Wordless Wednesday

Michael Brown Cannot Be Defined by the Politics of Respectability or the Politics of Backlash


I am continuing to do magic for the people of Ferguson.

Magic comes in many forms. I find magic in the words of Michael Twitty, a historian who studies, enacts, and writes about the foods of the African American South. If you haven’t yet read Mr. Twitty’s amazing post on Ferguson, you owe it to yourself to do so. I read it not only as a human being who loves social justice, but also as an American who has African American family members and friends and as the mother of a son and the Nonna of a grandson.

May America find healing for its deeply racists wounds.

Mr. Twitty writes, inter alia, that:

I received a nasty tweet last night; a tweet with a food theme in fact.  Michael Brown’s bleeding corpse with pictures of food transposed around it—fried chicken, bananas, watermelon, with Kool-Aid to wash it down.  My chest hurt and then I stared into space and before I knew it, I vomited.  It was not nausea—it was anger mixed with revulsion and memories from lives only my cells know.
I want you to understand something—I’ve been on multiple plantations and urban sites dealing with slavery. I’ve felt the Ancestors in the fields. I’ve seen the auction block and the whipping post and the hanging tree.  I embrace it, I own it, and I live it through food so I can say “Never Again,” with confidence.  I do the work that I do to educate people about the genesis of America’s original sin—I consider myself steeled. This however, was different—this was personal; that body could have been me.
Swirling around us are accusations, whispers and rumors about a “gentle giant,” named Michael Brown.  Michael Brown cannot be defined by the politics of respectability or the politics of backlash.

Later, he explains:

I am trying to be hopeful. I see Americans of all colors putting their hands up saying “Don’t shoot.”  Solidarity is spreading from rally to rally; there are new kids on the block—and they don’t want the bitter fruit of the past. The old canards that this is a race war a la Mo Brooks have no truth here—we are embracing anyone who will embrace us, loving anyone who will love us, respecting anyone who will respect us, and we want desperately to believe that we—in our protest, in our pursuit of justice through the courts of law, in our demands for information—are the epitome of what it means to be American.
To my foodie friends: throw your hands up!  Listen, we do ourselves no favors when we pretend that food is a respite from the matters of the day.  Where do we go when we want to feel better and hash out our grievances and vent?  We go to the table.  Given that I am often the only Black guy, or one of five Black people period at many food events, I want you to know what this harassment means when you see me/us encounter it.  I want you to step out of the fantasy that food is freedom from socio-cultural politics and just remember to be aware of the cues and clues that injustice and inequality are ever close and we must all be vigilant.
But I ask, as James Baldwin once asked, “How much time do you want, for your progress?”
Please don’t shoot!

Please go read the entire post. I’d love to read your reactions.

May Columbia guard us and enlighten us. May we learn to live together in justice and in peace. This is my will. So mote it be.

Picture found here.

Monday at the Movies

Cheryl Strayed has nothing on Marie. I think you’ll like this low key coming-of-crone story.

Sunday Ballet Blogging

Saturday Poetry Blogging

john collier 1850 – 11 April 1934 Pre-Raphaelite 5 stars [phistars.com] the priestes of bacchus


Susan Hawthorne

the call
that hollow sound of Cumaea
I was here before
thousands of years ago

your hundred mouths
words frothed at the edge
of my mouth

the journey looming
flight into the unknown
descent into
the dark thighs of your cave

my hair snake-wreathed
Etruscan Medusa
speaking with a hundred voices
the sibilant hiss of prophecy

seizure grasped
I flail at vanishing memory
bruised rise from the darkness
and almost miss the plane.

Many thanks to Medusa Coils for sending me Ms. Hawthorne’s new book: Lupa and Lamb.

Picture found here.

The Missing Elements in Many Spells


Nowadays (and, oh, my pretties, it was different back before the internet, when we used to walk four miles uphill, both ways, to school and tied onions to our belts) you can’t wander through the internet or walk through a bookstore without finding books of spells. But what most novices don’t know is that those Books of Shadows and Secret Grimoires deliberately leave out one of the most important parts of every spell, generally so that the Goddesses and Gods can tell the newbies from the really experienced Witches.

But what the experienced Witches know, even when it isn’t printed in the spellbook that Lewellyn or some such person publishes and that your local “Esoteric” bookstore sells on its dusty shelves, is that there is an important, but secret, Second Step to every powerful spell. But that step won’t surprise any Nonna or parent who has ever said, “And what do you say, dear?

The answer, of course (and I am, it goes without saying, violating the secret oaths of many covens to tell you this), is “Thank you.”

Administrative law practitioner that I am, I often tell G/Son how important it is to leave milk and honey for the fairies because, otherwise, fairies can be, as the APA says the government may not be, arbitrary and capricious. And the Goddesses and Gods, land wights, spirits, powers, and beings of our places can be, as well, arbitrary and capricious when their work is not sufficiently acknowledged.

Ever work a spell, see it succeed, and then, a few days later, watch all your good work disappear?

That’s what I’m saying.

This week, I’ve been doing magical work to calm the situation in Ferguson. And, at least for the moment, it appears to be working. So I’m going to go out and light incense to thank Hecate and the other powers for their blessings.

I won’t be gone long. You come too.

Picture found here.

Magic for Ferguson

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

I came home last night to horrific news from Ferguson, Missouri.  Although the news from there has been bad for several days, since the police shot an unarmed African American teen, last night seemed particularly horrific.  Finally, I turned off the computer and walked out onto my tiny Bit of Earth, grounded in my Landbase, called the Powers, and Spirits, and Beings of this Place, cast a circle, lit incense, and petitioned Hecate for a change.  Hecate is the Goddess of the Crossroads and so much of the injustice and senseless violence in Ferguson was happening at the literal crossroads of that town.  And Hecate is the Goddess whose presence brings the conditions that establish the possibility of change.  And Ferguson needed a change. 

Diotima Mantineia earlier today noted:

the ongoing Uranus in Aries (revolution)- Pluto in Capricorn (entrenched power) square, with Mars (violence) and Saturn (government and authority) in Mars-ruled Scorpio, and how it blew up last night as these aspects were triggered by the Moon moving through Mars’ sign of Aries towards its conjunction with Uranus today. I don’t think we will see resolution until after Mars has moved past its conjunction with Saturn toward the end of the month. In fact,we may well see more violent clashes between police and protesters — and not just in Ferguson.*

Tonight, at least so far, things seem calmer in Ferguson.  A different set of police officers have been placed in control and they seem, again, so far, to be working with residents rather than against them.  But I take Diotima’s warning to heart and, tonight, I will again light incense to Hecate.

You come, too.

*  WordPress, I’ll get you, my pretty, for screwing up the link system.  I may take awhile to get around to you, but I will get you.  Diotima’s post is here

Picture found at:  http://time.com/3101026/ferguson-st-louis-michael-brown-police-shooting-fbi/