Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Wrong & the Rite of It

I am not a big advocate of open rituals, my dislike of such events is a big contributing factor to my non attendance at many well thought of camps and conferences.

Organising pagans has been likened afterall to being much like hearding cats, in my opinion (as the budding local mad cat lady) cats are easier to organise, but I suppose that is a whole other story. Anyway, where was I, Oh yes open rituals and associated events.

Today I saw this posted on Facebook:

All I can say is those images reminded me about everything I hate about an alarmingly fast growing sub section of the Pagan community, as I viewed this video I could almost hear Alec Guiness in best Obi Wan Kenobi mode whisper “Stonehenge – You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany”!

It also made me think about a little “rantette” I made along a similar vein last year after being persuaded under duress to attend an event:

I am not in any publically percievable way either emotionally or physically crippled, I did not get hit particularly hard with the ugly stick at birth, and I am aware of how to enhance the non ugly stick afflicted attributes I have with the judicious use of expertly applied (if minimalistic) makeup and well fitting clothes that do not include tie die. I wash, dear gods I wash, admittedly with chemical free (pedants please don’t argue that everything has a chemical composition, you know exactly what I mean), cruelty free products, but non the less my bathroom has a full compliment of personal hygiene products that get used on a regular basis, particularly my hair products, I have a stunning head of hair, and lank is never a good look, I realise that if I do not have time to wash and style my hair then there are cunning tricks to disguise this fact, namely tying it up, or head scarfs or hats, and I do not use perfume, particularly anything patchouli based, to hide stale sweat——[snip]——I don’t give offerings to my crystals, I don’t worship the goddess (I’d like to research this “the” goddess, which culture does she come from, what attributes does she have, where are her centres of worship?), I have never had a clue and still don’t, despite a very long and tedious talk, what an aura is or looks like, and what seeing one can do for you – except that it may have something to do with a very poor interpretation of fourier series mathematics and alchemical re-ordering of elemental metals by getting rid of protons; wtf???. And I really have no clue what a Hedge Druid is, despite how hard and meaningfully somebody might look at me whilst they decare that is what they are.

I know these views are not popular, I suspect that many who read this post will think that I am selfish, stuck up, middle class snob, well guess what, I am, and proud of it, for I certainly can’t be proud of the images of the Solstice Celebrations currently floating around You Tube, I am totally, utterly and inexorably ashamed by any Pagan who would willingly participate in such a debacle.

This being said, I am aware that for many, who, for a number of reasons, do not have groups to celebrate with, Open festivals and rituals are their only way to access the wider pagan community and a limited experience of group work, but there are ways and ways; people perhaps should be looking to their local groups and sacred sites, not only would it perhaps open up wider long term oppertunities but it would go a long way to reduce their “magickal mileage”.

I had the honor of being invited to attend a small open gathering this year run by a local group, a group of friends, who despite varying paths and beliefs are able to produce beautiful, cohesive and powerful rites (rather than the ritual chaos often seen at open events); this maybe because they are friends, but I suspect this is more because they aren’t weekend wiccans, they actually walk the walk, all those invited (and not all pagan) thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the work they did and the only thing that was left behind to mark our passing was the sound of our laughter drifting on the wind.


When my mother turned 30, thinking that perhaps her life of learning was now far behind her; she decided that each year she would make an attempt to learn something new. Her rationale being that as the brain is effectively a muscle the more you “exercise” it, the healthier it will be. It is an ethos I believe has stood her in good stead. For although now in her sixties with a body that is failing her fast, her mental acuity is still as sharp as a razor.

For her this involved learning such skills as lace-making, car mechanics, pottery and eventually the cuisine of a different land each year, even now she can whip you up a Greek Meze or a Thai banquet from scratch with little effort and little thought to referencing a book, she can go to an international food store and ask for the ingredients using the region specific names, lol and admonish the shop assistant if they try and palm her off with an inappropriate alternative.

For my mother, the art, the magic, of food, is the care and devotion put into the preparation, and presentation. The offering of food is in many ways a mark of respect, no well thought of person goes away from her house unfed or un-watered, although it is sometimes obvious who she wants rid of quickly.

Not too far into my 30’s I decided to take a leaf out of her book and started finding “new” things to learn every year. Casting my mind back, I think that is where my total fascination with the Goddess Hekate first stemmed from. At the time I was well and truly entrenched in the study of Cochranite influenced Traditional Witchcraft.

Cochrane and Evan John Jones made several vague references to Hekate (although they used the romanised vernacular – Hecate), it struck me as a little unusual,  that a tradition that seemed to heavily entrenched in a system that apparently was focussed on the Genius Locii of this fair land to include a Goddess who was effectively a stranger.

Not long after that the draw became irresistable, that husky voice whispering in my ear at that grey time just between wakefulness and sleep. And although I still persue my resolution to learn something new every year, Hekate has remained with me ever since. She seems to enjoy utilising my new skills. I think she has worked out that I am never going to write her pretty poetry with which to stand at her alter and sing her praises. She has enough people to do that for her already.

Instead she finds new and interesting way to toment me ahem I mean get her dues. This year I decided that I would learn “end to end” the process for creating a woollen garment, from cleaning the fleece, through spinning, to actually knitting said item. Imagine my chagrin that whilst perusing knitting patterns online one day, I came across one predictably entitled Hecate.

“That One” whispered the voice in my head, “that one, that one, that one”.

Upon reading the pattern I discovered that it required a good 1000m of laceweight yarn, laceweight, the holy grail of many a new spinner, a category I most definitely fell under having only purchased my wheel a mere month before. It took me two months to spin the yarn and a further two months to make the finished garment, the actual number of hours well in excess of a 100. Truly an act of devotion, whether I liked it or not.

And that was the lesson I suspect it was intended that I learnt, for years I had mantained that I wasn’t a devotee, I didn’t do devotion, I worked with her, I might even work for her, and in the greek sense of the word, I could be considered a Priestess of her. But devoted I was not.

Devotion to me inferred some kind of religious fevour, unquestioning and very fallible belief in a particular deity, neither of which I was capable of doing. I still can’t.

But a mark of deep respect I can do, like my mother, I can create magic in a well prepared, manufactured and presented and apparently mundane task.

A Mark of Deep Respect

Shadows at the Crossroads - A Mark of Deep Respect

Perfectionism or Procrastination?

So having spent a fair portion of the first half of this year working on other projects, some Hekate related, others not, I realised that somewhere along the line getting this site up and running has fallen by the wayside, part of the problem is my perfectionist nature, I find it very hard to do anything unless I can guarantee 100% commitment to what ever the project is, obviously what enevitably happens is that not a lot ever gets done, a totally unsatisfactory occurance all things considered.

So in an attempt to rectify this I have started adding pages to the book review section of this site, I hope people find it informative and perhaps the subject matter thought provoking. The first review is up and can be located in the pages section (look in the menu to the right) under, yup you guessed it “Book Reviews”, it is a review of “Hekate, Liminal Rites” by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine; anyhoo possibly rambling now so I will shut up and let you enjoy 😀