Wiccan Thoughts
The Spelcastor Archives
(c) 2009 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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2/26/09

Dance is an ancient art that attracts even more women than men. It is used for expression, empowerment, community, and just plain fun.

This Thursday at Study Group, we have a special guest, Elizabeth who just joined the UU church here. She will be telling, and showing, us how dance fits in worship, health and other ancient arts. Her daughter will be her sound tech. Elizabeth is a serious professional and has done much study as well as practice. Her website is still under construction but the beginning is at http://www.elizabethdancer.com

Some are familiar with the Banishing Ritual of the Lesser Pentacle. Others have seen martial arts students show off their sequence of moves with that dance-like thing they do. It's all part of the big world of dance.

So this Thursday, spit out your gum before you try anything. Better yet, have a seat and watch and learn.

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2/16/09

Today we honor Past Presidents by not working. We can go to Ren-Faire and act out.

In Study Group this Thursday we hear about Reincarnation. Everyone I know with a past live was either a king or a princess. Down the hall, the Church Muggles are setting up for their Rummage Sale. If you help them move tables, maybe you can buy stuff early.

There seems to be some acoustic folk music coming up this Friday night at the Spider's Web in Hollywood. What's that got to do with the Craft? Anyway, they are a new shop in town.

So we enjoy the cold weather and lament the cold economy. When times are quiet, there becomes an opportunity to learn a new skill. Maybe even something salable. Busy means too busy to study new stuff. If nothing else, explore www.FaceBook.com. That's a place to find old friends and new careers.

There's no sabbat in February, since we celebrated our Imbolc in January. But we can still do a "Lock 'n Load Ritual, or just go outside and burn stuff.

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2/10/09

This Thursday in Study Group, we honor Valentine's Day with a sharing of Love Spells and Hexes. If you have no use for one, the other might come in handy.

Legend places the origins of Valentine's day in ancient Rome. Some claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

Although it might be considered tacky to place a spell upon a lover, upon a rival is a whole different matter.

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2/3/09

Thanks to Sandra Cheryl Richardson and everyone else who made our Imbolc so wonderful. We had a gathering of 65 or so and a fire outside because we just needed it.

This Thursday at Study Group, we learn something about Gargoyles and Egregors. I know nothing about these things, but I suspect that they are something like a fetch with attitude. Meanwhile that night, the Church Muggles are Hosting the Homeless. They will take over our room so we will be homeless out on the porch. Luckily, there is a fire ring right beside it. If it's cold, do wear a woolly cape.

Peewee Pagans will be meeting somewhere in the building. The kids are learning about the four elements. This week is Air. Isn't it great we have a Pagan Sunday School!

February is a month without a sabbat but there are plenty of other events going on. March 21 Spelcastor will lead this year's Ostara. Perhaps we'll create some new ancient legends to act out at this time of budding greenery, flowers and rabbits. Ancient legends are fun.

Speaking of spring, I happened upon a new website: www.timeofthefaeries.com

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1/28/09

It wasn't always Ground Hogs. It used to be snakes. Snakes burrow into the Earth down to the Underworld and return delivering wisdom to the High Priestess or Prophetess. That's all a bit scary for Muggles, so they changed the snake into a big fuzzy mammal with a nasty disposition. This critter will look around for his shadow and, if he sees it, we get nine more weeks of winter. So much for magick.

So where did the story come from about getting trapped into a loop of time with no way out except magick? I like that story better. Maybe I'll rent Bill Murray's movie Ground Hog's Day. The TV series Xena, Warrior Princess, did a variation on this theme. Maybe I can find that one to rent.

February 2nd is also the time of Brigit. She comes about blessing homes and the seeds for the next planting. Later in the year she will morph into the Corn Mother, and at Samhain she becomes the Crone. But that's later. In this season, her aspect is the Maiden. In more modern times, in Ireland, Brigit would bless the potato plantings. The potato was brought from the New World and became the main food crop. A Goddess must keep current with her blessings. Too bad only one species variation of potato was used all over Ireland. It made them all susceptible to the same blight. Thus came the Potato Famine.

Variety, like the Goddess, is good.

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1/21/09

And so we have seen Inauguration Day. That part is history. the rest is yet to come.

Me, I look forward to lot's of change.

This Thursday, the Alchemist tells us of the origins of the Tarot. He's a bit into the Kabalah and quantum physics so this won't be just a "look at the pretty cards" session.

The Cakes workshop continues at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale and Working Wicca at New Age Books. There is a new shop in town, the Spider's Web in Hollywood. See www.thespiderwebonline.com Do patronize our local shops. When you buy online to save 2 cents, you are not supporting your local community.

On of our own, Ken Count D. Money is the manager at the H&R Block at 10097 W Oakland Park Blvd in Sunrise. He has an offer for any new customer to earn CUUPS a $25 kick back. There is a certificate good at any H&R Block online at www.moonpathcuups.org/NonProfit_Flyer.pdf

So much for crass commercial plugs. Let us get on with the Change and dig ourselves out of the financial hole.

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1/15/09

60+ people showed up for our 10th Anniversary Study Group. We had a cake with a Witch House on it (something to attract small children in need of fattening), and we told many stories of people who have passed through our group.

We shared stories of the police coming to investigate fires and drumming. We spoke of outrageous behavior and beloved folk who are missed.

So tonight in Study Group, we do Candle Magick. Fire is good.

Saturday Morning, there is a Church Word Day in Fort Lauderdale. Do come by and pitch in.

Sunday Rev Gail is preaching on the impact of our Earth-Based Traditions. We just might learn something about ourselves there. Then there is the Pagan Picnic that afternoon. Cakes for the Queen of Heaven continues on Monday as does Working Wicca 2009.

Meanwhile, enjoy the cold weather. We get to wear those woolly capes we keep in the back of our closets 10 months out of the year. It's not the same being Celtic beneath the palm trees and not the wind-blown heath of Ireland.

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1/7/09

This Thursday in Study Group, we celebrate our 10th anniversary. We have been a visible place for Pagans and Wiccans to connect even longer than that. Our CUUPS chapter was founded in 1987 after NoraLee ran a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven program.

As folks discover the Craft, many start by reading. There are a lot more books around than 10 years ago. Next they need to connect. To provide this meeting place has been our contribution. Many move on, and that's good too.

Aside from our Gardnerian friends and out-of-town festivals, we are one of the groups that stayed visible for so long. Perhaps we are a reason there is more Pagan/Wiccan activity in Broward than in Dade or Palm Beach counties. Thursday we take a bow. We will remember some of the people who have passed through our group and wonder where are they now.

Next Monday, Noralee and Kathleen will be presenting Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, Second Edition. This is an update of the program that stimulated so much interest in feminism and Paganism 20 years ago. Check this out if you didn't do it first time around.

This is the weekend of the Scottish Games. There will be food, events and the usual good stuff. At the Morikami, it's the Japanese New Year.

Yes, there is a lot more going on than 10 years ago.

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12/31/09

Here it is the eve of the Gregorian New Year. Celts, Chinese, Jews and Muslims do their new year elsewhere on the wheel. On the Roman calendar before the Christians took over, the year began at March. That was back when December was the tenth month.

The Romans would hold their elections at the beginning of the year. Then their new leaders would march them off to their new wars. Problem was, wars were fought in the summer and there was too little time to prepare. So the ever practical Romans moved their new year back to January.

As late as midlevel Europe, some communities would bring in the new year on their Christian calendar in the fall or spring, just as they always had done. This posed a problem for historians who were trying to list events in order.

Whatever I preference in calendars, I cannot ignore the New Year that begins tonight. It makes me briefly aware of the passage of time. There is one less year left of my life. There is one more year to which I cannot return, except in my mind. But I am a cheerful person. I like how I live. Now, I just get more aware and consider my options in the future.

But this season does make some people crazy. Have a happy New Year! Study Group meets tomorrow evening.

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12/23/08

For those who are looking for something to do Thursday, Christmas night, some of us will gather for our regular Study Group meeting with the topic: Birth of the SUN. Before that, in the afternoon, folks will gather at the UU Fellowship in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, I have posted the 2009 events I know about at moonpathcuups.org/coming.htm January begins another year on the Gregorian Calendar. January brings us a full month of rituals and festivals and so on turns the Wheel of the Year. If you know of other events in Southeast Florida, do tell me. I post the ones that look to me as Witchie, Pagan, or of related interest.

Thanks to Max and Marcus and everyone for making our Yule Ritual so wonderful. Both the weather and our technology behaved. It is our service to the community that we provide public rituals for our friends and the curious who what to get out among more of their own kind. Thanks for making the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle so wonderful. Most everyone behaved. There were a few that had to be dealt with, and the sooner they are spotted the better. Yes, pointing out problems to our leadership people keeps our event safe and sober for everyone.

Enjoy the closing nights of Yule, and remember that you are part of a larger community.

B*B, Spel

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12/18/08

Tonight at Study Group we share stories of Yule and then do a casting call for our Saturday Ritual. Then we will rehearse. rehearsal is good. Here is your big chance to become more involved.

Saturday some time we will decorate the church for our Yule. The Muggles are using the building Friday so we wait til Saturday. That Saturday morning 7:30-10:30 am there is a church buildings and grounds work day. For any of you who will be on your way home, here is an opportunity to help beautify the grounds.

Saturday we gather at 7 PM at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Our Yule Ritual will start some time around 7:45 pm. Following that will be the pot luck feast. Do bring something to share. A few will do a gift exchange, if there is someone in particular you might like to gift.

Sunday is the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. $7 at the gate. We run from 6 pm till midnight. Leave your pets home and do not take photos at the Fire Circle.

Have a blessed Yule and behave responsibly.

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12/9/08

This Thursday we learn about How to Grow a Magickal Garden with dragnfli.

I was thinking about faces, how we make so many expressions without thinking about them. How we can have non-verbal communications without thinking.

That's one of the things that makes us humans different from a pile of alligators. They all lie in a heap all appearing the same. No one can tell who is contemplating eating who.

At we humans pass on a street, hallway, or shop aisle, we make unconscious gestures. We assure the other person that they are safe. We can have whole conversations without ever having to own what we are communicating.

This is for the good of the species. We can be closer and most of us survive. OK, some of us can fake all this, and some can read it better than others, but these skills evolved probably long before speech. It's all part of being human.

Keep smiling, Spel

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12/3/08

This Thursday in Study Group, we made systrums and wands, and then we go out side to consecrate them. Bring your drum and expect a fire.

A systrum is a made from a forked stick. The wire is strung between the tines, and beer bottle caps are strung along the wire. Connoisseurs prefer the Heineken bottle cap which is know for both the ease in removing its cork underside and the resonance of these particular caps when banged together. Heineken bottle caps are available in fine drinking establishments everywhere. For those not interested in drinking the 12 beers to gather sufficient caps, you can ask the barkeep for what he may be saving.

You can see systrums in the hands of ancient Pharos. They were used in ceremony and to invoke the Gods.

The wand is an alternative to the atheme, shunned my pacifist witches. Actually, in a deck of the Tarot, the atheme corresponds to the sword and the wand corresponds to the club. Each is a tool for different types of magick.

The want carries some sort or crystal or magickal ornament at its head. During the burning times, the head of a wand would be wrapped in straw. Thus looking like a broom, it might be overlooked by an inquisitor. That is why, before the Wright Brothers, witches flew on their brooms with the bristles facing forward. It's not aerodynamically correct, but the magick really does come out of the head.

So bring some forked branches, wire, drills, and bottle caps. But please gather the bottle caps at lunch so you have time to sober up.

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11/26/08

This Thursday, Study Group does not met.

Stay home and do your Turkey or Tofu Turkey Ritual. Last week we talked about being thankful.

Thankfulness is good for the soul. So what if the financial collapse continues? We'll muddle thru somewhere. At least there is no giant tsunami headed for Fort Lauderdale beach, is there? No asteroid about to crash into the Caribbean? No giant lizard eating Tokyo.

Tomorrow I gather with friends and family. There will be different folks on different paths. There will be no squabbling, only feasting, along with the story telling. Some stories may even be true. All will have meaning.

That is how this holiday is supposed to go.

B*B, Spel

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11/18/08

John Denver sang, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." I sing "Thank the Goddess I'm a Witch."

This Thursday "Thank the Goddess" will be our topic. Then we'll go outside for a spontaneous ritual.

'Tis the season for thanks and gratitude. Such thoughts and feelings are good for our mental health. If you don't do the Muggle thing that looks like a Norman Rockwell painting, you can still be grateful for the good side of things.

The Witch Trials are long past. There are a bunch of laws that protect our religious freedom. What about the folks who went before us? What about the Golden Dawn? That wasn't just Alister Crowley. It was an assemblage of mystical and occult folk from 1880s to 1940s who's resources we still draw upon today, even if we don't recognize the roots. What about all the doings in the 1950s and 1960s that are the foundation for our doings today?

I put together a webpage to honor one of my teachers at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/mikal.htm

I post our rituals online and later discover them "used with permission" by people I never heard of. I added our last Druid and Samhain rituals online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/druid08.htm and http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/sam08.htm

There are people out there who see us as their teachers that we have never met. Maybe 20 years from now there will be a website describing all our current Pagan and Witchy doings in For Lauderdale. Perhaps this will bring together a gigantic Pagan community here by 2028.

Yes, we have much to be thankful for.

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11/12/08

I am back from Florida Pagan Gathering with stories to tell. This Thursday in Study Group, we will learn about Einherjahr, the time in Asatru and Norse Heathenism to celebrate our fallen Soldiers, Warriors, and Hero's and lift a horn of mead up to them in Valhalla!

But there is more to do. This weekend, come to Camelot Days in Hollywood. There will be many events and vendors with fun for all. See http://www.redlandrenaissancefaire.com/

In December, it will be time for the Second Annual Turning the Tide Festival in North Miami sponsored by the Covenant of the Goddess. See http://MoonPathCUUPS.Org/ttide

Yes events continue through December and up to the Gregorian New Year. Our Celtic New Year began at Samhain, but it is difficult to ignore the major happenings in the Muggle World. Pope Gregory the Great established our modern calendar and it is followed by lesser deities like employers and the IRS.

Do enjoy this dark time of the year.

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11/4/08

This Thursday in Study Group, our topic is Witches Rights not Rites.

Where are we in the eyes of the law: federal, state, local, employment, and such? Do a little googling and share your research, Before the meeting, the Muggles are down the hall raising money to feed the homeless with their Empty Bowls program. Help out by buying a very good bowl of soup for $15.

Some of us are off to Florida Pagan Gathering this weekend. Those with Celtic leanings who are staying home, check out the Coyote Run Concert. Visit www.coyoterun.com

So today I spent 14 hours as a poll worker. Now, after three beers and a plate of meatloaf, I am watching the election returns. It looks like better times are coming for the little guys, and maybe the Witches too.

One way or the other, have a great weekend.

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10/28/08

Thank you to everyone who worked to make our 11th Annual Witches ball a big success.

Thanks to our Gate Keepers, our DeeJay, our Atuners, our drummers, our worker bees and minions. Thanks to WitchsMark.com for their great music. Thanks to our Druid for her wonderful Ritual. Thanks to our Weather Witches for finally stopping the rain. Thanks to our Fire Tenders for showing us we really belonged outside. Thanks to our HPS and Goddesses for their story of the Fates.

Thanks to our sponsors, Crystal Fantasy and New Age Books and Things for their contest prizes and the other prizes from our MoonPath Merchant.

This Thursday the PeeWee Pagans do their Tea Party for the Dead. In Study Group, we look at Hindu Traditions of Diwali. This is a festival of lights that has to do with prosperity. Could anybody out there use a little more prosperity?

For those who missed us Saturday, the Goddess Store is sponsoring a Samhain event at Cafe Tucan Tango in Hollywood next Saturday. See http://www.goddessstore.com/ball_intro.html

Next, the second weekend in November we come upon Florida Pagan Gathering in Ocala and the Coyote Run Concert here in town.

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10/24/08

Here we come to our 11th Annual Witches Ball. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

Witchs Mark will be providing our live music. Our Weather Witches are at work as I speak. We shall see how well they do. Either way, we will do our Druid's Ritual at 10:15 pm and our Midnight Ritual. Our readers will be at work. Perhaps they know the weather already.

We plan an attunement with the departed and lots of candles. We will tie Ribbons of Remembrance on a large wreath and toss it into the Fire of Transformation.

Parking will be tight. Come early. We will wedge as many cars as we can onto our property. Admission is $15 at the door. Accompanied kids are free. This is a family event although the costumes will be outrageous. Yes, there will be a costume contest, and a raffle to be split with the band.

Samhain is the Final Harvest. We will reap what we have sown. The veil between the words is especially thin. We have a big weekend coming up. This should be fun.

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10/21/08

This Thursday in Study Group we will swap traditions on Samhain and then move on to final planning for our Witches Ball. We will rehearse our rituals. If you have a part, be there. If you want a part, be there. This is our High Holy Day and many of us take that seriously. If you can't make it, we'll thank you and fill your place.

Sanhain is the Final Harvest. We will reap what we have sown. The veil between the words is especially thin. This is a propitious time to commune with the departed. Some will cross over to complete unfinished business. Others who have been lingering will pass back over to stay. We will tie ribbons of remembrance on a wreath and then, at Midnight, toss it into the Fire of Transformation. We will light candles for the departed and remember them.

Witchs Mark will be providing our live music. There will be lights on the Labyrinth. Others will be attuning with the dead in our Memorial Garden. We have our Druid's Ritual at 10:15 pm. The Druids were the educated class among the Celts. Witches as we know them came into prominence hundreds of years after the Celts.

This Thursday at 5 PM, we will be placing the lights on the Labyrinth.

This week we are stocking up on candles and looking around for decorations. We have a big weekend coming up. This should be fun.

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10/14/08

This Thursday's Topic is Invoking the Male Deity: Hero, Protector, Trickster, or Demon?

Two out of every three people within the Craft are women. The Goddess is a major focus. The God is included by some and not others. But for balance, we would include this male aspect of divinity. What does yours look like?

In the Old Times when polytheism flourished, there were many gods and goddesses. Some were local and some were thought to be everywhere. These deities believed that humans existed to serve them and did not otherwise take much interest in them. Monotheism brought a god with one name that different people saw differently. One god, many faces, and people could squabble over which face was real.

Somewhere around 1,000 BCE, Zoroastrian belief showed up focusing on good vs. evil. There were only two ways to see anything: the right way and the wrong way. Pagans saw many ways.

So here we are, Pagans immersed in an age of monotheism with its limited choices. We know better. Thursday we will compare notes on how we each pull the pieces together: hero, protector, trickster and demon. Bring your favorite god photos and statues.

Come early at 4 PM and help us trim the trees overhanging our Labyrinth.

Preparations are continuing for our eleventh annual Witches Ball. I am hearing a lot more early interest than last year. ***************************************************************
10/7/08

This Thursday, our topic in Study Group is "Defense Against the Dark Arts." I draw the title from Harry Potter and the class they teach at Hogwartz, but there really are matters that weigh upon us.

We will explore aspects with the supernatural world and then talk about what we can do about them. There is much to do on the physical plane before looking for defenses on the others.

What with the markets crashing and the recession we are not having continuing to grow, what's a witch to do? Never invoke anything you can't banish. Each spiritual tradition has it's unique ways of doing exorcism and the removal of unwanted entities. We shall explore some of those open to us within the Craft.

On a brighter note, do you know about FaerieCon 2008 in Philadelphia? Visit http://www.faeriecon.com/

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9/30/08

We had a fine spontaneous ritual moving ourselves towards prosperity and away from destructive financial behavior. Plus, we got to burn stuff.

This Thursday we explore shamanism. Then there are more drumming opportunities coming up. This Thursday I'll set my VCR to record the debate. I hope everyone out there is registered to vote and will drag all their friends to the polls.

We live in "interesting" times. Instead of just blaming the usual suspects, we can look to cleaning up out own act, paying off some debts, and not buying what we don't need. That's what our ritual was about.

It is not without irony that I note we are between the second and third harvests on the Wheel of the Year. What we have sown is coming back to us. This year, that might be even more scary than the ancestors.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying some photos from our last Pagan Pride Day. We have a good community here. And community is important in trying times.

Say, if anybody wants to connect with our bag piper from Pagan Pride, I made him a webpage at MoonPathCUUPS.Org/piper/

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9/24/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we talk about Prosperity Spells and then move outside for a spontaneous ritual.

Yes, times are dark and how about a little magick. We do what we can in the physical world before we invoke the spiritual. We take our hand out of the fire before we call for cooling winds. Magick works best when we are working with it and not against it.

The theme for our Witches Ball this year will be The Hour of the Crone - Goddess of the Final Harvest. Sound upbeat? It's that time on the wheel of the year again. We did not just make this up. We contemplate what comes to us from what we have sown. This is the third of the three harvests. We celebrated this at Lamas and Mabon. Now we move on to the big one.

Magick is about life.

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9/17/08

We are between storms. Maybe we have dodged them all for this year?

This Monday we have the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle celebrating the Fall Equinox. For folks still looking around for a Mabon Ceremony, perhaps this will do. People who like drums and people who like fire will gather September 22 at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

Park Management has noticed the growing popularity of this event and thus have directed us to put more rangers on the payroll for security. So you will notice us collecting $7 at the gate this time. Just be glad that we are able to sponsor this program.

Our 11th Annual Witches ball is coming Saturday Oct 25. The poster will appear soon. I'll be looking for volunteers for decorating, parking, security, gate, helpers, ritual and minion duties. We'll talk about that at Study Group. In the past we have done an Attunement with the Dead Ceremony in the Memorial Garden at 9 PM. I am looking for folks who would want to make this happen this year.

Looking ahead, Florida pagan Gathering is coming up the first weekend in November. Go online and register now if you want cabin space. If in December you are still not ritualled out, check out the Turning the Tide festival.

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9/9/08

Thanks to everyone for making our wonderful PaganPride Day experience. Thanks to our Weather Witches for diverting the storms. Thanks to our piper for honoring our veterans. We had photographers for Circle Sanctuary and Pentacle Quest. I would sure like to see any photos of our piper, veterans, or Brenda serving up her Taste of Africa.

Next comes our Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle Monday September 22. The Park is requiring us to hire more rangers so the entrance fee will now be $7. It's what we have to do to make this happen. Please be nice to our gate people.

Saturday October 25 we celebrate our 11th Annual Witches Ball. Stand by for volunteer opportunities and a casting call for rituals.

I watch the election foolishness unwind. Some people may never learn. I saw a clip on line for yet another spoiler candidate at http://www.inews3.com/topstory.php?id=4d722e7c5370656c636173746f72

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9/5/08 Tomorrow, Saturday, we celebrate Pagan Pride Day. We have a promise of a break in the weather. Otherwise, we will be inside. There will be a voter registration drive going on, for those who are taking an interest in the coming election and have yet to register. We have vendors, food, readings, and live music by Witch's Mark. Around 5 PM we will have our Mabon Ritual. The bag piper will return and we will honor our Pagan veterans. If there is a storm, we will move the ritual inside and move our vendors in the center of the room down the hall. We are Earth People. We are not troubled by the doings of the Earth. ***************************************************************
8/27/08

This Thursday, bring your drum to Study Group. We will achieve some focus and then go outside and do a Dark Moon Ritual. Muggles call this time New Moon, but that's so Fuzzy Bunny! We celebrate New Beginnings three nights later at Diana's Bow when we can see the first sliver of the New Moon..

Our Pagan Pride Day will be Noon-Dark, September 6, 2008.

We are in search of Pagan Pride Day Committee Volunteers to make it all happen. Contact Sophia - local coordinator sophialinus at hotmail.com 954 984 4183

  1. Chair Moving Committee - to move the chairs before and after.
  2. Children's Committee - to organize some children activities.
  3. Clean Up Committee - to clean up afterward.
  4. Flyer Distribution Committee - to help distribute flyer.
  5. Front Gate Committee - to count those attending and take the food donations.
  6. Helpers Committee - to assist in any way necessary during the event.
  7. Public relations Committee - to help promote the event
  8. Raffle Tickets Committee - to sell raffle tickets.
  9. Ritual Committee - to facilitate the ritual. Contact: Ash the Silent (Valan at comcast.net)
  10. Security Committee - to watch for any trouble and assist participants.
  11. Vendors/Info Booths Committee - to help set up the vendors.
  12. Workshops Committee - to help organize the workshops.
Come and be a part. The spontaneous fun follows much careful planning.

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8/21/08

Tropical Storm Fay has passed. Now it is time to ask protection from the Roman God Robigus.

Robigus is the God of Rust and Mold. His sister is Robiga. Their festival is the Robigalia.in late April. Worshipers make offerings that are the color red, like red wine or sacrifice a red animal. The color has to do with the color of wheat rust, a mildew.

This God and Goddess were asked to protect grain from mold and blight. Food supplies were important also in the ancient world. There were deities to offer protection from any threat.

I imagine Pagans in Detroit or Bethlehem, PA, making offerings to Robiga to hold back the spread of the "Rust Belt" and the unemployment it contains. Perhaps in cleaning one's iron altar tools, a small offering or a red oil would be appropriate.

And now in Florida with all this rain, perhaps we might be lighting a red candle to Robiga, leaving an offering of red pepperoni by the air-conditioner vent and drinking to her a toast of red wine.

The old traditions live on in our "modern" world. Stay dry!

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8/13/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we see the making of Mead.

Mead is a wine made from honey. It has been known to attract Vikings and followers of the Asatru path. It is a traditional drink of the Norse. When one is locked up all winter long in one's lodge, unable to go pillaging or watch MTV, what is there to do but drink gallons of mead. Some of our more devout friends carry on this tradition.

There's Full Moon Drumming this weekend, plus things going on at New Age Books & Things and Crystal Fantasy. Sunday, there is the Pagan Picnic in Snyder Park and this time with live music by Witch's Mark. See www.witchsmark.com Why not put a little magick into your music.

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8/5/08

Thank you everyone for making our Green Corn Ritual so wonderful and thank you so much to Black Diamond for making it happen.

Native American is a new exploration for us and it went over very well. Folks who have not shown much enthusiasm for our Celtic doings really warmed up to this. There must be something to it.

There are CUUPS chapters whose primary focus is Native American. Maybe they are doing more than just trying not to alarm their local Muggles.

And now this Thursday for something completely different. Some men might call it a satire but many women see it as deeply spiritual. Here comes our Annual Chocolate Ritual. Chocolate in all forms: powdered, liquid or bar, will be honored. Relevant Deities from the four directions will be invited. The suggested color for ritual garb is brown.

And then this Saturday, how about a little Japanese Halloween. Come to the Bon Festival at the Morikami.

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8/1/08

This Saturday, we Celebrate the Green Corn Ritual. The outline looks like http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn3.htm

This will be a sampling of six native American traditions and not a copy of what any one group might do. For the background, see http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn2.htm

Yes, this will be different, but we'll get to do something new. We will gather at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale at 7 PM. There will be a Story Singing at 7:30 PM and then we will move into the ritual. You are invited to bring a small worn-out item (non-toxic) from home to burn in the ceremonial fire. Old clothes, credit card bills, past love letters will work fine.

The Feast will follow and even that will be about corn. Bring your favorite corn dish and beverage to share. See Suggested Dishes to Bring at MoonPathCUUPS.Org/cornfeast.htm This will be fun.

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7/28/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we plan our Lammas Native American Green Corn Ritual. For the background, see http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn2.htm

After telling some stories, we will do a casting call and a rehearsal. The outline of the ritual looks like http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/corn3.htm

Yes, this will be different, but we'll get to do something new. This Saturday, we will gather at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale at 7 PM. There will be a Story Singing at 7:30PM and then we will move into the ritual. You are invited to bring a small worn-out item (non-toxic) from home to burn in the ceremonial fire.

The Feast will follow and even that will be about corn. See Suggested Dishes to Bring at MoonPathCUUPS.Org/cornfeast.htm This will be fun.

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7/8/08

This Thursday at Study Group we turn to facing our dark sides as we explore the dynamics and rituals around Pagan 12-Step. You do not have to be in recovery or even in need of it to attend. Here is another look at the shadow side we encounter as we work our magick.

Preparations continue for our Lammas Ritual. We will weave together a respectful demonstration from severs Native American Traditions. No I'm not writing this one. I've watched too many old Westerns.

We are putting together a ritual of the corn festival. More precisely, maize is the grain we are talking about. Before Europeans discovered this gift from the native Americans, wheat or barley was what they called corn.

Following the ritual will be a pot look feast. Here are some of the suggested dishes you might bring: http://moonpathcuups.org/cornfeast.htm

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7/2/08

This Thursday in Study Group, we hear about totem animals. Do you have a totem animal? Don't bring anything that won't fit through the door.

Say, there's a new church in town, but let's not call it a church.

Six of us got together and incorporated MoonPath Circle, Inc. It's not ashram, mosque, temple, grove, or dojo that the IRS uses as a label. It's the label "church" for a religious community of worship and/or practice.

We built up our history, wrote up and filed all the papers, and the IRS recognized us as a 501(c)(3) public charity and church. Whoopie!

What good is all this? It gives us extra credibility when we ordain each other. It's a little more exclusive than ulc.org. We have a corporation for signing contracts to rent space in county parks instead of an individual signing. Maybe now we'll apply for a faith-based initiative grant to do something wonderful?

No, we did not incorporate our MoonPath CUUPS Chapter. This is different. What we have is online at http://moonpathcircle.org/ How we did it is online at http://moonpathcuups.org/incorp.htm If anyone out there is both ambitious and bureaucratically inclined, you can do this too.

Now there is one more Pagan organization on the books. It's about time the main stream folks got used to that!

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6/25/08

This is the week of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale. 3000+ UUs will descend upon the Broward Convention Center to transact business, conduct workshops, grand stand about their causes and generally smooze.

One of the many groups among all these people is CUUPS. National folks will set up their booth in the Exhibit Hall and demonstrate how wonderful they are to the Church ladies and everybody else in attendance. And I do mean everybody. Their are CUUPS chapters in only 10% of the UU Congregations. Here is an opportunity to connect with the other 90%. Visit http://uucfl.org/ga/

So this Thursday at Study Group, we will hear about national CUUPS and what is going on around the country. We have an especially cozy relationship here in Fort Lauderdale. Where is CUUPS in the pecking order of Witches and other folks around our denomination? We will here about this.

Next we will go out back, build a bon fire and welcome the great spirits. Bring your drum. Garb is optional. This is a "Lock & Load" ritual where we will use anything but a script.

The Hour before, we will have a demonstration meeting of Pagan 12-step at 6 PM. You do not have to admit that you are an alcoholic or druggie to attend. You will hear stories and how this path to sobriety differs from what others consider main stream. Here, we come face to face with the Dark Goddess.

Do come out and play and enjoy our National connection.

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6/18/08

Here comes a big weekend.

Tonight the Moon is Full. Tomorrow we plan our Litha Ritual.

This Friday is Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle. This events keeps getting bigger. We will celebrate the Summer Solstice and Nurture the Earth. Remember, no dogs and no flash photography. Both create problems for the people around you. We are an intentional community.

Saturday, we celebrate Litha, Mid-Summers at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. Remember for this sabbat we gather and feast first and Ritual at dark just before 9 PM. Bring food and beverage to share. Dress is colorful. Think faeries. It's time for a little summer foolishness.

So you've been looking for a Wicca 101 Class? Check out MoonpathCUUPS.Org/working_wicca.htm

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7/2/08

This Thursday in Study Group, we hear about totem animals. Do you have a totem animal? Don't bring anything that won't fit through the door.

Say, there's a new church in town, but let's not call it a church.

Six of us got together and incorporated MoonPath Circle, Inc. It's not ashram, mosque, temple, grove, or dojo that the IRS uses as a label. It's the label "church" for a religious community of worship and/or practice.

We built up our history, wrote up and filed all the papers, and the IRS recognized us as a 501(c)(3) public charity and church. Whoopie!

What good is all this? It gives us extra credibility when we ordain each other. It's a little more exclusive than www.ulc.org. We have a corporation for signing contracts to rent space in county parks instead of an individual signing. Maybe now we'll apply for a faith-based initiative grant to do something wonderful?

No, we did not incorporate our MoonPath CUUPS Chapter. This is different. What we have is online at www.moonpathcircle.org  How we did it is online at http://moonpathcuups.org/incorp.htm If anyone out there is both ambitious and bureaucratically inclined, you can do this too.

Now there is one more Pagan organization on the books. It's about time the main stream folks got used to that.

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6/10/08

Once upon a time in New Orleans, that's N'Orlins to the locals, their reined a Magickal Lady known as Marie Laveau. Some remember her connections with voodoo/hoodoo, This was a class-focused society. Well-to-do people would talk in front of their servants. Why? Because the servants weren't really there. Except that they did listen and did talk.

And then the rich people had, shall we say, private needs. Maybe they needed to know how something would turn out. Maybe they needed a little persuasion for their love life. Maybe they needed to keep someone away.

Back while slavery was still going on, it meant something to be a free black. There was class to it. And, too, N'Orlins has a lot of French. Those French never have looked at people not like them the way the Brits and Germans do. It was a different time

And what do I know about this? Nothing really. That's why I plan to have a front row seat this Thursday when Swamp Witch Jane tells us just a little bit about Marie Laveau and the Baron.

Y'all do come now, y'hear? .

B*B, Spel

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6/3/08

From my scholarly readings, I keep seeing it said that monotheism is a modern invention. Polytheism was the world of our ancestors. There were many gods and spirits. There were goddesses and gods who dealt with the known world. Some that were connected to the tribe. Some to the home. Some to a location. The Romans kept a shrine to the unknown god. They did not want to cause offense by missing some deity. And these goddesses and gods did their own thing. They expected sacrifices and ceremony, but humankind was not center to their worlds.

It was best to placate them so they would not make trouble. It was the monotheists with their one god that would shun all the others. They would shun the deified emperor which today would be like now refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

One god more or less made little difference to ancient Pagans. We can call this tolerance because there was no government persecution. But there was laughter at one group by another for practicing silly ways.

It was the monotheists who were critical of other's religions They would not join into public festivals. And so the monotheists would be seen by the Pagans as a social problem and a threat.

Not that there was any risk that one day they would be in charge.

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5/28/08

How much of a Pagan are you? Have you heard of the Belief-O-Matic Quiz? Visit http://www.beliefne t.com/story/ 76/story_ 7665_1.html

www.Belief.Net is one of the most popular religious websites on the Internet. It attracts people on many paths and also many seekers. These folks gather material trying for a balance in biases.

Yes, there is a big Pagan/Wiccan section. Before Belief.Net there was another religious site that ranked embarrassingly close to number one: www.witchvox.com/

Yes, this Wiccan/Pagan site was nudging out the many Christian sites in popularity. Witchvox is a gigantic resource for educational material and in connecting up with others. You can find scholarly essays and personal stories here. There are How To's and What For's.

MoonPath CUUPS is a proud sponsor of WitchVox and we are listed in their directory along with many of our friends. Did you ever wonder if there are any witches in Florence, Alabama? You can go to WitchVox and find out.

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5/21/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we plan a Lock & Load Ritual.

The Moon is moving off Full, so it's a good time for banishing. We will build a fire and drum. The idea of a lock & load ritual is that it be spontaneous.

We use anything but a script. We divide up parts, and work towards a common focus. Then we go outside and just do it. Sometimes, we make up really good stuff. I wish we had a scribe recording it.

This is an opportunity for anyone to shine.

See you Thursday. B*B, Spel

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5/13/08

This week's topic at Thursday Study Group is "Stories of Elders Who Have Taught Us."

We will share personal stories of our teachers. Once upon a time when I was a budding witchling, I plopped down beside a gray-haired lady for a chat. She began to politely ask me questions about my practice and why I did what I did in that way.

As our conversation advances, it occurred to me that this was "Yoda Witch." She had been doing all these things back when I was still learning from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Some of our teaches may have been outside the Craft.

Clergy are clergy, and I remember some who have taught me who would have been appalled at my witchieness. Some of my teachers, I have known only through books and videos. Have you ever seen Scott Cunningham's video on herbs? It dates from the late 80s. Scott's been in the Summerland 10 years and he is still outselling many modern Pagan authors.

So who are your teachers? Come share with us.

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5/7/08

Between the Goddesses and Gods and we humanoids, there is the world of the Nature Spirits.

Some call them faeries. These are supernatural creatures that may be mortal and tend to be local in their domain. For others, these might be elves, trolls, elementals, demons, angels, or whatever.

Not all of them are nice. Not all faeries are nice. Some inhabit fields or streams. Some inhabit people. We make our deals with them. Some can be helpful. Some can be a nuisance. Some can be dangerous.

For us who explore the spiritual realms, it is important that we be aware of these beings. There are also ancestors, and these have been known to morph into spirits and maybe even a god. Take a look at Lugh.

Our topic this Thursday is Faerie Traditions and the contrast between the new and the old. I could learn a bunch more abut this, and I am looking ever so forward to it.

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4/29/08

Thanks to everyone whop made our Beltaine Festival so wonderful. Everything from vendors, food, music, games, may Pole and Ritual. It's great when everyone plays nice together.

This Thursday, some of us are off to Florida Pagan Gathering, flapagan.org, north of Orlando. 500+ will gather for workshops, Big Name Pagans, vendors, fire dancing, ritual and community. Who says we are all solitaries. This is the more classic weekend for Beltaine, what with May 1st falling on Thursday. We schedule our local Beltaine to be a week ahead of FPG.

Meanwhile at Study Group this Thursday Ash the Silent will lead us in "Show Us Your Goddess." Bring a statue or a story to share. If you are still looking for your Goddess, come anyway. You will get a closer look at a bunch of them.

I'm always looking for new topics for Study Group. Do you want to learn something? Offer to teach it. Or talk someone else into teaching it. Or just come up with a great topic for general discussion.

We are what we make of our community.

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4/23/08

This Saturday we celebrate Beltaine, the fertility festival that embraces the beginning of summer. See our poster at MoonPathCUUPS.Org/beltain08.htm In ancient civilizations around the world, we see at this time of the year the King joins with the Earth to produce another year of prosperity. This was especially important when the king was an invader. A local woman would understand manners, customers, and when to stop talking at the dinner table. Some things never change.

So Saturday, we will have our May Pole Dance at around 4 PM. Before that there will be the Sadie of the Hawk Leaf Chase. The men will tape paper leaves to their bodies. The women will band together to gather leaves. Watch how women can act as a team. A medical team will be standing by to aid any male who becomes seriously damaged.

There will be vendors, a workshop, Peewee Pagans, and our Beltaine Ritual at 5 PM. Bring a picnic and stay for the day. Thursday at 7:30 pm at Study Group, we will tell stories of Beltaine, cast parts in our Ritual and then rehearse. Rehearsal is good.

In preparation last week, I was shoveling out our Fire Circle. I felt like an archeologist, digging down through past ceremonies as if I were in some tell site in the Middle East. I imagined finding a couple statues of the Willendorph Goddess and a charred stone tablet cursing Republican President Herbert Hover (1929-1933) for causing the Great Depression.

Do come out and play, Saturday.

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4/16

We in the Craft have been doing a public relations campaign for the last 30 years. We distance ourselves from the Christian heretics that call themselves Satanists and the Fundies who think we are devils.

We show our side of goodness and light. That's all very nice for PR, but it is out of balance as a way of life. We know of the shadows and negative energy and even admit discreetly that there is an occasional Bad Witch.

But this public Happy Face earns us the title of Fuzzie Bunny Wiccans. We know better than that. So this Thursday we will gather and compare notes on such balance. then we will go outside, light a big fire, and banish the Fuzzie Bunny. Humor is a great defense against the sinister forces, so we may not appear entirely serious.

Saturday, there is an Earth Day gathering at John U. Lloyd State Park. That's something else many Witches believe in And then Sunday the Moon is full. Out we come again! Actually belief is not quite the right word. We Witches are more about doing.

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4/8/08

Spelcastor is just back from Las Vegas. Talk about sensory overload. There was all the lights and noise and beautiful people. It's what they call a glamour: something that is perceived but is not real.

Women get blamed for glamours, but both genders can produce them. I was also out in the desert. There was Death Valley and Sekhmet's Temple. See www.sekhmettemple.com. It's full of goddess icons and is a gathering place of increasing popularity. They have added a labyrinth, May Pole Circle and a Peace Altar.

Back in town, I won no vast riches. I am not a gambler. I get bored watching my money go away. So now I am back home and I can ground and center.

This Thursday in Study Group, Link presents "The Magick of Aphrodisiacs, Gifts from the Goddess Aphrodite." And what shall this be? More glamours? Better living through chemistry? shall have to find out.

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4/1/08

As we enter April, I start thinking of Belatine. The last Saturday, we will have vendors, music, a May Pole, Ritual and many good things. See MoonPathCUUPS.Org/beltaine08.htm Here is the major fertility celebration that marks the beginning of summer.

Looking at our calendar, April brings many festivals. Then the first weekend in May, many of us will travel to Florida Pagan Gathering, flapagan.org.

Meanwhile this Thursday we learn about "Working with the Faerie Realm." After that, we have two Thursday without a program yet. Who has a good idea of what to do? And who might like to do it? One follows the other.

And locally, there are new owners over at New Age Books & Things. We shall see what magick they work in the coming months.

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3/31/08

(Please fwd one time to spelcastor yahoogroup)

Hi, I'm David:

I want to tell you about a new service that CUUPS-national has started. It's a free, monthly, email newsletter called the CUUPS Bulletin. We started in December with just over a thousand subscribers and have already more than doubled that.

We focus on providing you with information that you can use in your congregation and/or CUUPS chapter. It's also a great way to keep up with what other Earth-centered UUs are doing in the more than 1,000 UU congregations across the country as well as with our sister organizations - the Unitarian Earth-Spirit Network in the UK and Sixth Source-Canada.

It's very easy to subscribe to. All you have to do is go to the CUUPS website (http://www.cuups. org) and fill out the form at the top of the webpage. Then you'll start receiving issues of the Bulletin when they are sent out (usually on the morning of the 1st Friday of the month.) You don't need to be a current member of CUUPS national to subscribe to the newsletter. It's open to anyone whose interested in Unitarian Universalism and Earth-Centerd Spirituality.

We are also looking for article submissions to the Bulletin. They can either be news items, liturgical pieces for church services or rituals, or other articles of interest. We only ask that due to space constrains that all articles be less than 300 words in length. Just send your items to bulletin@cuups.org

Thanks for your attention & Bright Blessings!
David Pollard
National CUUPS VP
dopollard@yahoo.com

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3/27/08

Thanks to everyone who made the Straga Ritual go so well.

Strega, like Voodoo, is an Old Religion wrapped around Roman Catholic Christianity. The wrapping has gone on for several more hundred years than has Voodoo. Thus the magick may be believed by some to be completely Christian. Nor really.

Tonight at Study Group we do a guided discussion of "Magick: Light, Dark, or Balanced." We shall see where this takes us. We seem to be evolving away from the public white face of a couple decades ago. The Fuzzy Bunny is no longer held in high reverence. Monty Python's Killer Rabbit is on the ascendance.

Perhaps we will close with a big fire outside.

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3/19/08

This Saturday we host an Open Ritual to celebrate Ostara. We gather at 7 PM and start around 7:30 PM.

Strega is Italian Wicca. The workers of the Inquisition were really big into documenting everything they did. Although much of those persecuted as Witches were tortured into making the expected confessions, in the northern hill country of Italy, reports were different.

The Inquisition really did turn up people who appeared to be carrying on traditions from older times. We speculate what Gerald Gardner found vs what he invested, but there was something different going on in the mountains of Italy.

Mountain folk, even in the USA, manage to remain more isolated from modern trends and keep their older ways. In the hills of Appalachia songs are sung that can be traced back to Ireland and Scotland. It kind of a folk time-warp.

So we can read the works of Raven Grimassi or earlier authors and wonder how deep go the roots from which they draw. See http://www.stregheria.com/

Don't miss our Ritual and also the Tequesta Fire/Drum Circle Friday night. See http://moonpathcircle.org/tequesta.htm

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3/11/08

This Thursday in Study Group we will talk about the legends of Saint Patrick and Celtic Spirituality. Do bring your stories and wear green.

Meanwhile, our Christian neighbors down the street are getting ready to celebrate their holy of holies. One of the things they will do will be to walk about their religious buildings doing something called the Stations of the Cross.

This idea was carried over from our Pagan temples. There would be a series of artwork or statues around the temple that told a central story of the resident Goddess or God. People would walk from one spot to the next in a meditative mood while being reminded of a story that they already knew.

Reading skills were not wide spread in ancient times, so worshipers would rely on graphic presentations. The experience was both spiritual and educational. And that practice continues today.

Meanwhile, our labyrinth is remulched and looks beautiful. Thanks to Sophia for making it happen and everyone else pitching in.

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3/5/08

This Thursday in Study Group, we hear about the "History and Uses of the Tarot" with Aleph, while down the hall the Pee Wee Pagans meet.

Last Friday Spelcastor was at the Handfasting of Elisa and Evan. What shall a Wiccan and an Atheist do for a ceremony? They ask for examples, gather notes, and write their own.

Handfastings are family affaires. It's a time to bring people together. If you invite the Catholic grandmothers clutching their rosary beads, don't terrify them by wearing horns. Include some words about the Blessed Mother.

Different people hear different things in the same words. So write words that are inclusive and avoid passing out a glossary.

I wish the happy couple good fortune. They should do well. Their words are online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/elisa.htm

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2/26/08

Here it is the end of February. I have barely finished chasing that pesky little rodent back into the ground when the sky clouded over and it got cold.

