The Midnight Nurse

Currently I live in my car. The story of how I got here is long and winding. I will discuss part of it, but mainly I want to talk about what I have discovered along the way. Whereas this has not been entirely a journey of my choosing it has been entirely a journey of my construction. So with out further ado, ladies and gentlemen,  I present the Alchemical Rebirth of the Mutant Mage.

Parking Lot Saints

When my ex and I decided to set the ship of our relationship aflame and run it aground, I stumbled ashore a worse wreck than our Pirate Utopia had been. Since I had been working for my In-Laws, I lost my job along with my marriage and my home of 8 years. At the time in Austin there existed a job share company with a pink logo and I joined their ranks. I was good at it, earning  $3000 to $4000 a month. I only accomplished this from working 40-60 hours a week and sleeping in my car in parking lots. This how I discovered the strange  and magical ecology that exists in the parking lots of a certain large chain retailer.

I have met many interesting characters here on the margins of society, Travel Trailer Nomads, Homeless Vets, Schoolies (people who live in school buses converted to RVs), and Car, Truck and Van Folks. Some are couples, some are loners, while others are Tribes both formal and informal, one thing they all have in common, they don’t fit in anywhere else. These are the Vagabonds and Nomads of the twenty first century and they are fiercely loyal to one another. I would trust a parking lot nomad to help me over the average suburbanite any day of the week. I guess when one gets used to being misjudged by society, being judgmental of others seems a bit pointless. These are the survivors, people living off of scraps and resources others are too lazy to utilize. These hardy individuals solar cook meat in their windshields and recycle the items you throw in the trash. When society collapses, they will be the ones that know how to survive. These are our Naths and Aghori. Every one is a saint whether you see it or not. Parking lots are our cremation grounds. Every thing comes to die here.

It is there upon the boiling black asphalt that I became reacquainted with my soul and discovered the essence of Urban Witchery. The other denizens of this twilight world are roaches, rats, stray cats, and grackles, the reviled “others” of urban fauna. They have become my totems, invasive, rejected, and thriving despite it all. Like the Saints I have met here and the Invasive Totems, I have learned to live off of mainstream society’s cast offs. I have found clothes, cookware, and receive out of date food items from the food banks. My situation may be temporary, but the stamp upon my soul is permanent. I will never live the same again. First I know how to survive in urban as well as wild environments now with nothing but my wits to guide me. Secondly I will never be sedentary again, the world is too volatile to not be prepared to take to the Road. Third I know of magics that only long lonely nights in desolate places teach. Even as I plan my return to the land of the Comfortably Numb, it will be more of an insurrection. My Feral Heart will never be completely content with the pacified offerings of Babalon. There is a wildness there that I must never quiet again, it is essential to my vitality. I have a project at hand that will be a bit like tending a garden, with the goal of letting the garden overtake the fence and grow into a wild Forest of Delights. Now that I have found the secret to creating gold in the barren lands, I will seek ways to liberate the treasures of the abundant spaces.

Sigils, Secrets, and Silence

All people tend to underestimate the power they possess. As a witch one should know better, when a magician creates a sigil to live free of clock and dollar, one may just end up unemployed and homeless. This could be the greatest blessing one may have ever experienced, if one is open to the lessons to be learned. For me it was hard at first, then some where along the way I realized I was being given an opportunity to realign my life. To start again from the bottom up, sure I have obligations and I must answer those, but it will be on my terms and at my expense. The knowledge gained is worth every inconvenience I have suffered. My sigils are mighty and I must be very specific; sometimes magic gives that which one ask for quite exactly.

I have seen wonders beyond my imagining, like the night I observed “something” swimming in a thunderstorm. Many are the revelations I want to share, but I cannot for they are experiential, One had to be there. Other things I cannot reveal for they are secrets that were imparted to me alone, Secrets form Universe. So often I see others diluting their personal power by revealing the secrets that were meant for them alone. That is the nature of a secret; it only has power as long as it is kept secret. Revealing these secrets makes them impotent, or dismissed as UPG, which funny enough is an apt description for existence on a personal level. Secrets are the stock and trade of magic. The reason people went to the Village Witch was because they knew things that were hidden or occult to everyone else. In order to maintain occult knowledge, one must keep secrets, this knowledge is simply not for everyone. The magic that can be taught and shared is simply technique for accessing the secrets. Initiation is as much about discovering if one has the capacity to keep secrets as much as if one has the propensity for accessing the realms of the numinous. Secrets are Occult.

Not only do secrets require silence, but being alone, one starts to cultivate a taste for silence. At first I ran my battery down listening to CD’s and podcasts, but eventually I began to tune into the sounds around me. Every city is silent between  3 a.m. and 4 a.m., with a few exceptions. A spooky kind of silence where one can here the Earth breathing, I first noticed this years ago working the graveyard shift. In those long exhales are secrets millennia old in their scope. In this silence I learned to cultivate my own silence, to become comfortable with my own thoughts. This how I learned to trust my own voice. This why I will be comfortable with my own counsel and rest easy that when I sit silently with a thought and decide to speak it will be with authority and wisdom. Sigils created secretly and kept silent bear more fruit. Let that simmer in your cauldron.

Mystery Cats and the Midnight Nurse

Late at night, usually 2 or 3 in the morning,  the other residents of the big black top arrive.  There are three main varieties, the explainable, the questionable, and the Mysterions. They all come eventually and all because of the energy of the place.

I will tell you about the creatures of the night. It will be of little surprise that rats scavenge large parking lots at night, but they compete with cats and this is where the surprise comes. There are more than housecats out there, along the rivers and coastal areas other cats come, larger, wilder, more pantherine cats. The rats and the average housecats live off of discarded sandwhiches, fried chicken and whatever else gets left in the lot. Owls being the clever animals that they are perch atop the light poles and feed upon the rats. So far I have only seen small screech owls doing this. Figure the lights are too bright for the larger species of owls. The cats remain safe.

The very first time I saw a larger cat, I felt my eyes were playing tricks on me. There was a cat that looked like a house cat but stood about 15 inches at the shoulder amd had rounded ears like a ferret or otter. So I  did research and based on my original sighting thought I had found a jaguarandi. Then I saw it again and realized I was wrong. The tail wasn’t long enough and it’s legs too long. This specimen was  nocturnal, jaguarundi are supposed to be diurnal (they’re also not supposed to live in Florida, but do). So I had a mystery cat. I followed it one night and it dissappeared into the wild plants along the Blanco River. Over time I have come to identify two other individuals. Just as soon as I had excepted the idea that this was an anomaly only observable in San Marcos and then I saw one in Port Lavaca, TX. In the Walmart parking lot.

So in addition to the very real and ordinary rats, house cats, and occasional owl, we have large dark Mystery Cats. However the most interesting denizens are the mythic and spectral beings of the Great Asphalt Lot. Death is always lurking in the Lot as are Disease and Misfortune. Yes there are ghosts here as everywhere, usually very hungry desperate ghosts. There is one other type of resident that defies explanation. I will simply share the tale with you.

I have some very interesting tales and stories from the other humans of the Lot, but I am particularly intrigued by the myths, legends, and tales of mysterious happenings. Especially when I hear the story a few times, with variations and in different places. The following I have heard in Austin, New Braunfels and Port Lavaca, Texas. My favorite version is from Anne B. of New Braunfels.

“So one night we were all drinking in Paul’s  van. Hanging out, talking, that sort of thing, eating one of them roto chickens from inside, when Charlie roamed off. We all figgered he had to take a dump cause he roamed of in the high weeds. Well a while later he come up outta them weeds, that ole sonuva bitch scared me, but he didn’t look right. He was pale and seemed shocked. Someone asks him if he’s okay. All he can do is mutter on about the lady in white that lead him away. We all told him ain’t no lady lead him off, he just walked away alone. Later he tells me the lady looked like and old timey nurse, showed him where he was sick. Charlie was always complaining about his stomach. So the next day he collapses inside (the Walmart) and the ambulance came and took him to the Hospital. You know they found Cancer in him. Right at the spot he said She told him he was sick.”

