Photos from New Mexico - Resturants

We found this place in Truth or Consequences New Mexico.  It's called Latitude 33 and it quite yummy.

This was an orzo salad with grilled shrimp.  It was just beautiful.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

My dish was a yellow curry with golden raisins and candied pecans.  So yummy!
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Circle for Hekate - A Review

"With her daggers, she cuts away that which is no longer necessary.... "

Cover Photo - Circle for Hekate
Photos Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Circle for Hekate - Volume 1, History and Mythology will become the go to primer for anyone interested in the mysteries of the Goddess. Sorita has taken her extensive knowledge of Hecate and combined it in one manuscript, being sure to leave detailed references for the reader to take these keys she has given and unlock the door to more discoveries. Always being careful to include the subtle nuances that make Sorita d'Este the authority on the subject.  This book contains detailed descriptions of Hecate's influence in antiquity through the use of stunning visual imagery. Including the Minoan Snake Goddess, one of my particular favorites. I also appreciate the way that the author takes the time to guide the reader into being more accepting of those who may have a different view of Hecate by addressing quite directly the Maiden Mother Crone aspect and the simple spelling of her name that has led to debate and contempt for years.

By foto feta per J. OllĂ© el 6 d'agost del 2005. 

Sorita continues to explore the Goddess by taking us on a journey which explains conflation and lore. We learn of her lineage, her place in the company of Zeus and then all the way to the the shores of Ellis Island and how the personification of Libertas is often tied to the mother Goddess of the Chaldean Orcales.  The image from page 139 of the book labeled 59-Hekate Chiaramonte is one of my favorite depictions of the Goddess.

For the beginner and scholar alike, the chapter dedicated to the Symbols will be a quick reference to all things Hecate. From the modius to her sandals Sorita takes us on a head to toe exploration of all the imagery associated with Hecate.  Many immediately know of keys and serpents but how many take the time to explore the others such as lions, poppies or star wheels.

One of many aspects of the goddess is most intriguing to me is her relationship to the dead and necromancy. Sorita delves into this with precision and with of course careful reference to her sources.  References to spells and charms related to the dead is just another section that will challenge the reader to continue to discover more about the goddess.

Finally the chapter related to Hecate and plants is a must have for the devotee. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a request for Aconite to place on someone's altar I would be a millionaire. The table provided in this book is filled with non lethal plants and should be required reading for the budding Hecatean in my opinion.

Overall this book encompasses what we know and adore about the Goddess from a historical perspective but also include modern references by authors and bloggers alike. Sorita d'Este confirms her place as a scholar of Hecate and shares that knowledge with the masses in this well referenced and easy to read book.  I, for one anxiously await Volume II.


I would like to take a moment to personally thank Sorita for my inclusion in this book.  I have worked diligently with the Covenant of Hekate over the years and spent many nights researching the mysteries of Hecate.  Sorita has been a supportive influence in my study and practice.  I was excited to see Sara Neheti Croft referenced in the book as she too, was/is a huge resource on Hecate and I still reach out to her with questions and comments on the Goddess.  You can find information on the Covenant of Hekate on this link and the amazing blog by Sara here.  Be sure to head over and check them out.

Photos from New Mexico - Percha Dam

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Becoming an Atheist Witch

Over the few years I've grown quite a bit in my path. I've looked to the sky for guidance, gathered twigs and herbs for spells and spent many a night naked under the moon.  My journey has taken me from learning about Wicca to being an independent witch.   This is the first year that I have gradually separated from the Wheel of the Year, stood aside from Rite of Her Sacred Fires and tried to join with the earth's energy.  I tossed aside holding my tongue in lieu of speaking my mind even if it seemed to be a thumb at harm none.

I did a few searches on YouTube on the subject, the only one that seemed to be interesting and not start out with someone younger than my socks and brite pink hair was the one from a Yale Class.

I'll share it here just because I thought it was interesting.

