Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!! Miss Me??

Well, after a long hiatus, I'm back. I just hate it when life gets in the way of the important things like blogging...lol!! No, seriously, in the past 2 months there have been a lot of changes going on with me. I ended one job and moved onto another that is giving me the freedom to grow as a hairstylist. Bills were being put on the backburner as I concentrated on getting rent & groceries paid, thus, I lost the internet.

During that time without being "connected" I did a lot of soul searching (after the withdrawals went away) and decided to make some changes in my life. I am eating healthier with hardly any junk food in my diet, I've been doing yoga on the Wii every morning with my son, I meditate more to feel the connection with the Divine, I've been drinking copious amounts of water to keep hydrated, I walk to & from everywhere to keep in shape (thanks to the Gaga on my iPod) and I am surrounding my self with positive people who aren't there to bring me down.

I have also been reading a lot while my youngling plays the Wii. I ordered a book a few months back from Little Mysteries and when it came in, I devoured it. It was right up my alley in terms of how I want to practice my beliefs. It is a book by Peter Paddon called, "A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk" If you're not into the whole Wiccan influence of Neo-Paganism, this is a great way start to change your whole perception of the Old Ways. There's no complicated rituals, no altars to worry about, just good old fashioned Crafting. I first heard of Peter Paddon by my good friend, Cliff. I glanced at his copy of the book the last time I was up at the Hollow and ordered it when I got home, along with a book by Robin Artisson called "The Ressurection of the Meadow" Still waiting on that to come in.

And now Yule is yet again upon us. Even though Samhain is my fav. time of year, I still get all warm & fuzzy with Yule. There's something magical in the air this time of year and I'm not talking about snow. My son is all excited with all the decorations, music, etc. I've been listening to Blackmore's Night on the stereo (Winter Carols). The tree is up, the Yule log ready, baking is almost done and the lights are up in the windows & on the patio. Another reason I like this time of year...my birthday falls just after the new year and as I get older, I relish the fact I don't look older ☺

Blessings,
Rowan
)O(

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Blog Awards

Thanks to Dragonfly over at Witchery Grove for these awards!! This brightens my day, when I have limited internet use & want to update my blog. There are rules for this, like thanking the one who gave these to you (I did) and now to find 15 blogs to send these to...ok, if you want these wards for your blog, just grab them and say that you saw them here (I know, that's a cheat, but when the library internet has a time limit, I do what I have to) and I have to say 7 things about me. Ok, here goes:
  1. I love the color purple
  2. I am a hair-witch (hairstylist)
  3. My guilty pleasure is the Twilight Saga
  4. I love to read
  5. I have a cat named Callie
  6. Chocolate is just as good as sex, in my opinion, but both sex & chocolate together is great!!
  7. I have a few close friends, but a lot of acquaintances that I talk to.
  8. I love being outdoors, in nature feeling the love of the Goddess in everything around me
  9. I am a Solitary witch & that's perfectly fine with me.
  10. I am the mom to the GREATEST little boy in the world!!!!!!!!!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Leave of Absence

Ok, I know that I haven't posted in a long time. There is a reason for this. As the recession hits the hair industry, I got behind on some bills and since internet is a luxury in my household, I lost it about 3 wks ago. I went through withdrawals, but now I am ok without not having it. I think I was spending too much time on it anyway.

There have been a lot of changes to my life in recent weeks with losing employment, to hunting for a new position to myself working on my spellcrafting. I have been preparing myself for a job-hunting spell, as well as getting things ready for my self-dedicating ritual I plan on doing very soon. I have been making new friends and connecting with old friends and whittling down my Facebook. I've been out & about with enthusiasm and learning new things/hobbies in my craft.

I will be posting as soon as I get the internet bill paid & start working. For now, I'll be utilizing the neighbourhood library for my internet fix.

Blessings to you all,

Rowan
)O(

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Major Decision I've Made


So, I decided the other night that I'm going to do something I think I am ready to do. After about 4 years of studying & learning (and I'm not even finished), reading, preparing, I am getting myself ready to do a Self-Dedicating ceremony. I feel that after these years of hard work I've committed into the learning process, I am ready to serve the God &Goddess wholeheartedly.

Now, I'm not big on doing the whole big ritual thing that a lot feel they have to do, when I do my ceremony, it will reflect me & who I am. I am an Eclectic follower of the Old Ways, I borrow from other Paths to make my own, but yet I still follow a certain pantheon of Deities. I also have a special place in my heart that resonates with me on a spiritual level that would be a perfect place to do this. It is in the wilds of NS, where nature is as bountiful as the ever-changing leaves on the trees. It is a place that I fell in love with the 1st time I visited there, a place that I felt a great connection to the Earth spirits and Gaia, Herself.

I am preparing myself for this by what I eat, how I conduct myself and with a lot of meditation with my guides to assist me. I do not know when exactly I will be doing this, I will just know when it's right.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cheap & Easy Samhain Decorations

Ok, I'm on a tight budget this year & can't spend a whole lot on Samhain decorations. I've been decorating my home, as well as my workplace. I've been re-using stuff from years gone by and I also came up with some new ideas from things around my house. For instance, you can take an ordinary black garbage bag and make a spooky entrance to you home (mine is on my patio).

Laying out a garbage bag with the open end facing you, cut into strips about 1" in width, without cutting all the way through to the other end. Leave about 1" at the top, as this is what holds it all together. When all the strips are cut, cut along both closed sides of the bag and along the top where the bag is joined. Pull & stretch the strips at varying lengths (careful not to stretch too much). Now this is ready to hang in your home or outside on a porch/patio.



Another thing I make is kitchen-catcher ghosts. These are made from those small Glad kitchen catcher garbage bags. I stuff the bag with crumpled up newspaper, about 1/4 the way up in the bag. Tie it off with some string. Then draw a spooky face on the front and cut strips down the length of the body. You can hang these on trees, from you patio railing, inside from the ceiling, etc. It's way cheaper than buying those ghosts at the store when you already have these in your kitchen drawers.

Here's something new for me this year. Get an old pair of white pantyhose, stuff it with a paper ball in the toe part. Drop in plastic spiders, cut to a desired length and hang from anywhere in the house. This looks like a huge spider's nest hanging around. Kinda gross. You can also make your own silhouettes for your windows. If you don't have any black bristol board, construction paper, use a black garbage bag. Tape the bag taut on a table, so it won't slip around on you. Use a spooky template or draw freehand a design. Using an Xacto knife, cut out the pattern and tape it to your window. For an extra creepy effect, use some green tissue paper as a backdrop. Just cover the whole window with it and voila!! Instant decoration.

These are some of the ideas I used this year to make Samhain a bit more "festive" in a sombre way. Happy decorating!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Samhain Shortbread

Here is my shortbread recipe I use at this time of year (ok, Yule, too) It was my grandmother's recipe and they are a good cookie to use with witchy cookie cutters. You will need:

  • 1 Cup butter (real butter, not margarine)
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Cream together in a bowl, the first 4 ingredients until light & fluffy. Then blend in the last 2 ingredients and combine well. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes with a floured cookie cutter. Bake at 300F for about 8-10 minutes. Add icing, sprinkles, etc for decoration.



















Thursday, October 7, 2010

Correspondences for Samhain


Symbolism: Third Harvest, wisdom of the Crone, death of the God, reflection on our place in the Wheel of the Year, New Year, reincarnation, the dark mysteries, Rebirth after Death.

Foods: turnips, apples, nuts, beef, pork, poultry, gingerbread.

Drinks: Mead, apple cider, mulled cider, mulled wines.

Herbs: Angelica, burdock, catnip, pennyroyal, rosemary, rue, sunflower, sage, thyme, wild ginseng, tarragon, mugwort.

Flowers: Calendula, chrysanthemum, cosmos, marigold.

Trees: Acacia, apple, cypress, hazel, hemlock, yew.

Incenses and oils: Bay, cedar, clove, copal, coriander, cypress, eucalyptus, frankincense, heather, mugwort, myrrh, patchouli, peppermint, sage, sandalwood, vetiver, wormwood.

Colors: Black, brown, orange.

Stones: Amber, beryl, bloodstone, carnelian, clear quartz, diamond, garnet, gold, granite, hematite, jasper, jet, marble, obsidian, opal, pyrite, rose sapphire, ruby, sandstone, smoky quartz, steel, tourmaline, turquoise.

Animals: Stag, jackal, cat, bat, ram, scorpion, heron, crow, robin.

Mythical creatures: Goblins, harpies.

Some appropriate Gods: all Death, Underworld, and aged Gods; Am-Heh (Egyptian), Anubis (Egyptian), Arawn (Welsh), Cernunnos (Celtic), Dis (Roman), Hades (Greek), Heimdahl (Norse), Herne (English), The Horned God (European), Kronos (Greek), Loki (Norse), Nefertum (Egyptian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Pluto (Greco-Roman)

Some appropriate Goddesses: all Crone and Underworld Goddesses; Arachne (Greek), Aradia (Italian), Babd (Irish), Cerridwen (Welsh), Elli (Teutonic), Ereshkigal (Assyro-Babylonian), Eris (Greek), The Fates/Moerae (Greek), Fortuna (Roman), Freya/Frigg (Norse), Hecate (Greek), Hel (Teutonic), Inanna (Sumerian), Ishtar (Babylonian), Macha (Irish), Mari (Basque), Morrigan (Celtic), Nephthys (Egyptian), Nicneven (Scottish), Persephone (Greek), Psyche (Greek), Proserpina (Roman), Rhiannon (Welsh)

Decorations: Autumn leaves, fall flowers, pomegranates, apples, pumpkins, ears of corn, sprays of grain, corn dollies, gourds, nuts, seeds.

Traditional activities: divination, drying winter herbs, feasting and partying to defy the coming darkness (bob for apples, roast nuts, pop popcorn), Witches' Ball.

