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Uncoven Issue #28


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 # 29 – What Is a Death Doula? 

Hex Rated Episode 29 – What is a Death Doula? is out now!  

Scarlet Interviews Blackbird about the conference she recently attended for End-of-Life Doula training.  We wanted to share some of the links that are mentioned in this episode (and some that we did not mention) with you!
Death Doula training is hosted year-round in different locations by INELDA – The International End of Life Doula Association.  Check them out here.

Here are more resources on hospice care: 
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Zen Hospice Project
Hospice of San Luis Obispo County 

Books of Interest on the topics of Death and Dying:

Fersko-Weiss, Henry.  Caring for the Dying: The Doula Approach to a Meaningful Death. Newburyport.  Conari Press, 2017.

Herring, Lucinda. Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials. Berkely.  North Atlantic Books, 2019.

Halifax, Joan.  Being with Dying:  Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death. Boston.  Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2008.

Gawande, Atul.  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.  New York.  Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Company, LLC., 2014

Kalanithi, Paul.  When Breath Becomes Air, New York.  Random House, 2016.

Into The Night:  Portraits of Life and Death, PBS, 2017
End Game, Netflix, 2018

Amazing people: 
Henry Fersko-Weiss
Kris Kington-Barker 
Caitlin Doughty – more about her here!  And here!

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

Happy End-of-Summer, everyone!

Some of you have requested we explore the topic of “Everyday Magic” in the newsletter, so I wanted to share some of the stuff I do every day or on a regular basis!  Magic isn’t always about putting together a ritual, or getting all your witch-friends in the same room, or having super-particular items or ingredients.  It of course CAN be about those things, but I like to incorporate witchcraft into my everyday life, and now I’ve been doing it for so long, I think sometimes I’m not sure I even realize I am doing witchcraft ALL THE DAMN DAY.  Anyway, here is a list of some of my ongoing rituals.

– Perfume, Cologne, or Essential oil application:  I have a sigil, a rune, and a shape I draw on myself with an oil-based perfume roller applicator every day.  Two are always the same, others I do when I feel I need it.

– Cooking with herbs:  When I am not in the middle of moving, ha, I try to have an herb garden that will always have the following, provided I can keep the plants in good health:  Rosemary, basil, oregano, and mint.  Of course, when I get established in a location I try to grow a bunch of different herbs, but these are my go-to herbs for SO MUCH.  These plants are usually very hardy in most climates.  When I am in transition or have trouble growing things, I will use essential oils in the place of fresh herbs.

– Jewelry:  I have a pair of earrings that were given to me by my late mentor and mother-figure, my senior-year high school English teacher.  I wear them a lot.  When one has turned backwards on its own, I know there is something I need to pay attention to within myself – it’s like she’s speaking to me through that position of the earring.  They are kind of like my intuition conduit.  I also have certain rings I wear most every day, each with a particular significance.

– Bathing:  I know we’ve talked about this before, but I love to throw a bunch of fresh herbs in a hot bath.  This is more like a monthly thing, but it is definitely a favorite way to be contemplative and appreciative of my own body and its interaction with the natural world.

– Writing:  Most mornings, I write 3 pages, longhand and double-spaced, that is basically just word vomiting whatever is on my mind in the early morning hours.  While the words in and of themselves form no special meaning, a kind of transformation happens to me throughout the day when I do this writing exercise – I listen to my inner voice more, I am kinder to myself and others, and my stress levels go wayyyyy down.  It also sometimes leads to some other awesome writing – intentional poetry or incantations, or longer prose pieces that I DO find magical.  It’s the process that counts!  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.  Just put words on paper.

– Last but definitely not least, Music:  We’ve discussed at length on the podcast about a tarot system that can be used with playlists, and sometimes I find myself doing this without using a certain set of songs.  I know it’s relatively normal to look for meanings in songs that play at random, but I find myself doing this quite a bit.  It serves as yet another level of introspection – sometimes the way a certain song affects me can be the sign I need to start working on that piece of my soul.  Basically since most of my practice centers around introspection and working with the deepest parts of myself, music is a great tool for getting to the heart of the matter in a way I just can’t do by seeking it out on my own, silently.

