Not Remembering Charles O’Hara

Here is another man who had the privilege of meeting that plain wizened little man and wise man Charles O’Hara. You can read our conversation in the comments section of my original post. I guess i remember him so well, not just because i am surrounded by Buddhist thankas, rupas and implements i got from him, but mostly because of his quirky and generous spirit. Blessings to his spirit that he may be reborn in a land where Buddhism is practiced and into a good family.

Atomic Geography

I just ran across a post, Remembering Charles O’Hara at Blau Stern Shwartz Shlonge.  The post describes Blau’s memories of Charles O’Hara, and asks others to share theirs.  A small part of the post follows:

I first met the late Charles O’Hara in the late 1980s to early 1990s. My Buddhist friend back then, Dave K, and I would drive the 150 miles or so from Harrisburg to the little town of Susquehanna Pennsylvania, just south of the border near Binghamton NY and along the thin northern branch of the Susquehanna river.

We would park in the back and walk up through the yard to the back porch which had huge crates from Nepal stacked all over. It turned out he was a major purveyor and importer of mostly Tibetan Buddhist items from Nepal and northern India, and was a major supplier for Snow Lion, some people there still remembering him.

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The Other Thanksgiving



I was going to wait to post this tomorrow on Thanksgiving, but here it is today, a wonderfully written article by Lauren at her blog. The best part is about Thomas Morton, whom i had never heard of before. To quote her post – “Who was Thomas Morton? Essentially the first British Pagan in the American colonies. Thomas Morton wanted to create a Utopian society that took the land and the “Old Ways” into consideration and integrated them with Native American practices for a new society in the New World.” I also found a good article on Thomas Morton at Wikipedia, and at the bottom are some external links that are very good also. Interesting to note that the Puritans called his utopian settlement “Merry Mount” since that is what they did there, merrily mounting the May pole. Or to quote Thomas himself “Io to Hymen!”. And another name was Mount Dagon, especially in light of the fact that Lovecraft wrote his stories in New England. So did the Great Old Ones really discover America? I guess the AmerIndians should call Thanksgiving “What the F**k were we thinking?” Day.

Blue Star Owl

I wrote this post last year for Witches and Pagans, but I thought some of you might enjoy it over here and it is appropriate for the season…


Ah yes…Thanksgiving. That time of year in America where we stuff ourselves full of turkey deliciousness and pie, then pass out in front of a football game, while probably saying “thank you Gods” for having a few paid days off of work. Of course, this isn’t what the holiday is actually about, but, as Pagans, we’ve already had our “Hooray, we got through another harvest!” feast.

When we were children, our schools filled us with images of peaceful Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to celebrate survival together. Hand print turkeys ran rampant over our decorations and buckled shoes seem to magically appear everywhere.

b2ap3_thumbnail_turkey-images.jpg (Oh common, you can’t tell me that you still wouldn’t do this if you got the…

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The ghosts of Berkeley Square

This, as always, is a good scary ghost story from Freaky Folk Tales. Enjoy!

freaky folk tales

the ghosts of berkeley square

GHOSTS, as Ambrose Bierce said, may be only “the outward and visible sign of an inward fear,” but England and Scotland teem with stories of spine-chilling nomads who won’t stay put, but have spent centuries poking around and frightening the life out of people. No. 50 Berkeley Square, London, is a notoriously haunted house. The very walls of the house have been described as “saturated with electric horror,” and people living in the place have been known to go off their heads and die terrified. Presumably these also come back to haunt the place, so the whole business is a vicious circle!

London has, of course, a veritable feast of haunted houses. From time to time whispers have gone abroad about this mansion, or that; but, with very few exceptions, these reports appear to be idle gossip. An empty house, shuttered, silent, uncared-for, will soon earn, in any part of…

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First Snow

Here in the north central Appalachians I am getting our first snow of the season. It is very quiet and peaceful and beautiful. Temperature is around 26F so it is laying for a bit until it all turns to rain later this afternoon. The red is not a cardinal but a red feather handing from a string of small mirrors off of a snaky vine hanging near the altar in “Snakehendge” out back. Just walked out to fill the bird feeders and hope they are not torn down by a hungry bear before their hibernation.

first snow nov 2014

Enjoy and be blessed.

