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Bring Out Your Dead!  Bring Out Your Dead!

There's so much during this season that I find myself trying to find any lightness, any humor. Hence the title of this piece. We hardly need to bring them out, Python-style, when they are insistently demanding our attention as the nights grow like looming stalactites.

Tonight I want to write a bit about Ancestor altars.  Do you have one?  Do you leave it up, year-round, or put it up just after the Autumnal Equinox?  I've been asking colleagues which they prefer and it's about evenly divided.  For the record, I keep one up year-round because my root work is dependent on keeping my Ancestors in-the-know.  And also, happy.  I like some happy Ancestors, me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Byron - A great read. I build an altar, sometimes a few altars for my Beloved and Mighty Dead. I'll cook and eat foods tha
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks! I think the food thing is terribly important. And the liquor thing--at least for my Ancestors.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On eating a pear - a harvest prayer

It is harvest season and my Mabon altar features the bounty of my farmbox. Piles of fruit and vegetables arranged carefully around ritual tools with a sunflower bouquet in the center. I sit back to admire how beautifully balanced the altar looks - for about 10 minutes. That’s when my cats discover the changed altar and promptly invent a game of apple soccer, sweet potato rugby, and squash - played with real squash. The apple is round enough to roll gently, the scratches on the sweet potato don’t bother me, and the squash has thick skin so I let them have at it. But when my precious pomegranate gets unceremoniously dumped off the altar, bruising and bleeding red on my bedsheet, I draw the line and stage a rescue mission amidst sharp teeth and claws.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Title: I Am a Witch’s Cat
Publisher: HarperCollins
Author/Artist: Harriet Muncaster
Pages: 32 pp
Price: $15.99 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062229144

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Oct 6

Happy Monday, Beagle fans! Today's Airy Monday post includes news from space -- Hayley's comet, GRACE satellite shows water cycles, building blocks of life in a distant galaxy -- plus an academic Pagan conference calls for papers and a scholarly collection of sources on witchhunting history.

First up: news from SPACE! (How much more Airy can you get?) October's skies will light up with some extra excitement 10 days before Samhain, courtesy of Hayley's Comet. Get the details here.

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Dear Friends,

Effective immediately, please stop telling me to delegate.

Thanks so much.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Leaves_in_Oregon.jpgThis is my second fall in Oregon, and only the second "real" fall I've had in eight years.  Last year, after I first moved here, the sight of the leaves changing color and falling to the ground made me cry.  I knew I'd missed the big dramatic seasonal changes of New England, but didn't realize how much. Not experiencing "real" seasonal changes during my almost-seven years in SoCal (beyond rainy and really hot) really messed with my head, and contributed to my general sense of feeling out of place there.  In a way, my life reflected that - I was stuck, and like much of the flora that is naturally suited for New England or the Pacific Northwest but not SoCal, I wasn't thriving there.  I was perpetually dry, burned to a crisp.

When I moved here, it wasn't just that the beauty of fall foliage nourished my soul.  I really like rain. (Which is good, because we have an abundance of that up here.)  But even above and beyond that... it was like an internal clock that had stopped ticking, started ticking again.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Welcome "home." (Even though you never lived here before. In this life, anyway.) I lived in an amazing place in Northern Californi
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Thank you! Western Oregon has amazing energy, especially the coast. Words do not even properly do justice to how I feel about th
Pagan savings challenge, week forty:  I need a bigger basket

This money sure does start adding up quickly, doesn't it?

Yes, but not all is rosy sunshine when you're diverting a greater and greater amount of money to savings each week.  I really need to talk about sacrifice more, but not today.  Gotta earn some money to save next week!

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