From across the river. . .

It feels so far away, but it really is not too long ago, when I began to piece things together that lead me to believe that you need to be just as careful with your blessings as you are with your curses. I don’t know how or why I was reminded of this lesson, but for one reason or another I feel it at least an interesting one to present. The other lesson that goes hand in hand with this one is that if your gut is telling you something, you should listen. If it feels wrong, it probably is. You may not be able to out right prove it, but that does not mean you are wrong.

One of the instances that illustrates this thought: I made a yule deer blessing for my ex’s “friend” who by his words had problematic relationships with other women (his word, and supposedly hers as well.) I decided maybe she could benefit with a show of generosity and kindness with a blessing placed into a reindeer. After all, reindeer embody the spirit of nourishment and steadfastness. The reindeer herders use their milk for sustenance, their antlers for tools, they are befriended and ridden, and their strength borrowed to move about the land. After I gave it to her, things started to go awry for her and everyone around her. Things spiraled into a very ugly situation. ( I am being extremely generous here.) I later found out exactly what she had done, the kind of person she was, and exactly her intent toward me. I began to realize the bit of blessing magic I gave her had turned into something of a nasty curse and she destroyed everything in her path.

I had made plenty of other blessing objects that did just that for other people, but there was a select few for whom the magic skipped sideways and became straight up hexes. I didn’t get it, at first, and decided maybe I had done something wrong. Turns out that those people who were gifted blessings and had them not go as intended, were all people who did not have my best interest at heart, in fact, a couple of them had very dark intentions designed for me and wished me ill. A person within my tradition I had befriended had even warned me before this happened that I had hidden enemies. Granted, they had help coming to those thoughts and designs by specific persons, but it does not relieve them from their own choices and actions.

Remember, magic is neither good nor evil. . . it is, and if the wrong hands touch it, it is easily corrupted. Fairy tales illustrated this all the time with a magic object that can mean happily ever after or infinite sadness and certain doom. In Vasilissa the Brave the blessing of a fire for her Stepmother’s hearth given her by Baba Yaga, turns into an all-consuming  fire that destroys the hearth, her Stepmother, and vile step sisters.

Vasilissa went out of a sense of duty and responsibility to fetch that fire. She did all bade her by Baba Yaga and won the fire to warm hearth and home. Vasilissa did not intend to set flame to all in her path when she came home that day. Most of us feel no pity for the ones who were engulfed, but to be sure it is not a thing that most would deliberately set upon another. Even if those engulfed people are cruel and conniving.

If, by chance, it is your intent to ignore your gut when it tells you that a person is about to receive a blessing object from you and it may set fire to their world, you may want to pause and remember that flames like that can spread out of hand and set fire to things that are precious to you. Or at the very least, set clear protections around yourself and what you hold dear.  And with those thoughts in mind, it could also be an excellent means of revealing hidden enemies. Just be certain to watch the flames from across the river. A very wide one.

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Ooops, you found a witch.

hqdefaultYou are forcibly removed from your home, isolated from the people you love, imprisoned, your property and possessions seized, accused of terrible and terrifying crimes ( some of them positively inane,) humiliated, tortured while demands for confession are righteously barked at you. After all of this, you are put on trial by biased judges with impossible double standards ie: if she floats she is guilty; if she sinks ( and dies) she is innocent. Either way, you die, but at least your soul is saved right??

This, this is a witch hunt. Everyone involved in the witch hunt literally has lost their ever-loving minds to a terror of mythological proportion. Okay, maybe not everyone has lost their minds, there are a few who take advantage of the fervor to rid themselves of problematic people with calculating precision. Yes, this does make them evil. However, what is more evil is the individual who cries victim to evade guilt of his or her own wrong doings. The person who cries Witch Hunt while none of the above has occurred to him or  her has deeper issues and is most likely covering many other deeds of dirt. This person should be dug into harder until the bare bones are excavated and examined with a microscope, further more, it should all be done in silence and in secret.

So, maybe the person crying Witch Hunt is not a nefarious soulless ghoul. What then? Perhaps this person lacks an understanding of the terror and the injustice of actions taken by people in power over the course of history and lack perspective of the phenomenon. After all, history books in school only cover a scant chapter and lip service to the hundreds of years of this reign of terror, torture and murder. Yes, there are many books on the subject, but most people don’t bother to pick up a book to read it much less one on such a grim event in time. Hence, these people are ignorant of the subject and have no real inkling of the weight of the term Witch Hunt. They should be regarded as fools and you should not keep company with fools. They present their own danger.

I realize that it is absurdly annoying to those of us who understand the real depth of the words Witch Hunt when they are flung around carelessly. It is a bone chilling and blood curdling feeling when you see one begin to unfold before you. And it is blood boiling when you hear it being used inappropriately, perhaps even nefariously. However, it is critical to pay close attention to these people, in silence of course. They are telling you everything that you need to know about them and they will inform you with their actions on how you need to handle the situation.

I am not sure we should be worried about the ” appropriation” of witch culture here. Good luck with that. There are so many things that are beneath the surface of our culture in-depth and diversity, most of which are kept secret ( rightly so) because many of us still understand that the people who run courts  and other agencies tied to court based power are still biased and terrified of a power they can neither harness nor control. I used to think that your partner could be trusted. I learned other wise and have appropriate warned my witchlings.

The inquisition looks different these days, but truly it still exists. It poses as a righteous body of inquiry looking out for the “best interest” of the children and the innocent. It wears vestments of courtly power and authority of the false variety. The inquisition is, generally speaking, ignorant of the subjects they speak for, rely on testimony from other ignorant agencies (  or worse, the ones with an agenda or those who are simply corruptible.) The inquisition today is just as terrifying as its predecessor. They speak of and point to evil while performing it themselves.

When you hear people throw around the terms inquisition and Witch Hunt, carefully examine them before you decide to open your mouth. If you decide to open your mouth, think once again before you do. Do not give yourself away if you do not have to: disengage and witch up. Remember: silence is a witchly virtue. And if you really need to keep the blood from boiling over, you can always smile sweetly and think: oooops, you found a witch.

So go ahead. Throw around carelessly terms like inquisition and witch hunt. Do tell me more about yourself.





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Surprise! Magic!

koi1As most of my mini adventures start, this one started with: what do you want to do? We have a Japanese Tea Garden here that is only open as long as the weather is not broiling hot. The last time I went, there was a beautiful exhibit featuring kimonos. This time the kimonos were replaced with scrolls. They were old, well preserved, and full of magic. As witches we know words, written and spoken, have power. These were well empowered over time, many eyes have fallen upon them and have taken in their beauty in shape and meaning and walked away with thoughts implanted within them from a different space and time. I know I did.

Winter was still shaping the garden, many of the trees and branches were still bare waiting for warmer air to bud out their new leaves, only the evergreens were brash enough to withstand the cold and hold onto their color. Myrtle was the first to catch my attention. I had to brush my hand through it and smell the scent left behind to be sure of her identity. The pomegranate was bare and brambly with dried pods left over from autumn’s harvest; some still on their branches, others dropped onto the ground to rot into new trees. A bamboo mini forest in the back and a crooked spirit bridge made me linger just to soak up the green peace that permeated the area.

All of this was magic enough for me, but there was an extra surprise. They were actually allowing guests to feed the koi. I spent lots of time in front of the koi on my last visit. This time, someone had courteously placed a bench, which I promptly ignored. I wanted to sit on the deck closer to the water, closer to the fish as I dropped nibblets of food on to the water’s surface. It was a moment I knew something was happening and a moment I didn’t try to analyze while in it. I just wanted to watch the fish break the surface of the water to get their treats.

Coming home, the question was asked: why are koi fish lucky??? I didn’t have an immediate answer come to mind. I knew very little about koi in that moment: ok google. . . As it turns out, feeding koi fish was probably one of the best pieces of magic I could have been doing. According to mythology the koi that swims upstream and reaches the Yellow River will turn into a dragon in Chinese lore. The Japanese think that koi will eventually evolve into a dragon, either way being a koi leads you to being a dragon.

Koi are respected because they swim against the stream. They are ceaseless in their motion. They overcome adversity with this motion, always forward and never just going along to get along. Which is probably why they are also symbols of courage and strength. There is also a break down of what certain colors of koi bring energetically, but I think I got what I needed in the moment. I was feeding little dragons to be.

If koi represent longevity, strength, spirituality and wisdom, then feeding them, and thus yourself, is certainly good luck. I love surprise magic! So the next time you find yourself on a mini adventure and you find everything to be hyper-crisp and sends a tingle through you, you may be finding yourself in surprise magic. Enjoy the moment; soak it in. . . research later. Good company welcome.

I don’t know precisely what was cast in the moment, sometimes I find that the Amakua and Unihipili have something in mind and just by pass the Uhane ( because the Uhane just asks way too many questions and insists that things make sense. .  . ) pffft! I guess time will tell what is to come of that moment.

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The Prickings of Red and White String

brigid_2It’s about this time of year that I start wondering how Brigit snuck up on me. . . again. I don’t know why it does. I have been wearing a daily reminder since Yule on my wrist and seeing it on the wrists of some of my closest every day. That red and white string tied up with wishes for the first sign of spring waiting for the moment my eyes spot spring for the first time. In the back of my mind, I keep debating which tree will hold my spring wishes still. I guess it will be a thing I will know when I see it.

I think the cold keeps my thoughts moved toward the Auld Woman. I don’t begrudge Her her blanket of cold, it’s her thing. I’m just very vocal about my not liking being cold. I prefer to be flash frozen so I can’t feel it. I’m not sure I look forward to thawing, often times thawing is like the pin prick sensation you get when your foot has fallen asleep and blood begins to flow back in. You know its a good and healthy sign that vitality is returning ( I think I heard you cringe,) but the discomfort of the moment drives you to places you don’t really want to exist. Brigit is like that for me.

Brigit forces me to look at things in my life and ask: what do I need? It takes me to a time when my needs could not be filled, so I stopped asking. I suppose I forgot how to answer the question. What do I need? What do I want? What will make me thrive and grow?

universeMy sister visited over the Yule holiday season. I think me being satisfied with just being and breathing because I have to seriously annoys her. I think she remembers a person I don’t. I think she’s getting ready to send in the Marines and dig through the rubble to find her. Not a chore I want her to embark upon (she’ll not be nice ) so I had better let some of that permafrost sit in the sunshine for a while and endure the pin pricks of waking up from under the comfort of the Auld Woman’s cloak. My sister left one more gift for me after everything was unwrapped and doted over. I had come home from work with my mom was trying to hand me money. I rolled my eyes and declined. . . there is no way in the world I am taking money from my mom, no way in Hades was that going to happen. I was even more determined when she announced it was from my sister. My mom was having none of it and told me it wasn’t money, but a message. I looked closer, she was right. At first, I think I was rankled because of a hard conversation my sister and I had and annoyed she would sacrifice money to deliver this message. *pin pricks*

I have no idea how to be okay letting the permafrost slide into the warmth of light. I never feel okay with the prickings of waking and crawling out from the covers. I can hear my Mom say: baby steps. I think the first thing to do is to start breaking the silence with music. It’s been gone too long. Who knows, maybe I’ll accidentally dance.

In the mean time, I know the rites by heart. Maybe the things I should be waking up this spring will finally answer the questions I have been dancing away from: what do I want? what do I need? I think I need to borrow Brigid’s fire. My little string of red and white still waits for a tree.martinitsi

Blessings of fire and light to you and yours this Brigit, most of you will call it Candlemas or Imbolc, but I am Feri. I can hear the Descent of Brigit roll through my mind and the striking of fire. . . I wonder when I’ll catch.

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My MACUSA . . .

reolutionSo, Yule has come and gone with most of my magic chores checked in their boxes on my list. New Year came and went with out much ado and left me with questions about what it is I need to accomplish and pick back up. I have a long list of those things. . . it’s like a three year old flung all my toys throughout my house with out the courtesy of leaving a bin near by for easy clean up. Oh well. . . where’s that bin???

I have been deliberately paying close attention to me. I have carved out time for my sit time. This is where I get my inner workings all cleaned up. For the fist time in very long time all my lines on the iron pentacle are straight and strong. To me that is a vast improvement. I took a very visual route to get there. You know as they say, as within , so without. Mudras have taught me that the inverse is also true. You can effect what is going on from the outside in, in a productive manner. It started with the pentacle I made from iron nails. They were quite a find, by the way. They came from an old house and were used to nail down the wooden flooring. I figured my own flooring could use some nailing down figuratively. I cleaned them up and made a pentacle from them. . . perfect: iron pentacle I could hold in my hand and actually see. . . all lines and points perfectly aligned, a great way to imagine myself.I still keep it where I can see it everyday. It took lots of work, but check, my sit time has been paying off. Next: pearl pentacle. . . no worries, I have one of those too.

The pearl pentacle is always a bit harder to wrap your head around. It’s more subtle than the straight, hard, and unbending lines that iron creates. It wraps around things and coats flaws, not necessarily a bad thing unless those flaws are creating imbalances. It also hides where things are joined sometimes disguising certain correlations ( sometimes good, sometimes bad. . . meh). The beauty of pearl makes flaws easier to overlook and say: I’ll fix you later. Sometimes that later becomes far too late and you have to break apart everything to get to the heart of the issue. . . ouch. Well it’s now I feel more comfortable working more with the pearl pentacle and ( check) it’s a work in progress. I plan on taking that same out to in process that worked for me with my iron.

This season I brewed up a mean batch of Sugar Plum Faery Vodka, my student helped set it to brew on Samhain and I strained it out on Yule. . . the spirits and ancestors seem to approve so it sits in its bottle by my altar for offerings of something boozey. I was super happy I was able to find mistletoe to hang with my Yule greens and instead of burning them at the end of the season, I helped the mistletoe back for later magic. . .yes, you heard poppets. The burning part was interesting as usual, the flames had lots to say about the year that past and things that may come to be. No warnings dire, just things that whispered: curiouser. . .

As usual the Land of Odd is always, well, odd. Odd enough for the non magical folk in my life to perk their ears and go whaaaaa? How did you. . . The answer of course is : vvitch. macusaAt which point, I usually look up at the sky like some crazy celestial thing just caught my attention, whistle, and walk away. One of the most interesting developments is that I have seemed to catch the attention of owls. Suddenly everyone thinks I need more owls. To date have an entire congress of owls, love each and everyone of them, I guess I can now honestly say I have my own MACUSA. Yes, Wizarding World people. . .I just said that.

There are things coming up for Brigid, candles to bless, a nice bowl to use as a well, hopefully, to manifest, but honestly, using my grandmother’s bowl would work just fine if I don’t find the perfect one in time. Seeds needs to be procured for the Garden of Odd, not that she’s lacking but, there are somethings I would like to grow, ya know, black snapdragons would be perfect. Those would make a perfect spirit ward! ( or match my soul, depending on who you ask.) I am hopping along from sabat to sabat and moon to moon; soon all will be right in Odd and all those toddler strewn toys will be be in the right bin. Of course, MACUSA is stupidvising. I’d say I’m in pretty good hands.

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Dear Robin Artisson. . .

doorYou once wrote an open letter to a one such as me ( WordsfromRobinArtisson.) I thank you immensely. I keep that note in a place where I see it every day. It quietly performs its magic while it silently and slowly stitches up the sneaky wounds that surface and soothes over the scars.

I heard your voice for the first time last night while working in my bullet journal. I found your Crossroads Magistery. I can’t say that I had a preconceived idea of what your voice would have sounded like, or Caroline’s, but as you were talking about fetch work, your other words came to mind. . . “you are not broken”. . . and even stranger, as witching lives often are, I heard your voice say in addition to “you are not broken,” it added “your fetch has not fled you.” I spent some time “feeling” around inside myself for some verification of what I thought I heard you say in the twilight spaces of what was actually spoken. There was truth in there. . . He has just been very busy, understandably so.

I know you have reservations about keeping up with the podcast you started, I know you have been very busy with all the endeavors you began. I do most earnestly hope that you and Caroline find the time to continue the work you began with Crossroads Magistery. There is more magic afoot there than I think you guessed. . . after all you said it yourself: the gifts of darkness are full of riddles. This is one riddle I am curious to observe more of should you find the time to continue that little piece of mystery.altar1

Your open letter came at a time I most needed to “hear” those words. It was even more important to hear them from a male figure I had come to respect. Again, Thank you for that. I have not finished my way through the Devil’s Forest yet, but I can now hear voice to the print and there is glimmering of light ahead.

Nalaya Oddly


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Hekate’s Night

hekateIt was raining before I even began, bucket loads. By the time I dashed the five or so feet to get to my car to retrieve my Hekate Oddling from my car and dashed back into the cover of the patio I was dripping. It was a spectacular show of rolling thunder and flashing clouds. Usually the thunder here crashes like giant pots and pans have fallen from the counter. This was a little different. It rolled and echoed. A sound I had gotten used to being internal.

Most of the time my altars go up quickly and linger for days as the energy of the rite’s moment permeates my thoughts and life. I had nothing to say so I kept to the ritualistic words I knew by heart. I read Her the Bacchic Hymn, I spoke the Ephisian Letters and saluted Her letting ritual “muscle memory” carry me through while everything in me felt silent and still inside. I was almost certain She was insulted.

I can’t begin to admit over the last few years the amount of 29th’s I have missed because I was too tired, too anxious, too busy, too unworthy, blah blah blah. . . mostly because I have lost count. I sat there in silence listening so hard my ears probably actually perked forward. As soon as my eyes closed, She was there, as large as you could expect any Titaness to be. She was dark, then light then dark again as she came closer. I caught sight of serpentine skin wrapped around her as the light flickered in and out around her in, what only later, did I realize was torch light. A very large constrictor serpent was wrapped around her shoulders and torso. Smaller snakes wrapped around her head in a living crown.

She reached out and handed me something. Something I can not remember and could not remember as soon as the moment happened. It was as if I needed something, was given something but it was something to keep hidden. Or something that could not yet be revealed about a thing about to happen or you could inadvertantly prevent it from happening It was like getting that “shut the hell up card” in a tarot reading. You know the one. That horrible blank card in older tarot decks. The one you know is there but only ever so rarely actually breaks into the reading and always really means “NEVER YOU MIND THIS!” Frustrating piece of work that is. And, as always, curiouser and curiouser. hekate night

I tried to just let the moment go and just accept the fact I had been handed something I could not remember receiving. I took both Oddlings to work with me and as usual they got lots of love from my friends and co workers. The Hecate Oddling got a new hair styling. Something that reminds me of something from the old world. Something almost ritualistic and certainly befitting a goddess. Something that reminded me of a priestess hair style. We know they exist, at least one of them has been recreated and demonstrated. I have a feeling that what ever that was last night, it’s true weight can only be demonstrated in the future as things unfold.

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