Poultry Palace

We have needed a new chicken coop for years. The bird’s old accommodations were an unused wood-shed built fairly close to the house. The shed wasn’t ideal, but it worked well enough. The ducks had a difficult time living there, mostly because they were fat (and Rouen ducks don’t fly) and couldn’t make it up the chicken run into the coop. The poor ducks had to be “captured” every night (imagine if you will, us chasing a couple of three foot tall, 30 lbs ducks around the yard, with all the squawking and quacking and wing-flapping and cursing you can fathom) and gently pushed through the little, wee chicken door.

The pain-in-the-ass that was the ducks, sadly came to an end the morning the fox invaded, and life in the wood-shed slash chicken coop became a little easier to live. But then, enter Lilliput.

Last year, housing Lilliput with the chickens wasn’t so bad, since she was small and didn’t snuffle through an entire bag of grain in a day. This year, Lilliput is not so little, and she still refuses to be separated from the chickens.

Back in December, Diane posted her new open air chicken coop on her blog, over at Speedkin.com. Diane and the family had recently moved from Oklahoma to Missouri and needed all new digs to house the menagerie of life on the farm.

I was greatly inspired by Diane’s new coop. I could imagine both goat and bird living harmoniously in the same structure, with a simple wall between them to keep Lilliput from eating all the grain meant for the chickens. I could even imagine building the coop without it costing us a dime, since the material could be salvaged from our local dump in the Spring. My only real concern was the open front.

Diane’s coop is just faced with mesh “chicken wire on steroids” and at first I thought there was NO WAY this would keep the animals warm enough to survive our hard, Northern Ontario winters. The idea behind an open air chicken coop is that it keeps the birds in better health, less congestion (ever heard a chicken sneeze? Funny shit, that) less bacteria, less illness, fresher air, healthier birds.

I had just decided to construct panels for the front to enclose it for the winter, when Diane sent me a copy of the 1912 book Open Air Poultry Houses for All Climates. Because she’s awesome like that.

Eureka! Here was proof from ages gone by that open air would work! I quickly and eagerly set about designing my new coop according to the specs and sciences provided in the pages of the book. The coops recommended for my area were not built like Diane’s, but the premise was the same, leaving a portion of the front unboarded and open with only a mesh screen to keep predators out and the birds contained. I was faced with a lot of naysayers in the area who said it would never work, but I was inspired nonetheless. All I had to do was wait out the winter until the snow melted so I could salvage my list of materials from the dump in the Spring.

Before the snow melted, life went to shit, Paul had his heart attack and all thoughts of building got put on the back burner. By the time life was normal enough to start salvaging, the construction waste site at the dump had been plowed over.

We talked about waiting until the fall, when the construction season was over and the waste site was again full of goodies, but Lilliput was costing us a small fortune in grain and she and the birds were constantly escaping into the vegetable gardens. I had to replant the carrots three times, thanks to the chicken’s endless scratching and pecking, and there isn’t a corn stalk to be found because of Lilliput’s addiction to the grain.

Sucking it up, we decided the best thing would be to just cave and buy the wood.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that raising a small flock of chickens is a worthwhile financial investment. It’s not. Chances are, when you factor in the costs, the losses and the hassles, unless you’re raising 1000 or more birds, you’ll be hard-pressed to break even. Our new coop and it’s companion pen cost us a dear $1090, not including the donated labor of friends and family and three days worth of bed, BBQ and beer for said folk. Sure, it should last for years, with only minor upkeep and maintenance, but it will take years for my measly flock of 15 to produce enough eggs to pay it off. They barely produce enough eggs to cover the cost of their feed every month.

But, owning Lilliput is as endearing as owning a dog, chickens are fun and entertaining and you just can’t beat the taste of farm fresh eggs, so here it is, our new open air coop…

It’s not complete of course, nothing around here ever really is, but it stands erect. Whether it sustains the birds through the winter is yet to be seen and a huge Thank You goes out to Diane for the inspiration…and the book!

