Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A New Year

How was your Samhain? If you were lucky, like my friend Deborah Blake, you had snow on the ground for ritual. I know it's not exactly the weather we want for the biggest ritual of the season, but if the weather cooperates, I don't think there's anything quite so peaceful as a dark sky full of stars above and a blanket of snow beneath... and stillness all around. It's like the polar opposite of a raging thunderstorm for me.

For my Samhain, I had neither. What I did manage to do was finally get my altar the way I wanted it. Well except for the lack of candles. I can not believe with all the candles I have in this house - and in my ritual cabinet - I didn't have a single Yellow or Gold. :: shakes head in disbelief ::: But otherwise, I finally have a permanent altar. I've warned hubby NOTHING gets put on it.

So tomorrow when I go on a Quilt Shop Hop I'm going to buy the candle colors I need - at least two sets. I want to have a set I can use for a temporary altar. Hubby is gone 3 weeks at a time and home 3 weeks. It's part of his job as a river boat captain we've lived with for years. When he's gone, I can get up in the morning and visit the bedroom altar. But when he's home, he likes to sleep in at least til 8 and I'm an early riser. So I'm putting together a altar box I can keep in the living room and use a TV tray in front of the big East facing picture window.

As the holiday candles hit the shelves, now is the time to pick up the Gold and Silver candles in particular. With Halloween behind us, now is also the time to pick up the black and orange ones going on clearance. Learning from my own lesson, it's one of the things I'll stress in The Organized Witch.

As soon as I have those candles in place, I'll post a pic of my altar. I'd love to hear about yours. Is it traditional or is it more eclectic with things that mean something to you personally?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bard of the South

It doesn't matter where our journey takes us, there's always something new to discover or someone new to meet.

I met Rickey Pittman for the first time at the Ozark Creative Writers conference in Eureka Springs Arkansas. An author, he signed in to the event on Thursday night and was told about an Open Mic planned for the evening but they hadn’t set the mic up yet. He jumped right in to volunteer to help out. He just happened to have one in his car. That's the type of guy he is. Ready to help out where he can. He truly enjoys what he does and gives back when given the opportunity. And the journey for us began. He emceed the event on Thursday evening, treating us to the Irish brogue of a home he’s never been, and capturing us all with his songs and storytelling. Throughout the course of the weekend I would have several opportunities to talk with Rickey, as well as enjoy his musical talent.

As I write this, I’m enjoying his current CD – Bard of the South. Along with some Civil War classics, he shares originals like Arkansas Gypsy and Cry, Little Artillery Man. Each song will pull you in a different direction. One minute you’re laughing at the lyrics while hearing the pain many experienced in the war between the States.

Rickey entertains at many children's programs and Celtic festivals. If you want talent at your next event, I recommend you contact Rickey Pittman. You will be blessed.


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Drum

For the past 3 or 4 years, I've been in search of a drum. I wasn't sure what style I wanted, but I knew the sound had to be rich, like the sound of horse's hooves pounding across the hard, packed earth. Whenever I came across drums in stores or vendor booths, I'd touch one or two but nothing pulled to me... until Saturday.

After all the craziness around here I decided to take the day off and head for a pow wow being held in Hardy AR, about an hour south of me. I hadn't been to one in several years. Just the thought of making contact with Mother Earth and feeling the vibrations of the host drum around me was all the incentive I needed. Pow wow's are also a great place to pick up supplies such as sage, cedar and sweet grass. All three items came home with me as well as 2 pairs of earrings. But my most precious purchase of the day was my drum.

At first I thought it was part of a display at the vendor booth for the only thing the gentleman had was a wide variety of cases with silver and turquoise jewelry. But I kept going back and forth until I noticed a young man tapping one of them... this one... so I stopped to talk with him. He told me the top was bull skin and had a richer tone than the other one he had, which was made of elk. As he made contact with the drumstick to the head of the drum, I felt the pull and asked how much.

When a vendor smiles and tells you the price is dependent on the type of mood he is in, you know you're going to buy something. He told me what the drum sold for, but the price he shot me was lower. He also included the drumstick and gave me choice of any of the three he had on hand. I chose the dark purple and chocolate cowhide braid. He was also kind enough to accept a check - something vendors seldom do because the cash is their travel money for the weekend.

As soon as I touched the instrument, I felt the electricity travel through my body, bringing me to tears. The drum had come home.

I look forward to many hours honoring the God and Goddess with it's beautiful music, for I know however I play it, it will sing with love.

Many Blessings

Friday, September 16, 2011

REVIEW: The Secret Circle

“You’re a witch.”

