(S) Sabbat: Fall Equinox


While I don’t have a whole lot that I do on a regular basis, the Sabbats are something that I do make a point of acknowledging, even if it’s only briefly. Being Eclectic I do tend to sort of do my own thing – and while I do honor my God and Goddess, there are other aspects of the Sabbats that I honor as well.

I’m clearly a child of Fall, I relish in the crisp weather, the bright oranges and yellows as the leaves start to turn – that smoky smell in the air, of wood stoves or fireplaces that have been lit… and everything else that comes along with it. Spring runs a close second, but my true love is Fall. For quite a while I never quite knew what to do with myself on Mabon, and in truth I rarely call it that – preferring simply the Fall Equinox. At first glance it’s a sort of in between day – you’ve already celebrated one harvest, and if you really need to, there’s another one coming up… but that is the sort of beauty of it, when one takes a closer look (or at least there is for me).

Both Lughnasadh and Samhain have other components to them, that often overshadow their “harvest festival” aspect. So much so that I’ve really come to appreciate this particular day, as my actual day to celebrate the “harvests” of the year, and leave the other days to their other aspects. I rarely cook – it’s not something that I enjoy all that much and hubby is so much better at it than I am. He has that special gift of being able to throw things in a pot and no matter what it is, it almost always comes out amazing. A gift that I sorely lack. However on the Equinox, I usually will put forth the effort, and make it a true “thanksgiving” feast for the family.

This year, celebrations will be slightly tempered though – while I am thankful for a lot (and some things are a lot better than they were the last couple of years, so I am thankful), it’s been a pretty bad month so far. Even though it’s been almost 15 years, events earlier in the month brought the reality of my mother’s death crashing back down on me. Then – while I was still dealing with that, got a call from my dad that he likely has skin cancer, and (in his words) “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”. He’s not the type to be overly melodramatic, so needless to say, I’m a bit worried. All of which is bad enough, but then came the worst part (yes… something worse than cancer), confirmation that one of my son’s teacher assistants was more than likely physically and verbally abusing him off and on last year. He’s autistic and completely non-verbal, so had no way to tell us what was going on, and we had absolutely no idea. This was someone we thought of as a friend, and needless to say we are devastated.

So… clearly not really in a festive, or thankful mood at the moment, but it’s still important for me to mark the turning of the Wheel. So I’m looking forward to cooking a bit of something good later on, and hopefully regaining some of the inner-balance that this day is good for.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Sabbat!!

P.S… if anyone is in need of a good balancing ritual this is one I wrote several years back, feel free to use/modify as needed (please credit me though if you are posting it elsewhere). 🙂

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(P) Pagan Pride


This post is primarily based on an experience that occurred in 2008, though in all fairness it’s pretty common at almost any PPD, that I’ve been to in recent memory. As we are fast approaching PPD season, seemed like a good time to bring it up.

So…my family and I go to our local Pagan Pride Day almost every year, and though some years it’s better than others, I am often left wondering if my standards and/or expectations of other Pagans are a bit too high.

I realize too, that there are a whole group of people who categorize themselves as Pagans, who are simply “wannabes”. These are the ones who are doing this too piss off their parents, or because they saw “The Craft” once and thought it looked cool, or any number of other less than “noble” reasons.  What gets me though, is it seems to be these particular people who often show up in droves to the PPD events. Maybe they think that since it is a gathering of other Pagans, that it is ok to let loose,  not that they really have any sort of understanding of Paganism, outside of stereotypes anyways. However, I still have to question…why? Why break out the fairy wings and renaissance wear – the Harry Potter gear, and extreme Goth wear?

In this case I don’t mean people who may normally dress that way on a regular basis, but the ones – and you can tell the difference – who are dressed up like PPD is one giant Halloween party. I also understand completely the concept of ritual wear, though again (and maybe this is just a personal quirk, but I know others that feel the same way) ritual wear is generally reserved for ritual purposes only. Wearing ritual gear out into the mundane world allows it to absorb those energies, which generally leaves them kind of icky (‘cuz you know people have all sorts of crazy energetic baggage – and especially when you are around a large group of people, you never know what you are going to pick up). Then you then have to go through the effort of cleansing them, and it’s usually just better to keep them away from that sort of thing.

