Apr 30, 2012


Oh my goodness!!  I just checked my stats after posting today's Monday Music Break, and I've broken 1000 page views!  I can't believe I reached that already in less than 1 year.

To all my delightful readers, you guys rock!!!  Thanks for reading my blog, and sharing it with others.

Cheers, and here's to the next 1000 page views!

Cheers!  Photo by discipula277
Photo by my good friend discipuladc277

Monday Music Break: Weaving the Summer

The weather doesn't want to admit it right now, but tomorrow is Beltane - the holiday that opens the gates to summer.  So in honor Beltane, here's one of my favorite Beltane songs by Spiral Dance:

Right now I'm watching the reunion / coronation episode of RuPaul's DragRace.  If you follow me on twitter you'll notice I've been live tweeting.  I'm rooting for Sharon Needles!!  Who are you rooting for?

Apr 27, 2012

Rhythm of Life

Beltane is less than a week away, so I thought it was high time to post a chant for this sabbat.

I composed this chant 2 years ago as part of my 1st degree project for my former coven.  Of all the chants I've written, this is the one that came through with almost no assistance from me.  It came to me in a flurry of words and music after the coven's Beltane ritual.  All throughout the ritual, but especially while Bel (aspected by a covenmate) was speaking to us, I heard drums, and felt an increasing need to write down words, especially words about drumbeats and dance.  Immediately after the ritual I pulled out my notebook and started writing down the words to the chant.  When I got home, I looked at my notebook, started toning out the words, and the music just flowed right through me.  I am certain that this chant came straight from Bel, almost as if he gave it to me / inspired it during the ritual.  The whole process was exhilarating!

When I sing the chant I get often images of wild, ecstatic drumming and dancing, kind of like this:

wild drumming
Source: http://www.scene4.com/qreviews/2009/09/


Dance the rhythm of life,
Express the drumbeat of your soul!
The flow of rhythm is all around you
Listen with your heart
to the beat
the pulse
the call of the drum
Twirl with Flora,
Twist with Bel,
and open the gates to summer!

Let me know what you think!

You are free to share my post and use my chants in ritual - and I would love to know that you do!  But please do not reproduce them in any way without permission.

Apr 23, 2012

Monday Music Break: Dervish

Dervish.  Used in the principles of fair use.

I've had various songs by Dervish playing on my computer today while I work. I don't usually go for Irish music, but I've been really loving this band today. Maybe it's because the singer has an authentic Irish accent and sometimes sings in Gaelic, rather than an affected accent.

I love this song - it's so sassy!!  It's about a woman that men want, and how she loves whiskey.  And then she leaves them when the whiskey is all gone.

If you'd like to share your suggestions for pagan musicians to feature in upcoming Monday Music Breaks, please fill out my easy little Google form.

Apr 21, 2012



The azaleas in the front of our house were blooming quite gorgeously for the last couple of weeks.  The bumblebees were quite happy about the abundance of flowers!  They're pretty much kaput now, which is sad because we really don't have any other flowering plants in our yard other than the invasive honeysuckle vine. I would plant more flowers, but we're renters and can't really do much about the landscaping.

azaleas azaleas


My mom also has azaleas in her yard.  Her bushes produce white flowers with pink stripes, which is also really pretty and a bit exotic looking. 
  azalea stamens

Jack and I are hopefully going to wander around on of the local parks today, if he has enough energy after spending the morning at the gym.  We haven't decided which one, although Greenbelt Park is high up on my list of parks to visit this spring.

Apr 16, 2012

In which Alanis helps me process anger

Alanis Morissette.  Used in the principles of fair use.
Source: quotespapa.com
I had a very difficult conversation with my boyfriend last night.  We spoke with honesty and openness, and it needed to occur, but it still had me crying, copiously.  Today I'm having a lot of feelings about what was said, most notably sadness and anger.  I'm trying to process those feelings with love.  Trying.  (must...channel...Thorn...)

Listening to music really helps me process intense feelings.  It so often seems that musicians express emotions and experiences in a way that seems far more *right* than I ever can with words alone.  I think that's why singing along is so therapeutic for me.  Especially Alanis Morissette, my all-time favorite artist who also has a great deal of ambiguous spirituality/pseudo-paganism in her music.  She crafts words and melody into such evocations that sometimes I swear she's pulling them straight out of my head.

I feel like my powers of finding just the right song are failing me right now, though.  I could really use some musical suggestions!  Do you have any songs that help you process feelings like anger, sadness, and confusion?

Apr 14, 2012

Spring in Merry-land

American robin
This male robin has claimed my fence as his territory.

fiddleheads in a vernal pool

azalea flower buds
The azaleas are blooming now.  So pretty!
Let's hope it rains tonight like it's threatening to so all the tree spooge in the air gets washed away.  I'm really very tired of the trees having sex in my nose, ya'll.

Have a lovely Saturday! 

Apr 8, 2012

Wabbit Season

Godzilla vs. the peeps
More fun than the microwave!
Happy Easter!  I know that as pagans we don't traditionally celebrate Zombie Jesus Day Easter, but I've begun pondering the idea that following the holidays of my long-dead ancestors isn't necessarily the way to go for me.  I like the idea of celebrating the seasons as they occur where I live - like cherry blossom season, and beach season, and the season of marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and hyacinths.

