Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

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

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Building Your Witchy Community, Even in a Solitary Time

This is the first time in fifteen years that I will not be able to host my beloved annual Winter Solstice Shindig and I must be frank: I’m bummed. However, that does not mean I won’t still enjoy a great meal with my constant companion, light a bunch of candles, meditate, and raise a glass of vino while reveling in my umpteenth viewing of the musical version of “Scrooge,” starring Albert Finney (available for free viewing on YouTube, BTW). Hands down, this version of Dickens’ classic tale of the old miser and his redemption features the best depiction of The Ghost of Christmas Present EVER. He is the living embodiment of the Holly King in my eyes, and man would I want to party with that guy– especially as depicted in the cheery ditty in the film, “I Like Life.” For more notions on a liberal Yuletide spirit, check these out.

Just because we may be feeling more cut off from our loved ones this year or may only be able to have virtual or limited contact with them, doesn’t mean those relationships are lessened, or any less important. As I learned during my conversation with our third “Women Who Howl at the Moon” guest, Anne Newkirk Niven, these bonds are more vital than ever now.

Speaking with the editor of SageWoman and Witches&Pagans was a delight. She shared that although her personal spiritual path has largely been solo, her connection with readers through Witches&Pagans magazine remains a rewarding source for community. After freelance writing for Anne and for several of her BBI Media publications since 2003 (Pangaia, Crone, this blog at Pagan Square), it was rewarding for me to hunker down and talk with her at length about her professional journey as a publisher and a witch.

“Pretty much my practice is the magazines…. As long as I am publishing, I think that will be my practice.”

The latest issue of Witches&Pagans is available here. I could feel her joy with her frequent warm and humorous laugh throughout our interview. Some of the things Anne suggested for getting the most out of this uniquely solitary Winter Solstice season were: reaching out to people to check in with them and talk with them regularly, maintaining connections with the people that you care about, trying to utilize positive media feeds, eating well and getting outside with some trees if you can for some exercise. Enjoying your animal companions and taking the time to “listen to a bird once a day,” were other recommendations. Her personal favorite is listening to the rain and what the Goddess Oshun has to say.

“Find a thing that feeds you,” advised Anne. For more comforting ideas on ritual and strengthening personal connections, listen to the rest of our podcast episode on SoundCloud.

Next month, tune in for our fourth installment of “Women Who Howl at the Moon,” where we join recent resident Virginian Artist Mary Domhan, and learn about her black cat art! Until next time, cherish your health and those who are dear to you, and look for the light shining at the end of this tunnel of 2020. It’s there. Peace.

 Wolf and Moon Gingerbread cookies baked and photographed by Colleen DuVall.


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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 (, 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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