Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[Glamour Guest Post] n Glamours: Burlesque and Witchcraft (Mama Fortune)

Want to be part of the glamour discussion?  Once a week, I have a guest post spot for people from all magic-y/gender-y/sexual orientation/personal glamour orientation walks of life to talk about what glamour means to you both mundanely and magically. Any spellwork or personal revelations are welcome! Essays should be between 500-1000 words and be sure to include a brief bio about yourself and any links (blog, Etsy shop, etc) that you would like included.

Send it to me in the body of your email with the subject "Glamour" to
corvaxgirl [at] gmail [dottie] com

About Mama Fortune: I am an artist and burlesque performer in Vancouver, British Columbia. I've been practising witchcraft for fifteen years, with a focus on the practical side of things. Recently, I've begun teaching tarot and magic.
My blog is

Twin Glamours: Burlesque and Witchcraft  Or: What glitter can do for you.

When I was in my early twenties, I had a brief affair with a Satanist. He looked remarkably like Marc Bolan, wore a leather jacket no matter the weather, and loved Conan the Barbarian. One night, over drinks in the world's ugliest faux Irish pub, he lent me a copy of Anton Szandor LaVey's The Satanic Witch.  I'm sure I was supposed to be very scandalised and maybe a bit titillated. I read the book from cover to cover, and when I was later asked for my opinion I declared, with one eyebrow arched, “That book is about my MOTHER.”

I still have the book. It's dated, and nobody could claim it's a great work of literature, but I hang onto it because it continues to hold relevance in my life despite my disagreements with it. I will return to this fact later. But first, my mom, the accidental Satanic Witch.

Growing up, my mother always stressed the importance of 'looking nice.' This is not to say she was one of those women you see on Toddlers and Tiaras forcing her kids into makeup – she was nothing of the sort. I was a teenager in the 1990s, when grunge was king, and my mother never once questioned my fashion choices, even when they veered into the unusual; black lipstick and combat boots were my uniform throughout much of highschool, and my mother simply encouraged me no matter what my style to try and look my best in my own way. To look put together, even if that included vinyl pants. My mother knew looks mattered.

Human beings are visual creatures. We judge one another by our appearance long before we utter a word. Most would agree that this is a pretty simple fact. (Whether or not it's fair is not relevant.) Another basic truth is that physical appearance, to a large degree, is easy to manipulate, So easy, in fact, that I am constantly surprised by how many witches and magicians overlook the opportunity to do so.

During the aforementioned black lipstick phase, a friend and I once conducted an experiment for a class. We stopped strangers in the park and asked them a series of bullshit questions on camera, supposedly for a class assignment. In reality we didn't care about their answers – we cared about their reaction to the interviewer, caught handily on film. My friend was clean-cut, with brown hair and a button-down blouse. If memory serves, my hair was violent red and black at the time, and my makeup was straight out of Siouxsie Sioux's liner notes. I also wore an inverted cross necklace just to make things even more entertaining.

Not surprisingly, our hypothesis was proved correct: we got very different reactions. That silly little experiment hammered home at an early age the fact that people will assume all manner of things based on how you present yourself.

I'm thirty-years old, now, and I am a burlesque performer. Burlesque is a world inhabited by people (mostly women) of all shapes, sizes, and styles. The one thing every last professional of the art has in common, however, is the understanding that looks can be manipulated... and used to manipulate. Burlesquers are natural witches in the way old Anton would have understood.

In The Satanic Witch, LaVey discusses 'the Law of the Forbidden,' “Nothing,” he states, “is so fascinating as that which is not meant to be seen.” He has an entire chapter devoted to the correct way in which a lady should 'accidentally' expose herself! Now, while his suggestions are for everyday life, reading them I am struck by how similar they are to the art of the tease. Burlesque performers are strippers, yes, but strippers who seem to intuitively grasp the ideas LaVey talks about – simply taking off your clothes is not enough. He also discusses at length a witch's mode of dress. He suggests the aspiring witch look to the cartoons in men's magazines, as these are exaggerations of a style designed to elicit a particular response. Striptease is really no different – the corsets, false eyelashes, garters, and spike heels are all part of the act.

