Archive for July, 2014

No Pentacle for Me, Thanks

Week 31 (P): on why I don’t wear a pentacle

I don’t wear the eye-catching pentacle anymore, but I used to. When I first came to the Pagan path, the pentacle was one of the most visible indicators I could find to proclaim my witchiness. As a result, I clung to it for years. I wanted to be able to recognize other witches in public, and to have them recognize me, so I always kept an eye out for someone wearing a pentacle. My heart jumped every time I saw someone wearing one. Then, upon striking up a conversation in hopes I’d meet a like-minded witchy person, I would inevitably be disappointed.

my faith is not your shitty fashion statement

my faith is not your shitty diy fashion statement

As the years have passed, I’ve come to realize that a pentacle is a less than reliable indicator of whether or not I actually want to interact with the person wearing it. The people who wear pentacles that I’ve run into are, by and large, wearing it solely for shock value. I’m not interested in meeting those kinds of people; I spent enough time with them as a teenager hanging out at Hot Topic.

as always, Fuck Yeah Wiccan Raven is on point

as always, Fuck Yeah Wiccan Raven is on point

By contrast, when I encounter someone wearing the triple goddess symbol, I have generally gotten along with that person swimmingly. This isn’t to say that everybody who wears a pentacle is an idiot and everyone who wears the triple moon is awesome. But as far as my experiences go, that’s generally proved true. Of course, now I wear a tiny pentacle ring, which changes things a bit. But it’s usually the ostentatious pentacle-wearers you have to watch out for. Subtlety in jewelry choice appears to have a pretty solid causal relationship with whether or not I want to talk to you.

In Loving Memory of Margot Adler

I learned this morning that Margot Adler died (via Patheos). I remember buying Drawing Down the Moon in a Texas bookstore and being so delighted that I finally had a copy of my own. Like many other excellent pagan authors, Adler made an impression on me and many others. I am proud to say that it is due in part to her writing that I became more introspective about my chosen path, which has lead me to a greater and deeper faith.


May she pass peacefully into Summerland and her next life. Gone from our lives, never from our hearts. Blessed Be.

Brian Froud’s Faerie Oracle Cards

Week 30 (O): an exploration of Brian Froud’s Faery Oracle Cards

This deck isn’t tarot per se, but it’s definitely tarot-adjacent. Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth created this deck, with Froud doing the illustrations and Macbeth responsible for the handy little book that comes with it. This deck came out over a decade ago and I bought it around that time. I didn’t use it for many years, then one full moon picked it up and started using it. There are plenty of general reviews of this deck. This is not one of those reviews. I’m writing about this deck specifically in terms of my relationship to it.


The Oracle Cards are beautiful, miniature works of art laid out neatly on slightly-oversized cards. This deck appeals to my inner child, as I was obsessed with faeries when I was younger. I still really enjoy mythology about the Fae, both old stories and new retellings (looking at you Laurell K. Hamilton). These cards are, if nothing else, a treat to look at. Someone recently recommended that I try tarot meditation, where you focus on one card and use it as a door. I think that would be a thoroughly interesting experience with this deck, and hope to try it soon.


One thing Dianne Sylvan points out is that this deck rarely gives a straight answer, something I’ve also found to be true. It’s actually one of the things I find particularly charming about the deck: like faeries, this deck wants nothing to do with logic. It does what it damn well pleases, so you best get on board with that. Because the deck is unlike traditional tarot, I find it’s optimal for one card draws or three card spreads (which are what I like to do with tarot cards anyway so that suits me fine).

I use The Faeries’ Oracle less regularly now than I once did, since I really like my tarot deck, but I still pluck a card from time to time, and it’s always got some interesting messages for me. I don’t have ample talent as an oracle to begin with, but I still appreciate the cards in and of themselves.

Further Reading

Buy The Faeries’ Oracle direct from Froud

Dianne Sylvan’s review of the deck

The Green Man Review’s notes about the deck

Jessica Macbeth talks about the deck’s origins

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Week 29 (O): how [not] to come out of the broom closet

There are good and bad ways to come out of the closet, and I’m about to share some excellent advice* with you. This post was originally inspired by an old post I stumbled across back in the day, when Livejournal was the place where all the cool kids hung out. Since then, I’ve read many pieces on coming out of the broom closet and figured it was about time I added my $0.02 to the pot.

1) When coming out to your family, be sure to do so at the dinner table. Bonus points if you pray first, and explain later.


2) When someone shouts at you that being pagan is a terrible decision, be sure to remind them that they have to accept it (or else).


3) Before you come out of the broom closet, buy the biggest pentacle you can find and wear it often. This will ease the transition and get you the attention you want.


4) Constantly remind everyone that black cats are the most magic and that you’ll only ever have black cats because you’re a Real Witch™.


5) Also remind everyone that you are not doing the Devil’s work but instead are an angel of light.


6) Arguing with people on the internet about what real witches do and do not do is a rite of passage. Go forth!


7) People who have been Pagan way longer than you don’t actually know anything. Don’t ask any of them for advice** because they’re snarky bastards who will make fun of you in blog posts (guilty as charged).


8) Make sure to stress how you are the Only True Witch, while thoroughly shittalking*** other people who are also new to Paganism and making the same mistakes as you.


9) Plan your coming out for a major holiday. Bonus points if it’s a parent’s or relative’s birthday. After all, the most important person in this process is YOU.


10) Expect the timeline for everyone to get used to the idea of you being Pagan to be approximately one week. After that, be sure to express your supreme irritation and disgust with anyone who asks questions about your new identity.


11) Be prepared to answer everyone’s questions. Bonus points if you sound like you swallowed a Silver Ravenwolf book when you do answer. (Be sure to use Hermione Granger’s cadence when lecturing others! The Muggles usually aren’t capable of understanding, but give it a shot anyway.)


12) Speaking of Hermione, draw a great many comparisons between your faith and Harry Potter. It will help everybody understand****.


13) Every time you introduce yourself to a new person, proclaim your Paganism. “Hi, I’m So-and-so, and guess what? You just shook hands with a really powerful witch! [So don’t screw with me.]”


Too mean? Probably. All joking? Of course. Mostly.


* Not actually excellent advice, unless all your family and closest friends appreciate snark as much as I do.

** Seriously tongue in cheek. Many older Pagans can and do give excellent advice. Ask with an open heart, and be sure you’re not starting from a place of ignorance. If you say something stupid, or you get told, apologize. Be humble, as you are the seeker.

*** If this isn’t actually a word, it should be.

**** Actually, it will help most people roll their eyes at you.