Sunday, March 27, 2016


The Vernal Equinox has come and gone, and Easter is almost over. This is usually the time I write about the Pagan roots of the Resurrection, or about chicks and bunnies, but not this year. Ostara (Vernal Equinox) is the last holiday in the Season of the God. Next up: the glorious Beltain (or Beltane) and the start of the Earth's fecundity. But it's not just about physical fertility – oh, no. It is the celebration of intellectual and spirituality creativity as well. With that in mind...and knowing a lot of creative Jersey Girls... I'd like to celebrate the Goddess by celebrating my friends – and then some!

A painting I had done of Pauline, after her passing.

First up: Pauline Campanelli. Pauline left us in November of 2001 due to complications from polio. I was honored to officiate at her funeral, both as a close friend and fellow Wiccan High Priestess. I miss her greatly, but her work continues on! A good number of her prints are still available at New York Graphic Society, as well as other poster and art stores. Most of her books are still in print. My former hubby Gary Niall and I were proud to be part of “Circles, Groves, and Sanctuaries”.



Tea & Oranges

Wild Roseberries

Apple Trencher


An original : Candy Corn

Next in line is Paula Grimaldi-Reardon, otherwise known as “Pulsating Paula”. She's an old school chum of mine from High School days, has amazing tattoos, and is an exceptional photographer. She has done everything from bikers, to babies, to photo restorations.

Paula was born in Jersey City in 1954. Since the 1980’s she’s been photographing bikers, tattoo artists and general mayhem around the US, with thousands of her shots gracing the pages of magazines like “Biker Lifestyle” and “Tattoo”. She's had thousands of photos published, some even being used in recent, televised documentaries.

Yet that's not where Paula's talents and skills end. See the following selection of work (including things she's done for me). If you'd like to see more, check out her Facebook page: Photography by Pulsating Paula. To check out the full range of her work, go to her web site at:

Natalie Zaman and I have known each other for a long, long time. Together, we created the Graven Images Oracle deck, and ran Broomstix – an e-zine for pagan kids. Natalie still maintains this as a blog. Alone, and with other collaborators, she's gone on to do a myriad of things. Most recently, she's done the text for this totem adult coloring book:

And her own forthcoming book on her magical journeys:

I believe it is due out in September. The best way to keep track of Nat and her mystical doings (workshops, signings, etc.) is to check out her blog at:

Speaking of collaborations..Natalie and I conspired on a manuscript called, “Evergreen”. The focus is using your Yule tree all year long in magical (and green!) crafts and rituals. You can read this book, for free, throughout the year. It is posted in seasonal installments. Just go to:

I should mention that Natalie's daughter, Mari Zaman, is the photographer for this project.

Karen E. Timper is one of the leaders of our local New Jersey Ghost Organization. She and her dad have been doing this for a while, and even have a few publications under their belts.

Her next big adventure will be this summer, when I go with the team to White Hill Manson, right here in NJ. I'm hoping to do an article on the hunt for Fate Magazine.

Their web site is:

Last, but certainly not least, is the Talon Lady herself, Lauren Curtis. Lauren has an impressive set of nails. How does she function in a day-to-day world? She just does! Beyond her fame (“Ripley's Believe It Or Not”, as well as an appearance on the show “Oddities” - selling the shop an antique prostate Lauren is a noted artist and photographer.

Here she is with Rufus, before his passing last year:

Here are some samples of her varied styles, as well as sites where her stuff can be viewed/ purchased/ explored.

4/6/16 - 7/8/16 Opening reception Friday 4/8, 5-8pm
I have 2 of my x-ray digital collages in this important exhibit.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Sacred Spaces exhibit at Nails in the Wall Gallery (in St. Luke's), Metuchen, NJ as well as in a group NJ artists show in the New Brunswick Free Public Library, New Brunswick, NJ & will be participating in several NJ outdoor art fests this spring thru the holiday season. (Fine art, photography, updates) (my Blog) (Facebook Art Page) (commercial& fine art) (illustration & fine art)
(Graphic design & fine art)
(Follow me on Twitter)

Well, that's it, my pretties! Get out there and draw, paint, write, dance...whatever floats your boat. Summer is a comin' in, so make art while the sun shines!

