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There's a new Scott Cunningham book coming out in October:

Llewellyn is pleased to present a new Scott Cunningham book—a long-lost Book of Shadows. Recently discovered in a battered manila envelope, this previously unpublished manuscript was penned by Scott in the late 1970s or early 1980s. This rare book includes original spells, rituals, and invocations and an herbal grimoire. Featured in the design are Scott's actual hand-written notes and hand-drawn signs, symbols, and runes.

More than ten years after his passing, Scott Cunningham is still an iconic and highly regarded figure in the magical community. His books on Wicca are considered classics, and his writings continue to inspire and inform those new to the Craft.

Am I excited? You betcha!
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If only I had a raging fire icon...

George made chili today. But alas, he was out of chili powder. So he dug out a bag of crushed chillies that had been given to us many years ago, opened it up, and added what he thought was a reasonable amount.



Talk about concentrated firepower! I barely got through a bowl, even using three large pieces of rye bread. And every mucous membrane north of my voicebox was in full flow within ten seconds of eating the first spoonful. (MInd you, I'm a real wimp when it comes to anything spicy. George ate his bowl without any trouble whatsoever, and claims he's made chili hotter many a time, just not in the course of our marriage.)

We ate sitting on the couch, watching Family Guy. Emmie, as is her habit, came up to lie between us when we were finished eating. You know that little devil people sometimes have on their shoulders? Well, mine got the best of me: I dipped the tip of my right index finger into the sauce left at the bottom of my bowl -- maybe three drops total -- and offered it to her.

She yummed it right up and came looking for more. Apparently the heat that was so apparent to me didn't register for her, or she was able to ignore it. Strange indeed are the ways of kitty cats.

I'm going to put on a big pot of brown rice right now, so the next dose of chili I have will be poured over an adulterating medium. Yowza!

Oh, and here's my daily (make that weekly) dose of stupid. Someone who admits they've only been studying Wicca for 8 months, and their primary reference is Silver Ravenwolf, is gung-ho to do interfaith outreach and "educate" Christians about what "true Wiccans" REALLY do. He's not taking kindly to people pointing out that his history sucks and Craigslist is NOT the best place to presume to tell people about our religion. He's made of so much fail, in fact, that my mind boggles.

Okay. Back to work.
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OMFG, it's morning. Again. George is getting up in half an hour so I'm waiting coffee for him (he doesn't like coffee that's more than fifteen minutes old), so I'm also short on caffeine. Bleah.

Here's a link about atheists and anger. Wonderful read, full of pithy points.

And here's one of the saddest petitions I've ever seen.

Text behind the cut )

Once again, it's a case of "Hey, you! Get OUT of my religion!"

And in the video catagory... VOTE REPUBLICAN!

If you've never heard the Jay Thomas "Lone Ranger" story on David Letterman, it's well worth watching, if only for the line "They'll believe ME, citizen!"

*yawn* Off to cruise the Internet for a bit. Then coffee. Then work. Yeah.
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This is what happens when fluffy bunnies breed:

WTH is up with pagans/wickens being sinners?!?!?

oK so at my old school and the school I go to now, I'm considered a SINNER. I wear black, I cut, I wear dark makeup, I dye my hair, I wear pentograms, I am a pagan, I practice wicken. Everyone considers me a "threat" or "the devil" or "a sinner" just because i'm different.
Why are people so judgemental!?!? even my teachers avoided/avoid me!

And just look at her Additional Details:

1 hour ago
almost all of you are not helpful. I'm not a troll. My entire family is pagan. *other than my grandparents* Im 13 thank you. and pentagram was a misspelling. My mom and I spell wicken different, thanks, we follow a bit of different path than regular wiccans.
Harm none do what ye will does not apply to yourself.
I'm not a poser.

1 hour ago
Silent- i must agree with that post... Thanks!
Pogmothoingod- I love ur username, and thanks for being nice. :D
Aphian- normally its spelled that way but I Explained why I spell it different.
Colette- I do not have issues. and therapists are morons who are just there to take money and not do a damn thing. but characterise people

You can see the original post, with responses, here.

Please, please, PLEASE let this be a troll. If not, a good spay-and-neuter program is clearly in order -- or else the therapist that the original poster is so averse to seeing.
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Ye sweet Gods... I've just finished adding another chat log (this one featuring Seraph) and *counts* 8 fanfics to the Degrees of Separation Matrix AU RP site. And that's just scratching the surface on the number of fanfics the players have produced, and not even touching the tip of the amount of material available in the chat logs.

This afternoon went quite well -- the Wiccan gentleman that I and [ profile] eastpath met for coffee turned out to be articulate, intelligence, and apparently well-read and well-balanced. He'll be joining us for the next Full Moon Group outer court ritual, with his wife hoping to follow in a few months.

