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Uncoven Issue #33

Get Ready for PantheaCon Coverage!

That’s right, Scarlet and Blackbird will be at PantheaCon this weekend, along with Brandon from Episode 32!  The witches will be doing recaps of all the events, rituals, lectures and partaays they go to all weekend, and we hope that if you can’t join us in the physical plane, you will join us in a future auditory one where we come at you via your earholes with our many, many feelings and thoughts about the weekend.  We love bringing you these recaps – it’s a great way for us to relive the experience and to explore our paths on even deeper levels.  Stay tuned!

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!

New Year, New Deck!  The Spolia Tarot Edition II

I was actually gifted this gorgeous deck from an amazing mentor and friend for Yule, and already it is proving that it was meant for me.  Not only was the note that came with the deck written on the exact same sort of stationery on which my sister sent me a note (along with ANOTHER oracle deck to be featured next time), but of course the first time I read with it – after shuffling 3 piles excessively – what card came up first?  My signifying card, The Empress.  CRAZY TAROT COINCIDENCE?  Phhffffffttttt.  We don’t have those ’round here.  Feast your eyes on this gorgeous thing HERE, right away.
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Elbow Deep with Blackbird


A treasured friend just texted this to me, in regard to something she read in which it was suggested that caffeine, but only in moderation would possibly bring balance to her life.  She said, “fuck that, I will take DELIGHTENMENT, which should be a word.”  I have decided that it is a perfect word to describe the state I am trying to be in lately.

Delightenment to me will mean taking joy in the little dumb shit.  Like, I made a good dinner this evening.  I talked to my friend, even if it was just messaging back and forth about pets.  My cat had teeth extracted today, and either the painkillers or something has made him CRAZY affectionate.  These things bring me to this state.

Delightenment will also mean not giving a shit what other people think about me 24/7.  It will mean walking for how good it feels to walk, not because I think I need to lose weight.  It will mean saying no when I feel over-obligated, or just obligated at all.  It will mean saying yes only if I really want to do whatever it is.  It will mean naps, and reading books, or watching Empire for the 100th time.  It will mean a state of love for myself.

Delightenment, for me, will be a state I strive toward – to be delighted.  To be joyous.  And when I don’t feel those feelings, to be ok with wherever I am at in any given point in a day.  I only have this one life, this string of moments.
And if I need some caffeine, I will fucking have some.

Blessings –


Get to Know: Vanth

Vanth was mentioned in our latest episode on channeling.   I found her so fascinating and charming, that I’d like to go into a little more detail in the hopes that your interest to work with her may be piqued as well!

Vanth is an Etrustcan goddess.  The shortest possible history I can manage is this: The Etruscans were a civilization the predated and overlapped the Roman, eventually becoming absorbed into the Roman Empire.  Their mythology imported a lot of Greek and Roman myths, but at its core was completely unrelated and unique. Their language was completely unrelated to Latin and is still undeciphered.

That is one reason we know so very little about Etruscan religion.  As a result, primary sources about Vanth are scarce which is one reason using trance or channeling to learn about her is particularly revelatory.

Vanth is a psychopomp.  She is of the Underworld, but not precisely a goddess of death.  She is liminality, a goer-between.  She is a benevolent and gentle- if sometimes unwelcome– guide.

Her role as a traveler between the worlds links her very strongly to Hecate in function and worship.  Her torch and key bearing image also overlaps with Hecate.  The impression that I got from her was one of peering over Hecate’s shoulder or trialing behind her, so that conversations and work with Hecate also fuel Vanth’s potency and connection to this world.

As mentioned in the podcast, I think that her very nature as existence between worlds helps her maintain a coherent and touchingly human persona, despite not being very actively worshiped in modern times.

Her role also has parallels to Hermes, another Greek psychopomp.  Although Hermes is responsible for travel to and from Hades, he is not a chthonic deity and the rest of his portfolio is quite diverse.  I suspect that Vanth has the potential to  serve in these capacities as well, rather than be pigeonholed in a strictly morbid occupation.
Anyone practicing meditation, trance, remote viewing, shamanism, soul retrieval, past life regression, or any other variety of work between the worlds would likely find an eager patron in Vanth.  By analogy, work in the field of psychology, research, archaeology, translation, or any other profession that involves uncovering hidden knowledge.


