The Sober Pagan

August, 2018

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Back when I lived in Lowell, Massachusetts – several years ago – I had Comcast cable and one of the stations I received was called Decades. I guess you can receive it on Spectrum cable too but it’s on some wicked expensive package. It’s a cool station – everyday, they feature the events of that day – whoever’s birthday it is or whatever noteworthy happened on that day – so the programming changes accordingly. Anyway, every day at 8 in the morning, I would watch an old episode of the Dick Cavett show. Back in the 1970’s, Dick Cavett had a talk show that was as cutting-edge as Johnny Carson’s – maybe more so. One day, I saw an interview with Dick Van Dyke. Dick Van Dyke was one of the first major celebrities to come out as a recovering alcoholic – I remember this vividly as a young kid. This was part of the interview. Dick Cavett asked Dick Van Dyke if he was a “member” of AA. I remember Dick Van Dyke answering that “AA was an important tool” in his “toolbox” but “it wasn’t the only tool”. That made a big impression on me.

I found the interview on YouTube and the link is here, It’s REALLY good.


Lots of AA-ers will tell you that all you need is AA and more AA to stay sober. Maybe for some people this is true. But not for me. As happy as I am with my new home group, it doesn’t begin to fulfill all my sober or spiritual needs. I am always looking for other groups to attend – both AA and otherwise – and I am always searching for new sober skills to add to my toolbox.

I created a file called – duh – “Toolbox” – and I filled it with everything I have found to add me on my road to recovery. There’s every version of the twelve steps – or thirteen – or sixteen – that I have discovered – Wiccan versions and Pagan versions and Buddhist versions. There’s a Goddess calendar so everyday I can dedicate the day to the Goddess whose day it is. There’s things I myself have written, like this:


Do not take that first drink. Without the first drink, there is no second drink & there is no third drink & there is no drunk.

With no drunk, there is no running out of money & having to hustle drinks & then getting into questionable sexual situations.

With no drunk, there is no going to questionable places to get other drugs to get higher than the drunk you already have because drinking doesn’t do it anymore & you have to get more wasted. & than spending money that you were supposed to save for other things. & then wanting to die all night long as you go through withdrawals.

With no drunk, there is no hangover. No migraine, no diarrhea, no bleeding hemorrhoids. With no drunk, you wake up in the morning & feel fabulous.


I also have links to ezines like and Just For Today Meditation. I also have non-drinking support aids, like “Directives on the Healing Road” from Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart. Sometimes you find sober support in places where you least expect it.

The point is – what’s in your toolbox is up to you. Create a toolbox and fill it with all the tools you can find. And then use those tools! A toolbox filled with tools is no good if it’s never opened and tools are never put to good use!

Until next month – Brightest Blessings! And stay sober – one day at a time! Hugs!

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road


Peart, Neil. Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. Toronto: ECW Press, 2002.

The Fix: Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Recovery News.

Just For Today Meditation.

The Dick Cavett Show on YouTube.


About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

April, 2016

Travel Altars

Merry meet.

This months witchcraft is about making altars that you can take with you when youre away from home.

Tins from mints such as Altoids, eyeglass cases, cigar boxes and jewelry boxes all can be made into travel altars, holding items that help you create sacred space and perform magic no matter where you are. While we can agree you need nothing more than your mind and your will, objects can be helpful by providing a focal point and by contributing energy.

A coven member made multiple travel altars in eyeglass cases to give as gifts. She included a piece of fabric, symbols for the elements, a candle, a container of salt and a container of water. She put in stones that could be used for god and goddess.



travelaltar1Your options are endless. You can find items to represent each element or paint symbols of them on small stones or even bottle caps. Charms and pendants can be used, along with mini tools, tarot cards, game pieces, beads and incense cones. Scrapbook and jewelry making sections of craft stores have items that will work. You can also mold items out of clay or salt dough. Mod Podge or other decoupage glue is a favorite medium for getting fabric or images to adhere to the surface of your box or tin.

However, you need not buy a thing.

Denis proved that with the traveling altar he made from a jewelry chest rescued from a swap shack at the dump. Every item in it was found, repurposed or gifted. While it wont fit in your pocket, it is still portable, and has traveled with him to rituals and as hes moved.

Your tiny altar can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. For some inspiration, check out the travel altars board I created on Pinterest:



Once you state your intention to the universe, you will find yourself attracting the items you desire. I invite you to tell readers about it by posting in the comment section.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.