Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Imbolc 2016

Whether you celebrate it as Imbolc, Candelmas or Brignasadh, (or Lammas or Lughnasadh for our friends down under) I hope you had a nice one. And if you aren't celebrating, Happy February!

It's rather warm in Texas - the dandelions are in bloom and the birds aren't sure what to do with themselves. This doesn't mean much, it will probably ice over before March arrives, but it was nice to be able to spend some time outdoors with bare feet in the squishy grass.

The Sabbats always make me long for others to celebrate with. It's too easy to just light a candle and say "Happy Imbolc, Madame!" and go about one's business when you are the only one who will be disappointed by the lack of ritual. Still, whether we do it with a simple prayer or a full ceremony, the Wheel must be turned.

After blessing new candles for the altar and making offerings to the Gods, I named all of the things I'd like to reinvigorate on a candle, and buried it in a cauldron full of ice.  Not that it's been all that icy here, but one does like a good metaphor. It didn't take long for the ice to melt - did I mention it's warm here? I carried my little flame in a well through the house, sprinkling water and lighting candles from the fire while chanting:

By holy well 
And sacred flame
In our Lady's hallowed name
I banish winter
I welcome spring
And forge anew
Each beloved thing. 

Now I will sit with a nice pot of tea and hold vigil with my little flame until the sun rises.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Moonled and Overfed

In the mad rush of preparation, cleaning, and cooking for Thanksgiving I've made sure to make time for Craft work to keep myself sane and focused. I may have also worked a "No Bullshit Allowed" spell to keep family drama to a minimum, but that's another story for another time.

I'm observing all three nights of the Full Moon, spending formal and informal time honoring the Queen of Witches. My altar is red - red with wine and fire and reddened bones. Last night I rubbed myself down with Full of the Moon oil  and spent some time Moonbathing after my formal working. I experienced a sensation that felt like I was lifting out of myself and gliding along a cord that ran through me and connected me to the moon. My initial thought was "This is cool!" followed by "Holy fuck, I'm going to fall!" which meant the end of that little experience.

I slipped into bed, the sweet smell of the oil and incense carrying me off into sleep. This was what I dreamt:

My mother and I are en route to a local hotel, where I'll be staying. I have no idea why I'm checking into a hotel. As we pull into the parking lot, we are greeted by the sight of a group of people gathered, encircling a person who is on fire and appears to be okay with that. We rush out of the car and into the hotel lobby, trying to avoid their attention.

The concierge is handsome, boyish, but with a sinister look in his eyes. The check in process includes multiple quizzes, which he tells me I can skip "since you've done them before." No money exchanges hands and my offer to pay for my room is refused. He hands me a library card and an antique key and assures me "we have the best collection of Canaanite magical texts in the world." My mother and I are handed a map and a flashlight, since the hotel does not appear to believe in superfluous lighting, and we begin the search for my room. I was never given a room number. 

This is like no hotel I've ever seen before. Parts of it look like some old, dark mansion out of a movie. Other areas look like an underground cavern. There are movie theaters, with guards standing at the door who advise me that I "did not sign up for entertainment" and therefore cannot watch the show. There are also hoards of teenagers who appear to be in some sort of amusement park, conveniently located in the hotel. "We have to do something with them" the movie guard tells me. 

My dream self starts to think this place is shady as fuck. I turn to voice this opinion to my mother, and see that my mother is no longer herself. Instead I see a serious faced young woman dressed in a tailored black Victorian dress. She carries a single lit candle that barely provides enough light in the dark hallways of the hotel.

I wake up before I can ask to carry the candle myself. 

The woman bearing a light, serving as a psychopomp is a fairly clear reference. What any of the rest of it means, if anything, I'll have to think on. Of course, it could have been brought on by sampling my own holiday baking or a crumb of cheese, ala Mr. Scrooge.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Streghe a Convegno - Piero Umiliani

You'll recognize this as the music that underscored Eleanor Bone's ritual sequence from the occultsploitation film Witchcraft '70.

I'll take this over a bunch of uninspired singing of "We call come from the Goddess" anyday. Thanks to my friend Alder for this awesome find. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cluttered Craft

My very dear friend Kelden and I were bitching on Skype about haul videos on YouTube and generally having a good ole' time while we did our own Pagan Show And Tell of the fun witch stuff we own.

We both have libraries that are only going to get bigger. We both have tools, herbs, candles, potions - all the typical Witch shit. I seem to be the only statue hoarder between the two of us, but I'm going to convert him.

In other words, we've really no business judging other Witches for doing a bit of unnecessary shopping, when we ourselves are devoted patrons of Pagan Central Supply.

I love to buy things and be surrounded by things. I'm neither a minimalist nor an actual hoarder. Magic stuff is just so fucking cool and I love all of the sensual elements of Witchcraft. Our gods have been the subject of beautiful artwork for thousands of years. Hell, the images and statuary we use to venerate them are often replicas of these very famous pieces of artwork.

So we discuss all this and have a good laugh at our own expense and then I put forth the question:

"If your house was on fire and you had a limited amount of time to save some of your witchy things, what would you save?"

I don't remember what Kelden's answer was, but I had a good long think about it. Once, when I had less money and more attachment to things I bought, the thought of having to lose anything would have been devastating. Now, I realize I don't own any magical doohickey that couldn't be replaced. I could replace the books. I could replace pretty much everything. But if I had to, I probably wouldn't replace a good half of it. Of all the magical artifacts I own, I'd probably save my athame and my primary tarot deck if I were in such a situation.

Now before the Gods decide to get cute, I'm not inviting said situation on myself, thank you very much!

Since I do a major purge and cleaning of the house each Spring and Autumn, I've found this to be a useful meditation. I'm still not anti-materialist, but I've got quite a few things I'll be looking to re-home.

What say you? What would you go to lengths to save if you could only save one or two things?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

To the costumes I have loved before

I've been thinking about Halloween costumes, natch, given the season. I don't have any plans for the secular holiday beyond making treats and watching movies, so there won't be a need for a costume this year. This makes me fairly sad, since I love dressing up, so I started thinking about my favorite costumes from the past. The most recent ones are listed first.

Prince Bathory

A boysih take on the famous Countess, also somewhat inspired by the title character in movie "May." Flawlessly groomed, well dressed, and smeared in blood. It took forever to get the red stain off of my skin.

Skeleton Cowboy

Painted skull face, western hat and outfit, long duster cape. A bitch to wash off.


I think this was the only "cheerful" Halloween costume I've ever worn.


Yeah, yeah, whatever. Did you know the official Elvira costume comes in Plus Size? It does! I looked amazing, and there may be pictures floating out there somewhere. I was at the Dallas block party in this one.

B-movie Cult Member

Black robes, hoods, too much jewelry. Also known as the "Salem Look."


I've done Rice inspired vampires. I've done The Hunger vampires. I've done rednecky True Blood vampires. I got paid one year to do a lot of Twilight vampires, with glitter, but never worn the look personally.


My parents refused to let me leave the house in the Catwoman costume my Nana had bought for me. Had I had the language then that I do now, I'd have said "Fuck the Heteronormative Patriarchy" instead of "Trick or Treat." The Elvira costume was revenge.


I wore the costume once, then my mother stole it and has been wearing it every year since. That cheap Wal-Mart costume has held up nicely these twenty-five years.


Obvs. My first Halloween costume, sewn by my Nana, was based on the Wicked Witch of the West, only she had red shoes. I've done every sort of Witch costume you can think of.

So my dear little spookies, what are some of your favorite Halloween costumes?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015