Waking Harvest • Pets in Sacred Spaces • Corn Husk Dolls • Book Review
“In Harvest’s Hands” September 2010 Volume 1• Issue 9 ™• September 2010 • Volume I
Connecting Alternative-Faith Writers and Readers
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™• September 2010 • Volume I
Contents 5 Spotlight
6 Urban Shaman
Honoring the Harvest Time
On the Cover Photographer EWVanderBerg and model Clara Publisher • Eberhardt, Personal Visions Executive Editor - jess*ca mae Proofreading & Copy Editor - Maeve Gregory Layout & Design - Refraction Creative Services Website Management - Personal Visions Consultants - Maeve Gregory, Dawn Sherwood, Faelin Wolf, and Tootie Marie Our goal at Pagan Edge is to provide readers a high quality, timely magazine with content relevant to modern pagans’ lifestyle and passions. Our publication is a lifestyle magazine so while we may publish spells, rituals, and some magick how-to; we aim to focus on ways that pagans, wiccans, earth-basedspiritualists, and those of like mind can incorporate their values and beliefs into their everyday living. Pagan Edge Magazine & paganedge.com exist solely to offer information to our readers. The publisher, editor, and the entire personnel of Pagan Edge., Pagan Edge Magazine, Personal Visions, Refraction Design and paganedge.com cannot be held responsible for misuse of any information provided. The views expressed in the articles and ads are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect these of Pagan Edge Magazine. Product descriptions, recipes & any how-to information: While we, and our affiliates, attempt to provide accurate information in the magazine and on the site, we do not warrant that the content on this Site will be accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free. It is your sole responsibility for the use of the content of this Magazine or web site. For additional details please see www.paganedge.com
8 Eclectic Cooking Kitchen Tips
10 Keeping the Edge
The Rush to Harvest
Corn Husk Dolls
14 Art & Soul The Fun and Colorful Renditions of Lisa K. Walraven
16 Our Lady’s Counsel Advice from Lady Fae
17 Note This!
Music Review on Spiral Rhythm
18 Plant Vibes
Chillingly Good Taste
20 PE Book Review 22 From the Elders Corner The Harvest
24 Fabulous Familiars Pets in Sacred Spaces
26 Wheel of Happenings Calendar of Events
Volume 1 • Issue 9 September 2010 “In Harvest’s Hands” Pagan Edge™ is published monthly by Personal Visions, email@example.com ™• September 2010 • Volume I
™• September 2010 • Volume I
WAKING HARVEST Food is the building block upon which all of our urban cultures exist. Without easy access to foods of all kinds at affordable prices, the urban ecosystem could not exist. By the hard fought efforts of farmers over the last 5000 years we have been able to expand and flourish in our communal richness and intellect to the point where even our wildest fantasies have become possible realities. In the last 30 years Western culture has even made headway into eliminating the seasonal variations in our food supply by shipping foodstuffs from all over the planet just so that we can have apples in May and lettuce in December. This trend may make it seem like we have devalued the time of harvest, which is only partially true. We have made the time of Harvest common; we have spread our demands out so that every part of the world has to grow what we want for when we want it. The cycle has become a system which makes every harvest more critical. Gone is the self-preserving of home foods, gone are the changes in eating habits that keep us healthier, and with any given crop failure we all become exposed to crisis. There are so many things that could go wrong with this system that it far outpaces the boundaries of this one article, so please refer to the end where there will be links for you to further explore the topic. What does all this food moving around the planet and its hard-wired seasons do to each of us on a spiritual level? When it is actually the time of the year when we have harvest we have to make an effort to focus on what it means to our local producers and ourselves. It should be clear that the Gods of the Sun or the Goddesses of the Earth are preparing to make significant sacrifices as they move from the time of plenty to the time of rest and darkness. The Sun’s strength is waning as the shorter days slow then stop the growth in our lands. Plants respond to this eternal call and drop their fruits or seeds in preparation for rebirth in the next year. Animals respond as well with
the frenetic gathering and storage for winter or the mass migrations to warmer lands that will provide the shelter they need. As humans we need to make note that all of this applies to us as well. We need to be thankful for the abundance of the food that is close to us and we need to note that not getting ready for winter will bring uncertainty and anxiety at some point. If we do not acknowledge that this season of harvest is the culmination of the bond between the earth and the sky Gods which started back on an almost forgotten Beltane we lose the chance to share in the product of that blessed union. We must be ready to give with willing effort so that our friends and neighbors can survive with us. It is a sacrifice that the Gods give each year and it is a sacrifice done out of love that we should be giving each year as well. For all of us it is a time to understand that we have to work hard within our circles and communities so that our charities, which can feel like big sacrifices, can be turned into symbols of rebirth. Even though it is time to honor the Corn God or the Oak King we are still full of a quieter vitality which is that of the grains, vegetables, and animals we have taken for our continued existence. We have all reveled in the long hot days and now we must be ready to think, love, and continue to strive during the coming longer nights. Before and during each of your meals during this time of Lugh take a moment to honor the people, earth, sun, and rain that made this food possible. Do not go to the store and by something in a package; instead go to your local farmer’s market and buy food that will taste better than anything you can imagine. Whether you follow Demeter, Tammuz, Ceres, Lugh, Neper or any of the other deities of the fields, celebrate in a real way by choosing to eat local food, organic or heirloom, and reconnect with the land you walk on and the same energy that has been shining on you since last harvest. ™• September 2010 • Volume I
the Urban Shaman
by Michelle “Crowskin” Bond
Honoring the Harvest Time
Ideas for City Dwellers
Harvest time is celebrated in many different ways, in many different cultures. It signifies taking in all the good things the harvest represents and using them to benefit yourself and your family for the coming winter. It is a season celebrated around the world in one way or another. City dwelling pagans can participate in the tradition of celebrating the year’s harvest just as easily as those who bring it in. Here are a few suggestions on how to honor the harvest, yourself, and new things in your life no matter where you live. Harvest scents: It doesn’t take much to bake a small bread loaf, an apple pie, or mix a small batch of mulled hot cider. Not only is it relatively easy to do, but it also has a lot of significance for the harvest season. Creating something enjoyable, fulfilling and as delicious as a nice warm drink or good pie shows your intention to the universe that you plan to use all the new things you’ve reaped throughout the year to create better changes for the future. This is a task that 6
