Wiccan Thoughts
The Spelcastor Archives
(c) 2011 Spelcastor

Here continue the Spelcastor Archives back to 1997. These are segments from Spelcastor's Email Broadcasts of CUUPS Coming Events that might be of interest to our later visitors to MoonPathCUUPS.Org

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2/22/11

This Thursday we learn about Requiems, Pagan Style. A requiem is a ceremony for someone who has died. We as Pagan clergy may sooner or later be called upon to do this. And what about visiting someone on their deathbed. And what about the family.

The modern funeral industry provides many expensive choices, second only to buying a home or a car. You might be asked to provide advice or resources. What matters are the traditions of those involved, the wishes of the departed, and ho much anyone is willing to pay. These occasions can bring together people of differing spiritual paths, even Muggles or Fundie Christians.

So Spelcastor will present some thoughts and experiences. Everyone else is invited to bring theirs. OK, so this may not be our most upbeat topic. It might be valuable to those who offer themselves to the world as Clergy.

We still need a topic for the following week's Study Group. We shall see what ideas pop up. We can always go outside and burn something.

This Sunday the folks at there UU Church are doing a program on Hinduism. Hinduism is more like a family of religions than looking like any specific path. Part of it looks a lot like what we Pagans do.

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2/16/11

This Thursday in Study Group, we have a lock & load ritual led by Valkyrie Algiz. Wear RED. The theam will be Love & Valentines.

Friday night brings the Full Moon and our folks will be out drumming at the usual undisclosed location. Then Sunday, there's the pagan Picnic. You have many opportunities to come out and play.

We have a good thing going here at MoonPath CUUPS. National CUUPS emails out a monthly newsletter. They call it a "Bulletin" and it shows what's going on with CUUPS around the country. See http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs003/1101648730816/archive/1102605035269.html

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2/8/11

This Thursday in Study Group, back by popular demand, we learn about Love Potions from Barlowe. Be sure to stock up for Valentine's Day.

This Saturday, Star is looking for help to paint the classrooms at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. That follows a Buildings & Grounds Work Day earlier in the morning.

There are no big events coming up, other than drumming and the ongoing Renaissance Faire.

See below for some opportunities for scholarships for Pagans. MoonPath Circle is different from Moonpath CUUPS, but many are the faces are the same.

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2/1/11

Happy Ground Hog's Day Tuesday, or Saint Brigit's Day, or Goddess Brigit's Day. Just remember that if Fundamentalists see our shadows, they'll say bad things about us. Come to think of it, if they don't see our shadows, they'll still say bad things about us. So, enjoy the day. Next Saturday, Circle of Isis is doing an open Imbolc Ritual.

This week at Study Group, I present on Candle Magick. Lot's of people light candles, not just us. There's Catholics, Buddhists, Jews, New Agers, Swammi's. All sorts of folk. Well, candles are pretty. Fire is fun. Candles keep doing something after we start them.

And se can do stuff with our candles. We can carve on them, we can anoint them, we can stick things into them, we can put them in special places, we can move them around, we can drip wax onto stuff. Wow!

So I'll talk some about what I might do and what some other people might do. Bring your candle and tell us what you might do. Then we'll light lots of bunch of candles.

Next week at Study Group, we are considering having a program on wax removal.

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1/26/11

This Thursday in Study Group we swap stories of Imbolc and hear from Guest High Priestess Sandra Cheryl Richardson. There will be a casting call for the ritual she will lead us in this Saturday. Cheryl is a founder of the Circle of Isis Rising. See www.CircleOfIsisRising.org This religious order started over 25 years ago.

Imbolc celebrates the first light of the coming Spring. We do it a week early because conflict with the Bowlus Superious Maximus. The classic day would be February 2. Once upon a time this was Saint Bridget's Day. Bridget is a Celtic goddess who was morphed into a saint in Christian times. More morphing and we have Ground Hog's Day.

I don't know the sex (or orientation) of the ground hog, but Puxatany Phil has the role of late. The power of the Goddess is so great that it takes a lot of morphing to make some feel safe.

Come meet Cheryl Thursday and join us for the Ostara ritual Saturday.

Wołchw Świętosław is a student of PhD level of religious studies and is doing research in Slavonic influences in modern witchcraft. Any of you Slavic Pagans out there can contact him at PaganSpace.net at http://www.paganspace.net/profiles/message/listInbox?xg_source=msg_mes_private

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1/18/11

This Thursday in Study Group, Spel presents "Amulets, Talismen, and Caring for the Elements at the Altar." We will talk about these basic magickal tools and then demonstrate how the might be used on a Celtic Pagan, Roman Catholic, and Unitarian Universalist altar.

Yes, even UUs have altars and such, but they are harder to spot. Contrasting how differing traditions do things will broaden our awareness of the practices around us and perhaps some ideas to enhance our own "buga-buga." Everyone does buga-buga. It's just that it's only called buga-buga when someone other than us does it. It's like Hocus-Pocus. Do you recall where that comes from? It's a Pagan comment on the Roman Mass.

There is still time to hear Sophia and Spel interviewed by David Pollard of National CUUPS. Go to http://cuups.libsyn.org and have a listen to the podcast.

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1/11/11

This Thursday at Study Group, Moonday leads us in re-empowering our Egregore, Claw, that guards our property, Yes, there will be ceremony and fire. Don't know hat an Egregore is? Show up and find out.

Sophia and Spel were interviewed by David Pollard of National CUUPS. Go to http://cuups.libsyn.org and have a listen to the podcast.

This weekend there is Ren-Faire in Miami Beach, and drumming and faires and Pagan picnic's closer to home. Far from home, the Witches in Romania threaten and curse tax man. Check them out at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12126670 Nobody likes taxes. Do they have a teabag curse?

For our Anniversary, we received a very nice email remembrance:

I remember my first Moonpath CUUPS meeting April of 2000. There were perhaps a dozen of us, sitting in children's chairs in the furthest class room. A few weeks later I was surprised at the size of the group that gathered for Beltaine. As intimidated as I felt around so many with much more experience than I, I also was welcomed warmly, and felt included even in that first public ritual. Does not seem that it was much later, a year perhaps, that we began to need to move the divider to make room enough for everyone around the Thursday circles. By Yule 2001, my last ritual with you, Thursdays took up every bit of the two classrooms with chairs set in the center to accommodate everyone. Rituals attended by hundreds were not unusual, in fact less than 100 was rare. Only once as I recall: in the middle of a widespread rainstorm that ::rolls eyes:: MAGICALLY avoided us for the time it took for ritual. I cannot tell you all, especially those from the early days, how much your companionship, knowledge and support is missed. While the community here in Columbus is as large, there is not the sense of community we shared. The closest to community are the local monthly meet-ups, and the local ADF's public rituals. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. May it be the first of many. Blessings,

Foxxy
Elder: Three Fires Grove;
Heartmember Moonpath CUUPs.

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1/4/11

This Thursday in Study Group we celebrate the 12 years we have been doing this.

Outrageous stories are welcome. So are remembrances of long ago. We can also pat ourselves on the back for being so wonderful in spreading the Craft.

This weekend, pick your tradition: Scott or Japanese? There will be festivals for both.

Slowly I am admitting to myself that the new Gregorian year is upon us. I have started dating checks 2011 and closing out accounts in anticipation of preparing business and personal tax returns. Oh, yummy!

Here we start around the Wheel of the Year, one more time.

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12/28/10

This Thursday in Study Group, Lady Nightshade returns to tell us about Hecate, the Greek and Roman Goddess. Crossroads and Queen of the Witches are among Hecate's many titles.

The topic is quite appropriate for this, the dark time of the year. The parties are over and the first light of spring is a full month away. We can contemplate our actions and fate. Didn't I just do this season a moment ago? The rush of time continues to speed up. I can remember back when I was a child. A year took a full year to pass. Now it is just hours.

January 4 there will be a solar eclipse. It will occur 13 minutes before the moment of Dark Moon, and we could see it quite well in Jerusalem. Me, I'm out of travel budget, and eclipses tend to mess up the usual magick anyway. These eclipse occur either around Full Moon or Dark Moon. Did you ever wonder why they don't happen at Half Moon? Ask your local astrologer.

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12/20/10

Thanks to Max in leading us in a beautiful Yule Ritual. And thanks to everyone who helped make it all possible.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Gates open at 6 PM. The will be much drumming, dancing and fire spinning. There will be a ceremony around 8 PM. The Park Gate will close at 10 PM and drumming stops at 11 pm, what with the city noise ordinance.

We will be celebrating the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year. Hopefully, it will be warm enough for us all to be comfortable. Bring chairs, water, snacks, and maybe we won't need bug spray this time?

Thursday at Study Group we will gather around the fire, exchange good wishes, drum, and sing Pagan Holiday Carols. Laertius has compiled a songbook of what can be found on the Internet. Download it from www.MoonPathCUUPS.org/PaganYuleSing-a-longBook.pdf and print yourself a copy for Thursday.

This is the season when I evaluate all I have done in the past year and plan for the coming one. I lay out the CUUPS Calendar for 2011, The Full version is online at www.MoonPathCUUPS.org/coming.htm while I include a much shorter version in these postings.

I am enjoying the website www.TotallyADD.com. I can relate to the stories they tell, and I like their holistic approach to self-improvement. You don't have to be ADHD, but it helps.

Happy obsessive New Year!

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12/15/10

I found the Turning the Tide Festival really worth while last weekend. I will be encouraging everyone again next year.

This Thursday in Study Group, we share stories of Yule and plan our Saturday Yule Sabat. Max will be telling us of the Slavic spin he will use this year and yes, there will be a casting call.

This Saturday I know of Yule Sabats in Miami and St Petersburg, as well as ours. The others are at rented facilities so there is a change to be there. It is a Pagan tradition not to charge for rituals, but paying to get on the property is another matter. That's how life is, if you don't own your own land.

Coming up Tuesday is the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle honoring the Winter Solstice. We expect many fire spinners and hopefully it will warm up for the dancers. Our Weather Witches are working on it.

Meanwhile the Florida Turnpike Authority has banned all decorations in toll booths. It seems that there were complaints from some Fundies about the Halloween decorations being Satanic. Everyone has their religious priorities. So now there is no holiday cheer on the turnpike and no one has to worry about Satanic Toll Booths.

Have a blessed Yule.

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12/7/10

This week in Study Group we learn about Herbs and Prosperity Spells from Barlowe. He backed the house last time, so I expect that this will be a really good program.

We have sabbat rituals coming up this month. Some events are rescheduled because of the holidays. Registration for Turning the Tide is closed. If you have yet to sign up, try again next year.

It's about time for me to add next year to our Coming Events webpage. This is a meditation for me as I see the Wheel Turning into another year. We've already done our space reservations for CUUPS. Yes, we are Pagans who plan ahead. This sort of thing really does go on within our community. There are Muggles who plan, and we have to do it too. Otherwise, we would not be able to be spontaneous.

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11/30/10

Now we recover from Turkey Day and the long weekend. This Thursday in Study Group we learn about Pelee, the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes. There are more Pagan pays out there that do not come from Europe.

