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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Lone Animator: Imps

In Which Miss Bunny Finally Gets Her Witch-Name

All my cats down the years have come to me with other names: out-names, you could call them, names for everyday.

Though sometimes it's taken a while, they've all got proper witch-names eventually.

I acquired Miss Bunny (AKA the Bun, Bun-bun, the Bunster, Bunny Butt, and—of course—Bad Bunny) just after Lunasa last year. Being a Manx cat with a stumpy little tail, the name fit well enough, but—from the beginning—it struck me as a prose name, a name-from-without.

“Well,” I thought, “the inner name will come.” The first lesson of Witchery is patience.

To reach the new place, sometimes you have to get out of Dodge first. In the course of a recent road trip, it occurred to me: A Manx cat needs a Manx name.

(Closely related to Irish, Manx is—was—the Celtic language formerly spoken in the Isle of Man.)


Bonnag is the Manx name for a kind of sweet tea loaf. It's the Isle of Witches calque of bannock, the pan-Celtic griddle-bread.

And thereby hangs a tale: a stumpy bunny tail, presumably.

Bannock is an old and interesting word. (Every word's a story.) In the Anglian dialect of the Hwicce, the original Anglo-Saxon tribe of Witches, it was bannuc: one of Old English's rare handful of Celtic loan-words. (The Scots Gaelic version is bonnach.) This, in turn, derives ultimately from Latin panis, “bread.” There must be a story here, too—it's hard to believe that Britons didn't make bread until learning how from the Red Crests—but that's another tale for another day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 42 Manx Cat Colors & Patterns (with Pictures) - Excited Cats

Simmy was a one-person cat, and I was it. She was also an adept of the astral.

When I won a scholarship to study in the Middle East, she disappeared for the entire time that I was gone. Oh, my housemates could tell that she was still around: the litter box was used, the food bowl emptied. But see her, they didn't.

Simmy, you see, was Busy.

She was my first cat, a petite brown tabby Manx with a stumpy little tail. (One of her nicknames was Bunny Butt.) Like most Manx, she was a powerful jumper. When bats would get into the house—a perennial problem wherever witches live—she would jump for them as they wheeled around the room, and never failed to catch them out of midair.

I'd been gone for about a month when one morning I dreamed that Simmy was sitting on the foot of my bed in my room in Jerusalem. I very much had the impression that while her body was laying inert in one of her secret hiding places, her soul had out been roaming the world in search of her Human. Found me she finally had, after a month of searching.

But that didn't mean that she wasn't pissed. She was sitting on the bed with her back to me.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
I Take Myself Too Seriously

I just got off the phone after talking with my spiritual mentor. We discussed the importance of creativity, but mostly other very heavy topics. It was challenging, though she's kind and gentle.

What made it terrifying was that, after facing some ways I defeat myself, I phoned her to discuss them with her. Though they're nothing shocking, it can be scary to disclose one's faults, no matter how humdrum and unremarkable the faults or how nice the person to whom one is speaking. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • thomas byrnes
    thomas byrnes says #
    So what? We all take ourselves too seriously; that's the Cosmic Joke. Yes it is great that our furred and feathered friends can sh
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thomas, hi, I'd just been thinking about how long it's been since we've been in touch! It's lovely to hear from you! Thanks for re
  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith says #
    Our familiars are so clever! They always seem a bit ahead of the curve for what we need. Which is, truly, to not be quite so earne
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Oh, yes, we scorpios are deadly serious. Sometimes I think it can truly be deadly. Thank gods for my cat.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    That's okay, Francesca, I also take myself too seriously. It's just one of the silly traits that make me so lovable! And, like y

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Opening our hearts again

As some of you may recall from my previous article, our cat of nearly fourteen years, Tiger, passed away. We were going to wait a while until we welcomed another furbaby into our home, but I couldn't stand being alone so much during the day. I missed Tiger keeping me company between calls, his playfulness, his unconditional love. In my forty years, I've never lived alone, and I've hardly ever have been alone for more than an hour, and the silence was deafening. It made the pain of loss that much worse.

So a few days before Mother's Day while scanning PetFinder (a site that features rescues), I came across a beautiful little girl born March 12th whose description matched all of our needs down to the letter. I talked to my husband Ron, and we agreed for me to put in an application online. We were approved right away, and on Sunday, Mother's Day itself, we went to go meet that sweet little girl named Holly. We fell in love and took her home!

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lori Dake
    Lori Dake says #
    Yeah pretty much!
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Puppy cat!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As you may have noticed, I've been a bit scarce around here since last autumn. Many changes have occurred in my life which I won't bore you with just now. However, one good thing that came out of the past several months is a better idea of how I want to use this blog. See, each of my blogs has a personality, and this one was taking a little longer to coalesce. I liked having a place to write about some more 101-focused information, since there are still plenty of folks who are just learning, but I was having trouble coming up with ideas--until now. While I have spent many years helping other pagan folk along their paths, you may consider this my first official advice column. 

You're welcome to ask me questions at You will be anonymous, though your question will be posted as quoted. The more questions I get, the more I can post!

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