And that's really it. It's an act. My friend Diamond Minx, when seen at an event, is a vision in rhinestones from head to toe. You would think the woman lived in a state of constant luxury, all glitter and champagne. But here's a secret... I've seen her in sweatpants. It's a glamour. A glamourous glamour, to be sure, but as changeable as all the rest.

Glamour is not just for the stage. There is just as much a need for it in the office, at the PTA, or on your online dating profile. Your appearance is a statement, and may vary depending on circumstance: a corset in a fetish club is not shocking, but the same outfit in church is. This has nothing to do with calling out certain looks, either. This is about deliberate intent, not personal taste. Glamour is powerful everyday magic, and in my experience the witch who overlooks it is doing so out of sheer stubbornness and ego. It's as though nobody wants to believe that others could possibly judge them on their appearance, because we're special, and above such trivial things.


You can charge a piece of jewellery with the intent to draw love, but your chances are going to be better if you bother to comb your hair, brush your teeth, and tailor your clothes.

2012 is a big year for many of us. And so I encourage all and sundry to not neglect your glorious meatsack. Put your best foot forward physically as well as spiritually – take a moment to examine your style critically and make sure it's 'on message' with your goals. If it isn't, tweak it with intent. Glamour is the art of pairing the physical and the energetic. Use it!

“I advocate glamour. Every day. Every minute.” - Dita Von Teese

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Experiences as a Dianic Wiccan

Because I feel like it's important to offer some personal experience as a Dianic, I dug through my archives and found two write ups for two of my rituals.  So far (and I'd love to be corrected) I haven't seen too much testimony from Dianics who aren't in agreement with Z. and also are in my general age group (early 30s) so I'd like to offer my experience to the discussion.

Our Sisters, Ourselves

We were in my tiny rabbit hole of an apartment. It was Lammas. My boyfriend had been sent out to play with his guy friends who good-naturedly decided to have a barbecue with the boys since we were doing our “girlie thing”. I made chicken tandori and everyone brought food to share. The Amethyst Circle of Sisters meets monthly on Friday nights so we always feast first to unwind from work or school. It gives us a chance to catch up from the last time we saw each other. It was my turn to priestess because I had taken up Lammas as an Amazon holiday. What better holiday to remind yourself that you have the strength to do things you did not think were possible? We sit in a circle in folding chairs, on cushions, on my couch. We cast the circle hand to hand and I sang pieces of modern songs (“Wings” by Katherine Moon [air] “The Hollow” by a Perfect Circle [fire] “Round Here” by Counting Crows [earth]“Ocean” by Dar Williams [water] and “Triple Goddess Chant” [Goddess]) to invite the elements and the Goddess into our circle. I lead everyone through a grounding meditation and then talked about the meaning of the holiday as I saw it (“I like Lammas. It's an old school kind of holiday with blood and love and redemption. It's the last huzzah before going back to work when the world is still magiksummer and anything could happen [and usually it does]. I've designated it an Amazon holiday for us because while we may individually be in different stages in our lives as maid, mother, or crone, it is the Amazon that ties us all together. When the Goddess slays the God, She does it because she knows she has to. She knows the consequence of her action if She does not. Do not think for a moment She did it because it was easy. We are all capable of doing what we have to do. We all have this kind of Goddess-strength within us. We are here tonight together in sisterhood to remind ourselves of this.”). I talk about Alix Olsen’s spoken word poem, “Daughter” where she talks about birthing herself into a homegrown daughter. I encourage everyone to write a letter to herself, as if we were our own mothers so we can take the opportunity to give ourselves whatever we need (advice, strength, courage, forgiveness) because as women we so often forget to do that. We take turns reading our letters to each other.

My letter:

“My dearest daughter,

I have waited so long for you.

It’s a harsh world out there. There is room for a lot of sadness and pain.

Never apologize for loving. Never apologize for being loved. You will grow up to be something special, something I am proud of. You have the seeds for greatness and failure.

You will do both.

People will still love you when you fail. They will love the imperfections as much as the perfections. Never apologize for living as you wanted. It’s much easier to live half asleep, apologizing for your existence.

