Where the Wild Things Are: The Whole Circle

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, March, 1, 2004.

The magic circle, sounds so mystical… But it’s like many things in Witchcraft, it’s adaptable to your own style, your whims and personal needs of the moment.

Witch/ Wiccan rituals take place in a circle. Not always, it’s not written in stone with blood or anything really dramatic. But, it does make things tidy in it’s own way. You draw in power and you keep it to yourself, out of the way of others. Then, when you’re done you release it. It goes back to nature and the powerful parts of yourself.

We draw the circle and then we close it. Some people cast the circle and banish it at the end of the ritual. I tend to think of it as drawing and closing the circle. When you draw your circle take a moment to bless each of the elements at each of the 4 directions. Yes, you might need a map to know where north, south, west and east are in relation to your location. If you choose, bless the goddess and god too. Then bless the Earth and life, those are most important to me. When you close your circle just do the steps in reverse order. Gather your pebbles, erase your chalk, whatever you used as you go around in the 4 directions again. Sounds too simple? Why shouldn’t it be simple. You’re welcome to make a bigger production out of it. I like it simple.

You can use chalk, hemp rope, embroidery thread, pebbles, sand, dust bunnies, anything really. Consider a circle of jack o lanterns for Samhain, wouldn’t that be fun! It depends on how fancy you want to be or how close to natural elements. My personal choice are pebbles. I love them. I collected them from a beach here in Ontario. Took my time to find stones I especially liked for their shape, colour or some markings on them.

The circle represents wholeness, the cycles of life and the seasons, the wheel of life to make it simple. In theory it is without beginning or ending and perfect in it’s completeness.

To draw the circle is to make a place set apart and sacred. Where ever you are- living room, backyard, beach, clearing in the woods – the circle becomes a place where we focus on magick in ourselves and the Earth around us. The circle is a pure place where we can think, make notes in our Book of Shadows, create and practice rituals, anything. It doesn’t have to be dramatic and you don’t have to feel you must do something special. It’s your circle, your dime.

This summer when I have a road trip out to the beach I want to cast a circle on the beach. Using a piece of driftwood to draw my circle and some stones to point to the directions. I don’t even know what ritual I might do. I just want to sit in a circle of my own creation and enjoy the world, life and being alive.

“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” -Charles Lindbergh

I take thee, herb, to cure my ills
or perhaps while dancing pon the hill.
I’ll dip you in the cauldron fine
Then asperge a circle in the pines.
I’ll make you into teas and brews
when picked from ‘neath the morning dews,
or hide you in a pillow seam
to guard me close, come night and dreams.

– Marian Loresinger

Transitions Posted for Red Room

I made my first post to the weekly blog prompt at Red Room. The topic is transitions:

Transitions, the word makes me feel on edge, a little desperate. Too many moves from town to town and one country to another. Too many changes from one job to another. Too many people met and missed. I’d like some stability. Something I can count on to be steady and reliable.

I don’t mind change, I cope with it. I deal with it. But I’m not getting used to it. I’m both older and wiser due to change and transition. In that way it’s not a bad thing.

This month I will be starting a new job. I will be meeting a new set of co-workers. I will be getting to know the policies of a new company. New changes bring new ideas, new inspiration and new choices.

Transitions are the road signs along our road trip through life. We read the signs and then leave them behind until the next sign comes along. Each transition lasts a blink of an eye but has the lasting impact of forever.

Your Day at the Beach?

You Are Exceedingly Passionate

You are a loner, and you’re fine with that. You find the most fulfillment in solitude. And you never feel more lonely than when you’re in a crowd.

You have cold feet when it comes to love. You have a lot of uncertainty until you convince yourself to dive right in.

You are an amazingly passionate person. You are passionate about almost everything, and your passion definitely gets you in trouble!

Your sense of humor is very physical. Your facial expressions or spot on imitations of people are hilarious.

You Take the Road No One Travels

You see romantic love as what’s most important in life. A deep connection with someone else is the primary thing you crave.

You live a life of leisure. You take your time in every aspect of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

You are all about risk and randomness in your life. You travel off the beaten path… in fact, you’re often the one carving the way!

You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.

You could have owned an indie bookstore or boutique in another life.

Because My Nose is Cold…

You refuse to let the holidays be stressful. They should only be about fun.The holidays truly make you feel like a kid again.And you believe it’s your job to make everyone else feel like a kid too!Of all the types, you’re the most likely to give someone a gift early… because you can’t wait.You’re also the most likely to wrap your presents quickly – or not at all.

You Are Merry and Spontaneous

You approach the holidays with joy and playfulness.


The holidays are when you enjoy your favorite treats without abandon.And while you’re a bit greedy for your favorite goodies, you aren’t selfish.You’re the type who makes a whole bunch of holiday treats and gives them to everyone you know.

You Are Eggnog

Your holiday personality is indulgent.


Life is an choose-your-own adventure for you.And there’s no way you’re choosing the beaten path.You have a warm personality. At times, you feel in love with the whole world.

Your Door Says You Are Wildly Courageous

You are fun, outgoing, and incredibly cheerful.


You are very introverted. You generally prefer quiet time by yourself to most social interactions.Money is very important to you. You like to have lots of nice things… and you don’t care if you’re being greedy.You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you’d like to explore the whole world.

You Are Shy and Silent

You are unique and philosophical. You have your own way of living life, and you relish your independence.


You like to think that people are impressed by you. You know that you have a lot to offer.You are a very romantic person. You can’t help but see the world as it should be.Right now, stress occasionally makes you feel trapped in your life. You usually have a clear perspective on things though!Overall, your life is calm and steady. Not much stirs you, and each day is full of joy.You feel like the fate of the future partially rests in your hands. You believe you need to help make the world a better place.

You Are A Thoughtful Idealist

You are a bit tentative when it comes to new experiences. You have to push yourself to try new things, but once you do, you love the adventure.


You live a life of leisure. You take your time in every aspect of life and enjoy it to the fullest.You are all about risk and randomness in your life. You travel off the beaten path… in fact, you’re often the one carving the way!You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.You could have owned an indie bookstore or boutique in another life.

You Take the Road No One Travels

You see life as a journey you must take alone. Independence and individuality are primary to you.


You can’t stand community oriented people and annoying “buy local” campaigns. You prefer to live the best life possible, and that doesn’t really involve many other people.You are a social, friendly, and giving person. You like to bring people together and make them feel happy.You look good in a low maintenance sort of way. You do the minimum required to be attractive.You are moved by romance and love. You are optimistic about people, and you love hearing about happy endings.

What the House Test Says About You

You are happy with who you are, and you don’t have an inflated sense of self importance. You do your own thing quietly. You don’t take up a lot of space.


The House Test

You approach shopping systematically. You research what you’re going to buy and come prepared with a list.Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don’t need.You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.

You Are a Reluctant Shopper

You really don’t enjoy shopping. For you, it’s just another chore.



Casselman Motel Fire on Sunday Night

On Sunday night, as we traveled back from Montreal, we stopped at a motel in the town of Casselman, Ontario. It was a pretty good rate and had fast food places attached to the motel. Very convenient for the morning coffee we thought. We went out into town for dinner. Then came back to watch the Olympics on TV and get to sleep. Sometime after midnight there was a lot of loud knocking on the door. When I answered it was the motel/ gas station night manager telling us, “Sorry to wake you but there is a fire in the building, everyone needs to get out”.

We got out. I pulled together everything I could see or think of. Thought I had it all. Anyway, we got out and decided to wait in the car, in our nightgowns with pants pulled on underneath. We waited a long time to find out what was next. The night manager sent someone to find out if everyone could stay at the Bed and Breakfast in town but no one was answering the door there. My Mom and I ended up going to the Tim Hortons just over the highway and getting coffee. I was really tired but she said she was fine. We drove awhile but the first place we found was not very nice looking. As it ended up we stayed all the way back in Ottawa again, a very nice place. But did not get there until just before 3:00 am. Both of us worn out and still smoky then. The smoke is still in the car and on the clothes we were wearing.

Quite an adventure for our road trip.

We are still trying to get a hold of the motel owner, Dennis, to get the money returned on the credit card for that night. No luck today. We only got home really late last night so could not do much about it until this morning.

Queen Annes Lace

This is my own photo taken earlier this week. I love getting out there and finding the old farmhouses. But the road trip is part of the whole package too. The wildflowers and scenery make the trip beautiful. How can someone live in the same place and never get out and see more of the world. How deprived!