For once these words were not spoken in a derogatory manner or in disbelief. Wouldn’t we all love to have that experience every time someone found out (or better yet – we told them)? However, it didn’t happen to me in real life but to Cassie by opposing cast member Faye in the new CW series, The Secret Circle.

I keep hoping that just once there will be a show that actually portrays our beliefs they way they actually exist. Not as the crone on the broom flying across the night sky, the woman wanting to eat little children or the Bewitched type trying to live a mortal life without using her ‘powers’. Then there are the Charmed sisters who at least know there are some spells that require mixing something up, using your mind and working together.

With those things in mind, The Secret Circle is a mixture of good and bad portrayals so far. We understand there is power in numbers. Okay, they have their ‘group’, though they didn’t call it a coven – yet. We all know there are witches who, like anyone else in the world, may try to abuse the power. This show seems to have a ‘dark’ undercurrent of abuse in many forms. Leading me to believe that portrayals of who we are has missed the mark once again. I know it’s early in the game. Last night was only the pilot, after all. But like other paranormal/ witch shows before it, watch it for the story line and the entertainment value. But at this point, I’m not expecting realism.

To learn more about the author, L. J. Smith, (who also penned the Vampire Diaries), you can check out her website and blog at

You can see a great review on last night’s premiere HERE.

If you watched it, I’d love to hear your comments.
And if you missed it, you can watch the extended trailer HERE.

Many Blessings

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Toy

When I visited a friend, Curt's creative blog this morning and saw his Halloween Count down, I knew I had to have one for this blog.

If you click on the link below the countdown pic, you'll see a variety of themes and occasions to pick from. I like the full moon and tree from Curt's blog but I just had to have the cauldron on here. We are the Cauldron Cafe, after all hehe

The air has a crispness to it and it's beautiful here in the Ozarks. I know after the grandtoddler goes back home and hubby heads back to the boat next week, I'll be spending lots of time outside. It's my favorite weather for working around the property.

I'm also hoping to start a needlework project around Samhain. I'll post a link in a few days.

How are your plans for Samhain coming along? How do you celebrate our new year?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stepping Back In

My internet has just been bizarre! And it feels good to have it back on a regular basis. It was so incredibly hot here - as it has been most everywhere from what I'm hearing. But after two months of dealing with HughesNet tech support we finally determined my modem was overheating. I couldn't stay on-line for more than 10 minutes at a crack. Very frustrating. Keep in mind, my house has central air and a dehumidfier. So we're not sure WHY. But a 10" fan sits on my desk, blowing on the modem whenever it's plugged in and everything seems to be working fine. Please Goddess, hear my prayer.

As I fought with internet issues, I was spending a lot of time with Mother Earth. I have almost 50 tomato plants, 30 green pepper plants and 15 banana pepper plants I've been trying to coax through the heat. The banana peppers have been flourishing. I'll have enough banana pepper pickles for awhile. The cantalope also did well. The tomatoes, not so much. With the heat has come an abundance of grass hoppers and they think my plants taste just scrumptious. I've been battling them and stink bugs (a grey, triangular-shaped beetle) with an organic mixture of tobacco tea, dish detergent and Listerine. It is helping some. Now to figure out what to do about the tomato worms. They too seem worse this year. I so wish I had chickens to feed them to.

I've not been working in my journal. My writing time has been spent with my weekly column in a local newspaper and working on contest entries in my spare time. I've pulled it off the stack and placed it by my bed so I'll remember to write in it.

One of my first projects was to reconstruct my altar but I've put off doing that because I know we'll be remodeling the bedroom soon and I'll have to move everything again. So for now, it's the bare bones.

I've been picking up scrapbook papers, stamps and images to put a creative slant to my BOS as time permits. I bought a sheet of underlayment to make my cover. I'm trying to decide if I want to use it for a binding as well. That would give it the appearance of an old bound book. What kind of BOS do you have?

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Do I Write About?

What do I write in my journal?

So what do we write about? As you can see, dreams and the messages they carry are great. Some things you might include:

1) Listing areas you want to target in your Spiritual Growth.

2) Journal a Tarot or Rune reading

3) How did I honor Mother Earth today?

4) Bits and pieces of new spells or rituals as they come to you.

5) Books you’ve read – both recreational and on the Path.

6) What did I learn about myself today?

And you can expand on any of these such as exploring the individual areas you want to target, or list ways you can honor Mother Earth.

Maybe you have Goals you want to accomplish on your journey. List them. Then as you take the steps towards those Goals, you’ll have additional things to write about.

GOALS are the important key to any successful trip. Determine what you expect from your Spiritual Journey. Your Goals might include:

1) Regular Altar Time
2) Participating in or attending a Circle Sanctuary gathering
3) Contributing to a Pagan publication or writing your own book.
4) Creating/ updating your BOS
5) Showing respect for the God and Goddess through Service to Others
6) Planting a Healing Garden
7) Writing your first spell or ritual
8) Start a blog about your journey – We’ll link up!

Remember –
Your GOALS are NOT set in stone. They will change as you grow.

Blessings on your journey

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My First Entry

The talk about beginning our Spiritual Journal and tracking our journey, I believe, sparked a dream I had on Sunday night.

In the dream, I received a message from author and Wiccan high priestess Deborah Blake (see her link to the right. You’ll love her books!) I won’t go through the entire dream but the last words she spoke to me were –
‘You possess the tools for this journey’.

I was so taken with the profoundness of Deborah’s words, the first thing I did upon waking was to grab my journal and write the whole dream down.

And now, I pass those words to you.

You possess the tools.

Whatever you want from this journey is yours. Take it one step at a time and watch for signs.

Many Blessings


On Monday, I told you we’d talk about Time to Write on Tuesday. Here it is Wednesday. I guess that makes this topic appropriate.

Time just got away from me yesterday. I did update a couple other blogs, did some laundry and worked in the yard. I also got the first ten pages of one of my novels-in-progress ready for a contest. A productive day. But ahead of it all, I did put the first entry in my Spiritual Journal. I’ll talk about that in the next post. For now, it’s all about TIME.

As you can tell, I can relate to the lack of time. But it is important to make a space in our day, or even week, to talk to our journal. Nothing says writing has to be a daily event.

You might designate a couple of hours one day a week. Not sure where you’d find the time- regardless of the frequency? Try this little exercise.

For one week, access how you spend your time. Mentally, you may THINK you know where your day goes, but you might be surprised how many ‘black holes’ of time you have.

Keep a time card of your activities. Business executives don’t just keep some form of day planner to look important. They are effective in showing the ‘give and take’, allowing them to see where they can fit something else in.

After your week, look to see what ‘black holes’ you discovered. Too much TV time? Too much Social Network? In today’s society those are the top two ‘time leaches’. I ask you to step away from ‘scripted’ reality shows. Create your own reality. Limit your social network time. Let family and friends know you’re alive – then move on with your day.

Another idea is to keep your journal handy and jot a few notes as things come to you. doesn't have to be a long thought process written all at once. Remember, it’s about the things you notice on your journey – not the volume.

We always have time for what we feel is important. Your Spiritual growth IS important. Try a contract with yourself. Write WHY you want to keep a journal. Then PLEDGE to yourself and the Goddess that you WILL spend time with it. Write the pledge in the beginning of your journal. Or create a bookmark with your pledge written on it and move it through your journal as you travel as a constant reminder of why you’re here.

Keep in mind – A balanced life holds time for both Reality and Recreation. Find the balance and be happy.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Choosing Our Journal

Metta Winter says –
“The personal journal is a private space of quiet solitude.”

Your Spiritual journal is the place you will discover yourself – the deepest part of you.

So how do we begin on this magical journey?

First – you’ll need a journal. This can be anything from loose-leaf paper in a 3-ring binder to a beautiful bound, hardback book. I have samples of some of mine in the photo below.

What you choose is entirely up to you. If you’ve never kept a journal before – or it’s been awhile – finding one that fits you may be trial and error. Settling on the perfect one can be the first clue to who you are.

I use all styles, depending on its purpose. For my Spiritual Journal I’ve chosen a beautiful bound item I found at of all places, SAM’s Club several years ago. I’ve started it in the past and included things such as 13 GOALS OF A WITCH and The Law of Power. These items were printed on a parchment-type paper, torn around the edges and inked for an aged/ distressed look. They look lovely in my journal. Past these two items the only things I ever entered were my ‘intentions’ and a first entry – September 26th, 2007. That’s as far as I traveled. Short trip.

Until I discovered this book on my magical shelf, I intended to use a 5-Subject spiral notebook. I love them for being able to turn the pages back, always having a flat surface. But the journal I’d already started can’t be cast aside. It’s too beautiful and I had a purpose for it once.

It was to be my Mirror Book. A mirror of my spiritual journey so that I might see the path more clearly. A magical record of my progress and education in Wicca. A place to record my thoughts and feelings on the Path, results of readings, magical successes and failures, doubts and fears about my journey. Yet after that very first entry on my birthday of 2007, it got put aside, as did the serious attempt at my journey.

