Lucky 13

Beautiful Tattoo Designs by Sarah Antoinette Martin: http://sara-land.blogspot.com

Above is a collection of designs by tattoo artist Sarah Anoinette Martin— if you are lucky enough to live in Brooklyn!

Today is Friday the 13th, a day that always felt a bit lucky.  Maybe it’s just the contrarian in me!  Friday is Freya’s day. There are 13 lunar cycles in a year.  13 witches in a traditional coven.  In a baker’s dozen, it means that extra cupcake.

To celebrate, I’m holding a one day sale in my Etsy Shop— everything is 13% off.  Use coupon code FRIDAY13.

Lucky Cat Earrings by Feral Strumpet on Etsy. All profits from these go to the RSPCA.

Cold Moon

A Cold Moon Treasury on Etsy

As part of Esbat celebrations, I’ve created a treasury for the Cold Moon with some of the beautiful handmade items available on Etsy.  With this moon in mind, it’s time to hibernate, conserve energy and respect the rhythms of the seasons.  Now is the time for delicious sleep, embracing the lush darkness and the latent excitement of the threshold to spring.  Small changes, now– sage smudging round the place, epsom salt baths with olive oil and an apple tea bag thrown in. Reading, dreaming of Imbolc. Some black out curtains for the bedroom to block out the jarring yellow street lamp!

Blessed Cold Moon, dear reader!

The Laidley Wyrm

Songs of Witchcraft and Magic CD, compiled by The Museum of Witchcraft

The Laily Worm ballad by Craig, Morgan, Robson

This track has haunted me for years.  It’s from the fascinating CD, Songs of Witchcraft and Magic compiled by the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall.  The delicate shifting harmonies of the two women’s voices seem to mimic the shimmering silver mackerel darting in the sea, or the twisting bulk of the worm or serpent that was once a boy.  In the Northumbrian version of the story,  the wyrm is a cursed girl named Margaret and she is saved by her brother’s kiss.  He has come to slay the serpent that has menaced his people when at the last minute he recognizes his sister as the creature and saves her with a kiss.

But in this version the serpent sings of his transformation and that of his mackerel sister Maisry– so close to misery, and strung out in the ballad as a three-pearl-syllable.  The mackerel consols the wyrm every Saturday at noon– in this verse they have knees and comb each other’s hair, suggesting at that one moment they may be human again.  The witch who has transformed them is as usual a wicked step mother.  Once caught, she calls the mackerel with a silver horn and all the fish in the sea come to her (what an image!).  But the mackerel refuses to obey, and stays a fish. “No more will I be changed by thee!” It cries.

The song closes with the terse couplet–the father goes to the “merry green wood” to gather hawthorn to build a “good bonfire to burn his lady in”.

I highly recommend this CD not only for its rousing strangeness but for the intelligently written booklet with lyrics and notes.

I have created a Grimoire bookmark inspired by the Laidly Wyrm, which is part of a series of grimoire bookmarks available in my Etsy shop.

The Laidly Wyrm Grimoire Bookmark