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This past weekend Snooze and I went up to Md to see the folks, and visit the Md Fairy Festival. I'd not been to a fairy festival before; it was a lot of fun! I got a chance to meet, however briefly, old friends again. We ran into Patches, and Maugorn, and  Mad Mike, and I got a chance to meet Scott Helland, and saw KIVA perform.  I gave Dave Landis his copy of Green Prince. :)
Ran into Debera (Tovah) as well, and talked for a bit. And Charles Butler and his cute husband. Bought some plants, made plans to buy a couple of cool clay dragons.
Unfortunately, the heat got the better of us.
It was bloody hot - even though we had hoped to stick around after the day's events and kick around with friends, by about 4pm I was literally sick from the heat. Snooze says I was dizzy, moving slowly, my skin was going from bright red to ashen gray... I know that I had trouble focusing or standing. 
And the following day, driving back to Charlotte, we got stuck on I-95 for about an hour - and got ANOTHER heat stroke! Had to go spend some time in Springfield Mal, cooling off, then Snooze drove for a bit.
All in all, a fun, over-too-quickly weekend, but the heat really got in the way of making it the weekend I wanted to have. Bummer.

BIG HUGS to everyone I did get a chance to meet - wish it had been longer!!!!!

Current Mood: happy happy

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My second book, "The Green Prince's Father", is published and is
available on Amazon.com!


The book is written primarily for children, and it follows the Green
Man/Cernunnos/ Horned God through the cycle of the year, from awakening
at Imbolc to marrying the Queen at Litha to sacrifice at Samhain, to
rebirth at Yule.

Here's a couple of brief excerpts:

The Forest was alive with celebration as preparations were made. A
clearing near a stream was chosen as the perfect place, flower
garlands were carefully strung, and the ground picked clean of sharp
rocks or twigs. The Green Prince was given a special cloak of oak
leaves and ivy, flowers were hung in his antlers, and people's fur and
feathers were washed extra carefully. The birds made sure that the
clouds were especially friendly today, and the sun was invited.
People came from all over the Forest – foxes and bears and owls
and chipmunks and robins and squirrels and wolves and skunks and
snakes and crows and deer and magpies and rabbits and bobcats and
spiders and many more, all gathered in the clearing to watch the wedding.
Corvus the raven sat at one edge of a tall rock that the bears had
rolled in just for today to use as an altar. Upon the altar were a
sword, a chalice, and two rings. He faced the assembly, and spread
his wings to get their attention. When that didn't work, he tapped his
beak on the stone. When they still failed to hush, he squawked his
loudest squawk, making the smallest animals hide behind larger ones,
who politely stepped aside.
"My friends, creatures, people of the Forest, we have gathered to
witness a day we've waited for all year – the marriage of the Lord and
Lady, the Green Prince and the Queen!"
"There's four people getting married?" squeaked a mouse, and a
bird swatted him.

............ ...

"I don't get it, Rhiannon," Peter said, "why do we call Samhain
the start of the year, if Yule is the Solstice? It's Yule when days
start getting longer again."
"Good question, Peter," Rhiannon said. "Tell me, when do you get up
to start the day?"
"In the morning – at first light, if Papa needs help with the animals."
"And when do you go to bed?"
"Well at night-time, of course, when it gets dark."
"Okay, and when do we say that the day changes over?"
"Midnight," Peter said easily.
"Okay, so we recognize the turning of the days when it gets dark, but
we stay asleep until first light. The Sabbats do the same thing – the
year turns at Samhain, when the world goes to sleep, and it starts to
wake up again at Yule. That's when the young Lord, the new spirit of
the green, is born to the Lady. Of course, it's not until Imbolc that
things really get hopping."
"Oh, so Samhain is going-to-bed time, and Yule is waking-up time?"
"Yes, that's a good way of putting it," the Priestess smiled. "Run
along home now, it's already late."

............ ........

The cover art for the book is by Italian artist Romina Moranelli, and
the interior art is by our friend Hamilton Chesson, a North Carolina
I included the lyrics of the song that inspired this retelling of the
story, "Once More" by KIVA.

