The Gods and Releasing Expectations

It can be easy for me to fall into a rut with what Work I expect from which God. This is based on past experiences, trance with them, and their standard associations. I put Them in a box. They like boxes as much as we do, which is not at all, as boxes tend to suffocate, no matter how delightful.

Yemaya has Her box in my head. It’s a lovely one with salted waters flowing through the bottom, brilliant beige sands on the left, and plush greens on the right. Stars whirl and flash hot across the top and the walls are bright colours with art made of discarded seashells. The soundscape is a hearty mix of ocean waves, lapping brooks, birdsong, and music that carries the rhythm of my blood pulsing to my heart. The smellscape is sweet tangy flowers, brine, and the sensuous odour of Love. All of creation she holds in her hands, her heart, her womb. Her feet leave seeds of renewal with every step of the dance. I love her box. She does, too, but, it is still a box.

Yemaya wants to come to Medusa camp in July. I’ve had other Goddesses and Gods surprise me with which events they wish to attend with me, eschewing their boxes. I guess at Who wants to travel for a gathering and then They tell me yes or no, while Others jump in demanding to be taken. Hel wants to come to Medusa camp this year. Of course She does! No surprise! Death is a big piece of this story. And …. so is life. Hel is always reminding me of her left side, the living flesh side. It’s amusing, because I know, I know, and yet She whispers in my ear, “Life feeds on death the same as death feeds on life.”

I should have suspected something big was coming with Yemaya when she insisted a few months ago that her shrine be moved to a more prominent place and she wanted more attention. Both have occurred.

I have a long time online friend who has started looming ask if I wanted a rainbow cloth/altar scarf for my Work concerning the Orlando massacre in a gay club on June 11th during Latinx night. My energies and spellwork are for the Beloved Dead and for healing and justice for the LGBTQA++ going forward. My friend asked what Powers and Gods with their associated energies did I want to pull in. Yemaya lithely jumped to Her delicious feet, stopped her dance of the heavens, turned full face to me, and said with somber eyes plus a firm tone, “ME”. (Others desired to lend power to this project, but Yemaya was first.)

My friend weaves magic into her work with the loom. To be quite honest, she weaves magic into everything. For her newest Art of looming she has a lovely process of calling and weaving which you can read about here. My cloth is near done. As my friend was weaving Yemaya stepped in, speaking Her expectations of me for this Work. These messages have been passed on to me. She is coming to camp, and to other events in the future, for this Work, for this Magic. Beautiful as it is, a box is constricting, and the Gods will not be limited. Nor should They be. They expect us not to limit ourselves, either. Ashé.

A funny thing happened on the way to my grave….

(originally posted on this day three years ago, it was a good reminder today)

I am reminded again of how easily I can hold two seemingly conflicting ideas inside of me and be at peace with that. This is not true for everyone. Some people need everything to line up logically and make sense or they must discard what doesn’t. It is how they order their world. Their sense of personal safety and security depends on it. Logical structure, schedules, and outlines hold the edges of their life and such things make them happy.
My sense of How Things Work depends on the idea that not everything is logical, nor should it be.  Everything does not fit together in a Tab A/Slot B way. First draft outlines, dynamic schedules and loose structure hold the soft edges of my life and make me happy. Hard lines constrict me, do not make sense within my world view, and cause me to feel suffocated. It is an interesting endeavor when these two views meet in conversation. I always walk away from those encounters with reinforced certainty of: my POV is as it should be, everyone gets to be exactly who they are, and I am easily okay with that.

Oh, Julian*, you were so right.

*Julian of Norwich – “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”

The Work is Looming

Reblog: Lovely!

Caw, Motherfsckers

First I set the loom in place, the center of my working. At the right distance for the piece, I erect the World Tree, my pillar, my pitan. Between it and the Well that is my chair, I will draw the web of powers I need to snare the object of my will. I drop the thread into the Well and make the first draw, tying the end onto the horizon of origin provided by the loom. The music has already started playing, songs that call the worlds and the spirits I need.

Over the horizon I draw the thread through the heddle, the first day of creation. I coax the loop to the Tree and hang it there, marking the length. Coming back to the Well, I draw again and pass under the horizon, the first night. Through the heddle and to the Tree, testing for firm tension. Over…

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The Acute Divide of Me

I remember a time when my online persona was such a good match for my offline persona it was a bit disturbing. Somewhere along the years of Facebook I have lost that. I don’t know if it’s the medium, the horrors of menopause, or I’m just more careless and quick to answer with my words, or all of these, but it is something.

I started shifting this in January, smoothing some of my edges, but not stopping my desire to spotlight issues of social injustice. It worked for awhile. Then it didn’t, then it did. I’ve all the right reasons in my head, but then it slips and I don’t even notice at first. In person I notice quickly. (I’ll give ya sometimes I’m clueless, but that is unusual, not typical.)

I was being quiet more, with spurts of RAWR, but I didn’t shift enough internally. I was choosing where to post what, hidden from much of friends list, with the occasional two day outbursts on my timeline. Basically I changed where without changing how. Which is duh, but there ya go, I was being duh. I wasn’t feeling this shift in my body and for me that is an important piece to permanence.