We are beginning to gear up for Yule. This year Max and Marcus will take us on a Slavic turn. There is much color and pageantry out around Transylvania. There will be other Yule events in Miami and St. Petersburg plus more I have not heard about. All World Acres near Tampa will be holding an event.

We don't get the snow and all that but perhaps it will turn cold enough for us to wear our fuzzy capes.

Looking ahead to Imbolc, Sandra Cheryl Richardson and the Circle of Isis Rising will join us here in Fort Lauderdale. It's a pleasure to share traditions with a covened group that we don't see that often. I suspect that registration for Turning the Tides has closed by now. It's really less work to just close the gate and enjoy the people you knew were coming.

The UU's do their SWIM, the Winter Institute in in Homestead, Florida the week between Christmas and New Years. It is a family even that is not all Pagan, but it is rustic. I will be there presenting on Defense Against the Dark Arts and then later Spiritual Practices. They do a New Year's Eve Ritual around the campfire at which they celebrate transitions. Yes you must register to participate in this one at www.swimwuu.org.

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11/23/10

Happy Turkey Day everyone. We are not meeting this Thursday.

Last Thursday Rev Gail came around and told us about the Pagan perspective other church people might have. They will have encountered Greek and Roman gods and goddesses in school. They will be far less familiar with the deities in other pantheons. The interest in the Greek and Roman ways harkens back to a time of greater diversity.

Then too there are the Jungian archetypes that surface in the old legends. If we don't recognize them in the stories, we may not be aware when they interact with us in our day-to-day lives. The Renaissance occurred when Europeans discovered that there was more to be gained from reading the writings of the Ancients than to perfect one's church Latin.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving is a national harvest feast day re-established during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln to encourage unity. Thus as a Celt it meaningful for me to include a Strega in this feast.

Gobble, gobble!

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11/16/10

This Thursday Rev Gail presents to us at Study Group. She has a Master's Degree from Harvard, has been through Chaplaincy, priested at more weddings than most of us, and deals with all the whatever of a religious denomination with over 1,000 congregations. What will she say? What would you like to ask her?

Our Midnight Samhain Ritual is posted at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/sam10.htm We include a history lesson on Morgan le Fay. In our Lost & Found, we still have a camera, a memory chip, and some keys. We don't usually find the lost athames until the lawn mower shows up.

Other people take Samhain seriously too. Here's a link of how the Celts do it in Scotland: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/edinburghandeastscotland/hi/people_and_places/a rts_and_culture/newsid_9144000/9144567.stm

For you worshipers of Demeter out there who are waiting for your time of year, Autom, the Catholic Outfitters are running a special on a grape & wheat monstrance for $99. It's just what you need for your Eleusinian Mysteries. See http://www.autom.com/product.jsp?path=-1|304477|304489|304718&id=1151164

And what with witches in the news during the last election, our own Karina has her statement & Video on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqajcVAwpjE&sns=em Maybe later she'll present at Study Group?

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11/10/10

This Thursday in Study Group we learn about discovering our personal element. Curious? Come find out what that means.

Some of us have returned from Florida Pagan Gathering, www.FlaPagan.org. Yes, it was cold, but it was good. There were many interesting people, elders, and workshops, plus the ritual.

Spelcastor's interview by BarCode magazine is now online at http://moonpathcuups.org/interview.htm To better mask my identity, they gave me a sex change. Along with this came a new crop of anonymous offers. It's a good thing we don't evangelize.

Registration will soon close for Turning the Tides. See www.moonpathcuups.org/ttide/ Most of the people there will be real, live covened folk, just in case that is what you have been looking for.

On the calendar, you will see Yule Festivals approaching, plus the premier of the latest Harry Potter movie. I hear it's sold out already? It would be such fun to dress up for.

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11/3/10

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our 13th Annual Witches Ball a great success. There were 250 or so people showing up. Our events happen because of the lever of cooperation.

This week in Study Group, the Luna Road Faerie Troop shows up to do a Dark Moon Ritual. It is not just Full Moon that we are out and about. Astronomers call this the New Moon but we know better. The first sliver of the New Moon that appears three nights later we call Diana's Bow.

Some of us are off to Florida pagan Gathering in Ocala, FL, this weekend. Cold weather is expected so we get to wear our fuzzy capes. It's that time of year. There will be 800+ pagans at this gathering along with big name authors.

Meanwhile, Spelcastor, yours truly, was interviewed in the October issue of Barcode magazine, http://thebarcodemagazine.com/ I was right there between the scantily clad ladies and the Budweiser ad speaking of my years as a closeted witch. They have me a sex-change to better hide my identity but I have yet to find the interview online. Several bar-crawling witches have praised this interview. Good thing we are not evangelical.

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10/26/10

This Thursday in Study Group we share stories of Samhain, do a casting call for our Druid's and Midnight Rituals and then rehearse. We will also finish our planning and volunteer list for all the tasks that make our Witches ball possible.

Yes, Saturday, our doors will open at 7:30 pm. Admission is $15. Kids accompanied by parents get in free. Unaccompanied kids have made problems for us. Costumes and ritual garb are encouraged. Come as your favorite fantasy character. Yes, there will be a costume contest. We will be atuning with the departed at 9 PM, the Druid's Ritual at 10:15 and the Midnight ritual at Guess when? Live music by Witches Mark at 8 PM. DJ by Izrafel. Many sorts of people on many paths will show up. Parking will get congested later on. Do behave responsibly. The rest of us want to enjoy the evening too.

Further south the Circle of Isis Rising is doing Samhain at the Miami UU Society. I have not heard whether the Goddess Shop is doing anything this year.

Samhain is the Celtic New Year and our most sacred of sabbats. Be nice to the ancestors. They will be around too.

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10/20/10

This Thursday in Study Group, we celebrate the Croning of Black Raven.

As the tradition goes, women are magickal because they bleed but do not die. When they reach the age that this bleeding stops, they are holding their magick within themselves. She is then honored as a crone. Typically the other crones conduct this ceremony and males are excluded. As CUUPS we are difference, allow the males to observe this croning, and occasionally participate. For men, there is a similar ceremony called saging. Some of our males have been through this and some of the women even showed up. Symbolic gifts are in order for our crone.

This is one of the many passages we celebrate at MoonPathCUUPS with people we know. There have been Beginning of Study, a Year and a Day, Quickening, Hand Fasting, Hand Parting, Blessings and Banishing. Life is not without it's milestones.

We are rapidly approaching our Witches Ball. It's the Celtic New Year and our High Holy Day. The veil between the worlds will be especially thin. Besides, we enjoy a good party.

If you consider yourself and Elder and have heard of Macha Nightmare, you are invited to take the brief survey at the bottom of this email.

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10/12/10

MoonPath CUUPS has been around since about 1988. This Thursday in Study Group we will compare notes on the impact we have had in the South Florida Wiccan/Pagan Community. We will through in a little UU history, like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nature, and then talk about how we get to do the things we do at Moonpath CUUPS.

Let's not be silly enough to imagine we will agree on how things happen in the past and present. But we might find all the stories enlightening and entertaining.

This weekend, GreenSong Grove is celebrating their Samhain in St. Pete. Here in Fort Lauderdale the Pee Wee Pagans meet Saturday and there is the Pagan Picnic Sunday.

Plans continue for our Thirteenth Annual Witches Ball. There will be many volunteer opportunities. Our paid cleaners have disappeared, so I am looking for two or three people who will vacuum, haul trash, move furniture, wipe tables and clean rest rooms starting at 1 am after the Ball. We are looking to offer $90 each for the 2-3 hours this cleanup has taken in the past. It is a quite serious matter that the church be put back together for Sunday morning, so only serious, sober, and capable folks should raise their hands and show up at Study Group.

Have you checked out the name the snake contest at http://moonpathcuups.org/snake/

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10/5/10

Thus Thursday in Study Group, it's "Show Us Your Book Night."

Bring a Craft book that you have found valuable in your studies and share it with us. If you are curious about a particular book, ask the rest of us. If you are wondering which books to study, come hear what we have found. Yes, if you have any books that need a new home, bring them too.

Meanwhile over at the Spider's Web, Ash the Silent is doing her program on Potions. Bummer that, as magickal as we are, we can't be it two places. We'll have to work on that and then book Ash for us for folks who do not travel as far south as Hollywood.

Do you need a festival, there is one this weekend near Tampa at All World Acres. I expect there will be a festival each week until Yule somewhere around here.

October 22-23 Ranger Mark is looking for helper volunteers for his annual Howling Hammock. See the description below, and don't miss our "Name the Snake Contest" at www.MoonPathCUUPS.org/snake

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9/29/10

This Thursday in Study Group we learn more from Max about his travels in Poland and Slavic Pagan history. He may well throw in a PowerPoint, but he is a good story teller.

Meanwhile we local pagans have found $500 to buy a top-of-the-line Vision Snake Cage for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. They have a black Eastern Indigo Hatchling that deserves the best of accommodations. In exchange, we have been offered to have a Name the Snake Contest. The prize would be a photo of you with the Indigo. Suggestions so far have been "Paddy" and that we hold a dedication next March 17th. See www.MoonPathCUUPS.org/snake

October is filling up with Samhain Festivals and similar events. October 22-23 The Folks at Birch State Park are again doing their Howling Hammock Trail. See http://www.friendsofbirchstatepark.org/howling/ Ranger Mark is looking for some more scary volunteers to add to the fun. Phone 954.564.4521 and say Boo!

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9/21/10

So we have our first national Witch candidate, for senator from Delaware. Too bad she is not real. What an opportunity to get interviewed and explain why she is not real. I do wish these candidates would do better research.

Meanwhile, we have the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle over at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park this Wednesday. $7 at the gate. Be nice and a good neighbor to others.

Thursday is Full Moon. Some of us will go directly to the Beach for Drumming. Some will stay at Study Group to do an Open Ritual and Draw Down the Moon, Strega style.

This Saturday we celebrate Pagan Pride Day at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. See www.moonpathcuups.org/ppride There will be vendors, workshops, drumming and a Mabon Ritual at 5:30 PM.

We shall be busy little witchiepoos. Then next Thursday, back by popular demand, Max will share with us more Wiccan travels in Warsaw.

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9/14/10

This Thursday in Study Group we swap stories of the Second Harvest and then have a casting call for our Mabon Ritual. This will be your chance to participate.

This Saturday, there is a Mind-Body-Spirit Fair at Crystal Fantasy and the Grand Opening of New Moon Books in Pompano Beach. Circle of Isis Rising will be doing their Mabon Ritual at the Miami UU. (Our is the following Saturday.)

Sunday there is The Wiccan Picnic at Snyder Park and a Pendulums 101 Workshop at the Spider's Web. We seem to be into the season with much going on each weekend for a while. It's harvest time, and we have been planting Wiccan seeds in the community for years.

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9/7/10

This Thursday we will hear about a local National Day of Prayer and what might happen if some Wiccans signed up and tried to participate. We have a special guest with ACLU credentials and we shall see how this unfolds.

Messing with a "National Day of Prayer" that is exclusive to one religion and perhaps utilizing public facilities might be something worth looking into. Who was it that said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom"?

