Lammas draws near…

So, Lammas (aka Lughnasadh) is roughly 5 days away.  I have a few ideas on how I plan to celebrate, which mostly depend upon me baking bread.  To be honest, I haven’t made bread in a while, and my last endeavor didn’t turn out so well.  I should probably hunt down my bread machine, that will help immensely in the kneading/rising parts of the process.


I have a hard time this time of year.  The nature of Lammas is all about sacrifice, and not necessarily in a “sacrifice something living” sort of thing, though I’m sure there are some faiths out there that have a sacrifice of some sort.  But that is not what this is about.  The nature of sacrifice is really about giving up something important to you for the greater good of your family or community (or world).  I mean, I’ve sacrificed a lot over the years, and most of the time, I’m okay with that.  Sometimes, I am a little envious of people who still have the things I gave up, but it doesn’t change the depth of my sacrifice or the importance of why I gave something up.

This year, I’m having a hard time settling down on what sacrifice I’ve made in my life this year.  Or if I even have sacrificed anything.

What am I celebrating this Lammas season?  Why am I celebrating Lammas?  I suppose when I get down to it, I celebrate and honor this sabbat for the sacrifice of the Lord of the Harvest, who dies in order to bless the crops and ensure a fruitful harvest.  I suppose it doesn’t make a lot of sense to some people, but there are a lot of dying/resurrection deities found the world over.  Dionysus from Greek myth, Osiris from Egypt… Jesus from Christianity.  Each of these deities made a sacrifice of some sort for the betterment of the people.  Though in the case of Dionysus, I think it was more he was killed three times and reborn each time to eventually become the God of Vineyards, Grape Harvest, Wine, Ritual Madness, Fertility and more.

Jesus sacrificed himself for the sins of humanity.  Osiris was sacrificed and became the God was Slain and Risen.

There are many more who fit this archetype.


So my friend came up with the idea of me baking bread and I think I’m going to make a bread man and “sacrifice” him in an act of sympathetic ritual.  I might even use the freshly made jam as his “blood” when I eat the bread.

I also want to make blackberry cobbler.  I am really craving some blackberry cobbler right now.  Mmmm.


I’m feeling super random today, so I will be off now.  Though, in other news, my Wheel of the Year page (the original one) is back up and running again.  I decided maintaining my own domain is just not something I can keep up with at the moment, so back to my old site I go! It looks faboo, so I am pleased!

Ta for now!

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

Pre-Beltaine Weekend

Well, here we are, the weekend right before Beltaine.  Though I suppose it depends on your tradition or group as to when you celebrate Beltaine.  Most pagans that I know of tend to celebrate usually on April 30-May 1, though traditionally, I believe it’s May 1st… hence why we have May Day.

So let’s talk about Beltaine, shall we?

Beltaine is associated with the return of Spring and full blown fertility. The name for Beltaine is thought to be derived from the Irish Gaelic ‘Bealtaine’ or the Scottish Gaelic ‘Bealtuinn’, meaning ‘Bel-fire’, the fire of the Celtic god of light (Bel, Beli or Belinus). Other names for Beltaine include: Cetsamhain (‘opposite Samhain’), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval Church’s name). This last name came from Church Fathers who were hoping to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the Cross). There’s also the Floralia (Roman feast of flowers from April 29 to May 1) which celebrates the Roman Goddess of Flowers.

The God is usually seen as the Horned King at this time, and coming into His mature power, begins His rule over the Light half of the year.

This is the second of the four fire festivals, and  this is often a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth. May morning is also considered a magical time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health. Its is said that any Maiden that bathes in this water will have a fair complexion for the following year.

Beltaine marks the start of summer according to the old calendars, and is a time for feasting, merry-making, celebration, and joy. It is a time to look outward and forward to the future, and to prepare for the warm summer months ahead. It is also a time for love, union and the sacred marriage which honors the fertility of the Earth.

Today, the sun is shining, I’ve got my Beltaine playlist playing and I am putting together my plans for my celebration.  I just got the latest in a series of “Sabbat Boxes” the other day and I am rather pleased with this sabbats offerings.  It’s all crystal magick, which is totally awesome, and it even came with a mini-crystal grid kit, which I will admit, I’ve never done any Crystal Grid work.  I’m excited to try it out and learn a new method of working magick.

My menu is coming along nicely.  My little Facebook vote went over well and the winner for the main dish is Balsamic Chicken with an Orange Glaze.  I’ll be serving steamed asparagus with chives and chive blossoms, a fresh garden salad, fruit and of course, May Wine!  I’m looking forward to celebrating this year.

My ritual focus is going to be on healing, particularly I will be working on healing my own issues with self-esteem and doubt.  These might seem to be mental hang ups, but I assure you this is very much a physical thing as they are primarily connected with my body image.  Beltaine isn’t just fertility my friends, it is a sensual, physical celebration and often people hear Beltaine and think “oh it’s that pagan sex holiday”, which yeah, sex can be part of it, it isn’t a taboo thing and sex can be a very sacred, spiritual experience.  But the core of this is being comfortable in our own skin.  Loving not just others, but ourselves above all else.  We must learn to love ourselves in order to know how to truly love another.

Some Ideas for Community Focus for Beltaine

Community rituals should focus on the joy and passion of the season, but take it deeper. Engage all five senses, make your ritual sensual. We are bringing the upper and lower Worlds together, much like the Goddess and God join in Union.

Try to incorporate rituals of healing damaged body images, as Beltaine is a perfect time to remind us that all are beautiful, all are desirable, and all deserve joy and happiness.

And with that, I leave you with this gem of a song, about the May celebrations in the Cornish town of Padstow.

Many Beltaine Blessings,

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

A Week from Beltane

Probably one of the most famous, popular and fun of the pagan Sabbats, we are now a week away from Beltane!  As I’ve written before (on various platforms) in our modern times, we see and feel echoes from days long ago in May Day celebrations.  Though, as we move ever forward, our quaint practices from decades ago fade from more mainstream practices.  I can remember making May baskets in school when I was a child, filling them with flowers (most crepe paper flowers).  My grandmother tells me that when she was a child, the May baskets would be left on the door of a neighbors house to give them a nice surprise.

Now, we’re afraid of our neighbors.  Now, we’re afraid of offending someone so we banish any sort of holidays, because Goddess forbid our kids learn anything about anything outside of their own families traditions and practices.  It’s kind of sad.

But that’s not the point of this post.  We are a week away from one of the biggest sabbats of the year and I’ve got very little planned for it.  About the only thing set in stone for the menu is the May Wine I’ll be preparing since I checked my sweet little woodruff plant and it will bloom in time for the holiday. I’m really looking forward to that, last year when I made it, everyone seemed to like it, so yay!

I’m still trying to decide what my main dish will be, I’m thinking Medallions of Pork with Riesling sauce OR Balsamic Chicken with an Orange Glaze.  Both sound good, and at this point, I can’t care what the kids will think, because they never eat anything I make anymore, haha.  For the side dish, I can’t decide if I want to make Spanakopita or Asparagus with Chives and Blossoms.  Or maybe both.  Actually, I think that’s a great idea and I will make both.  Now what to do for dessert? There are like a million recipes for various Beltane themed desserts, so I guess it’s whatever floats my boat.

Oh.  Wait.  I know.  Last year I had a recipe for Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Vanilla Bourbon drizzle.  It was amazing.  Then a couple months later, I was watching Fixate with Beachbody onDemand and boom! There it was, almost the exact same recipe and I knew it was meant to be.  I think I will do that.

Okay, that’s out of the way, time to decide on the ritual.


Typically, Beltaine is revered as a holiday of fertility, love and lust.  As the old saying goes “Hooray, hooray! ’tis the first of May! Outdoor diddling starts today!” or at least that’s what my Grandmother said it was, many people focus on the physical aspects of this day.  I used to go to the Tacoma Earth Religions Revival Association (TERRA) Beltane event whenever I could (though that group is disbanded and I haven’t yet found another public event to attend)  and I remember vividly a few years ago (wrote about it, here, too!) attending a ritual lead by a male Dianic priest who invoked Lilith as a goddess of sexual healing.  I’ve been to a ritual invoking Pan and Aphrodite and I’ve been a part of an incredible Beltane ritual play that involved a love chase between the Goddess Flora and the God Faunus.

These days, I am content to spend my sabbats in quiet contemplation, though I confess, I feel a stirring in my heart when it comes to Beltane and a desire to celebrate with others of like mind.

I think this year I will spend my Beltane, not with ritual, but with fun.  It’s not always about serious ritual, and sometimes, saying “I’m just going to play” is a great way to spend a sabbat.  The Goddess says “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”, so perhaps I will (weather pending) spend the day at the park and have a picnic.

Oooh.  I like that.



Seriously, this is amazing!


Now for the Fixate Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone (found on Beachbody ondemand)


  • 3 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • ½ medium orange, orange peel finely grated (orange zest), juice reserved
  • 2 tsp. Kentucky bourbon
  • 2 medium peaches (preferably late-season freestones)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Beat together mascarpone and extract in a small bowl; refrigerate, covered.
  2. To make maple bourbon sauce, combine maple syrup, orange peel, orange juice, and bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly (being careful not to burn it), for approximately 5 minutes, or until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. Coat grill with spray. Preheat grill (or cast iron grill pan) on high.
  4. Cut peaches in half; remove stones.
  5. Grill peaches, flesh side down, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until you can see juices bubbling beneath the skin, flesh is slightly charred, and peaches are soft to their core. Place peaches on a serving platter.
  6. Fill each peach center with about 2 heaping teaspoons of mascarpone mixture; drizzle with maple sauce.
  7. If desired, top each with a few crystals of fleur de sel (or any large, flaky salt) and enjoy!


  • For a kid-friendly version, skip the maple bourbon sauce and drizzle the grilled peaches with plain maple syrup or honey.
  • When possible, use Freestone peaches (available mid-June through August) since their stones can be easily removed. If using regular peaches, be sure to split them along their equator, not lengthwise, and remove the stone with a sharp paring knife.
  • If you don’t have a grill, you can arrange peaches flesh side up on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 10 to 12 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn!


Many Blessings,

~ Ravenna

Categories: Food, Life, Paganism, Sabbats

Imbolc – Season of Renewal

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Another sabbat, the Wheel turns and a new season is ready to greet us.  The land is still sleepy, blanketed in cold and snow in many places.  There are still some signs of the coming spring, and we know that the light has returned by noticing the Sun is awake longer and longer every day since Yule.  The air is fresh and crisp, still containing a cleansing bite.

It is a time of renewal, of purification, of initiation.  A time to clean out the old and make way for the new that we know is coming to us.


In my household this year, we are in the midst of a remodel.  It’s not the ideal time of year for this project to be happening, this much we are aware of.  But circumstances led us to the discovery of a massive leak in our roof which has caused some of the supporting beams in the walls of a couple rooms in the house to be damaged badly, and are forcing us to repair the damages.  While we’re at it, we might as well make it look nicer than it has in a long, long time.  We started with my mother-in-laws room.  The walls were wet in some places because of the leak.  So we replaced the walls.  Painted them and made them beautiful.  We ripped out the old carpet to discover the original hardwood flooring still intact and in excellent condition.  So we sanded it, buffed it out, polished it to a glorious shine.  Bought a nice throw rug and turned it into a quaint sanctuary for her to enjoy.  It certainly made the room look even larger, which is always a bonus.

