July 2010 From the Elder’s Corner- Family and Summer Fun

Pagan Edge July 2010 Edition

From the Elder’s Corner- Family and Summer Fun

January 1st of each year, people will tell you their New Year’s resolutions. Have you ever heard any of your family, friends or relatives mention what they are going to do in the summer with family? Generally what you hear is “the kids only have a week left of school”, followed by “the kids and I are going shopping for school clothes next week”. Summer has literally flashed by in the blink of an eye with few memories, few memorable events attended and few hours spent together with family. This scenario is repeated year after year, not only with one’s own children but also with one’s own grandchildren.

This year before the last day of school, ask family members what they would like to do this summer. Then make and edit the list. Post it on the refrigerator. Your thoughts or comments might be something like this, “ we can’t afford it, we don’t have the money, we don’t know what to do, etc”.  You might be surprised to find it is not necessarily money but your time that is important to family members.

Time…how do you deal with that issue? We all have 24 hours in a day. However, we tend to waste so much by rushing here and there and accomplishing little, or engaging in the “high drama” that tends to fill our lives needlessly. Do an occasional priority check. Will you regret the time you missed spending with your child when you are celebrating the 18th or 21st birthday or you are helping them pack to leave your home? If you can say no, then by all means continue to do what you are doing now. If you replied yes, then make the changes before you regret it.

Look at the age of the child or children and choose age appropriate activities. However there are things that are enjoyable no matter what the age.

If you are looking for a few suggestions for things that cost a few dollars or even less:

  • Circle Round written by Starhawk, is an excellent book for Pagan children. She has several activities and stories for each Sabbat. Midsummer or Summer Solstice is June 20-23.
  • Call up an elderly relative who you have not seen recently and ask if they would like to have you and your child or children visit them. Plan the length of time for the visit according to the age of the relative.


  • Bake something on a cool day. There are recipes available using the microwave so even on hot days you can make something.
  • Use the treats for a tea party or when visiting the relative.
  • There are excellent science project books for children. They contain fun projects and teach at the same time. Most of the required items or ingredients are already in your kitchen or home.
  • Salt dough for a rainy day project. The salt dough recipe is very easy and uses only four ingredients. Mix 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of salt and 2 teaspoons of oil in a large bowl. Have children squeeze the ingredients together until they are mixed.
  • Check out a book or books in the library on wild plants. Two really well illustrated books are: Wildflowers of Michigan written by Stan Tekiela and The New Age Herbalist written by Richard Mabey. Children and adults enjoy a nature walk in the woods. They can learn to identify a plant, learn if it is edible or poisonous, if it heals and what it heals and what animals are attracted to that plant. Just a sidenote: always do research using the Latin name.

Before going on a nature walk, do some preparation. Familiarize yourself with poison ivy and poison oak. The Internet has some wonderful pictures of both plants. Print them and take them with you. Urushiol oil, the active ingredient in poison ivy that makes you itch, has been proven to be active for 25 years. Wear old clothes and shoes. Cover as much of your skin as possible. Use a sunscreen and insect repellent. Many insects do not like peppermint, camphor, rosemary and catnip. You can make your own insect repellant if you want to use a more natural product. Pack water and finger type foods such as a trail mix (depending on time and distance).

Hand everyone a little $1.00 or less notebook or have everyone make their own notebook/journal before going on the nature walk. Be creative when making a journal. Have everyone write down everything they see. Things you might see on a nature walk include: snakes (yes I did say snakes), rabbits, turkeys, deer, various birds including blue herons, swans, geese, ducks, turtles in and out of water. Make a game out of the nature walk by allowing the person with most items listed to choose the next activity on the list. After arriving home from the walk, remove and launder all outer clothing, set the shoes aside (do not walk in your house with those shoes, remember the poison ivy), shower with soap and water.

Included is a short list of Michigan wildflowers/plants and a general idea of when you see them. I have pocket calendars I use and keep from year to year. Plants do vary by a couple weeks depending on the weather. This year the plants seem to be appearing later than previous years.

