I'm flying to Manitoba today to visit my Mom for a few days. I'll be back blogging again in the New Year. So have a great (and safe) New Year's Eve, everyone, and see you in 2010!
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009
Torches here, Jeannette, Isabella!
Torches here, to the stable, run!
This is Jesus, good folk of the village.
Christ is born, 'tis Mary calling --
Ah! Ah! Beautiful is the Mother!
Ah! Ah! Beautiful is Her Son!
--17th century Provencal carol
May the Magna Mater and Her Divine Child bring their special blessings to the World once again. Be it so!
[Do you see the vesica piscis in this beautiful illustration? And the crescent moon? Together they form the circle of life and wholeness.]
Thursday, 24 December 2009
When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was the most magical evening of the entire year. Full of excitement and anticipation, it was the one night when we would go to bed early without complaint. After all, the sooner we got to sleep, the sooner Christmas morning would arrive and the sooner we could open our gifts! Right before bedtime, we'd put out a glass of milk for Santa and a plate with a couple of cookies on it. How exciting it was to find the empty glass and bare plate the next morning! Irrefutable proof that Santa had been in our house. How sweet is the innocent certainty of childish belief. And how fleeting, when viewed against a lifetime's experience.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
LOL! Okay, now get back to shopping, decorating and baking! Christmas is just around the corner!
Monday, 21 December 2009
Deep, deep, deep into the heart of the winter.
Deep, deep, deep into the womb of the Mother.
Deep, deep, deep where there is no other
Song but the song of my soul!
As we mark the year's shortest day and longest night, enjoy both the Light that will return with greater daily strength and the Dark that nourishes us with introspection, rest and rejuvenation.
Night of long darkness.
Candles burn. Songs call the light:
"Return, touch our hearts."
Solstice Blessings to you all!
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Many years ago in a Winnipeg mall, I ran across a temporary kiosk selling calligraphic prints illustrating the meaning of given names. I looked up "Debra," expecting (of course) to find it translated literally as "honeybee." Imagine my surprise when I found it translated as "she who seeks"!
Friday, 18 December 2009
When I was a teenager, there was a book called Your Destiny is in Your Name. It concerned numerology, if I remember correctly. I didn't put much stock in my destiny being in my name.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
The books of the Old Testament reflect many different historical eras in the life of the Jewish people. Scholars now recognize that the Old Testament contains evidence of Jewish spiritual beliefs which predate, or competed with, their belief in Jehovah, the male God of monotheism. Traces remain both of Jewish polytheism and of Jewish belief in the Divine Feminine. These traces, apparent in the original Hebrew language, are more obscured in the English translations.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
I learned from books that "Debra" is a Hebrew name that means "honeybee." Well, isn't that odd, I thought.
I also knew there was a famous Deborah in the Old Testament. She was a warrior and a judge of Ancient Israel. Well, isn't that odd, I thought.
It wasn't until I was on the Goddess Path that I learned the full significance of those facts. What I learned taught me that my name profoundly honours the Goddess. It connects me to Her in such a way that no new spiritual name could improve on the given name that I already have. I'll explain more in my next two posts.
Monday, 14 December 2009
It's not uncommon for those on a spiritual path to choose a new name for themselves. In paganism, it's usually called a spiritual name, a craft name, a magickal name or a circle name, etc. A new name often denotes a spiritual rebirth (like Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus) or the dedication of one's life to spiritual matters (like nuns and monks who choose new names upon taking their vows). A new name can also provide the safety of anonymity in case of religious persecution or danger (as for those in witchcraft covens). It is also an act of personal power to name yourself, a declaration that you take full control of, and responsibility for, your life. Great care usually goes into choosing a new name.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
So ends the longest night
In the Procession of Light, Sankta Lucia is accompanied by many candle-bearing attendants -- Maidens in white dresses and Star Boys in conical star-studded hats. All celebrate the return of the light in this beautiful and ancient ceremony.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
No, not that kind! Julie of The Domestic Witch has tagged me to do The Christmas Survey originated by Heather of Top 10 Christmas. Here are the official rules (and those of you who get tagged at the end will need them, bwa-ha-ha-ha!):
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
Remember how much fun it was to make paper snowflakes when you were a kid? Or perhaps the fun continues and you still make them!