I know of no big events going on this weekend. Later we will do Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle and then Pagan Pride Day. But that does not mean we won't be out and about, doing our thing. After all, we are everywhere.

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9/1/10

This Thursday at Study Group, we will have a spontaneous ritual. We will gather a common focus from ourselves, assign roles, go outside and build a big fire and do it. These are fun and good practice for scripted rituals when something goes wrong.

Friday we celebrate the Moon in its Third Quarter and drum at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. This is more about drumming than ceremony. It's a good excuse to get together and drum.

There is the ongoing Broward Drum Circle this Saturday and then the Goddess Spirit Drum Circle next Tuesday at the UU Fellowship in Hollywood. Aleph the Seeker continues his never-ending Tarot class at the UU Fellowship in Hollywood. He does this the first three Monday's of each month.

So this is a weekend of mostly drumming. Drumming is good.

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8/23/10

This Thursday, back by popular demand, we have Kassandra telling us and showing us Magick thru Dance.

Ranger Mark has come up with fall events for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. These are Earth things that will appeal to Muggles too and not just Pagans. The Park Calendar is online at www.friendsofbirchstatepark.org Think interfaith!

Say did you ever want to spin fire? You have seen those poi folk spinning flaming torches and such. Don't try this at home but contact Glynna at www.jazzpizazz.com You too could make the big bucks over at the Mai-Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale dazzling tourists from Quebec.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, Tuesday, is Election Day. voter early and vote often. Ask your lawyer buddies which judges ore OK, unless you have stood before them. Then tomorrow night, go howl at the Full Moon.

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8/17/10

This Thursday at 7:30 pm in Study Group, Spelcastor presents "The Harvest of The Seeds."

No it is not a preview of a new Stephen King movie. I am putting together a workshop for Florida Pagan Gathering in November and their theme is "Reaping the Harvest." This is Samhain, the third and final harvest on this turn of the Wheel of the Year. It's not about planting. That's for Beltaine.

So I've come up with five values for the seeds to symbolize: Wealth, Health, Knowledge, Relationships and the Goddess. I have come up with choices I have already made in these areas and will contemplate the likely harvest. Then I invite others to do the same. I found some incantations like, "Round about the cauldron go, in the budding seeds we throw...."

We will each share on one "Seed of Life" at a time, and then move on to the next seed. Sharing will be optional, or we'll be there til dawn. Fire will add a lot. A central cauldron with salt and burning alcohol might not set off the smoke alarm. We'll dim the room and read by candles. This ought to work, and get rather dark. Say, it is for Samhain.

On a brighter note, Margot Adler delivered a glowing tribute to the late Isaac Bonewits on National Public Radio on August 13th. Follow the link for text and audio: MoonPathCUUPS.org/rituals/bonewits.mht

I met Isaac at Florida Pagan Gathering. Actually, someone mistook me for him, so I autographed his book for her. We was a thinking man's Pagan. He founded a Druid Society, ADF, and wrote some good words on how to evaluate the dangers of a cult. Since Margo is Pagan herself, it's all the better. Do read the tribute.

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8/10/10

This week in Study Group we learn about the Greek/Roman God Pan from SkyBear the Panda. How about a little male energy and testosterone?

This weekend there is the Bon Festival at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. This will be the Japanese version of Samhain. Everybody does harvest festivals and its that time of year. At harvest time we think about what else we are harvesting from our own efforts. Lanterns will be lit and set adrift on the lake. See www.MoonpathCUUPS.org/morikami/

Sunday, there is the pagan Picnic at Synder Park, Fort Lauderdale. So many places to come out and play.

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8/3/10

Thank you to everyone who made our Native American Corn Festival a success.

Our one Native American sabbat is different from the rest. We get to see how these differ from the Celtic and other traditions we usually see. Be get to see the parallels too. Thank you, Black Diamond.

This Thursday in Study Group, we learn about Elemental Ecology. That sounds like something we are probably into.

There are no sabbats I know about this weekend. There will be drumming on Saturday and there is rune making over at Crystal Fantasy. And there is a new shop in town: www.NewMoonBooks.org at 74 E McNab Road in Pompano Beach.

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7/27/10

This Thursday at 7:30 PM we celebrate our Annual Chocolate Ritual. Come worship the four aspects of chocolate with its many attributes. Bring your favorite chocolate to share and, of course, wear brown garb.

This Saturday we celebrate Lammas as a Native American Corn Festival. Check out the background of what we are doing at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn2.htm.Our ritual will incorporate multiple tribal traditions. See http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn3.htm. Do bring something to burn that you are letting go of. We will conclude with a potluck feast. Bring food and beverage to share Suggested dishes are at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/cornfeast.htm.

This Sunday there is half Moon Drumming. Then next Monday over at New Age Books & Things, Lord Cuchulain will conclude his Living Wicca Series http://moonpathcuups.org/class.htm with a panel of Craft Elders. One of these will be yours truly, Spelcastor.

Meanwhile, Sophia Linus' and Spelcastor's online interviews remains popular in the archive at. www.blogtalkradio.com/thirdeyeradio1.

What a busy week we have.

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7/20/10

This Thursday in Study Group we will learn about Native American Customs around the Corn Festival.

Native American culture can be compared to that of the Pagans living north of the Romans. They were more interested in fighting each other and saw the white man as an inconsequential late comer.

70%-90% of them were killed off by European disease before many of them ever saw a white man. Their social organization crumbled from such a population loss, as would ours. They really did have towns and confederations. They were quite eager to acquire the white man's tools: guns, iron cooking pots, plows, and such. Europe did not export the best of its citizens and they were greedy for land. What was called the Old Southwest was not New Mexico but Alabama and Mississippi. Native Americans were removed from these lands in the 1830s to make way for the plantation system that was so profitable in Virginia, Barbados and Brazil. This "ancient Southern way of life" was vigorously defended 25 years later in what they called the War of Northern Aggression.

Native American traditions are similar to those of the Celts and other groups claimed by Neo-Pagans. For some, the Injun ways are more attractive than those of Witches.

Visit You-Tube to see 30 seconds of TV fame for our Summer Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaR9xBkwuAk

Sophia Linus' online interview remains popular in the archive at. www.blogtalkradio.com/thirdeyeradio1 Spelcastor will be interviewed this Thursday at 3 PM. Again, the archive may be more convenient for some.

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7/13/10

This Thursday at Study Group, we learn about Witchcraft throughout the Ages. Barlowe will make a presentation and follow up with a video.

A couple weeks ago, our own Sophia Linus was interviewed on Blog Radio. Go to www.blogtalkradio.com/thirdeyeradio1 and scroll down until you find Sophia in the archive. Spelcastor will be on this program a week from Thursday at 3 PM. If you can't tune in from your PC, check the archive later.

This Saturday, the Hollywood Pagans will sponsor a Psychic Faire at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Come and check out all that is going on. Crystal Fantasy is also holding an event. Then Sunday it is time for Pagan Picnic.

Wicca 101 continues at New Age Books and Things and there is a Labyrinth Walk in Delrey Beach at the Duncan Center. These folks are Christian so be nice and don't wear your biggest pentacle. Folks cross religious and denominational lines to walk labyrinths, and these people are rather Goddessy anyway.

And then next week the Moon waxes full, so our kind of people will be out and about all over.

B*B, Spel

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7/7/10

This Thursday in Study Group, we learn about the Hindu god Lord Shiva.

Hindu is perhaps better described as a family of religions. There are many paths that look similar to the variety within our modern Pagan world.

The weekend after this there will be a Psychic Faire at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale that is sponsored by folks at the Hollywood UU Fellowship. There should be lot's of things going on.

We will start hearing more about our Native American Corn Festival. We have recepies online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/cornfeast.htm Where this Ritual comes from is at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn2.htm

Coming up will be a Wicca 101 at New Age Books & Things and then the Pee Wee Pagans start their next series in August. Need I mention the upcoming Chocolate Ritual Thursday July 29th?

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6/28/10

This Thursday we learn about just why it is that magick works. Jerry D' Wizard will enlighten us. Jerry is also been working with a Military and Prison outreach program and they are looking for books. If anyone has a book or two or three they feel they can part with, it would be nice if you could bring them on Thursday night. This can been anything on the craft or related topics.

Here we come up upon a three-day weekend. Go find some fireworks and watch other people blow themselves up, or come around on the 4th for drumming and picnic at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. It's Spelcastor's Birthday, but I won't be there. I'm off to Atlanta to see GrandBabies at a family reunion. Send good wishes anyway and raise a stein of mead.

Monday starts off the Wicca 101 Class at New Age Books & Things. If you have been looking for credentialed coven folk, this is your big change. And you will be meeting in a safe place and not some cottage in the woods. Anything can happen in a cottage in the woods: ginger bread, little piggies, wolves a knocking, fair maidens in red capes, lonely woodcutters, wizzened old ladies, some guy named Peter with a flute. Trust me, this way is safer.

Either way, have a wonderful 4th and watch out for those other people. I suspect that they are crazy.

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6/22/10

What a wonderful Litha Ritual we had Saturday in Fort Lauderdale. Many magickal people worked together to make it happen. And then Monday evening our Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle drew 333+ people. Again much magick and no problems.

This Thursday in Study Group, we hear about manipulating energy. We may even go outside and raise some. I have not heard yet.

This coming weekend we have the Full Moon and several Rituals going on. Busy we will be. Then the following Tuesday, back by popular demand, Lord Cuchulain is starting up his next Wicca 101. If you have been looking for training with real covened people, this is for you. But those books down and meet up with a real person of the third degree.

Yes, come out and learn, network and smooze. Save all those books for another week.

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6/15/10

This Saturday the Faeries will be out for our Litha Ritual at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Remember we feast first at 7 pm. Do bring enough to share. Then at 8:45 pm we go outside and conjure some mid-Summer Night's magick.

This Thursday at Study Group, we plan our ritual.

Sunday Morning at the River of Grass Congregation in Plantation FL, Spelcastor will be preaching on the many traditions of the solstice. That's 10 am Sunday morning. Ritual garb is optional, but always amusing. Then there is Pagan Picnic at Snyder Park that afternoon.

Monday is Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Not we start at 7 pm, that is earlier than some of the published times, but that's all the more time to drum and dance.

The following weekend brings a Full Moon with a Lunar Eclipse, we busy little Pagans will be out and about again

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6/8/10

Spelcastor is in Moab, Utah, this week, looking at canyons, arches, Native American history and lot's of rocks. See http://www.moab-utah.com The Hummer ride was a real adventure.

I continue to be impressed with park rangers. Truly, there are wizards among them, both female and male. It's the stories they share and the things they do. And they are not here for the money. Some have bailed from a corporate career. Others just felt the call.

This Thursday at Study Group, I will be back and our own Ranger Mark will be presenting on "The Georgia Guidestones and Other Sacred Sites." We even have sacred sites here in Florida. Who knows where they are? Do come and find out.

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6/1/10

This Thursday in Study Group we learn about Spells through Dance with Kasandra. Dance is yet another means of expression, invocation, and altering one's mind. Come give it a whirl.

This weekend there is energy working, rune making and drumming going on. How busy can we be? We are entering the season of the long hot summer and today is the first of Hurricane Season. How's your banishing magick?