The parts of this story I have heard repeated in other locations are the lady is always dressed like a nurse from the 1950’s, she leads people away the group, and she shows the person where they are sick. The diagnosis is always the same; Cancer. This has so much in common with Marian apparitions and I plan to explore that more in my upcoming book. Until then enjoy this introduction to the one I have come to call, the Midnight Nurse.




Come See What I Have Found

I belong to a religous cult, we brain wash you into thinking for yourself.

Guides vs. Gurus

The world is filled with charlatans. This is nowhere more true than among the ranks of those who claim to be cut of a different cloth than the monoculture. Ask them where they buy their cloth, because unless they make their own, its all coming from the same mills in China. The world is populated with false claims of originality and your original ideas will be crushed by someone claiming to have the authority to do such actions. Many claim to seek freedom, but pursue instead authority. The true teacher never seeks to control the process of discovery but rather to encourage it. The true teacher shares their discoveries, but protects them if need be. Your Grandparent showing you a bird’s nest is an apt metaphor. A gentle guide on the path of knowledge.

It is important to have guides or else we never grow. More important than having guides is becoming a guide. As I age I am becoming  convinced that this is why we exist at all. Not to become a master in whatever specialized niche that some sales guru has convinced one is the latest sales generator or to be the world’s leading authority of obscure occult practices of pre-atlantean blah-blah, but to be divine. How does one become divine? By being humane.

Seems too simple to be real doesn’t it? The truth though is that by being human, acknowledging our simple connections, and being kind and genorous in our nature we transcend our selves and become divine. Why is this important, because the alternative is to keep others from their divinity.

A guru’s job is to convince others that they possess secrets that can only be had at a cost. Gurus monopolize knowledge for self promotion. Now understand, I am not defining Hindu teachers or the traditional gurus, I am using modern American vernacular. An example is the computer guru who lords their knowledge over others. This type of person is not interested in elevating anyone, this person is afraid of lifting others up. This is the professor who teaches strictly from the book and obstructs others from a place of fear. Competition is healthy.

Finding Your Path

What is the right path for one to follow? The answer to that question is simple but let me rearrange the question. If one were lost, what is the best path home? The answer is the path that gets you home. Now this is assuming you are lost in the first place. What if one is not lost? What if is one is where they are supposed to be? Unfortunately no one knows that until they leave. This is my one warning; magic will destroy you. It will open up wonderful vistas and show you worlds beyond your imagination, but first it will  destry you. My recommendation is to study alchemy  first, whether you become an alchemist or not, understanding the process will help you navigate your breakdown and rebirth. Next I would recommend Tarot. Once you begin to understand the story of your souls evolution then you are ready to speak to your ancestors and create sigils, potions, talismans and otherwise bend reality to your will.

First you must decide why you want take this path. Many have failed on this path. Many have lost their mind on this path. So why would one choose this path? One reason many cite is that they were called, the piper’s call is indeed enticing. These are the ones who have always known they were different from the others. Then there are those who seek power outside of the normal means. Watch these types they have morals and such. Not that one must be immoral to walk this path, more that one should be amoral. Above judgment and judging. To judge is to assume that one knows. Knows what is best for others, for the planet, society, the Gods, etc., there is a quite a bit of presumption in that frame of mind. Best to just avoid it.

Most things do best with the least amount of tampering, however being human is to be a tamperer. We among all creatures love to tamper. We tamper with one another, we tamper with the environment, we tamper with the building blocks of reality. Is this bad or wrong? Not necessarily as long as we accept responsibility for such shenanigans. Just as most things prefer not to be tampered with so they are likewise armed to protect themselves from tampering. Teeth, claws, nuclear fission explosions are all anti-tampering defense mechanisms. In order to succeed as humans we must tamper. All of successful civilization is the result of cautious  tampering.  To find ones path, one must tamper. Go forth and tamper.

Benefits of Mutation

Just as most things resist tampering this leads to entropy. To counter entropy, Universe in all its wisdom has devised what we humans call negentropy or mutation. Some mutations don’t work out, whereas others are the building blocks of evolution. Funny thing about humans and mutation, we are the only creature that seem to be so obesessed about from where we came. Whether it’s Australopithecus or Goetic Grimoires we cannot seem to get enough of our past and are completely frightened of our future.

This is the central theme of the entire X-Men story arc. We are afraid of that into which we are evolving. And why wouldn’t we be afraid, every drastic change redefines what it means to be human. Unfortunately this inevitable and will happen whether we willfully participate in the process or not. I for one favor willful evolution. Mutation at will is the core of all my magic. That is why I call myself the Mutant Mage.  The blending of Magic, Science, Psychology, and Evolution;  that is the crux of Mutant Magery. I have been struggling to remind my self of that. Here I am again at the beginning, only this time I invite you to join me. The past is settled only the future is ours to make. Look what I have found, an unshaped world full of possibility waiting for us, the Mutant Mages to shape it.


Crossroads, Crossbones, and the Cross

Thirty years ago I got my first tattoo. In those days getting a tattoo was an act of transgression, a permanent mark that told the world you were no longer conforming to the rules of average society. Only bikers, ex-cons, sailors, and outlaws had tattoos. My mother cried. It was the second body mod to become part of my praxis. It was my declaration to the world that I had crossed over a threshold from which I did not intend to return. It was a Jack o Lantern.

The crossroads have always figured heavily in my cosmology, I prefer the fork to the fourfold cross, but more on that later. Whether reflective of the stang or the trident there’s always one path less traveled, that’s my path. Usually. It was a crossroads decision that lead to my tattoo and body modifications. In addition to being transgressive acts of claiming autonomy over my own body, they were sacred acts of Jungian individuation. If as the scriptures claim the body is temple of the soul, should not the temple be reflective of the soul therein contained? I was permanently marked, a symbol of a pact I had made with myself.

The Crossroads

I used to believe that I identified with Crossroads Gods and Guardians of the Gates, but time and fortune have taught me these are lonely positions. With the exception of St. Peter most of the spirits associated with the Crossroads have taken on other attributes or simply use the power of this place for their own  purposes. One of the first Gods I ever worked with or invoked was Hermes. Initially this was because of my astrological chart, but also Hermes’ innate state of flux.

In my mind Hermes was the Crossroads, not just the physical location, but the quintessential nature. Traveler between realms, border crosser, lord of transaction; whether by guile (thievery) or negotiation (commerce), and according to some traditions father of magic. The embodiment of flux; this was my spiritual ideal and subsequent model for the Mutant Mage. It would be many years before I realized that Hermes and I had other deeper more esoteric aspects in common. As I dove deep into Chaos Magic in the 1990’s Hermes became simply Lord Flux in my pantheon and there he stayed for nearly 15 years. Yes, in my life I rendered flux static.

The Crossbones

During my excursion into Chaos Magic; I became fascinated with tantra. Not just the use of sex as a path to enlightenment, but the whole idea of confronting boundaries, both societal and personal. Here among the Naths and Aghoris I found  a philosophy of transgressive acts perpetuated to reach union with the Divine that seemed mirror my own beliefs about Witchcraft. Nothing seemed to symbolize this better than the Crossbones.

The Crossbones, a warning, harbinger of danger, and indicator of possible death. I already knew by my occasional forays down the Poison Path the difference between medicine and poison wasizes s the size of the dose. And this type of caution must be exercised everywhere  one confronts the Crossbones. Much like fire eating (do not eat fire) requires a special kind of stupid as my teacher described it, so too must one possess a certain deliberation to proceed past the Crossbones. Madness and Death do indeed come to those who push past without fear or preparation. This fork in the road leads off the map; here there be monsters. Unlike the Daimons of Goetia; these monsters have no names and no concern for you. How could a fool like me resist?

