Sorry About The Angst Yesterday [EDITED]

galaxy_quest_large_06

[EDIT: A wise friend read the words below and responded thus:

Listen: we all have a *right* to be emotional. It’s *okay* to get pissed, scared, etc. Especially when some of those things directly affect our lives. The last 30 years – if not 200 or 2000 – have seen women constantly being told that they have no right to ‘feel’. Men get the same messages, but in other ways. (We’re supposed to be “logical” and “rational”.) If you’re going to own your flesh, then you have to own your emotions, too. And that requires honesty, and occasionally upsetting others.

And he’s right. His words cast this post and the previous in a new light for me. There’s much food for thought for me in the above few sentences. I’m letting both posts stand though, with this addendum.]

My post yesterday was a real downer, full of anger and fear. I probably shouldn’t’ve posted it, but after doing so I began thinking about what I was really angry about and afraid of.

I made a list.

Then I made a list of things to do about the things on the first list.

It wound up helping me a lot, posting that shite, but still I’m sorry y’all had to see it. So I think a motivational quote is in order—

Never give up, never surrender! —from the movie Galaxy Quest

Love y’all.

I don’t read the news, but yesterday via social media I learned that the US is/is about to start bombing Syria. The Fukushima nuclear reactor is releasing huge amounts of radiation into the Pacific Ocean. And someone somewhere — don’t know who, don’t care — said that Chelsea Manning getting raped in prison will be good practice for her becoming a woman. —Fuck you, human race. I resign. Where’s the fucking Singularity when you need it?

(It’s hyperbole, folks, but how else save via hyperbole can outrage sufficient to these times be expressed?)

Where’s the F***ing Singularity When You Need It?

seam of skin and scales [Reblogged]

Lilith Pale with Bloody Arms

I wish I had written this, but I didn’t. The original post can be found at http://takingsteps.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/seam-of-skin-and-scales.html Reblogged because it’s effing great.

“I am not a woman trapped in a man’s body. This body is no man’s; it is mine, it is me, and there is no man in that equation. And I am not trapped in it. There are a million and one ways out of this body, and I have clung to it, tooth and claw, despite an endless line of people and institutions who would rather I vacate the premises, and have sometimes been willing to make me bleed to convince me they’re right.

This body is mine, and I claim it and its bruises, and it is not a man’s, and I am not trapped here. I have looked leaving my body in the eye and I have said, in the end, hell no. There is too much to do, too much to love, too many who need one more of us to say hell no and help them say the same.
You might not like it. It might be a wrongness to you.

I am done with traps. I am done with the philosophy of traps, and I am done with the feminism of who owns my body for what cause.
It is time for something that tells you that I am here for blood–my blood, the blood of my loved ones, the blood of the people who have battered themselves against my life and found me still here.

It is time for a feminism of the monstrous.

That is this body. That is this me. That is the voice that says get your names off of my parts and your hands off them too, that says stop colonizing my reality and telling me what I mean without listening to a word I say.

What I say may be in a language incomprehensible, but there is a time for that, and it is right now, because this is a monster’s creed. It is for the cobbled-together, the sewn-up, the grafted-on. It is for the golden, the under-the-earth, the foreign, the travels-by-night; the filthy ship-sinking cave-dwelling bone-cracking gorgeousness that says hell no, I am not tidy. I am not easy. I am not what you suppose me to be and until you listen to my voice and look me in my eyes, I will cling fast to this life no matter how far you drive me, how deep, with how many torches and pitchforks, biting back the whole way down. I will not give you my suicide. I will not give you my surrender.

This is for the Lilim, because you forget that the next part after your co-opted icon parts ways with Adam and goes her own way is and she begat monsters, and she becomes terrifying. This is for the Gorgons and the vampires and the chimaeras, for Cybele and Baba Yaga, Hel and Ashtoreth, for Lamia and Scylla, for Kali and Kapo ‘ula-kina’u. This is for all of them with teeth.

It is time to look the monstrous in the eye. It is time. It is time to say that we are beautiful in our fierceness, and that we are our own. We are not the rejected of what we can never be. We are what we were meant to be. We are not pieces of wholes thrown together incorrectly. We are not mistakes.

We are not inferior knockoffs of someone else. If our monstrousness is frightening, then it is time we bare our teeth and draw that fear close to us and stop being so afraid of our fearsomeness that we fear everyone and everything else right back.
I am throwing my head back, here, and saying it: no more being afraid. Hell no. My monstrousness is not a place of shame. It is a strength. It is the power to say I am mine, and I will tell you what I mean. Not you. I am not any thing trapped in anyone’s body. I am tougher than that, and I have plenty of blood to spare in this body of mine, and plenty more miles to go before any of you can bring me to my knees, and I dare you to try.

I am choosing to stay here, and it is mine to choose. And if that means changing shape, if that means putting together the unexpected, that is any monster’s ancient right. It is damn well traditional.
The only ones setting traps are the ones in our way.
There. There’s my teeth. There’s my cause.

Boo.
Hiss.
Keep kicking: a thousand, thousand slimy things lived on. And so. Did. I.”

I Ain’t All That Depressed, Folks

Melencolia_I_(Durero)

Melancholia I, Albrecht Dürer

A few of my friends read my post about losing my cat Wednesday and my depression and got worried about me. But —

As it turns out, I’m hardly depressed at all. I believe I may have a slight case of dysthymia (very low-grade depression, self-diagnosed), but that’s all. What I needed above all was some peace and quiet — a good dose of solitude. I’m very introverted, and I was getting way too much input under admittedly trying circumstances.

Rather paradoxically since I’ve moved and am living alone I’m being much more social. I have friendly neighbors, and I like to sit outside my apartment and talk to them. Add that extra people input to days of busy-ness searching for my cat, acclimating to my new environment and way of life, etc., etc., and it all added up to a major case of emotional, sensory, and people overload. I’ve increased my alone time considerably, and the overload has mostly vanished along with the very short term depression. I still feel unhappy at times, but that’s about it. A lot of the time I feel great.

In other words it seems not to be a case of depression. It was a bad case of what’s known as unhappiness. That’s all. I apologize to all those who were worried about me because I used the D-word (depression).

So — dysthymia, probably … depression, no.

And, yes, if you’re wondering, I’ve talked to my therapist about my possible dysthymia. We agreed that I may have a case of it and that it’s nothing to worry about.

Love. —Rachel

Wednesday, Depression, Magic

Wednesday My Cat

This is a picture of my cat Wednesday. He’s been missing for one week now. I haven’t given up hope, but neither am I counting on ever seeing him again. It’s a difficult act of emotional juggling.

I’ve divined about him, I’ve done magic to get him back, sigil shoals and deals with spirits. A friend even had a direct perception of him (the term direct perception is from the Greek Magical Papyri) but either my friend’s vision was faulty or when I got there Wednesday had moved on. I check the animal shelter’s website several times a day, I’ve described him to every neighbor who’s walked by as I sit outside, and I sit outside my apartment sometimes late at night, just in case. —Nothing. Wednesday is probably just gone. I can’t bring myself to divine again whether or not he’s still alive.

Now I’m going to go all antinomian on you and confess a nigh unforgivable sin. —I’m depressed. There, I said it.

Life’s handed me a lot of lemons over the last couple of months and I managed to deal with them one and all — and quite well even if I do say so myself. But Wednesday’s disappearance and the cases of me getting my hopes up when somebody tells me they’ve seen him but it turns out not to be him after all — my brain couldn’t deal. It’s a mild depression and it won’t last very long — I know my own history in such matters all too well.

The stigma attached to depression in our society isn’t as bad as it used to be — in most circles. But in the small world of the online occult community most still speak of their problems guardedly, or not at all. As if a magician or witch or sorceress were supposed to be able to ward themselves from every ill whatsoever. I’m exaggerating, of course. But when it comes to a mental illness, I may not be exaggerating at all.

Well, fuck that. I’m depressed!

So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to do magic, that’s what. Magic is the ultimate antidepressant. It won’t magically cure the depression, but it sure is a lot of fun. And a lot of fun is about the best thing for depression. —I’m rather pious, and for a lot of the more pious pagans out there their Gods are what make their world go around. Not me. For me it’s magic. Magic rocks my world. Magic is my panacea. (It’s a good thing, btw, that my Patroness is a Goddess of magic.) —Well, magic isn’t literally a panacea. But it feels like one.

If you’ve read much of my blog I hope you know that I value openness and honesty. I value them over saving face. I felt I owed it to my readers — the few, the loyal — to explain why I’ve let the blog languish … yet again. Well, now you know.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some magic I need to go do.

A Confusion Spell — With Some Influence Thrown In

De_Morgan_Medea

“First confusion, then influence, then domination.” —Rachel Izabella

I’ve never yet needed to escalate all the way to domination. Just the first two — confusion and influence combined — have sufficed for me thus far, when somebody was giving me shit. Here’s a spell I’ve used to great effect to achieve precisely those two. Somebody out there may be making your life Hell, and this spell just might fix that for you. Somebody may be in such need — but not want to cast a curse. Generally you don’t need to. Confusion and influence together make for a powerful combination. —Here it is. It’s really simple.

First you need a magical link to the person you want to confuse and influence. In Hoodoo such a magical link is called a personal concern. The more personal it is the better it is. Your target’s menstrual blood or other blood or their poop are perfect. And yes, it is often possible to get a little sample of a person’s poop — don’t be such a wimp! As far as blood goes, bathroom trashcans are the go to place. Underwear or a sock stolen from a laundry hamper are great. Hair taken from a hair brush or a single hair fallen onto a piece of furniture is great too, and so are fingernail clippings taken from, again, a trash can. A person’s signature is also a very powerful magical link — even a photocopy of their signature is good. The more personal the better. Get creative, get dirty … you get the idea.

Failing that you can use a photograph, but a photograph isn’t as good a magical link as the personal concerns mentioned above, in my experience. On the other hand people can and do use photographs in spells all the time, so maybe it’s just me. Facebook and your printer can be great friends in this case.

Last of all, if you can’t get hold of a better link, a name paper can sometimes work — but should be used only as a last resort, i.e., if you really, really — I mean really — can’t obtain anything truly personal. The simplest way to make a name paper is just to write the person’s full name and date of birth on a piece of paper.

—You’ll need an incense burner and charcoal. Self-igniting charcoal can be obtained online or probably more easily from most tobacco stores. Most such stores sell them these days for use in hookahs.

—You’ll need poppy seeds. Head to your spice rack or the grocery store and get some. Poppy flowers are often used to bring needed dreams, but poppy seeds cause confusion.

—The best time for this working or any even vaguely similar working is when your target is asleep. 3am is a good bet for most people.

OK, so now you’re all ready, and it’s 3am. Light the charcoal. Grab it gently with a pair of pliers and stand outside and light it with a lighter or light it and hold it out a window. The fumes from self-igniting charcoals are noxious, dangerous — don’t breathe that stuff! Some charcoals will even catch on fire when lit. Just blow out the flames and let the chemicals do their work and burn themselves away. When the whole charcoal is ignited and the fumes are gone, put it in your incense burner.

Put some poppy seeds on the charcoal. Enough to make quite a bit of smoke but not so much as to dampen the charcoal down. You want the charcoal to last as long as possible. Don’t expect burning poppy seeds to smell good. They don’t stink too bad but they really don’t very good either. —Then just hold your magical link in the smoke. That’s the confusion part of the spell … but we want more…

Talk to the magical link or chant or sing to the magical link or rap to the magical link, whatever floats your boat, as if you were addressing your target her/himself. Tell them what you want them to think. Or tell them how you want them to feel. Keep it fairly simple. The more rhythmical and hypnotic you can say or chant or whatever your improvised incantation now the better. But do keep it simple.

<Name>, <Name>, I am right and you are wrong!

<Name>, You are weak and I am strong and I’m the master now!

Something simple like that. And — make it your own! Be creative! Most of all focus! You need to put all the will, desire, and belief you’ve got into this for it to work. Emotion is good too. If you’re angry at the person, for example, inflame your rage — but still use all your might to stay focused — and put all that rage into your little, simple, quiet and hypnotic incantation or jingle.

Add more poppy seeds as necessary. Keep the magical link in the smoke. Keep all this up if possible until your charcoal burns out. Keep it up, quietly droning on and on, as long as you can force yourself to.

—That’s all there is to it. I wrote it out in detail so that beginners could understand it and follow the directions.

—If you’ve succeeded, the next day what you think or how you feel should be deeply implanted in your target’s mind. The poppy seeds — the confusion — are just to make your target more susceptible to your will.

Is this evil? If somebody is hurting you or abusing you or planning to do so — then No! It’s self-defense. Of course this is an all-purpose spell, and it could be used for immoral purposes. I emphatically do not believe in karma — at least not as that word is commonly used in the English-speaking magical world. But if you use this spell and you’re the bully then remember — someday you’ll attempt to influence a practitioner much stronger than you, and they will fuck you up.

But in our ordinary work-a-day world there may be bitches and sons of bitches out there looking to hurt you. Maybe you’re facing a bully at school. Maybe somebody just hates you and is making you miserable. Oftentimes it’s a harsh world. If you won’t stand up for yourself and do something about your own bad situation then who will? Odds are — nobody. Sometimes you’ve just got to do what’s necessary.

Good luck and may your magic be strong!

‘The genuine artist does not traffic in fictions. The daemonic powers that he sings, speaks, or forms, are *there.* In plastic embodiment the wave is image *and*event.—The cosmic epic poet reunites that which has been sundered: the epic world-poem to the “ardor of the eye.” He steps out of the modern age and spins the golden threads of the eternal flux. A god and a lightning-bolt will not suffice—the entire history of the gods must unfold before his gaze’ – Ludwig Klages

Thanks are due to Craig Slee for sharing this quote. —Rachel Izabella

Ludwig Clages Quote

Why Trans* People Need More Visibility

TransVisibility

Source: Trans Student Equality Resources
http://www.transstudent.org

This graphic, well, graphically demonstrates why transfolk need more visibility. The statistics are mind buggeringly horrible. Transwomen face odds of one in twelve of being murdered?! I take that personal! Transwomen of color fare worse — their odds are one in eight.

This is not acceptable. As I assume these stats are for the USA — other so-called developed countries do not in general suffer such violence — we should be ashamed for our country’s sake. And for the sake of all the murdered, raped, etc. ad nauseam trans* people out there. (Not just transwomen get raped etc., by the way, transmen do too.) —The answer is visibility. In the news and entertainment media, and just face to face as well.

But if you are trans — first be safe.

May the Gods have mercy on us all … tho’ sometimes I think They must have thrown up their hands at our country, to leave us to destroy ourselves by our own hideous devices and desires.

Enough with the pessimism, though. Much love. —Rachel Izabella

I’m Back

theyre back - poltergeist

As I said elsewhere today, eight days without the Internet sucks butt.

I’m moved in to my new apartment now — well, three quarters moved in … kind of, maybe… But anyway the cable guy finally came by today and gave me back the Internet. I think that since there first even was a World Wide Web eight days without it may have been my longest “fast”. I don’t really have much to say — I’m still stunned by the strangeness of living alone again and this time as, for all practical purposes, a whole ‘nother person. So for once there aren’t lots of thoughts rattling around in my head — Real Life™ is about as much as I can process at the moment. I did want to say one thing though—

I’m baaacckk….