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Pagan Artist Trading Cards

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

ACTsPagan Artist Trading Cards

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: November 15th. 2017
Times Viewed: 705

I feel it is important to give a little bit of the history on Artist Trading Cards. Although miniature works of art created on cards have been around for centuries, the modern-day concept of ATCs was conceptualized by artist M. Vanci Stirnemann in 1996. In May 1997, Stirnemann held a gallery showing of 1, 200 cards at the INK.art and text bookstore in Zurich, Switzerland, for which he collaborated with artists Cat Schick and Gido Dietrich. Those attending the show were told that if they wanted to acquire a card that was on display they should bring in one of their own creations to trade for it. A movement was then born that denounced the tradition of critiquing and appraising art, and embraced the process of one artist connecting with another. (Artist Trading Card Workshop by Bernie Berlin, North Light Books2007; page 8)

The main reason I am so captivated with ATCs is the endless possibilities that I have for creating my masterpiece. I can use any media to create my cards (paint, draw, sew, sculpt, collage) as long as I adhere to the true size of 2 ½ x 3 ½.

After discovering the concept of ATCs I decided to narrow down the options and use this art form to enhance my spirituality though making Pagan Artist Trading Cards. As I became more involved I found a group that offered trading and swaps with people worldwide. I traded and collected ATCs from all over the USA plus Europe too. It was amazing to receive cards related to the Wheel of the Year, divination, cycles of the moon and other pagan theme related cards. I was hooked for sure.

So what are the requirements for these cards you ask? Well, the main rule of thumb is the size. As I already stated they are to be 2 ½ x 3 ½ in size. Unlike sports trading cards, ATCs mustn’t be sold, only exchanged, as the whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists
meeting (by correspondence if in person meeting is not possible) and exchanging their works, therefore meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles.

On the back of each ATC the artist writes part or all of the following information: name, contact information, title of the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8…) if it’s part of an edition. By definition ATCs are made in limited numbers, often no more than one of a kind. Unique ATCs are called originals; sets of identical ATCs are called editions and are numbered; sets of ATCs that are based on one theme but that are different are called a series. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Based on that, numbers are meaningless.

Ideas for Your Artist Trading Cards

1. Consider using a particular medium that you are familiar with and that you enjoy:
Marking pen, pencil, coloured pencil, oil pastel… Explore the medium without worrying about content.

2. Use a piece of art from a textbook as a starter. Copy a section of a larger work.
Or combine several sections of pieces you like.

3. Divide your card in an interesting way. Do pattern work in each section. Decide if some or all will be in colour or whether only one should be coloured or even empty, etc.

4. Start in one corner and begin a design. Let the art develop on its own as you “give up control” of the work.

5. Use a clipping from a magazine – letters or pictures or just parts of objects to begin
a work. Complete the image in another medium.

6. Begin with a wash of watercolour. Draw on top of that a contour drawing of an object from the room or from the picture files.

7. Construct a common object as if it were made of some out of the ordinary material: A tree that is made of feathers, a fish that is made of brick etc.

8. Use the word lists from the drawing exercises to give you an idea for a fantasy creature.

9. Design a piece that emphasizes positive and negative space – like your logo.

When I am engrossed in creating an ATC I feel at peace – an almost meditative experience. I feel that I am one with my creator when I am creating. The flow of positive energy throughout the whole process is so enlightening.

Now that I have created all these beautiful works of art how do I incorporate them into my Pagan path …. Well, for one these make a beautiful addition to any altar. You can make them for each holiday. I have also used these cards in my spell workings by incorporating my intent in the card design. I find that the pure creative energy flow while making the ATCs binds with the intent making the spell that much stronger.

When Sacred Birch Society gathers for rituals I sometimes give ATCs to my brothers and sisters that attend. During a girls weekend retreat I gave a workshop on making ATCs. This is a wonderful way to help your children learn about the Craft and it will also allow them to trade with their friends that are in the Craft. I make ATCs and use them for labels on my gifts that I give for Pagan events. You can buy protective sleeves for your ATCs anywhere they sell sports trading cards. I often make ATCs and put it in a protective sleeve and attach it on a homemade greeting card so the recipient can keep the card for their collection. You can also buy

I do hope you will give this art form a try and I hope you find that it is a great addition for enhancing you Pagan spirituality by creating your own miniature works of art to use in your own tradition.

