Better late than never! I’m in the midst of moving house this week, so everything has been a bit disorganized. Hopefully things will die down after next week, when we’re all moved in and comfy in the new place. Without further ado…
Week 34 (Q): quartz
Quartz often seems like the default stone, with good reason. It’s something you can find almost anywhere, it’s affordable, and it serves a variety of purposes. I’ve always found it useful as an amplifier of spells, which is why I keep a quartz pyramid sitting on my altar.
Rose, blueberry, smoky, amethyst, citrine, aqua aura, strawberry, phantom…there’s a huge variety. Rather than make this post way too long by discussing each one, I wanted to focus on clear quartz. This variety of quartz is good for amplifying psychic powers, helping to clear chakras, purification, meditation help, and healing. Eason recommends that “if you have only one healing crystal it should be clear quartz”. I’ve definitely used it for cleansing and amplification purposes, but never for healing. Learn something new every day!
One of my favorite books – Liz Berry’s The China Garden – features a quartz goddess statue that absorbs negative energy. This book ties in nicely with the idea that quartz is sometimes used to honor Gaia. It really is a multipurpose stone, as much as amethyst is (if not more so). I think quartz is an excellent crystal to start with for anybody building their collection.
Eason, Cassandra. 2010. The Complete Crystal Handbook.
Hall, Judy. 2003. The Crystal Bible: A Definitive Guide to Crystals.
Melody. 2008. Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals, updated.
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.
Week 19 (J): pagan jokes
Over the years, I have learned how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself. I’m not talking about laughing when people around you make mean-spirited “jokes” (also known as microaggressions, but I’ll save the sociology nerding out for another time); I’m talking about being able to laugh when said jokes are actually funny. So, without further ado…
Q: What’s the best thing about Pagan friends?
A: They worship the ground you walk on.
This is quite possibly my favorite pagan joke of all time.
Some essential [types of] pagans to watch out for (nod to Alison Bechdel, and you if you caught the reference):
- Tree Hugging Nature Sprite: simultaneously believes in universal love for humanity AND returning the planet to a pristine, uncorrupted state. Apt to remove clothes and fondle the shrubbery at a moment’s notice. No meat, no fragrance, no leather, no plastic, no smoke, no drugs, no eco-exploitive products, no animal tested cosmetics, no TV, no car, but very tolerant (until they’re not).
- Fundamentapagan: grinds their teeth if anyone shows up at a circle wearing a watch, glasses, or other mechanical assistance. Believes that anyone who lives in a city, eats meat or has a regular job dare not call themselves a pagan, Has hissy fits when you talk to them in English. Goes around correcting everyone’s Speech when they talk in gaelic/old norse/latin/Babylonian.
And then there’s some quintessential blonde jokes:
Q: How can you tell a blonde pagan closed the circle?
A: There’s white-out on the floor
Q: Why did the blond pagan have a lasso?
A: She wanted to draw down the moon.
This last is far too true for me (and I have yet to learn not to let the white cat sit on me when I’m wearing black, which is often):