DFW Area Pagan Pride Day


DFW Pagan Pride Day Logo
DFW Pagan Pride Day Logo

So, it was sometime in November last year when we were at a friend’s birthday party in Mesquite that another long time friend approached me and said to me that he was hoping to get Pagan Pride Day going again in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. It had been 2 years since the previous Local Coordinator gave up the position and no one stepped forward to take up the effort. I like seeing Pagans getting together and networking, making good things happen and sharing in one another’s company so I said “Sounds good! Count me in!” So it began, this several months long Odyssey to help promote what I hoped would be an event to bring togetherness to the local Pagan community and spark some pride in our identity. Maybe give some new seekers a place to find like minded folks and foster better understanding among the mainstream community and ourselves. There have been many obstacles to overcome and I have seen things that have lifted my spirit as well as things which have humiliated me and devastated my faith in seeing it happen.

This leads me to ponder. How important is your faith to you? Is this something you would truly like to see grow and prosper or do you have other things in your life that you find more worthwhile? I remember reading stories while in school like The Diary of Anne Frank, hearing of what happened to many Native Americans on the Trail Of Tears, what happened to so many during what we now collectively call The Burning Times. I hear stories of great pilgrimages that people go through in which they spend days, weeks, even months walking to one particular sacred place to honor their God or gods, their ancestors, their concept of the divine. I wonder, how many people we have in our local community who have that kind of dedication in their faith in the sacredness of their gods, ancestors and  nature spirits or who or whatever it is they believe in. A great many people won’t even drive or catch a ride across town for an event to foster Pagan Pride, won’t spend $10 to help with the effort but will spend many times more than that on non-essential items, entertainment of one sort or another. Now, I am not saying I am any Paganer Than Thou, or anything like that. I don’t know myself what I would do in the face of certain death through torture as some of our ancestors endured. It’s easy to talk when you aren’t actually in the situation yourself. But I would like to think I could put my money where my mouth is or at least have my actions back up my words.

I was inspired by some of the people who did show up for the fund raiser last night. Someone I hadn’t seen in quite some time showed up and made a very generous cash donation to the cause. A couple of long time friends from the Sumerian Tradition and ADF Druidry were there. The band played their hearts out and a few people danced for us. We have some talented folks and I wish more people could have come out to appreciate their efforts. I know life gives us plenty of obstacles to deal with and we can’t always do the things we want to do but I have to wonder when dealing with the massive scale of people who don’t show up after they say that they will if the biggest problem facing our community isn’t apathy? I like a night at home watching movies, maybe a ball game with the kids, etc. too. But this is my spirituality and my community that I am talking about. If something is important to you you will make a way, if it isn’t you will make an excuse.


I shudder to think it but what happens if October 5th the turnout is similar to the ones we’ve had at the last two fund raisers? What if we throw a Pagan Pride Day and no one shows up?

As I have said before. When I started the DFW Pagan Pride Day web page and Facebook Page I wanted them to become places for the community to show it’s pride. I wanted Pagan Artists, Musicians, Crafters, Clergy, Dancers, to share pictures of what they do and what it means to them to walk their path. I have had so little shared with me that I finally had to resort to sharing posts from other sources just to keep the Facebook Page relevant on the news feed. I would be happy to just have pictures of people’s altars, their favorite places to go feed their spirit, their businesses, even their cats! I have thought about going around town and taking pictures of Caelum Moor, Deep Woods Apothecary, Enchanted Forest, Silver Pyramid, etc. But I haven’t had the time and don’t know whether I can have the permission to post it on PPD’s site. Mayhaps I will someday and if October 5th gets here and just a few of us show up at White Rock Lake I will be happy to see those few who make it. I will honor their spirit and hope to share in their stories.

