“Promotion” within the SRC!

I have the pleasure to announce that Tulekah has been assigned to the position of Event/Activity Co-Ordinator within the Silver Roan Community!

During her time within the Circle, well before & exponentially increasingly so since her initiation into the Outer Circle, Tulekah has shown an amazing drive to learn and better herself, and a great willingness to step up and take responsibilities without being asked.

Congratulations Tulekah! I, personally, am very excited to see the new twist you will bring to our event planning!

-MoonRaven

My Pagan History – Tulekah

Our very dear Tulekah is in the process of studying within our tradition to graduate to the Inner Circle. As such, she is, as with any course, given written assignments to complete. Her first such assignment was as follows:

Minimum 1000 words. Who,  what, when, where, & why you became interested in the Craft/Paganism/Wicca, in what way you wish to move forward with it (in which direction), what your pagan aspirations are (goals) and what you would like to be remembered for within the community.

She did an excellent job, and truly opened her heart, and poured her soul into this essay. I am very proud of her, and have high hopes that she will not only achieve the status of Inner Circle, but will one day be much more…

24 October, 2013

SRC Theoretics

Assigned by MoonRaven

My journey through Wicca started very young. At 7 years old I saw a little boy in front of my house. He was playing hide and seek in the tall trees in my yard, which lined the dirt road in front, from the fence to the driveway. It was dark, and winter, so I found it odd that a little boy who looked not much older than I did was outside. I told my father, who told me there was no one there. These types of events continued…

At about 12 years old it really hit me – I did not believe the same things my friends at school did, and I could see and hear things they could not. I thought I was going crazy. I started to look around online for something that fit, and I found various things but nothing truly fit. Around this age, maybe 13 at most, I had an episode what would be later labelled as an anxiety attack, but I think it was more like my natural abilities trying to escape through force. I was watching television with my sister in the living room, and she got up and left. Shortly after I felt very hot. I closed my eyes and opened them, to see fire surrounding me. I screamed and cried out for my parents for I don’t even know how long, and according to them it took 20 minutes before I came back to reality. My mother got something at the pharmacy to help me sleep that night. They didn’t really know what to do with me!

The following year I met a girl at school who claimed to be Wiccan. I listened to her version of it, and was intrigued. I now know she was a bit off on what true Wicca is, but I was 14, I didn’t know then. We became friends and hung out a lot at our houses together as we lived pretty close to each other, 10 minutes away by car. One day in my bedroom we played around with fire. We started a match in a tin bowl and used our minds to increase the flame… and almost burned my house down… It really opened my eyes that I was, in fact, different.

I did more of my own research, mostly online but getting books where and when I could. I did my first ritual at 14, as a solitary. I lit candles, called the corners (though it was very different from what I do now!) and did a ritual. I chanted off the top of my head. It was to try to save the dwindling relationship of my parents and family. My parents were about to get divorced, and I was tired of being the “punching bag” they took it out on. It totally backfired, things became far worse, and not long after they had their first break up since I was 5, but it didn’t last long. They got back together and broke up again several times. After this (after a while), I realized I could not help them.

But my passion was sparked. I decided to focus on myself after this more than others. I did little things here and there, turning lights on and off, fire play (my parents thought I was a total pyro by then) and just admiring the night skies. When I was about 15 I went to a catholic church youth group meeting. I just had a bad break up with my first ever boyfriend and was devastated and needed new people to surround myself with for a while. I met a boy there and he asked me out, but it was 3 weeks of phone calls then he dumped me on Boxing Day by email. I ended up dating the other guy for 4 more months. But it also showed me that I need to go with my gut. The day I met the “new guy”, at the church, there was a music circle and it touched me. I thought at the time it meant I should be converted. But when the “old guy” who still was very close friends with me, talked to me about it, he told me to really look inside myself and see if it was just how the songs touched me. See, during one song, I saw my grandmother, who had departed not long before. (I was 12 when she passed). It had me in tears. I misread the signals. In hindsight I think she was telling me, this is not for you. And my on and off boyfriend, was trying to get me to see that. I went back to him, and back to myself, and back to Wicca.

