When Silent Anger isn’t Enough

Today I’m angry.

I am so goddamn angry.

I am so goddamn motherfucking angry. 

You may have noticed I’m a little upset.

Why, you may ask? Because apparently I’ve found myself in a goddamn motherfucking B-rate post-apocalyptic horror movie, where a fascist congealed pile of orange pond algae someone glued googly eyes to has managed to be elected as president of the goddamn USA.

I’m angry and you should be angry too, even if you don’t live in the USA. Even if you did vote for this piece of tangerine shit because of emails or something? Everyone should be pissed.

Unless you are a Nazi, in which case, this all probably seems awesome to you, in which case, fuck off.

This has been a wake up call, like the worst sort of wake up call. Like someone threw a bucket of freezing cold urine on me sort of wake up call.

I have been too quiet. I live my life secretly. I don’t speak up, I don’t talk out of line, because it’s really too much of a hassle. I hold my beliefs close to my chest and silently hate and judge and curse and banish and derisively laugh. But mostly I keep to myself.

No more, fuckers. No more.

It is about to get real up in this motherfucking bitch- oh my gods, will it get real.

I am going to be calling all of you. I am going to be writing to all of you. I am going to be cursing and hexing and binding all you pieces of shit.

I will be marching and protesting and speaking and quite possibly punching, because it’s just an alternative kiss. Amirite?!

Get ready for the worst four years of your lives you Evangelical, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, taint lickers.

My Mother

My father is gone. He dropped dead in the front yard of the house I grew up in. His heart stopped working. Two weeks after being declared cancer free his heart gave out. Isn’t that ironic?

Now I have one parent.

My father is gone.

My mother is here.

My mother.

My mother was born the eldest of four girls to an arrogant man and a naive woman. She grew up on the streets of southern Los Angeles and shared a bed with her sisters until she turned sixteen. She learned how to fight and drink and stand her ground through a childhood marked by neglect and abuse and poverty.

I have my mother’s hands. We have rectangular palms and long, skinny fingers. We have hands with callouses. We have hands with scars. I’ve seen those hands wield a baseball bat as a weapon at stray dogs that attacked me and my sister. I’ve seen those hands bake pies and cook meals. I’ve seen those hands clench in rage and wave in joy.

My mother has a voice for yelling that she never uses. My mother has sage green eyes that can cut through your petulant bullshit and silence you before you even open your mouth.

My mother is a witch though she’d never use the word. If my mother wants something, she gets it. If someone owes her, they pay. My mother could break your jaw with her fist and your spirit with her words.

When I think about my mother I think about Hecate and Demeter. I think about Skadi and Frigg.

My mother is pride and darkness, she is arrogance and acceptance, she is love and strength.

The wheel has turned, the earth has frozen, the world is dark. Winter allows no room for weakness.

I will be like my mother.

 

Keeping Wights and Home

If you are familiar with the old Russian hag Baba Yaga, then you are no doubt familiar with the story of her encounter with a pair of orphaned children whose cruel stepmother sent them to work for the ancient witch. While Baba Yaga was away, the kind-hearted children managed to escape from her chicken legged house with help from the witch’s neglected household. When Baba Yaga returned home to find the children gone, she demanded answers from the disobedient trees, animals, and gates that allowed the children to escape. The household replied:

“We were always ready to obey thee, but thou didst neglect us.” 

 

So, it was not that the children were good and needed to be saved, though I can understand why some might interpret the story thusly, but rather it’s simply that the children respected the needs of the household. They fed the mice, dogs and black cat, placed ribbon on the birch trees, and oiled the old gates and were rewarded for their appreciation. The household doesn’t complain that Baba Yaga was cruel to the children or that she herself is “evil” (in fact no indication they have any thoughts regarding the morality of the situation) they merely wanted acknowledgement and respect.

Your home is alive. From the cabinet doors in your kitchen to the wooden beams behind your walls, your dwelling is absolutely infested with spirits. Maybe they followed you there, attaching themselves to your person or your ancestral lineage, maybe you invited them with craft or will-working, but most likely they were there before you arrived and will be there long after you’re gone. It has been my experience that very few things in life belong solely to one being. You have to learn to share.

So here is my three point list of recommendations on how to keep your house wights happy.