Spell/ritual work: astral projection, past life recall, Dark Moon mysteries, mirror spells, scrying, protection, inner work, clearing obstacles, transition, culmination, transformation. Releasing bad habits and toxic relationships, illness, failure and poverty; everything you do not want to carry into the new year.

Monday, October 4, 2010

An Update

Blessings to you all this cool October day!! Haven't been blogging that much due to having a cold & feeling miserable. The weather's has been reeking havoc on me...one day humid & hot, the next cold & grey. I'm even late on decorating the place for Samhain...egad!!

Please bear with me as I up my vitamin intake, echinacea and whatever else to rid myself of this pesky bug.

~Rowan

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blessed October


Well, my favorite month is upon us and even though we are again going through a hot, sticky spell here in the East, the feel of autumn's chill is not that far off in my mind. I've been busy the past couple of week's, since the Mabon ritual, getting things ready for fall. Bread has been baked, decorations brought out & sorted and fabric is being sewn. Ok, I have had a wee bit of a distraction, but things are moving along as planned. I've also been aware around me the feeling of the veil getting thinner as those who have passed on before me are making their presence known. I get this feeling twice a year, not just at Samhain, actually, I can even feel them around Yule, as well.

This is my first posting on the topic of Samhain. During this most magickal month I will be sharing with you recipes, decorating ideas and whatever else I can pull out of my pointed hat. I was thinking about putting up a Samhain/Hallowe'en themed background, but every other witchy blog is doing the same thing from all the background sites and since I just got this one, I'm kinda partial to it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apples On A String...In this Case, Dental Floss


Over the weekend I had the opportunity to go to a local Mabon Ritual in Point Pleasant Park. It was a beautiful autumn day, the sun was shining, the air was warm, the sky clear. I arrived at the park an hour before the time scheduled, so I could go to my favorite little place where I like to be still with my thoughts. I saw a couple of birds splashing in the cool water a few feet away from me. I could feel the magic in the air already, I knew that this day was going to be special.

I had prepared earlier that day by making homemade mac & cheese for the potluck, some loaves of bread and getting things in order. I slipped into the bath for a ritual bath with some scented water, while my son played his math game on the computer. I did a meditation and asked the Goddess for a blessing. I was told that today I was going to meet some who would have an effect on me. With this is mind, I set out for the park with Heather Alexander on my iPod and a good book to read on the bus.

About the time when the ritual was set to start, no one was where I was waiting. Did I go to the wrong place in the park?? It seemed so, I looked on a map and saw that I needed to go to the other side of the park to get to the rit on time. It's a fact in the Pagan community that nothing really starts on time, but I still don't like to be late for anything. So, I hustled my butt across the park, uphill carrying my food. I finally found where I was to go, thanks to a couple dressed in their robes setting up the ritual space. I went over to a picnic table and set down my food and sat down where a friend offered me a bottle of water. I was kinda sweaty & out of breath from rushing to get there.

After a bit, we got things rolling by casting the circle, whilst chanting. This was a different take on the ritual as it was a Dionysian type ritual. At one point after hearing the story of Pomona, we all were given an apple half with a coin (wrapped in saran wrap) pushed inside the core, hanging by a thread. We had to try to get the coin out of out neighbor's apple with as few bites as possible, taking turns. What a way to get to know the person standing next to you...mine just happened to be the guy I was on a blind date with.

After the ritual ended, we all sat down to where ever there was a spot free to eat all the delicious food from Earth's bounty (or the local grocery store). There were meats, cheeses, breads, hummous, corn bread, etc. This was a feast!! For the desserts there were apple crisp, cinnamon rolls, cake, apples, etc. My poor stomach was not a huge as my eyes, but I tried a bit of everything.

The people at the ritual were very nice, and someone from my facebook came over to talk to me. She was cool, we shared a few laughs while we ate. Talked about the joys of dating again, in front of my blind date. I just hope he didn't feel awkward about out discussion. I don't think he did, as he was putting his 2 cents in, too. So, overall, I had a great day at the ritual, learned some new things, met some cool people (blind date incl) and lots of laughs (even during the ritual).

~Rowan

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mabon

Ok, so I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to do this year for Mabon. I may be going to a public ritual this Saturday, if I can get my son's father to look after him for a little bit while I go do this. I usually don't do the whole public ritual thing, as I usually practice solitary, but I think it would be interesting to see how others celebrate the harvest (this is the 2nd harvest celebration on the Wheel). I was at the location the other night, a bit breezy with wind coming off the water, hoping my new robe I made won't get lit up ☺

I have also been invited to a little ritual on the day of the actual Sabbat, next Thursday, with a few friends. Not sure if I can make it. I would like to go, but I still have my son with me. It also is a full moon that evening and I have some things I need to do, that I usually do solitary when I combine Sabbat rites with Esbats. Just a little dilemma for me. Don't get me wrong, I love being with friends, but I am a little self-conscious about how I do my thing. I know, get over it, right?? This is something I am trying to do. Under my skin is still a shy person lurking.

