Friday, April 29, 2011

The home bottle

My interest in oils and potions is rooted well into my childhood probably starting with the fascination
of Alice in Wonderland growing and shrinking. I was introduced to essential oils in late adolescence and my collection kept growing as well as my knowledge on how to utilize them. It took me an even longer time to realize how serious I had become about my "playtime" as I coined it. I loved being able to follow a recipe out of a remedy or magical book. There are medicinal remedies that I found in some books that I use to this day on myself and family. They simply work.

For years I had been hearing about a certain esoteric author whose works were both deep and knowledge and spiritual understanding. For a long time I felt as though my pockets weren't deep enough to reach out and grab one for my own. Well I got over my silly self and manged to score both the Viridarium Umbris and the Ars Philtron. Not at the same time, mind you, and not with out a certain amount patience and good fortune. It wasn't until I read Daniel Schulke's work did I true understand how far down the rabbit hole I had managed to wander. Actually, it was when I began to look at my practice's evolution and took a good hard look at my potion bottles.

Somewhere along the line, I had built up a line of medicinal and magical formulas  that I had decided I was not going to be without. I could tell because these bottles no longer had masking tape labels. Great thought went into what kind of bottle was I going to acquire to put this formula into. How was I going to bless it and adorn it to make the oil feel like it belonged with me. . . more accurately, the spirit behind oil. Sometimes a bottle would find me. My closest friends often times find antique or strange bottles and gather them up and send them my way saying:"We know, you know what to do with this so here."

My home bottles don't look like Daniel Schulke's and that's great. Daniel has a distinct flavor and texture that is simply unique unto himself and that is perfect. My bottles say the same thing about me. These are Nalaya's oils. Every witch finds his and her own path and learns to walk it honoring their own flavor and energy and I encourage everyone to find their own light. I will not share with you the entirety of my personal practice as far as the creation of a home bottle, but I will share with you a general skeleton so you may experiment and find your own flavor.

Purpose: when choosing  a home bottle for your potion you should consider whether it is magical or medicinal. What is the purpose of the potion? How does that purpose feel and look to you? try to find something that reflects that back at you. Sometimes the bottle finds you. Be sure it is clean and sterile before you begin any work with it with and an appropriate lid or stopper.

Trial: there are many types of trials. This is not only meant to test the quality of the bottle, but it's ability to become a home for an oil or potion that may or may not have a spirit attached to it. The integrity and strength of the bottle itself is very important. You want to make sure it will be around for a good long time if you are going to put so much energy and work into it. Daniel Schulke describes a trial by the elements of sorts. He takes his and lets the river decided the worthiness of the vessel. My process is a bit different because A) I live in a desert B) I live in a large city C) I believe that my connection to the spirits I work with is strong enough to hear in my normal atmosphere. . . which is a noisy house with three active and high spirited children who also serve as part of my bottle trial.

Blessings: After the bottle has survived the trial, blessings from both divinity and spirit attached to the oil are attained through a ritual of my own design. I encourage you to design your own. Nothing puts a personal stamp on your potions like this ritual does and I would never tell you there is a wrong way to do it.

Adornment: The adornment of this bottle is two fold. It is a reflection of both you and the spirit of the potion. As I said earlier Daniel Schulke's bottles look like Daniel Schulke works. There is no mistaking that. There are many witches whose works you can look at and immediately know whose work it is. You should find your own finger print. It should also look like something of the spirit who lives there.

Fulfillment: upon completion of your potion it gets transfered from the brew bottle to the home bottle I do this in circle.

Inhabitation: this usually occurs at the same time of fulfillment unless I am waiting for a specific timing to occur. This is when you address the spirit that has helped you create the potion in the first place is invited to "live" in the bottle and lay it's blessings upon the potion, should it be satisfactory, of course.

Final blessings:

There is no wrong way to do any of this. Be not afraid to step into the circle and dance with the spirits. Trust your instinct and knowledge of your material then fly!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A binding in the freezer!

