Saturday, January 01, 2011

First of the Month Bazooms Blogging

Ladies! Listen up! Detecting breast cancer early is the key to surviving it! Breast Self Exams (BSEs) can help you to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages. So, on the first of every month, give yourself a breast self-exam. It's easy to do. Here's how. If you prefer to do your BSE at a particular time in your cycle, calendar it now. But, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

And, once a year, get yourself a mammogram. Mammograms cost between $150 and $300. If you have to take a temp job one weekend a year, if you have to sell something on e-Bay, if you have to go cash in all the change in various jars all over the house, if you have to work the holiday season wrapping gifts at Macy's, for the love of the Goddess, please go get a mammogram once a year.

Or: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays all or some of the cost of breast cancer screening services through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides mammograms and breast exams by a health professional to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and 14 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. For more information, contact your state health department or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

I know that a recent study indicated that early detection via breast self exams might not be "cost effective." I'm not a scientist, but when I read those studies, they appear to be saying that sometimes women find a lump during the BSE that turns out not to be cancer. Those women have caused some expense and have gone through some discomfort in order to find out that the lump wasn't cancer. I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, as it has a few times since my first mammogram found a small, curable, cancerous lump, I go out and buy a new scarf, take myself out for a decadent lunch, call everyone I know, and declare it a good day.

Send me an email after you get your mammogram and I will do an annual free tarot reading for you. Just, please, examine your own breasts once a month and get your sweet, round ass to a mammogram once a year. If you have a deck, pick three cards and e-mail me at I'll email you back your reading. If you don't have a deck, go to Lunea's tarot listed on the right-hand side in my blog links. Pick three cards from her free, on-line tarot and email me at I'll email you back your reading.

Witches, Right Here in Columbia's District

Nice to see a local lady make good.
Katrina Messenger: Connect DC is a group that focuses on public ritual. Katrina Messenger’s work with this organization has created a sense of openness and interconnectedness within the DC Pagan community. As the founder of the Reflections Mystery School, a facility member of Cherry Hill and organizer of the Sweeping the Capital Clean event Katrina has a long history of service to the community. It is however, her focus on providing public community for all Pagans that brought her to my attention as a Pagan that “Walks the Talk”.

I stopped by Katrina's annual New Year's party this evening and had a chance to congratulate her on her great handling of the media during the Christine O'Donnell "I Am Not a Witch" debacle. Katrina managed her interview with grace and good humor, avoiding the too-familiar Pagan slip-up of becoming defensive and announcing that, "We don't worship Satan." Connect DC is about to go from 4 public rituals a year to 8.

Photo by the blogger; if you copy please link back here or to Connect D.C.

New Beginnings

Come, Come whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times, Come, yet again. Come, come. ~Rumi

Here it is: 1/1/11. The first day of the first year of a brand new decade in the 21st Century. If there were ever a world in need of a new beginning, then surely, with apologies to Anne Bradstreet, we. If magic is, indeed, the ability to change consciousness at will, then anything that helps us to declare a new beginning is a magical tool. And calendars are, for me, one of the most amazing magical tools of all time. You can take away my silver athame with the gold Celtic knot hilt. You can take away my magical glass chalice with its base of overlapping silver leaves. You can have my black huntress gown with Hecate's hounds bordering the hem and the deep sleeves that untie for hunting and horseback riding. You can take away my pinion incense, the kind that always lights and transports me to Coyote's realm -- you can take away all of those and I can do magic with my finger, the palm of my hand, a deep grounding. But please don't take away my calendars.

Calendars were one of the deepest and most profound magical tools that our ancestors ever created. Knowing when the Winter Solstice would occur, knowing when the reindeer would run, knowing when it was safe to put the carefully-saved and painfully-uneaten-through-the-starving-times seed corn into the ground without fear of a rotting rain or a killing frost: that was the magic that calendars worked for our ancestors, for those magic-workers whose RNA lives on in us, those whose magic was strong enough to allow them to survive long enough to produce us, we who are here at this time of planetary crisis. They must have had a reason. (And, at a time of new beginnings, it can be important, as well, to focus on continuity. Each of us is here today because we come from an unbroken line of survivors. And they survived, in part, because they knew when it was time for a new beginning. I'm here, prospering in the MidAtlantic region of North America, because some teen-agers in Sweden and England looked around themselves a century or two ago and decided, "Time to start over somewhere else." I'm here because my thirty-something parents looked around themselves in Boulder and said, "Time to start over on the East Coast." I'm here, and my wonderful Son, DiL, and G/Son are here, because I looked around myself in the rural South a few decades ago and decided, "Time to start over in the big city.")

