and (often) my body dance. This is my new CD compilation.

Enjoy (and, play it LOUD.)

(more…)

Today I am cancer free for two years.

I’ve said this before and it continues to be true: I am, in many ways, healthier than I was in my 20s. (Mentally, for sure.) Although I look like a blue meanie and my cholesterol level is too high :-(, I am exercising regularly (being back at Muay Thai is a fabulous feeling!) and eating much better than I was.

 Most importantly: I’m smoke free for two years as well.

In our last full moon ritual, I reminded us all that the body is constantly renewing and recreating itself , based on nothing more than the mind. Changing one’s image, manifesting the healthy body that is our birthright, that is a magickal task for a lifetime. At least, it is for me.

So, yay me.  *clink* Here’s to three more years.

(This was a draft of a post I never finished back in February 2010. I *think* its a reference to our Ashland trip)

We were going to have a lot of left-overs when we left, and I hated to let them become science experiments. So I decided to make a torta, which is a kind of baked dough-enclosed sandwich, from the same people who gave us the calzone.

It took a lot longer than I expected. (I didn’t read the recipe through before starting.)

The dough took a day (make dough, kill the processor, finish making by hand, let sit overnight). The fillings needed to be recombined and added to other ingredients, then cooled. I took spinach, sauteed it with onion and garlic, and added roasted artichoke hearts. To ricotta cheese, I added 2 eggs. The smoked ham I simply chopped fine, Provolone cheese rounded it out.

I layered the ingredients with half of the the egg mixture first, then half the provolone, half the spinach and all of the ham, then the remaining spinach, cheese, ending with the egg mixture. Cover with more dough, seal. Let sit in ‘fridge overnight. Bake at 375. Cool to eat.

This produces a dense, layered, pastry-enclosed and very tasty meal. It’s pretty rich, and wanted a salad or fruit to accompany it. But we made it into a nice meal in our room the first night we traveled.

Peter Gabriel, Games without Frontiers (Uncensored)

 

“Don’t delude yourself. The minute you set foot upon the path of witchcraft, a call rings out in the unseen world announcing the fact of your arrival.”

-Paul Huson

In July of each year since 1997 I participate in an online class, the Art of Ritual. The first year I was a student, now I’m an instructor. This is a witchcraft 101 class, complete with rituals and mentoring.

Each year, the students start out eager and fresh. Each year their lives change. Each year I watch them be changed by the simple act of accepting magick into their life.

Some try to deny the changes, to stop them from happening. Those students have trouble, they struggle.

Others embrace the changes and I watch them blossom and grow.

Magick — whether you spell it with a k or not — is not easy. It requires a high level of self-knowledge and a willingness to accept that the Gods have tasks They want you to do.

This is the season of the witch, a time of transformation. I feel the tide of the harvest calming as we draw closer to the dreaming time.

What magick will you manifest?

(posted a little late)

2011 SAMHAIN LITANY
Dagonet Dewr, Compiler

As always, editorial comments and content are solely my responsibility. I will forget people; email me at dagonet.dewr@… and I’ll add them to permanent archived copies of this list. More and more every year, I realize we need a central listing point for Neo-Pagan dead; if anyone is interested in making that project a reality, please email me as well. Feel free to disseminate with attribution.

On the question of the death of the late leader of Al Qaeda and the late leader of Libya — they are not listed in this litany. That is a conscious choice.

For the dead in war and unrest, including but not limited to Iraq, Afghanistan, Balochistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Palestine, Israel, Mexico, The Sudan, North Caucasus, South Yemen, Somalia, Columbia, Libya, and others.

For the dead by terrorist action: in Norway, Somalia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, China, and others.

For the dead in the Arab Spring, including but not limited to Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and others.

For the dead in natural disasters: the Tohuko earthquake and tsunami; earthquakes in New Zealand, Sikkim, Nepal, and Turkey; the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster; mudslides and flooding in Brazil; explosions and fire in Kenya; flooding in Pakistan, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia; wildfires in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Mexico; the record April 2011 tornado outbreaks, including 159 dead in Joplin, Missouri; and other tornadoes in New England, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

For those who died of starvation, famine, neglect, and abuse.

For those whose deaths went unnoticed and unmourned.

Kenneth Grant, 86, British occultist and writer, head of the Typhonian Order

W. J. Gruffydd, 94, Welsh poet; former Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales. (N.B.: He was also a Baptist minister. But I think the spirit of the thing counts.)

Geraint Bowen, 95, Welsh poet; former Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Lady Bastet / Sharon Mitchell, High Priestess of Our Lady At The Shoreline, Kentucky.

