Posts Tagged With: Goddesses

My own Patron Gods and Matron Goddesses over the years

My own Patron Gods and Matron Goddesses over the years

A study in world deities

, Squidoo

 

I have worked with several different Gods over the years, mostly Goddesses. Early in my ventures into Witchcraft and Paganism my focus was on the feminine side of things and I tended to ignore the masculine side.

The first I found myself drawn to was Nimue, The Lady of the Lake, in her younger Maiden aspect.

Around this time I changed jobs and began working in the critical care unit at the hospital. In my role as a nurse I was constantly surrounded by death and dying and more and more I found myself working with the Hindu Goddess, Kali, or noticing that she was hanging around in the background of my mind as I worked. I only ever asked for her assistance once, and that was at a particularly harrowing time with a very ill patient.

Lilith and Blodeuwydd both showed up about the same time in my life at a time when I was rediscovering my own femininity and strength.

The two who have stuck around longest have been Herne and Modron.

Currently, I am being “courted” once more by the Gods as I move forward through life. The Norns have been showing up a lot lately in dreams, shamanic journeys, and during energy healing work. I have been looking more closely at them, but have not yet decided if I am willing to dedicate myself to them as they are requesting.

Didn’t I tell you? You are allowed to say no to a God’s request.

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Deity of the Day for Aug. 25th – The Fates

Deity of the Day

 

The Fates

 

The Fates were three female deities who shaped people’s lives. In particular, they determined how long a man or woman would live. Although a number of cultures held the notion of three goddesses who influenced human destiny, the Fates were most closely identified with Greek mythology.

The Greek image of the Fates developed over time. The poet Homer * , credited with composing the Iliad and the Odyssey, spoke of Fate as a single force, perhaps simply the will of the gods. Another poet, Hesiod * , portrayed the Fates as three old women. They were called the Keres, which means “those who cut off,” or the Moirai, “those who allot.” They may have originated as goddesses who were present at the birth of each child to determine the course of the child’s future life.

deity god or goddess destiny future or fate of an individual or thing

allot to assign a portion or share

The parentage of the Fates is something of a mystery. Hesiod described them as daughters of Nyx, or night, but he also said that they were the children of Zeus, the chief of the gods, and Themis, the goddess of justice. The Fates had power over Zeus and the gods, and many ancient authors, including the Roman poet Virgil * , stressed that even the king of the gods had to accept the decisions of the Fates. Occasionally, however, fate could be manipulated. One myth says that Apollo * tricked the Fates into letting his friend Admetus live beyond his assigned lifetime. Apollo got the Fates drunk, and they agreed to accept the death of a substitute in place of Admetus.

Hesiod called the Fates Clotho (“the spinner”), Lachesis (“the allotter”), and Atropos (“the unavoidable”). In time, the name Clotho, with its reference to spinning thread, became the basis for images of the three Fates as controlling the thread of each person’s life. Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis measured it out, and Átropos cut it with a pair of shears to end the life span. Literary and artistic works often portray the Fates performing these tasks.

manipulate to influence or control in a clever or underhanded way

The Romans called the Fates Parcae, “those who bring forth the child.” Their names were Nona, Decuma, and Morta. Nona and Decuma were originally goddesses of childbirth, but the Romans adopted the Greek concept of the three weavers of Fate and in Greek mythology, the Fates were three goddesses who shaped people’s lives. They determined how long a man or woman would live.

added a third goddess to complete the triad. In addition, they sometimes referred to fate or destiny as a single goddess known as Fortuna.

triad group of three

A triad of goddesses linked with human destiny appears in various forms in mythology In addition to the Moirai, the Greeks recognized a triad of goddesses called the Horae, who were associated with the goddess Aphrodite

 

* . Their names were Eunomia (Order), Dike (Destiny), and Irene (Peace.) The Norse * called their three Fates the Norns: Urth, the past; Verthandi, the present; and Skuld, the future. Sometimes the Norns were referred to as the Weird Sisters, from the Norse word wyrd, meaning “fate.” The Celts * had a triad of war goddesses, collectively known as the Morrigan, who determined the fate of soldiers in battle. The image of a triple goddess may be linked to very ancient worship of a moon goddess in three forms: a maiden (the new moon), a mature woman (the full moon), and a crone (the old moon).
Source:

Myths Encyclopedia

 

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WOTC Extra – Stones of the Gods & Goddesses

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Stones of the Gods & Goddesses

 

Stones of the Goddesses:

In general, all pink, green and blue stones; those related to the Moon or Venus; Water and Earth-ruled stones, such as Peridot, emerald, pink tourmaline, rose quartz, blue quartz, aquamarine, beryl, kunzite and turquoise.

Stones which are related to specific deities follow.

APHRODITE: salt

CERES: emerald

COATLICUE: jade

CYBELE: jet

DIANA: amethyst, moonstone, pearl

FREYA: pearl

GREAT MOTHER, THE. amber, coral, geodes, holed stones

HATHOR: turquoise

ISIS: coral, emerald, lapis lazuli, moonstone, pearl

KWAN YIN: jade

LAKSHMI: pearl

MAAT: jade

MARA: beryl, aquamarine

NUIT: lapis lazuli

PELF: lava, obsidian, Peridot, olivine, pumice

SELENE: moonstone, selenite

TIAMAT: beryl

VENUS: emerald,

 

Stones of the Gods:

Generally, all orange and red stones; stones related to the Sun and Mars: Fire and Air-ruled stones, such as carnelian, ruby, garnet, orange calcite, diamond, tiger’s eye, topaz, sunstone, bloodstone, red tourmaline.

Stones which are related to specific deities follow.

AESCULAPIUS. agate

APOLLO: sapphire

BACCHUS. amethyst

CUPID: opal

DIONYSUS: amethyst

MARS: onyx, sardonyx

NEPTUNE: beryl

ODIN: holed stone

POSEIDON: beryl, pearl,* aquamarine

RA: tiger’s eye

TEZCATLIPOCA: obsidian

 

Source:

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham.
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Ahhh, What A Beautiful Thursday! Goddess Bless You, My Precious Friends!

Goddess Comments & Graphics

MY GODDESS IS ALIVE!

Charge Of the Goddess

this is another version, it is unknown who the author is

Listen to the words of the Great Goddess, who in ancient times was named Artemis, Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus, Cerridwen, the Morrigu, Freyja, the White Lady, and many other names.

Whenever you have need of My aid, assemble in a secret place at least once a month, especially at the Full Moon. Know that My laws and love shall make you free, for no man can prevent your worship of Me in your mind and heart. Listen well when you come into My presence, and I shall teach you of deep mysteries, ancient and powerful. I require no sacrifices or pain of your bodies, for I am Mother of all things, the Creatress who made you out of My love, and the One who endures through time.

I am the One who is the beauty of the Earth, the green of growing things. I am the white Moon whose light is full among the stars, soft upon the Earth. From Me all things are born, to Me all things, in their season return. Let My joyous worship be in your hearts, for all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. You see Me in the love of man and woman, the love of parent and child, the love of humans to all My creations. When you create with your hands, I am there. I blow the breath of life into the seeds you plant, whether of plant or child. Always I stand beside you, whispering soft words of wisdom and guidance.

All seekers of the Mysteries must come to Me, for I am the True Source, the Keeper of the Cauldron. All who seek to know Me, know this. All your seeking and yearning will avail you nothing unless you know the Mystery: for if what you seek you find not within, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I will gather you to My breast at the end of your earthy existence.

Goddess Comments & Graphics


I will make this as short as possible. I had a comment in the back that made my rump start working buttholes. The comment was something like this, “Wonderful, Beautiful, Goddess…..It is ashame your mothers have to die before they can watch over their children.” There was also mention of our Gods and Goddesses all being dead. Yeah, I bet that’s the part that pissed me off.

 

It hit me, the very gall of this person to imply my Gods and Goddesses are dead. I am still shaking my head over this comment. You don’t know whether to pity a person like this or to hate them. Of course, I would like to think I am the better person and pity them. Pity them for they do not realize NOTHING about our RELIGION. NOT ONE THING!

 

My Goddess and God is alive. I feel them every morning when I wake up. They are beside me throughout my day. They protect me, they comfort me and they love me. I know this for sure. I can feel Their warmth of love and comfort encompassing my body everyday.  When I have a problem, I turn to the Goddess. She always provides for my needs. There is nothing I cannot ask that my Great Mother has not done. I pity you because you have not come to know Her. The Goddess will accept anyone who seeks Her out. All you have to do is call out Her name and She will appear to you. If not in physical form, She will give you  sign She is near.

 

Once you experience my Goddess’ love, never, ever tell me She or any other of my Gods or Goddesses are dead. They  all walk amongst us.  Never attack my Religion again. I am very tolerant of other Religions. I believe each person should worship as they choose. You leave my beliefs and myself alone and I will do the same.

I do pity you though, you poor soul!

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Calendar of the Sun for February 18th

Calendar of the Sun

18 Solmonath

Ishtar’s Day

Color: Pottery red, terra cotta
Element: Earth
Altar: Set with a cloth of earthy red, and on it place a pitcher of milk and another of wine, bowls of wood and clay filled with grains, olives, figs, and dates, a star, and the figure of a lioness.
Offerings: Grains. Stars. Give food to those who need it.
Daily Meal: Wholegrain bread. Cooked grains. Milk and dairy products.

Ishtar Invocation

I beseech thee, Lady of Ladies,
Goddess of Goddesses,
Ishtar, queen of all cities,
Leader of all men.
Thou art the light of the world,
Thou art the light of heaven.
At thy name the earth and the heavens shake,
And the gods they tremble;
The spirits of heaven tremble at thy name
And the men hold it in awe.
Where thou glancest the dead come to life,
And the sick rise and walk;
And the mind that is distressed is healed
When it looks upon thy face.

Call and response:
For lo, I am the  of the Storehouse
And I am generous to all men!
From my breasts nourishment spills
From my hands nourishment flows
From my heart nourishment streams
I am the Morning Star
I am the Evening Star
I am the Star of Heaven
And I give unto all humanity.

(After this, all should being the work of inventorying all the resources of the house, in Ishtar’s name, so that they may be used more efficiently and that it can be known what can be given to others out of generosity.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Witchcraft 101: Integrity… Making that choice! (part 4)

Witchcraft 101: Integrity… Making that choice! (part 4)
Author: Wren

Since its inception, the Witches’ Voice, has been barraged with email asking the simple question… “How do I become a Witch”? Although, it has never been the mission of the Witches’ Voice to actually teach Witchcraft we find ourselves constantly shocked at the aweful responses the Teenage Witch or new seeker receives from many that “” themselves “elders” of the craft. For this we apologize. We will never preach or claim to “have the answer”.There are indeed many paths and many ways, it is our goal to give you the tools to  and what to look out for.

Part #4…

Integrity: Making a Commitment

What? Are YOU Still Here?

You have probably noticed -astute students that you are!- that I have made little mention of the Gods and Goddesses in this series. In fact, early on I cautioned you to NOT make a commitment to the Old Ones just yet. There is a real reason for this and it is now time to discuss it.

There has been a small but insistent clamor lately from those who wonder why no one is teaching the “deeper” things of the Craft. The first reason is that these are difficult issues to write about. The second reason is that they are even more difficult to actually work through. And the third reason? (I’m Celtic-I think in threes!) These are the issues that will determine if Witchcraft is really the religion for you.

You may think that you are sure already. “Of course, Witchcraft is for me! Why would I have been studying this for a year and a day if I didn’t think this was my Path?”, you may exclaim. Well, hold off on that impassioned vow. A few more moments will not make a difference…or will it?

What you have been DOING so far is studying and practicing. What you have been LEARNING is what all this study and practice means to YOU. You have been forming your own sense of…

INTEGRITY:

What is “Integrity”? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “integrity” means “The condition of having no part or element taken away or wanting; undivided or unbroken state; material wholeness; completeness; entirety.” Or better still, “The condition of not being marred or violated; unimpaired or uncorrupted; a condition of soundness.”