So we shout Pagan Pride and expect others to take us seriously, and yet if this is the public “face” that we are putting on… can we really expect for anyone to take us seriously and give us the respect we deserve? I can understand that we don’t necessarily want to exclude anyone, but part of bringing Paganism to the mainstream (or at least raising tolerance levels) is letting people know that “hey… we are just like you”. That we should be able to dress however we want (be one Pagan or otherwise) is an issue as well, but until we live in that world, it’s still seems that one should be dressing some what appropriately (not particularly fond of that word, but it will have to do). At the very least, we should not be going out of our way to dress/act in a way that perpetuates the negative stereotypes we are trying so very hard to break away from.

There are many people who have chosen a Paganism because they are seriously seeking a religion or a spiritual path that they have not been able to find elsewhere. As one of those people, I find that I resent the “intrusion” of these “wannabes”. I am sick of wading through endless amounts of fluff, to find one small shred of valid truth. Just once, I’d like to go to a Pagan gathering and come away feeling like I learned something valuable, not like I’ve been violated. If I wanted to go to the a carnival or Ren Faire, then that is where I would go. As I said in the beginning, maybe my standards are too high – but if we are ever to be taken seriously, then maybe it is time that others raised their standards as well.

(O) Being Open-Minded


Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out!

A friend used to be rather fond of the above quote, and as we used to find ourselves frequently in discussion with those who were often accusing us of being “close-minded“, it really became a mantra of sorts. A rallying cry for fighting the good fight. It’s a variation of one that many often attribute to Richard Dawkins, however a closer look shows that the original author is unknown.

It’s one thing to accept that almost anything is possible, but it’s quite another to blindly believe every single thing that you read, or hear someone say. While there is a lot of UPG, and “doing your own thing” when it comes to many Pagan paths, there are still many things which can be verified, or that have historical facts/evidence associated with them. It’s also good to remember that “traditions” are not called such just for the fun of it.  Most importantly, we need to keep in mind that it is not “close-minded” to challenge those who attempt to claim otherwise, in fact it really comes down to a matter of common sense.

If someone asks you why you believe in something, or why you hold a certain view point to be true – you should be able to rationally discuss (even if you don’t give out personal details) at least some of the reasons which led you to feel the way you do. If you can’t, then maybe you need to take a bit of time and really think about it. This isn’t just important as a means to satisfy someone else’s curiosity, but a serious means of gaining a deeper understanding of your own beliefs and practices.

If someone points you to sources or information that contradict something that you thought you knew – don’t dismiss it out of hand. No one likes to be wrong, but a large part of life is growing and learning new things – take the opportunity that is being given to find out if you might have missed something. At the very least you’ll come out with stronger convictions, because you are able to support your own beliefs, but on that slight possibility that you are wrong, here is your chance to learn something new.  In either case you come out better for it in the end.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t believe in whatever you want to believe in, but using critical thinking skills in these situations goes a long way to ensuring that one’s practices, and beliefs are built on a solid foundation, rather than something a bit more tenuous.

(M) Mandating Ignorance


I want to start out by saying that I have issues with both main political parties, and at this point I am more or less fed up with both of them. However given that the GOP keeps saying the most ridiculous things EVER – they are slightly higher on my “shit list” as it were, than anyone else at the moment. I also know that there are good people in our government, who are working as hard as they can, but I also recognize that it is a very uphill battle for anyone at this point. I also need to point out that I don’t actually have any issues with most Christians – I do have issue with anyone who is trying to shove their beliefs down my throat, or who is trying to impose their beliefs as being more “moral” or “just”, or in any way better than mine. In short, I just really needed to vent and get this off my chest, so here it is…

I’m not entirely sure when this was released, though I’m guessing fairly recently as it’s just now making the news. At first glance, the official 2012 State Republican Party Platform (of Texas) might not seem related to my path, or even Paganism in general. However on closer inspection, it contains language that could (at some point) affect all of us, as it gives unsettling insight into just how far the ultra-conservative Christian politicians are willing to go, in order to insure that any child born in Texas (or potentially other states, that are led by those who are like-minded) is kept as ignorant as possible to anything outside of what their own family deems important, or worth knowing. It’s worth noting, that the national GOP Party Platform (at least from previous years) contains many similar statements as well.