Now the marketing professionals will tell me that I shouldn’t be so negative and should always make anything I say about PPD be on a positive note. I’m fine with that to a point but I don’t like to bullshit anyone either. The straight up truth is, if it is going to happen we will have to have more community participation. No one person can make it all happen alone. No small group can either to any great extent. It takes an entire community to make a big event happen. If a small group is all we’ve got then it will be a small event. But you know what? Burning Man started as a small group of people out in the middle of the desert.   Just sayin’! 😉


Cherokee Spirituality – An Introduction

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Cherokee Spirituality – An Overview
Some of the practices of the Cherokee are surprisingly familiar to Pagan practitioners. One such practice is the creation of sacred space. The Cherokee practice circle casting, or more specifically, they create a sphere of sacred space. One difference is that they construct and take down the circle in the widdershins direction. Following are the correspondences:

North – The Path of Quiet, animal – deer (A wi), color – Blue (sadness, humility, defeat), Season – Winter, Lesson – calm and healing

East – The Path of the Sun, animal – eagle (u wo ha li), color – Red (victory, power, war), Season – Spring, Lesson – personal truths and interpersonal experience, family commitment

South – The Path of Peace, animal – rabbit (Tsi sdu), color – White (peace, happiness, serenity), Season – Summer, Lesson – curiosity, playfulness, innovation, creativity

West – The Path of Introspection, animal – bear (yona), color – Black (hidden things), Season – Autumn, Lesson – knowing ourselves well, the Ancestors, Land of the Dead

Above – Color – Yellow, represents peace and order of the Seven Worlds

Below – Color – Orange/Brown, represents chaos and turmoil of the Earth – ever-changing

Center – Color – Green – the Kitawha place, this is the place we are now and where we are connected to all others.

Before entering the circle, each person is smudged by the Medicine Man or Woman, sometimes males are smudged by males and females by females. Smudging is done in a particular way, beginning with the heart – where Cherokee’s believe our souls reside. Generally, small children are not allowed in circle, nor do people leave the sacred space. The people believe that by wearing items owned by their dead ancestors (or perhaps a bit of their ashes in a bag) that they are taking those people into the ceremony as well, so the sacredness is quite important.

After entering the circle, the participants may go to a particular cardinal point depending on their need. For example, healing prayers would be offered at the North.

The Cherokee are Pantheists, believing that spirit resides in all animate and inanimate objects. One should thank the sacrificing spirit when killing game or taking anything (such as harvesting herbs). Tobacco, sage, and corn meal are common gifts for this purpose. They also make use of crystals for healing, magic, and divination.

The Cherokee regard the number Seven as sacred, thus they celebrate 7 sacred ceremonies. The ceremonies are celebrated when the first sliver of the new moon is observed. In case of cloudy weather where the tribe cannot view the moon, the ceremony does not take place. The seventh ceremony is only held every 7 years.

Following is a brief description of the Ceremonies:

First New Moon of Spring – celebrated at about the time the grass begins to grow. Prior to the ceremony, the women perform the friendship dance. During this festival, all the house fires are extinguished and restarted from the sacred fire. Each family would sacrifice the tongue of the next deer killed in the newly kindled fire in their home.

New Green Corn Feast – When the corn has reached the ripeness that it is “fit to taste” an ear is gathered from each of the seven clan and thanks is offered by the Uku (High Priest).

Ripe Green Corn Feast – starts 40 -50 days after the New Green Corn Feast. If the corn is ripening as expected, a dance is held. 20 days after the dance, a great feast is celebrated with much happiness and exultation.

Great New Moon Festival – This is celebrated at the appearance of the first new moon in Autumn and marks the beginning of the Lunar year. This festival celebrates the creation of the Earth.

Propitiation and Cementation Festival – A day or two after the Great New Moon Festival the Uku and seven counselors meet to determine the date (which is always 7 days later). This festival marks the expression of devotion for the source of blessings. It is also a time for cleansing impurities and the replacing of fires in the home.

Bounding Bush Festival – This marks the end of the festivals for the year. It is a joyous feast where offerings of wild tobacco are offered to the great sacred fire.

Ookah Dance – This festival occurs every seven years and is the time when thanks are offered to the Creator.

