Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Athena Devotional

Just a quick note to mention that Bibliotheca Alexandrina publishing house is seeking submissions for a future Athena Devotional.  You can learn more about the project here. I've submitted some of my work from this blog. *crosses fingers*

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Black Dog

If you are going through hell, keep going.
~Winston Churchill
Churchill knew about Bipolar Disorder firsthand.  He was stalked by this own black dog; just as is my father, just as I am.

The dog hungers for anxiety. It lives on fear and self-deprecation. It has a nose for the tragic.

Medications can chain the dog. They make him invisible. They make me wonder if there ever was a black dog in the shadows of my mind, in the darkness at my door.

But the dog is real, and when that barghest fixes you with his baleful stare the color drains out of your world and you remember all of the pain that can be laid at your doorstep.  You are accountable, and the dog is judge, jury, and executioner.

Carry your guilt and the dog will grow teeth to gnash at your soul. If you have worries, fears, the dog will sneak in on padded feet and poison your thoughts.

You must fight the dog.

You cannot take it out back and shoot it. No. That rage only feeds the beast. You cannot abandon it at a shelter, no matter how many times you might check yourself in, or attempt to check out.

The dog will find you where you live. It will roam around you, just out of sight, yet you will sense the terrible weight of its great shaggy bulk slowly smothering you.

You will hear it howling in the darkness. Sometimes you might spot its heavy paw prints in the dirty places of your mind. Do not follow its tracks. The dog is crafty and will try to lead you off of the path of recovery.

Kill the dog with sunlight, with joyful songs, and silly films, and warm hugs from loved ones. Kill the dog with kindness. Forgive yourself. Be gentle with yourself. The dog will slowly starve.

Let go. Forgive. Reject guilt.

Kill the dog.

You can read more about Churchill's own Black Dog, here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Into the Underworld

To paraphrase Proust, I am going on "a journey that no one can take for [me] or spare [me]."

This has been a long time coming. 

I've been fairly open on this blog about my bipolar disorder in the past.  I currently have major depression, to the point where it is difficult to even spell the words to form this post.

Tomorrow morning I will be checking myself into a clinic in order to get my medications in order, and to try to get myself back into some semblance of normalcy.

I am scared and sad that it has come to this, but I have to find a way to get better. Now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thelema and Possession

Maman Brigitte
I was asked a question last week by an O.T.O. brother about how I reconciled being a Thelemite and doing my own will with allowing possession to occur like I did with Maman Brigitte at Babalon Rising. As a Thelemite we are not supposed to do anything that interferes with our true will and, at first glance, possession looks to be right out. So how do I justify it?  Other than just generally being quite awesome how does possession mesh with my work as a Thelemite?

First of all, I trust the Gods.  Even though I know there are many spirits who have their own questionable agendas I put faith in the Gods, and by extension the Lwa, to be in keeping with Universal Will.  If I am aligning myself to the Gods I am also attuning myself to that Universal Will, which is by extension my own True Will.

"But, Glaux," you ask, "How can a trickster deity like Loki, or Discordia, or Papa Ghede be keeping with Universal Will? Isn't that like inviting in Charonzon?"  Yes and no.  Even Charonzon has a place and a purpose in the multiverse.  By aligning myself with the energy and Will of Chaos, Death, or the Adversary I am bringing their balancing energy into our realm.

Also, and this is an even bigger reason than aligning myself with Universal Will, I 'm a witch.  A Thelemic witch, yes, but firstly a witch.  That is my Great Work.  Those are my blood oaths.  I walk a crooked path.  I talk with Gods, and invite them in.  I bring about change within myself and the world around me by working with spirits of the Gods, the Ancestors, the Mighty Dead, and the Seelie & Unseelie Courts.  Possession is a key technique for a shaman, and that is what witchcraft is, the vestiges of ancient European shamanism.