The next step was the bathroom, which we’re still working on.  The floor was rotted in some place and so were the back two walls.  So it’s all torn apart while we get those fixed.  We will follow it with new walls, new flooring, new bathtub, new sink and toilet.  There will be beautiful new tiles with a lovely mosaic design.  I’m excited for it.  Our living room will be the final room (though maybe the kitchen later down the road) at this point.  We now know the original hardwood stands throughout the house, so all the old carpet is coming out in order to showcase our beautiful flooring.  The walls will be painted, new shelves and bookshelves.  A new 3-tiered toy box for the children to keep their toys and games organized.  A smaller computer desk I believe would be nice as well.  Fewer places for me to hid my little knick knacks and baubles.  I’ll have to organize them, too.

Since this is the season of renewal and purification, I’ve been doing small rituals of room blessings and simple spells to aid us in our work.  Truth be told, I haven’t done much, the heavy work is being done by the menfolk, while I am left with the task of going through all the clutter and things we don’t need.  And there is a lot of that, trust me.  It’s a daunting task, and to be honest, I kind of lose the will to live looking at all the junk we have aquired over the years.  But downsize we must!  I have to just keep reminding myself how much better it will all look in the end, how much better we will feel and how much more inviting our home will be.

Many members in the house don’t agree or follow my religious beliefs, but I think it’s just a matter of perspective and misunderstanding for them.  I will continue with my blessings, my chants and simple spells and rituals.  I will remove the stagnant energy and use this season to breathe new life into everything.

It’s time for some change.  I have to work with them, instead of against them.  I have to quit bucking against the men when they tell me what to do, because in this case, it isn’t about sexism or them holding lordship over me, but about them asking me to partner with them, to help them reach their goals, much like I should be all along.


I’ve been ranting a lot in the past, and I think while I will always be the random Ravenna we all know and love, it’s time for me to show how much I’ve grown up.  Because I most certainly have.  There was so much pain and angst written here, and it bled through to all my readers, to which I thank you for all your support.  I’ve been working hard to build more patience in life, to let the little things roll off my back, because wasting the time being angry, is just that – wasting time.  I have better things to think and worry about.

My Witchcraft V class is coming along really well, too.  I’m loving every moment of it, and it is HARD.  There are assignments where I have to take a good long look at myself and be truly honest with myself.  Where I have to admit to things, even though they made me uncomfortable.  One assignment is called the “I Use List” where we listed all the things we use and how we use them.  For me I added things like “I use music to help shift my moods and make me happy.  I use the internet for entertainment as well as education.” The one that bothered me was “I use people to make myself feel better about my life.” It just sounded wrong, like I was using people for the sake of using them, the same as any other tool.  But it isn’t quite like that.  I use people as friends, as comrades and in some cases I guess as enemies, and they all help me make my life better.  Whether it is listen to me as I rant and rave about the injustice of life, or they give me advice and wisdom to better my life, even to remind me that I am not an evil person who does evil things.  I use people.  It still sounds wrong, but it was the truth and so I included it.  In the end I was praised for that bravery of being so honest about myself.  My next assignment is “I Connect” and I’m still working on that one.  I know it will come together the way it needs to be and I am okay with that.  In the end, this course will change my life for the better, and has already changed my life.

It’s worth all the hard work.


I’m still planning my main Imbolc ritual, I’ve got an idea in place, it’s just a matter of getting it set up and performing the ritual.  I’m pretty excited about it, so that’s always a plus.  I shall be purifying and renewing myself this year.  I will wash myself clean of the things that bogged me down last year and start fresh.

I plan to make a small feast for it, too.  The menu isn’t quite set yet, but again, I have some ideas.  It’s still cold out, so I’m thinking hearty comfort foods.  Maybe a shepherd’s pie.  Some fresh bread and homemade butter.  One of our jams that we preserved over the summer.  It will be nice to celebrate again.  But it will be a quiet one, not quite the same frantic energy of the earlier winter holidays.  Like I said, Mother Earth is still sleepy, not quite ready to awaken and green the land.  But She is waking, just a little.

I’ve been thinking about music again. Creating playlists that fit the sabbat.  There are quite a few songs that I enjoy and fit very strongly with the season.  A few old favorites and a couple new ones as well.

Brighid’s Kiss by La Lugh is one of the new ones that I’m enjoying very much.  The singer died some years ago, but this song remains for us to enjoy.  It’s quite beautiful.

Alive! by Omnia this one has been a favorite of mine since I believe 2010 or so.  It makes me want to get up and move and dance.  To get my blood flowing and awaken myself to greet the slumbering Goddess and young Sun God.

Music feeds the soul.  It gives nourishment, much like the maiden Goddess offers nourishment to the young God and to the earth itself as she awakens from her long sleep throughout the cold of winter.

Let us dance and awaken the Mother my friends! Let us renew our Selves and allow the energies of new life and growth welcome into us!

sleeping mother earthWelcome to the Maiden Goddess as She wakes and stretches Her hands across the land, bringing a gentle greening.  Let the fires of Inspiration, Healing and the Forge of Creation burn brightly within us all!  Let the blessings of Brighid be welcomed into our hearts and lives!

Blessed be my friends, have a Happy and Joyful Imbolc this year! May you all be blessed with joy, happiness, abundance and good health.

Much love,

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

Nine Days and Counting…

Until summer vacation begins.  And 2 days after that is the Summer Solstice!! Hurrah!  Not that I have any idea what we’re doing for it.  Not to mention, since my laptop is down and access to half my files is limited, I can’t really hit up some of my favorite recipes.  Bummer.


I have to say I am actually looking forward to this school year ending.  It’s been rather traumatic for us.  I mean, it started off well enough, and then in October it all seemed to go to shit.  The youngest had, had a few behavioral problems at the end of the school year, but nothing serious.  Mostly just running around and being silly instead of sitting quietly.  It was the end of the year for crying out loud! I wouldn’t expect ANY 6 year old to sit perfectly still in the final weeks of school.  I thought it was “normal”.  The other two boys were the same way at that age, granted not quite to that extent, but still, little boys are wiggly and there’s nothing wrong with that.

How wrong we were.

So we start this school year and it seems to be okay, though the youngest seems to still have some issues sitting quietly and following all the rules.  Hey, it’s hard going back to rules and schoolwork after vacation! Especially when it’s so gorgeous outside!  But as we crept into October, his behavior started getting more and more out of control.  And then it all just went to hell in a hand-basket.  What followed after that is months upon months of doctor appointments, testing, medication, medication re-evaluation and changes, therapy, schedule changes.  It was a lot.  The biggest issue of course were the daily phone calls from the school to “come get my kid”.  DAILY phone calls.  If I had a job back then, I would have been FIRED.  That is fact.  I can’t get a job now, because even though things are better (I’ll get to that), I still have to take him here there and everywhere for appointments, and I still sit in fear that I’ll get a phone call to come and get him.

It was so bad, I couldn’t even leave the house while he was at school, because I sat there waiting for the phone call to come.  I couldn’t go to the store.  I couldn’t go to any of my doctor appointments, I couldn’t do anything.

And he was being traumatized, too.  At one point, I arrived at the school to find the principal physically restraining my little boy by pinning his arms and legs to the ground.  Then she complained that he tried to bite her.  Well, no shit, Sherlock.  I’d try to bite your ass if you pinned me to the ground, too!  They made it a “reward” for his bad behavior, he KNEW if he acted up, he would be sent home, which is what he wanted.  They TRAINED him.

But I did what any good mother would do.  I took him to see a doctor.  I took him to a pediatric psychiatrist, I took him to a neurologist.  All of them agreed, my kid was legitimately ADHD. He was not one of those “oh we just don’t want to deal with him, so let’s medicate”, but a real, true blue case.  Couple that with oppositional defiance disorder and sleep apnea and we’ve got a powder keg of crazy.

His father and I did something we said we would never do.  We medicated him.  The doctor put him on adderall, and let’s just say after 1 week of that shit, we went back and told her NO!  He was fine the first few days, and we saw a dramatic improvement… but it was PAINFULLY obvious when the medication wore off, I mean, his eyes got all dilated and he acted like he was all cracked out until 2 am.  So we put him on a different medication… concerta, which let’s be honest, I might as well not given him anything for all the good it did.  Thankfully we were only on that for a week before we finally got in to see the pediatric psychiatrist.  She put him on something else and we’ve been on that ever since.

We then started a REALLY intensive counseling program, called Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT).  It involved weekly sessions, where the counselors gave me an earpiece and coached me through various activities with the boy.  The first half of the program involved child led activities, where I practiced new skills on how to play with my child.  How to have fun with him and let him realize that HE was important to me.  That part was great.  Moving on to the Parent led portion was more difficult.  We would still start off sessions with child led activities, but then we gradually started having me add commands for him to obey.  That first session was a nightmare!  One simple command “Dylan, please put the green block into the box” and it all went downhill.  What followed was 2 1/2 hours of screaming and crying and refusing to obey.  He had to sit in the time out chair.  He wouldn’t sit in the time out chair, so I would take the toys and leave the room (the counselors could still see him and monitor him) and he would try to lock me out, he threw chairs, kicked the walls and screamed.  I would go back in the room after a minute and ask him to sit in the time out chair, he wouldn’t do it so I would leave the room again.  We did this for 2 1/2 hours.  He started begging “please, mom, I just want to go home! I’ll do anything! I’ll sit in the chair, just let me go home!” But we couldn’t leave until he complied with my command.  He did it, but it was hard.  I will admit, when the begging came, I would have normally caved in to him and let him get his way, but they wouldn’t let me.  They helped me stay firm, and in the end, as hard for me as it was (I was a basket case when I got home) it was a good thing.  We only had one more bad session after that, but we managed to make it through the program with flying colors!

The school kept sending him home during this time, until finally after his I don’t even know how many suspensions, we had a meeting with the school admins and district people.  My suggestion from October (can we do a partial homeschool with him?) was finally given consideration and we began half days for him.  He spent the mornings with me, doing school work and would go to school right before lunch to finish out the day.  He was getting better.  He was spending time in the resource room (special ed classroom) and developing a rapport with the teachers then and started doing his work again.  After a month of this, we increased his time at school.  He’s only been sent home a couple times since we started doing this schedule, but mostly over silly misunderstandings.  This week, he’s going back to regular schedule and we’ll see how it goes from there.

However, they want to send him to a different school next year.  Where he would be in an extremely restrictive classroom environment with other behaviorally challenged kids.  I have mixed feelings about it.  I mean, he would be in a classroom with a smaller number of students and more teacher support… but he would be leaving all his friends behind and would be away from his older brother.  He would be picked up by the short bus and driven all the way across town to a new school.  And should there come a time when I need to go and pick him up (say he gets sick or hurt) my new worry is, do I have the gas to drive across town to get him?  Rock, meet hard place.

We have to decide before the last day of school if we are going to sign the paperwork for his transfer.  I managed to get the district to finally agree with me on letting me see the school and classroom they want to send him to.  So that’s a good thing.  That will happen later this week, so we’ll see how it goes.


