Yule 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Due to the rain, we held our annual open Solstice ritual in the basement of the Little Old Bookshop in Whittier. We focused on the new year coming, and calling the light back to return to us, which seems especially applicable due to all of the rain we are getting. Of course, living in southern California, we need it- I can just imagine it making the soil of my future garden very happy! But, we aren’t used to getting this much rain, all in a row.

Anyway, we had a great wine, and stayed up until all hours of the night, eating yums, and drinking wine- talking about everything from our future, to politics and prank calls. What a fun way to end our official open solstice evening. This evening, we are getting together to celebrate the moon and the actual solstice with wine and fellowship. Blessed be!
Also, we will be opening to new dedicants this spring. If you are interested in our coven, please check out our website (that links to our blog) or our November 2009 archive , fill out the dedicant petition, located here and send to me (Ivy) at barefootwitch@gmail.com.

Samhain Ritual Ideas

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Below are a few ritual ideas for Samhain, some are great for solitaries, while some are better suited for groups. Many rituals will focus upon one or two of these themes.

Theme: Honoring Ancestors
In your ritual, evoke the ancestors
Create an ancestor altar
Write a letter to a loved one and read it out loud
Read a list of people who have passed on either in your life or in the past year
Ask your ancestors to bless an item
Non-ritual idea: Have a dumb supper- make a plate of food for those who have passed on, many eat in silence as part of their supper

Theme: The Dying God
Evoke the Sage/Old God
Honor the God in his last phase of life
Make offerings to the God and/or to underworld gods
Ask for blessings of the Old God for the new year

Theme: Divination
Do divination for the upcoming year
Get together with friends and do readings for one another
Try a sort of divination that you’ve never tried, or that has never worked well for you
Non-ritual idea: Get together with friends, and have a divination night where you teach one another a type of divination- it’s a great way to get introduced to different ways to divine.

Theme: The Final Harvest
Meditate on what you are thankful for
In a group- state out loud what you are thankful for, and praise deity accordingly
Do offerings to your deities to thank them for the good fortune brought your way this year
Ask for blessings for the upcoming year

Pumpkin Doughnuts (Vegan)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Beth contributes this yummy fall recipe, a hit at any Samhain potluck...

Pumpkin Doughnuts (Special equipment needed; donut baking pan.)

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup WW Pastry Flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin, freshly roasted or canned
  • 1 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other margarine), softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In to a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, then add in the brown sugar.

Add pumpkin, soy milk, vanilla, margarine, & vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on low speed or whisk until just mixed.

Add the apple cider vinegar & carefully fold it in until just mixed.

Fill the wells of your donut pan almost to the brim. Bake them for 10 minutes, or till golden brown.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven & allow them to cool on a rack.



Cinnamon Doughnut Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste 


Whisk all of the ingredients together.
If you like a thicker glaze, add more confectioners sugar, to make it more icing-like.

After the doughnuts have cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the tops, allowing the excess to fall to parchment paper below your cooling rack.


For the LAST time, Wiccans are NOT fluffy...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010
.... well, perhaps those who call themselves Wiccan- solely because it's fun- are fluffy.*

But anyone who has any concept of the actual religion of Wicca would know better. There is this “Witchier than thou” ego-centric crap that has made its way through the Pagan community, and it sickens me. Guess what? What we do is not more right or more wrong than what your tradition does. There is this strange misconception that Wicca is all about love and light, and harming none. This is incorrect.

The Wiccan Rede is indeed: An’ it harm none, do as ye will. However, the word “rede” means advice. Not law, advice. We are advised to do what we will, while it harms none. Most Wiccans believe in some sort aspect of the Law of Return, or the Threefold Law. This means that what we put out, will come back to us- summed up it means personal responsibility. Can I do something that might affect someone in a negative way and still be Wiccan? This is a question that does come up from time to time. The idea of what I put out coming back to me is what keeps me in check, regardless of the Rede.

