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

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. ;-)

A New Blog I Came Across

So, I was catching up on my favorite blogs when I came across this little gem, "Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan". It is such a cute little blog, written by a lady over in the UK. Just reading her blog reminds me of me. She's very humorous, has some great recipes. Check out her blog at Ramblings of a Newbie Pagan.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book of Shadows

Just wanted to let you all know that I will be doing a weekly post on my Book of Shadows link. Been thinking lately that I really haven't posted that much on it and that I should get on it. I'm going to be posting different meditations & techniques, from meeting guides, animal totems, your Shadow self, etc. These will be taken from my own journal that I recorded when I did these techniques.

BTW, if you haven't done so, go check out my other page: Rowan's Deities. This is the blog less traveled. I will also be adding a new Deity that I've been working with these past couple of months. She's been helping me with discovering aspects of myself that I wasn't really aware of.


Monday, July 19, 2010

*NEW* Blog Button

Since I am doing some tweaking, I thought I would go ahead & make a new blog button. So........Ta Da!!

Musings of A Melted Witch

Well, summer is upon us all & the warmth of the sun shines brightly upon us. With summer comes the firsts harvests from our gardens, whether urban gardens on balconies or acres of gardens on your homesteads. In a few weeks we will be celebrating the first harvest of the season with Lughnasdh or Lammas. Now this year I did attempt to grow a little garden, but as in years past, my thumb grows more & more a non-green color. Even on my first visit to Twa Corbies, I planted thousands of parsnips in Cliff's garden. By my second visit, the parsnips didn't all and Cliff had to transplant them to another location where they did eventually sprout.

Also this summer, in my personal life, I had to deal with a parent who was in hospital. My mother went in for a triple bypass & came out with a quadruple instead. While she was in hospital, my father stayed with me on wknds. This meant that this witch had to retreat back into the closet. Down came my altar, certain pictures off the walls, Pagan-themed decorations that I had made were hidden away and books were hidden in the closet bookcase or under the bed (as my bookcase is too full, now). I did have a scare, however, when my cat was sleeping under my bed & my dad went looking for her & found her. I was at work when this took place, I just happened to call home to see when Dad was going to the hospital to see Mom. I panicked!! He must've seen my copy of Doreen Valiente's book, Witchcraft for Tomorrow and Marian Green's, Natural Magic. They were right on front of the cat and there was no way he couldn't have seen them. After work I looked under the bed to see where exactly they were. He must've seen them, but he never mentioned anything to me. That was too close a call for me. I come from a very Anglican (Episcopalian) family, Paganism is not accepted at all. Even when I was younger & went to a Fundy Christian church (yes, I did) they weren't happy with me. This is why I am still in the "Broom Closet"

My mom's surgery went well, but a week & a half after getting released from hospital, she developed a nasty infection on her scar. It was so bad she was ambulanced down here to the city where she stayed for almost 2 weeks, hooked up to drainage tubes & IV's. My dad stayed with me on wknds, so blogging was almost impossible, so was going onto my "witchy" facebook account. So, now I'm back.

I've been doing some subtle changes to this here blog. I'm going to be experimenting with new layouts & backgrounds. I've added a calendar, so you all know what I'm up to, what meetings I'm going to, when I'm going to Twa Corbies, Sabbats, Esbats, etc.. So, please bear with me over the next while as I attempt to master Winzip for some new layouts.

Blessings to you all,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Moon / Dark Moon...What's the Difference??

Ok, so I came along something that made sense to me. I found a book that was explaining the difference about doing magic during the Dark Moon, as opposed to New Moon magic. Most of us have read or have been taught that if you want to do banishing, releasing type of workings that the New Moon is best for this, right?? I know I have seen this in books & was told. But, wouldn't it make sense to do these types of spell workings during a phase of the moon that is not about beginnings?? When the moon is New, it is showing 1% of a sliver in the sky before it starts to grow (waxes) into the fullness of the Full Moon. I know a lot out there don't like doing magic during a Dark Moon, which is when it is completely void in the night sky. They have been taught that those types of workings are considered 'dark', 'evil' 'ominous' or that is something witches don't do. Even most calendars do not show when there is a Dark Moon, or they call it New Moon. Look at the above picture...see a space for the Dark Moon?? No, neither do I.

