Apr 1, 2012

The Sunday Stew April 1-7

The Stew is back! Thank you to all my lovely readers for your patience and kindness during my two week hiatus. Our family issue was resolved beautifully and with minimal upset, and my business trip resulted in getting to meet one of my favorite online buddies, Alan Sheridan in San Francisco.

Today, is April Fool's Day. No one really knows how the day got started. Some blame Chaucer and others say it's simply another New Year celebration. You can read more about it here. I promise, there are no April Fool Tricks in the stew :)

And speaking of the stew, let's get to it, shall we?

In the News

'Witch Hunting' on the rise in Assam
Jaipur Law gets twisted to allow men to be tortured as witches
Government takes steps to stop witch hunts
Air Force is an equal pagan opportunity employer
Pagan Easter Breakfast, and the origin of  Easter Things

Pagan Lore with Karen Szabo

Happy April Fools' Day!  Hope you have yourself a little fun today, but first, here's the Pagan lore for the week!

Sunday, April 1
The month of Venus begins with April Fool's Day (also known as All Fools' Day), an occasion for playing practical jokes on friends, family, and coworkers. This custom dates back to olden times, when inmates of insane asylums were allowed out in the streets for one day each year for the sadistic amusement of those who were (supposedly) normal.

Monday, April 2
The old Pagan custom of "carrying death away" is carried out in certain regions of Germany on this day. In celebration of Winter's demise, special straw dolls are burned in sacred bonfires or "drowned" in sacred wells.

Tuesday, April 3
In Iran, on the thirteenth day of their New Year, special bowls containing sprouted seeds are traditionally cast into the rivers as offerings in the belief that the bad luck of the previous year will be carried away.
The Goddess Persephone's annual return from the Underworld, allowing the Earth to bloom again, was celebrated every year on this date by the ancient Romans.

Wednesday, April 4
The annual festival of Cybele, the Megalesia, was celebrated on this date in ancient Rome. She was a Goddess of fertility whose cult originated in Phrygia. Her male attendants were self-castrated priests and worship of her
was wild and orgiastic.

Thursday, April 5
Festival of Kuan Yin. Every year on this day, Kuan Yin (the powerful Chinese Goddess of healing, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness) is invoked for protection, love, mercy, and wisdom. Offerings of incense and violet-colored candles are placed on her altar, along with rolled-up pieces of rice paper upon which various wishes have been written.

Friday, April 6
In France, a children's springtime festival takes place on this day. Miniature pine boats, each holding a burning candle, are cast into the estuaries of the Moselle River to symbolize the "sea of life" and the happiness of sailing its sacred waves.

Saturday, April 7
The Blajini (or "kindly ones") are celebrated annually on this day in various parts of Rumania. This is a sacred day in which offerings are made to the beneficial spirits of the water and the Underworld.

Hope you have a wonderful week -- see you next time with the next installment of Pagan Lore!

Happy Birthday this week to Tee Yems, Theresa Chase, Sandi Crawford, Lise Silverwolf, Ygraine Spun Weaver Lennox, Rowan Pendragon, Epona Willow, Jo Anne Stone, Michelle D. Gregg, Janice Broda Strother,  Magaly Guerrero!! and Charlene Norton. May this next year of your life be filled with joy, happiness, peace and abundance in all good things!

This Week in Astrology

Full Moon on Friday, April 6th, 2012, at 3:19 PM EDT.
"The Full Moon on April 6 2012 is at 17º Libra 23’. It is on a minor fixed star Seginus and widely quincunx Jupiter. So this poor moon is a bit of a bystander as the action is really between ubergoddess Venus, her lover mars and a huge bottle of Neptune"...

For planetary signs through the week and a void-of-course chart, click here.

Weekly Tarot Card: Page of Cups

Vanessa Tarot

Key Phrases: Be emotional, Be Intuitive, Be Loving, Be Intimate

The page of cups is a card of happy day-dreams, intuition, emotion and love. This is a card of being.. the state of all the above. It's time to open yourself up to romance (whether that's a person or your dreams or things that bring you joy), mending relationships, sharing intimacy in all forms with someone special, and trusting your intuition.

Allow yourself to be moved or touched this week, and share your feelings openly.
The page is young (or young at heart) and lives with the loving, open free-abandon of childlike wonder. This is the week to be that child :)

Weekly Totem: Swan

Key Words: Grace, Beauty, Self-empowerment

The Swan is one of the most powerful and ancient of totems. It is found in nearly every indigenous culture’s totemic line-up.

Swan’s message is about realizing your own true beauty and recognizing your power from within.
A Swan totem heralds a time of altered states of awareness and the development of intuitive abilities.
Swan people have the ability to see the future, and have a great aptitude for ‘going with the flow’.  

They can adapt to changes in their lives with grace and dignity.

Those with Swan Totem are extremely intuitive and have strong psychic abilities. They know who is calling when the phone rings.

Swans in Nature
Swans feed in the water and on land. They are almost entirely herbivorous, although they may eat small amounts of aquatic animals.
Swans normally mate for life. The male swan is the only bird in nature known to have a penis. The male is extremely attentive to and protective over his family.
Some swans have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. Their wings are extremely strong (they could beat a man to death, easily).  Swans can fly as fast as 60 mph.
The Mute Swan is actually the most vocal of all species. They have 8 different sounds in their repertoire.
They are not known to be aggressive toward humans, and actually can remember the face of those who have been kind to them in the past.

Swan's message:
Swan teaches the mysteries of song, story and poetry, as these are what awaken the child, the beauty  and power within us.

That's it for this week's stew. Mull, digest, enjoy :)


Mar 19, 2012

Thank you :)

This is a thank you to all of you who sent me comments here on the blog, emails and personal messages of concern. Our immediate 'crisis' is passed and the healing process begins.  Your kindness and generosity is well-noted, and I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends and readers.

Hugs and love to all..

Mar 18, 2012

Sunday Stew: On Hiatus

Dear Sunday Stew Readers,

We'll be on hiatus for the next two weeks. This week, due to family emergency and next week due to business travel. We'll resume the Stew again on April 1.

Thank you for your patience.


Mar 16, 2012

Pagan Blog Project: F is for Fecundity

For the first week of the letter 'F', I'm going with the word, "fecundity". I think it's appropriate, given that next week is the Vernal Equinox, or Ostara as some call it. This is the official beginning of Spring.

Fecundity: origins 1375–1425; late Middle English  < Latin fēcunditās  fruitfulness,fertility. 
1. the quality of being fecund;  capacity, especially in female animals, of producing young in great numbers.
2. fruitfulness or fertility, as of the earth.
3.  the capacity of abundant production: fecundity of imagination.

 Many of us look forward to the beginning of Spring, as it portends planting season, the budding of the leaves on trees, flowers in bloom and warming temperatures. Mother earth, who has been sleeping, is now awakening to bring new life.

We perform rituals and workings to bring about a fecund harvest in the physical realm, but also in our spiritual lives as well.

In the fall and winter, we turn within to reflect upon the previous harvest, rid ourselves of that which did not grow corn for us, and prepare our 'soil' for the next year's planting.

At the winter solstice, we welcome the return of the Sun and begin to turn our thoughts toward the coming year.

For those who celebrate Brighid's Day or Imbolg, we begin to set our goals for the coming Spring.
We ask ourselves:
What will we plant?
What do we want to harvest this year?
What will bring us the most abundance and fecundity?
How will we care for this crop?
Since different plants require different types of soil, amounts of water and sunlight, etc... how will we manage this crop differently from last year?

The Equinox brings about the change from thinking to doing. We are about to implement the plan. We celebrate on the Equinox and welcome the awakening of our Mother, and afterward comes the busy time.. the time of action that brings about fecundity.As you become busier in your life, do not forget to appreciate all the bounty that you have, and to smell the beautiful flowers you have worked so hard to plant and nurture.

May your crops both physically and spiritually bring you a bountiful, fruitful harvest of good things in this coming season.


