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,
Extraordinary Creeping Paganism...we need more creep in the Old North State

Bless you, Ms. Trotta. It is such a lovely usable phrase.

Thought I'd check in and let you all know we're grounding, centering, focusing our wills down here in the sinking ship that is North Carolina. We know the country is watching us, wondering how much farther we can fall.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

instead of writing.

Obviously.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    It's like the proverbial barrel of crabs; no community will get anywhere if all they do is pull down anyone who dares to try to cl
  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    Like members of any large, extended family, we can't help sometimes but look askance at one another and mutter "am I really relate
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Funny lady.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    It does, indeed, feel like labor sometimes. And that comes from my perspective as a three-times homebirthing mother of three sons.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    We are basing our proposal on the patterns of other successful, civilized online communities. (I'd be happy to share our sources w

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
"Because There is No Veil..."

Several weeks ago, I was honored to help a team of folks create funerary rites for a recently-deceased member of our community. The primary facilitator lives several states away and we spoke over the phone a few days before he was scheduled to arrive for the memorial.

He and I are in different traditions and it was helpful to hear how they do things and to figure out the best way for me to contribute, to help. He told me early in the conversation that the intention for the ritual was to dance the deceased through the Veil--something that might be tricky so far from Samhain. It was to be a joyous celebration with song and poetry and drumming. I offered to help with the drumming (I play a big frame drum) and we chatted a bit longer about the general shape of the rite.

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  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    "But the Ancestors haven't been apart from us here in years. You have only to sit in a quiet place and you begin to hear their mur

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Memorare

I have a picture of my dad from the 1940s, looking pretty cocky. He went into the Army when he was 19 and they sent him to North Africa, Sicily and then into Italy. Somehow he also got to France, where he drank champagne for the first time.

So, I'm thinking of him on Memorial Day. And of my Gaga, my step-grandfather, who was gassed in France during WWI and never really recovered. And of my maternal grandfather Bill Boyd who was a sailor during WWI. I have a photo of my grandmother wearing his sailor suit after the war.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you, Galina. And the same to yours. Blessings to you--both bright and shadowed.
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Beautiful, Byron. May all your ancestors be remembered, and your military dead honored on this day.
Walking Between the Worlds--Pagan Conference and Pagan Festival

This has been a busy time for your Village Witch...mostly because she keeps leaving the village and hitting the road.

I've only just returned from the Pagan Unity Festival in Burns, TN and am pondering the differences between festivals and conferences, since I was fortunate enough to be included in the Cherry Hill Conference several weeks ago.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Getting to California is such a pain from the East Coast--and not to mention expensive. But if I can ever manage that, I'd love to
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I love the conferences, too. In some ways some of the newer hotel-based Pagan gatherings combine some of the aspects of festival
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I love them both (well, mostly) but they are very different critters. Since my field is Appalachian folk magic, I have had some n
  • Freeman Presson
    Freeman Presson says #
    I used to go to festivals regularly, and may again; but I have frequent dreams of being at conferences, THAT is what would be "in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I am sitting here with my back to my home altar and the sun is beginning to shine in through the curtains. The birds are braying for attention and licit love, and the greening of the world from three days of good rain is a good sign that winter is mostly behind us for this turning of the Wheel.

We have come at last to the final hours of April, which is rightly called the cruelest month. This particular April has seemed about ninety days long--even with opera glasses and a proper squint, I can no longer see Fool's Day.

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    I appreciate how you weave in the spirit of rebellion. That's an aspect of May Day that also can be seen in the more explicitly po
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you--how kind. May Day and Beltane do have common roots. And I do mean "common."

I know, I know. I'm terribly far behind. There is some yummy Maywine steeping in the fridge and I have plans to unwind the ribbons so that the Maypole can be raised, danced and wrapped on Wednesday and then again on Saturday.  There's a sweet ritual organized for the respectful public and my flower crown is all plumped-up and lovely.

But...

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