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Broth from the Cauldron

‘Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.’
–William Shakespeare
 

After my grandmother died, my mother found a small notebook in which Arbie had written down all my cute ‘sayings’ when I was a child first learning how to talk. The first sentence it recorded was; “I want to be a Witch someday. Not Tuesday.”

As I was then a twenty-eight year old Witch whose coven meetings were held on Tuesdays, I burst into laughter. I read through the little notebook and saw—to my amazement—that every other sentence was about Witches. How does a child between the ages [...]

Another Fine Year at The Witch Hatchery

At this time of year, with a mix of sorrow and satisfaction, I murmur to myself, “Well, it’s been another fine year at the Witch Hatchery.”

This means my last year’s apprentices, in this case the elegantly named Betwixtian Frog Queens, are ready to take wing (broom) and fly.  I will miss them terribly, yet already a new group of apprentices is coalescing and the cauldron is beginning to simmer once more.

While teaching independent minded Witches and Pagans can best be likened to herding cats, I’ll take cats over sheep any day.  Each group–the next one will be my twenty-second–has [...]

The War on Halloween

Time humor columnist Joel Stein interviewed me about ‘The War on Halloween’ for his column this week in Time magazine.  The result is charming and hilarious. You can pick up a copy (Nov. 4th with Prince Charles on the cover) or keep on reading:

Dizzyland

Dizzyland
‘Dizzyland’ is what my brother and sister called it, perhaps believing that it was named for the effect produced by the tea-cups ride.  My child-self secretly believed that Disneyland was the first level of heaven; I had recurrent dreams that one could break through into other levels of heaven if one found a way past certain boundaries into hidden entries—my dreams had me threading through low-cut mazes of topiary into a rabbit hole, or slipping past a heavy red-velvet curtain and through a mysterious crystal-knobbed doorway, popping out into ethereal realms.  But always, Disneyland was the entry point.  [...]

Hellfire and Carnation

Hellfire and Carnation
“The kids want to know what church we go to,” I complained to my parents.  We had just moved from Los Angeles, where the angels are, as the name implies, well and truly lost, to a church laden suburb of Rochester, New York called Chili, which the natives pronounced with two long i’s apparently unaware of its namesake in South America.  Frogs were frogs with a long o and dogs were dogs with an equally long o.  Nonetheless, I had started high school and was at the mercy of these provincial little fools.  That the second [...]

Jungles of the Amazon

Jungles of the Amazon
Ignoring the fact that her eldest daughter was swinging through the trees hollering like Tarzan and flying from rooftop to rooftop at the school pretending to be Peter Pan, my mother focused her homophobic anxieties on my brother. Girls could be tomboys—the world would crush that uppityness out of them soon enough—but the slightest sign of softness in a boy child spooked mothers in the 1950’s worse than the sudden appearance of a cougar would panic cattle.

“When do I have to stop kissing him?” Mother sadly asked a friend of hers who had four sons.

“When [...]

Tortilla Rhymes with Chinchilla

Tortilla Rhymes with Chinchilla
One might expect that a school in a town called Chili, pronounced with two long ‘i’s’, chai-lie, the local schools might be a little substandard.  I had come from a Junior High in Manhattan Beach where the local drug dealer parked his car across from the playground and did brisk business with students throughout the day, a school where I was routinely beaten up for my lunch money by kids looking to procure the pusher’s wares until I started bringing a sack lunch every day and hiding a couple of quarters for ice cream in [...]

Japanese Shamanism: Ancient and Alive

Japanese Shamanism: Ancient and Alive
by Cerridwen Fallingstar
“The Queendom of Wa is ruled entirely by sorceresses.”  This assertion by a 3rd century Chinese document is the first written record referring to Japan.  Of course, every culture, world-wide, has arisen and evolved from its own Pagan-magical spiritual traditions.  But unique among modern industrialized countries, Japan has kept its original Shamanic tradition, Shinto, as its dominant religion.
Shinto comes from the Chinese words ‘shen’ meaning deity, and ‘tao’ meaning path or way.  In Japan, it is referred to as ‘kami-no-michi’, the way of the kami.  Kami means deity, but it [...]

Inari; Power of The Fox

INARI; POWER OF THE FOX
–Cerridwen Fallingstar
“Foxy Lady!”…Jimi Hendrix
“I am the fox.  You may not always see me.  But I always see you.”…Z. Demers, at age 9.

The fox materialized out of the pine trees and mist and stared at us.  We stared back, mesmerized at its ghostly form.  A swath of mist swirled between us and the fox and the fox…evaporated.  Our experience in Yosemite with a fox was not an unusual sort of encounter with this elusive, mysterious creature, which is why the fox represents sorcery in many cultures.
In Japan, the fox is messenger, totemic [...]

EMBRACING THE CRONE

Women, Aging, Wisdom and Power
A Day-long Workshop and Ritual for Women
With Cerridwen Fallingstar

Sat, Feb. 8th, 2014, 10am to 7pm
$60-$90 sliding scale
Workshop location in San Geronimo to be announced.
(Introductory evening for both men and women – Fri, Feb.7th, 7-9pm – $20)
San Geronimo Valley Community Center, 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Geronimo, CA 94963
In our culture, most women fear growing/looking old more than they fear death. For a woman to age—and therefore to come into her true power, to distill to her deepest essence—is taboo in our modern world.

But in earth-centered cultures, elder [...]