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Showing posts from 2014

First Time Tag

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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 …

Tara Rice - NO HARM (Official Video)

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All About That Bass (for the Lord)

I got paid to attend an evangelical rock concert.

This was about a year ago, and it would take way too long to explain thy why's and wherefore's of how my professional career landed me in this situation. These weren't your usual evangelicals with guitars. These were Bikers In Recovery For Christ. Which, y'know, awesome. They were very talented musicians and singers, and you haven't lived until you've heard Biblical messages reworked into a Jimi Hendrix song at full concert volume.

My latent Catholicism found the whole thing blasphemous, but I didn't have any theses with me that I could nail to their door. It was fun and I didn't even mind all the Jesus I had to wash off later.

The interesting thing about this event was walking into the venue and having all of my senses zero in on the groups' singer and my full and absolute certainty that this woman was a witch.

She had fabulously long, white hair, She was dressed in what can only be called Rich Hipp…

Eleanor Bone Memorial Fund

A memorial project has been put together to purchase a memorial grave marker for Eleanor Bone, who died in 2001. She was responsible for seeing to it that Gardner's grave was moved Please consider making a donation to this very important cause.

Eleanor Bone Memorial Fund

Yo, Witches!

The awesomely awesome guys at Otherworld Apothecary have a blog.

Notes From The Apothecary

You should update your lists immediately because I said so. Trust me! While you are at it, you should treat yourself to some of their wares. Like, do it right now.

Snark Arcana

I'm currently dealing with a minor job-related frustration. And by minor, I mean the sort of problem you'd like to set on fire while you enjoy a nice beverage. There are a number of reasons for this current situation: workplace politics, personality clashes, Mercury retrograde, small people with big egos in honorary positions of power who like to play fuck-fuck with people they don't like.

I've utilized the mundane solutions I have at my disposal to varying degrees of success, so I decided to seek otherworldly council.

I get my cards, light some incense, and start to shuffle. I ask my question. What follows is inspired by actual events.

Me: "What should I do about..."

Cards: "Ugh, you again? I'm sleeping."

Me: "Well, I need your advice about..."

Cards: "Quit."

Me: "You don't like the way I shuffle?"

Cards: "No, quit  your job. Move on. Do something else. It's the easiest way to stop the problem."

M…

90's Teen Witches - We Didn't All Stay Dumb

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I was one of *those* teenagers.

I was wearing black and listening to grunge, Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson and of course, Hanson and the Spice Girls. I wore my hair long and parted in the middle. I wore multiple necklaces and rings on multiple fingers. I only really enjoyed Art and English in school and usually bonded with the teachers of those classes instead of my peers. I got straight A's, had a spotless behavioral record, and had no real friends.

When The Craft came out in 96, I begged and pleaded with my relatives to take to me to see it. I saw it in the theatre twice before it very quickly disappeared. The first cd I ever bought was the soundtrack for the movie.

There was an attitude in the 90's, at least coming out of the East coast, that wearing black and pentacles openly was helping to increase public awareness about Witches. The idea was that people are more likely to be tolerant if they personally knew and liked someone who was a Witch, gay, whatever. Today I would say…

From Teen Witch to Grump Ass

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In two months I'll be turning 30. Goddess, help me!

All of this has lead to much reflection - mostly deciding it was time to buy a better moisturizer and wondering where the hell the last twenty years went. I've also been thinking about how my practice of Wicca has changed over the years. I've also been thinking about how fucking cool it was to be a teen Witch in the 90's.

I miss the 90's. I'm not alone in my nostalgia, as I've seen plenty of my contemporaries of late waxing nostalgic about that time period. I miss the music, the movies, the fashion, the bright eyed newbie excitement I had for Wicca. I've thought about The Craft, Charmed, Buffy, Practical Magic, the Lilith Fair and all the sort of stuff teenaged me couldn't shut up about. I've thought about how it's now totally uncool to admit that media or literary depictions of Witches ever influenced your thinking, religious choices, or fashion sense.

When I think a lot, I start making li…

I may have a problem...

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How Magic (Sometimes) Works

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As a sign that ye be really free, ye shall hoard thy gods

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No, I haven't gone insane and put everyone on a communal altar. I'm just cleaning the house.

7 Witchy Questions Tag

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This is going around on YouTube. I found it via DrawingKenaz who got it via Ember HoneyRaven. I won’t even post selfies on tumblr, so I’m never going to make YouTube videos. So I’m going to do it here, because I’m bored and I like talking about myself! I originally posted this on Tumblr, but some people don't *do* Tumblr so I'm cross-posting here.  Play along, if you like. It's fun. 1. What is your biggest witchy disaster? That would be the time I tripped over the hem of the robe I used to wear and managed to fling the bowl of salt into my face, and thus, into my eyes.  That was the beginning of working skyclad. 2. What do you wish someone had told you as a new Witch? Oh god, here comes the hate mail! Again.  Pagans lie. Pagans make shit up. Pagans will quote the “Threefold law” or “The Rede” at people but often do pretty fucked up things to people in their lives. Paganism provides a pretty safe haven for people who need psychiatric treatment.  3. Biggest witchy pet peeves?

Hubris of a Witch

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So, I got a first edition copy of Diary of a Witchby Sybil Leek. The acknowledgements page kills me!

" To my sons, Stephen and Julian, who understand the family tradition and so make it easy for me to be their mother and not merely a legend." "Not merely a legend" If Sybil Leek was around today, she would be trolling EVERYBODY!

Lammas

Lammas. Loaf Mass. Lughnasadh. First Harvest. Whatever you may call it, I hope those of you celebrating have a happy one. Those of you not celebrating, have a happy Friday and an awesome weekend!



A Prayer For The Dead

Come we this night for one who must travel far
To offer light, incense and joyful noise
To raise a toast, a meal and tears of love
For our beloved Priestess and Witch Margot Adler
Who hath crossed the Veil
And joined the Shining Kingdom.

May the Air that once gave her breath
Lift her spirit upon the winds of the Wild Hunt

May the Fire that once animated her flesh
Burn in perpetual life in all the worlds

May the Water that was her blood and the pool of ancestral memory
Flow forever in those she leaves behind, that she may be reborn among them

May the Earth that was home to body and bones in life
Be the grave that welcomes her and gives her life again

May her ancestors greet her in love and comfort.
May her beloved dead prepare a feast in her name.
May the Mighty Dead welcome her and crown her in their Kingdom.
May the Old Ones welcome their Priestess, until providence calls her back to earth again.

Hail Margot!









Candle for Margot

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Margot Adler 1946 - 2014

The news has come via her son on Facebook that Margot Adler passed away this morning.

It's interesting to think of where Paganism would be had it not been for the publication of Drawing Down The Moon in 1979. Thankfully, we don't have to live in that world.

Her latest book Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair With The Immortal Dark Side was published earlier this year.

Rest in peace, Margot, and thank you for everything.

What Dreams May Confound

I rubbed a little Divination oil on my forehead and pulse points and climbed into bed. I'm having "important dreams" on a more regular basis - having information not related to me show up in dreams that I'm able to verify later on.

Dream 1: I'm investigating some place that is completely covered in snow. Everything is frozen, including all of the local life. There are frozen people everywhere holding cardboard signs identifying who they are - on the off chance that someone would ever find them. I notice a woman and her companion are encased in a block of ice - cigarette in hand halfway to her lips. The exhale of smoke is frozen inside the ice. I find myself wondering how they managed to freeze to death if they have a lighter - surely they could have found something to burn.

(I blame this on having just recently seen the movie Frozen for the first time.)

Dream 2: A dead relative I've never met shows up again and asks me to pass on a message to my mother - her …

Them

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Seeking Redux

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

So goes the proverb. I think in some ways it's true. You send out a little ping to the universe saying "Here I am! Teach me!" and as dear Mr. Huson tells us, when you announce yourself to the unseen, something is bound to notice you.

Sometimes what notices you is awesome, and for me that is overwhelmingly true.

I started this blog around the time that I started actively seeking a coven to work with - something that in rural Texas is not exactly easy - but can be done. As luck would have it, I found some folks, and they practiced the tradition I was interested in. I went to some open circles and loved the rituals. I eventually moved to where they were located and asked for training and was accepted. For reasons that have nothing to do with them and everything to do with me and where my life was at, that wasn't something that was going to happen at that time.

Two years, a Saturn return, and a lot of changes la…

Hints From Hertha - Even Less Stressful Candle Cleanup

Votive candles. I love them, but they leave behind a cleaning job. It's a simple enough thing to pop them into the freezer - the melted wax should pop out like an ice cube.

I've found another solution by accident. I was cleaning out the votive holders I use as quarter candles. The last time they were used the candles had been pretty liberally rubbed with oils, and I had poured a few drops of oil into the glass cup and smeared the oil all around.

The oil had dried, so imagine my surprise when the leftover glass blobs popped right out without the use of the freezer.

I'll be doing this from now on.




More Light Reading

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Occult Nostalgia

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Finally got a copy of the first witch book I ever read. How this ended up in my local library is beyond me, but I'm glad it did. 
The Anatomy of Witchcraft by Peter Haining, published in 1972


Oooh spooky! 

Eleanor Bone and her coven of the left. Monique and Campbell Wilson on the right.


The Sanders coven. 




Team Big H

Last night I sat at my shrine for the first time in a while - I've been recovering from a back injury and all of my usual methods of ritual and devotion were physically impossible. I did my usual thing - incense, knives, rubbing witching oils into my statue of Hekate - and I just held Her and chanted Her names. I asked for guidance and made a promise - give me a sign of your favor or disapproval and I will do X. No dreams, no omens - just the most restful night of sleep I’ve had since my back went splodey. I sat down with my coffee and facebook and saw that Jeff Cullen of Jeff Cullen Artistry had a Hekate statue for sale.  I’ve wanted one forever and missed out recently on two occasions where I was outbid or someone beat me to it mid-purchase. I bought the statue. Looks’ like I’ve got some work to do.

If I read one more useless damn grimoire...

Knowing as many Occultists of various persuasions as I do, I’m always hearing them go on and on about the fabulous books they are reading. Grimoires that, as my mother would say, “knocks their dick in the dirt.” Occult philosophers and great minds who open the nature of reality and the universe open and…oh isn’t it all wonderful. FEEL TEH MAGICK! I end up reading these fabulous things and thinking “Jesus, get to the fucking point already.” Esotericism bores me. HGA’s and Kabbalah and True Will and all that stuff just…no. Even in the Witch department everything is either Pop-Wicca or re-worked Wicca calling itself “Traditional Witchcraft.” Is there such a thing as Occult Book Burnout?  Is there a support group for this? Bah!

Otherworld Apothecary

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Some of my recent purchases from the guys at Otherworld Apothecary. Highly recommended. 

A Day For Patricia Crowther

Liebster Blog Award

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I got nominated for a Liebster blog award by Ecstatick Magick. Yay because I love winning things even when I seriously suck at blogging, which I do.

These are the questions I'm supposed to answer, and since it gives me writing prompt, I'm game.

1. Why did you start blogging?

I think I mentioned this before, but I started blogging because Evn at Lover of Strife was doing movie trivia on his own blog. One of the questions was about George Romero's film Season of the Witch - one of my most favorite movies - and I had to participate. I'd been reading his blog for some time, and signed up for blogger so I could comment and start prattling on myself.

2. What moment most impacted your life?

I would say the last three years have had the most impact on my life - conveniently coinciding with my Saturn Return. From moving across state to a major city, adapting from a rural town to Houston's urban chaos, becoming an active seeker, the death of what I thought was a solid friends…

Stinking Pretty For The Devil

"It smells like spicy oranges and a Christmas mass that's gone all Rosemary's Baby."

- how I just described one of my  incense blends

Books! More books!

