WITCHCRAFT 500

Number 500 Meaning

The numerology energy represented by the number 500 is an expression of a personal sense of freedom whereby the possibilities are endless. An infinite potential for adventure. Curiosity about everything that exists that has been categorized into an ojective noun or collective noun (think parliament of ravens).

500 energy? Like stepping through a portal to a different dimension; a journey of exploration (if such a portal suddenly appeared). You are curious, witty, and have no qualms about expressing your understanding and experience of freedom. The essence of the number 500 is producive and optimistic. We enjoy experiencing unrealized ideas, locations, and methods. Experiencing everything in accordace with our personnly learned vision, in difference to any acceptable ‘norm’. Knowing the difference between morality and ethics.

Numerologically 500 reduces to 5. 5 resonates with — among other things — curiosity, wit, travel, sexual and intellecual stimulation, excitement and a carefree attitude that is both intelligent and heretical.

Added to this, the 00 (if one can consider 0 a number at all) adds wholeness, inclusiveness, and, with the inclusion of the second zero, infinite creativity through both reflection and experience.

WITCHCRAFT PART 1

AN ANIMIST LANGUAGE

The majority of this information can only be transmitted orally. If I write it I am fixing in amber that which is fluid, transient, non-dogmatic and utterly unreligious. I am caging something feral. I am denying the reciprocity and connectedness that witchcraft is. Many I have begun to teach have dropped away because they require structure, robes, incense and some delusion of personal power. Witchcraft is drú wit. Wisdom. Wit. Wildness. Wyrd. And witchcraft is not a thing as much as the breath a body breathes. The language of animacy. Wake up, is what we are asked to do. The nonsense was charming but it became business; became a cult. Became wicca. Wicca has rules. Witchcraft does not.

Learning requires comprehension of 3 paths: green, red and black. Witchcraft requires the skill of all 3 but will settle the individual within the river of their nature, within nature; as Mother Earth is connected and weblike, within the heart of our common mycelium.

“Time nudges us like an elephant in the room. Exciting us if an anticipated event creeps closer or terrifying us if representing doom or the concept of loss. We are patronizingly informed that time heals all wounds and that when children are eccentric they are sure to grow up and settle down.

Memory is a fickle but impossible to trap animal. Might need nudging from where the stories languish in the vast spaces of the mansion of the mind or within half-forgotten communities with legends passed down, or else hidden amongst the religious texts, rolled and covered with dust in some stone monastery. Even hidden in plain sight within history books that extort what really happened until some anarchist hunter dares to challenge the lie. But nothing is gone once known.

Forgetting can lead to the sleep of freedom and the destruction of things we have no right to destroy. That’s never truer than in the twenty first century. Answers are at the click of an app. Letters rarely written. Photography and film are digital and could disappear in the blink of an eye should some despot introduce censorship and erase what they deem fit.

Ancient film footage, photographic negatives, hidden and preserved in deep archives or the cellars of the dead, can reveal events not realized. Revelation. “

Remembering is a spell. It can also be a curse. Nostalgia can trap you into believing you are the same person you were yesterday. Yet, remembering ancestors re-embodies them. They wake in you. In your genetics. You change. It’s all very exciting unless you are ancestored by a long lineage of serial killers (like politicians).

SPELLBOUND

Witch people, like magicians and sorcerers, conjurers, druids and hoodoo hexers, like cunning women and cunning men, kurdaitchas, shamans, manitous, angakoks, curanderas, bruxas, enchanters and shapechangers are needed in this world. We are the stories not bound by dogma or displayed as relics in a museum. We cause disquiet. We summon questions but it’s not our way to give answers. They take us to the wild and the frightening places. The cave entrance under the ice at the base of that crevasse. Blue handprints on the rock face imprinted with an ochre of confusion. By people we cannot name and from a time we cannot confirm. Once Upon a Time people. People of the reindeer. Volcano people.

WITCHCRAFT 500 teaches lore and consciousness-altering wisdom from an elder and practitioner of this, an animist and magical acknowledgement of connectedness. It reflects on the twentieth century revival of a non-theist understanding of wonder and educates on the deeper reason within legends and myths that are spoken of as significant without examining the learning inherent in filtered and regurgitated stories, nor the language used and the psychological ramifications to culture.

WITCHCRAFT PART 2

MALEFICUS

But in witchcraft, as commonly understood, there is involved the idea of a diabolical pact or at least an appeal to the intervention of the spirits of evil. In such cases this supernatural aid is usually invoked either to compass the death of some obnoxious person, or to awaken the passion of love in those who are the objects of desire, or to call up the dead, or to bring calamity or impotence upon enemies, rivals, and fancied oppressors. This is not an exhaustive enumeration, but these represent some of the principal purposes that witchcraft has been made to serve at nearly all periods of the world’s history. Source.

ENTER THE CIRCLE

“I’m a witch,” said Hecate, smiling that smile I’ve seen countless times before. “I’ve read your book.”
“Which one?” I suck on my coffee, a bit blissed at the autumn sun on the back of my neck, despite the hackles.
She’s momentarily confused, as though I’d just devoured a baby in front of her. “Witchcraft Theory and Practice. Um…”
“You didn’t know I’ve written more?”
“Ah, no. It’s great, by the way!”

I’ve got a workshop organised for the coming weekend. I don’t want strangers hanging about my house. Have I had death threats in the past? Yes. I’m still alive though. Obviously. I prefer to meet those I don’t already know in a café downtown. Suss ‘em out, inoffensively, obviously.
“No, it’s not,” I respond, kindly. “I signed the contracts with the publisher, for that book, in 1998.”
“Classic!”
“You weren’t born then, were you Hecate?”
“Nearly.”
We’re getting on nicely, so far. Am I about to fuck it up? Of course. “So, you’re Greek?”
She’s nineteen. I remember being nineteen. I conceived my first child then. I was a grown up if I could get pregnant, wasn’t I? Knew everything. Stuff like that. Her blonde hair is dyed a precocious and eye wateringly fluorescent pink, and a really lovely septum piercing dangles above her top lip. She keeps fiddling with it. She wears a silver pentagram, and her fingernails, while fake, are killer-black and as close to talons as a nail parlour can get ‘em. “Hecate…” I continue. “Myth and legend and all that. You don’t look Greek.”
“I’m not. I’m Australian. Hecate is my witch name.”
“I’m dreadfully sorry about that book, then.”

