Monday at the Movies

Rum famously said that there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.  And there are hundreds of ways to punch Nazis.

Sunday Ballet Blogging

The Magical Battle of America


If you’re doing magical Resistance work, you should really get ahold of and read The Magical Battle of Britain.  This collection of the letters that Dion Fortune wrote to her magical group during World War II demonstrates how England’s occult workers fought the Nazis.  Fortune sent out a series of magical workings for her followers to perform on the astral plane.  The plan was for everyone to work together on the same day of the week, at the same time.  Sable Aradia’s written an excellent summary of what Fortune did and how it worked.  She explains, inter alia, that:

Dion Fortune’s magickal act worked on several sound magickal theories:

  1. She believed that trained ritualists could combine their efforts to influence the collective Will of the British people, not any one individual.
  2. She utilized easily-recognizable culturally-based spirits and egregors whose meaning would be intuitively understood by thousands of people.
  3. She drew upon spirits and egregors already associated with the purpose for which they’d been called.
  4. She created simple acts of magick that could be easily imitated, and contributed to, by a wide range of individuals in disparate geographical locations.
  5. She was doing a Working in a cause that thousands of people were passionate about.

It seems to me that any act of magick intended to influence the actions of such a large group of people would do well to keep these principles in mind.  Trying to get a large group of people to do something complicated is challenging.  Trying to get them to do something simple that they feel strongly about is much easier.

Beginning next Saturday, I’m going to post a weekly series of similar workings adapted to these times and to the current Resistance.  I don’t expect, in today’s world, that everyone will be able to work at the same time, but I also think that’s less important, especially on the astral level, than it is for as many people as possible to engage in the work.  However, to the extent that you can set aside a regular time each week when you’ll join the working, that’s probably a good thing.

Here’s some prepatory work that I’d like to ask you to do.

  1. Place and/or strengthen the wards on your home (or the place from which you’ll do the working).  This doesn’t have to take a long time and you can find online a number of ways to do it.
  2. Read Sable Aradia’s summary and, if you can, get a copy of Fortune’s book and read that.
  3. Decide when and where you’ll do the work.  If possible, you may want to make a small altar with pictures of your ancestors, pictures of American mythical and/or historic figures, a candle, flags, whatever reminds you of why you joined the Resistance.
  4. If you feel comfortable doing so, please leave a comment below explaining why you will commit to this work.

Our country and our world are under attack from dark forces.  As a wise person once said, “We’re Witches.  We should do something about that.”

I shan’t be gone long.  You come, too.

Picture found here.

On the Importance of Self-Care


Can you believe it’s only been four weeks? I don’t know about you, but after all this letter-writing and calling and poster-making and marching and getting more involved with local politics and volunteering and spell-casting and relentless trolling of @realDonaldTrump on Twitter (still only me?), I’m beat! And we’re still at the BEGINNING of this race.

Yes, the term “self-care” is annoying. It seems – to use yet another annoying term – so “basic,” conjuring visions of pumpkin spice lattes, scented candles, Uggs, Taylor Swift, and Lululemon yoga pants. (Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that stuff if you like it – you do you, hon.)

But we are in for a major shitstorm under Donald Trump. The work is going to be hard, exhausting, unrelenting, and potentially dangerous. So it is really important to take care of yourself to make sure you’re up for the task.

What that means is going to look different for each person, and there are at least two components.

On the one hand, it means things like:

  • Less TV, more reading stuff that makes you think
  • Less booze, more tea
  • Less take out, more cooking
  • Less social media, more face time with people you love
  • Less bar time, more evenings at home with the cats
  • Less shopping, more volunteering
  • Less aimless flipping through your Facebook feed, more walking – and thinking
  • Less binge-watching, more attending local government meetings
  • Less Buzzfeed listicles, more long-form journalism (and PAYING for it with a smile on your face)
  • Less wanting to fall in love with the perfect candidate every four years, more contesting every goddamn local and state election, down to dog catcher

But in a larger sense, it will be vitally important not to lose track of what brings you joy (like my adorable cats up there). When you’re fighting for the soul of your country, shit gets serious as a heart attack, like, immediately, and stays that way all the time. It’s so tempting to become all business, all activist, all seriousness, and to dismiss anything that’s not directly contributing to the struggle as frivolous.

That would be a mistake.

You can’t be a serious, committed activist all the time. You have to fill your well, so there’s a place in you that you can work from, give from, sacrifice from.

This is also going to look different for everyone. For me, one of my main loves is live music, particularly blues and jazz. And when I and my spouse are out of town, no matter where we go, that’s where you’ll find us most nights – out hearing live, local music. But when we’re in town, it’s way too easy to say: “I’m in my sweats and fuzzy socks, and I have a good book and purring cats – I’m not putting on real pants and going out.”

Well, not this year. We’ve committed to go out, and not just to big, expensive venues that bring in national acts, but to the little tavern around the corner with the weekly blues jam and to the church a few blocks away that features jazz players from the local arts school and to the $5 cover, bare bones joint in the next neighborhood north of us that provides a space for up-and-coming local artists.

We’re in for the fight of our lives. Nurture your body, soul, and mind, and fill your well. You’re going to need it.

Image by the author. If you copy, please credit appropriately.

At the End of Desire

In the Patriarchy, remembering who we really are is an act of resistance.

Words for Wednesday


from Citizen, VI [On the train the woman standing]

~ Claudia Rankine

On the train the woman standing makes you understand there are no seats available. And, in fact, there is one. Is the woman getting off at the next stop? No, she would rather stand all the way to Union Station.

The space next to the man is the pause in a conversation you are suddenly rushing to fill. You step quickly over the woman’s fear, a fear she shares. You let her have it.

The man doesn’t acknowledge you as you sit down because the man knows more about the unoccupied seat than you do. For him, you imagine, it is more like breath than wonder; he has had to think about it so much you wouldn’t call it thought.

When another passenger leaves his seat and the standing woman sits, you glance over at the man. He is gazing out the window into what looks like darkness.

You sit next to the man on the train, bus, in the plane, waiting room, anywhere he could be forsaken. You put your body there in proximity to, adjacent to, alongside, within.

You don’t speak unless you are spoken to and your body speaks to the space you fill and you keep trying to fill it except the space belongs to the body of the man next to you, not to you.

Where he goes the space follows him. If the man left his seat before Union Station you would simply be a person in a seat on the train. You would cease to struggle against the unoccupied seat when where why the space won’t lose its meaning.

You imagine if the man spoke to you he would say, it’s okay, I’m okay, you don’t need to sit here. You don’t need to sit and you sit and look past him into the darkness the train is moving through. A tunnel.

All the while the darkness allows you to look at him. Does he feel you looking at him? You suspect so. What does suspicion mean? What does suspicion do?

The soft gray-green of your cotton coat touches the sleeve of him. You are shoulder to shoulder though standing you could feel shadowed. You sit to repair whom who? You erase that thought. And it might be too late for that.

It might forever be too late or too early. The train moves too fast for your eyes to adjust to anything beyond the man, the window, the tiled tunnel, its slick darkness. Occasionally, a white light flickers by like a displaced sound.

From across the aisle tracks room harbor world a woman asks a man in the rows ahead if he would mind switching seats. She wishes to sit with her daughter or son. You hear but you don’t hear. You can’t see.

It’s then the man next to you turns to you. And as if from inside your own head you agree that if anyone asks you to move, you’ll tell them we are traveling as a family.

Picture found here.

The Greater Trump Reversed: Absent & Toxic Fathers


It’s been decades since I read it, but my memory is that in Charles Williams’ book, The Greater Trumps,* reality becomes rent and archetypes (the trumps), as depicted in Tarot, come through into physical reality.  Since Trump’s installation, I’ve been remembering Williams’ story and considering how Trump is what Derrick Jensen would call a toxic meme of the Emperor Card.  Toxic, because he has none of the supposedly good qualities — stability, protection, certainty, etc. — of the Emperor, and all of the bad.

And this morning, I began to wonder about the role of absent/toxic fathers in our late twentieth/early twenty-first century presidents.  Consider Bill Clinton who grew up with an absent father and toxic stepfather.  W who had an out of control Oedipus Complex.  Obama who grew up with an absent father.  And, now, Trump, who clearly grew up unloved and with one of the world’s largest narcissistic wounds.

Maybe we need to stop electing men who have these problems.

*Jung would appreciate the play on words.

Picture found here.