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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Freya Glamor

For a couples of hours one day this year, I needed to be beautiful. Of course I did all the usual beauty things like putting on makeup and so forth but that wouldn't get me as far as I needed to go. I needed to be beyond beautiful; I needed to be glamorous. 

Glamor is magic. It's not a coincidence that it's both a word for a certain sophisticated sort of beauty and also a word for the innate shape changing magic of the fae. 

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like the billowing floral wrap, but then I'm partial to floral displays.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Vegetable Garden

Some aspects of Minoan civilization feel very modern: big cities with paved roads, aqueducts, and enclosed sewer systems. But there were no supermarkets back in the Bronze Age, no international shipping of out-of-season produce.

I've written before about Minoan cooking methods and typical foods. I've even shared a grocery list of sorts, a compilation of all the foods we have evidence for - foods the Minoans cooked and ate.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    No doubt the Minoans also gathered a wide variety of wild greens, as the yiayias of Greece still do.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Yes, horta was apparently popular in Minoan times, as far as we can tell. I commented a bit about that in my post about the Minoan
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Are you sure Eggplants are from the Americas? I thought they were from Southeast Asia.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    You may be right. The Wikipedia entry for eggplant states "There is no consensus about the place of origin of eggplant" but the pl

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
There's a New Moon in Virgo

It's Time to Get Serious

There’s a New Moon in Virgo this Saturday and much weirdness afoot for Aries planetary influences. As I mentioned in my recent “Women Who Howl at the Moon” minipod, this latter development that actually occurred on August 20th, has old fiery Mars getting comfy in Gemini for the next seven months! To give you a little better perspective on this, Mars typically only stays in one place for two months tops, which could lead to some interesting developments between now and late March of 2023.

For one thing, Gemini as we know, loves to gab, and socialize. However Gemini is also known for multi-tasking and having many irons in the fire at once. Throw Mars in the mix and you could wind up with a lot of scattered energies and distractions, if you’re not mindful. What we can do is tap into that practical, cautious, and detail-oriented energy of steadfast Virgo to help us ride this phase out. Stay the course, do an “internal inventory,” to weed out the unnecessary stuff, as suggested on Yes Virgo can be irksome with its nagging and nitpicking, but it also can assist in keeping us focused and patient with the tasks at hand.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

We set forth seeking chanterelles,
past the barriers of thorn and bug
and into the quiet slopes and mosses
of an August wood.
We did not find many mushrooms,
but we did find:
A queen of hearts playing card
and a few steps later,
the jack.
A lower jawbone, worn and smooth,
incisors and molars
still in their places.
A turtle, once wounded,
now healed,
v-shaped crack in its shell
framing its patient
yellow-spotted face.
A copperhead snake,
perfectly patched
for patterns made by sunshine
filtered through oak leaves.
One crow feather,
a bit ragged,
and a gray feather too.
Three white-tailed deer,
startled into flight,
quick hooves clattering away
across the stones.
More spiderwebs than we can count.
The tiniest of tiny ticks,
spilling from seed head
into our shoes
and hastening our steps.  
Moss with sun on it
and tufted titmice
squabbling in the hackberry trees.
A spiral shell fossil,
sparkled with dusting of quartz,
its small curve pre-dating
every moment of the entirety
of human history,
and yet here today
with us now,
reminding us that we walk across
what was once the bottom of a sea.
The sweet sensation of aliveness,
that comes with loving something enough
to give up a bit of blood and body
just to have a taste.


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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Great poem! I hope that you and your husband are extremely careful whilst gathering mushrooms. Even people with decades o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bittersweet and Sometimes Deadly

Deadly nightshade, also known as belladonna, grabs attention because of its names and dark history of use by witches and sorcerers and as a poison. Bittersweet nightshade has its own lore, although mostly related to its powers of protection. While not as deadly as its belladonna cousin, eating the berries or leaves of bittersweet nightshade is sometimes fatal.

            Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) is also known as European bittersweet and woody nightshade. It is a woody vine with dark-green leaves that have a large, arrow-shaped center lobe with two smaller lobes at its base. The star-shaped flower has a prominent, yellow cone at the center and purple, backward-arching petals. The berries turn from green to yellow, then orange, and finally red.
            The species name dulcamara refers to the flavor of the berries that are first bitter and then sweet. It is said to be an unpleasant sweetness and certainly not worth the risk to find out. Always handle any part of this plant with care.
            Bittersweet was believed to have the power to remove a witch’s spell from a person or animal. During the Middle Ages, holly and bittersweet were attached to a horse’s collar to protect it from witchcraft. Garlands of bittersweet were hung around the necks of livestock to keep them safe from spells and harm. People sometimes wore a garland of it to cure certain ailments. Dried berries strung together as a necklace reputedly protected children from evil.
            Magically, bittersweet is instrumental for banishing or removing things from your life, including toxic emotions. Write the name of something or someone you no longer want in your life on a piece of paper. Wrap three bittersweet berries in the paper, put it in a box for three weeks, and then take the paper and berries outside to burn and bury. This method can also be used to remove spells and hexes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

scattered shoes | Caseykate | caseykate | Flickr


You can tell you're entering a temple by the shoes.

Men's shoes, women's shoes. Adult shoes, children's shoes. Sandals, brogues, sneakers: even a few dress boots. All scattered, higgledy-piggledy, across the floor of the entryway. Metaphor meets reality: to reach the holy, you have to dodge the profane.

In a standing temple, the doorway would be lined with wooden shelves to hold the shoes, but this is a temporary temple: a Lutheran church lent (with a generosity and hospitality that I find, in this time of bitter division, deeply moving) to the local Hindus for their holiday celebration.

(Back in the old country, there would be a mosquito-cloud of shoe-wallahs hovering around the door: young boys who, for a small consideration, will guarantee that your shoes are still there waiting for you at your worship's end. Here in well-fed America—let us acknowledge the fact with all due gratitude— they're not needed.)

For some, taking off your shoes before you enter a holy place might be about cleanness and uncleanness—think “ritually fit” if that language makes you uncomfortable—but for me, it's a simple matter of touch. For me, a pagan—a guest at a sister community's celebration—Earth, the ground of all being, is also the source of all sanctity, and shoes come between us and her.

After the midnight worship, my friend and host—himself a temple member—retrieve, on our way out, the sandals that we'd earlier left in a corner.

(Having arrived early to help with set up, we'd managed that prime stashing-place; we'd kicked them off because those fortunate enough to carry the god-images to the altar need to be barefoot. The pujari—priest—preceded the god each time, ringing tiny cymbals and chanting a praise-song as we went. Music accompanies gods wherever they go.)

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    In general terms, bare feet as a religious practice seems to be more characteristic of Semitic-speaking, rather than Indo-European
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    God said, 'Come no nearer; take of your sandals; the place where you are standing is Holy ground.' Exodus 3:5 When did that cus

 Tomatillo Verde

Yes, it's really true: a witch can make chutney out of just about anything.

Well, now the tomatillos are coming in: those near-kin of that best of nightshades that sure look like—but aren't—green tomatoes.

(No witch ever met a nightshade that she didn't like.)

When the time comes, you'll be able to use all those green tomatoes that you pick just before first frost in this recipe, too. Fortunately, that time is not yet.

Yes, it's a lot of chopping, with a long cooking time to follow. A food processor and a slow cooker will ease the work-burden greatly.

And seriously: you won't be able to believe that it's not Major Grey's.


Boss Warlock's “I Can't Believe It's Not Major Grey's” Tomatillo Chutney

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