TALKIN STRAIGHT

It’s time we had this conversation.

Witchcraft, as an action. Witchcraft is something one does. Witchcraft is often equated with wicca, and wicca is referred to with an upper-case W, to indicate its importance as an entity in the modern vernacular, in the illusionary, non-place, called the West (west of what, I am unsure. It’s a rather silly construct) and is, currently considered a valid religion.

WICCA

But wicca, the religion, is not witchcraft, and does not, of itself, practice witchcraft. It is a ritualized, quite new, devotional practice that I was involved with for many decades but that, ultimately, being a savage and a pedant and an anarchist, I came to understand as a magnificent, utterly well-intentioned form of religion where dualisms and invocations take the place of hopes and prayers.

Douglas Ezzy’s book [1] confirms Hume’s hopes for the future. His volume, published six years later, is essentially a collection of testimonies: fifteen chapters in which sixteen practising pagans (including Ezzy himself) speak of how the practise of paganism has affected their lives. The tone is warm and conversational, and the pagans emerge as charming and interesting people, ranging from youth to late middle-age. Common themes include the feeling that the Christianity of their upbringing did not fit their view of the world; the electric experience of working ritual alone and in a group; a concern with both feminism and the environment; and the celebration of human life, from birth to sex to death. Source.

I love ceremony: candles, the cough-inducing interference of commercial incense, the need for an altar, upraised hands, robes, talismanic jewelry and charms, pentacles and salt or chalk circles, or else those drawn with a stick, a staff, a wand, a gesture (or a dagger… we’ll get to that) in sand or soil; on the lounge room carpet or cellar dust. The list is long, and many are the commercial outlets that will provide us what we seem to need to enable us to be well-prepared to function within the ideal parameters of this chosen way. To sell us stuff that, according to the books, is appropriate for witches, to authorise meaning. Because, Hecate forbid, to work a ritual in jeans, socks and a woolly jumper is just plain, well, plain.

SPELLS PART 1

People often write to me asking for a spell for this-or-that. Some claim to be cursed. Some ask for the cure for fear, or as a way to get rid of someone, or to find love. To attract a job or cause world peace. Do they work? See SPELLS PART 2, as I’m about to get distracted by the other side and its use of word magic (or, in the case of the Synod of Whitby, a hostile sword) to utterly change the course of human thought.

Thus…

What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell forever? Forever! For all eternity! Not for a year or an age but forever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. ~~ James Joyce, on hell. Source.

NEVER BOAST, NEVER THREATEN

I guess witchcraft has its perks because at least there’s no threat involved. To anyone or anything. Despite the bad rap. But hell? It took Zarathustra to invent that and, a millennia or so later, zealots of the cult of the dead god to use it to threaten small children, sensual women, anyone with an alt-sexuality that’s anything not bogun, Trump oppositionists, child-sellers &/or dying soldiers.

This is not it. Where is the wisdom in any of it? And if there is none—almost a need to coerce and prove oneself alternatively worthy—why is the practice (or the idea) still adhered to, even after a hundred years of failed propaganda and, also, failed claims of authenticity? Like christianity, even buddhism, that offers the adherent an afterlife of vague cloud-and-right-hand-of-godness, terror—that mountain-pecking-birdiness, that is hell—or some flight into the body of a newborn someone or something.

But what has this got to do with witchcraft? And when did the word become a being thing instead of a doing thing? Have I been down the road of claiming? Yes. Did I know I’d bought into a cult, like any of the above? No. Did it gain me notoriety? Yes, but mainly in the minds of people who’ve never met me. Who are looking for a mirror within which to recognize themselves. I understand that. Because there is a ‘ness’. A ‘something’, that implies that witchcraft is witchcraft.

But “a witch?” Houston, we have a problem (and yes, I know that’s a meme) or, in this case, Hecate we have a problem. Love and kisses xoxoxox.

Oh, what is the title alluding to? One of the first small things I learned: if you boast about having set a spell it won’t work because you’ve collapsed the wave (read something on quantum physics) therefore it has already happened. If we threaten we’re just full of shit. If I’m going to do something I don’t say I am. If I rant about it later I will be disbelieved, looked at through some perverse lens or be thought (sometimes called) an idiot.

SECTARIANISM, FEAR AND SPLINTER CONFORMITY

BACKSTORY

The early era of when a spotlight was actually claimed by an individual, rather than media, or theocratically-imposed rhetoric was in the latter part of the 1960s. Prior to its romp towards acceptability, in the form of wicca, witchcraft was not even considered a something, outside of the mind of men, religion, the church, particularly peeved women, pulp fiction and B-grade movies.

Witchcraft has about it, in populist consciousness, a dirty little bitter woman-face of dumbness and hysterical, disease inducing scandal. The foul and uneducated scowls of old biddies, with crooked backs and single eyes, living deep in forests, eating children who have become lost, or else, if in positions of prominence, within a highly christianised and suspect society, the secret queen of the castle dungeons, holding centre stage, naked or slightly-so, albeit grandly draped, in a position of power, endowed by the attending acolytes and adherents, who wantonly lust after her alter-prone flesh-and-blood body, whose spread legs temporarily encase whichever man is considered sufficiently well-represented within the court of kings, the crimson choir cassock of a papal cardinal, or the top hatted, moustached and monocle’d among the moneyed 1%, the aristocratic, the nobled or merchant-membered of a popular East India Trading Company equivalent (in the twenty first century) like BHP, Goldman Sachs or the Epsteinian uberclass.