The Burning Times Documentary

Ok, last night I was a little bored, so I started surfing around on YouTube. I found a 6-part documentary from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Looks like it was made in the 80's or the early 90's. I thought that I would share this with you all. The beautiful music is performed by Canada's own, Loreena McKennitt. Enjoy!!

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A New Award!!


After coming back from the Dollarama, I saw that I was left this lovely award from Marci over at Our Frugal Pagan Home. What a sweetie-pie!! Not to mention we have tha same great taste in blog backgrounds, too.

So, here is a list of my top ten things I ♥love♥ in no particular order, except #1:
  1. My son, he is my everything
  2. My family
  3. My pretty girl, Callie
  4. My home
  5. My friends
  6. Blogging (almost) everyday
  7. Chocolate!!
  8. The cottage
  9. Going to Twa Corbies' Hollow
  10. TWILIGHT!!! esp. Rob Pattinson

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Ode to the Autumn Equinox

I found this last night before going to bed. I find this to be very beautiful and it does bring a tear to my eyes (yes, I'm a softy at heart). I hope you enjoy this, too. ~R

Do You Say Grace??

So, on my way to work yesterday I was listening to the Crooked Path Podcast on my iPod. I had just downloaded some of them to listen to while walking to work, they're very interesting as they have a different take on Paganism, not just the "fluffy, love & light" side of things.

Anyway, Peter (Paddon, that is) brought something up on his episode about sacrifice about saying a type of Grace before we eat. This was something I never really thought of until lately in my life. It was something I never did as an Anglican/Episcopalian, but while I was reading a novel where Paganism was the main religion, they said Grace before every meal.
NOTE: Kate West was an influence on the author & helped him with things Pagan. Thanking the Gods for what we put into our mouths is another way of connecting with them. Also, thanking the animal's spirit whose meat we are eating (if you're not a vegetarian) and for thanking the Great Mother for the bounty of the produce we have, as well. I know a lot of you may be thing that saying Grace is a Christian thing, but in a way, they have that right by thanking their God for what they have, but there are also cultures who aren't Christian who thank their Gods, too.

Here are a couple of examples of a Pagan food blessings:


I Thank thee Great Goddess

For the bounty before me

A gift of thy great abundance.

Thank you for sustaining my life.

I receive your gift of food in gratitude.

OR

Lord and Lady, watch over us,
and bless us as we eat.
Bless this food, this bounty of earth,
we thank you, so mote it be.


These are just a few that I have found in the past couple of months. If you don't feel comfortable saying Grace before your meal, you can always have a moment of silence before eating.


~Rowan

)O(

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Look!!

Ok, I've been fiddling around with new layouts and I think I found one that I am happy with. This is called Gothic Irish (??) and I like how it resonates with me & my blog.

Been really busy with things in my personal life, school started for my son & work is really busy. I did manage to get some new Hallowe'en magazines today. I have a few ideas to make for my Samhain altar using smaller gourds as candle holders (thanks, Martha Stewart) and I will be getting things ready to sew a new altar cloth with my new sewing machine (yay!!) I just have to pick which fabric to use.

As the veil starts to get thinner again, I will be posting pix of the crafts I will be making, as well as any recipes I'll be making.

~Rowan
)O(

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where is Autumn??

Ah, September is upon us. When there would be a hint of autumn in the air, it is 34C/93F with humidity. Not very fall-like at all. The reason for these high temps?? Where I am living there is a hurricane coming...Hurricane Earl, to be exact. Hurricane Danielle missed us, but not before she left us with all this hot, sticky heat. Ugh!

So, to get me in the autumn mood, I decided to switch up the layout on here & over at Rowan's Book of Shadows. I found a bunch of new templates and I want to use them all. I still have some cool Samhain ones that I'll put up in 30 days.

I can't believe that summer is winding down. It seems like it was yesterday when I first went to Twa Corbies back in May and helped with the summer planting and now Cliff is finishing up harvesting the gardens and soon he will be going bow hunting...Mmm, venison.

Looking back over the past 3 months, a lot has happened to me: my cat got sick & died, my mother had a quadruple bypass, visited the Hollow 2 additional times and struggled with my son's autism...all on top of the mundane things like working at the salon, paying bills and trying to have a love life.

Happy September 1st!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Newest Acquisition

So, I was out last week looking for some more books on Autism when I happened into a store in the mall that has begun putting out Hallowe'en decorations. This had caught my eye and they only had 4 in stock, but I couldn't afford to get it 'til I got paid.

Yesterday, while going back to school shopping with my son, I went back into the store to see if they had any left. They did!! They had 2 left and I grabbed mine. It was my 1st purchase of the season and it is something I won't be taking down anytime soon. Of course, it's hanging on my closet door knobs in this pic 'til I find a more perfect place for it.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Enhancements or Fluff??

NOTE: This is my opinion, not the way it should be. If you get offended, this is an opinion only.

