October 27, 2019

Religion by definition has a mysticism to it. No matter what creed or denomination or belief system, it all has to do with the human and supernatural exchange. There’s something otherworldly about it, as with witchcraft, so the two are necessarily linked in my mind. I think people balk at the idea that a belief system like Christianity has anything to do with mysticism or magic, but in my mind it absolutely does. Witchcraft has historically been viewed as the wrong side of the coin, something sinister and dark, but the two work in tandem, and that’s always intrigued me.

Tamara Jobe
Interview with H/M

repetition celebrates a cut the song has made. likeness severed from the binding self. in a short drawn breath, we are mourning both the intake and expulsion.

I at least, for my part, indeed, for myself.

the foricalmarks the point in the ploughed land where the furrows cross. the surrogate birds collect here and hesitate.

the quick of the present, softened into the conditional, which props up those who the song has emptied. it looks accidental. maybe the listing is accidental.

[…] attacks upon urban oligarchies in the early seventeenth century were common in Kent, particularly in Faversham in the decade after 1610, and Joan Cariden’s verbal assault on Mayor Greenstreet and his jurats may well have been in that tradition. Clearly dissatisfied with the administration of justice, the troublesome woman threatened to petition the lord warden of the Cinque Ports and instructed her son to ‘goe and arest goodman Chillenden’, and her son also said that ‘he could not have noe justice of Mr Maior’. By mid-September 1635 Faversham had a new mayor, but ten years later Robert Greenstreet once again took up office, and within twelve days, intriguingly, Cariden had been thrown into gaol. Soon afterwards she was tried and executed as a witch. […]

Joan Cason, the witch hanged at Faversham in 1586, confessed not only that John Mason ‘had the use hir bodie verie dishonestlie whilest she was wife to hir husband’, but crucially that she had failed to make the bequests stipulated by her lover in his will. Guilt over this omission caused Cason herself to believe that the deceased Mason had sent the rat which paid frequent visits to her house, in order ‘that she shoolde see hys wyll fulfylled & … she dothe thincke that yt as Masons soule’.

Jonathan Barry, Marianne Hester and Gareth Roberts, Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, pp. 268 and 280

ruddock | the winder | otherwhile | and now | we
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the forical
anyone | when spree | chitter | o | thrible
anyone | but | upon | the | rush | mouth | which | bly
still | for | lirry | the flinder | lip | and | hussle
whitter | but | into | thicket of reeds | still | the song skipjack | bring | the song
| whipsticks | melting | if | and now | that stilt

Galatea exemplifies the disembodied glimpse—the stealing glance— a gestural point in the transaction of male desire. as performance of volatile elusiveness, she is constantly already evaporated. a grieving in the weed and the wood.

labial reflection of the lily. guttural reflection of the lily. beautiful tumour of the dirge. the mouth is afraid of inexact retrieval. Galatea’s round eyes grow mildewed in the foam of the poem.

But concerning these images, it is certeine that they are much feared among the people, and much used among cousening witches, as partlie appeereth in this discourse of mine else-where, & as partlie you may see by the contents of this storie following. Not long sithence, a yoong maiden (dwelling at new Romnie heere in Kent) being the daughter of one M. L. Sttippenie (late Jurat of the same towne but dead before the execution hereof) and afterwards the wife of Thomas Eps, who is at this instant Maior oi Romjiie) was visited with sicknesse, whose mother and father in lawe being abused with credulitie concerning witches supernaturall power, repaired to a famous witch called mother Baker, dwelling not far from thence at a place called Stonstreet, who (according to witches cousening custome) asked whether they mistrusted not some bad neighbour, to whom they answered that indeed they doubted a woman neere unto them (and yet the same woman was, of the honester & wiser sort of hir…

Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (London: Elliot Stock, 1584 (reprinted 1886)).

the | mouth | itch | so as not to | bring
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the ood
cluther | now | lilies | the | limb | someoneday | lurry
sit | after | the oare | the saltings
nohow | for | equal | one-eyed | cut song | truly | flee
her | ood | lilies | but | stolt | see | the saltings

little clicks the poem makes. anything can be swollen like this, outside of its quantity, into the sum of the sand. the shepherd puts aside the ox, in favour of the gift which is to die alongside, though only in the dirge, where he sits himself desolate. in the stubble that remains after the cut.

in the word dois the allusion of possession not present in the dirge itself. the poet bestows upon the dead a sense of ownership; that they may keep their own death like a small and tidy house. any action contained in the word is a form of work.

every way, on every side, all, let me tell you.

this dying is a solid thing. though we could not know it.

Mildred Wright is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Wilson is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Mary Read is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Martyn is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Ashby is hanged for being a witch on July 30 1652.
Anne Ashby allegedly ‘swell’d into a monstrous and vast bigness’ (like false pregnancy) in court, claiming she was possessed by her spirit Rug. This was witnessed by E. G. Gent.
[…] Mary Browne, Anne Wilson, or Mildred Wright (the author is uncertain) is tested with a pin; she neither felt the prick nor did she bleed.
[…] Mary Read of Lenham allegedly has a witch’s mark under her tongue which she shows to many, including E. G. Gent.

