November, 2010

Welcome!!

November, 2010

pentacle02

Welcome to the November issue of PaganPages Magazine, a free educational pagan internet magazine.  We hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Samhain!!

We had an all time high in Sept with readership and we were so excited, but guess what…Oct was even better.  Almost 20,000 pagans visited our site.  We want to thank our loyal readers and new readers.  Keep on enjoying and spreading the news of this site.

UPDATE

We are currently looking for the following writers:

Herbs

Meditation

If you are interested in becoming a writer for PaganPages email us at [email protected]

REMINDER

Have a look in our etsy shop ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/paganpagesorg) for beautiful jewelry.  Your purchases go to keeping PaganPages up and going.

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Gems of the Goddess

November, 2010

HECATE

HecateKatlyn

Artwork by Katlyn Breene

Daughter of Titanes Perses and Asteria

Since ancient times Hecate has been there within us all. All thanks to Zeus, who granted her this power, she forever -stands at the crossroads with her torch, governing who comes and goes within the spiritual realm.  Like the Greek and mysterious women she is, she’s also the goddess of witchcraft, and is sometimes seen as an old hag stirring a cauldron.  I don’t think hag is a very nice word, so lets just say older lovely lady.

Lover of the sky and moon, she is the queen of night who was never afraid to see the unseen within the dark, and the underworld.  This made her play an important role in Persephone’s life when she needed someone to talk to.  Hecate was always there, for she always knew what others did not.  With that fierce intuitive knowledge, and dark demeanor came her will to forever be independent.  Deciding to never rely on the power of a man to make her happy, she remained a virgin goddess.  She enjoyed being alone, lurking in cemeteries and hiding within the shadows.

But just because she likes to be alone and in charge, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t offer help.  Known for helping sailors at sea, she can also help anyone who asks her with respect.  One would not want to toy with her emotions, but she can play a huge part in our self-discovery path.  Hecate is one to urge you to look deeper into things (including yourself) to realize truths, even if they are scary. She can bring about swift change within our lives, be it bad or good.  Which ever creates lasting growth within us.  She sits deep within our souls waiting to be called upon for natural wisdom.  So don’t hesitate!

HALLOWEEN WITH HECATE

Since its almost Samhain, day of the dead, naturally Hecate would be most tangible, as the veil of seen and unseen becomes thinnest.  To connect with Hecate, go outside when the only light in the sky is that of the moon and stars, and call upon her.  Sit quietly and listen to what the night has to say to you.  Watch the moon as it stares lovingly at down in your direction.  Record any thoughts or experiences.

SYMBOLS AND THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR ALTER:

Torch, keys, dogs, cinnamon, mugwort, lime, raisins, candles, masks, moonstone, gold, owls, pumpkins, and dark colors

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Pagan Parenting

November, 2010

A Celebration of Transformation

Earlier in the year I wrote about celebrating the change from Maiden to Mother with a Blessingway.   This month I wanted to share another new or revitalized tradition that is becoming a part of our culture; the honouring of menarche.  Menarche is derived from two Greek words meaning: moon and beginning and refers to the first menstrual period.  Arguably this transition could be called the step a girl takes from child to maiden.   As pagans we try to celebrate the body in all its functions and this change is so pivotal and yet we often don’t acknowledge it much beyond purchasing the necessary products and passing the Midol.

North American society approaches menstruation with kid gloves or with disdain.  This “time of the month” is not looked at as sacred or introspective but as a nuisance that brings discomfort and pain and removes women from normal, everyday life.  Many women do experience terrible symptoms during this time and those should be taken seriously and not judged either, but how much of these physical symptoms are reflections of our culture’s views?  Would we still feel so sick if we were able to honour what are bodies were doing rather than trying to pretend nothing is happening?

For our daughters, nieces, cousins and granddaughters we have the power to change perceptions around our periods and empower them rather than allow this huge moment in their lives to go unmarked by celebration.

Family covens, circles, family, girlfriends; the type of ritual created to honour that special girl in your life can be elaborate or simple depending on the person’s preference.    There are examples out there of rituals to get ideas from and slowly the internet is starting to present options for women who choose to see the mysteries of their bodies with reverence rather than shame.  Here are some other links for you if you plan on hosting such a party or if you want to plan one for yourself:

Moon Days: Creative Writings about Menstruation

Period: A film about the end of Menstruation

My personal story about my relationship with my period

Menarche Party Ideas

Celebrating Menarche

I am also interested in sharing stories about transformation rituals for boys.  Since their change is more subtle I have not heard of a specific name that is being used to describe this time.  Please email me with any ideas or comments regarding celebrating boy’s transformations or any other comments at: stonegirl1177 AT yahoo DOT ca.

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Nox at Samhain

November, 2010

Consider the dark path,

The lessons of decay, of death, of night.

