Archive for March, 2010

Belief – One View of Paganism By: Gini Judd

March 29, 2010

We went out and walked in that wind last night. It is in nights like that, and in gazing up at the moon, and in the surge of storms, that I feel that sense of magic. Holding out my arms, eyes closed, that rush of wind feels like it runs through me and I am part of it.

That, to me, is the wellspring of much of my belief. I believe that magic is our attuning with the world. My beliefs are as much related to quantum mechanics as they are to faith, because we keep learning, through science, things like observation changing the result of experimentation.

I believe that the forces of the universe that are beyond both macrocosmic and microcosmic can be accessed, and the way the human mind does so is by a sense of deity. Essentially, I think humans create godhood and, like the changes through observation, belief becomes a focus for the universal forces. I think of the forces in general as goddess/creator because it’s an effective way for me to relate to them. I think the sheer power of belief can swirl some of that force into something more manifest, but it’s like standing in Lake Erie and swirling your arm around to create a tiny whirlpool: you’ve affected the water right in front of you and made it do what you want, but the rest of the lake is too large for that effect to impact. And as soon as you stop concentrating that energy on the water before you it slips quickly back into common form of lake.

Some people go through life completely ignoring the force of the universe. Some people think of it as Capital G God and react to it passively in the form of praying to that force. It can impact the energy just like observation can impact an experiment, but the attitude is generally that the force is external.

Witches reach into the water and swirl those whirlpools up. Shaping deity from the force of the universe is creating a vortex in that water. Doing magic is reaching into that power.

Sometimes I can’t focus the energy to manipulate it. But when I can, there is a moment when I can hear the pulse of the universe.

Sometimes, like last night, I don’t have to manipulate it. I can just let it wash over me. That is blessing.

Lavender Cookies By: Miss Jess

March 29, 2010

Lavender cookies

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

5/8 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon lavender flowers

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup colored sugar for decoration (optional)

1 tablespoon lavender flowers

Directions:

       Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie                              sheets.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the egg, and blend into the butter and sugar. Mix in the lavender flowers and the flour. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove cookies to cooling racks, and sprinkle with decorative sugar and additional lavender flowers if desired.

Questions answered, all in good time! By: Patty Taylor

March 29, 2010

When I was a young girl I used to read the Bible without question. As I grew, I started to wonder about certain things contained within the stories of the Bible. For example in the book of Genesis, God created man in his image he then created woman from Adam’s rib. I often wondered who was woman’s prototype, if God is Adams, who is woman’s? That question lingered in my mind for a long time; however I kept it to myself for many years. Finally I asked my Dad, since he always seemed to have so much wisdom. I approached him and asked, “Dad if God made man in his image, then whose image did God make woman’s image in.” At first this flabbergasted him. He then looked at me and said, “God is all knowing and has many faces. God has many sides to him, perhaps he has a female side and that side was woman’s prototype, or perhaps God has a wife.” I asked my Dad if I could tell Mom, he said absolutely not. I knew why, mom was a diehard catholic. Don’t push your luck on that end. Mom was wonderful; she had lived a difficult life and seen another side of the coin filled with some mystery. Her mother and grandmother were very intuitive however Mom chose to stay away from that sort of thing and kept us girls away as well.

My interest sparked in junior high when I met a girl named Kathy, her Aunt read palms. At first I refused to let her read me, because I was a good Catholic girl and we didn’t do that. Well eventually I reluctantly gave in and she hit the nail on the head. This caused me to believe that things like divination were plausible. Then I met Gloria in high school, she taught me how to read playing cards. I soon discovered that reading cards was second nature. Not only was reading the cards a lot of fun, they were also accurate. However, I feared the tarot for some reason. This fear ended when I met my dear sister-friend Pepper. Then I contemplated for many years, remaining in a state of knowing, feeling, watching and waiting. Then some years ago, I just evolved, and here I am to share some information with my fellow sisters. According to Wikipedia, this is how “the goddess was pushed to the wayside”. ”Proto Germanic “gudan” and it’s etymology is uncertain.  It generally derives from Proto Indo-European (gudan) meaning neuter.  (passive, perfect, ghutom. Sanskrit huta = having been sacrificed, gheuhz = to call or invoke.  There was a small shift in word definition in the proto Germanic to proto indo European languages in this time period resulting in a small shift. Meaning one who is sacrificed to. Neuter = both sexes, male/female, duality, male or female. The attitude of deity being neuter changed when Judea/Christianity movement came onto the scene. God/Goddess became God only the feminine aspect was pushed to the wayside, only appearing later in the form of the Blessed Mother.” However the church never recognized her as a Goddess in spite of her being the mother of God’s only son. 

I will leave you with this piece of advice, if you have a question, search out the answer. If you find none, pray on it. The answer will come to you, for the Divine is with you, if you truly believe. The trinity is composed of many aspects to me. I believe in the Father, Mother and Blessed Child. I also whole heartedly believe in the Maiden, Mother and Crone, for this aspect is in my very essence of life, breath and will and carried me through my phases of every realm.

Blessed Be.

A Letter From The President By-Kathy Curran

March 29, 2010

Merry meet!

Just a reminder how important each and every member is to our Goddess Temple.  Your active participation assists us with the growth and development of your Temple.  Everyone’s input is encouraged and needed.  Our first meeting of 2010 is coming up and committees will be forming for this year activities.  Please consider volunteering on one (or more) of these committees.  Also please try to attend the Temple’s Sabbat Services (only eight a year!) and the Temple’s full moon meditations and potlucks (only twelve a year!)  Our Temple is only as vibrant and energetic as the energies we contribute!!

