Sunday, September 26, 2010

Samhain Issue

New Newsletter
Welcome to the first newsletter, “published” by the Elder Grove members, about and for West Texas/Eastern New Mexico Pagans.  In this newsletter, we hope to provide items of interest, and news about upcoming events.  Articles, poems, event dates, stories, and etc. can be submitted for inclusion in future newsletters (we hope to publish for each Sabbat) to this email address:


5th Annual PPD in Lubbock
The day (September 25) started out drizzling rain and that hampered some of the set-up efforts, but not participation in this annual event to celebrate Pagan Pride in a town thick with Christian churches.  There were robes and candles for sale, tarot readings to be had, and workshops/lectures to attend.  Plus, a wonderful raffle.  Folks came from nearby states and nearby neighborhoods.  Brenna Mar led the masses in an opening ritual that provided Food from the Gods in the form of blessed water and pretzels for all to enjoy.  Later, some of the Elder Grove dressed up as Green Folk and marched around the area calling for all to join in their pledge to care for Mother Earth.  Blessings and wishes were placed on ribbons and attached to a tree.  The day ended all too soon when the group once again gathered in a circle to pronounce the fifth Pagan Pride day in Lubbock a success.  Appreciation and applause was bestowed upon Kiandra, as she is stepping down as co-coordinator, and to Aaron for a job well done.  Then a hearty welcome was made to Sarah, as she will be the new co-coordinator for next year.

South Plains Fair
    The annual South Plains Fair was held recently.  I can report that I made it to the Fair once this year.  They've moved our offices - we used to be housed a mile from the fairgrounds, and would go every day for lunch (free parking AND admission before 1pm!).  This year they raised the admission price for adults to $8 (it used to be $5 -I think?) and parking to $5 (from $3).  However, all the music concerts were free.  So we made arrangements to go see Blue Oyster Cult.  The two original members have been together 40 years!  Yet, they could still shred a guitar!  It was a GREAT concert, they played nearly 90 minutes, and well worth the increased fair prices.  I have never seen so many CANES used by the concert-goers though - B.O.C. has been around that long. 
   As far as the Fair food goes, I was a little disappointed in my corn dog, but the corn was scrumptious - if a little overpriced ($4 for one cob/cup?!)  And the fried pie was a sweet delight, as always.

Over in Roswell, New Mexico, Temple of Hekate's Torch member Sam was recently promoted to 2nd Point Priest.  A hearty congratulations goes out to him!  And because I was curious about what it means to be a "2nd Point Priest," Sam readily agreed to be my first INTERVIEW for our new newsletter.  So, without further ado, here is Sam!

Could you give us a little introduction?  Name, or magickal name, hometown, occupation/type thing. 
My name is Sam Eash, I was born and raised in Roswell, NM. I am a tutor at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, I am also a student at ENMU-R, I am seeking a degree in Computer Information Systems.

Could you give us a little background into your Pagan experience? 
·    How long have you been a practicing Pagan (assuming you consider yourself as Pagan)?

I have been a practicing pagan for the last 3 years. I use the term pagan because I live and walk my faith.
·    What got you started on the Pagan Path?
I was always taught to be open to new ideas and to cut my own path in life, and when I meet Cindy and the THT I heard the ring in the back of my head and decided I would like to learn from the THT and I have had a blast learning and growing, not just magically/spiritually but personally as well.
·    What "kind" of Pagan flavor are you? - Wiccan, Druid, Asatru, Strega, etc.
I am a member of the Temple of Hekate’s Torch and follow the Strix Tradition, but I have the honor to be called by many pantheons.
·    How long have you been with THT?
I have been learning from the THT for 3 years, and I have been a full member for 2 years.

You've recently been initiated as a 2nd point priest to the Temple of Hekate's Torch.  Can you tell us what that means?  Does that position come with obligations of any sort?

