Wednesday, October 31, 2012

blessings to you all this samhain

royalty free photo
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
May your loved ones, both ancestor and alive be with you to celebrate this sacred time! Warm hearts & hearths to all of you dear readers!


Aymi & Laurel

Monday, October 22, 2012

raising kids with religion

There is a post over at the Gaelic Folkway blog that inspired me to write a wee bit on this topic. The post is entitled Should Your Raise Your Kids in Your Religion? and is authored by Éireann. I have some pretty strong opinions on this {there is a theme here, eh?}, but I am probably not the most qualified to talk about this as I do not have any children myself. Although the better half and I did discuss this at great length when we were trying to have kids and I was raised for a time in a household of rigid religious dogma that was damaging. 

I suppose it would be fair to say that the way I view raising kids with religion would match what Éireann would describe as "liberal"; I do think that children should be given the freedom to decide for themselves what they believe, and this is probably best achieved by exposure to different belief systems and open dialogue. I also think that they should be able to decide if they wish to participate in any religious or spiritual activities and traditions. Probably the most important thing is that children should definitely be taught to respect other faiths and exposed to science and secularism. This would of course include respecting the rights of those who decide to be atheist and base their worldviews strictly on science.

The point of their post was to critique this liberal approach to the subject, and while there are quite a few things that I fundamentally disagree with, I do think that the critiques were thoughtfully delivered. And perhaps because we do share a similar faith, there are many things I also agree with.

No doubt parents/guardians will influence the children under their care, so certainly they have a responsibility to not only their kids, but to society in general. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more parents & guardians were instilling critical thinking, respect, and acceptance in the people who will be running things in the near future? Unfortunately I don't see that to be the case for many people who are raising kids in many of the more popular religions, and I certainly can relate to this from when I was growing up.

We owe it to kids to have a healthy view of themselves and their fellow humans, as well as the environment and all the other creatures who dwell on this planet.

Anyhow, please do feel free to add your own two cents if you like and if interested, you should give not only the post by Éireann a read, but the whole blog as well. Some great stuff over there!



Edit: Éireann has expanded on her position in regards to this topic which I wanted to add part of it here {it can be seen in full in the comment section} so there are no misconceptions on her position. 

"I noticed you wrote that you feel that kids should be free to choose what they believe. I wanted to clarify that I in no way feel anyone can -dictate- to another -what to believe-; -belief- is internal and personal and cannot be put upon another; it is impossible. So I want to be clear that I am not advocating for that." 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

speed dating for farm folk

'cause we all need a little romance! ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

lessons from the garden {unwelcome guests edition}

original image by travellinggirl2010

Just like every other gardening season that has gone by, I have learned a few more lessons from/in the garden, and this year's theme has been unwelcome guests. Some of these lessons are from my own experiences and others are from friends. I thought that I would share them with you dear readers, so you may avoid future these pains. ;)
  1. If you have a wild & witchy garden, it is probably a good idea not to have church ladies who happen to be formal garden aficionados over to visit during the growing season. They will try to exorcise you of the Devil, and exorcise your garden of weeds {read: anything that is not a peony, orchid or rose is fair game!} while you're inside getting drinks for everyone. 
  2. Don't invite over self-professed design snobs if your patio furniture textiles happen to not match your tomatoes {luckily this lesson was taught in a friend's garden; if the design snob had come over to my place, they probably would have fainted at the sight of our "patio furniture", which is just camping chairs!}.
  3. Light sensors and wielding gardening shears are good deterrents when dealing with drunken assholes who like to "water" your front garden after an evening at the local bar.
  4. "Piss-off" plants are a great way to keep neighbourhood kitties from using your garden as a litter box {recommended by a friend}.
  5. Earwigs are truly evil incarnate. This year they did a number on some of my young perennial plants and a whole bunch of my annuals. While I was a bit late, I found strategically placed traps {shallow containers with some water and a wee bit of olive oil} kept them under control.
  6. Fences are sometimes not enough to keep thieves and peeping toms out of your backyard. Having lots of thorny bushes and nettles where they are likely to hop over the fence will make them think twice next time. 
  7. And finally some advice from a friend {for fellow witchy folk}: having signage politely informing people that a witch resides at your place and that if people fuck with your garden, they may very well be blasted into next week. Apparently this has effectively kept the idiots who used to vandalize her garden on their best behaviour.
Have any tips or "unwelcome garden guests" stories? Feel free to share them in the comment section.



Saturday, October 6, 2012

some more witchy giveaways!

Howdy folks, I thought that I would share some more lovely giveaways that are happening right now. Nuno of the La Messe des Pâquerettes blog is having a Samhain giveaway. The winner will receive:
  • Incense of the Dead
  • Incense of Consecration
  • A string of rowan berries
  • A beeswax poppet
  • An extra wee surprise
To enter head on over to his blog or go to his Facebook page to express interest {only post on one of the places so there is not dual entries.} Entries need to be in by October 12, 2012.


Also having two different giveaways are my fellow Northern Ontario Pagans, Valerie & Renee of 2 Witches in a Box.

The first giveaway is a corn doll making contest, and the prize is a variety of mystery products from their upcoming apothecary shop {$40.00 value, potential items include herbs, gemstones, and bath products}. Entries need to be in by October 14th, 2012.

The second giveaway is going to a person who participates in voting for the corn doll contest winner. Voting begins on October 16th and runs until October 30th, 2012. The prize is a variety of mystery products from their upcoming apothecary shop {$20.00 value, potential items include herbs, gemstones, and bath products}.

For more information or to enter these contests, go check out the giveaway post on their blog.




Monday, October 1, 2012

vandana shiva on "violent agriculture"

A pretty great presentation by Vandana Shiva on "violent agriculture". Enjoy!
Part One:
  Part Two:
Part Three: