Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Black Book of Dead Names.

Herein I will utter to you the unutterable names of the boundless, fathomless, horrors we have been blessed to forget. Herein I will deliver unto you each of the damned keys, which open god-made doors. Herein I will say to you all caution, which you will not heed. Herein I will lay your doom. - Necronomaicon of M.·. S.·.

I walk into the vaulted library. The walls are water-slicked, and glassy. Each room is immeasurably tall, but rather small in "floor space". A winding balcony follows the shelves upwards, and down. Down is nearly impossible to get to, past a certain mark the library is flooded. The librarian alone is able to penetrate to the bottom - though it may be 'water', it is not water that floods this place. I have him find all of the books that hold reference to "Necronomicon", and keep them on a high shelf.

Some volumes are barely there, tatters, shreds, sodden, faded, burnt. Careful coaxing brings them back to readability. Others are fully fledged, and fall open with a touch. Some are locked with heavy hasps that must be prised with magick, not tools.

I heave one from it's shelf, and take it to the small reading room. There it falls open to a page, carefully illuminated in rust-colored 'ink', of two serpentine beings supporting an eye within a diamond.

It strikes me as funny, people speak of and write of the Akashic Libraries as some immutable fact, but does anyone ever go there and check something out? No, because that takes careful reading and transcription.

... It's worth the effort.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Plastic In MY Circle?

Recently a forum I frequent had a thread come up talking about the essential "junk" we need (or think we need) as magic-workers. Eventually thread drift brought the topic over to the discussion of materials. Specifically - Plastic.

I refuse to use plastic for anything "important", because it doesn't work for me. Plastic won't carry a charge. I can cram as much energy into it as I like, and very shortly thereafter that energy is gone. In ritual, the energy won't carry for the purposes of working.

I could have a knife with a plastic handle, but it would redouble my work. I would have to do the physical cutting and -then- direct energy into whatever it is and that's just not efficient enough for me. It also may not be correct for the way the working needs to be done.

Some folks say that plastic is "unnatural", and "Manmade" and therefore it has no place in Craft. That's not my reasoning. Every material I use in a circle is shaped by man, if not outright created by us. Metals are mined, smelted, refined, and their composition modified by alloys and additives. Steel is no more, nor less, manmade or natural than plastic, seeing as it goes through the same kinds of steps before it's final form. It would not exist without Man's involvement, nor would glass, ceramic, candles, cloth... etc.

"But plastic parts end up in rituals anyway. Lighters, bottlecaps, the paint on statues, or resin statues themselves!"

I don't generally use lighters. Especially not in ritual. I use matches, or kindle off of a sanctum lamp (which is started and rekindled from the sun, or a bowfire). Though, I do use plastic tubs for my crystals, specifically because they're so damned handy at blocking any other energy from messing with them.

I generally prepare my oils, herbs, and others before-hand. I have a collection of mise en place dishes and bottles, all in non-plastic materials. Candles are the great exception here, as are acrylic paints on some of my statuary. However, the statues don't have to function, they just sort of have to be there.

Perhaps this is a personal shortcoming, this "plastic ain't happenin'", but if it makes me stop and consider more carefully the make and composition of my tools... it's a shortcoming that I'm willing to accept.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Kindly Host.

What care I for human heart? Soft and spiritless as porridge! A faerie's heart beats fierce and free. - Luna (Legend).

I see a book on the shelf at the local Hastings. It's a little paperback, shiny and inoffensively purple. On the cover is what looks like a small human girl, with butterfly wings sewn to her dress. The book swears to teach one the simple art of summoning (and even creating) fairies.

I'm aghast. Summon? Like they can be controlled? CREATE? How the hell does one plan to create something that exists well outside of our heads? How can a human fathom inhumanity?

The reason they are called the Good Ones, Fair Folk, Little People, Friendly Neighbors, Kindly Folk ...etc. Is because people were absolutely terrified of them. Some of them would lure you into bogs, drown you, and eat you. Some would slit your throat and dye their hats in your blood. Some would capture you, mate with you, suck out your life-force, and send you back to your world decades later.

You didn't talk about them, because it drew their attention. You didn't speak ill of them because it drew their ire. You didn't think about them, look at them, summon, stir, or call them up. You didn't associate with the darksome, terrible, things of Elfhame. You hid, you locked your doors, you set lights to keep them away.

You, when required, politely thanked them for not stealing your children, souring your milk, blighting your crops, or killing you the last time you had to take the cart to the next township and remarked with great trepidation "My, they're such fair and kindly folk!"

Think of The Kind Host as a group of children on Halloween. They run amok when displeased, insulted, or disappointed. The best you can hope for, with the majority, is that they leave you unscathed. Is it wise to invite 'fairies'? No. No more wise than it is to put out a blanket invitation for everyone in the city to come visit your house. These strangers, once attracted, aren't easily shut out so it's good to get to know them before giving them entry.

You probably don't want a banshee around, but you might very much wish to deal with the individual piskie hanging around your flowerbeds. The unseelie in the local lake is probably not a good dinner companion, but the gnome under the oak on the old Jenkins farm might be open to a conversation or three...etc.

A poster on a forum I frequent says "promise to dance with them and you'll have beautiful experiences, but you have to have your guardians make sure you're talking to the right people". Um, pardon me? We're adults, and what's more we're witches. If we, ourselves, cannot suss out who is and is not trustworthy what in the hell are we doing?

We don't need Beloved Dead, or our mommies to hold our hands and make sure we don't talk to the creepy-looking man with the 'free candy' van. We're witches, we are the ones who deftly side-step the dangers in the aethers (either by dumb luck, or careful planning).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Women's Magick.

I make no secret of the fact that I don't want kids. Having no desire for children is something that is very much frowned upon in general society, and nearly grounds for a beating in Neopagandom. As far as we come as a species, we still have these strange notions that hold us back.

I've never wanted kids. I can't tell you why, exactly. I think a potion of it is biological, I'm sure. I didn't enjoy playing with dollies as a child, and by puberty my disinterest became dislike. I know I would be a skilled parent, just like I know I would be a great salesperson, or an excellent insurance adjuster. But these things do not call to me, and I'd feel no love in doing them. Skill is great, but without desire it is fruitless.

I was always told Pagan faiths honored the female as divine, but it was not until I revealed that I had no connection to baby-from-my-womb-female-archetype that I was told: "Woman is sacred because she bears children!" That's why woman is sacred? Not because she is a farmer, a warrior, a smith, a mage, a mechanic, a warden, a priest and a prophet? No?

I see... my worth still lies between my thighs, and not within my head or heart. This rhetoric is one I've heard elsewhere, with a slightly less self-righteous, and far more honest backing.