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.

The Death Kings

deathkings
This is war. The gods await judgement. Cuffed and kneecapped. Cowed. Sliver cradles killer star. New moon blood. Washed from cut. Falls on earth as rain. ~Peter Grey~

Samhain has come with it’s somber cloven hooves taking three into the other world to prepare them for becoming Mighty Dead and mighty they will be: Nick, Peter, DRGN. The star candle is set in it’s holder awaiting a new year’s flame, the offering liquor is yet to be set to steeping, but that will happen come hell or high water, maybe both. Many things have been removed from my plate, making room for better things to come. . . there is a space held in reserve though, an untouchable space set for one unnamed thing and one unnamed thing only. I look at the skull set on my ancestor altar know one day the death gods will swallow me too, but not before my ordained time and it seems they have one. In the mean time, that one unnamed thing takes its place.

There has been much talk in certain circles about the timidity that has become witchcraft, begging for scraps at the King’s table just to be accepted into the whole of ‘acceptable society.’ What if acceptable society is something that is actually found to be truly repulsive by the standards of the right thing for the right reason? Even J.K. Rowling’s beloved character Professor Dumbledore had a few words on the subject that resonate across the generations: “there will come a time when we are going to be asked to choose between what is right and what is easy.”

It is easy to sit back and accept the poison vial to your lips as served by others. It is easy to seal those lips and not speak of the poison tasted to give warning. It is easy to do as one is told instead of acting upon one’s gut instinct about what is correct. It is easy to accept the bit and bridle and become tame for adoration and scraps. All of these things are easy and, in my observation, not worth a seat at the ‘proper’ table. What is not easy is the fight to reintroduce wolves back into the dynamic of nature, but it is the correct thing to do.The fight is still young and being decried as a mistake in certain spoiled corners. However, what we are seeing as a result of the reintroduction of a predator that keeps certain wild populations in check is this: the reshaping of rivers and the reintroduction of other natural clans in the wild: beaver people, skunk people, duck people, bird people, the fox people the and, yes with the wolf people come, the raven people too. The deer people have eaten away the land too far and the wolves must re-manage the herds and land.

Witches are wolves. We were never meant to be anything else. We dance in our own circles, we celebrate our own moons, hunt our own prey, see that which others wish to remain desperately blind, and we know one mighty thing: we have power and it is frightening. Power should be frightening, not just to those around us, but to the individual that wields it. It’s one of those fears mastered over a course of time fully knowing it is a razor’s edge, as sharp as my knife: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. . .

Samhain comes on cloven hooves and I obediently follow the Master’s chill to talk to the Death Kings about witches and wolves.