Mar 13, 2012

On Fighting to Become My Authentic Self

I've recently started using an mp3 player for my walks, and it's helped tremendously in keeping me focused. My buddy Rommy suggested a song that I had forgotten about and really love. It's Fighter, by Christina Aguilera. Yes, I am an unashamed fan of hers. That young lady can sing like nobody's business as far as I'm concerned.

The song is about betrayal and not allowing someone else to make you bitter about it, but to take that energy and use it to make you stronger.

I was an emotionally and mentally abused child. I then became an abused wife whose children were also abused. I remember actually being at a point where I felt robotic. There was nothing left of me but the person who took care of everyone else... nothing, but what felt like a very tiny orb of soul/spirit/spark that was buried- way down inside. Something happened that ignited the spark, and caused me to want to live again. Not survive, but thrive. But, (as in all things in this world) something had to die for the real me to live.

And, it took the death of the abused girl/wife/mother to create a new, vibrant and alive person who is thankful every day for who she is now and for what she knows she is capable of doing and accomplishing. I had to kill her off and start over.. re-mold, re-shape.. become something new. It was really hard, painful, awful work. There were times where I got really discouraged. There were times when I wondered if it was worth it (one look at my children answered that question quickly). So, for those who've asked how I went from a right-wing christian fundie to a strong left- progressive Pagan, this was the impetus... becoming my true self. Believing what I know is true, and living that truth, no matter what.

I can never be thankful for the things that were done to me and my children, but I can be thankful for our survival and will to fight. So, that's why I love the song. The person(s) who abused me/us didn't make me a fighter, that came from within.. but, I went from being someone that never fit me inside to being authentically me; and for that, I am grateful.

Mar 11, 2012

The Sunday Stew March 11-17

This week's stew encompasses a famous Irish holiday, and one that I celebrate, even if it's in rebellion.

March 17 marks the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, and I'll be drinking to his DEATH, and not to his myth or his life. May the 'snakes' of Eire return and prosper, to never be driven out again.

And with that, it's on to the stew...

Happy Birthday this week to: Dolphin Brown, Samuel Charles Salmon, Sondra Graber, Lyn Thurman, Skytiyia Stormcloud, Tom McDonough, Diane Hughes, Monika Hubner, and Laura Ellsworth. May this next year of your life be the best you've ever had and filled with blessings in abundance.

In The News:

SLUTS.. aka The War on Women
I don't think there are too many people who haven't seen the Republican War on Women lately. Not only in the legislature and political rhetoric, but Rush Limbaugh calling a young woman a slut for using birth control. Sabrina the Inkwitch , one of my favorite Pagan artists has been leading a charge against this war and has created a beautiful drawing and t-shirts to help fight back. I'm going to share the picture with you. I know you have permission to share it on Facebook, but please respect Sabrina's copyright (I know you will):

Bri is creating t-shirts and a portion of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. For more information please click here.
I love that the term SLUT has been redefined as Seeking Liberty Under Tyranny. Well done!

Additionally, this video has been going viral and it's just too funny not to share:

To see more of these ladies, go to www.reformedwhores.com

Pagan Lore with Karen Szabo

Welcome to this week's Pagan Lore!

Sunday, March 11

Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Emplars, was burned alive at the stake on this date in the year 1314. Shortly before he died, he accurately predicted the death of King Philip IV of France within the year and the death of Pope Clement within forty days.

Monday, March 12

This is the annual ancient Babylonian Feast of Marduk.   Also on this day in the year 1873, psychic researcher and occultist Stewart Edward White was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He authored several books containing material obtained through his wife's spirit-channeling sessions, and he served as president of the American Society for Psychical Research in San Francisco, California.

Tuesday, March 13 

The thirteenth day of the third month is considered to be the luckiest day of the year for all Witches (especially if it should happen to fall on a Friday), as thirteen is the number associated with the traditional Witches' coven and three is a powerful magickal number.  In Luxemborg, a Pagan fire festival known as Burgsonndeg is celebrated annually on this day with the lighting of great bonfires to welcome Spring and the rebirth of the Sun.

