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Uncoven Issue #19

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 mini- episode #3: Blackird’s Story


Minisode #3: Blackbird’s Story 

If you have yet to check out Blackbird’s very personal mini-episode from last week, we hope you do.  Trigger warning, though – she shares her own story, which could be triggering for assault or rape survivors.  Look for the next full episode very close to Election Day!

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:

– Sore throat cures!
-witchy books for kids!
-sharing our feels about Blackbird’s minisode!

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.

Cooking Up a Storm with Blackbird

Hey everyone!  I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know how fucking grateful I am for our listeners and for every one of you who wrote in or commented on Facebook or Instagram, thank you SO MUCH for letting us know how my mini-episode resonated with you.  It sucks that the stories of assault and rape are countless.  It sucks that we all went through this national triggering with the nomination process of Brett Fucking Kavanaugh.  I am STILL fucked up about it.  I am still having weird flashbacks.  And I am, of course, STILL ANGRY.  I hope y’all are too.  Let’s get the fucking vote out.  Right now, that’s the most important thing on our agenda.  That, and some self-care – because I was really wounded by all of this – it threw me for a loop.  If my neighbor would turn her trash music down and stop vacuuming, that would really help with my nap plans (*Throws spell across the balcony to make her stop already*).
Anyway, we haven’t talked about food in a minute, and I wanted to do some research on traditional recipes for Samhain.  I know last year I made soul cakes, which were amazing and felt so magical and meaningful when I used them in a ritual to honor dead friends and loved ones.  I just tried my hand at challa – a traditional Jewish brioche-type braided loaf, pictured below on the left, and it didn’t suck.  It was really tasty, even if the top didn’t come out as smooth as I think it should have been.  A loaf that is a traditional Irish Halloween favorite is the barmbrack loaf, sometimes just called “brack.”  It’s a little sweet, but not as sweet as a pastry, and is speckled with raisins, both regular and golden.  I know a lot of people don’t like raisins, to which I say  WHUTTT because they are delicious and sweet and a great snack of nature.  Sugary, yes.  But a few go a long way.  On Halloween, the tradition was to hide things in this sweet bread before slicing, toasting, and serving at teatime with butter.  It’s a large loaf, so it can hide more than a few things – they were usually these items, which carried significance for the person who got any of these in their slice:  a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. If your slice contained the pea, you would not marry that year; the stick, you would have an unhappy marriage or argue a lot; the cloth or rag, you would have bad luck or lose wealth; the coin, the exact opposite.  The ring, of course meant marriage within the year.  SO ALL OF THAT SEEMS SORTA PATRIARCHAL because, I mean, let’s move on from giving a shit if anyone is married or not.  I would say if you want to bake the barmbrack and use the traditional items and meanings, by all means, do it!  I don’t want to take that away from anyone.  But I was thinking I might make it but use some different items (also worried I might eat the cloth, haha.  Or the pea.)  I’m not sure what those items could be – a large-ish button, representing a year of tying up loose ends; a key, which could represent opening or closing of a chapter; a small bell, which could represent a time of heraldry or listening to what’s within.  I don’t know.  Basically, don’t choke and have fun.  Everything I make with my hands has a bit of magic in it – same with you!!
Here are some links to recipes, but the first one is the one I am going to make. Let us know how yours turn out!  I’m pretty excited for this one.

Irish Barmbrack Bread with Honey Butter

Barm Brack – Irish Halloween Bread

https://www.thespruceeats.com/real-irish-barmbrack-recipe-435038

Happy baking, and blessings –
Blackbird

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My Ghosts

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So last night and tonight my downtown association is putting on a ghost tour.  The Witch House, naturally is on it.  Since you can’t be here, this is my little tour talk.

The most whimsical ghost tale that has been passed on to me is that the original lady of the house imported a piano from the east coast.  When folks would ride in to town, they would stop outside and listen to her play.  After all, it was a treat in the days before television and radio and she play beautifully!  So the rumor is that sometimes ghostly piano music can be heard echoing throughout the house.  I’ve never heard it, but we got a piano, so maybe we will!

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The other story I like: before I lived here, the house was rented out for weddings and parties.  The upstairs turret room was where brides usually got dressed and had their makeup done.  One day, the a/c was acting up.  The repair guy roots around in the attic, comes back down, and says he found the problem. He also found…… A PEEP-HOLE !!!!  No one knows who put it there and it isn’t there anymore, but I suspect that if some guest back in the day felt like they were being watch they were!  Not by a ghost, but still creepy!
The ghosts that I see most often are ghost foxes.  We actually found a fox jawbone under the house!  Fox was already an animal spirit I had worked with for years, so I asked him to take the house foxes under his wing…er…bushy tail?
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In addition to all the witchy knick knacks and altars, I like to show off my 1897 mourning gown.  It is full mourning: black taffeta and jet beads.  Even though I’m a  tight-lacer I can’t fit into it.  No matter how tiny I make my waist, my shoulders are just too broad.

Once everyone’s been in the front parlor a few minutes, I like to remind them that although I don’t know if anyone died in the house, I do know there were FOR SURE dead bodies in the house.  Back then, people didn’t use funeral homes, they held the wake and viewing in the front receiving room right where they are standing.

~Scarlet

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ELECTION INFO HOEDOWN

Deadlines to register:
Oct  15: VA
Oct 16: DC, KS, ME, MD, MN, NJ, OR, WV
Oct 17: SC, WI
Oct 22: AL, CA, SD, WY
Oct 27: IA
Oct 30: CN

 Verify your status and find your polling place!

 See when you can vote early, what identification you need, and the average wait time in your state!

-Find out what’s on your ballot!

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Open Source Witchcraft

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.

Mabon 2018
Google Doc-  click for full text

This year we decided to focus on the in-between colors of our black, red, and white system: gray, garnet, and rose. Lily’s thinking was that since Mabon is the equinox and equal day and night just as the blended colors are equal measures of two colors.  It was an awesome idea and we ran with it.  Lily wrote Rose’s invocation and we followed her lead for the other two. 

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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. 

-Artist celebrates nature and its impermanence with morning altars, floral mandalas. Lots of delish photos!

-In Netflix‘s ’Siempre Bruja,‘ a Time-Traveling Afro-Colombian Witch Adjusts to Life in 2019.

 SmartJane has released kit to test for several strains of HPV, STIs, and general vaginal flora balance at home.  No review yet on its convenience or accuracy but a concept to watch!

-For Those in Grief, Talking to a Dead Loved One Is Good for Mental Health.

-Fuck this guy. Pence is first VP to speak at anti-gay group’s Values Voter Summit.

-Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests.

-The Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project helps unaccompanied minors through the US immigration process. They are raising funds to expand legal capacity. Donate here.

-Thank Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for choosing to give such courageous testimony despite personal cost. sample letter, ” I am thankful for your service to truth and to our democracy. You are what makes America great. Be well and know that many, many hearts are with you.”
Address: c/o Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304 (suggestion from the Americans of Conscience Checklist)

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.  Resistbot is now available on Facebook Messenger, with even more features than ever.  If you are not using this, it is simply the fastest, best way to contact your state and federal representatives.

– 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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