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    Death Masks

    At this time of looking back, memories and retrospect I want to share a wonderful experience I had a few years ago. I received an intriguing invitation: a workshop in making a death mask on Samhain with a small group! I didn’t have to think long and decided I’d definitely want to be there. We ended up being with 6 ‘wyld & wicked women’! Some had met each other before. At the time I only knew the hostess beforehand, so I had the privilege to get to know 4 wonderful women. First we had dinner at a beautiful Samhain-decorated table. We had a very yummy salad, delicious pasta with pesto…

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    Celebrating the Dark Half of the Year

    (The Secret Gathering fine art print is available by Francesca Rizzato at FrancescaRizzatoart on etsy.)   One story we Pagans like to tell about ourselves is that we have a balanced world view, honouring the dark as well as the light, acknowledging that both are part of life. But is this actually true? If you stop and think about it, as we move around the Wheel of the Year we seem to focus much more on celebrating the light than the dark. At Yule we celebrate the rebirth of the sun, and the fact that from now on the light will return. At Imbolc we celebrate with candles the lengthening days. At the…

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    Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving

    Growing Herbs for Thanksgiving Every year at Thanksgiving time, many people scramble to try and find fresh herbs to use for their Thanksgiving recipes. You find them in the store, in those little plastic clam shells, kind of dry and wilted. The volatile oils have deteriorated, and while they taste better than the dried version, you are not getting the best flavor. Growing fresh herbs is so easy, why not do it yourself this year? I’m going to separate them into growing groups. Certain herbs enjoy like growing conditions, and you will save time and have more successful plants if you either grow them in these groups or by themselves.…

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    Book Review – Talking to the Spirits: Personal Gnosis in Pagan Religion by Kenaz Filan & Raven Kaldera 

    Talking to the Spirits: Personal Gnosis in Pagan Religion  by Kenaz Filan &, Raven Kaldera  This book by Filan and Kaldera explores the value of (so called) UPG and PCPG in Neo-Pagan traditions and in reconstructionist work done to recover ancestral faiths and religions. When I first came across the abbreviation UPG years ago, I assumed it meant “Unique Personal Gnosis”. That was optimistic! In reality it is an abbreviation for “Unverified Personal Gnosis” – in plain English: information you receive from the spirits that has not been backed up (at this time) by lore or the findings of other people. In contrast PCPG means: Peer Corroborated Personal Gnosis and this refers to…

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    The Kitchen Witch

    My Favorite Butternut Squash I love squash. I love all varieties of squash – zucchini and summer squash – acorn squash – spaghetti squash – buttercup squash – delicata squash – hubbard – pumpkin – just to name a few! There are so many kinds and so many ways of preparing this versatile vegetable – its Latin name is Cucurbita – that you could literally eat squash at every meal every day for a year and never repeat yourself. Acorn squash is usually on my Thanksgiving table. My son loves it with brown sugar and butter. I often also cook up some butternut squash. I adore butternut squash. It’s really…

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    Book Review: The Reiki Sourcebook 2008 Revised Edition by Bronwen & Frans Stein

    The Reiki Sourcebook 2008 Revised Edition by Bronwen & Frans Stein Hello PaganPages readers. I go by Jadaja Talios on the Internet and in the pagan community. I just finished reading ‘the Reiki Sourcebook’ by Bronwen & Frans Stein. At first I had trouble getting into the book but then I did. One thing that caught my attention was confirmation of something that I have been saying for sometime now due to my experience with magick, especially after I had learned to center and ground. That something is that “All things are made of energy,” as quoted on page 6 from the source, ‘Chinese Medical Qigong volume 1’ by Professor Jerry Alan…

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    Hypnobirthing: Letting Go of Fear

      I’m 37 weeks pregnant as I write this, and there’s a very real possibility I may need to go into hospital to have my labour induced as early as next week. I am suffering from some wildly fluctuating blood pressure, which appears (thankfully) to have no clear pathological source, other than the pain I am in from SPD. SPD is symphysis pubis dysfunction; a condition whereby the ligaments supporting the pelvis and pubic bones soften too early and too much, so that these bones are able to grind together, causing agonising pain. I don’t really sleep properly anymore, and of course, can’t take anything but the mildest painkillers. I…

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    SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

    Fire Clearing Merry meet. At pagan festivals, it is almost expected there will be fire performers. While fire is one of the elements and there’s something primal about it, I never saw it as particularly connected to a pagan or spiritual practice. That was until six weeks ago when a coven sister did her first fire clearing. “Ever since I’ve picked up my fans, I knew there was a spiritual component to them,” said Becky Coates who has been a fire spinner for 18 months. “Before they came into my life, I was often seeing them in sacred space and dancing with them during meditations. The first time I had…

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    Worth the Witch

    Review of Box of Shadows   Box of Shadows is a recurring monthly Pagan Box subscription site. They offer three, very different, types of boxes. Each Box as different and interesting as the next, making choosing one a difficult decision! Their prices range from $24.99 to $44.99 + S/H. (The Supreme Box by Box of Shadows) This month I will be reviewing Box of Shadows “The Supreme” Box. At $44.99, it is described as being for the “Advanced Seeker,” based on the wheel of the year. Arrival Package (Arrival Photo) My Box of Shadows came in the mail in an unassuming package. No Pagan graphics or any tells. This I like because I…

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    (xxi the world)

    poetry races through me like a blast of cold air off lake erie. dramatic clouds over white-capped water. sand & stone & searing exhilaration. i was kidnapped when i was 10 & sold to the gypsies. now i dance wildly every night & tell fortunes. poetry crackles in the campfire. poetry is the wine in the jug we pass. poetry is alive in my snapping fingers. my swirling red skirts. my magic red shoes. poetry. the great liberator. the lover of my life. poetry. savior of my soul. poetry. the damp grass underneath my back. a million stars over my head. *** About the Author:   Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo,…