Wednesday, March 14

The annual thirteen-day Ghanian New Year celebration begins on this date. A series of special ritual dances are traditionally performed on the first eleven days of the festival to dispel all evil spirits and honor the souls of the departed. The shrines of the beneficial spirits are ritually purified on the twelfth day, and a joyous celebration of the new year takes place on the thirteenth day.   This day is also sacred to Ua Zit, a serpent-goddess of the ancient Egyptian religion.

Thursday, March 15 

On this date in ancient Rome, the annual Festival of Attis and Cybele began with a procession of reed-bearers to commemorate the finding of the infant Attis among the reeds. The festival was followed by nine consecutive days of fasting and sexual abstinence.
Friday, March 16 

The annual Hindu festival of Holi is held in India on this date to celebrate Spring and to commemorate the burning death of the child-eating, she-demon known as Holika.  On this date in the year 1946, J.Z. Knight, the famous spirit channeler for the ancient entity known as "Ramtha", was born in New Mexico.

Saturday, March 17 

On this date in the year 1893, Eileen J. Garrett (a gifted medium, psychic, and founder of the Parapsychology Foundation) was born in Ireland. At a young age, she began experiencing visions of the dead. She was granted United States citizenship in 1947 and she founded her own publishing house (Creative Age Press) and magazine (Tomorrow, a journal of paranormal phenomena). She established the Parapsychology Foundation in 1951, and wrote numerous books under the pen name of Jean Lyttle. She died in France on September 15, 1970. 
March 17 is also St. Patrick's Day, and one that many Pagans do not celebrate.  In recent years, a movement came about in which Pagans wear some representation of a snake, either as a ring, some other piece of jewelry, or even on a Tshirt this day to protest St. Patrick's supposed "driving out" of the "snakes" in Ireland.  Those snakes were, in fact, Pagans.

Have a wonderful week, and see you next time with more Pagan Lore!

This Week in Astrology
Mercury goes Retrograde (Rx) Monday, March 12:

Last Quarter Moon, Wednesday March 14:

Weekly horoscopes by sign:

Weekly Tarot: The Lovers
Key words and phrases: making a single choice, relationships, personal beliefs, sexuality

This is one of the most interesting and yet strangely interpreted cards in the Tarot. It's original meaning was 'amorous one'. A lot of people will say it's about things like the key words and phrases listed above, but I've never seen imagery that bears that out.

The best interpretation I've seen of this card is that it's about two choices: the first one is that your soul or psyche has recognized someone or something as its spiritual twin, or as harmonizing with you. In other words, you become 'amorous' for it.

The next choice is about whether the rest of you (your personal life demands, your emotional heart, your passionate soul) will agree with that choice. You may feel strongly drawn to a career, person, challenge, or thing so much that no matter how scary, difficult, or irrational it may seem, you are willing to go for it. Family, friends, and advisers may all caution you against choosing it. They may think you're crazy to want it or to do it.You may even question your own sanity with it.

This card acknowledges a spiritual power outside the realms of religions and traditions. You can make the choice to say no to this and move on from this attraction/love; but if you don't allow yourself to try and make this person, career, challenge or thing a part of your life, it may be something you regret for the rest of it.

Weekly Totem:Dragonfly
Of all the insects in the world, dragonflies seem to be on the top of everyone's "I-love" list. They are absolutely beautiful and seem to like people as well. A lot of people confuse dragonflies and damsel-flies (damsels are much thinner and smaller in body structure), but they both are representative of the same messages in the totem world.

Dragonfly represents breaking through illusions, whether those are self-created or not. It may be the illusions you put on like a mask for the outside world, or the ones you have created (or allowed) to keep you from seeing truths. Dragonfly's message is also about stripping away all the beliefs that say we cannot do something like achieve a dream or goal. It remind us that anything is possible when we really get the understanding that we are part of Spirit and as such we have the power to manifest anything that we desire.

