This Blog has become a forum for a number of serious Pagan women to post and create. Our object is to provide a voice.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


it was almost dusk when she arrived----granddaughter ---my own child of child-----christmaas eve-----she brought me a gift she made-----a cup for my coffee painted with a beautiful african scene by her----we sat for a while and talked of how ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago named the constelations that we gaze at today----connection-----we marveled at the magic that was given the ancestor who invented the wheel----those who told the stories on the cave walls----connection-----we went out to the magic house where the faeries and magic people wait for santa near the garden-----she helped me light the candles that signify the giving of the magic---the light that grows----connection-----the old horse joined us under the stars for a while----connection--- just as last year---in the rain--when the old horse was ill--we sat---my child and my child of child---in the barn and all of us watched the polar express with our feet on the hay foor ----connection----as the full moon rose high in the sky the treetops knew that the magic has grown-----and the whisper of the night sang----connection-------magic-----connection----blessings

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Have a Safe and Sacred Solstice by Verda Smedley

The Death Clans enter the spiral to celebrate the birth of the sun. Eagles, Badgers, Ravens, Owls, Lynx, Wolves, and Greihound dance the sacred for their people. The Mother moves their feet; they lift their arms awe-struck by Her power. Skins and feathers mix with guttural, rhythmic prayers. I drift into their dreamtime, Darkling Light prods me to stay alert, “Don’t watch the others, you stand for Moondog and Greihound.” I feel him stirring inside me like a wisp of smoke that rises from an extinguished candle. I watch it disappear. He comes again, growling, teeth bared. (I’m alert! I’m alert!). He licks my lips renewed to his sacrament. Grasping the need I stand for days, centuries, six thousand years, filling his tender belly with delicacies of my ether as he fills mine, dancing the rapture for all of us. Calvinist ancestors cover their eyes, others I catch peeking between their fingers, they realizing that savagery was never cruel.
Flesh Eaters nearly naked whirl in air so frigid the snow feels warm to their skin and melts into the Earth. Rhythmically they reach between their moving feet touching the soil, offering the traces on their fingertips to the sun, never missing a step, believing the magic will always work.
[Excerpt from Ancestral Airs].

Thursday, December 10, 2015


grandmother---look---what is that
is hope---child of child
but grandmother it looks like fog
si child of child---is because it is forming---it is begining---it is still confused---there child of child---beneath the trees there is great sorrow----humans are not sure who they are---so---this time---this season of transformation--hope waits here----for the humans have a choice to make----either emerge new---with tolerance and solidarity---in compassion and in hope----or humans can emerge filled with bitterness and fear---anger and violence----the cold winds will carry the decision of the humans across the treetops ----look child of child---there---in the darkness of night----a light----waiting----waiting to be callled---come child of child----we wait along with the future----soon child of child---soon you will be the present ---pay attention----for you child of child are both affected and the one who affects

Friday, November 20, 2015

First Snow by Jackie B. Steele

I could hear them coming even through the sounds of whistling pines
a large flock of Tundra Swans with the gales at their back,
The North West winds are whistling through birch and pines, steady now, I face the winds & my watering eyes
hold a vision and we breathe & i can almost see'
a snow dancer coming through the trees,
Circling, swirling sometimes slow and steady
sometimes weaving and very swift,
Leaving sparkling, crystalline petals of light are the gift
She is spirit of the snow and transition time
the warm and cold she says "are yours & mine"
we delight in restoration of this dry land
especially when you held out a grateful hand,
To say Miigwetch,
and we touched.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


i listened last night under the cloudy sky---no visible moon ---but i listened for guidance
i fell asleep---
a moment---one moment----i understood---be grateful---for each moment is alll we have---so be grateful for each moment----be grateful
be grateful for what you do not have---for in that moment we understand---we feel what others feel---we learn what others already know----we experience each other---we experience empathy----

Monday, November 2, 2015

Samhain Blessings by Jackie B. Steele

Where the Land and Waters meet,
Where the Earth and Sky embrace,
With love where our souls meet,
The Seen & Unseen have woven grace,
That is where I see you,
and we will celebrate.
Samhain Blessings


