Dress like a nerd for Halloween? Yeah right.

Someone in our dept has decided that we are supposed to dress as nerds on Halloween. Seriously?

I told her I was going to come as myself, She told me I wasn’t a nerd. I don’t know what else you would call someone who presents papers at the Pagan Studies Conference for fun and wasn’t one of the PhDs or Mas doing it.

Not to mention having a degree as a Naturalist and 6 minors and dragging people through the shrubbery because you think it’s fun. Or an adult that loves museums of natural history or science and just became a family member at the LA Museum of Natural History.

And is a nerdy geek fan girl of multiple fandoms and has been to multiple cons. Or goes to Ren Faire in period correct garb, even if it is male garb and who was a member of a Pirate Guild.

And whose friends would probably not mind being subjected to impromptu factoid lectures.

If I had a flowered shirt and a striped sweater I could go as Amy Farrah Fowler. But I refuse to go as the taped glasses, pants pulled up kind they are passing pictures around as examples.

Hmmm, what would a witch nerd look like? Probably like someone in my coven since we’re all scientists. LOL!

Me, presenting at Pagan Studies Conference, not a nerd at all. The bow tie was in honour of William Blumberg from Cherry Hill Seminary who always has a bow tie on.

The Littlest Druid learns about Samhain

Aisling sat at the edge of the turnip field, a pile of perfect turnips piled beside her. She only needed one more. Her teacher had sent her out here to select the nine turnips that would be carved into lanterns to represent the skulls of the people who had died in the village for the procession on Samhain.

Her teacher had told her that they used to use the skulls of people who had died. She was glad they had switched to turnips. She knew death was a part of life but she didn’t want to see the skull of her friend Beith that had died this year. She missed her so much. It still hurt to lose her.

It was an honor to be picked for this job. She had to find the biggest and most perfect turnips for the lanterns. This wasn’t easy because turnips grow underground and she had to choose hers before they started harvesting the field. She was supposed to pull the turnips that called out to her and those would be the right ones and she had one left to go. She wanted the absolute most perfect one for Beith.

She closed her eyes and reached her hands out trying to feel which one in the field was calling her. She felt a tug from the left and started to walk that in that direction. She kept her hand out and cautiously walked across the field. She closed her eyes and stood still and put her hands out again. It was close by, she could tell and someone put a turnip in her hand.

Aisling’s eyes flew up and a woman smiled at her.

“I think this is the one you need for Beith.” The woman said as she handed Aisling the turnip. It was a lovely one. Beautiful clear white and just an edging of purple around the top and it was clean with no soil clinging to it.

Aisling knew she had been alone in the field but it was the gloaming time and she was well aware anything could happen in the between times and for her it usually did.

Aisling studied the woman and was trying to figure out who she was when the woman said to her, “I’m Anann. I’m the one who came for Beith. She wanted you to know she is doing well but she still loves and misses you.”

Aisling felt a lump in her throat. She swallowed trying to keep it down. She didn’t want to cry in front of the goddess. Anann reached her hand out and smoothed Aisling’s hair which really didn’t help at all.

“She’s happy and safe and not in pain anymore?” Aisling finally got out.

“She is happy and safe and not in pain anymore. She and the priestess you helped have a message for you.”

“They do?” Ailsing wasn’t sure how that worked.

“They want you to know they are always around if you need them and that someday they will be back.” Anann told her.

“I so want to carry Beith’s lantern in the procession. Do you think that they will let me?” Aisling asked beginning to relax.

I don’t think the Chief Druid would have it any other way but you know you will be the youngest in the procession?”

Aisling nodded. She really wanted to honour her friend and not do anything wrong. Samhain was too important a time and she wanted Beith to be proud of her and know she still loved her.

Anann spoke and it was if she had heard Aisling’s thoughts. “She is proud of you all the time because you don’t give up and you’re always learning. Do you know what my job is?” asked the goddess.

