Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Many Blessings of Tribe

Well this week went to heck in a hand basket really quickly. Little 'un got that nasty cold that everybody I know has and cranky doesn't even begin to describe his mood which quickly soured my mood. By the end of the week my mood was awful and I was sick too. However; I was rescued by the tribe descending to divert little 'uns attention and cook dinner and just give me a break. Which was very welcome because I was just burned out. Hubby took care of the trash and dishes for me and the house is tolerably neat so that starting on Monday I can do my best to pick myself up by the shoe laces and go on with my schedule and schooling litte 'un. We took a break this week from school to let him rest and recover and by the end of the week I was too wiped out myself. Here's hoping!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My First Review!

Today I will do something I had been planning on doing for awhile here on this blog; a book review!

The Way of the Horned God: A Young Man's Guide to Modern Paganism
By: Dancing Rabbit and Illustrated by: W. Michael Dooley
Reviewed by the Kitchen Witch (Me!)

IN the interest of full disclosure the author sent me this publication in pdf form via e-mail with the request that I review the book here on my blog. I'll begin with what I liked about this book. The story in the beginning was very cute. I liked the fact that right off the bat it was brought up that since the advent of feminism girls have been given special days and careful thought but that boys of late have come up dry. That isn't to say that it isn't important but the question "when are we going to have a class on boyism?" is also very pertinent. I think that the fact that Paganism writes much about the Goddess and woman's spirituality but is silent on males and their place in the Pagan landscape is sad. I was unable to connect with the Christian view of God because he was a stern male figure waiting to punish me for the very living of my life as a happy fulfilled human being. I think that as Pagans we lose a lot by only focusing on the Goddess and not also the God. (Yes I know not every tradition does this but the God is underrepresented in Pagan literature.) Many Pagan women left Christianity because of the lack of balance; and yet we continue to ignore this in our own faith and I think our sons may grow up to reject Paganism for the very same reason that we left Christianity. Good male role models are few and far between, too many boys grow up with this lack of heroes and that leaves them open to many undesirable things (Drinking excessively, driving too fast, ect.) I think that The Way of the Horned God is a step in the right direction. As a Pagan mother I want to show my son that Paganism has a place for him and that he can find a good male role model in the God without forgetting the Goddess. This book is all about the balance between the two. It is a basic 101 book that you could give to your son as a way of helping him find his balance point within Paganism. There are rituals (including a typical self initiation) and advice for the young man seeking to practice Paganism that should be familiar to anyone who has been practicing for awhile but would be a nice first introduction for an older boy who knows little about it. Just because it's a typical 101 book don't think that a boy who has been involved with Paganism since an early age won't find something useful in this book. All in all I would recommend this book to any Pagan mother of a son who wishes to give support to her son on his path. The link to the chants contained in the Chanting section was spectacular; I found it helpful a really wonderful resource. I also loved the illustrations, ok I found them cute.

THAT all being said there were a few things that I squinted at a little. Right in the beginning it is mentioned that a Pagan male could practice in secret against the wishes of his parents. Yes I know that some minors who wish to practice Paganism would find life difficult with their Christian parents but I don't enjoy the implication of hiding something from parents. The author does mention that this is not an ideal way to go about it then spends a good portion of the book talking about how if you do it a certain way that nobody would have to know you were practicing Paganism. Yes Paganism is perfectly normal and I believe that if necessary for job or personal security practicing in secret may be alright but I also believe that being out of the broom closet is an important step in gaining mainstream acceptance. I feel the author also contradicts himself a little when he said that you don't need a whole slew of cool tools and props but in all his ritual outlines he uses a whole slew of fancy stuff that not everybody has (or wishes to use), this is my only real bone to pick with the rituals contained within the book. Again in the interest of full disclosure I find that I have this problem with almost every Pagan book I read. You need this color altar cloth and a black handled knife and a white handled knife and rose water and this herb and this colored candle ect. That just never jived with the kind of Paganism I was working with I've always been a Kitchen Witch and I probably always will be even if I had a million dollars to spend on tools I would rather use what I already have in the house and garden! Or instead of buying it making it myself. Not a huge deal but I felt mentioning them would make this a more complete review. If this review was helpful and you would like a copy of this book for yourself it is available on!

Well there it is my review (aka. opinion) of The Way of the Horned God.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh SO Busy!

The stuffed peppers came out wonderfully, the whole family loved them. Now our fridge is full of yummy leftovers so I won't be cooking for a few more days. Not that I mind cooking I just don't like the dishes! We have a party to go to today that I'm really looking forward to. A friend of little 'un is turning one and there is going to be a small party in her honor. Tomorrow we are going over to the in laws to finish opening the gifts the got us for Christmas but wanted us to go over there to open. (Notice the eye roll). Then we will be getting hit by another 6-11 inches of snow; not cool. I'm looking forward to Spring already.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Double Double Toil and Trouble!

I'm all in a tizzy making stuffed collards for dinner tonight. My fellow tribeswoman had made it for us before Yule and now I'm trying to make them myself. I have got pots a bubbling right now with red beans and rice (organic brown rice of course!) I watched them being made last time and now feel comfortable just winging it, that's the way I normally cook. I read the recipe see what I have and what I don't and then decide from there if it would be alright to make. I call it my own special brand of cooking magic. I imbue my excitement and love into the meal as best I can, which works better if I'm not a slave to a recipe. I'll update tomorrow about how everything turned out.

I'm swiftly working away at The Way of the Horned God, that's the freebie book I got so that I could review it here. If you are also a follower of Mrs. B's you will remember the giveaway that she had there for the book. Loving it right now and looking forward to posting my review here soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Updates and things to look forward to!

Well updating to my goals for this year. My diet is slowly but surely coming together. Now that hubby has been paid we went grocery shopping and I have given up soda for the last ten days. We have eaten out a lot more than I would have liked but it's a work in progress. School is working well for us little 'un for the most part likes it, but he is having some cooperation issues. (I know he knows his letters and numbers but he won't tell me when I show them to him.) Again it's still a work in progress but I foresee once we get into the full swing of things the cooperation will come. My housework isn't going as well as I would like due to my normal mid-winter slowdown and aches and pains. Hoping that I will be able to get my butt in gear and keep up.

I'm starting the plans for my garden hubby and I are planning on more than doubling our garden from last year so that we can can more produce than last year. Hoping that if we increase our yield this year we can save enough money on our grocery bill to re-do the kitchen. I'm going to place my seed order into Seeds of Change by the end of the month. Trying to decide if I want to start and Etsy shop or not. I am naturally crafty and I realized that everything I made for Christmas is selling for at least a 20% profit in department stores. It seems like a good idea now but I don't really know how much work and expense is involved. If I do start one I would plant more herbs than I was originally planning. I will keep updating here.

I got a nice little freebie book that I plan to review here in the future along with Pillars of the Earth. I know I have been saying that forever and I do intend to review it someday soon once I get my thoughts all in order.