With that, it's on to the stew...
Happy birthday this week to Carolyn Trimble, James Mitchell, Elemental Energie, Amy Rumery McGill (!!), The famous Official Witch of Salem- Laurie Cabot, Ivy Riversong, Tara Barnow Smith (the designer of this blog!!!!), Tammy Barber, Brandy Kurtz, Eyes Sturgill, and Rowan Bleumoon. May this be your best birthday ever, and may your next year of life bring you health, happiness, joy, peace and all good things aplenty!
In the News
Wetang’ula claims aspirant using witchcraft
Kenya: Bishop Mechumo Condemns Sorcery and Witchcraft in Campaigns
Citizen accused of witchcraft killed in Camabatela
Horsemeat Linked to Paganism
Dalit woman thrashed on charge of witchcraft
Sinton Woman blames son's injuries on witchcraft
NIMR scoffs at witchcraft; denies Freemasonry links
The Spring 2013 Edition of Pagan Living is out. Click here to read.
Pagan Lore with Karen Szabo
Sunday, March 3
The number three is the most magickal of all numbers, therefore the third day of the third month is believed to be a very favorable time for Witches and practitioners of magick throughout the world.
This day is also sacred to all Triple Goddesses and to deities of the Moon (which as we know shows itself in three aspects: waxing, full, and waning). The magickal and healing power of pyramids is said to be strongest on this day as well.
Monday, March 4
On this day in Ireland and Wales, the annual Feast of Rhiannon 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 which lasted for 3 days and was called the Anthesteria 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.
Tuesday, 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).
Wednesday, 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.
Thursday, March 7
On this day in the year 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").
Friday, 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" of coins, flowers, incense, paper dolls, and other items are placed in small holes in the ground, blessed, and then covered with soil.
Saturday, 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.
And there's the Pagan Lore for the week! I think I'll create a little birthday present of my own for Mother Earth Day on Friday, how about you? What a nice idea!
See you next week,
Kallan's note: The Chinese no longer celebrate March 8 as "Mother Earth Day", as they have moved to celebrating International Earth Day in April. Instead, "the Chinese government designated it as a national holiday for women who are rewarded with a half day holiday on Mar. 8th. Children respect their mother by doing housework and husbands prepare dinner and presents for their wives. In some places, organizations and schools hold mountain-climbing competitions to add a festive atmosphere or communication meetings to talk about their life and work. Flowers are presented to women by students, children, or husbands". - National Holidays in China
Sparkle and Shine with Sosanna
Delphia's Burial: A Call for Tolerance
I found an interesting story in my local news this week that really blew me away. Delphia Lee Maness passed away at the age of 69 years old. She reserved a spot in a local church cemetery near other members of her family. To the surprise of her sons, the church turned her away because she wasn't an active member.
To most this would be the right of the church to decide who can and cannot be buried in their cemetery but this story has a twist. Exactly 122 years prior to Delphia’s death her family donated the land that the church currently sits on to the church. She reserved her space 32 years ago. Throughout the cemetery the headstones with the name Maness count over a dozen. Still, her sons Bernie and Todd were told by the church, she could not be laid to rest there in spite of the fact that there are already burial markers there for Delphia, her husband and her two sons.
This blows me away on two fronts. I have a paralegal studies degree. I would think that this would be a classic breach of contract case. Breach is defined as a bargain for exchange not honored by one or more parties in the contract. The church, it would seem has not held up on their end of the deal. Wouldn't the church have a legal expectation to contact the prospective “residents” of their cemetery and notify them of the changes in burial requirements?
Now I look at it from a “spirit of the law” prospective. This lady’s family donated the land the church sits on. She’s got tons of family already there. HER MARKER is there. How can they say she can’t be buried there? Just the spirit of the law says, good grief back off and let the family mourn.
Then my pagan brain jumps to the forefront of the whole thing and thinks… How very Christian of them. I know, I know don’t hit me with the “but not all Christians are ….” I get that. Please assume that when I make a statement you can add “but not all….” To the front of it. I never assume to paint with a broad brush that way and nothing irritates me more than making a statement and someone comes back with “not all are like ___” most commonly said to by, guess who? Yep, Christians.
Christians lump more people together than anyone I’ve ever seen. They even lump themselves into groups. Catholics vs. Protestants. Baptists vs. Pentecostals. And of course they have labels for everyone else, Sinners, Heathens and let’s not forget the one reserved for us witches – SATANISTS.
It reminds me so much of a quote from Mahatma Gandhi – “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
My biggest issue with “most” (yeah I know I said I wouldn’t do it) Christians is that they cannot simply live and let live. I don’t need saving. I’m fine. Let me worry about my soul. You worry about yours. Stay out of my bedroom, and my White House. Worship how you wish, and try not to hurt anyone and I’ll do the same. We don’t ask the hen to make milk or the cow to lay eggs. Aces in their places.