They call to us as we call to them.

Just as the light and warmth bless us

The dark lessons give us fear, and balance.

She is the Goddess of the Dark

Who owns the crossroads

And is the mother of the tomb

Tonight we hear her voice

Smell the wind from her gates.

Her words come to us

As whispers that fade with the sun.

All decays and passes

From this life to the next.

As the tide ebbs and returns,

As the blossom fades and falls,

As the blood cools and hardens,

As decline comes with every new birth,

She gives us the courage to face her truths

And the wisdom to know we cannot escape them.

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The Crafty Writer

November, 2010

crafty-writer

Natures Art

Nature art is all of those fun and inexpensive art projects that are forgotten in today’s instant society. This is the type of thing that can go from creating artwork to seasonal edibles. The list is endless, yet so many people stay with the lets run down to the store attitude, when nature hands us so much to play with.

potato

Today people run to the craft stores to buy a rubber stamp for all occasions, but what if instead you go to your kitchen. Pull out a potato, cut it in half so you have two pieces and taking a paring knife or any thin bladed knife for fine details and slice out the area you don’t want to print. Brush out a thin layer of paint onto a piece of wax paper or any other container that you may have around. Now you have your rubber stamp and ink pad.

0908-snack-disturbing-apple

Action food is another fun craft that entertains and feeds you through nature’s foods is the volcano. Take an apple and core it, removing all the seeds, set it aside and throw the core away. Now open a package of instant oatmeal and squeeze some butter all over it. Once you get a nice gooey mess stuff it inside the apple. Place the stuffed apple onto a microwave safe bowl uncovered into a microwave. Turn it on high and watch through the closed door until the oatmeal mixture will boil out of the top like lava and pour down the sides. Remove the bowl and after a little while as it cools the apple is ready to eat. This works best in a carrousel style microwave.

zen

Zen gardens are an excellent form of meditation and centering of your energies. It is the sandbox of the mind. Start with smoothed sand in any convenient container. A rake or stylus depending on size of the container is then lightly dragged through the sand to create patterns as you empty your mind of thought. The flow of the rake is a reflection of your emptying thoughts. Rocks, pebbles, beads are all items that can be found on the surface to add to the design. These blocks are like roadblocks in your life, if seen and brought into the flowing design of the rake it can slide around them and add to the design instead of break it. It isn’t the design that makes the Zen Garden so beautiful, but the relaxation and flow that comes to you when you empty your mind and let nature enter it.

Crafts can bring you back to nature, if you let them. A good craft is one that you enjoy and helps you relax. The world of today is filled with stress and high tech pressures. You may think your texting and video games are relaxing you, although, really all they do is create their own stress of winning or waiting for the response creates its own stress.

To close your mind to it all and let it empty of everything as you release yourself to natures influence is very rewarding. Do not think the first time you use a release like the Zen Garden it will bring the rewarding total release that you may expect. Like any craft, it is the practice that brings you to higher achievements and rewards. Learn to relax, and enjoy what nature is able to bring you.

