5 years ago today, my birth father passed away; one month before I lost my baby, and over 2 years before I found him.


I wish I could have met him. There are times I’m sad I didn’t get the opportunity to grow up with him and his side of the family, but I am eternally grateful I found them at all. It took nearly 20 years for me to find him.

I swear to you, I feel he must have helped guide me to find my sister so I could connect with her and the rest of his side of the family. The series of incredible luck it took for me to find her was just amazing. One right after the other in a rapid succession within hours.

My birth mother gave me two names to find him; his name and his cousin. His cousin’s name was unusual enough that I knew it would be easier to find him than Butch. Since 1995 I regularly search online for Butch and his cousin, but I was never able to turn up any results. I would call information in Hawaii looking for either of them. I had even talked with someone from a veterans group to help search for his service records. What I didn’t know was that Butch wasn’t his real name.  I later learned it was a family nickname. This explained the great difficulty in locating him .

In 2011, and as it turned out, just weeks after he passed away, I did a search, like I had done so many times before, for his cousin.  For the first time I got a hit. I got an actual street address for him. I wrote down the address and then stared at it for a long time.

Now what?

I mean, what do you write to the cousin of your birth father, a man who never knew you existed, and it’s been over 40 years? “Uh, hey! So I’m your cousin’s unknown 41-year-old daughter and, uh, I just wanted to say hi.”

Like, seriously?!

So I sat on the address.

In 2014 Chris and I were preparing for our big wedding and I was in the midst of writing out the wedding invitations. I turned the page on the notebook I was using and there was the cousin’s address… staring at me.  Well, I was already in letter writing mode and I figured one more couldn’t hurt. Besides, what was the worst that could happen? They don’t respond, or it gets returned. Then I was no worse off than I already was.

I grabbed a blank card and proceed to write-up a basic letter with my origin story.  I started with who I was, why I was writing, the story my birth mother gave me about the cousin and my birth father, and the various ways I can be contacted. I even told them to Google me, there’s plenty of pages and video interviews out there if they need more info.

I will admit, there was a tiny part of me that worried they’d see I was a witch and simply never bother to contact me. However, there was nothing I could do to change that fact. Fact is I’m as out of the broom closet as one can get.

About a week went by and a woman I believe was the cousin’s wife friended me on Facebook. I woke to find the notification and was in minor shock. I think I called Chris at work quite excited about it.  I spent about an hour or so looking at her page, mostly scanning her friends list to see if a Butch or anyone with his last name was among the many names. At the time I didn’t find anything.

I scanned her page, saw a neat hula video, and pressed “like”.  That did it! She not only unfriended me, she blocked me completely.  I was incredibly devastated. This was the closest I had ever come to finding him in nearly 20 years since I found my birth mother and learned who he was and it seemed that my best connection to find him was now gone. I was beside myself and unsure what happened or what I should do next.

Fortunately, I remembered some of the names on her list, like her daughters’ names. Oddly, this was the breakthrough I needed! Within the friends lists of her daughters’ I was able to find tons of people with my father’s last name. Every profile with his last name I opened as a new tab. I had over 20 tabs open. I scanned the names and came across two women of which I thought at least one might be his wife. Later I learned I was right on the second name. I searched both of their profiles for Butch, but at the time I didn’t find anything.

I went through a lot of info, scanning for anything that might help me connect with Butch. While I was going back and forth through the profiles I kept going back to the second woman’s page and somehow I opened up a photo album I hadn’t found previously that just happened to be nothing but pics of Butch. I looked at the caption and realized I found him! To be honest I was beginning to think the info my birth mother gave me was incorrect, but there he was.

Just then my father, Ron,  walked down the stairs. Coincidentally he was heading to the airport to spend the week at a family reunion. I started yelling, “I found him!” as Dad was walking toward me. I was so excited! Dad walked over, I pointed at the computer screen to show him. He was really happy for me.

The first pic was of Butch in the early 70s, not long after returning to Hawaii from the Vietnam War.  More pics after that showed him in uniform in various countries.

Eventually I realized all the images were posted on the same day. Then as I read the picture comments it took a second to sink in.  They were all past tense.

“He was…”

I then paid more attention to exactly what people were writing and realized he had indeed passed away. I missed him by just over 2 years.  My heart sank. I sat there for a while crying over a man I never got to meet and who never knew I existed.

As I sat staring at one picture I read a comment from one woman, “Daddy was…” Daddy? I have a sister!

I already had her profile open among the many tabs still open. I went through her profile and discovered she ran a  Hawaiian language and culture organization in Las Vegas. I opened the link to the organization’s website, but discovered there was no phone number and the link to their Facebook page was not functioning. Most of the info on the page seemed to be about 2 years out of date. I really wanted a phone number. The idea of trying to reach her by email seemed like my chances were less likely to connect with her if I didn’t have direct communication. I searched on FB directly to find the organizations page and much to my relief there was a Las Vegas phone number.

I admit, I kinda freaked out for a minute before making the call.  Like the letter to the cousin, what does one say to a sibling that did not know you existed? I mean, these are weird conversations and I hadn’t yet found a Hallmark card that was suitable for this situation.

I was worried if I called her she might be defensive and possibly not believe me. I was so worried about being rejected, but I sucked it up and called her.

For a change I exposed my blocked number so she wouldn’t think I was a telemarketer. However, I got the voice mail and unfortunately, it was not in English. It was all in Hawaiian and I sat there stumped. I had no idea what it said and when the beep came I had no idea what to say, so I hung up.  Fortunately, because I didn’t keep my number blocked, she called me right back. She asked if anyone called from my phone number. I said yes and told her, “this is likely to be the strangest phone call you’re ever going to get” to which she replied, “it already is.” I then explained, “if you’re who I think you are then I’m your sister”.  I feared I’d hear the phone disconnect, but she was still there so I told her the story I was given from my birth mom about her time dating Butch. I gave her all the info I was given. For my sister, the info matched up.  We talked for 45 minutes that day.

This all began around 11am that day and I was on the phone talking with my sister by 5pm. It was a crazy emotional rollercoaster day.

As luck would have it I was planning to be in Las Vegas the week after our wedding for a friend’s wedding.  We chose to meet that Sunday for dinner. My husband sat there listening to us talk. He observed that my sister and I lead different, but very parallel lives.

I’m sad Butch isn’t here to meet me, but I’m grateful to have found his family. They’ve been just amazing. Hopefully, next year I can travel to Hawaii to meet the rest of the family.

Kona Blend

My father and his brothers formed a band, Kona Blend. They put out two albums that can be found on YouTube, iTunes, and Amazon. This is the first song my sister introduced me to as we were driving around Las Vegas on our way to an amazing Hawaiian place for lunch. That’s my birth father, Butch, singing.

Original Release Date: April 26, 1979

Heathenry Belongs to All of Us

This is a well worded response from The Troth’s Redesman, John T. Mainer, concerning the controversial statement issued by the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) earlier this week.

I have a lot of friends who are members of the Troth and a few have been nudging me lately to consider joining. As a daughter of Odin this is something I would consider.


Freehold and Troth Banners


I have long said that it is not the Troth’s place to tell the AFA how to run their house.  We go our own way and have our own understanding of Heathenry, what it meant to our ancestors, and what it means to us today.  I have said that, and I meant it.  I don’t run their house, nor would I be welcome in it.

They don’t own Heathenry, neither does the Troth.  However, Heathenry is my community, its peoples, all of them, are my peoples, and they are now under attack, and it is mine to defend them.  The Troth does not own Heathenry, but we are sons and daughters of the Heathen community, we are listening to the AFA tell our brothers and sisters they are not welcome , that they have no right to be here, to follow our gods, or to raise the horn with…

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Pagan Education – A List of Witch Schools

Frequently I’m asked if I teach online. In general I do not, and I don’t teach just anyone. I prefer to teach people I know and those who are genuinely interested in learning.

Luckily, there are a handful of schools online and in person that you can choose from, beyond the traditional coven learning for witchcraft and Wicca. This is particularly helpful for those in areas that have limited access to in-person Pagan community.

The list below may be incomplete to the total list that is out there somewhere on the internet. While I am familiar with the schools listed below, I have not had personal experience going through classes with most of them. I have, however, met or know the founders for most of the schools listed and met a few of their teachers and students. I would recommend really checking out any school prior to joining to see if it will be the right fit for you.


Ardantane is a nonprofit educational organization established in the state of New Mexico. We are an alternative learning center and seminary on 25 acres in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, one hour northwest of Albuquerque.
Areas of Study

Magick and Witchcraft covers the study and practice of magick through comprehensive, hands-on instruction, growing and sustaining a supportive community of learners and practitioners, and encouraging personal development, leadership, and service on all levels.

