Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Location change!

Recently, I've become dissatisfied with hosting my blog her at blogger.  Because of this I have decided to move my blog to and take it in a new direction with a fancy new layout and increased functionality.  I would encourage all of you, my lovely and wonderful readers, to join me there and watch the magic unfold in the new year.

The new domain of this blog is now:

I look forward to seeing you all there!

All my love,

Monday, November 8, 2010

So, I'm still really bad at blogging regularly...

School is kicking my ass and owns my soul.  You don't even want to know how many times I have uttered that phrase in the past month.  Between midterms and mid-term writing assignments, I have spent more time in the library than is healthy for any individual.  On the bright time, most of the library sessions happened with other people, so I wasn't completely disconnected socially, and I did make some friends in the process.  I also managed to get just about everything done, which relieves me to no end. -insert relieved grin here-

In witchy news - not a whole lot has been happening.  I am so behind on all of my pagan podcasts, and that academic crown of success mojo bag I was planning on making -- let's just say that it never ever happened, but I think I'll do relatively well this semester (I don't really know why though, the universe must be smiling on me while I get my shit together...).  I did very little that was formal for Samhain/Halloween (though I did tweet some pretty amusing things from my stint of people-watching in downtown Kent) but I'm working on getting back into the swing of regular witchy activities.

One positive and active witchy and womany thing I did begin was a moon journal.  I have decided to start journaling during my periods after reading an older edition of Christine Northrup's Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom that I snagged at my local used bookstore for a dollar.  I'm also re-reading Sue Monk Kidd's Dance of the Dissident Daughter, because I absolutely love that book, and have conveniently found a way to work it into a writing assignment in one of my classes.

On school, I'm also pretty excited about finally declaring my Women's Studies Major, and look forward to actually taking classes for it.  Next semester I will not be in Geneva, but will be here in Kent taking a feminist theory class, along with a special topics class concerning the female body in western culture.  Maybe then I'll be able to contribute to Heather Roberts' blog and/or podcast, which I keep talking about doing, but haven't. In fact, maybe I'll write a piece about moon journaling... hmmm.  I look forward to actually taking a class on feminism, and exploring feminist spirituality in a more academic way than I have been. (Up util now I've really just been reading things as I come across them, with no definite structure or direction to learning... coming at the topic from a different angle will undoubtedly help me to learn even more.)

Again, I'm really sorry that I'm terrible at blogging.  It seems like I'm blog-fading, but I am determined not to, and I plan on blogging again sometime this week, so look forward to it.  -insert wink here-

Friday, October 1, 2010

Academic slacking and a Kellianna Concert

Granted, the two of those things don't have anything to do with one another (unless you count me skipping my evening class to see her in concert... but you shouldn't)...   In any event, I saw Kellianna in concert at Goddess Blessed in Lakewood, OH tonight and it was absolutely amazing!  I got to meet and chat with Kellianna herself (which is way cooler than her responding to me on facebook... even though that's pretty epic) and listen to her lovely music! I walked away energized with chants and songs filling my head and with a pretty amazing CD, it's a collaboration and Kellianna only has something like 3 or 4 tracks on it, but the entire CD is really wonderful.

Needless to say all of my pagan friends are super jealous of me... hahaha  There was plenty of room for them even at the small venue and I had an excellent time!

In other news, this has been a crazy week emotionally for me (there are a whole lot of reasons for this, but I don't need to go into them).  As a result I think I skipped class on 5 separate occasions this week, which I never EVER do... Ah well.  I spent the time watching tons of movies with my roommate (zombies movies, no less... or horror) and just chatting/bonding with him in general.  In fact, one night a couple weeks back - shortly after I moved in - we were up really late after watching some movies and he [randomly] tells me that he wants to burn sage in the apartment to cleanse it.  I was most definitely on board and we spent a half hour going over the entirety of our apartment with various types of burning sage! Anywho, I'm pretty enthusiastic about my living situation presently, very very exciting.

Also, my apologies for no posts in September, I am terrible at this blogging consistently thing. I hope to improve, we'll see how that goes.  Haha.  Until then, all my love to all of you!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In school (mostly)... my blog mojo is still all out of whack.