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Here it comes, Saint Patrick's Day. In the past, I've covered a number of interesting facts about Ireland's patron saint, from him being English (basically) to supposedly having ongoing wars with the Druids. But there is only one thing I wish to pontificate about this time around.


Yes, snakes and the lack thereof.

Ireland doesn't have snakes. Ireland NEVER had snakes post- ice age. In fact the only lizard found on the isle is this little guy, right here:

He's called a common lizard. Cute little guy, no? Here he is, all green for the holiday.

And here he is, waving at' cha...awwh...

So, why the “drove the snakes out of Ireland” crap? The Church Fathers had to come up with SOME reason for our lack of slithering things, so why NOT Patrick?

It was only later that some “bright lights” decided it was a metaphor for driving the Druids and Pagans off the sacred land. Yeah? News alert: we're still there. We weren't compelled to run willy-nilly off the Cliffs of Moher, like a swarm of demented lemmings. We didn't jump in a fleet of currachs off the shores of Bull Island saying, “I hear Gaul is nice this time of year.” No! Still there. Hell, even Irish Catholicism is just Paganism with pews, and a lot more bells.

So, why the story? Well, snakes are evil, Old Path things, right? It was the snake in the garden of Eden that caused the downfall of Man, and let's not forget the ancient stories! Look at Medusa, and the other Gorgons. THEY were evil, and their hair was composed of living snakes! Oh, by the way...

Moses turned the staffs of Pharaoh's sages into snakes. That had to show that they were “dark hearted”. I found this little tid-bit on a Bible site:

The prophets liken the wicked to those who “hatch viper’s eggs” (Isaiah 59:5), to “a serpent [who] has swallowed us . . . and then has spewed us out” (Jeremiah 51:34), and to those who “will lick dust like a snake” (Micah 7:17). The poetic books speak of evil men making “their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips” (Psalm 140:3), of liars having “venom . . . like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be” (Psalm 58:4–5), and of alcohol eventually biting “like a snake and poison[ing] like a viper” (Proverbs 23:32). Jesus and John the Baptist both condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees by calling them a “brood of vipers” and “snakes” (Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33).
  Oooh...nasty... So if snakes are evil, and Pagans are evil, and Patrick fought against the Druids and Pagans, then he must have won because God was on his side. Therefore snakes equal dispossessed Pagans and such, forced to flee.


Don't know about you, but I resent being called a snake. And my family wasn't driven off by anything.. not by Patrick, not by famine, and not by the bloody English. A few came to the States to build a better life. That's it. Only motivation.

Isaac Bonewits, Druid and founder of Ár nDraíocht Féin, proposed that Saint Patrick's Day should be renamed “All Snakes Day”. He even wrote his own lyrics to that old chestnut “A Nation Once Again”. (You can go on YouTube and find a slew of groups singing it, if you're interested in the tune.) Here are the lyrics, in part:

When childhood's fire was in my blood, I dreamed of ancient dreemen,
Against the Church who boldly stood, as Pagans and as Heathen.
And then I prayed I yet might see, the Druids in the glen,
And Ireland long the churches' toy, be Pagan once again!
Be Pagan once again, be Pagan once again,
And Ireland long the churches' toy, be Pagan once again!
The Old Gods only sleep you know, although betrayed and slandered.
They guarded us from every woe, and blessed each crop and fine herd.
Then Patrick, he drove the snakes away, and brought the churches in.
'Twas a bloody poor bargain, I would say -- let's be Pagan once again!
Be Pagan once again, be Pagan once again,
'Twas a bloody poor bargain, I would say -- let's be Pagan once again!

I didn't say they were GOOD lyrics. They're a bit rhythm-challenged, but he gets an “A” for effort.

Others have suggested that we use the day to honor some of our ancient cultural heroes. I like that idea!

Well, that's it...the end of my rant. Enjoy the 17th. I'm staying home, avoiding the parades, green beer and bagels, Shamrock Shakes (does Mickey D's still have those?), and corned beef and cabbage. I'll be watching “The Bloody Irish”. Look it up!

Oops! One more thing....Ireland does have this...

It's called a smooth newt (as opposed to the terribly clumsy newt). Cute little critter.

Finally, I wanted to leave you with a true Irish ballad. I could have picked “The Minstrel Boy” or “Mo Ghile Mear”, but I decided on this:


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


It seems he's the up and coming thing. First, there were Vampires, then tons of zombies. Now, ghostly shows seem to confront more demons than dead folk, there's a new book out about his supposed visit to 1600's Salem, Ma., and he even has his own show called - appropriately - “Lucifer”. Yup, the devil is in the details, the media, the bookstore...but what do we really know about the “Prince of Darkness”? Like a lot of Wiccans, I frequently get cast into the same roiling furnace as his Infernal Majesty, even though he's not even a part of the Wiccan Path. So, for all our sakes, maybe it's time we check out his true curriculum vitae as presented in “Holy Scripture”.

The Name: “Satan” translates as “Adversary”, from the root word meaning “astray”. This is not a specific name, but a title. Muslim scholars think the devil's given name is “Azarel”. Who knew?

Lucifer” has a more interesting back story. It means “shining one”, a “light bearer”, “a bringer of dawn”, or “morning star”. Morning Star is also the name of the planet Venus. Venus is never seen to reach its zenith in the morning skies as the dawn's light overcomes it.

Many believe it is the Satanic figure “Lucifer” being discussed in this biblical quote: “How you have fallen from Heaven, morning star, son of the dawn. You have been cast down to the Earth...You said in your heart...I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Sounds like the fallen angel story, no? Wrong! It is a taunt directed at one of the kings of Babylon – possibly Balthazar, son of Nebuchadnezzar.

In Canaanite myth, the morning star was a god named Attar,who tried to overthrow Baal. Failing to do so, he descended into the Underworld, to rule there.

So, what do we call the devil? Pick a name. Adolf? Nick? Luke? Aleister? I kinda like the Azarel moniker.

Appearance: No, Satan is not described in the Bible as having horns, goat legs, etc. That is a depiction of the Pagan god Pan. 
By equating Satan with a Pan-like figure, the Church could accuse Pagans of “devil worship”. So, what did Satan look like, as one of God's highest angels? Time to consider the heavenly rank and file.

There are three spheres of angelic beings, composing the celestial choir. The first sphere are Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. They are the divine servants of the living God.

Seraphim are fiery, six winged angels. Two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their feet, and two are used to fly. If you were to look directly at a Serephim it would fry you alive, so it needs to shield itself. They reflect the glory of God and, apparently, a lot of radiation.

Cherubim are NOT the cute, little, naked, babies with wings. Those are “putti”. The “real” Cherubim have four faces: a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, a lion's body, and ox feet.


Thrones are really freaky. They are beryl-colored wheels within wheels, covered with hundreds of eyes.

The second and third spheres of angels - Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels – look progressively closer to humans. Plain  angels look like us, but with wings. The devil was one of the top sphere of angels. So, he was either a fully irradiated, six-winged freak, a multi-faced animalistic morph, or a nightmarish, rolling, ring of eyes.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Divine Counterpart: Satan, Lucifer, Sam-I-am – or whatever you want to call the devil, (How about “Old Nick” or “His Nibs?) is not banished from Heaven, or the sight of God. In fact, he even visits and bets with the Almighty. Take the case of poor Job. Loyal, god-fearing,, innocent, Job gets to be the object of a wager. “Nick” says he's only loyal because his life is good. Take it all away, and he will curse God. The Lord says,”You're on!” He proceeds to strip everything good from Job's existence. When he stays true to his Faith, the devil looses the bet, and God restores everything back to Job.

Really? They say that things happen for a reason. The reason Job was miserable? God likes to gamble. Who's the “bad guy” in THIS story?

Goats are not Lucifer's totem: Again, the goats legs, horns, etc. are not biblical. Neither are goat heads and inverted pentagrams. It wasn't until the Church of Satan used the head of the Baphomet inside the inverted five-pointed star that folks started equating “satanic” goat symbols with the scriptural devil.

And the Goat of Mendes, or the Baphomet? Freemasons were accused of worshiping this figure. Even then, it was more a form of the Egyptian goat-headed god Banedbjedet. The image of Baphomet was drawn by Eliphas Levi. It has multiple layers of symbology – none “devilish”. (If you're interested in the meaning of the Baphomet, see my blog entry of 7/21/14, titled “The Cover”.)

Witches don't worship Satan. Not our circus; not our monkeys. (Our monkeys fly.) Even the Church of Satan doesn't worship Satan. He is a metaphor – a symbol of earthly pleasures and power, but not an actual embodiment of all things evil. Surprise!

Hell is not where Satan lives. The only thing the Bible says about Hell is that there is fire. No throne, no fact, when the world ends, Old Nick will burn there, just like every other condemned soul. Nope, Satan lives on Earth. The Book of Revelations says his throne is the Turkish city of Pergamon.

God vs. Satan: a score card. I found this information on several web sites. It's something to think about when contemplating the “true” nature of Lucifer:


•God takes away Adam and Eve's eternal life, thus committing the first murder, and holds their descendants responsible and visiting Adam and Eve's punishment down on their children. In today's moral standards, the sins of the father die with the father.

•God destroys all life on Earth in a great flood, except for a drunk (Noah) and his family, for failing to worship him.

•God's tenth plague upon the Israelites was the unjustified murder of all firstborn sons in Egypt, which undoubtedly included little children.

•Before sending the plagues to Egypt, God "hardened Pharaoh's heart" so that he wouldn't let the Israelites go, so he could have an excuse to visit horrible plagues upon them, like boils, killing cattle and murdering all firstborn sons. (Exodus 4:21)

•God orders the Levities to kill their "every man and his neighbor" for worshiping another god. This cost 3000 lives. (Exodus 32:27)

•God sends a plague to the Israelites, apparently feeling that mass-butchery wasn't enough of a punishment. (Exodus 32:35)

•God kills Onan for refusing to impregnate his late brother's (whom God also slew) wife and instead "spilling his seed on the ground." (Genesis 38:8-10)

•God kills the entire populations of Soddom and Gammorah (again, including women, children and infants) for practicing certain sexual techniques.

•God gives all Philistines hemorrhoids in their pubic areas. (1 Samuel 5:9)

•God kills over 50,000 people for looking at an ark. (1 Samuel 6:19)

•God kills 70,000 people because King David decided to have a census. (1 Chronicles 21:7-14)

•God approves of slavery, and instructs owners to beat their slaves. (Proverbs 29:19)

•And, finally, God makes sure that if you are guilty of even the smallest transgression, you shall suffer endlessly for all eternity, following a dramatic homecoming for Jesus, who will be extremely pissed off at everyone for putting him to death, even though it was just the Romans and even though he knew what was going to happen beforehand, and he could have easily avoided it by using his power as God to perform a miracle and prove who he was. (See the entire book of Revelation)


•Satan, like Prometheus, gave knowledge to humanity by giving Eve the fruit from the forbidden tree. Because of Satan, humanity gained knowledge of good and evil, according to Genesis. Since we couldn't have possessed knowledge of good and evil before eating the fruit, Adam and Eve couldn't have known that eating the fruit was evil, so it seems a little harsh to punish them as severely as God did. Satan gave humans true capacity for moral judgment, unlike God, who simply expected everyone to mindlessly obey his orders.

•There is no biblical record of Satan engaging in the murder of torture of any human being, unlike God, who is guilty (and proudly guilty) of committing genocide.

•There is no biblical record of Satan ever ordering someone to kill someone else, unlike God, who has repeatedly demanded the deaths of those who commit even the smallest of offenses.

•Satan will not be holding a massively dramatic ceremony full of blood and death for the return of his son to Earth. God apparently will.

Now, I'm not advocating anyone switching ball teams. I don't believe in an incarnate Evil. I think Evil exists, just as I believe in Goodness, but both reside in our own hearts. We have the free will to choose which Path we walk. However, since so many think members of my Wiccan religion:

  • dance with the devil in the full moon light,
  • kiss his tailed ass in the “osculum infame”,
  • sign our souls over to him by entering our names in his black book, in blood (our own),
  • set forth to cause the corruption of our neighbors and loved ones

it's good to take a clear look at the demon, the myth, and the legend. If you still wish to cling to your old notion of “His Nibs” - if you think all of the above is merely one of his minions luring you from your Faith, or that witches are his hand-maidens and man-servants – well, then YOU can go to the devil!.. And here's what you can expect: