Consonants and Vowels...

As I go on my journey that is my life, I am inclined to write about experiences or feelings, share pics, recipes, ideas, oh just whatever may pop into my cluttered brain. Feel free to read and or share if you so desire...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Today, I heard the trees singing...

This morning as I woke up, I felt the cool autumn breeze brush against my face. I could smell the autumn incense as I stirred from my slumber. It was beautiful. I felt alive. Crisp, cool, earthen air.... As I looked outside, the trees were glorious with colors alive in reds and golds. They seemed to sing to me as I went about my routine. I turned off the radio on my way to work and enjoyed my quiet country ride that was scenic and inspiring. I stopped the car in a quiet spot, stood outside in the grass and just took a few deep breaths. Invoking all the serenity, beauty, and peace that surrounded me. I took my shoe off, grounded a bit, and went on my way. What a lovely way to start the day!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Witchy Tidbit for Today

"Better to conjure alone than in bad company."

We had a discussion, the girls and I about adding people to our coven. We are small, but we work so well together. Our energies mesh and play off of each other. Where one lacks, the other has an abundance and we come out so balanced, raw, and very close to perfect. I think we should be extremely cautious. It is extremely hard in our community to find like minded witches, much less ones we can trust. We tell the girls EVERYTHING. we are very open and honest even when it hurts.

If we bring in another, it may throw us off. When we find someone worthy, we will know without a doubt. Until then, it is just the three of us.

We should all be mindful of whom we practice with. Everyone brings their own energies to the mix. Make sure they will complement your own.

Some days, I just feel so damn uninspired. I have these walls... more like fortresses I have had to erect in order to not allow drama and negativity to get at me. But it seems to find a way to seep in time and time again. Usually in the form of family. Why is it that I am the one with the most dysfunctional family in the WORLD? (okay, yea, I am feeling a wee bit sorry for myself). I have had my own share of drama and trouble in the past. But, my life has been great. Work is good, Love is awesome, kids... well, reality says that kids aren't gonna be awesome all the time, eh? But, my family is literally killing me. I have a very manipulative father who was not only emotionally abusive and unavailable when I grew up, he is an asshole that doesn't even try to see his grand kids, and tries to create drama at every turn. My sister is schizophrenic. Literally, I am not joking. And she has borderline personality disorder... There is nothing borderline about it, it is a full size pain in the arse. She just called me to let me know she had tried to nap today and couldn't so she took 9 Benadryl... Yea, I was supposed to get worked up and panic. I calmly told her to call her doctor... I get these attention seeking calls constantly and now I an getting calls from bill collectors looking for her. GREAT. My mom is addicted to pills. Pain pills, Xanax, Benadryl, anything that will alter her reality enough to make it tolerable because my fucking dad cheated on her after 25 years of marriage and left her an empty shell of a woman who latched on tho the first abusive asshole prick dickhead she could find. Now she spends her days self medicating and slurring in a slumberous stupor because she is fucking miserable and won't admit it. There. I feel a bit better. Seriously. I needed to spew that someone's way. Now, I shall go downstairs into my magick room and do some spells for prosperity and calm peace...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Monday

I hate Mondays. Colin would not get out of bed today, he actually just kept kicking me... What the hell am I supposed to do? He wouldn't get up, I was late for work, he was late for school. I feel like screaming. He finally did get out of bed after several sets of "1-2-3.." and losing a privelege. He lost everything except outside priveleges. Then he got up, stomping, and started chasing hius brother, hitting him, jumping on him. I got his attention and said that if he touched his brother again, he would lose his outside priveleges. He continued to hit him off and on. After 3 chances, I revoked outdoor priveleges. He threw a fit. Screaming, running, wailing around the house, trying to beat up his brother. We finally got off to school. The rest of the day was ok.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a day!

Today, the boys had football. Colin put on his brothers pants. He must not have looked at them or Conners were closer and he just didn't want to get up and get them. I am not sure. Anyway, we nicely asked him to trade pants, because Conners are a different size. Colin refused. Threw himself on the ground screaming, yeslling, kicking at Chad. Chad tried to help him, but he kept kicking, screaming, we had to get going or they would be late for the game, They were screaming at each other, Colin was punching, kicking, hitting, trying to bite Chad just for trying to help him take off that pants. He had several opportunities to take them off by himself, but flat out refused, just laid there WAILING, repetetive baby like crying over and over. So, it ended with Chad and I holding him down, removing the pants. I have bruises on my legs from where I was kicked... What a way to start a day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday! I had a great day! I am getting an iPod for my bday from Chad, he got me a bunch of stuff, hats, a sweater, a sweatshirt. It was great. He put alot of thought into my gifts this year!

