Thursday, February 21, 2013

Throwing stuff on the floor

It's time for a new cup AAAAAND. . . Oscars!

Some people watch the Superbowl; we watch the Oscars like it's a Superbowl event. And it's officially time to make Oscar strew. Yes, I will clean up the house, clear out any etheric goo, and throw stuff on the floor! And leave it there until the next day.

I made up some strew for last year, but forgot to lay it down before the ceremonies and it annoyed me to no end. So this year, I am keeping it in plain sight and ready to go at the drop of a hat. Of course, the only safe place to keep said item is on my daily altar. I am sure little fingers will stir it around as it sits there. Little man on occasion just can't help himself. Who could blame him with all those interesting textures, colors, and smells. Hex, I may even put my pointy, witchy fingers in and stir it around myself.

I like to play around with things from year to year and while I love the recipe I have left on my blog previously while talking strews, I wanted something fresh and different for this year seeing as how I need a new cup anyway. . . new strew too!

Throw away your fancy measuring utilities, wash your hands and dry them well; just use your hands, because as you grab a handful of herbs you're gonna want to focus on it's purpose and of course your gonna use your hands some more to mix it all up while focusing on a happy celebratory vibe for your Oscar viewing pleasure. Of course, I am including a special something something for the great mistress of beauty and the artes: Aphrodite! (p.s.: please don't really throw away your fancy measuring utilities, you'll really want them for something else)

Oscar Strew 2013 Edition

( a modest handful of each as to make enough to sprinkle on your floor)

Rosemary blossoms ( or leaves if you have none) for mental agility and stamina

Calendula as we will also be honoring those in the craft who have passed the veil

Olive leaves for peace of heart

Lavender for calm nerves

Roses for the love of the arte

St John's Wort to avoid any mischief.

And for the Mistress of art and beauty Myrtle leaf

Happy mixing and tossing! Sit back and enjoy the glamouries that are sure to ensue!
Here's a list of the Nominees in case you're interested.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh that crazy thing called street cred.

Street cred is something you shouldn't have to whip out. It should follow you hauntingly like something from a Terry Prachett story with little pitter patter feet. It's not a card, mighty book of shadows, or scholarly input or advice from sages passed to you. It is simply experience attained from putting the books down, getting out of the magician's arm chair, and applying that elbow grease ( and living to tell the tale if you be so bold.) Simply put, street cred is nothing more than an egregore.

Egregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a "thoughtform" or "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The symbiotic relationship between an egregore and its group has been compared to the more recent, non-occult concepts of the corporation (as a legal entity) and thememe.

(yes, I did just use wikipedia for cut and paste purposes)

Now, who is feeding this egregore???? Basically, everyone who has heard your name and has heard of your reputation. You are also feeding your egregore for good or for ill. Have you fed your egregore with egoic pride or is it filled with the sort of pride that is built with knowledge, genuine accomplishment, spit, elbow grease ( and sometimes surviving your own silly arse?) As you can imagine, there are loads of things you can fill an egregore with including the: I am too good to deal with you, you beginner, snot- nosed, nincompoop asking silly questions of my holy crazy crap. Usually, you can spot these right away. The eye roll is a dead give away and it is usually followed up with a statement similar to: I'm a not gonna touch this one. . . I'll be in my corner. Eh well. . . I guess every group as at least one of those. 

I have had the opportunity over the last few days to watch an egregore at work. That's right: the Wicked Witch of the West reared up her head and asked what's wrong with witchcraft you silly ignorant person???? She poured out of every corner in this country where witches were ( and if you didn't know already, that's everywhere.) She was stirred sometime the storm actually broke and began leaking into people's heads like a memo had been passed around by some clandestine manner none understand. She popped up on cakes, she barged into time lines and marched straight into manifest in whatever form she could. She reminded me of Water and a quote from Bruce Lee about water. 

Okay Bruce, I'll be water.