Learn More Here: http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Culture/General/CherokeeFestivals.aspx

Hydrogen Peroxide Uses You Should Try

PLEASE, SHARE………………HYDROGEN PEROXIDE MAGIC!
Hydrogen Peroxide

Ever since I started using it to get rid of armpit stains, to clean cookie sheets, as a miracle cleaner in my kitchen and bathroom, and to make my own “ oxiclean”…I ALWAYS have at least one bottle of the stuff under my kitchen sink, under my bathroom sink, AND in the laundry room. This stuff is amazingly versatile!

But it wasn’t until recently, after doing some IN DEPTH research on the subject, that I came to realize what a “miracle substance” hydrogen peroxide really is! It’s safe, it’s readily available, it’s cheap, and best of all, it WORKS! It works for a LOT of stuff!

Hydrogen peroxide should really be called oxygen water, since it is basically the same chemical makeup as water but with an extra oxygen atom (H2O2). Because of this it breaks down quickly and harmlessly into oxygen and water.

Some other interesting facts:

It is found in all living material.
Your white blood cells naturally produce  (H2O2) to fight bacteria and infections.
Fruit and vegetables naturally produce it as well. This is one of the reasons why it is so healthy to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is found in massive doses in the mother’s first milk, called colostrum, and is transferred to the baby to boost their immune system.
It is found in rainwater because some of the H20 in the atmosphere receives an additional oxygen atom from the ozone (O3) and this H2O2 makes plants grow faster.
Next to Apple Cider Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide ranks up there as one of the best household remedies.

Besides the obvious (cleansing wounds), did you know that it is probably the best remedy to dissolve ear wax? Brighten dingy floors? Add natural highlights to your hair? Improve your plants root systems? The list goes on and on!

There are SO many uses for this stuff that I’ve started replacing the cap on the bottle with a sprayer because it’s easier and faster to use that way.

I have compiled a rather impressive list of uses for 3% hydrogen peroxide that I hope will have you as thrilled and bewildered as I was!

Wash vegetables and fruits with it to remove dirt and pesticides. Add 1/4 cup of H2O2 to a sink of cold water. After washing, rinse thoroughly with cool water.

In the dishwasher, add 2 oz. to your regular detergent for a sanitizing boost. Also, beef up your regular dish soap by adding roughly 2 ounces of 3% H2O2 to the bottle.

Use it as a mouthwash to freshen breath. It kills the bacteria that causes halitosis. Use a 50/50 mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water.

Use baking soda and H2O2 to make a paste for brushing teeth. Helps with early stages of gingivitis as it kills bacteria. Mixed with salt and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide works as a whitening toothpaste.

Soak your toothbrush in it between uses to keep it clean and prevent the transfer of germs. This is particularly helpful when you or someone in your family has a cold or the flu.

Clean your cutting board and countertop. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. (I’ve been using it for this a LOT lately!)

Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, it’s great for cleaning places that store food and dishes.

Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of H2O2 and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.

Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine it with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

Whiten bathtub grout. First dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with H2O2. Let it sit — it may bubble slightly — for a little while, then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.

Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. H2O2 can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.

Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.

Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis.

Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants.

Add natural highlights to your hair. Dilute the hydrogen peroxide so the solution is 50% peroxide and 50% water. Spray the solution on wet hair to create subtle, natural highlights.

According to alternative therapy practitioners, adding half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a warm bath can help detoxify the body. Some are skeptical of this claim, but a bath is always a nice way to relax and the addition of hydrogen peroxide will leave you – and the tub – squeaky clean!

Spray a solution of 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide on leftover salad, drain, cover and refrigerate. This will prevent wilting and better preserve your salad.

Sanitize your kids’ lunch boxes/bags.

Dab hydrogen peroxide on pimples or acne to help clear skin.

Hydrogen peroxide helps to sprout seeds for new plantings. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution once a day and spritz the seed every time you re-moisten. You can also use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water to improve your plants’ root system.

Remove yellowing from lace curtains or tablecloths. Fill a sink with cold water and a 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Soak for at least an hour, rinse in cold water and air dry.

