Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blessed Samhain All

Twas The Evening of Samhain

Twas the evening of Samhain, and all through the place
Were pagans preparing the ritual space.
The candles were set in the corners with care,
In hopes that the Watchtowers soon would be there.
We all had our robes on (as is habitual)
And had just settled down and were starting our ritual
When out on the porch there arose such a chorus
That we went to the door, and waiting there for us
Were children in costumes of various kinds
With visions of chocolate bright in their minds.
In all of our workings, we'd almost forgot,
But we had purchased candy (we'd purchased a LOT),
And so, as they flocked from all over the street,
They all got some chocolate or something else sweet.
We didn't think twice of delaying our rite,
Kids just don't have this much fun every night.
For hours they came, with the time-honored schtick
Of giving a choice: a treat or a trick.
As is proper, the parents were there for the games,
Watching the children and calling their names.
"On Vader, On Leia, On Dexter and DeeDee,
On Xena, on Buffy, Casper and Tweety!
To the block of apartments on the neighboring road;
You'll get so much candy, you'll have to be TOWED!"
The volume of children eventually dropped,
And as it grew darker, it finally stopped.
But as we prepared to return to our rite,
One child more stepped out of the night.
She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen.
Her hair was deep red, and her robe, forest green
With a simple gold cord tying off at the waist.
She'd a staff in her hand and a smile on her face.
No make-up, nor mask, or accompanying kitsch,
So we asked who she was; she replied "I'm a witch.
And no, I don't fly through the sky on my broom;
I only use that thing for cleaning my room.
My magical powers aren't really that neat,
But I won't threaten tricks; I'll just ask for a treat."
We found it refreshing, so we gave incense cones,
A candle, a crystal, a few other stones,
And the rest of the candy (which might fill a van).
She turned to her father (a man dressed as Pan)
And laughed, "Yes, I know, Dad, it's past time for bed,"
And started to leave, but she first turned and said
"I'm sorry for further delaying your rite.
Blessed Samhain to all, and a magical night."

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Twas the Night Before Samhain

Twas the Night Before Samhain

Twas the night before Samhain and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for my spouse.
The incense, it burned in our cauldron so black,
For Witchcraft and Magick we'd a wonderful knack.

The circle was drawn with the athame of power,
The guardians were called to each quarter tower.
The Lord and Lady attended our rite,
In wonder and glory and power and might.

The dearly departed came as our guest,
To live once again, after their rest.
We bid them goodbye with a tear in our eye,
Such a lovely presence of loved ones so nigh.

The candles danced in the flickering light,
With the Great Rite we bid them all a good night.
The guardians, thanked, have all sped away,
The Lord and Lady, thanked for the day.

The night before Samhain, Gods bless this house,
A circle of wonder 'round me and my spouse.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Charge of the Star Goddess

The Charge of the Star Goddess
By Starhawk

Hear the words of the Star Goddess,
The dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven,
Whose body encircles the universe...

I who am the beauty of the green Earth,
The white Moon among the Stars,
And the Mystery of the Waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me.

For I am the Soul of Nature, which gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed,
And unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices,
For behold – all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength,
Power and compassion,
Honour and humility,
Mirth and reverence within you.

And you who need to know Me,
Know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not,
Unless you know the Mystery:
For if that which you seek you find not within yourself,
You will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning,
And I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”

Cooking With Rice Flour

For people who are gluten intolerant rice flour is a savior.  It not only makes great bread when mixed with tapioca and potato starch,(see recipe in prvious post),  it can be used to bread chicken, fish and vegetables for frying.  It makes a nice crispy, crunchy crust. 

I also use it to make my gravy.  It doesn't brown like wheat flour so you will need to shake it up in a jar with a little bit of water (about two cups) to disolve and add to your water or milk base after it has reached the point of near boiling.  Pour slowly, stiring continuously over medium, low heat, without bringing to a full boil, until it is the thickness you want. Season as usual.

One of the perks of using rice flour in your cooking is the clean up.  It doesn't stick like regular flour and washes off with little or no scrubing.  
My "number three" daughter, who is not gluten intolerant, has been using it for frying, gravies and sauces as long as I have.  Her family likes the taste and texture it gives her fried foods, and she likes the clean up.

White or brown rice flour works the same for me. There is a suble difference in taste, and I personally prefer the white, but do use the brown when the white is unavailable.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Witchcraft Is Not Evil"

"Witchcraft is not evil. 
At least not any more than lighting a votive candle, 
praying for a sick friend, or carrying a lucky charm is. 
However, there are some who do view witchcraft as evil. 
This is only because organized religion (primarily the Christian church) 
has conditioned them to fear anything which strays from their narrow condemning view. 
After all, if you have the ability to fend for yourself, 
solve your own problems, and choose your own method of spiritual expression, 
why would you need the confined structure of a church?"

~Lady Sabrina~ 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gluten Free Home Made Bread

This bread makes excellent Texas toast.  It has become my breakfast every morning, and since I can't tolerate most of the chemicals they add to margarine, I enjoy it with real butter.  Mmmm good!!!

Bette Hagman's Gluten-Free Flour Mix 

 3 cups rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
Mix Well

Gluten Free Bread
(Gluten Free Cooking School)

1 Tbsp. bread machine yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ c. water (105 degrees or a little less than hot)
2 ½ cups GF Flour Mix
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1tsp. salt
3 eggs (or 9 Tbsp. water and 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed)
1 ½ Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cider vinegar

1. Start by combining the yeast and sugar in a small bowl (I use the smallest in my set of three nested mixing bowls). Add the water while gently stirring the yeast and sugar. Let this mixture sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients – bubbles and foam should form if the yeast is happy.
2. Combine the flour mix, xanthan gum and salt in the largest mixing bowl and stir well.
3. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vinegar until the eggs are a bit frothy.
  1. By this point the yeast mixture should be foamy, so you can pour the two liquid mixtures into the flour mixture. Blend the dough with a mixer for 4 minutes.
Bread Machine Directions:
Scoop your dough into the bread machine and smooth the top of the dough. I bake my bread using an 80 minute setting that allows for 20 minutes of kneading, 18 minutes of rise, and 42 minutes of baking. However, since I don’t use the paddle in by bread machine, I’m effectively doing a 38 minute rise and a 42 minute bake.  

Saturday, October 2, 2010


~Nikolai Alekseevich Zabolotsky~

"The horse stands like a knight keeping watch,
The wind plays in his light hair,
His eyes burn like two worlds, 
And his mane lifts like the imperial purple."