The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Shadow, Baby Boy Baba, by Remembering the Good Moments


Shadow - Baby Boy Baba

Good Afternoon,

Today's discussion is tinged with sadness and grief. Last night I found my sweet, fur baby Baba laying in a darkened corner, already gone. It was such a shock as he is only 6 and a half years old. But as I lie awake last night, as there was no way I could sleep, I thought of the best way I could honor his life and his memory.

I would dedicate this blog post by remembering the wonderful, happy, funny memories I have of him over the past 6 years. These I would like to share with you.

On October 20th, 2008 I was teaching an evening class at Enchantments, when a small, scared black cat came in the school and walked up the stairs to my office and started to rub up against my ankles. She was lost I thought. We found out later that she had been abandoned at Enchantments because she was pregnant. We took her in, called her Calli, and welcomed her four kittens born a little over a month later on December 3rd.

Calli had four kittens and Shadow was the last one born. He came out pure black initially so we called him Shadow. He was the runt, so small and dark. I was worried about him making it, he seemed so weak at first. I remember one night around midnight, I went up to the store and laid down a green cloak, one that I had worn during rituals, on the floor of the closet where the kitten nursery was located, and placed him with the other kittens on it. By the next morning Shadow started eating better and moving around on stronger limbs. In magick, green is a color of physical healing.

After the kittens were about two months old, a dear friend brought a big, huge, bag of kitten chow up to the store. It was too early for them to eat it, they were still on mother's milk, so I put the bag down on the floor in the corner for when they could start eating dry food. One day I came around the corner and the sight I beheld was of one tiny, very fluffy kitten, Shadow, who had crawled up the massive bag of food. He had chewed a hole in the top corner of the bag and was contentedly sitting and chewing on the dry food! I checked with the vet and he said that the kittens were far too young for dry food and he might choke! I took the dry food away, but Shadow whose name morphed into Baby Boy Baba has had an awesome appetite ever since.

His name morphed because when I brought Shadow home from the store, now being the owner of 7 cats, I wanted to split them between home and work, I started to call him Baby Boy. All of the kittens had spots and unique characteristics about them that told us they were in part Egyptian Mau. When I started researching Maus I found out that the original Matriarch cat that started them all was called Baba, over 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Putting Baba after Baby Boy sounded just too good, and it stuck.

Baba also had long, fluffy hair, an amazing fluffy, full tail and strong Maine Coon markings which tells us something about his daddy. Now I found it interesting from the vet that if a cat gives birth to four kittens, it's very likely that there were four father cats involved! Which explains the difference in coloring and markings. Even though the mother is all black, I believe the mother is the carrier of the Egyptian Mau genes.

Being partially Maine Coon, he had a fondness for water. Every time I went into my bathroom he would be right there ready to jump on the sink for a drink of water. He had a habit, as my hand was turning the faucet on, of licking the back of my hand as if in thanks. He kissed me every time he did this. In the past few months he grew a bit lazy, or it might have been his heart, where he would sit on the floor and look up at me. Beseechingly, asking me with his big soulful eyes to lift him up to the sink. The vet feels that he had an undiagnosed heart condition that caused his sudden passing. Maybe asking for help to get on the counter was a sign, that sadly I didn't see for what it was. Every night he would sleep in his kitty bed, and I would hear it creak when I went to the bathroom, as he would follow me in, always, and want a drink of water and always kissed my hand.

He liked to lay on the bed next to me at night, when we would watch television together. He would lay next to me and kneed the blankets with his big, gray paws.  His paws were large, over an inch wide and so gentle. I never knew him to ever extend his nails. He always kept them in. He would lay next to me, but when I would lift him up and put him on my lap he would tense up and when I took my hands off of him he would scamper away. To always come back later and lay next to me. Happily, in the last few months, he started to initiate laying on my lap all on his own. He would climb on me and lay down and turn so he could watch the television or turn so he could watch me. This made me happy, that he chose to lay on me, without my grabbing him and putting him there. This happened mostly in the past few weeks. He seemed lately to want to be near me as much as possible.

When we would sit down for dinner, we have a booth and benches in our kitchen, Baba would sit next to me on the booth and look over my plate for his one favorite food, chicken. He wouldn't eat any table scraps or pieces of any kind of meat unless it was chicken. I'm glad the last time we ate chicken, I shared my portion with him.  He always looked up at me with his deep, soulful eyes, looking so wise and sweet.And pleading for one bite of chicken, Mom, please?

Shadow Baby Boy Baba is an impressive name for an impressive cat.  He was a gentle giant, that only meowed when he wanted a drink of water or to tell us something special. He liked to play with the feather stick but only on the ground, he wasn't a jumper. He would sit next to the couch on the floor next to our feet and loved a red, fluffy blanket we call the mommy blanket, because as soon as they are on it, a cat has to start kneading as if ready to nurse from the mother cat. I'll always remember his enjoyment of sitting next to the balcony door, in the sunshine, looking out at the birds on the feeder, his big, fluffy tail swiping the floor in his happiness. I'll always remember his one little snaggle tooth that stuck out when his mouth was closed, giving him an endearing expression. I'll always remember how full and heavy he was in  my arms, filling them and making it feel like you were holding a big, furry baby. Which I was. I'll always remember him.

Last night, after he passed, I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I knew he was gone, but I still turned the water on for him. Only this time I didn't feel his little tongue on the back of my hand. I miss that gentle kiss in the worse way.

Baby Boy Baba was my gentle, loving, fur baby and I will miss him, like a piece of my heart is now gone. I couldn't sleep last night, but when I closed my eyes I envisioned the two of us, walking side by side along a dirt road in a vast field of green. In the sunshine of the Summerland, just the two of us. I'm not ready to leave him. So I'll continue to walk by his side .  .  . 



I thank you for reading my memories of Shadow Baby Boy Baba. Ms. Faith



Peace and Happiness


 © 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter . . . Why Bunnies, Baby Chicks and Eggs? They're all Pagan Really!

Good Afternoon,

The Christian holiday of Easter is right around the corner, and as Pagans we are getting ready to celebrate a much older, ancient forerunner of the Easter holiday. As Pagans we celebrate Ostara, the Spring Equinox. There's a lot happening with this sacred Holy day, let me tell you what I know.

The Spring Equinox is a day when the hours of light and darkness are equal. This will happen, this year, on Friday, March 20th, coinciding with a new moon.  Also, the ancient holiday (or Holy day) for Pagan people this time of year was Eostre. This was the Spring Equinox. Over the years this became the Sabbat of Ostara.

Many who follow my discussions here at "The Life and Times of A Contemporary New England Witch" already know that many Pagan holidays were absorbed by early Christians and made their own. This is true of All Hallow's Eve, and All Soul's Day which surround our Samhain on November 1st, as well as Christmas which is near our Yule in December around the 25th. Well the same holds true for Easter.

What you may not know is that the word Easter itself is taken from the letters of the Pagan Sabbat Eostre. Besides being at the time of the equinox, Ostara and Easter arrive at a time, on the agricultural calendar of the Wheel of the Year, when the spring grass is greening in the fields. The baby chicks are being born in the barn yards, baby bunnies are being born in the fields and birds are laying eggs in nests in the trees. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. One correlation between the Pagan Sabbat of Ostara  and the Christian Holy Day of Easter is the 'renewal' or rising of Jesus Christ after being entombed for three days. The number three also has many sacred meanings and symbolism for Pagans and Christians alike.

But whether you celebrate one or the other, we each of us find ourselves, celebrating the return of springtime after, this year especially, a long, hard winter. I think we can all agree on this one point.

 I like that the holiday of Easter has kept a lot of it's Pagan symbolism. If you can find yourself coming from a place where being Pagan isn't considered evil, merely different, it allows for a larger, broader, more complete holiday where everyone can gather and come together in celebration. In truth we have all been celebrating this spring holiday together for thousands of years.

I'm glad we still can celebrate it together. It is one holiday that is a beautiful amalgamation of both sides, both beliefs and understandings. So hard boil and color your eggs, decorate your house with images of rabbits, bunnies and chicks and gather together to welcome in the spring, the renewal of Life and enjoy one another.


Peace and Happiness and Happy Ostara, Eostre and Easter to you all! Ms. Faith


 

© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's Time to Replenish Magickal Supplies, Tools and Ingredients



 Good Afternoon,

While many of us are waiting for the first warm breezes of spring, when we can start doing outdoor rituals there's plenty, magickally, to be done in the ritual room or magickal storage cupboard. That's right, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your magickal supplies, tools and ingredients and to replace old ingredients with new ones and to shine up your tools and get more supplies, for your magickal workings this year.

Here are a few areas to consider when "Spring Cleaning" the witches cupboard.

Dried Herbs: Dried green, herbaceous herbs over a year old will have lost most of their potency and need to be thrown away or burned in a fireplace or fire pit. If they are just a year old or so, you can grind them up into a powder to use for incense, wiggle your fingers in the powder to 'wake up' the energies in the herbs and then burn on charcoal briquettes as an incense.  Herbs older than a year or so are not really magickally potent and will do you little good in your spell casting. Roots and magickal wood last longer and can be used up to two years or more.

Candles:  Candles that have been burned and used in ritual throughout the year that have a little bit left, need to be discarded and replaced with fresh candles. They don't have to be brand new, just unused candles. February 1st, our Imbolc Sabbat, is the time when we typically replace all of our used candles, but if you haven't done so, now is the time. Replace altar candles, watchtower or elemental candles, and any luminary candles used for light during darkened rituals.

Tools: This is also a time when you can polish ritual knives and swords and apply a protective wax to wands and staffs. One ritual tools I never clean is the altar pentacle. I feel the energy it houses is very strong and I hesitate to polish it off. Also when cleaning tools I never use water or soap. I simply take a cloth and gently polish off any residue. This way the energy in the item stays strong. The longer you use a tool in ritual, especially when casting a magick circle, the stronger the energy will be.

Supplies: This is also a good time to make an inventory of magickal supplies. Do you have enough charcoal to burn your ritual incense on? Do you have enough essential oils? Petition paper? Incense and salt? Now as St. Patrick's Day is soon to be here, you can find lovely green and gold platters and saucers for your money magick spells.

Even though a witch is a creature of nature and we can get a bit melancholy and cranky being forced to be indoors, especially during such a harsh winter, we are never without something magickal to do. While cleaning and inventorying your magickal supplies, see what kind of potions, powders and spells you can come up with.  You might surprise yourself!



Peace and Happiness






© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.