E. G. Gent., A Prodigious & Tragic History of the Arraignment, Trial, Confession, and Condemnation of Six Witches at Maidston Kent, (London, 1652) p. 6.

now | even now | grasp | the swell | in | salts
sit | bligh | bud | but | yet still | fatting
longtails | the linger | maudring | in the ersh
as if all went | to rights | o | doers | to die with | gifts
we | jawsy | kiss | lip, a lip | fret
and now | sartin | o’er | the body | welter | shut | love

Eleanor Perry

Forget Me Not
A curse full of regrets made with no regrets

• A poppet or representation of target
• A jar or container big enough to contain the poppet
• Rose petals
• Strips of paper
• A pen
• Candles

Pre-make poppet (this is a curse poppet so please make accordingly). On each strip of paper (and there should be a large amount) write “Forget me not.”

• Have all of your supplies on your workspace.
• If you usually cast a circle, do so now.
• Light however many candles you want to. They’re mainly for dramatic effect.
• Kiss the poppet (sweetly, if you can manage).
• Now place it into the container. With each line you say, place a strip of the paper you wrote on into the container with it.

Forget me not
Forget me never.
You will regret this mistake
Now and forever.
Cross me once.
Cross me twice.
Now that you have,
You’ll see I’m not so nice.
I whisper to you nothing sweet.
I whisper to you nothing kind.
But you’ll always remember me.
I shan’t fade with time.
You had me once.
You had my favour.
You threw me away.
Now not even the gods can help this be over.
Forget me not.
Forget me never.
You’ll remember me
And regret forever.

• Once this is done, close and seal the container. I recommend doing something like blowing the buried poppet one last kiss before doing so. It will never be opened again unless you want to break the curse.
• If you cast a circle, close it now.
• Put the container somewhere hidden or throw it away. I do not recommend breaking this curse.

Source here

This path is not for all

November 25, 2016


…we first have to enter the darkness of Midnight’s Sabbat, and therein face the procession of distorted masks that whirl past in the macabre dance of the grotesque witchen revelries, for by facing and rectifying them we realize the beatific beauty shining beneath. This path is not for all and not for the ill-prepared, its lonely crooked mile being lined with the bones of those who have been rendered mad by those things haunting the darkest recesses.

Martin Duffy
The Cauldron of Pure Descent in Hands of Apostasy

A witches initiation ceremony.

People: Hierophant (H) (Initiator), Candidiate (C), Hierophant’s Working Partner (P), Summoner (S) (Hierophant does his part if S unavailable), High Priestess (HPS) (actually, H or P, depending on gender).

Needs: blindfold, nine foot red cord, short white cord, oil, scourge all ordinary esbat requirements.

Preparation: Candidate stands outside Circle to NE, blindfolded and bound by members of the opposite gender. Wrists are bound together in back by middle of a 9 foot red cord, knotted in front at throat with ends hanging down front as cable-tow. A short white cord is fastened to the right ankle with ends tucked in so as not to trip C up, saying: “Feet neither bound nor free.”

HPS casts Circle. Opening ritual is followed to the end of the Drawing Down of the Moon, but the Charge is not yet declaimed.

Summoner fetches Sword (or athame) from the altar, and opens a gate in NE. S, H, and P face C and S issues the Challenge:

S: “O thou who standest on the threshold between the pleasant world of men and the dread domains of the Lords of the Outer Spaces, hast thou the courage to make the assay ?”

Placing point of blade against C’s heart, S continues:

S: “For I say verily, it were better to rush on my blade and perish, than make the attempt with fear in thy heart.”

C: “I have two passwords. Perfect love and perfect trust.”

S: “All who have such are doubly welcome.”

H: “I give thee a third to pass thee through this dread door.”

H grasps C above waist with H’s left arm, kisses C on the lips, and swings C into the Circle with H’s body, from behind.
S (or P if no S) closes the gate. H leads C to each Quarter in turn, saying:

H: “Take heed, ye lords of the East (South/West/North) that N… is properly prepared to be initiated a priest[ess] and witch.”

H leads C back to centre of Circle (via East) while coven dances around, singing:

“Eko, eko Azrak, (etc.)….”

… over and over, meanwhile pushing C back and forth among them, until H calls a halt.

