Author Archives: Hecate Demeter

The Magical Battle for America 12.9.18

images

Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work.  (No, really.  You really need to do this.)  Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position.  Maybe wrap up in a blanket or cloak and grasp an herb, stone, or talisman that matters to you.  Grow your roots, send them deep into the soil, let them intertwine and grow small hairs to attach to the mycelia in your own landbase.

Breathe.

Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase.  Does your landbase have anything to tell you today?  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.  What’s become familiar to you?  A tuft of prairie grass?  Buffalo off in the distance?  The scent of sand carried on the wind?  You’ve been involved in a months-long magical working here, joined with magic workers from across the globe.  Feel your connection to this place on the astral plane. It is always here for you, always a source of strength.

Today, America is facing a difficult period.  No one knows exactly what will happen, but it seems almost certain that — as the Muller and SDNY investigations reach their conclusion and as a Democratic Congress begins its own investigations and, possibly, impeachment procedures — Donald Trump, whose main method of operation is to cause chaos, will cause as much chaos as possible.  Meanwhile, his trade policies threaten the global economy, he is making global climate change worse instead of better, and he continues to rip children away from their parents for the simple act of seeking legal asylum.  His attacks on women and LGBTQ people continue apace and he cozies up to every bloodstained dictator he can find,

How on Earth can our democracy survive?

Stand on your hillock and look to the Northwest.  As you look, the Salmon banner grows larger and larger in the sky.  It grows to fill the entire sky and, as you watch, it becomes three-dimensional.  Step into the banner and stand beside the chilly waterfall.  As you watch the spray and spume, as you listen to the noise of the water rushing down towards the sea, you see salmon jumping, repeatedly, trying to get over the falls and back to their breeding grounds.

Some have suffered injuries on the rocks, but they still continue to leap out of the water and up towards the top of the falls.

A bear stands in the river, scooping up salmon with her giant claws.  She eats them live and throws the entrails to the birds that swoop and scream just above the water.  Still, the salmon single-mindedly focus on their task:  to jump over the falls and swim back home.

Each leap becomes more and more difficult as the salmon grow more and more tired.  Yet each time one falls back into the river, it leaps up again, determined to achieve this life-or-death objective.

And, in the end, most of the salmon make the leap and land above the falls.  They swim on to their destination.  Americans working to save our country from Trump and Putin need Salmon’s strength and determination.  As you watch them leaping, feel yourself becoming inspired to continue to work through whatever difficulties come this year.  Remember to focus on our ultimate goals.

You may feel moved to thank Salmon for this reminder, for this demonstration of courage and determination.  Do you feel a song or dance coming on?  Will you drum for the salmon?  Perhaps you may be moved to make a donation to an organization working to preserve Salmon’s ecosystem.

When you are ready, turn and walk out of the banner back to your magical hillock.

Breathe.

Slowly, come down from your hillock and begin to walk back to your own landbase.

Open your eyes.  Rub your arms and face.  Notice the detail that you selected to call yourself back.  Drink something, maybe ice water or some hot tea.  Have something to eat, maybe a slice of apple or a cup of yogurt.  Maybe you can set up a small altar dedicated to Salmon.  You may want to repeat this working several times this week.  You may want to journal about it.  Are you inspired to make any art? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.

Picture found here.

 

 

Long Dark Nights Potpourri

phpThumb_generated_thumbnail

This time of year, the cats wake me up when it’s still dark.  There’s something very soothing for me about taking my second cup of coffee and sitting down to meditate in the dark.  By the time that things slowly reveal themselves through the windows, I’m ready to get up and begin the day.  Darkness comes back early, when it still feels like late afternoon, and is a reminder to stop, relax, spend some time reading a book or watching a show.

Right now, I’m reading two books:  Home Sweet Maison:  The French Art of Making a Home, by Danielle Postel-Vinay, and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells :  An Anthology of Gaslight Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

In Home  Sweet Maison, Ms. Postel-Vinay talks about the importance in French homes of L’Entree — the first place one steps upon entering a home.  Many American homes lack a specific entry; one simply steps through the door into the living room, or kitchen, or whatever.  Do you have an entry?  What does it say about you?

Of course, I’ll read most anything about French culture.  And, every morning for years, I’ve done at least one French lesson on DuoLingo, which I can’t recommend highly enough if you want to learn a new language or refresh what you’ve lost since school-days.  I also try to do a few lessons a week on Mango Languages, which our local library offers over the internet for free.  Do you study a second language or wish that you could?  Which one and why?

In the Introduction to Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, Ms. Windling quotes Jack Zipes who noted that:

There is a strong feminine, if not feminist, influence in the writing of both male and female [Victorian fairy] writers.  In contrast to the Kunstmarchen tradition in Germany and folklore traditions in general, which were stamped by patriarchal concerns, British writers created strong women characters and place great emphasis on the fusion of female and male qualities and equality between men and women.

She offers George McDonald’s stories as an example.  I need to go back and re-read those.

What are you reading these dark Winter nights?

