Monday, May 31, 2010

Hilarity: The best weapon in the fight against proselytizing!

One hilarious response to campus preachers:

This student stood alongside preacher, Jed Smock, and encouraged students to follow "the way of The Boot".  Eventually, Jed just gave up.  Beaten down by humor!

The full story (and a few more hilarious pictures) can be found at:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time for a new name??

I am considering a name change, I'm trying out Wicked Ways.  Any opinions?  I also considered The Copper Cauldron or something with Phoenix in it....

Stone of the Week - Labradorite

I have been rather lax with my Stone of The Week postings and am going to attempt to remedy this.  In honor of my recent purchase of two BEAUTIFUL Labradorite bookends.  I have chosen it as the stone of the week.
Labradorite is a beautiful blue-green, iridescent stone.  It remains very popular among pagans from many paths and can be found in countries such as Canada, Finland, Greenland and Russia, just to name a few.  Labradorite strengthens and protects the aura, removing or deflecting unwanted energy and preventing positive energy from "leaking".  It can strengthen psychic powers and help connect oneself to all that is mystical and mysterious in the world.  Labradorite acts as a bridge between the user and their higher self or higher knowledge, as such, it can strengthen intuition and inspire imagination.  This makes it an excellent stone for anyone working in creative fields.  It is also an excellent stone to accompany therapy, especially past-life therapy as it can awaken suppressed or forgotten memories. 
Labradorite can be used to balance hormones and regulate metabolism.  It can aid with problems involving the eyes and the brain.  It also works with the immune system and can be used in dealing with the common cold.  Labradorite is also very effective in dealing with bone and joint problems such as arthritis. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Facebook Account

I finally created a facebook account just for the Pagan side of my life.  You can now find me at!/profile.php?id=1176091775

Or search Phoenix TeacherWitch

Herb Garden Beginnings - the 2010 Edition

I finally got some time to plant my patio herb garden this morning.  I also got permission from my building manager to put pots on the ground next to my patio, so I am expanding this year.

Here are my Chives and Lavender from last year:

Doing quite well I think... Look at those buds! Can't wait for it to bloom!

Now for the Newbies:

Lemon Balm


Woolly Thyme






Apple Mint


Sage and Cascading Rosemary


And Dill and Angelica awaiting a new pot


Clearly Poseidon likes the smell of the Angelica...

I also have purple basil and Genovese basil. I will be keeping these inside the house until July as they die when I put them out early (every year!)

This is my first time with the rue, angelica, anise and woolly thyme so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Shadowscapes Tarot

I have recently fallen in love with the Shadowscapes tarot.  For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, check out this link

The images are positively STUNNING and it is, by far, the most beautiful tarot deck that I have ever seen.  My favorite card is that of the Hermit:

The colors and the imagery in this deck are phenomenal and the artist has connected with the meaning behind the cards in a very special and unique way.  For example, the death card (which usually features a dark and sometimes fearsome scene) portrays a phoenix, showing that this card can be about a new beginning, or rejuvenation. 
The artist also sells prints from her website.  I am considering ordering a few but am having the worst time trying to decide which ones!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Wandering Witch Forum

Cottage Witchery has a new name! It is now called The Wandering Witch (no making fun of the name, I chose it! :p)

Come on in and sit a spell, we are still growing and love to welcome each and every member

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Review: The Accidental Santera by Irete Lazo

I spotted this book at a local new age shop but weeded it from my purchases (too many expensive stones to buy!) Low and Behold, a week or two later, my friend bought it for me for my birthday.  It is the story of one woman's journey to become a Santera.  Here is the Amazon blurb

A one-of-a-kind novel that plunges readers into the secrets of Afro-Cuban Santeria—a world of fascinating beauty, pulsating rhythms, and great mystery.
Gabrielle Segovia, Ph.D., is struggling to build a career as a Latina scientist, cope with her third miscarriage, and resuscitate her marriage to fellow biology professor Benito Cruz. Becoming a santera is not in her plans.
But everything changes when her best friend, the feisty Patricia Muñoz, drags her into a French Quarter voodoo shop during a conference in New Orleans. When Gabrielle gets home to the San Francisco Bay Area, the predictions from her on-a-whim reading begin to come true. That’s when she learns she hails from a long line of practitioners of Santeria, the religion created when Yoruba slaves combined their ancient rituals with Catholicism.
Out of desperation to become a mother and save both her job and her marriage, Gabrielle turns to Puerto Rican relatives living in Miami she hasn’t seen since she was a child. She finds herself warmly embraced by three generations of Segovia santeras and drawn into their world of séances, sacred drums, and ritual animal sacrifice.
Unexpectedly marked for initiation by the gods and goddesses of the Yoruba pantheon, Gabrielle must decide whether she can bring herself to answer the call. And, if she chooses, commit to the seemingly contradictory life of a scientist who is also a santera.
In this powerful debut novel, Irete Lazo captures a vibrant world still unknown to many and relates a journey that is at once funny, heart-wrenching, and, ultimately, triumphant.

I found the book very enjoyable.  The character of Gabrielle was likable and believable.  I was very happy to find that she was a grown woman, with a real job, who is called into a religion that doesn't fit with mainstream views.  It is a far cry from the typical "teen explores wicca, parents get mad, teen convinces them it is ok" Pagan fiction that one normally comes across.  While much of the plot was fairly predictable, the book provides a special view into a very mysterious religion that many of us would never get to see.  The only challenge I faced while reading this novel was that many of the characters would comment in Spanish.  Sometimes the translation was provided, but sometimes it wasn'tI do NOT do well with languages and so I was confused by some of the phrases and it impacted my understanding of some of the rituals.  I was also struck by how involved the entire religion is.  In asking for any favors, Gabrielle would have to perform many tasks, present offerings and sometimes make sacrifices (both of herself - ex: stop drinking - and of animals).  Once on the track toward becoming a Santera, Gabrielle would have to change many aspects of her life.  It got me wondering how much we would be willing to sacrifice or change for our own religious calling.  But, that is a discussion for another post...
All in All, The Accidental Santera was a very good read and I would recommend it for anyone who has even a passing curiosity with Santeria and would like a glimpse inside interesting and intricate religion.  It is a wonderful addition to the world of Pagan Fiction.

P.S I am a huge fan of Pagan Fiction, if there is anything else I MUST read, or any other books you would like to see reviewed, please let me know. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Musical Week!

I am gearing up for Musical Week.  As some of you know, I direct my school's musical each year.  We perform on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.  I have been quite busy in the past week and will continue to be busy this next week and so, will probably not be posting much during that time.  I promise I will be back next weekend (probably with pictures of my new patio garden if the weather holds out!).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nine Questions for the Kitchen Witch

This list of questions is borrowed from Witchin in the Kitchen, the answers are my own.

1. Does your magical name have anything to do with the kitchen, foods or herbs?


2. What do you think are the three most important tools for a kitchen witch?

An excellent (usually expensive) chef's knife, a cutting board and a well stocked spice collection.

3. What do you do to make the kitchen the center of the home? Is it decorated in any special way? Do you have a kitchen altar?

My apartment kitchen is rather small and so it is difficult to have a kitchen altar.  I do, however, have an aerogarden and thus a source of light, greenery and fresh herbs all year round.

4. Which kitchen deity/deities, if any, do you feel closest to? How do you honor him/her/them?

I work mainly with the Greek pantheon and am becoming closer and closer to Hestia as I get older and enter the more homemaking stage of my life.  

5. What is your signature dish? Does it have a magical purpose? You can share the recipe unless it’s a secret.

I usually serve guests pot roast or spaghetti.  Homemade spaghetti sauce has been a staple in my home since I was a little girl and always makes me feel warm and loved.  In fact, I am making it on Monday when Fiance returns from a few days at sea.

6. What are your favorite cookbooks? They can be magical or non-magical.

I love anything by Taste of Home, cookbooks, magazines, I tend to collect them all.  I also enjoy the emails and magazines from Kraft.  They have easy recipes with well-known ingredients that are great for someone who works long hours and much doesn't have time for  food prep during the week.

7. What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti.  I have the strongest cravings for pasta and any type of tomato based sauce.

