Sunday, June 26, 2016

We Have Lost Our Damn Minds (Dorian Wallace)

Feels that way doesn't it? People constantly fighting each other from the safety of their computer screen because they both believe they are right, entire Countries leaving safety with racism as it's motivation and not actual facts, people killing others because they cannot accept themselves.....and then the same fucking circle jerk of a conversation happens and not one thing changes.

Are we so plugged in that we've tuned out? We're so saturated with "news" that we don't know what is real and what is an opinion piece aimed to advertise at you or anger you toward ,"them." The version of ,"them" depends on who's article you're reading.

We know so much about people we've never met in real life, but we consider them friends. Don't get me wrong, I have met some amazing people through social's like having a global village at my finger tips. But seriously, I don't need to know intimate details about your bladder infection "Betsey", none of us do. Yes, absolutely, your page, your rules....but don't be surprised when you get unfriended.

We are pretty much several places at once at any given moment. We may be out to dinner with our loved one, but we bring along the entirety of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Plus and a plethora of other social media outlets that Gen Xers like me have no clue even exist. We post pictures of our food, tag the people we are with, announce our next destination in hopes of getting actual face time with some of the local natives. I am guilty of this myself and I'm not saying it's always a bad thing. I can keep up with my family across the globe and I have met so many wonderful people that I can't imagine not having in my life. I have watched some of those people pass away as well...some that I had known for years and some that I probably never would have crossed paths with. I am grateful for the time I had with them.

Being so plugged in has also made us ugly toward each other. We feel safe saying the most vile things to strangers that would get our teeth knocked down our throats in public. We see something we disagree with, so we track down the offenders home address, threaten their family, get them fired and try to destroy their lives because they said or did something stupid. If they are in a spot of speaking for a community and they are spreading hate, absolutely they need to be held accountable, but if they are not voting for your candidate...let it go. You don't have to show up to every fight you are invited to. Instead of having a knee jerk reaction, take a breath and keep scrolling.

I think we could all benefit from turning off our devices and getting out in nature and powering up our magick cells. Let the angry people scream into the not give them an audience. Go stick your feet in water, walk in the grass or go sleep under the stars. Recharge!

Bright Blessings.

Swamp Tales (Danette Wilson)

New Orleans and Hexfest 2016 was a moveable feast. Highly recommended. I just did not have the time to totally share everything that is fascinating about New Orleans and beyond on the June 17 Desperate House Witches show! I returned home with so many memories and stories.

I decided to share a few of the legends shared with me on my journey, here with you, I hope you enjoy.

The rougarou is a legendary creature in Laurentian (Quebec) French communities linked to European notions of the werewolf.

According to Cajun folklore, the tale of the rougarou is a common legend across French Louisiana. Some people call the monster rougarou; others refer to it as the loup-garou. Both words are used interchangeably in southern Louisiana.

Loup is French for wolf, and garou from French garulf, with English werewolf.

Loup Garou
In the Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and New Orleans, and possibly the fields or forests of the regions. The rougarou most often is described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend.

A common blood sucking legend says that the rougarou is under the spell for 101 days. After that time, the curse is transferred from person to person when the rougarou draws another human’s blood. During that day the creature returns to human form. Although acting sickly, the human refrains from telling others of the situation for fear of being killed.

Other stories range from the rougarou as a rabbit to the rougarou being derived from witchcraft. In the latter claim, only a witch can make a rougarou, either by turning into a wolf herself, or by cursing others with lycanthropy.

In Native American folklore, the creature, spelled rugaru, derives from Native American legends, though there is some dispute. Such folklore versions of the rugaru vary from being Bigfoot (Sasquatch) creatures to cannibalistic Native American or Native Canadian Wendi. Some dispute the connection between these folktales and the French rugaru.

As is the norm with legends transmitted by oral tradition, stories often contradict one another. The stories of the wendigo vary by tribe and region, but the most common cause of the change is typically related to cannibalism.

An example, is that if a person sees a rugaru, that person will be transformed into one. Thereafter, the unfortunate victim will be doomed to wander in the form of this monster.

Wolves are not native to Louisiana, so many times the beast in the story is replaced with other animals such as dogs, pigs or cattle, and generally appear as being pale white in color. As the story goes, the rougarou will wander the streets at night searching for a savior amongst the crowds of people. It will run through and cause havoc to each individual until somebody eventually shoots or stabs the creature.

Honey Island Swamp Monster

The first documented sighting of the creature took place in early August of 1963. Harlan Ford, a retired air traffic controller, and his friend Ray Mills came home from the swamp with an incredible story. The pair of veteran hunters claimed that while out in the swamps they came across a large creature standing over the body of a dead boar. The strange creature had apparently ripped the boar’s throat completely out. Harlan described the creature as being covered in dingy grey hair, with longer hair hanging from its head. The two estimated the creature weighed close to 400 pounds and stood about 7 feet tall. The creature’s enormous size and hair was frightening enough, but the amber colored eyes and horrible stench that reeked from the creature were the two things that stuck in Harlan and Ray’s mind from this unbelievable encounter.

While news of this story spread like wildfire, the locals knew that stories of this ferocious creature go back hundreds of years. The Native Americans of the area called the creature Letiche, and described it as meat eating, human-like creature that lived in the water and on the land. The Indians from this area believed that the swamp monster was once an abandoned child who was raised by alligators in the deep dark regions of the swamp.

The Honey Island Swamp Monster, also known as the Louisiana Wookie, is said to be covered in a thick coat of matted gray or brown hair and swamp weed. Its yellow eyes are seemingly reptilian, and the smell it emits has been called the stench of death.

This primitive creature has long been blamed for the deaths of livestock and the mysterious disappearances of children in adjacent areas. Popular lore in the region is that the Honey Island Swamp Monster might be the horrifying product of a union between a chimpanzee and an alligator. And in the darkly primordial swamplands that must look much the same now as they did thousands of years ago, the existence of almost any creature seems possible no matter how ominous.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Loss (Dorian Wallace)

First and foremost, Happy Father's Day!

I wrestled with what to write this week, and still am pretty much stuck on words....the right ones are getting harder to find with every tragedy, with every stupid thing a politician or bigoted person says.

I will say this, spread love.....make your magickal working from a place of love. I'm not saying everyone has to like each other, but it's your choice to accept or decline an invitation to a fight.

To my LGBT family....words cannot express my sorrow for what happened. I have not had to walk in your shoes, but I will always walk by your side. I love you.