The Crone

February 24, 2018

I am the silence of midnight,
and black velvet skies.
I am the shadow of vision
that tempers your eyes.
I am the darkness of secrets
that draw the veil thin,
The coldness of winter
that shakes on your skin.

I am Grandmother, Weaver,
Enchantress and Crone.
The knowledge of Justice
that strikes at the bone.
Destruction is mine when its time comes to be:
Death to the living, who all come to me.

Mine is the hand of the spinning of fates.
Mine is the passage between life’s fragile gates.
I am the giver of magickal sight,
The slight sliver of waning moonlight.
I am the branch of ageless worn trees.
Hear my voice and know me!

I am the Raven that flies through the woods,
Black silken wings opened up to the sky!
Bearer of closure, competition, and truth
Dreamscapes and Banshee am I!
Mine is the wisdom that comes in the dark.
Mine is the dying that calls to your flesh.
Mine are the hidden remains of your heart.
Mine is the mist that will take your last breath.

Give unto me what is old and outworn,
And I will return it with new life reborn.
Give me your sorrows, your sadness, your grief.
And in the dark hour, I will give thee relief!

I am the giver of death and rebirth,
Mine are the last things, before they are first.
See me in the shadows, and in the dark sea.
I am the Crone!
Hear my voice and know me!

destroy it first…?

February 20, 2018

A witch is, actually, a successful (in the sense of surviving) deviant. You have a cultural, ideological, social, what-not pattern which is, for that society in question, normal (and, importantly, this is understood as a synonym for natural). Most people survive because they conform to these patterns, because they behave normally. …But then suddenly you get a deviant which survives, and since it does not draw its support from the normal pattern…that deviant is understood as drawing its support from “unknown,” “supernatural” sources…If we cannot survive without our order, how can she [the witch] survive in solitude? Hers must be indeed a very powerful order to exist so independently, without all the inter cooperation and individual compromise which we have to go through to survive. And if it is so powerful, then it could destroy us. We must try to destroy it first.

Maya Deren
Notebook of Maya Deren”, October 1947


January 2, 2018

We are the blood
of the witches
you thought were dead.
We carry witchcraft in our bones
whilst magic still sings
inside out heads.
When the witch hunters
imprisoned out ancestors
when they tried to burn the magic away.
Someone should have
warned them
that magic cannot be tamed.
Because you cannot burn away
what has always
been aflame.

Nikita Gill

crazed with the torture

December 17, 2017

When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

Virgina Woolf
A room of one’s own

Lady of the Lake

December 3, 2017

Body of water
Body of work
“A body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing”

Call it a healing ritual
Or a mercy fuck, whichever you like.
Corporal act of mercy — that sounds nice

It was on an afternoon woven of equal parts
Sunlight, aimlessness and proscribed botanicals
A young hero in need
As they often are,
Of a body of collected knowledge
A body of work

Where the sun came in I was gilded
Where the shadows fell he was oak leaf and ivory
A cascade of glossy black down his back
Where the fire inside touched us both
We were molten copper
A burning ship
St. Elmo’s fire wreathing the mast
Climbing along the rigging
Reflections like flaming coins scattered
On frantic waves

No. Not ocean.
I was a lake,
I have always been a lake
Until some idiot threw a sword in me.
There’s always some idiot with a sword.
How’s a natural phenomenon to have any peace
With people always mucking about making an omen of one
Requiring auguries, questing after this vision, that revelation
Or simply demanding that one reveal or conceal the artifact of the week?

My sister’s a cenote.
What’s thrown down her, vanishes.
Cold jade waters.
Colder silence within.
I am more temperate, if no warmer.
I prefer the give and take
Though it means my contemplations will be disturbed from time to time
By this one making a deposit
And the other one drawing something forth
A regular lending library, some centuries.

The sword was hot, newforged
Or so I recall.
There was, as always, enough and more
To quench the burning brand, temper the steel
I think, from time to time, this annoys some of them
The sheer inexhaustibility
Of a body of water, a body of work, a body of collected knowledge
As if it were somehow a reflection on them.
No matter. The sword went in.
As I recall, I gave it away again later.

My old lover the witch in her tower
Used to tease me
Call me a plaguey thing for giving her gifts away again
Roses cast up on shore,
Bits of ribbon for the ravens to carry off
Hey, offerings come and offerings go.
Collect knowledge. Disburse.

The sword stayed for a while.
The hero died.
They do, you know. It’s generally part of the tale
Though people may not always want to hear it.
Swords outlast them as a rule.
Lakes outlast swords.

There were currents cold within me
Green weeds wreathed my heart
As I took in the sword, drew it down
The word “fathom” was not made to describe
What was in my young hero’s eyes
They widened as he felt the water close over him
I was still too much lake
To tell him that he was a hero
That heroes die.

My silence disturbed him
More than he had disturbed mine
But the waves we made together
Rocked him to peacefulness
Or exhaustion.
A body of work, whatever else it is, is just that. Work.
We came back to ourselves
In that room of dust and oakleaves.
The shadows were longer. We had come very far.
What water was left spilled down my cheeks.
Struck dumb as any oracle, I held him,
And with what little kindness I had left
Carefully told him nothing but stories of swords.

Elise Anna Matthesen

Raw Honey

December 1, 2017

He draws on the iron claws
forged by the blacksmith,
eats the raw meat and honey
the villagers have brought him,
last of all
pulls on the thick pelt.
Dark smell, earth smell.

Now, you say, he becomes a bear.
Truly a bear, though summerlong
he’s lived among them
learning to hunt and growl,
learning bees and old gods.

What happens next? I ask.
We’re skin and skin,
the night’s around us
as your lips move, storyteller.

Next, you say, he goes into the woods
where the wolf-demon dwells.
The villagers never see him
again, their protector,
but their milk stays uncurdled,
cows’ tails uncut, bones unbroken.
They know he saved them.

But they never speak of him.

Only the witch remembers,
wise-eyes makes an offering
yearly, on the day the bear walked
into the demon woods.
She burns rowan, brings honey
and sweet, sweet berries
for him
who heard the bear king’s last breath,
who killed the demon,
who was man and bear
and asked for nothing.

Silence. I’m crying
as you do, after a story.
We drift to sleep.

I dream of iron claws and honey.

Sara Norja

Can I Fly Too?

November 26, 2017

You are a witch.
You taught me
To hear in the slurping of mud
The cry of the Ban Shee
To see in the life cycle of the caterpillar
The struggle of the soul
Towards immortality.
Take me.
You alone could turn the weight of years
Into release, ecstasy.

Philip Hobsbaum


November 24, 2017

It is your destiny so to move your wand,
To wake up storms, to run through the heart of storms,
To lay bare a monument like a nest in a thicket,
Though all you wanted was to pluck a few roses.

Czeslaw Milosz


November 11, 2017

you pull on your wolfskin
and escape into the arms of the night while
your adopted family sleeps in a house
far too small for them all.

you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget the way they called you a witch,
malice dripping from their tongues.
you pull on your wolfskin
and dance with death under the stars
while the fae keep watch.
you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget that after the night
the morning always comes.
you pull on your wolfskin
and sing with the grey wolves in the oak groves
until your throat bleeds.
you pull on your wolfskin
and run and run and run
until your legs collapse under you.
you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget the boy who wouldn’t open his mouth
to say a single word to help you.
you pull on your wolfskin
and pray to the gods that it’ll keep you safe.