8. What is your least favorite?

I despise canned peas.  My mother always served them growing up and I was under then impression that I hated peas until I was served frozen peas and then *gasp!* Fresh peas!  Now I love them, especially with mashed potatoes and gravy ...... mmmmmm.

9. Do you like to listen to the television or listen to music while you are in the kitchen? If so, what?

I listen to showtunes.  Fiance and I have completely opposite taste in music (he loves heavy metal - the heavier the better) so I take advantage of the time when I'm cooking and he isn't around to indulge in some show tunes. I was using AOL radio, but that is no longer available in Canada so I would LOVE LOVE LOVE IT if someone could recommend another option.

Science and Magic - Closer than you think?

In this clip, Gregg Braden, author of The Isaiah Effect, The God Code, The Divine Matrix, Spontaneous Healing of Belief and Fractal Time: The Secret Of 2012 and a New World Age, explains how Science is starting to recognize effects and patterns that may finally prove the existence of magick.

I am not sure about the validity of these claims and think it will require much more research. I am considering ordering one or more of his books (more likely to happen if I can get the ebook). If I do, I will review at a later date.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

TV: Bones' Portrayal of Witches ***SPOILER ALERT

All in all, I think the episode was mediocre. While not outright insulting of witches, the show did not portray a realistic view of Witchcraft today. Bones and Sweets made a habit of correcting Booth on his misinformation about witches but they also made it seem that there are two types: bad witches and Wiccans. The Wiccan characters themselves were extremely flaky and laughable. They insisted on being called by their craft names (Rowan and Ember) and refused to give "The names society assigned to us, not while in the sacred grove". I found myself rolling my eyes at their dialogue and cringing at their strange way of speaking. And, OF COURSE, they danced naked under the moon - URG! Sidenote: what was with Booth's crack about that only happening with the ones you don't want to see naked? Those witches were HAWT!
The episode also features remains that had been robbed from a grave and (since they had been pressed to death) were OBVIOUSLY the bones of a witch in Salem and there JUST HAPPENED to be a direct descendant who was a practicing Wiccan in a local coven. They even made mention of the Ergot poisoning theory and recycled it as the cause for the new murder.
In the end, I was not highly offended by the episode but I was not impressed with the ridiculousness of the plot and the characters. Seems I am still awaiting some tv show to finally get it right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Witch in the Wardrobe - Tonight's Episode of Bones

Just a reminder that tonight's episode of Bones features Witches and is called The Witch in the Wardrobe. From what I can glean from the teaser it is a coven of witches that - at one point - dance naked under the moon (this already gives me misgivings - naked witches in the media is a pet peeve of mine). I do hope they do right by their subject matter as I really do love this show. Here is the teaser:

P.S: The teaser says Thursday, but the episode is airing tonight - at least according to the tv guide for my area.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

True Blood Minisode 2: Jessica

Monday, May 3, 2010

True Blood Minisode 1: Pam and Eric

HBO has released the first of the TrueBlood minisodes.  This one features Eric and Pam auditioning dancers for the club.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Pagan Forum

I have taken on a Head Moderator position at a new Pagan Forum.  It is called Cottage Witchery (but will be undergoing a name change soon) and is designed with all Pagans in mind.  Here is your chance to get in on the ground floor!  Ever wanted the name Athena but ended up with Athena682?  For a limited time, you can reserve your name by signing up today!

LOL, ok, I sound like a bad infomercial.   Seriously, I think it is going to be a fun forum and, while I love some of the big forums, they have fabulous people and lots of information, sometimes it is nice to be part of something that is a little smaller and more intimate. 

P.S the forum in brand new and, of course, new buttons, graphics and perhaps new forum software is on the way!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Beltaine

A quick post to say Happy Beltaine! I have an all day musical rehearsal and then an evening Beltaine celebration put on by a local group. Hoping the weather holds out, Mother Nature has been playing tricks on us as of late. Yesterday featured the strangest sun showers. Usually, we might get that type of weather for an hour or so, but it kept happening all day. Twitter and Facebook were filled with rants of "sunny at work, pouring rain while walking to the bus, sunny on the drive home arrrrggghhh!" Today's heavy clouds lead me to believe we might be in for more of the same.  Sending out positive vibes for the weather to hold out for the festivities!