Saturday, May 28, 2011

Some people...

I have been following a war over a blog award. It's a contest of blogs written by mothers and faith. It seemed like such a good idea. Then it got ugly when a Christian woman got offended by Pagan blogs being in the contest.

This "Christian" (I'm using the quotes because this woman is not behaving as Jesus would) decided to break the TOS of the contest and attack each Pagan individually. Even went so far as to talk about the children of these women.

When all was said and done, the "Christian" had pulled her blog from the competition, citing that she didn't want to compete with Pagans, or other Christians. I wonder who she thought she would compete against, if those two groups were disqualified? Would she have attacked the Muslim blogs or the Jewish ones? Would she have continued to bully everyone until only she was left?

Now you're wondering about the Pagan posters, I bet. What happened to them? As of this post, one of the Pagan blogs is in the #1 spot, and at least six others are catching up! How's that for irony?

Go here to vote for any blog (except the one that was pulled, of course), and go here to see the offensive blog post by the "Christian". Here's the link to her page, if you're interested in checking it out. When I have more time, I'm going to look at the other blogs (Pagan or other), and see if they will get my vote as well.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Deity of the Month: Athena

Pallas Athena (Minerva in Roman) was the Goddess of wisdom, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice, heroic endeavor, philosophy, and skill. She was also a common companion of Heroes and was the patron of Athens, the city named after her. Another thing she was known for was being one of the three virgin Goddesses.

The most popular story of her birth is that Zeus (Jupiter in Roman) had an affair with Metis. Afterwards, he discovered that any children he had with Metis would be greater than himself. As a result, he swallowed Metis to prevent a pregnancy. What he didn't know was that she was already pregnant with Athena. Metis gave birth to Athena and nurtured her inside Zeus until he complained about headaches. Hephaestus (Vulcan in Roman) split open his head with his smithing tools. Athena burst from his forehead fully grown and armed with weapons.

Other tales of her birth are that she was created parthenogenically as a daughter of Metis. Another story is that she came from another pantheon and was "adopted" by the Greeks as an Olympian.

Athena never took a lover or a consort, and became the enforcer of rules of sexual modesty and ritual mystery. As a result of this, she never gave birth. Not even parthenogenically. However, some stories say she adopted at least one child.

Hephaestus once attempted to rape Athena, but she escaped. His semen fell upon the earth and impregnated Gaea, creating Erichthonius. Gaea gave the baby to Athena to raise the baby as her foster mother. Once he was grown, became the founder of Athens, and its first king. Many beneficial changes to Athenian culture could be traced back to him.

Athena competed with Poseidon (Neptune in Roman) to be the patron deity of Athens, which hadn't been named yet. They agreed each would give the people of the city a gift, and whichever gift the people preferred would name the patron deity. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and created a spring, giving them a way to trade, not to mention easy access to fresh water. Athena offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The current king of the city, Cercrops, accepted the olive tree on behalf of the people. He also named the city after their patron deity.

She created Medusa, then guided Perseus in his quest to behead the monster. She helped Heracles skin the Nemean Lion, defeat the Stymphalian Birds, and navigate the underworld. She helped Odysseus on his voyage home after the Trojan war and win his kingdom back upon arriving home. She also created the first spider, Arachne.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Holey Candle

What you need:

First, tie the wick to the skewer and lower the wick into the paper cup. Then pour ice into the cup. Finally, pour the melted wax over the ice. The heat from the wax will melt the ice. At the same time, the ice will harden the wax. Once the candle is finished hardening, trim the wick and peel your paper mold off the candle.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Prayer Chain

I woke up to the news that there were wildfires in Alberta, which is to the northwest of where I live. Windspeeds as high as 62 mph (100 kph) drove the fires towards towns and cities. Hundreds of Albertans were forced to evacuate their homes with what they could carry, and hope that their home was spared.

At the time of this post, there are at least 84 different wildfires in Alberta.

Please light a candle, send positive thoughts, or pray to whatever deity you believe in that the fires will be put out soon.

EDIT: And please go here to donate to the Canadian Red Cross if you want to help the citizens of Alberta.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How To Melt Wax

You'll need the following ingredients and items
  • Stoves
  • Towels
  • Baking Soda
  • Wax
  • Baking Soda
  • Apron
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Double Boiler
  • Pot Holders
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Hammers or Ice Picks
  • Towels
  • Pot holders
First of all make sure the pot that the wax will go in is clean and completely dry. Break up the wax block with a hammer and/or ice pick so that you have smaller chunks to work with.
Make a double boiler (if you don't already have one) by filling half of a large saucepan with water and placing a smaller saucepan or a coffee can inside. Do not put water in the container that you will melt the wax in. 
Put several chunks of wax into the top of the double boiler and set the heat on high. Stir the wax frequently as it heats and use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the wax. The melting point of paraffin (the most common wax used in home-made candles) is roughly 125 degrees F. 
Prepare to pour the wax when it reaches its pouring temperature. This depends on the mold material. Metal molds require the wax to be between 180 and 200 degrees F. For paper cartons, glass, rubber, etc., the pouring temperature is 130 to 150 degrees F.

