Sunday, December 19, 2010

Full Moon, Eclipse, Solstice... Oh My

Tuesday, December 21st is to be an eventful twenty-four hours, astrologically speaking. It all begins shortly after midnight EST with the commencement of a full lunar eclipse. Unlike the last few, this lunar eclipse will, cloud-cover permitting, be entirely visible from all of North America and Central America. The eclipse will peak with the moment of the Full Cold Moon in Gemini at 3:14am so rest up and make sure you have plenty of hot cocoa on hand. The moon will enter Cancer soon after at 4:22am. Meanwhile, the sun will enter Capricorn at 6:38pm and the winter solstice will also take place at the same moment. The last time a lunar eclipse took place on the same day as the winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) was in 1638, the same year Louis XIV of France was born.

With so much going on, what to celebrate? The full moon in Gemini is all about communication and Cancer right on its heels encourages us to enjoy the closeness of the ones we love and appreciate the security of the home. So does the winter solstice! With all that love going around what's not to celebrate? And if you're wondering about Capricorn, it may seem like an uptight sign, but there's nothing Capricorn loves more than curling up by a warm fire on a cold evening with a steaming hot cup of something yummy.

So gather your friends, build a fire, enjoy the eclipse. This is a time for giving and sharing and for loving. If you're in the mood for magic, consider spells to encourage understanding, harmony and communication within your household and among your family and friends. There won't be a better time for another few hundred years.

Yule blessings everyone. I hope the season is full of love and joy for all.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So Many Babies

All of a sudden it seems like everyone is having babies and I'm called upon to attand more showers than I've ever experienced. I've even got a new neice on the way, which is particularly exciting since my kids, now teenagers, were the only grandkids up till now. I may be more excited about being an auntie than I was about being a mother. But its also sort of awkward because it's been about 10 years since I've interacted with a baby in any way besides performing the occasional naming ritual. I imagine it's much like riding a bike. Anyway, in the spirit of celebration of my impending auntie-ness I would like to share some of my infant blessing ritual and my child naming ceremony, both of which I have written for friends in my Circle whose babies are not babies anymore!

As far as baby gifts go On the Day You Were Born: Book and Musical CD is my favorite. But if you're looking for something more practical. Judging from the number of dog carrying purses my sister has in her wardrobe, I a fashionable diaper bag like this JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote Bag, Cocoa Tree and because the one thing I remember the most about being pregnant is the itchy belly, I'll toss in Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm. I'll probably be writing more about babies as my impending auntie status progresses.

If you are expecting a new baby, you may want to check out the Pagan Name Database.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Moon in Sagittarius

The moon will be in Sagittarius from Saturday, December 4th at 12:59pm EST to Monday, December 6th at 4:46pm. The new moon begins the first lunar day on Sunday, December 5th at 12:36pm EST.

This weekend I invite you to try my Get Noticed at Work Spell. It's the perfect time for it. If you are a student, this is also a great time to get to work sending out those college applications or just work on your final papers.

When the new moon is in Sagittarius, the sun is also in Sagittarius and that means Sagittarians all around are celebrating birthdays. If you're helping a Sagittarian celebrate his or her birthday, consider treating them to a night... or a whole weekend... at the casino. If you can't swing that, take them to a comedy club. Also consider slipping a scratch off lottery ticket or two into your Sagittarian's birthday card. If you want to give your Sagittarian something to unwrap, consider a desk globe or a book or video about travel. A Primate's Memoir is a fun book your Sagittarian might appreciate about a primatologist who goes to Africa to study baboons, loses his funding and spends most of the rest of his trip wandering Africa and studying the people instead.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2010 Zodiac Gift Guide

Getting ready to do some Cyber Monday Yule shopping, but you're stumped on what to get family and friends? Here's a guide to help you pick the perfect gift based on their astrological sign.

Aries
Aries love presents. They're like little kids. You don't even have to wrap them, though it's fun to do so. You certainly don't have to worry about it being neat or pretty.

