Everglades Moon Local Council

Everglades Moon Local Council, representing CoG in Florida

Everglades Moon Local Council - Everglades Moon Local Council, representing CoG in Florida

EMLC Podcast: Episode 7 – Mabon

PodcastLogoWelcome to the Mabon episode of EMLC’s pagan podcast, Reaching for the Moon! As the night and day reach equal balance, it’s a good time for us to seek balance in our lives as well. Big thanks to everyone in Everglades Moon Local Council for contributing and sharing with us, and for helping us get our podcast back up and going. In this episode you’ll find:

  • An Introduction by Sirona
  • Book Review Kasha reviews “Merry Meet Again: Lessons, Life, and Love on the Path of a Wiccan High Priestess” by Deborah Lipp
  • Workshop: Canu’s Workshop “The Old Ones Let Us Sing to Them” from the Turning the Tide festival in December, 2013
  • Music : “Mother of the Corn” by Aradia, from the album Songs for All Seasons

You can subscribe to our podcast using this link for iTunes, using your favorite Podcast listening device from this download link, or right here from our site by clicking the grey PLAY button below (coming soon)!

Are you in touch with us? Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to stay in-the-know with what’s going on down here with Everglades Moon LC. But our podcast is not the only way to keep up with us! You can LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter!

If you have suggestions or comments, we’d love to hear them! If you’d like to contribute something to our podcast, whether it’s your music, an article, or something else, please leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you to help make that happen! Please be sure to leave us feedback on iTunes. It’s a great way to help other pagans find us, and makes us feel awesome when we see those 5-Stars!

You may have noticed that we’ve got some really nice music between our segments now. This great music was supplied by JewelBeat. Download your free music and free sound effects at www.jewelbeat.com.

Blessed be! We are EMLC, and We are CoG!

More Memories of Merry Meet

This week we have another EMLC member sharing her memories of the most recent Grand Council/Merry Meet in Atlanta. Lady Bridget Sidhe-Lyric, HPS of Witch and Famous, and our outgoing National Membership Officer, shares her experiences at Merry Meet below.

This year’s annual meeting of Covenant of the Goddess (called Merry Meet for the festival side and Grand Council for the business meeting) took place in Atlanta, GA at the Crown Ravinia Hotel from Aug. 21-24. As usual, events started off with the Leadership Institute the day before the meeting. We were treated to a visit to the Nature Conservancy in Atlanta where they rescue and return to the wild many animals and birds, and also caring for those that cannot be released. We hiked the trails watching for signs of wildlife, visited the Aviary where owls, eagles, hawks, and other birds are in recovery, and walked through the nature exhibits designed to educate and entertain.

The latter part of the morning and early afternoon were devoted to a panel discussion on Interfaith work with many of the Covenant’s own National Interfaith Representatives and a special guest, Selena Fox from Circle Sanctuary. I was surprised to find myself very engaged and fascinated listening to their experiences, information, and advice for those interested in doing this work. I think all who were there agreed that we learned a lot and were inspired to see so many people of such varied backgrounds and faiths discussing this topic. The theme of this year’s Merry Meet was “Common Ground” and I think that this presentation beautifully illustrated that theme.

The business meeting of the Covenant got off to a great start on Friday morning, as we knew we already had quorum since enough members had registered to be present or to represent other members. The meeting was started off with a remembrance of so many of our Elders who have passed away, many of them having passed recently this year, and who have given of their time and love to forward our faith. Their names were said aloud, and then there followed a minute of silent prayer for all who had passed.

Later on that day, we also honored our Veterans in an historic first with Circle Sanctuary and Covenant of the Goddess both together in a joint ceremony for the first time ever. Veterans both present, and represented by others or family members, were given a medal from CoG presented by Kasha, and a ribbon from Circle presented by Selena. I was asked to accept on behalf of Lady Incendia Apollonaris of Dragonwhisper Coven of EMLC for her service in the Army Reserve, Army Nursing Corps. Although I didn’t really want to be in the picture because I thought that people might be confused thinking that it was I who had served, I decided not to duck out as it seemed disrespectful. So if you see pictures of the presentation with me at the end of the line, that’s why. I was honored to be entrusted to give this medal and ribbon to our own Lady Incendia and hopefully will be able to do the presentation justice at our annual meeting.

