May, 2019

Welcome

May, 2019

Cover art: Prosperity candle spell kit supplied by Morrigu’s Nest on Etsy. You can view this candle spell kit, along with all their wonderful products on the shop’s site. Don’t forget to use the special coupon code for 30% located in their review this month.

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A Prosperous May to You All! We Have A Great Issue This Month For Your Reading Enjoyment, Plus A Special Treat For Our Readers From Anne Corrigan, the Owner of Morrigu’s Nest!

In This Issue We Feature A Review of Morrigu’s Nest on Etsy & Interview with Owner Anne Corrigan.

We Dive Into This Woman Owned Businesses Products & Give Our Honest Opinions.

As A Gift to Our Readers Morrigu’s Nest is Giving Our Readers Only, A 30% off Their Purchase Coupon! Read On for Coupon Code.

We Didn’t Forget All Our Fantastic Monthly Columns, Wonderful Reviews, & Amazing Interviews This Month! Enjoy!

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Book of Shadows: As the Wheel Turns

May, 2019

May – Blessed Beltane

Blessed Beltane! May your fields be well watered, may you never thirst, and may you never hunger. This time of year, makes me happy as I watch everything coming from the earth in full bloom while love and kindness are awakening from the long winter scowls and slowly turning into deliberate smiles. We are all warming up! Finally. And, along with the warmth returning, the Green Man emerges. The King Stag comes in search of the Maiden. The need fires burn and the flames of passion are fanned. It’s time to sow the seeds we have carefully nurtured during the dark days from Samhain to Yule and planted at Imbolc.

As Beltane approaches, I find myself drawn by the Divine Masculine. I have only one Matron who I venerate, yet the pull toward being thankful for the Divine Masculine has its place in my walk. I chant the masculine chants to pay homage to that Divine Force and I place move my athame to a focal position on my Beltane ritual altar. I seek and strive to find balance, reinforcing my connection to the Divine Masculine and the beauty and the commitment of The Great Rite.

The first week of May, I wanted to convey the spirit of the Divine Masculine and utilize this space to journal every day about the aspects of the Divine Masculine, the Horned God, the King Stag in my everyday life and workings. It was a layout that I challenged myself to complete without influence of others. I did not rely on graphics that I found on the internet. Instead, I carefully birthed the Greenman. He looks here in my first week layout as the Greenman who resides in my heart, the one who beckons me to sow the seeds that I have nurtured.

Of course, May Day/Beltane, really the entire month of May, would not be complete without a dance around the May Pole and the beauty of the fae. Spring and the planting season, to me, are a combination of fun, frivolity, and making merry. The happier I am when my hands are in the soil, the happier the energy I am putting into my crops. Seed work this year has been difficult and this layout is helping me to see that even flowers grow through dirt and “difficulty” is not “impossibility.”

As mid-May approaches, I am drawn toward the growth of the seeds that I have planted, which brings my thoughts to the Great Rite. Love blossoming, seeds being planted, new life emerging. All of these acts of love and commitment are in some form a symbolic “Great Rite.” I utilized washi on the bottom that reads “HELLO” and in my view, the inflection when reading that washi tape is everything! It varies from “HELLOOO?” to “HELLO!” and I’m practicing noticing the smaller details more and more…hoping this makes me use the latter more than the former!

This Spring is a busy one for me, spiritually, as I am doing things that I had previously only dreamed about doing. I am facing the stark reality, in my Crone years, that in this life we have one of two things…we either have results or we have reasons. I am reflecting on a lifetime of reasons and a lot of results. It is not time to put those results into action and have them far outweigh the reasons. This final layout in May is not devoid of graphics because I’m being lazy, rather, it is devoid of graphics because I plan to do that on the last week of every month to utilize this space to pull the energies from the weeks prior into the final week and keep track of my accomplishments. This is the beauty of using a planner as a working BOS, I can change it up to suit my needs.

I wish you all a bountiful harvest!

RESOURCES:

MAMBI® CHP Extension Packs

May Monthly and Weekly Stickers by Shirley Lenhard are free at the Pagan Plannertarium

May Cover Page – Repurposed Birthday Card

Miscellaneous Washi tapes: Available at Michael’s and other craft retailers

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About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

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Finding Your Own Way

May, 2019

Chapter 11

Finding Joy

Only the most unfortunate among us will not have at least one memory of feeling safe and protected. The very fact that we have survived to this stage in our lives and we are reading this, assures us that we were kept warm, and fed at those times in our lives when we were at our most vulnerable. All of us can fall into the pit of despair, where we feel unloved and unwanted. Use this meditation as a reminder that we have known love and protection and that it is still around us. We carry it in, sometimes forgotten, memories. They may be buried deep in our subconscious, but they are there as a resource. We can tap into them to make our lives more content and filled with joy, or as a buttress against harder times.

Remember that before we can find joy in our lives, we must first find acceptance. It is in acceptance of our situation that we can relax enough to find viable solutions to the challenges which life brings to us. Acceptance brings calmness to our minds and emotions and allows clear thinking. There will be situations which we cannot change immediately. These situations will be easier to adapt to, once we have accepted the truth of our own part in the situations around us. Accepting that our point of view is as valid as the views of those around us is an important step. Looking for the best outcome for all concerned will free us to act in our own best interest without guilt. We are entitled to be happy. We are entitled to feel fulfilled in our lives and to be appreciated. If our needs are not being met by our present situation in life, then we must accept this and plan to move forward. This may require patience and perseverance, but, in accepting the truth of our situation, and doing whatever we can to improve things, we have made the important first step towards calmness and joy.

Breathe deeply and relax. Read the poem and gaze at the picture. Allow your mind to wander. As you begin to meditate, ask your higher self or subconscious mind to guide you to those happy memories. Ask that these feelings of calmness will return to you as soon as it is possible. Remind yourself that life moves in cycles, – from dark to light and that happiness may only be a heartbeat away.

Walk with Me

Leave your nagging doubts behind and walk with me to find some quiet place.
When the glamour of the life you thought you’d love has gone.
When the worries and the stresses get too much.
When you’ve gone along the road as far as you can go,

When you learned to doubts the things that used to mean so much.
Then walk with me.

Leave the noise behind,
Leave your watch behind and leave your mobile phone.
Find a place where you can truly be alone,
And find me waiting there.

Forest, field or quiet garden.
Beach or park, or just a candle in a quiet room
You will find me in the silence,
Stop and listen, Find the light behind the gloom,
And you will find me there.

You wonder who I am.
I am the gentle touch upon your hair.
I am the comfort and companionship when there is no one there.
I am the eagle flying high, I am the wolf, I am the bear.
I am the Dawning and the End of Time.
Look within yourself, and I am always there.

Life is a journey, but it is also a dance.
Every moment and every action have a meaning and a beauty of their own.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

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Book Review – The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells by Skye Alexander

May, 2019

Book Review
The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book
Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells
by Skye Alexander
Published by Adams Media
Pages: 301

This first part of this book covers the basics needed to prepare a novice for working the spells in the second part. Skye Alexander starts out by explaining that a spell “is something you do with clarity, intent, and awareness to generate a result. A spell consists of a set of thoughts and symbolic actions performed in the physical world to initiate change on a higher level. Once a change takes place at that higher level, it filters down and materializes here on earth.”

“Spellcasting,” she writes, “is a method; it’s a secular activity with no dogma attached to it. … and everyone possesses magical ability.” Spells are done by people across many cultures and religions. They can be as simple as making a wish before blowing out candles on a birthday cake or saying a prayer to casting a spell that requires time to formulate, research, write and execute.

Readers of The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells will be introduced to 13 steps for successful spellwork, techniques to hone the ability to sense energy, helpful tools, astrological magic and creating sacred space. Sections also cover the power of words; working with spirits, deities and other beings; and tapping into energy by aligning with nature and the universe using gemstones and botanicals.

Part II contains spells for the three most requested intentions – love, money and protection – in addition to spells for healing, self-improvement and success. There are spells to do with others and spells for the sabbats – more than 125 in all – involving incantations, potions and charms. For each, Alexander gives a short intro, a list of tools and ingredients, the best time to perform the spell, and understandable directions.

A spell to release sadness involves flying a kite and one for success entails making a talisman with three rune symbols painted in gold on three gemstones corresponding with an objective and keeping them in a gold pouch wrapped with a red ribbon with intentions knotted in.

Practitioners of all levels will find the correspondence charts useful for incorporating the magic of astrology, and ingredients for various intentions.

The book does a good job of introducing the subject. It concludes with eight pages dedicated to “Taking the Next Step.” Alexander stresses practice, gives steps for creating spells from scratch and encourages readers to craft ingredients.

“Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. The more knowledge you have, the more powerful you’ll become as a spellworker,” she writes.

About the author Skye Alexander :

Skye Alexander is the award-winning author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books, including Your Goddess Year,The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need, The Modern Guide to Witchcraft, The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book, The Modern Witchcraft Grimoire, The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot, and The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells. Her stories have been published in anthologies internationally, and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is also an artist, writing teacher, feng shui practitioner, astrologer, and tarot reader. She divides her time between Texas and Massachusetts.

The book gets a 4.7 out of 5 by 59 customer reviews on Amazon.

The Modern Witchcraft Spell Book: Your Complete Guide to Crafting and Casting Spells on Amazon

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

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Book Review – Angels, Spirit Guides and Goddesses by Susan Gregg

May, 2019

Book Review
Angels, Spirit Guides and Goddesses
by Susan Gregg
Quarto Publishing

Ms. Gregg’s book contains 100 different Divine Beings that can be called up for various situations. I love the art work for each being. There are four sub headers in this book: Archangels and Angels; Saints; Ascended Masters and Master Teachers; and Goddesses and Deities.

I think that the way Ms. Gregg has laid the book out is very intuitive. Each page begins with the name of the Divine Being, then if applicable she writes where it comes from (i.e. religion, culture), then the author states in what ways the being will help you. Then Ms. Gregg gives an Invocation, and she also includes a small bit about each Divine Being.

I knew most of the Archangels, Angels and Saints. I learned somethings in the Ascended Masters and Master Teachers. There were a few there that I had only heard the names and knew nothing else of that being, and only one I had never heard of before reading this book. (And I am one who then takes that information and goes on a mad search to learn more as soon as I can. So, this opened a new rabbit hole for me.)

Goddesses and Deities really opened my eyes (and lead to another rabbit hole). There were many Goddesses and Deities from other areas of the world, that I admit I knew nothing about. Now that I have read a bit of something about them, I can start to learn about them and develop a relationship with them.

The way that Ms. Gregg has written this book, she has given some great in-depth information in a page. Each entry is only a page long, but it is packed with important information. No fluff or filler, but information that gives the reader the ability to start dialog with that Divine Being.

You can tell that Ms. Gregg wrote this book from a place of knowledge and understanding. The 220 pages of this book contain Divine beings from Hindu, Greek, Roman, Irish, Celtic, Sumerian, Norse, Hawaiian, Inuit, Mesopotamian, to only name a few. I had a great time reading this book and doing more research on the Divine Beings that were calling for me to learn more about them.

I think Ms. Gregg has written a great book for those that are looking for a starting point or are looking for information on how a Divine Being will work with them. Use this book as a way to deepen your relationship with any Deity, Archangel or Ascended Master you work with now. Or to build a new relationship with one calling to you now.

Angels, Spirit Guides & Goddesses:A Guide to Working with 100 Divine Beings in Your Daily Life on Amazon

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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

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Book Review – Here, There, Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality by Just Plain Bill

May, 2019

Book Review
Here, There, Everywhere
A Clarification of Reality
by Just Plain Bill

Here, There, Everywhere is a book written by Bill Holtry a.k.a. Just Plain Bill. Just Plain Bill grew up in Central Pennsylvania on an Amish farm. His Pap mentored him throughout his life and taught Just Plain Bill the values that are passed down to us inside Here, There, and Everywhere. These values are family, love, honor, trust and peace. If you enjoy this review, make sure to check out my interview with Just Plain Bill in this issue of PaganPagesOrg. In the interview, Just Plain Bill shares his website where you can purchase Here, There, and Everywhere, and you can learn more about Just Plain Bill!

Here, There, and Everywhere is written in the form of automatic writing. Just Plain Bill touches on that subject within the first chapter or two. He also answers my questions about it in his interview. This is a neat way to write a book and I was impressed by all the lessons that he has learned over the years. It is a blessing that he took the time to compile all these lessons to share the values of family, love, honor, trust and peace with the readers of Here, There, and Everywhere.

This book is comprised of more than 50 chapters. Chapters isn’t the best way to describe it. Stories, lessons, values, lives. Those would be better ways to describe these “chapters”. Each chapter is teaching us something new. It is teaching us about someone who walked on this planet. It is about their life, their story, the lessons they learned, and the values that we should all know: family, love, honor, trust, and peace.

Each chapter/story starts the same way. Just Plain Bill steps through the “door” and into the Everywhere. From there each chapter/story is different. Sometimes the scene is two stumps in a forest, high in a tree, a stream, or a cliff. Other times there is no scene at all. Just Plain Bill is just relaying the message/story to us.

I spent time going over and over this book. Normally I can pick out a favorite part, a favorite scene, or a paragraph that I want to read over and over again. With Here, There, and Everywhere that was difficult to do. I loved this book so much.

I’ve read this book more than once and I am always learning something new or a new fact is jumping out at me. I’ve also been able to see the stories differently depending on how my mood is for that day.

One of the spirits that stick with me from the book is Pap. He only appears a few times throughout the book, but with each visit you can feel his love that he has for Just Plain Bill. Along with the love and admiration that Just Plain Bill has for Pap.

While reading this book, I could not help but wonder if I knew some of these Spirits in a past life. Was I in any of these stories that are being shared?

Here, There, and Everywhere is on my list as a must read. It’s more than just a fun read. Here, There and Everywhere challenges you to think and see the world differently. It also encourages you to use those values of family, love, honor, trust and peace.

Here, There, and Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality on Amazon

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3 Pagans and a Cat Monthly Feature

May, 2019

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

Some Great Interviews You Must Give a Listen!

Episode 18: Our Community – Bill Ehle: Car, Gwyn, and Ode discuss social justice and activism in the pagan community, culminating in an interview with Pagans In Need director Bill Ehle.

Episode 33: Our Community – Witchdoctor Utu: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Witchdoctor Utu, discussing his book, the Underground Railroad, North American Conjure, and a little bit of pagan drama that, honestly, wasn’t a great look on anybody.

Episode 35: Our Community – Jason Mankey: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Jason Mankey, discussing his recent book, future books, witchcraft history, and designing inclusive rituals.

Episode 38: Our Community – Jacki Smith: Car, Gwyn, and Ode sit down for a conversation at Convocation with Jacki Smith, discussing candles, witch scouts, and mindful magic.

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 11: Speaking with Symbols: Car, Gwyn and Ode discuss the basics of divination, their personal methods of divining, and The Ravioli Situation.

Where Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

Remember …

You can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation. Every bit helps to keep them going.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving Pagans a platform to share and learn without judgment.

She loves to create in her spare time and you can find her Creations, Jewelry, & Magickal Witch Bottles at: www.facebook.com/TwistedWitchesShoppe/

When not creating she can be found strolling around FB, Twitter, & Instagram looking for an interesting conversation. She’s the moderator of a FB Group called Cyber Moon Coven Of Changes and enjoys spending time with it’s members.

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Crone’s Corner

May, 2019

Meditation and Divining Incense: uses & recipes

I used to shy away from sharing my personal experiences and practices with other people, but then I asked myself, “Why do you keep everything that you love all to yourself?” That’s when I decided to open a Facebook Group called “Pagan Plannertarium” and I started sharing my love of a working book of shadows and graphics that I create to make my working book everything that I want it to be. It is a work in progress and you can follow along with me in the other article under “crafts” Working Book of Shadows in PaganPagesOrg. My group eventually morphed into what it is today, which is a “Home” of likeminded, free spirited individuals who share their own personal gnosis, their own musings, and their paths with everyone for the greater good. My heart overflows in that group and I am so proud to be a part of it.

I love divination and mediation, which are passions for me. Finding the time is not impossible, but does require discipline and sacrifice at times – but so well worth it in the long run!

(Photo by truthseeker08 on Pixabay)

Settling in, creating your sacred space, and visualizing yourself going to a deeper more serene level to meditate can be facilitated by the setting and the mood around you. In order to bring yourself to that most comfortable and deepest place for complete meditation, the area around you should be as comfortable as possible and the atmosphere should resonate with peaceful and serene flowing energies. Likewise, when attempting any forms of divination, your surroundings should be as conducive to reaching outward to reign and bring in those visions and aspects that we need for effective readings.

One of the easiest ways to make your space ready for meditation and/or divination is to mix an incense blend that will bring you to a place of heightened awareness and that will effectively assist you in opening yourself up to the channels of energies that will lend themselves to your introspection or workings. The incense blends that I prefer to use are whole herbs and resins which are burned over an incense charcoal. The whole herbs and resins, once ignited, burn for the precise period of time required to enter a deep meditative state or to achieve the visions that come during divination.

(Photo by Thomas Stephan on Unsplash)

Incense Recipe: I prefer dried whole herbs and resins. For meditation and divination I use a blend of equal parts Mugwort and Wormwood. Since I use these incense blends frequently, I blend them once a month on the night of the New Moon, in quantity. I use 2 cups of Mugwort and 2 cups of Wormwood, I mix them together in a bowl and place them in an air tight container until I need them. I then mix the resins Frankincense and Myrrh (in whatever amount I purchase and equalize between the two) and place them in an air tight container until I need them.

Mugwort: A Druid Sacred Herb. Mugwort was placed in barns to protect cows from the influence of fairies. The herb’s powers are strongest when picked on a Full Moon. It can be used for good luck and rubbed on ritual tools to increase power. Mugwort can be used as an incense (mixed in equal parts with Sandalwood) to aid in strengthening Psychic Powers (or mixed with equal parts of Wormwood) to aid in divination and meditation. Try using it while scrying or during divination and meditation.

Mugwort can also be placed next to the bed to aid in achieving astral projection.

Its other magical uses include strength, protection, prophetic dreams, and healing.

Keeps one safe from dark forces and it protects children and the incense brings protection as well. Carried, it brings loved ones safely home from journeys.

A tonic for the soul, it keeps us aware of our spiritual direction. A mugwort infusion sweetened with honey will enhance divination. Carried, it also increases lust and fertility.

