blog:   http://jesusandthegreenman.wordpress.com/

This blog, Jesus and the Greenman, is written by Mary Hudson, the first pagan chaplain ever at Syracuse University.  Imagine that, a pagan chaplain! This is a tremendous step in the right direction for pagans everywhere!!! We are all very proud of  Mary and the awareness she is raising on behalf of all pagans...that pagans are not satanic worshipping, whacked out weirdos bent on destroying life as we know it! She exemplifies paganism...she is a mom, an entrepreneur, a grandmother, a woman with a great sense of humor, and filled with the passion and compassion that one can find in just about every pagan you might meet.

The request is this:  In March, 2011, an interfaith group from Syracuse University, is traveling to England. A planned stop is at Stonehenge, on Ostara, the vernal equinox. Four pagan students will be on this trip, and the plan is for them to celebrate the equinox at Stonehenge.  What a wonder!!! what a great event for those students. Can you imagine, as a pagan, to be able to be at Stonehenge, at that particular time. And that you are there on a University trip.  Mary Hudson has been asked to accompany the group, as chaperone.

In her blog, Mary asks for help for these students, in a financial way. It will cost $3800.00 for each student. These students are willing to do anything to earn the money, and I am sure they will be involved in countless hours of fundraising.  In the meantime though, they need a total of $2000.00 by November 12th 2010, as deposit, to secure the trip.  Please go to Mary Hudson's blog, URL right up there at the top of this post, and read more about the trip, and Syracuse University's involvement. Also there, is information about donations.  If you are so moved, are able, want to help, want to be part of this fantastic event for pagans, please donate. Just click on the URL at the top of this post, or on my sidebar of the blogs I follow. Thank you for your interest, and support.


Today is Election day...I voted, did you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Now it is November

A cold Samhain last night. 


Too much candy left over

We had a flurry of trick or treaters, and then trickled down to zero. It was 33 degrees by 7:00 pm. Too cold for a lot of the little ghosties and ghoulies.


And then this morning:

It started snowing.

Just a light tiny flurry of snow, but I had hoped not to see it yet. Really not quite ready to go dashing through the snow!!


And so we say "Welcome to November" and the dark time between time.