T is for Tools

I’m working on ‘things’. Planning, plotting, gathering.

Mostly I’m trying to figure out how the knots will work for that one over there, how to carve so that delicate lines will be maintained in relief for that thing there, and how to rejig the altar space because it’s big and yet too small. I miss my three tiered altar. I miss it’s beautiful dark stained wood and oodles of space in which I could separate the sections of my work.

This one is about tools. When most people start out they’re they’re stuck with the basic books and the basic list of tools – athame, wand, chalice, uhm, pentacle for earth? Salt? A rock? Ok, so the fact that I don’t actually know what the element of earth is represented by in generic beginner witchcraft/paganism probably says a great deal about the basic tool list and I.

I want to talk about the tool that isn’t on the basic list: The Key.

Cle De L’os – RhetoricHaystack

The key is easily the most invaluable tool I think anyone can have. It opens doors and doors show up a lot in practice right? Maybe not literally, but the key doesn’t have to be literal either. A key can work by association or by trigger or by magical working. It can open doors to mind places, to paths, to worlds, to a door in a city that doesn’t exist which leads to a warm bed where you’re safe for the time being.

They’re easy to come by, I started out using old and antique keys and skeleton keys. They’re easy to create, an item or a few linked together worked with magic to connect them to a specific door behind which lies whatever it is you want and then used repeatedly till the association takes the work out of reaching the place you’re headed. They’re easy to use, turn the key and step through the door to the place.

I’ve linked them to mind places and ‘astral’/spirit place. Here is the key for where I enter the underworld, here is the key to The City’s gates, here is the key to the house right at the end, and here is the one to the clearing on The Woods.

Anywhere I need a key to I can create one.

Keys can be bartered for many things if you have them made up right and the connections that want that sort of thing.

Unfortunately they can also be stolen. Worth keeping that in mind. They can be stolen and used to find you. Always have a way to disconnect them from the place and from you. Alway build in a failsafe. Always.

S is for Sex

Sex is magic, magic is sex…

I’m pretty sure I got that from Hellblazer. I could be wrong though.

I’m really not going into some massive in depth discussion on sex magic here. I haven’t read widely on the subject and most of what I know is from experimentation and experience.

What I want to point out is that, despite my own love of the combination of sex and magic, it’s not a fucking given that everyone who does magic does sex. Amongst magical practitioners are the asexual, celibate and traumatised. People who for one reason or another just don’t do sex and that we put such a huge emphasis on sex and sexuality in the West is off putting to many.

Hell, it’s off putting to me. I do sex magic with my long term partner, The Wolf. No one else. It’s an intimate and private practice. My sex and sexuality is not for public consumption and the assumption that it is is far too often made. There are many who choose to display their sex, sexuality… sensuality publically and often and that’s great.

But this whole goddess in touch with her suaxual energies and yoni and menstrual magic and yadda yadda yadda…

Not everyone’s cup of tea.

Now don’t even get me started on how fucking heterosexual most people sex is when it comes to magic either. Don’t even.

R is for Rites

We’ve never followed a conventional path, him and I. I don’t think we even know how. No words are ever spoken, not to start it nor to end it, truly. As always this is how our rites go.

I inhale the incense, letting it sooth away the aches and griefs of the past few days. Melting into the blankets as much as the shadow and flicker of the light. He runs his fingers over my face and through my hair. Sweeping them down my throat.

I still beneath his hands, letting go of everything but the sensation of his hands and my own breath. Still, quiet, sinking away. Palms sweep flat down my chest, fingertips drag across my abdomen… At some point a tug and pull of energy and I wake a little for a brief moment before surrendering, trusting, he acts in my interests as much as his.

I sink.

The smell of the Woods is achingly familiar and foreign at once. This is the Dark Heart of the Woods. As rich with life  as it is it smells of iron rich blood and decay in equal measure. Here is an underworld of it’s own kind. At it’s centre a tree large beyond measure with gnarled roots knotted through with bramble, littered with bones scattered by wild things. Above this, at the base of the tree where roots meet is the cavity where the bramble rise to form the Throne.

And on the Throne HE sits, or more accurately lounges, possibly slouches. One leg slung over what I take for the throne’s arm, the other stretched out. He has no care for the formalities that come with a throne the way you’d think one would. He’s barefooted and barechested, wearing naught bar worn leather pants. Draped across his shoulders is a wolf pelt, one that matches the colour of the Great Black Wolf’s. There is little light here and the air feels thicker than any I’ve known.

Here is the God of Wild Places.

Those are the words I wake with:

I see you,
I see Him.
The King upon the Bramble Throne,
The God of Wild Places.

He turns me over and I relax into his hands, awake now, aware of the pull and tug of energy more. I wrap myself around him and we sink together to other places built of breath and touch.

O is for Open

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Learn to be open.

Actually open, not ‘OMG this feather is a sign from the gods that I am an angel priestess and bird queen in a former life.’ type of open.

Say hello, say I’m here and I’d like to talk to you. Light the candles, spill the honey and milk upon the earth…

And then be open.

The spirits speak when you shut up and pay attention.

(And on that note I think the locals and I are going to get along just fine.)