It Begins…

Dear Friends,

So today is Halloween.  Next Monday, Nov 7th will be Samhain… the cross-quarter Holiday celebrated by the ancient Celts.  Some contemporay Pagans celebrate on the 31st, others on the astronomical mid-point between the Solstice and Equinox.  I tend to split the difference and view the entire time between the two as a holy festival.  A time for remembering the beloved and honored dead, and the wonder of imagination and childhood.  Remembering the ancient rhythms even as I acknowledge how out of step or disconnected from the world around us our society can be.

It’s already been the beginings of  a full and festive Holiday here at Grayhaven, as we’ve named the apt.

The Fabulous Jonathan and I went to a Halloween Dinner party thrown by our friends Will and Gene.  We wore t-shirts from his site… I wore the “Strangers have the best Candy” shirt with a domino mask and a big-big bag of cheap Halloween chocolate candies and lollipops.   Which huge bag if candy I will be taking BACK over there later today when Jon and I help the boys hand out candy at their house, and Jonathan tries to help Gene scare the unholy stuffin’ out of trick-or-treater’s.  Jon has discovered a kindred Halloween Spirit in Gene and I fully expect them to start putting their heads together sometime in August of next year, with a number of expeditions to Home Depot and obscure hardware and electronics stores in advance of next years Holiday.

In other news, I am enjoying the prospect of having some time at home this week, having taken a few days vacation time… I usually have Sundays and Mondays off after working the 11p-7a shift at the motel, and frequently get joyously pulled into events at the U.U. Church on Sundays… can make Sat-Sun a bit of a long if blessed day!  So anywayI have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off.   A nice little mini vacation, one of the first times I used my vacation time at work!   It will be nice to have some ime spent puttering around the apartment finally sorting through bookshelves and puttering in the Kitchen.

Speaking of which…

There is a Pork Picnic Shoulder in the fridge rubbed with herbs and spices and with cloves of garlic stuffed into knife-point holes all over.  There are veggies, including carrots and celery cut and chilling in water, onions and red potatoes waiting to be cut or peeled.  These will all be put into my mom’s roasting pan with a cup of 4 thieves vinegar and some olive oil drizzled over the veggies …. or perhaps I will toss them in some olive oil and salt before tucking them around the pork shoulder… and roasted low and slow in an oven at around 150-200 degrees Fahrenheit  (65 to 93 Celcius) for around 6 to 8 hours…

I also have found a roasted Apples with Balsemic glaze recipe that I may have to try… although I may wait and pair that with a more conventional higher temp and shorter cooking time roast for logistical convenience.

Well, I had better get a nap before getting up to start the roast.

Have a Blessed Halloween!


PS- look for some more Halloween/Samhain Posts this week…

Samhain and Diwali and New Moon Musings…

Dear Friends,

So the other night, being the New Moon, I went out and made offerings to Hekate.  She is one of the Gods I feel particularly close to and hold dear in my own heart and practice, as regular readers may remember.

I walked to a place where three-roads met and left a variety of offerings unto Her and whatever spirits may have been in Her retinue.  13 coins at the cross-roads, and eggs and garlic, pomegranate juice, and the remnants of the previous months food and beverage offerings.  It was interesting walking to and from the place along a poorly lit trail nestled amongst neighborhoods in the dark of night, moments of fear and walking through it, walking away and not looking back, the sensation of being followed and the sense that if I looked over my left shoulder I should see ~something~.  I didn’t look… it felt like some sort of test rather than an opportunity.

I made my way home and ended up looking at a number of articles and posts and video’s about Diwali, the Festival of Lights.  I find it rather delightful to contemplate my own offerings to The Torch Bearer, whose Promethean fires light the way in the paths of the depth of night, and find myself wondering if the local Hindu Temple has any special Diwali events… I may have to try and check that out next year.

So many peoples on so many paths, all seeking to eradicate suffering and ignorance in the world, so many people of faith and good will striving to live good lives and to do good in the world.  Good to be reminded of that!

What did you do for the Dark of the Moon?




Dear Friends,

So another cold front has moved through Central Florida, bringing with it much cooler evening weather and a genuine sense that Autumn is ready to get about it’s business… as the front was coming through something clicked and stirred within me…

Subtropical Samhain-tide

Samhaintide’s begining to rise,

High minded clouds obscurring the stars and others,

Just out of reach, are clipper-shipping ‘cross the skies,

The strong warm Westerlies they sail upon,

Shimmy and Shake the Palm Fronds,

Frolic, rustling across the Live Oak leaves,

Breathing it all in deep memories stir,

I remember the stories of my childhood,

Power and beauty and wonder,

I remember parts of myself,

Too long closed off like dusty attic rooms,

“Wild nights are my glory.”

