The Train as Merkava

Train Tracks

It was two days before Thanksgiving. One of my coworkers had sent out an email late the night before asking if we all wanted to cowork in Seattle the next day. We're almost never all in the same city, so sitting in the same room for a few hours would be good. I sent a reply back that I couldn't. I was still in Chicago and wouldn't be in Seattle until Friday. I was hopping on the Empire Builder train at 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon. The next day as I was heading to a meeting right near the train … [Read more...]

The Song of the Other

steBarbe12

Alder staff in hand, boot-shod feet sore from several days of hard-trudging, I walked slowly through fading day of the fleeting summer to the tiny village of Sainte-Barbe. To my left the sea and descending sun, to my right the fields of gorse and grass concealing ancient standing stones, and always ahead the image of my destination--its wind-worn spire rising steadily in the distance.In the village, I shook off my boots and hooded tunic, laid my staff against an old stone wall and entered … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Words

P1010260

There was a time, not so long ago, when information was shared by word of mouth.  Most of us were illiterate.  That word has such a nasty taste in the mouth now, doesn’t it?  It conjures all sorts of images, from gross ignorance to the cruel acts committed by those same ignorant individuals.  I don’t like those conjurings, so I’m going to make-up my own reference phrase (which may have been thought of already by scholars who also ponder such things).   Let’s begin again…There was a time, not … [Read more...]

Marketing Disenchantment

Maybuchufer Markt

Hey! Next time you’re in a supermarket, staring at the great bounty of sustenance produced by the ascension of humanity’s technological and economic progress, try looking up:It's kinda easy to forget sometimes, until you see the exposed ducts, fluorescent lights, and (if you're lucky) cobwebs and mold--you’re not only in a grocery store, you’re also in a warehouse.  Let your eyes follow the wall down from the ceiling and you may see signs over sections, bakery, butcher, produce, often ang … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Rot

Decomposition : creative commons

In Ireland,  the chthonic energy of decay is experienced as Crom Dubh, the dark, bent one who takes the grain under the ground.  He was a sacrificial god heavily associated with Lughnasadh.  In fact, while many Irish people may never have heard of the ‘festival of Lughnasadh’ (apart from the movie), they have certainly heard of Crom Dubh’s Day: Dé Domhnaigh Crum-Dubh.  This is a day of pilgrimage to the high places: a custom maintained with the yearly climb of Croagh Patrick.  More anciently, Cro … [Read more...]

Worlding the Earth

Behead Pool

On a hill in Seattle, barely hidden in a cluster of trees, there sits a small shrine. You'll see it: a pillar of wood and fabric ringed by silver bowls bearing offerings of food, dried herbs, and water. Suspended from the branches of nearby maple and oak swing icons and images, glass and metal catching and reflecting the light in sudden bronze, crimson and blue glimmer. A holy site, a place to honor an ancient goddess, the spirits of the animals she adores, the guardian spirits of the … [Read more...]

Urban Witchcraft : Spirit Roads

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Most U.S. witches live in cities.  This probably holds true for most of the western world, since urbanization is on the rise and predicted to grow.  I recently found myself back in an urban environment.  Granted, Austin prides itself on its small town vibe, and funky eclecticism, but it’s no rural Ireland!  The sounds I hear, and the other-than-human-persons I encounter, are different.  Yet, they are still animate, and very eldritch.Since I plan for this to become a multi-part series, let me … [Read more...]


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