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,

When I return from travelling, I like to unpack everything, start the laundry, put away the toiletries--even if I'm too tired to think about very much.  We took the red-eye from San Jose on Monday night, stopping in Atlanta, arriving at Greenville/Spartanburg airport on Tuesday morning, bleary, weary.

Pantheacon is very big. There are many people. It's a decent hotel. There's some shopping, and a sushi bar.

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This year is a travelling one for me and it begins tomorrow, very early in the morning. My big green bag is packed--including snacks!--and I have a small carry-on and have taken my pocket knife out of my purse.

I'm going to Pantheacon for the first time and that sets off a year of going hither and yon. But first yon.

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  • Piper
    Piper says #
    Yes you will, Willful Bane was already on my Schedule, more of an Ozark boy, but ...be well and have a great time

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It has been a doozy so far, at least in my part of the great world. I'm generally a cock-eyed optimist during Mercury retrograde, using the time to catch up on already-begun projects, getting extra sleep and the like.  This one, however, has kept me on my toes.

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We had three inches of rain overnight earlier this week.  I know because I have a new rain gauge and the weather was warm enough for me to linger at the gate of  the kitchen garden.  A couple of days later I went by the temple to pick up a box of food from the food pantry, a box that was being delivered along with baby clothes to a young couple in the neighboring county. When I opened the door, the carpet was squishy as I stepped in.

Our chapel and offices are in an old hospital building and we've been flooded before. Something about the old French drains and the site of the building at the downhill end of a parking lot. The landlords were called and they sent in a crew with vacuums and heaters and dehumidifiers.  We moved everything into the tiny chapel and left both the heat and the AC on.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Ah, blessings on your walls and halls, floors and doors, old carpets and well used drains -

My continued exploration of homeliness*  must also embrace this season of lengthening dark. At Mother Grove Goddess Temple this morning, the priestess led us in an exploration of this dark time and the importance of sitting in it, being in it, learning from it. In the guided meditation, I saw the remaining days in this intense agricultural year stretch before me like a long hallway. Or better—one of those collapsible spy-glasses that grew more dense as it stretched toward the Solstice.

 In my spiritual tradition, we cheerfully refer to the months after the Green (Summer) Solstice as the Time of the Long Dying, and particular attention is paid to the few weeks after Samhain, the final Harvest. These are the weeks, the hours of the deepening dark, when messages from the unseen people are lessening in frequency but more potent, more desperate for a hearing.

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I am a morning person at heart. I wake easily and love the stirrings of life waking up, as well as the stirrings of life going to bed for the daylight time.

The sky here is dark, promising rain later today or maybe tomorrow. There may still be time to plant some more spinach. Maybe.

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  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thank you for your commitment to the work.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    And some folks aren't temperamentally capable of not hermitting and regrouping. We have the opportunity to play to all our strengt
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Good reminders. I do have a tendency to withdraw, but always the work brings me back to the need to participate. My gift is words:

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