Pagan Blog Project 2013 - R is for Ritual

A ritual is defined by Merriam-Webster  as something that is done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol.  For some pagans or witches this can be a call to a deity for a plentiful harvest or perhaps a binding or banishing done to protect one’s home.

Monday around the dark moon, often near mid-month, I hold a ritual similar to what’s called Hecate’s Supper.  I make offerings which sometimes include house sweepings that help rid the house of negative energies.  I've found recently that this is a really important part of taking care of your ritual space.  Cleaning your space and tools is a very important part of typical house-cleaning.  Not just for Pagans, but for many religions.  Even my atheist hubby will light sage and walk the house before beginning a new project.

This week I wrote a new chant for my cleansing ritual.  Sometimes working for justice attracts negative to you.  Using the cleansing rituals to remove negativity from your tools for example can help get your magic back on track.  Patti Wigington, at has a ritual for consecration listed that is fairly easy to follow and can be used for cleansing.

Depending on the tradition followed, completing rituals is usually something anyone can do.  As a solitary and a follower of Hecate, I have the luxury of not being bound by specific tradition requirements with the exception of my participation in “Hekate Her Sacred Fires”.   Some traditions have rules around what types of rituals can be performed by members and following up with a spiritual leader in that tradition is recommended.

Generally when I start my rituals I begin by calling the quarters, you can find a blog post I wrote about the quarters in 2011 here.  I recommend doing some research and then creating your own way of opening the circle.

 One of the things that I think that worry some pagans is the fear of doing the ritual incorrectly.  There are some that are steadfast on saying you must do A then B then C.  While I understand the importance of following the set steps of a process, I also understand that sometimes if we focus too hard on the process we lose the intent of the process.  Meaning, if you happen to says East when you mean West, I think the Goddess will be fine.  I believe that it is what the intent is.  If you mean harm, you can speak light and love all day long and repeating it over and over doesn't make it true.
Getting back to my ritual for this week, I wanted to clear out some negative energy that had been looming around my door as well as tie up a few loose ends.  (Pun Intended) I sat down and wrote out exactly what the intent of my ritual was.  This can be good if you’re trying to assist in a baby blessing spell, or maybe a spell to mirror negativity back to the sender.  I then thought about my Goddess and what was it about her that I needed to call upon.  I had written a chant earlier that I recited during my ritual. 

I collected all the elements that I had used for my spell and put them in one container.  When completing a spell/ritual sometimes it calls to have those items stored in a specific manner.
I want to go back to the chant.  When writing a chant for a deity, try not to become overwhelmed with making sure you copy specific lines from someone else grand tome.  You are the author of your magic.  In my opinion the Goddess or your deity, will respect something much more coming from your heart than some master witch’s grimoire.  When I’m writing a chant I usually sit down with a table of correspondences and think about what my goal is for the chant.  There are several free sources on the web, and Llewellyn offers a book by Sandra Kynes called Complete Book of Correspondences

For me, a ritual is all about intent.  What is the goal?  Many live by the rule “Do what ye will, an harm none.” Others follow the thought “A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal.”  Regardless of the words chanted or the tools used, to me intent is the strongest force of any ritual.

Namaste & Blessed Be

This is my newest chant that I call Hecate’s Call to Protection.  Please do not copy/share without permission.

Hecate’s Call to Protection

Hecate Soteira,
Savior and Mother of night
Embrace your child with protection and might.

Hecate Brimo,
Angry one’s call
Silence the worlds, silence them all.

Hecate Phosphoros
Bringer of light
Reveal the attack shown in this fight.

Hecate Adonaea,
Guide my magic, direct and firm
All that hurts shall be returned.

Hecate Nyktipolos
Night wandering queen
Open my eyes, allow all to be seen.

By: Renee Sosanna Olson - 2013

Sweet Dreams

So this has been a pretty incredible week.  Lots going on in my life.  Learning about stolen work and wrapping my head around the fact that people don’t always tell the truth has been daunting.  Yeah I know I’m naive right? 

So this morning when I woke up I remembered my dream.  I thought I’d share here so you can have a look at what goes on in my mind.  Buckle up. ;)

NOTE:  The following is a dream I had.  It is not intended to be taken literally or have any basis in fact.

