'An it harm none....

So I just got finished listening to the Wiccan Rede discussion with Christian Day, Lori Bruno and Sabrina The Ink Witch.

There's a lot going on in this broadcast. At first I was a little put off by the comments followers of the "Rede" take the easy way out and then it changes to "it's harder to follow the rede". In this discussion one sentiment stands out for me. You can't cast spells or live life without "harming" something. Oddly enough I found myself agreeing with this. I understand that at some point applying the letter of the law would be counter productive. For example, sending energies out to help a person come up with money to pay their bill, may take that money from another person who needs it as well.

I want to send out good energies and get energies back. I want to send positive out, yet recently I learned that one of my sister's took my mother's ATM card and cleaned out her bank account. She couldn't buy her insulin and needed to have one of my aunt get it for her. I found out afterwards. My very very first instinct was to call out to my fellow pagans to send out some energies to stop her from harming my mother. Her actions are causing harm. That's not justice, it's not equality, it's not fairness. It's just plain mean.

Am I right to want to correct this wrong? Does this violet the rede? Should I care? As many of you know I am solitary. I attempted to join a group in the summer which ended very poorly. Has my work as a solitary made me less likely to follow this "rede"? I'm just not sure any more.

I like the thought process behind "Harm None". I like to say that I do what I can to help others, and be a good person. A sense of ethics is important to me. But I have to say, if I could have whipped up a spell to turn her into a toad, a toad my sister would be!

I am a bit embarrassed that I felt that way. My grandmother always told me, if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. :( For her, I had to say nothing.

During the show, Christian refers to "Throwing good money after bad". Again here I can completely relate. I have been giving money and giving money and helping her move and I today, I cannot give my mother cash. I'll drive her to the doctor, I'll do what I can to help her get her meds, but if I get her cash, she'll just give it to the one stealing from her. I can't do that any more. So here I can relate. I never really thought of this as not standing by the "rede".

But I guess when you think about it, it could very well be taken that way. I'm sure I'll continue to struggle with this. But I do believe that I will continue to try to send out positives, however with my new interest in working with the Dead and exploring magic I think I'll keep my mind a bit more open.

I'd love to hear thoughts around this..

Namaste and Blessed Be

Get Off Your Broom Fitness Challenge - Last Check In

Get Off Your Broom Fitness Challenge Check In.

Welp. I blew it. I can tell by the way my pants are fitting over the last few weeks I've ended up putting on a few pounds. I can't even sit here and say "Oh I tried" blah blah I didn't try. I fell of the veggie wagon and had Chicken Wings last week. I ate dressing that's made with meat products and I ad a few glasses of wine... ARG!

I "could" sit here and beat myself up for it. I "could" jump right back into Jillian Michael's workout and try to drop the few pounds I've gained. But what for really? Why am I doing this? What do I hope to gain or lose?

As I have said over and over I believe that in order to love others you have to first love yourself. You need to be ok with who you are, inside and out. As long as their are demons there haunting your head you're going to display them in your actions.

I'm actually pretty happy with the amount of weight I've lost. 110lbs is nothing to blow off. I'm pretty happy with my ability to get around now. I can hike, I can walk, heck in the event of a zombie apocalypse I can even RUN!

As my resolution this year I've decided that I'm not going to pledge to go to the gym or drop some weight. I resolve to be nicer to me. I want to love me. I want to give myself the credit for a great job at work. A wonderful blog post. Or a great game of scrabble with the hubby.

It's going to be tough but I'm up for the challenge. I want to thank each of my readers for following this blog and allowing me to share my ups, my downs, my successes and failures with you. Your comments mean a lot to me and I appreciate each and everyone.

Wishing each of you a wonderful new year to come.

Namaste and Blessed Be


Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season.

No matter how you celebrate it. Enjoy it.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Your Rights are Being Taken Away

This is sad week for the United States of America. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 is going to give the rights to the government that allow for US Citizens to be rounded up and carted off to camps without due process! Yup, that's right no more right to an attorney, no more right to remain silent. Gone!

The NDAA was passed and signed by our President. We need contact the White House and demand change. The language in this document strikes at the heart of our Bill of Rights. It takes away our right for a fair trial. Slowly our nation is being taken over and our freedoms are dwindling away. I urge each of my readers to please educate yourself on this as well as some of the other changes that are being made to our rights. They are dropping us in a pot of water and slowly turning up the heat. We need to take action.

A petition has been started on the White House Website that you can sign to ask for this to be vetoed. I've signed them all, but they've been signed now. What can we do? You can also contact the White House directly here.