Published in Witchvox

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I Claim Cronehood

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

I Claim Cronehood

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: May 6th. 2015
Times Viewed: 3,728

I am claiming Crone. I am a Crone and a proud one at that. The aging process I embrace wholeheartedly. This does not mean that I am letting myself go with the mindset, ‘I am OLD – what’s the use?’ On the contrary, I am doing everything to enhance my life, every aspect of my life in the here and now.

I read this article, ‘Thoughts on Claiming Crone, by Kaye Chatterton’ and she said:

“Chronological age by itself does not ensure wisdom and maturity. There are older women who are stuck in the past resentments, bitter experiences of unmet expectations. Others continue in self-defeating behaviors, feel martyred or like a victim. Some have never broken out of old patterns to speak their truth, to claim their personal power. So what is the “real” process of becoming Crone in our current times?”

She goes on to say,

“The “Call of the Crone” is a call to introspection and life review. The Call of the Crone is to the long view of our life but even the longer view of historical patterns and gifts of cultures and legacies of those who came before. The Call is to prepare for leaving the physical body that no longer serves you, and to let go of personal identity into the essence of you, to return to the whole as you receive it.”

She states:
“What is Crone Wisdom? It is not about knowing the right answers. It is about knowing the right questions to ask.

How do I die well? What would that look like for me? Perhaps more important is, how do I live fully in the joy of the present moment? How can I live in awareness and aliveness now? How I can connect to my essence: the real me? How can I live with sustained gratitude and appreciation? How can I support and share love with all my relations? How can I share the luminous light that is me?”*

This certainly sparked lots of questions for me to figure out. After all, I do want to be the best Crone possible, not only for me, but also for my family, friends and the sisterhood of all Crones.

After reading this article I have been thinking about where can I start to incorporate these questions into my life. What steps can I take now to enhance this Crone journey I am on so I can be all that I am meant to be?

Once I figured out what I wanted, what was really important to me, the rest fell into play very easily.

Steps to incorporate into my daily routine:

•Take care of me by eat properly, exercise and walk each day, and not try to hide my imperfections of aging with a heavy make-up mask. Moderation is the key to everything here.

•Be my authentic self that is in the now. I don’t do drama, I don’t stress, I don’t try to prove myself to anyone, and I have good doable boundaries set.

•I am letting go of the hurts of the past, forgiving those that have harmed me, and making way for new experiences to come to me

•I am proud I am a Crone and I embrace it wholeheartedly with all the imperfections that tag along. Do I like wrinkles, arthritis, some aches and pains once in a while – sure don’t but I deal with it by not letting it define me.

•I belong to the sisterhood of Cronehood – I chose to be a role model for the younger generation. I want to be there to answer questions, offer suggestions, and show that we still have a lot to offer in spite of the advancing years.

•I get out there and get involved with living life. I read books, I join organizations, I make time to visit friends and have an active social life. I have many talents such as painting, poetry, sewing, artist trading cards, and journaling. The key here is to keep busy.

•I am not afraid to try something new, meet new people, and learn new things. You know the old saying ‘if you don’t use it you lose it”.

•I treat myself like the Goddess I am. I pamper myself, love myself, and have learned to stop the negative self-talk. I talk to myself as though I am talking to my best friend because I am my best friend.

•I don’t struggle with my ego about unsustainable expectations of physical appearances.
This confrontation of the loss of my youth is not going to happen – I debunk the idea of the youth-oriented society and the over emphasis on supple beauty, flowing hair and thin bodies. Been there and done that. Instead, I appreciate my body for all that it does for me each day.

I also wrote this short poem…

Crone Freedom
(by Terry Moore)

‘Crone freedom you ask
not hiding my face with a make-up mask,

Crone freedom I’ll show
authentic self that is in the know

Crone freedom I’ll be
enjoying what’s out there for me to do and to see

Crone freedom I love
I know who I am. It’s a gift from above.’

A quote I totally love is: “Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we are born”. ~Albert Einstein~

My acceptance of the aging process and changing my mindset has helped me make the changes I needed to make to be grateful for what I have today. I am living in the here and now. I am striving to be my authentic self and know that life is worth living and enjoying all of it without the pressure from the youth-oriented society. I have moments when I miss the ‘good ole days’ but that is happening less and less. I now look forward to learning what this segment of my life has to offer me. I keep an open mind and look for lessons to learn and lessons to teach.

I truly am having the time of my life.