And Summer is the time of faeries. perhaps we shall see some at our Mid-Summer's Ritual. One never knows when they might be darting about.

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5/25/10

This Thursday's Study Group falls on the Full Moon. Kalimir will present a special program on drawing down the moon. Have you ever done that? We'll go outside and do.

Meanwhile on the beach there will be Full Moon Drumming. No problem for those who can do to things at once. The rest of us will flip a coin and choose. Notice things will happen a bit earlier than usual at the beach because that noise ordinance means everything must stop by 11 PM. We have the same issue at Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. It's all these Muggles who go to bed early.

At either circle, we can add some energy for Isaac Bonewitz. He's a national pagan author with serious cancer issues.

I see more meditational things popping up on our calendar. Witches meditate. We don't just dance around fires. We can be introspective too. We can turn to the inner voices. There is quiet beside the noise just as there is dark beside the light.

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5/18/10

This Thursday in Study Group, we learn about Candle Magick 101. Be in love, prosperity, or a little banishment, there is a candle spell for you. Bring a candle, bring what you might choose for anointing it, and then see how others do it.

There is an appeal going on for Isaac Bonewitz. See www.MoonPathCUUPS/bonewitz.htm He is an Elder in the national pagan community and has been battling cancer for several month. One request is rituals on may 27, the next Full Moon that move across the country. That is the night of Drumming on the Beach in Broward and also at MoonPath CUUPS we will be Drawing Down the Moon with our own special magick.

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5/11/10

I am honored to hear that MoonpathCUUPS.org is blocked as a Cult Site by people who manage those sorts of lists. We are a cult of unherdable cats.

This Sunday 11-3 at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center on the beach in Boca Raton, learn how to be a Sea Turtle Volunteer. Email Ranger Mark at coltcubfl @ gmail.com for details.

Did somebody lose an athame at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale? We found one in the back yard: single blade and purple or brown handle. We got it before it disappeared into the lawn mower.

This Thursday we dedicate Eve to Rune Magick. This is a special moment for one of our special and magickal people. For solitaries, we do a lot of community stuff.

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5/4/10

There are expressions in our language: "a cake walk," "a piece of cake," and "that take's the cake."

In the 17th century, France was the cultural center of the western world. The dance of the nobility was the Minuet, done by one couple at a time in a slow, graceful and ceremonial style in 2/4 time.

The dance was performed by the wealthy in the American Old South. It was then mimicked by their slaves, parodying the styles and weaving in music from there own African rhythms. This all was so entertaining that the plantation owners enjoyed the show too. Prizes were offered in the French tradition: "let them eat cake."

The cake walk and it's music evolved in minstrel shows and then into compositions in the 1900's. What's all this got to do with the Craft? In our Rituals, our callers walk the circle in their own special steps. We are part of a tradition extending back to Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Who says we don't have roots!

This Thursday in Study Group we celebrate Roman Bacchanalia and learn something about this festival of Dionysus. Consider wearing a toga.

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4/26/10

Thank you to everyone who made our Beltaine Festival a wonderful success. Thank you to Ash the Silent for her Druid ritual, now online at moonpathcuups.org/rituals/belt10.htm

This Thursday in Study Group we have more Chaos Magick with MoonDay and we expand and contract time. Sounds serious.

Wednesday, the night before is Full Moon. Time for energy raising and a little howling?

This weekend, some of us are off to Florida pagan Gathering in North Florida. We go to a group of 800+ people and we are still called solitaries? Go figure. Festivals are one more way the pagan community connects. We will see a few BNPs (Big name pagans who publish) plus people we know from all over the state. Yes, there will be some workings of magick.

I see a busy weekend coming.

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4/20/10

This Thursday we share stories of Beltaine and prepare for our Beltaine Festival this Thursday.

Beltaine is the major festival second only to Samhain six months away. It is the major fertility ritual in the ancient world and fertility was a big deal. These were agricultural societies in which many births were good. Fertility among the animals and crops.

In Mesopotamia, this was the time when the king got it on with the High Priestess of the temple to ensure prosperity for another year. The political leader must connect this the representative of the Goddess in order to rule in prosperity.

And so our festival will run from noon til dark. See www.MoonPathCUUPS.org/beltain10.htm There will be drumming and vendors, a May Pole and at 5 PM an Open Beltaine Ritual. We make a big tadoo about raising our May Pole. The subtlety will be obvious.

Before that we have our annual Sadie of the Hawk Race. The men paste paper leaves onto their bodies, line up, and then the women chase them. We women want the leaves. The men may be warned that they work in packs.

'Tis the season for fertility!

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4/13/10

Coming up we have many celebrations of Earthday on this Saturday closest to April 22nd. Let us think of the Hevea brasiliensis tree that the Aztecs utilized in their ancient games.

In something similar to hockey, they would bat about the head of a fallen adversary. The head would bounce nicely, but by half time, it was becoming less "compact." The tree-hugging Aztecs would wrap the head in wide leaves and the game could continue.

And so they learned that the Hevea brasiliensis sap was a natural rubber latex and from it they could fashion a bouncy ball on occasions when no adversary had been captured. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Europeans had only stones for balls. They would slide them across sheets of ice in games like curling.

Enter the Conquistadors! They brought this New World treasure home and at last football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and golf were possible. The rest is history. Sports are well-known as a war-substitute for competitive males. Whatever the horrors of history, they would be far worse without the bouncy ball, the discovery of those Native Americans living closer to Nature.

Think of this on Earth Day and whack something Green.

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4/7/10

This week in Study Group Spelcastor presents on "A Witch, A Wizard, and Never a Warlock."

We have many labels we use in the Craft. They can be loaded with multiple meaning from different traditions, politics and cultures, Muggle and Craft. We will explore origins and histories, and probably not agree on everything.

We have a quiet weekend coming up. The following week there will be many Earth Day Celebrations

And then Saturday April 24, we celebrate Beltaine at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. See www.MoonpathCUUPS.org/beltain10.htm

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3/30/10

Next month we come upon Earth Day. This event was not founded by Peter Fonda, riding across the country with Jack Nickolson on the B_seat and a bong tucked into his leather jacket. It was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson. OK, so at least he was a Democrat.

The idea of Earth Day came to Nelson in 1962 and the idea bubbled around until it grew into a movement starting in 1969. So now it's a time of awareness of all the damage we are doing to the Earth. We can get reverent and work to do better.

So in April we will see Earth Day's popping up around the country. The official day is April 22 and that falls on a Thursday this year. Saturday is a better day to go out and do things, so expect to see more happening on Saturday. It's like with our sabbats: we look for the nearest Saturday to celebrate.

This Thursday in Study Group, we do Tantric Sex, or at least talk about it. Each week is a different topic and in a year there is little that we miss.

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3/23/10

Thanks, to HPS Moonday and all her cast who produced our Alice in Wonderland Ostara Ritual. The costuming was magnificent, and the ritual is now online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/ostara10.htm

Thanks for all who made the Spring Equinox Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle so wonderful. See www.tequestadrum.com

This Thursday in Study Group, we deal with both the dark and light sides of magick and how a Witch must know both to work her full power. We mark the Return of the Fuzzy Bunny and we shall hold forth on what to do with this saccharine creature of one dimension.

This Monday, the Moon waxes full. Here is the Storm Moon. Where do you think all those March Winds come from bringing the April Showers?

Speaking of Darkness, for those lapsed Catholics out there who are troubled by the unraveling of events in the news, there is a website in Ireland: countmeout.ie

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3/16/10

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Spelcastor will be at McGuire's Hill 16 this afternoon. I hear the bands have changed, but the authentic Irish Cheeseburgers will be the same.

Thursday In Study Group we swap stories on Ostara and make the final plans for the Ritual Saturday.

Meanwhile Friday it's Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. See http://moonpathcircle.org/tequesta.htm Remember that the gates close at 10 pm. The city noise ordinance is being enforced so the drumming will stop at 11 PM. If one hour is not enough time for you, come earlier.

Come earlier at 6 pm at hear Serpentine Arborvitae present her “Voices Of Gaia” Singing Workshop. $20.

Saturday is our Ostara Open Ritual. We gather at 7 pm and the ritual starts sometime around 7:30 pm Dress in bright colors and bring food and beverage to share at the potluck feast to follow.

Then Sunday there is the Pagan Picnic at Snyder Park. Such a busy weekend we have.

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3/9/10

This Thursday at Study Group, our topic is Snakes in Religion. In honor of Saint Paddy, bring your favorite Snake Story from the Outer Court of your tradition. Time to thaw out your python.

This Saturday is your last change for the Ren-Fest plus Moonday and Big Daddy are leading a workshop on Rituals. Tip: if there are 100 people present, anything you do takes 15 minutes. That includes worshipful nose picking and tush scratching.

Sunday begins Daylight Savings. This is a big problem for church goers when most people show up an hour late. For us, we are planning a Re-Mulching Party on our labyrinth at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. If you are just getting up at that time, be sure to reset your clock. There will be some hot dogs and beer for the worker bees, but if you are an hour late, maybe they will be gone.

Wicked is playing in Miami this month. What can I say? I had to go again, and tickets were a little cheaper. They are making subtle changes in the staging and the flow of the plot. Perhaps this way the story will make more sense to the people who have neither read the book nor seen the play two times before.

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3/2/10

This Thursday in Study Group, we learn about Spirit Guides.

If you are a shaman, do you have a spirit guide? If you are not a shaman, might you still have a spirit guide. Does your cat believe the she already is your spirit guide. Do birds follow you around? Does your cat chase them away? Come and learn from Iasis Kalliope more about spirit guides.

Looking for a job? There are opportunities to work on the upcoming census. See http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/how-to-apply/local-office-map.php

Have you ever heard of the Wiccan Interfaith Council? It's an international organization of Wiccan, Pagan, Witch, and Heathen practitioners and friends, working together to build awareness and appreciation of Wicca through education, service, and activism. WICI has recently expanded their operations into the state of Florida and are eagerly looking for individuals who wish to take part in its mission of raising awareness and meeting the spiritual needs of our community. Anyone interested may visit WICI's website at: www.wiccaninterfaithcouncil.org, or write directly to the Florida Chapter and contact papa.lobo at yahoo.com.

Me, I've heard the name for years, but I have never worked with these people. And yes, it's helpful for us Pagans to have organizations beyond our local groups.

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2/23/10

Mindful Meditations coming up this Thursday at Study Group. This doesn't sound like anything a Buddhist would do, but we are being visited by the Luna Road Fairie Troupe.

As for those of you being really mindful, we have moved our Mabon Pagan Pride Day to Saturday September 25. What self-respecting pagan plans that far in advance? Well, those of us who need to coordinate people into the same sought-after space. We will continue to watch our calendar for issues and fix them long before they appear on the horizons of others.

Ren-Faire continues this weekend with a theme of Pirates. Plus there is a Full Moon for those into piracy, drumming, of just personal pillaging.

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2/9/10

'Tis the season for love potions. Perhaps Love Potion #9 and maybe a shot of #1 thru #8. And then there is chocolate. And then there is the sweet aroma of flowers.

Need I mention soft lights, fluffy pillows, and candles? The card shops are full of shoppers. Some people actually read those words on those cards. How about outfits? Something beyond the flannel pajama top. Lace is nice, but not with too many wires.

Quiet escape is good. Cast a magickal circle. Drown out the bothersome noise. Draw a hot bath. We witches put the Gee in Glamour. Let your imagination be your eyes.

This Thursday at Study Group, we shall hear about potions from Barlow. He can tell his own stories. I won't make anything up here. I'd never make anything up. Is illusion part of romance? Was it Ben Franklin who said, "Enter a relationship with eyes wide open. Stay in a relationship with eyes half closed."

Feel the magick!

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2/2/10

Solon, the law maker of Athens, first heard of the lost continent of Atlantis from the priests of Egypt and translated the story into Greek. These were a legend of a great civilization somewhere to the north west of Egypt that sank violently into the sea,

The Greek civilization was a collection of city states on the mainland and also the islands around Greece. Some say Atlantis was among the islands of the Santorini.

This Thursday in Study Group we will share the legends we have heard of Atlantis and then do a magical ritual.

This week end we have much drumming around town and the Super Bowl for those who care. We had talked about creating a competing event, but we would loose too many of our key people.

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1/26/10

Thanks to everyone who made our Imbolc Ritual a big success. Thanks Sandra, her people and everyone who participated. Thanks to for all the help with cleanup. I heard no complaints the following morning.

I was thinking about the Eleusinian Mysteries. These ceremonies started around 1600 BC in the Greek Islands and lasting two thousand years, were a major festival during the Hellenic era, later spreading to Rome. They were based on Demeter and legends about grain. They were secret but so many participated. The festivals crossed class barriers and dealt with the continuity of life.

There must be stories somewhere of what went on. There are masons who have broken their oath and published. There have been Gardnerian leaks too. Why not here? In the old catholic Mass, there is a golden sun-shaped thing called a monstrance that hold the sacred bread, a wheat product. I am wondering if this is a remnant of the altar object that held the sacred sheaf of grain of Demeter. Watch our catholic friends. The wine is an after thought compared to their sacred bread. I suggest that the old ways are alive among us if we just look.

Meanwhile in the cold, Iguanas have been falling out of trees and baby sea turtles are in big trouble. See www.friendsofbirchstatepark.org/turtles.htm for what is going on at Gumbo Limbo in Boca.

Meanwhile this Thursday at Study Group, re re-empower the protector of our property. Do bring your drums for this one.

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1/19/10

This Thursday in Study Group, we share stories of Imbolc and plan for our sabbat this Saturday. The celebration is the First Light of Spring. Sandra Cheryl Richardson is our guest High Priestess and we will do a casting call and walk thru. See www.moonpathcuups.org/scr/ This is Sandra's 6th Imbolc with us.

Sandra has been in the Craft 25+ years. The traditions that came to her from her teacher are more formal that what we see more often nowadays. She includes formal passages of statements of power and faith that may be too familiar for our Recovering Catholics.

For those who use common incantations in each circle, the rhythm of the words takes on a meaning of its own. Others make each ritual different. The appeal of this sameness is comfort, centering and strength. Some people like this and some don't. If you really like it, there is a website at www.vocationsplacement.org that tests your aptitude to become a Catholic priest.

Meanwhile this weekend, there is labyrinth stuff going on and the Pagan Picnic. And don't forget the Ren-Faire. I hear the CUUPS promotion code saves you $3 on a single-day adult ticket. Dress up and act out: knight, knave, monk, priest...it's all good.

B*B, Spel

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1/12/10

This Thursday In Study Group we hope to hear Jingles tell us of his visit to pagans in a state prison in the Florida Panhandle.

Our Christian neighbors are much more interested in prison ministry. In their sacred texts, they are told to do it. There are many more of those folks than us, so when someone turns up interested in visiting our kind, it's like interesting.

Actually, there are lots of contractors involved in prison support. It is a difficult market to enter. Your tax dollars are at work and the majority religion is in charge. It's one more reason why its helpful when we are public to not give Pagans a bad name and thus make things more difficult for the next person to come after you.

Every wondered what others might do to give pagans a bad name? See http://www.cogcoa.ab.ca/fun/bad_name.php

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1/5/10

So now it is time for us to get back into our worlds.

This Thursday at Study Group, Eve will show us something about conjuring.

This weekend, the Ren-Faire begins in Miami Beach area. Later this month, they will be at Quiet waters Park. Buy your tickets in advance online and save some money by using CUUPS as the promotion code. The Scottish Festival is on too, and it's Japanese New Year at the Morikami. Why stay home?

Sandra Cheryl Richardson has agreed to lead our Imbolc Sabbat. Her visits have become a tradition and we will get to experience a different style in Ritual. MoonDay will lead our Ostara Sabbat and I suspect that there may be some Chaos Magick.

And then there is drumming and more drumming. There will be cold nights for fuzzy capes, and everything should be stable until the solar eclipse mid-month, but what can you expect?

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12/29/09

This Thursday, our Study Group will not meet.

However, it's a Full Moon and a Blue Moon. Our folks will be on the beach til all hours. We don't publicize the exact location because we don't want to attract drunken teenagers and drug dealers. Both of these attract the police. We who are serious about drumming do not want our events shut down because of those with a different agenda.

The Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle went very well. This program continues to evolve. The Park has been pressured into following the Fort Lauderdale Noise Ordinance. Thus, now we must stop drumming by 11 PM.

We have found that closing the gate at 10 PM keeps out the party crowd. We meet for serious drumming and must maintain peace with the Park to continue meeting here. Muggles who cell phone their drunken buddies "to come to the great party" are not the people we welcome. They can go find a saloon.

Boundaries are important. On the lighter side, when the moon will be full, the air will be cold. I see more opportunities for Fuzzy Cape Night in the coming month.

Have a happy and safe Gregorian New Year! We Celts celebrated ours at Samhain.

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12/22/09

Thanks you Max & Marcus and everyone who made our Yule Celebration such a great success.

Thank you everyone who made our Winter Solstice Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle such a great success.

And so we move further into the Dark Time of the Year. Ok, so it is not so bright for everyone. But we still move on. There will be no CUUPS Study Group this Thursday. Over at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale, they will be doing their annual Holiday Service. They start at 6 PM, not 7 PM. They will strive to be inclusive. It's good to hang out with the church folk. We get to do all that we do because some of us have relationships with them.

In the spirit of the season, you might go caroling. There is a neat set of Pagan Yule carols online at http://member.tripod.com/~Willow_Firesong/YulCarls/index.html My favorite is:

Faunus the Roman Goat Foot
Words by Morven, Jennifer, Roger, Chip, & BG
Tune: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Had a very rigid prick
And if you ever saw it
You would say it's quite a trick
All the other deities
Used to leer suggestively
They always wanted Faunus
To Join in the revelry

Then one frosty Saturnal
Juno made this call
"Faunus since you're hung so well,
Won't you ring my solstice bell?"
Then all the others pouted
And they muttered jealously
"Faunus, the Roman goat-god
Better save a turn for me!"

OK, we might choose to be serious, but laughter heals.

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12/15/09

Here we are at Yule. This Saturday we will gather for a Yule ceremony followed by a pot luck. This Thursday at Study Group, we will have a casting call and perhaps even a rehearsal after we share some stories of our Yule traditions.

Yule is the time to hunker down. The harvest has past. The departed have gone back to the Summer Land. Now we get through the cold and await the first light of spring. Sounds like the economy.

Monday is the Winter Solstice and we do the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. Here we light the grand fire to set an example and to turn the Sun around. Henceforth, the days will begin to get longer. That's how it was done in the old day (up north) and that's what we are doing.

So come Thursday and plan with us, and then come Saturday. Wear colorful garb and bring a dish to share. We are a gathering of community.

Blessed be,

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12/9/09

This Thursday in Study Group, we make stuff. Bring a forked stick to make a systrum and a long one to make a staff. A systrum is an ancient form of rattle. We have found that Heineken bottle caps work best and 20 is a good number. If you start consuming the beer now, you might be sober by tonight.

We are in the Yule season. Our celebration is coming up Saturday December 19. There will be ritual followed by a potluck.

Check out U-Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp0t8FxIz_c and see how the Palm Beach Episcopalians do it. These are the people God goes to to borrow money. They do their thing Sunday January 3. They have a much bigger costume budget than we do and don't allow audience participation. They are the one's who invented Boxing Day. That is to celebrate the day after Christmas when the servants who worked so hard get presents and time off.

Their are many traditions associated with this time of year. Look to the old and then make up your own.

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12/1/09

Tomorrow night is the Full Moon. Folks will be out drumming

This Thursday at Study Group. Bring your drums and sacred cremora. Hopefully, the Goddess will not rain upon us. A dedication is a celebration or a formal announcement of a life passage. We have some in our Pagan life that are not covered in the Muggle World, like when we keep the same religion but change our Goddesses and Gods.

This ends the harvest season, and we move on to Winter, as much winter as we get in South Florida. We can wish for a Fuzzy Cape Night when we can wear some of the heavy garments we keep at the rear of our closets. There are only two months each year when we might hope for a Fuzzy Cape Night.

Another sign of the turning of the Wheel is that I post next year's events on www.MoonPathCUUPS.Org/coming.htm I add only the major events and leave off the repeating ones like Study Group until the month before. Otherwise, the page gets so cluttered.

This calendar started 12 years ago and listed only our CUUPS events. I since add others that either look witchy or are of interest to me. My broadcasts go out to some 600 people and I don't recall who most of them are. I have heard this calendar helps folks fill their events. Great! It's a service to the community and helps bring us together.

Occasionally, someone gets obnoxious or unkind in pushing their events on me. That is what the Delete Key is for. The Rule of Three is alive and well, and we in the Craft realize that there are consequences for our actions. As the Gregorian New Year approaches, remember that you too have a Delete Key. It's a gift from the Goddess.

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11/24/09

There is no Study Group this Thursday. Stay home and do your own Turkey Ritual and Sacrifice. On TV there will be gladiatorial combat.

This Thanksgiving Thing is the last of the harvest feasts on this cycle of the wheel. It is a manufactured holiday to bring different sorts of people together. It rose in popularity after the Civil War as part of a national healing. This would be a good time to invite a Muggle to dinner. What with all the anguish going on out there, now is a good time to share with others.

This Saturday, a special treat will be at the SpidersWeb: Ash The Silent will offer an Evening of Potions and Enchantments. It only $20 per Sorcerer. Drum Circles continue. Coming up in December, we have a Blue Moon, the second Full Moon in a month, or the fourth Full Moon in a quarter, depending on how you count.

Last week I mentioned the St Lazarus Botanica on Federal Highway. They are south of Sample at 3231 N Fed in Pompano. See http://www.courant.com/health/wellness/sns-health-botanicas-santeria-priests-pg,0,7368093.photogallery

Have a blessed Turkey Day, tofu or real, Spel

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11/17/09

This Thursday at Study Group, we learn about the Greek Goddess Hekate, the Queen of the Witches. The Romans adopted her into their pantheon in the same role. Some say she had first appeared in Egypt at HekTet, Goddess of Magick. You can't keep a good girl down.

