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Welcome to Erin's Journal! A journal is something that grows with time, not something that you write a few thoughts in and forget about. I hope to keep this growing the same way. I also consider this website to be my "Book of Mirrors" which is a personal journal kept by any Gesith in addition to their Book of Shadows.

Those of you who have been coming here for a long time have probably noticed that there's been a major name change and a lot of changes around here. If you haven't visited in some time it's like the world was destroyed, but actually this has been happening over time for a while now. To find the full story, check out these links:

Let me explain this page for a bit. Most of the pages in this Journal are static, meaning that once I put something up, it tends to stay up. This page, however, is fluid. It changes almost daily. This is the feed for my blog. I have a WordPress blog on this site, mostly to facilitate expressing my thoughts to everyone. This is the dynamic section where you can read my current thoughts on matters, my health, my complaints and just quick opinions. It's not meant to be the same page as it always is.

If you are new to Erin's Journal then I suggest you start with this post New to the Journal and then go and read the topic called "Erin's Journal" over on the left. That should give you a lot to get started with, and many more things to think about. My personal favorites are My Biography, The Site Dedication and The Site Purpose.

A friend of mine likened this page to the introduction of a magazine, and in some ways she's right. This is a page that tells you what this Journal is about. So read on. In brief, this is one Druid's thoughts on life, spirituality, Wicca, Druidism, religion and all those things that affect humanity. Even some snarkiness. I teach through here and use this as a medium to preserve my beliefs for my daughter and her children.

Make sure you understand my Copyright Statement and that you follow it. As it says in the footer, you may copy and put articles from this site in your personal Book of Shadows and use it for yourself and your family, but you have to have it credited to me. Please make sure you follow this, it is the one unbreakable rule here.

Now, ON WITH THE SHOW!

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The Mysteries of Druidry

Erin

By Brendan “Cathbad” Meyers
New Page Books, 2006, $15.99 US
ISBN 1-56414-878-5

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Well, as a Druid myself I have looked at the texts out there on Druidism and been sorely disappointed. At one end of the spectrum are the excellent works by such people as Isaac Bonewits, Philip Carr-Gomm and other such noted Druids. They are packed full of information, dense with it, and as a result of that, they tend to lose the audience since most of they write about is beyond the average reader.

At the other end of the spectrum are the popular books on Druidism which are good for use in paper-mache; works like 21 Lessons of Merlin and other such landfill fodder.

There has not been a book to successfully bridge the two ends, making a good book that has lots of information which has the potential to become popular because of how that information is presented to the reader. That is, until now.

Make no mistake, I have known Cathbad from a list we were on together and I have spent many hours reading his articles on that list and off. He is an extremely knowledgeable man and I consider him one of the contemporary masters of Druidism. In this book, he brings his formidable knowledge to those who wish to know what he knows.

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Tolerance: A Priest’s Perspective

Erin

Looking through the topic suggestions on the Witch’s Voice, I came across this topic and felt that I must speak out.

(I am probably going to step on a few toes here. If it offends, maybe you need to take a hard look at yourself. This is an editorial, and the opinions expressed within are just that, my opinions.)

Tolerance is a sticky subject, and one not necessarily that cut and dried. The problem that I see most of the Pagan/Wiccan/Druidic community is more along the lines of ACCEPTANCE. We wish to accepted by society at large and we try to give that acceptance to others, not always successfully.

Let’s break this down into some more definitive areas for a closer look at the distinctions.

  1. Acceptance of outsiders. This area includes accepting another mindset, philosophy or religion. In here we find such groups as the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and other well known religions.
  2. Acceptance of contemporaries. This is one of the fine distinctions, and one that keeps getting trampled by many I have the pleasure of knowing. In this category, we will find other Pagan paths, such as Astaru, Voodoun, Santeria, Satanism, Druidry, and a whole slew of others.

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Job ritual

Erin

Please note a few things:

First, this is a ritual specifically for the ODU.  It’s posted here to give an example of the kind of ritual the ODU uses.  The elements of this ritual will be found in every rite that the ODU uses.  It is also designed to identify the person who is performing this as a member of the ODU, specifically in the parting and closing of the veil.  If you object to this, change the wording in those two sections.

Second, the Deities called upon in here are who I felt would be appropriate.  You don’t have to call these Deities if you don’t want to, and you don’t have to sacrifice the same things I did to Them either.  It was what I felt was right and correct for each deity.

So, do this ritual at your own peril.

  1. Prep Will need
    1. Realm Candles (Blue, green, White candles)
    2. Hallows representations
    3. God/goddess candles
    4. Sea shell
    5. Thanksgiving offerings

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Long Distance Healing

Erin

(By Mary a.k.a. Theresa)

You will need a fairly large work surface that can remain undisturbed for several days.

If possible, it should be done as moonful begins to wane so that the disease is waning also.

Clean the work surface thoroughly. Preferably wood-but REMEMBER- it is will- the trappings to focus your intentions. This ceremony is fairly elaborate because I needed a lot of aid to concentration. It was first done for my father.

Take a shower. Seriously. While cleaning yourself, let the water symbolically clean you as well. Let the mundane world flow from you so that you approach the ceremony focused and clear as water.

(Digression #2. If this were a thousand years ago, you would be fasting and meditating during the filling of the moon, when you ate, it would be small portions and vegetarian only. Heigh-ho for the modern life.)

Spread a clean, pure white tablecloth, or sheet, or scrap cloth (you get the idea) on your work surface.

