Sunday, August 31, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Gaelyn and I got back from Virginia yesterday morning and after a quick visit to my parents and a nap, I went to work doing our laundry and dusting Gaelyn's place and I have begun picking our lovely ripe herbs that my dad has been taking care of while we were away. I also had a tearful reunion with my cat Ishee, who promptly bit me and licked me at the same time. I missed my slightly autistic cat and have promised to come home after the long holiday and take residence in my room once again.

I finally finished my Book of Shadows and have it bound. It is more wonderful than I could have thought. I am sending a version on disc to my little witches and I hope they enjoy it as much as I have writing it and illustrating it.

I am now on a search for a job. Since I am not subbing, I have to redefine what I want to do. That is okay, each step in life is an adventure and I embrace it though sometimes I admit that I am a bit afraid. I am not like Gaelyn with his trust fund and wealthy parents and though he says that I should not bother myself, I know that I have to because I am one of those unruly women who wish to define my own life, not have it defined by others. I think he understands.

I was just looking at my blogs the other day. I have been writing this blog for four years now and I have been doing the Almanac for eight months and I think it is beautiful. It is a real enigma to see how times go by so quickly and how you change or stay the same. I can honestly say that I have come to a place in my life where the simpler things matter more to me. To work and draw a wage, to enjoy my loved ones, to pray and be close to God, to work the Craft and continue studying and to find new things about myself and others. To continuously redefine who I am and be the person I want to be. Sometimes I am afraid, being a witch doesn't stop that, and I do worry sometimes. But as Merlin said to King Arthur in Excalibur "It is good to be afraid sometimes, of the unknown."

And it is close to Mabon, that time to think about what we are grateful for, the second of the harvest sabats and I know that I am greatful for the experiences I have had, good or bad, and the challenges I now face and the people I have met and the loved ones I know. I am greatful for the love we have for each other and the talents we have and the dreams we share.

Brightest Blessings Be from Me to Thee,


Friday, August 22, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Merry Meet

Gaelyn and I have one more week before we head home. We have had a great time here in Colonial Williamsburg. We have met some great people, eaten at some fanastic restaraunts, gone to all of the sights and worked hard at the store, ganing wonderful insight and experiences. We have had two of the best sales periods in a long while the folks who run the store are just tickled. They would like it if Gaelyn and I would just move there and open our own store, but we miss home, especially me, and we are ready to go on to the next part of our adventure.

While I was here I finished typing up my Book of Shadows and I am going to try to put it on online as an adobe document. I don't know if I will be able to but I will try to make it available. I am also sending my novel In the Pale Moonlight to two publishing houses and I hope they will make me an offer and publish my book. Maybe if I publish this book, I can publish my BOS.

I am still doing the Christian Witch Almanac and have just posted September. I have a lot of articles for October written by wonderful witches I met at witch conference and at the Medieval Faire and here at the store. Some of the articles may be two parters, if the first articles are any indication. If you haven't checked it out, take a look at it. If you wish to contribute just write me at and I will be happy to take a look at any writing idea.

Finally, I had a bit of a tiff with one of my young neophytes. Sorry about that mate, I wish you well in your endeavors and I have heard from all my little witches back home who are anxious for my return so we can resume our lessons and activities and from our circle who went on sabbatical during the summer and are looking forward to celebrating Mabon with Gaelyn and I and getting back into a regular study and worship routine.

Brightest Blessings Be from Me to thee,
Aslinn and Gaelyn

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Woman's Body: The feminine image of God

Merry Meet,

There is a lot on the news and Internet about female body image. We are constantly bombarded with contradictory messages about weight and female beauty. It is so confusing, in one breath a news person tells about the rise in anorexia and bulimia and in the next breath, they are quarreling with some fellow news caster about calories consumed. There are these ads that tell girls that they are beautiful regardless of their size and yet we hold up rail thin, silicone enhanced models as the examples of perfect beauty.

I was a thin girl and teenager, my prom dress my senior year was a size five. But somewhere along the line I became a chubby woman, wearing a size 12/14. I have lost the weight once but to tell you the truth I wasn't any happier as a size eight. And I was a lot hungrier.

When Gaelyn came into my life after many years of thinking there could not be anyone out there for me, I told him that though I was happy as a chubby woman for myself, that I knew that men expected something completely different. He got up from the couch and pulled down this huge book called Images of God: Images of Women. He opened the book and laid it in my lap. In the book were pictures of all sorts of women, of modern times and antiquity. They were all shapes and sizes and hues, of all cultures and religions. He said "God made you the way you are now from the womb. Everything he does is beautiful. Why should I as a man not see you in the beauty and perfection he made you, why should I want someone who is made of plastic and poison (botox) and stains and dyes when I can have you. You are real, the symbol of the earth mother," Then he turned the page to the Venus of Willendorf, the mother goddess figure with the large belly and breasts and hips. "See, you are my Earth Goddess, you are beautiful!"

