Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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Colleen DuVall

Colleen DuVall

Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (http://shepherdexpress.com/blogs-1-1-1-61.html), and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.

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It's a Merry May Flower Moon

 

As noted by Cole Prots of W Magazine, this past New Moon on the 7th/8th, was one of the “luckiest New Moons of the year.” I would highly concur with that statement. I must give a huge shout-out to my fellow creative team, superstar cast, and incredibly talented musicians, who helped make the musical I co-wrote the book for, “Shining in Misery: A King-Size Parody,” an amazing success at the special concert performance at 54 Below in NYC. We were graced with the presence of renowned writers and Tony-Award Winners David Malloy and Lin-Manuel Miranda, applauded by a thoroughly entertained audience, and written up extremely favorably, particularly by Nathan Johnson at Broadway World. Here’s a small glimpse of our incredible night:

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Something to Howl About

 Earth Day is here, and in many globally conscientious folks’ minds out there, every day should really be dedicated to Mother Earth and treating her well. Even if you hadn’t had time over the weekend to participate in a riverside cleanup or other related project, simply getting outside, going for a walk, and picking up a piece of trash to deposit in its proper receptacle, is one small act of kindness that does make a difference that you can perform. I’d also add chatting up a neighborhood squirrel or robin, just for the heck of it. These suggestions are actually brought up in a lovely part two of a conversation with my podcast guest, Stacy Schuerman, on the latest episode of Women Who Howl at the Moon.

 You’ll notice that Women Who Howl has its own SoundCloud page now, for newer episodes from 2024. This is part of a transition phase, where all new episodes will be moving to Podbean, and in turn, becoming more readily available to folks on Spotify and iTunes, broadening our podcast audience. The older archived episodes will still all live at “Scenes From a Soundtrack,” SoundCloud page, for your listening pleasure. Stacy is a psychic, medium, and spiritualist who is always a pleasure to listen to. Be sure to check out her episode. You can find out more about Stacy at: https://www.spiritualiststacy.com/

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A New Spring Beginning

The Spring Equinox/Ostara is all about new beginnings and resetting our internal clocks. Now is the time for forging new paths, trying new things, tackling new projects, perhaps even starting a new career. With bold, energetic Aries on our side on the same day, this makes it the ideal time for any and all of these endeavors. The sun in Aries can help us tap into newfound courage and bravery to undertake things that we might normally shy away from. We all could use a little extra hope and hutzpah right now, so tune into this and utilize it to your benefit.

Spring Things To Do

Besides setting out some pretty yellow fresh daffodils on your altar, and hard-boiling some eggs to peel and eat contemplatively, think of other activities you could partake in that would speak of spring to you. Nature hikes are always great, no matter what the weather happens to be up to. Just remember some good hiking boots or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, as things tend to be wet this time of year, no matter where you reside! Spring cleaning and clearing the clutter from our closets and our minds is never a  bad endeavor, and clean slates restore peace and calm on both fronts. Speaking of which, I really need to get on this work desk area organizing project I’ve had on the backburner for far too long.

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The Repetition of February

It’s Imbolc again, or Groundhog Day, if you will. Thinking of the latter, I’m reminded of the clever Bill Murray movie. Also realizing that February itself can make one feel like they’re trapped in an endless time loop of drudgery–repeating the same thing day in and day out, ad nauseum. February might be the shortest month, but it can be a tough one to get through, especially if you don’t have anything to look forward to. Grey days with not enough sun, especially in the Midwest–we’ve all been there. I have things to look forward to this year, many in fact. I must remind myself of them repeatedly as I inch ever closer to spring and the best month ever, March. OK, it’s my Birthday month, but that’s beside the point. That’s when spring is officially sprung, and the real thaw and signs of life begin. Along with new hope, new beginnings, new ideas. All of which, I have a boatload of this year. I just have to be patient and see what takes hold and what falls away. I know intellectually that it’s a good practice to let go of things, materially and otherwise. It’s just the figuring out of when to wave the white flag officially, that perplexes me somewhat. I’m stubborn and a fighter, so sometimes “giving up” doesn’t come quite naturally to me. Perhaps some of you can relate?

