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Like a lot of Heathens, I Feel dissonance between The Wheel of the Year and historical/traditional Rites. The Ancestors did have seasonal Rites and some even "map" onto the Wheel...though some poorly. Over the last 23 yrs I've Worked BOTH, the modern Heathen WotY and just the historical/traditional ones. Still, I Feel left WANTING.
This yr I've decided to do something different. I'm doing both SEPARATELY. That is, I will "do" Historical Rites and NOT try to "map" them to the Wheel(unless they do, like Yule and Ostara). I will also "do" the seasonal Wheel AS a seasonal Wheel. One of the many Blessings of living here on/in "The Dangly Bits"(below the Bible Belt) is that our actual seasons "map" perfectly to those on the Wheel, unlike folks in other part of the States or World, GENERALLY(like this yr Winter didn't Feel like WInter, like most of the East Coast;>)our Springs are Spring, our Winters are Winter, etc.
Personally, I think I've missed the Ritual/Spiritual connection to seasonality since I left Wicca and CR. The Heathen "Wheel" always felt like someone tried to put the wrong glass slipper on the wrong stepsister;>.
We'll see how this works after a full cycle. At least it'll keep my from "slacking off" religiously ;>!


One of the many things that get lost when a Loved One Passes is that of recipes. Today I was over at Dad's going through Mom's old recipe books. I was looking for two of her's; Clam Chowder and Jalapeño/Cream Cheese Dip. I'd seen her make both most of my life yet can never get them to taste like hers.
Well, as I was afraid of, neither were in her files. Probably, she'd made them so many times and "tweaked" them that she never needed to write them down. I'll just have to keep making and trying...
OTOH,I found two recipes from my childhood that I haven't had since the 70's; 'Sweet and Sour Chicken' and 'Tom & Jerry's. The latter was a Christmas staple(though we got the "virgin" version;>). I'll have to make a batch this coming Yule.....

Religious vs. Spiritual....

I'm a touch OCD and tend to organize things that most folks don't(well, "normal" ones;>). In the "World of Woo" I divide the theistically inclined into 2 camps: Religious or Spiritual. Not the definitions communally accepted however. The Religious Believe in Beings that exist, Individually or Communally. They are SENTIENT. The Spiritual either Believe in Psychological Archtypes that have no existence outside one's brainpan OR that "They're Reaaaaalllly" anthropomorphized natural forces without Individuality or Sentience. There are some in the middle but most folks devotionally oriented tend into one of the 2 camps.
And don't think that it's just an alt.rel "thing". Most of the Christians I personally(as in Midgard, not Cybergard)I define as Spiritual. They don't really Believe that YHVH or Joshua ben Yusef are Individuals in Their own right. They're just cultural patterns they inherited from their parents as an ethical template. Sadly, because of this they're more Tolerant of my Sexuality and Religious Beliefs than religious Christians I've known....folks that have more in common with me than the Spiritual Christians. In fact, the last Christian church I attended in the 80's(I figured that I should, as an adult experience Christianity in case my childhood experiences coloured the whole religion) Pastor was Spiritual. Needless to say,as someone who actually Believes in Divine Beings(btw, I STILL Believe that YHVH and Joshua ben Yesef Exist, I just have no interest in Them or the traditions created around Them)I found the leader of a congregation Believing Psychologically somewhat distressing. I returned to Celtic Reconstructionism not long after....
I guess the reason I define these terms so is that in practicality, that's how in action these terms are used, even in my own family.
In Heathenry generally, there's more Religious than Spiritual but they are there. In the Pagan, IME I'd say 50% are either, though if you tell a Spiritual person my definition, you usually get an argument. Well, until you ask them what they reeeeaaaalllly Believe the God/desses are and they begin to describe something related to Electricity......
Both views CAN "Get Along" if they both agree to disagree. I Believe that it's something that's integral to the way a person Sees the Universe and unless a literally World Shaking Experience happens in their lives it's not going to change...so don't try. Work with your common physical world beliefs and leave the "They're just Blind" stuff at home....

Series Recommendation, 'Lucifer'....

