Monday, December 26, 2011

Day after Holidays

Well both Yule and Christmas have passed and I still feel sick. I hate having colds but well.. who doesn't. Yule sadly passed without an event. I spent most of the day baking with my mother which was nice. Since we're living with my parents and I have to keep my spiritual practice under wraps I don't really get to celebrate. I watched some videos on YouTube about yule and thought about the lengthening of days for a little bit, but that was about it.

Christmas was a much bigger deal, I'm okay with that though. I usually see Yule as the spiritual celebration of the turn of the wheel and "Christmas" as the secular, partying, gifting, family get-together celebration (kind of like Saturnalia). I got a new Jewelry Box (which I wanted), some candy, a reed diffuser (cinnamon and nutmeg, yum!), a ceramic travel mug with a quote from Mother Teresa on it, "Peace Begins With A Smile" so very true, a travel nail kit (always useful) and an angel key chain. I'm not really into angels, but it's pretty and it's the thought that counts. We had a fabulous brunch and spent the day relaxing. All in all it was a pretty good day. I ended up falling asleep for a two hour nap, but mostly because I'm sick.

So how about everyone else. Who celebrates just Yule, just Christmas, or both? What did you do to celebrate?

On a small side note January 13th is getting closer! Has everyone checked out the Witchy Reading Challenge Tab? If you haven't check it out, and check out Pagan Culture for a button.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snow


For some reason we still don't have snow here, so if you're like me and wondering where the white stuff is maybe this song will be a nice little retreat to the Winter wonderland you've been waiting for.
Off of her Winter Garden Album this song is perfect for listening to early on a Yule morning before everyone else is up. Perhaps while sipping a mug of cinnamon hot chocolate and watching the return of the Oak King in the sunrise.
Blessed Be the longest night and Blessed be the return of the Sun!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beauty Magick

My amazing husband just allowed me to frivolously spend $25 on cosmetics from E.L.F because until midnight they offer free shipping. For those of us on a budget they have an essentials line with most of the items being $1.

There's something I've kind of mentally been toying with for the past few weeks and I figured now was the perfect time to talk about it. As Witch's we try to find the divine and magickal in the mundane, well for us ladies what about our cosmetics?
Isn't it funny how a mascara
applicator is called a wand.
 Make-up comes in a variety of shades and scents (you can chime in on the magickal correspondences at any time). For those worried about it being too far removed from nature they even come in a wide array of organic and natural varieties.

Using make-up as a magickal tool can open us up to amazing opportunities. As I considered this concept I thought of the way that make-up may fade throughout the day, perhaps that could symbolize releasing our intentions into the universe. We could use it to attract anything from a mate to a better financial situation. We could use it in various self-respect/love/confidence rituals. The possibilities are endless.

You can even make your own cosmetics at home! How exciting is that, and just think of the possibilities for adding intentions and tailoring the ingredients for your magickal purposes! Here are some sites to get you started.
How to make your own makeup at home
How to make makeup
Do it yourself cosmetics
MakingCosmetics.com

If you have an idea for a way make-up could be used for a magickal tool, or have already done this yourself leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Noon of the Solstice


With Yule being only 4 days away here's another song to get us all in the holiday spirit!
I absolutely adore Damh the Bard and am actually a little disappointed in myself that it took me this long to share one of his songs.
This was the first song of his I heard and since then I've been hooked on his music.
This song would actually be perfect for either the Winter or Summer Solstice but the first time I heard it was Winter time so that's always what I've associated it with.
Enjoy!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Angry Energy

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like everything makes you angry. Every little noise grates on your nerves and everything everyone does rubs you the wrong way. You feel the fire in your brain and nothing you do will cool it down.

Today has been one of those days for me. I woke up with this feeling of just... frustration. All I want is to be left alone in a quiet room with my thoughts. Something that's not really possible when your at home ALL day long with a three year old, by yourself.

Don't get me wrong I love my son. He means the world to me, and I'm proud to be a stay at home mom. There are just some days where I NEED to be alone. Taking that time would be easy if I could control when I needed it. If I could just pencil in like any other appointment, ah yes I think the 3rd will be a perfect day for one of my bleak moods. Russel has the day off and I can spend an hour or so by myself.