Back by popular demand, Lord Cuchulain will present his Working Wicca 2009. He has new topics this time around for those who want to come back. He is a coven-trained elder of third degree, if you happen to be looking for that sort of person. And there will be a bunch more of that sort at Turning the Tides, Dec 4-6. Registration has been extended til this Sunday. Sorry, no walk in's.

As we plan next month's Study Group topics I plan to visit the St Lazarus Botanica on Federal Highway south of Sample. Let's see if an Anglo can convince any of them to come over and speak to us. They are big into prosperity magick, which is quite timely. Does anyone know them? They do speak English See http://www.courant.com/health/wellness/sns-health-botanicas-santeria-priests-pg,0,7368093.photogallery

There's all sorts of magick in this town.

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11/11/09

I am back from Florida Pagan Gathering and had a wonderful time there. Festivals are part of the larger Pagan world were we meet each other, learn, network, and ritual.

Coming up this weekend is Renaissance Days in Hollywood. This month the Pagan Drum/Picnic will be there. There is the Mind Body Spirit Faire at Crystal Fantasy. Also, this is the last week to register for Turning the Tide Festival that happens in North Miami December 4-6. This event is not a drop-in.

This Thursday we have a "spontaneous" at Study Group. Our own Silver TigerLilly is putting together some thoughts, words, and stuff. Bring your drums and Sacred Creamora. We will get to act out.

Yes, this is our season for festivals. In olden times, we would be preparing for the dark night of winter that would follow. There would be feasting on the animals that would not survive the winter. Provisions, ale and mead would be stored. Getting through the winter was not a sure thing.

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11/3/09

Thank you everyone for making our Witches Ball a big success. Thanks everyone who parked cars, worked the gate, read the fates, sold raffle tickets, and participated in the many rituals. For those who missed the Samhain Playlet, the script is now online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/sam09.htm

This year we saw more new people at the Ball. These are the curious and the seekers. Our article in the Sun-Sentinel may have helped bring them in. See http://moonpathcuups.org/Sophia.mht

Next Thursday, some of us will be off to Florida Pagan Gathering. At Study Group, the Dark Times are not over. We shall learn about Unfinished Business with our Departed.

There are still festivals to attend. There is a Mind - Body - Spirit Faire at Crystal Fantasy on November 14th.

Coming up in December is the 3rd Annual Turning the Tides Festival in North Miami. This one is sponsored by the Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess. See www.moonpathcuups.org/ttide

There are many witching events open to us in this time of the Final Harvest.

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10/27/09

This Thursday we do our casting call for our Samhain Rituals, both our Druid's Ritual planned for 10:15 PM and our Midnight Ritual. We need quarters, casters, spirits, smudgers, and more. Yes, we will rehearse.

We start Study Group with Stories of Samhain. This is the third and final harvest on the Wheel of the Year. The veil between the words is especially thin. The dead pass back and forth delivering messages and taking care of unfinished business. These traditions can be found all around the world.

At 6:15 pm before Study Group I am looking for a few strong bodies to help me setup tables and chairs for the Ball.

Saturday at 9 pm, we will attune with the dead. At 10:15 with much ceremony a rune will be drawn. At midnight we tie ribbons onto a wreath and toss it into the fire. Elsewhere there will be lights on the labyrinth. Inside we will have deejay music by Izrafel and then live music by Witchs Mark.

There will be a costume contest. We will make up the categories after we see what shows up.

Doors open at 7:30 pm this Saturday. See www.MoonPathCUUPS.Org/wball.htm  Do come out and play, for here there may be Witches!

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10/21/09

As I listen to tapes on anthropology, I hear how humanoids were distinguished from the apes by the ability to learn speech. Now, they followed not just the programming in their genes but the stories of their ancestors.

Think of a tribe of hunter-gatherers returning to a far-off valley they had not seen for years. Their road map would be a legend of the local goddess. Perhaps the story included three sons, one of whom had a bad attitude. The sons might be three rivers, one with dangerous rapids. This would be so much more information than what a returning heard of buffalo might carry. Stories are so easy for us humans to remember.

At Samhain this year, DeepSea and Sarasavati will again be our guides in attuning to the ancestors at 9 PM. They will be in our Memorial Garden. On the Wall, we have some of our own departed. There is Andrea, who chose to leave this world early, http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/andrea.htm There is the Lady Mikal who was a teacher to more than one of us http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/mikal.htm

This Thursday in Study Group, we hear about Kwan Yin. Perhaps she is a little upbeat for this time of year? Along with compassion, she has much to do with sorrow.

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10/13/09

Samhain is the time we renew our individual and chapter CUUPS memberships. I'll do it. I encourage others to do it at http://www.cuups.org/content2/chapters/

'Tis the season. Samhain events are popping up all over. At Birch State Park on FtL there is the Howling Hammock Walk October 22-23. See www.FriendsofBirchStatePark.Org/howling.htm

Do you have money to spend? See Celtic Crossroads below.

Planning continues for our Witches Ball. The Midnight Ritual is nearly written. I've bought our candles from the Catholic Outfitters. They have lot's of neat stuff and some of it does not have crosses on it. We have a decorating committee. I will be gathering prizes for our costume contest. Ash the Silent is working on her Druid's Ritual. I have reconnected with our midnight cleaners. Once again, they'll show up and put the church back together while the rest of us are too tired to join in.

This Thursday I present on Defense Against the Dark Arts. What with all the spooks running around, you can't be too careful. So here will be a few tips, defensive, mind you.

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9/21/09

Thanks to everyone who made our Pagan Pride Day such a success. Thanks for setting up, showing up, cleaning up, and being friendly. Witch's Mark thrilled us with their music. Our Weather Witches kept up the bubble that held away the rain. Thank you Valan and cast for our Ritual. Thank you young one for drawing the Prosperity Rune. Open Rituals are a time when many of us come together.

Someone left a rather nice camera. If it is yours, tell me about it.

Tuesday is Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle over at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Remember the gates open at 7 pm and then close at 10 pm. We continue drumming til midnight. Our gate keepers are gathering $7 for admission. Be nice to them. They make our event possible.

Next Thursday at Study Group, bring your favorite book. Share what you like about it. If you are done with it, offer to trade it. Then we will go outside for a spontaneous ritual and a consecration. Do bring drums and rattles

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9/15/09

This Wednesday, Hollywood CUUPS is scheduled to resume. I have heard no confirmation, but they are such an asset to our community.

This Thursday at Study Group, we share stories of Mabon, the Second Harvest, and then move into planning our Saturday Pagan Pride Day. We will do a casting call for the Ritual so do show up if you want in.

This Pagan Pride, we will have live Music by Witchs Mark and catering by the King of CUUPS. Last Beltaine, they sold out of their Irish Stew. The promise to make more this time, but I am getting in line for mine early. Do plan to join us from noon til dark for our outbreak of Pagan Pride. Wear your favorite garb. Bring a picnic. Be dazzled by all our doings. The posters are all over town.

Sunday, there is the mellow afternoon of the Pagan Picnic at Snyder Park.

During the week: you wanted a Wicca 101 class? Check it out! Then Tuesday, there is the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. Remember, we close the gate at 10 pm to keep the drummers in and the drunks out. If you are challenged by tame/space relationships, find a designated driver with a watch.

We are coming into our big season. There will be festivals local and around Florida. You really can do Pagan emersion.

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9/8/09

This Thursday we hear from Jingles and his adventures visiting Pagan inmates at a prison in west Florida and holding a worship service. He is gathering Pagan books that include the word "Bible" in their title. Prisoners are allowed to take books that meet that requirement into the infirmary or solitary. Do you have such a book to donate? So go the rules.

There are many witchie/pagan things going on this weekend. Take a look below. Pee Wee Pagans are starting up again, so it is time to enroll your tyke.

There are some folks doing a survey on those of us in the Craft. Follow this link and enter your story. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=WYCq4kaxG_2bYrJ8xnemeR3A_3d_3d We need lot's of studies done on us. The more people know about us and how much we are similar to them, the better off we are.

Are you really out of the closet? Here's an opportunity for you to show yourself in public. There will be a breakfast, with speakers, at the Signature Grand in Davie. Subjects re: hate groups, InterfaithSecurity, etc. sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. For INFO, contact Robert Tanen at rtanen at adl.org or 561-988-2923. Be sure to wear your pointed hat.

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9/1/09

This Thursday at Study Group, we learn about "The Story of Numbers" from Jerry.

At the beginning of each Study Group, we do a round of self-introductions. This helps the first-timers and presenters see what they have wandered into. They we do announcement and talk about coming events. This is the time to share openly how you feel things are going at Moonpath CUUPS.

There is a push that we be more formal in describing how we decide things. For years, the people doing the work, guided by church members, set the direction. This Thursday I invite you to adopt this linked-to resolution at www.MoonPathCUUPS.Org/structure.htm. We strive for consensus and don't waste a lot of time in business meetings.

Looking for a Wicca 101 Class? Back by popular demand for the fifth time Lord Cuchulan will begin his eight-part series Monday September 21. It is difficult for solitaries to find a 101 class and here is a real live 3rd degree coven-trained person offering one. He even has a pedigree, but that is a secret to the uninitiated. See www.MoonPathCUUPS.Org/class.htm.

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8/25/09

This Thursday at Study Group we learn some about the Tarot. Sounds good to me. Aleph always buts an interesting spin on things.

I see no witching activity this weekend on the calendar. I will be out walking labyrinths. Folks who like these ancient meditational tools will cross religious boundaries to walk one. It is good manners to be nice to whoever owns the property. If they are Christian, I just tell them I honor the Blessed Mother. That works for the Catholics, and Baptists don't build labyrinths.

There are at least 20 labyrinths in Southeast Florida. See uucfl.org/list.htm. Yes, our liturgical Christian friends do have a bunch of them. There's one on the Broward College North campus and another at the Florida Atlantic University School of Nursing. I shipped lights, and stakes and tapes to Virginia and build one at the UU Summer Institute.

I just be nice, show up, and walk. Going in, I let go. At the center, I ground and center. Walking out, I reclaim. There is a labyrinth at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. People find it online in the labyrinth Locator and just show up. Others discover it at Coffee Hour. There was someone coming around doing a class on it a while back. There is more about our labyrinth at uucfl.org/labyrin.htm.

If you haven't done it yet, walk a labyrinth sometime.

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8/18/09

Last Saturday I showed up at the UU Church Buildings & Grounds Work Day. I chopped back the branches overhanging the Memorial Garden and tossed them into the Fire Circle.

It is good when we CUUPS people do something else for the good of the church that is not immediately related to CUUPS. It is good that folks active in MoonPath join the church and pay money towards its support. The other members of the Church look to the members active in CUUPS to keep our group running in good health. And the more of us that are church members, the more credibility we will have. Yes, I am setting an example.

Speaking of that, this Thursday at Study Group, our own Rev Gail will present on "Pagans and the Unitarian Universalist Umbrella." She is freshly back from the UUA General Assembly, and UU ministers do talk amongst themselves, just like everybody else. There are 120 CUUPS chapters among the 1,000+ UU churches. UU Congregations provide meeting space and a rallying point for those looking to explore the Craft.