Aries love to go out and do stuff, so consider something experiential, like ski lessons, a snow mobiling trip or tickets to a sporting event would be ideal. Sports gear will also go over well, and since aries rules the head, a ball cap is a natural. Consider also a nice pair of shades or ski goggles. An MP3 player will help your Aries friend listen to music on the run. Aries are often entrepreneurs, so consider a nice, personalized business card case or a nameplate for their desk.

Try the Ipod Nano and if your Aries already has one and happens to be a runner, I highly recommend the Ipod Sport Kit.

You may choose to celebrate Aries's Aries-ness this holiday season. If so, you can find lots Aries Gifts on Amazon.com

Taurus
If your Taurus is a collector, then Yule is a no-brainer. If not, you've got some work to do. Taureans enjoy gifts that are practical, long-lasting and please the senses. The more effort you put into it, the more your dear Tuarus will like it. So consider a soft handmade sweater or scarf, of a warm, comfy handmade quilt or afghan, even a basket of homemade cookies will work. If you're not into making it yourself, select something that is delightful to both the eye and the touch, elegant as well as practical. Try this cute hat and scarf set or this great cashmere scarf. He or she may also appreciate a cuddly woven throw or a set of luxiurous egyptian cotton sheets and Taurus will also appreciate snuggling in all that comfort with a handmade pottery mug. As well as comfort, Taureans also like money so a wallet, a piggy bank, like this super cute Lucky Cat Bank or a money clip will also be appreciated.

Amazon.com also has lots of Taurus themed merchandise.

What ever you get, it should be elegantly gift wrapped. If the packaging is reusable, even better!

Gemini
Chances are your Gemini has already told you exactly what he or she wants for Yule. If he or she hasn't, it probably means you aren't taking the hints, or just don't know them that well. Geminis aren't big on surprises and hate having decisions made for them. If you are clueless dispite your Gemini's best efforts, consider getting something that will fulfill your Gemini's need for constant communication. I'm sure your Gemini already has a cellphone, so consider accessories for it. Your Gemini won't mind if you get him or her an extra car chager, or cellphone protector if he or she already has one, it'll get lost eventually and the spare will be appreciated. Your Gemini will certainly put a blue tooth to good use also.

Your Gemini is likely obsessed with knowledge, so any nonfiction book or magazine subscription on the subject of their current passion will be appreciated. Your Gemini will also flip for a Kindle so he or she can keep all the dozens of books they are in the middle of reading near at hand without breaking their back. If your Gemini already has a Kindle, a Kindle gift card is a good way to go but that's the limit when it comes to gift cards. Store cards are a bad idea. Geminis like options and limiting them to a single store will only annoy them. If you want to give a Gemini money, just give them cash. An Ipad or a laptop are both also wonderful choices if you can swing it.

Cancer

Your Cancer will enjoy something for the house and something for his or her tummy. Cancers tend to be homebodies who enjoy snacks and comfy chairs. Consider this awesome inflatable bean bag chair in your Cancer's favorite color and you absolutely cannot go wrong with a digital camera or a video camera to help them capture the moment. If your Cancer already has a digital camera, consider a digital photo frame.

Some Cancers wills also enjoy scrapbooking supplies and photo albums.

Younger Cancers enjoy gaming with friends and family, so consider multiplayer video games like Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution and various online games.

Leo
Leos are drama queens and love being the center of attention, so consider having their gift delivered to the office so everyone can see it. Your gift should be festively and dramatically wrapped. Flower arrangements should be huge. Leos love art, so consider an elegant sculpture or a framed, limited edition print. A coffee table book of fine art such as Dali: The Salvador Dali Museum Collection may also be appreciated, if you get the style right. Leo ladies love fine jewelry, big designer bags and animal prints. A spa gift basket is also an excellent choice for a Leo, since they love pampering!