Aisling thought and remembered, “To comfort the dying, and to make the fields fertile and to protect the cattle.”

Anann laughed, “Good! That’s some of it. I also teach the dying about their existence after they die and help them get ready to return. You know how your teacher told you that you are supposed to rejoice when people die because they are being born into the Otherworld?”

Aisling nodded again. She still didn’t feel like rejoicing that her best friend in the whole world was gone and it made her choke up again and start being angry. How was that something to rejoice about?

Anann looked at her. “The rejoicing part is the hardest, isn’t it? You still want and miss your friend. She still wants and misses you too but part of life is learning to let go and rejoicing when someone dies hurts. There is no way out of that but you need to know that that is you hurting and she doesn’t hurt any longer. No pain and no strife, she is at peace.”

Aisling was beginning to see the pain was about her. “Am I being selfish when I miss her so much?”

“No, you’re being human and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’d worry about you a lot if you didn’t.”

“You would?”

“Aisling, you are going to be a very good druid, maybe even a great druid and the best druids have felt all emotions and know that other people feel them too. They learn that everything isn’t about them. It’s about the all, everything and everyone that exists.”

Aisling was quiet for a bit. “Is it okay if I still miss her a lot?”

“Always, it will just hurt less and you will start to have more happy memories than sad ones.”

“Really?” Ailsing asked.

“Really, and it’s even all right if you cry during the procession and the ceremony. It shows you loved someone.”

Anann hugged Aisling, “Don’t you need to take these and go help carve them into lanterns?”

Aisling grabbed her sack and started stuffing the turnips into the bag she’d brought.

“Not so fast, you don’t want to bruise them.” laughed Anann and she helped Aisling put the turnips in more carefully.

“I’ll be watching tomorrow night with the rest of your dead. Be well, Aisling, you will be fine,” and Anann walked to the end of the field and was gone.


The next night Aisling lined up with the others. She was last in line with her lantern. She was very proud of the carving she had done. She thought she had captured Beith’s smile just right. They started the procession and Aisling started to weep. She missed her friend but it was going to be all right. She thought she got a glimpse of Anann, Beith, and the Priestess in the crowd but it was hard to see by the light of the turnip lanterns and she couldn’t be sure. When she got to the hall where they were going to have a feast and celebrate the lives of their dead, the Chief Druid caught her eye and winked.

“What was that about?”

This post references the events in this story:

and this one:

Oh Hecate


Now is your time

You walk among us as the veil thins

Please be with your Priestesses

Wherever they may be

They are called to ease the loved ones

The ones that are choosing this time

To pass through the veil

Let them know what is needed

Be with their hearts

They are breaking

Be with the ones leaving

Ease open the curtain

Let them pass easily

Surrounded by those that love them

Let them know that love awaits them on the other side

Comfort those left behind.

Stand with them

Hold their broken hearts

Let them know that love lasts

And is not gone

It’s never gone

Only harder to see


Be with us at this time

We turn our faces to the veil

It is not our time

Heal our hearts

Let us know peace

Let us know there is no end

Only endless beginnings

Be with us and to the hour of our passing

Be here now,

Just thinking about how interesting life is going to get for Millennials that are about to hit their first Saturn return.

It just occurred to me that a lot of the millennial generation or at least the ones on the leading edge are going to be entering their Saturn return in a year or so. Shit is going to get real.

Millennials are defined as reaching adulthood around the year 2000. A Saturn return starts depending on your astrological chart somewhere between 27-31,
all the people that have been yelling about trigger warnings and avoiding things that upset them are going to get hit right between the eyes and they will not have the coping skills to deal with it.

Saturn is the planet of death and to progress in your life you have to face a lot of different deaths. They can be real death or sickness or it can be a relationship or the collapse of values and constructions you built your life on up to that point.

It can be the first time you deal with huge responsibilities, Saturn is heavy. And your Saturn return generally means that that heaviness is going to sit on your weakest point and break it.

