Big Birthday Bash!

Wow!  It’s really hard to believe that I’ve been publishing this blog since 2011!  Come and join us tonight, Saturday, August 8, at 9:30pm EST at https://www.facebook.com/events/872426829462604/ for the Barbed Pentacle Birthday Bash!  There will be prizes all through the party, as well as live interviews with authors and artisans.  The main event will be at 11:30pm EST with an auction of a very special prize.  All proceeds of the auction will benefit the Lady Liberty League (https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/lady-liberty-league/lady-liberty-league).  The Lady Liberty League helps defends all Americans First Amendment Rights.  Make sure that there’s money in your PayPal accounts!  In addition to all these fun events, two new sections of the Barbed Pentacle, with brand new commissioned art work, will be revealed during the party.  See you there!

Now Accepting Bids for Perchta Power Project Soap

Soap can be used in many different magical applications.  With that said, I am currently accepting bids from soap makers to a make custom batch of soap for The Barbed Pentacle and the Perchta Power Project.  I will pay for the labor, materials, and shipping in cash via Paypal.  Your profits will be paid to you via advertising and intense pimping out.  So, when you submit your bid, you’ll need to have those two figures in your email.  Please email me at chirpatsparrow@gmail.com to find out more details and to get an ingredients list.  Bidding ends July 1st, 2015 at 12:01 AM EDT.

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Susannah Martin Memorial Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susannah_Martin

The Witch’s Daughter

It was the pleasant harvest time,
When cellar-bins are closely stowed,
And garrets bend beneath their load,

And the old swallow-haunted barns -
Brown-gabled, long, and full of seams
Through which the moted sunlight streams,

And winds blow freshly in, to shake
The red plumes of the roosted cocks,
And the loose hay-mow’s scented locks -

Are filled with summer’s ripened stores,
Its odorous grass and barley sheaves,
From their low scaffolds to their eaves.

On Esek Harden’s oaken floor,
With many an autmn threshing worn,
Lay the heaped ears of unhusked corn.

And thither came young men and maids,
Beneath a moon that, large and low,
Lit that sweet eve of long ago.

They took their places; some by chance,
And others by a merry voice
Or sweet smile guided to their choice.

How pleasantly the rising moon,
Between the shadow of the mows,
Looked on them through the great elm-boughs! -

On sturdy boyhood sun-embrowned,
On girlhood with its solid curves
Of healthful strength and painless nerves!

And jests went round, and laughs that made
The house-dog answer with his howl,
And kept astir the barn-yard fowl;

And quaint old songs their fathers sung
In Derby dales and Yorkshire moors,
Ere Norman William trod their shores;

And tales, whose merry license shook
The fat sides of the Saxon thane,
Forgetful of the hovering Dane,—­

Rude plays to Celt and Cimbri known,
The charms and riddles that beguiled
On Oxus’ banks the young world’s child,—­

That primal picture-speech wherein
Have youth and maid the story told,
So new in each, so dateless old,

Recalling pastoral Ruth in her
Who waited, blushing and demure,
The red-ear’s kiss of forfeiture.

But still the sweetest voice was mute
That river-valley ever heard
From lips of maid or throat of bird;

For Mabel Martin sat apart,
And let the hay-mow’s shadow fall
Upon the loveliest face of all.

She sat apart, as one forbid,
Who knew that none would condescend
To own the Witch-wife’s child a friend.

The seasons scarce had gone their round,
Since curious thousands thronged to see
Her mother at the gallows-tree;

And mocked the prison-palsied limbs
That faltered on the fatal stairs,
And wan lip trembling with its prayers!

Few questioned of the sorrowing child,
Or, when they saw the mother die;
Dreamed of the daughter’s agony.

They went up to their homes that day,
As men and Christians justified
God willed it, and the wretch had died!

Dear God and Father of us all,
Forgive our faith in cruel lies,—­
Forgive the blindness that denies!

Forgive thy creature when he takes,
For the all-perfect love Thou art,
Some grim creation of his heart.

Cast down our idols, overturn
Our bloody altars; let us see
Thyself in Thy humanity!

Poor Mabel from her mother’s grave
Crept to her desolate hearth-stone,
And wrestled with her fate alone;

With love, and anger, and despair,
The phantoms of disordered sense,
The awful doubts of Providence!

The school-boys jeered her as they passed,
And, when she sought the house of prayer,
Her mother’s curse pursued her there.

