Thursday, November 26, 2015

Moonled and Overfed

In the mad rush of preparation, cleaning, and cooking for Thanksgiving I've made sure to make time for Craft work to keep myself sane and focused. I may have also worked a "No Bullshit Allowed" spell to keep family drama to a minimum, but that's another story for another time.

I'm observing all three nights of the Full Moon, spending formal and informal time honoring the Queen of Witches. My altar is red - red with wine and fire and reddened bones. Last night I rubbed myself down with Full of the Moon oil  and spent some time Moonbathing after my formal working. I experienced a sensation that felt like I was lifting out of myself and gliding along a cord that ran through me and connected me to the moon. My initial thought was "This is cool!" followed by "Holy fuck, I'm going to fall!" which meant the end of that little experience.

I slipped into bed, the sweet smell of the oil and incense carrying me off into sleep. This was what I dreamt:

My mother and I are en route to a local hotel, where I'll be staying. I have no idea why I'm checking into a hotel. As we pull into the parking lot, we are greeted by the sight of a group of people gathered, encircling a person who is on fire and appears to be okay with that. We rush out of the car and into the hotel lobby, trying to avoid their attention.

The concierge is handsome, boyish, but with a sinister look in his eyes. The check in process includes multiple quizzes, which he tells me I can skip "since you've done them before." No money exchanges hands and my offer to pay for my room is refused. He hands me a library card and an antique key and assures me "we have the best collection of Canaanite magical texts in the world." My mother and I are handed a map and a flashlight, since the hotel does not appear to believe in superfluous lighting, and we begin the search for my room. I was never given a room number. 

This is like no hotel I've ever seen before. Parts of it look like some old, dark mansion out of a movie. Other areas look like an underground cavern. There are movie theaters, with guards standing at the door who advise me that I "did not sign up for entertainment" and therefore cannot watch the show. There are also hoards of teenagers who appear to be in some sort of amusement park, conveniently located in the hotel. "We have to do something with them" the movie guard tells me. 

My dream self starts to think this place is shady as fuck. I turn to voice this opinion to my mother, and see that my mother is no longer herself. Instead I see a serious faced young woman dressed in a tailored black Victorian dress. She carries a single lit candle that barely provides enough light in the dark hallways of the hotel.

I wake up before I can ask to carry the candle myself. 


The woman bearing a light, serving as a psychopomp is a fairly clear reference. What any of the rest of it means, if anything, I'll have to think on. Of course, it could have been brought on by sampling my own holiday baking or a crumb of cheese, ala Mr. Scrooge.







Monday, November 23, 2015

Streghe a Convegno - Piero Umiliani



You'll recognize this as the music that underscored Eleanor Bone's ritual sequence from the occultsploitation film Witchcraft '70.



I'll take this over a bunch of uninspired singing of "We call come from the Goddess" anyday. Thanks to my friend Alder for this awesome find. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cluttered Craft

My very dear friend Kelden and I were bitching on Skype about haul videos on YouTube and generally having a good ole' time while we did our own Pagan Show And Tell of the fun witch stuff we own.

We both have libraries that are only going to get bigger. We both have tools, herbs, candles, potions - all the typical Witch shit. I seem to be the only statue hoarder between the two of us, but I'm going to convert him.

In other words, we've really no business judging other Witches for doing a bit of unnecessary shopping, when we ourselves are devoted patrons of Pagan Central Supply.

I love to buy things and be surrounded by things. I'm neither a minimalist nor an actual hoarder. Magic stuff is just so fucking cool and I love all of the sensual elements of Witchcraft. Our gods have been the subject of beautiful artwork for thousands of years. Hell, the images and statuary we use to venerate them are often replicas of these very famous pieces of artwork.

So we discuss all this and have a good laugh at our own expense and then I put forth the question:

"If your house was on fire and you had a limited amount of time to save some of your witchy things, what would you save?"

I don't remember what Kelden's answer was, but I had a good long think about it. Once, when I had less money and more attachment to things I bought, the thought of having to lose anything would have been devastating. Now, I realize I don't own any magical doohickey that couldn't be replaced. I could replace the books. I could replace pretty much everything. But if I had to, I probably wouldn't replace a good half of it. Of all the magical artifacts I own, I'd probably save my athame and my primary tarot deck if I were in such a situation.

Now before the Gods decide to get cute, I'm not inviting said situation on myself, thank you very much!

Since I do a major purge and cleaning of the house each Spring and Autumn, I've found this to be a useful meditation. I'm still not anti-materialist, but I've got quite a few things I'll be looking to re-home.

What say you? What would you go to lengths to save if you could only save one or two things?




Saturday, October 24, 2015

To the costumes I have loved before

I've been thinking about Halloween costumes, natch, given the season. I don't have any plans for the secular holiday beyond making treats and watching movies, so there won't be a need for a costume this year. This makes me fairly sad, since I love dressing up, so I started thinking about my favorite costumes from the past. The most recent ones are listed first.


Prince Bathory

A boysih take on the famous Countess, also somewhat inspired by the title character in movie "May." Flawlessly groomed, well dressed, and smeared in blood. It took forever to get the red stain off of my skin.

Skeleton Cowboy

Painted skull face, western hat and outfit, long duster cape. A bitch to wash off.

Dionysus

I think this was the only "cheerful" Halloween costume I've ever worn.

Elvira

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Did you know the official Elvira costume comes in Plus Size? It does! I looked amazing, and there may be pictures floating out there somewhere. I was at the Dallas block party in this one.

B-movie Cult Member

Black robes, hoods, too much jewelry. Also known as the "Salem Look."

Vampire

I've done Rice inspired vampires. I've done The Hunger vampires. I've done rednecky True Blood vampires. I got paid one year to do a lot of Twilight vampires, with glitter, but never worn the look personally.

Batman

My parents refused to let me leave the house in the Catwoman costume my Nana had bought for me. Had I had the language then that I do now, I'd have said "Fuck the Heteronormative Patriarchy" instead of "Trick or Treat." The Elvira costume was revenge.

Satan

I wore the costume once, then my mother stole it and has been wearing it every year since. That cheap Wal-Mart costume has held up nicely these twenty-five years.

Witches

Obvs. My first Halloween costume, sewn by my Nana, was based on the Wicked Witch of the West, only she had red shoes. I've done every sort of Witch costume you can think of.


So my dear little spookies, what are some of your favorite Halloween costumes?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Passable Eros

Let us for a second pretend that I signed up for a well known, online dating service. We are pretending, even though we both know I did this for real. For the sake of pretend, let's call this dating service "Passable Eros."

"Passable Eros" is probably the least offensive such website I've ever used, although some gay men still treat it like it's Grindr or Growlr or Scruff or NoFatsNoFems.com or whatever else my people are using these days.

I filled out my interests. I added my details. I uploaded a nice picture of me, smiling, with no filters or makeup on. I try to be interesting and cute while not giving anyone any false impressions or speeding up their inevitable disappointment.

I don't make a big to do about my religion in my day to day life, but online I find it helps to just put it out there. If they have an issue with it, let them fuck off now instead of later. Unfortunately, "Passable Eros" seems to think there are only nine religious choices: Agnosticism, Atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Other.

I'm pretty sure Catholicism is still a kind of Christianity, unless there was a schism I haven't heard about, but whatevs.  I get to be the "Other, and kind of serious about it" guy. I have some Pagan-y type books listed and those in the know could probably read between the lines.

The topic came up with one strapping young fella with whom I was engaged in correspondence. He asked, so I told.  It went down like this:

Strapping Young Fella: "Wicca, huh? Isn't that, like, witchcraft?"

Me: "It's a kind of witchcraft, yes."

SYF: "I guess you've never read the Bible then."

Me: "I have actually, several times."

SYF: "Well then you know what God says about Wicca."

Yes indeed, the guy who moments before was trying to get to know me Biblically was now quoting the Bible to condemn my heathen ass.

From now on, I think I'll tell them I'm a slutty Agnostic.



Monday, August 31, 2015

I should never go to work un-caffeinated

Awesome co-worker: "Well, good evening, Sunshine!"

Me: "Hey girl!"

Dumbass coworker with an attitude: "It's too late in the evening to call him Sunshine."

