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Author Archives: Erin

ErinAll about Erin - who has written 733 posts on Erin's Journal.

An author, a Wiccan, a Druid, a Priestess, a member of the ULC, Owner of Erin's Journal, mystic, magickian, DragonKin, Guardian and Transsexual. All these and more describe Erin.

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Well, chagrined is a good way to describe my feelings here.

If you have been to the Front Page of my site, you know that I’m going to the Real Witches Ball in October. To that end, I have been preparing things to take a long. I have my kilt and SCA costume, my class materials (many of which I have to buy there, handouts and Gatoraide), my staff and my robes and so on. I plan to be professional in this.

Well, I have been working on my ODU robes for a while now. The robes are done, but I didn’t have a Sewing Machine to allow for me to sew the stole and the trim on my robes. So I asked around at work to borrow one. And I was lent one for a very limited amount of time.

Got the stole done, and it looks GOOD too. This is after I had to make it twice since I had screwed up and used the ink pen to draw my designs and completely ruined it. So we bought more material and tried again.

A thought

Mary and I were talking in bed, our last interaction of the day, and the topic turned to some of the problems we have had and overcome in our life.

It tied into the movie “Serenity” in which the main character (Mal) is a lot darker and a lot more desperate. At one point during the movie he’s talking to his Second in Command about the bare fact that if they don’t get money they don’t fly and don’t eat. It’s a moving piece of cinema, setting up the rest of the movie.

Having been there and done that, I was moved to say this:

“It’s easy to have morals when your belly is full. It’s keeping those morals and living up to them when you are near starvation that is the true measure of a person.” — Daven

Good quote.

Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch

by Lora O’Brien
New Page Books, 2005, $14.99 US
ISBN 1-56414-759-2

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★★ 

I got this book because I had received the promotional materials from the publisher and this one looked to be interesting. So I asked for it and got it the day I was to leave for an event planned over Samhain weekend. So I stuck it in my bag, vowing to review it as I got the opportunity.

Well, it’s been long and hard, but I finally finished the book. Not because it’s bad, not because it’s highbrow, but because of the ideas explored in this book are weighty.

As a Celt (Scottish descent) and as a Druid who is trying to follow an Irish path, I appreciate that this book starts out with the idea that one cannot study Irish magick and Irish Witchcraft without studying Ireland itself. So much of the “Celtic” magickal groups out there think that if they say a few words in Gaelic and chant the Gods’ names that they are Celtic and this makes me very sad for the future of Pagan religion.

A new Rant

Okay, that’s it…

I’m am so sick of this whole “Do what feels right” thing. Applied to metaphysics, it’s suicidal. Applied to many areas of life, it’s insane to say the least.

Let me tell you about the “Do what feels right” mindset, it’s lazy. Yes, lazy. It is for those who don’t want to challenge their beliefs in any way shape or form.

I have watched this trend build over time, and the more I see it the more sickening it becomes.

Let’s look at some things: Eating sugar feels good. It tastes sweet, it is good for us, right? Wrong. Refined white sugar is one of the most prolific things out there and is a very subtle poison to the human body. It kills slowly and insidiously, and causes all kinds of problems before it does. Things like diabetes and hypoglocemia, obesity and heart problems. Have you looked at how many things you eat have sugar in them?

There are multiple examples of this principle. Sex, eating, doing drugs, LSD, drinking alcohol and others all feel good. But each and every one of them can kill you. Some you don’t even have to do to excess.

Love, Lifebonds and Lust

All of us want to find that enduring and unending love of our life. Every relationship we enter into has the possibility of being that “one true love.” So how do we know the difference between one type of affection and the other?

Before we go very far in this explanation we need to look at some definitions and also some ground rules to remember.

Love: The state in which another’s happiness is integral to your own happiness. (Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein)

Lifebond (The Heralds of Valdemar series, Mercedes Lackey): A love that is so transcendent as to make any lesser emotion seem insignificant. The two people in this state effectively become one person on a spiritual level, incapable of disagreement and complementing each other’s strengths and compensating for the other’s weaknesses. Many call this “Soul mates”.

Lust: The state in which the physical act of having sex is the most important thing. Many teens go through this state and stay there into their adulthood.

Samhain Sabbat

October 31

[Pronounced Sow-wane. The outer edge of the Circle may be decorated with flowers, branches, pinecones, small pumpkins, etc. There may also be flowers on the Altar. On the Altar rests the Priest’s Horned Helm. Erecting the Temple is performed in the normal manner. If the Full Moon is on Samhain, then it is performed before the Sabbat.]

