Brigit’s Garden

I just love this little garden based on the pagan ritual wheel. According to YT – “Jenny Beale founded Brigit’s Garden in 2004 out of her passion for nature and the environment. She grew up on a farm in England and prior to setting up the garden she worked for many years in adult education. She became fascinated by Celtic heritage after moving to Ireland in the 1980s, and now lives on the Connemara coast in Barna village.”
This environmentalist lady has Got to be a closet Witch or Pagan ! Enjoy !

Metal Gaia

A contemporary garden created in honor of a Powerful Celtic Goddess

There are parallels between this Garden and Brigit’s cross.

Much like Brigit’s cross, this garden was created with four aspects: the four aspects or four seasons of the year.

A public garden devoted to an Ancient Goddess would be unthinkable a few decades ago.

In the modern era, much reverence for all things Pagan has taken place at home altars or secretive groups. Yet as pagans come out of the broom closet and make their way into everyday life, there is becoming more tolerance for projects like this, for our ability to create public spaces which revere the ancient Gods.

Much of modern life is very linear and we mainly focus on progress. Yet the purpose of this garden is to attune visitors to the cyclic aspect of life, to attune the visitors to nature. Nature is a wheel…

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10 Bad Reasons For Becoming a Pagan

On a brighter note that my last re-blog this morning, this post by Metal Gaia, which leads one to an About.com article on “Ten Reasons to Not become a Pagan” (click on Read Article Here under the picture) is funny as shit. It seems written for some young with who has as their Book of Shadows SRW’s “Teen Witch”, but does have some good points in it. The writer has a great sense of humor and so does MG for posting it. Enjoy !

Metal Gaia

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What Hekate Is Like

A strange song that was posted yesterday by Rachel Isabella at The Way of the Transgressor is Hard blog. I have heard of this group Coil and their strange sad history, at least according to Wiki, is at that link. Their music is somewhere between industrial and ambient, at least in this song. They have been pegged as pagans and even satanists, though i see a Thelemic influence in some song titles, and note that Bill Breeze (11th* Caliph OTO) played with them for a short late period. There are some short couple second pauses in the video which the uploader acknowledges. I guess i am post this today because it is the way i feel today.

Here are the lyrics to this hymn, or song. The end sounds almost French in its flow but some Latin thrown in? Let me know if anyone knows. I do not know why it is so hard to paste lyrics into rebogs but if you can’t read this below then go to http://www.lyricsmania.com/batwings_a_limnal_hymn_lyrics_coil.html

Lyrics to Batwings (A Limnal Hymn) :

(The key to joy is disobedience
There is no guilt and there is no shame)A moon-piece to fetch up the golden cup
A snow-piece to avoid the great heat of the sun
Is kept in the night and by the light of the moon

An ice-piece so as they seem forever fallen
A night-piece of the dismal supper and strange entertainment
A rare chance-piece, a handsome piece of deformity
The skin of a snake bred out of the spinal marrow of a man

With stones and illegible inscriptions found about great ruins
Pictures of three remarkable steeples, or towers
Built purposely awry, so as they seem eternally tipping and falling

A transcendent perfume made of the richest odorates
Kept in a box of translucent scale

A glass of spirits made of ethereal salt, hermetically sealed up
Kept continually in quicksilver, of so volatile a nature
That it will scarcely endure the light
And therefore only shown in winter
Or by the light of a carbuncle, or a firefly

And batwings
And batwings
And batwings sing this limnal hymn
A wideness opening and closing to keep the darkness sealed within
To keep the darkness sealed within
To keep the darkness sealed within

To keep the darkness sealed within
A moon-piece to fetch up the golden cup

[The singing that follows is not in English. When this song was played at John Balance’s funeral service, Peter Christopherson described it as “a language that only he knows”.]

The Way of the Transgressor is Hard

None of the many songs about Hekate come close, in my opinion, to capturing what Her presence feels like. Coil comes close with this song, seemingly unintentionally.

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Crowley’s other Magus tarot cards painted by Frieda Harris

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3 versions of The Magus by Frieda Harris

I was reading through Sarah Veale’s Friday occult and archeology link round up post today at her Invocatio blog today and came upon a very interesting one on Frieda Harris, who of course painted Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot deck. It seems she also painted a set of Masonic Tracing Boards around 1942 when she was also painting for Crowley. She was both a Co-Mason and Thelemite back then. So follow that link for her artwork illustrating the first three degrees of Masonry as i cannot put them in this post. They are fascinating for sure.

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The Magus card that made it into the Thoth deck

This takes me back to decades ago when a small group of local Themites went to the Penn State University rare book and documents collection where we were privileged to see what we at the time thought were original paintings but now i see at their website that they are photostat copies of 82 of the 78 card deck. Yes 82 because Crowley had Frieda Harris paint Many versions of the cards before he approved the one he wanted in the deck. And i observed later that there were 3 versions of the Magus (Magickian) card that she painted, which i am posting here.