Spring pictures and a test of sorts.

I have not yet replaced the modem on my computer, so I am still blogging from my cell phone. Curious endeavor that. I’ve not really explored the word press app much, mostly due to a lack of time, which leaves me at a loss when it comes to uploading links and pictures. This here post is a test, I have zero idea how this is going to work, so I apologize in advance if something blows up.

A lovely spring storm stirring up.

Screaming Update: This is more of a pain in the ass than it’s really worth, to be honest. Must. Explore. App. Further.

Rewind…

Before I throw myself back into the foray of blogging, I thought it would probably be best to recap where I’ve been for the past six months, what I’ve been up to, and the general goings-on in my world. I warn you, it’s not been the best of times, tragic and morbid more like, but since I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, I’m looking forward to the second six months of this year with great anticipation.

I debated with myself for days over sharing recent events, because really, I’m not looking for any sort of sympathies, but I figured over the next several months I’d make references that wouldn’t be understood without explanations so it was probably best if I let you all in on the details in advance.

So here we go, in the best chronological order I can remember…

The year started off with a bang the moment my daughter and son in law walked in the door on New Year’s day with the news that they were having a baby. So much excitement! We were overwhelmed with joy and Paul and I quickly set about deciding what our monikers would be as grandparents. He was pretty content to settle on “papa” although traditionally, he should be a grand-dad, but I struggled. I really wanted to be known as “Nan” but worried that it would be stretched to “Nan-a” which just wasn’t going to work for me. I just knew that I didn’t want to be grandma or mee-maw, or god forbid, granny.

Shortly thereafter, we suffered our first financial strike in years. We are not overly wealthy people, but we ain’t broke either, which is a good thing because Paul faced a layoff for the first time in his life. More than the money woes, it was a rather sudden kick in the teeth. Paul filled his time being overly productive in other ways, renovating the fire hall and logging wood for the next several winters, while I sorted out the finances and came up with a way to make it work.

And then a family member was killed in an off-shore accident, which completely sent us all for a loop. Followed by our dog passing in the night.

February tumbled down the stairs like a drunk on a rampage. I suffer a mental illness that I have spent twenty years over coming, but February brought a relapse like no other. Two weeks of separation and some serious introspection brought all of the pieces of me back together.

As mentioned, by oldest was expecting. Now, this is a girl who was adamant that she was never having children. In fact, at twenty two years old, it’s the one thing she was positively sure of in her life, no question, she was not having kids. It took some time, but she opened up to the idea, and actually became encouraged by the prospect of being a mom. But once her brain and her heart settled into her new role, the medical testing began. Things were not right, things were not progressing as they should. When the doctors decided nothing could be fixed and that she needed to contemplate surgeries and alternatives, she decided to look back on her roots and let nature take its course.

Nature made her decision at the beginning of March, several long weeks later. We look on the experience as nature’s way of feeling out Kay’s choices about being a mother. Although she won’t be one soon, she will be one in the future. A dry run, so to speak. Extended family were distraught over the loss, but Kay feels she’s learned some valuable lessons about herself and her future. You wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on, right?

Next up, murder. Yep. The daughter of a very close friend was murdered by her father in law, shot in cold blood in her home. Murdered by a work associate of Paul’s, which became a bit of a double edged sword. I don’t have the wits about me to elaborate much.

And then, on March 29th, just when things were simmering down, Paul had a heart attack. He thought it was strep throat. He suffered all night, before finally deciding the next morning that he needed a doctor. You know all those symptoms they teach you are signs of a heart attack? Numbness in the arm, clutching chest pain? Yeah, forget all that, because they aren’t what a heart attack looks like. Seriously, Paul thought he had strep throat. It wasn’t until the emergency room doctor plopped on the bed and said “So, you’re having a heart attack” that we realized it was something serious. He’d had two in fact, and the left side of his heart was in the process of shutting down completely.

Here we are now, almost two months later after a stay in ICU, an angioplasty, stent insertion and more life altering changes than I can wrap my head around, on the road to recovery. Do you know how difficult it is to come up with a “healthy” diet for a man who eats healthy in the first place? Lettuce has become his main food staple.

And money? What’s that?

Turns out, it was a blood clot, a fluke, let loose on a particularly strenuous training night with the fire department. One that for some reason didn’t dissipate, but rather, chose to lodge itself into a blood vessel in the left ventricle.

Add to those experiences the fact that I have still not replaced the modem on my computer and am therefore typing all of this on my blasted Blackberry, and you’ll see why I’ve not spent much time in the blogosphere.

What’s new with you?

To die would be an awfully big adventure…

Didn’t the “second coming” already happen, three days after the Crucifixion, for forty days before the Ascension?

Thankfully, there are only 140 corpses in our local cemetery, so the Zompocolypse should be short lived in our town.

No worries, I’ve got big shoulders

Being a Witch is much more than spells and hocus-pocus. Mainstream society has a very clouded view of Witchcraft, and we as a tradition often contemplate the when and why’s of that clouded view. We’re all well aware of events over the course of history that contributed to our persecution, the arrival of a certain Saint, the Burning Times etc., but what usually causes confusion is why it all happened in the first place.

There was a time when the Witch was the go-to gal of society. A time when lords and kings held a Witch or two in their court. Their purpose was to heal and inform and all manner of authority turned to them for advice and direction. Farmers planted crops by the word of the local Witch. Magistrates collected taxes and Kings waged war, often based on what the Witch saw in Nature. Because let’s face it, Nature is never wrong, Nature never makes mistakes.

It’s Human nature to place blame and responsibility on others, and for the most part, we as a tradition, believe that’s where our persecution began. Along the way, society learned to manipulate, learning new and treacherous ways to place the burdens of responsibility on others. Those who didn’t understand the virtue of Nature then began blaming it, and a game of “shoot the messenger” ensued. Suddenly, anyone who had spent a lifetime learning the signs and sharing them with others was held accountable for every indiscretion and maleficence known to mankind.

Here’s where the irony of it all kicks in, as much as Witchcraft was laid to blame, society continued to feed on the skills of Witches, using the knowledge they provided to further its own endeavors. It’s not fair, dammit! *stomps feet* Just kidding! I know, I know, every culture/religion/race has taken their fair hit from humanity at one point or another.

So what does that mean for a modern day Witch? It means we get a chuckle out of watching society continue to use the skills of the ancient Witch to further its own advancement. It means we sit and watch science and politics and religion claim our talents/rituals/rites of passage as their own. It means our practices carry on, even if only through the unknowing manners of the descendants of our original persecutors. In the end, it means we are an audience to society using Nature to destroy itself one step at a time, piece by tragic piece, in ways Nature never intended.

And when Nature strikes back and affords us a brutal beating, I being a Witch, sit in thankful wonder, while others find someone to blame.

To You and Your’s

Just a quick note to wish you all the best during this season, no matter what you celebrate.

At this very moment, I’m typing on my new Blackberry. Yes, exactly. You all know how I feel about cell phones. I’m betraying my species. Not my choice, although I could just put it down, my husband sees it as a necessity and therefore surprised me with my newest gadget.

Anyway, don’t tell Paul, but there have been moments when I’ve found the damn thing useful. Such as now, being able to let you all know that I’m still alive and kicking.

Oh, and as to why I’m not posting to my blog with any sort of regularity, we had a massive storm which consequently blew the modem on my laptop. And I refuse to buy a new one. For the time being.

So enjoy the holidays and I’ll try to catch up with you all through the coming weeks.

New days will dawn.

Much of the traditions in my faith are based on cycles; the cycle of the Moon, the cycle of the Sun, the cycle of Life. All cycles have an impact on existence and therefore are cherished for the contribution they make. The Moon, for example, controls the ebb and flow of the tides, while the Sun’s rising and setting has a tremendous impact on life itself.