I practised on and off until I was in my late teens. I moved a lot, so I was solitary for my entire teen life. I wasn’t very open to many people in my teens, but I did find some people online to chat to about it. I would often be found outdoors or alone in my room online. But as my family fell apart, so did I. I took attention from who ever offered it, and it resulted in sexual assault and 3 miscarriages by the time I was 18. I got into heavy drinking and stopped my life for alcohol. I was a royal mess. I moved in with a guy who encouraged me to get back to finding myself and even though my relationship with him ended, I did find myself. When I was 18 I got pregnant, not just with the lost child, but with my first born. It took me back to my beliefs, because I wanted to instill them in my child. I did my first ritual in about two years, full on with a circle made of salt and chalk lines in my kitchen, when I was 8 months pregnant. I wished for health and love for my child from the Goddess, for a safe delivery and passage into our world. I ended up having my daughter at 40 weeks and 5 days via full medical induction after a very difficult pregnancy. But she was perfect! I managed to do the labour with no epidural and nursed immediately. She had lots of hair! She was tall and skinny just like her parents, lol. Everything was amazing for the first 3 weeks of her little life, darn near perfect.

But then, the ground was removed from beneath me. And I fell down hard.

I came home when my daughter was 3 weeks old, from a doctor’s appointment. I had spent the entire night before in hospital, as my wee little girl had been very ill the day before and kept overnight for observation. Only one parent could stay, so my fiancé, her father, went to his mother’s house to be close by. I had a horrible, shaking in my bones feeling all the way home from that appointment. It was raining where I was when we left and it sunk into my body. It was the first time I had left her, and though only for a few hours, the longest I thought I would ever have. Little did I know it would end up being the last time I saw her, that morning when I left, or her father. I came home to find out, my house burned out. My daughter was taken to one hospital and my fiancé, another. I darted (with my mother behind the wheel) to the hospital, to be taken to that little room and told the worst news of my entire life. I had an angel. 2 days later, her father joined her from a Montreal hospital, his body had given in after 48 hours of fighting, he was brain dead and his body shut down.

I turned to my beliefs before anything. It was the only thing I could do to keep me from going off the deep end. I spoke of the Summerland, the spirit travels, and how I believed my child was born into a life she knew she would not be in long, so she gave me an amazing gift of sharing her short life with me before being called off because the lessons she needed to learn and lessons she had for me where now done. I spoke of how my fiancé had reached his lessons as well, and how I shall forever cherish how he gave me unconditional, undivided, pure love for a short time. He is my soul mate, but it not to be my mate in this life. And it took me much time to come to terms with that. But as soon as I let my full grief out, after all the formal funerals and burial ceremonies finished… I lost it.

I spent about 3 months doing nothing. I drank too much. I went totally insane. Someone from my life before my child came back into it and took it over. I was grieving but covering it with temperamental, superficial happiness, and lusted in others. I ended up, 6 months after the horrific day, moving out of town to be with another man, who turned me to a dark side of life. For the next 6 months I studied dark magic and Satanism, even was editor of a youth website for a local satanic circle. Then, he did to me what I never thought would happen again after my mother did it when I was 15. He pulled a knife from his own wrist, to my throat. And that showed me the true colors behind the dark life he was leading. I was out of it in days. And found myself again grieving.

Situations led me back to where I am now. I moved back home for a brief time and regained myself, restarted my life. It was a rough patch, with many bumps and bruises. But I found Wicca, I found my Goddess again. I was on and off practising my arts until I started planning my wedding, many years later. In that time I had a son, and was a single mother to him until I reconnected with an old friend who became my husband after 3 years of dating and 2 years of living together. I also gained a child in my step-daughter, and had another child with my husband. I realized I could not, would not feel really married without my true beliefs being involved, so our entire ceremony was a fusion of Catholic and Wiccan traditions. We had a hand fasting as part of the ceremony; it was an amazing experience, and received likewise response from wedding guests. Many had never seen it done, and thought it was unique, but it in a good way.

After my wedding I decided I really needed to connect to others and break out of my solitary shell. I started reading more, researching more and looked for a local Circle. And thus, I found the SRC!

