Tag Archives: Witchcraft

Suddenly, a Witch!

Hillary Clinton, they are telling us now, is a Witch.

The truth, of course, is that folks on the Republican side of the American political fence have been calling her a “witch” for quite some time.  I’ve heard it mixed in there, along with every other disparaging word in the misogynist’s lexicon.

But then suddenly, a couple days ago, they started talking about the capital ‘W’ kind of witch.

Specifically, some folks on Drudge and other bottom-feeder websites began claiming that Clinton was a member of a circle of blood-magic wielding, satan-worshipping, cultists.

I mean, come on guys…, I’ve got so many reasons to vote for her already.

You don’t need to sweeten the deal.

Could it be, SATAN?!

Could it be, SATAN?!

For the last year, I’ve tried to keep this blog away from the American political meltdown, providing myself (and anyone who cares to join me), a respite from the insanity.  Plus, I already get dragged into enough political flame-wars, without stoking the fires on my own site.

But it’s the last day before the election, so what the hell, while the wackier fringes of the conservative movement are off trying to prove that ducks and witches are both made of wood, I thought I might take just a brief moment to explain my very favorite thing about the 2016 Presidential Election cycle.

It’s not a hard choice really, in the last year we’ve seen a lot of really nasty thoughts and beliefs come slithering out of the darkness and into the light of day – which is, itself, a good thing really, if hard to stomach from time to time.

But there HAS been a good thing come out of this election.

The inborn hypocrisy of the evangelical christian movement has never been more prominently on display.  It’s just there, sitting boldly on a pedestal, under a spotlight, for all to see.

“The Candidate took them to a very high mountain and showed them all the kingdoms of the world, all the schools and courthouses, he showed them the supreme court and a tattered copy of the Defense of Marriage Act, and he said to them, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and vote for me…,”

And they’re doing it, in droves.

They’ll sacrifice themselves to a man that they know is not one of their own, who does not truly believe as they believe, who has built his fame and his fortune upon sin after sin, but who hands them empty promises to give them the power over our society that they so desperately crave.

These are not acts of faith or piety.

These are the votes of cowardice in the face of a world which will no longer bow to the singular lie that provides for them their only purpose.

It would be tempting to watch it happen, if for no other reason than to enjoy the whirling destruction that comes with any big train wreck.  But it is important to remember that this is a passenger train, and many of those folks didn’t know where they were bound when they boarded.

The folks who come crawling from that smoking ruin will need comfort, not condemnation.

And what better time to show them what the Witches are really like.

Get out there and vote, friends.

Our future depends upon it.

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Filed under Culture, Modern Life, Politics, Religion

Love Potion #9

I was strolling through the parking lot on my way home from work, when I noticed the business cards tucked into the drivers side windows of the cars I was passing.

This sort of thing happens at least once every few months in this parking lot.

Advertisements of one sort or another appear, wedged under the windshield wipers or stuck in our car doors, usually advertising drink specials at some local bar or redemption specials at some local church.  I snatch them off my car and toss them into the passenger seat, just more fodder for the recycling bin once I make it home.

This particular card was different from others I had seen.  Advertising neither public house nor house of god, it displayed instead the illustrated face of a sultry gypsy woman with the words, “Love Healer Mxxxxx” emblazoned across the top of the card.

No, it wasn’t really ‘Mxxxxx’.

I’m obfuscating a few of the details because I wouldn’t want anyone to mistake this mention as either advertisement or endorsement.  I assure you, it is neither.

Already shaking my head, I scanned the rest of her card and see exactly what services were being offered…,

Reconciles Love

Love and Relationship Specialist

Reveals Secrets

Locates Soulmate

Okay, not too bad so far, I guess.  I have my doubts on the whole ‘soulmate’ front, but it certainly could have been worse.  I took another moment to flip the card and read the back…,

Love Spells

Psychic Love Spells

Wait, what’s the difference between a love spell and a psychic love spell?

Relationship Spells

Breakup Spells

Oh, well it’s nice to see she has a little something for every occasion.

Return Lover Spells

Forgive Me Spells

Desperation: you’re soaking in it.

****

Yeah, I’m just not buying it.

And yes, I can already hear my more incredulous readers pointing out that, as someone who has himself studied and has even occasionally practiced a bit of magic, I have no place calling someone else a fraud.

And that, my friends, is a reasonable point.

I have made any number of claims within this blog, regarding the things I have seen or experienced, that I could never prove to you, beyond any kind of doubt.

And while I find it highly suspicious that she is charging $45 just to conduct a reading to see if she should charge you even more money to offer you romantic advice (as described on her website).  Charging fees for services rendered is not, in itself, proof of fraudulent behavior.  For all I know ‘Love Healer Mxxxxx’ really does possess the power to “reveal your lovers’ secrets” and “enhance your sex drive.”