Afterwards [ profile] eastpath and I went to Radiance, where I purchased a small piece of tiger iron, a stone purported to help with vitality, the immune system, and the circulatory system. It may or may not work, but I'll take all the help I can get, and it's my way of supporting a local business. I also purchased two pieces of magnetized hematite which, when held one in each hand, supposedly enhance energy. Again, they may or may not actually work, but they were inexpensive and the proceeds went to support a store that's valuable to the local Pagan community.

We then walked up to Pharma Plus, and parted company there: [ profile] eastpath went on to the bank while I went into the drug store to pick up some prescriptions. While I was there I darted into the bathroom to test my two hour postprandial blood sugar. 11.4 -- YAY!

I walked back home with two heavy bags of groceries, for a total of eight blocks walked today as well as my daily exercise at home. I feel quite tired and sore, but accomplished.
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Apparently I'm not depressed enough to avoid creating a Wiccan shrine at

*sigh* When I'm feeling low I tend to seek... distractions.
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With thanks to [ profile] metisbutterfly for pointing out the nshrine service to me...

I have set up two virtual shrines, one dedicated to Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of poets, smiths, and red-haired women, and one dedicated to the Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess of war, death, and transformation. Please feel free to stop by and light a candle in honor of Them or as an act of prayer.

Blessed be.
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I just got one of my strangest phone calls in 14 years as a Wiccan.

*phone rings*

Me: "Hello?"
Other Person: "Hello... I found your name through your listing on Witchvox... and I was wondering... I want to study to be a member of the clergy."
Me: "Of the Wiccan clergy?"
OP: "Well, I'm not sure."
Me: *pause* [You want to be clergy, but you don't know which... o-KAY] "Well, Paganism is an umbrella term, not a specific religion --"
OP: "I know that."
Me: "-- so you sort of have to pick a religion to study in before you can look at clergy status. Is Wicca something you're interested in?"
OP: "Well, I'm more into Druidism."
Me: "Hmmm. I'm afraid I can't help you out with that, and I'm trying to think of who on my list would have Druidic knowledge..."
OP: "I was thinking maybe I could study Wicca and have Druidism as a back-up."
Me: *pauses again* [What the FUCK?] "Um, no, I'm sorry, that wouldn't work. While the two systems have some superficial similarities, they're quite different in most other respects. Studying in one would not qualify you for the other. But let me take your name and phone number and I'll see if any of my contacts know about someone who could help you."
OP: *gives me their name, which is quite obviously a made-up one, and a phone number*

You know, when you become clergy in a religion, hopefully you do it because you BELIEVE in that religion. You don't become clergy in two separate and quite different faiths. To me, that smacks of looking at both religions as a hobby, not a vocation.

*sigh* I'll see what I can do to help the person in question, but I hope they rethink their priorities.
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Six hours of Wen-Do class, three of them full of hard physical activity, tired me right out. Then I had to pick up a couple of roasted chickens at Safeway and come home to run a Full Moon Group ritual.

We didn't do much, just a variation of the scrying exercise that was done by the inner court on Wednesday and a spell to help an absent member obtain a service dog, but I'm dead beat. I just climbed out of a hot bath and I'll soon be crawling into a warm bed.

Tomorrow we go to George's sister's place out in Selkirk, about an hour north of the city, for Easter dinner.

More about Wen-Do later tomorrow. Right now I can barely put a sentence together.
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A shot taken of the altar during the rite. It was an eclipse ritual, hence the black candles and black altar cloth:

Picture behind the cut )

Very pretty, I think.
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I recently received a request through Yahoo!Answers on how to cast a Wiccan circle. This is the response I sent. Hopefully it makes sense.

Notes on casting a Wiccan circle of power )
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I found the article this excerpt comes from through Yahoo!Answers, and I think it's extremely interesting. The author is making a valid point, at least in my experience. I'd love to hear what other people think.

From The Pentagram and the Hammer by Devyn Gillette and Lewis Stead...


The Wiccan is cooperative, the Ásatrúar is aggressive... and it goes downhill from there )
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Now, please keep in mind that I have not seen the episode myself -- I saw it mentioned in a question in the Yahoo!Answers Religion & Spirituality section and did a bit of digging from there.

Here's a "proclaimation" that describes its content:

Below the cut )

There are some lively discussions going on over on the Discovery Channel message boards, specifically at:

And more topics can be found here on the main "A Haunting" board:

What do you think? Have you seen the episode? Is it a tempest in a teapot, or is this something to be concerned about?
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This is one of my favorites. You can download the full MP3 from (all you have to do is sign up with them, if you're not already a member). While this particular Emerald Rose version is not as lively as others I've heard (including the one on their Live album, which was gifted to me by [ profile] beckyh2112), it's still got a lot of punch.

Freya, Shakti MP3

The lyrics:

Freya, Shakti

Freya, Shakti, Hathor, Rhiannon,
Rhea, Maat, the Morrigan
Freya, Shakti, Hathor, Rhiannon,
Rhea, Maat, the Morrigan

High, raising up the Goddess
Oh, fill my soul!
High, raising up the spirit
Oh, make me whole!

She is a woman crowned with a crescent
She is the mother of all that lives
She is the Earth, spinning in starlight
She is the Goddess of all that is


I know a woman stirring a cauldron
She is the source of the heart's deep core
I love a maiden dancing in moonlight
She is the key to the ancient lore

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2nd Degree

Congratulations! You scored 73!

You knowledge of Wicca, is similar to that of a High Priestess or High Priest!! Wonderful job!!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on wiccanpoints

Link: The What is your Wicca IQ? Test written by texas_angel_101 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
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crowdog66: (joe)
Yes, I know I already posted a version of this ritual -- but I just reworked it based on some new material I've come across, and this is the version I'll actually be running. I've decided to leave the other version up because it's also workable, and has a slightly different emphasis.

X-posted to [ profile] wiccanmoons

Comments welcome, as always.

The ritual, redux )
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Okay... slept the day away, and went out for a nice supper with George. Now I'm up for sharing more details about yesterday's funeral service.

The personnel at the funeral home, including the owner of the business, were very polite and professional. The family and friends were wonderful to deal with, even though I accidentally stated that the deceased had relocated to Winnipeg in 1998 (rather than 1999) and forgot to bless the mourners with the phrase "Kia Kaha" (Maori for "be strong") as they came up to take a stone from the bowl. Very kind and forgiving folks, they were. *is ashamed*

The service went very well. The mourners, in spite of overwhelming unfamiliarity with Wicca, had instructions on the handouts they'd been given to say "Hail and welcome" at certain points in the ceremony -- and actually did so. Afterwards I received many congratulations for an excellent service, but I expect that this is standard operating procedure at any funeral. Still, it was gratifying and encouraging. Some of them even asked intelligent questions about Wicca, including books that they might read to learn more. *feels a little better*

During the service, two accidental events were accepted by the family as proof that the deceased had truly joined us and was present during -- and involved in -- the proceedings.

First, just as I was saying "I would now like to share with you a traditional Wiccan tale, that of the Goddess in the Kingdom of --", the picture of the deceased fell off the altar with a loud THUMP, and the glass cracked across the middle! The picture was in a big oval frame and balanced on one end, leaning back against the podium, which was up against one corner of the altar, so perhaps I accidentally shifted the podium and that made it fall... still, the family chose to see it as her intervention, because apparently she was clumsy in life and it was JUST the kind of thing she would have done. (Her best friend remarked afterwards that perhaps Lesilee felt how very sad everybody was and decided to lighten the mood a little...)

As the family chatted and laughed, I stepped forward, picked up the picture, and repositioned, it, saying to it: "Thank you, Lesilee!", which brought good-natured laughter from the audience. Whew! Crisis averted. (I was later told by at least one person that they admired my coolness and leadership, and the way I kept charge of the situation in spite of the accident. I was also told that in her home, the deceased had a picture of her father, and whenever it fell off the wall, she would say to her partner, "See! Dad's trying to tell us something!" Genuinely spooky.)

The second incident was a lot less explicable, and occurred just after the mourners had come up to make offerings of flash paper "prayers" in the cauldron (and most of them did, which surprised me). The very last person was the deceased's best friend, who brought up a leather medicine bag with beaded tassels, which she started opening to take out some incense to put on the charcoal as an offering. She was standing at the altar in front of the cauldron and the bowl filled with the remaining strips of flash paper... and suddenly the flash paper just went UP, all at once -- WHOOOSH! -- in a ball of flame easily a foot in diameter! She jumped back -- the crowd gasped... then, when they realized that no harm was done, they started to laugh, and some people actually clapped. Apparently this was ALSO the sort of thing the deceased would have appreciated and even caused to happen!

The flash paper was a good eight inches away from the cauldron that enclosed the charcoal, specifically to prevent accidental ignition. The only explanation I can think of that even vaguely fits is that somehow the best friend, in opening the medicine bag, generated a spark that touched off the flash paper... but HOW that could have happened, I have no idea 0_o However, it delighted the family and friends, so it was all good.

There were about 60-80 people present, including one woman who did not know the deceased but who'd had a dream the previous night telling her to come to the funeral home that afternoon. The owner of the funeral home even made noises like he'd be willing to have me back to do another service at some point... and I don't think he was just being polite. Now that I have a ritual under my belt, I'll be putting in my business card and a little package to various funeral homes around town, letting them know that if someone calls, I'm available, because the family in this case called EVERYWHERE looking for a priestess, and nobody knew where to find one.

At the very end of the afternoon, as I stood before the altar to bid farewell to the God and Goddess and extinguish the candles representing them, several people joined me, including the Pagan best friend but also people who were definitely not Wiccan. They listened as I thanked the Deities, mostly off the top of my head; this is what I said, as best I can remember:

"Gracious Lady (or Lord), Goddess (or God) of a thousand faces and names, O Thou comforter and consoler, we thank You for attending and protecting this rite, and for joining us as we gathered to mark the passage of Lesilee, Thy child, into the Summerland. And ere you depart for your lovely realms, we bid you hail -- hail and farewell!"

And darned if they all didn't repeat "hail and farewell!" after me, with real feeling. :-)

At any rate... my earlier post about the ritual can be found here.

And now, the Funeral Ritual, Final Version )
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Got my $45 (with tip) hair cut... pardon me, hair style this morning. At that price, it's definitely more than a mere cut. And tomorrow morning I have an appointment to get my makeup done for $35, a necessity since I don't have any makeup whatsoever around the house.

Met with the sister and best friend of the deceased today, who read the ritual over and cried. They told me the found it beautiful and absolutely perfect, and that they're certain that with my voice I'll give a beautiful service. The best friend specifically mentioned that after seeing me and speaking with me, a lot of her feelings of being overwhelmed and jittery faded away -- that I inspire confidence and calm. Wow... 0_o

Robin passed on the grey robe that Holly agreed to loan me, which turned out to be short enough (I hadn't remembered THAT detail) that I've elected to wear a longer sundress underneath to produce a down-to-the-feet layered skirt effect. I ended up having to run out this evening and buy a pair of sensible black pumps for $20 -- funeral shoes if ever there were ones -- and got a nifty little clutch-purse, perfect for the funeral, for only $5 more. Bonus!

This afternoon I also stopped by Radiance and shopped for a piece of ritual jewellery that just screamed "CLERGY!". This is what I found, for just $22:

Image hosted by

It's slightly over 1 inch in diameter and looks just lovely on the long silver chain I picked up to let it rest just over my heart. I'll be wearing the true marks of my initiation -- my amber necklace and hematite ring -- but this is the item that to the casual eye will set me apart as a Priestess, I think.

I feel better and better about how the ritual will run as time goes on.
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I had to give a planned visit to Holly's class a miss tonight so I could stay home and paint Hardy Boys, because I took time this afternoon to write up the funeral rite -- bad Laurie, no biscuit! True color flats have now been laid on 4 of the final 6 pages of this issue (the 6-page preview of the next graphic novel), leaving me 2 pages to do from scratch. I completed and uploaded corrections on the pages where Daniel sent me revised art, but am still missing corrections on a whole bunch of pages -- plus a script for the preview -- and have not heard a peep from Jim all day regarding either of those matters.

I am starting to get a serious case of nerves about Saturday, in fits and starts. The ritual as written runs at about 12 minutes, not counting the eulogy and the offering of prayers portion, where I honestly can't say what people will do. Will the whole thing fall flat? Jitters all around.

At least Holly has kindly agreed to lend me the grey robe I requested of her. With my black dress Oxfords, I think I'll look quite sedate and priestessly. ^_^

Made an appointment at a local hair salon to get my hair cut tomorrow morning. Then I'll meet Robin at Radiance, buy a few little supplies, and head up to Wilton's Cafe to meet the family of the deceased. I think it's fair to pay Robin out of the honorarium I'll be receiving and have settled on the amount of $50, which will hopefully recompense her for her time and the lighting/extinguishing of several candles during the ceremony.

Dammit... I've run enough rituals that this shouldn't be making me so nervous. I've read the ritual through, and it flows well. I just hope I can pull off the poise and rock-solid presence that a member of any clergy should exhibit on such an occasion.

On the other hand, what this event is reminding me of is that this kind of activity is truly my vocation. I feel energized, profoundly satisfied, and fully in tune with my environment in the act of being a minister. I feel like I could do this every day for the rest of my life.
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Missing my impressions of the deceased from the very first section, but otherwise complete. Comments welcome.

Behind the cut... )

Well, what do you think? Will it fly? I'm getting $250 for performing this service, so I want to make sure it's worth the money to the family.

X-posted to [ profile] wiccanmoons
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