The boys fought. and fought. It was horrible in that respect. Colin can't quit pushing buttons.Poor Conner caught in the crossfire. All I do is try to be a good mom, but I seem to fail over and over. I must have crazy expectations to think that my boys could stay in the same room for 5 minutes while I change my clothes without attempts on someones life! I am so frustrated. No interventions are working. Conner is having trouble buying into not engaging with his brother in negative behavior. We are working on that. It just seems like no matter what, Colin just doesn't have to do what he doesn't want to do. If we ask him to, we are asking for a shit storm. If we don't give him what he wants, same result. It is like a cyclone, I just can't get out. I ended up sitting in the car quietly and thinking about things and I got NOWHERE. Except that maybe we need to bite the bullet and try this dietary thing. No milk, no wheat. Again, looking for trouble, that is all he eats, if I take it away, he will throw a damn tantrum.

Chad had to work tonight, I miss him. He will be off this weekend though. It shoud be awesome!

Work was good, I got suprised with a littel party by all of my dementia residents and my staff. I got some cute presents. Overall, it was a good day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pushing limits

Tonight Colin tried to push me down the stairs. He jumped quickly into bed before brushing his teeth and would not get up and brush. I tried to ignore it. I decided to tell him that it was fine. He did not have to brush, but he was not allowed to sleep in my room. (He likes to sleep on my floor when Chad is gone). He screamed, blood curdling sounds and told me he WAS sleeping in my room, tried charging me with is head several times, I was standing by the stairs, he kept charging at me over and over with his head down, I tried to stop him, I tried to put my arm out and balance him out or grab him, and then he screamed that I hit him, and he tried to push me down the stairs, He couldn't understand why I was so upset with him. Then he hit his brother for trying to help me. He got angry because I told him he needed to calm down and control himself or he would need to go somewhere and have someone else help him control himself. He screamed and ran around the house, said he was calling hte cops, called his dad, who was at work and bawled to him about how mean I was. He had NO insight into his actions and responsibility.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Interesting read Wicca vs Witch?

Traditional Witchcraft vs Wicca

In a world where Paganism is growing in every which way, we are beginning to see terms such as Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism tossed around in conversation, and quite often, in the wrong context. More and more authors and new practitioners of these traditions are coming to use the terms Witchcraft and Wicca as if they are to mean the same thing when, in fact, they are two quite different breeds of animal. Before comparing and contrasting the differences and making more sense of how these two very different magickal traditions can live side by side, let's get some of the basic definitions out of the way.

Used out of context more than the term Witchcraft, Paganism is an umbrella term that refers to the many wide varying traditions of non-Christian, Islamic, or Jewish religions practiced in the world today. The word originates from the Latin work "paganus" meaning "country dweller" and was often used to reference people that lived outside of the mainstream village society. The term later was used to refer to those that were not Christian during the conversions since they were often the last ones to be reached by missionaries and also often the last ones to willing give in to their attempts to get them to change spiritual beliefs.

Witchcraft is a spiritual practice with it's roots in European practice and dating back to the beginning of man. Most people do not trace back their involvement with Witchcraft past the Middle Ages because of the lack of information that is available in solid form from beyond that time as well as the fact that much of the retrieved information was written by Priests from the Christian church as falsified documents or accounts of what they believed their practices to be. In fact, it was the Christians that gave the word "Witch" and "Witchcraft" to these people and their practices and was not a term that they themselves used. Witchcraft involves the use of magick, although it is not required, and the honoring of Gods, local or land spirits and Ancestors rather than worship.

Wicca is a fairly young Pagan religion that is often confused with the religion of Witchcraft. Gerald B. Gardner, a member of a British Witchcraft coven, brought Wicca to the public in 1954. As the religion began to spread through Europe and to America it took on many different forms, spawning off many similar traditions, and taking shape and form by practitioners who began to come out publicly writing books and speaking out about their beliefs. Wicca involves the use of magick and ritual as well as the worship of a God and Goddess. While it is often referred to as a Nature religion, is it very common among urban people that have little to no access to natural places of worship.

Differences in History

While some of Wicca can be said to have roots in Traditional Witchcraft, they are very different from one another. They are especially different in their histories and origins. Wicca is a religion that was formed out of the a combination of fact, fiction, history, philosophy, psychology, and world religions. When Gardner was working with the New Forest Coven in England, he wanted to share his experiences with others, but was unable to for several reasons. At this time, presumed to be about the 1930s, the anti-Witchcraft laws were still in effect in Britain, and there were certain elements of the coven practices that Gardner was not under liberty to divulge.