So with it rescued from the shelf, it becomes a part of my journey once more.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the difficulty in finding time to write amongst every day life, and the importance of the process within our grasp.

Many Blessings

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Spiritual Journey

I believe in Serendipity. And when serendipitous moments occur, I get a tingle all through my body. A few days ago I talked about getting back to the basics of the Spiritual side of being Wiccan and that was going to be my main focus here at the Cafe.

A couple days later, two writing friends of mine from IL came down for a long weekend visit. I'd not seen these ladies in over two years and it was such a treat. As we're all three writers, I wanted to take them to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Homestead in Mansfield MO for a day-trip. I thought it would be a fun way to spiritually connect with another writer - especially one whose books we'd grown up reading.

After spending several hours wandering the museum as well as touring both the homestead and the Rock House their daughter Rose had built for them, we made our way back into Mansfield to find lunch. There was a really cool used book store on a corner of the square called The Next Chapter- Books on the Square. What a cool name for a store giving new life to books.

Walk in the door and you are greeted - yes greeted with enthusiasm - by 3 cats. They were all of a gray tabby variety, the largest named Beans. I so fell in love with Beans that I never even found out the names of the other two. In my opinion, any store that allows cats as a welcoming committee (or friendly dogs for that matter) is worth investigating.

The place was neat, clean, tidy... like a mini library. All the sections were well-identified and the owners, Shirley Wilki and Sarah Quintana, were knowledgeable about the stock and very friendly. One of my friends, Cheri, found a Julia Cameron book she's been looking to find for some time. I also picked up one of Ms. Cameron's books.

But another book caught my eye...
How To Keep A Spiritual Journal - by Ronald Klug. Although very rooted in Christianity, I've found some valuable gems that can be applied to any Spiritual Journey. I've nearly finished pulling out references and am putting together posts for us to use together.

So here's what I'd like you to think about today. Have you ever kept a journal? Do you still? If not, why not? Did it have a specific theme or just something you rambled in when you needed someone to talk to? What kind was it? Did you use an actual journal? A spiral notebook? A composition book?

Because I want to wait until I've finished going through Mr. Klug's book before I begin, we'll start talking about journals and journaling on Monday. For now, just think about the questions I've asked and we'll talk again soon.

Many Blessings

Friday, May 6, 2011

Finally Dry

We have one of the most beautiful nights in the Ozarks we've seen in almost three weeks. For one, it's dry. We've had over 20 inches of rain in the past three weeks - 17 of that in the early 7 days of that period.

But tonight the sky is clear, the stars are bright and there is a beautiful cradle moon. Every time I see the cradle moon my mind goes back to a Fables story book I received as a child nearly 45 years ago (and I still have). I can't see the cradle without seeing the storybook witch in the black dress and pointy hat. In this particular story she was just sitting 'side-saddle' on the moon. I think that is my first memory of a 'witch' and I thought how cool it must be to sit up there and see everything in the world from up there.

I might not sit on the moon but I know if I sit quietly and let the earth talk to me I will see everything I'm meant to.

There is so much to learn if we'll only listen.
Many Blessings

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spiritual Practice

For weeks I’ve been trying to determine the direction I wanted this blog to go.

Initially it was to be a venue for test-running one of the books I have outlined. Then life happened, sidetracking my intentions… and my Spiritual practice.

As life settled around me, I discovered the book isn’t ready to be written. Also, posting any part of it here could be detrimental in it ever seeing publication in paper form as putting it here constitutes ‘publishing’.

With those two things in mind I found myself stuck. I still wanted to keep the blog but what did I have to offer?

Last night, I read an article by Crystal Blanton in the Spring 2011 issue of Circle Magazine. Ms Blanton talks about the Spirituality side of being a Witch. And it hit me. I say I’m a witch but I don’t make the time to consciously practice my faith. I WANT to. I PLAN to. But I don’t MAKE THE TIME.

I don’t want to be a practicing witch who only talks to the God and Goddess on Sabbats. That isn’t ‘living my faith’. I’ve been out of balance. I need to ground myself. Being a witch isn’t something I do. It’s who I AM… inside. I also believe I’m not the only one. With that in mind, I knew where this needed to go.

Practical Practice (part of the working title of my book) isn’t just about ‘being prepared’. It’s also about ‘living the life’.

Some days my posts will seem like nothing more than a peek into my journal. Other days it will be about the more tangible part of being a witch. But I promise it will ALWAYS be about the Spirit in Practice.

Many Blessings