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Wytchwood Witchcraft and Magick

Sunday, November 16, 2008

dinner with Alison

On the 31st, at 7 pm I sat down to dinner with my beloved friend,  teacher and mentor, Alison Harlow. As I shopped for this dinner the previous day, picking out the foods she loved the best and finding new things I felt she might enjoy, I realized with a start that I had not eaten a meal with her since May of 2004, a month before she died.
I had spoken with her, called her into circle and asked her questions through a Witch Board ... yes ... but dinner, not until 3 weeks ago. She was quiet at first, with that lovely, slightly wicked glint in her eye as she accepted the plate I offered and I seated myself opposite her in silence. There were two other living friends having supper with one of their beloved dead at the same table, but as we served our friends and sat it seemed that we each went into separate communion with our dinner partner. There were few instructions from Alison, save that I prepare and eat dinner with her at this time of year until I join her on the other side of the Veil. Our communication seemed to come through the food we ate and the deep silence that surrounded us. I still miss her in this world almost daily, but I know that any time I feel drawn to make her a favorite meal I will not eat alone.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Magic words

Magic Words

In the earliest time,

when both people and animals lived on the earth,

a person could become an animal if he wanted to

and an animal could become a human being.

Sometimes they were people

and sometimes animals

and there was no difference.

All spoke the same language.

That was the time when words were like magic.

The human mind had mysterious powers.

A word spoken by chance

might have strange consequences.

It would suddenly come alive

and what people wanted to happen could happen--

all you had to do was to say it.

Nobody can explain this:

That's the way it was.

- - after Nalugiaq

Edward Field, 'Songs and Stories of the Netsilik Eskimos

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Great Days!

I am really excited about all these connections being made this summer. I have had the pleasure to get a bit closer to several Feri initiates I admire; I have begun to use LJ and Facebook (still learning); I have created several blogs and had personal responses from several well-know authors I admire; I have hosted a few new events here at Dragondale with great success....what an interesting change for me ... after 'hiding out' in the forest and only peeking out at Pantheacon. Wow, feels really different! 

this is me at 30, peeking out!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dominic


Marley's Ghost - One Love

Here they come! Marley's Ghost!!!!
Appearing August 7 at 7:30 PM in Monterey at Monterey Live (831) 375-5483
Appearing August 8 at 7:30PM in Berkeley at Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse (510) 548-176

Here's a little taste of them at Strawberry on Gospel Sunday...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

A dear friend posted this on a list and I just had to proliferate it! It says nearly all I can think of to say about the human community and where we can 'go' from here.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Neil Gaiman talks about Lovecraft

I was hunting about on YouTube and came across this interesting interview clip with Neil Gaiman talking about Lovecraft. As some of you may know, H.P. Lovecraft's work seemed to have an influence during the formative years of the Craft in the 20th century... or maybe it was the other way-round, and we had an influence on his writing? 
Here's Neil's interview:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Phython meets Star Trek

If you are a fan of Knights and legends, the Monty Python fellows and of the original Star Trek this You-Tube is a must see!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Witchcraft in the Elizabethan Age

I've noticed that some folks seem to be posting the same tired and limited information on the web about Witchcraft in the Elizabethan Age. It was a really good time for Witches to stay underground about their private practices and to profess links to Christianity for their health and well-being. Drawing upon my knowledge of the period, I turned up this very wonderful little piece about a handwritten book of shadows written in 1590.

I am writing an article on my website about this rather exciting time in the Age of Witchcraft. Remember, Queen Elizabeth would regularly consult with Dr. John Dee before she made many major decisions. Practicing Witchcraft in the Elizabethan Age was challenging at the very least, but the Queen always kept her "Astrologer" very close!

Worldwide Web 2.0-the easy way

Hey folks, this a very informative and easy to understand video about
the new Community Worldwide Web 2.0 ... enjoy! 
My friend friend, Mead Rose turned me on to this. His website is New Earth Arts website.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blessed Beltane 2008

Shifts and Changes as the days grow brighter and warmer....
I had the pleasure of celebrating Beltane twice this weekend. On Saturday, the 3rd, with Community Seed group. I joined with many folk in "dancing and drumming and singing up our creativity", which was the theme of this event.

Then on Sunday, the 4th, FireDrake Grove folks celebrated our Beltane here at Dragondale. The Hunters 'hunted' the pole and brought into the Circle where the Gatherers stroked it with magickal oils and topped it with a ring of ribbons before they stood it erect. It was then the task of the Hunters to entertain the Gatherers with tall stories, songs and boasts, which was very well done. The Gatherers then picked from the Hunters their favorite to become the "Jack-of-the-Green" and to be wrapped to the pole with the ribbons as we wove them, weaving the energy of our joy and laughter into the Earth. Our "jack-of-the-Green" this year was one of our newest participants who was having a birthday that very day and told a marvelous story. After releasing our "jack" by unwinding the ribbons to just above her head, we indulged in a sweet treat of puddings and wine. The puddings were presented on a platter with it's very own little Maypole, from which the spoons dangled on ribbons. Goddess praise our magnificent Cake Maker! The Circle was filled with beautiful folk splendidly topped with head wreaths we created before the ritual began. And ... we danced *barefoot* on a circle of grass planted as sod only 4 weeks previous. Hooray for the Green!

On Monday, I joined many other Feri folk and kin to celebrate Cora Anderson's life at a memorial service in her honour in Hayward. The shifts of her passing will ripple for some long time. Blessings to you, Cora, your gifts and your kindness will live on thru your Kin.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cora's Beltane

To Cora
Dearest Grandmother,
May your light and love carry you to the wild dance;
And the swift sparkle of the Fae encompass you
on every journey you take.
Now your voice is released
To shower upon all whose ears are wide;
Into the deep, lush silence of Beltane
We listen.

Cora Anderson passed thru the veil at 1 am on 1st May, 2008. She had been sung to and surrounded by many of her beloved Feri kyn and was in no pain.  
She is reunited with her beloved Victor.
What is remembered lives.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Great evening with the Feri Folk

What fun on Friday nite! 
A great bunch of Feri Students from all three of my classes and myself met up at Shogun ( my favorite sushi restaurant, on Pacific in Santa Cruz) for a marvelous meal and then we trooped up the street to the Perfumer's Apprentice to make our own magickal scents. Linda, the owner, served us tea and cookies and offered us guidance and instruction in her lovely shoppe, which we had all to ourselves by prior arrangement. 

Several of the celebrants were surprised at how much fun they had and said so! this may be one of the 'annual' events that happens for FireDrake Feri Folk.
If you find the idea appealing, please perpetrate this idea with your own group. I call it the Feri Sushi and Scent Social, but you can call it whatever it so pleases.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Great Book! Raven's of Avalon

Hey, I just finished reading  Raven's of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson. It's an expansion/back story to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series ... and wow! I could not put this down. I kept reading very late into the night/early in the am.

It's the life of Boudica, the Celtic Queen, from youth through motherhood and on as she transforms into the Red-Warrior Queen of the British tribes. 

This is a really fabulous piece of storytelling, weaving legend, magick and history.  Ms. Paxson's attention to the details of ornament, dress, dwelling and community behaviors is astounding and engages you in every aspect of the tale. There are several powerful, lyrical magickal rites and invocations that I intend to weave into my practice of Witchcraft, with attribute given to Diana Paxson of course!

Here's a little taste of one of the magickal rites, Boudica's wedding (verbatim quote - page 112 hardcover)

As her mother led Boudica forward, the boys began to sing-
"You are the moon among the stars,
You are the foam upon the wave,
You are the lily among the flowers,
You are the spark that starts the flame,
You are the beloved."

Prasutagos, dressed in a splendid fringed cloak checked in seven colors over a tunic and braes striped in blue and red, emerged from the crowd of men to stand beside her as the maidens who escorted 
Bodica replied -
"You are the sun above the clouds,
You are the wave that strikes the shore,
You are the oak within the wood,
You are the torch that lights the hall,
You are the beloved."

What a beautiful litany to begin a Handfasting!
Ms. Paxson is a practitioner of Asatru and a really marvelous writer, as well as a kind and generous person!
Her kindred website is http//www.hrafnar.org
Thank you, Diana Paxson!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

some of my illustrations ...

most of which are available at wytchwood.com in the Shoppe

and more of which can be viewed at wytchwood.com in the Gallery

just click on the Wytchwood banner at the top of this blog


Oh, thank the Goddess, t'is spring again and the green-budding life surrounds me.

We had a really lovely Ostara here at Dragondale (my home and covenstead for Coven Lunasun and FireDrake Grove) just last Saturday.  About 25 folk, including two small boys, celebrated in the Great Grove, sharing seeds, soaking up earth and tree energy and singing.  Afterwards, of course, there was a Great Feast with warm casserole, home-made quiche, breads, salads, cheeses and fruits ... yum!

Here is a little poem I  wrote several years ago in Honor of Spring:

Spring has come on quiet feet
She moves up close to take her seat _
Greets each of us in our own time
and stirs the source of inner rhyme.
Blessing with her secret rush
Her stance bespeaking summer's blush,
See Her now, upon each hill
Coaxing eyes to every sill;
Calling gentle, firm and true
Come dance again the whole year through.

©J'té Argent 1999