Friday, November 21, 2014

Spirit of Place: Birmingham Pub Bombings Fortieth Anniversary

(Picture credits: BBC/Mirror)
Some time ago I was trying to write a post on a witchy pub crawl of Birmingham, but I found it was impossible to put the words 'pub' & 'Birmingham' together without the word 'bombings', so I've been saving this up for the fortieth anniversary.
The episode is a shameful one on the city's history. It has left a legacy of blame, false accusations, recriminations, hatred, & miscarriages of justice. Real stories of locals affected by the bombings can be read at and more particularly at (from which the list of names below is taken).
But this is a witchcraft blog & of course I have a purpose to all this. You will read the received wisdom that the bombs were planted by the IRA, who have always denied responsibility, & the police's scepticism of claims of responsibility by another terrorist group. I don't know anything about terrorism, but I'm fairly sure there isn't another example of an apparently completely pointless terorist act. The Birmingham Six lost years of their lives through police incompetence, & the 21 lost their lives permanently. The witch in me hears a cry for vengeance. So for the fortieth anniversary, if you are in the Second City, please pass by the monument in the cathedral churchyard & say the names. Hear them crying for vengeance. Invoke whatever divinity you may believe in. If you don't, call on the spirit of Beorma. Somebody put those three (one didn't detonate) in places where they knew they would kill people, & has gone scot-free for forty years. You'll notice I say vengeance, not justice. Beyond the long arm of the law stretches the longer arm of the witch, & together let us say the names below & send it back. This is actually the first step to healing: you have to get rid of the cancer first, before you can forget.
Michael William Beasley, aged 30
Lynne Jane Bennett, aged 18
Stanley James Bodman, aged 51
James Frederick Caddick, aged 40
Thomas Frderick Chaytor, aged 28
James Goodlet Craig, aged 34
Paul Anthony Davies, aged 20
Jane Elizabeth Davis, aged 17
Charles Harper Grey, aged 44
Maxine Hambleton, aged 18
Anne Hayes, aged 19
John Clifford Jones, aged 51
Neil Robert Marsh, aged 20
Marilyn Paula Nash, aged 22
Pamela Joan Palmer, aged 19
Desmond William Reilly, aged 20
Eugene Thomas Reilly, aged 23
Maureeen Anne Roberts, aged 20
John Rowlands, aged 46
Trevor George Thrupp, aged 33
Stephen John Whalley, aged 21


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Winged penises, bereavement & moving house

It's a bit fraught in my house still. I'm in the middle of selling & moving, & in true witch style I've almost worked my way through one estate agent in a fortnight. Without naming names, they made a monumental cock up & I was forced to remonstrate with them. I wish people would stop crying when I'm trying to talk to them, it's most distracting. Anyway, also in true witch style, I have a little plan to turn this situation around to my advantage.
I'm not so distracted that I didn't notice the graffiti which form the first picture here. I looooove the halos, & apart from anything else, those are actually a genuinely ancient religious symbol. Forget your made-up Neo-Pagan traditions, kids, flying penises are that real ol' time religion! The second picture is of an ancient Roman amulet to prove that it's the real thing (sorry, I've lost the source):
'In ancient Roman religion and magic, the fascinus or fascinum was the embodiment of the divine phallus. The word can refer to the deity himself (Fascinus), to phallus effigies and amulets, and to the spells used to invoke his divine protection. Pliny calls it a medicus invidiae, a "doctor" or remedy for envy (invidia, a "looking upon") or the evil eye.' (

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A terrible warning

Me, that is. I'm a terrible warning. Or ought to be, to myself, if to no-one else. I am however, definitely the sort of sorcerer you get warned to avoid, by Llewellyn publications. I've written here before of the three magical entities I created, for no better reason than it seemed a good idea at the time. If nothing else, playing at magic seems to make it successfully spectacular, if the havoc created around me by my magical daughters is anything to go by.
Another of the main axioms of magic that I've come to understand better of recent years is that the magician is ultimately the target or object of all magic. This has been most recently shown to me by a spell I did on a friend, using the entity of the River Rea to bring her here. It didn't happen like that, but instead the kickback from it has worked on me to carry me to a place near the river.
It is a liminal place, also bounded by crossroads - about as witchy as you could wish to be. I'm now free to move because my poor old familiar was put down on Thursday, after suddenly becoming ill. Short of finding him dead in his bed it was the death I would have wished for him, as painless as possible. I don't know how muggles cope with life events, since for me it did genuinely feel like midwiving him to the next thing. I've been told since then he's happy & will be back soon. Definitely a person cat rather than a place cat.
It's stressful, of course, but this marks the end of my Hanged Man year & the move into my Death year. I have a feeling that after a year when all I could do was sit & wait (which I'm spectacularly bad at) I'm going into a year of loads of everything happening!