Check out Amazon's full line of Leo jewelry for both men and women. There is no sign that will appreciate such a gift more.

Leos also enjoy playing games. Your Leo might enjoy Partini, Electronic Guesstures, Saucy Charades
, or Head to Head Poker Game

Virgo

Virgos like useful items that will make their lives easier. These should be simply and tastefully wrapped in a reusable package. Your Virgo will likely enjoy a Blackberry or a Franklin Planner. If he or she already has a planner, they will appreciate refills for it. If your Virgo is witchy, he or she is sure to enjoy Llewellyn's 2011 Witches' Datebook


If he or she already has a Blackberry or a similar device that serves the same purpose, a charging station might be in order.

Your Virgo will probably appreciate a good quality timepiece, either an atomic watch or a really nifty atomic alarm clock.

Many Virgos are health buffs. If yours enjoys working out, consider the Bowflex Fit Trainer Plus Heart Rate Monitor and Pedometer Watch (Regular) or the Impact Sports ePulse Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch and Calorimeter.

Whatever you get, make sure the owner's manual is intact so your Virgo can read it through.

Libra

Libra enjoys nothing more than spending time with friends, so consider a pair of tickets to the theatre or a local concert or a group or couples spa day.

Anything that helps Libra entertain guests are also appreciated, such as this Side Bar Cocktail Shaker Set - Stainless Steel 6 Piece or this beautiful Glass Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper - 67 oz..

Libras are a little bit voyeuristic and yours might enjoy the recently available autobiographies of George W. Bush or Keith Richards - it's up to you to figure out which one your Libra would like best. The book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption may also appeal to your Libra friend.

And your little Libra girl will love this Heirloom Quality Children's (Childs) Tea Party Set - Fine China Service for Two

Scorpio
Scorpios love mystery and excitement, especially if there's hidden naughtiness going on. If you know your Scorpio intimately, dare to give him or her a sexy gift like lingere, or Kama Sutra Honeydust. If you don't want to be too obvious, try the Plantlife Aromatherapy Massage Oil- 3 Pack.

If your Scorpio is a reader, he or she will likely enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) since they're pretty heavy in both the mystery and the romance departments or 28 Days to Ecstasy for Couples: Tantra Step by Step, one of my personal favorites. Not a reader? Perhaps Lost: The Complete Collection will do the trick or James Bond Ultimate Edition - Vol. 1 (The Man with the Golden Gun / Goldfinger / The World Is Not Enough / Diamonds Are Forever / The Living Daylights).

For fun try the Samurai Sword Ninja Folding Umbrella Auto Release, or a spy pen.

Many Scorpios are skilled in, or at least interested in, divination so consider a new set of Tarot cards as well.


Sagittarius

Your Sagittarian's gift should be well wrapped in elegant, chic giftwrap. Nothing gaudy or messy. It should also be accompanied by a card with a nice verse that expresses how wonderful you think your Saggitarian is. If you wrote it yourself you get super bonus points. Sagittarians love travel adventure, so a fashionable luggage set like the Eddie Bauer® Bridgeport 6-pc. Ficus Luggage Set or unique travel accessories like the Rick Steves Silk Money Belt or Lewis N. Clark Travel Comfort Set will hit the spot. Camping and hiking gear may also be in order, depending on the type of adventuring your Saggitarius is into. The Liberty Mountain Deluxe Mess Kit is a good choice or the Victorinox Swiss Army Explorer with Collectible Gift Box.

Many Saggitarians enjoy meditation and Yoga. Consider the Gaiam Embroidered Yoga Mat Bag or DreamTime Perfect Balance Zafu Cushion, Gold Brocade Dragons

They also love vintage accessories and bags, first edition or collectable edition books. For that you'll have to go to your local resale shop or used book store.

