Why We Should Make a Few of Our Tools

First, a disclaimer: I know that not everyone is adept at crafting and that we can make an argument that handcrafting tools might be ableism. I would like to preface the text that follows with this caveat: making your own tools can be a significant learning experience but it does not mean that purchased tools can’t have their own value/significance in differing ways. The work is merely different.

Making tools is a labour of love. The hours poured into a handcrafted tool will inevitably help foster a bond or story of origin between you and the tool you craft. Making a tool from scratch requires planning, intention, and patience. It requires a willingness to sit with imperfection, yours and your tool’s, and love it anyways.

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Iris’ Full Moon in Aquarius

This full moon in Aquarius lands along that line that divides the zodiac’s rulership. Why this particular line? I see references to the heliacal rising of Sirius, which this year from my location, is technically on August 11th, in Leo. The star location in the astrological chart in Cancer (in the tropical zodiac.) These two signs are rules by the luminaries, the Sun and Moon. Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn. (This may be defined in the Picatrix, but I’ll need to define that better to myself… and if Sirius is also characterised as a Bringer of Light.) All this to say, because of the proximity to zero degrees Leo, I find this Full Moon to be especially about brightness in dark spaces.

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Creating Your Own Magical Language

Explorations in building a new personal system.

If you’ve been reading between the not so hidden lines, I’ve been thinking a lot about cultural appropriation and western esoteric traditions and ways to unyoke my practice from systems that seem problematic to me.

One of the areas that troubles me the most is the need to exoticize our magical languages by appropriating other cultural terms and words. To make that more concrete: in my own tradition, we rely heavily on Qabala (western esoteric take on Kabbalah), a Jewish informed mystical system. I know this is blatant appropriation but given how deeply embedded it is in western esotericism, I’m not sure how easy it is to remove it. Too much of Christianity is tied to Judaism (you could even argue that Christianity is appropriation…) and too much of our western occult traditions have come up through Christianity (even if we reject Christianity many of our practices and worldviews have been deeply informed by it).

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Planetary Deity Work

This post is a reflection on workings done from the book “Planetary Magick” by Denning & Phillips. I have not read the book in its entirety, I’ve only drawn from the sections relevant to this practice.

A few years ago, I, along with several of my then coven mates, did planetary invocations of deities associated with the planets based on exercises drawn from the above mentioned text. We spent a week invoking Egyptian deities, according to their planetary hour, and then another week doing the same for Greek deities.

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Disclaimer: the moon is in Cancer, I’m feeling feisty, and the public pagan-o-sphere has gotten me mad again.

I practice Wicca. Or at least, I was trained in Wicca and I’m currently re-evaluating the teachings I was given. But in the meantime, I can say, despite all the questionable colonialism inherent in Wicca, that the teachings I was given have provided me with a great deal of insight into my character, the world, and life. I am, despite my questions and issues with group dynamics, beyond grateful for what my teachers imparted and the experience of having worked in a coven. My experience in my old coven and my training has help make me the person I am today, including the person who wants to decolonize her practice.

That said, pardon my language, but WTF is up with people gravitating towards Wicca-lite? The lack of discipline and structure? The inability to understand that any esoteric practice is a practice and thus, requires work?

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Tarot & Cultural Appropriation

I have loved tarot for many years. From my first deck, which was the Haindl tarot, to my latest deck, This Might Hurt, I have been reading cards (for myself and the rare friend) for over 20 years.

But I’ve recently I’ve learned that despite potentially being invented as an Italian card game, the Arcana system and formula for reading a traditional deck is considered to be a closed Romani practice developed by them and one in which the Romani people have faced a lot of prejudice around. Google searches and books may tend to tell us otherwise if we only scratch the surface, but that doesn’t make that information accurate. Romani culture has long been diasporic because of persecution, thus their history tends to be oral. And while the western European narrative prioritizes the written word as fact; we must remember that the written narrative is always written by those in power. There is a need to go beyond the first few hits or the white centric books published on the issue to get to the heart of the discussion.

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2nd Decan of Virgo: 9 of Pentacles

Before I start thinking about what this phase looks like… some general context:

Astrological houses are divided into 3 decans per sign:

1st decan = 0-10° and is ruled by the sign the decan finds itself in. So for example, since I’m a Capricorn, I’ll use Capricorn. The first decan of Capricorn is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

2nd decan = 11-20° The 2nd decan of a sign is ruled by the next elemental sign. So the 2nd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Taurus and Venus.

3rd decan = 21-30° The 3rd decan is ruled by the remaining elemental sign. The 3rd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Virgo and Mercury.

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