Thursday, June 30, 2016

Weird shit: Catholic Euphemisms for Priest's Problems

In a true spirit of soothsaying it is high time we had another post pointing at the ridiculous danger in the world which is the RC Church's attitude to,  well, just about everything. I will never look on a particular dilemma in the same light after I have discovered the phrase is frequently used euphemistically in abusive priests' records by their superiors :
' Rather than any direct reference to sex or sexual behavior, even when it is clear that sexual behavior was involved, records of priest abusers often use some of the following code words:
·        MORAL IMPEDIMENT
·        DUBIOUS PERSONALITY,
·        INDISCRETION, IMPRUDENCE,
·        TROUBLESOME INVOLVEMENTS,
·        PARTICULAR DILEMMA,
·        UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS,
·        UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION,
·        EXCESSIVE STRESS,
·        MISUNDERSTANDINGS,
·        PROBLEM,
·        EFFEMINATE,
·        MISTAKES,
·        CHARACTER FLAW. (2008)'
' Nicknames of seminarians, priests, and bishops bandied around within clerical circles often offer an insight into problems and the sexual tone of the person in question and the institution. “Peaches”  (Bishop Larocque) “Bubbles”=(Cardinal Spellman) “Mother” & “Lola”= (specific superiors)  and “Lady Wakefield”=(Cardinal Baum) “Uncle Ted” =(Cardinal McCarrick) are all monikers that have been recorded within the clerical culture about superiors who priests cited as gay, sexually active, or permissive. Sometimes nicknames filter into the seminary records and are flags for deviant behaviors.'
In fact Cardinal Spellman is one of my favourite Catholic clerics:
'[Monsignor Eugene Clark of St Patrick's Cathedral in New York] dutifully worked as secretary for one of the most notorious, powerful and sexually voracious homosexuals in the American Catholic Church's history: the politically connected Francis Cardinal Spellman, known as "Franny" to assorted Broadway chorus boys and others, who was New York's cardinal from 1939 until his death in 1967.
' In the original bound galleys of former Wall Street Journal reporter John Cooney's Spellman biography, The American Pope?published in 1984 by Times Books, which was then owned by the New York Times Co.?Spellman's gay life was recounted in four pages that included interviews with several notable individuals who knew Spellman as a closeted homosexual. Among Cooney's interview subjects was C.A. Tripp, the noted researcher affiliated with Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research, who shared information that he had on Spellman regarding the prelate's homosexuality. In a telephone interview with Tripp last week, he told me that his information came from a Broadway dancer in the show One Touch of Venus who had a relationship with Spellman back in the 1940s; the prelate would have his limousine pick up the dancer several nights a week and bring him back to his place. When the dancer once asked Spellman how he could get away with this, Tripp says Spellman answered, "Who would believe that?" The anecdote is also recounted in John Loughery's history of gay life in the 20th century, The Other Side of Silence.'
Sources: http://www.awrsipe.com/Click_and_Learn/2010-03-05-code_words_rev.html and http://www.nypress.com/cardinal-spellmans-dark-legacy/
Picture of Bubbles credit: http://cbrowder.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/136-francis-j-spellman-controversial.html

Friday, June 17, 2016

Spirit of Place: Milton Keynes

Today I went to see my godmother in Milton Keynes (not my goddess mother, which would be more than a day trip since she lives in South Africa yah). I have never been there before, never felt a desire to go there but had the place sussed almost at once, when my godmother said, Oh look at that stone circle. It seems I am not the only one:
'I knew there was something odd about Milton Keynes from the moment I arrived. At first sight, one is reminded of the computer game ‘Sim City’there are so many straight lines, roundabouts and manicured spaces. But the genteel fa├žade hides a dark web of conspiracy, occult, supernatural and legend.
' As well as being completely aligned with the rising Midsummer Sun – and sitting upon a Ley Line –  Milton Keynes is dominated by pyramid structures, monoliths, obelisks, standing stones and stone circles, the latter proving a magnet to local pagans and witches. Together with its plethora of sinister street art (masked figures, owls etc…), conspiracy theorists the world over have concluded that MK is a so–called ‘super hub’ of the shadowy Illuminati.' ( Source)
In fact it seems the city is a positive hotbed of leylines (See here) but pagan ideas are actually built in, which despite literally decades of weird reading I had no idea of:
' Many other sites of interest are shown on a heritage map prepared by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation [1]. But the MKDC have not only made some effort to evaluate and excavate the archaeological features of the area, they have also created a few 'earth mysteries' of their own. As Jimmy Goddard has previously noted [2] the three parallel roads through the shopping centre are Silbury Boulevard, Avebury Boulevard and Midsummer Boulevard. And, although I have not been there to prove it, the midsummer sunrise should appear along Midsummer Boulevard, rising over the highest point in MK, the hill in Campbell Park known as the Belvedere. The terminus of this latter-day geomancy is a pond, with a powerful jet of water rising from the middle, surrounded by a circular hedge and paths leading off in the four cardinal directions.' ( Source)
And sure enough a simple internet search shows Milton Keynes and the surrounding area to be a hotbed of bickering magical people. No wonder the Hound felt strangely at home there :
'A culture of cloaks and cauldrons continues to bubble beneath surface of Milton Keynes 20 years after witches were granted the right to worship on public land in the city.
'Milton Keynes was the first place in the UK to grant Pagans land to worship on - today the spell-casting community numbers 680, according to coven chief High Priest Nick Woodley.
'But with different groups, different beliefs and different perceived powers, witches wands can collide.
'High Priest Woodley said: “There are different flavours of witches and disputes can happen, witchcraft is a loving, kind faith but sometimes it’s more like bitchcraft going on.' ( Source)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Busy World for the Working Witch

