Archive for March 2011
|Achelous||Greek river god. Acheloüs, in the form of a bull, fought Heracles for Deianira.
He lost and Heracles broke off one of his horns which became the Cornucopia, or
horn of plenty. Achelous is known for having fathered the sirens, also called
the Acheloides. Eldest son of Oceanus and Tethys. Also known as Acheloos
|Adonis||Greek vegetation god and consort of Aphrodite. He was actually a Phoenecian god
who was later adopted by the Greeks as a mortal consort to Aphrodite. He was
killed by a wild boar, and Aphrodite caused the plant anemone to grow from him
when she discovered his body. Symbolizes element of earth, love, fertility,
|Aeolos||Greek god of wind and air. Aeolos lived on an island near Sicily where he
guarded the caves where he kept the winds. He would let out he wind only as the
gods of Olympus instructed, whether in gusts, gales, or breezes.One day, Odysseus visited Aeolos on the island. He was warmly welcomed, and when he left, Aeolos gave him a bag containing all the dangerous and threatening
winds, so that Odysseus would have a safe travel back to Ithaca without worrying
about bad weather.
Odysseus did as Aeolos bid him, but once his homeland was in sight, he laid down
|Aether||Greek personification of air.|
|Aethon||Greek personification of famine.|
|Alcmene||Greek goddess of midwinter, the new year, stateliness, beauty and wisdom. Zeus
fooled her by appearing as her husband, because of which she had a child by him.
The result of her union with Zeus was Hercules.
|Alcyone||Greek goddess of the sea, the moon, calm, tranquility. She who brings life to
death and death to life.
|Alpheios||Greek river god. He became infatuated with a nymph named Arethusa. He persued
her to incessantly that she eventually prayed to Artemis for help. Artemis
answered her by making the stream Arethusa inhabited and represent run
underground, thereby eluding the persistent Alpheios.
|Alphito||Greek goddess of barley flour, destiny, and the moon.|
|Amphityonis||Greek goddess of wine, friendships and relationships between nations.|
|Amphitrite||Greek goddess of the sea. She took care of all the creatures of the ocean. Wife
of Poseidon, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
|Apeliotes||Greek god of the south-eastern winds.|
|Aphrodite||Greek Goddess of passion and sexual love, and womanly beauty. She is considered
the epitome of beauty and femininity. Said to have been born of sea-foam.She is kind to those she liked, but can be cruel and merciless to those who
displease her. She married Hephaestos, had an affair with Ares, and was caught.
Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and mother of Eros. Her animal
|Apollo||Greek god of the sun, light, music, song, medicine, and healing. Patron of
herdsmen.Apollo’s mother Leto was forced to run from Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus. She
went to the Island of Delos and delivered her two children- the twins, Apollo
Though the god of light, Apollo had a dark side. Under the name of Carneios, he
Apollo was worshipped at the oracle of Delphi, where a priestess who give forth
|Arachne||Greek spider goddess, weaver of fate and destiny.|
|Ares||Greek war god of storms and hurricanes, also considered a father of the gods.
Undoubtedly the most fierce and vicious of the gods within the Greek pantheon.
He had a passion for mass slaughter. Son of Zeus and Hera.
|Artemis||Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. She is also one of the virgin goddesses,
and she protects women in labor, small children and wild animals. She, Hestia,
and Athena are not affected by Aphrodite’s manipulations. Artemis may be thought
of as the “silver goddess.” She wore silver sandals, rode a silver chariot in
the silver moonlight, and kills with silver arrows shot from a silver bow. In
fact, many dying women, as well as women in childbirth, went to Artemis
to ask for a quick, painless death from Her silver arrows.Artemis was very beautiful and had many suitors, but would not marry until she
found someone as wild and free and herself. Her nymphs, as well, vowed to not
But one day, seven of the nymphs were in the woods when they saw the strong and
Orion turned away to hunt elsewhere, but soon met Artemis herself. Sharing a
Apollo worried that she would marry Orion and break her vow. He knew that Orion
The waves lifted Orion’s body to the short. Artemis grieved her loss, then she
Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, and the daughter of Leto and Zeus. Also
|Asopos||A minor Greek river god.|
|Astarte||“The Lady of the Mountain”. Greek goddess of fertility, fire, love,
productivity, astrology, war, vengeance, victory, sexual prowess.
|Ate||Greek goddess of obsession, guilty, infatuation, and mischief. She was a
trickster who would lead men into actions that would be their demise.
|Athena||Greek Goddess of war and wisdom. She is the daughter of Zeus, born by springing
forth fully grown from his forehead. It is believed that she was conceived to
carry out deeds that Zeus could not do but would want to.Her name, “Pallas Athene”, is representative of her dual nature. She can be seen
as “Pallas”, goddess of storms, courage, strength, battle, war, chivalry, and
victory. She can also be “Athene”, the goddess of peace, beauty, wisdom,
creativity, education, science, and the arts.
She was responsible for teaching mortals natal care and healing. She also
Athena is the patron of craftsmen and the protector of cities. Her animal
I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious Goddess, bright-eyed, inventive,
-Homeric Hmyn #28
|Aura||Greek goddess of the morning wind. See also Aurora.|
|Aurora||Greek goddess of the dawning morning. She gave birth to the morning star and the
winds (Zephyrus, Boreas, Notos, and Euros) by Astraeos, the god of starlight.
|Bacchus||Roman god of fertility, mirth, merriment, revelry, wine, wisdom, and
inspiration.Bacchus was born of Zeus and Semele’s union against the will of Hera, Zeus’
wife. When the jealous Hera learned of Semele’s pregnancy by Zeus she angrily
plotted against them. She disguised herself and came to Semele, telling her she
should ask that Zeus appear before her in all his glory as the god of thunder.
Zeus swore to grant whatever wish Semele might have. Forced to abide by his
oath, he appeared to Semele as a display of lightening and thunder, which
killed her. As Semele died, she gave birth to Bacchus, who died as well. Zeus
restored life to him and sent the child to be raised by the nymphs, out of
Hera’s jealous eye.
As the god of spring, he is Bacchus is said to be in terrible pain during winter
His followers were called bacchants. After reveling and overindulging in wine,
Blessed are the disciples who become prophets, the Gnostics who hold the holy
-Bacchae Euripides, circa 400 BCE
|Balder||Norse (Scandinavian) god of joy, light, beauty, innocence, purity, and
reconciliation. His parents are Odin and Frigg.Balder’s mother, Frigg, took oaths from all plants, creatures, minerals, and
elements that they would not harm him, all except the mistletoe plant for she
felt it was too young and too small to harm him. He was therefore considered
immune from harm and the other gods would throw things at him in sport. Loki
deceived Hod (Balder’s blind brother) into throwing a spear made from mistletoe
at Baldur. It was this which killed him. This story can easily be compared to
the Greek legend of Achilles’ heel.
|Boreas||Greek god of the northern arctic winds. He vied with Zephyrus for the love of
Chloris, and lost.
|Callisto||Greek moon goddess.|
|Chloe||Greek. Demeter’s name as protector of spouts.|
|Cybele||Greek Great Mother of the Gods. She is the leading deity of the Greek mystery
religions. Symbolizes the element air and fertility.
|Cytherea||Another name for the Greek love goddess Aphrodite. See also Aphrodite.|
|Daemons||A race of invisible beings. Assigned by Zeus to every mortal to attend to,
protect, and guide. They were nameless unless they attended a god or goddess. To
be watchful of your life, cheerful, and honorable, is to respect your daemon. To
be reckless and ignore your conscience is to go against the daemon. The daemon
would die with its assigned mortal.The Greeks believed that great heros and champions were possessed by daemons.
Eventually this belief extended, and the Greeks believe that every hero died
honorably was actually ascended to live with the gods.
|Demeter||Greek Earth goddess. All-nourishing mother of the earth.Her daughter, Persephone, was gathering flowers one day when Hades came out from
the earth and abducted her to make her his bride. Demeter grieved and searched
all the lands for her. Wherever she was warmly received, she would give people
instruction in agriculture. Along her way she met the kind Keleos of Attica, and
left him her snake-drawn carriage and the seed of barely so that he could spread
the knowledge of agriculture around the lands.
Demeter finally found out where Persephone had been taken. Though Zeus had given
Demeter is the daughter of Chronos and Rhea. She is associated with agriculture,
|Dione||Greek nature and earth goddess, daughter of Uranus and Gaia. Mother of
Aphrodite. Associated with divination, predictions, love, prophecy.
|Discordia||Roman goddess of discord and strife, known as Eris to the Greeks. The other gods
employed her to stir up feuds and rivalry amongst men. Root of
Erisian/Discordian beliefs. Mother of Enyo.
|Doris||Greek sea goddess.|
|Eirene||Greek goddess of peace and wealth. Her symbols include the cornucopia, the olive
branch, corn ears on her head, and Herme’s staff. Also known as Pax.
|Elpis||Greek god of hope who stood over Eros holding a lily.|
|Enyo||Greek goddess of war. She spreads terror and alarm before and during combat. A
consort of Ares, sometimes considered his sister, sometimes his wife.
|Erebos||A Greek god of darkness.|
|Eros||Greek god of sexual desire. See also Cupid.|
|Eunomia||Greek goddess of order and legislation.|
|Faunus||Roman and Italian god of woodlands. Symbolizes love. Also known as Pan [Greek].|
|Flora||Roman goddess of blossoming and flowering plants. She is the wife of Zephyrus
who gave her eternal youth. Also known as Chloris [Greek]
|Ganymede||Greek cup bearer.|
|Hades||Greek god of death, keeper of the underworld. He was the brother of Zeus but was
in the underworld instead of upon Olympus.
|Helios||Greek god of the sun. His roman counterpart was Sol.|
|Hephaestus||Greek blacksmith god. Fire magic, creativity, wisdom.|
|Hera||Greek goddess of matrimony and cycles of women’s growth. Sister and wife of
Zeus. She is best known for her intense jealousy of all of Zeus’ affairs with
mortal women. She can be invoked for love, the moon, element of Air, motherhood.
|Hermes||Greek god of commerce. He was a messenger for the gods, often carrying messages
from mortals to gods and vice versa. He symbolizes communication, health,
knowledge, fertility, and insight.
|Hestia||Greek mother goddess. She symbolizes the element of fire, domestic and home
magic, conception, and the well-being of the self and family. See also Vesta
|Hymen||Greek god of marriage. Symbolizes love, virginity, and obviously the oath of
|Hypno||Greek god of sleep. Bother of Thanatos (death) and Dreams. Son of Nox (night)
|Jupiter||Roman god of the sky and the father of all gods and men. He symbolizes the
element air. Also known as Zeus [Greek]. See also Zeus.
|Ladon||Greek river god, son of Oceanus and Tethys, father of Daphne.|
|Liber||Roman god of wild nature, fertility, passionate lovemaking and wine. Also known
as Libera. His counterparts are the Greek gods Dionysius and Bacchus. He
symbolizes fertility and wild personalities.
|Maia||“Grandmother of Magic”. Greek goddess of spring, youth, life, and rebirth. One
of the seven daughters of Atlas and mother of Hermes. She symbolizes love.
|Mars||Roman god of war. Symbolizes protection, strength, health, energy. Also known as
|Moros||Greek god of doom; deification of an unfortunate destiny and the fate of a
|Nike||Greek winged goddess of victory. Also known as Victoria [Roman]|
|Nus||Greek god of understanding and intelligence.|
|Oceanus||Greek deified stream which encircled Gaea and was the source of all water. Was
the father of all the water deities by Tethys. Eldest of the Titans.
|Onatha||Iroquois goddess of wheat and crops, similar to the Greek goddess Persephone.
See also Persephone.
|Pan||Greek god of fertility and the woodlands. He was later demonized by the
Christian church. He emodies love, lust, fertility, and the element of earth.Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan, I am a man: Do as thou wilt, as a great god
can, O Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake in the grip of the snake.
-“Hymn to Pan”, Aleister Crowley
|Plutus||Greek god of wealth. He was thought to be blind because wealth is given
indiscriminately to both the good and the bad. Some stories say eventually he
gains his sight back so he can give wealth to the deserving.
|Poseidon||Greek god of earthquakes and the sea. Symbolizes the elements air and water, can
be invoked for the moon.
|Pothos||Greek deification of love, passion, and desire. Consort of Aphrodite.|
|Prometheus||In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the titan who stole fire from the gods and
gave it to humans, along with the arts and civilization. He was also often
regarded as the creator of man from clay, the first human, and humanity’s savior
when Zeus threatened to kill all human beings. He greatly offended Zeus by his
actions and was punished. There are different sources with different accounts of
the legend.In Hesiod’s version, Zeus’ punishment was the creation of Pandora, the first
woman, who was overtaken by temptation and opened a forbidden box thereby
unleashing all the lamentations and evils of the world.
In the Aeschylean version, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock on Mount
|Proteus||Greek sea god who served Poseidon. He was a shapeshifter and changed form at
|Pythia||Greek serpent and snake goddess, daughter of Gaia.|
|Salacia||Roman goddess of spring water. Called Amphitrite by the Greeks.|
|Saturn||Roman god of agriculture and ruler of the golden age. Also known as Kronos,
|Selene||“The Radiant”, “The Well Dressed Queen”. Greek moon goddess and teacher to the
magicians and sorcerers or sorceresses. She was a beautiful woman with long
wings and a halo of gold. Daughter of Hyperion and Theia, sister of Helios and
Eos. She symbolizes the moon. Also known as Phoebe.
|Serapis||Ptolemaic god of the afterlife and fertility, devised by the Greeks from Osiris
and Apis. Physician and helper of worshippers in distress. Symbolizes
health/healing and fertility.
|Thetis||Greek goddess who had an affair with Zeus. However, Zeus learned that Thetis’
son would be more powerful than his father, so he married her off to Peleus.
They had a son named Achilles. Thetis attempted to make him immortal by dipping
him in the river Styx, but because she held him by the heel, his heel remained
his weakness. Thus the allusion to “Achilles’ Heel”.
|Zephyrus||Greek-Roman god fo the west winds, the most pleasant and favored of the winds.
Symbolizes the element air. Also known as Zephyrs, Zephyr.
|Zeus||Chief god of the Greek pantheon. He is the god of skies, lightening, thunder,
and storms. He also takes on other forms:Zeus Chronos: Fertility, earth
Zeus Sote: Father and savior of man
Zeus Xenios: Protector of politeness and hospitality
Zeus Herkios: Protector of house and home
Zeus Kleisos: Protector of property
Zeus Gamelios: God of marriage contracts. [Greek root “gam”
means “marriage”, as in “polygamy”.]
By Patrick McCleary
The old story teller paused for a moment to collect his thoughts and puff on his pipe. He looked around at the audience before him, all his grandchildren and he smiled. Then he said, “Now the kiss has wakened the sleeping maiden, but the Earth has been sleeping with her too long. So together the God, King of Sun and Oak and his consort the Maiden of Spring prepare to work the magick required to bring about the springtime and the growth of the plants and animals.
“After deep thought the Goddess and God gathered together the Faeries of the land and made plans to gather together all the eggs in the land. Then, the plan was, they would boil and color the eggs to draw upon the magick of the eggs. Which they would then spread among the lands, bringing new life and springtime.
“But as they gathered the eggs and colored them, they didn’t realize, until to late, that the Trickster was stealing the eggs a little at a time. So before they knew it that sly fox, the cunning coyote had stolen all the eggs and hidden them all over the land.
“As often happens though, the plans of the Trickster wind up tricking and fooling him in the end. For as he scattered the eggs so did he scatter the magick all over the land. Now as you can guess this made the magick work better than the original plan. For the magick was scattered pure all over the land.
“So you see children this is why we hide the eggs after we color them to take the role of the Trickster. We help the Gods spread and work the magick of Springtime.” “But, grandfather,” asked one of the the children at his feet. “Did they ever find the eggs?”
Laughing the grandfather nodded and answered, “Why yes they did. Then they had a great feast. But the strange thing was that the only people in all the land that could find the eggs were the little children and the Faeries themselves. So that is why you children look for the eggs.”
“But grandfather,” asked one of the children, “what happened next?”
“Well now the eggs, once lost and now found, were cleaned and polished to a high gleam. Almost like gems they looked their, laid out at the feet of the Sun King and the Goddess. Then all kinds of creatures from all across the land, from the birds that fly high into the sky to the moles that burrow within the earth, joined hands and began to dance a circle dance around the Goddess and God and the newly shined eggs. Faster and faster they spun, raising the energy of love and light and of new hope. Around and around the animals spun crying out in their voices both small and large songs of joy until at last, when they could no longer keep dancing, they fell down laughing and magickally around them the Earth turned green and fertile. The last of the snows that were upon the ground melted and finally Spring was here. And for a moment peace rested upon the Earth, the lamb laid down with the lion and was safe. And the children marveled to see all of this. Knowing that they had seen the sacredness in nature.
“Seeing them, the Sun King gathered the little children to him and blessed them and told them about the magick that they had just witnessed. That this magick must be done each year by not only the animals of the Earth but by the people of the Earth also. And if the children will look closely when they dance they may just see Faeries darting between them in joy. Then the Goddess spoke and said that if the children worked this magick, then they would receive the gifts of the season on the morning of Ostara.
“Now you see children this is why when you wake on Ostara morning that you will oftentimes find a basket with gifts of candies and the such that represent Springtime. You see the chocolate bunny represents new life and young children, the hope that the Earth will continue on. The hot cross bun represents the balance of the Seasons, for you see Spring is a midpoint between the cold of Winter and the heat of Summer. And if you get any eggs then they represent the promise of new life that comes with each new Spring.
“So be thankful on Ostara morning and dance for joy. Dance the circle round and hunt for eggs and know that if you look closely then you too may see Faeries dancing around you. Go now little children play and let me rest. I will tell you another story tomorrow.”
And with this the little children went off in search of faeries in the woods around their home.
By Patrick McCleary
Start this ritual in silence and darkness lit by a single candle, black or a dark color would be good but is not necessary. Have your children take a moment to still themselves and focus on their breath. Guide them if needed. Breath In, Breath Out. Breath In, Breath Out.
Tell them that tonight you are going to call on the Goddess. Not as the Mother but as Her Mother, the Grandmother. That tonight is a night to listen. For the Grandmother loves to tell stories and through them provide wisdom to the people of the Earth. Take a moment to answer any questions that they may have.
Have all join hands and still their thoughts. Let the first to speak say;
From Me to You; followed by the next person saying
From You to Me
and repeat until all have said both lines.
For the purpose of tonight’s ritual have the chant move widdershins (counter-clockwise) around the circle of people.
Then when it gets back to the first let them say;
The Circle is Cast and the Temple is raised.
So Mote It Be! (All can repeat)
Start tonight in the West the direction of sunsets and endings. Have a cup of water there and have all take a small drink. Have all think about the water and how much we need it.
In the West we call Water.
May we have the vision tonight
To see inside its murky depths.
Now move to South where you have a candle ready to be lit. Light it now. And have all focus on its flame. Carefully let them feel its heat.
In the South we call Fire.
May it light our way
To find wisdom tonight.
Next we come to the East. Have a fan here and wave it at all present so that they can feel the presence of air.
In the East we call Air.
May it clear all obstacles that seek
To block us in our search.
Finally we come to the North. In my practice I like to have a bowl of patchouli here so that we can smell it and be reminded about the Earth.
In the North we call Earth.
May it grant us the strength
To face the wisdom granted us.
Now you can read the Song of the Grandmother. Feel Her join you in Circle this night as you read.
Song of the Grandmother
Come nearer my grandchildren. Gather in close and listen to the words of my song. I sing of my life. Long has that life been yet its end is near.
My names are many. I have been called Cerridwen, Baba Yaga, Hecate, Morgana and by many other names. I am wisdom embodied and all of life’s knowledges resides with me. Be heartened and know that I watch over you always.
So if you seek wisdom, advice, or knowledge come and ask. But do not mock me because I am old. For once was I young and beautiful. Once was I the Maiden daughter and the Mother. And to some I am those people still. So listen well and learn my lessons.
Listen for my stories in the wind. Look for me in the weaving of the winter bare branches and hear my ancient voice singing in the crackle of the fire.
If your children are old enough, you can spend some time scrying whether it is with the candle on the altar or a fire, if you are lucky enough to have a yard or space to have one.
To finish up have a goblet full of some dark juice. And hold it up the sky and say:
Grandmother, Grandmother shine on us
Imbue this goblet with your darkling rays
So as we drink we can find answers
So Mote It Be!
Then all can drink after asking, silently or aloud, the question(s) that they need answers to.
When all have finished you can do Cakes and Juice to ground or feast afterwards.
Cakes and Juice
Touch the plate of cookies or cakes and say; Flesh of my Flesh
Then touch the juice in the goblet and say; Blood of my Blood
We are of Them as They are of us.
Joined in Love and Light
Married in Strength and Truth
Showered in Power and Blessings
We Drink from Her womb
We Eat from His hand
Drink from the chalice and then eat from the plate of food feeling Their Love and Strength.
So that we always remember our Love for Them and Their Love for Us
Pour out a libation and leave some food for the Earth and for the Gods.
Grandmother we thank your for your presence
This evening as we came to honor you
And to seek wisdom.
Hail and Farewell! (All can repeat)
Return to the North;
Element of Earth we thank you for your presence
Hail and Farewell! (All can repeat)
Element of Air we thank you for your presence
Hail and Farewell! (All can repeat)
Element of Fire we thank you for your presence
Hail and Farewell! (All can repeat)
Element of Water we thank you for your presence
Hail and Farewell! (All can repeat)
To close circle have all join hands. And the first to speak at the casting releases his grip on his left hand and says; We open the Circle.
Moving deosil (clockwise) have each member repeat until the chant moves back to the first person. Who says; But we remain a Circle. Family united in spirit. Circle open but unbroken.
Then have all have a group hug. Remembering that we are all one family.
By Danielle McCleary
Ok all you crafty witches! Here is a fun thing to do for Ostara.
You will need:
- a balloon
- and paint
- easter egg grass
- Blow up the balloon to the size you want.
- Make a paper mache paste by mixing 3 cups water and 1 cup flour.
- Tear the paper in strips; newspaper works best but any paper will do.
- Soak each strip in the paper mache paste and place on the balloon the thicker the layers of the paper the stronger the egg.
- When done allow to dry usually takes 2 days depending on how thick it is.
- When dry decorate egg how you like.
- Finally cut out a hole and place easter grass inside and then fill with candy.
By Patrick McCleary
For the vegetarians out there among us.
6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.
In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups.
Serve with favorite dish as a side.
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. source
Tofu and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
* 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled
* 3/4 cup vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup low-fat firm silken tofu (115 grams / 4 ounces)
* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 675 grams / 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (4 medium), peeled and cut into 5 centimeter chunks
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Pinch of ground nutmeg
In small saucepan, combine garlic and broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer broth to blender or food processor. Add tofu and oil and process until mixture is smooth and creamy. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine potatoes with enough cold water to cover. Add 1 t salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of potato cooking water; drain potatoes well.
In large bowl, mash potatoes; gently stir in warm tofu mixture and enough reserved potato water to make smooth puree. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg and serve.
By Patrick McCleary
One of the most iconic symbols of Ostara is the painted egg. But for those of us concerned with using synthetic dyes or just don’t want to waste the eggs, what are we supposed to do? Well rest assured there are natural alternatives.
Below is a list of some of these natural dyes. The trick is to add about 2 tsp of white vinegar to the water before boiling. When the water begins to boil then carefully add the eggs and your coloring materials. To get different shades you will have to experiment with how much material you will add. And how long you boil the eggs and natural dyes together. I recommend to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Red/pink: paprika
- Purple: concentrated grape juice (Welch’s works nicely, about half a can)
- Yellow: Skins (only) of a half dozen yellow onions
- Gold: Curry powder or tumeric
- Light green: frozen chopped spinach (1/3 to 1/2 package)
- Blue: 1 Cup frozen blueberries (with juice)
If you want to put images or sigils on the eggs you can draw these symbols (before putting them in boiling water) on the eggs with a wax crayon and when you are done the images will show up as white. Here is a small list of suggestions for what symbols to put on your eggs and their meanings;
- Circles: Protection, everlasting life, continuity, completeness. The Sun, and cycles of life.
- Suns: The life-giving, all embracing nature of God, especially as the Sun is seen as the God. Fire and warmth, enchantment, prosperity, good fortune.
- Curls: Protection.
- Spirals: Mystery of life and death, divinity and immortality.
- Crosses: These are usually equal-armed crosses, though not always. Represents the four directions, the four ages of man, the four elements, rebirth and eternal life.
- Eternity Bands: Dividing elements on the eggs such as meanders for harmony, motion, infinity, immortality. Waves for wealth, rain. Lines and ribbons for the thread of life or eternity.
- Triple Moon for the Goddess
- The symbol of the Horned One
- The Triskele
Good Luck and Blessed Be!
Everyone at Family Wiccan Traditions International (FWTI) is a volunteer and I am the oldest one. The younger volunteers and members are very fortunate to have such an organization at their disposal. I was brought up in a place and time where Witchcraft was illegal i.e., England in the 1940s. Although my grandmother, who raised me, was doing “other things” while on the surface we were ostensibly Church of England. I was raised to go to Sunday school and church on Sunday.
If my family had been able to be openly Pagan and followed a Pagan path, then I would have learned those ways in my youth. I just think then about where I would be today (not to mention that I could truly call myself a hereditary Witch). Of course there are a lot of “ifs” involved in that theory.
Since my early exposure was to Christianity, I felt that my place was as a Christian clergyman and did so through the United Methodist Church. Even as a minister, I was always interested in the occult. I found myself fascinated by the concept of the lost continents of Atlantis and Lamour. I feasted on “The Chariots of the Gods”. My interest took me many places, but it was all self exploration. It was also like walking along an unknown path looking, but not really knowing what I was looking for. Now we have the super highway called the internet and we don’t really need to know much to get answers. The only problem with today is there is a vast amount of BS out there and those starting their journey can be taken to a dangerous right off the main road.
I have found that life is a trade off in many ways and information is one of those ways. There are on-line schools out there that are free and there are those that charge a good deal of money. Some of the free schools are wonderful and disseminate factual information, while others are just new people trying to impress others. I know of people who fit this category and as well meaning as they may be, they themselves do not possess the knowledge, skills or abilities to teach and pass on the Craft. Paying for information doesn’t mean that the same issues are not present.
Books are a great source of information that is available to the seeker of the Pagan path today. Again, there were very few books available as I was growing up and even into my early adulthood. Today the market place is rich with information about Paganism, Shamanism and Witchcraft. Some of this richness comes from the minutia that is out there among the valuable information. Remember also that often times the information in books are the opinion of the author and not necessarily a universal truth or a rehash of previously published material.
Books can only take you so far in Paganism and Craft work. There are things that you can only learn from a mentor (be it HP, HPs or Teacher). There is much to be learned by doing and be getting guidance from someone who has done and been successful in doing so. There is also the pronunciation issue. If some one pronounces Samhain, Sam Hane instead of the proper pronunciation Sow’an, then you know they have only read about it and have not been exposed to any actual coven, HP or HPs.
So if, unlike me, you were born into a Pagan or Wiccan family you are truly blessed. If not there are many resources at you disposal today that were not available to those of us who grew up in the lean days. Many reputable teachers and covens, just check them out before getting too involved.
Walking the witch’s path means walking between the worlds. We are children of the earth, of the seasons and cycles of nature and for that reason we pay homage to what we see and feel in the natural world, right outside our door. However, we are also seekers of the unseen. Our ritual lifestyle leads us to constantly look for the Source of our natural world. This Sacred Source can’t be seen with our physical eyes, only felt somewhere in our soul. One of the wonderful benefits of living this way, fully aware of the practical world, while also fully aware of the spiritual dimensions, is the quiet gift of intuition.
Some witches and pagans are born intuitives. These witches are accustom to listening to their feelings about life, and respecting their sense of how things are or how things seem to be. Other witches spend time cultivating their ‘knowing’ self. These folks may be begin to have psychic flashes or intuitive senses almost by accident, as a result of meditation or spiritual devotion. Either way, intuition becomes an important force for most witches in their life and in their religious practice.
So how can we work with the still small voice within? How can we make it just a bit louder and easier to discern? There are some definite, specific approaches that will expand our intuitive awareness. Luckily, if we are on the witch’s path, these are attitudes and states of mind that we are already working to cultivate. To progress on both paths, we have to learn that its alright to have a minority opinion. We must give ourselves permission to pay attention to our unique experience and honor it.
By the time most of us self identify as witches, we are way deep into being different. However, it can still be tough to feel or see things from a separate perspective than our peers. This is even more true when those peers are fellow conveners! But, the payoff for listening to your heart can be tremendous. When the group thinks one way and your inner sense is telling a different story, simply allow your inner voice to dominate the experience . Its always tough to be the odd man or woman out, however this is an essential step in giving voice to your inner knowing. And, by simply being aware of your feeling sense, your perceptions will become clearer to you and they may prove to be quite accurate guides.
It’s certainly not necessary to be loud in your disagreement. Just get in the habit of being true to your feelings about things, regardless of others’ perceptions. Sometimes you will be right and sometimes you will be wrong, either way is just fine. Its all part of the process of understanding your own unique experience. And even the times that your are wrong will be an opportunity to understand your personal point of view and which experiences are shaping your perceptions. This process will help your intuitive voice to grow strong.
Another doorway to intuition is imagination. We witches and pagans are generally an imaginative bunch! We create rituals and seasonal celebrations that are full of color, scent and theater, all for the love of creation and the joy of worshipping. To unleash your intuition, can sometimes be as simple as allowing a little more space for your imagination. If we allow it, the habit of dreaming, and daydreaming is another way that the universe can deliver intuitive information to us. When we were children many of our parents told us to get our heads out of the clouds, stop being such a dreamer, and be serious, realistic or practical. My own maternal grandmother used to call me the dreamy girl, due to my ability to sit still and disappear into my own fantasy world while the adults discussed things I found dull. The grown up version of this is the daydream. We often go into this state by accident when we are doing dull repetitive things, like washing the dishes, or driving a car. It seems as if our mind is just entertaining us with random fantasy, however I would encourage witches to take note of these reveries. At times contained within imagination and dreams are plenty of wise gems. The trick is to allow the experience and give it a bit of credence. Notice who is speaking to you during these daydreams. What is that they say? If you are fantasizing about your future, then what do you notice about it? Is there any unusual or surprising elements to the picture you have laid out for yourself. Your intuitive imagination may be trying to tell you something.
Once you begin to pay more careful attention to your inner life, both your thoughts and feelings, its a great idea to journal your impressions. At times the voice of intuition is a quick light flash. Not a shout, but more of a whisper. Much like the dream that disappears from consciousness before you finish your morning coffee, intuitive feelings can dissolve from our minds just as quickly and completely. By jotting down all the crazy random thoughts and feelings that come to you, you may be surprised just how many of them are astonishingly accurate. You will gain confidence from this practice and also begin to get used to what your particular intuition vibe is. Are you normally correct about your children but less tuned in to your work life? Are you a weather witch, who knows when the local weather man is wrong, and the storm is really going to blow out to sea, not drop rain? Journaling your feelings may uncover your pattern, and help you develop it even further. We are all unique in the way that we receive information, and understanding your special feelings, how they come to you, what the vibration is like, can raise your level of confidence. It an also give you the important skill of recognizing what it feels like to be correct. This will help you to have better discernment in the future. You will start to know the difference between random musings and the ones that are bringing information, or truth along within.
Prayer for Intuition
Divine and Ancient Mother, Wise and Protective Father,
Lead me this day and every day into a deeper understanding of my self.
Bring to me, the experience of Intuition, Knowing and Truth.
Bring to me also signs and symbols of a wise path and help me to clearly interpret these signs,
And help me, please, with your loving presence, to live this Truth to the best of my abilities.
And so it is.
In my current personal practice of Wicca, I understand that there needs to be a balance of energies within my religion. I find though, that more often than not, we Witches are considered part of a Goddess religion. I am aware that this may have been the case when the Craft was first revived (in the 1950s); however, I believe, with the exception of Dianic Covens, that most of today’s Witches see the advantage of a balance of power in rituals, rites and our relationship with the gods. I have no problem with those who wish to continue to call Wicca a Goddess religion, but for me I want balance in my Deity, in my rituals, prayers and the leadership of our coven.
Perhaps some of the Goddess emphasis came from the pendulum swing created when many people changed from the patriarchal structure of the Christian world. This being the point from which most of us began out spiritual journey. I believe it is a challenge to transition from the single Deity (God) or even the God in three persons (all male) to a concept of many Goddesses and Gods (polytheism).
When I first entered the Craft it was very much a Goddess religion. The God was only acknowledged as the consort of the Goddess and the High Priest was just in circle to protect the High Priestess. Neither I nor any other male Witch was ever allowed to touch the altar or even be taught how to activate the altar.
I know that times have changed and we are more eclectic today than back then, however, there is still the feeling that we are Goddess orientated. In an attempt to visualize the concept of balance between the God and Goddess I looked at the Tree of Life within the Qabalah.
Before we take a look at the Tree, be aware that the Qabalah is more of a universal symbol than one of the Judaic/Christian doctrine. It is a Hermetic tool and most likely predates Judaism. As such, we Witches can use the Tree of Life to help us understand the Universe and life itself, but that is beyond the scope of this article. For this example, I want to use just the three top spheres (Sephiroth) or what is called the supernal triangle.
If we conceptualize Kether at the top of the supernal triangle as Deity, then we have a starting place. Kether is understood to be both male and female. It is the focal point from which everything emanates. From Kether the force or energy is directed to Chokmah which is the male representation of God and to Binah which is the female representation of the Goddess. Binah represents the Mother Goddess and Chokmah the Father God. As we descend the Tree of Life we find all the Goddesses and all the Gods placed according to their traits.
Although this correlation may not work for those who are not familiar with the Tree of life it is a great visual for those who have at least a cursory understanding. Given some thought you may even find a visualization and correlation that works better for you.
That being said, it begs to ask the question; why is balance important and what is wrong with Goddess religion? It really depends upon what you are looking for on your spiritual path. If you are tired of male dominance and are looking for a change in favor of the feminine then this is not an issue for you. However, if you believe as I do that real magick can only occur when both masculine and feminine energies are employed, you will be obliged to move to that space between masculine and feminine enabling you to access both. The magick of reproduction in humans and most animals requires the male seed and the female egg. Magick does work best with that balance of energy.
Since it is your path you follow, only you can decide whether or not to follow just the Goddess or a balance of the God and Goddess and to nurture that balance within your circle and your life.
Listen to the Earth Mother
Hear what so few hear
Beneath her Winter crust
Beats the heart of life yet lived
Listen with more than your ears
Use your heart and you emotions
Reach down deep with your mind
Know the stirrings soon to burst forth
Listen and know that which is seldom known
That which has slept through Winter
Will soon awake to the call of Spring
Those that have listened will be ready
Children of the gods know
It is the unseen explosions of life
Life that will soon be seen
As Spring arrives and the wheel turns again
Copyright © 2011