There are a number of issue that I have with many of their stances, however in particular is the section relating to EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN. The official stances noted here (and to be sure there are actually quite a few more in the document, but these are some of the big ones) are all disturbing to say the very least.

American Identity Patriotism and LoyaltyWe believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.

Early Childhood DevelopmentWe believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development and oppose mandatory pre-school and Kindergarten. We urge Congress to repeal government sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development.

Knowledge-Based EducationWe oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Sex EducationWe recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.

While I have issues (as mentioned), with all of them, it’s the “Knowledge-Based Education” one that concerns me the most, and is the main reason for this post. In particular – the idea that teaching someone to think critically, and ask questions is in some how detrimental to a person. The idea that we should teach our children to literally be sheep, who should follow anything said to them by a parent (and in turn any authority figure) without asking the eternal child’s question “why?”  The idea that we should turn our children lose in the world, when they have grown to adulthood, ripe for being taken advantage of. Because someone that they trust, or who is in a position of authority will come along and they will accept at face value what that person says, because they were never taught the critical thinking skills necessary to determine that what is being said, may not be an accurate reflection of how things really are (or in some cases may be outright lies).

What this particular stance also speaks to (as well as the “Early Childhood Development” one), is that they want [Christian] parents in their state to be able to indoctrinate their children from birth, in their particular faith, and then make sure that they don’t encounter anything else that might cause them to question that faith. Or if they do encounter other ideas, that they have been “groomed” so well from birth, that it doesn’t occur to them to ask questions. To be fair it could be a parent of any faith, but clearly this seems to be a response to what these particular members of the GOP have seen as a direct attack on their “good Christian values” of late.

I’ll be honest – that there are people in my country, worse people who are in positions of power in my country, who think like this scares me. I don’t understand how we went from a country that valued Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, to a country that is moving full on towards denying those basic human rights. They say that they want less government involvement in things, then look to use that very same government to limit the rights of those they deem unworthy.

So of course the choice is to fight back, but it is clear… oh so very clear, that things that worked in the past  – such as protesting, no longer have any real effect on anything. If you don’t have the support of the media, or a large pile of money funding you – it’s like you are completely invisible. It’s really enough to make me despair for my children, and their children – of the country that they will inherit. As the current one seems hellbent on mandating ignorance, and I for one find that totally unacceptable.


(I was going to include some other stances that I had issues with, however in the end felt that it would potentially distract from the main focus of this post, so have chosen not to include them. Just note that there is a large number of other issues that I have with this document, and in many cases they all do have “ignorance”… in some way or an other, as a core component.)

(L) Loki =/= Loki


Huh… whaaaaa?

As anyone who has a tumblr account can probably attest, it’s hard to get through a day without at least one Avengers related image zipping through one’s dashboard. After seeing a bit of a trend regarding some particular images, it occurred to me, and especially after I saw a friend mention something similar, that there are potentially thousands of fangirls out there right now thinking that Loki is just the coolest damn thing since sliced bread. Which for some he really is… however in this case they are really all squeeeeee-ing over Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of (Marvel’s version of) Loki, not Loki himself.

In truth who can blame them… he’s got that cheeky grin, and the devil may care attitude (among other things), and there’s just that little (or large) part of us that is always attracted to that sort of thing.  It occurs to me as well, that the same could be said about Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, so with Heathenry suddenly looking oh so sexy, it really seemed like a good time to bring front and center the fact that Marvel Asgardian mythology and actual Norse lore are two very different things.

