Housekeeping: Some changes coming along the way.

Dear Reader,

If you looked at the main blog, you may have seen a post talking about changes underway. I am planning changes for this blog as well. Some of them are going to be similar to what is going to happen on the main blog. Some of the changes are going to be unique to this blog.

One thing that is going to be happening at this specific blog is more Filianic content. Because WordPress appears to be the platform of preference for the Filianic community, I will be posting some exclusive to this blog material for that community. I mentioned at one point last year that I think I have stumbled into a new branch of Filianism. That is going to be one of the major topics. I will eventually be developing material devoted to this topic. (I am actually in the editing process for some of it right now. My beta reader is about a third of the way through the manuscript. It’s very dense reading, so it’s taking some time for us to get through it.)

I am going to be adding pages to this blog’s site that are going to be virtual shrines for various deities. I am going to be adding material to this blog that will assist one in building a book of shadows. I did that a little bit in the main blog, but this blog has more traffic right now. And I know that there are a lot of seekers and new witches who are trying to figure out how to organize the stuff they’re learning. So, there’s going to be some crash course lesson pages on that. Those crash course lesson pages will be summarized versions of the full lessons that will be available on the main blog. Some of those lessons are going to feature video content, so you will want to check the main blog from time to time.

To say the least, there is still a lot of material over at the main blog I’m trying to get organized. I started that effort in 2017 and then depression hit me. All progress on that front ground to a halt. I am attempting to fix that and make both blogs easier to navigate. I have a lot of material to share and looking through tags is just maddening when there is so much stuff. This work is going to literally take months.

So, if my blog format seems a little off one week and then it’s back to normal the next, please don’t be alarmed. I’m working on making this a better space for all of us to share. Thank you for your patience and I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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Divination: Being Psychic is a Skill and a Talent.

 Dear Reader,

I’ve touched on this topic before. I am going to do so again because of how often I see people insisting that you have to be ‘special’ to be a psychic. Psychic stuff does require a measure of talent. At the same time, it is a skill that can be learned and honed. If you have raw talent and do nothing with it, you will never realize your full potential. It will just sit there in that rough shape and give vague information. 

I have seen psychics who learned their trade through a great deal of hard work. Some of the best tarot readers that I have encountered built their ability through hours of study and practice. Some of the worst ones I’ve met just go off the fly to rely entirely on their intuition, taking a shotgun for flies approach to answering your query. There are times where skill and talent intersect. You can get some really awesome tarot readers who have raw psychic talent that they developed and keenly honed through hours of study and practice. 

The difference between the three is simple. Your psychic who has invested study and practice despite lacking raw talent will have a dogged determination in their approach to reading. They will be relentless in their effort to draw out as much information as they can from the cards. Your psychic who is relying solely upon their innate talent will have information that is difficult to decipher and seemingly random pertaining to your query. Your psychic who has invested in building their skills and honing their talent will have the relentlessness of the psychic who learned it all the hard way with the bonus of having a deeper connection with the spiritual side of the world. The third psychic will be able to present to you the connections between the seemingly random elements that pop up in your reading.

Now, for some people, it is intimidating to try to learn the psychic arts. The over-culture of the West views the psychic arts in a mixed fashion. There is a degree of skepticism and mockery while at the same time, people are quite devoted to their daily horoscope. The mixed reviews of the psychic arts in modern society should not stop you from learning the psychic art in question that fascinates you. All knowledge is worth having.

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Godspousery Notes: Going back to Keen.

 Dear Reader,

I am not sure if I noted this earlier or not, I am going back to doing readings on Keen. It’s the only platform that allows me the flexibility I need in my schedule and methods of reading. I was very frustrated when I came to this realization. Going months with out doing tarot readings or interacting with people outside my family wasn’t helping me in any fashion. Frey and Loki staged an intervention.

They demanded to know why I was letting my pride get in the way of doing things that I loved. That stung. But, that was the point of that statement. After some discussion, they convinced me to give Keen another try. They gave me ideas for how to market it so that I actually build up a customer base even as I am working on other things. Most of all, they sat and held my hand as I faced my fear that I’m just not good enough to do this sort of thing.

I’m going to start posting links to Keen blog articles. The content is going to be different. I can’t cross post material from Keen or to Keen. It’s against their rules for blogging on their platform. I’m going to try to post daily across multiple blogs. There’s going to be a bit of a learning curve here. Frey assures me that I’ll master it again. I’m not so sure about it. 

I feel real hesitant about taking this step. I worry that Keen isn’t acting in good faith with their advisors. Loki basically laughed and asked me what intermediary is doing that these days? I guess he has a good point. I just have to out think them and push myself to expand my social efforts, despite how much I dread doing so. If I have learned anything from 2020, it is that I must force myself to be social or I start having even worse problems with depression and flashbacks to trauma from when I was a kid.

As much as I hate to admit it, Keen is going to be a crucial part of that process of rebuilding social connections and getting more practice interacting with people. It’s going to be as brutal as when I had to do physical therapy after I fell and hurt my back a few years ago, if not more so. But, if they have faith in me, it is the height of hubris to say that I can’t possibly have any reason to have faith in myself. I’ve seen the price of hubris and my rib aches when the weather gets cold just to remind me.

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Recommendation: The Eastminster Critical Edition of the Clear Recital & Oxonian Rite

Dear Reader,

This week’s recommendation is for the Orthodox Filianic community and those who have Madrian leanings in their practice of their faith. The Eastminster Critical Edition of the Clear Recital and of the Oxonian Rite is a treasure trove that is full of wonderful information and beautifully assembled. It has the most complete collection of the Teachings of the Daughter that I have encountered. It clearly outlines the history of the Filianic religion as well as distinguishes the differences between Filianism and Déanism.

Unlike other texts, the ECE has excerpts from the writings of Madria Olga, a charismatically ordained priestess of Déa who lead the Rosa Madriana community up until her death from cancer in 2008. Madria Olga’s writings heavily informed the modern Filianic community’s faith practices and continue to act as a guide for believers. The works of other priestesses and thinkers from earlier Filianic communities are referenced as well. 

A very through history of Filianism is presented, detailing in chronological order the unfurling of this faith through time. There is a discussion of modern Filianism (as of the time of this edition’s printing) and the rise of Independent Filianists. This discussion is handled with great care and attention to detail, which is impressive considering the wide variety of Independent Filianists.

Additionally, the ECE includes a breviary and hymnal that have been used historically by the Orthodox Filianic community. It also gives detailed accounting of the Rosary and the different contemplative paths. Along side these two important sections, there is a calendar of sorts listing the dates of holy days and something about their historical observances.

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Status of Video Posts.

 Dear Reader,

I have gone most of a year with out making video posts. Some of it was due to the fact that we were doing a lot of distance learning and the household was in a fair amount of turmoil. Some of it was due to the fact that I had (and to some extent am still) struggled with essentially a year long bout of depression due to the isolation that Covid-19 has forced on me. (I am considered medically at high risk between my asthma and diabetes.) Then there was the third part of the problem which was I kinda ran out of ideas.

I am in the process of compiling a list of video post ideas. It is my hope that next week, I will have something ready for your viewing pleasure. It’s been a wild year and it looks like this year is going to repeat many of the elements that made last year challenging. I, however, am not going to allow them to stop me from writing and making videos. I just need a week to finish this topic list that I’ve been working on.

In some ways, this is a reboot of the entire blog. It may be that I was past due for that. Either way, look for a video post next week on Thursday. I will endeavor to have a transcript of the blog post available for you to read as well. (This also gives me some time to find another headset that works properly because the microphone on mine died. It was ancient and venerable so that wasn’t a big surprise. Just another nuisance on a list of them to deal with right now.)

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your readership. I look forward to posting a video next week for you. In the meantime, take a look at some of the older videos. Search Veiled Witch Videos on Youtube to find them. (I probably should set up a page on here with all the links. That’d make sense and probably make everyone’s life easier rather than scrolling through old posts. Something to work on later, I suppose.) 

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Teas vs. Tisanes vs. Potions

Dear Reader,

If you crack open an herbal you’ll find a lot of recipes for everything ranging from herbal teas to potions. Today’s post is an attempt to clarify the differences between these different uses of herbs and note some safety protocol necessary in their uses. Before I move on to the details, I want to note something very important. If you are incorporating herbal medicine into your daily care regimen, keep your doctor and pharmacist apprised of the situation. Medicinal herbs and plants can have interactions with medications, some of them potentially lethal.

Now, preface made, let’s get down to talking shop, shall we? Herbal teas are made with a base of black, white, or green tea. They contain a percentage of caffeine and other elements that can be good for your health. This is part of the reason why they’re so popular. Herbal teas have set ratios of herbs to tea. Different brands of herbal teas will have different ratios and different herbs (even if they claim to be identical to other brands). Generally, commercial brands keep these ratios as trade secrets. After all, Bigelow doesn’t want Celestial Seasonings to steal the recipes or vice versa. 

When selecting a commercially prepared herbal tea, make a point of reading the ingredient list. There are herbs and spices that can evoke an allergic reaction despite the fact that you’re not out in the wild sticking your face into the plant to smell the pretty scents. Chamomile, for example, is well known as a digestive aid but if you have hayfever, it is possible that you are going to have some stuffy sinuses after drinking a cup of chamomile tea because it is related to the plants commonly known for provoking hayfever allergies. In the case of teas for relaxation and rest, one must be careful because they can contain herbs such as valerian which can interact with cold medications and make you extra drowsy.

Tisanes are different from herbal teas. They are like teas and frequently marketed as herbal teas. The difference is a tisane does not have any tea leaf added to it. These have higher concentration of herbs and spices in them than herbal teas. This means that they can have a stronger effect on the body. The brewing process for a tisane is also different from the brewing process for most herbal teas. 

Most herbal teas are brewed in the same manner of regular tea. Water is heated to near boiling (or boiling, depending on the tea used) and poured over the herbal tea before being allowed to steep for several minutes. Tisanes have a different process. Water is heated to near boiling and then poured over the herbs. At this point, the cup is covered to allow the steam to condense on the cover and drip back into the cup, thereby preserving the concentration of the active components of the tisane. The time to cover the cup varies between different tisanes and what is being used. They are, in general, steeped at least 10 minutes to get the maximum amount of the active components out of the herbs.

Potions are entirely different from herbal teas and tisanes. Most of the time, potions are not intended for consumption. They will use inorganic elements, such as crystals, and can prove highly toxic. (Point of reference: If you see a potion that calls for a combination of urine and bleach, don’t use it. That produces dangerous amounts of chlorine gas and can kill you.) There are some potions that are made with edible ingredients and should still be treated with the same caution as herbal medicine because the herbs used in the potion will have an influence upon your body’s ability to metabolize medications, vitamins, and even food.

In the end, the biggest thing I would like for you to take away from this post is that natural products are not always safe. Cyanide is natural and completely lethal. Be cautious in your approach to herbal medicine and consult with doctors and pharmacologists who have the training to tell you how your medicinal herbs will interact with your body. This is true for recreational herbal usage. If you’re using herbs for fun and profit, make sure you do it safely and with consultation with the people who went to school to make sure you can survive the experience.

Posted in Herbalism, Magical Studies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Iron: It’s uses in defensive magic and how to properly season cast iron.

Dear Reader,

Iron has long been associated with protection magic. Defensive charms made of iron and steel have been found since humanity figured out how to make iron and steel. Now, it may sound silly, but cast iron is a really good defensive magical tool. It is heavy, which makes it a good energy sink and a good personal defense item in a pinch. It acts to neutralize most magical energy that it comes into contact with. Iron retains a very strong connection with the Earth’s core (which is made up of, among other things, molten iron) which makes it a very good tool for grounding energy at large.

Traditionally, cast iron has been used for everything from fences (obvious defensive measures) to cookware. That cast iron fence outside probably could benefit from a coat of paint or anti-rust products, but this does not neutralize its effect. The reason why is because the thin layer of product on the iron helps to preserve the iron and keep it intact. It is not enough of a layer to act as a buffer unless intentionally ensorcelled to do so. A wrought iron fence takes energy and directs it immediately into the ground beneath it creating a magical barrier that extends about where it is place.