In the past 3 days I have
 - packed most of the things I need to live into boxes,
 - moved those boxes into my new apartment,
 - unpacked everything,
 - stressed in ways you cannot believe because my textbooks were all wrong for 2 of my classes
 - fixed crazy textbook messes
 - went to my first class
 - finished reading Susan Robert's Witches U.S.A. (More on that later!)
 - and a whole lot of other things that my heat-addled brain can't think of

Did I mention that I don't have air conditioning in my new apartment?  It sounds really silly but my parents keep the house like a refrigerator in the summers and now I have a ceiling fan and a little floor fan in my tiny new bedroom.  Also, my new roomie (bless him really... I mean, I don't even know the guy and he consented to having me move in on super short notice...) uses the oven at least once a day, if not more! (And for silly things too, like making toast in the morning.  Seriously, I'm bringing him a toaster ASAP.)

It's all wonderfully fine though, because this all means that I don't have to commute an hour each way four days a week for school!  This lets me continue to live in the college-esque lifestyle which I was accustomed to last year of staying up late certain nights and seeing people (oh, and that seeing people thing... evidently I have this thing called a 'social life' that involves actual people and not just me sequestering myself in my room all the time, which is total news to me).

So yeah, the mundane things are working out as well as can be expected given the minimal amount of effort I've been putting in.  On the magical front things are slow... but that slowness isn't necessarily bad, it just means that I have little cause to do big magical workings.

One of the things I have wanted to get around to doing is to make an Academic Crown of Success Mojo Bag a la Cory over at New World Witchery.  I picked up some High John the Conqueror Root at a local new age shop in Lakewood, OH, sadly they were out of my favorite incense... The Frankincense I picked up at Goddess Elite, because I absolutely love that store, I also picked up some Anna Riva Oils, but I'm not a big fan of how most of them smell.  Of the 3 I purchased that day I think the Candle Dressing Oil is my favorite, and by far the most useful (sadly, I wasn't pleased by the pine oil, which was the initial intended oil purchase).

As far as need goes for the mojo bag: I need all the other ingredients on the list, but the only one I think I'll have difficulty finding in this area is a good Crown of Success Oil.  I could get one custom blended for me, but that seems awful pricey and I am but a poor college student.  I'll have to make some calls to places in the area, but the staff at the shops in the Kent area have all been very helpful in the past, so I might have some luck there.  Everything else is easy-peasy.

Joe Pye Weed a.k.a Gravel Root

On a related note, I now know what Joe Pye Weed is, and can easily identify it/wildcraft it in a ton of places in this area.  Yay plants!  And the witchy things WILL pick back up, I swear.  I'm actually getting some hopefully fabulous home-made incense from a friend of mine on Wednesday when we're hanging out to talk shop and eat delicious food somewhere.

Alas, it is now very late and I have an early class tomorrow.  I promise to post more often and be more coherent when I post!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garlic Honey and Nourishing Comfrey Infusions

Today I spent a good chunk of my afternoon with Iolair (aka - Ben) and we decided to wander around in Olmsted Falls in a quaint little shopping area called Grand Pacific Junction.  They had a couple of little places I'd heard about, like a tea shop and a yarn store as well as an apiary peddling local honey and bee-related products.

Jorgensen's Apiary in Olmsted Falls, OH

Jorgensen's Apiary opened it's Olmsted Falls location in 2004 and sells a variety of honeys made locally in Oberlin, OH.  I was really excited to purchase some locally produced honey and to support a small local business, so Iolair and I each walked out with 16oz of honey and a bunch of honey sticks for munching on. (On that note... I can really only tolerate buckwheat honey in small quantities, as Ben will attest to, because it is quite potent and dark.)

Since I've been on an herbal sort of a kick lately (due to all the time I spend reading things by Susun Weed) I decided to make a garlic infused honey with my purchase.

Garlic Honey is used to help resolve colds,coughs, sore throats and sinus infections.  It is very simple to make and has a shelf life of up to a year. (To me, the 'shelf life' is really just common sense: if it looks, smells or tastes bad/different after too long, it probably is bad...)

