I’m usually a pretty easy going person.

I try to get along, not cause drama, and if there is drama, not make it worse.

Of course, I have drama in my life sometimes, you can’t totally get away from it.  And when this happens, I normally will hole up till it’s over, or try to work around it, mediate it, or….

I simply put on my alter-ego… Tawanda…

And shut it the hell down.

I had a moment like that yesterday.  And Tawanda was only too happy to make an appearance.

You see, a few years ago, a friend (name withheld because of privacy) and I started a group.  It was a Pagan group, designed to allow people in my area to have a place to meet, greet and get together, without being afraid to talk about things that many non-Pagans wouldn’t necessarily understand, or would think were just downright “weird”.  It wasn’t meant to be a “coven” of any sort, no real structure, and no real rules other than “Play nice”. 

The word “Independent” is stated very clearly, right in the middle of the group’s name, to let people know that this wasn’t just for people looking to belong to a coven, but to those who choose to also celebrate, practice, and simply live, in their own particular way.  No obligations to attend any meetings or functions, no dues, no feelings of guilt if you couldn’t make it, or just plain didn’t want to.  It was meant to be friendly get-togethers and sharing things that  we have in common.  Or learning about how people do things differently.  Whatever.

Just this last year, when Facebook introduced the idea of “Groups” on their site, I figured that this was a good way to allow our bunch of rebels and rabble-rousers a place on the social network to meet and hang out.  So I set one up for this particular and peculiar band of “Independent Pagans”.

Basically meant to be an internet “cork board”, I wanted to give the community a place to hang their conical hats, meet others who hadn’t been able to come to the picnics and get-togethers we’d had in the past, post new get-togethers for all to see, and just generally hang out with like-minded people.  It was never intended to be anything more than that.

Until yesterday, when someone decided that the group needed a “mission statement”.

Well, I thought I’d spelled it out pretty clearly, right in the description of the group:

“A place for pagans in the area to network, post events, chat with other pagans, and have fun!”

Simple, to the point.  Just the way I wanted to get started.  Then, this person decided that they were going to not only put forth this mission statement… they were going to tack the name of MY group on it.  Rather like ripping my baby from my arms and calling it theirs, telling everyone that it was going to grow up to be just like them.


Remember me?

The person who created the group in the first place?


When I read the initial posting, I had to hold myself back from immediately ripping this person a new orifice.  I was on my lunch break, and knew that, for as mad as I was at the time, it wouldn’t be pretty, or polite.  It would be downright nasty.

So I kept mum until after work.  In the meantime, the friend who helped me start this group went on and posted a query as to the other person’s intent.  And got a snarky remark back.

Game on.

I was polite.

I was tactful.

And I was also very, very…. honest.

Some might call it  – blunt.

I saved the actually angry stuff for my own personal page.  Basically saying “Don’t F*** With Me”.  I have a reputation, you see, that when someone pushes me?  I push back.  And I don’t back down.

A brief apologetic post followed a couple of hours later from this person.

Nuff said.

Play nice, kiddies…

Tawanda out.

The Reason for the Season

Samhain.  All Hallow’s Eve.  Halloween.

Each of these names mean something different to everyone you speak to.  And the legends, stories, and mythology come from many different sources and histories.

Some you talk to, will say it’s all about the costumes and the candy.  Some will say that it’s about decorating your house with ghoulish images, and about setting up scary scenes for people that come calling.  Others will say it’s all about spooky movies, and hiding behind corners to pop out and frighten your friends. 

There are a lot of different ideas about the holiday found at the end of October.

And so, I’m here to tell you about my reason for the season.

Yes, I love the costumes, the candy, the decorations filled with spiders, bats, ghosts, skeletons, and other creepy things.  I love the spooky, scary movies and the rest of it.

But, when you get right down to the whole feel of the month of October, and the actual night of Samhain… something changes for me.

In the Wiccan faith, and in fact, over many of the Pagan beliefs, there is a consensus that the veil between the living and the dead is thin at this time of year.  That those on the other side of this barrier have the opportunity during this season to come to our side a little more freely, with a stronger sense of purpose and energy.  They have greater access to the living, and can speak to us, bringing us signs of their presence.

More magickal spells are done at this time of the year, I believe, than any other.  Partly, I think, because of the heightened awareness people have of the possibilities of what magick can do, with all the attention that paganism get.  Witches play such a huge role at this time of year, due to the media hype, that they get asked at this time of year more than any other for spells. 

