Monday, December 20, 2010

Four days later...

Well loves... here I am, four days later, and no closer to getting things done than I was a week ago! I've actually gone backwards.  I am so not ready for Yule.

I told you before that my youngest, Georgi, became very ill with a severe case of croup on Wednesday. She spent all night in the ER on Thursday and we were both miserable all day Friday after having no sleep the night before. I am still trying to recover.

Her fever finally broke early Saturday morning and I was able to get some catch up work done around the house during the day, despite my exhaustion. Early this a.m. however, I woke up to her barking cough (a reminder that she still has a ways to go to be over this thing), and my son Holder crying that his tummy and his eyes hurt. Great. And yes - by early-afternoon, his mild tummy ache and burning eyes had developed into a full-fledged fever, complete with red eyes and lethargy. Thankfully, no sign of a barking cough from this one yet - but his fever has been stubborn and he has been whiny and needy all day.

To add insult to injury, Georgi has decided that she is not ready to share the spot light - so I have had TWO whiny munchkins all day, I am getting sick and absolutely nothing is getting done around my house.  We have boxes everywhere (we are preparing to move in a few months), no room for the tree we were supposed to get today, no family altar, no candles, no baking done, no decorations up - we are SO far behind, and Yule's Eve is tomorrow (well - today depending on what time you are finally reading this).

I don't want to be stressed out all day tomorrow - Yule should be relaxing and enjoyable - and I don't want to be exhausted. So, I have reluctantly decided that it is time to let go. I am not going to get the articles I wanted to post up and on my blog for Yule this year - some of them will happen, but as Yule proceeds... others will have to wait until next year when we are settled into our Nashville home with less on our plates.

I am also having to let go of some of our plans - we may not get to make as many Yule crafts or Yule treats as we would like to do, we may have to scale it back to make room for more packing and purging. Our solstice ritual may have to be more of an observance due to sick family members; and this year, Yule just may have to be more for us about cleansing out the old to make room for the new to begin - just as the winter cold prepares the earth for the fertility of spring.  Hmmm? I'm too tired to decide exactly how that's going to work just now.

The thing is, any of you who know me also know that I'm a bit obsessive compulsive (an understatement I'm sure). I do not let go easily. I am also a serious perfectionist which makes "scaling back" even more difficult to do. This is going to be much harder on me than it may seem like it should be.  Still, I am trying to get behind this and start fresh. I will have to get some sleep and reevaluate in the a.m..  In fact, a little positive energy sent my way would be much appreciated. I can use all the support I can get; and any of you adept to healing, please send some healing energies out to my littlest ones?  I really do appreciate the thoughts - thanks.

Please tell me I'm not alone... is anyone else out there having a Solstice season like mine?


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shoulda - Woulda - but not today...

So, I am supposed to be posting an article today on the lighting of ritual candles for the 13 days of Yule. Yesterday, I was supposed to create tutorial videos to upload for tonight's post with Yule's Eve craft recipes.  Instead, about this time yesterday, my youngest decided that her job (at least for the next few days), is to remind me that I am first and foremost, a Mom. 

Yup, my prissy little princess is sick - very sick.  She purrs when she breathes, has a nasty bark of a cough, and a very high fever.  She has been clingy, lethargic or otherwise whiny.  I spent most of my day yesterday tending to her (and her messes - she has peed her pants at least 5 times since the fever came on); and I have spent the rest of my time attempting to console her jealous brother, manage the household necessities and tend to the needs of my school age monkeys. It was a very long day.

I did finally get her to sleep last night around midnight, but she woke up in a complete panic, unable to catch her breath, at about 2:30 this morning and I have been up with her since. In fact, I am writing this now with her pathetically limp little body pressed against my arm. So sad.

