Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Holy Moly!

I mentioned last week that I was much enamored of Circe, the Witch Queen of Aeaea, and the more I learn and work with her, the more in love I fall.  Today, I want to talk in detail about her first meeting with Odysseus.  Homer tells us the story from Odysseus's point of view, but imagine it from hers.  For eons, she has been alone, with her waiting women, waiting for a man long foretold, one who could withstand her.  But, century after century, he never came.  Others came, boats and boats of them; rough, animalistic men, weak-willed and limp-dicked men who could neither challenge nor satisfy her.  Swine.

But one day, swore the Great God Hermes, a man would come to her from Troy, and finally be her equal.  When Odysseus, bolstered by the herb moly, does not crumple in the face of her magic, she rejoices, saying Who art thou among men, and from whence? Where is thy city, and where thy parents? Amazement holds me that thou hast drunk this charm and wast in no wise bewitched. For no man else soever hath withstood this charm, when once he has drunk it, and it has passed the barrier of his teeth. Nay, but the mind in thy breast is one not to be beguiled.  Surely thou art Odysseus, the man of ready device, who Argeiphontes(1) of the golden wand ever said to me would come hither on his way home from Troy with his swift, black ship. Nay, come, put up thy sword in its sheath, and let us two then go up into my bed, that couched together in love we may put trust in each other."  (Argeiphontes, which means "Argus Slayer", is a cult title of Hermes)

The two fall thoroughly in love, and Odysseus tarries on Aeaea for a year before his men convince his to set forth again.  And so she sends him once more to sea, well supplied and advised, but not before she teaches him how to seek the wisdom he needs in the underworld.

If you would like to work with Circe too, might I recommend this amazing incense from Mastros & Zealot: Witches for Hire?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Circe: Queen of the Witching Isle

Circe, by Wright Barker (1889)

Recently, I've been doing a lot of work with Circe, the Witch of the Odyssey.   Circe is one of my favorite Witch Queens; her very name, which means “falcon” bespeaks the “magic circle”.   Hesiod and Homer both say that she, and her brother Aeëtes, are the children of Perse (Okeanos’ daughter) and Helios. Some others say she is the daughter of Hekate and Aeëtes, or even Hekate and Hermes. Personally, I think she is the daughter of Helios, fostered and taught in the arts of the Witch by her half-sister Hekate.  In any case, like almost every Witch Queen, she has an inheritance of both luminance and depth.  

She is best known for her role in the Odyssey, where she is described as beautiful, seductive, clever, and dangerous. When Odysseus and his warriors come to her enchanted isle, she bewitches his companions with a magic potion, turning them to pigs. Following advice from Hermes, Odysseus counters her enchantment with the sacred herb moly.  After some sexual escapades, Odysseus and Circe become allies; he remains on her island for a full year, while she is pregnant with their son. During this time, Circe taught Odysseus to enter into the Underworld, there to seek the guidance he required to make his way home.

Her island, Αἰαία (Eëa), was magical in and of itself.  It's exact location is unknown.  Many writers, over the millennia, have tried to identify it as some particular Mediterranean island, but I think it exists only in a time and space apart from our world, afloat in the great River Okeanos, who encircles the world, accessible only from the Other Place.  I believe it to be a great center of teaching, where the sisterhood of Witches that begins with Gaia, Phoebe and Hekate, and continues through Circe, Iphigenia, and Medea continues to learn and to teach.  I have been there in my dreams, and I encourage you to seek it out as well.  To that end, I have created this mandala-esque sigil ikon for Circe, and the Isle of Eëa.  The words in the background read: "Circe, Witch Goddess of the Holy Isle, First Priestess of Eëa, I beg to learn at your feet. Admit me to your circle. Take me as your daughter."



Watch for more Circe-related work and offerings over the next week or two.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Magus Maximus Competition

Mastros & Zealot: Witches for Hire are proud to announce our

Magus Maximus competition!

While, obviously, Mastros & Zealot is a for-profit endeavor, our primary mission is Magical Poetics and the Re-enchantment of the World. To that end, we sponsor this competition, to bring out the best competitive spirit in our fellow magicians, and simply encourage there to be more magic in the world.

