Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kicking my butt into gear

BellaDonna Saberhagen here.

One of the "resolutions" I made upon moving into my new place was that I'd stop being a f-ing lazy bum and actually keep it up and not let it get turned into the disaster areas my living places tend to become. This place defied those attempts by its very existence. The woman who lived here before us died here and I guess the landlords thought it ok to leave a bunch of her stuff here. We inherited useless bits of glass, two non-working vacuums, an entire junk drawer pre-stuffed with junk and a bunch of other randown crap stuffed into the closets. Now, we don't know what all is stuff that needs to stay here for what-ever reason and what we can get rid of. That's hurdle one.

Hurdle two was the horrible heat this summer which made even moving around a horrible thing. This was combined with the steam being let out of us by Barnabus's ex being a bitch queen and saying that since their ancient court order states the address he takes his daughter to is in the city at his grandparents' house (it was where he was living when he got the court ordered visitation) that's where we've got to go, despite having a two bedroom place here that we specifically got so that we could be closer to his daughter and she could have her own damn bedroom.

The third hurdle is my work schedule. If I want to get anything done at all, I have to do it before work, which I am not used to doing.

The final hurdle goes back to the place itself, we're in a third-floor walk up and we go through a lot of cardboard (we go through a lot of soda and frozen food, I'm not much of a cook and I hate having to eat dinner at nearly 9pm so I need something quick and easy).

And both of us are just lazy. I hate doing dishes (or really, any housework, I was forced to do it as a kid and I guess I'm overly reacting to that forced labor by hating to do anything).  It's not that I wouldn't love a clean house, but I want one that inexplicably stays that way, or I want to be able to Mary Poppins "Spoon Full of Sugar" everything back into its place with a snap of my fingers. Where's a house-elf when you need one?

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,

BellaDonna Saberhagen

Sunday, December 18, 2011


BellaDonna Saberhagen here.

I've wanted to be a Witch since I was a little girl (I used to copy down spells from movies, such as "Tragoona Mekoidies Trecorum Satis Di!"). It's a dream that came true once I found out you actually COULD be a Witch.

The second dream came from my first trip to Salem, I went into a real Witch shop (I actually found out about Wicca at the store, getting a copy of Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary mother actually bought it for me thinking it was some book on the history of Witchcraft...I think she rues the day now). Since then, I've wanted to have my own store and once I learned they could exist outside of Salem, so much the better (I love visiting Salem, but I doubt I would enjoy living there due to the tourism).

There's a pretty good shop in the area (I say pretty good because they have too narrow a focus and are a little bit fluffy...most of the books they carry are by Silver Ravenwolf but I guess that's understandable because its run by a Black Forest Clan Coven); however, the owner lives an hour away and does not feel like running it anymore. She tried giving managerial duties to someone else, but they nearly ran it into the ground in less than a year. So the store is up for sale, after twelve years in business. It's cheaper than other Pagan shops I've seen for sale (when Divine Light was on the market, the guy wanted $300,000 for a dilapidated building with no parking and merchandise I knew had been on the shelves for at least over a year), but it's still a pretty hefty purchase: $159,000 and then I would need to borrow more than that to stock the shelves again (they've been selling items without getting more inventory for awhile now so it's getting pretty empty).  Aside from it having too narrow a scope, there were other issues with how the store was run: they didn't have a web-site to purchase items through, which could have bolstered the over-all income; they didn't hire employees, just expected coven members to volunteer their time running the store (meaning it was often closed when it should have been open), and they had stupid hours: Tues-Sat 12-6 meaning that if you actually worked, you'd be unlikely to be able to make it to the store before it closed so you could purchase anything unless you tried on a Sat....if they were open).

I've had a sound plan for running a store for several years: you can't just be a Witch store. Especially in a more rural community, you have to cater to many different paths so that if your local Buddhist (for example) can't get down to the Buddhist Center in the city, he can get some supplies through you. You also have to be willing on catering things you don't like (I'm not the biggest fan of the Christian religion, but I would certainly carry things for Gnostic Christians as they aren't likely to get things for their path at the local Christian Store). I would also incorporate "green living" supplies so that I could get revenue even fro people who have no spiritual persuasion but wish to help the planet (the closest shop for most green living supplies is about a half-hour drive).

