Categories
Modern Witchcraft

Strawberry Moon Declaration

I Am a Solitary Eclectic Pantheist Modern Pagan Witch and I wholly and fully repudiate the religion I was originally baptized under

Reposted for the 50th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision.

Note: this post was first published in 2018 (at my arts and culture blog), when former Justice Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. Though he was a reputed centrist, he knowlingly retired when the political powers in place in the Legistlative and Executive branches who would nominate his replacement were hardline conservatives, intent on seeing Roe v Wade overturned. His replacement was Brett Kavanaugh. I knew in my bones what was to come, though I had hoped I would be wrong. This spiritual declaration was one of many ways I did and continue to do what I can against the threat of liberty and bodily autonomy, which the overturning of Roe v Wade signifies with the Dobbs decision.

The Catholic Church Has No Claim to Me as a Member Despite My Baptism and I Declare Myself an Apostate Who Wholly Repudiates the Catholic Church

For today’s Strawberry Moon 🍓🌝❤️ I declared my un-baptism from the Catholic Church, on the website notme.ie 🇮🇪 Joining and declaring your apostatehood on that website is only symbolic. Canon Law makes it really difficult to remove yourself from the official tally from the Catholic rolls. But on this day especially, with the announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement, I want it shouted from the mountaintops, or at least all over social media: I am not Catholic. 

I do not believe in the tenets of the Catholic Church. I am not Christian. I do not believe in monotheism as conceived in the Abrahamic religions. I do not believe in sin, nor in the devil as conceived in the Abrahamic religions. I believe you should do right by yourself and others based on your own inherent morality and not for or on behalf of a religious entity. Further, I do not believe that sex and sexuality have any inherent morality in absolute form. I believe that to assert actions regarding sex and sexuality have inherent morality has lead to much of what is wrong in this world, and it needs to stop. 

I am a pantheist: I believe there is a spirit in all living things. I am a modern pagan, and I observe the Celtic earth-based holidays. I don’t think magic is a hocus-pocus imaginary thing; I think it’s often science intuited and not yet proven. “The myth is proof of fact.” Further, and most importantly, I believe that if you harm none, you can do as you will. 

I am pro-choice. I am pro-women’s rights. I am pro-women as dynamic, whole, wholly capable beings who need not feel shame for their body, or feel any inferiority to men, or feel they are only vessels for children, or feel that taking pleasure from their body and in their bodies is wrong.

To my mind, and to my spirit, I feel that any of the good that comes social justice work done by factions within Catholicism is, unfortunately, moot. While I will always have an affinity, admiration, and love for the legacies of certain figures within Catholicism who have informed much of our current notions of justice, equality, and love, such as St Francis of Assisi and the spiritual figure I was named after, St Brigid of Kildaire, they and their likenesses have always been outliers of the institution of the Catholic Church. The church itself chose to focus more on hate: for women and pregnant people by being anti-choice, for children by enabling predatory priests, for the LGBTQ+ community by focusing on Augustinian & Thomistic notions of sexual activity sanctioned solely for procreation, and for all those stances taking precedence in Church doctrine and politics over, “Love thy neighbor.” 

I am not Catholic, and I denounce the Catholic Church, and all anti-choice entities–religious or otherwise–for focusing vehemently on the politics of a pregnant person and/or woman’s right to choose what to do with their bodies, over all other concerns; for bringing the very real impending threat of the end to this democracy that has brought–along with the bad–so much of the good we have in this world. 

Consider this a schism. Consider me a heretic. Consider me an apostate, wholly and fiercely repudiating such a loathsome, hateful, destructive institution. 

I love this earth. I love justice, equality, and freedom. I am a pantheistic solitary eclectic modern pagan witch. That is my declared spiritual practice. 

It is so ordered ⭐️

Categories
Sabbats

Yule 2022

Merry Yuletide to All Who Celebrate!

I seriously could not be happier to welcome in a new season. Fall 2022 was a complete and total PITA (pain in the a$$).

Feel free to use the graphics in this post on your own social media. Please credit @NotebookWitch on social media, or @TheNotebookWitch on Instagram.

How I Observed Yuletide for 2022

I celebrated the Sabbat this year by:

  • Finally getting all my outdoor holiday decorations up (and they’re STAYING UP until Imbolc!)
  • Doing two readings for the Bell Street Chapel Unitarian Universalist Church’s Yuletide service this past Sunday
  • Taking a BIG step to (hopefully) usher in better changes for me at my job (hoping the higher ups see the [Yule] light…ha! — thanks to my friend Ellen for the pun idea)
  • And, as always, writing a post for my blog for the Sabbat. (I am not the self-ascribed “Notebook Witch” for nothing!)

Where the Heck Did the Flying Reindeer Come From, Exactly???

At the Yuletide service this weekend at the Unitarian Universalist church I started attending in October (and I really need to do a blog post about this!), we also learned about the origins of the Christmass tropes of reindeer, red and white furtrimmed attire, and flying through the night sky.

Of course, it is all related to pagan customs from Arctic-adjacent regions. According to Danielle Prohom Olson’s essay, “Doe, a Deer, a Female Reindeer: the Spirit of Mother Christmas,” the female reindeer drew the sleigh of the Sun Godesss at Winter Solstice and “the Ancient Deer Mother flew through winter’s longest darkest night with the life-giving light of the sun in her horns.”

The red and white fur trimmed costume of Santa comes from red and white amanita mushroom, which was ingested by female shaman in far north, and that is how they would “take flight.” 🍄

Fascinating!

Merry Yuletide!!!

Whether you’re flying through the night sky on mystical fungi or just cozying up with a thick sweater, hot cocoa and cookies, I hope you have a very Merry Yule!

Five Hours of Holiday Music

PS If you’re looking for a pop-genre-expansive holiday playlist, I make one up each year, and it’s called “Yule Love This Playlist 2022” (or whatever year). Here’s the link to this year’s: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7oN6qUdxYpMzbHKEGD6JydZ6ev-417R1&feature=share

Categories
Literary Arts

Boston Austen Book Club – Winter 2022 Meeting

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron – Boston Austen Book Club – Winter 2022 Meeting

Jane Austen Birthday Bash! Come celebrate Jane’s 247th Birthday!

The Winter meeting of the Boston Austen Book Club takes place on Jane Austen’s birthday: Friday, Dec 16, at 7:30pm. We will be staying remote for this meeting. Bring your own cake to celebrate Jane’s birthday, and Regency costume attire is encouraged though not at all required. We’ll meet to discuss “Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas” by Stephanie Barron.

You can RSVP at the event page on Facebook, or, if you’re not on Facebook, you can email your RSVP. Please make sure your Webex link matches your RSVP information

About the Winter 2022 Book

Stephanie Barron (aka Franince Matthews), who is retired from the CIA, has written a series of “cozy” mysteries with Jane Austen as the protagonist. Jane solves a slew of crimes throughout her adult decades. Barron also weaves compelling fictionalized back stories for the little limited factual biographical information we do know about Austen and adds her own personal “spy” background into the characters and events in her Jane Austen mysteries.

You do not need to have read the previous titles in the series to get into the later ones. But if you like mysteries and Regency era stories, I recommend these books. I cannot put them down because they’re all my favorite types of fiction blended in one series.

Winter BABC 2022 Details

  • Who: Boston Austen Book Club – anyone can join; all you have to do is read the book and come to the meeting
  • What: Stephanie Barron’s “Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas
  • When: Friday, December 16 at 7:30pm
  • Where: Webex Link: https://massbay.webex.com/meet/bmadden2 Make sure you RSVP by email or Facebook event page and that your RSVP info matches your Webex info
  • How: It’s Jane Austen’s birthday. She is THRIVING at age 247. Wear some Regency attire (optional) to celebrate and bring your own cake and beverage to toast to Jane.
  • Why: because it is fun to be a Regency lit nerd

All are welcome – new, returning, and regulars!

Keep Up with Boston Austen Book Club News

Here are the two websites for Boston Austen Book Club news:

Categories
Modern Witchcraft Things To Do

The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming

A Virtual Field Trip to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA

In October 2021 I went up to Salem to the Peabody Essex Museum to see their exhibit, “The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming.” Even on the first week of October, Salem is WILD. It’s a lot like being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I love it, but if you’re crowd wary, take note.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, I have put together a “Virtual Fieldtrip” for those of you who didn’t make it up to Salem, Massachusetts to see the exhibit for yourself. It ran from October 2021 to March 2022.

Part One: The Reckoning and Reclaiming

The first slide show has artifacts of the accused, primary source documents from the time of the Witch Trials, and a timeline. It ends with a featured couture gown from the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2007 line. He dedicated that show to his ancestor, one of the accused, named Elizabeth Howe. The gown was made in her honor.

Part Two: Major Arcana, Portraits of Witches in America

The second slide show captures another part of the exhibit, titled “Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America.” This section featured photographic portraits of modern American witches such as StarhawkPam Grossman, and Juliet Diaz. It ends with a quote from M. Macha Nightmare, “A Witch is a mover and a shaper who draws power from the natural world and from within herself.”

Categories
Literary Arts

Lady Susan – Fall 2022 Boston Austen Book Club

Sat, Nov 19 at 1pm – Fall 2022 Boston Austen Book Club – “Lady Susan”

The Fall 2022 meeting of the Boston Austen Book Club will be Saturday, November 19 at 1pm via Webex. We will meet to discuss the novella, “Lady Susan” — no specific edition of the book.

Webex Info

The meeting will be held remotely via Webex. Make sure your RSVP information matches your Webex info.

If you cannot RSVP at the Facebook event page or have not RSVPed with Bridget already, send an email with the subject “Lady Susan RSVP” with your name in the email, and make sure that your name matches your Webex info.

Who Is Invited?

As always, the book club is open to new members. All you have to do is read the book and come to the meeting to discuss it.

Save the Date: Winter 2022 BABC, Fri, Dec 16

Also note that our Winter 2022 meeting will be held in the evening on Friday, December 16 in honor of Jane Austen’s birthday. We will meet to discuss the Stephanie Barron Jane Austen Mystery, “Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Hope to see you on Sat, 11/19 and Fri, 12/16!

Fall 2022 Boston Austen Book Club Details

  • Who: Boston Austen Book Club; always accepting new members!
  • What: Lady Susan
  • When: Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 1pm
  • Where: Via webex, see this page for webex info on the day of the event
  • How: any edition of the book is acceptable
  • Why: Because we love Jane Austen

Boston Austen Book Club Homepage

Learn more about the Boston Austen Book Club at our new homepage, here at Notebook Witch.

NotebookWitch.com/BostonAustenBookClub

Categories
About Sabbats

Samhain 2022

One Year Since Notebook Witch Was Started

Smahain graphic for your social media – Facebook cover photo, Twitter post, good old Tumblr; feel free to use! Please credit @NotebookWitch (@TheNotebookWitch on Instagram)

Happy Samhain! It’s officially been a year since I woke up and decided to start that witchcraft blog I’d been mulling over for a while! And how is it going? Well, in truth, it’s okay…I’m actually writing this opening part of the post a month after Samhain because, as I’ll explain in a moment, this year has been RIDICULOUSLY busy.

Still, I’m glad I’m finally fitting in a time to make yet another Samhain graphic, which you are welcome to use for your social media. (Bonus, since I didn’t post it this year on my own social media, I can use it for next year!)

Why Samhain Is a Good Time of Year to Start a New Adventure

It’s the New Year! In a witch-y sense. Samhain is the final harvest holiday so it’s the end of one year of rest, sow, grow, then reap. The quietude of the resting period is a great time to make plans for the future.

I don’t save resolutions for the start of the calendar year. I do them at various times throughout the year. Like in September, since I work in higher education, I do a New Academic Year Resolution each year. It may or may not be directly related to work. Sometimes it’s a thing to help me be more productive at work, like KonMari-ing the office. Sometimes it’s a thing to make a better work-life balance for myself, like do Tori Amos’s post-show skin care regime each night (failing at that elaborate regimen, but at least I’m at least washing and moisturizing my face before bed, as opposed to falling asleep in my makeup and waking up look like a member of the rock band KISS).