I don't necessarily dislike being in a bad mood. For me it's actually therapeutic. I feel like we get so caught up in positive energy that it gets stale. Every once in a while it's nice to just release the dams and allow the flow of negativity to wash over me. It's like a biting wind, or a crashing wave. It's startling, and abrasive and leaves you feeling out of breath and frightened, but when it's all over you feel cleansed. All of the proverbial cobwebs have been knocked down and you're ready to accept new positive energy.

I've found that the same thing is true in my marriage. If things are too pleasant for too long it begins to feel less genuine. We build up these layers of sweetness and light until we find ourselves in these artificial cocoons of generic happiness. Finally one of us loses their temper and we argue about something for hours. We fight, we cry, we yell, and then at the end we realize how silly the whole thing was. Somebody will crack a bad joke, and we'll both laugh, then we'll snuggle up next to each other, kiss, apologize, and have fantastic sex.

I don't know if this is how everyone feels or if it's just me. I'm a creature of duality and I need balance in my life. Balance to me means accepting both the good and the bad, dark and the light. Luckily I've found someone that accepts me for me and benefits as much from my quirks as I do.

I feel sorry for Adrian as he's had to put up with my less than warm and fuzzy self alone. How do I make these days more manageable? Are there any other stay at home parents with some good ideas for coping with these feelings? Whether they be mystical solutions or otherwise any and all advice is welcome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hooray for PBS

I have always loved Jim Henson from the time I was very young. All entertainment associated with the Henson family (in my eyes at least) has succeeded at being both fun and educational in a way that not only kids but parents can enjoy. They have always been ahead of the times in the case of diversity, equality, and keeping up with current events.

If any of you have young children who watch PBS you may have seen an adorable little show called Dinosaur Train. It's about a young T-Rex named Buddy who's adopted into the Pteranodon family. Him and his family travel the world on the Dinosaur Train to learn about different species of dinosaurs and even travel back and forth in time. It teaches children about the beauty of being different (all dinosaurs have different features) it helps you to learn about natural history and even some silly yet important issues such as everybody poops. Lets not forget that at the end of every episode Dr. Scott appears to tell everyone the facts and to help dispel any of the pretend information that was shown in the show for extra entertainment.

Today I have yet another reason to love this show and Jim Henson. The Pteranodons celebrate the Solstice! Now obviously Dinosaurs did not celebrate the holidays but it shows that the Solstice was around before man and gives children a taste for another reason for the season. Thank you Dinosaur Train and PBS.

Success!

This will possibly be my last update in the case of Ms Stephanie Turner and her son. For those of you who weren't aware young Christopher was singled out not only by his teacher but by his bus driver. He was told his faith wasn't a religion and was told not write about it during a class project that discussed the origins of Christmas. His bus driver who overheard a conversation between Christopher and his other Hispanic friends gave Christopher in school suspension and was told to no longer speak in a language that he (the driver) couldn't understand. The other children however were not spoken too. After many attempts to contact the school it would seem that she was being ignored.

Thankfully due to the enormous support from the Pagan community a task force swooped in and positioned themselves as mediators and representatives of the family. Recently a statement was released to update everyone on the progress of the situation.

Statement from Bowdon Elementary School, Carroll County School District, and members of the Turner Family Support Task Force as represented by Lady Liberty League, North Georgia Solitaries, Covenant of the Goddess, Dogwood Local Council, and Circle Sanctuary:

The Turner Family, Task Force, and School District want Bowdon School to be a positive, supportive environment which fosters the emotional ...and educational growth of all students.

With education, cooperation, and open dialogue, all things are possible.

At times, a lack of life experience and/or other circumstances can make it difficult to perceive how words and actions might cause offense or upset. The parties involved acknowledge that words and deeds can be hurtful even without the intent of making them so.

In an effort to reach a positive and collaborative resolution to recent events, an alliance of the parties involved has come to pass which will set the stage for future education for school staff, students, and parents on the topic of equality and respect for all students and families in the Carroll County School System.

