Down the Rabbit Hole: The Third Gate

The Artist waits at the third gate. Small, slight and kind-eyed. He teases gently, wanting to know if it’s now Ms or Mrs Bones, or do I skip the honourifics entirely being that I have only one name. We share a cigarette* as we talk about my mental health and the role it plays in my life right now.

Claude by Creature13

We talk for quite a while.

When he asks for my jacket, and takes with it my mental health struggles, the fears I have for my future living with it, the motivations and identity that arises around. He doesn’t have to ask twice, if there’s a burden I am happy to live without then this is it…

And yet I feel oddly out of sorts and naked as I move on, through the gate and back onto the path.



*Weird fact: I smoke a lot when I’m dealing with spirits in spirit journeys, but I don’t actually smoke in meatspace. I’m asthmatic.

PS. Nik, this is who you think it is.



Down the Rabbit Hole: The Second Gate

The path is exactly the same on this side of the first gate as it was on the other; Winding and overgrown with brambles and other unfamiliar plants. We come to the second gate rather quickly, I’m not sure if that’s a trick of my trance state or it is just a short walk, but regardless, it was quick.

If the guardian of the first gate was entertainingly familiar, then the guardian of this one is achingly so. The smile gentler than usual, the grey eyes soft, and the leather jacket as worn and battered as it ever was. He makes no pretence of authority and formality as he wraps me up in a hug.

“It’s about time, Bones. You need this, but you’re not going to like what I am to ask of you.”

And he talks, of witchcraft and spirits, of dependencies and paths lost, and of over complication for sometime… and he’s right. It’s hard. It’s hard to hear and harder to swallow when he hold out his hands, palms to the sky, and asks that I give him my witchcraft, my connections to the spirits, the Ancestors, and my ability to influence.

It is impossibly hard to submit, to comply with this request, but I consent. If I am to trust anyone with this part of my being then it is he. He gently removes a silver torque I didn’t realise I was wearing  from my throat and takes with it anything that is not directly part of this working, this descent and return is no longer mine. I recognise it much later as the torc I wore on my wedding day.

“I’ll be here when you return, My Bones.”

grosse fuge – rage by agnes-cecile


Down the Rabbit Hole: The First Gate

The path is over grown and there’s not much of anything growing along it as we walk (yes, me and the bun are still going strong) at this point. This is the longest part of the walk, other than the stairs down here, and it’s so still and silent as to be unnerving.

When I finally round the corner that reveals the first gate I am to pass through I almost laugh at the familiarity of the Guardian. I knew going into this that it would be a very personal journey and not necessarily a deity driven one so I’m not overly surprised, but somewhat pleased to start with such a familiar face.

The Ancestor appears as he did the first time I met him. Blue tattoos from head to toe, warm hazel eyes and ancient despite his still copper hair. I note that I was mistaken in our first meeting, his hair isn’t in dreadlocks but rather many small braids with charms and bones woven amongst them.

I approach respectfully and He directs me to sit on the stone ground across from him, as I did the first time we met. He brushes his hands over the stone and dragged them back in the same motion.

The stone had become red earth.

There are no words. He traces images in the dirt again and the conversation happens in silence. He has never spoken a word out loud and I doubt He ever will. He speaks of passion, desire, will…

He asks my heart, reaches into my chest and takes it.

It glows like embers in his hand. 


Down the Rabbit Hole: Entry to the Underworld

Well, not literally, oddly enough. It would be fitting for an underworld journey to start with a rabbit hole, but in my case it starts with a Fox, the Tree and… well a fucking Rabbit.

I’m going to break this up into multiple posts for my own sanity. Also so I take the time to explore it all a bit more. 

So, some background, very briefly. I read the wonderful Journey to the Dark Goddess by Jane Meredith quite a while ago. A couple of year ago in fact, and while i thought about following it through it just felt slightly off to me, so I left it alone. Until along came the beautiful Dumb Supper held this Samhain where my spirits kicked me very firmly up the ass, and gave me some instructions on what to do…

They also demanded I make bread, repot the tomatoes next season and buy several new plants in their honour.  Anyhow… 

I unfurl as the Fox, unfolding, stretching, yawning, before I/we are running through the Forest towards it’s heart. It’s a journey that goes buy in a flash, one made a thousand times before, and intimately familiar. The shadows grow longer and darker as we reach the centre, and we burst into the clearing in our usual inelegant way. It’s home, really.

He’s not there. He wasn’t there at the Supper either. I drape Fox over my shoulders and run my hands gently over the knotted roots of the huge tree at the centre of it all as we walk towards it. Many are taller than I am, and I long ago stopped craning my neck in an attempt to see the top most branches. It is, simply put, vast.

I climb with the Fox remaining calmly in place until we reach the hollow where the brambles intrude then interlace to make His throne. Then she’s slithering from my shoulders and jumping to the almost vacant throne to sniff at the small, lop eared, black rabbit that occupies it. I watch them from a perch on the edge of the hollow until she curls up to sleep and the rabbit leaps into my lap.

I carry the small, warm, bundle of fur with me as I descend the stairs leading down into the darkness in the trees trunk. And I admit a certain level of shock when I slipped off the ledge onto something solid instead of just falling like usual.

Descent by tsukiko-kiyomidzu

Special occasions I guess…

He waits for me at the bottom and, rabbit in arms, the first trial begins. “Will you surrender…” he asks, over and over again. Sometimes the request is physical, sometimes it’s of my mental or physical self, sometimes it’s relationships, or parts of my self…

Will you surrender to me everything, everything you are, everything you believe, everything you love, everything you care about….

There is only one acceptable answer. As I kneel at his feet I give it over and over.

“I will surrender.”



She is patient. She has out waited me…

She let me fumble, let me reject, let me run from Her.

And in turn She let me return to Her at my own pace. Slow, steady, unsure but willing.

Step by step, I come home, to the Keeper of the Keys, Mistress of the Ways.




Headless Dreaming

A fortnight or so back I did the Headless Rite, as laid out in Gordon White’s The Chaos Protocols. I already work with spirits so it was mostly out of curiosity with a nice dollop of ‘I need to stir shit up in my practice’.

The result?

My dreams are insane. Long, incredibly detailed and weird as fuck. A lot of the time their also kind of pointless, but the vividness of them and my ability to recall them is stronger than it’s been for years.

There was also that incident where I swam into some semblance of consciousness to find a spirit kind of… looming over the bed? There was another running back and forth across the window above the bed throwing shadows on the wall. Of course I’m not great when I first get woken up, so my increeeeeedibly appropriate response was to tell them both to fuck off because I was trying to sleep.

*Sigh* I am my own worst enemy.


Fairy Tales May Be 6000 Years Old

Not really news to many of us, but an interesting read on how language has been used to trace fairytales back through generations.


Link: Mycenaean soldier dig

This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization

The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists

This is very, very cool. The find of this soldier brings into question current theories on how Creatian and Mycenaean cultures interacted and developed.


Link: Weight Loss for the Soul

Strange thing on a magic blog I know, but part of my new year magic is going towards this self same goal, and I think this post will be one worth coming back to late so I’m linking it.

Adventure’s in WooWoo – Weight Loss for the Soul

And, on the off chance anyone cares enough around here to take offence with this post – What you do with your body is your business. Your weight doesn’t make you a better person or more beautiful… but my weight, though not massively high, is having clear negative health effects and needs to be dealt with.


2017 – The year ahead

Well this is going to be a fun one isn’t it.

At the centre of it all we’re all a little overwhelmed, standing rooted to the ground as the beast bears down on us and unable to make a move in defence, and what we need to do is move. Strategically that is. This year we must tell the difference between confidence and unthinking brashness. The latter will serve to do nothing but see us torn asunder.

January sees us still in defensive mode. More than ever we need to step back and check in with reality. Are we defending ourselves against butterflies in our fear state? Have we lost sight of the real issues to be faced? 

February is time for reflection, there is much to be done but it must be planned. Put aside weapons that no longer serve, and meditate on that which will. Gather your strength through rest and calm this month.

March sees results, but with them responsibilities to shoulder. That which you have been working for has begun to manifest, but at what cost? Do you have the strength to bear the burden or do you need, now, to hand the reigns over to others?

April is a threshold and as with all thresholds it asks us to make decisions. Do we stay put in the calm of known waters or do we make the leap into unknown territory? To stay is to stagnate, but to make that leap into the unknown is always a risk. 

May is the time to nurture your vision. Results have begun to roll in, if you’re playing your cards right, but it all will only be sustained if you can put aside your doubt and continue to steadily breath life into it.

June sees the potential for positive energy to feed into our lives. The Queen rides the energies that surround her and dances with them. Look to the positive energies in play in your life and work with them, nurture them and let them lead you to productivity.

July is once again time to stop and reflect lest we lose our way and our battles cease having meaning. Reflect and remember why you’re fighting, review the little details and make sure you aren’t becoming lackadaisical. There’s nothing worse than charging to victory and realising you lost yourself and your magic along the way.

August once again tells us to look up and take stock. It may feel like we’re trapped but the bars aren’t really holding us, we’re just too caught up to see it through our despair. 

September brings on a gentler energy, but one that equally requires your full attention. The garden is blooming but unless you continue to tend and cultivate it your work will be for nothing as it will wither. 

October is the month where the heart really takes front stage, we’ve lived in our heads for quite a while. Find a way to channel your emotions, give them productive outlets, and take control of what’s happening in your life. Emotions aren’t your enemy, they’re a powerful weapon in the arsenal when they are well known and given productive outlets. 

November is time to refocus on balance. Bring yourself in line, check your indulgences and your battles. Share. It’s all a game of give and take between you and the universe, as much as between you and the neighbour.

December… the year ends with the beast tamed, but not dead. Sorrows, grief, despair, these aren’t things we can kill, but we can learn to control and contain them. The queen is a force of strength and clear sighted decisions, follow in her steps as the year comes to a close. Let the beast be tamed, if only for this while.