My Samhain resolution this year is to get a 10-minute walk in each afternoon. But last year, it was to start this website…

A Year Since Notebook Witch Started: Samhain 2021-Samhain 2022

So, why have I been so busy? Well, I did take some time out around the actual Sabbat to make a Facebook post about what has kept me from being more prolific in official blog posts. And with that preamble, I’ll copy and paste below.

I started Notebook Witch right around Samhain last year. I’ve built the website, established the social media accounts, and posted a decent amount of blog posts.

Not bad for a year in which I also:

  • started working in-person again (hour commute each way)
  • moved (albeit up one story but no matter how far you go, it’s still a pain)
  • moved my mom up from New Orleans
  • started another book club (Tori Amos Book Club)
  • kept Boston Austen Book Club going
  • expanded Boston Poetry Marathon to a hybrid event
  • kept the fundraiser aspect of BPM going and raised almost $1000 each for the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund and Rhode Island’s The Womxn Project
  • won a seat on my city’s Democratic Committee
  • was sick with the worst (non-covid) virus I’ve ever had
  • had a bad break up; was sad; started trying to date again
  • started “The Artist’s Way” and kept up with my Morning Pages almost every day
  • was tested for ADHD and diagnosed with inattention issues due to anxiety and ‘porr sleep hygiene’
  • started going to therapy for my anxiety
  • worked on better sleep hygiene and practices
  • started becoming a morning person
  • lived my plain old day-to-day life with chores, errands, grown up tasks, and the all-important rest

Hmmm. Before I listed out all those things, I hadn’t even realized how much I’d been up to and was kinda feeling bad I hadn’t had more posts up on the blog. Now I’m surprised I was able to do anything at all! ☺️

Well, thanks to everyone who is supporting the page! I appreciate your interest as I explore what’s going on in the witch and modern pagan community-at-large, what’s going on locally, and what I’m up to on my own as a solitary eclectic neopagan witch.

Here’s to whatever else I get up to in the next year of Notebook Witch!

Categories
Things To Do

Scenes from the Ocotber Witches’ Night Out Market

Halloween Friday Flea & Witches’ Night Out Market at Farm Fresh RI

The Witches’ Night Out and Friday Night Providence Flea held events throughout the summer and fall of 2022, and I was fortunate enough to make it out to two of them.

The Halloween event was bustling and buzzing to the brim of vendors and attendees coming together in witch comraderie, as well as showing off some fantastic Halloween costumes. To get a sense of the magickal occasion, see my Instagram posts below.

Learn more about the event, Witches’ Night Out, and the Providence Flea at the links.




Categories
Modern Witchcraft Things To Do

A Witch’s Treasury of Local Hocus Pocus 2 News and Events

Hannah Waddingham in Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+)

Witches of Northern Rhode Island and All Over New England Celebrate the Premier of Locally Filmed Hocus Pocus 2

The long awaited sequel to Hocus Pocus, Hocus Pocus 2, premiers this weekend. It was filmed in my backyard, practically. Ha! Well, filmed in nearby Lincoln, East Providence, and a block from my old apartment in Federal Hill.

(Side note: it’s silly to have my main graphic be Hannah Waddingham and not the Sanderson Sisters, I know. But my love of Ted Lasso only grows, whereas And Just Like That has diminished my devotion to SJP and Sex and the City. Hahaha. Anyway, that’s why Hannah gets pride of place!)

Hocus Pocus Happenings in Rhode Island

To commemorate the occasion, Rhode Island is chock FULL of celebrations and tributes. And there’s a lot of great stories of people who worked on the film some way or another.

Blackstone Valley Events

Super sad that the BeWitched and BeDazzled Event at Chase Farm is sold out! It is going to be AMAZING! If you’re lucky enough to somehow get a ticket, I hope you have a great time.

https://greatroadheritagecampus.org/bewitched-and-bedazzled

Maeva’s Cottage in Woonsocket, a metaphysical shop in my neighborhood https://www.facebook.com/maevascottage

However, 1 mile away from me, the delectable Wright’s Dairy Farm is having a special Hocus Pocus menu for the occasion, so I can pop by and check that out!

