Getting things sorted out, be back soon!

Hey folks,

So I’m staying in Orlando, just need to find an apt or a room for rent.   In the meantime I am organizing and packing things for storage and moving.  I am also making some new friends and acquaintances outside “OUR’ old social circle, in addition to trying to keep in touch with the ones in it.

I also have GOT to get off my but and actually call some of my Alaska peeps, but the 4 hour time difference has been a killer lately… especially now that I am working almost full-time hours again…  I’ve had some movement in the full-time-job hunt and in another week or two have some potential offers in the pipeline.

That’s all for now friends, netizens, and Pagani,



“You like me! You really, really like me!!!”

witchawardSo Svartesol over at Vanic Thoughts has awarded me the Real Witch Achievement Award, orignated by Juniper over at Walking The Hedge.

I would like to thank Svartesol for this award.  I also want to that the Lady and Lord of Witchcraft, as well as the Theoi and the Netjer of Alexandria, and of course, mom!!

(snif, sob)

In addition to being given this honor, I am expected to pay it forward…

The rules are as follows…

This is meant to be a show of respect and/or appreciation, but it can still be delivered with some affectionate humour and so forth

This award can go to any website, group, blog, individual, podcast, organization, magazine or newsletter, forum, networking site and so forth that you feel has done a good service to the community or added something important, special, unique etc to the Community.

~Post the award on your website, blog, etc in some way. Remember to thank your mom!

~Mention the person who gave you the award.

~Select three new recipients of this award you feel are worthy.

~Send them the award via email, by commenting on their forum, by printing it and handing it to them, etc

~Announce your choices on your website, in your magazine, on your podcast etc

Juniper in the post announcing the first awards….

And the Real Witch Achievement Award Winners (Chrysalis edition) Winner’s are….

The Wigglian Way

This  Canadian and Wiccan podcast at 50+ episodes and going strong, podcasts a blend of Music and Humor and Discussion and has really taken a place as one of the major Pagan Podcasts in North America.  I listen to them every episode and you can hardly shake a stick amongst the podkin without hitting one of their fans.  (not that I would suggest riling the podkin up in such a manner, mind you!)


This blog uses delicious tagging to aggregate the Best in Pagan Blogs and content across the net.  The best part is that anyone can place a post they find into the feed!   They are providing an important clearing house for ideas and writing from across the Pagan Internet!  (Mind you, the editors tend to discourage individuals from posting their OWN posts to the feed, it’s meant to be more of a “hey look at this it’s cool” space than a “LOOK AT MEEEE!” kind of space, but if you’ve written something outstanding… well they’ve been know to let that slide every once in a great while….)

The Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt has become THE Pagan community news site.  Jason blogs about news stories that relate to, affect, or feature Pagans, Paganism and many aspects of the Occult community.  The comments section is often a hotbed of discussion and opinion on current events in, and relating to, the contemporary Pagan movement.

I would like to thank Juniper for creating this award, and Svartesol for awarding it to me.  I would also like to thank Mojo & Sparrow,  Jason & Yvonne & Cat & Chas, and Jason again, for their inspiration and their unique contributions to the Pagan Community!



Practicing Silence and Stillness

Dear Friends and Pagani,

So, in the midst of everything else lately, I finally made it to the Thursday Night Buddhist Meditation Group that meets at my local U.U….

Despite having written about meditation as a part of regular spiritual practice, and despite having regularly meditated in the past, and despite knowing the importance and benefits… I have a very noisy mind, and a great deal of trouble cultivating stillness within myself.  I theorized that it might help to jump-start my practice, and break my noisy mind and fidgeting flesh to the twin yokes of Stillness and Silence to meditate with others.

It is, as I mentioned, a Buddhist Meditation group and they practice Vipassana (Insight) meditation in the Theraveda Tradition.  Everyone sat in a circle of chairs in the Church library.   We went around the circle and each of us checked in for the week or introduced ourselves.  Then we meditated for 25 minutes.  Then there was a short reading on the topic of Non-Attachment to Ideas and Beliefs.  (here, and here, for more)

“Then we meditated for 25 minutes…”

Strange how simple it sounds…

You sit,still, silent.  You should avoid moving, except for a slight movement if you start to feel some pain in the body you may mindfully shift position to relieve the pain.  Your are silent, and focusing on your breathing, striving to keep it quiet. I settled into my oft turned too pattern of in-through-the-nose, and out-through-the-mouth.

Your mind may wander, and that is o.k., when it does so you are to let those thoughts go and return to your breathing, and the silence, and the stillness.

I thought I was relaxed.  The lights were turned down low and there was a tea-light candle lit to help even out the amount of light in the room.  I was seated with my arms at my sides and my, incredibly sore and work-tired-and-tense, feet up on a Zafu.  Then we started…

My throat was the first part of my body to seemingly rebel against  the program.  The muscles in it felt like they desperately wanted or needed movement and speech!  I swallowed a few times, trying to let this strange sensation just be and relax my throat and remember my breathing.  My mind, however, wandered into thoughts of how much I speak during the day… how often I fill silence with speech, even when alone, rather than just thinking… and it’s usually stuff that on some level is meant to distract me from feelings or thoughts I am uncomfortable with… I fill my days with so much noise…

Then I realized that those were thoughts and I returned to my breathing and stillness and silence.  In through the nose, and out through the mouth.  Focusing on my breath and letting the rhythm of send me back to stillness and silence… then I started… somewhere along the way I had almost lulled to sleep!

I carry tension with me so much of the time!  I am hardly ever really, really relaxed unless I am going to bed or asleep.  When did I stop relaxing… was it related to the deterioration of my recently ended relationship with The Big Guy?  What about….

Those are thoughts….

In through the nose, out through the mouth.  In, and, out.   Breath.  Stillness.  Silence.

My ears feel stuffed up, or, is that a ringing?  My life is so filled with noise, in the absence of it do I simply find ways to create it?  What is it that causes me to flee…. and I am thinking agian…

Nose.  Mouth.  Breath. ???

Stillness and silence and quiet and calm.

I didn’t sit in the hand of Goddess or anything, but I was able to reach a place of Deep Peace and calm, I still fidgeted a bit, but it was the mindful repositioning rather than thinking and reacting about it; and with mindfulness and attention, a sense of clarity and calm and quiet.

I did not fall into the Silence and Stillness so much as dive struggling into it, like trying to reach the bottom of a pool full of pudding, but I found some small measure of …calm.

After the after meditation discussion, I continued to have a feeling of deep peace and calm and joy.  I decided to drive home without turning on the car radio… I enjoyed a measure of silence…

I haven’t sat in full meditation in the last couple of days… but I have… reached into the memory and experience of it?  Focusing on my breath for a little while and trying to resettle to cloak of quiet and calm upon my shoulders once more.

I think that I shall sit tonight, at the close of the day… I wonder if my mistake before was to try and sit at the beginning of the day when my monkey mind is all unruly and…. those, are thoughts…



Next Move ???

So all sorts of friends and family have been asking me what’s my next move.  I keep telling them that I am taking a few days to just…be.  Get on a more even keel and then I’ll start making some decisions.  It’s amazing to me to see how many folks are wanting me to make big life-changing decisions, more cross-country moves and stuff, in reaction too this situation.  I don’t get that.

I also am having to wrestle with the petty insecure part of myself, beat it back down into submission and continue acting in accord with all those values and ethics that have been previously discussed?

I could stay in Central Florida, I could go to Oregon (apparently its some sort of Contemporary Pagan mecca, or something), or Austin with my fabulous Southern Regional gamer/Witch/geek princess friend Sabrina (no really!  That’s her name!), I could also return to Alaska and (among others) my North West Regional gamer/Witch/geek princess friend Lady R (Not her real name)…

I don’t know yet.

For a few days seek balance, then move from there!

So I am single again…

Things have been a little strained between myself and the Big Guy… I’ve been trying to ignore it and focused on looking for full-time work… I figured once I was in a better situation employment wise things would work out…

He’s decided it would be best if we were to break up and remain friends. (I know, it’s a little cliche) but I am also feeling hopeful that we will be able to remain friends…

beyond that I am still processing this latest development, praying for guidance and trying to deal with this.


The Fire & The Chalice

So at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, our services start and end with the lighting and extinguishing of the Flaming Chalice

In the light of truth, and in the warmth of love, we gather to seek, to sustain, and to share.


We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment.  These we keep in our hearts until we are together again.

I find something powerful and moving and evocative within this simple act of gathering together with others in celebration and observance and sharing our religious and spiritual seeking.

The Mystic Grove, the Pagan group at F.U.C.O., has a round-robin/volunteer approach to ritual leadership.  Our Lammas was a Khemetic (Egyptian Polytheist) ritual.  I’m not sure how much was Ancient Egyptian ritual structure and how much was Neo-Pagan.  There were definitely elements of the ritual that were reminiscent of the Neo-Pagan/Witchcraft ritual structure that I am so familiar with…. (note to self research Egyptian rituals!)

