Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mayday issue

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight, Or he would call it a sin;
But we have been out in the woods all night, A-conjuring Summer in!
- Kipling

Mayday! Mayday!  Long-awaited play day!

Another story from my Good Catholic Upbringing:

Naturally I attended Catholic school.  The first of May was the feast of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, and it was traditional to have a big celebration.  This included crowning a good Catholic girl the Queen of May, and she would then crown the Virgin Mary statue located inside the church.  The big thing for our class one year was to dance the Maypole.  Our teacher, Sister Jesus Mary & Joseph, began to pair the girls with the boys in order of height.  I was doomed!  Since I was the tallest in my class, taller than any boy or girl, I was not paired with a boy to dance with.  I was the Giganto that no shorter boy would want to dance with (Tom Cruise never wanted to appear shorter than Nicole Kidman either - SIGH).  Sister Jesus Mary & Joseph felt sorry for me though and found a way to include me.  I got to "hold" the Maypole!

However, I am thrilled to tell you that once again I will DANCE the Maypole (no holding from me needed!) this year in the lovely park with Pagans and Non Pagans from miles around!  We will collect personal hygiene items for donation to Women's Protective Services.  There will be ritual and food and drink and a good time had by all.  Everyone is invited, for as you can see, this tradition is too big for one religion.  We will celebrate sexuality, and fertility and we might even crown a fair maiden or two!  For sure there will be penis cake, condoms for free (the Elder Grove wishes everyone a safe Beltane!) and a table full of tampons and sanitary napkins!


Long may he blow!
By Great Eurus, Exalted Ruler of the East Wind,
By Great Notus, Exalted Ruler of the South Wind,
By Great Zephyrus, Exalted Ruler of the South Wind,
By Great Boreas, Exalted Ruler of the North Wind,
By ALL the Sylphs, Creatures of AIR,
we welcome the Triumphant Return of Lubbock's OWN
Windy Man!!!


Fires around Carlsbad, New Mexico break out on Easter Sunday!  Kalisha is part of the firefighting efforts and we're glad that witch is on it!  There's been too many fires in that state and in ours too, lately!


Welcome to the Lubbock Universal Life Faire. We are an independent organization that wishes to promote Alternative Spirituality.
Our Collective goal is to establish a venue for the exchange of ideas and items associated with progressive alternatives to Spiritual fulfillment, representative of the common ties that is shared by all. The Lubbock Universal Life Faire is an opportunity for persons practicing alternative spirituality and the healing of Mind, Body, and Soul to educate the general public about their practices and to serve as a community building experience. This is an opportunity for the participants to market and to connect with other practitioners and to build community.
This event would be combinations of speakers, music and vendors, exploring the different views of mind, body and spirit in the West Texas area.

Even though the Lubbock Universal Life Faire is small in size, we are Big in Vision, working diligently at making this an annual event, growing and becoming more inclusive year after year.
We are planning to have 3-6 speakers and 5-8 vendors and musicians, but we are open to any type of event, as there is not only an indoor space but also a large outdoor space where tents can be set up as well

Our proposed date is August 27, 2011. The House of Spiritual Teaching (HOST) space will be the sponsor of the Universal Life Fair. HOST is located 1 block West of Slide on 18th. It is a great space and very accessible.

Here is the website which as the vendor/speaker form and other information:
If you are interested in Vending or Speaking, please let us know. Also feel free to pass this on to other interested parties.

We apologize for the technical difficulties, but our brooms caught fire and the film broke.  We are getting everything repaired and the reviews will return with the next issue. 

Thank you, Momma Witche and Lil' Witche


Advice from:
 Good Witch/Bad Witch

Dear witches,

I live out in the middle of Christian Hell.  Recently the highway department has been adding sculptures to the new freeway.  One of the designs is called "Windy Man" and is a representation of the west Texas wind in all of it's glory.  He has clouds for hair and is blowing a curtain of dirt before him.  The problem is that this is the second time they have tried to put Windy Man up.  The first time, a Christain group took a sledge hammer and destroyed the sculpture because they claimed he was the Green Man.  Now anyone with any brains can see the difference.  Please GWBW, what should the pagans of this area do in order to preserve this beautiful piece of artwork?

A Pagan Art Lover

Good Witch:

Dear Art Lover,

First let me say how absolutely thrilled I am that the highway department has not bowed to the rabid few and have put Windy Man back up where he belongs.  That being said, I can see your concern.  Hopefully he is placed where they cannot damage him again.  Get a group of friends together and do a protection ritual for him.  I wouldn't sugget actually going to the location because that might cause even more wrath from the more rabid of the Christian groups.  If it is mentioned in the local press, write in and point out, politely of course, that he is NOT the Green Man and cite the differences.  Your tax dollars, and I am assuming that you pay your taxes, are paying for this art work and you should be allowed to enjoy it.