As defined by this legislation anyone that quotes the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or speaks out against oppressive legislation is in fact a terrorist and can be imprisoned without due process.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

Namaste & Blessed Be

December Traditions - Santa Claus

Most children grow up being taught that if they're good a jolly old man will bring them toys at Christmas and if they're naughty, they'll get a lump of coal. For my final posting on December tradition's I'm going to give you a history of Santa Claus.

The primary inspiration for Sinterklaas is thought to be Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was known for his work with the poor and needy.

Due to the German and Scandinavian influence on the holiday, many comparisons have been made between Santa and Odin. As many other traditions of the holiday were Christianized it's thought that the modern Santa was also pulled from this God worshiped by many of the Germanic people. Some stories include one of Odin riding an eight legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, here again tying to Santa's magical reindeer. The tradition says that the children would put carrots or straw in their boots by the chimney for Sleipnir to eat, Odin would reward the children by replacing the food with gifts or candy. This is where the idea of putting stockings by the fireplace are thought to have originated.

Father Christmas is usually seen as a jolly fat man with a beard and a long green robe. He represents the spirit of Christmas, that being good cheer. He is most notability depicted in Charles Dickens's story "A Christmas Carol".

After the 1823 publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" the modern Santa gets most of the characteristics we know today. We know this as "Twas the Night Before Christmas". His clothes, his jolly face with rosy cheeks and even his reindeer are named.

To keep up with the modern age Santa sites are popping up all over the web. There's Northpole.com, Claus.com and even noradsanta.org.

The real spirit of "Santa" or of Christmas is that of giving. Reaching out to those who are less fortunate and giving back the blessings we have in our own lives. The spirit is out there and alive, as we saw most recently with the Secret Santa gifts of paying off a layaway at a Kmart store and the 50,000.00 donation to the Salvation Army.

These are big gifts to some of us. In this economy some barely have enough to feed themselves much less go and payoff someone else's bills right? There are so many things you can do to give back that don't include cash. Volunteering is a great way to help others. Usually these groups need bodies. They need people to come down and help with a Soup Kitchen or a Food Bank. The local animal shelter needs people to come down and interact with the animals to help them be more familiar with people and possibly adopted. Tell someone they left their bread at the end of the register. Hold the door for someone who is busy with their kids.

It's easy to continue the giving traditions of St. Nick, Odin, Father Christmas and Santa Claus. We have the ability to open our hearts and give back.

Wishing each of you a joyous holiday season.

Namaste & Blessed Be!

December Traditions - Christmas Tree

Whether you cover your tree in tinsel or leave it off. Choose to use a star or an angel; each Christmas Tree is individual and represents it's owner. It has been called by many names, Yule Tree, Christmas Tree and Holiday Tree.

As a kid, we always had a tree.

That me, the tall one, without the big pink fuzzy feet.

I still love this time of year. I love the chill in the air and the crunch of the ground beneath my feet. I love the Yule time season and I do still love a Christmas tree.

The history of the Christmas tree has Pagan roots. (Pun intended) Druid priests in Great Britain used evergreen plants/trees in Yule ceremonies to celebrate the Winter Solstice. In the 1500's German's began using evergreen trees as a symbol of hope for the coming springs.

The modern Christmas tree is a descendant of this same tree used in Druid ceremonies. It's thought that the first was introduced to the US by German immigrants in the mid 1700's. Today there is a great deal of controversy over the words Holiday vs. Christmas tree. In order to be more inclusive of those around us, some in the US have started to use "Happy Holidays" and "Holiday Tree" to make those who have other holidays in December feel included.

For more information on Christmas around the world check out this cute site. I have even found a great page on the History Channel, that has lots of info on the history of Christmas.

Here's a great video on the life of a Christmas Tree.

Wishing you all a GAGA Holiday Season!

Namaste & Blessed Be!

December Traditions - Yule Log

Too many of us the term "Yule Log" refers to a tasty rolled cake usually made with chocolate and a rich cream inside that is amazingly tasty. I make a yule log out of pumpkin flavored cake with a cream cheese frosting that is completely to die for. I use this recipe but I add a bit of cinnamon to my frosting as well and I leave out the walnuts.

Another type of "Yule Log" is a piece of wood burned in a hearth or fireplace to celebrate the passing of the Yule season. Sometimes practiced on the Winter Solstice or during the twelve days of Christmas. A small piece of the log is removed from the fire and kept to burn in the following year's Yule celebration. At least that's how one story goes. It says the fire should be tended all night and kept burning, if it went out on the first attempt at lighting or through out the next twelve hours it would be a bad sign for the year to come. Most agree that the log should never be purchased however some say it should be taken from a neighbor's property as opposed to it's owner's yard.