Once again I'm here writing about some bag of shit (the phrase should tell you in what sort of mood I've woken up from a nap). I subverted the 'pray for Paris' meme into 'cast a spell for Paris' but now that it comes to the events in Orlando I want to be more explicit as to how I think the witch actually should approach these things.
You see, sympathy isn't a great deal of use unless that's what you want, and sympathy is what is splashed right across the internet. When it comes to all sorts of injustices in the world the trouble is that the internet has given us a means of publishing our thoughts, but to me a lot of the point of witch craft is that we take action.
So here's what aI do in our world full of shits. On my altar I have a little carved Indian box, and in it lives The List. The List is an entirely personal list of the people whom the universe has sent my way to learn their life's lessons so that they can move on. When they learn these lessons I cross them off the list. It is as simple as that - no drama about it, if you come into the way of the witch and are a turd, you're going to get a slap. Also in the box are several other things. On an irregular basis I cut articles out of newspapers about turds, particularly rapists, child abusers and queer bashers. Those go in there just so that the universe can keep an eye on their shit. The most unusual things in there are probably two little rubber rings, which are certainly the most unusual present I have ever received. As a city boy you wouldn't expect me to have them anyway but they are the rings used to castrate animals. They are put round the testicles which then fall off. I'm always banging on here about how the universe will come up with the means when the witch needs them, and castrating rapists is something I'm passionately interested in so I was very pleased when the means to do it magically came to hand. Since rapists seem to be my magical forte they live in the box with The List and the cuttings.
Of course the working witch's altar is more like a work table than a worship space for liturgy and so the surface of my altar is always full of things in progress. I think I have posted here before about my Polish commando knife, designed for sneaking up on people and opening up their jugular. The Goddess wanted me to buy that in an antiques shop in Warwick fome years ago (and naturally the man commented that it was actually the most expensive thing on his stall). At the moment it is pinning down the complaints from my enemies at work. Once again - come into the orbit of a witch, take the piss, and you will find yourself getting your life lessons very quickly. That is progressing incredibly slowly and painfully (always a good sign). The accidents have started happening to people, some quite ironic and ridiculous ones. The best thing which has happened is that actually Zippy's life's dream has literally been snatched out of her hands when she thought she had it. You can imagine how sorry I feel for her - in fact a hallmark of my magic is that the punishment will usually fit the crime very poetically.
Every night I go through my works in hand, in my head. I actually do this in bed as I am going into sleep to help it get into my subconscious and thus start working. I visualise any little projects working out the way I will them to and extend the blessing of the Goddess where it is needed. And this of course is the point, witchcraft is different from all other religions in that I am not about to pray for Orlando. In witchcraft we are all active participlants in a divine world of action and reaction (I'm trying to find a neutral way to phrase the real meaning of karma here), and sometimes there are things you just cannot allow slide.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Reblog: Hex Brock Allen Turner

An estimated 600 witches around the world gathered on Tuesday night, at 10 PM (Central Time), to place http://nymag.com/betamale/2016/06/hundreds-of-witches-cast-a-hex-on-brock-turner-and-they-werent-all-women.html?mid=twitter_cut">hexeson Stanford University rapist Brock Allen Turner, his scumbag father, Dan A. Turner, and Aaron Persky, the judge who presided over his unbelievably unjust trial.
Organized in a shadowy Facebook group, aptly named "https://www.facebook.com/events/620293164794145/permalink/620833001406828/">The Hexing of Brock Turner," the witches--predominately female with a few men sprinkled in--conducted various Pagan-related rituals to promote karmic retribution on the sex felon.
While some merely lit candles and prayed to the Goddess, others went dark, using dog and cat shit, as well as placing a photo of him in "nasty ointment, urine, spit and hex words."
The hex, sent out to the 1,000 people in the group, used this personalized text:

Brock Allen Turner we hex you.
You will be impotent
You will know constant pain of pine needles in your guts
Food will bring you no sustenance
In water, your lungs will fail you
Sleep will only bring nightmares
Shame will be your mantle.
You will meet justice.
My witchcraft is strong. Our witchcraft is powerful. The spell will work. So Mote it be.

