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Uncoven Issue #16

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.

Episode #21 is on the way!

In this next episode, Scarlet, Jaye, and Blackbird explore the idea of divination as therapy or a self-help tool, and the witches delve deeply into their feelings about guacamole.  Look for it in the coming week!

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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Last Month:

The witches of Uncoven created a ritual for family reunification for families separated by immigration.  Thanks to everyone who contributed words to the ritual and everyone who participated!
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:
– hag stone show and tell!
book recommendations!
– mortars and pestles!
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.

Friday the 13th Spooky Special Edition!

Paranormal Investigation: Old Homes and Where to Look

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Here is my particular area of expertise: Old, specifically Victorian homes.

Let’s just assume someone tells you a place is haunted and you’re the witch on the scene.  I’m going to skip all the hows and whys a house might be haunted, why you might get involved, or what you can do about it.   I’m just going to skip to tips that hopefully you haven’t heard before.

 Make a blueprint of the house.
If you can get one, historical or otherwise – that is good too, but make your own.  First off, it‘s a good way to kill time while you‘re waiting for spookiness to happen.

Secondly, you will then be able to locate the hidden closets, crawlspaces, chimneys, stairs, and so forth that may be sealed between walls.  In one home, we found an ENTIRE BATHROOM that was sealed on all four sides except a tiny dusted over window on the outside. We would have never noticed it if we had not measured four feet of uncounted space on the outside that didn‘t match up with the length of the rooms on the inside.

Lastly, if you have an eye for architecture, you may notice what parts of the house were later additions. This is very handy when some dumbass tells you a horror story about a murder in the kitchen and you know that room wasn‘t originally part of the house. Bustin‘ makes me feel good! You can also use this information to focus your investigation on the older parts of the house if you don‘t feel like busting balls instead of ghosts.

Get a jumpsuit and a headlamp and get under there!
All the coolest stuff is under the house.  Animal skeletons, the random stuff that gets put into the walls and falls through, things people as weird as you hid under there, and more.
It is dusty.  There are bugs.  There are animals.  There are sharp things.  There might even be exposed electrical wiring!  Hey, if you didn’t want to get scared, why did you go to a haunted house?

Don’t Forget the Outside
In my experience, the creepy feels are often strongest outside, especially if it is a wooded area or empty fields.
Rural America is a strange and gothic place.  Sometimes the economically depressed state or isolation of the surrounding town is the most sinister thing about the place.  Don’t just be a tourist, really observe where you are.

-Scarlet

Elbow Deep with Blackbird

yd2Greetings, everyone.  In lieu of Cooking Up a Storm, I am changing it up by intermingling an introspection/self-help(?)/FEELZ column – mainly because since I’ve been in the moving process for what feels like forever now, I haven’t been cooking like I normally do.  My kitchen-witchery has gone the way of delicious tacos from local taquerias and existing on peanut butter and jelly.  Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those choices, and some of the tacos here in San Diego are fucking magical.  I also had a near-orgasmic situation with something called Salted Pepper Chicken Wings yesterday, reinforcing the fact that moving here was my destiny.  I just kept eating these wings and shaking my head in shock.  My husband kept looking at me and laughing.

Meanwhile, I have had lots of thoughts on the trip from Texas to San Diego, and even MORE thoughts (how is this possible!?!) while waiting for all our stuff to get here (we knew we would be waiting a week or so, but it felt like an eternity.)  One of the thoughts I had that I shared with my witches was a weird one, but it felt like growth so I will share it with y’all as well.  Above the sink in my new kitchen is a blank wall – a great place to hang some art, or shelving, etc.  I want to do a mixture of those things, and then I thought that a small mirror would be nice too – I spend a lot of time at the sink preparing food, doing dishes, singing at the top of my lungs.  When I thought of the mirror though, I said out loud to myself “WAIT, a mirror is a terrible idea, I like to do my crying at the sink.”  And almost as fast as that thought hit me, I said, “WAIT AGAIN.  A mirror is EXACTLY what I need.”  Yup, weird, I know.

Because my first thought was ugh, who wants to see yourself when you are ugly-crying about whatever the fuck you need to ugly-cry about?  But hang on a min:  I DO WANT TO SEE THAT.  Maybe examining myself in that moment will bring about a better understanding of whatever it is I am going through right then in that very moment.  I don’t feel like I would use that moment as a self-editing tool – in other words, to try and change my “look” in that moment – but maybe to capture whatever essence of the root of the problem is by looking in my own eyes.  Is that crazy?  I don’t think so, but even if it is, I am going to try it and see what happens.  I know this, if I need to cry, I won’t change up where I do it as I am a total creature of habit.  And you know, crying is super therapeutic – it’s not like I am standing at the sink every night and bawling (if I was, I would hope I was examining WTF is going on) but sometimes if I have a memory, or am listening to music, or if I am under some stress, that’s just where it seems to come out the most.  Anyway, I haven’t gotten this mirror yet, but I will report back and let everyone know how this works out.  I think it’s an interesting concept, much like rehearsing for a interview in the mirror, or even for those of us that participate in 12 Step groups, to read your 4th step aloud into a mirror.  Doing some uncomfortable, get-honest-with-yourself stuff in front of a mirror is pretty ballsy – because you know instantly when you are trying to bullshit yourself.  This work is not easy, but getting to know yourself and accept you for ALL your parts – light, dark, and everything in between – to me, this is what makes for a meaningful life.