But the strongest magicks are those that deal with honoring those who have passed before us.  Seances, which I personally will not do, just for personal reasons, are popular during this season.  I don’t believe that the spirits need a seance to manifest during this time, and to hold one… well, I feel that it’s disrespectful to those spirits who wish to remain at rest, as it more or less pulls them from the other realm to speak to and interact with this one.  Leave those at peace, in their peace.  And those that wish to cross over, temporarily, will do so in their own time and manner, without our interference.

Divination, the use of tarot cards, pendulums, runes, palm reading, etc., is done more at this time of year, as well.  The reason for this is that many people believe that it is spirits from the other side that bring these messages of the future for the person getting the reading.  I, personally, believe that the messages come from within the person being read, not from an outside source, but their own belief that Halloween allows this to be a stronger, clearer reading, opens them up more to this form of fortune telling, so it works better, because they believe it will.

In essence, the outward trappings of Halloween are fun.  I’ll be the first to throw on a creepy costume and traipse around behind my children for trick-or-treating, or simply to get into the spirit of the season for those that come knocking at my door.

But the reason for the season… for me… is to honor those who went before.

 And that, I do privately.  Quietly.  With dignity, respect, and love.

May Spirit light your way, and guide you home through the darkness.

Tuesday Theology – An it Harm None

The main tenet of the Wiccan faith is the Rede, shown above.

Basically?  It means that as long as you are not harming anyone, including yourself, you are free to do what you wish in your life.

Imagine that.  Freedom of choice.  Freedom of will.

Freedoms that we now enjoy in our nation.

After the news on Sunday night, I know that many people rejoiced that one of the world’s most heinous terrorists had been stopped from ever harming another living soul.  I was one of the people that found this to be welcome news.


I also know that there are many people out there that find the idea of killing someone, even someone as evil as that man was (I don’t wish to give his name anymore space here, or anywhere, because names have power), to be just as wrong as what he did.

I disagree.

I do believe that you need to refrain from doing harm, to the best of your ability and knowledge. 

When I do any magick, and when I teach people about the ethics of Wicca and Witchcraft, I teach them that they need to be mindful of the consequences their actions could have.  They need to remember that all actions have results, and when you seek to change the world around you, you not only have to be aware of the changes you’re seeking to make, you also need to remember that everything you do, will affect others.  Not always positively.


You have to accept it for the things you do in your life.

And whether that man ever took any real responsibility for the horrible things he did, is debatable.  I won’t debate them here, however. 

He’s being judged by a power by far higher than anything that we humans could ever hope to be. 

But, to get back to “An It Harm None”.

Yes, you should seek to avoid harming others.

But when the cost of not harming is greater by far, such as in leaving a man to run free, and allowing him to cause so many others to be harmed, or killed, on his orders… then something has to be done.

And yes, his followers may choose to follow in his footsteps.

But he won’t be making any new ones.

And his days of harming others….. are over.

I, for one, breathe a little easier today.

And, whether you believe in Allah, God, the Goddess, Buddha, or any of the other millions of names of God, Cosmic Karma, or whatever – Justice and Responsibility will always catch up with your actions.  Whether it happens in this life or the next, it will come. 

It has come for him.

“I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” — Mark Twain

Bits and Pieces

Time once again to play one of my friends’ favorite games…..

What’s on Brea’s mind these days?

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

My head is often a jumbled land of the ridiculous and ranty, topped with a generous dollop of the truly weird.

This week has been no different.

*  I had a dream last night about vampires.  I know part of the reason I dreamt about this is because I’ve been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I have all the seasons, and just started watching them from the beginning again over the weekend.  The really strange thing, though?  They were not in Sunnydale… they were in the little town I used to call home, when I was a single mom, and where I spent most of my time as a 19-20 yr. old… the town of my favorite time of life.  Also?  One of my friends, one that passed away a few years ago, was there, and was helping me to fight the vampires.  I have no idea where he popped up from, but we were royally kicking vamp butt, and it was awesome!  It was actually a pretty cool dream.