Many people think that Wiccans shy away from protective magick that sends negative energy back to the sender. I am Wiccan, but I am also a Witch. I will protect and defend myself, my family and my coven sisters. Period. If I need to be the hand of the Gods and return what another person puts out, so be it. Does this happen often? No. Will I take responsibility for whatever backblow occurs? Absolutely. Will I still honor both the God and Goddess, celebrate the Sabbats and the moon, circle within the Wiccan ritual structure, use traditional Wiccan tools, and honor polarity, both light and dark? Of course. This can be a little different if one is part of a coven, as then we have hive mind and other issues at stake, of course- that’s where perfect love and trust come in (but that’s another blog post).

Generally, I think that Wiccans are associated with love, light, etc. because one of the goals that many of us have is personal growth and achieving a successful life balance. So, maybe Wiccans are more perky than your average Pagan? That doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing shadow work to get to know themselves better. And if they are- it’s none of your business. Our relationships with our gods aren’t your business either.
If you are a non-Wiccan witch and get offended and upset when people automatically assume you are Wiccan, examine that. Why do you feel this way? Wicca is the most widely known tradition of Paganism. Use it as a teachable moment, not a moment to clutch your pentacle (in lieu of pearls, of course), and gasp- “I’m not one of them!” Explain the difference, don’t propagate more misconceptions of Wicca. While Wicca is more structured than many other Pagan traditions, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for flexibility and self-discovery. This is just done with a healthy respect of polarity and balance. This isn’t fluffy- Wicca is more deeply faceted than you might ever think.

*In this post, I may generalize, but keep in mind, my generalization as Wicca and Wiccans, includes only those who are traditional-style Wiccans | This was cross-posted from Ivy's blog- Beyond the Circle.

Three Facets of Samhain

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
It’s difficult to imagine that Samhain is just around the corner, especially when you take into consideration the boiling hot weather we’ve been having over the past few days (114? Really?!?). It’s only about a month away. Our Samhain comes from the Celtic cultures, and their holiday celebrating the end of summer. Here in southern California, we’ve experienced Samhain in a variety of temperatures- from comfortable mid-upper 70s, down to the 40’s. Samhain tends to be the one sabbat each year where the weather is completely unpredictable. By Samhain, the night’s have visibly grown longer, and it gets dark much earlier. Samhain is a dark and spooky time of year, and this holiday has three main facets.

At Samhain, it’s believed that the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. This makes Samhain a perfect evening for ancestor honoring and worship, as well as communication with other spirits, and the fae. Our modern customs of Hallowe’en evolved from old Celtic traditions. Jack O’ Lanterns used to be carved out gourds with faces carved in to scare aware spirits from darkening ones doorstep. In old times, one used to dress up in costumes to blend in with the dead that they believed literally walked the earth on this night. It’s also believed that this evening is the best time of the year to do divination. One of our covens’ traditions for Samhain is to include an ancestor altar with photos and mementos from those who have passed, in addition to our ritual altar.

In the agricultural harvest cycle, Samhain is the third and final harvest holiday, the meat harvest. Thankfulness is one theme of this facet of Samhain, much like at Lammas/Lughnasadh- the first harvest of the year- for grain, and Mabon/Harvest Home, the second harvest- for fruit. During Samhain, the animals were slaughtered, and their meat treated so that the people would be able to survive the cold winter. Many people celebrate this part of the holiday by making sure meat is part of the post-ritual feast, particularly pork. While several people in our coven are vegan/veggie, I usually try to bring a pork dish to our coven potluck for the meat-eaters, for traditions sake.

The third facet of Hallowe’en is found in the Wiccan theological cycle of the God and Goddess. At Samhain, the God dies, to be reborn at the Winter Solstice- in ritual, this also can be tied up into the first facet- the thinning of the veil. Some Pagans believe this to be the beginning of the new year. This tends to be the most popular and biggest ritual of the year in most Pagan groups, and while it can be very emotional (depending on the central focus of your rite), it can also be a very joyous occasion.

Colors correlated with Samhain include black, yellow, orange, silver, gold, white, purple and red
Foods associated with Samhain include: meat of any sort (especially pork), fruits (especially apples), root vegetables (coming from the ground makes root vegetables especially perfect for Samhain, as they are associated with the underworld, and death), pomegranates, and nuts

I’ll be writing a future piece on ideas for your Samhain ritual, and stay tuned for some recipes perfect for your post-circle feast.

