Sunday, April 30, 2023


I am in my 50s now, and I've been working my Craft for over 30 years.  Some of that was tradition-based, much of it was with a coven.  In recent years, I've been solitary, semi-retired from "public pagandom" and that mostly because I feel like the version of the Craft I knew, that I love, is not what is around today.

What the Craft has morphed into is something different than what I had come to understand and know...and while that isn't denoting judgement of it as a good or bad thing, it is and acknowledgement that it IS a very different thing these days, and I'm not convinced this iteration is something to which I feel belong.  

And I'm ok with that for the most part. 

Perhaps this is why some have said a 'woman of a certain age' is supposed to step down from the HPS role and go do her groovy thing elsewhere.  Less to do with fertility maybe, and more to do with not relating to the role in quite the same way given the modern views and modalities.

Certainly seems to be enough history to support the idea of little old ladies going off to live alone and on  her own, away from the larger community, just growing her weird herb garden and talking to cats and forest animals as if they'd answer her back.  Seems about right to me!

Which brings me 'round again to Beltane.  As a single, older woman who is both sans coven and sans spouse, I'm having a bit of a negotiation with the Lord and Lady about how this celebration fits into my current situation and what I can bring to Them as proper offering of love, respect and gratitude in my given circumstances.  

What does Beltane even mean to me in my perimenopausal life?  What does it mean that my mood swings and fluctuating hormones and trying to age semi-gracefully make me nearly invisible in this world, both IRL and in modern pagandom?  

Do I tell the 'Wicca influencers' on Snapchat and IG to get their crystal balls of my lawn?  Do I spend my time trying to figure out why everybody is so damn triggered by the version of Craft that I once knew to the point of making it cancel-cultured pariah?  

Lately I feel like my private meditations with Cosmic Mom and Dad are more like I am in session with my therapist, trying to talk-through why it feels like the gradient of everything has stolen the specialness of it all.  

So I look at the old photographs of maypole dancers, of the colored ribbons and the smiling dancers who you just know were going to steal off to into the woods, two-by-two, to conjure the summer in.  And I feel whistful.  Not just because I am without a partner, but because I also often feel like I am without the joyousness and carefree FUN of what it meant to celebrate in such a way.

Now, we have to worry about who will be upset by the idea of what Beltane is about, how fertility  works, what words are OK to use in describing such things and reenacting them in token or in truth...all of which may be unintentionally triggering to somebody. 

So where does this leave us in our modern Beltane eve?  Is any sort of light-hearted flirtation acceptable or is it all considered a dance down the path toward offense now?  

This is why I am solitary.  I am far too jaded and sick of trying to figure out how to redress things to meet with today's parameters.  I'm from the school where a ribald joke, a risque double entendre and a bit of a wicked grin were part of the Beltane fun.  Verbal foreplay before the obvious figurative descent of the May Queen's flowered crown came sliding down the pole.  I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, y'all.  Just sayin'.

So here's a health to you, how every you do or don't celebrate.  May your May Wine be sweet with woodruff and berries, may your eyes alight on those whom you love and may the year ahead be fertile and wild and bountiful of blessings.

And may your Beltane night bring you much ecstasy and merriment as your palate and social conscience will allow you! 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Plagiarism isn't the most sincere form of flattery

Just a brief comment here after a recent incident I had with someone stealing parts of my blog posts from several years ago and trying to pass it off as their own work.  

I write this blog.  Just as it says, I am the sole author of "Flying Off the Broom Handle" and have been for 13 years and counting.  The thoughts I put here are my own opinions, my own tales of experiences I've had or thoughts which may cross my cranial spaces that I felt were worth sharing.  

Sometimes I do this to give readers something to chuckle about or contemplate or question.

Sometimes I write things that were inspired by conversations I've participated in while online or in public pagan spaces.  Things that made me curious or pissed me off.  Things that made me hopeful about the larger pagan scene or made me scratch my head.

But what I write here is my own content.  It has purpose and meaning for me because I've created it, drafted the words and cultivated the phrases.  From the passionate diatribes to the satirical rants...all borne from the witchy heart that resides within my own chest.  ((thump thump, hand to heart))

And so that is why my posts...ALL OF MY POSTS...are held in copyright. 

I want the words out there to be read and enjoyed, yes, but I want them to be known as my intellectual property.

If what I say inspires you, then fantastic.  If you have an AH-HA moment from them, that's wonderful!  If you get fired up and want to post a reply or offer a different view than what I've shared, please do!  

But please, be respectful.  If you want to "borrow" from my words, then please do the honest thing and ask.  I generally do grant permission for private use.  

What I don't do is want my words co-opted and used as though they belong to another author, another promoted agenda for which I've not given consent.  It is like having your name stolen, your identity taken or your likeness used to peddle goods that you have no idea you've been associated with.

So yes, I do take the stealing of my intellectual property seriously.  It isn't flattering to have someone outright steal your hard work.  It feels invasive, intrusive and hostile.  Not unlike someone coming into my home and helping themselves to my physical property.  

There are laws against stealing someone's personal property, and yes, there are laws against stealing someone's intellectual and artistic property and passing it off as your own.  Hence the copyright disclaimer, which I legally update every year, as posted on my blog page.

So yeah, plagiarism is ugly and painful.  It cannot be couched in clever, honeyed fawning of "Oh, but you had put things so succinctly and so eloquently, I thought you'd be honored to have it spread to a wider audience" ---- that's so much unctuousness it chokes me. 

Artists, be they famous, infamous, or just garden-variety diarists like me....we hold our creative endeavors dear.  They represent something of ourselves that we uniquely have produced and given to the world.  

We hope that folks will like what we do.  We hope they will find it useful, charming, thoughtful or contemplative.  We hope they will respect and honor the awen that sparked it.  Or the humor which spawned it within and led to the words on the page or screen.

In my case, I hope that readers will find the connection between me as author and themselves in the reading of my blog posts and rambles.

Mostly, I hope that if my readers do have a mind toward gratitude for any of my writing, they simply take a moment to comment, be it to cajole, sympathize or offer cheerful response and comical retort.  

Essentially, like so many things in life:  DON'T TAKE WHAT ISN'T YOURS.  BE RESPECTFUL.  BE HONORABLE.  BE DECENT.

And hey, don't lie.  


Monday, February 1, 2021

Conflicts of Religious Interest

I don't understand what the propensity is with some so-called modern witches in combining religions.

Saw someone in a group recently giving a "SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY LUTHERAN WITCHES OUT THERE. WHERE YOU AT?"

 (spoof of Martin Luther at the church door)

This makes my head hurt. And my heart.

While I get that witchcraft doesn't necessarily involve religion (though Wicca, and certainly BTW does), this idea of combining specific denomination of Christianity with Craft just sounds to me like a cop-out and utter nonsense.

Before you give me the "Ok, Boomer" bullshit (and I'm GenX thankyouverymuch), hear me out.

How in the blue blazes do you make Lutheranism work with Craft? That would denote that one would be able to see the correlation between these two diametric positions on spirituality, faith, practice and theology and somehow Frankenstein it together into something both would recognize and acknowledge as being honorable to their origins.

Can't happen, man.

How do you hold to a Lutheran theology that expressly despises the very thought of witches, believes holding other powers beside Yahweh/Jesu to be blasphemous, yet witches do work with energies other than God the Father in Heaven? How does one reconcile that Lutherans have a distinct priesthood and would renounce anyone other than their priesthood performing rites?

You don't.

It really frosts my cupcakes when people think Craft is a plug-n-play system that they can just overlay onto any other theological entity and call it good.

That's a shortsighted view of what the Craft entails and the depth of what it means to be a witch. One of the basics of witchery is the ownership of whatever you put forth. You are the direct connection to Source, you do not have the go-between of another person, in this case Lutheran clergy, acting on behalf of lowly little you, the congregant.

Like I want to see this Lutheran Witch walk into a Lutheran church and tell the assembled folks what they profess to believe as a witch, what they practice in combining it with Christian deity and how they have aligned themselves both to The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences and the basic principles and practices of Craft.

Don't you think they'd get ex-communicated (or whatever the Lutheran equivalent may be)?

By that token, as a Craft person, I want to decry equally the utter nonsensical nature of this bastard combination.

But I can't....because in this era of 'let others do what they want' and 'it's his/her/their own path and let it be'....I am to let this kind of ridiculousness stand as a possibility.

I just can't though. I can't get my brain wrapped around this as a tenable, workable methodology for either persuasion. Consider it a failing on my part, I guess.

Shit like this makes me angry because it cheapens things for the rest of us who do take this seriously. Yes, I'm of the belief that stuff like this does take us all a peg down because it makes every one of us seem just as ridiculous to the rest of the world.

And if I were to question this person in the forum, I'd be the one getting the boot from the group for being a gate-keeping, judgmental elitist jerk.

So mote it be then, gang. I do judge things when I think they are ridiculous and insulting to the Craft. I gate-keep because I want to protect and honor something dear to me from half-assed scholarship and poor excuses of execution.