 Imbolc Rituals

This Imbolc, perhaps we could all stand some extra moments of quiet reflection to truly meditate on what to let fall away from our lives. What no longer serves us, what doesn’t fit, what cherished piece of clothing has grown so many holes it needs to be repurposed as a cleaning rag. Just needed to interject a bit of levity there. I think that’s another thing to keep in mind this February, the longest and shortest month. Keep some laughter in your life. Don’t take things too seriously, and let stuff roll off your back whenever possible. They say it’s the best medicine, and they’re not wrong. Think of Bill Murray in that movie, when he learns to find joy and take delight in the simplest pleasures, where once he only found monotony and annoyance.

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Let's All Howl Together

On this eve of the Full Wolf (Cold) Moon, I'm somehow feeling both very contemplative and fired-up at the same time. Must be the wolves calling to me. As I'd mentioned in my recent Patreon moon phases update to my patrons this month, this is the season when the canines get frisky. The wolves traditionally begin their mating season at the end of January into March, and according to the Farmer's Almanac, it is at this time you will most likely hear their beautiful, lonely howls. They are also often on the hunt in the cold of winter.

Of Wolves and Lions

Besides this moon phase having to do with wolves, big cats are also involved, as the Full Moon has moved into the sign of Leo the Lion. This signifies a desire to fully embrace your baddest, boldest self. Feel free to ignore any insecurities or hang-ups that might otherwise get in your way. The time is right to set your goals, follow through, and let your heart lead you where you need to go.

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Winter Solstice Reflections Free Form

So here's the thing. I'm feeling a million different thoughts and emotions right now, and I'd really like to let them go and let them flow. This is the time of year for that sort of thing, right? Here it goes. I long for peace. On earth and in my life. In all my relations and dealings with people. I know this isn't always possible. Some folks want to remain combative no matter what, at all costs. It costs a lot if you hold on to that and carry it around with you. It just shouldn't be that hard to maintain peaceful relations with your fellow human beings on a daily basis. The struggle is real, you know? I realize all too well that there are several motivating factors that have led to this peaceful possibility being more difficult at this point and time. I can still wish, and hope, and strive to be peaceful and project that, regardless. I choose to do that.

I long for people to be kinder and gentler with each other. Stop fighting, stop competing, stop backstabbing, stop the negativity, already! There's way too much of it out there, but that doesn't mean we all have to jump on the cray-cray train. Live and let live, I say. When I say that, I mean let me be me, too. If I give you respect, I have every right to expect it in turn. You can take the high road, but it's also high time to stand up for ourselves when someone crosses a line. Let's speak our truths in a strong and intelligent way.

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Ravens and Wolves Under the Full Moon

Today’s Full Monday Moon on the 27th is known as the Beaver Moon or the Mourning Moon. It’s true the holidays aren’t always a barrel of laughs for everyone, and in fact can stir up old resentments and new stressors. You could consider or feel the need to make this a time of hibernating and healing if that sounds healthier for you. Are there any social obligations you can skip? Any family rituals that you’ve outgrown? Perhaps it’s time to create some new traditions of your own with you second “family” network of close and trusted friends. Or just keep it simple with your significant other. As Diana Rajchel points out in this year’s Llewellyn Witches’ Datebook, “forced jollity” might not be the way to go for you at this time. Ask yourself instead if what you need is some self-care and self-love right now. Ask this Full Moon for some added protection as well, so old wounds aren’t reopened again. Because Goddess knows, there are some unhappy souls who will always test your boundaries around this time of year.

What Do We Like to Howl About?

Laury Christian Post, our latest “Women Who Howl at the Moon,” podcast guest was a very welcome addition to the show. She has her own cleverly named studio, Ravenrock Healing Arts, in Hartland, and has many nurturing services to offer, including reiki, pilates, and a unique healing through arts class. Be sure to listen to this episode to find out about unlikely friendships between ravens and wolves, being open to possibilities, and her special village holiday event this December 1st.

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