September's All-Coven Meeting: Kitchen Witchery

Thursday, September 09, 2010
Our inner court meetings are all about housekeeping, and ritual planning. Our dedicants join us for our all-coven meeting, where inner court sisters take turns presenting workshops. Last month Aislin presented an awesome workshop on archetypes, and we worked them into astrological charts for ourselves. This month, Beth presented the first part of her Kitchen Witch workshop (she wants to do a second part), and we worked with herbs. Each sister made a cooking oil, a tincure and a sachet- it was a really fun, hands-on workshop.

Dedication- Autumn 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010
This past Saturday night, we were blessed with two new dedicants, Kyla and Chelsea. They dedicated to our coven during a beautiful dedication ritual, and we already can feel the energy they add to our coven family. Blessed be!

Lughnasadh 2010

I haven’t been able to get my photos off of my phone and onto my computer- still, I wanted to write a short blog about our Lughnasadh ritual. We had our open Lughnasadh ritual a few weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, and it was a blast! Our friends and family were all invited, and we had about 25 people there, including spouses, and children! Prior to the ritual, all were invited to make Corn Dollies, which were then blessed in the circle. Traditioanlly, corn dollies were made with the last sheaf of wheat harvested. The wheat was fashioned into a dolly or other symbol, and then kept safe, ensuring a plentiful planting in the spring.

The main theme of the ritual was the First Harvest, and as part of the first harvest, we asked everyone to bring one vegetable. During the circle, we raised positive energy and sent it into the vegetables, which were later made into soup by our resident kitchen witch, Beth. We had a sumptuous potluck feast, with everything from dip to cheese, to dates, to sweets, and of course, bread- a staple of any Lammas/Lughnasadh circle! We thank everyone who made it out for our circle, and we hope to see you again at our open Yule celebration!

Aislin Elevated to 2*!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Last night, Aislin was elevated to second degree! She's worked very hard to earn it, and is looking forward to her journey to third degree. Congratulations, Aislin!

(Lughnasadh photos + post coming soon)

Maiden Announcement (July meeting)

Sunday, July 25, 2010
With the departure of Blood Rose, the maiden position had been vacated. Aislin has since been promoted to this position. Congratulations, Aislin! She led a wonderful workshop on archetypes at last nights all-coven meeting. We gained some serious insight in regards to ourselves, as well as each other. Besides her awesome workshop, we also went over plans for next weeks Lughnasadh ritual, and some of our upcoming plans.

June Esbat 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010
Last weekend, the moon was full and we had a partial eclipse. Though we were unable to view the eclipse from our location, the energy always is just a little different from your average moon. We took this opportunity to say good-bye to our sister Rose, at least for now.

We are planning on opening up our outer court this fall, and as part of that our Lammas / Lughnasadh ritual will be open to friends and family. Below are some photos from our circle.

OPEN EVENT: Lammas/ Lughnasadh Celebration 2010!

As one of our friends, we invite you to join us as we celebrate the beginning of the harvest season! This is the first of two rituals we'll open to our friends this year.

The summer is heating up, fruit is beginning to ripen on the vine, warm summer winds warm our faces and our hearts. It is the time of the First Harvest.

The harvest season is celebrate in three festivals- the grain harvest at Lammas/ Lughnasadh, the harvest of fruit at Mabon, and the meat harvest at Samhain. In ancient times, the corn and wheat would be harvested at Lammastide, the last sheaf sacrificed- rather than being taken to ill with the rest of the corn, it was instead crafted into a corn dolly to keep safe, so that next year’s planting would be successful. This time of year was a turning point for the ancient Celts, as the month of August would bring the Tailtean games. The Tailtean games came about as an homage to Tailte, mother of the Celtic god Lugh. He created these funeral games to celebrate her passing, rather than mourn her death. These games originally lasted 15 days. In Wiccan myth, the God is getting older, as he moves slowly toward the end of his life cycle.