Use it to remove ear wax. Use a solution of 3% with olive or almond oil. Add a couple drops of oil first then H2O2. After a few minutes, tilt head to remove solution and wax.

Helps with foot fungus. Spray a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on them (especially the toes) every night and let dry. Or try soaking your feet in a peroxide solution to help soften calluses and corns, and disinfect minor cuts.

Spray down the shower with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and viruses.

Use 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a gallon of water to clean humidifiers and steamers.

Wash shower curtains with hydrogen peroxide to remove mildew and soap scum. Place curtains in machine with a bath towel and your regular detergent. Add 1 cup full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

Use for towels that have become musty smelling. 1/2 cup Peroxide and 1/2 cup vinegar let stand for 15 minutes wash as normal. Gets rid of the smell.

Use hydrogen peroxide to control fungi present in aquariums. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your fish. Use sparingly for this purpose.

De-skunking solution. Combine 1 quart 3% H2O2, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent, 2 quarts warm water.

 

Get some today!

Ogham

Ogham Alphabet
Ogham Alphabet

Ogham is an Early Medieval script used predominately to write in the Old Irish and Brythonic languages. It is sometimes known as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet”, based on a high medieval Bríatharogam tradition ascribing names of trees to the individual letters of the alphabet. There are around 400 known, surviving ogham inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain. Most of them are in southern Ireland, in Counties Kerry, Cork and Waterford. The largest number outside of Ireland is in Pembrokeshire in Wales. The remainder are mostly in south-eastern Ireland, Scotland, Orkney Isles, the Isle of Man, and England around the Devon/Cornwall border. Most of the inscriptions are of personal names.

The main use of ogham by modern Druids and Pagans is for divination purposes. Divination by using ogham symbols is mentioned in Tochmarc Étaíne, a tale in the Irish Mythological Cycle. In the story, druid Dalan takes four wands of yew, and writes ogham letters upon them. Then he uses the tools for divination.The tale doesn’t explain further how the sticks are handled or interpreted. Another method requires a cloth marked out with Finn’s Window. A person selects some sticks randomly, throws them on the cloth, and then looks both at the symbols and where they fell.

The divinatory meanings are usually based on the tree ogham, rather than the kennings of the Bríatharogam. Each letter is associated with a tree or other plant, and meanings are derived from them. Robert Graves’ book The White Goddess has been a major influence on assigning divinatory meanings for ogham. Some reconstructionists of Druidic ways use Briatharogam kennings as a basis for divinatory meanings in ogham divination. The three sets of kennings can be separated into Past-Present-Future or Land-Sea-Sky groupings in such systems, but other organizing structures are used, as well.

Brownie In The Kitchen, Dragons In The Yard

Dragons are legendary creatures, typically scaled or fire-spewing and with serpentine, reptilian or avian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures around world.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Dragons too.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

One thing that is nice about hanging around with the many groups of magickal people of the various traditions we are familiar with is that most folks of our bent understand when you start talking about those little glimpses of what lives beyond what can typically be seen  with our physical set of eyes. We have interesting stories to share with one another and can compare notes that go beyond the typical “Oh! I saw a ghost! SCARY STUFF!” stories. For example, a few weeks ago as I was stumbling into my kitchen at 4 AM to make my morning coffee and prepare for another work day I saw a Brownie in the kitchen. No, I’m not talking about the kind you eat either. I am talking about the kind that run like Hel when they see ya because Brownies really don’t like to be seen by people kind of Brownie. He moved so fast it was like a blur and he went straight out the sliding glass back door without even bothering to open it and hasn’t been seen again. But we’ve been leaving offerings in the hopes he will come back because they can be very helpful folks to have around the home if you are nice to them.

