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Uncoven Issue #26

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 27 – Hexennacht Ritual!


Show Notes:  Episode 27 – Our Hexennacht Ritual 

The full text of the ritual is available as a google doc in this very newsletter under Open Source Witchcraft below.

Stay tuned and look for us on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and pretty much wherever you get your podcasts!

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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Elbow Deep with Blackbird

Hey all, happy 13th to you.  Let’s get right into it.  I am super pleased to see so much light being shone in the last year or so on self-care and what it really means to actually make sure YOUR needs are getting met – who else could possibly be better at meeting them than yourself?  Because you are the only one up inside that mind palace of yours, and we all know that place can get scary if you don’t kinda get in there once in awhile and take care of it.  Everyone is busy with work, school, partners, social activities, kids, furry kids, etc – who the fuck has time to actually do anything for themselves, anyway?  Well, you do, for starters.  Or it would greatly benefit you if you so choose!  In fact, I would posit a theory (my latest fave expression, apparently) that being a self-professed witch is 100% about self-care.  Let’s get a few things out on the kitchen table right now:

1.  Self-care is anything BUT selfish.  The next time you are thinking “mrrrr, I don’t have time to take a few minutes to meditate” or “boo, I have to do ALL THESE OTHER THINGS before I go to bed even though I’m really tired,” STOP.  Think about it for just a sec – if you don’t recharge and refuel with meditation, sleep, nutritious food, regular (even luxurious!) bathing, and basically giving yourself some time to connect with your body, spirit, and mind, how will you be able to give of yourself to anyone else?  Listen to Mama Blackbird:  I used to really hate leaving dishes in the sink for the next day…guess what.  If those dishes or that laundry have to wait another day because I need extra sleep or some time on my yoga mat or a walk outside, then so be it.  Doing the dishes (at least on some particular days) is not the thing that is going to help me feel nurtured.  My need to do those dishes is a discussion for another day:  Need for Control.  Control does NOT equal self-care!  You will get better at recognizing the difference between the two with practice.  I’m not always great at it.  Like everything, it’s practice, not perfection.

2.  Your self-care needs can change from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute.  One minute it might be that you really need to be outside.  The next, it might be that you need to drink some water.  We can’t all be just constantly getting up to go outside every time the urge strikes though – if you start to tune into what your needs are, you can plan for a little self-care break during the day, or even a few times a day.

3.  Being a witch is a constant practice of self-care.  We are constantly trying to improve our intuition, right?  So what better way to do that then to turn that high-powered lens inward?  To me, that’s where intuition begins!  However, a lot of times we are trying to improve our intuition to be able to see aspects or situations around us better.  What I am learning is that the more I tune into what I need and want in order to take care of my own needs, the more clarity I seem to gain about external situations.  Make sense?  I know, sometimes it’s too deep even for me to really get.  Enigmas wrapped in mysteries, y’all.

So in order to get you started, here’s a little spell I worked up to help myself with self-care – I hope you try it and it puts you on a path to really listening to your own needs before even considering the many other demands the outside world puts on you.  As a witch, to see yourself fully and truly begins with acceptance, trust, and love.  I think you’ll see when you start to really take care of you first, you start existing on a different level – and it will no doubt radiate to those around you.

Blackbird’s Spell for Self-Care 

Gather the following ingredients (or improvise the shit outta this!)
Candle
Incense
Lotion (make it one that you really like the fragrance)
Glass of water (or really any liquid you like to drink – I like water for symbolism)
Blanket, sheet or veil (something you can put over your head, the comfier the better)
Post-it note or paper
Pen (or whatever your preferred writing utensil is)

Sit however is most comfortable to you.  I prefer on the floor, legs out in a V or cross-legged, but whatever works for you.  Chair is ok too.