So that has been my last several months.  It’s been difficult.  While this was all going on, I felt like I was going to lose my mind at times.  I even told the school I felt like I was losing it (they gave me the number for the suicide hotline – um, I said I was frustrated, NOT suicidal, but thanks I think?) If it weren’t for the support of my own therapist, psychiatrist, family and friends, I probably would have been a lot worse off.  They’ve been amazing.  My Witchcraft 4 class also gave me something to focus on that was completely unrelated to what was going on in my personal life.  Well, mostly.  I mean, my spirituality is a huge part of me and my life, but I was able to use my classwork as a way to keep my mind sharp and not constantly worried about the boy.  It helped.  I’m also happy to say that I was accepted for Witchcraft 5 – the final level in the Temple of Witchcraft series, and I am stupid excited for it to start.  Which is not until October.  WHY?!?! Why must I wait so long?! Haha, it’ll be okay.  I think it’s a good thing that I have such a long break before jumping back into things.  It’ll give me plenty of time for things to sink in, and for us to adjust to whatever happens with Dylan, the fact that the oldest is entering high school and the middle boy is in his final year of elementary school.  We have some pretty intense changes coming this fall, so I guess… I am really happy that summer vacation is coming up, because we really need the break from the insanity.  Time to chill, relax by the river and have some fun!  Our weather has been phenomenal for the last few months, and it just keeps getting hotter and better (at least I’m liking it!).  So now I need to start thinking about solstice and what I want to do.  What it means.  How do I want to celebrate.

I’ve got some ideas, but I guess I will share those in my next post, which shouldn’t be too long from now.  Since things are starting to calm down a bit, I think I’ll have more time to do some writing.  Until then, be happy everyone!  And remember, if you’re having hard times, there is an end, it DOES get better.  It might not seem like it, but I promise, there is a light at the end.


~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats, The Kids

Stuck in my Head

So I heard this song today, just by chance… and now I’m stuck on it.  Like I seriously can’t get it out of my head.  I’ve been listening to it all day long.  It’s almost trance-like.  No, it’s not almost, it is trance-like.  I’ve already seen a glimpse of how my Samhain will go this year, and it’s not for 6 months.  I was driven to write an invocation to Odin in a moment of fevered frenzy.

The last couple weeks I’ve been literally in a frenetic, creative state.  I’m getting ready to finish my fourth level of the Temple of Witchcraft’s Mystery School, one of the assignments is to create a Reality Map.  I drew it in one of those states of frenzy, after inspiration struck… quite literally by a rumble of thunder rolling across the skies.  There was no lightning, just this deep, resonating crash of thunder.  Then the vision of the map was shown to me and I HAD to draw it.  So I did.

Now I’m in another state of frenzy and I’ve been moving back and forth through trance states all day.  It’s a little freaky.

How do I ground myself from this?  Do I even want to?  Gods, I’m in a weird place today.

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism

Happy Ostara!!

So here we are at the Spring Equinox, where just for a moment, things are in balance before the scales tip towards the light half of the year!

And not a moment too soon. I think I can safely say that most of the United States (particularly those on the East Coast) are ready for spring to be here. While we here in the Seattle area have been blessed with a lovely and warm early spring, today it is overcast and a bit drizzly. *sighs* Well, it’s good for the earth so I won’t complain too much.

We have a rare and somewhat unique astronomical event happening today as well, as not only is it the Vernal Equiniox, but tonight is also a Super New Moon and there was a total solar eclipse earlier as well. Though I am sad that I wasn’t able to see the eclipse… in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. Hm, well, maybe someday! Either way, today’s triad of cool stuff doesn’t happen often and I think according to the news it won’t happen again for like 200 years or something like that. Well then!

So today I am celebrating Ostara, the pagan/Wiccan term for the Spring Equinox, and I’ve been just kind of dinking around most of today, getting set up for my dinner and private ritual. I’m having a quiche by the way. Which honestly isn’t that important, I just thought I’d share.

So some stuff about Ostara? Hmm, well a few years back, I wrote a fairly long post about the significance of the day, so maybe I’ll write a little bit about other ways to focus on Ostara.  So some things I’ve learned about Ostara recently is that it may not have been named for a Teutonic goddess name Eostre.  I guess there is very little evidence that She existed and it is one tiny little reference that somehow took off on a grand scale and here we are today!  While we don’t know much about Eostre, we do know that she is related to the Greek goddess of the dawn, Eos; and that this time also dovetails with the Greek Eleusinian mysteries with the return of the goddess Persephone from the Underworld.

So here is some thoughts and themes for Ostara


At this time, witches cast spells for careers, relationships, and love. It’s a time for planting new ideas. Seek harmony and balance in the incredible energy of the season, and project good health, good fortune, and confidence in achieving goals. This is the time to free yourself from anything in the past that is holding you back.

A Shamanic theme for Ostara is resurrection.  The Goddess rises from her sleep, and the land is renewed.  Flowers bloom and the land is revitalized after the long, cold winter. Ostara can mark the beginning or end of a time of training, with a symbolic rebirth.  It is a time of planting seeds, both literal and metaphoric.  It is a time to ask what seeds are we planting? What are the goals your community is working towards?  During this time of balance, transform your dense energy and use it as “fertilizer” for your new hopes and dreams.  Seek resurrection and plan for the future at Ostara.


So tonight I will be doing a simple ritual in honor of Ostara, most of my rituals are done at night when the children are sleeping, so it should be nice and quiet and I will be able to do a meditation while I’m at it.  Tonight’s meditation will be on where I need balance in my life and how to go about getting there.  I’m hopeful that this year will bring some positive and life-changing things for me, so I will be planting seeds of hope as well.

Blessings and Happy Spring everyone!!