Good Witch

Bad Witch,

Well no one said that Christians were smart. I mean
it is the religion of grovelers. Don't do this or you'll
go to hell, don't do that, grovel, grovel, grovel.
How they manage to get through the day without
dropping to their knees and a few hallelujah, I'm
never quite sure. Yeah, yeah a few good
protections spells will do, but I say in the very
Christian vein, and eye for an eye, a sledgehammer
for a sledgehammer. A few good whacks at some of
those overly pious idols will do. But why waste the
energy, although it is tempting, let's just dose's
with some good ole fashioned Goofer Dust. Sprinkle
some outside one of their churches on Sunday
morning, or better yet, on the entrance to
Walmart, since that's where they all herd off to
after more groveling. And we can make some with
some harmful dirt form one of their own
graveyards. Plus a bit of sulfur, and some black
pepper. I make my own with a few choice
ingredients, so if you need some,…
May the windy man reign supreme,
Bad Witch


Our Beltane 2011 Playlist:

May Queen - Three Weird Sisters
May the Circle Be Oopen - Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
I Walk With the Goddess - Kellianna
Earth My Body - Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
We Shall Lift Each Other Up - Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
Mother of Darkness; We All... -  Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
O' She Will Bring-Musical Priestess - Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
Celebrate the Rain -  Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele
Mother I Feel you -  Circle of Women/Alice Di Micele (yup, I'd just downloaded this album recently)
Ladyspin - Daughters of Gaia
Blessed Be - Daughters of Gaia
Merry Mayfolk - Emerald Rose
Freya, Shakti - Emerald Rose
Wiccan Goddess Chant - Inkubus Sukkubus
Cauldron of Changes - Lindi Lila
Beltane Boogie - Moon Struck
Firepit Drumming - Moon Struck
Firebird's Child - S.J. Tucker
Hymn to Herne - S.J. Tucker
Witch's Rune - S.J. Tucker
In the Name of the Dance - S.J. Tucker
Prayer of St. Francis - Sarah Maclachlan
New Forest - Three Weird Sisters
Boys Want Sex in the Morning - Three Weird Sisters
Lord of the Dance - Todd Alan
Artemis - Wendy Rule
The Circle Song - Wendy Rule

Beltane is a time of fertility and creativity.  Most of us have been quite busy getting creative, and fertile.  So, this is the abbreviated version of the newsletter this time.  See you next month!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Ostara Issue

This is my favorite Sabbat.  There's nothing better than Spring in the air when you grow up in northern Michigan.  There could be frost on the ground in the morning, but by mid-afternoon, if the temperature reached 5-0, the young generation could be found outside in FULL FORCE - long sleeves off, bikini tops and short shorts in the place of thermals, worshipping the sun and begging for a bit of a tan.  Of course, Spring also brought cold, wet, dirty snow, slushy ice, and all kinds of misery.  The sun was our favorite bright orb though, and the first sign of spring was a welcome sight.

Also, it was my mother's fault that I loved Easter so much.  You see, in Michigan, we don't hide eggs.  We hide the whole basket.  And it didn't matter how old I got, and because I was the oldest, I always got a basket and the Easter Bunny always hid it in the most difficult to find place!  This awful fate befell my mother at a young age, and so she deemed it necessary to bestow it upon me.  My mother's Easter Bunny hid her basket (she was the eldest) in a place so hard to find, that she didn't get to enjoy ANY Easter candy until well into the next day!  Now, she did feel sorry for me once and had to tell me where mine was, but I never went very long without my basket.  (That's because I learned to get up early and start looking for mine!)

Anyways, I still have the same basket that was wedged into nooks and crannies where it was hoped I would never look, and I still have some of the toys my mother would put in the baskets, saved year after year and now so special to me.

So I get all kinds of Warm Fuzzies when I think of this holiday.  Then, as an adult, I began attending sunrise rituals on the Sunday closest to the spring equinox, led by a former minister.  After he left the church, and the state, to better places of course, I continued on his tradition, inviting friends and covenmates to an early morning party.  This year we shall repeat of course, and as the sun rises, we will awaken Mother Earth and rejoice in the beginning of another year, another harvest, another spin around the Wheel.

Ostara Altar

I pray you all find balance at this Spring Equinox,


Psychic Fair Coming to a Town Near You!

The two local PPD co-coordinators have determined that they have enough funds to run PPD for the next two years and no longer wish to be associated with fundraising, or the impending psychic fair.  This is great news!  It opens up the possibility of bigger and better psychic fairs with brighter futures!   Although this will continue to be an open Pagan community-lead event, by distancing itself from PPD politics the spirit of freedom and independence will shine through and continue to grow.  Hopefully!  You too can be a part of this exciting venture by visiting:

The Psychic Fair will be August 27, at the House of Spiritual Teachings.


 March 19 - Full Storm Moon
 March 20 - Spring Equinox aka Ostara
 March 20 - Elder Grove Ostara Celebrations (all day)
 March 25 - Palmistry class (private), see Aisha Kandisha for details
 March 27 - Coffee with Oly - Special Guest Sharon: Psychic Readers; 3-5pm at
 April 3 -  Coffee with Oly - International Pagan Coming Out Day; 3-5pm at
 April 8 - Magick Coffee - The Element Fire and Wands; 7-9pm location TBD
 April 15 - Palmistry class (private), see Aisha Kandisha for details
 April 15 - Deadline for submissions for Beltane newsletter
 April 18 - Full Wind Moon
 April 22 - Earth Day
 April 30 - Walpurgisnacht
 May 1 - Beltane
 May 8 - Mother's Day
 May, Friday the 13th - Magick Coffee - The Element Air and Daggers/Athames/Swords; 7-9pm location TBD 
 May 17 - Full Flower Moon
 June 10 - Magick Coffee - The Element Water and Cups/Chalice; 7-9pm location TBD 
 June 23-26 - GOTMO, for more information, 

Click to join gathonthemtn
Click to join gathonthemtn

 July 8 - Magick Coffee - The Element Earth and Pentacles; 7-9pm location TBD 


Kitchen Witch's Korner  

As with all Sabbat celebrations, food plays an important part in the festivities. If we turn back the clock and look at the conditions our ancestors survived in, by the time of Spring, many of their food stocks, saved from the previous years harvest, and meat saved from the last cull and slaughter of their animals, would now be running out. With the arrival of a new Spring and the renewed regeneration of life and nature, many of their fears for survival were over. Ostara to them marked an end to eating cured and salted meat with dried vegetables. As animals came out of hibernation, fresh game became available, and as the Sun climbed higher, herbs and new young plants replaced the old. As such, the Ostara feast was always one to remember. Hope these recipes assist you with planning your feast! With blessings from the hearth, ~Hestia

Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are supremely easy to make, and you can make them sweet or spicy. This recipe is for a tangy, spicy version of the classic spring dish. Prep Time: 30 minutes

1 dozen eggs
1 TBSP brown mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and let them boil for 11 minutes. Turn off the burner and allow the eggs to set for 30 minutes. Cool the eggs with cold water and then peel. Slice each egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a bowl. Mash the yolks up with a fork, and add the mustard, mayonnaise, curry powder, vinegar and salt and pepper. Blend it all together. Place the yolk mixture into a ziplock baggie, remove all the air and seal. Cut a small hole in the corner of the baggie to allow you to pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Enjoy!
Sausage Quiche
4 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
¼ TBSP salt
¼ TBSP pepper
8oz breakfast sausage, browned and cooled
¼ cup diced onion cooked with sausage
1 cup cheddar cheese
9 inch deep dish pie crust (thawed)

Whip eggs, cream, salt and pepper together with a whisk. Place the sausage and onion in the bottom of the pie crust. Evenly cover with the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 300° for 30 more minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes our clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Spring Salad
Mixed salad greens of your choice
Green onions, chopped
Can of mandarin oranges, drained
Caramelized almonds

Caramelized Almonds:
1 cup slivered almonds
1 TBSP butter
3 TBSP sugar.
In a small fry pan, melt butter and sugar over medium heat. Add almonds. Stir till toasted.
Remove from heat and spread on waxed paper to cool.

½ tsp salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 ½ TBSP sugar
Dash of black pepper
1 TBSP parsley
2 TBSP salad vinegar (I like to use rice vinegar)

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake until mixed thoroughly.

In a bowl, place the salad greens, the oranges and the almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss. This salad will not keep. Must be served immediately.


Ostara, celebrated March 20th or 21st, is also known as the Vernal Equinox. This is a time of birth and of balance, when light and dark are equal. This is the time when you are ready to burst forth from the womb of the Goddess and begin this years incarnation. Whether you celebrate with an elaborate ritual or just a simple spring blessing, remember this is an ideal time to put plans into action for growth in our own lives, to actively encourage change. Correspondences include:

Rituals: welcoming spring, fertility rites, rituals of balance, spells for prosperity, new beginnings, Garden/plant blessings, seed blessing, balance, growth

Activities: planting seeds, coloring eggs, egg hunts, starting new projects

Incense: African violet, jasmine, rose, sage and strawberry

Herbs/Plants: pine tree, acorn, celandine, cinquefoil, crocus, daffodil, dogwood, Easter lily, Irish Moss, ginger, hyssop, linden, strawberry, gorse, honeysuckle, iris, jasmine, jonquils, narcissus, olive, peony, rose, tansy, violets, woodruff and all spring flowers

Stones/Gems: Jasper, amethyst, aquamarine, bloodstone and red jasper.

Colors: Light green, lemon yellow, pale pink, pastels, gold, grass green, robin’s egg blue

Symbols/Decorations: baskets, eggs, lambs, flowers, chicks, bunnies, budding twigs, flowers, pussy willows, four leaf clover, sprouting bulbs, colored ribbons, any spring flowers, eggs, butterflies, cocoons

Foods: jelly eggs (jelly beans), chocolates, lamb, eggs, seeds, leafy green vegetables, spiced or flower cupcakes, fruits, hot cross buns, sprouts, honey cakes, unleavened bread, hard-boiled eggs, sprouts, fish, maple sugar candies, milk, punch, egg drinks

Goddesses: all love, virgin, and fertility Goddesses; Anna Perenna (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek), Astarte (Canaanite, Persia, GrecoRoman), Athena (Greek), Cybele (Greco-Roman), Eostre (Saxon Goddess of Fertility), Gaia (Greek), Hera, Ishtar (Assyro-Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Libera (Roman), Minerva (Roman), The Muses (Greek), Persephone (Greek), Venus (Roman), Ostara (the German Goddess of Fertility), Kore, Maiden, Isis, Youthful Goddesses. Faerie Queen, Lady of the Lake(Welsh-Cornish), the Green Goddess

Gods: all love, song & dance, and fertility Gods; Adonis (Greek), Attis (Greco-Roman), Cernunnos (Celtic), The Great Horned God (European), Liber (Roman), Mars (Roman), Mithras (Persian), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian), Thoth, Pan (Greek), the Green Man, Hare, Youthful Gods, Warrior Gods, Lord of the Greenwood (English), Dagda(Irish),

Animals/Mythological creatures: rabbits, hares, robins, dragons (associated with eggs the earth and fertility), lambs, chicks

Essence: The beginning of spring, new life and rebirth, the God and Goddess in Their youth, balance, fertility, strength


I watch-day by day
Lady Bug is first to sing of the Mother
Skeletal trees, tall and lean
from the Winter
suddenly transform...
from Masculine to Feminine
in the glorious display
of blooming crowns...
each branch a miracle
soon to be birthing the fruit
that will seed the seasons...


Northeasterly winds
Pink glow born on the horizon
Morning chill on the run
A new day begins
Red and gold rays reach out
Sending her warmth
To the world Good morning children
Let us begin anew
Grasp this moment of magic
Until we meet again on the morrow
~Jason Stanley~

 By Momma Witche

Movie review—“Rango” rated PG (2011)

“Rango” is the animated story of a chameleon with a theatrical turn of mind that falls out of his humans’ car in the middle of the desert and winds up in the town of Dirt.  There, he uses his acting “talents” to become the latest sheriff to try to defend the town bank and its supply of water which is in extremely short supply.  If you are a fan of westerns then you pretty much know where this one is going to go, but the trip is really fun.  The animation is good and at times it was hard to believe it was a cartoon.  The characters were fun and the allusions to the old classic westerns were fun to pick out.  I especially liked “The Spirit of the West” and all of the references to Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name.  Lil’ Witche had fun picking out the voices and it is a great cast—Johnny Depp, Ilsa Fisher, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, and Bill Nighy to name just a few.  Johnny Depp does an excellent job as a slightly not all there chameleon who is not used to having to deal with the consequences of his actions.  There are some adult themes in this one, which does seem a bit odd considering it is a cartoon and is being marketed to kids.  But I am a firm believer in the parent controlling what the child consumes so I’m not having an issue with this.

Go see this either alone or with your little witchlets.  There is enough adult humor and references to keep you entertained and the little ones will love it.  We give it 4 owls.

Movie review—“Gnomeo and Juliet” rated G (2011)

To start this review off I have to say that I do not like the story “Romeo and Juliet.”  I never have.  Having had to read it twice during high school and once at university and having seen several movie versions, I still dislike it intensely.  It glorifies teen suicide and the impression a lot of young girls are given that “I can’t go on if HE doesn’t love me.”  What a crock.

What intrigued me was the whole gnome idea.  Maybe this one would be worth seeing.  It is a kid’s movie after all.  Gnomeo and Juliet surely can’t kill themselves in the end.  Can they?

Don’t worry, they don’t.  To quote Gnomeo when he is speaking to a statue of Shakespeare “That’s not how this one is going to end.”  And that is not the only reference to Shakespeare and his other works.  The moving van is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Juliet tells a dog “Out, out.”  And in the background you hear the owner say “Damn Spot.”  It was fun picking out the various references.  And the voice cast was incredible.  James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Ozzy Osbourne, and Patrick Stewart to name a few.  Dolly Parton even makes an appearance as a hillbilly girl gnome.  And the music is wonderful.  Elton John and Bernie Taupin did the soundtrack and Elton John makes a brief appearance as a gnome in pink and purple with blinged out glasses.

Lil’ Witche and I give this one 3.5 owls.  I’m still not thrilled with the source material, but it was handled well and the music was good.  The animation was not up to the standard of “The Legends of the Guardians,” but it was a good reminder of an earlier time in animation.

Movie review—“The Eagle” rated PG-13 (2011)

This movie is based on the book The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff which in turn is based on the legend of the Ninth Legion of Rome that marched into the north of Britain in 120 CE and vanished from the pages of history.  The movie is set 20 years later when the son of the Centurion in charge of the Ninth is made Centurion of the 4th Gaullish Cohort and is posted to Britain.  After being wounded in battle and honorably discharged to his uncle’s British estate, Marcus Flavius Aquila is given a British slave Esca.  He hears rumors of the lost eagle being held north of Hadrian’s Wall and Marcus then decides to salvage his family’s honor by retrieving the lost eagle.  He sets off alone with Esca to travel north of the wall.  This is a quest/road trip movie set in 140 CE and I loved every minute of it.

The history is handled very well, the scenery is wild and wonderful (as it should be since it was shot in Scotland), and the acting is good.  I appreciated that while this movie does deal with conquest and warfare, most of the blood and guts are off camera.  When the scouting party is beheaded in front of the Roman fort, you see the Druid pull the sword, the Roman’s head pushed down and then you watch the faces of the soldiers on the fort’s wall watch the beheading.  No massive spurts of blood and no bouncing head.  I think it made it more gut wrenching than if we had seen slash, splash, and bounce.

I’ve read other reviews that complained about the acting, but I enjoyed watching the two leads overcome their ingrained prejudices—Roman versus Britain—and learn to trust and care for each other.  They each learned that the other was not a soulless, heartless monster, but a man with flaws and talents and honor.  I think one of the last lines of the movie sums up this lesson best when Marcus defends Esca to a Roman politician “He is not a slave.  And he knows more about honor and freedom than you’ll ever know.”  You can see on Esca’s face that he feels the same about Marcus.

See this one when you can.  Lil’ Witche has already said that it will be added to our collection.  And if I can find the soundtrack there are some songs that would work wonderfully in ritual.  We give this one 4.5 owls.


App Review
by Luna

 An App review, you wonder?  Well, what else have I been doing ever since Randy got me an iPod Touch?!  Yes, I've been racking up the charges at iTunes.  Something I spent 99 cents on was this app:

 Wicca Spells has almost 100 spells, so that's about a penny apiece.  Most of them are money or love spells.  However, during Doug's presentation of Grimoires, he brought quite a few for show and tell.  I went through the spells in a couple of them, and the majority of those spells were ALSO money and love spells!  I guess money and love are always in demand!

I like the pretty pictures in this app.  My iPod has the retina something or other *insert Geek-like terminology to describe why it shows such purty pictures.*  This app looks nice, and it has a bunch of spells that you can take anywhere.  Plus, it's fun to look through.  You never know when you'll need The Beautiful Voice Spell (when you want to sing well in a performance) or a dozen money spells.  There is no way to index these spells.  You simply go from one to the next, but you can distinguish certain spells as your Favorites and thereby you would have a smaller list to go through.  Plus, I wish there was a way I could add my own spells.  But for 99 cents, it's a fun little app that has been updated a time or two already.  Also available: Pagan Rituals app and Magic Potions app. 


I must begin this with a HUGE apology.  I cannot find where I originally got this spread.  So I can't give credit to the author.  If you know who wrote this, please let me know.

Tarot Deck Spotlight
by Luna

The deck I am choosing today is a new one, a birthday gift from a great friend!  I'd had my eye on this deck for a LONG TIME and not only did I get a brand new deck and the companion book, but my copy was signed by the author and creator of the Whimsical Tarot - Dorothy Morrison.  The cards are illustrated by Mary Hanson-Roberts, and she was the perfect illustrator for this adorable deck.  I always thought that this would be the deck I would gift a child as many of the card scenes are from fairy tales and nursery rhymes.  You can see the Ugly Duckling on the 5 of Pentacles, Jack Sprat and his fat wife on the 2 of Pents, the Princess and the Pea are the 4 of Swords, and an indignant Little Bear has busted Goldilocks on the Justice card.  It's not totally all cuteness and kittens though.  The Fool (the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz with Toto at his feet) is just about to head over the cliff into the flames (of hell?) below.  The Tower card shows the ravenous Wolf blowing down the Pig's house of straw, a frightening scene.  The 3 of Swords show clueless Hansel and crying Gretel hopelessly lost as the birds eat up their trail of crumbs.  It's scary, although in the cutest way possible.  

Because I get in touch with my Inner Child at Ostara (especially), I wanted to use this deck which also is for my Inner Child.  

Here we have Last year's issues, 1 year ago: 9 of Swords

What you controlled, 1 year ago: Wheel of Fortune

Outside influences, 1 year ago: 7 of Cups

Spiritual guidance, then: 9 of Rods

This year's issue is: 9 of Cups

Spiritual guidance (now): 2 of Rods

Outside influences, this year: 2 of Cups

What you control (this year): 6 of Pentacles

BALANCE card for this year: 8 of Rods

What do you think about this reading?  What do you think of this deck, the Whimsical Tarot?


Dear GWBW,
I am a member of a circle that has always been very inclusive of all seekers.  The majority of us are older, not elderly just over thirty, and have jobs and families.  There have been a few younger people on the fringes who seem to think that we should just drop everything and take care of them spiritually and, unfortunately, financially.  When we are unable to cure all of their problems, they go off and rant and rave in language that my children would get their mouths washed out with some of my vegetarian lye soap for.  Frankly GWBW I'm tired of all the drama.  What should we do?
Thank you,
Mother Demeter

Dear Mother Demeter, 

I feel for you and your circle.  Drama like this can be very tiring and cause a person to rethink their relationships with those around them.  And that’s the way it should be.  I believe that the Goddess sends us these little trials as a way of not so much testing our faith, but as a learning experience.  Beef up your own personal protection, and that of your immediate family.  Personally I keep an apache tear(for grounding and protection), hematite(to repel negativity) and snowflake obsidian(for protection) with me at all times.  You can use this time as an opportunity to rethink your structure as a group in order to discourage this from happening again.  It can also be a teaching experience for YOUR children.  They are watching how you respond to this and you can show them proper adult behavior in the way that you respond to this crisis.  In this way, you can help future groups by creating mature, responsible pagan youth.  And remember that old adage “Kill ‘em with kindness.”  If they are having troubles financially, help out by collecting job applications for them so that they can better their employment opportunities.  Bring them meals, and include herbs such as rosemary and oregano, and others that can broaden their minds.  Just remember, it’s not only our children who are watching us, but the wider community.  To quote my old granny “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  How you all handle this will not only have an impact on your pagan community, but also on the outside community.

May the gods watch over you,
Good Witch

Bad Witch has finished her lunch and sends this answer - 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Imbolc Issue

When I was a small child, deep in the bonds of the Catholic Church, February 2nd, to me, represented the day we nearly were strangled in church.  St. Blaize's feast day is Feb. 2, aka Candlemas.  We were made to attend mass, as usual, and the priest would bless our throats.  You had to kneel down and the big tall priest would stick a couple candlesticks across your neck and murmur some words in Latin (or so I was told, it could have been Satan Speak for all I knew then) and the wafting of the frankincense and myrrh was made to put you in a trance so that you didn't feel the pain of the candles squeezing your life force from you!  MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 

See these pics?  Imagine my fright. Plus, I had never heard of anyone at that time dying from a neck disease! 

Catholic torture device

Don't you think she looks as scared as I was?


Brigid's bed, Imbolc 2007

The Imbolc Love Necklace Spell

Ancient mystery, magic night
Cut pink rose buds by fireside bright.
Thread of white, a needle sharp
Candle red to stay the dark.

Place all upon the altar stone
Consecrate from witches bones.
Cast a circle from outstretched hand
Call the quarters, make it grand.

Elements are good, and angels too
Universal love can be their cue.
Banish winter, out, out, out

Raise your staff, turn thrice about.

Throw Yule greens in the fire
Dance to bring in Spring's desire.
Dress the dolly, corn she be
The harvest bride from last year's seed.

String the rose buds, one by one
Circle and tie when you are done.
Empower it now, hold it high
Ask the Gods to bring love nigh.

Raise your energy, bright and strong
Hum a tune of loving song.
Release your power, quickly please
Ground an center, feel at ease.

Dismiss your quarters, circle down
Open the space with a rapping sound.
In the morning when the sun doth rise
Place the dolly under new day skies.

Leave her there, without the gown
To summon prosperity all year round.
When autumn chill doth kiss your cheek
Return the doll to the ground or creek.

Save the necklace, keep it close
Give it to whom you love the most.
Kiss them once upon the lips
Tell them it's an Imbolc gift.

~by Silver Ravenwolf



Fire at Cloudcroft destroys a couple buildings. The mid-December fire happened at 4am and threatened Cloudcroft's main street.  Fortunately no one was injured, although several businesses were burned down. 

Congratulations to Mojo and Misi (O’Pa and Nene) on the birth of the first grandson. Anson Lee Rutherford was born on January 17. He joins proud daddy Asa and exhausted momma Alle and beaming big sister Audrey at home. Welcome to this crazy world, Anson! You are only a couple weeks old now and so very loved.

GOTMO - the next planning meeting for the Gathering On The Mountains (aka GOTMO) will be February 4. If you’d like more information on what GOTMO is please visit:  This year’s event will be held on June 23-26, 2011 and costs $40 per adult and includes all meals, camp access, and all workshops/rituals. It’s a great time, beautiful area, and I say WHAT A BARGAIN!



Feb. 2 - Imbolc
Feb. 2 - New Moon
Feb. 4 - GOTMO Planning Meeting
Feb. 5 - EG Imbolc celebration
Feb. 6 - PPD/Psychic Fair Planning Meeting, 10am, Hastings
Feb. 11 - Magick Coffee at Schlotzky’s on 19th, topic: Astral Temples
Feb. 13 - Coffee with Oly - Recipes for Love 3-5pm at
Feb. 18 - Full Moon
Feb. 20 - Coffee with Oly - Hades, Lucifer, and Satan  3-5pm at
Feb. 27 - Coffee with Oly - Sound-Off Sunday  3-5pm at
March 1 - Deadline for Ostara Newsletter submissions
March 4 - New Moon
March 11 - Magick Coffee, topic TBD


Pagan Poetry Corner
for future submissions, email:

American Veterans

A wesome
M odest
E xtraordinary
R eady
I ntelligent
C ourageous
A dmirable
N oble

V ast
E ducated
T rained
E ncouraging
R eliable
A ble
N ecessary

Here's to all the veterans and soldiers
who are fighting or fought to protect us.

~Jenna Espinoza, grade 6

Imbolc fire, 2009

If you kept a sacred fire burning for me
I would spend the rest of eternity
making love to you -
body mind soul.
Every square inch of
you covered by my lips
in a kiss.
I would feed that fire.
I would
burn baby burn for you.
Look for me in every candle flame.
I burst into desire for your heat.



I breath in...
I can feel the briskness of the God
I can feel the chill of the Goddess
they dance the ancient dance,
breath-cloud forming before my face...

I sit among the fallen skeletal leaves
and I trace her fingerprints along each
line of decay, their brittle essence
turning to dust at a touch...

She is the hard earth beneath me...


She is the shadowing barren trees
that sway in the wind
She is the scurry of the heavy furred squirrel
the black crackles eagerly eat the weeks crusty bread.

The Geese turn the twilight a grim gray Wild Hunt
as they call out the mother's name as they pass...

Above me-I see a tiny bud of life


forming carefully at the tip of the deep brown branch...
soon she will turn from barren to life-giver again
and Her soft womb will swell with renewal...


by Hestia
 Kitchen Witch's Korner

Imbolc is a great time of fire and feasting. The word "Imbolc" comes in part from the phrase "ewe's milk," so dairy products have become a big part of February celebrations. Traditional foods for the Imbolc celebration include those made with seeds, (to symbolize growth), raisins (a fruit of the Sun God), pork, poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic and of course any dairy product. Imbolc is the mid-point of the dark half of the year, and though stored foods are running low, it is a celebration of renewal and preparation for Spring. Whip up some kitchen magic for your Sabbat meal with these tasty recipes of the season! 

With many blessings!

Amish Breakfast Casserole
1 pound sausage or ham or bacon, cooked and diced
1 medium sweet onion
6 eggs lightly beaten
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups (12 oz) 4% cottage cheese
1 ¼ cups shredded Swiss cheese

In a large skillet cook the sausage/ham/bacon until completely done. Drain. Using 1 TBSP of the oil left over from cooking the meat, sauté the onion until done.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Transfer to a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Baked, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings

Note: I really thought of not doing the cottage cheese or the Swiss cheese, but please include them. You will not be disappointed.

8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 head of cabbage
1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
2 cloves chopped (or pressed) garlic
1 small chopped onion
dill (1/2 t. dried, or 1 t. fresh chopped)
fresh ground black pepper

Shred the cabbage. Sauté the onions and garlic with a little butter, then add the cabbage and toss to coat. Reduce heat and cover; let it steam until done.

Meanwhile, boil, drain, mash the potatoes, add milk and a little butter. Stir in the cabbage mixture, and season with salt pepper and dill.

At the end of winter, our ancestors may have been running low on veggies and meat, but they usually had plenty of bread left.  This is a wonderful recipe for soda bread  from our local Irish witch, Charree.

Irish Soda Bread
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon n baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or dried pomegranate
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
1 large egg
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 inch round cake pan or a loaf pan.  Sift together the dry ingredients.  Using a food processor or a pastry cutter cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.  Blend in the dried fruit and the caraway seeds.  Beat the egg, buttermilk and sour cream together until blended.  Stir the egg mixture into the dry mixture just until blended.  Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Imbolc, also known as Candlemas, Imbolg, Bride's Day, Oimelc, Brid's Day, Lady Day,  St. Brighid's Day, Candelaria, Lupercus, is usually celebrated on the 1st  of February.  Imbolc, loosely translated, mean’s “ewe’s milk”  It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the festival of the maiden, a time to prepare for growth and renewal. Correspondences include:

Rituals: Purity, growth and renewal, new beginnings, purification, household cleansing rituals, rejuvenation, spells for good luck, fertility spells, re-consecration, weather divination

Incense: Basil, bay, benzoin, cinnamon, myrrh, vanilla, violet

Herbs/Plants: Angelica, basil, bay, benzoin, heather, myrrh, rowan, dill

Stones/Gems: Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, onyx, ruby, turquoise

Colors: white, silver

Symbols/Decorations: white or silver Candles, brides, grain dollies, burrowing animals, ewes, Brigid’s cross, Brigid’s bed, priapic wands, brooms, white flowers or the first flowers of the season, silver bowls, melted snow in a bottle, representations of animals of the season

Foods: Cheese, recipes using sour cream or mascarpone, yogurt, curries, fish, white meat, dishes containing onions, peppers and/or garlic, spiced wine, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, muffins, scones, rice pudding, poppy seeds, poultry, foods or breads containing raisins, herbal teas

Goddesses: Virgin or maiden goddesses, the Goddess as a child, Brigid(celtic), Aradia, Athena(greek), Gaia(greek), Inanna(sumerian), Februa(roman), Hestia(greek)
Gods: Gods of fire, the God as a young man or child, love or fertility gods, Pan(greek), Aengus Og(celtic), Eros(greek), Februus(roman), Faunus(roman)

Animals/Mythological creatures: Bears, eagle, groundhogs, owls, ravens, sheep, snakes, stags, dragons, firebirds, phoenix

Essence:  renewal, new beginnings, purification


by MommaWitche

Before we get to the movie reviews I have some exciting news on “The Hobbit” front, or at least Lil’ Witche and I find it exciting.  It has been confirmed on that Sir Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf, along with Elijah Wood as Frodo and Andy Serkis as Gollum.  Peter Jackson has stepped back in to direct the two movies.  The latest rumor is that Sir Christopher Lee is in talks to reprise his role as Saruman.  We are so looking forward to these two movies, which are currently due in theaters in December, 2112, and December, 2113.  Now back to the regularly scheduled movie reviews.

Movie review—“The Chronicles o Narnia:  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” rated PG (2010)
“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is the third movie in “The Chronicles of Narnia” series.  This one almost didn’t get made because “Prince Caspian” did so poorly at the box office.  The movie begins with Edmund and Lucy Pevensie living in London with their aunt, uncle and pesky cousin Eustace during the last few years of World War II.  Peter and Susan have gone to America with their parents for reasons that are never explained.  The Pevensies, along with cousin Eustace, find themselves transported back to Narnia when a “very Narnian looking painting” begins oozing sea water.  They are rescued by King Caspian who is sailing to the East in search of the seven Lords of Narnia in order to defeat an evil that has moved upon the land.  Typical quest, and we know that Edmund and Lucy are prepared for the journey.  But cousin Eustace complains that he has been kidnapped, etc, etc.   Like the previous two movies, lessons are learned and Eustace is the one who learns the most.
This one goes much further in the overt Christian themes than the other two.  Aslan’s world is beyond the surf and once you’ve gone there, there is no return.  Lucy asks Aslan if he has ever been to her world and he says that in her world he is known by another name, one that she must learn.  Lil’ Witche wanted to know what he meant and that gave me the opportunity to explain C.S. Lewis’ intent with these books and the differences between him and his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien.
We give this one 4.5 owls.  The story is good, and the CGI characters are awesome, especially the dragon and the sea serpent.

Movie review—“Season of the Witch” rated PG-13 (2010)
“Season of the Witch” was supposed to come out early last year, but was pulled and new scenes were shot.  This is never a good sign, but I went in knowing that it would not be an Oscar contender.  It’s Nicholas Cage versus the supernatural after all.  He has even admitted that while he enjoys the period and playing a knight, he did this one for the money.
That said, I was blown away.  This is the story of two knights who have deserted the Crusades and are forced, under penalty of death, to take a witch accused of causing the Black Plague to a distant abbey where the monks can “cure” her.  Along the way they encounter wicked CG wolves and battle zombie ninja monks.  I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie, and at other times I was jumping in my seat.  There are twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.  I do recommend this one and give it 4 owls.
For all of the reviewers I read that complained about the plague scenes as being too gross, the plague was gross.  And the Church did blame witches for causing the plague.  They didn’t know about germ theory after all.

Since it’s January, Lil’ Witche and I want to give you a list of the upcoming movies we are looking forward to this year.  I’ve included the release date and if it is a cartoon or documentary.

“The Way Back”  January 21
“The Eagle”  February 11
“Gnomeo & Juliet”  February 11 cartoon
“Rango”  March 4 cartoon
“Red Riding Hood”  March 11
“Mars Needs Moms”  March 11 cartoon
“Born to be Wild”  April 8 documentary
“Rio”  April 15 cartoon
“Thor”  May 6
“Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides”  May 20
“The Hangover 2”  May 27
“Cars 2”  June 24 cartoon
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”  July 15
“Winnie the Pooh”  July 15 cartoon
“Cowboys and Aliens”  July 29
“The Three Musketeers”  October 14
“Breaking Dawn Part 1”  November 18
“The Muppets”  November 23

And there is an as yet untitled “Sherlock Holmes” sequel that is due out by Christmas.  It looks like it will be a good year.


Good Witch

My dear sir,
You have truly been blessed by the Goddess to have attracted such a large clan of cats. It is entirely possible that they see you as a cat also. However, if you are sincere in your desire to cut back the population and are unable to have them all neutered, I would suggest finding them good homes. Cats make wonderful familiars and kitty pets and I’m sure you know people who could give each of them a wonderful loving home. You should also look at your garden and see what is out there that is attracting the cats. Perhaps you should take out part of the catnip and plant rosemary. Either dry the catnip or pot it up to give away with the cats.

Good Luck,
Good Witch      

Bad Witch
Dear Delbert,
You really have your head up your… if you can’t figure out the difference between in the plumbing.
Ho Hum.

Option 1: As far as ‘natural’ remedies, try wild carrot seed, or wild carrot oil. You need to ingest, you don’t rub it on the regions: that is to say, you need to feed it to your female cars, once you figure out the plumbing issues you have. I have no idea of the dosage. BTW, put a crowbar in my money spell and take the little buggers to the vet.

Option 2: The Q-Tip Method. Do I really need to go into details?
Option 3: The Diaper Method. Again, do we need to go into detail. Still doesn’t solve the problem of the incessant squalling----enough to send the zombies, vampires and what not, heading for the hills.
Option 4: You could try a bit of Bend Over and Commanding Oil creating a spell that bends your cats to your will. That is, will them NOT to breed. Yeah, and we know how well that one works. There also is a great Arab-curse, that would be said to any male cat in the area. It’s a penis-shriveling curse. But again, efficacy is in question.
Really for as much as us witches like our furry familiars, they are almost akin to rabbits, pigeons or squirrels with their voracity of breeding, And Since here in the hinterlands, it never really gets cold enough (like in Yankeeland) for a good old fashioned die off, we are, so to speak, a bit overrun at times.
The other options of course are to start a coyote sanctuary on your land. That will take care of the excess kitties, although you may have a few beefee rednecks with their guns taking exception to that.
The bottom line. Treat ALL cats like little breeding machines, shooting out kitties like a water canon. TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION!

Ps. Oh and one last option.

The Boot
Grab male cat
Place head-first boot
Take sharp razor
Whack those gonads off


And that concludes the Imbolc 2011 Issue. Hope you enjoyed it. We enjoy getting feedback, so please leave a comment or drop us a line at 

We also accept essays, book/music reviews, poetry and anything that you consider news worthy, please email it to us for the next issue.

In Love & Light,
The Elder Grove