What to do, what to do

I tend to side-eye myself (I use a mirror?) when coincidences pop up and I think, “aha! Connection! Intelligent Universe!” I seem to give more grace to other folks’ coincidences than to my own. Now, I do believe some things are only coincidence, and other things not, and the latter is more common as a rule.

I don’t jump to Reason It’s Written in Destiny™ straight off. I wait to see if anything else shows up. At times I feel a push to do a thing, with no known reason for the pushing to be as hard and urgent as it feels. Take for instance collecting the moon water at the ocean last week. I mean sure – witchywoohoo why not? But it felt like a mandate more than a desire. I’ve learned not to question so much and just do in those situations, and allow myself to wonder later when I’ll know why.


Yesterday I was told stories by a woman of her visit to Standing Rock to deliver supplies to the water protectors there. I’m not going to tell her stories here, they are hers to tell in her own blog. She talked of elders reskilling tribal members in the old ways of their traditions: herbs, and medicines, and blessings – especially the water blessings with wonderful details. There was a story of moondancers and a water blessing that reminded me much of the Waters of the World spell in my own tradition and we talked about this.

My friend had just stopped for the night, a pitstop on her way back home. As she thanked me for the couch of hospitality she reached into her car and pulled out a bit of sage from Standing Rock. She handed it to me as a thank you. I was touched. As I held that sage I thought of the moondancers and their water blessing. I thought of the moonwater I’d collected on a whim. I didn’t even side-eye myself, I just smiled.

These 3 things need to be put together as a working for the waters and the protectors. They have a purpose beyond the obvious. Mystery – how it arrives, what it holds, and what is released as it manifests is a big part of the draw to my path. What to do with these 3 things remains to be discovered, but once done I will again feel Mystery’s Touch. May I never tire of it.

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:

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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.

Overt or Covert – it’s all racism, and it’s in all our corners

We have a lot of covert racism where I live. Not because I live in the the worst city ever, but because racism is everywhere. We have a lot of overt racism, too – even by long time TV anchors – who exhibit blatant racist thinking and benevolent racist thinking.

The above linked news story has created a lot of conversation in social media. On FB people are coming out of the woodwork to defend or rail against the TV anchor. Many of the defenders are trying to be aware and clued in, and still end up being wrong, deluded, and/or engaging in racist thinking. This is particularly evident when they take up along geographical lines.

So many want to believe that their area of choice to live, or their birth city, or their adopted city is so much better than [where they used to live/everywhere else]. And you know what? Your favourite place isn’t spared from being racist because it exists within a country that has systemic racism. You are not spared from being racist even if you’re an aware, clued in white person. You can mitigate the effects, you can consciously choose appropriate words and actions, but we live in a racist society, built on white supremacy, and nobody gets a pass.

You see folks from the North and South making generalizations about those who live on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line. Those generalizations are mostly unfavourable to the other. We love to engage in othering people we perceive as lesser than. And we’re all a bunch of deluded liars because white privilege and racism are institutionalized. I live in the North – being on “the right side of the Civil War” was a big thing in elementary school. The North was on the winning side, not morally superior side. In the South they taught it was only about state’s rights and who doesn’t want that in a Republic? The South was on the losing side, not the indignantly altruistic side. As if one side was more or less than racist than the other. Not so, as evidenced by the prevalence of racism today. Divisive stone throwing hurts the cause of dismantling the system of racism. It is a distraction, used to either center the assumed “good alliness” of a city or region over those other people who are racist, or to derail the conversation entirely. Again racism is everywhere. You cannot escape, only mitigate.

Overt versus covert racism, which is better? The obvious answer is neither, but folks who engage in the covert variety like to think they are less racist. Overt racism such as using racial and ethnic slurs and crossing the street when you see a brown or black person walking toward you is pretty easy to spot. Covert racism, where you don’t use use the slurs because it isn’t polite and you don’t cross the street but you do pull your bag in closer (even if you realize what you’re doing and release your grip) is harder to detect, but it is still rooted in racist thinking. And it isn’t “better racism”, or “less racist”. It is not non-racist behaviour.

Covert racism holds in its grasp the polite racist, too. My dad was the ultimate polite racist, abstaining from using racist and ethnic slurs in conversation. We didn’t “use those words” because it wasn’t polite, not because they weren’t true. In private he certainly believed they were true, even without using the slurs, but he didn’t say them because manners. Manners were the most important thing. And my dad was considered a nice guy, friendly, would help you out of a jam regardless of race, but still he was a racist. Period. He just was. I fight the racist thinking I was raised with. I try to mitigate the effects of the society I live in every day. That doesn’t mean I’ve eradicated it all and can easy-breeze through all of my days. If I ever think that then I’m lying to myself. I’d like for white people to stop lying to themselves about racism.

The difference one sees from city to city and region to region is generally a difference in covert and overt racism. That isn’t to say that some places aren’t better than others. They absolutely are. But in pockets not swaths. And nowhere in this country is it free of racism. Maybe folks could keep that in mind when they get on their geographical high horses. That would be nice.

 

Reclaiming Pittsburgh Spring Equinox Rite

Reclaiming Pittsburgh (Find us on Facebook)

Intention: Life calls, we return in joy: I am here.

Altar pictures below. In the first photo you can see our SJWW (Social Justice Warrior Witchcraft) global working for women’s access to appropriate health care that some in our community are engaged in. It is the honey jar on the left side in front of the tall white jar candle Thanks for bring that Juniper!

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Life calls. We return in Joy. I am here!

SJWW (Social Justice Warrior Witchcraft) Next working – Women’s Bodily Autonomy/Access to Healthcare

Our next endeavor is on March 23rd, but since this issue is large and widespread we’ve opted into offering a honey jar pre-working, starting tomorrow, and continuing through the Main Working on the 23rd. (Or continuing as long or as short as you please, or only doing the Main Working on the 23rd, details to come on that piece.)

PLEASE JOIN US AND SPREAD THE WORD!

The event description:

~*~ Whole Woman’s Health, et al., Petitioners
v.
John Hellerstedt, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services, et al.

***PART ONE***

▶This is a working in two parts, with the goal of maintaining bodily autonomy for women and reasonable access to women’s health care (including abortion, currently legal). Multiple cases concerning women’s access to health and bodily autonomy will be heard in the Supreme Court of the U.S. in March. See the links below for background information.

Interested parties are welcome to participate in both workings, or either part alone, as suits their calling and availability. News source here: http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/what-to-expect-for-texas-upcoming-abortion-case-in-a-post-scalia-court-8035280SCOTUS docket info link: http://www.supremecourt.gov/qp/15-00274qp.pdf Case History: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=%2Fdocketfiles%2F15-274.htm

▶Part One: Supreme Court Honey Jar, March 1-2, 2016

The focus of this working is on making the best possible case in front of the Supreme Court, and “sweetening” the Justices toward the desired outcome. Therefore, our suggested method is a honey jar.

**Astrology focus: not as key this time as in our last project – but we’re on the clock and can’t wait until every planet is in our corner! If you want to add astrological steam, our best bet is a conjunction of Mercury (communication, winning in court) and Venus (women’s issues) in Aquarius. Those who work planetary correspondences should focus on Mercury and Venus (not Jupiter, although he brings justice, because he’s in retrograde all month).

**Starting the Jar:

Get a jar of honey. The quality isn’t really important, since people do the same kinds of spellwork with corn syrup anyway, so just go with whatever looks right at the store. Take a taste out of it to “activate” it with your energy. Then add your focus items.

**Focus Items:

At minimum, write out “Supreme Court of the United States” on a slip of paper. To connect more directly with the present sitting Justices, write a list of their names and/or print out a picture of them. If you can’t get anything else, this much will be enough to activate the spell.

**If you can add some herbs, here are some particularly good ones to put in:

Solomon’s Seal, for wisdom

Rosemary, for letting women “rule” the decision

Dill, a Mercury herb, particularly good for court cases paired with Coriander

Pennyroyal: associated with both peace in the home and abortion

Galangal/Low John root: sweetening of the tongue for presenting in court

Deer’s tongue: sweetening the tongue

Slippery elm: for ending slander, lies, etc

Juniper: it’s been used both for and against sexual prowess, so “control over one’s own sexual business.” (Also, for those who are interested, this one got a nod from Artemis)

Your own traditions and instincts may lead you to other things. Remember that this jar is about influencing the Justices to give us victory in court.

Once you have filled the jar, close it back up. This in itself will be enough to add to the shared working, but you can also keep adding to it throughout the month by burning candles on top of the jar. Dress candles for winning in court in whatever way is consistent with your practice.

**You can continue this working up to and including the Part Two working. Facebook doesn’t allow an event longer than 2 weeks. Feel free to jump in at any time to support this work!

▶Part Two: SCOTUS hears arguments regarding the HHS Mandate and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, March 23, 2016

See event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/553236968175733/

And so it was done, my small part in this collective working against Boko Haram

I arose about a half hour prior to the moon going void of course. I had prepped the space the night before. Candles had been dressed with deity oil blends per Their request, and rolled in a helpful herb. Sigils and words handwritten on rice paper, incense blended. I cast, and called, and Throngs showed up. I felt empowered and deeply humbled.

This morning’s work was interesting and powerful. Lots of chatter, lots of Folks and folks. Two of the dressed candles burned quickly down with the burning of the sigil paper, but not the candle dressed with Odin oil blend. That one was slower. After thrice reading the poem, I burnt those papers and the final candle slipped to a puddle in the sand, burning for a few more minutes. I set the loose incense to smoke until the end of the moon’s VOC and then I released it to the wind. I cleaned up the space, and crawled back into bed to warm back up and sleep. For those who read spell remnants, the photo below is the oil print from the wax and the paper’s ashes.

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Poseidon requested a tall fresh taper, dressed in His oil blend, on His altar. Other altars have candles burning and will continue, until they are done.

May cracks become crevices become chasms become broken pieces of what once was a band of heartless zealots. May peace and healing be found in the wake of their demise. And as We will, it shall be so.