Lughnasadh is the time for take a moment and reflect upon what your hard work has yielded this year. What are the fruits of your labor? Have your plans borne any fruit at all? It’s also a good time to change your path if needed- you can sow new seeds to create a new outcome, if what you’ve planned didn’t come about.

This year, we are opening our Lughnasadh ritual up to our families and friends. We will be focusing on our harvest, and in doing so we’ll be asking everyone to bring a vegetable for a soup we will be making. The gate will open at noon, and ritual will start at 1:20 PM. Prior to ritual, you may craft a corn dolly from husks of corn to be blessed in circle. In circle, we’ll be imbuing our vegetables with energy, and we’ll make offerings to Lugh and Demeter. We’ll have potluck snacks, and the soup made with our charged vegetables will be served as dinner around 5:30 along with bread. We’ll play some games, make new friends, and celebrate the harvest together!
What to bring: a vegetable (list of possible veggies to be posted at a later date), a potluck dish (either something for dinner, or an appetizer/snack), any offering for Lugh or Demeter that you’d like to make.
What to wear: coven sisters will all be in white dresses, feel free to either wear white or black, or dress in the colors of the harvest if possible.
For more information contact Ivy at barefootwitch at gmail (dot) com.

Change to the Bylaws (Participation)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A change to the Coven Bylaws was unanimously voted into effect, effective today, 6/15/10. Previously, the amount of participation expected was listed as 75%.

We have decided to change that for our dedicants, and increase this to 85%. We've done this for many reasons, one being that as a dedicant, one should be making it to all coven events anyway, as we have the entire year already planned out in advance. This is how we get to know one another to make sure that we're a great fit for one another. Also added in the amended bylaw, an participation expectation of 100% for all dedicant classes (though make-up work may be substituted at the discretion of the teacher). This was something that we've always talked about, but was never in writing. Now it is. This doesn't mean that if one fell behind the participation percentage, one would be automatically removed from the coven, but it does lay down the expectation, and yes, if one constantly misses gatherings or classes, one would eventually no longer be part of the coven.


Whereas the reference to participation once read like:

II. Attendance and Meetings

a. Each member of the coven is expected to participate in 75% of meetings, events and activities, including training and studies.

b. Meetings will take place approximately three times per month. Estimated meetings will include Sabbat Celebrations, Full Moon Esbats, sporadic New Moon training evenings, and a meeting/ social night.

It will now read as:
II. Attendance and Meetings

A: Initiates

1. Each initiate of the coven is expected to participate in 75% of meetings, events and activities, including training and studies.

2. Meetings will take place approximately two-three times per month. Estimated meetings will include Sabbat Celebrations, Full Moon Esbats, Training, and/or meetings and social gatherings.

B: Dedicants

1. Each dedicant of the coven is expected to participate in 85% of all assigned meetings, events and activities, and 100% of all dedicant classes. Make-up work may be accepted in lieu of a class, at the discretion of the teacher.

2. Dedicants may be invited to Sabbats, Meetings and other open activities, approximately two times per month. Class schedule will be assigned in advance.

June Meeting

Monday, June 14, 2010
Once a quarter, we have an all-coven meeting that is purely social, and this month was our planned social meeting. We had our first pool party of the summer, ate snacks, grilled hot dogs, drank water and wine and forged friendship with our dedicant, Claire. The water was finally warm enough to swim... it's almost summer!

A sister departs...

Monday, May 24, 2010
One of our sisters, Blood Rose, has been on a sabbatical from the coven since the birth of her second child. She has decided to leave the coven for now, and hopefully, when her sons are a little older, re-join. Blessed be, sister... we'll miss you and your energy (now I have to be on the hunt for another earth ;).

May Meeting 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010
Our inner court meeting was fairly interesting- we heard lots of shouts and sounds coming from the house behind our covenstead. Later on, it turned out the police came, guns drawn, searching through the house for someone. Another interesting thing: we found that a hummingbird had made its nest in a hanging buzzard on the patio where we meet. We discussed our plans, including plans for our upcoming open events, as well as the idea of another former sister re-joining our family.

