Maria Lassnig, Woman Laokoon, 1976

» http://niaskotl.tumblr.com/post/72335844849/asksecularwitch-niaskotl-asksecularwitch





I know that this isn’t going to gain me any new likes and may drop a few peeps but I have to say it anyways. Actually… I don’t have to say it. I could choose to be all squeaky clean and love and light and rainbows and not speak it how it is. But I’m not like that; I’m not going to pretend to be all nice and loving when people need to be confronted with the truth. So what are we talking about? Dabblers! If it is one thing that I cannot stand it is ignorant people who dabble in the Occult. It infuriates me. I find it disrespectful and damaging. Not just damaging to the person but it can be quite damaging to the energies around them, the people they influence etc…

I’ve noticed a huge increase in people who say they ‘Dabble’ and it bugs me. I try to be respectful and just let them do what they please but I feel it is a slap in the face to ME, To my people, to Witchcraft as a whole because it isn’t something you ‘dabble’ in. I have spent my life understanding and working with the craft, I still do and will always and here you have people who ‘play’ and think they can find a Spell online or in a book and just do what it asks and they can call on ‘daemons’ and get things done for them. It works and that is cool for them but then they don’t understand how to release, they don’t understand what it means to make a ‘pact’ or what it means to really finish the entire work. I have had to clean up quite a few messes and it was all due to the ignorance of someone thinking that Witchcraft was something they could just play with and not something that actually required them to think or study or do actual work.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that ‘Dabbling’ is safe or dangerous? Does it irritate you or not? What do you do when you see this going around? Do you bite your tongue? Have you had to deal with these people and fix their messes?

I feel the dabbling is one of the most important gateways for people to get into the occult, paganism, witchcraft, and other aspects that would be represented here. It’s literally how I managed to get my ass on the train. I DO HOPE YOU FEEL LIKE I SLAPPED YOU, BECAUSE CLEARLY MY DABBLING WAS ABOUT YOU, RIGHT?

No. It wasn’t. But I do hope you get over that sore cheek, because I’m pretty sure I slapped you into next fucking tuesday of 2112. Because it’s people like you who told me that I didn’t know what I was messing with and didn’t know what I was doing, that showed me how little they knew of what witchcraft was and how witchcraft can be gained through working out experiments and trying things for myself.

Don’t worry, I piss on them and you every day that I work my witchcraft, going almost on 14 years here. So fuck you, and have a nice day.

Oh and don’t worry, you don’t have to clean up any messes from me, deary, since I fucking had little to no messes to start with and if I did, I fucking dealt with them myself, as priority for the course. BUT CLEARLY ALL DABBLERS CAN’T CLEAN HOUSE IF THEY DAMN DABBLERZ RIGHT? Please.

No, I don’t have a problem with Dabblers. Dabbling is good in the respects of, hey let’s try this out. Witchcraft, spellwork, paganism, etc may not be for someone, and taking the chance the moment to spend some time with it, to do a luck spell or to do a money spell, to see if there’s any kind of religious or non-religious angle waiting there for someone to try to get into, is all important. 

Maybe you were raised with it, maybe you had family members teaching you from the beginning of your life about witchcraft, maybe you had that option, but I surely didn’t, and a lot of other people don’t either. The only way to get access to that was practicing it through dabbling and speaking with a large grouping of people about it, and how to work it and how they work it. And their views based on my experiences with working it.

and if you weren’t raised with it, taught by parents, etc. How the fuck did you get to practicing it? Think about it. 

By working through different forms of spellwork, by sitting down and making contracts with spirits (which by the way, I know how to do based on dabbling with it, thank you. Please sit down before you hurt yourself with your arrogance that one cannot possibly understand the concept of a contract or a pact outside of witchcraft.), by doing divinations, by having little experiments here and there through some of the most “common knowledge” myths of the witchcraft community, I built my practice from the ground up. Totally unique to myself, totally shifting and ever changing, and totally based around fresh experiences that I work myself.

Dabbling *IS* important. Dabbling *IS NOT* an insult to your practice. Dabbling is NOT any of your business, unless someone makes it about you and makes it about your business (which clearly someone decided in their infinite wisdom to let *YOU* begrudgingly handle their business, based on that collection of sentences right there. So basically you’re just pissy about having to deal with someone else’s problems? Could have fucking said no. Just an FYI.). Dabbling *IS NOT* a slap in your face, despite how wounded you might feel over it, because it’s not about you.

Witchcraft is not a thing which requires “study” ever day all day, for the rest of your life. That’s a myth that is perpetuated by the vast New Age Authors and their collection of holier than thou mentality. Sometimes life is more important that Witchcraft. People have things to do, besides sit down and arm chair witchcraft for the rest of their lives. People have things to do like pay their bills, work on their education, go to their jobs, take care of their children, try to feed and care for themselves, work through their own problems, etc. Not everyone has time to spend 10 minutes out of their day to work on a witchcraft thing, every damn day. Likewise, how much studying are you gonna do for, let’s say one element of witchcraft.

Let’s just say your witchcraft practice, is solely white-candle-pillar-paraffin-wax candles that you charge and burn. That’s the whole practice, every spell, all day every day. You only need to learn that … ONCE. And you’re done. You only need to study that, ONCE, and you’re done.

What you’re going to study that candle-spell-for-everything-practice every day for the rest of your life? That doesn’t make any sense. A complete practice, needs only to be learned once, and then worked for every the same way all the time. Which is exactly why I don’t call my practice a “complete practice.” I almost never do the same thing twice. 

So it really doesn’t make sense that once you learn a complete practice (now let’s include other things there), to continue to sit there and “study” it unless you intend to improve upon the design? In which case that’s an entirely different topic, which is not about studying it, but about moving it forward. 

Unless you’d like to argue that witchcraft is some kind of religious or spiritual entanglement, in which case, lol. Not always. Sometimes witchcraft can be a religion or a spiritual practice, but it doesn’t have to be. It really doesn’t have to be. 

In any case, let me answer your “Is Dabbling Dangerous”?

It can be. Sure you can set fire to your eyebrows, call up a demon by accident (and then have the best Uno night of your life 4 ever bffs with that demon), accidentally poison and kill your pets because you were reading some new age book that told you to go ahead and give your pets something which would kill them, you can fuck your whole life up by doing a rape spell [because now you are in jail you sick fuck], you can fuck someone else’s life up by doing an attraction spell which attracts everything like a magnet to that person, good bad ugly, but hey that’s kinda the point of dabbling.

"Fuck it. Let’s see what happens."

Having that ignorance, having zero expectations, having no plans for what will happen, having no beliefs set and ready to go, makes for a deep learning experience. And that may not be a positive thing. It may be something that haunts that person for the rest of their lives, because of that decision.

Which is why you don’t fucking turn around and ‘shame’ someone for dabbling - because they may already be living in a mess that they made themselves because of their dabbling. What you do, to deal with that, is to make sure they take responsibility for their actions, and should THEY ask YOU for help, and should YOU give a shit to give help, then give help. But otherwise, leave them be. Sink or swim. Fuck it. Let’s see what happens. Because if you’re not going to help them, then why are you adding on to their misery. If you’re going to complain about them asking you for help, why are you offering to listen to them? Why are you giving them your time. Clearly you think your time is better set for other things, so why are you even fucking bothering? I think the reason you’re bothering, is so you can feel good about yourself, rather than alleviate their problems. Which is just you stroking your ego-cock to the point of climax. So please, get it out of my face.

I’m a bit brutal about dabbling as a fellow dabbler. 

If I asked for help - which I’m sure I did - i’m not stupid or arrogant enough to say that I never needed help, it was not “hey can you fix my problem” it was hey, how would you handle this problem. Or if I had heard something that potentially might be a problem, I’d ask folks if I really needed to, if I couldn’t figure it out. Again, asking how they would handle it. Which is something that as a dabbling going in blindly, was probably a good thing, and not all dabblers do that.

They ask for people to fix their problems. They aren’t like me. I’m not saying that. And there’s no shame in that, you get overwhelmed, can’t deal with a problem, asking for help is not a bad fucking thing. It shouldn’t be something that people should feel BAD about asking for help. If you need help, you need help. Jesus. It’s not rocket science.

But if YOU, as the help giver, are only doing it to make yourself feel good, that shows me more about YOU than them. 

And you know what, they can go right back to dabbling, and get themselves fucked up in something (probably the same thing) and ask for help AGAIN. Because that’s just how they work. 

You don’t have to help them.

You have no obligation.

You can sit this one out.

I am telling you what you already know. 

But to be sure, I don’t want to hear the word “dabbler” come out of your mouth not one bit ever again.

In any case, I don’t think there’s a “solution” to be had about it.

If you want to help people with their problems, then fucking help them and shut the fuck up about it. Spreading their business around like fucking Miracle Gro-bullshit.

If you don’t want to help people, then fucking don’t. And shut the fuck up about it.

This is more a bitch rant about helping people than it is about dealing with dabblers as a whole. Fuck you.

Yes! Totally agree with you, asksecularwitch. Dabbling is the singlebest way to get into magick/witchcraft. If someone comes to you promising to show you the one true way to do magick then you’re likely to end up with a very stunted spiritual development. Different people do better with different practices and nobody should be expected to right off know what is best for them. So experiment, dabble, fuck around with different styles and pantheons and see what you can get results with.

That said, dabbling should involve doing the work! Don’t be lazy with it, really trow yourself into your experiments. And you will fuck up, but so mote it be. If you do, drop by your local occult group and ask for advice. If they give you some more pagan than thou bullshit, find a better group!

And as far as disrespectful. Fuck that. Dabbling is no more disrespectful to established traditions than fan fiction is to cannon plot. Nobody has a right to tell you that you shouldn’t explore your own path where it leads you to explore. Do what thou wilt!

To be assured, there are some ways it can be disrespectful - see closed religion or closed practices which require one to be in the religion/practice before hand.

BUT it’s only in that case, for those established traditions which are closed.

But yes.

I think it’s important to understand why a tradition is closed or why it keeps secrets. I can relate with my experience with the OTO. The OTO definitely has secret rituals. The reason for the secrecy amounts basically to the same reason why you don’t want to hear spoilers about a show you’re watching. It ruins the emotional impact of the ritual or initiation to know at an intellectual level ahead of time.

You can also have secret rituals or secret elements of rituals that become more potent by being isolated by secrecy.

Similarly you can have symbols within a group that are marks of position and within the group certain decorum is expected. A coven or other worknig group may have restrictions about who can wear what symbols, or make what actions. Such restrictions set up power dynamics. One should be pay attention to why these power dynamics exist and decide for oneself whether they are useful or not. I’m afraid in far too many cases they seem to be more about over-inflated egos than structure for effective spellwork.


Into the Mighty Forest

Theodore Kittlesen

Aleksandra Waliszewska


2k14 goal: Become weirder and queerer

(via jamiedavidalee)


Edible flowers (clockwise from top): Dianthus, Star flower, Calendula, Rose, Viola, scented Geranium, Rosemary, Nasturtium, and Borage in centre

For future art, writing, and spellwork:
Dianthus, the formal name for carnation, comes from the Greek for “heavenly flower.”  From Wikipedia, “For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on colour.”  For example, Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection; white carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolize regret that a love cannot be shared; purple carnations indicate capriciousness.  In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.  Carnations also represent bad luck or misfortune in France and Francophone cultures.

The flower symbolism associated with Calendula, marigolds, is indicated in the name: Mary’s Gold. Marigold flowers were “golden gifts” offered to the Virgin by the poor who could not afford to give actual gold. Marigolds were used in Mary Gardens. Marigolds are symbolic of passion and creativity. Marigolds are also known as the “Herb of the Sun.” Marigolds have been used as love charms and incorporated into wedding garlands. In some cultures, marigold flowers have been added to pillows to encourage prophetic or psychic dreams.  The flower symbolism associated with the calendula is grief, despair and sorrow. Calendula blossoms in wine are said to ease indigestion. Calendula petals are used in ointments to cure skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches.  Calendula was also often called pot marigold because it was used as seasoning in the cooking pots of the poor and was used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron, adding its color to cakes, butter, and puddings.

Red Roses: A red rose is an unmistakable expression of love.Red roses convey deep emotions - be it love, longing or desire. Red Roses can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to convey heartfelt regret and sorrow. The number of red roses has special romantic meanings associated with them. 12 red roses is the most popular of all which conveys “Be mine” and “I love you”
White Roses: White is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers are generally associated with new beginnings and make an ideal accompaniment to a first-time bride walking down the aisle. White flowers can be used to convey sympathy or humility. They also are indicative of spirituality. Hence, white roses also follow suit.
Yellow Roses: Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, like the other roses, does not carry an undertone of romance. It indicates purely platonic emotions.
Pink Roses: There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Over all, pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation. Pink roses also connote elegance and grace.
Orange Roses: While a yellow rose reminds us of the sun, an orange rose reminds us of a fiery blaze. These fiery bloomssignify passion and energy. Orange roses can be used to express intense desire, pride and fervor. They also convey a sense of fascination. These flowers rival only the red roses as messengers of passion in romance.
Lavender Roses: A Lavender rose like its color conveys enchantment. It also expresses “love at first sight”. Darker shades of lavender roses (close to purple) convey a sense of regal majesty and splendor. These roses are used to express fascination and adoration.
Blue Roses: A perfectly blue rose is still elusive like the perfectly black rose. Blue roses cannot be achieved naturally so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable. They say "I can’t have you but I can’t stop thinking about you"
Green roses: Green is the color of harmony, of opulence, of fertility. It is also a color indicative of peace and tranquility. Green roses (these are off-white roses with shades of green) can symbolize best wishes for a prosperous new life or wishes for recovery of good health.
Black Roses: Black is the color of death and farewell. A black rose, like the blue rose remains elusive. What we know as black roses are actually really dark red roses. Black roses convey the death of a feeling or idea. Sending black roses to someone indicates the death of the relationship.
Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce Rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products and some makeup products.
In France there is much use of rose syrup, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows.
Rose flowers are used as food, also usually as flavoring or to add their scent to food. Other minor uses include candied rose petals
Rose creams (rose flavored fondant covered in chocolate, often topped with a crystallised rose petal) are a traditional English confectionery widely available from numerous producers in the UK.

Folklore says the violet connotes a love that is delicate. The sensibility of delicacy is also associated with the violet from ancient mythology. Roman and Greek myths recount a tragic story of one of the goddess Diana’s (Artemis) nymph companions, all of whom had sworn to stay maidens. The nymph was unrelentingly chased by Diana’s twin brother, Apollo, so that Diana changed the nymph into a violet to protect her. The modesty of the nymph is attributed to the violet.  Inspired by mythology, Victorian floriography—-the language of flowers—-assigns to the violet a meaning of retiring modesty. The white violet, in the Victorian mind, means candor; innocence, too. It was much the same during the Renaissance, when the meanings of flowers were not just simple assigned values, but reflected an essence that led to an understanding of the Divine. Under the influence of Classical scholarship and religious symbolism, the violet during the Renaissance also meant modesty.
The ancient Persians and Greeks used the violet to heal the heart and the head. An infusion of violets in hot water helped to ease a broken heart. Greeks used the plants to help induce sleep, and to calm anger. It was used as a symbol of innocence and modesty. Medieval Christians believed violets were once strong, upright flowers until the day, the shadow of the cross fell upon them on Mount Calvary. Forever after they bowed in shame at what man had done. In connection with this legend, violets were often used in Good Friday ceremonies. However, while the violet is usually noted as being modest, Sir Walter Scott once characterized it as a ~boastful queen of the forest flowers.~
Violets are also considered to be funeral flowers. It was thrown in graves for remembrance in rural England. The mourners also carried violets to protect themselves against poisonous exhalations while in the cemetery. In ancient Greece, so many violets were placed in a grave that they almost completed concealed the body, and they were also scattered about tombs. Persephone was gathering violets the day she was kidnapped by Pluto and carried off to the Underworld. Josephine had them showered on her coffin when she died. Napoleon the Little was buried under a pall of woven violets. Because of their association with death, violets became a flower of ill omen. 
When newly opened, viola flowers may be used to decorate salads or in stuffings for poultry or fish. Soufflés, cream, and similar desserts can be flavoured with essence ofViola flowers. The young leaves are edible raw or cooked as a somewhat bland leaf vegetable. The flowers and leaves of the cultivar ‘Rebecca’, one of the Violetta violets, has a distinct vanilla flavor with hints of wintergreen. The pungent perfume of some varieties of V. odorata adds inimitable sweetness to desserts, fruit salads, and teas while the mild pea flavor of V. tricolor combines equally well with sweet or savory foods, like grilled meats and steamed vegetables. The heart-shaped leaves of V. odorata provide a free source of greens throughout a long growing season.
A candied violet or crystallized violet is a flower, usually of Viola odorata, preserved by a coating of egg white and crystallized sugar. Alternatively, hot syrup is poured over the fresh flower (or the flower is immersed in the syrup) and stirred until the sugar recrystallizes and has dried. This method is still used for rose petals and was applied to orange flowers in the past (when almonds or orange peel are treated this way they are called pralines). Candied violets are still made commercially in Toulouse, France, where they are known as violettes de Toulouse. They are used as decorating or included in aromatic desserts.
The French are also known for their violet syrup, most commonly made from an extract of violets. In the United States, this French violet syrup is used to make violet scones and marshmallows.

The flower symbolism associated with the geranium is a true friend, stupidity, folly and meeting. The genus name is derived from the Greek word geranos, meaning “crane”. The name derives from the appearance of the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a crane. Geraniums are found in temperate regions of the world and in tropical mountains.  Very easy to grow.

Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens and has many culinary and medical uses. The plant is said to improve the memory. The leaves are used to flavor various foods, such as stuffings and roast meats.
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary, and from this association with weddings, rosemary evolved into a love charm. Newlywed couples would plant a branch of rosemary on their wedding day. If the branch grew, it was a good omen for the union and family. In ‘A Modern Herbal’, Mrs Grieves says, “A rosemary branch, richly gilded and tied with silken ribands of all colors, was also presented to wedding guests, as a symbol of love and loyalty.” If a young person would tap another with a rosemary sprig and if the sprig contained an open flower, it was said that the couple would fall in love.

Rosemary was used as a divinatory herb. Several herbs were grown in pots and assigned the name of a potential lover. They were left to grow and the plant that grew the strongest and fastest gave the answer. Rosemary was stuffed into poppets (cloth dolls) to attract a lover or attract curative vibrations for illness. It was believed that placing a sprig of rosemary under a pillow before sleep would repel nightmares, and if placed outside the home it would repel witches. Somehow, the use of rosemary in the garden to repel witches turned into signification that the woman ruled the household in homes and gardens where rosemary grew abundantly. By the 16th century, men were known to rip up rosemary bushes to show that they, not their wives, ruled the roost.

Nasturtium flowers are considered on emblem of conquest and victory; however, they are also representative of charity. As a gift, these blossoms are often given to represent the end of a struggle, or as encouragement during a long journey.  Nasturtiums are long-lasting and popular in the kitchen. Used in salads, vinegars etc., the flowers and the leaves have a sweet, peppery taste. It is for its tangy taste that nasturtium gets its common name. During World War II, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black peeper, which was unattainable. Sun and heat tend to make the pepper taste in the nasturtiums, more spicy. Flowers planted in the shade or semi-shade have a milder tang.  The Indians of Peru used the leaves as a tea to treat coughs, colds and the flu, as well as menstrual and respiratory problems. Being high in vitamin C, nasturtiums act as a natural antibiotic, and as such were used topically as a poultice for minor cuts and scratches. Nasturtiums are also used in Ayurvedic medicine. The leaves are rubbed on the gums to stimulate and cleanse them. Early English herbalists referred to nasturtiums as Indian Cress.

Carrying fresh borage, or starflower, blossoms brings courage. The tea is said to induce your psychic powers. Culpeper assigned the astrological rulership of Borage to Jupiter, the planet of expansiveness and generosity, and put it under Leo, the sign that rules the heart.  A person needing Borage fears failure. They feel that it is their duty to take on all the responsibility in a given situation, resulting in resenting their role in life. Somatically this attitude can be expressed as stiffness in the joints, high blood pressure, tension headaches and flaring eczema. People needing the remedy Borage tend to be warmer than others and to feel worse in the heat.  There is a sense that they must attend to every detail or a catastrophe will befall the family. By saving others, they are limiting the possibility that they themselves will be abandoned. Gradually they lose any playful, carefree, and spontaneous aspects, because they feel that everything has to be right. They may become very disagreeable and easily offended, resenting the choices of other people.
As an herb, it comforts the heart, bringing cheer, restoring adrenal functioning, promoting lactation in nursing mothers and healing fevers of pulmonary origin. As well, it reduces cholesterol and soothes the gastric mucosa and respiratory tract.
As a homeopathic remedy, it brings playfulness and spontaneity to persons who have been burdened by family responsibility, becoming hardened and resentful. Their argumentativeness stems from their protective nature due to their anxiety about the family’s welfare.
The flower essence promotes optimism and enthusiasm in a person who has suffered burdens experienced in the heart.
A central theme emerges: Borage is a remedy for heaviness of the heart, bringing lightness and flexibility. Dioscorides’ remarkable observation of two thousand years ago is consistent with all three modern perspectives: he said that Borage ‘cheers the heart and helps drooping spirits.’
May the reader find Borage, as a remedy or flower essence or even a living plant to meditate with, as a healing balm for a heaviness of the heart.


(t-shirt my boyfriend made for me for xmas)


AA Bronson, 2011