November, 2012

Merry Meet!

November, 2012

Merry Meet and Welcome to the November Issue of PaganPages

We hope that all our readers came out from Sandy Safe and Sound. 

 

 

 

 

 

Interweavings

November, 2012

Charity

As our year of examining virtues as applied to our pagan path moves forward, we come to November and Charity.  Generosity and helpfulness is a definition of this virtue.  How can we manifest this virtue in our daily walk?

Here in the States the celebration of Thanksgiving is upon us.  What a great way to “walk the talk” .   My city of Atlanta has an amazing event called Hosea’s Feed the Hungry which is a nonprofit program that operates under the umbrella of the Martin Luther King Jr. People’s Church of Love.  It takes place at Turner Field, our baseball stadium.  Incredible numbers of people give of their time, talent and treasure.  In many communities there are soup kitchens and shelters that rely on volunteers to see their programs work at their best.  Hospitals and nursing homes need help as well.  It can seem overwhelming and one can feel incapable to give.

Time, talent and treasure – the 3 T’s – are the key words.  I can not organize an event the scale of Hosea’s Feed the Hungry.  As a daughter of the Goddess, what I can do is look at the three T’s and find where I am able to help.

Within my own family and community I can set one more place at the table for a student that won’t be able to get home for the holiday (or any other day for a home cooked meal).  I can bake one more pie or one more loaf of bread to send to a neighbor who is overwhelmed with a big family coming for a visit.  I may not have spare treasure, but I have time and talent.

There are many charities we can donate to within the mainstream world, but there are also pagan centered organizations that can and do need our 3 T’s.
Circle Sanctuary has a listing as well as The Reformed Druids of North America and a search on the internet will give you a whole bunch of ideas.  I believe in the phrase that Charity begins at home.  Home being our blessed community of pagans.  Where and how can we be of help to those that champion our voice in the greater world?  Maybe this is where we are drawn to share our treasure.

Generosity and helpfulness define charity.  I have known such generosity in our community along this path.  I have been given help when help was needed.  All with a sincerity and deep love that touches the heart and soul of this woman.  I know the Goddess is alive because of the charity of her children.  Let us take this value deeper into our selves and find ways to give of our time, talent and treasure not just for November, but for all of our days.

Astro Report for November 2012

November, 2012

Wheel of Year info – Samhain (repeated from October’s Astro Report)

Sun in Scorpio at 9 degrees

Thursday, November 1, 2012 – 12:00 am EDT

Names –

Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowe’en, Allhallowmas/Hallowmas, All Saints’ Eve, Last/Blood Harvest, Ancestor Night, Festival/Feast of the Dead, Last Harvest Festival, Nos Galan Gaeaf (Welsh)

Date: Nov 1st (sometimes celebrated on the eve – Oct 31st)

Astro Correspondence: 15 degrees Scorpio
Color: oranges, purples, blacks

Food: ground tubers and vegetables, gourds and pumkins, pork, wine, tree fruits, cakes, ale, mead, red foods, nuts, herbal teas, cider, chicken, scones/cakes/pies, mushrooms, fish.

Common Info: All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en – note the apostrophe as the word is correctly spelled), Veil between the worlds is thinnest, Pelen Tans are made to thwart the Devil, Dead Times, Shapeshifting (Masks and Costumes), Story of Jack (pumpkins, gourds and turnips), witchy stuff (Conical Hats, Black Cats, Brooms, Cauldrons, et al), Pagan New Year, Transitional/Inner Work (Dark Shadow Work) is performed ending with a resolution at Yule, last Harvest Fest (vine vegetables and underground tubers mostly), Ancstral Calls/Celebration of/for deceased family, Fairies leave for Winter, Wassailing,

Samhain is the Celtic Feast of the Dead, when anything left to be harvested is pulled in, typically root or ground vegetables. The date is usually celebrated October 31st or November 1st or when the Sun is 15 degrees Scorpio (Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm EST) and celebrated as All Hallow’s Eve or All Saints Day. It is the time when the Veil between the Worlds is thinnest and we are able to communicate with our ancestors. Gwyn ap Nudd, Samhain and Cerridwen are associated mostly with this Sabbat. Foods sacred to the Sabbat tend to be the latest harvested items. Jack O’Lantern pumpkins were carved and lit by candles in the new land to help thwart the persecutors while the Witches met deep in the woods to communicate with the Dead. Although it is known as the Celtic New Year, it is not considered the first Sabbat of the Wheel of the Year – Yule hails as the first Sabbat due to its first day of the new Solar Year. There is a transition time between Samhain and Yule. Samhain is translated as “end of summer”. It represents death and transformation.

Wassailing somes from the term “Wass Hael,” meaning “be whole” or “be well”. It was a toast to good health using fresh fruit punches, cider ales, wines or meads.

The period between Samhain and Yule is known as the Dark Times (or the Dead Times). It is a time when you are supposed to delve into your personal issues to resolve them by Yule – making resolutions for the new Solar Year. Work those Dark Shadows during the Dark Times!!

Daylight Savings Ends

Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 2 am EDT, change your clocks to 1 am EST.

It’s that time of year when clocks go backward an hour to disengage Daylight Savings Time that the latest Energy Policy Act of 2005 enacted. As an Astrology Student and Teacher, I feel it is necessary to remind folks as the time gets closer, so it doesn’t surprise you the following Monday morning when you arrive to work an hour too early.

You will GAIN an hour of sleep… Share this among your family and friends.

The current general rule of Daylight Savings Time is:

Start: Second Sunday in March to change clocks an hour ahead and lose an hour of sleep…

End: First Sunday in November to change clocks an hour back and gain an hour of sleep…

Time: 2 am local time

http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/rules/usa.htm

Though mentioned by

Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the modern idea of daylight savings was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then.

The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports and other activities that exploit sunlight after

working hours, but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the Sun. Its effect on health and crime is less clear. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce the evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity. Today, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

Election Day

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 – 8:00 am EST

To understand how the election will go, we have to examine the 11th House, which rules politics, among other aspects. On this day at the 8th hour EST, the 11th House bears one Planet – Saturn in Scorpio at 3 degrees. The 11th House is generally ruled by both Saturn and Uranus. Saturn’s placement in Scorpio poses a mysterious energy and retrograde Uranus in Aries throws away the passion of ambition. Regardless of who you plan to vote for, be wary of slyness and sneakiness. Make your decisions on knowing facts, not the arbitrary notions.

Mercury goes Retrograde – Sagittarius at 4 degrees

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 – 11:18 pm EST

Be prepared for communications to go awry. Back up your computers, verify your writings and think about what you’re going to say before you utter a word. As a Planet of communications, Mercury’s role can elicit free-flowing words of wisdom. However, make it retrograde and you might find that foot in your mouth more often than not. You might find computer glitches and down-time as commonplace during a Mercury Retrograde. At work, bring a book to read while you wait for the computer geeks to reboot the computer systems. As a minor Planet in health issues, it is best to watch your diet, drink plenty of water and wash your hands often. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when Mercury slides across the face of the Sun.

Neptune goes Direct – Pisces at 0 degrees

Sunday, November 11, 2012 – 4:25 pm EST

Anytime a Planet goes direct, there is a sigh of relief. Direct energy puts forth stronger energy from that Planet. However, Neptune is known as the “Pink Fog Machine”, where you get to view the world thru rose-colored glasses. Your world vision may be askewed. Neptune can be elusive and mystical, but it rules all forms of

    • Divination

  • , Mysticism and the Supernatural.

    Neptune can promote confusion, vagueness and a lack of clarity when Direct. However, it tends to be compassionate, imaginative and sympathetic overall. Beware of fraud, indecision and chaos, though.

    Solar Eclipsed New Moon – Scorpio at 21 degrees

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – 5:07 pm EST

    The New Moon will begin its trek across the Sun’s face after sunset in Scorpio. Although New Moon energies are good for fresh and initiating energy, eclipses tend to put a backward spin on that. The Sun in Scorpio typically allows us to take control of our personal convictions, but an eclipse could thwart those energies, throwing us for a loop. Beware that overt emotions can be masking underlying issues. During the Dark Times, this would be a good time to explore those issues.

    Mercury enters Scorpio

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – 2:38 am EST

    Mercury looks like it is going backwards in the sky, thus it is traveling from Sagittarius into Scorpio. As the Planet of Communication goes Retrograde, we experience mind-boggling confusion, miscommunications and computer glitches and breakdowns. Where Sagittarius puts its energy up front and in your face, Scorpio has a tendency to hide things from view. Misconstured communications might not be evident, so take caution how you present your ideas, because if something is misunderstood, it could be too late to correct it. This particular type of Mercury Retrograde can be potentially disabling.

    Mars enters Capricorn

    Friday, November 16, 2012 – 9:50 pm EST

    Mars enters its Sign of exhaltation. Mars is a Planet of action, where it can be implusive and assertive. When it is exhalted, those strengths can exceed their boundaries and become aggressive, defiant and combative. Mars can be a downright, dominating force to contend with. Although, the Sign of Capricorn tries to allay those strengths with its conservative energies, Mars can build up energy and blow things out of proportion.

    Mercury Conjuncts the Sun – Scorpio at 25 degrees

    Saturday, November 17, 2012 – 10:32 am EST

    Mercury treks across the Sun’s face during its Retrograde phase. From the Earth, it looks like a tiny little dot due to its miniscule size in comparison. The Sun has the ability to (over-)emphasize planetary energies that conjunct it. So, when Mercury is Retrograde and it conjuncts the Sun, that Retrograde can be magnified. When Mercury crosses the Sun, it marks the half way point of the Mercury Retrograde period. Think of the Mercury Retrograde as starting its waning period, although its strongest moment is NOW.

    Sun enters Sagittarius

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 4:38 pm EST

    It’s the last Sign of the Solar year and the light continues its final downward spiral to the darkest part of the year. It’s a time for us to find flexibility and versatility of our inner selves. Seek adventure and crave new experiences in your life. Be animated and extravagant in your storytelling. Speak your mind and be optimistic. Caution is advised while traveling. A strong desire for freedom does not mean to step on the gas…

    Venus enters Scorpio

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 8:07 pm EST

    Venus enters her Sign of Detriment, which can betray or manipulate partners. Venus will want to dominate the relationship, but in a less-than-desirable way. If there are any Scorpio birthdays while Venus is in Scorpio, you will find confusion within any of their relationships to the point of trying to end them. While Venus is a hedonistic Planet (pleasure at any cost), it will seek pleasure in its desires and those temptations are hidden and mysterious.

    Thanksgiving – Sun in Sagittarius at 0 degrees

    Thurs, November 22, 2012 – 12:00 am

    Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends join together for a moment of familiar fellowship. In the US, it is celebrated officially on the fourth Thursday of November as of 1941. The first Thanksgiving in the US is attributed to the 1621 Plymouth feast. The feast has been celebrated as an annual affair since the Civil War. As a holiday, its origins stem from celebrating the harvest of the year.

    This holiday is now followed by the economic event called Black Friday.

    Lunar Eclipse Full Moon – Gemini at 6 degrees

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 – 9:46 am EST

    In astrology, eclipses are seen by some as portents for natural disasters, most notably earthquakes. The pull of the Sun’s gravity in exact opposition to the Moon’s pull can wreak havoc on the Earth. A Lunar Eclipse simply means that the Moon, Earth and Sun are in exact alignment, making such a force of gravity even stronger. Emotionally, it can wreak just as much havoc on people that it physically does on the Earth. Full Moons produce feelings of confrontations, where two sides oppose each other. Having the Moon in Gemini can have a dualistic charm – saying one thing and meaning another. Compromise can be the order of the day, but write it all down.

    Native Lore

    The mid-fall Full Moon is called the Frost Moon and is native to northern tribes of the American continent. It is a time when the frost becomes more obvious in the mornings. The grass is crisp and the car windows need scraped. If you can park your vehicle facing the morning sun, it will alleviate some of that frost on the front windshield. Beaver Moons are more of an English term. Beavers are predominantly active during the darker hours of the night and become more active during this time of year to rebuild their lodges and dams for the winter hibernation period. The Full Moon of November helps them see better for those renovations. Beaver hunters would set traps to capture them. Other Full Moon names include the Snow Moon and Hunter’s Moon.

    The 13th Sign

    Sun enters Ophiuchus

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 – 12 pm EST

    The 13th Sign has two names: Ophiuchus and/or Serpentarius. It is a combination of a man, Ophiuchus (the snake holder), and the serpent he holds. It is Greek in origin and remains one of the 88 major constellations of the sky. Today the common name is Ophiuchus, but it is still referred to as Serpentarius.

    This Sign stretches between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Thus, it shares the qualities and elements of both, although it tends to favor Sagittarius more. The Sun passes thru Ophiuchus from about November 29th/30th until about December 17th.

    People born under the Sign of Ophiuchus tend to have many intuitions and premonitions. They are seekers of peace and harmony. They will often find themselves in a field of healing, like medical or science doctor, where natural-pathic healing is key. They like natural ways of health and healing. They are holistic healers.

    The Symbol or Glyph for Ophiuchus/Serpentarius is a straight, vertical line, representing the man, with a serpentine S entwined around the line, representing the snake. OK, so it looks like a simple dollar sign with only one line through the S. There is an arrow point on the head of the S pointing northeast. It resembles the Cadeceus with only one snake, not two, entwined.

    The 13th Sign does not rule any House in the Zodiac. There are no body parts ruled by Ophiuchus, but the mind is. Ophiuchus people become more popular among their friends after their death. They are well remembered and adored from the grave. They tend to be independent people, but are always in the world trying to save it from itself somehow.

    The special color of Ophiuchus tends to be anything vibrant, especially plaids, and the metal most favored is anything malleable for creativity and structure.

    DANGER: People born under this 13th Sign are prone to mental breakdowns and migraines. However, they tend to be elaborate thinkers and healers.

    Harmonic Concordance

    We entered a signicant Harmonic Concordance in November 2003, which brought together 6 Planets. Upon their placement on November 8th that year, it opened the portal to the center of the Galaxy. Three of the Planets created a Grand Trine and the other three created a second Grand Trine – both were super imposed over the other creating an Hexafus or Star of David around the Earth. The Earth became a central point of this energy vortex.

    The Sun and Earth have been moving towards a goal to align exactly with the Galaxy center on December 21, 2012. This is also marked by the Mayan Calendar when the 12th Baktun ends and the 13th Baktun begins. Some say this is the onset of the Ascension process, where you can attune to the 5th Dimensional consciousness of your higher self.

    November is the time to finalize any misgivings, hardships and negativities. This period of the Dark Times is the most significant, for when we enter Capricorn at the same time the Mayan Calendar moves into its next cycle and the Sun and Earth align with the Galactic Center, we will ascend to the next level – leaving behind the old ways and old habits. However, you have to come to terms with them or continue living your life as you’re used to it.

