Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Your Daily Dose Of Craft History

Image

More Tales From The Witches

Evn: "Every coven she approached told her she needed to do some work on herself first, and she interpreted that as a rejection.  She seemed to like being rejected.  She was stuck in that headspace of being a victim."


Me: "That way she never has to look at herself and accept that anything is ever her fault."


Evn: "Exactly!"


Me: "Fast forward ten years, and she's got a lot of Silver RavenWolf books and is married to a man in prison."


Evn: *making the noise one makes when having an aneurysm followed by lots of scream-laughing*


I think I won that round.



Nema

My friends have been engaged in a book club, which matters of schedule and the annoyances of life prevented me from attending.  I'm madder than a box of shaken snakes about that.  But I read the relevant chapter on the day of discussion and considered the questions on the Evil Minion's Trothwy was kind enough to email me.

As if my life couldn't be *more* obsessed with this book than it has been for nearly twenty years, I enjoyed jumping back in it, knowing that my beloved friends were doing the same.

This book and I go way back.  It gave a very young would-be Witch everything he could possibly want in a "paperback, primer for Witches"; love spells, invocations, recipes, methods for conjuring demons, curses invoking the Devil, secret jewelry and Witch Signs.  I Fucking Loved It.

But, it flavored my disposition.  It made me something of an elitist, and incredibly judgmental about what "my people" sometimes get up to, or make broad statements about what …

The Mighty Dead

Image
For a variety of reasons, the idea of "ancestors" is a weird one for me.  I suppose it's a natural condition of being adopted.  I haven't a clue about my ancestors of blood, and only a few adopted ancestors I care to remember at all.

But I always find myself thinking about our departed Witches on Samhain, and where we would be (or if we would be) were it not for their efforts.





Pagan Ejaculations

No, no, no, get your head out of the gutter!

Ejaculations, for those not familiar with unfortunately named practices of Catholicism, are short prayers that are repeated throughout the day.  You can think of them as being like coins dropped in a swear jar, because you get bonus points with Big Y for saying them.

Examples of ejaculations would be "Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea!" or"Oh Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner" or "Hail Holy Queen!"  It's fun, especially since they are often uttered in times of annoyance and in practice are used in place of other choice words not usually used in polite society.  So whenever someone, especially a Southern Catholic Lady says "Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea!" she's really saying Fuck.  A lot.
So if you are utterly stressed because your mother in law is criticizing your housekeeping skills and the cat just relieved herself in the soup, you can say "Jesus Christ, Have Mercy!"  A…

One Foot In The Cauldron, One Foot On The Goat

Image
Happy Equinox Witches!
If you aren't gearing up for the fun Halloween movie season by watching "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home", well, you should be! 





Pretty Pictures

Image
We all know the power that aesthetics have in magic.

We furnish our temples, decorate our altars, dress (or undress), and burn incenses that, on some level, create an aesthetic shift from the mundane to the sacred.  And while, objectively, you're still standing naked in your living room, you've turned the living roomOff and turned Temple Between The WorldsOn.

I sometimes find myself musing on how much the aesthetics are the magic.  I've thought about this a lot over the years, going from doing pretty shoddily staged plays in high school to fabulously done theatricals in college.  Believe me, it helps your performance when you are wearing a real straightjacket and fighting with swords that could in fact kill someone.

I believe this is true when it comes to magical tools. 

I started thinking about this again when I was reading cards for my friend Sardonicus.  I've been yapping about the cards alot lately, since that's been the focus of most of my magical work for th…

Square Of Mercury

I've not done a lot of work with the various planetary squares.  As a young Witchlet, I used the Square of Mars and The Operation Of Grand Bewitchment from Mastering Witchcraft to curse my sophomore year Spanish teacher, and it was *extremely* effective. 

I've been doing a lot of divination lately.  I've switched decks, because my Rider Waite/Smith wasn't talking, and I've been reading for myself and others.  I'm getting good results.  The cards are talking.  They're talking so much they invade my dreams when I sleep with them at night.

I was inspired to re-visit the planetary squares, making a Square of Mercury for divination work, using Huson's directions and recipes for incense.

My dear friend Trothwy has a very informative post about the Square of Mercury here that you should check out.


