Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Thought of You"

I've got to share a video that is absolutely amazing.



And in case anyone is like me and needs to read the lyrics to really understand a song, I found them here. I'm providing the link because it was difficult for me to find!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun with Faeries



I just discovered that Danni over at The Whimsical Cottage is having fun with the faeries next month. You can find out details here.

I hadn't been following this blog, but I think I'll start following it. :)

Imbolc

Imbolc is coming up soon!

For those of you who don't know Pagan Speak, Imbolc is February 1st. It's a Pagan holiday, and I think (but don't quote me on this) that it's the root of Groundhog Day.

Mrs. B., over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, shared a list of activities for Imbolc. I thought it was pretty neat, and decided to share my plans for that day.

* Have something nice for dinner.

* Mrs. B. suggests lighting "as many lights, lamps and candles as you can, to inspire the sun to shine and spring to come." I think I like this idea. :)

* I like Mrs. B.'s suggestion of leaving buttered bread out for traveling faeries. It wouldn't be the first time I've left offerings for the fey. Note: Food should not be eaten by humans after it has been offered.

* I think I'll go looking for signs of spring.

* I've heard of leaving out strips of cloth the night before so that they'll be blessed by Brighid. Once blessed by Brighid, they may be used for healing and protection. Mrs. B. also suggests this and I think I'll finally do it.

* I plan to do some sort of smudging to cleanse the home.

* I'm considering making a Brighid's cross, but I don't know if I will. It looks complicated!

Do you have plans for Imbolc?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shoulda named him Pounce

I have two windows in my bedroom, and I love it. One is at the foot of my bed, and the other runs alongside my bed. When the weather is nice I can open them both up and have a breeze in my room.

And, I'm not the only one who loves my windows.

The cats love them too. And because my bed is right under the windows, it's virtually always used (sometimes with excess energy) as a pathway to the windows. This means that I have been forced to become accustomed to the cats crawling all over me in the middle of the night. I've gotten used to it though, and it hardly ever bothers me anymore. And if the cats do wake me up I can generally just go right back to sleep. No problem.

But there is one thing that I will never become used to, and that is when Kokopelle jumps from the window ledge onto my tummy. While I am asleep. And wakes me up. And let me say, this is a very rude awakening.

Imagine lying in bed, happily asleep, and then POW!!! You are woken from your slumbers by fifteen pounds* of cat landing on your tummy.

It's irritating enough when Kokopelle is just using me as a stepping stone on his way out of my room, but what is really infuriating is when he proceeds to curl up beside me to sleep as though though nothing is wrong in the world.

Cats. They can be so aggravating, and yet I forgive them every time. Even as I hiss threats at them -- ok, at one cat in particular -- in the 2am darkness, I forgive them for everything they do.


*This is a guesstimate. I don't really know how much Kokopelle weighs.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Your help is needed

"Severe winter weather throughout much of the eastern half of the United States in recent weeks has already caused the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations through the American Red Cross . . . . In fact, the Red Cross says it has not seen its blood supply drop this dramatically at this time of year over the past ten years." *

I just got a call from the Red Cross asking for my help because they need blood. I cannot donate right now because I am not feeling well, and a person must be 100% healthy to donate. However, I assured the person who called me that I would help get word out there.

The Red Cross has issued a national appeal for blood, and they need your help. If you are eligible to donate, please do so. You can click here to find a place near you (if you're in the USA) to donate.

If you are uncertain about whether you are eligible to donate, click here. Note that just because you see something on the list doesn't mean it makes you ineligible. Acupuncture is the first thing on the list, but it's there just to clarify that it does not make you ineligible. :)

All blood types are needed, and it is easy to donate. I speak from experience.

* I grabbed this quote from this webpage.

Be a Saber Tooth Sleuth!

Several months ago I discovered Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue is a non-profit organization in Florida that is dedicated to rescuing big cats, and to getting laws passed that will protect them.

I think they are fabulous, and have said before that if I run away to Florida that that's where you'll find me.

So I was quite happy to find the following video about an iPhone app which allows people to help Big Cat Rescue in their mission.



