Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The universe will come up with the resources when the witch needs them. That's one of my little maxims, & today I've had another example of the inertia of the universe helping me.
An occupational health appointment just came through the letterbox. I have already asked my 'manager' to cancel it, but I'm going to follow through. It would be a waste not to say to occy health that she's expecting me to carry more than my weight, failing to provide me with competent colleagues, then making out I can't cope. Like this she'll look a fool in addition to being pissed off her new carpet got ruined the day after it was laid.
Poetic, that's the signature of my magic.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Witchcraft & the Art of Dyeing Things Black

I have commented here numerous times on the wearing of black clothes. It means all sorts of things to all sorts of people, but perhaps it most represents to me my valued plainness. I swear I must have been an old-fashioned Quaker in a previous incarnation, & to that I would attribute my values of plain living, clear thinking, plain speech (to the point of rudeness at times) & which find their embodiment in plain dress. Regardless of what my black may mean to the rest of the world, it represents clarity & nothing high-falutin' going on, at least at the time of writing.
Ironically it can be as difficult to keep black clothes black as it is to look after white clothes. Dyeing things is a very efficient way of restoring clothes' blackness. Given what I've already said, magically it can be a way of putting on, or restoring, simplicity & clarity. In fact I feel the act of dyeing clothes can be both a magical act & an allegory of witchly living.
I will confess to one disastrous attempt at hand-dyeing a shirt purple in my youth, which put me off. And perhaps the reputation dyeing has for being difficult & esoteric is the way in which it best reflects the 'craft of the wise'. So in a spirit of plainness this is where the Hound demystifies the process.
Unless you particularly want to experiment with effects or have lots of experience & a good knowledge of the chemistry, don't waste your time. Get a reputable machine dye & follow the instructions to the letter.
If your intention is to change the colour of a garment you must make sure it's the correct fabric to take the dye: to attempt otherwise is the kind of thing you read on forums: 'how do I undo this spell?'
Don't try to dye too much, it won't work.
Don't try to speed the process up, of necessity it takes several hours. You are actually starting a complex chemical reaction in your washing machine, opening up the 'pores' of the fabric & subtly changing it's composition. 
In addition to these intentional actions there are just a couple of things the witch must accept in life.
The reality is that fabric dyeing has a huge environmental impact, through the amount of chemicals & water used, particularly if bleaching is necessary before dyeing. Of course the lowest-impact clothing is made of unbleached, undyed natural fibre. My personal view is that the witch does well to face the reality that the garments we buy have already undergone these processes before they reach us. Balanced against this is the devastation wrought on clothes industries in poorer parts of the world by the impact of we affluent people giving away numerous clothes which are often exported. By freshening up our black clothes with dye, we can reduce the number of clothes we buy, rather than reusing or recycling them, which are lower down in the environmental hierarchy.
You may need to do an extra wash with bleach afterwards to clean the machine. There is a rumour that a lot of people find they can't wash whites in their machines after using them for dyeing. That's what comes of wearing white, & is a hint from the universe that moving over to black is the way ahead.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

'Twelve Step' Witchcraft

Since I posted recently about sobriety, incorporating the most witchy value of seeing things without the influence of a substance, as they are, I have found myself reflecting on the famous twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (the originals are here). I have been thinking about how they would interpret into witchcraft terms. What I think is possibly most magical about them is the way they are cast in the past tense – these things have already happened, reflecting a most important frame of mind in magical thinking, living, and working (I like to say that wishes never buried managers, and she was actually supposed to be working with me yesterday and rang in sick. Result!). They are also about doing things, and one of the problems we have in the modern witchcraft movement is that many of its adherents look for some kind of statement of belief of creed such as the Christians have, and since our Craft is based more on doing than believing, that is almost impossible to create. Conversely my witch mind feels most uncomfortable with the idea in the steps of relying on a power outside oneself. While this is not really to criticise the twelve steps, and this is certainly not intended to be a witchy replacement for them for an alcoholic, these steps are just calling out to be turned into a witchcraft statement of action. This is my poor attempt at one; there are actually only nine and as usual I make no claim to its perfection or infallibility. Probably in true witch style the steps would be better seen as spokes of a wheel to indicate return and repeat, or even choice.
We realised our duty to take ownership of our lives and responsibility to implement change to prevent the same things recurring until we could face them. We admitted to ourselves where we had given this sovereignty to others.
By a searching and fearless moral inventory we sought to identify the reality of our lives and situations, accepting our power to name needs, actions and situations to identify them, so that we could no longer delude ourselves with untruth.
We acknowledged the existence of many realities beyond our own, including divinities. We see them as actively present to us, in us, and ourselves as able to co-create with our divinities while being their agents in the world.
We came to see the universe as a place where all things interact. As part of this, we understood that the resources we need will always be available when we need them, if we are capable of seeing them .
We saw our need to understand our world by means beyond the visible. By divination and recognition of signs, we came to know that we could see past, present, and future. In so doing, we recognised the ebb and flow of life, and so became ever more part of them, and able to influence them.
We accepted that often we would not be able to see the consequences of our actions due to the nature of the situations we were acting in; we returned to a moral inventory to make judgements as to what to do. In denying the concept of sin, we aimed to make our vision of right and wrong clearer and more flexible.
We accepted that in taking the mantle of witch upon ourselves, we became a source of misunderstanding, yet also a source of change, liberation, and magic, to other people.
We did not claim to have the final answers to the meaning of life; instead we acknowledge that our knowledge is usually at best partial and we cannot claim knowledge beyond our small sphere.
We admitted that there were times when we had lived in fear. While confessing that our way will never be for all, we proclaimed this as our message of hope, that people can live with joy, not in fear of judgement or other people. We call this joy the ecstasy of the Goddess.
(Image credit: here)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Lady will Provide

...and that is one of the ways the witch knows things are moving, when things inexplicably start falling into place. For example in the Acocks Green area of the city (the accent is on the long A, not the O, by the way) today, I not only found the box set of a TV series I've been looking for for ages, but also found my manager (pictured) staring at me in a charity shop window! Of course I had to buy it (the woman closed the zip saying he wouldn't be able to speak, but I closed it again, saying that silence is required) & then some pins from Wilko for the next part. This really is a gift from the universe, a case of more opportunities coming along if you make use if them.
Incidentally, apart from the inane grin & idiotic expression, I hadn't realised how like Zippy my manager is in personality, making it all about her & wanting to be friends, while ignoring other people's views & actual misconduct completely:
'...Zippy claims to be the best at whatever is being discussed, and always claims to be right. He loves to eat sweets, sing songs and tell his favourite jokes, and always has to be the centre of attention. For example, the other characters might be having a discussion, when Zippy would shout: "But I don't want to talk, I want to sing! I'm very good at singing! [starts singing] I'm a little teapot short and stout, here's my handle and here's my spout..."
'Due to his frequently loud behaviour and silly voice getting him into all sorts of trouble, other characters in Rainbow occasionally zip his mouth shut, rendering him unable to talk. On at least one occasion he unzips himself, although he appears unable to do so on most occasions.' (Source

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Urban Grimoire: My Favourite Banishing Spell

I wouldn't like my readers to get the impression I think they need pictorial instructions, but surely the two pictures here are graphic enough to explain the spell. The good bit of using loo paper is that the writing on it can be customized (pictures, words, sigils, etc) and any required substances applied before making the offering to Cloacina. Incidentally she was largely invoked for fertility in it's widest sense & that's why this spell is so good.
The Madam and Eve cartoon is largely opportunistic, since it's only since I posted on Jacob Zuma's very plushh toilet at Nkandla that I discovered in contrast the ANC is expecting it's voters to use completely unenclosed toilets.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Importance of Memory

In my last post I wrote about cursing my immediate manager. Of course as so often happens I've cast a spell & have wound up being the agent of the spell.
In this case my manager decided she had no option but to take my letter to her boss who is instituting an enquiry into the fairly major concerns I raise.
And here's the Importance of memory. There is a great Christian tradition that if we forget other people's sins & concentrate on our own, God will forget ours. This is one of the things which allows clergy to abuse children with impunity. There is another broader spiritual tradition which also advocates forgetting. Much of the modern therapy culture accents forgiving & moving on. This is bollocks & I am the witness that this is so.
One of the reasons my manager is now furious that this has started (and remember she only had to adjust my duties slightly) is she knows I keep notes. Not mental notes. Actual notes in a notebook. I also save emails of importance in a particular folder. I have a flight bag of things as well, stretching back seven years to the spot of bother at work that made me realize the importance of this.
I know it seems anal, & is such an INFJ thing, but it means I have chapter and verse at my fingertips. I can provide dates I told her things repeatedly & her response. She has none of this, because she's so uninterested in her job she doesn't do any managing at all, let alone keep records.
In fact - my friend overheard her comment that I once left a tea bag on the side in the kitchen. That is the level on which she can answer me.
Witches remember!

(Picture credit: here)

Urban Grimoire: Boss Curse Again

One of the things which divides magic from religion is the question of judgement. It is to a great extent the temerity & arrogance of the sorcerer in presuming to make judgements & intervene in reality, which will always make us a scandal to the pious.
There is a further presumption in our arrogating divine help to ourselves. Just as any Biblical prophet, we presume to be the intermediary of divine judgement, & much of the discipline of magic is putting oneself in communion with that divine judgement.
I have already cursed the chief executive of the organisation I work for this year, with gratifying results. I like the effects of my magic to fit & be proportionate to the crime & his results were so good.
Now it is the turn of my immediate 'manager'. She has known me for a decade & is an idiot. She's an idiot because she should know that to cancel four appointments for my appraisal so that it is months late, give me only one session of my monthly management supervision in eighteen months, then express 'concern' that I'm not coping, acknowledge that I'm carrying more than my weight in the workplace, yet refuse to take any work off my shoulders, then repeat that I'm not coping when I tell her for the umpteenth time that it is unreasonable to expect me to cope with colleagues who are incompetent or actively sabotage our work, and then to try to tell me my lack of coping is somehow related to my problems with my mother... Well, that's like holding up a big sign to the universe to give her a good slap.
She was horrified to come in the next day to find my letter formally requesting to have my work load reduced in line with my colleagues' & formally raising my concerns about some colleagues by name, with specific examples of the things I was telling her about. I know she was horrified because she actively avoided me, & it's not even like she can run to her boss about it, because she's spent years giving the impression everything's ok. For that reason she also can't afford to have me bring a grievance, & this is without the...shall we say, information I've got on her.
Of course I haven't neglected the magical action & this ones been much more old school. Warning: this is real witchcraft & fluffies will have a fit. One of the things my matron Goddess likes best is blood, which translates to life, & this is why she is such a transitional Goddess of death & life. I went to a crossroads near my place of work which is a liminal place because of having a complex history including being a Roman camp, & I offered my manager to the Goddess. She is under the judgement of the Goddess to consume as she will.
In tandem a magical friend fed her to her familiars. The next day the article she turned into an object link had vanished completely, & my anger had left me completely, both very good signs.
The best magic is always home made on the hoof, don't you think?
(Image credit: here)