Penny Magic

My whole life I has always believed in picking pennies up for luck. As I’ve grown older and become more aware of myself spiritually I find that copper in the form of pennies holds a lot of significance to me.

My dad (the guy who actually raised me not my bio parent) always brought pennies to funerals when I was a kid. He told me it was a visage of both his Sicilian and Scottish heritage, a way to pay the Ferryman or Gatekeeper. People who are especially significant also get a gold dollar.

These days my alter is predominately nature and Buddha focused. While I consider myself a pantheist I follow Zen Buddhism as my personal philosophy and guidance. I place pennies I find on that alter to be cleansed and blessed.

Recently I have been using pennies as a focus for my spells and such. Whisper my desire be it blessing or curse and flicking it in the direction I need it to go. Like for example my new house. I told the penny I wanted this place and threw it from my car window into the yard. I got the call the next day. I think this goes to show that we cannot ignore the mundane and extraordinary folk traditions and superstitions. I waited for no moon, gathered no ingredients, burned no herbs. I just flicked a penny. You don’t have to have a fancy aesthetic to cast the way you want.

The Least Worst Translation

The idea of  “The Least Worst Translation,” {LWT} was introduced to me by a philosophy professor my junior year if college. Prof V, was teaching an aesthetics class and choice to focus on the aesthetic traditions of China and the concept of  “dan,” which for the purpose of the book we were reading was translated to “Blandness.” The discussion that followed was mostly about how some words, are so conceptually and contextually integral to a culture that unless you are a part of, or have lived in for an extended period of time you just don’t get it. Translation is the art of doing your damnedest to translate, most reasonably words like this.

Later during my own meditations and reflections of the English language, it’s dialects and the intersections of my cultures. This concept applies to the larger discussion on systematic racism, appropriation, and our particular distaste for dialects spoken by POC (i.e. Spanglish, AAVE, and etc). However, another issue is that the culture of marginalized people is expected to comply with the language and tolerance of whatever colonizing entity restricts them. Often times when a marginalized community takes a concept from their culture and does their best to translate it, in this case to English, settlers, as they often do, settle and take the word or phrase back and bastardize it’s actual meaning.

For Example:

Words/concepts like: big chop, natural hair, smudging, two spirit, &spirit animal. These belong to Black and Indigenous because even in English they are our culture.

Words for these concepts. However due to permanent displacement & mass genocide, we lost some stuff& weren’t allowed to use our own culture. Therefore, in order to explain these things we use our colonially forced languages to best describe& stream line these practices/concepts it doesn’t often even describe things well, just in a way so that an idea can be generally “gotten”. As best as possible. Also some concepts and cultures are closed so these are brief filler words to get ya’ll to mind your own damn business. They are also laden with historical context, political background and so forth. Big Chop & natural hair are less about going product free & more about a public display of Blackness the white folk literally kill us for. Two Spirit is a cultural role held by some First Nations people they fall so far out of European binary and conceptualization/ceremony/responsibility that we all had to find one phrase to conform to. Same with Spirit Animal, could be family, could be clan, could be awarded, could be a rite of passage, could be a deity. W/ nearly 600 nations. You bet your ass you are missing some specific and important context.If you don’t belong to that Nation, it ain’t ya business; so we use these LWTs cause we gotta communicate, cause we are forced to plead our humanity& conform to languages not our own.

Basically if you are handed the crap hand that is to exist as a marginalized culture in a colonized world. We work with what we got and still manage to have our innovations taken and bastardized. Don’t be that guy.

 

Crown & Glory

For most of my life I have flip flopped between different codes of morality and ideologies, try to find a little direction in this often daunting cosmos. The struggle for me is that I grew up in a household that knew very little peace or stability, and my parents were both driven by self absorption and ego. I forgive, mostly, what they have actually changed, because my parents were in their very early 20s and holding this awful age against them would mean I would get no pity myself in another 20 years… Continue reading

Whose Gods Do I Go To?

Recently I have seen a large movement particularly among Queer folk and women/femmes, returning to witchcraft practices. Which as almost a life time practitioner of witchcraft in some form or another is pretty exciting for me. Once not so long ago I simply referred to myself as “hokey” because I was worried about the stigmatization of being labelled “witch.” Now at the ripe old age of 23 I am becoming some what of a source among my friends and tumblr blog followers.

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Em, the Woman Left Behind {a critical analysis of “Earth Abides” by George R. Stewart

The novel Earth Abides by George R. Stewart explores the rebuilding of a small society after a catastrophic event. Afterwards, the rebuild is chronicled through the generations of a family, Ish and his wife, Em. This book shows the progression of the generation that follows the one that survived the catastrophe and how, as the years go by, their children revert to a lifestyle more suited to their environment. While adapting to this rehashed hunter-gatherer lifestyle, however, what you notice about this novel is how quickly women fall to the wayside. In the development of characters, many women in this book, including Em, were relegated to the margins of their own story. Each woman is more or less a mere copy of the other ones mentioned, leaving a great flatness in half of the population of “The Tribe,” the women contributing almost nothing besides bearing more sons who become central characters. In this novel, Stewart does not do the women characters of his reconstructed world justice, especially Em.

Em who is given the title of “Mother of Nations,” is only referred to when she gives birth to children after the first part of the book. Besides the first section of the book, her involvement and actions seemed to be based solely upon birthing and raising children. While some may assume that this is reasonable in hunter-gather type societies, based upon the need to survive, most roles in these types of societies were actually egalitarian. Now, the argument could be made that if a woman is rearing children then it should be intuitive that they are relegated to restricted roles, because they would not be able to provide food. However, in studies of the origins of gender, such as the one done by Sandra Bowdler and Jane Balme, they say:

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