Partner then rings bell three times as H turns C to stand before the altar, with C’s back to the altar (i.e. facing South if altar is in North). H stands in centre of Circle, facing C (and altar). H says:

H: “In other religions, the postulant kneels, while the priest towers above. But in the Art Magical we are taught to be humble, and we kneel to welcome her [/him] and we say: [kneels]

‘Blessed be thy feet, which have brought thee in these ways;’ [kiss r. foot, then l. foot] ‘Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar;’ [kiss r. knee, then l. knee] ‘Blessed be thy womb[/phallus], without which we would not be;’ [kiss above pubes] ‘Blessed be thy breasts [/breast], erected in beauty [/formed in strength] ;’ [kiss r. breast, then l. breast] ‘Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the sacred names.'” [kiss on lips] [rises]

H: “Now we are going to take your measure.”

H, aided by another witch of the same gender, stretches a button thread from the ground by C’s foot to crown of C’s head and cuts it there with athame or bolline. Measure C once about the forehead with the cut thread and knot at the point of overlap, again about the heart starting from the same end [knot], and lastly about the hips across the genitals [knot]. The measure is wound and placed upon the altar. H asks:

H: “Before thou art sworn, art thou ready to pass the ordeal and be purified ?”

C: “I am.”

H, aided by another witch of the same gender, helps C to kneel, head and shoulders bowed forward.

The loose ends of the short cord are unwound and C’s ankles bound securely. The cable tow is fastened to the altar. H fetches scourge from altar as Partner rings bell three times, saying:

P: “Three.”

H scourges C firmly, but tenderly, thrice.

P says (but doesn’t ring bell):

P: “Seven … Nine … Twenty-one.”

And each time H scourges C with the number of strokes P has named, and all should be light, yet firm, save only the very last which may sting somewhat as a reminder that H. has been deliberately restrained. Hierophant then says:

H: “Bravely thou hast passed the test. Art thou ready to swear that thou wilt always be true to the Art ?”

C: “I am.”

H: “Art thou ever ready to help, protect and defend thy brothers and sisters of the Art, even though it should cost thee thy life. ?

C: “I am.”

H: “Then say after me: I, N…, in the presence of the Mighty Ones, do of my own free will and accord, most solemnly swear, without any reservation in me whatever, that I will ever keep secret, and never reveal, the secrets of the Art, except it be to a proper person, properly prepared within a Circle such as I am now in. This I swear by my hopes of a future life, mindful that my measure has been taken; and may my weapons turn against me if I break this my solemn oath.”

H and other witch of the same gender help C to feet. P fetches anointing oil and chalice of wine. H moistens fingertip with oil saying:

H: “I hereby sign thee with the Triple Sign. I consecrate thee with oil …”

H touches moistened finger to just above pubes, right breast, left breast, and above pubes again. H moistens fingertip with wine and anoints the same three places, saying:

H: “I consecrate thee with wine …” H: “I consecrate thee with my lips … [kiss as above] Priest[ess] and witch.”

C is now unbound and the blindfold removed by H and assistant of same gender. New Initiate is welcomed by coven, then presented with the Working Tools. As each tool is named, H takes it from the altar and passes it to the Initiate with a kiss. As each tool is finished with, the assistant takes it from the Initiate [kiss] and replaces it upon the altar. H says:

H: “Now I present to thee the Working Tools.

First, the Magic Sword. With this, as with the athame, thou canst form all Magic Circles, dominate, subdue and punish all rebellious spirits and daemons, and even persuade angels and good spirits. With this in thy hand, thou art ruler of the Circle.

Next I present the Athame. This is the true witch’s weapon and has all the powers of the Magic Sword.

Next I present the White-hilted knife. Its use is to form all instruments used in the Art. It can only be used in a Magic Circle.

Next I present the Wand. Its use is to call up and control certain angels and genii to whom it would not be meet to use the Magic Sword.

Next I present the Cup. This is the vessel of the Goddess, the Cauldron of Cerridwen, the Holy Grail of Immortality. From this we drink in comradeship, and in honour of the Goddess.

Next I present the Pantacle. This is for the purpose of calling up appropriate spirits.

Next I present the Scourge. This is the sign of power and domination. It is also used to cause purification and enlightenment. For it is written: ‘To learn you must suffer and be purified.’ Art thou willing to suffer to learn ?”

C: “I am.”

H: “Next and lastly I present the Cords. They are of use to bind the sigils of the Art; also the material basis; also they are necessary in the Oath.

I now salute thee in the name of Aradia, newly made priest[ess] and witch.” [kiss]

H and P now face the new Initiate and deliver the Charge.

The Initiate may consecrate his athame here; he must consecrate it before using it.

Cakes and Wine.

The Initiate is now presented to each Quarter in turn by the Hierophant, saying:

H: “Hear ye Mighty Ones of the East [S./W./N.]; N… has been consecrated priest[ess], witch and hidden child of the Goddess.” [to north declaim: “Hear ye Mighty Ones of the North; Boreas, thou guardian of the Northern portals; thou powerful God, thou gentle Goddess; N… …. (etc.)]

Close Circle.

A “graduation” party should follow.

A Witches Bible: the complete witch’s handbook
Janet and Stewart Farrar