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5,935 Barn Night Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock


It was past midnight when the boy knocked on Granny Weatherwax's door.

“Come quick,” said the boy. “The cow kicked Mrs. Brown, and she's gone into labor early.”

“What about the midwife?” asked Granny.

“It's the midwife that sent me,” said the boy.

Granny was on her broom so fast that she didn't even stop to close the door behind her.

She found the midwife in the barn beside Mrs. Brown. The straw was bloody. “Where's Mr. Brown?” Granny asked.

“In the house, boiling water,” said the midwife.

“Good,” said Granny, and crouched down to take a look.

Her face was hard when she looked up some time later. “You thinkin' what I thinkin'?” she asked.

“That we can save one, but not the other,” said the midwife.

Granny nodded, then frowned.

“Where you goin'?”

“To ask Mr. Brown what we should do,” said the midwife. When she saw Granny's look, she took a step backward.

When Granny spoke, her whisper was loud as thunder.

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Touch of Aphrodite: Aromatherapy of the Gods

For men, this oil stimulates desire and prowess. In a favorite bottle or jar, ideally red or pink, mix together the following recipe with a silver spoon:

  • 5 drops rosemary oil

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gardenia Glow Spell

Tantra, a greatly overused and gravely misunderstood term, comes from the Sanskrit meaning “Ritual, Meditation, and Discipline.” It involves a form of mutual worship of the Godhead (lingam) and the Goddesshead (yoni), in which divinity is achieved through simultaneous erotic and emotional union. This exquisite approach to deepening the love between you and your partner requires you to share mutually held intentions.

At the nearest greenhouse or floral show, buy as many gardenias as your purse will allow. Ten or twenty of these heavenly flowers will fill your bower with a sweet, seductive air. Place some of the flowers in crystal- clear bowls of water and some in a warm footbath, and scatter some petals in your bed. Undress and light a single gardenia-scented candle at the head of the bed. Crush some of the petals and rub them into your skin and hair, then chant this love spell:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs Vintage Corning Ware (A-84-B)


Libations played an important role in the religious practice of the pagan ancestors, and they still do today amongst Latter-Day Pagans.

But libations aren't quite what they used to be.

For the ancients, “libation” (Latin libatio(n)- < libare, “to pour”) meant what 19th-century translators used to refer to as “drink offerings".

Contemporary pagans, though—at least here in Paganistan—tend to use the term libation more generally, to mean “a sacred/set aside portion,” whether of food or of drink.

At feasts, in particular, it's customary to set aside a token portion of each dish for the gods: hence the modern usage—which would have been incomprehensible to the ancestors—of the “libation plate.” “Has this been libated?” people ask before taking a portion for themselves. No Midwestern feast table is complete without both the libation bowl (for beverages) and the libation plate (for the food).

Well, let the purists decry. (In the end, purism is its own punishment.) We're certainly not the pagans that the ancestors were; we can't be. We have to be the pagans for our own time and place: it's the only kind of pagan that we can honestly be.

And we can be absolutely certain that the ancestors would have approved the practice itself, if not what we call it.


It's something of a standing joke here in Midwestern Potluck Culture—surely the archaeologists of the future will know us as the “Casserole People,” from our most common cooking vessel—that no one will ever take the last piece of something on a plate.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Herd of Vigilante Florida Cows Helps Police by Corralling Suspect |  Southern Living


“You stinking cowan,” I say, fondly.

My friend returns my grin. He's no cowan, and we both know it.

“Now, now,” he says in mock-offense. “No need to get insulting.”


Cowans. (First syllable like the animal.) What is it about non-pagans that makes them so...well, cowanish?

You're cowanish if you're:

  • Clueless to the point of offensiveness, especially about things pagan.
  • Unobservant, especially of your environment.
  • Ignorant of the natural world and its processes.
  • Uncomfortable with the body and things bodily.
  • Incapable of seeing other people's perspectives.
  • Unquestioning.
  • Insensitive.
  • Incurious.

Of course, these stereotypes are utterly unfair, and largely a product of pagan self-conception. You certainly don't have to be a cowan to be cowanish.

But, then, that's kind of the point of the exercise, isn't it? Nobody wants to be cowanish, not even cowans.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tea for Two: Passion Potion

A tea of mandrake root, when mixed with the sweat of a lover, can be sprinkled around the bedroom to heighten ecstasy if accompanied by this chant:

Brew of mandrake, brew of desire,
enchant this bed with passion’s fire.
Cast a spell of ecstasy.
This is my will. 
So mote it be.
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Wings and Things: Minoan Airborne Symbolism

We often think of deities as being less tethered to the Earth than we are, so it only makes sense that many of them have winged creatures among their symbols and iconography.

I've written about birds in Minoan art before, but from a more general perspective, looking back toward the Minoans' ancestors in Neolithic Anatolia. But a lot happened after those people migrated down to Crete and began a new life there. So let's discover which birds - and other winged creatures - are associated with which deities in Modern Minoan Paganism.

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