Keep digging,

Blackbird

Witch Mother: A Grimoire

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I recently purchased a custom grimoire from McCall Company and it is the most beautiful book I’ve ever owned. From the hand bound pages to the silver tooled runes, this book has magic woven into it. For now, it’s mine, but my hope is that one (or both, and then what will I do?) of my daughters will eventually want their mother’s grimoire. My hope is that one day they’ll turn these pages I’m filling with spells and power and it will sing to them, it will call to them and then it will no longer be my book, it will be theirs. I’m leaving a note for them within it, a letter of love and purpose.

I have secrets. I have spells. I have chants and invocations. I have curses. I have hexes. I have truths inside this soul.

I am still learning.

What I have to tell you, Daughters, is sacred. What I have bound inside this tome, that which I have sealed within its pages, are the secrets of our blood and the darkness that belongs to every Witch. You, daughters of a witch, will be hexen by virtue of your birth if you choose to walk a shadowed path. When I was pregnant with you, heavy and swollen from the effort, the Morrigan came to me in a dream and what she said to me was not for my ears, but yours. You are not ladies, my daughters, you are beasts. You are warriors. Spaekona. Witches.  

Your path is your own, twisted and winding as it may be, I cannot walk it for you, but I can leave you with this. All my knowledge, all my instincts, my intuition, my conjures. I leave it for you and your daughters and their daughters.

I love you more fiercely than I have ever loved anything. Everything I have, is yours. 

~Lily

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Calling the Spirits

Spirits of Blood,
Spirits of Bone,
Spirits of Shadow
I call you home.

Beyond the Veil
and through the dark
come and heed;
the witch’s hark.

Wandering the Wicked Path

If you are looking for a place that feels magical as fuck, then check out Sedona, Arizona.
Bold red rock contrasting against the bold red rock. At night the sky is a blanket of stars.
The air is crisp and electric. You can feel the energy of the land.
It could have been the elevation and adrenaline. But I now believe it was the power of the spiritual vortexes located there.
My favorite vortex hike is Cathedral Rock Trail. There will be a lot of hikers on this trail since it is one of the most popular hikes, but it is 100% worth the view.
I packed a picnic and made the climb about an hour and a half before sunset . And I really mean climb. You gain 551 feet in elevation in 0.7 of a mile.
It was peaceful sitting in the saddle of the rock amongst the spires. Eating a picnic and then walking to the ledge in time to watch the landscape glow in the sunset.
Take an evening to watch the sky. Sedona is a dark sky city that limits light pollution.
Check out the magic shops throughout the town and get your aura read for fun.
But most of all, take time on the trails.
I had trouble narrowing down my hikes one day, so I let my runes decide. I tossed my runes on trail map and we let that guide us for that day.
There are trails for all levels of experience whether you are looking for a kid-friendly hike or a rush along side a cliff side.
The vortex will refresh your soul. Energize your spirit.
Out on the trails I found a path within myself that I had been looking for. And got some great views along the way.
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Notes:
Vortexes are located at Airport Mesa, Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock
For information on trails:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=54892&actid=50

Good Journey.
-Jaye

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Women’s Heath Spotlight – Politi-Craft 

 What To Do When ― Not If ― Roe Vanishes.

– Buy a box  or several of Plan B!  Emergency contraception is still hard to obtain for many and access is increasingly under threat from laws that protect pharmacists refusing to dispense, bans on insurance coverage, age restrictions, and more.  You or someone you know may need it.  Guys can buy it too! It has a shelf life of 4 years. (Link directs to Amazon $37.95, but low or no cost EC is also available at Planned Parenthood.)

-Before ‘Roe v. Wade,’ The Women of ‘Jane’ Provided Abortions For The Women Of Chicago.

-When Doctors Downplay Women’s Health Concerns.

 Taking black women’s pain seriously: author recounts her near-fatal ovarian cyst that was brushed off by doctors because, you know, “dramatic black girl.”

– Awesome news!!  HPV vaccine has almost wiped out infections in young women, figures show.

– No fucking duh.  A new study shows that hormones released during menstruation have no effect on women’s ability to think clearly.

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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. 

-For no particular reason, the USDA is making it impossible to use SNAP at local farmer’s markets.

-N IH finally makes good with Henrietta Lacks’ family….kinda.  Her cells and genome have led to medical breakthroughs, but were taken before her death without her knowledge, consent, or compensation.

-Must read!  Woman stands up to illegal Border Patrol bus search.  No one should be asked to present “papers” for interstate travel.  I laughed out loud at, “The agents start to look exasperated, because they can see I’m willing to act a WHOLE DONKEY.”

-Nerd Girls nerding: Pinar Toprak has been signed to score “ Captain Marvel” and is the first female composer to score a major comic-book movie.

– What Death Positive is NOT from the founder of the Order of the Good Death.

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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