Maybe you think that witchcraft and Thelema are at odds with each other because of how each system views possession, but I maintain that witchcraft, specifically Gardnerian Wicca is the most prolific expression of Thelema in the New Aeon.  It is no secret that Gardner had a charter from Crowley, or that the original Gardnerian Book of Shadows borrowed (stole?) heavily from the Gnostic Mass and other Thelemic texts.  Nor should it come as a surprise that Wicca has pollinated and disseminated itself through mainstream culture much more effectively than the magical system of Thelema. Wicca is the most popular face of Thelema today, even if most witches have never heard of Crowley or the Book of the Law. So, no, I don't think that witchcraft and Thelema are mutually exclusive paths, rather I believe that, for those who are bound to each system, they compliment each other as magical paths.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Perfect Day

The delightfully artistic and playful author/muse SARK wrote in one of her many (wonderful/amazing/colorful/inspiring!) books about keeping notes on what a perfect day looks like in order to manifest positive things, and to recognize and appreciate when those wonderful things happen in your life.  I've been running with this idea for a few months now, and have assembled my (ever-growing) list below.

During the perfect day I will...

dream a delicious dream ~ wake up of my own accord ~ write! ~ teach ~ learn ~ pray ~ perform ~ nap ~ eat a tasty meal that someone else prepares for me and cleans up after ~ be in nature ~ be loved deeply & well ~ move with spirit ~ bathe luxuriously ~ dance! ~ create ~ cry in awe ~ get a gift ~ read a book so wonderful that I want to pass it out on streetcorners ~ wear flattering, beautiful, comfortable clothes ~ shop for fun at leisure ~ drum on my frame drum ~ experience a miracle ~ smell flowers ~ sing well ~ share energy ~ get a chiropractic adjustment ~ laugh long and hard ~ snuggle ~ amaze myself ~ stay up late talking with a friend ~ sleep in a comfortable, extravagantly furnished bed ~ travel somewhere new ~ see an owl ~ talk with a Goddess ~ have a giggle fit ~ listen to the waves meet the shore ~ work magic ~ hold hands ~ get lost in my thoughts ~ fly ~ hope ~ spend time with my best friends ~ inspire someone ~ breathe deep ~ sniff my cat's fur ~ make O's around a fire

What would you do on your perfect day?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Coming Out

I've found that "coming out" as anything controversial or against what consensus reality would label as "normal" is pretty much the same across the board. (this is coming from a Thelemic Pagan Polyamorous Lesbian, so trust me on this.) There will always be people who get their feathers all ruffled just because someone is doing things differently than they choose to. The thing to remember is ultimately these people don't matter. What matters is that you are being your honest authentic self, the person God/dess created you to be. If you do this you will find that your life opens up, and that you find the people who are your real family.  These are the people who will love you for who you really are.  They are out there waiting. Your life is out there waiting for you to grab it and own it!

So, Glaux... you like owls huh?

Yes I like owls. It's kind of a thing for me.  Let me explain.

When I was in high school I was that weird girl who was in all the school plays and painted her lips black and wore a biker jacket.  I was also openly Wiccan, which really means I'd read a few Scott Cunningham and Ray Buckland books and I was really jazzed about this Lilith character I'd read about.

Anyway, in spite of myself I was a real book hound proto-librarian type who loved to do research. I still have the (now very full) index cards that I started back then on each of the sepheroth. Much like today, if it had to do with the occult I wanted to know it.

I was dating this guy who was in a garage band and was really into Native American spirituality. I think it had something to do with idolizing Jim Morrison. He lent me a book, Ted Andrew's Animal Speak.  I thought this book was amazing. AH. MAY. ZING.  Because of it I was determined to find my totem animal spirit.

Armed with the wherewithal that only a sixteen year old can muster I boldly trekked out into the woods to commune with nature. I was certain that if I simply went out into the world with intent that the universe would make apparent my very own totem spirit in a matter of minutes.  This did not happen.

What did happen was that I missed lunch. And dinner.  And nothing happened.  No forest critters appeared from the brush for consideration as a totem.  No chipmunks.  No blackbirds.  No nothin' for hours.

The sun was setting, and I knew it was time to turn back towards home.  The sky shifted orange and pink, and then to deep lavender.  I was out of the woods and walking through the field next to my house when a monster tried to eat me.  It came out of nowhere, aimed straight for my head. I ducked to the ground, prone and terrified.

Of course, you can all guess what had happened now, but then, in the moment, I thought the sky was falling for certain.  And yes, when I finally got the nerve up to peek at the tree behind me, there she was. Perched in a bare tree, silhouetted in the fading purple sky, the unmistakable outline of an owl. She is a great horned owl, and she sings me to sleep every night thereafter that I spent in my parent's home. In the evening she wings by my window.

