"If the Craft has any failings at all as a religion, it's that it doesn't really do a very good job of taking people through the absolute gut-crunching worst that Life can do. The Lady's mercy was a consolation to me, but I'd be damned hesitant about offering the joys of the Summerland to a mother whose child had just been killed by a drunk driver. People tend to forget that the Craft is the newest religion, as well as the oldest. Maybe it's just that the human race has gotten arrogant enough that the phrase "It's God's will, it's for the best," isn't good enough anymore. Maybe it's never been good enough and we're just admitting it now. Or maybe the Lady shows Her true face now, as ever, only to those who can manage their lives without a convenient god to blame. I don't know. Ask me in fifty years when the Craft starts building churches."
Every time a "traditional witchcraft" book starts out with "This is totes not Wicca omglol"
*take a shot*
Every time someone claims to practice some pre-Gardnerian form of Witchcraft but they can't cite any sources/people that predate Gardner
*take a shot*
For every mention of Isobel Gowdie, familiar spirits, toad bone rites, flying ointments or anything Cornish
*take a shot*
For every tradition of "traditional non-Wiccan witchcraft" that has God/Goddess/polytheism, eight seasonal holidays that are called sabbats, circles, full moon esbats, quarter calls, four elements, magic, and the same working tools mentioned in every Wicca book ever but oooh we have a stang omg totes traditional
*drink a gallon of the liquor of your choice*
At that point, you'll be able to successfully deal with other Witches or be too drunk to care or continue living.
My love for George Romero's 1972 film "Season of the Witch" aka "Jack's Wife" aka "Hungry Wives" is well established. A trivia question about that movie is responsible for me starting a blog so, you know who to blame. I have lots of other weird synchronicities with that movie.
My most favorite scene is the one where Joan, having decided to become a Witch, goes shopping for Witch supplies. You can watch a Spanish dubbed version here.
I've been lusting after that cauldron for decades! Fucking decades, I'm telling ya!
So imagine my surprise when I found this for sale online.
I've changed shifts at my job - joining that vampiric crowd that haunts the graveyard shift. It's not as glam as it sounds, trust me, but it suits my needs for now. I enjoy getting to greet the moon as I'm leaving the house. To watch her shining through the windows of the car as I drive to work. I enjoy getting to watch the sun rise as I make my way home each morning.
This arrangement makes doing ritual late into the night difficult except for my days off. But I've taken to performing a nightly and morning libation to moon and sun - offering coffee to the Old Ones. Naturally, the morning libation happens once I'm home again. My co-workers already think I'm strange enough.
To She and Him and Them and Us I offer I pour Humble With Love Above Below and In Between By Fig(salute) By Horn(salute) With Kiss(kiss hand twice, salute) Hail!
I’ve missed having a working altar so much. When my back went out in April, it simply wasn’t possible. I had things set up on shelves and a dresser which could accommodate the chair I had to sit on. It’s coming up on five months since my back surgery and I’m finally able to sit comfortably at my old altar.
I’m looking to get a piece of furniture that isn't that low, something with storage would be nice. But in the meantime…
I made the copper pentacle a few years ago from a copper plate found at an antique store. My ritual practice at the time (and largely still so, in a lot of ways) was based on the model the Farrar’s presented in A Witch’s Bible. I’ve always liked those set of symbols, so I used them. Copper is a fucking nightmare to keep looking nice, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are a tidy freak like myself.
The brass censer is the one thing I have had the longest. The water bowl came from my parents kitchen, the salt dish was found at TJ Maxx - it has leaves engraved on the copper stripe around the center. The cup was a gift from a Witch friend in Houston. The owl figurine next to Himself was a little thing my Nana had - you can put a tealight in the back. I don’t remember how I ended up with the hagstone next to Herself.
Yay for Tag's! This one is going around on YouTube, and since I can't yet work up the nerve to commit both my face and voice to film, I'll have to stick with blogging. Tag Questions:
1). How did you encounter Paganism, Witchcraft or Magick for the First Time? Assuming we're talking about modern religious Witchcraft, it would be a bunch of tawdry 60's and 70's era occultsploitation books written by the likes of Peter Haining and Hans Holzer where Sybil Leek, Maxine Sanders and Anton LaVey all lent their faces (and backsides) for the cause of modern occultsim, found at my local library. Honorable mention to the Brothers Grimm and that fab Queen with her mirror and poisoned fruit who remains my spirit animal.
2). What was your first book? The Anatomy of Witchcraft by Peter Haining.
3). What was the first spell you ever performed? The first "out of a book" type thing would have been Ed Fitch's Self Blessing, but that's not really a spell. I remember a red-candle and cord with petitions to Athena that I did in fifth grade while studying for the TAAS test. I totally aced it.
4). What was your first crystal or stone?
A quartz crystal - the first and only one I have ever owned. I collected rocks as a kid, but there has never been much woo associated with them for me.
5). Who was the first God and/or Goddess you encountered on your Path?
Jehovah, Satan and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ha! The first non-JudeoChristian deity I ever encountered was Dionysus - in a story my first grade teacher (last name Wines) read to us.
6). How did you first meet other Pagans? In college. When you major in theatre, you are bound to meet a few.
7). What was the first Festival, Meetup, or Public gathering you attended? I went to an open circle Samhain event where altars were set up on beer coolers - I didn't stay. I went to an open Beltane event called Cinco de Mayfest while I was living in Houston. I haven't participated much in public Paganism.
8). What was the first class or workshop you took? The first class my friend Trothwy gave when I was studying with her.
9). What the first chant you learned? We All Come From The Goddess by Z Budapest.
10). What was the first method of divination you learned? Farm wisdom, motherfuckers! When the snails crawl out of the garden and onto the house, the rain is coming. You predict a harsh winter by studying the fur growth on the cattle. You can also predict winter weather by monitoring when the crickets show up after harvest season.
But, me and the tarot go way back as well. So, yeah, tarot.
11). What was your first tool? Everything for the first few years was improvised from around the house and then put back when I was finished. The first tool I ever bought from an occult shop was a brass censer and I still use it.
12). What was the first method or exercise you learned for Energy work? I remember reading Laurie Cabot's "Power of the Witch" and she said "you won't be able to shoot lightning out of your fingertips yet" and I've been trying to do that for the last twenty years. In all seriousness, that "rub your hands together and feel the power, now make a ball of it and toss it to a friend" thing was probably the first.
13). What is a memorable or favorite First on your path that wasn't included in the above questions? The time my parents came home to a house full of incense smoke and the smell of burned parchment paper. My dad suggested I take up a hobby that didn't stink up the house. A much put upon me screamed "This is Witchcraft! It's supposed to stink!"