While my beliefs lie in the laws of Nature, they are also terribly scientific. The chart of cycles was not written as an order to follow, a dogma, nor by that of a holy man. The cycles celebrated in my faith are the ones you can witness with your own eyes, without being told to see them. They are filled with common sense and logic, the Sun will rise every morning and set every evening.

Many religions use the same cycles for writing scripture and mapping paths to Paradise, but since I don’t follow such things, I simply use the cycles for the here and now. Easter in Christianity happens in Spring, symbolizing the Resurrection of Christ. The date for Easter, which changes year to year is calculated on the cycle of the Moon, a fact often unknown or overlooked by Christians. Easter is held on the First Sunday after the Full Moon directly after the Vernal Equinox. Sounds confusing, but it’s not. For 2010 the Vernal Equinox happened on March 20th (its most common date). The following Full Moon happened on March 29th. The first Sunday after that Full Moon was April 4th. Christians celebrated Easter on April 4th 2010. The same calculation is used year after year.

In my faith, the tradition is to celebrate spring fertility and this occurs the same time as Christian Easter. The difference is the Vernal Equinox and Full Moon being held in high regard rather than a holy being. In modern traditions as well as my own, this celebration is called Ostara.  In similarity however, like the Christians we are also celebrating resurrection. This is based on the approach that this is when certain kingdoms of Nature are reborn, seeds bloom, plants sprout, the Sun moves back closer to the Earth bringing forth life…the Earth is renewed with life. It is believed in my tradition that our celebration came first, since it only made sense that any culture, including those before Christ, would have planted their seeds at the same time of year, that the plants would have sprouted and the trees would have budded at the same time 5,000 years ago as they do now. (While many Witches and non-Christians will refute the validity of Christ, my tradition embraces him as another explanation of cycles. But that’s a very long and drawn out discussion)

Let it be said that this is within the Western (and usually Northern) Hemisphere. I’m writing on the assumption that one knows the seasons are opposite in opposite hemispheres.

As a Witch, I keep track of many different cycles, but what makes me a Witch is how I use those cycles to my benefit. And yours. The Moon is of especially great importance to me. It is the tool by which I plant my garden, harvest the fruits of my labours, plan financial actions, engage in social events. It is second nature for me to work around the cycles I’m most drawn to. Some would call this the “woo-woo” aspect, because it might sound rather wonky to plan my whole life around the moon, but, before you judge me, you’d better get to know me. In forty years, it’s just never failed me. Never.

The current cycle, the one that excites me so, began with the Autumn Equinox and will conclude on All Hallow’s Eve. This time is called Harvest Home in my Tradition, or more commonly, Mabon. The actual sabbat was on the Autumn Equinox and most just celebrate on that day, but, for me, it is a celebration several weeks long. It is the time of the year when the darkness overpowers the light. Now, before anyone thinks I’m summoning demons to take down the angels, it’s literally about daylight versus nighttime, no hocus pocus involved. On the Equinox, day and night are for equal lengths of time. Prior to the Equinox, there was more daylight in the day, now, after the Equinox, there is more nighttime than there is sunlight. Easy huh?
Harvest Home signals the passing of summer, celebrating the fruits of labour, nesting in the home for the coming winter. It is a time of rest after a season of hard work, a time to reflect and to prepare for the Winter ahead. And, it is a time of balance. During Mabon we learn to allow change, we open the doors for definition and discovery. We see that the Earth doesn’t resist change, and learn that neither should we. We also learn surrender, for those things that just must be as they are for life to be fulfilled. We can’t stop the night from overpowering the day, some things are worth appreciating just the way they are. We are coming to the end of a cycle, a new year is about to begin. It is time to find balance, in life and death, sorrow and happiness, light and dark.

Oddly enough, some Christians celebrate this time as well. They call it Michaelmas, in honor of the Archangel Michael.

Harvest Home, or Mabon is my favorite time of year…with my favorite celebration, Samhain, just around the corner….

