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

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Byron Ballard

Byron Ballard

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 info@myvillagewitch.com,

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Why I'm a Pagan

My local indie bookshop had one of these left in stock and they kindly held it for me. I ran up there in my garden clothes and damp do-rag because I was so excited to have this book in my hands. 

As soon as it was rung up and handed across the counter to me, I opened the cover, turned to the opening lines and saw---Lo! "Lo," I said aloud. "Interesting choice." I asked them if they needed any copies of my book ("Staubs and Ditchwater") and we agreed the 3 they have in stock will do until I get back from PSG. I declined a bag but got a bright bookmark.  Holding the book to my chest, I tip-tapped out the door and across the street to the car. I sat there for a moment, looking at the cover, then smelling the top of the book, as one does.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    It does seem ironic that a good Catholic man led so many folks to a Pagan world-view. But the Beowulf poet was much the same. The
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for this, Byron - I must order a copy immediately! Much of my Paganism, too, derives from long nights of steeping my bra

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
1914

I've written--earlier, here and elsewhere--about my father's experiences in North Africa and Europe during World War Two. If you've read Rick Atkinson's excellent books (beginning with "An Army at Dawn"), you have an idea of how hard and frightening and wild that whole campaign was. My dad almost died a couple of times but still came home from war full of tales of adventure--a country boy in the ancient homelands. My mother would leave the room when he geared up for another story about Italy and German soldiers and stolen champagne.

I never knew either of my biological grandfathers but my grandmother's second husband was, in every sense, my grandfather.  His war story is different.

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Nashville isn't only country music, you know

We're in town--and soon out into the country--for Pagan Unity Festival. I'll be teaching, vending and doing ritual out in a beautiful old state park. I'll to report throughout, depending on connections.

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I Couldn't Find my Black Lace Corset

...so I made a bright green underdress to go with my green ruanna and I constructed a fat new flower crown, too.  I'm the elder priestess at Mother Grove and the younger ones have given me a couple of public rituals with only a little bit to do and that has been a wonderful gift to me as my schedule gets complicated.

I was a smudger and Sabra anointed the revellers. We were in a new park this time--a really pretty one. The altar was set inside a ring of old trees, mostly oaks.  We had a good turnout with lots of familiar faces and several new ones, too.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Dew and The Flowers

"The time will come when the Lady will rouse herself from her dreaming. She'll be dressed for the May-Time with a crown of flowers and a gown of softest green. Her perfume will be the richness of the dark soil and the orchards. She'll bathe herself in the dews of May and reach out again to her people. And the people will remember."

The Burning Times

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Beltane..because I am weary of the other

The clergy team came together last weekend and plotted the Beltane ritual for Mother Grove Goddess Temple. We'll be in a new park this year--ah, new to us: it's a seasoned public park.

I've been pondering and writing about the Recent Awfulness with Klein and the Frosts over at my personal blog and I can't really manage to dredge up anything else about that that hasn't been said by a hundred other people who have far more Important and Serious things to say about it than I.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Dubious Balance

For most of us on the East Coast, this has been a long, wintry season to be sure. And I’m certain we are not done with weather yet, March having come in like a wee lamb. We are ready–more than ready!–for spring to arrive in the hills and the hollow places.

I follow a path that teaches me that spring arrives with the snowdrops, in the dark drear beginnings of February. I have learned that spring is still a terribly changeable beast and filled with chaos and longing. When I observe the Vernal Equinox, it will be as mid-spring–just as the Winter Solstice is mid-winter–and I will know I am halfway to Summer, at Beltane.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks, wild woman.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Just the words I needed to hear today.

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