Published in Witchvox

Wand Fun With Grandson

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

‘Wand Fun’ With Grandson

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: April 14th. 2013
Times Viewed: 2,645

I have a step grandson that is an ADHD 9 year-old and to keep him focused and quiet is something I thought would never happen. He is in physical motion all the time along with his constant talking and trusts me; he even talks in his sleep.

One Saturday my plan was to pick him up around 9:30 am and spend the day with him. Whenever I get him I always try to have a project lined up for him to do. We don’t call it crafting because he pointed out to me that girls craft and boys have projects.

We started out by making pancakes and sausage. I think it is important to teach boys how to cook, as it will come in handy when they grow up. After breakfast I told him we were going to make a wand and his eyes got real big and he asks “A Harry Potter Wand?” I had to laugh and then I explained that one of the tools of a ‘Witch” is a wand and they use it for magick. As he was getting on his coat and hat I told him that when a tree branch speaks to you that would be the one that he would want to choose to make a wand. He stopped and looked at me real funny and replied “Grandma, trees don’t talk”. I told him trees don’t speak with human words but when looking at the tree branches one of them would feel real good in his hand and the tree would let him know this was the right one for him to use. So, off to the woods we went.

Walking in the woods was a great time to ask some questions about Mother Earth so I ask him what he could do to help Mother Earth. His answer was to tell people not to throw junk all over Her. Good answer. So I gave him another question: “what else can you do to help Mother Earth?” He gave me another good answer: “pick up junk and throw it away when I see it. Obviously his school systems taught him some things when they talked about Earth Day. We also talked about taking only what we needed from Mother Earth and not being selfish so others may get what they need. He asks me if that was like sharing. Wow, I am impressed he grasped the concept so quickly.

As we were walking in the woods Alex would pick up a tree branch and say “No”, throw it down and pick up another branch and say again “no” as he threw that one to the ground. After about 4 or 5 attempts, he picked up a branch and yelled to me “Grandma is this good a one?” I looked it over and said what do you think and he said he thought it was talking to him. So we headed back home to start working on making his wand.

I took his branch and showed him how to use a knife to remove the bark. I then gave him a somewhat dull knife so he didn’t accidently cut off his own fingers. I got my camera and a good cup of coffee and sat back and watched him whittling the bark off the branch. After a few minutes I realized he was not talking! I turned my camera on and recorded him for over 20 minutes and not ONE peep escaped from his mouth. Amazing, absolutely amazing and I had the video to prove it because I knew no one would believe it.

After Alex finished removing all the bark from the branch I showed him how to take fine sandpaper and smooth out the imperfections. He was still so into the project that he was not talking much except to ask questions on if he was doing it right or if he had did enough sanding. I ask him if the wood felt smooth to his touch and when it did then he could stop. A few minutes later he told me that the wood was telling him it was enough – just too cute!

I took my wood-burning tool and etched his name and a small cloverleaf for luck on the wand. You could tell he was so excited that it meant the wand was his and his alone. After I finished that we moved on to the last stage of the wand-making project. I ask him if he wanted to stain the wand and he looked at me confused so I showed him some other wands I have made and explained that he could pick out a light, medium or dark stain or leave it just as nature had made it. He chose to use a medium stain.

I put an old flannel shirt on him and some rubber gloves and then demonstrated how to take the brush down the wand in one direction. I told him not to worry about making mistakes just to take his time. He was a natural at this as it only took him one attempt to get the stain evenly applied. We set it so nothing would touch the stained area and decided it was time for lunch.

During lunch Alex’s was back to his old self and he seemed to be in warp speed as he ask questions on wand making and did wands really do magick. I told him that ‘Witches’ used a wand to help direct the energy they used to produce magick and I ask him if he wanted to learn some magick.

Many times children with ADHD have low self-esteem issues because they are so full of energy that even other children have a hard time being around them. Even with the medication he has, some days he is a real handful. So, my plan was to teach him some magick – actually a little affirmation to help with the self-esteem problem.

After the wand was completely dry I took him to a mirror and told him that each morning before he headed off to school to stand in front of his mirror with his wand pointing towards the mirror and recite this magickal spell:

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo
I am a real smart kid yahoo.

That is all it took! He spent the rest of the afternoon running throughout my home and standing in front of ever mirror in the house reciting the magickal spell. The price of making the wand? Just taking the time to do so. The look of sheer happiness on his face = priceless.

