Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Z is for Zoomorphic

Zoomorphic is showing humans in animal form.  Pagan religions have many Gods that have both human and animal forms.  The Egyptians pantheon shows their deities in both human and animals form or at times even a combination of the two. 
By Unknown author [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bast (Baset) was often shown in cat form and often with the head of a cat and the body of a woman.  She was the goddess of the home and motherhood and is often thought of as a protector of family.

Baset - Renee Sosanna Olson - Sculptor

 Heqet (Heket) was the frog goddess, was depicted as a frog headed woman or in frog form.   She was a water goddess and said to be linked to the last part of child birth. 

Roland Unger [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Egyptian god Anubis. Made by Ningyou.

Anubis, god of embalming and mummification was often depicted as a jackal or with a dog headed man. 

Anubis - Renee Sosanna Olson - Sculptor

Other religious groups also use zoomorphic images to demonstrate deities.  

Christianity for example has some quotes in the Bible as follows:

Thou hunts me like a fierce lion. - Job 
…and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon Him. - Matthew
Behold the Lamb of God. - John

The Mesopotamia’s believed their lives were governed by deities with wings, tails and horns. 

Ben Pirard at nl.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Tiamat is often described as a dragon or water serpent.  Tiamat is a goddess who creates an army of demons to destroy the other deities.  She is destroyed by Marduk to create heaven and earth.
By Uploaded by Hedning to Swedish Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Zu a god who takes the shape of a bird with a lion’s head, also from Mesopotamia.  He creates whirlwinds and storms with the flapping of its wings.  Zu ran into to Marduk after the theft of the Tablet of Destiny.

Hecate (Hekate) a pre Greco-Roman deity is often presented with animal heads.  She has been described as having the head of a boar, horse and dog/wolf. 
At the Crossroads* – Jeff Cullen Artistry
Here in a print created by Jeff Cullen, Hekate is shown at the crossroads with her torches, snakes and the heads described above.

Hecate Goddess* – by J. Barnum
Here in a print created for the cover of Hekate Liminal Rites, by Sorita d’Este & David Rankine; J. Barnum creates Hecate with a wolf, snake and horse head.

Zoomorphic representations for our gods and goddesses, in my opinion is meant to provide the viewer with the fear or honor the animal represents.  The ferocity of a lion or the stealth of a wolf, each of these attributes are things we as humans hold in high regard.  

For me, seeing the Hecate with the wolf head or the serpent I see protection and justice.  I see rebirth and fertility. I've created several statues with her with a serpent and one with a horse head.  The strength and beauty of the horse is something that I believe fits her.

Hecate - Horse - Renee Sosanna Olson - Sculptor

I believe that each of the animal forms we put on our deities represent the attributes we’d like to see in ourselves.

Namaste and Blessed Be


*Hecate Goddess & At the Crossroads used with the artists permission.

Throwing Thursday....

As a play on the current Throwback Thursday posting that's going on around various social media, I've decided to do a post around my pottery called Throwing Thursday.  Here's where I'll post links, videos or updates on my progress around throwing clay on my Clayboss pottery wheel.

I'll include reviews of different bats, clays and methods.  I'll also share video techniques as well as (maybe) videos of me in the process of actually throwing clay.

I'll hashtag everything with #throwing feel free to leave comments and questions.

2nd Throw on the Wheel - Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Z is for Zodiac

The Zodiac is basically a grouping of twelve sections for the sky that is assigned a specific astrological sign for each section.  When a person is born, within a set month that particular astrological sign is assigned to them in Western astrology.  A quick web search will return many site that break down the way the zodiac is divided up.  These sites will offer an idea of what each sign represents and what can be expected when dealing with people born to these signs.  Sites like Astrolabe offer a free chart.

The Chinese Zodiac assigns a specific animal for each year and then recycles those animals back for each year forward.  I've found that the Chinese Zodiac has been more accurate for me than any of the others I've researched.  To find your Chinese Zodiac follow this link for a calculator.

Here’s a look at me, from my zodiac.

My astrological sign is Pisces. 

Generally a Pisces will do everything they can to help a friend.  They make few friends, but those they do make are usually lifelong.  They do not like to be in a position of leadership.  They prefer to stay to the background but make sure that things are completed.  They benefit most from a strong mate to help them stay grounded.  A Pisces is like both a mirror and a sponge.  They soak up what is around them and reflect that back out.  A Pisces has strong emotion and should really trust their gut.  Soaking up the pain of the world can be the downfall of the Pisces and they have to work to shield themselves from psychic energy as they are an innately empathetic. Being the last house of the Zodiac, the Pisces is all about uncovering the unknown.

There is no limit to the number of videos on YouTube that will tell you all about the Piscean.

I was born in the Chinese’s year of the Rooster. (Nope Kallan, I’m not making that up)

Generally roosters are generally healthy but can become stressed moody when they take on too much.  They are hardworking and highly motivated.  They can be bossy and have a “tell it like it is” approach.  They are motivated by success and are very detail orientated. 

