Pagan Blog Project 2013 - O is for Out of Body Experience

The web defines an out of body experience as being a dis-associative experience of observing oneself from an external perspective as though your mind or soul had left the body.  Some people try to trigger this with external items such as mind altering drugs or have had it happen as in near death experiences.

When I was a child, around 12 or thirteen I told my mother that I didn't feel well.  I had been sick for a few days and but not enough to manage a doctor’s visit.  I remember feeling very very hot.  I was sweating.  I got up from my bed and looked back down at my body lying there.  My separate self got up and walked into the back of our mobile home and watched my parents sleeping. 
I could hear my body tossing and turning.  I was crying.  I called out to my mother to turn off the heat, my separate self watched my mother raise her head and yell, go to sleep.  My separate self went back to the bed room and rejoined my body.

The following day I continued to tell my mother I didn't feel well.  She was having a dinner party and I had a friend staying over.  The friend came over and I just wanted to lay in the bed.  My mother made me get up and walk about ½ mile to the local grocery store for a loaf of bread.  When I got to the store I passed out and my friend asked the station to call my house.  My mother sent someone to get us and when I got back home I went into my room and fell on the bed.  Again my separate self left my body.  I could see flames come up around all the sides of my bed.  I could see my friend sitting next to the bed complaining that I wasn't up playing.

I remember I was hot, I was so hot.  I wanted a friend of the family come in and sit beside my body. She laid her hand on my head and gasped.  She yelled for my mother to come in and they rushed me to the hospital.  I was admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia.  I was extremely dehydrated and apparently delusional. 

To this day I remember how at ease I felt floating around my house and watching all the excitement.  I remember seeing my unconscious body on the bed and wondering if I was actually dead.  I remember feeling happy.

I didn't see a bright light, or hear any voices calling me to the light.  I just remembered finally feeling at peace. I never had another experience like that again. It was pretty amazing.

Namaste & Blessed Be

For the Love of Juice

Yes, today it’s a double post kinda day.  Today was the posting of my Pagan Blog Project post.  I did O is for Offerings.  Then I wanted to do another post.  Last week hubby and I made a huge score at the thrift store.  We found a Champion Juicer for 14.00.  Champion retails for 269.00. 

We were thrilled.  We got it home and noticed the plunger didn't fit all the way in the machine.  I went online and ordered a new one.  $12.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Today was the second day we attempted to use it.  I have to say. It’s flapping amazing.  The website offers recipes that you can use to select different things to make.  There’s a mill attachment for making your own flours, and even ice cream with this thing.  It’s quite amazing.
So today we made two types of juice.  Both were amazing. 

Cocktail Delicious
2 apples cored
3 carrots
1 stalk of Celery

1.       Core the apples
2.       Add apples, carrots & celery in that order
3.       Drink

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit  - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Hubby didn't care for this one.  I thought it was good.  He felt the celery was too strong.  We used organics for each and it was really good.

Cocktail Springtime
2 oranges peeled
½ lemon peeled
2 carrots
½ cup dandelion leaves

1.       Peel the oranges
2.       Peel the lemons
3.       Juice in that order – oranges, lemons, carrots, greens
4.       Wash the greens
5.       Juice in that order
6.       Drink

We didn't have any dandelion leaves so we just leave those out.  

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

This one was really tasty.  Hubby liked it so much that we doubled the recipe for a second round of juice so I could have a glass as well.  I could see adding a bit of ginger to this to give it a little zip.

Over all a really good product and some awesome juice.  For $26 I have a top of the line juicer, recommend by Gerson’s Institute.   SCORE!!!

I love love love my juicer.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - O is for Offerings

Offerings – A thing offered, a gift or contribution

Since my dedication to Hecate, I've spent most of my dark moons creating an altar indoors and weather permitting, outdoors to leave my offerings to her.  I take leeks, onion, eggs, honey, garlic and at times regional flowers to place in my sacred spaces. 

After my ritual inside the house, I take her gifts out to the crossroads and leave them there.  On special occasions I also do a blood offering.  Historically, some followers of Hecate sacrificed black dogs and black bulls to her.  Though not across the board, many did indeed practice this.  In the clip below Sorita D’Este talks about the relationship of sacrifice of dogs and the Goddess.