Later on, we packed up his things and I took him home. As I was heading out the door Alex ran up to me and said “Grandma thanks for a really great day. Can I come over again and learn some more magick?”

About an hour later my son called up and said “Mom what is this Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo stuff that Alex is talking about? So I had to explain our project for the day. He told me that was all he talked about during dinner and was extremely happy about making magick.

The magick of spending some time in the woods, learning about wands and magick… It is good to be a Witchy Grandmother.

Published in Witchvox

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: September 2nd. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,947

I am enjoying my Cronehood journey and wish I could say the same for many of our aging population. What I am observing and I must say it is a concern to me…why do people of age want to home in on talking about their illness (s) and making it their main topic of conversation? I can understand when a crisis happens, there is a new diagnosis that is heavy on their mind and that there stages they go through (shock, grieving, barter, and acceptance) , however I am not talking about this. I am talking about the need to focus on the aging process as a loss and a ‘giving up’ instead of looking at it for what it is… a process that can offer freedom and joys. Let me give you some examples.

A friend of mine is a diabetic and he has this condition because of many years of not paying attention to what he ate and the amount of what he ate. He continued to gain weight and the signs started showing up that he was near developing Type II Diabetes at age 58. When he had a chance to correct the situation by diet alone, he still made bad decisions about his food intake. Then he was given the devastating news that he was now a full fledge diabetic that must take insulin.

I was very patient when he learned he had to change his eating habits, monitor his blood sugar, and learn to give himself insulin shots. I understood it would take him time to adjust, so his constant talking and yes, even complaining, was expected. As a friend, it was my job to help him through this transition and give him the needed support to ease all the changes that he would have to go through.

So, here’s his story now. He’s 68 years old and has had this condition for several years. He continues to make this health issue his topic of conversation even when things are going really well. The fact is, he has had this condition for 10 years and has chosen to play the ‘poor me scenario’. His doctor has provided him with excellent information and several resources to help him cope. He always needs to announce to anyone and everyone in earshot that he is a diabetic and then goes into the same old routine of boring them to death with details of his blood sugar and his eating routine. An example of his usual conversation…

”Oh my blood sugar is 100 and that is good but usually it is higher than that. Gosh, what do you think that means? Should I call the doctor? Maybe I should eat a candy bar to get it higher. What do you think? I will have to check it again later. Maybe I should call my daughter.”

He has a daughter who is an RN and he is driving her bonkers. When I am around him, I end up tuning him out when he starts this nonsense. Now I find myself avoiding him because I am sick of hearing his persistent complaining. It is taking a toll on my psychic energy. In other words, it sucks the life right out of me and, after visiting with him, I am tired and so ready to take a nap.

I see this with other Crones also. They talk about their arthritic aches and pains plus stiffness in their joints as much as they do about the changes in the weather. These are chronic conditions, meaning they will experience this from time to time, and talking about it obsessively won’t change a thing.

At what point do people decide that the aging process means they need to constantly talk about their health issues? At what point do they stop engaging in healthier topics of conversation? What are the reasons for this shift in how they converse with people and, more importantly, do they even realize how depressing this whole routine is?

One reason may actually be major depression (also known as clinical depression) , which is a medical illness. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain and can appear in people regardless of age, race or economic status. The illness can appear after a triggering event or for no apparent reason at all.

Look for signs of:

•Constant complaints of aches and pains (back, stomach, arms, legs, head, chest) , fatigue, slowed movements and speech, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, weight increase or decrease, blurred vision, dizziness, heart racing, anxiety.
•An overall sadness or apathy, withdrawn; unable to find pleasure in anything. Also irritability, mood swings or constant complaining; nothing seems to make the person happy.
•Talk of worthlessness, not being needed anymore, excessive and unwarranted guilt.
•Frequent doctor visits without relief in symptoms; all tests come out negative.
•Alcoholism can mask an underlying depression.

Another reason is ‘doing as others do’. Meaning they mimic what other elders are doing. Again if that is what they see and hear from their associates, there is a strong chance they may get caught up in the same negative behavior.

A third reason is the lack of stimulation, which will give them other things to talk about. Many times, elders find themselves alone with infrequent visitation from family and friends. They concentrate on familiar things like illnesses, chronic aches and pains, and the medications they take.

