A Blessed Candlemas to all !

snow harry lauder walkingstick bush

A Blessed Candlemas to all !
 
The Great Wheel of the Year has now turned bringing us to Candlemas where we honor the Goddess in Her aspect as Maiden and bid farewell to the harshness of Winter, looking forward to the brighter and warmer days ahead. Hidden in the womb of the earth is the promise of life anew that will arise with the Spring as days stretch longer and the blankets of snow recede. In the COC we also at this time of year celebrate the Ritual of the Return of Persephone from her rest during the Winter months. This addition to the Candlemas ceremony was taught and added to the covens Book of Shadows by Lord Shawnus who while always treasuring and honoring the traditions passed on to him by his teacher Lady Phoebe also believed that the rites were to be kept alive and vibrant and found this addition to be fitting. Persephone’s return is not a universal theme or practice among other Traditions but it fits perfectly with the meaning of this Sabbat as while Spring itself has not yet arrived and many areas are still in the grips of cold and ice the promise of the reawakening and quickening of nature has arrived , later to be seen in full. The hope and promise of better and brighter days ahead. So we of the Coven of the Catta wish a Blessed Candlemas to all along with the hope and promise of better and brighter days for all. BB, Aren

 

A Blessed Winter Solstice to all !

winterpondA Blessed Winter Solstice to all on this longest darkest night of the year. As in many Wiccan Traditions we of the Coven of the Catta on this night celebrate the birth of the Divine Child of Promise to the Goddess , symbolizing the light and hope that will lead us through the Winter and forward to Spring.  In the ancient Zoroastrian faith the birth of Mithra was also celebrated on this night symbolizing light , goodness and strength to the earth. Lord Shawnus loved and deeply appreciated the universal aspects of spirituality , the things that seemingly different paths and currents share at their heart and have in common. He believed that those things which link us all together,  regardless of Tradition or Faith , were most important rather than focusing on the things that divide us. So let us remember on this Solstice night when a Full Cold Moon waxes to culminate on the 25th of December , when those of the Christian faith celebrate the birth of the Christ Child , the things that link us together and that we share rather than the things that divide us. No matter the path we follow let us focus on the true meanings and gifts of this very special time of year, those of Hope , Peace and the Triumph of the Light in all of it’s many and varied forms and manifestations. Blessed Be , Aren

A Blessed All Hallows to all !

HallowsThe Great Wheel of the Year has turned again bringing us to Samhain and the thin veil. There are Jack-o-lanterns with glinting eyes and bundles of corn hung by doors and leaves rustling when there is no wind out to be seen. There is a magic and mystery about this time of year that makes it especially well loved by Witches and Pagans everywhere , but still it can be a bitter sweet time when there are those we care about that are no longer here with us , when we add new candles and photos to our Altars that were not there the year before. This year we of the Coven of the Catta add a new photo to all of our altars as this is the first Samhain since the passing of Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder High Priest of the COC. He loved this time of year , both the outer trappings of the lights and decorations as well as the much deeper inner meanings to be found in Nature, it’s changing Tides and Cycles and the Mystery of the Summerland. So this post is dedicated to Lord Shawnus and in memory of him , a Dear Friend , Teacher , and High Priest of the Goddess. May the Peace of the Lady and Her Consort be with him and may he know he is remembered and remembered well. In keeping with this , the Coven of the Catta will be dedicating our All Hallows ritual this year to Lord Shawnus as well. The ritual led by Lady Alsace and Lady Ember will honor the final harvest festival of the year and the passing of the mantle from the Goddess to Her Consort as per our tradition, as well as many others, but it also will be a time for us to remember and honor the man and High Priest who taught us all. Blessed Be , Aren

In memory of Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of The Coven Of The Catta

It is with great sadness that I write this post in memory of my dear friend and teacher Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of the Coven of the Catta. I received a call from Lady Ember Willow Hawk 3rd* High Priestess of the COC letting me know that he had passed into the Summerland on the 1st of July 2015 on the eve of the Thunder Full Moon. To those of us who knew him we were Blessed to have in him a loyal and true friend who was steadfast and always there when you needed him. His sense of humor and wit , though sometimes risqué , was always in good spirit and he truly believed in the tenets of compassion and kindness. He lived an incredible life , receiving not only his three degrees into the Coven Of the Catta and serving as it’s Elder High Priest for the past three decades but also receiving Tibetan Buddhist empowerments and initiations into Vajrakilaya , Avalokitesvara , White Tara and Phowa . He told me once he had been a Priest in three religions , Buddhism , Wicca and also having received initiation many years ago as a Priest of Anubis. Despite all of that , or perhaps because of it , he was a kind and gentle man who after working his whole life in the medical field upon retirement due to a persistent illness that he constantly battled was devoted to caring for the land and for the creatures great and small that lived upon it. He was fiercely intelligent and could talk for hours on any given subject that you could imagine and shared his knowledge freely and generously with so many of us. He worked tirelessly to preserve the Coven of the Catta and it’s teachings ensuring they were passed on to others and are alive and well and thriving. Due to him the founders of the Coven of the Catta , Dr Frederick Lamotte Santee and Lady Phoebe will never be forgotten , through his books and blog posts people all around the world have read about them and their story. Now it is up to us , we who knew him and called him friend and all those who have followed his blogs and writings to preserve and carry on the memory of a true Priest of the Goddess ,with whom he now rests. He is and will be greatly missed. BB , Aren

“A Spell Of Witchcraft – Patricia & Arnold Crowther” Episode 1 or 6 from a 1971 BBC Radio Broadcast

patricia_crowther

I found these old 1971 BBC radio broadcasts interviewing Patricia and Arnold Crowther which are fascinating, interesting and somewhat spooky as the radio broadcasts on Witchcraft and other forms of Occultism were from back in that time. To put this into perspective 1971 is when I graduated from High School so it is 44 years ago. Embedded below is part one and the rest play as each is over. To quote from the YT sitesitesite – ”

To quote from the YT site – “A series of 6 twenty minute programmes on Witchcraft broadcast by BBC Radio Sheffield, which commenced on 6th January 1971.The series was presented by Patricia and Arnold Crowther and was produced by Peter Hawkins.”

p45_crowtherArnold_Crowther

Enjoy and Blessed Be !

To quote

My Teacher, Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue, Would Have Been 94 Today

Today is the birthday of Lady PAN, and as the title says she would have been 94 had she lived this long instead of passing 5 December 2005, so this December she will be gone for 10 years. I loved that Lady, my Teacher of Witchcraft. I am going to try to paste into this post a short bio from a Word doc which is in the booklets I have written about the Coven of the Catta.

Lady Triumphant

Lady Phoebe Athena Nimue
aka
Edna Jane Kishbaugh Williams

© 2009 Coven of the Catta / Gary Lee Hoke

Janee

Born: 13 April 1921 Berwick, Pennsylvania
Died: 5 December 2005 Berwick, Pennsylvania

Parents: Edgar and Mary Slusser Kishbaugh (deceased)
Brothers: Ethan and Ralph Kisbaugh (deceased)
Husband: Dale Williams Deceased 2/22/1998

Funeral: Wesley United Methodist Church, Nescopeck, Pa.
Burrial: Pine Grove Cemetery, Wanut Street, Berwick, Pa.

Soulmate: Dr. Frederick LaMotte Santee Deceased 4/11/1980
(See separate biography of Dr. Santee for more about his life)

Janee with Cat

She met Dr. Santee in 1956 and was his receptionist-secretary at the Santee Medical office and Santee Memorial Library in Wapwallopen, Pa. She wrote a column in the local newspaper called “The Witches Kettle”. She also wrote and edited a local publication entitled “The Cat’s Tale”. In 1967 she and Dr. Santee and others were initiated into the Witchcraft Lineage of the Coven of the Horsa by the late Sybil Leek from the New Forest area in England. Dr. Santee had previously been initiated into various magickal and Wiccan lineages from England, Germany, Italy, and France including the Golden Dawn, Rosicrucians, and the Illuminati. She has said that she remembers previous lives, one of which was as the wife of an Indian chief who lived along the Susquehanna many years ago.

At that point she (as Lady Phoebe Athena Nimue) and Dr. Santee (as Lord Merlin) then founded the Coven of the Catta in Wapwallopen which continued until Santee’s death on 4/11/1980. The Covenstead was originally in the basement of his house where he practiced medicine. Then next to his house he built a library which was stocked with over 20,000 books including tomes from the 1500s, books of the Greek and Roman classics, and an occult section. In the back of the bookhouse was a room used as the temple of the Coven of the Catta.

A year later in 1981 students from the Harrisburg area, following an ad in a national Wiccan paper, contacted and met Lady Phoebe and the two remaining witches of her coven. The bookhouse had been robbed and a fire set to cover the robbery, and the temple was piled full of the doctor’s stuff recovered from his house which had been sold. We cleaned all that up, repainted the three circles on the floor, and started learning from her and doing rituals with students from the local area and from the Harrisburg area. We would drive almost 100 miles 8 times or more a year to hold ritual and for me to copy her Books of Shadows. The Coven of the Catta continues to this day.

Janee (7)

And here are some other pictures someone shared with me years ago from his Aunt who lived in Wapwallopen, but i do not know her name to attribute them to her, if she is even alive.

Janee (2) Janee (5) Janee (6) Janee (7) Janee (8)