Freshly made Garlic Honey

I really like Susun Weed's approach to garlic honey, which is to make it in as few steps as possible.  For this batch I used a whole bulb of garlic, separated the cloves and brushed off the flaky outer skin.  Some people suggest peeling and chopping the cloves... but if it works without all that, why bother?  (And I can then pop whole cloves of honey infused garlic into my mouth, instead of little pieces!)  I added this to a pint mason jar and filled with 16oz of honey (the whole bottle)  -- I was a little disappointed it didn't fill to the very top, but next time I'll buy a bigger jug... Evidently, the honey is good to go in 24 hours but I think I'll let mine mellow until the garlic sinks to the bottom.  This should be good for me as I have a tendency to catch seemingly random summer colds, so I am quite excited!

Today, Ben and I also strained and sampled the Comfrey Infusion I made last night.  Comfrey, also called "knit bone" is rich in proteins, folic acid, vitamins and minerals and is a really nourishing plant all around. I learned how to make nourishing herbal infusions by reading some of Susun Weed's books (really, this post should be titled "I made some herbal things Susun Weed teaches people how to make.") and they are absurdly simple.  For any infusion the ratio is simply 1oz (by weight) of the dried herb to 1qt of water, steeping the herb for 4 hours or overnight.

Comfrey Infusion before straining.

After it has steeped the infusion should be strained (unless plant parts in your drink is something you like... in which case, have at).

The straining process.

We abandoned the actual strainer because me trying pour liquid through that seemed like it could turn pretty messy pretty fast.  Instead we opted for a funnel and a coffee filter (no cheese cloth on hand, but that would work too).

Strained and ready to drink.

Once it was strained we sampled it... It is indeed a very astringent sort of brew, so we threw in a peppermint teabag for taste and it was not unpleasant to drink.  we managed to collectively get through half the quart in seemingly no time at all and could easily get through a quart in a day together.

Comfrey Infusion v2
We ended up making a second quart to get through the rest of the week (though it may just end up being consumed by me... who knows what Iolair's schedule is going to do to him for the next few days), this time we added the peppermint to steep overnight.

Looking back, this post isn't exactly 'witchy' but Comfrey and Garlic both have some magical correspondences and properties, which I didn't really feel like researching before writing this.  They can easily be looked up, which can make the process of fixing these nourishing herb goodies more magical than they already are.

Also, we were in a picture-taking sort of a mood when we got home (can you tell?), this is probably due to the fact that we didn't have a camera earlier in the day when were in this neat little park and really wanted to take photos...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

YAY, I won a giveaway!

In April, The Wizardess EPI over at the Go out beneath the naked night blog did a series about menstruation called Bloody April.  She posted a giveaway for My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, which is a collection of stories from women around the world about their first periods, on Velvet's vvB32 Reads blog.

So I was one of the 7 winners of this book, it's very exciting as I've never won a giveaway before and I can't wait for it to come in the mail! :)  A big thanks to Velvet for putting together the giveaway, it's pretty wonderful!  The book should be a real joy to read, and I may end up lending it to my niece when she comes to that age.

Maybe I should have a giveaway eventually... hmmm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Podcast Mania and Kellianna!

Despite how busy I should be right now (in the midst of finals week... I don't want to think about that French final I took today...) I am back with another post!

I finally got around to listening to Episode 68 of The Wigglian Way (which was out before Beltaine but I just got to it tonight) as a backdrop to studying for a final.  It was another great episode, I adore Sparrow and Mojo and they had a great interview with Kellianna, a fantastic pagan artist whose music I love.  To paraphrase Mojo: when you hear a Kellianna song once, you hear it for the rest of the day.  This episode of course reminded me that Kellianna is having a concert in my area.  She will be performing at Goddess Blessed in Lakewood, OH on September 20th, which is super exciting! I still need to pick up a ticket for it, but if anyone's going to be in the area and sees me there, feel free to say hi.  :D  (Also, I love that Kellianna listens to classical music on NPR...)

So, for your listening enjoyment, here is a Kellianna song:

On another podcast related note, I've added a new pagan podcast to my list: New World Witchery. I've known about New World Witchery since they started, but wasn't really interested in listening tons of podcasts.  Now the idea of a podcast about paganism and witchcraft in North America really intrigues me and I'm excited to get through the rest of their episodes (there are only 9 with a couple of specials, so it's relatively easy to catch up).  Like I've said previously, I really enjoy podcasts with two hosts so that's a big plus for me, and they cover some really interesting topics, and they list tons of references and resources in all their show notes.

Also, since I've already given a shoutout to Mojo, I should probably mention TLS, or The Lovely Sara as she has put out the third episode of HedgeFolk Tales which should be extremely enjoyable, as the first two episode of HedgeFolk Tales were.  And I love reading Sarah's blog at the Witch of Forest Grove because every time I go on her website I am inspired to do crafts of my own, and the things she creates are absolutely beautiful!

Another podcast which I have not had the chance to listen to yet is the Standing Stone & Garden Gate podcast, which also looks promising.  It only had 12 numbered episodes so it should also be easy to catch up on, I'll post more about it once I've gone and started listening to it.  As an added bonus, their website looks cool and has lots of links for casual clicking.

Since I'm on a podcast kick here, I might as well keep talking about the pagan podcast Iolair and I are planning and might actually have time to do, given school is soon to be over for me.  We've got even more crafts queued up for doing over the summer, and all of them have some sort of tie-in to spirituality/paganism/witchcraft.  We're both really excited to venture into the world of podcasting (so I should probably keep in mind that I need to figure out all the technical bits...) and we can't wait to put out an episode!  We're also thinking about starting up an Etsy shop to sell some of the things we make, but that all depends on how the crafting actually goes once we start.  Just a little update, in case anyone remembers or was interested...

So, now that I've talked myself out (and I still have more things for my next post) I will leave you with these podcasts and some music.  Also, isn't this a gorgeous picture of Kellianna?

Now, back to studying, I'll probably be back sometime tomorrow (amidst writing a twelve page paper... lol) with another post!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thunderstorms, Gardening, Finals and way too much Dr. Quinn...

Sorry I haven't put up anything in a while!  The end of the semester is drawing near so I've naturally been rather busy with school and figuring out my living situation for the next school year.

For the past few days we've been having thunderstorms in my area, which pleases me to no end! :)  I laid out in my front yard today and watched the storm blow in, which was probably the most relaxed I've been in the past two weeks.  I also found a really cool photography shop on Etsy at RRobert's Photography, this is one of my favorite prints:

I really adore thunderstorms and watching them over the past few days has reminded me just how much I love the spring and makes me all the more eager for school to let out.

Also, I've been meaning to do a little planting as I am at my parent's house for the weekend. My plants from last year are coming back up nicely, though they do need re-potted.  I'll edit this post with some photos as soon as I take pictures of them.  I want to start some medicinal plants so that I can start crafting infusions, salves and other herbals that are also practical and not just magical.  I've been really inspired by the Wise Woman Tradition and now have a whole list of practical books that I want to read, use and share.

For the past few days (well, weeks really) I've also been having near constant marathons of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, which is a show I absolutely love for a whole host of reasons.  First, it's essentially a pioneer soap opera (and I do so enjoy fictionalized drama), it is also a really nice depiction of the west and of wilderness in general.  There is also some nice exposure to Native American practices and beliefs (the episodes that feature such rites and traditions are probably my favorite episodes in the series) as well as those of other cultures (like the few episodes where the town is exposed to Asian belief systems), which I find really interesting and cool.

Recently, I was discussing Dr. Quinn with a friend of mine, and amidst my commentary on the drama of the show (which I cannot deny loving) he hit on a very salient point for both of us: as the show progresses the west becomes more and more modernized, which we both found very depressing.  I think this speaks to a more general view that we both share (and that several of my friends share) that modern advances and civilization are not always preferable to us.  Don't get me wrong here, I am a big fan of certain modern conveniences, but I feel they've led to a massive overpopulation of the majority of the world and have shifted our daily focus away from the natural world, which saddens me.  Dr. Quinn is still a really great show, despite that little fact, and I would encourage you all to watch some of it, because there is really quite a lot to each and every episode.