Me: "Oh, I burn at all hours. This fire was forged in Hell a long time ago."

Dumbass coworker:  *scuttles away to sit in her corner*


Thursday, August 27, 2015

I like your hat, Clarence. Pick up the pace! *

I work in the same general area as my alma mater, and my commute has me taking the same route I took to get to class. I frequently take the shortcut that drives through the wooded area the campus is set inside of.

Now that school is back in session, my morning drive has me dealing with lots of college freshmen driving like complete assholes. You can even spot the theatre majors, they are still dressing the same, and have that general look about them. Theatre people know each other.

Now that I'm older and have more insurance, I can't help but be a little jealous of their happy little faces. I'd love to go to class, write a theatre brief, go to ballet class, or audition for something.  

There's a big reunion planned for all of the alumni to celebrate fifty years of the program. I want to go. I want to go fairly badly, and the thought of seeing a few old friends makes me very happy.  But I'd be lying if I said I'd rather not see a good number of people who are likely to be there.  

On one hand, it could be a healing experience, to confront the past and exorcise some old demons. On the other hand, it could be a complete nightmare that would totally wreck my well being. One the other-other hand (I have, like, a bunch of hands apparently) I could just not go and leave everything exactly as it is. On the other-other-other hand, I could go and either be charming and delightful or pull a Heather Mooney. 



None of those choices is necessarily an easy one. Okay, being a complete bitch to people is an easy choice. Not going is also an easy choice.  Easy things aren't always the best. 

I skipped my ten-year high school reunion, because fuck those people, but mostly because I didn't have any real friends among my classmates anyhow.  

Earlier this summer, the woman who gave birth to me and abandoned me in the care of the people who adopted me died. I received a message on facebook that she was asking for me to come and see her at the hospice. I was en route to St. Catherine's to see her, but I decided not to.  She made her choices, and she would have to carry those into whatever was waiting for her after death, if anything. I made my choice to not give her the closure or whatever it was that she wanted, and I will gladly carry that choice.

In spite of my talent for burning bridges and salting the earth, I'm not sure it's actually of any benefit. 




*I had no idea what to title this, so I went with a Heather Mooney quote. I was going to call it "Okay Toby, fuck off!" 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

77 Witchy Community Tag Part Four

60. Do you believe in fantasy creatures (unicorns, gnomes, elves, fairies, etc)?

The "fantasy" element of this question might tip you off to my opinion on this matter. I do think there are spirits/beings of place and spirits tied to certain elemental forces. 

61. Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?

Yes. 

62. Would you ever teach the craft?

If I were involved in a tradition that had something to pass down or teach, and I was the proper person to pass down/teach that information, yes. 

63. What if any legal herb do you use for moods?

I use legal herbs to shift moods in the form of incense/oils all the time. Lavender, orange, sandalwood and musk get a lot of use around here. 

64. What is the most recent spell/ritual you have done? (slight detail please)

The most recent ritual I did was for Lammas. 

65. Do you have a happy place you go to during meditation?

No

66. What is your favorite witchy book?

Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson

67. Do you have a ritual to get ready before a ritual or spell? (what is it) 

I take a ritual bath, anoint myself with oils and put on my ritual jewelry.

68. Do you always use your own spells or do you tweak others?

It's a happy mixture

69. Do you prefer spells/ritual inside or outside?

Both!

70. If you are coming from a Christian/catholic background. Did you find the transition hard with family and the whole going to Hell thing? Basically leaving all you been told was right?

My connections to Catholicism are cultural and not religious, so no. I learned at a very young age, before witchcraft was in the picture, that some things are best kept to yourself. Telling people things that they are incapable of understanding or accepting only makes things more difficult for yourself. 

71. What are your totem animals?

I have a personal affinity for owls and crows.

72. What are some things you reuse after spells/ritual work?

I will re-use altar candles, or a purpose incense or oil that was not made for that specific working. Otherwise, it all gets used during that working or is made an offering of afterwards. 

73. Who helped you most when you starting on your path?

Increasingly better books, trial and error, and a whole of gumption. 