Flash forward into my early twenties as I am coming into my own as a magician.  Every witch needs her fetch, and mine came in the form of a screech owl.  I was now deeply into the mysteries of Lilith, and came to understand her as a kind of great cosmic mothering owl-spirit.  I took my first magical name, Noctua, Latin for screech owl.  I cut my staff from a grove where a nest of screech owlettes makes their home.  I go on late night walks just to listen to them call out.

And on into my thirties when I have collected my lineages and degrees, and have molded a truly magical life for myself.  Athena starts talking to me.  She gives me a few tasks to complete, and I perform most of them (one being the work of this blog).  I begin to see that the "great cosmic mothering owl-spirit" is an archetype in many ancient European cultures. Lilith, Athena, Blodeuwedd, Ereshkegal, Calleach, the Burney Relief Goddess, and so on.  I take another name. This time Glaux, Greek for owl.

I don't know where the owl will fly me next.  Right now she is embedded as the archetypical Black Goddess of the American Folkloric Witchcraft/Spiral Castle tradition I am working.  She looms large as a life-sized copy of the Burney Relief over the desk I sit at now.  I am surrounded by owl trinkets and paraphernalia.  A wooden flute carved into an owl that makes hooting noises, an obsidian carved owl from my trip to Mexico, a maneki neko inspired owl from "Japan" in Epcot, several stuffed hedwigs, a stained glass owl from my mother in law.  There are literally hundreds of them.

Do I like owls? Yes. And I've come to think that, just maybe, they like me back.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Another Babalon Rising festival is in the books, and my life is beginning to show signs of what those in consensus reality would call normalcy.  Babalon Rising, for those that haven't heard, is an annual four day occult festival dreamed up by yours truly and some of my closest cohorts.

This was officially my "year off" for the festival. Meaning, instead of running around all day and half of the night like a manic trying to herd Thelemites (much worse than herding cats, I can assure you) I actually was able to attend portions of the festival and even sleep in.

So what did I do with my precious time?  I served as a sounding board for my friends who needed space to vent, I ran the Qabalah Bar (a tradition at Babalon Rising; someone nude is painted as the Tree of Life and shots corresponding with each of the sepheroth are mixed and then imbibed as body shots from the living "tree") and I got ridden hard at a New Orleans voodoo ritual to Manman Brigette.  I don't think I've ever been possessed quite so completely before. I have (nearly) no recollection of what occurred during my time as a horse (save the odd image of a little white boy's bare butt covered in fishnets and bouncing to the beat of the drums -- it's funny what the Gods will let through!)

I got to ride around French Lick, Indiana with the legendary and notorious magicians Lon Milo DuQuette and Donald Michael Kraig. That's one for the bucket list.  By the grace and wisdom of my spiritual sister Magdelyn M. I got to help begin working the New Aeon work of the Cup and the Paten.  I had the stunning realization that, in a small way, I am helping to shape the history of occultism in America, something I love very much and am humbled by.

In this year's Feast of the Beast ritual I invoked Hadit, the master magician. It is a good archetype for me to be working with, as much progress has been made since then on my other blog.  Thus far I have held the FoB roles of: Babalon, Nuit, Baphomet (best costume EVER), a Maenad, a Scarlet Woman, and now Hadit.  Next year is our seventh year and I plan to serve as Babalon once again.

My profound thanks and agape go out to everyone who participated in this year's festival.  The energy was astonishing. After performing the opening Star Ruby ritual I was so overcome I could barely walk, and that was just day one.  Thank you sisters and brothers. 93!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aradia's Gifts

So, I promised I'd start blogging about the Craft. I'll start with something traditional, some selections from Aradia, o il Vangelo delle Streghe. [Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches].

According to an Italian legend, Aradia is the daughter of Diana and her brother Lucifer. Aradia was said to be an avatar of Diana sent to earth to teach people the ways of Witchcraft to free them from slavery and degradation.

The folklorist Charles Godfrey Leland collected a series of documents from an informant he named Maddalena concerning the survival of an ancient practice of Witchcraft (or Strega) among certain hidden sects throughout Tuscany. He published these as Aradia.

The Gifts of Aradia

In the fourteenth century, Aradia was said to have taught that the traditional powers of a witch would belong to any who followed in the ways of the Old Religion [la Vecchia Religione]. Aradia called these powers "Gifts", she also stressed the point that these powers were the benefits of adhering to the Old Ways, and not the reason for becoming a witch.