I hope you can find and notice all the little rituals you already incorporate into your life, bringing even more passion to your practice.


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Scarlet Woman – Diary of a Red Priestess

I’ve been really inspired by Blackbird’s journey toward becoming a death doula.  First off, it just feels like such a natural fit for her interests, strengths, personality, and witchcraft. Secondly, I really admire her taking concrete steps (like taking a training course) to establish this practice and all the introspection that has led up to the phase.  Homegirl has done some WORK.

For the past few years I keep coming back to deities and practices of embodiment, enchantment and sexuality: Babalon, Ishtar, Kaula tantra, Kashmiri Shaivism, glamour, dance, and more.

So I asked myself, what would a “Red Doula” look like?  

Is it energy healing, sacred touch, counseling, rituals and rites of passage, private devotional worship?  Is it for me, my uncoven, for the community?

There are many courses and certifications out there, but so far none seem exactly what I’m looking for, although I’m not certain what that might be!  So I’m going to hash it all out for you live and uncensored right here: my practice, its evolution, history, current groups and traditions, book reviews, what I’ve tried, what didn’t work, and what I think is flaming bullshittery.

There’s a lot to come (har har, get it?), but for now I present a crystal grid dedicated to the goddess Babalon.  See below!


Rock Candy – Red Goddess Grid

This grid is dedicated to the Thelemic goddess Babalon.  Laid out in the the 7-painted star of her seal, this grid is useful for sex magick, goddess worship, kundalini or energy work, root chakra meditation, and general Nasty Woman stuff, sexy or otherwise.

Red Tiger’s Eye: intuition, ecstatic or oracular states
Lava rock: a tense mix of grounding and explosive energy
Blood stone: invigoration, willpower
Garnet: seduction, passion
Carnelian: open heartedness, love
Red Jasper: protection, courage


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How to Find a Witch



I think of Baba Yaga crouched low in her chicken legged hut, stoking a hearth hot with embers burning crimson. I think of wooden walls adorned with drying herbs and animal carcasses, shawled figures shrouded in spirits. I think of wild gardens and dark forests. I think of bones laid on the earth in arcane patterns, sigils of power. I think of whispered secrets and unknowable chants.

I do not think of dirty diapers. Or piles of laundry. Or half naked toddlers covered in smooshed banana.

When I think of the Witch, I do not imagine my life.

But I used to. I used to sit out in the storms, letting myself be drenched in rain and power. I used to circle my property with salt, smoking from a pipe hand carved by an old Ukrainian man. I used to dig holes in my yard and fill them with witch bottles; curses and prayers.
In motherhood, however, so much of this has fallen away.

It has fallen away because it



Motherhood takes much from us. Motherhood has taken my sleep and nutrients, my time and energy, my tolerance for bullshit. Motherhood has brought me to my knees, dragged me through the Underworld, hung me on a hook for my enemies to see-

But motherhood also gives.

Motherhood has given me the opportunity to test my strength, to touch my limits and realize they were imagined. Motherhood has taken from me all the fluff of daily life, all that was superfluous, and replaced it with the unflinching gaze of practicality.

My spells are woven into my laughter, whispered into my cooking, laced through the fingers I use to comb my children’s hair. My curse is a word of displeasure, spoken through clenched jaws. There is power in my glare, magic in my smile, and witchcraft in my soul.

I will not fret and hem and haw and worry over whether or not my life is “witchy” enough.

am a witch.

So when you are sizing someone up, when you’re searching for black clothes and wild hair and fingers adorned with silver rings, remember that a witch is not measured by what is on her body, she is measured by what is in her soul.