With this app you can document cases of big cats being abused, and the info goes straight to Big Cats Rescue. This info will help them figure out what needs to be done to protect these beautiful animals.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CG being funny

Warning: This post contains religious humor. If you're in a sensitive mood today you might want to skip it.

...

My mom has this one coworker who we call CG, which stands for Computer Geek (or Computer God, or Computer Guru... take your pick). CG has a sense of humor, so whenever mom mentions to him that she'll be celebrating a Pagan holiday with family he asks "So! Are you going to burn some Christians?"

The first few times of hearing this from my mom I just rolled my eyes. I know CG, and he knows us, so his question is meant in good humor and is taken with good humor. But eventually I retorted with "No, we do not burn Christians! We just throw them to the lions. Get your history straight!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update on grandma

You may remember that I blogged about my grandma several months ago with bad news: she wound up in ER, and was ultimately diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and cancer. In case any of my followers are wondering how she's doing I decided to share how she's doing now.

First, I had said in one post that she became a ward of the state of Texas. Turns out I was wrong! A family member down there has stepped in to take responsibility for her, which was pretty nice of him. She's currently living with one of my mom's cousins, and I am grateful to this cousin and the cousin's family for taking my grandma in.

(Remember, my immediate family all lives in Oregon, which is a long way away from Texas. That means that either grandma has to come up here for us to help her, or people down there have to help her. People down there are helping her, and I think she's happy to be staying in the place she's lived all her life.

Also, mom wandered in while I was writing this post and asked me to add that she is unable to get away from home for too long to travel back to Texas. Why? Because my dad is disabled and she is his primary caretaker. And I'd like to add that I'm not even considering traveling by air because I don't like the TSA's "enhanced pat downs," aka "Total Sexual Assault".)

Grandma is doing better than she was during my initial posting about her, but she still needs a lot of help. And no one, except maybe her, thinks that she might ever be able to live alone again.

However, there is one upside to this situation: I'm actually talking to relatives whose existence I was only vaguely aware of before. I mean, I knew they were there, and I'd heard about them. But...I guess you could say that I only thought about them in an abstract way. But now, I've actually talked to some of them and...that makes them no longer abstract, but actually real people. I hadn't even realized that I thought about them in the abstract sense before.

It's sad that it took my grandmother getting Parkinson's disease and cancer for me to finally get in touch with relatives, but I'm glad that I have.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Credit cards

Dear Credit Card Companies:

I have absolutely zero interest in credit cards for the following reasons.

First, I am a college student with little excess money. True, I have a couple hundred in my savings account, but it is staying there for a rainy day.

Second, what money I do have comes from my work study job that I got through financial aid. And because I am only taking 6 credits in college I am only allowed to work 4 hours a week. Yep, that's right, 4 hours a week. That wouldn't give me very much money to pay back credit card bills with, now, would it?

Third, when I do manage to find a second job, I will likely still deem a credit card as worthless to me because my debit card is all I need and want. And if I do happen to change my mind, rest assured that you'll hear from me.

So why don't you save some trees by removing me from your mailing lists?

Sincerely,

An Exasperated College Kid

ps. How did you get my info anyways?

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Inside"

In honor of today being Martin Luther King Jr. day, I'd like to share the following song.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Craft name silliness

Thanks to Magaly's links page on her blog I discovered Pagan News. I started looking through it and came across something (widget? gadget? gidgit? whatever it's called!) to generate a Craft name.

I took one look at it and thought "You've got to be kidding me. A Craft name generated by a computer? That's meaningless!" But because I'm a nut I just had to try it out. And look what I got!





I've gotta say, I like it!

Ok, so it took me a couple tries before it generated something I liked. And I don't think I'll be introducing myself as Sarita Old-Fashioned Eastre anytime soon. But no longer do I think that this gadget is worthless.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A drinking song

Since I've got my new Heather Dale CD and listened to it I've had this song stuck in my head.



And now it can be stuck in your heads! :D

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An Alleged Coyote

Our neighborhood has had a mysterious guest -- or new resident -- the past few days. It's probably a coyote.