Capricorn
Capricorns are ambitious and organized. If your Capricorn has a creative hobby he or she engages in, you should get stuff to engage that hobby. Paint brushes, sculpting tools, whatever it is. But your Capricorn also loves practical items that will help with his or her climb to the top of the corporate ladder, like this Monogrammed Leather Desk Pad , a Monogrammed Leather Briefcase or this Deluxe Note Jotter Organizer.

Capricorns are prone to cold so anything to keep them warm and toasty is a good choice. Try a Women's Spa Comfort Robe or a Men's Flannel Pajama Set or some luxurious silk long underwear.

Finally, with a Capricorn, you can't go wrong with a watch. If they already have one, just get one that looks different so they have one to match different outfits.

Aquarians
Aquarians are all about social justice, so anything you get them should be fair trade, recycled and/or organic or a portion of your purchase should be donated to charity. Aquarians love quirky, unique items, like this Recycled Candy Wrapper Clutch Purse with Wrist Strap or this amazing Hand-Crafted Buddha Hand Zen Jewelry Holder.

Aquarians love travel, so quirky travel accessories are worth thinking about. Like the Earth Divas Hemp Fabric Passport Bag, Leather Bound Travel Journal, or a Recycled Rubber Tire Toiletry Bag.

Finally, Aquarians like gadgets and video games. Since Aquarians also like to travel, a GPS like the Garmin nĂ¼vi GPS Navigator is a good choice. Roleplaying and adventure games that let them play out their fantasies are fun for many Aquarians.

Pisces
Pisces energy resonates with the ocean and Blue Planet: Seas of Life (Special Edition)is amazing.
Pisces are sensitive, sentimental people. If you've got a new Pisces love, a framed picture of the two of you might do it or consider this Engraved Key Ring with Photo Frame or a Sterling Silver Polished Heart Locket Pendant, 18. If Pisces have warm hearts, they also have cold feet. Consider Nature Creation Warm-Up Slippers. When they relax, Pisces like to escape completely. So consider a fantasy novel, maybe something by Christopher Moore, a fantasy video game or a David Lynch movie... and be prepared to be ignored for awhile.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Discrimination in Vancouver? Maybe...

In another edition of WTF my fellow Pagans, a British Columbia man is accusing the Vancouver Police Board of discriminating against him based on his religion and sexual orientation in denying him a chauffeur's license back in 2006. The courts have finally gotten around to dealing with this situation. It seems Canada is just as slow as the US when it comes to finally shorting stuff out.

According to an article on British Columbia's CTV News website, this man showed up to the licensing interview wearing all black and informed his interviewer that he wears all black because he is a Pagan (as a tree-hugging Pagan who wears mostly green and brown I am already put off by this guy). He also revealed to his interviewer that his sexual orientation is BDSM. I am not sure that BDSM is a sexual orientation and perhaps (as discussed in the article) that is a matter that the B.C. Supreme Court will eventually have to decide, though they won't right now. At any rate, why would someone walk into an interview, dressed all in black and announce that they were BDSM if they weren't trying to cause a ruckus? But I digress.

The interviewer who denied him his license says it was because of his past record in which no charges were filed but several complaints of minor violence and inappropriate sexual behavior had been made. However, during the interview, according to the would-be chauffeur, the interviewer was insulting and rude and told him that he would not give him a license to recruit people into his "sex cult" which doesn't look very good on him.

While both men didn't behave in the most intelligent manner, ultimately the tribunal decided that there was no discrimination in this case and while I'm not sure if that's true, I think it was probably a good idea to deny this guy a chauffeur's license anyway. What think you, dear reader?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winter Warm Ups

With the snow flying already, it's time to break out the hot beverages. I've been enjoying the taste of mulled cider since before Samhain but it becomes even more enjoyable as the weather grows colder. I've decided this year to share the joy by adding mulling spices to my gifts. To do this, first take a look at my mulled apple cider recipe at Kitchen Witch Corner. Find or make a cloth bag, preferably cotton (about the size of a of a tarot bag, maybe a little smaller) in a festive print. Fill the bag with the dry ingredients (dry the orange slices in a food dehydrator or purchase dried orange slices) and tie the bag closed with a pretty ribbon! Add a tag to the ribbon with preparation instructions. If your recipiant isn't a huge fan of hot apple cider, this gift can also be used as a fragrant sachet or potpourri!

