House Magic for Beginners – prologue

Last week, during a peaceful moment involving watching the laundry blow dry on the line and drinking tea, I had a neat thought for a post. And then the power source for my computer died, I continued to struggle with a malingering virus, and my family prepped for a trip to London (a trip that never ended up happening). It wasn't my best week.A new week begins today and here I am feeling somewhat less than excited about writing for this blog. Why is that? In spite of the post to come (on house … [Read more...]

Checking in

This week my laptop power source died. Now that I have a replacement I am leaving for London for the weekend. I have two posts brewing and I hope to write those up next week. Have a great weekend everybody. … [Read more...]

Enough already!

At his preschool, my son made a poppy to wear for Remembrance Day, the British Equivalent of Veterans Day. He quite liked his poppy and made sure he was very careful with it. He wore his proudly in the middle of his shirt all day long. Until he asked why we wore poppies on this day.I'm not sure what the preschool told him. I explained that the poppy flower symbolized remembering and today we were remembering the dead that had fought in wars. I explained that while war was a terrible thing, … [Read more...]

What is a witch?

For about a thousand years the witch has been drawn as an ugly, old woman, in league with the devil, living on the outskirts of a village, waiting to take advantage of the virtuous and/or small children. She flies on her broomstick and gathers with others under the full moon to do terrible rituals. Later, she acquired an outfit of black and a pointy hat. The Halloween stereotypes we associate with witches are not new; they are deeply embedded in the Western mythos.None of these things are … [Read more...]


(Part three of three)The Samhain season is at last over for me. Four straight days! The kids' party, a ritual, our family dumb supper, and singing for All Souls' Day at the local Anglican church. While the first and second activities tapped into the spirit of mischief and frolic of the season, and activities two and three capitalized on the 'thinness of the veils between the worlds', only items three and four were explicitly about the Ancestors and Mighty Dead, two very important parts of … [Read more...]

Samhain Ritual

(Part two of three)Imagine a damp, grey evening, the last of twilight taking leave of the sky. You walk through a few wet, quiet streets, finally stepping off the pavement into a muddy track. Your feet squelch in the mud. If you hadn't come this way once or twice in the daylight you might never know where the opening to the trail begins. You dip into the opening, a hollow between some branches. The branches slide over your face and grab at your hair and coat, and then you are through. The … [Read more...]

Kids & Halloween

(Part one of three)I love Halloween. I love the tip into the dark half of the year. I'm not very invested in all the trappings that come with mainstream Halloween stuff. I'm not super crafty, so the costume part isn't that exciting for me. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, so we go really easy on the candy. I don't like a lot of cheap, plastic crap, so that narrows down the amount of stuff which with we decorate. But Halloween, as it is secularly practiced (did I just make up … [Read more...]