Anyway - I am exhausted! Hubby has finals this week - Anatomy & Physiology and Russian Sports Massage. He aced his Russian exam last night, but A & P is tonight (a cumulative exam over material covered in three consecutive terms) - so needless to say, he is extremely busy cramming for exams and unavailable to help much with a sick munchkin.  Thankfully, however, he is hoping to break soon to allow me at least an hour nap to rest and reboot a little before he has to leave for class.  Luckily, tonight is his last final so he'll be available all day tomorrow to help me get back on track.

I do have an outline of what I want to say prepared, so technically, I could post an article now.  I could, and for another topic maybe, I would;  but my method of writing is fairly organic - I like to write as it comes to me and post it right then and there. The problem with that, is that I don't like to write about spiritual matters when ill or just not in the right frame of mind.  Being empathic, I am immediately aware of and affected by the energies of other writers when I read their works - when I write from such a space, I can feel the negative energy pouring into the text as I type and I am not okay with knowingly passing on that negativity to others.  So - the candle lighting article and craft tutorials will have to wait (at least until after I've napped), potentially until tomorrow evening when I've had a chance to recover from all this madness.  My princess does come first after all, and I have a feeling tonight may be equally as "eventful" as it was last night.

Wish me luck? And thanks again for reading - I hope to see you back here tomorrow...



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Green Family Yuletide Traditions - Pt. 3: Yule's Eve

Today I want to talk about Yule’s Eve – after all, Yule’s Eve is when the real fun of the season begins. I have personally celebrated Yule, privately, for the past 7 years, and during that time, we have incorporated some Yule traditions in with our family Christmases – but as I have mentioned before, this year will be our family’s first official Yule, and we are all REALLY excited! Here’s the plan:

Kicking it all off – The Gifts :

In honor of Yule’s Eve, I think it is most appropriate that the first gift of the season be spiritual in nature and come from someone who is themselves Pagan. It is the gift that will set the tone for not only the evening to come, but also for the 12 days to follow. As I am the only true pagan in my children’s lives, this year, I will be doing the gifting.

At the request of my littlest elves, we will kick of our 13 days of Yule with a gift exchange set to Alvin and the Chipmunks holiday music (my littlest ones are 4 after all). We will each open one gift and make a handmade thank you note for the gifter (in this case, me), who will promptly place each of the thank you notes in a special scrapbook set-up just for the occasion.

Since Yule is a time for reflection, I have decided that this Yule’s Eve, each of my older children and my husband will receive a handmade mirror book to journal about their upcoming year with the Craeft. It will also be easily arted to suit their individual needs (a project we intend to take on during our 13 days of Yule or on Twelfth Night after our Naming Ceremony).

For my young ones who do not yet write, I have decided to gift a sketch book style mirror book instead of a traditional journal. The idea is, that after each ritual, celebration or observance, they can draw a picture of what they liked or disliked the most. When the drawing is finished, they may dictate to me their story and I will write it on the page that follows. Since journaling is such a big part of most witches’ lives, I thought – why not start early.

If the mirror books go over as well as I think they will, I am hoping to repeat the tradition year-after-year.

About the Thank You’s:

The concept of HANDMADE thank you cards is one of the main reasons we decided to go with the 13 day gift exchange, so I will undoubtedly discuss this one again with you later; but as this particular tradition is so important to our Solstice season, I have decided to discuss it here as well.

I am trying to instill in my little witchlings that Yule is not about the gifts we are receiving, but about our families and friends reaching out to one another. It is about taking time to acknowledge our love and appreciation for those we share our lives with, and this is why we MAKE our thank you cards as opposed to filling in pre-purchased ones.

Making a thank you card takes time and requires us to tap into our creative energy. It is a way to really acknowledge the gift we have in our relationship with the gifter, as we have to really tap in to our understanding of who the gifter is and how we relate to them in order to produce a truly sincere card. Writing a few words on a store bought card (especially for young children), just doesn’t have the same impact.

I am considering posting a short series of tutorials for making handmade Holiday Cards and Thank You notes over the next few weeks, complete with pictures and possibly video (assuming I can figure out how to post video - lol), if people are interested. So please comment if this is something you would like to have me to do and I will make it a priority.