Blessed Be!

Kathy Curran

President, Goddess Temple

An Herbal Column By– Miss Jess

March 29, 2010

I hope this article finds all of you enjoying this period of winter.  As our herbs sleep, I see it as a good time to catch up on some reading  and reflecting on the past and future gardening seasons.  It is also a good time to do a bit of cooking with the fruits of our summer  labor.  It’s always nice to experiment with making dishes to spotlight a particular herb.  Today we are going to explore a few of those. 
We start off our journey with a visit to fennel.   The seeds of a common fennel plant can be used for both medicinal and culinary cures.  Fennel as we may remember is very good for calming  digestion.  It is often used in savory dishes.  These include sausages and soups.  Fennel pairs well with beef, lamb, fish and vegetables like tomatoes beets and cabbage. Did you know that you can also sacrifice the bulb of the plant for a slightly sweet anise tasting side dish?  Fennel bulbs are similar in appearance to celery, with a sweet flavor.  The bulb can be roasted, sautéed or braised. It can also be added to a salad raw to give it some crunch.  Common seasoning for fennel are, garlic, salt and pepper, or lemon.
Next we turn our attention to rosemary.  I use rosemary and lemon medicinally to keep myself focused. Did you know that the two together are a wonderful addition to fish and lamb?  It lends a  brightness to seafood, soups and many cosmetics.  I’ve often taken fresh fish fillets, slices of lemon and a few sprigs of rosemary, wrapped them into a foil packet and grilled them. Not only is the
fish cooked moist, but also very aromatic upon opening.  I also make a  spread, not unlike hummus using white kidney beans, chopped rosemary, and garlic.  It tastes just like mash potatoes and much lower in calories!  In addition to using rosemary on its own, it is one of many herbs included in a bouquet garni and herbes du province.
Lastly we look to a personal favorite, lavender.  Lavender has so uses  medicinally!  It can be used to induce a state of calmness in an individual, sleep and sooth the skin to name a few.  Lavender can also be used in tea and to flavor jellies and baked goods.  I’ve made shortbread cookies using lavender infused sugar or sprinkling of the fresh flowers on top.  To make the infusion, i take a jar of sugar and add a handful of lavender.  I seal it tight and allow it to “age”.
So, pull out those cookbooks or experiment on your own.  Dig out those seed catalogs and before you know it, we’ll all be back in the garden  experimenting with our herbs in their live form.

My Journey to WitchCraft – Lisa Revelt (MomWolf)

March 29, 2010

When I was a child, I believed in the wee folks, as well as ghosts. There was a tree down the street that (I swear!) had a magical door to the Otherworld, and I tried hard to look through it and see the wee folks. I had a poster in my room of a shoe in the woods with the little gnomes and forest folk residing within. I wanted to go visit them!

In 1978, I was transferred from Cleveland’s Public Schools to a Baptist school (from where I graduated after 8 years–it was K-12). Years of Baptist school and church taught me what I have since dubbed the “Fear Factor” religion (convert or burn in hell). Of course, ghosts and the wee folks just didn’t fit in with their teachings (they were demons from hell). From age 10 until about 19 or 20, I went to church faithfully. While attending in my late teens, I began to feel closer to God outdoors in my backyard than in a man-made building. Hence, my slow retreat from church until I stopped going altogether.

In the early 1990’s, I married and had my daughter, even though I had stopped going to church, we still had our infant daughter dedicated to God (Baptists don’t baptize babies). After searching for what was “missing” and reading several books on numerology, crystals, and astrology, there was still a void. In 1993, I read “Celtic Magic” by D.J. Conway. After reading that tiny book, I felt like I came home!. The ancient gods’ and goddesses’ felt like long-lost friends, the rituals seemed familiar, yet I had never practiced them, nor did I know anyone else who practiced them. I wanted to read more! At the same time, I felt compelled to collect angels. How can this be, when I’m reading about witches?

My next books, “To Ride a Silver Broomstick” by Silver RavenWolf, Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” and “Witta” by Edain McCoy took me further along my path.

In the summer of 1995, I dedicated myself to the Path, honoring both Brighid and Cernunnos. For years, I lived at home with my Christian parents (even after my husband left), so I had to keep my beliefs secret. I still bought my books and learned, yet I longed for more.

Fast-forward to 2007, when I moved out and into Lakewood. I finally got to have my dream altar! I didn’t drive, so I couldn’t go to my former metaphysical haunt. I looked in the phone book and found Goddess Blessed. Ok, cool. It’s close and on a bus line. I made a few trips, bought books and candles and other odds and ends, had a Reiki session, and met Kathy and Linda, whom I consider my sisters, and whom have helped me along my path and to get to know the Goddess and angels (whom I learned work with everyone, regardless of religious affiliations) even better.

Joining the Goddess Temple in March 2009 was an even bigger step for me. I was able to attend rituals (i attended public rituals in the past, but the crowd was too large and the energy wasn’t there) . I have met wonderful people through the Temple, attended drum circles, Reiki shares, have had several Reiki sessions (better than therapy) and just hung out at the store.

We are all students, as we are all teachers. Sometimes I still feel like I’m just beginning, even though it has been almost 17 years since I picked up my first book. I can’t wait to learn more and now I want to teach what I know to others.

Blessed Be!