Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chasing a little ghost

For the past few nights, there have been little footprints at the back door. They appeared to be from the young bunny that resides in our tall grass mound. So last night, I placed an appeasing offering as bait to catch a glimpse of it, as I am quite fond of cute little bunny rabbits. My aim was to befriend it and even try and bring it in from the cold. To welcome and incorporate it into our home if, of course, it seemed reciprocal to the invitation (came in on it's own). I cut up a delicious apple into small chunks and tossed a few of them in a path leading to the door. All night I kept checking back for a sign only to find the pieces still there. The next morning, however, fresh prints appeared and the slices were gone.

I repeated my little gift of apple slices tonight and was surprised to find that the footprints that I had been seeing were actually the markings of a mouse.

 Footprints in the snow

 More by the door

 The mouse comes out of the bottom of his little snow tunnel and walks to the top hole.

He then proceeds to shallowly tunnel under the snow every now and then.

He alluded me in getting a picture of him running around and making footprints in the snow, though.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Apple Ritual

It is the first time in quite a while that I have done a ritual. My life has been quite busy. I feel the call of the Gods. Athena. Ma'at. Thoth. But I feel too tired, too busy, not prepared, not presentable. These are excuses and I know it.

So tonight, on Halloween, Samhain, Witch's New Year, whatever title you prefer, I come to them unprepared, dingy, ashamed. I light my white candle. I think and speak to my ancestors and loved ones. I bear my apology to the Gods and ask for wisdom, strength, and resolution in my path. I thank Them for what I have and for the blessing of knowing my husband. I love him and thank Them for bringing our paths together.

I rub clean my apple on my shirt. Imprinting a piece of me onto it. Imperfectly, I cut it in half horizontally. Revealing the star within. The star--a most sacred symbol. Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Spirit. The culmination of life found within. To nourish oneself, mentally, spiritually, and physically, we must eventually come to the core. Life is taken by consuming the flesh, but the core provides the seeds for new life.

As the Gods take their offering, I ask for nourishment of the mind, body, and soul. I ask for wisdom, strength, and balance. As the offering is consumed, I ask that my shortcomings are taken away. Consume my procrastination. Consume my languid tendencies. And in their place, plant the seeds of energy, healthful dedication, determination, and wisdom.

Sophia, Agape, Eros.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Last Friday I donated to Saint Sophia. It wasn't much by a long shot, just a meager few dollars, but a wholly unexpected set of feelings and callings were ushered forth and I have been contemplating the experience all week.

Walking into the local Walmart mumbling over the list of things I needed to pick up for the weekend, I heard, then saw, an older man dressed in a plain brown robe with a long salt and pepper beard asking for donations on behalf of the St. Sophia Orthodox Church. "Homes for homeless" was the call. Normally, I shy away from donating money to churches. As a general rule, and I am going to be absolutely blunt about this, I feel that there are a lot of things that many would not like about me and my beliefs and so I feel my money is not worthy of them either. I do have exceptions, such as donating food or clothing and occasionally when the cause is beyond their own pulpit. But that day I suddenly felt the need to put my money into the wooden box. My memory flashed back to the time when we lost our home to a house fire and became relatively homeless for about a year and how it really took a tole on our family. First living in the old, unattached garage, having to bath in the still working shower with no hot water, then moving into my grandfather's house with the constant pressure of feeling very unwelcome by his wife--at least the salt-softened water was warm. But to many homeless, that's still a roof over one's head and I thought of the blessings I have been given by the Spirits and Divines since then from that great loss.

The story behind St. Sophia and her three children, Faith, Hope, and Love (sometimes as Charity), is brutal and terrible, but the story and religious commentary are allegorical. Some Orthodox churches don't even recognize that story as the basis for their name, rather, they view it as another aspect of Jesus. Regardless, it wasn't her sainted namesake or story that called to me, but the meaning behind her name. The link to a higher wisdom and reason (Logos). Athena called. Sophia spoke. I was so taken aback that I felt as if I went on autopilot. I walked through the store gathering my non-essential weekend materials mulling the feeling over. After checking out, I nearly "autopiloted" straight to the car, but the old man's call woke me and at once I felt the need to give.

Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek and I have always loved Athena for her role as the Goddess of Wisdom. The concept of Hagia Sophia is immensely sublime to me. Holy Wisdom. Attributing wisdom, learning, and knowledge to a holy deed. Picking up and absorbing a book as ritual practice. Hagia Sophia is recognized as the Holy Spirit of the Christian trinity in female form in some Christian mysticism sects; giving a Gnostic notion of feminine balance to the male dominated faith. Holy Wisdom in and of itself is beautiful. Coupled with the idea that one of femininity's gifts she offers is comfort, as a mother would comfort her child, linked all these ideas together in perfect sense. Homes for the homeless were being given by such a feminine form as Sophia, no matter her manifestation or what association with this church, it was beautiful and compassionate and it moved me.