74. Do you know any good witchy phone apps (like moon phases)?

I don't 

75. What is your favorite magical study?

The history of the Craft 

76. Outside of the YouTube and Facebook community, do you have a lot of witchy friends in the physical world?

No 

77. Do you feel that the deities we work with are a force from one higher power and that all beliefs and religions are from the same one God/place?

Absolutely not

77 Witchy Community Tag Part Three

41. How do you handle rejection from a fellow witch that refuses to do a reading or spell for you?

I've never had this happen. 

42. Do you think it is necessary to cast a circle when you do spell work or any magical working?

I don't think it is always necessary for everything, bur casting circle is foundational to my practice of witchcraft. 

43. If Steven Spielberg called and wanted to make a movie of your life, who would you want to play as you?

I need a better director, please and thank you.

44. What is some advice that was given to you that you pass along because it made an impact on your path?

I don't have an answer for this. 

45. What is some advice you would give someone who has not found there deity?

It is a fallacy that everyone in Paganism is going to have a matron/patron deity. You might or might not be called to worship a particular pantheon of deities as a whole. You might be a Wiccan with devotional relationships with deities who are outside of Wicca. You might not. 

46. Where do you buy your herbs?

The grocery store. 

47. How did you feel casting your first circle (silly, scared, stumbling, etc)?

I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be doing that first time. My early books just said to "cast the circle" without explaining what that meant. 

48. What was your first successful spell?

That would be telling! It was a curse, if you must know. Shhh! 

49. What is your general practice for meditation?

I put on music, light some incense, and clean the house. 

50. Are you a day walker or a night comer?

What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

51. How and when did you know you wanted to be on this path?

The first time I read about secret rituals, ceremonial knives, candles, a Goddess and a God with horns. 

52. What type of pagan are you (Wiccan, eclectic, hedge, etc)?

I identify as a Wiccan, but I generally just call myself a Witch. 

53. What candle color do you use most?

I will generally use whatever I have on hand for whatever purpose I need to use it for. 

54. What area would you like to see your craft grow in?

Group work, daily ritual

55. What is your preference, to buy or make your tools?

I'm a crafty sort of person, so I like making things when I'm able to. If I have to purchase something, I prefer to get it from secondhand/junk/antique shops and then adapt it to my purposes. 

56. What fictional witch book/screen inspired you the most?

Aside from the Queen in Snow White, I'm inspired by Bast from Rosemary Edghill's Bast Novels and the Aunts from Practical Magic

57. With your first spell where you alone or in a coven?

Alone
58. What is your favorite candle, incense scent for magical purposes?

I use a lot of rosemary and cinnamon. 

59. Where is your favorite place to go to reconnect with nature?

If you can't do it where you are, in your own backyard, then you can't do it anywhere. 

77 Witchy Community Tag Part Two

17. What are you feelings on raising kids in the craft?

I'm not a parent, I have no plans to ever be one, and my opinion on this is ultimately irrelevant. 

18. If you were a goddess or god, who would you be?

Being the Devil would be pretty cool 

19. Do you use astrology in your practice? In what ways?

Yes, in the sense that astrology permeates so much of the Western magical tradition. I will use planetary days/hours for a spell if I have the time on my hands to plan a working. I use astrological symbols and correspondences in workings. I use it in tarot, obviously. I have a slight interest in astrological charts but I only have a very slight understanding of astrology as a system unto itself. 

20. What if any ways could you practice dark magic and still respect the beliefs of Wicca?

What beliefs? Which version of Wicca? Are we talking about baneful workings? My understanding and practice of Wicca does not forbid "dark workings" or baneful magic. 

21. Do you have any witches in your family?

Nope!

22. What item can you not witch without?

A Witch should be able to witch with anything, anywhere, anytime. I'd prefer to always have my blade in my hand when I witch. 

23. What is your favorite sabbat or time of year ritual?

I'm rather fond of the Big Four and I love Autumn and Spring. 

24. Have you ever had a YouTube burn out?

I don't YouTube. 

25. What is your fav witchy shop, and do they have an online store?

My favorite shops I have physically visited are Enchanted Forest in Ft. Worth and The Witchery in Galveston. My favorite shops I buy a lot of supplies from are Otherworld Apothecary and The Vodou Store. 

26. When buying witchy items, do they choose you or do you choose them?

I don't like buying working tools without touching them, holding them in my hands, interacting with them physically. I've held plenty of beautiful things that just felt wrong in the hands. I think it's a 50/50 mutual choosing. 

27. How do you organize your herbs/ingredients?

Alphabetically, like everything else. 

28. Do you have interest in other deities that you don’t work with; if so, which ones?

I'm always interested in deities, their historical worship and whatever contemporary devotion they may be receiving. 

29. Do you have a fav time of day to do spell work; if so, why?

It will depend on the purpose of the working, how much energy I have, and if I even have the time to plan. Some things are addressed right at the moment the situation arises. I prefer daytime for cleansing, protection, and other similarly higher minded stuff. I like night time for pretty much everything else. If I'm working something to directly influence another person, I try to time the working for when I know they will be asleep and therefore more receptive. 

30. Are you solitary or do you work with a coven?

Solitary

31. If you could pick a certain witchcraft tradition that fits your practice most what would it be (Druid, Celtic, Wicca etc)?

I have traditions that I am interested in, but on my own I am just a Witch. 

32. What was the most creative spell you have ever done. What did you use?

That would be telling!

33. What do you prefer for divination (tarot, oracle, runes ,etc, and why?

Tarot. I've always been fascinated by the cards and I like the tactile experience of holding them, shuffling, laying out a spread. I want to learn to read the runes - it's on my lift of 5 million other things I want to do. 

34. What are some ways you keep yourself grounded?

My job requires me to be both grounded and shielded, so that certainly helps. 

35. Have you ever had a spell go horribly wrong?

I haven't liked the results of certain spells when I've cast out of my feels or wasn't honest with myself about what I wanted/needed at the time, but I wouldn't say any of them ever went wrong. 

36. What are your opinions on initiation rituals?

I've never been a part of one. 

37. Have you ever had full contact with your deity; if so, what happened?

Full contact? That sounds naughty. 

38. What about you is un witchy?

Probably the way I meltdown whenever there's a bug in the house. 

39. For the dating witch, how do you tell a new love interest that you are a witch?

I give them chocolate mousse with a chalky undertaste and let them figure the rest of the plot out for themselves. 

40. Who is a past witch that has inspired you ,famous or not?

Eddie Buczynski, Eleanor Bone

77 Question Witchy Community Tag Part One

This is making the rounds on Youtube, but since I don't Youtube, we'll use this as a writing prompt. I tag everyone who reads this to go and do it yourself. 


1. Do you use runes as a written language?

I use the Theban script for specific things. I've played around with Ogham and the Norse runes for writing spells and making bindrunes, but I stick with plain English. 

2. Do you feel you have natural gifts such as (premonitions, hearing spirits) and if so do you think this is what led you to this path?

I've always had very strong impressions about people and situations and most of the suffering I've experienced in life has come from ignoring those strong feelings. I've had dreams or "visions" that have come to pass. I've had a few occasions where I've dreamt of dead people I did not know in person who have shared things with me that have turned out to be true. I don't think any of this lead me to my path. 

3. What deity do you work with if any and why?

I am devoted to two deities we will call the Lord and Lady of Wicca, though I'm sure there are those who think very strongly that non-initiates cannot possibly honor or revere Them. I have had devotional practices for deities who have had very strong presences in my life at different times - some of those relationships continued and some didn't. 

4. Have you always worked with this same deity?

Yes.

5. Do you use any personal items in your practice, (blood, semen, tears, urine, etc)?

When and where it is appropriate for the working or the deities who are being honored, yes. 


6. Do you do past life readings or have ever had one done; who where you or how did you die?

No. 


7. What is your favorite magical tool?

Whichever one I'm holding at the moment is always my favorite - I love the way they look, how they feel in my hands, memories of other workings they've been a part of. My absolute favorites are my blade and my Robin Wood tarot deck. 

8. What is a song or type of music that gets you into a witchy mood?

The music from the 90's and early 00's that were the soundtrack to my early exploration of Craft and music from the 1940's, oddly enough. 

9. Where is the most magical place you have ever been?

Every book and video store I've ever been to. 

10. What animal is your familiar if any?

No familiar's here. My dog does not approve of Witchcraft. 