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can still be done relatively easily no matter what your living situation is. If that doesn’t appeal to you, or you aren’t very fond of baking you call always bring in the same emotions and effect with a good harvest scented candle or two. Use scents that remind you of your favorite home baked goods, or scents which give you a warm glowing feeling inside. Show your colors: Fall is starting and one of the obvious changes is showcased in the leaves depending on where you are. Start collecting a few fall colored leaves around your home, or other harvest related decorations. This is a great and simple way of welcoming the power of the season into your home. It also is a quick and easy way to decorate your altar for any harvest type rituals. Also consider wearing harvest colors and playful harvest jewelry to bring in the same feel wherever you go. Sometimes even a change in earrings or necklace brings in a change mentally as well. Bright gold,
orange, vibrant red and browns are great colors for this season. Focus on the bounty: In many of the Native cultures, the harvest time is also a time of forgiveness. One of the more powerful things you can do for yourself during the harvest season is to let go of old wounds, old pains, and any mistakes you’ve made. It is a time to celebrate the positives and allow the negatives to wash away from you. One of the ways you can do this symbolically is to write in bold letters “I forgive myself” on an autumn colored leaf and throw it into your fireplace or safely burn it on your altar. Let the smoke carry your intentions out into the universe and allow yourself to let go of the pain and guilt. To balance out this practice write another leaf with “I welcome my own bounty” and burn it in the same way. Celebrate: Spend time with loved ones, friends, and family. Often times our ancestors celebrated with family and honored each other with what they had as
they prepared for the long winter ahead. In this same way we honor our friends, family, and loved ones who have been with us and supported us through the year. Across the world in almost every tradition, the harvest is a time of celebration, rejoicing, and happiness. Let yourself take part in that amazing aspect of this time of year. Feast: A pot luck, barbecue, or feast is also a great way to celebrate with family and friends. Not only is it a practice our ancestors were fond of, but it brings all the homemade flavors and togetherness into your own backyard. This is a great time to finally reap the rewards of the many seeds you’ve sown this year and start putting plans into action. Remember: a harvest’s plenty is meaningless if people do not do anything with the given bounty. Put plans into action you’ve been waiting on for all this time. And use the support of friends and family to build your dreams into reality and give back to the world. ™• September 2010 • Volume I
by Maeve Gregory
cheap, lazy, & “crunchy”
...I mean frugal, effici Often the same advice gives benefits for more than one of these categories. Tips for being frugal with money and personal resources are also good for the environment, and vice versa. If you have limited time (and don’t we all!), you can start by focusing on one area and letting the others follow. Now on to the tips... Refrigerators are a major household user of electricity. Anything you can do to make that more efficient will help your wallet and the environment. • The freezer is most efficient when it’s full. The more mass that is frozen, the less energy needed to keep it that way and to get it back down to freezing temperatures when it’s opened. So use up that space. You can use plastic containers of water to fill it. If those plastic containers are ones that can’t be recycled or reused in another way, then so much the better. They can also be used later 8
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as cold packs for picnic coolers. One caution... make sure that the cold air vents are not obstructed. • The refrigerator compartment is most efficient when there is space for air to flow freely. Unlike the freezer, you want to avoid packing it full of food and containers. Try to keep a bit of space around items so that consistent temperatures are kept. • Need to store a bag of ice from the store? Say for drinks at a summer party or for icing an injury? A bag of ice will stay frozen for a surprisingly long time stored in the refrigerator. Place it in a large bowl or pot to catch any melted water. • We all know to keep the door closed and to limit opening it to save energy, right? One thing that can help with that and to save time is to group like items together or in a container so they are handy. For example, you
might keep lunch foods (deli meats and cheeses, mayo and mustard, pickles, etc.) all together so you can grab them all at once, make your sandwich, and replace them in the fridge. Or keep a basket of snack foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, dried fruits, etc.) where you can take them out and peruse them at your leisure rather than keep the door open while you decide. Cooking meals can take so much of our time and energy. It’s worthwhile doing it as efficiently as possible. • Put a lid on it! Using lids on pots and pans keeps the heat in so it takes less time and fuel to get things up to a boil or simmer. • As I’ve discussed here before, pressure cookers and slow cookers can help in cutting back on time spent cooking and the electricity/natural gas used. Pressure cookers work by
ient, & green! speeding up the process and require less planning, while slow cookers slow down the process to the point that you don’t have to monitor it like you do a stove top method with the bonus that the cooking can be done outside the house in the warmer months. You might even find both methods useful.
• Sometimes preheating the oven is advisable. In general, I do this when a recipe contains yeast, baking powder, or baking soda. In other words, when I’m expecting a chemical reaction that will make the food rise or form air bubbles. Specific circumstances are needed for that; it’s better not to risk a failed recipe.
of running water. That water can be used to water house plants. Immersing vegetables that can carry a lot of sand and soil, such as greens, is the best way to clean them: the dirt sinks to the bottom of the bowl, the greens are lifted out, and the water and dirt can go on to be useful for other plants.
• Toaster ovens can be especially useful if you have small amounts to heat up in an oven. They are quicker and more efficient than a full size oven. Larger toaster ovens can even bake small pans of brownies, small cakes, and cupcakes in them.
I’m never so aware of the life giving properties of water as when I’m cooking. It’s needed to nourish the plants and animals that feed us, to clean the food, and to aid in cooking it. Where would we be if we ran out?