    Astrologically yours,

    Lord Fairy Bottom Educifer

    Blue Ridge Mountain Clan, Master of Sol

    Coven of the Mighty Oak, HP

    Moon Owl Observations

    November, 2012

    The Cauldron

     

     

    Almost everyone knows what a cauldron is. They are usually shown in movies or shows dealing with witchcraft, and a lot of people might then associate it to dark magic. The cauldron has been around for a very long time, and media has corrupted it’s use over those years.

     

    The cauldron is a central image of the Celtic Shamanic tradition as it is a vessel or heat, plenty and inspiration. Large cauldrons were very common among the ancient Celts, some of them being as big as a person. Cauldrons were so important to people back then, that when the owner died, they were often buried along with their cauldrons and other things.

     

    The Cauldron represents the receptive feminine form and also the embodiment of the Goddess and the womb. It is seen in countless rituals as it is a symbol of inspiration and transformation. This magical pot of the Goddess is associated with plenty or abundance, and generally transcends through Dadga.

     

    Cauldrons are used mainly in divinations, especially for scrying. Scyring with a cauldron means to fill it with water and than you would gaze into it. But, the cauldron has many other uses including filling it with flowers, herbs or other symbolic items during important Pagan festivals or holidays. Of course, then there is to use the cauldron to hold items that need to be burned, boiled or heated. Salves, oils, and various other brews can be made in the cauldron.

     

    The cauldron is linked to the west, which in turn means it is also linked to the element water. This suits well considering it has the ability to contain liquid. They are usually made out of cast iron, but you can also find it them in silver or bronze. They come with either three or four legs.

     

    There are both three legged and four legged cauldrons. Both are pretty popular. The three legged cauldrons represent the Goddess- Mother, Maiden and Crone. The four legged ones are associated with the four Elements, the four Airts (winds), for Watchtowers and the four Major Fire festivals.

     

    A cauldron is a great and practical addition to any alter.

    My Sacred Wallet

    November, 2012

    One can’t be too careful about going through old clutter.   A guest was coming to do circle with me, so I went through some of the boxes stacked against the wall in what would be my dining-room if I had such a place.   One article that came to light was a lightweight secretary, just a black box with silver ornamented lines that opened at the top and had two small drawers in front.  I opened the top and there it was – the wallet.

     

    This was my former former wallet, maybe older than that.  I was going to lunch one day in 1997 with my Syrian friend Steve and when we got to the restaurant, I was embarrassed to find that my wallet was missing.  He paid for lunch and we looked for the wallet afterwards.  The first place I looked was in the large pocket on the inside of his

    passenger door.  Possibly I had put the wallet in there as it was uncomfortable in my hip pocket.  I must emphasize that this was the first place I looked for it, and I looked thoroughly.

     

    Afterwards I looked in the parking lot at work, my desk drawers, under the desk, everywhere I could think of.  No wallet.  So I reluctantly began the process of calling up my credit cards, my bank, the DMV, and so on, to arrange for replacements.  Fortunately, there hadn’t been much money in it at the time.

     

    That was in October.  Around February Steve came over to my desk one day and told me he’d had a dream.  He dreamt he was walking on a mesa, when he saw coming towards him a shining figure in white robes.  He had the feeling at the time that it was one of my pagan gods (in his Muslim terms, a demon).   It was too shiny for Steve to make out its features, but its robe had large pannier-style pockets and it was pointing into one of them.

     

    Steve awoke, excited, and ran down to his car.  And there, sure enough, was my wallet, in the pocket on the inside of the passenger door, right where I’d first looked for it.  He handed me the wallet, saying he was scared to hold it.  It had been on the other side.

     

    By then, of course, I already had another wallet, and all I did with the old one was to empty it out and put it in the secretary.  I didn’t dare throw it away, much less go back to using it again.  So there it sits in my secretary on my kitchen counter, uncanny and unnerving.  I realized the other day that I now had an object in my apartment which was sacred in the ancient, pagan sense.

     

    The wallet had been on the other side, you see.  It belonged neither to this everyday world nor to the spirit world, for it had been in both places.  It had gone there and returned.  Non-human beings had handled it.  It could no longer function as a wallet per se, but neither could it be safely discarded.  It had to remain in my presence, a rather spooky interloper.

     

    Things, events, and occasions that are neither this nor that but between categories were regarded as sacred by our remote ancestors.  A river delta was sacred because it lay between the river proper and the body of water into which the river debouched, and its land was new land, newly laid down and so far uninhabited.  Parricides and other felons in the Greek world used to go to the delta of the river Ister (the Danube) and purify themselves there, where it flowed into the Black Sea.  Because this was new land, the Erinyes or Furies could not reach them there and they could ritually expiate their crime and free themselves of blood-guilt.

     

    Samhain is just past, except for some covens which celebrate it in November.  It was the old Celtic New Year, a liminal time between times regarded as sacred because it falls outside the usual calendar.  All boundaries were sacred because of this in-betweenness.  When the Church destroyed our ancestors’ religious freedom centuries ago, they forbade people to look at the boundaries of things.  Dreams were no longer interpreted for guidance in the waking world, and sacred objects were no longer sought after having been seen in dreams.  These objects, amulets or ritual tools or headbands, among other things, were sacred because they belonged to the otherworld of dreams as well as the waking world, where they were found, much like my wallet.  Puberty was an in-between time for young people of both sexes, and required seclusion and initiatory rites and ordeals.  Special efforts had to be made to get across boundaries of space or time, because at those points the otherworld of spirit intruded on the everyday world.

     

    All of this knowledge and interaction with the spirit world was interdicted by the Church, which arrogated to itself the sole right to serve as an intermediary with that other realm.  People were taught to dress in a certain way, to engage in or refrain from sexual intercourse with their mates on specific dates, what to eat or what not to eat on a given occasion, even how to sing – the minor scale was prohibited, at least in western Europe, as being diabolical.  In effect, people were fitted with horse blinders in every aspect of experience and made to look straight ahead at the Church.  The liminal and peripheral world of spirit was denied to them.

     

    This gives us a clue as to how to recontact that world, and Samhain and right after is the ideal time of the year to do it.  In every way possible, we should look to the boundaries of experience and seek to contact whatever meets us at those boundaries.  Look at things out of the corners of your eyes, particularly at the liminal times of dawn and sunset.  Speak to your dead in both waking and dream, carrying forward conversations with them while awake that you had the night before while asleep.  And if something like a wallet should unaccountably disappear and just as unaccountably turn up again after you have looked everywhere for it, keep it in a special place in your home, look at it from time to time, but don’t handle it, and above all don’t throw it away!

     

     

    Mama Donna’s Spirit Shop

    Pertho’s Pronouncements

    November, 2012

    My Theory

     

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what there is “out there”, in the universe, that we have not yet discovered, nor do we know anything about. And it’s a lot.

     

    We can see through our telescopes far out into space, and we’ve seen that there are thousands upon thousands of stars in thousands upon thousands of galaxies. You would think that with all that “space” out there, we would have found someone else, any other kind of life, no matter what form it took. But then again, since there is so much space between all that “space”, it’s not hard to believe that sentient lifeforms very rarely come into contact. And, it is also likely that there are far more planets that do not contain life, than those that do.

     

    My theory is this. If we don’t yet know what’s out there, then I am not in a position to discount anyone’s ideas or theories about what may exist out there, and what may be possible. In certain regions of space, the laws of physics might even be different, how do we know? Unless we go there and find out for ourselves, how can we say it is not so?

     

    There is just so much there is yet to learn, it seems we have barely scratched the surface.  Yet it seems like there are people who believe they know exactly how everything in the universe works. But that’s like only reading the first few sentences of a book, and then coming to a conclusion that we know what the entire book is about, and how the story ends. It’s ludicrous in my opinion.

     

    Maybe one day we’ll venture out into the stars, and start finding out for sure what is really out there. We’re taking the first steps into exploring Mars, right now, so the other planets, and interstellar space are not far behind.

     

    I can’t wait to see what we find.

    Gems of the Goddess

    November, 2012

    Skaði, Goddess of Hunting and Winter

     

     Hers is the name in which Scandinavia derived its own. Daughter of the frost giant Thiazi, Skadi rules over winter, mountains, forest, game animals, justice and independence. She is also known as goddess of the hunt, as it is her gift which brought the use and skill of archery to hunters.

    It is said she is tall and thin, with ivory skin, raven black hair and deep blue eyes. She travels over ice and snow covered lands on skis, a bow at her side, and always in the company of wolves.

    As a dark goddess she is known as Queen of Shadows, the embodiment of courage and endurance. Though she is unpredictable, she is always forthright. Hers is the will that gives us strength to survive the storms, to find our way in the darkness, and to expose what hides within the mist, both in our inner and outer worlds. With Skadi you will see with stark clarity. Be certain you are prepared.

    Her father was murdered by the Aesir during a rescue mission to take back Idun, the beautiful goddess of youth, whom Thiazi had kidnapped.Though not a warrior, Skadi  took a helmet, a coat of mail, and weapons, and traveled to Asgard to avenge her father’s death.

    Standing before the gods, fierce and set on revenge, the gods offered compensation in lieu of war. Having no need for gold, as she was already wealthy beyond means, Skadi gave her own terms. The first, that she may choose a husband among them; the second, one she knew they could not provide, was that they make her laugh.

    Odin agreed, but none of the gods volunteered to marry her, so he set his own condition; that she must choose her mate by solely looking at their bare feet. He drew a curtain and each of the gods lined up behind it. She saw a very attractive pair of feet, and certain they could only belong to Baldr, the god of light and beauty, made them her choice. However, the feet belonged to Njordr, god of the sea.

    As a volunteer for her laugh, the god Loki stepped forward. He tied a cord of rope around the beard of a goat, and the other end of the rope around his testicles. They each pulled the other back and forth, the halls filling with their loud squeals. Finally, the rope snapped and Loki fell over the knees of Skadi, who roared with laughter. As a last gift, Odin took her father’s eyes and tossed them into the night sky, turning them to brilliant northern stars.

