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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honey Love Shortbread
  • 1 cup butter

  • 1⁄3 cup honey

Last modified on



When my father died at the end of August, he left me a wheel of cheese.

We're big cheese-eaters in my family. Several times a year, I would open the front door to find a box of cheese waiting on the doorstep. À propos of nothing in particular, Dad would have decided that his son needed some cheese, and would send it along accordingly.

Cheese is a sacred food: sacred, in particular, to the Moon. Moon, milk, whiteness: it all fits. (Not to mention cattle, with their crescent-decrescent horns.) When they say that the Moon is made of green cheese, it's a reference to a wheel of ripening (“green”) cheese. Because the cheese isn't ripe yet, it's still uncut, i.e. round, like the full Moon.

That, of course, we refer to a round of cheese as a “wheel” is in itself a prime indicator of sanctity. To pagans, the Wheel—meaning the Cycle—is a prime symbol of Being. Time is a wheel, the world is a wheel, life is a wheel. To pagans, it's all wheels.

The last box of cheese that my father sent me before he died included a large (= five pound) wheel of Baby Swiss. It's sat in the refrigerator for months now, because once a wheel of cheese is cut, you've got to use it up, and there's no way that I could eat that much cheese before it would start to mold.

Well, Yule is coming up. One of the many things that I learned from my father—not from what he said, but from how he led his life—is that your job as a man is to see that your people are taken care of. If that means that you have to work two jobs, you work two jobs. If that means that you have to pick up a gun and shoot someone, then that's what you do. Not because you want to shoot anyone, not because you want to work two jobs. You do it because that's what it means to be a man.

I was never the son that my father expected; I never married or had a family. In the end, every man has to find his own way to manhood. There are many ways to be a man, and Dad always had the love to let me be my own kind.

So, Yule. We don't usually exchange gifts in the coven anymore—thank Goddess, we decided to discontinue that as-if-Yule-weren't-already-stressful-enough practice several years ago—but this year I've got something very special for everyone regardless.

Last modified on
Homemade Sweet Treat: Candied Herbs
  • 1 cup vodka

  • 1 cup simple sugar syrup

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Here we are in this liminal space
in which old chapters close b2ap3_thumbnail_solstice-crone-on-the-stones.jpg
and things are laid aside,
set down,
put to rest.
We exhale into the stillness,
into the waiting time
between times
So, too, we may feel
newness and promise
coiled and pulsing,
sometimes whispering,
sometimes shouting,
sometimes singing
of the new and beautiful,
the exciting and inspiring.
May we have the courage
to sit between these two calls
May we allow ourselves
to settle for a spell
right here
between the tight and tender.
May we know both brave action
and brave stillness
as we allow the old and new
to steep together
in peace and trust
inside the crucible of change. 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Be My Valentine: Food Magic

Food can set the mood all its own as a prelude to a night of love. Surprise the object of your affection with one of these treats:

  • Chocolate is rightly called the “food of the gods.”

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Sheela-na-gigs: The naked women adorning Britain's churches - BBC News


You could think of her as the female equivalent of the Green Man.

If, as some contend, Sheela na Gig originally meant “Sheila of the Breasts,” she's a pretty classic example of, shall we say, upward displacement. Really, one has to admire such bald (!) candor.

To pagans, the body is hero: it's no surprise, then, that this minor motif of late medieval sculpture should have become something of a mascot to the new paganisms, with our signature revaluing, and re-spiritualization, of the body.

Gaze deeply into her mysteries, our Sheela.

There, suns are born, and constellations wheel.


Sheela na Gig

(To the tune of: “Felix the Cat”)

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Snake Tube: Not a pet carrier!

Snake tube. What an odd name for a Bronze Age artifact from Minoan sites. That's what Sir Arthur Evans called these cylindrical ceramic objects that were decorated with wavy serpentine shapes running up and down them. You can see a few on the bottom row of the image at the top of this post.

Evans called them "snake tubes" because he thought the Minoans kept pet snakes in their temples and homes, and these tubes were their little houses. I mean, they're decorated with snakes, so why not?

Last modified on

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