She may be the “Master Psychic Spiritualist” she claims to be.

Or she may have come up with her job-description while playing Occult Mad Libs.

I just don’t know.

What I can say it that I have known many people who I believe are genuinely in touch with something outside that which most others are willing to experience.  And I’ve met a fair number of fakes as well.  Telling the difference between the two is not always an easy matter.

Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it just comes down to a feeling.

But whatever their powers, real or imagined, here’s one bit of advice I offer free of charge.

Love Spells, Relationship Spells, Return Your Lover Spells…, just ever so much NO!

Romantic Love, the ancient Greeks would tell you, is the child of Beauty and War, and is, by its very nature, already volatile enough without adding a chaotic element like magic into the mix.

These things never go well.

And if you don’t believe me, just look into the various mythologies…,

The arrows of love invariably prick the wrong target, leading us to a hoard of unfortunate physical transformations, wars inspired by romantic jealousy, and an entire flock of god-kings stepping out with a handy river-nymph, carpenters wife, or some poor young woman with a secret swan fetish.

If even the gods can’t handle this stuff, what chance do mere mortals have.

It’s a bad BAD scene and we’d all do well to just stay away from it.

Stay safe out there and good hunting!

Leda and the Swan

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Filed under Magic, Modern Life, Mythology

Things Overdue

There are a couple things I’ve been needing to do for a while.

When I started writing again after the month-long hiatus in April of this year, I mentioned that I would be introducing the occasional “Skip-Week” into the regular blog schedule whenever my work/life/writing balance became too much to manage.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve hit that point a few times in the intervening months, but have yet to actually take a pass on my regular Monday post.

Why?

I really don’t know.

The writing I do here is important to me.  It feels like there is so much that needs saying and that even if the individual posts don’t seem to matter that much, the whole of them will form some kind of complete thought.

Also, there is that nagging feeling that skipping out on a post is somehow admitting defeat.  My work schedule is ridiculous, and those moments in which I am able to pursue my many other interests, along with the minutia of everyday life, are fleeting.

We shouldn’t have to pack the things that we live for around the edges of someone else’s schedule, and skipping that regular Monday post because I am beat down by an unforgiving work week feels like surrender.

Is that silly?  Almost certainly.  But there it is.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set aside the post I’d wanted to do this week (but was in no way prepared for) and will instead take this opportunity to accept an award.

I’ve been nominated for a handful of these over the last few years.  They seem to spread and multiply through the WordPress community only to vanish for a while before returning again unexpectedly.  And usually I put off replying for a week or two and then things get in the way and eventually I forget about them entirely.

So a couple weeks ago, I was nominated for the “The Witchy Blog Award” by Lunapo of Biblebelt Witch.  I thank her for including me in this and apologize for taking so long to reply.

Witchy Blog Award Logo

Now then, in following the rules, nominees must answer each of the following seven questions…,

1) How did you “discover” Wicca/witchcraft/Neo-Paganism?

I had known that the old pre-christian gods still existed since childhood but had no clue that anyone else still honored them, so I didn’t discover Neo-Paganism until I went to University (give me a break, this was pre-internet).  I learned about Wicca and eclectic-witchcraft from members of the campus Pagan Student Association, and although what they were doing didn’t exactly resonate with me, I was deeply grateful to learn that I was not alone in my beliefs.

 

2) Do you grow herbs?

I’m sure there’s something in my backyard that is either edible or medicinal, but not because of anything I did.  Tending a nice little herb garden is one more of those goals that will just have to wait until I have more time.

 

3) Are you “in the broom closet”?  If not, share your coming out experience.

Well I don’t walk around with a flashing neon sign (those things are heavy!) but no, I am entirely open with anyone who asks.  It’s not a secret with work, friends or family.

I don’t have a particular “coming out” experience.  It happened a little at a time over the span of a decade.  A few folks had to be told several times, and in increasingly overt ways, before it finally sunk in.  Several of those who know, still don’t exactly get it – which is one of the things my blog is actually intended to help with.

 

4) What tradition do you follow, if any?

I practice my own particular blend of Celtic Polytheism.

 

5) Do you consider yourself a witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else?)

I have plenty of experience with the first – although I’ve never claimed that title.

Gave the second a brief try back in college – didn’t everyone?

The third is a pretty broad category (even by my definition) but will do in a pinch.

 

6) How much of witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life?

Allowing for the difference in terminology, I see no distinction between my religious practice and my everyday life.  Certainly there are moments when I feel more (or less) ‘in tune’ with the gods and spirits around us, but I see no evidence that our ancestors drew such a harsh line between the spiritual and the mundane.  The world around us is infused with magic – one need only know where and how to look.