And calendars are every bit the magical tools here in the digital age (where we carry them around inside our iPhones, weighing less than 5 ounces) that they were when our ancestors painstakingly constructed them on a grand scale in Newgrange, Maeshowe, Chaco Canyon, Great Zimbabwe, Tiwanaku in Bolivia, and at other places.

Now's a great time to buy calendars; they generally go on sale beginning today. Book stores are a good place to find calendars; this year my wonderful DiL helped me to find Sally Smith's Fairy House wall calendar at a bookstore (she also found G/Son his first calendar, with pictures from The Clone Wars -- an epic that I think is going to influence G/Son the way that the Arthurian/Morganian epic always has and still does influence me.) You can also buy wonderful calendars on line. I wouldn't be without a copy of We'Moon's calendar on my altar and I bought The Ecological Calendar for my desk at work. iPhoto, which came loaded on my laptop, lets you create calendars and I make wall calendars every year, with pictures taken of G/Son over the previous year, for family members. Making this calendar is almost always the deepest, most intense magical working that I do during the year, taking several weeks, and full of carefully-worded magical intent for the people closest to me. Few of them know of the magical meaning of the calendars; they just enjoy the yearly review of G/Son's growth. Next year, I am thinking of making calendars that show the growth of my garden, just for me and Landscape Guy, and just for the chance to do the same deep magical working for my bit of Earth that I do for my family.

There is almost no end to the magic you can work with a calendar. One of the simplest magics is to go through and plot important dates. When I write down on my desk calendar that it's G/Son's birthday, for example, I do a serious magical working for his health, growth, development, and safety over the coming year. I impress that magic onto that date and I release it when I get to that date on my calendar. When I write down meetings with my Circle and magical friends, I send a bit of magical energy forward in time to those dates. If my goal is to, for example, work in 8 weight trainings a month, I not only note those trainings when they occur, I also go forward to the end of the month and make a note to myself to check in and ensure that I lived up to my commitment to myself. When I note that a brief is due on a given date, hell yeah I do magic related to the success of that brief, impress the magic into the calendar, and release it when my paralegal presses the button to file the brief. I send my astral self deep into the workings of my iPhone and dance deep magic into the dates when I meet with Landscape Guy, when friends have birthdays, when I honor dead relatives. I even do a magic to coordinate the wall calendar in my breakfast nook, the We'Moon calendar on my altar, the G/Son calendar on my office wall, the Ecological Calendar on my desk, the electronic calendar on my laptop, office computer, and iPhone, well . . . you get the idea.

And, with calendars, every day is a new beginning. Every week is a new beginning. Every month is a new beginning. See how magic they are?

What's past is past. All that matters is: what will you do with this new hour, new day, new week, new year?

Calendars are, in my world, tools of Air, every bit as much as are Swords. Dawn. New light. Fresh breezes. Spring. New Moons. New beginnings.

Here are a number of magical workers blogging about the possibilities of a new year:

Seeing omens for the new year.

Basic tools, but also some amazing Tarot exercises.

A look to the skies.

Open your feet to the powers beneath you. Open your crown to the powers above. Feel the rising and descent. Feel where these things meet, within your belly and your heart. You are becoming, you are shaping, you are more. Bring the light.

Almost 2 journal entires a month, beginning with: 1. What is it I am committed to starting? 2. What is it I am committed to finishing?

A call for accountability.

Becoming who we are.

Organizing your year around the power of just one word.

How will you wield your calendars this year? What important magic will you have done when 12/31/11 turns into 1/1/12?

Picture found here.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Spell for a New Decade

Respect for our planet.

Time outside in nature for our children.

Clean water.

Local produce.

Jobs for those who want to work.

Love of poetry.

A place for women.

Respect for wisdom, education, knowledge, experience.

A warm spot at the fire for Grandmothers.

An understanding, much greater than we've had, that we are all connected. Actions based upon that understanding.

A transformative woman president.

A much better role for men and fathers in our culture.



More salmon.

Councils of women.

Co-ops that grow sunflowers to remove toxins from the soil.


Women who use technology and social media to work magic.

A serious progressive movement.

An end to the duality and other evils of patriarchy. Bye-bye.

