An enlightening quote

“We believe in the Horned God and in the Goddess of the Moon.  Now this doesn’t mean that we’re silly enough to think that the Moon in the sky is a goddess.  I don’t think any educated pagan ever did think that.  What this means to us is that the masculine and feminine powers of nature were symbols; magical images, and by means of our imaginations, we can make a real contact with these cosmic forces: the forces of nature, the forces of life.”                    -Doreen Valiente

Listen to Auntie Doreen herself at about 4:00.

Homeschool Fall 2013

 Planning this year’s homeschool. This year both Rhiannon (17) and Morgan Finn (12) have decided to do public school, so I’m down to three children at home – Méabh (4); Wolfie (7): and Archer (15).

 Méabh is way to young for any formal schooling. I would like to get her some language resources for her special needs.

  Wolfie is ready for homeschool Waldorf kindergarten. So delightful. I have all the Oak Meadow curriculum so we’ll be using that (although I frequently fantasize about buying Live Ed!).
Alphabet stories
form drawing
book making
shoe tying
outside time

  I am excited to do high school with Archer. He’ll be using compass on line for core subjects, and we’ll be adding some of our own. I really enjoy working with my highschoolers because I learn along with them!
Compass (on line)
To Kill A Mockingbird

  What are your homeschool plans?

Melanie’s Witch Book List UPDATED!

There are so many great Pagan and Wiccan books out there. And some really awful shit. These are the books that shaped me. And that I recommend. My list is completely different from yours. So feel free to leave some suggestions in the comments.

Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey

Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer by Kramer and Wolkstein

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler

 The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

The Witches Bible Complete by the Ferrars

Circle Round by Starhawk

 The Complete Book of Witchcraft by Buckland  (yes, I went there…)

 Women’s Rites, Womens Mysteries by Ruth Barrett

Ariadne’s Thread by Mountainwater 

Medicinal Plants and Herbs – Peterson Field Guide

Hatful of Sky by Terry Prachett (pretty much everything by Terry Prachett. I would say he and the Ferrars shaped me the most!)

 Read, listen, watch everything you can get your hands on by Steven Posch:  

Radio Paganistan 

Steven Posch youtube 

And this woman’s blog is a constant inspiration: 

I have just purchased the following books – I’ll let you know when I finish them:


This list is a work in progress. These are the books that came to mind just this afternoon. Check back soon to see my additions, and the suggestions in the comments! 

PSG 2012 Planning (5 days to go)

     Frebur, here.
     I attended my first PSG in 1995, accompanying the one and only Sparky T. Rabbit.  That innocent trip to Eagle Cave in Wisconsin my life changed forever.
I was, at the time, engaged to a religiously tolerant Catholic woman (!).  We were getting ready to settle into a quiet suburban life with no kids (!!!!!!!), and with my altar tucked away in a dresser drawer.
     PSG was a huge culture shock at first.  It did not feel like “coming home”; it felt like landing on Mars.  But after getting to know the wonderful people there, and after living in a culture of such kindness, freedom, and creativity, PSG had me under its spell.  I remember one evening, lounging in the grass at an outdoor feast, music wafting in the air, watching women dance ballet at the edge of the trees (I think one of them was named Melanie, maybe…).  After moments like this, I knew that my body could go home, but my heart would always stay.
   And the rest, as they say, is history. 

PSG 2012 Planning (7 days to go……)

  In the late 80’s I went to Disney World. I saw a beautiful girl alone in line for Space Mountain and invited her to ride with me. Her name was Jana, and a friendship was born.
  A few years later she sent me a newspaper all about a gathering in Wisconsin called Pagan Spirit Gathering. My hands shook as I read the paper. She was going. Did I want to go with her? I lived at home and had a small baby, but she would pick me up and we could camp together.
  My first PSG changed my life forever. I met beautiful Pagan families, (even moms with nose rings!) took part in rituals, and danced naked under the moon. I met Selena Fox, Circe Queen Slacker, Otter G’Zell, Robin Grimm, and very importantly, Steven Posch. He told me stories that would forever shape my life, and even introduced me to Mother Berchta!