• My houseplants also like the water left over from steaming vegetables and cooking pasta. Avoid using salted water.
• Even though directions always say to preheat your oven, that is not true! It is not necessary when you are heating a frozen food. Just put it in the oven, set it for the temperature on the package, and set a timer for a few minutes longer than you would if preheating.
• When washing your hands, you only need a pencil thin stream of water to rinse them. You can also install a faucet aerator to increase the water pressure and thus decrease the amount you use. • Vegetables and fruits can be rinsed in a large bowl of water instead
Check out Dawn Sherwood’s Plant Vibes article this month for tips on preserving your harvest. If you have your own tricks and advice to be more efficient in the kitchen, please stop by Pagan Edge Facebook page or PaganEdge.com and share them. Your tips might be included in future articles. ™• September 2010 • Volume I
The Rush to Harvest Waiting for a harvest is like waiting for water to boil. No, I’m not talking about the growing season of zucchini – though I’m sure the same principles apply. I’m talking about waiting for results, after putting determination, time, and effort, into a working. When you first learn about spells, magick, and witchcraft, it sounds like you can get something from nothing. You spend a great deal of time mastering the art of ritual. You learn techniques for how to raise and build energy in the rite/spell itself. You learn methods for releasing and directing the energy. Then when you step out of the circle, you are taught: “That is it, the spell is cast, the working is finished.” All that is left is the waiting for manifestation – your harvest so to speak.
instead of the cheap stuff? By day three you are thinking, didn’t I read somewhere that if it doesn’t work within 48 hours then it isn’t going to work? By day seven you think, once again, why exactly didn’t it work? After all, if you did it right, there should have been results by now? Or should there be? Many new practitioners, fall into this trap. I cast the spell – so where is my pay off? They forget that like everything else in life you don’t get something for nothing. The working is just the starting point. By casting the spell you have put the world on notice – Hi World (God/Goddess if you prefer), I need… can I get some help please?
Hi World... Can I Get Some Help Please?
You did it. You’ve put in all the work: cast the spell, did the ritual, said the magic words, and now nothing. You are waiting. Thumbs are twiddling, you are checking the time on your cell phone every minute, you are staring at the phone, and you are watching the window for the mail carrier. It is excruciating. You live an entire lifetime in each 60 minutes and still nothing.
After about a day of this, doubt begins to set in and you start going back over the working. Did you do it right? Does the fact that it took you THREE tries to light the candle, mean something? Should you have used Captain 10
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Nowhere in there did the burden shift to the world to do all the work for you. You are missing the part that comes after the spell, by asking for a harvest when all you have done is plant a seed. A seed needs nurturing – water, dirt, sunlight. So what does your seed need? Are you drawing a blank? Alright, look it at from a different perspective, if you didn’t cast the spell and you still had the same need what steps would you have taken? Now you are starting to catch on. You still need to do what you would have done without the
Keeping the Edge
by Mya Om
spell. Spells are not an end run around the realities of day to day life. They do not act like Jack’s Magic Beans producing a giant bean stalk over night. Spells are more like Miracle Grow; you get bigger produce with them than without, but I have yet to see Miracle Grow produce a plant in unsown soil. What is missing is the continuation of the energy cycle. Most people assume when the ritual is finished and you step out of the circle that the working is complete. This is both right and wrong. It is right in that you have set the working into motion, and that part is complete. But you are wrong because the working is not actually finished until manifestation occurs. Throughout the time between the actual casting and the manifestation, the spell is germinating, it is drawing on the energy you have fed it and it is using the energy to direct to you what you need. But the energy it has is a finite energy. Like a battery it only holds so much charge, and when the charge is depleted so is the spell. Obviously this means that the more energy you put into it at the beginning the better – but what about afterwards? Your actions and behaviors after the spell is cast can further charge the spell or can drain it completely. Reinforcing behavior adds energy. Example: putting in job applications, calling an employer, or inquiring about openings when you cast a spell for a new job. Negative behavior drains energy. Example: telling your neighbor that the entire state is blighted and you are never going to find a job. Keeping this principle in mind the next time you cast a spell, should cut down on the thumb twiddling, and mail box watching. Be proactive instead of just lying around waiting for your harvest.
Envisioning Spiritual and Climate Wise Living mypersonalvisions.net ™• September 2010 • Volume I
When we think of harvest time, food and its pivotal role in sustaining our lives and our culture often come to mind. We also think of the transforming nature of the harvest, how various Gods and Goddesses share with us and act through nature the importance of sacrifice and preparation for the dark times to come. As adults we both celebrate and worry over the abundance of food or how we will survive this coming winter. However, harvest is also the time when many pieces of traditional art and toys were made. One could say the hope for the next year is put into the hands of our children so they can act out and play while we concentrate on all the work brought to us by this time of year. Even in a urban home our children go back to school after a break (which was focused on an agricultural cycle), the season of vacation ends, and we focus on our jobs and meeting end-of-the-year deadlines. The trappings of life may have been altered but the harvest still remains at the core of our lives. In the Americas where maize (corn) has been a staple food source since prehistory, many of the people used all the elements of food to make sure they had what they needed to survive and to nurture their culture. One of the things that has been made by most human cultures are dolls. In some cultures these the important role they have represented by their being made from durable items like wood or clay. However, the idea of a child’s doll as a lasting keepsake is not really traditional in a lot of Native American tribes. Dolls were usually made of perishable materials like corn husk, palmetto fiber, or bundled pine needles; even those that were made out of wood or leather were not often built to last the way adult crafts were. Tribes may have considered it wrong to discipline small children, so expendable toys may take the worry out of destruction or loss. Also these transitory toys were meaningful to parents because, like the children playing with them, they changed and fell apart over time marking the growth of each child. This did not stop the doll craftsman from making beautifully adorned and crafted dolls because one can imagine the joy and bonding that 12
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was created with each.