The rest of the business meeting went similarly as it has in past years, with reports first from the National Officers (of which I was one this year serving as membership officer) and then with reports from the Local Councils, from the National members, from the Interfaith representatives, and then from the Committees. The one report that stands out in my mind was from the CoG Survey which was done just prior to the meeting and the tabulated results that were presented were an eye opener for a lot of people. Over 60% of the respondents identified themselves as solitary practitioners, and about 36% identified themselves as working within a coven structure. That tells me that our organization, in order to grow, needs to be focusing more on the needs of Solitary members. Additionally another statistic that struck me was the large number of people who said that they became Wiccan while in their 20’s, which tells me that we are not serving the younger generations as well as we could. I am hoping that the full results of the survey will be up on the CoG’s main website very soon. We can learn a lot from those results and use them to focus our services and our membership on what is needed by the Wiccan Community.

If you haven’t been to the Grand Council annual meeting of CoG before, here is a brief description of how it works. Members submit proposals to the Council as a whole and these proposals are discussed and debated by those present with input from the members that they represent. Discussions can get passionate and a little heated at times, but since our organization works by consensus process, everyone who has something to say gets a say. These things do take time, but it can become fairly clear early on if there is too much contention around a proposal, and then there are several ways it can go. The person or people who presented it can withdraw it. The proposal can go to committee for development over the next year, and those involved will hone it and hopefully present a more unified idea next year. The proposal can also go to a short committee, which will discuss and hone the ideas over lunch, dinner, etc, and come back with the altered wording later on in the meeting, usually the next day. Several proposals were passed as written, one went to the short committee and then was passed the next day, and a couple went to the longer committees and will be brought up again next year, with new refinements.

It never ceases to amaze me at the patience and passion that our members have for this process! Just in the midst of heated discussion, someone will walk up to the microphone and propose an idea or wording that everyone suddenly realizes will work, and there seems to be a collective sigh of relief that goes up in response. (or is that just me?!) The National First Officer who runs this meeting has to perfect a fine line, keeping the meeting moving so we will get through the agenda while still allowing the discussion and expression of ideas that is the consensus process. Kasha, a member of the Coven of the Moonlit Sea in our own EMLC, did a wonderful job of that!

If you have never experienced CoG’s Grand Council, you should really make an effort to attend at least once. This is a process, that if seen from beginning to end, can be both scary and exciting. And CoG has a lot of famous Pagan people who are either members or former members, so there is an opportunity to meet and get to know the people who are authors and writers, artists, interfaith workers, etc. Not to mention the workshops that are available during the time that Grand Council is happening. This year it was put on by Dogwood Local Council and many of the local council folks take the time to share their knowledge and energy by presenting workshops on various topics. These are in general much better than what is offered at a lot of Pagan Festivals – at least in my experience anyway – and although I didn’t get to go to any this year, it is always a high point when I do get to do that.

Hopefully someone from our local council who was able to attend some of the workshops will write and tell us about those! I was so involved with the meeting this year that I really didn’t find an opportunity to get to a workshop. There was at least one or two that I was planning to attend, but I lost track of time in the meeting and missed them.

In the evenings we spent time with friends, both old and new, chatting and catching up on news. This year some of the EMLC members played “Cards Against Humanity” with a certain celebrity Pagan and we had a blast! On Saturday night, Dogwood hosted a Masquerade Dance, where we all dressed up and wore our favorite masks – and Everglades Moon members danced till the DJ had to go home! Yes, we closed the place! It was great fun, even though many of us were very stiff and sore the next day.

This is a large part of the charm of Merry Meet – as it moves around the country and is hosted by different local councils, we get to visit with new folks who live there, get to see their part of the country and experience their local environment. We get to discover what is special and Sacred about where they live, and share those moments with friends, and make new memories. We get to visit with friends that live across the country from us, and that we only get to see in person about once a year. We get hugs! We laugh and have fun together, and argue and debate together, and then laugh some more.

