Monday, March 31, 2014

Looking to the Greek Goddesses

   If you're at all interested in learning from or working with the Greek pantheon, I have a neat find to share with you! I recently happened upon the "Find Your Goddess Archetype" website, and it's a winner. Of course, we've all seen "Which Goddess Are You?" quizzes, but this one is a little different. Those quizzes are typically short, simple, and don't actually offer much insight into yourself. This "Goddess Archetype Questionnaire," however, is made up of thirteen categories, each with seven questions for you to rate. It's not obvious which goddess you're being rated on as you take it, making the results much more objective. Once you're done, you can add up your scores to find out which of seven "goddess energies" you embody most.

   The goddesses included in the Questionnaire are Athena, Aphrodite, Persephone, Artemis, Demeter, Hera, and Hestia. Once you take the questionnaire, you can head over to the rich pages of information on each of the goddesses to learn more about that goddess, her mythology, and how her particular energy tends to express itself.

Take the Goddess Archetype Questionnaire!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adventures in Religion Class

   I was sitting in religion class one day, the day the professor had finally provoked a couple of brave individuals out of the belligerent silence the class insistently stared him down with every day.  I talked in class sometimes, but avoided broaching anything too controversial.  I mean, he makes fun of people.  He literally laughed in one guy's face and asked him if he was from another planet!  But this day, he had really annoyed some of the Christians. I can't really blame them for being upset because he'd told us that to study religion, we had to be in a place where we didn't know if we would still be religious 6 months from now and that it didn't matter.  That's a pretty hefty requirement to study religion in this stupid required 101 college class, particularly if your religion teaches that it's wrong to leave(as in Christianity).   don't even want to assume that I could or could not be pagan six months from now because I'm pretty sure it would actually be unhealthy to leave my religion because of one religious class taught by one somewhat-crazy man.

  Anyway, that went on and people got offended, and then the professor thought he would improve upon matters by proclaiming that no great scientist had ever been a believer.  Speaking directly to the Christian guy who'd been talking, he told him that with his beliefs, he couldn't be a scientist.  Okay then.  That was okay, though, he assured them.  He couldn't be a scientist, or even a teacher, for that matter, since teachers must be so amazingly, supernaturally unbiased.  I'm sure the poor Christian was comforted by the teacher's further suggestion that he could, however, be....a government worker, for instance.  Phew.  Glad we've still got options.
   As class came to a close, the professor told us that next week we'd be studying Ancient Greek religion and that, next week, we would all be like, That's stupid!  Of course those gods aren't real!  I felt indignant.  I felt ignored.  So I did what passive-agressive people do on particularly assertive days.  I grinned, eyebrows raised, Ohh yeah? plastered across my face, while watching the professor continue on about our obvious reactions to next week's topic.  Apparently this Italian man has never encountered pagans, modern people who *gasp* might not think the ancient Greek gods are ridiculous and stupid.  Class was dismissed and, after wishing Zeus' wrath upon this man, I got up and walked out.

Just kidding!  I wish Zeus' wrath on no man! ;-P

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Magickal Learning at the Magical Circle School

I decided to let you in on what seems to be a bit of a secret in the pagan community. I've happened upon forum after forum of people discussing online schools of magick. They're usually talking about the College of the Sacred Mists or Witch School. There's also Oberon Zell's Grey School of Wizardry. But there seems to be a silence, and so I'm guessing a lack of knowledge, of the 100% free Magical Circle School. It's a school that focuses on magickal learning within the Wiccan tradition. While some classes do require books or materials, there is no cost to enroll in the school, which offers a vast array of classes on many magickal(and mundane) topics. If you find a class with seemingly expensive items on the Items Needed list(essential oils, for example), you are free to make substitutions with affordable items you have on hand and the teachers are easily accessible for advice. "Class packs" are available for purchase for some classes but are completely optional. Colleen Criswell, who runs the school and heads up the staff, has office hours from 10-2 EST every weekday, making communication easy and fast. The personal feedback from teachers, along with the great diversity of classes, are my favorite things about this school. I enrolled in the program for a short time once before and have recently re-enrolled. Once enrolled, you are free to choose the classes that most interest you, or take part in the Degree program, which consists of three degree levels. So if you've been thinking about checking into online schools, you might want to check it out here!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Announcing My Pagan Pages Ezine Column :-)

  What do you get when you decide to organize your city's local March Against Monsanto while going to college, all right in the midst of flying to Denver to present research at a microbiology conference? One crazy-ass month, and the reason you haven't heard from me for a while. But it's summer, and I'm rested and recuperated and back in action. Since this is a time of calm for me, I have a lot of time to think about my path and study. Which means lots of thoughts (and my Book of Shadows project) to share with you!

   In the midst of my crazy last couple of months, I was so excited to be approached through my blog about writing a regular column for Pagan Pages Ezine, which has published monthly issues since 2006. My column is called Bare Feet on an Earth Path and you can find a new issue of the magazine the 1st of every month. But, I've gotta come clean with y'all or you're gonna be confused. My name is not, in fact, Marienne. Though Marienne is the  name I've been using on here, I decided to go with my real name for the ezine, so you'll see Kalina as the author of my column. There you have it. I guess this witchy wannabe is out of the real world and the virtual broom closet now. So far I've had two articles published...


*Enjoy, and I hope you're having a magical summer!*

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

March Against Monsanto - May 25, Everywhere

 Think you have the right to know if you're eating genetically modified foods? May 25th is the day to speak out against Monsanto, the agricultural biotech company that doesn't think you do. Cities all over are planning grassroots rallies and marches for this worldwide protest. The success of this event depends And me. Which is why I've stepped up to help organize my city's event.
Click here to learn more, and to find the Facebook event page for your city.
- Click here to check out my post "Whole Foods Market and GMOs in the News."


Friday, April 19, 2013

Best Food Finds

   I've been pretty adventurous with my healthy eating lately, scrolling through my Pinterest "likes" and trying new things. I thought I'd share a few of the very best finds I've made lately.

  From Amanda's Apron comes Sweet and Spicy Strawberry Pizza. It sounds weird, yes, but it's amazing! If spicy isn't your thing, leave out the hot sauce and you'll still have a scrumptiously sweet strawberry pizza.

  I started eating Clif bars during my time as a vegan, and continue to buy them occasionally at school because they have good, real food ingredients. Or so I thought.

   Melissa, at My Whole Food Life, revealed that one of the ingredients, Soy Protein Isolate, actually contains MSG. That's definitely not good. And besides, fresh is always better for you because there's no need for preservatives to keep the food edible on the store shelves for months. I've had mixed experiences with granola bar-type recipes, but I decided to try out Melissa's homemade Clif bars. I'm glad I did! They're delicious, and best of all, you can customize them. So far, I've made them plain with chocolate chips and with cocoa powder in the batter plus chocolate chips. Be sure to scroll through the comments on Melissa's blog post for more ideas for variations.

   Okay, the last recipe I want to share isn't super healthy. It's a homemade mocha frappucino; you know, the one you may be paying close to five bucks for at Starbucks. But homemade is definitely preferable, not only for your wallet, but also for your health. The recipe is written for sugar-free ingredients, but I went with raw cane sugar and Trader Joe's chocolate syrup instead. You can also substitute whatever kind of milk you prefer(I used almond and it worked great). I've tried and tried to make a decent mocha frappucino at home, but have never been satisifed until trying this recipe from Always Chrysti. The "secret ingredient" is so simple, but makes such a difference!

Enjoy! Have you made any delicious finds lately?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finding Hufflepuff

  Harry Potter, Ron, Hermione, they're all Gryffindors. But I do not delude myself; I'm not very brave. So Gryffindor was never really even an option. Pass.

Then there was Slytherin. Those kids scare me. Not to mention, I'm not evil, or ambitious, or whatever they're calling it these days. Pass.

  I next came upon Ravenclaw. Ravenclaw. My eyes opened wide in amazement. Perhaps I had found a home. I like to think I'm pretty smart, I love learning, and reading is my favorite hobby. I sat back for a while, starting to feel smug about myself. Ravenclaw.

  But then I realized that Ravenclaws are kind of snobby and think they're all that. We'll stealthily ignore the fact that I fell under their cocky, intoxicating spell  for a time. My husband is the perfect Ravenclaw. I couldn't be like him, God forbid. (Yes, he does read this occasionally.) So I looked around and saw...the Hufflepuffs.

       Ah, yes, the Hufflepuffs. And finally, I found my place.
      You see, though I am smart and love to learn, I always argue the
people-first position. As Pottermore so aptly asked, "Save the tomes of knowledge? Or save the people?" Puhleeze, you unethical Ravenclaw bastards, there is only one answer. (Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw, by the way. LIES!) And all of my other quirks would fit in here just fine.

                               We're Hufflepuffs, after all.

  Naively enthusiastic, I proudly claimed my Hufflepuff belonging.  I'd come to learn the hard truth that Hufflepuffs are, in fact, on the receiving end of a long line of mockery.

  After years of therapy and psychoanalysis, I realized that I could be comfortable with my true Hufflepuff nature, and I accepted those who find their joy in knocking us for the sad, pathetic, bitter fuckers they are.

Of course, I hold no grudges.

I still have huge reserves of Hufflepuff pride. How could I not? We're loyal, just, and unafraid of toil, after all. But best of all,

we're nice.

I concur.

I am so proud to be a badger.