Roosters have a tendency to be quite at times and moody at others.  There’s really no way to predict their moods which change often.  Roosters love color and often dress flamboyantly.  Roosters abhor dishonesty and will not tolerate or be a part of any type of deception.  They find it difficult to keep secrets for surprise parties!

So?  What’s your sign?

Namaste & Blessed Be


Sosanna's Closet Yule Giveaway Winners Announced!

I'd like to thank everyone for participating in the 2013 Yule Giveaway.  Three prizes were awarded.

Our winners are:

First and Second Place Winners of the 50% off Gift Certificate in Sosanna's Closet Etsy Shop
Lin C. & Lisa M.

Grand Prize Winner of the 2013 Limited Edition Yule Witchy Scrunch Hat

Michelle D. 

The winners have been notified via email.  Thank you all so much for participating!!
Be sure to tune in for our Beltane Giveaway in May 2014.

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Y is for Yummy Yule Log & Yule Giveaway!

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've been known to sell a few of these around this time of year.  For this week's Pagan Blog Project, I thought I'd share my recipe for the Yule Log I make.

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. soda
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup pumpkin (canned- not pie filling, pure pumpkin)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. soft butter

How to put it all together
Mix the roll ingredients except nuts.
Grease & wax cookie sheet.
Pour into pan & sprinkle nuts.
Bake 15 min. at 375 degrees.
Roll into T-towel for about 10 minutes.
Unroll & spread in filling.
Then roll it back up.

Easy peasy, hope you enjoy!

Finally be sure to register for my OOAK Limited Edition Yule Witchy Scrunch Hat Giveaway.  You'll find all the details here!


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Y is for Yourself

We've heard it a million times, “Be Yourself.” 

From Oscar Wilde:  “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
To Lady Gaga: “Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
Every person on the planet is different.  We are all individual.  Not in a “special snowflake” sort of way. In a way that says we are all different and it is OK to be different.  We find things that we can participate in to find others who are similar to us.  Religion is a perfect example of this.

If you celebrate Yule or worship Yahweh, you are very different, yet the same.  Though the religions practices behind each of these are very different.  The individuals have the same right to practice them.  They have the right to be who they are.  They have the right to practice their faith without fear of being harmed by others.  Our forefathers thought this right was so important that it was the first item in the Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now of course this doesn't mean that there isn't some issues.  Currently we have sitting government officials that would like to outlaw Islam.  There seems to be some sort of thought process in the minds of some religious people that in order for their religion to be right, everyone must accept it as the right one.  I'll use the extreme example of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). 

Best known for protesting funerals, WBC makes no excused for their hard-line view of the bible and God.  They take the bible as the literal word of God whereas most other religions admit that the book was written by men and should be looked at in a more figuratively.  In WBC there is no room for anyone else to have free will or for anyone else to believe anything other than exactly what they believe.

Knowing that there is a church in Kansas that believes that it is OK to protest funerals, put t-shirts on little kids that say hateful things, does nothing to change my belief system.  The numerous churches nestled in my county of 557 square miles does not change what is safely tucked away in my heart and mind.  I’m quite OK.
Screenshot of Google Maps - red dots are churches

There are groups out there that feel they need to spread the word of God to all the earth.  Some could care less if I end up with eternal damnation.  For this, my friends, I feel truly blessed.  Evangelicals, for example believe that they need to get out and convert living person on the planet to Christianity.  From the remote indigenous tribes of the Amazon jungle to the witch down the street, no one is safe from the rhythmic bible thumbing of the Evangelical.  Often quoting the bible as a reason to do so.

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

"Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

However they missed this verse.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet” (Matthew 10:14).

Religion is one of the most argued topics in history.  For the most part, we cannot agree to disagree; so much so, that wars are still being fought today over religion.  Even within their own religious groups, it seems that there are those who are not allowed to simply be themselves.  The video below shows monks fighting in what each of them consider the holiest place on the planet; The Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

As I sat here writing this I had thought I would wrap up with how we should all be ourselves and allow others to be themselves.  But in my research to this point, it looks like there are just some people who cannot do that.  In fact, being themselves is actually to stop letting others be themselves.  So instead of me telling the world to live in peace and harmony, I’ll quote an article I found on Psychology Today.


Birth of a Potter

When I was little I wanted to go live with my father.  I would ride by the housing area on the bus where I thought he lived and look at each of the houses trying to figure out which one might be his.  I checked every mailbox for the last name "Potter".  I looked and looked for my name, but I was never able to find it.

When I was nine or ten a new toy was released that I wanted so desperately.  The commercial was amazing.  These little kids were sitting at a table making pots!  I found this similar commercial online.  I wanted to be a potter...  HEY wait a minute, I was a POTTER!  I decided that very day I wanted to work with clay.

Gilbert Pottery Craft Potter's Wheel - Front of Box

I ended up getting my potter's wheel for Christmas and much like the other "as seen on TV" gifts it was crap. I failed miserably and it ended up in the trash.

The years rolled by and I often watched TV shows about making things with clay but never really thought about doing it again.  After all I had failed at age ten.