A Rose, by any other name…

Like any religion, there are a multitude of branches of practice in Witchcraft. Not every Witch you will meet (and trust me, you have met and will meet many, without even realizing it) believes the same things nor practices their Craft the same way. Some are a little elitist in believing their way is the only way, but that would be like saying only Anglicans or Episcopalians or Baptists are true Christians.

Schisms happen in any faith, moments when one faction or group of people come to a new realization and branch away from the original church. If you go to your local bookstore and search for a book about Witchcraft it’s very likely  you will be directed to the “New Age” section. Many of those books will lead you towards Wicca, which is in fact a new religion, albeit based on an old one.

Religions of all sorts are interchangeable, depending on personal experience. The thing that is important is the ability to stay true to yourself. As I write in the future, it’s important to understand that my beliefs and practices are not dogma. They are not the be all and the end all. What works for me may not work for you or any other Witch for that matter. It may not feel comfortable, but the joy is that it is adaptable.

With that being said, I must confess to a little elitist quirk of my own. Although I am an “Hereditary” Witch, I’m skeptical of those who claim the same. I’m not skeptical of their beliefs or their right to practice, I’m just often skeptical that they are truly hereditary. This is mainly based on experience, most of the Witches I have met over the course of my life became Witches at one point or another.

It’s easy to become a Witch, especially these days when religious diversity is a little more accepted than it was within the last millennium. But, it’s very rare to be born a Witch. To become a Witch one just needs to feel a certain “calling”, like any religion, and then do the research to find a place to fit in. A Hereditary Witch is one born to parents who are Witches. And those parents were born of Witches as well, back through endless generations. Chances are, you won’t find the practices of Hereditary lines in any book. Hereditary practices are private and elusive, the secrecy of the Tradition is sacred. My children, if they choose to follow, will be Hereditary Witches, and they will practice what I have taught them, until they find what suites their hearts best…That’s if they follow.

Not every child will follow. One of the biggest practices of the Craft is the right to choose. Unlike other religions, my children are expected to be educated in other faiths. This gives them the freedom to believe what their heart tells them, not just what they are taught. It can be a very bittersweet practice, especially when a child comes home and tells you that you are going to “hell”, that your faith is evil and scary and that you need to be saved. Thankfully for me, I am a very patient woman, and I know that these reactions are normal and natural, I remember shouting them at my own father as a child.

As little as a few hundred years ago, declaring that you were a Witch would get you burned at the stake, hung by the neck or beheaded. In our modern society, for the most part, religious acceptance has changed all that. The misconceptions, however, still exist. And like any other religion, mine still has its persecutors. I was taught as a child that it is human nature to fear what isn’t understood.

There are a million ways to place blame for religious persecution; ignorance, propaganda, media, word of mouth, history, urban legends.  The spreading of misconceptions in any form of media contributes largely to the persecutions felt in any religion. What is the biggest misconception of my faith? What is the one thing I wish I could convince the world is wrong in its thoughts about my beliefs? That I worship the devil.

People see a pentacle hanging from my necklace and instantly think me a devil-worshipper, or a Satanist (which is a religion with its own set of misconceptions to be dealt with) and are scared.  They believe me to be evil, capable of horrible things, someone to be feared and by some, destroyed. I’ll admit, although I’m not able to turn you into a toad, I am able to serve you an infusion, a tisane (tea) that will make you feel bloated and sluggish, look a little green in the cheeks and give you a rasp in your throat, but I truly cannot turn you into a toad. Nor would I want to. That unified connection that I believe in convinces me that if I were to do you harm, it would only make my life miserable. And as for the Devil? Doesn’t exist in my world. Satan, Lucifer, whatever you choose to call it, is a belief created by Christian based religions, primarily Hebrew, to represent the opposite of their God. Since the Craft (even the traditions that have gods) believes in a unity of all things, you’d be hard pressed to find a Witch  willing to give any credit to one single entity such as a devil. So the number one thing I want you to know about me, as a Witch, is that I do not worship the Devil. I do not even believe in its existence.