I have a personal philo-sophia. Combined, we get the word philosophy, but I like the thought of the words hyphenated. Philo-sophia. The love of wisdom. It's simpler, yet expansive. The Sophiaology of Hellenistic philosophy. It felt as though Athena was calling out to me. Rekindle our connection; I understand. Give and know me again. I gave for Athena. I gave for Sophia. I gave my offering for compassion and hope to those who need it.

The Personification of Wisdom
at the Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Project Gutenberg has released a re-published free version of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose. I thought it would be a fun to take a look at a few examples of 1811 "vulgar" language that was "[...] confined almost exclusively to the lower orders of society [...]".

Image via The Telegraph

ADMIRAL OF THE NARROW SEAS. One who from drunkenness vomits into the lap of the person sitting opposite to him.
ANKLE. A girl who is got with child, is said to have sprained her ankle.
APPLE DUMPLIN SHOP. A woman's bosom.
(I found this one particularly funny!)
BAPTIZED, OR CHRISTENED. Rum, brandy, or any other spirits, that have been lowered with water.
BAT. A low whore: so called from moving out like bats in the dusk of the evening.
BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE. They cursed him with bell, book, and candle; an allusion to the popish form of excommunicating and anathematizing persons who had offended the church.
BOB TAIL. A lewd woman, or one that plays with her tail; also an impotent man, or an eunuch. Tag, rag, and bobtail; a mob of all sorts of low people. To shift one's bob; to move off, or go away. To bear a bob; to join in chorus with any singers. Also a term used by the sellers of game, for a partridge.
TO BOX THE JESUIT, AND GET COCK ROACHES. A sea term for masturbation; a crime, it is said, much practised by the reverend fathers of that society.
BREECHES BIBLE. An edition of the Bible printed in 1598, wherein it is said that Adam and Eve sewed figleaves together, and made themselves breeches.
BURNING SHAME. A lighted candle stuck into the parts of a woman, certainly not intended by nature for a candlestick.
CAPRICORNIFIED. Cuckolded, hornified.
CAT CALL. A kind of whistle, chiefly used at theatres, to interrupt the actors, and damn a new piece. It derives its name from one of its sounds, which greatly resembles the modulation of an intriguing boar cat.
CHOCOLATE. To give chocolate without sugar; to reprove.
COMING! SO IS CHRISTMAS. Said of a person who has long
  been called, and at length answers, Coming!
COMMODE. A woman's head dress.
CUP OF THE CREATURE. A cup of good liquor.
EXECUTION DAY. Washing day.
GOSPEL SHOP. A church.
HASH. To flash the hash; to vomit.
HUSSY. An abbreviation of housewife, but now always used as a term of reproach; as, How now, hussy? or She is a light hussy.
KNOCK ME DOWN. Strong ale or beer, stingo.
LAZY MAN'S LOAD. Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time.
(I'm guilty of this once and a while)
LIGHT TROOPS. Lice; the light troops are in full march; the lice are crawling about.
MARRIAGE MUSIC. The squalling and crying of children.
MUFF. The private parts of a woman. To the well wearing of your muff, mort; to the happy consummation of your marriage, girl; a health.
OIL OF GLADNESS. I will anoint you with the oil of gladness; ironically spoken for, I will beat you.
POISONED. Big with child: that wench is poisoned, see how her belly is swelled. Poison-pated: red-haired.
PUBLIC LEDGER. A prostitute: because, like that paper, she is open to all parties.
RUFFLES. Handcuffs.
SNAGGS. Large teeth; also snails.
SPLICED. Married: an allusion to joining two ropes ends by splicing.
VAMPER. Stockings.
VELVET. To tip the velvet; to put one's tongue into a woman's mouth. [...] To tip the velvet; tonguing woman. (See To Tip)
To Tip the Velvet (in a more "vulgar" manner *wink*)

VIXEN. A termagant; also a she fox, who, when she has cubs, is remarkably fierce.
WHITE SWELLING. A woman big with child is said to have a white swelling.
WORD OF MOUTH. To drink by word of mouth, i.e. out of the bowl or bottle instead, of a glass.

It is also interesting to see some words and phrases that we still use the meanings of:

ADRIFT. Loose, turned adrift, discharged.
AGAINST THE GRAIN. Unwilling. It went much against the grain with him, i.e. it was much against his inclination, or against his pluck.
BABBLE. Confused, unintelligible talk, such as was used at the building the tower of Babel.
BACON. He has saved his bacon; he has escaped. He has a good voice to beg bacon; a saying in ridicule of a bad voice.
BAGGAGE. Heavy baggage; women and children. Also a familiar epithet for a woman; as, cunning baggage, wanton baggage, &c.
BELLY. His eye was bigger than his belly; a saying of a person at a table, who takes more on his plate than he can eat.
BONES. Dice.
CADDEE. A helper. An under-strapper.
CHIP. A child. A chip of the old block; a child who either in person or sentiments resembles its father or mother.
CRIB. A house. To crack a crib: to break open a house.
CROCODILE'S TEARS. The tears of a hypocrite. Crocodiles are fabulously reported to shed tears over their prey before they devour it.
DOCK: Lie with a woman.
DUDS. Clothes.
FLABAGASTED. Confounded.
GREEN. Young, inexperienced, unacquainted; ignorant. [...]
HARP. To harp upon; to dwell upon a subject. [...]
To KICK THE BUCKET. To die. [...]
LINGO. Language. [...]
MAN OF THE WORLD. A knowing man.
NINE LIVES. Cats are said to have nine lives, and women ten cats lives.
PEEPERS. Eyes. Single peeper, a one-eyed man. [...]
SKIT. A joke. A satirical hint.
SWEET HEART. A term applicable to either the masculine or feminine gender, signifying a girl's lover, or a man's mistress: derived from a sweet cake in the shape of a heart.
TOMBOY. A romping girl, who prefers the amusement used by boys to those of her own sex.
WHISTLE. The throat. To wet one's whistle; to drink.

For more old school sexual slang, check out Mookychick's Victorian Sexual Slang Guide. Enjoy :)

Friday, February 17, 2012


Lupercalia takes place on February 15th, and this year I was lucky to have found my box containing my stone wolf figure in time to set up a small alter. We haven't finished unpacking from the move, not by a long shot, but I managed to prepare a small offering and alter before the end of the day. I hadn't consecrated or cleansed the space yet, so it seemed like a great time to do so as Lupercalia is a purity festival (as well as a fertility and health fest), that developed from an older festival called Februa (where we get the month of February from) which also revolved around purification and spring cleaning/cleansing.

Communing with the wolf spirit, I ask for protection for ourselves and the land we inhabit as well as driving away evil and consuming any malevolence that comes our way.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Evaluation of my time with domestic Paganism

I have come to embrace the fact that my magickal development has come to a sluggish, if not completely halted, growth. I have become unsatisfied with the lack of development within myself this past year, both magically and mundane. In the mundane (which extends into the magickal), much of the lack of development comes from hesitation. We have been preparing to move since September of last year and at the end of every month, it has had to be postponed until the next month for reasons that are beyond our control. And here we are, coming to the end of January with a more solid hope of moving by next weekend. I have had boxes packed and lined against the walls for what seems like forever. Most of my books have been packed since around October, as well as my winter clothes, with the expectation of having them unpacked before the first snows came.

I have also come to realize that what little I have been relying on for my magical development has not completely been right for me. I follow a few domestic Pagan blogs and people, but have found that, though they sometimes have interesting things to read and discuss, it all seems to be less core to my spiritual needs. Not that it's their job to enlighten me, it's just that I thought domestic Paganism was something my path contained, almost by a mandatory thought that domestic works were supposed to be a part of Paganism. Obviously, that is not the case, though it does feel that it has become increasingly popular to be a domestic Pagan housewife in larger Pagan circles, as well as in regards to newer Pagan reading materials. But this is entirely not for me, and it has come to the point that I can admit this to myself. Nothing about the idea of being a domestic Pagan sounds very appealing, and most of the domestic Pagans I do still read and follow hardly ever post on such matters anyway. It almost feels like a farce. Even the word "domestic" leaves an unsavory taste in my mouth. It's definitions and associations with being tame or docile, sedentary, and the idea of a clean home being of fairly high importance sounds remarkably dull to me. None of these are even close to being my ideal choice of living.

So, why did I come to the conclusion that a domestic path was what I should be on? The fault came from a far recess in my brain that likes to play with my fears: anxiety. The idea that I had reached one of my life goals and also managed to find a great man in the process made it feel like it was my turn to do "my time" for achieving those joys. That there was some societal expectation of a price to pay for the happiness I had been given and, since I had taken one step, I was now forced to take on the whole concept of "settling down" which includes the "logical" step towards breeding. For these dilemmas, I thought it natural to turn to the domestic witchery side of Paganism to learn and adapt.

However, over the past year, nothing there eased that awkwardness and anxiety and it was only after reading a messy-embracing lifestyle post (that I sadly cannot find and ironically was posted my a domestic Witch) that I realized all these assumptions about me, my life, and my supposed roles are all a bunch of coffee grinds. I'm not a clean freak, a morning person, a kid person, a homeschooler, a family organizer, a parent, or a "grown-up". I enjoy playing video games, making things, reading, learning, a well placed f-bomb, drinking, having sex, being inspired, communing with Nature and her Gods and Goddesses, contemplating and analyzing the world and all she has to offer. I want so much more than a tidy house with a family and small garden to be my realm. It all screams social standards and expectations that are constrained with a hint of dated stereotypes. I want outside of the lines and perfect shapes, outside of the squares and patches.

I want to commune with my ancestors, the spirits, and the energy of Nature. I want to know more, to feel more, and to experience more. The hearth is important, but, for me, there are more baser, stripped, raw, natural, and freeing methods to establish it than through domestic routes. I thank the Divines for their inspiration to evaluate my path.