No one in my family has actually seen this alleged coyote (yes, I am affectionately stealing from Hank the Cowdog), but we have heard it. It woke us up a couple days ago, and again this morning. I also heard it right outside outside, and I mean right outside, our house last night. It was so close that I almost expected to see it on our doorstep when I looked outside.

Only thing is, though, that what we're hearing from this coyote isn't exactly what I'm finding on YouTube when I search for coyotes. Then again, I have found that coyotes make a WIDE variety of sounds, and have been told that they're good at imitating. This one sounds like it's trying, and woefully failing, to mimic a cat.

Then today we found a paw print. It's not a perfect print, but it's the best we've got. And it does match up with the coyote paw prints I found online.




The paw print was within feet of our house, by the way. Who knows, perhaps the alleged coyote was drooling over one of our cats sitting in my bedroom window.

Maybe we'll eventually catch a sight of our new elusive neighbor. Maybe I'll even be lucky enough to get a photo. More likely, though, I'll be too busy staring in awe to grab my camera.

Have you ever had strange encounters with wildlife in our neighborhood that left you trying to figure out what the animal was?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Maiden and the Selki

I discovered this beautiful song the other day and I wanted to share it here.

The singer is Heather Dale, and she's been one of my favorites for over a year.




After finding this song on YouTube I just had to buy the CD, and I'm very happy that I did. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Pagan Meme

Here's a meme, which I found over at Pagan Culture.

B A S I C S

Do you have a magical/Pagan name? No.
What does it mean? N/A
How did you find Paganism? I started researching Pagan type stuff because the Druids in Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest intrigued me. More details here. :)
How long have you been practicing? Several years. I'm not sure exactly how many.
Solitary or group practitioner? Solitary I guess, since I'm not officially part of any group. But I do like to get together with others.
What is your path?
I am a shamanic practitioner, and am called by Celtic and Hawai'ian deities.
Are you out of the broom closet? I am so far out of it that I couldn't find my way back if I wanted to! lol

D E I T Y

Who is your patron God? N/A
Who is your patron Goddess? Pele
What Gods do you worship? I don't really think of myself as worshiping the gods, though I definitely do pray. Let's see...Brighid, Pele, Jesus, Morrigan, Ceridwen...and others.
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? I respect the dark aspects of the gods, and I don't think that I'm afraid of them anymore.
Do you worship the Christian God? Again, I don't exactly worship, but I do pray to Jesus, sure. He's a great guy.
Do you ever worship animals? No. But I do work with totems, power animals, whatever you want to call them.
Or plants? No. But I do work with plant spirit helpers, at times.

N A T U R E

Do you regularly commune with nature? Yes.
Ever walked barefoot in the woods? I'm not sure if I've walked barefoot in the woods, but I have walked barefoot in the grass! In fact, I consider that to be one of the great pleasures in life.
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Yep.
Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? I'm not going to even try to describe it.
Do you have a familiar? Hmm...I have a cat who I am very close to, but I'm not entirely sure if he qualifies as a familiar. I have wondered about that before, though.
Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? I guess you could say that I have.
Or a plant? Ditto.
Do you hug trees? I'm usually too self conscious, but yes.
Give them gifts? Good idea.
What is your favourite flower to work with? I haven't worked with flowers.
What is your favourite tree to work with? I don't know. Maybe the oak. Or a cedar.

W H E E L . O F . T H E . Y E A R

What is your favourite holiday? Samhain!!! :D (October 31st)
What is your least favourite holiday? I don't know. I've never thought about it, and none spring to mind.
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? I haven't held a ritual, but I've attended several.
Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Yep. :)
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? I celebrate the solstice on the longest night, and then I celebrate Christmas on the 25th.
Have you ever felt the veil thin? Oh yes. lol Yes.
Ever danced the Maypole? Yes. It was fun. I wanna do it again. In fact, we actually danced it while walking a labyrinth day on the on the World Labyrinth Day (which happened to be May 1st).
Know what the Maypole symbolizes? The Maypole is a giant phallic symbol. Which pretty much sums up what Beltane (May 1st) is all about.
How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? Depends on the holiday, and whether I'm celebrating with a group.