Light the candle, and try to be in a space that is low-light and quiet.
Light the incense.  (Don’t worry.  If you don’t have time for the entire stick or cone to burn down, throw some water on that bitch when you are done)
Take a little of your lotion and put it on your hands and then rub your fingertips into the base of your neck, giving yourself a little neck massage.
Take the glass of water, raise it high up over the candle, and chant:

“I honor myself with water and flame
I honor myself and my true name” 

You can also ad lib here.  Say whatever you feel the 5-year old you needs to hear to feel comforted, supported, and safe.
Pull the blanket or veil or sheet up over your head and keep thinking of what the Teeny Witch inside you needs to hear.  Give Teeny Witch a voice.  Give Teeny Witch a hug with all the mind-hugs you can muster.  Teeny Witch, after all, is you.
After you feel like you have finished your encounter, let your head covering fall (mind the candle, of course,) and write an impression, phrase, or saying on your paper or note that seems like a message shared between yourself and your Teeny Witch.  Maybe you said something to comfort.  Maybe there was a message for you.  The more open you are, the better chances are for you to receive.  And it might take more than this first time, and that is A-okay.  If you have had a life of taking care of others first, this won’t necessarily come naturally.

Once you have written your message down, post it somewhere that you can look at it throughout the coming weeks, until you feel like it might benefit you to work this introspective, self-care magic again.
Thank yourself.
Thank Teeny you.
Thank your instruments of magic.
Thank your cat for hanging out.
Then Thank yourself again.

Blessings and love –
Blackbird

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Hot for Witches: Molly Pitcher

Leapfrogging off a hot thread on the Uncoven Group, I’d like to introduce you to my great-great-great-great-great-great-aunt  Mary “Molly” Ludwig Hays aka Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher!

The question posed was about invoking the American Mighty Dead to assist in activist magic, the thinking being that they might be more disposed to assist than foreign gods and foremothers or native gods who have been grievously insulted.   I think this is a spectacular idea and I have got just the broad to help in time for the Fourth of July.

Her nickname comes from her bringing soldiers water to drink and to cool their cannons and rifles. She famously took up firing her husband’s cannon when he fainted in battle at Monmouth. She was even awarded a veteran’s pension for her service.

Molly married into my mother’s family from Colonial Pennsylvania.  Family legend holds that she was a battle ax. She drank whiskey, smoked cigars, and played poker with the guys. Once she was lugging a large, heavy pot of water and barked at an idle soldier, “Hey, you! Get over here and give me a hand!” It was George Washington.
Z E R O  F U C K S.

Molly was not, nor is now, here to fuck around.  She is here to get shit done.  ESPECIALLY when a dame can do it better than half a dozen dudes.

She is the perfect valkyrie to call on for modern American justice and I can vouch that her presence is still strong in the world of the living.  I have the inconceivable good fortune to have had her ramrod rifle passed down to my mother and it hangs above her fireplace.  On the breech, the name “Pitcher” is carved into the wood in delicate, but firm cursive.  Her fame as a legendary figure was clearly one she embraced.

However, you don’t need a family or heirloom connection to call on her.  A pitcher of cold water (no ice!), cigars, whiskey, playing cards, or American flags would all be appropriate ritual or altar items.

Call on her to encourage women in politics, the armed forces, or the front lines of protest to butt in and take up the jobs they were meant to do.  To realize that they are physically and mentally stronger than they know.  Ask Molly to harangue those men in power to step and be proactive allies or get the fuck out of the way.

It was a Revolution, then.  Let’s revolt again, together.

-Scarlet

Godless

I do not worship.
I do not pray.
When I sing smokey chants into the moonlit night, when I stomp my feet, when I carve runes into the ground
I do so under the authority of no god.
I am no priestess.
I have sworn no allegiances, I have made no devotions. I call upon no powers but
My
Own.
I am godless.
There is no power greater than this, greater than me.
I am a witch.
I reach into my soul and weave strength into my laugh, spells into my kiss, curses into my sneer.
I ask for no permission. I accept no judgement save my own.
I am a witch.
I am godless.