I, too, have minor health issues, however I chose to acknowledge that ‘it is what it is’. I have been dealt this hand and therefore I will do what I can to not let it slow me down. As I said, I am an observer of people partly because I am an RN and it’s part of my job. I have made note that those individuals who are really struggling with major health issues hardly complain at all. They keep a positive attitude and, in doing so, don’t let their condition stop them from enjoying life. Along with keeping a positive attitude, you may also find, as I have, that ‘like attracts like’. People benefit from being around cheerful positive people.

As an Elder and Crone myself, I hope to stir the Pagan community to take notice of how they choose to age. Are we aging with grace or are we just aging? Talk to the God and Goddess for help in modifying your way of thinking so you can handle life’s little ups and down. If you have family and / or friends who are displaying this type of behavior, show empathy and love by helping them comprehend the negative effects that persist when they chose to concentrate on their health issues in a pessimistic way. Sometimes it becomes a habit and they don’t even realize how often it occurs.

Behaviors can be changed, so make up your mind to age with GRACE and not just age.

Published in Witchvox

Visions And Voices

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

Visions and Voices

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: July 29th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,375

My mother was in her 80s and my brother had already moved in with her to help with household duties and maintenance upkeep. As time went on my brothers and I had to make that gut wrenching decision to put our mother into a senior care facility temporarily for medical treatment for a condition she had developed. The problem we were having was she needed daily treatments for her illness and we both worked. We would make the appointment; tell Mom she needed to unlock the door to let them in. Later on that day I would get the call that they showed up and no one answered the door. The only option for us at that time was to place her in a senior care facility so she could get the necessary treatments, gain her strength back so we could bring her back home.

We had gone over the whole ordeal with Mom and she knew it was temporary but she was adamant about not going. She begged, bartered, threatened, cried and in general took us through a long guilt trip.

The day we took her to the facility I had decided to stay with her most of the day to get her settled in and comfortable with her new surroundings and reassure her she was not being abandon. She kept saying, “I am not going to stay here”. The staff was very patient with her less than friendly behavior and around 7 PM I realized I was extremely exhausted and decided to go home and get some much needed rest. I kissed Mom good night and told her I would check on her in the morning. Little did I realize this was going to be the start of a life-changing event for me.

At 3 AM I got the call from the senior care facility telling me our Mom had an episode with dangerously high blood pressure and they transferred her to the local hospital. I immediately notified my brothers and headed for the emergency room.

When I arrived the attending physicians explained that our mother just had a major stroke on her right side of her brain and due to a stroke she previously had years ago on the left side of her brain they predicted she was pretty much in a vegetative state. A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. So, they went over my choices of care for her and the one they highly suggested was to admit her for post stroke care and observation.

My Mom and I have had many conversations of quality of life and not wanting to have extra measures taken if no quality of life is present, so this was ever present in the back of my mind when making decisions for her care. I worked at this facility so it allowed me to work during the day and during the evening I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor in her room. I wanted to observer her myself for signs of quality of care or make the decision for hospice care. Sadly to say there was no sign of any cognitive functions. The plan of care was to give her morphine to keep her comfortable and look for an extended care facility that deals with hospice care.

Two days had passed and it was Saturday night and I had spent all day with Mom. I told the nurses I would do all her nursing care and all they had to do was give her the morphine. I had just finished up giving her an evening bath when the nurse came in to give her the morphine, thus allowing me a good 4 hours of sleep before returning to give her another shot. I was totally drained both emotionally and physically and looked forward to a good four hours of sleep.

The only light on in the room was the one directly over my Mother’s bed and it was low wattage. I was sound to sleep when someone or something shook my shoulder waking me up. I looked around the room and NO one was there. I could hear the usual noise in the hallway but there was no one in the room. I sat up and just looked at my Mom lying there when I became aware that I no longer did I heard the noise in the hallway so I looked towards the door. It was like being in a vacuum. Then I looked back at my Mom and there at the head of her bed was an entity… I could see something but it didn’t really have a human form it was more of a silver-bluish radiance. Then I heard my Grandmother’s voice in my head (or at least that is what it reminded me of) telling me “You made the right decision and we will take her soon”. I was fully awake. I felt a breeze pass by me on the left side moving my hair slightly and then the vacuum was gone and I could once again hear the noises in the hallway. OMG what just happened? I got up and looked around the room then I went to my Mom’s bedside and took her hand saying “Mom did Grandma just come to see you”? I didn’t really expect an answer I just needed to hear my own voice to assure I was awake. I was!