D I V I N A T I O N

Do you use Tarot? I've tried, but I don't feel a connection.
Do you use runes? I'm learning, and I think there is a connection.
Do you use a pendulum? Nope.
Do you use dowsing rods? What's that?
Do you use astrology? I've read my horoscope from time to time, but (sorry to admit it) I've never taken it seriously.
Any other form of divination? No.

S P E L L S

What was the first spell you did? A healing spell
What was the latest? A healing spell
Ever done a love spell? No
A job spell? No
A healing spell? I think that's all I've done.
What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? A healing spell.
What deities do you usually call on? Brighid.

NOTE: It's actually been a few years since I've practiced magick since I abandoned magick for shamanism.

C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y

Do you believe in Vampires? Not the blood sucking kind.
Werewolves? ...I don't think so...
Shapeshifters? Not physically changing shape, but I think things can be done energetically.
Elves? Define elf. Are they a form of fey?
Faeries? YES!!! I even leave them offerings, at times. It's best to be on good terms with them.
Dragons? Yep. That's not to say that I believe that they physically exist in our world, though.
Nymphs? Why not?
Sprites? Sure
Mermaids? I guess so
Satyrs? Hmm, never thought about them before, but I suppose so.
Ever “seen” any of the above? Yes. As a blur out of the corner of my eye. And when I look at them directly they aren't there anymore. At least, not so that I can see them. lol
Ever talked to any of the above? Sure.
Ever used any of the above in magic? No
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? No

R A N D O M

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? None of those.
Own a cat? No. But I live with a cat. Three cats, actually, though only one has made a real claim on me
When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? Someplace outdoors, in nature.
Do you work with Chakras? I have before.
Do you believe in past lives? Definitely.
If so, describe a few briefly: Let's not go there.
Do you believe in soul mates? I think so.
Do you have a spirit guide? Yep
Is it always love and light? No way. You can't have love and light without also having the darker things.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pagan music

I just wanted to share some music that I discovered over winter break and really like. The singers might have had a little more practice before recording some of the songs, but it is still really soothing to listen to.













There are even more songs on their CD.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our relation to the environment

I'm taking an environmental class this term, and it occurred to me that I haven't written a post about where I think humans are in relation to nature.

I've written something only to delete it twice now. Gosh, how to explain...?

Basically, I don't think we're separate from nature. We are part of nature, and nature is part of us. My professor shared a wonderful quite during class which I'll try to paraphrase here:

To use the word "landscape" sets us apart from it. It implies something separate. In fact, you are part of the landscape, just as much as the boulder you stand on to look at the landscape.

We aren't separate from nature, whatever some may think. We aren't outsiders, but part of the picture. Just like the boulder -- or grass, dirt, sand, etc. -- that we're standing on.

I think my point is well made by the fabulous feline in the following video.



They went into her territory intending to be observers, outsiders. She taught them that they're part of the landscape themselves, and part of nature.

I've seen this cat in other videos, by the way, and she does get into the habit of using the cars as lookout spots.

ps. I'm tagging this post as Pagan because my practices are nature based, and everything I say here is based on my beliefs.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

That silly cat

I have a funny cat story.

When mom got out of bed this morning Kokopelle immediately started pestering her. He meowed and meowed and meowed, and would not leave her alone. It was unbelievable. Eventually our other two cats, Socks and Saphira, joined him. They didn't make the racket that Kokopelle was making, but they did look at my mom expectantly.

We had no idea what was going on at first. Eventually, though, mom said "Wait a minute. Koko [as she calls him] is pestering me as soon as I'm up, and the other two cats are waiting for something...I know what this is!" That's when I finally recognized the particular meow Kokopelle was using. It's the one that he reserved for one thing only: demanding wet food.

I couldn't believe it. It's been nearly two years since we've fed them wet food. Which, of course, is why I didn't recognize the particular tone in his meow to begin with. It's been so long.

And now I'm wondering what was going through his kitty mind, that made him demand wet food apparently out of the blue.

He didn't get any wet food, by the way. We don't have any in the house. He does have plenty of dry food, though, so contrary to what he would have us believe he will not starve as a result of our refusing to indulge his every whim.