My blood offering to the Goddess is not from any animal.  I use my own blood as an offering.  Using a lancet from checking blood sugar levels I simply add a few drops of my own blood to the offering bowl before I carry it outside.  Blood offerings are completely personal and I wouldn't recommend trying this unless you've had some training in how to correctly check blood sugars.  You do not want to create a permanent injury.  Blood offerings are not required in the service of the Goddess Hecate, this is a personal choice that I have made.

I also take part in Hecate’s Deipnon or Supper.  I've changed it up a bit to meet with our modern times. 

"Ask Hekate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will tell you that the rich send her a meal every month [food placed inside her door-front shrines] and that the poor make it disappear before it is even served." - Aristophanes, Plutus 410

Instead of leaving my offerings at my “shrine”; or my altar where no one would find them.  I take non-perishable food to Food banks and make offerings to charitable organizations in her honor.  Though historically, this was not the intention of the Deipnon, I feel that this is a great way to honor the Goddess as well as give something back to my community.

Offerings can be as simple as a flower; as serious as an offering of one’s own blood or as complex as creating an entire meal and leaving it at a cross roads for the Goddess Hecate.  My offerings range across each of these.

Though the items offered to any of the Gods and Goddess of the world vary in their type the main thing to take from this is that you are giving back to your deity something considered precious.  Something that would be considered a gift to them, or a sacrifice for you to be without.
As with each of us, offerings are individual.  Learning about what others offer can be inspiring and enlightening.  Just remember, it is not necessary to do exactly what someone else does.  Your offerings are special because they come from you.

Namaste & Blessed Be

*Note - This blog post in no way encourages readers to do blood offerings or make any sacrifice they are uncomfortable with.  It merely lists the way the author conducts her own rituals.

Why do Christians Join Pagan Groups - A Rant

So I belong to several groups on Facebook related to the Goddess Hecate.  Many of the groups are private.  Today as I went into one of my groups I saw the following post.

Screenshot from Hekate's Crossroads

Why? Why do some Christian's feel the need to go into private areas, where people are minding their own business and push their religion on people.

It really seems to me from all that I've seen, a large portion of people who are in this religion feel the need to go into individual groups in this case, or into villages as in the move "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", and basically destroy their culture.

I'd like to direct my message to those that feel the need to do this.   Please PLEASE for the love of whatever God you'd like to name.  STOP

Read your own bible and stop butting into other peoples lives.  If I am a Pagan, in this case Hecatean, I've made my choice.  I don't need you to "SAVE" me.

If you need a bible verse to use to make you feel better please see Mark 6:11.

Mark 6:11

King James Version (KJV)
11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. 

Help Rusty Expand The Green Monkey

This morning I opened my email to find a message from Rusty Sutton, owner of The Green Monkey in Raleigh.  He is looking to expand his shop from its current location at the Raleigh Flea Market into a full store front.  Rusty has been working for the local community for many years now.  He has expanded from his early days as a place to buy used CDs to being voted the Best LGBT Friendly Retailer in the Triangle for 2012 by Q-Notes Newspaper.

Currently Rusty runs The Green Monkey inside the education building at the fairgrounds in Raleigh, but he is looking to expand.  Rusty has started a ‘Gofundme’ to help open a full storefront for the shop.  By selecting an individual reward level, contributors can choose from free stickers, t-shirts and rewards cards and in exchange help him meet is goal.

Every little bit helps.  If you have a moment and can head over to his fundraiser site, tell him Sosanna sent you.  And remember to share share share.

Find The Green Monkey on the Web
Find The Green Monkey on Facebook

Namaste & Blessed Be


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - N is for Name

N is for Name

Many articles, posts and discussions have been held on the art of selecting a magical name.  Some choose the characteristics they’d like to claim or maybe some they already have.  For example, if a person chooses an animal, perhaps the word eagle as part of their name, we can assume they are trying to adopt some of the qualities of the bird.  Perhaps strength, power or mental alertness can be attributed to the bird. 

Sometimes words are taken from other languages to give a bit of elegance to the name.  Arne for example is Scandinavian for eagle.  Akylas from the Greek and Ander from Old Norse, for the word eagle. 

Picking a magical name is often part of the path for those starting in some of the different paths of Paganism.  At any given pagan event there are bound to be tons of people with the names Morrighan, Pendragon and Gaia. 

For many years I played several online role play games.  In these magical worlds I could create a sorcerer to control the magical arts or a druid that would call upon the forces of nature to do its biding.  More often than not I created a druid.  This character would have the ability to summon rain at will, to command lightning bolts to destroy enemies.  She would summon hordes of locust or vines from the ground forcing them to grow up and control her very environment.

