Imbolc

“Something is wrong
I feel like something is wrong.”

This is the first thing my soul whispered upon waking and instead of being upset by it I was relieved.

I have been waiting on this feeling for a while now. I’ve “known” that something has been wrong for months. I even know where it comes from but the events that lead to that knowledge were so triggering that I went numb.

This numbness was my mind’s way of protecting me from the reality of years of physical and emotional abuse. The forgetfulness, the disassociation all engaged to hold me together.

I’ve spent the past few months in a bit of a daze thumping my heart and screaming “Work! Why aren’t you working?! I’m strong enough to carry this now, the memories won’t kill me, I want to know the truth!”

I did divinations
I lit candles
I took baths
But the divinations said Isa Ice Snow
The candles burned black
The baths offered no relief

So I had to wait and be still in this. I had to surrender to winter.

But this morning, this the first day of Black (Future) History Month and Imbolc I felt something.

Like the flowers pushing up from the snow. Now that I can feel it. Really feel it, I can do something about it. I can touch it and hold it and eventually let it go.

It makes sense.
These last few months were the descent into the darkness. The journey within to see what does and does not serve us. Now it is time to act upon these things, clear the way for spring.

Here is my hope for us and for myself on this day

❄️💠❄️
As we, like seeds
Break through our skin to become something beyond even our own understanding
May we be comforted in our discomfort by the knowing that this is a temporary thing, a turning of the Wheel
May we have the courage to let go of the false familiarity to grow into the authenticity of ourselves
May we compassionately forgive ourselves each step backwards with as much fervor as we celebrate each step forwards
May we have clarity as we create this Next World and find our places in it.
❄️💠❄️

📸 By Christy Busch taken on FemmeMountain

A Fight Worth Having

About two months ago while fitfully falling asleep next to my partner they asked me what I needed.

I legit responded in earnest and pitiful tones with the words “A fight.”

I thought it was a temporary thing but as I come closer and closer to Initiation into the tradition I’ve been studying I’ve become edgy.

It seems I’ve arrived at that curious place in a spiritual journey where I’m either

-Fuck it. I’m not going to let it disturb my calm
-Fuck you if you disturb my calm
-I wish he/she/they/zie/sie/ey/ve/tey/ E/per would try to fuck with my calm

I feel like an entire year turning
Winter trying not to yeild to spring
Like David Tenant gripping the Tardis and saying for the 100th time.

I don’t want to go and I so desperately want to go. I’ve had to many little deaths in the past 5 years but this is a big one.

I knew it was coming.
Spirit always gives me a warning shot.
When it is time to leave a job I’d break a glass at work.
When it is time to leave a house my clothes will smell like mildew no matter how many times I wash them.
When it is time to leave a relationship the smell of our sex, the mixing of us would be offensive to my nose.

The week before I sleepily admitted my desire to not only knuck but also buck I was in the bath. I was washing away things that did not serve me. I was crying and singing and high as epiglottis but feeling oh so good.  When I lay back in the tub to submerge myself completely I head a voice.

I’ve heard this voice before
-In a baptist church as the preacher dipped me under the water. It told me something that I thought I had imagined but when the preacher brought me to the surface his face was a contortion of fear and awe.  He said he felt god move through me.
-On the side of a cliff I was dangling my feet off of as I was choosing between staying in Colorado or moving to California.
-On the day that I first really met him and years later on the night I knew I should never lay next to him again.

I heard this voice
My Voice
whispering in the water around my ears
“Well done
Well done that
Now what are we going to do about Irene”

Even though I sat up choking and sputtering and cursing I realize,only now as I write this, that the fight I’m spoiling for is with my self for my self.

I thought that as I got closer to finishing my training I’d become this placid lake of shining water and what I am is closer to an on coming messy ass storm. 

There are people telling me to be gentle but how does one gently kill the lie of themselves. I can clearly see the reflection in the mirror is a false one. It’s fustrating and fascinating and I’m absolutely mad, rabid and joyful as I engage in the battle.

I’m split into two.
What I thought I was and what I am

Each decision I make, even the tiny ones matter. Because each action feeds one or the other. Every action, thought, intention is a swing of a sharpened sword.

I will come home with my shield, not on it. Besides why be like 10 when I could be

The Apple Bites Back: The Road to Initiation

If you’ve ever been to one of my classes or workshops I begin it with a warning.

This is why.

Five years ago today I came into my Teacher’s home for the first time as a student.
I had met them before in passing, in community, in a particularly hilarious foretelling photoshoot.

