Zora Neale Hurston: Hoodoo Heroine

According to Google, today is Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday, an early popular documentarian of hoodoo, voodoo, and other folk magics.  If you have never read any of Hurston’s delicious stories or anthropological texts, then start Googling.  When I first started down my Pagan path,  I didn’t have access to all these fancy Pagan how-to manuals written by fluffy folks who live in an Azure Green world.  But I did have access to Zora Neale Hurston’s books at the public library.  The first book of hers that I read was Tell My Horse, about anthropological adventures in Haiti tracking down Voodoo practitioners.

As things progressed, I found my way to Their Eyes Were Watching God, which is a wonderful unintentional version of the Descent of the Goddess imbued with sex, magic, and word tapestries.   I haven’t looked at cantaloupes the same way since (put that in your pipe and smoke it!).

Almost all of her books, even her novels, are liberally littered with bits of magic that can easily be incorporated into your current practice.  Look at it like trying a new spice blend on your hamburgers.  if you’re not up for making your own brews, Quadrivium Supplies (http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/) has several oils listed that are mentioned in Hurston’s books, specifically ‘Red Fast Luck’ oil.

“The way we tell it, hoodoo started way back there before everything. Six days of magic spells and mighty words and the world with its elements above and below was made.”         –Zora Neale Hurston

These folks have the mojo:

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

Quadrivium Supplies: http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Hyperdreams Interactive Sex Stories:  http://www.hyperdreams.com/


The Highest Compliment You Can Give Is Censorship

Yes, I’m still alive.  Yes, I’m still publishing salacious material that most countries would ban.  In case you cared (which knowing you, you probably didn’t), my Lammas to Mabon hiatus was due to being tied up in a corn field somewhere in the deep South watching all the sexy dove hunters sashay around in their camo, with their big guns and dead little birds.

This is Banned Book Week, probably my favorite week of the year.  If you’ve never heard of Banned Book Week, you’re the reason why it was created.

Chances are, whether you’ve done so consciously or not, you’ve probably read a banned book–especially if you read metaphysical/Pagan books.  If you’ve never checked out the Banned Book Week website, I encourage you to do so:   http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/.

Today we are also starting something fun, Woodman Wednesdays!  I think Francesca Woodman took some really provocative images, so each Wednesday I’ll share some.  It’ll be fun.

These folks read banned books (and some have even written them!):

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

Come visit, shop, and order your Yule presents from Mystic Artisans at Piedmont Pagan Pride Day, Sept. 28, 2013, Charlotte, NC.  http://piedmontpaganpride.com/

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com  Check out Devouring Milo, Tonia’s newest work: http://www.amazon.com/Devouring-Milo-ebook/dp/B00DWZYWKO


Fuck Corporate Hollywood

I like watching documentaries.  They preserve the odd and ends of our society.  They allow us to into worlds that often times we never knew existed.  Vicarious living on the cheap. Documentarians fill the role that village elders use to have–preserving and perpetuating cultures.


Brian Cottingham, of DaggerVision Films (http://www.daggervisionfilms.com/), is working on a fund raising campaign for his documentary House of Oddities:  The Story of The Atrocity Exhibition.  According to Cottingham’s Kickstarter page, “House of Oddities:  The Story of The Atrocity Exhibition is a feature length documentary detailing the behind the scenes madness that goes into creating Pittsburgh’s annual underground celebration of the weird and bizarre, The Atrocity Exhibition; now in its 5th year.

The Atrocity Exhibition brings a truly 360 degree artist collective bringing together the best  in dark burlesque, cabaret, performance art, and fine art from across the nation.  Each year is a themed show in which on stage performers fuse their own talents with the theme to create a truly unique show.

This film goes behind the makeup and costumes to expose the behind the scene workings of the event.  This includes interviews with Macabre Noir and Dr. Morose, founders of The Atrocity Exhibition, members of Kabarett Vulgare; a Pittsburgh based side show and performance art troupe that represents the core performers of The Atrocity Exhibition, traveling performers that bring their own unique gifts to the show, and the collection of dark artists that make up this immersive art collective.”