My first encounter, I did not know what to think! Here where these women, so close to in distance and lifestyle choices and beliefs. They were all a little different but I could find ways to relate to each of them. Little did I know it was the start of an amazing friendship, especially with 3 of the women who were sitting with us… There were 6 of us that first dinner. I soon befriended them all. Moon Raven, Witch Hazel and West Winds all of course where there. We had several more dinners then I was invited to my first ritual. It was the first “formal” circle ritual and I was overwhelmed with the energy. It was pouring rain and we were outside for the whole thing. But I wasn’t cold until after the circle was closed. We had many more dinners, rituals and gatherings, including a weekend getaway camp what most of us and some of the children attended. It was a blast!

Yule last year I was officially initiated into the Circle and given my wiccaning, and given the name Tulekah. This name came to me on Hallows Eve while I was doing a cleansing bath before ritual. I have learned so much from my sisters, and have in turn hopefully helped them along their journeys in life and love and higher power. I love them like family, as, after all, our circle is that of a family one, a teaching circle. And as I am learning more, experiencing more and rising up, I am excited for the next chapter.

I hope above all things, to grow stronger, and wiser, and happier. This is true in all areas of my life; my work and my parenting and myself as a whole, but my work in the pagan community and the Circle it holds particular importance, because without my faith and my Sisters, I would not be who I am! I hope to learn from my sisters and teach them, as well as learn from new members and friends and teach them. I hope to help expand the horizons of the minds of others, and break the stereotype placed on us for so many years. I hope to be able to further my powers both personally and in the Circle as a whole. I want to be able to be in tuned with nature as I once was before tragedy pulled me from my gifts to do so. I want to be able to commune better with all beings, both here and no longer here.

I am also excited to see my little witchling come into her own. My youngest child is particularly gifted and I don’t just mean she’s smart. She’s surely a child of the Goddess herself. She’s already seeing beings that Momma can’t. And as vouched by her auntie Jessie and Auntie Sarah, they are not just imaginary friends! I hope to help her control her gift better and cannot wait for her to be taken under the full wing of the Circle as well as maybe my son in the future!

Healthy Habits With Tulekah

When you think of healthy eating with the push from today’s society it’s easy to get caught up in it or think it’s too expensive or complicated. “No gluten!” “Organic is best!” “Whole unprocessed grains!” Really as good as these are, not everyone can buy the $5 loaf of bread that is gluten free or has the time to make it, and not everyone can afford all organic foods in the supermarket. The important thing is that you get your minimum requirements and eat real food! Eat actual fruits and veggies! Want to know an easy way to do it that is low cost? Grow your own fruits and veggies!

People often forget the importance of getting real – not processed or sweetened or canned and salted – foods in their diet. It’s so simple and easy and takes minutes a day, and does not need to cost a lot.

 It takes 5 minutes to throw a simple garden salad together, you can choose the items you enjoy, and top it however you like. You can eat it for lunch with chicken, or as a side with steak at dinner. Or, you can add some peppers and green onions to your morning eggs, or even apples and bananas in your cereal. Put some pickles or spinach on your sandwich and throw an orange in your work bag. It’s that easy! And you can do it when eating out too. Ask for a salad or fruit salad on the side with your meal instead of those fries!

During the 2013 Ostara ceremony, the SRC blessed some soil in hopes of bountiful growth. We painted egg and welcomed the God and Goddess. We had the children participate in our events, to teach them of the values and traditions important to our Circle, and teach them about the Springtime, and it’s wonder and splendour. In the spring everything grows and becomes new again. The flowers blossom. The trees bloom. And food grows. And it can grow anywhere. Your own back yard! Pots on your window!

An important thing to note is even if you grow your own, you should still at least rinse it off before you eat it. White vinegar is a great thing you can add to some warm water to help clean off fruits and veggies, and it also helps them to last longer.

I have four easy tips for growing a garden, no matter where you decide it will go.

Believe in your skills as a gardener.  

 

You need to know you can do this! Follow the recommendations on the back of the seeds or the label of the plant. Water, feed, and love your plants. You don’t need big fancy expensive soils or feeds. I started growing a potato plant in my kitchen in March. Just plain black soil, in a hanging basket! By May it was about 6 inches high on the stock and lots of veiny white roots! And don’t be discouraged if you do not do well the first time. Try again!

Bless your soil.

 

This can be as simple as lighting candles and asking for your mother Goddess to bless the soil in your planting pots, or be all out in a full ceremonial manner. But it is good to ask for help. Ask the Goddess to fertilize your fruits and envision growth in your veggies.

Don’t forget the sun and the water.

 

Place your plants in an area that has lots of sunlight. Water it daily, but not in the hottest part of the day. I like to do it in the morning, or in the evening when there is still sunlight but not over powering sunlight.  When I moved last summer I was happy to hear the previous renters had tilled an area for a garden. But on observation, the area did not get a lot of sun. In fact 3/4 of the day it was shaded by a fence and neighbouring shed. So we tilled a new area this year, right in the back, and in the sun! So far we’ve planted my potato plant and some cucumber seeds. I’m excited to get more and watch it all grow.

Put overpowering plants far away from each other.

 

The first year I did my own garden, I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t out overpowering plants close to each other! I made the mistake of lumping cucumbers and squashes together. Th cucumbers totally took over the squash plants, grew over them. I had cucumbers for months. My peppers, tomatoes and other veggies did well… but my poor squash… not so much. I think I only got one!

Make it fun too!

 

Get the family involved in it. Get younger children to help with putting seeds and bulbs in the ground, or help hold the hose when you water. Get older children to help dig holes and allow them to water on their own. Get everyone involved in the grooming, make it a game, see who can get the most weeds in a pile with the roots attached. Talk to the children about how these plants will soon turn into food they can eat! Get them to help pick it when it’s ready and wash everything off. And then make a yummy salad they can help eat!

WitchHazel’s Mothering Ceremony

On the 4th of May 2013, the Silver Roan Circle gathered with WitchHazel’s family and friends to pay hommage to the sacredness of her role as giver of life.

The Circle was cast before the guests arrived, and the Great Holy Altar of the day, our dear Sister WitchHazel, was seated on her ‘throne’ in the centre of the Circle.

Each person present took three roses from our bucket of seventy-five, knelt before WitchHazel, imbued the roses with a blessings of Love, Friendship, Patience, Temperance, and Strength, and laid the roses at the lovely Expectant Mother’s feet.

On the 5th of June, 2013, WitchHazel gave birth to a GORGEOUS, 7lb, 5oz baby boy.

Bright Blessing upon You and Your new Family!
MoonRaven

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The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013

The 2013 Great Cloth Diaper Change

by Tracey (Tulekah) Valade

 The first ever great cloth diaper change was held in 2011. In 2012, 256 locations in 15 countries (greatclothdiaperchange.com) held simultaneous events, to break the world record for the most reusable cloth diapers changed simultaneously. That meant that some events (like in Malaysia) happened at 2am! There was a total of 8, 251 qualifying participants, setting the world record.

For those unfamiliar, cloth diapers have been around for centuries, long before disposables. Modern versions are made with different fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, and microfiber. The covers for them are usually made of wool, fleece or the most popular option is known as PUL, or polyurethane laminate; and they’re so much softer then disposables, usually lined with fleece or stay dry materials, sometimes even super soft velour.

Over time they’ve become less popular, because of the seemingly lower cost and convenience of disposable diapers. I say seemingly, because if you look at the total numbers, it’s actually less expensive to use cloth!  When I started cloth diapering with my youngest I was just planning to use them at home, thinking it would be easier. But as soon as I started using them, we stopped buying disposables and started buying more cloth diapers! There is not that much more laundry, maybe 3-4 extra loads a week at the most, when my stash of diapers was at a good amount I was only doing it maybe twice a week.  At one point I had over 50 diapers and did laundry once a week! I got a little addicted, I admit, but the good thing about cloth, if you buy too many you can resell them! Or when you child grows out of a diaper or potty learns, you can sell them off and earn back yourself some of the money. I found they have less leaks, and less smell, than using disposable diapers. Knowing that I am saving that much money and keeping the garbage bag total down, is a good feeling.

Here’s a little fact for you, did you know disposable diapers commonly take about 400 or more years to totally decompose in landfills? I sure didn’t think about that when I started buying them.

This year, the Real Diaper Association and Guinness have decided to do things a little differently. The record is going to be done over a 24 hour period of time. At 11:00am, no matter where you are, we will be changing those cloth bottoms again! The event itself is happening on April 20th this year. I will be hosting the Cornwall location, for the second year.  Last year, I joined in the fun late and only had 7 participants. This year, without any press or media coverage yet, I already have more than that. In order for us to qualify for the Guinness world record total, we need at least 25 participating pairs of mommas (or dads) and their wee ones. There are a couple rules set by Guinness, to make it fair, such as the diapers must be 100% reusable diapers. That being said you could show up in a disposable one, as long as the diaper put on the baby at 11:00am is cloth. I will be hosting it at the Early Years Centre in Cornwall, located at the McConnell Ave * 9th St Intersection. I will have door prizes, be raffling a diaper (with the majority of the proceeds going to the Real Diaper Association) and I will have thank you bags for all participants to take home! Door prizes include gift certificates and coupons for various activities, restaurants, stores and cloth diaper makers, such as a custom cloth diaper at 50% off from Rumpkinz, and an 8 class session gift certificate from Bouncing Beans playgroup.

I hold monthly workshops for cloth diapers at this location too, every 2nd Thursday of the month. It’s free and you get to meet other mothers in the area who have chosen to go over to the cloth side. You learn about laundering, the different styles and brands of cloth diapers (As they have come a long way in the last 10 years or so) and even things like what to do when your baby gets a rash when you’re using cloth (though it is less common, as cloth diapers breathe better then disposables).

Registration in advance is recommended to save time at the event. I have an online registration set up. It opens at 10:00am on April 20th. Every must be there and registered by 10:30am, as then I will be reviewing the details and doing the raffle draw. The change will happen, and then we will give out the thank you gifts and door prizes! Everything ends at about 12:00pm.

The event can be found on facebook events at

http://www.facebook.com/events/218315694975746

The event online registration can be found at

http://www.123contactform.com/form-509847/GCDC-2013-Registration-Form

Feel free to contact me for any further details on the event, the workshops or just about cloth diapers!

Tracey Valade

Courses, and Workshops, and Apprenticeships… Oh my!

The CoursesApprenticeships, and Workshops pages have been posted, each with a brief description of what each category entails, to give our readers, followers, and seekers an idea of the curriculum offered within the SRC.

The Courses/Apprenticeships have not all been posted yet, nor are the descriptions complete!

These pages are all under construction!!!

Though these pages are all up, for the time being, they will be organized as interest is expressed for a given subject. Keep in mind that the Courses are exclusive to the Outer Circle, Apprenticeships are exclusive to the Inner Circle, and the Workshops are open to everyone. If there is a lesson you would like to take in your applicable category, please e-mail us at silverroacircle@live.ca.

Also, the Categories posted for the Workshops offer many possibilities. Don’t hesitate to send us an email if you have any suggestions pertaining to these.

Love & Light

MoonRaven

Initiation of Tulekah

December 21st 2012, the wind howled and the wind bellowed and shifted snow across the meadows. It was not the night to be driving, the first true snow storm of the season. In the darkness a light shined bright, in the form of headlights. Who would be crazy enough to drive that night? It was WestWinds who drove to get Tulekah in the middle of the night. When they arrived at the sacred space, WitchHazel had prepared a feast. Then within minutes the door opened and behold, MoonRaven had arrived. The Pillars stood at the ready in dress pants and blouses. They stood proud before Tulekah, happy to welcome her in. Sometimes the greatest rites do not need grandeur; there is no need for speeches and drama. Sometimes the art of getting a stubborn candle to light is enough.

***

On the Winter solstice the Pillars initiated Tulekah into the SRC tradition. She is now an official member of the outer Circle, and with time we hope she will become an inner circle member. The initiation was held before the fireplace and as the flames kept us all cozy inside the house the snow storm continued outside. It was the perfect setting to welcome Tulekah to the outer circle.