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Second version of The Magus

These images are widely available on a Google image search or on Tumblr sites so i consider them to be in the public domain right now, though i think the OTO is in the process of suing US Games Systems for copyright on them. Enjoy and 93.

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Third version of The Magus

Morbid Anatomy – The Midnight Archive Online Video Series

I found an interesting blog called Morbid Anatomy and here is their video section of films called The Midnight Archive which is full of some bizarre videos for sure.

Here is from their About page:

THE MIDNIGHT ARCHIVE IS A NEW WEB SERIES WHICH AIMS TO DOCUMENT THE EXOTIC, THE STRANGE, THE ECCENTRIC AND THE TRULY UNIQUE. OFTEN DARK AND ALWAYS ON THE FRINGE, THE SERIES PUTS AN HONEST LOOK INTO SOME OF THE MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE, PLACES AND ARTIFACTS THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE WILDLY UNFAMILIAR WITH. FROM A WOMAN WHO MUMMIFIES PETS TO THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF AUTOMATA, THE IDEA IS FOR THE SUBJECT MATTER TO TELL ITS OWN STORY AND GIVE THE VIEWER JUST A TASTE OF SOMETHING ‘UNUSUAL’. NO DRAMATIC STINGS, NO EDITORIAL DRAMA – JUST THE FACTS.

THE SERIES’ CREATOR WAS INSPIRED BY AN INSTITUTION IN HIS HOMETOWN CALLED THE BROOKLYN OBSERVATORY. IN 2010 HE WAS ASKED TO LECTURE THERE ON HIS COLLECTION OF MID-19TH CENTURY 3D DEMONIC STEREO-TISSUES AND WAS AMAZED AT BOTH THE VARIETY AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT CAME TO THE EVENT. TALKING TO JOANNA EBENSTEIN – ONE OF THE PROPRIETORS OF THE SPACE AND CREATOR OF THE MORBID ANATOMY LIBRARY (MORBIDANATOMY.BLOGSPOT.COM), IT SEEMED THAT THERE WAS A GROWING INTEREST IN THE ESOTERIC. SO AFTER MUCH BACK AND FORTH – THEY DECIDE TO UNDERTAKE FILMING SHORT PIECES USING THE OBSERVATORY AS THEIR HOME-BASE.

THE SERIES WAS CREATED BY RONNI THOMAS A BROOKLYN NY NATIVE WHO HAS HAD A LONGTIME FASCINATION WITH THE BIZARRE AND THE UNKNOWN. HIS FILMS HAVE SHOWN ROUND THE WORLD AND HE HAS WRITTEN FOR NUMEROUS FILM AND ARTS MAGAZINES (OCCASIONALLY UNDER THE SILLY POST-PUNK NICKNAME RONNI RAYGUN). THE MIDNIGHT ARCHIVE IS THE FIRST SERIES TO BE PRODUCED BY A NEW ONLINE ‘NETWORK’ HELLOBOX.TV.

And here is a list of the videos, two of which i have embedded above and below. The top video is a fun ghost story, and the lady in the second one kinda creeps me out. Enjoy!

(I have unlinked the videos so you will go to the original site to view them. They are on YT but the complete list is below)

  • Modern Day Mummies
  • Occult New York Part 1 with Mitch Horowitz, Occult America
  • Anthropomorphic Taxidermy with Sue Jeiven
  • The Automata with Jere Ryder of the Morris Museum Guinness Collection
  • A. Head B. Body with Jim Fields, co-director End of the Century
  • Empire of Death with Paul Koudounaris, Empire of Death
  • The Grand Guignol with Mel Gordon, The Grand Guiginol
  • Occult New York Part 2 with Mitch Horowitz, Occult America
  • Wax with artist Sigrid Sarda
  • Diableries with series director Ronni Thomas
  • Ouija with Mitch Horowitz, Occult America
  • Old Machines with Old Electric Collector Tim Mullen
  • Morbid Anatomy – Of Death and Beauty, with Joanna Ebenstein, Morbid Anatomy
  • Dealing in Obscurity with Evan Michelson, TV’s “Oddities” and Morbid Anatomy Library
  • Art and the Occult with Pam Grossman, Phantasmaphile
  • Spirit Photography with photographer Shannon Taggart

Two Interviews with Professor Ronald Hutton – by Caroline Tully

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Stock photo of Professor Ronald Hutton from her blog and multiple sources on the www

In the last few days I have discovered the blog of Caroline Tully, who is both an initiated Australian witch and PhD in archeology. Here blog is called Necropolis Now and has lots of fascinating articles going back to 2007, and i still have not read all her posts yet!

She did two interviews with Professor Hutton, the first posted in May 2011 entitled:

Interview with Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom

And a second follow-up interview in February 2012 entitled:

A Follow-Up Interview with Professor Ronald Hutton

Both are fascinating interviews with lots of links and sources and both clear up a lot of misconceptions Witches have about him. Please also read the Many comments by some of the players in this debate. I myself am no scholar or academic, just a home grown Appalachian witch initiated into a 46 year old coven started by Sybil Leek here in the US, but i loved reading these articles at this type of professional blog. I have gone back and forth on Hutton since the publishing of his Triumph of the Moon, being both pro-Hutton and anti-Hutton over the decades. But like i said i am no scholar or academic and do not have the knowledge or education to really form much of an opinion. I will let the readers review these interviews and the links therein and form their own informed opinion of this decades long hot topic of modern Wicca vs ancient Paganism.

And i highly recommend your further exploration of her blog posts, thought she only posts a few times a months, but hey, its all about quality, not quantity.

PS – I have a previous post called Reopening the Case for Historic Witchcraft you might want to check out if you have not read it already.

Cazz 1

Photo copyright Caroline Tully – from her blog

Friends, friends, work-related-friends, and e-friends

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In this personal post, which is part my own sociological analysis and part self psychoanalysis, all based on my 60 years on this planet and in this society in modern civilization. This has been in draft form on my mind for weeks now, so here goes.

Let me define the terms i am going to use, as in the title of this post:

Friends (with a capital F) are lifelong Friends who stick with you with loyalty, love, concern, and continuing communication no matter where in the world life takes us.

friends (with a small f) who are usually friend of Friends and friends we associate with and who can become Friends if we synch right.

Work-related-friends or even school-related-friends who come and go depending or where we go to work or school.

e-friends who are people we meet on the internet through Facebook or Blogs or other social media, whom we will most likely never meet face to face or even talk on the phone with.

I like to say i can throughout my life that i can count my true Friends “on one hand after a farming accident” (with one or two fingers missing, lol), and i have been lucky at times to have Friends i can count on two hands after a farming accident.

Right now in my life i would say i have maybe 5-6 Friends who have stuck with me though this illness and visit me fairly often and are very encouraging and uplifting and who give me rides to distant doctor’s appointments etc. And 2 of these Friends (who are my mum and nearby aunt. Yes, as you get older you do finally realize that blood is thicker than water.

2 other Friends, both witches in the coven i have known for over 30 years and we remain in fairly constant communication though it is difficult for us to visit each other. One coven initiate, and my girlfriend, has been most loyal and loving in the last few years i have known her, and is a true Friend. One other probationer, who lives far away, i consider a Friend is in daily and weekly communication and i wish he lived closer to me. Other past initiates either have dropped out of communication, or only text me when they need something, after i text or email them first. That’s the story of email communications for me – i email someone, they email me back, i email them back, then it all stops for months.

Now friends come and go like witch probationers, of which i say from experience are a dime a dozen. They come and go depending on circumstances and personalities.

I can tell you to look around and everyone you consider to be a friend right now and most will be gone in 5-10 years.

Work-related-friends are even even more like bubbles on the water. Even when i worked in the hospital and just moved from one floor to another my w-r-f’s soon faded away to being nearly strangers. One guy i worked with for over 20 years just stopped answering phone calls and emails. Why? Who knows. And the people i knew in high school and college, they too are all gone.

e-friends are nice, and i have met a lot of interesting and caring people since i started blogging. But i am not that into social media and hate FB, having been involved in it before. And on WP i try to stay out of the squabbles. Its too bad most of us are worlds away. I am very grateful for those of you who have communicated by commenting on my posts, and i enjoy reading your posts. Mostly stuck here in my house on my pc i am very glad i have discovered blogging, which keeps my mind alert and thinking and communicating.

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I am not sure why i am even posting this blog, and am Not doing it to attract attention or pity, so i don’t want any kind of that feedback. I guess i just want to share about what true Friendship means, and may you all be blessed with those rare Friends who continue throughout your life. I am sure this is coming across as cynical, based on my life experiences, but maybe i am just picky about Friends and friends, most of which that i make are involved in witchcraft and magicke and other spiritual pursuits, but we are all too human with all our psychological and social imperfections, and hopefully over lifetimes i will grow and evolve through this life experience.

Until then, thank you my Friends, friends and e-friends (and keep on blogging!).

And if anyone is personally offended by this post, my apologies that i did not communicate this properly so as to not offend anyone.

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Pictures from multiple Tumblr blogs

Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival by Melusine Draco

Melusine Draco sounds like she has written a well researched and well balanced book on this controversial subject. And looking at what she has written before she seems a genuine hedge witch. Leona writes –
“…. although claiming some remnant pagan elements from antiquity may have survived in Britain, does not go as far as to claim an unbroken ancient lineage.
I was particularly taken by Draco’s idea of a Jungian Collective Unconsciousness, where over time universal magical knowledge was laid down and stored, ready for those with the ability to tap into in to it in future ages. A sort of metaphysical unbroken lineage rather than an actual genealogical line!…….and strongly believes in the importance of tapping into the genius loci of an area as a way of connecting to the Old Ways.”
And i strongly agree. The old gods of witchcraft and paganism are in the land, the soil, the trees and rocks, the mountains and streams. It has little to do about old books or family and initiatory lineages, though they have their place in teaching. True witchcraft is about witches shamanically accessing that old hidden knowledge.
Good review, and i look forward to it coming out in electronic form.

The Haunted Palace

One of my other pass-times, in between researching odd avenues of history and the supernatural, is doing book reviews for my friend Ingrid and her Indie Author website.  She recently asked me to review a book on the history of Traditional Witchcraft and Paganism that is due to be published soon.  Below is the review that I posted for her.

The Author:  Melusine Draco

42_Melusine-Draco_128_225sThe author known as Melusine Draco trained in the arts of traditional British Old Craft with Bob and Mériém Clay-Egerton.   She has extensive experience as a practitioner and teacher of British Traditional Witchcraft and has written a number of acclaimed books on magic and spirituality for the modern witch.  As part of the Arcanum and Temple of Khem, Melusine offers magical and spiritual instruction.

One of the things that sets her apart in the world of pagan writings is her use of classical sources, academic…

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A story that begs to be retold – being a history of the “Simon” Necronomicon

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A witch friend who is quite the scholar of all witch and magickal history, from what i can see, and i were discussing who really wrote the Necronomicon and he sent me this old 2009 blog post by Alan Cabal that Simon was really a Peter Levenda.
I told my friend that this story of what went on at the Magickal Childe bookstore in NYC gave me “flashbacks” of my slight involvement back when the Caliphate OTO was getting legally established. Sometime around the mid to late 1980s my friends and I visited NYC for a large (80+ Thelemites) in a rented room (we had to strap the steps for the altar of the GM onto a car and drive through downtown Manhattan or Brookly to get there) where I first heard the late Richard Gernon start the Gnostic Mass with yelling out the “Apo Pantos Kakodaimonos” of the Star Ruby, and i was hooked. I also remember the Priestess had a large star of Babalon tattooed onto her chest. I and others received our Minerval o* that day also. And the next morning i ended up sharing some cold cereal with Hymenaeus Beta the OHO of the OTO! Later that day we visited the Magickal Childe bookstore where behind the counter in a back room we could hear a ritual going on. And i bought my first black iron phurba there. Wild and crazy times for sure…..

I used to own an original paperback copy of the Necronomicon, and found it to be a workable grimoire, but never went through the gates because it was not the type of dark magicke i was practicing at the time. Back then i was experimenting more with Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian OTO systems.

The Ghostwriters Society

Being a History of the “Simon” Necronomicon

The Doom that Came to Chelsea

by Alan Cabal

My ex-wife died back in March, after a long and heroic bout with cancer. She walked out on me in 1997, but we remained on good enough terms that I hosted her first and only visit to Vegas in October of 2001. Las Vegas was a refuge from the maudlin hysteria of the time. She was dazzled by it. I got to spend a week with her last year, just before I drove to California. I didn’t think I’d be coming back, and we both knew that this would probably be our last time together.

She had just enough strength to walk down the driveway to the mailbox, so we spent the week just hanging out, smoking pot and watching television, going over old times. The pot counteracted the nausea from the chemo and…

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Olivia Robertson and the Fellowship of ISIS

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Isis – image source unknown

A witch friend recently turned me back on to the Fellowship of Isis which was co-founded by Olivia Robertson and her brother Lawrence and his wife Pamela from 1976. Here is their website (which has lots of other videos, wave files, pictures, and downloadable liturgy) and blog and a video below previewing their DVD on Olivia as the Priestess of Isis, though they worship many god/esses and are open to all faiths there. It is still my opinion that ISIS is the primal Goddess of the western hermetic and magickal systems that sprung from around the Mediterranean and southern Europe, basically anywhere the Greeks and Romans took her knowledge and worship.

Olivia must be around 96 years of age now, though of late she has been in hospital with a broken ankle. Her spirit in this video reminds me of my elder High Priestess in our Coven of the Catta, Lady Alsace. May they both continue to live long fruitful lives until the Goddess calls them home!