These images, and fetish ideologues, were food for the press and the McDonalds-minded. Or else, particularly in the new diadem of defamation, Disney.

TACITUS, BOOK XIV

30: On the beach stood the adverse array, a serried mass of arms and men, with women flitting between the ranks. In the style of Furies, in robes of deathly black and with dishevelled hair, they brandished their torches; while a circle of Druids, lifting their hands to heaven and showering imprecations, struck the troops with such an awe at the extraordinary spectacle that, as though their limbs were paralysed, they exposed their bodies to wounds without an attempt at movement. Then, reassured by their general, and inciting each other never to flinch before a band of females and fanatics, they charged behind the standards, cut down all who met them, and enveloped the enemy in his own flames. The next step was to install a garrison among the conquered population, and to demolish the groves consecrated to their savage cults: for they considered it a duty to consult their deities by means of human entrails. — While he was thus occupied, the sudden revolt of the province was announced to Suetonius.

It was from the voices and pens of the supposedly vilified that a hypothetical modern witchcraft spat I am here and I will claim a tax break.

Without going too deeply into the repeals, by the British Commonwealth, of a law passed in 1735 and called The Witchcraft Act, that changed (slightly) its veil of godliness in 1951 to become the Fraudulent Mediums Act, these mothballed condemnations allowed for the emergence, into a public domain, of Gerald Gardner, a bloke sprung from the cabals of nineteenth century elitism—well-travelled to places considered the antithesis of an entrenched and self-certain christianity, such as Ceylon, Malaya and Cypress—and a family made rich by the timber trade, to become a member of a Rosicrucian order (circa 1930), practicing—or so I spae—out of Christchurch, in Dartmoor, the territory of the invader/colonizer Saxons, who referred to the place as Tweoxneam, and that was stolen or misappropriated from an hypothesized indigenous Celtic tribal affiliation known as the Dumnonii [2]. Deep Valley Dwellers—in a land of legends, once covered in oak forests.

The following legends show a progression from giants to witches to pixies and, of course, the Evil One also makes an appearance. Naturally there are also ghost stories. Source.

EMPIRE

Was Gardner’s fascination with the folklore and indigenous practices of other cultures his reason for consorting with the figure of the rich English woman he coined as “Old Dorothy” Clutterbuck, and whom he claimed initiated him into a coven in the New Forest, England? He certainly had his days of notoriety: claiming a philosophy degree from a suspect American consortium [3].

In 1910 he was initiated as an apprentice freemason into the Sphinx Lodge No. 107 in the British occupied Colombo (then Ceylon), affiliated with the Irish Grand Lodge (the leader of which was a member of what is known as the hellfire club). Gardner placed great importance on this new activity…

STOP NOW

That’s enough of that. Gardner, Valiente, Crowley, Leadbetter, Blavatsky, Budapest, Simos and, eventually (at the small-scale end of this), me. We have all perpetuated (and in some instances, extant) our own brand of misappropriation and, even now, in the era of social media, we can add the coagulant diatribe of multiple religious, anthropological, indigenous and fictional constructs to the mix.

So, to unravel. To finally stop. Because the sectarianist mine-is-realer-than-yours-ideological inventiveness, and fiction, has reached an inevitable dead end. Why? All are based on figment, guesswork, theatre and, at the core, deceit, on both sides of the righteousness and equality debate. Wicca is a fuck-you-I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me [4] snub of orthodox behavioural demands by people with intentionally thin lips. So far, so great, but wait…

The indescribable lostness of a usurper people-animal, has condemned the softer voices of near-extinct environments, cultures and species to derogatorily-penned fauna, non-European indigenous languages to brute-speak, and that we, as an Arctically-pale-skinned human civilization, unable to justify our own inadequacies, are determined not to care about.

Until late in the twentieth century (and probably even now—I’m such a fucking optimist) our foreparents were, and are, hoping they can pretend to ignore the voices of terror and the crash/boom of calving ice that are raising sea levels to the degree of drowning small, inhabited Pacific islands, while also (unfortunately continuously) raping and plundering, bombing and poisoning, as companies, corporations and governments have done throughout recorded history, all that does not conform to our netted, gilded desire for more of N… (insert something).

The above practices are now, in politikspeak, called Free Trade. Is this in the vain hope that the word “free” will act as a blue pill [5] for all this plastic, and all these oil and chemical spills, deforestation and destruction of biodiversity and habitable non-structures, unparalleled, aberrant soil degradation and river-killing? All the smiley-faced conspiracy theorists, lower down on the hierarchical pyramidal diagram, many of whom remain utterly caged in the zoo, who suggest the wealthy drink the blood of human babies in ritualized debauchery, to… to what? To enable the accumulation of more? To grant eternal life? To appease the deity that abrahamic theocrats have conveniently termed satanic because no, they don’t drink the blood of a man who died, mercilessly, sort of like anybody the master race deems problematic, every Sunday, sometimes even daily, because he/they held/hold the keys to the previously alluded-to cage?

All while awaiting the dead to rise up, as was once upon a time promised (because that tortured, murdered man didn’t really die, he just ascended. To where, some of us are yet to imagine (because (as the late, great John Lennon once sang “Above us only sky…”), that in all their flapping, grey skinned, eyeless and lipless, forested world of proteobacteria, pseudomonas, firmicutes, peptoniphilus and clostridium [6], like something H. R. Giger will only ever dream of, that is not a conclusion.

Are we, as a society historically drenched in the blood of collusion, in genocide and slavery, replete with a colonialist, destructive and overtly fundamentalist ideological attitude, going to continue to claim a radicalism that is, if honest, the binary offshoot of monotheism?

Are we, as supposed anarchist, heretical radicals who refuse to kneel before the symbol of torture, in an ostentatious building owned by the governments of a deeply flawed patriarchal, misappropriated spin, actually perpetuating the same pomposity, but with a twist that sticks its tongue out at daddy, in a gesture that says fuck you, that is mere posturing because we have nothing better, wiser or unfettered to leap onto and claim?