If each of us focus on what we do and send out positive energy to others, we will all Sparkle and Shine.
Namaste & Blessed Be
This Week in Astrology
|Art by Josephine Wall|
Mar 4, 2013 4:53pm EST Sun Square Moon (Last Quarter Moon)
Reminder: 17 Mar 2013 03:57 pm 05PI38' MERCURY Stationary Direct
Moon VoC (Void of Course) Table for March
Uncharted Seas with Cap'n Dave
WHAT IS WICCA?
Over the last two weeks, there was something of a row started when media personalities Tucker Carlson, Clayton Morris and Tammy Bruce began mocking the beliefs of Wiccans on the air. Later, Carlson attempted to emolliate the tens of thousands he offended with a tweet stating that Wiccans “seem like nice people” but that their beliefs confused him. Two online petitions later, a very weak, insincere apology was issued on the following week’s segment of “Fox & Friends” (better than nothing, I suppose), but this brings me back to the tweet. Many people simply don’t understand just what Wicca is about beyond the grossly inaccurate statements of people like Carlson, Morris and Bruce; therefore, consider this a primer – a “Wicca 101” so to speak. Just what is Wicca all about, anyway?
PAINTING THE MINDSET
The moon slowly lifts above the eastern shore as a woman settles herself upon a secluded beach in Massachusetts. The sand is cool beneath her and she smiles to herself, letting the wind wash over her and playfully move her long, raven tresses about.
She bows to the rising moon, welcoming it as a trusted friend. In her mind's eye, she sees it as the face of Deity, smiling down from the heavens upon her and offering her blessing and tranquility.
Witchcraft. The very name invokes feelings of dread. Yet there are many today who proclaim to be Witches and practice the beliefs of Witchcraft, more commonly known as the religion of Wicca. Yet what is Wicca? What are its focal points and practices? What do these people receive spiritually from such a belief system? Is it in any way dangerous to our society as a whole? What of our children? Are they at all in danger from exposure to these beliefs?
To read the rest of this article, click here.
Sunshine's Meanderings with Kathleen Lane
If you are like me, some of your earliest memories involve that phrase "tell me a story". Being from a combination of cultures for whom story telling was an honored and respected art, I was told stories of all kinds. Both Celtic tradition and Native American preserved their culture and history through story telling. Their religious beliefs, their heroes and villains, the jokes on people by gods and imps and the heart of the culture were all memorialized in story telling. I heard stories of leprechauns and brownies, coyote, the Crow girls and everything in between.
Luckily both my grandfather and my great grandmother were gifted story tellers and created pictures in my mind with their tales. Sadly, in this day of canned entertainment and households with both parents working, the leisure time for "story telling" is less and less. It is a true loss and not just for children. I think we need this connection with the "what if" even as adults. That is the reason fantasy books are so popular and the reason that we daydream.
The art of a story teller is stronger in some people but we all have it. I was at a weekend workshop some years ago and one of the speakers was an Iroquois story teller . He started out with some basic creation stories and then encouraged other people to share. What started out as a session that was supposed to last for two hours instead used an entire afternoon and continued through dinner and well into the evening. We all have buried within us that need to tell stories and hear stories. We are never too old for it to awaken something within.
There are some amazing fantasy writers today and one of my favorites is Charles deLint. His stories of Native American and Celtic tradition are wonderful, well written and he truly has the gift of the good story teller of creating mental pictures for the listener. Some of my favorite memories can be triggered by the smell of popcorn popping. That signaled story time when I was a child and I can remember sitting for hours listening to my grandfather tell stories. His stories tended toward the Irish tradition. Great grandmother would pick up her crocheting in the evening and that meant it was story time. Her crochet hook would flash in and out of the yarn while she told me stories of Native American myths and heroes.
One of my favorite stories from Grandpa was the one of the Irishman who was born with a hump on his back and it was so big and awkward that there was little he could do. But being skiiled with his hands, he made a living braiding straws and making hats and bags from the braids. He always wore a sprig of foxglove in his hat and it helped him with the braiding. One night he was late leaving the market for home and was caught by dark far from home. He lay down to rest beside the old moat of Knockgrafton and while he was laying there he heard wonderful voices singing and after listening a while in wonder, he added in a line of his own about foxglove at an appropriate spot. Well, it was the Good People singing and they were so taken with his addition to their song, they cured him of his hump and kept the bit he added to their song. An old woman heard about the miraculous cure and came to him to ask him about the cure. He told her the truth and she told a friend of hers who had a son who also had a hump. The son,though, was a nasty tempered sort of man, and when he went to Knockgrafton, he interrupted the singing of the Good People and they tripled the size of his hump in payment for his rude behaviour. Without doing more than telling me a fun story, Grandpa taught me the value of considerate behavior and the law of Kharma all in one.
Great grandma told me the story of why the owl has such big eyes. When the Earth Mother was making all the animals and giving them the traits they thought they wanted, she was working on Rabbit. He wanted long legs so he could run quickly and fangs so he could catch his prey and claws to defend himself. She was just getting started and had gotten his long back legs done when Owl came by to watch. Owl kept interrupting The Mother with his requests for a long neck like a swan, amazing vision, etc. until she got angry and left her work on Rabbit. She pushed Owl's head down into his body so he had no neck at all, gave him huge eyes that can't handle the light of day and she pulled on his ears until they stuck up like tufts from his head. The saddest part was that Rabbit was so frightened by The Mother's anger, he ran away half finished so that the only part of his request that got finished was long hind legs and he has been frightened ever since. I guess the lesson in this one is to be careful what you wish for and how you ask for it.
After all of my meanderings, my main reason for this is to encourage others to be story tellers. Look up and read the folk stories of your ancestory and others and pass them on. They are far to precious to lose and our children and grandchildren are fascinated by them if you can drag them away from the TV and movies and electronic entertainment. If you are not a fantasy reader, try out some of the amazing story tellers that are still out there. It opens a wonderful and magical world of pictures and thoughts that call to something deep inside of us.
Song of the Week with Kestril Trueseeker
Weekly Tarot: 6 of Pentacles
|New Palladini Tarot|
Keywords: Giving, Sharing, Balance, Prudence, Receiving, Abundance, Responsibility, Sound judgment, Humanitarianism
"The Six of Pentacles is a card representing being in harmony with your money. The amount that comes in and the amount that flows out are in balance, and you are thankful for what you have without being grasping of it, and happy to share with others in need. This card is also about charity. You may either be the wealthy man in this card, giving away his wealth, or the beggars, gratefully receiving what the man has to offer." ~ Biddy Tarot
"A time of prosperity and profit. Success and generosity in material things. Power and influence turned to noble pursuits. Philanthropy, and the balancing of physical and spiritual life. May suggest gifts or aid to one in need."~ facade.com
Weekly Totem: Mourning Dove
Key words: peace, love, assistance, gentleness, home, security, significance with the number 7, feminine, maternity instincts, travel, relocation, death.
It’s appropriate that this week’s totem is the mourning dove. Mourning doves have been alighting on our deck every day since Maddie’s death. They have never been interested in being close to us physically in the past, but just this morning, Lyssa and I were sitting on the deck, and sure enough, two of them landed on the deck railing, not 2 feet away from us. They sang us their song, then flew off.
The mourning dove is a member of the pigeon family and both hold the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts. Many with this totem will experience unsettling childhoods and will be challenged continually to acquire a solid secure foundation in all areas of their lives. Ted Andrews indicates in his book, “Animal Wise Tarot” that when we hear a mourning dove calling, it indicates that life is about to settle, to become more peaceful and calm. The mourning dove asks us to go within, and release our emotional discord, be it of the past or the present. It assists us in releasing trauma stored within, even as deep as our cellular memory.
The doves is also a sign that unexpected support or assistance will come when you need it most; something will happen in 7 hours, 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 years or at 7:00; you are about to travel or relocate to a new home; a new relationship or an old one rekindled; the need to leave a destructive or difficult situation; expect a death, either physical or symbolic; a spirit messenger is coming.
May these doves bring you peace and release in the coming week.
In case you're not sure of the sound, here's a short video of a mourning dove call.. it comes a little later in the video.. the first chirps you hear are not it:
The Shameless Plug:
I have two shameless plugs this week.
The first one is for help in paying the hospital bills incurred by the tragic death of my granddaughter's best friend Maddie, age 3, who suddenly went comatose last Sunday, was diagnosed with leukemia Sunday night, declared brain dead by Tuesday and was taken off of life support Wednesday evening (see this week's previous blog posts for more details). This is one of the most tragic events I have ever had the horror to vicariously experience. My heart is broken for Maddie's mom, my daughter Nichole (Maddie's mom is one of her closest friends) and my 6 year old granddaughter who called Maddie her bff. Maddie's parents are going to need every bit of financial help they can get with no insurance. The heartbreak of this tragedy is still so fresh... the last thing they need to worry about is how they will pay for the massive bills they will incur for life support and other services. Every little bit helps. If you only have 5.00 to spare, it will make a difference. Here is the link to help them.
My second plug is for a lovely shop I discovered this week. It's the Natural Path Herbal Apothecary & Wellness Center in Townsend, MA. My friend Susan runs it, and she is just lovely. If you don't live in the area, that's okay. She has both a Facebook Page (please like it!) and an online page where you can shop. Check out her wonderful wares and tell her Kallan sent you! :)
That's it for this week's stew. Mull. Digest. Enjoy :)