Sulphur, Silver and Antimony. . . oh my.

Witch coatSuper curious it sometimes is. I find that there is a fascination in the Eastern world for the Western Occult and this time they got it right. I found it on Wish ( yes, that super addictive shopping site where they have all the things.)  It is black and covered in symbols- ethereal and vaguely threatening. . . that is unless you understand the language being spoken. Admittedly, most people don’t speak alchemy any more, which is too bad and their hard luck, I guess.

When translated, the symbols are actually a blessing and boon. I find myself giggling inside when people sidle away while I wander publicly in my cozy witch hoodie. If they bothered with a little curiosity I would be more than happy to explain what it is I am wearing, but most put their head down and pretend they didn’t see it. The more fun ones stare openly not sure what to make of what they are looking at. Every once in a while I actually see someone who speaks the language smirk and nod. That makes me smirk  and nod back. Witchy code for: ” I see you” I guess. I don’t wear these things to be provocative. . . I wear these things because it’s the way my soul speaks. I feel more comfortable in my own skin like this.

So what exactly is it I am wearing??? Well, the symbols on the sleeve are sulfur, silver, and antimony. It’s an interesting mix of alchemy here that can be read in many different ways including harmony between men and women ( a much desired and needed thing right now.) But really, let’s look at what each of these alchemical elements and I’ll let you think your own thoughts about the magic presented here.

Sulphur: in mainstream thought, sulphur is associated with profanity, evil and specifically the infernal legions. Ironically it is not coded to mean any of those things or be used for anything infernal. It is actually used for just the opposite: it drives away the infernal and profane. It’s protection. It is an exorcist’s bestie, if you will. It is also on occasion used to indicate the male properties and the sun.

Silver: the moon is used to denote silver and the female principles of healing, compassion, and intuition. It talks about receptivity and conductivity. It is soft and adaptable, able to conform  itself to the occasion and reflects a gentle light on any situation. It is able to transmit inner wisdom and shares energy with ease.

Antimony: also very adaptable. However, it is more about the crown jewels of experience. I have seen a meme with a phrase on it that seems to sum up this piece of alchemy: She wears pain like jewels. . . and there is nothing more beautiful. Antimony is wisdom and strength gained and shared. It is the free spirit and the raw power of of wild animals that hides within each of us.

Sulphur, Silver and Antimony. . . the symbols drawn out are ethereal and evocative. . . maybe a little intimidating to look at. . . but really the witch wearing it is a blessing and boon to you if you are brave. Fear not the woman wearing black. . . she knows stuff.

Ok . . . now go think your own thoughts.

Falling and rising. . .

beastie tamerA little while ago I received a beautiful gift. He left it quietly in a place he knew I would find it. It was lovingly wrapped with a sweet note card. So, I finished it from front to back, the illustrated version of Sorceror’s Stone. As any child will tell you, it was definitely not like reading the book with just words. It was an absolute feast for both eye and soul.

Something to soothe the adult beastie inside that rose up and tried to choke me with panic attacks anytime Weinstein and #MeToo came up at the wrong moment. It’s difficult to say when those wrong moments are going to happen. Some days I am bullet proof, some days not so much. What I do find though, is that when those not so bullet proof days occur, it is best to address the situation from the Unihipili level rather from a Uhane level. The Unihipili is the very child like part of your soul that speaks in emotions. textures, pictures, sounds. . . etc. The Uhane is the logical and, on occasion, the more sarcastic part of the soul.

While these things can be triggering for any survivor, I am glad these conversations are making it to the surface for light to point out. Yes, I am stunned, I know what the stats say the numbers are and, yet, I am stunned. It’s not like knowing a number, it’s seeing the spectrum the numbers live in and the sheer vastness of the beast’s tracks. It’s a whole new kind of anger that swells up.  Another moment when the angry Uhane rages about: “after all these years you are still just chattel, only now you get a pretty leash.” She’s wrong, of course. I was never created to be property. I was born as a result of the love of the many people who came before me. None of them imagined me as property.

As a result of finishing book one, I’ll probably have to get book two, a thing to soothe the savage beast. These moments of fragility require a soft  hand and distracted eye. A moment to retreat and regroup. I do have to admit that while regrouping my mind does wander into territories of Ash of Rose and porcupine quills. . . hexes, even coffin nails have danced around in my mind, but first, let’s see what the justice system does. I don’t have much faith there, I give you that. We have all seen it fail time and again, so I have my gear all lined up and the list may include judges and lawyers, and probably names of those who tried to bury the truth. . . Nope, not playing.

In the meantime, I think what needs doing is some healing. For all of us. Something that will bring the peace of mind back into all of this crazy and a purposeful path forward. Healing in my mind, is much like yoga at times and like walking backward through the fire you came through at others. In yoga, you are meeting yourself at your edge of comfort and finding a way to relax into it: strength through resilience. The walking backward through fire thing is harder. It’s the unexpected moment that steals your breath and jerks you back to the original damage. It’s that moment where the yoga helps you. You’re meeting yourself again, taking a deep breath, acknowledging the scars and coming out of the fire on the other side wiser and more resilient: trials by fire. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to back off if the fire is too hot. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to wrap yourself up in a sushi roll ( or in my case, a mermaid tail blankie.) and be in charge of the remote control. It’s okay to dissolve yourself in a hot bath and wash it all away. You’ll be stronger for it later. It’s not weakness to recognize a moment that can create more damage than strength.