And still o’er many a neighboring door
She saw the horseshoe’s curved charm,
To guard against her mother’s harm; -

That mother, poor, and sick, and lame,
Who daily, by the old arm-chair,
Folded her withered hands in prayer; -

Who turned, in Salem’s dreary jail,
Her worn old Bible o’er and o’er,
When her dim eyes could read no more!

Sore tried and pained, the poor girl kept
Her faith, and trusted that her way,
So dark, would somewhere meet the day.

And still her weary wheel went round
Day after day, with no relief
Small leisure have the poor for grief.

So in the shadow Mabel sits;
Untouched by mirth she sees and hears,
Her smile is sadder than her tears.

But cruel eyes have found her out,
And cruel lips repeat her name,
And taunt her with her mother’s shame.

She answered not with railing words,
But drew her apron o’er her face,
And, sobbing, glided from the place.

And only pausing at the door,
Her sad eyes met the troubled gaze
Of one who, in her better days,

Had been her warm and steady friend,
Ere yet her mother’s doom had made
Even Esek Harden half afraid.

He felt that mute appeal of tears,
And, starting, with an angry frown,
Hushed all the wicked murmurs down.

‘Good neighbors mine,’ he sternly said,
‘This passes harmless mirth or jest;
I brook no insult to my guest.

‘She is indeed her mother’s child;
But God’s sweet pity ministers
Unto no whiter soul than hers.

‘Let Goody Martin rest in peace;
I never knew her harm a fly,
And witch or not, God knows – not I.

‘I know who swore her life away;
And as God lives, I’d not condemn
An Indian dog on word of them.’

The broadest lands in all the town,
The skill to guide, the power to awe,
Were Harden’s; and his word was law.

None dared withstand him to his face,
But one sly maiden spake aside
‘The little witch is evil-eyed!

‘Her mother only killed a cow,
Or witched a churn or dairy-pan;
But she, forsooth, must charm a man!’

Poor Mabel, in her lonely home,
Sat by the window’s narrow pane,
White in the moonlight’s silver rain.

The river, on its pebbled rim,
Made music such as childhood knew;
The door-yard tree was whispered through

By voices such as childhood’s ear
Had heard in moonlights long ago;
And through the willow-boughs below.

She saw the rippled waters shine;
Beyond, in waves of shade and light,
The hills rolled off into the night.

She saw and heard, but over all
A sense of some transforming spell,
The shadow of her sick heart fell.

And still across the wooded space
The harvest lights of Harden shone,
And song and jest and laugh went on.

And he, so gentle, true, and strong,
Of men the bravest and the best,
Had he, too, scorned her with the rest?

She strove to drown her sense of wrong,
And, in her old and simple way,
To teach her bitter heart to pray.

Poor child! the prayer, begun in faith,
Grew to a low, despairing cry
Of utter misery: ‘Let me die!

‘Oh! take me from the scornful eyes,
And hide me where the cruel speech
And mocking finger may not reach!

‘I dare not breathe my mother’s name
A daughter’s right I dare not crave
To weep above her unblest grave!

‘Let me not live until my heart,
With few to pity, and with none
To love me, hardens into stone.

‘O God! have mercy on Thy child,
Whose faith in Thee grows weak and small,
And take me ere I lose it all!’

A shadow on the moonlight fell,
And murmuring wind and wave became
A voice whose burden was her name.

Had then God heard her? Had He sent
His angel down? In flesh and blood,
Before her Esek Harden stood!

He laid his hand upon her arm
‘Dear Mabel, this no more shall be;
Who scoffs at you must scoff at me.

‘You know rough Esek Harden well;
And if he seems no suitor gay,
And if his hair is touched with gray,

‘The maiden grown shall never find
His heart less warm than when she smiled,
Upon his knees, a little child!’

Her tears of grief were tears of joy,
As, folded in his strong embrace,
She looked in Esek Harden’s face.

‘O truest friend of all” she said,
‘God bless you for your kindly thought,
And make me worthy of my lot!’

He led her through his dewy fields,
To where the swinging lanterns glowed,
And through the doors the huskers showed.

‘Good friends and neighbors!’ Esek said,
‘I’m weary of this lonely life;
In Mabel see my chosen wife!

‘She greets you kindly, one and all;
The past is past, and all offence
Falls harmless from her innocence.

‘Henceforth she stands no more alone;
You know what Esek Harden is: -
He brooks no wrong to him or his.’

Now let the merriest tales be told,
And let the sweetest songs be sung
That ever made the old heart young!

For now the lost has found a home;
And a lone hearth shall brighter burn,
As all the household joys return!

