Category Archives: Festivals & Sabbats

Forest Spirit Fest

By | Animism, Cooking, Ethnobotany, Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Herbalism | 44 Comments

he Shaman, the Poisoner, and I arrived at Raven’s Nest when the sun was at its height in the blue sky. As we set up our tents and the axe throwing targets, we quickly discovered how the camp site got its name; ravens circled with loud croaks and the flapping of their great black wings. The Poisoner croaked back, having a conversation with a particularly large grandfather raven. It was a pleasant discovery for all in attendance at the festival as Tynehead Park is in the middle of a booming, ever-expanding city.  Unlike crows, ravens do not like cities or people, preferring wild places. The park is likely one of the last hideouts for all the wild creatures that once spilled out over the land where rows of suburban houses and box stores now rule. We also learned many of the park’s serpent names are not coincidence either – there are plenty of snakes to be found! Tynehead is most well known for its Serpentine River full of salmon. The salmon have attracted black bears, coyotes, ravens, eagles, and all manner of smaller creatures creating a wonderful biodiversity which the city folk don’t seem to appreciate as they keep trying…

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A Month of Magical Mischief

A Month of Magical Mischief

By | Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Storytelling, Witchcraft & Magic | 16 Comments

 have been gone for so long, in the woods, in the mountains, by waters fast and deep. It is all a blur now. Faces smiling and laughing and talking. Bodies swaying to drums by fire and star light. Our hair and clothes smelling of fire and smoke, earth and cedar. For once I am almost lost for words. My storyteller’s tongue was tied for days after while my mind and heart caught up with all that happened in the past month. Where have I been? It is spring, summer is a comin’ in and winter’s gone away-o. Where else do we untamed ones go when the sun shines and the earth is blanketed in green once more? Where have all the witches gone? Over hill and under stone. You shall not find them inside a house, but if you are quiet as a mouse and walk softly on the forest floor, you will find them at the otherworld’s door by grove, sea, and crossroad, places of power, working their magic at the appointed hour. No, you shall not find them inside a home; in the wilds is where they roam. eltuinn is always a big event in my local community….

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Of Serpents, Eggs, and Spiral Dances

By | Festivals & Sabbats, Folk Magic, Witchcraft & Magic | 11 Comments

My friends arrived from all over the Lower Mainland (witches, heathens, mystics, thelemites, hermetics, shamans…) for my Imbolc ritual Sunday afternoon. I’d decorated the hall, with its view of the forest, by setting up an altar for Brighid and the Cailleach strewn with evergreen branches and budding Indian Plum from the woods flanked at each side by wolf and bear hides. Brighid had a bottle of spring water and the Cailleach a bottle of melted snow. Brighid’s had bull and deer skulls and Old Woman a large bear skull and shed deer antlers. I surrounded both with candles and offerings. Although Imbolc is often associated with Brighid, it equally belongs to Old Woman. I thought it best to include her and leave her offerings lest we end up with a situation like Briar Roses’ parents and the uninvited dark fairy in Sleeping Beauty. As my Scots ancestors associated this festival with serpents in their form as land spirits, we performed a snake-themed ritual with spiral dances and egg offerings. My friend and elder Fritz visited last week and explained to my friends and I that he saw the wheel of the year not as a wheel, but as an undulating serpent….

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Western Gate Samhain Festival

Western Gate Samhain Festival

By | Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 10 Comments

Last weekend I hopped in the Shaman’s truck with Mel and Kerri and after meeting up with more friends we all drove up North together to the Okanagan stopping in Hope to have lunch with Huntress and Thicket along the way to the Western Gate Samhain Festival. Once we reached the dry sagebrush steppe we pulled over hoping to harvest some pungent wild sagebrush but only found the much less fragrant yellow rabbitbrush which the two shamans harvested and wrapped into smudge wands right away to dry. The sky was big, the clouds dramatic, and the wind chill with the bite of winter. We arrived in Kelowna in the late afternoon at a lovely old Unitarian Church near the lake with a large labyrinth painted onto its beautiful hardwood floor. We helped set up the space for the Celtic concert that night and then everyone sat down for Amelia Hogan’s Gaelic songs workshop. We had a bit of trouble with the pronunciation, but eventually we began to sound harmonious singing together in Irish Gaelic. The concert started off with the gorgeous voice of Kerri Joy accompanied by her violin and guitar. She sang bawdy, dirty songs that had people dancing…

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Writing & Teaching News

By | Artwork, Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Herbalism | 9 Comments

Besides being incredibly busy and trying to stay sane, I’ve also been up to various projects for publication and scheduling workshops and rituals for 2013. After having a crazy day, I was more than delighted to find my copies of the new Witches & Pagans air issue in my mailbox.  I wrote and illustrated an article for it titled “The Girl Who Found a Feather: A Journey into the Magic of Birds” exploring the mythology of birds and feathers as well as how to incorporate feathers into magic and ritual. Considering my bone collecting, you must have guessed my own feather and wing collection is quite massive… They are the ritual tool I use the most with my bear and deer drums running a close second. I was also delighted to read the humourous article “The Magic of ’63: In which Goddess-palooza turns out to be a ‘civilized religion after all” by my good friend, local elder, and Pagan academic Fritz Muntean (some of you may remember him from The Pomegranate). He smashes preconceptions of early neoPaganism’s roots in North America (as he was there making our history) while also making us laugh at ourselves. The Magick of Air issue…

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