I think it’s great that some people may find themselves truly called to a Heathen path, because of these characters. However it’s cringe-worthy to think of those who may not do their “homework” (so to speak), and who might think that the mythology from the movies/comics is accurate, or that the way that the characters look/act in them has much to do with anything of how these particular Gods are actually described in the lore.

Just something to keep in mind, and to pass on to those that you think may need the reminder. Nothing wrong with being a Loki fangirl (or any other God’s for that matter)… just make sure you know who it is you are actually honoring.

(J) It’s All About the Journey…


One of my favorite quotes is “Faith is a Journey… Not a Destination”, and it is a good reminder that while where we are going is important, it’s what we do while on the path to get there, that really matters.

Ok… so… I was going to write a whole thing related to that statement, however to be honest – where I was going with it just sort of flew right out of my head (hence the WAY lateness of the post), so I’ll journey in a different direction instead. XD

I wrote this a while back for a solitary Eclectic Witch who was interested in finding a craft name, but really it could be modified so that one is journeying to “find” any number of things – a gem of wisdom or a bit of clarity regarding a current issue, a spiritual talisman to carry within for a particular purpose, or just a journey to recharge and balance oneself. If it seems like it would be useful to you, please feel free to modify it as necessary.

Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can sit or lie down and not be disturbed. Take a few moments to ground and center. Then take a few deep cleansing breaths and allow your body and mind to completely relax. When you are ready…

Imagine yourself at the edge of a forest, it’s mossy green and cool, there may be birds chirping and you can hear woodland creatures moving through the trees – in front of you is a path. It is narrow, but well worn by those who have come before you. You pause here for a moment, allowing yourself to become attuned to the earth around you – breathing in the scent of the trees and feeling the ground beneath your bare feet. For at this moment you are one with the earth.

(pause for a few moments)

When you are ready, you start walking down the path. Your purpose is clear – you are on a journey to find that secret part of you that has been hidden. You know that at the end of this path is a name that will unlock that secret and through your perseverance you will find it. As you continue to walk, you again notice the smells, sounds and feel of the forest. Suddenly you notice a gentle breeze, you stop and let the breeze flow over you. You feel its fingers ruffle your hair and your clothes, you notice the scent of the forest that is carried with it. Pause here for a moment, and allow yourself to become attuned to the air around you – breathing in the freshness and seeing how the breeze makes everything dance – for at this moment you are one with the air.

(pause for a few moments)

When you are ready, you continue on your path – feeling the ground beneath your feet and the breeze through your hair. You walk for a while and soon the temperature around you begins to get warmer. You come to a clearing and before you is a fire pit, and to the side there is a table with food that has been prepared. You sit for a time and eat – nourishing you body and basking in the warmth of the flames. As you look deep into the fire there is understanding – for out of destruction comes renewal…and out of renewal comes destruction…and so on, such is the cycle of life. Pause for a moment and allow yourself to become attuned to the fire – breathing in the smoky scent, hearing the crackling and feeling its soothing warmth. For at this moment you are one with the fire.

(pause for a few moments)

When you are ready, you continue on your path – feeling the ground beneath your feet, the breeze through your hair and the warmth from the fire still on your skin. You walk for a while and soon you hear a sound in the distance – a laughing, bubbling sound, and you find that the path has lead you to the shore of a little river. You notice that in order to continue your journey you must cross, and so you slowly walk into the water. The sparkling water is cool and refreshing – it is deep in spots so you float through those areas, allowing the water to wash over you and cleanse your body and you mind. Pause here for a moment and allow yourself to become attuned to the water – drinking in the coolness, feeling it as it flows through your body – renewing and refreshing, washing away all negative energies that surround you. For at this moment you are one with the water.

(pause for a few moments)

When you are ready, you leave the river and continue up the path . You are so completely attuned to the elements, that the forest around you is now swirling with energy – light and color is everywhere. You could stand here forever and watch the spiraling dance that is life. However you know you must move on – your journey is almost complete. You move forward into another clearing and see that your path ends at an ancient stone altar. It is simple and unadorned, but you can feel the power that surrounds it. On the top of the altar there is a box, and that which you seek is inside – you have only to reach down and lift the lid to receive the knowledge. Pause here for a moment – feel the elements swirling through you. For this moment you are one with the universe.