The current prize pool is $23 in cash, $111 in custom sorcery from Mastros & Zealot, one free Tai Chi or Magic class from Sifu Eric Randolph of The Tao Applied in Pittsburgh, a blessed "Hermes, Lord of the Game" candle, and the right to call yourself an official Magus Maximus World Champion.   Prizes will be split among all winners. Winners outside the United States will need to pay shipping on any mailable prizes. If you would like to contribute magic, cash, or prizes to the prize pool, send me a message.

Entering the content is 100% FREE but all entries must be public, except in Earth, which you may enter secretly.  You may, if you wish, enter in each category.  Winners will be announced at the Spring Equinox.

Ways to enter:

EARTH: In the Buried Heart of the Witch House, there is an earthen shaft connecting the Land Below with the Sky. Within the shaft, in a box that once held Ashanti gold, there lies a scroll. On the scroll is written a name. Tell us the name. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR, there is an actual box, with an actual scroll, on which is written an actual name, hidden in this house. Fly in spirit to find it. Every correct answer is a winner, but the name will change each time someone wins. People who have a key to the Witch House are not eligible for this contest.

AIR: Write and publish (here on our page, on a blog, or in a run of at least 100 distributed print copies) a poem, song, short story, play, invocation, essay or other art of words about a competition between magicians. Encode within your words magic to win this competition. Winner(s) will be selected by popular acclaim.

WATER: Create and publically exhibit (digitally or otherwise) a visual work of art (painting, sculpture, photography, video, etc) that glorifies Hermes, Lord of Games. Encode within the image magic to win this competition by currying favor of Hermes, Lord of Games. Winner(s) will be selected by popular acclaim.

FIRE: Best our champion,  Simon Zealot, in a public contest of martial magic. Contact Simon to set the terms of your duel and make arrangements.



Friday, February 3, 2017

House Protection

I haven't been posting here as much, you should check out Mastros & Zealot: Witches for Hire on facebook if you want to follow along with more of my day to day magic, or take a look at our website to see our professional offerings.  In any case, today I wanted to write some about a super easy, very traditional type of house protection magic, the door cross.  Here's a photo of my front door, with its new crosses:

The first step is to prepare cascarilla powder, which is simply powdered white eggs shells.  (brown eggs won't work for this)  I always save my shells in the container as I use the eggs, which means I'm pretty much always grinding up a dozen at a time, but you can make smaller batches.  No, the shells don't smell as you save them, (1) because it's refrigerated, and (2) because the little bit of raw egg inside the shell dries up too fast.   For this project, you'll probably need about 4 egg shells.  Rinse the eggshells, and then put them in the oven for about 15 minutes (to completely sterilize any membrane left inside them.  I grind mine in a coffee grinder, but you can use a mortar and pestle if you don't have a grinder.  I recommend crushing them small by hand before putting them in the grinder.  Grind them as fine as you can.  If you want, you can add baking powder and water to make a dough, and dry that to make a sort of chalk.  But, for this, all you need is the ground egg-shells.

Once the powder is made, you'll want to mix some of the cascarilla and a little bit of plain table salt into some white paint.  The type of paint isn't too important.  I used cheap acrylic craft paint, the kind that costs $1 a bottle.  My front door is under a porch and has a glass storm door.  If yours is exposed to the weather, you probably want to use exterior latex paint.  The proportions also aren't terribly important.  You want enough cascarilla & salt to make sure all the paint is "infused", but not enough to mess up the texture of the paint too much.

Awaken the paint mixture in the usual fashion, calling out to its constituents to do their work.