Then this Sunday, there will be the Goddesses & Gods 4th Sunday Monthly Discussion Group at the Goddess Dance & Yoga Studio in Hollywood. These are good people.

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8/12/09

This Thursday in Study group, we learn about "Chakras from the Top Down." See the flyer at www.MoonPathCUUPS.Org/chakras.htm

This Friday there is the Power of the Sacred Drum Ritual at New Age Books & Things. I have not heard any feedback on this yet, but it has been going on for a while now.

This Sunday there is the Pagan Picnic at Snyder Park.

Last week was the Bon Festival at the Morikami. It's how the Japanese do Samhain. Lanterns were dedicated to the departed and turned loose on the lake at sunset. I listed it on the calendar but did not push it this time. This is the time of harvest festivals in the Northern Hemisphere and I like to see how people do things around the world. It's all part of being Earth-centered.

Earth-centered is the new politically correct label. Not everyone likes being called Pagan. Probably the New Age folk don't. Buddhist's don't like it. Hindu's are nor amused. But then, not everyone who gets called a witch likes that either. Thus continues the quest for labels that please everyone.

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8/4/09

Thanks to everyone who made our event possible and special thanks to all of you who helped with cleanup. Leaving a Sunday Morning Mess is the surest way to get the church folk displeased

We had appropriate drumming and chants. We danced around the fire. We discarded elements from our past that no longer serve us. At the feast, we had Native American faire. Have you tried Fry Bread? It's corn bread fried in lard. It's so bad for you that if it had not have been a traditional dish, the cavalry would have served it up.

Our next sabbat is Mabon in September which we celebrate with Pagan Pride Day. This is a noon til dark festival with vendors, workshops, food and stuff ending in our 5:30 pm ritual. By 5:30 it's cool enough for everyone to want to come outside.

This Thursday in Study Group, we dedicate the panda to his deity. First we will share stories of initiations and dedications. They are not that different from ordinations. Then we will go outside, build a fire and have at it. Do bring your drums and rattles. We already have enough rope.

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7/28/09

This Thursday at Study Group at 7:30 PM, we celebrate our Annual Chocolate Ritual. It's online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/chocolate.htm Some think it as a satire. Others see it as deeply spiritual.

This Saturday starting at 6 PM we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest, Native American Style. We are starting early to make time for story tellers and perhaps a couple native vendors. Then we will share some native American ceremonies for the First Harvest. Then we will follow up with a pot luck feast. Bring Native American dishes. See http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/cornfeast.htm

Last year, this event attracted additional folks from those who usually show up for our Rituals. Not everyone is into Celtic. I know of one CUUPS Chapter that does everything Native American.

I still get inquiries from folks looking to explore the Craft. My advice is to search around, read, talk to different people for a while before joining anything, especially a coven. There is much variety in the Pagan world, and not everyone is wholesome. See http://spelcastor.org/teacher.htm. One bad experience can send you off in a different direction. You might even end up a Methodist and always wonder about the Full Moon.

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7/21/09

This Thursday in Study Group, we learn about Native American Harvest Traditions and plan for our Lammas Ritual for August 1st. We will hold a casting call, so if you want to get involved, this is the time to show up. See MoonPathCUUPS.Org/rituals/corn.htm

Last year our Native American ceremony attracted folks who don't generally come to our open rituals. Guess not everyone sees themselves as Celtic?

On another topic, looking around I see a Pagan Laity immerging within the Craft, In the coven traditions, everyone is a priestess or priest. When they earn first degree, they are able to lead there own ritual. But some people don't want to lead rituals. Participating is fine. Not everyone wants to perform legal marriages. Not everyone can legally marry the couples they would want to.

Not everyone wants to do community outreach. Not everyone wants to be a leader. So, just like our Christian, Islamic and Jewish neighbors, we evolve a laity. Laity are still good. They can make the casseroles, otherwise help out, and show up at Circle. As we grow as a religion, we grow extra roles where people can belong.

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7/14/09

This Thursday in Study Group we learn about Anubus. Maybe we'll go outside and burn stuff, just because we have not done that for a while.

Saturday, there's a Psychic Faire at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Come out and play. Then Sunday there is the Pagan Picnic at Snyder Park.

We have a couple of folks visiting us looking to take some notes on how the Craft works out for solitary males. In the Craft, 2/3 of everyone are woman and half the males are gay. That makes for a bit of sub-grouping. Not everyone plays nice with everyone else. This is a male question and not one of orientation. How does everyone come to find meaning? How do we work together when there are others on the outside who would like to burn us all at the stake?

You can contribute to the survey at Study Group. Here is a fascinating issue, and the answer to it probably crosses the boundaries of political correctness.

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7/07/09

I looked at the Moon around 6 am this morning. That wasn't much of an eclipse. Better luck next month when it happens again and at a more convenient early evening hour.

I hear magick gets a little flaky during an eclipse. Eclipses always occur at a Full Moon. That's when everything lines up.

This Thursday at Study Group, we hear about the "Other Kin." That's sort of like changelings but we'll learn more Thursday.

This Saturday, there is a Mind-Body-Spirit Faire over at Crystal Fantasy. There is more information at http://www.crystalfantasyfla.com/ Support your local metaphysical store.

A week from Saturday there is a Summer Psychic Faire at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. There will be Tarot, Runes and Past Life Readings.

We have no sabbats in August, but Lamma is coming August 1st.

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6/30/09

It was like I was conjuring up a Dark Goddess.

I would get my incantations polished. I would use lots of rhyme. I would go outside and wave my hands about. Doing this in an oncoming storm would be especially powerful.

In the corner of eye, I would see lightening flash around me. Then black things would swirl about, looking like a clutching hand or black hair in water. That would be quite an experience!

This did sort of happen to me, but I wasn't conjuring. I was sitting in a classroom. What was going on, the docs now tell me, was vitreous detachment and hemorrhage. It was good it wasn't a torn retina. That is very good. The docs said I should have gone to an emergency room (no a doc-in-the-box) without delay.

So I am fine, but I share this so you will know that if you experience such lighten-like flashing and black swirlings, waste no time. Get to an emergency room. Just because you are a witch, it's not your spell work.

Speaking of spells, this Thursday at Study Group we hear about Marie Leveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She was real and quite a person.

July 5th is Spelcastor's birthday. Blessings are welcome.

July 7th at 5:38 AM, if you are up or on your way home, there will be a Lunar eclipse going on. An hour later, the Moon will set and the Sun will rise at 6:35 AM During an eclipse, the Moon and Sun are at opposite sides of the sky. You knew that...

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6/23/09

Spelcastor has been in Charlottesville, Virginia, all weekend for a family wedding.

Meanwhile I hear that the 7th Annual Faerie Rite (AKA Litha) was a great success! This was followed by the Tequesta Drum Circle celebrating the Summer Solstice and 350 people showed up.

This Thursday, the Moon is three nights off Dark Moon. The sliver in the sky is called Diana's Bow. It is a time for new beginnings. We will talk about this at Study Group, and then go outside, build a fire, and celebrate.

And here we come to July. We have no sabbats in this month, but August 1st we celebrate Lammas or First Harvest in Native American Traditions. This was a big hit last year. In Charlottesville, the CUUPS Chapter has a very Native American focus. Perhaps this keeps the locals from complaining about the practice of Witchcraft. The two are really quite similar. Even here, folks who are not into Celtic, liked the Native American angle. Hey, it's all the same Goddess.

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6/15/09

This Saturday we celebrate the Summer Solstice, sometimes called Litha.

For this ceremony, we gather at 7 PM for the feast first. Bring plenty of food and beverage to share. Then at dark around 9 PM we begin the ritual. Also, for this ritual please ladies wear white and gentlemen wear black and all bring a flower offering for the ceremony and a donation of non-perishable food or clothing for the Cooperative Feeding Program.

This Thursday at Study Group, we will share stories of the season and then do a casting call. Yes, there will be rehearsals. Last week we had a couple visiting who want to interview solitary males with the Craft. Sexual orientation did not appear to be a criteria. If they come back, I'll invite them to introduce themselves.

Speaking of surveys, the folks on the national CUUPS Board would like to know more about what is going on at MoonPath. Email your thoughts, the good, the bad, the ugly to Rev Ann Marie Alderman at amalderman at uuma.org I have known Ann Marie for years and she is good people. We have circled at the UU Winter Institute. She is the settled UU minister in Greensboro, North Carolina, www.uugreenvillenc.org, and quite credentialed.

Meanwhile, there are several interesting programs going on this the week. Do check them out.

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6/10/09

Spelcastor is back from Alaska and slowly re-entering his mundane world.

Yes, Alaska is beautiful and, yes, it is a shock to be back working for a living.

There is Study Group this Thursday. The Celtic Medicine Woman was a big hit last time and I look forward to her return.

B*B, Spel

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6/3/09

Greetings from Skagway, Alaska. We are leaving port now. A nearby mountain has blocked our line-of-sight to the satellite uplink. At last, we have Internet again. Civilization!

I am learning that the label "Eskimo" is no longer politically OK.

There are at least five tribal groupings in Alaska. They can tell each other apart, and this distinction is very important to them. They have shown the Anglos how to dress and survive in these climates. They have been oppressed by their new overlords and ravaged by European diseases.

What with our dawning age of diversity, tribal dress and ceremony are now honored. These people lived close to the earth amid forces of nature that can be far from kind. Now they have permits to hunt the totem critters that are otherwise endangered.

There is a carving of Abraham Lincoln atop a totem pole in Skagway. It is there as a mock and not as an honor. The locals in the (Southern) part of Alaska used to do a brisk business of enslaving their neighbors. This was ended with the arrival of the United States and the 14th Amendment. Here is yet another example of the invading Anglos refusing to tolerate the time-honored traditions of an indigenous population.

So much for the "Noble Savage."

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5/25/09

Greetings from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Last Sunday, the UUs at the local fellowship danced the May Pole. They used to do it May 2nd, but there was still too much ice and slush. And so they now follow what the Earth is doing, like the Ancients.

Here in Fairbanks on Summer Solstice, the Sun sets briefly in the North. At Winter Solstice, the Sun rises briefly in the South. So moves the sky just below the Arctic Circle.

This Thursday In Study Group, Valan and Voodoo Lady present on Potions and hexes. If you want a bit of a hexing potion, to bring a SMALL vial or bottle. Also, if you want some dry ingredients (graveyard dirt, "Do my will powder," etc.) do bring an envelope.

The Daughters of the Morrigan meet this Wednesday. Their location changes so email them to find out where they are meeting.

This Saturday, Elaine Silver is singing in Boca.

Meanwhile, I will continue to explore Alaska. More to follow.

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5/20/09

This Thursday at Study Group, we talk about Dragons. Is anybody bringing one?

Dragons appear in many cultures all around the world. Sometimes they are "good" and sometimes they are not so good. Did people make these stories up? Did they find dinosaur bones? Is there a giant lizard eating Tokyo at this very moment?

Come share your stories and dragon books.

