Back on track!

Well, I’m back finally from my very long hiatus.  I didn’t intend for it to last as long as it did, but there were some blog issues that had to be resolved.  And I flew the coop and migrated west and built a new nest and hatched some chicks.  That took some time too.  But, anyway, I’m back and I’ve got lots of new posts lined up.  If you would like to contribute a guest post at any time, please email me at chirpatsparrow@gmail.com.  Please note the new email address and update your files.  I’m also working on setting up a companion podcast on tumblr.

 

All Tied Up, Part 4: The Ties That Bind

Handfasting.  Everybody wants to get handfasted, but few people seem to take it seriously.  While some folks go the extra distance to find some one who is legally ordained, most Pagans jump the gun on jumping the broom and decide to get handfasted “well because we love each other!!!”.  Then, when the relationship breaks up, they seem to forget all about the very religiously binding vows that they made before the Lord and Lady.  Seldom is there ever a handparting to tidy things up.

I could give you a history of handfasting, about how it use to mean one thing but then the Pagans made it mean something else. That would be very boring.  Go look it up for yourself!

Despite the vast array of cool cords on the market and all the wonderful things that can be done with those cords, most clergy (Pagan and non-Pagan) just tie boring old (and very often sloppy) Granny knots–if they tie any knot at all.  I’m really appalled by this!  A couple is tying the knot and making sacred vows!  The least that an officiant could do is up the anty on the cord magic and tie a meaningful and beautiful knot!

According to Nikki Nefarious, who is a world renowned Sharbari artist and ordained minister who performs handfastings through her service The Ties That Bind, “Traditional hand fastings have no real knots though, the whole thing is meant to come off before or just after the ceremony ends. Actually, I do mine after the ring exchange; it’s a series of wraps that goes with the vows/speech I say, then they stand there entwined and say their vows, at that point the ribbon/cloth/rope comes off and they kiss and the ceremony is over. If there were knots to untie it would awkward-up the whole process.”  Well, we wouldn’t want to untie the knots anyway and lose the magic that we’ve tied up!

With a little planning and forethought, a really meaningful and awesome knot can be tied for the couple.  Two Knotty Boys (http://www.knottyboys.com/), Ms. Nefarious’ colleagues in the knot business, have some great ideas.

Kinky_Lovers_Knot     Good_Luck_Knot

Both of these can be tied during the ritual and then wrapped around the couple’s hands and tied so the cord can be slipped off before the ceremony.

If you are looking for a handfasting book that has a wide variety of different types of handfasting ceremonies and lots of charts and ideas, get this book. It even has an example of the elusive handparting ceremony.

These folks are looking forward to the honeymoon:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

No Hide Floggers: http://jinglepets-nohide.blogspot.com/

All Tied Up, Part 3: Tie me up, Mr. Buckland!

Most of you reading this post have probably seen this picture in Raymond Buckland’s “Big Blue Book” (not the book’s real title).  This picture is why the book cannot be placed in prison libraries for Wiccan prisoners.  In case you’re seeing this picture out of context, it is showing how to tie an initiate during initiations.

Knots have a long, but sometimes neglected, history in magic.  Good can be tied to you or less than good can be bound up.  Numerology can come into play with the number of loops and twists in a magic knot, as well as color magic for the cord being used.  If the knot magic is being used in bondage, consider corresponding some scents to your intentions.  Simply anoint your rope with a few drops of essential oil(s).  Knot magic is very easy.  As you tie the knot, visualize what ever you want tied to you or what you want bound up and tied up away.  You can also say a power word, charm, or chant as you tie the knots.

Not Your Granny’s Knots

Two Knotty Boys (also known as Dan and JD) have some of the best and easy to follow tutorial videos on the Internet for tying knots (http://www.knottyboys.com). The videos discussed in this post can be found for free download at http://www.knottyboys.com/code/downloads.php. The first two videos that I recommend that you check out is the video on how to make your own rope and the video on how to dye your rope.  While it’s not necessary for you to make your own rope, your magic will have more power behind it if you twist your intent into your rope and then tie it in as well.  Likewise, colored rope is readily available for purchase, but your spell will have more power if you are able to meditate while you dye your rope and charge it with your intent.

The next video that you should look at is the rope web video.  The rope web has many magical possibilities.  It can be used most obviously in weaving and spider magic.  It could also be erected in a bedroom as a dream catcher.  The creation of the web could be used as a meditative exercise.  I’m excited to create some spider rituals using this web.  You could be the spider lying in wait or the helpless fly bound up in a rope corselet harness.

The double coin knot can be used in a magic spell using a green rope.  The knot work and remaining rope can be turned into a witch’s ladder or money amulet for the home or business utilizing coins and “money” gemstone beads, such as aventurine or jade.  The prosperity knot can also be done in conjunction with the double coin knot.

The pentagram harness has a multitude of possibilities.  It can be used to ground and center a person for ritual.  It’s a wonderful new twist on the traditional Gardnerian bondage for initiations.  It can also be as a way to bound yourself to a deity for channeling or other practices.  Plus, best of all, it’s just plain witchy!

The last video that I would suggest looking at for knot magic is the rope panties video.  It combines the trinity knot, which can be seen as representative of the feminine or as the triple aspect of deity, and the snake weave, which can be seen as the masculine.  The panties are perfect for sex magic, true heiros gamos, or fertility magic.

Have fun with your knots, and remember that bondage should not cut off circulation or abraid skin.  While natural fiber ropes can be fun, soft nylon or cotton ropes are safest.

These folks are all tied up with knot magic:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

House of Oddities Movie Kickstarter Project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bcottington85/house-of-oddities-the-story-of-the-atrocity-exhibi

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

The Barbed Pentacle’s Second Birthday Bash: http://barbedpentacle.com/2013/06/second-birthday-bash/

All tied up, part 2: Wrap a snake around my thigh

If the Countess of Salisbury had a garter made of green snake skin, then I want one made out of Copperhead skin!

 

I’ve always been fascinated with garters and stockings.  They frame certain portions of the female anatomy in ways that pantyhose can’t.

Besides, unless it’s crotchless pantyhose, garters and stockings are the way to go for easy access.

Originally, garters were a necessity.  Woolen hose tended to slouch, which is never a comfortable situation.  Early garters were nothing more than a piece of string tied above or below the knee, over the hose, by both men and women.

As humans became more ingenious, they added buckles, latches, and eventually elastic.  Most garters were strictly utilitarian.  However, as women’s hems began to ascend up their legs, garters became fancier and were meant to be seen in brief glances.

Eventually, garters gave way to garter belts, which tend to be more comfortable, work better, and are less damaging to a person’s circulation.

Garters, while fashionable and sexy, have also traditionally been associated with witch craft.  The most famous of these associations is the story of the Countess of Salisbury, who just like Janet, had a wardrobe malfunction at a very public event.  It was speculated by Margret Murray, the anthropologist who has given false credence to most of Wicca’s most valued traditions, that the Countess was a Witch Queen whose badge of office slipped down her leg.  This, of course, is only an unfounded theory.

Gerald Gardner tied this onto his growing collection of witchcraft culture, and the practice of using a garter as a sign or badge of a witch’s degree or position became popular for a time.  (Click here to read some more about Pagans and garters:  http://afwcraft.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-witches-garter.html)

The practice of wearing a garter to denote your station has fallen out of practice within the general Wiccan and Pagan community.  It’s a shame.  I have wonderful visions of everyone having garters full of badges, like some Spiral Scout program gone horribly wrong.  Or of Pagans passing each other in the grocery store and furtively flashing a garter shot a la Christians drawing dirt fish.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  Plus, it would give you a handy place to stash extra libations or an athame for ritual!

In seriousness, though, committing to wearing garters denotes a person being bound to their path, their learning, and their position of service.  It’s hard to forget your duties to Deity and your fellow circle mates when you have something tight around your legs.

There’s nothing more natural, cheap, and easy than a garter made of ivy–for fidelity.

Want to be a good witch and make your own?

http://www.thegartergirl.com/2009/09/24/the-99-cent-wedding-garter-a-free-knitted-wedding-garter-pattern/

 

For more information about the fashion history of garters, check out: http://chestofbooks.com/food/household/Woman-Encyclopaedia-4/Dress-The-Story-Of-The-Garter.html#.UaLmjdJOQq9 http://chestofbooks.com/food/household/Woman-Encyclopaedia-4/Dress-The-Story-Of-The-Garter-Continued.html#.UaLljNJOQq8

These folks always catch the garter at a hand fasting:

 

 

All Tied Up, Part 1: Chastity or Bondage?

“Next and lastly I present the cords. They are of use to bind the sigils of the art, also the material basis. Also they are necessary in the oath.” –Gardnerian Book of Shadows, 1st degree initiation

The Cingulum, which is Latin for “girdle”, is a piece of clothing/tool that in our present day is rarely seen on Pagans.  It is typically a rope of some fiber and color that is worn around the waist.  Sure, Gardnerians still proudly wear them, but most Pagans are not even in traditions that bestow them any more.  This is a shame, because cingulums, also sometimes called “witch’s cords”, can be a lot of fun and quite useful.

Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis.

Gird me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity, and extinguish in me all evil desires, that the virtue of chastity may abide in me. –Catholic Vestment Prayer

Wiccans are not the only ones to wear cingulums.  Originally the word was used to describe the belt that Roman soldiers wore.

Then it was tied on by the Catholic Church to describe the rope that monks wear around their waists.  I called and emailed a variety of different monks at Belmont Abbey, a local monastery, and no one would ever respond to my requests for an interview.

I guess my soul just isn’t worth saving.  It’s a pity because I can really rock a Catholic school girl outfit!  According to several different Internet sources, the Catholic cingulum is supposed to remind the monks of their vow of chastity and aid them in remaining pure and celibate.  Not exactly how a cingulum is used Wicca.

“Learn of the spirit that goeth with burdens that have not honour, for ’tis the spirit that stoopeth the shoulders and not the weight. Armour is heavy, yet it is a proud burden and a man standeth upright in it. Limiting and constraining any of the senses serves to increase the concentration of another. Shutting the eyes aids the hearing. So the binding of the initiate’s hands increases the mental perception, while the scourge increaseth the inner vision. So the initiate goeth through it proudly, like a princess, knowing it but serves to increase her glory. But this can only be done by the aid of another intelligence and in a circle, to prevent the power thus generated being lost. Priests attempt to do the same with their scourgings and mortifications of the flesh. But lacking the aid of bonds and their attention being distracted by their scourging themselves and what little power they do produce being dissipated, as they do not usually work within a circle, it is little wonder that they oft fail. Monks and hermits do better, as they are apt to work in tiny cells and coves, which in some way act as circles. The Knights of the Temple, who used mutually to scourge each other in an octagon, did better still; but they apparently did not know the virtue of bonds and did evil, man to man. But perhaps some did know? What of the Church’s charge that they wore girdles or cords?” –Gardnerian Book of Shadows, Of the Ordeal of the Magical Art

Sometimes the cord is the length of the person’s measure, which is the person’s height.  This practice is more symbolic than practical, and it refers to the myth of the Fates who would measure out a person’s life span and then cut it for death.  When the cord is a person’s measure, it is usually used in some version of an initiation, and the initiate is usually tied up in some form.   Sometimes the cord is 9 feet in length, which serves the practical purpose of aiding a witch in being able to cast a circle in the traditional circumference.  Cingulums can also denote a group member’s status or rank, or recognize an achievement or rite of passage.

Cingulums can be a lot of fun.  It’s an interesting mind fuck to be tied up with your measure during ritualistic sex or binding magic.  If you don’t have a cingulum, or if you want to create a cingulum for you or somebody else for a particular purpose, here’s how:

Materials

Yarn of various colors

Scissors

Tape (optional)

Unsharpened pencil or stick

Extra set of hands

Procedure

First decide the number of strands and colors that you want in your cingulum and whether your cingulum will be 9 feet or the length of your measure.  For a 9-foot cingulum, cut 19 feet strands of yarn.  For a cingulum that is the length of your measure, cut your yarn so that it is your height doubled plus a few extra inches.  Tie one end of your yarn strands to something sturdy and stationary, like a chair, and tie the other ends to a pencil or stick.  You can also tape the ends instead of tying them.  Now slowly back away from the stationary point until your yarn strands are pulled taunt.  Twist the strands deosil (clockwise) until the strands are wound tight.  If it starts to kink, then it’s time for the next step.  Now have your extra set of hands hold your cord in the middle while you bring your end of the cord to the end tied to the stationary point.  While the middle is still being held by the extra set of hands, slide the ends off of the pencil and untie the ends from the stationary point.  Tie both sets of ends together.  Now have the extra set of hands let go of the cord.  Your cord should be twisted around itself like a piece of rope and ready to wear.

Have fun, and remember that bondage should be tight but not so tight that it cuts off circulation, and bondage should never be done on anyone under the legal age of consent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These folks caught the irony of the post:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggershttp://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com