The THT has a point system that breaks down the hierarchy of the temple and the status of its members. Points 1-3 are students, 4-5 are teachers, and 6-9 are the priesthood. The obligations that come from me being a 2nd point initiate are that my actions now represent the temple more so than when I first joined. I may speak for the temple and I may teach as well. My other obligations are to the gods and goddesses, such as daily offerings and prayers.

What kinds of accomplishments did you make to qualify you to move up in the ranks of the Temple? 
THT has a curriculum of courses and study material that one must complete before they can move to the next point. The course work is designed around the challenges that each point will face. Some of them include participation with the pagan community, others are just like school work, nose in the book or computer screen, and research is done to broaden the knowledge of the student.

What kinds of goals/projects or plans do you see in the future for you as a 2nd point priest/part of the THT?

The only goals that I have set as of now, are to continue with my studies toward my 3rd point, and get through college. As for being a 2nd point initiate I hope to start being able to teach potions, because it is something that I really enjoy.

Who are the mentors, teachers,  or heroes who have inspired you on your path?

All the members of the THT have been my mentors and teachers and they have helped me move forward on my path, but also John and Aaron Brocklehurst, LeQuetta Purkiss, and the other members of the Yew Leaf Willow Grove have inspired me to do great things with my life.

How does your religion affect your life?

My religion affects my life in how I view the world and how I interact with the world, I walk in magic, which for me means that I am not afraid to use magic in my daily life. Every breath, drink, and spoken word is magical to me. I constantly have to think of how I will say, do, and react to things because of how I have intertwined my magic into my life.

What spiritual challenges or obstacles have you encountered?

My biggest spiritually challenges where learning to let go of myself and enjoy my new life, and deciding when to use magic and when not to. Interacting with other pagans opened my eyes to what was right and what was not to an extent, I also listen to what the gods and goddesses have to say and base my actions off them.

What do you find most rewarding/memorable moment about your religion?

    My most memorable moment was the first time I actually heard Hekate speak to me at my first oracular ritual, the experience was so grand that I nearly cried from the great joy and oneness I felt being in the prescience of Hekate, who I have heard off and on for as long as I can remember.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Sam!  We need more Pagans like you in the world!

Alle & Sam

Samhain season activities and Calendar

The Maize - a 12 acre cornfield full of twists and turns.
In addition to the Maize you will find roasted corn, BBQ, rock wall, pumpkin patches, campfires, corn cannon, hay bale mazes, barnyard, concession and tent area. Maze admission - $7, non- maze admission - $4, (3 and under are free). Hayride, Corn Cannon, Cow Train- $1 each. By Reservation: Tues -Thur 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. (School Field trips) and Tues-Thur 5 – 9 p.m. (Groups). For more information call James and Patti Simpson at 787-4222 or 787-4241 or visit

The Pumpkin Trail
The 2nd Annual Pumpkin Trail is a spectacular grouping of lighted jack o’ lanterns donated by the public and placed along the walking trail at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum in Clapp Park. In addition to the pumpkins on the trail, there will be themed displays along the trail provided by local businesses and groups. This year there are two entrances to the trail, one at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum, 4111 University, and one at the Garden and Arts Center, 4215 University. The trail is stroller and wheelchair friendly, and the event is free! Call 767-3796 for information!

EVENINGS – Pumpkin lighting occurs from 5:30 pm to approximately 6:45 pm.
6-9 pm Thursday October 21
6-10 pm Friday October 22
6-10 pm Saturday October 23
6-9 pm Sunday October 24

The Elder Grove is getting together on October 20 to carve pumpkins for inclusion in the above event.  Email for more info!

Heritage Halloween
The National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University will host an old-fashioned Harvest Festival from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29, during the 4th annual Heritage Halloween event. Visitors of all ages can take part free of charge.

Trick-or-Treaters can fill their bags with period-correct treats as they visit several of the historic structures at the NRHC. Also offered are $1 hayrides through the park, a cakewalk at the McLaughlin Arbor and making fall crafts in the Four Sixes Barn.

Dia De Los Muertos
“El Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), a documentary film from the Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio, will be screened at the Texas Tech museum on Oct. 31. 
More celebrations for the Day of the Dead will be part of the next First Friday Art Trail, November 5.


October 3: BlogTalkRadio program, “Coffee with Oly” topic - Pagan books with Bronwen Forbes, 3-5pm CST
October 8: Magick Coffee, workshop Eastern Astrology by Tammy
October 8-9, HarvestFest, annual psychic fair in Amarillo
October 17:  BlogTalkRadio program, “Coffee with Oly” topic - Religion in the Workplace, 3-5pm CST
October 22: the full moon is the Blood Moon
October 21-24 : 2nd Annual Pumpkin Trail at the Arts & Garden Center/Memorial Arboretum
October 31: Samhain
October 31: Gathering of Hope
November 1: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
November 12: Magick Coffee, workshop Runes, Part 1: Divination by LaQuetta
November 21: full moon, the Mourning Moon
November 21: Gathering of Hope
Tarot Deck Spotlight by Luna
I own quite a few tarot decks.  It is my intention to share those decks here, with a few words about them, why I like them, and include a small reading with the deck.  This isn’t really a review - since I like all the decks I have, and there are tons of positive reviews all over the internet. 

The Halloween Tarot
This adorable deck is created by Kipling West, a Halloween addict.  The artwork is so colorful.  It uses Rider-Waite imagery with Halloween twists.  The suits are Bats (in place of Swords), Ghosts (for Cups), Pumpkins (instead of Pentacles) and Imps (Wands).  There is a black cat in every card to act as your guide.  It is one of my favorite decks, what witch doesn’t like all things Halloween?  But Ms. West’s art is so appealing to me; I also own another of her decks, the Major Arcana-only Tarot for Cats.  On the Moon card is a werewolf coming to life, with another of West’s loves, a French bulldog in the foreground.  The look on the bulldog’s face is so serene, he recognizes the werewolves instincts.

Here’s my reading:
Q: Future success of this newsletter?
R: Card 1: represents past events or conditions that have led up to where you are now. 
Card 2: suggest new direction that you might take
Card 3: shows what could happen as a result of those new directions you see in Card 2.
The 4 of Bats suggests to me that “we” (meaning people involved and/or creative energies at work) have taken a Long Winter’s Nap, or that Much Needed Rest.  Now it’s time to awaken!
The 5 of Ghosts speaks of a loss and I see it as the loss of some of those creative energies that were involved in prior newsletter efforts; and the loss that arises when groups dissolve or members’ relationships change over the years.  This card is focusing on that loss, and too on the feelings that surround those losses.
While the 4 of Ghosts means to me that if this “new direction” of focusing on loss is taken, it is definitely a step backwards (going from 5 to 4 of Ghosts, literally backwards).  The 4 of Ghosts just cannot let go of that disappointment - look at that posture, arms crossed, drawing in the knees, holding in that “baggage.”
So the moral of the story, to me, is to focus ahead on the new and positive, and the wonderful creative forces of our Pagan community today.

By Momma Witche

Movie review—“Legend of the Guardians:  The Owls of Ga’Hoole” rated PG (2010)

