Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

30 Days of Advocacy Against Witch Hunts

I'm sure you have read the stories, innocent people being beaten, maimed and murdered, in Africa,  because they are thought to be witches. They are not witches. Like many before, they are helpless, outcast, victims of someone's perversion of religion. Please add you voice to protest these human rights abuses.

I have forwarded my letter as recommended at the above site. If you wish to add your signature, all you have to do is copy and past, then email the letter as directed. 

In addition, as suggested,  I will be lighting a candle each day, beginning today, March 29, through April 27 in memory of the many victims - children, women, men - who suffered horrible and violent deaths at the hands of maniacs killing in the name of their god. I cannot even imagine the terror of these people - the children tortured and killed, an elderly woman doused with kerosene and set on fire after being tortured. Can this really be happening in this day and age? Yes, it is happening and we all must do what we can to stop it. 

Even if you are not Pagan or a witch, I know you cannot condone these horrors. Please, let yourself be heard, add your voice. Click on the link above for more information about what you can do. 
Blessings nine!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tarot for the Week

OK, so I'm a tarot card junkie, what can I say? I can't seem to help myself when it comes to collecting decks. This is a new deck for me - yes, another -  Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. The art is rather primitive, I've seen many more beautiful decks, however, this is a deck of powerful images and energies for me, something I have been searching for. It fits well with my Dianic practice and has a more feminist approach to tarot.

 I generally pull a card for the week on Mondays . I pulled the Ace of Wands  - the image (above) is a woman's finger with a flame from the tip. Since there are a number of ideas stirring in my head, I take this as validation that I need to move forward with them. This Ace is a magickal wand of sorts, as Eileen says in her guide, a seed and root of my own power which I need to claim. On a personal level, it makes sense. This week I will be presenting a program at the local CUUPs group - part of this is taking up my place as part of the community - which I am resistant to do. Why?  Wands are generally about creativity, growth and inspiration. Perhaps what I do will inspire some of those who attend and in return, I will step a bit into the circle of that community.

This card is also about the potential for healing, progressing forward and things turning around for the better. I can see where this may lead so it looks like a good week ahead and moving forward with certain projects and needs.
In addition to this card, I noticed that instead of pulling just one card, I had pulled two - the Moon - interesting in that this card is about the Moon opening the door to the Otherworld and "the power of dreams that go further than imagination. She rules the ghosts of one's past and those things that have died or not yet been born" - a most interesting interpretation of this card which really resonates with me. The booklet advises that not all that is buried is treasure under the light of the Moon, I may unearth my pearl beyond price - oh... been there, done that before - I'll survive and it will be worth it. Since I am doing some oracle work, I will have to be careful to keep control as that work may try to take over and demand all of my time. In certain respects, this situation started last week and I've had to set boundaries already, so again, I can see what this card is trying to show me.

 I chose one more card just for the heck of it - the Beast of Wands - a black cat walking through what appears to be flames or flaming grass. Black cats are associated with witches and wands, fire - add to that all my Leo energy. This card comes to me re-enforcing that need and desire to move forward, taking what I want "using simple natural strength." I can make things harder than they have to be sometimes, I need to let that go and just do what needs to be done, naturally. I have what I need to do so.
Indeed, an interesting week filled with possibility, passion and creative energy. The warnings and validation are always helpful to me. I need to trust not only in my ability to interpret, but the information I am being given. Some folks always trust tarot and live by it - I am more skeptical - which is a good thing. When reading for myself I have to feel deeply the information I am being given, that it is not wishful thinking. Sometimes it takes a day or two for me to process. Reading for others tends to be easier and without any resistance - the information is there, I interpret and trust in my ability. I have discussed this with others who read for themselves and experience the same issues. 

I hope your week is as interesting as mine looks to be.

Eileen's website:    http://croneways.com/index.html
Here's where I purchased the deck and where you can see all the cards:  http://tarotconnection.net/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=17

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Goddess Days for Celebration

Some dates for honoring various Goddesses, rites, celebrations and moon phases.

Goddess Days and  Celebrations for March and April

March 15   
Roman Festival of Cybele, the Hilaria, a festival of fertility and birth.
Feast of Anna Perenna, very ancient Roman Crone Goddess of abundance, life cycles and renewal. She has a special fondness for lovers as well. 

March 16     
Goddesses of Fire - honor any Goddesses of hearth, fire and flame  such as Hestia, Vesta,  Brighid, Lucia, Perchta.

March 17   -   
Feast of Astarte - transformation, sexual magick & mysteries; wear red.
Feast of Roman Goddess, Libera, a women's festival of Bacchus dedicated to the Maenads. 

March 18
Sheela-Na-Gig - opening the way, the Crone & sexuality.

March 19
Full Moon
Day of Mari, Goddess of the Sea. Make offerings of sea salt, water & shells.
The Lesser Panathenaea, honoring Athena or Minerva.

March 20 
Spring Equinox, The Khloeia, The Return of Persephone.
Also dedicated to the Norns, the Fates and  the Morrigan

March 21   
Dedicated to Sun Goddesses and Their role in Spring's rebirthing energies.

March 23
Birthday of Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom.                                                                                                              
4th Day of Lesser Panathenaea

March 24
Festival of Ishtar, Lunar Goddess of Cycles

March 26 
Day of Seeds, plant seeds of any kind - flower, vegetable, creativity.
Mata Syra Smelja, Slavic Moist Earth Mother.

March 28
Birthday of Kuan Yin (Taiwanese) a day to celebrate peace & compassion.

March 29
Day of Artemis Soteira, the Delphinia, make offerings of honey & barley, spend the day in a forest or outdoors.

March 30
Day of Primavera, Roman Goddess of Spring.

March 31
Feast of the Moon Goddess, end of the Roman Hilaria

April 1
Veneralia, Feast of Venus.

April 3
Dark of the Moon 

April 4
Greek Festival of the Great Mother, Megalesia of Cybele,

April 5
Feast of Kwan Yin (China) a day of peace & compassion

April 7 
Blajini, Rumanian Feast of Kindly Spirits. Make offerings and ask for Their protection for your home and family.

April 8
Day of Mooncakes, honoring Moon Goddesses.

April 9
Hocktide (England) In 1002 CE, Saxon women defeated invading Danes after their men failed to turn them away. Hail  the Amazons!

April 10
Day of Bau, Babylonian Mother of the Earth. Make offerings at dawn & midnight.

April 11
Day of Anahit, Armenian Moon & Love Goddess. Cast your love spells.

April 12
Day of Ceres, Roman Goddess of Grain, Seeds - bless your seeds and plants. Cerealia, time of seeds.

April 15
Fordicalia, Roman Festival for Tellus Mater, the Earth Mother

April 17
Full Moon

April 22
Plenteria, Roman, the clothes washing of Athena, If you have a statue of Athena, wash or dust and rededicate.

April 23
Day of Venus of the Vine - Make offerings and partake of wine.

April 26
Ceremony of Yemaya, Goddess of the Sea, ask Her blessings for psychic abilities and prophetic dreams.

April 28
Floralia, Roman Feast of Flora, Goddess of Sexuality & Spring flowers.

April 29
Birthday of Artemis

April 30
Night of the Witches, Walpurgis Nacht, Beltane Eve,  a night dedicated to Baubo, Greece.

(compiled from various sources including Diane Stein's The Goddess Book of Days and The Reformed Congregation of the Goddess calendar calendar created by DeAnna Alba)

As the pantheon I am dedicated to is Greco-Roman, it is a busy time for my priestess duties!

Blessings nine!

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Jane Eyre Film!

The new Jane Eyre film opens today! I can't wait to see it. I've been watching clips and reading reviews, opinions, etc. - it looks wonderful to me. Of course my favorite Rochester is Ciaran Hinds. He replaced Timothy Dalton, from the  1980s Masterpiece Theatre version, in my affections - OK, well, not replaced, Dalton was a fabulous Rochester, but Hinds, well, there is just something more Rochester about him! Of course I liked the Masterpiece 2006 version too - Toby Stephens was very good, although he seemed too young and handsome to be Rochester and Ruth Wilson was an excellent Jane - a very favorite Jane. Still, Ciaran Hinds is my all time favorite Rochester - a perfect Rochester if ever there is one. As you can see, I'm much more concerned with Rochester than Jane, LOL!

Enjoy the clip - don't forget to turn off my play list at the bottom of the blog!

Also watch  more clips here:  http://www.focusfeatures.com/jane_eyre/videos/

Blessing! nine!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March - Women's History Month

Take this link over to the Folkways Notebook blog for an interesting post about the Women's Land Army during the Great War (WW 1) and a YouTube video about women's history month.


Blessings nine!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monumental Women

(Be sure to scroll down and turn off my playlist so you can listen to this)

A film by Max Dashu, creator of the Suppressed History Archives (http://www.suppressedhistories.net/) . She mentions, briefly, some statues found in Southern Appalachia, which caught my attention since I am interested in the folklore and history of Appalachia. I'd like to learn more about them. Enjoy!

Blessings nine!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Women Born Women vs Transgender Women?

Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys

Put on your raincoats, the shit will now hit the fan!

Pagans, although they preach otherwise, are just like everyone else. They have their prejudices the same as any other religious group. They speak of other groups with disrespect and a holier than thou attitude - not everyone, but enough to make a big deal out of small potatoes.

The latest issue - and believe me, it is nothing new despite what some Pagans may think, is the bashing of Dianic Feminist Witches who exclude transgender people from their women's groups. Not all Dianics have the stipulation of women-born women only in their groups, but quite a few do. Most, if not all, co-ed Pagan groups welcome transgender people with open arms so it isn't an issue of there are no groups for transgender people. And, let me state for the record, I do not know any Dianic Feminist witches who hate transgender people.

Transgender folks have suffered a great deal, personally and as a group. The pain and anguish that they experience is something I cannot imagine. However, as a woman, I have experienced my own pain at the hands of men, specifically date rape by an individual I had complete trust in, disrespect, harassment, discrimination, in addition to the usual growing pains of being female. A transgender woman who grew up male has not experienced those feelings - other feelings just as painful, but NOT the experience of being and growing up female in a patriarchal society. Many women, not all of course, who choose women born women's groups have suffered rape, incest and other abuse. They find solace and a safe place within a Dianic group. Sometimes, women just want to share their female experiences and the mysteries of the Goddesses they are dedicated to without men around, very simple, just like any other women's gathering where they want to be with "just the girls.". 

The fact that I support women-born women spiritual groups places me with those women who are now being called, among many horrid and disrespectful names, bigot. These are the same individuals who consider themselves to be openminded, compassionate and tolerant of all - and these people are not just males, but females too and the majority not even transgender. To me, this shows that they have the same mentality as many other religious organizations - my way is the only way, if you don't follow my beliefs than you are ________ fill in the blank. The vicious comments and name calling is shameful, but it is the Dianic women who are being treated horribly, not the transgender people - I guess that's OK though. Hey folks - read your comments. REALLY? That's how you feel because some women want to practice as they see fit? Who made you the law? Do we now have witch police? 

In the groups I practice with, if we choose to have women-born women only, that's our business. You don't like it? Find another group - there are plenty. Many people turned to Paganism because they didn't want some so called authority to tell them how to practice their spiritual path. So Dianic bashers and name callers, what are you doing? What are you thinking? And what, with the comments you are spewing, makes you think you are any more tolerant?

If you don't like the way I practice my spiritual path or the many women who choose a similar path, keep this in mind - you don't have to, it's not your business, we don't need your permission for anything, so  tend to your own garden. We are not telling you how to practice. This doesn't just apply to women's groups, but all Pagan groups. If you are one  of the many haters of Dianics out there, making fun of us, name calling and attacking those women who choose women born women only groups, go stand in front of a mirror and look at your OWN ugliness and bigotry. If you don't want someone telling you how to conduct your own spiritual practice, then perhaps you should stop doing just that to others. We don't have to all agree, but we do have to respect the right of each person to practice the craft as one chooses.

I saw some, although very little, support out their for us, from some who surprised me and I was delighted. I also have received some, let's call it what it is, hate mail - I guess that too is OK for these openminded bashers. A few months back, one of the women who read my blog applied to join my Yahoo group. One of the questions we ask on our application is "Are you a woman-born woman?" The woman applying has a best friend who is a transgender woman and resented the question. She called me a bigot and implied I was a hateful person. She and her friend would no longer read my blog. I responded politely that I was not a bigot, just making a safe place for women and she was free to read or not read whatever she chose. And, if some reading this decide they will no longer read what I write because of my support for women born women groups, well, that's your choice. I am not sorry for my beliefs or practices and really, I don't owe anyone an explanation, but I chose to write about it here, freely. There are male mysteries groups, no one is attacking them. There are many groups with specific membership guidelines and do not allow everyone who applies to join, no one is attacking them. But Dianics have dealt with this for a long time, if not the woman born woman issue, then just the fact that we practice a goddess only path. Do we care? No, we do what women have always done… we keep at it, we fight for our rights; out loud or under ground, we just keep doing what we do.

The bashers/haters need to look at themselves, as I said above. Dianics are not going anywhere, nor are others going to change the way we practice our spirituality. If you don't like what we do, you are free to go your own way and we are the first ones to say, yeah, do it!

Blessings nine!