Category Archives: Animism

Feeding Spirits and Bones

By | Animism, Festivals & Sabbats, Witchcraft & Magic | 9 Comments

They slept in total darkness for a month, carefully wrapped in soft cloths and furs, hidden away in a box. Quiet and patient spirits inhabiting skulls, bones, feathers, teeth, claws, horns, antlers, stones, fetiches, and a witch’s tools. Then one day light flooded in and gentle hands descended to remove them one by one, laying them out first on a blanket and then arranging the spirits on top of a antique dresser nicknamed “the beast”; a massive, solid wooden creature with hidden drawers, ancient keyholes, and intricate barley twists. Skulls grinned, feathers ruffled, and blessed water shone blue through a holey stone and a silver ring – all on a softly spotted tawny deer hide layered with the fur of a black wolf. Old Man and Old Woman settled their ancient bones back into the remnants of creatures native to their wild domain, no doubt having missed their shrine and the once regular offerings to be found there. The Moon’s candle was restored to its place above breasts and belly carved from stone, surrounded by offerings. She eats beeswax greedily like blood offerings, leaving nothing behind. A candle lit to welcome the spirits back with sweetest incense burned and fresh water…

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Forest Spirit Fest

By | Animism, Cooking, Ethnobotany, Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Herbalism | 44 Comments

he Shaman, the Poisoner, and I arrived at Raven’s Nest when the sun was at its height in the blue sky. As we set up our tents and the axe throwing targets, we quickly discovered how the camp site got its name; ravens circled with loud croaks and the flapping of their great black wings. The Poisoner croaked back, having a conversation with a particularly large grandfather raven. It was a pleasant discovery for all in attendance at the festival as Tynehead Park is in the middle of a booming, ever-expanding city.  Unlike crows, ravens do not like cities or people, preferring wild places. The park is likely one of the last hideouts for all the wild creatures that once spilled out over the land where rows of suburban houses and box stores now rule. We also learned many of the park’s serpent names are not coincidence either – there are plenty of snakes to be found! Tynehead is most well known for its Serpentine River full of salmon. The salmon have attracted black bears, coyotes, ravens, eagles, and all manner of smaller creatures creating a wonderful biodiversity which the city folk don’t seem to appreciate as they keep trying…

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The Girl Who Found a Feather

By | Animism, Bones & Blood, Charms and Talismans, Spirit Work, Storytelling, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

A Journey into the Magic of Birds and Feathers Originally published in issue 25 of Witches & Pagans Magazine, September 2012. he story of Raven stealing the sun was always my favourite as a child. The idea of that great black bird creating humans and stealing fire and light for us humans made perfect sense to my little head stuck in a book of Native folktales from the Pacific Northwest. There’s no proof, but I would highly suspect my early love of fairy and folk tales may be what led to me becoming an animist, worshipping nature and all its creatures with awe and wonder. That and my earthy backwoods parents who like to live away from cities and talk to plants and animals I’m sure.  Along with folktales, I fell in love with birds at a young age and quickly claimed my mother’s field guide to North American birds as my own. I remember memorizing their names and the colours and patterns of their feathers. I loved to watch them from my window and out in nature and listen to all their songs from the beautiful ones of robins to the cacophonous croaking of crows and ravens. Birds are…

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A Serpent Sings of Bones and Blood

By | Animism, Bones & Blood, Books, Witchcraft & Magic | 7 Comments

hud! I sat up quickly in bed, hearing the strange sound outside my door. Upon getting up to discover its cause I find a parcel from Scarlet Imprint containing a hard cover copy of Serpent Songs: An Anthology of Traditional Craft curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold and full of the writings of familiar practitioners. Normally receiving one Scarlet Imprint’s works in the mail alone would be exciting, but this time my own words sing within the pages for I am one of its serpents and I sing a song of bones and blood in the final chapter. I stroked the olive grey cloth and admired the shining serpents, undulating endpapers, and pages of gilded letters. I cleansed and blessed the tome with holy water and suffumigations of sandalwood incense. Like all of Scarlet Imprint’s hard covers it is a beautiful book with a beautiful design, beautiful fonts, and beautiful thick paper filled with beautiful words. In the world there are few quality collections containing the writings of modern Traditional Witchcraft practitioners. This one is full of the voices of hedge riders, folk magicians, cunning men, seers, and witches. We are all so very different and yet the heart of our magics…

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Own Your Shit, or How I Became a Witch

By | Animism, Folk Magic, Storytelling, Witchcraft & Magic | 56 Comments

Shit’s been getting real. I don’t know if it’s the solar flares, the spring equinox, the dark moon, and retrogrades of Mars, Mercury, and Saturn all happening this week or if it’s my Saturn return really starting to kick in. Welcome to the crossroad folks. I’ve spent the past half-year in a dark night of the soul (albeit a rather cheerful, social one) trying to accept everything the Fates throw at me with the grace and balls of a Lady. I like to think I’ve been doing quite well at it, but some things have suffered a bit while I was figuring out who I am, who I want to be, what I want to do, and what direction to take my art and businesses (you know, the light stuff).  My blogging and writing have definitely suffered. I’ve been so introspective and some of my spiritual practices have felt so private that I’ve had a hard time wanting to write for public consumption. But… Saturn and I have been chatting (it’s much easier to go along with the Old Man than to resist) and he somehow crushed all my fears so that I was left wondering why I let them…

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