    Though Njordr was not whom she’d have chosen outright, she honored her vow and the two were wed. She wanted to live in the mountains and he near the sea. They each made a compromise to live for nine days first in the home her father once owned, Thrymheimr, and the next three by the sea, in Njord’s home called Noatun.

    According to the Prose Edda, at the end of the twelve days, Njorde said –

    “Hateful for me are the mountains,

    I was not long there,

    only nine nights.

    The howling of the wolves

    sounded ugly to me

    after the song of the swans.”

    To which Skadi responded:

    “Sleep I could not

    on the sea beds

    for the screeching of the bird.

    That gull wakes me

    when from the wide sea

    he comes each morning.”

     

    The couple then permanently separated, but thereafter, they remained friends and Skadi was always accepted by the Aesir.

    Skadi reminds us that even in the bleakest times, we carry on with our lives, but in order to do so, we must be true to ourselves.

     

    -

    Color – black

    Phase – new moon

    Animals – wolves, venomous snakes

    Herbs – mullein, juniper, elder

    Tree – willow, beech, elm, blackthorn

    Aspects – justice, righteous anger, hunting, darkness, magic

    Wheel of the Year – between Samhain and Yule

     

    Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

    November, 2012

    I Am A Hypocrite. I Am Love.

     

    The word hypocrite is defined by Merriam Webster as a person who puts on a false appearance of morality and virtue or who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

     

    I was called a hypocrite yesterday. And I must admit that I was surprised. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I was. Granted it was second hand information, as the person who informed me of this wasn’t the one who allegedly labeled me a hypocrite – they were just the messenger. Nonetheless it was unsettling to me. It isn’t because I haven’t been called unsavory names before. Hell, I’ve been called a lot of things: arrogant, self-righteous, cold hearted, unfeeling, cruel, a bitch …  Oh! And you can’t forget the best one of all – Satanist. But none of them are true. Well, at least not to me. Not from my perspective which is the only perspective that is relevant to me in my life experience. When I questioned the messenger they had no further details about why the original ‘labeler’ viewed me as a hypocrite (or perhaps they did but didn’t want to share it with me) but really the reason behind it is immaterial. It is that individual’s perspective when looking at me. To them it is truth. They, see a hypocrite.

     

    Today I am grateful that this information was relayed to me (regardless of the motive behind the ‘labeler’ as well as the messenger) because it has given me a moment of reflection. And I would agree with you, that if I was more confident in my own Authentic Self and True Will, I wouldn’t need these moments of reflection but, because I am continually moving towards enlightenment and working to integrate my fragmented Souls and releasing my Shadows, times like this are vital and required on my journey. God Herself has guided me towards this moment so that I might take this opportunity and use it for my Highest Good.

     

    Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. Hearing that someone perceived me as a hypocrite and then shared this opinion with at least one other person, wasn’t easy to hear nor was it easy to accept. It stung. It hurt. But I have discovered that as I forge my own path through the jungle of life, the times when I learn the most about myself and am able to do the most internal work is when things aren’t so easy.

     

    “To learn you must suffer,” is a common theme within Wicca. The words, “To learn you must suffer, to live you must be born, to be born you must die,” are recited during The Great Rite within Ritual. When the scourge is presented to the postulant at Initiation she or he is asked if they are ‘willing to suffer to learn’ and the answer is expected to be an unwavering ‘yes’. I understand and resonate with this concept. I’ve embraced it. But there are times that I don’t recognize these opportunities as they reveal themselves, because I am caught up in the feelings of that moment. Feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger and hurt bubble within me like a poisoned brew threatening to overflow. My ego is immersed in identifying with the accusations and finding ways to justify my deeds and words instead of viewing that flicker in time as the opportunity that it is: a chance for reflection, evaluation and a time to realign my soul vibration with my True Will and Authentic Self.

     

    Today I stopped identifying and released. I reflected, evaluated and realigned my soul vibration. I am perceived as a hypocrite. So be it.

     

    I am who I am. I am love. This is my perspective. This is my perception. No one else has to believe it. It is real to me. It is – who I am.

    WiseWoman Traditions

    November, 2012

    Hairy Problems

    “Dearest granddaughter, come close and look into my eyes.” Grandmother Growth beckons and her voice grows deeper and more resonant. “Look deep into my eyes and acknowledge the beauty there.

    “Yes, my skin is wrinkled. My face is the face of age, and to many, that is fearful. But my beauty, like my wise blood, now resides inside of me. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Can you look beyond the hair on my chin?” she says grinning, flicking her fingers under her chin in a most unladylike manner.

    “Can you forgive the places where my scalp shines through? Can you find the truth of my beauty, the beauty of age, which is so different from the beauty of youth?” Her eyes grow fierce, but sparkle with amusement. “I know you can, for I know how beautiful I am.”

    Grandmother Growth takes your chin in her strong hand and looks at you with eyes so intense you fear you may catch on fire. She commands: “When you look into your mirror, I ask you to look deep into your own eyes and to acknowledge your own inner beauty.

    “I know, I know, metamorphosis is changing you and you don’t like it. Like a teenager, you peer and peer into the looking glass, noting every new wrinkle, every hair on your face (and other new places). Counting each grey hair as it grows. Worrying that your hair seems to fall out by the handful.