I believe we and our relatives have been tying up brooms for hundreds of thousands of years.  We have lived in camps, caves, and lodges, and in every one of those settings brooms were likely used for all kinds of reasons. I can see our ancestors sweeping embers back into fires, sweeping out annoying insects such as fleas, satisfying their compulsion to sweep away meddling spirits from their homes, and before or even during a ritual. The Lenni Lenape used turkey plumes to sweep out the dust between rounds during their Longhouse or Big House ceremonies. Around the globe tools for sweeping are serious business.
Today we know only bits and pieces of what had to have been a genuine science for hunter-gatherers and their medicine people.  Even today there exists a respectable number of plant species still in use as bristles, binding, and handles for brooms. Most of the contemporary uses seem practical on the surface. But of course, there is no way of knowing what might be guarded in the heart of the user. He or she may well be a full-fledged practitioner. Nevertheless, we’ll take a look at those plants along with the applications.
First, let’s clarify that a besom is, in the end, just a broom. But note that various Neo-Practitioners prefer to use the word “besom” with regard to ritual brooms. They are the brooms where the bristles are bound to a stave and the finished product is round rather than flat, like the typical household broom of today. The round besom might seem special now but it is merely the way by which brooms were tied up for countless millennia. Nevertheless, the broom’s common inclusion in European folk tales and songs strongly supports its continued importance in cultures and lives.
The word “besom” comes from the Old English “besma” which means bundle of twigs or something bound or twisted. Closely related words can be found all over Europe such as: “besmon” from the West Germanic, the Old Frisian “besma”, “besmo” from the Old Saxon and Old High German, the German “besan”, and the Dutch “bezem”. Among Wiccans, from what I understand, birch (Betula) twigs are bound to a Hawthorn (Crataegus) stave with Willow (Salix). Of course, there is much chatter about the phallic implications of besoms all wound up with poisonous ointments that make it possible for one to fly. While I don’t doubt it in the least that is a long way from the intent of today’s essay.
As mentioned before there are numerous types of brooms and plants used for brooms. Shrubby brooms, used to clean streets, yards, barnyards, and threshing yards are often made from Birch (Betula) or Heather (Calluna). Soft brooms used for the house, threshing floor, cellar, kitchen, oven, fireplace, and so forth are most often made from Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua), Black Horehound (Ballota nigra),  Asparagus (Asparagus), and Asphodelus. Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is used to clean chimneys. In Italy there are 28 species of plants used to clean ovens and stoves, with a specific mention of Mallow (Malva sylvestris) being used to clean bread ovens. Some of the same species can be found in the UK such as: Celery (Apium), Fennel, (Foeniculum), Horehound (Marrubium), and Black Horehound (Ballota nigra). More commonly we find brooms tied up with Heather (Calluna), Heath (Erica) and Scot’s Broom (Cytisus scoparius).  Other species used for handles include Hazelnut (Corylus), Ash (Fraxinus), and Birch (Betula).
The stories that I found are indeed interesting. Numerous species of Centaurea used for brooms must be collected around Summer Solstice. The harvested plants are then made into a broom, before being left behind the door or next to the fireplace to guard the house until the following year. The guardianship includes protecting the family from illness or accident, and repelling meddling spirits. Come spring, the broom must be burned, and the process begins again. It is believed that a small child left alone in a room will be kept safe if a broom is placed next to her side (I don’t recommend trying this). In some parts of Europe, each spring brooms are ritually stolen. The angrier the owner becomes the better the rain will be, later in the season.  Conversely, in other regions, a broom will be dressed as an effigy and is used in a ritual to stop too much rain. It is believed by some that when a broom is placed by a door the entire family will be safe because any approaching malevolent spirit will be preoccupied with counting the stems.
Here is a list of plants indigenous to the UK known to be used as the bristles for brooms. Be aware that Continental Europe is known to have numerous if not many others:
Alnus (Alder)
Artemisia (Wormwood, Mugwort)
Betula (Birch)
Calluna (Heather)
Carduus sp. (Thistle)
Carpinus (Hornbeam)
Centaurea (Cornflower, Knapweed, Red Star Thistle, etc.)
Cirsium sp. (Thistle)
Cornus (Dogwood)
Apium (Celery)
Arum (Cuckoo Pint)
Ballota (Black Horehound)
Prunus (Cherry, Blackthorn)
Salix (Willow)
Stachys (Woundwort)
Ruscus (Butcher’s Broom)
Thymus (Thyme)
Cytisus (Scot’s Broom)
Erica (Heath)
Genista (Dyer’s Broom)
Sambucus (Elder)
Pteridium (Bracken Fern)
Verbascum (Mullein)
Of course, most of you know I could never leave it at that. Why couldn’t the stems, branches, or limbs from any tree be used to make a broom? Couldn’t any of the more than 400 species of plants in The Compendium for Spirit Handling be applied in some way? Even if a plant isn’t suitable for sweeping, couldn’t it be tucked into the bundle of bristles or tied to the handle? In the context of shamanism or spirit handling there are virtually limitless possibilities. Couldn’t animal medicine be incorporated with the use of sinew as binding or other components deemed necessary?  There is no doubt in my mind that it would have been included. So, let’s consider what is possible.  For example, why couldn’t we bind yarrow stems (Achillea) to a birch (Betula) handle with honeysuckle (Lonicera)? All three are related to new lives and spiritual paths. Couldn’t bracken fern (Pteridium) be tied to rowan (Sorbus)? Both afford protection. I think you see my point.
If Broom Medicine appeals to you I would suggest that you consult The Compendium for Spirit Handling, another blog right here on this website. It is a formidable work that can lead you through combining most anything for any purpose. I highly recommend that you read all of the entries found in the horizontal menu of the Compendium’s table of contents page before moving on to the plants. Note that the entries are alphabetized by their Latin names, found in parenthesis next to the common names, which, by default, are not alphabetized. I highly recommend that you learn the Latin names. There are resources on this website to help you with that. Common names are for the most part pointless and can even lead to some amount of danger. In this day and age, practitioners need to know botanical Latin.
Here are a few good references:
How to Make a Broom
The Witch’s Broom
Online Etymology Dictionary
Plants Traditionally Used to Make Brooms in Several European Countries

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Beauty of Trees by Barbara Carvallo

On Monday night Papa and I went to the University of Colorado Campus at Boulder for a Tree Walk.  I am proud to say that this campus is one of the most beautiful in the country. The Walk is done to see the fall colors as the trees change, but since the temperatures here have been in the high 70's and low to mid 80's for the better part of the fall there isn't a lot of color yet.