The chocolate bunny is terrified of the hyacinth.  I can't explain it either.

Also, I'm kind of mildly obsessed with bunnies, so I'm really embracing that aspect of Easter this year.  They're all fluffy, and hoppy, and wiggly-nose-y.  Even though they disapprove of everything.

I am leaving in a few minutes for my parents' house in Philly for Easter dinner with the fam.  Whether you observe Easter religiously or not, or if like me you just celebrate the proliferation of chocolate bunnies, I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Apr 7, 2012

Spring Storms


Now that I've had a chance to go through the chants I wrote and recorded, I'm going to start posting them.  Hooray!  

I originally wrote a series of 8 chants for the sabbats as part of my degree work for my former coven.  While writing these I frequently channeled one or more deities.  It's unclear whether the words and music are entirely mine, but I don't think that's important.

The first one I'm posting is my Ostara chant.  Yes I know Ostara was several weeks ago, but it's still spring, and I'm still waiting for the wonderful thunderstorms that come with it.  I wrote this chant during a particularly wild thunderstorm last spring.  I'm fairly certain I was channeling the Veiled Goddess while writing it.  The melody isn't really important, which is probably why it's rather simple.  The words are the important part.  In fact, you could probably turn this into a spoken chant without damping its effect.

Spring Storms
Spring storms come on the wind
Rain cascades and brings new love
Lightning fills your eyes with Her joy
Thunder like a drumbeat,
waking your heart

You are free to share my post and use my chants in ritual - and I would love to know that you do!  But please do not record or reproduce them in any way without permission.

Apr 2, 2012

Monday Music Break: Acacia Sears

Today I'm feeling pretty mellow, so I've been listening to Acacia Sears on and off all day.

Acacia Sears.  Used according to the principles of fair use.
Source: acaciasears.com

I got to briefly meet Acacia when she performed at the College Perk's Pagan Band Jam a few years ago, before the Perk closed.  She's rather adorable, and has a lovely, clear voice.  She has a solo album out right now called Dialtones.

Her song "George's Tongue" is available to listen for free on her website.  This song is gorgeous, both lyrically and musically.  However, she's made it very clear  that she cannot take credit for the lyrics; she found them in a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, and wrote music to them.

From the announcements on her website, it looks like she's recording another album.  I'm not sure if it's another solo album, or an album with her new band.  I'm hoping it will include songs like "Autumn." 

Apr 1, 2012

Bloggiesta Update

Bloggiesta logo

I've completed all but one item on my to-do list for Bloggiesta
  • Spruce up my sidebar - done!  What do you think of the new photo I added for the "about me" widget?  I used Fotoflexer to edit it.
  • go through all of my recorded chants to review sound quality and determine which need to be re-recorded - done!  A couple of them need to be re-recorded, but most had better quality than I remembered (given that I recorded them on my crappy computer microphone)
  • Create a chants page for posting chants - done!  It's empty right now, but I will be posting one of my chants later this week.
  • ADDED: Create a new page for the Monday Music Break - done!  It made sense to add this as a to-do item, to make it easier to find all the entries for this feature.
  • Clean up new site design - postponed.  I didn't really time this weekend to devote to my site design, but I'm happy with the way it looks for now.  I'm open to comments about the background, header, etc. to help me make it more appealing.
  • Do a couple Blogiesta challenges - done!  I completed 3 4 mini-challenges, and they were all really helpful.
  • Clean up Google Reader and Twitter Follow lists - done!  This definitely needs to happen every 6 months or so.
I also took part in this morning's Bloggiesta Twitter party.  I feel like I learned even more, and I had a good time networking and sharing ideas with other bloggers.  If you're on twitter, I'd love it if you'd follow me!

Did you participate in Bloggiesta this weekend?  How did it go?  What did you accomplish?

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenges

Bloggiesta logo

Here's the mini-challenges I've been working on for Bloggiesta.  I'll keep updating this as I complete them.
Mini-Challenge #1: Sidebar Help...What do you REALLY Need?
I worked on this all yesterday afternoon  I changed that ugly "about me" widget and email link to a new picture with actual text about me.  I also removed the RSS feed widget, and added those square buttons for RSS, Pinterest, and Twitter near the top.  I wanted to add the archive back, but I think I'd rather make a separate page for that so it's easier to navigate.
Mini-Challenge #2: Make some pages!
I wanted it to be easier for people to find my chants when I post them, instead of sifting through entries, so I made a new page for my chants.  It links to the as-yet-unused "chants" tag.  I did the same for my Monday Music Break feature.  Right now I'm not seeing the bar at the top for the "home" and "chants" pages, though.  I'm sure I'll figure this out soon.  Figured it out!  Hurray!

Mini-Challenge #3: Google Forms
I haven't had any luck soliciting suggestions for pagan musicians for the Monday Music Break (my knowledge only extends so far!), so I thougI ht a form that doesn't require publicly commenting might encourage folks to send suggestions that way.  I read through the challenge and instructions for using Google forms, so now I know how to use this platform if I decide to use it.

Mini-Challenge #4: Twitter and Your Blog
I signed up with dlvr.it to automatically post my blog entries to twitter.
Although the challenge recommends having a separate twitter account for your blog, I already have an established (small) group of people that follow me on twitter, and I honestly don't really use twitter much for my personal use anymore.  So my old twitter handle now belongs primarily to my blog :) 

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