May: Bloodroot, Lily of the Valley, Violets, Apple Blossoms, Lilacs, Tulips, Nightshade, Dandelions, Trillium, Henbane, Wild Chives, Mullein,

June: Lavender, Raspberries/ Black Caps, Strawberries, Yarrow, Blue Flag, Cinquefoil, St Johns Wort, Dogbane, Mulberries, Sheppard’s Purse, Wild Roses

July:  Sweet Fern, Wild Bergamot, Goldenrod, Horsemint, Mouse Ear, Blackberries, Blue Vervain, Joe Pye a.k.a. Sweet Joe Pye

August: Pearly Everlasting, Mullein Flowers, Evening Primrose

Enjoy the summer! I know I will. Blessings lj

Honoring My God

2010 June

Honoring My God

I was born in 1951, the year the witchcraft laws were repealed in England. Being a witch that would be considered a nice year in which to be born and great for people who lived in England. However, I was born in the United States.

It was also a time when the majority of the women ruled their homes and men ruled the rest of the world. Mothers worked in the homes and raised the children. Men worked during the days and spent very little time with their children. My father was in the military. Sometimes he would be stationed in another country for twelve to eighteen months, which meant we had no father during that time. Sometimes he took us with him on tours, but most often times not.

For crimes committed not punishable by society but punishable within the family structure, warnings were delivered by the mother with the phrase “YOU JUST WAIT UNTIL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME.YOU ARE GOING TO BE SO SORRY”. The fathers administered the punishments for these crimes. In our house, hugs and kisses given by fathers were something we saw on TV shows such as Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. It was amazing to me that the TV children did not fear these TV fathers. Why were the TV children never beaten? Where was their fear?

The American dream was to grow up, get married, buy a house and have children. Girls and young women were always cautioned before a date on what not to do. Kissing led to petting, petting led to heavy petting and heavy petting led to premarital sex, and premarital sex resulted in a child born out of wedlock. In my hometown, unwed mothers went to a distant Aunt’s house for a visit, which was actually the Home for Unwed Mothers. Being an unwed mother was not a title that an unmarried woman wanted to have attached to her name. This title removed her from the marriage market. And because the opposite sex could be the reason for all this turmoil to society’s well laid plans for our lives…men were something to be feared when dating.

Even the religion that my mother and father practiced consisted of a God that was to be feared. When one died, one was judged by this God as to being worthy of entering his kingdom based on the behavior of one’s life. Now there was a male subjecting us to fear of where we were going to be spending eternity after we died!

Is it any wonder that I, a child growing up with all this fear being directed from all the male energy, wanted no part of a male God! Fear is an odd motivator.

One day my sister and I were having a conversation about how her male Deity “tried” to work with her. He would relay messages through the Goddess who worked with my sister because she would not listen to him. In fact she would show him the palm of her hand. My mouth dropped. This was a revelation! I did the same thing!!!! I knew there was a male Deity trying to speak to me, but there was NO WAY I was going to listen to “HIM”. All I could associate with a male presence was fear, so good luck buddy. I had the mistaken idea in the back of my mind, if I ignored HIM he might go away. However, he did not go away. He just relayed the messages to the Goddess who worked with me and she would tell me what he wanted me to know.

Then came the day of “the epiphany”. He was not going to leave me. He was going to be in my life regardless. I also realized this God had never harmed nor punished me. He had never given me a reason to fear him. And if there was no reason to fear him, then there was every reason for me to love and honor him.

So, how do I honor the God that has chosen me? Do I set up an altar dedicated to him? Unless the altar is set up for a blacksmith or metalworker, I really doubt he would be impressed or interested. Do I take the time to write poems dedicated in his name? He might use them to start a roaring fire. Perhaps homemade brownies and a nice Port wine might be just the thing until I think of something that might interest him. And since I know He is a God who works with his hands, I know he is smiling when I get out my handsaw, table saw, dremel, or electric sander. I can feel him edging closer, breathing down my neck, waiting for me to extend an invitation to him to take over a project that I have started.

I honor him by allowing him to work through me on my projects. I honor him by loving him and recognizing the fact he is a part of my life. I do all this without fear and this is how I truly honor him.

Lucille M Rose aka lj

Why Have All the Elders Left and Where Have They Gone

2010 May

Why Have All the Elders Left and Where Have They Gone

The definition of an Elder is a person who is older and wiser than others. So by this definition anyone CAN think of themselves as an Elder. Then why do I at 59 feel like I know so very little? That I have so much more yet to learn myself? It must be wonderful to have all the answers at the age of 20 and have that pointed out to me in front of a group of people. And yet a few minutes later they complain and lament about the lack of true elders in the community that they can turn to for help.

