Freaky Folktales blog – recommended

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Photo from blog by Paul Hodge?

I found this writer of Freaky Foltkales the other day and have finally gone through all his well written and spooky tales of merry (well, maybe not so merry) England.

To quote from his Gravitar profile and About page:

“Paul Hodge left London and came to reside in Hampshire armed with the collected works of MR James, Kate Bush and Nigel Kneale. He now trawls the dusky corners of the country seeking stories to entertain (and scare). These form part of his own collected works, Freaky Folk Tales.

For too long we have told and retold colourful stories from overseas whilst neglecting the rich vein of tales that were distilled on these shores; the tales that once lived a lively existence on the lips of our forebears.

Our ancestors would be amazed at our advances, but would they not equally be astonished by how we seek our greatest thrills from wires and circuitry, an electronic buzz that distances ourselves from what it is like to step into the half-light, listen to the words of a stranger and be enthralled – and possibly a little scared – by the actions of our fellow man?

Maybe then it is time to look a little inward and re-evaluate our indigenous worth as a treasure trove of chronicles that revel in everything from the magic of dragons to the terror of a curse. If you agree, then it is then time to bid you a warm welcome – a welcome to the world of Freaky Folk Tales.”

I am a little confused about who took the photos, but attribute the one above from his blog to him, Paul Hodge.

Enjoy these freaky ghost tales!

Some Favorites from The Witch of Forest Grove blog

4761649186_e1ce475579_b_aSybilla image from unknown source on www

Yea i know i have been re-bloggin a lot lately. I just do not have that much to write about life or magicke right now in this time of winter.

I have been following The Witch of Forest Grove blog from my first days of blog surfing. It is one of my favorite blogs and i always look forward to Sarah’s posts, as do many hundreds of other witches of the old ways.

In her latest post Is It Just Me? and the links she gives withing the article she contrasts the various forms of witchcraft and magicke afoot nowadays with her own unique path. Below are the other posts that i found of great interest.

Disclaimer of a Traditional Witch

Sabbatic Witchcraft

The Grimoire Tradition

Hopefully soon i can get out of my uninspired winter blahs and write some of my own stuff, but until then i like sharing the gleanings of the best of the best i find. Enjoy and Blessed Be!

The Witches’ Sabbat – Reblogged from In the Chimehours

Three Blue LadiesPicture from unknown source

Ok it snowed all day so i had plenty of time to read through all of In the Chimehours that i recommended yesterday. I am totally impressed by her writing.

One of the best posts I liked is The Witche’s Sabbat which is dark and visceral. And another post I liked is The Secret Commonwealth. Enjoy all her posts!

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Picture from an older Shakespeare play

 

 

In the Chimehours blog – recommended

StonehedgeI was checking out some of the more traditional British witchcraft blogs today and found this gem called In the Chimehours. She is a writer and her blog posts are like reading poetry and are accented by the excellent photography of Ian Thurlby and Matt Baldwin-Ives at their Milescross website. Her writing and their photos reflect the old path of witchcraft in England. Here is a quote from her About page:

“Hi All, and welcome to ‘In the Chimehours’: An exploration of English folklore, folk tradition, and primal magic, and my journey as an English Witch returning to her roots.

I am a native of the British Isles who has a strong love for all things Otherworldly and ancient. Of the deep, dark places that most fear to tread. Of the Arte Magical, cunning, witchcraft and the forgotten gods. Raised from an early age with a passion for folklore, story-telling, dancing, music and magic.”

I am part way through this blog and will check out the older posts later today and tomorrow. May you all enjoy this, and Blessed Be.

Stonehedge (1)Pictures above and below from Stonehenge desktops downloaded from the web.

Reblog – A Viking-Asatru Christmas Carol

I found this at this post The Night Before Christmas Viking Style at the Biblebelt Witch blog, and she lists there where she got it but i am not sure who wrote it. The picture is from this site and has no artist listed either. I think you will enjoy it !

vikingsantaA Viking-Asatru Christmas Carol

.
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Hall
Not a creature was stirring, not warrior nor thrall.
And I in my armor, my greaves and my helm
Was drunker than anyone else in the Realm.

