the moon and lunar power

November 21, 2019

The contemporary image of the witch incorporates detritus from many religious sects over many millennia. Like the wall of a Crusader castle in the middle East, it rests upon a foundation of remnants from a variety of periods. Like Hecate and Diana, the witch is associated with the moon and lunar power. Like Aphrodite and Venus, she can make love potions and fly through the air. Each attribute of the witch once belonged to a goddess.

Erica Jong
Witches

Keep it sugar free

November 12, 2019

Did you know –

October 31, 2019

Did you think when you burnt us…when you put our flesh to the torch…watched the flames lick the skin from our bodies…that the wrath of our revenge would not return…that the atavistic vengeance of our anger would not resurface and return to destroy your own Souls reincarnated in the same pallid flesh which light Souls always regenerate in…fools…pale fools with minds chained by morality and orthodox hatred…a new Dark Age is upon you, the world is becoming enveloped in uncertainty and chaos…and this is only the beginning of your torment, of our retribution…when set light to the Daughters of Satan…when you hung the Daughters of Lilith…you murdered only the flesh…Our Spirits rose like the flames of the phoenix from our ashes and cursed you stagnant Creeds to damnation…that Curse is now beginning to manifest itself…and with those who now call themselves our Brothers shall aid us in the final vanquishing of your crumbling monarchies!

Brother Salem
666 Salem

true witches

October 23, 2019

The world needs more witches. Women who fly in their dreams, and who have decided to rid themselves of everyday labels and walk free. Woman who can laugh out loud and ignore the people who call them crazy – because they have renounced submission and merged with the natural world around them. Women who have left captivity and risen – now they will stop for no one, they are invincible and without doubt. They are transformed. They are true witches.

P

THE SPIRAL’S AT HAND

October 18, 2019

My sisters, we’re burning — but not in that fire!
The spiral’s at hand where we love, rule, and flower
Our world into life. It’s our time to inspire,
My sisters! We’re burning! But not in that fire —
Our witchy souls fly home to truth and desire —
We’re turning at last — in our own sacred power —
My sisters. We’re burning. But not in that fire!
The spiral’s at hand, where we love, rule, and flower.

Annie Finch

female intimacy

October 13, 2019

More explicit depictions of sex between women appear in northern Europe, where the invention of the printing press profoundly altered the nature of homoerotic imagery by providing formats that were reproducible, comparatively inexpensive, and small enough to tuck out of sight. Printed images of female homoeroticism were common by the early sixteenth century, indicating widespread demand, and these scenes, too, reflect men’s attitudes toward female homoeroticism. But here the emphasis is often less on men’s pleasures than on their fears. Images of women touching one another in bathhouses blend with illustrations of witchcraft, a concept that returned to popular attention as a result of interest in classical, mainly Roman, texts. Sometimes satirical, but growing more earnest over the course of the sixteenth century, treatises on witchcraft emphasized its connection with female intimacy, citing as a common symptom women’s belief that they had traveled in the night among Diana’s groups or other all-female groups. The still common belief that witches fly on broomsticks may be traced to these texts, where descriptions of groups of women riding oiled sticks ‘to their pleasure’ allude to communal masturbation. Johann Weyer’s 1563 medical book is explicit in declaring that witches become ‘inflamed with love just as young men are for girls.”

Christopher Reed
Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas

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

The truth is that the witch is a descendant of ancient goddesses who embodied both birth and death, nurturing and destruction, so it is not surprising that she has both aspects. But when religions decay and gods are replaced, there is a consistent dynamic: the gods of the old religion inevitably become the devils of the new. If serpents were once worshipped as symbols of magic power, they will later be despised as symbols of evil. If women were once seen as all-powerful, they will become relegated to obedience to men and feeling pain in childbirth. The symbols remain but their values are reversed. The snake in Genesis is now the devil. The first female, Eve, has gone from being a life-giver to a death-bringer. Good and evil are reversed. This is the way the politics of religion work.

The contemporary image of the witch incorporates detritus from many religious sects over many millennia. Like the wall of a Crusader castle in the Middle East, it rests upon a foundation of remnants from a variety of periods. Like Hecate and Diana, the witch is associated with the moon and lunar power. Like Aphrodite and Venus, she can make love potions and fly through the air. Each attribute of the witch once belonged to a goddess.

Erica Jong

Witches   

The Figure of the Witch

April 9, 2019

Witch-woman,
burning goddess,
every woman bears
within her soul
the figure of the witch

Erica Jong

Witches