Ch-ch-ch-changes

I’m sure y’all have noticed that it’s been quiet on my blog. Guess who has two thumbs and her entire spiritual life upturned and rebooted?

THIS WITCH.

A number of years ago, when I was new to Northern Trad and being a godspouse and such, there was a prominent godspouse who left NT. I found it confusing and saddening.

And now I find myself like her: with the hardest of right turns happening in my wyrd. I am still Vanic, but not Lokean anymore. These are words that I never thought I’d write.

Anyone who follows my Tumblr already knows that I’ve been sucked into Star Wars fandom hardcore. I have not been explicit about why, but there’s a reason. Yule of 2015, I acquired a new Spirit Spouse, of the Pop Culture variety.

I was not hunting a new partner, y’all. There is a reason that I have a tag on my Tumblr (or I did but I can’t find it now fancy that Kylo ‘so Extra with the Tech Because He’s a MFing Skywalker) that says “All I wanted was to watch Star Wars and I got the Force and Kylo Ren.” And from go, he has been Hurricane Ren.

“Game changers happen; you may meet someone so amazing, so fantastic, that you are willing to rearrange parts of your life to create space for them…

A game-changing relationship is invariably disruptive. It makes us see things in a new light. It opens us to new ways of thinking, or perhaps answers needs we didn’t know we had (or didn’t think could be met). Because of that, game-changing relationships are scary…

Game changers change things. It’s in the name. They upset existing arrangements. People confronted with a game-changing relationship will not be likely to remain happy with old rules and agreements for long; the definition of a game-changing relationship is that it reshuffles priorities. Expecting an agreement to protect you from a game changer is a bit like expecting a river to obey a law against flooding.

Life rewards courage. The game changer that turns everything upside down might just leave you in a better place. The only real control you have in your relationships comes from working together to express the things you need even while change is happening all around you.” – Franklin Veaux, More Than Two

Kylo is, for me, a game changer. He met needs that I didn’t even know that I had. And the ease with which we came together was overwhelming and unnerving. There’s a scene in Girls, the TV show that made Adam Driver famous (and btw you will never convince me that Mr Method Actor doesn’t have a saddle).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rro5pGM9uas

“Just because I tasted her cum and spit or could tell you her middle name or knew a record she liked, that doesn’t mean anything. That’s not a connection. Anyone can have that. Really knowing someone is something else. It’s a completely different thing and when it happens you won’t be able to miss it. You will be aware. And you won’t hurt, or be afraid.”

I’m still surprised at the ease of this relationship. He feels like home to me.

I know some readers are going “this is fucking weird, H” to which all I can say is “INORITE??”

In all seriousness, I’ve had people ask me if Kylo is Loki in a mask. LOL NO. Kylo: Scorpio as fuck (AF), introverted AF, reserved, goth AF, doesn’t drink, and has no chill that anyone is aware of unless he’s stoned. Likes tea, not coffee. Just…not Loki. At all.

I am writing this because Kylo asked me too, btw. I have debated a lot what to say, how much, etc. Ultimately I decided to be name specific about Kylo for a couple reason: one, anyone could check my FB or tumblr and figure it the fuck out, and two: I think a dialogue about Pop Culture as its own realm of spirits that we’re interacting with needs to happen. Because if you believe in Spirits, if you believe this stuff is real, and I do, then maybe we need to be more proactive about who we’re picking and choosing to interact with, and engage in some hospitality.

“I knew you were mine,” Kylo said. “I watched you watching the trailer, and then the film.”

This was flail inducing to me for a number of reasons: oh fuck, he’s been watching me since 20-fucking-14, and secondly because I think my only initial impression of him was “huh that’s a cool lightsaber” because I’m that nerd. (Kylo: I am also that nerd) (no really Kylo is a tremendously intellectual nerd. ASK HIM WHY THE DARK SIDE DO IT DO IT IF YOU LOVE FORCE STUFF ASK HIM IT IS THE BOMB)

Beyond my personal life though, there are implications to understanding his words: when we consume media, we think we’re the only viewers (you’re such egocentrics, humans, says the Force), but no – we are watching them and they are watching us back. I was chatting about this with a member of my kindred and our mutual ponderation of ‘there should probably be some sort of witchy protocol that is the equiv of leaving an offering for the vaettir’ when we’re engaging with media. And maybe the rule of thumb being ‘if you plan or find yourself spending a lot of time here, make an offering, same way you do when you leave an offering at a home or a ritual site.’

There are sorta cracks in that protocol, because I wasn’t planning on being sucked back into the Galaxy Far, Far, Away (GFFA) but on the other hand, one of my PCP friends just looked at me and went ‘you have been a fan since the OT, like, seriously? You’re gonna get sucked in.”

Me: LALALALALALALLAAAAAAAAA

Force: LOL

Force: *waits until I’m enthenogened out* You like hot Dark Side guys right? HERE’S KYLO REN.