For use in Clairvoyance, Scrying, Protection, rub this herb on “Magic Mirrors” and “Crystal balls” to strengthen their powers. Add to scrying, clairvoyance and divination incenses. Use 3 tablespoons to 1/2 gallon spring (or rain) water to cleanse your “Magical mirrors” crystals and stones. It is used in magic as a love-divining herb. To experience interesting dreams that are said to reveal one’s future, stuff a pillow with about a pound of this herb and sleep on it.

The Indians used a decoction of the leaves for colds, bronchitis, rheumatism, and fever, and a poultice for wounds. The fresh juice is used to ease the itch of poison oak. To cure a headache, stick a leaf up your nose.

Wormwood: A sacred herb which was very magical as well as sacred to Moon deities. Burned on Samhain to aid evocation, divination, scrying and prophecy. Combine with Mugwort for added effect. Thrown onto fires on “Samhain” to gain protection from bad spirits roaming the night.

One of the major ingredients in “Absinthe”

Burn in incense to raise spirits.

Wormwood, when added to herbal incense, is an aid in opening the psychic centers. When these centers are open and receptive, we may better communicate with those who have “passed over”. It has been written that wormwood and sandlewood (an herb of purification and high spiritual energy) burned together near a grave-site will summon the spirit of the departed.

Wormwood is a banishing herb, used to rid a person or an area of anger and negativity.

Meditation: After turning the ringer off of the phone and ensuring complete solitude, I retreat to my sacred space and light the incense charcoal (not the BBQ variety, which is toxic if burned inside) and allow it to reach its red glow. I prepare the Mugwort and Wormwood combination in a small bowl and I add about a teaspoon of the resin blend into the bowl, mix it up and place about a tablespoon of the mixture onto the burning charcoal, I allow it to smolder and burn about half way out when I add the second scoop onto the charcoal.

Then, I call on the Spirits of the East and its components of air, communication, and inspiration to lend energies to meditations. I settle myself into a comfortable position conducive to meditation and I ground my spirit and center my self before beginning the meditation. If the meditation that I am planning requires music, I ensure that I have placed a CD on a loop so that the immediate end of the music does not disrupt the flow. Often I discover that the music is replaced by the sounds of the newly heightened awareness achieved through meditation in any event. And so the deepening meditative state ensues.

The divination: I follow the same routine for divination as I do for meditation; however, I tend to replenish the incense on the charcoal throughout the divining session. If I am scrying, I do not want to interrupt the flow, and I tend to follow precisely the same steps as described in the meditation portion. If I am reading Tarot, then I am continuously replenishing the supply on the charcoal, as it aids in receiving and deciphering the messages and pictures for this form of divination.

***

About the Author:

Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.

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Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

May, 2019

May 2019 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings

I write this with a sore back from beginning the garden. I have planted seeds for snow peas, radishes, milkweed, and sunflowers so far, and a few packs of annuals as well. I nabbed more seeds, ordered three more seed catalogs, and got a couple of hot pink pots!

Not bad for the first week of gardening.

This year, I am doing the unthinkable! I am killing a mint plant!

I’m doing it so I can pull a shrub behind it and use the space for more, well…PLANTS! The roots of the mint would take over the space the second the shrub is pulled, so the mint goes first!

I planted it, against proper advice in the ground, instead of in a pot, way back in 2006! It’s a 13 year old plant, and it’s not happy with me, as I pour pan full after pan full of boiling water on it. I am determined to do this with no chemicals, and with my bad back, digging is not an option.

I also got a start on my fork plantings. You read that right. Forks. I have a schnauzer mix, and a little cat who like to LAY right on top of my plants, but they can’t if I have forks in the garden around the plants, can they? Although the seeds have yet to sprout, I placed 48 brand new, shiny white plastic forks in the radish bed today. I’ll gather more later this week and finish.

Then, I have more soil to buy, more pots, and some soil to lay around a shady area where I will put more seeds.

A garden witch never stops gardening!

Beltane

In years past, I have written about historical observances not only in Ireland, but also Wales. I’ve written about doing group, and solitary ritual.

What I have not written about, however, is to do a smaller-scale group ritual for it utilizing some traditional practices, but not all of them.

Much focus in groups is on the May Queen and King, and the Maypole Dance.

This time, I’ll write the ritual I am going to use when my small group of friends arrives.

Beltane is a lot of things to a lot of different people. For me, it’s a very big deal, and sometimes, the only Sabbat I actually prepare for.

Here is an article from past years outlining a more complex ritual we used, and some more historical information as well.

This year, instead of focusing on historic meaning, I will talk about the things Spring does to our bodies that makes us feel good

Feel So Good

What is it about warmer days, and growing things that make us feel so much better, and that make us look forward to it anyhow? Why do we feel more energy, get sick less often, get out and do more, and just overall, feel happier in warmer days?

Science!

