How Do We Include Kids in Ritual Without Making Adults Run Screaming?

How Do We Include Kids in Ritual Without Making Adults Run Screaming?

 

by L. Lisa Harris

Ask a group of ritual facilitators what their philosophy on children in ritual is, and at best you’ll get as many different opinions as there are people in the room. At worst, you will have pushed a hot button that operates an opener attached to a huge can of worms. This topic is near the top of my “ways to start an argument at a pagan gathering” list. I’ve seen this issue turn a harmless candle-making party and ritual planning session into a virtual war zone, and don’t even get me started on what it can do to an e-mail list.

Groups that put on large public rituals, those who work in small family coven structures and every sized group in between all eventually face this issue. Public ritual comes to most people’s minds first when they think about controversy over kids in circle. But even in small covens, where all of the members consider themselves a family and parents or “aunties and uncles” to the children of other circle members, disagreements as to if and when children should be in circle do crop up.

One of the many issues that parents who want to include their children in ritual can run into is what circle members wear (or don’t wear). Bob, a member of a “medium-sized traditional coven” is concerned about the legal ramifications involved in having children present in a group that works skyclad.

“There are certain considerations when allowing children in ritual,” he said. “For instance, being skyclad in front of a child can get a person charged with sexual abuse in many states.” Just because a child is taught that nudity is perfectly normal and not necessarily sexual, it doesn’t mean that society as a whole and the judicial system will see it that way. If a small child casually mentions seeing “Uncle John’s wee-wee” to a teacher or member of the medical profession, the parents are likely to receive a visit from Child Protective Services.

A greater danger arises when the parents of a child are separated or divorced. Even if there is no ritual nudity, a parent who wants full custody can claim that what goes on in ritual is damaging to the child. Seeing someone hold a blade to Mommy’s throat and issue a challenge to her when she enters a circle, or even witnessing a light ritual scourging, can not only be frightening to a child, these things are also not going to look good if a complaint is filed by an ex-spouse with an axe to grind.

Some small groups prefer that ritual be a place for adults only. “Circle is a place for women to relax and take a break from their daily parenting responsibilities and nurture themselves,” said Luna, who facilitates a women’s circle. She doesn’t want new mothers to be left out of circle but has very clear rules regarding the presence of children. “Babies at the breast are welcome in our women’s circle, but once a child is old enough to be left with family or a sitter, we expect that mothers will come alone. They need to be able to bond with other women and to have time that is theirs alone.”

Sage, a father of two, feels strongly that children should be included in circle. “It is vital that we teach our traditions to our children, or they will be left open to conversion by more aggressive religions and there will be no one to carry on after us.” His partner Oana agrees: “We have a responsibility to provide for the spiritual education of our children. Christian churches have Sunday school, so why is it wrong for us to teach our religion to our kids?”

When it comes to public ritual, not everyone has or understands children, and many people have very different ideas as to what is appropriate behavior and how much parental discipline is called for. Stardancer, a mother of three, feels “watching children joyfully play in a circle is a beautiful sight. We don’t want to suppress their natural energy, it can be quite infectious.” Kim, who is married and “childless by choice” does not agree. “Poorly supervised kids in ritual distract everyone else, and they don’t learn or experience anything. Don’t get me wrong, I like kids, but ritual should be a sacred space that is not filled with running around and yelling.” She doesn’t place the blame for disruptive behavior on the kids. “It’s ludicrous to expect a 3-year-old to stand quietly in a circle or to understand what’s going on.”

Some groups don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 at any event. “Our circles can get a little wild and crazy sometimes, and the owner of the place where we meet doesn’t want to worry about having minors around,” said Wolfehawk, a member of a small group that hosts open events. Other groups restrict the age of the children to middle-school-age or older and specify which events are appropriate for kids. Freya, a Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans member, said, “We let older kids par-ticipate in most of our rituals, with the excep-tion of Samhain, as it tends to be a bit too intense. Although middle school seems to be a good cut-off point, it’s not always that easy. Reaching a chronological age or grade in school is not always a good indicator as to how a child will behave in circle. I’ve seen very young children pay attention and be respectful, while older kids in middle school have behaved atrociously. It’s really all about the individual level of maturity and how the child has been allowed to behave in public by their parents.”

A few groups have experimented with various forms of paid and shared childcare. “The problem with the concept of co-op child care is that one or two parents get stuck with all the kids all the time while the parents that tend to have the most badly behaved kids just dump them off and go have fun,” advised Morgan, a solitary witch and mother of two. “Sooner or later, you get tired of doing all the work and missing out on the festivities and ritual workings.”

Some groups that have considered hiring a babysitter to provide paid childcare have run into liability concerns. They are afraid that if a child gets hurt when childcare is being paid for at an event they sponsor that the group members will get sued. Anne, an attorney, advised, “The fear of lawsuits for an injury or allegation of abuse is very real, particularly if someone is providing care without a license. People will sue over anything, and you never know what a jury will do. Liability releases aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” Another problem with paid childcare is the policy that most pagan groups have of not turning anyone away due to inability to pay. Either you give some people free childcare and not others, or you allow some parents to bypass childcare. Either way, someone is going to feel that it’s unfair.

Yet another possible solution is making all kids under a certain age check into childcare and requiring all parents to work a shift. This concept did not go over well with me at all when one local group suggested it about a year and a half ago. My daughter, 11 years old at the time, was still in elementary school and would have been required to check in as a kid. I have trained her as a witch, taught her circle etiquette and even given her small roles in ritual at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Tacoma (UUAT). She generally behaves better than many adults in circle, and I most certainly was not going to “reward” her hard work and good behavior by allowing her to be labeled and treated as a “child.” My rule is that if a young person has continually behaved like a responsible adult in circle, then he or she deserves to be treated as such. In addition to my objection to what I considered an insult to the maturity of my daughter, an older, well-behaved young woman, I didn’t feel that I should be required to baby-sit the children of parents who couldn’t be bothered to teach their children manners or to supervise them.

Several local groups have had great success with separate rituals specially designed for kids. I was at a Mabon event earlier this year where just such a ritual was put on. The quarters were marked with colorful balloons, and the adult leaders led the children in a merry dance to lively music. I overheard several adults say, “I wish I was a kid, so that I could be in that ritual.” In this case, the children’s ritual, along with other kid’s activities, was held before the adult ritual, which still left the issue of what to do with the kids during the adult ritual.

One of the major obstacles to successfully including children in ritual with adults is the lack of a standard of behavior. What one adult interprets as children freely expressing themselves is often viewed by other adults as a lack of parenting. “I have to ask myself, do these parents let their children behave like this in school, restaurants or in other peoples’ homes?” said Laura, a mother of a 7-year-old daughter whom she is raising in a goddess tradition.

David, whose children are grown, has had negative experiences at public festivals where children were not supervised by their parents. He said, “I was at one outdoor festival where a very expensive drum was ruined by kids whose parents were nowhere in sight. There was a band of unsupervised kids running around all over the place banging on the drums and playing with things on the altars. It was like their parents just walked off and figured that the community would take care of their kids for them.”

