Saturday, September 21, 2013

Witchery

Let us set aside the notion of “men's mysteries and women's mysteries” for the moment, as they often beguile the unwary.

Instead, let us look elsewhere for our notions of witchery and its representation. The rhyming chant and dance work best; the dancers move together, their actions begin mirror the other at a certain point. Their words flow, rising and forming something else. The whole is more than the sum of its individual parts.

And yet something individual is occurring, too:

The Other is both represented before the self, and that larger thing is growing from gradually assuming the shape of it.

Some foolishly assume that the shape of the thing they are defines their capabilities:

Female witches have access to the same Secret Sun, the Sun-at-Midnight, that often guides male witches. In the hands of a witch, even every day household tools and toys become potent weapons. Take, for example, six young lady witches with a simple object: the doll. In the hands of these witches the toy becomes a weapon; the everyday object assumes new characteristics, new features.
Take a piece of Red String, not so different from the Golden Strings of Destiny woven and held by the Fates, encircling it in key places:
Bind the Feet, saying: “I bind you feet, that may not tread upon my paths.”
Bind the Hands, saying: “I bind your hands, that your actions toward me shall be impotent, without craft or agency.”
Bind the Mouth, saying: “I bind your lips, that you may not speak about me.”
Bind the Eyes, saying: “I bind your eyes, that you may not see me, not even reflected within the pools of Memory.”
Bind the Ears, saying: “I bind your ears, that you might not hear of me from the mouth of another.”
No need for pins, glass shards, nor the venom of bee stingers struck across the Poppet. Our young ladies have rendered their opponent obsolete; our dancing Maidens have simply taken control of the Field of Battle. Presumably at this point, they all take up broom-staves and fly off to the Sabbat dances of the Fair Folk and the Secret Sun, the Terrestrial Fire-Bringer who was beloved by the Moon, and the Stars, and all the Lands and Denizens of the Otherworld.

Who needs enemies when you can roam with the Wind, and Speak the Language of Stars, and Dance at the Border of All Things?

Men can look forward to the Crown of the Moon, not unlike Mercury being crowned by the Lunar Horns. Learning intuition. Subtlety. Different crafts to the usual. No need to have the biggest Sword, to confuse the ultimate Mystery of the Self with your Cock.

In the same way a mother can predict a child's action, learn to predict and see the patterns around one. They're easy to miss. Especially if your eyes are always focused downward.

Learn to avoid war; it taxes the resources, the patience, can leave you confused and bewildered. If you must engage the enemy, refute their terms. Hunker down, blend in. Covered in mud and plants may not sound like the ideal, but it allows for the choosing of a field. The enemy drawn in, hopefully at the dead of night, won't expect the metaphysical equivalent of IEDs. Beserkers do not hide and wait, and then flip out with the Blood Clouding Their Eyes and emerge as a series of explosions grip the world. They especially don't forgo the traditional weapons of war for a simple, poisoned dagger.


That's a great big Sword you've got there, sir
. Too bad you won't get to use it.

Still, one learns to prefer love and joy to war. The passions can be transmuted into dance; the frenzy can coalesce into poetry or prose. Great events are always occurring. No need to pretend we need them to be shaped by our own hands. Better to gather with the Maidens and Muses on the Moon.

They know all the best stories, already,
anyway.

And why fight men when you can parlay with dragons, hobgoblins, brownies? Barter with the Other Side, run sly deals from the crossroads. Retreat to the Secret Hearth to collapse at the End of the Day at the side of the Goddess.

And how was Your Day, ma'am?”

Agency and subtlety. Different co-mixtures, different potential paths, similar actions. Like the dancers at the beginning, working together for the Secret Task – be it healing, blighting, loving, or just stamping upon the ground in sheer joy.

The Witch Maidens need not confine themselves to the Hearth, like they've faced some Saturnian blight. Plenty venture into the wild, surrounded by the specters of werewolves, their beloved ancestors, friends that were never forgotten after they passed on.

Lads can extend their understanding of the bounded confines into the world around them. Narrow their focus from a vast swath, into a specific zone of interest. So many crafts to learn, you know? Abandon the outward expected appearance and move with their allies while seeming to be alone.

He was just sitting there,
Peering into the Coffee Cup:
A very Simple Thing to See,
And yet I'm quite sure –
He was in Another Place,
Talking to Other People.
The lips didn't even move.
Bounded and unbounded. Shifting and phantastic. Spectral, and suddenly all too material and solid. The witch dances between and with these things, taking their Other as they find it and working it until they become a bit more like it, a bit different from what they were before.

Fire learns to flow like Water. Earth becomes almost as Spectral as Air. Air condenses, the witch surrounded by an impenetrable veil of mist. There's no predicting what form it takes. It's the magic of dancing between raindrops, and shifting between times.

Did you know –
Once you saw the 15th century, and gathered with the beloved dead before that in the slums of Rome? You knew Saints, and saw the Fall of Byzantium.

Maybe once, you were a female Cathar. You've forgotten, and only the specters of Memory restore it. The Lethe's shackles broken and suddenly:

Oh, god, I remember now.

She left. I had only work. I'd been staring at a manila envelope, someone else's taxes written on pages inside. And I thought:

I'll just end it all.
Welcome back. But there's more than just misery on the other side. You've had loves, dreams, hopes, different notions of the Self, since the start of existence.

Round and round we go. Where we end, we never know.

Stop focusing on the obvious. Witches can be like Joan of Arc: with fairy-friends, and knowing the secret whispers of those that live in the hollows of trees... And then picking up the sword, crowned by the Everlasting Glory of the Sun.

Or they can be the spectral forms of the men, grinning from the shadows of times past. The no-good sorcerer; a bit to clever, a bit too intuitive, a bit too happy to learn whatever is necessary to keep going. The Hag him taught the Craft all too well. Introduced him to the Voice of Toads, uttered Prophecy of where to seek his Mask.

Each balances, forms the other side. Breaks out of the expected norms.

The ultimate Mystery, though, is how they all fit together. And this remains beyond my conception. Defies my understanding. Insists I keep searching and wondering.

But I'm fairly sure the key to it sits within the hands, and in the movement of the feet, of my Other.

Be seeing you,

Jack.

6 comments:

Strixtian said...

I LOVE THIS!

I've been focusing waaaayyy too long on magic from an intellectual stance and not even knowing it. It wasn't until I read this simple, poetic piece that I realized how much I've drifted from looking at witchcraft, and magic by extension, from the heart instead of the mind. THANK YOU!!!

Jack Faust said...

I just got mouth-frothing crazy and ecstatic and write bizarre things at certain points of the year, friend. LOL.

Strixtian said...

Naturally so.. it is fall pretty much, shit gets darker.. And your iconic witch is of the darker variety. Your mouth frothing frenzy is all too familiar.. :) especially for someone who's bday was last Friday the 13th.. Of course it's familiar.

What you've done with your writing was collapse together a whole bunch of stuff that should've have been so tightly compartmentalized. Compartmentalized. Good reminder of how much more tangible the connection is in a candle lit room, fire lit clearing in the woods, or when, as you've mentioned, you're entranced by the cosmic circular dance of witches that tends to sync you with everything else.

I too have just now let out a shmeel. Now were even.

Rose Weaver said...

Beautiful. Intuitive. You hit the jackpot with this one. This is it... the essence of it all. If some serious publisher doesn't hit you up to publish this piece, they don't know shit.

ladyimbriumsholocron said...

This is glorious and I love it.

tveirhrafnar.com said...

What a delightful find this night! Very lovely, Falling words and images. Thank you for it!