 I had planned to upload a zillion pictures from that year, but a quick search of the basement was unproductive. Except for this one. I’d recognize that spin anywhere.

PSG 2012 Planning (8 days to go….)

  It’s one week until Pagan Spirit Gathering. There is so much to do! My list writing is in top form. To do lists, to buy lists….. We pile what to pack in front of the hearth. Here it is today.

  Also today we did some costume shopping (it’s a surprise…), practiced hair styles, double checked raffle tent paperwork, and made a PSG tote for Wolfie. He has been wanting one to carry his Magic cards around in.

  And our Dandies vegan marshmallows came in. They are smaller than I expected. For SHF I will try Sweet and Sara.

  I went shopping for a bikini top. Nothing like bikini shopping to help motivate you to diet. I will be on a “wine only” diet until PSG.

 One of the most difficult “to dos” today was going over my and Chris’ PSG schedules and deciding what each of could realistically do.

I will keep you posted on our progress, shopping lists, activities, etc.

How do you prepare for festival?

This I believe…


 I am a pagan.  I have been for about 19 years.  I love our many paths, our community, our arguments, our festivities.  I am true to my gods and goddesses: Sun, Moon, Earth, Green, Horn, Storm, Winds, Sea and Fire.  I create rituals, I help at gatherings, I practice magic, I publicly defend our ways. 

But, unlike many of my pagan brothers and sisters, I don’t believe (and, yes, I practice magic, but that’s a previous post).  I guess you could call me a “pagan atheist”, but don’t.  I’m pagan.  There is no statement of faith in our religions.  There is no creed.  Which means I can stand right in ritual right next to someone who does believe, and we’re both pagans.  Neither of us is wrong, or bad, or less-than-authentically pagan. 

Let’s leave our Christian baggage at the edge of the circle.


Salt Dough Ostara Tree

  I wanted to make a new Ostara craft this year. I followed my “hard fun” philosophy, and decided to make a salt dough Ostara tree.

I got the idea from The Easter Craft Book by Petra and Thomas Berger

Here is the salt dough recipe:

1 cup water
2 cups salt
3 cups white flour
2 tablespoons liquid starch

Pour the water into a saucepan. Add the salt. Stir continuously as you bring it to a boil. Add all the flour and starch in one go. Stir and knead it all together. Allow the dough to cool.

OK, I probably added more water and starch. And I used starch as a glue as well.

 I made the main body of the tree first. Then added the details. It took about a day and half for me to finish, while also rearing seven children, playing Game of Thrones card game, etc. At night I covered it with a damp cloth – but it was a little mashy in the morning, so maybe plastic wrap would work better.

When it was finished, I baked it in the oven for 8 hours at 200 degrees, checking it frequently.

Problem – I accidentally baked that egg into it. But it was collapsing in the oven otherwise.

 So – how to display it? My brilliant friend suggested I “modge podge” and mount it? I had imagined it to be more temporary, but like this idea. What do you think?

My children also created:

Happy Ostara!

Renaissance Biographies

  Today we began a Waldorf homeschool unit on Renaissance Biographies. I am new to this lesson and will post what I do along the way. Here are some of the resources I am using:

Live Ed! Renaissance Biographies

This website recommended these books:

And some Netflix movies!

 Today we did a recap discussion of the crusades influence on the Renaissance. Also we talked about the Medici family (I need to recheck the beautiful book about them from my local library….). I hope to cover da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo. Maybe Botticelli, because I love him.

 We watched a Netflix movie about Leonardo da Vinci. ( I had planned to wait a few days on this…) We got into a really great talk about what his religion and sexual orientation was.

  Finally we looked at this website and the boys drew/painted a picture of Il Duomo in their main lesson books.

    Have you done a junior high type unit like this? I’d love to hear about it!