The Magical Battle for America 8.20.17

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One very good thing happened this week and it was easy to overlook in between all of the madness.  Stephen Bannon, one of the most evil people in the Trump administration, has been ejected from the White House.

You’ll hear people say this doesn’t matter, that he’ll do as much damage outside as in, but I disagree.

The White House has become, over decades and decades, full of the kind of power and energy that evil magic workers long to access.  I believe that Bannon is one of those people (just as Dion Fortune believed that Hitler was using evil occultists, or perhaps vice versa) and having him out of the White House is, in my opinion, one of the best things that’s happened since the mis-Inauguration.

You’ll also hear people say that we still have a very long way to go, that there are still many people in government intent on doing as much harm as possible, and that we can’t afford to celebrate just now.  but I disagree.

Sure, we still have a long way to go.  But we very much need to celebrate our victories when they come.  And if you’ve been doing these magical workings for America, if you’ve demonstrated, called your representatives, written letters, etc, then you helped to bring about this victory, the ejection of this evil magician from the seat of American power.  I think that, in particular, the working we did to place a pentagram of protection over America was important.  So pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and enjoy this major victory.

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Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work.  Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position.

Breathe.

Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase.  Notice a small detail that will call you back when this working is finished.

Ground and center.  Cast a circle.

Breathe.

As you move to our American plain on the astral plane, you can see again the safe hillock where you do your work.  You can see the five giant banners, shining in the sky:  Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, the Salmon, and Lady Liberty.  Do they seem more defined since we began our work?  Do they have anything special to tell you this week?

For a few moments, just sit on your hillock and allow yourself to become comfortable. This place should be feeling very real to you by now; we’ve been working together to create it for months and months.  Has one of our workings been more important to you than the others?  Maybe working with American tricksters really resonated for you or perhaps you felt a strong magical connection to Johnny Appleseed, to the workers on the underground railroad, or to the salmon.  Maybe calling to your immigrant ancestors was powerful for you or maybe chanting with the Indigenous Grandmothers let you know that your magic is strong.

Take some time and recall whichever experience has given you the best results.   Thank the entities that worked with you.  Lie down on the ground and allow the power of the American landbase to flow through you, filling you with energy, power, health.  If you’re willing, dream along with the landbase for a bit.  What dreams does America have for itself?

Stand and see the lovely vessel at your feet.  Lift it and look at the sparkling clear water that it holds.  Pour a libation of thanks that the White House has been cleansed of this particular scourge.  As the water seeps into the land, see the land gathering the resources to cleanse even more evil from the seat of power.   Promise the landbase that you’ll be back to work with it.

As you sit and rest, know that you are not working alone.  The Resistance — both magical and in all of its mundane (phone banking, check writing, representative calling, letter writing, canvassing, voting, volunteering, tutoring, restoring wetlands, growing plants for bees) manifestations — is huge.  Know that you are a powerful worker of magic, rooted in your very own landbase, working with the strong archetypes of this land, assisted by countless unseen others who labor in league with you.  You are brave and growing braver.  Your magic and your practical workings can make the difference.

Breathe.

Return to your own body, your own landbase.  Open your eyes.  Rub your face, move your arms and legs.  Notice the detail you selected to call you back from the astral.  Open your circle.  Drink something, maybe a glass of champagne or some orange juice.  If you like, have something to eat, maybe a cupcake or a piece of fruit.

During the course of this week, you may want to visit the bannered prairie several times in order to strengthen its presence on the astral.  You may want to repeat this working several times.  You may want to place something on your altar to remind you of this victory.  You may want to journal about it.  Are you inspired to make any art?  Can you sit beside a warm fire, or light incense, or stare into a candle?   What actions are you inspired to take for the Resistance?  If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.

Picture found here.

 

Saturday Ballet Blogging

This is lighthearted and fun.  We all need some of that.

Maybe God IS Punishing You

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Every time there’s a disaster – natural (hurricane, wildfire, flood) or man made (terrorist attacks, mass shooting, and yes I chose to use MAN made rather than HUMAN made intentionally there) – some dipshit “minister” like Pat Robertson blames feminists/abortions/Teh Gay for it. “GAAAAWWWWDDD is PUNISHIN’ yaw FAAAAWW YAAAWWW SIIIINNNNSSSS!” howls someone conman like Jerry Falwell. And those of us who are in full possession of our wits roll our eyes and move on, quietly deleting those chain emails (are those still a thing?) from Grandma and old racist Uncle Fred.

