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Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival, and other gatherings.

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Piney Woods

I am elsewhere than my old mountain home and am revelling in walks within these piney woods. Pine stands smell and sound odd to my ears. There is a deep bed of old needles under my feet and the smell is close but clear.

The birds behave differently here, too, as do the squirrels. There doesn't seem to be much gathering going on--except for me gathering pine cones. These are large and perfect, suitable for all sorts of projects.

And the spirit of the land--or should I say the spirits of the land?--are different, too. Different Ancestors, different Cousins. We do an interesting dance of getting-to-know-you and it delights my senses.

A brief note tonight, friends, on the importance of touching base with the land, wherever you may be. It honors the place you are visiting and it honors your home place, too. If you are a person who leaves small offerings to your own Silent Kindred, you might consider doing the same when you visit.

Think of it as a special kind of "hostess gift".

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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