Well…

SPELLS, PART 2

50/50

That’s your chance of having a spell work. No matter how many candles are carved and shaved with some form of boline or other, no matter how many letters from the tetragrammaton one writes with the blood of your pinkie, whether in sigils-in-clay, carved onto dubious Hebrew-tinged Rosicrucian amulets, hung about the bed of a newborn, to repel Lilith, or onto a rune-like, or ogham-like rowan-wood branch (perhaps an oak one—although that’s just a guess at specificity) stripped of bark and tied at each end with red thread, sealed with black sealing wax bought for this explicit purpose and, once passed through the smoke of incense, is buried in the back yard with a so mote it be as the spade is put away. Whether one entombs a cat behind the chimney bricks, buries a boot under the paving stone of the family home or fills a jar with urine, bent nails and hair from an enemy’s shower stall plug hole that is, once chanted over, consigned to a cemetery plot or a building site where the concrete is due to be poured in a week because one has done one’s research about this.

I have been part of the running-away-from-home movement, loosely called paganism (a word I emphatically dismiss because I am not Italian… although I do seem to have a thin green line of ancestral DNA along the fault line of the Tiber) for several decades. On the downhill slide away from same, for several more.

If spells worked, every beauty in the Miss Universe pageant, asking for a wish to come true, would have made world peace happen. So would christmas, with its peace of earth, good will towards all men chauvinism. But they don’t. And, by dungeons and chains, why would any sane person summon love from an individual who doesn’t? Why would one lay healing hands on a person whose destiny it is to die today?

Are all spells selfish?

What about the woman who comes to me asking me to work a spell to stop her daughter being raped by her own uncle, because the police can’t do shit when the child says nothing, and medical examinations are inconclusive? Well, I am certainly going to piss in a vegemite jar for that. Because the alternative would land me—&/or the mother—in jail for first degree murder, despite the abused child’s silence for fear of consequence.

SO, WHAT IS WITCHCRAFT THEN?

Truth is, there is NOTHING definable about it. The being, knowing practitioner of a something that could be classed as witchcraft is not going to say. If they do, they are boasting and, while I have no problem with boasting per se, I do have a problem with The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic, and every other book on a similar trajectory (my wall) that I gave up exploring thirty years ago.

The equivalent word—almost the anathema of the word witchcraft—is miracle. A seemingly supernatural outcome to a threatening or doleful experience that cannot be considered ‘normal’ or ‘predictable’. Being found alive, in the rubble of a bombed out neighbourhood, in Syria, eleven days after the buildings were turned to ash and debris, stunned and confused but otherwise unscathed. How is that possible? It isn’t, apparently, and therefore it is a miracle. A “wondrous work of God” [7]. No thanks to the audacious will to live that many, many species continue to display, despite all cruelty we, as a human animal, can throw at them.

Image

PART 2 ANIMISM OR BIAS?

What—not who—is Hecate?

OR, CALLING OUT THE RELENTLESS ASSUMPTION

Because, while thusly named, the woman sitting with me, with pink hair and a seriously bleedin’ impressive tattoo sleeve, is not it.

Dogs were closely associated with Hecate in the Classical world. “In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented as dog-shaped or as accompanied by a dog….[8]

I have to stop here. I want to raise a supposition with you. The concept of both sovereignty and lineage. That all the ideas promoted by academics over the past few centuries encased in the righteousness of the written word, are wrong. They are biased. The bigotry of grave robbers and Mengele-style categorisation of non-Europeans by way of skull measurements.

Whether promoted through tomb meddling, or the guesswork surrounding deserted metropolises, villages, buildings, menhirs or painted underground archives (archaeology), or whether through the finding, and subsequent classification, of human-like statuary, from the small figurines given the titles of Venus of Willendorf, the Minoan Snake Goddess, a figurine unearthed at the mythical Aratta, the guesswork, after the brain-frying indoctrination of almost two millennium of purposeful ambiguity, needs, from my perspective, to be challenged. This male female, human/god bullshit… time’s up.

Minoan Snake Goddess Statue,
Knossos Palace, 1600 B.C.
Archaeological Museum, Herakleion, Crete, Greece.

Figurine statue found at the site of the mythical Aratta: Source

GOLD IN THE COAL SEAM

It would have been a Sunday because in 1982 we didn’t have the internet and I never bought a newspaper on any other day. The Herald. An article that caught me. That stopped me. That challenged everything I thought I knew. And these were the days of Erich von Däniken so that’s saying something.

An image on page four. Of a small gold object on a clear plastic plinth. It was on show in the London museum. It was impossible to tell what the object was from the first image, but the second was photographed from under a microscope. It was a carving of an F-111 aircraft with its landing gear down. That’s not the oddness, though. What boggles the mind is that it was discovered during the drilling of a new shaft—through a deep stream of coal—intended for an additional metro train tunnel. Solid gold. Hand-crafted.

Coal formation began during the Carboniferous Period – known as the first coal age – which spanned 360 million to 290 million years ago. The build-up of silt and other sediments, together with movements in the earth’s crust – known as tectonic movements – buried swamps and peat bogs, often to great depths. With burial, the plant material was subjected to high temperatures and pressures. This caused physical and chemical changes in the vegetation, transforming it into peat and then into coal. Source

So, who made it? And how? And what—by the love of earth—is it doing there? And what of the consensus that promotes the concept that we’ve ‘progressed’ up some evolutionary ladder to be the elite species we are now when, it is just as plausible, that EVERYTHING postulated as a straight-line-time-construct is utterly wrong and that we, as a species are under the thrall of some Cargo Cult sleeping beauty curse and that all our technological advancements are because… we’ve done it before.

The term is now broadly used to describe behaviour where people mistakenly think they can summon some benefit by going through empty or unimportant motions. They don’t understand the real consequences or causes, but they try and get a result anyway. You can see this is science, in programming, and in agile software development. In fact, it is quite common indeed. Source.

I could be condemned to being called a liar because, in 2003, when I travelled overseas on my first world tour, I asked about it at the museum. I was smiled at. I was informed there was no such item. So much guesswork. And what has manipulated our thinking? And could all these academically clever bastards be absolutely guessing, based on their crimes?

CRIME AGAINST THE PEOPLE

We are in the internet age (I know, I know, fish are wet). That is sometimes wonderful and at others, confusing. When the original story of the tattooed woman, entombed in the permafrost of the Altai mountains, beneath the mummified remains of four horses was first presented, it was proposed that she was a shaman. Entering the Circle: Ancient Secrets of Siberian Wisdom, was written by Olga Kharitidi and explored the effects of such a powerful figure on all who came into contact with her. Now the internet titles this mummified individual as “a princess”.

What are we? Idiots?

JUNG AND HIS ARCHETYPES

No. Just no.

It is unfortunately plausible that these stiff-collared gentlemen are as much the problem of hierarchy as the rest of the so-called free West. The years of Jung’s life were the height of the white massa. A Europe, England and now America deep in the throes of misappropriating lands, resources and species, in a worldwide blanket theft. Most religious, governmental, corporate and academic institutions were also seduced (as were the Grimms Brothers, amongst a plethora of others) by their own arrogant stance of conquerage and misappropriation. As accomplished in the violation and torture of others, by acquiescence, as King Leopold II, Hitler, Pol Pot, the entirety of the so-called British Empire’s elite and military prowess, up to, and including, its stance on nuclear experimentation at Maralinga and the American War, called the American War by the Vietnamese, and including the bombing of Hiroshima and the subsequent trials of such on the peoples of the Marshall Islands.

What are we to believe? That men like Jung were valid exponents of wisdom? His treatment of a collective unconscious based on his own, and his poor mad mother’s, sad spack-outs? The use of laudanum was thought a cure for a woman’s hysteria when, perhaps, all she needed to do was be heard. Europe’s elite boys basked in the educational institutions that were glorying in a golden-aged renaissance, particularly in England, during the crushing, relentless and enforced poverty and disease the rabble needed to experience for them to remember their place (a jolly cool way to prevent a revolution, eh what?). An historic moment—the height of empires—when pulling teeth was thought to cure insanity in the brain, and heroin was the cure, du jour, for a cocaine addiction?

The late nineteenth century was an era steeped in the mysterious and the suspect-occult. Séances and spiritualism, the secrets that explorers thought they had discovered: black magic, voodoo, pointing the bone, the skulls of slaughtered Zulus, the remaining drums of dead Saami. The white man’s pith helmeted condescension entering the approximate 70,000-year territory of the Arrernte people and thinking to understand a culture utterly unremembered as having once been his own. Him walking amongst what remain of the survivors of the Trail of Tears and asking whether they will now accept jesus into their hearts. Hanging out with the Inuit and trying to understand a language of clicks and throat singing, gagging at the thought of seal blubber as a staple food source whilst, simultaneously introducing them to the sugar harvested by enforced slavery in the Caribbean? Spending days, drunk or intoxicated on whisky and their own sense of self-importance in New Zealand and Tahiti while being fucked by native girls? Agreeing to a straitjacket and a metal-framed cot, including wrists straps, in Bedlam? Criminalising the remembered ancestral knowledge of Africans now trapped by the Portuguese in Brazil, maybe?

PART 3
SIT A SPELL

QUESTIONS, PUPPIES, QUESTIONS

Image: Clanadonia – Tu-Bardh Wilson

AUSTRALIA. The Killing of Ecosystem (oh, and people): For most farmers, land is their most important asset. Agricultural land is also an integral part of the Australian ecosystem and has a significant environmental value, of which farmers are responsible for managing approximately 385 million hectares (or 58 per cent of Australia). Source

AFRICA. The Killing of Dignity (oh, and people): Those who survived the desert were herded into concentration camps and were forced to dig up Herero graves to retrieve the skulls of their dead relatives. Women were forces to skin and boil the skulls, which were used in German experiments to prove Aryan superiority and African inferiority. Of the more than 80,000 Herero population, only 15,000 survived. Source.

IRELAND. The Killing of Self-Determination (oh, and people). British viewers were truly shocked to discover the brutality of the Great Hunger Many of them had not previously known of the death of at least one million and emigration of a further million of their closest neighbours in what must be regarded as the darkest and most horrifying seven years in Irish history. Source.

SCOTLAND. The Killing of Heritage (yep, people): In the first place, the Highland Clearances transformed the cultural landscape of the Highlands of Scotland, probably forever. In the space of less than half a century, the Highlands became one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe. And, it should be remembered, the Highlands and Islands comprise an area bigger than some industrialised ‘first world’ nations such as Belgium or Holland. But it was not only the people who disappeared. The settlement pattern, the homes of the people for a thousand years or more, has virtually vanished, becoming no more than an archaeological feature for those who stumble across the remnants. Source.

SKYE. The Killing of Their Own: It is hard to read any historical account of The Clearances without a deep sense of injustice and a bewildering disbelief at how one of the most civilised and generally prosperous nations of its time could inflict such wanton brutality on its own people – and adopt widespread indifference to their plight. By the early 19th century Rubh’ an Dùnain had, some archaeologists suggest, endured perhaps 6000 or 7000 years of continuous habitation; there is tangible evidence of Neolithic, bronze and iron age activity and of early and late medieval settlement. Climate change over the millennia had a direct impact on the enduring patterns of life, society and culture; piracy, pillage and clan warfare were survived. But ultimately human greed and pitiless cruelty proved to be the more effective purgatives driving every last simple, hard-working person from the peninsula. Source

WALES. The Killing of Language: Welsh must be one of the only languages in the world that is hated simply because it exists. Simply because it defies Anglo-Saxon and Norman history. Simply because its existence seems to be such an embarrassment to some of the English. The angry blog posts written by monolingual students are almost embarrassing enough to not warrant a response. Because it is only a monoglot who cannot understand the importance of language, because they have never made the effort to learn another. Source.