Normally, I don't recommend a series after one episode but considering this is one of 2 other TV shows both of us like;>.....
If you've been living under a rock;>:
The biblical Lucifer(not the Pop Christian Devil, a BIG difference!),tired of Hell "vacations" in LA as a club owner and teams up with a cop that is Immune to His Charms. If the Acting and Writing continues at this level, Fox has a real hit on their hands. Well, until their Fundie constituency gets the plug pulled.....
Tom Ellis is PERFECT as Lucifer Morningstar. Cheerfully Ernest and Smarmy. And his nemesis is a Biblical Angel, not a Pop Christian one. YHVH's Enforcers and Muscle, even their feathers are knife-edged.
LOVE IT!!!!!!
I discovered this podcast bass-ackwardish; by finding the book based on it at our local library;>. After reading, I HAD to find it and now am HOOKED!
'WTNV' is basically a local late night radio show. Local news, business adverts, gov't announcements. The difference is that Night Vale exists in a pocket of Lovecraftian Universe. The City Council aren't Human and wear hooded robes("If you see hooded figures at the dog park, do not look. They don't exist..."), Strange lights hover over various businesses, Angels(which the City Council stated do not exist) eat muffins given out by a local cat lady. And so on;>.
And the local diner sells Invisible pies that are an acquired taste. Just don't forget to place your money under the sugar or you might become a special;>.....


All I can say is that my SIL bringing over a bunch of insulated curtains left by the previous owners of their new house last week couldn't have been timed better;>!I swear the "Florida Room"(Glassed in porch with no heat)is at least 5 degrees warmer. Maybe this Winter I won't have to move the Epicias(bright leafed relatives of African Violets)into the main house this yr. The cats seem happier having warmer litter;>.
Luckily, my brother flew home Thursday, actually between the two storm band from where his company has him working this month; New Jersey. Might be doing some Remote work next week if the news reports are accurate.
Being IN due to the weather makes it a good time to browse garden catalogues. I think I'm going to need to pick up new highlighters for all the additions to my "wishlist";>.

The 2016 Garden....

Last yr taught me a lot about our new "digs". The biggest lesson was SPACE. It was/is hard to get used to "downsizing" from a lot and a half of suburban Permaculture to a Patio Home(basically, a condo with two courtyards not much bigger than the standard bedroom). Container gardening wasn't that big of a switch since we did most of our non-landscape gardening in raised beds...which are basically big pots;>.
Another was Exposure. No other place I've lived has there been such a big swing in such seasonally as here at Royal Oaks. The SE courtyard is Full Sun in Summer and Full Shade in Winter due to the Oak forest surrounding us. The NW one is Part Sun in Summer and Full in Winter. Needless to say, stuff I planted when I moved in Xmas before last were in the wrong zone in Summer;>.
Beyond the physical, I've noticed a "pull" toward Flowers more than Food. At the old place I was big into Permaculture and Self-Sustainability. Can't do that in the limited space here and last yr's limited Veg production really made that obvious. I think that with the exceptions of rare Herbs(at least rare here in "The Dangly Bits" ;>)I'm focusing on Flowers, particularly those that are Fragrant. The two Citrus trees I've already planted with fit with the program as well.
One interesting thing is that I've noticed a preference for White over other Blossom colours since Moving in. Since the house is a brownish Green and a greenish Brown it's not that. Maybe all those yrs of the riot of Colours at Hummingbird makes me prefer a calmer palate.
Already, thanks to that Warm Fall/early Winter the Paperwhites and some of the Narcissus have already bloomed(as well as our neighbor's Crabapple). I'm giving the Jasminum officinalis one more yr to Bloom and if not....
The White Philippine Violets have finished and the White Parma and Wild Violets(gathered from local lawns, not Woods) have buds. None of the Lenten Roses are showing buds yet. I had them for 5 yrs at the old place and this is the 2nd and only one's Bloomed yet and it was the sickly one! if it wasn't for the nice foliage I'd have Composted them by now.
Right now I'm scouring catalogues and Ebay for Ideas of what to plant for this yr. There's a White cultivar of the Maypop but my experience with this plant at Hummingbird makes it a big Invasive threat to the local Woods. At H it could only escape into other lawns(where it got Mowed down). I've seen what both Kudzu and the Air Potato have done locally and don't wish to add to the mess...even though it IS a native plant. I've my "eye" on some Heirloom Roses that would do well in containers and may try my hand at Dahlias in them because I certainly didn't have luck with them in ground!
Here in the really Deep South(Florida Panhandle) January is when you choose and order so that you can, in most cases start stuff Indoors, esp with European Veg and Annuals. They can't handle our Hot and Humid Summers so you have to get them in and growing before July hits and most of them end up looking like they've been put in a steamer(which in a way they have;>). The earliest catalogues oft get the business in my house!