*  I’m anxious about my divorce (naturally), but what I’m most anxious about right now is the fact that although my attorney told me that the papers have been signed, there’s still no word on when it’ll go to the judge.  There was a small mixup on the visitation schedule that requires an affidavit to correct it, and my attorney is supposed to tell me when it’s ready to sign.  I haven’t heard anything yet, and it’s driving me crazy.  Did his attorney send the paperwork back to mine yet?  Is there yet another hang-up to be dealt with?  I hate the waiting.  I really hate waiting without knowing what’s going on.  I need to be able to get on with the next phase of my life.

*  Speaking of the next phase… I was able to get back into my old bedroom this weekend.  After painting it!  After 10, almost 11 years, of the awful dirty pastel teal that was in the room, I chose a beautiful yellow called “cornmeal”, because it’s light, and soft, and relaxing, and warm.  The old room was a lot like the bat-cave, because it was always dark.  The windows were blocked off to allow my husband to sleep during the day, since he works nights as a baker.  There was never any real light in the room.  Now there is.  I worked all Saturday on it, and only have a bit left, which can be done in small bites, as I feel like it and have the time.  My nephew came over on Sunday and helped me move my bed upstairs into the room and I got it all set up.  I slept like a rock that night.

I love my new yellow room.

*  YoungerDaughter has such a gift for making me laugh!  She came home from work tonight, and after her shower, popped a huge chunk of chocolate in her mouth.  I looked at her in dismay, and she said, mouth working hard to contain all the chocolatey goodness, was:   “Awwa Wabbid’s foo… IS’ wuucky.”

All a Rabbit’s foot.  It’s lucky.

That kid kills me!  All she has to do is smile or giggle, and I’m overcome with joy.  Truly, a gift and talent that will be invaluable to her throughout her life.  She’s amazing.

*  OnlySon has been quaking in his sneakers since he came home on Monday.  I told him that we’re cleaning and reorganizing his room this weekend.  Tremble in fear, boy.  Mama’s bringing the YARD BAGS.

*  I’ve been really thinking hard about the book lately.  I want to get back to work on it, but by the time I get home at night, lately, I’m exhausted.  My friend, Sparrow, told me that this is normal at this stage of the divorce process.  Emotionally?  I’m spent at about 10 pm.  And… this leads to some rather odd texting late at night.  Sorry, B.  I mean it when I say I’m going to start keeping my phone in another room.  Everyone’s safer that way!

*  As tired as I’ve been, though?  I’ve been picking and poking at small bits of Spring house-cleaning.  I want to do a thorough, top-to-bottom, deep house cleaning this Spring, really get everything organized and ship-shape. 

Then I’m going to do a total magickal house-cleansing and re-blessing.  I want this house to lose that “bad ju-ju, emotional sinkhole” feeling that it’s had for so long.

I may just have a grand re-opening house party when I’m done, and fill the house with light, laughter, music, and good friends.  Kick this thing off right!

*  I’m so glad that the weather is starting to turn the corner here.  It’s been cold for so long, and even though we’ve got a lot of flooding here, due to the fast snow-melt and winter clingage, there have been a couple of really nice, sunny days.  I want so badly to get outside and walk in the park, instead of just sitting in my vehicle, watching the geese from my heated seat.  I want to walk.  Smell the fresh air, face the breeze, and let it blow through and around me, taking away all the anxiety and anger I’ve been hanging on to.  I’m ready.

Now, how does this all coalesce to a cohesive and comprehensible whole – namely, my brain?  Well, it doesn’t.

That’s half the fun of the game!

Thanks for playing we have some lovely parting gifts for you – Monty?  Tell the good folks what they’ve won!

How bout a lovely year’s supply of waxed turtles, Brea?

Uhhh…. ok!  They don’t call ’em sliders fer nuthin’, I guess!

Tuesday Theology – Beltane

May 1st is Beltane.  It’s a joyous celebration of Spring, complete with flowers, ribbons and fire.

And yes, it’s a fertility holiday, too. 


It’s not just about that.

Beltane is a fire holiday that celebrates not only the creation of new life, but the creation of prosperity.  In the old days, people would light the Beltane bonfires in celebration of the sun returning in full force to help everything grow.  Couples would hold hands and jump the flames to show their commitment to one another, with those that jumped the flames at their highest, without letting go of each other’s hands, bringing good luck to their relationship for the years to come.  Usually, the eldest couple in the village would wait till the end of the night, when the fire had dimmed to just coals, and holding hands, they’d step over the remaining fire calmly.  This was the culmination of the night, and afterwards, everyone would take some of the leftover coals home to light their hearthfires, knowing that they contained all that hope and love that had been infused into it by the people that leapt the flames.

