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Introducing...the Broom


Scientists have meters, sailors have fathoms. Even megalith-builders have megalithic yards. (The New Age-y ones do, anyway.)

What about witches?

My friend and colleague Frebur Hobson recently suggested that we of the Black Pointy Hat needed a unit of measure to call our own. Like most good ideas, it seems utterly obvious...once someone else has thought of it.

Enter the broom (br). Measuring in at four feet English, it can be used for pretty much any metric, witchy or non.

Personally, I think it's brilliant. Who carries a ruler around with them, much less a yardstick?

But a broom, now, well...there's pretty much always one to hand, for rough and ready measuring, especially among folks of our kind.

A magic circle? Two brooms, and a bit.

A football (US) field? 90 brooms.

A mile? 1320 br.

Me, I really like being a broom-and-a-half (1½ br) tall.

Best of all, it's a unit that every witch instinctively understands. Tell her that the clearing is 13 brooms across, or the Stonehenge trilithons six brooms high, and she'll know just what you mean.

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Calming Cure after a Breakup

To help heal yourself or a brokenhearted friend, add five drops of each of the following essential oils to a scentless base oil or almond oil:


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An Army of One

The major problem in the US these days in many ways parallels the paradox at the heart of the pagan community: just how does a collectivity of self-centered, radically-individual individualists actually manage to hold itself together?

Alas: without some sense of overarching, shared identity, it usually doesn't.



With Pride Month now in rearview, I confess myself, frankly, a little sick of flags.

The My-Own-Very-Special-Identity-of-the-Week flags that sprang up all over the neighborhood in the course thereof remind me in many ways of that silly hanky code that someone concocted during the oh-so-cruise-y pre-AIDS 70s, the color and placement of the hank telling the viewer exactly what permutation of sex you were looking for. I'll spare you the specifics.

Never bothered to learn the hank-code myself, just as I've never bothered to learn (or even closely read) the list of the supposed 72 (!) different gender identities either. (Sorry, waste of time and brain-space, both.) Ye gods: no wonder people vote Republican.

Really: just how self-absorbed, privileged, and entitled are we? Meanwhile, in Gaza, children starve to death.

Flags, flags, flags. Me, me, me.

Welcome to the Great Splintering: the Way of Atomization.


Earth-Horse, Moon-Horse

So I've commissioned my own flag.

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Mending Hearts: Olde World Spell

Sol and Luna,

the sun needs the moon like the cock needs the hen.

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Review: Astrology of the Shadow Self

Astrology of the Shadow Self: Working with Oppositions in Your Natal Chart

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Ecker's Apple Farm

Territories of Time


Witches, like other predators, are territorial animals.

Territories of place, though, are not the only kind of territory.


“So, how was your Fourth?”

I'm talking with Aura who, at 84, has as good a claim to being Grandmother to the local community as anyone. (Of Carl "Llewellyn" Weschke's very first crop of initiates, she alone remains: still fully engaged, still sharp as an athame's edge.)

My question was casually intended, mere open-ended conversation-fodder.

Little did I realize down what paths it would lead.


Unlike pagan immigrants like me—there are many here—Aura's an autochthon, born right here in Minneapolis, the Water City. (That's what the name means literally: a Dakota-Greek hybrid, aptly enough.) What had she done with her Independence Day? She had spent it driving around with one of her daughters-in-the-Craft, tracking down all the places where she's lived in this pagan city during her long and rich life.

Witches do this kind of thing. The Wise remember, and place is the medium of our memory. My own coven, too, has done the driving tour of all our various covensteads through our now-going-on-50-year-history.

Territories of place are not the only kind of territory.


It took them a while to track down the first house where Aura lived after she was born: she hadn't seen it in years. Finally, they managed to locate it. Her eyes sparkle as she tells me.

“Was I ever surprised when I looked across the street and saw your car in the driveway,” she says.

Turns out it's right across the street from my house.

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What Happened to Moriyama's Fireflies ...


The dead god lies outstretched on the altar.

The white shroud, like a ghostly snowfall, blurs the horizon of his body. Over the red ruin of his chest, the stained cloth clings moistly, horribly.

Suddenly, from the woods behind, like some night bird, the voice of a flute.

Like flowing water, it ripples and rills, calling.

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