I'm a huge fan of Rosemary Edghill's Bast novels, published in one volume titled "Bell, Book and Murder." Bast is a  Gardnerian HPS, a graphic artist by day and the Sam Spade of the Wica by night, who finds herself solving one murder mystery after another. 
The author has recently released all of her Bast short stories in one volume, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works. I've collected the novels these short stories were previously published in, finding only the Bast stories to be of any interest to me. Having them in one collection makes me very happy.
Edghill has also release her novel  Met By Moonlight. A story of a modern day Witch and occult bookstore owner named Diana who, via a mysterious stranger and an antique grammerie,  finds herself swept away to the New Forest area of England circa 1647. You can read some excerpts here
I highly recommend them. 

Singed

These witches of today have it lucky.

When I was first starting, the books told you where you could (sort of) find incense charcoal, but not how to use them. You had to burn your fingers a few times and singe the cat before you finally figured it out.

Now?

Hundreds of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to light them and use them safely.

Bastards.

Dr. E Memorial Fund

A memorial fund has been set up in honor of Hyperion. 

Dr. E Memorial Fund
From the website:


The world lost a beloved Elder and teacher yesterday; Eddy Gutierrez, an incredibly well known and respected Santero, Conjure man, and educator, passed into his next journey in a massive cardiac event. While we know that Eddy himself is not suffering, he leaves behind his beloved mother, sister, and partner. 
Eddy did so much for so many communities; Lukumi, hoodoo/conjure, the Minoan Brotherhood, the Unnamed Path, and served as a pillar of knowledge and strength.
It now falls to our communities to aid Eddy's family in their time of need; final costs and rituals are an expense nobody is ever truly prepared for, and Eddy's family needs our support. Please give what you can; all proceeds from this fundraiser go directly to Eddy's mom and partner to help them in this time.
Please consider making a donation.

Rev. Hyperion 1976-2014

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A friend and amazing spiritual teacher passed away today 14 January 2014 of a cardiac event. He was 38 years old.

Those in the Pagan community might have known him as Hyperion from his work with The Unnamed Path or his rootworker business where he was known as Dr. E.

I only spent time with him in person once, when he was visiting Houston and I was still living there. We dished and drank and bonded over a similar tattoo we both had. He told me my mohawk was adorable. After that, we interacted on Facebook here and there.

I never sought training in The Unnamed Path, but his writings and podcast were tremendously healing for me and continue to be a source of strength and comfort. I regret now that I never got to be his student in this life.

My thoughts are with his partner Clayton, his family, friends and the Brothers of The Unnamed Path.

May the Ancestors welcome him and may perpetual light shine on him forever.

You can read the write up at The Wild Hunt here.




Waxing Petulant

Of all the many signs and omens a wise Witch learns to look out for, none is so delicious as the one which reads:

"Candles and all candle accessories - 50 % off"
So you find yourself with the large shopping basket picking out altar pillars, votives, and short tapers perfect for spell work. You make sure you have several of every color - though the rat bastards are out of yellow and never carry anything orange - because at fifty cents a candle it's good to stock up.
The thing that I have noticed, after over a decade spent in the woo, that when a guy like me is buying a huge amount of candles or incense in a normal, mundane store - people are going to notice. They are going to stare. The store associates might look in your basket and ask if you need any assistance. People are going to ask questions.
It was even the subject of my first blog entry.
So there I was in a black wool sweater and a tie - most conservative - with nary a pentacle in sight when I was stopped by a grou…

Are you there, blogosphere? It's me, Veles.

I swore up and down I was done with this.

Hit the delete button and everything. Twice. Three times, maybe.

It is an odd thing to be a person inclined towards writing, even preferring the written word over actual face to face interaction, and having no desire to write.

So, whats new? Is blogging even a thing anymore? Has Tumblr finally won out? What's new with you?

What's new with me, you ask?

Well, here we are, barely a week into the secular New Year, and I'm not entirely amused with the weather. I had the flu for the first time ever and managed to survive with both my sanity and complexion unwrecked. I started a new job last year, was promoted fairly quickly, and love it. I got through my Saturn Return with no obvious damage. I turned 29. I realized how much bullshit I carried around and let attach itself to me during the last ten years and was oh so happy to see it all burn away and be purified.

I'm still a Witch without a coven or an in person Pagan community but I …