Tattoo Interviewees

I am looking for women who have spiritually themed (pagan, druid, goddess, etc) tattoos who would be willing to do a short e-mail interview with me.

This will appear on my blog at Pagan Square.

I would be happy to keep your interview anonymous, but if you would like to submit a photo of the tattoo that would be great too.

Please leave a comment here with your e-mail. I will not publish comments with e-mails to protect your privacy.

Thanks!

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Moving, Car Crash, and Life

Another long absence has gone by on my blog. In October we prepared to move hundreds of miles to a new city for my husband’s new job. In November we made the move slowly, over the course of the month, traveling between the two cities as money allowed to get our things.

December went by with me working a lot. Then, right before New Year’s Day, disaster struck!

My husband was a mile from our home on a main street without stop signs. A man who had a stop sign, coming from a small side street, ran the sign and hit our car several times. It was totaled and my husband was injured, but he’s pretty much back to normal now.

Our car:

029This is just part of the damage. The back on the driver’s side was also destroyed, and the passenger’s front side was too.

January was a long, hard month. However, we seem to finally be settled and doing well again.

I am so grateful that my husband was not injured more.

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Happy October

I’m so ready for this time of year! I’m pulling in my own spiritual harvest in ways that I would never have expected.

First, I began a series of in-person classes with the author Ellen Dugan at a bookstore in St. Louis. She’s really a great teacher. I took her tarot courses last year. The drive is worth it!

Next, my plants are doing wonderfully. I take up as much window space in my apartment as I can, leaving half the window ledge to the cats. Currently, I’m growing basil, mint, oat grass for the cats, and parsley. The basil has sprouted its own baby and created seeds. So, I think I’ll be planting those in my last available pot.

The night before Mabon, Mabon eve if you want to get romantic, was marvelous. The husband and I cleaned the whole apartment. I baked a big loaf of my gluten-free vegan bread. We took turns harvesting the basil, and then I created a basil oil. I blessed the oil and put it away to steep.

basil oilOn Mabon, or Alban Elfed, my husband and I did our Druid ritual from the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. He brought me sunflowers, as is our yearly custom.

alban elfedWe are incredibly busy with work, and still trying hard to manifest a better job for my husband to fully use his degree.

Meanwhile, I’m exploring more deeply my own natural witchiness. The results have been interesting.

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S is for Seasonal Cooking

As my past year of blogging attests, I love cooking by the season. While I can’t always get local seasonal food, I do have certain dishes that I make only some of the year. I want my food to match the seasonal energies.

For instance, after the autumnal equinox, I love to make these gluten-free vegan pumpkin brownies that I developed. They were delicious at Samhain last year.

gluten free pumpkin browniesRecently, I published a gluten-free seasonal cookbook that showcases 13 recipes for each of the seasons. Check it out by clicking here.

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Liebster Award

Many thanks to Brenna Adaira of The Raven and the Oak for nominating me for the Liebster award. This is a blogging award for blogs with under 200 followers. How cool! I’ve been a longtime reader of Brenna’s blog and recommend it. Hurray for Druidry!

liebster-awardAs part of this, I have ten questions to answer. Please also find my nominees at the end of this post. Thanks!

1: What activity makes you lose track of time?

This is a good question with a very simple answer: video gaming. That’s why I don’t do it more often! I can get lost in Warcraft, Pokemon, you name it.

2: What makes you smile?

My cats.

3: What are 3 ‘nevers’ in your life?

I never eat wheat or gluten due to celiac disease. I never eat meat. I never drink Gin because I hate it.

4: When was the last time you tried something new?

Probably weekly, or almost daily. I like to try new vegan, gluten-free foods, teas, and drinks. I learn a new crafting skill on a seasonal basis. At least once a week I go somewhere new thanks to living in huge city now.

5: If you could choose one mandatory book for all high school students to read, what would you choose and why?

This is such a hard question, but it has to be something feminist because our culture is so broken by the patriarchy. Right now I’m reading a great book called The Athena Doctrine by Michael D’Antonio. It’s about how stereotypically or culturally coded “feminine” skills and ways of thinking are crucial to changing the world, and how this is already being done in some countries.

6: Can you describe your life in a 6-word sentence?

Idealistic pessimist seeks daily enchantment, peace.

7: If you could ask one person (dead or alive) one question, who would you ask and what would your question be?

I would love to sit down with Hypatia and ask her about her mathematical theories.

