Thursday, November 29, 2012

Owl Moon

Good Morning,
For the past two mornings I have been woken by the call of a pair of Great Horned Owls. Yesterday they were very close, I'm betting the tree at the end of the driveway, and they woke me up before four am. They tend to be more vocal around the full moon anyway, and these two were calling back and forth for about an hour. I didn't mind. Eventaully I fell back asleep listening to them with a smile on my face.

Now somebody is probably ready to ask how am I sure that's what species of owl they are. Well these owl have lived in my neighborhood for years, and I have seen them at night sitting at the top of the neighbor's large spruce. That silhouette is hard to mistake. They look like a big winged cat sitting up there in the trees. Plus you can identify them by they distinctive 5 note call. If you want to hear what they sound like click on this link. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/sounds

Yesterday while I was Yule shopping I found some adorable owl ornaments. These were natural looking and kinda "furry", but they looked great --a sort of really miniature horned owl. I snagged one for our four foot nature theme tree that is in the family room.
This morning I was treated to another horned owl serenade at around 4:30 am. This time they called back and forth for around a half hour. I live in the suburbs west of the St. Louis area. The homes in my neighborhood range from well over150 to 60 years old, so the trees are large and well established. It is not unusual to see racoons, possums and the occasional fox. We also have falcons and red tail hawks in the neighborhood as well. Occasionally we see a bald eagle as we are not too far from the Missouri river. But the horned owl are a special nighttime treat.

We often hear them in the late autumn early winter months and as mentioned before they are very vocal around the full moon- especially on clear nights, like we have had for the past two nights. Last fourth of July I was walking in the backyard around 11:00pm and disturbed one of the Horned Owls.  He swooped down from a low maple tree branch and I admit I jumped and then ducked as he silently flew over to the neighbors yard. You forget how big they are until you get close to one. I found the picture to the right online- and thought it would give you a good idea of the shape and size of these owls. Now imagine that swooping out of the dark and a few feet above your head....

Traditionally an owl is a symbol of clairvoyance, wisdom, magick and of course the mystery of the night. A classic symbol of the moon and witchcraft. The owl is associated with the goddesses Athena, Lilith and Lakshmi. According to Ted Andrew's book "Animal Speak", "One who works with owl medicine will be able to see and hear what others try to hide."

Take a careful look (and listen) at the wildlife in your own neighborhood, I bet you are in for some surprises.
Blessed be,
Ellen

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mercury Retrogrades- Are We Having Fun, Or What?

Good morning,

This past few days have been so fabulous and glamorous I just have to share! (Yes, that IS Sarcasm).
First, my husband's car went back to the shop for repair.  I called in Roto Rooter in a panic the day before Thanksgiving to have the sewer lines cleaned out, The plumbing was making horrific gurgling sounds- and I know what that means- that clean out service cost me over 200 bucks. I tried to be a good sport about it, after all it needed to be done.

My daughter and I  were baking gingerbread while the plumbers were here, and they were blown away by the yummy smells in the kitchen. As I signed the check the plumber looked at me and said he had not smelled anything like that since he was a little boy.  I calculated his age mid 50's and he was such a nice guy that I ended up sending he and his partner home with a bag of gingerbread cookies still warm from the oven.

Then to add to the fun of Mercury Retrograde, next  the computer needed an overhaul (that one really cost me) and then... our internet started acting up.  I called the SBC Global Internet hotline so many times in the past weeks, it wasn't even funny. If I ever hear the phrase... "Most problems can be solved by turning off your  modem and then restarting the modem and computer...." it will be too soon.

First my internet connection slowed down, then it disappeared, and came back on.  Then we would loose connection for no rhyme or reason. Then it would come back- for a few moments- then disappear again. Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning I was working online when "pop" no internet. But a message saying that there was no broadband source.

So I called the SBC Global hotline again, and the young man named "Bob" with an Indian accent politely asked me if we had been experiencing any static on our home phone lines. We had been for weeks, and on cue the static became very loud. "Bob" promptly informed me that it was probably a line issue and transferred me over to the repair center.  I spoke to another person who got me scheduled for Friday, the very next day, to have a lineman come out.