In any event needless to say that a lot of my daily rites have changed and I no longer have an altar or even participate in events like Samhain & Yule. While I still work with natural energies, work to better my body and become more aligned with the natural world, I don't have a deity and don't work with one.  I have never really believed that you needed one but for what its worth, just to clarify, I currently don't have one.

Year before last my focus was to refine my art and work on mastering wire weaving for my jewelry.  Last year a flood snipped my ability to vend and I was pushed back to only selling online. Taking advantage of that hubby and I took to the road and ended up in New Mexico.  As I sit here just a week outside 2018, I've begun setting my goals for this up coming year. I plan to continue to work my craft but adding a new medium and focusing on my body.  I want to make myself stronger and healthier.  I want to encourage the new Atheist Witch in me to embrace my mystical skills while holding fast to the things I know to be true.

This will be a different path than I have been on, but I hope that you will stay along for the ride and lend your comments, suggestions and feedback as I move forward on this new journey.  Things will change. I will be a bit more assertive with my comments. I will be more direct and practice less hand holding. I will be cutting off things that no longer play a role in my life and I will be removing those who do not bring about positive in my life. This is a departure from my normal status quo however I feel it is something that needs to be done in order to continue to grow.

If it doesn't bring you happiness.  Let it go.  Find what makes you excited and embrace it.

Confessions of a Modern Witch - Episode 2

Here's my new update for the blog!

Confessions of a Modern Witch - Episode 1

Finally Friday Wrap Up

So it has been a long week.  My vacation kicked off this past Monday but we were not in the position to leave yet.  We finished up the house on Wednesday and pulling out on Thursday.  Today I'm blogging from the front seat of the truck while hubby drives of to the land of enchantment and hatch chilies!  We managed to get the house in rental condition and whittled down our belongings to only those things that would fit in the trailer.  We swapped out our anchors for wheels and we're going to try living minimally.

With that, I want to share you with you our completed project on the house.  I think it turned out really well.

So there she is.  Ready to be rented.  Here's a link to the property management company who are taking care of the details for me.  Their photos are fantastic!

I'm so excited to be headed to the southwest.  I can't wait to share my photos with you.  It is going to be an amazing journey!

A Witch's View - Doors, Floors and Sores - OH MY

This week has been really busy for Eli.  My last day at work was Friday and was our goal day to leave for our trip to NM.  Due to our issues with our helper and the amount of work to do it appears we are still probably about 4-7 days out depending on weather and pain levels.

This week Hubby got the doors in and we kicked out some flooring on Saturday. Here are a few pictures of what he was able to accomplish.  He is amazing.

Here's the new door he installed in the kitchen.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

This is a before picture of the floor in the old craft room.   Bedroom number 2.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 This is the after of the craft room (bedroom #2) with the new floor install.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
This is hubby laying the flooring in my old office (Bedroom #3)

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 This is the finished look at bedroom #3
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
We also finished laying the flooring in the kitchen but I'll save those photos for next time!

Witchy Wednesday - And It Continues to Thin

This week for my Witchy post, I wanted to share a couple of pictures that I have taken around the house.  Since we started the rehab the spirits have been restless.

Saturday I was doing some yard clean up and I had encounters with several spirits. Usually when rehab begins or when you start work on a house the spirits let you know. Miss Rose is no exception.  She lived in the house for years, surviving 2 husbands. I have seen them walk around the yard before. We are also directly in line to the march on Goldsboro during the Civil War so needless to say we have a lot of activity.  This week with the veil thinning, the activity has been over the top.

Here are a few photos of my area this week.  What do you think?

This is our hallway. The master bedroom is to the right of the hall at the end.  We had to hang a "portal" mirror there to stop the mischief that was happening when we first moved into the house. Since I removed the portal the activity has been really strong. What do you think?

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
This is a shot of the lot looking towards the road.  The last owner of the property had her husband die in the middle of the night. While we have been parked here, we have had our dogs just randomly start barking for no reason. I have sat outside and I can feel him walking here.  I'm getting my apples ready.  I won't take his space, but I do want him to be at peace.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
How is your Samhain coming along?  What's your month looking like?  Feel free to share your photos!

A Witch's View - Rehab Continues

So this week a lot of progress was made on the house. Hubby has been painting, sweeping, framing and so much more.  We are both so looking forward to my upcoming vacation.  We're actually taking a full on trip away from the house that doesn't include working in any shape or form.  If we stay on schedule my PTO begins in one week and we'll be hitting the open road for a a wonderful trip out west.

We both love the southwest so our plan is to pack up the RV and spend some time in New Mexico. We have always wanted to go and now is a wonderful time as the weather begins to get colder here on the east coast, for us to kick off our grand adventure.  

Back back to the house.  After our recovery from our hired painter, we have been able to clean up the walls enough to get the paint on and the molding complete.  Hubby has been a trooper getting through all this.   I have a few items left to sell and I'll be setting those out today as well as finishing up my yard work.

Here's a few photos of the work he finished this week.  Remember we're still in construction mode so there is still a bunch of cleaning to do. 

This coming week we're finishing up the painting, starting on the flooring and then we'll be working on the outside of the house.

This is the hallway. Cleaned off the kitchen trim finally that our "painter" applied to all the door jams and the wainscoting in the hall.  It was a tough job but hubby finally cleaned up this guys mess.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Hubby playing a little photo bomb in the master bedroom.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 This was my office. We have finished the painting (we, Maggie and Eli) and next we just need to install the flooring.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 This is the master bedroom.  Hubby finished the trim work and next we'll be pulling out the carpet to lay down the flooring.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 We had to take down the bathroom light fixture and repair the wall and then apply paint.  Our "painter" decided to put the kitchen trim paint in the bathroom.  That will be fixed.  I'm not really sure why he did that.  But that's why we're doing it ourselves now.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
These are the finished cabinets with "moose mouse"  colored cabinets and new handles. I thought they were really pretty.  We are leaving the fridge and stove as is.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
It has been an interesting and fun project. I'm working full time, and not able to focus on BaubleSmith or this project fully.  Hubby has been carrying the load and getting the job done.  It is pretty amazing. Tune in next week for flooring!!  

Witchy Wednesday - Thinning of the Veil

Usually by this time I have the ancestor altar in full switch.  Candles, updated photos, flowers. Usually I have my photos taken and submitted to altar projects and I'm completely set for Samhain. This year is proving to be an exception. With the remodel of the house and our plans to move things have taken a turn for the "Huh?". (laughing) I may even start experimenting with vlogging.  I have been working with the video a bit more and I think I may look to test that out as we start making more progress for our move.

Over the last two weeks we have slowly sold off the majority of what we own. We are living full time in the RV now and getting set in our routine. My ancestor altar is only inches away from me every day now, instead of being across the room in my office. I have no pictures or flowers. Just a box of incense and a cat from time to time. Meanwhile, I think I have been more in touch with spirits over this time period than any other time in my life. With all the construction in the house it is a buzz with activity. Yesterday a closet door swung open while I was talking to Eli.

We have so much more work on the house to do and with me working full time, I'm not sure that I'll have the ability to do much more than seeing my altar and thinking of them. Sometimes you have more, sometimes less.

What are you doing to honor the dead this year?

I'm already having so much contact I'm really looking forward for any messages this year. I plan to sit and actively listen over the next two weeks to see what is coming.  I am having more vivid dreams which leads me to believe there's someone out there wanting to chat. Hopefully I'll have a visit.

Looking forward to what life has in store for me. Changes they are a coming.

A Witch's View - Still Working...

I'll just sell my house, I said....

Yeah well just stop that crazy shit right now, ok!  I had no idea how much went into selling a house. But I did do it before.  I did walk into my living-room and start setting stuff out on the street for a yard sale. I packed everything I owned into a little car and headed west. It was freeing. It was terrifying. It was exactly what I needed.