Healing is an up and down experience. Healing is a very individual process. Embrace yours and rise and fall with it. In the mean time, know you are not alone. You are heard. You are believed. I got your back. #MeToo.

Now where the fuck did I put those coffin nails?

#BecauseWitch #BecauseICan #BecauseNoMore

Roses, powdered and ashed. . .

Sometimes, as you are listening to your gut, it tells you to do something that makes very little sense right now but will in not too long. I once had no idea why I had the compulsion to pick up a black cat candle, but I did and stuffed it away for later. Later came and I was very grateful to have socked that treasure away.

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Last night, out of nowhere, there were roses to be ground and others to be reduced to ash and powdered too. I just shrugged and chalked it up to another moment of Gemini balance. I know better, of course. My gut churns when I think about what Ash of Rose is meant for.

Roses, in general, are a great magic too to have handy. They are great when it comes to spells of healing, love and even prosperity, sometimes even victory. There are many stories in mythology that talk about roses spontaneously growing symbolizing both innocence and guilt. So what happens when we char their petals to ashes and apply them to our craft? Inversion, of course:  the breaking of relationships, cursing abusive partners ( or other sexual predators), shooing off unwanted sexual advances etc. . .

Roses play a huge role in my personal craft. Not only are they among the favorite of my flowers, they are the axis mundi tree in my tradition. I derive from the Blood Rose line and true to form the roses I used were just that: Blood roses. More potently yet, these roses were a gift from a friend fully knowing that they would end up in my workings.

I keep rolling my mind back to Peter Grey’s Manifesto in his book Apocalyptic Witchcraft.

” The practice of witchcraft is one of revolution and of the power of woman.” 

We seem to live in a day where that power, the power of women, is being  minimized and challenged with every turn on many different levels. What jobs we can hold is still a fight when we reach for higher positions. Our right to determine our own reproductive cycles. What we wear, or don’t wear becomes a scandal, especially if we are predated upon by an entitled male. We are not fully heard and when we are sometimes our ideas become retagged as a man’s idea or told it’s our fault for not speaking up earlier. We are spoken over and harassed until a man steps in. When we get rightfully angry, we are told we are over reacting. We are cat called on the street and expected to take it as a compliment . . the list goes on. ( Yes, I know, not all men.)

The only reason I can think of for this hard bit of backlash is because we are making headway and certain factions of misogynistic society just can’t even. . .  My Mom used to say: if they are shooting at you, you are doing something right.

Peter Grey’s Manifesto also states:

Witchcraft concerns itself with mystery. Through the gates of mystery we come to knowledge. Knowledge enters us through the body. The highest form of this knowledge is Love. 

Every drop of blood is sacrificed to the grail. Love cannot be bought with any other coin.

So how does this warrant Rose Powder and Ashes of Rose? The first is easy. . . an offering for those who have love and a summoning for those who wish it. The second. . . well, that one will probably have stories connected to it that would curl your teeth. Either way, this witch has been nudged to be ready. I hope I don’t need the ashes. As a witch and a woman I am forced into a position where I must consider what actions are to be taken when that Love, that highest form of knowledge, becomes abused. Especially since we seem to live in a society that is absolutely unwilling or impotent to do anything meaningful about it.





The forbidding. . .

The coyotes had a howl sometime about 1am, The whole household and neighborhood was disturbed by it.

Lights flicked on, dogs barked and howled, cats zoomed around the floor at turbo speeds. So, of course I had to go outside to feel the situation out. There was owl somewhere hooting and there were small rustlings of smaller things scurrying around, possibly for cover. The whole night was lit up with tension. It wasn’t because the coyotes were howling, they make noise every once in a while, this was a howl that sounded more like they had been disturbed by something, not their usual hunting calls.

It felt like omens were being given and not the welcome ones. I sat there for a moment and flicked out my cigarette as a thing crossed my mind. I felt I should pay it heed. Facing the direction the omens heralded, I cast out the forbidding. What ever it was came creeping on the heels of the Las Vegas horror show and I was, in that moment, done with the whole tragic mess. I have no more need for horrific messes and I think neither does anyone else.

Wait. . . back up whaaaa???? Forbidding??? What the hexes are you talking about?! Ok, backing up. . . forbidding. Just because an omen is presented. . . does not mean we have to be contented to just accept it. Nope. Face the direction of the omen without any fear, just firm resolve to turn it from your life. Slash your power hand down thrice as though cutting unwanted cords and state something to the effect ” I do not accept this, you will pass me over and mine as well.”  Then fill that void with a better ending such as: ” me and mine will be left in peace.” With the power hand trace three circles through the air over the earth palm down as if to stir up its power.

I’m not sure what made me remember that tool in my witch box, it’s not one I keep close to the surface. It may be a direct result of seeing Hekate standing half shadowed in the corners of my meditation space as I close my eyes down. Coyotes may not be howling dogs exactly, but all the dogs that could howl, howled right after them. . . and then the owl thing. I can’t think of any other Goddess I speak with speaking this way. I haven’t gone in to find out what all of that is about yet, but it’s got a box to check off on my to do list. She may have a greater explanation of the coming situation and how to stay out of its path. We shall see how this thing unfolds. It seems Samhain season has been shaken wide open and comes at us with heavy hooves.