First, a sincere apology for recent events and misunderstandings has been given by School Administration and accepted by the family.

Second, the Bowdon Elementary School guidance Counselor will educate staff and students about honoring and accepting the differences that make us individuals.

Third, procedures have been put in place to ensure classroom activities don't alienate students. As part of this, the administration and teachers will have yearly training about the District's Code of Ethics and the responsibilities of each staff member to preserve the integrity of every students' rights.

We appreciate the hard work and open dialogue of all the parties involved to create this positive resolution. The Turner children will return to school. The Carroll County School District will continue to strive to be a place that fosters the emotional and educational growth of all students regardless of religion, race, national origin, gender or disability.
Stephanie Turner appeared in the first part of Pagan Warrior Radio's Tuesday night show hosted by Selena Fox and Pamela Kelly. The show is available on i-Tunes for free download.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Left Out

In all of my bitching about mine and my family's crappy day yesterday I forgot to mention an interesting little tid-bit that I noticed at the hospital.

Every year around the holidays Mary Lane Hospital near where I live sets up a lovely little table dedicated to cultural/ spiritual diversity. It is quite nice to see that there are some who really care about equality and inclusiveness. On this table there is a plaque and display set up to recognize Hanuka with a traditional Menorah, there is a manger and plaque set up to recognize Christmas and the birth of Jesus and there is a plaque to recognize Kwanzaa that talks about the 7 principals and has some harvest symbols displayed.

Something you may have noticed is that there is no mention of the Solstice. The pagan community is growing and not only do pagans celebrate the solstice but there are many Atheists who also recognize the Solstice as the reason for the season. One would think they wouldn't want to leave such a large group of people out.

I don't like being the type of person who lets something bother them without doing anything about it, so I've decided to try and contact them and perhaps make a display myself to share and educate the community at large about our faith.

If anyone else lives in central MA and knows which display I'm talking about, CONTACT ME! I would love to make this a group effort. If anyone knows how I can contact the makers of this holiday display and/or would like to participate let me know.

This concept of getting involved is really quite scary to me. If you've read my About Me tab you probably already know I live my spiritual life mostly in the broom closet. So I've been racking my brain about a way to possibly do this anonymously. If I make any progress in this venture I'll be sure to let you know!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crappy Day!

We got up this morning planning on going to the bank and McD's for a little breakfast (I know how unhealthy they are but damnit I'm addicted to the frappes). We ended up at the hospital for 2 hours.

About five days ago I noticed a small discolored bump on Adrian's but, I figured he must have fallen and gotten a bruise or something, nothing major. Then two days ago I noticed that it had gotten bigger and he was starting to say that it hurt. So just to get an idea of what it might be I jumped on WebMD just to do a little research with their symptom checker. Eventually what I came up with was that it was an abscess and that it's more common in people that are on regular steroid treatment (which my son is) or in people that have blood disorders (which my son has). It didn't seem too scary and they said as long as it was small it just needed a hot compress and a little time.

Well as of this morning he wouldn't even sit and after a little examination it had doubled in size. So I called the pediatrician and they had an open appointment at 11:40. Perfect! It was still early so we ran our errands grabbed some food and headed to the doctors office. We even got their ten minutes early. Unfortunately it would seem that in hospital language 11:40 really means 12:00. Fine whatever, it's no big deal, I understand. hospitals are busy places and we aren't the only family in the universe whose child needs to be seen. So I read on my Kindle (that thing is really a sanity saver).

Now normally I'm a friendly person, I smile at strangers and have no problem striking up conversations with anyone at any time. However I seem to have a large sign on my forehead that screams "BE MY FRIEND" It's probably because I'm just too polite to ignore people, but still everyone seems to be extra chatty the second I'm around, and have this innate urge to tell me EVERYTHING about themselves and their loved ones. A particularly chatty older lady told me about every electronic in her and her daughters home as soon as she noticed my little device (as if seeing it in my hand meant she had to assure me they weren't technologically behind). This was of course after asking me if it really held books. I felt like saying "no, the commercials lied to you, it's really nothing more than a fancy paperweight and I'm looking at it to continue the illusion." In reality I just nodded, I like to be polite.

Of course I had to go through the same conversation I go through with anyone who's ever even come close to a child in their lifetime. "How old is he?" "Three" "He's tiny/small/petite/a peanut." "Yup" (because as his mother I couldn't have possibly known this) "Oh, well my child/grandchild/niece/nephew/neighbor/etc.. is 2 and they're twice his size" and then I get this look like what's your answer to that of course there are the people that say "Oh well my child/grandchild/niece/nephew/neighbor/etc.. was small too." As if this somehow makes me less guilty. Did I mention I did this twice today. Both sides of the conversation, and for some reason it's always the older people that look at me as if I'm to blame for him being tiny, and the younger people that try to find an out for me by coming up with someone that they know who was small too. I know they're just trying to make conversation but it gets old.

Finally we see the doctor only to be told yes it's an abscess and he's putting him on antibiotics and it needs to be drained today. Wonderful. So over to the ER where apparently they're doing construction and some elderly lady in a pink smock keeps ushering us back and forth as if we can't read signs or notice large white pieces of fabric covering half of the office. Finally in triage they take his info, get him registered and after an uncomfortable but short visit in the waiting room (uncomfortable because we had to watch Jerry Springer with our three year old) we were in the procedure room. We waited there for about half an hour to forty-five minutes until the doctor finally came in with the nurse (who kept calling my son Aiden, and I've noticed that apparently all nurses think Adrian is a weird name because they all call him that).

My poor baby had to lay face down with a nurse and my husband holding him down (he's a fighter) while he screamed. Before they started he even tried to talk them out of it he kept saying "Doctor, I need to talk to you a minute" He's a hustler, he's three and he thinks he can talk anyone out of anything if he just says "maybe tomorrow". So he wailed as they had to slice open the abscess with a scalpel, and then spread the hole open to insert a wick. According to the doctor the abscess was big, even for an adult. I have to say that was the most pus I have EVER seen in my life. For the next two days he needs to take four baths a day and for the next ten days he needs to be on 16 ML of antibiotics. Not to mention Adrian told me with big tears streaming down his face that he was mad at me for not saving him from the doctor which just about broke my heart.

I keep reminding myself that worse things have happened to better people but man did today SUCK!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Updates and a Pagan Charity

I totally missed the Full Moon last night and the Lunar Eclipse which will be the last one until 2014. I promised my husband he could watch the 2011 Video Game awards on Spike so unfortunately my practice went the the wayside for the night. On a positive note Skyrim won game of the year which was pretty damned impressive considering it's only been out for about a month, but really was anyone surprised? That Game is AWESOME! But I digress, I will be lighting my Full Moon candle tonight to make up for yesterday. I'm trying to add more continuity and ritual into my practice as a way to keep me connected to the Gods and Goddesses. Does anyone have any suggestions for me or for any of us really of ways they've found to add little bits of ritual into their daily lives? If so make sure to leave a comment!

In my meanderings through the web today I stumbled upon something fantastic. A page called the Pagan Assistance Fund. I really think this is something the Pagan Community needs. Charities abound for the unfortunate but lets face it, Christians seem to have the monopoly on them. It's not easy to find a secular charity organization when your in need and it's IMPOSSIBLE to find Pagan charities.

If any of you are as addicted to the wonder that is YouTube like I am you may have seen this heart wrenching video from Sam aka Witchontherocks ~>





A lot of times those in need let their pride get in the way of reaching out for help (I have been one of those people) It's made ten times harder when not only do you have to swallow your pride and look for assistance but you have to get it from someone or from somewhere that goes against what you believe in or makes you feel uncomfortable. A lot of times we have no choice. I have been in line at a Church funded food drive, and bless them for being there, but I actually witnessed one woman being asked to leave because they felt she was dressed inappropriately. What would they have said to someone who showed up in ritual garb because that was all they had left? We need Pagan outreach programs for moral, emotional, spiritual, and yes financial support.

