Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Breaking Tradition"

This post by Sarah Lawless confirmed for me a number of things I'd already suspected, granted me a clearer perspective, and gave me a sense of optimism (mingled only slightly with a cane-shaking desire to chase some of these crazy youngsters off my lawn). I was fiercely rebellious against what I saw to be problematic within my parent tradition, so how could I possibly resent that same questing spirit in others? I may not agree with, believe in, or wish to participate in everything that falls within the definition of "witchcraft," but neither do I have the right to define or deny those things to others. Evolution is ever the way of things, after all.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Classic Halloween Postcard Witchery

I'm a bit late getting started on these this year, so let's get right to it.

This charming young witch, while not traditionally dressed, is nonetheless employing her wand in a traditional and appropriate manner--that is, "to call up and control certain angels and genii to whom it would not be meet to use the sword."

In this case, the entities being conjured are identified as elves, though their appearance is ambiguous enough that they could be any sort of spirit. The witch herself is garbed more like a nature spirit or sprite than a classic witch, which only serves to make me long for Hallowe'ens of old when costumes often took such puckish forms. (It's quite racy, too; look how much leg she's showing!)

She may be conjuring these elves out of the moon, though it's more likely to be a ball of papier-mache or crepe paper; such treat balls were given as party favors and typically filled with candies and small trinkets, wrapped in multiple layers of colorful paper. I can remember finding a display of them in a department store as a child, and how delighted I was by them. I almost didn't want to unwrap mine, it was so cool--though of course, I did. (Mine had a witch face, not that that should come as any surprise.)

Now these guys, on the other hand, are demonstrating an absolutely improper usage for the athame. While Gardner does indicate that the athame can be used to "dominate, subdue, and punish all rebellious spirits and demons," I'm not sure that what's going on here is exactly what he had in mind--and in any case, the athame is generally not to be used for cutting. We use our curfane for that. (They did hold to the old recommendation of using tools that look like common household objects, though, so there's that.)

For today, I'll leave you with this one. Here we have as classic a witch as one could ask, although she's dressed in red rather than the more familiar black. Full moon, bats, owls, cats, jack-o-lanterns, cornstalks, all the most evocative symbols of the season are present. And best of all, there's a simple and effective little charm given:

Softly cross your fingers
At the Witching Hour;
Over Fates and Fortunes
The Moon will give you power.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Britain's Wicca Man

I thought you all might enjoy this short documentary as much as I did. Whatever you may think of the man or his brand of craft, I believe it is fair to say that anyone practicing witchcraft today owes at least a bit of gratitude to Gardner for his work. (Plus, it's great to see footage of locations such as the house wherein GBG was alleged to have been initiated, along with a huge honking pile of witchstuff inherited by John Belham-Payne from Doreen Valiente.)