I don't know much about trees, so I can't identify most of them - even though our guide pointed them out.  I will be posting some links for people who are interested in trees and who want to try to identify those in my photos.  There are a couple of things worthy of note.  For instance, the first four pictures are of the oldest tree on campus.  She was planted in the late 1800's in front of the red brick structure that was the first to house the University, Old Main.  The fifth picture of the spidery yellow flower amid badly faded leaves is the bloom of Witch Hazel's shrub-like small tree.  I had never seen her before in real life and was interest to see her growing prolifically along the banks of a little stream.  Her flower emerges very late in the season to avoid competing with other blooms for the attention of pollinators. 

It was a gracious evening.  The air was sweet and cool as it often is at the foot of the Mighty Rockies in autumn’s dusk. Goddess graced us with the luscious beauty of many of her children, still green-leafed for the most part, but fabulous all the same.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Autumn by Jackie B. Steele

I hope you are well & content, and you are able to feel or share some kindness and love this day. 
A Beautiful peak color Autumnal week end. South winds are blowing and the leaves dance a laughing rattle & humm, and many give in to the Warm winds and fly spirally up and away delighted by those in the current with them. I am heading out there soon...grateful just to be a part of all there is for another moment, Nature's migrations, her Autumnal celebrations and sacrifice, the ripened fruit, leaves and seeds fall. 

The Sun's warmth feels good this time of year. Healing and comforting. Animals scurry to gather food stuff and build Winter homes, & fill caches.
Dark of the Moon near by, Crones time out in the beginning of the long dark. 
New Moon on Monday, Both the Sun & Moon in Libra.
i love you, grateful, & delighted with most of whom are in "the current" with us.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


come---walk with me---see what i see----life-----some fly and some flow---others walk on two legs and some on four legs---some of us stand with roots in the ground---life---all of us carbon based---all of us needing one another---we are life and we need not fear one another---we are life and no one of us is supreme---we are life----our diversity must not separate us but rather enlighten us----we are life

one heartbeat of one creation under one creator

Good Morning Good People by Jackie B. Steele

Yes, Frost, this peri-dawn.
Transitioning to dew.

The Sun has risen and is starting to warm the Earth. She resonates with waves of loving conclusions here in the North, & initiations of Spring in the far South.

We have been swapping produce and preserves. Cleaning Hummer feeders and replacing them with suet feeders. Doing what we can outdoors before freeze up. Now the Apples will be sweeter, the cold night changes the sugars. Thinking about apple crisp, and pumpkin bar co-creation this weekend maybe. 

Gathering the garden to share and store. Like the squirrels. Still much to do, before the snow...
The food shelf was very grateful for the many Apples and Pumpkins. Now that the vines will have been knocked down by frost, we can assess the entire squash & potato harvest, what to share & what we'll use.
We had fresh squash for dinner a couple nights, and oh it is so good, I am grateful.
We were sitting in the open garage in the Sunshine sorting, and the chipmunks came and sat in front of us asking "May we?" and we nod & say go ahead, they will then enter and run to the feed/grain barrel where some is usually spilled by this ole woman, and fill their cheeks and run back out while we laugh at their full cheeks.
Gathering seeds, some of them are so pretty, like the scarlet Runner Beans, Connie shared with me. The last batch I didn't plant because I had thought they would be pretty earrings. But this group I will save for planting next Season. Although I may make her a pair of earrings too. LOL
The Autumn Turkey hunt starts this weekend, I am looking at this years broods, that i have been tending to, and feeling this abrupt cut.
Reminds me of a ceremonial song that i think came from Circle farm Sanctuary with Selena, years back, oh my 70's - 80's
The Women would sing as we danced a circle clockwise, "We all come from the Goddess and to her we shall return like a drop of rain flowing to the Ocean"
The men would join in with, "Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, all that dies shall be reborn, "Vine and grain, Vine and grain, all that falls shall rise again,
& repeat as we sang, danced, circling around the "boundaries of the Earth".
Raising a cone of power & Loving healing.

Just as:
"Every revolution contains within it the seeds of it's own destruction" : (Frank Herbert).

Every Harvest contains the seeds of a new beginning.

I Love the Season of the long Dark, that we are now entering,
a darkness that embraces everything, without abandon or discrimination.

Another old friend prepares to take a journey, candle lit for Denny.
"I am sorry, forgive me, I Love you... " you did a good job on the concrete, thank you".

Heartfelt Protection for "All my Relations."
Blessings to you,
Your Harvest,

to "The People.."
Thank you for being..

I am Grateful,

Much Love,