THE INSIGHT OF HINDSIGHT

Of course, the above references are a pittance. And just about now—before I head into the wind of misappropriation by those wishing to claim an ancestry neither honest nor theirs—there’s this:

Two years later, in 49, Ostorius confiscated land in and around Camulodunum to set up a colonia. This was a town for retired Legionaries, in which each veteran was granted a homestead. The town gave the veterans a secure retirement and concentrated an experienced reserve force in the new province, on which Rome could call in case of emergency. In theory, it was supposed to provide a model of Roman civilization to which the natives might aspire. Unfortunately, the colonia at Camulodunum caused more problems than it solved. As it grew over the next decade, more and more Britons were driven off their land, some enslaved by the veterans, others executed and their heads exhibited on stakes. Source.

THE POINT

Who are we? You, me, the people four suburbs away, the farmer on misappropriated (that means stolen), beaten, poisoned and perennially-degraded soil? The person giving a talk at the gathering?

What is pagan if not an Italian word, and why would I perpetuate its use as a designation for animism when I am not Italian? What can I call myself to belong? Is that why we do it? We are, perhaps, clannish by our very nature. A pack animal. Are our tribes prone to violence and hooliganism, at a football match, because of a pent-up frustration at not being an honest species with a clear understanding at whose side we’re on? Is that why the so-called British are such boozers? Alcoholics? During the COVID-19 pandemics the libraries and bookshops closed but the bottle shops didn’t. Do governments know what would happen—en masse—if they closed the licensed poisoner joints? What? Even more dead wives?

And we have been taught to name everything. To objectify everything. Despite a thing being a public assembly or a gathering for whatever reason, and not an object with no previously-identifying division from any other thing. If I was Irish, I would say a ting, or ignore the existence of the ð altogether (Tuatha is pronounced too-ah) while, if a Cockney or a Māori I would pronounce a thing as a fing. Let’s face it, on the whole, generalizing as I am not usually prone to do, we’re fucking lost.

We’re wingin’ it. We’re still relying on antiquated texts and innuendo that are written by an elitist, classist, religious and sectarian anti-linguist with a permanently hunched back from bowing so veryvery lowly, because to do otherwise ensures a whipping, a fifteen year stint in a Siberian gulag or a trip to colonial Australia where, like Angus McMillian born in 1810 and whose family was subject to the arrogant erasure of identity and belonging, of those aforementioned Highland Clearances, blokes in the English (NOT British, mind you) queen’s blue, and, as such, blessed by god and gun, authorised to just slaughter every rightful descendant, of a minimum 70,000 year inhabitation, because they are here first and that just won’t do! Not when it happened to your own family in your lifetime.

After all, you behaved and got the fuck out.

Wheat and sheep and coal and all that hardwood! That was before uranium and the blast sites of desecrated First Nation ancestral habitats and art. While we continue to be the problem of head-in-the-sand bigotry towards anyone unlike us, we’re busy seeking to legitimise ourselves in costume and device.

I’m not being mean. Why would anyone think that?

GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM

Image: Cronulla Riots, Fairfax Media/Andrew Meares

I’m first generation born within the sprawl of Sydney; the “I was born just six years after America bombed the living fuck out of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, heralding the onset of a nuclear proliferation version of don’t touch my toys that has not, yet, ceased. And that certain nations think is the road to the final, holy grail acceptance, of bully-status.

And all the while there’s this new thing. Is nationalism, the invention of a cultural identity, a copout? When racism is dividing humanity? Well, it has done all my life, so it can hardly be called new, segregating us along skin-color lines that are about as rational as cutting down a forest and planting a lawn.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon…
Source.

There was a version of this, circulating when I was fourteen years old, that went: I love a bombswept country, a land of sterile plains, of battered fallout shelters and radioactive rains. Dorothea MacKellar [9] who, while enjoying the sights of Sydney Harbour from her veryvery wealthy and acceptably ‘British’ heritage home, was still dundee. Because how can a body be rid of lore? Of deep belonging? Of a few Ice Ages; of drinking from that burn or eating from the body of that boar?

DUNDEE (Dùn Dèagh) A Neolithic cursus [10], with associated barrows has been identified at the north-western end of the cityand nearby lies the Balgarthno stone circle. The circle has been subject to vandalism in the past and has recently been fenced off to protect it.Bronze Age finds are fairly abundant in Dundee and the surrounding area, particularly in the form of short ‘cist’ burials.Source

I neither justify nor overly-examine my tendency to ramble. I could walk through a forest following a straight track with signs, written in English with some form of subtitling just to be sure I don’t get lost, or I can learn what I’ve been at for decades, which is to recognize landmarks, and leave accounts of them, rather than the signage, as, hopefully, the forest will outlive the signage. And when you and I both discover the marks carved in dolmens for precisely this purpose, both of us, and our children’s children’s children will be able to realign with the childhood home legend says is hidden in this vast and ominous green.

Your and my recent ancestors have subsumed and consumed other people’s lands and ‘resources’. Countries have been claimed (despite who was here beforehand: those indigenous ancestors’ skulls and jawbones who rage-in-amber from the dusty cellars of museums half a world away) and claimed and claimed, through enforcement and subsequent acquiescence, to the point of a Cronulla Riot or a #blacklivesmatter campaign, or even more perversely a Go Back Where you Came From slogan: For a white person — and it’s almost always a white person — to say “go back” to a Native American, whose ancestors were here long before European settlers colonized this continent, betrays the real, white supremacist meaning of the phrase: We don’t want you anywhere at all (Source)

… and you want to call yourself A witch?

MISAPPROPRIATION

The splinter groups that have evolved, somewhat like clusters of bindweed or cinderblock towers, claiming a lineage, a credentialed righteousness or, again, a fuck-you-I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me mindset, are no different to those who drape themselves in the Australian version of the Bucher’s Apron (that includes the Centaurus-pointing Crux—the five stars that make up the Southern Cross – Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Epsilon Crucis) and think of it as some authorised national identity (despite Australia remaining a colony) who can beat the living fuck out of anyone with darker skin than a ‘healthy tan’.