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

Soooo bored…

It’s been terrible.  I’ve read all the books I own and some new ones to boot.  In fact, my friend who runs the Sassy Little Book Fairy has been a Goddess send when it comes to new book recommendations, and considering she works with books all the time, and her taste is awesome, I tend to listen.  She hasn’t failed me yet, lol.  But yup, I’ve run out of dollars to buy new books and have yet to visit the local library in the hopes that they have some of the ones I want to read in stock.  Go figure.

*sighs* It’ll be okay, Ostara and Mother’s day are coming up and I usually get a new book or 2 for those, so I can be happy and wait.

Speaking of Ostara… holy oh my goodness! It’s right around the corner! HUZZAH!  Not that I really need much of a huzzah in my corner of the world, we here in Washington are experiencing an unseasonably warm and early spring.  I am LOVING it.  I NEED the warm.  I do feel bad though, since my sister is STILL buried under an ungodly amount of snow over on the east coast.  I mean, here I am all warm and cozy, and they’ve got people jumping out of windows into snow that’s like 7 ft deep… in a URBAN area.  Not the mountains of anything like that.  SEVEN FEET OF SNOW in BOSTON.  I am soo glad I live in Washington now.  It may drizzle much of the time, but at least I don’t have 7 ft of snow.  And I’ll get back to Ostara again in a moment…

Any way!! So yeah, I’ve been bored to tears lately.  And filling my time watching the History 2 channel and their endless marathon of “Ancient Aliens”.  Wow.  That shit is unreal!  It starts off really interesting and they’ve got some cool theories, (such as the Great Sphinx originally being an Anubis statue… I could see that!) but then BAM! ALIENS! And I’m like “…aaand ya lost me!” lol.  One episode was on the prevalence of the number 3 in religion throughout history and then they get to talking about the third eye and the pineal gland in the brain (all very fascinating) and then… BAM! Aliens!

doyouevenscienceAnd I’m like these guys <—- (Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson) going “Wha?” But it’s not enough to make me want to stop watching.  I’m such a glutton for this kind of ridiculousness.  At least it gives me something to laugh about later as I go on a weird knowledge quest again.

I love learning stuff, even if it’s weird.  But I definitely prefer it not being too weird.  I mean, weird for me is downright bizarre for most, and weird for others is to me awesome sauce and I need more.  *shrugs* that’s just me I suppose.

So I’m almost done with the fourth level of my Temple of Witchcraft classes that I’m taking.  Which makes me both sad and ridiculously happy.  Sad, because it’s been really interesting and I don’t want to stop, but happy because this will hopefully lead me to starting the fifth level, and learning how I can better serve my community.  Because I think that’s where this has been leading me to all these year, “how can I serve the people around me?  What can I do to help improve their lives? What can I do to make a difference and make the world a better place?” Granted, it sounds kind of conceited, but I really want to know how to make the world a better place.  The older I get, the less patience I have for foolishness and the greater my desire to see the next generation live in happiness and peace.  *shrugs* We’ll see.


So yeah, back to Ostara.  A time of balance, when the light finally overtakes the dark of night and we can fully enjoy the lengthening days that will eventually lead us to the Summer Solstice in June.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my time of balance.  Working my way through Temple of Witchcraft gives me a unique opportunity to mentor students in lower levels, and this year one of the people I’m working with gave me the most brilliant idea ever when it comes to finding balance.  Mot of us, when picturing balance, use “scales” and will shift things between the two sides in order to create balance.  This student said “no! We don’t always want some of the gunk that weighs us down!” and visualized “chipping” off little bits that didn’t fit, instead of shifting them around until things felt balanced.  She MADE balance by ditching the crud we don’t need.  I was like “WHAT?! Why did I never think of this before? How did I miss this!! You’re freaking brilliant!!” because lets, be honest, we all give lip service to that sort of thing, but rarely practice what we preach.  Here I am now, sitting here thinking about it again, especially now that I’m prepping for my Ostara ritual, and wondering where in my life am I out of balance?  What needs shifting and what needs ditching in order to find that balance?  I’m doing a little personal and metaphysical house-cleaning if you will.  Taking stock of what I have, who my friends and family are.  What I do with myself.  It’s kind of surprising.  I find that I am closest to people I rarely see, and a few I’ve never met face to face, but for reasons the Gods know, turn out to be the best friends I’ve ever made.  I have the most AMAZING UN-biological Sisters and Brothers in the universe (let it be known, my actual brother and sister do rock in total and complete awesome ways), and I feel particularly blessed in that I see to make a bit of an impact in the lives of people I meet.

It’s a good feeling.  My work with cub scouts, as stressful as it can be, it is so worth it, when I see the smiling faces of all these boys and their families and knowing that I had just a tiny part of making sure they had fun and learned something while they were at it.  Hoping that someday, they will look back on their childhood and remember that one crazy lady who was always laughing and being silly but made sure I had fun at camp… yeah, that’s an awesome feeling.

Ostara is coming in about a week.  The spring equinox.  Equal day, and equal night.  What does it mean?  What is it all about?  Something to think about in the next couple days.  I mean, I’ve thought about it a lot over the years, and my views have changed, matured and shifted as I’ve grown.  I have a great post in mind later this week all about Ostara, but in the meantime, I challenge my readers to learn more.  THINK about what it means.  What it represents.  We are at a time of balance, of renewal, a time of planting seeds, literal and figurative.  What can you plant in order to bring new blessings in your life in the coming months and growing season?  I’ll tell you my goals in a couple days and we’ll see where to go from there.

But right now, I have a little boy bouncing around the house like he’s eaten a vat of sugar that I need to tend to.  Much love and many blessings, my dear friends and readers!!