With the money raised, Cottingham hopes to have the film printed to DVDs and to have online distribution.  He also has hopes of submitting his film to the SXSW Film Festival (South by South West) and the Coney Island Film Festival, and for the film to be distributed to independent theaters with ample promotion.

So, why is this project important?  It’s important because it chronicles an annual exhibit of the dark and twisted, things that secretly fascinate many of us.  It’s important because it preserves for the future the ritual and ceremony of the carnival, something that’s being lost in today’s society.  Being part of a carnival is very much like being part of a coven.  You’re a  member of a closed society that others long to join, others deride, and you’re privy to secret information that seems extremely mysterious to the outside world but in reality is deceptively simple.  All the coven players are there:  the petitioners, the new initiates, the maiden, the summoner, the bevy of second degree priests and priestesses, and of course, the high priest and priestess.  You, the audience, are the special guest worshipers that have been invited for select esbats and sabats.  There is even cakes and ale at the concession stand.  And don’t forget about the sacred hootchie-cootchie Hiero Gamos!

If you can’t give to the Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bcottington85/house-of-oddities-the-story-of-the-atrocity-exhibi), at least consider lighting a real or virtual candle to St. Expeditus (http://nshrine.com/shrine/st_expeditus) for the film.  If nothing else, go to the Kickstarter site and watch the trailer for the film.  The fund drive ends August 2, 2013.

For more information on the Atrocity Exhibition: http://www.moroseandmacabre.com/atrocity2013.html

These folks believe in supporting independent film:

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  Check out Devouring Milo, Tonia’s newest work: http://www.amazon.com/Devouring-Milo-ebook/dp/B00DWZYWKO

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


The Litha Challenge! (Something fun, crafty, and potentially gritty)

First of all, read this:  http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-living-wall-for-midsummer.html

I think this is really a cool idea.  I can already see my own wall of bones and leather starting to take shape!   In the spirit of the season,  I challenge you to start planning and executing your own living wall!  Just call me the Holly Queen!   

Besides, it’ll give you something to do as you watch the bidding on the spoon: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Barbed-Pentacle/185787251532552, and try to figure out just the right time to place your bid.

When you get your wall (or other area) up, take a picture and email it to chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.  I’ll post all the pictures in a special area.  If we get neat enough ones, maybe we’ll have a contest.  So, look through your junk and memories, and pull out all your coolest, grittiest stuff.  And remember, this isn’t an altar, nor is it a shrine (well, in a way…).  It’s just something fun to help you display your memories and think, “God, how did I not get arrested for taking that!”

These folks get who the true Holly queen is:

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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Smack Me With a Spoon! Auction

Back in December, in honor of the Winter Solstice, we here at The Barbed Pentacle held the “Smack Me With A Spoon!” wooden spoon decorating contest in honor of Perchta/Holda/Frau Holle–our resident domestic discipline goddess.  The lovely wood burners at Mystic Artisans were the winners.  http://barbedpentacle.com/2012/12/spoon-contest-winner/

 As was mentioned during the contest, the winning spoon will now be auctioned off.  Instead of being a drag and using eBay, we are going to have a Facebook auction on Friday, June 21.  All proceeds will benefit Smile Train.  

Rules (very important to read these!)

The auction will take place from 12 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time til 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, June 21, 2013.

The auction will take place at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Barbed-Pentacle/185787251532552 .

To bid:  all bids must be posted in the comments section of the “Smack Me With a Spoon! Auction Now!” post.  The winning bid at 11:59 PM gets the spoon.  I will contact you on Sunday, June 23, 2013 for your address and to give you the Barbed Pentacle’s Paypal info.  You will have 1 week to pay for the spoon.  If you do not pay within one week, the spoon will go to the next highest bidder.  Once again, all proceeds will go to Smile Train (http://www.smiletrain.org/).

Questions: chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com

These folks will be bidding:

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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com


Second Birthday Bash!

