Uncoven Issue #1
Sacred is the bitch, for she is a creature of viciousness.
Sacred is the bastard, for he is bound by no one’s faith.
Sacred is the slut, for she is wanton in the face of repression.
Sacred are the dead, for they are of the Earth.
Sacred is the hag, for the gifts of womanhood are hers.
Hot For Witches with Scarlet
This month’s profile is a hollaback to a witch name-dropped on Hex Rated Episode #9 – A Ritual for Vengeance and Justice: Enheduanna, Priestess of Inanna.
Circa 2300 BCE in the Sumerian city of Ur, Enheduanna was a full-time nasty woman wielding both political and spiritual clout as the daughter of King Sargon, High Priestess of Nanna, and authoress of hundreds of lines of poetry to her personal patroness Inanna. During a political coup, she was ousted from office and lashed out with hymns of righteous, autobiographical propaganda.
But the best part is that her songs to Inanna are not musty, flavorless arcana 4000 years past their sell-by date. Her poems use the legendary Descent of Inanna as a metaphor for her own overthrow. She doesn’t just sign the praise of the Goddess of Love, she calls down curses of the Goddess of War.
Her unbelievably modern voice will give you brain freeze with it’s freshness. Her cuneiform stylus stabs right at you in first person, spelling out the life story of a passionate lover of her Lady, an outraged exile, and a feminist eons before it was even a thing.
That man threw me out of the temple, I who served triumphant.
He made me fly like swallows swept from their holes in the wall.
He eats away at my life, I wander through thorny brush in the mountains. He robbed me of the true crown of the High Priestess.
He gave me the ritual dagger of mutilation. He said “it becomes you.”
I shall not pay tribute to Nanna,
It is of You I PROCLAIM!
That you are exalted as An, PROCLAIM!
That you are wide as Earth, PROCLAIM!
That you crush rebellious lands, PROCLAIM!
That you shriek over the land, PROCLAIM!
That you smash heads, PROCLAIM!
That you gorge on corpses like a dog, PROCLAIM!
That your glance flames with rage, PROCLAIM!
That your eyes flash like jewels, PROCLAIM!
That you balk and defy, PROCLAIM!
That you stand victorious, PROCLAIM!
I have not said this of Nanna, I have said it of You.
My praises glorify You who are alone exhaled, my Queen.
And it effing worked. She regained her position and was a revered spiritual authority for centuries after her death. Her hymns were used in devotional worship throughout Sumer and Akkad. Some sources indicate she may have even been honored as semi-divine. Today she is recognized as the earliest poet in world history that we know by name.
Bitches get shit done, y’all. PROCLAIM.
Enheduanna, and Betty De Shong Meador. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna. Austin: U of Texas, 2006.
image source: Wikimedia Commons
This is for the restless witch of the woods that thirsts for dirt under their nails and a crown of pine needles sewn into their hair. For the weary day keeper that yearns to howl out into the wild to purge their domestication. To the brave souls willing to wander into the damp darkness as the earth closes in. This thread is for the curious seeker of magical places and the power they hold.Deep in the lush green wilderness of Arkansas lies a popular hiking trail known as The Lost Valley Trail. Many travelers frequent this trail to take in the wonders of the flowing creek, Cobb Cave, and Eden Falls. But I seek it with the hopes of being rewarded with a lesser traveled piece of this waterfall housed within the rocky hillside.
Climbing the stone steps to upper Eden Falls, the rock face before me opens up its mouth to tell the secrets of Eden Falls Cave. None of the travelers around me dare to enter. Too wet, too dark, too dangerous. Called on by the seductive whispers within, I carry on.
I feel the air cool my skin as I enter the rocky path with only the rushing water to summon me further. I crawl on hands and knees through the narrowing tunnel as the pulsing beat of water grows louder ahead. As my rocky surroundings start to hug me closer, I begin to wonder if I may have crawled through the wrong passage. What if I lose myself in this place? It is then that I feel the drops of water on my face as the walls open up around me and the magnificent underground waterfall, shrouded in darkness is before me.
I paint my flesh with the mud and soil as I slither through its embrace.
I kneel on mossy stone and lift my voice in the echoing chamber.
I cleanse my body with the mist of the waterfall as I revel in its force.
I craft my purpose in the cave that is my temple.
Encompassed in the womb of the Earth, I am renewed and reborn.
I am a Witch of the Wild Places. Welcome.
Note: Research and preparedness are essential. Pack water and flashlights. I recommend bringing a pack of glow sticks to leave a trail of crumbs back to follow. Always be sure to pick up what you set out. Also, check with local park services on whether the cave is still open for exploring. Many wild caves have closed in recent years due to White Nose Syndrome affecting the bat populations. Please keep our dark winged friends in mind and check before exploring any wild caves.