Lord Laith Angus Min / Rev. Don Leon Richie, founder of Life Temple and Seminary.

Lord Cabal / Philip Kirsch, Michigan.

Lyonene, del Luna la Madre Temple, Illinois.

Rev. Leianne Pepper, Spirit of the Earth Church, Kentucky.

Ted Sorel, 74, American actor (Guiding Light, Law & Order).

Leslie Nielsen, 84, Canadian-born American actor (Airplane!, The Naked Gun).

Irvin Kershner, 87, American film director (The Empire Strikes Back, Never Say Never Again).

Willis Burks II, 75, American actor (King of California, Law & Order).

Bobbi Sykes, 67, Australian Aboriginal rights activist

Dino De Laurentiis, 91, Italian film producer (Dune, Blue Velvet, Conan The Barbarian).

Jill Clayburgh, 66, American actress (An Unmarried Woman, Ally McBeal).

Sparky Anderson, 76, American baseball player and manager (Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers), member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Shannon Tavarez, 11, American stage actress (The Lion King), leukemia

Charlie O’Donnell, 78, American announcer (Wheel of Fortune).

Donald Carroll, 70, American author (The Liverpool Scene, Mary’s House).

Bill Erwin, 96, American actor (Seinfeld, Falcon Crest, The Twilight Zone).

Gene Kelton, 55, American blues, rock and rockabilly singer and guitarist.

Billy Taylor, 89, American jazz pianist and composer (“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”).

Grant McCune, 67, American Academy Award-winning visual effects artist; designer of the Great White Shark in Jaws.

Geraldine Doyle, 86, American metal presser, inspiration for Rosie the Riveter.

Bernard Wilson, 64, American singer (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes).

Elisabeth Beresford, 84, British children’s author, creator of The Wombles.

Neil Rogers, 68, American radio personality and gay rights activist.

Jacqueline Courtney, 64, American actress (Another World, One Life to Live),

Captain Beefheart, 69, American rock musician and artist (Trout Mask Replica).

Bob Feller, 92, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians), member of Baseball Hall of Fame.

Woolly Wolstenholme, 63, British progressive rock musician, Barclay James Harvest .

Don Meredith, 72, American football player and commentator (Monday Night Football)

Ron Santo, 70, American baseball player and broadcaster (Chicago Cubs).

Mark Ryan, 51, British musician (Adam and the Ants).

Charlie Callas, 83, American comedian and actor (Silent Movie, Switch).

David Kato, 46, Ugandan gay rights activist, bludgeoned with hammer.

Charlie Louvin, 83, American country music singer (The Louvin Brothers).

Chief White Eagle, 93, Canadian-born American Mohawk actor and stuntman.

Jack LaLanne, 96, American fitness and nutritional expert.

Jay Garner, 82, American actor (La Cage Aux Folles, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century).

Sargent Shriver, 95, American diplomat and politician; Vice Presidential nominee (1972).

Susannah York, 72, English actress (Tom Jones, Superman).

John Dye, 47, American actor (Touched by an Angel).

Margaret Whiting, 86, American pop singer (“A Tree in the Meadow”, “Moonlight in Vermont”).

Gerry Rafferty, 63, Scottish singer-songwriter (“Baker Street”).

Pete Postlethwaite, 64, British actor (In the Name of the Father, Inception, The Usual Suspects).

Jane Russell, 89, American actress (The Outlaw, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes).

James Gruber, 82, American teacher and early gay rights activist, last surviving member of the Mattachine Society.

Duke Snider, 84, American Baseball Hall of Famer (New York Mets, San Francisco Giants).

Mark Tulin, 62, American bass player, The Electric Prunes, The Smashing Pumpkins.

Nicholas Courtney, 81, British actor. (Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart on Doctor Who).

Len Lesser, 88, American actor (Uncle Leo on Seinfeld.)

Sir George Shearing, 91, British-born American jazz pianist (“Lullaby of Birdland”).

Larry Holden, 49, Irish actor (Batman Begins, Memento).

Betty Garrett, 91, American actress (Irene on All in the Family).

Kenneth Mars, 75, American actor (Inspector Kemp in Young Frankenstein, King Triton in The Little Mermaid).

Chuck Tanner, 82, American baseball manager (Pittsburgh Pirates) and player (Los Angeles Dodgers).

Gary Moore, 58, Irish rock guitarist and singer (Thin Lizzy).

Peggy Rea, 89, American character actress (Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard).

Mel McDaniel, 68, American country music singer (“Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”).

Farley Granger, 85, American actor (Strangers on a Train, Rope).