What happens when you have been living a life of avoidance? You have no coping skills or at best, weak ones. It can lead ill-equipped people straight into self-medication of some sort like substance abuse or severe phobias instead of turning around to face the monsters you have created because if you don’t you are going to get it harder in your late 50’s when you are even less resilient to physical stressors.

I had pretty good coping skills for the most part but I had a terrible time during my first Saturn return. The Goddess was using her Louisville Slugger right and left. I stopped working at Summer camps. I started my first professional job and finally graduated and got my BS because I realized I needed to go back to school and I realized I didn’t want to be a Supervisor at Penneys all my life. I had to move more than once and I hate moving. I came fully out of the closet, (that takes years sometimes) I became a Wiccan and learned to deal with the lack of shields I had once everything got stripped away. My gay male friends were dying left and right. The mid 80’s sucked. I had to divorce myself from my parents for a while and go into therapy. I had to restudy all my grandmother had taught me growing up.

Will all the brand new baby Pagans that proclaim all us old fogies know nothing, stop and listen, probably not. But if you are a Bride of Loki, Kali, Skuld, Hecate, etc, and any of the other more interesting shit flingers get going it will be very real all of a sudden and not how they expect. It’s going to come where you least expect it. Or will they go running back to the arms of the Christian Church because it’s predictable and not scary?

In short life is about to get really interesting for a lot of people. What are they going to do? There will be no trigger warnings beforehand.

A prayer for an early autumn morning 

I greet this fall morning with my face to the new dawning of the day asking for good judgment at the ending of the year from first light to beginning of the night and all through the comforting darkness.

From the first red of thin clouds

From the last furious fiddling of crickets

From the sleepy croaking of a  crow

From the peeping of just awakening small birds

From sun hitting the last of the corn fields

From the sweet smell of osmanthus on the air

From the buttery good taste of my English muffin

From shine of dew on the grass

From first chrysanthemums blooming in their neat beds.

Let me think clearly, act rightly, and do willingly all through this day to the Twilight and through the darkness until I greet the dawn again.

I turned my abstract in!

This is my proposal for the Panel on the Arts at the Conference for Contemporary Pagan Studies at Claremont Graduate University in January. My friend Alfred is doing the future of Pagan Music and Loren Raine is doing the Visual Arts and I’m supposed to be doing Pagan Literature, hopefully, I can do justice to the topic.

Pagan Literature – Where are we going and where are we now?

A review of the presently available pagan fiction by pagan authors, pagan- friendly authors (or at least the one that try not to offend us, and by non-pagan authors.

What is good pagan fiction? Is there more than Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter wannabes? Is there more than retelling of old legends? How are our deities  and belief/knowledge systems reflected?

Pagan authors are filling bookshelves and Kindles with good fiction that reflects our community as accurately as it can and still retain readers. Do you know who they are? How can we support them best? How do we find them?

Non-pagan authors are also filling the shelves with dreck and really offensive or just plain stupid drivel. (If this weren’t a proposal I’d use a different word. The Twilight series is not pagan literature!)

Where is this all headed if anywhere at all?

A current list of reasonably readable fiction in the fields of mystery, fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy which seems to be where pagan authors end up.  (Or at least as much as I can track down and hopefully read.

A Prayer at Autumnal Equinox


I ask the blessing of this fall season on all I care about.

Blessing of the equinox sunlight at dawn that travels directly from the east and that sets in west

Blessings of the squirrel that rains down pine cone petals preparing for cold

Blessings of the raven keeping a careful eye on the garden

Blessing of the plants setting seed for next year

Blessing of the falling sycamore leaves in the yard

Blessings of the taste of freshly harvested corn

Blessings of the brightness of colour from pumpkins and squash

Blessings of the fall Santa Ana winds that blow.

Blessings of the crisp morning air

Be with me and those I love from the later dawn

Through the violet and pinks of twilight

Through the midnight blue of stars and night

To the next dawn of light.