December 31, 2012

Happy & Blessed New Year!!!

I would like to take this time to wish all of you a very happy and blessed New Year.

May 2013 be the best year for all of us, both on the personal and spiritual sides of our lives.

December 28, 2012

2013 Witch's Reading Challenge!!!!

Hey guys my friend Shelly from Shelly Simplified has inspired me to join the 2013 Witch's Reading Challenge, from The Domestic Witch. I will be reading some new books I have been wanting to read and re-reading some of my favorites, as I read them I will be posting a pic of the book and my thoughts on them.

I hope to see some of you there for more info & for the rules of the challenge click the link above or the one in my side table.


Happy Reading Everyone
Ash-Lynn

Full Moon Blessings

Image From Google

December 28, 2012 brings us the last full moon of 2012, known as the "Full Cold Moon" or "The Long Night Moon" this full moon is in Cancer. With this being our last full moon of 2012, we should not only do the normal full moon activities such as cleansing, charging, and consecrating our magickal tools, we should look forward to 2013 and what we want to manifest for our new year.




The Full Moon in Cancer holds strong energies for healing and transformation, remember this when deciding what you and your loved ones want and need in the new year.

I hope each of you have a Blessed and Magickal Full Moon.

December 21, 2012

The End Of The Word, or NOT!!!

Well 12/21/12 has come and is almost gone in some places and we are still here; so that means it is time to start thinking ahead and making goals for 2013. I say goals because I don't like the term resolutions.

At the end of each year right after Yule/The Winter Solstice I make a list of goals for the year to come, Not something out there or out of reach but real tangible goals, that if I try I can reach. This year I am making two list one for my spiritual self and one for my non-spiritual self, I won't share all my goals on here, but I will share a few from each list.



Spiritual Goals for 2013 

1. continue my herbal studies
2. refresh myself on my chosen form of divination
3. delve deeper into my studies of the Goddess Freya

Non-Spiritual Goals for 2013

1. To maintain a healthy glucose/blood-sugar level.
2. Have a date night with my husband at least twice a month.
3. Make time for myself.

These are just a few of my goals for the next year, do you make goals/resolutions for yourself? What are your goals/resolutions for 2013?

Yule Blessings


December 13, 2012

New Moon = New Beginnings

For many the New Moon means new beginnings, and that got me thinking of what new beginnings I can make for myself in 2013.

One of the things I most want to start anew with is my spiritual side. I don't mean starting a new path, I mean re-embracing what brought me to this one and focusing on those aspects that I want to learn more about.

I have decided on 2 aspects to concentrate on for the next year, the first will be herbs; the second will be my Goddess & God, I feel a real need to reconnect with them and get to know them better,

I have not quite decided how I will be doing these things yet, but I hope to share my experiences with you and get your input on things as well.

I hope this New Moon finds you all well, start something new today or plan to start or restart something or the new year.

December 10, 2012

Phoebe Moons - 2012 Christmas List Tag

The very awesome Phoebe Moon has done a Christmas list tag/challenge on her youtube.


OK so as you can see from the video, the challenge is to list 10 this you want for Christmas, 10 things just for yourself and no one else. Phoebe encourages her subs to do a VR to this video, but i am too camera shy for that so I decided to respond here on my blog.

Here is my list starting with #10 and working my way to #1  

10. Wish - I wish that my diabetes would go away.
      Why - I miss pasta and birthday cake LOL

09. Wish - I wish to be a size 10 again
      Why - I love the way I look at a size 10

08. Wish - I wish for my perfect house, built and designed exactly the way I want it.
      Why - I have never in my 39 years lived in a house that was new, or designed to what I want.

07. Wish - For the pain from my past to stop coming into my present.
      Why - I am a survivor of molestation as a child and an abusive husband as an adult, both people
                 are still in my life and not by choice. I am tired of the daily reminders of that pain.

06. Wish - To meet my 2 favorite football players - Payton Manning and Clay Matthews.
      Why - have you seen them? need I say more LOL

05. Wish - to have coffee with a some of my favorite Witchy folks, Dee, Phoebe, Stevie, Marc, Etc.
      Why - The Witchy people I have met via YT and FB are the most inspiring and fun people I have
                 met in a long time and I think it would rock to have coffee and talk with them.

04. Wish - To be free to be 100% me, warts and all.
      Why - Do to the fact that I live in the very conservative deep south and my family is mostly
                 Christian and very judgmental I am not free to be me and share my beliefs.

03. Wish - To travel to Scotland and visit Hogwarts Castle.
      Why - I admit it I'm a hopeless Potterhead LOL

02. Wish - To live in a time/place where Witches/Pagans/Wiccans are not judged.
      Why - I hope this one is self explanatory.

01. Wish - Win the Lotto of course.
      Why - How else will I be able to afford to do the other stuff on my list :)

I hope you enjoyed my list. what's on yours? If you have a YT do a VR to Phoebe Moon or if your camera shy like me tell me your list here.