I’ve just started watching Desperate Romantics, a fictionalized retelling of the history of the Pre-Raphelites, those very bad boys and girls whose works still speak to so many of us.

I’ll let you know what I think.

This is a great local project to provide tampons and undergarments to women in need.  If your area doesn’t have something similar, why not start it?

I want this phases of the Moon scarf right now.  I may have to start knitting it this weekend.

Did Taliesin fall from the stars?

Picture (and recipe) found here.

 

Words for Wednesday

natasha-trethewey-eric-trethewey-sm

Duty

When he tells the story now
he’s at the center of it,
everyone else in the house
falling into the backdrop—
my mother, grandmother,
an uncle, all dead now—props
in our story: father and daughter
caught in memory’s half-light.
I’m too young to recall it,
so his story becomes the story:
1969, Hurricane Camille
bearing down, the old house
shuddering as if it will collapse.
Rain pours into every room
and he has to keep moving,
keep me out of harm’s way—
a father’s first duty: to protect.
And so, in the story, he does:
I am small in his arms, perhaps
even sleeping. Water is rising
around us and there is no
higher place he can take me
than this, memory forged
in the storm’s eye: a girl
clinging to her father. What
can I do but this? Let him
tell it again and again as if
it’s always been only us,
and that, when it mattered,
he was the one who saved me.
*******
Picture found here.

Not a Dry Eye in the (Witch’s) House

It was Ayanna Pressley, at the airport, who finally got to me. This past November, two years after Donald Trump lost the popular vote but still won the White House, a record number of women swept to victory in the midterm elections. When they are sworn into Congress on January 3, among them will be the first Muslim congresswomen, the first Native American congresswomen, and the first African American congresswomen from New England—Jahana Hayes and Pressley. En route to freshman orientation in Washington, DC, Pressley tweeted a photo of herself at the airport, looking jaunty in an olive coat and page-boy cap. The photo caption referenced the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but Pressley advised her followers to “scratch that,” and replace Mr. Smith with “Sandy Pressley’s daughter, Mrs. Ayanna Soyini Pressley Harris.” She then thanked the late Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and a 1972 presidential candidate.

~ Jill Filipovic

 

Watch here:

https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a25384258/congresswomen-preamble-video/

Monday at the Movies

As I settle in to Winter, I’m loving Monty Don’s series about French Gardens.  Like a mini-trip to the South of France.

The Magical Battle for America 12.2.18

Before we begin, please let me thank you for doing this magical resistance work.
Today, I’m asking you to think about your state, county, or town.  There is almost certainly a Goddess involved.  Virginia, for example, has the Goddess Virtus on the front and Libertas, Ceres, and Aeternitas on the back.  Athens, Georgia has a lovely statue of Athena, and Liberty and Ceres show up on the New Jersey state flag, as well.  Minerva graces the California state seal and Columbia sits on the Oklahoma seal.  In addition, Goddess statues, murals, and paintings often adorn civic buildings such as state houses, court houses, and libraries.

With which local Goddess will you work today?

*************

Unknown

Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work.  (No, really.  You really need to do this.)  Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position.  Maybe wrap up in a blanket or cloak and grasp an herb, stone, or talisman that matters to you.  Grow your roots, send them deep into the soil, let them intertwine and grow small hairs to attach to the mycelia in your own landbase.

Breathe.

Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase.  Does your landbase have anything to tell you today?  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.  What’s become familiar to you?  A tuft of prairie grass?  Buffalo off in the distance?  The scent of sand carried on the wind?  You’ve been involved in a months-long magical working here, joined with magic workers from across the globe.  Feel your connection to this place on the astral plane. It is always here for you, always a source of strength.

Stand now and look towards your own state, county, or town.  Call to your local Goddess and ask her to bring good government to your locality.  Perhaps you just elected new officials who will need her guidance to do good work.  Perhaps there are still too many in office who do not represent the people and you will need protection against them and the ability to thwart them.  Perhaps local infrastructure and/or the local ecology is in need of protection.  Listen in silence and see what message your local Goddess has for you.  What does She ask you to do?  Will you commit to do it?  Are there offerings that She would like?  Can you make them?  When the conversation is through — at least for now — thank the Goddess and sit back down for a few moments on your hillock.

Breathe.

Slowly, come down from your hillock and begin to walk back to your own landbase.

Open your eyes.  Rub your arms and face.  Notice the detail that you selected to call yourself back.  Drink something, maybe water with a shot of fire cider or mint tea with lemon.  Have something to eat, maybe a local speciality or your favorite winter soup.  Maybe you can set up a small altar dedicated to your local Goddess.  You may want to repeat this working several times this week.  You may want to journal about it.  Are you inspired to make any art? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.

Picture found here.

Hail, Ceres!

Vermont’s Goddess of Agriculture is back. Ceres returned to the top of the State House Friday. Many thanks to all those who made it happen including artist Chris Miller of Calais. Watch and listen as Agency of Agriculture Employee Patti Casey brings us on Ceres’ journey back to her rightful place. We are confident Ceres will guide us and care for us today and every day.

~ Vermont Agency of Agriculture

/hat tip:  Green Man