Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saint Sunday: Saint Uguzo

Today’s saint is a Saint that is dear to my heart, it is Saint Uguzo.  Saint Uguzo was a poor servant and shepherd who lived in Cavargna which is in the province of Como in Lombardia on the Italian and Swiss border.  St. Uguzo was an extremely altruistic man saving every penny and giving it to the needy families in the province.  St. Uguzo’s master prospered while St. Uguzo worked there, but became extremely jealous of St. Uguzo; he accused him of giving away his master’s money and his master’s land.  St. Uguzo master drove him away from the property and his land went foul and his sheep stopped producing milk.  St Uguzo ever being a humble shepherd still continued to help the needy and was admired by the community.  His jealous master killed St. Uguzo, hoping that would change his fortune; but instead St Uguzo’s love and reputation lived on

St Uguzo is the Patron Saint of:  The Poor, The Hungry: Those who help and feed the poor, and Cheesemakers.

When doing ritual to him use a simple white candle and offer a peice of bread and milk.

Prayer to St Uguzo for those in need

Holy Saint Uguzo bless these humble offerings
Multiply these offerings so I may help others in need.
My offerings like you are humble and honest
Holy Saint Uguzo pray that there is always food on my table, with always a plate to share.
From this one peice of bread make it two, one for my family and one to share
From the coin in my pocket, make it two one for my family and one to share.

(Remember always give back to those who are in need, if you don’t then like the greedy master your prayers will go foul.)

Saint Uguzo’s Feast Day is July 12

On his feast day bring food either to a food pantry or to another friend who needs help or a pick me up.

Farmer’s Cheese Bread
1 room temperature Eggs
⅓ cup oil
⅔ cups of milk
1 ½ cups self rising flour
½ cup Farmer’s Cheese
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients till smooth and then place in  a well greased muffin tin.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake in oven for 15 - 20 minutes until they puff up and brown at the top.  Top with melted butter and let it brown on the top and then pull it out and let it cool on a cooling rack and then serve and share.

This is one of my Grandmother’s Favorite

Balbina’ s Baked Farmer’s Cheese

8 oz Farmer’s Cheese
2 eggs
⅓ cup Honey
1 egg for egg wash

Mix the Farmer’s Cheese, eggs and honey, form it into a loaf place on a pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Once in a loaf, use egg wash so it gets a golden crusty outside.  Cook in the oven for 60 minutes until firm, let it cool for 15 minutes.  Then share with a friend.  Serves well with a sweet red table wine, my favorite is a Tennessee Wine Davenport Red

Remember in the hard times that we are living that we should live like St. Uguzo.  People are not stepping stones, people are blessed spirits each with a story and a journey.  Help your neighbor and you will both prosper, become greedy and you both will be hungry.  Hungry of the stomach, but even worse Hungry of the soul.   The only way we are going to make it in this world is hand in hand.  We a people of Blessed Divine, let us rise up and act like it Ase Papa O

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Witch's Signature

When an artist paints a picture or a writer finishes a manuscript, they finish it off with their nom de plume, better known as their pen name.  I, as a practitioner of spells, leave my pen name on all my work.  Creating a spell, gris gris, or spirit bottle for an individual is like creating a piece of artwork.  You choose your colors (the situation in which the item is needed), you choose your medium (the type of item the person is needing) and then you begin to paint (doing the spell work that is needed)  The Witch’s Signature is something put on the end of the spell that is personal to you as a practitioner; it could be a sigil or herbs or feathers, something that invests your pride and energy into the work that you have done.  

I personally use three different plants as my Witch’s Signature, I use the Blackberry Leaf, Honeysuckle Leaf and/or the Sassafras Leaf. These are three plants that I feel a personal connection with.
The Blackberry Plant has a brilliant green leaves and has a deep purple berry that taste like a warm summer day. I can remember Grandma and I picking them in between the colonial cobble stone fence.  They tasted so sweet and each berry was picked with more excitement. You can’t think of anything but smiling when you reflect back on the taste of your first ripe blackberry.  It is fruit is filled with seeds allowing it to replant in areas for its own survival.  It is a stolid vine moving over, around, and through any obstacle that gets in blackberry’s way.  The Blackberry bush also has thorns, which protects the plant from predators which are trying to hurt the vine. These are all attributes I find important in my life, to be sweet and protective, also to not allow obstacles to get in my way, and to protect the very base and core of my being.

The second plant I like to use is the leaves from the Sassafras Tree.  The Sassafras Tree is a tree with a thick bark protecting it from the elements and turbulent weather.  The entire tree from root to flower, is aromatic, attracting bees and animals to come and pollinate and taste from it’s leaves and blooms.  The leaves when crushed and bruised give off a fruity aroma.  I remember my Dad showing me the tree when I was a child, him plucking two of the leaves showing me one was like a mitten and one was shaped like three fingers.  I remember when he crushed the leaves how they smelled like juicy fruit gum; since then I have shown other children about it . They have a yellow five pointed bloom which is highly aromatic attracting bees to pollinate the plant.  It produces seeds covered in a dark purple fruit, which causes birds to swallow and drop the seeds throughout the forest.  I am a person who feels protective when it comes to harsh times.  I try to send out an aura of acceptance and a harbor for people to come for security and nourishment.  I am also the person who gives people the wings to fly, to give them enough encouragement to plant themselves where they need to be.

Last but not least, is the Wild Honeysuckle, the fragrant marker of Southern Kentucky Summers.  In the Summers of Western Kentucky you can not walk anywhere without smelling the sweet scent of the Honeysuckle blossom.  It’s white and yellow blossom stands out from the green leaves attracting bees and butterflies.   The vine is an overpowering vine crawling over everything and growing very fast, often taking over man’s creations.  The flowers are filled with a sweet nectar; which even humans can partake of its sweetness.  I remember my Mom and I walking along the Jersey Shore and she showing me the vine.  She plucked a tiny white bloom and pinched the end, and pulled the stamen through the back releasing a tiny drop of sweet nectar.  IOccassionally during the Summer, I take a Oshun Power Water Bath using a mixture of Rose Water and Honeysuckle Water. After the bath I feel cleansed, rejuvenated, and I feel like Royalty. (I often call it my Qarth Bath for you Game of Thrones People)  
While posting this I have come to a conclusion that my Witch’s Signature is not only the power of the plant, but the powers of my memories and parental energies.  My Witch’s Signature is a culmination of memories and  the power of the plants.  I learned today  that the essence of Rootworking is family energies in a symbiotic relationship with the Earth.  Listen to the world and it will speak, listen to the voices of the past, they are still relevant.

 Ase  -Papa O

The Medicine Wheel : A Sacred Hoop of Learning & Living

Original Design - 'The Great Shield'- By: Kurt Shoopman

Perhaps the most easily recognizable symbol of shamanism in America today. The Medicine Wheel, has been used by many modern shamanic pracititioners as a symbol of the four directions, the seasons, and a representation of countless other forces in nature. While this definition serves a basic function, the true nature of the medicine wheel is far deeper than the average diagram. At its heart, the medicine wheel is a living map, and like all maps it is an invaluable tool to those who know how to properly use it.

The Medicine Wheel, also called 'The Sacred Round', has been used by shamans across the American continents as a means to understand and actively engage in the primal processes and cycles of nature. These cycles not only pertain to the material (outer) world but also allows the individual to explore the rich depths of their inner (spiritual) landscape. But in order to pick up this ancient tool and invite its ageless wisdom into our lives, we first have to understand how to approach such a formidable force.

An assumption that many people make when they first begin to study the Sacred Round, is that it exists seperately from the shaman. This outlook is not only limiting to the partnership, but it does a great disservice to the actual nature of the Wheel. Unlike the road maps we pick up at a gas station, the Medicine Wheel is a powerful construct that we live our lives in. Although it performs innumerable functions, perhaps the greatest gift it gives us, is the ability to see and participate in the movement of energy in our world, both seen and unseen.

When we approach the Medicine Wheel, it must be done from a place of openness and a true desire to understand ourselves and the world. In adopting this attitude, we allow ourselves to pierce the veil that shrouds these teachings. The medicine wheel has been referred to as 'The Great Shield' or 'The People's Shield', because it is the shield that all People can choose to pick up. Not so long ago, it was a rite of passage for a shaman or warrior to create their Medicine Shield. It was their spirit face and it contained their power. The medicine wheel is the only shield that contains the power, the essence, of all things. And so, it is with this knowledge in mind that we should not only be honored to carry such a precious gift, but it would behoove us to truly understand what we have chosen to pick up.

Now that we understand what the Medicine Wheel is and the general idea of what it does. We can begin to dicuss the parts that make up the Sacred Round. At first glance, the medicine wheel is a circle that is divided into four equal parts by a equal-armed cross. Simple, right? Each of these parts has a purpose and a meaning:

-The Cross -

At the center of the medicine wheel is an equal-armed cross, each point of which is aligned with a cardinal direction (South, West, North and East.). Depending upon what culture or what kind of wheel one is working with, each of these cardinal directions takes on a different aspect or energy. The cross also acts as an axis that the entirety of the wheel spins around. You can think of this axis like the spokes of a tire, acting as a source of support and strength to the outer wheel. The axis is typically divided further into two parts. In my tradition, the vertical line is called the 'Sky Tree' and the horizontal line is simply called 'the Horizon'. The sky tree represents the movement between the spirit world and the material plane, it is the essence of stability and order. The Horizon, conversely, is a respresentation of transitory energies. Like the sun and moon that pass across the sky from East to West. At the heart of the cross at the place of intersection is what can be refferred to as the vortex, the source, or the well spring of power. At this center we encounter the sacred void, the place from which all things come. It is the place of coalescence between all the energies that live within the Sacred Round. It is Quintessence,

-The Circle-

Around the outside of the cross is the circle, which in my tradition is called 'The Sacred Hoop'. The circle is not only a symbol of continuity and the endless procession of cycles, but it is the reminder that the Medicine wheel is indeed a container of power. Without the Sacred Hoop, the Medicine Wheel is a only gathering of four energies, it is the circle that generates movement and interaction between these Four realms of energy. Just like the wheels on a bicycle, if we remove the tire and are left with spokes, we would lose the seamless flow of motion between the spokes, making for an uncomfortbale and ineffective mode of transportation.


Although the Medicine Wheel has distinguishable features, it is important that we do not view each of these parts as seperate, just as we designate parts of our body like our head, arm and shoulder, each of these parts are joined together and work as a whole. To further explore the Medicine Wheel and understand how to use it, let's take a look at one of the simplest wheels I use in my tradition.


The Sacred Hoop pictured above is the "Wheel of Manifestation", This wheel governs everything from starting an art project, writing a paper for school, to taking a vacation. For the purpose of this article, let's say we are working on a painting. We begin this wheel in the North, the place of Spirit. this is where inspiration comes from. It is in our communion with spirit that we are given new acts of power, new endeavors to accomplish in this world. For this example, we go on a nature walk, and are inspired by the beauty of leaves. So we are given this sense of wonder and we begin to dream. This inspiration will stay formless and unrealized until we bring it into the East.

In the East is the realm of the mind, of wisdom, intellect, and memory. It is here tha we will being to formulate a plan of action. Drawing on what we have learned and the sheer power of imagination, we begin to bring this formless concept into focus, We take that beauty and wonder, and we say "I want to paint those leaves on this size canvas, I want to use these colors, and I see it with such and such lighting.." Then we plan how to make this happen. We decide that we've enjoyed the supplies we've bought from a particular store. Or we remember a cool technique we learned in Art Class in High School that would make this project interesting and beautiful. Now that we've formulated a plan and drawn upon our experiences, we now have a clearer picture of what we're going to do. And so we take this plan to the South.

In the South is the realm of physical and material energies. It is the body, the sensation of doing and being. It is in the South that we put our plan into action. We take this plan and we go buy our art supplies, and perhaps we set aside a space in the house for us to work. Then we sit down and we start painting. We lose ourselves in the process of DOING. It is the action that is sacred here. We manifest our dream into this world, giving birth to something that stirs our spirit, this is an act of power. After we have made the painting we step back and realize, this is done. It is in that moment that we to move to the West.

In the West in the realm of death and rebirth, it is the place of the giveaway. It is the act of completion and release. Now that we've created our painting, we can admire it for what it is. It is no longer something inside of us, it is now a fully realized form seperate from us. And so, we must honor and acknowledge this seperation. Alot of times, this where people have issues. In our culture, we don't know that everything must be finished. This is true of our thoughts, emotions, relationships, and even our household projects. We have to realize that everything that we give live to has to released in order for it to become whole. If we choose not to release something that we've created or experienced it will continue to draw on your energy to sustain itself. It is important to note that just because we complete or release something, does not mean that it is no longer a part of our spirit. We remember it and it leaves a lasting impression upon us. The other important process that occurs within the West is the necessary period of rest. When we finish something, we must take a moment to gather ourselves and recuperate. It is in this period of stasis that we heal and become ready to move back into the North to begin our journey again.

Taking what we have just learned about the Wheel of Manifestation, we can see the movement that occurs when we undertake any project or act of creation. It seems like common sense right? That we are inspired, we plan, we do and then we let go. But like anything in life, it is easy for us to become lost and confused while we are in the thick of it. The medicine wheel exists to help us see past our own limitations and truly look at where we are in a process and what we need to do in order to live balanced and productive lives.

Think about it, how often do we try to move directly across the wheel instead of around and through it? The following are some of the conditions created when we try to move in this fashion:

(North to South)- We try to make something happen without any foresight or planning, and it ends up with unnecessary complications and headache.

(East to West)- We create a plan but decide its finished before we even enact it, never getting it off the ground in the

(South to North)- We end up with countless unresolved experiences or unfinished projects as we constantly seek new dreams without ended those we've started. This movement often pushes us to burn-out.

(West to East)- We find ourselves bored and uninspired, unable to come up with any original or interesting ideas. This is the gateway for living life as a robot.

Besides trying to generate movement along the axis, we can also become stuck in areas. When this occurs its important to take a moment and realize where you are in the Wheel. Once you've discovered your location, figure out the next step in the process and make whatever adjustments necessary to move you in that direction. When you're stuck it can feel like all the wind has been let out of your sails, and something that I've found has helped me during my stays in the quagmire, is that small changes can help generate enough movement to help get your gears unstuck.

In the end, the Medicine Wheel is the swiss army knife of many shamans. And in truth there are as many Hoops as there are problems in life. In the future I hope to share many of the wheels I have come to know during my time upon this Red Road.

Written By- Kurt Shoopman

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sacred Space on the Go

(Crystal Cord Charm for the Car)
     When I hear people talk about bringing their spirituality into daily practice I always get the image in my head of walking past dimly lit cubicles in long flowing gowns holding a smoking censor. Candles lit around a computer and a desk creatively decorated with stones and statues. Then my mind pops back into the present with a laugh at how impossible and impractical that is in reality. I think the subject of bringing your practices into daily life is difficult for many people as it is something they might keep quiet in certain spaces or are just so busy it gets lost in the daily hustle. This is why I find that creating sacred spaces wherever I spend alot of  time is important to me.

    Sacred space doesn't have to be limited to your altar or meditation pillow or even just your home. I think it is important to naturally and easily bring your spiritual path into daily life to create sacred spaces at all the places you spend lots of time in and especially those that you tend to get more stressed or frustrated in. For this particular blog entry, I am going to focus on creating sacred space in your car.

    I am in my car for hours a day for one of my jobs. Traffic, crazy drivers, bad weather, and construction can contribute to pulling me out of my center and make it hard to feel like a spiritual being. To try to keep myself from screaming in a state of road rage, there a few things I do to help keep me connected with the earth while speeding down man made roads. The easiest is sprinkling a little dried lavender in the floor boards of the car, crushing it in and letting it sit a little while before vacuuming. If that is too messy for you, putting some in a muslin bag and hanging it will work just as well. Lavender is wonderfully relaxing and helps clear the mind when stressed.

    For every car I have owned I have made a crystal charm cord (like the one pictured above) to protect and create a sacred space for all who travel with me. To do this, I like to start with a few certain stones:

Moonstone- protection in travel, luck, increase intuition, feminine.
Tiger eye- protection in travel, grounding, courage, optimism, confidence, masculine.
Quartz- focus, mental clarity, creativity.
Citrine- joy, positive energy, transmuting negativity.
Amethyst- cleansing, spieitual attunement, increase intuition.
Rose Quartz- love, compassion, opens ones eyes to seeing the beauty all around them.
Hematite- disapated stress, grounding, peace, and increase energy levels.

    In place of one above or in addition to them you can add other stones that you especially like or work well with. I wire wrap each stone but you can also purchase the stones wire wrapped or in pendant/bead form. Then taking a cord, tie each stone with enough space in between that the crystals so they don't bang against each other too much while you're driving. After all of the crystals have been added, tie the ends of the cord in order to be able to hang on your rearview mirror. I personally like to cleanse each of the ceystala with a little salt water and then bless the cord and stones empower the whole piece for my vehicle. Then just hang your cord around your rearview mirror and enjoy the beauty and postive energy while you drive!

Written By: Julie Alexander

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saint Sunday Series: St. Winwaloc - The Patron Saint of Fertility

Hello Guys, it is Saint Sunday! Our first series, Saint Sundays will highlight a new Saint each week that can help us in our daily lives and magickal workings.

St. Winwaloc
Today we are going to learn about St Winwaloc, a patron saint of fertility, This Saint was born in Ploufragren, France. After becoming abbot, he and eleven monks founded the Landevenne Monastery. He originally wanted to go to Ireland to visit the remains of St Patrick, who had recently died. Howver, The Holy Spirit came down and told him to build his Monastery across the water from Ireland. In 914, the Vikings raided the Monastery and destroyed the original structure, which was eventually rebuilt by the Benedictine Monks

During his veneration, St Winwaloc became known as a priapic saint (or a phallic saint), a saint known for dealing with a protector of livestock, fruits and gardens, fertility, and the penis.  His Feast Day is March 24

Prayer for Men to St Winwaloc for Fertility
(light a green candle consecutively for 11 days, reciting the following prayer)
Holy St. Winwaloc, hear my prayer
Bless my Seed and make me fertile
Make my phallus strong and hard
May my seed be blessed with child
Holy St Winwaloc may the child be healthy, strong and blessed
St Winwaloc take my prayers and aid me in the miracle of fatherhood
Food ideas for St Winwaloc Feast Days or Prayer Foods
Papa O’s 3R Red Beans, Red Meat and Rice
2 Cups Red Beans
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Medium Onion
2 tablespoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound andouille
1 8 oz Steak
11 strips of Bacon
2 Tablespoons of hot sauce of choice.
Cut the bacon down to small pieces and the place it in a cast Iron skillet. Cook the bacon down and then mince the garlic and onion and add it to the bacon, allow the onions to become soft. Cube the steak and cut the andouille to be bite size pieces and them to the onion mixture and saute the proteins. Place in a slow cooker add the beans, salt, cayenne, sugar, and cumin; stir into the mixture thoroughly. Cover the mixture with water and then cook in a slow cooker for 5 hours on low, stirring it occasionally. Serve over white rice Serves 8
Papa O’s Fried Banana
3 Yellow Bananas cut into bite size pieces
2 eggs
¼ cup of milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Mix together in a mixing bowl eggs, milk, melted butter, sugar, flour and cream. It should form a batter. Get a deep skillet or dutch oven and put in il where it is room for bananas to brown and float in. Cook till there is a golden brown coating and then remove from heat and drain excess oil. Cover with powder sugar and serve with chocolate syrup.

“Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul” Ase Papa O

It's Who We Are

In 2010, we set out to follow a dream. A dream of selling and sharing handmade crafts and items, that reflected our own personal spiritual traditions and our everyday hobbies and interests. That dream was transformed into Dancer's Grove, a collaborative effort between three Pagan artisans with three very different spiritual views and aesthetics.
Dancer's Grove is much more than the average Metaphysical store. Besides offering a variety of unique wares and services, we work hard to create custom pieces for our clients. Bringing their personal ideas to life and fulfilling their spiritual needs.
Meet the Artists
Julie Alexander ( a.k.a. Jewels)
Jewels is a pagan, an artist, a dancer, and an intuitive. Growing up in a metaphysical, creative, and liberal home gave her the roots to branch into a myriad of artistic pursuits and explore diverse philosophies and spiritual practices. Earthy and bohemian by nature, she enjoys creating artwork centered around her spiritual interests, bellydance, and nature both in subject and in materials. She has been a tarot reader and intuitive for over 15 years reading in shops, metaphysical fairs and private gatherings. Her spiritual and pagan interests are eclectic with an emphasis in Celtic traditions, the ancient Minoans, drum and dance as spiritual practice, spirit animals, creating sacred space, uses of crystals and stones, and the sacred feminine.

Papa Oloyade
Papa Oloyade, affectionately called "Papa O", is a spiritual counselor and psychic medium, who employs a wide variety of divinitory techniques to assists his clients. Papa Oloyade grew up in a half Polish Roman Catholic family and half White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and belonged to a respected lineage of funeral directors and teachers. Growing up around funerals and cemeteries, he realized early on that funeral homes were loud with the voices of the dead, but cemeteries were quite peaceful. Papa Oloyade picked up his first tarot deck at the Cloisters in NYC and has not put them down since. Today, he advises doctors, lawyers, chefs, and actresses. Papa Oloyade began studying Neo-Pagan spirituality in 1992, becoming an intiate of the Graxian Tradition in 1993, under the tutelage of Joy Landa. After moving south to attend college, he studied Slave Culture specializing in Yoruban Diaspora; which he followed through to his Masters Degree. Papa O became a follower of the Yoruban Pantheon, and was crowned with Oya and with the heart of Elegba. Over the years that followed he worked to introduce the Yoruban Diaspora to the Western and Southern Kentucky Regions. In 2001, 'Papa O' lost all Kidney Function and had to go on Hemodialysis, though he has never lost his deep spiritual need to help others. He has created and been involed in many community programs such as soup kitchens and free arts programs. In 2008, he met Mama Vanetta who taught him about African American Spiritualism and Culture, which has helped him develop his Yoruban Practice. Papa O also does daily augury, based on the Ancient Roman and Greek techniques. He has learned to become open to the 'Talking Worlds', and shares what he hears via social media. Through Religious Evolution, Papa O has found himself in the American Orisha Tradition; a tradition that encompasses a life long spiritual practice.

Kurt Shoopman  
A shamanic teacher and practitioner of 7 years, Kurt actively works to share practical wisdom with students to help them create strong spiritual foundations that promote healing, balance and develop personal power. He has taught workshops and facilitated public teaching circles in the local community, and spends most of his time exploring the rich traditions of Mesoamerican Religion. When he's not teaching or writing, Kurt enjoys creating unique ritual tools, power objects, and spiritual artwork for clients using a variety of mediums and techniques.

So, what can you expect to see on our blog? Just like us, our blog will be packed full of interesting articles and tutorials inspired by spiritual and cultural practices from every corner of the World. It's sure to be an interesting adventure, so come along for the ride!