Oh, pleasantly the harvest-moon,
Between the shadow of the mows,
Looked on them through the great elm-boughs!

On Mabel’s curls of golden hair,
On Esek’s shaggy strength it fell;
And the wind whispered, ‘It is well!’

John Greenleaf Whittier :
While Susannah Martin wasn’t probably a witch by today’s standards, her neighbors thought she was.  Think this couldn’t happen to you?  Think again.  It still does all the time in all different parts of the world, even in the US.
These folks know to beware of young teenage girls:

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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Tie on that apron and flour up your bosom, Ms. Kay!: Part 1

I like Duck Dynasty.  I like their show.  I think they’re funny.  Despite what Phil said about gay people, despite my own sexual preferences and how I completely disagree with what he said, and despite how I find it a little disturbing how the Duck Dynasty folks are now the darlings of the GOP and Christian Right, I still like their show.  I even liked the episode where they set fire to the beaver dam.  If you haven’t seen the show, A&E has several episodes on their site: http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/video?mkwid=sv8qQu8uW|dc_pcrid_36125531115_pkw_duck%20dynasty_pmt_e&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=duck%20dynasty&utm_campaign=G_Duck+Dynasty&paidlink=1&cmpid=PaidSearch_google_G_Duck+Dynasty_duck%20dynasty&gclid=CNLIn5O6t7wCFUYOOgod7A4AIw

Phil Robertson has a right to voice his opinion, and A&E has a right to fire his ass too.   Phil decided to take a risk and say something that he deeply believes despite the fact that he knew there would be a backlash.  I respect him for that even though I know he wouldn’t respect me as a kinky Pagan bisexual pornographer who believes in polyamory.

The Robertsons, according to the dialogue on their show, live in the West Monroe/Monroe, Louisiana area (http://www.westmonroe.com/).  From the evidence on Witchvox, there is a very small but growing Pagan community there.  There is a brand new meet-up that will be starting in Monroe, LA on Saturday: http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_ev.html?a=usla&id=90304.  Then there is this group in West Monroe, that from its profile seems to be fairly established: http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usla&id=38550.  And then there’s this group, that I really just can’t take seriously.  They’ll probably bring me up on charges to the vampire magistrate or some other such nonsense:  http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usla&id=39712.  If you’re Pagan and in the Monroe/West Monroe, LA, I invite you to check out the first two groups, especially the new meet-up.  Meet-ups are great places to go and feel things out.

These are photos from a local Christian book store:

So, what to do about Phil Robertson?  Stay tuned for why I really like Phil Robertson and my final solution to the Duck Dynasty problem.

These folks have a final solution for you:

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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

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

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Bye Bye, Inanna!: Piercing the Veil, Part 1

I hope everyone has been having a happy Samhain/Beltane (depending on where you’re located).  Mine has been nice, but a little strange.  At this time of the year and again around Beltane, the veil between the worlds is thin.  Some people believe that it’s so thin that it disappears all together and that spirits, ghosts, fairies, and other beings (including us) can travel freely back and forth between the worlds.  Because there’s nothing keeping the mischief makers at bay during this time of the year, objects that were here one minute tend to disappear as if into thin air. This is also the traditional time to celebrate the Descent of the Goddess (http://barbedpentacle.com/2011/11/enjoy-the-descent-of-the-goddess/) into the underworld to seek her missing lover, who like several objects from my home this evening, appeared to have vanished into nothingness.  While there’s many different Goddesses who have been reputed to have made the descent, the one that most folks think of first is Inanna.

Basically this is her story:

Some people have speculated that the much celebrated “Dance of the Seven Veils” is an ancient recreation of this myth.

Other people have disproved this theory.  http://www.shira.net/sevenveils.htm  While the debate is interesting, it doesn’t change the fact that the dance itself can be used in ritual to represent the seven gates that Inanna and some of the other descent Goddesses traditionally travel through.  Although modern belly dancers have cemented certain moves as being integral to the dance, there’s no reason why a graceful and willing priestess couldn’t make up her own moves as she drops the veils.  It’s an interesting twist on a story that can become trite if a group isn’t careful.

Another descent story centers around Persephone.  Poor Persephone, pretty Persephone, or is it “Oh please don’t take me (but snatch my ass up quick) Persephone?  That’s always the question.  If you’re familiar with the Persephone story, then you’ll understand where I’m going with this.  Supposedly, Persephone was stolen from her mother’s care and taken to the Underworld by Hades to be his bride.  But a more likely scenario is that Persephone saw her chance to escape an overbearing mother, ran off with a bad boy, and fulfilled a kidnapping fantasy.