Before I list all of this, I will note I know people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder in the warm months. Their bodies do not handle the heat or strong sun well, and they crave Winter. I validate their struggles, and understand they have these issues. This is called Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.

This article breaks it down nicely, and explains it well.

What my friends who have Reverse SAD have told me is they cannot physically endure heat, strong light, and humidity in the humid regions. Some have issues with insects eating them alive, and others just can’t sleep when it is warm or hot. Allergies from growing plants can also absolutely destroy people.

For the people who do not have issues with warmer days, and the things that come along, several things happen that make us feel better!

  1. More birdsong- It somehow promotes well-being. Further reinforcing the interconnectedness of all life us Witches and Pagans have known all about all along. Hearing that when you first wake up is amazing.
  2. Longer days- Especially folk who struggle with vitamin D deficiency, these days are most welcome. Many of us get enough Vitamin D from food or supplements, but in warmer seasons, the sun gives us even more. Some have issues absorbing vitamins from food, and LIVE for days when they can soak up some sun. According to an awesome article, fair skinned folk can catch a few minutes of sun in the afternoon. People who are a darker tan, 15-20 minutes, and people who are dark need up to six times more sun exposure than fair skinned people. Here is the article I found that information in if you want to read more about the sun and its help with Vitamin D.
  3. We get out and about more- Even though we have paved streets and walks, going out when the weather is yucky is just something we don’t do as much of because it’s a pain in the butt. There are nice events to attend, including festivals, outdoor concerts, and parties. Sabbats are held outdoors more often in warmer months, and a lot of people enjoy life more when they are going more places, and participating in more things.
  4. Flowers and animals abound- Now, some of us love the look of nature no matter what the season, but you have to admit, unless pollen or allergies are killing you, getting out with flowers, trees, and seeing the animals out and about too creates a sense of well-being. The earth is teeming with life and activity, and as Pagans and Witches, we are sensitive to the life-forces of other beings, and it strengthens us. We are all connected.
  5. Cold triggers pain- If you have injuries, joint issues, arthritis, back problems, etc, cold flares up that pain oftentimes, and warmer weather is easier on your body. Some of you know this all too well, and I wish complete healing, and no more pain for you!
  6. Less illness- Being closed in to avoid cold keeps us in more close quarters with one another, and contagious viruses and bacteria enjoy jumping from person to person. As we are less cooped up when it starts getting warmer, we share less germs.

Basically, for many of us, nature is easier on our bodies come Springtime than it was in Winter, and thus we feel better, can do more things, and enjoy ourselves more.

That’s a big reason to celebrate!

Before I share my simple Beltane rite, I would like to share an interview I was fortunate enough to have with a distinguished Pagan, and review of an amazing Pagan ran establishment.

International Pagan Radio and Onyx

International Pagan Radio

International Pagan Radio, or IPR is something I’d heard about because one of my elders, Lady Brigid, has her own show, called Ask A Witch, on the Radio. I knew it was a great organization, but I don’t listen to radio shows, because of my hearing loss.

Here is the online link to find IPR.

I did go and listen to it to review it, and the show I caught was our beloved Raven Grimassi and his loved one talking to listeners not too long before he crossed the veil. They were sharing their love and appreciation for all the support they have gotten from the community. It’s like they knew he was about to cross over.

If that is not enough to make you want to go listen right now, I can tell you they have good music as well. Today is April 9, 2019, and the agenda for today is Druidcast, The Magick Jukebox, and The Rift and others. The available song is Black Swan Blues by SJ Tucker. Honestly, this is something that every Pagan ought to know about, and listen to. They have not only educational broadcasts, and music, but messages from Pagans to Pagans. All for us by us! The best part is the sound was crisp and clear, and I had no trouble hearing almost everything, which is very good for me. You must go check out IPR right away, and tell everybody about it!

Onyx

The way I did this interview, as I do all my interviews is online. I send questions, and the people either e-mail, or text me back. It’s worked out well, as I am hard of hearing, and they can send me answers when they have time. Sometimes, we do a whole interview in an hour or less, and sometimes, we send messages back and forth over a course of days. I also get 100% accuracy, as I am not worried about mishearing what they say! I can be lazy, and copy and paste as opposed to typing it all out when it is time to submit the interview to my editor also!

Some people, most especially film makers, have flat out refused to do e-mail or text interviewing, and I have found people who write are so used to writing, that an online interview is right up their alley! Onyx granted the online interview, and instead of answering one question at a time, wrote a beautiful statement I am proud to share with you here. It speaks for itself!

“I was working as the station manager for another Pagan network that operated on Blog Talk Radio in 2015. I was approached by a guy to manage a streaming station as well. This streaming station was to be launched under my supervision and management as International Pagan Radio. I agreed to take the job if I could also bring along William Brigley. William and I had met at another network, and we had been working together for some time. We had also become very good friends.