In the Circle:
OK, so not only will this be our family’s first official Yule celebration, this year will also mark our first family Sabbat ritual, in the circle, at the altar, on Yule – and even better, it will be my children's first Full Moon! During the ritual, we will share our version of the traditional Yule Story and discuss as a family what to expect over the next 12 days. We will light the first of our 13 solstice candles to symbolize the growing light with the return of the sun; and we will light 3 oil lamps to set outside our door where they will burn through the night and welcome the God home.

I am not going to go into the details of our intended ritual here as I just don’t think it is appropriate to do so… However, if you would like to see a general outline of how we plan to proceed, please let me know – I would be more than happy to share. (I will be posting an article specifically detailing our Candle Lighting ritual in the next 48 hours).

Grounding Out with Cakes and Ales

We will close our circle after homemade Crescent Cakes (my special recipe) and a special holiday drink that I have not yet decided on. I am entertaining the idea of homemade Apple Cider, Rich Hot Chocolate – possibly with Espresso, or even Soft Mead (courtesy of If you have any suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them. We will be sampling recipes over the next few days, so look for our family favorites in my Holiday Recipes article later this week.

A Few Private Moments of Reflection:

Once the children and my husband have left the circle, I will take a few moments in private meditation before then turning the first card of my Sacred Days of Yule Tarot Spread (courtesy of a post by June Kaminsky on – onto the Wheel of the Year, located at my private altar. I considered a family reading, but decided that, at least this year – I would like this to be for myself. My own time, if you will, divining with the Universal Current.

This will be my first time using this particular spread, if you have used it or decide to try it this year as will be doing – please share your feedback. I am excited to hear your thoughts.

The Celebration

Finally, we will stay up all night long, listening to holiday music and making homemade ornaments, pine cone fairies, and popcorn-cranberry garland to decorate our tree, while excitedly awaiting the rising sun. Thursday I will post recipes for each of these projects, and if at all possible I will try to include pictures and video. <3

When the sun arrives, we will all take a few moments outside to bask in its life-giving rays, feel the vitamin D as it soaks into our skin and radiates throughout our bodies, and meditate on the year to come.

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I will be posting several articles relating to this series over the next few weeks, so please feel free to follow my blog if you don’t want to miss anything. Also, if you are interested in a brief overview of our 13 Days of Yule tradition – please be sure to check out my guest post on

Thank you so much for reading - and I hope you will come back tomorrow. As usual, I am just dying for your feedback and I look forward to hearing from you.

Namaste and Blessed Be,


OK, so I’m a bit behind on that family altar article – please forgive me, that is because I am a bit behind in life! I have not yet begun setting up our family altar. I think I mentioned before that we are moving - our home is in a state of utter chaos. It is coming along though and I hope to have it up for you soon. Thank you for your patience. I will be posting a blog about Yule’s Eve today – very shortly. 


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Green Family Yuletide Traditions - Pt. 2: Setting Up Shop & Hunting the Tree

In the weeks before Yule my family is busy preparing for the holidays. I’ve never been into the crowds and mass hysteria of Black Friday, so I skip it. Yes, I know the deals are great, but I am empathic and to me it is just not worth the stress – I don’t care how good the deals are. Instead, we kick off the season by making a day out of hunting down our Solstice Tree.

Before we moved to Las Vegas we went to a You-Cut Christmas Tree farm in the country just a few miles out of town. We would pick out our tree, ask it if it would like to come home with us, then cut it down and load it onto the car. We would spend a few hours in the lodge, drinking hot cocoa, marveling over the beautiful handmade ornaments and decorations in the Holiday shop and watching the kids play games and talk to Santa in his workshop.

Vegas has not been as family friendly in that respect, and we have learned the hard way that no tree brought into the home in November will last until Solstice, let alone New Years – so we have taken to putting off getting our tree until the weekend before Yule. We have also had to get ourselves OK with buying from a lot of precut trees on the side of the highway (can’t you just see the pouty face I have going on right now?). Yep, it has been a culture shock to say the least, but we are managing. Next year we will be in Nashville (where we hope to stay for a while) and we do intend to resume our tradition of tree hunting on black Friday. If all goes well, we are also hoping to find a good reindeer farm or holiday village to visit nearby.

Anyway – when we finally get home from our busy tree hunting adventure, we bust out the tree stand, set up the tree, and string the lights. If it’s not too late, we say a blessing as I put our 5-pointed star on the top and my husband hits the lights. This year we will also prepare and bless the tree with a protection charm meant to sustain its life until the end of our Yuletide celebrations. Look forward to a “how-to” article on tree protection charms sometime next week, as well as pictures of our Solstice Tree once we finally bring one home.

Other things we will be focusing on during the weeks before Yule are:

· Decorating the house on the inside – including the family altar and a memorial shrine.

· Stringing lights on the outside of the house and hanging edible decorations on the trees in our yard (an offering to local wildlife and to the fairies whom we wish to have bless our home).

· Making homemade holiday cards for our family and friends.

· Completing all holiday gift shopping – including preparing those for loved ones who we won’t be seeing this holiday season; and

· Writing letters to or visiting Santa.

Usually this time of year we would engage the use of an advent calendar to count down the days until Yule begins, but this year, we are getting ready to move and I have not been able to find the advent calendar I have packed away in the garage. Next year, I will be making one inspired by something I saw in a Pottery Barn catalog a few years ago. I like the idea of utilizing gifts of nature, like stones and pinecones, rather than candy and toys – although I’ll admit, I will always throw in a few pieces of gourmet dark chocolate as a special surprise, and at least one fairy wishing coin (these are a hit with my daughters). This year, everything is a little rushed and chaotic, so we are making the best of what we have available on our limited resources (time and money). Next year I will post photos and how-to information for the handcrafted Advent Calendar we will be using, a few months before Yule – that way if you want to make one yourself, you will have plenty of time to do so.

I hope you will check back in a few days for an article on setting up the family altar. As I mentioned before, this year will be our families first, so it should make for an exciting adventure – and if for nothing else, it should make for a good laugh (I’ll try to include pictures). In the meantime, you can find me on facebook or follow me on twitter.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Blessed Be - Luhnna

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Green Family Yuletide Traditions - Part 1

This year will be our first official family Yule celebration. In the years since I discovered the Craeft, we have integrated Yule stories and traditions into our family Christmas, while I have taken to specifically honoring the winter solstice on my own. This year however, we are making a complete family conversion. Instead of integrating Yule into our Christmas chaos, we will be integrating a few Christmas favorites into our 13 Days of Yuletide Celebration.

Yup – that’s right, 13 days. Well, 13 days this year, next year it will technically be 12 as Yule will fall on the 22nd. Realistically though, our Yule celebration (like most people’s Christmas celebrations), involves a fair amount of preparation and we start the day after Thanksgiving – so really it’s more like 36 days of Yule. But who’s counting, right?

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t count it out yet. It’s not nearly as overwhelming as it might sound and should you wish to join me, I’m here to walk you through it. Over the next few weeks I am going to be posting a series of articles explaining our Yuletide traditions, stories, recipes and crafts, including detailed information about our 13 Days of Yule. Look for the first of these articles TONIGHT! OK – maybe not tonight, maybe really early tomorrow morning.

Blessed Be - Luhnna

This Witch and Santa

Many years ago, when I was a child, Christmas was my favorite time of year. About 2-3 weeks before the big day – and always right before bedtime – sleigh bells would ring at our door and Santa himself would come to visit my younger siblings and I.

He was a great Santa with a gentle voice and sparkling eyes. He would sit in our big wooden rocking chair with his grandfatherly smile and we would take turns sitting on his lap (in our nightgowns and slippers of course), answering his questions and telling him what we wanted most for Christmas. Mom sat close by in her bare feet and adoring smile, while Dad chuckled to himself as he took home videos. 

Santa’s favorite elf would offer us big mouthwatering candy canes – better than anything Mom would ever get at the store; and every year Santa would remind us to leave carrots out for the reindeer – It was Santa’s secret to keeping Rudolf’s nose bright and shiny. We loved knowing that it was up to kids like us to help Rudolf guide Santa safely through the night on Christmas Eve. When it was time to leave - he would pat us on the heads as he walked slowly out the door ringing his jingle bells as he went. 

 * * * * *

We looked forward to that Santa visit every year – and to this day it is still one of my fondest memories of childhood. I am pagan now and no longer celebrate Christmas as I did growing up; but I am also a Mommy.

I know that many pagans shun the idea of Santa while raising their children, but I just can’t imagine a Solstice without him – it would be like a child losing their first tooth without the joys of throwing back that pillow in search of a gift from the toothfairy. And really, Santa is not all that anti-pagan.

Santa’s roots go back much further than St. Nick and the Catholic Church. Santa is a pagan God in a new outfit with a new name; and my kids LOVE hearing about the different mythologies. So the point is that this witch-Mommy has resolved to proudly share the stories of Santa with her pagan kiddos each year and never look back. If you love the idea of Santa as much as I do, I hope you will too.

If you are interested in learning about the origins of Santa, there are so many great articles out there that you should have no problem finding what you need with a quick search online. Need a place to start? You might check out Kala Ambrose’s article on the It has a great overview of Santa’s beginnings.

I will also be posting a series of Santa stories that I share with my kids, over the next few weeks – so be sure to check back frequently. In the meantime – Happy Solstice Season, and

Blessed Be

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Initiations and Dedications?

Grandmother moon renews herself again tomorrow morning, and with 2 of my 4 children literally begging to get started learning the ways of the craeft, I have had many questions on my mind. When is it appropriate to go beyond family ritual and folklore and introduce the more religious components of the craeft to a child? Where do we start? How can I be sure they are really ready to handle the responsibilities of being a witch? And perhaps the most daunting (for me anyway) - What about initiations and dedications?  Oy!

Let me first say, that the issue of initiation/dedication, has always been a tough one for me. When I first discovered the craeft, the fear instilled in me by my Christian upbringing was still a major barrier to letting go and really embracing the actual religion of witchcraft. At the time, I wasn't ready for anything even resembling religion, and both initiation and dedication felt very religious. In fact, they both seemed uncomfortably akin to baptism, and I knew I wasn't ready for that. So - I chose to practice witchcraft without the religious context - no circles, no altars, no tools, no deities, and no dogma. Initiations and dedications were unnecessary. I practiced natural magick and conscious thought. I embraced pagan folklore and traditions, recognized pagan calendars, and ritually observed the phases of the moon and the energies of nature. I wrote nothing down, and I worked 100% as a solitary. Up until this year I have not included my children in any aspect of my craeft whatsoever.

It has taken me nearly 7 years to let go of all the guilt and fear I had grown up with as a Christian - but today, I am in a dramatically different emotional space then I was when I first consciously stepped onto this path. I have embraced witchcraft as a religion, I am including my children in my practice, and I am working to record a family tradition that can be passed down through the generations even after I am gone. Suddenly initiation and dedication seem to be a natural and logical thing to include in my practice. The question is, how?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding initiation and dedication. In fact, even the terminology can be confusing between one source and another. It has taken me months of research and weeks of meditation and contemplation, but I finally feel good about where I stand. Here's what I have come up with: 

I see Initiation as an "introduction," if you will, between the practitioner and the deified energies of the Universal All. It is when the practitioner makes the conscious and vocalized decision to begin a conversation and direct working relationship with the divine through the practice of magick and ritualized craeft. In the case of a Coven Initiation, the practitioner vocalizes his or her intention to begin that conversation, not only through the practice of magick and ritualized craeft, but through the practice of magick and the ritualized craeft of a particular tradition, and with a specific group of like-minded people.

After some time of study and practice the initiated witch may choose to dedicate themselves to the craeft. Traditionally a dedication takes place after at least a year and a day following initiation, but in my opinion, it should be when the practitioner is ready and not before (even if that means 5, 10, or even 30 years down the line). A Dedication is when the practitioner consciously decides to enter into a life-long communion with the divine. He or she performs a ritual of their own design and vocalizes their devotion and their dedication to service in the interest of the divine, the Earth and the craeft.  Even for the coven witch, the dedication should be a private communication between witch and divine and in my opinion, should never include other coven members. 

My self-initiation rite is a very simple, outdoor ritual that was greatly influenced by the works of Scott Cunningham in his book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and Ann Moura in her book, Grimoire for the Green Witch. I'm not going to include details of my ritual design here, but if you would like suggestions, please don't hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to provide a general outline by request.

For my children, I have decided that the same concepts should apply. I prefer that they choose their own religious paths - not because they were raised with it, but because it is right for them. So I have decided that while I will include all of my children in the natural, practical aspects of the craeft, introduce them to Green living, and encourage participation in the esbats and sabbat rituals, I will exclude them from what I consider to be the more adult aspects of the craft, such as magick and spell crafting, until they are old enough to understand and take responsibility for their own actions.

I have decided, for my children, that somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, the option of initiation into the family coven, as a student of the craeft, may be offered. It is important to me that it is their decision, and that they enter the world of witchcraft "with perfect love and perfect trust." The initiation ceremony should be a guided ritual between elder and initiate, and should take place only after a period of careful planning and study. My children will understand what it means to be a witch and acknowledge the personal responsibility that goes along with the development of their personal powers, before being allowed to participate in magick.

For this reason, I have decided to add another rite of passage to our family tradition. I want my children to know and acknowledge their role in the family coven from a very early age. I want them to know that they are valued as individuals and important contributors even before they are allowed to participate in all levels of our family craeft. So I have introduced a Naming Ceremony into our family tradition.

The Naming Ceremony is an initiation into the family coven. It is the individuals pledge of respect and responsibility to the other members of the family coven and to the energies and tenants of the family circle. At this level there is no pledge of personal communication with or dedication to the divine or acknowledgment of a specific set of beliefs. It is strictly a pledge of love and trust for the family members and the family's traditions.

We have decided to hold naming ceremonies yearly at Twelfth Night, or as needed when a new member seeks to join the family coven.  All members of the family coven will participate each year. We have decided that the initial naming ceremony should take place no earlier than age 3 or when the child is fully potty trained (a sign of personal control and body awareness), although the children of the coven should be allowed to participate in family observances and celebrations even before a naming ceremony has taken place. Reconfirmation or renaming would then take place each year on Twelfth Night as an affirmation of continued love, trust and respect for the family coven.

I should note here, that naming is appropriate for both children and adults - my husband for instance is not a pagan, he will probably never go through initiation, and will never participate in rituals including the workings of magick; but he has chosen to participate in the naming ceremonies each year as a member of the family coven - witch himself or not. As he is the daddy, and Daddy is the co-head of the household, we both think it is very important that he be an involved participant at this fundamental level of our families culture.

So for us, we have Naming, Initiation, and then we have Dedication. Dedication to me is a very spiritually intense step in an individuals spiritual lifetime, so I intend to be very candid with my children on the significance behind the decision to dedicate or not to dedicate. Dedication is not to be taken lightly. Where initiation is the beginning of a conversation, in which the individual is dedicating themselves to responsible behavior while learning the ways of the witch with an open heart and open mind - dedication is a decision to devote oneself to the ways of the witch for the expanse of this lifetime. It is an adult decision and should not even be considered until the child is at least 15 or 16  years old, and then, only after several years of study and practice. As I mentioned before, I believe that dedication should be a private conversation between witch and the divine, so it will have to be 100%  the individuals decision to embark upon that path as they will go it alone. My job as a parent and an elder will be simply to instill within each of my children, the importance of the decision at hand and to encourage a responsible and honorable approach to making that decision.

This system makes sense to me, and it works for our family; but what about yours? How have you approached Initiation or Dedication? Do you include them in your tradition? How do you feel about children and the craeft? And when do you think is the right time to include them in actual practice? I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you so much for reading.

Namaste and Blessed Be

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mommy Green Witch and the Multi-faith, Mixed Family Home

The pressure is on. The holiday season is upon us and this year will be my family's first traditional pagan Yule. As a "Green" Witch, both in practice and development, I have my hands full making decisions about how to make "traditional" work for us. You see, we are a mixed, multi-faith, family, so we have come to accept that our version of traditional, will undoubtedly be very non-traditional to most.

Here's the thing:  I have 4 children - 2 boys and 2 girls. At the moment, my oldest son is 11 (12 in February), my oldest daughter is 9 (10 next month), and the little ones are both 4 (no, they are not twins - but they are just 2 days shy of 10 months apart), and my son will be 5 the day after Christmas. Neither of my children's dads are pagan.  

My older monkeys are from my previous marriage and their biological dad is a Christian. He has been, for the most part, out of the picture for more than 9 years - but he has been around just enough to have his religious/spiritual beliefs be of concern when deciding how to fairly raise our children. As far as he is concerned, my acceptance of witchcraft is one-way ticket to Hell, and he doesn't want his kids following me there. To be fair, however, I should say that my feelings about him raising my children in the ways of Christianity, are almost as severe. In the past we have managed this conflict by eliminating spiritual influence on the children, from either party, all together - a compromise that I have often regretted allowing myself to make. This year I offered them a choice and they both leapt at the opportunity to learn the ways of the craeft. I couldn't be more excited.

On Yule this year, I will have been married to the father of my younger monkeys for 5 years. We have been together for almost 7. He is not a Christian, but he is not a pagan either. He is at worst an atheist, at best agnostic. He is open minded and supportive of me and the craeft. He is encouraging and wants me to pass my spirituality on to our children - as long as I do it in an open and embracing way, introducing the children to other paths as well, and allowing them to choose their own sacred paths when they have reached an appropriate age to do so. When it comes to holiday traditions however, we tend to have very different ideas on how they should be approached. (Welcome to married life, right?)

Anyway, add to all this built-in emotional/spiritual chaos, the facts that both my husband and I were raised in very dramatically different Christian homes, my extended family (very large but close) is also entirely Christian, and that all of our combined family is opinionated and vocal about how their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and so on, should be raised - and you just might get an idea of what I am going through while trying to land on practical, lasting traditions that our entire family can share over the holidays. I'm in over my head, right?

The good news is, compromise is coming along, and our children are ecstatic about creating new traditions together. Yule is about family afterall, so I guess that's all that really matters anyway, right? I hope so.

So I was just wondering, for those of you passing by - what kind of traditions do you and your families celebrate this time of year?

Namaste and Blessed Be

Friday, December 3, 2010

To Be a Witch

A while ago, when I first discovered the path of witchcraft, my oldest son (then 5-6 years old) asked me if he was a witch like me. Then he asked if witchcraft is a religion like Christianity - one anyone can choose or deny regardless of what culture or religion they were born into - or if you have to be born a witch, having the ways of magick in your blood and in your family history (obviously not his exact words). My little Empath has always been very intuitive and understanding, far beyond the average for his years, so I knew that whatever answer I gave him would have to be a good one, as it would likely stick with him for most of his life.