About 2 years ago I started doing some hand building with clay.  I worked up to making statues and masks. One day, I was chatting with hubby and said, I wish I could use a pottery wheel.  I told him my story of the motorized wheel I got for Christmas.  He reminded me how I didn't have any happy childhood stories.  We laughed and he said, so get one.  I thought for a second and then was like ... well  I suppose I could.

Last month we picked up two kilns for a steal and this month we purchased my ClayBoss Potter's Wheel. Today I went outside for my fourth attempt at working on the wheel.  My arms are a little sore as I'm getting used to centering and pulling the clay.  My back is sore as I'm using different muscles than I'm used to, hunching over to mold it.

I have to say, I love it.  I've not made anything to keep for firing yet.  In fact, I'm not entirely sure I'll be at a point to fire anything until next year.  But I am loving it.

I've had a few successes:

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

And a failure or two:

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

A lot has changed since I was riding that bus, searching for a mail box with "Potter" on it.  I'm no longer searching for a place where I will be accepted and loved.  I'm no longer trying to make and mold something out of nothing.  I now have the strength within myself to mold and shape the world into a place where I want to be and with that in my tool kit, I can claim the title of  Potter.

Looking forward to what new things I can make.


Coupon Code for Cyber Monday!

Good Morning Friends! We're kicking off the Yule shopping season by offering 50% off all orders of $50 or more in our Etsy shop. Head over and check out what we've got up for sale. If you don't see what you're looking for message me!! 

Use coupon code CYBERMON13 on check out to get your discount. This includes all my *in stock* Witch Scrunch Hats!

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - X is for X

Around the part of the alphabet it's really hard to come up with new posts with this tough letter.  Since the option is to write about any thing we want as long as we have it related to Paganism, I decided to have a look at the letter X.

X /eks/ is the cross shaped twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet.  It has been used as a person's "mark" or signature often for those that were unable to write their name.

In internet slang it's used to identified "zipped lips"  :X

We also of course have Xmas.  This is a source of debate this time of year between Christians and Pagans alike.  The historical reference here is related to the letter X being the Greek letter Chi which translates into English as Christ.  The last part of the word "mas" is from the old English word for "Mass".  So the word is actually Christ - Mass.   Even thought some think that using the letter X is removing "Christ" from Christmas, it's really not.

X as a beginning letter is pretty limited.  But as an ending letter??  Now that's where X jumps up and down and screams, "GO Pagans!"

One of the most important holidays for some Pagans is Beltane.  Beltane is a a celebration of SEX.  Beltane brings in the start of summer and embraces the fertility of the earth.  During this time a practice known as "The Great Rite" is symbolically performed by a High Priest and Priestess of some covens.

The next "X ending" word that I think is extremely pagan is the word Hex.  A hex is a magic spell, usually a curse that is cast upon someone or something.  Those pagans who do spell work may choose not to use a hex, believing that the Rule of Return will bring it back to them.  For every type of protection spell that might prevent a hex there's a plethora of opinions on why those are bad too, mirror spells for example is discussed here.  Personally I have no issue with using mirroring or ward spells.  I believe that in order to be able to heal you have to be able to hex as well.  While I do not knowing send out any negative energy to others, I do fertility spells, protection spells, healing spells and prosperity spells.   Each one of these though the intent maybe positive, can indeed negatively effect another person.

As a spell worker, it is extremely naive to believe that if you help one person get a job with a prosperity spell, that you're not stopping another from getting it.  For ever action, there is an opposite and equal reaction and magic is no exception.

So there you have it.  My contribution to the letter X.  I hope you've enjoyed the bouncing around a bit.

Namaste & Blessed Be

The Pastor Who Preys

This article contains frank discussions regarding sexual abuse and rape.  Due to the direct manner in which this topic is approached, some may find the content triggering.  Please be mindful when sharing this content with others.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Brent Girouex, a Youth Pastor in Council Bluffs, Iowa pled guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.  The judge sentenced Mr. Girouex to 17 years in prison, but then suspended the sentence ordering the man to receive counseling and remain on probation for five year.  Mr. Girouex is required to be on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

Mr. Girouex claimed that he was helping boys as young as age 14 achieve sexual purity by having sex with them, while they prayed.  He said that when they ejaculated the impurity was leaving their bodies.  Mr. Girouex is accused of over 60 counts that involved several young boys in the teens.  One of the longest lasted for four years and Mr. Girouex stated, it was a consensual relationship.  The teen stated that they had had sexual contact over 100 times.

As I did my research for this post I found several ways of taking on this topic.  First, in the media this is being called the “Rape the Gay Away” case.  I could certainly take this on from a LGBT prospective.  We do not know if the boys that were assaulted in this case were actually gay.  They could have confessed some sort of interest and that is what opened the door for a predator to come in and abuse them.  But again, we don’t know that to be the case.

My next thought was because Mr. Girouex is male and his victims are male, most will assume that he is gay.  Let’s be very clear about this.  Mr. Giouex is a predator.   He had sex with boys as young as 14 years old.  He used his position as a Youth Pastor to get these boys into his home.  At which point he sexually abused them.  That is NOT the behavior of a gay person.  That is the behavior of a sexual predator.

As a survivor of child molestation by my step father for 10 year, I can say that these types of assaults are not only physically painful but also extremely damaging to the psyche.  There isn't a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of the actions of a vile man so many years ago.  My hubby and I were in a restaurant having a nice dinner and a song came on the overhead speakers that my step father used to sing.  In an instant I was that little girl again.  Scared and ashamed, haunted by nightmares the majority of my life.

I’m not sure why the judge in this case decided to suspend the sentence of Mr. Girouex.  By his wife, Erin Girouex’s own account, her husband should not be around children. This behavior led to the following open letter to Judge Steensland found on KETV NewsWatch 7’s Facebook page.

My heart cries for the victims.  Their trust destroyed.  The faith they had in a mentor or pastor betrayed.   The trust in the judicial system, lost.

My predator died many years ago.  He developed cancer and died, from my understanding, a slow painful death.  I was called to his deathbed.  He was heavily sedated and couldn't speak.  My mother pushed me up to the bed and said to me, “Forgive him, so he can die in peace.”  She walked out of the room and left me there alone for a while.  He gurgled a bit.  The man in my nightmares, the big man who scared me. He was here, lying in the bed weak and hollow.  The hands that once beat me into submission and touched my body in ways that a father never should, couldn't even move his bowels.  I walked out of the room and left the hospital.  I never forgave him. 

If he died in peace it was of his own making.  On my drive home I was called and told he died. Those old repeating nightmares ended that night. And the struggles of living as a survivor began.
For these young survivors their struggles are just beginning.  Each of them will need to deal with their monster in their own way.  Sometimes I don’t think about it at all, and other times it consumes me.
I believe that we should be protecting our children.  We need to be sure to show support for these teens and any others that might come forward on hearing this.  The real travesty here is that after sexually molesting these teens, repeatedly for years, the Pastor serves no time in prison.

I read on WebMD that a person does not choose to be attracted to children.  In the same way that a straight person does not choose to be attracted to the opposite sex.  While I agree that you do not choose to be straight or gay and it would stand to reason you would not choose to be a pedophile, I will have to stand by the assertion that acting upon that attraction is where the line is crossed. 

There is a petition set up on to send a message to the judge in this case.  I welcome you to join me in signing it.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - X is for Xochiquetzal, The Mother of the World

Xochiquetzal was an Aztec Goddess of flowers and the arts.  She was said to rule over love, marriage and sexuality.  Often Xochiquetzal was referred to as the “Mother of the World”, due to her union with her partner in repopulating the earth after a great flood.  Even though she was associated with love and sex, as with many of the Aztec deities she required blood sacrifices. 

Mother of the World, Earth Mother, Mother Goddess is used to refer to Xochiquetzal, as she gave birth to the inhabitants.  She has even been called the divine prostitute.  Similar titles are given to deities in cultures around the world.  There’s no way I could list them all, but here are a few.

Though Xochiquetzal’s children all came from one mother and one father, it was said they all looked different and spoke different languages.  This barrier led like to join together and populate the earth. 

As a follower of Hecate, I honor her as Soteira and the Cosmic World Soul.  She holds the keys to knowledge and understanding of the world around us.  She provides answers to the mysteries of life and death.  She guides us from the severing of the umbilical cord to the passage to the underworld. 

Father, the supreme God in the Chaldean system, sowed the basic seeds of the material world, identified as “lightning” or Ideas; these Ideas then entered the womb of Hekate.
Hekate had received the Ideas in her womb from the Paternal Intellect (God, the Father), she then transmitted these to the Demiurge, who embodied them in the Sensible world. Because of her role in receiving and then transmitting the seed (Ideas) onward, Hekate/Soul was understood as the “Mother of the World.”   -  Hekate of the Chaldean Oracles (link)

This resonates with me.  I’ve often felt that when we did, our energy is not lost.  It remains here or it goes into a pool of energy that may or may not return to earth.  We may come back here as a new life or we many wander the earth in ethereal form, watching those we love go on.  Seeing that references to Hecate as being the one source where all souls originate seems to me, to be compatible with that line of thinking.
Like Xochiquetzal, in antiquity Hecate also requested blood sacrifices from her followers.  Today the use of blood in rituals to Hecate are not require, though some of her followers will use their own blood for ritual magic. 

Xochiquetzal was not only the goddess of sex and beauty but also the Goddess of magic and love spells.  Here is another similarity to Hecate being the goddess of witchcraft and magic.
As with so many other myths and legends about deities, all these attributes can apply to some or all of the gods.  Humans need to have reminders.  We like to be able to point to something and say, this is justice or that is beauty.   I believe that is what these are.  I do not believe that there was a time when Gods and Goddesses walked the earth and man bowed before them.

I believe that these deities are merely the personification of “godly” attributes.  Thinks that we are part of being a higher being.  Call it Xochiquetzal or call it Hecate, the idea is what we’re talking about.  I believe there is a single source for all the souls, I cannot state factually that it was from an idea placed in the vagina of a goddess, or an alien being placing us here on the planet.   Perhaps the big bang was actually a cosmic orgasm that gave birth to our cosmic soul.