I went to the nurse’s station to let them know I was going to the cafeteria to get some coffee and something to eat when a coworker said to me “you look like you just seen a ghost – you are pale as heck. Are you OK? I said, “You have no idea”! She told me she was just leaving to go on her break and offered to go have coffee with me. I accepted her offer as I felt I really needed company right then.

As my nerves settled down and we talked about my Mom and our decision for hospice care I casually mentioned the experience I just had. She is very religious person and she said, “Sounds like you just had a vision”. I had to agree with her. She took my hand in hers and suggested that I notify my family and offered to stay with me until they arrived.

Early Sunday morning the whole family was at my Mom’s bedside. My older brother lived in Reno and was unable to come home due to health issues his wife. I put my cell phone up to Mom’s ear as my brother and wife said their last goodbyes. It was shortly after that my Mom sat right up and reached out for something in front of her then dropped back to the bed and she was gone. I like to think that she was reaching out for my beloved Grandmother’s hand for guidance to Summerland. Mom you are surely loved and missed.

Published in Witchvox

 

ABOUT…

The Power Of Books

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

The Power of Books

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: April 1st. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,765

A wise person told me that books was my way out…. that books could take me to the high seas, to fly in the sky, to cook better, to sew, to learn about myself. I was a teen looking to find out who I really was just as most teens do and like so many teens I was not happy with my home situation. The wise person that told me ‘books were my way out’ was the librarian at my high school. I will call her Mrs. B. Mrs. B talked me into working in the library in 11th grade and that is when the world opened up to me!

Dr. Phil tells us that there are pivotal people in our life that help mold us into the individuals we are today. Well, I have to say that the librarian was just that person for me. As I said earlier, I did not like my home situation and I was determined to change things so I could have more control in my life. Mrs. B was very subtle at first by suggesting a book I might find interesting, or giving me books to shelf in the self-help isle. Oh she was a wise person indeed and I must say a bit sneaky too.

After I read a book she had suggested to me, she would ask how I liked it. I would give the usual answer, “It was okay”. Then she started doing her magic. She asked questions: Did I find anything in the book that reminded me of me? Did I find anything that caught my attention? Yes, she spun her spell well. I started picking out my own books that took me to exotic places all over the world. I also found that books filled with ‘success stories’ were the ones that captivated me the most. People who started with nothing and later ended up “forever happy”. They never gave up hope and did whatever it took to achieve their dreams. Now that is the key that opened the doors and that is the key I wanted.

One Wednesday afternoon, I was putting books back onto the shelves that people had brought back to the library. I always read the titles and sometimes even read the small introduction to the book. Books had become such a huge part of my life now. Anyway, one book caught my attention and so I started thumbing through the book. Oh my gosh! Was this for real? The book I found so interesting was Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner. It was an eye opening experience for sure. Remember when I said I was not happy with my life and I wanted more control? Well, this book stated:

“Witches are taught and believe that the power resides within their bodies which they can release in various ways, the simplest being dancing round in a circle, singing or shouting, to induce a frenzy; this power they believe exudes from their bodies, clothes impending its release. In dealing with such matters it is, of course, difficult to say how much is real ad how much imagination”. — (Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner; page 20)

Could this be true? Could I hold such controlling power within me? How do I find this power? I knew right then and there that I needed to read this book. I wanted to learn more on this thing Gardner called witchcraft.

One day, I ask Mrs. B if she believed in God and did she go to church. She smiled that ‘knowing smile’ that she so often did and ask why that was of interest to me. I continued to tell her that I had so many questions about God and religion and witchcraft. “Witchcraft, now that is a thought-provoking topic, ” she said. She then asked me why I found this book so interesting. She explained that witchcraft was not well-understood and brought fear to many people via the mere mention of its name. She continued to tell me that people are very cruel to those who have the nerve to follow the beat of their own drum.

She was a wise one and did not discourage me from exploring what my heart wanted me to explore. She cautioned me to be careful who I shared what I learned with and reassured me that I could come to her with any question or concerns I had while on a journey to learn about witchcraft. And so my journey began!

As my 11th grade was coming to an end and summer was just around the corner, I felt a sadness that I would not be able to get to the library as often as I did while in school. Mrs. B could see the change in my behavior and ask what was bothering me. I told her that I wanted to continue to learn about witchcraft and was afraid that I would not be able to get books during the summer months.