Now that I've had my little ramble, I will depart for now as I have plenty to do before finals, but I can't wait until Thursday when I will be free!  I should be back within the next day or so to edit this post with pictures of my re-potted plants and perhaps to clean up some of what I've written to clarify, until then, bright blessings!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Celebrating the Feminine

Today was a day where I channeled my super-feminist or just tapped into my womanhood and read/found some really excellent things on the internet.  I feel like all women who are interested in feminine spirituality would take interest in the following links, and men are also welcome to view them and may also enjoy them.

First, I must give a shout-out to the Bloody April series that is currently going on at the Go out beneath the naked night blog, where she is dedicating the month to menstruation.  Looking no further than this I have to give the blog a plug, I don't think nearly enough women talk about their monthly cycle, and I think in the mindset of a lot of people (be they witches or not) the subject remains a cultural taboo.  She has brought up a number of interesting topics so far, and I look forward to what the rest of the month brings.

In this spirit of embracing the wholeness of being female, I did some poking into other areas of feminine spirituality and stumbled across Susan Weed's Wise Woman Weblog, where she has recently posted a great radio interview with Astrid Grove where they talk about midwifery and 'womb space', which is a neat term that was seemingly coined by Astrid which sums up the heart of our being as women (it was conceptualized to be sensitive to those women who may have had hysterectomies, but I think it sounds a lot nicer than just talking about your uterus).  There are also some other great radio interviews with other inspirational women there.

And, since I am really interested in menstruation as a cultural topic, I have decided to seek out Thomas Buckley's Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation; they have it at the university library (2 copies!) so I'll be picking that up along with source material for a U.S. Foreign Policy paper I have to write for school.

Speaking of books, have I praised Sue Monk Kidd's Dance of the Dissident Daughter recently?  It is an absolutely fantastic read, and provides so much food for thought.  The shift away from traditional Christianity and towards the sacred feminine really has the power to resonate with so many women.  It is a lovely book, and I may have to reread it now. :)

I may add to this as I find more links, books or videos of interest (some video clips would add visual interest to the post after all). And I know I am indeed celebrating the feminine, which I am entitled to do as a woman, and there may be some similarly female-centered posts here in the near future.  I do however, have a little something on the back burner to restore some gender balance, so I look forward to seeing that come to fruition as well!

Also, something really lovely that Susan Weed said, "every woman has her true voice"... I hope I am moving in a direction that will let me find mine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blog fodder!

Wow, don't you just love online pagan social networking?  -coughPaganSpacecough-  The live chat function seems to just provide me tons of material which I will deem 'blog fodder'!

Now, I don't often go on PaganSpace, but boy the chat has been interesting today.  Here is a list of some things that irk me:

  1. People share information that, to me, is way too personal to share with people in a public chat forum on the internet, and then bitch and complain when people don't take them seriously and get all rude and whatnot.
  2. The so-called friends of the people who are sharing the personal information are openly willing to meddle in that whole social thing with hexing and bad wu wu. (Which I don't think is entirely ethical because you'd be stepping in on someone's behalf...)
  3. Also, those so-called friends are ready to cast spells all willy-nilly to 'help' the people sharing the uber-personal information "with or without permission" because "it's all good, so it doesn't matter".  (Which I also don't agree with because I'm very much about asking people before I will do an actual spell for them... well wishes are fine and dandy, but actual spell work should only be used when necessary...  The best witches are the kind that know how not to use magic, after all.)
  4. Lastly, but I could probably write a hell of a lot more, everyone is all up in everyone else's business, and there are tons of gossips who fill everyone in if they even look quizzically at their computer screen. 
The experience was both irksome and mildly amusing, depending on the mood I was in at the moment.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Self-discipline and journaling... also, thoughts on a BoS

I've been reading blog posts and discussing the topic of the Book of Shadows lately and it made me start thinking about my goals for a BoS.

