Meditative Acts — Research #2: Candles

Aradia and I have been talking about making our own candles for a while now.  In particular, though not necessarily relevant to his conversation, we have some interesting ideas regarding Imbolc and Valentine’s Day and recycling candles to light new fires for the coming year.  So, when I started thinking about devotional meditations, in part inspired by folk saint rituals, it wasn’t much of a leap to DIYing the candles.

Candle making, at its basic, is simple.  You need wax, wicks, and a couple vessels.  A weight for the bottom of the wick is handy.  So’s a clip to hold the wick still while you pour the wax.  You need one vessel to melt the wax in, and another to pour the wax into.  You can add dies, scents, glitter, and a variety of other things to make end result prettier, the process more involved.  And I may do that as I get down the “don’t make a mess” part.

The wax and wicks arrived a couple weeks ago.  In my first test pour I discovered that while the vessels I have to pour the wax into – reused novena candle containers – work just fine, the vessel I have to melt the wax in and pour the wax from – a Pyrex measuring cup – is not quite as large as I need.  The larger wax melting vessel should arrive in the mail today, along with some wick clips just to make life a little easier.

When the wax has cooled, I’ll stick each candle with an image of the divinity to whom it’s being dedicated.  It should surprise y’all none that between my own art and what I’ve found on the internet, I have a lot of devotional to bring to the occasion.

I’m still trying to decide, from a ritual standpoint, whether it’s better to make the candles in advance and come into each week prepared, or to make making the candles the core of the ritual for the first night of each week.  From a logistics standpoint, obviously, it’s easier to make them in advance.  And the candle making doesn’t fit really well into the “meditative acts” frame of this months’ challenge.  I suddenly remember, though, that 4 weeks =/= 30 days.  There’s room for a prologue and an epilogue.  That day at the beginning gives me time to make a lot of candles and keep to framework I’ve already established.

Hymn to Baphomet

baphomet

A new hymn for a god/dess of witches, sorcerers, and madmen.

 

Hymn to Baphomet

Io Baphometos!

 

Strange god!  Gnostic god!

Creator and destroyer!

Friend to the alienated,

lover and beloved

of artists and magicians!

 

You who reconcile false dichotomies:

mortal and divine; man and woman;

human and animal; of the Earth and of the Air.

You are of the Dark Moon and the Light.

Solve et coagvla.

 

You are the Sabbatic goat!

Winged, and crowned in horn and flame,

sacred hermaphrodite;

Thyrsus and caduceus, thy tumescence.

You are the Mysteries made flesh.

 

O you Hidden One!

You are ancient yet unfinished!

You are many formed, many natured!

Panphage pangenitor!

You are All-Father, All-Mother, All-Lover!

 

Io Baphometos!

All hail Baphomet!

Witchcraft is Transgression

Witchcraft is transgression.

We are not “just like them”.  Though we may wear their clothes, to do so is a mask which must be discarded each day at the first opportunity lest we lose what we are.

We are the darkness.  We are the ecstasy.  We are the song in the night.  We exist to rend the veil between worlds.

Never forget: there is more to life than your mortgage.

Witchcraft is transgression.

The Roman Empire gave up the Old Gods and knelt before of the One.  The Greeks gave up the Mysteries in favor of the Savior.  The Norse abandoned traded their sacrifices in return for the keys to the Kingdom of God.

Do you honestly believe that the Mysteries lead to empire?  Do you honestly believe that the Old Gods will bless the empires of the One?

Take up arms against the oppressors, not against your neighbors.  There is no place for patriots among Pagans.  If you love your country, go back to Jesus.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Neither sex nor gender are cosmic principles.  Does a prokaryote have a penis?  Does a cactus have a cunt?

Your body is not your destiny.  You are not what your parents and their doctors told you that you must be.

Gender is a toolbox.  Build your identity with your bare hands.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Reject materialist values, not the material world.

Feast upon the bounty of the harvest and the hunt.  Sing your joy and scream your rage.  Dance for the sun and cry before the moon.  Love all that you can.  Fuck all that you will.

The dead envy the living for a reason.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Wage war against the Archons.  Wage war against the Machine.

We will survive by whatever means are necessary.

We must dance on the bones of the empire.

Assimilation is death.

Witchcraft is trasgression.

Armed Venus

Armed Venus

“Armed Aphrodite”

A young woman stands bare chested, a cloth draped around her waist, a golden-colored apple in her left hand and a sword in her right.  From a Classically themed photoshoot with a friend from college, this image was inspired by a combination of art and myth.  The apple identifies the figure as Aphrodite; the sword is inspired by a spear-bearing statue of Aphrodite that I saw at the temple of Asclepious in Greece.

From a photo shoot about this time last year, this post somehow got lost in my drafts folder.  To see the rest of the series, or order prints, please check out my portfolio.

HPF 2016: Promethean Vow

At the apex of the Fire ritual, Prometheus demanded that each of us make a vow to act, to pursue an ambition which he would help us achieve.  The ritual was written in such a way that all of the fascilitators could participate, and make vows of our own.

I vowed that my novel, The Mark of the Wolf, would be in print in time for the next festival.

My first step, taken less than 24 hours home from the festival, was to reproduce that goal in miniature by self-publishing one of my other, smaller, stories on Amazon.

Bad Trip Cover

My first published novelette, Bad Trip, is set in 1968, and follows a group of four friends as they explore a haunted house somewhere near Athol, MA.  It’s not the first “haunted” house they’ve explored on their celebratory road trip, but it proves to be full of more than bad vibes and cheap thrills.  As the four friends make their way the Whitley manor, room by room, they find first mystery, then horror, and finally doom.

The story offers, I hope, an intriguing introduction to my fictional world of occult horror, with a hat-tip to Lovecraft country on the way down.  It’s $3 for 8000 words, which is more fun for less money than a trip to the cinema.

 

Elemental Masks Project: Feral as Keeper of Water

Continuing my explorations of elemental power through the masks I made for last year’s Heartland Pagan Festival, behold the Keeper of Water, portrayed by Feral.

In the long term, these images may find themselves in an oracle deck and/or a photo book.

Individual prints, and a look at the entire project to date, can be found at my portfolio.  For the Feral as the four Keepers, click here.  For the project in toto, click here.  If you appreciate my work, either my art or my witchcraft, please consider purchasing prints.