~Lily

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Getting honest up in here…

I haven‘t written in quite a while. It is hard to find words to share when you feel like you are just trying to keep your head above water in your everyday life. This isn‘t an inspirations piece. This isn‘t going to be a how-to on a new recipe or an informative column on a hike you should take. This is just me talking about managing life on my own terms. It doesn‘t have to be pretty or sweet.

My shelves, cabinets and altars are dusty enough to write a message in them. My dressers have clothes piled on top that have not KonMaried themselves into a tidy bundle of joy in the drawer. My garden is an unruly overgrown beast with its own mind due to me not tending to it frequently. My mother reminds me how many days it has been since I last saw her and my friend‘s events pass by on Facebook reminding me what I missed out on.

It feels like life has been spinning into a chaotic cycle and I can‘t catch my breath. I stopped using alcohol as a comfort blanket to alleviate my stress from work, my concern over family drama, and most of all, my own insecurities when they flare up. Have I managed to cut out alcohol completely? No, but I am not letting that stop me from the boundaries I have set for myself. 1) Not drinking during the work week, 2) not bringing alcohol home, 3) watering down anything I do drink when out, and 4) not putting myself in a position to drink more than two when out (goodbye Uber).

And it is not just cutting back on alcohol, but also cutting out the distractions. Keeping myself so busy that I never had time to just stop and think about whether I am happy. For the longest time I would say “yes” to everything and run around trying to make other people happy that I wasn‘t actually paying attention to whether I was fulfilled.
I am awake, really awake, and it is not fun at the moment. It is not easy. It is feeling all the emotions I tried to bury under drinking and keeping myself too busy to notice the chaos I feel when I finally stop to think and feel.

And look, I get it. I have a good life of privilege. Airing out these feelings triggers a voice in my head that yells “Suck it up, Buttercup”. A voice that tells me I am selfish to question what makes me happy. And that is the work I need to be doing. That is the shadow work, self-reflection, whatever you want to call it, that is what I need. Even if it feels terrible at the moment. Even if I am seeing things I don‘t like.
I am just taking it one step at a time. I can‘t say things are going to be perfect. But I can tell you it is okay to take care of yourself first. It is okay if things get dusty once in a while or the clothes are not neatly stacked away. Sometimes we have to sort out ourselves first.

-Jaye

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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.

Here is the full text of our most recent Beltane ritual.  For more details, listen to the latest episode!

Google doc here

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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. 

–  List of black authors writing awesome books for pagans authors via Patheos.

– I Am Revenge: The Unheard Stories Of Female Vigilantes via All Things Interesting.

-Texas Senate passes bill to end the shackling of pregnant women in prison.

-What You Can Do to Help Women in States With Extreme Abortion Bans via the Cut.

– Brass knuckles, specifically those plastic kitty-cat self-defense keychains are now legal in Texas!  Pretty effing ridiculous that a non-ranged, rarely lethal, self defense item for WOMEN was illegal when you can OPEN CARRY a GUN, but baby steps, y’all.

Still useful stuff:

-Use the Americans of Conscience worksheets to make and Action Plan and Self Care plan for 2019.

-Complete Guide to 2019 Artist Grants & Opportunities

– 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.

– **NEW!!** Indivisible has released a brand new version of the Indivisible Guide.  New congress, new rules of engagement.  Check it out!!

-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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Visit Our Patreon Page

If you feel so inclined and you dig all the magical things we are trying to put out there in the mundane world, feel free to visit our Patreon page and throw us a bone or two.  We currently bring all of this awesome shit to you with our hard-earned, fucking day job monies and we love doing it, but helping with EVEN MOAR bandwidth, storage, etc would definitely not hurt a sisterwitch.  For those of you who have already signed up, we could not be more grateful.  We thank you from the bottom of our very pointy-toed shoes.  Click below to go directly to our Patreon page!


Full ImageHocus Pocus, bitches.

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