I staggered upstairs and fell into bed
While four quarts of mead were ablaze in my head.
Then up from below came the sounds of a brawl
So I grabbed up my axe and ran down to the Hall.

I missed the last step and crashed down in a heap
Thinking, “Why can’t those low-lifes downstairs go to sleep!”
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But two brawny strangers, wielding mallet and spear.

I said to myself, “We’ll soon have them beat!”
Then I noticed ten warriors laid out at their feet.
I gave out a yell and leapt into the fray…
I’ll always regret my poor choice of that day.

For the one laid his hammer to the side of my nose
And up, up, up to the rafters I rose.
Then came a lone frightened voice from the floor,
“Those are no mortal warriors — that’s Odin and Thor!”

Then they looked at each other and they said, “Battle’s done.
Now they know who we are, it no longer is fun.”
Then Thor raised his hammer, and his elbow he bent,
And with a loud crash, through the ceiling they went.

I crawled through the Hall and flung open the door,
Not really sure that I’d seen them before.
The snow bathed in starlight, the moon like a glede,
I saw them ride off on an eight-legged steed.

And I heard them exclaim, ‘ere they flew out of sight,

“TO HELA WITH CHRISTMAS, WE JUST LOVE A GOOD FIGHT!”

Reblog – So, I had this conversation with a customer last night …

necromancyI like this interesting, controversial, pointed and extremely honest conversation between a supposed newly fallen Christian and a very intelligent Pagan at a diner regarding the recent mass shooting and what God has to do with all of this. The post, and the picture above, if from The House of Vines blog and is entitled So, I had this conversation with a customer last night…..

Dessert with Aristotle anyone?

Looking at St Nicholas as our Pagan God of Winter

Catholic-St.-Nicholas-of-MyraI was reading a post at CNN’s Belief blog about St Nicholas and did some other research so i thought i would add my two cents about how Santa Claus aka St Nicholas is so much like our pagan God of Winter.

He’s an old guy, like the fading God of summertime. He comes down from the North Pole like the Sun returning from north to south. He has long white hair and beard like nature in winter in the northern hemisphere. He wears a red phallic pointed hat and garb like the sun at its peak. His decorations are often holly and other evergreen plants, like spring returning. His power animals are the horned reindeer. Rudolph might be drinking mead since his nose is glowing red. His companions are the dwarfs who represent the powers of earth and treasure being brought upwards. He comes bearing a sack of gifts, and in the ancient times gift giving in the dead of winter was risky business since one could not predict how severe or hungry the winter might be. He can navigate without gps so he must be using the earth’s electromagnetic field so he Has to be Magickal! And finally, In his older pictures he smokes a pipe (probably full of hemp so he can fly higher, lol).

Well i could go on and on but i really just wanted to link you to the posts below that explain St Nicholas, mostly from his Christianized myths, and you can figure out how they trace back to paganism, like all Catholic saints. Bottom line is he became a saint not so much for doing miracles but more for being a nice and generous guy!

The first link is from CNN’s Belief blog, written by Adam C. English, and is entitled My Take: The Christmas message of the real St. Nicholas.

And the second link is more directly to a site called the St Nicholas Center entitled Who is St. Nicholas?

And i want to thank SM at his Thicket of a Witch blog for his post on Memories of the Oak and Holly King: Winter Solstice Story! which is where i got the great picture below of the Oak King and Holly King (that i then sent him as a Yule greeting, Duh!) Enjoy!

Postscript on 12/24 – I found this site Shadows Magick Place that adds a little Hoodoo to working with St Nick called Working with St Nicholas of Myra.

Oak and Holly King

Black Cat Power, Part 1: Origins & Witches – from Valentina’s Reflections blog

I read this post called Black Cat Power – Part 1 – Origins & Witches at the Valentina’s Reflections blog and just had to re-blog it since it is well written and full of interesting information. It starts out with:

“What is up with black cats and Witches, eh? Why do we go so well together? Are we good luck? Or are we all bad luck?  What special powers, if any, do we share together?  These questions and more I’ve been asked, but one question I’ve been asked the most, one my mother was the first to ask me is, “Do you have a black cat because you’re a Witch?”   My answer comes with an embarrassed laugh; “No” and I didn’t quite know how to explain why.  Yet I understood why it was a common question,  considering that every Halloween the most recognizable cliché symbolic image is one that pairs witches dressed in black next to their faithful black cats. But how did that cliché get started in the first place? I don’t think it’s just coincidence or a pop culture creation derived only from Old English literature……” Read Full Post Here. or at link above.

Of course i had to add some pictures of my own two black cats – Shadow, who was born around May Day and is 12 years old and so named because when i first got her she was invisible in the shadows. She talks a lot like she has some Siamese in her, and loves to go outside and hunt mice and moles and sadly the few stupid birds that land right in front of her. And Spider, who was born around Halloween and is 7 years old, and is named because when she was a kitten she just looked like a furry tarantula,  and likes to climb trees but mostly likes to lay in the sunlight, though she does her job of catching the rare mousie who gets inside the house.

ShadowcatShadow cat with silver pentagram

TreeShadowSpider cat in the tree

demon cat 4Demon cat

spider sun shelf 2Spider Oh so warm on the sunny shelf

2catssun2A RARE picture of them sitting that close

attack cat insideAnd here’s a fun graphic you can print up and put in your window to warn away the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses!

Winter Solstice Song – by Lisa Thiel

Since most of you will read this tomorrow i will post this tonight. Jesus is not coming back tonight, nor Satan, nor Quetzalcoatl, nor the evil Reptilian Aliens, so just relax. But the Sun is going to come back after tomorrow, stronger and lighter and warmer, especially for us in the northern hemisphere. Yea! So Blessed Yule to you all, and enjoy this song by Lisa Thiel and check out her other songs also. I put the words below the video. Enjoy and Rejoice!

Winter Solstice Song – by Lisa Thiel

Chorus:
Enter the night and you’ll find the light,
That will carry you to your dreams.
Enter the night, let your spirit take flight,
In the field of infinite possibilities

On the longest night we search for the light,
And we find it deep within.
Open your eyes to embrace what is wise,
And see the light of your own soul shining.

(Chorus)
Wrap up in the cloak of starry darkness my child, And you’ll find the center of all things.
For from this space of the deepest dark place,
Life Eternal does spring.

(Chorus)
So when you find that spark
When you dream in the dark,
Hold it close to your heart and know.
All that you see is all that can be
When you give birth to the dreams of your soul.

(Chorus)

 

Why I think Women make better Witches than Men do

eleanor rae bone 2Eleanor Rae Bone – Witch

I am sure i am going to offend someone in this post, especially the excellent male witches i have read about and met and worked with over the decades. And the fact is that i am a male witch so what i am writing applies to me also. I am not trying to set up some dichotomy between male and female practicers of witchcraft. I am just writing my own opinions based on the life of a witch priest over time, and i find as i have become older and am blogging i tend to just put this stuff out there to be read or spit up irregardless of how politically incorrect it may be.

There are many types of witchcraft – the religious aspect, the ceremonial magickal aspect, the mystical aspect and the folk magicke aspect amongst others. There were originally, and sill are, the native practices of paganism and animism. There were and are the medieval style practices of healers and wizards. And there are the later versions of “Wicca” from Gardner onwards. My premise is based on the original native forms of witchcraft, whether you want to call them shamanism or root craft or whatever. We do not know what our ancestors really did. But we do have more recent anthropological data about what they do today. In these remnants we see from ancient cultures there were the female mysteries and the male mysteries and they held their own rites in their own times in their own sacred spaces that were Not to be spied upon by the other gender. I think the only time they would come together would be for rites for marriage and fertility. It seems from research that the men were probably the hunters and the women were probably the first to gather and then learn to plant the first grains, so i think women were the first herbalists and as we know that is a big part of witchcraft. Women, being the source of all life, are more naturally tied in with the cycles of nature within and without. Women have always been the healers, the herbalists, the ones who picked and cultivated new crops, the ones who learned how to weave cloth and sew fur into clothes. Men tend to want to reduce the herbs to its one element to make a medicine to sell, to practice alchemy to change matter, to be the authoritative physician who thought that bleeding would heal people instead of applying nature’s remedies. Men love to make weapons and start wars and conquer new lands, but who is it who gathers up the children and heals the wounded and replants next year’s crop? The women.

There is of course the Dianic form of witchcraft, and i do understand where they are coming from. After thousands of years of enduring patriarchal dominate societies, both culturally and religiously, i can really understand the desire to just concentrate on the Goddess and the feminine aspects of religion. I still think some witch circles should just be for the women and some for the men, depending on the ritual, but for me i like the balance.

Now regarding the medieval wizards they seemed more like control freaks,calling on God and the Devil to bring up some demon to bring then a female spirit or lover to do their bidding. Yea i know they did more than that, especially the more spiritual ones who practiced QBL and worked with the Archangels. But they were obviously doing “the male thing” in their magickes, which i would not even call witchcraft or anything near to it. Men love the power of being a Magus and trying to make the spirits do things for them. Women are tied in with the rhythms of nature better and use a gentler approach of coaxing the spirits to bless and help them in general.

Gardner was more magickian than witch, relying on the Golden Dawn and thus the Solomonic magickal systems and adding some witchcraft practices into it. Sanders was similar but loved the drama of video and pictures of lots of women he could “initiate” into his system. They were male wizards more than witches to me. I don’t think it was until nowadays in modern Wicca there is a balance of both sexes and the wheel of the year is fairly evenly divided. And psychologically i think most educated people realize both genders have their anima and animus and do carry within themselves both the God and Goddess and Androgyne. And for those in the GNLT community it may be possible to invoke whatever gender of deity you wish despite your physical form.

Ad now lets leave theory and ancient history and let me share some things from my own history as a witch priest. My teacher Lady Phoebe told us that there is a balance of the Goddess and God, but the Goddess is just a little bit higher because it is from a woman’s body that we all come forth into this world. And in the coven the Priestess always had final say over the Priest. So that was the way i was brought up as a witch. In our coven I have had more women than men apply for teachings. I have noticed a lot of the men were what i call “come along witches” who pretend to be into witchcraft because their girlfriend or wife was into it, and often i think they did so just to keep their eyes on their women to make sure they are not fooling around with other men in their “new witch hobby”. Often later they did relax and really start getting into it, working well as partners, honoring the Goddess and God within each other.

In my own practices I like doing more spontaneous rituals in nature, to take breaks in formal rituals, to try to reach a trance state in which i invoke and feel at one with the primal god/man within myself. And i do my best to help my Priestess embody the Goddess within herself, though most do not need my “help”. I have never been much into spells and hate those rhyming chants. Even I could not just be into witchcraft. I had to balance it out with Tibetan Buddhism, Thelema and even Vodoun. I quietly draw talismans and burn a candle on them and cense them and then burn them or return them to the element relevant to their work. I think my magicke is more influenced by yogic techniques using mantras where i just visualize, say a seed mantra, wave a mudra, and it is so. But when i do a formal Coven of the Catta ritual I do it completely, the way it was written, the way i was taught.

I think in many ways women are superior to men, especially in social and cultural evolution. If the leaders of every country were women i doubt we would be spending so much money on weapons and more money on education and health care. If we worshiped the Goddess of peace and growth instead of the God of war we would be living in a better world.

In the end here i am Not saying that men cannot be wonderful witches, like the priests i have known. I am just saying that women make better more natural witches. There is a sisterhood there that male witches can participate in, but only to some degree.

It took me three days to write this and i already hate it because i am sure it is going to be misunderstood because i am trying to simplify something that is much more complex than a simple blog post. I expect positive and negative feedback and will respond, but do not want to get into a fight with anyone. These opinions are mine and mine alone, not the opinions of my coven or teachers.

janet_stewart_farrarJanet and Stewart Farrar