I am one who feels very strongly that we should include our children in our rituals when possible. I tried for almost three years to bill events at the UUAT as child-friendly and trust that parents would ensure reasonable behavior from their children. It became increasing apparent to me that this was not going to work. After several complaints from adults who felt that ritual was disrupted and after having to clean up several messes left by unsupervised kids, the Gaia’s Grove earth-spirituality group had to implement a set of rules for at UUAT events. The following statement is available at the check-in table, is posted on our Web site under the heading “parents please read” and is also addressed in pre-ritual discussion:

We love our children.

We want them to be part of our community and events.

We design our rituals to be child/family friendly.

Due to past damage to chairs, carpet and other UUAT property, and to ensure that all ritual guests get the most out of their experience, we must now abide by the following rules.

  • Children must physically be with a parent or adult guardian at all times.
  • Children must respect altars, drums and personal item as hands-off.
  • Children must not climb on stacked chairs.
  • Children must not walk on the furniture.
  • Children may not run nor roughhouse in the building.
  • Children in circle should participate in the circle, not play with other children and/or disrupt the person/people who are speaking.
  • Children may play in the nursery downstairs WITH ADULT SUPERVISION. The nursery must be picked up afterward.
  • The circle guardian will gladly cut parents with fussy kids in and out of the circle as necessary.

Even with the new rules in place, it seems that some parents are just not sure exactly where the line of “disrupting the ritual” gets crossed. I found that often the parents with the most disruptive children were oblivious and did not think their kids were a problem, while the parents with well-behaved kids, who weren’t quite perfect, stressed out trying to make them behave well. We decided to enlist the help of a circle guardian who gently and discreetly offers assistance to parents whose kids are pushing the limits of being disruptive. After Gaia’s Grove implemented the rule, a handful of people decided not to bring their kids anymore, which is too bad. The ones that still bring their kids are making a concerted effort to help them to respect the ritual and others in the circle.

The challenge to groups of any size is to balance the needs and desires of parents and communities to involve children in ritual with the needs of adults who don’t want their ritual experience disrupted. It is ultimately up to parents to decide if their children’s behavior is appropriate for the circle they are bringing them to, but it is also vital that ritual facilitators address this issue and make expectations and behavioral standards clear in a supportive, yet firm, manner.

Hey Ya’ll, It’s A Happy, Happy Day! Why? It’s FRIDAY!!! TGIF!!!

Good Morning Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Friday morning, my friends! How is everyone doing this morning? I hope super. It is a get-away day and plus it also Father’s Day Weekend! Have you got all the special men in your life their presents yet? My husband told me something a long time ago that I now use on him, lol!

When Mother’s Day rolled around one year, I asked him why he hadn’t bought me a Mother’s Day present. He turned around and told me, I wasn’t his mother that’s why he hadn’t bought me a present. I have a memory worse than an elephant. Every year, I turn the tables on him and tell him, “he’s not my daddy, hmm!” He ought to have remembered the old saying what goes around comes around, lol!

Well let’s see what we can get into real quick…..

Ah, an Irish Blessing For You, My Friends!

When the first light of sun-

Bless you.

When the long day is done-

Bless you.

In your smiles and tears-

Bless you.

Through each day of your years-

Bless you.

Have a super day, dearies!

On Becoming a Crone

On Becoming a Crone

Author: Belladonna SilverRayne

Why is it so hard to admit we’re growing older? Why do we fight it tooth and nail? Society and the media as a whole, wants to show aging as something to be fought against, to be put off as long as possible. Why? Look at any sit-com, news broadcast, music video…. it’s all about being young and “beautiful”. Youth is made out to be the epitome of what we all want to be. Who wants to get old, right? Wrong!

I will be 45 on my next birthday. A fact that, when said out loud at first, made me mentally cringe. “Me? 45?? That means only 5 more years till I’m 50!!” After I said it aloud several times, and really thought about it, I could say it with confidence. Yes. Me. 45 going onto 50.

And I love it! I am moving into the Crone stage of my life, and enjoying every minute of it!

I loved the Maiden stage, when I was young, supple, carefree, and self-indulgent. Who among us didn’t? Life seemed so simple, so easy to handle. And it was. My biggest worry was what outfit I’d wear out to the club to dance and make merry with friends.

I sowed my oats, looked out for number one (me, of course) and just basically did my own thing. I moved at the speed of light, never really stopping to appreciate the things around me, never really taking anything in. Just “doing”. As I got a little older, I met the person that would become my husband and the father of my kids and we began our life together.

And I grew.

Then came Mother-hood. My body showed great evidence of the birthing of my children, as did my energy levels, emotional (in) stability, and newfound patience. I now had three other human beings, put on this Earth by me, all looking TO me to provide, nourish, teach, and love. Wow! As they grew, learned, made mistakes, and matured, I did as well. I managed to learn along the way to slow down a bit, to really notice things as they happened around me. I watched and listened a little more carefully now. I loved every moment, good and not so good, watching these amazing people who were once actual, living parts of my own body, turn into individuals, all truly unique within themselves, seeing them overcome hurdle after hurdle. Such a reward in life I will never receive again. Or will I?

I divorced my husband, and watched my kids growing older, going out on their own, and beginning their lives as young adults.

And I grew.

When I first began my Pagan path, I was still in what is considered the Mother stage, my kids were still relatively young and “needed” me in a mommy way. I was still very fertile, and the idea of having another baby sometime was not out of the question. Time passed and that idea faded, along with my monthly menses. (Can’t say I miss them much!)

It took me quite awhile to realize that I was no longer in that stage once the Croning period began. I wanted to fight it, to deny it, all for vain reasons, I’m sorry to say. I wanted to cling to that youth, or at least the image of it. Or so I thought. Now, after having met, gotten to know, and come to love, many admirable women, all in the Crone cycle of life, I am fully aware that I too am at that stage. And come to find out, it’s not so bad after all!

As I move into my Croning time, I don’t look at it as an ending, but a beginning, very akin to giving birth (only this time, I don’t think I’ll need all the medications!) . I will be giving birth to my Self. I can allow my Self to now grow, learn, and experience life, as I once allowed my children to do these things.

I am eager to gain more wisdom as time goes by, as the Great Wheel turns, and as season drifts into season.

I am learning to cherish the lines on my face, as each one stands for some lesson learned, some path walked down, perhaps a hardship suffered and come through stronger because of it.

I have begun to admire my stretch marks as battle scars, won not on the field of some war, but fighting to bring life into this world, one wonderful child at a time.

I now embrace the fullness of my softened body, knowing that even though it may not bring life into this world any longer, or be as taut and supple as it was two decades ago, it can still allow for pleasures, for physical support, and for living life in a healthy, Goddess-filled way!

I am now allowing my mature mind to expand and create in ways that it could not in the past.

I enjoy the younger ones coming to me, asking for my opinion, needing a particular sort of comfort that only someone my age can offer.

I am now ready to walk towards the end of my path in this particular life, knowing that even though it comes towards me quicker than ever, there is still much to gather, much to pass on, but still much MORE to learn and take in.

In Pagan societies (as well as many others) Elders are looked to for advice, comfort, wisdom, and as examples. Who better to follow than a grand Crone or Sage, not past their prime, but fully embracing it, fully aware of themselves as human beings? I so hope to be such an example, to my children, my Pagan brothers and sisters, and non-Pagan friends, alike. I want to show what it is to age gracefully, to accept that life is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth, in so many ways. I want everyone to see that while youth has it’s merits and perks, so does growing older and wiser.

Whatever stage of life you may be in as a woman. Maiden, Mother, or Crone, realize the absolute beauty of the moment, embrace it for all it is worth, and live each cycle to the fullest. Know that you have earned all that you are made up of, inside and out. And fear not, for Crone is not the end of the line, it is the goal we, as women, all strive to attain.

The Unfinished Journey .. The Best Is Yet To Come ?

The Unfinished Journey .. The Best Is Yet To Come ?

Author: Crystal Crone

As I sat in the quiet of my sitting room last week, my mind drifted back over the years of my earth journey. I wondered to myself if this could be because I was now comfortably at ease in my life as the ageing crone. I tried to shake myself out of my mauling by focusing on all the things that were pressing my mind for attention.

Dinner lay uncooked on the kitchen unit, birthday cards lay unwritten on the table, and my journal had thrust itself under my nose as I had gone to my cupboard for candles, as if crying out for attention. Well, dinner can wait until I am good and ready, the pen is not my exclusive right in this house full of people and so what if I hadn’t made an entry in my journal for four days!

No one would know that except me and as nothing ritualistic or momentous had happened during those days, why should I worry?

Now old girl, I thought wryly, is this you doing what you said would never happen and kicking back against this ageing process you have found so comfortable? I soon made up my mind that there was far more going on than this!

Life for Pagans is fairly disciplined by the very nature of our beliefs and for me to slip outside of what is the norm for me is both unusual and quite a shock to this fragile system.

So with all this in mind, I took myself off to the chopping board to redesign what was to have been a heartily cooked meal, to a hastily prepared salad. All the while my mind was ticking over, trying to establish what was going on here and why the rebel I never knew existed, was pushing its way to the front of my mind in an effort to be heard.

I hope I can be believed when I say that my life as a crone has never held any fears or regrets for me. In fact, I have never really noticed the transition in many ways as, following the passing of my daughter, I became both substitute mum and nan to my grandchildren. I guess there has never been time to notice those lines forming on smooth skin, or the vision that seemed slightly impaired, or the feet that ached at the end of a long day.

No, in all honesty my life seems to stretch down the years with fun, laughter, discipline of devotion and of course, tears of loss from my life of those who were part of me.

Thinking all this, I banged the hastily prepared salad onto plates (just to make it look as if some thought had gone into the preparation really) and returned to my chair in my now sun bathed sitting room, to mull over these new and disturbing thoughts in my head.

My long journey hasn’t always been easy, or even good in parts, but is has been mine to make. Along the path, I have met many people who have left their mark on my life, made a few mistakes, or errors of judgment had one or two regrets to I guess. Being me, I have never really focused on my destination (if you but knew my ability to get lost on a journey I may have made many times before, you would understand why that is :)), but my journey has been very important to me in terms of personal life satisfaction. I never ever got everything I tried to do right … why should I have done so, I am mortal after all, not some divine creature.

So with this in mind, I got to thinking about life in general and the world in particular!

To say it has changed beyond belief since I was a child is to state the obvious. After all, many rivers and streams have run under proverbial bridges since that time of old! I guess that the safest thing to say is that changes came, I complained, or rejoiced, as the case may be, that so much change was surely unnecessary, then continued to walk my path in a way that suited me and my way of life best.

I was always mindful of cause and effect, always as careful as I could be that my actions did not impact in a negative way, on the lives of others. Mostly, I was able to live as maiden, mother, and now crone, according to my own will.

I have had blessings, to many to recount, these were no doubt balanced in some way by my losses, which were fewer, but raw to my soul. I have reveled at Sabbats, danced at celebrations, performed my rituals and spells with honor and devotion and tried to point young seekers of paths to where the knowledge, or help, for their intent lies. All very satisfying one might think, so why this sudden departure from the norm, to the world of the ageing rebel?

Does this happen in the lives of everyone approaching a time in their lives when the end of the road is far more visible in the distance than the beginning ever was? And why is it that I had never given any thought to this before, I wondered?

As I grappled around my mind for something to blame for these phenomena (the human side of me looking to blame something again), I was consumed by laughter that bordered on hysteria almost! Of course this time will come upon all who are walking the path of life toward end destination, I was willing to bet that each and every one had reached the same impasse as I at some stage to.

The revelation it was to me to finally acknowledge the end destination should not have been the cause of my hysterical laughter for sure, so from that I had to assume that it must be my blessed peace that awaited me in the Summerlands, or that the “rebel” had been born, so to speak. I decided it was neither … I am as yet unprepared for journey’s end and nor am I about to rebel against that which has formed the foundations of my life.

My bemused sister, returning from a hard day at work, looked at me with something in her face close to an intention to call on the men in white coats, bearing a straight jacket. It took a very hastily thought up explanation to allay the fear I saw in her eyes for sure!

After she and the children had feasted on my oh so carefully prepared salad, we sat and spoke about the way she had found me when she came in from work. She has four years to catch up to this day in my life and I would like that she, or anyone else that may come to this, will realize as I did that it isn’t negative to think journey’s end, especially if you have tried to fill your life with all you wanted to do.

Being human, we will always find things we would like to have done, there will be many things we will wish we had thought more carefully before we did, but at end stage it was our journey to make whatever.

I can’t say this world is a good place to be; who could with all the abuse we make of the precious gift the Mother gave us to care for. People are feared for their safety as fundamental Islamists attempt to impose by terror, their beliefs on others who want nothing more than the freedom and peace to follow whatever faith they choose believe in.

Our wildlife is threatened by climate change and civil liberties we always took for granted are stripped away at an alarming rate these days. But even with all that, we live in a world that is so precious, we can choose to learn or not, we can follow a path we choose for ourselves because we are basically all spiritual beings living a human existence. This ageing crone has many of years of devotions under her belt (well maybe a skirt as the waistline has not been compatible with belts for some time now :)), so I am prepared to listen in reflective silence these days.

The people I have met have been there for a reason, a season and hopefully, many for a lifetime. I have hopped on and off “the bus of life” many times on my journey … on occasion I would have to be dragged back on board kicking and screaming, but all in all it has been good for me and mine.

I would say to young Pagan pathwalkers that if the experiences of an old crone count for anything, it is to say that the future lies in their hands now. There is much to be done, many voices to be heard, the young amongst us are our hope for the future. They must never forget that the best of learning comes from the voice of experience, so the elders amongst us must be heeded as they draw on those experiences.

But they are the absolute future.

We who travel on to journey’s end will do what we are able to save for them the wonders of our precious world, as we draw on their youth and strength to give power to our tasks yet to do.

The Mother never said it would be easy, no bump free ride was ever promised, but she did give us gifts in life that were ours to use, or not.