11. If you have a familiar, did you choose them or did they choose you?

n/a

12. What in the craft are you best at (tarot, spells, ritual,) etc?

Organization, attention to detail, making incense and powders, hexing, cleaning up, bringing foods to Circle that are fattening when everyone is on a diet!

13. What in the craft would you say you are weaker at?

Not rolling my eyes at the lame, silly or pretentious. 

14. What is your most favorite part of your craft (spell writing, divination, etc)?

My favorite part of Craft is that it is tactile, smelly and visceral. 

15. What was the first tool you ever purchased?

The tool I purchased would have been a candle. The brass censer I still use was the first working tool I ever purchased. 

16. What was your first homemade tool for your practice?

I made a pentacle from the heavy cardboard backing of a sketchpad. I cut a circle out of it and painted it black with a white pentagram. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wha?

I sometimes break my own rule about reading certain online hubs of Pagan writing, and then I find horseshit stuff like this:

"I am a Wiccan. I mean, I don't have a Wiccan altar and I don't use any sort of Wiccan ritual format. I don't celebrate Wiccan holidays. I don't worship the Wiccan gods. I am fundamentally in disagreement with Wicca. However, I still call myself a Wiccan because this is MY Wicca."

Alrighty then.

I'm not sure why you would bother, but you do you.





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I might need to switch to decaf

My coworkers and I share a communal kitchen. There aren't enough lockers for everyone to have one, so I make use of a shared cabinet to store my coffee supplies. I don't mind if people use this stuff - sweet Caffeina knows that I understand someone needing a caffeine fix - but I seem to be the only person willing to buy things for everyone to use.

It's infuriating as hell to be in dire need of coffee only to find your coffee canister has been emptied and put back in the cabinet or that your box of sugar is empty but still in the motherfucking cabinet.

After carefully labeling all of my new boxes I rattled off a little rhyme, just like a fucking Charmed One, to counter further theft.


Just a bit of lighthearted fun, really. If any of my coworkers turn up bald, I'm going to start rhyming about the lottery next. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nekkid In Your Rites

"Naked is when you ain't got no clothes on. Nekkid is when you ain't got no clothes on and you're up to something." - Lewis Grizzard, from the episode Oh, Brother of Designing Women



Monday, June 1, 2015

Live Nude (Fat) Witch!

I'm fat.

I have always been fat.

I have had someone comment on my body, appearance, weight, face, and voice at least once daily for thirty years.

Sometimes it was complimentary-ish:

"Oh, look at those cheeks, I just want to pinch them!"
"Oh what a handsome face you have!"
"When you get older and start playing football, you'll lose the baby fat and be a real lady killer."
"You're just a big old teddy bear!"

Most of the time, not so much. School was a nightmare, as it was for most of us, but I heard the worst of it at home.

I was being given Slim Fast at 3. Name a diet pill, I've been on it. Think of all the weight-loss gimmicks you've seen on an infomercial. Did all that too. The line was drawn at weight loss surgery, which oddly enough, would probably have been the most effective choice.

There is a certain acceptance of fat men's bodies so long as they are hyper masculine in every other way. Play football, do sports, get married, make babies and your fat will never be used as a weapon against you. You could also be the funny guy who likes to party and is nice to everyone and you'll probably be okay. If you are fat and gay, artsy, sensitive, feminine, smart - any deviation from the patriarchal norm, and you have purchased a ticket for abuse and torment.

I have wrestled with body image and self esteem issues for decades. There has been depression and anxiety in the mix as well. There are days when I feel great about myself and days when I never want to leave my house again.

Doing theatre helped - I've had to strip down to my underwear so that dressers could properly lace me into a costume and there isn't much room for self-consciousness when you have mere minutes to do a costume change and make your cue.

Finding the bear community helped, though Goddess knows I have my issues with the subculture.

I also had witchcraft. My initial exposure (ha!) to Wicca were books written before the days of robed covens or wearing street clothes in circle. Being a witch meant you were naked. That first book talked about an initiate and a Priestess taking a ritual bath together and lots of touching and kissing of body parts.

Kinky shit for a ten year old.