She gave me a huge hug and said “I was going to wait until your last day to give you this gift, but I see that it is the right time right now”. She gave me a box wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper with a note on the top saying, “Enjoy your summer, Love Mrs. B”. I opened up the box and there were two items wrapped in tissue paper. As I removed the tissue paper my heart began to beat faster as I held two books: The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner, and Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks. I was thrilled to have new books to read over the summer.

Over the years, I have pursued scholastic education in the healthcare arena and received two degrees, one in nursing and one in healthcare administration. I still follow the Pagan path, and I still am a lover of books. Right now I am participating in the Pagan Reading Challenge for 2012.

To this day, I have wonderful memories of working in the library with Mrs. B and having a mentor who did not discourage me from having the guts to following the beat of my own drum. This wise person was right when she told me that books were my way out. Books could take me to the high seas; allow me to fly in the sky, to cook better, to sew, and to learn more about myself. I also found that the power I was looking for, just as Gardner said, was ‘within me’. I am now a mentor myself, one who will not discourage others from having the courage to follow the beat of their own drum. I am a wise Pagan who will be forever grateful to Mrs. B.

Published in Witchvox

 

Crone Inspiration

Published December 31, 2017 by etain1

Crone Inspiration

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: March 4th. 2012
Times Viewed: 5,322

I work in an outpatient surgery center and I must share a story about a lively 92-year-old Crone that came in for cataract surgery. As I was interviewing her I noticed she was really tan so I ask if she had been on vacation and she said with a gleam in her eyes “Why yes, I just got back from visiting my son and his wife in Florida.” I ask if she had a nice time and she chuckled and said, “Not really; I thought they were boring. All they wanted to do was watch TV.” I ask her what she would have liked to do and she answered “Go parasailing on the beach, do some snorkeling to view the beautiful fish in the ocean, and to go horseback riding’.

Wow, what an amazing energetic view on what a vacation should be. She was so full of positive energy and love of life. I couldn’t help thinking…”I want to be like that when I am her age”. She was a real ‘Crone – Inspiration’ and a joy to listen to. When it was my break time I sat with her in recovery room and listened to her views on life and the importance of keeping active.

According to Wikipedia: “The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, [1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag”.

Funny, I don’t see myself as disagreeable (although I can be at times) , malicious, or sinister in manner. Just for the record I don’t have a huge wart on my nose either.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Origin of Hag – Middle English hagge demon, old woman. First known use: the 14-century. The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca.”

Crone Council states: “Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words.
The Crone began re-emerging into our consciousness in the early 1980s, and today many older women are embracing this connection. We are tapping into the ancient crone’s attributes of wisdom, compassion, transformation, healing laughter, and bawdiness. The ancient crone archetype strengthens our belief and confidence in age-accumulated knowledge, insights and intuitions enabling women to stand up for their rights.”*

The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, [Maiden, Mother and Crone] and she represents part of the circle of life. In today’s society where it seems everyone worships youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she symbolizes our destruction, decay and death. Here, as in nature, the death of winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the spring.

Her positive attribute is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. She is beyond child bearing and now is the wisdom keeper, seer, and healer that is often sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Her color is black and she is associated with waning or new moon, autumn and winter.

When I look into the mirror I see some wrinkles representing the aging process. My step isn’t like it was in my 20s; however some say it is hard to keep up with my pace. I don’t dwell on the changes happening to my body. I embrace the gift of living and all that the God and Goddess have allowed me to experience. I don’t sit home watching TV – I am out adding new experiences to my long list of things to do. Right now I am concentrating on Poi, and learning a new Tarot deck.

My 92-year-old patient told me to always treat your body as a temple – for God will reward you for taking care of yourself. She also said looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full will drain the life energy right out of you. She also said to look at life as if you were an innocent child and in doing so you will see adventure all around you. With that sparkle in her eyes she also said, “It doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of good wine” She won my heart over with that remark.

I am Crone and I am a proud Crone. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for many, many years. I have learned many things as I have traveled on my true path of life. I have made mistakes; learned by those mistakes and moved on. I have learned to be more kind, show more compassion, learn to listen more and speak less. I have learned to share my life’s experiences. I am a Crone, I am a wise Crone, and most importantly I am a Happy Crone.
I wrote this poem to express what being a Crone means to me…

I am Crone (by Etain©)

I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show

I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill

I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare

I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant

Published in Witchvox