The Iroquois have a legend about the “faceless doll.” It seems that the first corn husk doll was made to be the companion for a little Indian girl. The story tells us that the Iroquois people have what they call the three sisters, the “sustainers of life”. These sisters are called corn, beans, and squash. The corn Spirit was so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life that she asked the Creator what more she could do for her people. The Creator said that a beautiful doll could be formed from the husks. The Creator set to work to form the doll. When finished he gave the doll a beautiful face and sent it to the children of the Iroquois people to play with, and to make them happy. The doll went from village to village playing with the children and doing whatever she could for the children. Everywhere she went everyone would tell her how beautiful she was, so after a while she became vain. The Creator spoke to her and explained that this was not the right kind of behavior, and she agreed not to be this way anymore. The Creator told her that if she continued with this behavior he would punish her, but he would not tell her how he would do it. She agreed not to act that way again, and things went on as before. One afternoon she was walking by a creek and she glanced into the water. As she admired herself, she couldn’t help thinking how beautiful she was, because indeed she was beautiful. At this time the Creator sent a giant screech owl out of the sky and it snatched her reflection from the water. When she looked again, she had no reflection. This was the punishment the Creator put upon her. When an Iroquois Mother makes a doll for her child, she tells them this legend which is to remind the child that it is wrong to think they are better than anyone else, and they must know that the Creator has given a special gift to everyone. Just as Native Americans made corn husk dolls, you can too!
a how-to by Eberhardt You will need these things: • Corn husks - You can buy these in bags at craft stores or in the produce department of many supermarkets. • String • Scissors • A pail or pan of water
Tie each end of the arm tube or braid with a piece of string.
Soak the corn husks in the water until they are soft and bendable. Separate the husks. You will need at least 10 pieces of the husk for each doll. Put the tube between the body husks below the head so that an arm sticks out on each side. Make a waist for the doll by tying a piece of string around the body husks below the arms. This helps hold the arms in place. Choose four husks about the same size. Lay them on top of one another. Tie the pointy ends together close to the top. These husks make the body of the doll. Take two husks in each hand and fold them over the string so the string is inside. The fold will form the top of the doll’s head.
Pull a string around the husks and tie to make the head.
Take another husk. Wrap it around the back of the neck and crisscross it across the chest to make shoulders. Tie it to the doll around the waist. Make legs. Separate the body husks below the waist into 2 parts, tearing from the bottom if necessary. Tie each section at the ankle to make legs. Or leave the main husks untied to make a skirt. If you want to, you can cover the string ties by tying strips of the husks over them.
To make arms, take another corn husk and smooth it flat. Trim the pointed end straight across with a scissors. Then
roll the husk into a tight tube. Or, you can braid three long thin pieces of husk together to make the arms.
The corn husk doll’s face is usually left blank. Some children put a red dot on each cheek after the husks dry. You can dress your doll with other pieces of husk or small scraps of cloth. Corn silk makes good hair. ™• September 2010 • Volume I
The Fun and Colorful Renditions of
Lisa K. Walraven
Ibis Bamboo-White Ibis • 24” x 36” • Sold
Large, well defined blocks of acrylic and oil correlate to compose the paintings of Lisa K. Walraven. It is not unusual to see paths of contrasting color laid next to each other to highlight the subject matter of her work. Her close-ups of birds and other animals read as portrait more than nature study. A tight crop on a group of bird friends sharing berries can leave the viewer feeling intrusive while other paintings force the viewer into a stare down with Swainson’s Thrush. Each piece has smooth curves mixed with geometric elements to create strong composition. The negative space has intriguing shapes as well, leaving one wondering if more than one story is being told. With rich color, engaging characters, and bold composition, it is difficult to find anything subtle in the works of Walraven. She started at an early age, “I have always enjoyed doodling and was even drawing birds when I was young. Mind you, I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved to do it!” She went on to earn a B.F.A. but did not develop her current style until well after college. “In my opinion my art has improved greatly and my plan is to continue that progress. I hone my skills, focus on learning what really works and what just passes. I am open to where my art may take me.”
Great horned Owl-2 12” x 24” • Sold
Full Moon-Barn Owl 12” x 24” • Sold
White tailed Deer • 24” square • $500 USD 14
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One reason Walraven’s portraits catch the eye is the detail brought to the viewer: colors and textures we do not generally see. “I like to show detail one may never notice while viewing a bird in the field. Much of these details you would only see with a bird in hand.” So how does one come about to experiencing a “bird in hand?” Walraven works at bird banding stations and animal rehabilitation centers. “Bird banding is done for studying birds: the act of catching birds in mist nests, gently removing them, measuring their wings, checking how much fat they have, putting a band with a number on their leg, and then letting them go... It was remarkable to me how individual birds were, one of a species compared to the other. Each bird was different. The ability of having them in hand and studying their tiny features inspired me to paint them in portrait form. The bright colors and outlining was just something I did from the very beginning. I love playing with color and how colors affect each other.
“First, I hope my art makes people happy, but secondly, I hope my work inﬂuences them to consider the wild creatures we share our planet with. Perhaps they will see them in a new way.”