Next, you'll want to make a stamp.   I used a kitchen sponge (the kind that are soft when dry).  I freehanded the cross with a sharpie, and then cut it out with scissors.  I wanted mine to look "primitive", so I didn't bother with doing too good of a job with it.  You could, obviously, make a much better stamp, or even use a professionally made one, if you wanted, but I like the way mine came out.  Stamp crosses onto each corner of the door.  Personally, I think white crosses on a red door are best, but I admit that's largely an aesthetic decision.  Red, blue, black, or white crosses on a white door would also be fine.  I also put three crosses by the knob and the deadbolt, but it depends on how your door is laid out.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Hekate's Cake



Hekate taught me a recipe that she likes as an offering.  It's a sort of garlic bread pudding, similar to skorthalia, but baked.  I cannot say how much of these instructions are particular to the current contents of my kitchen and what could be changed and have it still retain its integrity:



In the largest red bowl combine:
about half a loaf of very stale&dry white bread
whole milk to cover.
1 stick butter, melted.
garlic.  much garlic (about 2/3 of a cup)
1 handful dry dittany of crete, crushed
a glop of honey (about 1/3 cup)
let it sit for a while until the bread gets soggy
add two large white eggs
no salt, save what is in the butter

mix it all together, and then put in a cobalt glass loaf pan.
bake until it is golden.
Serve this to Me and eat of it yourself.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ragnarokkr 2017


Mastros & Zealot: Witches for Hire are pleased to announce our first game of 2017, Ragnarokkr, opening on New Year's Day.


This is a story of Loki and Thor, abroad in the world of the Svartálfar, running the Midgard serpent's back, Asgard up in flames as seven nations attack, first Kemetica, then Bharata, then Shamballa after that, the Middle Kingdom, Turtle Island, the Inuit Nunaat, the call of Ragnarokk moves even the People of the Dream, for the Twilight of the Gods, you see, is just the Darkening of the Supreme.

This story begins then with Loki and Thor, abroad in the world of the Svartálfar, the first in pursuit of knowledge forbidden, the secord just searching for something worth hitting, but what they discover instead is a parallel world, where the dark elven banners had never unfurled, and so they come here with Odin, and join a new God called Christ, as Ragnarock is replaced by Christmas, and all the elves are put on ice.

This, then, is a story of a parallel earth, of the origins of Christmas long before the Virgin birth, of a dark and secret gnosis behind Santa Claus's girth, for those who see only the cost of things, but no longer feel its worth.

Imagine a world where Egypt never fell, where the Roman Empire never rose to prominence, where Monotheism never spread.  Imagine a world where psychic magician-priests rule.  That land is Nykia, and Nykia is at war.  As refugees flee, war begins to spill into our world.  Loki and Thor are the first (they think) to discover our world.  The Shifty Eyed Allfather, a curse be on his name, abandoned his Asgard and came here, a world where the gods have been made weak, and the people complacent, and he begins to build an empire.  Under his banner, the light-skinned peoples of the North prepare themselves for war.  

For six months, as the Light grows ever stronger, Mastros & Zealot are going to war.  Will you follow the One Eyed Invader, or will you flock with us to the banner of the Old Powers of Our Earth, making war on White Supremacy?

January First, the War Begins.


#Ragnarokkr2017                        #TheDarkeningoftheSupremacy                  #OldPowersRise


Friday, December 23, 2016

Krampus & Perchta

krampas title page copy.jpg


By request, a Strategic Sorcery style Global Ritual. Printable version here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_upeofrIpFJalRLSWg5WDJwZjg



Instructions
This ritual is best performed between Wednesday, December 21 and Sunday, December 25th.  The night of Friday the 23rd is ideal.  However, the ritual can performed whenever you want.  The rite can be adapted for your own use.  

Necessary Tools
  • A single-sided paper printout of this ritual (save it as a talisman)
  • 2 candles; dark green and “forest” scented is ideal.
  • Buttered bread with honey.  The shiniest, prettiest, darkest red apple you can find.  If you were poisoning Snow White, what kind of apple would you want?  Pick that one.
  • Red Wine, Dark Beer, Apple Cider, or WHOLE Milk (skim milk is worse than nothing)
  • A small pile of coins.  Gold Sacagawea dollars are especially nice for this.  You will NOT get your coins back.