I, like a ton of other people, really want the picturesque, plucked-out-of-some-well-done-witch-film, tome that contains information compiled over a lifetime.  Something elegantly crafted and created that becomes a reflection of the person or persons involved in its making.  Alas, I am a college student.  While there are some absolutely gorgeous handmade blank tomes out there, it will be some time before I ever manage to purchase one, or get up the nerve to actually write things in it.

This admission leads me to the topic of journaling, and keeping detailed notes about my magical workings of all sorts.  I want to keep track of the crafts I do that relate to my path, the things I plant and harvest, recipes for incense, oils and food that all have spiritual tie-ins and the like.  However, I am terrible at actually keeping a journal, I've tried over my lifetime to write about the things that go on with me, my dreams, thoughts, you know... but I never manage to keep to it for more than a month or so (thus the whole 'self-discipline' thing)...

I have therefore resolved to use this lovely (albeit inexpensive) journal that I recently purchased a Michael's to start keeping track of the things I do.  If I run out of space, the journals are cheap, and their compactness should make them easy to tote around.  Then, once things like recipes and spells are polished and refined, they can be lined up to be put in the BoS that will eventually happen.  I like the idea of writing things down (even if I do keep electronic copies of a lot of witchy things I come across...) and taking note of how things evolve as my practice evolves.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring and an overdue story of when Starhawk came to Kent...

So spring is finally starting to arrive in Northeast Ohio, and frankly, I am so pleased.  I went outside and took some pictures of buds and new growth around my parents' house when I got home today... It's so exciting!

My cat was also around briefly, so I took this neat (and what to me is kind of artistic) picture of him... He is gorgeous.

Also, I realize that I haven't posted anything in ages, so I apologize.  That doesn't mean things haven't been happening in my life, because Starhawk came to the Kent campus in the beginning of March to give a lecture on "Women's Hidden Histories: Goddesses, Witches, Hags and Wild Women"... The lecture was okay (I don't mean to offend, but it was a lot of things I'd heard before, and she skipped over things I would have liked to hear more about...) and I met some really nice local Pagans, which is always a cool thing.  After the lecture (even though it was about 20 degrees outside) we went into this plaza outside the theater she gave the lecture in and danced a fairly large spiral dance which was amazing.  Then Starhawk had a book signing back inside, unfortunately my 20th Anniversary Edition of Spiral Dance was back at my parents' house and not in the city of Kent... Ah well.  I still had a lovely time and gained great respect for the Women's Liberation Collective for hosting such a prominent pagan speaker.

Other than that, things have been sort of slow, I picked up Clarissa Pinkola Estés' Women Who Run With the Wolves at a local used bookshop in Kent. I remembered reading quotes from her in another books that I really love, so I thought I'd pick it up (and for $5 you really can't go wrong).  School has been sort of busy and my Spring Break is fast approaching.

I hope to start posting more regularly again, I don't intend to blog-fade. ;)

Edit: I took some more pictures after dinner, enjoy!

I couldn't resist this picture of Misty outside. :)

And, not like it's at all related to Spring or Starhawk... but I adore when I come home at 2AM to see this:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Taking time to remember the natural order.

Today, as I was walking to class (which was a whole 10 minutes ago at the time of writing) I witnessed a truly magical sight.  Near a tree on campus there was a red-tailed hawk feeding on a squirrel.  I promptly brushed the snow off a nearby bench and sat for a good 20 minutes while I watched the hawk feed.

While this is not the actual hawk I saw, it is a fair representation.  I felt intrusive enough observing the bird feed.

To me, birds of prey are the most majestic.  There is an inherent power and intensity in a bird of prey that is beautiful and intoxicating.  While I watched the bird I was struck by the thought off how tragic it would be if animals like this were no longer common in nature.  It was a beautiful depiction of the natural order of things starkly contrasted by the surrounding buildings in which we are educated on abstract topics, many of human invention.  There is often a large disconnect between our everyday lives and nature.  Sometimes we are swept up in the semi-chaos of civilization and forget about nature all together.

