Dear Professor Ford, the Owl is Calling . . .

And it rained all day. It was not a rain that poured down. It was a slow drizzle that eventually and thoroughly soaked everything. It’s sort of how I feel about all the news I have been seeing about the case being made against a certain Federal judge up for an even larger position. At first I was worried about this just being a stunt from one side to smear the other using women, once more, as pawns in a larger game. I was worried that it would compromise every woman who had ever had a man in power ( or thinks they are in power) abuse them and their claims would be summarily written off. Now that I have waited this out and have read the statements, I have a mix of nausea, disdain, and horror sitting in me. I am sure I am not alone.

Here is a woman who has held her tongue for so long trying to forget what this man did to her and is now forced to dig up that horrific moment and relive it in front of an entire nation. While this man continued on with his life pretending he did nothing wrong, she has had to struggle with the darkness and weight that comes with this kind of violation of your being.

I get why she didn’t report on a very personal level. Reporting is just as violating as the act perpetrated against you. Depending on the circumstances, you will be summarily dismissed as a vengeful liar and be called as much by the offending party who will push back with vehement claims of innocence. That is just as brutal as the act done to you. The smear campaign against you at this point is just starting. There will be retaliation that only a guilty person can punish you with. Not to mention what misguided friends and followers will take their own initiative to perpetrate. It’s not just ugly. It’s inhumane. She had plenty of reason to hesitate in reporting much less following through with stepping forward.

I, for one, support her. I’m not sure that means anything to her, but her courage means so much to me. I have been giving some thought this afternoon while watching the rain come down how best to serve her. I have thought of some pretty ugly things to do to federal judge shaped voodoo dolls, but ultimately I know those things will not serve her well. I think what she needs most is loving support that only those close to her can provide and a whole crap tons of protection. This incident has brought about some pretty volatile reactions and emotions on both side of the fence.

Mabon is literally on the cusp of happening. I think I will have to be grateful for courageous women and the women who raised them. I think I will have to be grateful for the love and support that surrounds me. I think I will have to be grateful that I have a connection to the Gods and Universe that I can beg a boon of protection from. Protection for myself, protection for my loved ones, protection for the women who have the courage and strength of heart to come forward and use their voices, protection for their loved ones.

We are all watching. Some of us may turn blue because we have forgotten to breathe. (Remind your loved ones who have looks of horror on their faces to breathe please.) We are all watching some of us hoping that vindication is on the way, if not for ourselves, but for one of us. I’m still rolling around in my head just how I want to approach the working on Professor Ford’s behalf. I have some time carved out to talk with Hekate and get a wider perspective on what actually needs to be done.

What I do know is that the smear campaign against her is just starting if my experience is any clue. Professor Ford will need an army beside her. There is an owl outside calling into the darkness as I type this. It makes me remember that they are able to see what others cannot and are silent hunters. No one saw this incident come. Maybe there is some larger hands than those of humanity behind this.

Dear Professor Ford, You do not walk alone. Your voice has been heard. Your voice will carry on the ripples on the waters surface to many shores and be picked up by other women and their loved ones to be spread.

The owl is still calling. I am getting the feeling it is time for me to go and have a conversation with the messenger’s Mistress.

 

Thirty days of devotion. . . lessons in silence.

In June the Covenant of Hekate held a month of devotion to Hekate challenge. It was pretty free form leaving most of the details of how to do this up to the individual with the exception of the idea of 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It was here that this mediation/ rite, what ever it actually is, came forth. There were also  other invisible fruits to this practice I lived for 30 plus days and still counting. 

This is not a picture of this rite, as none were taken. But it is a picture of one of the initial devotions I performed. Begin with lighting a red and white candle, one at a time. Each candle lighting begins a call to Hekate. It is not a command to appear ( you may find unpleasant surprises if you try to command Her.) It is a stirring, a gentle tap upon the part of the universe She walks within, a luring to the place you call Her shrine ( so you had better have goodies. ie.. an egg, cloves of garlic, red wine, olive oil)

Before Her altar there should be three chime candles for this casting. A white one to represent yourself as a whole and two light blue ones on either side to represent peace.  Sit in silence before Her altar waiting for a signal. You will know it when you feel/ hear/ see it. It will compel you into motion. Light the white candle and say:

This is (X ) s/he stands in the center of every storm and knows peace within her/ his heart and soul and peace within her/ his mind and body. 