Art & Soul
featured artist by jess*ca mae
“I eventually began painting mammals in a similar way. I did work in wildlife rehabilitation for 7 years, but rarely was I able to handle mammals much. I paint from photos, to insure exactness of the species. Painting fur is so different than painting feathers, I will often mix color into the fur, where my birds are more graphic.” As viewers, Walraven’s work attracts us because it makes the connection between ourselves and the subject matter. As pagans, Walraven’s work attracts us because it makes the connection between our inherent respect for nature and the individual characteristics of each creature. Besides being influenced by her love of the out of doors and her passion for color, does Walraven’s spirituality affect her art? “My being pagan does influence my work in that nature is my church, it is where I worship, it is what I worship. I sometimes portray my animals and birds in shrine like settings. To me they are more than dear, they are divine. I suppose there are some religions that may frown upon the idea of portraying animals and birds as sacred in art. As an environmentalist, naturalist, and artist, nature to me, is everything.” Although she paints wildlife she does not categorize herself as a wildlife artist, “I would call my work graphic, pop, folk art, outsider art.” It is true there is a hint of Warhol, if one replaced his soup cans with Walraven’s rafter of turkeys. Indeed her bold pieces have gone commercial as they are used to promote various festivals focusing on birding, wildlife, and ecology. She creates posters, Tshirts, and other work on commission for such events but also donates part of her sales on Etsy and Cafe Press to charities such as Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, and organizations fighting to restore the Gulf of Mexico. While she does not have her own gallery, her works can be found in galleries and shops in North Carolina and Arizona, USA and also online. To see more of Walraven’s portfolio, visit her website www.wrensandravens.com where you can also buy paintings, note cards, hats and other fun art.
Coyote • 18” x 24” • Sold
Black billed Magpie Shrine • 12” x 16” • $200 USD
Swainson’s Thrush • 12” square • Sold ™• September 2010 • Volume I
Our Lady’s Counsel Advice from Lady Fae’s Wisdom Circle
Dear Lady Fae, I love to walk and hike outside. Often during my walks, I find interesting things to tuck in my pockets and bring home—rocks, leaves, pine cones, flowers, etc. Usually, I only take what has dropped from the tree or plant or from plants and trees that have died, but when I do take something from a living plant itself, I will take a moment to thank the plant and make an offering in return. Often on my hikes, I will take a moment to thank all of the world around me for its beauty and bounty, whether I’ve gathered anything to take home or not. Recently, a friend went hiking with me and my partner. It was a rocky path and we found many interesting rocks to take home with us. My friend had a baggie of tobacco for offerings. She gave us some each time we picked up a rock and we dutifully placed it in the area. A couple times, we picked up rocks without dropping tobacco and I saw her go back and place some in those areas. Honestly, I found that a little frustrating. I make my offerings in my own way and I don’t need someone else to cover my butt, so to speak. But it’s caused me to doubt myself…am I not offering enough? ~ Worried About Being Ungrateful
I am so glad that you are out there, enjoying nature, the sunshine, and the beauty that your area offers! As for your question of offerings… Well, I think that making offerings is an extremely personal act. I think that you, in your gut and with your intuition, know what is appropriate and “enough”, just as you know what kind of offering (i.e., tobacco, a simple thank you, or water) is necessary. For you, it seems that offering your general thanks during a hike or walk may be enough. For your friend, it seems that she needs to provide a small offering every time she takes something — sort of take a little, give a little. Neither is wrong. I would encourage you to search yourself and do what feels right and best for you. And ask the plants or trees or land what they think would be helpful or appropriate. Also, if you feel uncomfortable with your friend’s behavior, talk to her about it. She likely has different views on offerings and maybe the two of you can learn something from each other. I wish you many beautiful walks in the future, with many lovely finds and many lovely friends. Send some pictures, if you take them, and maybe a rock or two for me.
Brightest blessings, ~ Lady Fae Need some counsel from Lady Fae’s Wisdom Circle? email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org 16
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Pride and Benevolence
There is something special about the group who writes a gospel song for the Pagan community. Spiral Rhythm is that group, but they can be complimented on more than their enthusiasm. The skill of writing and dedication to the path amongst these friends is profound and touching on a level that feels like home. “I Am Pagan” is certainly notable, but there is more than pride behind these strong voices of love and wisdom. Spiral Rhythm is based out of Georgia, USA with the members live in varying cities not too far in distance (one of the members even lives in North Carolina!). They began singing together about ten years ago. Over the course of time, a distinct style and feeling grew and manifested into a beautiful art. The music of Spiral Rhythm is very rhythmic. It finds a way into the listener’s mind, heart, and soul. Ranging from the driving to the humorous and to the somber, not one song by Spiral Rhythm is a disappointment. All of the members sing and play percussive instruments. Each tune has a deep drum line with living tribal rhythms. The harmonies are as clear as a wall of sound, but as comforting as a blanket of music. The feeling their work creates is practically indescribable. The best word would be transcendental seeing as how feelings change with the songs. The ability to take a listener on an emotional and spiritual journey in one album is a gift; and Spiral Rhythm knows how to use it. Nine people make up Spiral Rhythm. They are Eris, Jon, Kathy, Kerri, Kiki, Madison,
Mark, PJ, and Ric. They were a group of friends before they became Spiral Rhythm; and remain so today. Ric, Kerri, Kiki, and Jon were in Trybalaka together, the predecessor to Spiral Rhythm. Their sister band, Skyypilot, features Kerri, Jon, Ric, Mark, Beth, and Steve Fortuna. Spiral Rhythm has released seven albums: I Am (2001) Live @ Turning of the Year (2002 Roll of Thunder (2003) Live @ PSG (2004) Drum Circle (2005) Live ‘05 (2005) We Are Light (2007) They began producing their albums with Musiphysical Productions in 2003. Mark also released a solo album this year titled Interstellar Slideshow 13. Spiral Rhythm recently did a show in Ohio at the Wisteria Summer Solstice Gathering. The band’s albums can be bought at CD Baby or downloaded through iTunes. For more information on Spiral Rhythm, visit their website at w w w.spiralrhythm. net. They can also be found on MySpace and Facebook. You can also check out their music on YouTube for a taste of what they have to offer. Spiral Rhythm will make you stand and be proud to be Pagan.