Little things, like seeing a bird of prey feeding on its prey can be enough to ground us and remind us to respect and revere the natural world that we all come from, and the ways in which it has been corrupted.  I think now of a letter, sent by Chief Seattle of the Dwamish Tribe to President Pierce in 1855 which states a whole hosts of things far more eloquently than I ever could:

THE GREAT CHIEF in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return. But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do not so the white man may come with guns and take our land. What Chief Seattle says you can count on as truly as our white brothers can count on the return of the seasons. My words are like the stars - they do not set.

How can you buy or sell the sky - the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father's graves and his children's birthright is forgotten. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the redman. But perhaps it is because the redman is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to listen to the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But perhaps because I am a savage and do not understand - the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind itself cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented by a pinõn pine: The air is precious to the redman. For all things share the same breath - the beasts, the trees, and the man. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.

If I decide to accept, I will make one condition. The white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen thousands of rotting buffaloes on the prairie left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to the man.

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On podcasting, and the beginning of a new semester.

I really love listening to pagan podcasts.  Of course, I've plugged the Wigglians already on the blog here and they continue to be my favorite pagan podcast.  I regularly listen to several podcasts and a couple years back I wanted to start my own personal pagan podcast where I would discuss lots of things such as current events, basic topics in witchcraft, things that happened to me in my adventures in witchery, and what my friends were also going through while walking the path.

Thinking about this now seems a bit absurd because I was 17 at the time and still had so much to learn.  I still have a lot to learn, we should never stop learning, but now that I'm infinitely more independent than I was I feel the need to perhaps expand from the blog into the realm of podcasting.  I feel as though podcasting will be a whole new sort of way to discuss things and will be distinctly different from the blog.

Something I really love about podcasts (not just pagan ones) is the concept of having a co-pilot/co-host/partner with whom to converse throughout the podcast.  I feel as though this adds even more depth to the content of the podcast, a richness that can be more difficult to achieve by a solo-podcaster.

If you haven’t already guessed, Ben (Iolair from With My Lantern Held Aloft) and I are great friends (for example, in high school we were referred to as a singular Ben-and-Liz unit, you rarely got one without the other) and thoroughly enjoy talking about almost anything.  We were on the phone last night until about 2AM; I had to call him to comment on Episode 62 of The Wigglian Way, which led to lots of discussions and tangents.  I was reminiscing about my futile attempt at podcasting as a 17 year old witch and then Ben, like the freaking genius he is, comes up with the best idea: to do a podcast that incorporates paganism and crafting, specifically how the two can enhance each other.

It just seems so perfect. We both really love to make things and are always willing to experiment with new kinds of crafts. (Look forward to posts when our spring breaks overlap because we’re going to make candles and… something else, but I can’t remember what at the moment.)  It’s lovely to post about the witchy crafts one makes in their blog, and there is an abundance of that in the blog-o-sphere.  We were both of the opinion that podcasting would really be a great way to talk about merging crafts with the Craft and there are a whole lot of ways we could do that. (I think I'll dedicate a whole blog post specifically to other blogs/sites that incorporate paganism and crafting, so look forward to that soon, as I'll be sure to update it regularly!)

It's a really exciting prospect and we're both working together to solidify the ideas and concepts for the show.  There are also a myriad of technical details that need to be sorted out, so it will all need to happen in its time.  I know Iolair is busy with school right now and I have yet to settle into the rythm of things, so more on the prospective podcast soon.

Also, I started school on Tuesday!  Spring semester of 2010 at Kent State University in gorgeous Kent, Ohio! (Felt like a commercial just there...)  I'm really excited about this semester because I feel like all of the classes are going to be really interesting, if challenging. (For example, I do not look forward to spending my Spring break writing a paper and crafting a presentation...) All pessimism aside, it's going to be good.  My first two days have passed with only a few headaches and I remain optimistic!

I hope you are all doing well!  Also, if you have any sort of feedback in regards to the idea of a pagan-crafting podcast, please leave comments because I love reading them!

Until next time,

Ancasta (Liz)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kitsch, "muggles" and my approaching return to college...

Just finished watching that preciously mentioned episode of What Not To Wear and I really want to go shopping now... (Not that we can solely credit the episode for this, I mean, I am a 19 year old female and I so enjoy shopping...)  My response is, on the whole, positive.

