Saturday, June 30, 2012

Oireachtas na Gaeilge Cheanada 2012

There is an Irish language and cultural festival happening in Kingston Ontario this coming week from July 6th to 8th. Here is some info from the event's website:
Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada is a weekend filled with traditional Irish music, singing, dance, story telling, and friendship. It is a celebration of the Irish language (Gaelic) and the traditional culture of that language.

The Oireachtas takes place Friday, 6 July, to Sunday, 8 July, at Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir. The Gaeltacht is located near the settlements of Tamworth and Erinsville in the rolling hills along the Salmon River, just north of Lake Ontario. The Days Inn in Kingston is the venu for accommodation, business meetings, club na féile, banquet, and awards presentations. Kingston is a 30 minute drive from the Gaeltacht.

A group rates of $105/night has been negotiated at the Days Inn, which is an extremely attractive price during peak season. Our block of rooms will only be held until 15 June. Please book early, and be sure to indicate that you are reserving for the “Irish Language Celebration (Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada)”.

On Friday, annual general meetings of Cumann na Gaeltachta and Comharchumann Sealbhóirí na Gaeltachta will take place at the Days Inn between 11:00 and 14:00. The meetings are open to the public. Potential investors are especially welcome.

Later Friday afternoon, 15:00 - 17:00, displays of music, song and dance will take place at the Murney Tower Pavillion along the waterfront in downtown Kingston. Returning to the Days Inn, the evening will include a supper, guest speaker, book launch and stage play.

Saturday morning, bus transportation is provided to the Gaeltacht. Opening ceremonies will begin at the Gaeltacht at 10:00 a.m. The competitions will be held under tents, as an open air festival, in the beautiful Gaeltacht surroundings. Presentation of awards will take place at the Days Inn at 6:30 p.m. followed by a banquet, céilí, and club na féile.

A concluding brunch will take place on Sunday morning. People may wish to remain in Kingston for a day of sightseeing. Kingston is one of Canada’s oldest, and most Irish of cities. The “Celtic Cross Tour” is highly recommended
This festival is a great idea and I bet is going to be awesome. You can find out more from the website.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

seeds of freedom

Some of our blog readers might find this film interesting:
A landmark film narrated by Jeremy Irons. Find out more at

The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt.
It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost.
It’s time to change the story.

Produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN.

Merry Midsummer!

A bird in the boughs sang “June,”
And “June” hummed a bee
In a Bacchic glee
As he tumbled over and over
Drunk with the honey-dew
~by Clinton Scollard

We hope that all of my readers have a lovely Midsummer and if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, a lovely Yule/Winter Solstice to you! :)

leave you with a great song for Midsummer, Belly of June by Horse Feathers.


Aymi & Laurel

Friday, June 15, 2012

leave no trace, take nothing with you

Yesterday I was absolutely horrified to find out that Lia Fáil was damaged. It seems that it was struck with a hammer in 11 different places and fragments were taken.

By looking at the damage there are folks who are speculating {myself included} that this was not an act of purposeful defacement, but probably the collection of relics. If that is the case, obviously whoever did it had no regard for the sacredness of the site or symbolism. Perhaps this is worse than plain old trashing.

I am sure that there are many Pagans who would love to or do make pilgrimages to these sacred sites, which is all fine and dandy, but if they are going to lack respect and common sense then shit like this happens. It doesn't help when books such as Sacred Journeys by Sally Griffyn encourage people to make these pilgrimages without informing them on basic etiquette, or in some cases make suggestions that are asinine. For a good critique of the book from a conservation perspective, check out this White Dragon article.

If the damage reports on the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network is any indication, then it would seem that many of the ancient sacred sites are targets, and way too often. The organization talks specifically about the damage caused by folks who are visiting these sites for spiritual purposes, and there is an article addressing this on their website from a Pagan's outlook.

I suppose all I can add is passing on some sage words that can be found on an old pamphlet for a local Provincial Park:

"Enjoy and preserve the beauty of this place; leave no trace, take nothing with you."



Monday, June 11, 2012

a wee corner of the garden

This is pretty much just a photo post of one part of the garden that is quite happy right now.

Things were just pretty much plunked into the ground last Autumn with little thought about anything besides there being the right amount of light. Thoughts of design were pushed aside in favour of expediency, as frosts were coming soon. {for readers who are new to the blog, we moved into our current home last October and brought a shitload of our perennials with us from our last place}

We also had a few lovely surprises pop up, such as the ferns crowding the lady's mantle, and I didn't have the heart to yank them up. The garden will be rearranged so that taller plants will be in the back and everyone will have enough breathing room at the end of this growing season.

Anyhow, I will have a proper garden update coming soon!

{there are ferns, lady's mantle, foxgloves, wormwood, columbine, feverfew, swamp rose mallow, sedums, and mayapple in this part of the garden}

{the wormwood in its second year is about four and a half feet tall}

{blue columbine}

{ghost fern, a new addition}

{foxgloves are such lovely plants!}

{all of the foxgloves we have are Digitalis purpurea or "Common Foxglove"}

{a paler version}




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Healing

I thought that this was a neat little witchy film. :)

unfinished business

This was something that I had sitting in my draft box for a while, but was inspired to finally publish it by Juniper over at the Walking the Hedge blog. To keep it relatively short, this is the part of my "bucket list" that I have yet to achieve. There are some who will probably find it dreadfully boring when compared to other lists, but I have sewed enough wild oats for my liking. ;)

In no particular order...

  • Live in a wood cabin with a tin roof
  • "Create" my own heirloom veggie, it doesn’t matter what type
  • Go on a sacred pilgrimage to the lands of my Gods
  • Learn to herd sheep
  • Have some horses {some Vanners or Canadian horses would be very lovely!}
  • Learn pottery
  • Be on a property long enough to see a mature Permaculture system in action
  • Ride across Canada on horseback, camping along the way
  • See the decriminalization of sex work in Canada
  • Make a successful batch of heather mead
  • Learn Gaeilge, at least enough so the Gods don’t giggle
  • Scatter wildflower seeds on a golf course
  • Travel to the lands of my Ancestors
  • Join a border morris side
  • Learn to knit
  • Make a moss graffiti masterpiece
  • See the end of horse slaughter in Canada
  • Camp in Restoule Provincial Park in the Autumn
  • Participate in an archaeological dig or experimental archaeological project
  • Master natural dying
  • Have a lusty good time in the forest by firelight {again!}
  • Pour a libation over the graves of Anais Nin and Emma Goldman
  • Learn to play the bodhrán
  • Raise a rowan tree from seed to berry
  • Get the family farm back into the family
  • Make hard cider from my own apples
  • Visit and stay on the East Coast of Canada for a bit
  • Learn to make the perfect campfire
  • Make a cob house
  • Have some type of impact on food security and the expansion of sustainable and ethical agriculture
  • Visit all the Witchcraft museums
  • Learn to plough with horses
  • Finish the book that I have been working on for what seems like ages, and perhaps even get published
  • Live on a small working farm


That should keep me busy for a while.



Sunday, June 3, 2012

more damn gmos, this time it's apples

If you're in Canada, you might want to have a look at this:

The small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits has just submitted their request to Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for approval of their GM “non-browning” apple. Contamination from GM apples threatens the future of our apples, and the farmers who grow them.

Take Action

(New Deadline!) Before July 3, 2012: Send your comments to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at
  • Tell the government that you don’t want to eat a GM apple!
  • GM apples are not wanted by consumers
  • BC apple growers have already rejected the GM apple
  • Contamination from GM apples is a risk to Canadian apple producers
  • The CFIA and Health Canada should not be wasting public funds reviewing a GM apple that no one wants
  • The government should consult with farmers and consumers before it approves any new GM crop
You can see the summary of information the company has submitted to the CFIA to request approval of the GM apple. The submission remains secret and is not available to the public.

More Actions

Send the action alert by email - Click here for the text.

Join the campaign! If you are in BC contact the Okanagan Greens to join the campaign.

Elsewhere in Canada, contact CBAN.

CBAN is working with Bee SAFE, GE Free BC, Okanagan Greens Society, True Food Foundation, and Vigilance OGM to stop the GM apple.


The GM “non-browning” apple is engineered to keep from going brown after being cut. This apple is designed for fast food companies and other companies that use pre-cut apples. The technology was developed in Australia and licensed by the small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits asked for approval in the US in March 2010 and has just asked for approval in Canada. The GM apple has not yet been approved anywhere in the world.

What do apple growers think about the GM apple?

Read the comments to the CFIA from Similkameen Okanagan Organic Treefruit Growers Association, BC.

In 2001, BC apple growers stopped the GM apple from being field tested in Canada. The federal government agricultural station in Summerland in the Okanagan valley, an important fruit growing area, was preparing to start field trials but BC growers who were concerned about contamination stopped these field trials from happening.

In September 2011 CBAN and organizations from across BC organized a series of public events to discuss genetic engineering. At an event in Keremeos, Lee McFadyen of Mariposa Organic Farm and the Live Earth Organic Growers Association pointed out that there are already several varieties of apple that don’t brown. Orchardist Andrea Turner of the Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association said, “The tree fruit industry cannot afford anything silly like that”.

More info can be found at the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network {CBAN} website



Friday, June 1, 2012

Knowing Identities

I had a fancy post I had been working on for this week's Pagan Blog Project featuring the letter K. Since I have not had the time to do a quality post, I hope that this mini-rant will suffice.

Anyhow, I came across these pair of ladies calling themselves The HedgeWitch Cooks. While they have lovely recipes on their website and I look forward to viewing more cooking episodes of theirs in the future, I am slightly confused on the whole hedgewitch thing.

It looks to me that they are equating hedgewitchery with cottage, kitchen or green witchery, when they are very different things. We can probably thank Rae Beth for that. I have seen this a lot lately. Like, to the point where hedgewitch has become completely bastardized.

Seriously, flaunting around titles just because they sound nifty is bad enough, but once you start making money from it...well, to me that is the moral equivalent of lifting one's skirt, squatting and pissing on a grave. They are disrespecting a set of traditions.

To be clear, I am not a hedgewitch myself. It is not something that I have the stones for, and I probably never will. I am quite happy with my "simple" hearthcraft and green witchery. So, on that note, I will let those who practice that particular craft speak for themselves. Check out the following links for more info:

The Cottage of a Hedgewytch

What is a Hedgewitch?

Hedge Witchery



P.S. All this aside, honestly the cooking show and website are worth a look.