Optional Tools
  • Mask
  • Antlers / Horns
  • Evergreen boughs
  • Staff or Stick (Birch is best.  Anything will do, except Holly.)
  • Ivy crown
  • A feast.  Roast a whole goat on a spit!
  • Friends / co-Workers
  • Breakable chains

Before Beginning
  • Spend some time collecting your thoughts, and reviewing 2016.  
  • Think of times you’ve been very generous.
  • Think of times you’ve been fully sincere.
  • Think of times you’ve been very peaceful.
  • Think of times you’ve been very brave.  
  • Think about things that have been holding you back; chains you’d like to be freed from.  Write them on the last page.




Opening

Begone Crass Commercial Ploy!
Begone Sanctimonious Spoiler!
Begone Santa!  Begone Christ!
Welcome to the Sylvan Knotty!
Goodbye to the Saccharine Nice!

Bang your stick three times. (or stamp your feet)

I bless this sacred glade, set apart in Time and Space.
The Forest Primeval weaves a fairy ring around me,
where Wood and Spirits embrace.
Now is EveryWhen.

Light the candles.


pan corner.jpg
Call

Perchta!  White Cloaked Lady of the Winter Wood!  
Goosefooted Goddess of Snow and Frost!  
Rewarder of Magnanimity!  Punisher of Greed!
Rewarder of Sincerity!  Punisher of Thieves!
Dark Winter Queen,
Come to me!  Be with me!  
Inspire me!  Bless me!

Krampus!  Ram-Horned Lord of the Winter Wood!  
Goat-legged God of Ivy and Birch!
Rewarder of Carelessness!  Punisher of Heed!
Rewarder of Bravery!  Punisher of Misdeed!
Light Winter King,
Come to me!  Be with me!  
Inspire me!  Bless me!

Wicked Wild Winter Wood, Whispering Winds and Wandering Ways,
Weave your Web of Wondrous Wyrd!
Goblins, Boggins, Hobs, and Sprites; woodland Puck, and spring heeled Jack,
Come and join our Saturnalian feast!
The reward for heroic slack!

Pour drink.  Pour honey over bread





Chant
Drum a steady beat with your stick.


Perchta, Krampus, Wild Wood,
Winter Queen and King.


Repeat the chant until you feel overtaken by you inner Wyld.  
You may find your tempo and volume increasing to a frenzied crescendo.
ExStasis
Offerings

Perchta, I am generous!  (cite an example of your generosity)
Perchta, I am sincere! (cite an example of your sincerity)
Bless me with wealth and health and all good things.  
Make me an instrument of inspiration!  

Krampus, I am at peace! (cite an example of your peaceable ways)
Krampus, I am brave! (cite and example of your bravery)  
Bless me with clarity and tranquility and all good things.  
Make me an instrument of inspiration!  

Bless these coins, so that they may spread your generosity, peace, and inspiration.

Wicked Wild Winter Wood!  
I free you from your chains!
Wicked Wild Winter Wood!
Free me from my chains!

Burn the last page of this pamphlet

Euoi!
Euoi!
Euoi!



Denouement

Laugh, sing, dance, and cavort until you no longer can.  This is not optional.

Before New Years, give the coins away to beggars, or leave them where someone in need will find them.  DO NOT put them in a Salvation Army kettle, or any other collection related to Jesus or Santa.  

Place the offerings out in the woods.  If you have no woods near you, choose the most wild place that you can find.  If, for whatever reason, you cannot make food offerings, make a monetary offering to a charity that protects the wilds.  Really, this is a good idea, even if you do make food offerings.




The Thirteen Nights of Krampusmas

Aubrey Beardsley - Le Morte d'Arthur_65.jpg

On the 13th night of Krampusmas  
the Old Claw ordered we...

13) Fight against the dark god,

12) Prepare ourselves for battle,

11) Dance with maenad ladies,

10) Liberate the slave elves,

9) Escape from the Pale Warden,

8) Give unto the needy,

7) Love the strangest stranger,

6) Join our hearts and voices-

5) STOP. BUYING. THINGS.

4) Seek the Mysteries,

3) Run through the forest,

2) Declaring all our loves,

  1. While cosplaying the Krampus Army.

chains.jpg