WOTC Extra – Florida Water

WOTC Extra – Florida Water

 

Florida water is a scent that is used a lot in Hoodoo practice. It is generally used for cleansing. It can be used to wash your hands before magical or spiritual work, sprinkled around the home to cleanse negative energy, sprinkled on your altar, candles or any magical items or added to a bucket of water to wash your floors and work surfaces with.

It is called Florida water after the fountain of youth which was said to have been located in Florida.

Florida water usually has a base of citrus; this might be from sweet orange, lemon or neroli. It then often has lavender and clove added.

A Very Blessed Tuesday Morn’ to all my Family & Friends!


Good morning, FAMILY! How are ya’ll doing this morning? Do I have a captive audience or a snow bound one? I was digging around in the Spring graphics and come up with this, sorry!

I know most of us don’t even want to think about snow, me in particular. I am not a cold weather person. I would move to Florida but I heard it is 20 degrees down there. And to think, I have family that moved down there to get away from the cold. I guess the jokes on them, hmm.

Seriously now, I got up and listened to the News as usual. Oh, brother, I didn’t like what I heard at all. We are suppose to get some snow but it is going to be super cold here. I went to the kitchen, got a cup of coffee and just happened to look out the window. You know I saw something I really hadn’t noticed since I was a kid, that was snow. I leaned over the sink and just watched the beautiful snow flakes gently falling to the ground. It was amazing, something that I bitch so much about and now I am finding the wonder in it. I realized as I lost myself in each flake that passed the window that I had lost something. I had lost the ability to stop and take pleasure and joy in the smallest things on our plane. A simple snowflake, so beautiful and so peaceful, gently falling to the ground. I found a part of me that I really didn’t think I had lost until this morning. But unfortunately I had. I think in the hectic world we live in it is easy to lose that joy. You get a minute today, stop and look at those snowflakes passing your window. Watch them gently fall to the ground, visualize you floating and gently tumbling to the ground with them. Clear your mind, embrace that little flake and all the joys the Goddess has given us. Never, ever let yourself forget to embrace all the wonders of our world no matter how small they may be.

Have a very blessed day, my luvs!

Lady A

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Your Animal Spirit for January 9th is the Panther

Your Animal Spirit for Today

Panther

Panther medicine is the medicine of silence. Panther can stalk its prey in absolute silence—one of the reasons native tribes associate him with the spirit world—particularly the night. Panther can show you how to face the Shadow within and bring it out into the Light. Panther is powerful medicine—and the fact that you choose him says much about your willingness to face the unknown.

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A Little Humor for Your Day – ‘An Email From Beyond”

An Email From Beyond

An Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

“Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!”

A Coven of Solitaries

A Coven of Solitaries

Author:   Lady Abigail   

Over the last year since we began Ravensgrove Coven here in Florida, I have received hundreds of emails asking how it works and how is it possible to have a Coven of Solitary Witches. I am Lady Abigail, High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven and how it works is with perfect love and perfect trust and some gentle patience given by all.

First and foremost we are each Solitary Witches in our own right with our own traditions, beliefs and Deities. We do not seek permission at any time from anyone to practice or work our Craft individually or together. We simply share with and commit ourselves to those we call family within the Ravensgrove Coven.

There are many Witches who are self-dedicated and self-initiated. There are more Solitary Witches now than ever within the Craft. We are Witches proud of our diversity, personal independence and strength. Nevertheless we don’t always have a voice in our magickal society. While we Solitaries are a valid and legitimate spiritual group within many differing paths, we also face a few unique dilemmas. We have trouble finding others of like mind and heart with whom to share our faith. We normally spend Sabbats and Esbats on your own. We have a hard time finding others to converse with who have experience or who could help us with rituals, spells and magick.

For good or bad most of our knowledge and information comes from books or the Internet; although these are excellent places for finding information, they are not always accurate. Sifting through the truth and someone’s perceptions of the truth can be difficult at best. Many times this information will push us toward a belief within the Craft that is not completely our own. I have met some who have found themselves choosing Deities because of books or the Internet rather than seeking their own.

Ravensgrove Coven is made up of Solitary Witches. Each member brings their own unique skills and understanding into this new and eclectic gathering of Witches. A Coven consisting of a group of Solitary Witches with differing beliefs may sound like new territory. The idea of Solitary Witches coming together and having their own Coven, being a part of the whole yet still independent, sounds unusual to most.

