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Uncoven Issue #12

Welcome to Hex Rated…

where four witches living and practicing deep in the heart of the Lone Star State will take you on a journey through homegrown witchcraft, foul language, hilarious judgement, and – the dirtiest of all- FEMINISM. #hexratedwitches

Episode #18 Show Notes

Episode 18 is out, and we talk about where we are in the world of our practices today.  Stay tuned for an upcoming special release by Lily, where she will update all of us on the story of where she is, and her amazing tale of becoming a mother to twins!

Follow Blackbird’s poetry here (@blackbirdwyrd)
Follow Jaye’s writings and amazing natural photography here (@lady_jaye_of_the_wild)
Follow Lily’s gorgeous artwork here (@my_blue_veins)

Don’t forget to check out our web-o-net pages at Hex Rated Podcast!

The Moon Broke: A Poem to My Daughters   

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You were born under a split moon
Shrouded in darkness, bathed in light
You were formed side by side in the womb
Whatever souls are made of,
I have forged yours
Twin daughters born to the eldest daughter
Of an eldest daughter
Of an eldest daughter
Of an eldest daughter
Ours is a web of women
You were born to a witch who bled for you
Who cried for you
Who labored as her ancestors had labored
For you
You were born as the moon broke in two
Daughters of my blood
And bone
And soul
You were born together
My drop of tree light
My little bird

~Lily

Sass-trology: Signs and Gender

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Last month I profiled Taurus bros and how sometimes the volatile mix of butch animal avatar and girly-gal ruling planet combust into a completely gross cocktail of toxic masculinity.

However, If gender is a social construct, why write up differing guys’ and gals’ sign profiles at all?  Why should gender affect how the stars align?  How do we avoid simply reinforcing stereotypes?

I thought I’d take a step back and examine what factors are at play and why I sometimes focus on a specific zodiac gender.

The example of Taurus is a helpful test case because it demonstrates how the issue is not that biological sex or gender identity affect a sign’s manifestation, but that the cultural expectations around gender may or may not pressure an individual to embrace or rebel against their astrological predispositions.

There is no inherent conflict between a macho bull totem and a femme-y goddess like Venus.  Human beings can be as many things at different times or even at the exact same time as they want!  In fact, there is nothing inherently macho/femme about bulls or love deities in the first place.  It is our culture that decided horned things that go “moo” are for boys and that beauty divinities are for girls.

So, short answer to the rhetorical questions posed above: Gender shouldn’t affect astrological personality type, but an individual’s feelings about their own gender identity or that person’s culture may cause them to act out gendered versions of the baseline zodiac type.

As a fun game, I like to brainstorm alternate ruling deities whose polarity might be easier to embrace across gender lines.

Traditional: bold, alternate: italic
Aries: Mars, Ares.  Athena, Minerva
Taurus: Venus, AphroditeDionysus, Freyr.
Gemini: Mercury, Hermes.  Iris, Leda, Circe
Cancer: Selene, Luna. Thoth, Endymion, Osiris
Leo: Apollo. Cybele, Sekhmet.
Virgo: Mercury, HermesVesta, Hestia.
Libra: Venus. Apollo, Janus.
Scorpio: Pluto, Hades Persephone, Hecate.
Saggitarius: Jupiter, Zeus.  Artemis, Diana.
Capricorn: Saturn, Cronus.  Rhea, Ceres, Demeter.
Aquarius: Uranus, Ouranos. Astarte, Nuit, Hebe.
Pisces: Neptune, Poseidon. Amphtrite, Saraswati.

Cooking up a Storm – Spring is Springing!

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Spring is almost upon us here in Texas – the days are getting warmer, the daffodils are blooming, Bartlett pear trees are showing out with their beautiful white puffs, and there are generally way more people out enjoying the good weather and getting their lawns and gardens back in shape.  I am no exception.  It felt really great this past weekend to turn some attention to my backyard, but I was successful this winter in keeping a few herbs protected and alive throughout the cold months.  I caught myself just now and almost typed “neglected” backyard, but then I realized that I didn’t really neglect it at all – I spent time in my yard addressing and giving offerings to my land and house wights, singing to my herbs that made it through the cold, lovingly wrapping them up when it got a little frosty for them.  That’s just another small acknowledgement of the way that I have deepened my practice without really even realizing it until now.