Today after visiting a hospice patient I felt it in my body. Like huge I felt it. Not the shift, but the gulf between the state of grace I am in when I am in service to the dying and the state if non-grace I am in a place like Facebook. How I am face-to-face in my community where my hands fly around, my eyes are bright, and my face lights up with passion when discussing things. When I discuss all things, from SJ to how the squirrel wiggled itself up a tree. It was core blowing how acutely I felt the divide between the two places I am “seen”. And it was unnerving. And humbling.

My wish is that I hold this state of grace more purposefully going forward, in all my places. That I try to do better. That I will do better.

Witches, remember your skills, use them to pull the strings of the Web

I have “reasons” for the colour candle I light for the newly dead, but the most significant one is “because I was told to” by whatever name you call the Universal Is. So it is orange candles for the newly Beloved Dead created by a bigot in Orlando, FL, in the wee hours of yesterday morning. Orange is for the transition, for the time immediately after physical death leading into the next phase. It is for the soul, not the body. It is for their essence, not their loved ones. There are many rites for those left behind, my work is for the ones departed.

I will be reading the names of these Beloved Dead, every day, until all are laid to rest by their loved ones. Then I will read them a final time for this working. And candles – lots of candles, as I do this part of my Job.

Hel wants in on this work, is full of deep sadness, but only can watch from the sidelines knowing those folks died in battle, and therefore aren’t Hers. Hel gets a candle for holding Her compassion.

There is other work, too. Odin wants in on this Work. He is requiring only a single jar candle, and a listening heart for what comes next.

Magic is being organized locally for a public call to justice and change.

We’re witches, damnit, let’s wield our tools for change!

The Descent/Ascent of Innana? Part One

This is raw and beautiful from my friend Cyn. I await Part 2!

Steel Kachinas

Vertical Roses 1It is a popular myth – the Descent of Innana.  It has been interpreted again and again.  I’ve read the story, I’ve read the interpretations, I’ve even read some rather artful re-writes (like Vellum and Ink) of this tale.  They all intrigued and troubled me, like something quivering in my memory and consciousness and not ready to be born yet.  Innana, a goddess of love and sex and beauty, descends into the Underworld ruled by her sister.  She goes through seven gates (note the seven roses  to the left), sacrificing more of her power and self until she is hung (up to dry?) like a corpse.  She is rescued by loyal retainers, in the end — those she entrusted sufficiently.  She sacrifices her husband Damuzi to be freed from the land of the dead.

This myth and that picture have possessed me equally for the last five years…

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Let’s deconstruct this – Dan Turner pleads for leniency for convicted rapist son

Brock Turner raped an unconscious woman and tried to run away when caught in the act. He was found guilty of three felonies: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. His father believes prison is not appropriate for his “20 minutes of action”.

First, here is the most egregious part of his letter, highlighted in yellow:

Screenshot_2016-06-06-23-32-52-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th.

By the events – as opposed to “by his actions”. This was not an event that happened to him, this is a thing he chose to do. (deflection, rape culture, blame shifting, patriarchy)

He will never be his happy go lucky self…etc.

Because he’s a rapist. (Son should be able to remain unchanged after committing heinous crime – male privilege, rape culture, patriarchy)

His every waking moment is consumed  with worry, anxiety, fear and depression.

So he can identify with his victim. Good to know. (lack of concern that his victim’s psychological state is the same because of him, concern only for the rapist – male privilege, patriarchy, rape culture)

You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him.

Brock rapes an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and dad’s big concern is his son can no longer enjoy steak. (  the worst thing to happen to a rapist is losing his appetite – male privilege, patriarchy)

Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist.  These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. 

Eating to exist is kind of the point of consumption of food, but I digress. The verdicts did not do the shattering, the rape did the shattering. He killed his dreams himself, he worked hard to achieve rape. (deflection, blame shifting from crime to consequence -male privilege)

That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.

Rape is “20 minutes of action” and his violent crime shouldn’t have a steep price as a consequence. (rape is sex, violent crime shouldn’t effect felon’s life – misogyny, male privilege, patriarchy, rape culture, minimizing)

The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations.

Women’s safety is less important than his son having more options for housing, work, and social interaction. (patriarchy, rape culture, misogyny, male privilege)

What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock.

Three felony convictions, prison not appropriate. (white privilege)

He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015. 

Rape isn’t violence. Sexual assault is not a violent crime. Violent criminals shouldn’t be punished the first time they’re caught. (rape culture, male privilege, patriarchy, minimizing) 

Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.

Alcohol makes men rape. Promiscuity makes men rape. (deflection, blame shifting, rape culture, patriarchy)

By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. 

Binge drinking causes rape. Rape is not a violent crime, but an “unfortunate result”. (rape culture, male privilege, patriarchy, blame shifting, minimizing)

Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give
back to society in a net positive way.

He doesn’t deserve punishment because he’s a good boy who learned things, like drinking and promiscuity are bad. (male privilege, white privilege, class privilege)


That is from a single paragraph of a 3 page letter. Not only did the dad think it was completely appropriate to enter into court records, he says his words were misinterpreted. Another “unfortunate” thing.

The victim wrote a letter, too. It didn’t sway the judge.

The judge sided with the rapist, and sentenced Turner to 6 months in jail and 3 years probation. (rape culture, patriarchy, male privilege, class privilege, athlete privilege)

There are a bunch of petitions to protest the sentence and to sanction the judge if you’re so inclined.


And for the magic workers out there, there is a collective working to address the lack of justice in this case.


This constant fight to be treated with dignity and worth exhausts me.