I've been on this Pagan journey for the better part of 18 yrs, while actively practicing for the past 4. Back when I was in college & exploring this path, I became enthralled with it. The mythologies, Deities, pantheons resonated with me on a level I never knew in my strict Anglican upbringing. I eagerly gobbled up what I could find on the Old Ways. In my naivete, I read books by less-than-stellar authors ($RW, for example) and in those early days of the internet, whatever I could find on the slow dial-up at the library.

There was a few things that I couldn't grasp in Paganism. Why was everyone so eager to jump on the crystal bandwagon?? When I look back to history and how the cunningfolk did things, they used what was around them: plants, kitchen implements, etc I don't think that they had access to crystals, like we do today and the means to extract crystals from the Earth is a harmful method. Why should we do harm to the Earth in order to aide on our path? Seems pointless to me. During the 20th century it has crept into Paganism from the New Agers. I do understand that there is a fine line between Neo-Paganism & the New Age movement, even books on Paganism are found in the New Age section in bookstores. Even in the Pagan bookstores, there is a huge crystal section. I try to honor the Deities with how I live, I am not be a person who has to do a ritual for everything or for every Esbat & Sabbat, but I do things that I feel are right for me.

I've tried to read books on crystals & their properties, what their correspondences are, which Diety they go with, but I never "got it" It never made sense to me. I know that to a lot of you, having a quartz or a piece of selenite as part of your workings works for you and that's great if it does. To me, they look pretty on an altar. I have tried working with crystals, but there was no spiritual connection there for me. So are crystals an enhancement to your practice, or something that was read in a book suggesting that you use them?

Ok, if that didn't squish your toes enough, how about Reiki. I see a lot of people using this form of Japanese healing to go along with their Pagan path. Reiki is great, I've tried it, very relaxing and refreshing to the energy field. But, along with crystals, it became popular with the whole New Age movement, where bodily energy fields became the "thing" to work with. I do know that in the Craft, we work with energy fields, but did the cunningwoman use a form of "laying on of hands" (to borrow a Christian term) to help those in need of her wisdom? I see that she may have used the herbs & plants around her to help with her workings/healings. Magic is working with the energies around us for a multitude of things. Reiki is a relaxation technique that also promotes healing. It was developed in 1922 by a Japanese Buddhist and is used by a multitude of Pagans, but is not Pagan in origin, nor is it an ancient practice. So, I ask my question again, is this an enhancement to the Craft or just more New Age fluff that is making its way into Paganism? I find a lot of Pagans using things to enhance their path, but I wonder if this due to the large influence the New Age movement of the past century had on modern Paganism. Besides crystals, I have heard of the use of pyramids to keep one centered, the idea of people being defined as Indigo, Crystal & Rainbow, to use as some examples.

I was asked why I am against Paganism & Wicca. I'm not against Paganism, just the fact that it has gotten away from its roots. I'm also not against Wicca, just I have issues with Gardner & his thievery of other Hermetic orders to come up with a religion that is as rigid as some Christian faiths. As I stated at the start of this posting, this is my opinion and not the way it has to be, I may have stepped on toes, I may even have offended some, but I see no use for New Age things in my beliefs. I come to honor the Deities, live in harmony with Mother Gaia and I don't need pretty colored rocks to aid me or someone to place their hands in my energy to heal me. Does that make me cynical? Perhaps, but I like to think of it as getting back to the good old days of being Pagan, which a lot of us have forgotten to do.

I Will Be Posting

Sorry, I haven't blogged much last week on here. I was busy with my other blog about my son & his Autism. I'm starting to get that blog set up the way I like it with widgets, & etc. When I get home from work later today I will be posting a topic that may cause a stir. I want to know when all this New Age stuff got mixed in with Paganism, like crystals, Reiki. I want to know when we needed all this extra stuff in our Craft. Is it really an enhancement or just fluff??

Stayed tuned.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Projects...Part Deux

Ok, I just started this last night. It is something I've been mulling around for a little while now. I started another blog...yes, another one. This is one is on my mundane account. It is a blog about Autism and how it affects my family. My son has ASD and I thought I would share with you my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and opinions on this HUGE topic. Check it out here.

~Rowan

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Projects


Well, I've been getting some things done this week that I am excited about. On my recent trip to Twa Corbies' Hollow, Natalia & I went out into the forest surrounding the Hollow in search of the perfect stave. Armed with her trusty hacksaw (the good one her dad likes) we came upon a slender Aspen that seemed perfect for me. She cut the tree down for me, even though I was more than capable to do it myself, and went over & found a good tree for hers. It had 5 branches that will hold an orb beautifully, like a magickal staff from a fantasy novel. After a little bit, we headed back to the house where we peeled off the bark and took off any excess branches. Since I have a stave made from a softwood, I had to make sure that no traces of the bark were to be found on the stave, as this will go moldy & gross. An Exacto knife worked perfectly for this.

