Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The New Normal?

I'm not quite ready to call it a firm tradition, but it does seem that lately the holy days are being spent in very literal ways. There was the Winter Solstice that I spent helping a dear friend give birth. Now there's the Samhain that I spent planning my husband's grandmother's funeral. She passed from this world on the 28th, and the funeral had to be delayed for several reasons. Early on the morning of the 31st, I woke to a phone call from a crematorium in Tennessee saying that my mother's father (the man discussed here) had died at 4:40am and could I please send money for his cremation? And so the day was spent sorting out those details, and most of my plans had to be cancelled. The first, second, and third days of November were spent in vigil over my husband's grandmother until she found her way to the beyond. And the so the plans for those days were altered too. Still, it seems that the holy days were spent as they were meant to be.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It is easy to fold one's self
into primness and proper decorum, but
deeper than you'd imagine
She would ask you to go.
Find in Her those things that go hidden
every woman of our time.
Shift with the animals
then go back to your home and
guard it with the ferocity of the lioness.
Sit at Her feet and
that there is so much you can see, so
you must strain against the fetters.

by OhioWitch
Copyright 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When She Comes

There is something incredibly fulfilling about waking before the sun, confused and wondering what it could be that has pulled one from sleep so much earlier than usual, to look out the window and behold those first fat, fresh flakes swirling in the moonlight. She doesn't always wake me when She comes, so those times when I am called send a tingle down my spine and fill my heart with gratitude for the opportunity. I grab my black wool coat, my head scarf, boots, and a libation. The kids are sleeping. The dog is sleeping. It is an enormous rarity for me to be alone. The steps outside my back door are treacherously icy, so I must navigate carefully. I am not known for my grace.

The puff of my breath comes long and slow as I re-gather Her kindling, strewn about by a particularly naughty German shepherd, into a neat pyramid. It is always painful to me to disturb the pristine whiteness that covers the ground. It seems sacreligious, though I know I must do it, so I step carefully, deliberately. I pour the spirits on the ground and take a swig myself, grimacing at the fire that clutches my throat. My cheeks flush, even with just this minimal consumption. I've always been a lightweight. I whisper words reserved only for Her and settle myself beside the birdfeeder, after filling it, to listen to Her response. The snow nearly always stops for at least a brief bit after our exchange. She may come back later, She may not.

Back up the icy steps, into the warm interior of my home, and now I can shake the melting snow from my garments and hang them over the heater vent. The liquor is put away, high above my head and out of reach of curious little hands. I won't be able to sleep now that the brisk early morning air has invaded my brain. I press my hot cheek to a frosty window and watch the splendour resume.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I was just cleaning out the attic and ran across the certificate I was given after I was baptised.

Did I ever tell y'all the story of my baptism? Hmmm...

I left my pagan beginnings for awhile during my teen years, for a variety of reasons, and decided to join a church at 16. I had a deeply moving spiritual experience in that church. Maybe I'll share that some other time, but today is about my baptism.

The church I'd joined was quite small, not more than 100 people in the congregation at any given time. The building reflected that, with no room for a baptismal, and so baptisms were done in the local YMCA pool. Yes indeed. Though my mother was adamantly against my new-found faith (she didn't care if I dabbled in witchcraft, but please for the love of god do not join that Christian cult), but she agreed to come to my baptism and bring her video camera.

I was very body conscious as a teen, so the church tried to accomodate my fear of bathing suits by allowing me to dress in a choir robe. In pictures of that day, I looked like a fucking advertisement for purity: long blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin glowing, choir robe disguising any shape to my thin, developing body.

Eventually it was my turn to be dunked. I hardly remember what was said in those moments because I was completely overcome with Spirit. I know there were words said, questions asked and answered. I saw the red light of the camcorder as my mother prepared to capture the memory. A hand pressed against my forehead, another holding steady at the small of my back as the pastor bent me backwards to cleanse me. Everyone was quiet, reverant. Just before I hit the water, I heard my mother's voice cry out, "SHIT!"

Her video camera had run out of batteries. I've never again heard such a deafening echo.

It was all downhill from there.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Worst has Passed, but the World is Ending...

Thanks to those of you who have been thinking of my family. I think the worst has passed (knock on wood), but I've been wrong before. Today marks the first of 40 or so treatments in an approximately 10-month-long process. It's going to be a long year.

Have you seen this? So fun. Even as a very small girl, I hoped that I would live to see the end of the world. It's a difficult urge to explain, and I think it has a lot to do with seeing things through. This was particularly troubling for my Grandmother-the-Prophet who had visions of the demise of the Earth, just as any good prophet would. She would tsk at me and say, "you don't know a thing at all. You're too very, very small."

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 3, 2012

I haven't been blogging.

I haven't been sleeping.

I haven't been eating.

This post is not going to be related to witchcraft, so feel free to stop reading now. I also won't be going into detail because the crux of the issue involves one of my children, and I won't put their private life on public display, even on a tiny blog like this.

2011 ended on a very bad note for my family--a very real, life-and-death type of bad note. For now, everyone is fine, with all their appendages in their proper places. I hope that is where it will end, but we're all feeling scared and lost and unsure of what the future holds. Don't worry, help is soon to come (I hope).

This situation has the potential to bind us all closer together or blow our entire family apart. Because it is one of my children that hangs in the balance, I'm feeling particularly vulnerable and, well, a bit like the worst mother in the world. There is a permanent lump in my throat and the weight of a cannonball resting firmly in the pit of my stomach, but I'll be damned if we're going to go down without a fight. I will not be the parent who doesn't see it coming. I won't be the parent who ignores warning signs or pushes it all under the rug because I'm too afraid to face the worst case scenario. It's balls to the wall here, folks.

All that said, do you think it's a bad omen that my own dog bit me on New Year's Eve (my fault, of course)? On New Year's Day I woke up to dog vomit. I went to the grocery store and was halfway through checking out when I realized that I hadn't brought any money. The clerk was very gracious about the whole thing and held my order while I drove home and back. As I was loading the groceries into the trunk, the wind blew the trunk lid shut... on my head. Because of the delay with the groceries and my bleeding head, I ended up driving through an ice storm that stopped the moment I reached my house.

I'm chalking it up to a preoccupied mind. Barring that, I'm hoping that I'm getting all the damnable bad luck out of the way early in 2012. In light of the trouble we face, even my particularly shitty New Year is laughable.

Pray for us, readers. Pray very hard.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


For those of you who support the Occupy Wall Street movement but cannot be on the front lines of the protests, here is a quick, easily implementable suggestion for how you can help from the comfort of your own home. The best part is that it hit the banks where it counts--the bottom line! Please help and show your support if you can.

Also, there have been some really brilliant herbalists and healers putting together information for those who would like to help the protestors at the Occupy Herbalism facebook page.

I am the 99%!