These are the powers:

To bring success in love
To bless and consecrate
To speak with spirits
To know of hidden things
To call forth spirits
To know the Voice of the Wind
To possess the knowledge of transformation
To possess the knowledge of divination
To know and understand secret signs
To cure disease
To bring forth beauty
To have influence over whild beasts
To know the secrets of the hands

The Covenant of Aradia

To obtain the powers of the Strega there were certain rules that needed to be followed. They are as follows.

Observe the times of the Treguenda, for therein is the foundation of the powers of Stregheria.

When good is done to you, then do good to another. If someone wishes to repay you for a kindness, then bind them to go out of their way to help three others, then this shall clear the debt.

Do not use the arts of Stregheria to appear powerful among others. Do not lower the standards of the Art and thereby bring contempt upon the Old ways.

Do not take the life of anything unless it is to preserve life, yours or another's.

Do not give your word of honour lightly, for you are bound by your words and by your oaths.

Do not accept any authority over you unless it is of the Gods. Instead, cooperate with others but do not be a slave and always preserve your honour. Give respect to others and expect respect in return.

Teach all who appear worthy and aid the continuance of the Old Religion.

Do not belittle another's religious beliefs, but simply state your own truths. Strive to be at peace with those who differ.

Do not purposely cause harm to another, unless it is to prevent true harm to yourself or another.

Strive to be compassionate to others, and to be aware of the hearts and minds of those around you.

Be true to your own understanding and turn away from those things which oppose the good in you, or are harmful to you. Hold reverence to all within Nature. Destroy nothing, scar nothing, waste nothing, live in harmony with Nature, for the ways of Nature are our own ways.

Remain open in your heart and in your mind to the Great Ones who created all that is, and to your brothers and sisters alike.

The Charge of Aradia

In addition to the above instructions, Aradia offered this piece of advice, which has evolved into the modern Wiccan Charge of the Goddess.

Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month when the Moon is full, then shall you come together at some deserted place, or where there are woods, and give worship to She who is Queen of all Witches. Come all together inside a circle, and secrets that are as yet unknown shall be revealed.

And your mind must be free and also your spirit and as a sign that you are truly free, you shall be naked in your rites. And you shall rejoice, and sing; making music and love. For this is the essence of spirit, and the knowledge of joy.

Be true to your own beliefs, and keep to the Ways, beyond all obstacles. For ours is the key to the mysteries and the cycle of rebirth, which opens the way to the Womb of Enlightenment.

I am the spirit of witches all, and this is joy and peace and harmony. In life does the Queen of all witches reveal the knowledge of Spirit. And from death does the Queen deliver you to peace and renewal.

When I shall have departed from this world, in memory of me make cakes of grain, wine, and honey. These shall you shape like the Moon, and then partake of wine and cakes, all in my memory. For I have been sent to you by the Spirits of Old, and I have come that you might be delivered from all slavery. I am the daughter of the Sun and the Moon, and even though I have been born into this world, my Race is of the Stars.

Give offerings all to She who is our Mother. For She is the beauty of the GreenWood, and the light of the Moon among the Stars, and the mystery which gives life, and always calls us to come together in Her name. Let Her worship be the ways within your heart, for all acts of love and pleasure gain favor with the Goddess.

But to all who seek her, know that your seeking and desire will reward you not, until you realize the secret. Because if that which you seek is not found within your inner self, you will never find it from without. For she has been with you since you entered into the ways, and she is that which awaits at your journey's end.

Free Strega texts and information online
Aradia, or The Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland
Etruscan Roman Remains by Charles Godfrey Leland
Stregheria.com by Raven Grimassi

Friday, March 25, 2011

The day Carrie Fisher saved my life

As I've stated here before, I am Bipolar I & I have Season Affective Disorder. This time of year is always a challenge for me, as I tend to veer a little to the manic in early spring. "March Madness" is an accurate moniker. "Mad as a March hare" also applies here. So, it always a crap-shoot as to just how my mania will manifest each spring. Good times.

Anyway, I wasn't aware of this fact for what feels like a very long time indeed. I was married at the time, and was working in a job environment that was toxic to my spirit. I didn't know why I was so sad most of the time, especially since I had everything I "wanted" at the time.

