Hollow Hills Coven & Grove

an independent coven dedicated to teaching wicca and magic in hearth & home, coven & craft, tribe & tradition

   May 05

The Big Ritual Approaches

Beltaine Art by Paul Rucker

Jack and I are working on the upcoming Beltaine Ritual, and I’m hoping for decent weather this Saturday. As of right now the forecast calls for a 30% chance of rain, which means a 70% chance of not rain…right? We’re trying to get our act together in advance, gathering the things we need to bring with us to make it a success. But the Earth Mother and Sky Father are the ones who we are working with, to honor them as Spring approaches, and they will teach us what we are ready to learn. The beautiful artwork created for this ritual is by Paul Rucker, who is NordCoG’s Ritual Creative Director for this year. We will connect with the ancient powers and the promise of warmer days, we will dance, drum and make merry as only Pagan Folk can.

“Nearly 20 years ago, a Rainbow Vision came to me, telling of the unfolding and unifying ways of our new Paganistani Tribes coming to fruition along the banks of the Father of Waters: the mighty Mississippi. Over time, this vision has become a narrative integrating the lives of the Elder Gods of Nature and our human tribes, and seeking expression through ritual theater.” says Rev. Jack Green, our guest ritualist. (These Elder Gods are those aspects of Nature which existed before humans: Earth, Sun, Moon, the Red God of Animals, the Green God of Plants, and so on– as explicated by local elders Steven Posch and Christopher Moore.)

Rev. Green’s ritual vision invokes performative art to bring this new vision of inter-relationship closer to our hearts. “Incorporating joyful echoes of Mummers, Morris Dancers, and other Street Players of Old we present a new “Rituale dell’Arte” al fresco – an outdoor ritual theater celebrating the Rites of Spring and the diversity of our peoples!” he cries exuberantly, and then adds, “In the spirit of Native seer Black Elk’s inclusive vision of the Rainbow Way, all races, genders and orientations form the “Wheel of Many Nations, ” and we include that diversity here. We shall present a new and more nuanced image of the May Couple as the sacred manifestation of the passion of Earth in Spring….”

If everyone remembers their umbrella then it’s less likely to rain. A kind of unsympathetic magick that often works in these situations that even muggles seem aware of. We have collected some fiery witches to work the ritual, so our hope is that all will be clear. But still, a witch worries. My part in it is very minor, I will help with the singing and keep the beat with my Stav while the Earth, Moon, Sun, Sacred Daughter and Sacred Sons dance the spring in. I loved the way the Earth (a.k.a. Tasha-Rose) danced so much that I’m taking classes from her now. The last time I took bellydancing was about six years ago now, and I’m a little rusty but the moves are coming back to me. This ritual will be about music and dance, because a witches work is turning the wheel, and we know how to make it turn with grace and rhythm and song.

My life seems to have taken a dramatic turn toward music and dance as a part of my spiritual practice and personal expression recently. It was over a year ago that I received a powerful reading that I should start dancing again. But the opportunity wasn’t there before, now it is and it is a part of my personal sacred journey, which is a part of the journey of the Tribe of Paganistan. I’m not sure where this is going to lead, but I really am loving the people who are on this path with me.

Behold a Sacred Voice
by Black Elk from Black Elk Speaks

Behold, behold.
A sacred voice is calling us.
Behold, behold.
All over the sky,
A sacred voice is calling us.
Behold, behold.

   Apr 18

A Walk in the Woods

My love of music took me by surprise one day when I went to see some friends play at a Cafe. She brought out an autoharp and I knew my life would never be the same. I’ve always loved the sound, and was also considering the mountain dulcimer, so I asked her advice. She played both, but since I was looking for an instrument to sing with, she recommended the autoharp. So I purchased one about a month later, it was the summer of 2009.

I love my instrument and it has served me well, but now I’m longing to do some more instrumental work. When I came across the mountain dulcimer on YouTube, I knew I found my instrument. Mine will be coming in another month, but just listen to what it can do, and pay attention to the words that come up on the screen. Let the images transport you.

The words are by John Muir, and reading about him online I feel my heart and soul expand. I will be bringing my new instrument along on my festival rounds this summer, I don’t think I could bear to part with it any length of time.

As I said to a friend recently, music is my religion, I am in awe of it’s beauty and it’s ability to transform my heart and the heart of others. It’s vibrations float merrily between the worlds, and the Good People draw near to listen. I love listening to recorded music, but I love live music more. Music circles are the very best because you never know what’s going to happen.

My heart is very happy today, full of mountain dulcimer music.

   Apr 11

Mother Earth is Alive & Well in Bolivia

The most fascinating and exciting things are happening in the world today. Are you ready to make a change? I feel it in the air, it’s Spring and a time for a new beginning. In Bolivia it’s time to let their cultural beliefs be part of their government.

“She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation.”

It’s simple and powerful, and they are acting on their beliefs toward a more sustainable future. I think of Andean flute music, it’s such a rich and beautiful land and the people are making a decision to cherish and honor her. And so, as I search the web for more knowledge, more images, more understanding of Pachamama. I run across a website, pachamama.org, which let to this one, awakeningthedreamer.org, and I find myself expanding. Because this is what we are all doing. Expanding our understanding of the Earth and our relationship to her and her systems.

America is leading the way…South America that is. We have so much learning to do, so much acting on that learning here in North America. I feel filthy rich and spoiled rotten with all my many comforts and conveniences. It’s time to honor life, and to live life. On Sunday we had the first rehearsal for Beltane, and it’s going to be a beautiful ritual and I’m excited to be a part of it. Honoring life and love in all it’s forms. We are living at an amazing time in history. Now we just have to be amazing ourselves.

   Apr 01

Surfing in Mercury Retrograde

Surfing the web during Mercury Retrograde can be an adventure. Luckily, it’s all in writing which is the safest mode of communication at this time. Coming down after a fantastic weekend in Paganistan added to the unpleasantness of mundane communication for me. I miss the free flow banter of people who understand my world view, and I find myself diving into May Day ritual planning and scheduling for summer festivals.

I wanted to let you know that I’ve added The Archdruid Report by John Michael Greer to the pagan blog roll, because I want easy access that particular blog. He was the keynote speaker and Guest of honor at Paganistan and he was fantastic!

   Mar 22

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders.

Something magickal is happening, pagans are getting together and donating to help with relief for the disaster in Japan.

   Mar 19

Ostara and the Victory Garden Initiative

Today is full moon and we are celebrating Ostara, the first rite of Spring. It’s a beautiful day here, and we are watching the snow receed to show us what the plants look like here at Applewood Cottage. Tonight is a night of feasting, of celebrating the changing of the seasons, and giving thanks for our blessings that have come to us as we leave winter behind and welcome spring with open arms.

The Goddess has blessed us with abundance, and we are trying to be good stewards for what we have, and one of those things is the plot of land we live on. Not so long ago in the history of our nation, people were called upon to do their part in support of our democracy. That was long ago and far away for most people, back in the day of WWII. Now we have an opportunity as a people to set our own priorities, because as a tribe of pagans it’s time for us to step up and plant our own Victory Gardens. Here in Minnesota the growing season is short, and we’re planning to make the most of our time.  I’m hoping to get at least one small vegetable garden going this year, and now I have a great resource about how to begin.

Victory Garden Initiative empowers communities to grow food, reawakening our intimate relationship to human and food ecology; advancing a resilient food culture: from soil, to seed, to plate, to soil. When everyone is a farmer, we will have a socially and environmentally just food system.

This will be a huge challenge as well. It’s one thing to talk about everyone being a farmer, it’s another thing to go out and do it while still holding down a full time job. But what is life without challenges? And what is Spring without a new garden? Part of my world view says that we work with the Earth on both a spiritual and physical level. There is an aspect of mindfulness in gardening, and the thought of being able to eat from my own back yard excites me.

Living life to the fullest, with all the joys I can possibly fit in, that is my goal for this Spring. I have arranged for some long weekends this May so we can get a good start to our little gardens. Until now I have concentrated on flowers, but I am looking forward to learning about tomatoes and other fun things I can grow in my yard.

Happy Ostara to all of you out there and happy gardening to everyone!

   Mar 13

Getting Started

Welcome to the first post to our coven website! Hi, I’m Jenny Green, High Priestess and Witch of the Hollow Hills Coven. I’ve been working all day to get the website up and running, and finally getting into the flow of things. Over time we will add all kinds of juicy content for you to sink your teeth into, but I just want to record a bit of our progress in starting our new coven.

My husband, Jack Green, and I have worked with different wiccan groups over the years, and now that we are settled in our home near Minneapolis, Minnesota, we decided to put down roots in the form of our own coven. So at the Autumn Equinox in 2010, the two of us performed a ritual dedicating our coven. Since then we’ve had a couple of rituals with friends, including a chilly Samhain held under the large silver maple in our back yard. Our Yule ended up being a party rather than a ritual, it was laid back which was what we needed after a very busy holiday season.

We celebrated Imbolc with the local Covenant Of the Goddess group where Jack reprized his role as Bredesman, and I joined the Cantors to help lead the chants and songs. We had a great time during and after the ritual, and we will continue to be involved in large rituals throughout the year. That’s part of how we roll, tribe and tradition is essential to our experience as pagans and something that we will share with our students.

Our next ritual is this coming Saturday where we will celebrate both the Chaste Full Moon and the Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara. It’s hard to think of Spring with a couple of feet of snow still on the ground, but we will do our best. Being a witch in the heart of Paganistan is fun, really it is.