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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Alchemy of Dyeing Eggs

Tomorrow's one of my favorite days of the year.

Egg-Dye Sunday.

This year will be our 38th Annual. (Usually it would be the Sunday before the Evenday, but next weekend we've got Paganicon.)

The year was 1980. I'd just blown into town, and Ostara was coming up. I'd been reading about dyeing eggs with natural dyestocks in folklorist Venetia Newall's indispensible An Egg at Easter and wanted to give it a try.

So a small group of us—myself, Knight, Tanith, Volkhvy, and Grog—got together in Tanith's kitchen to give it a try.

We've been doing it every year since. It's the oldest ongoing tradition in the local community that I had a hand in helping to found.

This being the Midwest, of course, we start off with a potluck: in this case, brunch. Then we stoke up the dye-pots—natural dyes are mostly heat-applied—and the annual alchemy begins.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    ...asparagus, strawberries, deviled eggs, cheesecake....
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Ham, sweet gherkins, and deviled eggs are the foods I associate with Spring/Easter.

In my recent Tapestry interview, I spent a few moments addressing the question of the relationship between magic and prayer. Since then, I've had several interesting conversations pursuing this particular question, and it reminded me of a short posting which I published years ago, in conversation with Adelina St. Clair, author of The Path of a Christian Witch. I'm re-posting that short essay here, and I'd love to hear from others about your thoughts on this topic.

One of the reasons I’m interested in this question of the relationship between magic and prayer, is that as a pastor and theologian, I often hear people talking about intercessory prayer saying something like 'well, it isn’t magic you know'. To me, it seems like that sort of statement misses the point of both magic and prayer. But it reveals that for many people (Christian and Pagan alike), intercessory prayer is about asking God to do something, and magic is making something happen praeternaturally, but without the direct assistance of God/dess.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Everyone Wants to be a Radical

When Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act in the late 60s, writer and Druid Isaac Bonewits (1949-2010) couldn't wait to see his FBI file. What would it say?

Subversive religious thinker?

Dangerous radical?

Finally the file arrived. Eagerly, Isaac tore it open.

Harmless religious fanatic, said the file.


These days, it sometimes seems like everyone wants to be a radical.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Chambered Nautilus: Sacred Geometry

Usually thought of as a living fossil, the Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) has been on the earth much longer than any fish. A relative of the squid and octopus, the Chambered Nautilus uses jet propulsion to zip around the ocean at high speeds (although backwards). Unlike the other cephalopods, She lives in a shell, and has up to ninety tentacles. Moreover, the Chambered Nautilus can live to be twenty years old, an unusually long life-span for a cephalopod. (Most only have life spans of three to five years.) 

Living in the depths of the sea, the Chambered Nautilus migrates nightly up the water’s surface. At night, She hunts along the coral reefs. Exploring with her beak, the Chambered Nautilus will find a tasty crab, fish, or shrimp to feast on. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of House-Gods and the Pork King

In the West Telemark Museum in Eidsborg, Norway, you can see numerous small wooden figures of “house-gods.”

Some of them date from antiquity, discovered, anaerobically preserved, in bogs.

Some are more recent.

In Norway's remote, rural Telemark region, house-gods such as these were kept at certain farms well into the 19th century. Associated with a specific farm and with the family that lived there, they were regarded not so much as gods, but as heirlooms, talismans that warded off misfortune and ensured good harvests and many offspring both to the family and its livestock.*

They say that one such house-god was called the Pork King. At holidays, it was customary to anoint this figure with lard or butter. At Yule, before the family took their traditional pre-Yule baths, the first to be bathed in the purifying waters was the Pork King himself. Only the mistress of the farm was permitted to be present for the bathing of the Pork King. Not even the farmer himself could witness this sacred ablution.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Menopausal Momma

I've been considering changing the name of my blog to "Menopausal Momma". I'll be 51 this year and menopause has hit me hard. Well, I guess for the most part, it's not too bad. As well, I haven't had to take any medicine for the symptoms, and only stick with supplements and diet. (pretty proud of myself)

The hot flashes are somewhat nice as I'm generally always cold. But they wake me up in the middle of the night and I then stroll into the bathroom, feeling my way through the darkness praying not to fall or wake anyone else up. I am not the most graceful, and it is very dark here at night. I also wear contacts and dislike my glasses with a mild passion. The bathroom is out the bedroom door, down the hallway a bit and I often pray that the dog isn't sprawled out in the hallway (black dog in the dark is never easy). The bathroom is cool, the tile on my feet helps to cool my flash.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Counsel to One Seeking a Patron God II

Egads, Roberto, everything that I try to write on this topic seems to want to condense into poetry! Maybe that's just the nature of the topic.

Anyway, wishing you Luck of the Hunt.


What have you always loved?

Who are your people? Who are the gods of your people?

If you could live in any other time and place in history, when and where would it be?

Immerse yourself in the Lore: the stories, the art, the culture. Follow where you are drawn.

Make offering and Call. Say: I am looking for You; speak to me, I'm listening.

Look for patterns in your life. Chances are, you're already being Called. Chances are, you've been being Called all your life.

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