This afternoon we had an Internet crash. Thousands of us began suffering from email withdrawal. Then they told us the problem started with a failure at the Turkey Point Reactor. That made me feel better. Any time I hear there are "concerns" about the nuclear cooker south of Miami, I get a little nervous.

It makes we want to email somebody or go online and check things out. But I couldn't do that either.

It was time to breath deep, ground and center. I wasn't anywhere where I could light a candle.

That's how my day went. I'm glad the Internet is back. I see next Thursday in Study Group, we do Beginning Spelcraft Theory. I guess I've just figured out a few new spells I now want to work on.

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2/13/08

This Thursday in Study Group, we share Love Spells and Potions. We'll show you ours. You can show us yours.

There are just all sorts of things we could mix up. Herbs? How about some rosemary and thyme? How about some oil? Scented of course. Your herbs won't dissolve in oil. Make a tincture of alcohol and then cut it with water to reduce the sting. What's love without a little sting?

And while you are a mixing, don't forget chocolate and that alcohol can be used to lubricate the mind.

You would light a candle, but not just any candle. Pick an appropriate color and shape, and then anoint it with more herbs and oil. Carve some runes into it.

And then there re the spells. You do rhyme your spells, don't you? That way, they are easier to remember and they work better too.

You can craft an entire ceremony out of all these doings. We wrote one once called the YumYum Ritual. The G-Rated version is online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/yumyum07.htm

Come out and play with us Thursday night, and then go home and play some more.

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2/6/08

Someone sent me the YouTube version of Ertha Kit singing, I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch. It's at http://youtube.com/watch?v=Rfx0W8Z06fg I recognize most of the video sources. Do we need a MoonPath site on YouTube? We don't video our Rituals. Besides, sometimes we look silly in Ritual, especially in photos. And then there is http://www.facebook.com/. That's no place for a closeted witch. Well, I could dream up a fantasy identity. No, I'll deal with local reality. This is the first week of the Renaissance Faire. That's my kind of reality. Our Imbolc 2008 ritual is now online at http://moonpathcuups.org/rituals/imbolc08.htm We are building quite a collection. This Thursday at Study Group, we'll make systrums. These are ceremonial rattles made from a forked stick, some wires and some bottle caps. The design dates back to ancient Egypt, but the bottle caps are a more recent innovation. Maybe we'll go out side then, build a fire, and consecrate them. Blessed be, ***************************************************************
1/31/08

This weekend is SuperBowl time. Most everything stops for SuperBowl, even Pagan things. We really are part of our surrounding culture. Next week starts the Renaissance Faire. Here we can go back to our more favorite time. We can dress up in our favorite period garb, stride about, drink beer from the wenches and eat funnel cakes. I will show up in wizard robes. This year, I even have a white owl. It's not real, but it looks good. There are shows and vendors. You can even rent a costume if you don't have one. One of the weeks will be Pirate Weekend. The 1600s were a time of plumes and broad brimmed hats. These fashions extended into the Caribbean. Take a look at Captain Morgan on the rum bottle. The peak of the pirate era was around 1720, a bit beyond the renaissance. But it's fun to play in our favorite era. ***************************************************************
1/22/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we have a special guest, Sandra Cheryl Richardson.

She has been practicing the Craft for 25 years or so in the Miami area. Her coven, the Religious Order of the Circle of Isis Rising is a 501(3)(c) corporation that performs many of the services expected from a church, including ordination.

Sandra has recently started offering regular Wiccan Services, not to be confused with the ongoing Open Rituals. Visit http://moonpathcuups.org/scr/ and come hear what Sandra has been brewing up of late. We'll also talk about the Festival of Imbolc and plan Saturday's sabbat.

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1/15/08

This Thursday at Study Group, we hear from our Kitchen Witch.

Think about it: the kitchen is a place of transformation. What goes into the pot comes out something else. There's fire and smoke, and stirring and chanting. Think of all the magick she can work.

There are herbs to sprinkle in. Some ground up roots. Buds and seeds can go into the mix. And then there is yeast and starter dough. There are living things that make the mix rise. And don't forget the incantations and, yes, even love.

But be nice to the Kitchen Witch. She also knows about mushrooms. Pretty little things with quaint names like Angel of Death and Eatusa sayonara. It's good to be nice to the Kitchen Witch.

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1/8/08

Somebody asked me how they would join Moonpath CUUPS. The answer is not simple.

CUUPS, the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, is a national membership organization. Dues are $25/year. Lately, National CUUPS has started a monthly email broadcast. Check out the latest at http://moonpathcuups.org/nletter/jan08.htm

To establish a CUUPS Chapter, you need at least three dues paying members of National CUUPS who are also paying members of the same UU church. These church members fill out some forms and cut a deal with the Church Board.

At MoonPath CUUPS, we are not very formal about membership. Anyone who shows up regularly, contributes, and does what they say is respected. Most of our obvious leaders are dues paying members of both CUUPS and the church.

One of our CUUPS regulars went looking for free rent at the church for a different group. To the office folk, everyone is either a church member or a guest. Guests don't get free rent.

Why do I join both CUUPS and the Church? Well, I'm a joiner, and it makes more things possible for our community. Membership has it's privileges.

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1/2/08

It's really cold outside.

This makes we wish it were the night of Imbolc. I could dress up in one of my heavy capes. I have stuff I can wear only Dec-Mar, if the weather is right. We Florida Celts have garb meant for the hills of Ireland. That's nothing to wear in August.

Folks up North are now in the dark of winter. We Floridians just THINK it's cold. The first hint of spring is a month away at Imbolc, February 2nd. Our friends up north are really experiencing this. They don't to worry about their food running out. Their version of Publix will provide, if they can get to it.

This Thursday's Study Group Topic is "Dealing with my Christian Relatives." I'll share my story first. I will insist I am not typical. I do not have deep wounds from Christianity and Wicca is not my entire identity.

But I do have folks to whom what I do would make no sense at all. Come to mention it, some of what they do makes no sense at all. So I'll share my story and invite others to share theirs. Maybe we fill find we have common experiences and I am closer to "typical" than I would like to imagine.

Enjoy the cold!

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12/26/07

Now we move around the Wheel to the Gregorian New Year.

The Roman's moved the beginning of the year to January from March before Caesar's time. The year began with election of those who would lead the army. More time was needed to prepare for the summer's wars, so January made good political sense.

Different traditions begin their year at different times. The Celts begin at Samhain. But it is difficult to ignore all the Muggle excitement whether I care about Time Square revelers or not. But on December 31st, I am reminded that time is moving on. I will be a moment older and continuing again on a continuing circle.

Before the New Year was a male babe, there was the cycle of the Goddess from Maiden to Corn Mother to Crone. The Crone rules at Samhain, but in February at Imbolc we look to the return of the Maiden.

That is how it used to be.

Happy New Year, Spel

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12/19/07

Such a beautifully cold night last night. It makes me think I might be able to wear one of my heavy capes for Yule. Being a Florida Witch limits my dress-up, but when winter comes, I can dig into my closet.

Thursday we plan our Yule and finish our casting call. Want to be involved? Come out and play. There is Tequesta Drumming on Friday and a Full Moon on Sunday. We shall be busy indeed.

The Pee Wee Pagans have moved their December meeting to Friday, the Solstice. Very fitting.

And so we approach the longest night of the year. In Florida, it's more a philosophical thing. But it gets dark early this time of year in Ireland. And think about Iceland. The sun has been completely gone for a while up there.

Meanwhile, don't get swept up in the Muggle Holiday Madness. It's contagious.

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12/11/07

I just got back from Turning the Tide in North Miami. That was a good gathering and I met some fine new people.

This Thursday we have our first casting call for our Yule Sabbat. We will also focus our energy and go outside and do a Ritual of New Beginnings. The moon is starting towards the first quarter. This is a time to raise energy.

We will build a common focus, divide up parts, and then go outside and light the fire.

All World Acres is doing their Yule Fest this weekend. They are over in the St Pete area. The following Saturday, MoonPath CUUPS will do their Yule Sabbat in Fort Lauderdale.

Do have a merry Yule, Spel

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12/4/07

Notice that PeeWee Pagans is moving for just this month to Wednesday, December 19th to do their Holiday Gift Exchange,

Meanwhile, I just finished watching "The Tin Man" on the Science Fiction Channel #68. This is a surreal spin on the Wizard of Oz. See http://www.scifi.com/tinman/

It's full of great visuals, twists on the original plot, magic, heroes and witches. It's all the things I like. It replays Sunday starting at 5 PM. I will have my VCR ready,

Speaking of visuals, this Thursday we take a walk through the movie Practical Magick. The will focus on the magic visuals and talk about what we see in our own magick. Perhaps you'll see something this time that you missed before. It's movie night!

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11/27/07

This Thursday we have a Third Degree Gardnerian Wiccan as our guest at CUUPS Study Group.

The Gardnerians trace their lineage back to Gerald Gardner. Gardner was an Englishman active in the 1930s to 1960s and is named, even by Muggles, as the "Father of Neo-Witchcraft."

Now that Turkey day is past, it's time to start thinking about Yule. Still others are already thinking about Imbolc and then February 14th. I has heard from Chelsea of Boca magazine who is putting together a story about being Single and Wiccan on Valentine's Day. She is looking for a few Wiccans to interview. Me? I'm paired, but maybe there are others out there. Being a Boca Witch will help. See http://moonpathcuups.org/bmw.htm

I was wondering if you’d be interested in participating in an “Ask the Experts” article we’re doing about Valentine’s Day. It’s taking sort of an anti-Valentine’s Day approach, or looking for ways that singles can deal with the holiday, so I thought it’d be fun to get the perspective of a witch or paganist. If you’d be interested in answering some questions via e-mail or over the phone, please let me know.

Thanks so much!

CHELSEA GREENWOOD | assistant editor
Boca Raton magazine
6413 Congress Ave., Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33487
561/997-8683, ext. 284
561/997-8909 (fax)
chelsea@bocamag.com
bocamag.com

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11/20/07

This Thursday is Turkey Day.

Several of our groups are not meeting. However, Pagan 12-Step is holding an open house at 6 PM. All are welcome, even if you are just curious or have a a concern.

There is drumming at Hugh Taylor Park on Turkey Day. There's food, but bring your own drum sticks.

Whether you like turkey or not, Thursday is a harvest celebration. For all the talk about Pilgrims chowing down with native Americans, the holiday was created after the Civil War to promote national healing.

When you plan your Thursday, look to include someone on a different spiritual path than your own. Think of it as building community.

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11/12/07

And now for something completely different:

This Turning the Tide weekend coming up December 7-9 will attract folks you don't usually meet at festivals. Sure, I'll be there and so will Ash the Silent, but this gathering is put on by Covenant of the Goddess and we will be inside a gated park doing workshops and ceremony.

There will be no onsite registration, so no one has to baby sit the gate. Cut off for registration is this Friday, November 15th. See http://www.moonpathcuups.org/ttide/ Any questions? Follow the links on the webpage.

Meanwhile at Study Group this Thursday night, we plan a spontaneous Bad Boss Banishing Ritual. Maybe there are a few folks out there who have once experienced a bad boss?

Then this weekend, there is a Psychic Fair in Hollywood and the harmony for Humanity Ceremony.

B*B, Spel

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11/6/07

I am back from Florida Pagan Gathering in Northern Florida this past weekend.

A good time was had by all. Great people, workshops and Ritual.

All these events come so quickly: Pagan Pride, Samhain, FPG. I can barely digest one before I am off to the next. This month will be quieter.

We have Study Group this Thursday where we can all report our adventures. Next week would be a good Thursday for a Spontaneous Ritual.

But it is good to talk about our past events. We can share what we liked and what we might do differently. All these events really are community efforts.

There is a concert this Friday at the Fort Lauderdale: Coyote Run. See http://www.coyoterun.com/  These look like some of our people. And not only that, I can sit back, enjoy the music, and not be in charge!

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10/31/07

Thanks to everyone for making our Witches Ball so much fun and run so smoothly. The rain stopped and we held our two Rituals outside. The costume contest was a hoot. The playlet was delightfully tacky.

So here it is the real Halloween Night. Tomorrow is All Saints' Day or All Hallows. This was a Christian invention to plot their theology on top of ours. Samhain is All Hallows Eve. The demons are out frolicking because they must lay low on the saints day. Silly wabbits! What some Muggles will believe!

All Hallows Eve is the second biggest spending holiday. Only Christmas breaks out more cash. Shame, shame! so commercial! But I do like all the nifty displays and costumes.

While some of us are off to Florida Pagan Gathering, this Thursday at Study Group, Swamp Witch Jane presents on The Dark Goddesses and How to Invoke them in Magick.

After all, the veil between the Worlds is especially thin. We are facing the Final Harvest. 'Tis the reason for the season!

Blessed be!

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10/23/07

Samhain is the High Holy Day of my Pagan Year. Beltaine is six months away and opposite on the Wheel of the Year. At both seasons, the veil between the worlds is especially thin. Here is an auspicious time for divination and predictions.

Samhain is the time of the Final Harvest when we reap what we have sown during the past year. It is a time of contemplation. and also New Year's Eve. It is the time in some traditions when the dead pass over to the Otherworld. In some traditions, this is when the dead come back who unfinished business.

This is the night when the Morrigan returns from the Otherworld. The Morrigan is a Goddess of war, transformation, and death. She is often seen in the aspect of the Crone. Her totem animal is the raven. She is the one who decides - which warriors will die. Yes, the Morrigan is a Goddess who shape shifts. Sometime she turns herself into a raven. Sometimes she turns herself into a wolf. Sometimes she turns herself into a beautiful maiden.

When a man chances to see a maiden at a well, things might not be all they appear to be. Might this man try something rash, with this maid how is all alone? If she morphs back into the Morrigan, be afraid, be very afraid!

Happy Halloween!

Casting call this Thursday at Study Group.

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10/18/07

Tonight at Study Group, we hear Stories from Ireland. There's the old and the new. The depth that is added to teachings when you stand in the actual places.

There is the talking to the locals, sitting in a pub, or gazing out from Tara.

Also, we are casting parts for our Witches Ball Rituals. Do come and see what we are up to. Yes, there are places to participate.

And then the following Saturday, October 27, 7:30, pm till midnight, let the festivities begin.

B*B, Spel

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10/13/07

Spelcastor is back from two weeks spent circling Ireland. This Thursday I will present stories and observations from these travels.

In the 15th Century, Pope Alexander, VI divided the New World between Portugal and Spain. A hundred years later, Pope Adrian IV gave what was left over to England. What was left was Catholic and Pagan Ireland.

The English saw the Irish like some white citizens of Oklahoma might see "Indians": An unruly, disorganized savages with archaic religious superstitions and a weakness for alcohol.

In the 1600s, England sent more than 60,000 Irish Catholics as slaves to Barbados, Jamaica, and other Caribbean Islands. My readings in linguistics tell me that the closest relative to "Black English" is Irish. "You axe me, and I be speakin' the truth." And the Religion of Yoruba mixed with the Catholic and the Pagan.

But enough of this talk of misbehavior by imperialists! Thursday, I will have more on the Old Ways and Traditions. And then there is Samhain and our Witches Ball.

It is time to get on with our planning and casting.

B*B, Spel

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10/8/07

Greetings from Ireland!

Spelcastor has been wandering about Ireland for a week and a half. Check out Brigit's Garden at www.brigitsgarden.ie/

I'm back next week and will resume regular broadcasts and calendar updates.

B*B, Spel

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9/24/07

What a wonderful Ritual Saturday. Thanks to Valan and everybody else who made it happen. The pentacle Quest celebration was moving, what with our veterans and the bag piper. We followed the Ritual with a hand fasting.

Spelcastor is off to Ireland for two weeks. We will spiral out from Dublin and worry later what the Euro is worth. Study Group will keep moving along with good presenters. It's time to start thinking about the Witches Ball. Ritual scripts are nearly ready.

Last Beltaine we did a handfasting for Heather and Brian. If anybody has photos, how about emailing copies to capthok@hotmail.com

This may be my last broadcast for a couple of weeks. But then, I might do one from an Internet Cafe.

B*B, Spel

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9/18/07

This Thursday at Study Group we share stories of Mabon, the Festival of the Second Harvest and the Fall Equinox.

We will plan our Saturday Pagan Pride Day Festival and make sure everyone has enough to do. Then we will move on to a casting call for our Mabon Ritual. There are still parts for those who want to play. Then we will rehearse the Ritual. Yes, rehearsal is good. Rehearsal makes for a better ritual. We have people who come for this opportunity of public ceremony and we owe good ceremony to them.

During the afternoon there will be workshops and vendors and more. Bring a picnic and your favorite beverage and sample what our food vendor has to offer. Wear your ritual garb.

Bring your white elephants. One of our friends, Deep Sea, AKA Olga, is making a miraculous recovery from a fall and concussion. We will set up a table to sell off your donated stuff to help pay her living expenses. No furniture please, but every little bit helps. We will also be doing our regular canned food collection for the Cooperative Feeding Program.

B*B, Spel

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9/12/07

This Thursday we have a special guest Story Teller at Study Group. What we hear will be true, probably. Stories is how we used to do history. This writing thing is a relatively modern invention that appeared maybe 5,000 years ago.

We humanoids have been talking for 50,000 years or more. Stories are still a good way to remember things. Stories are much easier than remembering a list. Try it.

If I want to teach you something I want you to remember, I'll put it in a story. Maybe I'll even put in a few laughs. That's how history used to be passed down.

Some people remember by pictures. There see a picture and then describe it. But a story can be a series of pictures. That's how Hollywood folk lay out a movie. They call it a story board.

Movies are really modern. This Thursday, we hear from a Story Teller.

B*B, Spel

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9/4/07

Who says magick doesn't work?

There's Bunky Bartlett who won a share of a $330 million lottery. "If it wasn't for this place I wouldn't have won the lottery," Bartlett said Sunday at Mystickal Voyage, the New Age shop.

Maybe now he will make the rounds at Festivals doing workshops on prosperity magick. Bartlett, an accountant from Dundalk, Maryland, said he made a bargain with the multiple gods associated with his Wiccan beliefs: "You let me win the lottery and I'll teach." Both tickets he purchased had numbers chosen randomly from the computer.

Come to think of it, I just bought a lotto ticket too. I did not do any special incantations, other than speaking that very traditional phrase, "Quick Pick!" Would I OUT myself if I won? I still imagine myself to be closeted!

First, W Bush apologizes to a Wiccan widow and then a Wiccan wins a lottery. The Goddess really is on our side. The times, they are a changing.

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8/27/07

I hear we had a lunar eclipse last night around 3 am. I was in my little beddie-by by then. I hope that did not mess up anybody's magick.

Advanced stuff? We're doing Voice & Movement in Ritual this Thursday. There is so much more than just reading one's script.

Also there is a new website, wisepagan.com, that is gathering resources for the community. Thursday, you can be interviewed by Jarrett for this. Here is an opportunity for the not-so-closeted to sound off. Interviews work best with photos, but that is not required.

What's Spel up to? I just got back from a memorial for Uncle Fud. It was his time and there was a celebration. All this will get me musing about passings over again. Those are good thoughts to have, as longs as they are not constant.

I have some resources for such online at http://bellsouthpwp.net/s/p/spelcast/requiem.htm It's handy to have some notes on such ceremonies before you are asked to do one.

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8/21/07

This Thursday at Study Group, we do a Lock & Load Ritual. The idea is to be spontaneous and use anything but a script. It is time to raise healing energy for our friend Deep Sea Star who is recovering from a concussion.

Meanwhile, Spelcastor is off to Washington, DC. A beloved uncle has passed over. We will gather and tell stories.

Actually, his passing was quite timely. He was making a serious nuisance of himself to his caregivers and his time was obviously near. We enter this life with some crying, tears and outrage. It is not unexpected that we might leave the same way.

But not we will remember the whole life, celebrate, and tell stories. It is only a few lives that can be measured by a moment.

Next week, we still need a topic for Study Group. Any ideas?

B*B, Spel

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8/13/07

This Thursday we will hear about Pentacle Quest or how military Pagans got a pentacle on their tomb stones.

Meanwhile, I heard no objections from warlocks over last week's broadcast. The word warlock comes from Old English and meant oath breaker. It had other connotations like liar, traitor, or enemy. This came from the same mediaeval times when women were believed to have no soul. A male who hung around them was a traitor.

Just like today, there are no more actresses. Everybody is an actor. Everybody is a Witch, regardless of gender.

In the 1950s, warlock was used to mean male witch or conjurer. Since that time, most Pagans have moved further from Christian labels. The same thing has to do with using the label Lughnassad for Lammas. Lammas means "Loaf Mass."

And now for something completely different: our very own Sandra Cheryl Richardson is trying to get onto the Science Channel's program Ghost Hunters. She would like your vote. Follow the links from MoonPathCUUPS.Org/scr/

B*B, Spel

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8/7/07

Back by popular demand, this Thursday at Study Group, we do Mead Making with Ray. Bring a gallon of water and a pound of honey to join in the fun.

Down the hall will be Pee Wee Pagans holding their third session.

Meanwhile, I googled "moonpathcuups" and came up with 752 hits.

It appears that we have been around so long that lots of folks use us as a resource for websites and blogs. I especially like the "used with permission" notices. I wonder if anyone is passing stuff from us off as "an ancient spell handed down by my great grandmother."

Moonpath returns only 635 hits. Spelcastor gets 213. But Witch gets over 38 million.

Christ gets over 91 million. At just behind are Devil and Wizard both with over 90 million. Sounds like we're gaining on them. Warlock brings in only 8 million hits, but as everybody knows Warlocks are Sooo 1950s.

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8/1/07

This Thursday we celebrate our Annual Chocolate Ritual.

Certainly, we will offend someone, but we will have fun. We will honor chocolate in all its aspects. Some might call this a spoof. Our Ladies will tell you that chocolate holds profound religious significance. You be the judge, but most of all, enjoy the chocolate.

Thursday we will have a casting call for our Lamas Ritual coming up next Saturday evening. We will honor the First harvest and the Goddess Sehkmet. This is time of year when our thoughts turn to what we have been sowing and what is coming back to us. It's not too late because there are two more harvests to come.

But we really do reap from what we sow. That old Rule of Three thing is not a myth. It's where this karma thing comes from: cause and effect. What a scary prospect.

B*B, Spel

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7/24/07

It was fun parading around at the Harry Potter book release. Somehow, I thought that would be the week before, but no.

This Thursday at Study Group, we talk about Elements of Exorcism. Do bring your stories and whatever possesses you.

It's Full Moon time again this weekend. It's time to revel in the Goddess.

December 7-9, Everglades Moon Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess presents Turning the Tide, three days of workshops, rituals, music, food, camping, and building Pagan community in South Florida. A private campground provides the beautiful backdrop for rituals, feasting, bardic circles, and drumming. Make connections and learn more about magic, divination, Wicca, Lucumi, other Pagan paths, and more. Visit http://myspace.com/turningthetidefestival They are looking for workshop leaders. ***************************************************************
7/17/07

This Thursday in Study Group I lead a "Clergy Class." All Wiccans are clergy, so the tradition goes.

If you want to do a legal handfasting in Florida, you need a magick piece of paper to show the local Clerk of the Court, if anyone asks.

If you call yourself clergy, what responsibilities might other people image you owe them? Which of these are in the state laws? Other clergy have people around them that take them seriously. Do you?

What training to mainstream clergy have, and what will they think of yours? Can you write a Statement of Practice? If you are clergy and you get sentenced to jail, what might happen?

I don't have all the answers so bring yours. I have put some research together. Thursday should be a lively meeting.

Meanwhile, some guy is doing a Pagan Sunday Service at the UU Fellowship of Boca Raton. Sounds like a good opportunity to show up and be supportive.

B*B, Spel

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7/10/07

I was googling around the Internet and came upon www.elderfaiths.org in Massachusetts.

This appears to be a Wiccan "Virtual Church." It looks like folks from several covens and groups got together and created a structure to use when dealing with the larger community around them.

They have a youth program and offer clergy services. They are visible on the Internet so seekers can find them.

But they appear not to be about acquiring property or store fronts or salaried clergy. They are not out to build a cathedral of stone.

I wonder what our Pagan traditions will look like 50 years from now. Will mainstream religions embrace the Goddess? How will we deal with the religious groups that like to organize into very large groups?

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7/3/07

Spelcastor is in Atlanta for the birthing of Number 2 GrandBaby, Katelyn. She arrived into this world July 1, 6:15 pm, weighing in at 6 pounds, 19 inches. She and Mom are doing file.

Meanwhile, Spelcastor's BDay is July 5. It is not likely that I will make it to Study Group, so I will reschedule my Clergy Class for July 19th. I am really looking forward to that one, and all the extra input it will attract. So folks will put something together for this Thursday, and I will have more time to prepare.

So I have been watching from afar this miracle of birth and all that goes on around it. It's a woman thing, and I avoid the lactation discussions. I can fetch fresh batteries for cameras and forgotten articles of clothing.

It is good for me to look forward. I have photos of dead ancestors to sort through, and, although that can be inspirational, I do need balance. Here comes the next generation. They will inherit our world and make the best of it. One hundred years ago next year, my own father was born. I am getting less and less argument when I call myself an Elder. I get to do more mentoring, and my words are more valuable than when I was a sophomore in high school.

B*B

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6/27/07

Here we come up upon a Full Moon.

We just had a very busy week and now we have more Crafty doings. Pee Wee Pagans has moved to the second Thursday in July.

The Harry Potter Premier is coming up Friday, July 13th. This would be a fine opportunity for many of us to show up at a centrally located theater with free parking. Any ideas? We could all dress up and ogle the Muggles.

Speaking of dressing up, I see that there will be a Pagan Sunday Service at the UU Fellowship of Boca Raton. That is rare for them. Here would be a fine opportunity for us to be supportive of whoever is doing this.

So on the Fourth of July, we can be patriotic and thankful for a country that welcomes those fleeing religious persecution. We don't hear much about fleeing Pagans. I guess they looked different in those days. Those Pilgrim hats were round, but didn't have points.

Pointed hats were an earlier fashion that was replaced by the tri-corner hat. Fashions change slower in the country, so in 1700, a pointed hat meant yokel or redneck. That was the meaning of a dunce cap. Bubba student!

Someone is always being picked on.

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6/19/07

Here we have a full weekend of Witchery.

Thursday, we have Study Group, a final casting call for our Litha Ritual, and a rehearsal. Also that night there is the Tequesta Drum Circle over at Hugh Taylor State Park.

Saturday, we celebrate Litha. We gather at 7 pm for the feast FIRST and then the ritual starts around 9 pm. Don't be surprised by this one.

Sunday morning we CUUPS folk do the Sunday morning church service. The service starts at 11 am. If you are in the service, do show up by 10 am so we know you are there and give you your lines. Do wear ritual garb. The more horns and pointy hats we see in the audience the better.

It's time to plan future Study Groups so I am once again looking for topics and presenters. Spelcastor is expecting Number 2 GrandBaby to show up sometime soon. July 17th is the date, but I could be whisked away to Atlanta at any moment. All my other appointments are tentative.

We live in exciting times.

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6/14/07

Our Pee Wee Pagan program was very well received. We saw Moms who had not been able to get here before. We will do the second session Thursday, July 5th.

Meanwhile, Edie did a great job telling us about the very influential analytical psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) He spoke of understanding our psyche by exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, and world religions.

Jung spoke of the Collective Unconscious we all carry within our minds. Here are archetypes that resemble the goddesses and gods found in many of our pantheons.

What kind of memory do we inherit from our ancestors? Jung said that we are "Not the only master in our own house." These forces guide our behavior whether we are aware of them or not.

Jung talked about each of us having both a female and male aspect and that our current culture is way out of balance toward the male.

This all sounds like another way of looking into the Craft to me.

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6/5/07

Face Flashes are what you might watch for, when you wonder if someone is lying to you.

A face flash is an expression that crosses a face and then is gone. In this case, it is an expression that does not match what is being said at that moment. Watch for such flashes as you go about your day. It takes a little practice, but only a little. Try it out on your friends and enemies.

A famous face flash is the video clip of Bill Clinton saying, "I did not have sex with that woman." Politics aside, it's an interesting study. A still camera can catch expressions that are fleeting. Our faces are alive with nonverbal communication. A person is said to be "loved by the camera" when they always photograph in a flattering way. Is that a gift from the camera, or just fewer face flashes?

For you Witches in West Palm Beach, coming up Saturday, June 16th there will be a Psychic House Party. The event is billed as an intimate evening of divination, soothsaying, and merriment. This kind of makes me think of that Kohr bathroom commercial. Remember them? Anyway, make your RSVP if you plan to attend.

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5/30/07

This Thursday in Study Group we swap stories of the Blue Moon. Then we go outside for a spontaneous ritual. Bring your own stories, your drum and anything but a script.

A week from Thursday we start Pee Wee Pagans next door to Study Group. This will be a program for kids age 4-12. See MoonPathCUUPS.Org/peewee Think "No running with the athame." and "That's a frog in my pocket. I don't know where my little brother is."

Some of our ladies are starting this once-a-month program. Now our Single Mom Witches will be able to get out and play with us. We still don't have a place for infants.

Some of our programs would be of interest to kids. Ritual is more fun than meditation. Others are just "Boring adult stuff."

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5/22/07

June 1 thru 12 there will be a sales tax holiday. The idea is no sales tax on hurricane supplies but I look at the list and see Witch Supplies.

What's on the list?

Any portable battery-powered light source. Time to stop trying to read your rituals in dim light.

Tiki torches: who ever has enough of them?

Candles: need I say more?

Batteries, for those electric candles.

Coolers, ice chests, tarpaulins: for your next festival

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: for your next indoor ritual.

Bungee cords: need I explain this one?

Be safe, Spel

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5/16/07

I see some Witch celebrities are in the area: Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone.

They are Brits, published authors and have been around for a long time. They do this for a living so it costs dollars to see them. They were at Florida Pagan gathering with other BNPs (Big Name Pagans).

It's good to meet the face behind the book cover. The Craft has it's classic authors and many more that come and go. Why don't we all write a book? That takes focus and organization. It is not a path to riches. Once you write your book, you have done the easy part. Next you have to sell it.

You can look for a publisher willing to pay for it's production and distribution, or you can underwrite it all yourself. Have you got $20,000? Then you have to show up at book signings, festivals, and whatever to drum up interest and sell this mighty tome.

And does that get you rich? Probably not. Getting one book out means it's time to start another. A book will get you credibility and a moment of fame before it will feed you. And then we Witchipoos are a "niche market." There are only so many of us. And then, who buys the most books? The folks new to the Craft. That shapes the topics that will move.

I think I'll go look for the latest Harry Potter book and light a candle for J. K. Rawlings.

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5/9/07

I had a wonderful time at Florida Pagan Gathering.

I was impressed with Big Name Pagan presenters Mike Nichols. Isaac Bonewits and Selena Fox and more. Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone will be doing something this month in Miami.

There was a workshop on Bindings and banishings that attracted a surprising number of people. I offered Pagan Love with FoyOwl, a brief history of sex in the old Pagan World. That one I posted at http//MoonPathCUUPS.Org/plove7.htm and a matching ritual at http//MoonPathCUUPS.Org/rituals/yumyum07.htm

There was a presentation on prison ministry. It seems that there are privileges available to clergy, even as an inmate, but they must have held their credentials for at least two years. (No fair getting them online last week.) I see the Christians as much more into prison ministry that Pagans. Me? All I do is write a few letters. I would rather no one show up on my doorstep after they get out.

So festivals build community, provide for education, and make for some very good times. I would visit the Viking Encampment where the drumming and mead were both flowing.

There were covened folk there too. I went to one workshop by Edain McCoy where there was role-play for leaders on coven dynamics. It's good for solitaries to see such things.

B*B, Spel

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5/2/07

Tonight the Moon is full and folks will be out drumming Her praise. This is a special month because the Moon will wax full again May 31st. This one will be a Blue Moon and a time for special magick.

Meanwhile, this is the weekend of Florida Pagan Gathering. Thursday I take off to a camp north of Orlando at which 500+ Pagans will gather. And they call me a solitary? There will be workshops, ritual, networking and a time for play.

There are air conditioned cabins (that are probably all full by now.) There is camping. There is a meal plan, cooking out, or venturing into redneck land in search of a diner.

There are covened folk there too. Some of them hang up banners to mark their camp. And this is Beltaine, and the theme is "A Gathering of the Elders." That explains the cabins. Beltaine! That means that there will be a May Pole, with a usual lack of subtlety.

Yes, a good time will be had by all.

Meanwhile, when I get back, I have promised a spell to a Lady. Her email address seems to have drifted from my altar. This is not an omen, but if you are reading this, please email spelcastor@aol.com back.

B*B, Spel

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4/24/07

This Saturday, from Noon til Dark, we celebrate Beltaine at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. See http//moonpathcuups.org/beltain07.htm Beltaine is a High Holy Day in the Pagan world and opposite by six months from Samhain. At this time, we celebrate birth, and life, and fertility.

There will be vendors, workshops, food, lot's of drumming, a labyrinth, a May Pole, our annual Sadie of the Hawk Chase, our 5 PM ritual, and at 7 PM, a handfasting with a unicorn.

Come, dress up, play, picnic, Lisa & Melanie are our food vendors. Have you seen the Sadie of the Hawk Chase? Women bond together to snatch leaves from the men. Hopefully, no male will need a medical evacuation this year.

We raise the May Pole in the traditional manner. The symbolism is less than subtle.

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4/17/07

Last Thursday, we learned about Walpurgis, the German Night of the Witches. We concluded with a masked ritual.

We had each made the masks from paper with cutouts for eyes, nose and mouth and appropriate symbolism. As we stood around the fire, I could recognize who was who, but the sensation was eerie. These could just has well have been other people from a different time and place. The masks could represent who we wanted to be or who we once were.

I'll have to do this in another ritual.

This Thursday we look at dance in ritual. Down the hall, the Church Muggles are doing an Empty Bowls fund raiser for the Cooperative Feeding Program. $15 gets you a bowl of soup like the street people get. It's a fundraisers, not a bargain. I figure I'll come early and buy a bowl. Afterwards, if we help with cleanup we can get free soup.

This Sunday you have another opportunity to do good deed at John Lloyd Park in Dania. and then go to the Pagan Picnic over at Snyder Park. There will be a Wicca 101.5 Class. 101.5? It's basic, but not that basic.

B*B, Spel

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4/10/07

See our beautiful Beltaine Flyer at http//MoonPathCUUPS.Org/beltain07.htm

This weekend we have drumming, Judy Harrow, Earth Day and a Friday the 13th.

I have been visiting our local metaphysical stores at late. I list some at http//MoonPathCUUPS.Org/local.htm

For a store to thrive, it has to be a meeting place, a connection to local elders, a learning space and kind of a Pagan Jewish Community Center. It's not just there for books and candles.

New people buy the most books. I already have a wall full of them. But I buy my calendars locally. I tend to go for obscure books, but when I write down the ISBN number, people can find them for me. I cruise the Internet for research, but not to save 50 cents on a purchase.

Yes, I've been to Barnes & Noble. I even know of one that has a Witch on the payroll. But they keep her in the stock room and away from the customers. I wish they'd let her out. She's fun, and hardly ever scary, except at Samhain.

I have too many statues already. When I am looking for yet another, I'd rather see it first. That's another thing shops are good for. I "support my local gunfighter." I want these stores to stay around. Not every town has a CUUPS chapter.

Conjure Globally, Shop Locally, B*B, Spel

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4/3/07

This Thursday in Study Group, we invite each person to tell of our Goddess, God, or Journey into the Craft.

We each have done our individual thing, but I expect that there will be common themes and patterns. Folks read and read and then they seek out other Pagans for Ritual and networking. There are not enough covened folk to train the rest of us, and some of us are solitaries by personality. Sooner or later, some path and pantheon speaks to us and we move in that direction.

Many choose to call ourselves Witches. Others choose to stand within the larger and more general circle labeled Pagan. No self-respecting Druid would call herself a Witch. And then there is Asatruar, Norse, and more.

Most of us like telling stories. For our newer people, here is a chance to hear how the rest of us got to where we are. It might be a bit like a Wicca 101.

So come out and play with us. We're in the room down the hall. Listen for the cackling.

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3/27/07

This week it's movie night at Thursday Study Group.

We have a 50 minute National Geographic Video on how come the white guys got to rule the world. It's called Guns, Germs and Steal and has to do with evolution of civilizations, geography, and weapons. Sounds Pagan to me.

It's time to plan some new topics for Study Grow. Who wants to do what? Who wants to hear what? Who wants to experience what? Somebody suggested exorcism.

What we do is where our energy takes us. what are needs are and whom we choose to include. This sounds a lot like life.

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3/20/07

Here I sit watching the scattered rain drops hoping we can do Tequesta Drum Circle tonight. If I hear anything different, I'll post notices at MoonPathCUUPS.Org and MoonPathCircle.Org/tequesta.htm

We are Earth People. We are supposed to like whatever the Earth does. Yet water is a little rough on drum heads,

Our next sabbat will be Beltaine Saturday, April 28. We will start at Noon with workshops and vendors. The Ritual will start promptly at 5 PM and there will be lot's of drumming. More to follow on that. I hear a rumor too that a handfasting will follow at 7 PM. Busy Day!

Those of us who see ourselves as Wiccan Clergy may be called upon to preside at many of Life's Passages. Besides handfastings and child blessings, there might be requiems, house blessings, cronings, healings, dedications, and other transitions.

When writing a ritual, I do best when I can get into the mood and the muses speak to me. I will dream up wonderful words. Then, it is best that I put these words aside and later read them over. The ritual is even better after I have performed it at least once. Before that, I might discover that some of my cleverness makes absolutely no sense at all.

Another passage that people face is hand parting. Here, too, some sort of ceremony might be helpful and healing. I have a draft of such a hand parting posted online at MoonPathCUUPS.Org/rituals/parting.htm I haven't used it yet, but I share it for others who might want ideas.

Now let's come up with a ritual to move this rain off shore.

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3/14/07

This Thursday we hold an open ritual to celebrate Ostara.

This is the Spring Equinox festival of Spring. This year, we are doing it Cajun Style with Swamp Witch Jane. For those accustomed to the Celtic traditions of Northern Europe.

The Cajuns were French settlers in Arcadia, Canada, whom the British transported to Louisiana in anticipation of the French & Indian was of 1763. No one does Witchcraft like the French so wear your ritual garb and bring food & beverage to share.

Meanwhile, This Saturday is also St. Paddy's Day. So I say, "Safe the snakes!" They are the symbol of the Pagans that St. Patrick looked to drive out of Ireland. So I will raise a green beer to the Goddess Brigit at McQuire's Hill 16 and be in fine form for the Ritual that evening.

Give me that Old Time Religion!

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3/6/07

This Thursday at Study Group, we share stories and music of the play Wicked coming to Miami next week. The Wicked Witch of the West was framed. The Wizard was a fraud. Glinda was a blond. Tickets may still be available. See http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/864373

This Saturday at 3 PM we remulch our Labyrinth at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. This weekend is your last chance for the Renaissance Faire.

Next week it's time for us to celebrate Ostara, Cajun Style. Green Crayfish anyone? They go great with green beer. Earlier that day, Spelcastor will be at McGuire's Hill 16 honoring the snakes that are making their way back to Ireland. On this day, offers to buy Spelcastor a beer are always welcome.

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2/27/07

Seals have been used for thousands of years to mark documents and commerce.

In Mesopotamia, they used a cylindrical seal that was rolled across wet clay. This might be wet clay globbed on the to of an amphora (clay jar) willed with wine or at the end of a legal document. The seal would be engraved with drawings and symbols that would be difficult to reproduce.

Look at a modern bottle of liquor and see the paper tax seal pasted across the top. A marriage license has the seal of the county clerk. Gang members scrawl their trademark sigel on street signs to mark their territory.

In ancient times, few people could write. The king or temple priestess would place their seal on documents. Engineers seal construction documents and notaries place their seal next to signatures that they vouch for.

When signing papers for your bank or stockbookie, they have a green medallion seal they use. The seal prints in a special green ink that will not copy and included bar codes.

When we are doing witchie work, it's fun to use seals too. These might be wax seals or embossings pressed into credentials or records. I found a nifty source for seals at www.waxseals.com

I can imagine a giant seal stamper that is guarded in the dungeons by a troll. On state occasions, the troll is summoned to lurch forth with the great seal for the HPS to apply. Blessed be.

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2/20/07

Last night I went and saw the musical performance of Celtic Women. Wow! See http://www.capitalceltic.com/celticwoman.shtml It was all quite magickal and the invocation was obvious to those who understand such doings. There were moving lights, smoke machines, multiple instruments, heavy drumming, and great sound.

How do I do this on our non-budget?

It makes me think about my next ritual and what to work into it. Since we draw big groups of 100+, we do use some technology. We use a PA system and microphones, both cabled and wireless. At night we hang lights above the altar so folks can see what is going on.

Techie props take some practice and getting used to. I can't just pull them out of a box 15 minutes before the ritual starts. There's sound checks, hiding wires and figuring out how to clamp mic and transmitter onto HPS and HP. Ladies do well to wear something near their chins that a mic will clip to and something not too lacy near the waist onto which to clamp the transmitter.

If you want to work with a TV group, such technology is not negotiable.

It's just not fun to stand in darkness watching far-off shadows mumble about whatever. For a coven of 13, all this is unnecessary. But when you want to gather a big group, it's bad manners to invite them and then just ignore them.

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2/13/07

Here it is 14 weeks after Samhain and not a Muggle is thinking about Witches. Are they all safely put away in their attics with their plastic pumpkins?

Now is the time of love, love spells, and love potions? Who ya' gonna call? The neighborhood Witches are sporting their red hats and capes. They are as alive and well and out and about. Everyone has their talents and these are not one-a-year skills

Sure they are frolicking over at the Renaissance Faire, but Dark Moon is approaching. That is a time for more subtle magick and magick that might go awry.

Need a little love in your life? Think about the full-time practitioners. And remember, if she won't talk to you, no amount of viagra will help. Blessed be.

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2/06/07

2/06/07

We had a wonderful Imbolc Gathering. Sandra Cheryl Richardson and the folks from Temple of Isis Rising led us in a beautiful ceremony.

This week's topic in Thursday Study Group is Ethics within the Craft. Yes, we have the Wiccan Reed and the Rule of Three but what else is there? In 1974, a gathering called the Council of American Witches came up with 13 Principles. That was a long time ago, and they never got back together to do anything else significant.

There is Lady Sheeba's Book of Ordains. That has been said to come out of the Gardnerian Tradition. Gardnerian leaders have denied that to me. And then different groups come up with their own sets of rules. Someone once suggested that men are especially fond of rules. As I recall, that person was a woman.

And then most of us grow up in Middle American Culture. For all the rejecting and escaping we have done, what have we brought with us? Our experiences are different from someone raised centuries ago in the hills of Ireland or on the planes of Mesopotamia.

So Thursday, I expect that we will have a lively discussion. Will we agree on anything? Maybe not everything. Blessed be.

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1/26/07

This Saturday we gather at 7 PM at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale. The Ritual should begin at about 7:30 PM.

We celebrate Imbolc, the first light of Spring. Although it is still Winter, and cold enough for us to get out our heavy capes, new life is beginning to stir beneath the snow up north.

Bring food and beverage to share. We will share a pot luck after the Ritual. Bring your drum. The colors of the season are white, and also red and black. Wear ritual garb if you have it. (And if you don't, come anyway.) This is one of the eight sabbats for which we gather.

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1/23/07

It is still possible to get tickets to the March performances of Wicked. See http://tickets.spiritair.com/ResultsVenue.aspx?venid=4760

I am studying the Greeks. They wrote down their history and their era followed the fall of the Goddess. They report old legends of the defeat of the Amazons as the Greek males rose to power. Apollo replaced an Earth Goddess at Delphi. Dionysus brought fertility to the land each spring by impregnating priestesses.

The Egyptian pyramids were build by contractors and not the slaves we see in the Carlton Heston movie of Moses. They were built 2000 years before Greece.

With the rise of agriculture, humankind could own more than it could carry. Accumulated wealth made war a profitable option. Early cities had no defensive walls, but, later, walls became necessary.

In war, the loosing males could die gloriously in battle while their wives and children were carried off into slavery with the oxen and sheep. The Greeks, with all there talk of democracy, were at the top of an empire that was 75% slaves.

So I wonder, did the fall of the Goddess make war and then slavery possible? Would a matrifocal culture permit slavery?

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1/15/07

AOL has run us off. To continue receiving these broadcasts, email Spelcastor-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

We celebrate Imbolc early so folks don't have to choose between conflicting activities. Ren-Fair is coming in February. Save $5 (minus $1) by buying your tickets online and using CUUPS as the promotion code. Then dress up and enjoy the day. When your looking for a restroom location, just ask the nearest gray-haired old wizard.

There are a couple Wicca 101's soon to offered plus a new Women's Spirituality Group opening up. Folks ask me about Wicca 101's. When you see one with a teacher you like, seize the opportunity.

Then the Full Moon falls upon February 2. That will get all the Brigid Devotees very excited. Any Goddess who can survive the Roman Church and come out as a Saint has got to be OK. Worship her anywhere: in the grove or in the chapel, just wear your Brigit's Cross.

But what I look for especially in this season is Warm Robe Night. That's when the temperature drops low enough that I can wear some of those heavy robes in the back of my closet. Sure, it was a great idea to buy them, but I live in Florida. Thus I look forward to January-February when I can dress very Celtic.

Any problems with that Yahoo-Groups subscription, email spelcastor@aol.com

And if you want off this list, just say so. B*B.

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