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Altar-ed States

So my devotional practice is a work in progress.  I’m pretty good about checking in once a week, although not always on the same day and sometimes I get mixed up miss a week.  Nevertheless, here is my routine and some altar porn!

I have three spaces I use to welcome and honor spirits.
The first is a kitschy iron cat-angel thing that I got from Home Goods or some such place. Normally it wouldn’t be my style, but this feline cherub looked pretty close to my familiar spirit Bilorzibesh who is a flying monkey variety of creature.  After I created my iynx, Eisheth, who I imagined as a sister spirit to B, I use this spot to make offerings to both of them.  The stature is housed in an over-sized glass lantern.


I also make offerings to the fox spirits of the house.  Fox has always been my animal, but the house used to be a denning site for actual foxes and I often see spectral ones dart about.  The jaw is a fox jaw that was found under the house and the Japanese trinkets were gifted to me from friends who got them as souvenirs from Japan.  When I make offerings to this spot, I call out to the fox spirits of the house, Reynard (a folkloric archetype of Fox) and his mate Vulpix (Latin for vixen, not just a pokemon), and Inari-Kami the Japanese goddess of foxes, rice, and sake among other things.
The last spot is a corner that started out as a simple display of art and has exploded into a full on shrine.  The framed art is a lavish hand-painted image of Bhagalamukhi on muslin that was gifted to me as an extraordinary birthday present.  I added the shelf below to display the patina-ed Saraswati which was a gift from Bali, the sandalwood Kali that I bargained for in Sri Lanka, and the plastic Bhairavi I bought on ebay.  Not all treasured or magical items have to made of exotic materials or come from far away places!  I since added Varahi and Kurukulla, two striking goddesses that have both Buddhist and Hindu iconography.   All these goddesses are fierce (well maybe not Saraswati!) aspect of Devi.

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yd2My ritual is to make a small offering.  Usually it is a small teacup of tea, wine, sake, milk, or honey.  Often if I am brewing tea in the morning I pour out the first sip and set it aside as the offering.  Other times I offer flowers or lit incense.

I go by each spot in turn and say “[names of spirits], I welcome you into my home and offer you sustenance.”  That is just some weird shit I blurted out the first time I decided to formally set about making regular offerings.  I hold out the offering, sometimes touching it to the mouth of a statue, or circling it around the altar three times.  When I get to the Devi shrine, I leave the offering on the shelf.


Because I am not great at routines, sometimes the offering have molded before I change them out.  Of course, I was extremely embarrassed and felt that this was probably very blasphemous.  However, many of the tantric goddesses, Matangi in particular, actually accept impure offerings: discarded food, menstrual blood, etc.  All cycles of existence are as sacred as any other, so I try to meditate on my embarrassment or revulsion at those times.


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Here are the deadlines to register to vote in every state and territory!

via Business Insider

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

-Wow, fuck off: Mike Moon introduced a Missouri bill that would define any attempt to terminate a pregnancy into murder and require police to enforce it.

-Walking in two worlds: Canada’s ‘two-spirit’ doctor guiding trans teenagers.

-Predicted outcome of forcing abortion centers to close: DIY abortion attempts three times as prevalent in Texas as other states, study finds.

Resistance in the Library: digital access, privacy, surveillance, ICE, and more.  Thought provoking read!

-AILA will host a National Day of Action on March 5 in Washington, D.C. to advocate for USCIS accountability, immigration court reform, and due process for aspiring Americans.

-The Puentes Libres project connects people seeking asylum who have been forced to wait in Mexico with lawyers in the U.S. via teleconferencing.

– Fiona Apple will donate two years‘ worth of royalties from her hit song “Criminal” to immigration rights group While They Wait.  Add it to your playlist!

Still useful stuff:

100 Ways to Support—Not Appropriate From—Native People

-Help voters register before the 2020 primaries by donating to Spread the Vote’s Project ID initiative.

-The #HomeIsHere campaign provides resources for individuals receiving DACA protections.

 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!

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.

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