We'll be hosting an (open to friends and family) Lughnasadh celebration uring the day on 7/31, and we're planning a campout (open to our friends) on 8/20-22. So, save the date if you are interested! Our next dedication (and classes) will be in late August or early September.

During our all-coven class, Rayne presented a workshop on Chakras, and then we worked out some needed dateshifting for our July meeting- we were able to make it work out for everyone. After that, we all got some wine, and Aislin worked through our astrological charts.

We also decided a date for our Giant F***ing Jewelry Party that will showcase the talents of our jewelry crafting coven sisters- 7/10. If you like jewelry, you'll be able to come and take a look at the jewelry creations of a few jewelry artists with very different styles.

Next months meeting, we'll be working on a coven project, our dedicant will be working toward completing her dedicant project, and two of our sisters will be out of town. We have SO much going on, its so exciting!

Fun Photos

Saturday, May 08, 2010
A few photos from our recent photo shoot.

Find more photos like this on {ctm community}

Rayne's Beltane Photos

Thursday, May 06, 2010
Below are Rayne's photos from Beltane!

Find more photos like this on {ctm community}

Beltane Camp 2010

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
This past weekend, we gathered in the hills of Central California for our annual retreat. This year, we decided to go camping at Lopez Lake, known for it's wildlife. Though the arrival of all the sisters was relatively staggered for reasons beyond our control, we still had a lot of fun, and we relaxed our souls under the bright spring sun! We were unable to do some of our planned activities, but things happen for reasons beyond our ken. Like the long walk to the bathroom. Uphill. Both ways. And the night got pretty chilly... but we had a lot of fun! Mirth, merriment and bubble blowing were definitely on the agenda.

Below is a slideshow of some of our photos- more to come!

Find more photos like this on {ctm community}

Meet and Greet

Friday, April 09, 2010
Last Saturday, we had a meet and greet, inviting women who have expressed interest in joining us. We talked about our group- what we are (structured, hierarchal, casual, fun-loving), and what we aren't (cliquey, drama, patriarchal, Judeo-Christian). We went over our dedicant process, attendance expectations, goals and rules that are very important to us.

Women from the SoCalSisterWitches social group joined us afterwards for a rockin full moon party and self-appreciation and love ritual.

It was so much fun, and was wonderful to see new faces and meet new prospective sisters. We'll probably have an open circle in the early-mid summer to give our aspirants a feel for how it feels in one of our ritual circles, and then begin classes for those who feel like they want to dedicate themselves to our group.

Ostara 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010
Ostara 2010 was so much fun! Below is a slideshow of some of our photos from our ritual. Ostara is a celebration of the Spring equinox... we did this by cleansing, consecrating and planting some plants and creating our coven garden. :) And then of course, we had a potluck!

Find more photos like this on {ctm community}

January Esbat and Imbolc 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010
Our first esbat of the year went wonderfully! We recieved a few unexpected gifts from the Goddess, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Imbolc was also great - our focus was kindling the spark of hope we have deep within us.  We honored Brighid, and began our ritual with a procession with our Brighid in her bed. Beth taught us how to make candle lanterns and we used them during our procession - so much fun! Of course it was followed by a potluck including Rayne's famed hummus pinwheels, roasted butternut squash, "lamb" in phyllo, BBQ "meat"balls, cookies, and tasty cake! Even though it was rainy, we had a backup plan and it all worked out amazingly.

We hope your Imbolc went well, and that Brighid kindles the spark of your hopes within your heart! Blessed be!

Imbolc/ Ostara Newsletter is Up!

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Plenty of fun articles, recipes, poems and crafts to read!

Several times a year, we part of puts together a newsletter with articles, recipes, and more! Below is the link to our Imbolc/Ostara newsletter with fun articles, information and more. If you have some extra time, feel free to check it out and comment if you like! :)

We've decided to go green/virtual, and so no wordsearch or crossword this time- wasn't able to figure it out for this issue- next issue for sure, though!

Here's the link- http://ctmnewsletter.blogspot.com/