Sisterhood is so painfully beautiful and life is too short to live without it. Tell people you love them because you won’t know when you can. Hug and kiss them and give as much as your heart wants to. Ask for more. You deserve for people to love you as much as you love them. You deserve the bright blessings bestowed on you so don’t waste them.


You are beautiful and fierce the way you and sometimes people hurt you and forget to live their lives as honestly as you. You are not lesser for that. People will try to make you feel small and worthless because they forget the dream. Don’t forget the dream.

I lay forgiveness on your head. Forgiveness for the silence, forgiveness for loving too harshly, forgiveness for forgetting the dream, forgiveness for the ugliness, forgiveness for the self doubt, forgiveness for the self hate, hating this body that the Goddess blessed you.

Love. Love as much as you can.

Don’t be afraid of the pain and the grief. It is a wheel and the wheel can only turn with both sides . . .”

I had a bowl full of rosewater and herbs (lavender. Rose petals. Star Anise. Rosemary.) so we could bless ourselves after reading our letters. I dipped my fingers into the water and said, “I bless you, Lilith Maeve Crow. Thou art woman and thou art Goddess.” While we are in the sacred space of the Goddess we each have an opportunity for personal sharing. We talk about whatever is on our minds and our hearts while we are in this space of the Goddess. We laugh with our personal triumphs and cry about our losses. We hold each other and share the “sacred tissues”. We bless the bread and the juice and feed it to each other. We give the Goddess Benediction and open the circle.

We eat half melted Godiva ice cream smeared onto strawberries and finish catching up. I look around the room to my sisters. Some who are crones and have accomplished things that I can only hope to achieve in my blessedly short life time, some who are mothers who nurture their creative sides while still caring for their loved ones, some who are maidens younger than myself who are as poised as I wish I was when I was there age. And we are all here together in this shining space where it’s our women’s voices, our women’s dreams, our women’s breath, our women’s hopes. And I think, yes, this is what Robin meant when she said, sisterhood is powerful. Yes, this has changed my life. Yes, this has taught me about taking what I need and not being sorry about it. Yes, this has taught me about trusting women and trusting myself. Yes, this has taught me that I am Priestess, too. Yes, this has taught me the joy of women weaving magic together and the sacredness of women’s magic alone. Yes, this has taught me that when we lay hands on our sisters we can heal each other’s bodies and when we listen to each other, we can heal each other’s pain and when we speak we are no longer silent. And throughout history whenever it’s been about us, it’s made us dangerous. And we should be. We should be dangerous women. Because dangerous women get things done.

Amazon Body
I gathered up my herbs, holy water, candles, Goddess statue, incense, stones, and set out the ingredients for the corn bread we would be making together as an offering to The White Buffalo Woman. I couldn’t believe it was Lammas already. Had the year gone by so fast? It always does. Lammas is always my ritual in my Dianic circle. Years ago, before the fibro I had insisted on making it an Amazon holiday. My sisters were both enthusiastic and indulgent about the idea. So every year since, I put together a ritual to celebrate our Amazon spirits. My circle believes that we each go through the women’s mysteries and become in turn maid, mother, and crone. It’s the Amazon spirit shining inside of us that binds us together.

It made sense, though, to choose Lammas as our Amazon holiday. In many Goddess myths, Lammas is when the Goddess has to slay the God in order to fertilize the land. If she didn’t, we would all starve. I always found the Greek myth easiest to relate to, personally – the strong sad mother, the willful daughter, and the bad boy Demeter would never completely like, no matter how much baklava he brought her. Lammas is all about being an Amazon – a hardcore woman who will make the right decision, no matter how much it hurts. When no one knew what was wrong with me, all I could do was sleep and cry. I was so foggy that I couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t drive most of the time. Just could swallow pills that made me foggier than I was before. A lot of it is vague fragments of memories of that time – my worried mother, my long time boyfriend who couldn’t stand the strain of not knowing what was wrong with me, the vials and vials of blood they drew and the sugary donuts I would always eat afterwards. The point where I stopped caring about what was wrong with me, as long as they could give it a name.

Circle was one of my few refuges. My sisters would lay their hands on me and it would stop hurting, at least for a while. I thought, if I was so broken, what deity would want me? I didn’t know there were deities who collected broken girls like posies until we could become strong again. I didn’t know that to become Amazon strong, oftentimes one has to die first. And I did, on that table, staring at the ceiling while they took more vials of my blood from me. I didn’t stop breathing but I came to terms with the fact that my life was never going to be the same again for me, no matter what was wrong with me, too much had changed. I had learned the depths of strength and weakness I had hidden inside of me and like Eve, I couldn’t give it back even if I wanted to, it was far too late for that. And I would become strong again. And weak again too. Strong when I held my mother and told her I would be alright even though I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two decades earlier than most women. Strong when I found what I needed to have in my life to love and be loved. Strong when I left my stupid corporate job that was making me sicker and weaker than I ever thought I could be and never looked back. Strong when I started to make my own way. Strong when I accepted my body. Strong when I accepted the love and support that I bathe in every day. Strong when I realized that I too like Alix Olsen believed in hardship and hard shit and no matter what happened, I would do what needed to be done. Like my mother. Like Demeter. Like my circle sisters. Like all the strong women in my life. And I learned to accept my weaknesses because only accepting strength is only accepting half of myself. Weak when I couldn’t get out of bed. Weak when I pushed myself far too hard. Weak when I hated my body for betraying me. Weak when I refused to accept help. Weak when I felt hopelessness and despair that I would never have the life I thought I needed to have. Weak when I felt angry that my condition had further deteroated.

I know I am an Amazon, every day with my condition it makes me conscious of everything I’m capable of, the big battles and the little battles. Sometimes brushing my hair is an awesome accomplishment. Sometimes spinning my dreams into reality is an awesome accomplishment. I’ve learned to appreciate both. And I’ll be thinking about the strong, beautiful Amazon spirit I have inside of me this Lammas when I am singing in the kitchen with my circle sisters and we do the magic that women do every day – being strong, being together, and turning flour into bread.

[Repost]: On Roots and Sincerity: It's where we come from you know/ and sometimes I want to go back

I thought it would be particularly relevant to repost this entry on what being Dianic does for me with everything going on.
In the past few years, I've been so bogged down with getting divorced, buying a house, my sister's marriage and baby and now starting my own business, that my Dianic Wiccan circle was always the first thing to go on my schedule. Fridays would find me tired and run down, the stresses of the week culminated so that all I would want to do is order a pizza and drink wine and watch television. Besides, at this point I'm barely Wiccan anymore anyway, right?

During these years, without realizing it, I had become coated in a crisp cannoli shell. I started to prefer my own small hearth magics and became results driven and the intellectual side of magic - blogging and thinking with an occasional trip to my grove which is also filled with charming cynics like myself.

I had become cynical.

It seemed like a lifetime ago since I was that twenty year old girl who needed mentors and role models and to be accepted as she was, fuck ups and alternaness and all. I never knew the divine feminine until then and I never knew I could be take a religious leadership role. The Craft had come out, but Willow had not yet become a witch on Buffy yet and Charmed hadn't yet started. We were still taught the importance of to be silent because you could still find yourself in harm's way for being a witch.

Somewhere in my late twenties, when my marriage was falling apart, I started falling away from my Circle. I always went once or twice a year, kept in touch with my sisters and all, but what had once seemed shiny with the Divine Feminine and sister space and the Goddess is alive/ and magic is afoot started to seem . . .airy-fairy. Less serious, less scholarly. Less important. Something I had outgrown.

Yesterday there was to be a circle meeting and ritual, discussing our future. I felt obligated to go. After all, these women had had a hand in raising me, had contributed to who I became, had loved me and cared for me. But I also felt that familiar familial feeling of obligation and resentment. I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay home and drink wine and watch Gossip Girl.

But I went, grudgingly. My sisters hugged me tight, exclaiming over their prodigal daughter and I felt that all too familiar feeling I feel around my family, guilt for not being a better daughter.

We went over our circle's issues (running late has always been a big one to give an example) and I felt like we were all committed to making things more feasible for everyone and that we had refocused our group's intent.

We then did a simple handwashing ritual. And . . .I can't find the words to explain it, how it feels when we're on. When we're all focused and present and sharing sister space. How safe and calm it can feel, being protected in our little snowglobe between worlds. Womblike. Since starting the French Experiment, I've tried to focus more on appreciating simplicity, especially in daily life. There was something sacred as we went through the rites and then came to the hand washing. I've done that particular ritual before but . . .I think maybe I wasn't really able to appreciate it yet as a Maiden. I'm not sure why that is but while I thought it was pretty, it didn't resonate with me. I think as a Maiden I had a hard time sitting still and a hard time appreciating anything that didn't come in a martini glass or with an expensive price tag.

We used a beautiful silver ewer with a silver ladle with warmed rose and rain water. Each of us would wash the hands of the sister sitting to our left, thinking about what we loved about our sister and what she brought to circle. I don't know what M. was thinking when she washed my hands and dried them but it was really hard not to cry, I was just overcome by the love and the beauty of the gesture. My hands felt clean in a way that they haven't in a very long time. Clean hands, clean heart. When I washed D.'s hands, I thought about how gentle and kind she was and how she always knew the right thing to say and her music. It was just really powerful watching the other sisters' wash each others hands so carefully and kindly, a small gesture of love and care.

And I thought about how easy it is in our community to wrap ourselves in our intellect and our cynicism and talk about how the world is burning anyway, man so we should use our magic so we don't get screwed in the process and make sure we get everything we can. It's easier to make a sarcastic joke. I do it all the time.

It's hard for me to sit there with my squishy creamy insides hanging out, to be sincere and open and loving and kind without worrying about how I'll be preceived. Without turning away from it with a biting comment and a puff of a clove or sip of wine, but to just sit there and allow myself to be changed by it. It's. Really. Fucking. Hard. And I think that's why I keep turning away from it and away from my sisters because most days I'd rather be hard.

What I learned last night is that we need both, the hardness and the softness. The hardness pushes us through the difficulty of life and keeps us driving to succeed even when we've failed over and over again, the softness is what gives us a light of some kind, a grace to enjoy what we made ourselves hard for.

I need that for myself, that permission for softness, a magic that looks inside not outside and isn't always about input and output, that space to be gentle and surrounded by love. When I came back, Jow said I seemed different and he's right, I was. I came back changed, centered and softer. And I need that.  So I'm going to do that for myself more, start going to circle more often again as a gift to myself.

Ending at 10:30 instead of 12:30 though does help my enthusiam for the prospect.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

. . . .And the winner is . . . .

Katie K. pointed out that I promised a contest winner today.  Lucky for you all I'd had enough wine to comply.

I had to print a million pages with all of your entries under the harsh
taskmastership of  Angus, the Scottish Cow.  The playing card
comes from Sleep No More and the top hat is Jow's.

I had to cut each entry and ask Jow for help with the folding.  He
had the gall to imply I was done cutting before he was done folding.

I told Jow he needed to shuffle it up really good.

He pulled a name.

Congratulations to Ximera Grey!  You won the drawing!

PantheaCon and Z. Budapest

I didn't comment last year because I wasn't present and felt that it wasn't really my place to say anything about Z.'s comments and actions towards the transgender community as I wasn't present and frankly I kept hoping she would do some soul searching and apologizing between last PCon and this PCon.  But reading accounts from several different parties, I feel I do need to say this.

I started my path in Paganism as a Dianic Wiccan and as a feminist.  While my path has broadened, Dianic Wicca is still an important part of my faith.  I agree with Thorn's comments about Mary Daly, and I often counsel younger (sometimes more impatient) feminists to understand that things were v. different in the second wave and that we need to try to bridge the gap of understanding between second/third wave.

That said, at the risk of sounding dramatic, Z. has broken my heart.  She was an important person in my religious and academic texts and I had read much of her writing, trying to give space and understanding for a difference in time, place and experience.  I was always able to bridge that gap until last year when she made those hurtful comments that she's never apologized for.

My Dianic coven does not discriminate based on "bits", we ask that the women attending be woman-identified.  I'm not sure that I agree with a cis-woman only space even as a cis woman but that's something I'm still personally reflecting on.