I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was an exterior equipment or a line problem as those are not repairs that we would be charged for. The lineman showed up early and got to work. I was so nervous I watched out the kitchen windows while I did the dishes. I heard him climb down his ladder, from the side of the house, saw him squint up at the phone lines and shake his head. Then I watched him walk along the side of the house and dive into his truck. He started tossing tool belts and huge boxes on the ground, and I literally cheered and  ran down the hall to wake up the Hubs, pestering him with excited questions.

"Hey! the lineman is here and he's tossing lots of stuff off his truck! Do you think we lucked out and its an exterior problem?" I asked as I bounced up and down.
My husband sat up in bed and tried to focus on me while I shot off rapid fire questions. Finally when I wound down he looked at me and said, "Ellen he's not going to replace anything unless it really needs it. What is he doing exactly?"
Which sent me scrambling back to the kitchen to watch. (It also probably also bought my husband 5 more minutes of peace.)

The lineman ended up replacing the phone lines from our house and then two telephone poles over. He even had to turn off the neighbors phones while he worked. After he was finished he came to the door and asked how long we had lived here- (29 years) informing us that the lines were over 25 years old and corrupted- in other words they were so brittle and old that we probably never had a decent internet connection.

So NOW I have a computer in proper running order and a better internet connection than ever.And since it was exterior work there was NO CHARGE for us! Hooray!

All we gotta do is hang in there until the 26th of November and then Mercury goes direct. And we are on the downward slide now. So hang on kids, we are almost through this!

Catch you on the other side of Mercury Retrograde!
Ellen

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Turkey Day & an Affordable Pagan Dream Cruise!

Hello,

Life is slowly returning to whatever passes for normal here at home. Tour season is done and OMG Thanksgiving is less than a week away. I will be putting in many hours in the kitchen this week as I typically get asked to bring pies. Currently I am up to having to make four pies...

Also my adult kids and nieces and nephews will rise up in revolt if I don not bring gingerbread cookies to my sister's house. Typically we go to my sister's house for the first meal and then to my mother-in-laws for supper later in the day. You have to pace yourself and eat light, when you celebrate with both sides of the family (Mine and the Hubs) and have two holiday meals...

I think I will definitely make pumpkin pie with fat-free condensed milk and egg beaters. You can't taste the difference but ever calorie saved helps! As to the gingerbread cookies.....the recipe that I use for gingerbread people cookies is found in my book Seasons of Witchery, in the Yule chapter. Check it out. I promise the cookies are awesome.

In other news, I have just announced that I will be the guest speaker on the 2nd Annual Pagan Dream Cruise! I worked with the event coordinator and our hosts at BBCMS and together we came up with a more affordable option this time around.  For starters the cruise departs from Jacksonville, Florida and Southwest airlines flies there.

Which means if you are like me and tend to book your flight months in advance you could really SAVE on the flight! (That's exactly what my husband and I will be doing.) Yesterday we were both looking at the Atlantis website and grinning like lunatics at all of the absolutely cool stuff there is to do... We went out to dinner and the movies last night and all we could talk about was seeing the Bahamas and Atlantis.
Here is the information...

Come join us September 7 - 12, 2013 for 5 nights aboard the Carnival Fantasy in the Beautiful Bahamas!
We will be visiting 2 great ports of call including Nassau, home of ATLANTIS!
We will have 4 Fantastic Classes Taught By author Ellen Dugan!
We will be leaving out Jacksonville FL, which for all of you flying SouthWest flies in and out of Jacksonville!
Rooms starts at ****$462**** per person for 2 people! 
For 3 or 4 people in a room it would be even less!
For more information visit the 2nd Annual Pagan Dream Cruise- Facebook page. Here is the direct link. 2nd Annual Pagan Dream Cruise
 
 So that's it from here. I am going to try and get a little holiday shopping started this weekend and goddess knows I need to hit the grocery store and stock up on baking supplies. 
Wishing you all a Happy Turkey Day!
Ellen

Monday, November 5, 2012

Heading to Galveston Island, Texas for Author Event

Good Morning,

The Witchery Store- Galveston Island, Texas
This week I head to Galveston Island, Texas to "The Witchery" store for my final author event of the year. Here is a link to their website.
http://witcheryonline.com/
I am really looking forward to this event, and as I have never been to Galveston, I am excited to see this part of Texas. This is a big author event and a three day long one at that. Here is a picture of the storefront.
Just below is all of the information about the events.

WEEKEND LONG AUTHOR EVENT- IN GALVESTON ISLAND, TEXAS!

Dates- Friday, November 9th, Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 12th.

Place: The Witchery
2116 Postoffice Street
Galveston Island, Texas 77550
409-515-0669

Author Meet and Greet
Date: Friday, November 9th

Time: 4:00 to 7:00pm
Place: The Witchery
Come meet award-winning author Ellen Dugan and have your books signed. Ellen will be at The Witchery on Friday night for a free book signing and chat. Looking forward to seeing you there! Ellen will be at The Witchery on Saturday and Sunday as well. Doing tarot readings with her new Witches Tarot deck, and teaching three classes.

Tarot Readings by Ellen Dugan
Date Saturday, November 10th

Place: The Witchery
2116 Postoffice Street
Galveston Island Texas
Time: Tarot Readings from 11:00am to 5:00pm: By Appointment Only- (Call the store to schedule your time.)
Tarot Reading Price: $30.00 for a15 minute reading.


Ellen Dugan offers Three Magickal Classes at The Witchery

Class Dates: Saturday and Sunday November 10th & 11th, 2012
Time for Classes: See below with each class description
Classes Offered: Magick of the Witches Tarot , Herbs for the Seasons, and Practical Protection Magick
Class fees: $40.00 per class
Class Descriptions:

Saturday Evening Class- (7:00 - 9:00 pm) Magick of the Witches Tarot- Join award winning author Ellen Dugan for this two hour class as she explains the symbolism and magick behind her new deck, Witches Tarot. Learn about the archetypes and magick behind the symbolism, as well as discovering more information about the new card spreads that she created specifically for this deck. The Major and Minor Arcana will be discussed. This class also features tips and trick for working magick with your Witches Tarot deck. Bring your Witches Tarot deck along and we look forward to seeing you there! Class fee- $40.00. Call store to reserve your spot in class.

Sunday Afternoon Class- (2:00 to 4:00pm) Herbs for the Seasons: Herb magick is available to us through every enchanting season. Join award winning author Ellen Dugan for a lecture on the Herbs for the Seasons and learn new ways to incorporate practical herb magick into your Witchery all year long. In this lecture Ellen discusses her new book Seasons of Witchery, practical plant magick, herbal folklore and of course ways to personalize your Craft all year long. Looking forward to seeing you there! Class fee- $40.00. Call store to reserve your spot in class.


Sunday Evening Class- (6:00 - 8:00pm) Practical Protection Magick:  As a special treat Ellen is teaching her very popular workshop on Practical Protection Magick This class will cover your psychic strengths and weaknesses, explain how to diagnose a magickal problem, and discuss the difference between a hex and a crossed condition. This live class has been popular across the country and Ellen is delighted to offer it for the first time in Texas. This class will explore real-life psychic self-defense, and it gives practical advice on dealing with emotional and uninvited psychic vampires. Several techniques of protective spell-work will be discussed, and you will also discover what the phrase “Magick follows the least path of resistance”, truly means. Class fee -$40.00. Call store to reserve your spot in class.

I had to stop and reconsider what clothes I would wear to these author events as the climate on the Island is drastically different than what we have here in Missouri at the moment. Thank you Weather Channel.com-- But I broke out all of my pretty Capri pants and my lighter, and dressy sleeveless tops. I also pulled my dressy sandals out of the closet. So I think I am all set.

I will also bring some of my Garden Witch Charm Bracelets to sell, and for fun I am bringing along a mug and three car charms with the art from my Witches Tarot for give-a-ways at each separate event at The Witchery store.
I hope to see many of you there! This is gonna be a blast!
Blessed be, Ellen