A free press.

Stories that are true.

A focus on ensuring that mothers' milk is safe. Everything else: second.

The rule of law. No, really.

Retirement for old women.

(Feel free to add your own.)

Picture found here.

New Year's Eve

There are only two things now,
The great black night scooped out
And this fire-glow.

This fire-glow, the core,
And we the two ripe pips
That are held in store.

Listen, the darkness rings
As it circulates round our fire.
Take off your things.

Your shoulders, your bruised throat!
Your breasts, your nakedness!
This fiery coat!

As the darkness flickers and dips,
As the firelight falls and leaps
From your feet to your lips!

~D.H. Lawrence

Picture found here.

Kali on a Candied Coconut Croissant

Well, this is disturbing. Ed Brayton notes that:
While I was on vacation, Chris Rodda reported here on a very disturbing new development in the ongoing battle between the military and the constitutional rights of non-Christians. The Army sends out a mandatory survey to soldiers to gauge their "spiritual fitness" and if you do not give answers that reflect religious belief you are deemed to be spiritually unfit.

The survey is called the "Soldier Fitness Tracker" (SFT) and it is part of a larger Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program designed to help support the well-being of Army personnel. And it turns out that there is also "Spiritual Remedial Training" that goes along with it if you aren't deemed sufficiently "spiritual."

Some of the yes/no questions on the survey include:

I am a spiritual person.

My life has lasting meaning.

I believe that in some way my life is closely connected to all humanity and all the world.

I believe there is purpose in my life.

When Sgt. Justin Griffith, the man who is organizing the Rock Beyond Belief event at Ft. Bragg this spring, answered those questions honestly he was deemed to be spiritually unfit and was "red barred." Al Stefanelli explains what that means, according to the text of the survey itself:

A red bar means that you face some significant challenges in this area. This means that you should focus most of your attention on this area, though you should also note that placing too much emphasis here could result in other dimensions dropping. The key is to properly balance where you need the most development with the areas you are already doing well in.

The survey then informed Griffith of his alleged problem:

Spiritual fitness is an area of possible difficulty for you.
. . .

If you "fail" this test, as Griffith did, you may be subject to Spiritual Remediation Training. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has more details on that training and its pervasively religious content.

It gets worse:
[T]his remedial training program is overseen by a chaplain named CH Lamb, who is endorsed by the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC) and Jim Ammerman. CFGC is the endorser of a platoon full of truly insane fundamentalist chaplains like Gordon Klingenschmitt. I've reported on Ammerman's utter lunacy before. Imagine having someone like Klingenschmitt in charge of deciding who is spiritually fit to be in the military and it becomes obvious what a serious problem this is.

While I suspect that many Pagans could truthfully answer these "spiritual" questions in ways that would allow them to "pass," one wonders exactly why our military is even asking such questions. And how such fundie whackjobs came to control our armed forces in the first place.

/hat tip to JR in comments at Eschaton.

Picture found here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Prayer for New Calendars

I know kisses are medicine

I know the ocean heals.

I know my mother loves me.

Open the doors open the windows

open the chimney and sweep out the cupboards of shame-filled crumbs.

Shake the rugs and empty the bottoms of the closets.

Dust off the cowgirl boots and put them at the foot of the altar

where the Icon of the Black Madonna glows in our sister’s circle.

Ah then,

then write it all down or paint it all out

or sing it all out loud or dance it into the sky.

Give your intention as a gift to your creative muse.

But whatever you do – don’t keep it locked inside.

The queen of shovels has sent you an e-shovel,

the post attached reads:

Just dig.

So in the final moment of this musing

dogged and drafted with sorrow and hope.

I beseech the Black Madonna

Mother of dark roots –

and red earth and bumble bees

mother of bright blooms and withered branches

help me to dig. Show us where to find the treasures

and how to excavate the glistening shards.

~Shiloh Sophia

You should go read the whole thing.

Picture found here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Loving a Specific Place, Especially in the Winter

We've been, for the past several weeks, enduring much-colder-than-normal temperatures here in the melodic MidAtlantic. This weekend's snow storm mostly -- miraculously -- missed the areas around my little cottage, but we had really strong winds that made it feel even colder outside than one might have thought from just looking at the thermometer.