What’s the point? Are we that lost? Yes. Why?

I am a Celt. A Viking. Stornaway and Faroe. I have living relatives who call themselves (in 2023) gypsies–of the Whitehorse clan–who found me through ancestry.com and have introduced themselves to me. Elders who are reindeer people: Saami. Are you, really? Yes. Are you sure? Yes. Okay. Aren’t you going to ask me what that means? I know what it means. What? I dunno, a white woman? A descendent of Finn McCool or Vercingetorix? Do you know how to pronounce Vercingetorix? Yes. Say it, then. Fuck me, you’re pushy: Ver-sin-get-or-iks. Um… What? There’s no s in the word, and get is pronounced like jet. Fuck you, bitch, I know what I know. Oh, sorry, not sorry… was Vercingetorix a bloke or a woman? A bloke, of course. Why are you so sure? Men are always warriors. What about Budega? Well, she was different. Why? I dunno, because she raised an army? Is that what defines history and a culture? Sure, it is, all those academics can’t be wrong… and she was magical except the hare got away and she was defeated. So you know the story? Yep. She must have been a fuckwit, though, for misinterpreting the way the hare went. Wow, is that like Trump is a good guy because he wants to make America great again? What are you implying?

Language is, or can be, like photography. People can talk and talk and talk and say nothing. We can write and write and write and just be repeating what has been said before, like a many-balled butt plug on its way out of its temporary anal incarceration. But then there’s this:

Katyn Massacre, Russia, 1943 Photographer unknown.

And sometimes one word is enough. Horror. Evil. Beauty.

So much is written in such as way as to roll off consciousness as a set of self-described facts. We can all do it. It’s acceptable.

It’s nothing.

These facts will last five minutes, or for the extent of an argument, perhaps even to delineate an identity but none of them can match that photograph.

Then take this:

Children stolen from the streets during the horror of the Child Migrant Scheme

Or this monstrosity:

John White, circa 1585. Some peculiar vision of us Picts and Priteni

That then becomes the parody of cosplay, daubed in blue facepaint:

Pinterest Source

And here we are again. We have been caricatures for so long now that no one takes anything we say as valid or even real. It’s all recreationist, or re-enactment movements or more troubling and offensive, an excuse for far-right political extremism. A kind of still-Aryan-bitches mindset.

Celticity is “an attractive set of symbols and identities that come replete with popular recognition and a supposedly ancient past that can be invoked by people for many purposes, from ‘new age’ religion to popular ‘world music.’” Historically, however, that “ancient past” is hard to pin down.

Hague et al. explain:

The very flexibility and the vagaries of archeological evidence regarding the original Celts enable multiple political and cultural meanings to be invested in the form, whilst retaining the symbolic value and historical authority accrued by the reference to a supposedly ancient Celtic culture.

“The Celts” can and have been envisioned in all sorts of ways: as a warrior class; a pan-European people; as the epitome of whiteness; “whatever version of the past seemed nationally expedient.” It’s a cultural identity that has come into vogue in recent decades. Source

BREAK AWAY, BRIGHT EYES

I come to the point of all this. Genealogy. Roots. Connection. Reciprocity. It seems that for a narrow window of us-as-human-data-retention we can do this. I know aristocracy, royalty, several extant indigenous kinship recall systems, and horse-breeders all keep lineage records. But until the twenty first century people have been too busy recovering from 1848 and gender disparity to concentrate much on their family trees. Why?

Because they haven’t meant much. Your grandma on your mother’s side comes from Belfast and her mum was married to someone named Richard Dawson Bates, and so… Who? Doesn’t matter, does it? And my great grandpa, on dad’s side was born in Prague… but he never said anything about anything, so he was pretty useless, wasn’t he? He’s dead now, anyway. We didn’t visit him much and I don’t know when he emigrated here, but I think it was around 1945. What was his name? I think it was Tom Kubish, something like that. Nothing to talk about here, folks, I suppose. He was old when I was a kid and didn’t really speak much anglish. He was a heavy drinker–pissed and volatile–and angry all the time. He changed his last name to Cubby to make out he was one of us, I think.

And so what?

There must be some kind of way outta hereSaid the joker to the thief… ~~All Along the Watchtower, original lyrics, Bob Dylan, 1967, re-recorded by Jimmi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland, 1968. In the booklet accompanying his Biograph album, Dylan writes: “I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

STORYTELLER

What we are experiencing, in the above quote, is how a story evolves, depending on the storyteller. Genealogy was first realized as important when the names and the years of life and death coincided with either local, national &/or world events.

How could my made-up buddy John Cubby know that his poor, now-dead grandfather was Tomáš Kubish, possibly the brother, or cousin, to the famous Jan Kubiš? How did he come to emigrate here? Why does his steamship travel document mention him as being from England when the notation on the family tree clearly states he was Czech? NOW we are getting somewhere. Now our bland, invented John has a mystery on his hands. Does it matter?

Perhaps it’s true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvaged remains of a burned house—the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture—must be resurrected from the ruins and examined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story. ~~ Source: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

I won’t say lineage is a ‘pure’ thing. The hand that documented all that information was so often pissed drunk that my friend (and the person who extracted my own family tree from the occult archives of a careless bureaucracy) who is a genealogist of at least forty years, will sometimes spend several hours in front of a twelfth century document that, looking over his shoulder is—to a peasant like me—indecipherable gibberish.

They wrote between the lines when they remembered they’d done a baptism, he says. That s is an f. the y is th and looks like a d. Ye Olde Bookshop is actually THE Olde Bookshop. Fuckwits. He snorts in collusion, before downing a shot of Jamesons, his best thinking done when he is out of it on something, as many geniuses are apt to.

Shall I try to read the page? No. Do I give a shit when he traces my matrilineal ancestors through the sap of winter silence? No. They seem boring. I relate to the names just like John did his Tomáš. And all the while my OCD compulsion draws me to Thetford Forest, Inish Môn, Culloden; to Cú Chulainn, Scáthach, that bastard Suetonius Paullinus, yes Vercingetorix. And Julius Caesar’s penchant for torturing the native captives of Albion. Why?

I was there.

I’ll repeat that. I was there. Or, if I am a proper storyteller, I am there.

That’s the realization, when my huffy, Bill Nighy-type friend eventually prances into the room where I am sprawled, watching Botched with unconscionable fascination, and lays down the throwaway line “I found you someone who wasn’t English”. Oh, yes, I say, hardly pulling my eyes from the image of the deviated septum. “Yes, he’s Welsh”. I turn towards my old colleague, more out of politeness than interest, when he says the long-dead relative is called Caradoc ap Silures. Except, he pronounces my ancestral grandfather’s name car-a doc, when it’s (phonetically), sy-loooo-rez when, to be proper the tribal word is pronounced shileresh and his name, craduk (the emphasis on the first vowel). SILURES? CARADOC? How far, the fuck, down that root have you gone?

Turns out, as far back as taxes.

And the Roman Empire taxed, or extracted goods, slaves and tithes, from everyone. Records were kept. Census taken. If a body owned land their names were recorded. Through war, invasion, conquest, religious persecution. We’re there. Somewhere. 

“You’re also related to Charlemagne,” he adds before leaving the room. “But so is everybody, the randy old bastard”. But I’m still in shock. I know this man. This Caradoc who is not an ap Silures, but who fought with them. The Silures are a tribe. In what is nowadays called Wales. Good deep of the night, I am found!

The question is, did I know? Is that the fascination many of us encounter with the ‘ness’ of certain peoples of the world? Is this some phylogenetic, common ancestor memory? Of course it is. Of course it is. And it doesn’t matter if we travel the coastline from Unst to Nunavut, in coracles of willow, covered in seal hide, and waterproofed with pitch, for many thousands of years. Until the ocean becomes too vast for such trading options, with the dramatic recession of the permanent ice, so that we only get to go as row as Kaffeklubben until, of course, someone rigs a knörr and brings the fucking sheep.

TO BE DISCUSSED

You still here? Still reading? Thank you.

GREEN, RED & BLACK WITCHCRAFT

Can any of this be taught? No. As a human being living with witchcraft (for lack of a more comprehensible word) I have discovered ways. Portents. Collaboration. In a sense, becoming invisible—hidden in plain sight—because I do not display the recognized and acceptable garb of wicca. This is no intentional confusion. Each takes step one.

The Makers, Dreamers, Diviners, Artists, Poets, Storytellers, Activists. Those with guts enough to recognize how much, of others whose language, culture, kinship, heritage, lore, diet, hunting and survival skills, have been killed, then warped; the crumbs of inherited skill and beauty misappropriated in some caricature of parody, to enable those without insight to sell, parade and deify their invented gods to continue the deception of worship and pleading. To form cults in an attempt at grabbing from you your integrity and to play upon your breakaway from orthodox and acceptable delusions.

Language is a key. It either reinforces the current zeitgeist or, if trained, liberates the individual—leads them to the forest track, walked by many species-cousins for incalculable years that, in turn, ends (for a moment, because, in the language of witchcraft an ending is as impossible as is a beginning) to the lock upon the gate that opens into witchcraft.

What there are, are techniques of both erasure and skill.

ERASURE

The language you will accomplish holds none of the dogma of religion. Language altering is sheer hard work as you are salmon—free, not farmed—swimming against the gravity of downhill water. Erasing the terminology of many hundreds of years of fear. The terror of what could happen to you if/when you do not agree with the captivity of abrahamic verbiage. People will try to correct you. When you speak of midsummer they might say, you mean christmas? When you speak of imbolg, they could say it as imbolg and not imelick (as the spring tide is pronounced). You will encounter individuals who think you are odd. Speaking like a stranger.

SKILL

Understanding the ways of witchcraft are ingrained into the symbolism of green, red and black and skill will require diligence and determination. You might not become competent until you are 50 or 60 or even older, but you might—just as easily—have had the skill as a child and been bamboozled into doubt. We will fix that. But through the way of orality.

ORALITY

To better understand this will require certain reading, but not about witchcraft. Because I have lived a lifespan that has led me to comprehend that a. either I have never met or read work by a person living the way of witch or b. we are mainly alone.

In the interim, until we begin, please watch:

A Rational Approach to Oral Tradition and Stonehenge (Lynne Kelly)


[1] Practising the Witch’s Craft: Real Magic Under a Southern Sky, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 2003 

[2] Possibly a Celtic word relative to the early vast forests, later coined as DUMNONOS, which roughly translates as ‘god of the world’, an anthropomorphic disambiguation for the landscape of the people.

[3]  “in September 1937, Gardner applied for and received a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Meta Collegiate Extension of the National Electronic Institute, an organisation based in Nevada, USA, that was widely recognised by academic institutions as offering invalid academic degrees via post for a fee. He would subsequently style himself as “Dr. Gardner”, despite the fact that academic institutions would not recognise his qualifications. Source.

[4] Killing in the Name album, Rage Against the Machine, 1992

[5] Source, Matrix, the movie. One opinion: https://www.wired.com/story/matrix-red-pill-vs-blue-pill/

[6] https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexberezow/2013/11/05/which-bacteria-decompose-your-dead-bloated-body/#2a37738d295a

[7] https://www.etymonline.com/word/miracle

[8] Alberta Mildred Franklin, The Lupercalia, Columbia University, 1921, p67

[9] Of Dundee. Possibly associated with the historically-quizzical Kenneth McAlpin, born circa 810 on Iona, Scotland, also known as a druidic stronghold. Requires further research.

[10] Cursus is a Roman word for a monolithic humanly raised mound, or cairn. An ‘open’ gathering place.