Harry Coover, 94, American inventor; invented Super Glue.

Geraldine Ferraro, 75, American politician, and 1984 Vice Presidential nominee; first woman to be nominated for the office by a major political party.

Diana Wynne Jones, 76, British fantasy author (Howl’s Moving Castle, the Chrestomanci series.)

Elizabeth Taylor, 79, British-American Academy-Award-winning actress (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cleopatra, BUtterfield 8).

Zoogz Rift, 57, American musician, painter.

Pinetop Perkins, 97, American blues musician.

Ferlin Husky, 85, American country music singer.

Jim Roslof, 64, American artist (Dungeons & Dragons — designed the cover of “Keep On The Borderlands”).

Michael Gough, 94, British actor (Alfred the Butler in the Burton/Schumacher Batman films).

Owsley Stanley, 76, American-born Australian underground LSD chemist and sound engineer (Grateful Dead).

Mike Starr, 44, American bassist (Alice in Chains, Sun Red Sun).

Jeff Kargola, 27, American freestyle motocross rider.

Joanna Russ, 74, American science fiction author.

Phoebe Snow, 60, American singer-songwriter (“Poetry Man”).

Poly Styrene, 53, British musician (X-Ray Spex).

Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, South African lesbian activist, stabbed.

Elisabeth Sladen, 65, British actress (Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who.)

Michael Sarrazin, 70, Canadian actor (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?).

Sol Saks, 100, American screenwriter, creator of Bewitched.

Trevor Bannister, 76, British actor (Mr Lucas on Are You Being Served?).

Yolande Palfrey, 54, British actress (Blake’s 7, Doctor Who).

Sidney Lumet, 86, American film director (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network).

Skip O’Brien, 60, American actor (Detective Ray O’Riley on CSI).

Gil Robbins, 80, American folk singer (The Highwaymen) and actor, father of Tim Robbins.

Clarice Taylor, 93, American actress (Sesame Street; Anna Huxtable, Dr Cliff’s mother, on The Cosby Show).

Jeff Conaway, 60, American actor (Kenickie on Grease, Bobby Wheeler on Taxi, Zack Allan on Babylon 5).

Bill Hunter, 71, Australian actor (Muriel’s Wedding, the voice of the Dentist in Finding Nemo).

David Honeyboy Williams, 96, American blues singer.

Randy Savage, 58, American professional wrestler.

Harmon Killebrew, 74, American Hall of Fame baseball player (Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals).

Norma Zimmer, 87, American entertainer (“The Champagne Lady” on The Lawrence Welk Show).

Jackie Cooper, 88, American actor (Our Gang, Superman) and director (M*A*S*H).

Nick Charles, 64, American sportscaster (CNN Sports Tonight).

Shelby Grant, 74, American actress (Fantastic Voyage, Medical Center).

Martin H. Greenberg, 70, American anthologist.

Gene Colan, 84, American comic book artist (Daredevil, Howard the Duck).

Peter Falk, 83, American actor (Columbo, The Princess Bride).

Anthony Herrera, 57, American actor (As the World Turns).

Ryan Dunn, 34, American reality television star (Jackass, Viva La Bam).

Clarence Clemons, 69, American saxophonist (E Street Band) and singer (“You’re a Friend Of Mine”).

Carl Gardner, 83, American singer (The Coasters).

Ignazio Vella, 82, American artisanal cheesemaker.

Alan Rubin, 68, American trumpeter (The Blues Brothers).

Roy Skelton, 79, British actor (voice of the Daleks on Doctor Who).

Lilian Jackson Braun, 97, American author (Cat Who mystery series).

James Arness, 88, American actor (Gunsmoke, The Thing).

Andrew Gold, 59, American singer-songwriter (“Lonely Boy”, “Thank You for Being a Friend”).

Jack Kevorkian, 83, American physician and right to die activist.

Joel Rosenberg, 57, American science fiction author.

Jeret Peterson, 29, American free style skier, 2010 Winter Olympics silver medalist.

Bill Morrissey, 59, American singer-songwriter.

Amy Winehouse, 27, British singer-songwriter (“Rehab”).

Tom Aldredge, 83, American actor (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire).

Cuddly Dudley, 87, British rock and roll singer.

Sherwood Schwartz, 94, American television producer, creator of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island.

Roberts Blossom, 87, American actor (Old Man Marley in Home Alone).

Betty Ford, 93, American First Lady (1974-1977) and co-founder of Betty Ford Center.

John McCarthy, 84, American computer scientist, creator of LISP and the term AI.

Bob Brunning, 68, British blues musician (Fleetwood Mac).