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Ask Your Mama

November, 2010

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.
*Ask Your Mama™
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™
by
©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
A Question of Omens
Dear Mama Donna,
Both of my cats are lying at the front entrance of my home in identical positions (stance) facing inward. Is this an omen?
– Puzzled
Dear Puzzled,
The answer here is another question: “Is it?”
Only you know if it (or anything) is an omen for you. Does it feel like an omen? It must, because you thought it might be. An omen is an omen if you think it is an omen.
But an omen of what?
The image in my mind’s eye of your cats lying in alignment like two book ends reminds me of the huge stone lions on the front steps of the New York Public Library, which in turn remind me of Egyptian sphinxes. But you see, it doesn’t matter what they seem like to me. They are your cats in your home and in your psyche.
Our inner thoughts, feelings and reactions to things offer direction and meaning to our lives. When we begin to pay serious, disciplined attention to the inner process of our journey, we start to notice the serendipity, coincidence, and synchronicity that surround us. We become more sensitive to the special, uncanny, lucky surprises that keep popping up in our path. Soon we begin to recognize these personally relevant occurrences as omens, and it behooves us to take very careful note of them. They are the guideposts of our soul’s journey toward itself, the psychic maps that help to show us the way to go and keep us on the right track.
Like divine affirmations, these meaningful signs and signals serve to assure us that we are in the right place at the right time. They are road markers inscribed in our own private language, leading us along our life path. Some people find money wherever they go. Others could walk with their heads down, eyes perpetually scanning, waving around a metal detector, and never find a single penny. Other people find shells or feathers or spiders or sea glass or rainbows or certain number combinations.
Each of these items represents something particular to the people who recognize them. My friend, Dominique, finds heart-shaped stones. To her, they symbolize the mission of the “heartist” which is her life’s chosen work. Each rock she encounters is like a small pat on the back. My dear Kay finds doll arms. Doll arms! They remind her of the little metal Mexican charms called milagros (miracles) that she loves. Whenever I come across a heart stone or doll arm, I know that our paths have crossed that day.
It is easy to recognize our personal omens precisely because they are so personal. Here are some suggestions that will help you to recognize and understand the omens that you encounter:
What colors, numbers, objects hold special meaning for you whenever you come across them? Have you had this sense of connection since childhood or is it recent?
What do these clues mean to you and why? Perhaps they recall a fond memory, a symbolic association, or a fortunate magical significance.
Notice how and when these signs and symbols present themselves to you. Notice how they make you feel. What is the question that they answer?
Make a mental note or journal entry of the occurrence of the omen and its meaning for you. Make special notation of your appreciation of this sign, this clue, this nod of approval.
Keep your eyes and ears open. If you keep looking for omens, directions, connections, synchronicities, messages and miracles, you will certainly find them everywhere.
So, then, what is the difference between a seeker and a seer?
Yours for clear vision,
xxMama Dionna
*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. Send your questions about seasons, cycles, and celebrations to Mama Donna at [email protected]
*************************************************************
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, ritual expert, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader whose joyful celebrations of celestial events have introduced ancient traditional rituals and contemporary ceremonies to millions of people in more than 100 cities since 1972. She has published four books, a CD, an acclaimed Ezine and writes for Beliefnet, the Huffington Post and UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately called, maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, NY where she works with individuals, groups, institutions, municipalities and corporations to create meaningful ceremonies for every imaginable occasion.
Watch her videos:
Read her on the Huffington Post:
Read her on Beliefnet:
Follow her on Twitter:
Connect with her on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#/donnahenes?ref=profile
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Spellwork Through Poetry, Lesson 5

November, 2010

Lesson 5: Writing Free Verse

Free verse is non-rhyming poetry. It is not necessarily easier or better than rhyming poetry, just different. It is just one of the types of poetry under the blanket of non-rhyming poetry and is basically a no-rules free-for-all. We will be looking at one of my favorite examples of free-verse by one of my hands-down favorite poets.
Earth, My Likeness
by Walt Whitman

EARTH, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour’d of me, and I of him,
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.

Whitman has no meter, no rhyme, no pattern. Yet, he is so emotionally deep with strong sentiment. He states a clear message with the language he uses; he does not worry himself with fancy language, though he does have a strong metaphor throughout the poe.

Assignment: For this month’s assignment, you will write at least two free verse poems. My suggestion for one of them would be to use the detailed prose you have already written, and just re-arrange your thoughts into poetry lines. Another hint: most free-verse poems tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is a good idea to keep these in mind while you prepare to write.

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InterWeavings

November, 2010

An Intent of Thanksgiving

Is it just me or do other women dread family gatherings for the holidays?  It is not that we do not love our extended family, it is just that we are not all on the same page concerning life.  You know, life’s big questions like handling money, raising kids and picking spouses.  Oh, and there can also be the really hushed page concerning religion, beliefs, and spirituality.  Bring everyone under one roof and we are ready to throw our hands up and surrender.

I have noticed that with few exceptions most people I know have an eclectic collection of characters within their family.  How we approach a gathering can be the key to sanity.

Intentions.  Remember that word?  I know, it is hard to practice what we preach sometimes.  Never the less, our intentions for any day, sabot or Thursday, is important and powerful.

For November in the States, the gathering of family is imperative.  It is Thanksgiving. And we are going to be thankful, by golly, whether we want to or not!  That is how it feels after four days of cooking and cleaning and juggling money in order to feed that band of people who are always happy to show up and eat but not clean, cook or finance the event.  Is it really just me?

Here is how I plan to weave the intention of the month with the unique strands of family and friends.  I am giving a Gratitude Tea.  A time set aside from the family meal to visit and relax with people I am grateful for being in my life.  A friend, a neighbor, my daughters.  A time to enjoy each other and express what Thanksgiving is all about – gratitude.  As a sign read at a national coffee chain, “Take comfort in rituals.”

The ritual of tea is an old one and full of grace.  A pot of tea, a nibble or two and another person to share a moment of quiet.  For my tea, I will place my intention on gratitude.  There will be a bowl with strips of paper and a pen for writing one or two words of   blessings.  A journal will be at each place setting for listing five things at the end of the day for which we are grateful. For libations, Earl Grey tea is known as the tea of gratitude so it will be offered along with a pomegranate herbal blend.  Candles in votive holders and Celtic music will add peacefulness.  Light finger food with a sweet or two will fill the tablescape.