I’m not sure what I expected in that moment. All I knew was that for once in my life I was going to see it through.

I didn’t know what I was signing up for but they did.

I didn’t know I would fall in love.

I fell in love with them and the Students and other Initiates of this tradition.

I fell in love with myself.
And lez be clear,this is not some eat pray whatever the fuck kind of love. This is a love that has teeth and talons. This love holds up a mirror that I can not hide from. This love burned me and the whole fucking village I built to maintain the lie of that “me” to ash and coal.

A few months into study I sat wide eyed and embarrassed at my Teacher’s table. They were patient. Waiting for me to pull up what ever words were stuck in my throat.

“I’m not impeccable,” I managed to say eventually. “I don’t think I can do this without being impeccable. I want to be impeccable”

They looked at me with an unreadable expression that I’ve come to understand and cherish over the years. They responded simply.

“Then go be impeccable.”

A lot of the study was like that. Me admitting the worst and the best of myself and having to hold it all, decide what to do with it all from this place of impeccability that openly mocked perfection.

A Virgo’s worst nightmare!

When I started this path I was working 60+ hours a week between the desk job, performing, massage co-producing. I was sharing my time and body with people who would not see me nor cherish me. I was kneeling at the feet of others and offering them the sword that is my soul for their acceptance, for their kindness, for their love.

I was content to be small as possible because I equated it with being safe.

I thought the only way people would see me as human in this body and in this skin was through what I could offer them. Because what I was wasn’t good enough.

What I was wasn’t good enough.
What I was wasn’t good enough for me because what I was wasn’t real.

The path to Initiation meant I had to be real.
In being real I lost so much; Friends, family, jobs, lovers, homes, safe spaces. I was constantly screaming:
But I Need That!!!

And the Universe would rise up laughing and singing back:
Bitch, do you? Do you tho? Let’s test this theory!!!

This labyrinth spun me out casually. At times I believed I was going insane but I was only falling in(to) sanity.

I’m difficult now
I’ve got boundaries and expectations
I’m unpredictable now
I’ve got a moral code not based on social norms or expectations
I’m wild now
I’ve got desires and agendas
Like one of my beloved brothers t-shirts says
I’ve got many Gods now
and no Masters

I don’t hide my mouth when I laugh anymore instead it sounds like thunder
I don’t hide my tears anymore
I sob openly until I choke
I don’t hide my excitement anymore
my screams upset the birds in their branches
I don’t silence my rage anymore
I write, I speak, I look it in the eyes

It’s exhausting thb.
But it’s a whole lot less exhausting than the lie.

I’m still losing things.
Five years later I’m still losing things I never thought I would.

My Teacher became my Mother and if I am found to truly be kin of this kind they will soon become my Sister.

I cried and mourned the loss of this type of love even as I rejoice in anticipation of standing in this faith shoulder to shoulder with them.

I thanked them for bringing me up as a witch. I acknowledge that this has also brought me up as a human being. That no matter what happens now I am accountable and responsible for myself and what work I do in this world.

They smiled and said “Now you are impeccable.”

Initiations can happen in big ways and sometimes in very small mundane ways. They happen like storms, suddenly or soft and gently. They are constantly occurring if you know how to look for them, if you are mindful.

So with that said

Seekers of the Mysteries
Witches wanting more
Archaeologists of the Ancient Names
Lovers of Whispered Lore

be aware
be warned

You have more to lose than you could ever have imagined

Each slight change in your lens makes the world you live in untenable and that makes you responsible

In order to truly live you will have to die

The Apple is bitter and sweet
The Apple is poison and medicine
The Apple is ipecac
The Apple bites back

And it’s as delicious as it is deadly.

Oregon Day 2: Digging The Hole

The waves were glowing in the dark as they broke across the sands
My bare feet followed the path through the rustling grass. It grew higher with every step. Pulling at the hem of my dress

Aren’t you afraid
A voice said

Yes.

Aren’t you going to turn away
A voice said

No.

There was cacophony between my ears. As loud as it was when I was a child. Several beings speaking at once.
Some saying Don’t! Turn Back! Stop!
Others saying Trust us! You can be afraid but you must trust us!

As the ground below me dipped I reached out. Blind with out my glasses. Impeded by the night. I trusted. I gripped the earth and it gripped me back.
Delivered me gently to the sandy shore.