They even have a Toys for Yule program! Charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army have been known to reject anything donated that pertains in any way to paganism or the occult. Things like Twilight/ Harry Potter books and movies, Ouija boards, or any other divination tools meant for kids. The things that teenagers would appreciate (minors that are often overlooked since buying for them isn't nearly as fun as buying a cute bear, or doll) can't be donated.

PLEASE look through this website. Opportunities abound for you to give back even if you don't have the monetary means. If you have something you'd like to donate or an idea for them they can be reached at info@ngsolitaries.com.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Clause is Pagan Too


Santa Clause is Pagan Too: Emerald Rose

 I haven't posted one of these in a while and it is long overdue. This song really has to be my FAVORITE Yule carol. 

I've scoured YouTube and had very little success with Pagan music for Yule. Most of the time I find songs that are originally Christian but have the lyrics changed or altered to something more appropriate for the Solstice rather than the inaccurate birthday of Jesus.

This song isn't only festive and hilariously true, it's a great sing-along! 

)O(

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Resolution on the Horizon

Many of you over the last few days have heard of the Turner family and what poor Christopher went through. Doing a little research this morning I have discovered what is hopefully some good news.

Turner Family Support!

Statement from NGS, CoG, DLC, LLL, Circle Sanctuary:

After concerns spread about some problems with accommodating Pagan students needs at Bowdon Elementary School (BES), there was an overwhelming show of community support for the Turner family of Carroll County in western Georgia, USA. Many local Pagans and associated organizations reached out to assist the Turners by prov...iding emotional support and offering practical advice. The Turners have been deeply touched by this out-pouring of spirit and wish to express their sincerest gratitude.

In addition, a Task Force of local and national Pagan organizations have come together to help resolve issues between the Turners and BES. The Task Force also hopes to provide the school with Pagan accommodation information and materials with the hopes of avoiding misunderstandings and other problems in the future. Represented in this group are the North Georgia Solitaries (NGS), both the local and national chapters of the Covenant of the Goddess, Circle Sanctuary and Lady Liberty League.

Currently, Carroll County Schools, led by the assistant superintendent, has expressed an active interest in resolving the current tensions and is planning to meet with Ms. Turner. The family and the Task Force are requesting that those with concerns about their situation do not directly contact the school or its employees. It is important that everyone involved have the maximum space needed to focus on resolving this conflict in a positive way. However, all concerned individuals are welcome to show their support for the Turners through the Turner Family Support Facebook fan page or through the simple use of prayers and energy toward a peaceful resolution and healing.

Please direct all media questions to pio@dogwoodlc.org.
It's heartwarming to know that so many, came together so quickly. Hopefully a lesson is learned by the school. As always, the more I know the more I will share. In the mean time please visit the Turner Family Support page on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 Reading Challenge

Check out the new tab. Magaly of Pagan Culture has started a fantastic reading challenge and as I love to read I plan on participating. Check her blog, grab a button and join. As she says, Reading is SEXY!

The Fight for Freedom pt.3

So once again I'm here to update you about the situation with the Carroll County Elementary school. Someone has started a Change.org petition and I highly encourage you all to sign.

There has been some questioning into the validity of Ms. Turner's claims and I understand the position of scepticism that these questions come from. However while I do encourage doing your research I don't think it prudent for us all to sit on our hands waiting for this to make national news before we come forward with our support.

How many top news stories have you seen lately that involve a pagan being discriminated, .. go ahead I'll wait... Have you come up with anything? No? I'm sure we've all heard of stories involving a "self proclaimed Witch" who's done something despicable, or frightening. We've heard the rumors about the Astaru being white supremacists, but unless you're IN THE PAGAN COMMUNITY you  never hear about us being discriminated against, or attacked. Not because it doesn't happen, oh no, but because a story about a witch being abused isn't sexy, it's not scary, the general public can't relate to it. They just want a million stories like Hansel and Gretel "the poor babies, did you know she was going to eat them, that's disgusting who gives a flying fuck that they shoved old Granny into the oven, that was just self defense".