Our monthly featured artists can be heard on: www.myspace.com/paganedgemagazine ™• September 2010 • Volume I
HILLINGLY OOD Freezing Summer
Harvest time is ideal for sharing the garden’s riches and for sharing favorite ways of preserving and cooking this bounty. While preservation of the harvest is an ancient practice, I generally go for the most modern of methods – freezing. You can easily find guidelines and/ or recipes for freezing just about anything, even some very tasty dill pickles! Things that in the past seemed not suitable for the freezer have been found to do just fine; herbs and tomatoes being two of my favorite examples. I also store my flours (double-bagged) in the freezer to prolong their shelf life and keep them free of pests. Tomatoes can be stewed or cooked down into sauce before freezing, but the easiest thing to do, when they are overflowing from the veggie patch, is to freeze them whole. Wash and core ripe, firm, un-bruised tomatoes of uniform size then place them, in a single layer, on a baking sheet in the freezer and leave until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. To use for cooking, simply shower them with a spray of warm water to thaw and slide the skins off. Stuffed tomatoes can also be prepped and baked in quantity and then
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frozen for later use and I’ll share a great recipe for them that will use up other harvest veggies as well. Gently washed herbs can also be freeze-dried on baking sheets, and then bagged for freezer storage. For herbs that you will likely add to sauces or soups, freeze them in ice cube trays. This can make for even more convenience later if you measure a set quantity, say one teaspoon, into each compartment of the tray. Fill the remaining space with water then freeze. When frozen solid, place the cubes into freezer bags or containers, being sure to note the quantity of herb per cube. For basil lovers, I suggest making pesto and then freezing it with 1 tablespoon per cube – no water needed. Pesto cubes, like the herbs in water cubes, are perfect to toss one or two at a time into soups for a burst of fresh flavor or for thawing in larger quantities for pasta or pizza topping. Come the dead of winter, whether you want to enhance the flavor and depth of your hardy, warming dishes or recapture the tastes of summer, you’ll be glad you took the time to chill a bit when the harvest was high.
by Dawn Sherwood
Ricotta Basil Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 6) Preheat oven to 350 F 8 large beefsteak tomatoes 2 large eggs 1 cup ricotta cheese One-quarter cup finely chopped red onion One-quarter cup chopped fresh basil 2 tbs. plus 4 tsp. grated parmesan cheese, divided 1 tsp minced garlic 1 cup corn kernels 1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 very thin zucchini slices
Pesto Sauce (aprox 1 Cup) In a blender or food processor combine and pulverize the following: 2 packed cups washed fresh basil 3 peeled garlic cloves 4 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts One-half cup olive oil Once pasty, add: One-half cup grated parmesan cheese and process briefly to blend.
1) Slice off tomato tops and scoop out pulp to make room for stuffing. Set these aside. Discard, or store for future use, one half of the pulp then remove seeds from and finely chop remaining half. 2) Whisk together eggs and ricotta in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in onion, basil and 2 tbs of the parmesan. Add corn, diced zucchini and tomato pulp; stirring until combined. 3) Fill each tomato just to top with one-half cup of ricotta mix. Sprinkle each with one-half tsp. of parmesan then top with 3 zucchini slices and tomato top. 4) Bake 45 minutes in large baking dish, until filling puffs and tops are browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. To freeze; cool completely, then wrap in foil and plastic wrap before freezing. To reheat; thaw completely, then bake in preheated 350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes until filling is hot.
â„˘â€˘ September 2010 â€˘ Volume I
The Pagan Edge
Book Review The Wild & Weedy Apothecary:
An A to Z Book of Herbal Concoctions, Recipes & Remedies, Practical Know-How & Food for the Soul by Doreen Shababy, 2010 ISBN: 978-0738719078
I happened to find this book as I was browsing the new book shelves at our local library. What a find! I picked it up because I liked the title, and I am so glad that I did. Doreen Shababy developed this book out of her Wild & Weedyzine. She pulled all the best stories, remedies, and recipes together to create the book. All of the information that she provides has been researched through other books, websites, and university and state cooperative extension programs as well as her own experiences over many years and those of her friends and family. Despite all this research, she admits that she is not an expert and advises caution and testing and researching for yourself. She encourages users of the book to have supplemental guides for themselves, such as a plant identification guide, to ensure their own safety. The beginning of the book offers excellent general instructions for how to make tinctures, salves, and other concoctions mentioned in the book, as well as offering guidelines for what to have in the kitchen, how to gather and dry herbs and flowers, and how to do further research. 20
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With apothecary in the title, I thought this book would mostly be herbal remedies and foods of a similar nature. Not so! This book not only includes those helpful tinctures, decoctions, and salves, but also includes yummy recipes, like Wheat-Free Maple Corn Bread and Zest Herbal Seasoning Blend. Shababy also offers recipes and instructions for helpful beauty solutions like hair rinses and foot baths. Perhaps what I enjoyed the most from this book is Shababy’s attitude. She writes in a lighthearted and joyful manner. Every chapter speaks of exploration and personalization, highlighting her experiences, but encouraging the reader’s growth and intuition. She also exhibits a profound respect for nature and reminds the reader to express gratitude for what has been harvested and what is used—a whole mini chapter is devoted to this! Overall, I see this as a vital addition to the library of anyone who loves and respects plants and the natural world.
Peter & Max: A Fables Novel
by Bill Willingham, 2009 ISBN: 978-1401215736 Back in February, I reviewed the first of the Fables graphic novels, written and conceptualized by Bill Willingham. I hope you’ve gotten a chance to check them out because here’s a novel written by the amazing
by Faelin Wolf
Bill Willingham about Fables characters. But even if you haven’t read the graphic novels, you can still enjoy this book about Peter Piper and his brother, Max, or the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Willingham gives you a present day view of Fabletown, the Farm, and the Fables who live there as they prepare for war with the Adversary. Peter and his wife, Bo Peep, live at the Farm, in seclusion and have done so for many, many years. But one day, Peter discovers that his brother, Max, has been spotted and he realizes that he must go and face him—for Max has become an evil man who could endanger all of Fabletown by joining with the Adversary. But Max has also vowed to hunt Peter and Bo down and to destroy them. The novel jumps back and forth from present day to Peter and Max’s childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, you discover the story of one brother’s jealousy over his younger brother’s talent. Max becomes filled with rage because his father gave the beloved Frost, the family’s magical flute, to Peter instead of him. This one act twists Max forever and drives him to do the most evil deeds. The narrative jumps between Peter’s and Max’s stories, offering insight into each character. The story is definitely filled with adventure, suspense, and magic. As a bonus for you Fables lovers, you also learn more about the histories of other beloved Fables characters, like Bigby Wolf and Frau Totenkinder. This is a wonderful addition to the Fables world and an excellent start for those who may be unsure about enjoying the graphic novel format of the other Fables tales.