My dream started out with hubby and I were at a party.  Tim Gunn, from Project Runway,  came in and told me that he had to introduce me to the new lead singer of Journey.  The guy really wanted to meet me.  I took Tim’s hand and we headed over to a big table with tons of people around it.  The new lead singer stood up and held out his hand to shake mine.  It was actually Dave Navarro, musician and a judge on Ink Master.
Dave wanted me to make him something, I cannot recall if it was jewelry or a costume out of these little tiny circles.  They were like the hole-punch you use for making charms.  So I’m trying to put these little circles together in this room that changed from the bar/party room to a hotel room.  Dave is coming out of the shower yelling for his costume/jewelry which I haven’t finished yet.  I start to panic and all of a sudden I’m now in my grandmother’s house in front of the stove cooking hamburgers.

The stove is loaded with hamburgers.  There is so much meat on the grill I start to freak out because it’s falling off the edges.  (This is really strange because I’m a vegetarian)  I see my extended family sitting around the table wanting me to finish the burgers.  Then I hear my grandmother calling me from the living room.  I come into the living room and she’s laying on the couch asking me to get her some ice cream.  I said, Grandma why are you here?  She said because I want some ice cream.  I said, but you’re dead.  She said, get me some ice cream, I want vanilla.  I run to the kitchen to get ice cream.  I look in the freezer and there are tons and tons of little tiny yogurts.  I thought, why did my sister put the freaking yogurt in the freezer, this isn't where it goes. 

I dig and dig and only see flavors like Strawberry, Boston Cream Pie and so on.  No Vanilla.  I go back and I say Grandma there’s no vanilla.  She said, it’s in there.  Go find it.   I go back and my family is at the table asking for the burgers, which are now burning on the stove.  I start unloading the burgers and one of my uncles says, did you get Mama her ice cream.  I start to cry and yell, there’s no ice cream!  There’s only yogurt! Why don’t you guys understand??  He says again, you need to get her the ice cream.  I said, she shouldn't be here.  She’s dead.  Don’t you get it, she’s dead and I start to cry. "She's DEAD" I screamed, "And there's NO ICE CREAM!"
I turn to the stove and wake up.

That is just a little glimpse of what goes on in my brain.  I really like both Tim Gunn & Dave Navarro.  Project Runway and Ink Master are two of my favorite shows.

I’ll need to sit down and review that it all means.  I’m not really sure on the whole thing.  I welcome your input.

Happy Sunday
Namaste & Blessed Be


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Q is for Quartz Crystals

Q is for Quartz Crystals

Quartz crystals are a big part of the day to day life of most Pagans who do crystal spell work.  Most start out with a kit of crystals.  There are power crystals and healing crystals.  Quartz is one of the most versatile crystals to work with. 

Immediately when I think Quartz, I think of a clear white quartz crystal that most use to do moon spells work or place at the end of a wand.  Clear quartz is associated with the crown chakra and is usually colorless.  It’s often called a master healer stone and is said to be used for balance and the removal of negative energy. 

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

In my gemstone bag, along with the clear quartz I have a smoky quartz as well.  I love the deep dusty color of the smoky quartz.  Some say it means creativity in business and opens a path for learning.  That could explain me to a tee. 

Recently I added a Citrine to my collection.  This is a pale yellow brown color stone that is said to never need to be charged.  It is said to offer mental clarity.  It’s available in my shop.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

We often forget that Amethyst is also a quartz crystal.  This is one of my favorites and my birthstone.   There is an old saying that the knights of old used to create their goblets out of amethyst to avoid getting drunk.  It is said to be a protection stone that absorbs negativity.  I have to interesting things that happened with my amethyst crystals.  One night hubby and are having some wine and I keep drinking and drink but I’m not feeling it.  I look down and I had forgotten I was wearing my amethyst.   Immediately I thought of the amethyst goblets. 

I had a huge amethyst that I kept in my jewelry box, because the cats kept getting them on my altar.  One day I was sitting at my desk working and I heard a large crash. I got up to find the box across the floor and my amethyst blown apart.  To this day I do not know what happened.  I asked around about it and some said that perhaps it had taken in all the negativity it could.

Learning about all the different crystals could take a lifetime.  A couple of good books are – The Crystal Bible and Crystal Prescriptions both by Judy Hall.

Here are a few more photos of my crystals.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Here's a Quartz Crystal Wand Pendant I picked up a few years ago.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - Q is for Queen of the Witches – Part II

Last year for the Pagan Blog Project letter Q, I did a blog post on Q is for Queen of the Witches.  I went back to re-read the post to see where I was then and how I may have changed my perspective today. 