What about Black Magic, you might ask? We’ll get to that…eventually.

*DISCLAIMER: Over the next little while I am going to attempt a series of posts regarding my faith. Some will find what I write to be an offense to their own thoughts, faiths and religions. Please know that I mean none. It is not my intention to convert, nor enlighten, just simply educate those who’ve shown an interest or an understanding. It is not in my nature to judge my beliefs to be more worthy or correct than any other. My apologies if my explanations seem vague and incomplete, I’m going to try to do this without foresaking my own beliefs and Tradition, which still stands by the sense of secrecy for what we do.  On that note, I’m always, always willing to answer any questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. Any honest query is completely welcomed.

All in a day’s…laziness?

Unlike my last unproductive day surfing the weeeb, my ass does not hurt yet. Today, I am smart enough to sit on my big comfy couch instead of the hard wooden chair of old.

I think I deserve this day of random obscurity. Life has been overrun lately with the ails of others, and the endless maintenance of normal life. I’m still in my pajamas, and plan to stay in them all day. I worked my ass off yesterday, trying to get all of today’s chores and responsibilities done so I could have the day “off”. I even made today’s supper yesterday.  I still fed and watered Lilliput and the chickens this morning and I gave the bathroom a wipe down, but other than that, I’ve sat on my butt, clicking to my heart’s content.

First up, I Googled the lyrics to Boomdiada, the catchy song in the Discovery Channel commercials, my earworm du jour. It’s not at all called Boomdiada actually, but goes by a multitude of titles…I Love the Mountains, I Love the Whole World

As as just as many titles, there are just as many versions. A long version, a short version, a Canadian version, American version…phew.

It’s a long song.

I’ve been teaching my little godson Riley a few songs, beyond the typical songs you would teach a 2-1/2 year old kid. Daycare can teach him Twinkle Twinkle and Row Row Row Your Boat.  I teach him things like the Spiderman theme song, Rapper’s Delight and Boomdiada. I’m a cool Auntie.

Then, inspired, I Googled the original lyrics and discovered (HAH!) the old campfire song lyrics.

I love the mountains, 
I love the rolling hills, 
I love the flowers, 
I love the daffodils, 
I love the campfire when all the lights are low… 
Boom de ah da, boom dee ah da

Once the song was firmly lodged in my brain, I feverishly searched for tickets to see Jamie Oliver live in Toronto. I have been thoroughly obsessed with Jamie for more years than I can remember. I actively participate in his Ministry of Food and the “Pass it on” Food Revolution. Tickets are pricey so I’ll really have to ponder my priorities and tickets are limited so there’s a chance I won’t be able to acquire tickets even if I decide to go.

Discouraged, I surfed the WWOOF website for refreshment. No, WWOOF is not a dogwalker’s society, but rather a database of farms who offer working and learning opportunities. It’s strictly volunteer, which is right up my alley. I’m bound and determined to find myself, and maybe the kids, a placement for next summer. My options look good, even if it means it’s time to get the kids passports. I’m mainly focusing on Canadian farms, but would love to spread out into the northern States. The ultimate dream would be to work at an English farm *sigh*.

Much to the shock and chagrin of my family and friends, I am a Jersey Shore wh*re. Really. Sad, I know. Don’t ask, because I can’t explain it. Everyone has their faults and vices. Jersey Shore is mine.  Normally, I think of MTV as the virus that will cause the downfall of humanity, but there’s just something about Pauly D bellowing “It’s T-Shirrrrt time”. So, since Pauly D is a kickass DJ, and I like to club everynowandthen, I thought I’d look for his schedule..Ooooh, Pandora on Hallowe’en, now THAT would be a party! (sorry, I lost the link!) If you make it, take pictures for me ;P

As always when I spend the day cruising the web, I found myself at the Current Events portal at Wikipedia.com where I found a brand new galaxy, read about Typhoon Megi making landfall, and viewed a couple of pics of Expedition 25, which to be honest, I don’t fully understand.

