The Witchcraft of Place

pokeweed

Every so often, I teach a workshop I call "Ditch Witch:  Magical Uses of Common Roadside Plants."  When I first started working on the idea, I sat down and wrote all of the names and uses of plants I could think of, restricting myself to ones you would normally see just walking around.  When I got to twenty-five, I decided I had enough to go on with and started culling it down to the few most useful and common ones, to prevent overload.It helps that I have the vast well of knowledge that is S … [Read more...]

Infinity in the palm of your hand

Helix Nebula, from Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”  -  William BlakeWhat is a sense of place, anyway? What place?  I tend to focus on the human scale, most of the time, as most of us do.  But the universe is a place.  Your body is also a place.  To a mitochondrion, a cell is a world, and you are a vast, unimaginable universe.  (Thank you, Madeleine L'Engle.)  Less poetically, but still true, to the myriads of m … [Read more...]

The Dance of Desire and Delight

It is strange to be a writer, particularly in the midst of life.Those of you reading this who also write may understand, perhaps agree or disagree, but it seems to me there exists an often difficult and fascinating conflict between the voice of narration and the body of experience.I am writing this in a notebook.  The pages of compressed wood-pulp glare garishly white at my return glance as I attempt to interrupt its pristine nothingness, its blank receptivity, with ink scrawls of black. … [Read more...]

Signs of Beltane Approaching

blackthorn

The land is finally waking, here in the cold north (aka Scotland). Ostara is the balance of day and night, as elsewhere, but the land does not really wake until Beltane -- also known as Beltaine, or Bealtuinn.Spring and summer come upon us all of a piece, here. Here and now, the oyster catchers nest, the swallows arrive, the curlews warble, yet the sycamore is still bare-limbed. Daffodils and celandines and coltsfoot and wood anemones all bloom together.The blossoming … [Read more...]

Disenchantment, Enclosure, And ‘The Burning Times’

hans glaser

“Slave owners knew that to master a human being, no matter what his race or color, all you need to do is strip him of his identity, his land, the strength of his culture and the memory of his ancestors.”From the Film, The Language You Cry InI have thus far spoken of Disenchantment in general terms, providing modern examples of how it relates to specific places and how Capitalism is sustained by materialistic conceptions of the everyday.  I’ve tried to show how Capitalism and disenc … [Read more...]

Do The Gods Care About Money?

IMG_1862

This week Niki, at A Witch's Ashram, wrote about money and privilege.  It’s a great article, and one I hope she expounds on, but the first thing I wondered when reading it, and the thought I couldn't get away from,  was whether gods even care about money.  I have had this conversation before with pagan friends, wondering whether the notion that a god (any god) who is interested in the minute details of so many people’s lives is just unexamined Christian magical thinking (in the anthropological se … [Read more...]


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