8: What is the meaning of ‘peace’ to you?

Harmony amongst others and the earth.

9: What is your earliest childhood memory?

My father coming in my room with cat puppets and making them dance around while singing.

10: What three questions do you wish you knew the answer to?

When will my husband get a better job. What else can I do to improve our current situation. Why are my cats so sleepy!

NOMINATIONS: (Some of these have around 200 followers  and others , I don’t know. So, I might be breaking the rules. I also may add a few more people when I have time. Hehe!)

Elf Kat http://elfkat.wordpress.com/

Spider Goddess http://spidergoddess.wordpress.com/

Woven Magick http://wovenmagick.com/

10 Questions:

  1. If you could grow any plant or tree, what would it be. Why?
  2. What was your last volunteer experience like?
  3. Would you rather eat a dessert covered in gold leaf or edible flowers?
  4. What are you three favorite musical albums?
  5. Do you prefer books on tape, podcasts, or regular radio shows? Why?
  6. Where would you like to take your next vacation?
  7. What is a famous piece of art that you have seen in person?
  8. How can your community improve?
  9. When going to sleep at night, do you imagine things, meditate, or something else?
  10. When would you like to retire?
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Seasonal Cookbook

Check it out! Your support by purchasing is much appreciated! Only $2.99 for 52 gluten-free recipes arranged by the four seasons. Each one has a mini-story of how it was created it or why it’s delicious. In addition, most recipes have a few pairing suggestions to help turn the recipe into a full meal. Buy it here or click the picture. Thanks! Oh, and no Kindle needed, as they have a free app for computers and phones. However, there will be a print version soon!

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The Orphaned Tree

ficus benjamina indoor garden apartment garden indoor tree potted tree ficusLook who has joined my sacred grove!

A few weeks ago a tree appeared outside. It was left near a drain vent on the sidewalk. The first day I was merely curious as to when it would leave. By the second day, I began to wonder why it was still outside. On the third day I left a note on the pot asking if the tree needed a new home. A few hours later a young woman came to my door and told me I could have it. I complimented her mystical looking Cancer sign tattoo, made sure she really didn’t want this tree, and then like a gleeful Druid gently pulled and prodded the big pot along the sidewalk and into my home.

Some part of me feels like I manifested this tree. I would sit on the floor and look at my other plants and imagine a huge potted tree sitting in front of the window. Right now I can’t afford furniture, let alone purchase something as expensive as a potted tree. However, I envisioned it, innocently. Many years ago, I knew a woman who had several large trees inside of her apartment. It was pure magic, a bit of the wild inside. I would think of her garden-like living room as I stared at the bare space in front of my window.

So when this tree appeared outside, even on day one, I began to dream that it would be mine.

Now this Ficus Benjamina is a happy part of our home and I consider her my sacred Druidic grove.

In the future, I hope to add a small statue to her pot. Perhaps, for Yule I will gently festoon her branches with light decorations. Sometime, I may tie a prayer ribbon to her.

For now, we are getting to know each other. Now, excuse me while I go meditate under my new love.

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The Lives of the Apostates Review

The Lives of the Apostates is a work of fiction by the writer Eric Scott, who you may be familiar with thanks to his former and current blogging on sites like Patheos, Pagan Square, or The Wild Hunt. Scott is a second generation Pagan, and he has produced a unique and compelling piece of fiction centered on that experience.

BQdfIr0CMAAbVEy.jpg largeBefore I get into a more cerebral exploration of this story, let me just say that I blazed through this tale with real enjoyment. I do not read a lot of fiction. Full disclosure: I have a master’s degree in literature and teach writing. Most of what I read is academic. Even as a child I was drawn to non-fiction, but I do love fiction. I just don’t seek it out as much as I do other types of writing.

In this case, I am very glad that I paid attention to the news items about this work. I wanted to attend the book signing, but I had to work extra hours that evening, tutoring writers. So, I took advantage of a sale and got this for my Nook.

This review will be mostly spoiler-free, but I will look at some specifics from the story.  Here’s just a bit of the synopsis from Amazon:

In a Midwest college town, a Wiccan student named Lou finds himself forced into taking a History of Christian Thought class from a religion professor who spends his weekends preaching at the local Baptist church. Between shifts as a caretaker for mentally handicapped men Lou calls “the boys,” he confronts his professor’s story of Christian triumph with increasing anger. [Source]

First of all, for such a short work the characters were fully realized. When the female character Lucy was introduced I had a momentary worry that she would fall into the manic pixie dream girl trope, but was relieved when she didn’t. Yes, I do enjoy that trope sometimes, but a girl gets worried when she hears the description of a blue-haired woman with a dreamy voice! I did want to learn more about Lucy, but this wasn’t her story, and thankfully she wasn’t there just for the male protagonist, Lou. The symbolism caught up in their names is something else I enjoyed, but I won’t dwell on for this review.

Lucy was the counterpart to Lou’s experiences as a second-generation pagan. She had grown up in the same group that he did. In contrast, his roommate Grimey (just read the book) was a newcomer to the faith. What this does is bring up interesting questions in the mind of the reader. I began to reflect on my own experiences as a person brought up in a secular home with some exposure to Christianity and Paganism.

The prevailing Christian culture is the sort of general antagonist that moves along with the characters. It’s intriguing because the Christian characters range from neutral to meddling to poisonous. They move in a different world that they take for granted, which reflects our own reality as Americans.

*Spoiler Alert for this Paragraph* As a writer and an analyzer of literature, one of the things that I most enjoyed about the artistry of this tale was the symmetry going on. In the minor realm of interesting connections was the presence of metal music and the contrast between watching television at work and in the past with a friend. The beginning and end of the story contain a larger moment of symmetry that contrasts thought with action. Finally, perhaps the most important to me was the painful, destructive reunion of a mother and son in sharp relief with the painful destruction of another mother and son relationship.

This story will be of interest to anyone invested in their religious identity. I  highly recommend it. Bonus points if you are a fan of wrestling (Shhh. Don’t tell anyone how much I love the Undertaker.)

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Gluten-Free Lughnasadh

Brightest blessings on Lammas! Now, what is a pagan Celiac or allergic person to do on a day celebrating so much wheat! I will actually be published in the upcoming issue of Circle Magazine discussing this very topic, but for now let’s explore the topic on this sacred day.

Many years ago, when I was much sicker with my chronic illness, I attempted a blog on blogspot and I tried to address this question. Why is wheat so central to almost all religions?

Sometimes when I look around at world religions I think they are all obsessed with fertility and wheat. I suppose from a biological standpoint that this makes sense. Eating and reproduction are essential and can be very fun. Why  not make them sacred too? [From my Original Witchy Blog]

Well, as much as the visual imagery of Lammas is tied to wheat, the spiritual meaning behind it is that we are reaping the first major harvest after the summer growing season. For those of us who don’t live in a rural area this might translate to the harvest of summer projects at work or home, spiritual quests, or even just a chance to observe the subtle shifting of the seasons.

Meanwhile, I have endeavored this year to incorporate some gluten-free grains into today’s celebration. I made a gooey sgluten free cake with pentacle witch lammas gluten free veganpice cake from sorghum flour last night that was waiting to greet my husband when he came home from his job this morning. The cake is vegan, like all my food, and smothered in agave nectar.  This was my first time drawing a holy symbol in food; the pie dish I baked this in turned the pentagram into a pentacle! I said a prayer, cast a spell on the cake and then let the fires of the oven work its transformative magic. May it bring us sweet success.

For tonight I purchased some Bard’s beer. This is also made from sorghum and gluten-free. Since I’m a Bard in the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids I always find drinking this beer brings me a chuckle.

bard's gluten free beerMy ritual tonight will be simple, but I am feeling very thankful for the goodness of love and friendship in my life. I am feeling the magic of the potential harvest to come.

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O for Omnia

This week for the Pagan Blog Project I bring you this lovely video from the band Omnia, a pagan folk group. The passion and energy and true love of nature that Omnia put into their music and lifestyle is beautiful.

Cheers!

According to the bands website:

OMNIA is much more than “just a band” – it has become a complete life style, philosophy and natural-religion. OMNIA sings of personal freedom and personal responsibility, of ancient Celtic values of right and wrong. A song of global ecological awareness and the spiritual connection between humans and Nature. A song of “thinking outside the box”…

Husband and wife Steve Sic and Jenny with their graceful outlandish clothes, strange hairstyles and head/body covering ritual tattoos are both deeply religious people with an encyclopedic knowledge of musical instruments, Northern European indigenous culture and the animistic / shamanic rites, music rituals and nature-religions of the world. Their philosophy is very free and non-dogmatic though heavily based on the cool bits of the most ancient European Religions. [Source]

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