They played into the whole witch trials thing at the beginning, and it was a tad irksome.  I figured it was going to be that way from the commercials for the episode, so I was prepared.  From what I gathered, they let the woman keep a few kitschy pieces for special occasions, and I approve of that decision.  Her wardrobe was kind of extreme (goth-tastic to the max) and she looked even more gorgeous in her new clothes and it seemed to be a very positive experience.  Edit: For example, here's a clip from the YouTub when they went through her clothing:

P.S. - I have those same witch-flying-across-the-moon pajama pants, and they are FABULOUS (but I don't wear them outside of my place of residence...)

It was an interesting hour (the commercials reminded me how much I detest television) and made me long for a kitsch section of my closet so much.  I don't often think about fashion aside from whether or not clothes fit my body (going shopping with friends that have nice tastes helps in the aesthetics department though).  This episode made me a) want to go shopping for some more cute clothes and b) made me think; one of the hosts said that everyone judges people [to some extent] based on the way they dress.  That still leaves a lot of room for kitsch, which I adore, and I'm glad that was recognized.

Lesson for today: witches (even if they live in Salem) don't need to dress all in black with pointy hats in striped stocking all the time (especially if they have to attend a PTA meeting).  And frankly, it's not "what everyone looks for when they go to Salem", it's come to the point that it's what everyone expects to see, which isn't really a good thing, in my personal opinion.

One thing did bug me during the show though: the use of the word 'muggle'.  Honestly, I've never heard anyone use that term seriously to describe anything "non-magical" or "non-witchy".  Also, the fact that the word's first major usage was in Harry Potter and is now being used by actual witches in a seemingly serious way was a little irksome (but I'll get over it).

On a completely unrelated note: I go back to college on Sunday!  I'm really quite excited for another semester with 2 concurrent political science classes and am really looking forward to my Intro to Cultural Anthropology class!  I do love school, when coupled with living by myself I find that I am extremely balanced and happy.  I can't wait to return to that state of being and back into my element of academia.  Most of my friends have already had a week or so of classes so the transition will be quite easy.  Being only an hour away means I get to see my family more, which is yet another blessing.

Best wishes and blessings,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Heh.  I just deleted four draft blog posts off my little blog-menu-thingy ranging in dates from later November '09 to three days from this post.  Eh, I start a blog entry and it seems all glorious and laced with my thoughts and opinions on lofty issues like feminism, loss or the past year and how it shaped my craft... then I realize that my ability to articulate on those topics since my winter vacation has started is really shitty.  Perhaps once I get back into the swing of college and sort out all the jumbled thoughts in my head you'll get some really thought-provoking entries out of me.  (That's right, I can only get my thoughts together when I'm in the midst of the chaos that is college...  Perhaps I overthink when I have all the time in the world to think.)

For now, let's talk about fashion!  That's right, TLC's What Not To Wear is making over a Salem witch, and I am really going to be glued to the TV on Friday night.  (That last bit sounded kind of pathetic when I typed it...)  Anywho, I'm excited to see how this show plays out in any case, it seems like the particular Salem witch they've chosen has quite a bit of witch-wear that I don't think Stacy London will like one bit.  (I might be really upset if they make her throw away striped stockings though, I mean... I've been wanting to buy some for ages just so I could wear them all the time and run around like a crazy person with my friends.)

Evidently, they're also playing into the whole Salem witch trials bit, which really doesn't surprise me.  From what I've read in other blog posts, the 'charade of bullshit' (blending modern day witchcraft and pageantry with a tragic historical... oh, just go read Albiana's blog post.  It's far more articulate than anything you'll get out of me at 2:30AM) is almost unavoidable in Salem...  If you think you can stand what that might turn into and if you can stand What Not To Wear, you could watch it so that if I write more about it I don't just sound like a lunatic, and it could prove to be a potential hour (or half hour?) of diversion.

Or, you could just catch the re-run if you're flipping channels on the weekend at some absurd hour of the night because you can't sleep (and don't feel like trudging outside through the snow/ice by yourself in the middle of the night in Northeast Ohio...).