Throwing Stones with Lily
Alright, let’s launch straight into these here runes, y’all! Welcome to the Elder Futhark, oldest of the runic alphabets and, in this witch’s opinion, the best. For some research and insight into the Elder Futhark check out this (brief) introduction on my blog where I’ll go a bit more in-depth on what the futhark is and where it comes from. I ain’t gonna waste no time doing that here, instead we’re gonna get this party started beginning with Fehu.
So first off let me say that all the names we use for the runes in the Elder Futhark are reconstructed porto-germanic and based on attestations in the three runic poems. Meaning that the rune you will see below is called “fehu” based on scholarly reconstruction. Let’s get started.
Fehu is the first rune of the Elder Futhark and represents the ‘f’ sound within the alphabet. Conveniently, not only is fehu attested to in all threerunic poems, it’s meaning is also agreed upon in all three poems: wealth. The Anglo-Saxon poem uses Christian imagery to encourage one to give away one’s wealth (a common theme in the Abrahamic faiths) while the Icelandic and Norwegian poems both contain a warning about the nature of wealth. Specifically, the latter two poems urge us to beware of the dividing power of wealth, citing wealth as a “source of discord among kinsmen.”
I encourage you to check out the runic poems yourself, but for me the Norwegian and Icelandic poems conjure images of war and betrayal. Wealth is power and all wars come down to power. Fehu is the wealth (not just monetary wealth, but knowledge and skills as well) and power that we can and should share with our communities. When throwing runes and fehu appears, I suggest assessing what runes are influencing it (so which runes are near fehu), because fehu rarely acts alone, before urging the querent to figure out what “wealth” they have to offer.
An on-going list of political and social action items to keep you aware in these rage inducing times.
– Head to the House of Representatives website to find your rep in congress and contact them! Emails are great, phone calls are better, but do something. Contact them until the poor, unpaid interns who have to answer the phones all day know you by name. Contact them until everyone cries because you will not stop until your rep knows exactly where you stand on all the issues.
– Follow your congress(wo)man on Twitter or periodically check-in (if clouding your social media feed with their trash is too repulsive), representatives will often tweet about upcoming town halls. Attend town halls.
– If you are in a time crunch and want to contact your senators or representatives but can’t get to a town hall, check out this genius texting bot called Resistbot. You will have to come up with a short message, but the bot will fax your legislators DAILY if you so desire.
– Check out The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) handy-dandy doc Know Your Rights for when you’re out there on the street peacefully protesting and expressing your motherfuckin’ right to civil disobedience. In fact, while you’re at it, donate some cash monies if you can. Here in ‘Merica we vote with our dollars.
– One of the handiest resistance guides out right now is the Indivisible Guide. A wealth of information and actions.
– The March for Science will be on Earth Day, April 22nd, in Washington D.C., but if you won’t be in the Capital that weekend, check out this list of sister marches. Science and science education is important, the last thing we need is a (bigger) society of idiots.
-If you are a Texas resident, you can go to the Texas Legislature Online and sign-up for an account, allowing you to view legislative content and add bills to an alert list. Whenever a bill you’ve put on your list is updated, you’ll receive an alert. Also, feel free to check out our list of Texas legislative bills that we are monitoring and updating. Stay woke, witches.
– Don’t over extend yourself! Yes, we’d all like to fix all the problems right the fuck now, but that’s not practical. You will burn yourself out if you try to keep up with everything in this country (and world for that matter) that needs fixing, so we recommend you come up with a short list of the most important social issues to you. This does not mean you don’t care about everything! We know you do! But we can’t all be doing everything all the time. Our lists are:
Lily: public education, freedom of speech, separation of church and state, women’s health, LGBTQA rights
Blackbird: women’s equality, economic equality, institutional racism, free press, LGBTQA rights
Scarlet: freedom of speech and first amendment rights, separation of church and state, women’s health, LGBTQA rights, animal welfare
Jaye: Animal rescue and advocacy, wildlife conservation, environmental issues, women’s rights, LGBTQA rights
Our rituals are Frankensteined and Mad-Libbed together and they are free for you to share! Keep what you like, ditch what you don’t. Cut, paste, curse, and cure. Tell us what happens.
Ritual of Vengeance and Justice
A post-election cursing and binding witch bottle spell. Invocations to Baba Yaga, Medea, Circe, Bagalamuhki, Sekhmet, Boudicca, Itzpapalotl, and Circe.
Google Doc – click for full text
Ritual of Vengeance and Justice part II
A much abridged rite with the same flavor in preparation for the women’s march in Austin, TX. Invocation Justice, Equality, Liberty, and Freedom with a special shout of to Libertas, Marianne, and Columbia.
Google Doc – click for full text