December 4, 2012

You'll Love These Balls In Your Mouth!!!

I have decided to be naughty and share a guilty holiday pleasure with you, my favorite balls.

My Granny Whites Rum Balls
Ingredients
  •  1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 (16 ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed very fine
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling
Directions
  1. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt evaporated milk and chocolate chips, stirring frequently until smooth. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the crushed vanilla wafers and Rum until well blended. 
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and roll the balls in chopped walnuts, then in confectioners' sugar. 
  4. Store covered in the refrigerator. 

Now take a ball put it in your mouth and enjoy!!!!

Let's Put A Stop To The Holiday War


It's that time of year again, what time of year is that you ask? It's time for the battle of the holidays, you know when the Christians start in with "Jesus is the reason for the season" and "Put Christ back in Christmas" and many Pagans start with "it's our holiday, you stole it" or "It's a Yule tree, not a Christmas tree" along with other statements.

While the later is true many Pagan practices, festivals, and traditions where Christianized in order to encourage more people to follow Christianity, there is no reason for rudeness or name calling from either side.

We as Pagans, owe it to each other and our ancestors to show we are better than that. If we ever want the respect that other religions have and that so many demand that we deserve, then it's high time we start acting like it. You can't just demand respect, you have to earn it. The only way we as Pagans will do that is to treat others, all other whether we agree with their beliefs or not  the way we wish to be treated.

That being said I do not mean to let the haters out there walk all over you, put you down, or get under your skin, I mean, just because you see a sign on a church saying "Jesus is the reason for the season" don't get all upset and start bashing them, that's their belief and just like our beliefs it should be respected. Yes there are many haters out there, and yes I loath them as much as anybody but if we start hating and bashing others beliefs then we are no better than they are.

This should be a time of year for reflection, rebirth, and family, so let go of the negative and embrace all that is magickal about the Solstice/Yule and don't worry about things that are out o your control.

December 3, 2012

Celebrating Pagan Holidays In A Christian World

The holiday season is upon us and it's time to start planning our Solstice/Yule/Christmas festivities. You may ask why I included Christmas in that? Well it's quite simple actually "I am a Pagan girl living in a Christian world" and therefor I celebrate pretty much all things encompassed in the holiday season, and that means compromising a few things, keeping my cool, and biting my tongue till it hurts.



Celebrating Yule/Winter Solstice 

 

To me this part of the holiday season is completely mine, though my husband and daughters know what by beliefs they aren't quite on the same page as me yet.

I'll wake up before sunrise on the morning of the Solstice, make a yummy cup of tea and then sneak outside to watch the sun(God) rise and take his first breath. I will try and spend the majority of my day outside soaking in the suns rays. That evening I will do a small ritual dedicated to the Goddess, God, and the year to come.

This is quite time for me and a time to get my thoughts together, because next up is Christmas & the in-laws.

Christmas, Why Celebrate It?

 

OK so why celebrate Christmas you ask? Like many of you I was raised in a Christian home, went to church on Sundays like a good girl and loved Christmas.

Now I am 39 a Witch and my Church is nature, but I am also a wife and mother. My husband and daughters know who and what I am, but his very Catholic family does not; so we celebrate Christmas. At our house we celebrate Christmas eve with my family with a big dinner and gift exchange, when we get home the girls are aloud to open one gift and then it's off to bed. We wake up Christmas morning to see what Santa has brought us.

We do not do the whole going to Midnight Mass thing, in fact we (my husband, children, and myself) do not go to church ever; as much as my mother in law hounds us to; but on Christmas day We all bow our heads and pray before we eat, and say amen, we have religious talks, I even endure my mother in law continuously asking me to get my husband to go to church ( running joke, My husband says "I used to be a practicing Catholic, but I got it right so I don't have to practice anymore").

It's the same thing every year, but I have learned how to survive it.

Surviving Christmas Without Feeling Like Your Forsaking Your Beliefs   


It's easier than you think it is and it all comes down to a few things.

Prayer 

What to do - when ever a prayer or blessing is said, bow your head and say a silent chant, prayer, etc to your higher power, when the prayer/blessing is over say "amen" like everyone else.

Why - By doing this you are keeping your own beliefs while respecting the beliefs of those around you. Remember you can't expect to be respected if you don't show respect.

Religious Talk

What to do - I know that with my family as well as with my in-laws the talk will somehow makes it  around to religion/god/Jesus/etc. If this happens don't panic, either excuse yourself and go mingle elsewhere or do my favorite thing ask questions about god/the bible you know will get people flustered because they can't come up with a good answer for it.

Why - because no matter the subject if people can't answer it or it makes them uncomfortable, they will either leave the conversation or they will change the subject.

Have Fun

Most of all just enjoy being with your family and friends, don't get caught up in trying to be your best Pagan, because if all you do all night is try and prove who's better the Christians or the Pagans, you will miss out on all the fun and joy of the holidays.

I hope this helps even just a little and I hope your holidays are magickal.