Rolling with the Dark Goddess


Earlier this year at PantheaCon, the witches and I participated in several rituals to observe, learn, and grow in our practice. The most memorable one for me was a Journey to the Underworld Ritual to call on the Dark Goddess organized by Jane Meredith. I wasn‘t sure what to expect. I assumed I would be encountering Hekate with me being more familiar with her by way of Blackbird.

Instead I was plunged head first into a meeting with The Morrigan. Fuck. She was fierce, unyielding and in control. Everything was swallowed in darkness and it was just her in front of me, commanding my attention. I was intimidated but also absolutely intrigued by the Dark Goddess. I have worked with other badass goddesses but this was the first time in my life that I heard a call.

I was shy about working with the Morrigan in the beginning. I felt like I needed to study more, prepare more, or just be a “better” witch before I could ever consider working with her. Whatever the fuck being a “better” witch really even means. That hesitation and self-doubt lead to her getting all up in my face to tell me it was time to strap on my big girl combat boots and just show the fuck up for battle.

Now, how the do I show the fuck up? The first obvious step in my head was actually training for fighting. When I started Jiu Jitsu, I wasn‘t sure whether it was going to be the right fit. Fighting without punching and kicking? Is that even for me? But hot damn, let me tell you. It is a challenge. Jiu Jitsu uses strategy, leverage and ground fighting to control your opponent in order to get them to submit. And we know The Morrigan is cunning. I would come home with bruises and scratches. Often getting my ass handed to me by some incredible women (and fellas on occasion).  But as I continue to grow in my training and dedicate this journey to her, I can feel her satisfaction as I learn to outsmart and maneuver around my opponents.

The Morrigan may be the Goddess of Glory in Battle but that doesn‘t mean it is all about blood and death. It is about using your skill and cleverness to win the battle.  Everyday life situations can be your personal battlefield. For myself, it has been saying “no” more and standing up for what I want. It is speaking up to people I love if they hurt me or push me too far. When I start to give in to that guilt or the pressure, I feel the shiver of her running up my spine giving me the strength to say what I want and be unapologetic about it. She reminds me to not cower. That just speaking up and not backing down can be a battle that serves her.

Your way of working with the Dark Goddess doesn‘t have to be a physical fight. I get that rolling around on a mat and practicing choke holds is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not all wars are fought on a battlefield. A war needs writers, healers, activists, strategists and so much more to succeed in battle. Find your call to action. Maybe it is being active in politics, the environment or your community. Volunteering or writing. We see injustice in our everyday lives that need someone to fight for them. Fight with your mind, your voice, or hell, if you want a physical fight, you can always punch a Nazi. But fight in YOUR way. Fight for yourself in your everyday life. You are worth the fight. As The Morrigan said to me, “Don’t be afraid of your bite.”


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An on-going list of political and social action items to keep you aware in these rage-inducing times.

Practitioners of Afro-Brazilian religions fear increasing intolerance under Bolsonaro.

-The first generic version of the abortion pill has been introduced!   It could mean lower costs for patients, but barriers to access remain.

– Nurx has just introduced a a variety of mail-order, at home STI tests.  No doctor visit, only a questionnaire required to get it and mail back in for results.

-Thousands of women undergo cervical procedures every year without being informed of a potentially devastating result: the loss of their ability to enjoy sex. Cosmo investigates why doctors aren‘t taking this side effect more seriously.

-What Happens When You Examine Sex and Violence Through the Female Gaze.  Interview with the director of “the Love Witch,” a cult classic in the making!

-The Cherokee Nation appoints Kimberly Teehee as its first-ever delegate to Congress since the position was created under the Treaty of New Echota in 1835.

 Resources for teachers, education volunteers, and students on empowering students to vote.  Curriculae, planning a registration drive (4-week action plan), start a club (sample club constitution), and more!

– How one teacher’s students led a voter registration drive and how you can too!

-Not everything sucks! Check out Good Black News, The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World.

– Sign up for the Small Victories newsletter and read their archives to pump yourself up and stay in the fight.

Still useful stuff:

Four Ways to Destigmatize Abortion in Everyday Conversations

-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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