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Uncoven Issue #15

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 #20 is on the way!

Scarlet and Blackbird sit down with Jaye and discuss their whirlwind tour of South East Asia including magic tattoos, licking plates in fancy restaurants, rashes, and seeing more beautiful temples than their eyeballs could understand.

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

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

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New Facebook Group!

Hey, if you like us four weirdos a little bit, you are going to fall tits-over-broomsticks for the fellow listening family in the Hex Rated Uncoven.  In the words of Jem and the Holograms, it is truly, truly outrageous.
Description:
The Uncoven is a space for the outcasts and misfits, for those seeking their own twisted path to find a community.
Current threads o’ fire:
-House wights!
-Divination show and tell!
-Witchy playlist sharing party!
You can sit with us:
If that sounds like your cup of mugwort tea, sign up here.
Hex Rated uncoven

Thank You!

If you are already a member, THANK YOU, from the cobwebby cockles of our black hearts.  We are so excited to share this space with you.  We are blown away by the sass and smarts that is exploding on our screen and are humbled to be a part of it.

Travelling Up a Storm

Scarlet and I were fortunate enough to go on an incredibly exciting trip recently to Indochina.  We discuss the trip extensively on this month’s episode, and one of the most magical parts of the trip was not only getting to spend time with our friend who lives in Singapore, but to share in the experience of each of us getting a traditional sak yant tattoo from an Ajarn in Bangkok.  Sak yant tattoos are enchanted blessings which are crafted and applied by a master who has been handed down his craft through a lineage (Ajarn.)  Many Ajarns study the rituals and beliefs for many years before being deemed able by their own masters to perform the sak yant tattoo and ritual.
From the moment we got to the Ajarn’s studio, I felt like I was in a magical place.  As we sat outside and waited for the preparations to be finished, there was a shrine facing us and lit incense.  It felt so humbling to be in that sacred space, and we all said a blessing before we went in to meet the Ajarn.
Once inside, there was an even larger shrine with more golden statues than I have ever seen before in that small of a space.  The Ajarn sat cross-legged on a short pedestal and spoke with each of us through a translator about why we sought a sak yant – usually these tattoos are for help with a life problem, luck for an endeavor, or just generally to help the seeker in whatever aspect they are needing magical assistance.  We each discussed our life situation, and then the Ajarn showed us choices of the sak yants he would recommend.  We each went with whatever his first choice was.  I felt so reverent and honored by the experience of just talking with him – it made me feel like I was in a perfect mindset to get the tattoo.
The tattoo is hand-poked with a long bamboo rod and needle, and while the Ajarn administers the tattoo, he has helpers stretch the skin.  All three of us had placements on the upper middle back.  I went last, and when it was my turn, I was a little nervous.  As a person with quite a few machine-given tattoos, I was worried that this would not be very comfortable, but I usually have very little problem with machine tattoos – in fact, it is somewhat soothing to me (except the tops of my feet.  That was SUPER NOT soothing.)    Once he got started, as I sat on the floor with my legs pulled up and my chin tucked down, I felt a wave of warmth and joy inhabit me almost like I never had felt before.  I felt so strongly the word “RIGHT.”  What I was doing at that moment was right, my trajectory in life was right, that my entire world was just…not perfect, but heading in the exact direction it should be.  I could not help but smile and feel blessed during what was a very short process – about 15 minutes.  After the administration of the tattoo, the Ajarn applied a gold leaf symbol below the tattoo and put his hands on my shoulders to enchant the tattoo.  I felt electrified and quiet all at once.

It was a very emotional event, and one I wouldn’t trade.  I now have a sacred, enchanted symbol permanently in my skin – and while I think many of my tattoos are magical, this was a ritual that has been handed down for centuries and I felt so honored to receive it.

Blessed journey,
–Blackbird

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Spirit Houses of South East Asia

In addition to the breathtaking historic and modern temples all over Thailand, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, I was delighted each time I spotted one of the many personal or family shrines outside homes, businesses, pedestrian thoroughfares, or even in the jungle.

These spirit houses range from ornate, birdhouse-like miniature temples to handmade niches to simply discretely placed offerings.  Often, they include Buddhist iconography of the current religious majority, however, others reflect a pre-Buddhist folk or animist practice.

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Open Source Witchcraft: Hecate’s Day

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.

Hecate’s Day -2014
Google Doc-  click for full text

This is a old one from the vaults!  In 2014, we performed and invocation of Hecate and Blackbird volunteered to aspect (more ritually perform than fully channel) the Goddess.  Heavily borrowed from this Hekate’s Supper ritual, it is an interesting time capsule of our process.  Some portions are directly copied, others omitted completely.  The quarter calls in particular are fun to compare and contrast.  We took the format and tone and wrote our own invocations from scratch to fit 8 points.  Although we eventually streamlined our invocations down to 6 and made them colors, not directions, a lot of this early work remains in our current practice.

Original

Hekaté! Come! with your pride of passionate lions,
your blazing wild cats of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
dancing in flames that leap in our will.
Teach us to move with justice and courage
So we may accomplish our goals.
Ignite us with the spark of creativity,
Share with us your power and transforming energy this night.
Join our circle and guard our Southern gate.
O, Come and be our sword.

Our Version

Hecate! Come with your red Raven,
with you scarlet fox, creatures of cunning,
Roaring from the fiery blaze of undiluted force.
We feel your heat in our blood in the smoldering potential our Will.
Ignite our imaginations.
Fill us courage and passion
so that we may act with fearlessness and arte.
Pierce us with your energy and strength this night.
Join our circle and guard our Southern gate.
O come and be our Blade
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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. 

-A Texas Mosque opens its doors to church that was damaged when a car crashed into it. Paying it forward, the Mosque itself was offered temporary service space by local churches after a suspected arson last year.

-An anonymous donor buys sacred Dakota peace pipe at auction and r epatriates it back to the tribe.

 Spanish photographer Bego Antón has spent five years traveling to Iceland to explore the world of mythical, folkloric creatures.

-According to doulas, medical professionals abuse women in offenses ranging from nonconsensual episiotomies to sexual assault.

-A Republican running for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District thinks diversity is “a bunch of crap and un-American.”  Cool opinions, bro.  Side note: if you live in New Jersey, vote.

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

-Look up your local candidates’ backgrounds on Ballotpedia.

– There are decent people who do good things!  Cheer yourself up with the latest stories from What Went Right.

-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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