As I said, I have met many learned people who have inspired and enlightened me; I have thought at times that I know all the answers because of my age. I know now that we are never meant to have all the answers and that is not to be regretted, but rejoiced in, as it means that the best may still be yet to come.

My heart tells me that it is, even if the signs are not so good at this precarious time for our planet.

I wish all, Pagan or otherwise, a journey without fear, a life full of fun, laughter and adventure with the promise that age is interesting and not at all as bad as it may seem. For myself, I will journey on in the same manner I have lived my whole life, the destination may be over the horizon, but I have far to much to do to approach it willingly.

After all, I shall become a great grandmother of yet another soul needing the loving arms of this old crone I feel :).

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

Author: Horizons Coven
The Maiden

There was once a time in your life that everything was filled with wonder and hope. Everything was brand new, colorful and the world immense and full of beauty. We were young and innocent. Life was the priceless pearl we discovered by opening the shell. There were Fairy Tales with happy endings where everyone lived happily ever after, and we believed in this possibility. Dandelions were just as lovely as roses and we gathered them as offerings of love to our mothers. We were imaginative; our creative spark took us anywhere we wished to be. Strangers were exciting and mysterious, but were not to be feared. Instead they were heroes with make believe talents and abilities. Clouds became a never-ending parade of circus animals. Unicorns danced in our dreams. We were open to possibilities. We could be anything we wanted to be. We knew without a doubt that some day we would meet our prince charming. We would live happily ever after.

Over time, we were taught to be strong and capable. We were taught that dreams were okay, but we needed to keep our feet on the ground. Our heads were filled with ideals that weren’t our own. We learned to be afraid. The world wasn’t what we imagined, but a place where danger lurked at each corner.

Childlike and innocent is the Maiden. Her hopes and dreams are as certain as truth. Loving and gentle, her world is very fragile as her trust rules over fears. She dreams of a loving relationship that will outshine any tale. Yet she blushes easily when admired. She has not experienced the ways of the world. She is the eternal optimist. Her spirit cannot be crushed and hope reigns eternal. The world is enchanting and magickal. She resides within each of us as the innocent one. She dances with us in a field of wildflowers and tumbles to ground next to us in ecstasy. She whispers her secret desires to the winds and they tickle our ears as the find their place in our heart. We are the oysters and she is the pearl contained within. She is the beauty emanating from within our being for the world to see. She is pure, untouched by the harsh reality of the mundane world.

I can see her as if standing before me, her long hair flowing about her as she dances with the Fae in a circle beneath the crescent moon. Her graceful, lithe body moves gently in the rhythm of lunar energies. Her spirit glows, the radiant light emanating from her heart. Her long flowing gown cannot hide the young woman’s frame beneath. Her laughter is like chimes in my ears. Her smile lights the universe.

Growing in strength and brightness each night, the Maiden, known as Diana and Artemis in the Mediterranean area, is usually depicted carrying a bow and quiver. She is the first aspect of the triple Goddess. Sometimes called the virgin or huntress, she represents the spring of the year, the dawn, fresh beginnings of all life, the repeating cycle of birth and rebirth, the waxing moon and the crescent moon, enchantment and seduction. She shows the way through the inner labyrinth to the divine center where the greatest of spiritual mysteries lie. She is matter and energy held in suspension until the right time arrives. She is a shape shifting Goddess who drives a chariot pulled by silver stags. She helps women who are threatened or harassed by men.

She rules over animals, singing, enchantment, psychic power, fertility, purification, magic, sports, mental healing, dance, forests, and healing. She carries the seeds of all potential: anything is possible and all possibilities are within her. She does not limit herself by the needs or beliefs of others. She is in love with the mystery of life. The Maiden represents expansion, the female principle, and promise of new beginnings, youth, and excitement. The Maiden is associated with the colors white, light pink and light yellow. She symbolizes youth and anticipation of life. Associated with purity and nature, She is usually seen in the company of animals. In the aspect of the Maiden we see the world with child-like wonder, and also huntress and warrior, as Athena and Artemis are known to be.

The Mother
There is nothing like being pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was happier than I had ever been in my life. Knowing that a life was growing inside me was amazing. I felt more alive than ever before. I could not wait to hold this little miracle of love.

Okay, there are times where you are so sick you want to die. When the baby decides to try to use your rib cage to score a touchdown it doesn’t feel great. You have weird cravings for food.
You are swollen and can’t see your toes and feel like a blimp that swallowed a blimp.

When a child is born, we always want to count fingers and toes and to know once and for all, girl or boy. We have such great expectations for this tiny bundle of joy. Perhaps he will be president. Perhaps she will be a ballerina. We cannot wait to dress them, to show them off and to take pictures of everything from their first diaper change to the first smile.

Fear sets in once you get home. You call the doctor often. Is this the best formula? Are these the best diapers? She/He spit up, is she sick? Do I need to bring the baby to the hospital! The baby gets colicky and cries all the time. You can’t sleep because you worry excessively. You can’t sleep because the baby is crying. Is she hungry or sick? You have to go check and make sure she is breathing! Our maternal, protective instinct has kicked into high gear.

Now, imagine for a moment, we may have a few children; some families have 13 or more, think how many the Goddess has! We are all children of the Goddess, no matter our age. Our child learns to speak and says Mama so many times we want to pull our heads off! Imagine all of the voices and prayers going out at any given time to our Mother, the Goddess.

Our Goddess Mother has our best interest at heart. She wants for us to be happy and healthy. She never turns away because she is tired and wants some peace and quit. She loves us unconditionally. She understands our hopes and desires and dreams. She lives within our hearts. You can lean on her when you need strength and patience with your little one. You can place your child and yourself within the love and light of the Great Mother and trust that she will always be there for you.

The second Goddess aspect is the Mother, the archetype involved in active creation. She represents the summer, blazing noon, reproduction and fertility, the ripeness of life, the Full Moon, and the high point in all cycles. Her traditional color is red, the color of blood and of life itself. She is the great teacher of the Mysteries. The Romans named her Ceres and the Greeks named her Demeter. A virgin of the oldest sense, independent and unmarried, this Goddess gives birth to a son. Called the Grain Mother, the Eternal Mother, and the Sorrowing Mother, she is the mother of Persephone, who wed the lord of the Underworld. Her power extends over protection of women, crops, initiation, renewal, fertility, civilization, law, motherhood, marriage, and higher magic.

The mother devotes herself to “other”: people and things outside of herself. Though the archetype of the mother often makes one think of a woman giving birth to or devoting herself to her children and family, here we are speaking of all of the possibilities of creation. She is a selfless soul whose devotion and love are unconditional. It is here that responsibility and commitment is established.

Some of the symbols of the goddess in the Mother aspect include the serpent, the poppy, and the symbol of Underworld Goddesses, the torch. The Mother also represents fulfillment, stability, and power. The color associated with the Mother is red, the color of blood and the life force, and green, a fertile color. In ancient societies, the pregnant Mother was a metaphor for the fertile fields that sustained the people of the land. The menstrual blood of the Mother has been associated with magick and ritual since Paleolithic times and was thought to have power for healing and fertility.

The Mother is a pillar of grace under pressure. She is capable, strong, and loving. She smiles as the young child plays, joy flooding her heart as her offspring giggles in delight at some new discovery. She keeps the fear and panic hidden when we are sick, be it in body or in spirit. She continually prays for us. She wipes the tears from our eyes, chases us down to give us medicine, and helps to build a pretend fort with blankets. She watches you while you are sleeping and love fills her heart. She is like a tree in that she is able to bend, but is has a strong foundation supporting her.

Climb into the Mothers arms and be nurtured. Within her embrace we are ever safe and loved. Share your dreams with her. She will do all things possible to help you to achieve them and more.

The Crone

We have all seen the little old woman, her hair thin and sparse, her skin aged with wrinkles, her smile crooked as her false teeth lay in a glass to the side. Many associate this image with the Crone. Her hands tremble as she brings food to her mouth. She looks like a baby with food dripping down her chin. Time isn’t always kind to us in that our bodies betray us. But if you were to take some time with this woman, you would find a font of wisdom, a history of love, of sorrow, of experience.

Her spirit still shines. Her face is soft and compassion flows from her heart. Though she appears weak, her essence is strong and sure. She understands your dreams and desires. She has shared them and she has experienced them. She knows what is important in life. She no longer rushes about headstrong seeking. She delights in the memories of all she has seen and known. Some think she has endured. The truth is, she has lived. That is what is important, the living and loving.

Pain causes a momentary tremor in her voice. She will tell you truths. Will you be willing to listen, to hear her words? Can you sit and hold her hand and experience the journey she is willing to share with you? Can you look at her with respect? Can you look beyond the fears of your body aging?

I see my grandmother, gentle and soft spoken, holding me close in her lap. Beside her lays some yarn and knitting needles. She always has time for me and my questions. She receives great joy in watching the young ones at play and reminiscing about her life as the children begin their lives. There is depth to her heart and eyes that show the years of learning the importance of compassion. There is understanding well beyond that of the dreamer’s hopes.

She moves a little slower now and can no longer bare children. In this day and time, people tend to cast the elderly aside. This is heartbreaking. There is so much love and wisdom they have to share. It may be a time of rest, but it isn’t a time to be tossed away. They should not have to live through memories, as they are still able to give so much to this world!

Most cultures cherished their grandmothers and counted them as wise ones once upon a time. They had seen things and done things to survive in new worlds. Once upon a time they were maidens. Once upon a time they were mothers. They know the mysteries of womanhood.

As I entered into the stage of the Crone, I realized that all I have seen and done helped me to become whom I am today. I am a little slower, but I have more patience, more love, and more compassion. I know there are times to sit quietly and say nothing. I know there are times I should offer my wisdom. What others think of me isn’t important, as I know self-love. I know how precious life and time are. I have found that worry does not save me from sorrow or pain. I have found that life isn’t about satisfying the ego. Life is about acknowledging the blessings we have received from joy and from pain, from fear and from faith. I realize that I cannot change the past but that what I have learned from it provides comfort. She is a fount of wisdom, untapped by a modern world. Not because she isn’t willing to share her wisdom, but because we are so self-involved. I cry for the Crone because so many have forgotten her value.

The Crone, also called the Dark Mother, the Old Wise One, or the hag, represents winter, the night, the universal abyss where life rests before rebirth, the gateway to death, reincarnation, the waning moon and the New Moon, and the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. She is the third aspect of the Triple Goddess. Her traditional color is black and sometimes the deepest of purples or dark blue. She is the initiator into the Mysteries. This aspect symbolizes death and dissolution. Everything in the universe has a life cycle, at the end of which they malfunction, decay, and transform into a different set of materials, elements that are recycled and reformed into something new. The souls of humans are recycled by the Crone and her cauldron, into a new incarnation.

The embodiment of the Crone, Hecate, Queen of the world of spirits, Patron of Priestesses, and the Goddess of Witchcraft, has keys and cauldrons as her symbols. She has power over enchantments, averting evil, dark magic, riches, wisdom, transformation, purification, limits, incantations, and renewal. She is not detached from the world; just not involved in the ways she was before. She can be completely honest because she has nothing to lose. She holds the wisdom, teaches and shares stories with those who will listen.

The crone was once revered as an old woman embodying wisdom and for her knowledge of the truth of cyclic existence. Crones cared for the dying and were spiritual midwives at the end of life, the link in the cycle of death and rebirth. They were known as healers, teachers, way-showers, and bearers of sacred power. They knew the mysteries, were mediators between the world of spirit and the world of form. In pre-patriarchal societies, women’s wisdom held healing power. The crone wisdom was the most potent of all. For nearly thirty thousand years, old women were strong, powerful sources of wisdom. Crones were respected and honored in their communities.

Our appearance may show a lot about our lives. Weathered hands showing our hard work. Our skin weathered like tanned hides show we spent a lot of time outdoors. These outward appearances don’t begin to show the person beneath the surface. They don’t show the entire journey. Look beyond the obvious and you will discover the treasures of life, the joy, the sorrow, all blessings, to the Crone. Don’t sorrow for her because her time draws nigh upon this plane. Rejoice with her. Embrace what will come, accept what has been, and dare to experience all.

From my manuscript – From My Pagan Heart by Lady Kiya

It’s August Already? Really? Oh, by the way, Happy Monday, dear Readers!