As most of us who any basic understanding of astrology know Cancers tend to be very moody people indeed! Well there is a Cancer in my family. Not only is he moody, he tends to be on the explosive side when the chips are down with getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar is concerned. Well he got caught red handed this time. I was really not looking forward to his reaction to his punishment so the magic came out!

I know, gasp all you want O_o, I whipped out the magic stuff on my kid. And a soft binding to boot! I just figured he is well past the age where he needs to put on his big boy boxers and deal with himself. He'll be seventeen in July and this whole no self accountability thing has gotten me way past irked! Time to learn how to be a man.

On a square piece of paper. . . yes square, the shape was important, I wrote his name in beautiful handwriting. Equilateral sides talk about being even, as in being square in a deal and square with yourself and having everything squared away. I folded the paper upon itself thrice to balance the three voices that we all have within ourselves: positive, neutral and negative. I wanted him to really think about what he had done and to accept his punishment with grace.

I took a plastic ziploc baggie put this piece of paper in it, and filled the bag with water. With the bag in both hands I whispered in it that I love him and want him to grow up to be a fine man who not only knows right from wrong but can act upon it. I then added a few drops of my Oleum of Tristan oil for extra oomph in the integrity department. Finally, I put the bag in the freezer so that cool heads prevail when the moment of delivering the punishment is at hand.

I am happy to report that my son took his punishment with grace. Not a single protest or snide remark. He even showed humility with apologies for his misdeeds. I am very proud of him, but his behind will remain in the freezer until he is done with his punishment!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What the heck is going on??? In which I get serious. You have been warned.

I spend a lot of time biting my lip when I hear parents talk about their kids and what the heck went wrong. They blame themselves. My only response to this is: "no it's not you. . . there are other factors at play." Then because I know the scary truth I bite my lip because really it sounds crazy. Well no more. You'll just have to take my crazy witchy ass for what it is.

Ever hear of enclosure? Ever hear of zero sum game? Well I grew up with the constant lecture from my father about these things I know it by heart. It always starts with: we need a frontier because it is the only way anything will get better.

Let's start with enclosure. Enclosure happens when there is a limited amount of resources and territory. There comes a time when there is simply not enough, nowhere to go, and no way to get any more. It's like being in a sealed aquarium. Sooner or later the laws of nature say this system will collapse potentially taking the entire biome with it into extinction. We've seen this before in labs with bacterium specimens. It's an everyday experience there.

Zero sum game: hrm this is simple. You simply have to rob Peter to pay Mary.

How does this apply to our kids? It has EVERYTHING to do with the attitudes of our kids. Why on earth would they put in any sort of effort in to anything if they know that they are either going to be robbed of their ideas so someone else can profit or they have to stomp on their best friend to make it? Why would they go out and make any effort or take any pride in their work if they know that all they are going to get are the scraps from the king's table? Our kids see no hope, no opportunity and no escape. They are surrounded by school officials 8 hours a day who tell them to do one thing and then do quite the opposite themselves. Some of the biggest bullies are the school officials themselves!

Our kids are not ignorant of the signs around us. They see what direction we are headed even if they can not articulate what the pit in their stomachs are saying. They know something is truly messed up. They don't know how to get around it and they are acting out. It doesn't matter how good a parent you are, we can not shield them from the gravity of what this truth is: You can work as hard as you want, but if you aren't lucky or ruthless, you will get nowhere.

Personally, I find this truth to be as abhorrent and bitter as you probably do right now. Getting a good job should not be about luck and strings. It should be about skill and ability. . . talent even. Ask yourself this: how many American engineers are working at McDonald's or Walmart right now because it was cheaper to lay them off and hire foreign workers? Granted I admit I have simplified the the whole of the phenomenon, but I think you get the idea of how our kids are feeling and why they are behaving the way that they are in spite of good parenting.

Frontier Theory: Suite 101: Laurence Winn - excellent articles on why the heck we need a frontier and theories of enclosure.

