Amid the Storms Before Walpurgisnacht: A Benediction

The rumble of Thunder is the beating wings of a golden eagle; lightning is his radiating shriek. He storms through the sky, frightening away the spirits of cold and want and disease that cling stubbornly with frozen fingers, washing the land to make way for the witches of the valleys and mountains. Five nights from…

Becoming Animal: Tutelary Animal Spirits

Shortly after we bought our first house seven years ago, I stepped outside into the backyard. The light was bright gold; the air was crisp but not cold. When I turned around toward the house, I saw that slugs had crawled across the screens of the back porch in the night, leaving behind their delicate,…

In the Beginning: Cosmogonic Myth and Oneness

The cosmogonic myth — or mythical creation story — is a fascination of mine. I collect these stories like a magpie, mentally tucking them into my nest of tales and traditions, bringing them out now and again to mull over.  There are multitudes, at least one for every culture in existence, some having died with…

The Feast of the Midwinter Witch

Frau Holle is to me what many neopagans would call a patron deity. Goddess of witchcraft and nocturnal flights, wild animals, winter, and mountains as well as childbirth, housekeeping, and fabric arts — Frau Holle oversees so many aspects of life that are important to me. Like Baba Yaga, she looks (and can be) fearsome;…

Magical Animals in European Lore: Horses

I turned Stumbling in the fever of a dream, down towards The dark woods, from the kindling tops, And came to the horses. There, still they stood, But now steaming and glistening under the flow of light, Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves Stirring under a thaw while all around them The frost showed…

On Inspiration and Spirit Possession

It arrived without warning — a pressure, a dense shadow seeping into my head and my chest. Inspiration, thick and relentless. I tugged at the thread glimmering in the darkness, unraveled the spool. Words came, strand by strand.  I could think of nothing else, only the prose-poem woven in the darkness. I repeated the words…

31 Days of Ancestors: An Ancestor Work Project

I posted this on my Tumblr a few years ago, in a slightly different form, but I think it’s worth sharing here as well. It reflects my own process, albeit in a more organized approach, to digging into ancestor work. This method is specific and immersive, which allows for stronger connections that are crucial to…

They Come In Threes: Germanic Goddesses in Folktales and Lore

Three women arrive in the night, seemingly from nowhere but the darkness itself. They appear human enough at first glance, but there’s something off – features that are too extreme, or too animal. A broad, flat foot like that of a waterfowl. Wolf-like fangs. A long, iron nose. They look frightening, but they have kindness…

The Light in the Underworld: “The Moon” by the Brothers Grimm

“In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always dark, and the sky spread over it like a black cloth, for there the moon never rose, and no star shone in the obscurity.” So begins the Brothers Grimm “The Moon,” a cosmological story of how the moon came to be. Four…

Witches Incognito: The Goose Girl (and Her Mother, and the Chambermaid)

(Note: I recommend first reading the story here if you haven’t before. It makes this post easier to follow.) Some stories resonate with a specific kind of magical practice.  For “The Goose Girl,” it’s protective magic. In a culture where magic and witchcraft is often sanitized, limited to candle lighting, meditation, and personal affirmations (all…