If you wish to create such a barrier and can’t afford wrought iron, there’s the dirt cheap and kinda nasty way of doing it. That is burying steel nails around your property line. If you put them point up, potential trespassers are likely going to need a tetanus shot after stepping on them, depending on how deeply your bury your nails. To create a barrier at thresholds and similar liminal places of entry, a small steel finishing nail can be driven into the lintel about the doorway that will act as a barrier for unwelcome spiritual beings from entering.

Then we come to cast iron cookware. The cauldrons of old that were used for everyday cooking were also used for magical practice. They were, for the most part, iron. The iron worked like a magic circle to contain the energy of the spell craft being cast until the caster decided it was time to let it magic loose to do its work. Today, we don’t use cast iron as much for cooking. If you are using cast iron for cooking it requires special care.

First, take your cast iron pot and scrub it well. I like using the steel wool pads because they don’t impart too much soap in the process and they do a good job of getting burnt on material off. You don’t want to use a lot of water or soap here because you want to retain the patina over the pot/pan you’re working with. It is the patina that gives good cast iron cookware something of a non-stick quality. After you have scrubbed your pot and rinsed all the soap out, take a moment to dry it with a paper towel.

Your next step is to get out your cooking oil and another paper towel. Put a dab of cooking oil on the paper towel and massage this into your pan. You want to work the oil in across all of the cooking surface and the outside of the pan. Use a third (possibly fourth, depending on how much excess oil there is) paper towel to wipe the excess oil off of your pan. Then you want to place your pan into your oven on low heat until things begin to smell toasty. It is a good idea to put a baking sheet under your pan incase there are any oil drippings that come down from spots you possibly missed. Allow the pan to cool off at the same time as your oven. 

If you haven’t used too much oil, your pan will have a smooth surface on the cooking surface. It will feel smooth to the touch (when it is cooled off) and it will work beautifully for cooking up pancakes because it will be nonstick. If you used too much oil, you will have to go back to step one in the process and re-season the pan. If too much oil is used, the pan will be sticky to the touch when it has cooled and things will tend to burn to the bottom of your pan. 

Important thing to remember, if you are heating your cast iron in the oven, make sure that it has a handle that can tolerate heat. Usually, cast iron pots have a cast iron handle. Some, however, have a wooden handle on them. For those pots, heat them on the stove top until they smell toasty and then allow them to cool off slowly. Do not thrust your hot cast iron pan into cold water in an effort to cool it. This will damage your pan and make it more brittle. Do not let your cast iron pan sit in water for an extended period of time because it will rust. And don’t let it sit for an extended period of time on stainless steel because it will leave a rust mark on your steel that you’ll have to scrub off with a good amount of effort.

Posted in Equipment, Ritual tools, Tools | Leave a comment

Tarot out look for Quarter 1 of 2021

 Dear Reader,

This is a general, worldwide tarot outlook for the first quarter of 2021.

January: Isolation and contemplation. Pandemic restrictions are going to remain in place. We are encouraged to bear them with patience. The cards are exhorting us to use this time to look within and do an assessment of where we want to be and how we want to live our lives in the post-pandemic era.

February: For some, the pandemic restrictions are going to lift. They are going to find themselves in the position of working very had to bring ideals into reality. For the rest of us, there will be a great deal of restlessness and internal strife as we chafe against the restrictions. The cards are encouraging us to look at the big picture and not to loose our heads in the moment. We’re encouraged to channel our frustration into artistic and creative activities. The key words here are “progress not perfection.”

March: The percentage of the population that are going to be under severe restriction due to the pandemic is going to reduce as vaccinations ramp up during this month. There will be a measure of relaxation of general pandemic restrictions for many regions because of the advent of the vaccination efforts. This will trickle down into improved morale for the community at large. We will also see an increase in communication (reliable communication) through various channels regarding how the fight against the pandemic is faring. The key words here are “Keep calm and carry on.” While things are improving, continue to use all safety protocols as you have been.

