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This morning, I intuitively chose a talisman to wear, without knowing why it was the right one for the day ahead. A while back, I’d made the talisman out of Angora fibers (otherwise known as rabbit fur), Cormo, which is one of the softest wools in existence, some other fibers, and two glass beads. (In case it's hard to see in the photo: the three center beads are ones I made out of fibers, and on each side of them is a glass bead. If memory serves, I spun the cord entirely out of bunny fur.)

 

Later today, while on my physical therapy walk through the woods, I meditated on what the talisman had for me today. The first thing that came to me was the gentleness of rabbits. 

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Antiope Fitness and Training Spell

Like many people, I have fallen in love with the new Wonder Woman movie.  Also like many people, I am in need of getting myself into better physical shape.  I’ve decided that a great way to support my fitness goals is to have a pop culture character to work with as a trainer to help motivate and guide me: thus enter General Antiope.
 
***This post will contain some minor spoilers for the beginning of Wonder Woman.  If you haven’t seen it you, go do so!***
 
If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, General Antiope is the fiercest of all the Amazons and the one who teaches Diana her skills.  Antiope has several characteristics that make her an ideal trainer. 

First is her genuine desire to prepare those under her supervision to overcome any obstacles the world throws at them.  Antiope decides to train Diana, against Diana’s mother’s  wishes, because she knows that someday Diana will have to go up against Ares and that Diana needs to be prepared.  Antiope does not train Amazons for reasons of honor or prestige, but out of a genuine desire to keep them safe.  I’m not looking to “lose weight” or have a “beach body,” I’m looking to improve my physical health for the sake of having the stamina to actually do everything I need to do. 

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  • turtlex
    turtlex says #
    This is wonderful. Thank you.

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Witches' Ladders

Witches' Ladders

The first recorded find of a witches’ ladder was in 1886 during the repairs of an old house in Somerset, England.  Within the roof space they found a pile of broomsticks, an old chair and a length of braided cord, with a loop at one end and lots of cockerel feathers threaded through the braid.

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The Heroes We Need

As for many people, the trash fire that was 2016 has not left me with a lot of hope for 2017.  Emotionally I’m quite torn between rage, incredulity, and bone-crushing despair.  At this point it’s become quite clear that we cannot simply rely on “the establishment” to build a better world, or even to sustain what we have now.  While it’s tempting to simply throw up my hands in disgust and go find a nice cave to hide in, maybe in Canada somewhere, I’m one of the poor sods that lives in the US and has to deal with the fallout.  That’s terrifying.  What’s a pop culture witch to do in the face of a fascist threatening their way of life?  Why, call on Peggy Carter and Captain America, of course!

The next four years are likely to be an uphill battle unlike any that I have ever faced.  Never in my lifetime has such a critical public figure be so openly racist, misogynistic, transphobic, honestly the list just goes on forever.  The tacit approval given to bigots to be unspeakable to anyone they deem “other” by the President-elect scares the pants off of me.  I grew up with my mother telling me stories about how she grew up having to sit on the balcony of the movie theater and go in the “coloured” entrance.  I never thought I’d have to worry about something as awful as segregation or internment happening again, but that’s a very real fear right now.  I for one am not willing to “wait and see” if things go as appallingly as I fear.  I refuse to see this country become a dumpster of hate.  That makes it my job to do everything I can to make things better.  Nobody is going to do this for me.  That means I need the strength, stamina, and fortitude of a superhero just to keep going, let alone make things better.

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right. -Albus Dumbledore” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The way I see it we need the strength, courage, and honor of Captain America to make a stand against the theft of our rights and denials of our personhood.  We’ll need his determination to stand up against bullies and defend those that cannot defend themselves.  We will need his strategy and planning abilities to do the most good wherever we can.  However, even more than that we will need the indefatigability of Peggy Carter.  It is one thing to be the shining symbol of justice (Captain America) and another entirely to be the unwanted and unacknowledged hero (Peggy) that slogs tirelessly through adversity to save the world without so much as a thank you or to have their efforts claimed by others and continue anyway.  Every movement needs its figureheads, but it needs its individual, tireless workers even more.  We’re in this for the long haul and the tiny steps collectively taken by many individuals (all of us!) - sustained over time - are likely to make a far greater difference than a few grand gestures.  We need action from our fiercest warriors, our greatest speakers, our activists, and our workers, our volunteers, and our support crews.