Learn Witchcraft in Two Minutes and Hand-poked Cremation Ash Tattoos

Yesterday I found the Blue Flame Magick blog, which is from a blogger who practices both Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism AND Western Ceremonial Magick, just like i do. That is pretty rare. Its a shame he does not post more often but the blog is worth reading through for what he has written so far.

On a lighter note I found these two links, the first of which amazed me and the second made me laugh.

hand tattoo


First at a website called is this article called Hand-poked cremation ashes tattoo where you can get your relatives or friends cremation ashes mixed in with black ink and get a hand poked tat from a needle with a human bone handle. Sounds like an interesting idea, but if you though your relatives were a pain when they were alive……. The picture above is from their site.

And this second video cracked me up, which is basically how to learn Witchcraft in two minutes. I like how she uses a Ginsu knife for her athame. LOL. It looks like Anna Akana has a few hilarious video posts on various subjects like this.


Quimbanda Voodoo – Explained by Conjure Man Ali

Warning – some of the images in this post are of mature content and are for 18+ only.


Seal of King EXU

Quimbanda is one of the most esoteric cults in mostly Brazilian Vodoun. What makes it appear so “dark” is its patron deities of Exu (pronounced Eshu) and Pomba Gira, whose iconography are of a devil man and devil woman. Exu is represented with a straight Trident and Pomba Gira with a spiral Trident in their veves and sigils. I have read a few books on Quimbanda and Palo, and in fact when i cleaned out my library last year they were some of the few books i kept in my Vodoun section. I do not practice these systems but still find them fascinating.


Exu altar with his Tridents

The video below, which is more of a podcast, is the Best explanation of Quimbana I have ever heard. There are few images on it and it is mostly an interview with Conjure Man Ali of the House of Quimbanda. So it is something you can play in the background while you are doing other things on your pc, or even laying down on the sofa as this podcast is 1 hour and 45 minutes long. As i said, i learned more from this podcast than from Any book i have read on the subject. And he goes into its place in other systems of Vodoun like Macumba, Umbanda, Candomble, Santeria, Palo and even Hoodoo. Below the video i have pasted the YT description of the podcast and who was involved in the interview plus some other links. Enjoy!

From YT:

Candelo’s Corner with Host Candelo Kimbisa welcomes ConjureMan Ali (Tata Alufa` Mavambo Ngobodi Nzila) is the founder and Tata of The House of Quimbanda. Born to the spiritual arts, he is a well-known reader and rootworker dedicated to the preservation of the spiritual traditions dear to his heart. He is a published author, prolific blogger, spiritual worker, and scholar. He is also a member of the prestigious Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers where he provides spiritual rootworking services and is the co-host of the famed Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour with the esteemed catherine yronwode of the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Guided by his Tata Exu, he founded The House of Quimbanda to provide a resource for those seeking the fire and wisdom of Quimbanda with the hope to bring to light this long-neglected religion. In addition to providing spiritual services, he is also a teacher dedicating his time to his students and apprentices and is a regular lecturer and presenter on Quimbanda, Hoodoo, and the magical arts of North Africa and the Middle East.
In addition to being a Tata of Quimbanda, ConjureMan Ali is also a conjurer of djinn and initiate of several secret magical tradition of North Africa and the Middle East and is a life-long practitioner of Hoodoo.
Candelo’s Corner on KDCL Media:
The House of Quimbanda:
Candelo Kimbisa:


Erotic image of Exu and Pomba Gira in beads on a flag

Pomba Gira 1

Pomba Gira

The images in this post are from various google image searches and tumblr sites which i have long forgotten the sources of.

bh-sigilla-2 barry hale

Veve Sigil of Exu and Pomba Gira

“Oak and Ash and Thorn – the Faerie Trees” – from The Dance of Life blog

I can’t simply reblog this since it is from a blogger site called The Dance of Life, but here is the link and video for a great animated story called Oak & Ash & Thorn – The Faerie Trees which i am sure you will enjoy. He and his animation helpers did a great job on this, and the story is based mostly on the various trees have been stricken with various diseases and appealing to the fey to help. I am pasting the words to the song below the video, but make sure you read the whole post as there is a lot of good environmental info in there. And at YT read through the description as it explains more how he and others make these. Enjoy and blessed be.

Oak $ Ash & Thorn – The Faerie Trees

Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people they here adorn.
By each of these three fairy trees,
To dance and sing on midnight breeze.
Grandfather Oak, home of the fay,
King of the forest leads the wise Druids way.
By Oak apples and acorns, by leaf and by branch,
Mysteries revealed – understandings advance.
MoonMother Ash brings harm to none,
Connecting this world with the Others as one.
Her wisdom found in runes and sees,
As above – so below, established with ease.
Hawthorn of the Witches and the Beltane and We,
Unlucky be those who ever cut thee.
Guardian of our chambers, holy wells and hills,
Gateway to the underworld of faerie free wills.
These sacred trees, empowered – revere,
The LuNanTiShee fae and many others here.
Yet death has come creeping into our lands,
Seizing our trees with insatiable hands.
Morning and evening hear the Goblins cry:
Come die! – Come die! with bacteria we fly…
Polutants unpecked and Blooms unsuspect,
All ripen together under our tender neglect.
Come die! come die! – see the stems bleed and cry,
Blackness bubbles and drips awry.
Towering trees now release the dark sky,
Come die! – call the Goblins as they hobble and pry.
GleAwGesCyrrpan the White Dragon,
In the gloaming does happen.
Without sweetness he finds,
An Oak very transformed around which the death windes.
Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people in sorrow now adjorn.
GleAwGescyrrPan the White Dragon he flees,
To tell the Faeries on breath of bees.
Mankind calls it Ash Dieback and Acute Oak Decline,
The trees of our island and their magic combine.
To withstand Goblin assault from their netherland,
A radiance is needed to overcome the dark hand.
Silver Faerie comes all pensefull – stumbling alone,
To assay the foul damage that Goblin has sown.
His heart collapse broken between the laying of leaves,
His tears fall as black, as deaths poisoned fleas.
Healing cantation with loves power to mend,
Bring pain and bring sickness to their singular end.
I will it so and thus weeping I weave,
Stand fast then! Bear well! I will now leave.
To WoodWose Greene we upon the wind,
With Henkie Troll and OtherWivet Toad winged.
For wisdom seek we the Lord of Trees,
The OfWundrian keeper of the magical keys.
Across the wide veils of the day and of night,
A terrible burden to somehow set right.
This party of three passed all kind of terrors,
Lest we never suceed – HeOnOn and EllEllEs. (from here and otherwise)
To WoodWose  temple of lifes greengrowing delight,
An audience with wisdom in luminous hyght. (bliss)
Blow upon us a cleansing for the trees of the earth,
He delivered a blide blessing of infinite worth.
So returned we GeberScipe of three for the trees, (party)
with a Men-Nisc-Nis of a LeodSong in ancient tongue these. (incarnation / poem-Chant)
Gathered all to the Oak Tree in advance to intone,
It is arrived – a terrible vanquishing to lead good health home.
Disease! Disease! I beseech you away,
Each tree by heart spells be healed I pray.
With this invocation I will cast out your dark doing,
Breath blasted wickedness tis your time for the hewing;
Ic BonNan AbRreCan GastLic HaeLan,
GeBlanDan FraCod Adl Ge Nu HweorFan.
EoWer GamEtiGan LangLice Her EndE,
Se Maere Beams FreOþian FeLaMin FreondE.
(I summon a storm of spiritual healing)
(corrupt wicked disease now you must go)
(your empty time here ended)
(leave the illustrious trees care to my many friends so)
Grandfather Oak roots deep in the earth,
May new sun bring you strength, and joy and mirth.
May new moon bring you peace and rest to your fill,
By the fellowship of the Greenwood – overcome all your ill.
I will it thus, and so with this spell,
May you be ever happy, twice healthy, thrice well.
And as everything yet does come so in threes,
To you dear friend listener I also say please…
O people of the wisling world, be empowered and attest,
If Goblin tree sighted, summon from your wise men the best.
Take care of the shimmering and chanting of Oaks,
The faerie trees need all your prayers and your bright hopes.
Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people here are sworn.
By each of these three fairy trees,
To cherish and protect as natures trustees.
c. Celestial Elf 2013.

How Catholic was John F. Kennedy? – by Daniel Burke at the CNN Belief blog



As an American I like many have been remembering the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, watching new documentaries and eye witness reports of old grainy black and white photos and movies. I was only 10 when he died, so it did not affect me much, though the live coverage on TV of his funeral did affect me. What affected me more when i was 13 and a little more politically thoughtful were the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Rev Dr Martin Luther King. I can remember to this day standing at the school bus stop in from my our house and my mom running out telling me the news of Boddy Kennedy being killed, and remembered crying and a great sadness, because he was like a hero to me.

And when Martin Luther King was killed i had a Real Awakening about the underlying racism in my town. We lived on the west shore of the river, otherwise known as “the white shore”, with the capital city and its black population across the river. During the riots that followed i remember going up to the local grocery store, which was also a gun store (yes back then you could buy guns at a grocery store, and Oswald bought his from a catalog for about $13) and watching my neighbors arm up and saying “if those n…..s come across the bridge we are going to start shooting them”. I was shocked out of my moral mind and never saw my white neighbors the same ever again as their dark side had emerged in all its ugliness.

Those events and the escalating Vietnam War with the Friday body counts listed on TV changed my life forever. When I was 19 they still had the draft and i pulled number 16 which meant i was going, even though i was in college. I tried to get a conscious objector status but they told me they only gave those to Mennonites. I told them i would go if i was a medic, but would not be carrying a gun and shooting people, but the Army would not commit to that. As it approached time for me to be drafted i had maps of Canada and was all ready to go, but then at the last minute they cancelled the draft. Whew!

Today at the CNN Belief blog i found an interesting post asking  How Catholic was John F. Kennedy? by David Burke in which he discusses JFK’s back and forth commitment to Catholicism and how he became more religious during the awful Cold War and how he kept the true path of believing in the separation of church and state though it all. I think you will find it an interesting read.

Back on a personal note, the reason i never had any children was because i grew up during the Cold War, and we all just assumed we would be wiped out in a nuclear war eventually, so why have kids to put through all of that? I was no fan of Reagan, but when he and Gorbachev signed the first nuclear treaty i could feel a great weight lift off my shoulders.

After that i dropped out of college and became a hippie late in the movement and hitchhiked around the country visiting various communes (some of which were cults) and National Parks, carrying only $100 and living on apples and granola bars. I think i weighed 100 pounds and 10 of that was hair, lol. I also experimented with entheogens during those years, and had the door to perception opened to quote Aldous Huxley. Later i practiced Zen, then became a monk for a short period in a Korean Zen small monastery in NY, then joined a Hindu ashram, then came back home and lived in the attic of my parent’s garage. From there i got farther into Magick, Crowley, the OTO, and eventually Witchcraft and Tibetan Buddhism.

Yes when one grows up in history does affect one’s entire life.

Is ‘Magic’ still a useful term for us? – Reblog from Stategic Sorceries


Un-sourced image from the Stategic Sorceries blog

I found a link this morning on the Invocatio blog on a post on Stategic Sorceries called Is ‘Magic” still a useful term for us? which I found to be very interesting in how the word magic or magick is now perceived. Actually the 21 comments were just as interesting to read, and i found a lot of links on those commenter’s names to even more good blogs to explore in the future. Enjoy this well thought out and written article and well thought out comments too!

A Day for Old St Clem

Here is some good research and insight into the connections between the old blacksmith god Wayland Smith and his latest incarnation in the local St Clement. I like this blog, and make sure you read his About page to see where he is coming from. Enjoy!

Pilgrim's Way

StClementNovember 24th, performed at Woolwich docks every year (a place my maternal Grandparents were very familiar with), on the banks of the River Thames.  The apprentice blacksmiths gathered, the most senior being chosen to represent Old Clem himself.  Old Clem was seated upon a large wooden chair, wearing a large overcoat, wig, face mask with long white beard.  The chair had upon it a wooden anchor and crown, symbols of St Clement.  Old Clem however holds a wooden hammer and pair of tongs, before him sits a wooden anvil, archetypal symbols of the Blacksmith.  He was carried aloft by six men before a great procession who listened on as Old Clem made his speech:

“I am the Real St Clement
The first founder of brass, iron and steel from the ore
I have been to Mount Etna
Where the God Vulcan first built his forge
And forged the…

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