I started digging
Frantically, fanatically, desperately
Crying and screaming

I’m tired
I don’t know what’s next
I don’t want to die
This hurts so much
I’m so broken
I’m so broken
I’m so broken

I wailed into the hole until words dissolved into gutteral and keening songs

For once my throat let me
Loosened so I could push it out

Take this please!
Transform this please!

When I was done covered the hole
Instantly embarrassed for showing up at Their house without an offering to give.

When I rose up with apologies on my lips I was pulled back down.
My belly filling the space my tears once had
I was prostrate
Screaming again through a mouth full of sand

My brothers were there then
Telling me to keep going
Telling me that I was loved
Telling me that I was not alone
Telling me that the fires in the sky were my home and my people

I shifted as some thing moved into mr
kicked me twice like a knocking from the inside.

I sat up with legs spread open
Knees bent
Felt like labor
I began to laugh and sigh and say ow! As I held their arms for support.

The grief and fear and rage had been transformed and given back to me. Clay I could shape into something new.

They blew blessed tobacco on my feet, my palms, my heart, my head, my thighs, my womb. I took a lung full of it and kissed it into the sand.

They wrapped me in a blanket
And our fingers intertwined as we watched the ocean glow under a sky full of stars.

Then we,
Whole and Beautiful
took the dark path back into the light

Together.

#witchshit
#diggingthehole
#family
#queermagic
#transformation
#loveisaverb

Oregon Day 1

So…
Slowing down has made me realize how deeply exhausted and deeply fucked I am right now

I’ve been moving big energy for people
I’ve been making big asks for other people’s benefit
I haven’t factored myself into the equation (again)

I’ve got two days here and then it back to the grind. I’m lucky to have this. I want to focus on the gratitude but I can’t stop myself from wanting to cry.

My throat hurts from not screaming
The last month has seen
big rituals that cost me dearly to preform
stepping away from an 11 relationship that cost me dearly to be in
the loss of a place to work and the income that comes with it

I’m not okay
I know I’m going to be but right now I am not okay.

I’m tired
I’m underprepared
I’m overwhelmed

I need help.

All of this is bigger than me.
All the work I’m doing is bigger than me and I need help.

But first I need to cry and scream
then I can figure out what that looks like
then I can ask.

Nah. (An Open Response to Pantheacon’s Open invite to PCon, and my opinions)

WARNING: Do not proceed without taking your blood pressure medicine and/ or a bucket of popcorn. I’ll wait.


*

*

*

At the zenith of Beyonce Season in the year 2019  I received the following missive:

Dear Irene,
 
As Glenn’s daughter, I am working more directly in the programming area this year. I wanted to reach out even though I know you have clearly stated you are boycotting PantheaCon.  I want to respect that, and your opinions and experiences. I’m not writing to change your mind, but to seek to open my mind and better understand. I know you have contributed in many ways over the years, and it’s been an accumulation of events that have brought this to this point.
 
Because I am stepping into more leadership here, I am interested in learning more about how to better open the event to you and those who have had to deal with many levels of aggression and difficulties in simply being there.  I’m sorry that there has been hurt and pain while you have brought and shared your talents and expressions being here. I’m sorry that I have not had the knowledge of what you’ve experienced.
If this is something you might be willing to share, I’m here to try to do better, and to listen.
If there are ideas on how we might be of better service to you and your groups, I want to do what we can to make improvements. 
 
Consider this an olive branch and that your opinion matters here.
You have an open invitation to participate as you see best, any time, in any capacity as you chose.
 
And, if you choose to not respond, or spend any further time or energy on this, I understand and respect that.
 
I wish you all the best – humbly yours,
 
Holly Turner

 

First of all: 

2mr3.gif

 

Fam, 

I know this looks like a completely viable reach out but let me remind you that shit hit the fan from November of 2018  and continued smacking against it until February of 2019

I had to be escorted to and from my sessions.

I had to be escorted to the classes I went there to teach, the performances I did with the art I created in conjunction with Gods for fucking free.

Wait.

Correction.

I paid to be there.

I paid to be in danger. To deliver these workings directly in harms way.  While Pantheacon  remained silent on the whole ordeal some of the staff and volunteers held me down with much love that I knew I was not the one divorced from reality in this situation. 

I know that people were telling Glenn everything that was going on… ya’ll extending olive branches now?

umph

And before one of y’all  pop off with:  “Life happened to these people.”

