tatjna (tatjna) wrote,


For those of you who don't know, my Boston wife flatmate is a witch. Not the green warty variety, or the white robed, floating-above-the-lake-making-predictions variety, she's more of the pottering about in the kitchen, straight talking Granny Weatherwax variety. She has a cauldron and she makes potions in our kitchen and they make the house smell really nice.

One thing, though - she's an urban witch. In fact, the site that she uses to sell her potions and things is called Urban Witchery.

So most of you have probably come across witches before. These days you can't shake a hedge without one falling out. And realistically, from the way witchcraft is portrayed about the place, hedges seem a more likely place to find witches than apartments, what with paganism being a NATURE BASED RELIGION and all.

See what I did there?

You're right, all you chomping pagans. Paganism isn't a religion at all, it's an umbrella term for a bunch of religions, some of which are nature based. And here's another news flash - witchcraft isn't a religion. It's a CRAFT. Like basket-weaving (wicker hurp durp) only it smells better. At least, usually it smells better.

OK, now we've cleared that up, my flatmate also identifies as pagan, but takes issue with this whole nature-based thing. I mean, if you get right down to brass tacks, everything is nature based, even plastic and MDMA, because we live in a closed ecosystem from which we must source the ingredients for everything. It's all natural, originally. This is actually my argument for those who are all "Cannabis is SOOOO natural, man, not like those 'hard' man-made drugs!" Er, no. THC is a chemical that reacts in your brain and causes noticeable effects, just like MDMA. And because THC comes from a plant and MDMA from a test tube does not make THC more natural and therefore better for you. But I digress.

Where were we? Oh, that's right, how far to take the nature-based thing in paganism. I don't think anyone has the answer to that - I mean, it's hard to stop the seasons from affecting your life, you know? But on the other hand, identifying as pagan doesn't mean you have to be vegan, wear only socks made from astrakhan wool plucked from trees in the protected mountains of north Asia, make mud pies from your menstrual blood under the full moon and run naked through the long grass on the summer solstice to commune with your Earth Mother. Although that last one, I'd recommend doing at least once cos it feels nice.

Anyway, the point of urban witchery is that loads of people live in cities this days - but this does not need to elicit pitying looks from those pagans that moved to the wops on the back of cheap land prices at the end of the 1980s and have been happily getting back to nature ever since. Living in a city does not disconnect you from the seasons, the wheel of the year, the earth or any of that other good crunchy stuff. It's just different. Are your herbs any less herbal because you bought them at Woolies and blessed them yourself instead of harvesting them from your organic, permaculture garden under a full moon? Is the rain any less wet because it falls on concrete instead of the bark pathway to the outdoor dunny you dug yourself? The point is, living in a city is a different lifestyle and it requires some creativity to be a pagan in the city because most literature around paganism focuses very strongly on rejecting modern trappings (at least during ritual) and pretending we all still live in the Ancient Times because everyone was so much more spiritual back then, dontcha know.

And that's what my flatmate is about - innovative ways of living paganism within an urban lifestyle. She's an urban witch, and her pharmacopoeia comes not only from plants growing around our section and harvested under the full moon blah blah blah, but also from Woolies, occasionally imported from overseas and very occasionally nabbed from the suburban sprawl or the botanic gardens.

So where am I going with all this? Well this weekend, the urban witch needed to go to the country. Between us, Polly and I have most of the bases covered, she being a city girl and me being a country girl. And Polly needed sheep skulls. Sheep skulls, I can do. I've been looking after that little mob of English Leicesters for 6 years now, and in the Great Natural Super Duper Pagany Cycle Of Life And Death, there has been some death. And like all farms, this one has a place for disposal of Things That Died. In fact it has more than one, and it's been a few years since the one in the forest was used, so I knew there'd be some suitably-aged skulls in there.

So I grabbed my boots, and Polly grabbed her boots, some plastic bags and two pairs of gloves and off we went.

Here I would like to say that it was all very spiritual and there was a deep air of respectful silence as we unearthed these sacrifices to the great mother. But it actually went something like this:

*shuffle shuffle*

Me: Crap, I know they're round here somewhere. Hang on, keep looking...


Me: Oh look, I found one. *grabs stick, pokes* And the skull's still intact.

Polly: *SQUEESQUEESQUEE* Ooh look, skulls! Pretty!


Polly: EW, nature! *puts on both pairs of gloves* Tut tut, so dirty!


Polly: Argh spider omg get it off, get it offfffff!!!!

Me: Argh ew *flick shudder*

Polly: Nature is icky.


*more shuffling around and digging up of bones*

And now Polly has two skulls and won't have to venture into the wilderness for another little while. The weird thing is they are both from sheep that I remember putting there, I can remember where each one died and what of. Which makes them super-witchy, mmk? They are currently in our shed being divested of any remaining nature before Polly does her urban witchery on them. There will be photos.

We have skulls in our shed. Awesome.

While we were there, we also shifted the ram lambs (these were alive) by waving a bucket at them so they'd follow Polly up the road. I really wish I'd taken photos because it was so totally shifting sheep urban witch styles, and would provide +2 nature-based religion cred at the Magick Earth Festival. SRSLY.

In other news, I approached the landlord about whether or not they've considered selling the house I'm living in and they are amenable. I know you're supposed to play your cards close to your chest in real estate, but in my life secrecy's never done me any favours and I prefer to be up front about my intentions and expectations. So we're all clear on what's likely to happen, how long it's likely to be, and where we're at with it. So in a few months, it's possible I'll be negotiating to buy my very own house. Currently we're about $50,000 apart on price but if this one doesn't work out, there are others. The point is, gosh. Me. Own house. Um.

Repeat after me - no Tats, you don't have to paint the walls fluoro..
Tags: digging up skulls for fun and profit, mah boston wife, urban witchery
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