Well, he is as smooth as a baby's bottom, but he made me appreciate that not all men want what we see in the media. Some men will run with time warp speed to the woman with the fake boobs, but there are men who like the natural woman, thin or fat, short or tall, buxom or flat chested. We are all beautiful, and I don't need a bath soap to tell me that.

Brightest Blessings Be my beautiful sisters, love yourself for who and what you are and don't let some talking head tell you otherwise.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Witch Shoppe

Merry Meet,

Gaelyn and I have been running a witch shoppe for the last few weeks for some friends of his who are in Europe on a buying trip. In my area there have been a couple of witch shoppes but they don't last long. I don't know if they are hounded by trad folks or there isn't enough business, but I have always like the notion of a metaphysical store where you can go in and buy things and people don't look at you sideways.

The shop is situated just outside of Colonial Williamsburg. It is a double shop space, that is it was a building with two shops downstairs and two apartments upstairs. When the couple bought the building, they opened up the two shops into one shop and made the two small apartments one large apartment.

The shop has book cases and shelves all along the walls, large display windows and tables in the center to display things. In the back is a reading room for their thousands of reference books that they do not sell but make available to the public as a library. They can sit there at the tables or in the comfortable chairs and do research. Then there is a work room/lunch room and they have a small stove and fridge and a work table. Both sides have loos.

They sell everything the witch would need. Wands of different woods and crystals are in large round cardboard containers. On slow days, I have decupaged the containers with witch symbols and wands and made them colorful. There are assorted jars of herbs that you can buy by the jar or the ounce, and I spend a lot of time just measuring the herbs for the customers. When I encounter an herb that I haven't seen or used before, I ask the customer how they use it. I have gained so much information from various trads and pratices that I have filled a steno pad, as I do take time to jot down the uses.

There are of course new and used books and I have spent time reading them and taking notes on them in the apartment above at night. Gaelyn has bought me a couple of boxes worth and I have sent them home and cannot wait to read them. I make candles in the back, some the usual kind and some are made custom for one person or other who needs a special candle for a ritual or spell.

One of the things I do like very much and wrote one of my good students about were the brooms. They are hand made and some have detailed carvings of the celtic and norse style, some African and South American. They are well made and you could actually use them for sweeping if a muggle happened to pop in and buy one, for they are truely the most beautiful brooms I have ever seen. Some of them have rosemary and lavender and lemon grass woven in with the broom straw on the brush. A few are plain and the buyers can carve them anyway they wish. One little muggle lady bought a broom and wand for her grandson who is simply waiting for his Hogwarts letter any day.

To tell the truth, though, many people who wander in think at first that the shop is just a hippy shop because we burn incense and play celtic and pan flute music. When they realize that they have spent upwards of an hour in a witch shop they are amazed. I had one lady ask me "Are you really a witch?" and I said yes and she said "You don't look like a witch!" and I told her that was because witches look like everyone else.

I like to perch on the high stool with the padded back and look out the window. Gaelyn and I wear khaki pants and white button down shirts, nothing at all conspicuous. I suppose that there are many people who recognize the shop as a witch shop. I like to watch the people as their eyes go over the front of the shop and then just notice me sitting there, reading or sewing.

You can always tell when a muggle comes in and they know what sort of shop it is. They are wary, a bit nervous, and they are all eyes. They are there for a purpose. Most women, if Gaelyn asks if he can help them, say that they are just looking. Then they spot me. "Can I help you?" I ask.

Usually it is about love. They want to know if love potions will work. Sometimes it is about the future and I read their cards for them, free of charge. I always steer muggles away from magikal solutions. I wouldn't want them to dabble and I wouldn't want them to give up on themselves and always seek a magikal solution for everything.

I haven't had any bad experiences, knock on wood, except for one of those smudgy little Jack T. Chick tracts that fundamentalists like to hand out left on one of the shelves. I just threw it away. No sense in making my visit a bad one.

Boxes come in everyday and they have to be inventoried and put up on the shelves. We got a case of hand sized tarot cards the other day and I bought a few decks to bring back to my little witches back home. We close at five and I go out with Gaelyn to dinner or I cook something upstairs.

We have enjoyed our stay and have learned a lot and worked hard. I think we will miss the shop when we return home.

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn and Gaelyn