Another good read would be Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Yes it's a difficult read. Yes the Author's real life was a nightmare of a train wreck, but don't mistake the message for the messenger. Yes, you will  probably want to throw that book as hard and as far as you can. The things you should pay attention to is not the arrogance of the characters, but the similarity to the things going on in the book. You could take those things and replace them with the headlines of our news stories today! Replace train with plane and man it's SPOOKY! If Atlas Shrugged is too much for you, try Anthem or We the Living. You'll see the message as long as you don't get caught up in the details of the characters and pay attention to the world they are forced to live in.

Our kids are the most precious hope of the future. The only way we can give them hope is to help them understand what is happening around them. Understanding it is important to the whole sanity thing. The bonds of enclosure must be broken. We cannot look to our government officials to do this. They are self serving and self interested aristocrats who remember what happened the last time the bonds of enclosure were broken. They are so NOT interested in anything other than their hold on power, price be damned! That's just the ugly truth. Our kids. . . they must be willing to  not only work. . . but innovate. I think the entire planet depends on them being willing and able. They have many obstacles including a propaganda machine that wants to rule them.

For the love of all that is sacred and holy, talk to your kids about the necessity of a frontier. Teach them about the tools of demagoguery and how to recognize them so they are not manipulated away from the truth. Help them understand that the road before them is not hopeless, difficult yes, but not hopeless. Introduce them to authors like Michio Kaku as well as JK Rowling knowledge and passion feed each other.

For the love of all that is sacred and holy, stop blaming yourself! DO something!

This moment of insanity was brought to you by THEM, who ever THEY are.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The witch belongs everywhere, but fits nowhere. .

It's a witch proverb I have heard thrown around. Some say it's been around awhile. I have no way of verifying its age. . . only its truth.

I am only going to speak from my personal experience on this one. I do not presume to speak for witchdom as a whole. I find that while our means and methodologies are highly effective, we are almost always a last, desperate resort. As if asking for help out side of the orthodox means is something to be ashamed of or even feared. I often times hear: I've tried everything else and this is my last hope. I can hear the voice in the back of my head saying: why didn't you come earlier? This didn't need to get so bad.

I don't think that I consciously separate myself from the rest of humanity. I think it is something done as a result of my practices. . . and it's two fold. I can not fully handle an issue unless I back up to see the whole picture, which results in a sort of a distant attitude. Secondly, many of my practices require a certain amount of solitude. Even my closest of friends see me infrequently. And if they want to guarantee seeing me, they often times have to conduct a house raid or a witch-napping and pry me out of my hole.

There is another aspect of that distancing. It is one of the most subtle of them. There is a feel and look to us. It doesn't matter if I go out and about in my everyday mommy grubs or if I am dressed for esbat/ ritual, I get the same look from those who are weary of power. The one that says: you're different and I can't put my finger on it. I am uncertain if it is a cause or effect of working with other realms and magic. It's palpable and people detect it. If they are of the fearful kind, they shy away.

Sometimes, I find, that my natural habits shoo people away. After all, who really wants to bother the girl who has a book attached to the end of her nose and a cold cup of coffee to wake to if you bother her. . . Yeah don't bother me unless you have plans on offering me hot bean juice. Cold coffee sucks! Well maybe it's not the nose in book thing that veers people away. . . maybe it's that great horned creature on the cover. I'll Admit it, He can look rather menacing.

While all of these things may look like the cheese is standing alone in the middle of the barn yard, when something goes wrong people hunt me down. Whether it's something for that pesty ghost that wakes you up at 3 a.m. or the psycho ex who walks through that restraining order, people jump through hoops to locate me and often times call clear out of the blue. I am fairly certain that I am not the only witch who experiences these things. I don't moan about these things. . . I just smile and nod. It feels good to be useful. I realize that I can dress like everyone else, talk like everyone else and act like everyone else, but there will always be that invisible finger pointing me out. I'm okay with that. I just wish the whole fear propaganda machine would break down, rust and fall to itty bitty little specks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Working with Alrauns

Images shaped from the roots of mandrake (see Mandragoras) or from ash or briony. The term was popular in Germany, where it was also used to indicate a witch or a magician. An alraun had to be treated with great care because of its magical properties. It was wrapped or dressed in a white robe with a golden girdle, bathed every Friday, and kept in a box, otherwise it was believed to shriek for attention. Alrauns were used in magic rituals and were also believed to bring good luck. But possession of them carried the risk of witchcraft prosecution, and in 1630 three women were executed in Hamburg on this charge.
The alraun was difficult to get rid of because there was a superstition that it could only be sold at a higher price than bought, and there are legends that owners who tried to throw an alraun away found it returned to their room.
According to German folklore, an alraun assisted easy childbirth, and water in which it had been infused prevented swellings in animals. Because of the large demand for alrauns, they were often carved from the roots of briony when genuine mandrakes were difficult to find. They were exported from Germany to various countries and sold in England during the reign of Henry VIII.
Thompson, C. J. S. The Mystic Mandrake. London: Rider, 1934.

Read more:

This posting was brought about for two reasons. One: there has been discussion about Alrauns and their making. Second a word to the wise about making/hosting them. ( I say hosting because I don't think anyone really owns them. . . they're sort of like cats that way.)

Years ago while I was still in training and meeting and greeting my guides while working in my earth segment, I met the spirit of whom is to now inhabit my alraun. I have been working with him and getting to know and trust him for about three years now. He has a very specific image when he shows up and over the years I have created a great working relationship with this spirit.

I first met him on a trance journey to meet my earth guide. I saw him as a man in a pot, later it came to my understanding that he was a root! I was being asked to make an alraun of him and at first my answer to him was: wait. . . and for good reason. You want to make sure that you and the spirit that you are working with are compatible before you bring it in as a manifest, sentient magical being in your life. Waiting was the only thing that made sense to me as we got to know each other. While waiting I did as much homework as possible on how to work with them, how to create one, what it should be created out of and what other odd phenomenon I can expect to occur in my already strange life as a result of this magic.

I am just now, over three years later, getting around to making a host root for the spirit I know. I have thought about traditional mandrake, I have thought about using pomegranate, I even thought about violets. In the end I chose dandelion. I love the resilient spirit of that weed! You can spray it, cut it, stomp it and sometimes even try to pull it up from its roots. . . but it you don't get them all it grows back. I liked the idea that we witches are sort of like that weed. The craft has survived much maligning and abuse. . . even a few attempts at extermination, yet here we are! The other reason I chose dandelion is because of it healing properties. It is one of those unwanted weeds that is considered a pest by most. . . until you really take a look at what it is and what it does.


Taraxacum officinale
Other Names
Common Dandelion, Lion's Tooth, Priest's Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine's Snout, Dent de Lion
Herb Pictures by Karen Bergeron Copyright 2001 - 2009. Permission required to use any herb pictures from this site.

Dandelion Herbal use and Medicinal Properties

The whole plant is used as a medicinal herb internally and externally.

External Uses
The fresh juice of Dandelion is applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts.
Internal Uses
Dandelion is also used for the treatment of the gall bladder, kidney and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. As a tonic, Dandelion strengthens the kidneys. An infusion of the root encourages the steady elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion is a powerful diuretic but does not deplete the body of potassium.
Research is revealing that the many constituents of Dandelion including Taraxacin, Taraxacoside, Inulin, Phenolic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones, Triterpenes, Coumarins, Catortenoids and Minerals, mainly Potassium and calcium, are very valuable in curing a number of disorders and illnesses. Dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice.
Other Uses
When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root. A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water, is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles.

Darned cool!

When harvesting your root you should always listen very closely. In my case, I went to the park and you have to be very discriminating because ALL of those dandelions are sick of being mowed over! ( I live in the city, therefore I feel, my alraun should also so be of the city) Here is where I get to the warning. I hardly ever give out warnings, so listen  close.

During the harvesting of the first dandelion I chose, I accidentally broke the feet off the root in the digging process. Not wanting to waste it, I brought it home too. The second root I brought up was perfect in all ways. . . no breaking, the shape was there etc. . . I figured I would let my spirit guide choose which one he wanted to inhabit. Choices are nice. I planted them in a nice little pot on my patio, fed and watered them and spoke his name.

