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Trois, Tres, Three!

Week 39 (T): a rambly sort of post about the significance and beauty of the number three (3)

I’ve previously written about the Rule of Three, but what about other things that come in threes? Turns out there’s more than I thought. Here’s a brief, slightly rambling list about witchy things that come in threes.

Three

While looking at Wikipedia’s entry about the writing principle called the rule of three (I got lost on the way to the page about the witchy version of the rule of three), I discovered the Latin phrase “omne trium perfectum”. This translates to either “every set of three is complete” or “everything that comes in threes is perfect”. For some reason, upon reading this my first thought was of the Triple Goddess. I think this phrase is also a reminder that while bad things come in threes, good things do too.

The second thing is this poem from “the Scottish Play” (yes, I’m superstitious). Shakespeare is a genius, but these three lines from the witches are just particularly phenomenal. Maybe it’s a little cheesy and overly theatrical, but sometimes I use this verse to seal a spell. It’s just so perfect. And old poems always somehow feel like they hold more power than ones that have been written more recently.

Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! The charm’s wound up.
         – Shakespeare
Since this is a post about the power of the number three, I’ll just make this a quick list of three things. One of my pretty kitty girls is a tricolor cat, sometimes also called a calico. Maya is white, black, and an orange-brown. What’s fascinating to me about tricolor cats is that they’re considered lucky in quite a few different cultures. The Japanese maneki neko (translation: beckoning cat) is also most commonly tricolored. I’ve been feeling very blessed to have a lucky cat in my house. Things have been a little rough, so I need all the luck I can get.
I know last week was the week I said I’d be back to a normal posting routine, but let’s just try to make it this week instead shall we?
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Throwin’ Some Major Side-Eye

Deviating from the Pagan Blog Project yet again because I read this thing and needed to process. As a precursor to this post: in general, I like XoJane, maybe more than I should. But an article I found there earlier today (“I’m Building My Very First Wiccan Shrine – Here’s How”) left a bad taste in my mouth. And not just because of that awful title! Let’s just take a gander shall we?

The author starts the article by identifying Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” as the definitive guide “for us hermetic, aspiring witches”. By hermetic, I hope she’s referencing the “ancient occult traditions” definition, rather than the more commonly known “completely sealed/airtight” one. Mistake #1 (word usage notwithstanding), she conflates Wiccans and witches. I am not a Wiccan, but I’ve known enough and seen enough internet fights to be reasonably sure in asserting that this is incorrect. Many Wiccans would find the conflation insulting.

Except I am.

Except that I actually am.

Mistake #2: “Wicca is a gorgeous religion.” Seriously, who says crap like that? This is where I really started to get annoyed. My faith is not here for you to admire. I don’t do this so you can look at something pretty. This is what I believe. It runs deep in the bone. My identity as a witch is not a fashion statement.

The author says she read a lot, but lists no other sources and appears to be completely ignorant of most things. I will give her props that she can quote Scott Cunningham like a boss, but one book does not a witch make. And one book certainly doesn’t make you qualified to write a how to article on the faith you’re publicly claiming.

Fairuza Balk begs to differ

Fairuza Balk begs to differ

Mistake #3: “It’s about becoming friends with these universal forces, feeling supported and loved by these natural energies, and better understanding your tiny little place in this big-ass world. It’s about doing things your way. It’s arguably the punkest of all the world’s religions.” Where do I begin? Does she know how fluffy she sounds? The so-called natural energies don’t give a shit about you. A tornado doesn’t want to be your friend. Punk is a fashion statement. Witches don’t wear leather jackets to ritual. (Ok, maybe some do.) See also: mistake #2.

The author goes on to complain about how Cunningham doesn’t give clearcut, step-by-step directions on how to do ritual and set up an altar. News flash: while Paganism is called the craft for a reason (see here for more explanation on that), you’re not learning arts and crafts. Often there is no one size fits all path, which is something many of us love about Paganism. This is not a Lego faith; it doesn’t all fit neatly together in a prescribed order. Stop trying to make it do that thing.

Sometimes you type "lego faith" into Google and realize that there's some sort of Christian conference relating to Legos. I don't even know!

Sometimes you type “lego faith” into Google and realize that there’s some sort of Christian conference relating to Legos. I don’t even know!

Mistake #NOWI’MJUSTMAD: “Do I really have to say ‘O Great Ones!’ Feels a little Satany, tbh.” This statement alone proves you know nothing about Wicca. This is especially hilarious in light of the fact that two paragraphs later she complains that having a red and green candle on her shrine “feels inappropriately Judeo-Christian for my purposes”.

Pretty much my face throughout this article

Pretty much my face throughout this article

There are approximately fifteen more things I could write about being annoyed with in this article, but I’ll spare you. This was painful to read. I have a talent for reading painful things in order to be able to thoroughly critique them (thank you graduate school).

I know it’s maybe a bit of a tired cliché, but it’s apt in this case: ignorance is a choice. While there is such a thing as a n00b whose basic questions should be respected, this author needs to do less writing as an “expert” and more LRR (listening, reading, and research). That’s how the best witches are made.

Stream of Life

Week 38 (S): Stream of Life

Stream of Life is a Bengali poem by Rabindranath Tagore that is one of my favorites. I discovered that a composer named Garry Schyman put it to music, which made it even more beautiful. The singer is Palbasha Siddique.

And the English translation of the original poem, courtesy of Wikipedia, is below.

The same stream of life
that runs through my veins
night and day runs through
the world and dances in
rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that
shoots in joy through the
dust of the earth in
numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous
waves of leaves and
flowers.

It is the same life that is
rocked in the ocean-cradle
of birth and of death, in ebb
and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made
glorious by the touch of this
world of life. And my pride
is from the life-throb of
ages dancing in my blood
this moment.

The Samhain Boxes

Week 37 (S): the Samhain boxes

Every year my bestie-witch and I have exchanged Samhain boxes. Our primary gifting happens around Samhain rather than Xmas. I don’t know that we ever discussed this tradition, so I couldn’t tell you how it started, but I’ve built up some very fond memories of it over the last few years.

This means that every September (and sometimes even earlier if I’m feeling organized!), I start collecting little tidbits and cute things that make me think of her. Many of these are witchy things (herbs, candles, incense, etc), though some things are not. I stash these away until mid-October, when I start packing the box. Then I send it off and eagerly await my own little package in the mail. There’s always something excellent in my Samhain box.

I just thought I’d share this sweet little impromptu tradition in the hopes that perhaps some of you may also adopt it as one of your own.

calmsamhain

This tradition reminds me of a very cool Pagan gift swap that a friend of mine organized several years ago. We each got a buddy and were given a spending limit, then told to collect however many witchy things we could stuff into a box and mail it to this witch we’d never met before. I got some of my favorite pieces this way, and would love to do something like it again. *hint hint Pagan Blog Project buddies!*