My stave is a little over 4' with a little bend near the top (handrest?) with a cute little hole where a branch used to be (thumbrest?). Since my return from Twa Corbies', my stave has been drying out on my deck. Last night I started my sanding process to make my stave as smooth as a baby's bum. When I have completed it to my standards, I will ever-so-carefully carve into it sigils that will serve the stave's purpose, and put a couple of coats of a clear varnish. I was hoping I could make off with a strip of a leather thong that I had with me on the search for the stave, but it was needed by it's owner (dang!). It would've made for a great handloop.

The other day, while I played hookie from work, I had to go out to Walmart for some kitty litter and some sandpaper. While wandering the aisles, I headed to the craft section & sewing dept. All the fabrics & notions were on clearance. I guess Walmart is phasing out the sewing dept :( So, I looked to see how much the sewing machines were discounted. There weren't a lot left and I found a Singer that was originally priced at $150 marked down to $87. I'm not an expert sewer, but for my needs, this was perfect, so I grabbed the last one on the shelf & paid for it.


When I returned home, I immediately took it out of it's box and set it on my kitchen table and set things up, threaded some bobbins (black, white, red & pink) with what spools of thread I did have and I made a new pouch for my new deck of Tarot cards (the organza pouch will not cut it). Today, I'm thinking of going to the fabric store to see if they have any Hallowe'en fabrics that I can make table runners with. If not, I may get a pattern for a cloak to have for any rituals that I may attend this year (I'm thinking about becoming a bit more active in the local Pagan scene, but that's another post altogether). I am so excited with these 2 new projects, they are a welcome distraction to all the stress I have been experiencing lately.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Week's New Blog


Ok, So this week's new blog is Adventures of the Striped Socks. I just happened on it as I was going through some witchy blogs in blogland. There are musings of "Practical Magic" as well as reflections of the blog mistress, Celia. It is a wonderful blog and easy to read. She doesn't have a blog button, so I can't add a little picture of it here, but you should go check it out anyways.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How I Spent A Lazy Sunday


I decided that I would try my hand at baking bread. I haven't baked bread in over a decade and those loaves were considered lethal weapons (if ya know what I mean). The other day I went to my local bookstore and got a copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook. I figured it was time I amped up my cooking repertoire. The first thing I made was homemade mac 'n cheese, simple. Then yesterday, after returning from the Farmers' Market, I cooked up a lovely lamb steak for my son & I. 2 for 2 in the cooking dept.

Today I tackled bread making. The loaves you see pictured are Honey Whole Wheat. It took me about 3 1/2hrs to make them from start to finish.
My son was mommy's kitchen helper, doing the dirty dishes as I finished with them. He also helped pour in the flour as I mixed. Oh yeah, I don't have a bread machine (hate them) so this was done the old way. We played the Wii while the bread rose, to pass the time more quickly. I was worried that I didn't knead the bread long enough or if the dough was too doughy, anxiety when you're new to this whole bread making thing.

After cutting the dough in half
I made
2 tubes of dough that went into the pans. They had to rise again, so more Wii time for the 2 of us (btw, I kick butt at Wii bowling). After baking in the oven for 45 min, my apt smelled like heaven, the bread came out and cooled. Now mind you, being a natural blonde under my auburn hair, I only then realized that I should've been taking pix, so I grabbed my camera & got these 2 lovelies taken. My son & I had a few pieces of warm bread, butter melting with a drizzle of honey that we got yesterday at the Market. It was a great mid-afternoon snack.

To the lovely Goddess who aided me in the kitchen, there will be an offering of bread just for you tonight.

~Blessings,
Rowan
)O(

Dark Moon Blessings



I bless You now that You may aid
The energy flow as magick is made
I cast out negative energy
Leaving only the positive to live and breathe
Within you as I start this Rite
Blessed be in joy, love and light.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pix From The New Farmers' Market

So I headed out this morning to my city's Farmers' Market with my son. The market is in the process of moving into a new venue from the old one. The old venue is in a local brewery every weekend, but as more & more people go to it, a newer, bigger place was needed. Today was the 1st day of the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market. Because it is still under construction, it will be only open on Saturdays til it is completed, then it will be open both Sat. & Sun. and on Wed.

The place was huge!! There was close to 200 vendors, ranging from farms, to crafts and everything in between. I specifically wanted to go to the Dutchman's cheese booth. His family has been making homemade Goudas for generations and he is the most popular vendor there. He was located smack-dab in the center of everything. I bought a very nice Smoked Herbed Gouda...gold in my house. My son wanted fudge, as I am terrible at making it, so we headed over to a table where there was about 10 different varieties of fudge...we got 1 of each, plus some huge peanut butter balls, dipped in chocolate and rocky road bars. Next up was the Nova Scotia Honey table where I bought a jar of the sticky sweet stuff and a little honey comb for Mark to snack on. We sampled everything from homemade ice cream, to fudge, bread, sausages and even a little nip of NS Whiskey (ok, I did, not Mark). There was even a wall of plants that was 2 floors high. When we arrived we got a free Woolly Thyme plant, another to added to my collection of kitchen herbs.

Looking around, I was a little disappointed in the huge mark-up everything had. Just because it came from a farm outside the city, doesn't mean that you have to jack up the prices. Loaves of bread were selling for $5/loaf, I can make one for cheaper. Pints of highbush blueberries were going for up to $5/pint. I did manage to find some cheaper for $3/pint. I hope I'm not sounding cheap, but after spending the past wknd at Twa Corbies and being there when some of the planting was done, I know things didn't cost THAT much to grow and gas isn't that bad. The majority of those who go to the Farmers Market are the yuppy-types who have money to spend and the "granolas" who won't touch anything unless it's local. Chanterelle mushrooms were $4.50 for 1/2lb and herbs were selling for $20/8 herbs. A bit pricey for a single mom on a budget.

Even though I sound negative, I did enjoy myself. We went up on the mezzanine level & took pictures of the crowds, then went to the old venue where there are some vendors there selling. I bought some really huge bath bombs that were reasonably priced and some more blueberries.







Thursday, August 5, 2010

My New Tarot Deck

Ok, so I'm at the bookstore the other day when I happened upon a Tarot deck that caught my eye & wouldn't let go. So, like any resourceful witch, I used "Girl Math" to figure out if this would be worth while for me to get. I figured the deck was $24.95 and learning a deck would cost me about a day (or less) to learn and factoring out the joy it would bring me (priceless) I bought it.

The deck is full of wonderfully designed artwork, that the artist did using her Deviant Art account. She used real models for each of the 78 cards and added in digital enhancements. Now I know Tarot has entered into the 21st century. This is a beautiful deck, very airy feeling. The only drawback I find is that each card is based on the Rider-Waite deck. I only have one deck out of my 5 that strays from this formula: The Vampire Tarot by Nathalie Hertz.






Treasures From The White Lotus

On my recent jaunt to Twa Corbies this past weekend, we took a little trip into New Glasgow, a small town on the north shore of NS. They have a cute little Pagan shop called, The White Lotus. You can buy organic teas, herbs, body lotions, Earth-friendly cleaning supplies, as well as the usual things to be found in a Pagan shop. You can check out the store's website here.

My Goddess wall plaque

Goddess meditation candle with charm

My Green Man trinket box

Goddess figurine from a previous trip.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

6 More Weeks!!

I'm sitting here whittling away on my Stave that I am making, on my patio when it gave me the gentlest of kisses. The sublety of it is in the air & I know that soon it will become more & more. My heart skips a beat at the thought. Autumn will soon be here!! My favorite time of the year...school starts again, Canadian Thanksgiving and Samhain!!! Here is a pic to get you all in the mood. I took it last autumn while venturing in the woods.

Why Can't We Do This Here??

So, I'm creeping...erm, I mean reading Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan and I see her Lammas stuff she posted. I think it must be really cool to live in the UK, they have their festivals, with Morris Dancers, re-enactments with dancers, costumes, etc. Not so much here in Halifax. We get the occasional public ritual, but nothing like a festival to celebrate the season, whether it be for Lammas or Beltaine. There is a public rit for Samhain, but from the times I went, it pales in comparison. Are there even Morris Dancers here??

Anyway, check out this video Jenandollie had on her blog. I think it's so wonderful, there are the 4 directions dancing around with John Barleycorn, with his "death" at the conclusion. Be nice if there was something like that here, but unfortunately, there isn't.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This Week's New Blog


Ok, I think that this may be a weekly thing, or not, depends on how many new blogs I come across that are worth noting. I came across another really good blog today, actually, the blog author made a comment on one of my posts, so I had to check out her blog.

Willow has some great things to write about, recipes to share, pix of her furbabies and all around witchy goodness. I guess her blog just had a makeover, so I can't compare how it used to look like. This must be the time to do blog makeovers, as I did mine a week or so ago. Her blog is easy to read, beautifully done.

So, go check out Wandering in the Woods. You won't be disappointed.

~Rowan
)O(


Friday, July 30, 2010

New Award!!

The rules for the award are (borrowed from Greenwheel):

1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award - Thank you GreenWheel for validating my parking my winding pagan path as seen in my hemisphere of the pagan blogosphere.

2. Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, experience, using 10 words. - I don't like the number 10 so I'm changing this to 5. Although if side comments count, I have 24 :-)
• honest
• refreshing (from time to time)
• imaginative/creative
• insightful
•fun

3. Pass the award on to 10 other blogs you feel have substance. Again, number 10 sucks it so here's 5 fabulous bloggers with substance. In no particular order and without further ado:

1) Rue, over at Rue and Hyssop
2) Bella Foxglove at Memoirs of a Crazy Witch
3) Witchy Mama at Pagan Parenting
4) Jen at Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan
5) One Pink Fish at Perfectly Pagan

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Struggle


I'm not sure how many of you out there know that I am a mother to a child with Autism. My 8 yr old son has Autism and recently has been experiencing some behavioural issues at his daycamp. It is a repeat of things that were going on with him last year at the beginning of the school year. He gets defiant when it comes to activities that do not include water (swimming, sprinkler park, etc) and he has been hitting his camp leaders on the arm. Mark has had a teacher's aide with him at school and at previous camps in summers past has had a support worker. This is the 1st year that he doesn't have a support worker with him at camp. He goes to the facility for his afterschool program and when I registered him for camp this summer, I specified that he would need a support worker with him. Needless to say, he didn't get one. There are 3 other children at this camp with Autism and in need of support and yet only 1 child is getting the support she needs, leaving Mark & the other 2 without.

