Sunday, December 28, 2014

First Time Tag

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!" 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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 Hippie Chic. She looked like she was the speaker of honor at a *good* Pagan convention in a nice hotel with an open bar and a jacuzzi en suite in every room. But it wasn't her fashion choices that alerted me. There was something *there* there. That eyes across the room/pheromone/spidey senses thing you experience with future lovers, fellow gays, or other witches.

Now, my rational brain cannot make sense of a witch in an evangelical rock band proselytizing for Christ with reworked Hendrix. Although, that would make a great plot for a Bast novel and if Rosemary Edghill sees this she can totes steal that idea.

Maybe she was a former witch whose conversion hadn't quite taken? Maybe she was using her wicked awesome fashion sense, Grace Slick voice and mean tambourine skills as some nefarious plot to infiltrate the Patriarchy and smash it with music? Maybe I should have eaten lunch that day because I'm not really me when I'm hungry?

Who knows.

There was a meet and greet/hand shake/thank you for coming thing at the end. Very nice people. Lots of hugging. And like linking hands with someone in circle, there *it* was.  Had I not been at work, I might have worked up the gumption to ask this nice lady about what she was up to.

That didn't happen, and I'll never know.

The idea of a fabulously dressed witch infiltrating evangelical Christianity with rock music and beads REALLY makes all seven of my feelings happy.

I'm going to stick with that answer.










Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

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."

Me: "But I don't really want to.."

Cards: "Then stop complaining about it if you won't walk away from it. Utilize the system to fix the problem."

Me: "Should I do something magically to...."

Cards: "Duh!"

Me: What kind of..."

Cards: *sprays out a number of cards that basically say to choose a course of action and roll with it*

Me: "Anything else I should know?"

Cards: "Now isn't a good time to get pregnant."




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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



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 that it was naively idealistic, but at the time I was all about it, though I drew the line at wearing eyeliner, if you'll pardon the pun.

I am not embarrassed or ashamed of any of this. There are plenty of people who still hate that movie. There are still people complaining that The Craft/Charmed/whatever did a public disservice to Wiccans and Pagans and French girls named Manon. There are people my age and younger who have a real rage boner over the whole thing. Fuckabunchathat.

There are plenty more who like to pretend they didn't like or even see the movie. "Oh, I came to Wicca because I had a vision of the Lady, and I was always looking for a feminist eco-spirituality yadda yadda yadda veganism and crystals." 

The thing is - most of us who came to Wicca were looking for that, on some level. Though not the vegan bit, in my case. A great many of us were passionate in our study and worship. A lot of us are still here, having grown to adulthood worshiping the Old Gods and shaping our lives around what that means to us. None of that precluded us from looking dumb and wearing saucer sized pentacles in public. It doesn't mean we weren't also trying to draw attention to ourselves while also being sincere in our practices.

This is a huge mega stereotype, but the kinds of teenagers who were drawn to Wicca at that time were typically not football players or head cheerleader. We *were* the weirdos, whatever the hell that means. There are still burned out hippies who look with derision on younger people in Paganism in between their bong hits and begging people online to pay their bills - all without the slightest awareness of the irony there. Our predecessors in Paganism weren't exactly Homecoming King or Queen material, either, or the sort of people who had heard of life insurance or a retirement plan.

Did all that stereotyping and unkind generalization piss you off a little? Good! Now you know how it felt and you can do penance to the Lady and promise to never do it again.

On a personal level, I can't tell you what it meant to me to have these movies and tv shows happening at the same tame I was struggling through adolescence and figuring out what living life as a Pagan meant. It's comparable to how I felt the first time I ever saw a gay character in a movie or tv show that wasn't a joke and who didn't die a brutal death before the program was over.

I never once thought about rushing out to invoke Manon on the beach with an ad hoc coven put together from the other misfits at school. I didn't try to float pencils like Willow did on Buffy. I wasn't worried about demons coming after me and warlocks trying to steal my BoS every week. I wasn't dumb enough to confuse the real world with some harmless fantasy.

This all brings us to September of 1998 when Silver RavenWolf published Teen Witch. This is not going to turn into SRW bashing because it has been done to death for sixteen years, and people are STILL not over it. I remember the scandal. There were calls for boycotts. There were angry letters published in periodicals. Websites were devoted to trashing her and the book. When it was announced that a Teen Witch Kit was coming, you would have thought SRW had slapped all of their mamma's.

I hadn't read any SRW at this point, but all of the vitriol and HERMAGHERD WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!!!! convinced me to not only buy Teen Witch, but everything else SRW had published. Yep. The Pagan community, in trying to keep SRW's books out of the hands of teenagers, convinced me to buy her books. Jokes on you!


My friends and I lovingly call them the "Wiccan Power Rangers." The thing is, in my experience, none of us looked like that. The idea of casting a circle with teddy bears did not amuse or inspire me. Casting a spell so that my friends and I could enjoy a sunny day at the beach was not on my list of priorities - I've never even been to the damn beach. 