Watch the flame. Do not judge it or have any expectation of how it should burn, just watch. Light the blue candle on the right of the white candle and say:

This is the peace within (X). S/he knows peace within her/ his mind and body. Let it encompass and embrace her/ him. 

Breathe deeply though your nose allowing air to fully fill your lungs and observe the candle’s light fill the space. LIght the candle on the left side of the white candle and say:

This is the peace within (X). S/he knows peace within her/ his heart and soul. Let it radiate and pour forth from her/ him.

Watch the light from the blue candle fill its space. Observe how the light of all three candles interact. Make no judgments avoid any expectations. Let your random thoughts just slide by you without any internal commentary. When you feel the pull, extinguish all candles in reverse order being certain to thank and honor Hekate’s presence and attention.

I can’t tell you that this practice of honoring my gods and goddesses is new to me. It was pretty infused into me during my training as a Feri student and carried through my initiate years. Altering the practice, though, has brought new things. This was a particular exercise in a devotion dedicated to a single goddess, giving Her undivided attention. I won’t really mention too much about the experiences I had during those moments, I don’t want to influence your own experiences or set expectations that may not apply to you. I can promise you there will be results you will be very happy with. Enjoy, and feel free to alter as needed to fit your own sense of the divine. I found interesting lessons in the silences at my altar. I hope you do as well.

 

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.

Dress up and show up.

devotionI hear most people tend to lose devotion to their beliefs when things are good for them and only turn to their religion in troubled times. Not sure what is wrong with me then, because when things get rough for me, I don’t turn to Them. My gods and spirit guides tend to have to nudge at me to get me to respond. They seem to make ridiculous efforts to catch my attention and make me ask for what I need. Truth be known, I don’t know what to ask them for. I know they can’t take away emotional pain. I know that the “God in a basket” thing is only for mythology. I know that tough situations sometimes remain just that, tough and unreasonable people generally remain just that, unreasonable. So what is there left to ask of the Unseen? Revenge??? Well, I have never been one to believe that revenge really fixes anything. Most people who engage in revenge may as well dig a grave for themselves along side those they plot against.  There’s a big world of nope I can pass on.

So, what is it about hard times that makes me silent toward my otherworldly family? Is it pride that seals my mouth? Pride that if I had just listened to my gut I wouldn’t be in this fix? Pride damaged because I couldn’t fix it or salvage the situation myself? Is it a sense of abandonment or maybe that I didn’t make the correct offering or the offering just wasn’t good enough or I am not good enough for the gods to bother with? None of these things are true. All of these thoughts well, they are me. They are my anxiety, my fears, my demons dancing  in my head and making a fine mess of it as they party along.demon

In Feri, we are taught demon work is a life long process. True story. The hardest part of demon work is identifying them. Slippery little devils they are. No one likes looking at themselves and admitting they have issues that tissues won’t fix. Yes, internal demons are often times the result of  someone else’s blazing personality disorder. I have learned that if you don’t address your little imps, regardless of source, you have a strong possibility of becoming your aggressor without realizing it.

You see, some behaviors are contagious. Including the idea that you have to be perfect before you present yourself to the Gods. No god is asking you to be the unblemished bull. You are not a sacrifice. Okay, maybe, they are requiring you to be an adult. Being an adult sometimes entails that you ask an adultier adult than you for help. So getting back to the ” I don’t know what to ask for” thing. Still don’t know what I am asking for, maybe I should be asking for the compass to stop spinning. True North these days seems to be a mystery, but hey, I am a witch and the road has always been called a crooked one so maybe it shouldn’t matter.

spinning compasAll I know is  that I need to find more time at the altar, maybe I don’t need to be the one speaking. . . you know what they say, dress up and show up. I have a date to keep… and the 29th comes quickly. I feel like I have been blind folded on the crooked path with briars in the ditches. Maybe I should turn myself into a hare; hares know what to do with briar. Maybe what I really need to do is call upon Cora and Victor and ask for a new compass. . .  maybe a road map as well.

Witch drums, hunts and masks

I curled up on the couch last night with a deck of cards, an afghan, and Salem ( yes, the witch drums were indeed going.) The door bell rang and often times I was greeted by fresh little faces who had no idea the proper etiquette to soul beg for candy while leading a parade of ancestors and spirits. It was like saying “trick or treat” had not only lots it’s meaning ( give me a treat or I’ll set my ancestors to mischief on you) but no even a  necessary Halloween salutation when the home owner answers the door with a bowl of candy to appease the little gremlins dragging souls behind them so their lives do not face the fury of trouble making spirits. Must be commercialism again. I braced myself for this to be a long, dragged out, interrupted reading between door bells ( and it was) and made sure that my ancestor altar had enough. Yes, ‘may you have enough’ is a great blessing to give and receive. I don’t care what it is, having enough of it is always a boon.

When I had drawn out and examined the last cards of the spread, there was this understanding that was dawning. It was even echoed in the material I was absorbing passively while I was doing the reading through the television show. The ‘witch hunt’ is not over. It’s not even really a witch hunt. It is a blatant recasting of blame upon some other sect of society that is less popular or disadvantaged for the imaginary ‘sins’ of non conformism or even just having the audacity to speak the truth and do the right thing for the right reason. Welcome to America.

Witches, we are hated and feared and made larger and scarier than life to make us VERY frightening and make the point even sharper, the penalty for being a witch is DEATH. I watch Rebecca Nurse swing, a midwife who dedicated her life bringing, nurturing and guarding life in this place be accused of evils exactly opposite her actions, be convicted on fear based lies and hearsay and then swing from the gallows. The woman was not even a witch, she practiced no magic, she bent no element of this world to her will, she called upon no other world being to her aide such as the likes of Isobel Gowdie did,  and yet, that is what they called her: witch.

These days, the death we are visited by is not the gallows. It is social black mail, a thing hidden behind other invalid excuses but it really boils down to one thing: we are different and we refuse to conform to the narrow minded beliefs espoused by the bigots perpetrating their abuse. They never make it about religion on the surface. In fact, they will carefully and righteously say ” I don’t have a problem with other religions, but. . .” ( You can see the lie clearly with the word ‘but’ inserted directly after said assertion of non issue-ness ) and realistically it’s not even about the other person’s religion. It is all about  the fear of the person speaking. The fear of what they do not  understand and make no attempt to understand because, by their own doctrine, attempting to understand necessarily makes them sinners. *face palm*

Here are some words from Peter Grey’s Apocalyptic Witchcraft on the witch hunt subject that have given me new circles to think in on this subject:

What is abundantly clear is that witch hunts did not begin with witches, and are thus not avoided by making ourselves harmless or integrating and ingratiating ourselves with the corrupt systems of governance. The Templars, though haughty and high handed, were hardly an outsider organisation. The accusations are always the same, what counts is how we respond to them, what truths they conceal and can be made to reveal to us. Simply acting out the parody role our enemies have scripted out for us is not a solution. We need greater finesse. Yet when our enemy describes their fear to us with such eloquence, they reveal their weakness which we would be foolish not to exploit. It is a game of masks, and ours is heavy with horns that ground us down through our thighs, as we rise from the heart of the earth through the balls of out feet.

This was a thing I found last night. I literally picked up a book, flipped through pages with my thumb and opened the book reading the first thing my eyes fell upon.

The doorbell finally stopped and the witches on the screen kept going and the candle burned steady and true. When the last witch on the screen spoke her final word of the evening, my star candle came out and all lights went out. The Star candle was lit from the ancestor candle and was carried through the home while calling upon Hekate, the torch bearer, the shackle breaker crowned with light, to make all that was here holy and sacred in Her name. I spread out the Death Kings on the floor and called for their clarity before sleep. I actually slept all night, a rare occasion. Tonight, the Feri gods are called and the Western Gate opened. . . Samhain is a season with Halloween only a day in it’s passage.  I am still thinking how best to harness and wear this mask, but it is clear that the Imp in Game of Thrones is correct:

Never forget what you are. No one else will. Wear it like armor and no one can hurt you with it.