“Legend of the Guardians:  The Owls of Ga’Hoole” is the story of two young owls.  The brothers have been raised on stories of the Guardians who are strong and wise.  The younger brother, Soren, dreams of one day flying to Ga’Hoole and joining the Guardians.  The older brother, Kludd, thinks the stories are just stories.  He is also jealous because flying comes easy to Soren while he struggles to learn.  One night they are kidnapped by the “Pure Ones,” a group of owls who are planning the takeover of all the owl kingdoms and kidnapping owlets for their own nefarious purposes.  The owlets are turned into either soldiers for the “Master Race” or workers looking for bits of metal from owl pellets that can paralyze owls when amassed in large quantities.  Kludd agrees to become a soldier, while Soren fights and is forced to be a slave.  He and another owlet manage to escape and go to find the Guardians.  Along the way, they meet new friends and discover a lot about themselves and what is important.
    I went into this movie not sure about seeing it, but Lil’ Witche wanted to go.  I came out extremely pleased.  The story is a typical quest with one brother believing in the spiritual stories of their father and the other brother only believing in what he can see.  That being said, the storyline does not falter and the characters are believable.  I was able to predict one character’s actions, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the movie.  See it in 3-D.  The drawings are incredible and you will be amazed that this is a cartoon.  The way the feathers and water move is simply wonderful.  The cast is primarily Australian with David Wenham, Joel Edgerton, Anthony LaPaglia, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh and Geoffrey Rush.  Helen Mirren is the voice of the Pure Ones’ queen.  Lil’ Witche and I enjoyed picking out the voices, since most of them had the Australian accent, and she is used to hearing these actors use either American or British accents.
    We give “Legend of the Guardians:  The Owls of Ga’Hoole” 5 owls.  It is defiantly worth the extra $2.50 to see it in 3-D.  Go see this one.  There is a Wyle E. Coyote short before the movie.  I feel sorrier for him in 3-D. 

DVD review—“The Black Cauldron” rated PG (1985)
    This is the story of a young assistant pig keeper, Taran, whose pig can show you anything you want.  The evil Horned King is looking for the legendary black cauldron, which is the source of all evil, and if he can find it he can rule the world.  He learns of the pig’s abilities and sends his henchmen for the pig.  Taran is sent into hiding with the pig and through a series of events not only finds the black cauldron but is able to save the world in the process.  The story is taken from “The Chronicles of Preydain” which in turn is based on “The Mabinogion.”  It was fun watching the animation since it is pre-CGI, but the princess left a lot to be desired as a role model for little girls.  I have to remember, though, that Elionwy is pre Mulan.  There is a Donald Duck Halloween short on the DVD, along with a couple of games and one deleted scene.  All in all, it was a nice flash back for me, and Lil’ Witche discovered where the phrase “munchings and crunchings” came from.  We give it 4 owls.



The Washer at the Ford
This veil so thin
As I walk slow
This ghost road circle.
I pass the cross-roads fair
Hidden this day ‘neath fall’s long shadow
‘Nare look back, o’er shoulder gast
Lost glance and figure from corner eye
Winter a whisper from bitter blue lips
A song, sung long in tooth,
The sagging breast
A wailing Mother’s lament
Of loss.
IF I nurse at your withered breast
Oh Washer Woman,
Would you give unto me Mother’s Milk
Warm and white…my future’s unfoldment cast
Or would you stain my mouth-thin lips scarlet
With the remnants from stone clashed stone
at the water’s edge
Death rags cleaned to dress the dead.
Turn to me a Maiden fair-
Reckless Love ‘top brown grass brittle.
To awake-blanketed beneath heavy dew
thin fog dancing-dries away-the sun’s hot kiss
Immortal dreams-mist.
Come, dark Mother mine
Embrace me with thine icy touch
Dance with me the ancient dance
Of bone to bone-too sweet a kiss
Revealed in kind…
by Mojo
Samhain Night
On the Night the veil was thin
I took for me a feary lover
On the night the veil was thin
I danced again my childhood dreams
On the night the veil was thin
I gazed lovongly into the future
On the night the veil was thin
I saw true magic and what it means
by Lily Hensly
Faery's Wish
Gather Round
I'll tell the tale
Of a night so long ago
Of when a star
Fell to earth
And a faery made a wish
To find her love
And this is how it goes
Dance to me
Dance to me
Dance to me, my darling
Come to me through fire and wind
Upon my wish's yearning
Now came to pass
A country lad
Heard the faeary's calling
He hurried forth
To find his love
And into her embrace went falling
Dance to me
Dance to me
Dance to me, my darling
Come to me through dreams and tears
Upon my wish's yearning
Now we know
That farey love
A fickle things can be
The poor boy
Is lost forever
And wanders so aimlessly
Dance to me
Dance to me
Dance to me, my darling
Come to me through earth and sky
Upon my wish's yearning
by Lily Hensley

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