The villagers would also bring their cattle, and drive them past the bonfires, to bring fertility to their herds, and luck to their farms.

Beltane is about the earth breaking open, to release the magick of the seeds that had lain just under the surface, and growing into the crops, flowers and grass that was necessary for life.

It’s about the breaking open of all sorts of magick, that’s lain fallow over the winter, waiting for its moment to come forth and spill good luck and prosperity over those that wish for it.  It’s about the fulfillment of hopes and dreams, and seeing the beginning of new and wonderful things in your life, after waiting through the darker times, and working for this new start.

And then, there’s the maypole.

Young maidens and young men were typically chosen to dance around the maypole, weaving the ribbons round it in a certain pattern.

It was designed to bring the young people together, allowing them to meet one another in a supervised setting, giving the parents a chance to find “good matches” for their children in the future.  It was also about “weaving the magick” to the earth, through the wooden pole stuck into the ground, making it stay in one place, to “hold” the magick and good luck in one place, ensuring the prosperity of the villagers for the whole year.

This Beltane, some friends and I are finishing a ritual that we began at Ostara.  Eggs were cleaned out, decorated, and a slip of paper containing our hopes and wishes were placed inside of them, and sealed with tissue and wax.  In this way, we were “planting” our dreams, giving the magick time to grow within.  At Beltane, we will crush the eggs in our ritual, releasing the magick into reality, and burning the slips of paper to deliver our dreams to the God and Goddess, in the hopes that they will be received and fulfilled for us.

No one speaks about their wishes that were written, safeguarding the magick with silence.  I know, though, that the magick has already begun.  Speaking with one of the others, as well as my own experiences, tells me that this is so.

And on Sunday….. everything will become the reality that I’ve been wishing for.

So Mote It Be.

Dissecting the Wizard – Finish Him Off!

The second half of the tale of Dorothy leads off with the girl and her pals wandering off to find the Wicked Witch’s castle, searching for a way to get her broomstick… so the Wizard will feel safer, more powerful, and hopefully grant the wishes of each of them.  A brain, a heart, courage, and a way home.  Just what should be on everyone’s list when shopping for your friends.

The Wicked Witch of the West?  Well, she sees them coming from mile away. 

I mean, after all… when you’re the envy of the neighborhood, you better keep your eyes and ears open, hadn’t you?

Adorable, ain’t she?

Yes, she is.  And I want one of those flying monkeys of hers.

Just sayin’.


Dorothy gets snatched up by the winged primates, and hauled off to be confronted by the witch, who really – really wants her shoes.  And I don’t blame her.  Ruby slippers?  Are you kidding me?  How fantastic are those?

And the boys are left behind, cleaning up after themselves.  They immediately strike off to find their friend, and to get her and Toto’s ashes out of the fire.

Remarkably?  They get into the castle with very little trouble, and find Dorothy almost the moment they step inside.  Funny… the castle looks pretty big from the outside.  How’d they ever find her so fast?  Oh, of course, Toto… the tiniest member of this motley crew, finds the boys and leads them to her door.   Anyway, they bust Dorothy out of her room without rousing the whole castle (even with breaking down the door with an AXE, mind you)

Getting out of the castle, though?  They get stuck.  The Witch meets them at the door, and her guards pin them down at spear-point.  But, through someone’s quick thinking (ironically, the dude without a brain), they escape, only to get caught in a game of Tag, and end up in one of the towers on the edge of the castle.

And when the Witch takes her moment to tell them exactly what she’s going to do to them?  They douse her with a bucket of water, trying to put out the flames she’d laid on the Scarecrow.

(Really?  Who decided that they should use water?  All this told me as a kid – was that baths were bad for you, and would make you melt.)  Not really a message my parents wanted me to learn.

Well, they get the broom, and get it back to the Wizard.

Who tells them to get stuffed – he’s too busy for them.


So the dog turns him in as the fraud he is.  Good boy, Toto!  Who’s the Wizard now??

Hoist on his own – fraudulent stories – the Wizard comes clean, telling the troupe that he’s nothing but an old fraud, but that maybe he can help them out somehow, anyway.

Handing over some tokens, he shows each of the guys, that really?  They had what they were looking for, all along, they just needed to have someone else validate it for them.  Being seen through someone else’s eyes as a valuable, valued person, is something everyone strives for. 