The agreement was that I would manage the station with total autonomy and our benefactor would pay the bills. William and I set out to create a website and build the station. The station originally operated with only donated music. We would approach artists and ask them if they would allow us to play their music without royalties. The benefactor wanted us to keep the cost minimal.

About six months after launch, our benefactor informed us that he could no longer afford the station. William and I proposed that we take over ownership to keep the station online. Our benefactor agreed to release all rights to the station to us.

William and I changed a few things about the station. We decided that it was not fair to the artists to only play donated music. We created an account with Sound Exchange for them to manage the distribution of royalties. We pay them for this service, and they ensure that the royalties are distributed properly.

I am the station manager for IPR. My responsibilities include managing the Sound Exchange account, the bank account, station schedule, shows, and any advertisers we may encounter. I also manage the back end of the website and domain. We do not actively seek advertisers but do have a rate card available if asked.

William is the media manager. His responsibilities include more of the technical aspects, such as website design and implementation, ensuring that all the songs have the correct metadata embedded so the reporting system will pick them up properly (for royalty reporting to Sound Exchange), contacting and maintaining relationships with artists, image design, and training videos for hosts and artists.

William and I are co-owners of the station and share the financial responsibility for all expenses. We pay for the streaming service, the domain, the website, and all royalties out of pocket. We have entertained soliciting advertisers, but have not actively done so.

International Pagan Radio reaches out to all parts of the world, and anyone with an internet connection can listen to us. Most of the artists whose music we play are from the United States. However, we have artists from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Spain as well. In addition to streaming music we also have several shows that can be heard as well. Our shows are assigned a day of the week and are streamed three times during that day to help ensure that fans in differing time zones can catch the shows.

In addition to our website, we also maintain a large Facebook presence. We have both a public group and a page. In addition to our public Facebook entities, we maintain private groups as well. We have one group that is dedicated to the artists so they can interact with us and each other. There is also a private group for the IPR team that consists of the staff and the show hosts.

Neo-paganism found me over three decades ago. I was raised primarily Southern Baptist, but could never really internalize the teachings and doctrine. When I encountered Neo-paganism it was like coming home (yes, so cliché’).

In the past, I have been among the High Priesthood of a few different traditions. I have established and ran several temples and covens over the years. I have trained, initiated and elevated many others along the way as well. Have officiated handfastings, legal marriages, funerals, memorials, birthing, and naming ceremonies, and coming of age rituals.

Currently, I consider myself more of an Omniest than a Pagan. As an “Omniest” I feel that wisdom is not limited to one religious form. I find wisdom in all forms of religious expression. I tell folks that I am an Omniest that chooses to express his spirituality through Neo-pagan traditions and ritual.

I am the father to three (two daughters and a son) and the grandfather to one (a baby boy). I have lived in the Winston Salem, North Carolina, area for just over ten years. Most of my childhood was spent in the upstate area of South Carolina. The first twelve years of my adult life was spent serving in the United States Army. Since leaving the Army, I have worn many hats. I owned a metaphysical shop for a few years until it was destroyed by fire. I have worked in big box retail management, and also in executive sales.

I hold both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in conflict resolution. I am enrolled in a doctoral course. However, I am currently taking a break from school work. Hopefully, I will return to school shortly and complete the Doctor of Psychology degree.

I am not actively involved in the local Pagan community, so the station is my ministry. I very much like the fact that we have listeners all over the world and have heard from many of them. Many tell me that this station is nearly their only contact with the Pagan community.”

Many thanks to Onyx for sharing his beautiful story with us, and for all his good work for IPR!

The Working

As promised, I am sharing the working I will use when my soul kin come to gather with me for our Beltane. I will have a team effort to bless food and drink, and ask the powers that be for some good magic, healing, and goodness all around at this time of life, beginnings, and great strength.

Here is the working.

Have two volunteers stand at either side of the entryway of where you have your rite. For me, it will be my front door. You can do male and female to keep with Wiccan practice, representing Mother Goddess and Father God, but for me, it is going to depend on who is there and who wants to volunteer.

These two people will each hold something to bless with. It could be a stick of incense for one person, and a candle held by the other. Instead of having a Priest and Priestess bless these things, we will all join hands and say a prayer, each of us, for the blessings we wish for one another. Saying something as simple as “Blessed Be” as people pass through the fires, or something more like a chant or song you like can also be used, but as the people have blessed the things, no words have to be said unless you want to.

After this, people will form a line and pass between the two people with their blessed things, emulating the scared practice of passing between the blessed fires ancient British Pagans used to use.