YOU WILL NEED:

Salt, oil, some type of grain, 2 goblets, 6 candleholders, incense, 3 red candles, 3 white candles and 1 orange candle. (*I used a combination of Cedar, Sandalwood, and healing blend)

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Daven’s Meditation

Erin

This is the meditation I most often use to get into a state of trance.  There are elements here common to most meditations and guided meditations.  I explored this concept in part in a class I teach on Astral Projection.  Here are the common themes that most meditations and guided meditations have in them:

  1. Suggestions to relax
  2. The feeling of a safe environment around you
  3. Lack of distractions from the world
  4. A sense of comfort and love
  5. Pictures and visualizations of a scene that is pleasant for you
  6. A descent of some kind.

You may see these themes as you read through the meditation.

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Sit or lay down and become comfortable.  Relax your body completely and start thinking about these scenes.

Find yourself in a wooded area.  The sun is warm on your back and head, and the breeze is cool on your face.  There is just enough of a breeze to disturb your hair, but not enough to make you uncomfortable.

There is a path under your feet.  It leads to a distant place, and you know that at the end of this path, you will find many wondrous things to do and to experience.

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Oberon Zell Presents Gargoyles

Erin

By Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
New Page Books, 2007 $14.99
ISBN 1-56414-911-0

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

The very first thing I thought upon receiving this book was “you have got to be kidding me.” The next thought was “Well, it’s a different author, it might be good”.

This is not going to be a good review. I took all kinds of time with it, trying to pick out the least loaded words I could to encourage the author to continue her efforts, but this is not a good book.

The subject matter would have made an outstanding essay. Twenty or thirty pages on Gargoyles would have been wonderful. There are many people who would have been thrilled to see a work like that and it would have been of use.

But what this book actually contains is scattered information on gargoyles and grotesques (defined as any carved figure that does not have a drainpipe) in various paragraphs, sandwiched in between multi page digressions that would have Odysseus going “Where are we again?”

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Mabon, Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

Erin

by Kristin Madden
Llewellyn, 2002 $14.95 US
ISBN 0-7387-0090-8

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Here we are, the last book in Llewellyn’s series on the Sabbats. This book is deserving of a place on the shelves of many private libraries, next to all the other Sabbat books by Llewellyn.

In and of itself, this book is well written. The information I read is factual and accurate, complete and drawn from many cultures. It does not focus solely on one aspect of this Sabbat, but looks at many different culture’s celebrations for this time of the year. I looked for information to find fault with, and honestly I can’t find any.

Mabon starts out with information about First Harvest Festivals throughout the world, from the Greeks to Romans to India and on to modern Neo-Paganism. I appreciated the fact that an early chapter discusses Thanksgiving, one of the celebrations associated with this holiday. Not only did the author give us the “accepted” history, the one in the schoolbooks and taught in song and story, she also presents the same story from the other side of the fence, using scholarly research to back that story up. It becomes very apparent that Plymouth Rock landed on the Native Americans in the “actual” history.

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Auras

Other Author

(Note from Daven:  I combined two separate articles dealing with the Aura into this one article.  It seems appropriate, since one talks about what the Aura is, and the other gives you a basic on what the Aura colors mean.)

Your Aura and You

By Wayne Bisso

Imagine yourself encased in an energy field the shape of an egg, an egg that is made up of a sort of nonphysical liquid substance which responds to every movement that your body makes and every thought your mind thinks. It is almost undetectable, unless… you pay very close attention to it. If you can visualize this you now have a vague description of this energy known throughout time in memorial at the aura.

Besides being responsive to the movement of the physical body, the energy also moves or flows within its own sphere pretty much the same way blood flows though the physical body’s circulatory system, and just like the veins and arteries of our physical body our nonphysical system of energy flow can also become clogged or restricted. It is with this very type of problem in mind that this article is being written.

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Magickal Aftercare

Erin

Okay, you prepared your space. You sat and raised the Circle. You called your allies and astral entities to help. You have called the Quarters, done the Middle Pillar, communed with the Spirits, traveled to the Akashic Record.

You cut the Circle and dismissed the elements. You sent the energy off to do whatever that Power does to cause your spell to work.

Now what?

What happens next? Most individuals will start putting away the trappings of their ritual and get on with their life, but I think there is a time here that is more important to the magician than simply cleaning up.

This is the time of Aftercare.

In most sexual practices and relationships, there is a time when after the Deed is done and you and your partner are laying together, you simply exist in each other’s arms for a while. You lay with each other and simply commune with them and be. There is no pressure to do anything, no real discussion of anything, simply existing in the after glow of an incredible experience, mutually shared.

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We Were All Teens Once

Erin

I keep hearing about the “Teen Issue” in Craft circles, not only on the Internet, but also in real life face-to-face meetings. I have heard any and all arguments on this topic, and the purpose of this article is to see if I can boil the common arguments down and shed new light on them.

I will try to be as neutral as possible in this. I support teaching teens with parental permission, but not much else. So, that said, let me tear into the most common statements I have heard.

1) We can’t teach Teens because their parents will sue us. (Various causes for the lawsuit are given at this point, usually “parental interference”).

I can understand this position, and I have taken this position myself in the past. Basically the root fear is that we, as teachers, will be arrested and hauled away to jail for “daring to teach our satanic way to the malleable minds of the young” and from that start the problems mount. Projected out in a logical fashion, teaching one child under the age of consent with Fundie parents who won’t listen to reason could conceivably do great damage to the entire NeoPagan/Wiccan movement. Look at the documented cases of Wiccans/Pagans having their children taken away due to simply having a weird religion. Most of these types of arguments boil down to one thing, fear.

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