A Case of the Full Moon Crazies

My mom is a teacher.  She says the worst time of the month is the three days of the full moon because her kids are more rambunctious and rowdy.  I kind of thought she was exaggerating.

Until this full moon.

I cannot stop eating or moving or praising the Goddess.  Not that any of that is bad, it’s just weird for me.  Is there anything particularly special about this moon?  I don’t think so.  So what the hell is going on?

Whatever is going on, I hope everyone has a blessed full moon!

© Ariadne Woods

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The Academic Pagan

Colleges and universities offer a variety of courses on many, many topics.  Obviously the primary curriculum a student should adhere to is the one that will let them graduate on time.  However if you go to a university like mine, you get a little wiggle room to take some electives.

Why not take some of those classes to further your Pagan education?

A lot of literature or poetry workshop classes feature in-depth studies of mythology and classic stories.  I am in a poetry intensive right now in which every student was asked to rewrite a famous tale.  It made the students rethink their approach to mythology.

Biology classes often expand the student’s understanding of the natural world.  While yes some Pagans morally object to dissecting animals, some courses focus on the theoretical and ethical dilemmas in Biology.  Or you can talk to the professor before enrolling in the course and write a paper instead of dissecting.

There are many other topics that would enhance your Pagan learning: world religions, anthropology, civil liberties law, music, and history.  Look at what your spiritual needs are and what you are interested in knowing more  about.  The goal is to expand the mind and look at the Goddess in a new way.

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips Special Edition: Spirit

This is the last post in a series of five about connecting to the Elements.

Spirit refers to the connections between all of existence. It links us to the Gods and Goddesses, the ancestors, the self, EVERYTHING.  It has no direction and encompasses all deities.  In reality connecting to Spirit is personal and varies person-to-person.  So here are the things that establishes my relationship with the element.

  • Travel: See new things.  Meet new people.  Eat new foods.  Find a new way to see the world.
  • Prayer Beads: I will sometime soon do an entire post on these  I’ve found them invaluable in cultivating a good daily practice.  I made my set, but lots of Pagan shops and online stores carry them.  If you want some ideas for chants and mantras, check out my Curios page.  Selena Fox’s Twitter page also features many good chants that can be used in ritual and while working with prayer beads. Or write your own!
  • Keep Your ‘You Time’ Sacred:  Every Friday night I put in a movie and paint my nails.  If I am home I light some candles and incense.  This ritual is a little bit of self-indulgence that renews me every week.  Everyone has this kind of routine, whether it’s a daily coffee or a yearly trip to the spa or to a baseball game.  Make these little things a priority.
  • Clear Space: You don’t have to have a perfectly clean house or apartment.  But studies link clutter and excess mess to depression, anxiety, and concentration problems.  Spend just five minutes a day tidying and one Saturday a month doing some intensive cleansing.
  • Take a Walk in Nature: Let the Earth renew your spirit.  Notice everything from the itty bitty bugs to the tall trees.

@ Ariadne Woods

Reciprocity

The Goddesses and Gods fulfill many roles in our lives. They are our guardians and protectors.  They inspire us on many different levels.  They provide our beautiful earth and sky and sea.  They help us through dark times and through the blessings.  Whatever your relationship to the Gods and Goddesses, they have a powerful effect on your life.

In the spirit of Mabon, it is the time of year to thank them.  This action can come in a variety of ways:

  • Burning candles, herbs or incense
  • Pouring Libations
  • Volunteering for a neighbor clean up or at a soup kitchen
  • Giving a donation to a non-profit organization
  • Recycling

Give back for all you have received this year.

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips Special Edition: Water

This post is the fourth of five posts about connecting to the Elements.

Water makes up over half of the human body.  It is in the essence of what it means to be human in this life.  It sustains life on the planet.  In magical practice, the element cleanses and heals.  Water is generally associated with the direction West and the color blue.  Deities with strong associations with this element include Poseidon, Nerthus, and Yemaya.

  • Rainstorms: Ever sit outside in a storm?  The air vibrates with Water’s energy.  If you want to stay dry, sit under a porch or open a window.
  • Go to the Beach: While not everyone lives on a coast, there are beaches on lakes and rivers as well as on the edges of continents.  Spend some time digging your toes in the sand, finding shells and sea glass, and splashing in the waves.  During the entire trip, pay special attention to the sound of the waves.  Meditate to the sound.
  • Take a Long Bath or Shower: Take time out of your day to relax and enjoy.  Buy some bath salts or shower gel in water corresponding scents like vanilla, coconut, aloe, rose, and sandalwood.
  • Drink a Glass of Water: Replace one other type of drink a day with Water.  Do this as often as possible.
  • Feed the Fish:  Local hatcheries or preserves sometimes have areas for people to visit and feed the fish.  This can be a peaceful experience.

© Ariadne Woods

Mabon Food

This is the time of year when the last of the harvest comes in from the fields and the gardens.  Apples, zucchini  and squash rule the day as to hearty herbs like rosemary and warm spices like cinnamon.  Think of fall colors like greens, yellows, and oranges in preparing foods on Saturday.

A couple of simple ideas:

  • Apple Cider:  If you haven’t already, buy your first jug from the grocery store or farmer’s market this weekend and not only use it in your meal, but also take it into the ritual circle.  Hard cider is also fabulous this time of year for the 21+ crowd.
  • Zucchini Fritters: These are simple and yummy.  You can make them on a hot plate, that’s how easy they are to make.  You can pair down the recipe for one person if need be.
  • Pumpkin Dip: My friend made this year during our Samhain Pumpkin Carving Party and I craved it or three months.  We ate it with apples, ginger snaps, and plain pita chips, but I think you could use pretzels or crackers too.
  • Fall Fruit Salad: Grapes, pomegranate, apples, pears, and whatever looks yummy at the grocery store.
  • Rosemary Balsamic Chicken: Make a dressing with garlic, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Play it by ear with the measurements (Tip: go heavier on the vinegar for a glazed effect).  Put the appropriate amount of skinless boneless chicken breasts in a plastic ziplock bag and pour the dressing over the chicken.  Close the bag, shake, and put in the fridge for at least an hour.  Preheat the over to 350 and foil line a sheet pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Roasted Squash: Try a variety you’ve never had before.  Last year a pub near my school made citrus marinated acorn squash with cranberry compote that blew my socks off.  This dish now makes me think of Fall.
  • Carmel Apples:  These are kind of hard to make at home.  Grocery stores and candy shops offer fabulous varieties, even chocolate dipped!

Happy Cooking!

© Ariadne Woods