The book is very short, only 88 pages. I asked them to price it as low
as they could, and the lowest price the publishers could authorize
(excluding trade paperbacks) is $9.99.


Current Mood: accomplished

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About a month ago, my new Red-tail Columbian Boa, Branwyn, got loose. (Sean, remember Persephone? Like her, but about two-thirds the size.) Now this, house isn't big, by any means - two bedrooms, 1-1/2 bath, small kitchen, one-level dwelling. But we tore the place upside down trying to find her - behind bookshelves, in kitchen cabinets, behind the stove, everywhere.  This being February/March, and some nights getting down into the 20's, I was really concerned that a cold-blooded reptile might not fare well if she got outside!
And that's not all - the furnace had crapped out, and it's not in the budget to fix it yet, so we've been heating the house with electric heaters in various rooms. We pulled up the central heating vent covers and stuffed crumpled newspaper down them as temporary insulation.
I've done all kinds of magick, spells, prayers, to help her find her way back or at least keep her safe. Asked her to come home almost every day.
The other day I was looking behind one bookshelf *one more time* just for the heck of it. And I noticed that the newspaper in one vent had been dislodged. Aha!!
So I traced where the vents go, under the house. In the crawlspace, which runs the length of the house, there's a layer of drywall suspended under the floor, and fiberglass insulation padded laid over that, between the floor joists.
On a hunch,  I figured out where the loose vent was, went under the house with a flashlight in one hand and a sheetrock knife in the other, and dug carefully up. A couple more experimental holes, and I heard the most wonderful pissed-off-snake hissing noise ever! Widened the hole, peered in, and there she was, almost directly under where her tank was, but hiding under the floor. I put a leather glove on, and when I reached into the hole, she struck at my hand. I used that to carefully pull her out of the hole.
Shinny back out, hand her off to Snooze, and  TA-DAAH! Snake safely returned home!

Hopefully she'll decide to eat soon - she's been without food for over a month now. Of course, the first reaction snakes have to stress is not to eat for a bit. But we'll see.

Welcome  home, Branwyn!


Current Mood: rejuvenated rejuvenated

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The following is a reprint of a blog I posted on MySpace in September 2006.
I'd left my ex exactly one year previous, and had a year to reflect on my time with her.
To my friends in Maryland, this is what you didn't see.


In traditional WithCraft, a year and a day is the standard amount of time required before proceeding with a course of action. An engagement before marriage, or the amount of time before receiving the next 'degree' in Craft status, or the amount of time a person is banished from the Coven, as punishment for whatever he or she did wrong.

A year and a day.

And it's been about a year and a day since a very important event occurred in my own life. A few people who may read this will know what I'm talking about,  so I  think it's time to look back on what happened to me in late August/ early September, 2005.

See, it began back in September of '98, when I was geeking around on AOL, and got an IM from a total stranger. "I like your profile," she said, "It made me smile." So I looked at hers, and replied with, "Thanks, I like yours too. Merry Meet!"
That brief interchange grew into what became my handfasting of six years. I met M online, we got to talking, and three months later she hopped on a Greyhound Bus and traveled from Colorado to Maryland, where I was living at the time. She had intended, she said, to stay for a week, just to meet me. But she also told me how she was getting out of a 9-year loser relationship, she didn't like her job, she was ostracized from her folks, and I'd come along at "just the right time".
So a week goes by with her -- long meaningful conversations, lots of sex, etc - and we head down to the Greyhound station to pack her off back to Colorado. She's dragging her heels all the way down, stalling a heck of a lot, and we get there just in time to see the bus pull away and leave. She turns to me and hugs me and says, "I guess you're stuck with me now." (I should have heard the ominous bass chords right then!)
We go back home, and about six weeks later the group-of-friends apartment situation I'm in collapses completely, so we, M and I, decided to pack up and head out to Colorado. Go visit her friends out there, make new tracks, etc.

Fast-forward to August 2000.
We've been together for two years and made a heap of friends, we're both working making enough money to squeak by, and we've started up a small Coven of friends. We decide we want to re-dedicate our handfasting vows, at Dragonfest (the Colorado-local pagan festival). Among the assembled audience is one of my best friends in the world, Lynx, whose wisdom I trust implicitly. "Those two should never have gotten married," she says, "and this re-dedication is a bad idea." (More ominous bass chords.)

