Sunday, January 1, 2017

Books I Read in 2016

  • I'm not going to edit this text, since it's so long.  It's basically a copy/paste from my journal, so please excuse my bad grammar, spelling errors, and run-on sentences.  Also not going to include links to books, authors, or references, so please message me if you need clarification, links, etc
  • Physical books plus audio books (I do a ton of driving for my job)
  • Read/listened to 55 books (which is a tiny bit above my average.  I owe this to my broken foot, which gave me plenty of time to read this year.)

The Drawing of the Three – Dark Tower II – Stephen King
A re-read, quite enjoyable

30 Days of Night – Steve Niles – Been Templesmith
Great art, good concept, not my fave graphic novel.  Another re-read

Jesus: the Unauthorized Version
Yawn.  Started this in 2015 I think.  A collection of selections of source materials.  Don’t waste your time with this one, just read the source materials (apocrypha or gnostic gospels)

The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber
OMG LOVE HIM.  Great author, one of the best fiction books I’ve read in recent years.  I will read anything this man writes.

Mother of Eden – Chris Beckett
Not quite as good as Dark Eden, but still very good.  Again, I will read anything this man writes

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Read selections of this freshman year of college.  Good, challenging, upsetting.  Worth reading.  Why anyone still thinks warfare is a viable option for anything is beyond me.

Big Girl: how I gave up dieting and got a life – Kelsey Miller
My girl-crush/hero of this year, memoir of a beautiful fat chick and her experience with dieting, body image, self-love.  Gave me some heavy considerations regarding intuitive eating.  Cool, smart gal.  #goals

Waiter Rant – “The Waiter”
Has been on my to-read list for a while, tons of fun, makes me so happy I’m not a barista any more (even though being a barista isn’t the same as waiting, food service is still food service)

Sister of the Dark Moon – Gail Wood
Worked through this book with Gaia’s Circle.  A good jumping off point, though it left a lot to be desired.  I heavily adapted her rituals, and it was a great hear of going both wider and deeper for Gaia’s Circle.  Just what we needed

American Gods – Neil Gaiman
How many times have I read this book?  Another re-re-re-re-read.  If you want a tiny glimpse into my spiritual life and my UPG of the Cosmos, this book is very close and makes many important points

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk – Faber and Mazlish
Recommended to me by my supervisor when I was at the psychiatric hospital as an intern, a good, useful book.  I had many parents step forward and tell me how much they appreciate it.  This is one I’ll probably go back to in a few years.  Full of information, and I’d say that it has changed the way I communicate with both children and adults

The Gift of Therapy – Irvin Yalom
Yawn.  Wanted to love this, but… I actually really like Dr. Yalom, but maybe I should have read another of his books first.  Hard to keep my attention and I’m not sure how much it influenced my own practice (aside from maybe a reinforcement of compassion, patience, unconditional positive regard – all good things)

Promethea Book 1 – Alan Moore
OMG.  Like American Gods, this one explains my own personal UPG SO MUCH.  Will probably read again this year since I never got around to finishing the series (needed to take a break because of all of the mystical, cosmic feels)

Child Psychopathology: a social worker’s perspective – Francis Turner
Review book for the licensing exam.  Useful but I think it’s a bit old and some of the content was outdated.

Trump of Chaos – Jen McConnell
The thrilling conclusion to her Chaos series, rewarding to see the progress of these characters and this book (I was one of her beta readers for the first book!)

Beltane – Llewellyn
My favorite holiday!  Cute book.  What a complex holiday.  It’s not given enough credit by Pagans.  So much depth.

Persepolis: the story of a childhood – Marjane Satrap
Great book, my favorite of the two.  In middle school I wrote a paper about a friend’s father who was a child in Iran before the war, and it was nice to revisit

On Being a Therapist – Jeffrey A Kottler
Useful and challenging, I don’t think Kottler is a social worker, because I think his perspective on some things would be a bit different, but a really encouraging book when I was a point in my life/work when I was thinking “wow, I suck so much!”  No, I don’t suck.  The job is just that hard.

Promethea – book two – Alan Moore
OMGGGGG

Get Jiro – Anthony Bourdain
One of my guilty faves, a silly story, but still fun

Get Jiro: blood and sushi – Anthony Bourdain
Better than the first, a prequel.

