Monday, October 24, 2011

Kidnapping Mrs. Oddly. . . ( no fretting, it's a little nap)

As you can see, Mrs. Oddly is required to come stir my cauldron. You see there, yes there, that empty spot? Well that is where she will be for the next couple of weeks. Do not dismay, she will be back after she gets done with scrubbing out the cauldron as well. That's just the list I handed her. I am sure that the Sage has some work to be done as well.  From here on out, Mrs. Oddly is ours and no amount of ransom will return her until we are good and ready to let her get on with her own program. You may find her schleping on the Book of Face and the Deck of Tweets in between chores.

the Gods of Samhain

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jezebel's Revenge

Jezebel is walking, 
She's looking for her bones.
She's clawed her way through rotten pages,
Her story still undone.

With the howling dogs who gnawed her down,
She's walked out of the book.
On the trails of lies and names,
Her shadowed half light flows.

You who call her harlot
You who throw her down
You who spin the tales and lies
To tame for you your wives

For every name you call her 
A bone from you she'll take
With gnashing teeth and pulling hair 
She'll simply just keep taking

When once upon a time dare come
The blind fold's ripped away
You'll see her there, that Jezebel,
And she'll look just like you.

Jezebel, she walks tonight
She's reclaiming all her bones.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dreaming of the dead.

With the veil becoming thinner, I have been approached on how it would be best done to begin contacting their Beloved Dead. My favorite, when I was beginning and often times more forgiving method, is to ask them to come to you in your dreams. For this method, I made a small dream sachet with the  name of the dead I wished to speak to and stuck it in my pillow.

Take a cloth or bandana and put Calendula, anise, lavender and St. John's Wort in it, as well as a piece of paper with the name of the one you wish to contact written in your own hand as well as you can. Make it beautiful, something that will attract attention. For a bit more oomf, especially if they are related by blood, add a drop of your own blood to the paper. Tie up the bandana and put it in your pillow case. Be sure that you are comfortable and ready for bed before you crawl in or you may have restless dreams. Upon waking, make sure to record any experiences you had.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Does fear equal faith???

In the last 20 months fourteen, Shamans have been murdered in Peru. An investigation has been launched, at the moment the alleged perpetrators ( at least, in one case) appears to be Alfredo and Augusto Torres. Alfredo is the Mayor of Balsapuerto, Peru and his brother, Augusto, seems to be widely known in the area as a witch killer. It is also rumored that the killings of these shamans were done at the behest of Alfredo who appears, in my opinion, to be using his religion, Evangelical Christian, as an excuse to murder.

Along with the sad loss of life these murders bring, there is a vast library of knowledge that has been erased from the world. These shamans were the holders of extensive understanding of jungle plant life and tribal spiritual mysteries. They were the healers and counselors of their tribes. It's like apart of the world has been silenced. I hope to the Gods that they had apprentices. At least then, some of the very valuable knowledge they held would remain.

The particular problem I am having is this: when any religion spouts brimstone and hellfire to strike fear into the hearts of its people over an evil so potent you will invariable get someone zealous or unstable enough to act upon that fear. I wonder, somewhere in my diabolical mind if that is what some of those people are hoping for. I know, most likely not, but I still wonder. Then again, the Vatican in days gone by  did launch the witch hunts that swept the world.

Not only do these religions spout hellfire and brimstone, they proclaim that there is only ONE correct path to salvation and, of course, it's theirs. No one else can lead the people to a live a good godly life and no one else can save their souls from the evil wiles of the devil. That seems a bit like ego and power grabbing to me. There are plenty of people who live outside of dogma who live good and wholesome lives without the guidance of a priest or pastor to drive the fear of evil into their hearts. They seem to understand things like theft, lying, and murder are bad.

It is fear and a fundamental lack of understanding that has spurred the murder of these shamans in Peru. Possibly even racism and intolerance splashed in the mix. It is also a possibility that these tribes are sitting on land that the government covets and can't get to because the indigenous peoples of Peru hold it. I can't think of a better way to break apart an indigenous populous than eliminating their spiritual leader and healer. For these tribes, the world has fallen apart and their connection to the otherworld and ancestors is now gone. 

There can be no true justice for what has been done to these people. The world is poorer for the absence of these shamans. I can only hope that there were apprentices to these shamans who can pick up the flame and continue the work of their elders. I think that the religious traditions that drive the spike of fear so deeply into people need to re evaluate their motives and methods: why do you need people to be so afraid to believe?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oddly in New Mexico!!!

I took an actual vacation all by myself! No kids, no husband, no dog, cat or gerbil; just me and a couple of my friends who have a working HooDoo shop in Albuquerque. I felt like a little kid staring at my boots in the back of the car. Maya pointed out some of the more interesting features as we went through the landscape, including the skid row castle owned and occupied by Gertrude Zachary. It is a strange site. not necessarily the castle, but the overall effect of a castle being in the middle of a rundown part of the city. The funny part is that she wants everyone to know that she has very good security, for in this castle she has this amazing collection of antiques from al over the world. I don't know quite what to make of her.

I learned that when dining with Taurus people you can expect to linger over the meal for about three hours and enjoy at least three courses, a bottle of wine and very interesting conversation. I loved not eating at child pace, which often times looks like the Indy 500 but with plates and silverware.

Ancient Road's Pagan Pride Day Booth

Maya and Cedar at Pagan Pride day
I also learned that you can over hear the people at the booth behind you with their astonished and partially scandalized tones speaking about your religion and it's best to remain silent and not reveal yourself. We were all sitting there speaking amongst ourselves waiting for breakfast to find our table. It was the morning of pagan pride there and we already had a bit of a rough morning. We had a flat tire. poor Ed, first thing in the morning had to get out and change it. (Man, I'm telling you those lug nuts are ON there. Had Ed not been there with us, there is no way Maya and I would have been able to get those frakkers off, individually or collectively.) So, here we are waiting for food and caffeine and the older couple behind us are talking in a scandalized tone how the park was going to be filled with pagans that day. Part of me wanted to point out to the woman that right now, as she speaks, the restaurant is filled with pagans. Poor thing probably would have had a heart attack, but I was good and sat there quietly noting who was doing the speaking.

The day before, Maya and Ed drove me to Santa Fe for a bit of site seeing. We visited the Basilica of St. Francis did a bit of shopping, saw some art galleries. All of that was great. What I appreciated the most was Maya and her touring voice pointing out all the cool histories of the place. There was one building in the city that had been there since the age of dirt. It was first an estate, then an officer's club, and now it is a shopping center with neat little mom and pop shops.

A statue in front of one of the galleries
While I loved the art galleries and the exhibits within, there was an undertone of hostility on the part of the employees of the galleries. It sort of reminded me of the troll that lived under the bridge. At one point Maya had to use the restroom. She's about 7 months pregnant and when you gotta go, you gotta go NOW! Not two galleries down, who also wouldn't let her use the restroom either. I was pretty disgusted with their apathy. So while enjoyed the privilege of seeing Michael Parks art on canvas in person, the beauty of the art was marred by the ugliness of its keepers.

The Door to the Catholic Shop
One of the highlights of my trip to New Mexico was meeting an elder woman running a Catholic shop. Maya frequents there to pick up some supplies. She was a short, sweet woman with a welcoming smile and voice. She had almost anything you could imagine you would want in stock piled from ceiling to floor of her shop yet it didn't feel cluttered. She was the type of person you just wanted to scoop up and hug. Maya and Ed picked up a few things and on the way out they couldn't get the security door opened as I was asking the woman if it would be alright to take a photo of her brightly decorated door. Really it was a piece of art. She stopped and looked at me sideways, then invited me into the back of her shop to see her personal shrine. She told me about it's history and about her Mother who taught people how to say the rosary in both English and Spanish. It was truly an honor to be invited back. She doesn't seem the type to invite just anyone back there. Before we left she made sure that each of us was wearing a St. Benedict medallion blessed by Pope John Paul II ( pretty much the only Pope I have any respect for.) As it turns out, the St. Benedict medallion is the only medallion that has an exorcism stamped on it. I'm still wearing it with it's little safety pin on my bra just as she said I should. Her kindness stood in direct contrast to the "upper crust" of society at the art galleries and their views on humanity should be treated. It spoke in thunderous volumes. I'll take the woman in the Catholic shop over the people in the galleries any day of the week and twice on Sundays thank you very much.

My most favorite moments of my visit came at the end of the day while Maya put up her feet, Ed cracked open the wine and cooked us dinner. He is a fabulous cook! There wasn't a meal served that wasn't a treat. The conversation was fabulously witchy! He even put a few books in my hands that I have always wanted to take a peek at and he just let me fall into them! I do have to say I learned quite a bit just listening. I felt like I was at a master magician's house and kept looking for the bag that held everything! When I finally crashed at the end of the night, I was surrounded by constantly devoted shrines and altars to the Elder Gods flickering with candles. That all by itself was an experience and a half and something that I would have not experienced anywhere else. My altars over here have to be carefully managed; you know little fingers wanting to hold and touch and play with everything, not to mention a curious feline who is so fluffy she would set herself afire just looking at fire.

All of this witchy goodness came with a price though. Apparently, I am allergic to Albuquerque. I spent a good portion of my trip with a box of kleenex velcroed to my side. Maya kept apologizing for Albuquerque trying to kill me. I did discover that if you live in a cloud of frankincense smoke, suddenly your respiratory system loves you again. Sweet! 

Ancient Road Shop in Nob Hill
If ever you are in New Mexico ( or if you live there now,) go visit Maya and Ed at their shop Ancient Road in Nob Hill on Silver Street! Go sit in their Navajo chair, have a cup of tea, browse through their in store library and shop! If you have any Questions, both Maya and Ed are very knowledgeable and willing to talk your ears off! If you ever need a HooDoo working or reading, they do that for you as well!

Yes, yes, Mrs. Oddly had a fabulous vacation with fabulous people! I think ten years is waaaay too long to go with out an personal adventure.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's Great Grand Canyon State?

Skies dyed red with impending storms

The call and response of thunder and lightning

The fierce power of Air and Earth moving around us

The secret coves of hidden water treasures

The quiet place where stone and elk converse about the magic of the land

The song of silence as the drifts coat the earth

The whirling skirts of feathered dancers beneath the blessed sun

The places imagined lived out for a day

The festival of belief and solidarity

There is a richness and diversity to our state reflected in both landscape and people. We belong to a secular society that allows all of that diversity to shine through it's people of every race, creed, and gender. 

Blessings upon the Grand Canyon State!