What I can't get past is her hurtful treatment of our trans-sisters.  As such, after much thought between last year and this year, I no longer consider Z. as one of my personal Dianic elders though I do acknowledge her work in the community and her personal struggles.

Resources if you would like to learn more:

Holding Beloved Community (Thorn Coyle)

Holding Beloved Community Part 2 (Thorn Coyle)

Lupa's Account of the Protest Held by Thorn (Lupa)

An Invitation to Remember Who We Are (Rabbit)

PantheaCon: Unity, Diversity and Controversy (Wild Hunt)

Dianic Rites, Gender Identification, and Gender Essentialism (Kenaz Filan)

[New Year, New You] I don't know what it meant to me/ I just know it affected me (My Response to: Wheel of Morality)

I'm definitely feeling a bit nostalgic about ending the public portion of New Year, New You: An Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation though I'm already hitting the ground running to keep up with the second segment eCourse prompts.

What have I learned?

The world has an egregor of like minded, magical, perfectionistic, thoughtful, funny, awe inspiring people who will be scarily synchronistic with myself and each other.

The people who stuck out the Experiment all the way through (or are in process of doing so) really threw themselves whole heartedly into committing to do magic in the truest sense of the word - they devoted themselves to changing themselves and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of the world around them.  Everyone else's work constantly inspired me to keep working just as hard as they did because the things that these Charmers were bringing to life are special and important and I wanted to be part of that magical experience.

I still get scared and overwhelmed.  I haven't done all the things I wanted to do.  But I've done more than I have done and am accomplishing more than I ever thought I could accomplish.  This is terrifying but I won't let myself stop.

I still have moments when things are really being produced out of the ether and I'm so amazed and stunned and awed about the things I've accomplished, that I get scared and want to stop.  But I haven't let myself which is an accomplishment onto itself.

The stardust that runs through my veins and produces magic has been changed.

I've noticed in the last week or so that there has been a slight change in my own personal magical essence.  That it's stronger, faster, more charming and more capable as well as being more magical.  It's bad ass.

Thank you all for all of this.  Namaste.

Call for Submissions: Glamour in the New World Order

It's been interesting to find that glamour can be such a hot button topic, but it is.  It seems to be something that people feel passionately about one way or another.  As it's something I'm contemplating v. strongly now in preparation for my book writing, I'd love to hear more of *your* thoughts on the matter.

So I'm offering a weekly guest post spot for people from all magic-y/gender-y/sexual orientation/personal glamour orientation walks of life to talk about what glamour means to you both mundanely and magically.  Any spellwork or personal revelations are welcome!  Essays should be between 500-1000 words and be sure to include a brief bio about yourself and any links (blog, Etsy shop, etc) that you would like included.

Send it to me in the body of your email with the subject "Glamour" to corvaxgirl   [at]     gmail     [dottie]   com

Friday, February 17, 2012

Second Segment of the New Year, New You Project

Hey kids, just a reminder that as previously posted that the second segment will be an email/google group only event.  Getting signed up is easy, there's a large purple sign up box on the left of my blog.  Joining the google group is easy too.

Just as a note, you all will not necessarily get your weekly writing prompt email on the same date as it's based on when you joined the list.  In other words, your first prompt comes 4 days after you join and each prompt comes 7 days after that date.

Hope to see you all there!  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

[New Year, New You] My Response to Asking for Help

So, everyone thinks that since Jow is a massage therapist, it's massage on demand at our casa.  Of course, the boy is no fool.  When we first started dating, there was *a lot* of massage.  But now a few years later, knowing that he has an hour commute each way and that most days he's on his feet doing deep tissue for anywhere from two to eight sessions (generally closer to eight), I feel like a jerk being like, baby, I know you just did this for your real job for an extended amount of time but MY TURN!

Also, he has a little specialty niche massaging fibrofoxes and he says I'm hands down the worst with pain levels so, like a doctor, it's hard for him to massage me because I'm wincing and whining and carrying on because it hurts a lot for me.  But, for it to be beneficial to me, it needs to because afterwards it's much better.

But with nannying and crafting and writing (back, shoulders, hands, right arm, right hip), for me to keep going at the pace I'm going, I need some work done on me.  So I sacked up and asked.  We were finally able to on Tuesday and as expected, it was painful for me and difficult for him.  But I felt much better afterwards.  So we're going to try to do it every month on a Tuesday (one of his "desk" days where he's not massaging) and I've calendared it to make it official.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[New Year, New You] Final Public Writing Prompt: Wheel of Morality Turn, Turn, Turn, Tell Us the Lesson that We Must Learn

I feel weirdly sad about this being our last public prompt together, Charmers.  I'd probably feel more sad if  I had slept like a normal human being last night but I had been sleeping fitfully since 3:30a and then not at all since 5a.  Good times.  Lots of weird anxiety for some reason.  All of this naturally is tres sexy for Valentine's Day.

Anyway.  This week's prompt is simple, reflect on the last nine weeks and talk about what you've learned.  About yourself, about goal setting, about your magical practice, whatever was meaningful to you.  Also reflect on where you would like to see yourself heading now that you've accomplished what you've accomplished.

Non-participating Charmers, I appreciate how patient you've been with this process and how kind you've been to myself and others during this time.  You can now look forward to a return of what passes for normal blogging here.

Participating Charmers, this time together has been v. meaningful to me and I've appreciated how you've made me laugh and cry and have let me in on a v. private part of your lives.  It's been an awesome experience bonding together and I am a better person for it and I thank you for that.

Go forth, be excellent to each other.

[New Year New You] Housekeeping Notes for the Last Week and Second Segment

So, we're in our final week for the public part of the Experiment but because I am such a glutton for punishment  maschocist  love you so much, I've decided to continue the Experiment as a free eCourse.

If you are on week 9 or close to it, please feel free to join the list using the form on the right of my blog.

Why Should I Keep Beating My Head Against This Wall With You and Your Bitch of a Muse?

* All of you have made amazing progress and I would like us to continue to make amazing progress together, being part of an Egregor/hive mind helps give that soupcon of peer pressure that must of us need to accomplish personal goals as well as giving us a cheering section for when we really need it.

* You'll have access to a super sekret by invite only Google group where you'll get to discuss the second segment as much as you would like in as much detail as you would like, giving you an even closer sense of community with your fellow Charmers who are Experimenting.

* The same general format of the first nine weeks (i.e. weekly writing prompts) only with better editing and now delivered directly to your email box.

* Continued feedback from me as you progress.

* You'll have the smug satisfaction of being part of the first alpha group to complete the Experiment in its current form.

I'm not really any where close to done yet, can I join anyway?

You could because I'm not, like, the internet police or anything but I don't think you'll get as much out of it because it picks up directly where the the first segment (the last nine weeks we've been blogging about) leaves off so it's best if you finish the first nine weeks first.

But I've fallen behind, like, a lot.  *sad face*

It's cool!  You can join the eCourse whenever you like.  The Google Group has helpful posting rules so that anyone can join the eCourse and join the conversation on the Google Group whenever they want!

Can I still get your feedback on my NY NY entries after today?

Of course!  Just leave me a link to your entry on any of the prompt pages and I will be happy to read them indefinitely.

You're totes doing the Valentine's Day drawing today, right?

Well, Charmers, I've inadvertently lied to you.  The thing is, because I'm posting the last prompt today, most of you won't have a chance to complete it today.  So I'm giving everyone a week before I do the drawing so you can do some last contest valid entries before the drawing.  I will draw next Tuesday, Feb 21st for the contest winner.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

[New Year New You] Moar Shoulder to the Wheel Response

I finally feel like I've stopped failing at my own Experiment, my ass finally went to the gym (and now said ass is sore but that's neither here nor there).  Just getting there was so ridiculously fucking hard for me that I'm really proud that I finally got it done and can now hopefully start making a habit out of it.  I don't know what I think is going to happen there that I get so freaked about going.  I mean, there's no velociraptors on the treadmills or anything.

