Uncoven Issue #5
Episode #13 – Show Notes
On this episode, we discuss the abusive act of reproductive coercion, and Blackbird lists several resources for help. We want to offer those same sources here and a few more. Please reach out to any of these organizations or someone you trust if you feel like you might be a victim of reproductive coercion or any kind of domestic physical or psychological abuse. Click here to see if you may need help and are possibly the victim of abuse.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – 303-839-1852
Feminist Women’s Health Center – 1-800-877-6013
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Dating Abuse Hotline – 1-866-331-9474
National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
We also discuss abortion at length on the episode. Here are some resources if you are interested in terminating a pregnancy safely and legally:
If you would like to help fight for reproductive equality and stand up for keeping abortion legal, please check out NARAL here.
Check out our brand spanking new web-o-net pages at Hex Rated Podcast!
It is with heavy hearts but spirits of fire that the four of us here at Hex Rated come to you today. The events which took place yesterday in Charlottesville, VA, in which an open rally was held by racist terrorists (the term “white supremacists ” or ‘white nationalists” sugar-coats it too much for us). Anti-racist students and citizens marched in counter-protest. A car driven by a white racist terrorist man entered the scene at high speeds and plowed into the counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring others.
We are disgusted that the current political climate of our nation has made racists feel emboldened to march in the open and foment hate. While the four of us are very cognizant that these sentiments exist and have continued throughout hundreds of years regardless if professed in the open or not, we are enraged that any faction of racism or “nationalism” is considered normal or somehow condoned by a certain sect of our political leadership.
What we will do as the Uncoven and what we implore our listeners to do is this: If you can safely call out racism when it happens in your presence, do so. Hashtags saying that this does not represent you are not going to further along a solution. We at Hex Rated have no intention of saying we are “good white people” and hereby absolve ourselves with…hashtags. THIS IS NOT ABOUT US.
What we will do is call out racism. In our social circles, in our work circles, on the podcast, and on the street if we hear or witness it. We will condemn it at every turn. We will condemn it with our words, with our writing, with our voices and with the strongest magic of all: Love.
Hot for Witches: Texas Icon Ann Richards (1933 –2006)
Not a witch, but one hell of a feminist and Texan icon, Ann Richards was the second female governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995.
During her term, she appointed Lena Guerrero, the first non-Anglo, to the Railroad Commission, instituted the Texas Lottery to fund public schools, and established a substance abuse program for inmates. After her tenure she continued to advocate for causes close to her, particularly osteoporosis from which she suffered.
Her opponent in the gubernatorial election was legendary pig Clayton Williams who infamously commented that a woman being raped should “lay back and enjoy it.” Richards pounced and the gaffe cost Williams the election.
Nauseatingly, his explanation for the comment, ”That’s not a Republican women’s club that we were having this morning. It’s a working cow camp, a tough world where you can get kicked in the testicles if you’re not careful,” jarringly resembles Trump’s defense of his own “grab ’em by the pussy” verbal incontinence as merely “locker room talk.” It’s one motherfucker of a kick to the tits to realize that a comment that cost a politician an election 27 years ago is not longer a disqualifier for the presidency.
We need Ann Richards’ energy more than ever to stand up to bullies and blowhards. Her daughter Cecile Richards is doing her part as president of Planned Parenthood.
I leave you some ritual ideas and my top savage burns from the dame with the “big hair, big mouth”:
“I get a lot of cracks about my hair, mostly from men who don’t have any.” Ann Richards
“Poor George [Bush], he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” Ann Richards
“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” Ann Richards
“If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities.” Ann Richards
“I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone.'” Ann Richards
Ann Richards Candle Prayer
Misogynistic “good ole boys” got you down? Call on Ann, Our Lady of Sass and Class.
Light a pillar candle. You can adorn it with a picture, one of her quotes, yellow roses, or bluebonnets.
Take a moment to think about the mottos of Texas. It’s ok if you’re not Texan, no one is perfect. Our official motto is “Friendship.” Our unofficial motto is “Don’t mess with Texas.” Think who brings friendship into your life. Who can you trust? Who would you like to reach out to a be better friends with? Now think about who or what you want to stop messing with you. Not just stop messing, but be afraid to even think about it.
Ask Ann to help strengthen the bonds of friendship around you and make you all tougher, meaner, and un-fuck-with-able.