One of the things that made the store great was that it was the local coven-stead (I'm not Wiccan and if I were I still probably wouldn't join a BFC coven, but they still need a place to meet) and held open circles for the community. The last one there will be Yule this Thursday. I would continue that, and the work-shops they used to have (though hopefully with more than just Silver, who was their go-to "expert" for obvious reasons).

But the first thing is figuring out how to secure a loan, having no collateral (I rent, my car is a 13 year old near POS). My friend in Alaska thinks I may be able to incorporate the store and get a corporate loan using the store itself as collateral, but with the current loaning market, I'm not sure even that would work.

It feels like the dream is so close to reality that my fingers are just about to touch it...and keep missing...which is somehow worse than having it be so far away and nearly unattainable.

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,

BellaDonna Saberhagen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Periodically, I look at the Elements *G*

BellaDonna here.

So, I thought of something silly today:

Water is composed of hydrogen (a highly flammable gas) and oxygen (also, a highly flammable gas), somehow when two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom form a becomes something with which we can put out fires....I just find it mildly amusing.

That's all for now.

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,
BellaDonna Saberhagen

Friday, November 25, 2011


The word of the day is invalid.


2 [in-val-id] Show IPA
not valid; without force or foundation; indefensible.
deficient in substance or cogency; weak.
3. void or without legal force, as a contract

However, pronounced differently, it becomes:


1 [in-vuh-lid; Brit. in-vuh-leed] Show IPA
an infirm or sickly person.
a person who is too sick or weak to care for himself or herself: My father was an invalid the last ten years of his life.
Archaic . a member of the armed forces disabled for active service.
This would insinuate that an invalid is an invalid human being. Would you think they are? It's a little harsh, but one of the nine noble virtues of Asatru is self-reliance; an invalid certainly cannot be self-reliant. By the very definition, they are reliant on someone else for their care. In ancient societies, having an invalid to care for may have been a such a liability that no amount of love or compassion could overcome it. If the choice was to feed your child or your dying grandmother, you'd want to give the food to the one most likely to survive. We like to think we no longer have to make such rough choices, so we leave it up to charities and the government. Barnabus has been fighting for disability for 5 years, he has almost no cartilage in his right knee and is too young for a knee replacement (this means it is too painful for him to be able to even sit in one place for more than three hours without needing to lay down to stretch out his leg and his pain medicine makes him space-out; this means he cannot work). Now, due to relying on his cane, his right arm is becoming damaged, making him even less capable of work (or even helping out around the house).  It's hard. 

At least in modern society, he's not an invalid human being...well...until the Zombie Apocalypse, I think he would agree that his usefulness then might best be as a strategist...until the stronger are forced to leave him as a tasty distraction...
May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy, 
BellaDonna Saberhagen

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Been a While

Sorry, sorry sorry.

Oh yeah, this is BellaDonna, by the way.

First, our interwebs went bye bye, then I got a new job...working all day at a computer screen   (this always impacts how much I write.. I need to remind Barnabus that he can write entries too.)

Anyway, since I left you last, two more articles have come and gone on Witchvox. One on Samhain (my goal is to write a series on the get crackin' on Yule) and one on my experiences as a fluff-butt wacko in my early Pagan days.

I have more articles pending on Witchvox. Man, I seem to ruffle feathers...which is a good thing. I like making people think.

I would like to also acknowledge our two new followers, thank you for following us!

I have one article started on the use of modern technology in a ritual setting (why its useful and why you still might not want to use it...this one is proving harder than I thought because I can't seem to think of any modern technology I would use in ritual beyond an electronic music player) and one almost finished on The Elements (needs polished and citations need added, and it needs a good conclusion). I suppose I should polish my elements paper and work on researching Yule.

As for my craft, I am currently working on runes, I used to know them a good deal better than I do now, but lack of use makes one forget (like my German, I can remember the word for ball-point pen, but not for fork); and I am working on a mini-course for Traditional Witchcraft. I'll probably get the full course once Yule is past, money always gets tight this time of year. I am putting in real effort to DO THE STUFF, something I wimped out on in the past.

