No cards for Bill. . .

People are very quick to comment on events. I have had to take the time to absorb my own reactions and process them. It’s hard to see that lights are on in the middle of the day. Not enough contrast. You have to wait for dusk to sink in and show you what the bright of day has hidden from you.

Cosby has been found guilty. There have been tweets wishing him good-bye ( probably not in the kindest manner. . . and rightfully so, I guess. ) I know he was not my attacker, but there were very strong emotional responses that pulled at my own wounds. I was completely expecting to hear the verdict as not guilty. I expected him to walk with a gloating smirk on his face thinking he was still America’s favorite Dad.

I remember holding my breath as I walked into the break room where the news was breaking. I even paused to watch as they were announcing there was going to be a verdict. I had my cigarette and tried to erase faces from my mind with inane smoke pad talk. . . trust me, inane conversation littered with laughter is very therapeutic. I walked back into the break room ten minutes later to see in bold print: “Cosby guilty on three counts.” I don’t know what I expected to feel. What I did feel was an overwhelming sense of relief. Finally, a man in power has been held accountable for his disgusting behavior. Finally, someone has told this man that he doesn’t get to get away with his crimes, yes crimes, and leave a trail of trauma, injury, and insult without payment for those deeds. Yes, this is just one of them. There are many. Many of whose survivors remain silent due to fear of reprisal, insult, and potentially physical harm or death.

I can guess why society blames the survivor. It’s so much easier to think the person who is reporting a heinous deed is lying, crazy, vengeful, mentally unstable etc. rather than think that the person being reported is a monster. No one wants to think that someone the person they care about and trust is a monster hiding in human skin. No one want to think that their judgement is faulty to an extreme.

Well here’s the thing: the deception of other people is not your fault or a reflection, in any way, on you. Yes, most people who commit these sorts of crimes are counting on their public face and appearance to mislead you and to soak in their words as gospel truth. They can indeed be very manipulative as to create a narrative and privately prod their target into public behavior that seems to validate their narrative. What you don’t see is why you don’t get it and at some point society is just going to have to admit to itself that it is not all-seeing or knowing. That maybe, just maybe, there is more there than what meets the eye and that maybe, what meets the eye is all an illusion.

This is why I like the cards. They don’t lie, they don’t beat around bushes, they don’t try to pretty things up, or create ” spin.” They just paint the picture and let you decide what to do about what they say. My cards don’t let me down. I on occasion have thought I had misinterpreted the cards or thought that it couldn’t possible be as bad as all that, but that wasn’t the cards’ doing. It was mine.  So, when people tell me ‘things,’ I listen and let the cards tell me what direction the wind is blowing. I am more likely to hear the truth there than any grapevine investigation.

OK, you’re right, cards are not admissible in court. Don’t care. I don’t work with courts. Hello . . . ? Witch. As you have probably guessed. . . nope. No cards for Bill’s verdict. I sure a HEXES checked out whether he did it or not though.

I understand the reaction of Cosby’s survivors. They have been traumatized repeatedly, first by Bill and then again by public jury and law enforcement circuses, then again through the actual court process. It’s not over for them. There will always be so much more running around in their minds. That sort of thing just never completely goes away. I am glad that there is a sense of closure and vindication for them. It gives me hope that maybe there is finally a glimmering of understanding in the minds of the people who are trying such cases and maybe. . . just maybe the witches can take a break and breathe for a moment.

     I said a moment. . .

 

 

Equinoxes

Everything shifts. Time is literally marked by changes. Equinoxes talk about a balance between darkness and light measured in our skies as the sun travels across our sky, or more accurately as our planet turns in the outer dark. . .  a turn. . . a tilt. . . Everything changes. Shadows grow longer earlier giving us a look at the darkness we carry within if we choose to see.

These darknesses we carry block us in subtle ways that affect our lives profoundly. Often times we move through our own lives without taking the time to examine these things, ignored aspects of our personality that grow within these darknesses until they leap out and surprise us. If we take the time to look at these things for what they are honestly we can learn from these little shadows. I have never been fond of surprises. It may explain my attachment to tarot and cartomancy. I like to keep the little shadows I find while throwing cards fat and happy on tea and cookies while they reveal their secret lives to me.

Mabon is traditionally about celebrating and giving thanks for the things we have harvested in the last year. While yes, giving thanks for the providence provided through the graces of Gods, spirit friends, and your own hard work and will is important to acknowledge, it is equally important to examine what is before you and within you and release the chaff so you have a place to properly store and care for the harvest that you have reaped.

Looking into your own darkened corners is never a fun experience. It requires you to ” adult” *gasp* and accept your part in how those creatures within that darkness came to be. Yes, there are people out there who are perpetual five year olds with no sense responsibility for their actions or the harm their actions cause. However, it at that point in time becomes your responsibility to leave them in their own thorny bed to clean up after themselves. It becomes your responsibility to care enough for yourself to defend yourself and those whom you love. It becomes your responsibility to create a space for you to heal. It becomes your responsibility to understand that you may not have been the problem, you may not be the one who is broken, but you need to make sure that the frequency instilled in you is removed so it cannot perpetuate. It becomes your responsibility to extend to yourself the same kindness and compassion you lay before others.

All of these “adulting” moments can only be brought to you by silence and introspection. An equinox is a great reminder to look at both the light cast upon you and the shadow you cast. I had plans on how I expected my Mabon rite to go. As I said earlier, things shift. I did indeed find chaff to release, instead of marking my harvest as I had planned. I went into Faery expecting to cite these things I was grateful for and instead, came out with another piece of bounty. . . a stone named Choose Love.

I hope that your equinox has been good to you. I hope that there was much to celebrate. Light a candle and allow others to light candles from yours. I promise you, it will not dim your own shine. I promise you, you will not regret it. And, oh yes, if someone tries to put out your candle while lighting from you, it is your responsibility to stop them and curse the holy living f*ck out of them. You may want to give your pieces of darkness a cup of tea and a cookie ,* okay five*, to find the best way to curse them while you are at it. Cards help too.

 

 

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.

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.

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

 

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.

Shadows of sevens and stars

Iron, pearl, iron, pearl, peel away the layers and look. Not just look, but see, see all that is me, really me and not what others wanted or needed me to be. I have been stewing and simmering away the flesh just like when Hekate first pushed me in the cauldron all those years ago and I boiled apart to just the bones. It was about that time that I began to really take my craft and dedication to my spiritual path  most seriously. It was no longer something I skimmed the surface of and dived up and down into. I dedicated myself to becoming a priestess. The Feri path only deepened that dedication and the initiation process, which I think is still not done with me, cemented that.

I became worried when the divorce process came about that he whom I had sealed the process with, my current ex, was now forever and irrevocable bonded to me by magic. I remember thinking that not only had I taken sacred marriage vows with this person, that now I was forever sealed to someone who so obviously never loved me. Someone who loves you does not harm you the way he had. To my relief, my Oath Mother said that it was not to him I was bonded in that way, but to the God who claimed me months before the initiation actually happened. I was just affirming that bond when I made the mark.

I have been thinking lots about relationships of late. Good ones, my horrible one, and if the Gods allow, one I would wish for, to be wished for in a positive and thriving manner. One in which not only do I empower and affirm my partner, but one in which my partner reciprocates that power and affirmation in me. One where we mutually thrive and grow as individuals as well as a couple. I sometimes think I am too old to wish for such things, maybe it’s a fairy tale this Feri can never be a part of, but that’s okay, it’s a beautiful thought. I see that when I look at the relationship my parents have with one another. Both are strong individuals and together, they are even more amazing. If I can’t have that, I would wish it for my sister and for my children.

Part of me is very afraid to step back into the relationship arena. To make new friends even. I am filled with what if’s and supposed to be’s. I can see which points are still bent when I work the iron and pearl pentacles and I know where the blockages come from. One day maybe those blockages will just pop free and I will be free, but until then there is kala and work to be done. It doesn’t stop me from making a wish list though. I think I figure as long as it’s a remote wish list, no harm can come of it and it’s not real. I am safe just looking at what a relationship should be from afar and never really imagining I can have it. Again, a block. Iron, pearl, peel away the layers: self denial. . .  wanting something and making excuses for why I shouldn’t or can’t have it. What point is that?? Oh yeah, probably Power. At least I can see that . . . kala, kala kala and throw the reiki on it. I’m supposed to be a reiki master, time to act like it. Much depends on it and not just for me.

My Mother said something to me that began to draw me back into myself: “The core of who you are is still there. I have watched you closely and I know you are hurting, but you have only had a set back. This PTSD is only a set back. You are still you.”

Iron, pearl peel away the layers. I feel like I have been hovering just outside my skin. Sort of like I did when Mike was murdered almost 20 years ago. Other priestesses, magic workers around me and even a card reader called it by name: Shamanic death. I cringe every time I hear that. I fear egotism. In some manners, I fear the attainment of power: a voice cries out inside me warning of how easy it is to consider yourself superior to others and abuse that power. My fear does not change what is happening to and within me. As my sister would say: ” Suck it up Nancy and put those big girl panties on.”

Iron, pearl, peel away the layers. I fear I may never trust myself to be safe in sleep next to a partner again. As much as I would hope to have a relationship in the future, that fear lingers like a wraith in the folds of that broken heart I feel knocking around in my chest. It makes me feel hollow and damaged. Intellectually I know I am not damaged goods, but convincing the mechanism that causes the emotions to stir you up otherwise is a piece of magic I am working on. It creates frustration and self doubt. Add more kala.

Iron, pearl peel away the layers. I must not fear. . .

I will continue to take steps forward and yes even though it scares the holy hexes out of me, I will continue to look at what I consider to be good relationships. . . from a safe distance. For now. In the mean time there is magic and rebuilding to do and as a wise brother reminded me: hir who cannot hex, cannot heal. Hir who cannot blast, cannot bless. Hir who cannot curse, cannot cure. These things all come from the same power source.

Sex, pride, self, power, passion. . . The iron pentacle points need to be heated up and hammered straight within me. Not an impossible task. . . but still, I ask help from my familiars and Oddlings.

A friend was out for a walk the other day. He found a tarot card of all the blasted things: the 7 of pentacles. You know, the one that tells you to stop and take note? Maybe that card wasn’t just for him. Like the wolf who has had a trap snap on her, I am leery of the open field. I pace at it’s edge, but the moon is coming and there is a song that cannot be ignored.