Let me let you know LIFE HAPPENED TO MY ASS TOO!!!   So often people living under systems of oppression are asked to be considerate regarding what their oppressors are going through and be gentle, loving and shit to the very people that fucked them over. I mean…

Whitney Houston GIF

I just got my mind/spirit unfucked by the drama when this letter found it’s way into my inbox. I had shit to do.  I had to take an entire pause in my work because I realized I could not complete my liberation spell craft until I pulled myself together.  I thought I was done. 

There were moments when I went back and forth about if I was going to respond, how I was going to respond, what the hell am I going to say.  Anything I gave them would hurt me and would be a gift to them. Also there are those on staff and the volunteer team that are SO FUCKING GLORIOUS TO BEHOLD

Fam the internal struggle!!!!

the voices in my head

I’ll admit it.

I was hella on Pantheacon’s proverbial dick.  They are a huge part of the witch I am today.  I high-key became this witch so I could give back to this community. What can I say…

love

Tho truth be told

Mary J Blige GIF

I mean hoooooow many of us sat in a class on some melanated subject being taught from an anthropological Cis-Het-white view point that was as dry as the season-less award-winning  chicken Oprah was trying not to spit out on camera in-front of the whole damn world.  Lots of us were confused but still adhering to social constructs that demanded we not be rude so we stayed even though our souls were like

Could be home

How many of us cried in our rooms/suites and homes after having to put up with the same casual ass racist or trans-phobic shit every single year!  From people who consider themselves to be enlightened, engaged, connected, rooted, open. WE PAID MONEY WE DID NOT HAVE FOR THIS!?!?!

cry

Legit, if I hear one more white witch telling me they understand me because the burning times affected them all  I’ll…

fire

In the end tho I did respond. 

2019-09-262019-09-26 (2)

Holly, 
 
I am responding to this message only because I do not want the narrative to read
We reached out
We tried all we could
But they could not reach back
We understand this
We understand the pain
But what more can we do then we have already done?
 
Be aware that it is painful to respond to you.  For some reason there is no anger in my voice.  There is a place beyond disappointment, a place we catch a glimpse of at the boundary of grief and rage, the space between the place where they meet. 
 
This is where I am with Glenn and the culture the event you are holding has cultivated and encouraged.
 
This apology is not yours to give so I can not except it.
 
I will not drag myself through the emotional spiritual trauma needed to access the opinion you request.
Your olive branch is smooth to you but for me it comes with snakes, and thorns and is full of a poison you can’t even begin to understand.
 
Pantheacon
Your mother
You have proved that you are not ready to receive in so many ways.
 
*Asking me to share knowledge with you that so many Black and Brown and Trans beings have already screamed, begged and pleaded for
 
*Asking me now  when Glenn did nothing last year, reached out in no way, expressed no concern to the people personally  harmed,  ignored them for the sake of those she found more value in.
 
*Asking me to make this offering to you
That comes at such a high price 
for free
 
Holly how can you call yourself humble in your approach when it is filled, albeit unknowingly, with the arrogance of your privilege.
 
How can you make this ask when at every turn you slap us
Even in your attempt to guard us
 
I will GIFT you this one thing to sit with as proof of your overwhelming inability to understand.
It is more than you deserve. 
The decision to have your diversity statement written and championed by what appears to be a Cis White Woman speaks volumes on how sadly limited your grasp of the magnitude of your situation is.
 
I and those like me do not want a seat at a table that was never meant for us
I tried to fit
I wanted to fit
It nearly ripped me apart.
I am not the only one having to heal in this way
Pantheacon is responsible
Glenn is responsible
There are consequences
 
This is what you are inheriting.

 

 

Lissen,

If you think this is just about something as small as Pantheacon I am both sorry for you and slightly envious of the comfort you must be experiencing in your blissful state of willful ignorance

This is about everything.

My Beloved Black Brown Queer Trans Family.  You are under no obligation to teach or to hold.  The information has been given, it is all around them.  They will ask for it, they will demand it and you get to choose whether or not you will gift them with your precious blood and soul.

I used to do this work. I thought it was my purpose.  It was my love offering to the world. I understand those that do this work.  I have compassion for them.  I am often using magic, touch, words, song to help them put themselves back together.

Bridges I love you

I see you

and also know that we are almost gone

We leave these houses to invest in our own
We will no longer sit at table constructed without us in mind or spirit
I love myself
I love us
more than I love this.
 