(pause for a few moments)

Your purpose is clear – and you know that when you lift this lid that you will have the name that you seek. When you are ready, place your hands on the lid of the box, and lift. Inside there is a small piece of parchment – you take it and then slowly unroll it. Written on the page is your name – take a few moments now and accept your gift. Feel the changes that are occurring as your secret self awakens – attune yourself with this new awareness. For at this moment and forever more you are one with yourself.

(pause for a few moments)

When you are ready you may begin your journey back to the mundane world. Though you have gained the knowledge you were seeking, know that this forest is always here for you. Whenever you feel the need to recharge your connections – you have only to walk the path for it to be so.

When you are ready…open your eyes.

(As mentioned above, you are welcome to re-post or modify the above as necessary, however I would ask that you please credit me when doing so. You can use either of the following when doing so – “posted with permission” or “modified with permission“. Thanks!! )

(I) Introducing Oneself to the Gods


I’ve noticed that there are quite a number of books out there, such as the Farrar’s books “The Witches’ God: Lord of the Dance and “The Witches’ Goddess: The Feminine Principle of Divinity, that often suggest just plopping down and introducing yourself to random Gods and Goddesses – just to get to know them. While these are both great books for getting to know more about the various attributes that a particular God or Goddess can exhibit, the idea of just calling on a particular God or Goddess out of the blue, is disconcerting to say the least. I fully admit I about fell out of my chair, in the chapter about Loki, when they made such a suggestion.

While I understand completely that Loki is not the “evil” God that many make him out to be, he is still one not to be taken lightly, and it’s generally not a good idea to bring oneself (purposefully) to his attention, unless one is prepared to deal with the bits of chaos he is likely to bring along with him. This is something that is true for any number of Gods and Goddesses, even ones that are generally considered benign. So I just can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that so many authors seem to think that it is ok to advise new practitioners to just jump right in like that – well before they have had any opportunity to understand the potential consequences of such an action.

Recently, as mentioned in my previous post, I was preparing to introduce myself to Odinn. To be fair it didn’t go nearly as bad as I thought it would, but the potential was there. Which is why it is important to know and understand who you are introducing yourself to. Just randomly showing up on someone’s doorstep, and saying “hey… wanna hang for a bit?”, not always going to go over very well. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really dislike it when people just drop by, especially people that I don’t know.

So what should you do if you feel that you are ready to get to know a particular God or Goddess on more intimate terms?

  • The first thing is research – read all (or as much of) the available myths/lore as possible. Find out if there are particular items or foods/drinks associated with said deity, so that when it comes time, you can properly represent them, and have an offering that you know they might like. Make sure that you have a good idea of the customs that are appropriate to said deity as well, – such as purity standards (like the ones required within Kemeticism).
  • Once you feel you have exhausted the academic route, take some time to really think about the potential consequences of bringing yourself to the attention of a God. In many cases one may do an intro ritual (for lack of a better word, though it may not necessarily be that formal), and not much will happen – in other cases it can have profound, life changing consequences. Be absolutely sure that you are ready whichever occurs – as each can be just as devastating, if unprepared. Being unexpectedly claimed by a God or Goddess can be a scary thing, however the same is true if one attempts contact and said deity ignores you completely. It can leave you wondering about your path, and how to move on, especially if one truly felt that there was a connection to be made.

Once you are ready, the process itself is fairly simply – though you can make it as formal or informal as you like. Some will go with more of a guided meditation type exercise, and others will have a full on ritual. The choice is entirely personal, and really it’s whatever feels most comfortable to you. For me it was a matter of a candle, a chant and a bottle of mead to share. For others it may be more involved, the key is that it comes from your heart, and is sincere. You don’t want to approach the Gods under false pretenses, or with a lack of humility, or humbleness, for in doing so you would definitely be starting out on the wrong foot. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life, for showing such a lack of respect to the Gods – and if ever there was a time for making a good “first impression”, this is it!