This week we worked with someone we hired from a local group to come out and do some work around the house.  We had yard work, clean up work and some more detailed inside work.  Painting, pulling carpets, that sort of thing.  We learned very quickly that not everyone has the same work ethic we have. My back is killing me but at least we are were I had hoped the yard would be when we added our hired help.  I ended up having to call someone else to finish the mowing and Eli spent the entire day cleaning up to a point where we could start painting again.

Here are a few photos of what we came home to.

So in all fairness we did tell him we were replacing the floors but seriously??  

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Some of this I'm confused about.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Eli decided to just go a head and paint the cabinets in there. 

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
 More of the paint splatters on the floor.
Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Random starts and stops through out the house.
Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Photo Credit - Renee Olson
 This wall Eli had finished and then the trim was applied.  ??? 

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Needless to say we decided to cut our losses and just figure out another solution.  I'll be taking some pictures of the front of the house tomorrow and getting more of the yard under control while Eli finishes the cabinets and gets them ready for me to put on the hardware.  I'll hang the doors while he gets back to painting.  We still have one room that hasn't been started at all.  The laundry room needs to be started and then carpets torn out.  We still have an elliptical, a laser printer, a washer and dryer and a bunch of odds and ends left to sell. 

It is going to be a long week!  

Witchy Wednesday - Sirens

I have always loved the myths related to sirens and mermaids.  There are so many great ones out there. Recently I came across this new show related to them.  Check out this trailer.

What do you think??  Personally I can't wait for it to start.  It is slated for 2018, trust me I'll be tuning in.

Have you had a chance to head over and check out the Samhain's Sirens October project?  Lots of fun going on over there.

I love this yearly project created by Kallan from Wildy Witch.  Remember to head over to the Siren's Facebook Page to stay up to date on all the fun.  It is a tough job.  Each year she puts together this amazing project, overcoming failed entries, lost emails and even direct sabotage. In the end, she always gets it done.  So get on over there, leave a comment. Show them some love! <3

Working, working, working - A Witch's View

Good Morning!  Happy Sunday.  Today is going to be a quick one.  I have so much going on right now it is unbelievable. Eli and I are getting the house ready to be sold.  You would think that it would be a quick endeavor but no. Our realtor who first offered to help us get the house on the market, told us to repaint the walls, tear out the front fence and replace the floors contacted us last night saying that she couldn't list the property at all.

So now here we sit, walls spackled, fence pulled up and no one to sell the house.  My hopes of getting up to MD this year are slowly dwindling away. There is so much work to do here just to get her ready to sell that it maybe quite a while before we can get moving.

That being said, I choose not to focus on the negative. We're going to get this done. We are going to get the house ready and we're going to move.  It just may not be in the direction or time frame that I was hoping for.  It will however, all work out.  I still have some big items for sale (including the house, lol) and hope to get those taken care of over the next few weeks.

Here are a few pics of what we did yesterday.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Next, we paint!

Samhain's Sirens: Sirens Celebration: Day 5

Have you been following the Siren's Call?  Head over and check it out....

Samhain's Sirens: Sirens Celebration: Day 5: It's Friday, and we know how much you love the weekend. Today, we offer our first Forget-Me-Not Tribute to someone who has contributed m...

Samhain's Sirens - Witchy Wednesday


Happy October!  It is that time of year that makes me sing and dance.

Google Images
As you may have heard I've teamed up with an amazing bunch of people for the month of October.  You'll find some amazing recipes, blogs, crafts and yes even giveaways over at the Samhain Siren's blog.  I highly recommend heading over there and checking it out! 

Keep a sharp eye out.  I'll be joining those extremely talented folks with a couple giveaway's of my own from BaubleSmith

A Witch's View - Fine Art America

Earlier this year I made the leap to put my photography out on a public site.  I had several requests to put my photography in coffee table books and digital frames so that they could enjoy my work.

I decided to post a few of my photos here and you can head over and check them out in my shop on FAA.