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The HARVEST During our lives, we all have regrets of things we did not do. My regret over the years has been postponing the remodeling of our living room. For the past seven years I have been actively involved in planning and organizing a yearly pagan event. When I looked at the 2010 calendar with all the weekends marked from April to November for possible fund raising events and thought of all the time I would be spending on the computer, planning, traveling, etc., I realized my husband and I were going to postpone our own projects and goals for yet another year. It is April and I have come to the conclusion I am starting to suffer from burnout. I call the cousins in New Mexico who I have not seen for ten years and tell them I would love to visit them if that works for them. I inform the core members of the yearly event that I am taking a year sabbatical. Have you ever heard the saying “be careful what you ask for because you never know who is listening”? Well my Deities were apparently not only listening but agreeing with my decision as well and were going to be as supportive as possible. I take our computer to a local high school once a year for maintenance. We are told the hard drive is getting ready to crash and should be replaced. The core members of the yearly event are requesting files that are on the computer. One week after we have the computer, I hear a loud “pop” and the fan now sounds exceptionally loud. We take the computer to the school a second time. The fan unit is broken and needs to be replaced. A new fan unit is ordered and installed.
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I am starting to feel guilty for my decision in regards to the sabbatical. I decide to reverse my decision. “Someone” does not agree with this decision. My cell phone of two years dies! Long distance is not available on our landline, so we are unable to call anyone outside our world of approximately a 15-mile radius. Yes, all the core members of the yearly event are long distance. A new cell phone is ordered and will be delivered by the man wearing brown. I have an old cell phone and battery charger at my son’s house a few hours away. He brings his three children and two dogs to spend a couple weeks with us. He also brings the old cell phone but forgets the charger. No problem — there is mail service available. He will send the charger by mail. The charger has arrived after only 7 days! Odd, it does not fit the cell phone… probably because it is the wrong charger! No computer, no cell phone/long distance, no problem. I still have a car. My husband starts my car and the starter grinds (literally) to a screeching halt. A call to the road service company and the car is towed into the repair shop. The starter has to be replaced. No computer, no cell phone/long distance, no transportation. Perhaps we should be working on our projects. We decide to tear out all the paneling, plaster, sheetrock, and insulation. A huge dumpster is ordered and delivered. Everything is moved to other rooms, trashed, or set aside to be given away to others. We start tearing out walls and find very little insulation between the studs. No wonder the living room seems cold in the winter! It is Saturday July 24th; the battery charger for the old cell phone has arrived so I now have access to long distance. Things are looking great! I am working in the computer room and preparing for the arrival of the coven members for Full Moon that evening.
From the Elders Corner by Lucille M Rose
I hear a noise in the room but cannot determine what it is. The noise continues and it seems to be coming from the drawer with pens and paper. I open a drawer and there is a baby mouse the size of a walnut! To put it bluntly….HELL NO this is not going to work for me. I run to the livingroom to get my friend “the heavy duty shop vac.” Problem solved? NO. I hear paper rustling in the drawer and when I open the drawer I see shredded paper. Mother mouse is looking for her baby. I hear more noise and again open the drawer. There is a box containing stick incense with a huge chewed area! My incense chewed… this is war! Since the only thing I can catch when setting mousetraps seems to be my fingers, I ask my husband to set a trap. According to Animal Wise written by the late Ted Andrews, mice mean we should pay attention to detail, cross T’s and dot I’s. Perhaps it is time to rip out the paneling, plaster, and sheet rock in the computer room? After all I do have plenty of space left in the dumpster and remodeling the computer room was on my list of projects. The landline phone rings, but the other person cannot hear me talking. Apparently the landline is nonoperational. I call our landline service provider and receive the automated voice mail we all love and cherish. We are informed our landline will be repaired between now and 8p.m. July 31st. July 31st 8:10 p.m. We do not have a dial tone on our landline. The phone has not been repaired within the scheduled time. I call the landline service provider and am thrilled to reach a live person. We are told that a technician will be at our house on Monday. I explain to
them that in 35 years we have NEVER been late with a payment and we have never called them with a problem or complaint. I am very disappointed in their quality of service. Sunday morning we receive a call on the cell phone from the technician saying he is available to fix our phone. The problem with the landline…. mice have made a nest in an outside phone box and chewed only the wires for our landline. It is now August. The men in brown have made three attempts to deliver the new cell phone to my son’s house in Detroit. They are given my address where the phone should be delivered. The men in brown still have my new cell phone. I am beginning to wonder when I will receive the ransom note. The insulation has been stapled into place, new electrical boxes have been nailed to the studs, and insulation foam has been applied to all holes capable of luring mice into areas where they should not be. The dumpster has been taken along with all the unrecyclable material from both rooms. We have an operational computer, internet, old cell phone/long distance, and a vehicle. The new electrical covers are waiting to be screwed into place and the new wider front entry door is in the garage. The sheet rock is leaning against the studs in the living room and the color of paint needs to be decided upon and purchased. What have I harvested these past few months? Slivers, bruises, cuts, body aches, a wide range of emotions and feelings but most of all… joy and satisfaction! ™• September 2010 • Volume I
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by Maeve Gregory At one time in human history, animals would have been in a sacred space to be sacrificed to divine entities or to be killed for divination purposes. Now, we bring animals into our homes to care for and love them. We may even consider them a member of the family. Living so closely with animals can bring challenges to the sacred spaces we construct in our homes. Altars are a common feature in the pagan home. With a pet around, we may not be as free to use some objects as we might otherwise. A favored knife with a sharp blade may not be appropriate if your pet likes to climb onto your alter. Loose strings or dangling objects may tempt her to play with and knock over items. The stalks of grains, venison, or other foodstuffs set out as offerings may be snatched as food. Decide if that is acceptable for you beforehand. Care can be taken to place the altar in a location where it’s less likely to be disturbed by a pet. For example, in my own home, our main alter is next to a 30 gallon fishtank and has become an observation deck for several of our cats; items on the altar have been moved to allow this for the sake of peace in the household. Others might choose to move one or another or to create a barrier between the two. At times a lit candle may be part of a spell you are casting. Obviously care should be taken that a pet can not knock it over. Place it in a bowl of water or in an out of the way place such as kitchen sink or bathtub where there are no flammable materials around it. If a pet does interfere with a spell being cast, opinions vary as to what should be done. One prevalent view is that the spell should be reinvigorated: that the spell is not broken, but it’s power may be somewhat diminished. As a force of nature, not much if any residual energy
will be left behind. Reinvigorating the spell can be an insurance policy of sorts that ensures that it is as powerful as intended. A pet will occasionally wander into the circle after it’s been cast. In many experts opinions, this does not break the circle. Being closer to the natural world, her energy is close to neutral. She can freely pass into and out of the circle with no harm being done. She may play with something during ritual or ask for attention. Her actions should be noted or ignored with intention and not taken for granted. Something is attracting the animal and her attention. What is it? Is there a message in her seeming play? Maybe not, but that determination should be made with mindfulness and not simply brushed aside. Animals are often more sensitive to alternate energies that we humans aren’t always aware of. Does you pet scratch at a certain spot on the floor? Stare at a spot on the wall? Is she strangely attracted to or repelled by a space in your home? Perhaps there is more to it than a shadow she is looking at or draft she is avoiding. It can be a sign of other energies or entities: brownies, ghosts, fairies, omens. Pay attention to what your animal companion may be telling you. Again, it’s not that her every action has meaning, but they should be noted and analyzed with intention — not simply ignored. Animal companions can add a new dimension to our practice just as they can add to our everyday lives. Along with their affection and quirks comes energy and new ways of viewing our practice and sacred spaces. They can help to open up new aspects that we wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. ™• September 2010 • Volume I
Wheel of Happenings
SEPTEMBER 2010 10th - 11th, Wichita Pagan Pride Day JoyAnna Hester - LC for the Pagan Pride Project Wichita, Kansas, USA 11th, Grimoire Gathering Mercurius Press Clun. Shropshire sy7 8ny, UK
11th, Dayton Pagan Pride Day Dayton Area Pagan Network & Wright State Univ. PSA, Dayton, Ohio, USA 11th, Lansing Pagan Pride Day Wovenbroom Coven East Lansing, Michigan, USA 11th, 13th Annual Madison Area Pagan Pride Day Middleton, Wisconsin, USA
18th, Lynchburg PPD Grove of the Seven Hills, ADF Lynchburg, Virginia 18th, Oklahoma City Metro Area PPD Norman, Oklahoma 18th, Autumn Equinox Pagan Pride Celebration The Moon Path Chapter of CUUPS Oakland Park, Florida 18th - 19th,Central NC Pagan Pride Day Raleigh, North Carolina 18th - 19th, Esoteric Book Conference 2010 Catamara Rosarium, William Kiesel, Michael Kolson Seattle, Washington, USA
12th, Delmarva Pagan Pride Festival Dover, Delaware, USA
18th - 19th, Akron Area Mabon Festival Neohio Spirit of the Earth Circle & Any Witch Way Tallmadge, Ohio, USA
16th - 19th, 27th Annual Wild Magic Gathering Elvin Home, Inc., Bedford, Indiana, USA
19th Eastern Mass Pagan Pride Day Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA
17th - 18th, Shreveport-Bossier Pagan Unity Gathering Crescent Circle Silver Witches - CPWC Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
24th - 26th, Fall Harvest Bash Coven of the Gryphon Wiccan Church Springfield, Louisiana, USA
17th - 19th, Mountain Mysteries Mabon Festival Mountain Mysteries Stanardsville, Virginia, USA
October 2010 1st, Lughnasadh Warrior Games Sonoran Sunrise Grove,Tucson, Arizona
18th, Fox Valley Pagan Pride Day Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
1st – 3rd WitchStock 16 Celtic Groves Buffalo,Texas
18th, 10th Annual Grand Rapids Pagan Pride Day Sanctuary of the Winds Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
2nd, Pagan Pride Day St John’s County Temple of the Mystical Ancient Circle Hasting, Florida, USA
18th, Arkansas Pagan Pride Werfriends, Frendzco, Amethyst Moon, & Seekers Tem, Little Rock, Arkansas
2nd, Northern Virginia Pagan Pride Day Your local community, Manassas, Virginia, USA
If your festival is not listed here, please email us at email@example.com to have your listing added. 26
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Upcoming Themes & Deadlines
November 2010 Issue, theme: Gratitude Deadline: October 5th, 2010
Call for Artists Getting published in Pagan Edge is a great way to express yourself, keep connected to the pagan community, and get some pieces for your portfolio. We are looking for ﬁne artists, illustrators, photographers, sketch artists and more to provide us with stock images and illustrate articles
December 2010 Issue, theme: Honoring Dark Deadline: November 5th
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org For more information
October 2010 Issue, theme: Samhain Deadline: September 5th, 2010
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™• September 2010 • Volume I