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Uncoven Issue #18

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

Click the link below to be instantly transported to our latest podcast episode #22: How Do You Witch?

Episode #22: Show Notes

In this episode, Jaye, Scarlet and Blackbird Q&A each other about how they each actually practice witchcraft, what rituals they do (or don’t do,) what kind of “system” each witch has for crafting their own special brand of magic, how just being a semi-functional adult in the world is difficult, and the importance of Tex-Mex cuisine. Hot take, IT’S IMPORTANT.

Scarlet mentioned the book Psychomagic:The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

We are ALL OVER the ‘grams, folks.  Check us out.
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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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:-Witchy fiction recommendations!
– Etsy shops we love!
-Tips for closeted witches

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.

Elbow Deep with Blackbird

Patience and Pause – It’s Hard, Y’all!

yd2There are times when you feel like magic is all around you, coursing through every part of your being and exuding from your fingertips.  There are other times when aspects of your physical, more mundane life is too hectic, with no time for pause and possibly lacking in that “I”M TOTALLY DOING MAGIC” feeling.  For me, there are times when I am acutely aware that I am making a choice – to either allow the magic to flow through me, or to let other stuff take over – my new job, my errands, tasks in the “real” world.  I sometimes choose to see the magic in all of these things too, but there are definitely times when I’m in fear, or insecurity, and just not as open as I am at other times.  Since my latest giant transformation of moving across country, I have been in and out of all of these states of being – sometimes aware of the choice I am making, sometimes not.  Sometimes magical, sometimes not pausing long enough at all.  None of these states, in my mind, are “good” or “bad” – they just ARE.  And while I am apt to beat myself up for not being my best witch all the time, just honestly, what the fuck is that anyway.  Less beating up and more just figuring out what is the best thing for me at whatever given moment – this is the key.  I was able to spend a few minutes on my patio a couple of weeks ago, and took my grimoire with me in case I felt like I had anything to write.  I came up with what you see to the left – a few items that you can put together in whatever way you see fit – I wrote “grind and sprinkle” like I know what I’m doing.  You can add or subtract your own ingredients.  I’ve written these ingredients down, and I look forward to trying these out as intended.  Sometimes, the thought inspires the deed.  Patience with yourself in all your stages is ALWAYS excellent medicine.

Blessings,
–Blackbird

She Knew Her Way

yd2If I’ve said it once then I’ve said it a million fucking times: You. Are. The. Witch.

If you follow us on the grams (which you should) I’m sure you’ve read one of my many rants on this subject, but allow me to step upon my soap box one last time (I’m lying, this won’t be the last time) and deliver to you yet another (hopefully) inspiring rant.

Aren’t you tired of asking other people to validate your practice? Aren’t you totally fucking over that feeling that creeps into your gut, whispering the lie that you are not good enough? Well, get the fuck over it, my magical little cinnamon buns, because you are enough.

Here you are, doing your magical practice, calling to spirits, singing to wights, brewing up spells like a goddamn champ. Own it, you delicate tropical fish.

I am so done with holier than thou pagans, I am so fucking over the witchsplaining, and I am 100% not giving any more of my time to the energy vampires out there sucking you and me and everyone dry with their fangs full of doubt and snobbery.

Someone messaged us a few days ago and made the fantastic point that attitudes like that are inherently exclusionary and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I don’t care if you’re over here with your emoji spells, I don’t care how many degrees you’ve been initiated, I don’t care if your great-great grandma was the town healer, I don’t care if you’re using a plastic cauldron you got from the Target seasonal aisle.

I. Don’t. Care.

You are valid. You are a witch. You know your way.

~Lily

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Bone Hunting

I am addicted to hunting for bones in the woods.

My witch hermano took me to visit his secret tree shine at the nature preserve.  Zooming right past  the majestic tree itself, I snatched up a stray tooth and a rib bone and squealed, ” OMG, DEAD THINGS.”
That’s the kind of witch I am.

So anyway, now that I can find dead treasures in the woods whenever I want, I cannot stop.  I guess it is good for my ADD to work quietly on a simple, focused task.  It is a very meditative activity.  More importantly, however, bones are fucking rad and finding things is a triumph of childlike glee that never gets old.

Supplies

-You will need a container to put your treasures.  I’ve dumped out a tin of mints on the spot when I found a surprise dead bat but a baggie, or something with a lid already packed is nice.  Probably not a tupperware other people in the house use for food, they get creeped out by such things.

-A Very Technical Tool: a stick.  Grab a good poking stick to root around with.
-Insect repellent.  I don’t usually get bitten and I get eaten alive hunting for bones.  Live animals to bite and dead things to eat mean the bugs are already exactly where you want to be.  Be advised you may very well get attacked more than you are accustomed.

You probably don’t need

-A sieve.  Unless the ground is very fine or sandy, a sieve is just going to get clogged with dirt, leaves, and seeds.

-Gloves.  I mean, yeah dead things might have germs but so do keyboards, door handles, money, everything else.  Wash your hands. Don’t lick your fingers or touch your eyeballs.

-A Shovel, spade, or other legit digging tool.  More on this below, but suffice to say you are not going to be doing any deep archaeological excavating. A stick is fine, for real.

Owl tree, find it

Owls (and other large birds of prey, but let’s let hootie-hoos be the star today) consume their prey at the home nest and litter the ground with tiny remains.  Don’t worry, they will be scattered about and you do not need to root around in owl pellets (although you can and may as well, you are already creeping in the woods touching dead things).

the perfect Owl Tree
This is the ideal Owl Tree, in order of most to least important features to look for:

-Big, Tall, Old.  Owls don’t screw around with sad, little Charlie Brown Christmas Trees.

