Crossroads and Whispers.

crossroadThe season is finally shifting here. I can feel it in the breeze. The fire is gone and the sun has changed from something to shun to a thing to soak in. With the changing season, I started to take stock in what has been shifting in my practice. The largest shift is the fact that I now do a whole lot of whispering. I speak softly to the Gods, the spirits I am connected to, my ancestors. At first I thought maybe it was a fear reaction. That didn’t feel right. It took me a a bit of reflection to dig it up.

I have been spending much time practicing silence. Not secret keeping silence. Not silence born of the concern of rightful anger being weaponized such as I have experienced in the past. This silence was something I practiced out of a need to hear myself, find out where I had gone, follow the tracks of the beast to find its home and learn its habits. The beast I found spoke so softly that silence was the only way to hear, and whispering was the only way it would listen.

I remember learning somewhere in my kundalini yoga practice, even though I have gone to the one reading source I have available to me right now and cannot find it (of course,) that one of the three voices used was whispering. Whispering your mantra was considered a very intimate thing. A private conversation between you and your lover intimate. A verbal exchange between you and one you adore. I adore my spirits and ancestors and Gods; why do I need to shout? I decided I didn’t.

The world is so loud. Everything screams and clamors for your attention. Most of those screaming attention hogs have about as much worth as a three dollar bill. The only answer is to fall inside oneself and listen hard. When that became a habit, I noticed that certain shifts came with it. I listen deeper to hear the real voice. The voice that walks you to the place between what is said and what is truly meant. . . that verbal crossroad, if you will.

I have yet to find a place for my crossroad workings. I have worked crossroad magic using only a crossroad I visited in trance before, but having a physical crossroad to actually go to was ever so nice. I had previously created some solar crosses, I gave some away, kept one for myself, and others have yet to find homes.  They were made on the auspicious hours and days, blessed with oils and faerie folk alike. . . never did I, in the moment of creating them, understand the path that was being carved. I thought I was creating a piece of protection. And I was, as my intent would have it. But, magic and spirits are sneaky little beasties with wills and plans of their own.

Laying on my altar, my kept solar cross waited for me to become more clever. The crossroad I was looking for was right in front of me. Listening to me whisper the entire time. Maybe, when the time is right, Tucson will show me a crossroad that is perfect for my needs. But, for now, I have one. . .

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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.