Author Archives: Hecate Demeter

And the Grift Goes On

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When I retired, I sat down with my financial advisor and finalized the plans for my retirement.  He told me that there are only two situations when he worries that his retiring clients will wind up impoverished.  One is what he called the “ne’er do well child,” an adult offspring who constantly needs retired parents to bail him out, help him to “start over,” pay for his mistakes, buy a new car to replace the latest one he totaled, etc.  The other is televangelists.

This has been obvious for quite some time, but the modern Republican Party/Conservative Movement is mostly just a grift, designed to separate the rubes from their money.  They appear to have learned this from the Evangelical movement which, for decades and decades, has polluted the radio waves with demands that the faithful send in their money to support the minister’s lavish lifestyle.

Trump bills taxpayers for the Trump golf carts that the Secret Service must use to keep up with him when he golfs — as he does at our expense nearly every week.

NRA members pay for their bigwigs to travel around the world in private planes, dress in lavish suits, and house their mistresses, um, interns in nearby apartments.

GoFundMe operations, ostensibly set up to build Trump’s wall with private funds, wind up funding million dollar yachts for the founders and zero feet of wall.

I always imagine some old guy, sitting in his ratty lounger in a trailer somewhere, unable to pay for the medical care he needs, charging a donation to some evangelical shyster, or Trump, or the NRA, or whatever.  He’ll pay interest on that donation forever because, of course, he doesn’t really have the money.  But he’s fired up and ready to make sure that Hillary doesn’t take his guns, or because Jebuz will bless him twice over for any amount he sends, or because goddamn it we need that wall, need to make sure that we can say “Merry Christmas,” again, need to elect that godly man President Trump.  He knows this because Rev. Falwell (who was so worried about pictures with the poolboy that he “invested” tons of donation dollars in the poolboy’s “business.”) said so.

Honestly, if you have elderly (or not so elderly) relatives who are sucked into this, please look into getting them help.  This is insanity.

Picture found here.

Monday at the Movies

If you’re interested in Hildegard, you might also like this book.

The Magical Battle for America 5.12.19

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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 across the flat prairie, you see near your hillock that a stand of trees has begun to grow up near a spring.  The spring creates a small wetland, hidden by the tall, green prairie grass.  Toads, frogs, snakes, and insects thrive in this wetland.  Small mammals come to it to drink and to feed.  Trees grow near the wetland, prairie trees such as oak, maple, dogwood, and cottonwood.  As you watch, the trees grow tall and strong.  One tree, in particular, reaches up into the clear prairie sky.

This is the tree that our American eagles have chosen for their aerie.  Here, they will build their strong nest, a nest that can withstand the storm that crashes across the prairie.  Eagle’s nests are made of thick branches, skillfully woven into a tight bowl.  That bowl seems huge; it will hold two adult eagles and several chicks.

You watch as the eagles scour the land for the right branches to use to build their nest.  Stand up and search along with the eagles.  Look for the sturdy building blocks that will create a safe place for the eagles to thrive.  Maybe you can find some soft grass for them to use for lining.  Maybe you can find just the right shaped branch that will hold the nest together.  You and the eagles can co-create a safe place for democracy’s defenders to live, to breed, to thrive and, when need be, to rest.  Perhaps you find a shell or a seed pod to give to the eagles for decoration.  Perhaps you come across a scrap of cloth or a piece of yarn.  You look up and realize that you have been working for a very long time.  The eagle’s nest is almost finished.

Promise the eagles that you will return in coming weeks.

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 nettle tea with lemon or fruit juice with cinnamon.  Have something to eat, maybe a salad of spring greens or new asparagus broiled and crisp.  Maybe you can set up a small altar dedicated to Eagle.  (If so, please post a picture!!)  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.

Human Rights Are Women’s Rights and Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. (It’s the Second Part that’s Revolutionary.)

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OK, they’re here.  The laws that will force you to bear your rapist’s child, even if you are only eleven years old.   The laws that make it illegal  (punished by life in prison or the death penalty) to leave the state (presuming you can afford to do that) to get an abortion someplace where abortions are legal.  (I’ve got, at the least, a  Commerce Clause argument, but the five conservative “justices” on the Supreme Court won’t care.)  The laws that will jail you if you help someone else get an abortion (Careful you don’t drive Uber to the airport, loan your cousin $200, watch your grandchildren for the weekend, give your employee time off!  Women seeking abortion must be left lonely, alone, bereft, friendless, without help).  The laws that will jail you if you miscarry  or have an ectopic  pregnancy.  The laws that will take away your  birth control.

That these laws were passed by men who don’t even  understand how women’s bodies and/or birth control actually work just makes them even worse.

For years, our “liberal” male “allies” have told women that we were hysterical to imagine that the Christian Taliban really meant to jail women (maybe doctors, but surely not the women) for seeking an abortion.  Even when Trump (whom I will bet my left breast has paid for some abortions) plainly said that those women must be punished , we were told not to take it literally.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told over the years that maybe it would be a good idea to just concede on abortion so that we could “move on” to the “more meaningful economic issues,” as if (ignoring the more fundamental issues of bodily integrity and freedom) forced childbirth doesn’t have devastating economic impacts on women and the children they are forced to bear.

And, well, here we are.  When these state laws reach the Supreme Court, they will be upheld by the five conservative justices.  Other states will then follow suit.

We tried to tell you.

(And I just have to say that if you didn’t vote in the 2016 election or if you voted for Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders, I do blame you for this state of affairs.  If you can’t bother to vote in state and local elections, I do blame you for this state of affairs.  And all you bright young things who sneered at boxy jackets and insisted that you were too enlightened to “vote with your vagina ,” well, enjoy Gilead.)

So, now that we’ve assigned blame (and, obviously, Patriarchy and his factotum, Capitalism, are most to blame) what’s to be done?

On a practical level, if you do not want to have children or have had all the children that you want to have, get sterilized right now.  (Yes, it’s less intrusive for the male member of a couple to get sterilized, but his sterilization won’t protect you if you get  raped.  That’s not to say it’s a bad idea for men to get sterilized. )

If you are on birth control, talk to your medical provider right now about long-term alternatives.  Be aware that the Christian Taliban insists, against all evidence, that several methods of birth control (IUDs and some hormonal methods) are actually a form of abortion and that they will outlaw these methods.  You need to have a plan for what you’ll do when, for example, your IUD is recalled as illegal.

Barrier methods of birth control are likely to be subject to strict (and arbitrary  — think Duane, the guy who runs the cash register on weekend nights at the CVS  — getting to question you about your sex life) controls.  For example, if you’re gay, you won’t be able to buy condoms; sex, after all, is only for a married couple that includes a man and a woman.  If you’re a single woman, you won’t be able to buy condoms or the cervical cap; see above and, by the way, sweetie, even if you’re married, do you have your husband’s permission for these purchases???  (I had to get my husband’s permission to have a library card in 1974 Maryland.  Just saying for those of you who are too young to remember all the way back to when those embarrassing old second wave feminists were fighting for their own bank cards.)

Condoms and  Plan B have shelf lives of at least four years when properly stored.  You should seriously consider buying and hiding those.  I am an old woman who’s had a hysterectomy, but I have both stored in case some younger woman needs them.  We have to look out for each other.

On a side note, the  Christian Taliban also hates the HPV vaccine because it allows people to have sex without the threatening punishment of disease.  If you have a child (female or male) please get them vaccinated now, before the vaccine becomes illegal.

When some states proposed bills attempting to criminalize the use of bathrooms by certain people (for example, criminalizing the use of a men’s bathroom by trans men), a large number of  sports organizations, businesses, and musical performers threatened to boycott those states.  I supported those actions.  We don’t need the government checking genitals outside public bathrooms.  (Yes, such boycotts can hurt poor people who depend upon, for example, jobs at the state convention center.  Most actions have unintended consequences.)  I intend to work hard to get such organizations to boycott Ohio, Georgia, and other states that adopt anti-woman laws.  I won’t spend any money that I can possibly avoiding (sometimes, you don’t realize that the company that makes that product is located in, for example, Georgia) those states  and I positively won’t travel to or through them.  Georgia has a large film industry.  Make your movie there and I won’t watch it.

Look at where your money is going.  Mystic South  is super inclusive.  So, sure, register for the conference, but don’t buy from the local Target.

I will donate money and write Postcards to Voters in those states when their state elections roll around, hoping to elect people who will revoke those laws.  I will continue to work to elect people in my state, Virginia, who understand that women’s rights are human rights.  (And, trust me, we are not that far away from a time when Virginia passed a requirement (still on the books) that women seeking abortion be subject (regardless of what they wanted or their doctor said) to having a huge, hard wand stuck up their vagina — they get to pay for that privilege.)

And, I will continue to do political magic.  I’ll continue to work the Magical Battle for America and I’ll continue to work Michael Hughes’ hex upon Donald Trump.  I’ll continue to work with my small cell on the banks of the Potomac.

So, here we are, exactly where women said we would be.  The irony of the fact that when Cassandra said no to Apollo, his patriatric curse was that she’d tell the truth and be ignored, has never been lost on me.

Happy motherfucking Mother’s Day, motherfuckers.

Picture found here.

Words for Wednesday

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The Garden by Moonlight

A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies’ delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, padding between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
But who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone.
Picture found here.

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

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I don’t know about you, but some days the news is almost more than I can bear.  And it’s OK to disengage for a while.  Turn off the social media and get outside, talk to a tree, walk, or swim, or garden.

Tough times are also when it really matters to do your daily practice and to practice gratitude for everything:   from your morning cup of coffee, to your child’s smile, to the smooth sheets on your bed.

Read some poetry, or a junk novel, or old love letters.  Listen to some music.

We are going to get through this.

What helps you cope?

Picture found here.

Monday at the Movies

 

I loved the books  and didn’t think the Australian tv series  could do them justice but I was wrong.  I loved Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

And I didn’t think the sequel, set in the 1960s, could do the original series justice but I was wrong.  I love Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.  The sets and costumes alone make it worth watching, but it’s also a paean to strong women and their friendships.

There’s a scene in the first episode when young Peregrine Fisher sees the women of the Adventuresses Club of the Antipodes hugging each other and the look of longing on her face is as wonderful as the way the women are giving strength to each other.

Have you seen it?  What did you think?