Life is Good – Savour it when tasty

You know those moments, right?  When you stop whatever you’re doing for a mental check in and just feel *good*.

And it’s not necessarily about anything in particular.  In fact, there may be a shit storm flying through your world, but right in that moment, in that centeredness of being, you feel and remember that life is good to live.

Okay, sure, there may be a few sweat-induced endorphins helping to inspire the sensation <ah-hem> but still, isn’t it great to be alive?  To know people?  To see the sunset?  To experience and taste and touch and giggle and shiver and feel so in love with life that your heart is going to explode with the joy of it all?

And if this sounds like over the top hooey to you, have you thought about how cool it would be to share my ecstatic/joyful/just-plain-satisfied sense of being?  You know you wannnnna.

Dance with some favourite music, smell some good smelling flowers, eat your favourite fruit, touch your skin with your favourite fabric (or person if they’re handy) and realize how damn good it is to be alive.


The Keys to Cultural Practice

This post is inspired by Cat Yronwode‘s interview over at New World Witchery podcast, episode 14.  Followed by personal epiphany.

She spoke of how she firmly believes that anyone wanting to practice hoodoo needs to get involved with the culture it was born from (paraphrased), i.e. go and talk with some black people who have it in the family.  That it isn’t enough to read some books and do what they tell you to do.  If you want to really get into practicing it, you need to understand and *connect* with the culture(s) that birthed it.

Allrighty, stage set, would you like to know my epiphany?

First, I need to explain about ‘keys’.  Or more particularly ‘keys to a tradition’.  This is something I’m familiar with in the context of wicca.  And is also very applicable and probably described similarly in Free Masonry and other hierarchical occult orders.  Essentially, by training with a particular group, you are taught the keys to accessing the group’s egregore (group mind) as well as their accumulated knowledge and trained experience dealing with the non-physical.

Hmmm, to back this up slightly farther.  When a group of people work together over an extended period of time, a group mind, or egregore, form.  This group mind is a gestalt of the people and is therefore made up of them and also something more.  A group that exists over decades or centuries builds up this group mind from everyone who has passed through it but also from everything that group has done together magically.

This accumulates a lot of energy and power.

But access to this energy is limited to those within the group.  The people in the group have keys, ritual methodology, symbols, sigils, invocations, etc. that are specific to the group.  Having the knowledge of these keys and the proper way to use them allows a member to access this group energy.

The engregore also includes (this part is only my opinion, so far as I’m aware) the experiences the group has had while within the group mind.  In other words, if the group has frequently done invocations to Bast, the egregore of the group would have specific connections to Bast that are stronger than other groups and a member, even a relatively new member once they have the keys, would have a closer to relationship to Bast than someone else at the same level of training but in a different group.

So my epiphany was realizing that the cultural involvement or sensitivity that Cat Yronwode was describing, this need for a strong practitioner to really be involved with, understand, connect and resonate with the cultures that birthed Hoodoo was also a description on how someone can get the magical keys to the Hoodoo tradition.

There is no lodge to go and train with.  No book written down (yes, there are spell books and Hoodoo books, but they are not the same as the grimoire passed on from master to student which would also include the verbal instructions that go with it) to steal the keys from.

In my personal and perhaps random opinion, the importance she placed on steeping oneself in the culture is actually one of the keys.  Another way to put it is that the art of  Hoodoo is culturally derived and therefore those pieces of culture are at least some of the keys that allow you to access it.

And if you can’t work with the keys to an egregore, you will never be able to access the full strength of the tradition.

Or your access to that style of magical craft will be hampered compared to someone who can embrace more of the direct keys.

Now personally I also see Hoodoo, from her description, as having been born from repeated meldings of different cultures, and each meeting place birthed new evolutions of spells and methodologies.  I believe that as a living tradition, as it encounters other magical practices and other new cultures it will continue to evolve.  So even if you are not comfortable in say working with Jesus Christ, you can still work with Hoodoo.  However, you will be cut off from that particular key to the tradition and may want to find or create a different key that will work better for you (though please note, new keys typically take time to build up their strength).

But that starts getting into some serious nitty gritty which I won’t be going into today.  Or possibly ever on the blog.  One never knows.

~The Abysmal Witch

Hello attic!

By city decree the storage room created by the previous owners of my apartment must be turned back into attic space.  This was not the most fun thing on the planet.  It did make for some good pictures at the end, though.

First came the getting rid of things.  Purge, baby, purge.  Not in my nature, but I’ve done well.  Then came the day of good friends and much workness.

We got the old icky insulation bagged up.

I rather liked this action shot:

It all fit in the elevator, too:

Really, it could have been much worse.  That’s what I need to remember.  😉

And then there was the end of work and enjoying the endness of it.  Must record these moments for posterity.

And now the big reveal.  Here is the attic-that-was-previously-a-storage-room.  Just imagine how much stuff I could have (and did have!) in there.  I am proud to say that my apartment looks essentially unchanged by the absorption of that which didn’t get given or tossed away.  We are nearing the end of the saga.  Just need to have the inspection and then it is all done.  Yay?

Do you have sad dreams?

Last night I dreamt and while the details both don’t matter and are difficult to remember, what did stay with me and is important is a strong and lingering feeling of sadness. 

I don’t remember the last time I dreamt and felt sad in the dream.  I’m assuming it must have happened at some point, but I honestly don’t remember when.  I’ve been scared in dreams, happy, often emotionally easy-going.  But not sad.  It feels weird.

I would love to hear from you, do you have sad dreams?  Are they often?  Or not?  Do they linger into your day?  How do you feel about them after?  Or do they just get forgotten?

This experience has made me curious.

In the darkness of the moon

Clouds drift across the moon



I walk beneath the moon



Silken strands of black drift down and lay

Delicate lace against my skin



Quiet slides a dark mantle warm over my shoulders

She whispers


Her Being a silent chord echoing down

Until the whole world vibrates with Her

We grow still

We grow quiet

We realize

We become

Joy through connection

First off, I just want to say that it strikes me as one of those life is unfair things that I can’t blog while soaking in the bathtub.  And yes, to all the ubergeeks out there, I know that I could build me a little platform and all that, but you must remember that I am clutzy at the most inopportune moments (I know someone who did all his computer time while lounging in the tub, still strikes me as odd).

Secondly, there has been so much going on that I don’t even know where to start.

So I shall start with joy.

My heart was soaked open this past week by generosity of spirit.  Yes, soaked.  Blasted is too rough, eased too slow, ripped too painful.  Soaked, suddenly, unexpectedly, but gently and without damage.

Onyx (and I feel okay using her (or so I assume) name as she posted it on the Pennies site (right-o, Pennies = Pennies in the Well, the podcast I host, just in case you didn’t know)), after listening to my Big-P segment on Episode 14 (which was about the impact podcast listeners can have on the podcasters, that’s it’s greater than is realized, or so my brain recalls it at the moment-I’d add links and double-check my facts but the podbean site is down so I can’t do that atm), voted for me on podcast alley and then convinced her friends to vote for me as well.

She spent time and a bit of friend coin to bump my ratings.  Not that I was looking for that or that it’s something that is inherintly important to me.  How to put this?  I didn’t have a need to be number one on the site and I probably don’t check it more than once per week, but I’m also aware of what it takes to get to that spot and I’m thrilled and flattered to be there.  It was a really beautiful gift and kindness.  And a shock.

Shock that a stranger would do that.

And then I remembered that she’s not truly a stranger because there exists a connection between us.  Relatively undirectional, but such is podcasting life.

This was really the first time that I felt like I was talking to more than a handful of friends, where some of those friends are just newly met and in other countries, yes, but a handful of friends nonetheless.

Last Thursday night as this whole process started, I lay in bed staring at the stars (there are stars painted astronomically correct on my ceiling so it’s not as delusional as it sounds) and feeling my heart open.

I had carried a nervousness, self-doubt, fear around along with my joy in doing Pennies.  I had imagined the listening world for it to be small.

Instead it blossomed open, her generosity of spirit touched me and I was able to let go of my self-doubt and let in trust and belief.  These are two things that are hard for me but that is a set of topics for other days.

I lay there staring at the stars and felt appreciated and that I’d served and served well.  Joy.  I was soaked in joy.

The next day it was off to Pirates and Faeries, a party on the lake with sixty some odd old and new friends who co-create a wonderful magical world.  Pictures are on my facebook site as they involve other people for the most part, though I will hopefully get a few posted here.  But not tonight.

This never never land we created was also filled with joy, with each other, with the magic, with the freedom to experience and laugh and, yes, cry, all of it without reservation.

And it was the people that made it so wonderful.  From my covenmates to complete strangers, everyone was engaged and involved with each other, and where there were  a few tensions those people just glided past each other with nothing more or less than a nod.

There was always a helping hand, a ready smile, a mischievous idea to play out.

And all of it framed by our co-created sacred space.

There is a special joy that comes from the connections we have with other people.  There is a special joy that one person’s actions can have on us, simply because they acted.

“and my love is poured out upon the earth”

I’ve felt this joy before, but not from the podcast and not two such heart fulfilling moments so close together.  Thank you to everyone who played a part in both of them.  And it touches me how many people that actually is.

And now I have “joy to the world, all across the world, all the boys and girls, joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me” stuck in my head.

Joy to you and yours.


~the abysmal witch.


When time moves too quickly, when everything is a rush of move-move-move do-do-do run-run-run, life becomes a blur.

Focus is lost.

Details are smudged and become simply part of the background.

But isn’t life in the details?

Feeling alive happens in the moment. 

The sharpest, most intense memories are those moments we were present for.  I remember the feel of the lounger under me when we were in Mexico, the feel of the sun on my back, the wind in the few trees that provided some shade, even a hint of smell in the air.  Because I was present for it.  There was nowhere else I was thinking of being, no thoughts of other things to do that stole me away from that moment.  I was there, present, engaged in my own life.  I could list many such memories.  I hope you can too.

It’s easy to avoid the things we don’t enjoy just by not being present for them.  And that’s okay.  But sometimes life just gets on a fast track of ‘need-to-get-things-done’ and we forget to breathe, to look around, to pay attention to the details.

That’s been my life for the last week.  Two weeks?  I’m not even sure how long it’s been because it’s become that blurry. 

There’s still things to get done but I think it’s time to start taking time out.  Periodically slow down.  Take a deep breath.