You are Not So Smart – David McRaney
Really boring.  HOWEVER.  It is on my required reading list for students and mentoring.  Any Baby Pagans who want me to initiate them into my tradition are required to read this book.

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
One of the many books I read while with a broken foot, spent hours watching Netflix and reading.  Loved this (paired well with Waiter Rant)

The Casquette Girls – Alys Arden
OMMMGGGG  I met a friend when I went to UU Women’s Spirit, and she recommended this to me.  Vampires?  New Orleans?  YES!  A long YA book, and I tend to not enjoy YA, but I like vampires and I LOVE New Orleans.  Looking forward to more books in this series

Hope: New Orleans
Used graphic novel I found at a used book store.  It was published as a fundraiser after Katrina, and it’s basically a collection of a few dozen little short comics and panels, and the money went to hurricane aid.  Enjoyed this a lot (even with the gratuitous, dumb comic boobies)  Some were so touching and devastating I had to put it down and I cried a lot

Walking to Mercury – Starhawk
Another one that has been on my list FOREVER.  Don’t even remember when I bought this book, but Starhawk came out with the sequel to 5th Sacred Thing this year so I decided I’d read the series (though I haven’t read Walking to Mercury yet).  I liked this a lot, though it’s a very personal story and not a community story, so don’t expect a repeat of 5th Sacred Thing

Salt: a world history – Mark Kurlansky
Bought this 10000 years ago from Hastings when I worked there.  LOVED IT.  I love gastro-history, and this was just interesting.  Read with an internet browser up and pair it with Wikipedia

Season of the Witch – how the occult saved rock and roll – Peter Bebergal
OMG.  This one had been on my to-read list for a while, LOVED THIS.  OMG.  Again, pair this with Wikipedia and Youtube.  I learned so much about music.  Rock plus occult?  YES PLEASE.

Ritual – David Pinner
Another re-read, third time.  The novel that inspired the Wickerman.  Such a strange, wild, ride.  Some of the writing is just gorgeous, super descriptive and evocative.  But the writing is racist, sexist, homophobic, abelist, classist, insensitive, outdated, indelicate, and ridiculous.  Major trigger warning for this (I guess the 1960s were just terrible, or Pinner is just terrible.)

The 5th Sacred Thing – Starhawk
Ssiiiigh.  The book that started it all, back in 2005 when I was a Baby Pagan.  Can’t say enough about this book.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Maybe my favorite book by him.  Another heavily UPG book

Curse of Stone – Jen McConnell
A cute little book that was fun to read while I had a broken foot and was feeling sorry for myself

The Golden Eye – Jonathan Stroud
Read the first one years ago based off of a recommendation from a friend, this one was a bit better than the first, really loved the character development

Kink in the Rope - Oliver Tremble
Won this one from Goodreads, a collection of naughty one-line poems and vignettes, heavily kinky.  Was charming and only sometimes scandalous.

Lost Souls? – Poppy Z. Brite
My friends lost their shit when they found out that I had never read Poppy Z. Brite (“omg, I thought you loved New Orleans and Vampires!”)  Given to me by a friend, loved everything about this larger-than-life book.  Can’t wait to read more

Castle Waiting – Linda Medley
Cute collection of comics in a charming, funny fantasy setting, just what I needed

We – Yevgeny Zematin
OMG yes good book read this.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Brave New World and 1984 and this is just basically 1984 like Orwell barely tried

Talking to Crazy – Mark Goulston
No, wish I hadn’t read this. it just made me angry.  Some good stuff in here, but I didn’t really find it to be useful.  Then again, Goulston has dozens of books and is probably filthy rich, so what do I know?

John Dies at the End – David Wong
I don’t like funny stuff or body humor, but I adored this and couldn’t put it down

Under the Skin – Michel Faber
OMG LOVED THIS. Love the movie, book was so good.  Both are amazing, very different.  Read this book

The Devil Rides Out – Dennis Wheatley
So, I picked up this book because it was mentioned in Season of the Witch, and also, because the movie stars Sir Christopher Lee.  I can’t find a copy of the movie, unfortunately.  I did not like this book.  A boring, bougie, British boy’s adventure story with some occult stuff thrown in.  Wheatley seems to know a thing or two about the Occult, but meh.  I’m glad I read it but it was a trial, for sure

Bedtime Stories for Children You Hate – Antoinette Bergin
Yes omg so good

Who Goes There? – John W. Campbell
I guess I had a “body imposter” them going on this summer?  The novella that The Thing was based off of.  Very good.  Enjoyed it a lot

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Jack Finney
Loved this!  the type of classic sci-fi thing I enjoyed.  A bit dated at times, but what isn’t, in the end?