~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

It’s that time of year again!

So we’re a few days away from the winter solstice, also known as Yule… which comes a few days before the Christian/Secular holiday of Christmas.  What’s that?  I called Christmas secular??  Well, actually, it is a secular holiday, AND a religious holiday.  An important one at that.  Before people get all up in arms about it, there’s nothing wrong with a religious holiday – especially one as widely celebrated as Christmas – being a secular holiday as well.  Granted, 75% of celebrants are most likely Christians, other people who don’t identify as Christian will celebrate it too.  And what’s more?  I know ATHEISTS who celebrate it!  Oh my Gosh! Really?  Yep!

All over the world people celebrate a winter holiday, typically in the month of December (I say typically because from what I learned, Chanukah moves around the calendar a bit, and I guess last year it was in November.  Honestly, I don’t know a lot about Chanukah, so maybe I should ask my sister’s hubby’s family about it, since they’re Jewish and can probably explain it nicely for me so I know what it is!  Anyway!  So people all around the world celebrate a holiday in the winter months to mark the return of the sun.  With the Winter Solstice falling on or around the 22nd of December (in the northern hemisphere I should say), it is the longest night of the year, and for our ancestors, it seemed like the sun would never return.  Of course we know better, but back then things were a little different.


Imagine if you will, hundreds of years ago, before the industrial revolution, before electricity, hell, before we “discovered” the Americas, our ancestors lived in a time of hardship.  We had to work the fields, tend to farms, tend to families and hope that we survive the winter.  Our herds were culled back in October for Samhain, and we’ve now reached a time where it is cold and dark.  The nights are long, and sometimes it was hard to believe that the sun god would ever return to lighten our days and warm the lands.  Then we reach that point… where the night is the longest it’s ever been during the year, the winter solstice, and during those few days where the night is longest, the Goddess of the land begins to labor to bring forth the reborn Sun Child.  After a few days, our ancestors would notice that the sun was up a little more each day and would celebrate the reborn sun.  It would be a time of feasting, celebrating and gift giving.  Eventually, this would become the basis for our modern day Christmas celebrations.


Modern day Christmas is a blend of traditions and practices from all over the world, from different time frames, different cultures, and different beliefs that would somehow blend together in a beautiful harmony and give rise to some of the most classic icons of Christmas.  Christmas itself is the celebration of Christ’s Mass, and while we now know that Jesus was very likely born in the spring time, we celebrate his birth in December because he is the Son/Sun of God.  The Child of Light, who brings peace and goodwill to all mankind.  It fits that the Christian savior would have his birth celebration at this time, his mythos blends in to the season in a beautiful way.

Something many people know about me, is that I love Christmas, I love the music, the lights, the food, so many different things.  I tend to get overly emotional about the music especially, Christmas music reduces me to tears every time.  Particularly “Happy X-Mas/War is Over” by John Lennon and “O Holy Night”, though I particularly love Michael Crawford’s rendition of that song.  I love watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the scene where Linus recites the Christmas story from the Bible, makes me cry, and my heart is so full.  There’s something about children telling that story that just moves me.  I’m not a Christian, but I can find joy and peace in the message of their Christ.  When I was a child, Christmas was magical, and it seemed like everyone really took the message of peace and goodwill to all mankind to heart, and even the biggest jerks would be kind and generous even for a few days.  I used to give out Christmas cards every year, and would personalize the messages and even the envelopes.   One year in high school I gave a card to a boy who was well… he was an ass to me on a regular basis, but the look on his face as I gave him this beautiful card, with a message of kindness and a doodled envelope was something that is still etched in my memory.  He looked at me with confusion and said “But I’m not nice to you.  I don’t like you.  Why would you give me a card?”  And I smiled at him and said “You’re my friend Erika’s friend, and it’s Christmas! Why wouldn’t I give you a card?  Happy Christmas!” and off I went to class.  He was nicer to me after that, but we were never friends, and that is okay.

yulebulbsSomething that bothers me every year is the “battle for Christmas” that seems to be ever more prevalent each year.  Christians claiming that pagans “stole” their holiday, pagans arguing back that no it was the Christians who “stole” their holiday… and then everyone else who is like who the hell cares?  I don’t understand what the big deal is.  Why can we not all just get along and wish each other joy and happiness (not just at Christmas, but every day of the year) and stop fighting.  We’re fighting over a greeting for heaven’s sake.  Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, Blessed Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa… whatever the holiday greeting… it’s turning into this big huge deal that is quite honestly, stupid.  I mean it.  Arguing over how you greet people is STUPID.  There are far greater and more pressing issues going on in the world and you’re going to be all butt hurt over the fact that someone said “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas”?  You know, Christmas ISN’T the only holiday in the month… aside from other winter celebrations, we also happen to have the secular New Year’s celebration at the end of the month.  Perhaps your greeter is wishing you not only a happy Christmas, but a wonderful new year as well.  Didn’t think of that, did you?  Ha!  Really people, get over yourselves and stop puffing up in false pride.  I believe Jesus warns against that you know.  Again, not Christian, but I am quite familiar with the Bible, and I think Jesus had a lot of good things to say and teach.  I wish more of his followers would, well, follow in his example.  Unfortunately, it is something I don’t ever see happening.  Though, I will admit, it’s not just the Christians, it’s everyone.  It doesn’t matter the religion, there are assholes everywhere.  *sighs*  I wish it was different.  I wish that mankind was more gentle with one another, more caring, less selfish, less greedy.  I wish were more hopeful, kind, selfless, generous.  Maybe someday.  We’ll see.

yulebarAnyway, this is it for now, I hope to write more later, but it’s going to be a busy week as we gear up for both my pagan Yule celebration and the family’s Christmas celebrations (which I LOVE).  Any time where there is joy and family and food, I am up for it.