No day of random obscurity would be complete without some time spent clicking the Random Article link at Wiki. My first click took me to North Shore, Ontario, which was boring because I’ve been there, actually been there, a bazillion times. I went to more soaring heights with a Gondola Lift, which brought back shaky memories of travelling up Sulfur Mountain in Banff. I then found the title of my next film noir,  B-movie purchase, starring Boris Karloff.

All in all, a day well spent. Not quite as educating as last time, but fun nonetheless. And lest like last time, one might think I’m going to get off my ass and get productive, you’re sadly mistaken. I’ve just found my way to WordPress and have some blogs to catch up on!

First Base

*DISCLAIMER: Over the next little while I am going to attempt a series of posts regarding my faith. Some will find what I write to be an offense to their own thoughts, faiths and religions. Please know that I mean none. It is not my intention to convert, nor enlighten, just simply educate those who’ve shown an interest or an understanding. It is not in my nature to judge my beliefs to be more worthy or correct than any other. My apologies if my explanations seem vague and incomplete, I’m going to try to do this without forsaking my own beliefs and Tradition, which still stands by the sense of secrecy for what we do.  On that note, I’m always, always willing to answer any questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. Any honest query is completely welcomed.

For Lisa, who continues to press play.

And Willow, who likes to get a little “witchy” every now and then.

And those of you who practice according to your own beliefs.

I am a Witch. But I am so far removed from the stereotypical idea of what a Witch is that even other Witches have argued against my right to practice. In umbrella terms I am a Solitary Eclectic Hereditary (this is the common name for my Tradition)  I say umbrella terms because unlike most Witches, who call themselves Dianic, Gardinarian, Wiccan etc., I don’t actually believe in religion of any type. What I do is called Witchcraft,  because that is the only word in the English language that comes remotely close to describing what I do. My beliefs are considered a religion by others, because often those others cannot wrap their heads around the ideas without there being a word to define them.

So for clarity, I do not consider myself a part of any religion, but for ease of understanding I’ll use the word. Some will call me a Pagan, some will call me a Druid, some will even call me a Heretic. Some will say I have Buddhist beliefs, still others will find Hindu traits, Muslim traits, Catholic traits. I would be tempted to tell you that those religions found their traits in mine, hundreds of years ago, and made them their own, but really, it’s not important. My tradition has been around so long, that it really doesn’t matter what umbrella terms others need to give it.

Unlike most religions, Wicca included, my beliefs are void of a God. I do not worship a god or goddess as a great creator or “higher” power. I do use the words Gaia and Mother Earth to represent those things which I  “worship” but in essence, they do not represent an individual entity in my world.

The base belief is that we are all connected, everything in existence is connected in one degree or another to every other thing in existence. You are directly connected at this very moment to several thousand other people whom you will never meet. How you ask? By the computer you are reading my blog on.

Sit for a moment and wonder how many other hands touched your computer during its manufacture. Think beyond its fabrication to the hands that manufactured the products that were used to build your computer. Don’t forget to considered the hands that manufactured the machines used. Go even further back, to the compounds that were created, the plastics, the metals that were used to manufacture the products that were used to fabricate your computer. Don’t forget to consider the hands that built the machines that processed the compounds that went into fabricating your computer. Follow it all the way down to the Earth, from where the petroleum used in the plastics and the ore used in the metals were retrieved. You, by virtue of viewing this weblog, are connected to the Earth and all of the people involved in putting this very moment together. Not only the people, but the Sun, the Moon, the Waters and everything in between. Without any single one of them, you would not be experiencing this moment exactly as it is happening right now. This is the core of my beliefs. We are all connected, we are all a piece of the whole, we are unified. This is what I worship. In a nutshell.

For me, Nature (the Nature of things, not just leaves and bees and wildlife ) is the be all and the end all, there is nothing greater.

The “how” is another story, for another day.

In the near future : Round and Round and Round We Go, The Cycles of My Life (or something along those lines)

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