Each of us has our own thoughts about it, and what is true for us may not be true for another.  Be sure to give others the freedom to follow their heart just as you have.  It is not for us to judge.



Pagan Blog Project 2013 - W is for Witch's Way

Recently a friend on Facebook shared a link to a blog post referencing how witches are portrayed today.  The post seemed to feel that today’s witch has been bastardized from its roots and turned into a caricature of the ideology from witch it originates.  (Link to article)

As I read through the piece, I couldn't help but feel the angst of the writer.  I can relate to the feeling of concern about what is currently happening to the craft.  Pop culture has long loved the witch.  From bed time stories, to the big screen the world loves to hate the witch.  With the popularity of American Horror Story : Coven and the way it has embraced pop icon Stevie Nicks, who was rumored for years to be a Wiccan; as a modern witch, I can say that these types of shows do little to shed any real light on what a witch’s way really is. 

Everyone is very quick to say, if you don’t follow the Wheel of the Year, you’re not a real witch.  If you’re not following a specific path, then you’re not a real witch.  If you wear a pointy hat, you’re shaming the witch. 


While I don’t agree that, AHS – Coven is a true representation of witches today, I do believe that the diversity they’re showing in the witches is actually pretty accurate.  The gifts of the witches range from healing, seeing, immolation as well as the typical mind reading.  In the real world, we have tarot readers, spiritual consultants and healers. 

My path is from a slightly different area than most.  My deity was pulled into modern Wiccan practices and given the title of “Crone”.  Many follow her as this aspect of the Triple Goddess.  I do not follow that because historically there is no evidence that Hecate was ever depicted as anything other than a young woman.  I don’t believe that their path in any way has an effect on mine. 

Just as I don’t believe that my introduction of “Modern Witch-ware” in the form of hats and cloaks, make fun of or takes any power from my practice.  I don’t believe that wearing a conical hat turns me into a cartoon nor do I believe it weakens my spell work in any way.  Looking at the pages out there today, most believe that witches should be pissed off and loaded with black eyeliner. 

I’m of the belief that the witch’s way, differ from person to person.  We each have our own way.  I believe in helping others and I believe in justice.  My path is one of taking care of others, fostering animals and being a counselor to those that need it.  I do spell work for fertility, healing and jobs.  I offer crystal magic and study the texts related to my path with diligence.  I send out protection amulets and talismans to protect others from harm.  I cast monthly rites to protect my home and to pay homage to the Goddess Hecate
I don’t need to have the world fear me.  Fear breeds hate.  I don’t need to be that renegade that rides the road of terror in my community.  I want to be that wise woman that offers support and protection.  I do not believe for a second that there is any specific color magic.  There is only magic. 
The article in question goes on to state that they - 

“Will not sit at the communion table with pagans and ‘witches’ who break bread with the very people who have sought the demise of my kind for centuries.”

I understand what the author is saying here.  Sometimes I find myself at odds with pagans who are members of Unitarian Churches for example.  However, to me witches are magic practitioners much like a Magus or Magi, which was basically defined as a priest of ancient Persia in Magic in the Ancient World by Fritz Graf.  To me, that means that a magi, one who practices magic (a witch) is basically one who is trained in the ways of the Gods.

Over the years many groups have been the victim of abuse by those in power.  Be they Christian or Roman, those in power take the belongings, the powers and the spirit of those below them.  Pagans were no different.  I have many different titles.  Each of those titles has a group that opposes them.  I can’t throw out all of humanity because of a few people that may have persecuted people like me in the past. 

Historically a witch’s way has been a tough row to hoe.  We have to remember that in the past, the label of witch was thrown upon any one who had something someone else wanted to take. Most of those that were tried and sentenced as witch’s, regardless of what AHS might lead you to believe, were not actually witches.  Women, who were typically midwives and keepers of the herbal knowledge and lore were often blamed when a child was lost in child birth or if there was a death in the village.  Quickly the association between being a witch and an old hag - woman was made and the rest, as they say is history.

To me, the take away from this is that as I said in the beginning, each witch has their own way. Some maybe those who walk in both worlds; they walk the line as an ambassador between the witch and the rest of the religions.  Others may be the magi, the alchemist who honors the craft directly and avoids the pageantry that sometimes accompanies it.  Some may be filled with light and love, so much so they are referred to as “Fluffy Bunnies”. 

When I sit to make my meal for Hecate’s Supper, I have many ingredients.  I use what’s seasonal and local to my area.  My meal may consist of leaks and garlic, perhaps cakes and wine.  Another’s meal may have figs and honey.  One meal is not better than the other.  Each is honoring the Goddess.  My offerings of garlic differ from the sacrifices of the black dogs and bulls of antiquity but they are not frowned upon. 
My desire to harm none, does not make me a weak witch, instead I believe it makes me strong.  As a light bringer, Hecate was considered the holder of secret knowledge and from the crossroads waited to provide answers to those in search.  Hecate is called upon in many cases to curse others, including a recent find on a lead tablet found in Israel dating back 1700 years.  Does this put my desire to harm none, be at odds with my Goddess?  Is she this darkness referred to by the author that has been “watered down” any a sweet little old lady?


However, there’s a big difference being strong and being a bully.  There’s a difference between defending yourself and picking a fight.
To me, I don’t need the world to cower before me.  I don’t need to see other turn away from my gaze for fear of the evil eye.  I don’t need my small town to believe that a rash of fires or some other hardship is the fault of the town witch.

I would much rather open a dialog with them and be someone who practices their craft, but is approachable.  Someone who is honorable.  Someone who believes that there is always time to reach out to someone and provide a helping hand.  This isn’t weakness or white-washing.  I call it “This Witch’s Way”

In Her Illuminated Light,


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - W is for Will

Merriam Webster defines will as follows:
                Will – Desire, wish

Many pagans, not just those who follow the Wicca traditions follow the Wiccan Rede.  The last eight words of the rede are:  “An it harm none, do what ye will”, from Doreen Valiente – 1964

So what I take from this is that this means, as long as we don’t hurt others, we can do as we desire.  Our will is our desire.  Immediately from this, I think of bullying and shaming.  I've written pieces in the past on both topics.  Just a few weeks ago in my V is for Views, I talked about this very thing.

Many people today seem to think if you disagree with their stance on something or have an opinion on something then you are bullying them.  They think that if you say I don’t like x, then anyone who does like x or who is x, is being shamed.

A bully is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimated others who are weaker.  To bully someone means to use strength or influence to intimidate someone, usually forcing them to do what they want. Being unkind in itself is not bullying. (article linked)

Shame is an emotion usually related to guilt. Shaming is force someone by making them feel ashamed. Disagreement or criticism is not shaming. (article linked)

As a victim of child sexual abuse, incest, physical and mental abuse as a child, as well as a rape survivor, I can honestly tell you what shame feels like.  As a person who is plus sized, I can tell you what it feels like to be shamed into not going into the gym every day.  I can tell you how it feels to have my very will, my desires crushed by others.  I can tell you how it feels to have my assistance turned down because I wear a pentacle.  I can tell you how it feels to have mothers grab their children’s hands and pull me out of my vending tent because they believe that being pagan equates to being evil.

I can also say that I have been around many people in all these same environments and not been hurt.  And if those people are in those environments or participate in them, it doesn't add to my shame.  My feelings are my own.  No one owns those feelings.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

While others can attempt to bully me, they are not bullying me if I do not give in and give them what they want.  While others can attempt to shame me, they cannot shame me.  They can try.  But I have to be secure in who I am.  As a woman, as a mother, as a wife and as a pagan. 

What I’m saying here is that we as individuals need stop being so quick to jump on the new bully/shame bandwagon.  Not ever disagreement is bullying, not every opinion is an attack. 

Let me give you an example.

By User:Rockpocket (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I do not like back hair.  It grosses me out.  I don’t like it.  Period.  It is not attractive and I don’t want to see it.  And that’s OK, because some people do like it.  Some want to see it.  Some want to run their fingers through it, play with it and caress it.  And that’s OK too. 

Now quickly before the comments come rolling in about “How can I say this?”  “What about the KKK?”  “What about hate groups?” “Don’t they have a right?”

Well yeah, actually they do.   They have a right to hate you for any reason, or for no reason.  They have a right to be just as ugly as they want to be.

They have a right to not like you.  (Did you hear me?) 

Yeah, that’s right.  Christians have a right not to like gay people.  Races have the right to be separate from each other if they choose.  It’s their right.  It is their “Will”.

That being said, keep in mind, one’s rights end where another’s begin.  That means that the most racist hateful person on the planet has the right to yell to high heaven their horrible beliefs, I have the right to rebut them.  I have the right to join the discussion and give my point of view.  I have the right to say what I need to say, just as they do.  I also have the intelligence to understand that some fights cannot be won, and I can agree to disagree.

Our will, our desire is our own. I am not Wiccan. However I do believe in the rule of three, and I do believe what you send out comes back to you times three.  I believe that if you send out positive and if you do your own desire and harm none, you will receive that back to you.


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - V is for Virtue

Virtue is defined as behavior showing good moral standards.  The general public may think that pagan’s have no virtue. This image from shows a pretty good representation of that very thought process.

Recently I've seen posts on Facebook related to truth, which in my opinion is indeed a virtue.  I believe that we should always tell the truth.  Many people retort with, it’s the truth to you.  No, really I think the truth is the truth.  No matter what your position, stealing is wrong.  Stealing to because you’re poor and need food is just a migrating circumstance.  It doesn't change the fact that taking something that doesn't belong to you is wrong.

So let’s examine what pagan virtues are. (Definitions are from

Understanding – a willingness to understand people’s behavior and forgive them

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean that someone has the right to continue to do things to you over and over and one has to accept it.  It doesn't mean be a doormat.  It means understand that person has the right to believe how they believe, as long as they don’t force it on someone else.  To me this also means that sometimes it is necessary to give yourself a break.  Be understanding that you won’t always make the right decision.  Sometimes mistakes are made. 

