Thursday, March 30, 2017

DWQ Beltane/Lithna 2017 pre-release sale

Get the latest issue of Denver Witch Quarterly (Beltane/Litha 2017) Witches Bind Trump & Occult Writers and Payment at the pre-release price of 99 cents USD. (Price will increase to $2.99 USD after the April 15th release.)

Contents include the ritual script for the global binding ritual of President Donald J. Trump, dates of said ritual for all eight years of the Trump's presidency (the compiler of the dates offered to figure them out for Trump's third term, but the consulting editor took him outside and beat him to death for making that suggestion), and a commentary debating whether or not it is actually evil to bind the President of the United States of America.

Fiction (two short stories): Water and Dreams— Shea Herlihy-Abba & A Fey Encounter— Misha Sparks

And a debate over whether occult writers should be allowed to charge people for their books--at least three writers weighed in (maybe a fourth, we have not read their submission yet). 

Does this cover make Trump's butt look big?

Amazon (US) 

Barnes and Noble



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Are binding spells evil? (Especially if it is binding President Trump)

One of the objections that I have encountered about the idea of binding President Trump and his administration is the idea that because binding spells seek to restrict their actions, binding spells are automatically black magic full of evil intent.

In other words, if it is the Trump's administration's will to destroy religious freedom and civil rights while making the worthless poor give more money to the rich, then we just have to sit here and soak up the damage like good little wage-slaves--because it is Trump's True Will.

By the logic of "it is wrong to try to derail the True Will of another person," we are not allowed any magic at all. So you are not allowed to protect yourselves against rapists, murderers, terrorists, abusive relationships, evil (or just plain incompetent self-serving) politicians because you might stop them from fulfilling their True Will.

Or to put it in really simple terms, in order to allow them to fulfill their True Will, you have to willingly be a victim. Yes, your True Will is supposed to be all about letting others walk all over you, causing whatever injury they like to you because we don't want to hurt someone else trying to fulfill their own True Will. 

(For the one person who does not know why I keep capitalizing "True Will": It is a concept that was popularized by the late great occultist Aleister Crowley. Essentially, you are on the Earth to fulfill some purpose, and that is your True Will. And your only right is to fulfill that True Will. Unfortunately, many people have used the concept to argue that whatever whim they currently feel is their True Will. Want to divorce your wife? True Will. Want to not pay your bills? True Will. Want to call other people names? True Will. Want to use nuclear weapons? True Will. And because it is your True Will, no one else can tell you that you are wrong. Plus they have to let you do it, no matter what the consequences. Neat, isn't it? You can be a total bastard, causing harm to lots of other people, and be fulfilling your life's purpose at the same time.)

The punchline of this objection to the Global Binding Ritual of the orange ferret-wearing shitgibbon is that some of the very people who have put forth this objection have done public and private rituals to limit the actions of other people.

Laundry list time!!! Rites to restrict the actions of the leaders of other spiritual groups (sometimes, violent rites using watermelons); global rites to restrict ISIL and protect the women and witches living in their domain; rituals to protect clean water and prevent oil pipelines (opps, you were wrong to do that, according to the Great and Powerful Donald "Jesus" Trump); rites to protect gun rights; rites to make politicians overturn the right for women to have abortions; rituals to stop people from committing terrorism and murders; rituals to...well, you get the point.

And if you follow the logic of "you can't restrict the will of another person," then society is not allowed to have prisons, schools, laws and regulations, or even a f***ing government in the first place.

"But Trump was elected by the American people..." Or maybe he was elected by the Russians. Either way, over half the votes went to the other candidate. And many of the promises that Trump used to get elected, he has no intention of fulfilling--because it might interfere with his desire to make himself and his friends even richer and more in control than they already are.

"But we would have not protested if Hillary won..." says those who were openly talking about pressing their Representatives to investigate and impeach Hillary Clinton if she won the election, who talked about going out in the streets and screaming at her until she did exactly want they wanted her to do (resign from the presidency), who talked about being willing to take up arms and fight a civil war to remove her from power if she became President.

No, no, no.

The problem here is not that binding spells are automatically evil and the protests wrong. It is the fact that we are binding someone that they feel is somehow going to make them rich and powerful while getting rid of all those nasty people who do not think like they do. They would have been perfectly fine binding Hillary (in fact, many talked about doing exactly that if she won), but we are not allowed to touch their poster child of whatever privilege they cling to.

Double standard, much?!?

If Trump decides to summon Cthulhu, you are not allowed to do anything about it--because it is Trump, and he can do whatever he wants in his quest to destroy reality as we know it. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!! Trump nom kav!!! Cthulhu nom kav Trump!!!
Dates for future Global Bind Donald J. Trump rituals 

[Asterisked * dates are slightly moved from the last quarter crescent moon to occur on significant dates.]


February 24; March 26; April 24; May 23; *June 21* (*Summer Solstice*); July 21; August 19; September 18; October 17; November 16; December 16

I think that the Cthulhu R'lyeh chant is a nice touch.

January 14; February 13; March 15; April 13; June 11; July 11; August 9; September 7; October 7; November 5; December 5


January 4; February 2; March 4; April 3; May 2; June 1; June 30; July 30; August 28; September 26; October 26; November 24; December 24


January 22; February 21; March 22; April 20; May 20; June 18; July 18; August 23; September 15; October 14; November 13; December 12

2021 (Oh my god--you are predicting that he is going to be re-elected for a second term.)

January 13; February 9; March 11; April 9; May 9; June 7; July 7; August 6; September 4; October 4; November 2; December 2; December 31


January 30; February 28; March 29; April 28; May 27; June 26; July 26; August 24; September 23; October 23; November 21; December 21


January 19; February 18; March 19; April 17; May 17; *June 14* (*Donald J. Trump’s 77th birthday*); July 15; August 13; September 12; October 12; November 10; December 10


January 9; February 7; March 8; April 6; May 6; June 4; *July 4* (*Independence Day*); *August 1* (*Lammas*); August 31; September 30; October 30; November 28; December 28

[The compiler of this list offered to continue on, but I had to kill them for even joking about the possibility of Trump somehow getting a third term.]

Monday, March 20, 2017

Circle of daffodils (magical images of Aries)

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The subject of today's Tarot Blog Hop is Tarot and magical images associated with the first three decans of Aries (the start of spring supposedly in the Northern Hemisphere--looking out the window I can't tell that it is spring because the plains of Colorado are under a fire ban and it is a whole cool eighty degrees out there--it looks more like summer drought time than what spring is supposed to look like).

Magical images are emblems used in both fortune telling and practical magic--the Tarot itself can be thought of as a set of magical images.

For those who are unfamiliar with magical images, consider these images from the Picatrix:

First image of Aries: “The first face of Aries is Mars, and there rises in it according to the opinion of the great sages in this science, the image of a black man, with a large and restless body, having red eyes and with an axe in his hand, girded in white cloth, and there is a great value in his face. This is a face of strength, high rank and wealth without shame. This is its form.” This image corresponds to the first ten degrees of Aries (sub-ruled by Mars) and the Two of Wands (a man looking out onto the world from the walls of a high castle--will of creation "dominion"). The image from the Picatrix is used for invoking strength, high rank and wealth without shame.

Second image of Aries: “There ascends in the second face of Aries a woman dressed in green clothes, lacking one leg. This is a face of high rank, nobility, wealth and rulership. This is its form.” This image corresponds to the second ten degrees of Aries (sub-ruled by the Sun) and the Three of Wands (a man looking out onto a harbor--supervising one's business "established strength"). The image from the Picatrix is used for acquiring high rank, nobility, wealth and rulership.

Third image of Aries: “There rises in the third face of Aries, a restless man, holding in his hands a gold bracelet, wearing red clothing, who wishes to do good, but is not able to do it. This is a face of subtlety and subtle mastery and new things and instruments and similar things. This is its form.” This image corresponds to the last ten degrees of Aries (sub-ruled by Venus) and the Four of Wands (a couple under a wedding canopy--celebration and marriage "perfected work"). The image from the Picatrix is used to achieve subtlety, subtle mastery, and in the creation of subtle instruments and devices.

And if you are anything like me, most of what was just said is just noise without much information context. (Like for instance, what does "lacking a leg" in the second image mean? Does she only have one leg? If so, was she born without it? or did she lose it to some accident or disease? Or does "lacking a leg" mean that only one of her legs is visible and the other is hid from view by her clothes?) I have some idea how to use the magical images, thanks to my lodge and coven training, plus years of magical experimentation, but am I even remotely using them in a manner that the Arabic compiler of the Picatrix would have recognized?

Now to be perfectly honest, the Tarot and the Picatrix magical images are not my go-to set for invoking the energies of this time of year. I tend to think of the wheel of the year more in terms of the eight Wiccan Sabbats...because I have spent my entire life in Wicca (seriously, before the age of ten, my sole religious education came from my Wiccan aunt because my parents could not decide what branch of Christianity [or Judaism] I should be schooled in--their indecision helped make me a witch). Sure, I can think in astrological and Tarot terms; but when it comes to magic, I am more of a Wiccan Sabbat person.

As someone who thinks more in the terms of Wiccan Sabbats, occasionally I find myself needing to do spell-work that matches a Wiccan Sabbat, but being months and months away from the Sabbat that best fits my need. The first time this happened was over a decade ago--I needed to do something that matched the ideas and energies of Beltane--and I was nowhere near Beltane at the time (the next Wiccan holiday was Yule which is hardly spring-like).

By this time, I had already become an initiate of both Wicca and an offshoot of the magical tradition known popularly as the Hermetic Golden Dawn, as well as having read and dabbled in various other magical traditions, including the grimoires. Therefore, I choose the idea of using magical images to address my little timing problem.

My set of magical images grew out of the symbolism of the Wiccan Sabbats, due to the fact that the spell-work I was doing corresponded in my mind to one of them. At first, my set of magical images grew piecemeal as I needed to use new ones. It wasn't until a few years ago that I completed the whole set (the first time, I showed the full set to anyone was at a Open Full Moon ritual where I did a ritual tour of the Sabbats--if you are really interested in the ritual and the whole set, there is the little ebook [e-article] up on Amazon [and other ebook outlets]).

So what does the magical image that I am using for this time of year look like?

In front of the standing stone marked with a sigil of a nest of eggs stands the magical image of Ostara. Beside a fire of dying embers, a woman stands, surrounded by a circle of daffodils. In her hands, she holds an egg with a snake coiled about it.

The magical image of Ostara (Spring Equinox) as conceived by me.
 And I created a little speech for this magical image that helps describe the meaning of the Sabbat.

Listen to the words of the magical image of Ostara: Robin call, bear cubs, tender shoots, the sun is reborn. Light and dark are equal; the elements are in balance, yet scarcity remains. Eggs laid, planted seeds, and cherry trees in bloom; all is caught between hope and fear. Will it stay warm? Will it rain enough? Will hardship stay away? Only time will tell; one can only prepare and hope. The cycle of hours, the cycle of days, the cycle of years, it all spins around and around. This is the time of newborn hope; this is the time of new beginnings; the ground prepared, and the seeds planted. Look forward; plan ahead; hope for the best—celebrate the equinox of spring, the most hopeful time, as the wheel of the seasons turns and turns.

So that is the magical image I use for invoking the energy of this Sabbat.

Happy Spring Equinox!

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Monday, March 13, 2017

New wall plaques available (Khari's Wiccan Treasures)

Khari's Wiccan Treasures (Etsy) has new wall plaques available for purchase, ranging in price from $30 USD to $18.50 USD (plus shipping and handling).

So mote it be & merry meet wall plaques
Hoot! There be a couple of owl wall plaques
Each one is made from porcelain glazed and fired to 2230 degrees F., and has a wire handle and bead embellishments.