In 1951 the last of the anti-Witchcraft laws as repealed and Gardner dedicated himself to bringing out a revival of Witchcraft because he felt that it was dying out because of the history and laws against it. It was in 1954 that he would publish his non-fiction book "Witchcraft Today", making him one of the very few people this early on to write factual material about modern Witchcraft practices. Though he had other pieces published be, most notably "High Magic's Aid", these were works of mostly fiction, while he still tossed in some of his actual pieces of worked ritual and magick into the stories.

Gardner was very heavily influenced by other religions and other occultist practices in the creation of his magickal system for Wicca. Most obvious and recognizable is his connection to the OTO, Golden Dawn, Masons, and the practices and teachings of Crowley. Gardner was also fond of many Eastern philosophies and took many forms of meditation as well as his system of karma from their religions. Other notable pieces "borrowed" from other sources include the ritual tools (taken from Kabalistic magick), the directional correspondences and their importance (taken from the Greeks), and the development of many of the "laws" of Wicca (taken from the OTO and Crowley). While others also had a hand in helping develop much of Gardner's work into the tradition that it became, including Doreen Valiente, the eventual work that Gardner did helped others like Alex Sanders go on to create even yes more traditions of Wicca; in this case Alexandrian Wicca.

Traditional Witchcraft has a much older place of origin in history, but unfortunately it is one that we know far less about. What we do know for certain about Traditional Witchcraft has been brought to us through the work or anthropologists, scientists and historians and their discoveries over the years. One of these things that we know through their work is that what we practice as Traditional Witchcraft today is without certain European in origin. Statues of Goddesses, such as the Willendorf Goddess, point to the very early veneration of female deities. Unlike many other forms of Witchcraft traditions, Traditional Witches also put an emphasis on local and regional deities and spirits, as the connection to their land and its Ancestors are a center point of their religion.

Another thing that we have come to learn about Traditional Witches of Europe through historical work, is that they honored and believed in spirits and Gods of the elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, as well as Gods of the Sun and Moon. We know that they celebrated their festivals based on the changing of seasons and the migrations and hibernations of animals because they were a hunting and agricultural people. It would only make sense that if you have to live off the land that your spiritual life would meld with that as well. Many of these people felt that by honoring, thanking and appeasing the Gods of the Earth, for example, they would get a more plentiful harvest or a better hunt.

Traditional Witchcraft, unlike Wicca, has no founder. No one lays claim to have created or invented Traditional Witchcraft and no one takes responsibility for bringing it to the public because it was always there. It was something that people always believed and practiced and never had to give it a name because until the time of the Christian invaders, they never had to define themselves from any other religion.

During the time of the original Traditional Witches, the majorities of people were illiterate and were not able to write down what they believed or practiced or how they did anything that they did magickly. This caused the tradition to be an oral one, which would be passed down from generation to generation through stories, and personal one on one teaching. Most of what is claimed to be original writings of these people are either false documents or writings by Christians that were trying to document what they believed was being practiced by these native people.

Differences in Beliefs
Above all else, before moving further in this portion of the discussion, it is important to note that neither Wicca nor Traditional Witchcraft as it is practiced today is the same or "traditional" in the sense of being what our Ancestors would have practiced. The plain fact of the matter is that we really do not know what they practiced or truly what they believed. We have very little solid evidence of their beliefs and magickal practices and have assumed or created the rest. To some people, this is considered to be almost a crime, while others know that like anything else, in order to live and survive, things must evolve; including spiritually and magickal practice. Though some may call themselves Traditional Witches, they are more than likely people that are trying to draw as closely to the noted historical beliefs that we have discovered and are trying to eliminate the many "new age" elements out of their beliefs and practices.

One of the biggest differences between Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft are the beliefs. The difference in the view and belief of Deity if one of the most notable. In Wicca, Deity is somehow viewed as being superior than we are. In Traditional Witchcraft, this is not the case. Traditional Witches look at Deities and spirits of the land as having ego and human characters and being no higher than themselves. Also, Traditional Witches do not worship a God and Goddess in the same way that Wiccans do. Traditional Witches rather honor the Gods in the sense that they are aspects of Nature and not higher spiritual beings of Deities in the same way that Wiccans see them. To Wiccans, the God and Goddess are seen as being higher spiritual powers that need to be worshiped through ritual, devotion, and libation. Traditional Witches see the Gods as part of the Universe, hence being part of Nature itself, and call on them in ritual to act more as a focal point rather than an entity to be worshiped. When a Traditional Witches calls on spirits in ritual for the point of aid in work, they will generally call on the help of local or land spirits, since they're more connected to the land than the spirit world. In essence, Traditional Witchcraft is polytheistic and view all spirits, Gods, and animal spirits as being part of one larger whole that is both different and separate from them, but not inferior or superior and therefore not in need of worshipping.

In Traditional Witchcraft, there is a belief in the Spirit World, or Other World. This is where the entities, spirits, and deities called upon in ritual reside. This world is not seen as being separate from our world, but rather a different level of it. Those called in ritual are not being beckoned or summoned from another place really, they rather need to be invoked in order to work with and communicate with them. They are already there, they just need to be awoken.

The Triple Goddess
Another of the differences in beliefs is the idea of a Triple Goddess. This is something that is not found in Traditional Witchcraft. The Goddess is not seen in the forms of Maiden Mother and Crone, but rather as having three functions. Each of these three functions will have something to do with a specific path that one would follow, so the Witch will only follow and honor one of the Goddess's three functions. At other times in their lives, they may find a need to draw from one of the other two functions of their chosen Goddess, but there is always one of the three that is more pronounced and important to them.

The idea of the Triple Goddess, or any Deities seen in three forms or phases, has been traced back to Anatolia (now called Turkey), where in around 7,000 BC a Goddess being worshiped in the triple form of virgin, mother, and hag was found. However, sine this is the only place that this practice was seen, and this was in the Near East and not in Europe, it's not something that is part of Traditional Witchcraft.

The Afterlife
In Wicca, there is a strong belief reincarnation. This is not a belief that is held in Traditional Witchcraft. Like many other beliefs in Wicca, the idea of reincarnation was pulled from other sources, in this case sources like Hindu and Buddhist thought. In Traditional Witchcraft, is it believed that when someone dies, they either return to the land and nature and become one of the spirits of the land, or they travel through the Spirit World before joining with the land spirits.

Differences in Ritual Practices
This is a good place to discuss some of the differences between ritual practices of the Traditional Witch and the Wiccan. While some elements of Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca remain the same, such as when sacred days are observed, there are many part of ritual that are purely Wiccan and not resident in all forms of Witchcraft, especially Traditional Witchcraft. Let's look at these elements individually to get the best comparison of each.

Sacred Days
In Wicca, honoring the Sabbats and Esbats is considered to be essential or almost required in order to follow the religion. The Sabbats in Wicca also are related to a continual mythology that runs through the year and joins each holiday with the one previous. This is not the case with Traditional Witchcraft. Because Traditional Witchcraft is a path that is more in touch with the earth, the holidays are not related to any mythology and are based on the actual changes of the earth. Which deity was mythically slain on a specific day is not important to the Traditional Witch, but the fact that the earth itself is going into a state of cold slumber is, because this will make growing or harvesting of herbs, vegetable, and the like impossible. This is what is honored rather than a story. In Wicca, because of the division most practitioners have with nature because of today's modern society, relating the seasonal shifts to mythology becomes important in order to relate better to the changes taking place. Esbats, however, remain the same throughout both Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca.

The Magick Circle
The casting of the sacred Circle, or magick Circle, is a Wiccan creation taken from ceremonial magick. Traditional Witchcraft, again, because of it's closeness to nature and the surroundings, sees the earth as already being sacred, much like Druid tradition, and do not feel the need to ritually cast a place of sacred boundary for work or ritual. Traditional Witches will often go to a specific place that they feel most connected to in order to do their rituals or work and not feel the need to have to raise energy to consecrate the space. To the Traditional Witch all space and all earth is sacred and all life is ceremony. This makes their ritual structure quite different from Wiccans.

The Watchtowers
Calling the Watchtowers or calling the quarters is another element of Wiccan ritual that is not found in Traditional Witchcraft. The Watchtowers are another piece of Wiccan ritual that is pull from the Kabalistic magick, though Gardner likely took this right from the OTO. Rather than calling in elementals in this fashion, the Traditional Witch calls in Guardians, spirits of the land that they have some sort of relationship with. This is important, as they are not just random entities called upon for the sake of calling on them, as is often the case in Wiccan ritual.

Guardians can be spirits of the land or Ancestors that the Witch has communicated with or worked with in the past, and whom they know wish to assist and participate in their work. Others will call on spirit guides to act as Guardians. Not all Traditional Witches use Guardians, but those that do choose who they will call on very carefully.

Many people that work in systems other than Wicca who do not have things such as the Watchtowers, view the calling of the Watchtowers to be on par with holding the entities hostage for the ritual because of the way that they are often summoned of "commanded" to be part of the circle and not asked or communicated with previously. In ritual work with the Traditional Witch, there is often no set boundary for the work area, so the spirits and Guardians that are called on for ritual are allowed to roam freely around the person rather than reside in one specific spot.

Elemental Correspondence
Traditional Witches do not have set correspondences as Wiccans do, and often the element that is resident in a directional spot in ritual will change based on where the Witch is holding their ritual. Traditional Witches take this practice from that of their Ancestors. Early Europeans believed that the Gods and spirits inhabited the land itself rather than being part of a separate world. When people in older times traveled they would take the spirits of their Gods and Ancestors with them. When they would do any sort of magickal work or pray to their Gods they would align themselves according the relation of where they were to their Homeland or Homeland of their Gods since this is where they felt that they truly resided. In order to do this, the Witch would look upon the North Star, the traveler's star, and use that as their point of reference. If the Witch happens to be in the Homeland, then the correspondences are no longer needed. This is still done today, where as in Wicca the directions are often predetermined based on the Wiccan tradition one is practicing with.

Self-Initiation vs. Dedication
In Traditional Witchcraft there is no such thing as a Self-Initiation. Wiccans, if practicing solitary, will Initiation themselves onto the Wiccan path. For Traditional Witches, Initiation is granted as a rite of passage and is when the lineage of the Witch is passed on and when secrets of the Craft are given. This is not something that a person studies for over the course of a set frame of time like the year and a day in Wicca. This is something that some Traditional Witches may work towards for many many years and some may never reach that level at all. Certain tasks will need to be completed and certain knowledge will need to be retained, and only then, when the person is actually ready, will they be initiated.

Initiation in Traditional Witchcraft is a formal ritual for the purpose of passing on the lineage. The lineage is the essence of the Witch and therefore this is a ritual that is required to be performed by a Witch that has previously been initiated. In Wicca, Initiation is looked at more as a marking of time spent studying, not always the acknowledgement of what has been learned. Many people that join Wiccan groups or covens will expect to be Initiated after they have studied with the group or teacher for a year and a day, and then every year and a day after that if the group is working with Degree Initiations, another thing that is only used in Wicca. In Traditional Witchcraft there is no hierarchy so there is no need for Degrees of clergy levels. For Traditional Witches, there are only practitioners or coveners and the Priest or Priestess. The Priest or Priestess only receives this title because they are the leaders of a coven, not because they are of a higher position in the Craft than anyone else. It is also important to note that the term High Priet/ess is not used in Traditional Witchcraft as again, this is only used in Wiccan traditions and is most likely another pull from the OTO and ceremonial magick where there were often Kings or Queens appointed to groups.

Dedication is a different type of ritual and is one that the Witch does alone and when they are ready to do so. This is when the Witch will decide to give themselves over to the service of the Gods. Because the relationship between a Witch and their Gods is considered to be highly personal in Traditional Witchcraft, this needs to be a self-dedication, done with only the Witch and the Gods. The ritual is written by the Witch themselves and performed in a place that they feel brings them closest to their Gods and Ancestors. This is different to Wicca where Dedication is considered to be the point where one dedicates themselves to learning about the path of Wicca and not the service to the Gods. This is seen more as a part of a Wiccan Initiation.

Ritual Clothing
In Wicca, it is not uncommon for some groups to work naked, or skyclad. In Traditional Witchcraft this is considered to be extremely rude. For Traditional Witches it is required that the body have some type of covering even if it is pigment or sigils marked on the body. While most Traditional Witches work in the same style of dress that non-skyclad Wiccans work in; robes, street clothes, etc, some will do specific rituals in no physical clothing but will cover themselves completely in body paint, sigils, and wear ritual jewelry. To go before your Gods without any adornment at all is seen as a great insult.

Differences in Ethics and Magick
When looking into Traditional Witchcraft, the differences in the views of ethics and magick are an aspect that a lot of Wiccans have a great amount of disagreement with. In Traditional Witchcraft there is a stress on the responsibility of the Witch, just as there is in Wicca, but that responsibility is looked at more in the way of a responsibility to protect yourself and those close to you in any way you can, even if that means using adverse magick in a way that Wiccan never would. For some of today's modern day Traditional Witches, the way Wiccans will "turn the other cheek" or not get involved in a magickal sense in some situations, is seen as being somewhat of a weakness.

There are a lot of different components that can be looked at in a compare and contrast way between Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca. But before looking at those, let's first take a brief glance at what ethics are to the Traditional Witch. Traditional Witches have no code or laws of ethics to live by. The most important factor in using magick is the idea that you will be responsible for your actions. Because in Traditional Witchcraft there is no Wiccan Rede or other moral code, the use of "black magick", hexes, curses, and the like, are not ruled out on principle. In fact, to the Traditional Witch, it is looked at as honorable to do whatever is necessary to protect oneself and ones family in a time when they are facing potential danger on any level. With responsibility being the main focus, the idea in Traditional Witchcraft that there is no good or evil, only your intent, this gives even more of a weight on the shoulders of a Witch considering adverse magick.

The Three Fold Law, Karma, and Return of Energy
In Wicca, there is the belief in the Three Fold Law and the Wiccan Rede. Everything that you do will come back to you three times over, both good and bad. While this is an interesting concept, to the Traditional Witch it is an unnecessary one. In Traditional Witchcraft there is the belief of Return of Energy, which is similar to and based around Newton's Law, saying that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When energy is sent out into the Universe for the purpose of a magickal goal and intent, many things will happen along the way to shape and form that energy. In this time, anything can happen and the energy can change. This may cause the reaction to be greater or lesser than the energy of the intent. Energy is not constant and cannot be measured or anticipated, so the Traditional Witch does not expect a specific type of reaction form his or her magick.

Karma, which is very tied to many of the Wiccan ethics and principles, is something of an Eastern philosophy, and therefore not part of Traditional Witchcraft. In Wicca karma and the Three Fold Law get mixed together and are later considered to be part of what will determine ones rebirth or reincarnation, again, something that is looked at in a very different way to Traditional Witches and in a very Eastern way by Wiccans. In Traditional Witchcraft there is the belief in fate. Everyone has a fate or reason for being and that is what they are working towards and striving for in their lives and everything they do will affect that. Some will reach their fate and others wont, and the reaction to their magickal works affects that. Some people will know what their fate is and will be able to work to reach that goal more effectively through magick, and others will never know what their fate is, thus not knowing how their magick and it's reactions are working with their fate.

The practice of magick in Traditional Witchcraft is central to the religion. Unlike in Wicca where magick is something that a person may or may not participate in, magick is part of every day life for the Traditional Witch. The magick itself is also quite different. Where in Wicca magick is more ritualistic and requires much pageantry, for the Traditional Witch, magick consists of simple items or none at all. Making a meal is a form of magick, for example, where simple everyday items would be utilized with intent and direction.

Magick for Traditional Witches is very practical and does not have much of the dogma that Wiccan magick has. Where in Wicca is an element to a spell is missing, such as a specific herb or candle color, for example, the Wiccan practitioner might decide not to work the magick until they have all the needed components. However, for the Traditional Witch, these things are not as important, and he or she will continue on without the missing piece or make a substitution of their own means. Most Traditional Witches will rarely use such things though, as they are viewed to be more Wiccan and more on par with ceremonial magick. Traditional Witches will employ the two most powerful tools they have in their magick, their mind and will power. These are the only tools they feel are needed for magick.

Witchcraft is first and foremost a religion. Magick is just a part of that religious system and is not seen as something that needs to be given such attention to in Traditional Witchcraft. The main purpose is to connect with the Gods and the magick, while important, is not the reason for being on the path.

Grimoires and the Book of Shadows
In Wicca, a Book of Shadows, a name used to refer to the time of secrecy in the Craft with regards to magickal material, in used to keep information, spells, rituals, and general musings. In Traditional Witchcraft a Grimoire is used to keep information and learning material and rituals. Where in Wicca the Book of Shadows is used to keep everything in, acting almost as a diary, the Grimoire of Traditional Witchcraft is used solely for keeping learning material and rituals and anything related to those rituals. Information on magick and spells, including the spells themselves, are kept in a separate book.

Grimoires are composed by the person using the book and have historically be written in runes or other magickal alphabets so that outsiders would not be able to understand that material contained in the book. Some people will go so far as to write in pictures or their own created form of symbolism and language so that only they will be able to read the rituals within the book. Unlike in Wicca where a Book of Shadows is shared in a coven or passed down in a family, Grimoires are often not shared and it is not expected that they will be handed down from person to person in a family or coven.

Witch or Wiccan
When looking at the real differences between Wicca and Witchcraft, it's hard to believe that people can think that they are one in the same. It's easy to see how Traditional Witches can become often irritated with Wiccan followers constantly calling themselves Witches. While using the term Witch to describe oneself, many Wiccans are trying to get away from the new age stereotype that has come along with the terms Wicca and Wiccan. However, a Witch is something else entirely. As the path of Witchcraft becomes more or more popular among people searching the Pagan religions, the terms of Wicca and Witchcraft to describe ones religious position will hopefully become more clear in time.

Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st

Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter's Night, which is the Norse New Year.

At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.

Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.

Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.

Herbs of Maybon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.

Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.

Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.

Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.

Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.

Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!

