Episode 14: The Afterlife

Published November 1, 2015 by The Forest's Edge

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Hear here!

Then put this song in your head!

As part of the annual Samhain observance, Betwixt and Between talk about various ideas about the afterlife from a range of cultures, discuss how to reconcile ghosts, work with ancestors, and other spirit activity with beliefs about reincarnation and realms of punishment and reward, and ramble about personal experiences, as per usual.

And hey, don’t forget to email us with a question or episode idea, and we’ll enter you into a drawing for a Betwixt and Between care package! You can expect handmade WItchy items, herbs from our gardens, and other cool surprises! So email us at betwixtandbetweenpodcast@gmail.com!

Links to things relating to things we talked about:

The Podcast History of our World

Peter Paddon – The afterlife ideas we attribute to him are found in this book and in The Crooked Path podcast.

Greek afterlife – Read about how the Greeks prepared their dead and what they thought happened after death.

Viking afterlife – So normal people don’t go to Hel, but Helheim, and don’t forget about Folkvang! Read about it here!

Celtic afterlife – Check out this page as a primer, or really get into the details with this article.

Jewish afterlife – Is there a heaven? Are the souls of the wicked tormented, or do they just cease to exist? Find out here!

Also, check out the Book of Job (here’s a summary article) and the tale of the Witch of Endor for yourself (medium of Endor? Woman with a familiar spirit of Endor?)

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Christian afterlife – You think you know everything about this, but do you? DO YOU!?!?!?!?

If you get discouraged by the patriarchy, check out this article about Jesus’s Vagina.

Buddhist and Hindu Traditions – What is reincarnation exactly? How do you slip out of the cycle? How does karma work?

Egyptian stuff – Pack up your stuff–you’re moving to the afterlife! Learn more here and here.

Prehistory – Humans, and humanoids, have been burying their dead for a long time. Here is just one of about a billion sources where you can learn more.

And Remember…A ghost a day keeps the psychiatrist away! Says Benevolent Bertram.

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Episode 13: Eclecticism

Published October 18, 2015 by The Forest's Edge

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Don’t forget to e-mail us your listener questions/episode suggestions, and bet entered in a drawing for a Betwixt and Between Witchy care package! betwixtandbetweenpodcast@gmail.com

Examining the practical application of the various spiritual influences that affect us all, Betwixt and Between discuss the ins and outs of an eclectic practice, including spiritual speed dating, finding your spiritual posse, and the perils of dream catchers. Just two Witches versions of how to be an eclectic Witch.

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Betwixt’s Dream Catcher, made from her grandmother’s lace.

Shameless promotion for a Tradition member’s eclectic fashion business: bohomonde

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Between’s eclectic kitchen altar to “Goddess of the Hearth and Home.”

*Apologies for the delay in publishing–this was meant to be the September episode. There will be an extra October episode to follow!

Episode 12: Mental Health and Spiritual Gifts

Published August 12, 2015 by The Forest's Edge

Mental Illness

Episode 12: Hear here!

In this episode, Betwixt and Between discuss mental illness, mental health, whether Witches and Pagans are “crazy,” and, perhaps most vehemently of all, when and how we should reach out to people we think might need help. Drawing on their backgrounds of both personal and professional experience, they try to unpack the anxieties many may feel about seeking help for mental health problems, and offer suggestions for seeking resources.

If you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, a more severe diagnosis like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, or is in an abusive situation, PLEASE reach out for help, and keep reaching out to different resources until someone listens. You are not alone, and there is hope out there for you.

Purely for informational purposes: The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnosis website

Guide to developing a resources list for your area

Items you’ll definitely want to include:

-Any community mental health clinics

-the number for your local Department of Children’s Services

-the number(s) for any organizations established to aid victims of sexual assault or abuse

-the number(s) for any organizations or shelters for people dealing with domestic abuse, starting with a local YWCA

-the number(s) for any local crisis hotlines or walk-in crisis centers (always take someone to the ER if you don’t have one of these in your area)

-the local suicide hotline number

-information such as numbers and websites for resources to help those without insurance

Here are some things you might find helpful in that regard:

State medicare contact number

Local health department apt to have low cost healthcare resources
http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help
https://ncadd.org/affiliate-network/find-an-affiliate

And on an unrelated note, here is Between’s favorite part of her kitchen renovation–new wee altar to the Hearth Goddess.

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Episode 11: Teachers

Published July 8, 2015 by The Forest's Edge

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Back after a LOOOOOOOOONG break, we catch up on what we’ve been up to, then discuss the teaching of Witchcraft.

What is a Witch teacher? What purpose does having one serve? And what are the pitfalls of being one?

It’s good to be back!

Info about cover crops (in case you want to expand the metaphor).

Chickens–the coolest/weirdest heads ever.

