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Uncoven Issue #27

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 28 – The Witches Answer Your Questions, Part I


Hex Rated Episode 28 is out now!  

Join the witches for their summer catch-up and a Q & A!! Hear what the witches have been up to so far this summer – trips taken, moves made, babies being grown! Listener questions are answered, plus stay tuned at the end for a special song from Lily and Scarlet.

We mention these fine books in the latest episode!

Jack Grayle. The Hekataeon. Ixaxaar, 2019.
DONNA Eden (not BARBARA Eden) – Energy Medicine.  Jeremy P. Tarcher; Revised & enlarged edition 2008.

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!

Elbow Deep with Blackbird

Greetings all!  We have just moved into a new old house here in San Diego, and I just wanted to share with you all how it felt to wake up the spirits of a house that is 100 years old.  I know Scarlet can relate as her house is even older, but when I pounded (kinda gently) on the plaster walls of this house, I felt it come alive.  No one has lived in the house for a few months, but I know the landlords love this place – it shows in the care they’ve taken with it.  That said, I don’t think there’s any shortage of happiness within these walls, touched with a bit of regret, or at least I think that’s what I feel.  Almost instantly when we first saw the house, I felt something sort of perk up.  It’s also a pretty weird coincidence (I think not) that the street name is also my mother’s name – something that actually held me back a little from looking at the house.  I didn’t know exactly what kind of message that was, but I think I am starting to get it.  More on that in a minute.
When I awakened the spirits, I didn’t feel the need to cleanse.  I felt like they had been waiting for us, and all of us – me, my husband, both cats.  I didn’t get any of these vibes in the apartment – I felt like there was so much overlapping energy there, I never really could make it totally ours.  In the last house in Texas, I definitely felt like the spirits there were responding strictly to me.  But here, they want to interact with everyone.  Maybe because this house has been around so long, it makes sense.
Back to my mom:  I have not always had the greatest of relationships with my mother, and I am sure many of you out there can relate.  It has been fraught with anger, regret, harsh words, and misgivings.  Now that we are both much older, it has grown into something that I never really thought it would – a better friendship, a depending-on instead of dependency-in.  One in which I am an adult, no longer in need of her approval (even though I sometimes still want that); one where I can clearly state my boundaries, and not feel shame when I do.  As she is advanced in years now, maybe living on a street with her name is a gentle reminder to me:  We are all human, we all make lots of mistakes, and we all have the capacity to grow and change.
This charming neighborhood with its many historic homes feels just right for us – it’s smaller, yes.  In fact, almost half the size of what we were living in when we were in Texas.  As I get older, it’s not really about all the stuff I have anymore, the things I own.  It’s about what I actually do with the space I inhabit.  The kitchen is not lush or modern, and it presents many challenges (you know what was not real necessary in 1924?  Fucking wall outlets, apparently) but I am going to make it work for us.  I feel great cooking in there, with the breeze blowing in from the ocean down the canyon.  I can walk pretty much everywhere.  Our outdoor space is going to be amazing once I get a chance to really envision it.  I am grateful beyond words that this opportunity presented itself.  I feel like I am here to learn something.  I will wait, and listen for the whispers of time.

Blessings

~Blackbird

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Wandering the Wicked Path with Jaye

Hi witches! I just got back from backpacking the Colorado Trail. I wish I could say I had a shit ton of magical things to share, but it wasn‘t that kind of trip. This was a “leave it all behind and see what you are capable of” kind of trip. An intense adrenaline rush that makes you forget about things like Facebook posts, work emails, over scheduled calendars, and just put one foot in front of the other. I wanted to lose myself in the journey. I pushed myself so hard that I didn’t think about anything but the trail in front of me. It ended up being magical in a different way than all my other hiking trips. I freaking did it. I didn‘t need to call on anyone besides MYSELF to move myself over a huge ass mountain. I did it. And there is power in that. It doesn’t have to be a fucking mountain. My mountain could be that class you want to take. That 5K you want to sign up for. That hobby you want to try. That thing that the demons of doubt are whispering that you are not strong enough to do. Or maybe it is a real person whispering it to you. FUCK THEM. I am powerful. You are powerful. WE ARE FUCKING MAGIC.
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There are a million lists online that cover all the basics and remind you to pack your tent, flashlight, and other obvious items. So, I am not going to share that same blah-blah list. Instead I would rather share the things that surprised me the most while I was out there.

Kula Cloth – Witch friend, let me tell you, bathroom breaks are a big deal when backpacking as a lady. It isn‘t easy. It isn‘t pretty. But we should talk about it. I fretted on how to best care for my lady bits while not wasting toilet paper. I have to pee all the dang time with a squirrel sized bladder. And that would be a lot of toilet paper to pack out (Leave no trace!) just for a wee tinkle. Squatting and shaking leaves me feeling gross. Ugh. So, I started looking online and I came across the Kula Cloth. It is a machine washable square with antimicrobial silver infused absorbent material. The other side is a waterproof print fabric to keep your hand  dry. It comes with a double snap where you can hang it open to sterilize in the sun or, if you worry about it touching anything, you can snap it into a closed little triangle with just the cute print side showing. Nice and discreet! For approximately 20 bucks, it was well worth the investment for future camping, back packing and road trips to minimize waste.

Trekking poles- I had never used trekking poles in my past hiking trips and I thought I was going to skip them this round. What difference could they make if I didn‘t need them in the past, right? Holy crap! I was loaned a pair for this trip and it made a huge difference!  They were a life saver, literally, when keeping my balance while crossing through rushing water.  Or when I had snow-covered terrain to get through and had to dig the poles through the snow to make sure I wasn‘t about to sink 3 feet deep. And just the difference of impact on my knees alone was huge. I am not sure I would have made it that many miles without those trekking poles to help. I mean, I probably would have made it because I am a stubborn ass Capricorn goat. BUT, I would have been in a lot more pain sans poles. I will be buying myself a pair for sure!