Oh man, can you believe it is August already? Where on earth has this summer went? I was just remembering the start of Spring. Easy for me to remember, I use to be a Spring Equinox baby till they moved the date in March. I know I ain’t crazy either. I remember the weatherman giving two dates as the start of Spring. I thought “good for you, Mr. Weatherman!” People tend to forget the older things in life. Excuse me, I am not saying I am old now. That’s the one of the lovely problems with being a Hereditary, you hear everything at least four to five times from all sorts of different witches. The funny thing, when they tell you it is like they know you have never heard this before. I believe when I was about ten, they finally decided one person telling me something was enough, lol! Some of them I actually knew, others knew me as a baby and passed their knowledge on to me when I was very young. I can imagine them whispering in my ear. But I seriously doubt if it was a magick spell or anything, more like an old lullaby or a similar soothing chant. When I came along I was the first baby in years and years. Yes, I had a sister but she was 23 years older than me, yeah. I grew up like an only child. I was spoiled rotten and daddy’s girl. This made my sister mad and my father told me, she was even mad when she found out my mother was pregnant with me. My sister and my mother were both pregnant at the same time. My sister had her baby first, then I was borne the next year. My nephew, myself and then my niece were all the same age. There was only a year apart in our ages.  So you can imagine what life was like around our house. No wonder, poor daddy stayed on the river so much (he was a river boat captain, gone 30 days, home 30 days). I believe if I had been grown and had good sense, I might have left too, lol! But I remember my sister bringing her kids over to the house on the weekends for momma to babysit. Everywhere we went it seems like those kids was with us. The party stopped when my mother developed cancer and we found out she only had perhaps a few years to live. That was the hardest thing a 11-year-old child can hear. Your mother, who had been your whole life, is getting ready to die.  I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it. I remember the surgery, momma had. The grown-ups kept trying to push me back. Well I stayed back, right behind daddy’s back.  I heard everything. This doctor only gave her a few months to live. I went to the bathroom and slid down the wall. I cried and cried. I even cry now when I think about it. My father never told my mother the truth about what the doctor said and now I don’t think that was right at all.  My mother lived for two years, most in severe pain and in and out of hospitals. I think now if she could have lived a little longer perhaps they could have cured her. It is horrible to loss someone who you love that much. I can still feel the empty hole in my heart ache and hurt. It is a hollow place that no matter what, it can never be filled. Every now and then, I relive this horrible experience like I am doing today. I can’t forget it. I loved my mother more than life and her death has made me who I am. I remember when I got married, I prayed that I would live long enough to see my children grown. I wanted to live long enough to see them grown, able to take care of theirselves and never have to ask no one for anything.  Both of them are now grown and I have been granted a beautiful life thanks to my Goddess.  I got in one of these blue moods as I called them because I didn’t have a mother like everyone else. Then it hit me, STUPID! You are the luckiest person in the world. You have 3 mothers. The Goddess, My Deity and My Mother, three of the greatest women I have ever knew.  I don’t know if you have heard the old saying, “out of every dark cloud is a ray of sunshine.” When I was little, I could comprehend this. But now as I am older, I understand it completely. I still miss and love my mother but I realize I have picked up two wonderful Ladies to dry my tears and comfort me. I never had that before till I asked my Goddess and My Deity to be my mothers. My head clears and there is a sudden warmth that fills my body, it’s the Goddess telling me it will be all right. There is no way you can make anything good out of death but you can eventually come to terms with it. You can find great peace and comfort in our Mother, the Goddess and perhaps even your Deity. Whenever you need Her, she is there and will never desert you. Those of us who know the Goddess and Her teachings are some of the luckiest people on the face of this planets.

Go gives those you love a hug and a kiss one for you and one for me. Don’t let another day pass without you telling them how much you love and care for them.  Life is short, too short.

Luv & Hugs,
Lady A

On Becoming a Crone

Author: Belladonna SilverRayne

Why is it so hard to admit we’re growing older? Why do we fight it tooth and nail? Society and the media as a whole, wants to show aging as something to be fought against, to be put off as long as possible. Why? Look at any sit-com, news broadcast, music video…. it’s all about being young and “beautiful”. Youth is made out to be the epitome of what we all want to be. Who wants to get old, right? Wrong!

I will be 45 on my next birthday. A fact that, when said out loud at first, made me mentally cringe. “Me? 45?? That means only 5 more years till I’m 50!!” After I said it aloud several times, and really thought about it, I could say it with confidence. Yes. Me. 45 going onto 50.

And I love it! I am moving into the Crone stage of my life, and enjoying every minute of it!

I loved the Maiden stage, when I was young, supple, carefree, and self-indulgent. Who among us didn’t? Life seemed so simple, so easy to handle. And it was. My biggest worry was what outfit I’d wear out to the club to dance and make merry with friends.

I sowed my oats, looked out for number one (me, of course) and just basically did my own thing. I moved at the speed of light, never really stopping to appreciate the things around me, never really taking anything in. Just “doing”. As I got a little older, I met the person that would become my husband and the father of my kids and we began our life together.

And I grew.

Then came Mother-hood. My body showed great evidence of the birthing of my children, as did my energy levels, emotional (in) stability, and newfound patience. I now had three other human beings, put on this Earth by me, all looking TO me to provide, nourish, teach, and love. Wow! As they grew, learned, made mistakes, and matured, I did as well. I managed to learn along the way to slow down a bit, to really notice things as they happened around me. I watched and listened a little more carefully now. I loved every moment, good and not so good, watching these amazing people who were once actual, living parts of my own body, turn into individuals, all truly unique within themselves, seeing them overcome hurdle after hurdle. Such a reward in life I will never receive again. Or will I?

I divorced my husband, and watched my kids growing older, going out on their own, and beginning their lives as young adults.

And I grew.

When I first began my Pagan path, I was still in what is considered the Mother stage, my kids were still relatively young and “needed” me in a mommy way. I was still very fertile, and the idea of having another baby sometime was not out of the question. Time passed and that idea faded, along with my monthly menses. (Can’t say I miss them much!)

It took me quite awhile to realize that I was no longer in that stage once the Croning period began. I wanted to fight it, to deny it, all for vain reasons, I’m sorry to say. I wanted to cling to that youth, or at least the image of it. Or so I thought. Now, after having met, gotten to know, and come to love, many admirable women, all in the Crone cycle of life, I am fully aware that I too am at that stage. And come to find out, it’s not so bad after all!

As I move into my Croning time, I don’t look at it as an ending, but a beginning, very akin to giving birth (only this time, I don’t think I’ll need all the medications!) . I will be giving birth to my Self. I can allow my Self to now grow, learn, and experience life, as I once allowed my children to do these things.

I am eager to gain more wisdom as time goes by, as the Great Wheel turns, and as season drifts into season.

I am learning to cherish the lines on my face, as each one stands for some lesson learned, some path walked down, perhaps a hardship suffered and come through stronger because of it.

I have begun to admire my stretch marks as battle scars, won not on the field of some war, but fighting to bring life into this world, one wonderful child at a time.

I now embrace the fullness of my softened body, knowing that even though it may not bring life into this world any longer, or be as taut and supple as it was two decades ago, it can still allow for pleasures, for physical support, and for living life in a healthy, Goddess-filled way!

I am now allowing my mature mind to expand and create in ways that it could not in the past.

I enjoy the younger ones coming to me, asking for my opinion, needing a particular sort of comfort that only someone my age can offer.

I am now ready to walk towards the end of my path in this particular life, knowing that even though it comes towards me quicker than ever, there is still much to gather, much to pass on, but still much MORE to learn and take in.

In Pagan societies (as well as many others) Elders are looked to for advice, comfort, wisdom, and as examples. Who better to follow than a grand Crone or Sage, not past their prime, but fully embracing it, fully aware of themselves as human beings? I so hope to be such an example, to my children, my Pagan brothers and sisters, and non-Pagan friends, alike. I want to show what it is to age gracefully, to accept that life is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth, in so many ways. I want everyone to see that while youth has it’s merits and perks, so does growing older and wiser.

Whatever stage of life you may be in as a woman. Maiden, Mother, or Crone, realize the absolute beauty of the moment, embrace it for all it is worth, and live each cycle to the fullest. Know that you have earned all that you are made up of, inside and out. And fear not, for Crone is not the end of the line, it is the goal we, as women, all strive to attain.

Spirit of Spring

Spirit of Spring

Author: Ceru

It’s an odd time of year to share a ‘ghost’ story but springtime reminds me of an experience I’d like to share as the trees bud.

In the early spring of 2008, I was asked to housesit at the family home of a dear friend. They were going to leave for the week and visit grandparents some distance away and felt uncomfortable leaving the house and the dog alone for that long. I gladly accepted thinking it would be like a mini vacation, it ended up a disturbing job.