And then, it’s Dorothy’s turn.

And the dud has nothing in his bag for her.  Well… except the balloon that dropped him in Oz in the first place!  Dude!  A ride!!

Of course, he doesn’t know how to drive, and ends up taking off without the girl by accident.  Of course it’s an accident – right?


And here’s where Glinda steps back into the picture.  Miss Obvious.

She explains her earlier silence by saying that Dorothy had to figure everything out for herself, or the magick of the shoes wouldn’t work.  Yeah.  Sure.  That’s why.

So, Dorothy clicks her shoes….. and wakes up.

Back at home, in  her own bed, with her family surrounding her.

Lessons learned?

Basically – You can’t run from your problems.  They’ll follow you, even over the rainbow.  Find your friends wherever they are, whoever they are, and hang onto them.  No matter how quirky, strange, or downright crazy they may seem.  They’ll help you keep on track toward your goals.

And don’t ever, ever forget – Home is in your heart, no where else.

Dissecting the Wizard – the Top Half

One of my all-time favorite movies, and something I have to watch every year, without fail, has always been —>

Ever since I was a little girl, this movie has caught my imagination, and my wonder.  And over the years, I’ve discovered that it has quite a lot to say to me.

There are a lot of funny, sarcastic moments in this movie for me, hidden behind the soft, “simpler age” cinematics.  And the music in the movie never gets tired.  At least not to my ears.

Many people are so rabid about their fan-dom, that they can’t take a joke about it.  I, on the other hand, love seeing things like this:

To me, this just proves my theory… namely, that the Wizard of Oz will resound with generations of children, and adults, far into the future.  Even if just to make them laugh.  But I think, really, that there’s a lot you can take away from this movie.  If you look closely, listen carefully, and really dissect the Wizard down to his socks.

At the beginning of the movie, we see Dorothy, living in a dull, drab landscape with her aunt and uncle.  She gets into mischief with her dog, Toto, because… well, there’s simply nothing else to do in her life.  And when the time comes to pay the price?  It’s excessive, yes, but she rebels, just like every normal teenager all over the planet.

By running away, fleeing from the consequences of her unthinking actions.

When she bumps up against an insurmountable problem, the “Twister” that threatens to tear up everything she loves, she’s knocked down, knocked out, and wakes up in a totally unfamiliar landscape, amongst strangers. 

The people are actually rather kind to her, after she does them an unforseen favor, that of ridding them of a bully – The Wicked Witch of the East- who’s been terrorizing them for a long time.

She also meets up with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.

Now, part of me has always wondered why Glinda didn’t do something about her counterpart to the East, but, when I was  a young girl, I did actually read the books, and discovered that the witches were all sisters.  So, I guess it’s an unspoken family rule… you aren’t allowed to kill your sister.  Good rule to have, I guess, but awkward for the munchkins.

Anyway, Dorothy gets the bad-girl shoes, which have powers (which of course, Glinda won’t tell her about, or doesn’t know about, since she’s a “good girl” and not a “bad girl”).

Now enters my personal favorite character of the whole movie – The Wicked Witch of the West!

I’ve talked about her before, here, simply because she is someone that has always fascinated me, and I always thought got rather a bum rap.

She tells Dorothy off for killing her sister, and tries to get her birthright… the magickal shoes, thus setting the whole journey in motion.  Without her?  This would have just been a long, quiet walk through some rather pretty countryside… no excitement – all sugar, no spice.  Boooooorrrrrring.  And?  Dorothy would have never learned her lessons in the first place!

Dorothy then heads off on her own, to try to find someone to help her get back to her life and family.  Through some accidents of her travels, and some divine intervention (of the “Glinda” variety), she meets up with just the right people (ironic, that) to help her find what she’s been looking for. 

The Scarecrow, who needs to get a clue… The Tin Man, who needs to get over being such an emo sap…. and The Lion, who needs to get some… uh, (PG rating deletes comment).

They go with her, trying to help out, and stumbling right along with Dorothy, until they reach the Emerald City, where they’re told that they’ve traveled all this way, only to be turned back. 

“Nobody gets in to see the Wizard, not nobody, not nohow!”

Well, of course, they end up getting in to see him, anyway, because they’re just that fabulous, and he sets them what seems to be an impossible task before he’ll grant their wishes.

Ain’t that always the way?