But just by starting to watch what I eat (up until last week where I discovered that fat food is now served accurately at a diner near my house (and cupcakes, sigh) and went for fancy Indian dinner which I discovered is a lot heavier than my beloved Hurry Chutney and then had grilled fish tacos (good) and a whoopie pie with mascarpone for dessert (. . . yeah) I've lost ten pounds.  But it's no joke how going out (besides carefully pre-approved non-diet-fucking venues) will screw your weight loss goals straight to hell.  I used to eat like this all the time and it's why I'm fat now.  It was a little reminder for me that if I do what I've always done I'll get what I've always gotten so knock it off.  So that too was a catalyst to go to the gym as well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

[New Year, New You] Weekly Writing Prompt: Asking for Help

The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

Please remember to leave a link here to your blog entry with your response to this prompt or an update on your own Experiment.

Oh man, if last week's prompt was about as popular as polyps, you're gonna really love this week's prompt.

It's been interesting doing this Experiment so far because without even really intending to do so, we've sort of built an Egregor where most of us are generally on the same page.  If one of us is dragging ass, most of us are dragging ass, if most of us are having a rrrrrrrrrrrreow I own you kind of week, most of us are.  It's so strange and amazing and magical seeing all the synchronicities.  I'd be totes freaked out about it except even my panic is now on a tight schedule.

So, we're all getting tired and getting worn.  We're all starting to lose hope and faith in ourselves, in our goals, in our ability to do what we've set out.  All the doubts are getting bigger than our intentions.

You tell them to shut the fuck up.  Right now.  You have work to do.

So with that established (and, a friendly reminder that it's only Feb and there will be a follow up course so there's no need to start breathing into a bag just yet as we still have plenty of time to continue to be awesome), this week's prompt is about asking someone for help.  Most of us hate that shit with a hating that fires a thousand suns.  Asking for help feels almost like admitting defeat.  And by defeat, I mean admitting that you're not invincible.

Well.  You're not.  Sorry.

Asking for help can include exciting areas such as: needing medical attention in some area, starting therapy, asking your SO to do something for you around the house while you work on your goals, confiding in a friend about something that has been weighing on your mind and getting their input on the matter and considering that input, having someone read and critique your resume or writing, getting a trainer at the gym, attending a support group or asking someone else for input on your magical project (while I am far from omnipotent, if your project is not ceremonial based, I have a pretty good gen ed in magic matters.  Feel free to contact me at corvaxgirl  [at]    gmail    [dottie]    com, just let me know which blog is your and let me know you're part of the Experiment).

Go forth!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Rec

I was asked to do a book review for Witches & Pagans and it took a while for me to write one because I figured out why I'm not a big reader of Pagan/Occult books - because I am a v. v. critical reader and books more than thirty years old aren't, generally speaking, friendly to women and as I don't take kindly to being treated like a dog wearing clothes even if historically that's accurate, my book learnin' is spotty because I have to be able to get through it.  I had a few "meh" books (not even terrible enough to make them awesome) and finally got a good one.

It's called Coventry Magic with Candles, Oils, and Herbs by Jacki Smith.  I really liked the "salt of the earthiness" of it and learned some new skills that I've been integrating into my practice.

I can't really say more because - review, but it's good, get it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

[New Year, New You] My (Partial) Response to Shoulder to the Wheel

We got this awesome picture when thrifting
for Spare Oom/Work Room.  It's our
portal to the Other World (oooooh).

Trufax: When I was in college, I took an accredited course in
Chinese calligraphy from the granddaughter of a calligraphy
Master.  The little rabbit was a gift from Jow.

This candelabra was purchased from Anthropologie during my
Florence period (still on going).

And what it is you do/ to keep your
eyes so shiny

When I think of heav'n/ deliver me in the belly of a
black winged bird

Saw them crown you May Queen/
heard you sing the sweetest thing
Close up on the cupboard and
Hedgecrosser's Mandala

And gave him the form of a fawn/ to inhabit by the day
(I made the terrarium for Jow for Yule.  The cedar chest
is his finding and St. Germain bottles are too pretty to just
recycle and not reuse)

Our ritual table
cupboard with ritual
supplies and Sarah
Lawless's print.

My serial killer focus board

A Spare Oom is not complete without
a lamp post

Legwarmers are an integral part to making a magical part of your
house.  Intregral.

Our nature spirits altar.

My spinning wheel

Hand dyed wool to be spun