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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Lone Animator: Imps

In Which Miss Bunny Finally Gets Her Witch-Name

All my cats down the years have come to me with other names: out-names, you could call them, names for everyday.

Though sometimes it's taken a while, they've all got proper witch-names eventually.

I acquired Miss Bunny (AKA the Bun, Bun-bun, the Bunster, Bunny Butt, and—of course—Bad Bunny) just after Lunasa last year. Being a Manx cat with a stumpy little tail, the name fit well enough, but—from the beginning—it struck me as a prose name, a name-from-without.

“Well,” I thought, “the inner name will come.” The first lesson of Witchery is patience.

To reach the new place, sometimes you have to get out of Dodge first. In the course of a recent road trip, it occurred to me: A Manx cat needs a Manx name.

(Closely related to Irish, Manx is—was—the Celtic language formerly spoken in the Isle of Man.)


Bonnag is the Manx name for a kind of sweet tea loaf. It's the Isle of Witches calque of bannock, the pan-Celtic griddle-bread.

And thereby hangs a tale: a stumpy bunny tail, presumably.

Bannock is an old and interesting word. (Every word's a story.) In the Anglian dialect of the Hwicce, the original Anglo-Saxon tribe of Witches, it was bannuc: one of Old English's rare handful of Celtic loan-words. (The Scots Gaelic version is bonnach.) This, in turn, derives ultimately from Latin panis, “bread.” There must be a story here, too—it's hard to believe that Britons didn't make bread until learning how from the Red Crests—but that's another tale for another day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 42 Manx Cat Colors & Patterns (with Pictures) - Excited Cats

Simmy was a one-person cat, and I was it. She was also an adept of the astral.

When I won a scholarship to study in the Middle East, she disappeared for the entire time that I was gone. Oh, my housemates could tell that she was still around: the litter box was used, the food bowl emptied. But see her, they didn't.

Simmy, you see, was Busy.

She was my first cat, a petite brown tabby Manx with a stumpy little tail. (One of her nicknames was Bunny Butt.) Like most Manx, she was a powerful jumper. When bats would get into the house—a perennial problem wherever witches live—she would jump for them as they wheeled around the room, and never failed to catch them out of midair.

I'd been gone for about a month when one morning I dreamed that Simmy was sitting on the foot of my bed in my room in Jerusalem. I very much had the impression that while her body was laying inert in one of her secret hiding places, her soul had out been roaming the world in search of her Human. Found me she finally had, after a month of searching.

But that didn't mean that she wasn't pissed. She was sitting on the bed with her back to me.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lovely Lilly the Magickal Cat

I want to introduce you to my lovely Lilly, named after Lilith, our archetype of independence and women's empowerment. Lilly came to my husband, Roy, and I as if by magic.  We were at the vet, picking up the ashes of our beloved Xena, who had only a few weeks before crossed over into the arms of Mothers Bast and Sekhmet.  Sitting in the unusually empty lobby of the vet's office, this kitty suddenly poked her head up over the counter and looked at me, then Roy, then me, again.  I could feel her asking  "Don't you recognize me?"  It was truly remarkable because, a tri-colored torty, she looked just like Xena's sister - Isis - who had passed away months before.  Yes, we lost both our beloved daughters within 6 months, after sharing 20 wonderful years.  We truly felt as if Xena had facilitated this meeting between Lilly, Roy and I from the Other Side. 

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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, February 22 2017

Pagan students organize in Texas. A discussion of "familiar spirits." And one Pagan writer explains why, for him, his "gods cannot come first." It's Watery Wednesday, our segment about news in the Pagan community worldwide. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Meet-Up at the Toad Corral

Here in the Midwestern US, 2015 is a sabbatic year. At the beginning of harvest, the tribe of Witches will once again foregather in immemorial Grand Sabbat.

But while the adults are busy kissing the Devil's ass (makes the herds fertile), having promiscuous sex (makes the crops grow), and eating ragoût de bébé non baptisé (tastes great), what about the kids? Once they've been presented to the Devil but before they're old enough to join in the fun, what to do? Kids and rituals: the perennial problem.

When in doubt, consult ancestral precedent. The Basque witches came up with a neat solution.

As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, after the Devil f**ks the bejesus out of you and nips your shoulder, to seal the deal he gives you your very own toad to be your intimate familiar. You suckle it (blood's OK if you don't happen to be lactating at the time) and sew little outfits for it, and in return it helps out with all your spells.

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