The NWW episode we referenced.

Isaac Bonewits cult evaluation.

Sarah Lawless’s take on teacher evaluation.

Betwixt’s chickens!!!!

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Are you seeing this adorable chicken coop? Super-cute. Coop.

 

 

 

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Between’s kitchen–before… (okay, it had linoleum, but no one thought to take a REAL before picture)20150621_022340[1]

…and…not quite after, because it is far from finished!

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And the lovely new paper-bag floor. 20150628_185148[1]

 

Episode 10: Spellworkin’

Published September 30, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

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What is a spell? When should you do one? What are the consequences? What are the mechanics? Betwixt and Between chat about their spell experiences, philosophies, and even foibles.

Note: We are not Law-of-Threefold-Return Witches. We are more equal-reaction Witches, which we both feel falls in line with the natural order of things. So actions, even magical ones, have consequences. Absolutely. No question. But the Law of Threefold Return doesn’t ring true for us. If it has been your experience, that is more than valid, and I certainly hope you are getting back three times the awesomeness you’re putting out there.

How we end up defining spell: an intentional direction of energy in this reality to change this reality; magically using this reality to change this reality, albeit possibly by working with or moving through elements of the Otherworld.

How is that different than magic? Well, magic is just…everything.

Our Three Elements for the Most Effective Spells:

1. Focused Intent

2. Relationships with all of the things (self, elements, spirits, ancestors, gods, etc.)

3. Effort in planning, constructing, considering, gathering…this plays back into focus of intent, essentially

WEEDS!

This is the “blue flower” Between goes on about: Asiatic Dayflower. It is called dayflower because its blooms last only for one day (not even–I got this pic from clipart.com because the ones I saw on my walk this morning had already withered by the time I went out to take my own pics). It turns out that this native of China is a bit of an invasive weed, but doesn’t really detract that much from native species. It can be eaten, and even has antibacterial and antitussive (cough) properties, and has been used in Asia to make a beautiful blue dye, albeit not a long-lasting one. In disturbed areas, particularly ones recovering from mining, dayflower can flourish, and absorb much higher levels of heavy metals like copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium than most other plants. Here’s what I found most magically interesting: though of course this plant produces pollen, it offers no nectar. Its appearance, however, tricks pollinators into thinking they are going to get a big nectar hit. I think this plant could be utilized very effectively in glamour magic, but also could be applied to healing, especially healing of the land.

Whitemouth_dayflower

Ah, Purple Deadnettle. Once upon a time, Betwixt wrote a blog about it, so I’m just going to link to it here.

Purple Deadnettle

Here is the VERY PREVALENT Three Seeded Mercury. Betwixt and Between both agree that this weed is great as a hastener in spells, due to its rapid spread, triple seed, and association with Mercury. Maybe even try it in workings for communication. It has also been used medicinally, although sparingly. It irritates the gastrointestinal tract, which make me think of using it to light a fire under someone who I need to get back to me about a matter…

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What are you, mystery plant that I thought might be Three-Seeded Mercury? Between is slightly useless at Google Image search.

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However, the nightshade plant that Betwixt gave Between is very happy…

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Books mentioned in the episode:

Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes

Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael

The Silver Bough by F. Marian McNeill

Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History by Owen Davies

Episode 9: Gardening, Ungardening, and Wilding

Published August 22, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

 

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Betwixt and Between take time this episode to describe their gardens and how creating and tending them contributes to their individual spiritual practices. The discussion touches not only on the tended spaces, but on the untended spaces as well, and finally veers into a brief take on the recent online dialogue around Apocalyptic Witchcraft.

Some views of Betwixt’s Gardens:

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Some views of Between’s Gardens:

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Some gardening and Green Witchy resources:

http://rueandhyssop.blogspot.com/

http://permacultureprinciples.com/

 http://witcheskitchen.com.au/the-witches-kitchen-garden/

http://www.alchemy-works.com/witchs_garden.html

http://www.tnps.org/ (or google your local native plant society)

 

For those interested in the Apocalyptic Witchcraft dialogue, check out the following links(this is just a sampling):

http://scarletimprint.com/2014/06/rewilding-witchcraft/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2013/10/apocalyptic-witchcraft.html

http://sarahannelawless.com/2014/07/01/the-witch-and-the-wild/

http://thearrivalandthereunion.com/

 

Episode 8: Cultural Appropriation

Published July 21, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

Hear Here!

Betwixt and Between talk with Mihika, a dear friend, scholar, practicing Hindu, and blogger behind OneHindu.net. This discussion asks what is cultural appropriation, why can it be problematic, and then turns to how to share another’s culture in a (hopefully) non-problematic way. Together they explore power dynamics and privledge, aesthetics vs. deeper cultural meanings, and the role of guilt in approaching one’s non-native culture.