When you are done, think of an act of offering and follow through. It could be donating or volunteering for Planned Parenthood or any other charitable service. Or you could take care of yourself and commit to one or two healthy habits that prevent osteoporosis. Maybe you could call that person that you thought about being better friends with and ask her to lunch.
Cooking Up a Storm
Hey everyone, Blackbird here. In part I of our reproductive rights series, we talk about some heavy topics that aren’t easy to deal with or face if you are the one that is facing these issues. It’s hard to remember when you are going through times that are difficult, but the best thing you can do is try to take good care of yourself. I think the four witches agree that not very many things soothe the soul as well as a cup of hot tea. Warm beverages bring comfort to me, and I especially enjoy a cup of tea or warm milk before bed. I want to share with you two of my favorite go-to’s for a hot tea that will help your monthly ladytime (or just make you feel better in general), and a hot, sweet, spiced milk that is my new routine since I had to cut out coffee at night ((I mean, sleep is so important y’all – you really need 7-8 hours a night AT LEAST, and don’t think you can “make it up” – sleep does not work that way.)
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. You can start with a good quality herbal tea; I recommend Pukka or Yogi if you are looking for something that can be found on your regular grocery store tea aisle. You can add ginger to the tea, cinnamon, honey, mint, or lemon – all of these elements will enhance the flavor and soothe your body. Try different versions of chamomile tea to see which one you like the best – you may have a local tea shop, and we firmly believe in supporting your community when you can!
BLACKBIRD’S SWEET SPICED NIGHTTIME MILK
I start with 2% Fairlife milk, heated up so that it is quite warm but shy of scalding. I add Stevia, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg and stir. I slowly sip before bedtime while reading or winding down, and it has really improved my sleep quality!
Roaming the Wicked Path with Jaye
I hear the call to the woods daily. That little whisper that reminds you that you are aching to be with nature. You hear it too, right?
Feeling stuck at a desk, staring at a bright computer screen, my mind grows anxious and feels like a beast clawing to get out. That feral animal that begins to feel trapped by the day to day grind. It can only be soothed by the sound of crunching leaves under foot and the smell of foliage in the warm air.
A state park is not always within reach for a quick escape. Sometimes all it takes to nourish the soul is a small preserve or local park trail.
I force myself to slip away on a lunch break. Quickly toss my tarot cards, journal and magpie bone throwing set into a backpack with water.
My loyal sidekick, an Australian Kelpie rescue dog, at my side. He knows we are about to go running wild in the woods.
When we hit the trail we pick up the pace. He looks back at me with joy on his face because we are running in sync and smelling the trail and touching the dirt and bark of the trees. I stop running like I have been taught and instead run with my instinct and curiosity. I see every plant like it is the first time and observe the detail of the veins on the leaves. I pay attention to the Painted Lady butterflies gracefully fluttering through and the birds perched on their branches, calling out to each other. Notice every broken tree trunk that crosses our path and think on what brought it down.
This small preserve may not be on the scale of the bigger hikes of the past. If you listen really close you can hear the faint sound of cars in the distance.
But it doesn’t matter. It is my hometown preserve and has its own magic to it. The sounds of rustling leaves and scurrying squirrels through brush are all around.
I reach a clearing where the pine trees create a circle like a sacred space. I draw a circle in the dirt and pine needles and throw my “bones”. They tell me what I already know. They can be snarky like that. I meditate on them for a few minutes until I feel the nudge of my fur companion reminding me it is time to move on. We full sprint the rest of the way back. I howl at the trees and thank the woods for listening.
My point here is that you don’t have to travel far to get connected with nature. Check your local parks and preserves and see what your hometown has to offer. Make the local park a special place. Or a city garden to walk through. Find magic in your backyard. They all need attention, too. Let’s not forget to honor these local places.
An on-going list of political and social action items to keep you aware in these rage inducing times.
-The Women’s March will be hosting The Women’s Convention to “bring thousands of women, femmes and our allies of all backgrounds to Detroit from October 27 – 29, 2017, for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections.”
– Join the Handmaid’s Resistance! Get updates about events, resources, organizing your own event and more.
-Read Deborah M. Castellano’s guide to Hexing as Social Change including some specifically Italian magic.
– fire up that cellular device and oppose the rollback of birth control coverage, defend childhood immigrants and DREAMers, denounce 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.
– Start buying that Halloween candy! Mars has committed $1 billion to fight climate change!
Below you will find items from previous newsletters that are still relevant:
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.