Speaking of nice to have around the home, we have a few dragons who have been around for some time and keep a watchful eye on our home for us. There is Blue who stands by the edge of the street in the last photinia tre that grows between our house and the neighbors. He stands about the height of a two story house. I have lived in the same house since 1991 and I have only seen him move from that spot once in all these years. That was earlier this year, he flew away for just a few minutes and then returned. I have no idea where he went or why but he wasn’t gone for long. Now, who knows, maybe he does that periodically and I just never saw it before but this is the only time I know of that this particular dragon hasn’t been just where I said he is. My wife has one who lies in the backyard mostly and she is a beautiful creature who tends to be both protector and spiritual guide in many ways from what I have come to understand. We used to have a smaller one, dark brown with black eyes which had little gold flecks in them who would come and go a lot and while he was with us he preferred the back yard as well between our garage and neighbor’s fence. We did a house cleansing and blessing for a friend awhile back and the dragons came to help (except Blue of course, who stayed and stood sentinel as always). This small, brown dragon became attached to her young child and has been with them ever since.

You know, more than a decade ago I used to hang around with a paranormal group called DFW Ghost Watchers. We went to several reputedly haunted places and did some investigations. Managed to pick up some interesting EVPs, sense some cold spots, smelled some inexplicable smells and saw some unusual things. One of the things I saw when hanging around with them was that one night we went to a bridge that was reputed to have had some “ghost” sightings. We waited for quite some time and picked up nothing, then suddenly there was a ball of light hovering over the creek nearby among the trees. It bounced around slowly for awhile and disappeared again in a flash. At the time I remeber thinking to myself, “Now that’s not what I expected a ghost to look like.” Now days, having studied the things I have studied and learned what I now know, I am fairly convinced what  I actually saw that night was a Will O The Wisp. This leads me to wonder, how many things that people see and report as “ghosts” or “aliens” are actually sightings from the realm of the sidhe but most folks now days don’t really know what to call them so the “go to” is generally ghosts or aliens because, that’s just what people talk about nowadays. There are many other creatures and sighting we and our friends have experienced and talked about and yes, some of them are actual ghosts. There are Native American spirits which still haunt these lands and there are kindred and nature spirits which have always lived here but there are some of the sidhe who also migrated to America when many of our Celtic ancestors came. America is an interesting place in many ways, we truly are a melting pot and sometimes the vastness of the cultures we are able to experience here are overwhelming.

What stories have ye to share?

 

Encountering the Morrigan In Battle

Detail of Battle Crow from "Cú Chulainn riding his chariot into battle" by Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874 - 1951)
Detail of Battle Crow from “Cú Chulainn riding his chariot into battle” by Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874 – 1951)

Translation by Isolde Carmody

Kings arise to [meet] the battle
Cheeks are seized
Faces [honours] are declared
Flesh is decimated,
Faces are flayed
Weapons of battle are seized
Ramparts are sought
Feasts are given
Battles are observed
Poems are recited
Druids are celebrated
Circuits are made
Bodies are recorded
Metals cut
Teeth mark
Necks break
[A hundred] cuts blossom
Screams are heard
Battallions are broken
Hosts give battle
Ships are steered
Weapons protect
Noses are severed
I see all who are born
[in the] blood-zealous vigorous battle,
Raging [on the] Raven-battlefield [with] blade-scabbards.
They attempt our defeat
Over our own great torrents
Against your attack on the full [compliment] of Fomoire
In the mossy margins;
The helpful raven drives
Strife to our hardy hosts
Mustered, we prepare ourselves to destroy
To me, the full-blooded exploits are like
Shaking to-and-fro of hound-kills
Decay of muddy war-bands, your violations are renounced.

 Popular tradition also bears testimony to the former widespread belief in the magical powers of the Badb. In most parts of Ireland the Royston-crow, or fennóg liath na gragarnaith (“the chattering grey  fennóg”). As she is called by the Irish speaking people, is regarded at the present day with feelings of mingled dislike and curiosity by the peasantry, who remember the many tales of depredation and slaughter in which the cunning bird is represented as exercising a sinister influence. Nor is this superstition confined to Ireland alone. The popular tales of Scotland and Wales, which are simply the echo of similar stories once current and still not quite extinct in Ireland, contain requent allusion to this mystic bird. The readers of the Mabinogion will call to mind, amongst other instances, the wonderful crows of Owain, prince of Rheged, a contemporary of Arthur, which always secured factory by the aid of the three hundred crows under its command 3: and in Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands we have a large stock of legends, in most of which the principal fairy agency is exercised by the hoodie or scare-crow.