Pomegranates, those exotic fruits with the sexy red arils that pop little squirts of juice into your mouth just like suckling on a clit, play an important part in the Persephone myth.

If Persephone had been able to resist eating the pomegranate, then she would have been allowed to return home free and clear, but because she gave into temptation (and really, who could resist something so succulent?), she divides part of her time in the Underworld and part of her time her on Earth. http://www.pomwonderful.com/about/pomegranate-history-legend/paths-of-the-pomegranate/

A modern Persephone

Pomegranates, besides being fun to eat in bed, can be used in a couple of different ways.  The juice from the arils can be smeared onto your lover to create pinkish/red streaks.  Juice acts as an extremely temporary dye.  The skin of the fruit can be used as a permanent vegetable dye, good for things like veils.  http://thenaturalsurface.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-dye-with-pomegranate.html

Look for part 2 of “Piercing the Veil” tomorrow.  The “Feed Your Head” series will resume as soon as some of my experiments are completed.

Now, just for fun:  http://www.themaskofinanna.com/

These folks know what arils are:

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/

Sacrifice and the Mabon Spirit

Print by Paul Bommer

Happy Mabon!  Yes, this post is a little late, but I was, well, imbibing in Mabon spirits!  In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the middle of the harvest season, and for Wiccans, this is Mabon, the second of three harvest festivals.  The story of John Barleycorn exemplifies the spirit of the season: the sacrifice of one to save many.  The story of Dionysus also contains the same spirit:http://thebackseatwriter.com/vine-and-ivy/.   This concept relates well to Utilitarianism, which is in a nut shell: the greatest amount of help or happiness to as many beings as possible with the hurt or sacrifice of the least amount of beings possible.

Sacrifice is a concept that some Pagans are not at all comfortable with.  They like to hide it down their pants or fluff it up so that something like burning a picture that he or she has painted carries the same weight as killing an animal.  While burning something you have created and there’s only one of is indeed a sacrifice, it doesn’t, nor can it, compare to you taking a knife and slicing an animal’s throat—or even shooting one in the head in the name of your deity.  And then there are those Pagans that will quote the “Charge of the Goddess”: Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.  It’s true, I don’t believe that our deities DEMAND sacrifice, but I believe that from time to time they urge us to do it, perhaps as a test of will (because even the Christian God did that to Abraham with Issac), and I believe that when a sacrifice is given that it’s greatly appreciated.

This was posted on an online Pagan group by a supposedly well know Pagan leader:  I am just going to say this: I am against all animal sacrifice at all times and in all situations here in the modern Western world. Period. I see a day when this becomes more commonplace in NeoPaganism, and that is the day you will see me leave the community behind. This will split our community and cause more dissension than any other issue ever because there are a lot of us who simply will not put up with it, take part in it, or circle with those who do.

I don’t care if it is done reverently and the animal consumed afterwards. I think the argument, “I eat meat, why shouldn’t they” is bogus, too. I think the Pagans who use this argument have NO UNDERSTANDING of the OCCULT meaning and consequences of the act of animal sacrifice.

It’s the act of feeding the etheric life force energy of blood to an etheric entity that for whatever reason, cannot get it on its own. It’s not a symbolic act. As a Lucumi priestess explained to me one time, the explosion of life force energy that happens when you slice an animal’s throat or chop it’s head off — that’s what the entity wants. That creates a big channel or vortex of energy that strengthens a spirit on the etheric level, which is the energy level closest to the physical. That’s why you can’t just prick your finger and feed one drop of your own blood. It’s like putting one drop of gasoline in your gas tank. Won’t take you very far.

Well, guess what: not only are there Loa and Orisha and other higher level spirits that have that Etheric-place “piece” or aspect — there are lots of other lower-level spirits, and they sure do like that blood, too, and they’re getting fed, too, and some of them can mimic a Loa or Orisha. My husband, Doug, and I both have experience with this. We practiced Lucumi ten years ago, and Doug returned to it a couple of times before he had a really bad experience with a lower-level etheric entity masquerading negatively as Erzulie. We were not DIY’ers — Doug had “warrior pot” from a well-known Babalorisha out in Atlanta, and I had elekes. 

I quickly found out that the wonderful myth of the chickens being reverently consumed was just that, a myth. The chickens sacrificed on my behalf and his behalf were not eaten. They were left laying around the back yard and his dogs played with the dirty corpses all weekend.