What's your favorite winter warm up?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Spot of Bother

Recently I read a great book called A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. It's not the usual sort of book for me. It's sort of a family drama with a bit of romance and some British humor. Nothing supernatural, nothing historic, nothing mysterious, fantastic or even exciting and it's certainly not educational. I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by the same author several years ago mainly because it is in the point of view of an autistic child, and I am interested in autistic children since we have autism in the family and several family members work with the autistic population. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was a mystery, of sorts, and I rather enjoyed it so I thought I'd give the author another go.

One thing that amazes me about this author is his ability to write from the point of view of another person. His characters are full of depth, passion and realism. This man is not autistic (to my knowledge) but he managed to write an autistic boy into being with amazing realism in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Likewise, he was able to create a young gay man, a passionate young woman, a bored elderly housewife and an old man wandering into dementia in A Spot of Bother with amazing clarity and realism. I could not have done it, perhaps that's why I stick to nonfiction.

My husband says it's a girly book, and perhaps it is. I was actually surprise the author wasn't a woman.

A Spot of Bother is the story of a wedding. The daughter (the aforementioned passionate young woman) announces she is going to marry a man nobody in the family really likes (though none of them have a good reason for it). Meanwhile, her father is having a nervous breakdown, her mother is trying to feel like a woman again and her brother is so busy worrying about what everyone else thinks he doesn't notice his own relationship is falling apart. Meanwhile, the bride-to-be and her intended are both having their own second thoughts as the couple loses all control over the wedding plans. Throw in her very small son from a previous marriage just to complicate things further and, well, hilarity ensues. It's definitely a love story three times over. All three couples have challenges to face, every individual makes a fool of him or herself in the process and the reader is entertained throughout.

This is light reading, but not the sort that leaves you feeling like your brain needs a good scrubbing. I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to reading more from this author. He hasn't disappointed me yet (though my husband doesn't agree)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Druid Organization Recognized in Britain

This week, the English Charity Commission officially recognized a Druid organization as a religious charity allowing The Druid Network to enjoy tax exempt status (as Druid and many other Pagan organizations do here in the US already.)
The full text of the commission's decision may be read here.

The Druid Network first began working toward its goal of official recognition of their organization as a religious charity in England nearly five years ago. Their success helps validate the charitable work of Pagan organizations and Enland and opens the door to other organizations to enjoy similar success. I am sure all Druids and Pagans here in the US will join me in offering our brethren across the sea a hearty congratulations!


Read more in this Associated Press Article





Thursday, June 24, 2010

Partial Lunar Eclipse This Saturday

This Saturday, June 26th the Capricorn moon will undergo a partial eclipse beginning at 4:55am EST and ending 10:22am EST. This eclipse will be visible in the Pacific and parts of Australia, but those of us in the United States would be lucky to catch a glimpse as the moon goes down (get more details at http://www.astrologycom.com/partialeclipseJun26.pdf) . However, you can still make use of the energy of the lunar eclipse.

Throughout history, lunar eclipses have foretold change. This is an excellent time to perform a spell for change, or to do some divination. This eclipse combines the energy of the full moon in Capricorn and the sun in Cancer with the Earth's constant energy suggests that this is a good time to focus your magical energy on bringing about positive change related to the family, especially male family members or matters relating to the family business or any business proposition that will benefit the family unit. I will personally be working to help my husband find a better job, with better hours that will allow him to spend more time with the family (and more time jamming with our son!).

Just how does a lunar eclipse affect your magical workings? First, understand that lunar eclipses always take place during a full moon, so you are working with strong full moon energy. The lunar eclipse mimics a lunar cycle, what usually takes nearly a few months in just a few hours. This increases the power of your work by magnifying the energy of the full moon by the energy of the rest of a lunar cycle and can speed up the manifestations of your desires.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Witchcraft on Bones

When I was an Anthropology major in college I wanted to be a Forensic Anthropologist, just like Bones! This show has been recommended to me for years, but I haven't got a TV. Recently I started checking out various TV shows on Hulu and I have discovered such wonders as Lost, Dead Like Me, and... when I found out May 6th's episode of Bones was all about Witchcraft I thought I'd check that out too.

Did I like it? Well... it was entertaining. It was friggin' weird and predictably made witches seem, well, wacky. There's some wacky witches out there, some of them are my dear friends and one of them is myself, but we don't mess with dead cats or have dead bodies in our closets and I've yet to meet one who claimed to make someone's hair fall out (cool trick though). I was actually more insulted as an Anthropologist than a witch. I was appalled by the idea of an Anthropologist "observing" a Wiccan ritual without them knowing they were being observed. Very unethical... Of course it all wrapped up with a pat outcome as series's do which is one of the many reasons I gave up TV all those years ago in the first place.

Anyway. You can check it out yourself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Voudou Practitioners Claim Christians are Monopolizing Haiti Aid

According to the UK Telegraph, Max Beauvoir, a Voodoo leader in Haiti claims that the evangelical Christians in Haiti have taken over the aid effort and are excluding Voodoo peoples.


But there ARE Voudou organizations on the ground. If you want to make sure that your donation goes to the Voodoo people in Haiti, consider sending it to Voudou Aid, the charity arm of the Roots Without End Society . They are on the ground, in Haiti and dealing directly with the Haitian people and do not discriminate based on religious belief.

Get updates on how they are dealing with the Earthquake here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pagans in the News and Media

A New Jersey evangelical Fed Ex driver left a Chick Tract with the wrong witch in New Jersey according to an article in the Mount Olive Chronicle. Trish Reynolds, a Pagan author (of such books as The Demons of Drey (Seeker's Quest) and A Question of Balance ) looked out her window one day to see a Fed Ex Driver do a double take at her "Goddess Bless America" and pentagram bumper sticker, return to his truck and come back to put a Chick Tract on her window. If you've ever read one of those rags you know how offensive they are. The list of ridiculous claims made by these is huge (and Wikipedia has such a huge discussion on this subject) She could have just thrown it out, but she's not that kind of witch. She complained and insisted on action. My kind of woman.
More info about Trish Reynolds and her projects can be found at her website http://www.zyalia.com/

I am a firm believer that garb has its place, and jeans have theirs. I admit it I'm a closet fashion junky (you'd never know it meeting me, I know) If you're a fan of reality TV you might be interested in checking out What Not to Wear on TLC this Friday as it features a Salem witch whose witchy wardrobe is put on "trial" (Salem witch trial style) by other members of the Pagan and psychic community, including Christian Day one of the voices of the Hex Education podcast the driving force behind Salem's annual Festival of the Dead before she is whisked off to New York for the usual makeover business. You can find all the dirt at the Glouster Times website.

According to HeraldNet, A missing woman in Washington is believed to have been murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend, who happens to be Wiccan, apparently. I don't want to comment on this much more because it is unpleasant, but I will say this- If you read the article, you will find that neighbors upon questioning admitted to hearing a "loud and violent confrontation between a man and a woman" in her apartment FOUR DAYS before she was reported missing by her employers because she show up for work!! WTF people? Why do people not call the cops when this shit goes down? WTF I say.

I often complain about the sad state our society is in that people don't know their neighbors, don't check up on their neighbors, don't show any concern for their neighbors. It's amazing to me that up north where there are acres, and sometimes miles between houses people know more about their neighbors than in places where we're practically on top of each other in apartments and McMansions and trailers. Remember this poor woman the next time you ignore the screams from the apartment upstairs.