So Mote It Be - Spiral and Triple Goddess Moon Wiccan Wall Plaque with Copper Wire, Copper Beads, Jet, Glass and Ceramic Beads
Owl on a Branch - White, Blue, and Brown Wall Tile with Copper Wire, Wood, Bone, and Ceramic Beads
MERRY MEET - Wiccan Saying Triple Goddess Pentacle, Moon Phases, Vine Scroll Wall Tile with Wood, Glass Beads, and Copper
Greenman Tile Wall Plaque in Lavender with Hematite and Amethyst
Owl on a Branch - Wall Tile with Copper Wire, Animal Horn, and Glass Beads
So Mote It Be - Wiccan Saying, Spiral Triple Goddess Moon Phases Wall Tile with Copper Wire, Jet, Amethyst, Ceramic, and Copper Beads
Greenman Tile Wall Plaque in Mint and Turquiose with Glass and Lucite Beads
You can order these wall plaques from Khari's Wiccan Treasures (Etsy) shop.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Secrecy and public protest (should the bind Trump ritual been secret?)

Recently, an anonymous witch put forth the idea of a global magic ritual to bind President Donald Trump and his allies, to prevent them from doing harm to the environment and individuals. Such ideas are not new. For instance, last year a group of witches hexed convicted rapist and swimmer, Brock Turner, after his father argued that twenty years was a long time to be punished for twenty minutes of fun and a judge agreed, giving Brock just six months in jail and probation. And before the advent of social media and even the internet itself, groups of witches would occasionally get together to cast spells in the public interest—for instance, decades ago, several covens cast a spell to ensure the arrest of an unknown rapist that was preying on Denver’s Capital Hill neighborhood.

Such rituals are actually part of the DNA of modern witchcraft. Legends say that witches have gathered several times throughout history to cast spells at raiders threatening England. A tale from the Italian witchcraft lore that was in circulation before the formation of modern Wicca says that Italian witches gather together in times of need to magically correct wrongs being done to themselves. And while we know that such tales are made up to please researchers and believers, we must nevertheless acknowledge that the idea of resistance is there; and it did influence such people in the past as Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, as well as informs that beliefs of some of today’s crop of witches. The idea that witches bind together for the greater good, or at least to protect themselves and their loved ones, is as much part of our modern practices as the wheel of the year. It may not be widely taught today, but the traces of the idea are still there for those who decide to embrace such ideas.

Not everyone embraces such ideas. One of the reactions to the global binding of Trump, as well as the cursing of Brock Turner, was an outcall that real witches would never do such a thing. The most extreme reaction, outside of some trollish Christians who declared that this is why they support burning witches, was self-proclaimed authorities declaring that such spells violate the “harm none” law of Wicca and witchcraft, and that such spells are actually black magic.

Personally, I find it interesting that people line up to scream (figuratively, that is—though they might actually be screaming at their keyboards as they type) that such rituals are a form of harm to those that are being bound and cursed. Stop and think about it for a second. By invoking “harm none,” these critics of such binding rituals are arguing that the predators are allowed to continue doing whatever they like because the act of binding them actually harms them. In other words, they are more concerned that the predator will be harmed than they are about what harm the predator is inflecting on others.

Now, I will admit that in the case of binding President Trump, that such a discussion would be completely appropriate. After all, Trump is the President, and has been properly elected to represent the concerns and needs of the American people. And while many people loathe the man, and perhaps think that his policies and decisions are bad for everyone, not everyone feels that way—there are actually people who love our President and think that he is the best President that the United States has ever had. In the case of Trump, one is not merely binding a man in a limited way, but they are potentially preventing good that he might enable for some people. If one is honest, one must admit that for every person that Trump hurts, that he might be helping millions of other people. (Of course, the keyword in that sentence is “might”—the happy little cynic who says that Trump is only helping Trump himself could also be correct.) So in the case of binding Trump, one ends up using a slide rule and judging how much harm is allowed to be done to one set of people, or the environment, in exchange for how much benefit to another set of people while arguing about what section of the population is actually the most important for the health of the nation and possibly, the world.