Safety Warnings:
  • Determine the amount of wax you need by filling the mold with water, then pouring the water into the pot that will be used to melt the wax. Mark the water line in the pot with a crayon, pour out the water, and dry the pot.
  • Turn the heat down if the wax temperature approaches 210 degrees F. 
  • Be sure that small children and pets are kept out of the candlemaking area.
  • Wax is flammable at high temperatures and should never be left unattended. Paraffin wax will catch fire at 375 degrees F. Flash points for other types of wax vary.
  • Use a fire extinguisher or baking soda rather than water if you have a wax fire.
  • Don't pour wax down your sink - it will cool there and plug up the pipe.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Spiritual Journey (So Far)

I started out being raised by a Catholic father and a mother that had converted from Protestant to Catholic when she married my father. I went to church every Sunday from the time I was baptized in infancy. I honestly believed what I was told about God, Jesus, Mary, etc. To the point where my father was convinced I would grow up to become a nun. Then, at around fifteen, I decided to study the Bible. This led to the realization that the Bible doesn't make sense. After asking questions about it, like "how did Penguins get to the Ark?" and "was a volcano really responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gemmorrah?", and receiving no satisfying answers from the Church, I chose to find a religion that made more sense.

After leaving home a few months after high school graduation, I met my first Wiccans. I jumped head-first into their beliefs, bought 101 books, and even professed my new faith to anyone who would listen. I was, I'm ashamed to admit, quite annoying in sharing my beliefs. I was one of the dreaded fluffy bunnies.

A few years later I moved back to my home-town, and began to keep my religion to myself. Without the constant input from others, the glamor of Wicca faded. The books went into storage, and I never got around to setting up an altar. Reading the ancient Greek stories led me to Hellenic Polytheism (though not reconstructionism). I believed, and still do, that the Gods exist. Not just the Greek deities, but all of them. I believed that they feel lonely with so many of their former followers converting themselves and their descendants to Christianity or Islam. However, I also believed that they understand the world has changed and they can no longer be worshiped the way they were once accustomed to.

I came to realize, after several years of quietly worshiping the Greek pantheon, that there was no reply. No feelings that prayers were answered, or that a deity is even listening. No evidence that my offerings were acceptable, and neither were they offensive. It was then that I stumbled across deism, which is the belief that there is a deity that created everything but now does not interact with the physical world. However, I believe that can't be exactly right. One deity can't possibly have created everything alone. More than one must exist. Which is where polydeism comes in. It's the same as deism, only with many deities involved. I have come to believe that deities won't, or can't, interfere with existence. That we are on our own in the physical world, and that what we do has little impact with what happens after death. Maybe it was decided that our species is evolved enough to not need them any longer. Maybe something happened in the last 6,000 years that prevents any deity from interacting with us. I honestly don't have the answer.

Who knows? Maybe something will happen to change my beliefs back to theism, or even swing the other way to atheism. Ask again in three to five years, and see if my beliefs have changed again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Pagans observe Beltane, or May Day, in a variety of forms. They may also use a different word for the festival. Pagans vary by tradition, and as a result this holiday means different things to different people.

Celtic Reconstructionists place emphasis on historical accuracy. Their celebrations are based on rituals and traditional lore from the surviving Celtic cultures, as well as researching older beliefs of polytheistic Celts. They usually celebrate Beltane (they call it by its Gaelic word, Lá Bealtaine) when the local hawthorn trees are in bloom. If those aren't available, they choose the full moon that falls closest to the event. Many observe the traditional bonfire rites, depending on their location and what the fire hazard level is. Some decorate May Bushes and prepare traditional festival foods.

Wicca, and the pagan religions that are similar to it, celebrate Beltane as a Sabbat. Although they use the name Beltane, which is Gaelic in origin, their festival is closer to the Germanic May Day festival. This festival focuses on fertility, even going so far as to enact a ritual union between the May Lord and May Lady (or Goddess and God, as Wiccans are duotheistic). They consider this a cross-quarter day, celebrated roughly halfway between Ostara and the Summer Solstice.

This is a good time to plant seeds, even in the northern part of the world. If you're living in the north, where there's still snow or at least it's a possibility until May, you can plant your seeds indoors with a heat lamp and transfer them to the outdoor garden after the cold season is completely over.

Label Cloud

101 2011 2012 44 days of witchery ability activism agnosticism air alberta altar ancestor anubis apatheism apocalypse apollo aquarius arachne arts athame atheism athena autotheism autumn banner beliefs bigotry bottle burning times calendar canada candle celtic child children's christian christmas cleaning coexist common man correspondences crafts creation cryptozoology cycle dalai lama deism deity deity of the month demeter deucalion E3 egypt electronic entertainment expo electronics elements end of the world endymion equality equinox extinction feast festival festivus fires flood food fur g4 gaea gaming germany glass god goddess great flood great spirit greek green griffin halloween hanukkah health henotheism herbalism history holiday holidays hospitality instructions international internet irish italian jack o'lantern kathenotheism kwanzaa lakota lavender leather life luna magic magical place makoshika meatless monday microsoft minerva mjöllnir monolatrism monotheism mothers mythology native american nature norse oil oisin ostara pagan pagan values month paganism pandeism panentheism pantheism pelops pepitas persephone philosophy pipa pirate politics poll polydeism polytheism prayer prayer chain preternatural prophecy pumpkin pyrrha rant Recipes religion religious roman rules sabbat sacred element samhain saturnalia seasons seeds selene shrine sioux sol invictus solstice sopa spider spiritual element spiritualism spring stories sun sign sword of truth symbol tantalus thor three tir na nog tools triad trials trio triskele values vegan vegetarian veneration viking vinegar warlock water wax wheel wheel of the year wicca winter witch witchcraft wizard xenia year yule

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