So in that strange Subtropical alchemy I am reawakening and renewed in the Autumn of the year.

The warm winds blew into the West, and then cooler winds blew towards the East and last night was downright chilly… hopefully there’ll be no hard freezes this year and the Citrus and Berry and other crops, and their farmers and farm workers, will be able to start a recovery.


Pax / Geoffrey

Faith AND Reason…

Dear Friends,


I know that all too many Pagans out there, and apparently a number of U.U.’s, have had more experiences of both Religion in General and Christianity in particular that are reminiscent of the Christian Radio host’s gay-hating ignorance and religious intolerance, rather than of the Methodist minister’s open minded-ness and interfaith approach; HOWEVER… there are many good people of faith out there, and many good and genuinely compassionate Christians out there as well… Religion and Christianity are not our enemies.   We must balance reason & faith, with spirituality & religion, whilst also maintaining an everyday life filled with both spiritual practice & religious experiences… balance is the key


Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on the journey Oct. 15th 2011

Dear Friends,

So it looks like 24 days or so is my current personal best… I could chalk up a day to timing but 2 or 3… that kind of ends this streak of postings.   Not that that’s a bad thing mind you.   It’s been good to stretch my writing and thinking muscles a bit and limber up and it is far past time I started blogging and writing again and writing more seriously again.

My own spiritual journey is taking some interesting detours and I’ll be sharing them with you as I can.

Pax / Geoffrey

The Breath of Life and the Benidiction of the Sweat of our Brows…

Dear Friends,

While I have never been the picture of muscular beef cake, there was a time when I was much healthier.  Living in Anchorage I was able to walk most anywhere I needed to go, and there was a good public transit system available.  Moving to Orlando, which is NOT a pedestrian friendly Metropolitan Area and has a public transit system that is both confusingly organized and hardly commuter friendly, I got a car and drove most places.  I have gained weight and been sedentary and inactive.

It’s easy to do, especially as a traveler along the New Aquarian Frontier, where there is a lot of Spirit Good / Material World Bad ideas floating about the edges to distract you if your not careful!

So I am going to start adding a daily exercise to my practices… and not just leaving that spot blank in my daily log.  Been doing that all too often as of late.  But you see in addition to being reminded of the Holyness of the Flesh by some of T. Thorn Coyle’s writings, and Skallabjorn’s post from way back, and a piece by Mr. Rollins, I’ve been getting distinct nudges in my prayers and meditations on The WitchFather that He wants me to be healthy and strong.  That a strong element of worshiping him is to challenge myself, to feel Him in the rush of my blood and the sweat of my brow and the deep drinking of the breath of life that comes from sustained activity and exercise.

Eventually I’d like to get back into weight training which I studied years ago but didn’t take seriously because I lacked in confidence and self-esteem.  I am beginning to feel as if maybe I need to eventually seek  an extreme of health and strength, but for right now I know I need to start with some walking daily, and then move onto a fitness program.  So we shall see where the journey leads me.

Peace, and stay healthy,


Setting out the verbal fine china

Dear Friends,

So I’ve been doing a lot of praying and worship and ritual and writing prayers and such lately, and came across this fabulous resource page that details out some of the proper usage of Thou, thee, thy and thine.  I am still sorting some of it out, but I am thinking that for prayers and ritual from now on I would like to try using this mode of language.

I find it interesting and useful that despite not really having been “Churched” as a kid… as an English speaker whose only exposure to the 2nd Person Singular and Plural Nominative is through the Bible…  addressing the Deities in that way just feels ~right~ on a deep deep level, it takes the prayer I am speaking or trying to write and makes it …. more formal yes, but also more deeply respectful, set aside from the everyday.   Special.  Liminal.  Serving as a more appropriate bridge or gateway to the Numinous.

One of the goals of a religious ritual is to set the occasion aside as some how special in either time, or place, or both.  What better way to do this than to use language we do not normally use?  I know there are Reconstructionists who have studied Norse, Greek, or Gaelic (among a number of other languages), in order to address their Holy Ones in a more meaningful way.

I am reminded of a favorite quote,

“Science is a method of talking about the Universe in terms that bind it to a common reality. Magick is a way of speaking to the Universe in words that it cannot ignore.” –Neil Gaiman

Shouldn’t this hold true in our worship and Theurgy, as well as in our more practical magicks?



My Heart Belongs to Daddy…


~Geoffrey Stewart / Pax (c) 2010

Hear me and Blessed Be,

Oh Most Holy Herne,

I praise Thee with the breath of my body and the works of my hands,

Thou who art the Hunter and the Hunted, The Mysteries of Sacrifice and Service,

The Exultation of The World, and the Thrill of Love, and the Thrust of Lust.