My first clues should have been the event of the week before when my friend (we will call him Jake for confidentiality) and I were watching a movie. The both of us heard glass shattering and I was sure the carnival glass his mother collected had fallen off of the shelf and broken in the computer room. When I checked, there was a pile of green iridescent shards in the floor, the neat pile should have struck me as odd but the only thing on my mind was his mother and how she might cut her feet if she got up. I walked around the jagged threats and woke his mom up to tell her about the incident and told her I’d clean it up. She got up to help me but when we returned to the spot all of the glass had simply vanished.

I stared blankly at the floor unsure of how to react. I’m sure you can imagine how insane I felt. Jake still sat on the couch. I told him what happened but he shrugged it off saying that maybe we heard it coming from outside but it still didn’t explain what I seen. I analyzed it and decided I seen the glass because I thought that it would be there.

Before Jake left with his family he said to me “If the dog wakes up and starts barking late at night just ignore her, she does that sometimes.” The comment should have been red flag number two but it never went up.

My first day in the house went well. Jake’s family had bought the house next door and started renovations (Now that I think about it I guess I was double house-sitting) . They were paying me to paint Jake’s room and do some cleaning which helped to pass the time. After a days worth of painting, I went back to the main house, peeled the paint cloths off and took a hot shower. By 8:00 p.m. my little girl was tired from playing and watching cartoons and dancing while mommy painted so I put her on a sleeping mat in Jake’s bedroom and sang her to sleep; I put myself to bed shortly after.

At 2:15 a.m., I woke up hearing my little girl wondering through the house. The sleepwalking wasn’t unusual and two-year-olds have a reputation of waking at random hours looking for ‘momma’. So I wondered into the dark living room and called out to her. I heard her little feet running. I followed them into the kitchen and called for her to come to me. Then there was laughter aS she managed to get around me and head to where the kids slept. I followed again and told her to come to mommy. The pitter-pattering of feet were then suddenly on the other side of the house. Without a doubt, fear struck me. I thought to myself she couldn’t move that fast.

In a dire attempt to check my sanity, I ran back to Jake’s bedroom and crawled around on the floor looking for my daughter. She had simply pushed herself into the doorway of the closet; she had been there the entire time. Fear struck me again. What had I been chasing? I feel asleep beside her, asking my guardians to protect and shield us.

Morning came and so did a visit to Nanna’s house. I took my little girl to stay with family while I finished housesitting. I returned with the intention of discovering what exactly was going on in the house. I wasn’t disappointed. The second day went completely normal. There were no disturbances in the house but I found it hard to sleep and woke every few hours.

At 2:22 a.m. the next morning, the dog growled under the blankets. In fact she didn’t just growl she came completely unraveled jumping from beneath the blankets, and her hair stood on end. My first thought was someone was trying to break into the house (as I’d been through that before and I wasn’t too far off) . I checked the doors and windows, and in the stillness of a dark room, I listened but by this time all was quiet -including the dog.

Approximately an hour later, it was a repeat experience but I didn’t bother checking entrances. The ‘logic’ was thrown out the window and I did what I should have done in the first place: I followed my intuition and followed the dog.

Growling and dashing here and there, she steered me through the kitchen to the doorway that led to the computer room (the same room where the broken glass was piled) and there in the door way was a looming, smoky shadow. The dog was growling at it ferociously. It felt angry and towering and it communicated with me both through the pain in my stomach and striking mental images that didn’t make bit of sense to me immediately.

In my mind I saw the house next door and the yard. The focus was the work being done to the property. I didn’t sleep at all for the rest of the morning but with coming light and a few cups of coffee, I managed. The smoky figure had dissipated from my vision but I still felt its presence. When the sun came up I took my cup of coffee and in bare feet and walked to the house next door. The presence didn’t seem to be anywhere in the house.

I exited through the back door and started to walk the property; the visions returned to me. An extremely large hole had been dug on the property and Jake’s parents were filling it with trash they had found in a storage shed that they intended to demolish. Several trees had been completely pulled up and one tree, a walnut tree and the largest on the property had been terribly burned on one side from the burning of the trash.

My stomach ached standing before this tree and I found myself very upset as tears started streaming down my face. Without any words, it had told me. I could see that this spirit was trying to get the attention of Jake’s family for some time and they ignored it. When it realized I could sense it, it lashed out desperately this is what I could hear and feel.

I left but returned later with small tokens, water, milk, honey, silver and energy for healing. I promised to tell the family what I had learned.

The spring time is the awakening of the plants, nay, for the very earth itself. It is said that the Morrigan wakes them by striking them at Imbolc but perhaps the next time we carelessly pull up a plant or knock over nature in any form we might consider those beings who are a living part of their physical element and treat them as we would a deer slain for food, with respect, an offering and a prayer.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Becoming a Grandmother

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Becoming a Grandmother

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers

BY: Terrie Todd

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.
~Welsh Proverb

I thought I was prepared. I was a mother, after all. I already knew what it meant to love someone so much it hurt. I understood the old adage that to be a parent is to walk around forever with your heart outside your body. I had written in my journal, revealing all the emotions I’d discovered tag-teaming in my heart: happiness, melancholy, anxiety, joy, anticipation, worry. I had seen the ultrasound pictures. I’d crocheted a soft, fuzzy blue blanket, patiently undoing all my bungled stitches and doing them over so it would be a perfect square. I had memorized the verses in Psalm 139 that tell how God wonderfully forms us in our mother’s womb. I had prayed for this child and for his parents daily since I learned of his existence. I had written letters to his mom and dad, assuring them how proud I was of them both, how I’d be as supportive as I knew how to be, how they would be excellent parents.

I’d prayed for myself, too. I’d wrestled with the idea that I was going to be a grandmother. Shouldn’t I be wiser first? Or sweeter? Or at the very least, a better cook? How exactly did one cram for this event? I had even admitted to myself that I would soon be sleeping with someone’s grandfather. That idea took a little getting used to, let me tell you! 

I had bragged to my friends. I had celebrated with my mother. I had gifted my daughter-in-law with maternity clothes and bought the most irresistible little stuffed puppy for the baby.

I had done all of that. I thought I was prepared.

The day he was born, I rode along with his other grandparents to the hospital to meet our mutual little descendant for the first time. We were told to wait in the hallway while the nurses finished up whatever they were doing with him and his mother in the room. While I waited, I studied the instructional posters on the walls, filled with advice for new parents. I remembered how challenging those first few days could be. Given the hospital rules, I fully expected that my first sight of my little grandson would be in his plastic baby bed and I was prepared. But when I turned around, I instantly knew that no amount of groundwork could have prepared me for that moment. Instead of the expected baby bed, I was beholding my own firstborn carrying his firstborn in his arms.

I came unglued. Part of me was carried back twenty-six years to the day I first laid eyes on my son. But those twenty-six years had passed in an instant, and here I was looking at the next generation, with the same dark skin and the same head full of thick, dark hair. He was beautiful and I was smitten. I didn’t even try to check the tears running down my cheeks as I held him in my arms and hugged his dad as tight as I could with the baby between us. What a cherished moment!