As a result, one could claim that the binding of Trump is pure black magic, and that all the witches taking part are crypto-fascists hell-bent to overthrew the sovereignty of the United States to hasten the day when we are controlled by an one-world government; in essence, cursing the entire United States. (Some of my readers may think that I am making that bit up—nope, that was the actual reaction of one ceremonial magician who declared that he had been “secretly organizing” an resistance to the binding [hmmm, given his past behavior that “secretly organizing” claim is just him being unwilling to admit that he is so out of the loop that his least favorite critic actually blogged about the ritual before he, the brightest light in modern occultism, heard about it], and that the resistance would be organized around the astral Liberty Tree with him leading the patriots on the astral while his wife, the mighty Witch Queen [again, his words, not mine] would be organizing the physical end of the counter ritual.) The amount of harm being done by Trump is all in the eye of the beholder, and the internet predicatively was abuzz with arguments about whether or not, he was actually harming America.

But the most interesting reaction was those who declared that the very announcement of the ritual was a mistake, for it violated one of the most holy principles of witchcraft, the virtue of silence—and that it gave notice to the enemy who could easily short-circuit the ritual, as well as muddling up the working itself with too many amateur witches. This response, in my less than humble opinion, overlooks what the global binding ritual of Trump was really about. The truth of the matter is that secrecy does play a part in rituals. The binding of Trump is not the first ritual performed in modern times against a political leader—other leaders have gotten on the wrong side of witches and magicians—but a lot of these rituals have been secret with just a small group involved. So why was this binding ritual announced and spread though social media? Because the ritual was not meant to be secret—in fact, the knowledge of its existence was the real magic of the ritual, not any binding effects that it would have on Trump and his supporters.

In other words, the global binding ritual was meant to attract attention of social media, and in turn, the free press. And it worked. Attention was paid.

One of the things overlooked often by the modern generation of witches, especially those who are ignorant of Wicca’s British history, is the fact that Wicca always had one foot out, trying to get into the limelight. Gerald Gardner, Aliester Crowley (like him or hate him, he influenced Wicca), Alex Sanders and his wife, Maxine, as well as Sybil Leek, were all attention whores (so to speak). They wrote books and articles, gave interviews, encouraged newspaper and magazine articles, appeared on television—they were the original Big Name Witches. For them, publicity and public attention was good—they pursued publicity for fun and profit. What these early BNWs knew was that a tiny religion can get a lot of attention by being “dangerous,” that their opinions on religion and spirituality could get far more interest than the actual number of witches merited, by being outrageous. It was guerrilla marketing for the ideas and opinions of witches, a tactic of getting heard in a world that is full of other ideas.

And that, in my opinion, is what the public binding of Trump is really about—getting heard. It is about drawing attention to the possibility that perhaps Trump is bad news for everyone, other than himself, his nearest friends and their business interests—and that his values do not reflect the values of everyone. Modern Wicca and witchcraft with our values of common decency and environmental concern simply does not reflect the values that the Trump administration embodies, and we need to have our voices heard.

And this ritual, like it or not, will continue to draw attention in the future, for it is scheduled for every last quarter crescent moon between now and when Trump finally leaves office. The ritual will be a periodic reminder that not everyone is happy with a Trump presidency, and that some of those people call themselves witches and magicians.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Read an ebook week 2017 (Smashwords sale ends March 11)

It is Read an Ebook week.
Because ebooks are also books.
And in celebration, Smashwords is having their eighth annual Read an Ebook promotion (March 5 to March 11) where Smashwords authors are discounting some of their ebooks.

In my case, I am offering a discount on the following ebooks.

Witchy Rants--the first four year collection of the columns that I wrote for the monthly Hearthstone Community Church ("the Open Full Moon ritual people") monthly newsletter. Normally $2.99 USD--50% off (RAE50) $1.50 USD.

Five Reasons Magic Fails--an extended essay on five common reasons that spells fail to work. Normally $2.99 USD--50% off $1.50 USD.

Rite of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year (A Golden Dawn inspired Wiccan ritual)--a Wiccan ritual in which I combined the idea of astrological magical images with the eight Wiccan Sabbats. Normally $2.99 USD--50% (RAE50) $1.50 USD.

Golden Dawn Neophyte Ritual (Three Officer version)--an adaption of the traditional Golden Dawn Neophyte (0=0) lodge initiation ritual rewritten to be performed by only three officers (rather than the six to eleven officers that tradition usually calls for). Normally $5.99 USD--75% off (RAE75) $1.50 USD.

Shakespeare's Monkey--a collection of poems and short fiction that I wrote for a creative writing class at the Community College of Denver over a decade ago. Normally $1.99 USD--50% off (RAE50) $0.99 USD.

Also discounted are back issues of the Denver Witch Quarterly (a magazine devoted to paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, magick, and the occult). [Yes, we are accepting submissions!!!]

A Modest Magazine Proposal (DWQ Prospectus)--in which I talk about my plans for the Quarterly and my background in Denver's amateur pagan/Wiccan/magical magazine scene of the 90s. Includes important information for those who consider submitting material to the ezine. Normally $0.99 USD--FREE 100% off (SFREE).

Want to submit to the Quarterly? Email submissions to basttemple [at] msn [dot] com.
Denver Witch Quarterly most frequently asked contributor questions and answers.
To Curse, Or Not To Curse--The Big Cursing Issue (DWQ Samhain/Yule 2016)--in my primary editorial I ponder the ethics and technique of cursing a convicted rapist (who received an extremely light sentence) as a form of justice. Plus commentaries on Black Lives Matter (BHC); gun violence and gun control (MDE); Fiction: Short stories by A. J. Hallows (The Nightlight) and B. H. Crowley (Basil Unsealed). Plus a poem, Living Art by B. H. Crowley; Rituals: A fairy ritual in poetic form (MDE); An Anubis Samhain ritual and Honoring Horus on the Winter Solstice (Moongazer); Instructional article: Heavenly Watchers—Using the Four Royal Stars (Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares, Fomahault) and Sirius in astrology and magic (MDE); Interview with Gaius Corbin—The Voice of the Necronomicon Translation Project. Also included: Profit and Occult Writers—is it ethical for occult writers to make money? (MDE). Normally $2.99 USD--50% off (RAE50) $1.50 USD.

Wealth and the Lucky Witch (DWQ Imbolc/Ostara 2017)--Editorials: Don't tell me how to vote: Cause I never vote (BHC), Not a big enough safety pin (MDE); Fiction: All Sales Are Final (A. J. Hallows); Poetry: "A Kiss of Bliss, or Misery?" (The Broom Hill Crow),Body of a Goddess (Erin Lale), Blame It on the Wine. Or Kali. Or Both (Shea Herlihy-Abba), My Parents Don’t Like Kali ‘Cause She Drives a Mustang (Shea Herlihy-Abba); Instructional :Luck (Moon Gazer), Some money and luck spell tips and an ethical musing (MDE); Rituals: Shining the light on this year’s plantings at Imbolc (Moon Gazer), Ostara’s Plantings (Moon Gazer). Normally $2.99 USD--50% off (RAE50) $1.50 USD. 

Also discounted is a satire of the Simon Necronomicon--Gaius Corbin's Light Out of Darkness--Lux E Tenebris (Thelema and the Necronomicon): an humorous look at the claims of dark fluff occult books, their advertising and reviewing, and the occult world in general. Focusing on the fifty names of Marduk, this book lists the powers of the fifty-one names (yes, fifty-one), associating each name to verses from the Thelemic Holy Books, while making jokes about some of the odd things that has happened in the occult community. Normally $4.99 USD--50% off (RAE50) $2.99 USD.

My favorite Marduk name description--someone obviously has discovered how smart the dead really are.
How many occult personalities can you recognize?