Pagan Leadership offers training in all aspects of leadership from an alternative and magickal point of view. This includes communications, organization development, group dynamics, program planning, ritual design and leadership, teaching, networking, and pastoral counseling.

Pagan Spirituality focuses on the theology, ethics, history, and the philosophy of various Pagan and Heathen spiritual paths, including Wicca, Druidry, Dianic Wicca/Goddess Spirituality Asatru, eclectic Paganism, and reconstructed/surviving traditions.

Sacred Living helps students deepen and enrich their connection to, and experience of, the Sacred in everyday life, serving all those who are on a journey to explore the nature of the Sacred and who want to live in a mindful and sacred manner, in right relationship with themselves, humanity, and nature.

Shamanic Studies provides core shamanic training, skills, and insights into the spiritual technologies and traditions of our ancestors; fosters and supports shamanic research; and offers an ongoing community for the support of students and new teachers in these ancient arts.

Cherry Hill Seminary

Education for Ministry, Leadership, & Personal Growth
Cherry Hill Seminary is the leading provider of education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualities.
Our Mission, Vision, Values & History

Our Mission
Cherry Hill Seminary is the leading provider of education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualities.

Our Vision
Cherry Hill Seminary supports Pagans and their communities by:

  • Providing an extensive education in diverse aspects of Pagan philosophy, practice, and skilled ministry;
  • Supplementing existing ritual and magical skills with training for professional ministry and pastoral counseling;
  • Serving as an ongoing resource for individual continuing education; and
  • Providing a forum for scholarship and community

Our Values
Cherry Hill Seminary:

  • Honors the sacredness of the Earth
  • Values scholarship
  • Respects diversity
  • Encourages individual and spiritual autonomy
  • Values community
  • Promotes service

Our History
The seed that became Cherry Hill Seminary was planted in the early 1990s by Kirk White, Cat Chapin-Bishop and Laura Wildman-Hanlon of Vermont’s Church of the Sacred Earth.  Classes were conducted first by mail, and then brought online in 2000.  The seminary was granted 501(c)3 tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service in March of 2007.   White recruited nonprofit consultant and Cherry Hill Seminary student Holli Emore to serve as the chair of the first working board of directors, which began meeting in January 2007.  At the end of that year, the board asked Ms. Emore to resign from the board and become the seminary’s first executive director, a position in which she continues to serve.   The current master’s program was announced in July 2009. Cherry Hill Seminary now offers several graduate degrees, certificates, short courses for general interest, and a series of lessons for incarcerated Pagans, and continues to evolve based on the needs of our students and the overall Pagan community.


Correllian Wicca Clergy Degree Program

Why Witch School?

Witch School International is the first truly online school dedicated to Wiccan, Pagan, and magical thought! We founded Witch School because we found that many people who wanted to learn about Wicca were unable to find good information or training, either because they were geographically isolated or because they simply could not find real-time teachers. Some of these people were seeking to make Wicca their spiritual path, while others just wanted to learn more about what Wicca really is.  We wanted to share our knowledge with all who genuinely wish to learn, because we believe that spiritual knowledge makes for a better, well-rounded person, and better people make for a better world. We made a commitment teach all who wanted to learn and to do so at little or no cost. This commitment to teach is renewed daily by everyone involved.

Through Witch School, people all over the Earth have come together to study Wicca, Paganism, and Magick. The Internet allows us to be the truly global campus available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Join us in learning about a better world by becoming a student today.

The Witch School system is highly interactive providing many different ways to truly learn about the Magical and Wiccan world. In order to provide you with the best possible learning experience, we utilize the best of the current communication tools available, as well as quality materials to create a educational environment second to none.

Below are some of the Features of Witch School International.

  • Learn about many Pagan paths in one centralized location.
  • Interact with other students and Mentors from over 200 countries world-wide.
  • Join the 240,000+ students in a journey to enlightenment on many topics
  • New classes are always being added and updated, so the material never gets old.
  • Take the opportunity to work within our Mentoring system with Mentors dedicated to seeing you achieve your maximum potential.
  • Enroll in our Degree Studies program to learn about and obtain Clergy status from the Correllian Tradition.
  • Take your classes at your own speed.  Our classes are always available and fit easily into your busy lifestyle.

Temple of Witchcraft

Love, Will & Wisdom

The Temple of Witchcraft offers: Spirit, Community, Education
in Salem, NH and online.

Co-founded by Christopher Penczak, Steve Kenson, and Adam Sartwell, the Temple of Witchcraft started in 1998 as a system of magickal training and personal development, and eventually developed into a formal tradition of Witchcraft. It is a registered religious nonprofit in the State of New Hampshire and a 501(c)3 Federal nonprofit religious charity.

Now, as an outgrowth of the work of students, initiates, and graduates of the programs, the Temple of Witchcraft has evolved into an organization based on traditions of modern magick, Witchcraft, and neopaganism.


The Temple of Witchcraft is divided into three primary areas of service:

Mystery School
As our tradition is one of experience, the best way to experience the path is to actively train in its magickal and spiritual lessons. Four levels of the Mystery School are divided into the Oracular, Fertility, Ecstatic, and Gnostic mysteries. Training emphasizes the ability to look within, awaken your own gifts and abilities and perform both lesser and greater magicks for your own evolution and the betterment of the world around you.

Available to graduates of the Mystery School, the Seminary trains future High Priestesses and High Priests of the Temple. Teachings include the fifth inner mystery of Descent through the lessons of the seven gates of the Goddess and the outer mystery of Service through the Journey of the God, or hero, through the twelve zodiac signs. Seminary graduates are ordained as legal ministers.

Ministerial Church
The mission of the Ministerial Church is to provide support, structure, and mentoring for individuals who seek to manifest their Will—their own work—in the world. Services include but are not limited to: public ritual, education, spiritual counseling, environmental education and activism, prison ministry, children’s ministry, civil rights outreach, community-building and support for Neopagan arts and culture. The Ministerial Church is divided into twelve ministries, although Temple ministers are free to work with as many ministries as they wish.

Students of the Mystery School and Seminary are advised to look at the areas of service and seek out additional mentoring to serve our community both in the physical and spiritual worlds.

The Mystic Dream Academy

The Mystic Dream Academy is an online school offering classes and long-term training in various paths of magic, spirituality, witchcraft, and divination.

Mystic Dream Academy is the online classroom for The Mystic Dream, at its location in Walnut Creek, California, where classes on Spirituality have been taught for over twenty four years. Now we can bring our knowledge and expertise right into your home computer and mobile device. After signing up for a class with us you will become part of a thriving online community, with access to discussion forums, chat rooms, and a calendar of events to keep you engaged in your spiritual practice.

  • Friendly and knowledgable staff and world class teachers!
  • We have an ever growing online community of past and present students on our active forums, chatrooms, and message boards!
  • We offer both on demand classes as well as longer term classes that you can begin at any time!

Our teaching team is constantly adding and updating course materials and our online community offers a rich interactive learning experience.

Grey School of Wizardry

The Grey School of Wizardry is a non-profit educational institution incorporated in the state of California on March 14, 2005. The Grey Council serves as an Advisory Board. Approximately 25 Faculty members are organized into 16 Departments, each with a Departmental Dean.

The School is run by an Administrative Team consisting of:
Headmaster Oberon Zell-Ravenheart
Dean of Students Anne Duthers
Dean of Faculty Earthdrum

About the Grey School of Wizardry
The Grey School of Wizardry is an outgrowth of the Grey Council, a team of two dozen mages and sages. They worked together over the year 2003 to weave the best lessons from many of the magickal community’s most respected elders and teachers into the Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard edited by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (New Page Books, 2004).

The Grimoire, however, is only the first phase of a long-range Vision to make available the Wisdom of the Ages for a new generation and a new Millennium. It is both an essential handbook of Apprentice-level Wizardry (like the Boy Scout Handbook) and a basic textbook for a full seven-year academic curriculum of Wizardly studies. It is supplemented by Companion for the Apprentice Wizard (New Page Books, 2006).

The second phase of this Vision is the creation of this on-line School of Wizardry, serving as a larger context for the Grimoire and magickal teachings. Designed for youth students approximately ages 11-18 (middle through high school), the Grey School also accepts adults. We provide an extensive program in all areas of magick, at an Apprenticeship level. Graduates will be qualified and licensed as “Journeyman Wizards.”

Taking the Grimoire’s basic curriculum as a starting point, the Grey School of Wizardry adds more Classes, links to specialized websites, and color graphics. Class materials and exercises are provided and taught by highly-qualified Faculty and guest lecturers. New classes are added continually. Both the Grimoire and the School focus on magick rather than spirituality, although a few Classes cover mythology and comparative religions. Also, there is a School Forum where registered students can post questions or converse with other registered students.

The College of The Sacred Mists

Our Training Will Lead You to Ordination as  a Wiccan High Priest or Priestess.

What is wonderfully unique about The College of The Sacred Mists is that it allows you to set the pace of your learning experience and provides you with an affordable way to grow within a structured Wiccan learning environment. You will be challenged and we invite those who welcome this challenge to our Wiccan College. We take your education very seriously, and in turn you should be serious about your education and training in the Path of Wicca before considering enrollment and training with The College of the Sacred Mists.

Within our College walls there is an enormous amount of Community Interaction through the use of chat rooms and message boards, further enabling you to increase your knowledge and learning as well as providing you the ability to network with other like-minded individuals in a safe and supportive environment. We are the home of the original, and most enriching mentoring program of any online mystery school, ensuring that you are aided from the moment you begin your journey with us. Sacred Mists is truly a Spiritual Home and we welcome you to make it your own!

Sacred Mists strives to provide a wide selection of training programs, and as such offers many educational opportunities for seekers of knowledge and magickal expertise with an ever increasing catalog of courses available for enrollment.

Ask A Witch – Guest Host

Yesterday I received a message from the producer of a radio show called, “Ask a Witch” on the Pagans Tonight Radio Network. The hosts for the show had called in sick and she needed to find someone to cover for the 1 hour show and asked if I was available. She was aware that I have previous working experience in radio.

Now, let me just say, working regular FM type radio is not quite the same as working internet podcast type radio, so there was a tiny bit of a learning curve there. The main thing is talking over one another. While it’s not the best thing to do in general, it’s easier to prevent when you’re sitting face to face talking into mics. However, when you’re talking to one another, through a network, on the phone and half a country away from each other it’s slightly harder to recognize until it’s too late and the system seems to make it worse with some echo. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of VoIP in general.

All that aside, the experience was fun. Pam and I had a lovely time chatting. I answered a handful of questions and we talked about a variety of topics.

I was again presented with the opportunity to have my own radio show. It is being considered, but more in-depth discussions need to be had with my husband.  He’s intimately aware of how full my plate is and that some things might need to be taken off to make room.

If you’re interested in listening to Monday’s show you can find it here. I’m on the first hour of the recording.


Tonight: Lady Brigid and Kazan are taking the night off after a long weekend. Please welcome guest host Yvonne C. Conway-Williams (MistressPrime)

Our National Anthem

Again? How come folks keep confusing other patriotic songs with our national anthem?

After waking up in the middle of the night I checked Facebook and found an odd trending topic that annoyed me enough to get downstairs and onto my computer to compose this post.

Once again people are up in arms over our “national anthem” being disgraced and disrespected. However, what they’re mad about and what’s actually happening are not the same thing. The sad part is, we went through a very similar situation 2 1/2 years ago and people still can’t seem to remember what song our national anthem is.

During Super Bowl 2014 a whole bunch of people showed the world how idiotic they were by getting bent out of shape about Coke using the song, “America the Beautiful” sung with an assortment of languages. Personally, I found it to be a lovely testament to our “melting pot” nation by highlighting the cultural diversity of our population. However, people were angry about it. Much of the absurd outrage centered around two thoughts: if you’re in America you should speak English and that the “national anthem” was being disrespected and desecrated. Um… wait a minute. Isn’t the national anthem a totally different song?

2 years later, Gersh Kuntzman of the NY Daily News, has made a suggestion that Major League Baseball stop asking fans to rise and remove their hats, for “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

Again, people are outraged. How dare Kuntzman suggest MLB drop the national anthem from baseball games!

Eh, what?

I feel people have every right to be outraged and complain about the massive amount of disrespect toward our national anthem, because it’s obvious many folks don’t even know what song our national anthem is and THAT is the real disgrace.

Not so subtle hint: it’s “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Perhaps understanding HOW “The Star Spangled Banner” came to be will help understand why it is our national anthem? Maybe?

And now for your listening pleasure, our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, sung by the Kentucky All State Choir.

“Every night of the All State Choir conference at about 11pm, everyone comes out to the balconies of the 18 story Hyatt hotel to sing the National Anthem.”


Observations & Opinions from Outside the Broom Closet

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