On the contrary; this is not a new concept, but a very old one. If you consider those who were Witches in the Old World or harken to my great-grandmother’s time, each and every one was a Solitary Witch with her or his own beliefs. They had families, homes and lives. They were the healers, the teachers, and the wise men and women others would turn to in times of trouble. They came together without controversy whenever needed, to work magick, ritual and worship.

How can such a proposal work, Witches being both Solitaires and Coveners? Extremely well… This allows each member their personal freedoms within the Craft and yet they are all a part of a working, learning and growing Coven.

In truth, we are each individuals; our practices and beliefs are equally individual. We are all following our own personal spiritual and magickal path. Ravensgrove Coven is a gathering of like-minded souls who come together to meet, talk, study and work. However, at the same time, we all strive to be open-minded and accepting of each of our personal differences.

This is not always easy, being an eclectic combination of many different traditions. Within a Coven of Solitary Witches, most of whom have worked alone and independently – sometimes for years – it can at times be difficult. It’s not always easy to put aside one’s personal feelings and not eclipse another’s individual needs. If any one person within the group becomes rigid in their personal desires for how things should take place, someone else will feel their needs are unimportant. So a balance is always necessary. Learning what each individual Covener needs within rituals, magick and gatherings will bring the balanced blending needed. This is sometimes made easier when we remember we are each distinct Solitary Witches who independently work as we think best for ourselves. Even so, within a Coven of Solitaries everyone must be accepting and respectful of the requests and desires of all within the group.

A Coven of Solitaries should be a collective management; each member should learn, take part, and lead a meeting, ritual or work, as they feel comfortable. This will assure no problems in the personality area (ego) or someone feeling they are doing it all – both common problems within Covens.

When running the gathering, you should operate the Coven by the guidelines set within the group. There are “rules of consideration” when it comes to traditions and Witchcraft (be it Wicca, Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Cajun, etc). Your Coven should have its on traditions. Commonly all Covens honor the Deities, the Gods or the Lord and Lady, in some fashion. The calling of the watchtowers or elements, casting circles and so forth are also common.

Having a good group of Coveners who share the foundation is an important requirement and is the cornerstone on which the Coven ensures progress. Members must feel comfortable with each other, as the interrelated energy of the whole circle is paramount in the success of any ritual or magickal work.

We have found that a Round Table is the perfect time to discuss things and works best when scheduled apart from the rituals, gatherings and work. This is the time for Coven business and a time to set forth plans for the rituals, meetings and gatherings. The Round Table is a time to discuss needs and work out problems that may arise. It is also the time for preparation of what work needs doing, who brings what when and where, who’s doing what and who cleans up afterwards.

For those wishing to begin such a Coven of Solitaries you must make sure you have the heart, background and degree of study to complete such a task. Personally I don’t believe just anyone should start a Coven. It is a lot of hard, constant work and you must be ready to give up a part of yourself to the Coven and its members.

Then you will need to find others that are also seeking to be a part of a Solitary Coven, with the understanding that they will not be giving up their own personal identity within the Craft. This can be done by contacting local metaphysical shops, book stores, and even online. Remember, this is a new concept so be ready to answer questions on what your goals are for this new group. Do be careful what personal information you give out about yourself to others – phone numbers, emails and so on. Unfortunately, there are a lot of nuts out there. It is a good idea to have each person interested in joining the Coven answer some questions that you feel would give insight into their personal beliefs within the Craft.

Set a time and date for the first meeting of those interested. It would be best if this could be a public place like a coffee house, library or book store. This is only a time to get to meet people and get to know them. See who you feel comfortable with, who seems open to others and accepting of everyone’s ideas. This is not the time to discuss details, just an overlay of plans. Once you get a feel for others you will be able to see how you want to go forward.

Finally one extremely important point to remember as you begin a new group or Coven: STORMS ARE NORMAL. Once your Coven moves past the “NEW” stage, you will find there will be a few bumps along the road; you will have members come and go for various reasons and you will have to make some adjustments. All this is normal when a new group of any kind is forming.

You will have to help members see that no one should assume the responsibility for what happens or for any little problems that may arise. All groups experience disappointments, setbacks, and some level of conflict occasionally. Especially in the beginning.

When groups come together for the first time, they are starting the step of forming. While forming, you know very little about each other, about common beliefs and hopes for the Coven that may have drawn everyone together. Everyone is on their best behavior, a little on eggshells because there is so much you don’t know about each other.