It is my extreme fortune that like Brer Rabbit; I can fall backwards into the briar patch and emerge with only a few scratches and bruises. Not only should I have died on several occasions, I am pretty sure I did die; twice. By the grace of the almighty alone am I still here. So I  sought the Crossbones and pushed my boundaries and those of others as well. This became my habit, like the toad I underwent rebirth aftet rebirth, shedding my skin with each new incarnation until one day I noticed something most peculiar.

I had become marked by the Crossbones. Like the pirates, bikers, and witches I admired, I had become not just a servitor of the Old Black, but something feared and shunned. Being able to see the highest Divine and the Fire Below, I found the narrowest path of all, the one that lead to the Cross.

As I rediscovered Hermes Cthonos and Sol Invictus this narrowest of all roads not only opened before me but called me forward. Just like the Saint of Necromancers and the Son of Man, I realized the Cross was the only way forward; my only other choice was Death and even she was not ready for me.

The Cross

The Cross just like the Crossroads is a place of decisions and just like the Crossbones it is a warning. The most famous cross of course is the Cross of Golgotha upon which the Nazarene hung. The truth, like most things, is much messier. The Cross predates the Nazarene and was associated with both Bacchus and Tammuz. Both were also gods of wine and bread interestingly enough, and were known to die and rise again. Here is a mystery worthy of contemplation. The Cross has many meaninings, but it is it’s connection to Tammuz and Bacchus with which I am most concerned. Members of the Cults that surrounded these two recieved the mark of the Cross upon their foreheads. This was done with palm ash from the temple fires (sound familiar?) It was used to denote those iniated into the Babylonian Mysteries. This is the true Cross, the Cross of initiation.

There I was embodying the Crossroads, marked by the Crossbones, when I came on my knees to the Cross of initiation to discover my personal praxis. Down a serpentine path marked with trials and tribulations I moved forward with eyes wide open with a mixture of awe and surety of all the monters and beauty I possessed inside all bound with a hint of madness. This is what I  discovered. The Cross is also a sword that seperates us from our delusions.

The Cross requires sacrifice, and much as a knife or a sword must be fed, so too does the Cross demand blood, the fluid of passion. Here’s the deal one must either surrender one’s passion or give it over to the service of others. It is only through this willing, open eyed sacrifice that true initiation can begin. Once one gives sacrifice of oneself on the Cross, a path has been chosen at the Crossroads and the mark of the Crossbones will warn others for as the sciptures say this person has died to this world. This is one who is truly free; one who has passed through the mysteries of Crossroads, Crossbones, and the Cross. Do not cross this one.


Everything New is Old Again

“To everything there is a season and purpose under heaven”

St.Francis of the Winos

The first time I met St. Francis, I was procuring obtanium along the railroad tracks. Giant rusty spikes used for all sorts of folk magic, flow performers, and pyrotechnics. I know people who do all of those things and I happen to like train tracks. In the parts of the world I have lived the tracks occupy a liminal, mythic space. They are a boundary and space, like the old fairy roads. I walk them whenever I can.

In Houston there was a railyard just outside of the Central Business District near a freeway overpass and over Buffalo Bayou, if you knew where to look you could find a Hobo Jungle. That’s where I first met St. Francis. Back in those days I would go to the jungle to buy odd items the people living there had found. They knew me as Buddha Bill and they knew I loved bones. The bigger the better. Funny enough I got a Lisa Simpson mask there once.

So one evening as I was collecting spikes, and going to buy bones, I heard a wonderful baritone singing “How Great Thou Art”. It was my grandfather’s favorite hymn, he was the one who taught me to love all things train related. A chill ran up my spine and goose bumps covered my flesh, so great was the passion of this singer. I was surprised to find a spry lean man barely five foot two.

His name was Reggie and he was from a town just outside of Detroit, Michigan. He was a Franciscan monk. Twice a month, out of his own pocket he made sandwiches and bought wine. He found more people from the camp would listen to his sermon and let him bless them if he had food and communion. He had been raised Catholic and St.Francis was his hero as Merlin was mine. These people of the jungle were the birds of his flock. This was how I learned St. Francis was still alive and like all saints wears many masks. He is the reason I still honor St. Francis to this day.

Don Pedro and the Carnie

My first experience with psychedelics was the direct result of a summer at my conservative father’s house. Yes you read that right, well it is actually my even more conservative stepmother to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. In 1983, I had barely turned 15 and I was bored beyond belief, so my stepmother suggests I read some of her books from college. The first tome she placed in my hands was a queer little book called The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. I had been raised with German folktales learned at my Grandmother’s knee and at the urging of my high school Wiccan friends read Buckland’s big blue book, but nothing had prepared me for this. This was before I had found out about TOPY or read anything by Mc Kenna, Wasson, Burroughs,or Leary. I was out of my depths, off the map. I subsequently tore through A Seperate Reality, Journey to Ixtlan, the Power of Silence; this was all she had in her library.

I spent as much the rest of that summer sleeping outside as I could. I learned what both peyote and datura looked like and began searching in vain for them. I paid special attention to crows and vultures. Little did I know but my iniation had begun. Summer ended and I had to return home to Houston. I joined a coven of teen age wiccans, mostly we hung out in cemeteries at dusk and smoked cloves. Something was missing, the vitality of Summer was gone. School started and Autumn equinox loomed.

As it so happened that year, the Comal County fair opened on Autumn Equinox 9/23/1983. Two of my uncles were living with and working for my father at the time; a third uncle had brought my brother and me for our regular visitation. That Friday it rained buckets, but that did not deter the good German Citizenry of New Braunfels,TX, from turning out on Saturday for beer and wurst. This was a warm up for Oktoberfest. A true Harvest festival in the grand old style. The pigs were weighed, calves, lambs, vegetables,pies, quilts, and jams judged. The Bier Garten was packed and my siblings and I were encouraged to disappear into the fairgrounds, as long we showed up once an hour, we were released again.

Somewhere between the freakshow (mostly b/w photos of days long gone by) and the haunted house, I smelled Mother Ganja on the wind. (I am a second generation hippy, among other things.) I was tired of being harassed and hoping to find some bikers or hippies to hang with, Gothic Cowpunk had not quite caught on in rural Texas in those days. Next to the haunted house I stopped to beat the mud off my boots when I heard a raspy voice behind me, “Hey kid.” I turned around and met the Devil for the first time. There he was disguised as a carnie with a penchant for biker wear.

“Yes”, says I.

“Want to get high?” He queries

“Do I ever.” I respond. So he leads to the carnie camp which were travel trailers arranged in a square with a fire in the middle. They were drinking and smoking and eating bar b que between shifts. I was introduced and invited to join the smoke circle. After 3o minutes the Devil shows up again and ask me if I want to get real fucked up. I am hesitant as he reaches into a bag made out of faded denim and pulls out a peyote cactus about an inch and a half across and two inches long with it’s tapering root. I recognized it from the previous summer’s research. He tells me that normally he would charge $30 for this size, but he likes me so he’ll let me have it for $15. I had $17 and some change so the deal went down. Instead slicing off little pieces as he suggested, I quartered it and ate two immediately. They tasted like dirt. It was time for me to check in.

I arrived at the Bier Garten just in time to be naseous. My family was incredibly drunk and  having a joyous time; I vomited. Right into a trash can. They all laughed and asked how many had I had. Then they offered me beer and sausage which made me purge some more. More laughter.

I went out and  roamed the carnival. So a Harvest festival  turned  County Fair in an  area settled by Germans with a freakshow is what imprinted on my brain the first time I  did psychedelics. If you know me, I  think this is very illuminating. If  not keep reading this blog, it will become apparent.

I went  back home after that weekend, dropped out of the Wiccan Circle and a month later at All  Hallows Eve entered a graveyard and iniated myself  into Witchcraft. I have  never looked  back.

Oma’s Advice

That night that Halloween  night 33 years ago is when I  met Oma. I am  not going to say much about  her as she is my spirit guide. I  know now where she is buried in that German cemetery and why she urged me constantly  to listen to my own German  Grandmother’s stories, which I  sorely neglected to do enough.

She appeared shortly  after  my declaration and asked  why I  had done such a thing and did I  realize what I was giving up? As she speaks German and I very little our conversations  have been very humorous and  frustrating  over the years. I have actually  learned  a lot of German  from her over time and I  am taking semi-formal lessons  now.

The gist of  her argument  was that if one wants knowledge  they should be a librarian or an occultist. If they  seek power go into politics  or be a sorcerer. A healer? Become an herbalist or physician. Witchcraft was for hermits who could live without blind faith. One could live in the middle  of a city, but their eccentricity  would mark them so that they ended up living a hermits life even if they married and  had children. I am only beginning  to  understand  this. A witch only has faith in that which they know, this makes for a hard life at times.

She taught me that being a witch is not as glorious as portrayed in books. I told her that I did not know of any books where it is portrayed as glorious. Exactly she said.

Pickled Okra

Every now and  again  someone around me discovers Pickled Okra. This is something I take for granted as it has always been a part of my life, in fact it is perfect analogy for my praxis, more on that in a minute. This query by social aquaintenances inevitably sends me through a nostalgia spiral. Lateley this spiral has been amplified  by several factors. One I am in the middle of acquiring a more permanent housing situation, which may include a move to New Braunfels, TX where in many ways my journey began. I have also found myself hanging around  Walmart parking lots, talking to RV’ers because I am  very close to being able to achieve my goal of living in an RV. This has put me back in contact with Nomads, homeless, and carnival folk. St. Francis and St. Jude keep showing up over and over again. Then a few days ago at a potluck with my people from  that thing in the desert someone said the magic words, “I just tried Pickled Okra for the first time. How did I  not know about this?”

There also seems to be a Witchcraft craze going on right now. I am not  sure what spurred it or why, but these things happen and they seem to happen in waves. The older I get the more I understand  the first question  Oma put to me, “Child, what are you that you desire to be a Witch?” (Kind, was bist du, dass du eine Hexe sein willst?), not Why do you want to be a witch or even Why do you wish to study Witchcraft, but What are you? I have come to believe one must have an outlaw soul to be a witch. Many who believe they  want this path are better suited to be yoga instructors or substance abuse counselors. Not that there is anything wrong  with  that. Takes a while to find oneself. I  am happy  wicca exists to provide many with the oppurtunity to worship witches without having to get their hands dirty. I want say much more, Silence prevents me. The knowledge is easily gained, even Consumer Zombies are willful  enough, a few posses the daring, but very few can simmer in silence gathering the sardonic wisdom like jewels to be used only when appropriate. At this point accusations of elitism arise, to which I  ask one simple question. Have you tried pickled okra?

See that question is about an experience. How would I describe pickled okra to someone  who has never tried it? Simple, I give them a piece.There is no description of the experience  that will adequately  substitute for the experience. It really is that simple. Now for an analogy that relies on Pickled Okra that may make sense. I said my praxis is like Pickled Okra and indeed it is.

My praxis like the aforementioned delicacy could only be born in Texas. First one starts with a Germanic practice; pickling or in reference to my practice Teutonic folkways and hexenkraft.  Add something southern that actually originated in Africa; okra or hoodoo materia as I do. Lastly something local or indigenous like jalapeños, or in the instance of my praxis some saints borrowed from Mexican catholicism not necessarily recognized by Rome. There you have it Pickled Okra, which like America is a crossroad in time as much as space where multiple cultures and techniques come together to create something new. A place where everything new is old again.



Rocket Surgery and the Black Star

The sun is setting and the sky has taken on the hue of a perfectly ripe cantaloupe. A cold north wind blows the sky clean. To my right murmurations of starlings play in the dwindling light and Bowie croons on the car speakers. I have stopped here in a bank parking lot on the edge of a small Central Texas town to eat my dinner, a fried alligator po- boy. Soon the voice will come, I can feel the potency in the air. Meanwhile I sit in my private epiphany waiting for the Omen to come, as it always does in times such as these. I think back on how I learned to identify these moments, to feel the fluctuations in the force that let me know that spirit was moving towards me. The times when I must be silent and listen.

Bus Stop Epiphanies

I moved to Austin, Texas on April Fool’s day 1993, because the cards and the angels of Chaos told me too. I had previously died on whiskey and rootbeer and been resurrected by the Virgen de Guadalupe and San Martin de Porres in a garage apartment bath tub. My first marriage was over. My family was utterly confused by me and my desire for body modification. The dark yogas I practiced as a result of reading Peter Carroll, Phil Hine, and Georges Bataille were taking a toll upon my soul. Not even enchiladas eaten in the shadow of the Alamo could save me. After my death and subsequent resurrection it was clear that my path lead away from San Antonio to Austin. From Breckenridge to the Congress Avenue Bridge I followed the Mexican free-tailed bats.

When I first moved to Austin, I lived with my high school friend Mr Winters. He introduced me to Johnny Vagabond although he wasn’t using that name yet, no he was still Mr. Nations. Johnny became my mentor of all things green. Whereas Granny Jones had taught me how to grow, Johnny taught me what to grow. It was the time of Crash Collusion, Johnny’s zine about UFO’s, entheogens, conspiracies, TAZ, shifting paradigms, cryptozoology, and the OTO. It is said when the student is ready, the teacher will arrive. I was ready and Johnny gave me a job working on the graveyard shift at Kinkos. I rode the bus to work.

I had already taken the affectation of wearing black all the time, but to this I had added a cheap halloween witch hat and a backpack covered with rubber skeletons and brass bells. An urban wizard is what I fancied myself. Divine fool was probably closer to the truth.

One fine summer evening as I headed out to work I met St. Serendipitous. I was exploring strange music at the recommendation of MACUMBA zine out of Dallas, TX, so either I was listening to Exotica by Martin Denny or Tabula Rasa by Einsturzende Neubauten. My first bus stop was next to Toy Joy, Austin’s version of  Seattle’s Archie Mc Phee. There upon the box that housed all the electrics for the signals someone had wheatpasted a three headed being with Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. Timothy Leary, and Terrence Mc Kenna on the body of the dancing Shiva. In the background was the Sri Yantra with the Illuminati all seeing eye super imposed. Beneath this was a tattoo style banner that read The Three Stooges. I felt as if a door had opened. When I got to my transfer point, I found a book on the bus bench; The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Phillip K Dick. Something about the light of the sunset, the cover art on the book, the music I was listening to, and the bats leaving their roosts just as we crossed the Congress Avenue Bridge, told me to pay attention; this was important. When I arrived at work Johnny asked me I ever read any Phillip K Dick. After I told him the strange tale of coincidence, he says matter of factly, “You’ve had an epiphany and that book is an omen.” Right he was and I have paid attention to shifts in energy every since.

The Black Star

I have been listening Bowie incessantly and reading  Gordon White’s Star Ships, which I highly recommend. Something about the origins of the Western Tradition considered from literally an entirely different angle and Bowie’s personal requiem dove tail nicely with my considerations over another failed marriage and the desire to travel. Star lore; I always come back to the stars. Whether I am recieving messages from the twelve as mentioned before, reading about our mythemes shifting to UFO’s, looking for Black Knight or the Space Station, or discovering new ideas from the field of archeoastronomy, I am still looking out into the Cosmic Ocean pondering the meaning of it all.

Here I am between the Epiphany and the anniversary of Bowie’s death talking about energies manifesting in my own life as Universe floods my awareness with little coincidences and synchronicities. Once again I am being drawn in by the deire to modify my body as a reflection of my inner processes. I still don’t know what a Black star is.

