Friday, October 29, 2010

Story Time

I love stories.  I love stories about magic.  I especially love true stories about magic in the day to day lives of Witches.

When the Witch is one of your dearest friends, it's just the best thing ever.

I was baking a cake, a Devils Food Cake to be precise, for this weekends Halloween enjoyment, when I got a phone call from Co-Witch and Compatriot Evn, directing me to read his latest blog entry.

And I did.


Treat yourself to a little Pre-Halloween storytime, courtesy of the Lord of Strife.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote Of The Day

"The suggestion that spells of domination should never be performed suggests at best naively idealistic, at worst ignorant, protected, Ivory Tower sensibilities.  Images of powerful wizards in castles to the contrary, magic spells have always served as weapons of the disempowered.

Societies where every individual is free, has enough to eat, isn't dependent on others and is able to retain control over one's own body, sexuality, family, and personal destiny, do not develop domination spells.  They don't need them."

- Judika Illes
   Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

Monday, October 18, 2010

Samhain is coming...

Samhain is fast approaching and all throughout the land of fair Pagandom, folks are getting ready to honor their Beloved Dead.

Altars are being set up, shrines erected, and offerings made.  I love this. 

Having grown up Catholic, my childhood Halloween fun was sometimes interrupted by All Saints Day observations, depending on where Halloween fell in the week.  Placing cheap flowers on graves, a half-hearted invocation from our Parish Priest, a few chats with living relatives, and then back home where I put on my conical hat and waited for trick or treating.  Even as a child it struck me as being...soulless.  I didn't connect with it. 

But I've grown up a lot, and more of my extended family and friends have crossed the veil.  This year alone brought a number of deaths, and I've had to face the mortality of my parents, my friends, and myself.

The wonderful thing about families such as mine is that tradition and heritage are so important and so strongly interwoven into everyday life.  We prepare meals my peasant ancestors in the Czech Republic would have had during a rough winter.  We play their music.  We sometimes speak their language.  The old stories are told around the table.  Just last Thanksgiving the Top Secret Family Stuffing Recipe was handed down to me, and I was tasked with making it for the feast. 

My Beloved Dead live on with me everyday.  In everything I do.

But I must confess that my Samhain nights are almost always secular.  Costumes to make.  People's gore and effects makeup to do.  Must-See Tacky Late Night Movies.  Being on candy duty.  These things take up lots of energy, time, and damnit, are a lot of fun.  To skip out on that fun, magic, and family time to sit in my room and think about dead people seems counter-intuitive to me. 

So how does one remedy this?  How do you make it work?

Since so much of my famiy identity is connected to the Church, I must make my peace with Catholicism and attend the All Saints Day services with my family, in addition to my usual Halloween fun.  I will make dishes my grandmother would have made.  I will light candles and leave offerings.  I will watch tacky movies and gorge myself on candy.  And in the wee small hours of November, I will call the names of the Mighty Dead.

What do you have planned?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hints From Hertha: Dripping Candles

Chances are you've had a taper or fifty drip and make a nasty mess on an altar cloth, a table, or the carpet.  Maybe even on the cat.

Putting the tapers in the freezer for a few hours before you use them helps to cut down on the amount of drippings and makes for a cleaner burn.

If you divine the outcome of a working by reading the wax drippings...ignore everything I just said!

A Whole Blog Post Without Swearing!

Hello again! It's nearly October and I haven't posted anything here since early Summer. What else is new? I solemnly swear that my h...