WitchFather, Sweet Sacred Father,

Help me to be the man I am capable of being at my best,

That I might do Thy Work in the World, and in doing so find my own.

Horned God of Life,

Let me commune with Thee within the rushing of my blood,

Let me be anointed by Thee in the sweat of my brow,

That I might be Strong and Healthy in Thy service.

Lord of Light,

Let me taste the sweet spark of your inspiration with every indrawn breath,

Let me see clearly, speak wisely, and listen with the entirety of my being,

That I may share Thy Wisdom and Wonder,

Thus being a vessel through which Thee might Re-enchant The World.

Guardian of the Gates of Death and Life,

Let me be able to meet with Thee and the end of my days with Pride and Joy,

Able to look into Thine eyes knowing I have served Thee to the best of my abilities.

WitchFather, Sweet Sacred Father

So Mote It Be.

Listening and wrestles with temptation…

Dear Friends,

So in my 28 day blitz of posting, I have had a couple of days where the timing between my blogging time and work hours and other duties and relationships I have not gotten a post out.  With my last post, I am wrestling with the temptation to not post anything… you need to lie fallow, you need to follow your muse to other creative endeavors, it’s ok people would understand, it’s not like people are expecting you to post, you aren’t obligated too…. and similar thoughts.

The thing is, I have ~stated~ that I will post for each day for 28 days and there is a powerful difference between being prevented from doing so by circumstances, and not doing it because I’m not feeling it.  If I am to be someone who gets things done, who works his will upon the world and who engages his True Will, I need to follow through on what I say I will do… whether to myself or others.  

So I post…

Other than posting… today has been about rearranging some boxes and furniture to make room for a fabulous sleeper sofa we are being given by our friends W & G.  They are redoing their living room and thus we have been donated a fabulous chair and the sleeper sofa and a coffee table…  now all we need is the right dresser or china cabinet to turn into an altar and we will fairly set for furniture!  As I do this I am listening to some of my podcasts…

Episode 49 of Elemental Castings, which I would strongly recommend.  It is a panel discussion involving some of the many Pagan participants from the 2009 Parliament of The Worlds Religions.  Looking back and discussing what went down and some of the results of it.  Interesting thoughts on Interfaith and Intrafaith dialogue and some useful ideas for anyone in or dealing with the Pagan community.

It also seems to me that some of the ideas related to Interfaith/Intrafaith dialogue could be very useful for U.U.’s and other Theologically liberal religions with roots in or with branches involved in the Abrahamic streams of things.

I am also getting caught up on New World Witchery, several episodes including the Biblical Magic episode and their wrap up of the Pagan Podkin Super Moot…  (oh, they also have their Etsy shop Compass & Key Apothecary restocked!! – “Hooray!!!”)

I am also trying to convince Veles to post his recipe for Hummingbird Cake, a southern delicacy (note: does NOT contain actual Hummingbird) I had not heard of before he mentioned it recently.

Blessings to you all,

Pax / Geoffrey

Laying Fallow… and perseverance

Dear Friends,

Autumn has come to Central Florida, bringing with it cooler nights and much less humid days.  I am feeling renewed energy and creativity and I find my thoughts turning to the wisdom to be gleaned from the seasons and the cycles of nature.

It is not only OK to not be happy sometimes, it is natural.   Look at nature.  The Seasons cycle through with a season where nature lies in wait.   Many forms of Paganism are tied not only to traditional seasonal cycles of their ancestral homelands, but through their practitioners they are tied to the lands we live in now.

It is ok to not be experiencing the Numinous sometimes, it is only natural.  …  If we view Religion and Spirituality with an eye towards an aggricultural metaphor… sometimes we need to lie fallow.  To simply be, rather than experiencing growth and wonder and numinous experiences.  Sometimes our journeys are just about being in our ordinary lives with all of their challenges and triumphs and tragedies… gains and losses.   There are times where our practices and prayers and rites help us to not only experience the presence of The Holy Powers and the Numinous, the Mysterium Fascinans and Mysterium Tremends…. then there are other times where we feel rather like we must have missed something somewhere and that things just aren’t working.

With practice we till the fields of our lives and find grown and nourishment and wonder.  Practice helps us to be better in touch with these things, indeed it makes it easier to more regularly access the wonder in existence… but sometimes we need to just do our spiritual and religious thing even if we aren’t feeling it.  Sometimes we have to let the lessons and wonder of our practice percolate… to interact with our everyday existence.

Don’t fear to dive into your faiths and spiritualities and practices… but also learn to welcome to slow seasons and allow yourself to lie fallow so that new and vigorous growth can occur later.


Pax / Geoffrey


Notes from the Still Room: October 5th 2011

Dear Friends,

Veles and Dver are making me feel rather insufficiently  Witchy

So, the last few days have been busy with an 11p-7a shift followed by a 3p-11p shift… so about 4 hours of sleep in between.  I actually got some writing done sometime during that on the meditation essay/book/thing I am working on.  Sadly I haven’t had much time to come up with cool and creative blog fodder.

My mind has in the last few days been getting filled with ideas for altars and assessing the status of my Still Room projects, as I call them. (back ground here, and here)

The Crown of Success Oil has been simmered in a pot with the latest batch of Sandalwood powder and Frankincense, and sat lightly upon the Kitchen Windowsill… shaken almost daily.   I will be wanting to add more Vetivert, or perhaps some Vetivert Oil to give it that smokey silky scent?

The Rosemary Water froze in the jar in it’s place back in the top shelf of the fridge, but the jar hadn’t cracked yet, so I thawed it and placed it in a different spot and it is doing well.  I’ve used it as a skin-tonic/lustral wash after showers when I felt the need for a little extra something in my day.  I’ve been shaking the water daily and contemplating uses both cullinary and metaphysical for it… a friend once made some delightful Rosemary infused shortbread cookies (sounds weird, tastes nummy)

I’m also thinking of putting together some Rosemary infused oil, Olive Oil most likely so that I could conceivably use if for both culinary and metaphysical applications.

The salt, or rather the blessed salt as opposed to the everyday cooking salt, sits in a jar on the windowsill as well… basking in the light of the Sun and the Moon.  I bless it regularly and shake the jar and frequently use it to cook with.  I mean, may as well do what I can to bring as much blessings into my life and the life of those I love as possible right?

I’ve also taken to keeping a liter of Blessed Water in the fridge, drinking and replenishing and blessing it regularly.

The  new batch of 4 Thieves Vinegar has developed nicely and sits in it’s re-purposed Sangria bottle in the fridge in all it’s spicy peppery garlicy goodness.

The Heal Me With Apples Oil, had to be scrapped as the apples rotted away despite the oil neither a pretty site nor smell ….. next time I think I shall start with Dried Apple slices and Honey and Rosemary  but I am not sure if Olive Oil or Vodka… oil or tincture?  Hey peanut gallery any thoughts on this?

The Prosperity Powder is also on the windowsill and receives regular attention and use, sprinkled in pockets or in shoes…

Interesting that so far I’ve been is more of a making and stockpiling mode, time to start using some of this stuff and creating even more!   Maybe I’ll have to bust out that book on Soap crafting and make some Solstice gifts?

I also find it interesting as I re-read the other two Still Room posts that I’ve gotten my apartment and Kitchen/Still-Room and am liking it so far!

Now I must to bed lest the Fabulous Jonathan point the Pointing Hobbit Hand of Doom at me again for being up when we have some furniture to move in in the morning.


Pax / Geoffrey

I got Nothing…

Hey kids,

So the trouble with deciding to post something each day (or on a couple of cases FOR each day, gotta love my schedule) is that there are going to be days where I’ve got nothing… the Muse has gone out with her sisters to some club last night partying in Aphrodite’s entourage…

(Note to self, stack the deck with a few posts/poems/somethings in the drafts sections so that you’re covered next time!)

Although I’ve had some thoughts lately about how being happy and fulfilled all the time is a crock that I could unpack into a post.   Not that happyness itself is a crock o’ poop, mind you, just the tyranny of constant happyness.  There are times where you are going to be sad or angry or just some species of hot mess: AND THAT”S OK!

hrmm…. that ~does~ have some possibilities…

I’ll have to work on that…

In the meantime I’ve got to brew some tea and ready an ice-pack for my poor muse…  She’s gonna be all “My GODS that moon is bright!!”



Day 17, or so…

Dear Friends,

So I am 17 posts into my 28 Days of Posting, trying to jump start my writing/blogging muscles and rouse my Will and my Muse in regards to writing.   I have had a couple of times where I posted twice for a day due to the ups and downs of my schedule and commitments.   I certainly feel as if my creative self is stretching and yawning and waking up a bit more after a stress filled Summer where I dove into computer games and escapist activities….

My spiritual practices and my ongoing essay/book/whatever-it-will-end-up-being  are moving along.  I am still keeping my logbook/journal although with few exceptions it is more of a daily log book… I am working on that.  I poured out a lot of fears and insecurities into it the other night…  the book I am working on writing has a lot of notes and pieces and for a while I’ve been stuck wanting to work on the Intro… but I think I just need to let go and write the parts that are right there in front of me… look for some posts that are pre-writing and rough drafts in our future dear friends.

So, the Journey Continues…


Pax / Geoffrey