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,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Woad Warrior, redux

This was originally published in the Mountain Xpress way back in 2000.  I was looking at my woad yesterday and thinking about the best time to harvest the leaves for dye and thought of this piece.  So I'm sharing it with you, as we in the Northern hemi prepare for Beltane. Some things have changed in my world since then--but the challenge remains the same.  Hope you enjoy it!

Serving as a high priestess is a hard job. "The toughest job you'll ever love" may apply to military service, but it could just as easily be found in a Pagan-clergy handbook -- if there were such a thing.

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Why Pagans Need a "Passover Seder" of Our Own

You know by now that I do (and advocate you doing) interfaith work. It isn't easy and sometimes it isn't even rewarding but it's important for people like me to be at the table with other religious folk for any number of reasons.  But this post isn't about that.

Because I do the aforementioned interfaith work, a rabbi buddy of mine invited me to his family Passover seder a couple of years ago. When I asked what I should bring, he suggested flowers or kosher wine. I had never heard of kosher wine but there's rather a lot of choices out there. I brought both.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    I'm considering writing a Pagan Hagaddah. Kate Laity is, too. Who knows? I think it would be very good for us.
  • Joseph Merlin Nichter
    Joseph Merlin Nichter says #
    I love this post. We have our own "Seder" within our tradition, but we need one for the whole of Paganism. Now more than ever.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sometimes I Think We Talk Too Much

and sometimes I think we don't talk enough. 

Quandary.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    It's a tribute to the health of these spiritual systems that we can change and move--I only wish we didn't leave so much behind.
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    I should perhaps also note that I'm writing from a Scandinavian perspective. I think the movements have changed in their own ways
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    Well said. When I first started on my path almost a decade ago, I remember that eclecticism was the Big Thing. In the forums I fre

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
As March 17 approaches--green or orange?

For years I’ve struggled with St. Patrick’s Day.  No, not the drinking and eating--no struggle there.  But I learned years ago that you wear green on St. Patrick’s day if you’re Catholic and orange (for William of Orange--see the Battle of the Boyne for more info) if you’re Protestant.

I wear a lot of green (and black, to be honest), most of the time.  But I am hardly Catholic.  And though I’ve threatened to pre-order an orange jumpsuit for Gitmo, I wouldn’t do the Prod thing either.

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The Raven Himself is Hoarse

I'm doing a rather brisk business in tarot readings and counseling of late. Not complaining, you understand. I love reading cards and have been doing it since I was about 12. There are few things more satisfying than offering a client a different way of viewing a situation through the lens of these colorful tools.

For many months now, there are cards that regularly show up for everyone. I'm tempted sometimes to take them out of the deck and try a reading that way but I suspect other cards would join together to give the same reading.  As they do.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Pagans' Night Out is a simple concept really--Pagans from all sorts of traditions and non-traditions and folks who don't call themselves "pagan" for all sorts of reasons--get together in a public space for networking, conversation and, usually, beer.

Do you do that in your community? We've been doing it here in Asheville for many years--organized by CERES (Coalition of Earth Religions for Education and Support), a 501c3 faith-based Pagan charity.

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Inanna Called Her Home

There used to be this odd thing at funerals here in the South.  There were these big floral arrangements, often with artificial flowers in bright cheery colors, and wired to the center was a toy princess phone.  There were words on the arrangement:

Jesus Called Her Home

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