Sunday, July 10, 2016

Into the West

In just three weeks time, I will be moving from 46 years growing up and living in Chicago to my new home in the Denver area.

A different climate, a different scene, a different spirit-of-place.

Brings to mind that I haven't really asked permission of the genius loci if I may invade their turf and set up shop, although I felt we were on very good terms during my prior multiple visits leading up to this life-changing adventure.

Makes me wonder what is the protocol for such things.  I mean, it isn't like you just bring a bottle of wine and a bouquet from the local florist, plonk them down in your new homeland and say "Hey all you local entities, ok if I hang out with you from now on?"

There's should be some sort of....I don't know....transaction, interview, agreement to terms....and if one is lucky, acceptance and/or adoption into the new community.

And I don't mean the local pagan community.

I know how to do the "visiting dignitary" thing and have already begun making polite introductions around, reaching out to folks.  I've let it be known that although I'm going to be new in town, I am a seasoned practitioner who may or may not be establishing a new covenstead sometime in the relatively near future, once I get settled in.

What I mean is sending out a polite aetheric calling card to the spirit guardians who reside there.

How does one let it be known that I come in peace and hope that we can be friends one day?  How do I express my gratitude for being in this land that is new to me, working with soil that is completely different from my Midwestern loam, with flora and fauna...and no doubt fae....which will be as foreign to me and I to them?  How does one make such an approach without accidentaly impropriety?

These are the thoughts that float through my head while I continue to pack up the first half of my lifetime here in Chicago.  It is my hope that along with the new job, the new house and the new timezone, that I can find friends associated in all aspects of my new life in Colorado.

I know, I'll bring pizza.  Pizza works on everybody.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Read, Think.....DO!

There's this terrific quote by Albert Einstein:  "Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking," and I think this applies to the dilemma of those working out the beginnings of their own Craft practice.

It is far too easy to get caught up in reading under the guise of research and the quest to find "the right way" to do things, so much so, that one becomes enmired in book-learnin' and doesn't ever get off his/her keester to actual perform and try to experience anything.

The funny thing about the Craft, Druidry and other such forms of paganism, is that the activity and participation was once taught wholly without benefit of books. 

You had to DO IT to GET IT. 

And in most cases, you were either shown how by a relative or mentor, or you just went out and figured things out by trial-and-error.

Which is great for learning sympathetic magic....not so great for herbalism, particularly if you don't know what may be poisonous or cause ill-effects for the practitioner!

I guess that's why I liked learning in a systematic way via a tradition:  there was already some tried-and-true methods outlined for me to use, where I could experience and draw my own conclusions....but I also wouldn't get gobsmacked by shizzle that my covenmates and uplines weren't already on standby to help me through or give me pointers about how to deal with afterward.

Kinda like training wheels, really.  You get to learn, but you also have a smaller likely hood of injury.

Still, getting one's nose out of the books and going out into the outer wilds or inner spaces is the best way to test your meddle.  So what if you've read that X+Y = Z.  If you don't do it for yourself, you're just puppeting along with something YOU personally don't know is fact.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Millenial Douchebags in Witches' Clothing

Photo from the Chicago Reader.  All credit to them, not me.

Check this shit out.

So a bunch of hipster assholes got dressed up in cloaks and decided to light a bunch of candles on a city street to protest the mayor and a bunch of construction workers because they're tearing down some low-income housing to put up new condos in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.

What?  Did they run out of PBR and your favorite gluten-free granola at the corner store so you needed something to do with your afternoon before you were gonna ride your scooter over to the poetry slam?

Check out the article from The Chicagoist, here:

Yeah.  Good for you posers.  Way to get some more bullshit press for real witches everywhere by showing your face to the cameras with your emo-whining.

As someone who IS a witch --that is to say who is a practitioner of the religion--- may I say that ignorant, self-righteous, attention-seeking Millennials pretending to be witches really piss me off.
How dare they co-opt my honorable belief system to use it for their "15 minutes of fame disguised as a political movement"?  Are the kids today so spoiled and entitled they think it is ok to play-act at someone's valid religion for their own personal ends?
Well, I can tell you.....they sure as shit aren't real witches.  
But don't misunderstand.  I'm not saying real witches don't do political stuff.  They totally do.  We protest and hold rallies and marches and pride parades with the best of 'em.  Hell, Starhawk made a whole pagan life-path out of being radical and political.
But these here?  These are just some twenty-somethings who think that dressing in flowy robes and lighting a bunch of candles while reciting some poorly-written iambic pentameter in the name of their own personal agendas makes them SOOOO MUCH MORE SCARY and worthy of the attention.
They don't understand things like boundaries or respect.  Funny....isn't that sort of what they're claiming to be all up in arms about?   The taking away from others to use for personal gain?
Oh don't sound witchy either.  You sound like you're trying for a blurb on TMZ. 
Do you really think that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is going to drive up in his limo, part the "crowd" of you and all 6 of your friends acting like Harry Potter on the sidewalk (without a permit, mind you)? 
Do you imagine he's going to beg you not to make an effigy of him out of locally-sourced beeswax stuck with the vintage hat pins that you got from the Brown Elephant, if only he will stop the bulldozers from leveling that crumbling project building?
What are you gonna do for an encore?  Spread your propaganda dressed as nuns, chaining yourselves to the construction site gate with old wristbands from Coachella, SXSW and Lolla? Or maybe you'll wear some cool yarmulkes that you've made by upcycling your old flannels?
Fuck no.  Please don't.
If the important thing is your MESSAGE, then find a way to air your protestations without a platform which denigrates somebody else.
Because, trust me little darlings, if there was any real juju in your hexes, you'd know that you're going to get what YOU deserve for your little publicity stunt too.  Good luck.