Smart Wool Socks – I typically stay away from wool, so I was skeptical.  I live in Texas and I usually think of wool as too hot and itchy. But for cold or wet climates, they are the best! I made the mistake of only packing one pair of Smart Wool socks and two pairs of quick dry socks made from Polyester and spandex. What was I thinking!?!  I ended up wearing the Wool socks the entire time. I would change into a dry pair of the “quick dry” socks and they were like gross sponges if the shoes were still damp at all. The smart wool socks, even while damp, kept my feet comfortable and warmer.  Next time I am packing just Smart Wool socks.

SteriPen UV Water Purifier– With three of us hauling gear, we decided to each take a different water purification system. My husband took the Steripen, I carried a Sawyer mini squeeze filter and my brother-in-law carried chlorine-dioxide tablets. The Steripen was the crowd winner because it was quick and easy to use on smaller batches of water. Time was important when trying to make it to campgrounds before losing light. The Steripen uses Ultraviolet light to quickly neutralize bacteria, protozoa and viruses and doesn’t have the wait time that tablets do. The Steripen works best in clear water since it doesn‘t remove particulates or organic matter. Please note: no water filter or purifier is fool proof. Make sure to research what works best for the region you are travelling and bring a back-up. If we weren‘t sure on the water source we would use both the Steripen and tablets just to be on the safe side.

Note: I am not sponsored by any of these brand items. I just like them!

*Good journey*
Jaye

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Book Witch: The Heketaeon-
Strapholos crafting and Iynx summoning

As mentioned in our latest podcast, I am following along with the Heketaeon (or rather, skipping around a bit, oops) and completed the ritual form summoning an iynx via a magical Greek tool called a strapholos.

Strapholos
The strapholos, pictured at left, is basically a whirligig.  There’s a big long history of the things, but short version: wryneck birds (called iynges in Greek) were originally used for this purpose but obviously live birds are a lot of bother, so spinning disk and string thing got swapped in.

Mine is a simple wood disk i got from Michaels for 50 cents or so and painted black with the book’s trident  Hekate sigil and the Greek letters for “Hekate” written in white paint pen.  I happened to have some waxed black cord and I put some skull beads on the ends because…. spookiness, duh.

The strapholos is supposed to make a whirring, hissing noise (similar to the literal bird iynges), but for the 9 days I spent waiting for the iynx bottle to be ready I could NOT figure out  HOW.

I spontaneously made it work on the first try after completing the entire ritual.  MAGIC, BITCHES.

Some Reactions to the Ritual
My experience of reading aloud and acting out the ritual text was comical in its derpiness.  I kept tripping over my words.  I couldn’t thread the cord through the holes in the beads even though I have a fashion degree which was pretty much constantly literally threading things.  I left half my ritual tools inside when I went to go outside.  I left the other half of them outside when I came back inside.  When confirming when the iynx bottle needed to be buried, unburied, etc, I listed out the days of the week in the WRONG ORDER.  OUT LOUD.

Unlike most of our spells which are written entirely by us and fueled by our directed energy, this ritual is very much like a wind-up toy.  When you perform it as instructed, it operates on its own and you may not feel like you are “doing” anything other than following the formula.

To be honest, I didn’t feel super trance-y at any point in the process, or witchy, or the presence of spirits, or other “heavy” ritual vibes.  However, be assured this spell IS working, as evidenced by the doofus brain I became afflicted with whilst doing it.

Beware! You Might Get an Actual Familiar
So on the night we broke open our iynx bottles and consecrated the strapholos for summoning the inyx, part of the process was to name the spirit and specify what form it should take.

I decided to make mine look like a little sibling to my primary familiar who looks sort of like a marmoset with raven wings (that’s just how it showed up).  So cute little monkey hands, hanging from a branch with it’s cute little tail, etc.

We don’t have lemurs or monkeys here, but we do have POSSUMS.   The very next morning at dawn, I found a little orphan poss-poss.  I hardly ever see our neighborhood possums and I’ve never come across an orphaned baby so that was a total surprise.  [Possum was too young to survive in the wild by himself and was handed off to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.]  My witch hermano picked a frog as his and actual frogs have been all up in his business like a Biblical plague since.

So, be warned, I guess?  Also, do not keep wild animals. I know it is very tempting, but they belong in the wild.

There’s More!
Check out the Uncoven group where  I will post a quick vid of the strapholos in action.

~Scarlet

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Rock Candy

For all you insomniacs, here’s a crystal grid for restful sleep and pleasant dreams.   I call this one “Sleepytime Charlie” as per Blackbird’s suggestion.

Mother of Pearl: calm, comfort, lunar and circadian rhythms
Starstone: a space-age, man made glass that promotes wonder, not anxiety
Lapis Lazuli: dreams, intuition, protection
Green Fluorite: purification, relaxation
Purple Fluorite: intuition, meditation
Amethyst: transmutes and dispels negative energy
Onyx: protection, grounding, banishing

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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. 

Four Ways to Destigmatize Abortion in Everyday Conversations

-Hysteria, Witches, and The Wandering Uterus: A Brief History

-Help victims of mass violence with local charities that are helping those in need directly (via Americans of Conscience):
Dayton Foundation 
          El Paso Foundation
         the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation 

– Anti Defamation League’s Guide to talking to young people about  the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings.  Tons of Links and resources.

– North Carolina bans payment for  horrific “conversion therapy” for minors by any health care provider receiving state or federal funds.

Still useful stuff:

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

-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 ridiculously 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.

Full ImageHocus Pocus, bitches.

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