The Tale Of Bambie

No, not the deer.

Once upon a great long while ago, though it was really only about 12 years, I was a young Pagan without a driver's license and a decent disposable income for a kid that age.  But unlike most 14 year olds, my disposable income went towards filling my bookshelves and purchasing things like candles and mugwort.

Not having a driver's license, or living in a place with public transport, I had to beg my mother to drive me the 45 minutes to a neighboring city to go to bookstores.  Being an insanely well-behaved child, she usually went along with it.

It was on just such a day that I met my first ever openly identified Pagan.

Her name was Bambie, and no I'm not kidding.

I saw Bambie before she saw me.  It's hard to miss a woman who looks like a middle-aged Stevie Nicks on meth in a long leather trenchcoat with a huge quartz crystal tied around her neck.  Did I mention it was summer?  Because it was.  And summer in Texas is not a time for leather, or trenchcoat…

It was upon a Lammas Night...

Here we are again. 

Lammas is here and the elemental tides are shifting.  We've crowned the Sun in his glory, but everyone at the party knows that the sickle is coming.  The sickle always comes.  We've danced this dance before.  That the dance might one day stop is what keeps us coming.

Traditionally, in the days of yore, some rather backbreaking work would be done in the fields to get ready for winter.  Outside my window to the east, I've watched that work being done for weeks.  The tractors make the work less difficult, and starvation isn't the pressing concern it used to be.

Then again, maybe not.  We're starting to see, on a big scale, what happens when you take without replenishing the system.

As we start plucking from the web those things we've woven into it, Lady Moon is renewing Her face, offering us a chance to plant some new seeds, to weave some new threads. 

Paradox.  One of the many things I love about the Craft.

For me, this night is one of refle…

Music For Lammastide

Image

The Mark Of The Beast

Yesterday I was helping out at my aunt's ranch.  She's recooperating from a broken wrist, and she needed someone to haul the hay for her.  Being the uber-butch He-Man-Witch that I am, naturally I was her first choice. 

Being of a complexion commonly called Vampiric, I took the usual precautions for going out of doors, but I ended up with a sunburn on my cheeks and a few patches where I burned through my shirt.

There is currently, at the center of my chest, a one-inch wide pentagram sunburned into my skin, right next to my pentagram/burning heart tattoo.

If Witch Hunters come to examine me in the next few days, I'm totally fucked.

Stack The Deck

Having had a lot of downtime without all of my usual distractions (several months with no facebook will do that to you), I've been spending a lot of time deepening my Craft practice and spending time with my various tarot decks, working to rebuild my level of comfort with divination.

For whatever reason, I have a block when it comes to divination.  Other forms of sorcery I can dive right into, stuff that others would stay pretty far away from.  Necromancy?  Bring it on!  Nasty curses?  I'll bring the goofer dust!  But when friends find themselves in need of a reading...I put up the walls and recite a long list of reasons for why I just couldn't possibly do it.

Which is silly.  And only further sets one up for failure.  I'm a Scorpio with a Leo rising.  We hate to fail.

I've had a handful of good readings in the past year, from Witches I love and trust, and a whole lot of bad ones from people in occult shops who charged $40 to tell me what I wanted to hear.  I'v…

The Entitlement Fairy: A Cautionary Tale

Suzie (it could just as easily be Sam) is your average gal in her early twenties.  She's read a few books websites about modern witchcraft and decided it's exactly the sort of thing that could do wonders for her.

She's bought herself a wand (forged iron is patriarchal!!!!), a gaudy pentacle necklace, and a size 2 pewter cauldron.  She considers herself feisty, intelligent, and a sure-fire winner who can do great things for Wicca.  The history of her new-found religion doesn't mean much to her, and she ignores the contributions and ideas of the various people who have shaped Wicca into what it is today.  Better to rely on Wikipedia and gossip for history.  Books are so last century!

After all, it's not a *real* religion, the way those nasty, dogmatic, patriarchal monotheisms are.  There's no Bible.  There's no right or wrong way.  A forty year practitioner is no different than the person who just discovered Witchvox.  It's about love and freedom and self…

Don't Be A Drag, Just Be A Queen

Image
I've been re-reading Bell, Book, and Murder because, well, it's an awesome book (3 books really, published in one collection) and because there just isn't enough fantastic Witch fiction.  There's a  reference from Jeremiah 45: 15-19 in Speak Daggers To Her about the Jews having gone looking for the Goddess.


15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah:

16  "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you.

17  But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her,as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster.

18  But since we left off making offerings to the …

This

"When we become Wiccans, that isn't the end of our religious exploration, but (if we choose) the beginning.  I see a lot of people nowadays who choose to call themselves Wiccan, but who do not seem to be changing themselves in any way.  They seem to view finding the right label to describe themselves as the goal of their spiritual quest.  Once they acquire the label "Wiccan," they breathe a sigh of relief and are done.  They maintain the same values and beliefs as they had before, just under a new name." 

- Deborah Lipp The Study of Witchcraft

Pagan Leadership Panel (1/7)

Image
Watch!

Full Moon Musings

"Witches today waste much time on unnecessary matters.  You think these things important, but they are trivialities.  Look to Witchdom for your answers.  Do not mix up East with West and end nowhere.  Toledo held many mysteries that you seek.  But do not stuff your heads with book-learning.  Get down to practice.  It is easier to sit reading a book than it is to practise; but reading books nourishes only the thinking mind.  It is the Inner Mind that needs to feel its own strength.  Dip into the Pool of Memory and find treasure."

"When the full moon is out, you can come close to Witchdom.  The rays of the moon have power, when they bathe the earth with its light.  It is the window, in more ways than one.  You too can see through the window."

- John Brakespeare Recorded in The Rebirth of Witchcraft by Doreen Valiente

Tonight my altar is red; red with fire, red wine in my wine-cup, and bread sprinkled with wine.  I will make offerings to the Old Lass and the WitchFather …

Experience Trumps Assumption

I haven't posted anything overly thoughtful or provocative in a while.  I've sat with myself and thought "Obviously you have more to say.  Why aren't you saying it?  Why don't you grow a pair and tear into the forces of stupidity and entitlement that have turned Pagan Craft into a punchline?" 

Because I've been too busy practicing Witchcraft, courting the Mysteries as best as I can navigating with only my own study and intuition as my guide.  I've had a lot of portentous dreams over the last few years, bolts from the blue, and shivvers up my spine from coming into the presence of Them.  I'm a Seeker, I've made some contacts, and I'm tending the garden that is my Craft. 

The Pagan Movement has always been rife with conflict, disagreement about praxis, and schism.  Shit happens, people suck, and there's always going to be a Martin Luther in the group. 

Not my battle, and I don't have to try to fix anything or point out where peopl…

Take The Apple

Friday night I dreamt of snakes.  As in, I was wearing them like a skirt, slithering over the lower half of my body, up my arms and around my neck.  It was fuckin' cool and also kinda creepy. 

I attributed this dream to my allergy medicine, which I firmly believe moonlights as Flying Ointment.

This morning Evn called to tell me about his new pet snake.  He met this snake on Friday.  The snake's name is Inanna Dentata.  I'll be meeting this snake in February.

In my email this morning, there was a note from Trothwy quoting a passage on The Witch of Forest Grove's blog which mentioned my namesake and his connection to snakes.

I'm not usually one to chase after omens, but this is too weird to ignore.

Full Moon Musings

The trifecta of December's Winter Solstice, Full Moon, and Lunar Eclipse made for a potent night.  There I was in my back-yard, not dressed for the bone-chilling cold, watching La Luna turn black and glow with that dark hellish red, weaving a spell on a knotted cord.  The Raw Potency Contained that I always feel when the Horned One comes was near, and the perfume of the Maiden To Be crept through the dead leaves and bitter soil. 

The Hag and the Lord of Death reminding me of Their softness, and the Spring-Tide to come.  It was glorious.  And my simple wish will blossom and flower, in it's time.

But as I sat last night on the cold-ground, looking up at the lunar orb, one month past that magical night, I had a sense of what our ancestors must once have felt, that so many of us still feel.  The dreaded fear that Spring would never come, that winter's food supply would run out, that there wasn't enough heat to make it until March, that Death would come before we could beg…