This weekend there are events going on around South Florida. We don't have a Sabbat this month. Bummer! We shall have to plan something.

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5/14/09

The song is sung to the tune of Amazing Grace. The words were put together by Verna Knapp. Enjoy!

Amazing grace, how sweet the Earth
that bore a witch like me!
I once was burned, now I survive,
was hung and now I sing.

T'was grace that drew down the moon
and grace that raised the seas.
The magic in the people's will
will set our Mother free.

We face the East and breathe the winds
that move across this earth.
From gentle breeze to hurricane
our breath will bring forth the change.

Turn towards the South and feel the fire
that burns in you and me.
The spirit's flame will rise again
and burn eternally.

We greet the West, our souls awash
in tides of primal birth.
Our tears and blood, our pain and love
will cleanse and heal the earth.

Reach into the North and know your roots
down deep ancestral caves.
We find the wisdom of the Crone,
Of circles we are made.

Amazing earth, enduring life,
from death into rebirth.
T'is earth I am and earth I love
and earth I'll always be.

Amazing grace, how sweet the Earth
that bore witches like we.
We once were burned, now we survive,
were hung and now we sing.

Goddess bless, so mote it be,
Our magic spirals on.
Merry meet and merry part
and merry meet again.

One more way to rattle your Fundie friends.

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5/7/09

I am just back from Florida Pagan gathering.

Margot Adler was one of the big name presenters. She wrote Drawing Down the Moon, a book many of us read as we entered the Craft. It is now out in a second edition.

Margot is a very down to earth person. I reprint her story at www.moonpathcuups.org/margot.htm

She did a workshop on the part, present and future of the Craft. She led another one on chants. Chants are neat. I am looking to get her chant list. Festivals have planned a large roll in the Craft in bringing people together. The Internet is a factor now, but face-to-face is special. Way back when, there weren't as many books around.

This week in Study Group we hear about UFO's, Unidentified Flying Objects. What's this got to do with witchcraft? We shall see.

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4/29/09

It's rough taking an English literature class if you know nothing about Shakespeare or the Christian Bible. The great works of words are filled with references from these sources.

And where did these sources find their sources? Shakespeare wrote in a time when the belief in Witchcraft was common. There are ghosts, stirrings of cauldrons and curses. And then the Christians have all this material that they carried off from the Jews who used, once upon a time, to have a Goddess.

So where are these Pagan trappings turning up in our modern and secular culture? Take a look at the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and see ancient temples. Look at the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and see the Colossus of Rhodes. Take a look at the coins in your purse. Take a look at the door to the US Senate.

Come to Study Group this Thursday at 7:30 pm. and hear about Pagan Symbols All Among Us, Oh My! Oh My!

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4/22/09

This Saturday we celebrate Beltaine at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale.

Beltaine is the most sacred event after Samhain. We greet the beginning of summer with many encouragements for fertility. We build fires. We dance the May Pole. We set a good example for the crops and animals.

Our doors open at noon. There will be workshops and vendors. We have an alternate food vendor. Brenda is at another event. We will have our annual Sadie of the Hawk Race. The men will don leaves. On signal, the women will chase them. The woman who gets the most leaves wins. This is a sight to behold. Straight or gay, shy or bold, these women want you for your leaves. What the pact dynamics unfold. Paramedics are standing by to evacuate any wounded males.

Witchs Mark will be providing live music for us. We will dance the May Pole. The men will demonstrate the raising of the pole. This always requires a lot of encouragement from the women. Then we dance, counting off odd to the left, even to the right. Over then under. It's a dyslectic's nightmare, but somehow it happen. Perhaps someone will get ribbon-ed to the pole.

At 5 PM, we celebrate our Beltaine Ritual. Valan and Spelcastor will priest. The casting call will be this Thursday at Study Group. Show up and claim a part. Also at Study Group, we will share stories of Beltaine. The more we understand the season, the more meaning it holds for us. Do bring your own story too.

So dress in garb. Bring a picnic and your favorite beverage. 'Tis the season for mirth and madness.

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4/13/09

This Thursday, 7:30 PM in Study Group, our topic is "On Becoming Clergy, Pagan or Otherwise."

Some clergy are monks. Monks follow a rule of life. I am thinking more about Pagan Priesthood. Priests, among many other things, preside at life passages. Many Pagans get into this clergy thing when they are asked to perform a legal handfasting. There are simple ways to get credentials that will keep the marriage clerks happy.

What about the many ways of becoming Pagan clergy? Can you write a "Statement of Practice?" What about other people's expectations? How do you get other Pagans to take you seriously? How to get Muggle clergy to take you seriously? Just why are you doing this anyway?

There are legal obligations placed upon those who present themselves as clergy. Mainstream Muggle clergy likely have graduated from college and gone on to seminary to earn a Masters' degree, maybe a PhD? What have you done? Do you know what CPE, Clinical Pastoral Education, is?

Do you want to do prison ministry or hospice counseling? Being recognized as clergy gives you certain privileges concerning touching others and also if you get sent to jail.

Come share your experiences. We have many experiences among us.

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4/8/09

And who has heard of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church? No, it's not Mormon. It's Wiccan. See www.aquariantabernaclechurch.org.

The ATC came into being in Washington State in 1979. It has never been what might be called “an initiatory order”. They are a church corporation with both a secular and spiritual side. The secular matters rest with the Board of Directors and Corporate Officers who administer the worldly affairs of the church corporation and deal with legal matters. The Archpriesthood of the Keepers of the Gate, the innermost circle of this tradition, together with the Council of Elders (the tradition’s Judicatory), administer the spiritual affairs of the larger church body according to the Ordains.

The primary focus of the ATC is service to the Pagan/Wiccan community. Among the many things they do are clergy credentialing and the spinning off of churches under their group tax ruling.

The local groups that I know about that are connected to ATC are Florida Pagan Gathering and the Church of the Iron Oak. The founder, Pete Pathfinder has been at FPG. There is much more on the website than I can paraphrase her. I share this to show that there really are establish Pagan/Wiccan organizations out there beyond what we see in our local community.

We have a Full Moon on top of Study Group this Thursday. Not a problem for those of us who can be in more than one place at once. Me, I will be hearing about Shamanism from Marta. I missed her Sunday presentation at our UU Church.

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4/4/09

Here is a quiet weekend. It's a time to slog through taxes and catch up on reading. I wonder what else I have been putting off.

There will be Beltaine and festivals later. There will be Earth Day and time to do good works in the local parks. Over at Birch State Park, they have received a grant to rebuild the old train trestles into walking paths. Twenty years ago there was a small train that rode the kids and tourists all around the park.

That project will come into full blossom later. Meanwhile, we Earth People can go and explore what's there.

I look at the clouds darkening the sky. The rainy season is beginning. Florida wasn't always like this 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, Florida was a dry savanna plain like the Serengeti in Africa. Sea level was lower and so the Florida land mass was larger. Conditions supported large animals like mastodons, giant armadillos, and saber-toothed cats.

What happened to the big mammals? Was it a comet, disease, or a weather change? No, popular thinking now is that it was the Humanoids. The Humanoids ate them. The males had invented the "Business Trip," back then called a hunting expedition, and all these giant beasts became tasty snacks.

There are all gone now, but we still have each other.

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3/24/09

Thank you to everyone who made our Ostara Ritual wonderful. Everything went smoothly, even cleanup. The Ritual is now online at www.moonpathcuups.org/rituals/ostara09.htm For a different twist on the season, we drew upon an earlier tradition and challenged the Minotaur and our inner demons on the Labyrinth.

The evening before, our Weather Witches worked valiantly to hold off the rain while the Tequesta Drum Circle unfolded. A few folks did not get the word that we now close the gates early to limit attendance and Muggle carousers. At midnight, our Weather Witches went off duty and the rains pours at 12:10.

This Saturday we have A Walk Within, an Annual gathering of Women at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Over at New Age Books & Things, Janus Montuori is starting up her Astrology Series.

This Thursday in Study Group we deal with the Fuzzy Bunny one more time. This will require fire and drumming, so be ready. There are some who call us "Fuzzy Bunny" saying we have no dark aspect! What do they know. A Witch who cannot kill, cannot heal. However, we may be not quite serious about this very serious matter.

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3/18/09

Spelcastor has recovered from St Paddy's Day. The beer, rather Smithwick Ale, was fine and so was the music at McGuire's Hill 16.

We have a big weekend coming up. Thursday we do the casting call and rehearsal for our Ostara Ritual. We will start with the stories of celebrations around the fall equinox and then move on to the fine points within our ritual script.

Friday is our Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. Remember to come early and bring $7 to get it. We start at 7 PM and close the park gates at 10 pm. We continue drumming until midnight. The idea is to reduce our numbers and to separate the drummers from the Muggle partiers. We want to stay welcome at the park. There used to be drumming on Fort Lauderdale Beach until Muggle drunks messed it up for everyone.

Saturday, we celebrate our Ostara. Our Ritual takes us back to Crete, Knossos and the Labyrinth of the Minotaur. Wear colorful ritual garb and bring food and beverage to share at the feast to follow.

Sunday morning ,.11 AM, Marta Dominguez will be speaking on Shamanism at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Yes, we have a full weekend. This Wednesday morning, there is much needed rain, but that ought to be gone by the weekend.

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3/11/09

This Thursday at Study Group, our topic is Bring Back The Snakes. It is said that Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland. We know that snakes are a symbol for Paganism.

From the Minoan Snake Goddess to the Delphi Oracle to the Christian Eve, we find stories of snakes. And they are not all bad guys. Snakes are a symbol of immortality because they shed their skin. They live in the Earth and bring back wisdom from the Oherworld. In bellydancing, there is an undulation movement called The Snake. So bring your stories of snakes and we'll make a program out of it. One of our folks used to have a python but she has not been around lately.

This Saturday, Witchs Mark plays at MoonFaire. This Sunday at 3 PM we remulch the Labyrinth at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. We need strong backs. Yes, there will be beer. Come maintain our sacred space. Our Ostara Ritual the following Thursday includes a snake dance on the labyrinth of Knossos. This Thursday, we will have a casting call for Quarter Minions.

And on Tuesday, March 17, Spelcastor plans to pass the afternoon at McGuire's Hill 16 in Fort Lauderdale and will be available to be bought beers.

'tis great to be Irish.

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3/3/09

This Thursday at Study Group we hear from Tigerlilly Morningstar about healing. That has to do with ourselves first and then others.

What with the economy tanking and the end of Western Civilization as we know it, our topic is timely. We don't make things better by making ourselves crazy with all this insanity and thus destroy our health. Breath deeply, press your fingers together, look around and decide: maybe I should walk out of this room and go next door?

This weekend we can heal the environment, go to the dogs, or take one more shot at living in 1533 and go to the Renaissance Festival. Next Monday, There are real live covened witches meeting over at New Age Books and Things and then Tuesday is the Full Moon.

A Full Moon has got to help! There is that drumming on the beach or maybe I'll just sit out on my roof. My condo has rules about cook stoves on the balconies but nothing about open fires on the roof. The trick is to build it in my clay thingie and to be in the center of the roof where they can't see me from below. Sirens mean the ritual must end early.

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