I love myself more than I love this shit
I love myself more than I love this shit
I love myself more than I love this shit
 
 
I don’t know what’s happening
but I can feel this shift and I’m singing into the the chasm formed by our screams
I don’t know what is going to happen
but I know for damn sure that this shit…
 

It won't happen again

 
 

 

Day 2: Beware the Break (Implementing Balance)

The first part of this working is not launching an all out attack
The first part is an assessment of my physical and metaphysical arsenal
You don’t pop off without knowing how many bullets are in your gun

Today it was hard to focus

What is happening here is not just happening here. It is happening all over the world. In China right now Muslim children are being sent to “boarding schools” and their parents to “re-education” camps.

Representatives of their government say that this is to help them assimilate and that there has been no evidence of these kind of actions causing any cultural harm. But we know this is a lie. Members of the United States Government dare to open their mouths to condemn these actions without addressing the harm this country is doing right now, the harm this country has historically done to Black people and Indegious people.

There is already well documented, living and breathing evidence of the effects of actual and cultural genocide. I am a survivor of these things.

It was hard to focus today.

So I did a single card draw from Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot

The 2 of Wands learned everything she wanted to learn. She travels in a world free of injustice and asks you to assist her in ushering in the next world. Before we are teacher, starseeds and magicians; we are cultural workers living on a margin with hope and fear that feels eternal. Self sacrifice makes us magical but trauma makes us human. We deserve to engage with the endless possibilities of our gift and we deserve to take our time to heal.

The 2 of Wands is a safe threshold. She is guardian angel who asks you to discover your deepest truth and unravel your deepest wound while basking in your greatest achievement.

Christy C. Road

This draw helped me refocus and see that I am not just doing one working but creating a system for my magic. One that uses magical & emotional sacrifice, informed not only by trauma motivated by the healing of trauma, a system that supports my wounds and my wings. It’s not for one thing. It can be mutable and used for so much more in the now and future.

I feel called to reiterate that this is dangerous work

When a friend asked me how this could be dangerous work. All my exhaustion brain could come up with at first was: Think of this kind of magic as RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) instead of SSC (Safe Sane Consensual Kink)

I risk breaking myself.

Spiritually: How can there be a Divine Intelligent Force when these things continue to happen? Aren’t my prayers heard? Am I not screaming loud enough? Am I wrong in my beliefs? Is this all for naught?

Emotionally: Depression, Rage

Mentally: Anxiety, Paranoia

Physically: Continued and chronic stress leads to heart issues, high blood pressure, loss of cognitive functions, adrenal overload, insomnia etc.

I’m not saying this to say “look how brave I am for doing this”
I’m saying this so I remain vigilant and continue to replace that which I put out
I’m saying this in hopes that I don’t break
I’m saying this in hopes that if I do I remember that I wrote this and I can go back and remind myself that this is the work and not me and to ask for help.

The first part of this working is not launching an all out attack
The first part is an assessment of my physical and metaphysical arsenal
You don’t pop off without knowing how many bullets are in your gun

The first part of The Covenant of Working I made for this action was intentional:

I understand that this is dangerous work
I understand that I must not die for it but live for it
I understand that I must take care of the vessel, mind and heart that sets upon this task

I will repeat the whole to myself twice a day before bed, upon waking but that first part is the foundation. I’ve watched too many great people, healers, comrades fall to suicide, depression, mental instability while walking the tightrope between hope and hopelssness.

Most people engaging in this kind of desperate bloody work physically and metaphysically are those who are marginalized. As a marginalized person, as a Black person, as a fat person, as a person assigned female at birth I was taught that the silent sacrifice of myself was the most noble thing I could do.

I refuse to allow my Resistance Magic to be rooted in concepts formed by colonization and patriarchy.

So today I did my assessment and created my daily rituals of self care that will sustain me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Daily:
Exercise
Water
3 Meals
At least 15mins of Joy
At least 15mins of Meditation
At least 7hrs of sleep or down time
At least one check inwith Kith and Kin
Conversation with Ancestor/ Spirit/ Divine
Shower

This may seem like some pretty basic shit but I know I’ve gone a week without showering when I am going through it…

Today

Magical:

  • Created my daily ritual
  • Recited my Covenant
  • Set my Wards
  • Set a glass of water on a white cloth next to my bed
  • Ask my Guides and Elevated Ancestors for advice

Real World Action:

Tomorrow I’ll be breaking down the three goals of my Covenant and crafting rituals for each that take in account the moon phases and the upcoming retrograde. I’m really glad my CPAP came in. I’m going to need all the sleep I can get.