In the meantime, Peace, Joy, Harmony, Blessings and Goodwill to you all and have a Blessed Christmahanakwanzisolstica!!  LOL!

~ Ravenna

Categories: Food, Life, Paganism, Sabbats, The Kids

Blessed Samhain! Let’s Talk About Death


Happy Halloween, and Blessed Samhain to all my friends and readers!!

Samhain, (pronounced sow as in cow – en) is a Gaelic word that most say means “summer’s end” and goes back to when the Celts viewed only 2 seasons, summer and winter. Contrary to some theories, there is no actual evidence of any god anywhere by the name of Samhain, so if someone says that to you, they probably don’t better, lol.

So! Samhain celebrates the Third Harvest, which is the meat harvest, when our ancestors would cull the herds, leaving only the strongest and healthiest animals for breeding over the winter. It is also said the the Veils Between the Worlds are thinnest on this night, and that the souls of our loved ones are able to come and visit us, to let us know they are there. It is also said, that along with the souls of our loved ones, the things that go bump in the night, would also roam our realm.  Which is where the practice of wearing costumes comes from. It was believed that if you dressed as a ghost, a goblin, or as one of the fae folk (or any creature), you would trick them into thinking you are one of them, and they’d leave you be for the night. Asking for candy was actually an old Christmas tradition that somehow made it’s way to this holiday, but we’ll discuss that closer to Yule.  Also worth noting, Samhain is considered to be the Witch’s New Year, as this is the point that the cycle of life ends, before it begins anew at Yuletide… again, which we’ll discuss closer to Yule.

It’s interesting to note, that most cultures around the world have a day set aside to celebrate the dead, the most famous of which is the “Dia de los Muertos”, which is a big deal in Spanish speaking communities.  Even more interesting though, is the realization that most of these days of the dead fall around the same time, late October/early November.  I think it’s actually a good thing that a special day is set aside to honor our ancestors and beloved dead.


Death is a hard subject for many people.  I mean, seriously, it’s a taboo subject.  We don’t want to talk about death and dying.  We don’t want to acknowledge that we are not immortal, and that all who are born, will eventually die.  Yes, death can be sad.  It can hurt, you can and will feel sad.  It’s okay.  But we also need to realize that death should be a celebration – of life, of the life that was lived, and those who are left behind.  Having had several people in my life who have died (and I know I’m not the only one out there), I have a somewhat strange view of death and dying.  I’ve had people suddenly die, in the prime of their youth, and I’ve seen people die slow deaths from illness.  I’ve seen the whole gamut of how people grieve and I think I have an interesting perspective on the whole process.  Some people get angry, some people cry, and some people feel numb.  All of those reactions and everything in between is normal, and it’s okay.  Everyone has their own way of grieving.  My own grief process is very private, and I’m not much for expressing my emotions in public.  For me, that’s okay, too.  I’m actually the one who is usually being the shoulder of support, the one who offers hugs, and comfort when people are hurting after losing someone.

I’m also the one who won’t mince words, and I am the one who will express gratitude when someone I love who has been ill for a long time is finally freed of that pain.  I am the one who rejoices in the life that was lived.  I celebrate death, and recognize it for what it is, a time of rest, of peace, and a time to prepare for the next life.  I fully believe in reincarnation, and it is that belief that brings me comfort when someone dies, the knowledge that someday, somewhere, my loved ones will return to live another life.  They may not remember, but deep down in their souls, they know.  I know that I will see them all again someday, in another life.  There was only one moment that I have let my grief be seen by the public, and that was the death of my dear friend, James.  I think it was his death that really brought it all home for me.  We were all very young, and when we’re young, we like to think we are invincible and that death will not touch us directly.  It’s quite the shock when it happens, but we work through it.   I will be honest with you, Death sucks for the living.  We are the ones who are left behind and it sucks.

As hard as it is for the living though, it’s a good reminder that it’s okay to talk about death.  It’s okay to have that conversation with your loved ones about your own end of life wishes.  It’s good to think about it when you’re young, to let people know what you would want to happen.  I absolutely don’t think it’s morbid to talk about death, and I feel it’s very important to talk about it, maybe not all the time, but a few times.  I’ve had that uncomfortable conversation with several of my family members, and I know what their wishes are for when their time comes, and it comes for everyone.  I’ve told a couple of people about my own wishes.  It’s a strange conversation to have, and it’s really uncomfortable.  But it’s important, and I encourage everyone to discuss their own end of life choices.


So now let’s talk about the Witchy aspect of Samhain.  Not only is this sabbat about death, and rebirth, it is also closely associated with Crone Goddesses, Underworld Gods and Goddesses.  Dark Mother energy is felt strongly at this time.  In Wiccan mythology, the God has died and has gone to the Underworld to rest before His rebirth, and the Goddess has grown weary and old in Her grief, even though She knows the God will return and be born again.  She also retreats to the Underworld, to be with Her Beloved as they await the turning of the Wheel.  In more shamanic thoughts, Samhain is the time we begin to understand that in Death, there is Life, and even at Beltaine, when we celebrate Life, there is a seed of Death.  Many people notice they are more intuitive, and have more psychic phenomenon at this time of year, and it is a popular time for people to seek out readers, or people who practice various methods of divination.  Something for people to consider is meditation and contemplating the meaning behind Samhain, and how it fits into the Cycle of the Wheel of the Year.

Well, I’ve talked long enough, so for now…

Happy Halloween, and may you have a Blessed Samhain!  Remember, stay safe, there will be kids on the roads tonight, and animals as well.  Be well!


~ Ravenna

Categories: Life, Paganism, Sabbats

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