In my dreams last night, I dreamed that there was another spirit that wanted to take claim of one of the dandelions. He basically hijacked me and held me hostage in my dreams. I required the aid of my guide and got it. At one point in time, I saw a similar shape within this spirit that had hijacked me as the dandelion root whose feet I had accidentally broken off. Needless to say, that dandelion root will not be made into an alraun! I went out this morning and pulled it up and tossed it out. I will not be working with any spirit that attempts to hold power over me! I won't even be using it as an herb! The other dandelion however, is flowering prettily and my guide has begun to seat himself there. I have placed blue marbles in the pot with him as a ward from any other spirits that may feel the need to interject themselves.

My feelings on this other spirit, are not that he was being mean or malicious. I think he was desperate to get out of the grass. I think that one more mowing was just not something he wanted to endure and when he saw me come around with my witchy stick and sigil powder he get over zealous. Fortunately for me, I already had a spirit guide whom I was working with on this project for years to help me out with this process. The fae sort of have this code of conduct that is not like ours. They don't think like us and there for things that we find unreasonable are a mystery to them and vice versa. This is why it is important to have formed a good, solid relationship with the spirit before you make an alraun. You have to have an understanding of each other. . . ground rules if you will.

When working in this realm, even the most experienced of us run into glitches and unexpected issues. Making and working with alrauns is not something for the beginner and inexperience practitioner. Please do your homework and build up your strength before even trying. Most importantly, know and work with the spirit who intends to become one for a good long time. Create a good and caring working relationship with them before hand. Alrauns require special attention and care. If you do not have the time or patience to take care of them, then don't even start the process.

Nobody said the craft was safe and if they did. . . they are big fat liars!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Omens Associated With The Human Body

There are many ways of reading the signs around you as to what is going on in your section of the Universe.  What I find interesting is how often we ignore what is being told to us by our own person! So here's a little list of the most commonly listed omens in association to your body: enjoy! 
Strangely enough, to feel depressed for no apparent reason means unexpected good news!
A ringing in the right ear foresees pleasant news, a ringing in the left ear means bad news.
Itching: (Only a few)
· Crown of head: Advance in position.
· Right cheek: Someone is speaking well of you.
· Left cheek: Someone is gossiping about you!
· Right eye/eyebrow: You will meet an old friend.
· Left eye/eyebrow: Great disappointment.
· Nose (inside): Sorrow.
· Nose (outside): You will be kissed or annoyed within an hour.
· Lips: Someone is talking about you with disrespect.
· Right palm: Money gain or found.
Left palm; Money lost or spent

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest post!

I have asked Sabrina theInkWitch if I could repost her note on facebook here and received permission to do so. I think she says it just right!

Many of us did not like the fact that Harvard saw fit to host an event of proclaimed witch hunters and anti-gay haters. However, not appreciating the event at Harvard and expressing upset towards that does not have to equate to modern day witch hysteria.
Sure no witch in his/her right mind wants to *feel* hunted or persecuted. And I’d not have those who are really do experience persecution sometimes feel as though their personal experiences don’t matter. They do.
Yet do we as witches really want to buy into pure persecution-fear-hysteria--- Again?
Holy Hecate, I hope not.
First off – I still live in America and I have rights. Yes, I can speak freely of those rights and express myself in angst for groups who speak against me, but I’m still an American and my rights are protected.  (*please note – use logic –They are free to express their beliefs, too.)
Secondly, I’d rather not cater to fear and act hysterically. To me, that only mirrors the behavior of the foaming-at-the-mouth “Suffer a witch not to live” dribble I spend time eye-rolling about. Why would I do that? I believe it’s rather silly to finger point towards a zealot group then behave as zealot myself. (dumb look) Sooooo……maybe better we don’t behave as crazies ourselves – eh? Just sayin…..
Thirdly – aren’t we witches? Being so means we do not depend on others to accomplish and fulfill our needs. Think Football- witches work on the offense not the defense. (as much as possible) Right? We take care of ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. If I cave into the hysteria and fear of what some zealot group may/may not accomplish – then in that process do I not denounce my own witchy skills? Why would I do that- cater to what they wish? Because if you don’t think zealots want to inspire fear – then you don’t understand zealots. Fear is the marrow of their bones.
So what’s a witch to do faced with a group like Seven Mountains who would see to our demise and the end of our legal rights?  Look at it realistically: Sure we don’t have to like them and yes, we can speak our opinions. But that’s really all that’s required.  If we Buy-Into hysteria then we empower them.  We give them the inspiration to pursue us further and a target to aim towards.  Are you supposed to enjoy this? No. But let’s not forget who and what we are.  Witches.
I don’t believe the Seven Mountain Silly will gain any ground against us. And even if they did and witchcraft was outlawed once again – the police would have to drag me off. Because being a witch isn’t a choice- it’s just who you are – body and soul. It’s like having dark hair or light, male or female, gay or straight……….it’s simply who you are. *shrug* So there’s no real point in getting all bent out of shape that I may someday face having to deny or hide who I am.  Won’t happen. That would be like trying to hide that I’m a female LOL.
Meanwhile, we are witches – not victims. Witches don’t cater to fear. We evoke the elements for pete’s sake.  Let that sink in…  yanno Air, Fire, Water and the power of the Earth itself?  Hello? So what handful of zealots out there completes with that? 
Not liking the event at Harvard is one thing. Buying into some hysteria that they can or will Ever DO something TO any of us is something else entirely. 
If I cannot conjure or do magical workings of protection against such crap – then I should just hang up my stripped stockings right here and now, because I’ve only been pretending. Are you pretending? Or do you know what you’re doing? Do you need more classes, more books, more workings with a mentor, a teacher? Witches don’t cater to fear. And if fear has gripped you or you’ve been told to Fear the thoughts, actions or movement of these people, I suggest you take out your cauldron, give it a polish, fill it with some sigils and let the smoke of that which burns carry your protection work out into the universe. Get busy and deal with any fear others yammering about this has generated for you.
Not liking the event – sure.  Caving to a small group of crazies who talk against our constitutional rights and letting them make you afraid? Please don’t. Go kick some protection ass and be the witch you claim to be.  So some group of zealots wants to gather and whine that witches are bad news *shrug*  I don’t know about you – but I know who I am.  I am not bad news. I’m a good person leading a good, decent life in a country where I have freedom of religion. And even if that changed, it would not matter. Because I could no more lie about what I am than I can sprout wings and fly.  So – fear? No, just can’t do it.  I’m a witch, not a victim.
Don’t be afraid – Get busy!  Witches Work! And if any of this Harvard stuff or talk of it has made you afraid – don’t go around whining “No more the Burning Times”…. Be a witch anddeal with it. Fix your business, get your chin up and go on with your life. Know who you are and do the magical workings that witches do.  
witchily yours,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Isobel Gowdie

Isobel Gowdie: red head, fire brand, Queen of the Scottish Witches. She claimed to be in the good graces of the Queen and King of Elphame and that she could shape shift into a hare or cat. She used her broom to replace her presence in bed while her husband slept and climbed corn and bean stalks in order to fly with the intonation of a chant. It is 1662, April 12th that she had been arrested and accused of witchcraft. In the next six weeks, she would make her confessions: four of them, without torture or duress. Why would she do this? Is it possible her anger got the best of her and she figured herself and her coven mates dead women any way? May as well go out with a good scare to the common folk??? Who knows, but her claims certainly shook the community and her name carried down in song, book and poems for centuries to come. Only Isobel knows and she's not talking any more.

She was the daughter of a lawyer whom changed religious affiliations so that he may continue practicing his livelihood.  Originally the family was Catholic. She was expected to marry well however her father encouraged her to marry someone who was an improper match for her especially in the light that she was fleeing her marriage bed to practice witchcraft. It is also revealing that he never noticed, whether it be enchantment or not. Many of the things cited by Isobel's confessions seem to be congruent with shamanic traditions and visions gained through those experiences. Ie. . . transformation into a hare or cat, flying through the air, meetings with the Queen of Elphame. All of these things point of a tradition that came from a Pre- Christian era.

There is no doubt in my mind that even though she could transform herself into a fluffy bunny, she was definitely not what we would call a fluffy bunny. She proclaimed to have cursed her Land lord after she spurned off unwanted advances. He refused to repair her hearth and barn as he was obligated to do as a land lord, then began to speak ill of her publicly and to the local pastor. That would tick off anyone! Well what she claims to have done was cause this man to have no sons using a clay poppet of a baby boy. According to records, it seems to have worked. How very biblical of her. In another case she claims to have cursed the local pastor with a wasting disease. He survived and was present during her confession. Imagine the shock and horror that must have sunk into this man. The real question is this: were they shocked because witchcraft seemed to be well and alive or were they shocked because they never expected reprisal for their own ill deeds?

During this period of time, I find in most references to witchcraft the use of the words devil and demon. It is probably so because during this time if it wasn't God or Jesus, it MUST be of the devil. It's just how it was. They had no access to any other information about world religions, they were completely reliant on their priests and preachers to deliver the entirety of their beliefs. It is no wonder to me that those who presided over her trials thought her mentally off kilter. . . of course they would. Shamans have the propensity to swim in waters that madmen drown in. To a Christian man in charge of the entirety of his realm, everything that came out of Isobel's mouth would seem to be completely insane. Except for there were certain things she claimed that had fact to back it up. After all the Land lord did lose all sons alive and had no more and the pastor indeed had been very ill with a wasting sickness.

What makes a woman like Isobel turn to witchcraft? Isobel was refined, beautiful and well educated. Maybe it was because every other factor of her life was controlled by men: her father put her in a mismatch marriage, her husband was obviously not very attentive and required her to toe up to a line she wanted nothing to do with. Her land lord was putting the moves on her and when she refused them, he slandered her and refused to live up to the terms of a good land lord to spite her. On top of that, she was forced to bear witness to brutal battles in which there was nothing she could do but watch. Her religion certainly wasn't going to empower her and as most students of witchcraft knows. . . a teacher shows up when one is most ready to learn. Isobel Gowdie by the time she met her friend, Margaret Brodie, was more than ready to take command of her own life. In fact, she had some scores to settle and settle she did.

I think one of the most predominant reasons why witchcraft was horrifying ( and this is just my opinion) to men back in the day is because they were truly afraid of the reprisal for the wrongs they had committed against people back then. They wanted to hold their power and look like saintly people too. In other words it was all about having and eating cake. Witchcraft complicated things for them. Witchcraft was also a convenient tool to wrest power and land from others in the name of godliness without looking like they were in the wrong. In fact, with the exception of Isobel Gowdie and her conveners, most of those prosecuted and killed as witches were in fact political victims. They were inconvenient and in the way of power lusting men and clergy.

There are no records that show her execution, however there are rumors that she was hanged then burned for good measure.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beltane in April? Update

It's blown up all over the place and with Big Mama doing her dance of late it was on a matter of time that all of those very large earthquakes made their mark on the axial tilt of the planet. At first I thought I had wax in my ears as I was listening to the news when they mentioned that scientists had confirmed the planet had finally tilted enough to change the seasonal timing. So I listened to it again. . . technology rocks. Nope, I heard right they actually said that! So being big on following the season not a calendar, I went to work and noted that it would put Beltane in April around the 18th if I'm not mistaken.

If Beltane is effected that mean that the whole solar year wheel has been shifted including beloved Samhain. Now this makes things a little dicey for the Feri clan. Most of us do not even celebrate Samhain until the first week of November. I guess for us, that means we will have to go with the actual 31st if we're following the veil.

Astrologers have been mentioning that something like this would be happening soon. Also citing that their would be an emergence of a thirteenth member of the zodiac. I have heard names such as Chiron and Ophiuchus bandied around, but I still remained in doubt about their predictions until the news mentioned the scientists theory as to why things have been so wonky weather wise of late. Plain and simple: the earth tilted as a result of all of the very large earth quakes. Or did the quakes happen because of the tilt. It's sort of hard to tell sometimes which is the cause and which is the effect. Only Big Mama knows for certain which is which and we have to live with what ever she does. So re mark your calendars to fit Her new schedule.

April Fools!!!