Paul Leka, 70, American pianist, arranger and songwriter (“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”).

Dennis Ritchie, 70, American computer scientist, developer of C programming language.

Roger Williams, 87, American pianist (“Autumn Leaves”).

Charles Napier, 75, American actor (The Silence of the Lambs, The Blues Brothers).

George Green, 59, American songwriter (“Hurts So Good”, “Crumblin’ Down”).

Stetson Kennedy, 94, American folklorist and civil rights activist.

Jerry Leiber, 78, American songwriter (“Stand By Me”, “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Kansas City”).

Michael Showers, 45, American actor (Treme, Breaking Bad, The Vampire Diaries).

Betty Thatcher, 67, British lyricist (Renaissance).

Jani Lane, 47, American musician (lead singer of Warrant).

Rudolf Brazda, 98, German concentration camp prisoner, last known survivor of pink triangle homosexual deportation.

Annette Charles, 63, American actress (Cha Cha DiGregorio in Grease).

Bubba Smith, 66, American football player (Baltimore Colts) and actor (Police Academy).

Sylvia Robinson, 75, American singer (Mickey & Sylvia), music producer and record label executive.

Vesta Williams, 53, American R&B singer.

Jack Garner, 84, American actor (The Rockford Files, My Fellow Americans), brother of James Garner.

Cliff Robertson, 88, American actor (Charly, Spider-Man, PT 109).

Mary Fickett, 83, American actress (All My Children).

Michael S. Hart, 64, American author, inventor of the e-book and founder of Project Gutenberg.

Steve Jobs, 56, American computer entrepreneur and inventor, co-founder of Apple Inc.

Mikey Welsh, 40, American artist and musician (Weezer).

Anne Francis, 80, American actress (Forbidden Planet).

Benoit Mandelbrot, 85, American mathematician.

For me personally:

Rose Anastasia Sabella McGill, 92, beloved grandmother.

The question asked, as always: What will the coming year bring?

Covering: Page of Cups: The essence of water behaving as earth, such as a wellspring: An unexpected new relationship that is playful and spontaneous. A romantic soul who embraces compassion and imagination with childlike joy. Gentle reflections on love, spirituality, and the importance of personal relationships in business and material affairs. May herald the birth of a child.

Crossing: Five of Swords (Defeat): A success earned through personal degradation. Separation from friends brought about by an unfeeling and coldly calculated act. Temporary victory tainted by dishonor and providing fuel for eventual defeat.

Goal: Seven of Cups (Temptation): Daydreams and things seen in the glass of contemplation. The scattering of energies by strong desires and unrealistic goals. The pursuit of illusions and the dissipation of energy on false choices.

Foundation: The Hermit: Withdrawal from events and relationship to introspect and gather strength. Seeking the inner voice or calling upon vision from within. A need of understanding and advice, or a wise man who will offer knowing guidance. Personal experience and thoughtful temperance.

Passing Away: Two of Wands (Dominion): Established power and influence over others. Setting goals and a vision for the future. Coming to grips with the impact of past decisions, considering the current state of affairs, and developing a plan of action. Responsible leadership.

Approaching: Ace of Swords: The seed of victory – perhaps as yet unseen. A challenge to be met and solved through the invocation of force. An opportunity to bring reason and intelligence to bear in the pursuit of justice and truth. An excessive power that must not be abused. May suggest new ideas or information that can reveal a solution to the problem at hand.

Self: Nine of Swords (Cruelty): Debilitating mental anguish or ill health. Being dragged down by the dishonor of others. Participation in a shameful or regrettable act. Inescapable guilt, mistrust, and doubt. May indicate a death or other catastrophic loss.

Environment: King of Pentacles: The essence of earth behaving as air, such as a diamond: A true businessman, with a gift for identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them. A person well informed about the world, skilled in all things physical, and eager to encourage others. A pillar of practicality and dependability, embracing tried and tested methods, and possessing an innate understanding of the material reality. A philanthropist and devotee of both luxury and hard work, whose word is as good as gold.

Hopes & fears: The Star: New hopes and splendid revelations of the future. Insight, inspiration, courage and enlightenment of the spiritual self. Body and mind and converging towards the light at the end of a dark time.

Ultimate Outcome: Four of Cups (Luxury): Being surrounded by love and devotion but taking it for granted. Ignoring the real and longing for the indefinable. Apathy and disengagement from the world. Dissatisfaction with the condition and direction of affairs, but the inability to accept new opportunities.

Looks like it will be a tough year.

The effing brilliant new release from Florence and the Machine. I can’t wait for the album to be released.