As you become more familiar with each other, you become more comfortable. Individual differences emerge, sometimes in contrast with your own Solitary practices. As a group, you will find you sometimes make assumptions with regard to each other’s beliefs and sensitivity.

As a fledgling group with little experience with each other and with untested agreements on dealing with conflicts, differences can boil quickly and tend to take their own course at times.

In distinguishing your Coven’s path you must work to resolve problems as you stumble through the storm. This storming is a natural occurrence in every group. It’s a passage that helps the group to come together to validate common beliefs and to determine new agreements in dealing with challenges as they arise.

This storming or growing results in the “personality of the Coven” emerging as group members put their individual preferences secondary to the greater vision for the Coven’s personality. But remember that you are different spirits with different personalities.

Once a problem arises you work to resolve it. But more importantly, you grow with new agreements and understanding on how to deal with such issues next time they arise. The coming together and new agreements allow the Coven to move forward, to be strengthened and to center on its true vision.

It’s the common vision that will keep you all together. It’s the diversity within the group that will make it strong and will enable you to achieve a greater vision than any of you could ever hope to attain! You are again Solitary Witches working within a single group, a Coven.

When the storms come, don’t quit. Don’t assume blame. Recognize the storms for what they are – storms. Don’t forget the feelings of excitement and great expectations you all had when you first came together…

May all those that walk along this path find truth and light.

Crone Inspiration

Crone Inspiration

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly

I work in an outpatient surgery center and I must share a story about a lively 92-year-old Crone that came in for cataract surgery. As I was interviewing her I noticed she was really tan so I ask if she had been on vacation and she said with a gleam in her eyes “Why yes, I just got back from visiting my son and his wife in Florida.” I ask if she had a nice time and she chuckled and said, “Not really; I thought they were boring. All they wanted to do was watch TV.” I ask her what she would have liked to do and she answered “Go parasailing on the beach, do some snorkeling to view the beautiful fish in the ocean, and to go horseback riding’.

Wow, what an amazing energetic view on what a vacation should be. She was so full of positive energy and love of life. I couldn’t help thinking…”I want to be like that when I am her age”. She was a real ‘Crone – Inspiration’ and a joy to listen to. When it was my break time I sat with her in recovery room and listened to her views on life and the importance of keeping active.

According to Wikipedia: “The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, [1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag”.

Funny, I don’t see myself as disagreeable (although I can be at times) , malicious, or sinister in manner. Just for the record I don’t have a huge wart on my nose either.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Origin of Hag – Middle English hagge demon, old woman. First known use: the 14-century. The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca.”

Crone Council states: “Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words.
The Crone began re-emerging into our consciousness in the early 1980s, and today many older women are embracing this connection. We are tapping into the ancient crone’s attributes of wisdom, compassion, transformation, healing laughter, and bawdiness. The ancient crone archetype strengthens our belief and confidence in age-accumulated knowledge, insights and intuitions enabling women to stand up for their rights.”*

The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, [Maiden, Mother and Crone] and she represents part of the circle of life. In today’s society where it seems everyone worships youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she symbolizes our destruction, decay and death. Here, as in nature, the death of winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the spring.

Her positive attribute is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. She is beyond child bearing and now is the wisdom keeper, seer, and healer that is often sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Her color is black and she is associated with waning or new moon, autumn and winter.

When I look into the mirror I see some wrinkles representing the aging process. My step isn’t like it was in my 20s; however some say it is hard to keep up with my pace. I don’t dwell on the changes happening to my body. I embrace the gift of living and all that the God and Goddess have allowed me to experience. I don’t sit home watching TV – I am out adding new experiences to my long list of things to do. Right now I am concentrating on Poi, and learning a new Tarot deck.

My 92-year-old patient told me to always treat your body as a temple – for God will reward you for taking care of yourself. She also said looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full will drain the life energy right out of you. She also said to look at life as if you were an innocent child and in doing so you will see adventure all around you. With that sparkle in her eyes she also said, “It doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of good wine” She won my heart over with that remark.