Well, wait a minute. Maybe God is punishing us – or at least some us – for something.

What are the bottom five states in…?

  • Overall health rankings: Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
  • Low birth weight: Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
  • Infant mortality: West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi
  • Obesity: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas
  • Children in poverty: Arizona, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana
  • Median household income: Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia, Mississippi
  • Least educated states (educational attainment, school quality, and achievement gaps between genders and races): Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia
  • Percentage of high school degree holders: Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, Texas, California
  • Percentage of bachelor’s degree holders: Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia
  • Percentage of graduate/professional degree holders: Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia
  • Pollution? Well, the EPA ECHO site is a bit more complex to maneuver, and the Rust Belt doesn’t tend to fare all that well, either, but I’ll give you one guess about where there’s a lot of air and water pollution and hazardous waste. (If you guessed former Confederacy/Jim Crow states, give yourself a gold star.)

(Data sourced here and here.)

Notice a theme?

Maybe what God is punishing us – or some of us – for is a history of racism, slavery, and Jim Crow we have never properly addressed or made recompense for.

(Column interruption caveat: Yes, I am well aware that the majority of the states that were states at any given time permitted slavery in at least some forms at some times, at least prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. But only some states committed treason and started a war to try to preserve that system. I am also aware that virtually all states had some form of Jim Crow laws at some point. But only some states maintained those until they had to be overturned by the Supreme Court within our lifetimes. I’m also well aware that the KKK was in fact founded by Southern Democrats during Reconstruction, DAD. Would you care to explain what your party has been up to since 1964? Whoa – that got personal there for a minute.)

Race is a shadow issue for the national character of the United States. Per Jung, shadows are the negative aspects of personality that operate out of our more base instincts, below the level of our conscious minds, in the realm of our subconscious and implicit biases. “Whatever we deem evil, inferior or unacceptable and deny in ourselves becomes part of the shadow, the counterpoint to what Jung called the persona or conscious ego personality.” (reference)

Freud posited that the way we deal with the shadow is projection, where you attribute negative instincts and characteristics in yourself onto The Other (however you define that, and hello, paging so-called President Trump).

Jung advocated excavating and dealing with our shadows. He cautioned that the WORST thing you could do would be to deny and repress that side of yourself, which does nothing more than feed it until it grows into an uncontrollable monster that makes, say, lynching your neighbor, or setting fire to a church, or carrying torches while chanting “blood and soil,” or running over peaceful protestors with your car seem totally reasonable.

And, although I don’t believe in imaginary friends of any sort (God, Allah, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster), I have to think that any Higher Power that would be worth following would not be down with lynching and arson (particularly of buildings dedicated to him) and threats and intimidation and terrorist attacks like vehicular homicide.

Which brings me back to my point. We as a country have never dealt with our horrible legacy of racial oppression. The South IN PARTICULAR has not only never dealt with their horrible legacy of racial oppression, they’ve attempted, in many cases, to re-write history to celebrate it, or at least pretend that it wasn’t so bad (hey, according to Bill O’Reilly, the enslaved had it good – they got free food and housing). Looking at the fruit of that harvest enumerated above, I’d say God seems to be pretty pissed off at them about that. Maybe it’s time – nay, past time – to start working with that shadow and making amends. Maybe taking down ALL the Confederate monuments is a good start.

Image found: no way am I linking to the wingnut site where I found this. Unh-unh. Nope.

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The Great God Pan

I’ve been thinking lately that we made a wrong turn when we abandoned Pan and that maybe a lot of our troubles come from that one mistake.

Words for Wednesday

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For My Brother Poet, Seeking Peace

~ Erica Jong

 

People wish to be settled. Only as long as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
— Thoreau

My life has been
the instrument
for a mouth
I have never seen,
breathing wind
which comes
from I know not
where,
arranging and changing
my moods,
so as to make
an opening
for his voice.

Or hers.
Muse, White Goddess
mother with invisible
milk,
androgynous god
in whose grip
I struggle,
turning this way and that,
believing that I chart
my life,
my loves,
when in fact
it is she, he,
who charts them–
all for the sake
of some
as yet unwritten poem.

Twisting in the wind,
twisting like a pirate
dangling in a cage
from a high seawall,
the wind whips
through my bones
making an instrument,
my back a xylophone,
my sex a triangle
chiming,
my lips stretched tight
as drumskins,

I no longer care
who is playing me,
but fear
makes the hairs
stand up
on the backs
of my hands
when I think
that she may stop.

And yet I long
for peace
as fervently as you do–
the sweet connubial bliss
that admits no
turbulence,
the settled life
that defeats poetry,
the hearth before which
children play–
not poets’ children,
ragtag, neurotic, demon-ridden,
but the apple-cheeked children
of the bourgeoisie.

My daughter dreams
of peace
as I do:
marriage, proper house,
proper husband,
nourishing dreamless
sex,
love like a hot toddy,
or an apple pie.

But the muse
has other plans
for me
and you.

Puppet mistress,
dangling us
on this dark proscenium,
pulling our strings,
blowing us
toward Cornwall,
toward Venice, toward Delphi,
toward some lurching
counterpane,
a tent upheld
by one throbbing
blood-drenched pole–
her pen, her pencil,
the monolith
we worship,
underneath
the gleaming moon.

Picture found here.

Southern Pride in a Time of Terror

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I’m a child of the American South.  I’m the Witch of this Southern place, this place , this one here in Virginia, close-by the shores of Spout Run and the Potomac River.  I’m a woman whose spiritual life consists mainly of being in relationship with my Southern landbase.  And there’s a lot about the South that makes me proud.

I’m proud of our cooking, a melange, as Michael Twitty notes, of African, European, Island, and Native traditions.  Chef Twitty has called our cuisine a family affair and sometimes one full of family fights.  Give me ham biscuits, a mint julep, Old Bay, crawfish étouffée, fried catfish, my Aunt May’s hushpuppies, guava jelly, and a chess pie.

I’m proud of Southern writing, a genre not afraid to explore the shadows and the weird and to claim them, to claim them fully.

I’m proud of Southern gardens, Southern architecture, and Southern music.  Jazz, ya’ll.  Bluegrass.  Rock and roll.  Country.  Gospel.  Whatever’s on your iPod, a lot of it is likely Southern.  We’re a musical people and, even when poor, we have a harmonica, an old washbasin, a guitar.

I’m proud of Southern hospitality, the way we want to feed each other, pour each other a cooling drink on a hot day, sit visitors down on the porch to talk a spell.

I’m proud of our Southern Universities, from Morehouse, to UVA, to Virginia Tech, to Duke, to Howard, to Tulane.  You all think we’re either elite or stupid, but we’re mostly drunk on education.

I’m proud of our storytellers.  You haven’t heard a good story until you’ve heard an old tale told, slow and wandering, with a strong Southern accent.  And that’s another thing I’m proud of:  our accents.  Listening to Southerners talk is like listening to music, and there are so many different Southern dialects.

I’m proud of the South’s glowing tradition of poetry.  Go read Natasha Trethewey, Coleman Barks, Wendell Berry.  We’re a people besotted with language, desperately in love with words, out of our minds with the need to tell — and it shows.

I’m proud of our tradition of healing.  Many of America’s most modern and innovative medical centers are in the South.  And our ancient traditions of healing are alive and thriving.  We’re exposed to a lot of illness, hardship, biological attacks — Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, I am just saying —  and environmental degradation here in the South and we never stop looking for ways to help people feel better.  Here, have some of my fire cider, let me tie this bit of bacon fat on your splinter, let the doctors at the Center for Disease Control learn about what ails you.

I’m proud of our mountain people who’ve survived, for generations, in the harshest conditions, exploited and mostly ignored by the rest of society, and, yet, they still managed to preserve their music, folkways, magic, and courage.  I’m proud of our island people who’ve faced the stormy Atlantic, pulled a life from it, and still managed to weave beauty at every chance.  I’m proud of the people who live in our tiny towns:  hardware merchants, beauty parlor managers, truck farmers.

You want farmers?  We do still grow cotton, rice, and tobacco (the slavery triad), but we also grow soy beans, corn, tomatoes of every variety, squashes too numerous to count, okra, fish peppers, peaches, plums, figs, and, oh yes, paw paws.  We still grow paw paws.

I’m proud of our cities:  New Orleans which is a place of music and magic, Atlanta which is modern and bustling, and, on the border between Mason and Dixon, Washington, D.C., which John Kennedy lovingly called a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency.  I think we got the better part of both worlds.

I’m proud, too, of how far the South has come on the subject of race.  We have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long, long way, just in my lifetime.  And I want to point out that racism isn’t now, and has never been, just a Southern thing.  Go to Oregon, go to Missouri, go to Pennsylvania, go, hell, to Alaska.  The South, unlike all ya’ll,  has never had the luxury of pretending that we didn’t have to deal with racism.

Here’s what I’m not proud of.  I’m not proud that the South started the Civil War.  I’m not proud of slavery nor of the economy and way of life founded upon it.  I’m not proud of the men who declared war on the United States of America, neither the rich ones nor the poor ones they swindled into fighting for them so that the poor ones could, at least, consider themselves better than an African American.  All of those men were traitors and I’m glad that my country, America, defeated them.  I’m not proud of Jim Crow.  I’m not proud of segregation.  I’m 61 and IN MY LIVING MEMORY I can still recall going down South to see my momma’s relatives and stopping at gas stations that had “Colored Bathrooms” and “Colored Water Fountains,” and at segregated restaurants and hotels.   I’m not proud of the Confederate flag, the flag of defeated traitors.  I’m not proud of Confederate generals.

So I say, as a proud Southern woman, as a woman who loves the South:  Tear down the Confederate flags and pull down each and every statue of Confederate soldiers on public land.  After last weekend, they’re obviously a danger to public health and safety.  We don’t need them to remember our history; that’s what we’ve got schools and libraries and storytellers for.  And let’s tell our babies our whole history and tell it true, not pretend that it doesn’t have warts, and gaping wounds, and cool scabs.  I’ll gladly fly a flag with magnolias on it, or crawfish, or banjos, or palms.  And I’ll stop and admire statues of real Southern heroes and heras:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky), Rosa Parks, Patsy Cline, Zora Neale Hurston, Anne Richards, William Faulkner, Edgar Allen Poe . . . there’s a long list.

I guess what I’m trying to say to you, here, on my screen porch, under the ceiling fan, on a humid night in August when I can hear the cicadas and the crickets and the tree frogs, is that this, like everything else, isn’t binary.  It’s not either love the South and adopt the flag of losing traitors and admire men who fought for slavery or just admit that you don’t belong here.  I can love the South, love the people, love the landbase, accept the complicated history, AND not want to see that nasty flag or those evil men ever again.

I think I’m also trying to say to you, here, surrounded by magnolias, and oaks, and crepe myrtles, that there are nearly next to no places/cultures/peoples in the world who don’t have the kind of complicated history that we Southerners have.  A lot of all y’all are just further removed from it or are more able to ignore it.  Love your Celtic history?  I love mine, too, but the Celts came and pushed my Pictish ancestors off their land, enslaved them, and nearly drove them to extinction.  And then the Normans came and enslaved the Celts (but that hasn’t stopped me loving and studying French, French food, French fashion, French wine . . . .)  Proud of your African heritage?  You should be.  Africa is the birthplace of civilization, had proud cities while my ancestors were running naked on the moors, and has some of the most interesting languages and unique art on the planet.  Africans also kept and sold slaves.  Relate strongly to your Norse ancestors?  Me, too, but let’s admit up front some of us are pretty morose; ya’ll know it’s true, bless your hearts.  Love it that you come from a long line of New York City dwellers?  I can’t blame you.  New York has the best ballet, the best restaurants, the best libraries. . . .   Ya’ll gave us Donald Trump, though.

I think I’ve made my point.

Tear them down.  Build up better things.

I’m a Witch and a Witch takes responsibility.  I’m not playing binary games.

Picture found here.

 

All of the Magical Battles for America

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The wonderful Diotima Mantineia has kindly gathered each of the weekly workings in one place, in case anyone is interested.  I’ll see if I can figure out how to link her list over on the side, but I’m posting it here, as well, in case anyone is interested.

Click here for links to each working.

Picture found here.