That is what you have been learning to do in the previous lessons. You have been doing exercises that have helped you to form your own ‘faculty of judgment’, your own ‘condition of soundness’. You have been working on building your personal integrity. You have to know what it is that you believe before you can make a decision on what is right or wrong for you.

Many problems that now exist in the Pagan community would probably never have come about if more people had taken the time and made the honest effort to find out if Witchcraft really was for them BEFORE they made a commitment to it. Instead they find themselves in situations where they are forced to either, 1. admit that they made a wrong choice, or 2. try to change the religion to fit them. Instead of Witchcraft transforming them, some attempt to transform Witchcraft to suit their particular needs and desires. They are ‘continually re-inventing’ Witchcraft and Wicca to suit themselves!

“A PROMISE IS A PROMISE”…

If you have decided that Wicca is your religion of choice, you have committed yourself to following its basic principles. One of these principles is, of course, the Rede. If you are promising to abide by the precepts of “And It Harm None..”, have you worked out what you would do if someone attacked you? Attacked your child? Does “harm none” mean you should become a vegetarian? Do you think that it is even possible to “harm none?” Well, that is what you are promising to do, isn’t it?

Traditional Witchcraft may not have a “Rede” of its own, but Witches were known as the “Wise Ones” for a good reason. They were respected. They were fair. They were healers. They helped the community. They changed things. They made good decisions. They didn’t promise what they could not deliver and they delivered what they promised. It is still the same today.

Too often folks make a promise in haste and then spend countless hours justifying why they had to break that promise “just this once” because of “conditions beyond their control.” They have their reasons-lots and lots of reasons. Truth is, they just didn’t give enough thought to their commitment BEFORE they made it. If you haven’t given serious thought and reflection to both the results and obligations contained within a promise, do not make one! And most certainly not to the Gods…

“If someone turned your body over to just any person who happened to meet you, you would be angry. But are you not ashamed that you turn over your own FACULTY OF JUDGMENT to whoever happens along…’-Epictetus

INTEGRITY REQUIRES THREE THINGS:

1. The ability to discern what is right and what is wrong.

This requires reflection, time and effort. It is a difficult process but one which cannot be avoided by anyone who truly wants to be a spiritual person. How much easier it is to find someone else to tell us what to do, what to read, what to think and how to act! But then, who would actually be living your life? Who would be in control? Who is pulling the strings? If you don’t think that you would enjoy being a puppet, then you simply must find out where your limits are, what you believe to be correct behavior and what you yourself are willing-and unwilling- to do.

Whether there is an “absolute” right or wrong is something that theologians and philosophers have been wrangling with for centuries. In fact the very thought that they could be wrong keeps many people from being willing to take a stand on anything at all!

The possibility that you may be wrong is lessened by careful study, investigation and thought. Of course, you may be honest about a belief. Later you may find out that you were honestly wrong! However, approaching each subject with an open mind; examining all the possibilities, answering all the ‘what ifs” will help you sort this out. Make no mistake about it, this is the most difficult process that you will ever undertake.

Most people and societies do agree that some things are just “more” right than others. (See ” You need to find out the measure of your own “rightness quotient”. You need to do the work of creating your personal code of behavior and ethics. Then you can hold that as a standard for decisions on what religion, what group or what Path is correct for you. And you thought that just finding a coven was hard! Finding the right coven, the right place, the right religion can change your life for the better. The wrong choice can be devastating.

If you have not done this work, then you are basically leaving yourself open to follow anything or anyone -and to do anything that they tell you. Witchcraft and Wicca are religions of personal power and responsibility. If you are not willing to do the work of discernment and introspection-to formulate a set of integrated values for yourself-then Witchcraft and Wicca are probably not for you.

INTEGRITY MEANS DOING THE RIGHT THING:

2. Acting on what you have discerned even at personal cost.

Suppose the teacher that you have been studying with begins to introduce issues or behaviors that you just don’t feel are “right’. Suppose that you now find that having sexual relations are a part of this group’s workings? What if suddenly this loving coven wants you to do a death spell against someone who has given another covenmate a hard time? What about that “harm none’ thing? What if you do not want to participate in this activity? But what if, by refusing to participate, you can no longer be part of this group? What will you do?

You may have put a lot of time and effort into a group. You may have even been initiated or attained a degree. These people are your friends-maybe you even think of them as your ‘family.” Now you face losing all this and starting over. The group may say bad things about you if you leave. You may lose your friends and their support. You have to decide- do you stay and compromise your own code of right and wrong? Do you leave? Where is your soundness, your faculty of judgment, your integrity now?

The truth is that most of us cannot say whether we really possess integrity until we are tested on it. Doing what we believe to be right-determined by the hard work of reflective discernment-even when it becomes personally painful tells us if we indeed have it or not. Didn’t I tell you that there is ALWAYS a test? This is one. There will be others. Get used to it. Witchcraft and Wicca are religions that require that we as Witches and Wiccans are equal to the challenges that life brings our way. If you can easily compromise your ethical principles or can turn your back to what you know to be right action, then Witchcraft and Wicca are not for you.

INTEGRITY MEANS KEEPING YOUR COMMITMENTS:

3. You openly declare where you stand.

Now we finally get to the Gods and the Goddesses! Do you still think that you are prepared to stand before Them and pledge your life, your heart and your hands to Their service? For that is what the religion of Witchcraft and Wicca are all about-SERVICE.

It is not about gaining power-although that will certainly be a part of your magickal life! It is about enabling others to learn ways to empower themselves.

It is not about “getting more” for you-although you will benefit in untold ways. It is about “giving more” to others in Their Name.

It is not about changing others to suit or cater to you-although others will find you nice to be around! It is about changing yourself, so that you are better equipped to do the work of the Old Ones on this Earth.

It is not about fame-although others will seek you out. It is about being available to help those in need.

It is not about pulling others down-although what is not working will fall before you. It is about building others up and creating new and healthy systems.

It is not about financial wealth-although you will always feel “rich!” It is about sharing what you have with the rest of the community.

It is about keeping promises, going the extra mile, doing what is correct and for the good of all. It is about uprightness, honor, truth, healing, giving and service.

It is above all holding high the Names of the Old Ones, keeping to their Ways, honoring all Their children, caring for the Earth and being committed to carrying out whatever tasks that They have set upon you to do. It is about Integrity-Theirs, yours, ours.

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Learning To Walk Alone

Learning To Walk Alone

Author: Mistress Ravenfyre

Requests. Requests. Requests.

Is this all the Gods and Goddesses ever hear? Over and over again they listen to us who worship them tell of our woes, tales of sorrow, our despair. In times of sorrow, stress and loneliness, we reach out for them. Calling their names individually, seeking their guidance. Pouring out our trials and tribulations hoping to be heard. Hoping to have some kind intervention. Will there be a miracle to save us from whatever is going on in our lives that is making us call them in this manner? Are we seeking instant gratification instead of taking the long road ourselves?

Do the Gods and Goddesses ever tire of these requests placed upon their shoulders? When they know that they are unable to intervene even in a small way, do they hang their heads and say a silent prayer for us? Do the thoughts run through their heads that certain people only call upon them when they are in trouble but no other time? Knowing that the reason that there will be no help from them is because these people have to learn to help themselves. Just as we parents must let go of our toddlers, letting them experiment. Using trial and error. They too do the same for us.

I am sure that they do tire of all this. Hearing it from thousands upon thousands, day in and day out. This can be wearisome. Not to mention – do these same people give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses when times are good? Or simply when the going gets tough? Hearing the pain in their voices, seeing the tears cascade down their faces. Holding their heads in hands, weeping. No, I am not talking about us, mortals. I am speaking of our Gods and Goddesses. Are we so selfish and wrapped up in our lives and ego that we forget that they too feel these pains from us? They feel our despair. Yet they at times know that it is our job, here on our planet, to solve our problems without their help.