Sitting in the apartment of a dear friend, we thumbed through a character naming book.  I found a name that intrigued me.  Sosanna.  The name was from the traditional Gaelic and was said to mean “Lily”.  I loved it.  I took it as my magical name and added the title “Belladonna - The Nightshade”.   Little did I know some 26 years later, I would be a devotee of the Goddess Hecate; who is said to be liked with belladonna.

Today I feel very comfortable with my magical name choice.  Many choose names and rename themselves several times throughout their lifetime.  This name has stuck with me and I cherish it.
Namaste & Blessed Be

Links on Magical Names
Your Magical Name – Patti Wigington
Choosing Your Magical Name  - Llewellyn Journal
Choosing a Magical Name – Occult Corpus Forum
Choosing a Magical Name – Angelfire- Silver RavenWolf

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - N is for Nudity

N is for Nudity

One of the most interesting things about paganism is how many people thing I spend most of my time naked.  I've been asked if I dance around a fire naked, if I walk in the woods naked and if I dance in the rain naked on more than one occasion. 
It’s one of those things that just makes me giggle.  I've only participated in outdoor rituals with a group twice.  I've never really seen anyone get naked it. Granted as I said it was only twice.  Now at home that’s different.

I don’t go outside.  First, I live in Eastern NC and there are TONS of mosquitoes.  I've had bites on my arms and legs but really, do you want to have bites on your tushie?  No.  So for the most part when I do my rituals I do not do them outside.  Occasionally when I need to protect my property, make offerings to the ancestors on Samhain or bless a new tree, I will go outside for this.
My weekly rituals are done inside my home.  I have a small altar built by my hubby set up facing towards the east.  I have candles and incense burning and I am indeed nude or sky-clad.

Many believe that practicing sky-clad makes it easier for the transfer of energy and a surge of magical power.  I’m not sure that I could practice in a group nude.  One of my earliest introductions into Wicca was via a friend who practiced nude.  In fact the majority of the time I saw her, she was nude.  I’m not sure it was so much for the Goddess but more so for her comfort level and I applaud her for the ability to feel so comfortable in her own skin.

Today I start my ritual with a bath and usually a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage to ease the nerves, then begin by disrobing and starting my ritual cleaning of the space.  I’m sure if someone could peek in my window and see a slightly plump, slowly creeping towards middle age witch, walking around with a bundle of sage in one hand and a candle in the other, buck naked they’d probably call the law. To be sure I’m up to some mischievousness. 
The older I get the less I care about what other people think.  I know that I am comfortable in who I am and even though my feelings may be get hurt, in the long run this is what I have.  My body and my skin.  This is what I own.  When drawing down the power of the Goddess I choose to disrobe and welcome the energy though every space on my body.  I honor this energy by opening my body up to accept what can be drawn down from the moon.

If you've not had the opportunity to practice nude, I recommend trying it at least one time.  Not necessarily in a group, but as a solitary solute to the energies that be.  It can be quite refreshing.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Saying Goodbye

July 1, 2013

Today is a day I've been expecting for a very long time.  This morning the phone rang and my hubby answered it.  My grandmother was being worked on by the paramedics.  They called us to come immediately.

I sat in the truck watching the water roll off the window.  Showers again today.  We pulled along the ditch next to the house and he walked up to the house to get the confirmation.

As he walked back to the truck my eyes watched the water in the ditch puddle up.  She was gone.  Her life here was long. She grew up in a world without cable tv.  She told me stories of plucking chickens for Sunday dinner while we were making biscuits on Sundays. The light in her eyes has been growing dim over the last few years.  Her spirit, tired from being here on this earth so long.

When I’d see her she’d tell me…  “I miss Joe”   Her husband had passed over 50 years ago.  She is, was … was an amazing women and my life is better.  

Joseph Thomas Smith Sr. & Julia Eva Loftin Smith

I am better for living with her the first five years of my life.  I am better for knowing her these last 44 years.   I am better for having stood beside her every Sunday over the last 6 years, making biscuits with my grandma.

She’s a Christian woman, and wanted to be buried in a wood coffin, she believed, “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.”

I hope she finds him there waiting for her.  Taking her hand and walking her into the next part of her journey.  For me, I light a single candle to aid her in her journey.

I love you Grandma

In loving memory of Julia Eva Loftin Smith 
July 23, 1915 - July 1, 2013

Namaste & Blessed Be