October? I Hardly Know Them

Now that I’ve not only made an awful joke, but messed it up on purpose because it’s so awful, welcome to October! October is a hell of a month for me. Probably like most of you, I like Halloween season. I also like autumn. I got married on Halloween, so that means my anniversary is coming up.

Also, though, my dad died in October. And it’s usually midterms. And while I like the weather, it’s bad for this circulation problem I have in my feet, so I begin the long journey of wearing lined slippers until May basically.

But I’ve got a window open and I can hear wind in the bushes and trees, and also traffic which is less good but ok. This post is, like my recent work, more in the way of personal reflection. I like to use October as a chance to think through the year, in some ways. I’ll try to make sure there’s something useful in here as well though.

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Hanging around in the Turn of the Seasons

Or, the Equinox as a Necessary Breathing Space

As of my writing this, on Sept. 25, the Equinox has come and gone, though for many of us, stuck between tropical storms and perhaps even hurricanes, we still feel balanced between two winds pushing us in opposing directions. I, like many folk, observe the equinoxes, but perhaps in vaguer, and less powerful, ways than it deserves. So I thought I’d write about what I think it is and what it can mean to us. It’s the pause between things, after all — and I wonder if our cultural assumption that we have to be "always on" affects our enjoyment and use of what turns out to be a cosmic day of rest.

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Development, Tree Branches, and Justness

Let me tell you about the trees in my backyard. And then, I’ll tell you something about how to think of life, and why all these horticultural and biological metaphors I use matter.

I’ve written a lot — like a lot a lot — in the past year about a few things. Tarot is one. But another is the "ecosystem model" of magic and spirituality. I’m not sure yet if I’ve really said what I think the point is. I’ve talked about why using a gardening metaphor can helpfully complicate Hermeticism. I’ve written on how a strictly linear model of the universe ignores the world we actually live in. And so on, so forth.

But it’s worth asking, right? If I’m not insisting that this model is somehow more fundamentally correct than others, what’s the point? And I’m not insisting on that.

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The World is a Forest, Not a High Rise

This essay is on ontology, and anyone who’s spent five minutes talking with me knows that I don’t really care for that much. I find it, at best, irrelevant, and at worst actively pernicious, backing people into corners that they must then act from. Trying to figure out where something comes from, if it’s a constant, is much less useful than figuring out how to interact with it and how we tend to think of it.

However, this post is, as I said, just that. It’s not that I don’t have ideas about the spiritual ontology of the world, I just don’t prioritize them so much. This is more common than you might think: anthropologists have recorded some indigenous groups saying that they do technically have a creator god somewhere, but they’re not usually prayed to — to the point that many won’t know the god’s name. Now, please, keep in mind that’s some studies of some groups, not a blanket statement about all indigneous peoples. I’m just pointing it out to demonstrate that while I may be a crazy person, I’m not that crazy.

Basically, the problem for me with many contemporary religious, magical, and Hermetic conceptions of the source of all things, the capital g God. The Big Boss, is that, well, it’s a god, a Big Boss. This isn’t exactly rare. In fact, it’s fairly common. So when I say to you that I don’t find it satisfying, I’m not exactly criticizing anyone who does. This essay probably won’t change anybody’s mind. But all magicians should practice thinking with multiple world views when they get the chance, right?

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So I’m a queer druid I guess

I make no secret on my social media that I’m nonbinary, which I suppose qualifies me as a queer person. I’m not trying to nope out of that, I just have difficulty embracing it because it doesn’t seem like I’m queer enough to qualify. I could probably write a whole essay about that, but let’s do something more entertaining instead. I’d like to write about how a ritual is what made me realize that I’m nonbinary.

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Awen and Hermeticism

In this post I would like to lay out and juxtapose some terms from hermeticism and from contemporary Druidry. You can think of this as one big case study example of how companion planting can work. So there are two terms I want to lay out, and I apologize in advance, because they’re the most complex topics in the two traditions I’m writing about here. They are Awen and Nous.

The previous posts are here: one, two, and three, and four.

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Literature for Magicians: the Llyvyr Taliessin

The Book of Taliesin is a great collection of medieval poetry. You should read it on its own merits. But for this inaugural post of my series, Literature for Magicians, I’ll be focusing on ways that the Welsh bard’s poetry could be useful to you in a magical or ritual setting. From direct quotation to loose adaptation, the verses of The Book of Taliesin can be incorporated in a variety of ways.

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The Postmodern Druid: Anti-Academic Bias

If you take a look at my About page, you can see that I’m an academic as well as a magician and all around weirdo. I also recently declared myself a druid I’m trying it on and seeing how it fits. So far it works for me better than Wicca did. However, even in such a great overall community there’s still some anti-academic bias. And that, for obvious reasons, makes me feel a bit odd. So I thought I’d address that here, in a semi-regular series I’ve been considering for a while. So here’s the first entry in The Postmodern Druid.

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The Summer Solstice and Anglo-Saxon Poetry

…or how to make a diy ritual when the cookbook won’t do

The Summer Solstice approaches. This should be going out on the day before, but if you live ahead of EDT(US) then you may already be in there. If so, happy solstice! If, like me, you’re still waiting, happy solstice eve! The difficulty with the solar festivals, for me, is how exactly to celebrate them. Halloween, Yule, I know how to celebrate those. So, often, the solstices and equinoxes don’t get the same pomp and circumstance in my house. I wanted to change that this year.

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