They are giving their help. They are helping us by not helping. Letting us make mistakes, solve these mistakes and pave the road smoother for our travels. Each individual, as they know, has a path to walk. This path may be filled with ruts and holes, but it is the path we must travel. To learn to fill in these ruts is our job. Not the Divine Ones. We need to learn to fill these ruts with concrete. Filling one hole at a time. Once we do this, our travels are not as burdened.

Our Gods and Goddesses, whoever they may be, know that we must learn to solve our own problems. Solving our own problems alone teaches us those life lessons that are needed for us to grow inside. Each time we solve these problems we have laid another new section on our road.

This re-building of our paths seems to be never-ending. Obstacles seem to be placed in front of us. Making us stop, not being able to go around whatever is there. Sometimes we must open our mind’s eye to see the solution. Causing us to bring out our inner strengths and trust. Worry, doubts, fears are those main obstacles that, in any given situation, prohibit us from coming up with a viable solution. Once we are able to overcome the fears, doubts and worries, we are able to free our mind and let the soft inner voice caress us with the answers. Listening to this voice can be all the help that you need. For you have opened up to see and hear the signs that are leading you to the solution. You are now able to walk straighter and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nobody said that life was easy all the time. If it were easy what would we learn? Would we in fact have our faith?

If we did not have these opportunities to overcome obstacles would we recognize a Divine Intervention? Would we appreciate it? The awe would seem to be gone.

Our Gods and Goddesses may revel in our accomplishments. For they know that even by the tough love that they sometimes send out, we have survived another passage. Instead of tears of sadness, they shed tears of happiness in our advancements.

We will grow each time by learning to be strong, independent and happy individuals.

They see us and smile, knowing that we are doing fine alone most of the time. Our faith guides us. Our intelligence and perseverance to face the hardships are only stepping stones on the way to enlightenment.

You know and feel that their eyes and hearts are never closed to us. They are doing us a favor by allowing us “free will.” Their silent prayers are our answers to our requests. We just have to learn to open our minds and listen for them. They have done more for us by doing nothing.

After the hardships are behind you, please remember to thank your Gods and Goddesses for the blessings that you have in your life. One should do this daily. Whether in time of need or not. Don’t just call upon them in times of sorrow or hard times. Share your happiness with them. Your love and faith should be shown to them continuously by the things you do each day. Use personal words or prayers created just for them. Speak to your chosen Gods and Goddesses as if they are with you, because they are. Choose to do whatever makes you feel closer to them.

While you are alone, look again at the path you are traveling. See where you have been, where you are and where you are going. See how far you have come. See the things that brightened your life.

Finally, raise your eyes and arms to the heaven; say a silent prayer of love and gratitude to your Gods and Goddesses for their safe travels.

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When Walking The Path, Wear Shoes

When Walking The Path, Wear Shoes

Author: Charmed Boy

I have often asked myself, “Are there others like me?” I am what I like to call a “non- magical” Pagan. I don’t do spell work or ritual. I am just a humble servant of the Goddess. I have tried to cast spells and perform rituals but it never seems to work. I have come to the realization that there are many different types of Pagans out there. There are those of use who cast circles and spells and perform rituals. There are also those like myself who are contented to just be of service.

I began my journey in my sophomore year of high school. I had always known there was something or someone watching over me, I just hadn’t figured what that was yet. I began studying various religions such as Buddhism and Quabalah, which I am still interested in after all these years.

One day I was at the library with my father when I came across the New Age section. I looked at some of the titles and when I found a book on Wicca, I picked it up and started reading.

A friend from high school was also into Wicca. We started wearing black clothing and pentacles. My high school had its various groups. The jocks, the preps, the goths. We were the Witches. Or so we thought. We would meet at a friend’s house and try and cast spells. There is a line from one of my favorite “witchy” movies Practical Magic that applies here: “You can’t practice Witchcraft while looking down your nose at it.” That is, in a sense, what we were doing. We were teenagers. We didn’t know any better.