Anyway, guess I've rambled long enough.

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,

BellaDonna Saberhagen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Week, Another Article

BellaDonna Saberhagen here.
Check out witchvox for my latest article. I have two more pending and am working on another, though that one I seem to have having a hard time organizing. I hope it won't come off as being all-over-the place, but I'm having trouble elucidating my opinion. Maybe I will bring it up to one of my friends tonight, get another opinion on it.

Had an interview today, another comes tomorrow. Still hoping to here back on the one I had last week.

Anyway....not much else to say here...maybe I should work a bit on my fiction pieces for now

Maybe one of these days Barnabus will have some input...

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,

BellaDonna Saberhagen

Monday, August 1, 2011

I have an article published in Witchvox! yay!

 BellaDonna Saberhagen here.
Check out Witchvox for my article, The Chicken or the Egg:

So, I got a response. It wasn't very nice, but judging from said response, it was from a loon. Here's the complete response (as sent): 

"Beleive it or not I am lew. Bloduewed is a Goddess. The Owl Goddess. Yet she is also an avatar, meaning that she incarnates or appears as a mortal from time to time, or an owl. She has other names in other cultures. she is real. there are sons and daughters of the great gods. and then there are the great ones that are all. man did not invent them. we are their children. I still cannot beleive that anyone can even ask the question did we create them? Look around people. Duh!"

 I wasn't going to justify it with a response, since, you know....loony. However, I wanted to rip him apart here, so I decided he deserved a direct response.  So I responded with what I am posting below, because it amused me greatly to write it and well...I warn people I can be a bit of a bitch on my Witchvox profile, so he should have been prepared. Below, his sentences are in bold and my responses are not. Have fun reading; I will post again should he whine at me in the future (or if he somehow miraculously sends me the citations I request).

Beleive it or not I am lew.
You’re right, I don’t believe you.
1.       I think it is audacious to consider yourself the avatar or human incarnation of a deity. As well as rude to those who worship Llew, because if you’re here, how can you respond to their prayers?
2.      You misspelled your name. Even in your profile name, you spell it Llew (though it could also be Lleu, but there is always the double L in the Welsh spelling).
3.       You left the L lower case, giving me reason to believe you think that either yourself or the god Llew is not worthy of being given the due honor of the typical English capitalization of names.
Bloduewed is a Goddess.
Note; I did not say she was not a goddess now, just that her myth denotes that she was not honored as such by the ancient Welsh.
The Owl Goddess.
Being immortal doesn’t make you a goddess. There are plenty of immortals in myths that are not gods (Psyche, wife of Cupid, for one). You need to give me specific citations.
Yet she is also an avatar, meaning that she incarnates or appears as a mortal from time to time, or an owl.
Seems like personal gnosis to me. The myth (the only myth in which she appears) does not give her that option; she was trapped as an owl FOREVER. It may be a valid comment for you, but it is not valid for me. If you want me to swallow this line, you need to give me valid ancient Welsh mythological citations.
She has other names in other cultures.
What names? What cultures? Again, proof is required here and you give none.
she is real.
I never said she wasn’t. I never said any gods weren’t real. There are Pagans who see the gods only as archetypes of the human psyche; I’m not one of those. I believe the gods are real, just that we created them. It might be hard to understand…but. Okay…before man, there were no chairs. We conceived of the idea, and created it. I would not say chairs aren’t real simply because they are created by man.
there are sons and daughters of the great gods.
 What does this have to do with Blodeuwedd?  Are you talking about demi-gods or actual divine couplings (Like The Morrigan and The Dagda being parents of The Bodb Dearg)? Again, if in man’s imagination, these two had sex and had a baby, guess what…they did. I’m not saying that divine children are not real either. You’ve also obviously begun to spiral in your ire….you’ve stopped capitalizing the first words of your sentences.
and then there are the great ones that are all.
All what? Like Gaia? I see Her as so spiritually tied to the Earth that She is the Earth and the Earth is she, but I don’t think that was the case before man made it so. Or are you somehow arguing soft-polytheism, while still claiming that gods can be born in human form?
man did not invent them.
You are free to believe that, as I am free to believe otherwise. One does not make the other a “bad” or “lesser” Pagan.  Check out Fire Lyte’s Project Pagan Enough:
we are their children.
See above response. At least you used the correct “their”. Even if you can’t capitalize properly or spell believe.  (I before E except after C except in cases sounding like A as in weigh).
I still cannot beleive that anyone can even ask the question did we create them?
This is your opinion; again, believing otherwise does not make me a bad Pagan.
Look around people. Duh!
At what? You think there is proof that the gods made us right in front of our faces? Everything is a matter of faith when seeing the gods’ actions and presence in the world around us. Do you REALLY believe Apollo pulls the sun across the sky in his chariot? Or is that a metaphor or a myth created to explain things the ancients did not have the science to understand yet?
Honestly, the fact that you think yourself a god makes me not take you seriously. I almost didn’t justify you with a response since I think those that believe they are gods, fairies, dragons, etc. are deluded. They want to feel super-de-dooperty special, when they are just crazy (and want to justify their crazy with their religion). However, since I intended to post this on my blog, I decided to send it to you.
May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy,

BellaDonna Saberhagen

Thursday, July 28, 2011


BellaDonna Saberhagen here.

I can't say I know everything about the case of the West Memphis 3. I do know that most of the "evidence" against them seemed circumstantial and that the region in which they lived had bias against their subculture. I must say I am glad that the case is being re-examined and new evidence is allowed to be submitted. If they are re-tried and found innocent, no one can give them back the 18 years they have spent behind bars, hopefully the Arkansas judicial system will pay for their new technological education they will require after being in prison for so long, but they'll probably just be turned loose and it will be up to their families to re-integrate them into society.

If they are found innocent, I hope the evidence will point to the real culprits and I hope it is not too late to hold  them responsible for their crimes.

link to the article referenced:
May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pet Peeve Time!

BellaDonna Saberhagen here. I was reminded yesterday of one of my personal pet peeves. People writing "alter" when they mean "altar." It drives me crazy. I'm used to it in forums (though I usually correct the person), but yesterday I found it in a book by a fairly well-known (and fairly respected) Pagan author. Most likely, it was an editing glitch.  After all, spell-check won't catch that error. It was there, however, glaring at me, grinning wickedly, reminding me why I frequent fewer and fewer forums. I just started the book and I believe it will be useful, so I'm not going to spurn it for this one error.

I can take newbies mispronouncing things, that's fine. We were all new at one time, and many 101 books are sadly lacking in pronunciation guides. However, using the wrong word entirely, that is an issue. Don't get me started on to and too or there, their, and they're. Remember you can alter your altar, but you can't altar your alter (unless you suffer from DID and one of them is a god).


I, Barnabus Saberhagen, would like to chime in on this one too.  I can't remember which one, but one of the forums my lovely wife visits actually had a post by a moderator informing the forum goers that anyone who corrected this particular misspelling would be removed from the forum and banned from returning.  Are you kidding me?  I can understand mentioning to someone who really ripped into the original poster about his spelling errors being told to cool down, but what if you were only trying to educate someone?  Like BellaDonna said, newbies encounter lots of weird words and are quite likely to mispronounce some of them.  But this isn't a mispronunciation, this is a totally different word.  It would be like someone painting eggs to celebrate Oyster.  While there's no need to berate or belittle someone who misspells altar, I do feel there is a need to inform them of the proper spelling of the word they are trying to use.  And if someone were to be so sensitive that even constructive criticism hurts their feelings, then they have no business posting things on the internet, the Land of Flaming.  And that's my two cents on this one.

May you be blessed by whatever gods you fancy.

Monday, July 18, 2011


BellaDonna Saberhagen here. This blog will be the effort of both Barnabus Saberhagen and myself to become more active in the online Pagan community (and the Pagan community at large). We have been quite remiss in meeting and discussing with others of like mind and's time we did something about that. We have much to share and our beliefs are a bit different from your average Pagans (more on that in a future post). Perhaps a podcast will be in our future...but we need to buy the proper equipment first. So for now, our thoughts will be relegated to this blog.

May you be blessed by whichever gods you fancy.
BellaDonna Saberhagen