Caring – an effort made to do something correctly, safely or without causing damage

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean continue to support someone when the continually engage in dangerous, abusive or negative behavior.  It doesn't mean letting people use your resources be they financial or emotional without some sort of reciprocation.  That reciprocation could be a monetary, emotional or just a nod.  To me this also means that they care about themselves as well.  One cannot truly care for another if they do not have the ability to care for themselves.

Giving – to offer as appropriate to due, especially to something higher

What it doesn't mean – It doesn't mean that one be penniless or a pauper.  It doesn't mean that one will always be on the giving end of either.  To me this means that they not only give to others but also to themselves.  Giving time and praise to oneself is extremely important.

Honesty – fairness and straightforwardness of conduct – adherence to the facts

What it doesn't mean is beating people up with the truth.  It doesn't mean attacking someone with facts or hurting them just because the truth is on one’s side.  To me, the key here is fairness, something I care a great deal about.  As a follower of Hecate, I believe that justice is something she stands for.  To me being fair in all I do and standing by what I say I will do is absolute.  There are no other options for me. 

It is easy in today’s world to hide behind a keyboard and lash out at others.  We see the world around us falling apart it seems with violence and poverty all around us.  We see people judge each other constantly.  There’s a lot of chatter but not a great deal of actual talking. 

I’d really like to see that change.  I’d like to see us really care about each other.  Not just say “how are you” when you don’t really care; actually start to connect to each other on a very basic level.  Take our virtues and share them.   Show the couple next door or the guy across the street that as pagan people we are open to understanding what each other has to give.

We will open our hearts and minds to others, while giving ourselves the appropriate permission to protect ourselves.


Blessed Samhain/Beltane

Over the years I've learned that everyone will not agree.  This year is no exception.  Two of my favorite times of the year are Beltane and Samhain.  I love the fiery nature of the day and I love what they both represent.  One with its sexual passion and the other it’s ending the cycle of life by honoring those passed.
This is a fantastic time to clean out negativity in your life.  Open the door to new beginnings and try to let go of those things that are dragging you down.  It is time to start anew.

This year I’m working on releasing a few things and welcoming a few things.

I release the expectation that others understand me.
I release the desire to explain myself to others.
I release the need to please others.
I welcome new friends.
I welcome new opportunities.
I welcome new understanding.

As we look around the world today it is full of people who would rather toss us up on the proverbial stake as opposed to getting to know us, even in the smallest way.  We don’t need to spend our days destroying each other.  I’m saying that we ignore bad behavior or give a pass to those who are attacking others.  What I am saying it before you jump, stop and breathe.  Look at the evidence.  If you’re wrong, say you’re wrong and don’t follow that apology with the word “but”.

I wish each one of you a very blessed day, I’ll be honoring those in my life that have moved on and ask that Hecate with her fiery torches light the way for their journey. 

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Ancestor Altar 2013

I wish all health, prosperity and wisdom.



Who are Our Pagan Elders Anyway?

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Recently a discussion in a Facebook group led to this very question.  Who is an Elder?  I had to first really examine the word.

Elder is defined as one of a group who is of greater age. 

As a solitary, I've had very limited experience with a formal coven setting.  I've been involved in two “alternative” groups both did not end very well.  As the online community has grown I've been able to meet some really wonderful people.  People who know a lot about different subjects and who I consider to be subject matter experts (SME) in their area of study.

I have friends that are extremely well versed in plagiarism and copyright.  I have friends who are certified project managers and some who are animal rescuers.  I have friends who are artists and some who are authors.  But when I look over my list, are there any elders there?  In fact, where are the elders anyway?

For this particular post I went over to “About*” to check out what Patti Wigington had to say on the subject.  Her article on Pagan Elders is on the money.  She writes, “Elder is a status that is generally given to someone, rather than claimed for oneself.

To me I believe that there are many out there who are in the community for the show of it all.  They are looking to sell a candle or a book, make some money and enjoy their 15 minutes of fame.  I spent a few hours looking over a few popular Facebook Pages to help locate a post not credited and found that most of the people appearing on the pages all have very sultry looks, a large walking stick and thick eyeliner.  

Is this the “new” Pagan? Are these folks elders?

For someone who spends the majority of her spare time making items by hand for her shop, rescuing kittens and feeding her hens, the thought that I need to have high heels and eye liner to be a pagan sorts takes away from what its really all about for me. 

This takes me back to Patti’s article where she writes – “a Pagan Elder is a little uncomfortable with the title - not because they haven’t earned it, but because often they do their work for the community out of love

Yeah, Patti that’s it.  It ieah, Patti that’s it.  It' not the book or the candle.  st.  It'agan sorts takes away from what its really all about for me.  ng her hens, the thought ths not the eyeliner or the podcast.  It is not the book or the candle.  It is about helping each other.  That is why I do what I do.  Because of a love of what I do.  That’s not to say that someone is wrong for having a shop or wearing eyeliner, it really isn't that simple.  We cannot, nor should we judge who is real in their practice.  Each path is individual.  But we do have to consider at what point is wisdom valued over pomp and circumstance.

Here is my opinion on the subject, and please feel free to disagree. 

I believe an elder would be something like my grandmother.  She passed away at 98 years old.  I spent Sundays with her making biscuits and hearing her stories of the old days.  I had a chance to share in her wisdom and learn from her.  She would be an elder.

I've had the opportunity to learn about authors in the pagan community, some of which I've actually met in person and spent time with.  Some have been great friends.  I wouldn't classify an author as automatically an elder, but I would say that I have a tendency to put them on a higher level.  I probably shouldn't do this, I have been let down in the past based on this very thing. I've also been honored to have one on one online relationships with some of these people and they've been really rewarding.

Currently looking at the way I define elder, the only one I can find is Selena Fox. The main characteristic seems to be love.  I don’t know her personally at all.  I've only had one exchange with her via a message on FB.  However to me, she seems to honestly be one with what’s around her and always positive.
I’m sure others have differing opinions and I’d love to hear them.

But as a community, what do we have now. 
Who are our elders? 
What makes them an elder? 
Does this status change based on who is using it?
Would we include Zsuzsanna Budapest? 
How about Selena Fox?  
Is an author automatically an elder? 

This post isn’t meant to answer the question but yet pose that question to my readers.  Feel free to share this message.  I’d really like to see what people feel about this topic.


*Special thanks to Patti for her permission in referencing her article on

Final Samhain's Sirens Craft-tacular!

It's FREEZING outside this morning.  The days are getting shorter and this morning we had frost on the ground.  in just a few short days Samhain will be here.

Today I wanted to schedule a post to share my final Saturday Craft-tacular with the Samhain's Siren project.  This week I decided to do a little bit *older* craft, in that I wouldn't recommend this for younger children.  This is a great introductory craft to get started into the art of Pyrography.

Remember that not only will this post show you detailed photos and instructions but you also get a chance to win the finished product.  Head over to the Samhain's Sirens blog and enter to win!

Each entry also gives you an entry into the grand prize!


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - V is for Views

Everyone one has a different point of view.  Over the past few weeks I've noticed that when people express those views inevitably someone is called a bully.

When one person takes a stand and questions why others are not in the same physical shape, she’s labeled as fat shaming.  When a fat-activist responds to her post with a similar post she’s tagged with thin shaming.  When someone shares a photo of a grocery cart full of garbage food she’s tagged as food shaming.

Pagans are notoriously known as being accepting people.  A quick search on Google finds that generally speaking most Pagans are pretty accepting of most people.  Gays, lesbians, male, female, most follow perfect love and perfect trust motto.  They live and let live.  For the most part.

That’s not to say there are not folks with their questionable views.  There are pagans who are racist.  There are pagans who are sexist.  Just as there are Christians, Muslims and all religions for that matter, who fall into these categories.  Each having their own view and believing they are correct.

Earlier this week a car pulled into our driveway here at the farm and two ladies stepped out.  I was standing at the door and hubby walked over to the fence where our dogs were doing mad.  The lady reached out towards my hubby and started to talk about Jesus.

As I watched my hubby shake his head side to side to indicate that we’re not really interested in what she’s selling.  I felt angry.  I felt attacked.  How dare this woman come into my driveway, on my property and automatically assume that I needed her to tell me about her God.

I agreed with his statement by shaking my head in the negative and they both got back in the car and left.  After they drove away hubby and I chatted a bit about the situation.  I asked him how he felt about them coming to our house.
From his view, an atheist, he felt they were arrogant and rude.  They didn't know who we were.  They didn't know what we believed and yet they felt that they had to come to our property and push their views on us.
Then I thought about their view.  What was their view exactly?  What did they think they were doing?  I’m sure neither of these ladies thought they were trespassing.  I’m sure neither of them thought that they were offending us.  Does that make them bullies? 

I try to treat others how I want to be treated. I try to be honest, work hard and do the right thing.  I don’t steal, or take credit for other people’s work.  I try to make quality products in my shop and charge a fair price.  I try to help other earthlings, be they two legged or more.

I believe that we should take the time to remember that even though I felt angry because they were on my property.  I have to remember the intent.  I have to remember that they were not really trying to attack me.  In their minds they were trying to save my soul.  We have people in this world that do intend to do harm.  They do intend to be hateful nasty people.  I don’t think that posting a photo of yourself online and challenging others to work out, or answering that challenge with a rebuttal of your own is in anyway hateful. 
People need to learn to agree to disagree.  Understand that not everyone has your views.  Some of those views will be different from your own, be it Pagan view or a Christian view.  We need to understand that no matter what our views are, inside of us we are all the same people.  We bleed the same.  We breathe the same. 

I’m reminded of Namaste.  Namaste is a greeting, it is like saying good day, or I bow to you.  There is the belief that there is a divine spark located within each of us.  That spark is said to dwell in the hear chakra. 

Gandhi defined it as the following:
"I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us."