I am Crone and I am a proud Crone. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for many, many years. I have learned many things as I have traveled on my true path of life. I have made mistakes; learned by those mistakes and moved on. I have learned to be more kind, show more compassion, learn to listen more and speak less. I have learned to share my life’s experiences. I am a Crone, I am a wise Crone, and most importantly I am a Happy Crone.
I wrote this poem to express what being a Crone means to me…

I am Crone (by Etain©)

I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show

I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill

I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare

I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant

 


Footnotes:   * http://cronescounsel.org/The_Ancient_Cone

A Coven of Solitaries

A Coven of Solitaries

Author:   Lady Abigail   

Over the last year since we began Ravensgrove Coven here in Florida, I have received hundreds of emails asking how it works and how is it possible to have a Coven of Solitary Witches. I am Lady Abigail, High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven and how it works is with perfect love and perfect trust and some gentle patience given by all.

First and foremost we are each Solitary Witches in our own right with our own traditions, beliefs and Deities. We do not seek permission at any time from anyone to practice or work our Craft individually or together. We simply share with and commit ourselves to those we call family within the Ravensgrove Coven.

There are many Witches who are self-dedicated and self-initiated. There are more Solitary Witches now than ever within the Craft. We are Witches proud of our diversity, personal independence and strength. Nevertheless we don’t always have a voice in our magickal society. While we Solitaries are a valid and legitimate spiritual group within many differing paths, we also face a few unique dilemmas. We have trouble finding others of like mind and heart with whom to share our faith. We normally spend Sabbats and Esbats on your own. We have a hard time finding others to converse with who have experience or who could help us with rituals, spells and magick.

For good or bad most of our knowledge and information comes from books or the Internet; although these are excellent places for finding information, they are not always accurate. Sifting through the truth and someone’s perceptions of the truth can be difficult at best. Many times this information will push us toward a belief within the Craft that is not completely our own. I have met some who have found themselves choosing Deities because of books or the Internet rather than seeking their own.

Ravensgrove Coven is made up of Solitary Witches. Each member brings their own unique skills and understanding into this new and eclectic gathering of Witches. A Coven consisting of a group of Solitary Witches with differing beliefs may sound like new territory. The idea of Solitary Witches coming together and having their own Coven, being a part of the whole yet still independent, sounds unusual to most.

On the contrary; this is not a new concept, but a very old one. If you consider those who were Witches in the Old World or harken to my great-grandmother’s time, each and every one was a Solitary Witch with her or his own beliefs. They had families, homes and lives. They were the healers, the teachers, and the wise men and women others would turn to in times of trouble. They came together without controversy whenever needed, to work magick, ritual and worship.

How can such a proposal work, Witches being both Solitaires and Coveners? Extremely well… This allows each member their personal freedoms within the Craft and yet they are all a part of a working, learning and growing Coven.

In truth, we are each individuals; our practices and beliefs are equally individual. We are all following our own personal spiritual and magickal path. Ravensgrove Coven is a gathering of like-minded souls who come together to meet, talk, study and work. However, at the same time, we all strive to be open-minded and accepting of each of our personal differences.

This is not always easy, being an eclectic combination of many different traditions. Within a Coven of Solitary Witches, most of whom have worked alone and independently – sometimes for years – it can at times be difficult. It’s not always easy to put aside one’s personal feelings and not eclipse another’s individual needs. If any one person within the group becomes rigid in their personal desires for how things should take place, someone else will feel their needs are unimportant. So a balance is always necessary. Learning what each individual Covener needs within rituals, magick and gatherings will bring the balanced blending needed. This is sometimes made easier when we remember we are each distinct Solitary Witches who independently work as we think best for ourselves. Even so, within a Coven of Solitaries everyone must be accepting and respectful of the requests and desires of all within the group.

A Coven of Solitaries should be a collective management; each member should learn, take part, and lead a meeting, ritual or work, as they feel comfortable. This will assure no problems in the personality area (ego) or someone feeling they are doing it all – both common problems within Covens.

When running the gathering, you should operate the Coven by the guidelines set within the group. There are “rules of consideration” when it comes to traditions and Witchcraft (be it Wicca, Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Cajun, etc). Your Coven should have its on traditions. Commonly all Covens honor the Deities, the Gods or the Lord and Lady, in some fashion. The calling of the watchtowers or elements, casting circles and so forth are also common.

Having a good group of Coveners who share the foundation is an important requirement and is the cornerstone on which the Coven ensures progress. Members must feel comfortable with each other, as the interrelated energy of the whole circle is paramount in the success of any ritual or magickal work.

We have found that a Round Table is the perfect time to discuss things and works best when scheduled apart from the rituals, gatherings and work. This is the time for Coven business and a time to set forth plans for the rituals, meetings and gatherings. The Round Table is a time to discuss needs and work out problems that may arise. It is also the time for preparation of what work needs doing, who brings what when and where, who’s doing what and who cleans up afterwards.

For those wishing to begin such a Coven of Solitaries you must make sure you have the heart, background and degree of study to complete such a task. Personally I don’t believe just anyone should start a Coven. It is a lot of hard, constant work and you must be ready to give up a part of yourself to the Coven and its members.

Then you will need to find others that are also seeking to be a part of a Solitary Coven, with the understanding that they will not be giving up their own personal identity within the Craft. This can be done by contacting local metaphysical shops, book stores, and even online. Remember, this is a new concept so be ready to answer questions on what your goals are for this new group. Do be careful what personal information you give out about yourself to others – phone numbers, emails and so on. Unfortunately, there are a lot of nuts out there. It is a good idea to have each person interested in joining the Coven answer some questions that you feel would give insight into their personal beliefs within the Craft.

Set a time and date for the first meeting of those interested. It would be best if this could be a public place like a coffee house, library or book store. This is only a time to get to meet people and get to know them. See who you feel comfortable with, who seems open to others and accepting of everyone’s ideas. This is not the time to discuss details, just an overlay of plans. Once you get a feel for others you will be able to see how you want to go forward.

Finally one extremely important point to remember as you begin a new group or Coven: STORMS ARE NORMAL. Once your Coven moves past the “NEW” stage, you will find there will be a few bumps along the road; you will have members come and go for various reasons and you will have to make some adjustments. All this is normal when a new group of any kind is forming.

You will have to help members see that no one should assume the responsibility for what happens or for any little problems that may arise. All groups experience disappointments, setbacks, and some level of conflict occasionally. Especially in the beginning.

When groups come together for the first time, they are starting the step of forming. While forming, you know very little about each other, about common beliefs and hopes for the Coven that may have drawn everyone together. Everyone is on their best behavior, a little on eggshells because there is so much you don’t know about each other.

As you become more familiar with each other, you become more comfortable. Individual differences emerge, sometimes in contrast with your own Solitary practices. As a group, you will find you sometimes make assumptions with regard to each other’s beliefs and sensitivity.

As a fledgling group with little experience with each other and with untested agreements on dealing with conflicts, differences can boil quickly and tend to take their own course at times.

In distinguishing your Coven’s path you must work to resolve problems as you stumble through the storm. This storming is a natural occurrence in every group. It’s a passage that helps the group to come together to validate common beliefs and to determine new agreements in dealing with challenges as they arise.

This storming or growing results in the “personality of the Coven” emerging as group members put their individual preferences secondary to the greater vision for the Coven’s personality. But remember that you are different spirits with different personalities.

Once a problem arises you work to resolve it. But more importantly, you grow with new agreements and understanding on how to deal with such issues next time they arise. The coming together and new agreements allow the Coven to move forward, to be strengthened and to center on its true vision.

It’s the common vision that will keep you all together. It’s the diversity within the group that will make it strong and will enable you to achieve a greater vision than any of you could ever hope to attain! You are again Solitary Witches working within a single group, a Coven.

When the storms come, don’t quit. Don’t assume blame. Recognize the storms for what they are – storms. Don’t forget the feelings of excitement and great expectations you all had when you first came together…

May all those that walk along this path find truth and light.

Lady Abigail

A Little Humor for Your Day – 'Any Gators?'

Any Gators?

While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist’s boat capsized. Although he could swim, his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the capsized craft. Finally spotting a beachcomber on the shore, he shouted out to him, “Hey, are there any ‘gators around here?”

“Nope,” the man yelled back. “Ain’t been any ‘gators ’round these parts for years!”

Feeling more at ease, the tourist commenced swimming leisurely towards shore.

When he was about halfway there, he shouted out to the beachcomber again, “How’d you get rid of the ‘gators?”

“Oh, we didn’t do nothin’,” the beachcomber yelled back. “The sharks got every last one of ‘em!”

Your Animal Spirit for February 12th is The Panther

Your Animal Spirit for Today
    February 12, 2013 

panther

Panther

Panther medicine is the medicine of silence. Panther can stalk its prey in absolute silence—one of the reasons native tribes associate him with the spirit world—particularly the night. Panther can show you how to face the Shadow within and bring it out into the Light. Panther is powerful medicine—and the fact that you choose him says much about your willingness to face the unknown

Your Animal Spirit for December 31st is Bear

Your Animal Spirit for Today
    December 31, 2012 

bear

 

Bear

Bear represents a time of reflection and stillness—a time of entering the inner cave of  Self to contemplate life’s challenges. Bear often appears during times of confusion and unrest—those unsettling moments when you turn to everyone you know for answers—everyone except yourself. Go within, ask the hard questions—then listen.

Glorious Thursday Morning To All My Dear Friends & Family!

Yule Comments & Graphics Glorious Thursday Morning, my loves! I hope you are having a fairly good day today. Grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa, curl up on the couch, make yourself at home. Want to sing a few Yule carols with me? Don’t know any I can certain

White Solstice
(Tune: White Christmas)
by Lady Bridget

I used to dream of a white Solstice
Just like the ones I knew up North.
But in sunny south Florida
It ain’t gonna happen
Unless dreaming brings it forth.

Now I dream about a green Solstice
Ripe fruit is on my citrus trees.
May your Holidays be healthy and wealthy,
And may all your Solstices be green.

 
SHARE THE LIGHT
(The First Noel)

CHORUS:
Share the light, share the light!
Share the light, share the Light!
All paths are one on this holy night!

On this Winter holiday, let us stop and recall
That this season is holy to one and to all.
Unto some a Son is born, unto us comes a Sun,
And we know, if they don’t, that all paths are one.

Be it Chanukah or Yule,
Christmas time or Solstice night,
All celebrate the eternal light.
Lighted tree or burning log,
Or eight candle flames.
All gods are one god, whatever their names

.

OH HOLY NIGHT
filled by Lady Bridget

Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the Sun King’s rebirth.
Long lay the world in winter’s darkness pining
‘Till he appeared to bring warmth to the earth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!<
Call out your needs, Oh hear the Goddess singing
Oh night divine, oh night the sun’s reborn.
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh Holy Night

 

GoooooD Friday Morning, dear, dear friends!

Hello World! How ya’ doing this morning? It’s Friday, almost Mabon, you have got to be doing great! Made any plans for this weekend? I think I am leaving town, lol! Suppose to have company from Florida. They want to spend a few days with me. I really don’t do “come and never leave” company too good. I like the company that comes, stays a few hours then leaves. That is good company. I guess since the kids have left home and married, I have got selfish with my time. I love “me” time. It is totally underrated. Let me tell you it is fabulous. You can do a spell or ritual anytime you like. You can run around the house skyclad (as long as the blinds are shut). You can do anything you want. My kids made a joke about me not having the empty nest syndrome. Everything worked out just like I planned. I had children young enough that when they got grown, I would still be young enough to enjoy life. Now, if the body would cooperate, I would be thrilled to death, lol!

Oops! I just looked at the clock and didn’t realize it was that late. I had a lot more to say but I figure you might want to read your horoscopes or your Tarot.  Besides I am always running late and most of the time it is because I have wrote a book or two.

I am going to run for now. But I would like to remind you that we are still asking for donations for the wildlife refuge. We have received some and I would like to thank those that have opened their hearts to these lovely creatures and us. But as always, we can always use more donations because there are more animals coming in every day. No matter what amount you feel you can give, we can put to good use I guarantee you. Thank you for your love and support.

Well I am off for now. Have a super fantastic Friday! And I will see you tomorrow on Mabon.

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

Newest addition to the refuge. Yes, we have people drop kittens and puppies off at our doorsteps also.

Good Afternoon & Happy Labor Day, Sweeties!

Ahhhhh! I hope you are having a great day. I sure am. I am the only one here today. The peace and quiet is great. I have been into everything I can get into. Did a little of this and a little of that, casted this and casted that, lol! You know typical mischievous Witch stuff! I ain’t been that bad. But you know when everyone else is here and you are the boss, you have to have some dignity about you. It is just nice to have days were you can kick back and do what you want too.

I slept late this morning. When I got up I felt like a new person. My body was so relaxed and I didn’t have a pain anywhere. Oh, it felt so good! I went to the kitchen and made some coffee. I was looking at the window. It had been raining and gloomy as heck. Everything at the house was done. So I decided sitting there would be boring. I got Razzy (“baby” bobcat), put her on her leash and harness and we started out the door. We headed toward the barn. I got the four-wheeler out, picked up the 35 pound baby and put her on the back and started it up. I secure Razzy with her leash and she loves to go 4 wheeling. We took off and came down to the office. It is probably about 4 or 5 miles from my house. So it is a good, enjoyable ride. I get tickled, everyone takes a double take when they look at us. I guess they can’t believe their eyes. But I think everyone around here knows I have a pet bobcat. At least one good thing, that has cut back on the hunters shooting bobcats. Like I would let Razzy run free, yeah, right!

So we got to the office and no one was here! That was the way it was suppose to be, I have the keys.  I would hate to have pulled up and there stood two or three of them waiting to get in. I wanted peace and quiet, I would probably have turned around and went back home, lol! I unlocked the door and Razzy took her usual stop, up on top of the file cabinet. Me, well, I sit down at my computer and just had a terrific time. Heck, I am still having a terrific time. Hubby wanted to go to the Parade but I didn’t want to be around the crowds today. I just wanted to let my mind unwind. You ever get in moods like this? Just say the heck with the world, you need some peace and quiet. I need the peace and quiet, to clear my mind and refresh my spirit. I think people just get too much on them these days. It is good to take a day off and say, “Phooey!”

But I am not going to “Phooey” too much. I am going to do some posting and enjoying doing it. Blogging helps me escape the world. I forget all my troubles and truly enjoy it. Especially when I am by myself. Otherwise, I would have someone running in going, “Hey, I just got this in, want to add it to today’s blog?” Never fails. When I am off in my little world, someone runs in. Well today, it ain’t going to happen and I am going to enjoy this to no end.

I hope you are able to get away and clear your mind and refresh your spirit today.

Have a super, great Labor Day!

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

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Herb of the Day for August 14 is Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, Aloe spp.

MEDICINAL:  The gel of the inner part of an aloe leaf is used to treat burns, skin rashes, and insect bites, as well as chafed nipples from breastfeeding,  when applied to the affected area externally. Internally it can be used to keep the bowels functioning smoothly, or when there is an impaction, although it can cause intestinal cramping when taken internally, and there are other herbs that do this job better. It aids in healing wounds by drawing out infection, and preventing infection from starting. The fresh gel is best to use, rather than “stabilized” gels found in the stores. The fresh gel was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young.

RELIGIOUS:  Growing an aloe vera plant in the kitchen will help prevent burns and mishaps while cooking. It will also prevent household accidents, and guard against evil. It is reported that aloe was used to embalm the body of Christ.

GROWING: Best grown indoors in pots. Those living in the deep South, as in southern Texas or southern Florida, can grow aloe outdoors. Remember that Aloe is a succulent, not a cactus, so it needs water to keep the leaves fleshy and juicy.

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

Facebook Monitors Your Posts and Chats To Catch Sexual Predators

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Ever wonder if Facebook is reading your posts? Well, it is—or, its computers are, at least. And if you say the wrong thing, you could be locked up.

That’s the takeaway from a recent Reuters article, which recounted a case in which Facebook’s software detected a man in his thirties allegedly trying to set up a meeting with a 13-year-old Florida girl for sex. From Reuters:

Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day, said Special Agent Supervisor Jeffrey Duncan of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The alleged predator has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of soliciting a minor.

Facebook’s chief security officer told Reuters that the company’s monitoring software uses actual chats that led to sexual assaults to predict when another might occur. This is eerily similar to the hypothetical software I discussed in an article last month on whether police could arrest people based on suspicious-looking Google searches. I noted in the piece that while the idea might sound far-fetched, the technology already exists, and it might even be legal.

In Facebook’s case, the scanning hasn’t stirred outrage—probably because it seems to be focused on catching sexual predators. There are two reasons why online predators make sense as an initial target for automatic-monitoring algorithms. First, soliciting sex with a minor on the Internet is a crime in itself, not just a prelude to a crime (like, say, searching Google for ways to murder someone in their sleep). And second, sexual predators are unlikely to elicit much sympathy, so the public is more likely to tolerate intrusive means of nabbing them. Facebook is fighting creepy with creepy.

The key to the technology’s success—from a public-opinion standpoint, and possibly from a legal standpoint—is avoiding false positives. Arresting an innocent person based on a Facebook chat would surely cause controversy. So according to the Reuters piece, Facebook dials down the algorithm’s sensitivity, to minimize the chances of this happening.

It seems clear that this technology has the potential to do some good. But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that it represents a further erosion of our online privacy, one more serious than selling our personal information to advertisers.