Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blessings Upon You And Your Beloved Dead

V busy today. Check out some of the v good writing in the many blogs listed on the right. If you're in DC and looking for a way to celebrate Samhein:

Jefferson Memorial
(closest Metro is the Holocaust Museum)
(Parking under the bridge near the Jefferson, come in on Maine Avenue, turn around, go next to the Jefferson and under the bridge toward Potomac Park, park in the closest lot and walk back). You may drop of your stuff at the kiosk next to the Jefferson but the Jefferson parking lot is permanently closed.

8 pm - 9:30 pm (depending on the weather)

Bring your noisemakers and your rattles, your sticks and your washtubs.
Bring a glowstick for the cauldron.

Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone of Ireland will be there.
Wear your finest warm clothing and join us.

Bring a memory of a loved one.

Celebrate the ancestors of all our traditions.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lovers On Aran

Lovers on Aran
The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass,
Came dazzling around, into the rocks,
Came glinting, sifting from the Americas

To posess Aran. Or did Aran rush
to throw wide arms of rock around a tide
That yielded with an ebb, with a soft crash?

Did sea define the land or land the sea?
Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision.
Sea broke on land to full identity.

~ Seamus Heaney

Picture found here.

Un-Sus-Tain-Able = Not Smart

What He Said

Samhein Is Almost Here!

The past few weeks have been v rainy, and these amazing orange mushrooms have sprouted all over the Western side of my yard. Anyone know what they are? I love that they are orange for Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We Are In Ur Secular Holidayz, Hexing Up Ur Candeez!!

Now, for the first time, we can reveal: Actual footage of real witches hexing Halloween candy:

First, let me just say, it gets old fast, it does, writing briefs all day and then showing up at those candy factories run by Mars (he's a god of war 'fer pity sakes, you think he makes it easy?) or Hershey's, or whatever and spending all night hexing Halloween candy. A girl needs her beauty rest, especially as the years wear on, you know what I mean?

Not that age doesn't have its privileges. A few years ago, my years of experience and my incredible skill at injecting the most evil demons imaginable into that nasty candy corn shit and those ghost-shaped Peeps earned me a promotion and I got to spend a few years hexing Godiva's Halloween treats. And, I'm not bragging, mind you, I'm not, but even though that job required more than a bit of sampling, I won a rather rapid promotion. Don't tell the xians, but I've spent the last sixty days hexing Vosges, and, assuming that enough demons manage to insinuate themselves into xian homes on Saturday, well, your faithful author may find herself spending next Autumn in ("Shhhhh!") Belgium, candy central, itself.

Please, FSM, (hey, I'm not proud; let a thousand flowers bloom), don't let them find out about what we do to the chicken wings, potato chips, and beer the month before the Super Bowl.

I'll never get any sleep, at all.

/This post is satire. I have never, actually, hexed any candy. Or, have I? Bwhahahhah!
Don't tell the xians, but there's really only one brand of hex-free chocolate.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Beloved Dead Are The Reason For The Season


I count myself in nothing else so fortunate as in a soul, remembering my good friends.

~Wm. Shakespeare

I have to say that I consider myself quite fortunate to call Spocko my friend. Some lovely Chinese health balls that Spocko gave to me sit on my altar and I use them whenever a ritual calls for making a lot of noise. I was present at Eschaton II where Spocko got one of the longest standing ovations that I (an aficionado of the ballet where prolonged standing ovations are common) have ever seen, for his work taking out talk radio hate hosts. Spocko often works years and years for a single "win," usually considering, experimenting with, and modifying multiple strategies. He's a true patriot, an American hero, and someone I'm honored to call "friend."

You inspire me, friend.

Thirty Years Of Spiral Dances

Ahhh, Mother. Now, I don't like to think of myself as a weak woman, but the veils, just now, are so, so, so thin, that I feel all raw nerves, all open wounds. My dreams have me ready to tape a sign up on the headboard of my bed: Dear Hecate's Dead Family Members: Give It A Fucking Rest; I'll See You Next Year. Enough is Enough.

I can't watch Starhawk's lovely video w/o breaking into sobs. There were years and years when -- a lonely solitary witch in a conservative, rural community, a solitary who had no real hope of ever meeting another "real" witch -- the simple knowledge that the Goddess was alive and magic was afoot in, at least, San Francisco, seriously helped to keep me going, and, by "going," I mean: continuing to get up out of bed every morning. That's what those of you who dance the Spiral Dance do for the rest of us. Don't ever think that it doesn't matter.

And, reading Starhawk's lovely post about how the crumbling of San Francisco's infrastructure will make it harder for Pagans to continue to grow the Spiral Dance (you saw it, didn't you, Fifth Sacred Thing, you saw it, didn't you?) I can't help but think: this is how it begins. This is how the twilight of an age begins. Devotee of Hecate that I am, I am bound by my blood and my soul to recognize and honor those liminal spaces where we transit from one culture to another. And, wherever we go, there we are. We're here. All our lives we have known that we would walk this way. But, yesterday, we did not know that it would be today. Yet, here it is: Samhein 2009. The year when crumbling infrastructure made it impossible for some to get to the Spiral Dance, while our government had money for war but not to pay craftspeople to fix bridges.

Ritual, as Starhawk says, gives us courage and hope. As we hurtle into the post-industrial era, may it be so for you.

Beloved Dead

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Every Word He Says Is True

Phantom/Famine. Play around with that for a while.

Lots more JMG here.

You've Paid Your Passage Dear To Caledeonia

What Derrick Jensen Said

Oh, Fuck Off

I wish they'd leave me out of their bullshit schismatic squabbles. Patriarchy is as patriarchy does.


The rain in Spain falls mainly on the anti-Pagan plane.

Could the catholic church please just give it a fucking rest? I'm asking nicely.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wish You Were Here

The San Diego Zoo is remembering extinct animals this Halloween with an extinct animals graveyard. Still time to put one up in your yard.

Here are a few suggestions:

Pasadena Freshwater Shrimp
Pecatonica River Mayfly,
Robert's Stonefly,
Fort Ross Weevil,
Mono Lake Diving Beetle,
Chestnut Ermine Moth,
American Chestnut Moth,
Phleophaga Chestnut Moth,
Central Valley Grasshopper,
Rocky Mountain Locust,
Antioch Dunes Shieldback Katydid

Picture (and directions) found here.

Save Me

Apparently, Nicholas Cage wasn't satisfied with ruining The Wicker Man.

Two, And I'm Under The Table, Three And, Well, You Know

I'd order the Frisky Witch because I love cucumber-based cocktails. Meanwhile, I agree with Teacats. (Not only would I have to drink before listening to the chirpy directions), I'd throw away the apple cider and just use booze. (In case you can't tell, the lovely young lady thinks her punch smells very good.)

Picture found here.

I think my circle is doing absinthe this year.

A Cell Phone For Pagans

Turns out, iPhones are for monotheists, Motorola's new phone the Droid (actually the Droid Eris, although why they'd name a phone for the Goddess of Strife is beyond me; sometimes, cell phones cause strife, but that's not what I'd call a selling point) is for Pagans.

No, really.

In a religious sense, the iPhone is a monotheistic religion. Basically, its OS believes in one device. Yes, I know there is the iPod touch, as well as variations of the iPhone (original, 3G, 3GS), but these are essentially all the same device with essentially the same hardware, just boosted specs. Meanwhile, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc. are all polytheists. But "pagans," while perhaps not exactly right, is a cooler term, so let's go with that. All of these other mobile OSes are pagans. They answer to many devices, their "gods."

Now, I'm not saying that the pagan approach is a bad one, I'm simply saying that in trying to kill a monotheist device with a pagan OS is going to be very hard. The problem is that none of these pagan OSes have any one device that they can use to sell the masses. They may put more faith in one device at any given time (which Android is already doing with Droid), but ultimately, their allegiance lies with the many other devices under their OS umbrella as well. The pagan church (in the Android case, Google), would be unwise to play favorites because it would undermine the ultimate goal: To be on as many devices as possible.

I don't care; I'm not giving up my iPhone.

Hail Eris! Hail Discordia!

Picture (pun intended) found here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

A few years ago, I was in a shopping mall -- not a normal occurrence for me -- and I walked past a Bombay Company outlet that had in its window the hugest silverplate pumpkin punchbowl. It was on sale, just following Halloween, and I couldn't resist.

Of course, I should have realized that every year, between mid-November when I put it away, and mid-October when I pull it out again, the damn thing would tarnish like nobody's business. I never look forward to the polishing job that it takes to make it presentable. Yet, I've found a way to make the process magical. I spend some time before polishing thinking about the things that I need now to wipe out of my life and project them onto the tarnish that covers my big harvest pumpkin centerpiece. I hum an old tune from South Pacific, although it's generally not a man nor my hair that I'm considering. Somehow, it makes the job more interesting.

I can't believe that we're six short days away from Samhein. What do you still have to polish between now and then?

It's Apparently Time For A New Satanic Panic

Now Satanists are making the Dallas Cowboys lose. Living in DC, I can't say that would be a bad thing.

The object of the xian attack is a park in the city of Arlington Texas. The Caelum Moor commission took two years to complete and cost $1.5 million to construct. The completed work of art, which included a park that Hines also designed, was later appraised at more than $3 million. The sculpture is comprised of five individual groups of stones, each with its own Celtic name within a landscaped setting.

The stone monuments range in height from 8 to 30 feet, weigh a total of more than 540 tons and have no celestial connection.

From 1986 to 1997, Caelum Moor was located at the headwaters of Johnson Creek along Interstate 20 in south Arlington. In 1997, the land was acquired by a developer, and the stones were donated to the City of Arlington.

The city's press release indicates that: For 23 years, Arlington has hosted the annual Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games. First held at Caelum Moor in 1989, the annual tradition moved to Maverick Stadium on the UT-Arlington campus. Each year, the games attract about 30,000 people. The three-day event is typically held in June and is renowned for outstanding musical entertainment and celebration of the Scottish culture. For more information, visit

The Star-Telegram reports that: City leaders and the family of late philanthropist Jane Mathes Kelton gathered Thursday to rededicate Caelum Moor, a former $3 million corporate sculpture park now relocated as public art along the bonny banks of Johnson Creek..

Apparently, the vaguely Celtic nature of the sculptures and the fact that Pagans (including, ooooh, scary, a Wican "high priestess" -- complete with the quotation marks, which of course, would never get applied to a description of a Catholic "priest" or a Jewish "rabbi" or a Methodist "minister") may or may not have gathered at, at least, the original corporate sculpture park, are the "cause" of the xians' concern. There's of course, the usual conflation of Satanists with all other Pagans and vague, undocumented charges of animal sacrifice.

The Star-Telegram notes that, on the day the new city park was dedicated nursing home chaplain Michael Tummillo of Stephenville posted on a Web site: "Occultic landmark resurrected near home of the Dallas Cowboys." He warned Arlington about a "demonic backlash."
. . .

Tummillo was part of a 1996 witch hunt in Arlington, when 20 evangelical pastors signed a letter complaining that Caelum Moor, then near Interstate 20, was attracting pagan and Wiccan religious events.

The letter was headlined, "No Witchcraft Park in Arlington."

In a Thursday phone interview, Tummillo called Caelum Moor "a mockery of Christianity" and said those near the park — including the Cowboys — are "in a dance with the devil."
. . .

Tummillo was a youth pastor with the now-disbanded Redeeming Love Covenant Church when the Rev. Danny Smith and his wife, Dena, took their witchcraft warnings nationwide on CNN and even to the syndicated TV entertainment show Strange Universe.

Church members said they saw pagans and Wiccans worshipping in the park, just as pagans have at the original Stonehenge. Police had no reports. But reporters found a local Wiccan "high priestess" who had been there.

In a time when evangelical pastors were really worried about (1) teenagers’ dabbling in Satanism and (2) getting lots of free publicity, the ministers accused the city of supporting satanic worship.

"What about separation of church and state?" Tummillo asked Thursday, even though the sculptures represent Scottish and Celtic tradition, not religion.

In an online religious tract, The Battle of Caelum Moor, Tummillo even sadistically blames Hines and Caelum Moor for a series of divorces, deaths and church and business failures.

"I believe there’s a devil and that we tugged on his cape," he said by phone. "There was a demonic backlash. That satanic spirit has been lying dormant. It’s back now."

One can't escape the notion that this minister from a disbanded church, finding himself a "nursing home minister," simply longs for the days of lots of national publicity and the bennies that go along with that publicity, but that doesn't change the damage that this sort of nonsense can do. Coupled with attacks around the world on "witches," attacks often led by xian evangelicals and re-imported into America in the form of support for politicians such as Sarah Palin, this sort of persecution can grow into a conflagration awfully quickly.

I do have one word of advice for Mr. Tummillo: you're going to have to shut down a hell of a lot of parks if the mere fact that Pagans gather at them makes you terrified. A whole lot of parks. Cudos to the local paper for an editorial that, aside from the irritating quotation marks, does a pretty nice job of handling this issue.

Meanwhile, Jason over at the Wild Hunt has an informative post about the effects of these manufactured Satanic Panics. As we say in the law, Qui bono? Ask who benefits from stirring up this kind of utter bullshit; in other words, follow the money. Economic times are tough. People may turn to religion in such times, but donations are down. Starting a war on witches is a time-tested way to gain both power and funds. Just Saying. Again, I'm urging Pagans to do some magic at Yule to neutralize this sort of prejudice.

Picture found here.

Sunday Poetry Blogging

Sonnet 73

by William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Picture found here.

Sunday Poetry Blogging