I urge you to join me in casting the following spell to stand up to bullies and injustice in all its forms on January 20th. 

Spell to Stand Up to Bullies - No, You Move
(*underlined text in taken from the Captain America: Civil War comics)
This spell is written to call on Captain America and Peggy Carter because these characters mean a lot to me and embody the traits I know I’m going to need.  Please do rewrite it to use characters and references that have similar qualities and mean as much to you.  This spell could easily be done with other powerful characters: Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus from Rogue One, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings, or Hulkling and Wiccan from the Young Avengers - just to name a few.  The key is to use figures or characters that give you strength, determination and perseverance.

Ingredients: one small candle (standard or flameless), items representing Captain America and Peggy Carter, or whoever you are doing the working with (action figures, drawings or sigils all work - whatever works best for you), a blank piece of paper and a pen/pencil.

If you have a Captain America t-shirt and/or a fabulous red hat this is the time to wear it.  Consider running a Captain America movie or the Agent Carter TV series quietly in the background, cued to a scene of triumph.  You want to invoke your characters in a way that is meaningful to you and them.

Ground and center as usual.  Create sacred space according to your own practices.  Feel free to call on appropriate deities, ancestors, or other allies if you wish.

Place the items representing Cap and Peggy on your altar or temporary workspace.  Also put the blank piece of paper and pen there.

Take a deep breath and light the candle.

Say the following:
On this day and in this hour I pledge to stand up against bullies.
I vow to be part of the solution, never again the problem.
I call on Steven Grant Rogers - Captain America - to be with me and lend me his strength and sense of justice.
Captain, help me to stand up against bullies, to fight injustice, and protect that which is worth protecting. 
Give me the passion and determination to take necessary risks and make a difference.
I call on Margaret Carter - Peggy, Agent Carter - to be with me and lend me her strength, stamina, and clear sightedness.
Peggy, help me to stand up to bullies, to do what is right no matter how difficult or thankless.
Give me the stamina and will to keep fighting the good fight and to know my value. 

Grab your pen and paper and say:
Cap, Peggy, show me a sigil that will energize and sustain me in the fight against bullies - a sigil that will help me to do what is right, no matter how difficult.

Take a few minutes to allow the sigil to come to you and then draw it on the paper.  (If nothing comes to you in a minute or two just move on and don’t worry, it may come to you later - probably when you least expect it.)   You will be able to draw this sigil or carry it on you when you need it.

Hold your hands over your sigil (or the blank paper where you will draw it when it comes to you) and say:

“Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth, and tell the whole world - 'No, you move.'"

Take a moment to thank Cap and Peggy (or whoever you worked with) for their help in your own words.

If you’ve called on any allies thank and dismiss them.  Then open your sacred space and ground - I recommend a nice piece of apple pie or coffee cake.

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  • aya ruje
    aya ruje says #
    A plant would be nice, yes. Energetic offerings are a good idea as well. I was reading another blog post where the lady did a 30
  • aya ruje
    aya ruje says #
    OMG lol i totally loved this post! you have a great writing style! And yes, 2016 was awful. On a global scale and even in my perso
  • Emily Carlin
    Emily Carlin says #
    I do daily incense or candle offerings for daily practice and leave food or flower offerings as a weekly thing - far less clean up
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Early last year I finished reading "The New Revelations" by Neale Donald Walsch. In it he wrote "You keep trying to solve the Wor
  • Emily Carlin
    Emily Carlin says #
    The next for years will be a spiritual workout for us all. All we can do is our best and nothing less.

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Pop Culture Spell for Happiness

Into every life a little rain must fall.  Unfortunately, sometimes that little bit of rain becomes a deluge or tsunami.  Some of us aren’t exactly chipper little rays of sunshine to begin with, so life’s little stumbles can make things more challenging than they really need to be.  I’ve battled functional depression for as long as I can remember and there are few things that I take more refuge and comfort in than my pop culture fandoms.  For people like me fandom is a lot more than a fun way to spend your time; it’s an escape from the pressures of the mundane and a protected retreat.  It’s the ultimate safe space where you are free to let all your weirdness hang out and just enjoy yourself.  The power of pop culture magick is to allow us to literally bottle a bit of that joy and take it with us.

For this spell you will need to choose a favorite fandom or two.  There are an amazing number of pop culture fandoms out there, so choosing just one or two to work with can be a bit daunting.  Think about what is resonating with you right now.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a favorite fandom for the past decade - what book, movie, music, tv show, series, comic, manga, etc., really resonates with you right now.  What bit of pop culture brings you joy today

Think of a character, scenario, episode, song, etc., from your chosen fandom that really makes you happy.  For example, I’m doing my version of this spell using Firefly, particularly the character of Kaylee.  In a cast of misfits and anti-heroes Kaylee stands out as being not only a kick-ass mechanic, but as being genuinely sweet and happy more often than not.  I greatly admire her ability to look on the bright side of things and enjoy what she has while she has it - something I’m not great at. 

Ingredients:

  • One candle (in your favorite color) - pure beeswax is best, as the honey in the wax adds a bit of sweetening to the spell.  If you choose a large candle you should repeat the incantation each time you burn it.  If you cannot burn a candle for whatever reason, choose a tealight or small chime candle that you can carry with you.
  • One wearable/carryable object representing your bit of pop culture - if you have something overt like a fandom t-shirt great, if not something as simple as a sigil drawn on a piece of paper will do.
  • One small bottle of drinkable liquid - This can be tap water or anything else, just be sure the bottle seals well enough for you to carry it in a pocket without worrying about leakage.

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Ground, center, and set your sacred space however you usually do.  (If you don’t usually do those things that’s ok too!)

Set your candle on your altar or whatever prepared space you have.  Set your wearable object (a leather bracelet for me) and your bottle of liquid next to the candle.  If your bit of pop culture has a video or audio form, play it in the background.  Meditate for a few minutes on your bit of fandom and what about it brings you joy. 

Light your candle (or not) and speak an incantation like the following, with the specifics changed for your fandom and your personal needs:

Light of flame bring me joy, allow me the happiness and good nature of Kaylee.
I will overcome my obstacles with a smile, as she does.
I will enjoy the good that flows into my life, as she does.
I will find solace and comfort in hard times and emerge the stronger for it.
I will shed bitterness and resentment, as she does.
I release negativity and depression.
I find joy in everyday life and dance with joy.

Let the essence of happiness flow into my bracelet and my tonic. 
In times of sorrow, stress, anxiety, or fear I will wear my bracelet, sip my tonic, and find happiness. 
I embrace joy.
So must it be.

Let the candle burn down, then close your sacred space as you usually do.  Carry/wear your charged object and sip your charged liquid when you need a boost.  Feel free to repeat the spell as often as necessary. 

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  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Terrific spell! My mind is considering options.

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The Hour That Never Existed

Tonight is the night where the clocks fall back for most of North America. It's a fabulous time for ritual, because you can use the time change to your advantage to 'eat' something that you want banished from your life, and then recreate things the way that you would like to see them unfold. The fact that this happens over Samhain makes the work even more powerful! All you need is a deck of tarot cards, and some staying power, as you're going to be up late!

Preparation for this is easy. Before the appointed time--02:00--determine what you would like to rid from your life (I already have mine planned, I celebrated it's demise last night). Choose a card that represents that. For instance, if you are holding on too tightly to something that needs to be surrendered, you might want to choose the four of pentacles. Maybe you've got a personality trait of being too stubborn, and you want to learn to be more flexible; the king or queen of swords might be an appropriate card for that. You're going to have to know your cards a bit, but really, any card that resonates with what you want to see leave your life can be used. 

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It’s that time of year again when the air is crisp, the sidewalks are damp, and every food item you can buy comes in “pumpkin spice.”  Oh yes, it’s almost Samhain.  This season is a gift for pop culture practitioners, as the trappings of magick are just about everywhere hidden in plain sight in friendly pop culture packages.  Everywhere you look things are draped in spiders, bats, witches, cauldrons, and cobwebs.  Every television show has a Halloween special and spooky movies play on every channel; at least one channel seems to be playing nothing but Tim Burton movies.  I am so very ok with this.  One of my all time favorite movies that plays non-stop this time of year is The Nightmare Before Christmas.b2ap3_thumbnail_Photo-Oct-25-1-58-20-PM.jpg

In case you’ve been either living under a rock or on some kind of crazed media fast for the last decade or two (in which case, what on earth are you doing reading this?), The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated movie about the Pumpkin King having an identity crisis and trying to steal Christmas.  Much adventure, spooky ennui, and singing ensues as a result.  It’s very fun and you should really see it if you haven’t.  I like many things about this movie, but what I really love is the message of self-acceptance that comes through it.  As with all Tim Burton movies the main characters in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally and Jack, are off-beat and a little strange.  They go through times where they doubt who they are and try to conform themselves to someone else’s ideals to varying degrees of success.  Ultimately the two find strength, fulfillment, happiness, and love once they fully embrace the individuals they really are inside, instead of trying to be someone they’re not.  There’s a similar message of self-acceptance and embracing of one’s inner and outer weirdness in most of Tim Burton’s movies.

In homage to our patron saint of eccentricity, here is a spell for self-acceptance.

Burtonesque Spell for Self-Acceptance

Choose your favorite Tim Burton character that has a journey of self-acceptance in their movie.  I recommend Jack Skellington or Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow, or Victor Van Dort or the Bride from The Corpse Bride.  Find a good track of Danny Elfman music to play in the background (e.g. The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack https://open.spotify.com/album/32hXKuDkMnpQaOI67xQj86 or the title theme from Beetlejuice https://open.spotify.com/track/7pTPxLkJ7ezXv2r6mJOT3T).

Play some appropriate music (or run a movie) quietly in the background.  If you normally cast a circle before doing spellwork do so now. 

Light a candle in your favorite color (a tea light or chime candle would be ideal) and either burn your favorite incense or anoint yourself with your favorite essential oil or hydrosol (or do both).

Take a moment to think about the character you’ve chosen and their journey.  Did they begin as awkward and unsure of themselves and find confidence?  Did they begin lost and adrift to emerge and find purpose?  Think of the qualities of their character and their journey that particularly speak to you.  What aspects of their journey do you need in your life? 

In your own words either speak aloud or write out 2-3 characteristics of the character’s journey to self-acceptance and empowerment that you need in your life.  Say why you need them and what you hope to accomplish by incorporating their power into your life.  Finish by either making a small offering appropriate to the character you’re drawing from or making a specific pledge to do so in the near future.

Let the candle burn while the music plays.  Dispel your circle if you cast one.

Once you’re finished it’s a great time to rewatch the movie your character came from and release any excess energy.

Moving forward you might choose to carry around a picture or toy of your character to remind you of your working.  Wearing a t-shirt, hoodie, costume, etc., of your character is also a great way to strengthen your working.  I’m a fan of using nail art as a reminder of this type of working.  (I’m a big fan of Espionage Cosmetics’ geeky decals)
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  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Great post! I just bought Nightmare Before Christmas a few weeks ago. We're going to watch it before Halloween! Just watched Corp

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