I remember the night I did the self-blessing ritual out of the book. I'd taken a bath and had a lit candle and sandalwood incense. I had no access to wine so I used grape juice. There was a part of me that worried I was buying a one way ticket to hell and that Satan himself was going to show up and eat me. The part that scared the shit out of me was the required nudity. Doing a witchcraft ritual and calling upon Old Gods to be present and notice you was one thing - being naked while doing religious things was quite another. Cultural Catholicism runs deep.

It was great, but I still wasn't down with the nudity. I've worked robed, which always felt ridiculous, pretentious and uncomfortable. I've worked in street clothes, which leaves you sweaty and smelling of incense for the rest of the day. I'd been practicing for awhile before I incorporated nudity into my rituals. It was different then and I did a lot of work around self-love (shut up pervs!) and self-esteem during my teens/early twenties.

Eventually, I was working naked all the time. I started hating my body and myself a lot less once I was spending time in front of GODS with all my imperfections on display. I don't think ritual nudity, even on a solitary basis, will be a healing experience for everyone but it was for me.

Nudity by myself is easy. I was happy being naked in circle by myself, but I didn't want anyone else looking at me. I figured if I ever found a coven I'd have to find one where any nudity involved would be completely optional - with me opting to stay fully clothed.

Fast forward a bunch of years, and I find myself interested in a few specific traditions of witchcraft. Those traditions are all skyclad traditions. If I ever train or initiate into one of those traditions, I have to be naked. The traditions and styles of practice that would cater to my comfort levels or my hang ups about my body don't interest me, I even think a lot of them are pretty dumb.

I don't want to be comfortable. I've never grown from comfort. I've only ever grown from being challenged.

When I finally circled with other people, I found myself amazed by a few things. First of all, it was hot as fuck in that room. Granted, put a handful of people in a room with candles and charcoal going and it will get warm, but this was in a nicely air conditioned room and I was still drenched in sweat. If they had asked me to strip down, I would have. Second, I didn't give a damn about them possibly looking at my body. We were focused on other things and my huge ass wasn't one of them.

I'm still not into being naked. I'm not even into being sleeveless, for crying out loud! If I had to change my shirt in front of someone that I'm not sleeping with, it would be a most dreadful thing for me. If I were about to witch-up with the right group of witches, I'd probably feel differently.

I won't know until it happens.




Sunday, April 12, 2015

It's been so long




Believe it or not, it's been a few years since I've done any baking. I can't tell you how nice it is to feel a bit like my old self again.



Friday, April 10, 2015

Et tu, Fluffy?

"Fluffy bunny" is really just a mean thing we call people who haven't had their hearts broken by Paganism yet.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fictional Works That Changed My Religious Beliefs

In the order that I read them:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Brothers Grimm

My mother once told me that if she'd known what would come of it, my first bedtime story wouldn't have had a witch in it. This was my first exposure to literary witches - and when I knew what a witch was - I called myself one from that day forward. Thus was born my obsession with Evil Queens, glamour, red lipstick, mirrors, vanity and baking apple pies for people.

MacBeth - Shakespeare

 Witch Number One was always my favorite.

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett 

I am forever thankful to my second grade teacher for reading this to us - a few chapters at a time at the end of the day - and for showing us the Hallmark movie adaptation of the novel. When the '93 film starring Maggie Smith came out, I was obsessed, and still am. I have re-read the novel every spring for the last twenty-three years.

Wise Child - Monica Furlong

A YA novel about a young girl sent to live with a witch. I read this in junior high and it remains remarkable to me for being the only YA witch story I know of that includes flying ointments.

Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman 

Another yearly re-read. It didn't so much change any religious beliefs, but I would be in error not to mention it.

The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Book of Shadows/The Love Spell - Phyllis Curott 

Two fictionalized memoirs which I'm including and I hope the author, should she see this, won't find the inclusion offensive. Curott took her training in the first coven of the Minoan Sisterhood operating out of the Magickal Childe.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Just read everything by Neil Gaiman. Seriously.

Bell, Book and Murder: The Collected Bast Novels - Rosemary Edghill

When I finally met Real Life Initiates™ and asked for book suggestions, this is what I was given.