 

7) Do you have a familiar?  If you do, tell us how you met him/her and how s/he takes part in your practice (if at all).

I had a feline pal who understood more english than some people I know who are, in theory, proficient speakers.  He would sit on my lap while I wrote, and then he’d get down and jump on the bed which sits behind me and snore gently and reassuringly as I fussed over my keyboard.  He was crap about knocking things over on my altar, and an absolute pest whenever I’d try to meditate.

A familiar?  No.  But an excellent friend.

— and sometimes, I still hear him jump up onto the bed while I’m writing.

 

After answering the questions, the nominee must pay it forward by choosing five other Pagan bloggers to nominate.

So I give you…,

Metal Gaia

Druid Life

Lady Imbrium’s Holocron

Under the Owl’s Wing

Oak and Cauldron

BART Station Bard

Each very different from the others and all deserving of a signal boost!

Thanks again and I’ll be back again next Monday.  🙂

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Filed under About this Blog, Spiritual Journey

Someone Else’s Omen

I saw an owl last night — what do you think that means?

There was a feather on my porch this morning — what should I do?

Does anyone know what a bird with a yellow chest signifies?

I lit a candle last night and this morning I saw a fox — thoughts?

Is a spider in the house bad luck, or good?

Sometimes, when I am stuck for anything in particular to write about, I will wander these, our ‘world wide webs’, seeking out inspiration.  Upon my last such foray, I noticed, and not for the first time, a vast quantity of questions like those above, clogging up a number of the Pagan forums.

Now, I am not one to say that the birds and beasts do not ever have messages for us.  My regular readers may recall the story of my encounters with the Morrígan in raven form.

I do not scoff at the possibility of such meetings, only their seeming frequency.

These are rare events!

And, at least in my own experience, when they do happen, we KNOW it, without question.  Even if we are unsure of what the message means, we know that we have received one, and without having to consult some random stranger in an online forum.

So where then, does this idea come from: that the ‘spiritual switchboard’ must be buzzing madly with messages for us?

Is it something that new converts to the Pagan world bring with them from their monotheistic upbringing?  Our Christian friends, for example, are given to believe that the world was made for them, and that all things happen for some greater purpose.

So if we combine that idea, with the more Polytheist/Animist notions of a world populated with spirit beings, do we then end up with a natural order where every passing insect is vying for our attention?

It just doesn’t work that way.

Natural Omens?

If the Natural Practitioner, the Witch, the Shaman, and yes, even the Druid, hope to find their place in the universe, they must take one truth to heart…,

There ‘may’ be a reason for everything, but odds are, that reason has nothing to do with us personally.

If we want to hear the voices of the gods, we would do well not to drown them out wondering about the motives of every ladybug that takes flight.

And if there is a message we should take away from our various and random wildlife encounters, that message should be that, despite the best efforts of our species, the natural world is still hanging in there.

The owl, and the fox, and that bird with the yellow breast?

They’re doing their own thing, and I have no doubt that they are happy to be left alone.

Most of nature’s creatures are quite busy enough with the business of survival, without the bother of acting as someone else’s omen.

The world is not here for us.  The belief that it is has allowed us to unleash unspeakable harm in the last millennia.  I do not think such an idea will fare us any better in the hands of well meaning Pagans, than it did with our Monotheistic friends.

We would do better to adopt the belief that we are here for the world.

When the birds and beasts glimpse us from afar, let our sudden appearance not be one of ill portent.

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Filed under Divination, Nature, Religion

Looking for Magic?

It seemed as if the rain would never end.  The day had dawned bright with only a slight drizzle, which grew more torrential with each sodden hour.  It pounded down upon the roof, and every time it seemed as if it might have had enough, it pounded some more.

Another awesome Saturday, right?

In those days, I worked something close to “bankers hours” and could count on the luxury of weekends off.  And yet, here I was, stuck inside, prisoner to a thunderous downpour that showed no signs of abating.  Tired of reading, nothing on television and no where else to be,  I opened the sliding glass door and stepped onto the 3’x5’ patch of concrete that passed for a balcony in my old apartment complex.

The phrase “wall of water” has never been more apt.  The rain was rolling off the roof above me in a solid sheet, through which nothing of the outside world could be seen.  The visible universe had been reduced to a moving wall of impenetrable grey accompanied by a droning thunder over which no other noise could be heard.

Except…,

Almost lost in the constant roar, I could hear the voices of children.

The sound seemed to be coming from below me and to my right.  Ah, the neighbors kids, two little african-american girls, maybe six and eight.  I’d seen them, now and then, playing around the complex, and here they were, like me, stuck inside on their day off from school.

Were they singing?

“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day,” (softly).

Oh, right.  I couldn’t blame them.

Too bad though, this storm showed no signs of letting up anytime soon.

“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day”.
“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day.”
“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day,” (progressively louder).

I remember smiling to myself.  These kids were determined!

“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day,” (and louder still).

And this is when my humor began to transform into amazement.  These kids were not letting up, their chant (and that is surely what it had become), what growing louder and more insistent.  I tried to lean over the balcony, to get a look at them, but could not without plunging my head into the deluge.  Even as I leaned over the balcony railing in the attempt, I could feel the wood vibrating with the power of the falling rain.

And…, I could feel something else there, as well.

“Rain-rain-go-away, come-again-some-other-day,” (almost shouting now).

I could feel their chant in the wood under my fingers, and then in the air around me, pricking at my skin and running up my spine.  It felt as if lightning were about to strike, as if it were striking already, in slow motion.

There was an energy flowing out of those little girls.  It was coming off of them in waves, filling in all the empty spaces around us and then pushing out…,

“Rain-Rain-Go-Away, Come-Again-Some-Other-Day!”
(demanding – commanding).

“RAIN-RAIN-GO-AWAY!  COME-AGAIN-SOME-OTHER-DAY!”

And then it was over: the chant and the storm.  The echo of their last word still ringing in the sudden silence, but the rain was gone.  The downpour had been stilled completely, as if someone had thrown a switch.

Children's Game or Magic Spell?

Magic.

It’s not a thing we always like to talk about, (or maybe some people talk about it too much).  We either shy away from it, when in mixed company, or we try to explain it unnecessarily.  We spell it differently because Crowley said we should, because adding a ‘k’ at the end of the word will make it respectable somehow.  ‘Magick’ the reasoning goes, should not be confused with the lowly art of pulling rabbits and doves out of a hat.

“Bollocks,” I say.

Magic (and you can keep your lousy ‘k’) is as much about changing our perceptions of reality as it is effecting any real change in the world.  I would go so far as to say that the one is impossible without the other; that we must be able to suspend our disbelief before we may hope to impose our will upon the world around us.

The true magician must be a showman at heart.

Hey, look!  It's Dr. Strange the Sorcerer Supreme and one of the hoary hosts of Hoggoth.

Hey, look! It’s Dr. Strange the Sorcerer Supreme and one of the hoary hosts of Hoggoth.

Still others try to explain magic away, to make it acceptable to outsiders.

“Magic is like prayer,” they will say, to ease the apprehension of the monotheist.

No.  Sorry.  Wrong.

Prayer is like prayer.

When we pray, monotheist or polytheist, we call out to a deity for aid or blessing or simply to honor their mighty names.  If said deity should answer our appeal, the action, the power, is in those called upon.

Magic is not prayer, and we will gain the trust of no one by lying to them.

Of course, the lines are not always so clearly drawn.  Just as we may use the tools of the stage magician, we may call upon the names of deity in our workings.  We may do so to set the right tone, or even to add a little ‘oomph’ and gravitas to the proceedings.

And there are those who take this too far, who think of the gods as little more than power batteries to be tapped at need.  Well, there are people who treat their friends and associates in the same manner, and while they may indeed get ahead in this world, that doesn’t mean I have to respect them.

No, magic is not prayer, and neither is it the manifestation of psychic ability.  Although, again, the latter may be quite useful in the application of the former.  Such ability, when and where it may exist, is another valuable tool in the magicians belt.

But where are these people, who work their will on the world around us?

Does science not disprove them or engineering replace them?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

—Arthur C. Clark

Maybe.

Or perhaps magic is so hard to prove because it is so easy to disbelieve.

We adults must make rules and formulae for everything under the Sun (and the Sun, and the stars and galaxies beside).  The modern day magician is as wrapped up in this complicated reality we have built for ourselves as any engineer or programmer.  What, we ask, are the proper correspondences, materials, elements, positions, foci, tools and time of day?

Conjuring

But the most important element of all has always been belief.

Without belief we fail in our every endeavor, magical or mundane.

Belief is the hardest thing to manufacture in a world that seems set against us.  It is the hardest thing to maintain.  Everything else that we do and need and want, falls short of this one truth.  And it’s so very simple.

“Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”

—Aleister Crowley

But only if we believe.

And to do that, we must learn to be like children.

I’ve seen children, who knew nothing of the rules (meteorological or magical) tell the rain to go away.  I’ve seen the rain, the world, obey them.

If you are looking for the magic in the world, just look in the mirror…,

…and believe.

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Filed under Culture, Magic, Modern Life, Philosophy, Prayer, Religion, Spiritual Journey