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Earlier this week the Women's Drumming and Goddess Chanting Circle met to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This is one of my most favourite circles every year. We honoured Sankta Lucia, the Nordic Goddess of the Winter Solstice, with drumming, singing and much snacking on seasonal goodies. We sang special Solstice songs and chants, some of which are "reclaimed" Christmas carols. One of these, "The Little Drummer Girls," is always a particular favourite of the women of the Circle -- for obvious reasons, no doubt! Here are the lyrics (and just imagine the pa-rum-pa-pum-pums in the second and third verses, okay? It'll save me lots of typing, LOL!):
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I only watch one football game per year -- the Grey Cup championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Okay, so sue me -- I'm not the most dedicated sports fan in the Great White North. But I have watched every Grey Cup game since I was a little girl -- probably at least *cough* 45 *cough* games by now. Hey, I personally remember watching the mud bowl, the fog bowl and the snow bowl too. I know the CFL rules and I actually do understand the down system, thanks to my Mom who taught me.
So Sunday was the 2009 Big Game, which was held in Calgary. As a loyal Westerner, I was of course cheering for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. They started off strong and led in the first half, but the Montreal Alouettes fought back. With about 10 seconds left in the game, it was Saskatchewan 27 and Montreal 25. Then Saskatchewan was assessed a 10-yard penalty for inadvertently having an extra player on the field and that put Montreal close enough to score a field goal.
Montreal 28, Saskatchewan 27.
So poor Saskatchewan snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, as they say, and Montreal stole the Grey Cup away from the West. Oh, the pain of it all!
But just wait until next year! The West shall rise again!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
The Lion's Head is where pilgrims gather sacred spring water to take home and, for that purpose, Chalice Garden sells plastic souvenir bottles. When I went to buy one, the saleslady took note of my foreign accent, deduced that I would be flying home (not driving) and told me that I'd never get my water home in one of their bottles. Because of airport security, the bottle would have to go in my checked luggage, and the bottle tops were simply not watertight. The sacred water would all leak out during the flight, she said.
Monday, 16 November 2009
The Lion's Head is where one may drink from the Red Spring in Chalice Well Garden. It is essentially a spout which pours a steady stream of water over a couple of millstones in a small pool. (Note the heavy iron oxide build-up -- a reminder not to drink TOO much of this sacred water!) Our priestess and tour leader, Mara Freeman, led us in a beautiful ceremony at the Lion's Head. Each of us filled a pewter chalice to the brim with sacred water, thought of what we wanted to release from our lives and then poured the water back into the pool. Filling the chalice again, we thought of what we wanted the Goddess to bring into our lives and then we drank that water. Be it so!
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
But soon he joined in with the others . . .
. . . and before he knew it, everyone was Best Friends Forever!!
Her Royal Highness joined the party as well and graciously extended the regal paw of welcome to her newest subject . . .
. . . and introduced him to the Lion Goddess Sekhmet, who fell for Knitty Kitty's charms immediately. Here they are, posing for the paparazzi --
Cat treats were consumed. Party games were played. Fun was had by all.
Knitty Kitty even went swimming in the pool with the Mermaid Goddess Yemaya and her Merkitty! Well, actually he just floated around in a lifesaver ring, but still!
Finally, the party wound down and everyone went to their various cozy corners and cubbyholes for a long catnap. Knitty Kitty finished his evening by getting a nice skritch behind the ears from Kwan Yin Herself. The Goddess loves all kitties.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Another of Chalice Garden's water features created to showcase the waters of the Red Spring is the Healing Waterfall. It is located in a walled bower of trees and ferns, a shady and peaceful spot. The spring water splashes down a red brick waterfall surrounded by slate rocks. People often leave small offerings to the Goddess here -- a votive candle, a small apple, a stone, a feather or two. Ribbons are tied to the surrounding tree branches.