Later, I discovered Gaia. I was reading a book about various Greek Gods and Goddesses and when I came to the part about Gaia something inside me clicked. For those who don’t know (and I am sure there aren’t very many) , Gaia is the Greek Goddess of Earth. She is the creator of everything that exists in nature. The birds and the winds and the oceans. That is why she is called “Mother Earth”. I felt like I had found what I had been looking for.

I had been hearing a gentle voice in my head comforting me when things went wrong. No, I wasn’t turning into Norman Bates! I had no desire to run a motel or dress in woman’s clothes and chase anyone around with sharp butcher knives. I knew this loving, caring voice could be none other than the Goddess speaking to me.

After High School, I moved from Illinois to Arkansas with my parents. I was bummed because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if there were any Pagans and Wiccans. I was entering part of the “Bible Belt”. To my amazement, I came across WitchVox.com. I noticed that an event called Pagan Pride Day was going on in Little Rock. I asked my dad if we could go. My father has been supportive of my choice of religion since I first talked with him about it.

On the day we went, I popped a Loreena McKennitt cd in the car’s cd player to get us in the mood. I had never been to an event like PPD and I didn’t know what to expect. The event was being held at a place called Burns Park. We didn’t know where to go, so we stopped at the visitors’ center to ask. The man behind the desk looked up at me when I asked him where the event was and said, “Are you one of them Witch people?” I laughed and said I was. He was smiling when he asked me so I knew he meant no harm.

We followed the directions until we came to a group of tents. We parked and walked across to the entrance. At this point, I was buzzing with excitement. There was the scent of patchouli in the air. We paid the entrance fee and looked around us. There were tents arranged in a circle. We walked around and looked at all the things people were selling. One woman was doing henna tattoos. My dad bought me my first pentacle. We came to a tent where two women were selling homemade perfume and body spray. This was where the patchouli scent was coming from.

I picked up a bottle and smelled it. It smelled like mint and patchouli. One of the women saw me holding the bottle and struck up a conversation with me. Little did I know she would become one of my best friends. She told me her name was Fran and she was the High Priestess of a coven. She held rituals and celebrated the holidays from the circle she had built in the back yard of her trailer. She invited me to attend the next holiday, which was Samhain. We e-mailed each other and on Samhain I went to her house with another friend. When I got there and saw the Circle she had built I was blown away. It was beautiful. The moment I took off my shoes and stepped inside the circle I felt its power and was at peace.

My friend was not Pagan and opted to observe. I had a lot of fun that night. I tasted mead for the first time. It is very good but very strong. Fran and I kept in touch through e-mail and by phone. I was able to attend the next PPD. When I got there Fran was talking with a friend of hers. She ran a tent with friends. When I went up to her to say hello, she didn’t recognize me at first. When I told her who I was she hugged me. We spent most of the day together. She made my father feel welcome. There was entertainment and belly dancing. After it was over and everyone began packing, I was walking to the car with my father when Fran called to me. She gave me a homemade besom her friend had made. A besom is a broom used to clear any negative energy from a room. I will never forget the gift she gave me as long as I live.

The last time I saw Fran was at the last PPD I went to. She was hosting a seminar on Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and history. After that, Fran and I lost touch. One day I decided to e-mail her just to see how she was. We hadn’t spoken for a while, but not because of any hostility between us; we were just busy. I received an e-mail from her husband informing me Fran had passed away. I was heartbroken.

I miss Fran a lot. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. She was a wonderful, courageous woman who loved to laugh and enjoyed the occasional dirty joke. I thank the Goddess every day for the privilege of having known her. One thing I took away from attending the rituals at Fran’s was the realization that spells casting and ritual isn’t for me. I am content with just serving the Goddess to the best of my abilities.

What do I hope you take from this article? Be content in your own skin. So you don’t cast spells. So you don’t do ritual. You are serving the God and or Goddess by praying and making offerings. They are spiritual Parents and They love us whether we choose to perform an elaborate ritual… or just to say a prayer and make an offering.

Also, cherish the time you have with your friends. You never know when they might not be there anymore.

Cast your eyes to the ocean. Cast your soul to the sea. When the dark night seems endless, please remember me.” — Loreena McKennitt

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