The point I'm trying to make is that for whatever reason a long time ago News stopped being News it simply became part of the media and the media's job has always been to make those who are different look bad. Let's face it, we're different, and that's the way they want it to stay. After all, are the cool kids still cool when there's no one left who isn't.

We get discriminated against every day and in fear of being wrong or called out we all just sit back and let it happen. Well NO MORE.

I've sent Ms. Turner a letter to let her know that I support and stand behind her. I'll be sure to let you know if she responds.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Fight for Freedom pt. 2

For those of you who learned yesterday of the sad case of Cristopher Turner there has been an update from his mother.
I am looking into legal action if anyone knows anyone that could help me. I do not have money for legal help so am not sure what route to go. I have had many people contact me and help me understand homeschooling a little better and believe this is what my family will do. I just wanted to clarify that Mr. Goldberg was very helpful innitially. I do believe I will hear from him. My son will not be returning to Bowdon Elementary.
If anyone has any information that could help her please contact her at imnsearch1@gmail.com.

Since I posted my blog yesterday I've rounded up some other mentions from  around the web that I thought I might share along with the original article in case anyone hasn't read it yet.

Children Have Rights Too!!!

Was Pagan Student Harassed by Teacher?

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

If anyone receives any further information about this story please let us know!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fight for Freedom

Children Have Rights Too!!!

Words can not express how sick to my stomach reading this made me feel. If you're disappointed at me not writing out the details of this article please understand that my Momma Bear side is out and baring full teeth and I can't bring myself to recount what this child had to deal with. Please read the article for yourselves however  and share with as many people as you can.

I don't know what I would do if this was my child. I myself was bullied by teachers and students alike when I was in elementary school and it is something that no child should have to go through. Especially not one who's being targeted based on one of his LEGAL rights, the right of Religious Freedom. I'm sad for this boy and his mother and I'm angry that it's being allowed to continue.

Please my pagan Brothers and Sisters, stand with me. Tell these people that we will no longer take religious tyranny ( in whatever form) lying down. Email them and let them know how disgusted we are with their behavior and lack of compassion, I did.

Layla


On her brand new kitty-bed that
she is absolutely addicted to.
After weeks of waiting and being asked to pick a different kitten we finally have our furry little addition with us. It seems kismet that we were asked to pick her because she seems absolutely perfect for us. She's gentle, laid back, and can tolerate Adrian's constant attention.

She's 12 weeks old and an absolute doll. She also definitely seems to be a night time creature, she spends most of the day sleeping and most of the night romping around. As her name means "born in the night" I think it fits her personality perfectly.

I tried discerning her what her astrological sign was but I'm not sure if she's a Virgo or a Libra. It is fascinating to note however that she was born in the Chinese year of the Cat (also known as year of the Rabbit, they are sometimes interchangeable and sometimes listed side by side).

Only time will tell what kind of familiar she will make but we will see. As of right now I'm simply a proud and beaming kitty-momma who's happy to once again have a feline companion in her life. She fills a hollow spot in our family that was anxiously awaiting her presence.

Friday, December 2, 2011

First Quarter Moon

Today has been an unbelievably fabulous day, something that always seems to coincide with First Quarter Moons. My amazingly wonderful husband bought me a Kindle Fire, which I am completely in love with. I'm an avid reader and if I bought and kept a hardcover or paperback copy of every book I ever wanted to read we would need to buy a storage unit, so a digital book is perfect for me.

Also we got to go to Whole Foods today which just happens to be my favorite grocery store ever. I got some Garnet Sweet Potatoes (EXCITED, yes I'm a weirdo, I get excited over produce), a spaghetti squash which I have never cooked before so that should be an adventure and some humongous Portobello mushrooms (nom, nom, nom). I bought some organic face wash (yay!), and then came home to make what was possible my best batch of chili yet (if you're interested in the recipe I'll be posting it on the Kitchen Witch page).

The day on the whole has left me feeling refreshed and self satisfied in a way that makes everything seem like a new beginning. I'll be lighting my candle tonight to celebrate the Maiden.

Blessed First Quarter Moon
)O(

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