As I've pointed out many times over the yrs, I'm a "Pro-Labels". I'm old enough not to be Interested in the sort of superficialness of discourse that being "Label-free" requires.
A simple example from my life. 2 Christian co-workers. VERY Devote. ASSUMED they had a lot in common.
1-Pre-Vatican II Catholic
2-7th Day Adventist

Once they got Deeper in their "friendship"...it ENDED. Both basically considered the other at best Heretic, at worst, DAMNED. NOT FUN for the rest who had to work with these two women(though to be Honest, they weren't any fun before;>). If they'd known at the beginning, they could have worked out the sort of relationship that they had with the rest of us, friendly but not friends.
A combo of my age and health makes me less willing to waste time,esp in interactions that may bite me on the arse later. A Pagan friend asked my why I introduced myself as "Pat, a Gay Heathen PWA" because" labels aren't important". Yes, yes they ARE.
Heck, even when you state what you are, folks may decide what you "really are" anyway. Pagans do this to me often on the Spiritual front. Hets do it on the Sexuality front. Gays do it on the hiv/aids front. But at least with THAT minimum Intro I can cut out HRS if not days/weeks of superficial discourse.
I admit I was SLIGHTLY on the "Label-Free" team back in my early 20's but even then I got tired of the blowback(Bisexuals who wanted culturally-accepted lives but used you as "release",Duotheists arguing that what you REEAAAALLLY followed was simply an Aspect of their Lay and Lord, Hets that couldn't believe you were reeeaaallly Gay because you "didn't ACT Gay"!?! etc. Today, I try to weed out interactions that I know will just lead to Stress.
It's difficult to do though with so much pressure to "conform" to the LF Lifestyle. Even my SIL is one. A New Ager that refuses to be "Labeled" such, even though she oft embodies the most stereotypical of the Belief Systems. And, as LF folks oft do she tells me what my Beliefs "really are"...
There's a difference with Family though. You HAVE to interact peacefully. Non-Family you DON'T.


Well, we've had "fun" the last couple of days. Technically, almost a month;>! a couple days before Yule We'd wake to find NO INTERNET. We'd reboot the cable modem and we'd be good(usually) till the next AM when NO INTERNET. Cable and Phone still OK. Brother tried and same result. Cable guy comes over and same result. Call 1 after, same result. During the 2nd the guy asked, as if he was asking me some "delicate" question, "is your router an Apple?". Seems that the new upgrade in service here on the Florida Panhandle has been creating "issues" with them. Problem fixed.
Sadly, that wasn't the REAL problem. A couple days ago we went to pick up Chuck's meds and his debit card was declined. Went to the atm and it'd give him his balance but no money. So a roadtrip to the nearest office of his bank was in order. Found out from them that DURING all this "fun" they'd called and the # was out of service(apparently, any time the modem was rebooted called were reported thus)....so the bank locked his acct.
Everything is fixed now but one thing we ARE glad for, that we discovered this problem BEFORE Chuck's SSI came in and we'd just rang up 2 week's worth of groceries;>......


You'd think after more than 4 decades I'd learn;>........
One of my Practices is Aromatherapy. Sadly, so far the only supplier that was a Practitioner and better than "fair" was that of my Teacher, and she closed shop in "84". But every so often I try and am disappointed.
Now, I'm not a Purist. Personally, a high quality artificial oil is at least as good as a low quality natural...IME. But a poor to mediocre artificial one I worse than using nothing at all. It oft makes things WORSE. Heck, the 1st vial of the stuff that came yesterday gave me a headache from sniffing the open bottle. Afraid what the other 2 might bring.
There ARE good commercial oil companies. I use them. But I have this "worm" that tells me "Support Your Own" that, at least in this area has been a waste of money and oft sensory cells.....