Quizzes are Addicting

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

You Are A Blue Girl

Relationships and feelings are the most important things to you.

You are empathetic and accepting – and good at avoiding conflict.

If someone close to you is in pain, it makes you hurt as well.

You try to heal the ones you love with your kind and open heart.

You Are a Chimera

You are very outgoing and well connected to many people.

Incredibly devoted to your family and friends, you find purpose in nurturing others.

You are rarely alone, and you do best in the company of others.

You are incredibly expressive, and people are sometimes overwhelmed by your strong emotions.

The Road Trip of Your Life

You see life as a journey you must take alone. Independence and individuality are primary to you.

You live a life of leisure. You take your time in every aspect of life and enjoy it to the fullest.

You are all about risk and randomness in your life. You travel off the beaten path… in fact, you’re often the one carving the way!

Eh, work is not really for you. You’re all about playtime! You’ll work if you have to, but you really don’t like it.

You could have owned an indie bookstore or boutique in another life.

What Your Bathroom Habits Say About You

You are a very considerate person, but that doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you.

Your idea of fashion is jeans and a t-shirt. Clean, if you’re lucky.

You have the perfect blend of confidence and class. You’re proud of who you are – but you don’t broadcast it.

In relationships, you are practical and realistic. You have a romantic side, but you only let it out when it’s appropriate.

I couldn’t resist the girl sitting on the toilet with her computer.

Scrolling Saturday: April 2005.

For Scrolling Saturday I have unearthed this old post:

Maps for Road Tripping April 29, 2005

I love road trips, the campier, the crazier and the longer – the better. To overly plan a road trip is to spoil it. You may have an ultimate destination but it’s the journey that really counts. Take time to get lost. Wander. Make frequent stops for no good reason. Coffee, knickknacks, tourist traps, farmers markets, flea markets, fresh honey, odd road signs, adventure and other things so essential to life yet so often overlooked for lack of ‘time’.

You may wonder why a road tripper ever needs a map. Let alone a collection of them. I do love them, they make the trip that much more fun. Mainly, you absolutely must have the backroad maps to wherever you may be wandering. Should you get hopelessly lost (lucky you!), as you’re laughing, sipping roadside coffee and wondering how you ended up so far to the left, a good road map will be your guide to possible alternative routes. Never take the map seriously though. There are always glitches. You’ll find them as you drive along and realize the map never had this road or that turn or that dead end approaching right in front of your car bumper. That is the odd thing about maps, they are imperfect but trying so hard to be correct. Maps are friendly and confused, so very likeable.

I think of maps as those drawings from the early explorers. Those men who trekked out to places completely unknown and tried to draw a guide to what they were seeing. Not just flora and fauna but rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys and everything else they stumbled upon. Ancient explorers were the earliest road trippers. Before cars, there were ships. Before ships there were horses. Before horses there were just people walking around wishing they knew how long it was to the next grocery store for snackage. No, just kidding, you knew there were no grocery stores back then, right?

The first maps were wonky. They didn’t have perspective and distances were not measured equally. Now we have science which has given us exacting measurements and the tools to create beautifully detailed maps. Cartography and related sciences are things modern road tripping types can be grateful for. Think of them next time you’re looking for the right house on the right street in the right town.

Now, go, take your itchy feet, let the wanderlust possess you. Take along a map, it’s like a good friend who will never laugh at your navigational skills.
Road Map Collectors Association
International Map Collector’s Society
History of Cartography

Thursday Thirteen #10: Beat the Creative Blahs

Writer’s block isn’t phony. You can get in the way of your own creativeness. Whether you are a writer, photographer, illustrator, fashion designer or some other creative and art type everyone can get to a point where they feel out of ideas or lacking in a way to bring the ideas in their head out into the world.

1. Give yourself a break, know you are a little burned out right now and stop forcing yourself to come up with something brilliant and original. Get some physical, real distance from the burned out area.

2. Pick something else to do, creatively. Set the table for dinner, take the time to be fancy, glamorous or kitschy. Google a few favourite foods and see what interesting recipes come up, try one of them.

3. Do something practical, think of an errand or household task you have been putting off cause you were just too busy. Finally sew on that button. Take that stack of books to the second hand bookstore.

4. Pamper yourself. Try a new hair colour or style. Spend time in the tub with a good book. Sleep in with the radio on low and don’t rush starting your day.

5. Retail therapy. What’s your store of choice? I like the bookstore, coffee shop and the thrift store. Or window shopping and online catalogues for those who don’t want to be tempted into spending.

6. Enjoy your day. Do something you really want to do, only you know what that is. I’d go on a road trip and take more photos of abandoned farm houses.

7. Exercise. Go for a walk. Try yoga, pilates or something else new, different or more extreme.

8. Stop being so perfect. Let a few mistakes happen. The world won’t spin out of orbit if you burn the toast. But you might feel less pressured to perform up to some unrealistic standards you set for yourself.

9. Unclutter. We have so much stuff and only so many drawers, closets and floor space. Tidy up, throw it out or give it away. Once you can see the surface of your desk/ work space again you might find what you were looking for.

10. Be an angel for the day. Kids love getting something in the mail just for them and Grandparents love to feel they are still included in your life. Make a batch of cookies or muffins for a single parent you know.

12. Laugh along with life. Watch a movie that made you laugh before. Call a friend who can look at things with fresh perspective and laugh about what seemed so important before.

13. Spend time with people. Take the kids to a movie. Meet a friend for coffee. Join a new group involved in some kind of hobby or interest you haven’t had much time for lately.

Unexpected News from a Fortune Cookie

Good cheer will lighten your burdens

I have the good cheer is that why I keep getting burdens? Funny how a fortune cookie just gives you these little tidbits and leaves you hanging for the real answers.

Things are slow in the man-stalking project. I found his postal code but no apartment number. Kind of useless to send a card that way. I was writing out my Xmas cards (just addressing the envelopes so far) and I do still have three blank ones. One could be sent to Mr. Pirate Smile. If I knew his full address. I have two days off work starting now pretty much. I was thinking about taking the bus out to Zellers and seeing if Mr. Pirate Smiley’s place is on that part of the street. I could just wander into the lobby and take a look for the mailbox of a certain pirate. I don’t think you can get arrested for that. Funny to be concerned when here I am Madame Trespasser when it comes to the abandoned houses.

I know I’m not the only romantic geek woman. But, it does seem silly to create a whole scene in my mind where the pirate smile and the trespasser are making muffins at home on a cold winter’s day. It was nice. Fun and he was quite lovely. Not a great baker… but he smiled a lot and that made up for his lack of skill with muffins. Silly, but it was nice. Something to do when you’re pretty much stuck at work for 8 hours. Better than thinking about how aggravating it is to be without a car, still.

Also, in spite of what they tell you, I don’t see how taking the bus/ taxi route is saving money compare to having a car. I’m spending $20 a day for bus/taxi to get back and forth to work. A tank of gas for the car might be more than that but it would last a lot longer than one day. I could even get to the grocery store, take a road trip and still have enough gas for the week of going back and forth to work. I wish my brother would get the lead out of his tank and let me get on with the car situation. I think I’m going to end up not having a driver’s license at all. I have to go back to the teen/ beginner class and do the written test if I can’t get the road test done by my birthday. I can’t see myself passing that written test. I lucked out taking it in the US the first time. It was pretty simple and even then I didn’t pass with flying colours.

Life is frustrating right now and then you start your period. Oh goodie. At least I’m not totally depressed like I was last night. Should have known it was going to start when I was that down. So close to just getting up and leaving at work, last night. Just thinking about the car and license stuff… Payday is Friday. If I can I wonder if I could just buy something myself. Not sure how to do it at all. I’d have less than a thousand but it would be cash. I could do payments with someone other than Graham. After all, last thing he really seemed to say about it was that he would start looking again when the weather cleared up. And… it’s WINTER! When does that mean he is going to leave it till, spring thaw??? I will go insane long before then. I’m sure I will quit the job. I have spending so much on getting there and then not being able to do anything. Like being caught in a prison just cause I don’t want to spend so much on a taxi or freeze waiting for buses that always take half an hour to come no matter when you get to the bus stop.

I think I should just go for the coffee making now. Thinking about all this will keep me up anyway. Sleep is so over rated. I bet pirate smile is sleeping now…