But this morning when I stepped out on the deck, clad only in a nightgown and bathrobe, to feed the animals, it felt almost like Spring. We're on the cusp of a warming trend that may make it positively pleasant to get out this weekend and work in the slumbering garden. In fact, I can see the 1st tiny green tips of some crocus and daffodils peeking up in a sunny, protected bit of the backyard. That used to worry me; I'd think how much Winter was left and that a few days of sun had tricked those Spring flowers into showing up, but I've learned that, short of an ice storm once the buds form, they'll be fine. They know what they're doing. And already I can feel the days becoming longer and the nights finally beginning to recede.

And, so, I'm back to bundling up and sitting outside (in a sunny spot; I'm learning from the daffs!) in communion with this tiny bit of Earth.

And yet, much of the East Coast is still buried under a comforter of snow, which some people love. Here's a great post from Dark Mother Goddess showing her garden covered in snow and describing how she uses the snow to deepen her relationship with her Earth and her family. It's no secret that Louv has made me a big advocate for getting children outside; I love and want to imitate the enthusiasm that DMG is teaching her son for the outdoors, be it snow-covered garden or sunny shore.

And here's Sally Smith working with the snow to create charming bits of art.

Sally's tiny houses always remind me of Storybook Homes, which I imagine would look magical in the snow. I've bought their book of plans for very small cottages and am beginning to dream about a retirement home in the West Virginia Mountains. Any home I'd build there would have to be built for snow.

Margaret Roach reprises some great 2010 posts about winter meals from the freezer (which can be a wonderful way to remember the Summer garden!) and snow in the garden, even on electric green lawn chairs!

Finally, Lunaea has a wonderful post about snow in Ireland.

And, so, all of Winter is a gift from the Goddess, a time to love the bones of our gardens and to dream about the coming of Spring.

May it be so for you.

Picture found here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deep in the Cellars of the Tower

Maybe it's the slowly-growing light. Maybe it's the mystically epic winds that have been blowing new ideas all over my snug little cottage. Maybe it's the way that the still-long-dark nights dance in my consciousness, but, whatever the reason, my dreams lately have been far more capable of making an impression than normal.

A few nights ago, I dreamt that my mother and my sister-the-antagonist were teaching G/Son an evilly racist form of Asatru (and, believe me, neither of them ever even imagined anything such as Asatru) devoted to Horus (I know. What can I say? It was a dream). In particular, they were teaching him a set of movements designed to mimic water-birds and to invoke some (in my dream) particularly racist form of Horus/Asatru worship. I was almost beside myself with anger, and I called them out on their behavior. I stormed outside to the front of my childhood home, where they had hooked my car up to their dilapidated car in an attempt to repair theirs. There was a license plate removed from their car (that I can almost see, but can't remember) that held the entire message of the dream. I got in my car and drove off, unhooking my car from theirs, and lecturing the First Ex-Mr. Hecate about just how angry I was. I always pay attention to the dreams where I tell him that.

Then, last night, the serious winds woke me up and made me realize how cold and bitter it was outside and how safe and warm I was inside. Maybe it was that I'd been thinking about Thalia's gift from her sister and how much I've been thinking about gifting myself with Jung's Red Book, but something drew me off into a dream about a red-stone house beside the road with a huge round turret out front. At first, I was, in my dream, driving past the house, just admiring the turret and the ornaments set around it. Then, I realized that, from my car, I could see right into one of the 4th story windows, and I thought, "That would be my bedroom, visible to all who drove by." In a moment, like Alice through the looking glass, I was inside the windows and realized that, no, this wasn't a bedroom, it was a lovely drawing room. There was a party beginning, and many of the guests had brought with them mask-faced guards out of a chess game. I wandered in and greeted the hostess, aware that she wanted to sell the house. I wound down the steps, a bit less enchanted with each level of the underworld that I explored. Wow, her kitchen's not as good as mine, by a long shot. Her bedroom's not nearly as nice as mine. I could make this kitchen good, but when I mention to her that I'd turn that low, industrial sink into a fireplace, she says to me: "Of course, you can't." She tells me that the house is selling for "75," but I can't figure if she means $75,000, $7,500,000 or what. I exit the home at the very ground level and begin climbing back up the outside steps. I realize that there are shrubs blocking each of the steps, and I like the outside garden a lot more than I like the inside lower levels. As I decided when I bought this cottage, the outside has more potential than it shows. Sheesh.

And I wake to write down the dream and realize that I'll spend a few years figuring it out.

Do you have dreams like this in the cold wind? Do you record your dreams? What magic work do you do with them?

Picture found here.

Black Cat Petunias

So, there is still snow in those bits of the yard (Northernmost exposure, and corners in the South East and South West) that get the least amount of Winter sun. Our serious winds have abated a bit, leaving lots of kindling spread across the yard, but it's still bitter cold. My beloved Potomac River is iced over, with circles, swirls, and geometric cracks marking the ice. The dirt beneath my yard is frozen for at least a few inches down. The Western sky is on display as early as 3:30 pm. The snowdrops haven't even sprouted and the hellebores (Lenten Roses, to the xians) aren't yet showing any buds. (Landscape Guy's hellebores have budded, but his seem to usually be 3 weeks ahead of mine, although we live 5 minutes away from each other.) Everything's cut back to the ground and mulched over.

But in this old Witch's heart, it's mid-April and I am out digging in the newly-warmed earth with my ergonomic spade, planting BLACK PETUNIAS in the front cottage gardens and the pots that sit on the back deck.

I'm not much of a fan of annuals. A plant has to be pretty special for me to be willing to buy it over and over again -- not to mention doing the work of planting it over and over again -- every year. I grow some daturas and marigolds from seed each year and I buy a few herbs, mainly basil, on an annual basis, but my strong preference is for perennials.

But my entire garden scheme is black and white, and it's often much easier to find white flowers than black. And I've been reading for months that this Spring would herald the arrival of a truly black (aka, not just dark purple or dark red, but really black) petunia. And this afternoon, when I arrived home from work, there was the Burpees Porn Emporium, er, the Burpee's garden catalogue. Now, I know that Burpees is kind of like Disney or GE or McDonalds. And I am careful each year, I am, to spread my purchases out among a number of local, heirloom, and organic seed sellers. But Burpees has, I'm not going to lie to you (heh, I'm not going to lie to you NOW THAT I'VE GOT MINE -- beforehand would have been a different story, and there's not a real gardener in the world who would blame me, either), Burpees had the black petunias. Burpees calls them Black Cat Petunias.

And so I got on the phone, in the midst of Mercury Retrograde, and I ordered almost 50 of those black beauties. And when the nice lady who first answered the phone mistakenly cut me off (Like I Said: Mercury Retrograde), I called right back, got a nice young man, and put the order through again, this time getting both the $5 off for a big order and the free shipping.

There won't be a day between now and mid-April when I don't imagine planting those black flowers. But they'll be in my front cottage gardens come Beltane and I couldn't be happier. That's one of the wonderful things about having a garden: the anticipation.

Picture found here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bazooms Blogging

I had my annual mammogram today. Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer -- a little over 13 years ago -- I've had a lot of them. Occasionally something weird shows up, I have a biopsy or an aspiration or whatever, and then we do them three times a year and then two times a year and them we go back to annual mammograms.

I work hard at not stressing as I get close to my appointment, and I'm pretty good at keeping myself busy with enough stuff that I don't have much time to sit around and imagine the worst. And then I show up for the appointment, careful to bring something really interesting to read (today's choice is a fantasy novel I'm working on: Canticle) so that I won't be tempted to pick up on the almost, to a Pisces, palpable fear and concern that fills the waiting room of the mammography center.

I don't really mind the physical discomfort of the mammogram. The more tightly the technician squeezes my breasts between the plates, the better picture she gets. And I want her to get a very good one. And it's only for a few seconds, at any rate.

And, then, she takes the lead apron off of me and says, "OK, you can put your gown on." (It always kills me. I want say, "Babe, Balenciaga made gowns. That's a cotton bathrobe that doesn't really tie together in any comprehensible fashion." Instead, I say, "Thanks.") At that point, she sends me to a chair outside the room with the machinery and takes the pictures to show them to the doctor. I've learned that the longer it takes for her to come back, the more likely she is to say, "Doctor wants just a few more views, so please step back in." She won't tell you anything else. Asking, "Did the doctor see something?" won't get you any good information. But the more times that she comes back and says, "Sorry, we need just a few more," the less likely the news is to be good.

And, so, at that point, sitting there in the chair, sure that too much time has gone by, that's when I ground. That's when I breathe, and focus on my breath, and breathe myself into a still, quiet place where, whatever happens, I'm going to be able to handle it. I stand at the crossroads, not sure if I'm well or ill, and I call to Hecate, Mistress of Liminal Spaces. That's one of the times when I'm most grateful for a daily practice, for all the other 364 days of the year when I've practiced grounding and breathing and calling to my Matron Goddess.

And, most days, like today, the wait really isn't that long and the doctor doesn't want any more pictures. Instead, the technician ushers me into a "consultation room" and the doctor comes in and says, "Everything looks great. See you in a year."

May it be so for you.

Now, when many of us are organizing our 2011 calendars, is a great time to go ahead and make a monthly appointment with yourself to do a breast self-exam. Pick a day a month or two before your next mammogram is due and make an appointment to call and schedule it. When you do schedule it, maybe you can schedule something nice for later that day: lunch with a friend, a trip to a museum, a manicure, a nap. Or don't make a big deal about it and plan to go straight back back to work or to pick up the kids. Whichever, but just do it.

Picture found here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pagan Books

This grey afternoon, a dear old Pagan friend of mine came over and we hung out, chatted while we made organic Swiss Chard and barley (I love cooking with friends; I need to do more of this!), did some ecstatic dance, watched the birds at the bird feeder, and generally had (what passes in my own odd world for) a very good time. She asked me what good Pagan books I'd read lately and, I suddenly realized that the answer was: "Not Many." I'm working my way through (and, unlike a lot of Pagan bloggers, being rather impressed with) Trials of the Moon (maybe because I don't believe that where one gets one's degree is as important as the force of one's arguments. It's a lawyer thing.) but I can't say that I've found too many Pagan books this year that have made a deep impression on me.

Maybe this isn't too surprising; after all, Paganism is, IMHO, a religion of experience rather than of faith or authority. You can read about mystical experience forever or you can go outside, sit on a rock, breathe deeply, and . . . begin.

But, still, when I first discovered Paganism it was through books (The Politics of Women's Spirituality was "first," although I'd grown up reading "Pagan" books such as The Secret Garden, and The Wind in the Willows, Grimm's, etc.) that gave some context to those "on the rock" experiences that I'd been having all my life. And it's a bit sad that there's not quite as much (at least that I'm aware of) great Pagan writing out there as there once seemed to be.

This year I enjoyed, and agreed with some parts and disagreed with other parts of, Restall Orr's Kissing the Hag and had reason to re-read Sacred Circles. But the most important "Pagan" book (and the author would completely reject that characterization) that I read -- and the book that I gave to Son & DiL, DiL's wonderful 'rents, and the First ex-Mr. Hecate and his partner -- was Louv's Last Child in the Woods. I read Dark Green Religion and thought that it didn't say much that I didn't already know and that it was most likely a New Yorker-length article that fared less well as a book, almost painfully "pumped up," but I can see why it's an important book for people, who, for example, frequent Huffington Post, to read. I bought and regularly refer to Bearing Torches: A Devotional Anthology for Hecate, (not of much interest unless you're devoted to Hecate), which is published by a group doing some v interesting stuff these days (Are we entering a phase where the best writing and publishing is done by groups almost fanatically devoted to very minute bits of Paganism? Is that good or is it bad?) . But it's not a book you read cover to cover. And, as always, I've had regular reason to resort to Illes' Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells. I imagine that I will have until I'm too old to turn a page. I'm trying to work my way through a few of (and I don't think that she considers herself a Pagan) Ingerman's books and I'm still not sure if she's so advanced that I'm just not groking it or if she's not advanced enough to challenge me, but I too often find myself going, "Well, yeah, of course, and . . . " Likely, I'm not yet advanced enough.

Mostly, this year, I read a lot of good poetry and a lot of legal briefs, some so good they give me chills and some so bad I wind up raging to Young Lawyer Guy about them. I'm consistently mad for Theodora Goss' bits of stories and for most everything that Rima writes. I'm starting, more and more, to find more good poetry on YouTube than on the printed page and this, still, makes me sad. I'm a dying generation.

A lot of good Pagan writing is being done, these days, on the web, and that's v cool. I always check out (these are listed in my blog roll) African Alchemy, A Pagan's Blog, A Witch's Daily, Aquila ka Hecate, Know Thyself, Medusa Coils, The Archdruid Report, and The Gods Are Bored. There are a number of others that I check out at least once a week or so. Thorn Coyle rather irregularly posts podcasts that I'll often listen to several times while knitting, cleaning house, or walking on the treadmill.

What's the best Pagan book that you read this year? What's the worst? Where do you go for regular Pagan inspiration?

Picture found here.

Sunday Ballet Blogging