It may be observed, by the way, that the name hoody, formerly applied by the Scotch to the hooded crow or the scare-crow, from its appearance, is now generally applied to its less intelligent relative the common carrion crow. But the hoody of Highland fairy mythology is, nevertheless, the same as the badb or Royston crow.

I have referred to Neman, Macha, and Morrigu, as the so called sisters of the Badb. Properly speaking, however, the name Badb seems to have been thee distinctive title of the mythological beings supposed to rule over battle and carnage. M. Pictet feels a difficulty in deciding whether there were three such beings, or whether Neman, Macha, and Morrigu are only three different names for the same goddess; but after a careful examination of the subject I am inclined to believe that these names represent three different characters, the attributes of Neman being like those of a being who confounded her victims with madness, whilst Morrigu incited to deeds of valour, or planned strife and battle, and Macha revelled amidst the bodies of the slain.

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/aigw/aigw01.htm

The Newton Stone

The Newton Stone
The Newton Stone

From Pagan Gods on Facebook

The Newton Stone – is an ancient pillar stone, found in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The stone contains two inscriptions, one identified as Ogham, but the second script has never been positively identified.

This Stone has been known since 1804 when the Earl of Aberdeen George Hamilton-Gordon discovered the stone by the opening up of a new road near Pitmachie Farm, Aberdeenshire, after local shephards told him of a “curious monument” that sat there. The stone was later taken and planted in the garden of Newton House, in the Parish of Culsamond about a mile north of Pitmachie Farm by the antiquarian Alexander Gordon, alongside another stone found close by the Newton Stone at Pitmachie. George Hamilton-Gordon was indebted by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for writing a letter describing the original position of the Newton Stone (and the other stone) since Alexander Gordon removed them from their original position which archeologists and historians at the time thought could have been of significance. Before being moved to the garden of Newton House and subsequently becoming known as the “Newton Stone”, the stone was known by locals as the “Pitmachie Stone”

John Pinkerton first published the engravings of the stone in his Inquiry into the History of Scotland (1814) yet made no attempt to decipher the unknown script. George Hamilton-Gordon’s son Arthur Gordon first took these published engravings to Cambridge University in 1849 and scholars first took an interest in attempting to decipher the unknown text. Various different theories regarding the decipherment or identification of the unknown script have been proposed since 1850’s.

In 1864 antiquaran Alexander Thomson read a paper to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland addressing six claims of alleged decipherment theories of the Newton Stone:

Phoenician (Rev. Nathan Davis)
Celtic (Dr. Padre)
Latin (Thomas Wright)
Greek (Constantine Simonides)
Egyptian Arabic (Dr. J. E Brown)
Hebrew-Bactrian (Dr. George Moore)

Richard Rolt Brash published a Gaelic interpretation of the Ogham part in 1873.

Laurence Waddell (1924) offered a detailed decipherment as Phoenician.

Easy Midsummer Ritual Mead

Midsummer Mead
Midsummer Mead

From The Smart Witch on Facebook

Midsummer Ritual Mead is a lovely drink to serve at Litha – the Summer Solstice. You also may enjoy offering it during Esbats and during your Cakes and Ale Ceremonies.

Embrace the tradition by using fresh rainwater that has been blessed by a priest or priestess! The final product will be delicate, sweet, complex and tasty.