Sometimes when a fireplace isn't available a yule log is set with candles and the candles take the place of the actual log burning.

Yule is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, as the Yule Log represents this time, we have Holly, Mistletoe, Rosemary, Oak, Spruce, Pine, Ivy, Fir and Poinsettia that also claim a spot in this holiday. The colors are red, green, white, silver and gold, or what I like to call Christmas colors. Most traditions celebrate with a meal and gift giving.

Some forms of Wicca celebrate this time as the rebirth of the Great Horned God, seen as the new sun, which interestingly enough can be seen in Christianity as well, where they celebrate the birth of the "son of God" in the form of the Baby Jesus in a manger.

There are many customs around the celebration of the Yule season as well as around the month of December. Just have a look at these:

Pancha Ganapati - This is a Hindu festival from the 21st - 25th that celebrates Lord Ganesha

Winter Solstice - a Celtic celebration from 21 to 23 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 to 23 in the Southern Hemisphere

Yalda - a Persian celebration on the 21st in celebration of the Winter Solstice

Saturnalia - Ancient Roman festival held in honor of Saturn originally celebrated on the 17th

Boxing Day - A gift giving day observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other areas

Flying Spaghetti Monster Day - Pastafarians have this day to reject all religious dogma, so yes, Virginia even Atheist's have "Pasta Claus"

For a list of some of the winter celebrations check here.

The point here is that as different as we try to be, the more similar we become. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas? Really is it that big of a deal. Just live and let live.

For my family, we'll be having our first Yule log burning, as we just got a lovely wood stove. I'm not sure how I'll handle fishing out part to save for next year, but I will certainly do my best.

For those that don't have a fireplace, here's a video of a fire burning for your enjoyment.

I'll also be making the "other" Yule Log to take to Grandma's. So if you'd to see how to make one I found this video on YouTube.

For my fellow Pagans, I'd like to share this really nice Yule song I found on Youtube.

Namaste & Blessed Be

December Traditions - Holly

This series I'm working on isn't to say who's right and who's wrong. It's not about "get your facts straight" or "That's our holiday". The entire purpose here is to point out the similarities between the different customs and show that we're really not all that different.

We don't have to have quoted the correct website or have the exact same traditions in order to be given respect. We are all different and our lives are made up of many threads from all around the world. By saying "This is the right way" or "This is the only way" so much of this wonderful view is taken from you.

This is MY take on what I've read about Holly.

Llex Aquifolium or Holly has over 300 species which includes climbers bushes and trees. It is an evergreen that is characterized by shiny leaves with thorns. The berries usually red in color ripen in the winter and are slightly toxic to humans when eaten but are a food source for birds in the winter months.

During Saturnalia festivals Holly was used as it is considered the sacred plant of Saturn. Gifts of Holly were used for decoration and as offerings during this time of year. Some Christians associate holly with "Christ" relating the thorns to the crown he wore and the red berries his blood.

From the Druids who used the plant for protection, to the Romans who used it as an offering Holly has made it's way around the world. In parts of Britain holly was called "Christmas" and in pre-victorian time holly bushes were called "Christmas Trees". Some Germanic cultures believed that stepping on the berries was bad luck, but placing a bough of the plant in a barn would help your livestock to fatten up and be prosperous though the winter.

Our ancient pagan ancestors were said to have made wreaths of ivy and holly for decorations in the winter months. Ivy with its ties to Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine and the holly for Saturnalia.

Even the name Holly, was thought to be the root of the Christian word "Holy" taken from the Pagan's who believed that "Holly" was sacred.

Today I decided that for my landscaping needs I plan to plant some holly around my property.

Sharing a wonderful salute to Holly by Loreena McKennitt.

And for those of us that are a bit more childlike (like me)

Namaste and Blessed Be

December Traditions - Mistletoe

There's a lot of talk now about the "War on Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas". I had a thought this morning about taking some of our traditions and looking at how they came into being. I'm not trying to say "We invented Christmas" or "You stole our traditions" more so trying to show that this time of the year is indeed an amalgam of traditions from various parts of the world mixed together in this big ole melting pot we call humanity.

Today let's talk mistletoe.

First what the heck is mistletoe anyway? Mistletoe is a semi parasitic plant that lives within bushes and plants. Mistletoe has a large family of plants in it with up to 900 species. The berries of the Mistletoe are poisonous. The berry juice is extremely sticky and when eaten by birds, they pass through their system and are then deposited on tree branches as the birds perch. The word Mistletoe is from the Anglo-Saxon word, Mistel for "Dung" and Tan for "Twig" which translates to "Dung on a Twig". The ancient Druids honored mistletoe as a sacred plant. Some would place the plant over a baby's cradle to prevent the child from ever being kidnapped. In much the same treatment as the Yule Log, a branch of mistletoe was kept year after year, burning the previous year with the new harvest to bless the next years harvest.

