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."



Samhain's Sirens Saturday Craft-tacular

Can you believe it's already the 19th?  October is winding down and Samhain will soon be here.  This month has been a crazy busy month.  I've been working on lots of projects and getting ready for the "Between Worlds Festival" in Durham at Thaumaturgy 777.

Today I want to point you over to the awesome Samhain's Sirens Saturday Craft-tacular!  Throughout the month of October the lovely sirens give you music, blogging, recipes and much much more!  Saturdays were given to me, and I have put together a weekly dose of crafts that can be done alone or with the kiddies.

Each Saturday I'll give you step by step instructions with photos on a particular craft and at the end, you can enter to win that craft by adding a comment and telling me about something you like in my Etsy shop or Facebook page.  Like these new hats we're carrying now!

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Take a moment to head over to the Samhain's Sirens Blogger page and participate in the all the fun!!


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - U is for Understanding

Earlier this week I participated in a discussion around a Yahoo! Article about Maria Kang.  For those that don’t know, Ms. Kang is a 32 year old mother of three in California who came under fire for a photo of herself in her work out gear with her three kids, all under the age of 3 and a six pack.  Not a six pack of beer, six pack abs.   In bold type over the photo was the phrase, “What’s Your Excuse?”

I watched as friends battled one another about thin shaming and fat shaming.  I watched as reasons like, medical disorders and money were tossed out as to why Ms. Kang was able to have this fit of a body, while other mothers were still hanging on to the body fat. 

With bullying, eating disorders and social media at an all-time high, I can completely understand why people are scared.  As a fat kid who was teased, not only by strangers but by my own family. I understand why people are so divided on this topic.  I say kid, but hell, I was standing at my grandmother’s hospital bed when one of my aunts completely bullied me about putting weight back on.  Not years ago, months.
I watched the battle rage on and in my truly helpful nature thought, “What can I do?”  How can I help these two sides understand?

What we as a society need to do is just learn one word.  That word is understanding.  We as pagans, we as women, we as fat kids, we as abuse survivors.  WE ALL, need to learn understanding.  Now, I’m not referring to understanding how or why someone else feels a certain way. 

As pagans, we do not have to understand why a non-pagan believes what they believe.  We as women, do not have to understand why men believe what they believe.  We as fat people, do not need to understand why thin people believe what they believe.  We just have to understand that they do. 

To be clear, you don’t need to understand why I hate sweating.  You don’t have to understand why I prefer to spend that extra hour a day in the craft room with hubby making a witch hat prototype instead of jogging, or going to gym.  You do NOT need to understand why.  You just have to understand that I do. 
Just as I understand that Christians choose to follow Christ, I hope that they will understand that I choose to follow Hecate.  I understand that Ms. Kang wants to be in shape, and she may even really want to help those that also want to get in shape do so.  I also understand that there are people who physically cannot, or who choose not to spend their time in the gym.  Just as I won’t judge the Christians, or Ms. Kang; I’m certainly not going to judge those who are not in that same body shape.

I believe we need to stop making assumptions about each other.  Stop looking for a way to twist a sentence or turn a quote around to make it mean something more than what it really means.  Learn to understand that we are all very very different people.  We are all very important in what we offer to this world.  We need to become more understanding. 

When I look out my window I see my feral cat colony, I see my hens pecking the ground.  I see my grape vines and my black walnut tree.  I don’t need to understand how each individual one goes on its daily life.  I don’t need to understand why the tree leans to the east and not to the west.  I don’t need to understand the intricacies of botany or animal husbandry.  I can gaze out my window and understand that each one of these things is precious.  From the snake to the fly.  From the weed to the fruit, each one of these things contributes to the ecosystem.

As a human being, I can look at others in the world and understand, that each one is special.  Each life force is individual.  I can understand, that in order for us to live up to what we see ourselves inside to be, comes from understanding that there is no one out there quite like us.  If we want to be understood, we need understanding.


Helpful Links
The Militant Baker

Spirit Day

Over the last few years, we've seen a rise in kids committing suicide from being bullied.  As adults, it's up to us to stop bullying when we see it.

GLAAD is asking that we turn our profiles on social media and our shirts purple for Spirit Day, a day that is designed to show support for LGBT kids and show them that there are people out there that care about them.

Take a moment to follow the link to turn your profile purple to take a stand against bullying.


The Study Continues....

So I read further in to the book "Magic in the Ancient World" into the first chapter.  Yeah first chapter.  This crazy cold (or at least I'm blaming it on that) has my brain in a fog.  I was able to understand that the Romans pretty much took the same definition of magi to mean those Persian priests.

And.... that's all I got. The book is SOOOO hard to read.  The words drone on together in what seems to be just a repetitive bunch of nothingness.  I couldn't take it any longer.  I pulled out a sticky note, closed my composition book and set it aside.  I am defeated.  I'll try to go back to it later on but for now dear Fritz, you have defeated me.

I'm so glad I have three other books to take the place of this one.  Today I started on Hekate Soteira by Sarah Iles Johnston.  This book looks at Hecate as the Cosmic Soul in the Chaldean system.  I'm on page 18 thus far and it seems to be a bit smoother of a read.  Up to this point I've looked up what cosmic soul is and what the thought behind the Chaldean Oracles is.  Basically what I'm getting so far is that this group believed that all souls came from one soul.  That one soul was divided up by a mathematical formula.  There was the God, which was absolute power or intelligence and then the realms below.

The intelligence created or provided the seed to the next realm or barrier which was called Hecate.  Hecate took the seed and passed it to the next realm or Demiurge , and because of being the receiver of that seed, Hecate is referred to as the world mother.

I would love to find a book that could break it down in plain English, but thus far, I'm not finding anything related to Cosmic Soul for Dummies or Absolutely Everything about Chaldean Oracles.

Wish me luck,


Come Out Come Out Where Ever You Are.

National Coming Out Day is a day that celebrates all those who are coming out of the closet as LGBT people.  Founded in 1988 it was started on October 11th to celebrate the 1987 LGBT National March on Washington.

As many movements due, it started out slowly but then steadily grew to incorporate all 50th states as well as seven countries in 1990.

We celebrate this day as a way to tell others of our status to show them that we are not different from them.  We get up, we take care of our kids.  We go to work.  Just like they do. 

Recently I saw a quote that said:
 “Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn't a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.” ~Anonymous

As a lesbian, I look forward to the day when we no longer need a pride movement.  A day when we can all just look at each other and accept who we are without making judgments based on gender, race or religion.

HRC wants to know your story.  Check out the video below and if you'd like, share your coming out story with them here.

In celebration of closet doors flinging open around the world Sosanna’s Closet Etsy Shop is offering 25% off all purchases over 60.00 on Etsy with coupon code NCOD2013. 

Come out come out where ever you are!


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - U is for Ubiquitous

Ubiquitous is defined as being everywhere at once.

When I read the definition of this word, I double checked to be sure there was not a picture of me in there.  Over my life I have found that generally I multitask.  I am everywhere at a one time.  When I’m cooking, I’m also reading and looking and thinking and listing.  The brain just goes and goes and goes. 

My pagan life is the same.  Currently I’m assisting on a calendar project.  This project helped me sit down and finally write about solar vs. lunar calendars and how they came to be.  I’m participating in Pagan Blog Project, obviously as well as serving as a moderator for two groups on Facebook.  I’m currently attempting to read several books for COH work as well as a book for work learning SQL. And participating in the Samhain’s Sirens October Blog Project.

My brain is indeed ubiquitous.

I’m also struggling with the holidays coming up.  This time of the year is often hard for me and my mania has a tendency to rear its ugly head.

I’ve started opening my days by lighting a candle on my entryway altar and burning a bit of sage.  I’m going to spend a little longer time there each morning to try to create a spot where I can park that ubiquitous mind and let it rest.  Maybe only for a few seconds right now, but my goal is to hopefully get to a point when I might be able to attempt some meditation.

Learning to live with my mind is a challenge.  It is always needing a project, or a plan.  I always need to have something going on.  I never EVER relax.  I never EVER stop.  I am always on, I am all over. And for now, I am ubiquitous.



Magic in the Ancient World - 1

Chapter 2 – Naming the Sorcerer

For the most part, as I mentioned chapter 1 reads like stereo instructions.  I had a hard time following the sentence structure and felt lost for the most part.

As chapter 2 started, I felt a bit more in line with the writer.  The author, Fritz Graf starts out chapter 2 with a definition.  He states that a Magos or Magus is a priest or religious specialist.  He goes on to refer to various historical texts that use the words Magos/Magus/Magi as well as the word Magic or Magia/Mageia
Magi are referred to as everything from “Experts in the Gods” to “Men on the fringes of Society”.  At one point in the chapter in a reference to Plato’s Republic they are referred to as men who “Will harm good men or bad for a price.” And as “Charlatans” who trained in the art of deception and have power based on illusion.

Looking at the changes in the term, we can see that either training in the fields of science increased or revile for those that spoke of the gods occurred. 

Going into this book I had a set idea of what magic is and what a magus is.  I had heard the term Magi and was familiar with the Jesus birth and how gifts were presented to the Christ child by the Magi.  It was not until today that I learned that basically Magi means, a priest of ancient Persia.  To me, magic is an energy that is available for all to access.  Priest, sorcerer or not.  Just as the word pagan changed from yokel to heathen, I believe the same thing appeared to happen to words related to magic.

I've just started on page 36 of the book, subtitled – The Roman World.  Looking forward to see what’s in store.

As they say, when in Rome.


Magic in the Ancient World - Tough Read

So I'm starting my winter reading.  My shelf consists of the following:

Having read both Liminal Rites and Her Sacred Fires last year, I started with Magic in the Ancient World.  I have to say, thus far it’s been a pretty challenging read.  I had hoped to take each chapter, read it and write about it here.  I thought it might be an easier way to be sure I thoroughly understood the material.  After finishing chapter one and starting on chapter two of the book, all I can say is WOW.

I put the book down after chapter one and went back to Liminal Rites just to be sure that I hadn’t forgotten too much.  I even popped open my Kindle app and started reading The Temple of Hekate by Tara Sanchez, just to be sure it wasn’t my brain that was having issues. 

It wasn't my brain.  This first chapter of Magic in the Ancient World was so full of information, I actually felt like I was coming in at the middle of the book.  It was challenging just to get the sentences to stay formed as sentences in my head.  At this point I’m debating skipping on to one of the next books or maybe just drudging through to chapter to three to see how it goes.

So by my update next week I hope to be done with Chapter three of Magic in the Ancient World and be able to provide my thoughts on the first three chapters.  Hopefully it will consist of more than just “Ummm, what did he say?”



Samhain's Sirens Saturday Craft-Tacular

Want to learn a new craft that's pretty kid friendly?  The Samhain's Sirens event brings back the Saturday Craft-Tacular featuring yours truly!

Every Saturday for the month of October I'll be showing off step by step photos of how to do a simple Samhain/Halloween craft with your family.  The ages range but their is something for everyone.

This weekend head over and check out how to create a Jar-o-Lantern and comment with your email address to win the one demonstrated!!

Be sure to follow the Samhain's Sirens Facebook page for updates on all the wonderful, recipes and prizes to come!


Pagan Blog Project 2013 - T is for Triple Goddess

The triple goddess is a familiar symbol and figure in many pagan and Wiccan traditions.  Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Dianic and solitary followers of Wicca often honor this form.  To me the triple goddess can have two meanings.  For this week’s Pagan Blog Project post, I’d like to explore both.

Maiden, Mother & Crone
First I’d like to look at the modern interpretation of the triple goddess as the Maiden, Mother & Crone. Many well-known pagans such as Robert Graves, Ronald Hutton and of course, Aleister Crowley have written a great deal on the maiden, mother, crone aspects of the goddess.  Crowley actually focused the Crone aspect onto Hecate, calling her “the woman past all hope of motherhood, her soul black with envy and hatred of happier mortals.” And “a thing altogether of hell, barren, hideous and malicious, the queen of death and evil witchcraft” in his novel “Moonchild”.

The basics of the triple goddess from this perspective is that the Goddess forms and the moon forms mirror each other.  In that the waxing moon represents a new beginning and youth which would be evident in the Maiden.  The full moon would be power and ripeness, such as the round full belly of the Mother.  Finally the waning moon would be the dead, darkness and death which would be the final aspect, or the Crone aspect of the Goddess.

We can see this influence throughout much of modern Wicca and paganism through the art of Mickie Mueller for example. The follow photo is an image that reflect the Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect of the Goddess.

Maiden, Mother & Crone - Mickie Mueller
Photo used with artist permission
A few months ago I saw this picture show up on my news feed.  I was very familiar with Mickie’s work but I was not aware that she was hand painting items and dealing directly with her fans that so loved her work.  I watched the progress on this piece and was astounded as she shared new pictures each day.  I even watched as the new owner proudly shared the final product on Mickie’s page.  With the mass marketing and pagan supermarkets that have littered the internet I was extremely pleased to see how truly appreciated and how gracious Mickie was to her client.

Another example from Mickie, is this pendant which is based on the same Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect. 
Maiden, Mother & Crone Pendant 

To see more great work by Mickie Mueller please visit her shop at -

Triple Form Goddess
Another aspect of the triple goddess that I have encountered in my studies is the triple form goddess.  These are goddesses that are represented as having three forms, three heads or from the three ways.

Hecate, illustration by Stéphane Mallarmé, in les Dieux Antiques : nouvelle mythologie illustrée (Paris, 1880). A Neoclassical rendition of a late Hellenistic or Roman original – Public domain

Hecate is depicted throughout history as having three bodies.  She appears as three females of the same age, unlike the Maiden, Mother, Crone representation.  She appears to be a young woman and carries torches, rope and daggers.  She is often accompanied by dogs. 

Richard Cosway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This triple form of Hecate is said to be a representation of the areas of her dominion, the heavens, the earth and the sea.  Because she is said to be the night wandering goddess of the crossroads, the three forms are said to watch each direction. 

Antonine Imperium issued a coin in honor of Hecate (Hekate) available for purchase.  I found this coin online and decided to order one. Side one shows Hekate in her triple form with the inscription “Hekate Soteira” and the reverse has a crescent moon at the top, a key at the bottom and the minting information inscribed on the bottom.

Hekate Soteria coin - Designed by John H. Carlson
Photo used with artist permission

I like to think of the triple formed goddess Hecate as watching in the three directions at the crossroads, torches held high to light the way.  I’ve tried several times to create my own Hecate Triformis.  Thus far I’ve only been able to come up with this abstract version. I’ll certainly keep trying.

Hecate Triformis - Owner & Artist - Sosanna Olson

May her mysteries be revealed in your dreams,