Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mummy issues for Christmas

Picture: Virgin & Child, painted by Adolf Hitler. Credit: Wikimedia
True to form, I'm not avoiding the difficult matters for the festal season. Yes, I'm using the Christmas word: my usual disenchantment with 'the Pagan community' pushes me into using the name for this feast of the predominant surrounding milieu. And of course that's the point of this post. Christians like to make out that Christ is the 'reason for the season'. And of course they're dead wrong. The reason for the season is the darkness. And we witches know you can't have darkness without its polar opposite, light, right kids?
But the image which illustrates this post has become a more common image of this season since the Christians came along, & interestingly brings with it one of the most complicated human relationships possible. The Christians, of course, have a slight difficulty with the apparent lack of femininity in their divinity, which is accounted for usually by Mary, or the image of the church as the spouse of Christ. The witches, as among those who have 'reclaimed' the feminine divine in the twentieth century, have exactly the opposite problem: we risk mummy issues creeping into our either bisexual or completely feminine perception of divinity. That said, mummy issues are almost the definitive feature of the witch:
'"I have found that people who know that they are preferred or favored by their mothers give evidence in their lives of a peculiar self-reliance and an unshakeable optimism which often bring actual success to their possessors."' (
You will note that I'm using the phrase 'mummy issues' quite differently from its normal sense of a heterosexual man without a mother figure in his early years, who looks for a woman who will fill that void. it is only my personal opinion but I find it quite creepy the way straight men can both want sex & to be - almost - mothered by their lovers. That is my stereotyped perception of a particular human relationship seen from the outside. The stereotype extends to homosexual men having over-involved mothers. In fact both straight & gay men can have over- or under-interested mothers & thus various mummy issues.
This festival has therefore become one marking the *most* complicated relationship we humans have. Of course I'm sitting here secure in the knowledge that I'll never have children to fuck up, although I did manage to turn a nervous stray cat into a relaxed, happy old man. The whole tone for upbringing is set by the parents, the 'blame' will always somehow land there, they will always get it wrong to various degrees.
I hope, as a witch, I can sit with the fact that this relationship will never be 'right'. However if nothing else, I will not play at happy families - that is the way of falsehood & further screwiness.
Happy festival - go on, upset a relative. It's strangely liberating.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Second-hand Tarot Decks? You Bet!

I wasn't going to comment on the hiatus that has occurred on this blog, since I refuse to be a slave to my blog, as well as to everything else. However, the reason for it has been the upheaval of having my old ginger tom cat put down, finding a flat on the other side of the city to rent, selling my house, having the estate agents make the most incredible balls up. It's customary to leave a house secured after a viewing - naturally I went in there like the wrath of G*ddess the next day. I moved out in a hurry so that my stuff wouldn't be there when they were conducting viewings. A sum of money has been mentioned (by me) as compensation: normally I wouldn't do that but naturally if I was ever in need of spare cash it's now. This sum of money has not been forthcoming, so they're just going to have to take the consequences of doing wrong by the friendly neighbourhood witch.
The house sold (at auction). Of course it did. It flew off the catalogue like it was going out of fashion. My motto at the moment is 'come on, universe, look after your witch,' & this certainly seems to be exactly what is happening. Everything I need is falling into my lap at the exact right moment. I've even settled down remarkably well into my little rented flat over a shop: I slept remarkably well right from the start, even at one point sleeping through the road being dug up outside in the night!
One of the gifts the universe has given me is a tarot deck I have never had before - the 1JJ Swiss tarot - which I found in a charity shop for £1.50. Incidentally, I'm aware that the way I phrased that inclines towards the difficult question of why bad things happen to people - my own opinion as a working witch is that life is too damn short to worry why, the witch's role is to turn disasters round into opportunity!
The received occult wisdom is that everything used in magic should be new. 'Virgin', as it were. Just a word of caution - go down that route if you want, but you'd better be a stock investor, banker, or, for preference, have a private income with endless leisure to pursue magic. There are genuinely some wealthy, leisured people who pursue magic that way nowadays - I think they constitute the opposite end of a polar spectrum from my approach.
There is an obvious reason why 'everything new' need not be the rule for a competent magical person. I would expect a basic competence to be to sense an atmosphere or history in a place, person, or object. The way in which people would do this may vary, but the way I do it is just a feel. My 'just know' has never been wrong yet, & I don't use anything I don't like the feel of. This is completely subjective, but that's the point.
Another reason not to reject used magical implements, is that it is to miss a possible opportunity to make a connection with a magical ally. We all value family things for the connection they have, but there is more to family than flesh & blood, more to the Great Coven, or Red Thread, than meetings on this plane & they should not be despised.
The 1JJ Swiss deck is going to take some getting used to - obviously it's the universe's way of inviting me to further reflection & development. I'm delighted to find that it's a deck intended for game play of two games in a particular area ( and from whence I get the explanation of the JJ name:
'Troccas decks are sometimes called "1JJ" or "Jupiter and Juno" decks because they substitute Jupiter and Juno for the Pope and Papess of the Tarot of Marseilles.'
In fact it has all sorts of things about it to like from my point of view, including non-reversible minors. It isn't quite as non-reversible as the Italian decks I've written about before, but I'm still looking forward to getting to know it better:
'The deck is derived from the Tarot de Besançon which itself comes from the Tarot de Marseille. It is an Italian suited pack which substitutes the figures of Juno and Jupiter in place of the Popess and Pope of the Tarot de Marseille. The cards are not reversible and both the trumps and pip cards use Roman numeral indexing. The lack of modern features like reversibility, corner indices, and Arabic numerals has made this deck unpopular for game playing and is now mostly used for cartomancy. It is still the official deck for Troccas tournaments.'