-In a wooded area.  What I really mean is an area that is not regularly mowed as this will scatter or obliterate bones or any other goodies.  Many birds of prey do in fact nest and hunt in open prairie where they can see small rodents easily, but these areas are regularly maintained even if they don’t look like it by homeowner’s association standards.  Denser terrain is a better place to start.

-A little off the beaten path.  The less human traffic and dense forest you can get to is where wild things like to be.  If you can clamber beyond the landscaped path few yards, you’ll find more undisturbed sites.However, seclusion is relative; I’ve found bones under trees along the paved bike trails in wooded parks.

-Near a creek or source of water.  This is ideal habitat for majestic flap-flaps to get everything they need and likely the tree will have been nested in continuously.  Hence, more accumulated bones.

-Don’t skip a tree because you don’t notice any birds or a nest. Some birds of prey don’t even build them, but even if they do, they will usually be too difficult to spy from the ground.

Seriously, stop digging

All the bones I’ve found have been less than half and inch under the leaf litter and debris, most were right there on the surface.  Bones aren’t going to be buried unless a human purposely interred them there, an animal buried a snack and forgot about it (not common, especially in areas where wildlife does not hibernate), or they lay in the path of rain runoff where mud from uphill collects.  Like I said, almost all the bones I find I spotted right on top of the ground so digging any more that just scratching around with a stick is a waste of time.  You might uncover something, but I find more bones in the same amount of time scouring with the naked eye.

Another time-waster is over-focusing on the spot where you just found a bone.  This is where I am really tempted to start digging.  However, excluding freshly dead carcasses, bones that are loose in the woods are going to be scattered.  Reeeally scattered.  Scattered by the animal that killed it, scattered by scavengers making away with the scraps, other creatures digging or passing through, and the elements.  It’s hard not to fall for the hot hand fallacy, especially when you are in a groove, so this is something I have to constantly remind myself.  Suffice to say, you likely won’t find a bonanza of bones right under the one you just discovered.

Dead things!
~Scarlet

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Sorry, Not Sorry

yd2I apologize all the fucking time.  Even if it is not my fault, I end up saying sorry.  I feel bad telling people “no”. Even for saying “no” to people I DON‘T like. And then I feel terrible on top of that for admitting to myself that I don‘t like them.

It is fucking exhausting.

I end up dancing this ridiculous dance all the time to keep people‘s feelings from getting hurt.  Being nice and sorry all the damn time is draining. And it is usually terrible people that exploit that guilt.

Even unpacking the baggage of this guilt is complex and admitting where it started from makes my insides hurt. I start making excuses for the people in my past that made me this professional emotional hoop jumper.

Because years‘ worth of doing that dance made it easier to believe that things were my fault and it was my responsibility to make it better for everyone. Fuck that noise.

Maybe you relate. Maybe not. But if it helps at least one person in my shoes, it is worth sharing.

Anyways, I started a mental practice a week ago. I made a point to catch myself in the act of saying “sorry” and to make a point to NOT fucking say that shit. There were countless work emails or texts with friends where I would have said “sorry” out of habit. I would stop myself and rewrite that message and remove the apology. Instead I would state the facts. Or ask my questions. All without the apology. I stopped giving others that power over me. I don’t have to walk up with my tail between my legs worried I might piss someone off or intimidate them.

And it felt really fucking good. It felt empowering.

Are you wondering “What does this have to do with witchcraft”?

I felt inspired by the last week of taking back that power that I did some spell work to strengthen my resolve. And here you go in case you need to let go of some weight holding you down.

Take some twine, string or yarn and wrap that shit around your hands several times. I wrapped it like a boxing fist wrap so that I could still actually use my hands for craftin‘, but do whatever feels right for you.

Then I grabbed dried bundles of rose petals and herbs and started breaking the ties and grinding them up into a bowl while reciting: Break these ties. I am bound by no one.

With my bare hands I dug a hole in the dirt outside in the garden. You can use gloves if you like, but there is something satisfying about feeling the soil as you work magic into it.

I sprinkled the majority of the petals and herbs around the mini grave site.
The remaining petals were sprinkled onto a candle that I can light when I need some strength.

I cut the strings from my hand and placed them in the ground with my offerings while calling out:
I cut the strings that bind me.
From what holds me back from my truest self.
I bury these strings that once tied me down and pulled me apart.
I bury them with my offerings.
Turn these strings into the wick to light the fire within me.
A fire that will dim for no one.

I get to be what I want. And I am not fucking sorry for it.

-Jaye

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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. 

– TEXAS: Voter Registration Deadline Oct. 9 for November Election. Check your status here.

– The Forgotten Black Woman Inventor Who Revolutionized Menstrual Pads

-22-Year-Old Becomes the 1st Black Female Nanoscientist in Virginia.

-Hispanic Texans born on the border (and especially those born via midwives) are having their citizenship questioned, denied passports.

-Beyoncé, Serena Williams open up about potentially fatal childbirths

– New Yorker photo series: Many Faces of Women Who Identify As Witches

– Brava!! Brave Scientist Publishes A List Of Known Harassers in Academia

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.

One thought on “Uncoven Issue #18”

  1. Kerry Beckler says:

    Excellent podcast and newsletter again ladies!
    In Jaye’s article you talked about not saying ‘sorry’ so much. I recently started doing this as well 🙂 Along with that I’ve started to not use the words/phrases “I kinda think…” or “maybe we could…” “I sorta like…” I realized by saying it like that, what I was essentially doing was gently placing my thought or idea at the other person’s feet and then backing away with my eyes lowered. Inviting them to either ignore me or tromp all over my wishes with their huge boots. So instead I’ve been saying “I like this because…” “We can do this…” “This is what I think…” I’ve literally deleted my text messages and rewritten them and the effects are really astounding. It seems like such a little thing, but it really is a HUGE thing!

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