Thank you again to New World Witchery, the iPod Witch, and any other podcaster or blogger who has been supporting us. What a great community this is!

Hail Saraswati!

saraswati

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa, Yaa shubhra-vastra’avritaa

Yaa veena-vara-danda-manditakara, Yaa shweta padma’asana

Yaa brahma’achyuta shankara prabhritibhir, Devai-sadaa pujitaa

Saa Maam Paatu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadya’apahaa.

Shuklaam Brahmavichaara Saara paramaam Aadhyaam Jagadvyapinim,

Veena Pustaka Dhaarineem Abhayadaam Jaadya’andhakaara’apahaam

Haste Sphaatika Maalikam Vidadhateem Padmasane Sansthitaam

Vande taam Parmeshwareem Bhagavateem Buddhipradaam Shardam.

(She, who is as fair as the Kunda flower, white as the moon, and a garland of Tushar flowers;and who is covered in white clothes

She, whose hands are adorned by the excellent veena, and whose seat is the pure white lotus;

She, who is praised by Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh; and prayed to by the Devas

O Mother Goddess, remove my ignorance!)

Resources that informed this show:

onehindu.net

Inciting a Riot, Episode 38: Inciting a Hindu Riot (and the latest episode, #88, is about privledge. Co-inkydink!)

Devin Hunter’s Modern Witch (Not Pagan Rapport, which is also lovely) Season 4, Episode 16: Pagans and Privilege

Lamplighter Blues, Episode 10: Baucherei (Not Pow Wow. Sheesh! Not batting 1000 here with the references…)

The Wild Hunt, “Hinduism, Indo-Paganism, and Cultural Appropriation” by Jason Pitzl-Waters

“Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers” by Randa Jarrar

And special thanks to Milk and Magpie for creating some wonderful Betwixt and Between artwork for us!

Melody's B

Below is a selection from a Privilege Walk Workshop, designed to give participants a visceral experience of their own privileges in relation to others without focusing solely on race, gender, economic status, etc.  It is meant to open up dialogue and perceptions.

The Privilege Walk Workshop is designed for students in college level courses across the country that are devoted to race, diversity, and the study of whiteness. This workshop has also been designed to provide college students with an opportunity to understand the intricacies of privilege. This exercise is controversial and should be voluntary, and it is very important that all who participate in this workshop remember to keep the things which are discussed confidential.

You will need a room that is large enough for all students who are participating in this workshop to stand in a single file line, shoulder to shoulder.

The facilitator should lay masking tape in middle of the room so there is equal distance to the front and to the back. The students should stand behind the line, so when the sentences are read aloud, the students will walk forward to go over the line for the privilege walk, or stay behind the line and take steps back on the privilege walk. Each step depends on the participants responses to the sentences that are read aloud by the facilitator.

The following is a list of some statements that apply to privilege–more can be added.

Please take one-step back: If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA not by choice.

  1. Please take one-step forward: If your primary ethnic identity is American.

  2. Please take one-step back: If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  3. Please take one-step forward: If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc.

  4. Please take one-step back: If you were ever ashamed or embarrassed of your clothes, house, car, etc.

  5. Please take one-step forward: If one or both of your parents has a college degree.

  6. Please take one-step back: If you were raised in an area, where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc.

  7. Please take one-step back: If you ever tried to change your appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being judged or ridiculed.

  8. Please take one-step forward: If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school.

  9. Please take one-step back: If you went to school speaking a language other than English.

  10. Please take one-step forward: if there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up.

  11. Please take one-step back: If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up.

  12. Please take one-step back: If one of your parents was unemployed or laid off, not by choice.

  13. Please take one-step forward: If you attended private school or summer camp.

  14. Please take one-step back: If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent.

  15. Please take one-step back: If you were ever discouraged from academics or jobs because of race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  16. Please take one-step forward: If you were encouraged to attend college by your parents.

  17. Please take one-step back: If you were raised in a single parent household.

  18. Please take one-step forward: If your family owned the house, where you grew up.

  19. Please take one-step forward: If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member.

  20. Please take one-step back: If you were ever denied employment because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  21. Please take one-step back: If you were paid less, treated less fairly because of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  22. Please take one-step back: If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  23. Please take one-step forward: If you ever inherited money or property.

  24. Please take one-step back: If you had to rely primarily on public transportation.

  25. Please take one-step back: If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  26. Please take one-step back: If you were ever afraid of violence because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

  27. Please take one-step back: If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation.

  28. Please take one-step back: If you were ever the victim of violence related to your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  29. Please take one-step back: If your parents did not grow up in the United States.

  30. Please take one-step forward: If your parents told you could be anything, you wanted to be.

 

 

 

Privilege Walk: