Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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 trenchcoats, or the wearing of much of anything.

I also happened to notice Bambie because she appeared to be attempting to banish the books in the Christianity section, which was one row over from the New Age books.  Dramatic arm-gestures, banishing pentagrams, and lots of flailing.  My Spidey-Senses immediately alerted me to danger, but before I could make a quiet get-away, she rounded the corner and focused her sights on me.  A young person with a stack of Witchcraft books in his arms.

Fresh meat.

She introduced herself and I gave a fake name.  She invited me to sit on the floor with her, an offer I declined, and began launching into an explanation of Wicca, the Goddess, broomsticks, and asked if I had any questions she could answer for me.

I said I didn't, which was clearly not the answer she wanted to hear. 

She went through the shelves, removing books she said gave Real Witches a bad name.  The culprits?  Mostly the Crowley, Margot Adler, Laurie Cabot, and everything by Starhawk.  She moved those books to where the Bibles were stocked. More flailing.

I attempted to run the fuck away from her finish my selection and leave, but she asked to see the books I planned to purchase.  At this point, I don't even remember what they were.  I think Buckland's Candle-Burning Rituals and one of Z. Budapest's books was in the stack. 

She scolded me for wanting "power-over" and put all of my choices back on the shelf, and then handed me a copy of Buckland's Big Blue Book.  Which I already owned.  She handed me a copy of Silver RavenWolf's Spells For Protection.  Which I find detestable.  She handed me the Waite tarot deck.  When I said that I already had a tarot deck, she suggested I burn it and replace it with this one.  Any deck a 14 year old would choose would be filled with "Dark Majicks."

I'd already spent quite a bit of time at the store, and more time than was really safe talking with Bambie, and when I offered my good-byes, saying that I had to leave since my mother was waiting for me...Bambie grabbed me by the ankle and told me I didn't have to go anywhere.  And she didn't let go.

She asked for my name, address, and phone number so she could contact me for further teaching.  I rambled off a fake name and the memorized number of the local police station, and then I very quickly got the fuck out of there.  I told my mother what happened, and she alerted the store manager. 

And, if you knew my mother, that was a lot better than whooping Bambie's ass right there in public.

Growing up with Stranger-Danger, why on earth would I have stuck around, continuing a conversation with someone who was so clearly unstable and likely did not have the best of intentions?  I'm not sure.  I suppose part of it was the excitement of "OMG A REAL LIFE PAGAN IS TALKING WITH ME!"  But the strong message inside my head was that Bambie was off, and that I needed to get away from her.  Quickly.

I was lucky.  A lot of people aren't.

That could have been the end of Paganism for me.  I could have decided that all Pagan's were nuts, weirdos, creepy people who grabbed teenagers by the leg and encouraged them to do things behind their parents backs.  Or, more likely, my parents could have put their foot down and forbade any further involvement with something that put me in contact with such people.

But thankfully, it didn't work out that way.  Instead, I did a lot banishing rituals, cleansings, and protection spells that did not come from SRW.  I hoped that Bambie dialed the number for the local police station, trying to contact a 14 year old boy, and got in an awful lot of trouble. 

That was my first lesson that not everyone huddled under the umbrella of The Community is safe, sane, ethical, or anyone's friend.

Monday, August 1, 2011

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 reflection.  Seventeen years ago, athame in hand for the first time, I plucked the fruit from the tree and began weaving some threads of my own.

So ask yourself:  Where are you?  Stuck in the warp or the weft?  Did you water enough or neglect to remove the weeds?  And what new threads do you want to weave?

Get to Work.

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