One day I signed up to go along with another women in my office to a Working Women's fair at a local hotel. I neither knew nor cared what the fair involved, I was just glad to get out of the office for that day. Carrie Fisher was the keynote speaker.

Who doesn't love Carrie Fisher? Apparently, no chica my age, because the poor woman was mobbed by adoring throngs of young women praising her as a role-model for women's empowerment in the Star Wars trilogy. You could tell by her expression that she thought they were all insane. I liked her right away.

Being a literary sort I had read several of Ms. Fisher's books, starting with Postcards From the Edge. I had devoured her work, identifying with many of her zany characters. When it came my turn to have a little face time with her I mentioned how much I loved her writing. She cocked an eyebrow at me, "You look a little young to have read my books." (I was 22) "Oh, no, Ms. Fisher! I've read almost all of them, and I think they're great!" And that was that. Into the hotel meeting hall I went with my co-worker, eager to hear Carrie Fisher's witty monologue.

When Carrie stepped up to the podium I didn't know what I was expecting to hear about. Maybe some comedy (she's a very witty lady) or some dish about her notorious family tree. There were plenty of both of those things, sure. But what was amazing about her talk that day was how she opened up to the audience, with warmth, humor, and a few tears, about living with Bipolar disorder.

Midway through her talk I was nearly in tears. My coworker asked what was wrong with me. I answered her, "I think I have Bipolar disorder." It was like Ms. Fisher had held a mirror up to my face with her speech. I recognized the painful lows, and the maddening yet scintillating highs, the monomania, the excesses, the loss of control.

The next day I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to talk about my suspicions. Soon after that I was hospitalized (in March, natch) for Bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed Bipolar I, with Season Affective Disorder. I began a long string of chemical therapy to treat my symptoms. It took years, but my doctors finally found the right chemical cocktail to keep me at an even keel.

Carrie Fisher turned much of the monologue she shared with us at that conference into an autobiography titled Wishful Drinking. She has no idea how much of a difference her words made to me. I am horribly certain that, had I not received treatment for my disorder, I would not be here today.

I was thinking about her a lot this week because of the death of her step-mother, Elizabeth Taylor. She tweeted: "If my father had to divorce my mother for anyone- I’m so grateful that it was Elizabeth."

So, thanks Carrie Fisher. You're one of my heroes, and not because you played Princess Leia.

In which I assure the world that rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

So, you may have noticed that its been a while since I've written anything here. Not that it should matter, because I embrace the whole "Blogging Without Obligation" movement, and I sincerely believe that if you don't have something to actually say, you really should keep your blogging to yourself. However, I haven't been blogging recently because, as you have probably also noticed, this is a very Athena-focused blog. That's been hard for me because, well, ever since my grand pilgrimage to the Nashville Parthenon in January Athena has felt very... distant.

How can I express this without sounding like a loon? If I tell you that Athena hasn't been speaking to me, would you even accept that at one time She was?

Okay, let me try this from a different angle.

I'm not just a Hellenic Polytheist. Sometimes I doubt that I ever really was one, or, rather I just worshiped the portion of the Pantheon that I felt like when I felt like.

I'm not just a Pagan. I'm a witch. It's probably the only fact that hasn't changed about me in the last twenty years. I am irrevocably and whole-heartedly a witch. I've immersed myself in every form and flavor of Craft I can get my greedy little fingers on, and I keep coming back to the same place. It's a witchcraft that has a very old feel to it. Some call it traditional witchcraft. In the past I've called it woodcut witchcraft (for the striking woodcuts of Craft produced during the 16th & 17th centuries), Cochrane's craft, Sabbatic craft, Treading the Mill, etc. Anyway, it's what I do. It's what I'm doing. And I'm going to write about it here, when I feel like, regardless of keeping to a blog "theme".

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A very Pagan meme

I was going to blog about Ophiuchus and the sheer level of insanity that surrounded its mention in the Minneapolis Star (not to mention its associations with Athena!) but I'll get around to that eventually.

In the meantime, here is a MEME. Exciting, right? I mean, I know you visit this blog just for its penetrating and insightful meme action. Joy! 

The Great Big Pagan Meme of Doom

Do you have a magical/Pagan name?

Yes. I have a name I use in Circle and in the Ordo Templi Orientis, and I have a handle I use in the blogging and Hellenic Recon community, such as it is. My witchy name is Noctua. My online name is Glaux. I also have another name I use for Spiral Castle and Shamanic work, but that one is my secret.

How did you find Paganism?

When I was very young I read mythology, folklore, paranormal, and cryptozoology books almost exclusively. (Okay, so that and the Bunnicula series) I formed a natural belief in the Gods of mythology, and prayed to them regularly. In later childhood I found out about modern Witchcraft. My first two introductory tomes were Sybil Leek's Diary of a Witch and Paul Huson's Mastering Witchcraft. These two books would flavor my taste for Traditional Craft throughout my spiritual journey, although I had no idea there was any such thing as "Traditional Witchcraft" at the time. When I was old enough to wander the Mall's bookstore on my own (14? 15?) I bought Buckland's Big Blue Book of Witchcraft. After that I was struck with hormonal madness and proceeded to purchase only books with the term "Wicca" on the cover. (Gerina Dunwitch! Scott Cunningham!) I somehow avoided $RW and D.J. Conway's work.

So, um, short answer... I was a bookworm and Paganism found me.

How long have you been practicing?

I've tried to pinpoint the year for a long time. It was sometime in the mid 80's that I started identifying as a Pagan, and the early 90's when I began practicing something resembling Witchcraft. 20 years is a fair estimate.

Are you out of the broom closet?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I'm selective about who I divulge my proclivities to.

Solitary or group practitioner?


What is your path?

Eclectic. VERY. I do the Hellenic Polytheist thing, the Ceremonial/High Magick/Thelema thing, the NeoShaman frame drum and owl totem thing, the Dyke/Amazon/Goddess Spirituality thing, the festival Pagan thing, the Gardnerian Wicca thing, and the I-just-made-up-my-own-version-of British Traditional Witchcraft thing. I also read tarot cards professionally, do Reiki, Qadishti sex magic, Qabbalah, and I make a mean omelet.

Humm. My path might best be described as schizophrenic.


What’s your brand of deism?

Uh... I'll take polytheistic animist for 1000, Alex.

Who is your patron God?

I haven't dedicated myself to a particular male Diety, but I have a deep and abiding fondness for Dionysus and Tubal Cain.

Who is your patron Goddess?

Athena. I also work heavily with Lilith, Ereshkegal, Sophia, Babalon, the Stregan Diana, the Black Goddess of the 1734 Tradition, and the White Goddess of Robert Graves's work.

What Gods do you worship?

Uh... see above?

Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddesses, or rather respect them?

I respect them and fear them no more than I do any other face of Deity.

Do you worship the Christian God?

No I don't. I personally find Jehovah offensive in the extreme. His son Jesus was a groovy guy, but is just another face of the dying-resurrecting sun king. The Holy Spirit as Sophia I do honor, both internally and externally. However, I think that few Christians are willing to think of God as female wisdom.

Do you worship animals? Or plants?

Yes, I pour libations to nature spirits, and work heavily with my magical fetch and the greater concept of the "Prime" owl spirit.


Do you regularly commune with nature?

Yeah, I'm a tree-lovin' mud-covered nature worshiper.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?

Hah! How about if I bought myself a cabin in the woods just so I could go on nature retreats? 'Cause I did.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?

The moment of now is as good as any.

Do you have a familiar?

I have two pet cats that both enjoy participating in magic and in moving energy. I don't think of them as "Familiars" in the traditional sense. I have an etheric fetch that I use for shamanic work, and this I think of as my Familiar.

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual?


Or a plant?

Of course. Surely you have heard of "Raising the Grove"?

Do you hug trees?

Yes. Sometimes they hug back.

Give them gifts?

I've left offerings, yes.

What are your favorite plants to work with?

I love rue and lavender, but under very different circumstances.

What are your favorite trees to work with?

Sassafras is my magical tree of choice. I also have a willow wand and a folkloric fascination with Blackthorn.


What is your favorite holiday?

How could I choose? The Athenian festival of the Arrephoria is a big deal in our house, what with Laurelei's devotion to Aphrodite and mine to Athena. I also love Yule and Samhain.

What is your least favorite holiday?

Although it's hard to dislike a holiday, Mabon comes pretty close. I mean, I'm older than the origins of that holiday, you know?

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?

Uh, yeah.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday?

Yup. Typically Beltane. I take off for the Our Haven festival.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21st rather than the 25th?