I noticed this this week is the week of August 13; a day in which many followers/devotees of the goddess call the Day of Hecate.  This day is often used to make offerings to the Goddess in the form of a Supper prepared for her.  It is then left at temples or crossroads.

I have issue with the use of a particular day being attributed to the goddess Hecate, as she predates our current calendar is very difficult to say which day would be a particular holy day.  Hecate has been called a Greek Goddess, a Titan as well as being the daughter of the goddess Asteria. 

Even following the phases of the moon to worship can be questionable because we are not in the exact same position to see the exact same skies of those in antiquity.  Still to me, I believe that when you feel that need to conduct rites and rituals, those are the times to conduct them.  Don’t wait for a particular day or month.  Some say that full moons are better for this and new moons for that.  Yes, these can indeed be better, better in the sense that your mind is more focused on cleansing when you see a new moon, or ready to channel the moon’s energy when it is full.  But when your mind is ready is the best time to feed it.

A few years ago I had someone message me frantically because they didn't have a blue candle to finish a ritual.  They needed a corresponding candle color immediately.  I gently explained to them, the color of the candle, is there only to remind you of what you’re doing.  It is there to remind you to focus your healing energy by showing you the color blue.  The candle could be any other color you have, as long as you focus on healing, it will always be blue. 

At first I was met with annoyance and was told I couldn't possibly be a “real witch”, but as we continued our dialog I explained that the candle had no power.  The power came from within.  She was the tool, the fire and the force of the magic.  The candle was merely a tool in her box.  Finally she understood and the rites were completed.

So, looking at the 13th of August as “THE DAY” for Hecate, leads me down the same road.  I believe this day was created as a reminder for us to give back to the world, give back to our community and give back to our deity what we have collected.  It’s not so much the day we need to observe but all those aspects of the Queen of the Witches that we want to admire.
Hecate is followed by all types of people, from nontraditional solitaries such as myself, to full on covens who see her as the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess.  No matter how we celebrate her mysteries we all embrace her.

I think since this time last year my perspective remains the same.  Celebrate the deity not the ritual.

Hecate Mistress of the three ways
Offerings at the crossroads, you find
Hecate, Light bearing Queen
Come forth and enlighten my mind.
Hecate, Queen of the Witches
Give power to my magic this night.
Hecate, Keeper of the Keys
Unlock your power and bless this rite.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Blood From a Turnip

There's an old saying -   You can't squeeze blood out of  a turnip.

Usually it refers to trying to get money from someone who doesn't have anything to give.  There's been a lot in the news lately about student loan forgiveness.  I've not seen really anything related to helping parents who borrow money to help pay their kids tuition.  There's just nothing out there to help.  When we look at ONE of the loans outstanding, I will owe more in interest than the actual cost of attending school.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

So..  looking at this balance, the actual cost of the tuition was roughly 49k.   The interest is 63k. How is that even ok?  Isn't this loan sharking?  Currently "IF" I was able to afford the monthly payment it would take me 25 years to pay it off.

I went to the student loan site to try to get some assistance, maybe lower the interest a bit.  The FAQ let me know that if I die...   YES I die, my debt will be forgiven.

Gee thanks.

Screenshot -

So, I'm sitting here looking at this and realizing, if I ever did win the Lotto, taxes would get half and the student law interest would get the other half.  And I'd still be sitting here with no ac.

If I don't win the lotto, I guess I'll be one of those people who die in debt... OH except for the student loans, they'll forgive those if I die.

Feeling grumbly

The Day of Hecate

Today is August 13th.  Many of the groups I belong to on Facebook and many of my friends are celebrating what is called "The Day of Hecate".  Many believe that the Greeks celebrated Hecate on this day.

Generally I tend to do my rituals for Hecate on the dark moon.  To me it seems more fitting.  It is when I feel more comfortable.  Since our calendar is every different now I have a hard time wrapping my head around dedicated months versus seasons or moon cycles.

That being said, really, would it bother you if someone cared about you on Monday or Tuesday.  I think that when it is all said and done, paying respect or love to someone is a great thing.  Does it really matter what day it falls on?

For those celebrating The Day of Hecate or Festival of Nemoralia to Diana I wish you the best.

You see it isn't the day or in some cases it isn't even the deity that we're actually celebrating; more so the qualities of that deity that we see in each other.

Namaste & Blessed Be

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - P is for Pride

Pride – feeling of achievement of those who one is associated

Late in summer here in North Carolina we have a little festival in Raleigh called Central NC Pagan Pride.  This weekend is used to celebrate and associate with like minded people. 

Last year my little Pagan Shop, Sosanna’s Closet, had a booth there.  We spent that time meeting lots of wonderful people and learning about each other paths. 

Sosanna of Sosanna's Closet

Wheel of the Year Wreaths - Sosanna's Closet

Mini Goddess Figurines - Sosanna's Closet

This is the one time when I don’t feel the need to tuck my pentacle into my shirt to hide who I am.   Here in Eastern NC there’s not much openness to those that happen to fall outside the spiritual norm.  My hubby and I have not only my pagan shop as a business.  We deal directly with the public so I always tuck my little pentacle into my shirt to be sure that they won’t be put off and decide not to work with us.

Sometimes I worry they’ll judge and we’ll lose a sale or maybe they’ll talk bad about us.  It’s not a make believe fear, earlier this year I submitted an application to join “Pigin the Park”.  It’s a local event with vendors where they celebrate all things BBQ.  I had my feelings hurt when they told me that I just wouldn't fit in with their mostly Christian crowd. 

I guess they don’t really know that there are quite a few pagan people out there in this region.  Maybe if we pulled our pentacles out of our shirts when we’re paying our water bill, or maybe buying groceries that might not be so afraid of us.  I know that I’m going to try to make a conscious effort to be more visible in myself and to show my pagan pride a bit more brightly.
So if you’re around Eastern NC around the mid part of September come out to the Raleigh Fairgrounds and check out what we have for you in our booth.

Namaste & Blessed Be


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - P is for Pagan

Pagan /ˈpāgən/

A person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. The origin of the word is said to be Pagus, Latin for country dweller.  Some say that gentile, idolater and health are synonyms.  Basically a pagan is someone whose religious views are other than Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Pretty simple when you think about it. No matter how you slice and dice the religions, anything outside those three religions would fall under the pagan umbrella.  Much like how anything outside of a Catholic, would be considered a Protestant.

When one country conquers another country many of the customs of the old country are melded into the customs of the new and a new custom is created.  For example if we look at the yearly calendar for example there is clear evidence of this.  Many holidays have transitioned into something much different than the original. 

We can take the American holiday Halloween for example.  Halloween is based on a melding of several different days.  Samhain is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated to prepare for the winter and honor the dead.  Being a fire festival common traditions included bonfires.  Some believed that on this night the veil was the thinnest between the living and the dead and would leave treats out for the dead to find.  Others would carve turnips into frightening faces to keep watch over their homes.  This laid the foundation for our modern Halloween traditions, including trick or treating, wearing masks and of course the dear jack-o-lantern. Other holidays such as Christmas, Easter and even Groundhog day have Pagan DNA. 

I believe the same thing happens with religion.  

I’ve been a party to several group discussion around Pagans who follow Jesus.  I read over and over again how they include Jesus as part of their God/dess collection and consider themselves to be Christians.  This always confuses me.  I can only compare it with my own belief structure.

1.       I am a Pagan because I do not follow one of the three world religions.
2.       I am a Witch because I cast spells and practice candle magic.
3.       I am not Wiccan because I have not been initiated into an order.
4.       I am Hecatean because I follow Hecate.

Now, looking at those statements I can validate each.  When someone says they are Christian these are what I see.

1.       They am Christian because I believe that Jesus is the son of the God of Abraham, the one true God.
2.       They believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
3.       They believe that Jesus died on the cross and arose 3 days later.
4.       They have accepted that I am a sinner and that I can only be saved by believing 1-3.

Ok, see where I get confused?  A pagan by definition is a follower of something other than the three world religions.  A Christian can only believe that the God of Abrahman is the one true God.  You can’t really say I’m a Christian who also follows Bast.  Well, let me rephrase, you certainly can say whatever you’d like to say, but based on what the ‘rules’ for Christianity are, you’re not.
I did do a bit of generalizations on the “What I believe a Christian is” because each group has different requirements.  There are different paths in Christianity.  Catholics believe that a person must get Last Rites before they die.  Some believe that if you’re not baptized you are not a Christian.  So I guess technically one could argue that in their particular “pagan” path Jesus is the son of God and they have other Gods or Goddesses as well.

Personally I believe its fine to have or not have a religion.  A person may be able to embrace what a particular God or Goddess stands for without having to believe that they were an actual being.  To me I believe that we are all energy and when we finally get it right, we can all join together in that pool and be at peace.

Namaste & Blessed Be