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The bad news: Those of you waiting for an official Tribe of Witches/Latter-Day Hwicce tartan will have to thole (= Witch for "be patient") a little longer.

The good news: The world's first official Witch tartan is now available.

Created by designer Jonathan Brown in January 2016, the Witches' Blood tartan was registered with the official Tartan Registry in Edinburgh at the Vernal Equinox of the same year.

Inspired by the Stratford Festival's 2016 production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, [the Witches' Blood tartan] was created to coincide with the worldwide celebration of the playwright's enduring legacy, 400 years after his death in 1616. Macbeth abounds in images of blood and the darkness of night, hence the tartan's striking use of red and black. The charcoal tone, equivocating between the polar opposites of black and white, evokes both the literal and moral fog of an uncanny world in which, as the Weird Sisters (or witches) proclaim, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.'”

Up close, the Witches' Blood tartan is darkly striking: red (the eponymous red thread of the Witch Blood, shed for you), gray (= mist, or our hill-fog witches' souls) on a largely black ground (no explanation needed). While beautiful when examined up close, it must be admitted that the Witches' Blood tartan does not read well from a distance, fading into an undifferentiated black.

Insofar as ease of identification was part of a plaid's purpose, some may find this aspect of  the Witches' Blood tartan unpleasing, though indeed the “clan tartan” trope is largely a creation of Victorian-era fantasts.

(In the old days, those of us from Loch X wore similar tartans largely because those were the patterns we'd learned to weave from our mothers.)

Some, however, may wish to view this aspect of the Witches' Blood tartan as a parable of the Craft itself: constantly changing, depending on where you stand. Certainly the new tartan makes a tasty addition to the seething cauldron of Post-Modernity's New Witch Identity.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This year Halloween will have a full moon. It should also have full bellies-- full of candy. Just like all years. Instead of having trick or treaters come to the door and ring the bell, my neighbors and I have decided we're going to set up tables and chairs outside and give away candy outside near the curb. I keep seeing people on the net saying Halloween is canceled, but plenty of other events are happening outdoors and Halloween is an important community ritual. Plus wearing masks is part of the tradition! There's no reason it can't be done safely. Keep it outside, keep groups apart from other groups, and it's no different from any other outdoor event.

I'm not going to be personally putting candy into the kids' sacks this year, I'm going to let him help themselves from the bowl. I'm just going to be out there to be sure one kid doesn't take it all, just like my neighbors will be doing. This is going to be a no contact event for me and Halloween still goes on.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Beautiful Russell hasn't lived next door for more than 30 years, and (sigh) we never did sleep together, much as I wanted to. Even so, I bless his name at this time every year.

Talk about your boy next door. (Boy, I say. He was probably my elder by five years, if not more. Five years more mature, anyway.) Lean, lanky, pretty face. (Woof.) Longish, straw-colored hair. (Woof woof.) Little round gold-rimmed John Denver glasses. (Woof woof woof.) Sweet-natured, smart, quirky sense of humor. Ah, the arrogance of beauty, the beauty of arrogance.

Still and all, my past is populated with beautiful guys that I never had the chance to taste, whose names I never bless.

(There's something about that longing-for-what-you-can't-have, though, that seems paradigmatically autumnal, no?)

No, I bless Russell's name for the sake of the raspberries.

Autumn-bearing golden raspberries, chieftains of the raspberry clan. During his time next door, Russell planted them along his side of the fence and, as is their way, the canes—disrespecters of boundaries, all, just like the rest of us—have migrated into our yard. Every year at this time they bear their autumn gold.

Red, black, and gold are the raspberry kindreds, but oh, the gold are the sweetest of all. Maybe, like autumn roses, they're all the sweeter for the knowing that they'll be the last.

I stand in the autumn sunshine, pricking my fingers and plucking the year's final fruiting. When my palm brims full, I gorge on harvest sumptuousness: one last, brief ecstasy, before the end.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Seeing Clearly


Seeing Clearly

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New Moon Charm for Banishing Heartbreak

We've all been going through so much and need to do some lettng go,  Any new moon is the perfect time to create a new opportunity and clear away relationship “baggage” with this banishing spell. If you have been hurt emotionally, this will clear it, Fast.

Gather together:

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Many come to the new paganisms as refugees from other traditions, hoping for a new life free from the burden of guilt.

Oh and woe, I've sorry news for you, my friend: pagans feel just as guilty as anyone else. We just feel guilty about other things.

Some things that pagans feel guilty about:

  • Using “disposable” diapers.
  • Not buying organic.
  • Not doing what you said you would.
  • Driving vehicles dependent on fossil fuels.
  • Driving instead of walking.
  • Throwing away the container of slimy mold from the back of the refrigerator instead of composting the mold, and washing and recycling the container.
  • Breaking an oath.
  • Using the cheap bottle of wine for the libation instead of the good stuff.
  • Wishing on “Hypocrite Mitch” McConnell a long, unhappy life full of suffering, instead of a clean, quick death.
  • Lying by omission.
  • Nuclear waste.
  • NIMBYism.
  • Not eating healthily.
  • Throwing stuff away. (Every pagan knows that you can't ready throw anything away.)
  • Buying stuff you don't need.
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

At this time of year, I pay a lot of attention to one part of my Focus*.

As altar-y spaces go, it is unquestionably the "witchiest" part of mine: bones, skulls, fossils of extinct species, a mummified bat, images of prehistoric cave paintings, megalithic spiral carvings and departed loved ones, a dried pomegranate. It is where I keep the black jar of rose water with which I have anointed several dead people, and the tiny jar of cedar oil, veteran of so many Hallows rituals, whose scent reminds me of the inside of a coffin.

Last modified on

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