The Explosive Child – Ross W Green
Accidentally found an abridged version of this but I’m on the fence about reading the complete work. Some useful stuff here, I think, but hard to implement without more context

Eden Green – Fiona Van Dahl
Nooo… someone on Goodreads asked me to read their book and review it.  Did not enjoy it.  I really hate reading stuff that’s just someone’s fantasy of them and their friends having an adventure.  Like, don’t get me wrong, I’ve written plenty of stuff like that. In high school.  But I guess in this age of self-publishing, just anyone can write their own adventure stories.  Not fun, not clever, repetitive. 

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
OMG LOVE TRUE LOVE another re-read

Calling Dr. Laura – Nicole Georges
What is it that makes hipsters so deplorable?  Did not enjoy this.  I get tired of reading about flawed and annoying people who make bad choices and don’t grow and basically are like “omg I’m just trash so anyway here’s my book that I wrote about my trash life.”  Basically, what was the point of this book?  A lesbian coming of age story?  So boring to me.  I mean, this is just regular life. I don’t need a charming graphic novel to remind me how annoying I am

Persepolis 1 & 2 – Marjane Satrapi
Again, a great book, but I did not like the second one.  Another tragically hip wayward outcast making poor life choices and not really seeming to learn any lessons.  Satrapi sounds cool, actually, and I’d love to hang out with her, but her second book just annoyed me more than it inspired me (unlike the first one, which was great)

The Hellbound Heart – Clive Barker
Yeah, really loved this one!  The novella that inspired Hellraiser.  There’s a lot about Hellraiser lore I like, and it was fun reading this

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
OMG TRUE LOVE  wasn’t my fave book the first time I read it, but as I get older, I can appreciate more.  It’s a bit old to read yet another Bradbury book that glorifies being a little boy (is there a “glorification of being a little girl” equivalent?)  but as I get older myself I find myself relating more and more to the father, and to… MR. DARK.  Clearly I’m an October Person

Curse of Gold – Jen McConnel
Another fun love story

The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
I need to make it a point to read at least one of her books at least once a year.  Inspiring, beautiful.  Whole-hearted, vulnerable, patient, and compassionate.  Not my favorite book of hers, but after reading it this fall, I’m still feeling the love and I find that to be very valuable

The Chimes – Charles Dickens
What a strange book!  Really, super duper dark.  Wow.

The Doors of Perception – Aldous Huxley

Short read, well worth it, however I felt like I was reading some guy’s drug blog.  The conclusion was very good and he makes many points about drugs, entheogens, transcendence, connection, and treatment of mental illness that I happen to agree on

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review: Conjure Club!

Many of you know my friend Magus, who is the owner over at Conjure Work (formerly Thaumaturgy 777). I’ve known Magus for a few years, and my group, the Triangle Area Pagan Alliance, has partnered with him on a few different projects here or there. I also worked for him for a few months in the middle of my unemployment after graduate school, and this ended up being an amazing experience for me. I learned so much from Magus, and I met so many great folks in the community, many who have become great friends. A metaphysical shop is a priceless asset to any community, and unfortunately there are folks out there who don’t get to enjoy learning from someone face-to-face, meeting other magical folks, or even having access to quality magical and occult supplies.

Magus’ newest project, Conjure Club, seeks to fill that gap for those who have a need that otherwise not being met. For $25 a month, members of the Conjure Club will receive full size Conjure Work products, some smaller sample sizes, information about the products you received, and the directions to perform a magical working (that corresponds to the items in your box, of course.)

I’m a big fan of subscription boxes, and I used Birchbox for many years (and plan to re-subscribe, eventually.) There aren’t too many magical or occult subscription boxes out there. I’ve seen a few that focused on candles, crystals, or even women’s “moon time”. Conjure Club, however, is the first subscription box that I’ve seen that applies to a larger audience. You don’t have to be a rootworker, witch, sorcerer, magician, or anything in particular to use this box. The supplies are relevant to anyone who uses magic, from all sorts of traditions. You don’t even need to have a specific experience level to use this box – Magus includes really nice printouts and instructions for each item, and the magic working/spell he includes is incredibly user friendly.

Included in my Conjure Club box was:
  • One ounce bottle of Fiery Wall of Protection incense
  • One half ounce bottle of Fiery Wall of Protection oil
  • an ample sample size baggie of Fiery Wall of Protection powder
  • a charcoal disk for the incense
  • a red chime candle
  • Fiery Wall of Protection spell sheet
  • A nice copy of Psalm 91
  • An herbal compendium sheet
This is more than enough for the magical working, and then I’ll even have a ton left over, too!

I’m busy preparing for the holidays (work and travel and parties, oh my!) But I plan on completing the Fiery Wall of Protection spell in the New Year. I’ll also try to include little blurbs about each of the products and my experience using them.

Thanks you so much, Magus, for your really great box. I’m sure you have great themes and supplies planned for the future! Friends, stay tuned. 2017 is going to be exciting, for sure!

http://conjurework.com/

http://www.conjurework.com/conjure-club


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's Spoopy Time!

 Well, folks, it's that time of the year!  The weather is cooling, the air feels different, the leaves are beginning to fall, and I think Starbucks is even selling pumpkin spice everything.  The autumnal season is here!  Sure, the equinox and the "official" first day of fall is about two weeks away, but seasons don't shift just because the calendar says it shifts.  We're in a transition time, the wheel is turning, and soon it will click into place.

In celebration of my all-time favorite season, I'm offering discounted tarot card readings over at my Etsy shop!  So now until November 7, my tarot card readings are 50% off when using my super spooky Halloween decks!

My sister gave me the Zombie Tarot years ago, and it immediately became one of my favorites.  I adore the pop-culture images, the conversational tone of the deck, and how real it all is.  This is a great deck for asking mundane, real world advice.  It's not messing around (despite the zombies.  I mean, who messes around with zombies, anyway?)

Get a reading with the Zombie Tarot!

The Halloween Oracle was another love-at-first-sight deck.  I typically don't use oracle decks very often, but I adored the images and really, what's not to love about Halloween?  This deck really pulls from Halloween culture, folklore, and mythology.  The images are gorgeous, and the messages are timeless (despite the October theme.)  This deck is especially poignant when asking deeper questions about inner mysteries and spiritual issues.

Get a reading with the Halloween Oracle!

Finally, I have some Samhain incense for sale at my Etsy shop, too.  I made this with my sister, and it's a spicy, heady blend and I've had good luck with using it during ancestor work.

Check out my Samhain incense!

Have a fun, spooky season, everyone! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summertime Sadness

Hello, friends.  This is another re-post, something originally published over at Witches & Pagans / Pagan Square in 2015.  I meant to re-post this article earlier in August, but I guess the "Summertime Sadness" got to me.  But here it is, all the reasons why the summertime is my least favorite season and the hardest one for me to feel connected to.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Anxiety and the Black God

This article originally appeared on Pagan Square a few years ago.  Gaia's Circle is celebrating its 7th Lammas/Lughnasadh ritual on Saturday, and I've been thinking a lot about Bright Lugh and Black Crom as I prepare for another Celtic-themed ritual, this one devoted to Danu, the Celtic Mother Goddess.  Reading back over some of my work over at Pagan Square, I realize that I wrote a lot about anxiety (despite "mysticism" being my blog topic.)  As anxious people do, here are some more thoughts on anxiety, and how this time of year always makes me re-think my relationship with my crazy, crazy brain.



Anxiety and the Black God (2014)

A friend of mine hosted the Lughnasadh celebration for our multi-tradition ritual group, and she asked me if I’d help her out and take some speaking parts.  I accepted, and I made sure to go over my lines before we gathered.  We even practiced together before the ritual began, which should have meant that I was prepared for my cues and that the script should have flowed smoothly and beautifully.

Only it didn’t because naturally I missed my cue and had to stumble to find my place and get the ritual back on track while everyone waited patiently for me to get my act together.  I was a little embarrassed of course, but no one really minded (or if they did they were gracious and didn’t make me feel bad.)  But I’ve been thinking about this moment a lot since the ritual, held at the end of July.  Maybe I missed my cue because I just wasn’t paying attention and I’m easily distractible, but I’d like to think that I missed my cue because the ritual was actually working, that the message our talented hostess was trying to share with the group was coming across to me loud and clear. 

I already wrote about this ritual over at my personal blog, but like a good ritual should, it’s stuck with me over the past few weeks.  As the abundant bounty of summer has shifted from July and we are now well into August and the promise of a fruitful harvest, I’ve had a lot to think about and reflect upon.  I think this was an especially important ritual for me to attend (even though my participation might have been less than stellar.)

The ritual focused on spirals and changes and wheels and cycles.  I’m not the most familiar with Irish mythology, but from what I understand, the holiday of Lughnasadh is named after the funeral games that Lugh created in honor to celebrate the life of Tailtiu, his foster mother.  Tailtiu died after plowing all of Ireland, preparing the land for agriculture and to be used by humans.

The ritual included a description of the powers of Crom Dubh and the powers of Lugh.  These are the forces which hold us back and that move us forward.  They are the energies that are always circling, always spiraling, anxiety and momentum, momentum and anxiety, a push and pull of protection and fearless daring.  Even though we had gone over the ritual beforehand and I had an idea what the hostess would be talking about, I found myself hanging onto her every word as she described the ancient dance of Bright Lugh and Black Crom. 

She described Crom Dubh as those fears that keep us safe – don’t touch fire, don’t say that thing, don’t spend all of your money, don’t eat that food, don’t take unnecessary risks, etc.  She explained that while he protects us and keeps us safe, sometimes his protective arm might stretch a little too far.  As a result of Crom Dubh’s shielding reach, we don’t touch anything, we don’t say anything, we don’t trust anyone.  We may be safe, sure, but our refuge may be at the expense of forward motion.  Crom Dubh protects us, but maybe he’s that thing that holds us back, too.

So during this ritual (with my cue rapidly approaching and me oblivious) I started thinking and thinking and thinking.  What’s holding me back?  And why?  What am I anxious about?  Is this anxiety too much to the point that I am frozen, or is it just the right amount to keep me safe?  What am I waiting to harvest, and when the right moment comes, will I be able to act?

Throughout my own personal experiences as well as my studies with social work, I’ve come to understand anxiety pretty well.  It seems to plague my family, and my own fight with anxiety is a battle that I have to battle daily.  But I’ve come to understand that there are different types of anxiety, and different ways to handle these different types of anxiety.  A little anxiety can be a good thing.  It kept our ancestors from doing stupid things like eating poisonous mushrooms, talking to strangers, or touching venomous snakes.  Anxiety can be that healthy dose of mindfulness that can keep us aware, alert, and on our toes.  Anxiety can keep us safe, guarding us in that liminal space between the known and unknown.

I can’t help but wonder if the ancient Irish people understood how anxiety worked, too.  Perhaps they understood that anxiety can protect us, but surely they understood the dangers of too much protection, of overwhelming anxiety and the inability to move.  This may be the dance of Lugh and Crom Dubh, of safety and anxiety and daringness and recklessness.  As a social worker, I can’t help but wonder what the ancient Irish solution to anxiety was.  It certainly wasn’t cognitive behavioral therapy or Xanax, but maybe the ancient solution to anxiety was a powerful ritual shared with a trusted community, or even chanting and poetry recited like powerful prayers.  Or, like today, maybe the solution to anxiety was something as simple as words of encouragement and reassurance, understanding and patience. 

Since the end of July I’ve had plenty of time to think about all of those things that I’m holding onto that are keeping me from moving forward and from enjoying my harvest.  These are the blessings that Crom Dubh is keeping safe for me in his big black sack, slung across his crooked back.  I can’t say that I’ve come to any specific or profound conclusions.  I’m quite familiar with my own anxieties, and perhaps that means that I’ve been familiar with Crom Dubh my whole life.  But anxiety has a new name, and when you know the name of a thing, you have power over that thing.  So maybe anxiety doesn’t have to be so scary any more.  I can appreciate my anxieties and how they protect me, but the wheel turns and turns again, and I remember that it’s also important for me to shine brightly and move forward, to step from the darkness of Black Crom and to the shining light of Bright Lugh.

I just hope I don’t miss my cue!

Post Script: Many and endless thanks and blessings to my dear Druid, Heather Watson, for hosting such a lovely and meaningful ritual, and for allowing me to share her beautiful words.

This is the voice of Crom Dubh, the King Beneath the Mound.
This is the voice of your will to live,
Your strong and steadfast guardian.
Yesterday we may have suffocated under the weight of him
Tomorrow we may struggle in his grip
But tonight we thank him.
Give Crom Dubh your gift as he passes
Look into his eyes and give him your thanks.
You are the treasure he guards.
You are infinitely fragile and infinitely valuable,
And Crom Dubh does not surrender, does not abandon, does not yield.
Crom Dubh is always with you,
Guarding you from the vast darkness of chaos and change that seethes just below your feet,
Warding and protecting you from whatever it is that you fear most.


You can find more of Heather’s work at this link:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Year and a Day


My poor, sweet neglected blog! 

About a year ago I was writing all the time and I was loving it.  For at least a few years, “We're All Made of Stars” was regularly updated.  In 2015 I was also very busy working on a book and pitching it to publishers and agents.  I was doing some really fun freelance writing as well contributing to a website and co-hosting a radio show.

And then life happened, and here I am, almost a year later.  At the end of last year I had queued up quite a few re-posts (or even re-re-posts) but the last real blog post I did was last November.  And even before that the last real-real blog post I did was last August!

So here I am, nearly a year later, and I find myself on the hazy, muggy edges of another strange, weird summer.  So I thought it was time to update my neglected blog, and write a bit about my wild, crazy, cosmic life...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Re-Post: "Signs of Love: Imbolc"

(Originally posted on the online religious news magazine, Creedible and on this blog, 2014)

Photo by Sonja Bannick
The energy of this time of year is hard to describe. Winter holiday festivities are long past, and it seems like there is nothing to look forward to for the next few months. It’s the end of winter and beginning of spring, but that doesn’t always make sense. Some cities haven’t even gotten cold yet and the bulbs are already popping up, while other places are still buried under many feet of snow with no hope for blooms or sunlight. 
 
Imbolc, celebrated on the second of February, is the ancient Irish holiday that commemorates this in-between time. Originally a festival celebrating ewes’ milk, this was the time of year that pregnant sheep started lactating, which meant it was a good time to make cheese. Most people, though, have never even seen a ewe, let alone any other type of lactating livestock. Although ancient Ireland is worlds away from the contemporary United States, Imbolc still holds important lessons for everyone.

It’s still cold outside, or if it’s not cold, it’s still grey and brown and dreary. Because of the blustery weather, this is a good festival to spend with the family, focusing on hearth and home. It is a good time of year to start working on spring cleaning and to start thinking of the tasks and projects that need to be done once spring is fully here. 

While Yule is a fire festival that is bright and dynamic and exciting, Imbolc, while still a festival of flames, is more quiet and reflective. It’s a good time to sit in front of the fireplace, or in front of a flickering candle, and focus on arts, crafts and other creative projects that you enjoy doing. 

Many of us have no idea how our food gets from the farm to our homes, but Imbolc might be a good time to honor livestock and crops even if we don’t have any of our own. Traditional holiday foods are milk and cheese, so treat your family to something local, organic, free range and delicious. 

Some Catholics may know this holiday as Candlemass, or perhaps St. Brigid’s Day. Brigid is a clear example of an ancient Pagan goddess who was reinterpreted by Christians and given a whole new life and story. Flames and creativity are sacred to Brigid, who may be related to a northern goddess who predicted winter by the length of the shadows. Bright, sunny weather on Candlemass meant she could gather lots of extra firewood for a prolonged winter. 

February for many is still the winter, but the tradition of Groundhog’s Day has its roots in the ancient Pagan world when people would look to nature for omens to see just how long winter would last. Maybe the groundhog isn’t afraid of his shadow on February second, but rather the cold weather the winter goddess promises to bring in February!