Broomstix: Story, art, magic and craft!

Story, art, magic and creative activities for families to share and do.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Natalie Zaman

Natalie Zaman

From 2006 to 2010, www.broomstix.com was an online magazine for families following alternative spiritual paths. Relaunched in 2013, Broomstix has a new format, but the same, simple goal: to be a positive community resource where folks can share their knowledge and talents.

Simplify, simplify, simplify--that's the word for 2016. Posting here on Pagan Square has been, well, a bit spotty, but a little organization and simplification--and a magical year-long project--will (hopefully!) solve that. We're making some changes to Broomstix: The blogspot page is being reorganized as an archive and new posts will happen here only. It's A LOT less work to manage only one blog and put up what are (again, hopefully!) useful and enlightening posts on a regular basis. We're going to start with Evergreen...

Evergreen is a year long magical working envisioned--and now expanded--by Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com). It involves the use of a live, cut Yule tree throughout the year. Here's what it's all about--look for the post on how to prepare your tree on January 6th (thanks to Robin Ator (http://glowinthedarkpictures.com/tarot/for our accompanying artwork!)!

...
Last modified on

Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lammas, Mabon--the eight points in the year that we stop and celebrate the seasons. In the six to eight weeks between each Sabbat, changes have been taking place--some so subtle that you might not be aware of them. The nights get longer--or shorter--by only a minute each day. The weather warms up, or cools down. One of the things that the Sabbats call us to do is to stop and look at the changes that have taken place. It's a time to regroup, reflect, and plan ahead. So in addition to the celebrations, family traditions and seasonal crafts, it's a good idea to spend some time grounding or balancing yourself to deal with the season that's coming up. It's not hard to do. It just takes a little time, a little quiet, and some concentration.

In about two and a half weeks we'll arrive at the Spring Equinox. It's time for those things that were stirring to life at Imbolc to "spring" up--thanks to a warmer environment and nurturing Spring rain. The element of water is considered by many people to be the mother of us all. Think about it. Life started in the sea. And what about you? You floated around in your mom's tum for months, breathing, eating, and growing in water. About 80% of the human body is made of water! People really feel it when water is missing in their lives. Periods without rain--droughts--can cause failed crops and wildfires (we've seen that in the past year in Australia, and over here in the state of California). But just like everything else, balance is essential. Too much water kills plants, animals and people. Flooded areas can breed danger and disease. Remember Hurricane Katrina? That happened several years ago, but the people of New Orleans are still recovering from an overdose of water.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Samhain is a time to see, not just with your eyes, but with your mind and heart. It's traditional to make predictions at this turn of the wheel (it is the New Year, after-all), and there are lots of tools that can help us do this. One of my favorites is a scrying mirror. You can make a scrying mirror out of things that are probably in your home right now--save for the peacock feathers. You will need:

  • Coffee can
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Black Paper (If you have no black paper, you can paint the cardboard black once it has been cut--see directions below. Use as many coats as you need to get a solid color. Allow each coat of paint to dry before applying the next.
  • Cling film plastic wrap
  • Peacock Feathers (Besides looking pretty, the tips of peacock feathers look--and function--like eyes, and since this tool is going to help you “see" in a different way, they will make a great frame for the mirror.)

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Lughnasadh greetings to all my friendly readers from Airmid the Wortcunning Fairy!

I hope you are all having a bountiful early harvest because now is the best time for enjoying fresh treats from the fields and gardens-- especially berries. The most popular berry of Lughnasadh is the bilberry, also known as wild blueberry or huckleberry. These are smaller, juicier, softer and darker than the blueberries you would find at the supermarket, although they taste just as sweet. In Ireland, these berries are called fraochán. In the old days, everybody would get together and go bilberry picking around Lughnasadh, which was not as easy as it sounds because the best bilberries grow in the thickest patches of heather on the hillsides and peat lands. It's well worth the work, though, because later there would be scrumptious cakes, tarts and for the adults bilberry wine. If there is a good harvest of bilberries, the rest of the crops are sure to be abundant later in the year. (Bilberries on the bush. Photo by kahvikisu via flickr Creative Commons)

...
Last modified on

Got plastic bags? Many businesses offer or sell reusable shopping bag swag, but we still haven't totally eliminated the old standard disposable sack. If you have any of these lying around, reuse them as much as you can, and then up-cycle them. This is important work, and one of the best ways to honor the earth and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Even the rattiest plastic bag can be made into something cool: a heavy duty tote, an apron, place or door mats, even a shower curtain; the list is endless. Use extra care when doing this work with children as ironing and cutting are involved. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Assorted plastic bags (garbage, food, store) in different colors, sizes, patterns
  • Scissors
  • Wax paper
  • Iron
  • Ironing board or table covered with a heavy towel

Cut the plastic bags so they lay flat (no handles or folds at the bottom). You'll need between five and seven layers to make one sheet of material, so plan ahead to make sure you’ll have enough! In order to know how many plastic bags you will need, you have to decide what you are making. A tote bag (which will require sewing or stapling) will require more than a change purse. Of course if you use large bags, then you will need fewer. We made an apron, and used five medium store bags for the fabric, and four smaller bags that we cut designs out of to decorate it.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Natalie Zaman
    Natalie Zaman says #
    Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    So cool! Thanks for this!

We've arrived at the Spring Equinox again, which means its time to strike a balance. Use your Book of Shadows to develop and track this magical work.

Weigh Your Words. Four months have passed since Samhain, the new year, where you probably planned all sorts of wonderful changes for yourself. Draw a scale on a clean page in your Book of Shadows. One one side, write or draw all the things you've managed to accomplish since Samhain. On the other side, write or draw those things that are still in progress or waiting to happen. Look at both sides of the scale. Which side is heavier? Of the things you still have to do, are there any that you found difficult? What did you do when you were faced with that challenge? Did you put it off, or try and succeed? Or fail? How did you feel about that? Maybe you're in the midst of a task right now--how is that coming along? What about your accomplishments? Even if that side of the scale has less on it, perhaps those things took a great deal of work. Think about it and write down your feelings.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As the sun set on February 1st, Pagans everywhere began their preparations to celebrate Imbolc. This is an Irish word meaning “in the belly”, because lambs would be developing “in the belly” of the ewes (female sheep) at this time, waiting to be born in the spring. It is a fire feast because now we can truly see that the sun is growing stronger in the winter skies, and the days are getting longer.

But February 1st through 2nd (note: Irish pagans see the day as starting at dust the prior evening) is also sacred to the Celtic goddess known as Brigid or Bride. (The Celts were the tribes of people who eventually became the Welsh, Manx, Cornish, Scots, Irish, and people of Brittany). Her name means “Exalted (mighty) One”, as well as “Bright Arrow”. She is often seen as 3 goddesses in one, known as a “triple goddess”, because she had mastery over three things: fire and smith-craft, hearth and home, and poetry – which was thought of as magical, and born from the “fire” of inspiration. She is a goddess of fire, but also of water.

...
Last modified on

Additional information