Invocations, Old Words, and Creativity

Dear Friends,

I have had the words, well mostly one of the choruses, of the old British folk and busking/begging song Tom O’ Bedlam stuck in my head for a couple of days now.

Still I sing Boys, Bonny Mad Boys

Bedlam Boys are Bonny

For they all go bare and they live by the air,

and They want no drink nor money

I blame Veles, who was apparently similarly afflicted and posted to his Facebook…

Oh Tom o’Bedlam, get out of my head!

Some discussion ensued and, realizing I had only heard snippets over the years in my wanderings through sci-fi/fantasy and Renfair geek-dom,  I researched the piece, and looked up all the lyrics and listened to several versions online….  Enjoying the flexibility of the song and how many different directions you can take these old words…

Ever since Veles (because, again it is his fault) got me stuck on this song I have been thinking how by adjusting the verses and some of the various choruses (and possibly adding one or two relevant verses) you could take this song and transform it into a very powerful Mummers interlude during a Yuletide potluck feast, or a Mummers Parade around Samhain, or an Invocation of The Horned God and the Wild Hunt at either of the above Sabbats are all interesting possibilities.

Some of the inspiration for this comes from reading a LOT of Traditional Witchcraft material in the last month, Huson and Paddon and Cochrane and Jones oh my!  Some of this inspiration has probably been stirred up by Dver’s diverse posts over on A Forrest Door on mumming and masking (here, here and here) that she shared near the turning of the Calendar Year…

One of the elements that can make a ritual powerful, one of the things that can make it Ritual and empower true Magick, is repetition or age.   This is why old and oft repeated rituals have a certain power, they’ve had time to inscribe themselves into the warp and weft of things….  rituals, like the Catholic Mass, or the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the casting of Circles or the invocation of Watchtowers; this is also part of what empowers some of the ancient stories and songs such as the works of Shakespear, and passages from the Norse Saga’s, or the Homeric Hymns, have had time to work themselves into the warp and the weft of things and reach what I tend to think of as the Graphic User Interface stage of magick and ritual.

So by bringing in Poetry and Song and Language and rituals with some age to it, or simply by figuring out what works best for you and going with it, you can end up drawing on the power of meanings built up over time; with yourself and your group as the lenses through which that deep magick is focused…

As an example of the flexibility of the piece, and the many different moods one could take one written source (either ancient, or modern, or one that blends the two…) We have…

A late 1960’s folk-rock rendition…

A 1980’s sounding version with overtones of Synth and New Age Music…

A gloriously over the top spoken word version….

And a Japanese Math Rock band which, while some of the pronunciations are a bit surreal has captured a delightful mood…

or for invoking Dionysus perhaps fabulous almost rockabilly version…

Peace, and creativity,


A plea for less spellwork…

Hello folks,

So I went to that open moon circle sponsored by WRCF that I mentioned a couple of days ago.  It was a lovely night.  A good Circle, if small in attendance, and I got the chance to heal a misunderstanding with someone in my local community; so I can truly say that I was blessed that night.  Lord Luminhawke did an excellent job Priesting the Circle and I had a really nice time.

It’s just,… well, I have this pet peeve….

There was a spell working as part of the Circle.  I have nothing agianst spell working, necesarilly.   It’s just that my take on Circles is that Personal Magic or Spell work in the Esbat Circle is that it should be for need, not a required part of the service, as it seems to be so often when I attend an Open Moon Circle or Sabbat wherever I go.

Shouldn’t it be magic enough that we come together in religious fellowship seeking, and achieving, in ritual a moment of gnosis through united prayer and offerings and communion? Must we always have spell-work at open ebats and sabbats?

Of course, maybe this is just me.  I’m sure it doesn’t help my attitude that it seems like the ‘write things you want, or want to get rid of, and we will burn it’ spell form is the required spell for open Esbats and Sabbats.

As I said, this is a pet peeve of mine.  Lord Luminhawke did a great job with the Circle and also did something that impressed the heck out of me…

See, Luminhawke is one of the folks who has vollunteered to host the Open Moon Circles for WRCF.   He mentioned to those attending that he would be willing to help them consecrate any tools that they may feel the need for help with, anytime he is priesting the Open Moon Circle.  That just seemed especially classy and decent to me!

Anyway, Peace,


Friday the 13th

~There is a part of my soul that revels in Friday the 13ths. I think part of it is the idea that 13 is a lucky number for witches… which may or may not be ridiculous depending on your point of view. I know that in discussions of Karma and the Rule of Three Doreen Valiente thought it ridiculous that people should think the universe had a special law just for witches…

~On the other hand, for me, it does seem that since we commemorate 13 silver moons in a year that 13 has a different connotation for witches and wiccans than for most folks. It’s kind of like being out and about at night and looking up and seeing the moon in it’s particular phase and smilling to yourself cause of your own relationship and mental associations with the Moon and Her phases.

~I also find myself thinking about the many occasions through out the year when we as Pagans and Witches and Wiccans COULD choose to come together. Friday the 13th’s, Arbor Day, Earth Day, 4th of July (or the independance day of your particular country), Veterans Day, Memorial Day…. there are a lot of times throughout the year that we as acommunity could choose to come together and commemorate that we don’t…. why?

~Back to today… I have blogged a bit on my blogs, and am wandering the net and getting ready to type up some homework… but I don’t have anything really special planned. But it’s the 13th…perhaps I shall light a Dragons Blood candle and meditate upon witchy thoughts and pagan ponderings for a while thisevening… with a nice cup of tea perhaps…

Happy Friday 13th everyone!



Todays goings on & thoughts on public ritual

So I am fighting off a sinus cold and trying to gear up to work on school work and some personal projects. The school work is for the 6-week restaurant front of house course, the personal projects are designing a community building themed ritual for Lammas (for myself currently but it’s something I want to have in my repetoire in the new year), this leads me to some thoughts on public ritual.

~First off, despite it’s beauty and power, I really do not think that the standard Wiccan Esbat/Sabbat ritual form is necessarily practical for a public rite. The Esbat/Sabbat right was designed for a small, well-acquainted, working group, who has worked to develop a group mind.

~One of the most moving and personally powerful public rites I ever had the privilege to attend was the Anchorage 2005 Pagan Pride ritual organized and priested by Guilford and Danielle, a druid and a heathen respectively. It was simple, effective, and deeply moving. It was elegant in its simplicity and it came from the heart.

~I sometimes think that the Standard Wiccan Format for ritual can get in the way for those who are either a) not Wiccan, or b) off a differing trad from the host group/ritualists. Of course I also think that sometimes we don’t do enough to lay out the what and why of public rituals. For their weekly services a lot of Christian Churches will have a small flier outline that weeks hymns, music, sermon, and affiliated activities like bible-study and pot luck. Why can’t we have that?

~ Think about it you go to a public ritual and you get a little pamphlet letting you know the basic structure of the esbat/sabbat and why it’s set up that way, what sort of audience participation was involved and how the ritualist envisioned it, and maybe some advice on who to talk to about what and when the potluck feast was and such. At a number of the public rituals I have attended this sort of thing could really have made a difference between a good ritual and a rite of power.

That’s all for now. I will probably have more to say on public rituals later.