Next year’s Grand Council will be hosted by Touchstone Local Council and will be in California, to be held Aug 13-16, 2015. They will have more information on their website soon, and for more information about CoG in general, go to www.cog.org.

First Treasure Coast Pagan Pride a Success!

The first Pagan Pride Day on the Treasure Coast took place Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Fort Pierce, FL. Clouds loomed early in the day during setup, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the staff volunteers or their organizer, Kathy Lezon. “I was confident we would have a great event, rain or shine, but I’m grateful that Mother Nature granted us bright sun and constant breeze,” said Lezon after the event.

125 people came and enjoyed the beautiful scenery provided by The Savannas Recreation Area, while shopping at various vendors and getting to speak with representatives of local Pagan groups. Pagan DJ, Jerry J. also known as The Ragin’ Pagan, provided a great mix of Pagan music during the event.

A ritual by Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship started the day and a later Harvest Ritual was presented by the staff of Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day. Workshops included Oghams: Reading the Staves, Poppets: Not Your Grandma’s Voodoo Dolls, and an Introduction to Polytheistic Practice.

A midday concert by Mama Gina was a huge hit with the audience singing along to songs like “Ruby” and “Cerridwen’s Cauldron”.  The kids enjoyed a bounce house, crafts, and “Hippy” the Clown.

Mama Gina performs at the first Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day

Mama Gina performs at the first Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day

The Pagan Pride Project is a non-profit organization whose aims are to promote understanding of Paganism, support various charities, and bring Pagan communities closer together. The first ever Pagan Pride Day was held on September 19, 1998. There are now over 1000 Pagan Pride Days in the United States, and almost 50 international events.

Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day also hosted a food drive for the Treasure Coast Food Bank, and collected 165lbs of food. Most Pagan Pride Days host a food drive for delivery to a local food bank or animal shelter.

More information about the Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day can be found at http://www.tcppd.org, Facebook and Twitter.

Turning the Tide 2014: SAVE THE DATE!

ttt_2014_header_only

Everglades Moon Local Council is excited to be holding our 8th Annual Yuletide Celebration – Turning the Tide!  In celebration of the number 8, our festival this year will center around how we are Dancing the Wheel down here in Florida.

WON’T YOU JOIN US?

This three-day celebration will feature an array of workshops as well as a ritual by the Temple at the Crossroads. Celebrate the Mysteries of the Keys and how they dance their way through the cycle of the Year.

There will, of course, be more rituals, drumming, workshops, fun, and so much more. We will have our annual drawing for witchie goodies … and more surprised to be announced! Remember to plan your donation of an unwrapped toy!

SAVE THE DATE!
DEC 5th- DEC 7th

Our festival this year will be held once more in South Miami. Doors open Friday, December 5th.  Watch this space for registration and other announcements!

SPREAD THE WORD!

Feel free to download our Save the Date Flyer and help spread the word about Turning the Tide.

It’s Pagan Pride Day Season!

It’s Pagan Pride Day season, and members of Everglades Moon Local Council are ready to represent! It seems that each year, there’s new Pagan Pride Days (PPD) for EMLC’ers to attend, and members are always happy to man a table, chat with other pagans and witches, and just have a fun time.  These events tend to include good food, reconnection with old friends, introductions of new friends, amazing vendors, community building rituals, and more.

Here’s a break-down of the PPD events going on in Florida. If you know of one that’s not listed, please let us know in the comments! To find a PPD in your area, head over to the Pagan Pride Site and type in your zip code.

We invite you to connect with EMLC members at these events. You’ll be able to find us manning vendor tables and probably laughing very loudly with each other!

Saturday, September 13 – Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day
This is the first year of PPD on the Treasure Coast! TCPPD will be held at the lovely Savannas Recreation Area on Midway Road in Ft. Pierce. Doors open at 10:00am and the event ends at 6pm.  In between will be great workshops, including Oghams – Reading the Staves, Poppets – Not your Grandma’s Voodoo Dolls, and an Introduction to Polytheistic Practice. At 1:30 will be the Harvest Ritual, which everyone is invited to attend.  Be sure to stick around for Mama Gina’s concert at 3pm! And, of course, spend lots of money with the local vendors.

Admission is free, though donations are welcome. You can support TCPPD in a variety of ways, including a teacup auction, photo shoot, book sale, or getting a one-on-one reading.

You are also asked to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.  The Treasure Coast Food Bank serves 100,000 people each week, including 35,000 children. Your donations will definitely make a difference!

Head over to the Treasure Coast Pagan Pride Day site, or visit their Facebook Page, for more details. Be sure to check in, take lots of pictures, and send them our way! We’d love to see and hear your experiences at this awesome event.

Saturday, September 20 – Ft. Lauderdale Pagan Pride Day
This is a perennial PPD, held each year at the United Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale on NW 21st Ave.  Sponsored as always by the Moon Path Chapter of CUUPS, this all-day event is always a hit.  Doors open at noon and the event runs until 7pm.  In it’s 11th year, this event is always one of the best places to meet new Pagans in South Florida.

This year will include an open mic Pagan Poetry hour, the very popular Labyrinth, a Sacred Movement Ritual Class, and family time for the kids.  The Autumn Equinox Ritual will start at 5:30pm.  And there will be yummy food available and plenty of local vendors for you to support!

Admission to this event is free.  Your non-perishable food donation and clothing donations will be donated to the Cooperative Feeding Program of Broward County. You are also welcome to bring your own food and drink and have a picnic!  Bring your drums and percussion instruments to lend your energies to ritual.

Visit the Ft. Lauderdale Pagan Pride Day site for more details. We look forward to hearing all about your day at this event!

Sunday, September 21 – Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day
The 14th Annual Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day is coming your way! Sponsored by the Jacksonville Pagan Pride Alliance, this celebration is held at the Garden Club of Jacksonville on Riverside Avenue. Festivities will include spiritual workshops, music, charity drives, a community ritual, and more.

Like all other Pagan Pride Day events, this is a 100% family friendly day, and everyone is welcome to attend.  There will be an 11am opening blessing ritual, workshop by Mama Gina (she loves her Florida pagans!), and workshops on chakra balancing, crystals, the Right Use of Anger Magic, and so much more. If you have little ones, make sure they check out the Bean Spirit Animal Craft workshop and the Leave Silhouette Craft workshop, too! The Autumn Equinox/Harvest Ritual will be at 4pm.

Admission to this event is free, though donations are greatly appreciated to help JPPA keep this popular event going. Your donation of non-perishable food items will benefit Waste Not Want Not Florida.  And bring your Pet Supplies, as those will be donated to First Coast No More Homeless Pets!

Their Website is filled with TONS of information, so be sure to check it out. Connect with them also via their Facebook page, and be sure to join their Meetup so that you can be sure to meet all the fabulous pagans in the area!

Saturday, October 11 – Volusia County Pagan Pride Day
The PPD fun does not end once the calendar flips to October! Volusia is holding it’s PPD the 2nd weekend of October. This fun event will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Society on Halafax Drive in Ormond Beach, FL.

Doors open at 10am and the event runs through 4pm.  This event is sponsored by Our Sacred Circle Ormond Beach CUUPS.

Non-perishable food donations will benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.  Be sure to check out their Facebook Page for more details!

Covenant of the Goddess Votes In New Board

Each year, Covenant of the Goddess holds its annual meeting. At Grand Council, decisions are made that impact the whole of the Covenant.  During this consensus-based meeting, offers are elected.  We’re so pleased to welcome in the new board, who will take the reigns at Samhain, 2014.  May Coventina guide you as you do the work of the Covenant!

National Board 2014-2015. Front Row: Stachia Ravensdottir, Lady Emrys. Back Row: Zenah Smith, Jack Prewett, Gordon Stone, Kathy Lezon, Lady Annabelle, Cat Perron, Lady Mehurt

National Board 2014-2015. Front Row: Stachia Ravensdottir, Lady Emrys. Back Row: Zenah Smith, Jack Prewett, Gordon Stone, Kathy Lezon, Lady Annabelle, Cat Perron, Lady Mehurt

And here’s who’s who:
First Officer: Kathy Lezon (Everglades Moon LC)
Second Officer: Zenah Smith and Stachia Ravensdottir (Touchstone LC)
Public Information Officer: Gordon Stone (Northern Dawn LC)
Pursewardern: Lady Mehurt (Dogwood LC)
Correspondence Officer: Lady Annabelle (Hills and Rivers LC)
National Membership Officer: Cat Perron (Everglades Moon LC)
Recorder: Lady Emrys (Hills and Rivers LC)
Publications: Jack Prewett (Touchstone LC)

We’d like to also extend a big THANK YOU to the outgoing board. We do appreciate all the hard work you did in the past year!

For a full review of the 2014 Grand Council, visit The Wild Hunt’s review of a Very Southern Merry Meet.

The 2015 Grand Council/Merry Meet will be hosted by Touchstone Local Council. It will be held in Ontario, CA from August 13-16th.  This will coincide with CoG’s 40th Anniversary!

Reflections on Merry Meet

EMLC’s own Cat Perron, who will be serving the Covenant as National Membership Officer on the National Board from 2014-2015, provides us with her reflections on this year’s Merry Meet and Grand Council.  This year’s Merry Meet was held in Atlanta, GA, and our gracious hosts Dogwood Local Council, did an amazing job!

My first Merry Meet was fabulous!  Particularly because I had one of my BFFs, Deborah, with me.

Where do I start?

On Thursday, The Leadership Institute was not only informative, with various people in leadership roles from different faiths, it was in a gorgeous setting:  the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  We had a lovely walk through the wooded areas surrounded by trees and wildlife on our way to the meeting.  All the people involved do really wonderful work on behalf of their paths AND interfaith issues.

Friday had some wonderful workshops:  the medicinal uses of mushrooms (amazing!), Shamanic Trance Work (my favorite—I met a dolphin!), and Sacred Dance (fun!), to name a few.  Plus I was glad to get more information on the Faerie Seership in Canu’s informative class.  The food was very good as well, particularly some of the desserts (the pecan pie came in HUGE pieces!).  I also attended part of the Grand Council meetings, particularly since I was up for NMO.  When I went up to talk/answer questions there was much friendly jesting, like “Are you SURE you want to do this?” etc. and since I was unopposed, I got stuck . . . I mean, I have the privilege of being the next CoG NMO.

I also got to hear all about the NEXT Merry Meet!  Selena Fox was wonderful as the keynote speaker at Friday night’s dinner, she speaks so clearly and succinctly and has such positive energy as well.  And did I spend more money than I had intended with the vendors?  Of course I did!  I think it is a tradition.  I got a couple of lovely wish balls, a gorgeous poppet, a beautiful ebony wand (and got to meet the engaging and adorable Gypsy Teague!) plus some toiletries from our own Christina Wilson.  Oh, and I got a copy of “How to Become a Witch” by Amber K and Azrael Arynn K signed by both of them!

Finally, the masquerade part was a blast!  Although we were told it was masks only, most people came with the most interesting and creative costumes:  a little steampunk, a little Game of Thrones with some beautiful masks, too.  Canu looked particularly handsome in his suit and top hat with a black swirly mask and Sirona was lovely with rhinestones in her hair and a beautifully done makeup job—she just “painted” her mask on her face.  There was lots of laughing, group dancing and singing along with the music.  Yes, a good time WAS had by all, but particularly—me!

Covenant of the Goddess establishes an educational Abuse Advisory Committee

Covenant of the GoddessNEWS OUT OF GRAND COUNCIL: During Grand Council, 2014, Covenant of the Goddess established an Abuse Advisory Committee to “advise, educate, and support the Covenant on issues of physical and sexual violence.” The new committee will consist of members who have professional expertise and training in this field.

The primary duties of the committee “include the provision of education to COG members on issues of abuse, consultation to the National Board when needed, and consultation to COG coven and solitary members when their community is impacted by physical or sexual violence.”

For more information about the formation of this committee, it’s goals and members, please visit the Covenant’s NPIO blog!

Turning the Tide 2013 – Workshop Listings!

Turning the Tide 2013 Workshop List Announced!


TTT2013

There is always an exciting array of workshops offered at our Turning the Tide Yule celebration, and this year is no different! Our cups runneth over with informative and fun workshops for our Tides participants. Here’s a brief glimpse at what’s in store. Head over to our workshops page for a full description of each one.


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 018

Water and the Well of Mimir ~ Presented by Ash the Silent

Explore the role that Water and the Well of Mimir plays in the Northern Tradition. Meet the Norns, the 3 guardians of this scared well, The World Tree, whose roots drink from the Well, and find out why Odin sacrificed his eye to the Well. – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 017

The Old Ones Let Us Sing To Them: Ritual Invocations and Chants ~ Presented by Canu

Come and learn how to create this basic element of ritual so you can inspire your Gods and ritual attendees! – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

Fae Lines and Family Lines: Exploring our Ancestral Seers ~ Presented by Rayna

This roundtable discussion will explore the intersection of our ancestors and our fae companions.- Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

Faery Seer Breath with Coyote and the FL Branch of House of Brigh ~ Presented by Coyote Morningstar

This workshop is an introduction to the principles and language of Faery Seership, which inspires the Main Ritual. – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

Enhancing Your Magical Practice with Astrology ~ Presented by Aequitas

We will explore how you can use the art of astrological timing to aid your magical spellwork and rituals. – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

The Care and Watering of your Tree of Life ~ Presented by Sage

Like Chakras, The Tree of Life is used to represent the way energy flows from the divine, through our bodies, and out into the world around us. – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

Tokens, Amulets and Signs ~ Presented by Spelcastor

Good luck, bad luck, any luck at all? What do we do to bring good fortune to ourselves and others? Come and share that which is not a deep, dark secret. – Read More!


TtT PROMO MATERIALS 016

Coven Craft ~ Presented by Minos Ceos

This workshop will focus on sharing ideas about how to form and grow covens. Come and join us for a constructive and open dialogue. – Read More!


EMLC Podcast: Episode 6 – Samhain

PodcastLogoWelcome to the Samhain episode of EMLC’s pagan podcast, Reaching for the Moon! As the veil thins and the energies shift towards winter, we go a bit more introspective this time around. Big thanks to everyone in Everglades Moon Local Council for contributing and sharing with us. In this episode you’ll find:

  • An Introduction by Sirona
  • Changes  How the change of Seasons is Unique to Florida, by Lady Bridget
  • Invocations : Invocation to Dis and Umbria by Alpandia
  • Book Review:  A review of Christian Day’s “The Witch’s Book of the Dead” by Kasha
  • It’ll Grow on You: Lord Riekin discusses uses of Ginger, Horseradish and Molasses
  • Wordsmithing:  Raven read “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Workshop: Part 1 of Skip Kent’s Rootwork Workshop from the 1st Annual Lake Okeechobee Summer Solstice Festival
  • Music: Sink Down, by Aradia, from Songs for All Seasons

You can subscribe to our podcast using this link for iTunes, using your favorite Podcast listening device from this download link, or right here from our site by clicking the grey PLAY button below!

Are you in touch with us? Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to stay in-the-know with what’s going on down here with Everglades Moon LC. But our podcast is not the only way to keep up with us! You can LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter! We’ll be live tweeting from Turning the Tide 2013. If you’re there, use #TTT2013 to be included in our discussion!

If you have suggestions or comments, we’d love to hear them! If you’d like to contribute something to our podcast, whether it’s your music, an article, or something else, please leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you to help make that happen! Please be sure to leave us feedback on iTunes. It’s a great way to help other pagans find us, and makes us feel awesome when we see those 5-Stars!

You may have noticed that we’ve got some really nice music between our segments now. This great music was supplied by JewelBeat. Download your free music and free sound effects at www.jewelbeat.com.

Blessed be!  We are EMLC, and We are CoG!