Join us all during the month of August for guest posts, porn, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  If you would like to submit a guest post, please email it to me at chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.  Just like last year, anything sent to me for the birthday bash will be published.  Critics, this is your chance!  You passed it up last year.  Are you really going to be a pussy again this year?


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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Spoon Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Tonie Ervin, the winner of the 2012 “Just Smack Me!” Spoon Decorating Contest!

The images are based off of engravings from a Brothers’ Grimm story about Holda/Perchta.  ”Qui parcit virge, odit filium” is wood burned around the handle of the spoon.  If you talked about entering this contest but didn’t, then your parents probably “Qui parcit virge, odit filium” with you–hence your laziness!  Happy Yuletide!

Cannabis Roots: Feed Your Head, a supplement

While the focus of this series has been mainly on legal to semi-legal substances that can be used in ritual, I thought that some of you may enjoy Cannabis Roots: The Hidden History of Marijuana, which will air tomorrow live from 11 am-6 pm Pacific time on Pot TV.  Cannabis Roots is a ticketed event being held in Vancouver, Canada that will feature scholars of all sorts whose presentations will explore the important role that pot has played in world history, particularly the histories of many world religions.  Make sure to check out Dr. David Hillman’s lecture at 3 pm which will be about Bacchus, Aphrodite, sex, and drugs–you know, all the good things.  Of interest too will be Professor Carl Ruck’s lecture, also on Ancient Greek themes.

To watch the conference (and remember it’s live, so don’t mess up on the time): http://www.cannabisculture.com/cannabisroots

For a summary of Dr. Hillman’s lecture: http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/09/28/Satisfying-Flame-Desire-Marijuana-Priestesses-Drugs-and-Cycle-

For a summary of Professor Ruck’s lecture: http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/09/28/High-Thoughts-Aristophanes-Parody-Socrates-Pot-Head

************************************************************************************************* November 2013 update:  Dr. David Hillman’s lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVjT3Wwbb0k

These folks know their cannabis roots:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Just Smack Me!: http://barbedpentacle.com/just-smack-me-a-wooden-spoon-decorating-contest/


Dr. Who bound me with his scarf while Capt. Reynolds used his belt! AKA the Geeky Kink Event

Pillow forts:  ”You may already know that they’re good for cuddling, but did you know that pillow forts are surprisingly excellent places for various kinds of beatings and a number of reasonably unnatural acts?”

If you’re looking for a place where the above statement is a painful reality, then the Geeky Kink Event II is for you.  The Geeky Kink Event will be held this year on November 2-4 at the The Piscataway Radisson  in Piscataway Township, NJ.  There’s still time to buy tickets to this very unique event.  Unlike your typical BDSM convention that is full of leather and latex, this event revels in the kinky and geeky.  So, get out your Dr. Who scarves, Brown Coats, and Star Trek go-go bootsl  The event is also Steampunk and Pagan friendly!

There are so many cool workshops, vendors, mixers, and entertainers scheduled, plus several awesome play areas, that you will be sleep deprived the whole weekend.  There’s something planned for everybody: from the über geek to the barely geeky.

Want more information?  http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

The vendors at this year’s event range from BDSM to Pagan supplies, from Steampunk baubles to mind-bending puzzles and everything in between (http://thegeekykinkevent.com/a-tetris-of-vendors/).  In addition to awesome and unique workshops that you won’t find offered anywhere else (http://thegeekykinkevent.com/learning-delectations/), there are tons and tons of fun social events planned.  Ever attended a kinky Shabbat?  Well, you can at the Geeky Kink Event.  What about bubble bondage?  It’s here too! (http://thegeekykinkevent.com/social/)  And don’t forget about the Dungeons!  Who can resist a Tardis with glory holes or the world’s largest pillow fort? (http://thegeekykinkevent.com/frolic-in-our-dungeon/)

There’s still plenty of time to register for the Geeky Kink Event. For all you kinky Pagans who take the whole week off to celebrate Samhain, this is a perfect way to finish up the season!

These folks think Geeks are Sexy:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us

Just Smack Me!: http://barbedpentacle.com/just-smack-me-a-wooden-spoon-decorating-contest/