Truth be told, I had never really thought about it before, so I smiled at him gently and said, "Well, first of all baby - you always have a choice. Born into it or not, you still have to choose whether or not you will use it."  Good - one point made, "But you know honey, Mommy is just learning about what it really means to be a witch, so I don't really know the answer to that one, right now. Can I do a little more studying and let you know when I figure it out?" He thought about it for a moment, frowned and said, "Okay, but can I help you find it, 'cause sometimes you take too long."

Needless to say, that really got me going. I didn't have internet access at the time, so I started reading. I must have read through more than 30 books over the next week, specifically looking for the answer to his question - and most books completely skipped over the meat of the subject (if they even brought it up at all).  I tend to stray away from any books that have a clear-cut, adamant stance on the details of the who, what, and how of witchcraft. In my opinion, if the teacher believes there is only one hard and fast, right way to do things - it isn't the way for me. Unfortunately, however, reading only from teachers with an open perspective, tends to leave a lot to be desired when searching for concrete answers. Sometimes learning about something you don't believe in helps you to determine what you believe in.

I am happy to say, that one book I stumbled across, did finally address the subject in a way I could actually learn from. It has left a lasting impression with me, and surprisingly enough, it was from one of those books that I still look at today as being a bit fluffy and over-dramatic for my taste. Still - the author addressed things in a way that was refreshingly different from the Wiccan authors I had been reading - she wasn't afraid to tackle the tough questions. Although I can't say I recommend her book in its entirety - Ly De Angeles', Witchcraft Theory and Practice, does offer some fantastic exercises as well as an interesting take on the philosophy of witchcraft. The section entitled "To Be Witch," has a really fantastic explanation of the "born a witch," concept, to which, I owe much of my of what I still believe on the matter today.

  1. A real witch is a Natural witch - you either have it or you don't. There are many who suffer from "wanna be" sydrome out there, but we all know who they are.
  2. A real witch doesn't flaunt it, his or her workings are private and sacred - there is a difference between the activist or the pagan living a shame-free pagan lifestyle, and the show-off.  In my experience, the show-off is almost always a fake.
  3. A real witch has a natural realization or innate understanding of the energies of the Universal Current (even if he or she can't yet put it into words). As Ly De Angeles wrote, they represent (rather than worship) the Goddess and God, without being fixed or boxed in by specific ideology. In other words, for the real witch, spiritual practice is a natural extension of all that they are - no dogmatic law is required.
  4. A real witch is BORN a witch. In other words - if you are indeed a natural witch, and chances are, you just know it, then somewhere down the line of your family history you will find another witch. It is in your blood. 
  5. A witches magickal abilities may lie dormant, buried in the subconscious, if the witch his/herself is not yet ready to yield them. Development of your power as a witch comes only from patience, practice and an earnest openness to the energies that drive them. It IS possible to be a witch and just not know it yet.
Now, lets just think about those last two for a moment - they are pivotal to this discussion. Even if that 4th statement seems a little elitist or presumptuous, please hear me out... I think most will agree, without getting into historical details and theory, that the vast majority of followers of the Old Religion were either converted to Christianity or forced into secrecy hundreds of years ago. Until just recently, it was simply unsafe to be a Witch in the world that we lived in.  So, it stands to reason then, that if witchcraft really is a hereditary gift, that it would not be unlikely, that in many lines the gift has gone unacknowledged, easily, for ten to fifteen generations (or more). It is also likely, that as somewhere down the line we do all share a common ancestor, we ALL have witchcraft somewhere in our family tree. So, the real question then, is not "Am I a witch?",  but "Am I ready to acknowledge that I am a witch?"

What do you think??? Anyone???

Namaste and Blessed Be


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Acknowledgment

I am in awe!  I began networking on twitter and facebook over the past few days as well as searching out pagan blogs to find like-minded individuals to learn and grow with. WOW. There are so many of you out there - Real people, really living the craeft. I can't wait to get to know you - and I am so thankful to have found you!

Namaste and Blessed Be