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Posting on Hold.

 Dear Reader,

I have some mundane things to get sorted out before I can jump back into posting on a semi-daily basis again. I anticipate this will take about a week. The good news is that my son is Covid-19 free and ready to go back to school tomorrow. The bad news is that my home looks like a tornado went through it and the kitchen is a nightmare. So, first on my list of mundane things is going to be cleaning house in a big way.

I am also in the process of reevaluating the blog performance here. That means looking through the posts in the past and finding out what topics were of most interest to you. It’s going to take me a day or two to accomplish that. If you have topics that you would like me to comment on, please let me know.

Happy New Year (belated) and now to get to work on … Well, everything that needs to be picked up after Yule and a kid being sick at home for a week and a half. Wish me luck. I’m about to be eyeballs deep in dishes. LOL

Posted in Uncategorized, updates | Leave a comment

Untitled.

 Dear Reader,

It has been a trying day in my neck of the woods. I have had my elder son home from school for the last week because he was sick. The school, in an abundance of caution, are not allowing students who have been ill back for in session classes until they have tested negative for Covid-19. The act of going essentially across the county to the hospital that is administering the tests wasn’t that bad. The testing process wasn’t too awful. My son was quite happy that it was faster than the last time he had to get the test done. 

He helped me run a few errands. And we got home in plenty of time to meet his brother when he got home from school. The boys had a fairly good afternoon. The difficulties today come out of the fact that I slept terribly last night. And the combo of black ice and snow at one intersection. (Thank the gods it was empty when I slid past the stop sign at 15 mph in a 30 mph zone, the roads were ugly this morning.) I just emotionally have been having a rough week.

I’m still furious with the Trump insurrection attempt. I am disgusted with the Asatru people who participated in it. I am livid with the people who have applauded from the sidelines. I am equally furious with the people who are attempting to be apologists for it. At the same time that I am consumed with this rage, I am depressed and disheartened. We were supposed to be better than that. We were supposed to be the bastion of democracy.

I am fearful for my country. I am fearful for my family. To some extent we can pass as a ‘normal’ family, we are what the Trump supporters hate. I am a disabled woman who happens to be on the mouthy side and with a bit of education behind my words. My husband and sons are autistic. We are not a ‘normal’ family. We’re not Christian of any flavor. We’re aggressively supportive of human rights for everybody (that includes all races, belief systems, and your status as a citizen). We are “liberal” in our political orientation.

We are at a point where things are complicated. It is a point where systems are breaking down egregiously. I am severely limited in what I can do to influence the situation. We live in a region where we are in the minority on politics. Trump has emboldened the racists and hateful people through out the country, including in my little backwater town. It has reached a point where I don’t feel safe going out wearing my pretty scarves because of how people react. It’s been this way for about two years now.

I don’t get more harassment because I am white. If I weren’t, I would be afraid for my physical safety. I grieve the country I grew up in. The country that didn’t give Nazis the time of day. It’s been revealed to me that was an illusion. I, the descendant of Joseph Knight, a Revolutionary War hero, must say that this country is not living up to its potential. It is not living up to the promises that had been made. 

When Donald Trump was elected, I said to my husband that we were witnessing the end of Pax Americana. Last week only shows that I am correct in this estimation. All, however, is not lost. When the god of mischief and chaos himself tells you, “Chin up. It’s not over. You still have a chance. Keep fighting.” it is a good thing to listen. He’s not the driving force behind this mess. I am sure there are people who will try to pin this on the Lokeans and others who deal with chaos entities. I am sure there are people who will try to pin this on the Satanists. But the driving force behind this mess is neither the chaos entities or Satan.

The driving force behind this is simply hate. We can over come hate. We can defeat people who weave it. Pax Americana may have passed, but this need not be the decline of the Republic. Let us resist the hatred being spewed at us. Let us resist the divisive attempts to make us fight each other as the “moral majority” play the game of let’s you and him fight. Put sand in the gears of war. Bind up the wounds of your neighborhood. And drive out the ones who seek to destroy what truly makes this country worthwhile.

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