1. Cleanliness


As my oma would say, it’s important to have a little Putzfimmel: a cleaning obsession. People don’t like to live in filth and neither do wights. I recommend a weekly cleaning schedule to keep your house or apartment in good condition and a monthly schedule for deeper cleaning. I know that might feel overwhelming when you work full time and/or have children to take care of, but trust me it’s worth it. Even if keeping wights happy isn’t your main goal, everyone deserves to live in a clean home. Many folks I know also have maid services, which is fine, but I would suggest maybe once a month or so doing at least some of the cleaning yourself to help establish a connection with your wights. They’ll appreciate the effort. 
Have you ever walked into a house and thought “Holy fuck, get me the fuck out of here.”? Have you ever walked into a house and just known the people living inside were unhappy? We leave those emotions around us, like a pollutant, and the wights can feel it as well. Your wights and spirits live with you, they’re around you as much as members of your family, so just as their happiness affects you, your happiness affects them. Remember to emotionally clean up and take care of yourself as well.

2. Offerings

These don’t have to be grand gestures and actually, I’ve found that wights rarely appreciate a large effort and find it to be insincere. Maybe my wights are too Germanic for their own good, but some smoke from my pipe and a good beer usually does the trick. You might try asking your wights what they prefer and how often they’d prefer it. Walk about your house, property, or apartment and feel for your wights, establish a connection. Which brings me to my next point-

3. Communication

This is simple- talk to your wights. Going out of town? Let them know. Is someone coming over to take care of your fur-babies? Let the wights know. If you establish an open line of communication, your wights are more likely to listen and talk back. Don’t expect them to speak in words and phrases, they’re not people, they’re not even corporeal beings. They’re the very inhuman consciousness of your dwelling. Like I said earlier, you have to feel them and the more you talk to them, the more likely they are to respond.

I hope this has been helpful! Just remember happy wights, happy life.

A Samhain Ritual

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The dead are always listening, but now the Veil has thinned it is time that we listen.

Last night I took my silver tray, a portable alter of sorts, to bathe in the darkness of a moonless sky. I lit candles and sage and called upon my three disir to form the boundary of a triangle for my sacred tasks. I called on each corner as an aspect of my womanhood.

Bloodied Warrior of vicious protection.

Dark Mother of unknowable depths.

Dreaded Enchantress of infinite wisdom.

I called on the the wights that live within my home.

Wights of Place, of Hearth and Home,

of Brick and Beam, of Wood and Stone.

Heed my Triangle, drawn with power,

I summon your strength in this sacred hour. 

I called on the spirits of blood and bone and shadow.

Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Bone,

Spirits of Shadow I call you Home.

Beyond the Veil and through the dark,

Come and heed the witch’s hark.

And finally I called upon the beloved and mighty dead of my ancestral tree. I called them by first name and surname and I sang to them through our bound of kinship and as I chanted the wind blew out my candles leaving me shrouded in darkness. I whispered.

I know you.

I see you.

I hear you.

I will speak your names.

And the dead spoke.

Of Spooks and Hallowe’en

The veil is thinning, my little darklings. Can’t you feel it? Samhain, Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love darkness and pumpkins and nights that are growing increasingly colder and longer as we begin our trek towards the solstice. I love when the haunts and ghouls and spooks and spirits come out of their hiding to join in our revels because- despite attempts by the Abrahamic faiths to destroy our pagan celebrations- Samhain has stood the test of time.

She has evolved, to be sure, she has changed and adapted, but her essence, her core is a revelry of the dark and the weird. This is the only time our society deems it acceptable for children and adults to don their costumes and celebrate with the dead. Admittedly the good Christian folk of Texas don’t know that’s what they’re doing, but we know better, don’t we?

I see children dressed as ghouls and adults decorating their houses and dwellings and I smile, I smile wickedly. Carve your pumpkins, your jack-o-lanterns and place them on your doorstep, a warding you don’t even understand. Let your children out at night, dressed in disguises so they can dance with the dead on this most sacred night. Celebrate with us, even though you don’t understand the celebration.

Look how desperately they’re starving for their roots, how the remnants of our deepest pagan values couldn’t be destroyed even after hundreds of years. Embrace it, good folks, if only for one night. scary-vintage-halloween-creepy-costumes-130-57fcaebc54a9b__605

 

Sin Filled Heathen

I am an elementary teacher living deep in the heart of the Lone Star State and because of who I am and where I live, I have never discussed my spiritual or even political beliefs at work.

Even when Especially when my colleagues discuss theirs’.

You see, I am a young woman of European descent living in a region where the dominant culture is conservative and Christian, so it’s not shocking when folks assume I am a member of this dominant culture. Depending on the circumstances, in certain situations I may correct assumptions with a simple “I’m not Christian,” other times I’ll go a little deeper and explain I’m pagan.

But at work I bite my tongue. Literally. I literally bite my tongue to keep from screaming expletives that have no place in an elementary school.

While I sit in the teacher’s lounge with my team and we eat our lunch they start talking about god and I bite my tongue, but my thoughts are alive with malice.

“It was god’s grace that allowed me to survive that car accident.”

Or maybe he’s punishing you. 

“God only deals you what you can handle, that’s why I didn’t wind up in a wheelchair.”

Those Syrian children buried under the rubble of terrorist bombs must be able to handle it then, hmm?

“They won’t let us call it an “act of god” in class, we have to say “act of nature.” But who controls nature? Science they’d say, but we know better.”

You ignorant pond scum. 

“You’re father’s unexpected death was all a part of god’s plan.”

There aren’t words in the English language vile enough for me to properly tell you to fuck off. 

“I’ve confessed all my dirty secrets to you now, I guess you know I’m a sin filled heathen.”

Oh sweet child, you have no idea who you’re talking to. 

Impromptu Binding or Why You Don’t Fuck With Me

Yesterday as I sat at home by myself, sipping a glass of wine and listening to the steady breathing of the cat asleep next to me I began to think. I began to think about a few people who are in my life who I really wish weren’t and I began to think about how they have manipulated and harmed someone close to me and then, I began to grow angry.

Quite angry, in fact. I was pretty fucking pissed.

I stood up and looked around. I put down my wine glass and clenched my fist and I thought to myself, “Fuck them.”

And then I thought, “I don’t have to put up with this shit.”

I walked to my bedroom, where my altar sits, and while I was walking I began banging on the walls and doors to call my spirits. I sang to them, calling them to me, letting the pounding of my knuckles on the wood and drywall be like a drum leading them home.

Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Bone, Spirits of Shadow, I call you home.

From my altar I took my mother’s pocket knife, my grandmother’s silver thimble, the picture of my great-grandmother, my Freyja blessed cat statue, sage, and my megalodon tooth. I held these sacred things in my hands, still chanting to my spirits, and I took them to my kitchen.

I laid out my supplies on the counter and grabbed a cord and sheet of paper. I lit the sage and inhaled the smoke into my lungs. Filled with righteous fury at those who had wronged me and mine, I began to sing to myself.

Sacred is the bitch, for she is vicious in her power. Sacred is the bitch.

I tied the cord three times and began sharpening my mothers knife, calling on my ancestors for their help. I walked around the kitchen sharpening the knife, honing my intent.

On the paper I wrote the names of those I wanted out of my life and I chanted, demanding they leave my family alone. I sealed their names with a bind rune created from perth (who knows me best), algiz (who understands protection) and tiwaz (who understands violence).

I folded up the paper tightly, chanting to my ancestors, and when the paper was good and folded I took my mothers knife and stabbed it in the middle. Holding the paper down with the knife, I spun the paper counter-clockwise and chanted “Stay away.” until I had worn a hole through the paper. Then I took the thrice knotted cord and I tied the note up, whispering incantations and prayers to my spirits and my ancestors.

I need to bury it, I thought to myself. I need to bury their names so the dead can find them, so my ancestors can do the work. I put the bound paper inside my mouth and wiped my saliva onto it and then I took salt and rubbed it into the paper, then I dipped it all in my wine. An offering, an offering for the dirt of spit, wine, and salt.

I held the bound paper, the bound names, close to my mouth and I whispered, “Send my words to the dead, send my words to the ancestors.”

I went outside into my backyard and dug, continuing my whispered chants.

Send my words to the dead, send my words to the ancestors.

I dug a hole with my bare hands, huddled over the ground on my knees, dirt beneath my nails. I stuffed the paper into the ground and covered it. I saw an old rusty screw next to me and I smiled. I grabbed the screw and pushed it down into the dirt and I whispered.

You have no power here.

And I went inside and I finished my wine.