I celebrate a "Yule Season", something I commonly do with most Pagan holidays.

Have you ever felt the veil thin?


Ever danced the Maypole?


Know what the Maypole symbolizes?

Oh, come on. Don't insult my intelligence.

How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays?

That really depends on the holiday, now doesn't it?


Do you use Tarot?


Do you use runes?


Do you use a pendulum?


Do you use dowsing rods?


Do you use astrology?


Any other forms of divination?

Bibliomancy, casting of lots, chiromancy, shamanic vision work, dream interpretation.


What was the first spell you did?

It was a spell to give me the power of "second sight". I was 9 or 10. It worked.

What was the latest?

Perhaps you have forgotten the magical adage: to know, to will, to dare, to KEEP SILENT?

Ever done a love spell?

Love? No. Lust? You bet your dove's blood ink I have.

A job spell?

Of course.

A healing spell?

All the time.

What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed?

It's an ongoing spell that I like to call Babalon Rising.

What deities do you usually call on?

Sorry, I don't spell and tell.


Do you believe in vampires?

No. I think. Maybe Michael Hutchence. Maybe. But, really, no.


Are we talking Jacob-from-Twilight full-transformation weres, or otherkin totemic aspecting, or medieval wolf shamanic cults? Because, um, NO, sometimes, and yes, in that order.


See above. There's a world of difference between the witch who chants "I will go into a hare..." and the one that thinks "OMGZ! I r totally a demon-vampire-dragon-tiger! Watch me SHIIIIIFT!"


Okay, again, there are nature spirits that descendants of Pre-Indo-European cultures would identify as "Elves", and then there are those people who have watched Lord of the Rings too many times.


See above.


Ditto. There may be dragon energy in the land, but if you tell me you're actually a dragon (and usually not just any dragon, but, you know, the prince of dragons in dragonland, and primary defender of all that is dragonish) and you don't have some very compelling reasons for believing this (other than your life is soooo booor-ing) I will laugh at you behind your back. Maybe even to your face.


Yup. It's Greek. :)


I have no experience with sprites, so I will say no.





Ever “seen” any of the above?

If I told you "yes" would you believe me? Okay. I've only ever seen a few ghosts, a gnome (weird story), and a possible Goetic demon, and I've done some pretty wacky things magically speaking. If you've seen a troop of fairies, or think your boyfriend is a vampire, or that there is a satyr in your backyard you need to lay off the hallucinogens.

Ever used any of the above in magic?

I honor our local nymphs. It's the Hellenic thing to do.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?

No. I'm more open to some of them as possible guardians than others (dragons/dragon-energy? Maybe. Vampires? As a guardian? You seriously need to STFU.)


Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon?

A rabbit. I never could see the "man in the moon".

Own a cat?

Owned by two of them.

When you meditate, what does your happy place look like?

I meditate with my drum, or with a mantra, or maybe a candle flame. My "happy place" is wherever I park my bum.

Do you work with chakras?

Yes. I enjoy Reiki and get a lot out of working with chakras.

Do you believe in past lives?

Sort of.

If so, describe a few briefly:

I don't remember anything about any particular past life, although I have had an interesting experience possibly related to one. I was at a festival where there was a folk musician singing authentic ballads from ancient times in their original language. He began to sing a song that I suddenly knew all of the words to. I sang the entire song along with him. He told me later that the song was a 13th century Italian love song, and was common among the peasantry at that time. Who knows?

Do you believe in soul mates?


Do you have a spirit guide?


Is it always love and light?

Is this a trick question?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Photos from the Nashville Parthenon

Laurelei & I just got back from a Caribbean cruise vacation, and on the way driving down to the port of Miami we decided to make a stop at the Nashville Parthenon. Here are some of the highlights.
Laurelei & I outside of the Parthenon.

The glorious 40 foot statue of Athena Parthenos. To give an idea of size, that statue of Nike in her palm is six feet tall.

Detail of the shield.

The interior of Athena's shield. Notice the figure of her near the handle, with her owl, overlooking Heracles.

Erecthonious gazes from a safe place behind his step-mother's shield.

Replica of the western pediment Parthenon marble of Athena.

Zeus watches as Nike presents Athena with laurels.

Detail of Nike and Athena.

Athena battles Poseidon.

The entire vacation was stupendous. I will share more about it soon. Hail, Athena!