December 1, 2012

Visions Of Sugarplums

With Yule being less than a month away I wanted to share this with you, I had posted this previously under the title of "Santa's Wisdom To Pagan" and I did not know who the author was; I am so very happy to say I have been contacted by the author and she has not only given me permission share this with you, she also provided me part of the story I did not even know was missing. I hope you enjoy this story and learn as much from it as I have.


Visions Of Sugarplums

by Morwyn Oake, copyright 1999  (previously published under the pen name Margaret Morrison) very slightly edited 2012.

Five minutes before the Winter Solstice circle was scheduled to begin, my mother called.  Since I'm the only one in our coven who doesn't run on Pagan Standard Time, I took the call. Half the people hadn't arrived, and those who had wouldn't settle down to business for at least twenty minutes.

"Merry Christmas, Frannie."

"Hi, Mom.  I don't do Christmas."  I sing-songed.  We'd had this conversation every year since I became Pagan.

"Maybe not--but I do, so I'll say it." she told me in her sassy voice, kind of sweet and vinegary at the same time. "If I can respect your freedom of religion, you can respect my freedom of speech."

I grinned and rolled my eyes. "And the score is Mom - one, Fran - nothing. But I love you, anyway."

People were bustling around in the next room, setting up the altar, decking the halls with what I considered excessive amounts of holly and ivy, and singing something like, "O Solstice Tree."

"It sounds like a...holiday party." Mom said.

"We're doing Winter Solstice tonight."

"Oh. That's sort of like your version of Christmas, right?"

I wanted to snap back that Christmas was the Christian version of Solstice, but I held back.

"We celebrate the return of the sun. It's a lot quieter than Christmas. No shopping sprees, no pine needles and tinsel on the floor, and it doesn't wipe me out. I remember how you had always worked yourself to a frazzle by December 26."

"Oh honey, I loved doing all that stuff. I wouldn't trade those memories for all the spare time in the world. I wish you and Jack would loosen up a little for the baby's sake. When you were little, you enjoyed Easter bunnies and trick-or-treating and Christmas things.  Since you've gotten into this Wicca religion, you sound a lot like Aunt Betty the year she was a Jehovah's Witness."

I laughed nervously. "Yeah. How is Aunt Betty?"

"Fine. She's into the Celestine Prophecy now, and she seems quite happy. Y'know," she went on, "Aunt Betty always said the Jehovah's Witnesses said those holiday things were pagan. So I don't see why you've given them up."

"Uh, they've been commercialized and polluted beyond recognition. We're into very simple, quiet celebrations."

"Well," she said dubiously, "as long as you're happy."

Sometimes long distance is better than being there, 'cause your mother can't give you the look that makes you agree with everything she says.  Jack rescued me by interrupting.

"Hi, Ma." he called to the phone as he waved a beribboned sprig of mistletoe over my head. Then he kissed me, one of those quick noisy ones. I frowned at him.

"Druidic tradition, Fran. Swear to Goddess."

"Of course it is. Did the Druids use plastic berries?"

"Always. We'll be needing you in about five minutes."

"Okay. Gotta go, Mom. Love you."

We had a nice, serene kind of Solstice Circle. No jingling bells or filked-out Christmas Carols. Soon after the last coven member left, Jack was ready to pack it in.

"The baby's nestled all snug in her bed," he said with a yawn, "I think I'll go settle in for a long winter's nap."

I heaved a martyred sigh. He grinned unrepentantly, kissed me, called me a grinch, and went to bed. I stayed up and puttered around the house, trying to unwind.  I sifted through the day's mail and ditched the flyers urging us to purchase all the seasonal joy we could afford or charge. I opened the card from his parents. Another sermonette: a manger scene and a bible verse, with a handwritten note expressing his mother's fervent hope that God's love and Christmas spirit would fill our hearts in this blessed season.  She means well, really. I amused myself by picking out every pagan element I could find in the card.

When the mail had been sorted, I started turning our ritual room back into a living room. As if the greeting card had carried a virus, I found myself humming Christmas carols. I turned on the classic rock station, but they were playing that Lennon-Ono Christmas song.  I switched stations.  The weatherman assured me that there was only a twenty percent chance of snow.  Then, by Loki, the deejay let Bruce Springsteen insult my ears crooning, "Ya better watch out, ya better not pout." I tried the Oldies station. Elvis lives, and he does Christmas songs. Okay, fine. We'll do classical--no, we won't. They're playing Handel's Messiah. Maybe the community radio station would have something non-secular.

"Ahora, escucharemos a Jose Feliciano canta `Feliz Navidad'."

I was getting annoyed. The radio doesn't usually get this saturated with holiday mush until the twenty-fourth.

"This is too weird." I said to the radio, "Cut that crap out."

The country station had a Kenny Rogers Christmas tune.  The first rock station had gone from John and Yoko's Christmas song to Simon and Garfunkel's "Silent Night."  The other rock station still had Springsteen reliving his childhood.

"--I'm tellin' you why. SANTA Claus is comin' to town!" he bellowed.  I was about to pick out a nice secular CD when there was a knock at the door.

Now, it could have been a coven member who'd forgotten something.  It could have been someone with car trouble.  It could have been any number of things, but it certainly couldn't have been a stout guy in a red suit--snowy beard, rosy cheeks, and all--backed by eight reindeer and a sleigh.  I blinked, wondered crazily where Rudolph was, and blinked again. There were nine reindeer.  Our twenty-percent chance of snow had frosted the dead grass and was continuing to float down in fat flakes.

"Hi, Frannie." he said warmly, "I've missed you."

"You don't exist."

He looked at me with a mixture of sorrow and compassion and sighed heavily.

"That's why I miss you, Frannie. Can I come in? We need to talk."

I couldn't quite bring myself to slam the door on this vision, hallucination, or whatever.  So I let him in, because that made more sense then letting all the cold air in while I argued with someone who wasn't there.  As he stepped in, a thought crossed my mind about various entities needing an invitation to get in houses.  He flashed me a smile that would melt the polar caps.

"Don't you miss Christmas, Frannie?"

"No." I said flatly, "Apparently you don't see me when I'm sleeping and waking these days.  I haven't been Christian for years."

"Oh, now don't let that stop you.  We both know this holiday's older than that.  Yule trees and Saturnalia and here-comes-the-sun, doodoodendoodoo."

I raised an eyebrow at the Beatles reference, and then gave him my standard sermonette on the appropriation and adulteration that made Christmas no longer a Pagan holiday.  I had done my homework.  I listed centuries and I named names--St. Nicholas among them.

"In the twentieth century version," I assured him, "Christmas is two parts crass commercialism mixed with one part blind faith in a religion I rejected years ago."  I gave him my best lines, the ones that had convinced my coven to abstain from Christmasy clichés.  My hallucination sat in Jack's favorite chair, nodding patiently at me.

"And you," I added nastily, "come here talking about ancient customs when you--in your current form--were invented in the nineteenth century by, um...Clement C. Moore."

He laughed, a rolling, belly-deep chuckle unlike any department-store Santa I'd ever heard.  "Of course I change my form now and then to suit fashion. Don't you? And does that stop you from being yourself?" he said, and asked me if I remembered Real Magic, by Isaac Bonewits.

I gaped at him for a moment, then caught myself.  "This is like `Labyrinth', right? I'm having a dream that pretends to be real, but is only made from pieces of things in my memory.  You don't look a thing like David Bowie."

"Bonewits has this Switchboard Theory." Santa went on amiably, "The energy you put into your beliefs influences the real existence of the archetypal--oh, let me put it simpler: `in the beginning, Man created God'. Ian Anderson."

He lit a long-stemmed pipe.  The mild tobacco had a hint of spice and pine, and every puff sent up a wreath of smoke.  "I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than Bonewits tells it, but that's close enough for mortals. Are you with me so far?"

"Oh, sure.  Right with you." I lied as unconvincingly as possible.

Santa sighed heavily and shook his head.

"When's the last time you left out milk and cookies for me?"

"When I figured out my parents were eating them."

"Frannie, Frannie.  Remember pinda balls, from Hinduism?"

"Rice balls left as offerings for ancestors and gods.  And your point?"

"Do Hindus really believe that the ancestors and gods eat pinda balls?"

"All right, y'got me there. They say that spirits consume the spiritual essence, and then mortals can have what's left."

"Mm-hm."  Santa smiled at me affectionately through his snowy beard.

I rallied quickly.  "What about the toys? I know for a fact they aren't made by you and a bunch of non-union elves."

"Oh, that's quite true.  Manufacturing physical objects out of magical energy is terribly expensive and breaks several laws of Nature--She only allows us to do that on special occasions.  It certainly couldn't be done globally and annually.  Now, the missus and the elves and I really do have a shop at the North Pole. Not the sort of thing the Air Force would ever find.  What we manufacture is what makes this time a holiday, no matter what religion people follow."

"Don't tell me," I said, rolling my eyes, "you make the sun come back."

"Oh my, no.  The solar cycle stuff, the ‘Reason for the Season,’ isn't my department.  My part is making it a holiday.  We make a mild, non-addictive psychedelic thing called Christmas spirit.  Try some."

He dipped his fingers in a pocket and tossed red-gold-green-silver glitter at me.  I could have ducked. I don't know why I didn't.

It smelled like snow, and pine needles, and cedar chips in the fireplace.  It smelled like fruitcake, like roast turkey, like that foamy white stuff you spray on the window with stencils.  It felt like a crisp wind, Grandma's hugs, fuzzy new mittens, pine needles scrunching under my slippers.  I saw twinkling lights, mistletoe in the doorway, smiling faces from years gone by.  Several Christmas carols played almost simultaneously in a kind of medley.

I fought my way back to my living room and glared sternly at the hallucination in Jack's chair.

"Fun stuff. Does the DEA know about this?"

