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Uncoven Issue #14

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!

We’ve been dealing with quite a bit of life lately, witches! One of us had her identity stolen (more on that below) and two of us spent a few weeks visiting a friend overseas, so needless to say episode #20 has taken a back seat to life. In the mean time don’t forget to follow us on our various social media handles for witchy updates while you await our witchy return!

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)

Travel Witch: Tips for visiting temples and holy sites

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This guide is not comprehensive and is based on my personal experience of sites in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.  Your mileage may vary accordingly!

Attire:
All of the sites we visited required covered shoulders and knees for women (I failed to note the requirements for men-types, sorry!).  Some places will have wrap skirts and shawls to borrow, others will let you buy or rent a coverup.

To save yourself a trip back through the line and possibly a few bucks, the most foolproof uniform we came up with was a short sleeved tee or blouse(cap sleeve is ok, full or elbow length is not required) and a skirt or slacks.  Some locations are fine with a shawl or drape over a sleeveless top, others are not.  To save yourself the hassle, just wear sleeves. Tight leggings or yoga pants are often a no-no even if they cover the knees, so either bring a shawl to use as a booty wrap or wear normal fitted but not skin-tight pants.

Shoes are removed at entrances or, at the very least, when entering inner sanctuaries.  Socks are ok.  If fact, if you’re walking anywhere the sun hits, the ground will be lava-hot so socks might be a counter-intuitively good idea. Don’t freak out, no one is going to steal your shoes.  However, if shoes are your life like me, you can stash them in you bag or in a grocery baggie and carry them with you.

Photography:
– Always observe signs and regulations.  Ask first if you’re not sure.
-Some places specfically prohibit selfies within temple grounds or with relics and statues.  Even if they don’t, skip the selfie.  It is tacky as fuck.
– Do not take pictures of people at worship.  If you can’t get the perfect shot while people are at prayer, buy a postcard or something.

Not looking like a tourist:
-You will.  Don’t sweat it.
Most of the sites you would be interested in seeing are landmarks and admit tourists all day.  That’s probably why it is on your radar in the first place.
I can’t speak for entire countries or ethnic groups, but my experience was that worshipers and staff are wonderfully proud of their heritage sites (rightly so!) and usually excited that you admire them as well. If you are genuinely curious and respectful, folks are patient and gracious, if sometimes amused.
-Don’t walk in between people at worship and their object of focus.
– If you feel moved to participate in worship or making an offering, let locals go first and let them take as much time as they need.
– Usually it is auspicious to circulate through a temple clockwise, but I am lefty-oriented and ended up circumambulating counter-clockwise every time without even noticing I was doing it.  No one tossed me out.  The gods seemed unperturbed.

-Scarlet

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Cooking up a Storm:
Southeast Asia Edition

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Scarlet and I just returned from a life-changing trip to Southeast Asia – we have a bestie that is currently living in Singapore, and we toured Bangkok, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka together.  We both have so much to write and share with you about this trip, but I thought I would tackle the most important feature first – FOOD!!!  We had some absolutely amazing meals while in each country, including a splurge night to the 2 Michelin star restaurant Gaggan, but I‘d like to talk about two regional dishes which were our favorites.

The first dish was in Bangkok, and it is called Kanom Krok.  These are tiny, round filled pancakes made of coconut milk and tapioca and rice flour.  About the size of a golf ball and a little flatter but still rounded, these little pop-in-your-mouth gems are usually filled with more coconut (how can you go wrong), sweet corn kernels, or for a savory treat, green onions.  They can be filled with lots of other ingredients, but their taste and flavor are out of this world.  They are made in a special cast iron skillet that has the rounded divots already in it, AND I WANT ONE.  These were hard to find, as they are definitely a street food but not sold everywhere – we really had to look for them.  When we found them, it was a delight!

The next dish is something that is pretty common, and you have probably had it – but I had never had it the way they made it in Sri Lanka.  The dish is roti, which is a flatbread that is popular in India and throughout Southeast Asia.  In Sri Lanka, one popular way to make it is with coconut and wheat flour (pol roti).  We went to the same roti shop in Mirissa both nights we stayed there, and they had the best filled roti I have ever eaten – prawn with egg and cheese, vegetables with cheese, and the dessert roti were NEXT LEVEL.  They made a banoffee (banana and toffee) roti served with a scoop of ice cream that was so delicious I wanted to punch someone.  After doing a little research, I think what we were served is called godamba roti or oil roti.  If you look up some recipes, these look fairly easy, but the technique is more than likely the catch here!  There is also a popular roti dish called kottu, which is fascinating to watch – the roti is cut up on a grill along with vegetables, meats, or whatever else they are adding, and cut repeatedly with two pieces of steel.  It results in a lot of rhythmic drumming/cooking sounds, and it is so much fun (and delicious.)

I saw so much, and we had a wealth of fantastic food in this part of the world – it‘s a trip that I highly recommend not only on a spiritual level, but also a great trip if you love food.

Blessed journey,
–Blackbird

Witch’s Wrath

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“You should have known better than to steal from a witch,” I whispered into the silence, my venom soaked voice awash with rage. “You should have known better than to steal from me.”

Stolen. My money. My identity. My name. By someone with the sheer audacity to call MY BANK and pretend TO BE ME. To answer to my name, to utter details of my life she had no right to.

She should have known better.

I need a custodian, I thought to myself, someone to be where I could not, someone to guard my name.

One’s name is sacred, their identity holy- to masquerade as another, a witch no less, is not only blasphemous, it’s downright dangerous.

You should have known better.

So I wrote my full name on a paper, intent to will a servator crafted from the very thing I would send it to protect. I crossed out letters that were multiples and then gathered the remaining letters into groups based on their shapes: ANM HILE GC R. From there I distilled the letters into basic shapes to tweak and combine, to sketch and mold until I could breathe life into my servator, the embodiment of my wrath, the personification of my own name.

You should have known better, I chanted as I worked.

I twisted my name into a sigil, pulling the letters into a new shape instilled with power, until I could feel my servator solidify with purpose. Then I named her. A German name because what language sounds as angry as German?

I sang her name, chanting to my ancestors and the spirits, and as I worked I drew her sigil upon my arm to further strengthen our connection.

“You are a witch’s wrath,” I sang to her, “Guard my name.”

You should have known better than to steal from me.

~Lily

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Get Registered to vote in time for Primaries!

Click your state to go to online registration

May 21
AlabamaCalifornia South DakotaVirginia

May 22
Maine Nevada

May 25
Iowa

June 1
Oklahoma

June 5 
Maryland

June 19 
Utah

If you missed your state’s primary registration deadline, no sweat, witch sister!  Register RIGHT MEOW and be ready in the fall!

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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. 

-Drool over Kat von D’s garden of all black flowers.

-A treasure trove of latinx bruja links from Broadly.

– Germany’s Harz Mountains have historically been associated with witches, spirits, and black magic, particularly the range’s highest peak, the Brocken. Back in 1932, one brave skeptic set out to test just how mystical the Brocken truly is by performing a ritual there designed to turn a goat into a little boy.

-A third of male university students say they would rape a woman if there no were no consequences.

-Look up your local candidates’ backgrounds on Ballotpedia.

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

– 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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