Conner and I did end up going to the Firefly. We had a lovely time. We sat on the couch, sipped coffee, and discussed how nice it was to be out of the house ALONE! ;) He is so mature for his age. He tried to get me to play chess, but sadly I don't know chess. We discussed Halloween and myths. We talked a bit more about Colin, he had good questions. The we went to Hobby Lobby and I bought some new jars and decorations for my altar. I am very excited for Mabon this year. I spent the entire evening cleaning out my altar and cabinet, redecorating my magick room, and then had a lovely late night out under the full moon with Chad. It was just gorgeous! There were just enough clouds that it veiled the moon just enough! I don't think I will sleep at all tonight. The energy is incredible!

Here are some pics of my altar!

Last night was awesome! Brenda, Michele, and I did a Full moon ritual of sorts last night. It was just incredible. My magick room is still buzzing with energy! I love my girls. What a perfect night. Who else can ya just hang out with, do magick, drink beer, and be yourself? I love you guys!

So, on the note of what we did... I feel amazing! Absolutely. Some dead weight has been lifted ... or swam away as it were... I am in control. I'm living in reality and other than the fact that my boss is a bit neurotic and I am exhausted due to no sleep last night, This day ROCKED... I am on a new path. That book Michele got me about being a wiccan warrior... well, some of it is cheesy, but the rest of it is totally enlightening. I'll be a warrior. How about a witchy warrior? lol

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Warrior

My son Conner and I had a long heart to heart tonight about Colin. For the first time, I embraced Colin's PDD and told Conner what we were dealing with. It is such a hard discussion to have. We both cried. He finally understands why his brother does some of the things he does, he recognizes that dad and I get frustrated and tired. I told him what the counselor had shared with me about not engaging him. It is hard for Conner because he takes the brunt of Colin's physical aggression. We talked about that and that Colin doesn't like the fact that is how he is, bit it is something that we ALL have to deal with. Conner is such a little warrior. He held my hand while I cried. He told me I was a good mom and that we would all have to try harder to make life easier... He is so smart. Such an old wise soul. He told me that if I seemed to be overwhelmed, he would hold my hand as a reminder to remember that he loves me and all will be ok... how adorable. We also discussed that we get very little one on one time together. He always refuses to go to the store with me or do anything except watch TV or play games. So we made a date for tomorrow night. He loves coffee. We will go to the Firefly and run errands... BTW, later in the night, Colin blew up on us, I got VERY angry. Conner grabbed my hand gently, yet urgently and stroked it... I just smiled, let out a deep breath, and knew that we would be okay.

By Gloria Steinem

September 4, 2008

Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the
anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party --
are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We
owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger
strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to
Shirley Chisholm, who first took the 'white-male-only' sign off the White House,
and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny
to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss
has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes
everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting
a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's
not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's
about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to
attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing
but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did
nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many
male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by
the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's
candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest
for McCain/Palin would be like saying, 'Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll
amputate my legs.'

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues
that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because
she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about
a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and
foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to
learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about
the vice presidency, she said, 'I still can't answer that question until someone
answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?' When asked about
Iraq, she said, 'I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq.'

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's
won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200
rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax
cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps
McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's
about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps
McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department,
of putting a job candidate's views on 'God, guns and gays' ahead of competence.
The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away
from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of
change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and
content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones
who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive
freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows
what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have
taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions,
right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue
that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism
should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes
gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem
cell research but approves 'abstinence-only' programs, which increase unwanted
births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers'
millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend
enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation
rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but
supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she
supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain
has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly,
only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn.,
she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself.
She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a
coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's
pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one
of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child.
She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it
dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson
of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, 'women are merely waiting for
their husbands to assume leadership,' so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from
this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women
at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of
Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal
Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the
wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than
from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from
male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are
equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men
should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge.

[Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's
Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Been a while...

I have been so utterly busy... Uck. It is only eighty degrees today but with 300% humidity, I swear. My hair is freaking curly today. My hair is stick straight, but with all the moisture in the air, it is pretty damn curly!

I walked in the Memory Walk for Alzheimers today. It was fun. Michele and I walked, cheated out early, ate at a new mexican restaurant, listened to a Mariachi band, drank a 27 ounce margarita, ate ice cream and browsed an awesone used book store. I got this old Edgar Allan Poe book. Published in 1838... It had an old news article stuffed inside, probably early 1900's. And a four leaf clover pressed in between the pages.

It was a good day. I am off to do some spellwork by the light of hte almost full moon, drink some beers with my girlies and RELAX...

My Michele at Don Chavas! You should have heard that Mariachi band! lol

Try not to engage yourself with your 12 year old that is taunting you... Yikes. I thought it impossible. But, It is working. Today, at the drug store, Colin threw a huge tantrum because I would not buy him a Hannah Montana wig that he wants for Halloween... I said "no". I turned around and waited for the kid to blow... He did. Like Mount Vesuvius (how ever it is spelled!?). Erupted all over the store. Yelling, crying, stomping. Normally, I would have chased after him, yelled at him to stop, begged him... whatever it took. I ignored it. It only lasted about 2 minutes. (It seemed MUCH longer) Then, he came marching over and announced he was running away forever. I looked down at him and said "Oh, okay, well I am paying for my order and I will be done in a few minutes" and turned around ignoring him again. He ran away screaming. This time only maybe 10 seconds and then he just came back and waited for me to be done and we left without another word. It is so embarrassing when he does this in public, but by not letting him draw me in, the tantrum seemed to be much shorter with a lot less intensity to it. Now if I can get the whole family to buy into it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So, I went and talked to my son's Doctor this evening... He just happens to be a shrink... and boy oh boy, did he shrink my head! lol My son has pervasive developmental disorder, it is a type of Autism. He is 12 and we have quite a bit if "drama" at home with home recently. He has been so angry and violent. It is so difficult. My home life is a tornado... I am constantly dodging his behavior, trying to nurture him and in the process NOT ignore my sweet 10 year old... Ugh. I am so stressed. I work full time, take the kids to football, and manage a household with a child with a disability... I am disorganized at best. I am forgetting to pay bills, to do simple tasks... everything gets cloudy and lost in my head somewhere!!! So, I asked the Dr for some ADD medication, I feel I have issues because I can't seem to focus all of the time and make all of this work! He just laughed at me. And then sternly told me that there was nothing wrong with me. He said that I am "normal"? A normal woman in an abnormal situation that is coping the best way she can... However, he says "Colin will still be Colin, as he is, in the morning... There is no changing that, no cure." It broke my heart and pissed me off at the same time! No cure, my ass... I sat and pondered that for a long long time. Then it hit me in the face, knocked the wind out of me... Every day, I wake up, stretch, and envision my day... I envision a dream, not reality. I put myself and my family in situations that I am sure will turn out a certain way for I have "seen" it in my head, and then am miserably disappointed when it turns out differently. I am not living in reality. The Dr was right. If I learn to accept the fact that my son has this problem, and embrace it, the pain and all... Instead of wasting time and energy on wishing things were different, work on "dealing"... Things may just get clearer. Time will tell.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Day in the water at the Park...

We went down to Headwaters park yesterday! It was a wonderful day. The kids cooled off in the fountain (even big kids like me!) I had so much fun chasing them through the water! They ran into some friends from school and they were laughing and screaming with delight...

The fountains start off small like so and then intermittently rise and spray...

Like this!

They just had so much fun. I did too. I felt young again, running through those streams of water, laughing my ass off.

The sun was so hot and so bright. Before we reached the park, I thought it was intolerable. But after hitting the fountain a time or two, it was a beautiful day at 92 degrees... :)

I am a people watcher.

I enjoyed watching all of the other folks on the park and observing their personalities, lifestyles, etc.

I watched a wee 2 year old boy run into the fountains at full speed with Dad in tow behind him yelling to stay away from the water... Apparently, they did not have a change of clothes... LOL. Well, the little master got his way, because Dad was too much of a fuddy duddy to get wet! That toddler ran in and out of the water, Face gleaming with joy, probably one of the best experiences of his life, and there stood Dad yelling to "Get out here right this minute!" I laughed out loud. People need to loosen up. Ya only live once. Dad should have hopped right in there with him, splashed, laughed, and had a remarkable memory with his son.

There was an older couple who did their best to frolic in the water. It made me smile. They had been on a walk and decided to take an impromptu side trip through the water...

Water is an amazing element. It brings us cool when we are hot, it brings us laughter and silliness in the form of splashing and dunking. Cleanliness when we are dirty. It brings us necessary hydration when we are thirsty. It helps to cook foods. It keeps my drink cool in its solid state. It is what we cry when we are sad. It represents cleansing, transformation, purification, nourishment, and movement as in tides or a current...Water is purifying, rejuvenating. The energy of water is that of ebb and flow, of changes and growth.

Water ruled the day yesterday, but I was at peace surrounded by all of the elements in one place. We had fire in the shape of a large, round, sun that warmed us when the water and air got a bit too cool for us. The Earth, is where I sat my rump and watched the boys play. I dug my little insignificant toes into her crust, and felt the cool dirt. I felt grounded. Planted where I was. At peace. The air was the breeze that kissed my wet body gently and brought a sigh of relief in the heat... And My spirit was open wide.