My family’s intent is for me is to be happy each and everyday.  (If mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.)  My intent is to be grateful each and everyday. An intent of thanksgiving.

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HearthBeats: Recipes from a Kitchen Witch

November, 2010

With the Holidays coming on fast..this time of year is overloaded with food recipes.. So what I have done is put together some meal blessings and a Blessed Home recipe.. And I wish you all a Blessed Home and Hearth…

Blessed Home recipe

3 cups of Love
4 spoonfuls of Hope
2 cups of Warmth
2 spoonfuls of Tenderness
1 cup of Forgiveness
1 cup of Friends
1 barrel of Laughter

Combine Love & warmth,
Mix thoroughly with tenderness.
Add Forgiveness and Blend with friends & Hope.
Sprinkle in all remaining tenderness.
Stir in a generous amount of  laughter.
Bake with Forgiveness, Say God/dess’s blessings over it.

Gather up a handful of friendship,
Squeeze in a mixture of love ,
Mix in an open line of communication.
Throw in a lot of understanding and patience,
Blend in a lot of laughter, Whip up the time to be together,
Put all in a bowl — Mix it together,
And – OH YES!!!  now you have
A Recipe for a Blessed Home!!
serve daily in generous helpings

Before you sit down and enjoy your Holiday meal; be it Thanksgiving or Yule or Lammas.. or any other Sabbat/Holiday throughout the year, Honor The Deities by simply pouring or cutting off a portion and set it aside for God/dess. You will need a bowl or plate set at the table to do this. It is customary to empty the dish outside under a tree once the meal is complete, but if you live in the city or have someone who could use it.. You may offer it to an elderly friend or neighbor, thus passing the blessing of your meal along. . If you choose to give thanks to a particular deity, simply choose a food sacred to that god and place it outdoors.

** BLESSING THE FOOD **

This is a two part Blessings, the Mom and Dad or the High Priest and Priestess.. Whoever presides over the meal.

God: Mine is the ripening sun.

Goddess: Mine is the nurturing soil.

God: Mine is the fruit of the vine.

Goddess: Mine is the chalice of life.

Both: We are the blessing of wine!

And the wine nourishes us.

God: Mine is the planted seed.

Goddess: Mine is the fertile earth.

God: Mine is the mower’s blade.

Goddess: Mine is the oven of making.

Both: We are the blessing of bread!

And the bread nurishes us.

We bless this bread, drink and food
This table and all that is good.

Here is another that is quick and simple.

Made with love, Blessed with love, Shared with love
We are one with the earth and all that is on it..
Blessed be

I like these.. they seems more formal

Mother Earth who gives to us this food,
Father Sun who makes it ripe and good,
Blessed Earth, Blessed Sun,
We’ll not forget what you have done.

Lord and Lady so divine.
Bless this food and Bless this wine
Bring health, wealth, wisdom,
to all that sit here
and as your will so mote it be.”

Mother Earth and Father Sun we thank you so,
for the food and beverage you bestow.
For your protection and your love,
and everything you do for us.
We offer you Thanks, Love, and Mirth,
as we eat your bounty, Father Sun and Mother Earth.

These Holidays/Sabbats, take the time to truly give thanks to your God and Mother Earth for all you have been blessed with

Until next month

Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating

The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here.. please email me at  [email protected]

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Wicca 101

November, 2010

The Crone

I decided that as the seasons pass through, that I’ll cover each of the aspects of the Goddess. Instead of covering the Aspects as “Maiden, Mother, Crone” I’ll be covering them in the opposite direction. I believe that to understand the bringer of life, you should also understand the bringer of death, and vice versa; as the two are inextricably entwined with one another.

With the end of October is the turning of the season into winter, the aspect of the Goddess for this time of year is the Crone.

Without further ado, I bring you the basic information on: The Crone

Season: Autumn (dependent on your path) and Winter (generally agreed as the season of the Crone)

Holiday: Samhain

Colors: Black, Dark Blue, Dark Purple

Moon: Waning or Dark Moon

Representation: Death, Rebirth

Animals: Crow, Owl, Wolf, Snake, Spider

Goddesses: The Morrigan, Kali Ma, Nephthys, Tiamat, Hel, Hecate, Cerridwyn and many others.

The Crone is the representation of death and rebirth, and often is feared because of the aspect of death. The cycle of life is birth, life, death, and rebirth. The Crone is the guide in the last phase of your cycle, she will walk with you as your cycle comes to a close, and guide your way, easing you through the transition. Often the Crone is the Goddess of the Underworld, or death. However, she is many other things as well. She is the Grandmother, the wise-woman who has experienced life. She understands, and has the wisdom of how to deal with the problems that arise in life.

Celebrate the Crone, this is her time! She has much knowledge and wisdom to offer, and the patience to help you learn and grow!

Brightest Blessings!

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