I'm sure there are a hundred thousand more, since everything I've ever read has gone into the stew, but these are all biggies.

What are yours?


Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Witch Is Back!


Just when I complained that he wasn't writing anymore, he had to go and prove me wrong. Hie you hence, and say hello!

In other news: Spring finally arrived in Texas, after a real bastard of a winter. This year the equinox lined up with the new moon in Pisces and a solar eclipse. I'd like to tell you I lit a bonfire in the backyard and fed all of my concerns and issues from the past into the flame as the sun disappeared from view. I'd like to tell you I took a long cleansing bath and did the Water Spell For Emotional Hurts (from Lid Off The Cauldron by Patricia Crowther, seriously buy this book if you don't have it) to let the Moon take all of my feels into the great darkness. I'd like to tell you that as the moon waxed and the sun rose in Aries, I lit a candle to give power to all of my goals for the growing time of the year. 

I didn't do those things, but they sound like great ideas, right? Some of those things, the ones not tied to an astronomical event, might still happen. 

What did I do? I did all of my cleaning - the house, the car, internally - throughout the winter months so that come warmer weather, I would be ready to go. I got rid of a lot of stuff. I paid off all of my debt and banked enough overtime in the last few  months to equal my regular paychecks. I did all sorts of grown-up, mundane things to get my life in order and then I did a lot of cleansing, burned a lot of incense, and talked to the Gods a lot.



 I'm terrible at blogging these days. but you can find me on all sorts of other social media thingies where I'm a bit more active, should you be so interested.

I'm on Twitter, and I tweet almost daily. Veles @ Twitter

I'm on Tubmlr, which I hate for so many reasons.  Veles @ Tumblr

And since joining the 21st century and getting an iPhone, I'm also on Instagram.  Veles @ Instagram

I'm on Facebook too, but I'm not posting my legal name here.  :)

I want to get back to blogging this year, even if I have to write about my daily life just to have a subject matter.

I hope all of you out there are well and enjoying the turning of the seasons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Witch Show And Tell

Witches love stuff. I love stuff. "Witch" probably means "hoarder" in some language...somewhere. As penance for my lack of serious blogging, I'm going to show you some pretties. 



This is just a regular old knife from the kitchen with a nice blonde handle. Not great for carving candles, let me tell you. But it's lovely for cutting things like bread or virgins fruit. It feels nice in the hand and has the added benefit of having been used for years by both my mom and grandmother in the kitchen. 


Witches Ladder my friend Granthrax made for my birthday some years ago. Those little skull beads are just cute as hell.


A crystal ball bought for me as a gift by an aunt who disapproved of my occult interests. This is the same aunt who bought my first tarot deck. The aunt who gave me a copy of Linda Goodman's Sun Signs. The same aunt who took me to see The Craft five times at the theatre. The aunt who introduced me to sixties rock, incense burning and meditation. Yeah. People are strange. (See what I did there?)


Hekate Brimo statue by the amazing Jeff Cullen. I have no words. She is beautiful and terrifying and I adore her.



Prayer card for St. Blaise who is the Christianized version of my namesake, the horned god Veles. This was a present from Evn at Lover of Strife the first time I met him. He doesn't blog anymore, which makes me sad.

So if you are reading this and have Witch Stuff you are cool with showing, I challenge you to do so. It'll be fun and we can all oooh and aaah over our Collective Hoard of Woo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tell Me About It

"If the Craft has any failings at all as a religion, it's that it doesn't really do a very good job of taking people through the absolute gut-crunching worst that Life can do. The Lady's mercy was a consolation to me, but I'd be damned hesitant about offering the joys of the Summerland to a mother whose child had just been killed by a drunk driver. People tend to forget that the Craft is the newest religion, as well as the oldest. Maybe it's just that the human race has gotten arrogant enough that the phrase "It's God's will, it's for the best," isn't good enough anymore. Maybe it's never been good enough and we're just admitting it now. Or maybe the Lady shows Her true face now, as ever, only to those who can manage their lives without a convenient god to blame. I don't know. Ask me in fifty years when the Craft starts building churches."

- Rosemary Edghill
Speak Daggers To Her

17 Witchy Questions Tag - Kelden and Veles

We did a thing!