Dragonfly eggs are laid within their territory near the water. Once hatched, these nymphs will live nearly two years on the bottom of streams and ponds. The number 2, or 2 years will be significant to those with this totem.
As dragonflies reach adulthood, they transform and ascend to the air. Water and Air elements are significant to those with this totem.  In the air, they travel with wings that sparkle with spectacular colors by reflecting and refracting light and other colors. No insect or bird can maneuver as well as a dragonfly. Flying up to 30 mph, they will twist, turn, move up and down, fly backwards, even change directions instantaneously and still will spot movement 40 feet away. 

In many indigenous stories, the dragonfly was once a Dragon who was tricked by Coyote (or another form of trickster) into changing shape and got stuck in the body he now inhabits. He still has all the power and fearlessness of a dragon. If he alights on you, he has bestowed you with his blessings and will be a friend and ally for life.

Those with dragonfly totem are also known to use color for spiritual and healing purposes. The power of Dragonfly lies in its ability to see around things by looking from different angles. Using its ability to transform colors and lights by reflecting and refracting them, Dragonfly shows us that life, like light, can bend, shift, and adapt in various ways, making life's appearance never be what it appears to be. Dragonfly's magic shows us to see through life's illusions and find our true vision. It calls us to transform within our lives and reminds us to feel deeply and fearlessly, so we will have the compassion necessary to help ourselves and others.

That's it for this week's stew. Mull, digest, enjoy!

Mar 9, 2012

Pagan Blog Project: E is for Etymology.. and also for Execrate

This is week 2 for the letter "e" and I've chosen to go with 'etymology'. But, I'll also use the word execrate as an example, to stay with the "e" theme :)

As many of you are aware, I'm a huge fan of Ly De Angeles and her works. If I lived in Australia, I'd be bugging her to death to teach me, and she'd probably tell me to pack sand (yet another thing I love about her). I've had the pleasure to correspond with her occasionally, and she's just lovely. But, I digress.

She suggests an exercise in one of her books (Witchcraft: Theory and Practice) in which you are to take words  and look up their etymological significance. Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. For example, you could take the word 'Goddess' and write a list of words that describe Her (what does Goddess mean to you?). Then, look up the etymology of each of those descriptive words (e.g., ineffable, inscrutable, immense, immanent, profound). 

As a person who grew up reading the dictionary for fun, I love etymology, and it was an eye-opening exercise for me. It's something I highly recommend to anyone studying The Craft. Words are powerful, whether written or spoken, as they are the markers of intent; and that's what magic is all about- intent.

So, I'll give you an example:


verb tr.: To detest, denounce, or curse. 
From Latin execrari (to curse), from ex- + sacrare (to consecrate). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sak- (to sanctify), which is also the source of other words such as saint, consecrate, sacred, execrable, and sacrilegious. Earliest documented use: 1561. (source: http://wordsmith.org/words/execrate.html)

I like this word and its etymology for several reasons. I think it hones in on what we mean by placing a curse upon someone. 

Dorothy Morrison has written an absolutely delightful book entitled " Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes and Other Unsavory Notions" and if you've read any of her other works, she may shock you a bit with this one. Dorothy's a sweetheart. I don't know her personally, but one can infer a lot about an author from his/her works. My bff is also friends with her, and would agree with my assessment. Dorothy writes beautiful things about Wicca and The Craft, and generally seems like a very happy, busy person. 

In this book, she shares another side of herself. The one you really don't want to make angry, but would love to have with you in a battle ;) She also shares some personal experiences which are poignant, heart-breaking, and sensitive. Of all the books I've read on curses, I think this one really evokes the true spirit of the curse.

The word execrate isn't just about a curse. It's about the emotion and intent behind it. To truly curse something, one really has to have a strong emotion about it.. hate, loathing, detesting, anger, repulsion, abhorrence, rage, malevolence.. these are really what go into a curse. It's also why I can't/won't curse someone for you. I don't hate them like you do, so it wouldn't be anywhere near as effective.

And, it's also why you shouldn't take something like this lightly. The kind of energy you'd put into this would bind you to the target for much longer than I believe you'd ever want it to. Sometimes, the best way to curse someone is to remove them completely from your life, your thoughts and your attentions. Human beings are social creatures. In many ancient indigenous North American societies, ostracizing someone was the worst punishment possible. It still works well, even today. And, in many Pagan/Heathen traditions, to forget a person or a deity is the worst thing you can do to them.

That being said, I have no problem with execrating someone. I believe there are circumstances that warrant it.* I'm also not going to tell you what I think those are. If you're going to curse someone, it has to be personal. It has to have that kind of emotion that 'execrate' elicits by its very definition. 

In closing, I'd like to challenge you to take some time to look up the history and meaning of words that you use in your magical practice. I encourage you to do this especially when writing spells and chants. Clarifying your intent through etymology can be a very empowering experience.

*Please pass on the morality lectures. I'm not interested in them. I don't adhere to 'harm none', the law of three or any Wiccan rules for living. I live my way and it works for me.

Mar 8, 2012

Grab Your Pitchforks and Torches: aka Oh No You Di'n't

Yep, it's a rant, and I haven't been this angry in awhile. So, either walk away now or put on fire protective gear, because it's about to get hot in here. And, I'm actually posting this 24 hours later than when I began ranting last night.

This started yesterday, when I saw people posting a video from a group called Invisible Children. The video has become viral on Facebook, and of course, those people who are just now getting wind of this are up in arms one way or another.

I really hate to burst bubbles here, but this problem with Joseph Kony isn't new. It's been going on for YEARS (try 26 of them)  and there have been organizations like Invisible Children trying to stop him.

What's really gotten my ire up is seeing blogs and posts that disparage The Invisible Children organization, and I'm not about to let this just go.

Just because you're new to this issue, you do NOT have the right to attack an organization that's been fighting against Joseph Kony and his ilk since 2003. That's right.. it's been nearly a decade of fighting for the rights of these children.

Casting aspersions on their organization is just obscene to me.

Case in point: Last year the organization raised $8,676,614 and only 32% of these funds went to direct services. It appears that a large majority of their funding went to pay staff salaries, transportation expenses and film production. .

Ok, OBVIOUSLY someone doesn't know what the hell these people do, so it's time to educate you on it before you hurt yourself. First of all, they TRAVEL TO college campuses and do presentations with VIDEOS to BRING AWARENESS to what Joseph Kony and his people have been and continue to do to these children. I would be disgusted to find that they spent ANY LESS than that on staff salaries, transportation expenses and film production . 
WHY do they target colleges? Because it was started by COLLEGE STUDENTS. From their website (and apologies to them for not getting permission ahead of time to copy and paste):
"In the spring of 2003, three young filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story. What started out as a filmmaking adventure became much more when Jason, Laren, and Bobby stumbled upon Africa’s longest-running war--a conflict where children were both the weapons and the victims.
They produced the documentary Invisible Children: Rough Cut in 2005. At first they just showed it to their friends and family, but it wasn’t long before millions of people had seen the documentary and knew about the “invisible children.” 
In 2006, Invisible Children, Inc., became an official 501(c)3 non-profit."http://www.invisiblechildren.com/pages/our-story

That's right.. these were college kids (film students) who were actually on vacation and doing some fun film-making in the process. They were NOT looking for what they found, but they couldn't turn their backs on these kids. So, they chose to take it to young adults like themselves, raise awareness and invite them to get involved.

I've personally been to their presentations. My son was so inspired that in 2008, he was chosen by his college to represent them in lobbying Congress to take action against Kony. My children have all participated in one way or another with this group. They are honest, forthright and hard-working people.

For those of you questioning their integrity.. have you ever run a non-profit or at least worked for one? I have.. it's a monumental task on its good days. I really don't care that they have been so busy working to help these people that they haven't had time to stop for an audit to please you or anyone else.

When's the last time you gave up your career goals, your life's ambitions and turned everything you had planned on for your future to help small children because you just couldn't leave them in the condition you found them? How many of you that have questioned their integrity were doing so from the comfort of your comfy desk chair in the privacy of your happy little home? How many of you have truly sacrificed for the greater good on the level of these young people?.. yeah, I thought so.

How many of you had even HEARD of Kony before that video (MADE BY THE INVISIBLE CHILDREN organization) went viral on Facebook? Careful, your ignorance is showing.