By 2002, our handfasting (essentially a church-recognized marriage, but not legally binding) has eroded completely. M and I are friends, barely, living together out of mutual necessity than anything else. We have sex MAYBE once in three months, and rarely ever talk. I'm aware that I am completely miserable in the relationship, and that I want to find a way out of it. I've tried talking to M about my feelings, but she keeps saying that we're perfect for each other, that I'm the best thing that ever happened to her, and so on. And if I try to force the issue, it invariably escalates into a fight, I back down, she wins, and nothing is resolved. 
It was in 2002 that I tried to commit suicide. One day when M was at work, I was lying in a bathtub full of water, holding an open-ended electrical cord half an inch about the water, debating when to let it fall. It was a phone call from Barb, the same one who thought our handfasting was a bad idea, who saved my life. She realized how depressed I was, and felt that I was about to do something foolish. If she'd called fifteen seconds later, I doubt I would have answered it.

Later that year, M starts up an online friendship with a fellow in North Carolina. They become friends, and share the occasional cyber. I'm secretly hoping that she'll hook up with this guy, and leave me to be with him. So when things dry up for us in Colorado - I get laid off, she loses her job, the lease runs out on the apartment - our East Coast friend suggests that we move out to North Carolina to try a new start. M likes the idea because then she has a man paying all her bills for her (me) and she gets a new fuckbuddy. I like the idea because she will (I'm hoping) run off with him and leave me in the clear. And he likes the idea because he gets to have an affair behind his wife's back.
So we pack up the truck and head back to the East Coast. By now we've moved three times and had to give up a LOT of my stuff, that I really didn't want to sacrifice in the moves. But she always gets her way, so off we go.

We get into Charlotte on Easter weekend 2003, don't know anybody here besides Al, and I have 2 days to find a place to live, get me a job, and get the U-Haul trailer returned. Somehow I manage all of them - the only apartment complex whose rental office is open that weekend is in Derita, a seedy, low-income, primarily crime-ridden black part of town. We take it, despite the loud ghetto neighbors with the drugs and the stolen cars. I find a job working for a sign shop, making vinyl banners. And we return the U-Haul 30 minutes before the 48-hour rental time expires. (They actually made us wait 45 minutes in the pouring rain to come out and open the gate after we buzzed it, so they tried to say I was 15 minutes too late and owed for another day. But I convinced them that I'd buzzed them at the gate 30 minutes BEFORE time was up, and it was their own fault they didn't come out to let us in. I won.)

So there we are, still miserable, pretending to have a working marriage, and I'm hating every goddamn minute with her. Her affair with Al quickly sours - he realizes she's a parasitic psychobitch with few redeeming values - and he finds another lady to have an affair behind his wife's back with. We're all still friends, though, and the four of us form a small, struggling Coven, even though I despise M, and Al despises M, and Al and I are friends only though mutual co-dependent relationships.

Fast forward to 2005. (Now we're up to where the year and a day kicks in.) M has about dropped out of the local scene altogether, won't leave the apartment, doesn't have a job, and aside from occasional work as a BDSM dominatrix and lunch dates with a friend, has no life at all. I'm becoming more active in the  local pagan community, making new friends, and beginning to enjoy my own life when M isn't around.  A very good friend of mine tells me that being with M isn't healthy for me ("Yeah, I know," I reply glumly, "but I can't just up and leave her, I'm a better man than that....")
But I finally get up the courage to tell M that I'm leaving her. I tell her that our relationship isn't working for either of us and isn't healthy, and that I still like her as a friend but I am not in love with her, etc etc.
Well as you might expect, M goes ballistic and we have "The Big Fight", which results in me getting a concussion and a nervous breakdown and she promises to never let me out of her sight. She even has me write and post a 'public confession' in which I declare all my sins and misdeeds and declare for all the world that she is my wife and my one true love, and that I apologize for every single bad thing I ever did against her. So I write it and post in on a couple of online groups, and friends of mine read it, but the good ones can see right through it and realize it was a coerced message.
(Ominous bass chords reach a crescendo.)

The next day I have to go to a pagan event planning meeting, and of course M tags along, to keep me in line. My friends there see me bruised and broken, see her looking wrathful and victorious, and they conclude that it's time to step in.
Two days after that, Snooze, who was at the meeting, comes by my work and says, "Come on, get your ass out of there, you're too good to waste on this BS."  So I take the plunge and follow her home, and begin to realize just how goddamn depressed I'd become over the last six years.

M tries to call me at work, but the calls are deflected, and even though our mutual friend offers her sanctuary, she decides to run back to Nebraska.

That's been about a year now since 'Hell Weekend' went down, and Snooze and I are inseparable. This is a MUCH healthier situation than what I'd experienced before, and all my friends have commented on the change in me. I'm standing taller, feel more confident, look healthier, smile more, and don't reek of stale cigarette smoke and cat piss.

And in retrospect, it really was an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship, and I was depressed and close to suicide, and I really do regard the events of September 2005 as "Liberation and Exodus." My friends tell me that I did it on my own, that I had the strength to get out the whole time, but I know I couldn't have done it without them.

This blog is dedicated to everyone who helped to show me the light. I love you all.


It's January, 2008, over two years since Liberation and Exodus. I'm still madly in love with Snooze, and we share a house with a lot of loving cats, dogs, snakes, frogs, and a possum, and NO cigarette smoke!
I heard from a mutual friend that M got married back in Nebraska. I really do hope she finds happiness - but I also hope he knows what he's getting himself into.

Current Mood: relieved relieved

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Everyone I know (who's pagan, anyway) buys Tarot decks. Some people read with 'em, some buy them to share, some buy them just for the pictures.
I have about a dozen decks; I don't read all that well, but when I do read, I usually stick to the Robin Wood deck, or Rider Waite. Still, I buy some for the novelty of them (HR Giger Tarot), or for the exceptional artwork (Cannon Reed Witches Tarot) or if they just 'call to me' (Tarot of the Old Path).
I bought a new one the other day, the Dragons Tarot. I'd picked up the Dragon Tarot a few years ago, but that one left with my ex. I thought I was maybe replacing it. Besides, with the acquisition of my new Columbian redtail boa, I wanted some more draconic or reptilian stuff, to make her happy.
So I'm at Raven Moonlight, a new metaphysical store (tangent thought - if you step into a metaphysical store, how do you know you're really inside?) and saw this Dragons Tarot on the shelf. The front box art shows a man riding a dragon; the back shows a huge earth dragon in his cave underneath Stonehenge. "Cool," thought I, "new dragon deck. Yay!" I whip out my plastic and pay $20 for it.
Snooze and I go next door for a bite to eat and I'm flipping through the cards.
I like how they divided the four suites into four cultural references: Swords is Celtic, Wands is aboriginal, Pentacles is  Asian, Cups is Aztec. And the Major Arcana feature dragons in scenes relevant to each card. So far, pretty cool deck.
Then I start looking more closely. The Lovers card shows a naked  man, washing himself in the blood of the dragon he has just killed. The dragon's blood is filling the lake and the human is smothered in it. WTF?
The Wheel of Fortune shows a bunch of dinosaurs running in terror as a flaming comet slams into the earth, with the Archangel Gabriel in gold blowing his trumpet.
The six of cups shows a Spanish Conquistador standing before two Aztec men. The Aztecs are bowing and groveling before him, holding up two gold chalices. Four more lie of the ground at his feet, and the Conquistador is looking away, all haughty and self-important. There's a dragon in the water behind the Conquistador, watching.
The seven of wands shows a massive crucifix jammed into the earth, with a huge dragon hanging from it. Not dead, but hanging there. Seven children are gathered before the cross, listening intently.
This deck did have a few good cards; three of pentacles shows a man and a smallish dragon playing chess. Cute! But the predominant theme of the deck is Christian domination over pagan or indigenous culture. Very cruel and unforgiving. Torquemada would have loved it!
Myself, since I can't give it back, and  sure as hell don't want to inflict this on anyone else, I'm stuck with it. I guess I'll burn it, let all those poor dragons free.
Doncha wish all stores had opened preview decks, so you can see before you buy??!!

Poor little guys.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

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