Witches are agents of disturbance within the symbolic order

By its very definition, magic has always referred to outsiders, others, and those whose practices and beliefs run contrary to Western orthodoxy.

More and more frequently, we’re seeing contemporary artists utilize the methodologies of witchcraft in their practice, largely because, by its very nature, witchcraft is a political and creative act commanding power back into the hands of people who have historically been banished from the inner circles of cultural authority.

According to critical theorist and witch icon, Silvia Federici, during the inquisitions of medieval Europe, folk healers were often persecuted. These witches cum female healers “were expropriated from a patrimony of empirical knowledge, regarding herbs and healing remedies, that they had accumulated and transmitted from generation to generation. This,” she continues, “was the rise of professional medicine, which erected in front of the ‘lower classes’ a wall of unchallengeable scientific knowledge, unaffordable and alien, despite its curative pretenses.”

“The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, and caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability, fragility, and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it; to protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care.”

Fundamentally, magic is about power, and both art and witchcraft still have it, although the form may be different than most of us have been taught to recognize.

from here.

“I feel like I’m getting more anonymous,” ~ Alice Oswald

Been slinking away from world again slinking back to bushes undergrowth trying to imagine life without electronics without screens without invisible connections imagine myself Virginia Woolf Keats Alice Oswald sitting next to flower borders at Kew underneath a tree a quill listening to a nightingale in a cold shed ink pen in hand screwed up papers thrown in corners I often suffer from information overload when caught in the net too many things rolling around electronic overdose it’s all too much I turn off the machine go outside you can write better poetry when you are disconnected from electronic stuff people make money from offering retreats in far-flung isolated places no internet they’ve got the right idea people want it the work of MacGillivray her performance pieces listen to her music read her poetry a woman totally rooted in real-worlds totally connected to surroundings to myths stories to music of witch-crafting to memory to history not part of mechanical publishing industries not got caught up in not connected to but howling slinking away to some bush create a métier all her own too easy to get embroiled in flashy outwardmoving to be retracting inwards become anonymous

word-weaving

Su Hui a poet and textile maker, lived in the kingdom of Former Qin (351-394 b.c.e.) in China. She invented a form of poetry called huiwen, a type of text that can be read in thousands of different ways. The poem in which this technique was first seen was produced as a textile piece. This was described in contemporary sources as shuttle-woven on brocade, meant to be read in a circle and consisting of 112 or else 840 characters. By the Tang period, the following story about the poem was current:

Dou Tao of Qinzhou was exiled to the desert, away from his wife Su Hui. Upon departure from Su Hui, Dou swore that he would not marry another person. However, as soon as he arrived in the desert region, he married someone. Su Hui composed a circular poem, wove it into a piece of brocade, and sent it to him.

In the Ming Dynasty the poem became popular and scholars discovered 7,940 ways to read it. The poem is in the form of a twenty-nine by twenty-nine character grid, and can be read forward or backwards, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, as well as within its color-coded grids. Another source, naming the poem as Xuanji Tu (Star Gauge or Picture of the Turning Sphere), claims that the grid as a whole was a palindromic poem comprehensible only to Dou (which would explain why none of the Tang sources reprinted it), and that when he read it, he left his desert wife and returned to Su Hui.

from here.

Brey, the surprise new hair colour taking over instagram!

For those of you that aren’t fans of the BBC’s The Fall (but seriously, how could you not be?!), we’ll forgive you for not previously spotting this new, and somewhat unexpected, hair colour trend. But what is this emerging trend, you ask? Well, it’s brey – AKA blonde/grey. And although this subtle hair hue was pioneered by Gillian Anderson’s character, Superintendent Stella Gibson, it is now taking the Instagram hair world by a storm!

~ from here and here

growth

“Sir David Attenborough might not be the first person feminists cite as their idol, but it is difficult to find fault in his emboldening interconnected analysis of gender inequality:

We are such a densely populated country, the world is only so big. You simply can’t go on increasing forever, so something’s going to stop it. Either we can stop it or the natural world will stop it for us. You’ll discover in countries where women have control over their own bodies, where they have education, where they have birth control, where they have facilities and where they are literate, when those things happen, the birth rate falls, 

always, always.

The only way we can halt overpopulation is by ensuring women have the vote, a decent education and political freedom across the world. Where women are given the rights over their own bodies; where they have political independence; where they have medical facilities to enable them to control the number of children they bear; where they are literate; where they have the vote; When those things happen, the birth rate falls. And that is a great start so that should be a lesson to us as to why we should send more help and not less to the parts of the world that face those problems.

from here and here.

women are spinners

‘Women are spinners and weavers; we are the ones who spin the threads and weave them into meaning and pattern. Like silkworms, we create those threads out of our own substance, pulling the strong, fine fibres out of our own hearts and wombs. It’s time to make some new threads; time to strengthen the frayed wild edges of our own being and then weave ourselves back into the fabric of our culture. Once we knew the patterns for weaving the world; we can piece them together again. Women can heal the Wasteland. We can remake the world. This is what women do. This is our work.’

From If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie