Author Archives: Hecate Demeter

Public Magic in Spite of the People Who Definitely Know that You Are Doing Paganism Wrong

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There are always people ready to scream that, “You Are Doing Paganism Wrong!”  They know better than you and you should listen to them.  After all, they say so.  They say so very affirmatively and quite loudly,  They can mansplain this to you if you need and they will use big, academic-sounding words, and they will cite sources.

One thing upon which all of those people agree at the moment is that Public Acts of Magic Are Wrong.

So, I’m just an old woman who’s been doing magic for, oh, about forty years or so.  And what I’ve learned, in my unenlightened, dumb, Second Wave Feminist, foolish old woman way is that magic is what works.  And magic is like water.  It will flow where it will flow — not necessarily where it SHOULD flow, according to all your laws, and theories, and pronouncements.

One very public act of magic is showing up to vote.  (Your vote is secret, but the fact that you voted is public information — as someone recently had to explain to the moron in the White House.)  And, in my unenlightened, dumb, Second Wave Feminist, foolish old woman way, what I’ve learned is that, when enough of us vote, the magic works.

And as Witches, we know that our own landbase matters.  (Try doing sex magic for your landbase and remaining separate from it.  I don’t think it can be done.)  The magic you do by voting for your county council, or town board of directors, or local board of education, or county sheriff is often MORE powerful than any magic you can do to influence a Presidential Election.  Yet, too many of us ignore our local, landbase-centered elections and only get excited about the big, national elections that the glamour-casters on national TV talk about.

This time, let’s change that.

Let’s show up and do public magic (ignore all those voices yelling at you from all those people who think they are the only ones who get to say how Paganism works) by voting in the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6th.  Doing real magic can take a bit of preparation — determining the phase of the Moon, gathering the right candles and incense, casting a circle, really grounding,  So does this real magic.  But the phase of the Moon doesn’t matter and you can do this without candles or incense.  (Or, with them, if you like!  I usually light a candle to Columbia before I go to vote.)    Go on-line and find out who the candidates are, what referendum questions are on the ballot, where you need to go, and which magical supplies (an ID) you need, and then show up and do magic.

Vote for your Senator, Congress person, and all of the local offices.  

Do it to piss off the Patriarchy — and all of those people who know so much better than the rest of us how magic works.

Picture found https://www.pinterest.com/candiemernst/pagan/.

 

 

 

Monday at the Movies

Monday at the Movie — No Fortunate Son Version

The Magical Battle for America 10.21.18

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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.  (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.

As you look to the sky, you see all five banners — Lady Liberty, Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, and Salmon — grow larger and larger.  They come together and form a giant pentagram over the United States.  Slowly, a giant circle begins to grow, starting from Lady Liberty and then running all around the United States.  Now, a huge pentacle of protection covers the United States.

One of the American Powers calls out to you.  Is it Wise Salmon?  Does the lonely Cowboy speak to you?  Are you called by the magic, and mystery, and heroism of the Underground Railroad?  Or maybe the nature and austerity of Walden Pond summons you into its banner?  It may be Lady Liberty Herself who, with Her “silent lips,” reaches out to you.

Are you willing to answer the call?  Are you surprised by which American Power has reached out to you?  Are you excited, proud, afraid, affirmed?

If you are willing, stand up on your hillock and acknowledge the honor of the call you have received.  What, specifically, are you being asked to do?  Are you up to that task?  Are you willing to try, even if unsure you will succeed?  If so, answer the call in whatever way feels best to you.  You may take an oath, dance your answer, sing a song, make a piece of art, plant an oath tree, discuss things with the American Symbol, or simply sit in willing silence.  From now until Election Day, November 6th, how will this change your life?

Once you feel that the process is complete, sit back down on your hillock and watch the pentacle slowly become visible only to those with eyes to see.

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 rose hip tea or fire cider in water with honey.  Have something to eat, maybe squash soup or spicy chili.  Maybe you can set up a small altar dedicated to the American Symbol that spoke to you.  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.

Dirty Hands

In Event of Emergency, Break Window and Perform Spell

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This is from Michael M. Hughes, author of Magic for the Resistance, Rituals and Spells for Change.  I will be doing it and invite you to join me.

Whether you’re a witch or you’ve never done a magical spell, your country needs you now more than ever. Here’s a ritual that is easy and powerful—do it, share it with friends, then VOTE!


THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.

It is not an exaggeration to say this may be the most critical election of our lifetimes. Every day we witness the juggernaut of Trumpism rolling forward, crushing our democracy and spreading discord, hate, and corruption. The Trump cultists—and let’s face it, his supporters are truly members of a cult of personality, drunk on power, spite, and bigotry—have embraced the most brutish and ugly authoritarianism I have seen in my half century on this planet. They don’t care that their Dear Leader is the most brazenly corrupt, lying, venal, and treasonous politician ever to hold the highest office. In fact, they celebrate it.

And the complicit party that controls Congress has bent to his will, giving up all pretense of traditional conservatism and stewardship. They bow and scrape and grovel as he demands, even as the more principled members flee the party in horror.

I don’t care if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, a Libertarian, a Green, or unaffiliated. If you care about the principles that have sustained our fragile democracy through dark times before—justice, the rule of law, equality, civility, and basic civil liberties—your country needs you now more than ever. When facing existential danger, Americans have always come together, regardless of partisanship or party affiliation.

We need the Blue Wave.

This is not a call for everyone to join the Democratic Party. It is not a call to pretend the Democrats do not have their own problems, or to suggest that voting straight D will fix everything. It won’t. There is plenty of corruption and greed and malfeasance on the left side of the aisle, too.

But the current GOP is aiding and abetting the authoritarian destruction of our system of governance under the cult of Trump. They are giving tax cuts to billionaires and corporations while salivating at the thought of cutting the social safety net that protects the poor, the sick, and the elderly. They have abetted the president’s treason, his fleecing of our treasury and violation of the Emoluments clause, and excused his flagrant, bald-faced obstructions of justice. They ramrodded a man credibly accused of sexual assault through a sham hearing and elevated him to the highest court, where he may do damage to civil liberties and reproductive rights for decades.

They sit by idly as children have been ripped from their parents and thrown into cages.

It’s not just Trump destroying our country, it is all those who enable and abet him—especially those who have been elected to serve us, but instead serve only money and power.

I remember a lesson my father taught me when I was a kid, as I watched him record the televised Watergate hearings on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. He was a lifelong union man, someone who always stood up for the underdog and taught me to resist unprincipled and despotic power. We talked about the importance of voting, and he made a point that is too often overlooked. “You can vote for someone you like,” he told me. “And that’s important. But you can also use your vote to take someone out.”

Voting is a tool, in other words, not a love letter. It can work two ways: as an opportunity to vote the right people into office, but also a defensive act to remove the corrupt, the criminal, and those doing grievous harm.

It’s time for every conscientious person—Republican, Democrat, or other—to come to the aid of their country and throw the treasonous, complicit, criminal GOP out on their asses. Then we can fix the mess they’ve left us. When the Trump cult has been shut down permanently, then we can hold the Democrats feet to the fire and enable ethical, traditional conservatives to rebuild their broken party.

One things is for certain: nothing will get fixed if the current Republicans retain their power. Things will only get tragically worse.

We’re standing on the edge of an abyss, America. The dream of our founders and the future of our country are hanging on for dear life.

It’s time to put all of our collective spiritual energy into the fight.

Join us. You don’t need to be a witch, a Wiccan, or a magic practitioner. You can be any religion or none, spiritual or an atheist. You can do the ritual as a prayer to whatever god or goddess you favor, to the Universe at large, or just to reaffirm your commitment to your ideals.

You don’t need to believe in magic to make magical things happen.

Join us before it’s too late.


Timing

Do this ritual daily until the election, if possible. Noon is best, midnight is also a good time, but do it whenever you have the opportunity. Most importantly, do it the night of November 5th. Then go out on November 6th and vote as if your country depended on it.

Components

  • Blue candle (I recommend a glass-enclosed novena/prayer candle, but any candle will do)
  • Small red candle (birthday candle size is perfect)
  • Printout of the United States (you can use the one below)
  • Justice tarot card (or print of one)
  • Pin or nail (to inscribe candle)
  • Optional: Photos of candidates you are supporting, their campaign literature, or other materials

Preparation

If you have an altar, use it. If you don’t have an altar, clear a space to serve as one.

Use the pin or nail to inscribe the words Blue Wave in the wax of the blue candle. If you’re using a prayer/novena candle, carve it into the top of the candle near the wick. Place the candle in a central spot on your altar.

Take the printout of the map of the United States and place it under the blue candle.

Place the Justice tarot card on your altar. You can lean it up against the blue candle if you’d like.

If you are using photos or literature of candidates you are supporting, place them around the blue candle.

Place the small red candle in front of the blue candle (lying on its side is fine).

Prepare for ritual, per your tradition if you have one, or simply take a few deep breaths to center yourself. You are now ready to begin.


Light the blue candle, then say:

Hear me, oh spirits
Of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air
Heavenly hosts
and spirits of the ancestors

I call upon you
In this hour of need
And request your aid
To save my country and its people

Raise a mighty blue wave, spirits
A wave of justice, and mercy, and truth
To wash away the corruption
And injustice
And wickedness

In the name of the children in cages
In the name of women abused
In the name of the oppressed
In the name of the earth and her creatures
In the name of ethics
And compassion
And civility
And freedom
And equality
And peace
And love

Hold your hands out, palms facing the candle.

Water, may you wash away corruption and injustice
Earth, may you bury the rot and sickness of authoritarianism
Fire, may you fuel the desire of good people to vote
Air, may you carry truth and honesty on your winds

Pick up the red candle.

GOP, by your wickedness, you are broken
GOP, by your deception, you are broken
GOP, by your corruption, you are broken

Snap the red candle, and place its pieces before the blue candle.

GOP, you shall be ground to dust beneath the wave

Again, hold your hands out to the blue candle. Then say, with increasing power while visualizing a huge blue wave rising and washing over a map of the United States:

Blue Wave, rise!
Blue Wave, wash over the land!
Blue Wave, cleanse!
Blue Wave, renew!

End the ritual with a prayer, clasping your hands.

May the sword of Justice prevail
May those who have embraced hate find love
May those who have gone astray
Find the path of righteousness
Forgive them, spirits
Break the chains that bind them
Open their eyes
Fill their hearts with mercy
Bring them to enlightenment

For the sake of democracy
For the sake of America
For the sake of the earth
For the sake of our children

So mote it be!


Allow the blue candle to burn as long as you would like, radiating its energy. When you blow it out, say “thank you.” Light the candle every day and say a prayer for victory, even if you don’t do the full spell.

Dispose of the broken red candle remnants at a crossroads (a trash can or dumpster near a crossroads is ideal), in running water, or bury it in a desolate place.

If you have used campaign literature on your altar, give it out before the election or at the polls.

And did I mention…. VOTE!


NOTES

Please feel free to change the wording to suit your spiritual practice or tradition. Christians and Jews, for example, might omit the four directions and “spirits” and simply say “God.” Atheists and agnostics can appeal to the Universe. Adjust and tweak as you see fit. The important thing is that you do it, with intention and with all of the spiritual power you can summon.

Visualization is a key element in effective spellcasting. See the cleansing and purifying blue wave rising and washing across the country.

After you say “So mote it be,” feel the joy of a Democratic sweep of the midterms. Use all of your senses—hear the cheers of voters, feel the upwelling of happiness in your heart, see in your mind’s eye the electoral map flipping from red to blue on cable news. Really feel it as if it is already accomplished. That is the true key to manifesting magic.

If you are working for particular candidates, especially those in close races, you may consider reciting their names in the ritual after “For the sake of our children” and before “So mote it be.” For example:

For the sake of our children

Beto O’Rourke
Stacey Abrams
Andrew Gillum

So mote it be!

As you  may know, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle in Pagandom about “public spells” such as this one and the usual folks who know much better than everyone else how Paganism is “supposed” to be done have weighed in with their views.  If you’ve followed my Magical Battle for America posts you know that I’ve come down, as Dion Fortune did in WWII, on the side of doing what must be done in an emergency.  And, I don’t believe than anyone gets to say how we must all do magic nor that Levi knew everything there was to know about magic, esp. outside of the Western traditions.  But, if you just can’t stomach “public spells,” then I challenge you to do an extra measure of “practical” work.  Register voters, canvass, donate, show up and hand out literature at metro stops or farmers’ markets.  I’m doing both.

Full disclosure:  I interviewed Mr. Hughes for Witches & Pagans  Magazine and the interview will be published shortly after the election

 

Words for Wednesday

autumn-woods

Song for Autumn

~ Mary Oliver

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Picture found here.