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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in flying ointment

Flying ointment- the intimate trip ...

Dear Boss Warlock,

I'm cooking up my first batch of flying ointment, but I'm having a really difficult time finding the human fat that I need for the recipe.

I'm not into human sacrifice, and I'm afraid I just don't have the stamina for grave robbing these days.

Not to mention: how do I reconcile this with 'An it harm none'?

Stymied in Sturgis


Dear Sty,

Grave robbing? Human sacrifice? Seriously, Sty, how 1980s.

(Oh, we were earnest in those days.)

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Before the Sabbat began, the jar of flying ointment circulated among the crowd.

The “main ritual” at the large national gathering of witches that year was a Grand Witches' Sabbat in the Old Style: the Horned, in all his naked male beauty, towering on the altar, the wild dancing, the love-making in the shadows....

Now, there are flying ointments and flying ointments. This particular one had been formulated without any of the traditional “flight herbs.” (There was mint in it, though, to give that tingling sensation on the skin....) No one, I hope, would ever be so irresponsible as to hand out the Real Stuff to the unwary at a public gathering. Certainly not at any ritual that I have anything to do with, anyway.

It didn't matter, and there's the point.

“Oh my gods, that stuff last night,” people said the next day. “What did you put into it?”

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Here, let me tell you something about the flying ointment—the witch's salve, the ungentum sabbati—that you probably didn't know.

You use your off-hand to apply it.

Why, you ask? Well, there are reasons and reasons, some of which I can't write. But here are some that I can.

For most of us, using our off-hand means using the left hand, and that's Old Hornie's side.

(As Red God of Animals, he's Left-Hand Twin to his Green Brother's Right.)

But if, with Him, you're a leftie, it's your right hand that you use for the ointment.

(What the truly ambidexterous—literally “both-righted”—do, I couldn't tell you; you'll have to ask one.)

But in witchery, symbolism never stands alone: there's always the practical, standing close by.

Now, what you do with your off-hand, you do with a greater thoughtfulness, and that's part of the matter.

And here's another: that the lifting balm is a toxin, external use only. So though, at the Sabbat, they'll offer you ointment and a linen after for wiping the hand with, it makes it all the more likely that when the time for eating comes—and this is the Sabbat, there will be food—your eating hand will be clean of it.

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It's hours now since Sunset, so at first I can't quite make out what's moving in the back yard.

Whatever it is, it's big, the size of a very large cat—an overweight cat, to be sure—but it's way too low-slung to be one of the neighborhood toms that regularly patrol my yard, and besides, the movement is all wrong: a kind of waddling scuttle.

A raccoon? We had one living up in the eaves a few years back: a big old, well-fed urban raccoon. (I opened the blind early one morning to find it giving me the Look: Just who the f*ck are you, and why are you wasting my time? Raccoons are notoriously attitudinous.) But no, the shape is wrong.

It crosses the yard and heads back to the compost heap by the garden. When I see the long, bare rat-tail, I know immediately what it is. I didn't realize that opossums got so big.

Opossums, North America's only native marsupial. I'm guessing from the size that this one's probably a male. In that case, like all male marsupials, he's got a forked penis. That's pretty cool.

Witch-critters. Here in North America, if you can't get bear-grease to make your flying ointment, possum grease will do just fine, they say. Look out, Mr. Possum.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, My wife and I live on the edge of a swamp, and animals emerge into our back yard all the time. Praise be to Artemis, I

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Flight to the Sabbat

Full Wolf Moon: coven flying night.

The ointment makes the rounds; those who wish to, partake.

We lay down and Fly.


I am at the Sabbat in the firelit woods, kneeling at the altar.

I take His hand and kiss it. I tell Him I love Him. (I won't say there are no tears.) I lay my head in His lap. I speak the secret fears.

After a time, He takes His hand from my head and raises me up. His smile sears my soul.

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Are the Days of the Heroes Behind Us?

In the mail yesterday, my Covenant of the Goddess clergy credential renewal arrived, along with—I kid you not—my very own vial of Covenant of the Goddess lip balm.

Vanilla flavored, no less.

Well, I receive these gifts—as the ancestors used to say—with both hands, i.e. gratefully. Now I can continue to hatch, match, and legally dispatch in the eyes of the Great State of Minnesota, a Land where winter lip balm is pretty much a way of life.


In the old days, Christians used to fight (and sometimes kill) over whether the Spirit proceeded from the Father, or from the Father and the Son; or whether the Son was equal to, or lesser than, the Father. Substantive issues.

Now, of course, they fight about gay sex.

In the old days, witches used to make poisons, medicines, and flying ointment: pharmacopoeia.

Now we make lip balm.

I shake my head. Perhaps the days of the heroes and demigods are behind us. How are the mighty fallen.

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Flight to the Sabbat

My Kemetic Reconstructionist friend was newly back from his long-awaited trip to Egypt.

He was furious.

“Damn those security guards!” he growled. “Any time I tried to do anything, they'd stop me! Rrr!”

While not uniquely a pagan problem, it is a distinctly pagan problem nonetheless. With our holy places in the hands of the jealous, what to do?

We discussed the situation. My suggestion was that next time, he make the offering in his head. On the astral, so to speak.

The security guard sees an American tourist standing there impassively.

Meanwhile, the old gods receive their due service.

Ideally, the inner offering should always accompany the outer. But better one than neither.

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