If You Forget Me

April 30, 2017

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

Pablo Neruda
translated by Donald S. Walsh

happy for the darkness

April 30, 2017

The year was 1945. It was during the war. I was about 15 and we were having one of our blackouts, manoeuvres – I forget what they were called, but we had these blackout practices, and we were sitting in the dark, me and my friend Minnie.

We were sitting on the stoop in Brooklyn and I had my arms around her because it was dark. I wasn’t scared; I was happy for the darkness, because I was able to put my arms around her and smell her. She had a very particular and beautiful smell. And so I was sitting like that with her, and she was embracing me too, when the lights went on, quite suddenly, or so it seemed, because I was oblivious to the time. And there was a woman who lived in the building that we were sitting in front of and she saw us holding each other that way. That was the first time I heard the word ‘lesbian’. She said in a very typical Jewish way, she said, ‘Look at this! A couple of lesbians.’ That was the first time that I heard that word.

The very next day I ran to the library, and I looked up the word ‘lesbian’ and I felt so proud of myself because it talked about the Isle of Lesbos and it mentioned something about Radclyffe Hall, who wrote something called The Well of Loneliness, which I took out that very same day and read and reread and reread.

So that was my first experience in hearing that I had a label: besides being a girl, besides being Jewish, I was a lesbian. Yippee!

From an oral history tape made with Sandy Kern, a Jewish, working class, butch lesbian, at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, New York, 1984

And, further, let men know that passion resides in different parts and members of the woman’s person, and that by applying to these the necessary Chandrakala or preparatory attouchements, great comfort and pleasure are experienced by both husband and wife. On the other hand, if the process placed in the table opposite the respective days of the lunar fortnight be not performed, neither sex will be thoroughly satisfied; indeed, both will be disposed to lust after strange embraces, and thus they will be led by adultery into quarrels, murders, and other deadly sins, all of which may be avoided by studying and bearing in mind the Chandrakala.

Passion resides in the woman’s right side during the Shuklapaksha, the first or light fortnight of the lunar month, from new moon to full, including the fifteenth day. The reverse is the case on the dark fortnight, including its first day, and lasting from the full to the new moon. The shifting is supposed to take place by the action of light and darkness, otherwise the site of passion would be one and the same.

Now from generals, Kalyana Malla, the poet, proceeds to particulars, and supplies details concerning the four different classes of women. He begins with the Padmini, and shows, firstly, in what limb or member passion resides; and, secondly, by what process it can be satisfied. The husband must continue his action till he sees the body-hair bristle, and hears the Sitkara – the inarticulate sound produced by drawing in the air between the closed teeth. Thus he will know that the paroxysm has taken place, and the beloved one is thoroughly satisfied.

The Ananga Ranga
SIR RICHARD F. BURTON (Translator)

see fairies

April 30, 2017

Few humans see fairies or hear their music, but many find fairy rings of dark grass, scattered with toadstools, left by their dancing feet.

Judy Allen
Fantasy Encyclopaedia

deliberate solitude

April 30, 2017

She was so much better at being alone; being alone came more naturally to her. She led a life of deliberate solitude, and if occasional loneliness crept in, she knew how to work her way out… Or even better, how to sink in and absorb its particular comforts.

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Nest

that is a door

April 30, 2017

The doors to the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Women Who Run With the Wolves

Beltane Blessing

April 30, 2017

With Beltane (May Eve) upon us, this is a simple little spell to bless our garden and bring fertility and harmony to your little piece of Green. It is my belief that when conducting spells/rituals for blessings, love and happiness in general you should approach this with a happy heart and with fun it is ‘intent’ that makes any magic work after all…

You will need;

• 4 pebbles/stones
• paint and paint brush
• compass (app on your phone will be fine!)

Firstly with your compass work out which directions of your garden are North, West, East and West, when you know this keep in mind the following correspondences…
• North – Earth
• South – Fire
• East – Air
• West – Water

Choose the pebble/stone that you feel matches the most with each direction/element and then take each stone and paint a symbol or a word on each to welcome the blessing for example:

• North – Earth – Word/Growth or Protection
• South – Fire – Word/Energy or Abundance
• East – Air – Word/Harmony/Clarity
• West – Water – Word/Fertility/Joy

When you are happy with your pebbles/stones and you have taken time devising your word or symbol take them at sunrise on Beltane (May Eve) April 30th and plant each pebble in the corresponding (North, South, East, West etc) part of your garden. This must be at sunrise and you must take the time to feel your garden beneath your feet, the dew on the plants and grass, the warmth or light from the sun and any breeze that may be in the air. Welcome the elements in harmony into your garden and ask them to bless your garden to make it a happy, fertile place.

Source: Bell, book and candle

30 th April

Busy, busy day. People arriving last night, more this morning. Later there will be queues for the shower. Chaos rules, as always. Then a small convoy of cars to Plymouth where our feast will commence.

Unfortunately the weather forecast is not good for today: rain may be coming in off the coast; so a wet, weary Beltane, perhaps?

After an afternoon of eating and drinking we will all travel to a secret location. There wood has already been prepared for our bonfire, the sawn logs covered to keep them dry. Even in the rain we will have a Beltane bonfire – come what may, we will leap the flames. And heavily cosmetisised women with flowers in their hair will dance round the Maypole in delicious abandonment.

One of my favorite times of year.

For The Sleepwalkers

April 29, 2017

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible

arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.

I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,

palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.

And always they wake up as themselves again.
That’s why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.

Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music

of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.

We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds

and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.

Edward Hirsch

Curse Tablets

April 29, 2017

Overall, the language and the structure of judicial defixiones follow the developmental pattern of curse tablets in general. The earliest examples name the opponents; they sometimes invoke local deities by their familiar names, though some examples omit both verbs of binding and the names of the deities; and they mention the physical and mental faculties, usually tongue and mind, to be bound or tied up so that the targets will be unable to pursue their case. Later examples, by contrast, tend to be longer, to use secret names and mystical terms (the voces mysticae), to invoke spirits and deities from many traditions, and to provide specific details for every aspect of the binding process.

In general, the potential defendant in a legal proceeding seems to have resorted to a local professional, perhaps to a magos, in order to commission a defixio.

John G. Gager (editor)
Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World