Rocket Surgery

I have come to realize how much I complicate my life. I create blockages before attempting to seek solutions. Take learning a new task as an example, before even considering how to make it happen, I have a ready litany of why it can’t happen. Lately when that happens, I call that impulse Rocket Surgery. Something that on the surface seems quite complicated but upon reflection is actually nonsense. So 2017 is the Year of Rocket Surgery. A year for defeating bogey men, false assumptions, and actual nonsense.

Back to the example of learning something new; instead of seeking reasons why I can’t, I look to creating strategies for how I can. Thank you, Jason Miller. Lets start with learning. Make yourself some flash cards, 3″ x 5″ index cards with a topic on one side and information on the other. You can learn tarot this way, herbs, aspects of ritual etc. Small, and compact, they travel anywhere. Make some when you have time, review while riding the bus, waiting at the doctor, or the pharmacy, etc. Read blog articles and listen to podcasts on the topic. Both can easily be digested during an average commute. All easy, doable, and conviently portable.

You can even cultivate more ritual into your life using this idea.Listen to music you find inspirational. Make mantras, for instance any time I use a bridge I say to myself, “Crossing water, crossing water, all hail the River Goddesses daughter.” If I’m walking I leave a penny or something on the bridge. You could practice “first fruits” when the weather is better. At lunchtime, before you eat take bits of your lunch and make small offering to your Matron, your Patron, or the Spirits of the land. Leave under a tree.

Meaningful Coincidences

A large part of magic as a practice is to create the conditions that increase synchronicity. This is what every sigil scribbled, every ritual enacted, and every prayer whispered is aiming at, to create conditions that the mage may manipulate to their personal advantage. There are many methods and techniques for accomplishing this, but only two directions by which this happens; internally directed or externally constructed. Only half of being a sage worker of magic is knowing how create meaningful coincidences, the other half is being open to messages coming from outside. Omens, oracles, serendipity, and all other synchronous messages. When Crow wants your attention, crow will appear everywhere, pay attention. When your magic is very potent these inner and outer machinations begin to feed each other and truly amazing things happen.

I have recently been blessed both by inwardly directed and outwardly noticed synchronicity. Whenever these types of events happen in my life I am always in awe at the strange and wondrous ways reality manifests around me. It is these liminal spaces that really open me up to a magical comprehension of what makes the structure of Universe possible. My conclusion based upon observation and experience is animistic and mystic. What I mean by this is that everything is “alive” in a spiritual sense, thus animistic, and ultimately interconnected into a whole, therefore mystic. This is what lies behind the veil, this is why magic is possible, and why universe communicates through potent symbols. This is why I pull into parking lots to watch murmurations of starlings and become mesmerised by their beauty. Here in the fading January light in my car the Omen comes and I realize that despite the tension of the coming days; a Great Awakening is also happening. I am a Black Star.


The Year of the Sacred Heart Pt 2


What can I say about this year that has not already been said? Quite a bit actually. In part one of my review of the year, I discussed briefly my personal alchemical transformation, in this part I want delve more into the poetry and mythology. I will also discuss where this journey has lead and is leading.

The Vision

I first had a vision of the Sacred Heart when I was about 8 or 9. I had seen the image before, but the vision came when I was sick with a high fever. A cloaked woman came to me and told me I would be okay and one day my words would help others to heal. She held up a flaming heart in her hands, and it grew until I couldn’t see anything else. Then I became one with it; my fever had broken.

This is the first vision of the Sacred Heart I remember and even though I was not raised a Catholic; I was raised in an environment permeated by Catholicism, both orthodox and folk style. In East Texas it has a decidedly French aesthetic, but Central, South, and West Texas belong to Mexican and Spanish Catholicism. So the imagery of Catholicism has surrounded me my whole life and although some of my relatives are Catholic, I was not raised in the church. I learned back alley Folk Catholicism, mostly from Hispanic Neighbors, definitely more Santeria/Curandera than Orthodox. Despite all that I was not aware of the meaning of the Sacred Heart as a symbol of mystical union with the divine until religous studies as an adult. I had always interpreted it as a symbol of the poetic capacity. This where I was at when I adopted it as the symbol for 2016.

The Poets Heart

To make art, to write poetry, to be a sacred artist, to craft magic, these are acts that require one to be in communion with one’s soul. This is a mystical connection that is brought about by union with the divine. The heart of a poet is the heart of a warrior. As Alejandro Jodoworsky says,  “I am an artist, you understand? For me, a picture is like poetry. When you make art, this is not coming from an intellectual place. It’s coming from the deep side of unconscious, your soul.”

The year, 2016, tested everyone. Many celebrities and artists crossed over, among them several influential musician/poets. In the circles I travel the two most important were probably David Bowie and Leonard Cohen. They were living embodiments of the spirit of the Sacred Heart as a metaphor for union with the divine. Bowie was the Star Man who invited us to be more than the little boxes into which our daily lives tried to squeeze us. Cohen was a man of the earth who reminded us that anywhere we stood was Holy Ground. That is the ultimate secret of the Sacred Heart in my mind; once you have made mystical union with the divine every and everything is Holy even the profane. The example set by the lives of Cohen and Bowie is one of( taking on life by your own terms even when dangerous. To be open hearted and compassionate during  difficult times means one must be comfortable with being vulnerable. Vulnerability requires a strength that only a union with the divine can sustaìn and nurture. To cleave oneself open for all the world to see. This is magic and art on the edge.

Bleeding Out

Exposure. Risk. Identity. We have come a long way in our collective battle to be free from prejudice and hatred, only to have the Presidential election in the US and Brexit remind us that we still have a way to go. After my alchemical transformation through the Sacred Heart I have come to believe that these threats are just Phantom Menaces, more fear of the Big Bad Wolf than lupine maximus himself. As Young the Giant says in “Somethingto Believe In”

“I’ll give you something to believe in
Burn up a basement full of demons
Realize you’re a slave to your mind, break free
Now give me something to believe in”

Here I am stripped down naked before the Lord and I find that which really motivates me is not fear, but LOVE. Love Divine. Love of body modification, love of monsters, love of the black, and these are the things that will carry me forward.

I have spent the last few years reaquainting myself with occult philosphy, folk magic techniques, and doers and shakers of all types. I have discovered a few things, strengthened some very old vows and uncovered my essential core. As the new year approaches, I have decided to stop bleeding out. To heal old festering wounds. Take responsibility for myself and my actions both on exoteric and esoteric levels. To become my own Dr. Frankenstein.

Rocket Surgery

So 2017 will be the year of Rocket Surgery. I will go into this more thoroughly later, but for now suffice it to say that this will entail using my most time tested techniques, combined with new technology to reach heights of magical reality previously unattainable. Not because I have achieved godlike abilities, but because I am cultivating monk like humility. I have become filled with a renewed sense of wonder much like a child but tempered with the wisdom of nearly 50 years of life. I will be introducing a divination system based on the Five Crowns deck and travelling about to discover new spirits of place. All the while this blog will be my magical travelogue chronicling my adventures. Rocket Surgery, healing through technology, travel, and absurdity.

Plant your feet in the mycorrhozia, spread your astral wings, engage the Sacred Heart and blast off into the Outer Realms, Mutant Mage.


The Year of the Sacred Heart: A Review Pt 1

2016. What a year. Definitely a life study in Saturnal influences. This was the year I chose to explore the Sacred Heart. A year of living more passionately, of living from the heart, to take on the role of Poet-Warrior, but more on that later. A year that for many was very dark and challenging, a year that almost took me down. A time of challenge that has left me stronger emotionally, more compassionate, more reflective, and less materialistic.


My year was fraught with breakdowns. There were the losses of people I admire. My marriage fell apart. I lost several jobs and two places to live. I lost my car. During this process  I almost lost my mind. Then I almost gave up on life. Breakdown after breakdown. I felt as if everything I had come to identify as “self” was dissolving before my very eyes.

I was losing my sense of being. To be open hearted and compassionate under these circumstances was igniting a flame deep inside, but I still had more work ahead. Little did I realize the breakdowns were preparing me for the challenges ahead.


Taking inventory of my life required a brutal honesty that only meditation on the Sacred Heart as Divine Love could guide me through. No longer confining myself, I was able to take responsibility for all the self inflicted black magic I insisted were compromises, but more truthfully were martyr points that wielded like weapons when I felt necessary. I began to own my shadow and its abusive ways of protecting itself.

The repeated shocks of this year enhanced by a Saturn Retrograde going full direct took me deeper than I have ever gone; deeper still than even shamanic journeys. At the bottom of it all, I almost gave up and crossed over. Instead, I reached out and found others willing to hold on and not let me fall. I put out the call and they answered. A one eyed witch with no tradition save her own. Cedar Woman and a Mare who walks into fires. I am grateful to know such strong women. They have encouraged me to keep listeningto the Sacred Heart and its wisdom. The time had come to accept and love someone I had been long neglecting; myself.


After losing so much it was fairly easy to pick up the pieces that I wanted to carry forward, what surprised me most, was what had been long neglected and left behind. I found a poets heart still beating in the ashes; shriveled, atrophied, and distrustful, but still beating. I found unbound love of and fascination with humanity and its quirky ways. Here was wanderlust and intellectual curiosity. At the heart of it all self discovery through Body Play. I saw myself again, not reborn, older, wiser, spiritually maturing.

Able to discern what tools I already possessed to move forward and what burdens to leave behind, I knew I must follow the Sacred Heart once more to Conjunction Junction.


Much like the Crossroads, Conjunction Junction is a place where different paths meet, but unlike the crossroads the Junction is about connections. Not simple connections like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; more like the magical melange of Gumbo or Coq au Vin. A place where essential ingredients simmer together to transcend their disparate natures.

This is where I learn how Body Play informs my magical identity. Where my poets heart fuels the wanderlust and the Sacred Heart unites them all into the mad scientist magician persona I call the Mutant Mage. This is where the authentic self emerges; although time is still required for the curing process. Just like prime rib must “rest” in an oven for several hours to come out right or a beer wort must ferment in order to render the desired results.


This not just a finishing stage; this a transformative stage and a test. This is Chapel Perilous. It is here that I truly learn to trust in the Sacred Heart and cast away the last remains of self doubt and fear. In this time and place I find a job that I am comfortable with and can build a budget around. Here I realize less is more; for me. I accept that the sedan and the one room rental space because it is all I truly need and desire. This where I  come to terms with the fact that I prefer travel, tattoos, and a pet toad to long term relationships. This is a time of spirit growth. Here I conquer depression and self sabotage. Now once more into the flames of the Sacred Heart to refine, and purify; to distill my spirit born self.


The final refinement, where the lessons all come together and process of continual renewal emerges. For me this has happened through a daily ritual of silence. A time for quiet contemplation and to reset. This happened to come right as th elections were happening. Without all of my previous trials and tribulations the results could have been devastating and I freely admit, my first reaction was anger. I own that and do not feel ashamed of it because it was honest.

I have learned not to hide myself for the sake of getting along. Being authentic has become my path, to live openly and freely. The Way of the Sacred Heart has shown me how to be a Spirit Warrior with the heart of a poet. Living open hearted and compassionate under these dark and challenging times has allowed me to coagulate into a new being without losing my authentic self.


This is the path forward and what I will discuss in part two. Coagulation is the art of living a nondualistic existence. This where we are Sacred Artists, not just tapping into the spirit of the Sacred Artist. This is where we are Animystic not considering things from an Animystic point of view, where we live magical lives on addition to magically enhancing our lives. The Sacred Heart has taught me much and with out its lessons, I might not have survived this year.





This Place

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This is actually a reprint from my old blog which can be found at Sasquatch Jones. I am sharing here to participate in the Strategic Sorcery Blog Hop about magic of place. I no longer live here, but the lessons learned will stay with me a lifetime and have established a template for further work with the spirits of place. Enjoy.

This place.
I ask again, the answer is the same.
This place.

I have lived on this land for eight years now, but it only began to speak to me about two and a half years ago. This place, is only my interpretation of the vibratory sensation that pulses through me from the ground. The first time it spoke to me I was naïve enough to believe that I understood. Days later I went to talk to the land again, but at first I thought I misunderstood.
This time the tone was different, yet still familiar. At last I thought I understood, I was in a different place so that would account for the difference. I could have not been more wrong. The next weekend I returned to my original spot and began again to speak with this place, again it was different but somehow the same . Over a period of months I came to realize some very special things about this place.
First lesson I learned was about temporal relationships. This came to light after conversations at different times of day. Time is as intrinsic as space to this place, time and space are not separate. This place was as much a time specific event as it was a space specific event. This wisdom has lead to major shifts in all of my relationships. Just as this place and all that inhabit it, including me, are corporeal and spiritual in nature, so too is all of Creation.
I began to discern two distinct vibratory sensations; like a sound that you hear with your bones. The low background drone that is always there I have come to call the spirit of the land. The tonal variations and differing energy frequencies I have begun to think of as the spirit of place. This place is both two distinct aspects, each unique in itself, yet completely inseparable. This undifferentiated duality encompassing the whole relates directly to the shamanic and Taoist worldview, there is no true “other”. We are all here together. This profound truth continues to reshape my vision of Universe.


“Yes, the long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we’re going, but where we want to go.” Bruce “Utah” Phillips 1935 – 2008

There are things that have been long forgotten, and they live on, in the land . The land does not forget, it remembers all that is, and how that shapes all that is becoming. The land has a long memory. Learning to speak to the land and more importantly to listen to the land will give one access to that long memory. This knowledge will open more doors than all the libraries in the world. I personally believe this due to the physical nature of this practice. You must actually go out into the world and interact with it to gain entry to this vault of knowledge.
There are places that sing with power and crowds flock to them. This is all well and good, but I know secret places, places that only those who know This Place can enter. There are many such places, but to find them one must develop a relationship with the land they belong to. When This Place first opened up and let me enter the imaginal realms, I was immediately cognizant of the similarities and differences between this realm and descriptions I had read of Fey realms.
Geography affects relation to spirit as much as time, whereas the Realm of Fey is universal it’s manifestation is definitely local. My wife has told me several times about the Sasquatch that live here. I will not go into a lengthy discussion about the physicality of these guardian spirits, I will simply say they are real in the same sense that all Faerie are. The first one I met resembled a bear in build, but its face was clearly Sasquatch, and it had horns like a goat. There are others here, hobs and gobs, but not quite like the ones you find in European lore. More earthy, and bony, like armadillos.Buffalo, and Bear, long gone are remembered and live on. Many of the people who once lived here, are still represented by their spirit, the land, like the body, never forgets.
There are others here too, angels, for lack of a better term. The form that appears to me most often, and seems to be THE Guardian Angel of this place, resembles a black-jaguar headed man, with enormous wings of rainbow colored flame. His presence is fiery and fierce like midsummer sun. He likes meat, and rainwater. This is a wild spirit, we never meet indoors. He belongs to the land. Others come and go, like Shadow Rabbit, and the Sun Sprites. None of this will make sense unless you have been to This Place, but the place you find will be different because it is not This Place.
The majority of my work over the last few years has been with the spirits of This Place and the land itself. When I said that I had spent a year and a day in the Earth, in many ways that was quite literal. My work could not happen and would be incomplete without this relationship. Everything is connected from the most mundane to the most fantastic. Here there are realms within realms all overlap and informing one  another Holoarchically. This Place exists in many times and spaces and they are all This Place. This Place has a very long memory.


I have been lazy in the most productive way. My garden has lain fallow for two years now, I only garden in containers. My yard is a garden in the most magical of ways, wild edible, useful and magical plants have sprung up all over my yard. I have entered into a relationship with the land. I have studied its micro-biomes and it has given me instruction on how to be a better steward. A forest garden is my next major project with this land. I will mimic the natural processes at work at This Place and restore the land and garden it at the same time.
This land was once cleared for cattle grazing, for the last 30 years there has been a community here and people have reintroduced trees to the environment. This lead me to idea of working with land to create an environment that was managed and yet followed the natural variations and rhythms of This Place.The initial step involves letting the high side of the property return to woodland. The squirrels have been remarkably helpful, I now have a small forest of oaks, mesquite, and pecan, covering the front of the property. This transitions into grassland as the land slope towards an arroyo seco. It is important to keep this open because of flash floods.
More long range projects include improving the drainage in arroyo to minimize erosion. Farther down the line, a retention pond is in the works. The retention pond would be unnecessary if my neighbors had not filled the arroyo’s course through their property. It has created  a far worse flooding problem. No worries, studying the lay of the land form my roof in winter I have discerned the natural water course and how to counteract my neighbors stupidity. Added bonus, more biodiversity, more complexity to This Place. We evolve together This Place. Much as the Basque is identified by his etxe, so to does This Place inform who I am. This Place and I work towards the same goals, and we both benefit from the relationship. This did not happen because I asked the land to bend to my will, no this happened because I asked the land what it willed and how I could help.
This Place.
It is where I call home, and where home calls me.
This Place.

Stones, Roots, and Bones

I do not subscribe to the Neo-platonic ideal of essences, however I do believe certain natural objects contain a more concentrated form of power than others. These objects of power, hint at an eternal aspect, but truly only speak to a longevity of form that is ultimately betrayed by ephemerality. Despite their hardiness and consistency of form, these objects like all others eventually break down and give way. Only the atoms and electro-magnetic energy they encompass are eternal. All other aspects are but vectors in the time-space continuum, more on that some other day.


bandera_2008-0920_050As a child I collected rocks and stones. Not crystals or mineral specimen, but seemingly ordinary stones. They were not ordinary though, due to my good fortune, my family owned property in the Texas Hill Country. The predominant geologic feature of this region is limestone. This meant that as a child I collected many rocks that either contained fossils or holes. Yes my childhood rock collection was made of hagstones and fossils. Either keys for viewing the realms of fey, or bits of a past so distant as to hint at eternity itself. My two favorites were “Donut Rock” and “Big Heart”, everyone of my rocks had a name.  Donut rock was roughly the size and shape of a donut with a hole right through the middle, he was my favorite. Yes I said “he”, like most children I was a natural animist, as I mentioned above everyone of my rocks had a name. These names were based on shape, size and personality, because yes, I talked to my rocks. They were my friends.

Big heart like the majority of my fossils was a bivalve known as a deer heart clam. I also had bits of ancient oyster beds, brachiopods, some snails, and a few sea urchins. These rock dinosaurs as I called them spoke to me of ancient oceans and fantastic landscapes that only my dreams could fully recognize. These frozen snapshots of a prehistoric world first taught me about the magic of stones. This leads me to the hagstones, long before I had ever read about hagstones or their uses among my Pre-Anglo Cyrmy (Welsh) ancestors, I knew that they were lenses to other realms. Combine the natural magic of a hagstone with the imagination of a child and ancestral magical memory, and the limits of what I viewed was boundless.  These stones honed my  visualization skills in a way that no other technique has.  These stones were my teachers even before I realized such a thing was possible.

Today I own many stones, fossils, crystals, and minerals. I have spent many years studying 45d100a28390c3cee98ee49f0a1b2bcbtheir physical, geological, and esoteric properties. None of this subsequent education can compare to the initial lessons of my childhood earth angels. I am still a rock whisperer, a skill I learned before formal education. When I visit someplace new my first endeavor is to meet the natural geology of the area. I talk to the stones, the ancient stores of knowledge that know more, have seen more, and record more information than our species will ever comprehend. I feel blessed to have been instructed by these old wise ones. These earth angels at the base of all things, the literal base of all things.


In my grandmothers garden I first learned about the importance of roots. When we transplanted the seedlings in spring, I was reminded to be tender and gentle with the article-0-0f324bb600000578-46_634x838roots, because that’s from where the plants grew. Later the lesson was to always remember to include root vegetables in my diet to stay healthy and strong. It was the last lesson she taught me that intrigued me the most. As devout a Methodist as any that came, she was a repository of old German lore. When we picked carrots, then ones with two roots, i.e. the ones that resembled legs, were set aside and only eaten raw. These were special and could not be cooked. It was not until many years later when reading Jacob Boehme’s  Signature of all Things, that I began to suss out my Grandmother’s treatment of these carrots. For her it may have just been tradition, but the origins of that tradition probably had similar connotations as the human shaped mandrake, and other people shaped roots.

At the family cabin, where we spent every hunting season and chunks of summer, there were multiple cedar stumps that had been unearthed so that the root structure was exposed. These inverted stumps were like a cross between driftwood and abstract sculpture. Their form, texture, and color fascinated me. These twisted, hard bits of wood spoke to me of the trees need to wrap around and push between rocks to find nutrient rich soil. This was a life lesson, despite the twists and turns these hardy souls continued to dig in searching for that which sustained them. I was completely in awe of these masters of reality. Thanks to these wonderful grotesqueries, I developed a lifelong love of root structures and the esoteric meaning contained within their shapes.

Now a days, I collect roots for medicine, for culinary purposes, for their esoteric largeassociations, but mostly for their beauty. I resonate with the shape and color of roots, the smells they contain from the soil, their resins, and from molds and fungi. On my path I have learned to associate the roots with the dwelling of the plants souls. No matter how much a plant can teach me, its roots teach me more, these are residents of the underworld after all. The first residents of the underworld that I ever encountered and I still learn something new with every root I encounter. Roots are crossroads of sorts, an intersection between the world of plants, the world of minerals, and the previously mentioned underworld. To explore roots is to explore magic itself.



Bones. Every witch and sorcerer I know collects bones. Why? What is the allure? Is it simply that this is the most resilient parts of otherwise temporary beings or is there more to the story? In many traditions, skulls are used like spirit pots, as a place of residence for familiar spirits. Sometimes bones are used as points of contact for the grand spirit of the species they came from; wolf bones for wolf spirit, dog for dog, cat for cat, that sort of thing. Perhaps it is an ancient knowing that we possess, the reason behind statements like, “I feel it in my bones”or “to know something deep in down in one’s bones.” Maybe it has to do with the fact that bones, our own bones, are 60-70% mineral and this gives us a connection to the earth in the same way rock or stones do.

My personal fascination with bones, much like rocks, and roots, began quite early in my life. I was raised in a family of hunters and fishers, bones were just part of reality, leftovers after the flesh was consumed. In addition to stones and roots, I collected bones, still do. In my youth I was most fascinated with jawbones and teeth. The majority of my collection was either the molars or complete jawbones of white tail deer and feral hogs. How the teeth fit into the sockets was utterly amazing, I literally spent hours removing and reinserting teeth, especially after my “baby” teeth fell out. It was like a jigsaw puzzle from nature.

Bones and objects made of bone litter my altars and shrines. I have complete animalk11867405 skeletons, skulls, whistles and trumpets, and even random teeth scattered about. I cannot eat an animal without keeping its bones for a while. I try to connect with it and thank it for nourishing me, then I “smoke” the bones and bury them. I keep bones to mix with my personal incense blends, sometimes I grind bones into fine powder to add to soups and stews. I make bone broth both for nutritional and ritual purposes. I even have a recipe for beer brewed with bones. Like stones and roots, bones have become an integral part of my path and practice.

Animistic Devices

Over the years, I have studied many different magical traditions and even dabbled in a few, eventually I have come to develop my own path and practice. Just as Blues Rock claims its lineage from both Blues, and Rock and Roll, yet is not quite either, so too is my way an amalgamation. Somewhere between Witchcraft, and Chaos Magic, I have forged the path of the Mutant Mage. Despite many techniques and much spell craft practiced, I find myself returning to certain basic materials over and over. Experimenting with Tibetan Chod rituals or communing with Hekate in Midnight Graveyard Sessions, I have come to rely on three allies more than any other. These three companions keep me connected to this world and aid me in transcending it. Semi-permanent as they are even they give way to impermanence and thus teach the way of all things. It is safe to say my path, my practice would not exist as it does without Stones, Roots, and Bones.


Lost Maples 1

Practical Magic


I have been watching Johnathan Strange & Mr Norell, and I am struck by how much it reminds me of the state of modern magic. There are many content to study without desire to actually produce results. There are others who present themselves as authorities when all they have managed is to rise within the ranks of lodges and societies that scarcely function as more than social clubs for bored suburbanites. Too often those who choose to be viewed as magicians in modern times, hide those things which would reveal them to be human. It is almost as though being well rounded is anathema to being a magician, as if revealing ones whole self-will somehow weaken their power. I have come to believe this is a fallacy which needs rectifying, magic does not exist in a vacuum.

Holy Sacraments

When I started this blog, it took me some time to come up with a title. I wanted something that reflected who I was, not necessarily what my blog was about. Primarily I write about magic, but I try to write about it from the perspective of how it touches my everyday life. This is not a how to do magic type of journey, I believe that is an individual pursuit. This more about how MY magical journey enriches my life. I share experiences and folklore, the how to is up to the reader to suss out. So that is how the name of my blog came about, Tacos and Tequila are my Holy Sacraments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fat_tire_tacosTacos are pure magic in my opinion. Start with a tortilla, another variant of the ubiquitous round flat bread found in every culture, ever. Next add whatever you have, eggs, beans, rice, or all three it doesn’t matter. That is the magic, a simple tortilla wrapped around anything transforms it into something delicious and heavenly, may all my magic be so effective. The tortilla itself is nothing more than flour, water, yeast, and fat (usually lard), and yet through a wondrous alchemical transformation these simple ingredients form the portable, edible food wrapper of the gods. Tacos are poor people food, but you do not need to be poor to appreciate them, they transcend socio-economic boundaries. May all my magic be so flexible. Whereas I have to be in the mood for $100 a plate chef prepared meals, and yes the mood does strike me, tacos are always an option, without question. I aspire for my magic to be like tacos, simple, ubiquitous, versatile, and delicious.

Tequila is my Soma. A holy elixir that opens gateways, but one that must be used with caution. I am not a heavy drinker, in fact, I am entirely a social drinker and being an introverted recluse that makes me a very light drinker. Usually I drink beer in most social settings, but there are those special occasions where something more is required. On campout, long weekends, rainy days, and winter retreats, nothing beats the golden warmth of tequila. In a drop of tequila I taste the earth, the summer sun, and the highlands of Jalisco. When shared with others the tequila_hires_550conversation flows as the warmth penetrates deep into the bones, deep thoughts and precious intimacies are shared. May my magic be so inspirational. When shared with my spirit allies a bond of friendship and loyalty is forged that rewards us both. May my magic always be reciprocal. Tequila like tacos is made from simple ingredients, blue agave cacti, water, and yeast. Like the tacos a bit of alchemy transforms these ingredients into something spectacular. A word of caution, Tequila like all potions must be treated with respect, too much will hurt with a vengeance not soon  forgotten. May my magic be like tequila, strong, lucid, intoxicating, and a little bit dangerous.

I try to model my magic a bit like Tacos and Tequila. In addition to the references I have made above, it my desire that my magic be made of simple ingredients, mundane one might say, that are transformed through the agency of spirit, alchemy, transcendent power, or even fermentation, into something more spectacular. Made into an essence, a power, a force that far exceeds the sum of its parts. Something that can only exist because of a combination that must be executed precisiely to yield proper results. Something that exemplifies “solve et coagula”. This is how I model my magic and why Tacos and Tequila are sacraments to me.

Daily Inspirations

I love the word “inspiration”, it simultaneously means being mentally stimulated towards creative ends and inhalation. This dovetails with both the ancient greek “pneuma” and the hindu concept of “prana”. With pneuma we have a word that both means breath and spirit, or the vital, creative force of a person. Prana is a concept of spirit and creative lifeforce found in all things needed to live. This is usually illustrated in the following way; food, water, and breath all have prana. One can go weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breath, therefore breath has the greatest amount of prana. Very different cultures, same concept, spirit, that is the creative force that gives us life is found in the breath.

The idea that life is in the breath along with the force we consider creativity leads to some very interesting considerations for magic. Most important is the realization that both life and creativity are forces that exist externally to one’s being. Through inhalation these forces are brought to dwell within oneself. To my mind this settles the entire debate about whether spirit is external or a fabrication of the mind. This also explains why creativity is not necessarily an indwelling quality. I could at this point get into very long winded (see what I did there) explanation about the metaphysics involved with the chemical reactions in the brain that are a result of this interaction, but that is really a book in itself. Instead I will say with each breath the holy creative fire is stoked within our cranial organ and thus life is maintained as well as creativity.

This all leads to the topic of meditation. If one wants to be more effective with magic there is nothing more powerful or efficacious than meditation. Many balk at this idea because it seems to simple, if I have learned anything in my 30 plus years as a mage, it is that simplicity is the hallmeditation31mark of the greatest magics known. Meditation quite simply is sitting still, quieting the mind, and breathing. That’s it. Breathing however is the process of ingesting life force, spirit, and creativity. Want more effective magic? What could aid one more than building up stores of spirit, life force, and creativity? Not to mention the added benefits of being able to focus concentration, control of one’s own mind, and knowing how to take a deep breath to clear distracting thoughts. Just like Tacos and Tequila, a little bit of alchemical transformation turns breath into something spectacular. Breath is the greatest ally a mage can have.


Astrologically speaking we are in a very interesting time, Saturn moved into a partie square with Neptune which means liars will be exposed and deceptions uncovered. It is very hard in this day and age of virtual interactions to determine who is authentic and who is creating a character. It is my sincere hope that during this astrological time the veil will drop and those who are authentic will be able to move forward. This is perhaps a far-fetched dream, but it is true to who I am. Authenticity however can determined by one single factor, simplicity that transforms into the spectacular. That wonderful alchemy that helps one find gold in the compost.

My personal gauge for determining authenticity is not lineage or membership in any association, no it is much simpler than that. I can tell when someone is authentic because they are willing to go all in. What I mean by this is when you read an herbal witches blog and she shares the wonder and joy of introducing her child to the forest. Cartomancers who share how much they love their siblings and their pets. Sorcerers who specialize in helping others to be better sorcerers themselves and yet share family vacation stories or tales of plastic toy chasing cats. Brave souls unafraid to be themselves in a public space. I’m not suggesting that to be authentic one must share every aspect of their life, but rather that one is true enough to themselves that they lack fear over being open. When one is well rooted in themselves the need to play a role or present one side of one self as the totality drops away.

Whether one specializes in cartomancy, astrology, herbalism, or scrying, that is not all one does, nor should it be. I believe that all too often that when one works to be a well rounded magician an erroneous state of mind takes hold that convinces the individual that they must excel at all schools of magic. Rather than live a fulfilling life filled with variety and adventure, these poor souls become consumed pursuing the next new thing. Pursuing dilettantism rather than developing their super power. There is nothing wrong with a herbalist studying cartomancy, in fact, one may excel at both, but not all herbalists must study cartomancy and vice versa. A great astrologer may find more inspiration in physics or the poetry of Sandra Cisneros than in divination by dice or dominoes. A herbalist might be inspired more by zymurgy than alchemy, then again perhaps both. The point being that truly informed magic comes about from engaging with the world rather than withdrawing from it. This engagement when coupled with inhaled spirit and creative force awakens one to the strange alchemy that transforms ordinary things into spectacular sacraments, much like Tacos and Tequila. The ability to find magic within the mundane is authentic and practical magic. Very practical magic indeed.