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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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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Leaving the Bhrat in the Yard

I'm one of the facilitators for a day-long Brigid retreat on Saturday and am priestessing our Mother Grove public ritual that night.  What that means in practical terms is that my car is full of boxes and cloutie trees, and the dining room table is also covered with material for one thing or the other.

Have you been spending the week getting ready for this lovely holy day, those of you who honor it?  Have you cleared and reset your altar?  Put some oats and whiskey out for Bride and her white cow?

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Turning to the East

I've been wearing a little necklace since sometime in October--a pendant that looks like the cover of the Chalice Well in Glastonbury. A charm really, and each time I caught my reflection in the mirror and saw it, I'd tap it with my forefinger in the same way as you'd set a glamour. "Pick me," I'd say to myself. "Pick me."

I got word today that they did indeed pick me and I'll be at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference in late July and will do a workshop of deep grounding techniques.  It's an honor, of course, but it also means I get to be in Glastonbury again, this time in the summer.

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Imbolc, with the Littles

As you may have gathered from my recent post, I rather love the upcoming holy day and the Divine whom it honors. I want to share with you some of the fun Brigid things we did as my daughter was growing up.  Some of it is old lore made fresh, some of it is new.  I don't know the difference any more--it is all so deeply ingrained in my knowings around this coming of Spring.  I shan't give you sources for what I do, except that I do them and have done them for many years.

Imbolc is a wonderful time for children and there are many ways for the Littles to be involved.  On the night before Imbolc begins (which we celebrate as a three-day festival), Brigid travels the wide World, accompanied by a Cow.  She brings blessings to children and to pregnant women and She has many places to visit.  Those good children who love Bridey know that before bedtime they need to do three important things.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    She's extraordinary...so many tales are attributed to Her, so many wonderful traditions. I also use the time of Imbolc in its gui
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    I have recently began reading the book "Candlemas, Feast of the Flames" by Amber K, and Azrael Arynn K. Have you read this book?
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    Wow, those are wonderful traditions to share with little ones. I will definitely have to incorparate some of those into my own tra

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Your Own Personal Brighid

Yeah, now I have an earworm of Johnny Cash's cover of that song...but I digress.

Imbolc feels as though it is only moments away, rushing down from the treetops here in the dripping southern mountains.  We love Brighid around these parts.  We do a public ritual to honor Her day.  Years ago--a decade maybe?--we dedicated an old stone spring house and its spring to Her.  Several local priestesses are dedicated to Her and Her crafty self. And we have the ink to prove it.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you for those kind words. Are you a Brighid fan?
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    I honestly don't know much about Bride but I feel drawn to her. I hope to learn more about her during this season especially with
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    I really enjoyed this entry. Its always nice to learn more about traditions surrounding Imbolc, especially those involving Bride.

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Gold and Red..Imbolc is Coming

We spent part of the afternoon at Mother Grove rearranging the entry room--a tiny space I call the "lounge." We moved the coffee-and-tea tables onto another wall and covered them in some plain black fabric. Looks sleek and modern.

Since there were several of us playing interior designer, a couple of us started stripping the main altar and replacing tealights on the other three.  The Ancestors had been exiled in their niche, covered with a black lace veil with no candles or wine or treats and it was also time to open up their area and fill their goblet and out a little something sweet on their plate.

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All's Well that Ends

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant today. We had a fun waiter with whom I conversed about chopsticks (we had brought our own, as we usually do). When we left the table, he wished us a happy New Year and we responded in kind.

And then I laughed.  Because it's likely that neither of us actually celebrate tonight as the start of a new year. O, yes, culturally-speaking, everyone celebrates today as "New Year's Eve."  But the reality is that I celebrate the new year at the beginning of November and again at the Winter Solstice.  And he will celebrate the lunar new year in several weeks.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    If you are going to start from scratch, do so with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, 2005.) Completely yummy, that one, and
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thanks for that, Anne. I watched Dr. Who once or twice long, long ago, and remember thinking it was dreadful, though I've always b
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Dr. Who is an acquired taste, if you aren't a natural nerd you probably won't enjoy it. I'm an on-again off-again fan myself. But
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Anne, you are absolutely right. I have managed to avoid Dr. Who for many years now. I suppose I'll have to break down and watch it
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Diotima, you need to bone up on your nerd credentials. That's Doctor Who's conveyance, the Tardis. (Just ribbin' ya!)

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