I have talked to other people who started to go down that spiritual path. It’s not all reverence and light. There are houses where the Orisha or Loa decides that it’s not enough to just get the life force energy from the blood. They demand that the animal be torn from limb to limb or tortured before killing. Yes, this DOES happen. It is NOT urban legend. These are not fringe houses but well-established. 

I also know of two NON-SACRIFICING Houses of Voudoun and guess what. They get just as good results, and have just as powerful and beautiful rituals, as the blood-letting houses. They have good, peaceful, prosperous happy lives. The Loa come and possess them and bless them and are not angry because they aren’t shedding blood.

Because all higher-level spiritual entities, including Loa, Orisha, Deities, Saints, etc. exist not just on the etheric level, but on the astral, mental, causal, and divine planes as well. And in the modern world, we can use other techniques such as dancing, chanting, drumming, safe/legal entheogens, sex, or quiet and internal techniques to ELEVATE OURSELVES to the astral level and beyond, and meet our Deities there, and cultivate Their Powers and Energies within OURSELVES. We can use energies of peace and healing and harmony, not of violence, to offer and commune with the Divine.

I am an anthropology major. In Africa, in South America, etc. — when someone has a problem and the community comes together to solve it with a religious ceremony, they sacrifice an animal. The inner meaning of this kind of sacrifice, in these tribal communities, is to redistribute protein throughout the community. So there is a non -religious function that is important. In modern America, or anywhere in the West, we already eat too much protein. In this context, when we sacrifice an animal, it really just becomes a commodity we use to PURCHASE the favor of a spirit. And I don’t think the Deities, Loa, Orisha or Saints want us to do that. I think it’s all lower-level entities masquerading as the Deities, Loa, Orisha, Saints, etc.

Do we really want to bring this practice back? I have seen this done. It’s not pretty. Hell, I instigated a sacrifice and let me tell you, it took place around the time of my first degree initiation. And the Goddess bitch-slapped me good. “Nor do I demand sacrifice,” She says. 

Death happens to all things. Protein-based life forms often need to feed on other protein-based life forms to maintain decent health. I am pro-hunting and pro raising your own meat. It’s the way the physical world is set up. I am ANTI supplying that energy to a Being on a different level, because they will always want more, more, more. If an Etheric Entity wants life force energy, let it figure out how to get it itself. 

It horrifies me to see this practice creeping up to NeoPaganism. What a sad day.

Well, all I can really say to that diatribe is “good riddance and become a vegan so you don’t look even more stupid and uneducated”.  I think this person’s histrionics over ripping the animal apart is proof that she really wasn’t ready or understanding of what was going on in the ritual.  Perhaps people do rip live animals apart during their sacrifice rituals, but I’ve never witnessed it, nor have I have ever come across a Pagan or a Heathen or anybody else who would rip apart a LIVE animal for sacrifice.  Of course, dead animals are a different story.  If you recall from the “Hunt the Cunt” series, rabbits and hares can be killed, skinned, and butchered bare handed, which involves some ripping and tearing.

I do participate in blood sacrifices from time to time.  When these rituals occur, the animal is dispatched (thanks military for that lovely euphemism!) ritualistically, reverently, quickly, and humanely.  Most of the meat is consumed by the participants at the time of the ritual or is frozen for later ritual use.  The blood is collected as is other parts and pieces, and what is left is either burned, buried, or left in the woods for scavengers.  People can disagree all they want, and I’m sure they will, but in a great majority of the cases, animals die more humanely during a sacrifice ritual than the do at the slaughter-house.

This harvest season, sacrifice something that is dear to you.  No, don’t wring your cat’s throat, but commit an act of sacrifice that benefits another. That could be giving away a favorite piece of clothing or buying a food item that you really would love to eat but are giving it to someone else instead.  Do this act as an offering to a deity and make sure that it hurts–just a little. The act doesn’t really count if it doesn’t hurt.

These folks sacrifice all the time just for you:

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

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

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/
Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

To Hunt the Cunt and Other Country Matters, Part 5: Furry Slippers and Fox Tails

Sound of Silence (click it!)– http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

I’ve noticed that a lot of Pagans like to wear fur.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pagan in a fur coat, but I’ve seen hundreds of Pagans wear fur-trimmed items, fur animal tails, fur-lined items, and fully fur accessories.  There are Pagans that exist that are vegetarian or vegans (I’ve met them, so I know they’re real), but they seem to be few and far between.  When you start talking to the fur wearing Pagans about where their fur came from, only a small percentage (like two in my case) have said that they trapped the animal or they knew the person who trapped the animal.  So, that leads me to believe that a majority of the fur that I’ve seen on Pagans either comes from nameless trappers or fur farms.  When your fur comes from those places, you usually have no idea how the animal was treated before it died.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals–aka PETA–doesn’t like you to wear fur.  They don’t like you to wear wool, eat meat, own pets, visit zoos, animal parks, or the circus, or do just about anything except wear plant-based clothes, eat plant-based foods, and avoid breathing.  I don’t like PETA.  I think they’re stupid idiots and ecoterrorists that have no concept of the natural order of things.  I also have no respect for the celebrities that join PETA and act as spokes people.  I think that celebrities often use PETA as an excuse to pose in socially acceptable pornographic photos.  This is PETA’s official stance on the nudity: http://www.peta.org/about/faq/Why-does-PETA-sometimes-use-nudity-in-its-campaigns.aspx

There are many people out there that feel the same way I do about PETA.  I don’t know that everything on the following website can be verified, but if even a quarter of it is true, PETA’s not who they want everyone to think they are:  http://www.petakillsanimals.com/.

Why do Pagans wear fur (especially tails)?  My automatic response is, “Who the hell knows.”  However, it’s really more complicated than that.  Some Pagans wear it because “it’s cool.”  Many Pagans do it as a way to reconnect with their ancestral past (whether real or imaginary), and this reasoning often seeps over into shamanistic practices dealing with animal spirits, path walking, and shape shifting.  There’s nothing wrong with wearing animal skins and feeling a certain sense of “connectedness” with the animal, but if the animal starts talking to you (and you’re not taking a hallucinogen or in a deep meditative state), then you should seek psychiatric help.

Lupa has some thoughts on wearing animal skins.  I agree with a little of it, but…..well, you can read it for yourself: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usor&c=words&id=14618

From time to time, I do wear fur.  Sometimes it’s as a Pagan, but sometimes it’s just because I like the way fur feels.  It’s sexy to me.  I like the way it feels against my skin, and I’m particularly proud if it’s an animal I had a hand in killing or I know who did.  My favorite fur is rabbit fur.  It’s like stroking a cloud.

If you wear fur and are a Pagan, consider the these things: 1) Is it more in keeping with the Rede or other ethical teachings to wear farm fur, trapped fur, or vintage fur?  2) If you wear fur, is the karmic price more or less if you do the hunting/trapping yourself or if you buy it from someone else?

The furry movement is a  somewhat related area of interest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom.  I don’t know a lot about furries, and as far as I know, I don’t know any furries.  I had one furry contact me, but after she emailed me, she declined any interview questions.

I’m curious to know how Furry Pagans blend the two together.  If you’re a furry and a Pagan, and you don’t mind being interviewed, please email me at chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.  I can see a lot of possibilities for blending a desire to be in a furry costume with a ritual about totem animals.

These folks enjoy PETA porn:

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

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Labor Day Libertine http://ldl.tribussolvo.org/home
The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/
Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/
(As if PETA is patriotic.)

Deviant Divination, Part 1

So, you’re a witch–or at least Pagan–and every Tom, Dick, and Harry–and their sister Susie and her fuck buddy Darrell, expect you to be able to tell fortunes.  If you are or were formally trained, most likely you were expected to learn some form of divination and to learn the rudiments of the Tarot so that the above crowd was correct to expect you to be able to see into their futures.  Unlike some religions of the world, most Pagan religions are open to divination and in fact often encourage it.

While there are a plethora of divinatory systems out there, many people eventually settle on the Tarot–which is actually one of the harder systems of fortune telling.  Not only does each card have multiple meanings depending on how they’re facing or what cards are around them, but each deck (and here again plethora is the key word) can have variant meanings as well.  Then, just when you think you have everything down pat after having read numerous books, some smart ass crone tells you to fuck the book meanings and go with your gut–once again putting you at square one in the confidence department.

Tarot decks are tricky.  Some decks seem to have a mind of their own.  If you’re trying to read with a deck that doesn’t “speak to you”, chances are you will either give incorrect or oddball readings.  For many people in the CollarMe and Fetlife crowds, finding just the right deck to suit their interest in both BDSM and Tarot has been difficult.  Niki, who is both a practicing Pagan and kinkster, is doing something about the problem.  She is working with a small team on creating a BDSM Tarot deck that should be ready sometime next year.

“I had this idea several years ago as I was starting to get into the lifestyle. I had already been a Pagan for years, and I’m a so-so tarot reader, but at the time I thought of it I didn’t know the tarot well enough to conceptualize what was needed for an entire deck. And I certainly am no artist in the visual sense. Now I have a best friend who is a professional tarot reader and teacher and a…something…I hesitate to use the term boyfriend, and he’s still kind of vanilla….so something…anyway, he’s a professional artist, primarily in the comic book industry. So it occurred to me recently that hey, now I have the team to pull this off.”

I found out about Niki’s project on Fetlife, where she was soliciting suggestions on different BDSM fetishes, tableaus, and ideals that should be connected with traditional Tarot cards and Arcanas.  She has since received more than enough suggestions and is working on synthesizing them with her and her team’s ideas.  While Niki doesn’t have a publisher yet for her deck, she does have some leads.  If you are a publisher and are interested in Niki’s project, please email me at chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com, and I’ll forward your email to Niki.

How can you help Niki out?  Look for future updates on her project here and on Fetlife, send energy to her project from your own home or at the Barbed Pentacle Shrine http://nshrine.com/shrine/Barbed_Pentacle, and make sure to buy a deck when the project is completed.

Check out these folks too!

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

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Primal Shamanism

This is a guest post by CrystalLynn of “Of Eve and Iktomi” http://eveandiktomi.blogspot.com/
What does Spirituality mean to me?  It means running and running, naked through the dark forest behind our pasture.  It’s the sinister sex in my husband’s eyes right before the chase begins.  It’s holding my children close and stroking their hair when they need the protective, nurturing energy that only their mother can provide.  It’s lying down like a sacrifice on the Goddess Rock when I need to ground myself.  It’s saying the funeral rite for an animal that decided to leave this world too soon.  It’s a family reunion every Samhain.  It’s a dream- or a Journey- where I can glean information and insight into my, or my friends’, problems.  It’s scratching, biting, growling- the sweet ecstasy of sex and the bloody exhilaration of the fight.  It’s invoking the Warrior.
 
In other words, it’s Primal.
I am what you might call a Primal Shaman.  I do very few organized rituals.  I do rituals and quests in my dreams or visions.  But the raw spirituality that I tap into goes much, much deeper than my human intellect can penetrate.  Which is not to say that I’m not an intellectual person.  I very much am.  I overthink things.  I know the logical fallacies, am fascinated by math and science and literature and art, and also theology, spiritual discourse, and mythology.  I give a nod to Athena every once in a while- but in my heart, my core, my soul, I am Primal.  My body is the heartbeat of the tribal drum.  My spirit is the lilting tear of the tribal flute.  In order to Journey, I need to hear the footfalls of animals, the echo and mirror of my animal self.  The One who instinctively knows that death is coming.  The One who fights to protect my family.  The One who can intuitively tell when there’s a problem.  The One who understands the pulse of the Earth and the ripples of the Water.  The One who calls Fire and Wind to fight for change.
 
I live on a small farm, close to nature.  Death is a page turn away from life, here.  We are not sheltered.  We see animals suffer and die, and it pulls on our gut in sorrow.  We see nature fight to stay alive, and it makes us want to fight for life even more wholeheartedly.  We wield the knife when it is our turn to end a life in order to put food on the table.  Holding the animal down, swiftly ending the life in a shower of blood, hearing the last breath, it is Life, and it feels right and natural.  And at the same time my heart is full of sorrow at the need to take a life.  It is full of respect for the one who sacrificed his life so that I can live.  Modupe*.  Thank you.  We, the Hunters, honor your spirit.  Sometimes I need to end a life when the life becomes too full of suffering.  In that case, death feels like a sweet release, the last breath is full of relief at last.  Sometimes I need to end the suffering of a young life, and my anger brims over at the unfairness of life.  But even the anger is natural and right.  This is my funeral rite for those who died before their time:
May your body find relief and union with the Earth, which birthed you.
May your spirit find fulfillment on its journey.
May you find rest and peace wherever you now dwell.
And, if it is your destiny, please return to this Earth in a stronger body.
 
In the same way, we witness a lot of births here.  As a Mother, I never fail to find the event miraculous.  Suddenly, Life appears where before there was only bloody tissue.  Being a Mother is a very Primal thing as well.  We are Warriors and Nurturers all at once.  We follow instinct and intuition.  Adrenaline and anxiety are part of our every day life.  Our babies drink from our body and are strengthened.  We experience a soul-connection with our children.  Our children come from our own body, and we are forever joined.  Just as with our mates, we are forever joined in a soul-bond.
To be Primal is to be intimately connected, not just with our children and mate, but with the Elements- the Earth which gives us food; there is nothing more Primal than walking barefoot in the garden and plucking a ripe tomato from the vine.   The Water which nourishes and cools us, like the breath of life after a hard day of work under the hot sun.  The Fire of passion which ignites the spark of life.  The Wind and Air which carries the changing seasons, heralding the start of a new cycle.

