Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To Curse or Not to Curse...

I've been quiet a while, having just gotten back from a week long conference that took quite a bit of preparation. The wedding is also just over a month away.

Surprisingly, I'm not all that concerned or stressed about the wedding, nor is Fiance (who I will soon be referring to as Husband). Most of my stress comes from either work or my super special in-laws.

To recap the long and obnoxious crap that has been going on: MIL is still a selfish, manipulative a piece of work, SIL is... well I will censor myself on that since I'm still a little sore over the things that she most recently said about me, and several of my cousin-in-laws have been swept up into their "Witch, witch, you're a witch!" campaign in which I am the one who has been labeled intolerant.

And yet, all of that is not what the title of this post is referencing. This post is about when to turn your will against someone, because I am seriously considering it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Vacation and Aftermath

Before I get into the meat of this post, I wanted to share a little bit of what has been going on the past two weeks (and why I've been so quiet).  Basically, a year of in-law drama came to a head and burst.  There was crying and frustration and a period of two days where I was so upset and anxious that I didn't eat. It was fairly miserable, by which I mean really really miserable.

And once the big set of drama was finally calmed down and things seemed to be on the road to recovery, my future sister-in-law who is back in town started a huge fight with my fiance and claimed she was tired of all the drama... yes, she made to claim of there being too much drama in everyone's life by starting a huge poop storm right when things were finally getting better.

But in better news, I went out and got a ton of books to help with the witchy studies, which I have had no time to read so far.  I will admit, few of the books are actually directly witchy, but I think that they are good for building the support skills.

Anyway, on with the actual post.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Images of Witches in Popular Culture

Source: Microsoft 2010 Clip Art
Can I say that I love the above image?  I do so very much.  Yes, there are some cliché and unrealistic parts to it.  As we all know, real witches do not fly on broomsticks (at least not in the way depicted above).  But, look at what it is really depicted: an average older woman dressed comfortably with a knap sack and a kind face.  She doesn’t have the hat, but we all still know what she is.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Vacation Prep and Some Crafting Updates

So the following post was written last week.  However, I didn't actually get a chance to post it before I left for vacation.  I figured I'd post it now before I compose a post about my actual vacation.  


Only a few days left until I go on vacation!  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it (minus the fact that I’m in grad school and will have to do homework while I’m there). 

I’m going with Fiancé, some family, and Misty (aka the old lab/pit mix that accompanied me on my afore blogged about woods walk).  Nothing like an 8-hour car ride to get you far the heck away from all the people who are driving you crazy. 

Fiancé and I will be back in the place where he proposed to me a year ago.  There is something nice about that.  In fact, since the place holds special significance to us, it might be a wonderful site for some Crafting. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Save the Drama for you Catholic Mama (in law)

Hello all.  I want to start this probably long drama-filled post with an observation.  When it comes to somewhat devout Catholic mothers, I have noticed that they seem to fall into one of two categories.  The thing they share is the traditional Catholic guilt, but what divides them is how they apply it. 

Catholic mothers in Group A live and internalize their guilt.  It governs their behavior and makes them kind to a fault.  Despite the resulting kindness, it’s not particularly good for them because they agonize over every small possible mistake that they may have made, and they pass the guilt on to their children who learn from this behavior.

Catholic mothers in Group B use Catholic guilt as a weapon.  They purposely infect their children with it and then use it throughout to control their children throughout the children’s lives, meanwhile never actually feeling it themselves (though perhaps they themselves were infected and controlled by their parents, so they seek to control their own children in a similar way). 

My future Mother-In-Law is of the Group B type.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Moon Correspondence: A Page from my Book of Shadows

I should say that I the following was derived from the Farmer’s Almanac. I’ve altered their content to include my own interpretations. 

I've have a Book of Shadows that I haven’t added anything to it since high school. (Click here for a flip through video). This is my attempt to start a new one.

The following names of the 12 full moons can be used to alter how you see you moon deity (perhaps as a descriptor for her garb or perhaps affecting the name you give her) or you can use them as I do.  Being scientifically minded, I prefer not to see the sun or the moon as a humanoid deity with a personality.

The sun and moon are not living things as we would define them, and yet they are essential to our lives, making them sacred.  So I prefer to look at them as just that, sacred forces and objects.  In that way, I like to view the moon as a sacred orb that controls the tides and acts as a time table that helps me see the changes in the year. In that way the Wiccan or Pagan Lunar Calendar can be expressed and used to pass seasons.

So without further ado, a page from my Book of Shadows (again, see for the original unedited content):

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Woods Walk

When I was young, I spent hours in the woods behind my house.  There wasn't really anyone around here that was my age to play with, so that's where I went.  I decided this week that I wanted to revisit my childhood playground and take some pictures for memories.  I figured I would share them here.

The View Starting Out

My very old, trusty four-legged sidekick, Misty.

We pick an entry spot closer to the road 
(That's the soybean field in the background, across the street.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Midsummer Solsitce 2012

I hope everyone had a Happy Solstice.  I myself had most of the day yesterday off.  Of course, that was only because I had to go to premarital counseling (which I recommend to everyone who can afford it or whose insurance covers it).  The rest of the day was spent inside with all the windows curtains drawn because it was 100 degrees outside and Fiancé and I were trying to keep the AC bill down.  We watched a bad movie, a comedy special, and I ate grocery store sushi (which I love!).

Overall, the day wasn’t very Pagany, but then again, I’m never good at celebrating Sabbaths that don’t coincide with major secular or Christian holidays.  Though I guess I will count the July 4th celebrations as my Midsummer.  It is close enough and it’s celebrated with family, drinking, and fireworks… which is pretty much the way you are supposed to celebrate a fire festival like the summer solstice. :D

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cool Spring Night in Wonderland

This evening, I enjoyed one of my favorite treats.  My parents are hard workers and savers.  On a mechanic’s and a school media assistant’s (though she was a lunch lady prior) salaries, they managed to buy two acres of land in what was the middle of nowhere ten years ago and build a pleasant little home for me and my brother.  Since then, the country road that was hardly ever traveled on has now become rather busy, and neighborhoods of hulking houses have sprung up with their street lamps on all night and traffic going by at all hours. 

But my back yard, or glade as I like to call it, is still lined by trees.  And during this time of year, the lightning bugs flicker by the thousands against the black wooded backdrop at night.  The frogs that live in the creek that surrounds the glade on two sides ribbit their love songs and the crickets chirp along.  This night, between the cars that buzz along the road, I even got to hear and see the flapping bats who sweep along (probably eating the lightning bugs).  While I wish there were less street lights from the nearby neighborhoods and I wish less cars and motorcycles roared along the street, I can still see and hear the lovely sight that is the glade in the backyard in late spring and wonder at the magic of these small but precious places in the world.

I wish pictures or film could capture things like this, but perhaps the fact that they can't makes it all the more special.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Insantity of Blending Two Families

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy for me.  Between work being overwhelmed at work, grad school starting back up and sucking away my life, and wedding planning going into full force (less than five months away), I have been completely swamped.  

In addition to that, my Catholic soon-to-be mother in law (or MIL as I will refer to her from now on) has been causing issues non-stop.  First, let me give you a rundown of our relationship so far.  I spend 50% of my holidays with Fiancé and his family including his parents.  We often go over their house on weekends (at least once a month or more) just to go over, this is separate from holidays, birthdays, and those types of things.

Back when Fiancé was just Boyfriend, I went on a get-away weekend to the small town where his parents grew up to visit his extended family.  We caravaned with his parents the whole way there, roughly 8 hours away.  While we were there, MIL took me aside and explained to me that I should call her Mom and her husband Dad.  The talked to me about how she had had a mother-daughter relationship with her own mother in law, and that she expected the same for us.  Now, let me reiterate that this was before Fiancé had proposed to me.  I was a little taken back, and explained that I really didn’t think it wasn’t comfortable calling them mom and dad, as I already have a Mom and Dad.  I let the whole part about what she wanted out of our relationship go without comment, but kept in mind a promise she made that I could talk to her about anything.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Adventures in Alaska

Alaska pictures as promised.

So work sent me to Anchorage, Alaska, for Beltane (actually it was for a conference, but lets pretend). Consequently, I did not really get a chance to celebrate Beltane, but then again I usually don't celebrate many of the major Wheel holidays other than Halloween, Yule, and to a far lesser extent and for totally personal reasons Mabon (which I'm fairly sure is the one that doesn't have any real historical legitimacy, so the fact that I make it my own personal holiday works, but don't quote me on that one).

Also, on May first in Southern Central Alaska, the sun does not go down until 11 PM, it doesn't really get dark until midnight, and then the sun comes back up at around 4 AM. Oh and it looks like the dead of winter and there is still three feet of snow on the ground in the rural areas, so celebrating what back in my neck of woods is the full on bloom of spring just does not seem appropriate.

The downtown area of the city is pretty amazing. It's not in every city that you can look down the street one way and see snow covered mountains, and look the opposite way and see water complete with sea gulls. Also, for an arctic city, there are a ton of homeless people wandering around, and I got to see a teenager girl fight in Town Square Park, right outside what I think was their court house.

But before I make you think that the city was unpleasant, it's important to remember I was there two weeks before tourist season. While I was there, it was amazing to watch everybody buzzing around getting ready for the tourists. Street lines were being repainted (all the lines get worn away during the winter because of the gravel they put down on the road, which makes driving in the city with three lanes of traffic and no lanes very interesting). They were washing the streets, prepping all the parks, and in general just taking care of everything.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sit for a Spell

Well, technically I stood and kneeled for a spell... and given that I grew up Catholic, that's pretty funny.

Anyway, I did my first actual spell (not a ritual or prayer) in a months tonight.  I won't go into exactly what it was, but it was desperately needed for my sanity and well being.  I saved the words, but I think I will keep those to myself.  They were very specific to this situation and probably not much use for anyone else.  After all, I never really intended for this blog to be primarily for sharing spells.

I will say that I have noticed that in the past I have been very hesitant to actually work my craft.  It seems so silly, but I would have a need for a spell yet would hesitate and hesitate because I worried that there would be some unforeseen consequence that would make everything worse or that somehow someone else would be hurt by my actions.  The reality is no one can do anything without risk or potentially having a negative effect on someone else.  When I got my current job (with no magical help), I beat out someone else for it.  I negatively affected them, but I never hesitated to try my best in my interview.

I think I'm starting to get over that, which will be wonderful for my personal growth.  Unfortunately, all my witchy supplies are at Fiance's house (I figured that if my parents were going to let me move back in for very little rent to save for the wedding, I wasn't going to openly practice or keep evidence of what they think is evil and wrong in front of them).  So, I had to do whole a lot of improvising.  Luckily, I had my Caribou antler that I picked up in Alaska, which was basically the only tool I used, and it was really all I needed.

I'll post later on how successful I actually was.  It will probably be a little while before I know.


Monday, May 14, 2012

The Gator: A Poem/A Short Update on What's to Come

Post removed due to a snooping Fiance who might have objected to its content. :P

If ever the time is appropriate, it will be restored to its original glory.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Good Home, Emotions and Ritual

In just a little over a week, I am moving out of the home that I have been in for the last year and a half.  While this doesn’t seem like a long period of time, it is the first time that I have stayed in one place this long in the past 8 years.  A year and a half of relative happiness and contentment is extremely unusual for me.  To be truthful, I don’t want to leave.  And the fact that I am temporarily moving back in with my parents doesn’t help.

Long story short, my parents are charging me half the rent I pay now to live with them until the wedding.  They also happen to be 20 minutes from my work instead of the 40 minutes it takes me to get to work from the condo.  My fiancé lives 1 hour and 30 minutes from where I work.  So cutting down my commute time and rent expenses means more money for the wedding and more time for school.  And yet… my room in the condo was mine.  Wonderfully mine.  

While I have been slowly packing things up and moving boxes in short trips to both my parent’s and fiancé’s homes, I’ve still felt a strong pull and ownership.  As my condo mate brought in new people to see the place, I felt a creeping jealousy towards my potential replacements. 


Hello.  My name is Susan Brooke.  Welcome to my blog.

For my first post of this new project, I figured I would provide a little bit of an introduction of both myself and what my plans are for this site.  For starters, I am a graduate student.  I’m working full time and going to school part time in order to earn my M.S. in Information Technology.  If you think this sounds boring, you are very right.  It is also incredibly stressful and expensive, but mostly boring.  I have my B.A. in English with a specialization in Medieval Literature and a minor in Creative Writing.  My, how my aspirations have changed since those days early days.

But that’s just the boring academic side of me (which I can’t wait to be done with).  I’m also an enthusiastic but woefully inexperienced gardener, a cook with a track record of things coming out edible 50% of the time, a knitter who can only make rectangles, a Pagan, and a part-time witchy woman.  I also have a fun group of friends who run the gamut of almost normal to lovably odd and who never leave me with a lack of stories to tell.

And if my friends and list of activities don’t provide me with enough humor to share, my family and in-laws will more than make up for it.  Because, in addition to the work, school, and social life, I’m also getting married this year, which means that myself and my Deist/agnostic fire fighter fiancé are going to have to balance my devoutly Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventists relatives with his Catholic parents and Evangelical and Fundamentalist relatives, and somehow squeeze in all his cursing, spitting, hard drinking fire house buddies to boot.  If nothing else, it should be fun to watch.

So why a blog?  Well, my life is hectic, crazy, full of unusual situations, and I wanted a place to record it.  I wanted to share both the goings on in my mundane life as well as my spiritual one and share the things I learn, whether they be cooking, gardening, or witchy.  And frankly, I wanted some place to talk about what happens when headstrong Pagans and fundamentalist Christians end up firmly stuck in one another’s lives, and the good and bad parts being not just a Fire Fighter’s girl but being one with unusual interests.

I think that sums it up in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoy my blog.