    “Dear one, my most precious child, take care, but do not fret. And do not tell yourself that you are becoming ugly. I know it is difficult, in fact it may be one of the most difficult tasks of your menopause, but you must recast your own opinion of beauty so that it includes old women who have hairy problems and live well with them – like you!”

    Too much hair (on the chin), too little hair (on the scalp), falling hair, thinning hair, greying hair – no matter what the complaint, many women notice something happening to their hair during menopause. As hormone levels shift during the menopausal years, hair responds to the changing hormones by changing texture, falling out, or by growing in “odd” places. Here are remedies for those who want more hair, and for those who want less.

    HAIR LOSS (ALOPECIA) & GREY HAIR

    STEP 1. COLLECT INFORMATION

    Menopause does not cause grey hair; taking hormones doesn’t stop it. Greying, thinning hair is a normal part of aging. Women whose menopause is induced in their 20s and 30s do not suddenly go grey.

    Hair loss at mid-life (androgenic alopecia) is more strongly linked to genes than diet or lifestyle. Those of European origins are far more likely to experience it than Asians, Native Americans, Africans, or African-Americans. Hair loss starts earlier and becomes more extreme on men’s heads, but just as many women deal with receding hairlines and balding patches. Roughly half of all women experience some hair loss during their menopausal years. Two-thirds of post-menopausal women deal with thinning hair or bald spots. And no one likes it. Americans spend a billion dollars a year trying to regrow their hair!

    Normal hair loss (50-100 hairs a day) is gradual. Sudden unexplained loss is not normal. Events which can trigger hair loss include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, severe emotional stress, rapid or profound weight loss, thyroid disorders, pituitary problems, malnutrition, iron deficiency, lack of protein, large doses of vitamin A, chemotherapy, radiation, general anesthesia, chronic illness, scarlet fever, syphilis, certain medications (see Step 5), and hair abuse including bleaching, permanents, tight braids, tight pony tails, tight wigs, and tight hats.

    (The National Alopecia Areata Foundation, 710 C St, Ste 11, San Rafael, CA 94901 (415-456-4644) can help you contact a local hair loss support group, and gather more information.)

    STEP 2. ENGAGE THE ENERGY

    Homeopathic remedies for women with hair loss include:

    • Lycopodium: loss precipitated by hormonal fluctuations.
    • Sepia: especially for menopausal women who have sweaty flushes and heavy bleeding
    • Phosphoric acid: loss after grief or extreme emotion, accompanied by exhaustion.

    STEP 3. NOURISH AND TONIFY

    ?  Infusion of stinging nettle, 2-4 cups a day, strengthens hair and checks falling hair with its superb supplies of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, and other minerals. Regular use restores thickness, body, shine and sheen to hair. If you have any infusion left over, pour it on your head and rub it into your scalp for faster results.

    ?  Every grey hair represents a day with too few minerals,” a wise woman said to me. Actually, the color of hair is produced by special cells which gradually die as we age. But it is true that hair is loaded with minerals, and getting extra minerals may keep those color cells alive longer. To increase my mineral intake, and keep my hair healthy, I eat more yogurt, drink more nourishing herbal infusions, prepare more mineral-rich soups, use more herbal vinegars, and increase the amount of seaweed in my diet.

    ?  Lack of minerals, especially iron, can cause hair loss. Yellow dock is one of my favorite iron-tonics.

    ?  Natural hair dyes can cure the grey blahs. Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is a plant that is easily purchased ready-to-use to change the color of your hair, and you are not limited to carrot-top red. So long as it is not overused (less than four times a year) henna is strengthening to the scalp and hair.

    Other natural hair dyes include coffee, black walnut hulls, or infusions of sage or rosemary herb.

    ?  ist Amanda McQuade Crawford suggests using lemon balm or lemon grass infusion as a hair rinse to prevent hair loss.

    Burdock seed oil, one of the best selling hair tonics in Russia, is especially recommended for those with thinning hair or hair loss. Apply to your hair and scalp, leave on overnight and shampoo it out the following day. Repeat as needed.

    ?  Just plain olive oil is also a tremendous hair tonic. So is jojoba oil. Apply a handful of either to hair and scalp, wrap well and leave on overnight, washing it out the next morning.

    ?  I know you know, but let me say it again, exercise! Yes, it can make your hair healthier too.

     

     

     

    STEP 4. SEDATE/STIMULATE

    • While some temporary loss of hair at menopause is considered normal, something worse may be brewing. Thin, dry hair is one of the first signs of an underactive thyroid. Hair loss is also an early sign of lupus, an autoimmune disease.

    Chugging down a gulp of cod liver oil or wheat germ oil every day for six weeks could help your hair.

    • Menopause sends lots of energy to the crown of your head. That can overstimulate the scalp and cause hair loss (and/or headaches). Get your energy moving with a scalp massage. Let your head calm down and your hair cool off.
    • Blow dryers, dyes, perms, and other harsh treatments damage hair and scalp. Rosemary essential oil, a few drops rubbed into the scalp several times a week, repairs the damage, increases hair growth, and improves hair texture.

    Other essential oils which improve hair growth and reduce hair loss include lavender oil, lemon oil, thyme oil, sage oil, and carrot seed oil. You can mix 10-20 drops of any of these into 4 ounces of plain olive oil, infused burdock seed oil, or jojoba oil. Other essential oils said to reduce hair loss include birch, calendula, chamomile, cypress, rose, and yarrow.

    • Avoid chlorinated water on your hair. A shower filter is more important than a drinking water filter. And cut down on the number of times you wash your hair. Once every 5-10 days is ideal for healthy hair.
    • Avoid cayenne. Heroic herbalists say it increases hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp. But when there is hair loss, says Janet Roberts MD, specialist in women’s hair loss and member of the Oregon Menopause Network, there are inflamed follicles. Cayenne increases inflammation, ultimately increasing hair loss.

    STEP 5A. USE SUPPLEMENTS

    • Dry, brittle, thin hair is often due to a deficiency in one or more of these nutrients: protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids. Food and herbal sources of these nutrients are preferable to pills.
    • Avoid hair weaving, a cosmetic treatment that weaves replacement hair in with the still existing hair; it actually causes more loss (by creating traction alopecia).

    STEP 5B. USE DRUGS

    • Hair loss can be caused by drugs, including: birth control pills, anticoagulants, diet pills, thyroid medications; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin, ibuprofen, and Aleve; cholesterol-lowering drugs such as clofibrate and gemfibrozil; arthritis medications such as gold salts (auranofin), indomethacin, naproxen, sulindac, and methotrexate; beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and timolol (Blocadren); and ulcer drugs such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famoridine (Pepcid). And, of course, chemotherapy.
    • Minoxidil (Rograine) dilates blood vessels, encouraging baby-fine hair. Only the 2% solution is approved for women. Of those who use it only 19% achieve even moderate regrowth; 40% have minimal regrowth. Meanwhile, 40% of the women using the placebo had regrowth!CAUTION: Side effects in women include unwanted hair growth on the face, heart disturbances, and dizziness.
    • Fertile women are not allowed to use (or even touch) finasteride (Propecia) for fear of the severe birth defects it causes. This is probably a blessing in disguise, as the side-effects (loss of libido, lip swelling, breast engorgement, birth defects) are not pleasant. Finasteride is completely ineffective in reversing hair loss for postmenopausal women. Tell your men friends a dose of 0.2 mg (one-fifth the normal dose) works just as well, costs less ($10 a month instead of $50), and is gentler on the liver.
    • Hormones, including ERT, HRT, birth control pills, and anti-androgens (cypoterone acetate, spironolactone, and fluramide) are used singly or in combination to treat women with androgenic alopecia.

    STEP 6. BREAK AND ENTER

    • Hair transplants can cover a bald spot but are far less successful on women than on men. Micrografts do a better job of dealing with women’s diffuse pattern of hair loss.
    • “Scalp lifts” tighten the scalp, making hair appear thicker and fuller.

    HIRSUTISM/TOO MUCH HAIR

    STEP 0. DO NOTHING
    A few brazen souls just grin and bear it. Seriously, does anyone else notice that extra hair? Ask a few people who will tell you the truth. Perhaps you are making a mountain (beard/moustache) out of a molehill (a couple of extra hairs)?

    STEP 1. COLLECT INFORMATION
    It is not at all unusual to find extra hairs growing on the chin, upper lip, breasts, and legs during or after menopause. It is thought that menopause makes some hair follicles more sensitive to testosterone’s hair-promoting effects. However, sudden hair growth can be caused by a tumor on the ovaries, thyroid, adrenals, or pituitary.

    STEP 2. ENGAGE THE ENERGY
    Visualize a large mirror. Look at yourself in this mirror. When you see something you don’t like, ask the mirror how you can change. Finish by telling your image how much you love her. Repeat frequently.

    STEP 3. NOURISH AND TONIFY
    Oatstraw infusion tends to increase the activity of testosterone; increased levels of testosterone contribute to excess hair growth during menopause. It’s a long shot, but avoiding oats, oatmeal, and oatstraw infusion may help eliminate or reduce those extra hairs.

    STEP 4. SEDATE/STIMULATE

    • Natural bleaches, like lemon juice or sunlight (or both together), are generally safe even for use on the sensitive skin of the face.
    • Shaving, plucking, and waxing are minimally invasive means of removing excess hair. Such means may increase the rate of hair growth, however, or make the texture of the hair coarser, or cause hair follicle inflammation and ingrown hairs.

     

     

     

    STEP 5B. USE DRUGS

    • Hirsutism may be caused by corticosteroids and medications for high blood pressure. (Rograine was originally a blood pressure drug.)
    • Drug treatments – which are 80% successful according to one MD – include the corticosteroids prednisone and dexamethasone. Hormones, including birth-control pills and anti-androgens such as spironolactone, are occasionally used.

    STEP 6. BREAK AND ENTER
    Electrolysis is expensive, painful, tedious, must be done several times over, and can cause scarring. Most sources advise against home electrolysis.

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