Let's look at banishing types spells. What exactly are they?? Are they meant to harm another?? Actually, they can be about what you want them to be. You want to lose a little weight, quit smoking, drop a bad habit?? These are things that maybe considered to be negative, depending on the one doing the magic of the Dark Moon. Cutting ties with someone you no longer want to associate with, an ex lover, perhaps?? Dark Moon is best to do that. This is when the wisdom of the Crone will assist you. I know a lot of fellow Pagans who have been doing banishing-type workings during the New Moon & wondering why they didn't have the results they were hoping for. First up, it was during the New Moon when the moon is starting it's journey (cycle), why would you do a working during a phase of the moon that's about beginnings (hence its name as New) when you want an ending?? Yes, I also know that the moon also wanes down at the end of the cycle to 1% in the night sky, but it is still not dark enough to get the results you were looking for. Doing a working in this particular phase is good, if you only want half-assed results. Also, it seems to be considered taboo to cast your circle widdershins (anti-clockwise), but why not, when you are doing a Dark Moon working?? Aren't you trying to rid yourself of something undesirable?? In a way, to go back & reverse something that you no longer want to have in your life. Too many schools of thought, Hollywood, Pagans who think there is no such thing as Dark Magic (Fluffies, as they are known) have all put a shadow (no pun intended) on doing magic during a Dark Moon phase. That is why there are a lot of workings going on during the New Moon. Want to know when a Dark Moon is?? It usually occurs about 12-14 days after the Full Moon, just before the New Moon appears in the night sky.

I have experienced Dark Moon magic myself. I have cast my circles and have let go of things I needed to let go. Shocking, huh?? A lot of people out there have considered me to be a little on the Fluffy side, is it because I have a pink grimoire, that I like sparkly things?? That's just superficial, it's what's on the inside. I have done workings during the New Moon & got the half-assed results, done the workings on the Dark Moon & got the results I wanted. There is nothing bad about Dark Moon magic, the moon is at another powerful phase for magic, the other would be it's opposite phase, Full. As I always tell my friends, you need a little dark to balance the light.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nature by Night & Other Adventures

So, another highly adventurous weekend was had by yours truly up at Twa Corbies' Hollow. I went up for a "Nature by Night" On Friday evening, after arriving at the Hollow, my little buddy, Willowisp greeted me with his favorite thing: stick. We played for a bit then Lady Daphne packed up our supper, I picked out a lovely Pinot Noir and Cliff gathered 2 bottles of his fine ale that he makes and off we headed into the wood for an evening of fun.

The cabin is a small hunting cabin about 4 or 5 miles from the Hollow. On the way there, Daphne spotted a cute little porcupine twaddling along the side of the dirt road, as we drove closer, his quills stuck up in warning to stay back. We turned onto another dirt road that led to the cabin in the woods.

After settling into the cabin, we ate a hearty meal of organic stir-fry with brown rice, chicken & veg all grown from the Hollow. I had a couple of glasses of the Pinot Noir and the men drank their ales. The fireflies were out that night, so we all ventured out into the warm night to watch as little glowing balls of green & yellow light gave us a show. We could hear the flying squirrels in the brush, as well as a raccoon. The sky up above was filled with stars, something this city girl doesn't get to see very often.

The next morning after partaking in a Medieval breakfast of homemade cheese & bread (with another glass of wine) Cliff & I headed out for a little hike in the wood. We had some good conversation, he showed me coyote tracks that were somewhat fresh, bear dung that was a couple of days old and we found some chanterelles that were just a bit too ripe for the picking. I was a bit surprised that the flies didn't bite, as I am an "all you can eat buffet" to them. After our hike, we packed up the cabin and headed back to the Hollow for the day's work.

That evening, we got the horses, Acorn & Aval, readied & saddled up for a little exercise in the corral. I was to ride Acorn...riding a horse is something I haven't done since I was a teenager. So, to be honest, I was a wee bit nervous to be on top of a 1200lb Belgian. After getting into the saddle, I rode her around the corral as Cliff rode Aval. Of course when they started trotting, Acorn decided that she was going to follow their lead and proceeded to go a little faster than I was ready to experience at that moment. After she stopped, I had my trusty guide Natalia guide me along on the horse. You know, when you hear people talking about how sore they are after riding, I totally get what they are saying. After only riding Acorn for about 15-20 minutes, my inner thighs were screaming. Daphne chuckled as I slowly walked over to where she was after dismounting Acorn.

As always, my time at the Hollow are filled with a lot of good times. I especially like hanging out with Daphne, she is such a gentle soul and she laughs at my jokes. The girls are great, they don't rib me too much about being a city girl too much. Just before I left the Hollow, I was given a copy of "Lore of the Bard" which I am currently reading. It was written by Cliff a few years ago. It is a very interesting read about Celtic lore. I am only 1/2 way through it, so I can't really give a full review of it, but it is a very good book. If you can still find it out there, get it.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another Journey to Twa Corbies

Picture borrowed from Cliff

So, another weekend is upon me to venture out into the wilds of Nova Scotia. Hopefully this time the flies will be gone because this "all you can eat buffet" is closed. I will be participating in a 'Nature by Night' exploration walk, hosted by my lovely friend, Cliff & his wife, Lady Daphne. We will be exploring the wildwood by night, looking for flying squirrels,bats & anything else that may want to present itself to us.

I am also looking forward to this trip, as I will be riding a horse, something I haven't done in a decade or so. Ok, so it will be in a corral, with Acorn, or maybe her brother, Aval. I just hope Epona will be with me as I ride, as I think we (the horse & I) will be needing her.

I will try this time to remember to take some pix of my weekend in the country. I've been looking forward to getting back to Twa Corbies 5 minutes after I left the 1st time. ☺