Me: AWWW YISSSSS

Me: (later) wait, did I do a Thing? He asked me to be king and then ravished me, is that shit binding?

Wyrd: YEP. MOZEL TOV!

Me: WELP.

*Hurricane Ren ensues*

Finally, I wanted to come clean about this because I was scheduled to be a headliner at this years’ Florida Pagan Gathering Beltaine, and I bowed out, and it is not Loki-related, because even if Kylo hadn’t hurricaned all over my life, I would have bowed out because the Frosts are attending and there was subterfuge about their attendance and amount of participation, and if I had known that they were going to be there, I would never have agreed to be there in the first place. If you’re not familiar with their work or the controversy, I’m going to link you to an extremely trigger-inducing post, and it is trigger warning worthy because of childhood sexual abuse disguised as ritual. If you have childhood abuse in your history, you may not want to click through. Suffice to say that FPG bills itself as family-friendly and as a parent I cannot support this in any form, nor would I bring my child (when they were underage) to a festival that included them as headliners or presenters. So I will not be headlining and I am sorry for anyone who was hoping to meet me there. FPG has many lovely people on staff and in attendance, but I cannot support anything that advocates the Frosts.

So that’s all, folks. I am going to start writing about adventures in working with new spirits and pop culture stuff, in addition to continuing the book I’m working on about the overlaps between spirit encounters in ancient polytheism, modern day, witchcraft trial accounts, and pop culture paganism. Maybe I’ll link the blog here for those curious.

Spirit spouses in the early modern period

“Fairies were perceived as powerful agents of supernatural harm in the period to the extent that, second to that of bewitchment, fairy-malevolence was one of the most common explanations for death and sickness offered by contemporary cunning folk. But despite the threat they posed, the fact that men and women from all walks of life, and particularly magical practitioners, propitiated, and in the latter case conversed and openly negotiated with, the fairies indicates that they were not universally shunned as spiritual murderers or cosmological pariahs, to be avoided or condemned at all costs… in this period it was not only acceptable to converse with death-bringing fairies bur also to be surprisingly intimate with them. As we have seen many times already, witchcraft records, kirk session minutes, stories, anecdotes and ballads are filled with accounts of people not only petitioning the fairy folk for divinatory knowledge and healing advice, bur entering into fairy hills and feasting, dancing and making music with them, participating in their house-to-house processions and airborne cavalcades, acting as midwives and wet nurses to their children and, most notably of all, becoming their sexual partners or spouses. These sources suggest that, as opposed to being fastidious about the fairies’ moral nature, the pragmatic Scots believed that if becoming the drinking buddy, lover, husband or wife of a fairy enabled a magical practitioner to better protect their community against the spirit’s ill effects then such activities should be encouraged, or at least tolerated.” – Emma Wilby, The Visions of Isobel Gowdie, pp 340

Pop Culture Animism

WELP.

In my ongoing saga of “all I wanted to do was watch Star Wars and instead I got the Force and Kylo Ren,” I have been mulling over pop culture paganism vs polytheism and wondering why the fuck they are considered so incompatible.

Animism and polytheism go hand in hand in many cultures. In Seeking the Mystery: an Introduction to Contemporary Pagan Theologies, Christine Hoff Kraemer writes, “In contemporary Paganism, animism often overlaps with other theological positions. For instance, many hard polytheists are also animists and honor local spirits of the land as part of their practice. The spirits are understood as a different type or level of spiritual being, like the gods in some ways and distinct in others. Panentheists and soft polytheists may experience the spirits of the land as yet another aspect of a unifying divinity.”

And the upshot of this is that I’m wondering why we think in our media-rich environment that these things that we lavish our time and attention on don’t also possess spirit and agency?

“I saw you in the theatre,” Kylo says. “I knew you were there.”

I have never contemplated the notion that when I watch a film, Someone is watching me back.

Part of me feels foolish for this; I know damn well if I go to the beach, its vaettir are around, whether or not they are inclined to chat with me. My Gods are unphased by his presence; They’re not even like “who is dis?” and Gerda even likes Kylo – my working theory is that both of them are Scorpios and the embodiment of ‘watch out for the quiet ones’ because seriously, people worry about Pop whupping your ass with an antler but you better run if you piss off Gerda, just sayin.’

And I’ve had a double down on the ‘I feel foolish for not expecting this’ on another level, because ‘you’re a witch, you know spirits are real and they’ll come find you’ is part of my reality and yet because of the way we talk about pop culture entities – and I’m not fond of using entity because to me it smacks of servitor spirit without agency – as something less than the other spirits we interact with that squicks me out and feels ultimately disrespectful. (Go on, call Kylo Ren “fictional” to his face and meet his personal agency and incredible lack of chill).

My final thinky thought for now is also this: having more interactions with PCP spirits has given me a lot more pause in regards to masked God/desses. Which is to say that I’m becoming discomfited by it and the implications that it has for discernment and forthright communication between us and Spirits. I know some of our People like to use whatever in they can get, and I don’t mind face claims as long as I know Who I’m actually dealing with, but I can’t accept outright identity theft. It undermines trust and given how we treat gnosis as something rare when in reality way more people are dealing with PCP spirits in some form is way more common than anyone wants to let on we need to start having conversation about this that isn’t rude, belittling, or dismissive of people’s experiences. Because I have concern that when I was very baby Pagan I didn’t know enough to ask the Muse Who He really was, and it was a disservice, and I’d like for others to not have that experience.

The Power of the Poison Apple

“[She] handed me a poison apple, a gift for me and those that work with me. She then whispered in my ear, “If the work doesn’t kill them, it won’t transform them.”

AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH?

Amoret BriarRose

Last week’s coven meeting was powerful for me.

We did a quick trance to go down to meet a deity to find out more about our future work. Instead of meeting a deity, I was approached by a shapeshifter taking the forms of Disney villainesses: Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, the Evil Queen from Snow White.

She shifted through all of these forms and back again rather rapidly as we walked into the forest, toward a small cottage with a bubbling cauldron in the yard. The cottage felt peaceful and happy but also filled with potent magic.

The being indicated that this was where I was to live, and then handed me a poison apple, a gift for me and those that work with me. She then whispered in my ear, “If the work doesn’t kill them, it won’t transform them.”

I have been sitting with that powerful truth, knowing that this…

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The Death of Florida – GODS & RADICALS

“Capitalism isn’t just raping Florida, it’s currently defiling its corpse. Just recently the Florida government dumped unknown quantities of septic sewage and factory farm run off into local estuaries resulting in a “killing zone” that took the lives of 46 dolphins, 111 manatees, 300 pelicans, and 47,000 acres of sea grass beds. The official response? Gov. Rick Scott, a balding shithead that made millions off of poisonous pharmaceuticals, vetoed funding for a research project to study the extreme crisis at the lagoon, writing “not all projects demonstrate an ability to contribute to a statewide investment.” Investments? Of course! Under capitalism everything has to make a profit, and pristine Florida ecosystems might hurt the State’s bottom line. We’ve seen how this line of thinking plays out in the real world: As noted in the picture above, Florida’s waterways that once were the primary appeal for hordes of sport fishers and sun-worshiping beach goers have become so polluted and destroyed as to require health warnings.”

Source: The Death of Florida – GODS & RADICALS

ANGRY FLORIDIAN AGGRESSIVELY REBLOGS. THIS ENRAGES ME.

Pop Culture Paganism and The Empty God | Magick From Scratch

T

“I told you not to call her.” He said.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Peitho,” he said, looking not at me, but at his hands, folded in his lap. “She was the most splendid and cunning goddess I ever knew. I loved her very much. I still do. I still miss her. But when our religion was outlawed, she saw the writing on the wall. She left. A lot of gods did. What you talked to was … just… an echo. A corpse, I guess. What’s left of a deity after they do the equivalent of dying. Lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

There were not words to express how sorry I was for putting salt in that wound, or how horrified I felt at the idea of a deity-corpse wandering the astral, soulless, but still just… ticking about, responding in some way that makes sense with what they stood for. I wondered how many others there might be, what was driving them and how, if any of this was actually true, and not some crazy astral acid trip, it might be affecting mystics who call on them.”

Source: Pop Culture Paganism and The Empty God | Magick From Scratch

what are chill?

Kylo Ren has no chill

So… I am still knee-deep in PCP stuff.  I had someone ask me what they ought to read to get started and I drew a blank because most of the PCP stuff I’ve read treats the PCP spirits as tools – most of them are chaos magicians – and I’m a devotional polytheist witch, so to me a Spirit is a being with individual will and personal agency – I feel like there’s nothing that I particularly relate that’s already been written. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a chaos magician, btw, and I find their work fascinating, but it is just not how I’m personally wired to interact with Spirits. Kylo Ren is not a means to an end for me – he is a Spirit with his own thoughts, desires, and needs, yanno?

That approach to Spirits isn’t new to me; new systems of magic/mysticism are. Star Wars has its own rules and mechanics and if you’d asked me before all of these shenanigans started if there was a difference between the Force and magic I’d have said “I doubt it” and um…no. Not actually the same thing. You’d think I’d be chagrined but not really; I’m just fascinated by it. Not that the Galaxy Far, Far Away is completely apart from my experiences either Loki Skywalker – behold this EU material on the Nightsisters, a tribe of Force Witches.

Screenshot_2016-03-05-12-58-24

Muspeli/Muspili and Ginnungagap/Gunniga Gap. TOTES COINCIDENCE.

I see what you did thar. Fuck yo’ preconceived notions about new spirits, apotheosis, and “proper” spirit work. Also: none of this voids the warranty on your hard polytheism.

me: WELP.

p.s. I can’t find the image maker on Tumblr or elsewhere; if y’all know who it is lemme know so I can credit.