Priestess: As Goddess-Summer draws to a close, So begin the dark months of the God-Winter. All praise to Freya and to Woden her consort.

All: All praise!

Priestess: [raising Seax] Gracious Goddess, we thank you
For the joys of summer;
For the crops, the harvest;
For life, for love
We love you, as we know you love us.
Return again next year, when your time is come.
When your companion-love, our Lord,
Has led us safely through the dark.
We love you and honor you.
Freya, most beautiful.

All: Love!

[Priestess sheathes her Seax and holds the Horned Helm high.]

Priestess: Here do I hold the symbol
Of Woden, the Mighty One,
Lord of Life and of Death.
As He will guard and guide us
Through the months to come,
So will his Servant, our Priest, here.

The Origins of Modern Witchcraft

by Ann Moura
Llewellyn Books   $14.95 US
ISBN 1-56718-648-3

Review by Daven

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆ 

I had hoped when I started this book that it would explain many things that have long puzzled me. I thought “here is a person who has a Bachelor’s degree along with a Master’s degree in History. Finally, we can get to the heart of the matter and stop a lot of pointless debate.”

How wrong I was.

The first three chapters are interesting. There is little evidence to back what she claims up, however. There are no footnotes in this book to reference claims she makes, or even to guide the reader to finding the answers for themselves. While these are not necessary in most cases, they are critical to having a work taken seriously by the scholastic community.

Of some distraction (and unique to this work) there are rituals interspersed with the text, to encourage you to do the rituals with an open mind. Well, I had an open mind and I closed it quickly. The rituals, while nice and of use in another setting, are useless in this book. They only serve to distract you from the claims made by the author.

Green Magic

By Ann Moura
Llewellyn Publications, 2002
ISBN 0-7387-0181-5

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

When I first got this book, I went into it with an open mind, willing despite her previous successes with Green Witchcraft series and failure with The Origins of Modern Witchcraft to enjoy this book. I’m glad I read it now.

This book does focus on the pure Witchcraft of her tradition, rather than on Wiccan magick or any other kind of magick, but that is not a detriment, but rather it is a help. Ann does a really good job giving the basics of a magickal system without much religion mixed in. There is, of necessity, some spirituality mixed in, but she presents a system of magick that is very interesting.

It is drawn from her experience with Green Witchcraft, and she reprises much of her writings from her first three books, but unlike those first three books, this book can and does stand on it’s own.

Visually, the cover and interior drawings are excellent and add quite a bit to the overall impact. It’s easy to read and the type is well designed for those who have trouble with their eyes.

Druidism today

(Originally published in “The Druid’s Arch”, the Official Newsletter of the Ord Draíochta Na Uisnech in the Beltane 2003 issue, Volume 1, Issue 1.)

Well, here it is, Beltane again. Once more we stand on the threshold of the transition between Winter and Summer. “The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul” as one author put it, is now at an end, and we are moving back into the light. All around us, the Earth has been waking and changing. The plants have been pushing up through the soil, renewing their life, the birds have mated and even now, the chicks are starting to grow. The wild things are leaving the protection of their parents and starting to move around on their own, renewing the LIFE that is this planet.

How are we, as Druids, responding to this? We may feel it in our bones, we may feel the quickening pulse of the Land, we may feel compelled to sing at odd times. Many of us may be forced by something deep inside ourselves to clean the house and air it out, letting the newness that is Spring and Summer come in. Soon we will be hearing the lazy buzz of the bees and the Katydids and remembering the lethargy that comes when the heat climbs into the triple digits. We may remember to take shorter showers, conserve water and to try to make sure that others have the same resources that we have.

Yule (Winter Solstice) Sabbat

December 21

[Erecting the Temple is performed. Priest and Priestess kiss. On the Altar stands two unlit candles, one on wither side of the Altar Candle.]

Priestess: Now is the Sun well on its course through the long and dark months of winter.

Priest: Let us show our love for the Gods
By sending strength where it is needed.
Let us kindle here fresh fires
To light our Lord upon His way.
Fires to give Him confidence;
To show Him our love burns forth
Even though the hardships of Winter be upon us.

All: So Be It!

[Priest takes up one unlit candle and holds it before him.]

Priest: Let Woden bear the blessings of our Lady Freya
As He guard us and guides us
Through the long dark days ahead.
May all our Power, Wiccans all,
Be symbolized by this light,
As it burns with steady flame,
Aiding and strengthening that which is there.

[He lights his candle from the Altar Candle and stands it alongside. Priestess takes up the other unlit candle.]