Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I pour out perfectly good wine on the soil. Because I Have An Obligation.
I drink a poisonous brew to induce an altered state. Because I Have An Obligation.I consume a ritual meal that will leave me rolling in agony the next day, and ass-blasting my way around the countryside. Because I Have An Obligation.I writhe and dance, busting up my already fragile body on the ground, furnishings and ritual implements. Because I Have An Obligation.
I dream restlessly, her words pounding in my ears like thunder. Because I Have An Obligation.My home is a never-silent port-of-call for spirits, wights, the dead, the gods, familiars, fetches, fetiches and hungry wildlife. Because I Have An Obligation.

I do not rest (read: I am not permitted to rest)... until my obligations are taken care of. Why anyone would ask for these things - beg for them, seek them out, lie about and glorify them, unless there is no other way for them to exist is... beyond me.

Unless you have to. Unless the spirits demand it. Unless you have no other option: Do not walk the Witch-path. You'll come out the other side mad, dead, or a shaman. And them ain't the best odds.


  1. Discovered you through Aquila ka hecate -- magnificent post!

  2. Ave,

    Firstly, I'd like to commend you for a well-thought-out and poignant post. Well done.

    Secondly, its worth noting that you are certainly not the only individual who has experienced having duties like the aforementioned. It oft seems to wreak havoc upon our bodies, and sometimes it causes difficulties in our home life, but still we do this because we have an obligation to ourselves, our Gods, and our communities. Regardless of the path you walk, if you should do it in service to a Patron or Patroness, you do so knowing that you may be called upon to do things that may be unpleasant, and in return, They bestow Their gifts.

    This, as noted by Raven Kaldera in his books (I want to say that it was in Wyrdwalkers, but don't quote me on that), these spirit-enforced "taboos" can come in many different forms, be it as simple as pouring water for a spirit, as complex as doing certain rites in a hard-to-reach area, or as odd as being told that you need to sleep with someone. Each of those acts can cause odd complications for those of us who are prodded into doing them.

    This is, as you stated above, not something you do because you want to be special. This is not something you do because you think it makes for an interesting hobby. Work of this nature becomes your life, should the Gods choose this for you. At the end of it all, you'll either be mad, dead, or some shamanically-inclined individual...none of those things are mutually exclusive.



  3. I am working on a post called "It's rather a lot of bother " which is along the same lines, only more tounge in cheek angst. Maybe I should link to your post when I put up mine.

  4. @SE - The lack of them being mutually exclusive is sort of the point in the "Them ain't the best odds" - because it could be one, it could be two, or it could be three.

    And the core of that is - why pretend, why tempt, why dip a toe in if that's the possibility?

    @Juniper - feel free! I'll enjoy reading it.

  5. The reverse of a life of obligation, is the one that makes the life of a cabbage seem exciting. (Easy for me to say, I am not (yet) the one with the bruises.)

  6. Here ya go:


  7. Inspiring post! and oh-so-true! Thank you, Scylla!

  8. Best summation ever: "You'll come out the other side mad, dead, or a shaman. And them ain't the best odds."