Recent Report From the Field: Hanging with the Witches
I had this idea for the Oaktown Girls series that book Number 3 (Title to be determined) would use a local business that is expressly ‘Magickal’, Raven’s Wing Magical Company, as a setting. It’s a fascinating place … and it has a truly lovely vibe. My character Sally, introduced in Book Two, called Committed, is a psychic. In book 3 she lands a job at a company much like Raven’s Wing.
When you walk in to Raven’s Wing, you’re immediately struck by the fact that it is packed with ALL sorts of paraphernalia related to metaphysics, witchcraft, spell casting, herbal healing, tarot and psychic phenomenon. Plus it’s filled with amazing jewelry and books. Here and there, people sit and read from the stores book collection … or perhaps they’re on their way to the small room in the back for a psychic reading.
The focus, from the gnarled tree branches that hang in the window, displaying wares, to the casual cauldrons, statues and pentacles here and there, is on reverence for the old ways. This would include a real step into ancient rituals (plus a little whiskey) that were part of a recent Hounds of Hecate ceremony I attended recently.
Hecate (pronounced Heck-ah-tey) was a goddess who hung out with Persephone in the afterlife. More importantly, she was the goddess of witchcraft, the night and the moon. Regardless of her story, she was invoked as a bringer of good for basically whatever you need. So write down our needs we did — on little pieces of paper that were filled with what appeared to be hindi on one side. A few moments later, all of our requests were burned up in a small black cauldron under the (non) light of the New Moon.
Afterwards, a circle was cast around our table of participants, and we were led by a local shaman to chant exhortations to Hecate, and set up a brew of garlic and whiskey that would ferment gently for the next month as our offering to the goddess. It was a remarkable event — and I was even given a chance to go within and tell off those who might wish to harm me from the afterlife.
I’m happy to report no bad energies were showing up … which our shaman pronounced “just wonderful!” I quite agree. It seems to me that this new/ancient form of goddess worship and invocation is just another manifestation of how to be spiritual not religious. Whatever your beliefs, I also firmly maintain it’s a good idea to check out how and other people touch their spirituality.
I was not disappointed … the ceremony provided insights and ideas. Thanks Raven’s Wing! A full calendar of their events in Oakland can be found here. They also have a shop, and events, in Portland, OR.