And, EVEN CLOSER to home, just a half a mile from my front door, the new metaphysical shop, Maeva’s Cottage, is have a Hocus Pocus Takeover event: https://www.facebook.com/events/601868298186931/

For even more Hocus Pocus-ery check out the Tour Blackstone website: http://tourblackstone.com/hocus-pocus/

c/o @TheFemmeBrulee on Facebook

The Official Costume Sparkler

A while back I used to volunteer for Front-of-House duties for Boston-based burlesque shows sometimes. One of the best costumers and burlesque performers I know, Robyn “Femme Brulee” Girgosian, was the official Costume Sparkler for the Sanderson Sisters’ costumes. How freakin’ cool is that?! She posted about in on her Facebook account in a public post. Read all about the intricacies of the costuming at her post: https://www.facebook.com/thefemmebrulee/posts/pfbid035MjXvRDLjHosV45LKCdH9Cp8nPLFgpCtKuPpQLKC7ohUTZYMMrdDkQhwTDaa8eS1l

Enjoy the Hocus Pocus Focus This Halloween Season!

If you’re a fan of the original and excited about the premier of the sequel, I hope you enjoy the magic of the Hocus Pocus premier weekend!

Categories
Sabbats

Mabon

big changes in a new season

Mabon 16×9 Graphic for Facebook Cover, Twitter Post, and Social Media in General

Here’s a cute little graphic I made for the Mabon sabbat. Feel free to use it on your social media to observe the holiday. If you do, please credit Bridget Eileen at Notebook Witch.

About the Sabbat Mabon

The Autumn Equinox has arrived to the Northern Hemisphere and by golly have I been going through from sweeping changing with this season that ushers in sweeping changes!

Mabon signifies the end of summer, the start of Fall, and the winding down of the growing season. The apples, squashes, pumpkins and Halloweeen decor is coming out. The swimsuits and beach chairs are getting stored away.

Sweeping Change

Though Spring cleaning is a well-known custom, the start of the Fall season is also a good time for sweeping up and battoning down for winter. Many witches often do ritualistic cleaning, including a deliberative sweeping ritual.

My sweeping change is in fact much bigger and more metaphorical. I have a new neighbor in the 2-family home that my mother and I own: my mom! She lived in New Orleans for a dozen years and has now returned to New England. She is retired and wants to be closer to family now. She’s really close to me–just a stairway apart.

In all the chaos of moving my own belongings to the second story apartment and moving my mom out of New Orleans and into the first story apartment, I have not had much time for Notebook Witch blog posts.

Remember to Follow Notebook Witch on Social Media

I have put up a few posts on my Instagram account, which is @TheNotebookWitch. I didn’t have time for much in New Orleans during this trip, save for packing up my mom and getting some delicious food.

I did, however, get one visit into the New Orleans Healing Center in St Claude, and bought some lovely things at the Island of Salvation Botanica there. I took some photos and plan to do a blog post about it sooner rather than later.

Blog Plans for the Rest of 2022

Notebook Witch will remain in “soft launch” mode for the rest of the year, given the moving circumstances. And given that things are very wild at my day job. It’s chaos everywhere, it seems.

My goal is to at least observe each Sabbat with a post here at the blog. Here’s hoping I can stick to that!

Categories
Literary Arts

Upcoming Boston Austen Book Club Titles

The dates for the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 are still To Be Determined, but the titles are set. We will meet again on Jane’s birthday. This is a special celebration because the BABC turns FIVE this year!

Check back here or on the BABC Facebook page for event details.

Upcoming Events – Some Exact Dates Are TBD

  • Fall 2022 (upcoming) – Lady Susan, any edition – mid Nov; date TBD
  • Winter 2022 (upcoming) – Jane Austen Birthday Bash, Dec 16 – Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron
  • Spring 2023 (upcoming) – Jane Austen’s Letter’s edited by Deirdre LaFaye (either newest or second newest edition) – late March