I'd already read the Farrar's, Valiente, Buckland, Huson and Adler at this point. I'd read The Golden Bough, The White Goddess, and Isis Unveiled. I wasn't really the books target audience, and I moved on. I wasn't damaged psychologically, I didn't burn down the kitchen, or declare myself as Oak DragonNuts before Gods and men for all eternity and lifetimes to come. I know plenty of people my age who read this book and either thought it was meh or fucking loved it. A lot of them are still around, running covens or starting traditions or publishing their books.

All of them are far smarter than the worried Pagans at the time gave them credit for.




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

From Teen Witch to Grump Ass

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 lists. This is a rough timeline of Witch related media events:

The Craft - May 3 1996
Lilith Fair - September of 1996 and the official tour in 1997
Sabrina The Teenage Witch - September 27 1996
Witchvox launches in 1997
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - March 10 1997
Godsmack by Godsmack - August 25 1998
Teen Witch by SRW - September 8 1998
Charmed - October 7 1998
Practical Magic - October 16 1998
Voodoo by Godsmack - music video - October 20 1999

Somewhere in there the internet became a thing that everyone had access to, Llewellyn went through a big publishing boom, big chain bookstores started opening in previously book-dry areas, and more people started thinking about witchcraft, Goddess spirituality, Girl Power, and alternative healing/spirituality in general.

When I discovered Paganism in 1994, it was through coffee table books from the 60's. It confirmed for me that such things had existed - and not too terribly long ago - but I had no idea if people were still doing it. I spent the next few years, and indeed the entirety of my teens and early twenties experiencing huge growth within Paganism but also with a pop culture that was saturated with Witches and Witch-related content.

The Goddess was alive. Magick was afoot. We were Everywhere, just not anywhere near me. None of that prevented me from having a really dumb haircut, bad skin, and no friends but it was really fucking cool.

Until it wasn't.

West Memphis 3 happened. Columbine happened. Someone I considered a friend told his evangelical parents that I practiced Witchcraft and they called the cops. That was the end of wearing black and Pagan jewelry openly for a while.

In the time period, I read everything I could get my hands on. I read great stuff. I read absolute garbage. I read a lot that was in between. I participated in chatrooms and "online rituals" back in the days when every Pagan website had dozens of pentacle gifs and Enya midi files.

I had some dumb ideas - though most of those were accepted as facts at that time. I had very pretty altars and everything smelled of sandalwood, sage and chamomile tea while Loreen McKennit gave us Celtic Realness in the background.

Eventually I went to college, met other people who identified as Pagan, and I cannot thank the Gods enough that we didn't form a coven or do much Pagan stuff together. I don't want to imagine the emotional and psychic scars we all would have walked away with.

College meant having access to better libraries and money to buy better books. It's also where I started thinking about the Pagans I knew and how different we all were - so different that we never ritualized together because no one agreed or was on the same page about things. I always knew that I wanted to join a coven and have a traditional background - I just wasn't sure what kind of coven or tradition I was best suited for. It was several years before I met people who hadn't cobbled something together via books and personal invention.

I recently found that first pentacle I wore. It was sold as "sterling silver" but  it's so obviously fake. It's huge and tacky and the silver plating has fallen away to reveal cheap brass underneath. There's a perfect metaphor in there somewhere.






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

7 Witchy Questions Tag

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. 
image
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?
People who spell altar as “alter.” People who spell magic with a “k.” Anyone who ever quotes that shitty poem “The Rede of the Wiccae.” The autumn equinox being called “Mabon” and the summer solstice being called “Litha.” People who blame Gardner for things but who have never actually read his books. 
I should never be allowed to discuss things that bug me because the list is long
4. When did you first know there was something different about your spirituality?
By 84 my parents were Easter/Christmas/Weddings/Funerals Catholics. By 1990 they only went to church when an immediate family member died. I was not baptized. I received no religious education. I only have one memory of attending Mass as a kid. 
I had no real religious interests. When I found out people took Catholicism seriously I thought it was a joke. But I did like the sort of folk-Slavic-Catholicism that my paternal grandmother and aunts did at home with their BVM statues and novena candles.
My childhood interests in fairy tales witches and ooey-gooey eventually lead me to read about “real witches.” And when I read about a Goddess and a Horned God and circles and calling quarters and ritual knives…I was hooked. It’s the only religion I’ve ever practiced.
The Catholics should have used ritual knives if they wanted to keep me around. 
5. Best witchy book you’ve ever read?
I’ll copy Thorn here and say The Bast Novels by Rosemary Edghill. A friend of mine handed me "Bell, Book and Murder" when I first started seeking and I have never laughed so much reading a witchy related book. The in-jokes are hillarious and I will pay good money to find out who inspired the Khazar coven, Julien, and Beaner (who I wish was a stronger character.) 
6. Best witchy movie or tv show?
In 1996 I was “one of the weirdos” who dressed in black, was into art and literature and had weird tastes in just about everything living in BFE rural Texas outside of Waco. I also wore pentacles and ankhs and assorted other Kick-Me signs openly at school. 
So when The Craft came out, I was super happy to watch a movie about other disenfranchised teens who had great wardrobes and practiced Witchcraft.
The Craft will always be the answer. 
7. Have you ever doubted your Craft and what did you do about it?
Always. Not so much the praxis itself, but the woo and mysticism and ZOMG THE POWAH OF THE GAWDESS and invisible things talking to you shit gets more than a healthy dose of skepticism. 

Hubris of a Witch



So, I got a first edition copy of Diary of a Witch by 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! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

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!



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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



Monday, July 28, 2014

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.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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 sister. I suggest she pass on the message herself, because my mother wouldn't hear that message coming from me.

(This has been recurring for the last two months. This relative died in 1967 and we are not related by blood. There are other family members who would be open to these kinds of dreams and could relay the message in a way that would be believed.)

I'm not prepared to have dead people showing up and giving me messages. I'm not even sure I "believe" that there is any postmortem survival of any kind, no matter what that Long Island Medium lady says.





Friday, July 11, 2014

Them


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 later, I'm still on my own and I still feel called to traditional Wicca and a traditional coven setting. And I still think the folks I was working with are damn awesome, I miss them terribly, and maybe one day I'll get to work with them again.

The irony is that I used to have lots of time on my hands - time to devote to nothing but Craft work. These days, I'm lucky to have a day off to catch up on laundry.

A few years ago I did a series of readings about all of this and a few candle workings. I had a dream where the black and white beasts from The Chariot (okay, unicorns in my deck, wannafightaboutit?) were blocking the entrance to a doorway - though the black one was on the right and the white one on the left. When I approached and asked if I could go through the door, the beasts (damn unicorns!) said "Yes, but not now."

"Yes, but not now."

Typical, but exactly what I needed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

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.




Saturday, May 31, 2014

More Light Reading





Occult Nostalgia

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. 





Monday, May 12, 2014

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.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

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!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Liebster Blog Award


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 friendship, moving again, and then starting the job I currently have - Scorpio's love a transformative experience!

3. What person, living or dead, would you most like to have a conversation with?

Eleanor Bone, who I think might be my most favorite witch. Patricia Crowther, Doreen Valiente and even Lois Bourne have written books. Doreen is widely considered the "Mother of Modern Wicca" and Patricia continues to write and teach. We know so little of Eleanor's own thoughts about the Craft and stories from her life - though thankfully some archival film footage of her and her coven survives.

4. What one thing would you instantly change about your life if you could?

Like most people, I wish I had more time to read and to devote my own personal interests.

5. If you could travel anywhere for a day, where would it be?

I really hate to travel - but New Orleans and Salem are on the list.

6. What was your favorite possession at 12 years old?

My statue of Hekate.

7. What attraction or landmark would you magically transport to your hometown?

One of Laurie Cabot's wigs. *snerk*

8. What fairy tale character would you choose to be?

The Queen from Snow White, obvs.

9. Who inspires you and how are you a bit like them?

The list could go on forever, and I don't know that I'm *like* anyone but myself.

10. What about you has most drastically changed from your 16 year old self?

I am comfortable in my own skin and so much more attractive. *snerk again*

11. If you were an Olympic athlete, what would be your sport?

Cookie baking.


I nominate:


Gardnerians at Gardnerians 



Granthrax at Witching Stepford


For those who accept, here are my questions:

1. What is your most favorite magical mistake?
2. What resource (book,etc) do you actively discourage people from reading?
3. A God you'd most like to shag? (We love blasphemy here at Adventures in Witchery)
4. Favorite movie witch?
5. Favorite actual witch?
6. What first drew you to witchcraft?
7. If you could go back in time to your newbie self, what mistakes would you correct?
8. Favorite tarot deck?
9. What drew you to your particular tradition?
10. What magical or religious system outside of your own interests you?
11. Biggest pet peeve about online paganism?



I know, I know, super deep and spiritual questions but...this is supposed to be fun, right?

Monday, February 10, 2014

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

Monday, February 3, 2014

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. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dr. E Memorial Fund

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


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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rev. Hyperion 1976-2014



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.




Thursday, January 9, 2014

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 group of women who were browsing the same candle section.

Woman 1: "Are you going to some kind of party?"

Me: "Excuse me?"

Woman 1: "All those candles? Why do you need....?"

Woman 2: "You know what he needs them for. Stop bothering people."

I'm not sure if they assumed I was a Witch or if I was going to go home and do some kind of S/M Wax thing.

I hope it was the latter.



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 cherish the online connections I have made. I think those connections, made possible by this blog, keep bringing me back to blogging.

I hope the secular New Year finds you all happy and being awesome.



17 Witchy Questions Tag - Kelden and Veles

We did a thing!