This little boy is about to turn three years old and now has a baby brother. Every day brings new adventures, new things to learn, new memories to make, and new opportunities to wonder at the marvelous work of our Creator. These little guys have taught me that sometimes stopping to watch ducks is more important than getting in out of the rain. They’ve uncovered my own impatient ways, the ones I thought I had overcome. They’ve reminded me that time spent cuddling a sleeping baby in a rocking chair trumps pretty much anything.

Most of all, I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I tried, I could not have prepared to love someone so profusely, or to learn so much from someone so small.

Good Saturday Afternoon, dearies!

Well I know I am sort of running late, what can I say? A lot, lol! Just the moment I think my life is going to be normal, I get throwed another curve ball

My day started out this morning at 3:30 a.m. Why I woke up at that time I don’t know. But I woke up wide awake and ready to go. I made coffee, dried clothes, cleaned up the living room and after all that I cleaned me up. I actually sit down and put on makeup. Makeup is something that I seldom put on anymore. I wore it for years and when I quit wearing it, no one noticed at all. Which pissed me off thinking of all the time I wasted putting the stuff on! Anyway, when I am around my children they prefer their mother to wear makeup, especially the son. The daughter tells me I look better without it. I think both of them have come to realize, Mother don’t give a crap what they say. She is going to do what she darn well wants too. Back to this morning, I got all cleaned up where we could go to one of my grandchildren’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. If you are not familiar with “The Cheese” it is a pizza place with games. The party took place at 9;30 this morning. I am sorry at that time it makes me sick to my stomach to think of eating pizza. I got to thinking back and I never ate pizza early in the mornings even when I was a teenager. Anyway, we got up and drove 25 miles to the party. We were actually early for a change. My son was glad to see us. His oldest daughter was playing games when we came in and my son was following her around. So we met up with them and talked and followed the grandkid around. I know we have to look hilarious at times. But when we first got there, we ran in to my son’s father-in-law. We walked right by him and he didn’t bother to speak or nothing. He acted like we were invisible. Which don’t bother me because his is the backside of a donkey. My son’s lovely mother-in-law wasn’t there yet. She is one of those people you would just love to meet in a dark alley and of course, I have told her this. If it appears, I don’t like these people, you are right. I don’t. The bad blood started even before my son married their daughter. I thought I was the only one that she got under their skin so bad. I was wrong. I didn’t realize how the woman was till we went out one time for my son’s birthday. We went to a local restaurant for his birthday. We were seated at a large table. We were running late that day and my son was standing outside waiting on us. He told us he just needed to get some air. We went in and future daddy-in-law was turned watching a basketball game. He didn’t turn around and speak or nothing. I sit down and looked at my husband and he looked at me. We were both thinking how rude this man was. Then during the meal, my daughter’s boyfriend at the time was talking to me about changing out a transmission in a car. When my son tried to talk, his future mommy-in-law kept telling him to shut up.  Every time that boy opened his mouth, she told him to shut up, you don’t know what you are talking about, just shut up! My face got bright red and I stood up and knocked the chair in the floor. I leaned over on the table and was getting ready to shut her mouth and my daughter grabbed me.  My daughter told me, I needed to go to the bathroom with her.  We went to the bathroom and I think the whole restaurant heard me hit the towel holder. I busted two knuckles but I felt a hell of a lot better. So after staying in  the bathroom for about 15 minutes, I cooled off. When we got back, mommy-in-law didn’t open her mouth the rest of the time. A couple of weeks later, my son was out at their house. Something was said and I don’t know what it was but my son politely told them not to mess with him because his mother was a witch. I liked to have died. I told him you just don’t go around telling that to everyone. Why do you think I waited till you were in your 20’s before you found out? Well needless to say, I live in the Bible Belt and these people have enough religion for half the country. My son was married in a church that was not his religion he was brought up in.  He deserted his religion, his Path and almost his family. His wife doesn’t like for him to come out here at all. When he does he suddenly develops a backbone. I don’t know how he puts up with any of them. None of them want me around the grandkids. I have talked to my husband about it and he tells me to ignore them. That they are ignorant and you can’t combat it. But it is needless to say, they don’t like me and it don’t hurt my feelings one bit. Back to the birthday party, it went fine. Mommy-in-law and her sister held the baby the whole time, we were there. I finally ask out loud, if my son would get his daughter were I could see my grandchild. I got to kiss and love on the baby. The funny part is that see looks just exactly like my sister when she was little. She has the black hair and brown eyes, I love it. And of course, I keep telling them she looks just like her too. Evil ain’t I, lol!

So we left the party and on the way home, I got threw for a whirlwind. At one time, we bought my son a Ford Ranger. He got to working and bought himself a new truck. So we inherited the Ranger back. I would rotate driving  my Explorer one day and the next the truck. I had some kind of surgery, I don’t remember what but I know the truck had sat for about a month. My cousin told me that he had put a new battery on the truck. No problem, that truck will start on a dime. Yeah, right, lying crock of —-.  I was mad and I was hurting. The truck never got started and no one drove it. My lovely cousin wanted to know if I wanted to sell it. We agreed on a price and he came out here to get it. Well he liked to have never got it started. Then after he got it home, he gave me along list of things that was wrong with. I told him he should have known this stuff because he was the only mechanic that ever worked on it. The truck has never run right and half the time it just stays in the driveway of my cousin’s. Today my husband told me why the Ranger doesn’t run and do like a normal truck, he cursed it. WHAT? You did WHAT again? Then he asked me if I wanted to know why my little red jewel of a car was sitting in our driveway. This was my mindblower, he had cursed that car also. Well the sailor side of me came out. He said he didn’t want me to sell the truck and he sure in the heck didn’t want me buying that red thing. But the thought of him cursing his wife’s own car, I am still mulling this over. He knows how to curse that is for sure because he is a Druid. I am beginning to think a little on the dark side too. He mentioned cursing something a few weeks ago, told me how he would do it and everything. I just looked at him. It did bother me and give me a clue when he mentioned using blood in his cursing. When he told me this we were about 20 minutes away from the house. I kept quiet and kept praying let me get home without pulling this truck over and throwing his ass out. I got home and cleared my head some I have asked help from a higher  power to help set my mind on the right course to deal with this. I have never known of anyone to curse me or any of my things especially a family member???? It leaves you dumb-founded as to what to do. If he was a total stranger, I know what I would do.  He’s family. I took an oath a long time ago, I would never cast against another family member no matter what. I can take the curse off the car but the minute I do he will re-curse it. So what do you do but a binding spell on your own husband? What gets me, is my own husband going to cause me to go against my own ethics and morals? I never, ever harm or cast against a family member. I know one thing, he has gave me quite a bit to mull over.  I know posting in my group use to give me comfort and clear my head. It also cleared my head enough I could hear my higher power when she talked to me. So I am sure the blog will do the same for me. If you see me posting for the next 72 hours don’t think a thing about it. I am just clearing my mind and cooling off. Till then………

Lady A

P. S.

If you have any suggestion or have ever been in a similar circumstance, I would love to hear how you handled it and also your suggestions.