I’m trying to pin down my witchcraft aesthetic and methods. I am definitely an urban witch, but not in the sense of “adapting woods witchcraft to a city.” I’m not a technowitch either; I’m very particular about touch, so I like having physical objects–books, tarot cards, etc. I thought maybe making a photoset would help me out, so I started clicking around tumblr for ideas.
Corporate witchcraft is super interesting to me. My work is not my life, but I love the idea of a stylish, chic witch woman (me) navigating the corporate maze with her subtle witchiness. Things like planning projects and launches around the moon phases, wearing different perfumes depending on what blessing you want, casting a pick-me-up spell into your Starbucks coffee, using your spare change as offerings to the gods and spirits, keeping a sigil for safe travels on your luggage tag… I love all of that. Modern, classy, urban witchcraft.
Reading Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett is filling me with so much emotion about Shinto and, more generally, Japanese animism. I went through old photos of when I lived in Japan and I am so overwhelmed by nostalgia and memory. There were shrines everywhere. I remember the tree that had been struck by lightning next to Inuyama Castle, and how the people of Inuyama claim that the tree had saved their beloved castle from the bolt, and so they have enshrined the tree and make offerings to it. I remember the towering torii and the austere yet compassionate face of Inari Okami. I remember the little stone statues with their bibs and hats. I remember dutifully cleansing my hands with water before entering any shrine.
And yet I cannot reconcile how Shinto views death as impure with the fact that death is the bedrock of my spirituality. As beautiful as Shinto is, I must only look to it for inspiration, so that I too can build a faith and practice as deeply embedded into my daily life as Shinto is embedded into the Japanese way of life.
Tonight’s journey did not go very well, or very far. I think it’s because I’m really tired.
I go down the usual hole in the ground. Gienah is with me in the tunnel this time. I practice tearing down my steel plated shield and turning it into a suit of armor. But when I reach the end of the tunnel, I can’t step over the threshold. I feel like I am being pulled back. I sit down.
Gienah looks at me and says we should go through.
Suddenly it is winter in the black forest and I am walking between the pines. The black castle looms above. The sky above it is a winter gray. The lava beneath my steel armor keeps me warm. As I pass the trunks of trees, I touch them with my hands, leaving behind sowilo and wunjo runes. (I don’t realize they are sowilo and wunjo runes until I come out of trance and look them up.) I think to myself that I should put protective runes around the castle and resolve to come back after I’ve memorized them.
I stop in front of a natural-looking archway made by trees. Someone hides behind the other side, but I don’t know who. I don’t sense malevolence, but my gut tells me not to walk through the archway. I turned to my right and head up the hill toward the castle instead.
Gienah flies to my shoulder and I ask him about the secret phrase, but my words and thoughts are sluggish somehow. He does not answer. We do not make it up the hill before he tells me my time is up.
a long dark hallway, with torches on the right. i run my left hand on the left wall. i am wearing my steel armor. the wallpaper is gray with black embellishments. victorian? i can’t tell, it’s too blurry. there is a light at the end.
suddenly i am at the window. there’s a balcony in front of me. it’s nighttime outside, with a roundabout and courtyard in front of the house i’m in. a black horse gallops wildly on the smooth dirt. wolves howl in the distance. beyond the estate there are black forests and mountains. it’s cloudy.
the horse becomes gienah who flies to my arm. “it’s been a while.” we fly.
Continue reading “Journey 10/3”
- Þorrablot – celebration of husbands and fathers
- Góublót – celebration of wives and mothers
- Dísablót – celebration of female spirits + ancestors
- Sigrblót – 1st of 3 major yearly sacrifices, beginning of summer season, celebrates victories
- Midsummer – celebration of life
- Alfarblót – 2nd of 3 major yearly sacrifices, first day of winter, harvest festival and prep for leaner winter months
- Jól / Yule – 3rd of 3 major yearly sacrifices, Odin and the Wild Hunt
Looks like Sigrblót, Midsummer, Alfarblót, and Yule all generally fall on the equinoxes so I can play with that. The other three occur in winter: mid-January, mid-February, and “depends on context,” respectively.