In the past week, Mark has displayed behaviours that are not very becoming of a boy his age. He is getting aggressive with his group's leader, not listening to instructions and constantly running away from them. He displayed this behaviour last fall at school & was segregated to the Learning Centre until after the Christmas break. Now, he is repeating this behaviour and was sent home yesterday & today from camp. I talked to the camp's director and was given a "choice" I could let Mark have the support worker for a week straight in the month of August & not have him attend camp for the rest of the month
OR he can continue with camp without the use of the support worker to assist him.

I put him in the camp because he wanted to go, he knew everyone at the Centre where it was being held and it gave him the opportunity to go places & see things he normally wouldn't get to do. I also work during the day, as does his father, so we can't spend the summer with him. Daycamp provided an answer for Mark this summer. But he is not enjoying himself, he is constantly being shuffled around to different groups when he gets out of hand, or being in "time out" for having actions that he can't control. He is stressing & doesn't know how to cope with whatever is bothering him.


Now, I have a decision to make.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lammas or Lughnasadh


This festival celebrates ultimate sacrifice. The Goddess gives all of her energy, all of her life, so that the children are fed. The date is August 1, when the Sun is in Leo and the days have begun to shorten. Lammas is a major festival and is celebrated mid afternoon.


The Festival


The world has subtly changed since the verdant climax of Midsummer. At the roadside, the grass is going to seed and no longer looks green. This very thing is happening to many plants, and the colours are changing to beige and yellow and brown. The Goddess is giving us her first fruits, the first harvest of the Year. And at the same time she is still working, working hard and using her amazing energy to ripen the fruit. She surrenders herself to us at this time. And we honour her for it.


Witches and Pagans honour the self-sacrifice of the God, who is the corn. He sacrifices himself in the harvest for the good of the people. That is why very often a loaf of bread plays an important part in the Lammas ritual. The word Lammas also means 'loaf mass'. To me, the corn grows out of the body of the Goddess. She is the Earth and what grows on it.


A Lammas Ritual


Lammas corresponds to the South Western point of the Circle, and that is where I place my altar. On it are symbols for each of the Elements. The focus of the magic is the Lammas loaf this time, and I place it at the centre of the Circle. I cast the circle and invoke Brigit, the nurturing Grandmother for the first time.


My rituals have changed over the last few Moons, turned upside down. I don't raise power straight away, but do the divination for the coming season first. My question is: 'What does the Earth need from me this season?' I have often felt that my magic and my work is too self-centered, and that it is time for me to start working for the outside world. I am convinced that my healing will come if I work to heal the world - or at least my corner of it. I want to give my abundance to the world, like Brigit does.


The answer to my question consists of three qualities I have to work on this season. I go deep inside in meditation and find those virtues within myself (after all, we all already have all that we need present within ourselves). I call upon the spirits present to help me find these qualities.

When I have found them, I raise their energy with a dance and a chant. I direct it into the bread at the centre of the Circle. I then cut a slice of wonderfully crusty bread from the loaf and eat it, taking the qualities I have invoked inside me. I also crumble some bread to scatter in the four directions later, so that this energy is spread into the world.


Then it is time to celebrate, with some more bread and some beer. Beer seems like a more appropriate drink at this festival of the corn. Thanking Brigit, the generous one, I open the Circle. I take my positive energy out into the world with me.


*Note: I got this off a site, but I forget which one. If this is yours, I need the correct URL for proper credit to you.

John Barleycorn by Traffic

Lughnasadh/Lammas Is On the Way

Well, the time is just flying by this summer. Seems to me that we were just celebrating Beltaine, now Lughnasadh is upon us. Where'd the time go?? What are all your plans for the Sabbat?? I've been busy here at my house cleaning, trying to get my altar ready and today I made my 1st corn dolly out of the husks of the fresh corn I bought at the grocers.

I have never attempted to make a corn dolly before. After I husked a dozen corncobs, I gathered up the husks that I needed (12 corncobs does yield a lot of husks) and went ahead with it. I had no idea what I was doing, but I am rather pleased with the results. I made 2 dollies, a male representing John Barleycorn and a female to represent the Goddess. I didn't have any twine/string to bind them, so I used what I had: white ribbon. I also decorated them with symbols of the sun and crowned them with crowns. It's amazing what a Sharpie pen can do for decorating. ;-)