My plans for this spring include planting new herbs, trying to grow lavender for the 400th time (it always dies and I am pretty sure it’s because I water it too much), maybe trying a few new vegetables since I was fairly successful with peppers and tomatoes last year, and most importantly, giving credit where credit is due – thanking the spirits that bless my house and property with their presence, and giving myself renewing energy by working with these spirits.  Even if you rent the place where you live, there are spirits there as old as the land itself.  If you just sit quietly and listen, they will give you their warmth.  Try something new, put out small offerings whenever you feel like it might be warranted, and most of all, recognize the energy that you get from honoring the natural world around you.  Apartment, condo, house or farm, the land belongs to time, past, present and future.  Take care of it and you, and you will reap benefits from that practice.

–Blackbird

Women of Color in STEM are having a moment, but have been crushing it since forever

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Rather than bury these links in the usual Politicraft round-up, here are some rad stories all in one place!

-All about  Patricia Bath who was the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent and revolutionized cataract treatment.

-Disney donates $1 million to Boys and Girls Clubs of America so they can build a real-life  STEM Center of Innovation in Oakland, CA and others across the nation.

-G ladys West, the mathematician whose calculations helped develop GPS.

 Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was a self-taught inventor who revolutionized menstrual pads and filed five patents in her lifetime.

– Take your mansplaining and shove it.  11 Women Who Did Groundbreaking Things That Men Got The Credit For.

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Open Source Witchcraft: Ostara

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.

Here is our ritual from last year.  It’s short, we left the ritual portion unscripted with the beginning invocations being the focus for research and writing.  This ritual plays on the concept of various European goddesses of spring, hearth, and dawn being the linguistic descendants of an older parent language and mythos, Proto-Indo-European *Huesos.

Google doc – click for full text

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Politi-Craft

An on-going list of political and social action items to keep you aware in these rage inducing times. 

-Largest Witchcraft Collection in North America Opens at Cornell

 Rivers of Babylon: First person account of a so-called “third trimester abortion” and Jewish spirituality and mourning.  A tough but beautiful read.

– Biodegradable, flushable pregnancy test could protect women from reproductive coercion and abuse and protect the environment.

– Bill in Washington State would require victims be notified when their domestic  abusers attempt to purchase a firearm.

Below you will find items from previous newsletters that are still relevant:

-A Texan‘s Political Guide to Resisting Trump.  Not just for Texans!

-These Women Made a Database of Black Women Running for Office in 2018.  Links to the list and info about the rad-ass women behind it.

– Check out Jen Hoffman’s new year activism challenge with her activism plan worksheet and a bonus self care worksheet.    Sign up for her weekly newsletter which is so ridiculous more thorough than ours!

– Join the Handmaid’s Resistance!  Get updates about events, resources, organizing your own event and more.

– fire up that cellular device and oppose the rollback of birth control coveragedefend childhood immigrants and DREAMersdenounce Trump’s ban on transgender troops, tell DeVos to maintain title IX protections for campus assault victims.  Or pick any other five issues from 5 Calls, there are 31 active issues!  Bonus points: follow up with emails and faxes through an app (see below) or good ole snail mail.

– Try the  Stance app. Record a voice message and will send it directly to your representative’s phone.

– 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.

– The  Women’s March is a goldmine of resources and suggested actions to combat the growing voice of racism, bigotry, and sexism. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well!

– 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.

-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.

-Check out Planned Parenthood Texas Vote‘s guide on attending legislative committee hearings where the public is given the opportunity to provide input and feedback on proposed laws.

– 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.

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Hocus Pocus, bitches.

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