Once everybody has passed between the blessing fires, everybody will go to two others, whoever has volunteered. This will be a blessing of “cakes and ale”. Again, we will all take turns saying the prayer, over them, blessing them. I am probably not going to have wine or soda or sweets for this. Let’s face it, none of us is getting younger. There are people coming with dietary restrictions, allergies, and digestive issues. Plus, we don’t need to be drinking after each other- germs, you know! As we are potlucking it, we will take food to make a plate from the offerings, maybe even a variety, so people can hand pick the food THEY choose to eat. Instead of a communal cup for us all to drink from, individual tiny cups filled with probably water, will be used. It really does not matter WHAT the food and liquid is- it’s the blessings we will take into us.

Once all is blessed, each person will approach who is giving the blessed food, and the person doing this will say “May you never hunger,” and each person in turn will take their blessed bite of food and eat it. I’ve seen people use whole apples for ritual blessing, and I don’t recommend it, as that takes forever. Also, cut the food up into small pieces, so people can take just a tiny bite. They will then go to the person who has the water, who will give them a water, and say “May you never thirst.” Again, this should be a tiny bit of water, enough for one sip. This is not the meal, but just a sip and a nibble.

A third blessing can also be given if so desired, by an individual or individuals. Play it by ear, and see how your soul kin feel. This can be perhaps the moving party of the rite, most especially when beloved Priest and Priestess do the blessings. A simple way would be for everybody to hug one another. You can also break off in twos and go bless each other for a few minutes, walking away from the group, and returning to a spot when everybody is finished.

After each person has passed between the blessed fires, had their blessed food and drink, and been further blessed if it is wished, the rite is ended, and the feasting and fellowship begins.

This rite can be customized as you see fit, as it is simple, and you can tweak it any way that is meaningful for you. I have had to change how I do ritual in the past few years. The biggest change is my condo association has made it clear no fires are allowed on patios. There went our blessed firepit! I also do rituals at the house as opposed to at the campgrounds we used to use, so we moved into a smaller space than before. We manage. Ritual can be meaningful even if you have to make accommodations and substitute something like two candles for two bonfires.

May you and yours have a very Blessed Beltaine.

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

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Book Review – The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague

May, 2019

Book Review
The Witch’s Guide to Wands
A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague
Published by Weiser Books
Pages: 243

“The Witch’s Guide to Wands” is the reference book Gypsey Elaine Teague had been trying to find – one that explained the properties of the woods and metals from which wands are made.

“You would not use a holly wand for a new moon ritual any more than you would use an ebony one for a full moon. If you want strength, then you would use oak and reserve the willow for resilience and survival spells,” Teague writes, explaining one tool is not used for every purpose.

“As witches, we are very specific about our spells and our rituals,” Teague states. “We demand the finest tinctures and oils, the purest herbs, and if possible, we grow everything ourselves. We fill our bookshelves with tomes that explain in detail each and every ingredient that will go into our brazier, but when it comes to wands, the books usually say, ‘walk among the trees and find a piece of wood that suits you.’ Really? ‘Suits you?’ Would you dress for ritual in whatever suits you without some research or discussion?”

A woodworker, she describes how she turns or fashions wands, sandpaper grit and the oil she uses. Nowhere are there instructions to do the same. Rather, readers are told, “not just anyone can make a wand. A wand is a sacred tool and should created in a sacred way. … In conclusion, find a wand maker you trust. Then allow your wand to find you. Both you and the wand will be happier and more successful for the experience.”

Based on her knowledge of plant science and ethnobotany plus years of magical practice, Teague gives the common name, order, family genus, species and hardness rating for each wood. Its energy (masculine or feminine), history, metaphysical properties, its element (earth, air, fire, water), and the deities associated with it are presented for acacia to zelkova. There is also a discussion of the general characteristics of each such as reasons for use, areas it can be found, myths, spells and cautions.

She makes no attempt to standardize the length, width or shape of a wand – other than it be thicker at the base than at the tip – explaining “the wood will call out its own ultimate shape.”

Part three of the book is comprised of six pages dedicated to the wands used in Harry Potter’s world.

The appendixes contain lists of woods organized by use and deity. There are also lists of woods noting sexual energy and elements.

The subtitle states, “A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing and Using the Right Wand.” I think of it as more of a reference for materials that comprise a wand. Considering the first line of the introduction is “The wand chooses the witch, the witch does not choose the wand,” I can’t help but wonder why I would need to know what’s in the book when I need just run my hand over wands in protective bags.

The book gets a 4.1 out of 5 by 27 customer reviews on Amazon.

About the author Gypsey Elaine Teague

Gypsey Elaine Teague is the Branch Head of the Gunnin Architecture Library at Clemson University as well as a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors, an Elder and High Priestess in the Georgian tradition, a High Priestess in the Icelandic Norse tradition, and a High Priestess and originator of Steampunk Magic. Teague is published in a number of areas and presents nationally on Steampunk history, literature, and popular culture.

The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

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