You Will Need:
3 gallons water (filtered, non-chlorinated)
3 pounds raw, local honey
3 handfuls of herbs such as meadowsweet, lemon balm, woodruff and heather flowers (two to three cups total)
3 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup barley malt
1 ounce brewer’s yeast
Cheesecloth
Your cauldron or a large pot (non-aluminum)
A jug larger than 3 gallons

Optional Ingredients:
1 large orange, washed well and cut into eights, rind and all
1 small handful of raisins (about 25)

Instructions:
Pour the water into a large cauldron or pot.
Bring to a boil and add the herbs, cinnamon and cloves.
Simmer gently for one hour to infuse the flavor of the herbs into the water.
Skim off any foam that forms on top.
Add the honey, brown sugar and barley malt.
Stir thirteen times in a deosil (clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere) direction and then remove from heat.
Strain through a cheesecloth and allow the mead to cool to room temperature (80 degrees F or less).
Stir in the brewer’s yeast – agitate it well to oxygenate the yeast.
Cover with a clean towel and allow it to stand for at least one full day and one full night without being disturbed.
Strain again, bottle in a clean jug and chill until ready to serve.

Now, this is an “easy” recipe that doesn’t call for the use of an airlock or any chemicals. It usually turns out well. However, without an airlock, which allows gasses to escape without allowing air to enter the container, messy little explosions have been known to occur.

Serve the ritual mead with an incantation or prayer of gratitude. You may also want to keep your intent strong to connect with the earth energies as you make the ritual mead.

Sources: The Wicca Spellbook, The Domestic Witch, Mother Earth News and Cookbook of Shadows

The Morrighan Speaks

The Morrighan Speaks
By Stephanie Woodfield

Your first & last breath belong to me
I am the embodiment
Of destruction & creation
Who revels in the chaos of change

It is only me who can navigate you
Through the ruins of your soul
So, you call me Dark Mother
The Raven of war
And I am, and I am not
For I am ever & only myself
Beyond the definition of humanity

If I destroy, it is only to create anew
From the ashes of the old
I am the fertile darkness
Deep within the soul

I am the forge that tempers the will
I am the rage that empowers
I am the soul that will not suffer
Or endure injustice
I am the strength that emerges
From the darkness of self doubt
Self-knowledge attained from loss
So drink in my darkness
And discover the beauty within
And learn the wisdom that only I can teach
After the Battle with the Fomorians the Morrighan go to the Tuatha De Danann warriors & utters her two part victory prophecy. The first part is Stirring & positive (I have already posted this further down on this page so won’t repeat it here)
The second part is foreboding & warns of the end of the world. It seems as if she could have been talking of the times we live in today!
Here it is:-

“I shall not see a world that will be dear to me
Summer without flowers, cows without milk
Women without modesty, Men not brave
Conquests without a King
Woods without mast, fishless Seas
Bad judgements by old men
False precedents of the lawgivers
Every man a betrayer, Each son a robber
The son will enter his fathers bed
The father also in the bed of the son
A brother becomes his own brother-in-law
None will look for a woman outside his own house
O evil time, deception, deception!”

There Is Strength In Communities

Communities flourish or fail based on levels of trust, communication and cooperation within them.

Drumming and Dancing at Feed Your Head - Communities
Drumming and Dancing at Feed Your Head – Communities

One Spirit In The Dark

Like A Candle Wavers

Many Spirits Joined As One

Burn With The Power Of The Blazing Sun 

Spiral Rhythm 

As I think I mentioned previously somewhere, we people of minority religious beliefs really don’t need to tear one another apart. There are factions within the gigantic, mainstream monotheisms who would gladly do it for us  if we weren’t doing it for them so often. So what is the solution? I don’t know, honestly. I think communication, education, understanding and compromise might help build some of those bridges that are necessary to facilitate better cohesiveness.

So, I look around and I see in other spiritual communities and the big churches of the monotheistic power centers that they offer services for helping parents take care of children affordably while mom and dad or just mom or just dad have to go to work. I see grief counseling, I see substance abuse programs, etc. I know we have some small Pagan charities, like Lady Liberty League and it’s wonderful that they are out there. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some nice things? It’s not that there aren’t enough of us. It’s that we are isolated in our little self made islands here and there, often self imposed because of witch wars past. I’m talking about grudges some folks have been carrying around for 20+ years keeping entire groups from working together on even the smallest joint enterprise. Now isn’t that just a little bit crazy to someone else out there? I know it is as I have been talking quite a bit with some like minded individuals here locally.