In my belief system, we have only one Soul, but multiple Spirits.  ”Worship” to me is not about prostrating ourselves before some distant power- it is about connecting with the different Spirits that live in us, and the Spirits outside which help to teach us.  I have the Spirit of the Warrior in me.  I have the Spirit of the Mountain Lion.  I have the spirit of the Rabbit.  I have the spirit of the Spider.  Animal spirits are archetypes- a way to describe a certain energy and personality.  I’ve known animals that had human Spirits, too!  Maybe your pet has the Spirit of a human child- animals raised in a human household often do.  And humans, like me, who live close to Nature often have very Primal Spirits.  My husband has the Spirit of the Tiger, and also the Warrior.  My daughter has the Spirit of the Dragon, and another which is cat-like.  My son has the Spirit of Coyote.  (Yes, I have a 3 year old with a Trickster Spirit.  My protective instinct has been tested over and over again!)
The hoofbeats of the running horses shake the ground.  The wind blows through their manes, making them toss their heads.  The hills grow thorns, wild and free, and the ocean waves crash upon the rocks.  Everything that has Power is Primal.  Everything that defies control is Free.  Ours is the Spirit of the Rebel, the Spirit of the Hunter, the Spirit of all those who would run as fast as the Wind, who would growl with the heat of Passion.  Our gods are nameless, named, and the ones who name.  We are as Old as the Earth and even older.  We can close our eyes and feel our roots go to the core of the earth, and feel our Soul soar past the sky to the deep Void of the Universe.  We dance, we kill, we give birth, we sing with raw emotions that tug at something inside you.  Some part of you that is afraid of the predator, some part of you that longs to dance with us, and truly feel Alive.

Ase*.

*Modupe (Moe-due-pway) is the Yoruban word for “Thank you”.  Ase (Ah-shay) is the Yoruban word for “So mote it be.”  It is an acknowledgement of the spiritual energy that is at play.  I use the Yoruban language because it is a very spiritual, primal language that speaks to me.
These folks are pretty fucking primal too:

Ode to the Trailer Park Goddess


I sing an ode to you, trailer park goddess!
You who are only pretty in summer when you are ripe like the peach between your legs.
By winter you will swell with an unwanted child from some half-forgotten, unprotected encounter that could have occurred with any guy for twenty miles.
You are mine, nymphette of Aphrodite!
I invoke your tight, tank top clad breasts that are just a little more than a handful, whose pertness needs no bra to contain them.

That beautiful cut-off encased apple ass, legs so short that your luscious roundness peaks out from the frayed edges of last year’s blue jeans.
Cotton candy intoxicates my senses and heightens my appetite for your sensuality, as you ride hard the cusp between maidenhood and motherhood.

You’ve perfected the ability to walk fine lines–you’re coy, yet easy; you demand fine smoke, yet ease your munchies with chili cheese fries and beer from the bar.

You ride the back roads with one guy after another–men and boys alike–too fast for most, fueled by something just short of ethanol from a mason jar.
Your temple is a single wide, with cable TV, and several window units. You dream of a shrine at the strip joint the next town over, but the only pole available to you now is the street light by your brother’s pick-up.

But like every goddess, you have your dark side. Kali has nothing on your drunken rages that rend the peace of the trailer park at 3am. In three years, your smile will be gaped from new habits picked up from the hook-up of the week; your sagging boobage will flop out of your tube top as you scoop up a dirty baby that’s been knocked over in a fight between your boyfriend and the babydaddy

 You’ll be a good goddess and have children stashed all over the place, cared for by relatives–distant and close–while you spread your legs like Dukes mayonnaise. You’ll care more about buying hot fries, cigarettes, beer, and whiskey than keeping the children still in your custody fed and clothed.
By thirty, you might as well be a crone, as your deeply wrinkled face smiles at the text message that your oldest is going to be a momma and is awaiting the paternity results from a dozen different dicks.

But for now, my sparkling trailer park goddess with the raucous laugh, powder pink finger nails, and fifty dollars from your momma’s food stamps, you are my wet dream of the summer.   

These folks always have an offering of beer and cigs waiting:
Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/