So, while the water is churning and the iron is hot I decided that I was committed to this magic that had begun without my knowledge, but not in the role of activist. It seems I have been asked to do something else with that energy and I am trying my damnedest to keep true to both public current and arte. I am usually really fired up angry about these things, but I have found a calm spot to take refuge in and with as choppy as things have been for me this winter, I really need to take the breaks offered. I have been happily working with this egregore, in spite of the drama she has stirred stirred up around me ( and rightly so.) In a strange manner I find that my own calmness is feeding this egregore with, what I hope, is clear thought and sense of purpose. . . for me that means poppet work I guess. ( yes. .  I have done Kala. . . why?)

Encounters with other crafters, has lead me to examine my own street cred ( or mostly lack there of) and what I am looking to accomplish. I can't ( and no one else can either) control what other people feed that egregore of mine, but I can certainly control what I put into it.

 I am also empowered to take things out.

I guess I'm not the sort of witch who is going to roll her eyeballs because she's not gonna touch this one. . . I guess I'm the witch in the corner who is up to something, because she's got my fingers ALL over this one. 

o.O !!!

Idina Menzel as Elphaba
Thank you, Elphaba. Love you muchly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Auld Woman and Urban Shaman Shoes

A safe place for a witch's hat

The cards said it would be so in no uncertain terms as my solar year wheel reading indicated in June. It's sort of a comfort to have made a pattern of doing these sort of birthday magic rituals, because at the lowest and the bottom most part of the reading, I was able to go back and look at it to see where I was. I was able to shift what I saw enough to lessen the impact and even at one point soften the blow. The seas be choppy this round, choppy like I haven't seen in a long time.

Upon the ancestor altar
The reading all by itself in June was enough to let me know things where brewing in directions that had little to do with me, but would impact me. And impact me indeed it did, so much so that September literally had a throw down with my physical vessel. October brought The parade of ancestors, mighty and beloved ones out to dance on the faery track. I learned things about my lineage that no one thought to mention before. Not like my family is hiding anything, but it just seems that every year I go through the Samhain prep, I end up digging up some memory within one of my parents about their parents lives that somehow fits just right into the puzzle to make a picture I finally understand.
Books read 2012

After my vessel decided to toss me on my ass, I was quickly summoned to the cemetery by you know who for you know what and was greeted with a big fat WTF???! The days of sort of passed in an odd array of fast forward - slow motion action and I spent more time at a doctor's office than I ever want to. I noticed things like mushrooms springing up all along the places in the neighborhood. Cracks in sidewalks, rock gravel yards, and spongey well watered lawns all started becoming dotted with fungi. I don't remember seeing that the summer before.

November and December???? Thanks for asking. . . that was exactly where the cards said the depth of the darkness would lay in wait for me. There was no escaping this. This had to met in all of it's frightening ugly. Even here there were light beacons. As Christmas lights went up on the yards of my neighbors, I saw stars, reindeer, stags, and St. Nick side by Side with Mary Jesus and Joseph. There was a river with snow covered banks and a sleigh with bob tail horse. There was a merry snowman lit path with a snowflake star cape and deep jewel tone lights that spoke not of bright brassiness, but of deep and rich treasures to be found. One of the thoughts that was persistent in this light fest, was the fact that there were so many stags. They were every where. there were far more stag and doe displays than the year before that it struck me as odd. It even brought to mind a strange and urban shaman version of Ms. Dirty's spectral herd of deer. Ms. Dirty came to mind an awful lot just because of all the deer.

Candle for Brigid

January the seas were still choppy and brought disappointments and tragedy all at the same time, but I could tell that the personal storm was subsiding. however my vessel still challenged me with off and on cold/ allergic reaction or some weird cootie or another that produced coughing spells that lasted at least two weeks at a time. I have better get some DAMNED good abs out of this crap! Even Brigit rites were not safe from the cooties. Irritated the holy living hexes out of me because I had been doing pre possession work with Brigit was unable to actually do the full rite because I was cootie ridden and not in the best shape. Of course, She knew all about that and a suggestion was made: Maybe Brigit is not the right fit just right now. Yes she indeed is a healing goddess, but healing requires a nurturing space. It was suggested that maybe Mari is the one I should be preparing for. She is more of the Feri mother than Brigit is. Upon speaking with both of them, I am inclined to agree and have started to gear up for Beltane.

Mr. Oddly wisely invested in an air purifier for the house. It just made sense with little man being an asthmatic, turns out that maybe some of my cootie attacks were brought on by allergic reactions. As soon as the air purifier was turned on there was this horrible new plastic smell that triggered a monster migraine that night, but in the morning the first thing I noticed was that my sinuses did not feel like They had a whole bottle of green glue dumped into them over night. I am still seeing vast improvements in how I feel these last few days. Thank Gods for small favors ( and air purifiers.)

Urban shaman shoes from the Auld Woman
The Auld Woman came in the year early and She is still clawing at  us with cold icy weather that cuts through my jacket and pants to the bone. She did however, leave me with urban shaman shoes. It was an obsession this cold cycle: MUST. HAVE. WARM. FEET. Slippers for the house were gifted (twice from two different avenues) and new out of doors wandering shoes had to be replaced because the old ones literally split their foundations. * don't ever shoe shop with me, I am a very grumpy shoe shopper it seems; not even coffee could rescue the experience.* It's like she was saying lets shift how you are walking. It was not: you are going in the wrong direction, but how I was walking. I'm not sure that I understand the lesson yet. . . It seems like an on going thing that will unfold in the Spring. Mysteries seem to have their own pacing and timing and the shoes are just starting to take effect.

Books I still need to read. . .
the list is gonna get longer too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ohh chalk. . . where are you????

I have had several different groups representing several different faiths show up on my door to preach to me the goodness and stuff. I am certain that in the minds of these people they are doing the will of their God and savior so I tend to smile and nod as they go about their schpeels if I have the time to be polite. However, there always seems to be this one point when I engage these people in a logical conversation about the Universe, deity, and the power of prayer: the harm that is done while praying for someone to convert or subverting their will. They don't seem to see the harm in praying against someone or even own up to engaging in spiritual warfare.  They don't even recognize it. It doesn't surprise me when I read articles like this :

Former Westboro Baptist member: We prayed for people to die

Westboro no longer shocks most of us any longer, they have become a rabid sect in my opinion. Radicalized even. These thought patterns, these things that we look at as abominations, are enclosure thoughts. Apparently, there are so many of us and only so many slots in Heaven. Which means that fight among the righteous has begun and all us will burn in their wake. I don't think people actually think like that on a conscious level. I think it is something very deep rooted in the being and fibers of all that live. A survival mechanism. When resources of any ilk becomes limited and there is enormous pressure to hoard and conserve in the name of preserving you and yours. It's not even a real thought, more like an instinctual imperative that words cannot properly evoke.

Victor Anderson relates one of his experiences with someone praying for him to convert in some writings. He speaks in detail about the subject, but I will be brief: he told the offending spiritual war monger that if he continues to pray for him to convert, Victor would pray right back for the offender until the offender howls for mercy and stops praying for his conversion. I'm going to leave to the idle imagination as to what happened. Who knows you could be right. ;)

Really, the point I am so clumsily coming to is that when these people come to my door and deny engaging in spiritual warfare, I really don't need to waste anymore breath with explanation too complicated. The proof always surfaces. In fact, I'm not entirely sure why I allow them ANY of my time. I am sure I have other things to do, like make poppets and perform ritual magic, or something. In fact, maybe I should just cast to not be bothered with religious solicitors on my door step. Sounds like a job for magic chalk. Ohh chalk. . . where are you????

While there is indeed proof that the effects of enclosure are upon us, all is not hopeless and bleak. Calhoun's rats were not just one experiment. They were several including a community structure that required cooperation in order to survive in an enclosed environment. It was of mixed result, but what I got out of the end results was that buying time is very possible. It too has a price and if left at stale mate things will inevitably stagnate and die. 

I know we don't like being compared to rats, but we are animals just the same. So, my human proof that negative enclosure thoughts can be over come is that picture at the beginning of this piece. This is Lizzy Phelps Alverez. I am sure her story has just begun and for all the courage she has shown and all the loss and pain I am sure she has experienced, I hope all those things are eclipsed by the love she found within herself to recognize that divinity is not about hate. I also hope that she recognizes that self defense is also about love.