I can tell you reasons why the elders are leaving or have left the community.

It never ceased to amaze me when I visited chatrooms and someone would enter the room and introduce herself as a Wiccan High Priestess and tell us that she has been one for 15 years. I would be impressed and then she would tell us that she was 25. After doing the math we would now know that she was only 10 years old when she became “Wiccan”. When I would ask her if her parents were “Wiccan” she would reply with an emphatic NO. I would like to meet the members in this coven who have been teaching 10 year olds without their parent’s permission. Oh wait, she is not a member of a group or coven because no one will accept her. Who do I think I am and how rude for me to ask her these questions and humiliate her in the chatroom. Whoosshhh, slam goes the chatroom door. This scenario in the chatrooms was not an uncommon “story”, it was heard countless times. After awhile the fun of being in a chatroom became nonexistent and when something is no longer fun, the person needs to change something. My decision was to no longer go into the chatrooms. Point lost to the Elders.

Recently I went into my facebook page. For those who are not familiar with Facebook, there is occasionally a suggested list of friends located on the right side of the screen page. On the suggested list Facebook had posted someone with the name HP Something or Other. The name looked interesting to me and just out of curiosity, I decided to follow the link to the person’s page. When I noticed that this person was female I did a little heads up and said that HP was an abreviation for High Priest and HPS was the abreviation for High Priestess, I received a nasty little note back saying
“whatever floats your boat sweetie”. I decided not to respond nor add “her” as a friend. Point lost to the Elders.

I cannot tell you the amount of times that someone has looked me in the eye and said, ” when the student is ready the teacher will appear “. I am willing to play the game one more time, hoping that this time will be different. Was it not Einstein who said “ the definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result”. Since I am hoping for a different result, I must be insane. I admit it, so give me the blue happy pills…quantity of 100 to be taken with or without water would be just great! So, I return home and print off yet another copy of the Dedicant’s Requirements, along with several pages of information to help them with the lessons. I do not ask them for funds to help pay for paper, ink nor my gas, nor the time I take out of my schedule. So I receive no payment and that includes a simple thank you. There is an attitude of entitlement that seems to be just under the surface of this prospective student. And many of the Elders are becoming aware of the “entitlement attitude”. I also can tell you that once the student has looked at the 12 little requirements in the dedicant’s program and read over some of the information that I have printed out for them, that they might meet with me one or maybe even two times and never again hear from them. When they find out that there is work involved and just by being in my presence or holding the papers in their hands the desired information cannot miraculously transfer itself into their brain, they are gone, never to be heard of again. They will go home and read a chapter in the book, give themselves a self-initiation and then proclaim themselves a High Priest or High Priestess of their group of one. Or, if I do see them again, they have developed amnesia and have no clue who I am. I cannot tell you the number of times I have driven to a designated meeting place only to sit by myself an hour past our scheduled meeting time. There is no phone call saying that they needed to cancel nor any type of apology for missing the meeting. And since almost everyone has a cell phone I simply cannot understand why they could not take 2 minutes to call me and save me an unnecessary 64 mile trip. But then again my time and resources are apparently endless. I have nothing in the world to do but serve them. Point lost to the Elders.

After so many years and the number of lost points accumulate I can tell you where the Elders have gone.

The headaches, the frustration, the feeling of being used for the sake of obtaining a title that can be used to flaunt over others is not the payment that the Elders are expecting nor willing to accept as payment. The Elders have come to a point in their lives where they have realized that life is short and that they have the choice of what to do with the little time they have left in this life. They have gone back to their homes, their own dreams and their own passions and interests that bring them joy in life. They have gone back to their own to do lists to work on. They have gone back to their own studies. They have decided to take back their lives and be with their own friends and families.

It is time for the rest of you to decide what you want. If you want the help of the Elders, then ask SHOW SOME GRATITUDE. If you do not want the help of the Elders, then stop the damn whining about how they are supposed to help you because it is their DUTY. The Elders OWE you NOTHING.

Lucille M Rose aka LJ