Anyhow, it was a wonderful ritual (and evening), it has just gotten me thinking.  The experience of that ritual has me contemplating Witchcraft and Hellenic Polytheistic riutals in a U.U. Context.  It seems to me that it is important, if one is to craft a ritual as a Pagan U.U., to integrate elements from both traditions into ones ritual.  It is also important to be able to clearly identify what element of ritual comes from where…

It was in reading up on Hellenic Polytheism and ritual and the Noumenia, that I started really examining Hestia’s place in things, and this has started me thinking about the nature of Sacred fires and fire as a spiritual and philosophical and religious metaphor… bear with me….

“HESTIA was the virgin goddess of the hearth (both private and municipal) and the home. As the goddess of the family hearth she also presided over the cooking of bread and the preparation of the family meal. Hestia was also the goddess of the sacrificial flame and received a share of every sacrifice to the gods. The cooking of the communal feast of sacrificial meat was naturally a part of her domain.” ~ from Her entry at

You can also read of Her here, here, here, and here…

If you read of Hestia, you learn She is known as The First and Last, and that rituals include offerings unto Her before and at the end of the other offerings.  Many sources will tell us that this relates to how Hestia was the Firstborn of Cronus and Rhea, and the Last of the Gods and Goddesses vomited forth before he is dethroned by Zeus.

I think it goes deeper…

The altar fires at the Temples of the God’s, upon which Their offerings were made, were kindled from the municipal hearth; which by the nature of the hearth in ancient Greek society was an sacred place for Hestia.  It’s not just that Hestia is the Goddess of the Hearth and the Altar, She IS the fire, the sacred, mysterious, life giving and light bringing fire!  She was honored with the first and last offerings in Sacrifices.  For it was only through HER, and Her presence AS fire, that proper offerings could be made!

She isn’t just the fire that cooks, She is the Fire that lights the world, the light of which we learn to read, the fires of inspiration…..She is, and partakes of, all the things that Fire is and can be…

In U.U. (at least at F.U.C.O) and in Hellenic Polytheism we begin and end with fire.  Remembering, Rekindling, and committing to Remember the essentials…

Finding fellowship within the U.U.


Dear Friends, Pagani, and Fellow U.U.’s,

Perhaps you’ve noticed the new look for the site, and perhaps you’ve noticed the new subtitle…

Chrysalis: One Unitarian Universalist, Helenically Polytheistic, Witch’s Journey

Well,  as I’ve mentioned before I have been attending a local Unitarian Universalist church, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando.  I’ve gone here because some of the folks I’ve met at events in the local Pagan community were members of both this congregation, and the Mystic Grove, a Pagan affinity group within the Congregation at F.U.C.O.

I am enjoying the experience of finding friendship and fellowship with others.  I am also enjoying the opportunities for deep and complex face-to-face conversation with fellow Pagans.

Then too there is the newness of the whole church going experience!  I really wasn’t “churched” as a child, except for a couple of summer camp experiences that were, I suspect, a lot more about giving my stay at home mom a break than indoctrinating me.

I am also finding myself really excited at the possibilities for involvement in Church and community goings on, although I am trying to take things very slowly… this time.  In the past I have dived in and had some troubles so now I am just trying to relax and learn how things operate and balance the spiritual, work, and personal elements of my life.




The Sabbat of Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is a holy day celebrated by many contemporary Pagans.  It is the first of three harvest festivals in Witchcraft, this one celebrating the grain harvest and the first fruits.  August also marks the second  of the Wine Harvests here in Central Florida.  And, in a delightful bit of symmetry, History Channel is showing the Wheat episode of Modern marvels!!

I decided to celebrate with some fresh bread and found an easy and quick recipe that I can take with me to potluck tonight

Quick Quickbread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F

1 Egg

1 and 1/4 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Sugar

3 Cups Bisquick

Blend ingredients together for 30 seconds to a minute and pour into a greased (or sprayed) loaf pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.

I know, its a cake bread more like banana bread than a hand kneaded loaf of artisan whichever.  It is still bread and grain and something of the Harvest.

I hope you all have a Blessed holiday,


~~~A Few Fun Lammas Links~~~

Pagan Godspell ~ Loaf Mass, Old Skool

Will and Guy’s Clean Jokes, Short Stories, and Funny Pictures ~ Lammas Customs 1st August

Chantrea’s Pagan Page and Book of Shadows ~ Lughnasadh aka Lammas