Knobs by Renee Sosanna Olson
Down to Earth by Renee Sosanna Olson
Sleepy Creek by Renee Sosanna Olson

Overgrown By Renee Sosanna Olson

Traveling for Business - A Witch's View

One of the things I dread most is traveling for work.  Each time I went on a plane, I would have to ask for the seat belt extension. The flights were crowded and the seats small. No one really wants to sit next to the "fat girl".

At the time of this writing I'm prepping for a trip to my companies home office.  I have worked for the same company for nearly 15 years and work remotely.  Over the years I have traveled to the office for special occasions, training sessions and product launches with the occasional visit for symposium.

Here are a few photos from those past visits.

This was one of my first trips with my company.  I went to Vegas.  Got an award.  :P This photo was taken in 2005.

This photo was taken just after a trip to Orlando in 2009.  I went down to work on site to help with an event my company was hosting.  My cell phone was stolen while I was there on day 1 of a 5 day trip. I was grump.  :P 

This trip I needed to go out and buy all new clothes for the trip. Needless to say I'm still completely terrified about getting lost, showing up for work naked (ok not really) and/or spilling coffee on the boss.  But at least that seat belt extension will be a fear that I can tuck away and never worry about again.

Here's the photo - Trip to Connecticut 2017.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson

This year after getting myself healthy I've been struggling with the whole Eff your Body Standards campaigns. While I get that we want to be happy and healthy in the skin we're in, we also don't want to be promoting unhealthy behaviors or celebrating a disease that is killing us. A few years ago I had my DNA tested and it revealed that I was prone to obesity. My DNA makes it harder for me to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and with that opened up the door for a lot of weight related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. I started at 250. Now this isn't the largest I have been. Before I had a gastric bypass surgery I was up to 305lbs.   Today I'm at 175lbs with a total weight loss (this round of weight struggle) of 75lbs.

Hubby found Dr. Furhman. We have changed the way we work with food and it is really helping me this time.

So what should I weight?  Dr. Furhman says the following:

Women: 95 lbs for the first five feet of height and four pounds for every inch there after.
Men: 105 lbs for the first first five feet of height and five pounds for every inch there after.

These are only rough guides since we all have different body types and bone structures - source

Currently I'm still obese according to the BMI at 33.1.  I will be here for a bit.  But then I didn't get fat overnight so why would I lose the weight overnight?

According to Dr. Furhman's calculations I need to weigh around 99lbs.  Should be interesting to see if I keep the negative foods out of my diet how close I get to that number.

Ultimately, you'll be able to tell where you should be based on how your body feels when you do day to day basis. Such as traveling for business.  Is it hard to get in the airline seat? (Yes, I know they are really small but just give me a second.)  Is it easier to board?  How about putting your luggage in the overhead?  How about buckling that belt?

Let me state clearly, you can be a full figured person and be healthy.  You can be a skinny person and be unhealthy. Only you and your doctor can make that decision. The only thing I can share with you is my experience and what I have seen in my weight loss journey.  And if I were given a degree for the years of study (or struggle) I have on this subject I would be walking around with a doctorate.

This post is not intended to body shame anyone. Take a moment and do a self assessment. Take what helps you from this post and leave the rest behind.

Recent Works - A Witch's View

Here are a few photos of some pieces I have been working on lately.  I've always wanted to learn a type of channel setting for stones using wire weave instead of soldering. These are my attempts at that process.

This first piece is a Labradorite with Goldstone Cabachons.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

This second piece is a Labradorite with Swavorski Crystals.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
I created a couple of videos so you can see the flash on the stones.  At the time of this writing all pieces are available for purchase.  My webhost is dragging their feet at updating my page so I can't post these for sale.  You can however message me directly on this blog or on my facebook page to purchase them.

Witchy Wednesday - Practical Magic Part 3

This week we're looking at part three of Practical Magic (Kindle) by Nikki Van De Car. Instead of a traditional review I thought I would take the next few weeks to go into each of the chapters with you at my first read as opposed to reading the entire book and then giving a review.  You can find several of her publications at Running Press.

Photo Credit - Book Cover

Part Three of this book is titled Casual Clairvoyance.  This section gives a high level overview of a few methods of divination. It reviews the Tarot, Palmistry, Astrology and Dream Interpretation.  Keep in mind this is a beginner's book so the sections on each are short and provide a basic understanding of the art.

The Tarot section for example provides and overview of the suites, the major arcana and then two spreads.  A basic three card (past, present and future) and what the author calls a Guidance Spread. I did a quick search on the net and couldn't find a reference to the Guidance Spread.  Basically it is a nine card spread that is outlined in the book. While not the most in-depth reading spread I have seen, I think it is a great start for a beginner.  If you're interested in this spread, you'll need to buy her book.

This is a brief video of a three card spread.

I am by no means an expert on the Tarot and I recommend that you reach out to a Tarot professional in your area or check out my sister Kallan's page for more information on Tarot and Totem readings.

Here are a couple videos on some of the other divination methods she discusses.

Dream Inpterpretation



As I mention in previous posts, now is your chance to enter to win the Practical Magic Prize pack, which includes the book I reviewed for this series, along with the matching mini spell kit and a copy of Feng Crochet.

Be sure to come back and Tweet the giveaway each day for more entries into the hat.
Facebook, Blogger and Rafflecopter are in no way associated with this contest.  Please click the link to login or enter with your email address below.  I will announce the winner after they have been notified!

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Cover Art credited to the author

Disclaimer:  I do not practice Wicca.  I am not an expert on any of the traditions of Wicca. I am giving this information as a review of a book written by Nikki Van De Car. Feel free to message the page with questions, however do remember that I am a witch. Without a deity and without an specific tradition.

Memories - A Witch's View

I put an old memory card in my tablet from years and years ago today. It had a lot of old pictures on it that brought back so many memories.  Since I use this space - A Witch's View - to show you the world thought my eyes, I thought it would be fun to go through my old memory card photos and share those with you. There were hundreds of photos on this card.  Here are a few that struck me.

November 14, 2015 we were vending.  It was SOOOOOO cold.  It was also pretty Christian. I felt so out of place.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson

December 25, 2015 - We had a Christmas Frog in the house.  Hubby grabbed it and set it free. It was warm for December. But yea, we had frogs.

December 30, 2015 - Apparently I was being a troll doll!  LOL

Photo Credit Elijah Olson

February 22, 2016, hubby was practicing his drawing.  He has mad skills.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Artist - Elijah Olson

March 21, 2016 Pandora playing with her "Sock-o-Monkey Bunny".

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

March 26, 2016, I made Eggs Benedict. We were not vegan at this point. No hollandaise, just eggs, muffin and sausage.

April 8, 2016, we had marshmallows.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

April 16, 2016, before a pee from Hurricane Matthew Eli and I were hunting for an RV.  We were thinking about moving from our house into a travel trailer. I found this photo on the memory card.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson 2016

I remember walking around the trailer lots and my hips hurting so bad. No wonder. Thinking back to that time I don't feel like a new person. I honestly didn't realize how fat I was. You can see the pain on my face. I'm so glad that I took the steps to improve my life.  Today. Life is good.

In October of 2016 Hurricane Matthew.  We had upwards of 36 inches of water on our property.  This photo was taken when we were finally able to get back to the property after the water receded.

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson
We set the yard stick up next to the back fence.  You can see the waterline on the bushes. Pretty scary stuff.

Finding old memory cards are always exciting. Sometimes memories can be painful. Pandora left us later that year; her seizures finally getting the best of her. The house survived the flood and we're still here today.  At the time of this writing we're expecting another hurricane to come through. I'm on travel and will be worried the entire time. Eggs Benedict and Marshmallows are no longer a part of my diet. Time goes by and changes so quickly. Always take a moment to stop and appreciate where you are in life. There may not be a memory card that you can whip out to see these actual images but they all live in your CPU.  Dig in there and see what you can find.