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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I've Replaced "Mabon"  with "Harvest Home"

Yes, I am a Wiccan and I am a staunch advocate for the Wheel of the Year. I have been known to sing the praise-songs for that elegant crucible by waving my hands in the air and intoning--two Solstices, two Equinoxes and in-between there is a time to plant, a time to tend, a time to harvest, a time to rest!

Some of you have seen this explanation--I hope this hasn't been too triggering.

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the Harvest Home altar at Mother Grove Goddess Temple's public ritual

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I Have Been So Long Away

Summertime...and yet the living is not but so easy.

My rich and full life has kept me away from here for a good part of the summer. I'm not just a village witch, you know. I'm a gardener and canner, and this summer we expanded one of the community gardens and brought another one "online" in my neighborhood.

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Drinking Cider on a Steeleye Span Night

I have been writing like a maniac and have much writing ahead of me tonight and tomorrow.  But tonight I have kissed the final sunset of July good-bye, I have facilitated a Full Moon ritual at Mother Grove Goddess Temple and I am now listening to Steeleye Span.

Lured thither by a search for John Barleycorn, I have settled onto "Now We are Six" and am drinking hard cider from last season's harvest.  I have considered my options for the evening--finishing two pieces that are due tomorrow, washing the dishes, tidying up and printing tomorrow's ceremony for our public ritual or drinking cider and singing Steeleye Span.

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We Are Charleston

Often it is painful for me to attend a ceremony in a Christian church. I don't feel safe most of the time and rarely feel included. Certainly there are some notable exceptions to this, but it is too often true. Today at noon, at the AME church in downtown Asheville, there was a service to honor the people who were killed at "Mother" Emanuel AME in Charleston.

I told myself this morning that my attendance--my considered presence--at the noon service was something I needed and representing them was something my community needed. So I sat with an extraordinary group of colleagues in the choir pews at St James AME, Episcopalians, UUs, Baptists. And I looked out over the anguished faces of friends who had brought their grief and fear to this service, to sit with others in the pain and wonder of what had happened.

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The Other Great Hinge

 

 I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2. 1

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Thank you for this. Love the photos, too. And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go seek some dewdrops here And hang a pearl in eve
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Of course you must.

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Size Matters

The Pagan Unity Festival was about ten days ago and I had the honor and the pleasure to teach some classes there this year. I've taught at this festival for several years and the people who attend the workshops are attentive and curious--what teacher could ask for more?  I taught a class on Basic Practical Magic, another on Healing Magic and a late night session on banework.

Before we went out to the CCC-built state park that houses the festival, my friend Star and I went to the Parthenon.  I'd been there a couple of times before and always enjoy the thrill of it all--the Parthenon in Nashville. It's also fun to watch the other visitors' reactions to the Grey-Eyed Protector of ancient Athens.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Have you seen it, Elizabeth? If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend it. Obviously.
  • Elizabeth Kleine
    Elizabeth Kleine says #
    I could not possibly agree more.

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