"Oh, Frannie. Why are you such a hard case? It's non-addictive and has no harmful side effects. Would Santa Claus lie to you?"

I opened my mouth and closed it again.  We looked at each other a while.

"Can I have some more of that glittery stuff?"

"Mmmm.  I think you need something stronger.  Try a sugarplum."

I tasted rum ball.  Peppermint.  Those hard candies with the picture all the way through.  Mama's favorite fudge.  A chorus line of Christmas candies danced through my mouth.  The Swedish Angel Chimes, run on candle power, say tingatingatingating.  Mama, with a funny smile, promised to give Santa my letter.

We taped greeting cards on the refrigerator door.  We rode through the tree farm on a straw-filled trailer pulled by a red and green tractor, looking for a perfect pine.  It was so big that Daddy had to cut a bit off so the star wouldn't scrape the ceiling.  Lights, ornaments, tinsel.  Daddy lifted me up to the mantle to hang my stocking.  My dolls stayed up to see Santa Claus, and in the morning they all had new clothes.  Grandma carried in a platter with the world's biggest turkey, and I got the drumstick.  Joey's Christmas puppy chased my Christmas kitten up the tree and it would have fallen over but Daddy held it while Mama got the kitten out.  Daddy said every bad word there was but he kept laughing anyway.  I sneaked my favorite plastic horse into the nativity scene, between the camels and the donkey.

I came back to reality slowly, with a silly smile on my face and a tickly feeling behind my eyes like they wanted to cry.  The phrase "visions of sugarplums" took on a whole new meaning.

"How long has it been," Santa asked, "since you played with a nativity set?-"

"But it symbolizes--"

"The winter-born king.  The sacred Mother and her sun-child.  Got a problem with that?  You could redecorate it with pentagrams if you like, they'll look fine.  As for the Christianization, I've heard who you invoke at Imbolc."

"But Bridgid was a Goddess for centuries before the Catholic Church--oh."  I crossed my arms and tried to glare at him, but failed.  "You're a sneaky old elf, y'know?"

"The term is `jolly old elf.' Care for another sugarplum?"

I did.

I tasted gingerbread.  My first nip of eggnog the way the grown-ups drink it.  Fresh sugar cookies shaped like trees and decked with colored frosting.  Dad had been laid off, but we managed a lot of cheer.  They told us Christmas would be "slim pickings."  Joey and I smiled bravely when Mama brought home that spindly spruce. We loaded down our "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" with every light and ornament it could hold. Popcorn and cranberry strings for the outdoor trees.  Mistletoe in the hall:  plastic mistletoe, real kisses.

Joey and I snipped and glued and stitched and painted treasures to give as presents.  We agonized over our "Santa" letters...by now we knew where the goodies came from, and we tried to compromise between what we longed for and what we thought they could afford.  Every day we hoped the factory would reopen.  When Joey's dog ate my mitten, I wasn't brave.  I knew that meant I'd get mittens for Christmas, and one less toy.  I cried.  On December twenty-fifth we opened our presents ve-ery slo-wly, drawing out the experience. We made a show of cheer over our socks and shirts and meager haul of toys.  I got red mittens.  We thought Mama and Daddy were proud of us for being so brave, because they were grinning like crazy.

"Go out to the garage for apples." Mama told us, "We'll have apple pancakes."

I don't remember having the pancakes.  There was a dollhouse in the garage. No mass-produced aluminum or pasteboard thing but a homemade plywood dollhouse with wall-papered walls and real curtains and thread-spool chairs.  My dolls were inside, with newly sewn clothes.  Joey was on his knees in front of a plywood barn with hay in the loft.  His old farm implements had new paint.  Our plastic animals were corralled in popsicle stick fences.  The garage smelled like apples and hay, the cement was bone-chilling under my slippers, and I was crying.

My knees were drawn up to my chest, arms wrapped around them.  My chest felt tight, like ice cracking in sunshine.  Santa offered me a huge white handkerchief.  When all the ice in my chest had melted, he cleared his throat.  He was pretty misty-eyed, too.

"Want to come sit on my lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?"

"You've already given it to me." But I sat on his lap anyway, and kissed his rosy cheek until he did his famous laugh.

"I'd better go now, Frannie.  I have other stops to make, and you have work to do."

"Right.  I'd better pop the corn tonight; it strings best when it's stale."

I let him out the door.  The reindeer were pawing impatiently at the moon-kissed new-fallen snow.  I'd swear Rudolph winked at me.

"Don't forget the milk and cookies."

"Right.  Uh, December twenty-fourth, or Solstice, or what?"

He shrugged. "Whatever night you expect me, I'll be there.  Eh, don't wait up.  Visits like this are tightly rationed.  Laws of Nature, y'know, and She's strict with them."

"Gotcha. Thanks, Santa." I kissed his cheek again.  "Happy Holidays."   The phrase had a nice, non-denominational ring to it. I thought I'd call my parents and in-laws soon and try it out on them.  Santa laid his finger aside of his nose and nodded.

"Blessed be, Frannie."

The sleigh soared up, and Santa really did exclaim something.  It might have been ancient German.  Smart-aleck elf.  When I closed the door, the radio was playing Jethro Tull's "Solstice Bells."


The end

  
 I truly hope you all enjoyed this and Morwyn Margaret Peeler thank you so much for such a wonderful story.

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Favorite Part of Yule/Christmas and Traditions - Guest Blogger Velody

Today is December 1st and that means it's time for some guest bloggers to tell us what their favorite part of Yule/Christmas, and what they will be doing to celebrate. First up is the wonderfully creative Velody of Treegold & Beegold

Velody and her lovely family

Favorite Part of Yule/Christmas and Traditions


My family's Winter Holiday festivities are a huge mash up. They include Hubby and mine favorite childhood traditions calling with the new additions from our faiths.

      Starting on December 1st

The munchkin's begin thirty countdown calendar. Their calendar is a plain winter house scene and each day they add more decorations. It holds 25 spots to Christmas but on Yule they light the fire in the fireplace they've created.
Throughout December we do the typical American holiday activities. The kids meet Santa, we watch Holiday movies ( of the non-secular sort), and do loads of crafts.

      Yule

On Yule we have a large family dinner.Sometimes we invite over friends too. It is the first night we light our Yule Log Candle holder which we will light every night for 12 days. The candle holder holds 3 candles. We light the first one for something in the past we are thankful happened, we light the middle for something in the present we are grateful that we have and we light the third for a wish we have for the future. We also tell the munchkins a Yule story before bed and let them open a single handmade gift.

      Christmas

We Celebrate Christmas in the typical non-secular American way focused on Santa, generosity, good will, and family. We have two traditions from my mother, one is the munchkins open their stockings first and when they are older they can open them anytime after midnight without waking Mommy or Daddy. The second is I always make from scratch cinnamon rolls to go with breakfast on Christmas morning. We also always have a large meal but where it is and what is in it changes sometimes.

      Little Christmas / End of Yule

Hubby is from Puerto Rico and their they have a tradition we are attempting to adapt. 12 days after Christmas on the day the Wise Men would have arrived to see the baby Jesus children put out hay and grass for the camels before bed and awake to find a small gift in it's place. We want to adapt this for our children but are still debating what to do. We're considering incorporating The Wild Hunt, as the end of Yule is when Odin finishes the Wild Hunt and returns to Asgard on his 8 legged horse, Slepnir. Up until now we didn't need a good explanation but this year our oldest is at that point where we really do. I have to think of something quick.
I hope you enjoyed learning about some of the things my family does. I'm excite to learn about all of your families too.

Velody


Velody is a mom of 2 little ones who blogs and creates handmade items for Pagan and Alternative families. Her sites is www.treegoldandbeegold.com

November 30, 2012

Do Bare Feet = Pagan?

Many people find walking around in their, bare feet is the most disgusting thing in the world, people who feel this way wear shoes all the time even inside their own homes.

Not me I find it freeing and a wonderful way to to connect with nature. I love nothing more than getting my toes in the sand, feeling the grass beneath my feet on a warm summer day, or the mud squishing between my toes after a cleansing rain. In fact I can't stand having shoes on my feet any longer than necessary.

I have never really associated loving to walk around in my bare feet to being Pagan until I read a post about just this subject, so now I am curious how many of you like to go barefoot and associate it with being a Pagan, Witch, or Wiccan? I would really love to hear your feedback on this.

November 29, 2012

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

My daughters and I have made making these ornaments a tradition over the past few years, we give them as gifts and even have them hanging on our tree. While we make them I tell Yule stories and share tidbits about Yule.
Image From Google

Ingredients & Supplies:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • cookie cutters
  • paints and other decorative accessories
  • yarn, twine or string for hanging

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325º.
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Add in half of the water, then gradually add in the remaining water.
  • Kneed the dough until it is smooth (10 minutes or so).
  • Roll out dough on baking paper to use with cookie cutters, or press the dough into various shapes. Get creative!
  • Use a straw or toothpick to make a hole to hang the ornament once it’s finished.
  • Bake the ornaments until hard and dry (about 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on the thickness of the ornament).
  • Allow to cool.
  • Decorate with paint, glitter, beads, buttons, feathers or any other fun accessories.
  • If you want to preserve them for a long time, allow all the paint and glue to dry and then coat with a clear acrylic varnish.
I hope you enjoy making these as much as we do.

November 28, 2012

Blessed Full Moon!!!!!

My view of the moon, from my front yard
Just wanted to take the time to wish all of you a blessed Full Moon, I went out side for a bit and soaked in her beautiful energies, but it's so cold my ritual will be inside tonight.

I hope all of you enjoy her energies and blessing and take in all she has to offer.


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What does the word "Witch" mean?



I was just having a wonderful discussion with my KiCKASS friend Joanna, we were discussing the word "Witch" and what it means; I told her "I love the word Witch and what it means to me personally, I just hate the stereotype that comes with it" so I decided to expand on that, and tell you what the word "Witch" means to me and why.

Let's start off the with common definitions of the word "Witch"


Witch - noun~
1. a person, now especially a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic, especially black magic or the black art; sorceress.
2. an ugly or mean old woman; hag.


Now I have to say that I find both of those definitions not only offensive, but written by barbarians in a time long since past. Sadly over the years many people have come to believe those definitions. The Pagan or spiritual community have differing definitions for the word "Witch" I have heard it used to describe those who practices Wicca, and I have heard it used as someone who practices folk magick.

The word "Witch" has come to mean a lot to me. The word "Witch" to me defines a person who works in and with nature to not only help themselves but those around them, it also means for me at least freedom, freedom from the structure of organized religions, freedom from unhealthy things such as chemicalized medications and foods. It means the freedom to express myself spiritually for the first time in my life.

Sadly it also has come to mean living in fear of certain people finding out, it means being called ugly, hateful things by my family, it means keeping my true self hidden when I want to do is scream out this is the real me, love me or hate me here I am.

Mostly to me the word "Witch" means being in my kitchen cooking up some yummy food for my family while filling it with good energies, intentions and love. It means making a salve for my husbands dry skin or bath salts for friends and family, It means loving and believing in a higher power, for me that is both the God & Goddess and asking not only them but my ancestors and spirit guides to help and guide me along the way.

The word "Witch" means many things to many people, what does it mean to you?
  
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November 26, 2012

Yule Blogging Project!!!

With Yule/Christmas Coming up, I was thinking of doing a blog special where TCOPW would have some guest bloggers, do a post on their favorite part of Yule/Christmas or what traditions, rituals, etc that they have/or will incorporate into their practice.




If You are interested in doing this please let me know by commenting here or e-mail me at chaoticdreamer68@gmail.com 




I can't wait to see your post!!!
 

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November 25, 2012

Homemade Carpet Fresh


Nothing smells better then the fresh aroma of a clean house. Freshen up your carpets with this simple recipe. 

The baking soda will help to remove old odors and the herbal mixes will refresh the carpet fibers. Your carpet should hold the scent for 3 days before fading out.

 






To Make
  1. Using your mortar and pestle, crush your herbs/flowers/resins to release the fragrance. The amount of herbs you use is really up to you.
  2. Add your herbs to 1 cup of baking soda. If the baking soda has masked the aroma, you need more herbs. Your mixture should be very fragrant.
  3. Secure the lid on your container and SHAKE WELL to mix the herbs and the baking soda. The mixture is most effective when fully blended.
To Use
  • Sprinkle onto carpets, by poring your mixture into an old sock and shaking gently
  • Make sure to thoroughly covers the carpet area, but refrain from sprinkling it in excess.
  • Allow the mixture to set for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming up.

NOTE: You can use various herbal combinations to suit your needs, this time of year you could even use pine, pumpkin spice, or an cinnamon/apple spice to make it smell like the holidays. There is also an added bonus cinnamon is a natural flea repellent that is safe for your pets!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, if you make it let me know if you like it.


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November 22, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 15



Today I am happy for Turkey, Sweet Potato's, Pumpkin Pie, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Football, My Family, My Friends, and for Goddess & God.

Have Blessed Thanksgiving, May your bellies be full and your football teams win by great margins.


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November 21, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 14

Today I thankful that I don't have to cook tomorrow, all I have to do is eat and watch football. Now don't get me wrong I will be cooking a Thanksgiving meal but not till Friday, it will be turkey with all the fixings. Tomorrow is a different story; we will be eating with my husbands family, which is about 60 some odd people.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day tomorrow and eat lots of yummy food. Enjoy your family and all that goes with the day, but don't forget when your giving thanks to thank the Goddess for the blessings you have received over the past year.

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November 20, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 13

Today I am thankful for my past, if not for my past I would not appreciate my present or be excited or my future.

OK so just the basics, my past sucked and I mean that, there where a few good things but all in all it sucked.

I am a survivor of molestation at the hands of my step-dad, I am a survivor of a mother who blamed me for my abuse, I am also a survivor or domestic abuse in my first marriage.

I don't dwell on these things or let them get me down, I embrace them, because with out them I would not know what kind of mother I wanted to be and work very hard to be, I would not know to love the little things that my husband does, that normally I would not even notice. I would not have become the strong person that I am and I would never be able to teach my daughter how to be the strong women they are becoming.

Do not let your past define who you are, do not be a victim, be a survivor, and be strong and teach the next generation to be strong.

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November 19, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Days 11 &12

I am so sorry for missing yesterday, so today I'll be posting for both days.

Warning before you read this I find this funny, you may not and may even find it gross; if you do I am sorry but I had to share.

Today I am thankful for my doctor and my pushy hubby, I have been having major pain in my back and stomach, today the hubby insisted that I go to the doctor so i did and.......... I have  a UTI(urinary track infection) and it's a bad one. So fun fun fun right, well the next few day while on on meds will not be boring, Why you ask? One of the meds the doctor put me on is a little purplish/brown pill that is for pain during a UTI, so far I have taken it once and guess what I now pee orange crush or that's what it looks like anyway, it is the funniest thing I have seen in a while.

OK sorry back to giving thanks, I am so thankful to be on the way to getting better, I am wishing you all good health during this Thanksgiving week.
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November 17, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving Day - 10




Today I am incredibly thankful for my Facebook friends, both new and old. You guys are great and are always there for me, and I appreciate that. I may not be able to list all of you but I do want to name a few who stand out.







Shelly Chandler - sister you are always there for me and I love you for that.
Stevie Williams & Tara Lee Cox - helped me get over being camera shy, and make me LMAO, my Stickam/FB Twins.
Michal Henderson  - Mikey your enthusiasm for learning brightens my day.
Dee/Tip Toe Chick - Women you are just awesome and that's all that needs to be said.
Lisa Cunningham - Lisa you where the person who got me re-enthused about losing weight, thank you.
Joanna DeVoe - You get me, and you inspire me and you my friend KiCK aSS

These are just a few and if your name is not on that list do not worry I love and appreciate you all.


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November 16, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 9

Today I am thankful for Music! Music is an amazing thing, it's the soundtrack to our lives; there is always a song to go along with every feeling, emotion, and memory we have.

There's the song that takes you back to the good old day, or the song that reminds you of a past love, the song that is special to you and your spouse, the song that reminds you of who you are or who you want to be.

We have songs or music that is special to us, music that can either lift us up or bring us to tears so in honor of that I will be turning up my music and driving my daughters crazy LOL.

Have a great weekend my friends.

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November 15, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 8

Today I am thankful for my Best Friend Laura, she is always there for me when I need her no matter what and I for her. The last few weeks have been rough on both of us but we stood strong and stood together and made it through.

Laura I Love You Sister, Your The Best.


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November 14, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 7

Today I am thankful for the bad things in life, because with out the bad we can't appreciate the good.
    OK so I decided to make a list of a few bad things in my life and what good they have taught me...

                     Bad                                                                                     Good
                  Diabetes                                           Taught me to eat better, and take care of myself
              Spousal abuse                                   Taught me to be strong & appreciate my 2nd hubby
spoiled children in public places                       Taught me my kids are angles, at least in public
            processed foods                               Taught me how much I love fresh vegetables and meats
I'm better than you Christians                  Taught me to not judge others and to stand up for my beliefs 


So you've seen what's on my list what's on yours?


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November 13, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 6

Today I am thankful for the Phases Of The Moon, but in particularly tonight's New Moon.


The New Moon is when the moon and the sun are in perfect alignment therefor hiding the moon. The duration of the New Moon is 3 days.

The New Moon is a time of new beginnings, it's a time to start new projects, set new goals, etc. The New Moon is also a time for magical workings in divination, love, and prosperity.  This would be a good time to reset crystal grids, start your year and a day, or maybe to begin a course of study.

The New Moon is also a good time to cleanse the negative energies from your home so you can have a fresh start to the month(new moon to new moon).


Tonight I will be doing a simple ritual(if you can call it that) that I do on the Esbats, it involves candles and meditation, I will also be setting up a new crystal grid and as always I will be using a sage stick and dragons blood to cleanse my home.

What are your plans for tonight?

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November 12, 2012

15 Days Of Thanksgiving - Day 5

Today I am thankful for.....


 The Wiccan Rede
Hear now the word of the Witches, the secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destinys pathway, That now we bring forth in the light.

Mysterious Water and Fire, The Earth and the wide-ranging Air,
By hidden Quintessence we know Them, and we will keep silent and dare.

The birth and rebirth of all Nature, the passing of Winter and Spring,
We share with the life Universal, rejoice in the Magical Ring

Four times in the year the Great Sabbat, returns, and the Witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candelas dancing, on May Eve and old Halloween

When daytime and nighttime are equal, when sun is at greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned, again Witches gather in feast.

Thirteen silver moons in a year are, thirteen is the Covens array,
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry, for each golden year and a day.

The power has passed down the ages, each time between woman and man
Each century unto the other, ere times and the ages began.

When drawn is the Magickal circle, by sword or athame of power,
Its compass between two worlds lies, in the land of shades of that hour.

Our world has no right to know it, and the world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there, the great work of Magic is wrought.

For two are the mystical pillars, that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of Nature, the forms and the forces divine.

And do what thou wilt be the challenge, so be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment, By Magick of old be it done.

Eight words the Witches Rede fulfill:
If it Harms none, Do what Thou Will!
 I am not Wiccan but I do love the final 2 lines of the Rede and I believe in them for the most part, in this world and in this life you can do anything as ling as you don't bring harm to others or yourself.

What is your take on the Rede?

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