Oh and btw, they're doing a helluvalot more than just making a video. If you honestly think you "sharing" it on Facebook is going to compromise some largesse of integrity, you need a reality check.

Bringing awareness to the issue is fine (to the degree 'sharing' on Facebook can do); but SERIOUSLY? that's not a drop in the freaking bucket to what really NEEDS to happen in order to stop the LRA from their genocide missions. At least they are out there DOING something.

Can you say the same?

Disparaging them only dilutes the real issue- Kony himself and what he's done to the people of Central Africa. The real villain here isn't a non-profit group of young people trying to help others. It's Kony and his LRA. Focus on what's really important and if you don't want to support the Invisible Children group, for fuck's sake, leave 'em alone.


Mar 7, 2012

A very special birthday today :)

Today is Tara Barnow Smith's birthday. For those who haven't had the pleasure, she is the creative designer of this blog.
Tara is a pleasure to work with, has reasonable rates, and is one of the nicest human beings on the planet. She is one of those Christians who actually displays the love of Christ to all people.
She also has the most adorable daughter.

Please stop by her site and wish her a happy day.

Tara, much love and blessings your way, darlin. I hope this next year brings you all good things in abundance!

Mar 3, 2012

Wayne Dyer and The I Am

So, I'm watching Wayne Dyer on PBS.. he was quoting the bible (so you know my ears perked up) to describe how we're all a part of "The Creator" or "God".  He quotes from Exodus 3:14 in which God introduces himself to Moses and gives his name: "I Am That I Am"*. He goes on to say that when we use the term "I am" in front of anything to describe ourselves, we're describing that part of God within us, and are calling upon the Divine within us to respond.
He cautions not to say things like "I am weak", because we're defeating ourselves by speaking that as a truth.
* אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, pronounced Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (vowel marks added but are not in ancient Hebrew)

All of this is good and well, but as a student of Hebrew (and my friend Lorelei has already guessed where I'm going with this), I have to correct something. Ancient (biblical) Hebrew has no present tense. It is either past or future.. So, the name is one of the following: "I Was That I Was", " I Was That I Will Be", "I Will Be That I Will Be" or "I Will Be That I Was".

I appreciate that Dr. Dyer is attempting to help others (or make money from it, or both) to live a more positive life. He could very well say that we can use the term "I will be" as a way of transforming one's self. But Dr. Dyer,  if you're going to quote the "Old Testament", which is actually the Jewish Bible (Torah/TaNaKh)... well, please be accurate. Otherwise, you lose me and water down your point.


The Sunday Stew March 4-10

It's time for the Sunday Stew. Just a note to my FB buddies, I'm taking a little break from it for a few days, so don't worry if I'm not around. I've got a lot of things on my plate in the real world, and I've spent too much time in the cyber world lately. So, in order to get caught up, I have to focus.

That being said, here's to a great week for you all :)

In the News

UFO's Appearing Over Illinois
'Almost any Pagan way of life has taken root'
Barbaric torture of 83 kids branded as witches
Witchcraft Murders- Why is it happening?
America's War on Religions

Pagan Lore with Karen Szabo

Good Morning!  Welcome to another week of Pagan Lore!

Sunday, March 4 
On this day in Ireland and Wales, the annual Feast of Thiannon is celebrated by many Wiccans in honor of Rhiannon, the Celtic/Welsh Mother-Goddess who was originally known as Rigatona (the Great Queen) and identified with the Gaulish mare-goddess Epona.  On this date in ancient Greece, an annual ritual called the Anthesteria and which lasted for 3 days was held to honor the souls of the dead (the Keres). On this date in the year 1968, the Church of All Worlds (founded by Otter Zell) was formally chartered, thus becoming the first federally recognized church of Neo-Paganism

Monday, March 5 
In parts of North Africa, the ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis is honored on this date with an annual festival of music, dancing, and feasting. In Rome, Isis's opening of the seas to navigation was commemorated on this day with an annual ceremony called the Navigum Isidis (Blessing of the Vessel of Isis). 

Tuesday, March 6 
According to an ancient book called Perillous Dayes of Every Month, the sixth and seventh days of March "shall come to no good end, and the dayes be full perillous for many things."   On this date (approximately) in the year 1795, Count Alessandro Cagliostro died in prison. He was renowned as an alchemist, healer, psychic, and practitioner of wizardry before falling victim to the Catholic Church's Inquisition. 

Wednesday, March 7 
On this day in 1890, the poet William Butler Yeats was initiated into the Isis-Urania Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There, he studied the magickal arts and took the magickal name Daemon est Deus Inversus (which translates into "The Devil is God Reversed"). 

Thursday, March 8 
Mother Earth Day, a festival which honors the birthday of the Earth as a Mother Goddess, is celebrated annually on this day throughout China. The festival consists of street parades, the lighting of firecrackers, feasting and partying. "Birthday presents" (coins, flowers, incense, paper dolls, etc.) are placed in small holes in the ground, blessed, and then covered with soil. 

Friday, March 9 
On this date, the annual Butter Lamp Festival is held by Buddhist monks in Tibet to render demons powerless and to secure the favor of the gods. Yak-butter sculptures of Buddhist heroes are paraded through the streets as sacred chants are recited. After the procession, the sculptures are then cast into the waters of a river. 

Saturday, March 10 
On this day in the year 1909, the famous Dutch clairvoyant and psychic healer Gerard Croiset was born in the Netherlands. Using his clairvoyant abilities, which manifested early in his childhood, Croiset healed hundreds of patients daily at this clinic. He also worked with various police departments as a psychic criminologist and solved crimes in more than half a dozen countries. His death occurred on July 20, 1980. 

That's all for now, see you next week!

Happy Birthday This Week to: Carolyn Trimble, James Mitchell, Amy Rumery McGill, Pixie Allen, Laurie Cabot, Tara Barnow Smith, Tammy Barber, Brandy Kurtz, Rowan BleuMoon,  and Melody Dickson. May this be your best birthday ever; and may your next year of life be filled with joy, peace, happiness and all good things in abundance. 

This Week in Astrology

We have a Full Moon at 4:39 am Thursday at about 17 degrees Pisces/Virgo, whereupon the Moon goes void-of-course. The Full Moon is accompanied by the Moon separating from a conjunction to Mars (late Wednesday), retrograde in Virgo. The Moon may be concerned about its body being run-down; retrograde Mars makes a lot of us very low in energy. So it is frustrated that it has not been able to complete projects by the Full Moon. We might make an extra effort to fix our eating habits and exercise more, but Pisces is not very good at disciplining itself. This is where one needs to tap into the energy of the opposite sign (Virgo, the dietician) and incorporate it into ourselves. ~Milkyway Astrology

Weekly Tarot: Ace of Pentacles
The Witches Tarot
This week's Tarot card is dedicated to Ellen Cannon Reed,creator of The Witches Tarot. Jay Allen has a phenomenal post on her here (a must-read).

Key words and phrases: Manifestation, using material force, prosperity, financial gain, being practical, feeling safe and protected, new beginnings, inspiration.

The Ace of Pentacles (or coins) is all about operating in the material world. This is not the time for fantasy or drama. Seek out comfortable, reliable experiences that make you feel safe. Take your cues from nature. Go for a hike or a walk. Build a foundation of trust in your world, and create a new beginning. There is also a possibility of an influx of money at this time.

Weekly Totem: Horse
Deviant Art by Pirate Queen

Key words and phrases: Power, stamina, endurance, faithfulness, expanding potential, freedom,  new journeys, and realizing dreams.

Horse represents both physical and spiritual power. In shamanic/medicine people practices around the world, it is the vehicle by which they can travel between the planes of existence.
Horse is one of the wild animals who befriended humans to help them evolve and teach them about themselves.
Horse teaches us how to balance our lives between the material and the unearthly. True power comes from within and found in remembering our total journey. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, sharing gifts/talents and abilities are the gateways to accessing our personal empowerment.

 That's it for this week's stew. Mull. Digest. Enjoy.