Source: http://www.papermag.com/stanford-rapist-brock-turner-witch-hex-1849619850.html
Image credit: http://www.everyjoe.com/2015/01/28/news/stanford-swimmer-brock-turner-caught-raping-woman-on-campus-street/#1

Monday, June 6, 2016

Spirit of Place: Yet Another Day in Paradise

Much as I -
Loved the central library;
Could see that it was an ugly nightmare of a building;
Have many happy memories of learning witchcraft there;
Think at least the ziggurat could have been retained;
Think it is a marvellous local landmark which will be sorely missed;
Wonder what the city council were smoking in the sixties that possessed them to build that next to the town hall;
Understand that the city council has always been embarrassed by it as an unfinished monument to their over-ambitious planning...
Think what you like, John Madin's architecture has really come into its own as a visually-effective demolition photo opportunity.
As it happens I have a very small piece of Central Library in my flat, and so can invoke the spirit of Birmingham any time I like by taking hold of it and saying the magic word 'Manzoni'. I must admit, now that vista is open, that it was a good idea.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Time Travel: Bristol Street

The spirit of place and how the witch interacts with it is an ongoing theme of witchcraft and of this blog. Given that another theme of the modern witchcraft movement is that of being open to many different sources of knowledge, it is also no surprise that the witch may consider herself able to journey in more than one dimension, and time is a frequently travelled dimension for the witch. I think this frequently takes the form of picking up something of the spirit of a place: for example we all know of places where every undertaking is doomed to failure. My workplace is one of these. If they'd bothered to ask me I could have told them that a former Roman fort where nothing will grow because of subsequent industrial use, was not a very sensible site to choose, but of course they didn’t. 
Anyway when it comes to being open to different sources of knowledge in time travel there is a very useful one. I have just bought a 1967/8 edition of the Kelly's Directory for Birmingham. I have deliberately chosen that year since it is near enough to the present for the life of the city not to be completely alien, yet is almost exactly fifty years old so the city has changed, while avoiding the problems of recognition caused by the comprehensive post-war reconstruction of the city centre. I have been flicking through it and found several surprises, in amongst many things I expected, such as the heavily industrial use of St Paul's Square. The place I have chosen for my first walk into the 1960s is a relatively short stretch of Bristol Street,  on the east side and starting with a local landmark :
My passage into the past was aided here by the fact that the numbers of the buildings have remained unchanged in the past fifty years and some buildings recognisably show their origins: for example this one has got 'bank' written all over it. Yet it also speaks of a time when the customer was not limited to a very few big-name banks, and there were multiple small regional banks. Ironically, the voracious Lloyds Bank started in Birmingham as one of those.
One of the things already present in the city fifty years ago was 'foreign' eateries and next we come to (on the left)  what was an opticians shop in 1967 and on the right, what has obviously been a licensed eatery since then and in fact in 1967 was the Oriental Curry Castle. Judging by the advanced state of dereliction of the buildings and the uniformity of their last makeover, my INFJ mind fits these facts together to make the conclusion that these buildings have the same owner, who was more interested in them in past years (around the seventies I'm guessing by the softwood windows)  but for whatever reason has since lost interest. Is anyone else picturing deep red flock wallpaper? 
Next we come to numbers 10 -12,  and we will find that in 1967 the building was occupied by Alfred Allen furnishings (presumably downstairs)  and Miss M Lewis MIDMA, MMATD, (both with commendation),  a dancing teacher, presumably upstairs. Unfortunately I have been unable to discover what Miss Lewis's qualifications or decorations actually are.
Number 34 provides us with apparently the only business left from that time,  Ladbrooke Pianos. It seems to have been an artistic building in 1967 since the wonderful Ian Campbell Folk Group were giving it as their address as well (incidentally their album recorded in The Crown, Ceilidh in The Crown is available on youtube and was the first folk music album ever) and also a firm of artists suppliers. I do love that the building is now an Ethiopian restaurant and love even more that for some bizarre reason it is named after the shamrock, not the plant with the most obvious Ethiopian connection. Unfortunately I have never eaten there - you see, I have read its food safety rating, and oddly nobody ever seems to be eating there. I wonder what it is a front for! 
Finally we return to the bank theme at number 36, the former premises of the Birmingham Municipal Bank. In fact it is extraordinary how banks have cropped up in my thoughts doing this post. Even the directory itself has an advertisement for the Birmingham Incorporated Building Society on the front. My only regret on my first public time travel is that the building at number 22 is plainly not the same as it was in the sixties: I was looking forward to commenting that it was a greeting card company called Gay Greetings Ltd!