November 2011 Meeting

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Last night was our November meeting. During the inner court meeting, we hashed out details for our open Yule ritual, and discussed current and possible future Shadow Sisters. Once our Shadow Sisters arrived, we talked about divination, and broke off into pairs for 15 minute readings. Switching and rotating, each sister received three readings from the other sisters. The main reason for the divination night, was so that everyone became a little more comfortable with reading for other people. It went great, even though we had to rush indoors as it started to rain. Everyone learned something, either about themselves through the readings of others, or about how to give readings to other people. This will definitely be on the agenda for 2012!

Evocation of the Mother- November 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Evocation of the Mother- November 2011
by Ivy

Bright mother moon,

Hung high among the treetops,

You shine through the cold November sky,

You are the mother.

Your breath is the crisp wind tearing leaves from their branches,

Scattering them onto your body, the earth,

You are the goddess.

As you illuminate the path on which we walk,

We ask that you be present in our circle this night,

You are who we honor.

Embrace us with your arms of protection,

Return to us the love we offer to you,

Guide us on the path, chosen by our will,

And be here with us this night.

Observing Our Environment Between the Sabbats

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Observing Our Environment Between the Sabbats
by Beth

Living in Southern California we have a much less of change of seasons than our ancestors. Pagans from the earliest times have celebrated the changes of the seasons from the new year to the new harvest to the frost. We also celebrate the sabbats and create a celebration to honor the changes, but how can we increase our ability to be in the flow of the earth’s cycle?

Starhawk talks about the 9 ways of observing in her book The Earth Path. She was inspired by the permaculture movement in particular Bill Mollison who refers to permaculture as “ a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Permaculture lends itself well to the all encompassing earth tenets of the pagan traditions. They both in turn can inspire us to simply take notice and live within instead on top of our environment.

1. I wonder – What makes the sky bluer today than it was yesterday? Why was it cloudy tonight? Why does the moss grow on that side of the tree?
2. Observing Energy – What creates energy? Where is it coming from?
3. Observing Flow – Where does our water come from? Where does it end up?
4. Observing Communities – What makes certain flowers thrive well together? How do the bees interact with the flowers
5. Observing Patterns – From the spider webs to the tree branches to the bark on the trees, how do these patterns interact with each other in our environment?
6. Observing Edges – Where do things end? Where do they begin?
7. Observing Limits - Is there something lacking? Where is the end? Is it then end of our yard? Is it the park nearby? Where the limits in our personal environment.
8. Observing from Stillness - Sit still and see what you can observe. What can you hear? What is right in front of you that you never noticed?
9. Observing Past & Future – How did the trees look 6 months ago? How do they look today and what will they look like 6 months from now?

If we all take the time, even if it’s one observation a day or all 9 once a week to really focus on what is going on in nature or even in our own homes, we will become more a part of our environment and in tune with the changes that are going on with our own seasons.

Samhain 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011
We held our Samhain ritual last weekend, where we ended a cycle, honored our ancestors, and were cleansed for the new year. The time between Samhain and Yule is a time of rest- some call it "Witches Rest." It's the time for us to hunker down- the calm before the storm that is Winter. Although, most of us are not resting, as we shop for holiday gifts, or get to work on homemade gifts.

Here are a few photos from our Samhain celebration! We were blessed with the presence of three of our Shadow Sisters for our Samhain circle!

Our ancestor altar, before we added our ancestor's photos and candles.

Our ancestor altar, lit.

What our ancestor altar looked like- taken with flash.

Our ritual altar, before the rest of our accouterments were added.

Fire of Transformation!

Pre-ritual preparation.


Our ritual altar, post ritual.

Potluck Feast!

We had roasted veggies, red potatoes, cheese potatoes, black bean and sweet potato tacos, vegan meatballs in some awesome tasting green sauce, edamame salad, vegan chicken and dumplings, and quinoa (I think?), and Beth made amaretto doughnuts for our cakes (and dessert). Prior to ritual, we had bread, goat cheese, mushrooms, and veggies. We know how to feast.