The tradition of "Kissing under the Mistletoe" is thought to come from Scandinavia where it was said that if you were out in the woods and you found yourself standing under the mistletoe and you encountered a foe, you both lay down your weapons until the next day. This is thought to have come from old Norse Mythology. Balder was son of Odin (King of the Gods) and Frigga. Frigga fearing for her son's safety asked every thing to promise not to harm her son. This included animals, stones and trees. Frigga missed out on the mistletoe plant which allowed Loki the God of Mischief to use the plant to create a spear and trick Hod, Balder's brother into throwing it and killing Balder instantly. The Gods eventually restored Balder to life and Frigga proclaimed the plant to be sacred and that two people passing under it should celebrate Balder's resurrection by kissing.

Here's Amy Winehouse with "Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".

Wishing everyone, a wonderful holiday season.

Namaste & Blessed Be

***Please note, I am sure all traditions much like most magic and lore have a varied background, meaning this posting is only one view of the legend or myth around the specific tradition. I am not claiming that this is the be all end all of this tradition.

What on EARTH??

Has the entire world lost their collective minds? I'm just sitting here shaking my head wondering what is going on today. I know we have Mercury in retrograde but really? Come on now...

Just a quick recap of what I've been seening over the last few weeks...


First, I'd like to point out they turned of the comments for the video... Well yeah, I don't blame you when you're spouting off some crazy crap like this. Our country as we all know is not a "Christian" country. You can worship however you like here. We have the freedom to follow the God or Goddess of our choice right?

Well apparently not in Georgia.

A young fellow by the name of Christopher Turner, 11 years old who lives in Bowden Georgia was pulled out of his class by his teacher after taking Samhain (October 31st) off from school and questioned about Paganism and told "Paganism isn't a religion". Now, as if this weren't enough Christopher was singled out again, when the teacher requested that class do an assignment on the history of Christmas, but they were not allowed to have anything in the report pertaining to Paganism. Really?

A facebook support group has been started for the family. If you'd like to read the original post on this you can find it here. My friend Nalaya Oddly did a wonderful blog post on this here.

Next I run into this....

WHAT? Leave? Don't let the border hit you in the ass on the way out??? My friend Kallan Kennedy had a wonderful post on this. You can read it here. No one can put it better than she can!

Let's just have a little history lesson here...

Of course you are all aware of the ban lifted on horse slaughter. Below is a news piece on youtube regarding the changes in the legislation. There are no horses injured in this video.

So when this made news a friend of mine was apposed and posted a petition to sign to try to get it banned again. I liked her post and signed the petition. At some point the discussion changed to a debate and others made statements to the effect of "I don't care for interracial marriage but you don't see me signing a petition to stop that".

Ummmmm WHAT?

Yeah that's what I said.... So needless to say words were exchanged and then I get this in my messages:

Apparently I misquoted, by saying someone was a bigot because they didn't believe in interracial marriage...

So the lessons for this week are, we live in a country where only Christians are free, children can be pulled out and questioned on their religion, if you don't like "Merry Christmas" you need to get out of the country and people who don't like "mixed marriages" are not bigots.

This has been over the last few weeks...

On a more positive note I have added more stuff to my shop, Sosanna's Closet. Have a look at these new items.

Namaste and Blessed Be



Happy Holidays

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

So as many of you know I am a solitary. I chose this route long ago mostly based on the fact that I couldn't find a great number of like minded people where I lived. I didn't chose to be solitary for lack of people skills or because I feared any type of connection with others. In fact I long to have that connection. I want to be in touch with others who share my views and thoughts. People that I can sit down with, talk and share my life without fear of judgment or ridicule.

I know welcoming other people into your life can create good as well as bad. Adding beliefs and energies from others into your life can be challenging. It can lead to a whole new learning experience or it can create havoc on your life.

Be careful of those that are intolerant of others. Even in the Pagan community you can see bigotry and hatred. Be mindful of others feelings and don't hurt others on purpose. Remember the law of three and send out good positive energy. And remember your rights end where mine begin.

I want to share a story that was posted just a few days ago.

Namaste and Blessed Be

Marriage Equality

Yesterday I saw an amazing video. I wanted to share it with my blog followers.

Who wouldn't be proud if this were their son.

Take a moment and be thankful for what you have and cherish what you have because so many families out there lack the basic rights and protections provided by the civil institution of marriage. Everyone here in created equal.

Namaste & Blessed Be